Things That Make Me Cry

“Oh, goodie,” I can hear you saying now. “This ought to be uplifting. Anyone want to skip this one and go get some donuts?”

Tell you what, if you are mad at me by the end of this post, I’ll buy you your very own personal donut and ship it to your home address, any flavor you want. Okay? Okay.

Back when Poppa was so very sick and we spent more hours than anyone wanted at Vanderbilt, we found ourselves in need of some nighttime sitters. See, Poppa was struggling with Sundowners which basically means he was out of his head and hallucinating a whole lot. Only now can we laugh about some of his stories because only now we can accept the loss of him without feeling gutted all the time. Anyway, at night Poppa would get feisty and Brother Bear, Coach and I each took turns hanging out overnight to keep him in the bed, clothed, and stuck with all the appropriate tubes. Each of us still had to work and travel and take care of children so there came a point when we all got too sleepy to be effective. Enter Caleb.

The first night that Caleb arrived, I thought to myself, “Oh, Lort. Poppa’s not going to like this one bit.” Caleb was young. He was wearing a Bob Marley nightgown as a t-shirt, and under that he had some baggy pants and over that he had a flannel shirt. His hair was neatly pulled back from his forehead and ensconced in a ponytail holder but from there his afro exploded outward into the biggest puff of hair cloud I’ve ever seen. He had his backpack over one shoulder and he dragged his feet when he walked. Poppa liked clothes that fit, hair that was neat and youngsters who walked like they were walking, not shuffling.

Right away Caleb went into the hall and got himself a bench to sit on despite the comfy chair options he had inside the room. He placed it a foot away from Poppa and sat upright, posture better than mine, and very, very still. Right away he familiarized himself with the equipment attached to Poppa. Right away Caleb put a reassuring hand on Poppa’s toe, letting Poppa know that he wasn’t alone. And when Caleb saw me petting Poppa’s head, he got up from his bench, picked up one of the comfy chairs and placed it next to Poppa’s bed so I could pet him without getting tired. He told me the story of his grandfather who died when he was six, how he and the grandfather did everything together, literally everything, and how he wanted to help people deal with sickness because he was good at it and he knew what it was to be scared. I can attest that he was good at both helping those who are sick and helping those who are scared.

Poppa was oblivious to all of this, or so I thought. He reached over to his hand and began tugging at a tube to yank it out, something he had done with great regularity since day one of the stay.

“Hey, buddy,” Caleb said for the first of a thousand times that night, “don’t to that,” and he gently pulled Poppa’s hand away.

Poppa looked over at him and said, “Kid, I need you to take me home. Go around and get my car and I’ll meet you out front. Jimmie, you meet us at home, this kid is going to take me there.”

God, I laughed. “Kid.” Oh, Poppa, I miss you.

So that makes me cry. And this makes me cry, because it reminds me of Poppa in the best and fiercest way, but also because it is a picture of life, of getting back up when you fall down over and over again. Isn’t this picture great?

image

Baby owl learning to fly, photo by Peter Brannon

Speaking of pictures, here’s another, from the cruise My Girls and I took in March.

image
This was in Jamaica, and I’ll be honest, Jamaica was not my favorite place. It was hot which I suppose is normal so I can’t fault it for that, but it was pushy and smelly and we were seen as walking wallets. I guess tourists often are seen as ATMs but I can’t say that’s how I like to make an entrance into a new place. Anyway, after a whole day of grasping our purses close to our body and being made to feel very guilty because we did not part with all our funds for all time and on into eternity, we finally escaped through customs and back onto the port where our boat was docked. That picture was taken right outside that customs shelter.

I bet you look at that picture and see a mildly interesting array of boys banging on some drums, but what I see is a crew of kids who were hustling. Hustling. Those boys stood there in those hot-ass uniforms that they picked up somewhere, mismatched buttons and hats and pants, and they played their hearts out ALL DAY. They played for every person that showed even a modicum of interest. They danced for every person there and played for every person there, sometimes on their knees at our feet when they could tell someone was particularly moved (me), and sometimes as the whole line; sometimes it was a Michael Jackson song and sometimes it was just the thrum of our collective heartbeats, banging in time with the drums. If a single person watched alone, they played just as hard as they would for a whole crowd. They hustled, and it was all I could do to hold the tears back as I watched them with their young hearts and their strong arms and their glistening foreheads, trying to make a better way for themselves. I hope you see them my way and offer your prayers for them, that the hustling pays off and they get a solid shot at whatever they try, because their work for those moments on the drums is more than enough to earn them that. I also hope you realize that it took an extraordinary amount of time for me to come back to myself, what was left of me anyway, and stop the leaking in my eyes so I could count the money I had left after I dumped all I could find into their tip basket.

With that, I’ll take you to the next picture that makes me cry. Not fierce, not sad, but just about the cutest thing I ever did see in my whole life. For those of you who do not understand my deep and yearning, burning desire for a donkey, behold:

image

Donkey being toted by a soldier

I have to stop. I need a donut. This whole post is killing me.

In conclusion, and I promise to you and me both that this is the end, I have one final story to tell.

Two years ago Martie and I reached a tentative agreement wherein she would take possession of the house and property called Big Creek, the family abode where we did most of our growing up, and in return for me not getting my panties in a twist over it, I’d get a donkey. By tentative I mean that I was thrilled that Martie, the most sentimental of the wad of us, would preserve our history and that Martie sort of agreed with a wavering voice that maybe, someday, perhaps there could be a donkey on their property that I’d get to name. Maybe. One day.

Pretty much I asked about that donkey every time I went home to babysit Pooh and Tigger. I drove over to the neighboring farm that housed the show donkeys to stare at them, and I pointed out the fuzzy and cute regular non-show donkeys we saw while driving the back roads in my home town. I’ve stated my earnest and deep desire to marry a donkey farmer more than once and have already mentally packed my truck in anticipation of his proposal, this farmer with his burros whom I have not yet met.

This has been a fantasy, and like all fantasies, I understand that it may never come to pass. That is okay. Still a fantasy, still nice to dream about, but likely saved for my mansion in heaven where God assuredly has a donkey with long eyelashes already waiting for me.

On Saturday, that fantasy became reality. You guys! I’m getting a donkey!

My birthday card from Martie, et al, received Saturday, June 11th at 5:13 pm, which she asked that I read aloud and which I couldn’t because the tears started in my throat and made it to my eyes and my voice which shook so badly I could not speak:

image

image
Pictures will be coming forthwith. In the manner of someone who is expecting a child, I shall expect gifts and fetes, and I’ll register for hay and donkey brushes and festive neck attire with which I will adorn his or her neck and take selfies. Rest assured I will be crying in most of them but these will be tears of joy and love and the knowledge that my family loves me more than anyone rightly deserves. I am loved more than I can fathom. I’ve got it so good. Thank you, God. Selah.

Now, who needs a donut?

My Snow Day(s)

I live in Nashville. This weekend I got snowed in.  Well, Nashville got snowed in. We had eight inches of snow in my neighborhood while other neighborhoods got more like ten inches.  I know all of you Michiganers and Wisconsiners are all, “Really?  Eight inches is child’s play. Amateurs.”  And of course, we are.  We are ill-equipped to deal with this kind of snow.  We are ill-equipped to deal with ice, too, which makes no sense because we get gobs of that mess every year.

Friday morning I awoke early and for a change had a good hair day. I was preening in the mirror, fluffing my coif before I liberally decanted a tin of hairspray onto it when I received a text from my boss.  “You should probably stay home today.  The roads are in rough shape.”  (Everyone knows I don’t watch the weather because: no television.  I have people looking out for me, y’all.)

“But I had a good hair day,” I wailed.

“Take some selfies and then go back to bed.” She is an excellent boss.

I thought about her suggestion but see above: good hair. I hated to waste it. Instead of clambering back in amongst my pillows and two cats, I opted to perch prettily on the sofa with a book until my new young roommate woke up so he could appreciate my fluffy halo of hair. That would have been an excellent plan except for the key words in that above sentence:  “young” and “he.”  Not being young anymore, I forget how they like to sleep:  like the dead and late.    And not being male, I forget that men who are not looking for a chance to sleep with you really don’t give two figs what your hair looks like.  When Daniel finally rolled out of bed, he thundered down the stairs, hollered “good morning” and thundered out the door to rescue a friend who had gotten stuck at work in his ten inches of snow.  As Daniel trundled off in his car for a four-hour rescue trip, I broke my Derek Zoolander pose, sighed, and put my hair up in a ponytail.

Then I got busy.

Below is my list of what I accomplished in 2.5 days of being snowbound:

I cooked:

  • Fried pork chops (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Mashed potatoes (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Chocolate peppermint cake (Still sitting on the counter, getting stale – smells good, tho.)
  • Pizza, from scratch (A bust – yeast has an expiration date, did you know that?)
  • Pork roast with potatoes, carrots and mushrooms (I got to eat some of this! But Luke and Daniel ate it.)
  • Roasted garlic and shallots (Luke ate these.)
  • Hard boiled eggs (Still in fridge. Not sure what to do with them.  Suggestions?)

Also, I cooked:

  • Broccoli (Only I ate this.)
  • Brown rice (No one wanted any but me.)

Later, I dug out all the skin care and hair care samples I have accumulated over the years and tried them all. My skin has experienced:

  • Algae face scrub (Rendered my skin green. Despite not caring a whit about my perfect hair, new young male roommates will notice when you emerge from the bathroom with green skin, so much so that they will choke on the pork roast and wheeze, “My God!  Are you okay?”)
  • Something del Sol face wash (Made me oily.)
  • Philoposhy volumizing serum (Belatedly realized this was meant for hair.)
  • Black Pine Tar face lotion (Smells like grandma which is strangely comforting.)
  • Origins brightening under eye cream (Eyes still puffy – check!)
  • Fake tan (Rendered me streaky orange.)

My teeth were brushed with:

  • Crest Whitening toothpaste (Normal use but approximately five times more than usual.)
  • Coconut oil (Did you know that stuff is thick? Gag.)
  • Mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (Foamy!)
  • Hairspray (Liberal use too near my toothbrush.)

My hair was doused with:

  • Ion (Promised to make it Soft! Strong! Healthy! But actually made it look like straw.)
  • No other items because I felt like making it look like straw was trauma enough, plus I used up the Philosophy in one go on my face.

Also, I organized the following:

  • Sock drawer (Pristine!)
  • Hoodie shelf (I’m down to 16 hoodies. From 35.  I call this miraculous.)
  • Cat food cabinet (They had a lot of treats. Seamus ate them.)

I read three books, cover to cover. Here are my favorite quotes:

  • “People mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want.  But really what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.” ~ Odelia, And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)
  • “Daniel Craig is James Bond. He wouldn’t have a limp little wiener floating around like that.” ~ Lula, Tricky Twenty-Two (Janet Evanovich)

You understand I had to balance out the classy with the trashy. No one can read three emotionally wrenching books in a row.  No one.

Also, I vacuumed twice, did two very strenuous and vomit-inducing workouts, crunched my abs 420 times, shaved my legs and greased up every inch of my skin with some real deal cocoa butter. This last bit rendered me unable to sit on surfaces of any sort for a few hours as I’d slide off to the floor with a thunk.  It takes a while for that stuff to soak in but when it does, your skin is soft for about six whole hours!

When the roads finally cleared enough for me to leave the house, I sped over to Kroger and walked the aisles for twenty minutes. I didn’t need a thing but it was such a glorious luxury to move around outside my home.  Went to the library, too.

All in all, it was a pretty eventful weekend. What did you do?

Stuff I’ve Read and Stories I’ve Heard – Snippets from Jimmie’s Life

A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from Thor.

“Jimmie, I was thinking it’s time to take better care of myself, and I remember someone saying that they cook once a week for the whole week. Is that you?”

“It is me,” I said, “and if you like I can tell you about it or you could just come over and cook with me one Sunday afternoon. I’ll send you home with lots of food.”

“That’d be great,” Thor said, and we made a plan.

A week later, Thor relegated a group of his friends with the story of how he recently melted his microwave.

“I had a pan of oil on the stove, see, and I had it pretty hot. I left the room for just a minute and when I wandered back into the kitchen I saw the fire in the pan. I panicked, of course, and vaguely remembered my mom telling me that grease fires need to be smothered. With flour.”

At this point in the story everyone in the room sucked in a collective horrified gasp.

“Yep,” he nodded, “exactly. Turns out flour is one of the most flammable materials out there, and I’ve since learned that the amount of flour I used to put out my fire is pretty much the equivalent to two sticks of dynamite. So I melted the microwave and had an entire weekend of grease fire/smoke clean up. Want to see the pictures?” And then he passed around his phone with the evidence of his handiwork.

For the record, Thor has been de-invited from my house for a mass cooking lesson, and you put out grease fires with baking soda.

A few days later, I went for a walk on my Greenway, and when I was going around the last bend, almost at the end of the path, I ran across a gigantic, enormous, humongous snake. I’m not one to freak out about a snake really, but this snake was hogging almost the whole path. That snake and I stared each other down for a while and I conceded by waiting for another person to step over the snake before I attempted it. Once I was across it, I congratulated myself. “At least it wasn’t a giant spider,” I said in a soothing manner to myself. “I can handle a snake, but no giant spiders.”

That night as I checked my social media, I ran across this post from one of my friends, Chelsea.

I think everybody has that moment in life when they see a spider so big that they’re in disbelief that they’re seeing it in real life and not in a picture or through a TV screen. I just had that moment. I doused it in bug spray. That didn’t work. It just kept standing still and waited as I sprayed it. Like, “Are you done?” . . . . and then started crawling again. This happened a few times. So finally I grabbed a wooden chair and did the inevitable . . . I went to work. After breaking the chair and a fingernail in the process . . . I believe it is finished. Unrecognizable by even its own mother. Sorry, dear arachnids. I guess I don’t love you.

I shrieked, threw my phone, then retrieved it to tentatively tap out a message to Chelsea telling her what a brave, brave soul she is.

And finally, I received this text from Roxanne yesterday:

I’ve been at work for two hours and JUST realized I’m wearing two different shoes.

IMG_1741

I seriously have like, the best friends.

Art Is Hard

In an effort to, I don’t know, better myself? Become more cultured? Step outside of my comfort zone? I signed up to take an art class of sorts a couple of weeks ago. One of my friends teaches her methods for art journaling once a month at Turnip Green Creative Reuse and I’ve always liked her stuff. Plus, I keep hoping there is some latent creative gene in me that will eventually surface because everyone in my family seems to have a talent for creating things and I, thus far, got bupkis.

The point of the art class exercise was to create a collage layout, and I think the focus was supposed to be a face but being as how I was exposed to pretty paint colors and flowers and hearts and rainbows, I stopped listening the moment Michelle said, “Pick out some things from the table over there that speak to you.” I had a fistful of greeting cards and heart stencils that I placed in my spot and then went back for some scrapbook paper and calendar pages. When I had a tidy little pile of stuff that appealed to me, I took the handful of faces Michelle had ripped from magazines and passed around the table and then handed the intact pile to the next girl.

Michelle explained that we would begin by covering our journals with a layer of gesso and once that dried, we’d choose some paint colors and brush it on in a hatching motion. I happily complied with that for a while, totally content with my work until I finished and realized my pages looked a bit like gingham, just with stormier colors. “Nevermind!” I thought. “I like these colors!”

Michelle then explained that we would attach our selected faces to our pages and here I began to understand that there was the distinct possibility that I had not listened. I’m a rule follower almost always but apparently when it comes to speeding laws and art projects, I am not. Still, I began, like everyone else, cutting out phrases and flowers, painting some with a wash here and ripping pages into circles there. I fought with myself for a while over placement and color, knowing that matchy-matchy, my favorite kind of art, was not the goal.

I earnestly worked on my piece for a couple of hours. I got paint on my shorts and under my nails. I smelled like glue and glitter. It was fantastic! As I worked, I kept my eye on the ladies around me creating their own pages. These women were far more artist-y than I, and they kept using expressions like, “Oh, the juxtaposition of the emotion and the light here is what I’m trying to capture,” and “The energy of this color pattern is rejuvenating.” Since my artist-y expressions skew more towards, “ooh, pretty!” I felt slightly underqualified and a little jealous.

Kelly, the proprietor of Turnip Green, began making the rounds towards the end of the class to check out our work. I glanced at the woman on my left and eyeballed her collage. To my untrained eye, it looked a bit like she tipped over the paper recycle bin on to her pages and then glued everything onto the exact spot upon which it fell. I then glanced at the woman on my right and eyeballed her collage. She used a lot of dark color and threw it all together on her page in a mishmash. It was appealing but I had no idea why. I took a peek at Michelle’s page and then realized that I had missed the mark completely.

Lest you doubt me, and lest you want to say, “Art is subjective, Jimmie. It belongs to the artist and says only what the artist wants it to say,” I’d like for you to hear Kelly’s comments.

To the woman on my left she said, “I like very much how you’ve broken this up into sections. You clearly have growth over here and fallow over there. I love the energy in that.” This was the recycle bin collage. I didn’t get it.

To the woman on my right she said, “The flow here is perfect! What a fantastic use of color and theme!” I was drawn to it but why?! I didn’t get it!

To me she simply said, “It’s so pretty.” That I got. And that also explains why I will never be an artist.

If you’d like to sign up for your own Art Journaling class, you can. Its $20 and everything you need is provided. Clearly there will be no judgments made as to your ability. There will be only be encouragement to spread your wings, to embrace the paint and glue, and to have fun. You can try like I did to claim that you are a better person for having taken the class, and that may be true. But even if you are no better for it, only messier, so what? It will give you a conversation piece to place on your coffee table and when your friends come over for dinner, they can eyeball it and say, “Oh, it’s so pretty.”

Jimmie's Art

Jimmie’s Art

Real Artist Art

Real Artist Art (or, the woman to the right of me)

To sign up for the Creative Art Journaling class on July 26, email Kelly at info@turnipgreencreativereuse.org

And check out Michelle’s work at Studio B.

Slim, Definitely Not Shady

I have a new co-worker I need to tell you about. First, though, I should tell you that I’ve had a promotion of sorts. What that means for me is I now do more brand new work that I’ve never done before so I’m sort of hanging on by a thin wire all the time, but it also means that I can contribute to my 401K again and that one day I might have more than $16 in my savings account. Retirement would be a lovely eventuality, and I’m sad to say that I have no faith in our government to actually pay me the Social Security I have so earnestly contributed to all these years.

Anywho, my promotion was a result of some job openings and some restructuring and all of that led to a new co-worker, whom I’m going to call Slim. Slim came to us highly recommended and during his interview we could see he had a heart as big as Christmas. We could also see that he had a stomach nowhere near as big as Christmas because Slim is what you would call lanky. (heh heh, Slim . . . )

Once Slim began working with us, it became safe for me to ask all kinds of personal questions, something I do with great regularity of anyone who lets me. So Slim was being trained and in his training I launched into my nosy queries to which he voluntarily replied. Turns out he drinks two pots of coffee for breakfast, is not married, has one lovely daughter and once I caught him coming up the back stairs with a giant Coke in his hand, I found out that he eats a Snickers for lunch every day.

Y’all, I was astounded! No breakfast? No lunch aside from a wimpy candy bar and a 48 oz sweet tea? And then! Someone gave him a cupcake and he let it sit on his desk for THREE DAYS! How do you not eat the cupcake for THREE DAYS? Needless to say, I lectured him extensively about his eating habits so now he’s added a banana to his daily lunch rotation.

Slim has also been walking a lot with me and Daisy. When Daisy and I walk, we like a normal human pace of about 3-4 miles per hour. Slim likes to walk the inhuman pace of 5-6 miles per hour. While Daisy and I walk, Slim circles us and looks over the fences and prances backwards for a while and generally has to short-step it so he doesn’t leave us behind. As he contributes to our pace, I contribute to all the talking. I ask all my nosy questions and as much as they can wheeze out, they do. I have genuine affection for my co-workers and I can tell that they luff me, too.

One night this week it was far too dark to walk on our Greenway, which is not lit at all. We decided that my neighborhood would be ideal for walking as there are a lot of street lights and also there was food to be had at my house afterwards. Slim made himself at home after the walk. Because he’s what you call lanky, that meant that he paced inside my house and then outside my house and told me all the stuff I need to do to make my house safe for winter.

“You do have a cover for your water spigot, don’t you?”

“You’ll close off all these vents, won’t you?”

“When are you going to pressure wash? You need to do that before it gets too cold.”

“Good Lord, when was the last time you cut your hedges back? Can’t even get in your house, it’s so covered up.”

“We need to get some trees planted this fall, so they can take root over the winter. Be gorgeous in spring.”

It was a lot to take in. I was just trying to get the noodles done.

After he did my home inspection, he sat down at the table and announced, “I’ll come over one Saturday to help you do all this. You’ll need to cook me four fried eggs, some bacon, some ham, one biscuit and some grits and then we’ll work till dark.”

Again, I just stood there, spatula in my hand. “One biscuit?” I asked, wondering where the man was that only eats a Snickers and washes it down with 48 oz of sugar.

“Yeah, I don’t really like biscuits,” he said. “Too heavy.”

So it looks like I’ll be doing some yard work soon and I’ll be cooking some breakfast. Anyone want to come over?

A Post About Nothing – The Seinfeld Edition

When I began this blog, lo those many years ago (two), my Auntie Anne told me that eventually my friends would gently nudge me to write something had it been too long since my last post. She was right. Roxanne is pretty good about it, sending me notes that read: “I don’t mean to alarm you but I think a link is broken on your sight. Nothing has been posted for weeks!” Lynnette is also on top of things, saying, “Jimmie, seriously. What are you doing over there?” Katniss has been known to remind me and most recently, Dammit Todd has jumped into the fray.

Messages of that nature make me realize that I am a lazy creature sometimes. Or a thoughtless one. My reaction is either, “I know! But I was reading this really great book, see . . .” or one of complete surprise. “What do you mean? I have so much to say! How have I not written that down?” Both scenarios prompt me to go to Panera right away and scribble down some words.

Unfortunately, lately I have had no words. Nothing’s wrong, but no one has fallen down in front of me and no one of a questionable nature has asked me for a date. Actually, that isn’t true but lately I’m only interested in throwing myself under the bus, not earnest men wanting my number even though they are miles shorter than me and live 3 states away.

I asked Katniss if she could manage a strategically placed fall-down-face plant right in front of me. She screeched, “Do you not remember the time I fell face first out of the elevator?! With a full Coke in my hand?! That stain in the hallway? That was me! Do not ever ask me to fall down! I will do it, spectacularly!” And then I asked Dammit Todd to fall down, hahahahaha, no. Dammit Todd is the most athletic, agile, coordinated person I have ever met. So, no, he did not comply either.

Essentially what I am saying is my life is a bit dull now. I’m going to Ireland soon (23 days!) and everything seems to pale in comparison. I did buy a new vacuum cleaner. That was exciting. It was a birthday present from my sister and to myself, and yes, I know that last year I was all upset about Miguel buying me old people stuff and this year I went and did it to myself. But you should see how this thing works! My gosh, my old one must have died months ago because I could have stuffed a king size quilt with all the cat hair I vacuumed up. It was horrifying. Let me take a moment here to apologize to all my houseguests of late. I’m sorry you were drenched in fur. While I know that Murphy is a shedder, I had no idea that he left his entire pelt all over the house.

Also, I went to Florida with Freddie. That wasn’t dull but it did rain a whole lot. I managed to burn my backside, every area that I cannot possibly reach with the aloe vera gel, so not only did I cook my skin into bacon, I’m now peeling and I have thousands of new freckles.

Speaking of Freddie, I realize I have not updated you on my friends lately. I asked for prayers for some of them when Poppa was so sick and I now have happy news to report.

Quan is moving to Nashville. Hallelujah, it’s about time!

Freddie is a free woman, meaning Ian is no longer in the picture and hot men can apply here for dates with her.

Lynnette is a mommy now. This was the most unexpected but for at least a little while, Lynnette gets to mother the cutest little boy in the whole world.

And finally, Pee-tah (remember Pee-tah, of the I Almost Saw Him Naked story?) is going to be my roommate. Yes, I know I already have a roommate who buys me paper towels and garbage cans (I know! I got a new garbage can, too!) but, Pee-tah! I already vacuumed all the cat hair out of his room and tried to make it less girlie in there but quite frankly, that is a hopeless task. I am the girliest person I know.

Okay, that’s it, folks. Oh wait, I did have a birthday. I didn’t even bother typing up a list of everything you guys were supposed to get me. I’m 41. Who cares about 41? 41 is officially middle aged, and since I had all the big parties and shirtless men and cake last year, this one slid right on by without so much as a whimper. I think everyone was mightily relieved about that, even me.

I will leave you with one final bit of very exciting news. I’m getting a new roof! Isn’t that exciting?! Apparently some storm ripped through my neighborhood and shredded a bunch of roofs and mine was one of them. If a whole passel of roofers hadn’t repeatedly knocked on my door and offered to fix it once I signed on the dotted line and turned over a retainer (and no, I was not that naïve), I never would have known. I don’t know what I thought those shingles were doing in my yard, but roof damage? No way. So anyway, new roof!

I’m really 41, aren’t I? Crap.

Cinco de Drinko

So this past Saturday night as I was snaking a drain, I began a deep process of reflection over the state of my life. I reflected that I have two very bad cats, one of which sheds an entire cat in fur every day. I reflected that this same cat takes every opportunity he can to eat grass outside and then sprint inside to barf on my carpet. I reflected that I was at home, alone on a Saturday night, using a screwdriver to lever the drain stopper out of the sink. I then reflected fondly on the last few months of Saturday nights when I spent quality time with new and old friends, boozing it up and making merry and not staying home on a Saturday night to use a screwdriver to lever the drain stopper out of the sink. Then the stopper came out and I reflected that I sure do get awfully mad at a cat that does unspeakable things to my house for someone whose own shedding process has stopped up a drain beyond all hope (almost).

Speaking of quality time with new and old friends, boozing it up and making merry, I realize I never finished my Trip to Tampa story. Remember that trip I took to meet strangers back in January? I flew down to Florida on someone else’s dime (because people are nice) and met up with Woney and two strangers, Nurse Bananahammock and Squash, all three of which are coming to visit me this weekend. I never told you about it because I’m a big fat liar. However, with the looming holiday visit and the potential for alcohol consumption, all involving my new and old friends, I decided to stop being a liar and start being a writer. (For the record, Nurse Bananahammock coined the title above and while I do understand that the Cinco de Mayo holiday has passed, I was enamored of it and had to use it.)

The trip to Tampa was truly one of the best trips of my life. I had no idea how much I would genuinely like these new girls. Squash and I snuggled on a bed and fantasized about what our last meal would be if we got the chance to choose it. Nurse Bananahammock told the story of how she met and married her husband which will most likely be my love story next February. We played putt-putt and all discovered that I’m just as adept at putt-putt as I am at bowling. We also drank. A lot.

Now I’m not a big drinker. I’m a rare drinker. I’m also a total lightweight and a complete flirt when I drink. It does not matter to me one whit if you are a normal-looking person in a bar or a stranger in an alley missing some crucial bits of enamel from your mouth, I’m going to meet you. I’m going to introduce myself and tell you that I’m your favorite and if you ask me for a kiss, I’m going to give you one. Nurse Bananahammock has a husband that I shall call Rick, and Rick makes these margaritas that make you want to hurt yourself, and I had about three of those Rickaritas and all my new acquaintances became my new best friends and I loved them all. The fact that Nurse Bananahammock has a husband, Rick, and Squash has a husband, Bob, did stop me from kissing their wives (I do respect boundaries after all), but boy did I have a nice time. A lot of fond memories there . . . .

Rickarita

Rickarita

Now let’s move on to the Mississippi trip. I didn’t tell you about that either, did I? I’m such a big, fat liar. Remember how Woney moved to Mississippi? Remember how she used to live in California? Remember how California is one of those sophisticated places with fancy bars and trendy eateries and general niceness? Well, turns out Mississippi has some nice things to offer as well, and Woney took me to one.

Daiquiri World!

Daiquiri World!

Y’all, this is a drive thru daiquiri place. Did you get that? DRIVE THRU. DAIQUIRI PLACE. You drive around the side of the building, up to the window, peruse the menu and holler, “I’ll have the Pink Panties, please,” and the woman at the window serves it right up. And then you can just DRIVE OFF with that daiquiri in your paw. Mind you, the driver of the car is technically not supposed to put the straw in the cup (this is how they get around the drinking and driving law, I guess), but I didn’t see a single person leave without that straw firmly ensconced in that cup.

I took a few swigs of my DRIVE THRU DAIQUIRI before leaving the place and during that time, Woney and I were called “Baby” by no fewer than fifteen people. The bouncer at the door, the guy playing pool (who also told us that we were the best looking things to ever grace the place – and I agreed with him), the server of the daiquiris, a guy in the parking lot, a girl in the parking lot. The list continues. By number fifteen I was feeling the effects of the DRIVE THRU DAIQUIRI and started to become enamored of those affectionate folks. I’d hear “Baby” and turn expectantly, Iips puckered, and flutter my eyelashes. Woney, who knows me well, sensed this turn of events and hightailed me out of there. It was a fantastic experience. I very much want to go back.

I’m guessing that Memorial Day weekend will bring loads of similar good stories about me and my nice friends. I’m also guessing that it will bring lots of alcohol consumption. We’ve got this spreadsheet going on which we list all the things we want to do while they are here. There will be snuggling on beds discussing our chosen last meals. There will be girlie movies out the wazoo. There will be a visit to the Opry. And finally, there will be many, many tasty beverages. I’m alright with that. Bring it on, nice new and old friends. I am so ready for you! (And I even have clean drains!)

(Just because I know my audience and know how much you luff me, please know that mostly I’ll be the DD so please, no worries and no lectures. I didn’t get to 40 by being a dumbass.)

IMG_2263IMG_2266

Previous Older Entries