Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blooming in Spite of It All

I purchased my current house for two reasons. One because of all the windows. They reminded me of the house I grew up in. Our house had lots of windows. Twenty-two to be exact, on the first floor alone. I know because every Saturday it was my job to clean the narrow venetian blinds that bent and twisted with each wipe of the dust cloth. Slat by slat. No cheating by closing them and dusting the top slats only allowed. Regardless of my being so abused as a child, I still love windows. They allow the beauty of the world to come inside while still protecting me from the perils of the world. Which, in my case, are bugs.

The second reason I fell in love with my house was the beautiful landscaping. The previous owner had every inch of the front and back yard covered with flowers and trees. Again, another factor to remind me of my childhood home. Our back yard was an oasis of roses grounded in green grasses and framed by a white picket fence. I forgot a few important facts though. My folks had a gardener. I know nothing about flowers or gardening. And I am allergic to insects.

So, seven years later in this house that I bought and love, the venetian blinds have been replaced with wide faux wood slats. Much easier to clean and kinder to my hands. But you will still find plenty of dust on them if you are prone to check, which if you are a true friend, you won’t. My time and energy are limited these days and the dust bunnies on the floor shout louder.

It’s the yard that embarrasses me and makes me feel like a failure. All the beautiful flowers the previous owner planted and nourished are mostly gone though not totally all my fault. Gardeners are expensive I learned and other priorities fought and won the battle of the pocketbook. The bulbs grew older and weaker and less productive. (Hum, sounds like me.) Storms attacked and felled the two breathtakingly beautiful Bradford pear trees that bordered the street and sidewalk. (Hum, sounds like life.)

Yet, in spite of storms, life, neglect, and age, these daffodils refused to give up. Am I embarrassed by their tenacity? You betcha. Will I allow them to be mowed down or risk death by uprooting them to a more appropriate abode? No way. They are inspiration to me! I'm hoping that every once in a while I can still bloom too.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Watching and Learning

My blog is late today because I and a friend went to Dallas early this morning to get our hair done. My friend has friends in a high places (obviously I’m not one of them) so we could get a color, cut, and style done in a premier school setting by a master colorist on a Sunday. While we were there, we had the opportunity to watch three young models get their hair and makeup done professionally for a photo shoot that was going to be held there later that afternoon.

The first young woman, blond and blue-eyed with a flawless complexion, needed no makeup as far as I could tell, but maybe I was too busy bemoaning my wrinkles and old lady hair while fussing at God for never giving me a chance to be a young blond, blue-eyed beauty to be objective. The makeup artist used an air brush to apply the first round of makeup on her. It’s an interesting process if you’ve never seen it. It’s also time consuming. Next he used a brush, contouring to accent her already perfect cheekbones. He then followed up with blush, eye lashes, eye liner, eye shadow, more contouring, etc. until she was transformed into an even more strikingly beautiful model.

For almost two hours, she sat perfectly sit through this process. No smiling, no talking, no frowning, no eating or drinking, no reading, or dancing or wiggling. And they hadn’t even started on her hair yet! I realized then that I was thankful God had never made me a blond, blue-eyed model with perfect cheekbones. I’d been bored stiff!

The other two young ladies each had a hair stylist who tediously curled, sprayed, twisted, sprayed, flat-ironed their hair for almost an hour while waiting for the makeup artist to finish with the first girl. It almost made me grateful that I had been cheated in the hair gene pool. Naw. I’m a’stretchin’ the truth a bit too much there even for me. lol

The lesson I learned today was that being beautiful is a lot of work most of the time and while it’s fun to play dress up, make up for a day, it isn’t a life style we really want. Not most of us. It’s just one of those, “I wish...” that takes up way too much of our time and our youth. And unfortunately for some of us like me, it took way too long to realize it never was that important to begin with.

P.S. My hair looks fabulous! Now if it just would stay that way.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sugarfree Blogging

Why I am blogging? And what do I expect to get from it? To be honest (and one cannot blog without being totally honest – my first blog lesson learned) I think I was bored and wanted to try something different. I also wanted to hopefully reignite my passion for writing. And, this is a subconscious reason I believe, I wanted to blog to stay young. Of course I realize that blogging, twittering, Facebooking and goggling when I should be googling isn’t really going to keep me from aging, but just maybe it will keep me connected to youth somehow. Ya know there’s that old cliché that says being old is a state of mind. Ain’t quite true says my mirror and my brittle bones but I’m willing to give it a try.

As I do every Sunday morning, I read Jane Glenn Haas’s column, Our Time, which is all about us baby boomers. Her subject this Sunday is, “Baby boomers are doomed to grow old in public.” Not one of my favorites of hers. Personally, I’d change the title to “Baby boomers are growing old, dang it, and so are you!” I’m starting to resent the media and scientific focus on us aging baby boomers. We are the lucky ones; not some bizarre sub-culture. I can say this because my mother never lived to see 50; my father never lived to see 65; my husband never lived to see 57.

Yes, I am one of the leaders of the baby boomers aging sect. I don’t have many role models so I have to find my own path. It’s scary and lonely at times. And I prefer to stay in denial. Until I look in that mirror or my hip refuses to move in a certain direction. So what I am going to do about it? Well, for one, I want to stop complaining about it. I want to stop listening to and reading the doomsday boomer media. And I want to start listening to what my body and Dr. Oz says to do. He claims to know how to reverse the aging process and at this point, I am desperate.

So…. Dare I write it for the whole world (okay, the handful of my blog readers) that starting at noon today (breakfast was the sweet rolls I’d baked yesterday and didn’t want to throw out unappreciated) I’m going to divorce myself from refined sugars and baked goods. I use the word “divorce” because of the thirty day waiting period in which I can change my mind. Lol

No, I will not be giving up chocolate. Dr. Oz says it’s good for you. I’m also going to eat more veggies, lean protein, and drink more wine and beer, the beer being especially good for brittle bones. I’m hoping enough wine and beer will numb me to the sugar-withdrawals and make the world more tolerable. Or me more tolerable to the world. Lol. Stay tuned as I share my progress and slips. P.S. Helpful hints appreciated.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Friend & Bat

After my adventure with an alleged bat in my dining room Thursday evening there was no doubt what the subject for this week’s blog would be. Friends and critters. The two seem to go together – at least for me since I’ve been fortunate to be blessed with both. And I’m a city girl. Go figure.

Setting the stage for Thursday night and the alleged bat: It was a dark ice-filled, snow-clad night, about 9:30 when I let the dogs out to do their thing before bedtime. When I opened the door to let them in I thought I saw Petie, the one-eye dog, grab something before running back into the house. Sure enough, he went under the dining room table, his favorite hiding place (remember he only has one eye) and whatever he had brought in with him was still alive.

I’m going to use the excuse that I wasn’t wearing my glasses. My friend David says it’s just the way my mind works. Either way, when I peered closer, closer being about three feet, I saw Petie batting back and forth under the table and chairs what looked like a gray bat. I’m rather proud of my reaction considering Petie has had his rabies shot and I haven’t. I immediately snatched up Petie and put him in his crate, yelled at Shelby to stay, grabbed a bath towel and threw it over the gray bat. I then found a large storage box, dumped its contents, and tossed it over the towel that was over the bat. Screaming and squealing the whole time, of course.

Now I was stumped. What to do next? It was big bat, the size of a fist. It was still alive. What if….. So I phoned my friend, David. (If you’ve ever heard the story of my son and the squirrel, you’ll understand why I called him instead of my son.) I didn’t expect or want him to drive over, not with the dangerous road conditions. So what did I want him to do? Hindsight, I guess I expected him to do exactly what he did. Listen to me, calm me down, make me laugh, and make the bat go away. And he managed to do it all. Thank you, David.

You see, he didn’t laugh when I thought of getting my recycle bin to put over the box that was over the towel that was over the alleged bat so that it couldn’t crawl out. Instead he agreed to wait on the line and call 911 if he heard me scream. And he was still on the phone with me when I moved a chair to make room for the large plastic bin and saw a feather rise up from the carpet. A gray feather. And he stayed on the phone while I removed the box to remove the towel and found a bird about the size of a small fist instead. And he never made me feel stupid or insane for thinking it was a bat in the first place. Like he said, that’s just the way my mind works. Only a good friend would know that.

Footnote 1: Unfortunately the bird didn’t survive.
Footnote 2: David just called to tell me about the sparrow that flew into their house this morning. Welcome to my world, David & Lesly!