Friday, December 30, 2005

White Caps and Swimming Caps

Again with the swimming?? This novelty will wear off since I don't have much of an attention span. Who knows what I will obsess about next. Knitting or perhaps fainting goats. So today while I was in the lap pool, an "aquacize" class was in session in the neighboring warm pool. All I could see from my vantage point was a vast sea of white heads bobbing up and down in the pool to the beat of the music. The music was "The Stars and Stripes Forever." The time of day that I choose to swim seems to be a popular time for the senior set. The patriotic music and the bobbing white caps reminded me of my childhood growing up in a military town situated on sometimes choppy Puget Sound. Today I plan of acquiring some swimming accoutrements. I would like a swimming hat.....or as the cool kids would say swim cap and goggles. Next thing you know I will be getting a Brazilian bikini wax to make myself more aerodynamic.....not.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Polar Express

I do not know how to swim. I can keep myself afloat for hours but the actual "right way" to swim, including the different strokes and side breathing have eluded me my entire life. Odd, considering I grew up surrounded by water. Now I just kinda propel myself back and forth in one of the lap lanes. I do a mean dog paddle. If there is ever a swimming category in the Olympics called Senior Division Dog Paddle, I am sure to kick butt! Sometimes I like to pretend that I have no feet and drag myself down lane 1 with only my arms. I have designed my own stroke that I call Paraplegic Polar Bear. I fashioned it after some footage on Animal Planet of polar bears swimming seen from an underwater perspective. The prototype of this stroke was originally entitled just Polar Bear but I have combined the no feet aspect with the Polar Bear and I have found this particular stroke of my own design to be quite efficient and fun. While I am swimming I have time to think. Or sometimes I hum. Today I did both, humming the score to "The Sound of Music." while coming up with nicknames for my fellow swimmers. I have dubbed my favorite couple Granny and Goat. They are very old and cute and spry. Granny and Goat have been there every time I have been there. Today we exchanged greetings.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Swim or Die

It's not all my fault. My fatness, that is. I took it in the shorts in the gene pool. My birth mother met an untimely death at the age of 56 because she was fat. Actually the cause of death was a stroke during surgery to correct circulatory issues due to diabetes. But, she had diabetes because she was fat. She had high blood pressure because she was fat. This was due to that and that was due to this but the bottom line is that she was fat and it killed her. So as I approach my 50th birthday I have decided to try and fix my leaky gene pool by spending more time in a chlorinated pool. I have three half sisters that I have never met but I understand that I am the tall, skinny one of the bunch so maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself, but I will. I have high blood pressure because I am fat. I have diabetes because I am fat. I have constant pain in my feet caused by peripheral neuropathy because I am fat. Because of the pain in my feet it is difficult for me to find an aerobic activity that I can stay with and swimming seems to be the answer. Although even the pressure of the water on my feet hurts but it does not even come close to the pain of walking. Swimming in winter in Oregon must be done inside. My palatial estate does not include an indoor swimming pool. The answer was to join the fancy-scmancy health club only one mile from my home. One mile exactly, door to door, I clocked it today. Today was day two. I am hoping that when school starts up again that I will be able to continue. I swim laps in the very cold lap pool. Then as a treat after 40 minutes I switch to the warm's wonderful. Then as another treat I slip into the hot tub for a few minutes, although I don't know if I will do that again. I am not, as a rule, a rule follower but as I was stewing in the hot tub I happened to be facing the "Rules of Spa Use" and I was breaking just about all of them. Don't use the spa alone. I was alone. Don't use the spa if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. I have both. Don't use the spa if you are on prescription medications without first consulting your physician. I am and I did not. I am such a rebel. Maybe tomorrow I will enter the pool without first taking a "cleansing shower." I am swimming as if my life depends on it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Horse Tales

Okay...I will start typing as soon as I take a few deep breaths. I will not give much background information here, or interesting sidebars for that matter, because my faithful readers (both of them!) will not need it. Oops...except for this...50 is a magic number at this point in my life, as I am nearing 50 chronologically as well as nearing 50 pounds overweight...the overweight tidbit having direct relation to this tale. ) So, on Christmas I am trying to have a semi- interesting/civil/rational conversation with my mother, not an easy task for me. The subject was horses. Not unusual considering my mother and I are both huge animal lovers. Well, as you will see, I am the huge one in her eyes. I was recounting a wonderful memory of several years past which entailed the riding of horses at Ethel's bosses' house. ( in second grade we have not yet been educated on the proper placement of apostrophes so I apologize if there is a glaring error. ) I was telling my mother about riding the most wonderful and dear Walter and Chief. (Walter is one of the horses, not Ethel's boss.) ((I guess my sidebar intention is tits up in the mud.)) My mother exclaimed in shock and horror: "YOU rode a horse!!??!! Were you still heavy back then!!??!! The horse must have known!!!!"
I hear my pharmaceuticals, as well as a big bowl of peanut M&Ms, calling my name.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bowling Boys

Today Conor and I went bowling with some dear friends. Cara and her three darling boys! Well...I wouldn't put Austin, her eldest, in that catagory. He would actually fall into the category of Hot Teen. He towers over me and is as tall as his mum. Wyatt, her middle son, is very dear to me....I get to see him every day because he is a fourth grader at my school. And not a day goes by when I don't get a hug from Wyatt. And then there's Marshall.
Sweet, funny Marshall. He is four and is bright and creative. We haven't spent much time with these folks in the last few years and both of our families have experienced some pretty hefty turmoils in the 2 years past. Mine is slowly resolving and healing while my friends are experiencing a more fresh wound. But we take comfort that we have each other. Happiness is just moments and I see those moments in my friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Meaty Christmas To All

I am privledged to have the most wonderful, generous bestest friends and family on the planet. Yesterday, we recieved on our doorstep, a Christmas present from Blane and Shannon. I will call them the "Smiths." Be assured that this is not their real name....or is it? The gift contained the most generous and thoughtful gift: a big box of meat! Not just any meat but world renowned, Charlie Vergos dry rub, pork, short ribs. Not only that but two bottles of bar-b-que sauce, a bottle of seasoning, and two pints of mustard slaw. This came complete with place mats and moist towelettes! It is a complete dinner that we will share on New Years Eve with two more of our precious and dear friends Sueandmike. I must say, we are not worthy. The "Smiths" continue to amaze us with their caring and spirit of giving.

Then today another big box of meat arrived. This one from my beloved, Canadian uncle and aunt, Peter and Irene. Each box more magnificent that the last. This box originated at Omaha Steaks. It contained 16 gourmet burgers, 12 filet mignons, 10 top sirloin steaks, eight potatoes (stuffed and baked) and one New York cheesecake. (A side bar here..the cheesecake lasted not even four hours in our household of three, one of who would NEVER eat cheesecake. Moderation means nothing to us.)

And now for the punchline. I am a vegetarian. What are the odds of two magnificent boxes of meat arriving in two days on the doorstep of me, a tree-huggin', Birkenstock wearin', bleeding-heart liberal, animal lovin' vegetarian. (not vegan, mind you, or else how would I ever have wolfed down half that cheesecake in no time at all?) Thank you, you've been a great audience, I'll be here all week, try the fish!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Performance Debut

Yesterday? At my school? We had a Christmas concert? And at the last minute? The glockenspiel player? Was unable to fulfill her duties? And so the music teacher? Asked me to do it? And it was really fun! (All said in my best second grade voice)
My mother will be tickled to hear that my 14 years of piano lessons were not for naught. My performance was flawless!

And now for a "teachable" moment: A glockenspiel is a percussion instrument consisting of a series of metal bars tuned to a chromatic scale and played with two hammers.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Happy? Merry? Whatever!

I just want to wish my faithful readers....and you two know who you are...a wonderful, non-denominational, extra day off from work in December!

Top Five Reasons I Why Love My Job

5. At this time of year I am showered with gifts on a daily basis.
4. At least once a day I color with crayons or do a craft project.
3. I get hugged nearly all day long.
4. On occasion I get to hold a puppy like a baby.
1. After today I will get 17 days (in a row!) off for winter break. Seventeen! Count 'em: the weekends before, after and in the middle, two full weeks of school days, and if thats not enough one last Monday at the end!

Oh yeah, have I ever told you this? I feel overpaid! Yup....don't hear that very often do ya?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lean Cuisine My Ass

I bought a Lean Cuisine dinner at the grocery store. In the picture it was yummy looking. I microwaved it and ate it. It was yummy tasting. I could have eaten seven more of them. The only reason Lean Cuisine has not very many calories is because it is not very much food. How much Healthy Choice ice cream can I eat before it is no longer a healthy choice?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It's all relative

Someone in my family recently insisted that someone else in my family drop out of animal doctorin' school and go to cookin' school. The reasoning was this: "Why would you want to put your finger up some animals' ass when you can cook a meal for elegant people?"
A shout out to the daughter of the author of the quote. I feel your pain.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Urine Trivia

Did you know that in India and Germany it is not uncommon for folks to drink their own urine? Gandhi drank his regularly. Morning piss is said to be the best. Not much happened in second grade today.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Swing Low

This morning, halfway between the Land of Nod and reality I felt an odd sensation on my left fore arm. I was lying on my back thinking about what I was feeling. It seemed like minutes but I'm sure it was only a few seconds. What was this warm lump on my arm? Was it my cat? It couldn't be because I could hear her "singing" from her usual venue, my right ear. Was it one of my sneaky, needy troop of stuffed animals trying to slip, un-noticed, into the sleep rotation a few days early? (We feel that if we use a rotation system for who gets to sleep in the bed at night and who is relegated to the floor then less feelings get hurt.) No, Cat, Pig and Tiger were all present and accounted for. Then I remembered my mom told me that I once asked her, after catching a brief unsightly/horrific view of my grandmother naked that I posed this question to her: "Why does Grandma have saggy apples?" It was then that I had a "circle of life" moment. I was developing a coupla Granny Smiths of my own. Not quite in the armpit yet, but clearly the migration is in full force.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

How To Be a Better Driver

It's no secret, I am a lousy driver. Everyone who has ever been in a car, with me behind the wheel, will not dispute this. (one exception: my mother. Every minute we are together I am paralyzed with fear of.....I'm not sure what. As a result I walk around perpetually on my very best behaviour. Like a soldier, who, if he makes one false move, it will all be over.) So, back to my driving tip. On Friday, in my second grade classroom we celebrated a birthday, as second graders are wont to do. The sheer volume of hyper-sugared cupcakes that I consume on a weekly basis is immeasurable. It was Miss Ali's birthday. At the end of the day there would be one lone cupcake left. I snatched it up fast as it would bring me huge bonus points upon presenting to my 12 year old son at home. My dilemma: How to transport said cupcake from point A to point B without smashing the frosting and smearing it over the entire inside of my car. (not that anyone would notice any difference) My decision was this: Place it on the dashboard and make no sudden moves. It worked like a charm! I have never driven more carefully. My driving tip to you is this...Always drive as if you have a cupcake on the dashboard.