Monday, February 15, 2010

I'll Think About That Tomorrow

Some days I battle writer’s block. Other days, like today, my brain is like a rabbit on crack. It jumps this direction, then it leaps that direction, then it doubles back on itself, never completing the circle or finding the carrot. You know, we once had a rabbit who thought he was a dog. He slept on top of the dog house. I don’t know where he got that idea, because I don’t think he ever watched Charlie Brown. He also liked to chase our Doxie.

Where was I? Oh, so far today, I have started four different posts. I have gotten about three or four paragraphs written on each one and decided it was drivel. Pure, unadulterated horse hockey.

Is that a bug? Hold on while I get a shoe and . . . oh, that’s not a bug. I just killed a hairball. You know, I should probably stop wasting my time trying to beat my brain waves into submission and do something constructive. Like vacuum. Or dust. Or not.

It’s a really nice day today, and I need to start thinking about getting the garden plot ready. No, what I should do first is get those bell pepper seeds into the starter tray. I got the neatest little mini-greenhouse the other day to experiment with. I don’t know where I’m going to put it though, because I don’t really have a good windowsill to put it in. Maybe I should put it on the dining room table. That’s a good spot. It gets the afternoon sun. And we never use it to eat on anyway.

Get out of that tree! Sorry, the neighbor’s cat is climbing the tree in the front yard, trying to sneak up on a bird. I really wish my neighbors would keep their cats indoors, or at least get them fixed. Mother Nature is all fine and good, but I really don’t wanna see the food chain in action. And this neighborhood is overrun with cats. I’ll probably have to put that weed block fabric down again this year to keep them from thinking my garden is a 4-star feline latrine. I don’t know what I’m going to do about the birds though. They love the lettuce and start eating it as soon as it comes up. Last year, they just laughed at the pie tins, ribbons, bells, fake lizards and rubber snakes. The rubber snake I forgot I had since I put it away in the garage oh, about last July.

Uh huh, I found that rubber snake the other day. I was in the garage throwing boxes around trying to find our wedding pictures. I moved a box, turned back around to grab another one, and all my brain registered was SNAKE!!!!! I kinda wish someone had been filming me at the time, because I swear I did a cartoon leap and did a complete turn in mid-air with my legs still moving. Add your own cartoon sound effects.

What is that noise?! Oh, the dryer. I should probably get those clothes out before they . . . Okay, who moved my tea? I wish you-know-who wouldn’t throw the mail on top of my desk willy-nilly. I have a system, for Pete’s sake! The checkbook was right here yesterday. How can I pay bills if I can’t find the . . . oh, wait, he said he was taking it today. Was that this morning?

If I could find my notebook – you know, the one I bought for jotting down thoughts and ideas for the blog – I might be able to write something coherent. Or not. If all else fails I can write notes in the dust on the furniture that’s not going to get dusted today. Did I take the chicken out of the freezer?

You know what really annoys me? Those plastic seals they put on bottles and jars. First, I wish they would fix them with tabs adult fingers can grip so you didn’t need scissors, knives, and tweezers, or a 4-year-old with tiny fingers, to get them open, but that’s not what gripes my cookies. It’s the plastic collar that’s always left when you finally manage to peel off enough of the plastic seal to get the bottle or jar open. You do know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

The other day I was trying to open a pudding cup. Oh, hush, they’re only 100 calories, unless you add Reddi-Whip. I absolutely could not get a grip on that tiny sliver of plastic they have the nerve to call a tab to get the thing open. Just as I was about to give up and fire up the chain saw, I managed to peel back just enough to get hold of. Ah, ha! Then, I carefully started to peel the seal off, and . . . it wouldn’t budge. Now, here you have to be vewwy careful because, if you grip the pudding cup too hard and apply too much pressure as you are trying to peel the seal back, the chocolate pudding will get propelled into the air and end up on the kitchen ceiling, on the countertop, in your hair, in the crevices around the buttons on the blender, and in the slots on the toaster. Oh, look! A chocolate rainbow! About this time, my husband walked into the kitchen, took one look at what I was doing and said, “First, you have to be smarter than the pudding cup.” If chocolate wasn’t such a precious commodity, I would have squirted chocolate pudding directly into his frog eye.

Speaking of chocolate, I think I have some Valentine’s Day candy left. I’m exhausted. Must be low blood sugar. Candy first, then a nap. And, FYI, in dog chocolates, I’ve only had three.

Maybe, just maybe, I shouldn't have chocolate for breakfast tomorrow.

{Sigh} "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day." Scarlett O'Hara

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love . . . and Cooties

Valentine’s Day is coming up. So, I thought a love story would be appropriate right about now. To say that my husband and I have an unusual “how we met” story is a bit of an understatement. I’m not sure you’ll even believe it, but this is how it happened.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a single mom, me. I spent my days working, taking care of my son, and working on my house. I can’t believe that all fits into one sentence. Just doesn’t do the actual doing of it all justice. It was sometimes difficult, but we were happy, and that was more than enough for me. It had been just the two of us for six years, and I had absolutely no intention of changing anything. Plus, I had great friends and a supportive family. My life was complete.

Okay, sure, I did the whole dating thing for a while after my divorce, but that was a nightmare. I had long since decided to declare my re-entry into the dating scene a disaster and rope it off with crime scene tape and orange barrels. Nothing to see here, folks, move along!

My favorite saying was “I do not need a man in my life. I have enough to deal with as it is. Who needs that extra aggravation?”

I even decided that going to Happy Hour was more than I wanted to deal with because it’s illegal to ban men from them. Any Happy Hour is gonna have two types of men (1) the married ones and (2) the single ones. And I was not a fan of either.

When anyone asked if I ever intended to get married again, I would say, “If God wants me to find a man, He’s gonna have to throw him down right in front of me, because I’m not looking!”

When my son turned seven, he started saying things like, “Mom, why don’t you get a boyfriend?” And “Mom, I really think you need a boyfriend.”

Even my boss, a MAN, felt compelled to add his two cents. He said, “Brenda, you’re a good ol’ gal. It’s just too bad there’s no demand for good ol’ gals.”

Yeah, he got the stink eye for a week for that crack. But things were rockin’ along fine, so who cares, right?

When are you people gonna get it? I don’t need no stinkin’ boyfriend!

Then, from out of nowhere, I started having a dream. In this dream, there was a *gasp* man! I never could see his face clearly, but he was definitely wearing an Air Force uniform and somehow I knew he had blue eyes. It was a wonderful dream. A dream of falling head over heels in love. A feeling like no other. Over time, the dream evolved, and there were scenes of a wedding and even a honeymoon in the mountains. I rarely remember dreams, but these I remembered vividly. And they were really starting to bug me.

We did live in a town with an air force base. Guys in uniform were everywhere. So, I kept telling myself it was just a ridiculous, nonsense dream. But, when the base had an open house, I decided to hedge my bets, and I dragged a friend out there with me at 6:30am on a Saturday morning. Nothing.

Well, of course not, I told myself. What were you thinking anyway? Stop it! That kind of stuff only happens in dreams and romantic comedies. Besides, SELF, we don’t need some silly man mucking everything up. Get. A. Grip.

A couple of months later, my friend, Cathy, called and said her son was away on a sleep-over and, since mine was with his dad that weekend, we should go out and have a drink somewhere. Maybe listen to some music. Girls’ night out. I resisted. I REALLY didn’t want to go. But she just kept on and on about it until I said, “Okay, okay, I give! Maybe just one drink.”

We ended up going to a small club neither of us had been to before. It was nice. Decent music. We ordered a drink and started talking. There was a dance floor, and people were starting to dance. I had no intention of dancing. That’s just asking for trouble, because then they want to come sit at your table, or they start sending over drinks, and it’s just a whole thing I didn’t want to deal with AT ALL.

Oh, no. Here comes somebody now, headed straight for me. I really don’t want to hurt his feelings. Yep, sure enough, he’s asking me to dance. He looks like a nice enough guy, but . . . I opened my mouth to say, “No, thank you,” and I heard myself say, “Sure!” WHAT did I just say?! Well, there was no graceful way to get out of it, so I danced with him. Hmmmmm He does a decent two-step, not drunk, polite, cute. Okay, it could definitely be worse.

After the dance, he walked me back to my table and, right on cue, asked if he could sit down. Again, I started to say something along the lines of “ve vant to be alone!” Instead, what came out was “Okay!” WHAT is going on here?

There were introductions all around, and we started to talk. The usual chit-chat. At some point, I asked him what he did. He said he was in the Air Force. I looked at Cathy and she looked at me. Well, men have been known to lie about these things, so I told him to prove it. Naturally, he was a little surprised, but he took out his wallet, pulled out his military ID, and handed it to me. Rats! It’s too dark in here to be certain, but I’m pretty sure it says his eyes are BLUE! Are you kidding me?!!!

“Uh, excuse us for a minute. We’ll be right back!”

I grabbed Cathy and unceremoniously dragged her into the girls’ room.

“You don’t seriously think this is the guy I’ve been dreaming about, do you?! That’s just nuts! It can’t be! Can it?!”

I don’t really remember the rest of that conversation. I do seem to remember that Cathy was incredibly calm about the whole thing. Well, when she wasn’t laughing, that is. I definitely remember laughing. It was almost as if, in an instant, we both knew this was the man of my dreams.

Shortly after we got back to the table, Cathy said she was going home. Ordinarily, I would have been out the door with her. I mean this guy she was leaving me with was a complete stranger. But it all felt so normal, like we just knew this was someone we could trust. Like it was a done deal.

But, of course, it was a done deal. I have absolutely no doubt there was Divine Intervention here. In my state of mind at the time, I never would have slowed down long enough to look at this man if not for those dreams. God knew exactly how to get my attention. And then He set him down right in front me.

Yes, he was and still is the man of my dreams. Six days after we met, he proposed to me. Nope, that’s not a typo. It was six days. Not quite three months later, we got married. Less than six months after that, the Air Force sent us to Sardinia, Italy.

And, here we are, 20 years later, still standing. And he still tells me “Happy Anniversary” every year on the anniversary of the day we met, and on the anniversary of the day he proposed to me and, of course, on the anniversary of our wedding. (He is actually much better at the romantic stuff than I am.) He still surprises me with flowers and cards and little things that made him think of me, for no reason at all or because he knows I’ve had a bad day. He still makes me laugh, even when it’s some of the same old schtick I’ve heard a brazillion times before. He thinks he’s the funny one, and I suppose there’s no harm in letting him believe that, right? {Wink} He says I’m the goofy one – with cooties. Okay, so he’s a little funny.

Don’t ever doubt that dreams can come true. You never know who or what is just around the corner . . . And I don't have cooties!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Super Bowl: Let the Trash-Talk Begin

So, it’s the Colts and the Saints in the Super Bowl. Am I allowed to write that? Don’t wanna be accused of copyright or trademark infringement or whatever. I won’t tell if you won’t. Remember, no one likes a tattletale.

So here’s the thing. I am a Colts’ fan. Recently converted. I started life as a Dallas Cowboys’ fan. That’s just the way it was where I grew up. Everyone in the territory was a Cowboys’ fan. From a very early age, I remember watching the Cowboys play. Well, actually, what I remember best is watching my dad watch the Cowboys play. That was a show unto itself. The yelling, the pounding of the recliner armrest, the jumping up and down. The Cowboys and my dad were always excellent entertainment. By osmosis, I learned about football and who was good and who wasn’t and who needed a swift kick in the behind. Or words to that effect. Insert your own adjectives.

A few years on, I became shall we say “disenchanted” with the Cowboys and I pretty much lost interest. (Sorry, Dad. I know that pains you. I just felt it was time to come clean.)

A few years later, I married someone from Indiana and, naturally, he is a Colts’ fan. Okay, whatever. Didn’t really matter much to me. For a long time, his monologues about the Colts and some guy named Manning were just so much background noise. Nod your head, say “really?” and “uh huh” in the right places and they will eventually move on to another subject. Until he started trash-talking the Cowboys. Must be in my DNA, because I caught myself jumping to their defense. I also realized that a mixed marriage such as ours can get tricky during the play-offs. Watching certain football games together was completely out of the question.

All this time, the Colts’ paraphernalia continued to pile up around here. Hats, jerseys, sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-shirts, shoes, a watch, a mug, a paperweight, a stuffed monkey, a helmet, etc. I did put my foot down on getting that Colts’ license plate though. I drive that car too. I had one Dallas Cowboys’ sweatshirt, and he scowled when I wore that. Which, of course, I sometimes did just to aggravate him. He’s so easy.

I can’t put my finger on exactly when it happened but, somewhere along the line, I “noticed” Peyton Manning. Hey, he’s kinda cute isn’t he? What can I say? I’m a girl. Besides that, when I started paying attention to him, I realized he is a really good guy, and he is a fantastic quarterback. Cute – check. Nice guy – check. Talented athlete – check. Well, that does it for me. Okay, I’m in.

My husband is so proud. Dad, not so much. I have to admit I’m secretly (well, not so secretly now, I guess) relieved that it’s not the Cowboys and the Colts in the Super Bowl this year. Talk about dodging a bullet. More like dodging a Scud missile.

We (my husband and I) did hit a bit of a rough patch a couple of years back. Hubby zeroed right in on the fact that when I watched a game with him, the Colts didn’t do nearly as well as when I DIDN’T watch. He began to think it was possible I was a jinx. Natch. He never said that in so many words, but he did start going elsewhere to watch the games. And I would have to promise not to watch them by myself. Or maybe it was because I tend to be a . . . uh . . . noisier fan? Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader. Besides, my dad taught me early on that fan input is vital. They need our guidance. And you have to be loud. Otherwise, how are they gonna hear you? Duh.

And then there was the whole “lucky underwear” incident. I have to make certain I have washed and dried them and they are ready to wear before game time. Whatever makes you happy, honey. Sometimes you just have to humor them. {Sigh}

Even though the Cowboys are not in the Super Bowl, the Colts are, so the trash-talking emails have been flying back and forth this week between certain let’s-poke-the-bear family members and my husband. He crows and cackles (yes, he cackles) whenever he gets one of those and, even though he rarely emails anyone, he jumps on those and emails right back.

I am more than happy to stay out of this fracas. Of course, I started the whole thing by deflecting the trash-talk emails and blaming him >>>>>> for my conversion. Yes, fingers were pointed. Big foam ones. If you are from a football family, you will totally understand. If not, what are YOU doing for fun this week? Yes, I am cackling. They are so easy.


"The reason women don't play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public.”
~ Phyllis Diller (comedienne)

"I have seen women walk right past a TV set with a football game on and - this always amazes me - not stop to watch, even if the TV is showing replays of what we call a "good hit," which is a tackle that causes at least one major internal organ to actually fly out of a player's body."
~ Dave Barry (humorist)