Sunday, May 30, 2010
That means today is my birthday.
Everyone else in the house is asleep.
But I am awake...
wondering what this new chapter in my life
I have no candles or cake right now,
but here are my wishes:
I wish to lose weight, be healthier,
have more energy.
I wish to pursue my art hobbies further.
I wish to prioritize my time better.
I wish to write a book.
I wish to get closer to God.
I wish to get a good hairstyle, a great purse,
and a real tan.
I wish to learn to listen more and talk less.
I wish to get my closets cleaned, my drawers organized,
and my laundry put away.
I wish to listen to more music or read books-
and watch less TV.
Today I turn 54.
But inside I still feel 19.
I may not be posting regularly for a few weeks.
My husband has some time off and
we will be spending it doing gardening and
yard work and household fix me ups.
We also bought back our cabin in the woods
of Missouri that we sold ten years ago.
So we will be spending a few days there.
I'm excited to get it cleaned and decorated...
And sit on the screened-in porch
and watch the world go by...
I have a blessed life.
And I thank God for another wonderful birthday.
Keep in touch.
I'll be back regularly real soon.
Friday, May 28, 2010
I've actually gotten a bit
of housework done.
I even surprised myself by
turning the computer completely OFF,
and not just letting it sit in sleep mode-
ready to ambush me every time I passed.
I found a spot for my old chart.
The desk was one I picked up for $40
a few years ago.
My husband says its a piece of junk-but I love it.
Here's a better view:
And the wonderful Charlie doll is
a birthday gift from my daughter Erin.
I know it's kinda creepy,
but I've wanted one for quite a while now.
As you can see in the first picture,
I even pinned his arm to the wall
so he would look like he was waving.
(So, I'm weird - sue me.)
that I picked up for a quarter
I Velcro-ed it to my laundry room door.
Then I decided to use my picnic carrier-
(one that holds paper plates, napkins,
utensils or mustard and ketchup)
to corral all the remote controls-
I distressed it a bit and put
a wall pocket full of fun flowers
to tie back the curtains to let the
sun shine in.
I got an old necklace from
my costume pile
and used it:
I found this cute little bunny bowl
at Goodwill for 50 cents.
I smile whenever I see it
holding my stash of granola bars.
(I hide the chocolate bars!)
Don't spend money on expensive
wall word graphics-
(If you like that sorta thing...)
I printed mine out from the computer.
applied it with carbon paper,
and filled it in with a paint pen.
The three words say it all!
(I don't know why that wall looks
likes it's drooping!)
Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!
I know I will.
It's my birthday!
"I'm gonna party like it my birthday-
Gonna sip Bacardi like it's my birthday..."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
when I'm mowing the lawn.
Certainly no one would ever mistake me
for anything Orange County,
and rarely even Stepford.
As I putter along on my trusty rider,
my tee shirt is a little stained,
my jeans a little tight,
my inappropriate flip flops
are firm against the pedals.
It's times like these that I realize
I really do wish I had a pedicure,
a layer of sunscreen,
and prettier hair.
I keep imagining the people passing by saying,
"Look at that old lady mowing the yard.
Is that a pizza stain on her shirt?"
"Her yard looks really nice and neat. It's a shame
I can't say the same about her hair."
"Don't those little lawn mowers have load limits?"
But, you know-
I really don't care what they think.
Because when the wind rushes through my hair,
the sun hits my face,
and I power up my MP3-
I. Am. A.
I crank that baby up loud enough
to be heard above an atomic blast!
I let its smooth music flow
into my ears like healing honey.
I envelop myself in a vibrating world
of notes and lyrics and vocals
that raise my senses to elevated glory.
I rock. I tap.
I weep. I laugh.
I hum. I sing.
I dream. I dare.
For two solid hours,
I endulge in my own private concert.
The music is mine.
The beat is my own heart.
My soul yearns to live in
such complete rhythms.
Most people have their favorites
to listen to at the gym.
Or while jogging.
Or,( heaven forbid this body), running.
But, I have Lawnmower Music.
Take a listen, if you will.
(I am trying to post the mix tape
at the bottom of my page,
but Blogger is being bull-headed
again this morning.
So- it may or may not be there)!
For sweet moments of the day-
I. Am. A.
Then, I put away the music-
put away my lawnmower-
and turn into an ordinary housewife again...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
When my sister Linda and I
were growing up,
we didn't crave treats of ice cream
or pizza- or even candy.
Our idea of a special treat was
It really didn't matter what brand they were-
as long as they were crunchy and sour.
Our whole family has this thing about sour stuff.
We like pickled eggs, green gooseberries, salted lemons-
and even bologna in vinegar.
And by the looks of it,
it's been passed down through the generations.
I can't remember the last time I ate a pickle,
but I've got at least three kinds in my fridge
for the grand kids.
One hot summer, Linda and I walked all the way to town.
It was probably 4 or 5 miles, but we were young and thin
(and not bothered by achy backs,
and chaffing thighs.)
Our goal on that particular day
was to go to Kroger
to buy a jar of pickles.
We must have discussed it in great length.
Because we knew we wanted the
little midget kosher dills
that were no bigger than our pinkie fingers.
Oh! We were so excited as
we purchased our prized pickles
and retreated to the curb
to partake in their sour satisfaction!
But, all of a sudden,
we dropped the jar.
There lay our baby pickles,
in a pool of brine and vinegar,
on a dirty public sidewalk-
amid chunks of glass.
Did we cry?
Did we run home mad?
Did we have enough money for another jar?
No. No.And no.
We sat down and ate them!
(I have got to wonder now
if we might have been
a little retarded back then.)
I guess we aren't the only people
who enjoy a good pickle.
According to Pickle Packers International,
Americans buy pickles every 53 days.
And pickles have a special holiday, too.
International Pickle Week is one of
the country's longest running food promotions.
It's been observed for more than 50 years,
and actually runs for 10 days-
during the last two weeks of May.
I thought I was pretty familiar with the pickle.
But here are some facts that I did not know:
Good pickles have an audible crunch at 10 paces. This can be measured at "crunch-off" using the "scientific" device known as the Audible Crunch Meter. Pickles that can be heard at only one pace are known as denture dills.
North Americans prefer pickles with warts. Europeans prefer wartless pickles. Refrigerated pickles account for about 20 percent of all pickle sales.
During WWII the U.S. Government tagged 40 percent of all pickle production for the ration kits of the armed forces.
More than 67 percent of all households eat pickles.
Americans consume more than 9 pounds of pickles per person annually.
Pickles are fat free and low in calories. An average-size dill contains only 15 calories.
Maybe Linda and I should have stuck with pickles.
Our choice of treats nowadays aren't sour at all.
They consist of rich, sweet indulgent desserts
that stick to our thighs like humongous sucky leeches.
But, I still believe in pickle power.
Take time to enjoy a cute little cuke.
Celebrate International Pickle Week-
going on now...
(and try not to drop the jar!)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
to take a break,
my husband and I figured it was
time to do some much needed gardening-
even though it was still pretty muddy.
Or rather, HE decided.
It was so dang hot this weekend
that all I wanted to do was
lay under the ceiling fan,
munch on ice chips,
and force myself into
a voluntary nap coma
in order to deal with the heat.
But, instead, I helped straw
the tomato plants,
cage them with rusty old fencing
(whose exposed barbs could bring
enough blood to require a tourniquet),
and pulled tiny maple trees from the damp earth
where all the whirywigs landed and took root.
But imagine all that-
from an overweight grouchy woman
who was sweating buckets of
puffing with each bend-over,
and suddenly wearing tennis shoes
with three inch mud soles.
When all was finished,
I was stinky, cross eyed, sunburned,
But the garden looked great.
I took a cold shower,
dressed as cool as possible
without being naked,
and found a place under the ceiling fan.
With a pillow.
With my eyes shut.
"Do you want to give the dog
a haircut and a bath now?" my husband asked.
If only I could put him into a voluntary
nap coma !
My husband hollered at me from
the bathroom the other morning.
"Hey- come here a minute," he said.
I figured there was a spider in the drain,
he desperately needed toilet paper,
or he was going to ask me for
the twelfth-hundredth time
if he should shave his goatee.
Instead, he pointed at the tube
I crinkled my brow with a mute question.
"You know, I hardly ever gripe..." He continued.
(Maybe not on the other planet he
evidently lives on!, I thought.)
"but I'm getting kinda sick of finding
the lid popped up on the toothpaste.
How hard is it to press it back down
where it belongs?"
I quickly apologized
and added something reassuring like
it won't happen again
or I didn't realize...
Later, after he left for work,
I went into the bathroom.
The lid was firmly snapped in place
on the toothpaste tube.
Good job, Honey, I whispered under my breath.
But the sink was full of little
black and gray wiskers,
and dotted like multicolored confetti
on my once spotless vanity.
The lid was off the shaving cream can,
there were two used Q-tips
laying near the soap dish,
a wet wash cloth lay
wadded up on the shower floor,
and dirty underwear
were discarded haphazardly
in the corner.
I've gone 35 years
without strangling him.
But now is probably as
good a time as any, to start.
I'm not a big fan of yogurt,
but I wanted to share a great new product
that I love.
It is Delight parfait, by Yoplait.
My favorite flavor is the caramel,
but they make mixed berry, choco/raspberry,
and lemon, too.
I wasn't crazy about the lemon,
but if you freeze it, it tastes
similar to lemon sherbet.
And as a plus, it's low calorie
and actually healthy.
My favorite new choice
for a quick breakfast
or an after dinner or mid-day snack.
Try it. I think you'll like it!
Today I'm going to try for
Attempt Number 2: Spring Cleaning.
I'm already tired, though.
And it's hot again.
Coincidentally, my pillow is still
comfy and cool beneath the ceiling fan.
Do you belive in fate?
Friday, May 21, 2010
Click on ( this link)
to read my post as a guest writer today on the great blog
titled "The Redheaded Stepchild" -
by my good friend, Dee!
And while you're there,
check out her daily posts and leave her a nice comment!
I woke up last night and couldn't go back to sleep.
That's unusual for me-
I can normally fall into a deep snooze just looking at a bed
or simply touching a pillow.
But sometime between midnight and 3 a.m.,
I was wide awake,
staring at the ceiling and listening to it rain.
With just a soft glow of my bathroom nightlight,
my bedroom became filled with shadows-
lumps of soft gray forms
that looked like people huddled in the corners.
Years ago, I would have ducked under the sheets
and hid myself from these shadow monsters,
but last night I didn't care.
Let them lurk.
Let them stare.
They will turn back into clothes and furniture
again in the morning.
I almost envied them.
...getting to be something else for awhile.
...transforming themselves without a bit of self-doubt...
The ceiling fan looked like a floating starfish-
and suddenly I thought I smelled the sea.
Salty, beachy, coconut perfume
that caused me to sniff the air
like an old hound dog.
Maybe my shampoo.
Maybe just insanity.
My life spread out before me like a huge book-
pages curling beneath the bed
and foggy images pixilated on the closet door.
I felt overwhelmed.
What am I doing?
Where am I going?
What is my purpose in life?
Then I began to question if I was a good person.
Do people see me as I see myself?
Am I selfish at times?
I glanced over at my husband...
touched his back...
listened to his breathing that
vibrated like a sweet song.
My heart swelled...
Overflowed onto the bed sheets...
Wrapped him up in a giant cradle
and rocked him into the peace
that I wished for him.
His thoughts are many.
His responsibilities, huge.
His days- short and uneventful.
What can I do for him
that I have not already done?
Love is all I have.
I got up,
fluffed my pillow-
and walked into the living room
to peek out at the rain.
It was only a silky drizzle,
barely dripping from the rooftop
like suspended tears.
What will I write in the morning? I thought.
Or will I write at all?
Should I even try?
What is it I'm trying to prove?
I walked back through the darkness
to my familiar room-
and to the shadows strangers.
I laid in bed-
watched the starfish on the ceiling.
Until my questioning heart
without the answers.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Twenty six years ago,
I was waddling around the house -
my belly protruding with a ripe baby.
It was all a miracle from the start.
I should never have gotten pregnant
in the first place.
I had an IUD, which as far as the doctor's said,
was 99% effective.
It was only after I had sat in bed one night
and annihilated an entire package of Oreos
by myself, that my husband suggested I
might be pregnant.
And I was.
About my forth month,
I started spotting.
I had two beautiful little girls
with no problem.
Why now? Why me?
I was diagnosed with placenta previa.
It meant that my placenta was covering
my cervix and that I would require bed rest.
It also meant a C-section.
But, as the miracle continued-
the morning they prepped me for my C-section,
the doctor decided to take a final sonogram.
It had moved!
My placenta was now safely in its dutiful place
and they sent me home to suffer labor pains
when the time came.
Unfortunately, my doctor was out of town
the day my contractions began in earnest.
His replacement was so afraid of the placenta thing
that he sent me by ambulance to a different hospital-
where they tested and prodded and poked me
till I was weary.
Four doctors merged to study my case.
It was then that they told me my sonogram
"It appears as though the soft spot on the skull has
grown together, thus keeping the brain from developing
correctly. His head is small, but his limbs are normal."
"Well", they told us, "it will be a child that you will
have to put in a home of some type. He'll be a vegetable."
And they advised my husband not to be present for
the delivery because the baby most likely
had an open spine.
"I've seen all my other babies being born," my husband said,
"and I'm gonna see this one, too."
While they drugged and induced me,
we had our share of tears.
A numb shock.
An aching fear.
A mourning for this unborn child of ours.
I remember seeeing my husband eyes.
His sweet, warm. comforting eyes
from above his blue surgical mask
as they delivered our son.
"Doc?" he cried, "He's okay, isn't he?'
And at the same time, squeezed my hand
and told me that it was a boy
and that he looked healthy.
And he told me everything was going to be okay
before I faded into a long sleep.
And our son Jake was okay.
He was healthy and normal and well.
The doctors- all four of them-
had read the sonograms wrong.
They had only taken one view.
One from ear to ear.
The head had molded a bit,
but was a perfect size from front to back.
There was no deformity, abnormalty,
or anything out of the ordinary.
Our son was perfect.
And, in my opinion, continues to be.
A year from now- next May-
he will graduate from the school
of Dental Medicine in Alton
with a doctorate in dentistry.
Happy Birthday, Son.
You have brought us happiness and pride
and the firm belief in miracles.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
There is nothing worse than
good planning gone wrong...
Nothing quite as disappointing
as seeing positive intentions
steer a little wayward
onto the path of negative results.
It's been that way for me this week.
On Sunday, I vowed that my entire week
would be set aside for Spring Cleaning.
That I would make lists
and check them off one by one
till everything had it's place
and sparkled like cheap glitter.
I'm on my third list.
Not that List 1 and List 2 were completed-
It's because they were misplaced.
And the reason I misplaced my cleaning list
is because I need to clean.
By yesterday afternoon,
I just said heck to the list
and dived into a giant basket of paperwork.
Is it really necessary to keep my
electric bill from last October?
Or credit card offers with 30% interest?
Coupons for food I'll never buy,
clothes I'll never wear,
or fundraisers I'll never win?
And all the other crap that seems to
accumulate in the
"I Don't Know What The Hell To Do With This" pile.
I managed to rid myself of a trash bag of paper,
and it felt good to reduce the pile of folders
to a stack that wouldn't require a wagon
to transport across the room.
Of course, eventually, there will be
something in that refuse pile
that I will need
and I'll be sorry I ever started
messing with my perfectly good
unorganized filing system.
I got the toilets cleaned, too.
Couldn't find my bleach,
so resorted to the old stand-by-
It's gritty texture was like running my nails
across a poopy blackboard.
And after that, I called it a day
even though it wasn't quite noon yet.
I needed space.
To curse that darn inventor
Then I saw the weather report
and realized that if I didn't
get the yard mowed,
I might have to hire a bush hog
after the next three days of rain-
or sharpen a machete to find the mailbox.
Yet, of all my many chores,
I love mowing the best.
I strap my MP3 player onto my arm,
turn it up full volume,
and get lost in a world of music.
While riding the mower yesterday,
I almost had myself convinced
that I could and should and would
take piano lessons.
That in my old age,
I could sit in my glittery clean house
and compose songs at my Baldwin piano
while sipping Geritol margaritas.
But, then again,
once the yard was mowed
and the garage locked up
and I faced the never ending pile
of laundry that tripped me
in the hallway,
learning music seemed like
a non-priority item.
There was still vacuuming,
dusting, and mopping to do.
Which I call DMV for short.
I know these three should be
done every day,
but hey- it's my house.
If I wanna draw pictures in the dust-
who's to deny me that guilty pleasure?
Then there was folding,
stacking, moving, peeling,
calling, sorting, washing,
hauling, changing, tightening,
loosening, measuring, tossing,
making, rinsing, cleaning,
scrubbing, wiping, sweeping,
watching, hanging and hiding.
Made me tired just thinking about it.
But, I suppose I have a few more days
to make good on my vow.
It's totally possible to get my Spring Cleaning
semi-completed before the weekend.
If my nap doesn't interfere.
Where's that list?
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Hey! I just couldn't help but
post my latest yard sale find!
To some, it is really JUNK.But I think it is so cool
and hope to find a good place to display it.
I love odd stuff.
And this certainly qualifies.
It is an old Chiropractic Chart. This picture isn't clear,
but it shows the size. Pretty large. And heavy.
(click to enlarge for detail)
Just a piece of my junk joy! :)
Monday, May 17, 2010
My husband and I were coming back
from a matinee over the weekend
and a new, shiny red Corvette passed us
on the interstate.
"Oh, wouldn't that be fun," my husband said,
with a twinge of melancholy in his voice.
It wasn't a question.
It was a statement.
-Coming from a man who has never shown
too much enthusiasm for fast cars
or fancy transportation.
Give him a pickup truck
with a dead deer in the back,
and he is in heaven.
I studied him for a moment
as his wistful eyes followed
the snazzy wheels.
"Are you serious?" I thought.
First of all, let me say
that neither one of us
could fit very comfortably
in that luxury cruiser.
Bending down on our aging knees
and prying ourselves into
those bucket seats
might possibly take a shoe horn
of gargantuan proportions-
or enough WD-40 to bathe an elephant.
Secondly, I would be very afraid
that some hidden, primal force
might stir within my husband's vanity
and cause his usually slow-pokey demeanor
to rage into a very expensive
I don't know about you,
but once the car reaches 80 mph,
I no longer trust seat belts.
I pull out my Bible
and start playing catch up.
Then I began to worry that
maybe my husband had reached
that pinnacle of restlessness...
that door where flashback = freedom...
that lustful mourning of youth
and throwing caution
(and good sense)
to the wind.
I stayed silent.
Until a very nice
elderly-people-type sedan passed.
"Oh, isn't that nice?" I said, pointing out
the prudent automobile
with a sweet caress to my husband's neck.
"You would look gooood in that." I smiled,
hoping to pump up his ego
the size of the black hole at the
heart of the M87 galaxy.
It's kinda sad, really-
that no matter how much you
love your husband-
you can't turn back time for him.
You can't relieve his burden of a job...
his responsibilities as a father...
his fear of growing older.
If I could- I would.
I'd buy him that shiny red Vette
and we'd throw caution to the wind.
We'd crank up the
"Born To Be Wild" CD,
and set off on a free-wheeling adventure.
he would have that "fun"-
toying with the knobs and buttons...
and pushing the accelerator
to the limits of legality.
And there I would be- right beside him.
Seat belted and shoulder-harnessed to the max...
..reading my Bible.
Put down that video game
and join me outside!
It's National Backyard Games Week!
Of course, at my place today
you may have to don a raincoat
and utilize the umbrella,
but it just makes the competition
more enticing, don't you think?
I grew up on backyard games.
Freeze tag, shadow tag,
Red light- green light,
That's back a few years ago
when somebody's yard
was unceremoniously picked
to be "the yard of the day"-
where every kid in the neighborhood
under the age of fifteen
gathered to be a part of the activities.
Large groups always made for better teams.
Then you weren't stuck playing wiffle ball
with some loser who couldn't swing a plastic bat-
or left alone in the dark being the only "seeker"
looking for the "hider".
My parents never seemed to mind much
when the kids started grouping together
out in our big yard.
There were rules though.
1. Kids knew not to ask to use the bathroom.
2. There would be no treats or soft drinks.
3. If you were an adolescent boy on the crest of puberty-
4. No naked wash board abs in our front yard!
My dad had a problem with guys who didn't wear shirts.
(He would actually run them off).
5. Play fair, don't be a baby, and bring your own band-aids.
We had some great games of softball,
Shadow tag, and Swing the Statue.
And once in awhile,
(unbeknown to my parents),
a secret round or two of
spin the bottle.
I think that game was rigged.
I never got kissed.
The bottle always seemed to point
at the girl with the biggest boobs.
Needless to say,
I lost interest and refused to play
that boring little game.
I remember clearly participating
in a heated game of Red Rover.
When it was my turn to run,
I took off fast-
trying to look behind me
to see if I was being pursued.
That's when I ran smack-dab into a tree.
I fell to the ground with a scraped neck
and whispered, "Go... get... Mom."
Of course, my team mates all stared -
and my mom took me in the house
and applied the soap and water
I watched the events from the
picture window the rest of the day.
Sometimes we just spent the lazy summer days
swinging on our prehistoric swing set-
it's creaky chains and rusty slide
echoing music across the neighborhood.
It's a wonder none of us suffered broken bones
or serious injuries.
We played hard.
But we had fun.
Backyard games were our way of learning
competition, fairness, friendship,
loyalty, instruction, rules,
Yet, it also taught us
revenge, spite, jealousy,
It also taught me
that the girls with the biggest boobs
weren't necessarily the best players.
And that's a fact of life-
even in middle age!
So, no matter what you play today,
remember to play your best.
Follow the rules,
go for the gusto,
...oh-and look out for trees!
Friday, May 14, 2010
While watching my grandson
play Wii the other day,
I began to wonder how different
our lives would have been
if we would have had high tech toys.
I'm sure simple games like Tag,
and Red Rover
would have been ignored.
Hide and Seek,paper dolls
may never have survived.
I think it was simplistic adventures
that kept siblings united back then-
inexpensive, on-the-go entertainment
that helped secure the bond
and stretched the limits of
If we would have had X Box's
and iPod's and Blu Ray players
would we ever have discovered
the thrill of raising our very
You heard me.
Instant Life Sea-Monkey Eggs
Instant Life contains the mysterious ingredients that (when combined with Packet 1, Water Purifier) hatches Instant LIVE baby Sea-Monkeys.
What some ads describe as
and what their very own website
claims as "true miracles of nature".
Well, it's hard to grasp that one.
Especially since Sea Monkey eggs
are the size of this ( . ).
If you don't get bored with watching
a seemingly empty tank of water,
the monkeys may possibly grow
to 1/2 -3/4 inch long.
And due to breakthroughs
in Sea Monkey research,
these water pets can live
up to two years.
"Sea-Monkeys®" is actually a trademark name
owned by Transcience Corp.
and they boast about being the true pioneers of this
"most exquisitely sophisticated 'aquaculture technology'”.
We had some Sea Monkeys once.
For a day or two, probably.
I think we stayed glued to
the bowl of water for hours,
thinking some type of chimpanzee
would suddenly appear -
gasping for air
and be ready to play with us.
Every comic book in the world
advertised the amazing Sea Monkeys
back in the 60's and early 70's.
They were a real treat
-and an old fashioned alternative to
today's video games.
Sea Monkeys are actually a type of shrimp.
They coat their eggs with a substance
known as trehalose, which preserves them
and protects them from extreme temperatures
and lack of water.
Once you buy a packet of eggs
and expose them to water-
And even breed.
(Or as the Transcience Corp. says.
"they'll start to reproduce and have more adorable babies." )
How would you know if
your Sea Monkeys were adorable
or as ugly as sin?
You need a microscope to even tell
if they've survived the trip from the kitchen table
to the window sill.
But while you are dusting off the microscope
or giant magnifying glass,
look for the monkeys with a third eye.
(Yeah- could they possibly get any freakier?)
They are all born with three eyes,
but as they approach adulthood,
they lose that extra eye.
Other fascinating facts:
They have no brains. (Duh.)
Their kidneys are located in their head.
They breathe through their legs.
They actually have a heart that pumps blood.
They molt and grow new skin shells.
AND...You can buy them treats!
If anyone out there ever had
Sea Monkey's that grew to maturation,
please let me know.
I'm seriously wondering how
they even stay in business.
But, you never know...
Maybe buying a pack of Sea Monkey eggs
for the grand kids might be very rewarding.
To stare at an old gold fish bowl
till our eyes cross and my hair turns gray...
On second thought-
hand me that controller and let's
play Mario Kart!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
(Redid my hutch top yesterday. Statue: Goodwill $1, White frame:Goodwill, $1,
Large frame: Target, $8 (changed out picture), Bird: WalMart clearance, $6,
Black frame: 50 cents, yard sale.)
Spring is here.
And with it comes this irritation-
a tickle in my bones, as I call it.
A creative itch.
A need to fluff my nest-
tidy my house-
redesign my living spaces.
My husband thinks I'm nuts.
He tells me I'll break my back
moving the couch
or that the desk will not fit anywhere
except the same boring place it has been
for a whole entire year.
But, even though he realizes
that I may break my back,
he graciously leaves me to my madness,
that his favorite chair
will not be in the same spot when he returns.
Maybe it's because I spend so much time at home
that I crave occasional changes to my scenery.
Maybe it's boredom.
But, you know, I like to think of it
as a blossoming of my inner spirit...
a quenching of my artistic thirst...
a way to keep my face out of the refrigerator.
My husband and I butt heads about it sometimes.
He usually hates my paint choices,
never puts the remote control back into
the cute little basket I prepared for it,
and often it takes him a week
to notice that I've moved the bed.
The good thing about the whole deal
is that I am not high maintenance.
I don't rush out and buy $100 rugs
and expensive matching lamps.
Give me $20 or $30 dollars
to visit Goodwill or yard sales,
and I will be a happy camper.
My husband hates that.
He tells me I don't have to resort to
"Go get new," he says.
He just doesn't understand
that I love the hunt.
I crave the puzzle of putting things together...
... of the possibilities of
using something in a way
no one else would think of.
If I took all the thrift items
out of my house,
it would be empty!
That is my forte'.
I have no style.
No, let me rephrase that.
I have no specific style.
I'm bona fide eclectic.
So, today I'll be fluffing my nest
and breaking my back
and hoping my husband doesn't notice
that I touched his guitar
in order to vacuum.
He's just really lucky
that I can't move the toilet!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I love celebrating odd holidays.
They always seem to provide
an opportunity to indulge in something
I participated willingly
in National Chocolate Week,
Jose Cuervo Month,
and Wear Your Pajamas All Day Day.
I guess I'm just loyal like that.
I figure it's just my duty to support
important causes like those.
But, I cringed today
when I peeked at my calendar.
I was anticipating something like
or Bubble Bath Week.
It is Root Canal Appreciation Day.
You might as well celebrate
Stick A Needle In My Eye Week
or Fun With Paper Cuts Day.
There is no way that a trip to
the dentist can be enjoyable.
I decided to look further
into this holiday
to better understand the
obviously troubled soul who
proclaimed this odd celebration.
Dr. Chris Kammer of Madison, Wisconsin
may not have originally started the idea
of Root Canal Appreciation Day,
but he is one dentist who has promoted
the holiday by publicly speaking out
about the dreaded dental procedure.
A few years ago, he actually performed
a live root canal at a baseball stadium in Wisconsin,
accompanied by 5,991 fans
singing out the rock and roll toothbrush anthem-
"Get Out The Brush".
"If dentists don't relate the message of modern dentistry to the public,
we can expect root canals and dental visits to remain the punch line of jokes,
perpetuating negative, false images of important health care,"
Kammer explains of his eclectic antics.
Discussions about the stereotypical dental experience
are antiquated because dental treatment has gone
far beyond tolerable, advancing to an enjoyable experience
that is a major health benefit according to Kammer.
"It's too bad the world hasn't caught up with
the progress made by the dental profession."
Back up a minute.
No, he didn't.
Did he really say it is "an enjoyable experience"?
Is he running some kind of weirdo torture chamber?
How can large hands inside your mouth
with a 18 horse power drill,
twelve inch pliers
and gargantuan-sized needles
ever be enjoyable?
But the good dentist says that root canals
save 42 million teeth every year.
By my calculations,
that would be 1,312,500 entire sets of choppers...
Saved! By this totally misunderstood and
feared dental procedure.
Maybe we should be more open
-(no pun intended)-
to the health benefits of
good oral hygiene.
Perhaps we should set our fears aside
in order to preserve our pearly whites.
he is a doctor.
You have to believe him
when he says that a root canal
has become an enjoyable experience.
I think I'd rather
slide naked down a giant razor blade
into a pool of alcohol.
But, to all of you who may possibly
be excited about the prospect
of a root canal,
let me know if they could
hear your screams in the next state.
And for those of you like me,
here is a little video that may reduce
the fear of the unknown.
We must educate ourselves,
no matter how torturous.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
steal take borrow photos from Flickr,but this one is an actual photograph of my husband and I at Half Moon Cay-with our ship on the horizon.)
I just returned from a week long vacation that was out of the ordinary for me.
I’m used to camping in a tent- eating Bar-S hotdogs and generic potato chips. Or sprawling out in a small hotel room the size of a millionaire’s closet, watching fuzzy cable and reading the phone book.
This year, my husband and I went on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Nice? Yes. I am lucky I got to experience it all. But, I am here today to give all you cruisin’ wanna- be’s a head’s up before you set sail on your own adventure.
First of all, the basic rate of cruises is fairly affordable. You have to take into consideration that your ship is your hotel for the length of your stay. Let’s just say five nights…A hotel at $100 a night would be $500. Then add the cost of meals on an ordinary vacation. For two people at three meals a day…maybe $50 if you don’t splurge too much. So, there is another $250. Then figure gasoline. Already we are just about at the cost of a cruise for two (excluding air fare).
On my trip I got to see three different islands-which was my favorite part. I’m not a swimmer, or a sunbather, but just seeing the blue sky and clear water was a real treat. It’s beautiful in person. Photos can’t do it justice.
All meals on the ship are free and you can eat as much and as often as you like. There was a nice breakfast buffet with dozens of pastry choices, fresh fruits and omelets cooked to order.
Lunch consisted of burgers and franks, potato salads and slaws. Other places offered deli sandwiches as thick as your leg, gourmet pizza,Chinese cuisine and fresh sushi.
We opted to eat dinner in the formal dining room, just for a nice change. Although there was one formal night, men were usually asked to wear collared shirts -and no flip flops. Shorts were acceptable. Women dressed casually also.
Our waiters were excellent and the menu varied daily. One night it was shrimp and lobster- and I also had lasagna, stuffed mushrooms and broccoli soup that was delicious. Dessert and coffee topped off the night.
It was all you can drink coffee and tea. Unlimited ice cream cones, too. Be prepared for some major calories.
Warning: All alcoholic drinks and beer cost money. Plus- they automatically add on the tip. A beer was $5.75 and mixed drinks about $8. You can see where that can add up fairly quickly if you drink with abandon. Keep track of what you’re spending. They don’t take cash. You must present your Sail and Sign card for every purchase on the ship. Then they charge your debit or credit card that you put on file.
One good tip:
Don’t go out and buy a bunch of expensive cruise wear for your trip. They frown on cut off jeans and slob-wear, but nice everyday attire is what you will wear most days. One or two dressy outfits are necessary.
I ended up buying some dressy tops and dresses- only to wish I had packed more casual tees and comfortable footwear. There is a lot of walking!
Of course, if you have the body for it, you can pretty much spend the day in your bathing suit- (with a tasteful cover-up when you wander too far from the pool area).
We took one excursion on a small boat where we could see the fish on underwater reefs. The little windows were foggy and the water not so clear, so it was a huge disappointment to me. The brochure showed people in awe, watching colorful blue and yellow tropical fish swimming in crystal clear water. Didn’t happen. And it cost us a hundred dollars for an hour and a half. Lesson learned.
There are several bars, a casino, pools and hot tubs, shuffle board, karaoke, (which I actually did perform “Crazy” by Patsy Cline on stage without a drink in me…yikes!),comedians, and special shows.
We just spent most of our days on the deck watching the sun rise or set – or walked around the boat to the different floors.
The pool area was a virtual Spring Break for college kids type of atmosphere with dancing and music and all the craziness that is no longer part of my vocabulary. I tried my best to steer my husband clear of the bosomy babes, but once in awhile we were trapped in the coconut grease of almost-naked bodies as we made our way to the buffet line.
Mostly we ate.
And ate again. And napped again. And had us some more ice cream.
On the second night, we laid in bed staring at the ceiling, un-notching our waist bands a couple of inches and we both said at the same time, “I’m ready to go home…”
Later, when we got off the boat to see the islands, it was a bit better. But we missed our home and our dog and our family.
We discovered we are not cruise people. We rather have the feel of grass beneath our feet instead of sand. We prefer the shade of a forest to the hot sun. We like to go barefoot all day and wear pajama pants and put our elbows on the dinner table. We like our country. Our bed. Our life.
But it was a wonderful experience and I will never forget it.
Oh- and Dee- I love me some conch fritters!
I want to apologize for not visiting you all, but I wasn’t connected for over a week. I am going to try to play catch-up for the next few days because I miss reading all my favorite blogs. I appreciate your loyalty while I was away. It means a lot to me.
Now…it’s back to laundry and mowing and all that other stuff that really isn’t so bad after all…
It’s good to be back.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Originally posted in my "Ten on '10" Blog
Monday, January 11, 2010...
"I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at." ~Maya Angelou
It would seem that family relationships are one thing in life that comes naturally. You are born of the same parents- thrown together in the same toy box for years, and have no choice but to share what there never seems to be enough of.
But, when the toys are put away- the house you grew up in is occupied by strangers- and the frequency of your sharing dwindles down to a mere Christmas card- then family is something that takes work. At that point, it requires purpose and planning in order to keep the ties strong and the lines of love wide open.
I am guilty. I feel most badly about my brothers. I don't know much about their jobs, their concerns, their daily joys, or their dreams. And though I truly love each of their wives, I have not saved a spot in my life to get close enough to them.
I find it difficult to call my brothers, to open up about things- to pull them close like I have my sisters.
Maybe it's because I remember my brothers chasing us around with brooms and bats and mud dabber nests. I vividly recall pulling of hair, the torturing of dolls, and cheating at hide-and-seek. They got the first new bicycles, the first new cars, the biggest pork chops and the least amount of chaperoning.
Wow! Now come to think of it- no wonder we aren't closer! :)
"Family quarrels have a total bitterness unmatched by others. Yet it sometimes happens that they also have a kind of tang, a pleasantness beneath the unpleasantness, based on the tacit understanding that this is not for keeps; that any limb you climb out on will still be there later for you to climb back. " ~Mignon McLaughlin
I grew up with four brothers and four sisters. All from my two humble parents that miraculously raised us in a two bedroom house. (Unless you count the roll-away bed in the furnace room- then that made three.)
I don't know how they managed. No food stamps or public aid or charity. (Unless you count the box of clothes the church brought by twice a year).
Yet, I don't believe there was a single time in my childhood that I felt deprived.
I don't remember feeling cheated- I was certainly never lonely- and I do know I was loved.
My mom and dad didn't fight much.
Oh, there was an occasional argument over money, or us kids, or something unimportant that faded away in ten minutes. They rarely cursed and never drank and I don't remember dad ever being unemployed.
My brothers and sisters were the nucleus of my life then. They were my toys. My partners.( In crime and at Old Maid). But they were loyal and constant and we were forever connected by an invisible bond.
"The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. " ~Erma Bombeck
Even the closeness I feel for my sisters is sometimes strained.
For years, we each had our young children to take care of- a family of our own to raise- a house to keep and a life to build. It wasn't until my eldest sister Barb was about to turn 50, that we suddenly realized that time had passed and there was a gap growing between us.
We always said that Mom had been the glue that kept the family together. So when she died, we had to make our own glue- our own way of staying attached.
Sister Weekends were invented out of this strange need to touch. To connect. To keep one another within view.
We spent the weekend scouting yard sales and flea markets, going to the mall, playing board games and sharing photographs. We laughed and talked and shared stories of our families. We reminisced, we cried, and we pulled our hearts closer.
About ten years later, Barb died.
And we realized that we had waited too long. That ten- eleven years- was not enough time to get to know her.
Life is short. Don't wait.
Start making the glue- NOW!
"I know some sisters who only see each other on Mother's Day and some who will never speak again. But most are like my sisters and me... linked by volatile love, best friends who make other best friends ever so slightly less best. " ~Patricia Volk
My sister Linda and I were closest. I think that had a lot to do with sharing a bed, a room, clothes, dolls -and a place of escape from our brothers. We were a team, a duo, a pair of gangly girls who loved music and nature and imagination.
Then later, she loved boys. I couldn't quite figure that one out, until I started liking boys. Then it all made perfect sense.
But even after we were both married and living in different towns, we kept communication. We worried about the other. We hoped and prayed and were joyful for each other.
Looking back, there were too many lulls, really. Too much time between letters or phone calls or visits. Time we can never get back. Regrets that cannot be erased.
The only thing we can do now is look forward and pull together.
"Sweet is the voice of a sister in the season of sorrow." ~Benjamin Disraeli
Right now Linda is going through a divorce. Life is hard. Unfair. Empty.
And what can I give her that she can possibly use to make things better?
I keep asking myself that question. I can't know the shoes she's wearing- so how am I to give advice? How can I try to steer her heart when I do not know how much it's broken? How can I tell her that it will get better when she doesn't want to hear it?
All I can do is listen. That's what good sisters do. That is the glue that will keep us together through this family loss.
Sometimes I feel as though I have lost my best friend. Her laughter is rare, her soul is bruised, her focus is only on the past.
But someday I know the sun will shine, the laughter will return, the days will flow
with sweet perfume and her heart will heal.
And I will be right here. Ready to greet her when she comes out of the storm.
"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each others hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time." ~Clara Ortega
I love my brothers and sisters. They are part of who I am.
But this year I will reach out- even if it's uncomfortable at first. I will open up the lines of communication and cross that family bridge. I will draw them in- to this circle of trust and blood and kindred spirits.
We will make the glue.
"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories." ~George Eliot
Today's Five Grateful Things:
2. Hand lotion
Friday, May 7, 2010
Originally posted in my "Finding Thin" Blog
Wednesday, March 11, 2009...
As I wrote on my other blog today,
the Girl Scouts celebrate their
It commemorates the day in 1912
when the founder, Juliette Gordon Low,
registered the first 18 members
and formed what is now known
as The Girl Scouts of the USA.
I am sure these girls are loyal,
true, and practice acts of kindness-
-but in my mind-
they are no more innocent than
McDonald's when it comes to
enticing people to "super size".
I mean, have you ever
ordered just one box of cookies
It is the shear volume
of these crunchy sweet treats
that make them so attractive.
Place a single Thin Mint on a plate,
and you have nothing.
Place five boxes of Thin Mints
on your plate
and you have supper!
But, believe me-
there's nothing thin about them!
These girls are pushers.
Plain and simple.
They even attack us in our homes-
and knocking knockers
and coming around to the back yard
where we are hiding in the azaleas.
One look at their little green sash
and their full-color cookie brochure-
and we've committed ourselves
to a huge diet dilemma.
The only way to avoid
seeing those seductive Samoas
and the tantalizing Tagalongs
is to "Just say no!"
Sure, the little brats might
run home crying-
their mothers might ban you
from the block party-
your house might get egged
you're gonna be thinner because of it!
That, my friends,
is one giant secret of diet success-
DON'T let it into your house.
DON'T feed the monster.
DON'T tempt evil.
Just look the other way-
hide somewhere better
than those stupid bushes!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Originally posted in my Ten in '10 Blog
Wednesday, February 3, 2010...
I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~e.e. cummings
Nature is a wonderful thing-and there is no better place to enjoy it than a porch. It is such a vital part of every home.
It's a free seat to a sunrise, a dry place during a rain storm, and a vantage point for experiencing the seasons.
No matter if you perch on the step, a rocker, or a lawn chair- the miracles are still the same. It's just Life- floating by your door in colors and sounds and scents and textures. Ready to put on a show. Willing to pull you in to the beautiful world of nature. Hoping that you will stop. Take time. Indulge your senses.
Nature is man's teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence. ~Alfred Billings Street
Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise! ~Wallace Stevens *****
Even though it is only February, I can see the earth changing. Almost as though everything is getting ready. As though the birds are giddy for a new nest- the sky is awaiting warm winds- the trees are hiding their excitement of blooms.
And things we can't see are preparing. Daffodils are reaching closer to the surface, the sun moves ever so slightly in the sky, and animals begin to awaken from their winter sleep.
A porch gives you the very best seat for the performance...
And you will never be disappointed.
The sun and the moon always rises. They always set. Grass turns green again and spring returns. These are promises never broken.
No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs
I am guilty myself of not taking the time to step out on my porch and watch the sunrise. Just what am I doing for those few minutes that I cannot stop to look- to experience- to share? Every single day we are blessed with signs that prove we are alive- that God has given us another day- that we are not subject to eternal darkness and indifference.
Everyday we are made new again. And so is nature.
Forever moving- changing- morphing-growing-playing... And for what other reason than to bring us joy?
There are wonderful gifts beyond your porch. Have you unwrapped them yet today?
Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke
I need to believe that the dishes can wait. That what is going on outdoors is of greater importance than the laundry- can bring me more sincere happiness than the television- and can relax me more than a shot of liquor or a lazy nap.
Someday when we are stuffed into a nursing home -or our lives become contained in a small room with a lumpy bed- when we are someday unable to enjoy the porch or the yard-
we will mourn it with a deep sadness.With penetrating regret that we were not a good spectator
during those days when our eyes were able to see, our hands feel, our noses smell and our ears hear.
Don't wait too late.
Spring will be back for encore performance.
But you may not be.
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. ~Langston Hughes
Where does the white go when the snow melts? ~Author Unknown
Meditation is something that could benefit us all. Moments where we turn off everything and open our souls to the things around us. A chirping bird, the wind in the pines, a fish jumping on the pond- to see lilac streaks upon the sky- a firefly beating in the darkness- the feel of moist earth and green corn- the smell of hay and honeysuckle and rain....
I vow to take more time to open my eyes. To inhale the sweetness of the seasons.
To rock on my porch and applaud what I see- and be thankful another new day has arrived.
As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world. ~Adabella Radici
Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. ~Author Unknown
Today's Five Grateful Things:
1. My porch
2. Green grass
3. Cold watermelon
4. Home made ice cream
5. Soft sweaters
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Originally posted in my "Ten in '10" Blog
Thursday, January 7, 2010...
"The chief excitement in a woman's life is spotting women who are fatter than she is." ~Helen Rowland
Well, we all knew that sooner or later, I'd get to the post about weight. It's kinda been like that big orange Hungry Monster on the Weight Watcher commercials. I've tried to ignore him -and talking about it just makes it worse. He's killing me. Literally.
My big plans for weight loss last year, fizzled into avoidance issues- and so I started this new year out with an extra two pounds. There are babies that size! I'm carrying around a little puppy- a kitten- a couple of pound cakes!
And I'm shortening my life...
Why can't losing weight be as simple as getting in the car and driving across town? Why can't we just get inside our own heads, steer toward the correct foods, and drive our way to skinny-dom?
Why can't we follow a diet like we follow a receipe for Three Cheese Lasagna?
Why can't we make good diet habits as well as we do grooming habits?
Why is it that some women can succeed at business, motherhood, and marriage,but fail miserably when it's time to diet?
I'm beginning to think there are no answers. You just gotta have faith, walk the straight and narrow- and ignore that Hungry Monster.
Kill him, actually.
"When I buy cookies I eat just four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won't dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn't taste that bad." ~Janette Barber
Heaviness is a thief. It steals your energy, your glow, your relationships and your appearance. It doesn't care who it hurts- it just wants to be fed. It's counting on you to keep it alive - to keep sculpting this huge statue with cellulite and fat rolls and cholesterol clogged arteries.
Face it. It isn't pretty.Fat is ugly. Thin is in.
Or more importantly- healthy is what we should be striving for- not an impossible goal that we can never keep. It is simply a change of habit.
Now, how hard can that be?
Well, in my case, about as hard as winning the lottery.
"I bought a talking refrigerator that said "Oink" every time I opened the door. It made me hungry for pork chops." ~Marie Mott
We all know that the first step is getting rid of the temptation. Why would you want Brad Pitt naked in your bed- when you know it's not good for your marriage? Then why do we have donuts in our kitchen when we know it is bad for our health?
I keep saying I'm going to get a variety of fruit and vegetables and sort them into small baggies so that they will be easily accessible when a snack attack occurs. I love pears and pineapple and bananas. They are as good as cake and cookies and candy.
But if you place all of them in front of me- nine times out of ten- I'll choose the cake.
Same way with veggies. I adore broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, but given a choice-
I almost always choose pasta, salami and cheese.
I should not have choices!!!
" I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet." ~Erma Bombeck
I am in the process of inventing a brand new diet aid. It's called the "Meal Detector".
Seriously, we all know that we need to change. It's the thing we all wish for the most, but are the least willing to do. We aren't dumb. We know how. There are hundreds of books on the subject- thousands of products and aids- millions of reasons to choose the right road.
So, why am I walking backwards?
I suppose we need to make dieting our priority. Above dishes and laundry and dusting.
I'm guilty of running the vacuum while eating cold pizza. Or washing clothes while I munch on a Snickers.
If it takes leaving the dishes in the sink and the towels in the hamper for us to take the time to sit down and eat a decent meal of healthy food- then, by all means- let the house go! It is far better than letting the temple of your body turn into a Budda.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
I know that I have several things to look forward to this year. Things that should motivate me into getting fit. We are planning the first family reunion in several years, my husband wants to take a real vacation, and I need to be thinking about my son's upcoming wedding.
I don't want to be oinking at the trough or huffing across the campsite or waddling down the aisle.
I want people to look at me and think that I have made the right choices. That I am healthy. That I glow. That the Hungry Monster is finally dead. And buried forever.
But I have the steering wheel. I own the car. I know the map. I am the only one that can make myself start the journey.
"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." ~Author Unknown
People do it every day. They win. They change.They don't give up.
We are as good as they are.
And as strong.
So we must imagine ourselves as successful.
Suck it up. Pull it in. Roll it back.
"When we lose twenty pounds... we may be losing the twenty best pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty." ~Woody Allen
I want to do this so bad, I could cry.
And I do.
Sometimes the bathroom scale is like a knife that cuts me to the core, bruises my soul and slaps me in the face.
I hate it.
But I love it for it's honesty.
Even if we start this diet with a disillusioned heart, we must learn to make the best of it. To put forth our best smile, best food, (EDIT: Sorry- I meant to put the word foot here!) prettiest face, a winning attitude and a distant dream.
We must see the good and positive in ourselves, or how else will we deserve to win?
It can be done.
I just hope I can prove that this year.
"People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet." ~Sa'Di