Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Miss My Mom

I miss my mom. She’s been gone for three years this week and I still occasionally pick up the phone to call her. Ouch. I want to ask her how she kept all the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of her picnic cake recipe. I should have made it when she was alive but she always did. Sometimes I just want to tell her about my day, get her advice, or tell her something funny that one of the kids did. But then, she probably already knows.

There is only ONE good thing about my mom being dead. When someone (especially a salesperson) calls and asks, “Is your mom there?” I can reply, “No, she’s dead.” For some reason, I get a kick out of this. (I like to think my mom does too.) I tried this on my sister-in-law once and she did not think it was funny. Before you go thinking I am a total schmutz, you should know that I probably get this irreverent, playful attribute from my mother.

When we moved to a new neighborhood with our three legged dog, someone asked, “What’s wrong with your dog’s front leg?” My mom looked at the dog, looked at the person and said, “What leg?”

Mom was known to start water fights not only outside, but inside. Wild, wet, crazy fun. (Side note: if any of my children are reading, do not try this at home. I will not think it is funny, really.) I remember frantically trying to get inches of water off the kitchen floor before my dad got home.

One day my brother and his friends were working in the yard. They found a huge earthworm and decided to go scare my mom with it. When they dangled it in front of her face, she grabbed it and started chasing them with it.

Mom had a theory that you could balance an egg on end during the Winter or Summer Solstice. My brother sat at the kitchen table trying to disprove her theory. As he rolled the egg between the table top and the palm of his hand, my mom got tired of his know-it-all behavior, smacked the top of his hand which crushed the egg.

In grade school, mom cried and cried one day on the steps of her school. She wouldn’t go inside. When her mother arrived at the school to sort through the problem, she was told by my sweet mother that she was crying because God made her a little girl and not a horse.

I never got the rest of the story—what my grandmother did. That is another thing I would ask my mom.

If my mom was a horse, she would be the kind that was all playful, and kind. She would give you sweet rides on her back and then when you were least expecting it, she would kick up her heels and you would slide down her neck into the soft grass. (Yes, she would make sure you landed on something soft.) You would look up at her like, “What was that for?”

She would bat her big horse eyelashes with a look of “Who me?” That’s the kind of horse my mom would be.

When she lost all her hair to cancer, she had a very stylish wig. It was great hair. She never had a bad hair day—all she had to do was put it on. No fuss. No problem. When complimented on her great hair (by people who did not know it was a wig), she would lift it straight off her head and say, “Thanks, do you want to borrow it.”

My mom thought of a great invention before she left. If you’ve ever had to buy a coffin, you know how crazy expensive they are. And for what when you think about it. It’s not like you try it out before you go to see if it’s comfortable. It’s not like people will be looking at it for years to come.

You lay in it at the viewing while people say you look great or peaceful when what you really look is dead.

But on the other hand, if you buried your loved one in a cardboard box, people would think you were pond scum. So, here’s the beauty of the invention. You buy (and use for several family members) or rent a coffin. At the cemetery the coffin is reverently lowered into the ground while someone is playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. Then when everybody leaves, somebody pushes a button on a remote control device which opens the trap door on the bottom of the coffin. The body falls out, and the coffin is pulled back up and reused.

My mom. A thrifty, funny lady. I miss her.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hormones. . .

Getting older isn't too bad when you compare it with the alternative. Death. But what's up with this "hang-over?" I'm talking about the thing hanging over my belt; the 15lbs. that has magically appeared and is not budging as if to say, "Howdy, I"m here for the long haul." And do I really have to have zits again? And what's up with standing up? Everything rises except my hip which remains anchored to the chair by my butt. Everything is falling, sagging or puddling like wax dripping from a birthday candle. My husband is faring a bit better. The hair he's losing on his head is being replaced by new growth in his nose and ears.

When my daughter and I sat through the fifth grade maturation program and got the 411 on pu-ber-ty, wide-eyed she turned to me and said, "Now I know why they call them HORRORMOMES."

I know what she's talkin about.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

As First Lady I Solemnly Swear. . .

Apparently Michelle Obama dresses quite nicely. I haven’t noticed this. I’m sure she probably does. I don’t tend to notice what people are wearing, I do notice however if they are wearing something as opposed to not wearing something. So while not a great advocate of fashion, I am a great advocate of clothes. Everybody should wear them.

I read about First Lady Obama’s great fashion look in USA Today. I don’t usually read USA Today, but I was staying at the “Del. That’s what everyone called it, which I find funny because isn’t “del” a preposition? So are they really saying, “Welcome to the Of The?” Wouldn’t you say, welcome to the Hotel Del Coronado or maybe the Coronado, but the Del?

Back to USA Today. Evidently Michelle (can I call the first lady that?) has this oh so nice white blouse (which reportedly she’s worn more than once—SHOCKING), and some green pumps, (green is my favorite color) and a smashing belt. And here’s the good news. I can get knock-offs of all these things for a couple hundred dollars, each!

Hello people. Hello first lady. Did you know that we are in a recession? That is more than my clothing budget for an entire year. If I bought that, I’d have to wear it every day. I wonder how it looks inside out? (Remember the 80’s when you wore your sweat shirt inside out for a different look. . . or was that just me?) Also slacks or a skirt were not mentioned. This creates a small problem.

My dream—a first lady that shops at Target. Say it like “Tar-jay,” you’ll feel better. And while the green pumps were very appealing, if I was going to do as much walking as the first lady, I would opt for green sneakers. And would it kill the first lady to wear sweats once in a while? It would do a heap of good for my morale.

So here is my first campaign promise if I am ever elected first lady. I solemnly swear (with my hand on a bag of chocolate chips) that I will not wear designer clothes. Not even knock-offs. I will make women everywhere feel better by wearing sweats, jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, sneakers and flip flops with maybe an occasional pajama bottom. If I have to wear a dress, I will be on my way to church and my feet will be happy feet in my sensible but colorful flats. You should be able to duplicate my wardrobe by shopping the clearance rack at any Tar-jay, Ross Dress for Less, or Deseret Industries.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Life as a Guppie

My neighbors had a yard sale over the weekend and actually made money. They are business people with thick-skins and tough-spines who also happen to be fun to go to dinner with and will do the carpool for you when you are in a bind.

I have banned myself from having yard sales because I am of the lily-livered, weak spined-kind. My husband is just as weak, maybe weaker except he is taller and can count the money we don't make better than I can because he is of the accounting kind.

In our old neighborhood our neighbors had a sale and we decided we would set out our entertainment center. As we were hoisting the thing up the stairs subconsciously working on my husband's upcoming hernia, we made a solemn pledge not to take less than $100.00. We had bought it within the last year for $300.00 and it was in great shape.

We were dragging it onto the porch when a "garage sailor" (these are people of the sail-around-on-Saturdays-from-yard-to-yard-looking-for-an-easy-kill-kind) slyly sneaks up on us and says, "I'll give you $50.00 for that. My husband and I look at each other. For some reason we are frozen, unable to speak, like deer in the headlights. We both weakly nod and my husband squeaks out an, "Okay." The shark moves in closer and asks, "Can you deliver it to my house?" We both nod, wondering how this all went so wrong.

We end up delivering the entertainment center to the guy, picking up pizza for him on the way there and dropping off his dry cleaning when we leave. Then we go home and sit in front of our t.v. which is sitting on the floor and pinky-swear that we will never attempt to sell anything again because we are just a couple of guppies.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fantasy Land

I started reading my first adult fantasy book. That means that all the Harry Potters and Fablehavens did not count (according to my husband) even though they have a gazillion pages. Who knew?

Fantasy is really quite complicated. Just ask Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull or L.E. Modesitt Jr., I mean really, how do they keep track of all those characters, their secret powers, the powers of various objects, mythical creatures, the kingdoms where they live, blah, blah, blah? All of a sudden, I need a reference sheet to tell me what I just read and I'm only 100 pages into the book. My mind starts to leave—you know, the light is on but nobody’s home. I’m just wondering when he (said super fantasy hero) is going to kiss the girl. And who cares if the dragon comes back because dragons aren’t real anyways. Okay, really, I try to be scared when I read about the dragon/demon/evil power, but I just can't because, well, I don't want to blow it for you, but it's NOT real.

And that is when I had my little epiphany. As I reviewed in my wee brain all the many people I know who enjoy fantasy, they were all folks not like me. Fantasy readers aren’t right-brained creative folk, they are left brained, record keeping factual folk. I think. However, this is hard for me to decipher since most times I can’t find either side of my brain.

I shared this remarkable insight with my husband who is totally left-brained; he also functions as my left brain, and he was totally not surprised. He also happens to be a huge reader and lover of fantasy. He has always said, “Why should I read about something that could actually happen?” I always say, “Why should I read about something that could never happen?”

He explained that right brained people live in a fantasy world all the time. So, why on earth do they need to escape? While, left-brained people, like himself, live, work and breathe in the real world. That’s why they need fantasy—to escape. . .

So all this time I’ve been living in fantasy land doing fantasy laundry, making fantasy mac n’ cheese, and shopping at the fantasy grocery kingdom. I guess driving the carpool is my idea of fantasy too. Maybe I need to escape to the real world.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Airport Violations

If you haven’t been through airport security since 9-11, you must not get out often. Actually, what I meant to say, is you really ought to. Save your money and book a flight to Boise or wherever and back so you can have this all-American experience. It’s just like hot dogs and apple pie only you don’t gain weight.

When you go through security, you have to put all your liquids, don’t worry—not bodily liquids in a Ziploc bag. Apparently, these bad-boys can get crazy out of control if not contained in the Ziploc. And you must limit each liquid to 3 ounces. Now this is just for carry-ons. If you want to get all wild with the shampoo or whatever you can pack as many ounces as you like in your checked baggage.

I’m still trying to figure out the threat of too much lotion or hand-sanitizer. You hold the pilot down Ringo/Roy/??? (or whatever bad guy name you want to insert) while I squirt the pilot in the eye with some toothpaste.

Anyway shoes are apparently a big threat too. I guess some wise-guy ruined it for the rest of us and tried to put a bomb in his shoe. So, now you have to take off your shoes to go through security. Not a problem unless you can’t tie shoes very well or have really stinky feet (as did the nice looking lady in front of my husband). Actually if your feet do stink, it’s not a problem for you, just everyone around you. I’m glad somebody hasn’t tried to put a bomb in their briefs, or bra.

I should warn you, use caution if you go through security wearing an under-wire bra. Awkward. A few years ago I set off the alarm. Security pulled me aside and every time they ran that wand past my chest, it lit up like a cheap Christmas tree -- the wand, not my chest.

However, the last time I flew I was not subjected to this because I was strip searched with my clothes on. I was told to put my feet on 2 foot prints. Then sha-bam. Something flashed in front of me, then behind me just as I noticed to my left images of a naked robo-looking male and female. Yes, I could see anatomy although it was the color of robot. If you can’t imagine this color it is copperish, brownish, metalicish 3CPO-ish. It was then that I realized I had just been violated. WAIT! Don’t I have to sign something? Doesn’t somebody have to read me my Miranda Rights?? Nobody even said, “One, two, three.” At the very least I would have sucked in my stomach and tightened my glutes.

I am still reeling in shock, when the lady tells me to step down. Airport personnel are smiling like I just finished the Magic Tea Cup ride at Disney Land. This is unusual because security people, especially airport security people don’t smile. They leer. Why are they smiling? Am I the funniest body they’ve seen, or are they going to black-mail me?

I’m not sure what to make of this. Do I call my congressman or clergyman?

Friday, July 3, 2009

To Fit or Not to Fit

I saw a sign that said, "Oprah says you should get a bra fitting." I tried to imagine Oprah lying awake at night thinking about my chest and maybe your chest and well I guess the collective chest of America. Doesn't Oprah have enough to worry about with her book club and t.v. show? Now she has to worry about whether my bra fits. And who is going to make sure my bra fits? Maybe she's bored and needs a career change. I'm trying to picture Oprah with a tape measure around her neck as I walk into the lingerie section at Target. . . Maybe she could sign a book or my cup. . . "snug as two bugs in a rug--Oprah." I don't even worry about whether my bra fits and to tell the truth, I've never, not once, thought about Oprah's bra. I mostly worry about things like cancer, the ocean (being lost in it), what I should do with my hair, what I want to be besides old when I get old, and how to lose weight without actually dieting and exercising.