Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Country Mouse, City Mouse

Anybody remember this book?

I grew up in the country.

When I was a kid, I wished I lived in a development with paved roads so I could ride a bike and have friends close by.  Now that I am adult, I appreciate living in the country and have no desire to ever leave.  Or to have neighbors that I can see.

We have lived in our house for 21 years, and we finally have a neighbor we can see.  It's a little cabin behind our barn that was built by a lady who lives in Annapolis and will use it as her weekend getaway.  It has taken a little attitude adjustment on our part, but she is a very nice lady and probably the best neighbor one could have.

Last week, she sent me a text:
"Could you tell me what those birds are that come in a group and look like geese, but they're not?"

Those would be turkeys.  Wild turkeys.

My country brain cannot fathom not knowing what a wild turkey looks like.  We see them all the time and I guess we take it for granted, because apparently this is a new experience for our city neighbor.

Still, I can't help but think.....I don't live in India, but I know what an elephant looks like.   I don't live in the North Pole, but I think I'd recognize a polar bear.  I don't live in Arizona, but I think if I saw a roadrunner, I'd know what it was.  And so on.

Who doesn't know what a turkey looks like?  Mind you, this lady is not a dumb person by any means. She is educated and I would guess well traveled. and well read.  And she is not sure what those birds are that come in a group and look like geese, but they're not.

Needless to say, we got a good chuckle out of that one.

I can't wait to see what else we can learn from each other.
She chose the lot behind us because she wanted to be close to the donkeys and the goats.
It's not summer yet and I have a small idea she doesn't realize how many flies there are when you have 3 donkeys and 7 goats.
It's why our house is not close to our barn.
But hers is.
Welcome to the country, City Mouse.

PS - City Mouse, if you ever read this, please know that we really do think you are a lovely person. I'm sure if we came to your neck of the woods, we would be lost.  So I guess we're even.  Gobble, gobble.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

It's hard to do 2 things at one time

I wrote this in January and I forgot to hit Publish.  I'm already killing it this year.

I went to the gym yesterday.

It was the second Monday of the New Year, so we are all still ready to keep our resolutions to be healthier and happier in 2016.

I am already healthy.

I am already happy.

Why do I want to be healthier AND happier?

Can't I just be content?

Here's the kicker with being content:  it also sounds a lot like doing nothing.

If I want to change my health, I have to make changes to my diet and to my physical activity.

If I want to change my happiness, I have to make changes in my heart. 

I don't really want to change what I eat.  I like eating donuts.  And french fries.  

I don't really want to change my heart.  I like being bitter.  And angry.

I like to pretend I want to.  I go to the gym.  I eat salad.  I smile.  I say nice things to people.

But I really don't want to change, because I want the change without the work.  

It's hard.

It takes a long time.

It might not turn out the way I want.

And the list goes on.

I am content.



Pants on Fire.

It's like you darned if you do and you're darned if you don't.

I mean, I am very thankful for my health and for all of the wonderful things in my life. Sometimes it seems like wanting more is ungrateful in some way.

But on the other hand (said in the voice of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof and while we're on that subject, I hope when Alaina gets married she lets me be seated while this song is played on the piano)....on the other hand, being a good steward of what you've been blessed with also includes increasing/taking care of what you've been given, n'est pas? (insert Parable of the Talents lesson here)

I guess it's both.   It's hard to do 2 things at one time.
Like chew gum and walk.
Or talk and drive.
Or drink a slurpee and do a cartwheel.
Being content but also striving to be better.

And, if you haven't gotten enough Fiddler on the Roof for today, here's the Sabbath Prayer since today is Sunday.  They don't really sing until about 4 minutes in, but I think it's worth listening to.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blizzard of 2016 and the Don

So we got 40 inches of snow last Friday/Saturday.

Kind of a big deal. (lol to the one person who will get that joke)

Today is Wednesday, January 27th.  It's also Superfrydad's birthday.  I made biscuits & sausage gravy for breakfast.  That's probably the extent of his celebration because he's not really much on cake.  But this post is not about him.  (He is 44, if you were wondering.)

We got many warnings that this storm had the potential to be a massive amount of snow & blizzard like conditions.  It didn't start until Friday afternoon, but I got my milk & bread on Tuesday & I am glad I did.  Local grocery stores were wiped out. There were no shovels to be found and I think probably a lot of donuts & wine were purchased.

Friday morning I called my grandmother, aka the Don (read about that here),   I knew she would be alone and I asked her if she wanted to come and stay with us.

She said no.

So I told her to pack her bag because we might come and take her by force.

She said she'd think about it and call me back.

So I said ok.

Only the Don can be threatened to be kidnapped and then make you wait to see if it's ok with her.

So after a little while she called back and said her bag was packed & to come and pick her up.

So we did.  She had her giant shopping bag filled, her crossword puzzle packed, and her flip phone charged.  We grabbed a 6 pack of mini cans of Schweppe's ginger ale, and out the door we went. (She likes Schweppe's because "it's caffeine free and I think it tastes better".  I don't know if she knows that all gingerale is caffeine free, but felt it was best to nod and agree that Schweppe's is clearly a superior ginger ale.)

We have a woodstove in our basement where we watch TV.  I generally stay upstairs because I'm fat & am always hot.  As in sweaty hot, not sexy hot.  Just wanted to clarify in case you were confused.


The Don is always cold.  She's thin & she's almost 84.  So we had to keep the stove cranking.  She sat by the stove in her sweatshirt, fuzzy slippers, and fuzzy blanket on her legs pretty much the whole time.  We watched the Game Show Network, which she does not have, but we might have to get her for her birthday.  She likes Family Feud with Steve Harvey and we also watched Deal or No Deal a lot.  

I thought the Don would  get antsy & want to go home.  I figured she would not be able to sleep in Superfrykid's bed.  But she actually had a good time and said she wanted to take the bed & comforter home with her.  We played Scrabble & Sorry, both of which she claimed to never have played.  I'm not so sure.

The Don & Superfrykid playing Sorry.  The Don won. 

She told us lots of different stories from her "other lifetimes" as she calls them.  We watched The Unsinkable Molly Brown starring Debbie Reynolds and we also watched Frozen, which the Don had never seen.

Side note:  At the end when Prince Hans goes to kiss Anna & then says, "Oh Anna. If only there was someone out there who did love you", the Don hissed, "What a cad!".

The funniest thing that happened was on the first night.  I was in the bedroom folding clothes & Superfrykid & the Don were out on the couch.  Superfrykid was showing her a game on her Kindle. Then I heard them both giggling and then a pause, and then more giggling, another pause, and so on.  I walked out to see what they were laughing at and it was a fart app.  Superfrykid would select a different fart noise and they would both crack up.  I wish I had a hidden camera.  It was hilarious.

The Don & Superfrykid

I'll be glad to see the snow go, but seeing the Don walk out & get into Superfrydad's truck brought a little tear to my eye.

Someone posted this on facebook & we watched it together.  She said it was true, and I think it's a good reminder to all of us that it's what is on the inside that matters.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

40 is the new 30

Yesterday was my birthday.

Yesterday was my 40th birthday.

It just feels like a regular day.

Last year at this time, I wanted to lose 40 pounds by the time I turned 40.  Yeah, that didn't happen. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Bonus points if you know who this is and how to say it.
I feel obligated to pause & reflect on my life because isn't that what people do when they turn 40?

Forrest Gump's momma said "Life is like a box of chocolates....".

As much as I love chocolate, I always kind of think of life like a river.

Some people are born & get thrown in the river to sink or swim.

Some people ride down the river in an inflatable raft, holding a coozie of Mountain Dew.

Some on a dinghy.  Bet you know some of those.

Some on a sailboat, going where the wind takes them.

Some on a yacht.  I don't know any of those.  They're out of my circle.

I'm not sure what kind of vessel I'm on.

Probably a row boat, trying to row, row, row, when all I really need to do is let the river carry me.   I've been through some whirlpools, spinning and spinning and almost going down into the black hole in the center.  Sometimes the river is calm and I feel like I'm not going anywhere.  Sometimes I feel like I'm going over Niagra falls in a barrel.  That's fun.

Anyway, I don't know where this river will be winding this year, but after 40 of them, I think I'll just lean back and try to enjoy the ride.

Happy 2016.