Thursday, July 28, 2011

My suspicions have been confirmed.

I just read an interesting article on my facebook feed that confirms what I've always known.  The gist of this scientific piece was that studies show that daughters do not dress like their mothers. (Duh...did we, the people, pay for this study?) Interestingly though, they say that mothers who feel their daughters have fashion sense take cues for their own style of dress from their girls.  In other words, daughters don't dress like their mothers but mothers dress like their daughters.

So there you have it.  I'm being dressed by Barbie.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A story of skill, not stupidity

Those of you who know my husband Jerry know he’s gifted in so many ways.  He rarely loses things, can fix anything and if he’s driven anywhere once, he can find it again without the aid of a map or GPS. 

Yesterday after we finished kayaking and he’d carried both kayaks to the car alone, hoisted them onto the roof and securely strapped them on, he hopped into the car with me and he turned the key in the ignition but nothing happened.  He tried repeatedly but the car did not start.  I asked if we needed a jump but he said no, the electrical system was working. 

It is at this point that I would have had a meltdown.  Not Jerry.  Nope!  He didn’t panic, start crying or even shout swearwords, he just looked at his owner’s manual, pressed a button on the floor in front of my feet and off we went.  By the time we’d arrived home, he’d mulled over why the car refused to start, realized he’d gotten his key wet, used his air compressor to dry it and, voila!  Problem solved. 

This story isn’t about yesterday though, it’s about today.  This morning we had to take our niece to the airport and be there before six.  Being night owls by nature, we got everything ready last night.  We even printed out her boarding passes and took her through a dry-run of security.  When we were finished, we knew she could deal with removing her computer from her stuffed suitcase, putting her baggie of liquids in the bin, taking off her shoes and so on and so on, amen.  We got into our car at twenty to six and were off.
Traffic was light and we arrived without issues.  Usually we drop our departing guests off at the front, kiss them goodbye and expect them to fend for themselves once they walk through the airport doors.  This time however, because our niece is the tender age of thirteen, Jer decided to park in the parking garage so we could walk her in and see her safely through security.

As we approached the garage entrance, we saw the customary sign that says “Clearance 7 feet 4 inches.”  We didn’t think a thing about it until we felt a thunk and heard this loud crunching noise.  Jer, the most alert one of the three of us, instantly realized his error.  The kayaks were still on top of the car and they’d started the height bar swinging above us.  They began scraping as we moved toward the garage.  I panicked.  Thank GOD I wasn’t driving by myself because who knows what I might have done?  We were clearly committed to driving forward and forward only.  Although there was no one behind us, there was no exit lane and nowhere to turn around.  Our car was situated in what amounted to a single-lane driveway with concrete walls on either side.  I panicked again!  I jumped out of the car, grabbed the niece and we took off through the parking garage.  Jerry was left to his own devices.   
The girls had our own little adventure.  I have zero sense of direction and when we got to the door marked “exit” and went through it, we were in a stairwell where we could only go down.  I was beginning to feel like Alice in Wonderland.  Intuitively, I knew that going down was not a good choice yet there we were, so down we went. 

Now in the lower level of the parking structure, we aimed for another exit while I tried to keep my cool so as not to upset the traveler.  She had enough on her mind; we didn’t need to add fear to the mix.  We walked across the garage and went into another stairwell and were able to walk up four flights of stairs to an exit above.  Then it was only a matter of figuring out where the airport access was and walking into the terminal, which we did without incident.
By the time we got inside, Jerry was already there.  Apparently I married the star student of the 1969 Mt. Healthy High School Driver’s Ed class!  He had driven backwards through traffic until he got out of the lane to enter the parking garage, was then able to turn the car around and park it in an open lot.
He said it was a story in skill, not stupidity.  I’m sort of sorry I missed seeing that exhibition of driving prowess but at the same time no policemen did either, and for that I’m quite delighted.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Red Hot Mamas!!

It's over a hundred degrees outside today and that is hot in anybody's book.  When you open up the front door, you feel like you are stepping into an oven.  It's the third day in a row we've been under a heat advisory. 

Here's a little reality check:  It is July and I am in South Carolina.  What, exactly, did I expect July to be like here?   To be honest, all of the buildings I visit and all of the cars I ride in have air conditioning.  That's a big reason to be grateful and I am. 

Yesterday I had the bad judgment to take my niece to play croquet at eleven in the morning.  When we got back home an hour later, she threw up.  She doesn't tolerate heat well -- fortunately (for her) she lives in Michigan and their brutally hot season is short.
Unfortunately (for me) she has a facebook account and so the entire thirteen-year-old population of America knows of my error in judgment.  She didn't even bother to mention that her team won. 

Croquet is played on a field and a field, by definition, is devoid of trees.  That should have been my first clue.  This is a big problem for shade-loving mammals (in this case me and my niece.  Good grammar dictates that I should write "my niece and me" but I am flaunting convention and sticking with my choice of "me and my niece" - it's my story after all.  If you want hers, just look on facebook.) 

Today we are staying inside and eating ice cream for lunch.  Not with lunch, as lunch.

Monday, July 18, 2011

This I know

I never quite "got" E=MC² (or how to make a flat chocolate chip cookie) but here are a few things I did discover:

If I hold a baby over my head, I will get spit-up in my face.

No matter how cute the clothes are that I buy for my daughters, they won't like them.

If I am in a hurry to leave the house, I won't be able to find my car keys, my shoes, or my car keys and my shoes.

No one can accurately predict the weather.

If I wash the windows, it will rain - even if there's been a drought for months. (See above.)

If the new house has a swimming pool, you will feed all the kids in the neighborhood lunch every single day for the whole summer.

No one drops by to visit when the house is clean.

It is possible to have acne and wrinkles at the same time.

Although it takes months for me to lose five pounds, I can gain it back virtually overnight.

I always feel better the minute I step into my doctor's office.

Once we get in the car, my husband won't want to stop FOR ANY REASON until we get to our destination.Even if we only get invited out one evening a season, we will receive three invitations for that very night.

Kids think of handwriting as an irritating font that's difficult to read.

As soon as I put the last item into my grocery cart, everyone in the entire store will swarm to the check-out lanes.

If I have computer problems, any elementary school child can fix them.If I get a manicure this morning, I will end up gardening this afternoon.

Cashiers at gas stations don't like you to pay with change.This is by no means the sum total of my knowledge, but I didn't acquire any of it at school. I'm not saying that learning to use a slide rule wasn't important, I'm merely stating that it would have been nice to learn to balance the checkbook somewhere in that educational process.

If a cute guy smiles at me, I probably have broccoli stuck in my teeth.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A mystery flower

I'm not a coffee drinker but I just love the smell, so sometimes I brew a pot and just enjoy the aroma.  This goes against my frugal nature, so when the coffee is cold I toss it out onto a scraggly bush in my front yard.  The only reason this bush is alive today is that my inherent laziness has prohibited me from garnering the enthusiasm necessary to dig it up.

Imagine my surprise when the pitiful thing bloomed!  And, thrill upon thrill, the scent was heavenly.  Clueless as I am about native southern plants, I plucked a flower and asked a green thumbed friend to ID it.

"That's a gardenia," she said.  "I've been trying to grow one for about ten years now.  They're acid loving plants and very finicky."

Serendipity.  I love it.

Veiled threat?

"Mom," said my son the doctor, "did you know that it only takes one doctor and one judge to have a person committed?"  "And," he continued with an evil smile, "the judge never, ever overrides the doctor's opinion."


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We found ourselves at a motel without toothpaste, so I called the front desk and they gave me a couple of foil pouches of Colgate.

The back of the pouch was gray and the small text was written in gray as well, making it virtually invisible but there was a dearth of reading material and it is well known that I am a glutton for punishment. That is how I stumbled across these horrifying words: "If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away."

I had trouble digesting that statement. My first thought was my doctor's reaction when I called and said I'd accidentally swallowed some toothpaste. Now most of you are aware that our son's a doctor and this is exactly the type of question I call and ask him. Anyone who knows him can pretty accurately imagine his response. Heck, most of you who don't know him can probably do that. It doesn't even take a vivid imagination to be dead-on accurate on this one. Fact is, even I am unwilling to dial his home phone to ask this question and I have strict orders on when I am allowed to call his cell. This query does not fall within those parameters.

That leaves me with calling Poison Control. Calling Poison Control because I've swallowed toothpaste seems a little extreme. When my youngest was little, I had a personal relationship with the helpful people at poison control and I know them to be tolerant and kind. I can't help but think that even they might have trouble stifling a laugh at this one though. I am, however, a world class worrier, and I am able to leap that chasm like a ballerina and twirl right into:

Who determines what a normal amount of toothpaste per brushing is? What if I've been using it like frosting on my toothbrush? Is that too much? What exactly is the amount that would cause me to fall into the "more than used for brushing" arena? Maybe I should call Poison Control and just ask for guidance on this issue - or maybe there's a tutorial on youtube? Is there a place you can buy individual toothpaste servings - kind of like a weight watchers for teeth?

I began thinking about the implications of poisoning myself with toothpaste. I am disinclined to want to put something into my mouth that can't be swallowed. It just seems downright wrong. I mean I saw that made-for-tv movie in the '70s starring Sally Struthers where she was in a plane crash in Alaska and survived by eating toothpaste and melting snow. What kind of toothpaste was that? That's the brand I want....the one that I could eat in a pinch, survive, and - as an added plus - have minty fresh breath to boot.

There's truly something disturbing about the idea that toothpaste shouldn't be swallowed. Truly. Disturbing.