Monday, August 30, 2010

Hula-gen Family Fun Fact #972

Apparently, in the early 1960's it was the custom to use hypnotists during photo sessions as evidenced by this picture of Hubby's younger brother and sister (twins).

Oh, and Santa called. He wants his vest back.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

iheartfaces Photography Challenge-"Photojournalism"

This week we're challenged to tell a story with a picture as a photojournalist would. I call this one "Before The Wedding". It's from a wedding I shot last year. Sometimes at weddings we focus so much on the bride we forget to notice all of the other important players. I like that in this picture we don't see the bride's face. Instead we see the flower girl, the mother of the bride and the matron of honor. And you can tell that each has something different on her mind.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Get To Wear Feathers!

I can't talk long, darlin's. Soon after this posts, I will be waiting tables at an American Cancer Society dinner. I'm one of five celebrity waiters (using that term verrrry loosely) who will be collecting tips and serving food to some of the community's finest this evening. That's the thing about having a very public job. You get snagged for things like this, but that's okay. It's a fabulous cause, and I get to wear a costume.

Each table has a theme, and I chose All That Jazz for mine because that means I can dress as a flapper and wear a feather boa. And let me tell ya', I'm all about the feather boa. I even have a sequined cloche hat, which actually came from my own antique hat collection. (Remind me one day to show my hats to you.) It should be fun, fun, fun, and I'll try to post a picture or two in the next couple of days. In the meantime, I gotta' run. I have pin curls to style and some Charleston steps to practice. Here's hoping I don't dump chicken marsala in someone's lap!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Morning Serenade

I love how every now and then a perfect moment happens out of the blue. Like yesterday morning when I pulled out of the driveway to go to work and my iPod shuffled to my favorite Mary Chapin Carpenter song as the golden early sun rose on my right and the warmish air blew onto my face through the open window. Nice. Very nice.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Boy, Are My Knees Relieved

I have been trying like crazy to photograph some dragonflies. They are fidgety little suckers. They just won’t sit still, and I’ve tried every way in the world to catch one on a memory card. I see them when I’m busy and don’t have my camera. They tease me by flitting around my head and disappearing. I see them everywhere but home, and when I do see them they’re downright elusive. I have squatted in the garden until my knees locked. I’ve hidden in the neighbor’s flowers, and I spent a fair amount of time Sunday stomping around the muddy and poo filled banks of a pond at a friend’s cattle farm where about a dozen of them danced and dived all around me, never landing long enough for me to snap a decent picture. I’ve been in a bit of a panic about it because it’s dragonfly and butterfly season around here right now, and my window of opportunity to get some pictures is fast running out. Another week and I’ll be out of luck for another year. What a tragedy that would be.

Enter my lovely assistant, Hubby. He gets sucked into my shenanigans all of the time, and he’s watched me for days bouncing around the yard in pursuit of dragonflies. Last night when he walked the dog at bedtime he saw a lovely green dragonfly by the garage door. He shooed it inside the garage and closed the door so I could find Miss Dragonfly this morning. I did. The only problem was she didn’t want to cooperate. She wanted to hang onto the ceiling, out of lens reach. (See, I REALLY need that 70-200mm lens.) He tried carefully shooing her onto the end of a broom and bringing her down to eye level. But after several attempts at that I told him to turn her loose because she was obviously distressed. I know it’s just a bug, but I can’t stand to see critters in distress. Just ask my brother about the great frog incident of 1977. I’ll never shoot a BB gun again.

Hubby guided her onto the broom and set her on the flowers next to the garage. I figured she would zip off into the wild blue yonder, so I picked up my bag to leave for work. Much to my surprise, Miss Dragonfly didn’t go anywhere. Perhaps, she was tired or hungry. Whatever the reason, she stayed put. There she sat, bathed in the warm early morning sunlight, with glistening wings. It was as if the photography gods had placed her there, just for me. I said, “Thank ya’ Jesus,” and grabbed my camera. I snapped away, sweating in my dress clothes and getting wet cut grass all over my feet. I didn’t care. I was in dragonfly heaven. It was bliss, I tell ya’. Hubby just watched and laughed. I have to hang onto that man. Few men would put up with my nonsense. He gets a “production assistant” credit for these photos.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Handing Over The Keys

We closed on the sale of our old house late last week. The sound of my sigh could probably be heard from Baltimore to Bakersfield. Whew. Nothing like selling a house during the worst housing slump since Herbert Hoover sat in the White House. By the way, that’s NOT a political statement. I don’t want any mail from the Democrats, the GOP, The Tea Party or PETA or Bill O’Reilly or Jennifer Anniston on this one ‘cause frankly, I’m tired of the fussing that gets us NOWHERE. I’m just sayin’ the housing market hasn’t sucked this bad in decades, and it figures the Hula-gen’s would wait until this era to sell a house. Ten months after we put that home on the market, we signed the papers that gave it a new owner. No more double utilities. No more double insurance. No more extra yard to mow. We are finally free and clear of that house. While it put the joy, joy, joy down in my heart to sign on the dotted line, it did make me a touch sad to see it go. We had lots of good times there.

We lived in that house fifteen years. It was the first home Hubby and I bought together. We raised Teen Angel there. The backyard saw many gardens, grew bushels of tomatoes, held up Teen Angel’s swing set and produced lots of grapes, flowers and memories. We chased lightening bugs there. Danced on the deck. We laughed with family and friends and made lots of homemade ice cream in that spot by the garage door. That spot in the front yard by the driveway is where the Boy Scouts put the flag each summer holiday. The magnolia tree still bears the scars of the big ice storm, and the fork of the fringe tree is where Teen Angel used to hide and daydream.

The house wasn’t exactly a fixer-upper when we bought it, but the 70’s interior needed updating. It had good bones and was solid. It just needed new carpet and paint and some changes to the light fixtures and appliances. When we bought it, we could barely afford the new carpet and paint, so we did all of the work ourselves. We were exhausted when we moved in but oh so excited.

It was kind of small by most people’s standards. It was what realtors describe as “charming” or “a doll house” which is usually code for short on square footage. But it was enough for us. It sat next door to Mama J.’s and Papa T.’s house, making it easy to get Teen Angel to her babysitter and allowing her to essentially have two homes on the block. The maple tree in the front was one that Hubby helped his neighbor to plant when he was a boy.

We nurtured and loved on that house for years. We eventually remodeled the kitchen. We put on a new roof and new windows. Replaced the hearing and air conditioning unit. Another year we tackled the master bathroom, and lastly, we redid the flooring and turned the third bedroom into one big walk-in closet to make up for the lack of closet space. Over time though, we outgrew it. The closet space was still an issue, you couldn’t turn around in the bathroom without bumping your fanny on the door, and we just didn’t have enough room inside to have parties or company. When Sissy’s house became available, we decided to sell and make the big move.

It was hard on Hubby. He attaches emotion to every possession he owns and had a terrible time letting go. It was probably a good thing that he had months to sort through the garage and attic and all of the stuff we had accumulated there in fifteen years. At one point during the toss, save or give away portion of the attic purge, I thought we were going to resort to hair pulling. He accused me of not caring about any of my possessions and wanting to put everything in the toss pile. That’s not true. I care, but I don’t have to have most of them. I can let them go and keep the memories in my heart. And that’s what I’m doing to the little brick house.

It was a good house for us, but we needed to move on, and now it’s going to be a good house for someone else. The new owner is a 27-year old single teacher who had been saving the last few years for her first home. She loves the little brick house. It’s just right for her. Plenty of room for one person. A great deck with a hot tub for entertaining and a big backyard that she hopes will one day hold a pool. She has dreams for that house, including ripping out that old black and white tile in the bathroom that I always wanted to replace. You go, girl!

About two hours after we signed the closing papers, we were at Mama J.’s and Papa T.’s and saw her pull into the driveway with her parents, her grandma and a passle of aunts and uncles who came to see her new purchase. She was downright giddy. I’m pleased she is the one out of all those lookers during the past ten months that ended up with the house. I know it’s in good hands, and that makes me happy. It makes Hubby happy, too. Besides, it's only two blocks away from the new house, and we can drive by anytime and see how it looks.

Ten months after we stuck the For Sale sign in the yard, we are ready to let go. Goodbye, little brick house. We will never forget you or the memories we made there.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo Friday Challenge-"The Street"

From an engagement shoot I did recently. What fun!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Package From Pawhuska

This week has just been one big hot mess. There is so much going on my head passed my fanny this morning, and they were each going a different direction. I lost my keys twice today at work. One time someone found them in the bathroom, and I'm not sure how that was possible as I don't think I had time to pee today.

Mama J. has been in the hospital, we closed on the sale of our old house today and work has been just crazy. Our 20th wedding anniversary was yesterday, and we were so busy trying to take care of Hubby’s parents we barely had time to kiss each other and say boo-yah. There have been all kinds of crazy times in recent days, from making ten gallons of homemade ice cream for an employee event to baking enchiladas for Hubby’s poker buddies to Holy Cow, the house insurance is due today! Each day has been a blur, and I'm pooped. As mama would say, my get up and go has done got up and went.

When I got home yesterday, I sat on the garage steps while Hubby gave me the rundown of his schedule before dashing back to his parents' house. It's like the 880 relay with each of us handing off information as we pass each other. We chatted for a few minutes, and as he headed toward the truck he casually mentioned that I had gotten a package in the mail. I picked it up off the work bench and saw that it was from Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Now, I know only one person in Pawhuska. Actually, I don't know her. I just know OF her. And that's The Pioneer Woman. I always assume bloggers know who she is since she's pretty much the queen of blogging. But if you don't know about her, let just say she's a big stinkin' deal. I wanted to go to Nashville last December for her book signing there, but life was too busy and the event fell on a week night, so I ended up skipping the trip to Nashvegas. Which was a bummer because I love cookbooks, and I like getting them autographed by the author.
Flash forward to a few weeks ago when I won a copy of her cookbook over at Swampy's place. I thought it was pretty cool that I was gonna end up with the book all these months later, and I anxiously awaited its arrival. It landed on my doorstep yesterday, all the way from Pawhuska.

It's a lovely book with tons of PW's photos and some of my favorite recipes that she has posted on her website over the last couple of years. (The pizza crust recipe is great. You simply must try it, dahling.) The book was wonderful enough, but when I opened up the cover, I found this:

Sweet! An autograph, too! How cool is that, I ask? It was a great way to end a crappy day.

So a big shout out goes to Swampy today for the gift. It's fabulous dear, and I appreciate it more than you know. I thank you from the bottom of my grass skirt, and I love ya' more than my luggage.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Choose Wisely, Grasshopper

Chew on the wrong leaves, and Hula will boot you from her garden. Gnaw on the crabgrass, and you can stay.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Look Back

Hubby is a butt man. And apparently, he always has been. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A from his high school yearbook which we found when moving some boxes last week.

And can we have a round of applause for those sideburns?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Word of the Day-"Hysteria"

Main Entry: hys•te•ria
Pronunciation: \his-ˈter-ē-ə, -ˈtir-\
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, from English hysteric, adjective, from Latin hystericus, from Greek hysterikos, from hystera womb; from the Greek notion that hysteria was peculiar to women and caused by disturbances of the uterus
Date: 1801
1 : a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions
2 : behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess
— hys•ter•ic \-ˈter-ik\ noun
— hys•ter•i•cal \-ˈter-i-kəl\ also hysteric adjective
— hys•ter•i•cal•ly \-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Used in a sentence: “Hula and Teen Angel had a fit of hysterical giggles yesterday after walking down the hallway of the hospital and seeing the large patient lounging on the edge of his bed with his legs wide open and his junk brazenly hanging out like a monkey dangling from a tree.”

My apologies to the housekeeping crew that may have had to mop up the floor of the elevator where we each wet our pants. And seriously, how can you NOT know you’re hanging out like that? He had to know. Trust me, he HAD to know.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Call Her Charlotte

Tucked in the middle of our garden is the most beautiful spider. She’s a big one, too. Now, I realize not everyone finds beauty in spiders. Many folks are downright scared of them, and I understand critter fears. You’re talkin’ to the girl who can run a sub 5 minute mile when a snake is around. While I am terrified of snakes, I have never been bothered by spiders, bugs or mice. In fact, I find spiders quite intriguing. And I knew when Teen Angel casually mentioned that by the way there’s a spider in the garden and you’re probably gonna want to get your camera out, that this one was probably special.

Warning: I'm getting ready to post several spidey pics. At this point, those of you who are creeped out by spider pictures should click over to something like The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for prune cake (although personally, I find prunes a little scary). The rest of you, follow me.

I call her Charlotte. Ever since I read Charlotte’s Web, I’ve had the habit of assuming all spiders are female, are named Charlotte and lay eggs and die, leaving their offspring to be raised by geese and a humble pig. I may be wrong, but there are some romantic childhood notions I like to hang onto, so Charlotte she is. Her large web stretches between the cucumbers and the back row of tomato plants. She sits right in the middle of the web, sunning her yellow backside and waiting for prey.

Notice how she reinforced her web. The neighbor boy who loves critters, believes she’s a common garden spider. Whatever she is, I find her to be quite elegant. I especially like the way she balances on her web, ever so gently, with the precision of an acrobat.

It’s amazing how precise her web is, a job that would require several tools for a human. She has the patience of Job, seemingly staying in one place for hours. I check on her often and usually find her wrapping something suitable for dinner.

This particular meal was a big honey bee. I’ve also found her wrapping moths. The macro lens allows me to watch her at microscopic level without disturbing her, and I find her body to be fascinating. I love the tiny little hairs on her legs, and just look at that belly.

Would she be amused to know how much she’s been photographed, I wonder? I figure Miss Charlotte will move on one of these days, but until then I’ll continue to enjoy her display of God’s handiwork. I just think she’s terrific. And radiant. And humble.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pickin' and Grinnin'

Our garden is growing like crazy, and I’m really surprised given the summer we’ve had. We might as well be living on the Equator. We’ve had something like forty days above 90 degrees. We’ve hit 100 on several days, and for part of last week our heat index hit 120 degrees. Oh, and it has rained so little that I don’t even watch the weather forecast anymore. I just make plans and assume it’s going to be sunny, dry and armpit soaked hot. A lady picked a chair next to me at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast the other morning and joked that she would sit next to me since I smelled good. I told her to get a good whiff while the getting’ was good ‘cause in an hour or two it wouldn’t be pretty. And I was serious. It’s been so hot so long, we’ve all gotten a bit used to being sweaty and smelly. A bit. Not completely. This means you tall man at the grocery store.

Thanks to a lot of watering, our garden has managed to survive, even though our grass died a merciful death weeks ago. Our next water bill will likely eat up one semester of Teen Angel’s college fund, but girlfriend will just have to go without textbooks that first year as the Hula-gen’s refuse to live without homegrown tomatoes. In fact, we live for homegrown tomatoes. We talk longingly about them in the winter and pour over seed catalogs during the cold months. Heck, the Stark Brothers catalog is our favorite bathroom reading material. Aside from Reader’s Digest.

Come spring we plant several varieties of tomatoes and count the days until the first ones ripen. Then our summer is spent building meals around them. We’re the Gump’s of the tomato world. We got your chopped tomatoes, your fried tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, tomato salad, tomato soup, tomato salsa and on and on and on. We eat many meals that are comprised solely of tomatoes and corn on the cob and Lordy, we do love the BLT’s. All that sodium in the bacon makes Mama J.’s feet swell though, so we have to limit those somewhat.

When it first became obvious the hot dry spell was here to stay, we were worried the garden would die a premature death, but it’s doing fine. Really fine. From far away, it looks pretty good.

But up close, you can see how tall everything is. I should have put Hubby next to these plants for perspective. He’s 6’4”, and the plants are way above his head.
The thing you can’t really tell from these pictures is that most of these plants outgrew their stakes a long time ago, bent over and have grown almost all the way back to the ground. Hubby got out a ladder and tape measure the other day and estimated one plant to be about thirteen and a half feet long. Other than a really good dose of nitrogen when he first planted the garden, he hasn’t used any chemicals on them. I think they actually benefited from the shade that takes over the garden in the afternoon, giving the plants a break from the blazing heat. The end result is that tomatoes are ripe for the pickin’ every day.

They hide underneath leaves.

And burst out of the tops of the plants. My favorites are the cherry and grape tomatoes.

Hubby likes the big ones. Such a man thing.

Tomatoes aren’t the only thing we’re pickin’ either. Our pepper plants are five feet tall this year.
The cucumbers have taken over the windmill.

And the cantaloupe plants just sprouted five more melons. Yee haw!

Our watermelons played out after just two melons. Sniff. But the blackberry, blueberry and raspberry bushes we planted are growing nicely and should put forth some fruit next year, along with the new grapevines.

It may be hotter than Guam in western Kentucky, but the bounty from our little vegetable patch is keeping us happier than pigs in sunshine. The Hula-gen’s and tomatoes go together like…well, like peas and carrots.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm In Love With Bugs

Who would have thought locusts could be so cute?

I just had to get really close and look past that crusty exterior. You know, like we have to do with people sometimes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Somehow I’ve managed to avoid getting hooked on any of the “Housewives of” series on the Bravo network. I know just enough about them to be appalled that Snookie and the gang were recently allowed to ring the bell at the Stock Market Exchange and that the Housewives of DC stirred up controversy before the season even started, thanks to White House gate crasher Michaele Salahi’s participation on the show. I was amused at the story the other day about Michaele’s little faux smackdown with Whoopi Goldberg on The View. What was girlfriend thinking, picking a fight with Whoopi? Whoopi is old school. She’ll whoop your arse first and ask questions later. She’s got street cred, and you don’t go messin’ around with someone who had to fight her way out of poverty. Duh.

Anyhoo, the series is likely to garner plenty of watchers since it’s like a romp through a Jackie Collins’ book, and who doesn’t enjoy that kind of trashy entertainment every now and then? I’m just basing that on the fact that those books are always checked out at my local library. So I’m told.

While I’ll admit to being curious about this season because of the DC setting, I refuse to get lured into that hot mess. I’m not judgin’ those who do though. We all have our little guilty pleasures. Oh, we can cite a long list of literary icons as our favorite authors or gloat about our contributions to public television, but the fact is we all have some skeletons in our entertainment closets. In the interest of keepin’ it real, I thought I’d share a few of mine with you. And if you ask me about these in public, I’ll swear I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.

1. Lady Gaga-I LOVE Lady Gaga. She’s outrageous. She’s bold, and she knows how to make a radio hit. The Cher’s and Cyndi Lauper’s paved the way for her, but she’s taken fashion and pop to a level that makes Madonna seem a little tame. We used to think Madonna’s silk cone bra was outrageous until Lady G. set her boobs on fire. And then her hoo hoo. I tried and tried to get me and Teen Angel tickets to her St. Louis concert this summer, but I got started too late and could never score any. I was bummed ‘cause what a spectacle that would have been. And it was on my birthday weekend. I may be 46 years old (forget I just gave you that number), but I love her music and her drama.

2. ABBA-Hubby bought the Best of ABBA CD at Wal-Mart recently, and when I saw it in his hands, I fell in love with him all over again. Seriously, our eyes locked and we had this, “You mean, you like them, too?” moment that was as good as renewing our wedding vows. All these years, we never knew how much we each loved the singing Swedes. We stuck the CD in the player as soon as we got into the van, and sang Dancin’ Queen together at the top of our lungs. Well, I sang at the top of my lungs. He hummed. He loves Fernando, hates to watch organized sports on TV and knows how to pick a diamond. God, I’m a lucky woman.

3. Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab-I’m addicted to Celebrity Rehab. Pun intended. It’s like driving past a bad car wreck. You don’t want to look, but you can’t help looking. Maybe it’s because I’ve dealt with addiction in a loved one and been there for the interventions, the rehab, the relapse and all of the hurt and craziness that goes with it. I just love watching that show. (And A & E’s Intervention, which I think is very well produced for a reality show.)

I never missed an episode of Season 3 of Celebrity Rehab. I folded many a towel and pair of drawers on Saturday morning while watching that show. I cried with Mackenzie Phillips when she had to put her dog to sleep, and I followed all of the celebs into the next season’s Sober House. I laughed at their fights and shook my head at Heidi Fleiss every weekend. I just love Dr. Drew and find it ironic that they announced the cast of Season 4 on my birthday. I can’t wait to see if he finally gets Leif Garrett straight. Bonus Skeleton Reveal: I think Dr. Drew is a little hot in a weird, clinical kind of way. I know, I know.

4. Saturday Night Fever-“Watch the hair!” I love it when Tony says that. It’s a goofy, dated movie but it came along as I came of age, and it brings back fond memories of satin pants, Candy’s shoes and Bee Gees’s music. Sigh, I miss the 70’s.

5. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-I know the songs. I know the lines. And I will watch the entire dadgum thing when I happen across it while flipping the remote. And now that I’ve typed this I’ll be playing the Oompa Loompa song in my head for the rest of the night. Do not laugh, ‘cause I know you’re singin’ it now, too. You can’t help yourself.

6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show-I know the songs. I know the lines. I can do the Time warp. I have the extended version of the Time Warp and the rest of the soundtrack on my iPod, and we shall not talk about how high those songs rank on my playlists. This movie was huge when I was in college, and I dressed up and performed the part of Magenta many times in various cities when I was younger. It always brings back memories of a good friend of mine who played the part of Frank-n-furter to the hilt. A group of rednecks beat him up one night behind the theater because he was gay and wearing fishnet stockings, and it was my introduction to homophobia. I’ve never forgotten that. He died of AIDS at the height of the epidemic, and I often think of him when I watch that movie. Always with a smile though. Somewhere out there are some pictures of me, him and our friend V. in full costume, puttin’ our hands on our hips and knees in tight. And I’m thankful we never had Facebook back then ‘cause any hopes of a successful senate confirmation hearing for me would be doomed by those pictures alone.

Speaking of senate confirmation hearings, I’ll bet Elana Kagan knows who Michaele Salahi and the other Housewives of DC are. She may not admit it, but I’ll bet she does.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

iheartfaces Photography Challenge-"Surprise"

The game is called Sprinkle, Sprinkle, Splash, and it works like Duck, Duck, Goose only with water.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Just For Giggles

Whenever I look at this old picture of Hubby (far left) and some of his family, all I can think about are those birthday cards you find on the sales rack at the car wash and in convenience stores. That and the fact that it looks like S. just pinched Hubby's butt.

Card caption anyone?

Photo Friday Challenge-"Best Friend"

I love photographing high school girls. They'll cooperate like nobody's business.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Maybe It's A Tumah

I woke up Sunday morning to a text from a good friend of mine from grade school (and yes, I know I date myself when I use the term “grade school”) telling me he had suffered a heart attack the day before. He was about to undergo a heart cath to find out the extent of his problems. For a split second, the irrational part of me thought he had taken up smoking crack and was in some crack house sending wild, drug induced texts. Then the rational part of me kicked in and absorbed the truth and realized the magnitude of the situation. Fortunately, he had no heart damage and no heart disease, so they didn’t have to crack open his chest and do surgery. He had what is known as a cardiac artery spasm that brought on a medium heart attack. The cause of the spasm is unknown, but he is home and expected to do well. Whew! What a relief. He scared the patootie out of me. And that’s the part that won’t quit bugging me.

I’m so very glad that he’s going to be okay, but for the past two days my brain has randomly and frequently screamed, “He had a FREAKIN’ heart attack at 46 years old! Just 46 years old!!” Sudden and unexpected. The picture of health and then, bam! A comin’ to join you Elizabeth moment in the master bathroom and an ambulance ride to the hospital. There’s reality smacking me in the face, and reality can be a beetch. It’s a sign that we are not spring chickens any more, and it’s scares me.

It has nothing to do with vanity. Sure, I try to ignore those little crow’s feet and brown spots, but I know they’re there, and I accept those grudgingly. It’s the fact that we’re a little closer to the end of our life than the beginning now, even if we live to a ripe old age. It’s the reality that disease and wear and tear are starting to show up on me and my generation, and I must accept the fact that gosh darn it, I will get old. And that is distressing news.

For the last couple of years, I’ve lived in denial about this. I’ve joked about it and laughed about it, but I’ve truly pretended that time was not etching away at my being. That everyone but me was growing older. That I was immune to getting old. I mean, have you read the title of my blog? I like to think that if I eat enough fiber, drink enough water and run enough miles, I’ll make time stand still. While it may help keep some health issues at bay for a while, it won’t stop the clock, and there are signs that my body is changing.

There’s the menopause thing, but I’m all, “Woo hoo, no more periods!” about that. Sorry male readers, but you have no idea how great of a thing THAT is. For you, it’s like ice cold beer, unlimited sex and a John Wayne movie all rolled together. The downside to no estrogen is I now have a regular schedule for waxing my upper lip.

The gray hair is coming in faster than I can color it. I’m on a regular schedule for that, and as God is my witness I’ll go blond before I go gray. Not that blond is a bad thing. It’s just that I’m a terrible looking blond.

I’m wearing down my front teeth faster than my dentist can bond them. I was referred to an orthodontist at my last dental appointment to see if braces will help. Braces!

I have an eye doctor appointment tomorrow because the vision in my right eye is not as good as it should be. That just popped up recently. Reading glasses are probably in my future.

I catch myself saying, “Huh?” more often so I think the AC/DC is starting to catch up with me. AND the bone in my left hip is thinning so I had to start taking Boniva this year. I’m on the Sally Field train at 46 years old. Chugga chugga.

Now, none of these is really serious, and I have no obvious serious health issues. The only medication I take is the Boniva. Other than an annual sinus infection and the sinuses from hell, I seem to be fine. I’ve never had a broken bone and never been hospitalized for anything other than childbirth. I’ve had stitches only once. By all accounts, I’m healthy as a horse, but I know that something’s going to get me. It always does, so I’m afraid mine will be a surprise, too. My imagination is on overtime worrying about what it will be. Heart attack? Brain tumor? Or maybe cancer. I was frantically checking for lumps last night. A headache makes me worry if I’m working up a stroke. It’s just silly. I know I should quit worrying about it, but I can’t seem to put it out of my mind. I read the obituaries in this morning’s newspaper and took great comfort in the fact that all but one dead person was old. How sad is that? I think I need a vacation. A cruise to Alaska maybe? Isn’t that what older folks do?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Another Year Gone

Sissy's birthday is a few days away. All of those memories associated with her suicide wrap this family like a wool coat on a summer day. Sometimes, I can't breathe when I think about the night she jumped from that bridge and the demons that led her to make that leap.

I've listened to this song so many times and thought of her. It brings me an odd kind of peace.