Ok, It Wasn’t That Bad

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I went to a local community college. Though probably fifteen or more years ago, I still remember my first class: Children’s Literature 101. I love remembering the younger me who read The Boxcar Children, Ellen Tebbits, Nancy Drew, and the like.

I hoped we would have to read the books of my youth in class, although my eyes have a hard time tracking if a book isn’t enlarged, and the Kindle was still a few years away, so I got audio books. No; the first book was one I’d heard of, but didn’t have the slightest desire to read, or listen to. I saw the picture on the box of CDs: a boy with a wand and a cloak. I was filled with doom. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Have I mentioned how much I hate fantasy? Worst of all, it was a huge box, probably containing eight CDs.

I’m an optimist, often to a fault. How bad could it be? Listening to a story about the orphan with magical powers. I kept thinking how the book wasn’t so bad. Okay, I survived! Though it’s not my favorite book, probably not even in the top 50, but it was definitely not what I was expecting. It’s corny, but I guess things—even fantasy books—deserve a chance.

Pippa’s Time of Peace and Quiet

Although we get along now and I have no idea what I would do without them, my younger sisters were sure pains as kids. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this opinion. Sure, you love them, but enough is enough sometimes.

You met Henry, my son. We also have Pippa, an extremely sweet, gentle, PATIENT—I don’t like the word mutt, so mixed breed. You would think she was Henry’s mother the way she takes care of him. The two even share a bed, napping, of course, up against the other. We have pictures (of course you need to take a picture) of one resting one’s head on the other. Sometimes they become nauseating!

I sometimes feel sorry for Pippa. Henry is always there! Of course she loves him, but I’m sure she would love time to herself. That’s why I’ve instilled Henry-free time. Pippa can just have a half-hour walk or lay down on my bed while I write a post—door closed, of course.

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We took a walk this morning (please excuse thee outfit—I had physical therapy this morning first). Maria, my aide, Pippa and I were pedestrians around our neighborhood. It was just 30 minutes, but sometimes that’s all it takes.

Ignorance Is, Well…Ignorant, Sometimes

What to write? Okay, check my email while I think. Then, my inspiration!

On the sidebar of my email was a place to donate to Feed the Children.

I haven’t donated to Feed the Children, but I do sponsor a child through World Vision, a probably 12-year-old boy named Freedom in Zambia. I forget how much the sponsorship is, probably $40 a month.

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Imagine living in utter poverty. My sister taught in Zambia as part of her master’s program. She said when people talk about poverty here, they have no idea what true poverty is. Even a family friend who is also a retired priest says that if you were born here, you have already won the lottery.

I guess I live in blissful ignorance. That is, until Christmas. Then the World Vision gift catalog comes. There goes my denial! In it are gifts for clean water, food, and education.

Here, we obviously have absolutely everything in that catalog. I love America, but it seems like for us, it’s never enough. I think we should take a deep breath and count our blessings.

Maybe It’s Just Me…

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The following is a list of things that are ingrained in our culture, extremely popular in 2017, and yet I can not stand. It’s often like me to go against the grain, but I don’t think I’m the only one who finds at least some of these annoying…

  1. Man caves (even the phrase bothers me).
  2. Dogs wearing clothes
  3. Selfies
  4. “The Walking Dead” (Granted I have never seen the show, but how desperate for entertainment are people)
  5. “The Housewives of….” (See above).
  6. Adults playing video games
  7. The solar eclipse
  8. Dabbing (Until my sister, a middle school teacher shared it with us I had no idea, but where do I begin
  9. All the fancy diets, Atkins, etc. (Unless they are for health reasons, what happened to eating right and excercing)
  10. Trump bashing (I’m a registered Republican, but on principal I didn’t vote in 2016. There is plenty I don’t agree with him on, but he is our president. Get over it and show some respect.)
  11. Adults celebrating Halloween
  12. Ripped jeans
  13. Toy dogs

Oops!

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It wasn’t quite THIS bad…

Everything about space has always fascinated me. Before a life event beyond my control prevented it, my dream was to be an astronaut. Not the eight-year-old “when I grow up…”dream, but I really was going to be an astronaut. I had written (now you know how long ago it was) NASA for an application to see what I needed in college, and was on a first-name basis with the woman in the astronaut selection office. I really was going to be an astronaut.

In retrospect, to be an astronaut you must like math and science. I liked neither. Oh, well, I was going to be an astronaut.

Of course, because everything about space was so interesting, of course my seventh-grade science project just had to be space related. To this day, I have no idea how I thought of my project, but it just popped into my head: “Does the Density of a Planet’s Atmosphere Affect the Impact a Meteor Would Have?” I simply threw rocks on a sand-covered paper plate that had either a Kleenex, paper towel, or washcloth on it to mimic different atmospheric conditions. My seventh-grade mind didn’t think of some things, like not all planets are solid, how was I sure I was throwing the rocks each time, etc.

I guess the judges at my school didn’t think of that, because I won first place. But besides being a nerd, I must to admit to being a bit of a klutz. Walking up to turn in my project at the district competition, the unthinkable happened: I dropped the plate.   My parents and I fiendishly recreated craters before the projects were due (picture us in the parking lot, using our knuckles to recreate the “meteor” indentations in the different atmospheres), and I thought we did a pretty impressive job faking the wonder of science.

I didn’t go beyond the district competition. I still wonder: what if I had been more graceful back then…?

Fingers Crossed

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Like anything with me, why I need to now be on a gluten-free diet is a long story—I won’t bore you with details.

But it’s for health reasons. Actually, healthish reasons.

When I learned that this was going to be my new food routine, I felt like someone pulled the rug out from under my feet. I love food! Especially Italian!! But they make gluten-free pasta now, so how bad could it be, I figured.

I remember the first thing I tried was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Big mistake. I had no idea that sandwich bread is the most hated gluten-free food. And no wonder: the texture is so peculiar. Actually it had no texture. Almost like air.

I have been on it for a few months and slowly I’ve gotten used to it. Which is a good thing, because I’m doing a physical therapy trial that requires it. The therapist said most people have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, but that there’s a test available that tells you for sure if that’s the case. I took the test to see if I’m one of those people, and I’m waiting for the results. If it comes back negative, hello gluten!

Wish me luck!

 

Star Student? Or Only Student?

Any parent knows how bittersweet it is when your child starts school. On one hand, they’re getting an education that will last them their lives. On the other, why can’t they stay your baby forever?

On Saturday my six-month-old Jack Russell puppy (“He’s only six months!?” my sister’s wide in horror/disbelief), Henry, had his first obedience class. No offense, son, but it’s probably a good thing it’s a private lesson.

It started in the backyard, but moved to the park. He is fascinated by our backyard. There is always some stick that simply can’t be left outside. Or some bug that needs chasing. In other words, he was just being a little boy.

Henry’s lessons are going to be on basic manners right now: sit, stay, come, etc. But he’s so friendly and people-loving and, well, I’ll just say it, adorable, that I think he would be an excellent therapy dog.

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Hard to believe this little guy needs obedience classes…don’t let his innocent expression fool you.

Now, if only he could get housebreaking down…