Monday, April 27, 2009

Height Restictions

I was just reading a blog called Show My Face. She writes some very amusing things abut everyday life. She also has what is called 6 word Saturdays.

Anyway, her topic today was about being vertically challenged. The challenges that we of short stature face each waking hour of our lives.

I was leaving her a comment and realized that this topic would be great on my own blog.

Two years ago I was at the doctor for my annual exam, and the nurse measured my height. I made her take me to a different place and do it over. I had grown a 1/2 an inch. I have been five feet tall since the ninth grade.

I needed to return to the doctor six months later. The nurse measured me again. I had grown another 1/2 inch. The doctor had no explanation for this phenomenon.

Most women my age start to slowly shrink. Not me. Now I am still short but that 1 inch growth feels like six inches. I love being one of the tall people.

I still have trouble with the top shelves. I have worked out a solution for my home cupboards. All of my glasses and coffee mugs are on the top shelves. I place them on the shelves open end down. To retrieve one of these I take a long handled wooden spoon. I use the spoon portion and pull it to the edge of the shelf. Once it starts to hang just a little bit over the edge I use the handle and pull it off completely. I quickly reach up and catch the glass as it falls. If I am reaching for a coffee mug I use the handle of the spoon to reach into the handle of the mug, I drag the mug to the edge of the shelf. Once on the edge the mug will follow the handle down right into my waiting hands.

Now if I am in a store and can't reach the top shelf or the back of a shelf I patiently (or not so much) wait for a store employee walk by and ask for assistance. If no one comes by I will ask ANYONE who is taller than me to be my arms. I am not shy about this. Men, women, or tall children, I don't care anyone with longer arms than me will do.

I used to try and stand on the bottom shelf and reach up for my item, but the stores frown on that type of behavior. Something about lawsuits and insurance claims I think.

So while there is no explanation to my growth spurt in my 50's I am glad to have had it. I like seeing how the tall people live.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not a follower, never again

I don't follow. I try to lead. But if you don't want to follow, well that is OK too.

I don't follow daytime soaps...not any longer. I don't follow sports...never have. I don't follow clothing trends...can't afford to.

I try to stay abreast of world events, only so I know when to duck and cover. I also try to follow the United States, and Minnesota's current events, because when it comes time to vote I want to be able to make an intelligent, well informed decision.

Only twice in my life have I been a follower.

It was the summer between 8th and 9th grades. I followed my friend to the park. Once there she taught me how to smoke. Oh I was so cool. Now 44 years later I wish I had thought for myself and never followed her that fateful day.

The other time I followed, I gave into peer pressure. I was in high school. After years of resisting I finally said yes to getting high with friends. What followed were years of misplaced memories, and drug induced mistakes. I experimented with any kind of drug that was offered. Anything to get high. It took a life threatening situation to get me out of that place.

To get out of that drug place I had to follow my own instincts which by that time were not very clear. I had been at a party with friends one night. That final morning I woke up to find myself sleeping in a room with many people that I did not recognize, not a friend in sight, miles from anywhere I had ever been, broke, dirty, scared witless, and I knew it was my life on the line.

I got out of that house, hitchhiked home, and never saw any of those friends again. I never got high again either.

I learned to only follow myself and to trust only myself. I won't ever lead meself astray.

So no I don't follow.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Life in six words

Show my face for April 25, 2009 has the topic of describing my life in 6 words.

Here they are:

Waiting for company in two weeks.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hand Talking

I can not talk without moving my hands. Even if on the phone I am using my hands to express an emotion, or a movement, or an idea. I speak almost as clearly with my hands as with my words. But my hands don't even come close to conveying the messages people who speak with American Sign Language are able to .

Think about it, hand gestures only for a full conversation. It is fascinating. All of the emotions are in the hands of the speaker. The ideas are being explained just as clearly as I do with words. Joy, sorrow, anger, laughter, surprise, and everything is being with the two hands. It is mind blowing.

I worked at a company where 3 or 4 deaf people were also employed.

This one day I was coming down the hall, walking toward one of the women. She had this look on her face that made me grateful that I was not on the receiving end of what her hands were saying. She was so angry. She was walking all by herself, with her hands down at her sides, but they were flying. She was saying something bad I am sure.

I walked on past her and turned around to watch. She kept walking and her hands kept moving. Both hands. She was mad, and like us hearing people she was taking to herself. She went into her department and slammed the door behind her. I wish I could have seen the rest of her conversation.

Our faces are expressive. Our vocal tone is expressive. But HANDS are just as expressive.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Scary Things

I am mildly afraid of many things.

I am afraid of spiders. Or really any creepy crawly. But especially spiders. EWWW.

I am afraid of heights. I can't even stand on a chair. I am afraid of staircases where you can see through each step. I can't do those at all. I am afraid of swings. Yes, swings like at the park. They go too high.

But, the thing that is a take my breath away kind of fear is the fear of losing my son.

Every since he was born, 25 years now, I have had this dread that I would outlive him.

He was such a good baby. Everyone said so. He was an excellent boy. Everyone agreed. He has turned into a fine young man. I am not alone in this belief.

But long ago when he was just a baby, I have felt that God was going to take him from me. I don't know why God is going to do it, just that He is.

I know that God gave him to me because He wanted me to have a baby, and He knew that I couldn't handle being a mother to an ordinary, crying, fussy baby. I really don't like children. So God gave me a child who far exceeds any child I have ever known. And because my son is a gift, God can do what He wants with him. I am not angry at God just kind of resigned.

At first I thought it was me who was going to be leaving but no, it is my son. I know this as a fact, just like I know my name.

I think that if my feeling of dread becomes a realization, I will have to be put away. I do not think that I can survive. No, I know I will not survive. I will go into a stupor never to return.

My life will cease to have meaning.

So until that day arrives, I will cherish every minute I get to spend with him.

Yes, I have fears of the mildly neurotic things and then there is this fear that borders on fanatical.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Spring is coming to the woods I live in, there are signs everywhere.

If I look closely I can see just the beginnings of the ferns popping up. They are the first green to make it out for all the world to see. Next in the greening up process are the trillium. The beautiful white flowers carpet the woods. Their fragrance wafts in my open windows. About the time the trillium are through blooming the trees have started their greening up, the poppils first, followed by the basswood, then the maple and oak. By the middle of May the wild flowers will have started. I have forget-me-nots that grow everywhere. If I had a proper yard I would call them an intrusion but living in the woods they are a welcome addition.

The seasonal birds are making their way back to the woods. The first birds to make their way back are the junkos. The yard and driveway are blanketed with their gray and black little bodies. I expect to see the first hummingbirds shortly. I have their nectar in the fridge just waiting for their arrival. About the same time the hummingbirds come, the orioles will be here. The orioles don't stay the season and are here a very short time. I have oranges for them. The red-breasted gross beaks are here by the end of May. Sunflower seeds are all they need to make them sing a happy song. All year our feeders are full of birds but we get many more varieties in the summer months. Our constants are the chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays, and once in a while a cardinal will make it's way in.

I saw a chipmunk run across the road the other day. I just don't know how those tiny legs can allow him to travel so fast. Soon they will be in the yard under the bird feeders looking for an easy meal. We are softies and scatter seed on the ground just for them and the squirrels. Soon the sound of the squirrel families will be a loud and joyous noise. It is such fun to watch the families when they are teaching the little ones to climb and forage for food.
Last year we had a mommy bear and three cubs come into the yard starting the middle of May. About mid summer she only had two cubs. I don't know what happened to the third one. We fretted about that poor little thing lost and all alone. Mama will probably be back this year now that she has discovered us, it sometimes takes them a while to establish their turf. It will be exciting to see how many babies she has this year.
We see deer all year long as they walk through the woods. It is interesting to watch them change from their summer beauty to the winter gloom. Their color sort of represents my feeling of winter. I noticed just tonight that they are starting to show the beautiful rust they wear in summer. A couple of the doe look ready to deliver any day now. I can't wait to watch the fawns scamper about as mommy tries to eat and walk and be ever watchful.
Of course with all the wonders of the woods we do have the occasional pest. Namely the skunks and raccoons. The skunks usually only walk through. They have never actually sprayed our house or in the yard, and we are oh so every thankful. However, just walking through the yard they make their presence known into the next day.
The raccoons live by the theory that there is safety in numbers. We bring in the bird feeder each night because not only would they empty it of seed but they have been known to run off with it, if we catch them in the act. We have a small entryway on the front of our house, last summer one persistent raccoon kept breaking in during the night. He would come in and eat the bird seed right out of the bag. One particular time we caught him at his dastardly deed. He stared right at us as if to ask, "Whaaaat?" We moved the seed inside the house after that. He ruined our screen door trying to get in.

Yes, spring is coming to my woods. I look to it and celebrate the season. Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. I am always hopeful in the spring. Anything seems possible.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April's Fool

The subject today at One Minute Writer is jokes that we may have pulled or had heard about.

I love this day.

The prank I pulled on my room mate started the night before on the 31st. She and I had discussed getting a dog. She said no way. I begged. I pleaded. But, in the end I conceded and we didn't get a dog.

Now this room mate could not see with out her glasses. Keep that is mind, please. I was already sleeping when she came home the night of the 31st. When she got home there was a pile of doggie dew on the hallway rug and the rug in her bedroom. Actually it was dog food soaked in water to make it mushy. There was also a mysterious puddle in the kitchen and bathroom. Just plain water made the puddles.

The next morning I got up first to implement the next stage of my prank. I had purchased a small fury dog that ran on batteries. It walked and barked and wagged it's tail.

My room mate was sitting at the kitchen table with this disgusting angry look on her face. I set the dog down on the floor in the hallway and turn it on. It barked and made it's way into the kitchen. Her look of anger turned to a look of horror.

She said, "What have you done??!!" I couldn't hold it in, I burst out laughing. She just sat there and stared at me. I picked the pooch up and asked if she would like to hold him. Of course she declined. I forced him on her anyway. She took hold of him and picked up her glasses.

Her horror became delight when she realized that I had kept our deal and that she had been pranked.

Another time I spoofed my boss on April 1st. I don't remember where I got them, but I had some very strong heavy duty rubber bands. They were huge.

While my boss was out to lunch that day, I took the binders into her office. I lifted up the back legs of her desk and slipped a binder around each leg. I then took the binder and attached each on to the legs of her chair. I pushed her chair back to it's place and left he office.

When she returned from lunch, she tried to pull her chair out but it kept bouncing back under her desk. She pulled and pulled. It bounced and bounced.

She kept this up for a few minutes. She finally came out and looked straight at me. There was merriment in my eyes. She knew that I was the responsible party.

Good thing she had a great sense if humor.