I didn’t make it to the gym again today!
That’s fifteen years in a row.
I didn’t make it to the gym again today!
That’s fifteen years in a row.
I came across the 1970 dress code for my high school and it gave me pause. It’s not as I remembered, which is odd, since I recall with clarity the name of the boy who spit a chunk of bubble gum the size of a cantaloupe into my hair as I sat in the lower bleachers at a 7th grade basketball game. And, I remember exactly how I saved that wad of bubble gum, added to it and placed in on his seat in English class on the very day he was sporting a new pair of Docker khakis. Ah, the sweet stickiness of revenge.
But I digress. The dress code of that long ago day was established by an older generation who was deathly afraid of hippies, nuclear proliferation, bra burnings, Barry Goldwater and Reefer Madness, not necessarily in that order.
This is an actual excerpt from my high school handbook:
For Boys: No shorts of any kind. No pegged pants that are “extremely form-fitting.” Pants are to be worn at the waist, shirttails tucked in, coats may not be worn in school, and no “fad” shirts.” No “extreme” hairdos or clothing styles.
For Girls: No bermudas, slacks or shorts. No “pant-type” dresses. No tight skirts or sweaters, no “extreme” hairdos or clothing styles. Shirts and blouses must be tucked in. Skirt lengths are to be at the top of the knee when standing.
If you wonder why they used quotes on “extremely form-fitting”, “fad” and “extreme”, it’s because they were probably quoting my Dad.
Midwesterners were always at least ten years behind on the newest fashions being worn on on the West and East coasts. By the time Hoosier teens found out who the Beatles were and fell in love with the Fab Four, they were breaking up. So, it was ironic that the school outlawed extreme hair styles in 1970 when many of the girls were still sporting ’60s beehives that scaled the ceiling tiles.
I never did wear the “hive.” That hairdo frightened me more than the Apollo 13 landing. I’d heard tales of horror about bugs burrowing and nesting in the ratted and sprayed coiffures.
The skirt length relegated to the top of the knees certainly would have made me LOL, had that been a known acronym in 1970. In truth, the skirts were so short that we had to hire first-graders to tie our shoes and pick up any change we dropped.
I remember lots of girls getting sent to the principal’s office so he could check and see if their skirts were too short (they were). I always wondered if he also checked to see if their skirts and sweaters were too tight. All I’m saying is some of those girls didn’t come back to class for a long time.
Short hemlines were always a problem, but as you can see, the administration forbade girls to wear anything but dresses and skirts — no bermudas, slacks, shorts or “pant-type” dresses.
Bermudas would have been much more modest than the miniskirts that let everyone see for themselves if we were wearing the appropriate panties for that particular day of the week.
Bermudas, by the way, were not a type of onion or triangle, a self-governed British colony or a semi-permanent area of high pressure found in The Atlantic Ocean. They were longer, fitted shorts that actually did go all the way to the knees. Interesting sidenote: In 1970 we could not say “go all the way” without lots of snickering and raised eyebrows.
The ’70s is the reason I can’t get too worked up about any outlandish fashions, hairdos, body piercings or tattoos that younger people are sporting today.
I had my day. Let them have theirs. We were young, carefree and it was glorious.
Even more so in form-fitting pegged pants, tight sweaters and miniskirts.
I’ve been trying to stick to a plant-based diet. I’m not a nut about it. I don’t go all psycho if I get asked if I want chicken on my salad. (I am the first to admit, chicken on a salad is pretty tasty.) I’m not a big meat eater, so it’s not a hardship to give it up. However — I gotta have my eggs. Cholesterol be damned. Here’s a photo of my fave salad. Everything but the kitchen sink. Oh yes, avocado. Always avocado.
I know what you’re thinking — fried eggs on a salad?! What the …
But trust me, it’s delicious. The yolk kind of melds with the dressing and, oooh, yummy.
I picked up this culinary practice after I attended a Woman’s Press Club of Indiana meeting two years ago at Traders Point Creamery in Zionville, just north of Indianapolis.
Traders Point Creamery is a 150-acre organic artisan creamery and restaurant with a working farm and restored barns. It offers a unique farm-to-table dining experience, inside or outside amid the beautiful gardens and countryside. The Loft Restaurant is located in an 1860s barn with hand-hewn beams and hand-carved wooden pegs. The Farm Store sells Traders Point organic cheeses and 100% grass-fed milks and yogurts. Two 1870s barns house the milking parlors, where the cows are milked twice a day.
It’s not just a place to eat, it’s a wonderful family excursion and experience.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, at our press luncheon, Julie — a friend and fellow club member — and I ordered salads. Julie was sipping her home-brewed ice tea and I was savoring my coffee with fresh, organic cream when our salads arrived — each topped with a fried egg. We looked at each other and raised our eyebrows.
“What the …?”
But we both dived it and later agreed it was a delicious addition. For dessert, everyone ordered the homemade, hand-scooped ice cream, which you can also get at the outdoor Dairy Bar if you’re eating outside. (The indoor Dairy Bar is closed due to COVID-19.)
I hope to make the 2-hour trip again in the near future to share the farm restaurant experience with my grandchildren and show them how to order their salads sunny-side up.
Only a few people know I’m bilingual. I speak two languages: English and NPR.
If you don’t know what the acronym NPR stands for, turn back now and resume watching Dr. Pimple Popper, as this blog is written in geek speak and there may be a language barrier. Pimple popping, on the other hand, is universally understood.
This sheltering in place really has me bummed because I can’t get together with others who speak NPR, like my friend Jayne, and my cousin Chad, who are both proficient in native NPR.
At a gathering, the three of us will find each other and huddle together in a corner, comparing viewpoints and regurgitating excerpts from “Fresh Air,” “All Things Considered” and “Hidden Brain.” Although I yearn to get together with Jayne and Chad during this pandemic, NPR’s “Coronavirus Daily” tells me that’s not a good idea.
Chad is an OTR driver for Walmart and spends countless days and nights delivering toilet tissue and hand sanitizer to hoarders all over the U.S. He has a lot of time to check for stray nose hairs in his rearview mirror and to listen to NPR. Jayne and I are just freaks. In short: We all “get” one another. (pantomime ad nauseam: “You complete me.”)
It seems once, while we were discussing NPR’s broadcasts of world events and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” everyone else was playing a drinking game with us as the oblivious hosts. Every time they heard Chad or Jayne or me say “NPR” they took a drink. Apparently, we said it quite often. I know this because we were sober, yet informed, and they were uninformed, yet way more fun than us.
There’s probably a lesson in all of this, but I’ll figure it out later. Right now, I’ve got to catch the 7 p.m. “Moth Story Slam” on NPR.
Take a drink.
In addition to toilet paper, there’s a shortage of yeast — apparently because there are a lot of people baking bread during this pandemic — what the … ?
It’s going to take something much more catastrophic than a deadly virus to terrorize me into baking a loaf of bread. The last time I baked bread was in fifth grade for my 4-H Fair Cooking Project. That’s some labor-intensive stuff right there, even if I did get a blue ribbon. Besides, I’m only 45 minutes from the Amish, and they sell freshly baked bread on the roadside. On the roadside! Cause that’s how they roll (pun intended).
If I’m cooking, it’s got to be simple, maybe five ingredients or less. I don’t eat a lot of carbs or meat or gluten or sugar. We won’t get into the weirdness of that right now. That’s a whole other blog.
The Significant Other eats it all: cows, carbs, pigs, sugar, gluten. Lots of gluten. Sometimes he tries one of my meals or snacks. Sometimes he likes it, and sometimes, not. As it should be. What I’m saying is you may not want a low-carb treat with no sugar or flour. That’s fine — this is ‘Merica. At least it was last time I checked the headlines.
I love peanut butter and can eat it with a spoon right out of the jar. Sometimes I don’t use a spoon. Here’s my fave 4-ingredient recipe for peanut butter cookies. As far as low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free and salt-free go (and can we just say white-killer-free?) this is a pretty tasty cookie. Proof: I have to hide them from the Gluten, Sugar Carnivore Eater.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Using small spoon, scoop enough dough to roll into a 1″ ball in your hands. (Wait! Go back — wash your hands first!)
Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet. Press lightly on each one with a fork, creating a criss-cross. (I add a few chopped peanuts on top and lightly press them into the dough.)
Bake for 12 minutes and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
So even though it’s just Him and me, every day, every night, every minute, every second, every @#$% time I turn around, until I am almost ready to take a … but wait, I digress.
What I meant to say is that we have settled into Our Routine Pandemic Pattern: Wake up, eat, nap, eat, watch TV, eat, have a conversation, eat, nap, eat, watch TV, eat, change from day pajamas into night pajamas, eat, go to bed, watch TV, nap, eat, sleep.
Today’s conversation was about the importance of pillows. And eating.
I believe that even in a pandemic there must be bedmaking. This drives Him — and 99.9% of the human population — nuts.
This guy who lives with me — only ’cause I guess that’s what married people do (who knew?) — would crawl out of the same heap of sweaty sheets and covers every day of the year and never smooth the linens, fluff the pillows, straighten the comforter or arrange the decorative pillows if he had his way. He would certainly never, ever launder them.
“What’s the point? We’re just going to mess them up again,” he argues.
The Rule: The first one downstairs in the morning feeds the cats and cleans out the litter box. The last one out of the bed makes the bed — according to the laminated diagram and detailed instructions on top of the dresser.
I kid, I kid. They’re not laminated.
Since the Significant Other is a late nighter/late riser, the bed making usually falls to him.
He reasons that while living through a pandemic and sustaining life (as in feeding the cats and himself) is a necessity, making the bed is not. Plus, he Hates the decorative pillows.
After I redecorated and added even more pillows, he started pinning ominous notes to the pillows:
“I have had no formal training on what to do with this pillow. Zero!”
“Another @#$%ing pillow?! Seriously?!”
“Three grandchildren have gone missing under this mountain of useless pillows!”
“For God’s Sake, I’m Begging You, No More Pillows!”
Not long ago he decided to “add some flair” to the bedroom décor using only his Man Eye, which could use a little — no, a lot — of help from Queer Eye.
Have I mentioned he Hates the pillows?
He threw all the pillows together in a jumbled heap in the middle of the bed in defiance of the chic and symmetrical combination of colors, textures and placement I prefer. When I saw it, my OCD went into overdrive. But since I also have ADD, it didn’t last long.
Our early marriage times of intimate pillow talks have somehow morphed into colorful — yet chic and asymmetrical — pillow fights.
I blame the pandemic.
Tomorrow’s Conversation Topic: Is a top sheet really necessary?
Everywhere I turn He’s there. Breathing loudly and at times, unnecessarily.
Yesterday I hid in the sewing room, but He found me — even after I crouched under the sewing machine cabinet, covered with the black fur Halloween costume I’m sewing. He was not alarmed that there might be a bear in the house. He just wanted to know where the catsup was.
Are you kidding me? The catsup is in the same effing place it’s been in for 15 years!
Just as I was contemplating murder-by-condiment and how I’d get rid of the catsup stains, the doorbell rang. The Fed Ex man stepped back six feet from the box he had placed on my front porch.
“Just needed to see that you are over 21, no signature necessary,” he said, backing away.
I didn’t really have time to catch the innuendos in that remark from this 30-something-year-old guy — who obviously thought I was from the Paleolithic Era — because I was busy staring at the box. It came! My shipment of wine! I stopped myself from falling to my knees and thanking Jesus, the grape growers, pickers and stompers and delivery clerks around the world, lest the neighbors see me and call 911.
Life is good. I no longer care if He doesn’t know where the catsup is, ‘cause I know where the wine opener is.
I wipe down the box and open a bottle while it’s inside the box, tipping the entire cardboard case to pour it into my mouth, while Harper watches disapprovingly. She wants to play in the box and she doesn’t want it wine-stained, like every other hiding place in the house.
I’m feeling magnanimous. I smile at Him. We’ll have a toast to making it through yet one more day of breathing in the same very small, very tiny space. Cheers!
Day 14 of Extreme Social Distancing
3:10 a.m. — Finally fell asleep after binge-watching episodes 1-7 of the new season of “Ozark.”
7 a.m.— Woke up after dreaming I was driving to the levee — which was in the Ozarks — but the levee was dry, and now I can’t get “American Pie” out of my mind. Glanced at time, muttered, “Nah,” rolled over and went back to sleep.
9 a.m. — Woke up to Maya Angelou (Cat 1) sitting on my head and trying to pry my eyes open. “You have food,” I mutter to Maya and Harper Lee (Cat 2), who jumped on the bed in defense of her BFF. “Besides, all you two are doing is eating, laying around, binge-watching Netflix and getting fat. No more food.” Maya coughed up a hairball on my pillow and Harper looked at me slyly and slowly began kneading my belly fat.
Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own, And moss grows fat on a rolling stone, But, that’s not how it used to be …
9:10 a.m.— Debated on whether to put on real pants instead of pajama bottoms. Maybe even a bra? Nah.
9:30 a.m. Passed neurotic, anxious hubby, who was in the recliner watching 24/7 news and devouring a dozen brownies, harikari-style, with vodka chasers. Checked the pantry: Eight rolls of toilet paper left, but who’s counting?
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye, Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die …
10:05 a.m. —Sun came out for seven minutes, then it started raining. Fed both cats, made coffee, did back exercises, dashed outside in pajama pants and got the paper.
With every paper I’d deliver, Bad news on the doorstep, I couldn’t take one more step …
11 a.m. — Still raining. Wind kicked in, as well. Sent a group text and videos to the grandkids of me dancing in the kitchen to American Pie, blowing kisses, giving air hugs and playing Uno by myself to show how much I missed them. Sigh.
And I knew if I had my chance, That I could make those people dance, And maybe they’d be happy for awhile …
12 noon — Should be working. Deadlines looming. Maybe later. I’ve got all day. OK, just one more episode of Ozark and then I’ll get to work.
Did you write the book of love, And do you have faith in God above, If the Bible tells you so?
3:30 p.m.— Accidentally set out frozen cheesecake instead of frozen chicken to thaw. Watched the last three episodes of Ozark and started watching Tiger King. OMG. Can’t. Stop. Watching. This. Train. Wreck. Had entire cheesecake for dinner and ate a jar of Nutella with my fingers for dessert.
I can’t remember if I cried, When I read about his widowed bride, Something touched me deep inside, The day the music died …
2:30 a.m.— Geesh. Ten hours of my life. Gone. Did finish watching Netflix, though. I’ll start on Prime tomorrow — after I finish my work. Sent a group text to my kids and my siblings. Within 10 minutes had 38 notifications. No one is sleeping. Who am I kidding? Neither am I. Got up and tiptoed to pantry: Seven rolls of toilet paper left, but who’s counting?
Do you believe in rock and roll, Can music save your mortal soul, And can you teach me how to dance real slow …
I’ve procrastinated a long time before launching this blog, but now seems to be the perfect time.
I came to this conclusion yesterday, after I downed a glass of wine at 11 a.m. and spontaneously started yelling overly enthusiastic greetings out my front door at neighbors who have never met me as they walked their children and dogs on the other side of the street. It was a desperate attempt to talk to a human being, any human being, face to face, albeit 125 feet away.
Most of them glanced my way then quickly slid their necks down inside their parkas and scurried down the sidewalk, as though I was “that” woman on the block. Hell, we all know who “that” woman on the block is. She’s the one who hoards egg cartons and dental floss and feeds her leftover vegetables to the millions of rabbits that have proliferated and taken over the neighborhood.
Yikes. That might be me.
Moving on. I’m in the designated age group most likely to die from the coronavirus. The one who might be refused treatment because there’s not enough equipment to save everyone. The one the doctors will look at, raise one eyebrow and ask in a perplexed tone, “Seriously, you want to live?”
I do, actually.
This option of seniors throwing up their arms and saying, “Take me, take me!” really came to light after the lieutenant governor of Texas suggested grandparents would be willing to die to save the country’s economy during the coronavirus crisis. What the …
I definitely wasn’t consulted on this, nor were any of my friends. We’re going to need more specifics. Exactly whose wealth are we are dying for? Cause we know it ain’t ours. Do we have to flatline completely or can we just get seriously ill and make a comeback — ala Pet Cemetery — when the economy springs back to its feet?
Is this grandparental suicide pact limited only to the coronavirus? Or, is there a chance an earmark could be slipped into the Die Seniors Die Dammit Sen. Bill 666 and expanded to include indigestion, knee replacements and gout?
I don’t know, I’m torn. I’m a patriot, but I kind of want to live. I’ve got a new grandchild coming in October, for God’s sake, and I just ordered new laminate flooring for the utility room. It took months to decide on the color — not too light as to show all the dirt and not so dark that it looks like a prison cell. What I’m saying is that I’m looking forward to rocking my new grandson and to my new Creamy Oak Cappuccino flooring rocking my utility room.
It wouldn’t bother me as much if it wasn’t just old, white male politicians suggesting this harakiri crap. I don’t see any people of color or younger people suggesting we line up for cremation in order to bail out the big banks and stockholders. But then again, my black friends are my age and my kids might be timid about telling me to die, just die.
I’ll give it some thought and mull it over. In the meantime, I’m going to pour another glass of wine and yell out the front door at people I don’t know.
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