Apr 032013

I love my little beagle Lacey.  She is the cutest thing on the planet, if I say so myself.  She is lovable and loyal and lively and probably some other L words.  She is fun and fantastic, sometimes frantic and some other, uh…..F words.

But I am not a dog person.

Hold me on this chair, mommy, while I relax completely down

Hold me on this chair, mommy, while I relax completely, becoming a weight roughly 5 times my scale weight

She doesn’t seem to realize this and carries on in great dog fashion with lots of sniffing and panting and shedding.  And eating and pooping and some very unladylike farting (aha, the other F word).  She follows me around, and helps with the laundry, and lies next to me even now as I’m typing. She appears to be attached to me.

She doesn’t realize I am a cat person. Cats are lower maintenance than dogs. That old joke that dogs come when called, but cats take a message and get back to you later holds true.  She doesn’t realize that cats come see you for a minute, get some lovin’, and then go away.  I like that in a cat.

Lacey my beloved beagle is firmly convinced that her mommy was, is, and will always be a die-hard dog lover.  She is so convinced that she routinely feels entirely comfortable crawling under the covers on my side of the bed bringing with her any amount of dirt, sand, and mud.  She is so sure mommy is a dog lover that she races me every night to see who can get to the bed and under the covers faster.  Mommy sometimes loses.  Lacey thinks it’s the funniest thing.  She proves this by suddenly becoming as limp as my hair on a humid day when I try to move her so I can actually lie where I’m supposed to.

Cats can be left alone for a weekend. While they may turn their back on you for a solid 24 hours when you return just to show you they can, it does make impromptu and promptu (promptu?) weekend trips much easier.

Dogs are under the firm belief that all trips in the car must include them and therefore, they are going on all weekend trips.  Aren’t they?

My Lacey will not play with my husband unless I am present in the room.  She will run all the way upstairs, stuffed animal gripped tightly in mouth, to get me and refuses to go back downstairs to play until I see fit to join her and her daddy.

Cats don’t care where you are in the house unless a large, smelly can of tuna is involved.  I like that about cats.

Lacey gets so excited at the prospect of dinner that she does what I call the Dorothy Maneuver – jumps up, twists her little sausage body to the side and clicks her back heels together repeatedly. I have to laugh every time which I’m sure just encourages her even more, my laughter inadvertently training her to do it at every meal.

Kiss me, mommy, wuv you

Kiss me, mommy, wuv you

Lacey loves me.  I love Lacey.  I’m not a dog person.

Here she is now, nosing the side of my leg as I sit at the computer. Apparently, a treat is in order. Or a walk. Or a nap. Just NOT more computer time….please, mommy, please, mommy. Uh oh, she’s pulling out her best persuasive technique…laying her head on my knee and gazing up at me with her doleful brown eyes. Isn’t she sweet? I love my Lacey.

But I’m not a dog person.

Mar 272013

Years ago prior to the advent of cell phones, remote control multi-CD players and magical satellite radio bringing the musical stylings of live rock concerts from London, drivers had to find something else to do during tedious traffic light stops.

We spent significant time tuning in local radio stations, often having to settle for an AM channel featuring the musical stylings of Jimmy Bob from down the way.

A pile of cassette tapes. with the tape rolled in

A pile of cassette tapes. with the tape rolled in and everything

Other traffic light distractions included attempting to reach the passenger side door located six feet away to manually roll down the window before the light turned green while trying to keep your foot on the brake, winding cassette tape back into the cassette casing because your tape player at it for breakfast again, and the time-honored tradition of surreptitiously picking one’s nose.

This brings me to my own long-held traffic light tradition of examining my face in minute detail in the visor mirror, thereby smartly utilizing red light time and all that natural light flooding in the window like a spotlight. I developed my face-gazing technique back in my cassette-and-manual-window days because I was deprived of my entertaining cell phone, even though I didn’t know it yet.

This is how I discovered that under-eye wrinkles grow at an incremental rate once noticed and that my eyes really are a gorgeous, fabulous heart-melting blue (eat your heart out). I became intimately acquainted with the fact that the forehead furrow so lovingly established during my eyebrow-raising childhood deepened at a terribly young age, to such a degree that I could plant corn in there if I wanted to.

And then I noticed facial hair one day. Yes, chin whiskers. Long chin whiskers with the astounding ability to grow overnight. I know this because YESTERDAY when I was visor-mirror gazing, they were not there. Absolutely not there. I would’ve known. I’m a champion visor-mirror gazer with years of experience under my belt.

(Chin whiskers WILL happen to you, ladies in your 20′s and 30′s).

Which brings me to my whole point. Perhaps next time I feel the urge to examine my new crop of terribly attractive facial hair in minute detail while waiting at a traffic light, I should first examine the world directly outside of my vehicle. A few things must quickly be ascertained:  is the natural light flooding through my window spotlight bright, and are there any cars full of jackass teenage boys idling right next to the driver’s side door.

If these two conditions are presenet, do NOT – repeat do NOT – commence to examine your facial hair in minute detail while gazing, transfixed, into the visor mirror.

Unless you like jackass teenage boys pointing, guffawing, rolling down their (new-fangled electric) windows, shouting, and taking pictures with their cell phones.

Of you.

And your chin hairs.

Mar 202013

Apparently Rice Krispies have decided to accompany me on this last half of my life, making up for being horribly neglectful during the first half.

Snap likes to party under both kneecaps mostly when going up stairs, but sometimes when turning corners on flat surfaces.

Snap, Crackle and Pop loves them a challenge

Snap, Crackle and Pop loves them a challenge

Crackle is lower key, preferring to be the designated driver for Snap during stairway sojourns, quietly grinding away under both kneecaps and most noticeable to the kneecap owner. He likes it that way. He’s an introvert.

Pop is the most obnoxious, loudly proclaiming his presence any time he pleases, often scaring passersby. Stairs? His favorite pastime. Walking on any surface, smooth, bumpy or indifferent? Why is this even a question? Not moving at all? A challenge he rises to. Anybody can Snap up the stairs. Try Popping when standing still.

Whenever Crackle introduces his siblings as “this is my brother Snap and my other brother Snap”, Pop protests as loudly as possible, often eliciting several SHHHHH’s from nearby librarians. After all, he has perfected the “standing perfectly still Pop” and he’s damn proud of it.

When did Snap, Crackle and Pop take up residence?  According to the learned osteopathic doc, they started as microscopic embryos during my long and vigorous trampoline career as a child, growing during my bicycling and softball years, then lying quietly in wait while I spent my adulthood gaining er…weight, providing much needed pressure to really take root.

The denouement for Snap, Crackle and Pop came the day their 44 year old host fell directly on to her left kneecap for no discernible reason. It took them a few weeks to get organized, but then WHAM! They got the party started, complete with a blazing bonfire otherwise known as searing stabs of pain..

They now present a unified front in the form of severe arthritis developed over years of painstaking work.

Don’t worry. I’m sure Snap, Crackle and Pop will get back to their day jobs as soon as they are all partied out and that searing pain, also known as the blazing bonfire, has died down to coals. Who knows when the next big party will happen.


I can’t wait.

Mar 132013

In recent years, there has been a huge surge in DIY television programs: Bath Crashers, Kitchen Impossible, and Sweat Equity. That list is probably only .263 % of all the programs out there in DIY land. They come to your house and fix it.

I’ve made up my mind. That’s what I want. In half an hour, I would like my entire insert-room-here completely remodeled by an expert hunk (I can dream) all the way down to paint and accessories somebody else pays for.

OR…I can have my wonderful husband and my pathetic self take on a ¾ bathroom remodel in only a month and a half, complete with 13 coats of paint, 21 trips to the hardware store and accessories I have to pay for – or purloin from other parts of the house, whichever seems easier and less expensive.  I see no reason why a hand-me-down 70’s orange trivet from the kitchen can’t work in my yellow and green spring-y bathroom as some kind of decorative accessory.

I'm just an innocent looking hammer

I’m just an innocent looking hammer

Don’t burst my bubble. I’m on the edge.

So here we are gazing at the DIY light at the end of the home improvement tunnel of pain. The best husband in the world cannot get the bathroom door that has worked fine since 1981 to hang properly. Nope. And the door handle that has been in working order since, yes, 1981 won’t install correctly either.

What’s a wife to do in this circumstance? Any of us with wife experience in these kinds of situations knows to invoke the WCC, or Wife Code of Conduct. It simply states that at no time can you loudly suck in your breath in horror at the impending calamity, whatever it is, nor can your face show any sign of dismay. The husband knows what he is doing.

Dear husband is making trip number 22 to the home improvement store even as I write this to purchase new hardware for the door. When he comes back, the WCC dictates that I will simply continue with whatever task I am doing, listen intently for any crashes, cussing, or other concerning sounds, and wait until summoned to help.

Home improvement  or a sharp stick in the eye.

Let me think…

Mar 012013
This is, like, 3 feet long or something.

This is, like, 3 feet long or something.

I avoid doctors.  I avoid needles.  And I try to avoid doing anything that causes me to need either one, like breaking my leg or stepping on rusty nails or developing an IV drug habit.

Unfortunately, there does come a time where one can be forced into the doctor’s office, at which point they inevitably discover that a) you have been avoiding medical attention for years; b) you have a list of ailments, but don’t want to discuss them; and c) you have no idea when your last tetanus shot was.  “Sometime in the 90’s” is – apparently – not a valid answer.

A few weeks ago, I had occasion to visit the doc, but first I had to find one.  My insurance had changed since last time I sought medical attention.  If I’d had my psychic with me on this journey to find a doc, it may have been easier to pick out one that’s right for me, but I was forced to rely on criteria I just invented.

First criterion:  is their office close by?  I believe in decreasing stress by traveling the shortest distance possible.

Second criterion:  are they female?  No offense to male docs, but I don’t want to discuss females issues with you, like the fact that I might cry at a Hallmark commercial or how bad cramps can be because let’s face it – you don’t REALLY know, do you.

Third criterion:  are they young?  This is a tricky one.  If you get an older one, they’ve been around the block, seen it all, and don’t get too excited if you carry a few extra pounds.

On the other hand, they die. Then you have to choose another one using your criteria.

If you go with a younger doctor, they know all the latest and greatest since they are more recently graduated.

On the other hand, they tend to get a little excited over things like slightly elevated blood pressure (white coat syndrome, people!) and not excited enough that age has brought an enormous amount of hair growth on my, ahem, chin.  Because let’s face it – they don’t REALLY know what’s that like, do they.

Also, I have reached an age where I am now older than the young ones. (what?).

Fourth criterion:  there isn’t one.  Now I just have to randomly choose from my list.

So I did and I met Dr. Lori.  Not only did I get to discuss the weight issues I’ve been battling for as long as she’s been on this planet – yes I have tried it all, doc, except that whole “drink your own urine and lose weight” thing – I got to talk about things that involve needles, like tetanus shots that now come with a chaser of pertussis because whooping cough got tired of being invisible and has returned with a vengeance.

And then the talking stopped and the needling started.

A week later when I went in for a follow-up visit, I pointed out to the doc that I still have a huge discolored bump on my arm from that damn shot.  She says well, at least you have a good immune system heh heh heh.

I showed it to the phlebotomist.  She said “OMG it’s hot to the touch and hard as a rock.  I can’t believe it a week later.  That’s kind of weird.  Put a compress on it.”

I showed it to the other nurse.  She said “Wow, I can’t believe it.  Put a heating pad on it.  Oh, and are you allergic to flu shots?”  Do you mean emotionally, because YES. YES I AM.

Okay, she says, now don’t tense up.  We don’t want an enormous discolored flame-hot bump on your arm for five more weeks, do we.

No.  We don’t.

Copyright © 2010 Melody Jones