I was planning on posting this month all about my average eating plan, my exercise regime and maybe adding a recipe or two, but what is that old saying about the best laid plans? The first week of this month ended up thrown completely off with not one, but TWO graduations for my youngest son, vo-tech graduation at the beginning of the week followed by his regular high school graduation at the end of the week. In between, of course, being filled with rehearsals and picking up of this and dropping off of that and all the what not that signals the end of a long and glorious school career. Then we topped off the week by leaving the very next morning after graduation to celebrate the wedding of our nephew in beautiful Cape May, New Jersey. My whole life I had never been a “beach person”, but then I set foot in this absolutely charming town and I was hooked! It was a beautiful wedding and a fabulous weekend! I had a great time “boogie-ing” the afternoon away with my sister-in-law – even though we were often the only people on the
dance floor! But, by the time my bottom hit the seat in that car for the trip home, I was out cold! What a wonderfully exhausting week!
What was my excuse for not tracking my food and exercise for you this week? This week old age took over and I had to have a “procedure” done – lucky me! This requires me to eat a COMPLETELY off my normal eating plan for two days – white bread, crackers, white potatoes, rice and cereal… I have felt absolutely gross! Bloated, headaches, extra tired… And then – nothing but clear liquids. (I’m STARVED, by the way!) So, I guess next month we’ll have to re-visit the eating plan idea.
Unfortunately, this left me scratching my head about what we should talk about. I thought maybe I’d just peruse back through my old Facebook posts, my calendar and journal and see if anything interesting had happened or some intriguing topic came up that perchance we could discuss. Here’s what I found…
(Do any of you ever watch old Elvis movies? I use to love them when I was a kid. Though we all know that Elvis was waaayyy before my time! haha! Well, as I was looking through these, a song from one of those old movies came to my mind. Do you remember this one?
Didja’ ever, Didja’ ever get
Didja’ ever get one, Didja’ ever get one of them
Didja’ ever get one of them days, boy Didja’ ever get one of them days
When nothin’ is right, from mornin’ till night
Didja’ ever get one of them days, Didja’ ever get one of them days)
Let’s allow our minds to wander back to a bright morning in early May. A promising morning, the sun was even shining, a rare thing this Spring in Eastern Pennsylvania. But, looks can be deceiving! It was the little things at first… I reached for my new spray deodorant. I loved my new spray deodorant! It worked so much better than the stick I had been using! I had really hesitated at the price, but you couldn’t argue with the results! It worked so well and really didn’t leave marks on my dark clothing! But, wait! It smelled funny! And it was kind of stinging! I looked down and – oh no! I had just sprayed dry shampoo on my underarms! Oh, well… senior moment! Laugh it off – move on. Do my hair. Hair 80% dry – reach for my styling brush. Brush, brush… ouch! OUCH! Shoot! My hair is totally – COMPLETELY twisted inside my brush! How on earth did I do that?! I twisted and turned, but to no avail, in fact, I’d made it worse! I looked behind me at my faithful little fur-ball lying serenely on the bed. I could be wrong, but I could swear Tucker was laughing at me! Slowly, one strand at a time I began pulling my hair out of the brush! I’m pretty sure by the end I looked like a cross between Rod Stewart and Al Sharpton, but at this point I’m running late – add a scarf and let’s go!
I had some errands to run and went to take Tucker out for one last potty break before I left. He had just finished up and I was on the deck holding the back door open for him to go in, when his arch “nemesis”, the squirrel that inhabits our yard, jumped onto the deck railing behind him. Tucker, being the big, brave, ferocious Morkie that he is, of course, flipped out – barking, growling, jumping around until all four little furry feet are lifting him off the ground! I, being of a much calmer and cooler temperament, went into an only mild panic mode as I imagined this squirrel running into my open door re-enacting the tree scene from Christmas Vacation! But, I can’t close the door because a totally hysterical Tucker has now placed himself directly in the doorway! By this time, however, the squirrel has decided he has had enough of this Maniacal Morkie and he is going to take evasive action! The squirrel, in his best Rocky the Squirrel imitation, leapt toward me, but not into the doorway, as I expected, NO, this rambunctious rodent ran UP MY BACK leapt OVER MY HEAD and jumped onto the other side of the deck railing and then into the apple tree, safe and sound from hysterical Morkies.
Well, I ran my errands and tried to forget about the horribleness that was my morning – surely, the day could only get better, right? RIGHT?! So, I pull out all the “fixin’s” for dinner. (that’s how we talk here in Pennsylvania!) I was trying a new recipe for chicken thighs. I mixed up the rub for the thighs and went to grab the package with the thighs in it when the styrofoam container that holds them completely collapsed! All of the chicken went flying (no pun intended) across the kitchen, as well as the accompanying pink chicken “juice.” Pink gunk dripped off cabinets and drawers and slid like slimy little streams across my kitchen floor. Thighs were on the floor, on the counter, in my mixer andl thanks to some loose chicken skin, even hooked on the drawer handles! My kitchen resembled the opening scene from a Stephen King novel! I quickly grabbed paper towels and Lysol wipes to begin the clean-up, but not before an impetuous little Morkie puppy came barreling, furry paws first, into the kitchen, following his nose, to see what all the excitement was! So, puppy-paw clean up and containment suddenly became priority #1, then the kitchen! After what seemed like forever, puppy was cleaned, kitchen was cleaned and a reasonable amount of chicken was able to be salvaged, and seasoned, I just needed to cover it with foil and get it in the oven. Easy peasy. I reached in the drawer and grabbed the box of aluminum foil, lost hold and watched… as an ENTIRE box of aluminum foil rolled out across my kitchen floor. Why didn’t you try and grab it, Ronnie, you say. I did, I say. But, on my kitchen floor, still damp from wiping up chicken juice, I slipped and fell and landed in a very unladylike position, and there I remained as I watched the entire roll of aluminum foil roll across the kitchen floor and into the dining room. (Note #1 – Morkies really like to chase tubes of aluminum foil as they roll across the kitchen floor. Note #2 – It is virtually impossible to re-roll a tube of aluminum foil once it has rolled across the kitchen floor.)
Fast forward one week into May. Several of my darling children went together and bought me a beautiful new turquoise Kitchen Aide mixer for my 50th birthday! I was so excited with my new mixer and couldn’t wait to use it! Home alone one afternoon I decided to make a batch of red velvet cupcakes with some cream cheese frosting. I had gotten the batter mixed and went to remove the bowl to take it over to the larger counter area where I had laid out the cupcake tins so that I could fill them. I twisted my shiny new bowl. (It was so pretty!) Hmmm, it wouldn’t budge. I tried again. Still nothing. Oh, well, maybe I was turning the wrong way. You know, another senior moment. I am 50 now, after all. I turned the other way. Nope nothing. Ok, now I’m getting just a little ticked. I say the little rhyme in my head. “Righty tighty. Lefty Loosy” I KNEW I was turning it the right way! So, I turn the original way AGAIN! NOTHING! Now, my Italian AND my Irish are rising to the surface! What is wrong with this thing! I grab the handle with both hands and turn with every inch of my 4’9″ body! Not an inch, not a smidgen! I look down and red velvet cake batter is now lining the edges of my fingers! Ok, I’ve had it! It’s me against the bowl! One way or another, this bowl is coming off! I balance one leg against the lower kitchen cabinets and grab the handle with both hands again! I can feel my face turning about three shades of red! But still nothing! Opening the cabinet door to get a better foothold, I try again – straining with every perceived turn – but, still, no movement! Next, I try both feet against the counter, one hand on the bowl and one against the upper cabinets – still to no avail! For another ten minutes I battle against the blender until the red velvet batter covers me like war wounds. My yelling at the machine has reached a fevered pitched, and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my testimony at least a half an hour ago and am coasting purely on grace! Finally, my phone rings. I have to leave and meet my daughter at the hospital. I rush to wash off and change clothes and meet her at the Labor and Delivery. (False alarm. Everything’s fine.) I leave the hospital just in time to pick up my son from work. As we arrive home, I tell him about my horrible battle and frustration with the new mixer. He walks in, turns it twice and off it pops! You know I loosened it for him!
I always dreamed of having my own indoor swimming pool, just not in my kitchen, and not courtesy of my dishwasher! Fast forward several more weeks! I’m happily going about my business – actually having a productive day – laundry is going, bathrooms are cleaned, dusting is done, vacuum is run, I even did some baking, the dishwasher is running, in fact it should be done. I happily bounce out to the kitchen thinking I’ll unload it quickly and then maybe reward myself for all my productivity with a quick run to the thrift store only to find that my kitchen floor had now been replaced with a beautiful indoor swimming pool! (Wasn’t that thoughtful of someone, ya’ know with the warm summer months coming and all!) Apparently, our lovely dishwasher just couldn’t contain it’s joy at getting to clean so many dishes for us any longer and all that happiness just came spilling out of it! Well, I grabbed my handi-dandi twist mop and turned on some dance music and had a little “swim party” in the kitchen! At least my kitchen floor got good and clean that day because later that evening the ice machine jammed on the refrigerator and about three buckets worth of ice poured out onto kitchen floor! From swimming pools to ice bergs! We ran the whole gamut of seasonal weather just in my kitchen in less than 12 hours!
And how’s this week going? Yesterday morning, I just about sliced my finger off with a mandolin while slicing some zucchini. (Ok, well, not off-off, but it’s got a really good cut! Mr. T says that’s what I get for eating zucchini in the first place!) Then I took my power walk in the evening and a giant snake jumped out and attacked me! (Ok, maybe he was only about a foot long. And maybe he didn’t jump out and attack but was just curled on the sidewalk and wiggled a little, but for me, they’re pretty much equivalent.) While I’m out, another power walker goes by and you know I’m trying to look cool, struttin’ along…uh huh that’s right, I’m doin’ this, I’m bringin’ it, and just as I open my mouth to say hey (cause you know that’s what we power walkers do) I trip on uneven pavement and just about fall on my face! Yeah, real cool! (Ok, I was never going to look cool. She was two feet taller than me, twenty years younger, and had every new techie-gadget known to man attached to her arm tracking her stats and I had an old sock cut in half on my arm holding my phone in place so I could listen to my playlist!) Finally, I got home from my walk only to discover that Moses had unleashed yet another plague on our house, teenie-tiny ants and they had all converged on our snack cabinet. (This may have been in retaliation for the whole mixer incident, who knows!) So, I got to spend the entire night killing and cleaning up a swarm of miniscule ants and re-arranging my cabinets in hopes of finding one that the ants would not get to. And now, tomorrow, our story ends with me getting my 50-year-old colonoscopy. Somehow…somehow this seems appropos!
You know as I was looking through my posts and journals etc. I came across this quote that I had written down, “Never hold unto anything tighter than you’re holding onto God.” It occurs to me as I read this, that one of the things we so desperately try to hold on to as we go through life is “control” – we try to control our days, our weeks, our years, our futures, our children, our bosses, our neighbors, our dishwashers and the stupid little ants in our kitchens. But, the more we struggle to control, the more out of control life seems to become. We were never meant to be the ones in control. For some of us, that is a very scary thought, but it should be a very freeing thought. You don’t have to do it! You don’t have to keep the plates spinning, the schedule going, the ducks in a row. We were never called to control, we were called to rest. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28 The one who called you to that rest keeps the stars in space, the oceans in their place, the earth and planets on their axis, so when the mixer gets stuck, your kitchen becomes a swimming pool or even next time the neighborhood squirrel decides to take a running jump off your back, I think He can handle that too!