Thursday, May 27, 2010

If Ignorance is Bliss . . . Knowledge is Power

Not sure which canon my thought processes got shot out of this time. I guess that can be determined at a later date and time. I do believe the fuse got lit at a doctor's appointment where I was expected to make decisions based on gray matter. After all their years of schooling and the amount of money it seems doctors make, I would expect they could dish out a little more black and white - not gray. And my gray matter doesn't function well in gray areas. So, that said, picture the clown (me) in the canon, fuse flaming with the fire of abstract accelerant and . . . poof. My mind was blown, thoughts sporadically bouncing off one wall onto another as I headed back to the office. Of course, the route from Logan to Tremonton requires I pass a gas station where they have a crushed ice machine, so, naturally being the predictable me (and the me with the addictive personality), I pull over. That's when I realize that knowledge really is a good thing and powerful enough to bring the Jimmy to a complete stop in a parking spot directly in front of the Crushed Ice Machine Store.



I KNOW I have an addictive personality. Because of that knowledge, I can make very thought-filled, logical decisions. I choose to be addicted to my Bernina sewing machine, not only because I love to create stuff but because of the knee bar. It's so cool. It's like a third hand and I'm lost without it. I choose to always have a Max in the fridge chillin'. And I always have a jar of pretzel Gold Fish mixed with cheesey ones close by. Now there's some Corn Nut Chips mixed in for variety. Being the empowered person that I am, I made an intelligent choice at the grocery store today by replacing the large bag of M&M candy with a smaller individual, one-serving size. I justified switching by telling myself, "Maybe you won't like them and then you'd be stuck with a whole bag." So I succumbed to the rational me and bought the smaller bag. M&Ms, you say, what's to wonder about them? Well:






Did you know they now make pretzel M&Ms? Can you say, "BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!" Salty meet sweet meet chocolate! I would have taken a picture of the actual morsels so you could recognize one if you saw it on the floor or something, but, alas, my addiction to chocolate and pretzels is greater than my addiction to photography! It's a good thing I didn't buy the larger bag but not because I wouldn't have liked them. Maybe my subconscious self knows my addictive self better than my conscious self!



Ditching Dodge is a relatively new addiction. I love being dropped off (with my home on wheels, of course) somewhere in this beautiful world and enjoying nature. For someone who flunked their first (and only) year of girl's camp at 13 (that's a whole other blog post), this is rather a surprising development. I still need to get the unquenchable craving to learn to use my gun and then I'll feel a little more secure. However, I am in the market for an inexpensive, smaller trailer that I would dare pull. I don't think Alan is too excited about that idea because then he'd lose the control he has over when and where I go. Maybe it's not only the control he'd lose, he'd probably lose me more times than not. As frustrating as it is for me to be lost, it's got to be even more frustrating for him to get the phone call, "Hey, honey, I just passed a field of corn and it looks like hay or something in a field on the right. There's a big billboard in the field, too. Where the h____ am I?" Is it possible to be addicted to getting lost? There's more than one reason we had a fenced yard in Delta!!!



Because of the knowledge I have about myself, I choose not to open the bag of milk chocolate chips that are in my freezer (actually there are a couple of bags) thinking I will only eat three or four at a time, stretching the bag over the time span of a month. I know I will eat at them until the bag is less than half full and then I'll sit down and eat the rest of them in one sitting, just to get rid of them, and then vow never to buy another bag again. Or if I do buy them, I'll put them in the freezer and vow never to open them. Not gonna happen. And what's this? A healthy addiction?? My hand-chopped veggie wraps in the Shrek shells (thus called because they're spinach and therefore green and when you're done eating, there's all this green doughy stuff along with the filling stuck in your teeth) call to me. And they know I will answer that call. And I know I will answer that call because I'm addicted to them. Yes, my mother just rolled over in her grave. Who knows, maybe she actually stood up. Me, who grew up liking bottled green beans ONLY. My orders at fast food restaurants always took longer because they had to make one without any onions or pickles or lettuce. Now, the more peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, sprouts, and cucumbers the better. I am totally in awe at myself.



Lingering a bit down the magazine aisle, maybe the quilting magazines or the craft ones, but most likely the crossword puzzle section is dangerous for me and my pocket book. Joann's and other such fabric stores are really detrimental (especially if I have coupons) and to try and clear my system of the need for such is as close as I need to come to the angel of death. Alan will say I'm addicted to gadgets and he's probably right. Oh, yeah, and yard sales. Especially if he comes with me. And old kids bikes at yard sales. What the heck kind of addiction is that????? D.I. and their books. See I know my weaknesses. Most of them anyway. There are new ones popping up on a daily basis that I still need to come to grips with. And, following the counsel of my sister, the Red Hen, I will enjoy them while I can.



If it means making Alan laugh (sincerely and uncontrollably) so hard he has to put his hands around his stomach because it hurts, I'll do most anything I have to. I'm not only addicted to the sound but also the look on his face while he's so out of control. Jodi's wide-eyed look of shock as I stuff candy kisses from the table decorations into her jacket pocket feeds another of my addictions. It was a look of happy shock, by the way. A phone call from Carter that ends with "Bye, love you, bye," or the wraparound hugs from Tyler (around the shoulders now) and Layne (still around the knees) always leave me craving more. I can't get enough of Brian when he looks at me the way Joe used to and Hunter when he's running through the house like one of the balls in a pinball machine or Mariah as she nonchalantly protects us all from spiders and other crawly things no one else wants to touch. Seeing Reagan's natural mohawk hair and feeling her toes curl and her knees stiffen when she smiles is better than a sugar fix any day (not that I'd forego the sugar fix, by any means). Watching Garrett finally dare smile and the look on Colton's face when he realizes it's okay to drink a kid's Mountain Dew (caffeine free) elicit a response in me that says I need more and more and more. Knowing my kids are happy and safe and loved is a more calming, satisfying addiction.



So, I guess addictions aren't all bad. And maybe knowledge of them really is powerful. And following the counsel of my sister, Red Hen, I'll enjoy them all (the good, the bad and the ugly) while I can!





I did have a paragraph in here about the addictions I choose not to feed but maybe it's all relative. Maybe anything I subscribe to on a "need" basis is just as bad as what I condemn in others. Hmmm. I don't think I want to go there. Ignorance is bliss in this case and I'm clearly choosing it at this point.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mindless

Not that the last couple of days haven't been mindless enough . . . here's my contribution to the fact that some have less mind - or mind less - than others.



Alan left a message on my phone yesterday telling me there was some leftover fried chicken in the fridge that we could use for supper so when I got home, I took it out to see just exactly how much there was (and possibly snitch that little piece of the liver that's left buried in the bones on the thigh pieces). Anyway, among the pieces that were left was this valiant wing:




It made me chuckle, needless to say. And, mindless person that I am, I have to wonder: when this particular chicken saw the hatchet coming, did the flight instinct kick in? And in his scattered attempt to 'fly the coop', was there only one feather that weathered the blustery flight? Oh, wait, chickens can't fly anyway, so this chicken either had a little less of a mind or felt he was different from all the other chickens on the farm and really could fly. Maybe, like the Greek myth, he flew so high the sun melted all his feathers off but this one. Or maybe he just spent a little too much time in the incubator when he was still an egg. Or maybe this particular chicken chose to fight but soon realized he was in over his head (actually 'without' a head). In a last minute redemption attempt, he waved the only white thing he had left and surrendered with what was left of his dignity. One of those mysteries that will haunt us without ever producing enough facts to give us an answer.





And I have to wonder mindlessly about all the people between the hatchet and the vat of boiling oil at our local grocery store whose lives were touched by this symbol of hope. Were they all so inspired by the bond between this severed wing and its courageous little feather that they couldn't bring themselves to separate them? Did the Thigh Guy ignore this situation assuming the Wing Man would catch it? Was Quality Control more concerned with the 'plump and juicy' part than the 'sticky feather on the errant wing' part?





Anyway, I didn't eat fried chicken last night. And all I can envision is a poor little chicken waving me down, warning me to look around me and be a little more mindful of all I have that's worth clinging to.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Where Grampa Go?

I'm sure you would've had to have been here to truly appreciate the humor, but, still, it's worth retelling. Grampa got my forsythia bush planted so he earned a fishing trip. Like I really have any control over when he goes fishing! Anyway, Grampa invited Nathan, Tyler and Layne to go with him. When they came to pick him up, this is what Layne saw:




Layne ran over to this pile of stuff saying, "Where's Grampa? Where Grampa go?" I watched as he picked up Grampa's coat and looked under it and then, in a very Sherlock Holmes sort of voice, he declared, "Grampa was just here! Where'd he go?"





Of course, I believe in honesty and immediately agreed with him and told him Grampa had just vanished, "Poof!" It was funny how Layne was all over this pile of evidence trying to figure out where Grampa would have gone and why he'd left his fishing stuff behind.





Tyler once again out-fished them all, too!



Saturday, May 15, 2010

ImaTree


I was mowing the lawn this afternoon and as I mowed around and back and forth among the trees in the front yard, I found myself reminiscing about the history behind each of the trees. Specifically I began to recall the trials that had beset my two fir trees.





The tree which suffered the external forces of nature seems to have overcome any visible side effects. It's growing up in a straight line towards the sky and the needles on the branches are green. The other tree, which experienced challenges that struck at its very roots, is, I'm sorry to say, still obviously struggling. I'm afraid it looks worse this spring than it did last fall, too. So, here I am, pushing the mower, thinking about my trees, (once again comparing their struggles to their current appearances) when an epiphelation strikes me and I immediately (and more intensely than ever before) bonded with the second tree.



The second tree, which is now called "ImaTree", is my testimony, my life, my challenge, my mission, my project . . . whatever. Actually, ImaTree is everyone, at some point in their life. I can't think there are too many people who could honestly say they've never felt like poor ImaTree looks, if only for a brief moment. So, in the time it took me to finish mowing the front lawn (which was quite awhile since I'm not a speed mower), I formulated a plan.







First, since ImaTree has forgotten who she is and what her initial seed was put here to become, she is rather lacking in outward appearances that will attract the other parts of Heavenly Father's creative plan, which in turn will help her to thrive. I can't say that I've seen a bird land on the twisted, gnarled, brown branches of ImaTree. And I for sure know that no person stops to stroke her branches and ogle at how beautiful she is.



So, the first thing I'm going to do is hang a hummingbird feeder on one of her stronger branches. And then, since she is shadowed and protected by a large willow tree (whose twin was totally uprooted by the drunk driver), I'm going to hang a regular bird feeder in one of his branches that reaches over ImaTree. My rationale in these two steps is that now other Creations will be attracted to ImaTree until she can attract them on her own.



I think my second step has been initiated as I questioned Alan about the benefits of fertilizer - a type that I could get right down to the roots. On further thought, though, it might be to ImaTree's benefit if I were a little more direct and actually asked Alan to get me some fertilizer and show me how to apply it. Yeah, I think that's what I need to do.



Anyway, stay tuned and watch the coming forth of ImaTree. I was going to say 'transformation' but that implies she's going to morph into something she's never been or isn't already and that's not the case. She's just 'coming forth' into a most beautiful shape that will soon be familiar to her.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Second Annual Book Review

It's time for another book review. Not that anyone's been begging, knocking down my door, pleading for a hint of when the date of my next review would be. Or what delightful book would be spotlighted so they could beat the rush at the bookstore. I just decided I wanted to highlight another of my favorites and I decided tonight would be as good a time as any. And we all know, it's all about me, me, me! And, of course, this is my blah, blah, blah blahg!






"There are rocks

In my socks,"

Said the ox

to the fox.

"Bumpy old,

Lumpy old,


Clumpy old rocks...

Pinchy

And squincy

Whenever one walks.

I feel very grumpy

With rocks in my socks!"



That's how the book starts and it builds on Ox's solutions to get the rocks out of his socks. Sorry to say, he puts more effort into listening to outside sources offering to help instead of really thinking the situation through himself and doing what would be in his best interests. Sadly, (or maybe I should say, 'sorely') by the climax, rocks in his socks is the least of Ox's worries.



However, after taking the long way around, Ox is finally able to come full circle, back to the beginning and, following the advice of another character who has been objectively watching the whole situation, he simply takes of his shoe, takes off his sock and dumps out the rocks.




When it comes to solving my problems or dealing with a little more difficult and uncomfortable situation, I wonder if I take the long way around because it really honestly looks like the better way in the end and I'm acting in good faith or because, somewhere in my deep subconscious I prefer to avoid all the unknowns in the inevitable pile of rocks in the road ahead.




I remember, too, from my seminary days (which were sketchy at best) an object lesson where we were challenged to go a day with a small pebble in our shoe and then evaluate the discomfort of  the day. There are a lot of analogies that can be drawn; a lot of personal things the pebble could represent. My personal representation of what the pebble represents changes as I grow and evolve, too. A mistake, something in the past that's hanging on, a bad habit, a distasteful character trait, a foreboding of something looming in the future, a task I should have done but didn't take the time to do, things that are getting in the way of me doing what I know I should be doing, etc., etc., etc. And no matter what the pebble represents at the specific time, like the Ox, "I feel very grumpy with rocks in my socks!"



The fact that Ox does eventually relieve himself of the pain of the rocks and, at the same time, realizes his folly in placing his faith in misguided (however good intentioned) advice, leaves the reader feeling like there's a solution to every problem. If one is persistent enough and doesn't give up. And, truthfully, sometimes things do actually have to get worse before they get better.



So there's this segment's book review. Definitely a must read!



Reviewer's postscript: In order for me to perhaps validate some of the rogue statements above, in the book "Lift", by Kelly Corrigan, she describes some of the basic theory involved in hang gliding. The author is talking to a friend who says, "Basically, you fly from thermal to thermal, looking for lift." [A thermal is a column of hot air surrounded by turbulence]  The author then makes the assumption that you want to avoid turbulence to which her friend replies, "No. Well - some turbulence is really dangerous . . . Turbulence is the only way to get altitude, to get lift. Without turbulence, the sky is just a big blue hole. Without turbulence, you sink." So, there was a reason Ox got rocks in his socks and a reason he went through all he went through to get them out. And, most likely, it's a reason only Ox will understand.



Someday.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nothing But The Best!

These kids have got the best - ABSOLUTELY THE BEST - Mothers possible! I think you're all awesome and doing a great job raising my perfect little grandchildren (how easy could that be????). Keep up the good work!! Love you all!







As for me - there's a new Jesse Stone movie on TV tonight. I do love Tom Selleck!



Don't worry. . . I love Alan, too.








 And he gave me a Forsythia Bush!!!    YeeHaw!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just Because I Can


 


No reason other than it's no longer Monday, it's almost Friday and . . . I just had to do it. No self control here!