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My Analog Man February 22, 2008

Posted by Donna in Uncategorized.
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randyhat2.jpg

Like anyone else,  I have my good days and my bad days. This story is a snapshot of what goes on in the mind of a hormonally crazed menopausal woman on a bad day.

I was sitting around contemplating life when I started to feel that I needed a new direction. I had attained most of my major goals in life and was wondering what was next. I served my country in the US Navy; completed my college education; married a wonderful man (30 years next month); successfully raised three children, earned my nursing degree, secured a job in the emergency dept., travelled, and so the list goes on.

Suddenly, I am sitting around wondering if I am done. What else was I put here to do? What exactly is my purpose? My children are independent adults; I chose to quit my nursing job; I no longer qualify to serve in the armed forces; my reproductive organs are rendered useless…am I done?

A wave of depression washed over me as I contemplated my lack of usefulness on this planet of ours. Sure I could find lots of things to occupy my time but what exactly am I left here to do? Am I really done with whatever my purpose was here on earth? (Stay with me here…this is the thinking of a woman perspiring in Feb. and having erratic mood swings).

Sure, there are lots of things I can do to fill my time but what was my purpose? Have I completed that? Is this all there is for me?

In the midst of my deep thought and moderate depression I   hear Randy as he continues to swear at his computer. “Damn piece of sh!t….” Apparently he is trying to log onto a website that someone at his workplace directed him to to access information. He copied the web address “exactly” as HE saw it….httpi//etc.  He was now on the phone fussing with someone about how it was the wrong web address and his patience appeared to be wearing thin. I picked up the paper and retyped the address….http://

He insisted that was an “i” not a “: “ He copied it “exactly as it was written.” Whatever! I am in no mood for an argument. Here I am contemplating the meaning of life.  I had no desire to argue the i vs : issue with him. To his surprise, I accessed the site for him. A great burden had been lifted from his shoulders. Now he could move on to the more important tasks at hand.

Well, until he forgot what his login and password were. Apparently he has a different one for EVERY FREAKIN’ ACCOUNT HE USES! He’s never changed a password anyone has issued him. He always creates a new one for each new account he accesses. WHAT?!

Don’t get me wrong. He is a very smart man but he is my “analog man living in a digital world.” (I need to find the song where I first heard those lyrics so I can add it here). He has a list a mile long (in his little black book he still carries around) of logins and passwords with no indication of what belongs to what…they are in his head somewhere. Did I mention he turned 60 this past March? Only now is he beginning to accept the fact that we live in a computerized world.

I explained to him that just as you can rip the mattress tag off of the mattress, so too can you change your password and make them all the same. Even your username can be the same…imagine that! And there is always a “:” after http…at least as far as I know.

Most recently, I helped him update his GPS system online; taught him how to open downloads; and make purchases with PayPal. We are still working on adding attachments. I also had to explain why the email address he was trying to send to was “undeliverable.” This time he wrote it exactly as he heard it over the phone, johnunderscoredoe@x.net    It was then that I realized my purpose! I’m not done…not as long as you put Randy and a computer in the same room:)

Forty-thirteen! February 16, 2008

Posted by Donna in Uncategorized.
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2wto4cailxydpca9qyjcmcam151pgca5rop0oca4ax9d2cay6p94bca6jego6ca4j95akcadm0gzzcal7gomwcaee58mtcax4pxn5cadyzprjcajoezsjcaw8idqwcat5ic3kcavaebtgcaxi9j88caj0hv5d.jpgIt’s official. I turn 53 today. How is that possible? I mean I know how it’s possible but the number just scrambles my brain. My mind is stuck somewhere in thirty-something but my body says otherwise.

I’ve never really been traumatized by any of my landmark birthdays, like 30 or 40 or even 50 but I sense that will all change if God grants me the opportunity to celebrate 60.

What does traumatize me is the sudden appearance of these wrinkles which  are showing up from out of nowhere. I have no desire (yet) to pull, tuck, or fill any of these lines and wrinkles but I am beginning to wonder what I will look like if I lose some of the fat that is filling them now! That would explain why my body resists dieting!… yea, that’s why.

How is it that one day you walk past a mirror and no longer recognize the person staring back at you? She looks tired and spent. She is sweating in the middle of February. Who is she and what has she done with ME? Why is it that the makeup you wore for years is no longer “working.”

The other thing I notice about myself is that I start accepting the new age before my actual birthday. Remember when we were kids we were 6 1/2? That 1/2 was very important back then. As an adult instead of being 52 until the last possible minute I realized I have been adopting the age of 53 months before the actual event. What is that about?

In my forties I didn’t mind telling people my age (as long as they didn’t ask my weight) because people always guessed I was younger. Either that or they were just being nice. Now, I am being offered the senior discount and I don’t even qualify yet! When did all this happen? When did I go from looking younger than I was to THIS?!  Could you imagine telling someone your age only to have them THINK you are lying when you’re not? Maybe I will tell people I am 70. Then they will think I look GREAT!

I think this might be a mid-life crisis…in which case, if it is, does that mean I am projected to live to 106?

Happy Birthday Me:)

Note: No, that is NOT my cake…the photo was borrowed from one found on a Google search because NO ONE BAKED ME ONE! Maybe the candle the waitress put in the bread pudding at dinner tonight can count.

The fake tan! February 12, 2008

Posted by Donna in Uncategorized.
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Tanning Bed 

I love the outdoors and I love the sun but I’ve never been much of a sun worshipper. Even as a teen I don’t recall spending nearly as much time working on my tan as the youth of today…and we had a decent ozone layer back then. Don’t get me wrong, I had my occasional teen moments of sun reflectors and iodine/baby oil/vinegar self-made suntan lotions but it was brief. I hated baking in the sun.

Maybe that’s why people always thought I looked younger than I was up until about age 45. Now, as I approach forty-thirteen, I sport every wrinkle I’ve earned. But that’s not where I intended to go with this story.

Back to the tan. I decided a few years ago, when heading off to a tropical vacation spot in the middle of winter, that maybe a brief stint with the tanning bed for that “base tan” might not be such a bad idea.  I mean fat probably looks better tan than it does pasty white anyway, right? I feel better camouflaged amongst all the tan hard-bodies on the beach that way too. Work with me here!

So where am I going with this? Well, I am leading up to telling you why I hit the tanning bed a few weeks ago before my upcoming winter vacation. In addition to camouflage, it works to prevent the serious sunburn one might experience if exposing pasty white skin to the tropical sun in mid-winter…or so goes my theory. Sure there are sunscreens, and I do use them,  but let’s not forget the camouflage effect the fake tan has.

I thought about the spray tan followed by sunscreen (probably my next experiment) but let’s get back to the tanning bed. Have you ever noticed how you can pick those tans out on the beach almost every time? The tan is just too even to be real. Then the person bends over and there it is….the telltale crease line. A small price to pay I suppose for a nice bronze glow…or is it?

As a fluffy person I have more than your average number of creases. There are the normal neck creases, arm pit creases, and the buttock-to-thigh creases. Fluffy people however have pendulous boob creases, abdomen creases, back roll creases…just to name a few. These begin to negate the effect of camouflaging yourself on the beach with a tan if not done properly.

Most people go to a tanning bed to relax for ten minutes under the lights and leave with hopes of a glowing tan. For me it is work. Hard work! For those ten minutes I am a rotisserie chicken!

Knowing the possible areas of crease lines I spend my time in the bed praying I don’t break the Plexiglas between me and the tanning bulbs as I turn, stretch, and rotate into various positions in hopes of a crease-less tan. I wonder if that can count towards my workout for that day? Afterall, I am sweating.

I’m not sure why I bother except that maybe I feel some sense of control. Face it, I am not going to lose 50 pounds in 2 weeks but I can have a tan. It’s not like I am going to get wrinkles from this…I already have THEM! I’m not advocating tanning beds. Surely they are not good for you but for me they help rid me of the winter doldrums and get me pumped up for that tropical vacation. They fool ME into thinking I blend in better with the crowd and it keeps the tanning bed lady in business. Is that so wrong?

Making it all better… February 9, 2008

Posted by Donna in Uncategorized.
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kids.jpgAs a parent, when your child skins their knee you can usually make it all better with a colorful bandaid and a kiss? How about the smile you can put back on their face when their balloon pops and you reassure them there will be others? Who am I kidding? I probably bribed away those tears with candy, ice cream, or a toy;) and then all seemed right with the world.

As they grow up it borders on “spoiling” them. The coolest thing to have might be a certain article of clothing or the latest video game. For the right number of chores or report card results, or maybe for no reason at all, you might go out and get if for them. Their eyes light up and you know at that moment you made them very happy. You certainly “made it better” as far as they were concerned. It warmed my heart to be able to do that for my kids. They were always good kids and never gave me any trouble.

There were signs that they were growing up and my role was about to change. Like the day I could no longer yell at the kid bullying my child since my child was now a man and the bully was a disgruntled racecar driver. I remember the look my teenage son, at the time, shot me when I instinctively wanted to play mother bear in the pits at a racetrack. “I can handle this myself” and so he did. I can’t promise I wouldn’t have gone postal if anyone really got down and dirty that day but I did take note of my new role. I was going to have to watch him handle it because I wasn’t going to be able to make this better!

Then there were those days when some hormonally imbalanced teenage boy broke your daughter’s heart. It was tough not to grab him by the earlobe and knock some sense into him but you just knew that was part of growing up too. The only way to help make things a little better was to explain how the hurt would soon fade and how “time heals all wounds.” Yada, yada, yada!

Don’t get me wrong, my children are all well-adjusted (well sort of;) independent, hardworking, successful, productive adults now. I have reluctantly cut the apron strings and they have left the nest. They don’t expect me to make anything better for them.

I can still spoil them if I so chose but I can no longer make  better the things with which adult children can face, be it a work related dream, a personal situation, or stresses of daily life. Cutting the apron strings and settling in the empty nest was hard enough but what’s worse is no longer being able to “make it all better.”

 Some things in life you just can’t buy or fix! You can’t (or shouldn’t!) buy their prom date, or their job promotion, the man or women of their dreams, or…well you get the picture (I take that back…if I were a millionaire I could, and probably would, buy my son his well deserved NASCAR ride;)

My children aren’t looking for me to buy or fix anything in particular in their lives, it’s just a place I find myself these days… wishing a trip to the toy store or a lollipop would be all they needed to make all seem right with the world.

(This menopausal moment was brought to you in part by hormone imbalances and better living thru chemistry)

My most recent project… February 6, 2008

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It was 75 degrees here yesterday so making the choice to stay in and finish this project was a tough one. It’s not supposed to be 75 degrees in Feb. At least not in my state of Virginia.

I thought about just putting the project on hold and spending the day outdoors but instead I opened all the windows, took frequent outdoor breaks, and finally finished the kitchen backsplash.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted the tile horizontal to accommodate a decorative tile I had chosen or a diamond design which would require a different decorative tile. My brother, who was visiting at the time (handy with just about anything), suggested I do the horizontal pattern since the diamond would be pretty difficult to lay out and cut.

For those of you who know me, that was all the advice I needed. I chose the diamond design. I found the appropriate decorative tile to fit my pattern, made a few measurements, and there was no turning back.

 Kitchen backsplash before

As you may recall from my About Me section, I am a HGTV junkie. They make every project look easy. I had done some horizontal tiling in the past with “their” encouragement (my parent’s backsplash; the backsplash at the lake; and the bathroom floor). The last tiling job (my kitchen floor) I hired someone else to do. Long story short, I wish I had done it myself. Then maybe I wouldn’t have to keep repairing the cracked grout.

I am pleased with the result and it cost me a fraction of what the tile guy would have charged me no doubt. So, what do you think?

Kitchen tile #1

Tile

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Today is supposed to reach 80 degrees,  I need to wrap this up so I can find something outside to do. The faux painted kitchen wall (Tuscan Accents) can wait until the temperatures drop again.