Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Up-down, one-two

A friend and I were discussing our exercise programs, and kind of comparing notes. She goes to an actual gym and participates in several different programs.  I like talking about exercise, it keeps my incentive up.  She told me one of her programs had some exercises from ballet and I was quite intrigued.

We used the side of a car as a ballet 'bar' as she showed me some of  the moves. I notice one was similar to what I do, except, where I stand flat footed, feet together, her program has her heels together, toes pointed outward, and she has to lift her heels off the floor.  Wow...I tried that then and there, I could feel myself using different leg muscles in order to do this.  Holy mackerel.

I told her I'm still having trouble with balance, and showed her the exercises I do to improve mine. She said she did one similar, but instead of putting her arms down to her sides, she was instructed to place her hands together in front of her chest.  I think she called it something like 'heart position'. I've decided I'm going to do that.

Then, still talking about balance she mentioned her instructor said one of the most important things we should do is never give up on being able to stand up with out the aid of clinging to something for support.  I get that!  I always prided myself I was able to get up, even off the floor, without having to push or pull myself up.  However, over the years I've discovered I can no longer do that.  I've been very embarrassed about having to crawl across the floor on hand and knees to a sofa or chair. It's even more embarrassing when I'm working outside on my hands and knees and have to scour the neighborhood making sure no one is watching as I get myself upright once more. As a result I decided come heck or high water I am going to get myself back into shape to be able to do stand up again...by myself...on my own.

I started yesterday.

Baaaaaaaa, haaaaaaaaa, haaaaaaaaa, haaaaaaaaaaa, Whew, that felt good.

Wish you could have been here, I had myself in such a fit of giggles.

I started by skooching myself to the edge of the sofa, feet firmly planted on the floor. I attempted to stand. I could not get my flabby butt off the cushion.  (Snicker.)  I tried again, this time I managed to get my butt off the sofa, but my arms flailed about like a fish freshly landing on a beach for the very first and probably last time. (Snicker, snicker.)  Plop, down I went onto the sofa.

I think maybe if I grunt while trying to pull myself into a standing position it might help. I do so, as quietly as possible.  Did you know you can't grunt in silence 'cause it makes you...well, you know...fart.  (Now I'm far beyond snickering.)

I try one more time, by now my legs feel like rubber.  I've awakened Zorro...CC has fled in fright, I think because of my flailing arms and Frankie is doubled over in a fit of laughter.  It's hard to try to better yourself when those you love get such a kick out of it.

I finally give up, for the moment.

However, now I'm bound and determined I'm going to conquer being able to get myself into a standing position...on my own...without the aid of anything but my own muscle power.  I don't care how long it takes!  I am going to become the little train that could!

At least I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy hour

As I posted yesterday I had a date to go to happy hour with friends, and since I had given Frankie such a hard time about my coffee creamer system I invited her to go along with us.

At first she declined, but I pulled the please, please, please, pullllleeeeeaaaase, 'be a two year old kid whine until you say yes' trick.  It worked.

Around 3:30 my friend showed up, and the three of us took off to meet our fourth companion.  My friend lives within walking distance of many great restaurants, and she suggested we walk.  Boy, I shoot Frankie a look...she's not used to walking, is she going to make a fuss.  I glance to my left and I can see the intersection with the light and think, it's not all that far, we should be able to make it no problem.  After all Frankie and I have been exercising for quite a while, and we are in better shape than we've been in a long, long time, walking several blocks should not present a problem.

Our fourth companion shows up and we begin our trek.  It's a beautiful day, there is a scent of spring blossoms on the air and we leisurely stroll along the street.  Our conversation is as light and breezy as the day, we talk about all sorts of things which is easy to do since we've not been together for quite a long time.

I glance at Frankie, she's not talking much but I can tell she's enjoying herself and listening to our conversation because she smiles and laughs at the appropriate times. Lake Oswego is a dog friendly city so as we stroll we stop and pet all kinds and sizes of them.  We're having a wonderful time. Our destination comes into view. Surprisingly...none of us is winded...even though we talked and laughed the whole way.

We seat ourselves, order drinks and eventually food. Now, you'd think by now we'd have run out of things to talk about, but that was not the case.  Frankie talked about the move we hope to make later this year and I was pleased to know she's as excited, yet just a bit as scared as I at the prospect of making such a gigantic change in our lives.

Much too soon it's time to start our trek back to where it began.  This time it is slightly up hill. Frankie and I share a secret glance...down hill was one thing, going up was quite another.  We needn't have worried the walk was easy-peasy.

Once home I asked Frankie if she had a good time.  She sank into a chair and kicked off her cowboy boots as a grin of contentment spread across her face.  I grinned back, there was no need for words. I'm glad she agreed to come along because I knew she had forgiven me for my morning tirade, and this morning she made both of us a cup of hazelnut flavored coffee.

All is right in our world.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Grrrrr, darn Frankie.

Me:  "FRANKIE!" Yes, I'm yelling.  Sometimes I could spit tacks.

Frankie saunters into the kitchen, steaming mug of coffee in hand.  See, I knew she was guilty.  She looks so innocent...so.....ahhhh!!!!

Frankie:  (Taking a bite of peanut butter covered bagel.)  "What's got your bun wound so tight?"

She actually snickered.  Grrrr.

Me:  "Did we not have a long talk about the flavored coffee creamers?  Did we not set up a system to rotate the creamers so they all run out at the same time?"

Frankie screws up her face in fake concentration, wrinkling her brow, shifting her mouth from side to side, scratching her nose.  "I guess I recollect something like that."

Me:  "Is that all you have to say for yourself?  You know you deliberately messed up the order."

Frankie moves way to far into my personal space and challenges me.  "How do you know I messed up the order, maybe you did."

I drag her to the cupboard and remind her about the system.  There are four jars of flavored creamers and one jar of just plain sugar...the sugar is the jar that guides us through the system.  Every day, the creamer we are to use that day sits in front of the sugar, every day as we use that creamer, a new creamer moves in front of the sugar container and a round robin system begins.  It works well, each creamer container empties within days of each other.

Frankie hates this system.

Oh, I know, it is kind of silly, but I guess I kind of have a bit of OCD because I like the order of my creamer system...I know each day I will enjoy a different flavoring in my coffee, and I also know I will be opening new containers all at once, not one every two weeks or so.  Frankie, on the other hand does not care a twit.  Dang her.

So, Frankie says, "Just how do you know I used a creamer out of order, anyway?"
Me:  (Sighing.) "Yesterday, I used the pumpkin spice, which means I should not have found it in front of the sugar container this morning."
Frankie:  "I didn't want pumpkin spice yesterday, but I did this morning, so I moved back in front of the sugar for this morning.
Me:  "But, I should be having hazelnut this morning...I want hazelnut!"

Frankie in her usual, I don't give a crap attitude grabs my cheeks squeezes just a tad hard, while being waaaaay to close in my private space when she says: "I've got one word for you getoverit!'

Wow!!!  This is hard to process.  I retreat, intending to return and do battle...she's not getting away with this.  No way!!!!

I take my pumpkin spice flavored coffee and go to my office contemplating my revenge. All of a sudden I recall a conversation I had yesterday when I boastfully and proudly exclaimed I was pleased I've become mature and forgiving, able to overlook the small stuff.   Yet here I was making an awful fuss over of all things...coffee creamers.  Oh, I don't know I will ever be able to give up on my rotation system because I like it, but I have learned a lesson this morning.  In the scheme of things does it really matter if Frankie occasionally, or even frequently wants a different flavor in her coffee than I do?  Nope, I don't think so.

This was definitely 'sweating a small stuff' thing and I definitely should be the bigger person and overlook it.

So since I'm going with friends to happy hour this afternoon, as a way of making up and saying I'm sorry, I think I'll ask Frankie to come along.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Scoo, bee, doo, be, dooo, bee, dooo.

I'm stuck in nostalgia this morning.

I was fortunate to grow up in an era where beautiful songs were written, lyrics told a story, generally love stories.  They were slow, and I swayed back and forth as I hummed them in my head.  Song writers were magicians, their words and music weaved a spell, we walked through a room of smoke and mirrors until we became the song.

This morning a particular song has been weaving in and out of the smoke filled recesses of my brain. At this moment I don't even recall its name, but here are the words I recall so far..."just a passing glance, just a brief romance,...might have ended.....da, da, da.

Dang it!

It was probably written for a Broadway play, maybe back in the '30's or 40's.  Maybe by Gershwin, or maybe Berlin.  I know I'm not going to be able to move on to something else today until I find this song on the Net, read it, find out who wrote it and sing it either in my head or out loud (which won't be pretty...that's for sure).

I've always appreciated the songs from the '30's, 40's and even several from the '50's...then something happened, we started listening to songs about blueberry hills, hound dogs and heartbreak hotels.  Oh, they were clever, and we were still able to memorize the words and sing along, it was still okay.  But, over the decades since I have to confess I find songs written today for the most part are repetitious and not really even sung...but shouted...very, very loudly.  Sigh, I don't even turn on my radio to listen to music, but play old tapes and CD's.  I know, I know I'm old...and nostalgic.

Dang it!

I'm good with letting the 'young folk' have their music, I'm thankful I don't have to listen to it, and who knows, maybe somebody in their late teens and early twenties today in another five or so decades will be sitting at some kind of newfangled technology saying to themselves...'what was the name of that song...Scoo, bee, doo, be, dooo, bee, dooo?  I bet ya' fifty cents it didn't tell a beautiful story, like the one below.

Nat King Cole – Fascination Lyrics

It was fascination
I know
And it might have ended
Right then, at the start
Just a passing glance
Just a brief romance
And I might have gone
On my way
Empty hearted

It was fascination
I know
Seeing you alone
With the moonlight above
Then I touch your hand
And next moment
I kiss you
Fascination turned to love

It was fascination
I know
Seeing you alone
With the moonlight above
Then I touch your hand
And next moment
I kiss you
Fascination turned - to - love


Fascination lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 
Peerrmusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Oh, how I wish something like that had happened to me.  A balcony, crickets singing, slight summer breeze, gardenias in the air...a silhouette standing in the open French doors...a gentle tap on my bare shoulder..."then he touched my hand and next moment he kissed me, fascination turned to love."


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

This blog is...

...about the Bible, so, if this subject offends you, this is the place to stop reading.  That's your right and I respect that.

Over the years, and on my own I've studied the Bible a lot.  I've read it cover to cover twice.  Both times I learned many things but I always felt something was missing.  So, I mentioned that to my Bible Study mentor, saying "I know what happens in the Bible, but I don't really know the 'people' in the Bible, I wish I could learn about the people."

To my absolute delight the next week she showed up with one of their publications called "Imitate Their Faith".  And, over the year we learned about the Bible figures Abel, Noah, Abram, Ruth, Hannah, Samuel, Abigail, Elijah, Jonah (my favorite), Esther, Mary and Joseph (Jesus earthly mother and father), Martha an finally Peter (my second favorite). Oh, I can't wait to meet them in paradise...the questions I want to ask.

Sadly, last week we finished the book, we have the conclusion to go which we are going to try to stretch out to at least two or maybe three weeks.  Then we are hoping we might be privy to a miracle and a new book comes out with additional personalities in the Bible.  I hope, I hope.

I can't tell you just how much I've learned from these historical people, and how much I want to spent the rest of my life imitating their faith.  For instance I learned from Peter when he asked Jesus how many times he was required to forgive someone who sinned against him...the law of at the day said "only three", Peter wanting to sound generous asked Jesus, "Up to seven?"  Imagine his surprise when his Lord replied, "Not up to seven, but up to seventy-seven times."  See how we've strayed from what is expected of us?  We can barely admit we've made a mistake much less forgive even once.

Oh, I'm the most guilty of all.  How long did I hold a grudge against Bird Lady?  And, who was I really hurting by doing so?  Certainly not her. And, surprisingly once I let go of the grudge and forgave her the weight was lifted from my heart and life was good again.

So, you see, I have learned a great deal from all the people in the Bible, they were human, they had frailties, some were reluctant to do the job God set forth for them to do. Some had to endure hardship, some acted totally out of love for their fellow man. I want to spend the rest of my life becoming a better Christian and imitate the faith of my Bible brothers and sisters...I don't think the road will be easy, I don't think it's supposed to..I don't think I want it to...I think I will learn to be a better person by making some mistakes along the way.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Sometimes things happen totally out of anybody's control.  All you can do is see the humor in it, and move on.  My next door neighbor's daughter is staying with them for a while.  She has two dogs. Their yard is very small, so I said they could use my back yard for a little more space for them to roam.  So far it's been working pretty well.  Sometimes they give Zorro a fright when I put him out not realizing they are out as well, and they come bounding over to my little garden fence to say hello. (I put the fence there to keep Zorro from making unexpected visits to her kitchen to munch her kitty's kibble.) Though the dogs are both friendly, they are quite a bit larger than my pooch, and mine being such a chicken around other dogs, high-tails it to my sliding door.

Anyway, as I say this routine has been working well, when they want to use my back yard they politely open and close my little garden gate each and every time.

Ooops, night before last something went a-miss. I have a little garden of shrubs running along the wall of my morning room and while my neighbor's daughter's dogs were out for their final 'business run', one of them saw some creature (probably a mole) tunneling in the garden.  Now, no dog in its right mind could overlook a temptation like that, and he worked, (dug) mightily to catch the creature. In the meantime, dirt and ground cover went helter-skelter.  Oh, that dog had a high old time!

Yesterday morning when I opened my drapes I noticed my neighbor had made alterations to her deck gate making it impossible for anybody or thing to get on or off the deck.  I was very curious.  It happened I saw her as she was getting ready to leave for work and inquired if there was a problem of some sort, as it was strange her deck gate was closed...it never is.

She proceeded to tell me about the 'dig', and said she couldn't really talk but that she had written me an e-mail to explain.  Overcome with curiosity I turned on my computer and read her note.  Oh my, she was so apologetic, and embarrassed that her dog had done damage to my garden.

Now I was even more curious and made a beeline to check out the garden. Oh...my...goodness. I started to laugh...her dog had had one heck of a good time digging.  He followed the creature's trail all along the outer edge of the garden for quite a distance.  It was a very neat dig...there weren't piles, the dirt was evenly distributed along the dig.  Seriously, there was no way I could have been angry or upset about what the dog had done, his work was as professional as though a construction worker had dug a trench. Matter of fact considering how hard he had worked at digging I wish he would have caught whatever it was, he should have enjoyed the fruits of his labor.

Also, on the up side of this ooops, that soil sure got a good aeration, since I never think of taking a hoe and loosening the soil in any of my gardens, ever.

So it was sometime yesterday afternoon my neighbor placed the dirt back where it belongs.  She did a darn good job, too.  I might lose a little of the ground cover, but it was overgrowing the garden anyway, so I don't much care about the loss.

I guess since I'm older things like a dog's dig, or a stupid, frail bamboo fence attached to my white vinyl one with 'floral wire' don't bother me a bit.  Heck, "...a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce, or a trouble is what you make it"...and a bit of dirt flung hither and yon by an exuberant pup, for me is not a trouble at all.

Monday, February 23, 2015

50 things!

Since I've been looking at retirement complexes for Rambling Old Women, I happened to check into a popular company that advertises they will help a person find 'a place for mom'.  I'm getting e-mail from them.  Don't get me wrong, so far every place I've checked into has been wonderful, and since I am a novice at this business I appreciate all the information I've been receiving by phone, e-mail and 'snail mail' as well.  Truth be told, I'm loving this experience.

But, I'm starting to digress...again.


This morning I got an e-mail from one of these places that suggests I read their article titled something like 50 things to do to stay young.  I thought, "what the heck", and clicked on the article. Yep, there it was a list of things to do.  I began to scroll down through the list.

I was surprised to see there are some I've already done, like try an unusual food, frog legs and escargot for instance.  Also, since I frequently work with paper while doing art work, I tend to color and doodle while waiting for inspiration to wop me upside the head.  I also tend to make paper airplanes from the scraps of doodled paper, some of which easily sail all the way across my living room.

Of course, there are more normal things I've done, and do as well, such as eat cookies with milk, watch sunrises and sunsets, and play hide and seek with Zorro...I got him good one day last week.

There was on the list a few things I know I won't do, like ride in a hot air balloon (I've seen what happens when a ride goes bad).  I also will not go on a boat ride (water terrifies me).

Surprisingly, there are some items on the list I want to do, like, write words to a song and make up a secret code.  I want to wear a funny hat in public...perhaps one of those I made a couple years ago.  I'd like to (actually) get out of my comfort zone and try something scary...perhaps climb a ladder and sit on the peak of my roof.

Then again, I guess I don't need a list.  I've got plenty going on in my daily routine what with Frankie, Zorro and CC living with me.  I never know what to expect day by day.  Or, like my daughter and I say "Age is just a number."  They come, they go. Today is the oldest I've ever been and I feel quite lucky because this morning I woke up on the up-side of the sod.