Polly’s party game

I think it’s high time I bring out the pinata and play a game with my blogging posse (clearly I have yet to get the letter “P” out of my system). What do you say peeps?

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It’s important to me that you understand that next to my sheer enjoyment of expressing myself through creative writing via this blog, I am finding the connections I’ve been making with my followers and other bloggers meaningful and inspiring. Plus, I’m positively pining to procure your perceptions.  Clearly, Playful/Pubescent Polly is at the reins of this pinata pony now. Okay, time to proceed.

6 questions. Nothing too preposterous.

First, here’s a pic of my petunias (it’s entirely possible that I have ADHD, but that’s another post entirely. Someday. If I remember to pen it.)

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Check out the sad little white one in the front. Guess petunias aren’t perfect either.

1)If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

P: To be a butterfly with great hearing. A purple one, because most of the time that is my favorite color. So everyone who sees me thinks I’m all pretty and innocent. But what they don’t know is that I have supersonic hearing. And when I fly on back home I can turn back into myself and write down everything I heard (to later be used as fodder for my blog posts), because unlike the version of myself sans wings, I also have hyperthymesia.

thanks Wikipedia

2) Dogs or cats?

P: For me, it’s dogs all the way! There is a reason people why the word “dog” is simply “God” spelled backwards. And just like God, dogs love all of us unconditionally. Cats are a whole other ball of twine from my perspective. They are a persnickety lot. Plus I’m allergic to them, or 88% of them anyway. On top of that, “Cat” spelled backwards is “tac” which is not even a word. Except for “Tic Tacs” which isn’t a real word either, just a minimally enjoyable mint.

3.) Would you rather see John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen in concert?

P: Well I’d totally be thrilled to see both of them, as their songs contributed to the soundtrack of my pubescent years. But since I have to choose, I pick “The Boss”. For practical reasons primarily. Springsteen is the oldest of the two, thus statistically (don’t judge me, I’m not a mathematician for Pete’s sake) more likely to croke prior to Johnny Cougar. Time is of the essence here.

4) Who would play you in the movie or t.v. version of your life?

P: Mary Louise Parker or Winona Ryder. Keep your pessimistic opinions to yourselves please. A girl can dream right?

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5) What’s your current platform?

P: I am on a path to my own personal new reality, transporting myself in a creative writing vehicle that doesn’t always follow the road signs.

6) Pick what you perceive as the perfect ingredient for the best dessert: Pineapples or Peanut Butter.

P: Totally depends on the day as I love them both. Pineapples are awesome because they look really cool and they are the official fruit of Hawaii, or so I presume. And I really want Hubs and I to go there someday. And they are healthy (I did mention I may have ADHD right?). Probably even a superfood. Peanut butter is awesome because of the texture, plus it is a good source of protein. So it’s a total toss up.

Pineapple
See I told you it was a Hawaiian delicacy!

So here’s my plan: I’m going to rest on my laurels sipping a pina colada while beating my pretend pinata to death until it explodes with candy while you peruse this post and provide me with your perspectives. I’ll be as patient as I can be (which is not very).

Peace out Peeps!

P.S. Sorry I couldn’t resist. I had to persist.

Brought to you by the letter “P”

Disclaimer!!! I have not been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (yet anyway). However, my alter ego, Pollyanna, has a variety of personas. Such as Pubescent Pollyanna, who is currently penning this post. Pubescent Polly has perhaps been unleashed as a result of my current life circumstances. Many of my days this summer have been reminiscent of a time, long long ago, when my pubescent self was home alone, listening to pop music on my boombox and writing pathetically putrid poems, songs, and plays. The grown up me, however, posits that life experiences, whether painful, parental, pleasing, peculiar or a partnership of two or more of them, have unveiled a plethora of personas in which I inhabit. And all of these personas I’m discovering are propelled by  Real Rhonda.

In addition to Pubescent Polly, there is:

Pokey Polly: She’s the one that takes 8 times longer to finish a meal than anyone else on the planet. Especially when eating pizza. Or Pie. Or Pineapples.

Peaceful Polly: She’s the one who just wants everyone to get along for Pete’s Sake! She strives to be mindful. She meditates daily. She protests peacefully for truth, justice, and human rights.

Passionate Pollyanna: She’s the one who is nuts about music. And food. Like peanut butter and pistachios. Peaches and pumpkin (though not together. She has no interest in being Pukey Polly). And she loves the color purple. And Hubs, her partner in life. And puppies.

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A pack of pretty, perky puppies!

 

Planner Pollyanna: This is the one who underneath it all, loves herself a party. Planning the party is a joy for her. She does her best to ponder who to invite, what they like to eat and drink, listen to and what games they might like to play.

Persnickety  Polly: She’s kind of a snarky bitch. She’s hard to please and may come off to some as a perfectionist. She doesn’t do a lot of blog posts.

Playful Pollyanna: She’s the one in control now. She is perpetually in cahoots with Pubescent Pollyanna. She likes to goof off a lot. She has more fun than any of the other personas.

Persistent Polly-She is particularly important. She perseveres people! She doesn’t give up no matter what. Even if people don’t like her pitiful blog.

Pondering Pollyanna: This persona is pensive. Perhaps a bit deep. She pens posts about personal observations about life and possibilities.

Pitiful Polly: Despite her white privilege, she finds things to whine about anyway. She is not allowed to pen any posts on Pollyanna’s Path.

Pissy Polly-She is the political one. She only posts when something in the political arena truly, positively, pisses her off. And she has potential solutions to whatever the problem is that has her so perturbed.

People Pleasing Polly: She is present in the vast majority of posts on this blog.  She prefers to hear positive commentary, but because she is able to partner with Peaceful Polly, she is very open to constructive criticism.

Then there are the personas of Pollyanna that no one will be reading because they suck, like Pretend Pollyanna, Preposterous Pollyanna, Petty Polly, Pretentious Pollyanna, Patronizing Pollyanna or Pessimistic Polly.

As Real Rhonda I hope in the future to present my precious followers with plenty of other personas, such as Progressive Polly, Promising Pollyanna, Proactive Polly, and Praiseful Pollyanna. Because Perfect Pollyanna doesn’t exist.

 

 

 

Lifting Up Those Girls

Okay, get your mind out of the gutter,  you heathens.

Because I believe that 2017 is indeed the Year of the Woman and that it is beneficial for the future of humankind to lift up all the smart, strong, funny, talented, kind, generous, and powerful women I know or have yet to meet and that it behooves the vagina owning creative writers of the world to follow suit, I’m going to give a loving shout out to a specific group of broads that all have one thing in common: they are all named Jennifer.

I think it’s pretty fair to say that I’ve never met a Jennifer I didn’t like. So there’s that.

Jennifer Lawrence: She is the actress I wish to adopt as my younger sister. She is, I believe, naturally funny. She is not self-obsessed though IMHO she is her generation’s finest female actor so she may just be acting as if she’s not self-obsessed. She’s that good. Either way, I suspect that 88% of the time she is the funniest person in the room. That’s why I like Jennifer so much.  And just today I saw on t.v. that she earned herself  a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for 2018! And then there’s this:

 

Jennifer Aniston: I think that she is the chick you’d want as your best friend. She would totally alert you when your shirt is buttoned incorrectly or when you have kale in your teeth. And she would serve you kale in her on the patio of her seaside mansion because she cares about your nutritional health. She would be such a good influence on me. And she has wicked comedic timing. Have you not seen the movie Bad Bosses? Her performance is hi-flipping-larious.

Jenny Lawson: I’m including her because she is truly yoo-ni-que. I am currently in the middle of reading her book “Furiously Happy” which I am enjoying tremendously. Through her authentic, hilarious writing style, Jenny embraces her weirdness in a way that inspires me.

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Jennifer Garner: To me, she is totally the All American Girl Next Door. I can’t imagine there’s been harsh words spoken about her. And if someone did speak harsh words about her, I’m sure there’d be an army of Jennifers that would gang up on them and beat some sense into them. It seems to me that she always picks movies to be in that have a heaping helping of heart in them, like Valentine’s Day and Juno. And let’s not forget what is certainly one of the best chick flicks ever: “13 Going on 30”. Plus she totally kicked ass (back before she was hugely famous movie star),  in the t.v. show Alias (of which I was a huge fan).

Jen Sincero: I have mentioned her in previous posts, and because I admire her so gosh darn much I’m not letting this blogging opportunity pass me by. Now I’ve read my share of female penned self-helpy type books (and will continue to do so for the rest of my livelong life no doubt), but Jen is the real deal people! Her “You are a Badass” book came into my life at just the right time. She writes as if she is sitting down right across from you, bursting with enthusiasm to impart what she has learned about her place in this world of ours and firmly but nicely commanding you to get out of your head, grab life by the cajones and be the best you that you can possibly be. She Sin-cerely (get it? ha!) wishes the best for all of her readers. And I think I can assume for humanity in general. That is how she rolls.

 

I love this commercial. The actress playing the teacher is so relatable. She is like your next door neighbor, who is single and bought her first house which she is fixing up with the help of her parents and younger brother who still  lives at home. And I’m sure she lives in Wisconsin, because that is where nice people like her live.  She is hard-working, earnest, kind, smart and an overall sweetheart. And I’m naming her Jennifer. And I truly hope she has the kid-free vacation of her dreams.

Then there are the Jennifer’s I know in real life. There’s the Jennifer who was my first boss after I became a certified social worker. She used the word “savory” when talking about food one time and I thought that was cool. She was super organized and had a very fair way of explaining opposing perspectives to me which did not put me on the defensive. She was supportive and encouraging and a great sounding board. Terrific qualities for a management position. There was Jenny I used to work with who was a hard working single mom barely making ends meet, who had such a big heart for providing care and attention to the developmentally disabled clients on my caseload in my first case management job. There is my super smart younger cousin Jennifer who is a single mom who works as an attorney in Minnesota. I’m sure that there are more Jennifer’s out there that I already know or have yet to know, but instead of racking my brain trying to recall each of them, I’ll leave you with this….

 

 

 

 

Facebook has my back

I am a big fat sucker for those inane personality tests on Facebook. I am surely not alone in this. Otherwise, those smarty pants techno wizards behind Facebook would not continue to come up with them. Loads of suckers are out there, just like me, simply dying to know what color their “aura” is (mine is pink. I am certain you needed to know that).

So I am nearing a point in my “gap year” (that one year when you have graduated from school-or in my case, my job as a social worker, and you have all these big great life altering ideas and you spend far too much time reading, blogging, gorging on MSNBC, drinking craft beer, watching Seinfeld reruns and taking important Facebook tests), where actual paid employment is quickly becoming something that I best achieve, if for no other reason than I simply must have more financial resources to start seriously knocking off some items off my travel bucket list.

So, that said, what if I turned all of that flipping valuable knowledge of myself gleaned through these perfectly scientifically based Facebook personality tests into the most EPIC cover letter or resume for the job I will obviously get?

It might look something like this:

Dear future employer (see how confident I am? I am telling THEM that they will be my employer. Turning those tables around. Go me!),

Hi, my name is Rhonda and I’m pretty awesome (bam! did it again). Facebook has assured me of this, and as you know, Facebook is the. Ultimate. Authority. On. Everything.

First off, let’s be clear that I shall not work for your organization/company/publication past the age of 61, because Facebook told me that is the age at which I will retire. That gives you 11 years of my personal awesomeness, thankyouverymuch. At the age of 61, my assets will be no less than 98 million U.S. dollars. Facebook is certain that I will amass $66,999 per month. I’m no mathematician (though I’m sure there’s an app for that), but I think it’s safe to assume that making $66,999 per month will equal to at least 98 million bucks by the time I’m ready to say “take this job and shove it” and drive my Bugatti

Here’s my future ride-the Bugatti. Thanks Facebook! You’re the best.

over to my country villa with my 7 dogs). Facebook really gets me. Thank the good Lord someone does. Sheesh.

I would be remiss to neglect mentioning what it is exactly that I can offer you as your next employee (see-did it again-I’m on a flipping role here). I have it on very good authority (Facebook, duh!) that my IQ is 198. So I’m basically a genius. And my EQ (emotional intelligence-not sure why Facebook uses a Q instead of an I here, but I can overlook this one small error) is 179. And not only that, I am 193% precise. Precise at what you ask? I may have to do another Facebook test for that, but it’s probably safe to assume I am precise at doing doctorly things like open heart surgery, circumcisions, and popping blackheads. Because the job that most suits me is being a Doctor, according to official sources at Facebook.

Heads up dear bosses-I require a minimum of 88 days of per year, not including weekends, holidays, birthdays (mine, family members, and all my Facebook friends or course), and sick days (even doctors get sick sometimes), to allow me the time required to write my autobiography entitled “How I learned to Dance in the Rain”. I have to credit the geniuses of Facebook for coming up with this title. Somehow they learned of my tremendous dancing skills and that I know a lot about rain because I married a meteorologist. Damn they’re good.

Elaine Benes, my dancing idol

In conclusion, I’d like to point out that if you make the poor choice of not hiring me right now, I am 99% Bitch. Actually, to be more specific, I am the Queen Bitch. That means, according to the psychics at Facebook, that I always get what I want because I go after it 100%. And obvs, no one messes with me as a result. You’ve been warned.

See you next Monday at the office!

You’re welcome,

Pollyanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dads I love with my whole heart

Where do I even begin? Saying my dad is the best is an understatement. This is the man who worked up to 3 jobs at a time to provide for myself, my mom, my 2 siblings and our dog.  This is the man who expresses his affection for those he loves freely and openly. This is the man who has a knack for coming up with nicknames for his loving family members to express his unabashed love for us all. I loved when he would refer to me as being “Yoon-a-que” (a clever play on the word “unique”). He is more likely though to call me “Rhoda Joda”, which he’s been doing for most of my life. My sister, Kelly, is referred to by him as “Kel Kel Poo Poo” and mom is “Mama Buns”. I think it is fair to say his original nicknames for each of us made us feel beloved by him. And he is so beloved by so many. He taught me through example the importance of honesty, integrity, patriotism, hard work, teamwork, and determination.  He had a keen interest in what I was learning in college and the work I did as a social worker. He taught me how to appreciate nature and all the critters (especially dogs) within it. We shared a love of ice cream at the Dairy Queen. Often he’d sneak me off to scarf down hot fudge sundaes in the summertime, followed by a peaceful drive in the country.  His existence raised my standards in who I would choose as my partner in life, and for that I am forever grateful. While I won’t be able to spend Father’s Day with him, I hope he truly knows how much I love, admire, and respect him.

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My dad groovin’ out with his mardi gras beads in Alabama circa 1990 something

 

My father in law, Jim,  is the best second dad I could have ever hoped for. He is patient, funny,  and one of the most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He loves to talk politics/conspiracy theories. He is well known by all who love him for his great sayings like “You win some, you lose some”. Hubs tells me as a teenager, Jim’s one piece of advice to him was to “wear a raincoat if you’re going to play in the mud” (you get it right?). He is fun loving and a very involved Grandpa to our two kids. He has always had a habit of napping in his big comfy recliner, even amidst the chatter of those around him and the t.v. on. When the kids were in elementary school and they would spend weekends at Grandpa Jim and Grandma Alice’s house, he wouldn’t even flinch (though I highly suspect he was really awake) as the kids would adorn him with funny hats and lipstick. He has a deep love of animals and an uncanny ability to communicate with them. He has been known to take his cat Chester (whom was rescued as a wee kitten from the bushes in front of his house by our youngest) on a walk around the neighborhood with a leash. He is great at fixing cars, and along with my dad, got our old black Oldsmobile into good running condition the day Hubs and I were to leave on our honeymoon road trip to Mackinac Island 27 years ago.  A gift of labor we appreciated more than words could say. I am blessed that Hubs was raised by this guy. He was an excellent role model for how to be a good man. I won’t be seeing Jim on Father’s Day this year either, but I hope he’s able to spend time doing his favorite things like spending time outdoors and watching Nascar on the tube.

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Classic Jim from circa 1970 something

 

Hubs-the love of my life and the best dad my kiddos could have had. Patient, just like his dad, which is much appreciated since I am quite certain living with the kiddos and I all these years would have been challenging even for Job. Hubs at his core is fun-loving, affectionate, and a wonderful teacher of life lessons. He is the dad that spent hours upon hours helping our kids with their homework. He is the dad who taught them how to fish and how to ride a bike.  He is the dad who  modeled how a good spouse operates by always working in partnership with me to ensure the house was kept up, supporting me in my career/job choices, treating me respectfully, and not shying away from showing his affection for me each and every day. He is the dad who modeled for our kids how to be a good citizen and human through taking them to see Obama speak, chaperoning church youth mission trips, volunteering,  and writing thoughtful, heartfelt, and thought-provoking editorials in the local newspaper. He’s always encouraged the kids to further their education and delights in celebrating with them when they’ve achieved milestones in their lives. He is a great communicator and his listening skills are admirable, which I’m sure the kids would attest to. He loves having conversations with them about life and love. He learned much about how to be the wonderful dad he is from both our dads, which is a great blessing. I will be spending this Father’s Day with Hubs and plan to do everything in my power to make it a day he will appreciate and enjoy, because well, I love him and he deserves it.

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Hubs in his happy place…fishing on the Mississippi River

 

Donuts

Donuts are no doubt right up there with hot dogs as the worst thing one can consume. Yet they remain a delectable delight in spite of our best efforts to maintain a healthy diet. My favorites are puffy, sticky glazed ones. With a hot cup of Joe they are especially scrumptious. I also enjoy me a blueberry cake donut (which is totally fine because blueberries are one of those healthy superfoods right?) covered in a bit of sugary icing. And I find chocolate bismarcks with creamy vanilla pudding tucked inside a most decadent treat.

A trip to the county or state Fair is not truly complete without digging into one of those little white bags filled to capacity with those deep fried nuggets of goodness sprinkled generously with sugar and cinnamon, am I right?

As a kid growing up in northern Minnesota, back when the danger of carbs was not basic knowledge, and I operated under the assumption that I would forever be slender and fit (aka innocence is bliss), I frequently would pop into the bakery next door to my parent’s clothing store after school.  Often I would purchase a long John with maple flavored icing which I’d wash down with a cold Coke. Good times.

Nowadays, I adhere to a new rule regarding the donut. I refuse to pay for them. Think about it this way: why would I pay (Hub’s) hard earned money for something that will be akin to poison for my body? Plus, think about all the scenarios in which free donuts are ‘a plenty: Community time after church, volunteer gigs, the break room at the office (granted, this is currently not a scenario I am a part of at this time, but surely have been in the past).  There’s a level of giddy excitement when treats like donuts are free for the taking, kind of like what I would imagine one would feel upon learning they had won the lottery.

free-donuts

So there’s this donut shop located in a sort of run down strip mall near us. It’s housed next to a pot dispensary and a liquor store we sometimes frequent. And it appears to never be open for business. It’s called Holy Donuts and sports large pictures of donuts in the windows with what appears to be either orange construction paper or perhaps curtains beneath them. Not sure what that’s about. I surmised several possibilities about the owners of this donut shop, ranging from this being a cover for a super secret spy ring, to it being run by a lonely old man whose kids are all grown and living out of state and  doesn’t have enough help to run the shop so he is only able to make so many donuts, hence the reason it is apparently closed 88% of the time.

However, I did me a little research (aka googled Holy Donuts). Turns out they are a “mom and pop” shop, so that blows my theory of this being run by a lonely old man using the last bit of energy he has slaving away in the kitchen making donuts by himself. And they only serve fresh donuts, no day old crud going on in this joint. And the coffee they serve is fresh roasted locally. And to top it off, their website states that they are “humble and privileged to serve a lovely community of folks”.

There is an exception to every rule, right?

Volume

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Volume is today’s word prompt today according to WordPress. I found this ironic, as I discovered this while Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Till you Get Enough” began to play on my “Get Pumped” playlist. It’s one of those songs, at least for me, that simply begs to be heard at full volume.

Then I got to thinking about all the other tunes I enjoy most at higher decibels. The ones that will catch my attention from the first couple of chords and instigate bodily gyrations. The ones that make me wax a bit nostalgic about my younger, carefree college days. The ones that bring back memories from times spent with life long friends, moments that cannot ever be re-captured.

I remember in my college days, back in the 80’s, when my girlfriends and I were getting ready for “Thirsty Thursday” at one of the many local watering holes, cranking up Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” (funny that years later, I ended up living so close to the Rocky Mountains).  My friends and I would be frantically trying on different outfits, ratting our hair out and applying copious amounts of Aqua Net in an attempt to make ourselves as appealing as possible to those frat boys we lusted after. “Rocky Mountain Way” fueled me on many of those nights.

Joe Walsh Rocky Mountain Way

I am a lifelong fan of the Rolling Stones. “Honky Tonk Woman” with it’s cowbell opening, quickly followed by the drum beat and swampy guitar sounds, is most appreciated at a higher volume. When Hubs and I saw them on their “Steel Wheels” tour in 1992 in the twin cities, this song was the highlight of the night for me.

Rolling Stones Honky Tonk Woman

“White Wedding” by Billy Idol is another one of those songs best heard at a high volume. Hearing this song makes me smile like a fool. It brings me back to a time, many years ago, when Hubs and I were 4 wheeling through the woods in northern Minnesota with our oldest, dearest couple friends. We had this song cranked up to the max and laughed hysterically as we bounced around in the jeep like ragdolls.

One night a couple of years ago, Hubs and I were cooking up a little dinner in the kitchen of our sweet “Grandma” house back in Wisconsin, when “Burning Down the House” came on. I looked over at him and he looked at me. Words did not need to be spoken. I turned up the volume and the most fun dance party ever ensued. Thankfully, we were able to finish our supper making duties in the midst of our shenanigans and did not burn down the house.

Burning down the house

Then there’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. A song this dramatic is made to be played louder than others. I think you’d be hard pressed to find any Gen X’ers like me and the Hubs that didn’t appreciate the homage paid to this great classic rock song in the “Wayne’s World” movie.

wayne’s world bohemian rhapsody

So fellow music lovers, what songs compel you to “crank up the tunage”?

Women I have yet to meet

 

I think I have a lot of writing material on the topic of my relationships with other women. I also sincerely believe that 2017 is the Year of the Woman. Seriously. So I’m going to imagine/write about what broads/chicks/badass vagina owners I would like to hang  with.  Here’s some names and scenarios off the top of my noggin:

Chelsea Handler

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I know she can be vulgar and off-putting to some. Sometimes, even to me. I say this after having recently read “Are you there Vodka? It’s me Chelsea”. Nonetheless, I admire her frankness and wit. And she’s an awesome story teller. And most importantly, she appears to me to be totally authentic.

Setting for my “gal date” with Chelsea: Some top notch wine, red or white, Chelsea’s pick. Discuss politics and social media with her. And she’s a dog lover like me. Her dogs Chunk and Tammy should most certainly be present.

 

Lisa Ling

For those of you not in the know, Lisa is a reporter with her own show on CNN, “This is Life with Lisa Ling”. She inserts herself into cultures that are different from her own experiences. She follows her curiosity. I’ve watched shows where she has spent time amidst biker gangs in L.A., with Satanists in Detroit, and where she featured  a “pick up artist” who holds retreats for nerdy single guys looking for love. I am fascinated each time. And impressed by her non-judgemental-ness that inhabits her as she is talking one on one with her interviewees. So naturally if I ever got the honor of hanging with LL, it’d have to be when she’s on assignment for her show.

Jessica Simpson

This one has all the hallmarks of a “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” type video. Jessica and I would go shopping at fun boutiques. I would ask her for fashion tips. Pedicures of course would be on the agenda. I think Jessica is likely one of those people who is smarter than she appears, but fun loving and kind. And for some reason, I picture that she eats like a 400 lb trucker and loves sweet wine.

Oprah

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“O” and I would sip tea in a her garden. I would need to allow plenty of time for this tete a tete.  Main question to ponder with her: What do you want to be known for and why? Get her best life advice. I’ve heard she does have a place here in Colorado…..

Tina and Amy

(like Oprah, last names are not necessary here)

Hear me out on this one: All my life, I’ve wanted to visit New York City. Hubs has no interest as he’s been there once and characterized the city as “smelling of urine” and made it clear he has no intentions whatsoever of going there ever again. So if I’m to go there I need a tour guide or two right? That’s where Tina and Amy would come in.  We’d tour 30 Rock,  Central Park, the Museum of Natural History. Of course I would need to check off one of my top “bucket list” items, which, not surprisingly to anyone who follows me on this blog, would be to be in the audience at SNL. No need for Tina and Amy to join me on this particular venture. They’d be way too much of a distraction for me.

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Sheryl Crow

Life long rock ‘n roll fantasy (ok, maybe since I was like 40 something): to, for one glorious moment, be a back up singer in her band during one of her concerts. Maybe in Austin, Texas. That’s a place I’d like to see some day. I’d wear some cool black rocker chick type outfit and croon along in the background to “If it Makes You Happy” or “Soak up the Sun”. Just a song or two, and I’d be satisfied. I’d also dig discussing the following topics with her: motherhood, music, and fashion. I like to think we could learn a little bit from each other.

 

Jen Sincero

Would bowing down in gratitude be too much?  Inspirational nuggets to which I cling, from Jen’s “You are a Badass” book: the interesting question of “What can I get away with?”, the line on page 65 which states “Nobody who ever accomplished anything big or new or raised a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone”, and this one from page 50: ” You’re on a journey, with no defined beginning, middle, or end. There are no wrong twists or turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be”. Jen has inspired me in oh so many ways. I just want to sit down and talk with her, one on one. The setting is not important to me here.  Of course my insecurity would require that I get her totally honest opinions about my writing and my blog. And I would listen with an open mind and heart to any advice she would wish to bestow upon me.

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Helen Mirren

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This woman looks damn good at 71, right? I have read about her online and the most surprising and relatable tidbit I learned was that she is a thrift store enthusiast, just like me! She doesn’t understand why a woman would spend like $888 on a new dress from a fancy boutique when they can purchase the same or similar frock at a thrift store for like 20 bucks. I am right there with her on this. Helen and I would sip tea together at Dushanbe tea house in Boulder. We would discuss her best quotes and best life lessons. This would be brilliant!

The boy who owns my heart

I feel like I’ve spent an ample amount of time and energy writing blog posts about past experiences in my life. I’m in a really positive frame of mind today, as the sun is shining here in Colorado and I just returned from my morning neighborhood walk.  I’ve had thoughts about writing stories of my encounters with nature, furry creatures, and people I don’t yet know whom I pass by on these walks. I’ve given myself a mental directive to practice mindfulness during these walks by counting the number of bunnies in my neighborhood (highest total was surprisingly only 7). But today I found myself thinking about a little boy who owns my heart.

He’s got the most beautiful head of golden blond hair. He speaks in complete sentences now and often says the funniest things. He loves playing with toy cars, eating strawberries and cucumbers, and when he is riled up and cranky, his parents banish him to the “crabby corner”. And he still loves the “stinky feet” game I play with him. It involves him laying down on a bed or floor while I take each one of his ticklish, chunky, silky soft feet and smell them, exclaiming “Pee-you!” each time I take  a whiff. This activity elicits the most gleeful giggles I have ever had the pleasure of hearing.

I’ve had it in my mind these past few months that this summer, he was going to visit me and the hubs in Colorado. It’d be his first ride in an airplane, not surprising at the tender age of 3. He’d flirt with fellow passengers, especially those of the female persuasion. He would be mesmerized by the clouds he sees through his window seat, to the point where he’d take a sweet little snooze for a while. However, this trip is likely going to have to wait till next summer, when he’s 4, due to financial and scheduling constraints. I am going to embrace this fact and use my time between now and then to imagine/plan the adventures we will have with him next summer.

Oh, the things we will do, the places we will go!

We will take him to the Butterfly Pavilion, located not far from us. There he will check out the in house beehive and Hubs (the scientist) can tell him why bees are so important to us humans here on earth. If he’s brave enough, he will let a big, furry spider sit in his hands while one of the employees tells him what spiders eat and about their natural habitat. He will walk through their amazing butterfly garden, with the sun streaming through the windows and ceiling. Maybe a butterfly will land on his foot, like one did for me when I last visited. We will be sure to dress him in something bright and colorful that day to increase the chance this will happen.

The Downtown Aquarium in Denver is likely to be very exciting for him as well. There I imagine he will cling to my legs as we approach the flood exhibit. He may cover his little ears because it gets pretty loud. The water will likely splash him a little bit, which will cause him to shriek with excitement. He will have lots of questions at the Aquarium to be sure, like “what is that?” and the favorite toddler question “Why?”.  He will giggle and point at the otters who flip and flop and glide through the water while simultaneously keeping their little eyes on the humans who are delighting in their antics.

Most certainly, he will be exposed to the wonder that is Rocky Mountain National Park. Hubs will need to take his Nikon to get shots of this little man exploring all the naturally stunning beauty to be found there. Beforehand, Hubs can take him to buy his own pint sized fishing pole. Then I can get some shots of Hubs teaching the little guy how to fish. A hike would also have to be on the itinerary, though with a 3 year old it shan’t be one that is overly long or challenging. It’ll probably involve a stop along the way to have a picnic lunch. I’ll have to pack some of those disgusting-but-loved-by toddlers mashed fruit pouches, peanut butter sandwiches, and juice boxes. And lots of handi-wipes of course.

Hubs and I will scope out the best parks with playground equipment within a 10 mile radius and visit them with the kiddo. We will take him to church, where he can meet our new church family and hear some great music. We will take him to the Science Museum in Denver, to which we have not yet been. And we’ll take him to one of our lovely Farmer’s Markets and encourage him to sample new and foreign-to-him foods, and capture his reaction. We will take him to a water and/or amusement park, accompanying him on rides which he is tall enough to be on.

This child of which I speak is our grandson Christopher. He makes my heart burst with happiness whenever I am with him. The highlight of this summer for me will no doubt be times spent with him when we visit Wisconsin in July. It’s hard to imagine there was actually a time, not long ago, when I was so caught up in my own self-image that I told everyone that while indeed, my daughter was having her own baby, I would not be called “Grandma”. Time (and love) has such an awesome way of changing one’s perspective, does it not?

About my belly weight

While I am not considered obese by any standards I am aware of, I’ve got a spare tire around my middle. It ain’t pretty. I could blame the two pregnancies I endured but that would not be completely accurate never mind fair. Lack of regular exercise and my love of craft beer and sweet treats are also to blame. I’ve grown to hate the expression “it is what it is”,  but in this case it’s true. While I attempt to shrink my spare tire by doing 50 sit ups each morning, getting a walk in every day, and eating healthy 88.8% of the time, I suspect that the chance  this belly fat will stay put is closer to 100%. The catch 22 is that I prefer wearing flowy, bohemian type tops for their style and comfort. However, to some who are not fashion minded, they may appear to be maternity tops.

It’s a really good thing that I no longer take myself too seriously, because it allows me to share the following stories about said belly fat.

So a few years back while working as a social worker, I was in the home of one of my clients for a visit. His (pudgy) wife was in attendance as well. After I seated myself, this wife comments that she “didn’t know I was expecting”. Awkward moment! I sat in shock and horror, and after sucking my gut in as best I could, I mumbled something to the effect of “no I am not expecting, I’m just fat”. Of course we all know that hindsight is 20/20, but…maybe I should have retorted in an innocent tone of voice “Expecting what?” At which point I presume she would have said “a baby” to which I could have replied “Why do you think I would be expecting a baby”, hence putting her on the spot so she could tell me I looked fat that day. I then could have pointed out that she in fact had a good 150 lbs on me. However, I was a professional and was/am a Christian so it’s likely best that I did not respond in this way.

Then there was the time that Hubs and I were walking on a lovely trail in the town we lived in in Wisconsin, when we walked past an older, scrawny looking man who was accompanied by what I can only assume was his wife and daughter (both overweight). After (I kid you not) we passed by them going the opposite direction, I hear this man’s voice saying “Excuse me ma’am? Are you expecting?” Again I maybe should have replied “Expecting what?” but I just turned around in shock and said “no” to which he responded “Well you look it”. I give myself credit for not immediately charging at him with raised fists, hollering something about his fat wife and daughter. Hubs thought it was hilarious. Fucker.

The most recent occasion in which I was suspected of being “with child” came more recently, during my weekly volunteer gig at a nearby food bank. I seated this middle aged hispanic woman and her husband in an office to begin the client intake process. As I sat down, the woman asked me “Is this your first?”. I was completely caught off guard yet again. For a second, as I am still a relatively new volunteer in this setting, I assumed she meant “first client”, but for clarification I responded “First client? No”, but when she said something about how she needed to be wearing her glasses at all times, it dawned on me that she thought I was pregnant. I agreed that she needed to be wearing her glasses and laughed it off. When I told Hubs this story later that day, he of course laughed his head off. Again-fucker. Then he came up with the line I should have responded with, which was “Oh, thank you for thinking I look like I’m still of child-bearing age”. Well, okay, that would have flipped things around right?

So the question I have for myself about my belly weight, is what am I going to do about it? I see several choices here: 1) Liposuction. Fact: out of my price range and I have a low pain tolerance. 2) Discontinue consumption of craft beer and chocolate. Fact: my life would be much less enjoyable if I did this.  Not happening. Life is too short to deprive myself of these pleasures. 3) Wear a corset under my clothes when in public. Fact: That would be so uncomfortable, not to mention itchy. And it probably would not be healthy for my innards. 4) Suck it up and suck it in as best as I can. Especially when in public. And memorize some great comebacks if (or shall I say when) a stranger asks me when the baby is due.

I think I’ll go with choice #4. Life is to be enjoyed, not lived for other’s approval. Especially for how you look.

 

Finding silver linings, lifting others up, sharing positively good stuff