workout plan

workout plan

Saturday, October 31, 2015

NEWS FLASH: MISSING IN MANITOWOC IS AVAILABLE TOMORROW!

Hello all!  

I know on Tuesday that I promised you five days of previews of my new novel, which will be available on Amazon.com TOMORROW, November 1, and is available in print for in the Create space store RIGHT NOW BY CLICKING HERE.  Unfortunately, my beloved grandmother passed
away yesterday.  Thursday I was able to go see her one last time and she had a most amazing last day with family all around her. Her mind, though she was weeks away from her 99th birthday, was sharp.  Finally it was her body that wore out. She was actually a little miffed, I think, at God for not taking her on Wednesday when she collapsed in the bathroom, but God knew her family needed one more day with her. So tomorrow, Sunday, we put her to rest next to her husband of nearly 70 years.

That said, I am managing to give you a few more pages of MISSING IN MANITOWOC right now. I'm so excited to start on this journey with Nora Hill, a woman who has been tested by God in so many ways.  I hope you enjoy it too.

Again, this book will be available for kindle on Amazon tomorrow. I'm hoping all other digital platforms will also be ready to go today or tomorrow, and that includes Nook, Apple, Kobo...all of those.

Meanwhile, here's another few pages to whet your appetite!  Enjoy!

“Is that your Subaru?”
            I look at the mechanic in his coveralls. I wonder if his wife even attempts to wash the grease and oil stains out of the heavy denim union suit. Maybe she makes him leave it outside on the back porch.
            That’s what my mother would do. “Germaphobic” is a huge understatement for her dedication to avoiding all things filthy. Probably why she married a minister, thinking he’d never come home with anything worse than maybe a small purple stain from serving Communion too vigorously.
            She lived in a very tidy world, my mother did, until I came along. My two older sisters, born in her own image, never gave her a minute of grief. I swear, if you believe anything those three tell you, they were toilet trained immediately upon exiting the womb and never left a trace of themselves anyplace in the house.    Call it my creativity, call it a willful streak, call it Original Sin…I was that kid in every family who was always three degrees off. You know, the kid who always had a scraped knee. The kid who always spilled something at a family reunion or church pot luck. The kid who was always tearing a hole in her ‘Sunday best.”
 I never felt like I was born into the right family, you know?  At  my eight Christmas during the big family dinner with all the relatives there as witnesses, I asked if I was adopted. I mean, it’s a logical question. My sisters are seven and nine years older than I am. They are both tall and well built women. I’m short and frail looking. Kinda like one of those kids on those Christian Children’s Network commercials, the ones where kids are starving and have no clean water to drink, but a buck a week will keep them fed for a year.
So I asked the question. By the time I was eight I knew there was definitely something different about me that had little to do with my physical looks. It was clear, from the shocked reaction of those around the table, I’d struck an uncomfortable chord. True to my nature, however, I managed to spill an entire bowl of black olives on myself. So before anyone could think of a good answer to my question, the tension melted into laughter. Well, except for my mother. She dragged me into the bathroom to wipe the black, oily, juice off my Christmas dress.
My questions about why I’m so different from the rest of my tribe never have been answered. I dropped the adoption question that Christmas Day when Mom growled at me, “Don’t be ridiculous, Nora.” Some time ago I just accepted it. I’m that dirty kid every family has, the kid that is just never quite clean.          Or normal.
Since then I’ve put distance between my family and me. It’s better this way. At first, sure, they protested. I shouldn’t be traveling alone. I might get hurt. I wasn’t being safe. I would one day be found dead in a ditch.
“Dead in a ditch.” That’s my mother’s biggest worry for all of us. Didn’t return a phone call? “You might have been dead in a ditch for all we knew!” Came in late after curfew? “You had us so worried that you were dead in a ditch!” When I started traveling for work, that was her biggest, and only, concern. “Nora, you have to promise you won’t camp out in your car. I couldn’t bear it if you were found dead in a ditch.”
I promised her I wouldn’t camp in my car anywhere near a ditch. She didn’t see the humor in that.
 Sure she protested. I mean, I’m her kid, right? Of course she loves me. I’ve noticed, she has returned to her tidy way of life now that I’m not living there full time. She’s as happy as a clam. I don’t go home often. I don’t like to wreck her bliss.
            Wow, I’m off track. Now is not the time for these sorts of thoughts. Now is the time to get my car out of this garage and get out of this town before anyone recognizes me. Over the years I’ve changed my look, what woman hasn’t?  But I’m still me…no matter how hard I try to change the fact.
            “Yes, that’s my car.”
            The mechanic wipes his hands on his coveralls and stares at my car as if seeing something rare and strange. While Subaru Foresters aren’t that uncommon in most of the world, around here it is. It’s not a pick-up truck, and there isn’t a boat hitched to the back of it. I don’t have to dig too far in my memory bank to recall my high school days when everyone drove a pick-up truck. Everyone, of course, except for me. Back then, the Forrester was new, a gift from my parents for my sixteenth birthday. While not wealthy, my father was one of those rare people who just knew how to save a dollar and turn it into five dollars. Each of us girls, first Rose, then Lily, then me, got a new car on our sixteenth birthdays. Rose and Lily have long since traded their cars in for an upgrade, of course, but I’m still driving mine. Some call it loyal, some call it cheap. I call it not wanting to clean out the car and put my stuff in a new one.
            “Haven’t seen a Surbaru in a long time. Most people around here drive pick-ups and minivans. I do remember this one girl in high school…”  With that, the mechanic’s voice drifts off and he turns his attention back to me. He stares at me. Hard.
            I feel the start of a headache…the kind I get when I know something I don’t want to happen is about to happen.
            “Do I know you?”
            And that thing I didn’t want to happen is now starting. My headache is getting worse. We are about to get into an uncomfortable spot here. He’s recognized me.
            “Nora?”
            That’s it. I officially want to fall through the floor. I want to hide away and not continue this conversation. I’ve had this dialogue a hundred times with people who knew me growing up, but I have absolutely no recollection of them. I remember places, experiences, and feelings with super high-def clarity. I can recall names, lists and lists of names. But faces, faces I can’t remember at all.
            It’s not laziness on my part or a quirk I have. It’s not like those funny mental ticks we all live with, like how my brother-in-law never knows where his glasses are or how my oldest sister goes through the names of all of her kids before hitting the one she wants to yell at. It’s a medical thing. I have something.
My “something” has a name that’s a mile long: prosopagnosia. That’s what they call it on the health channel. Most people call it face blindness. Simply put, I don’t remember faces, even those of people close to me. If I see someone, and then they leave the room for five minutes or so, I completely forget their face.
            This includes my mother’s face and my father’s, when he was alive, my sisters’ faces, too.  Plus, while I can differentiate between male and female voices, I have trouble sorting out specific voices. Not uncommon to us face blindness folks.  Most of us have some other “thing” along with the prosopagnosia.  It’s like God sent us through the neurological cafeteria before we were born and wasn’t just happy with us having the main course.  I’m “face blind with a side order of distorted hearing.”  Others might have Asperger’s or autism.  There’s no end to the fun combo packs available.
            When I’m home, I’m able to sort out my mom and sisters out, so long as they’re sitting in a certain spot. It has nothing to do with their faces, but rather whether or not they’re  in their favorite chairs. Lily likes the green love seat. Rose curls up in my father’s brown recliner. Mother seats herself in the white wing backed chair, a chair so pure white only she could sit in it, by the way.
If my mother ever gets new furniture, I’m doomed.
As you can imagine, this causes problems at family gatherings and whatnot. I can’t count the number of times I hear the whispers, “Oh, that’s Nora…she’s terrible with people.”
I’m not terrible with people. I’m terrible with faces.
Then again, it’s almost better to be thought of as careless and rude, as some of my relatives do, than to be thought of as mentally deficient, as some of my other relatives do. Seriously, I think everyone in my extended family would just feel more at ease with me if I got a seeing-eye dog or a helper monkey or something. I know, ridiculous. But still, it’s family, right?
            “Nora Hill, is that you?”
            The mechanic is still looking at me and I really, really want to run away. I have nothing to say to this person who may be a friend, but right now is a stranger to me.  And since he recognizes me and knows my name, I’m already at a huge disadvantage.

            This is why I don’t like being around people.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sneak Peek Week! MISSING IN MANITOWOC! Part 1

Good evening!

Here we are, first snippet of my new novel, due for release on Sunday, November 1.  

Enjoy!

FRIDAY 5 PM
            If it’s true what they say, that God has a sense of humor, then He’s having a huge laugh at my expense right now.
            Fifteen years ago I swore I would never come back to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, so the fact that I’m standing here in an auto repair shop can only be attributed to some kind of twisted Divine sense of humor. That’s what my father would probably say, anyway. My mother…well, my mother would probably scold me for thinking blasphemous thoughts. She didn’t exactly share Dad’s more lighthearted approach to the Almighty, which is odd, since he was a minister. You’d think the opposite would be true.
            Meanwhile, I’ve been here for an hour. There’s no Wifi, which isn’t quite the big deal for me as it is for most people. It’s not like I spend a ton of time on social media. I’m not that social. But I could be doing some online research for work. Work would help pass the time I’m forced to spend sitting on an orange molded plastic chair circa 1977.
Oh sure, I could access the Internet with my phone’s data plan, but my phone is dead. I haven’t been able to find my charger. This, again, is not the disaster it might be for most people. It’s not like I’m going to miss some life or death text if I don’t have a charged phone for a couple days. My mother and sisters are used to not hearing from me every day. My agent is really the only person who gets frantic when she can’t reach me.
            No, my biggest problem at this moment, other than not being able to escape Manitowoc before anyone manages to recognize me, is that I’m bored.
            I’m not bored often. When you’re in my line of work, if you get bored, you get up, walk around a bit, or maybe get in your car and drive some place. Do something to change the scenery, and
then get back to work. And when I’m really into it, if I’m really in the writing zone, boredom is the least of my problems. Remembering to eat is usually a bigger issue.

Besides, I’m not built to be bored. If you’re a person who believes in Divine Intervention, you’d know what I’m talking about. God saw to it when He made me, He made a person who simply had zero chance of finding the world dull or tedious. Terrifying, yes. Bewildering, absolutely. Never boring.
            And yet, here I am. Maybe it’s some sort of evil spell that hangs over this city on Lake Michigan.
            No, that’s not the case. I don’t have to go back too far in my memory to realize that ‘terrified’ and ‘isolated’ are really the only two things I took away from my time in this burg. I was too busy being tormented to feel anything other than those two emotions. So, hey, there’s that silver lining my sisters are always telling me to look for.

Right now the one thing that’s saving me from sliding into a brain dead coma is the television in the corner of the waiting room. Granted, it’s tuned to local news and the local anchor, complete with that North Eastern Wisconsin accent, is telling us all a delightful little story about some seventh-grade school group having an exciting day at all the tourist attractions along the Lake Michigan shore. The story is pure fluff and I have zero interest in local news, school groups, or Lake Michigan while my vehicle is being poked by strangers.  But TV noise is better than the sound of a mechanic telling me my beloved Forester is dead.

Monday, October 26, 2015

NEWS FLASH; Missing in Manitowoc is coming November 1

Good evening all!

Some of you know I've been working on the first novel in a series and that I'd hoped to have the first book out earlier this year.  Well, my friends, as a self published author, I have a team of critique partners, line editors, and beta readers (most of whom are close friends and even closer family) who help me make sure my book is interesting and readable and free of most spelling and grammar errors.

What my team can't help me do is get it right.  That's true for anyone who writes something.  The only person who can get it right is the writer.  And when it comes to my character, Nora Hill, it's got to be right, because I have a feeling Nora is going to be in my brain for a pretty decent amount of time.

That said, I'm so pleased to announce that the first book, "Missing in Manitowoc" will be available on November 1st.  (If it kills me or not.  And it might. But this can't bleed into National Novel Writing Month  ((Nanowrimo)) because I'm using November to get a solid start on the SECOND book in the series, "Superhero in Superior" which I hope to have out late Spring 2016.)

This week I want to give you all a five day sneak peek at Nora Hill and her world.  Each day this week I'll share and excerpt from the book in the hope that by Sunday you'll be so geeked out to find out what happens you won't be able to contain yourself, you'll just HAVE to buy it!

Nora and "Missing" is a big step aside from what I've done in the past, and so I'll be writing under a slightly different author name.  This isn't a romance, and this isn't humor, although those elements are present in the book, albeit faintly, in the case of romance.  No, the most concise definition I can put on this book series is that it will be Christian Cozy Mystery Series.

I've wanted to write in Christian/Inspirational fiction for many years, but I never landed on quite the right concept.  Three years ago I scanned the shelves of Christian Contemporary/Inspirational fiction and I saw a lot of Pioneers and Amish novels.

Nothing against those authors, but I don't write historicals (mostly because the research would kill me) and if I'm looking for something to inspire me spiritually, it's not going to be from the days of a bygone era.  I felt there was a gap for readers who wanted something compelling to read that was also Christian/Inspirational in nature, but was also current.  I found a few authors who fit the bill and I read their work.  The novels I read were compelling, and current, but again I felt like the character's ability to go to God in prayer was just too easy, too normal.

I teach a Bible study to junior high students.  These are not people for whom the concept of prayer comes easily.  They are on the cusp of the eight years of their lives where they will make some of the biggest decisions they will ever make, and many of them will make those decisions largely without even thinking about prayer.  They will muddle through, some will go to church and go through the motions, but few will give religion deep thought.  I know I didn't, during my high school and college years. So my focus during this Bible study is not how great the people of the Bible were and how faithful, but really how flawed those heroes of faith were.  Think about it:  Adam, a weakling who tried to blame sin on his wife.  Noah, drunkard.  Abraham...bigamist.  Isaac...Dad picked his wife, but he picked his favorite child.  Jacob...ah, Jacob.  Jacob who wrestled with God.  Jacob who had a temper, made mistakes, had a favorite wife, but wasn't above begetting children with four women...this is the type of guy I love to highlight in Bible study with my junior high students.

My own children are pretty much grown up but they are in those frightening years and they are wrestling with God in their own ways, just as I did at their age.  And I look at their friends, and I see a generation of younger adults who are searching for something beyond the black and white judgement of a CHURCH. They are looking for a God who loves them as they are, flaws and all and they aren't satisfied with "Just believe."  They are searching for the face of God.

It was that idea, a believer wrestling with God to see Him and gain His acceptance that brought me to Nora.  Nora Hill is a woman in her early 30's.  She is a successful young adult fiction author.  Her father, now deceased, was a minister. She has a mother and two sisters who are several years older than she is.  

She also has prosopagnosia, which you might know as face blindness. She was born with it, but was not diagnosed until she was late in her junior high years. Her parents thought she was autistic or just a naughty girl, and her childhood was less than ideal because she never felt like she measured up to her sisters or belonged.  Even as an adult she isn't comfortable with her family and she has few friends because face blindness is a disorder that isolates people. Without the ability to recognize and remember faces, how can we make social contacts?

Nora is a woman who is searching.  She is searching for a place to lay her share of her father's ashes to rest. She is searching for a church home where she feels comfortable and accepted.  She is searching for the face of God, a face she prays she can recognize.

She is also always searching for lost children.  Where ever her travels take her there seems to be a child who is not only missing, but is also in grave peril for one reason or another.  Finding such children has been a talent, a gift, or a burden for Nora since she was very young.  She cannot explain how she knows where the children are, she just does.  And because such an ability tends to throw her into a very bright spotlight, she is uncomfortable with it and wishes she didn't have to be the one who finds the children.

Starting tomorrow and through the week I will share excepts of the first book in the series, "Missing in Manitowoc."  I hope you enjoy sharing this adventure with me.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hey, don't be mad at the waiter and me. It's not our fault you're cranky and stupid.

Good evening all!

Most of you know that I watch entirely too much TV for my own good. Personally, I blame my parents, mostly because everyone blames their parents but also because I was only allowed to watch
like five TV shows when I was a kid, and, since I lived in Michigan and that's the Eastern Standard Time Zone, two of those shows aired AFTER my week night bed time.  So each week I had to read the TV guide, (or, more likely since my parents were poor and didn't get TV guide) the newspaper to see if Little House on the Prairie or The Walton's had the better show. (Little House was on Mondays, Walton's was on Thursdays. I watched no TV on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.)

TV has always been my favorite thing. It was the thing my parents, okay my mom, took away from me as a punishment when I got bad grades at school. It was the thing that comforted me when I had the chicken pox and Mom decided that sure, 9 was the right age to start watching Soap Operas because it was too much hassle to move my cot out of the living room while "As the World Turns" and "Guiding Light" were on.

I have a terrific memory for many things TV.  I may not be able to remember which voting ward I live in (nope I never do) but I can tell you character names and plot concepts from sit coms I haven't seen in 20 years.  My first crush, I tell people, was Johnny Gage on "Emergency." But really, if I'm being totally honest, my first love was TV.

So last night Hubby and I went out for dinner to a popular place in downtown Waukesha. We like the menu, but I find the place to be too cramped.  It's one of those quirky buildings that has a lot of smaller rooms and winding stairs and bathrooms in unexpected places.  But the food is good and if you get there early it's not packed and you can actually eat dinner without banging elbows with the table next to you. We did NOT get there early last night, but it wasn't too crowded, although they seated us next to a couple and, because of the way the tables were arranged, I wound up sitting pretty much back to back with the guy at the other table.  

Now first of all, it was clear we were sitting next to loud talkers. You know the kind of people who are going to talk at a certain volume regardless of how close anyone is, how much the room echoes, or just how silly or personal their conversation is. This couple next to us was unaware of the fact that we could hear them better than we could hear ourselves.

It started with their drink order.  Our waiter, a very eager young man named Juan, brought them two cocktails, one of which was a Bloody Mary.  He asked the gentleman if he wanted a chaser for the Bloody Mary.  (I don't know a lot about Bloody Marys, but I'm told it's common to chase it with a good swig of beer. In my mind that's rather like chasing Chanel No. 5 with a cauliflower fart.)  This is how that conversation went.

Juan:  Would you like a beer chaser with that?"

Man:  WHAT?

Juan:  A beer chaser, with your drink.  Would you like it?

Man: A BEER?  NO!  I DON'T DRINK!

And he waves poor Juan off like a fly.  

I'm not going to analyze the whole Bloody Mary thing vs him saying he doesn't drink.  I'm going to move on to the soup.

So Juan brings the Loudsters their soup and salad.  The man has the soup, a noodle soup.  Juan flees hoping to not get yelled at.  He comes back with our drinks and takes our order, which we place at a normal volume of speech regardless of how loud the Loudsters are yapping about their lives and the female relative who was on a plane but then wasn't and then forgot her coat and had to borrow some one's and it was so bad but at least she didn't have to fly with the coat.

Juan brings the Loudsters their entrees and, as is custom when you bring the entrees he asks if he can take the lady's salad plate, which she gives up.  Then he asks if he can take the man's soup bowl.

Man:  NO!  You CAN'T TAKE IT!  I'm NOT DONE Y ET!

Juan:  You're not?  Oh I'm sorry. It looked empty.

Man: WELL IT'S NOT!

Juan again flees.  He later brings our food and then disappears for the next twenty minutes.  During that time Mrs. Loudster is regaling Mr. with a TV show she's just discovered.  It's a funny little thing called..."Green Acres."  Have you heard of it?

Mrs. Loudster proceeds to do something that annoys me...and it's funny because I know I do it all the time. In fact I did it just the other night to poor Hubby who had no place to escape because we were walking home from Starbucks.  She begins to retell and entire episode, but she does it badly, backtracking in plot points and over explaining (to a Mr. who is still figuring out how to get that last drop of broth out of the soup bowl and is pretty much ignoring her.)  and misquoting, then re quoting dialogue...and it's painful to listen to because 1)  I can't ignore her she's so loud and 2) she has no flair for storytelling and 3)  every two minutes she says, "I know the wife's name was Lisa, but I can't remember the husband's name."

After several minutes of this terrible destruction of...well I can't call it high art, but if you're going to tell a story for the love of all that's holy be interested in the story you're telling instead of just shouting random things out and then saying, "Oh wait, no that came later"...I can't take it.  She keeps saying she can't remember the husband's name and all I can hear in my brain, other than this woman yelling about this TV show, is Eva Gabor's sing songy voice saying, "Ah li vah!"

So, being a neighborly person that I am, and since we are the only four people in this one room of the restaurant and since they've been talking at volume where they can't possibly think we aren't hearing them, I turn around and say, "Oh, the husband's name was Oliver."

Hey, wanna know how to get loud people in a restaurant to SHUT UP?  Let them know you can hear them. The Loudsters were silent for a moment.  And ceased discussion about the show.  And a few minutes later Juan gives them their check. They grumble at him when he offers to give them boxes...but they grumble at a level I can't hear.

And then they leave. 

I'm not saying they were mad at Juan because he was over eager to serve and I'm not saying they were mad at me because I was trying to help her get to the POINT of the story.  I'm saying they left abruptly.

We left a little bit bigger tip for Juan because I'm pretty sure Grumpy and Loud didn't leave him much.  

And now, boy, I want to watch some Green Acres.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Stripping in the Pancake House parking lot and meeting my future self.

Good afternoon all!

Those of you who have known me a long time...and by that, those of you who knew me before children, before the children went to school, and before the children grew up and got jobs and decided they didn't need me...know that I've been a person who cared about what other people thought.  I mean, not nearly as much as my mother, no one could possibly care about what other people think than  my mother, but I cared.  I tried to be polite and dress nicely if for no other reason than my parents would think I would a good kid who didn't cause trouble.  (And, unfortunately, I pretty much was a harmless kid who didn't get into any trouble.)

As I've gotten older, however, I've found that how much I care about what other people think has gotten to be a smaller and smaller part of my brain space.  People make comments, well meaning comments, that devastate and hurt. You know what they are, whether you've said them yourself (and we all have I'm sure) or whether someone's said them to you (also, it's happened to all of us.)  

Over the years many such comments have been tossed my way, mostly from well meaning people who just want me to be a better me, or a less "me" than I already am. But from cooking to organ playing to rearing my kids and allowing them to be the humans they want to be whether they're perfect or not, (by the way, thanks to those helpful comments, I don't cook often and I never play organ...so there's that.) I've all but stopped caring what people say about me. At my age I know who I am and what I am, and yes, I have my shortcomings and I have a big mouth and I'm irreverent, sometimes bawdy.  But my goal in life is to make people laugh and feel comfortable.  I tell stories that make me look a little stupid so that others forget their own troubles for a few minutes and feel great joy that they aren't me, living in my world. (I should get that cross stitched on something.)

To that end, I tell you this story so that you can feel better about yourself, or maybe  maybe make you happy that you're you and not me.

This past Saturday my mother and I were supposed to go to the City of Brookfield Farmer's market, like we've been doing for much of the summer.  She was to sell her pictures, I was to sell my books.  Well, all last week I watched weather reports and I knew it was going to be 29 degrees (That's Fahrenheit, for all my Non-US readers) and it was going to be cold. I didn't have a problem, but my books don't break in cold weather.  I checked in with her on Friday and asked if we were going. She said yes.  

In our very sexy winter gear for the Packer Game.
6:15 AM...I'm in the car, dressed to my teeth in warm weather gear. I've got the snow boots and two layers of socks, wool and regular.  I've got the long underwear under my jeans and I'm rocking four layers under my coat and I have three more layers at the ready.  I'm wearing gloves but I have mittens to go over them plus I have two hoods a pair of ear muffs and a scarf.  It's what we in Wisconsin call, "Dressing for a Packer Game."  (In fact, it's what I wore to a Packer game last year. )

We got about ten minutes away from the Market and I get a call from my mother...who has just read the instructions on her tube of hot glue (something she uses in all of her pictures) and apparently cold is not good for hot glue.  So, nope, we're not doing the Market.)

So there we are. It's cold, it's still dark, we're starving because I was going to get donuts at the gas station on the way to the market and I didn't yet, and I'm dressed in enough layers of clothing to be bullet proof.  Hubby suggests we go to breakfast. My favorite meal in the world is breakfast in a restaurant.  I never say no to that!  

We head to a lovely little local spot, The ORIGINAL Pancake House. I don't know how many of these there are, but there's only one close to us and the place is always packed.  But we figured it would be less so since it wasn't yet 7 AM.  

We were right. The parking lot was empty except for one pick up truck.  But heavenly smells floated
out of the restaurant and I knew two things:  1)  We were going to wait the 20 minutes it would take for them to open because I didn't want to eat any place else and 2)  I needed to get a couple layers of clothing off because I was already sweating and when I sweat my skin gets itchy and when my skin gets itchy I can't sit still and it's VERY hard to drink coffee and eat breakfast when you're bouncing around like you have fire fleas.

Here's the thing though...have you ever tried to undress in a car?  Even taking off a coat involves body contortion and removing socks and...yep, long underwear, well that just can't get done in a car seat.  I have a great vehicle for changing clothes. You can lay the back seats down and there's plenty of room and the windows are tinted. Unfortunately, on Saturday, every square inch of space was occupied by my Farmer's Market boxes.  

So yes, I made sure the coast was clear and I stepped out of my car into the frosty air and I removed three layers up top and a layer of socks and yes, the long underwear came off.  I then got properly dressed and got back in the car and announced, "I have a blog post."

To which Hubby said, "You just undressed and dressed with your head on a swivel and now you're going to tell all your readers about it including several people at our church?"

Yep....because at this point while I don't care to have anyone see it, I don't mind telling you about the time I had to strip in the Pancake House parking lot.  

But lest you think my life is all glamour and awesome, I had to go to the Sam's Club Pharmacy today...and I didn't time it right.  I went after 2.  You need to get there before 1:30.  After 2 is when all the old people get there after the first movie matinee of the day and before dinner at Perkins.

I get there and I'm kicking myself (which is fun to watch) because there's one woman ahead of me and ahead of her is a man.

But then I get in line, after running a footrace with a gaggle of 90 year olds. No WAY was I getting behind THAT cloud of old.  Good news, all those early morning walks paid off. I can out walk a group of people in their 90's...so long as they pause in front of the Depends display.

The old man at the counter has clearly been there for a while.  how long?  Well, the pharmacist, who would rather just stand in the back and not talk to people, is actually talking to people at a little auxiliary window because this guy has the place backed up....how backed up...worse than a 90 year old on Tylenol 3 during a prune juice drought.  (Some of you are howling at that and some of you don't know what Tylenol 3 can do to you.)  

Anyway, I'm about ready to be upset by the old guy when I hear the following exchange:

"There's nothing we can do for you," says the snarky clerk who always looks at me like I have warts.

"That's what you people told me yesterday.  I waited forever and then you tell me there's no time, you're out, whatever."

Hmmmmm, interesting.

Clerk moves the GIANT bag of what I surmise to be his life giving meds away from him and says, "I'm sorry, but you're out so we can't help you."

I don't know if this was a problem with his insurance or what.  I'm still getting over the fact that he's been there two days in a row.  Wow...

"Oh sure. You all say that.  We can't help you. Go over here. Stand in this mile long line. Wait for nothing. But we can't help you."

I WANTED TO KISS THAT WRINKLY OLD MAN ON THE LIPS. THIS WAS MY NEW HERO! 

The snarky clerk got the even snarkier clerk over to help her and they both them told him they couldn't help him. While smirking and basically rolling their eyes at him and sharing with everyone in line just how dumb they thought he was.  Meanwhile, I was falling in love.

"Oh yeah. You can't help me. You couldn't help me yesterday. "

"Well today is a whole new day," says UBER SNARK.

Seriously?  She's all, "today's a new day" and they're doing the same thing to this guy?

They finally get him to move on so that old Lady McSuper slow can inch her walker up to the counter and spend some quality time chatting about how stupid the old man was. Meanwhile, It's like Night of the Living Dead in line behind me with oldsters grumping about standing so long and some sucking on their oxygen very impatiently.  

By the time Lady McSuper Slow and the Two Snarks are done ripping my new favorite person (loudly enough for me to hear and I'm behind the sign that tells us how far away we have to be for everyone to have privacy)I've been in line almost ten minutes and I'm grumpy.  I walk up and they're going to treat me like their new snarky best friend but no, sorry, I'm not all that enthused about knowing that they yap about customers behind their backs. Sure, the guy was loud, but from I surmised he had a right to be and even if he didn't you don't talk about him behind his back to other customers.

When I get old I hope I have half that guy's courage so I too can tell off some snark infested pharmacy clerk at Sam's Club. 

But hey, the highlight of my courage for the week was undressing in deserted sub freezing parking lot. I may not be on the right track.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Road rage, road rage, road rage, massage.

Good Friday to you all!

My kids will tell you that I am a verbal driver.  I communicate with other drivers mostly by informing them, at loud volumes and usually behind the protective windows of my vehicle, that they are morons who know nothing of the rules of the road.  Car pools to and from school were so much fun for the kids because they would have to explain that no, I wasn't mad at anyone in the car...I was furious with all the other drivers.

That hasn't improved with age. I mean, I'm not the greatest, safest driver in the world. No one really is except the one person who IS the greatest safest driver in the world and honestly, he/she isn't someone any of us knows.  He/She probably lives in Vermont.  That's where my dad use to say all the lottery winners lived.  "Some little old lady in Vermont won that lottery, all the winning numbers are there."  I don't know what my dad had against Vermont....

Anyway, I'm off topic.  I talk to other drivers. I point out when they aren't using their directionals. I
make a suggestion as to whether they should speed up or slow down or MOVE OVER.  Things like that.

But I never...ever...EVER...give any driver "the finger."  It's rude.  It's nasty.  And honestly, I've heard too many horror stories about road rage turning into something wild on the interstate. I've got things to do...I don't have time to get into some shoot out.  I mean, it might sound great, you know, road rage turned high speed chase turned into a hostage situation where some one's barricaded themselves in their homes.

Side question:  When, exactly, do you go from "Not being all that social" to "Barricading yourself in your house?"  I mean, I see this stuff on the news all the time.  Police are surrounding a house because some one's barricaded themselves in.  And it doesn't always involve hostages, sometimes it's just that the guy (it's usually a guy, which is why I'm asking because we women typically can't stand to stay in the house without human contact for more than a day or so and then we have to get out. That's why malls were invented.) doesn't want to come out of his house.  When did that become a problem or a crime?  Why do people call the cops for that?  So my neighbor, who is a single man, doesn't come out of his house for a few days.  Hubby and I figure he's having some alone time and he'll come out when he's good and ready. We use the same logic on Skippy who has been known to stay in his room for up to 36 hours.  I mean, what, kid has a day off, wants to binge watch "Orange is the New Black" and I have to call the cops?  

I digress.

With my new job I don't get out on the roads all that often.  That's a good thing, but I'm starting to wonder, now that I've worked at this magical job for six months, have driving laws changed?   Or is today just opposite day?  See, I'm trying to figure out why the guy in the Lexus flipped me "the finger" this afternoon while I was on my way to my massage.

Oh yeah, I get massages now.  It's so great.  Since I'm walking so much more everything hurts. I mean, everything hurt before, but now everything hurts and I'm told it's good because it's my muscles breaking through layers of fat to reach the surface and breath air.  Or some such nonsense. But today I was getting a massage because yesterday something pinched in my neck and I wasn't able to turn my head to the right. At all. Not without screaming in pain.  And then I got this blazing headache.
 Like my head was on fire and fire was being thrown at the walls of my brain from a tiny little trebuchet inside my head. Hubby suggested it was a result of my new binge watch favorite, "American Horror Story."  Admittedly, I'm watching "Asylum" right now and yeah, it's creepy, but I'm not having nightmares, I'm having shooting neck pain and a fiery headache. But come in...they just found a Nazi war criminal!  This is getting good! (Oh sure, I picked "Asylum" because Adam Levine is in it...and spoiler alert...he dies in like the first ten minutes of the series, but still, I'm enjoying this.)

So I scheduled a massage for today and I get in my Cube and drove to the massage. About halfway there I'm on a road that's pretty wide, but not a road I'd say is perfect for two lanes in both directions.  It's more like a driving lane and a fairly wide parking lane where no one parks, but everyone drives.
I was driving along, minding my own business, in the driving lane when this silver Lexus roars around me on the right and speeds past me, the driver with his hand out of his window saluting me with "the finger" for at least four blocks.

I checked my speed. Nope, I was going the required 15 mph over the posted 25 mph limit, so speed wasn't the problem.  (I am not a speed demon, but I find 25 MPH in a non residential area to be far too restrictive.)  I wasn't hanging over into the parking lane.  Honestly, not sure why this guy decided to harsh my mellow by giving me the finger.

At least I got a moment to shoot him a quizzical look because, as is the case with most road rage finger flippers, he and I were stopped at the same red light. He just got there three seconds ahead of me.  I counted.  One-Mississippi, two-Mississippi...like that. He made a right hand turn on red before I had a chance to yell "Aren't you so glad you had to rush around me like that, MORON?"  Which sort of made me grumbly because that's my release when someone does something stupid on the road.

The good news is my massage went well. My neck pain is all but gone, and I have another massage set up for next month because I've decided I'm old and everything hurts and if I'm going to insist on obeying the rules of the Fit Bit, then I have to have someone ease the notes and kinks and pain away. And that person may as well be Dr. Jackie who is this tiny little thing. She's so cute. When she finishes a massage she rests her hands on me for a moment like she's praying.

I wonder if I can count that as church?


5 for Friday (On Monday) Shocking Weekend Discoveries!

Good day all! Sometimes the 5 for Friday takes a little bit because I'm in the middle of living my life and don't realize how absu...