This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sarah looks in the mirror and says, "OH COME ON!"

Good evening!

Not much funny has happened around here lately. We in the upper reaches of the US are gearing up for winter, or as many women my age call it, "hairy leg season."

And speaking of unwanted hair, I realized something knew in my never ending battle with my body hair.  But before I reveal my latest folicle fail, let's review my past issues with body hair:

1)  The hair on my face is coming in black. The hair on my head is coming in white.

2)  After decades of leg shaving, my leg hair growth has FINALLY slowed....but only on half my leg. This isn't a top half/bottom half issue. This is a left side/right side hair growth. Like I have line running from the top of my thigh to my ankle and on the right there is no hair, but I still have to shave the left side of both legs.

3)  My skin has become sensitive to the act of shaving, regardless of what kind of moisturizer I use before or after.  My skin burns for at least day after I shave my legs or my underarms....so...it's sort of like Woodstock most of the time for me.

And now...as if THAT wasn't enough hair war, I noticed something new and disturbing the other day, while sitting in the chair getting my white head hair dyed pink so that I don't look like an old lady with white hair.  Yes, I prefer to look like an old lady with hot pink hair, thank you.

So I was sitting there and my hair girl asked me how I liked my hair cut.  She's a dear family friend I'm going to call Sweetie. (She loves
steampunk and Dr. Who and Lord of the Rings and honestly, I looked up 'steam punk heroines" and this picture popped up and I think it looks just like her!)------------------>

I looked at my reflection in the mirror and was horrified. Not by my head hair, which always looks great after Sweetie's touched up the pink and given it a good cut and then styled it.  No, I was horrified because...

MY EYEBROW HAIR IS TURNING WHITE!

OH. COME. ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because my continuing war on my upper lip, my chin, and my throat, my eyebrows have sort of been allowed to just be what they are.  I never liked tweezing my brows, and yes, I went through a fairly unfortunate period of Nads overuse.  (Self waxing my own eyebrows with a stick and a piece of cloth?  What could POSSIBLY go wrong?  Spoiler alert:  I spent one summer with almost no eyebrows after trying to "just even things up.")  So I decided about fifteen years ago to just have "strong eyebrows."  You know, like Brooke Shields.  I was just never, ever going to be one of those women who would pluck out their eyebrows and then draw them back in. Nope, I had thick, lovely black eye brows and I was happy to accept it.

Until last week when I looked in the mirror and realized the outside half of both of my eyes had...faded.  Faded to almost invisible.

WHAT?????????????

Beard and mustache firmly, fully black. Eyebrows, the one bit of body hair that has NOT REASON to do anything other than be what it's always been, are now vanishing into a white that blends with my skin. And in order to not look like some...I don't know..."dear leader"  ------------------> 


I'm going to have to DRAW THEM IN.


Or maybe I could just get really edgy.
<-------------- font="">

Who am I kidding?  I'm basically Kim Jong Un with pinker hair and lighter skin.  Oh, and no desire to cause any sort of international uproar.  I'm too busy trying to make myself look, you know, FEMALE.

Anyone who doubts that there's a God and that He has a rich sense of humor has never had to deal with unwanted facial hair.

I can hear the Almighty laughing right now.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sarah returns to the gym and discovers...a superhero sauna?


Good morning!

I'm deep in final edits for "Superhero in Superior" (Due out November 14!!!)  So if you don't hear from me for a while that's what I'm doing.  When you're a self published author and you set a release date for a book and then you don't write the book...well, then you have to lock yourself in your office and not come out until it's done or you can't stand the smell of yourself, whichever comes first.

But I had to share this with you:  This past week I started going back to Xperience Fitness after not going since April because, well, of course, I was exercising outside.

Sure.  Which is why I gained seven pounds since April.

At this pace I will truly be my own Thanksgiving Day float in two years.

Anyway, I decided swimming was a good idea since I'm having serious issues with my right foot and my knees have always been a bother.  So in addiction to getting my 12000 steps a day, I thought I'd add some pool time  a few days a week.

Let's talk about what it takes to get me into the pool.  First, I need  a swimsuit I feel comfortable in.  That's not likely. The last suit I really liked was six sizes ago.  Now I'm in some cobbled together tops and bottoms, and the bottoms don't fit right.  And I hate having that much of my leg showing.  But then I discovered something amazing...SWIM SHORTS!

I know, now swim shorts have been around forever. But these are LONG swim shorts. they go nearly to my knee!  Apparently surfers wear them. So that makes it cool, right?
Me.
Okay, me with more hair, less clothing coverage,
and about 90% less body fat.

One problem:  I couldn't find plain black swim shorts to go with my patterned tops. The best I could do Was a pair that has sort of a snakeskin print on the side.  Which really clashes with my black white polka dot top.

Which would matter, except I'm in a pool at 1 in the afternoon with people who...let's just say...make me look a little less awkward comparatively speaking.

Well, until I add that one other thing: The swim cap.  I need to protect my lovely pink (expensive) hair color.  So I figured wearing a swim cap would keep the chlorine/salt water off my head.  (Spoiler...it doesn't.)  I couldn't find a plain black cap so I wound up with a red cap.

Let's review:  I'm in a red swim cap, a flowing black and white polka dot top (that really isn't all the flowing once I cram my body into it) and swim shorts with a snakeskin print and legs that cover my thighs like I'm out of the 1920's.

Very, very sexy.

Whatever. I don't care. I want to be comfortable, I want to protect my hair, and I want to swim some laps and take off some weight. The fashion police, as always, can go pound sand.

So I'm back at the gym, in the pool, which I actually have not used up until now.  At the far end of the pool is the sauna. A dry sauna, so the signs tell me. I doubt I'll ever go in there.  Outside the sauna door is a bench.  I was doing laps and didn't give the bench a thought at first until I started seeing guys coming out of the sauna and sitting on it.  I looked around and realized that the pool was full, sort of, there are three lanes and three people were swimming.  Now, it is common in gyms such as this to share a lane with someone if neither of you is a splashy swimmer  (Yeah, guy in the way too small swimsuit with the hand paddles, I'm looking at you).  I'm not a splashy swimmer, I tend to swim then walk and so on.  So I thought I'd offer to share my lane with one of these guys.

But that's when I noticed something.

Now, OBVIOUSLY  I'm not wearing my glasses in the pool. That would just make me look odd, right?  So my eyesight isn't exactly 20/20, but up close I do okay.  And here's what I notice about the guys coming out of the sauna:  They all look like superheroes.  

THERE'S NOT ENOUGH ROOM IN THE SAUNA!
I'm not making this up. The first guy out looks like a non green version of The Hulk.  He sits on the bench for a bit, watching the really old lady, the guy with the walker, and...me, swimming.  Five minutes later he goes back into the sauna and out comes and guy who could be Tony Stark/Ironman.    He sits on the bench for a bit, and then goes back in. 

Now I'm thinking, okay, it's two guys who just happen to be sort of buff (way more buff than anyone
I've seen in this gym before) so what?

And then the door opens....and out comes...

THOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously!  Thor walked out of the sauna.  Granted, instead of a hammer he was carrying a three ring binder.  (Thor...doing homework in the sauna.  That's a mind bender.)  But that guy was ABSOLUTELY THOR.

So now, well now I have a huge reason to go back to the gym.  I need to see what other superheroes are in that sauna!  

If Batman shows up...I hope it's the Christian Bale Batman, not the Ben Affleck Batman.  Because...ew.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I was going to blog about crotchless sweatpants, but then this happened.

Good evening!

Saturday, as some of you know, was a busy day for me. I had errands to run,  I was seeing Cary Elwes speak after a special viewing of the world's greatest movie "The Princess Bride" and I had a wedding to go to. (Cary was magnificent, watching the movie with a few hundred other people who laughed in all the right spots, recited the lines correctly, and cheered and booed along with the movie was a big treat!  Hanging with a couple girlfriends was the Cool Whip on top of the pecan pie!)

But this blog isn't about my lovely evening spent enjoying my favorite movie. Nope, it's about the wedding I went to...and what happened before and after said wedding.

See, the wedding was almost two hours away, so we knew that driving back home in time for me to be ready to get picked up for Cary Elwes was going to be tight.  Plus Hubby was going to sing in the choir during our church's Saturday service which started at 5.  

The wedding was 2 and by the time we got home Hubby had to basically drop me and go to get to church before the service started.  I had no house keys, but that's never a problem at our house because we have a garage code and we never lock the house door inside the garage.

Repeat:  We NEVER lock the garage door in the house.

In the ten years we've been at that address, I believe we locked the door once, and that ended in someone, probably Skippy, getting locked out and having to use the neighbor's bathroom, which was uncomfortable for the person locked out as well as the neighbors. (Let's just say it was one of those bathroom uses that leaves an impression.) The four of us swore we'd never again lock that door.

Until Saturday.

 I had about twelve minutes to get in the house, freshen my make up  (Because we were in the 18th row and YOU NEVER KNOW, we had an extra seat, one of my friends couldn't make it, and I did put on Twitter that Cary should sit with us.  You don't put out an invitation like that and then NOT touch up the make up.)  In that time I also really had to use the loo.

BUT...the door.  The. Door. Was. LOCKED.

I have no key.  Hubby is in church, Skippy is at work.  So I call Peaches who was out and about with Junior, who was up for a visit.  Peaches is a good child. She answers her phone when I call, she doesn't just let it go to voice mail...

I calmly explained to her the issue and she began apologizing profusely. See, she's just come home to live after living in the St. Louis area for five months.  I don't know what kind of hardened criminal activity she was seeing in the mean streets of the St. Louis suburbs, but she was all about locking all the doors.

No problem, she said, she'd run home and unlock the door for me.

They estimated they'd be to the house "shortly."  Knowing where they were, I estimated eight minutes. Which gave me about four minutes to do all the Cary prep I had to do. Oh and also I really had to use the loo.

Peaches and Junior get back to the house and Peaches says, "Fun fact, I don't have a key."

They'd been in Junior's car all day and Junior doesn't have a key for our house on his ring.

I might have to give the boy a key.

So there we are, all locked out and I now have about four minutes to reconstruct myself into something Cary Elwes would like to have maybe have lunch with on the outside chance he sits in our extra seat and decides I'm funny, cute, and cool enough to take to lunch.  (Yes, the middle aged woman's fantasy. It's not silk sheets or walks on the beach. Nope, that's for the twenty-somethings.  Now I want a good lunch so I'm home in plenty of time for "The Voice.")

We have two options:  1)  Send Peaches to church to get her father's key or 2)  Break into the house via the patio door.

Well, the more fun route is to break in to the house. And also, I wasn't thinking clearly. Did I mention I really had to USE THE LOO?

I'm not going to tell you how we did it.  Let's just say I'm glad we keep the patio door propped open so the cats can go in and out of the back screened in porch when we're not home.  The door is only open about five inches, but Junior and Peaches, both being slender, figured out a way to get into the house so that I had roughly forty seconds to prepare for what had now (in my head) become the ultimate dream date with Cary Elwes.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'm a little nervous that it didn't take those two all that long to break into my house...


But, Sarah, you promised us something about crotchless sweatpants!

I know, I know, don't worry, I didn't forget.

We got to the wedding VERY EARLY on Saturday  (not knowing exactly just how long it would take us to find the place. Sure, we had Google Maps and whatnot, but you still have to allow for a wrong turn, construction, or lack of parking.  So we got there really early.  We had time to walk around, enjoy a street fair nearby and do a little talking.

I was wearing a skirt.  I don't wear skirts all that often and I almost never wear dresses. I don't have a dress that fits me right.  Given the size of my gut at the moment, the best fit I've been able to find in a dress is by dress makers named "Oh what a blessing" and "Here comes the stork."  So I have a couple skirts I wear on the rare occasion that I have to look more dressed up than my black pants.  Weddings fall into that category.

Still, it wasn't a dress, and I wasn't wearing heels.  (Those have officially gone by by now that I need foot surgery. )

I expressed to Hubby how I felt under dressed. He said, "But you're wearing a skirt."

I said, "It's jersey material. I'm basically wearing sweatpants with the legs cut out."

He said, "Ah, so crotchless sweatpants."

And then we laughed.  

It's moments like that when I know I've got my soul mate.

As for Cary Elwes, the evening was tops. He's a great guy. And if you have no idea what the "Princess Bride" is, I suggest you find it and watch it right now.  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Women communicate in many ways. Men...not so much.

Good morning!

I'm giddy with glee today because tonight I get to spend an EVENING WITH CARY ELWES!

Those of you asking "Who is Cary Elwes and why does Sarah care so much" clearly are not close friends of mine, or have not had an actual conversation with me ever because if you are or if you had, you'd know that my number one number one favorite movie ever is "The Princess Bride" and Cary Elwes is the lead "Westley."  I say IS because let's fact it, actors become their most iconic part forever. Cary Elwes is, was, and always will be Westley.  Sigh. And some friends and I are going down to a fancy theater tonight and watching "The Princess Bride" with Cary.  

Some might suggest that paying money to watch a movie I own in every media form just so I can share a room with 1000 other people, one of whom happens to be the lead actor might be a bit...stupid.

To you I say..."BOOOOOOOO!"

Anyway, before I get fancy and go off to a fantasy world for a couple hours, I have to share this moment of real life with you all.

Let me preface this by saying I read once that girls speak 20000 words in a day while boys speak 7000-8000.  Male communication is far more nonverbal or it's in the form of sound rather than words. I believe after yesterday there is no room for doubt on how valid that stat is.

Yesterday I was running some errands with Peaches and we were wondering what we should do for dinner.  I sent a text to Hubby. He made a suggestion of beer can chicken, which is a family favorite.   the following is our text exchange after we agreed beer can chicken was a good idea.

Hubby:  I'll pick one up on my way home.  Side dish?

Me:  I'm going to Brennan's so I'll find something.

Hubby:  Need me to get the bird?

Me, thinking, "Didn't he just say he was getting the bird?"

Hubby:  ???

Me:  Yes.

Me:  We can make asparagus and corn and I can make some more oven potatoes too.

Hubby:  Ok. Prescriptions are ready at Sam's.

Me, thinking, "What prescriptions?  I haven't had anything called in, and he gets his by mail now."  I check with Peaches, who has not had anything called in. Skippy didn't say anything about a new prescription.  I'm befuddled.  But I have edits to do, it's late in the day, I've just decided I'm going to make a dessert for dinner, and stopping at Sam's is NOT on my to-do list. Frankly, if I'd known I had to stop at Sam's, I would have skipped Brennan's and just gone to Sam's and I would have gotten the chicken.

I share all this with Peaches, and then I wonder if Hubby is telling me about the prescription just as a share of information, or if he wants me to get whatever it is that is there, because sometimes he picks up the meds because he's on his way home or something.  So I have Peaches text back because I'm driving.

Me:  Are you picking them up?

Now at this point I have to drive past Sam's.  We wait. We wait. We wait for a response. And then we drive past Sam's.  And then we're 2/3s of the way home when I get this:

Hubby:  No.

Fantastic.  

See, if he'd said up front that Sam's had a prescription ready for us but he couldn't pick it up I would have skipped Brennan's  (An excellent produce and cheese...and wine...store) and just gone to Sam's and gotten what I needed including the prescriptions.  But he didn't say that. He just said the prescriptions were in.

So now I'm almost home, I've got ten things to do including finishing my final draft of my new novel, "Superhero in Superior, Nora Hill Mystery #2" and running BACK to Sam's seems...stupid.

But I need more information.

Me:  What prescriptions are they?

Hubby:  I don't know. I got a text.

THAT DOES NOT HELP ME.

I mean, depending on who the meds are for, I might be able to wait until tomorrow, right?

Now I'm all the way home. The only person who might have something at this point is Skippy who is home sick. He's been having some stomach/food issues lately. I stick my head into his dark room, something I do not like doing at all.  Turns out yet, his doctor did prescribe something for him. and since it's a new one from the doc he just saw this week, I know I have to go get it.  Of course, I would have been prepared for that HAD HE MENTIONED IT TO ME.

Yet another breakdown in communication with a man in my life.  

So I go back to Sam's.  And I send  the following series of texts to Hubby. Why?  Because I am a woman and I know how to communicate completely:

Me:  I'm at Sam's If you haven't gotten the chicken I may as well.

Me:  But if I don't hear from you in the next ten minutes I'll figure you got it.

Me:  Forget it. I'm here.  I got them.

Me:  Do not get more chicken.

Hubby:  Ok

And thus ended the communication. I got home, exhausted and about two hours behind in the schedule I had for my day.  But we got the meds, I made the dessert.  

And we decided we were too tired to make anything else. So the beer can chicken has to wait until tonight. I'll be spending the evening with Cary Elwes and some of my friends while the clan, Hubby, Skippy, Peaches and Junior (who is up for a visit this weekend) will be enjoying beer can chicken.

 AND, oh yes, Skippy didn't need to take the meds until today.

That's my life. I can't make any of it up. Don't hate me because I'm awesome.

In the end I know Hubby, dear Hubby, is going to read this and say, "HEY! How did I make the blog this week?"  Poor guy. It's all so simple, at least to me, a woman. Had he just put two sentences into the text instead of one, I would have been forced to find a different topic.  




Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Story From My Childhood: Why I love/fear potlucks.

Good afternoon!

So my church had it's 75th anniversary today and, as most churches do, there was a potluck dinner after services.

Ahhhhh, potluck dinners.  

There are a couple things you should know about me when it comes to potluck dinners.

1)  I have been to more potluck dinners than pretty much anyone I know other than my parents. I love them...and I fear them.

2)  I cannot, CANNOT resist that smooshy pie filling/white stuff on a graham cracker crust dessert. I can't. Never have been able to.

Keep those two points in mind as you read the following:



When I was a kid my parents were both what you'd call leaders in the church. My dad was the principal and upper grades teacher of the parochial school attached to the church. My mother filled in where ever the school or church needed a pair of hands: Sub teacher, art teacher, cleaner, hot lunch lady, organist, all of that. Both were in the church choir, and both were always at everything all the time.  Which means I was as well.

Pot luck dinners,  for those of you who don't know, are dinners put on by a group, generally a church, where everyone who is going to eat brings a dish to pass.  It can be anything, although it's typically a dish that's easy to tote, like a casserole, a pasta salad, or a dessert of some kind.    The food is laid out on a table and everyone can go up as often as they want to, and eat as much as they want to.  Growing up, this was pretty much how my brother and I got fed on Sundays.  We belonged, over the years, to a couple churches that did pot lucks a lot.  We had pot luck for any reason:  Church picnic, anniversary of a pastor or a teacher, church anniversary, even a funeral or two, although funeral pot lucks were very different from regular pot lucks:  More ham, less dessert.

My mother would generally make the same thing every time:  apple cake.  Now, this is a delicious cake made with actual apples, and topped with a lush layer of cinnamon and sugar.  And when we ate it at home, we also got whipped topping of some kind.  When she took the cake to a potluck, however, the container of whipped topping stayed home because it was a second dish and a pain to drag around. What this mean was that her fairly plain brown cake was not noticed on the expansive table over loaded with fruit pies, cakes buried in frosting, or frothy Jello desserts (which were actually passed off as salads...which might be a reason I have a weight problem now.) Therefore, her cake would not get eaten. Or touched.  Which meant she brought it home.

Which meant we got dessert that week...with whipped topping!  (My health conscious mother didn't make dessert often.)

There was one pot luck where my mom was behind a woman who was actually taking a piece of her apple cake.

"I always look for the dessert or dish no one's touched," said the lady.  "I take some of the because I always feel bad when no one touches someone's dish."

She had no idea she was cutting into our dessert. LOL

Anyway, I'm telling you that story to tell you this one, about why I both love and fear pot lucks.  It has to do with plate size.  

Spoiler alert:  I'm going to tell you how they aren't big enough.

See, at a normal dinner you would NEVER, NEVER pile food on top of other food.  You wouldn't. It's weird. It makes things taste weird.  You'd have spaces on your place for meat, potatoes, veggies, and a separate plate for salad.  You'd know you could always ask for seconds.

But see, a potluck is different. You get one pass to get first crack at the dishes. After that, you may not get to taste something you thought looked good. So you pile it up.  And because it's just not proper to take and fill two plates right away (because you have to walk past the people who are waiting to get in line and you don't want to look like you're greedy) you pile it higher.  My dad used to complain that all the food at a potluck runs together on the plate and tastes like nothing.

At some point in my childhood, they switched from actual real china plates to those paper plates with the dividers.  That helped the ladies who had to clean up after the meal, but it didn't help the piled up food problem, in fact, it made it worse because those dividers took up space on the plate that would normally be there for food.

I'm telling you all this because this afternoon while eating at my own church, I was reminded of the day I got into some of the worst trouble I was ever in as a kid. Not THE worst trouble, my Sunday School kids will tell you THAT involved, yes, a church dinner, but not a plate of potluck. That involved a potato, a glass of milk, and a hymnal.  

That's a story for another day.

No this story was a rare outdoor potluck.  For whatever reason, the organizers decided not only to
have it outdoors, but to have it under the trees on the far side of the parking lot. The food line, of course, would still be inside. This meant that we'd fill up our plates, walk 50 feet across blacktop, and find a seat at a long table outside. Oh, and try not to dump anything on the way or spill any one's milk when you tried to scoot your chair closer to the table over rocky, uneven, tree shaded ground.

The oldest I could possibly have been at this even was 9.  It was the first time my parents didn't demand that I go through the line or sit with them. I was drunk with freedom.


I loaded up my plate like I generally did.  But, upon reaching the end of the table where the desserts were, I noted that my most favorite dessert of all EVER, the smooshy blueberry graham cracker thing, was there....and it was going fast.  Typically, potluck protocol says you eat the meal then you go back for dessert...but people who hadn't piled their plates the seven layer salad and six kinds of hot dish casserole were taking it, and I was not about to miss out on this!

My plan was to race to the table, set down my plate, announce loudly that I'd forgotten a fork  (the only reason someone who already had food was allowed to go back to the table before everyone else had gone through, grab a piece of the dessert on a dessert plate, and come back to my seat. My parents would be occupied with my brother and all the other church people, they'd never notice.

The first couple steps of my plan worked well. Bonus, I found a seat as close to the building as possible, and it just happened to be next to my best friend, so it didn't look odd that I sat there with her.  I went back into the church to get my dessert and I was excited to note that I was alone...no one else was there to tell me not to take the dessert.

There was one piece left. One beautiful, glorious, smooshy, blueberry filled piece.

I reached for a small plate.

There were none.

Not a one.

In fact, there were no bowls, nothing. All of the paper plates were being used.  What was I going to do? How was I going to get that dessert to my plate outside, fifty feet away?

I would carry it.  

In my hand.

I got it loaded on the flat of my hand just fine.  However, it was a warm Michigan day...and in Michigan warm usually also meant humid.  By the time I'd crossed the parking lot, the dessert was no longer a piece, it was really more of sauce I managed to set atop the rest of my food.  I looked around for a napkin to wipe off my hands.

Guess what?

I had actually forgotten a napkin.

So there I was, dessert oozing like a thick lava across a fully loaded plate of now cold and congealing hot dishes.  My hand was blue and gooey.  And I had no napkin and, IRONICALLY, no fork.

It was a  this moment that my best friend's mother, a lovely woman who had a very loud voice, said, "Boy I'm glad I don't have to eat that plate of food."  And then she saw me standing there, blue handed, and she said, loud enough for pretty much everyone to hear, "OH GROSS!"

My parents have sort of a sixth sense about certain things...and they know when someone raised their voice at a church function, there was a good chance one of their kids was involved.  

I don't exactly remember what my punishment was, although knowing my mother, it involved no TV for a week.  (As you all know the worst trouble you're going to get into is when you embarrass your parents in front of relatives or church people.) I do remember my father directing me to pick up my plate and follow him into the church where we discarded the mess and I was left getting a second plate made up of stuff that hadn't been eaten already.  If I recall correctly I ate green jello with carrots and raisins in it and several pickles.  

And I'm pretty sure I had a piece of my mom's apple cake.


So yes, today while everyone else was remembering 75 years at church, I was remembering that day in Michigan, some 40 years ago.

And now I want blueberry pie filling.

The difference between a Meijer employee and a heart attack? Not much.

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Holidays! When I was little I lived in Michigan, home to a wonderful store called Meijer's Thrif...