Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On the Surface

I sat in one of those tiny patient rooms at the doctor's office today, and sat, and sat, and sat. So I had all this free time on my hands to think, with no magazine or book in hand. You know how when you have too much time to think that you sort of overdo it, just a bit? I started imagining that the doctor comes in and questions why I wanted this cyst removed from my arm. Does it cause me physical discomfort? No. Does it bother me? Hell yeah. In a very vain sort of way. I hate it. It's ugly and embarrassing. And so I imagined the doctor was going to object to removing it, wherein my pleading would begin. Look Doc, I have plenty of other skin imperfections that I'm self-conscious about and can't change, so you will take my money and remove this cyst TODAY.

Turns out I didn't need to plead or argue, but was still given plenty of time to think about the superficial things that bother me about me. I used to be able to say that there was one part of my body that I thought was okay - my legs. I've always had these long, thin legs and probably always will. But over the past few years I've become quite the spotted freak with what I like to call freckles, but what my gynecologist sort of implied were age spots. OMG. That was hard to swallow. And the only thing I know to do to somewhat diminish them? Get really tan. Not a great alternative.

And then I have the worst stretch marks ever, and have for the past 19 years. I try to embrace the scars as proof of bringing my daughters into this world. But no matter how much I love the girls, it doesn't lessen the sting when I look in the mirror.

I'm also starting to see a little age in my face and neck. Now truly, I am trying to embrace my age. I've earned it, right? I don't mind a few little lines here and there, but that doesn't stop me from applying wrinkle creams and moisturizer every day.

I don't want to be this vain. I don't think it's been very healthy for my daughters to hear me complaining about my body over the years either. I hope they are very happy with themselves, inside and out.

Anyway, back to my doctor's appointment. I've been elated for three weeks knowing I was able to get in to this particular surgeon to have the cyst removed, and I seriously had to work hard to stop smiling during the whole two-hour appointment. All in the name of vanity. So maybe it was supposed to be a reality-check when the doctor told me it was a good thing I came in. The cyst looked "peculiar" he said and needed to come out. It's probably fine, and I'm not worried in the least, but wouldn't that just be a kick in the pants? :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why Puppies Are Awesome

They like to cuddle.

They're kind of like babies only better because there are no diapers, no painfully long crying spells...I could go on and on.

You can sneak them into stores in your purse if you are so inclined.

They relieve stress.

I've yet to see an ugly puppy. Ugly dogs, yes. But no ugly puppies.

(Here is where I would insert a picture of maybe the cutest puppy ever. That would be Addison's puppy, Betsey, who we've been babysitting all weekend and spoiling rotten. But my camera cord is destroyed and I therefore have pictures in limbo.)

You get so lost in their cuteness that you forget about other stuff.

And lastly, PUPPY BREATH!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Little Things

We saw some really "big" things in D.C., both literally and figuratively. But there were some little things we really enjoyed:

The coffee shop. We walked to Caribou Coffee every morning for the most awesome oatmeal, muffins, and coffee (or for Alan that would be hot chocolate). I'm going to miss that oatmeal and will be trying to recreate it at home.

The Metro. Oh my gosh - how fun to zip around the city on a subway! We didn't rent a car and relied completely on public transit or our feet. And we never took a cab - it was either the metro, a bus, or a shuttle. Everyone was so nice helping us find our way around. Maybe it was the beautiful weather affecting people, but they were really very friendly and approachable. As far as using our feet for transportation, by the end of the third day we were having a lot of trouble standing or walking for very long without looking for the nearest bench. Ouch. It made the metro even more awesome.

The food. It wasn't so much that the food was just good, it was that it was different. We don't have different here in Midland. We have American, Mexican, and some Asian. It's just fun to try new things, like the awesome mussels at Tony and Joe's or this platter of calimari.

Standing where they stood. It amazed me to be in the Capitol, particularly in the old House chamber, where Lincoln (among many others) also stood, worked, debated, argued. That's not a picture of the chamber but is the inside of the dome. I actually thought the painting in the center was kind of silly. It shows George Washington as he's ascending into Heaven.

The "quiet" at Arlington Cemetery. You were expected to be quiet and respectful, and in doing so made it all the more somber and humbling.

The diversity. Another thing I like about big cities is that the diverse population is also an educated population. Not something we have a lot of around here. Umm...I don't have a picture to go with that.

Anyway, I could go on and on about how wonderful the trip was. I hope it doesn't come across as being boastful, but rather hope I'm conveying how excited I was to be there and how appreciative I am of Alan for such a wonderful surprise.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'm going to be standing at the foot of this in a few short days. What pretty much no one knows about me is that I have this really corny, patriotic side. I'm that person that loves the National Anthem and enjoys saying the pledge at school. So this trip is definitely a bucket list type of thing.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Goodbye, Winter. I will not miss you and will not return your calls.

I love, love spring. I know it's not an original thought, but man there is nothing like playing with soil and plants to lift someone's spirits. (Notice I said plants, not weeds.) If the plants survive, these pots should be overflowing by summer and dangling low enough for Duke to destroy them. At which point I'll have to move them out to the front porch, but I'm okay with that.

These are the petunias I planted this winter, which the nursery told me wouldn't do well in the shady areas of my porch. It appears they were mistaken. Wait, are these pansies or petunias? I can never keep them straight. I think they're petunias. Help me, Elizabeth. Anyway, they've done fine with very little sun and a gardener who forgets to water them.

And above is Alan and Leigh working on the new side gate and fence to replace this one:

Pretty amazing that Duke hasn't figured out he could just breathe hard on the gate to find freedom. I think it means he likes it here and has no interest in leaving.

So I'm basically in a pretty good mood today, and that is pretty darn cool.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Guessing this isn't what God had in mind.

I'm well aware that I'm not doing Lent correctly. I gave up three things for these forty days, or isn't it really 46 including Sundays? Anyway, I gave up chips of any kind, french fries, and snacking after dinner. Notice a trend here? I'm giving up things that I shouldn't be eating anyway and by giving up will possibly benefit me with a couple of lost pounds. It's all me, me, me. And then I happened upon this religious/educational show one morning early that reminded me of how poorly I'm going about this.

Today's participants usually do one or all of three things: 1) give something up, 2) add something positive (prayer perhaps), and 3) almsgiving. I didn't know what almsgiving was exactly, which is quite telling of my charitable nature.

So I've got two out of three in the works, but that third one's not my specialty. Does it have to be charitable towards people? Because I'd really rather go volunteer at the SPCA. Uh-oh...there's goes that "me" business again.

I'm not having trouble with the first one, so I think that defeats the purpose. The second one - well I am praying a whole lot more, but since I have REALLY MAJOR issues and CONFUSION around how prayer works...well let's just say I don't think my heart is in it the way it should be. I have never, ever been able to reconcile prayer in an acceptable, meaningful manner. Here's what I've recently decided due to life's events: do not pray for action, healing, guidance. Rather, pray for forgiveness, thanksgiving, and simply to talk to and therefore have a relationship with God.

That's where I'm at in my journey through Lent. I'm trying.

And since I gave up blogging for so long that now no one really looks at this, I realize I'm pretty much talking to myself. And that's okay right now. I just need to talk.