Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hows About I Just Buy Some Support Hose Instead

Stuff happens.

I know that.

Tonight for instance.

I was asked to do a fireside with another person. I was prepared, but...

We got started a little late. There were a few technical difficulties. Then had an uncomfortable moment when a young person who couldn't read very well struggled through a story. When we switched speakers we kinda lost control of the crowd.


The best part?

At the start The Youngest walked in, followed by Farm Boy. I wasn't quite sure why Farm Boy was there. It was a youth fireside, in a smallish room. Seating was going to be at a premium. I gently mentioned that to him. "I'm here to support you," he staunchly announced, and parked himself.

Umm.  Okay.

Anyway, kids pretty much end up hanging from the ceiling. Second speaker does a slow wrap up. Dessert lady is impatiently demanding to know when we'll be finished.

Well, when all is said and done...better luck next time, eh?

I get home.

Farm Boy informs me that he left at 10 minutes after eight. "You know," he says, "you only have about 45 minutes, then you're thru, you lose their attention."


He continues, "It was pretty bland...they liked the fan charts tho, but you...blah blah, blah blah, blah, blah and on he goes."

Yes. I know.

It was easier to just get up and leave the room.

I mentioned there were SEVERAL things out of my control? I was well aware what they were as they were happening and in the end, one excuse (or explanation) is just about as good as the other. BUT I'm so glad he stayed to offer his support and provide his constructive critique. One wouldn't want any mushy sympathy or understanding, or...better yet...tactful silence.

He's good like that.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Walk the Line

A while ago I started a somewhat sarcastic post along the lines of "how I spent" my summer.  Tried to keep it short but...

Awwww f'getaboutit!

So since May I've had 3 surgeries. During the first one I had a doctor induced infection leading to a ruined knee, 2 additional surgeries including a complete knee replacement. Finally 9 months later, they tell me it's about as good as it's going to get. Still not great but certainly better than being in a wheelchair.
Somewhere along the line I also managed to injure my shoulders. More about that later.

Meanwhile, It's the middle of Feb. and I need some hay for my horse. Finding hay in late winter is not always easy. I usually try not to put myself in the position of doing it but this year...well, all things considered...

So I call a guy, make an appointment, make sure The Youngest is available to help load, 'cause remember - shoulders? I can't. But our intrepid farmer finds himself in Walla Walla when we're supposed to be at his place in Hermiston. He wants me to come out at another time more convenient for him, unfortunately then I'd have no help to load and would soon be out of hay. As I try to explain why that would be difficult for me the guy starts making noise, gets all snitty and just pulled my plug!  He's not where he's supposed to be, when he's supposed to be and he gives ME static??????

But I was good.

I didn't yell, or anything, I just calmly told him that I guessed we were done then, and discontinued the call.

He thought about it for a minute and called back. I may have pushed the "reject call" button. But it went to voice mail and he left a short apology.

Fine. Whatever.

Two days later he calls again. I didn't look at the number before I answered my cell phone and before I  know it, my favorite jackass farmer was on the line. He doesn't want to lose business and offers some explanations plus tells me about the unfortunate incident a few weeks ago when a few bales fell on his he hurts too. But he does have a loader and wouldn't be doing it by hand anyway soooo...the point of his story about his owies was????

It didn't really matter. I'd already found another hay source and politely told him that. BUT he wanted me to know that I'd just caught him at a awkward moment, he really wasn't a bad guy and would like me to keep him in mind if I needed any hay in the future.


Okay. But like, only if I'm totally desperate, yes?

Meanwhile, I wish him well. I hope his injuries heal. Bye-bye.

As for me, well....those shoulders???  After a couple of MRI's, physical therapy and... Gosh, no one (doctors at least) seem to know what happened, however the cartilage in the right shoulder is all torn up. They'll be happy to shoot cortisone in it for as long as I want, and when I simply can't stand the pain anymore - then they'll be happy to do a total shoulder joint replacement. My family doctor tells me shoulder surgery is one of those operations you absolutely want to avoid if at all possible.


I know somethings just "are." That's life, you play the cards you're dealt and deal with it.

But, this voice inside me, still wants to ask: It wasn't that way, at all, last May, before you started to mess with my life. And I'd like to know about the perfect, fingerprint bruises on my right arm after the one surgery, and exactly what you did to my arm.

Ah, but no one's talking, are they? And little things, like reaching behind me, picking up anything heavier than 15 lbs. much less lifting a light, grass hay bale? Probably never going to happen again. It shouldn't be. But...

In the words of someone famous....prove it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Large and In Charge

Some friends and I had lunch together. One older woman, complimented her daughter by saying how intelligent, capable, and industrious she was. She also marvelled at how courageous her daughter and other young women were for demanding equality in their marriages in these modern days.

She had been conditioned by 50 years of marriage to serve her man. My heart broke as she quietly spoke of the terms of her marriage and that what she went through before her divorce was NOT uncommon. Being married, even to a good Christian, had little, if anything to do with being equal partners. She emphatically stated that things we take for granted now were just not done 50 years ago.

While there are and certainly have been good marriages throughout the ages, I also
realize that, too often, her point of view is valid. I grew up watching my dad beat my mom. Dinner not on time? BAM! Kid crying? WHAM! He didn't have a good day? Slam! All my mom's fault. Every time. Without fail.

Even though I was the "favorite" child I came in for my fair share of abuse. One time, when I was about four years old, "someone" didn't flush the toilet. I don't know who it was...I only knew it wasn't me and the other three kids, weren't about to fess up. So we all got to stand in a line outside the bathroom while Dad took off his belt and beat each of us individually, then had us go flush the toilet. Being the youngest, I was at the end of the line. I remember being terrified. I was crying and standing there in wet pants because I was so scared. There was no way to escape punishment that I did not deserve. Mom was too afraid to intervene. She never did.

When this occurs repeatedly, to me it seems there are one of two things which happens..."they" can either break you or make you.

I couldn't do a lot about it when I was little. As I grew I realized there would always be people bigger or stronger than me and they might catch me by surprise the first time but I vowed, there would never be a second time. Me, my children or those I was tasked to protect would not be victims. At least not on my watch.

So to some, it appears I have a bit of a "chip" on my shoulder...And through my life I've really come to appreciate the fact that if a man is somewhat aggressive people tend to label him as assertive. But if a woman is assertive, well, okay, she's just a bitch doncha know?

That was brought home to me several years ago. I was assigned a new sister to visit.  She's married to a man who has, let's say, taken her for granted for a good many years. Being a humble woman she has strived diligently to be a good wife and mother, but has sacrificed much to do so.

It was almost priceless when, during our first visit he happened to come inside. He walked in, saw me, and stopped dead in his tracks.

The only thing he said? "You're not going to teach my wife any bad habits are you?"


To myself - snort, maybe!!  Then I searched my mind for a politically correct answer.

I managed to muster a suitably sincere/innocent expression...

"Why no, of course not." We stared looked at each other for a moment.

I may have batted my eyes a time or two.

He grumbled something under his breath and left the room.

His sweet wife raised her eyebrow but didn't say anything else.

You know...

I look around and see my friends husbands and other supposedly good men doing some really interesting things. The question begs to be answered. Have things really changed?

Or have those nice, Christian men, who need to be large and in charge just gotten sneakier with the crap they pull?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Steamin' Dreams

Grey, dark days of February are bringing me down.


So, DIL wrote about a trip she & the Commander made to a hot springs in the snow recently. Brought back fond memories. I love hot springs. Clear, bubbling, warm waters gushing out of nowhere in the middle of God's glorious earth. How cool is that??????

Anyway, long ago and far away friends Shari, Paula & I had occasion to be traveling over the Lolo Mountain pass. Saw a forest service sign that said Hot Springs.


We veered over to the side of the road, locked the pickup, loped across the river on a rickety wooden foot bridge and headed into the mountains.

Following a fast running stream we hiked about 2 miles in and came upon a beautiful mountain meadow, dotted with numerous, steaming, bathing holes.

And I swear, lots & lots of nekked people.

Where the heck they all came from I will never know.

We looked at each other and silently turned around the way we'd came.

On the trail back, the stream dropped away from the path and there, just at the bend we saw delicate tendrils of steam wafting thru the air...and NO people! We wasted no time tumbling down the little cow track that led to the water, ditching our clothes and settling into our secluded hot tub among the rocks, at the edge of the stream.

We soaked, talked and played but finally Paula decided she'd had enough, climbed out and started to dress.

Paula was just buttoning her shirt when an attractive young man appeared overhead on the trail. He, like us on our way up, would not have noticed the hot spring had Paula not been sitting out in the open. He waved and she called, "Hey, the water is great, come on down!!!!" Only then did he turn far enough to see Shari & I still in the pool.

The minute Paula had opened her mouth, Shari & I looked at each other in alarm.

This couldn't be good.

I don't believe I've ever seen a guy move faster in my life. He didn't wait for a second invitation and scrambled down the same slope we'd taken an hour before. His backpack, shoes & shirt were flying off as he came.

However, timing being everything, there wasn't much we could do except try to exit the pool as gracefully, and calmly as possible. We pulled on articles of clothing as quickly as his flew off.

Paula sat there relishing the scene.

I still remember the grin on his face and the obvious sincerity of his: "Oh, you don't have to leave just because I'm here!"

I also remember the tight little smiles on our faces as we said thru gritted teeth, "No, no, we were just leaving anyway."

It's hard to be "cool" when you're struggling to get a bra on over wet skin.

But it's not hard to be sincere when you quietly tell your miscreant friend she's gonna soon as you catch her.

Paula got a good head start, bolting up the hill, into the sunlight of a late summer afternoon.

After we flew down the trail, tackled her and all collapsed in a breathless heap...we had to admit it was kinda funny.

Thirty years ago, when we were young...

Making memories to store up against grey, winter days.