Monthly Archives: January 2010

Another road trip

Our entire hillbilly clan recently embarked on a journey to my baby Nephew’s Baptism in IL.  The trip was quite memorable given that our beloved Honda Odyssey Minivan kicked it this summer [may she RIP] and we were going to be forced into our small, very small, compact 5 seater hatch back for the duration of the trip.  I am still grieving the loss of that fine Honda automobile and will most likely continue to write about her until another minivan enters the scene and heals my grieving heart.

Anyway, after visualizing the fights and mental anguish of the cramped trip, coupled with the fact that my parents were traveling with us we decided to rent a minivan.  Our original plan which involved all of us squished into the minivan altered when my brother offered to give us his spanky new elliptical!  Now, I am not an excercise goddess but hey, how can you refuse a fine piece of machinery like that?? So we commissioned the hatchback as the elliptical hauler and off we rolled in two vehicles. 

The trip out was very surreal for hubs and I.  We drove ALONE in the hatchback and clung to the rare silence with wide grins on our faces.  We noticed that the rented minivan in front of us containing my parents and the kids was full of activity and we could almost hear the sonic booms erupting from the vehicle.  We glanced as each other, sighed deeply and continued to wear our joyous smiles.  We did not feel so much as a twinge of guilt even when my mother emerged from the minivan at a rest stop looking a little worked over!  Ok, maybe a little but any guilt feelings were short-lived as we raced each other back to our adult only car.  It was a historical moment in our parenting careers and we were enjoying every short second!

When we finally crashed into my brother’s posh neighborhood, my grandmother and cousin were there waiting for us – thanks to the invention of the airplane.  The very short visit was filled with roars of laughter, childhood memories, feasting on delish food, screaming kids, barking dogs and the neighbors occasionally pulling back their curtains to “check out” the rare life forms visiting from who knows where.  The time together made us realize that the cliché saying “life is too short” holds much truth.  Yesterday we were kids, today we have kids and tomorrow our kids will be having kids!  Crazy time. Enjoy every minute and make the most of life….  

Live.  Laugh.  Love.

Fake is a four letter word.

Quick, before our "friend" comes back she....

I’d like to say kudos to all you friendlies out there who say what you mean and mean what you say. Life is difficult enough without the onslaught of verbal games and dances. She said, she said, she said. Forget the he (he said, she said) because women are the verbal mastas! We have perfected the ‘art of speak’ since the creation of time. How often have we seen this scenario played out (actually I witnessed this very scene while eating lunch out recently) where a group of girls/women are talking when one of them has to leave the crew to quickly grab something. The fragrance of her presence still lingers in the air and her physical form is within sight, yet her verbal massacre has begun to take place. However, her murder is not complete until she receives the warm welcoming smiles dripping with verbal venom or the poisonous hug when she rejoins the group. How very sad and tragic. Actually it is cowardice.

I am blessed to have so many upfront and real friends in my life who can handle and dish out some serious truth.  In fact, when I saw that lunch-time feeding frenzy, it took everything within me not to verbally biotch slap those girls. Once you’ve experience and tasted the real, the fake is hard to choke down. 

Let’s face it, fake is a nasty four letter word.

Somebody stop me

My daughter was so excited yesterday to tear open the Cuisnart food processor.   Can you believe that I have never owned a food processor?  They were always so big, so heavy and such a hassle.  Well baby, food processing has come a long way from when I was first forced into kitchenland as a young bride.

I’m in love.  My heart is pitter pattering to the sound of the Cuisnart.  This 1,000 Watt motor beast is da bomb.  The culinary possibilities are endless!  And I sound like a kitchen freak!  It was in our possession mere minutes and we had it assembled and slicing, dicing, chopping and shredding.  We ooohh’ed and awww’ed with each task.

But, I have a lot to learn.  This was clear during my daughter’s Frappucino creation.  It was getting late.  The kitchen was a disaster.  We let our new pet chew up everything imaginable and the once famished boys were full and waving their hands in protest with each item we brought their way. The clean up haunted me so, I decided to let her finish while I began to tackle the creative expression (tolerable way of saying mess).  Without thinking I pulled the blade out of the mixing bowl while there were still contents remaining inside of it.  My daughter couldn’t figure out why her bowl was leaking all over the counter.  Oops. 

This could get ugly.

That’s Real.

I’ve had a few comments made to me since my last post regarding how courageous I was to post photos of my hands and feet.  Yea, I know people are probably thinking “Man if my hands and feet looked like that I’d hide them.”  But ya’know what?  I’ve spent so much of my life attempting to hide the effects of RA that I’m beyond, beyond, beyond done with it.   While RA is not who I am it has definitely left it’s mark on my body.  When I was younger I would recoil at the remarks and teasing and as a result attempt to disguise the footprints of RA.  I learned that if I could hide the evidence then the harsh verbal responses were fewer.  I took the rude remarks personally and believed I deserved them for looking the way I did.  Each remark stung worse than the one before and with each comment I went deeper into operation RA evidence wipe out. 

I guess maturity has brought with it a realness.  By that I mean that while I do not identify with the RA, it is to an extent a part of my structure.  Take me, take the deformity.  Love me, love the deformity.  I am a beautiful person housed in some not so beautiful framework.   That’s real.  No longer do I attempt to cloak the effects of RA.  I proudly wear sandles in the summer if I feel like it.   No longer do I make excuses if asked why I’m limping.  I matter o’ factly respond “Arthritis” and if someone is unpolished enough in social grace to make an unclassy derogatory remark or joke then I consider the source and move on.  No longer do I take responsibility for their lack of grace and allow the verbal poison into my heart to occupy space.  No longer do I recoil and hide from the remarks.  No longer do I allow these cruel comments to master my behavior.  That’s real.

When hubs and I were dating he was in the 82nd Airborne at Ft. Bragg for a portion of our relationship.  One summer my mom and I took off for NC for some sun, surf, girly time and for me to see my love.  Well, this was before my “real” awakening so I was stressing over the beach time with hubs.  Because while he knew of the RA, he had never seen my feet.  Ahhh, the beauty of living in a cold climate. My footsies were always covered by socks, shoes, boots etc.   Now, I had a killer stomach and not too shabby bod in those days pre-three kids, so I was hoping that the ABS of steel in an itsy, bitsy, tiny, weeny, polka dot bikini would distract from the feet (specifically the right foot which is the worst).  However, I knew that some guys had to have picture perfect all the way or it was a no go.  On the surface, I was pretty (or so many dudes told me) but the fact was that once you dug deeper the “pretty” would quickly be open for interpretation in the eye of the beholder.  The  moment came.  It was now or never.  There was no way around it (given that knee-high fishing boots were not an option!)… Barefoot beach time!  I hesitated as I debated whether or not to outright tell/show him or let him discover the deformity on his own.  I decided it would be best to be upfront and get it out of the way.  I’ll never forget this moment.  I held my breath and showed him my foot.  I stared intently at his face looking for the non-verbal cues that I had grown accustomed to seeing on the faces of people who did not grow up with me and thus, were not used to seeing what those around me grew to love.  But I did not see any disdain or even curiosity for that matter.  I didn’t see any repulsion or looks of  “What the…”  He didn’t laugh or make jokes.  Rather, he looked at me then reached down and slowly took my foot in his hand and kissed my ankle as he said “Bay, I love you, all of you.”  Yes, love me, love the deformity.  That’s real.

What I’ve gained in my soon approaching 40yr (gasp) lifetime is we need to be free and stop hiding.  We hide behind lies.  Hide behind excuses.  Hide from the truth.  That’s not real, that’s bondage.  It’s time we grew up and got real with each other.  I bet you’d be surprised that when done with love and respect, people welcome the truth, desire truth and prefer truth.  As the song says ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot.’  Fire away with truth.

Get real cuz that’s real!