Chocolate and peanut butter anything….is my favorite. Peanut butter cups, buckeyes, ice cream……anything. Yum. Even a spoonful of peanut butter dunked in a jar of hot fudge. Not that I’ve ever done that. Really, I haven’t. Don’t judge, people! We all have our weak moments. Late at night. In a dark kitchen. Whatever.
Last night my husband and I went to Tim Horton’s. For those of you that don’t know what a Tim Horton’s is…look it up. It is only the best coffee/pastry shop around. I think these shops are only in the northern part of the country. I don’t recall seeing a Tim Horton’s when I lived in the south. I like Tim Horton’s better than any Starbucks. ANYWAY, on with my story. We went there last night because our local Tim Horton’s has united with Cold Stone Creamery. It is now like a sugar, sweet treat Nirvana….in the same building. I could live there. Like permanently. They have a lounge area with a fireplace with a TV, along with the regular tables. After ordering some peanut butter cup perfection (for me) and for coffee lovers only (for my husband) we settled down in the lounge area to eat our cold treats. (Plus Storm Stories was on the The Weather Channel, which we all know I am a storm lover, so that just added to my bliss)
Some people might be about going out and partying on a Friday night. Not me. I was snuggled in a cushy chair, watching tornadoes on Storm Stories while I ate my favorite ice cream with my best friend (which is my husband, who by the way was also enjoying the ambiance of it all) at our favorite OPEN 24 HOURS, Tim Horton’s. Life is good. Especially, when one is eating ice cream. By the way, I’ve mentioned I am lactose intolerant with anything to do with actual milk, or heavy cream. Because there is a God in heaven and He loves me, I do not appear to get sick from eating ice cream. Praise the Lord. I mean that. I tell Him how much I appreciate that—on a regular basis. As much as I loved milk, I can adapt to not having it. The same would not be true if I could never have ice cream again. I would be just a shell of a person. Sad and empty with no ice cream. Just sayin’. And no it is not an addiction. It is a life choice. So there.
After finishing our treats, my husband and I decided to get the kids some too. (to bring home, since that is where they were) I felt a smidgen guilty for stealing all the bliss for myself. I thought I should share, so the kids ended up with chocolate, cake batter, and cotton candy flavored ice cream. They were happy to see their ice cream. See, ice cream brings happiness to the soul! On that note, I slept soundly knowing all was well with the world. I had done my part to make the world a better place. One spoonful at a time.
I am taking a “commercial break” from my usual humor and thought provoking wit (she says with a grin) to bring you a very non- politically correct speech. Considering I enjoy political incorrectness, I thought I’d share. If you too are on the politically INCORRECT band wagon then by all means jump in…if not, don’t read this. It will just make you mad, no sense in ruining your day.
I read this speech today, written by Dennis Prager. Being that I am a former public school teacher, I have to say that I wish more principals would stand up and say something like this. Somebody needs to do it. Our educational system is so full of everything NONEDUCATIONAL that it has become sad and ridiculous…..and the ones that suffer the most are the children.
My body has turned on me. Full out assault. It’s sad, really. I thought we were such good friends. But, no.
I turned 42 and the bottom dropped out, so to speak. Not only was there the whole age spot debacle, but now I’m pretty sure that I am lactose intolerant. The whole saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk”, is just a big, fat honkin’ lie! The more I can’t have it…the more I want it. Who knew that “moo juice”, or lack there of, would have such an impact on me?
Of course, I am not a real fan of being doubled over in pain either, wracked with cramps so horrendous, feeling the contractions, reminding me what it was like to give birth—at any minute. Or not. Stupid intestinal distress that comes as a not so pleasant side effect of lactose intolerance… going and reminding me of child birth and all. And I don’t even get a cute little baby out of it. All pain and no gain. Sheesh. What a rip off.
The other night I baked home made chocolate chip cookies, ’cause that is just the kind of baking mama that I am. Just for my family….well, and I had a craving for some too….but, I baked for MY FAMILY! Anyway, I was sitting on the couch with my daughter, munching on cookies, watching a good TV show….when she got up. AND WENT TO THE FRIDGE AND GOT A GLASS OF MILK TO EAT WITH HER WARM COOKIES! Then to make matters worse she came and sat back down (WITH THE MILK) next to me. I told her not to breathe my way because I didn’t want to smell her milk breath. She apologized as she slurped it down. She looked like she was enjoying it. I cried on the inside, as I ate my cookies sans milk.
It’s a lonely life without my moo juice. We had such a good life together–before it turned on me. Now, all I have left from out relationship are faint and distant memories of dunking cookies, breakfast cereal, and the occasional double chocolate milkshake. All gone now. I don’t know if I’m going to make it. The milk jug mocks me each morning as I open the refrigerator door. Taunting me with it’s farm fresh goodness. I slam the door shut.
Among my many quirky tendencies, I admit that I have “a thing” for magazines. It’s a relationship that I’ve lovingly cultivated through the years. As a teen I read Seventeen, and Tiger Beat (is Tiger Beat even still around? Sheesh. I feel old). As I got older (but, not necessarily more mature) my taste changed to Rolling Stone and Cosmopolitan. (I know…I used to be a heathen in my early 20’s.) I got past that whole rebellious stage and moved on to Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living and Taste of Home. After all, anyone that knows me, knows I am a domestic goddess. Stop laughing. No, really. Stop it. I have gleaned much knowledge from magazines over the years. My home is fairly color coordinated and comfortable, I attempt to keep things simple…like making sure everyone in my family is at least clothed and fed, and, on a good day, I can put a meal on the table. I am not Paula Deen (I love her Christmas magazine!) but, hey I’m getting it done. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
All my magazines are great but, my piece de re’sistance are my Country magazines. I love to look at the pictures. LOVE, people. I really mean it. LOVE. This month there is a breathtaking picture of the mountains and foliage of southwestern Colorado. The color is so vibrant, I feel like I’m there. I wish I was there. Can I go there? I am getting excited because next month I will get the Oct./Nov. issue. Autumn in all it’s glory. A little slice of Heaven bound up in the pages of my favorite magazine.
All this visual splendor causes the travel bug to bite me. HARD. I love to travel. I notice I’m using the word love a lot. Today’s blog post is full of love. What can I say? When our kids are grown and have moved out…in the year 2050….um, okay…so hopefully earlier than that, my hubs and I are hitting the road. As in seeing the highways and bi-ways of the good ‘ol USA. I’m all over it. I’ve got travel books, maps, information for every national park in the country, off the beaten path types of places to visit, things to do, people to meet. I will work on my book as we travel down the highway. It’s all a part of my bigger plan.
Oh, and don’t feel sorry for our kiddos. We take them places now. They see things. We’ve been to numerous states with them. It’s just that traveling sans the kiddos when we are older will be easier, I believe. ‘Cause kids like to eat a lot and stuff. They slow you down ’cause they get bored easily. And they whine. ( Sorry, you’re hungry. Gnaw on your arm. No, you are not getting the mega/gargantuan soda! What are you a camel? Storing fluid? If you don’t pee you’ll end up with a bladder infection. Yes, for cryin’ out loud we’re almost there. Only 6.5 more hrs. to go! ) It distracts me from my travel fantasy.
I met Greg when he was 40. He was a quiet guy, as a matter of fact he didn’t talk at all. He was very skinny…all of 100 lbs. soaking wet. Fair skin and red hair. I wonder if he had Irish ancestry? I helped to take care of Greg the summer of my 19th year. I worked in a group home for developmentally disabled adults. You see Greg was severely and profoundly mentally retarded. He didn’t talk. He was in a wheelchair. He had to be fed and diapered. Greg’s mother had taken care of Greg all his life, but now she was in her 70’s and had become to frail herself to lift in her arms this son she loved. She visited him often and was quick to remind us what Greg needed. I think it helped her, more than it helped us as caregivers…and that was okay.
Greg taught me lessons that summer. Lessons I would have never learned in my college textbooks, or through my college professor’s lectures. I learned that I could have all the knowledge of special education in the world, but the most important thing an individual has to have to relate to someone with special needs is heart. I learned over those months how to have a servants heart. How to give to someone who is unable to give back to me. How to care for someone who couldn’t even smile at me.
I showered Greg and he promptly thanked me by getting sick on me. I cleaned us both. I fed Greg and he spit and drooled his dinner back out. I talked to Greg about current events, showed him books and catalogs, and we watched TV together. His eyes didn’t show comprehension. I rolled him into the kitchen with me while I fixed dinner. I talked with him, never knowing if he understood a word. I changed his diapers, and tried to give him the dignity that he deserved.
That summer I talked with God about Greg. I knew that God has given me a heart and passion for individuals who had special needs. My desire was to fulfill my dream of being a special education teacher. A dream God had given me years earlier. Yet, that summer I questioned God. I asked Him why? I didn’t understand. It was painful for me sometimes…to watch people who were so dependent on others. What was their purpose? Why did God allow them to have no control over themselves?
I am thankful God is GOD. He is all knowing. He is patient. He knows me and allows me to find my way through these difficult things of life. It began to occur to me that God LOVES Greg. He had not abandoned him. He had not forgotten him. He DID serve a purpose. Greg taught me a lesson about serving others. Having a servants heart. Caring for someone when they can’t love you back. Being gentle in a harsh world. Making an extra effort when others may think it a waste. The lessons that God allows are far more valuable……
That was 23 years ago. I don’t know if Greg is even still alive. I do know that he touched my life. For the better. Thank you, God….and thank you, Greg.
I overslept this morning. Instead of getting up at 5:30 for my morning exercise, I rolled over and the clock said 6. I meet my friend at 6!! I jumped out of bed like I was on fire. Ran across the bedroom in the dark and promptly ran into the bathroom door. With my face. Okay, whatever people. I was still half asleep. It was dark and the door was closed. At least that little accident helped to wake me up. Albeit a little painfully, but at least my eyes were now open. I raced into the bathroom, flipped on the light. Agggghh! I then sort of brushed my teeth, yanked my hair in a clip (forget about combing it), threw on some sweatpants, with the same T-shirt I wore to bed, and attempted to put my tennis shoes on as I walked outside.
My sweet friend, waited patiently for me. It was 6:05. She was hoping I had forgotten that we were walking today. No such luck on her part! She took a look at me, and didn’t run screaming across the road. I always take that as a good sign.
So, an hour and a half later I got home. I did my morning chores…..Later I went in to the bathroom to wash my face. (Since I had skipped it earlier) I took a good look at myself. You wanna know something? Honestly, even though I got ready in 5 minutes this morning I didn’t look all that different than I do most mornings. This leaves me with two thoughts. Either I am, A. Naturally beautiful and don’t need to do much to myself to have that natural “glow” or B. I am already so far gone, it doesn’t matter one way or the other what I do to myself.
I suppose I could take some time to comb my hair…….
I interrupt this oppressive summer heat with a commercial break…….
A Marble Floor
I hope this has helped to give you a little boost, when most of the country is under 100+ heat indexes. You may now return to your sticky, hot, uncomfortable day.
P.S. Remember this, a mere 3 months from now will be October 24. It will be chilly and Fall-like. Ahhhhh……