PictureA Great Place for a Nap!
The resort where we are staying is a beautiful place. It is set up with many small cottages and abodes instead of just big “hotel” style buildings. The sidewalks sort of wind through the buildings, so there are lots of little corners and alcoves. The owners of this resort were smart as they set up various sitting areas and fire pits for people to relax around and unwind. This is a couples’ resort, after all, so there are love seats, hammocks and swings. It’s an amazing place in paradise.

Mr. E and I have found our way around the resort and have tried out a swing here and a loveseat there. We are enjoying just having time to unwind and decompress. I’ve actually been off work this weekend, so it has been great to do nothing.

Yesterday, we found the ultimate place to do nothing. It is an area above the pool bar of the main pool. There is a staircase that leads up there, and in the little sitting area, there are soft, comfortable chairs and loveseats. Because it’s up high, you can hear the noises and music of the resort, but they are in the background. You have a great view of the water, and a light breeze constantly blows. It was an amazing discovery.

When Mr. E and I reached the top of the stairs, we immediately selected a loveseat that looked comfortable to us. I grabbed the extra pillows from the other seats, and we arranged them to make ourselves comfortable. I’m pretty sure we were both asleep within 2 seconds of hitting the loveseat.

We had the most amazing nap while up in this little balcony paradise. We were alone, and we were comfortable. The breeze kept us cool, though it was pretty hot outside. It was wonderful.

Occasionally as we napped, I would wake up and look at the water. Most of the time, I woke up because Mr. Everything’s snoring woke me. That man can snore. He holds the world record in raising the roof. In his defense, he has sleep apnea and normally sleeps with a CPAP machine, so he really can’t help it. I know that when I’m awake, but when I am asleep and he keeps waking me with his booming snorts, I just want to put a pillow over his face and make it stop.

I finally reached the point where I was sort of blocking out his snorts and sleeping anyway. I had my legs draped across him, so when he would wake me, I would just wiggle my leg, and he would stop. I did not even have to open my eyes. We napped for over an hour that way, and it was wonderful. And then.

And then, in the midst of our heavenly rest, I heard a man clear his throat. I opened my eyes, and a man was sitting in the chair across from us and his wife was standing there. They were staring at us. I had sunglasses on, so they could not see my eyes get as big as saucers as I realized they were sitting there. I was so embarrassed. I tried to act as though I had not been asleep. Then, I realized Mr. Everything was still snoring.

Without acknowledging the strangers, I leaned over and nudged Mr. E to wake him. I tried to act natural and say, “Is your head feeling better?” I was sure they believed he had a headache. He just shifted in his seat and went back to sleep. I nudged him again, still not acknowledging the strangers staring at us. I wouldn’t want to tip them off that I was alarmed by their presence. After all, I had been awake the whole time, so I knew they were there, right? Hopefully they bought it.

Mr. E woke up, lifted his hat off his face and looked over at me. I had sunglasses on, but I was trying to give him the “look over there” look with my eyes. He wasn’t getting it since he couldn’t see my eyes. I didn’t want to say, “There are strangers staring at us,” so I continued the “look over there” shift with my eyes. Finally, Mr. E looked around the outdoor room and saw the strangers. At this point, I was about to laugh aloud at this crazy situation. I really was so embarrassed. In my mind, I would say, “Are you ready to go walk?” Mr. E would wake up. We would get up and walk the walk of shame down the stairs, knowing these people knew we had been sleeping. However, I should know my husband better than that.

Instead, Mr. E put his hat back on his face, shifted in his seat and went back to sleep. I almost died from trying to stifle my laughter.

By this point, the strangers had begun looking at their camera and distracting themselves so it did not seem as though they had been watching us sleep. Actually, come to think of it, they were probably deciding on which shot of us to post online. So, since they were probably looking at pictures of us asleep, I did the only logical thing. I took their picture.

PicturePretending They Don't See Us.
They would not have known I was taking their picture if the camera sound on the phone had been off. That and the flash were probably dead giveaways. So, here we were, the strangers who had watched us sleep, my sleeping husband and me, the random photo taker. It was a sundry gathering.

The strangers never spoke to me. We never made eye contact with each other. We all pretended like we were not in the same outdoor room together. They stayed a few more minutes. Then, the husband stranger said to the wife stranger, “Are you ready to go walk?” That was supposed to be my line.


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The strangers walked down the stairs. I was pretty sure I heard them chuckling as they went. Then, I woke Mr. Everything, and we went for a walk.  -Al

 
 
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I don’t know if y’all realize this or not, but I don’t sit still very well. I’m not sure when that happened. When I was little, I sat still and was obedient. I remember a time when I was in preschool that my class was told to sit still in the story circle. I obeyed. In fact, I sat very still, even after I had thrown up. I just sat there with vomit in my hands and waited until the teacher told me I could move.

That’s always the beginning of a good story, right? When vomit is involved, you know it’s only going to get better. Okay. I’ll stop saying vomit. Vomit.

Back to my point. I am just not good at sitting still anymore. I think it’s because I’m usually busy, so when I stop, my body wants to keep going. If you ever sit by me in church you will find this to be true. I scratch and fidget and scratch some more. In my defense, I’m itchy! My head, my back, my arms and my legs itch non-stop. I’ve had an itch on my foot for 8 years straight. I’m not exaggerating. I wake up in the middle of the night scratching my foot sometimes. The itch never goes away.

I’m apparently easily distracted when I am sitting still, too, because I have now gone off on 2 tangents in 3 paragraphs. It’s a new record.

Back to what I was trying to say. I am sitting on an airplane as I type this. I have been sitting still for 33 minutes, 14 seconds. I have 2 hours and 30 minutes to go. No problem. I’ve got this. By the way, while I sit on this plane, I hope there will be no more mentions of vomit.

So far, I have figured out how to read a crochet pattern. I have made one and one third crochet roses. (I told you I get distracted easily.) I have dropped my crochet hook and yarn three times. (Sorry to Mr. E, who keeps having to bend down and pick them up for me.) I’ve searched my backpack to find my ear buds. I’ve tried to watch the inflight program, but the sound system on my seat is messed up. (It’s like a cruel joke…now I have NOTHING to do for the rest of the flight.) I have fully analyzed everyone around me and made up stories for each of them. They have some pretty interesting lives, just so you know.

Now, I am writing. Why not? Maybe I can make it through a blog without getting distracted and moving on to something else.

The flight attendant just gave me a cup of coffee that I downed in about 10 seconds. Caffeine and sugar. That should help things.

So, as I am sitting here, I have a few observations about my experience thus far:

1.       I said this on Facebook the other day, and I stand behind my decree. If you are chewing gum and those around you know you are chewing gum, you should not be allowed to chew gum. Period. In fact, I may put on my angry teacher face and walk around the plane with a trash can. I’ll make each chomping passenger spit it out or sit in time out. I don’t mind gum. I really don’t. If you can behave while chewing it, you can have it. However, if you can’t, consider yourself warned. (And by the way, just be glad I’m more lenient than Mr. E. He does not approve gum. Ever.)

2.       Shoot. I just touched my face with my hands. There’s no telling where my hands have been. Well, okay. That’s not true. I know where my hands have been, but I don’t know where the hands have been that touched the areas that I touched with my hands. That was a really awkward sentence, but you know what I mean. I need to quit touching my face.

3.       The guy beside me has a nice enough butt. Really, he does. However, if he sticks it in my face one more time, I’m going to pinch it. I would take a picture of it for you if could. If I tried to bend over to get my cell phone, I would probably drop my yarn and hook again. Mr. E would not be happy.

4.       If you are going to look out the window, that’s fine. Knock yourself out. On the other hand, if you are going to go to sleep anyway, please, for the love of all the migraine sufferers in the world, close your shade! The glare from the windows around me is enough to permanently sear my brain. I’m considering climbing over people and closing their shades for them. Really, people. Listen to me. I already made Mr. E close the shade of our window. This consisted of reaching over the napping woman beside him. Now, she’s awake and is slowly inching the shade back open. I’m about to have to slap her hand.

5.       I just touched my nose. Stop it!

6.       Isn’t the seatbelt sign on? Seriously, man. Sit down and quit putting your butt in my face.

7.       I love a good laugh. Really, I do. However, if you have a really loud and annoying laugh, please try to snicker instead. Save your hilarity for after you get off the plane. You’re headed to Antigua. There will be plenty of time for games and recreation there. I wish the man behind us would heed this advice. He has the biggest, loudest, most irritating laugh ever. Apparently, he is watching something funny and has ear buds in. We can’t hear what he’s laughing about, but every time Mr. E and I start to settle in, the man laughs. Other than the irritation factor, it has actually become quite funny. I may start my big booming laugh soon. There he goes again. It’s funny. Whatever it is he’s watching.

8.       I just rubbed my eye. I’m going to die of a communicable disease.

9.       There’s the butt again. Maybe I should poke it with my crochet hook.

10.   I am definitely onboard with Breast Cancer Awareness month. I have a friend going through the battle right now, and I will wear pink every day of the year if that will encourage her to be strong. At the same time, though, I really think companies have gone overboard with the whole “Pink in October” thing. Before they started serving drinks, the flight attendant announced that pink lemonade was available for Breast Cancer Awareness month. How does this raise awareness? I’m not really sure. I found that odd. I’m pretty sure they said it was freshly squeezed lemonade, too. That was right before they cracked open the cans of Minute Maid.

11.   I just rubbed my chin. It will probably be the flu. Or Ebola. Or that other virus that everyone is freaking out about. Whatever it is, I’m going to catch it if I don’t quit touching my face!

12.   The guy behind me apparently thinks it’s funny that I’m going to die. Thanks, laughing man. I love you too.

13.   I am 41 years old. You would think, by now, I would think to take a jacket when I am flying. I should have listened to my mother.

14.   I should have listened to my mother when she told me not to touch my face, too!

15.   Oh, now the butt man’s wife is standing, too. Yoga pants really shouldn’t be sold in certain sizes. At least she wore a blue thong so there was no panty line, but really, I’d rather not look at the blue thong.

16.   We are all freaked out by Ebola. Truly. Considering the fact that we keep hearing about Ebola stricken patients getting on planes, it is in everyone’s mind. Perhaps, though, it’s not the best idea to loudly discuss the issue while sitting on a plane. Really. I don’t want to know all the symptoms. I don’t want to know how many days it will be before I die. Let’s let it be a surprise, shall we?

17.   Why does my nose keep itching? I just touched it again!

18.   Would y’all just sit down??

19.   To the man who keeps trying to stifle his cough, just let it out, man. I’d rather hear you cough a real cough than to do that weird hold-in cough thing you’ve got going on. Besides, the tickle in your throat is not going to go away until you let it out. We won’t wrap you in plastic and scream, “Ebola.” Promise. (Okay. I can’t really make that promise, but take a risk, man.)

20.   The cough is no worse than that laugh.

21.   I already have Ebola anyway, because I just touched my face. I might as well just lick the seat in front of me.

22.   My cousin licked the dash of a family car once at a funeral. He didn’t die, but I guess death isn’t really contagious. Well, I guess it sort of is.

23.   I wonder if I’m a germaphobe? Apparently not, since I keep touching my face with my germy hands!

I think that’s all my observations right now. My brain was focused on writing a story for you, but now it has moved on to something else. Maybe I should start crocheting again. I could make myself some sleeves to wear since I didn’t listen to my mother.  -Al


 
 
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This may seem terribly ironic to you, given what my occupation is, but I hate shopping. Really, I do. I like to shop when I'm being paid to do it. However, just to go shopping to shop is definitely not my cup of tea. Sometimes, though, it has to be done.

So today, while I was having my cup of tea (literally...Willow and I met for high tea), I made a decree that I would go shopping and I would buy myself some new underwear. I know. This seems like a strange decree to pronounce in a tea room, but I'm not average.

The reason I made this decree is because I have been washing laundry constantly to clean my very few pair of underwear I have left. I made a rule that I would start throwing away anything with holes in it. Needless to say, I'm down to the bare minimums. Plus, I had pulled the pair I was wearing out of my butt for the 13th time of the day. (I like to call them Indian underwear...they keep creeping up. I know, I know. That's not politically correct, but "Native American Underwear" or "Indigenous People Underwear" just doesn't have the same ring to it.)


So after tea, I pulled my undies out of my butt, gave myself a pep talk and went to a store. I ended up in three different stores, looking for underwear. In the first store, I was momentarily distracted by the clearance section of clothes. Saving money does make shopping a little more tolerable. They had no underwear, but I found a nice shirt!

Throughout the three stores, I had an ongoing dialogue in my head, and I figured I would share with you some of the things me, myself and I discovered as we shopped together. So, without further ado, here are my random observations while shopping. (By the way, don't look for the meaning of life in these deep observations. You won't find it here.)


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Observation #1: One size does not fit all.


Observation #2: Just because something says it's your size does not mean it is.


Observation #3:
The retailers have a cruel sense of humor.


Observation #4: To get people to move out of your way, just laugh hysterically while behind the closed door of a dressing room. When you come out, people may look at you strangely, but they will, indeed, move out of your way.

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Observation #5: A security tag, strategically placed, can actually cause temporary blindness in the eye it hits as you try on a shirt.



Observation #6: If you come out of the dressing room, covering one eye with your hand while hysterically laughing, people will move out of your way even faster.

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Observation #7: Just because something says, "Tummy Control," does not mean it is.



Observation #8: Refer to observation #3.



Observation #9: Yoga pants should be illegal after a certain size.



Observation #10: Unless you actually do yoga, it's probably not advisable to wear yoga pants in public.

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Observation #11: While yoga pants are made in much larger sizes than they should be, normal, comfortable, non-lacey but non-granny-panty panties are not. It is impossible to find normal underwear in larger sizes.



Observation #12: Refer to observation #7. This applies to underwear as well, because there is no way THESE panties will make your stomach look smaller.


Observation #13: Refer to observation #3.


Observation #14: Apparently larger sized women have bigger crotches. This is the only possible explanation for the extra 3" of fabric in the seat of larger panties.



Observation #15: Did I mention the retailers have a cruel sense of humor?


So, all in all, it was not a very successful day. I had to go home eventually, with or without comfortable underwear. I guess it's time to do the laundry. Again.  -Al

 
 
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We used to laugh at my grandmother for all her worrying. That woman could worry about everything. She worried about the light bill. This was evidenced by the single 35 watt bulb that would be burning in her house when we would arrive there after dark. She didn’t want to waste electricity, you know.

She worried about what the trucks were doing at the grocery store across the street from her house. She called the corporate headquarters so many times, I think she had them on speed dial (except for the fact that she refused to get a dial tone phone and instead, used her old rotary). I’m pretty sure they knew her by name at Bi-Lo supermarket, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because she was spreading goodness and joy.

My grandmother worried about everything. Most of all, she worried about my cousin. We’ll call him Johnny. He was the oldest, and it was very apparent he was my grandmother’s favorite. Grandmother loved him best of all. There was no denying it. Even she did not deny that.

When my grandmother would hear a siren, she would immediately say, “I hope that isn’t Johnny.” It didn’t matter where we were or where Johnny was. As soon as a siren was heard, her brain immediately went to him. He lived out west for a while and we were in South Carolina, and Grandmother would still say, “I hope that isn’t Johnny.”

“No, Grandmother. I’m pretty sure we would not hear a firetruck 1500 miles away.”

It was never logical to us, so we laughed about it. My silly grandmother and her silly ways. We did not understand why she was such a worrier.

Fast forward a few decades, and I am beginning to understand. I have a child who is driving. All at once, he has grown wings and is flying around town. (Hopefully, he isn’t really flying….I really hope he did not inherit his father’s lead foot.) I find myself worrying when I hear sirens. “I hope that isn’t Beetle,” I sometimes say out loud. Then, I look around to see if my grandmother is in the room. She’s not. It’s me. The Worrier.

I don’t think I was a worrier before now. Honestly, my normal response to stress has been just to fall asleep. You may think I’m kidding, but I’m not. If Mr. Everything is scaring me with his driving, I just go to sleep. He asks constantly why I sleep so much in the car. Why, I can be asleep before we make it out of our town!

When bills were weighing heavy on us and the phone kept ringing with bill collectors, I slept. When our business burned down, I stifled yawns while waiting for updates on the fire. When I drove home from the trauma center after leaving Mr. E and his burned face, I had a hard time staying awake on the drive. Sleep. It’s the perfect cure for stress.

In the case of the Beetle, however, sleep isn’t working. Instead, I find myself obsessing over the things he could possibly be doing wrong. The poor child faces the sniff test every time he walks in the door. The nose will know if he’s been up to something. Every time he is near me, I have to resist the urge to ask lots of questions. Sometimes, the questions leak out anyway.

For the 2.4 minutes I was awake in bed last night before falling into my normal comatose state, I pondered why it is I am worrying so much. The Beetle is a good kid. Sure, he has done stupid things. They all do. Overall, though, his goodness to stupid ratio is pretty high. I trust him. I do. Sort of. Well, until my imagination gets the best of me. Then, I freak out and wonder if the sirens I hear are headed to save the Beetle from his vehicle that is dangling over the edge of a cliff. Then, I remember we don’t have cliffs in Florida.

I don’t know why it is I worry so much. If the poor child survives me, he should get a t-shirt. “I survived life with my crazy mother.” I don't know why my mind automatically goes to the worst case scenario. Maybe it's genetic.

I wonder if there is a worry gene that I’ve inherited. Overall, it seems to have skipped a generation. My mother does not seem to worry like my grandmother did and now I do. However, the other day, I told her I had a sore throat. Her response was, “I hope it isn’t Ebola.” She was kidding. I think.         -Al