Archive for February, 2018

Out in the Boondocks

You might call it “the sticks” or “the toulies”. You might even call it “terra incognita”. Whatever you call it, we live in the country, and we love it, but it is changing. The other day, I had to wait for three cars to go by before I could turn south and be on my way to work. Three cars is a lot around here, unless it is fishing opener or hunting season. Since it was 6:30 a.m. on a cold winter’s weekday, I wondered what was going on. After living for years in larger cities or towns with their crowds, traffic jams, and stoplights, it is nice not to have to worry about the traffic or finding a place to park. Yesterday, things were really hopping here in the north woods. Heading towards home, I was in the middle of a line of traffic seven cars long. That is the most traffic I have seen here in months. We were following a guy in an old pickup, who drove ten miles per hour BELOW the speed limit in the no pass zones and ten miles per hour ABOVE the speed limit in the passing zones. Since I was smack-dab in the middle, I was determined not to let it irritate me and turned up the radio, adjusted the rear view mirror, and settled in for a long drive home. Car number seven, at the end of the line, must have let it irritate him, so decided to pass. He didn’t pass just one or two cars, but all six of us that were ahead of him. Since we were driving in an area with hills, curves, and deer who run across the road at regular intervals, I thought that he must have had more bravado than brains, but since I tend to drive only a wee bit faster than a Farm Woman’s grandmother, that probably doesn’t mean much. I prepared to slam on my brakes, but he made it by a hair. Perhaps there were so many on the road yesterday because we are expecting a snowstorm today, and it is a holiday weekend, to boot. I’ll bet dollars to dumplings that the only one on the road this morning was the snowplow driver. I’m going to stay in, put another log on the fire, and hope the boondocks will be plowed out by morning.

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The Intention

I am the oldest and least flexible member of my Saturday morning yoga class. Our instructor, who happens to be my very flexible daughter, asks us to set an intention to concentrate on during each class. I usually choose something like “I will eat healthy” or “I will practice more”. Intentions help to bring you back into focus, should your mind start to wander. My mind tends to wander a lot, especially when I am intent on not falling into a twisted pile of sweaty limbs or wondering how in the HECK I’m going to do what she’s doing. I usually keep my weekly intention to four or five words, and try to follow it throughout the week. Some folks believe that yoga is somehow not a practice for Christians. I’m not here to argue theology with anybody, but find it quite the opposite for me. My intention today was “I will honor God.” This intention was to help me have less judgemental thoughts about Facebook users who can’t differentiate between there, their, and they’re, along with my snarky thoughts and comments about politicians both right and left. Besides, it sounded better than “I will shut my mouth.” So I stretched and I honored for an hour and truly plan to keep up with both the intention and the stretching throughout the week. After class, I cuddled and exchanged about a hundred kisses with my grandson, who will soon be five. The trick to getting that many kisses from a nearly five-year-old is to tell him that kisses are icky. Five-year-old boys like icky things. He also whispered in my ear that when he turns five next month, he will not be too big to kiss his grandma. Dear God: You got it mixed up. It was my intention to honor you, but instead you honored me with this moment in this day in this blessed life. I wonder if that was your intention all along? Namaste.

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The Painting Blues

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent van Gogh

I am not someone who is anywhere near the van Gogh of household painting. That would be my sister. But, after eleven years of the same tired old guest bathroom, I decided it was time for a change and bought a new shower curtain, rugs, and paint to match. It is actually time for a change in my entire house, and luckily, my sister and dear friends who LOVE to paint have offered to help. I hate to paint, nor am I good at it. This is a small bathroom, however, and hard to fit more than one person and a ladder in there. Tempted, but too ashamed to ask them to do it for me while I made the lunch, I decided to tackle it myself. How hard can it be, anyway? A small room with sink, medicine cabinet, tub, and surround should only take one quart of paint and a couple of hours, in my rather naive estimate. I also had some good paint brushes that I had used with my last project, which had been carefully cleaned and stored away. Thinking I’d be done shortly, I started in with a cheerful whistle. Unfortunately, the whistle stopped immediately when I discovered that the old paint brushes were stiff and unyielding to soaking up paint, requiring a trip to the store in my old paint clothes to purchase more. Starting once again, I soon realized that whatever type of paint that I had applied those eleven long years ago was not going to be easy to cover. I am also not as agile as I was eleven years ago and found it nearly impossible to reach those high corners while standing on my tippy toes on top of the toilet tank. I also needed to lie on the floor to reach some of the corners, which made it necessary to sweep and mop the floor first. In yet another blow to my ego, I realized that an old Farm Woman who is pushing sixty does not get up easily from a cold tile floor without having to moan and groan and hug the toilet for assistance. Barney the Chihuahua, ever my hero, sensed that I was in trouble and jumped on my back to help. I noticed that he had stepped in a dribble of paint, so I cleaned his paws so he wouldn’t leave little green prints all over the floors like he did on my back. Thankfully, by that time I was out of paint had to wait until the next day for another quart and round two. Here I am, four days later, and don’t have the heart for the third and final round. Yes, three coats. I will take another day of rest before I pull up my van Goghs and start in once again.

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