Youngest daughter gave me a pair of flannel sock monkey pajamas as a sort-of gag gift at least ten years ago. She also provided matching slippers, but those got chewed to smithereens three dogs ago, although I still wore them chewed until two dogs ago.
The pajamas are so thick, they require a drawer by themselves, since my other nightwear refuses to mingle with them. I’ve taken them out countless times to donate somewhere. . . perhaps to a museum at this point. . . but I always end up saving them for one more year.
The thing is, besides the fact that they’re inappropriate for a woman of my golden years, fashion sense, and incredible sophistication, they’re too hot for any human of normal body temperature to sleep in, no matter how cold the night.
BUT, when I get whammed with a virus that flattens me, only the sock monkey pajamas can take away the accompanying chills. Even my Dearly Beloved, who shuns cough syrups and medicines, has resorted to wearing them on such occasions.
I’m talking daywear. Other than perhaps in a cryogenic state, they’re still too hot for one to wear in bed, yet to schlep around from sofa to bathroom to bed during a siege of flu, cold, sinus infection, they’re pure magic. The top has two patch pockets large enough for tissues, nasal sprays, cough drops, cellphone, whatever, all at the same time.
The 2016 version of pestilence and disease in the Lee household struck about the same time the ghost of Marley would have shown itself. It was a doozy. I donned the pajamas, hit the sofa, and settled in for a long winter’s bout.
Dearly Beloved offered incredible support by letting me binge-watch Hallmark Christmas movies without so much as a whimper about all the games he was missing on TV. A prince among men!
By Christmas evening, the prince was feeling pretty lousy himself. His Christmas dinner consisted of my takeout leftovers from the previous week and a slice of pumpkin bread a kind neighbor had brought over, along with a glass of wine. Mine was four saltines and a glass of water.
The pajamas are an indicator of how one is progressing because they become suffocating to the wearer as soon as one starts to turn the corner back to good health. Hah! I didn’t find any corners for five days. The sock monkey pajamas were all that was holding me back from the abyss. Well, those and the Hallmark Christmas movies.
Yesterday, I felt good enough to move into sweatpants. I even cooked dinner last night: Italian-style meatballs and marinara over spaghetti squash. Granted, the sauce was jarred, the meatballs made by the butcher, we had no olive oil, and DB had to halve the squash for me, but that three-ingredient dinner was fabulous.
I may even feel mended enough to do the laundry today. I need to wash those pajamas.
Dearly Beloved is having chills.
Of all the statistics being tossed around from the Presidential election, the one that perhaps surprised me most was that 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump. Not that they should have voted for Hillary Clinton because she was a woman, but because they voted for a man who demeaned women publicly and privately.
(He also bullied and ridiculed the weak, put down minorities, and reviled immigrants. I’m guessing that, unlike those white women, they expressed their disapproval of his behavior with their votes.)
This election spawned a support group called Pantsuit Nation on Facebook, giving women of all ages the opportunity to interact and talk of their passions and frustrations with others who felt just as strongly. But the bravest group of all, I thought, called themselves Republican Women for HILLARY. At a time when even the most assertive members of Congress fear being even slightly out of step with their party line, for these women to publicly proclaim their intentions was, to me, amazing.
Within my own family, some of us were crushed by the election results intellectually and viscerally. When my devastated older daughter went for a walk Wednesday, she came upon this house and, on impulse, felt compelled to ring the doorbell.
She could do little but introduce herself to the woman who answered the door before bursting into tears. The woman, a complete stranger to my daughter, reacted in the same manner. They hugged and sobbed on the stoop before my daughter continued her walk.
Shortly afterwards, the woman changed her sign to this:
To his credit, Donald Trump has been inclusive and gracious in his post-election comments. It would be wise for members of Congress to behave in a similar manner, for most of us are sick of the terms Democrats and Republicans. I for one, would like to simply be American now.
Be honorable when no one is watching. Compromise. That doesn’t mean “it’s MY turn now.” It means working together: mutual concession, respecting each other’s differences. We should be able to manage that. We call ourselves, after all, the United States of America.
Let the hugging begin.
Early fall is training time here for precinct workers, to ready them for the November election. The classes are mandatory, even if one has worked at the same job for 20 years. Every year, something changes. My class this year was, as always, a roomful of Republicans and Democrats working together in good faith to make sure this election is carried out as seamlessly as possible.
The room was packed. I’ve mentioned before that the location I select is a windowless room in a county office building that was previously used as the overflow morgue. Although there are training locations all over the city, this one is nearest my house. I sign up for daytime classes. If I see a shadow, I want it to be my own. Others must feel the same way.
I took one of the few seats available, next to a pleasant-looking older woman who has snagged an aisle seat. (Okay, it’s possible that this “older woman” could have been about my age.) As we exchanged pleasantries, I realized that I was not looking her in the eye, mesmerized as I was by a significant hair growing under her chin. No peach fuzz. . . this one was a doozie, so long it had a slight curl to it. Upwards of an inch, at least.
As she talked on, I wrestled with myself about what to do. Should I avert my eyes and ignore it? Surely, she didn’t know it was there!
Recently I read that a friend is someone who tells you that you have lipstick on your teeth. Isn’t a long chin hair in that same category? It is hard to know exactly where to draw the line in these matters.
Once I attended a morning brunch and encountered a similar incident. One woman I didn’t know very well shouldn’t have been there because she had a terrible cold. (Her husband was a doctor. You’d think he’d have told her.) As we chatted, she wiped her nose with a tissue. Unfortunately, she dislodged. . . um. . . mucus (can I say wet booger here?) which smeared across whatever that space is called between nose and upper lip. I quickly did a motion across that space on my own face and told her to wipe again. It was either that or start gagging.
So back to the whisker lady. I rationalized that she must not have any friends or they’d have told her she needed to tweeze.
“You have a long chin hair right there,” I said, squeezing my index finger and thumb under my own chin in a pulling motion in order to designate the location.
She answered, “I know. It won’t come out. I tried to pull it out and my friend tried, too. It won’t come out.”
I was stunned into silence. My fingers were itching to reach over and yank.
I could have had that sucker out of there in five seconds with my bare hands, even if the other end was rooted in her nostril. Furthermore, , I not only carry a small Swiss Army Knife, but tweezers, clippers, and scissors as well.
Errant hairs, beware former Girl Scout leaders..
Heck, if the woman’s whisker truly required something of industrial strength, maybe the morgue folks left something behind. I’d have been willing to search on her behalf.
“I’m so sorry,” I told her, then buried my face in my elections manual to forestall any further conversation.
Today I went to lunch with some of my precinct friends (Democrats and Republicans) and told them the story. They were horrified, but laughed hysterically that I had been so rash and bold.
So now, unless that woman has a second friend with stronger fingers, she is going to work the entire Election Day with people staring at that eye-catching chin hair. Oh, the embarrassment! By Election Day, it may have grown enough that she can tie her name badge to it. Give that bad boy a purpose.
You may rest assured that I will definitely be checking myself in a magnifying mirror for stray eyebrows and facial hair before I show up to work on Election Day.
And let this be a warning to my fellow precinct friends: if you notice lipstick on my teeth and don’t tell me, I’m going to do some hair pulling myself. Yours.
I was in the Audio Book corner of our neighborhood library not long ago when a deep male voice behind me rasped, “Hey, Baby, looking for fun?”
My insides threatened to jump out of my body so I froze for a minute before turning around. At my age, I needed to make sure that my sphincter muscles were in control after the way he had startled me. Whenever anyone calls me Baby, well. . . there is a history.
When I was a seventh grader, in the junior high library one day, a ninth grade jock-type yelled “Hey Baby!” in my direction. I turned around in sheer terror. I didn’t think it to be a flirtation for even a second. Because it was during a ninth-grade study hall, I thought he was calling me out because I was the only seventh grader in the room and he wanted the room at large to frown at the youngster/interloper. Or maybe he wanted to borrow a pencil.
He was calling beyond me to the scarlet-lipped brunette wearing a Dixie-cup bra beneath her very snug sweater at the next table. I’m guessed that he wasn’t looking for a pencil, although he was definitely eyeing the points in that sweater. I blushed painfully for even having the thought that he might have been calling me.
Not to worry about any tragic effects of my misunderstanding, for it did not affect my psyche. Granted, I am still talking about it some 60 years later, but I’m fine. Really. I’m fine.
This latest Psst! certainly wasn’t because I was the youngest one in the library. It wasn’t a dirty old man either. . . just our warped sense of humor next-door neighbor, Beau. He was there to select a couple of audio books for a trip that he and The Little Woman were taking soon.
Sometimes I think I spend half my time at the library, much of it outside on the grounds. I tend the reading garden in one area and for the last few months, I’ve been developing a fairy garden outside the floor-to-ceiling window of the children’s department. Because the library sits near a very busy street, the fairy garden is for viewing from inside, not actually playing in it.
It sounded like a simple enough task. I could use natural materials like sticks and moss and make it a wooded, magic place for any fairies looking for a home. The library fairy garden project was perfect for the child in me. (She stands near the thin woman in there, too.)
I was so, so wrong. Now, I dread even going to the library. The problem isn’t men; it’s the DAMNSQUIRRELS! Seriously!!! I’m not paranoid; sometimes they really ARE after you!
For instance, Dearly Beloved put a fairy door and two windows at the base of the large oak there. Although the squirrels could come down any section of that tree, they always scramble up and down over the fairy entrance, making certain they take out a window, if not more.
The carefully painted acorn mailbox perched on a twig did not even last a day before one of them snapped off the acorn for lunch. They left the twig. The little painted mushrooms encircling the mossy magic fairy ring have been upended so many times that I could have grown crops there more easily. The moss? Ruined. Again. Again. Again. There’s none there at present.
Because the fairy garden gets such rough treatment, I hesitate to ask for any funds for accessories, the natural materials I’ve been using aren’t holding up. Because they’re so easy to upend, I’ve even resorted to gluing things like the mushrooms to a weighted surface–a piece of old brick and things like chunks of roofing tiles, then I bury the “weights.” Homeland Security would be proud. But even that isn’t squirrel-proof.
I’m including a few pictures to give an idea of what I’m up against. If you have any suggestions that don’t involve squirrel corpses, let’s hear them!
The sand in the sandbox and around the duck pond . . . well, gawd only knows what goes on in there, but the sand constantly needs to be replaced. The idea was for the duck pond to look like a lake, not a Tupperware bowl, with sand all around it. The sandbox on the playground should be full. . . and the fence, as well as the fairy door on the tree behind, should be standing straight. That swing hanging in the brown basket used to have mazus groundcover beneath, to protect tender little fairy feet. Oh. . . and see those blue mushrooms? They look random, but they were part of the border of the magic fairy circle that was filled with green moss. There are red mushrooms, too–they’ve all been upended. (If you want to know what color scarf to knit your favorite squirrel, go with red.)
Here is the basketball goal with a found shingle “court.” It came from the library roof; I hope it isn’t causing a leak. The orange thing is a hammock, with a tree limb fairy house behind it. I haven’t seen any squirrels in the hammock yet.
The soda shop floor needs sweeping. If I left a squirrel-sized broom out there, do you suppose. . . ?
Of course not. They’re the ones that made the mess.
I don’t want to end this on a complaining note because there is, at least, an upside:
At least the little bastards don’t call me Baby.
No child but must remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the infinitesimal forest and seeing it grow populous with fairy armies. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, Essays in The Art of Writing
There was a big To-Do here recently when we learned that imported foreign fish are being served at the NC Seafood Festivals. Before I ginned myself up for outrage, I wondered, it being a North Carolina festival, whether “foreign” meant that it came from Virginia or South Carolina.
Nope. Turns out that the festival fish needed passports, having been imported from China, Thailand, Canada, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Ecuador.
Serving it at the NC Seafood Festivals does sound a little misleading, don’t you think? Then again, ninety per cent of the seafood we eat in the US comes from those countries.
We have a new seafood market in town and I was thinking of checking out their selection. Thank goodness I received additional information. A friend who eats meats and organs that I wouldn’t consider food (like lamb’s heart, which he tried–and loved– on a trip to Iceland) recently asked if I had any camel recipes. CAMEL! It seems that the new seafood market in town offers that and other unusual meats and he’s anxious to try it.
Seriously? I have been pondering this ever since he told me about it. Granted, I don’t travel much. Do people actually eat camels? Is camel on menus in New Yawk City?
Camels can carry about 650 pounds. That would save me a lot of trips to Home Depot for mulch. It would be like having your own moving van and it wouldn’t need gas. Whether or not it HAS gas, I don’t know.
Where would a Charlotte market get camel meat? Is there a global market for camel meat, or did one random camel come to a bad end somehow? Did it carry one too many straws? Did it get stuck when a rich guy tried to shove it though a needle’s eye?
Then it hit me as to exactly how a local seafood market came to have camel in its meat case. The answer is simple: it came over along with the “local seafood.”
Wonder if they threw in a few monkey patties. I don’t even want to know.
The camel has a single hump;
The dromedary , two;
Or else the other way around.
I’m never sure. Are you?