A body at rest tends to get sick

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I should have seen it coming.  I’ve been so busy at work lately that the slight tickle in my throat seemed to be nothing more than a negligible nuisance.  But after I awoke at 8:00 am on my day off my body adamantly demanded I go back to bed.  I woke up again at noon.

I experience this phenomenon every autumn.  All of the stress and long hours are negated by my focus on my job.   Once that stress has subsided and the weekly hours begin to wane, my body seems to implode and every slight sign of sickness I had previously ignored comes at me with guns blazing.

Our bodies are amazing machines.  Every summer season I can completely ignore the signs of illness.  Each day I can get out of bed and put in my 8 to 12 hours a day with nary a symptom of infirmity.  But as soon as I allow my body and mind to relax, the wall crumbles and the army of germs march over the rubble to make a direct hit.

kale soup

I can only say how glad I am that I spent several hours yesterday afternoon making a couple of homemade soups.  A little Broccoli, Kale and Avocado soup should help cure what ails me!

First dates and possibly never wanting to date again

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Internet dating is not a new concept.  Since its inception, many singletons have flocked to cyberspace to meet people and make new connections with the ever lingering hope that they may encounter “the one”.

Living in a small town with limited ways to meet new people, a much younger version of myself decided to take the plunge and start seeking that ever elusive cyber match.  It is extremely overwhelming in the beginning.  Pictures of smiling, fit, tanned men apparently ready and willing to meet a potential partner leapt from my monitor. The array of photos of yachts in the Caribbean was astounding and they all seemed so perfect, on paper.

Although each site boasts different capabilities and features, the fundamentals are the same.  You can search for similar likes and dislikes, physical characteristics you find attractive, political positions you agree with, religious beliefs and personal aspirations that you share.  The underlying goal is that the potential cyber-mate entering that information from the other end of those intergalactic particles is telling the truth.  Once you have sorted through the innumerable prospects, eventually you are ready for that first encounter.  A smile is shared, witty repartee ensues and, as the relationship progresses, the true conversation begins.  And then you decide to meet in person.

Before I regale you with my story of face-to-face contact, I will say that I know several people who have met on the internet and have formed loving and lasting relationships.  We had a wedding at the lodge two weeks ago and the adorable couple met on eHarmony.  My story, however, does not involve that happy ending.

After a lengthy online courtship, our relationship evolved into conversation over the phone.  Eventually, we thought it was time to take the next step and we agreed I would drive to his home town to meet him.  I rented a hotel room so I would have a safe haven if it all went pear-shaped, which it most certainly did.

The initial meeting was unnerving.  I was sweating more on that early spring evening than I would have been if I had just run a 5K marathon in mid-July.  He seemed sweet and was excited to show me the town.  He tentatively reached for my hand as we walked.  The conversation seemed easy and we decided to grab a bite to eat.   Cocktails and appetizers eased us into easy communication but during the main course his behavior became quite odd.  There was a very noticeable down-shift into direct eye contact and his words became slow and sedate.  When I had reached the point that it had become uncomfortable, I finally asked what was going on.  His honest to God response was, “I’m trying to hypnotize you”.   Really??  I’m not sure if I was more shocked at the fact that he just admitted that or the fact that my sense of perception, when it came to him, was so far out in the ethers that it was irretrievable!!  Needless to say, dinner ended abruptly and I went back to the hotel and double-bolted my door.  I relived the entire relationship over a few glasses of wine, admitted great defeat and drove home very early the next morning.

The experience certainly left me with a feeling of immense distrust.  Perhaps that distrust was more in my judgement than it was of a relatively benign dating website.  But regardless of where that skepticism truly lies, I will certainly be far more cautious if I ever decide to once again dip my foot in that dating pool.

Did she really just do that?

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The table setting was pristine.  The crystal wine glasses were symmetrically lined along the top of the knives, the cutlery was exactly perpendicular to the edge of the table and the cloth napkins were starched to perfection.

winemaker dinner

 (image credit: anselmovineyards.com)

Slivers of the fading sunlight cascaded over the place settings and the room lay in wait for the dinner guests to arrive.  Candles were lit, classical music undulated through the air and the mood was perfect.

The first of the guests arrived and were anxious to be seated.  Pair by pair, the dinner guests filtered into the restaurant and found their place at the exquisitely set dining table.  The host for the evening smiled as everyone took their seats and, once the group had settled, he introduced himself and the winery he represented.  He explained how a Winemakers Dinner worked and that each course presented from the kitchen would be perfectly married with a wine that he had selected to enhance the flavor of the dish.  An excited buzz was heard going around the table.

The amuse-bouche was delivered and the evening began.  Course after course was delivered and, indeed, made better by the wine selection.  As I leaned in to clear the last course served I noticed a woman moving in a strange way across the table.  Her bizarre twitching had caught the attention of several of the dinner guests as well but had been dismissed by all but me.

I tried my best to distract myself with my job but I could not completely pull my gaze from her odd behavior.  Her husband had been sitting to her left and was deeply engaged in conversation with the person to his left so he missed the entire show.

I did my best to clear the remainder of the table and turned one more time to witness the end result of the bizarre dinner dance this woman had been performing in her seat.  In one final fluid motion, she reached up her left sleeve and pulled out her bra!

I’m not sure, to this day, if I had been more shocked by the fact that she had not left the 30-person dinner party to make herself more comfortable in a private setting, or by the fact that her husband only shrugged and smiled at the erratic direction of her moral compass.

I guess we all have to march to the beat of our own drummer!

 

 

 

 

Taking back my life

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Time

Time had marched on,

aimlessly walking over me,

crushing me with its weight,

burying me under its pressure.

My body was leaden,

 unable to stop the parade of seconds,

watching helplessly as they turned into hours,

and slipped relentlessly into days and weeks.

 But I have begun to fight back,

to battle the oppressive tyranny of lost moments.

Time no longer guards me,

holding me captive,

only able to be governed by its rules.

I now hold the reins and make time do my bidding.

I am in control,

no longer bullied by its endless cycle,

released from its shackles.

A small speck on my window was a huge eye-opener

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Yesterday I had a bug on the outside of my driver’s side window.  I know that sounds like a strange statement but that bug, after 5 kilometers of stubbornly hanging on for the ride, began to represent something much more than a bug on my window.

I had all but written him off during the first kilometer but I became more amused as one km stretched into two, then three, and his sheer determination would not allow him to let go.  His tenacity began to rekindle my creativity.   His utter disregard for common sense made my brain kick into writer’s mode and that bug made me realize how important it is to hold on to the things you truly want.

bug on a window

Although I had a few giggles thinking of how that little insect reminded me of Kevin Kline hanging on to the plane at the end of A Fish Called Wanda, I was reminded of an important life lesson by a 6 legged black and red bug with a stinger and an attitude.  If it’s worth hanging on to, do everything in your power to make sure you don’t let it go.

I have since grasped my writing a little bit tighter.  I am fervently holding onto the window that is my blog and doing everything in my power to not let this journey slip away.

Chirpsicles and other things that don’t fly

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It was a pet store like no other – the only problem was, it was merely an apartment shared by three college women and a menagerie.

I was a regular visitor to the apartment since one of the occupants was my best friend.  During an innocent trip to the freezer to commandeer some ice, I noticed a collection of oddly wrapped items neatly piled in the right hand corner of the large chest freezer.  The remainder of items were recognizable and created no cause for alarm or inquiry.

On my way back to the couch I passed the large aquarium decorated with tropical fish and narrowly missed tripping over the bunny and a few cats.  My curiosity had gotten the best of me and the wine had taken away any shyness about asking the question.

“What is in the corner of your freezer?”

The question hovered in the air for a moment, dangling in front of six shifting eyes.  The three roommates spoke to each other without words, wondering if they should divulge the secret they all shared.

Shirley (her name has been changed to protect the guilty) was the first to speak up.   She began to tell the tale of how many birds they once had compared to the number of feathered friends they currently had.  The few that had not survived had been ‘put on ice’ until they could properly dispose of them.   The corner of her freezer contained four dead birds that they referred to as “Chirpsicles”.  As the story was being told, the cats slowly backed out of the room to avoid detection.

dead_parrot_-_ash_mens_cu

(image credit: 8ball.co.uk)

My best friend was gauging my reaction to this revelation and chimed in with “you should see what she does with the dead fish”.  After a few more drinks, I was introduced to ‘fish flying’.  The deceased fish were ceremoniously placed on a spoon and, from a relatively steady stance on their eighth floor balcony,  flung into the open air in hopes of reaching the outdoor pool many stories below.

After the last fish had been flung, we settled into the chairs on the balcony.   Only moments later the doorbell rang.  I panicked slightly, thinking the superintendent had caught onto our outrageous activity.  What stood on the other side of the door should not have shocked me at all.   A petite woman lovingly held a small rabbit and asked if it belonged to any of the apartment occupants.  Wondering how the bunny escaped, ‘Shirley’ recognized the rabbit immediately and asked how far down the hallway the little critter had reached.  With moderate hesitation, the neighbor handed Shirley the bunny and explained that she lived on the seventh floor.  The bunny had fallen off the eighth floor and landed on the balcony below!

The sliding door to the balcony was quickly closed and the rest of the night was spent indoors with the surviving menagerie.  When I awoke in the morning, I left the apartment quietly so as to not wake the girls.  Leaning on the elevator wall, I recalled some of the events from the previous night, thinking perhaps I had dreamt the whole thing…….until I pushed open the door to the circular driveway and noticed the remains of the fish on the pavement.