Never Ride With A Pro

My friends, Katy & Kenny Hutson were asking for poem submissions for a contest their doing with Eastside Cycles and though I’m not qualified to enter (it’s for kids)… I thought I’d send them a funny poem anyway. This is about a ride I took with a friend, Mark Miller... a few years ago. My first and last time agreeing to cycle with a pro.

Never Ride With A Pro

The down hills were sweet
My face full of the wind
I love the speed…
Let’s do it again!

But uphill was tragic
Can’t get out of my seat
Peddling lost its magic
I’m nothin’ but beat

Along comes my riding pal
not out of breath
“You’re lookin’ good gal!”
“I may beat him to death”.

I felt his hand on my back
pushing me up hill
peddling for us both
not out of breath… still

Humbled and shamed
I hung my head low
This isn’t the way
I pictured it would go

“Cheer up Deb!
It’s what Armstrong does…
When his teammates are weary
He gives em a shove!”

“I realize you’re just helping
Giving me a fighting chance…
And that’s great for you…
Cause YOU get to be Lance!”

Mama’s Girl

I’ve been battling a head and chest cold for a couple of weeks now.  I’m not a very good sick person. I’m not one of those women who can be sick as a dog and still just pull up her boot straps and carry on. She can be running a fever, coughing up a lung and her head can be so congested it feels like an elephant is standing on it under water. But she still gets up, feeds the kids, irons her husband’s shirt, runs the carpool, grocery shops, does the banking, unclogs the toilet, cuts the grass, prepares dinner and wins a Nobel Peace Prize all by 6:00 pm.

Yea, that’s not me.

I blame it on my mom. When I was a kid… I was pretty healthy. I didn’t get any of the typical childhood illnesses. I’ve still never had the Chicken Pox or Whooping Cough. I had one mump in 5th grade.  Just one. On the left side. It was no big deal, but it did keep me from being in the school Christmas play. So my best friend, Diana, got to be the winter fairy and toss snowflakes made out of shaved soap instead of me.  It was a Brady Bunch special in the making.

All that to say, on the rare occasion that I did get sick, Mom would thoroughly dote on me.  She’d make a special little bed on the couch and prop me up on big fluffy pillows. She’d make me a mug of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, put a cold wash cloth on my forehead and stroke my hair saying things like, “My poor baby feels icky”.

It’s no wonder I become such a big baby when I’m feeling sick. Instead of rationally thinking about beefing up my Vitamin C, downing Airbourne and sucking Zinc tablets… my first thought is simply, “I want my Mommy”…

But because Mom lives 2500 miles away… being sick is not nearly as enjoyable as it used to be. So I’ve had to

seek out other means of comfort when under the weather (aka “on death’s doorstep”… I’m not dramatic or anything).  I’ve tried many a home remedy. I’ve gone the holistic natural route. But the only joy I’ve found comparable is in that beautiful emerald green liquid called, “NyQuil”.

Yes, the NyQuil magic that causes your toes to tingle moments before entering into an unconscious bliss. Sure, there’s a few seconds of gag reflex immediately after downing a little plastic cup full. But a quick gulp of Diet Coke as a chaser and you’re good to go.

Within about 20 minutes that warm fuzzy feeling starts to wash over your body and the next thing you know you are in a lovely NyQuil Coma. Lovely.

There’s really no point to this post other than I wanted to whine a little about feeling sick. I wanted a little sympathy since Mom isn’t here to stroke my hair and spoon-feed me soup. But I am grateful for friends and community who reach out when I don’t feel well. I’m thankful for my neighbor Miss Josephine who popped in on me to see how I was feeling. And thankful for the people in my Neighborhood Group who covered for me and ran things without me. And thankful for my friend Missi who stealthily left lemons for my tea and Whole Foods chicken soup on my porch. And for my roommate Meghan – who lets me drink her all orange juice (wait, she may not know about that)…

Anyway, Mom is always the best source of comfort. But when she’s not available, I am so very grateful for my friends who love me well.

And for NyQuil… yes, really grateful for NyQuil.

seeing clearly…

focusI recently went to the eye doctor to update my prescription. It had been three years since my last exam and though I only wear glasses for reading and driving at night… I knew it was time. Okay, truth be told… I found a really cute pair of frames and wanted to get some trendy new glasses. Don’t judge.

So, I headed over to LensCrafters in the good old Opry Mills Mall (or as I like to say, Shoppry Mills)… and a very energetic sales women with a very deep Southern accent informed me that since my prescription was 3 years old I need  to have a fresh eye exam. All righty then.

So I walked next door to the little attached Optometrist’s office and asked to see the doctor. After a few minutes of paper work the receptionist ushered me into an exam room in the back. Moments later, Dr. Solomon walked in and sat on the chair facing me.

I tried desperately not to react. But Dr. Solomon had a glass eye. An eye doctor with a glass eye. And it wasn’t just any old ordinary glass eye… no, it was bulging from his eye socket as if it were improperly fit. And it was crooked, kind of looking up and off to the left. And it was the wrong color. His natural eye color was brown… the bulging orb had a blue iris. A blue, glassy iris.

I was so distracted. I barely muttered answers to his getting to know you questions. Oh, he was pleasant enough – jolly in fact. An older gentleman with a white comb-over and rosy cheeks. Kind of like Santa Claus without the beard, and well… two good eyes.

And he was quick with the tests. I mean, really quick. Flipping the little focusing dials back and forth, back and forth. “Does this look better? Or this? This? Or this? This? Or this?” Such lightning speed I barely had time to tell which actually looked better.

Then comes the chart reading. He would ask me to read a line while looking through the view finders. I was having trouble with the first and last letters on each line. I told him such and he merely said, “It’ll be okay”. I’m not sure why I didn’t question him more… but I didn’t. He showed me what my old prescription looked like and it was remarkably fuzzy. And the new one was certainly more clear. But I was still worried that I couldn’t see the first & last letters on the chart lines, but Dr. Solomon chuckled, looked at me and off to the left simultaneously and merely said, “It’ll be okay”.

So, still dumbfounded and feeling a little dizzy from all the dial flipping… I walked numbly out of the office and back over to LenCrafters. The perky sales woman, still eager to help, snatched my prescription from my hand and went about placing the order.

Perky Sales Woman: “So, did Dr. Solomon take good care of you?”
Me: “Uh, yes, I suppose.”
Perky Sales Woman: “Was he wearing his Titans Game Day eye?”
Me: “Pardon?”
Perky Sales Woman: “His game day eye! Oh, he has a glass eye with the blue Titans logo on it! He likes to wear it on game days…”
Me: “Oh. Um, no… he wasn’t wearing it. I think he was just wearing his every day eye.”
Perky Sales Woman: “Oh, too bad.”
Me: “Yeah, too bad.”
Perky Sales Woman: “Ok, you’re all set! Ready in ’bout an hour!”

So off I went, hoping for the best… and to kill some time in Shopry Mills Mall. After ’bout an hour of doing additional financial damage in Bed, Bath & Beyond (I mean, it really is beyond – they have everything!) I headed back to LenCrafters. When I walked in, my helpful sales lady was being perky with someone else, so I had a seat and waited. Another helpful sales person came over and brought me my glasses to try on. They fit well and looked great. I glanced around the room and I seemed to be able to see through them okay. But then I looked down and tried to read the sign in front of me. I had a hard time. “Just move your head around”, she said. “Move my head around?” “Yes, until you can see the words. They’re progressive lenses.  It’ll take a little while for you to learn to see through them.”

“This is crazy”, I thought. Now I have to learn to see through my glasses? But she assured me that after a few days of wearing them – that I’d be able to see fine.

Two days later, I went back. I still couldn’t see through them and they gave me a headache trying to focus and see the words. I was having better luck with my plain old $20 readers from Target. They checked my glasses and said that they were done correctly and insisted that I was still on a learning curve. So I left defeated, and still unable to read with my glasses.

It’s been 3 weeks. I’ve not learned to see with my glasses. In fact, it’s gotten worse. If I wear them for more than 5 minutes I get a major headache. Like when you try on someone else’s glasses and when you take them off you have to shake your head to get your vision back. So, I’m taking the advice of my friend Jenny and I’m going to call another LensCrafters and tell them the situation. I really think my prescription was written incorrectly. Sorry Dr. Solomon… nothing personal.

So, all that said… maybe sometimes we really do need to learn to focus. And sometimes, no matter how perky the saleswoman and regardless if your one-eyed eye doctor says “it’ll be okay”… sometimes the situation really is skewed and too difficult to see… and you just might need a second opinion.

Distractions

So sorry friends, for the lack of blogging lately. I’ve been caught up in a few things that have kept me distracted. One being, my crazy travel schedule starting up in full force. Another, playing with my newly potted vegetable and herb garden.

And of course, I love being distracted with experimenting in the kitchen so I can post on my Recipe Blog… and not to mention wanting to spend the rest of my down-time sitting on my porch enjoying some of these amazing summer nights (and afternoons!)…

But the most important, and probably the most understandable, distraction has been walking through Mom’s cancer and hip surgery… and currently, her barrage of treatments and evaluations. It’s been overwhelming at best. But as I’ve continued to say throughout this time, “The Lord is on His throne… and that’s all I need to find rest at night”.

However, a couple of weeks ago, I was in Rochester, NY for a Women of Faith weekend. It had been a crazy time of trying to do my World Vision job on the road and squeezing phone calls in to doctors, nurses, family, mom’s friends, etc… After a typically hectic travel day on Sunday… I got home and collapsed in bed. Only to be wakened early the next morning with an onslaught of more phone calls.

(Content Warning: TMI below…)

After dealing with what I needed to… I decided, for mental health purposes, I needed to give myself a break. So I turned off my phone and headed out of the house to run some errands. Bank, post office, gas station… and then the fun part… Target! I needed a few things like shampoo & conditioner, toothpaste, Advil PM… and well, a bra. It had been awhile, after all, since I’d purchased a new one, and it was high time.

So, I found myself meandering through tall fixtures that displayed all sorts of frilly things on little plastic hangers… and though I was enjoying myself, my mind kept wandering and thinking of all the people I still needed to call and I was just worried about my mom. She’d been on heavy pain meds for a week, making her incoherent and I had been unable to talk to her. And I really missed my mom.

Shaking my head in an attempt to “snap out of it”… I grabbed the first bra in front of me. “Huh, it’s my size and it’s pretty and made of that stretchy lace I love”, I thought. “Sold!”, I actually said allowed. No need to try it on… thanks to Target’s great return policy. Besides, I’m exhausted and now I’m thinking I need to get home and get back to the phone calling. So I hastily grabbed the other things I needed and checked out.

Once home and once my calls were done for awhile… I decided to try on my purchase. “Wow, this thing is really comfortable! It fits like a glove! This may be the most comfortable bra I’ve ever had…”. I was quite pleased with myself. So pleased that I wore it every day for 3 days.

On the 3rd day… I came home late in the evening and decided to get undressed and shower before bed. As I was removing said purchase… I looked down and saw this little clasp thingy on the front of the strap. And another thingy on the other side. “Huh, what are these for?” I asked myself as I unclasped one…

Yep. You guessed it.

I had purchased a nursing bra.

So there you have it. Fatigue, distraction and shopping don’t mix. This I can attest to. But I must say… since I’ve never had children and don’t ever plan to (at least not in the birthing sense)… I may never have intentionally purchased a nursing bra. And I would have never known just how very comfortable they are… I mean, they’re really comfortable.

In spite of my sudden embarrassment, I was so taken with the humor of it all that I burst into a fit of laughter. Seriously, I still laugh when I think of it. But I’m so grateful to the Lord for giving me a little comic relief in the midst of such intense drama going on in my life. And I’m glad that it’s at my own expense and not someone else’s. And I’m grateful that He allowed such a hasty purchase to still turn out okay.

Because yeah, in case you’re wondering…

I’m still wearing it.

Diary of a Flight Snob

So, this past weekend was the first event of the Women of Faith tour… held in Kansas City, MO. When booking my flight I was decidedly disappointed to find that I could not get a flight on American Airlines. Yes, AA and I have a past… but they made nice and now we’re back together.

So I had to settle for traveling on Southwest Airlines. Now, don’t get me wrong… I understand that they are rather excellent in their field. That they have more direct flights and on-time departures, early arrivals, and less expensive ticket prices than most any other airline.

But I suppose it’s a matter of taste. I have a few friends that LOVE, and I mean vehemently LOVE Southwest. So, nothing personal, I promise. I’m just not a fan of the following requirements for flying SWA.

1) Having to check in online: Sitting poised at my computer, exactly 24 hours before my flight… shaky finger hovering over the enter button… waiting for that exact moment to “check in now”…. only to get a “B” seat. It brings back such bad memories from high school math class… no matter how hard I tried… I never got an “A”. Actually, I never got a “B” either.

2) The Cattle Call: What is this? Seriously. The over-achieving, performance-driven, rule-following, OCD, anal-retentive side of me raises its ugly head, only to go crazy when people don’t line up right. I mean, I may have failed getting an “A” boarding pass, but I’ll be darned if someone with a “B 32” ticket is going to board before my “B17”. I’m not competitive, really.

3) Casual attire, casual attitude: Again, I realize this is a matter of preference. But wearing shorts to work with socks and tennies, just seems like, well… camp. Now, I’m all about camp. It’s one of my favorite things. But I need to feel confident in the attendants who might have to act as my rescuers if things should go awry 30,000 feet in the air. I need to sense an air of professionalism. A hint of competence. The potential for heroism. It’s great that you’re so perky at 6am and can chuck peanuts at me with lightning speed… that you can tell corny jokes, sing silly songs and get sleepy patrons to clap on cue. BUT IT’S 6 O’CLOCK IN THE FREAKING MORNING!!!!! ‘Nuff said.

I love the face on the sleepy guy in the front on the left. He looks like I felt Sunday morning when our jovial flight attendant told joke after joke, pun after pun… all before sunrise.

Dear American Airlines. I miss you.

A Few of My Glorious Moments…

I’ve been wanting to do a post on Most Embarrassing Moments for a while now… mainly because every time someone asks, “So what’s your most embarrassing moment?”… I am perplexed. Not because I can’t come up with any… but because I seem to have so many to choose from… and how can I narrow it down to just one?

I was reminded that I needed to get this post going because my friend Rachael beat me to the punch and just posted her own list of fabulous faux pas. Her’s are pretty dang hilarious.. I advise you to check them out here.

So, for the sake of contributing amusement, transparency, honesty and self-effacing anecdotes to the blog world… I present to you my most glorious (and usually public) blunders, goofs, gaffs, and idiocies. Though I could not reasonably list ALL of them here… I can at least give you some of my favorites.
____

While working late one night in a recording studio, I bumped into a gentleman coming out of one of the recording booths, and trying to be cool and totally “with it” I casually asked,
“So… taking a break?”
“Sure am…” he replied.
“Cool. Cool. So, who’s session are you workin’ on?”
“Uh… Vince Gill’s…” accompanied by a puzzled look.
“Oh, cool… cool.”

Yea, it was Vince Gill I was talking to.
___

Back in California I lived in a condo with 2 other girls. We had a dog-door in the back door that led into the garage. One morning, while rushing off to work, I quickly went out the back door, locked it and hopped into my car that was parked in the garage. “Drat!” I forgot my keys. “Double drat!” They’re locked inside the house!

Trying to think quickly, I knelt down and tried to stretch my arm through the dog door to reach the locked doorknob inside. It was about 4 inches beyond my grasp. So, angling my body, I twisted and squirmed the top have of my torso through the dog-door… simultaneously trying to maneuver the rubber flap. “Voila!” I could reach the handle and unlocked the door!

Uh oh. I tried to re-squirm my way back out of the dog-door-hole. No go. I tried to push my way forward to go all the way through it. No go. Thanks to my, well, womanly curves… my chest and hips would not accommodate entrance or exit through the hole.

So there I was… flopped through the hole. The door finally unlocked… but much to my chagrin… I was going no where. No cell phone. No one home. No way out.

I stayed there for almost 30 minutes when one of my roommates miraculously “stopped by the house” to get something. The garage door opened and there stood my roomie… doubling over with laughter as my wedged hiney greeted her like Winnie The Pooh sticking out of the honey pot.
_____

Australia is a tricky place. It sounds like people are speaking the same English language we all know and love. But noooo… don’t be fooled.

While dining at the Hard Rock Cafe in Sydney… I was gesturing while talking (I’m sure there’s Italian in my blood somewhere) and I accidentally knocked over my Diet Coke… sendng ice and sticky cola everywhere. I quickly grabbed my napkin and started dabbing, but it was no use. Too much cola not enough fabric.

A young male waiter was walking by and I grabbed his arm…
“Excuse me… I need a napkin! Do you have an extra napkin?”
“Um… uh… I….”
“A napkin. ” I said like he was hard of hearing. “I need a napkin. I’ve made a HUGE mess!”
“I… uh… um…” Red-faced and awkward he stumbled away, never returning.

I learned a valuable lesson that night. The word “napkin” is not in reference to the paper or cloth square wrapped around your silverware. That would be called a “serviette”. Napkin, on the other hand is only used in reference to a woman’s feminine product. Yes, as in sanitary napkin.

Now read the above dialog again.
______

Also, while in Sydney (I told you this was a tricky place)….we’d been showing the local churches in that area how to facilitate a Vacation Bible School program. I was on-stage with a group of students at a fairly large church of 500 people (that’s considered a mega-church in Oz)… we were supposed to show the congregation what we’d been learning all week. My job was to lead the students on-stage, as well as the congregation in one of the VBS songs we’d learned. My favorite pick was “Praise Him in Morning”… with the hand motions and all.

So, standing at the mic I looked out across the 500 smiling faces and said,
“Now, everybody… I want you to do the motions with me.”
Smiling faces quickly turned to puzzled looks… and a few whispered “what did she say?”
“Come on everyone! Don’t be shy… let’s all do the motions.”
Giggling ensued on-stage behind me.
The whispers grew to commotion in the seats in front of me.
“Um.. you know… the hand motions… like this…” And I started to do the gestures.
Laughter broke throughout the entire building.

Then one of the Uni Students (university) leaned over and whispered in my ear.

Apparently, the popular Aussie phrase “do the motions”… means to have a bowel movement.

Note to self: Try to contract laryngitis during next trip to Australia.