Monthly Archives: May 2016

ROSIE THE RIVETER I’M NOT!

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While I certainly agree with this statement, I can not claim to be able to do anything remotely mechanical, or electrical, or plumbical (I know it’s not a word but it should be).

I was out today in my camper trying to redecorate and by that I mean put up some pictures and plaques.  It was not pretty.

I have that awful stuff from the big box DIY store that looks like bead board but is made out of some weird crap called Masonite.  You can not easily pound nails into it. And I should know better because we had it in our daughter’s room and it was near impossible to put anything up on her walls.  But I am an eternal optimist or a bubble off of plumb as I attempted to pound tiny little nails into the walls of my camper.

And to make matters worse, it was HOT in there.  And I don’t do HOT.

After a good hour of pounding, missing, pounding, missing, cursing, pounding, bending the nail, cursing, pounding, dropping the nail, cursing, looking for the nail,cursing, sweating, pounding, missing, cursing, cursing, cursing, I decide I needed to plug in the electricity so I could use the fan.  I really contemplated turning on my AC but by now my brain was fried and for some reason I instead chose the fan.

Fan is running and I decide maybe using my new little drill might be easier than pounding in nails so I plug it in and attempt to figure out which way is forward and which way is backward…”righty~tighty, lefty~loosely”.  Then I have to figure out how to put in the drill bit (oh my gosh, is an electric screwdriver the same thing as a drill?  This is shaped like a gun, so I am assuming it is a drill….am I right?) and does it need that long attachment piece?  By now, I have been baking at 375 degrees for way more than an hour and I look at the fan and I notice that the cord is in the front of it (it is a really cool old vintage fan) and so I turn it around and lo and behold, I had had the fan facing backward….about now my frustration level is up around “I need a hot fudge sundae as big as a mixing bowl” and I am just about ready to either cry or set the damn thing on fire.

I am having some gal pals over on Saturday and I wanted to have my camper all redone in my new theme (vintage cowboy) and of course, I wait until the last possible moment because stress must be my drug of choice and I’m an addict.

Ok, drill in hand, I find some screws and attempt to screw one in.  Can’t remember which way to push the lever to make it go in, have to look again at screw gun and try each way to see which is “tighty” and which way is “loosey”.  Put screw back up and start driver and screw falls down behind cushion.  Locate screw while adding new words to my cursing vocabulary.  Put screw up where I want it, not sure which way to push lever AGAIN, take screw down, push levers to see which is “tighty” and which is “loosey” all the while thinking I must be on the brink of dementia since I can’t seem to remember how to run the *&%^%$ drill.   Third try is the charm, right?   Nay, nay.

Now the screw has fallen on the floor somewhere and the sweat is dripping off my face and my Van Wave temper is just about to blow and I am debating on either throwing the drill through the screen door or just screaming at the top of my voice until I stroke out.

How flipping hard can it be to put one tiny screw into a piece of real beadboard?  Seriously…… I raised a child.  I held jobs.  I drive a car.  I sang Italian arias.  I have created hundreds of different pieces of arts and crafts.  I should be able to screw one lousy screw in and pound a small nail in straight, right?

Apparently not.

I have resorted to smashing tacks into the walls with a hammer and hand screwing the screws in after smashing a nail in to make a hole to screw the screw in.    After putting up a couple of things I decided it was time for a break and a cold one and a hot burrito would make it all better.

Two hours later, I am still breaking.  I may be breaking all the rest of the night.

Your Queen (who can’t do anything normal)

Robyn

BATTLE OF THE BATHTUB (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE WHICH I ALSO STRUGGLE WITH)

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It sits….taunting me.  In all of it’s shining glory.  Teasing me with visions of how it could be between us.  Tempting me with thoughts of bubbles and candlelit nights, sipping cold, dark red adult grape juice.  Zen type music softly playing on the Bose.  All the cares of my life slipping away in chest-deep water (which isn’t hard to do since my chest is a lot lower that it ever was).  image I know it’s song is a lie.  I still have the aches and pains from our first tryst.  I try not to listen to it’s siren call for I know it is evil and will do harm to me if I give in.

But it is not the only entity in my bathroom.  My shower has taken on an attitude of it’s own.  Can you spot the smugness in it’s glassy look?imageIt’s smug face reminds me that I will have to use it if I don’t wish to stinketh.  Once again I will subject myself to it’s claustrophobic belly and odd smell.  It will assail me with daggers of ice cold water when I turn it on and then scald me before I can adjust the one-armed demon.  It will laugh it’s hollow laugh, when I drop the soap and struggle to bend over without hitting parts of me along it’s angled bones. It conspires with the metal basket full of scrubs and soaps and razors to suddenly drop from the side of the shower wall and nail me on the head and cause my heart to momentarily stop at the randomness of the assault.  And it will claim victory when I can no longer stand it and have to bail out not completely finished with my “toilette”.

If that wasn’t cruel enough even the small tools of the “toilette” mock me.  My safety razor has taken on a demeanor of a gigolo sunning himself at a pool in the South of France.  Can you see his arm thrown back and his long, lean body just laying there thinking, “Ah zee ze fat womanz….ze thinkz I am going to shave zee legz but ze iz wrong.”imageAnd my electric razor is giddy with delight since he knows I must go back to his cutting ways since I can not manage to shave both sides of my legs in either demonic torture chambers.  He buzzes with anticipation of our next session.  He is tightening up his coils as I type, ready and waiting to cut me and give me his famous razor burn thighs.  He has a hellish metallic laugh.  Somewhat on the maniac scale. Notice his face…. does it not have the look of a crazed monster?image

So here I sit.  Held hostage by my bathroom appliances.  If I want to go anywhere, which is the worse of two evils?  Do I want to go into the Shower of Horror or do I want to chance being like President Taft who (as legend goes) got stuck in his claw foot tub because of his great girth and had to be rescued?imageOr be publicly humiliated on the 6 and 10 news casts as this poor woman was when she had to be rescued by emergency personnel.  (You can tell this really isn’t me by her hair color…I wouldn’t be caught dead in that color!)imageI need to grow either more arms (so I can spread the force needed to hoist my buttocks out of the tub)imageOr get a tub like this…..image.jpegBut since I would be terrified of getting locked in there and the water rising above my head, I doubt very much that this is a viable option.

I guess I will have to give it more thought and load up on sponges and wet wipes or just stay home rotting until I get it figured out.  Stay tuned.  You just know I will share it with you all!!!

Queen’s Question for Today….are you a tub person or a shower person and can you share a funny/scary experience using it????   I can not really be the only person in the world who has adventures in their own bathrooms?

Your Queen who is on her way to looking like a Yeti……

COFFEE TIME WITH MY DAD

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imageTonight as I was scrolling down my FaceBook feed, this came up and I read it and my dad popped into my mind.  He died back in the fall of 1990, nine days short of his 59th birthday.

What came along with the thought of my dad was a rush of all the things I had wished we could have talked about but never did.  My dad was uncomfortable talking about feelings.  He had a hard time showing tenderness and love.  He believed that he showed his love by working hard and making sure we had everything we needed. We never went without material goods.  He was a product of the times and of his own upbringing.

Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night, I think of my dad.  I wonder what kind of childhood he had.  Did he feel loved?  Did he feel safe?  Was there tenderness and kindness in his world?  Did he ever go to bed and cry because he was hurt or lonely or felt unloved.  What did he think of his mother and father?  How did their lives shape and mold his?  Did he have dreams as a boy?  What did he want to grow up to be?  Did he do well in school?  Was he liked by the other children?  Did he have friends?

How did his parents show their love?  Was strict discipline and physical punishment the only signs of love he got?

He met my mom when they were both 16.  What did he think of her?  How did he know when he fell in love?  What did it feel like to him?  Did he have any role model of what a good marriage looked like?  What were his expectations of his bride and how did he think the “man of the house” should act and think?  Was he at all afraid to marry and have a family?

What was his idea of a perfect life?  Of a perfect family?

How did he feel when my mom told him she was pregnant just two months after they were married?  Was he happy?  Did he long for a son?   What were his thoughts on life with a baby?

What did he experience during the 38 hours my mom was in labor with me?  Was he terrified she would die or that I would?  And when they came and told him that they would have to take me by C-section and all he heard was “sections” and thought I would be coming out in pieces, did he cry?  Did he mourn the child he might not have?

And when I was born whole and he got to hold me, what was he feeling?  Pride? Fear? Disappointment that I was not a man-child?

How did he cope with sleepless nights with a colicky baby?  Was he sharp with my mother?  Did he think she should be doing a better job?  Did my constant crying make him irritable and angry?  Was he worried that I might really be sick and he was secretly scared?

And how did he feel when 2.5 years later another daughter was born.  And there would be no more chances to have a son?  Did he care?

How did he cope in the lean times?  Was he ever afraid of losing his home?  Did he stay up nights worrying how to pay the bills?  Did he ever resent us for having to work so hard to keep us fed and clothed and sheltered?

What gave him joy?  What made his heart sing?  What were his adult dreams?  Did he dream big or did he feel he was not educated enough to do better?  What were his fears?

And when we started dating, what thoughts went through his mind?  Did he worry when we were late or did he just get mad because we disobeyed?  Did he ever think we were never coming home again?

He and I had a very difficult relationship.  He wanted strict rules that were to be followed to the letter.  I wanted freedom.  He wanted control over everything.  I wanted control over something.  So we clashed.  I rebelled in every manner I could get away with even though I knew the consequences would be ugly.  I never felt rebellious, I just wanted to do what most everyone else was doing and he was trying to keep me safe in his own way.

How did he feel when I left home after an awful argument? Was he heartbroken?  Was he sad?  Or was he just so mad that I had once again not played by his rules even though I was a 21 year old adult working full time.  Was he ever sorry for some of the things he did when he was angry at me?  Did he ever wonder if I hated him and if so, did that thought break his heart?

How did it feel to have his favorite child get married?  Did he miss her company?  Was it hard for him not to show any emotion at the wedding?  Did he want to weep at the thought of his little buddy becoming the little buddy to someone else?

And when he found out he was going to be a grandpa, how did he feel about it?  Was there an inner excitement in him when he found out it was a boy?

There is one question that never needed to be asked and that was if he loved his grandchildren.  He adored them.  He showered them with love and affection and I wondered where it had been stored when we were growing up!

My dad had his first heart attack at age 36 and from that moment on, we all lived on eggshells.  I wonder what thoughts were going through his mind as he lay in the hospital for 30 days.  He was a boxer in his younger days and was always so strong. Did he feel tiny and vulnerable?  Did he think of his mom who had just died the year before of a massive heart attack?  Did he think he may never see his girls grow up, never walk them down the aisle?  Or were his thoughts more about how the bills were going to get paid while he was off of work?

Then there were the two open heart surgeries and the cancer diagnosis.  What kinds of thoughts raced through his mind?  Did the thought of death frighten him?  Was he more worried about my mom and her welfare than of his own?  Did he ever cry in the middle of the night at lost dreams, chances not  taken,  roads not explored?  Did he regret anything in his life?  Did he wish he had done things differently?  Did he feel all alone?

So many questions I wish I could have asked.  I would have liked to have known my dad as a person not just my father.  I would have liked to have known his history.  Perhaps I could have been more forgiving having known how he grew up and the things he suffered.  I cry sometimes when I think of all the hurts he may have endured that we knew nothing about.  The loneliness he may have felt.

Tonight my arms ache to hold him and to tell him I really did love him even when I thought I didn’t.  To listen to his story and to cry with him and to laugh with him and to look him in the eyes and see the love he had for me that I couldn’t see all those years ago.  And to tell him I am sorry that we never had the chance to be close and to ask his forgiveness for all the times I made him angry or sad or disrespected.  And to tell him I forgive him for not being a perfect father and that I can now see that he did the very best he could with what skills and knowledge he had and that everything he did was out of love for me and my sister and my mom.

I don’t know if I shall ever get to see him again in the next world.  But if I do, this time it will be a perfect relationship, in a perfect place and there will be no tears, no anger, no disappointments, no rebellion,  just PERFECT LOVE FOR ALL OF ETERNITY.

Keep the coffee on dad…it won’t be long and we will have forever to talk.

I loved you when you were here and I love you still, Dad.

Robyn

BATHTUB WENCH ISO BATHTUB WINCH

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I have been waiting YEARS to take a bath.  Yes, I said YEARS.

I grew up having a claw foot tub. Most of the places I lived in had claw foot tubs.   A few years after only having a shower when we moved into our country house, we put in an old three foot claw tub. (The tub was three feet long, not sitting on just three feet!)  I loved that tub.  I named him “Brad” (LOL).  I could sit for hours in that tub with my back against the cool porcelain and my feet just touching the other end of the tub.  It was heaven.  image

Not so for my 6’2″ husband.  When he was in the tub his knees were up by his ears.

So finally I gave in and we bought a new shower/tub unit.  I hated it.  It was long and skinny and I kept slipping under the water when I would try to lay back on the crappy acrylic back.  My elbows would bang against the sides of the tub when I would try to read and since it had no “lips” to grab on to, I had to roll over on to my hands and knees to get out of it.  So for years, I would only use the shower.

Two years ago or so, we completely redid the bathroom and my husband went out and found an old claw foot tub but it needed refinishing.  Long story short, we finally got it done and it took him months to get it hooked up and the feet to stay on (the feet that came with the tub were NOT the feet that the tub originally had and so he had to find a way to make them stay on and I insisted that he put wood blocks under the tub just in case the feet gave way while I was splish-splashing.). Last week he finally finished it and other than needing to paint the outside, it was ready!imageSince it had been years since I had taken “a tub”, I was a bit nervous if I should attempt it only when Scott was home.  But waiting until way after bedtime or getting up early to make sure he was here just wasn’t working out.

Today, I was up at 5am and when Scott got up a couple of hours later, I told him that today was the day I was going to test the tub.  I had no bubble bath or anything fun to put in it but I was dirty and hairy so I just pretty much wanted to de-filthify myself and would save my “true” 1st time for a night where I had candles, a good scary book, some adult grape juice, tons of bubbles  and no deforesting to do.

But like most days, after eating breakfast I got super tired so I laid down for my afternoon nap (only it was 9:45am).  I slept for a couple of hours and when I got up I noticed Scott had texted me and tried to call me numerous times.  He was so very worried that something had happened to me.  I texted him back asking what was his problem and he said he was worried that something had happened to me while I was in the tub.  Like what?, I asked.  He texts back, LIKE THE TUB FLIPPED OVER.

imageOk , so now I’m thinking why on earth would the tub FLIP OVER if he had put the legs on right and secured them and there are blocks of wood under the tub, right?  Tipping over in the tub was never really on my radar…..I was more afraid of me and the tub crashing through the floor as I am not sure how sturdy our floor is!imageAfter reassuring me that the tub really was in no danger of tipping over, I decided, “What the heck?”

I filled that gorgeous tub as full as I could and I got my stuff all ready and made the discovery that I had no where handy to put anything.  So I had to just drop the soap, washcloth and razor into the tub…no reading today, I guess.  As I was getting into the tub, I was surprised at how tall this tub was and getting my abundant leg over the side was proving more difficult than I remembered.  Once I had both legs in, I knew that lowering myself in gracefully was not going to be happening and so I set off a tsunami as my zaftig body dropped straight in from about three feet.imageBut, I have to admit, the tub never moved and felt super sturdy.

Like I mentioned before, it has literally been years since I have been in a tub and I have aged and gotten bigger and have not had many occasions to lift my legs in such a manner that one needs to to shave said legs.  Thank the Lord that my bathing suit really does have leggings down to my ankles as only the fronts of my legs are going to get shaved in this tub.

I also noticed that sitting on a hard surface is really painful on my Fibro pressure points and that the tub water doesn’t flow to the back of me very well since my ample hips seem to make dams on both sides of the tub.  And worst of all, I no longer can manage to maneuver myself so I can get my bum very clean…I know…TMI….but if you know me, you know I keep it real!!!

imageFinally, I decide that I have had enough “fun” for one day and I better get out before my energy drains as fast as my tub is.

I knew somewhere in the forgotten recesses of my mind that getting out of this or any other normal tub was going to be a bit of a challenge.  OH MY GOSH…..it took me more than 10 minutes to figure out a way to get out of that damn tub.  I tried just lifting myself up like I used to back when I was still young and weighed a whole heck of a lot less and had good knees and back.  Yeah, right, I could get my arse up half way but I had no leverage to heave ho myself.  I tried turning over but I couldn’t do it.  I even grabbed my back brush and used it to drag my grands little stepstool over to see if I could get it into the tub and get myself on it and the whole time I am hearing my husband’s voice warning me to not use anything in the tub that might scratch it and the stool is vintage and has metal legs and it was hitting the inside of the tub as I wrestled it in behind me.  Still couldn’t hoist my fat a$$ onto that little stool.  So now what?

I contemplated calling my husband (I was smart enough to put the phone on the toilet so if I had to use it, I could reach it) but he would not be happy to have to come home from work to get his fat, old wife out of the tub.  And I would not have been happy to have him have that image burnt into his memory forever.  I thought about just sitting there until he came home but by now I am feeling pretty beaten up from all my banging around trying to turn over and I can feel my back starting to stiffen up and it would be at least five hours before he got home and by then, I would need to be cut out with the jaws of life.

So I did what any other woman would do in my situation, I cried.

Then I got ticked and tried one more time to get as close to the front of the tub as I could and I used every ounce of strength I had (which honey, ain’t much) and I pulled and pulled and grunted just like I was giving birth and damn, I got myself up!!!!

I want you to know I am pretty proud of myself for being able to do that.  And when you visit me in the hospital for pulling muscles in my back, thighs, arms and jaw and in full body traction, I want you to “fake high-five me” as my arms will be hanging from some pulley connected to the ceiling.   I am not kidding.  I will not be able to move tomorrow.  Already my back is killing me and it is just early afternoon.

So, how do I tell my husband that this tub I have been pestering him for for YEARS, is not going to work for me.  That to use it, I will either need a winch chair to lower me in and out of it or I will need some kind of pulley system that it can lift me out by my arms! Or he will have to invest in this tub…

imageI like this idea.  You roll into the tub.  Take your bath. Empty the tub. Roll back out.  I could do this!!!!  And it is PADDED.   Dang, why didn’t I see this before we bought another business as I am sure it costs as much as a car!

I guess for now, I will use my tub more as a storage space imageKeeping it real in Culver,

Your clean and semi-shaved Queen

NEW CLASSIFICATIONS FOR FOLKS OVER FIFTY

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imageIS THIS TRUE OR WHAT?

I would be willing to bet that most of us over 50, woke up one day and looked into the mirror and thought, “Damn, when did I become this old person when I do not feel old inside?”

I know for me, when I write or tell someone I am 61, it always surprises me that I am really that age.  It just feels false.  I am now older than many of my relatives who died when I thought they were “old”.   I wonder, did they feel young inside, too?  Or because they lived in a whole different era, were they “old” before their time?

With this in mind, I would like to propose a new classification of what to call us besides “Senior citizens” since anyone 55 to 120 is lumped together in one class.

Here is my suggestion (and please feel free to share this with everyone you know who is 50 or better)!

NEW CLASSIFICATIONS OF AGING BY QUEEN ROBYN

50-59 years~THE FRESHMEN CLASS OF AGING

60-69 years~THE SOPHOMORE CLASS OF AGING

70-79 years~THE JUNIOR CLASS OF AGING

80-89 years~THE SENIOR CLASS OF AGING

90-99 years~ THE UNDERGRAD CLASS OF AGING

100-110 years~ THE GRADUATE CLASS OF AGING

111 years and up~ THE ALUMNI YEARS OF AGING

Don’t you just love it?  I am so comfortable being called a SOPHOMORE citizen.  It makes me feel so much younger than being called a “Senior citizen”.    If we have to have labels on our age, let’s change them to reflect where we really are in the SCHOOL OF THE SECOND HALF OF LIFE.

So, what do you think of this?  Are you on board?  Will you classify yourself now as one of the above?  Let’s spread this around.  Let’s make it viral so everyone can see it and we will all have something else to talk about other than The Donald, Bathroomgate, how Prince died (does it matter?  The man was a genius no matter what) and anything to do with the Kardashian Klan!  Let’s change how the world classifies us that are over 50!!!!

WE STILL ROCK N ROLL, BABY.

Sending you all groovy vibes…..

Queen Robyn, Sophomore citizen and damn proud of it!