Reversal (Revisited)

Originally posted May 2010

Ever since Keith was very small, Philip and I have tried to instill the importance of family.  Whether it was working together to tidy the house  or waiting until daddy came home to watch a video, I took every opportunity to explain what our family is about.  Our home belongs to “the family” so “the family” needs to care for it together.  Those cupcakes belong to “the family” so we’ll wait until daddy comes home to eat them.  I was very pleased when one day I overheard Keith explaining to his friend Andriy that our cat, Foofy Girl, was named that because “our family named her that.”  (Not true because she first belonged to my MIL, but still, he gets it!)

I absolutely love when Keith asks, “Does it belong to the whole family?”  I have to keep myself from strutting around while giving myself a big ole pat on the back.

But then came the maraschino cherries.  They simply appeared one day on my husband’s desk.  Not my favorite brand, but still, maraschino cherries.  (And if you think it’s a totally random thing to have in Philip’s office, then you haven’t seen Philip’s office.)

It had been a couple of days.  The cherries hadn’t been mentioned.  I was home alone.

“I’ll just have a couple.”

“I wish I had some 7up.”  (Back when kids could be in bars*, I walked up to the bartender and said, “Shirley Temple please!”  Hmm.  Why was I in a bar?)

“This brand isn’t that bad.  I’ll have a couple more.”

Surely you’ve figured out what’s coming.

I ate all the cherries.

Leaving the spoon in the nearly empty jar (hey, it was still 1/3 full of grenadine), I rushed off to pick up my son from school.

Upon seeing the cherry-free jar, Keith asked, “Who ate the cherries?”

I melted as I sheepishly replied, “I did.”

“Did you think they belonged to you?”

I didn’t know what to say.  If I say yes, I’m a liar.  If I say no, I’m a thief.  Either way, I’m a pig.

“Who did they belong to?”  Maybe he’ll tell me they were a surprise for me!  I’ll be off the hook!

Keith, looking much older than his 5-1/2 years, matter of factly said, “They belong to the family.”

The cherries in my belly turn to the pits.

He gets it.  I apparently do not.



* Apparently I was not in a bar, but a bar/grille.  Please don’t send hate mail to my mother.  😉


Phrase of the Month

This morning I dressed in my long-sleeved black top, adding a geometric scarf and knit cap, comfy jeans and my new boots.  Yeah, I thought I looked pretty cute.  I enjoyed walking around talking to the other moms and staff at my son’s school.  Then it happened.  That second you realize your dark shirt has white fuzzies all over it.  Yep.  I had a lint bulb moment.

Running Late

I’ve often quipped that my Native American name is “Running Late.”  I recently lived up to this moniker once again.  I herded the man and boy to their respective places of business, stopping to get Keith’s fifth tardy slip in the office.  Rushing across town to the first of many medical appointments that day, I was ten minutes behind.  I got in line behind two other patients, both of whom were told they were in the wrong place.  Oh, the receptionist will be glad to see me, I thought. 

“Your appointment is not until next week.”

Surely, she is mistaken since I just made the appointment yesterday.  Maybe she’s thinking of another appointment I have next week.  The receptionist is not mistaken.  I am a week early.  Great.  I schlep downstairs to the white courtesy phone to make another appointment.  OK, I can move my lunch plans to get in to see the doc.

I leave the building, wondering what I should do next.  I have 45 minutes until my next appointment down the street.  I guess I’ll go get gas since I’m on fumes.  Following the prompts of the gas pump, I use my ATM card to pay and begin to pump.  Nothing.  I walk over to the kiosk to ask for help.  The young man calls me, “ma’am” and informs me that the pump is persnickety.  My word, not his.  After a couple of attempts, the gas finally begins pumping.  We have a good laugh and I thank him.  He again calls me, “ma’am” and thanks me for getting him out of the boring kiosk.

The car is pretty dirty and I’m right next to the car wash.  Upon entering the drive through, there is a garbage can right outside my driver side window for my convenience.  I try to toss a couple of Kleenexes.  The guy tells me to pull forward.  The tissues don’t have enough weight to get them from my overhanded throw into the can.  I tell the guy to hold on while I open my door to pick up the tissues. 

After washing and vacuuming my car, I head over to the hospital for my next appointment.  Or should I say my first appointment.  While I wait I look at the information about this doctor who looks like he’s just gotten his driver’s permit.  This person is supposed to evaluate me for surgery?  Well, the card does say he did earn his M.D., so I attempt to overlook his Doogie-ness.

The assistant takes me back and tries the whole blood pressure thing.  Twice.  My arm is now Elmo red.  I refrain from screaming.  She asks if she can try again.  No.  I figure I have to go to another appointment and they can cut off my circulation there.

Doogie shows up.  OK, he looks a little older in person.  I show him my wrist cyst.  He tells me that it is a common ganglion cyst.  Doogie says they used to be called Bible bumps as beating the cyst with a big Bible was the preferred method of treatment.  My mom had told me they used Webster’s Dictionary.  Heathens.

We go over my options, which thankfully, don’t include tome treatment.  He says I have to have an X-ray and come back right after to discuss further.  Great.  I’m Running Late.  I tell him I have an 11:10 down the street.  Not to worry.  His receptionist can tell them I’m on my way.

Radiology is just a hop, skip, and a jump down the hall.  The receptionist is giving out carnations for customer appreciation week.  I wonder what color I’ll get.  She hands me a red carnation and a signed thank you card.  I’m Running Late.  No worries, she says.  I’m next in line.

How exciting.  I am next.  The x-rays are quick and painless.  But I’m still Running Late.

I head back over to Orthopedics.  Wow, the line is long.  The receptionist asks several elderly patients if they are registered on the Kaiser website.  Each gruffly tells her they don’t use a computer.  I hope it’s my turn soon since it’s time for me to be at my next appointment and the receptionist probably doesn’t know I need her to call.  They’re giving out carnations, too.  Some lady in the waiting room wants to compare carnation smells.  An elderly man thinks she’s trying to take it from her.  The receptionist gives a flower to a teenager; he seems embarrassed.  I tell him it makes him look tough.  He probably wishes I wouldn’t talk to him.

Finally, it is my turn.  The receptionist tells me that the nurse will have to call to alert the other office I’m Running Late.  I sit down not really caring who calls just call already.  I overhear her call the nurse, who is no longer on the premises.  I can tell she’s wondering what to do next.  After talking to the nurse who took over, the receptionist herself makes the call, which I overhear.  It’s still weird when people refer to me as Mrs. Tinney. 

Doogie and I  meet again.  We go over a few of the points of the surgery including the risks of anesthesia (read:  death).  I’ve already decided not to go completely under since it’s only my wrist.  I’m fitted for a splint, which makes the pain worse but looks so stylish.

I head back down the street.  By now I’m more than a half hour late for this appointment and will certainly not meet my lunch date at the newly scheduled time. 

This nurse actually gets a reading on my blood pressure and it’s not good.  I guess that extra pill they prescribed isn’t working.  I see the doc and we make a plan for this possible asthma thing I have.  Oh, good.  Maybe I won’t be too late for my lunch after all. 

“You’re due for your tetanus shot.”  Really?  No wonder people avoid going to the doctor; there’s a good chance you’ll never get out.  I’m now escorted to a holding room with beds and curtains and hacking patients.  I wonder what new and exciting germs are floating in the air.  My lunch date calls.  Yes, I’m Running Late.  I hope to be there within the half hour.  I’m afraid to give any sort of ETA.  I’m finally given the shot and rush out to the car.  I’m FREE!!!  At least until the afternoon when I have to go to the pharmacy and then take my son to his doctor’s appointment.  I make it to my lunch date where for a time I am Wolfing it Down instead of Running Late.

The Cilantro Experience – A Story of Vindication

I was at my local Farmers’ Market on Saturday when a vendor offered me a sample of some bread with various spreads including one with cilantro.  Now, you may have read my rant on my disgust for this herb here.  When posted on Facebook, my story was met with shock and perhaps even disapproval.  Back to the Farmers’ Market.  I sheepishly told the vendor that I don’t like cilantro.  He said he didn’t either and that he had an enzyme in his mouth that makes cilantro taste like soap.  You mean, it’s not in my head?  There is a physiological reason for my distaste? 

I came home and googled cilantro enzyme.  While I couldn’t find out whether my cilantro experience is a result of having an enzyme or lacking an enzyme, I did find some other rather amusing things.  This may be a bit extreme, but there is actually an anti-cilantro community on the web!  One member describes the taste as battery acid mixed with bleach, rubbing alcohol ammonia and rancid butter.  Others have contributed haikus.

My favorite:

Repeat after me.
Eradicate cilantro
Cilantro must die!

I cannot tell you how vindicated I feel!  I am not alone!  Truly, I am one of the lucky ones.  I’d rather taste soap than A moldy swimsuit that’s been left to fester in a high school locker.


Random? Thoughts

Wearing flats to the pool is an OK idea.

Taking a thirsty robe to the pool is a great idea.

Solely relying on a  thirsty robe to soak up excess water after getting out the pool is a bad idea.

Putting on flats after not towelling off causes shoes to rapidly fill up with water.

Walking to the locker room with shoes full of water makes a sloshing, arm-pit-honking-type sound.

Those brown paper towels in the locker room are not as absorbant as one would hope.

A Ridiculous Rant

I’m sorry.  I just don’t “get” cilantro.  Sure it has it’s place.  But not on my plate or in my salsa or in my kitchen.  Well, maybe in my kitchen as a cleaning agent.  I only say this because, to me, it tastes like dish soap.  Maybe I should add water to some to see if it foams up. 

Now when I dine out, I feel the need to ask, “Does it have cilantro in it?” It seems to be ON EVERYTHING and IN RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS.   “No, ma’am, our pecan pie does not have cilantro.” 

One night, I didn’t ask.  I was tired.  I should have know.  I mean, it was NACHOS for crying out loud.  There it was.  All over the melted cheese.  Finely chopped.  Impossible to scrape off.  Gag.

My dear friend Kelly is a cooking wiz.  She can throw all sorts of strange things together and come out with a gourmet meal.  She was super excited when cilantro became available in dried cube form.  She knows my hatred of cilantro.  Sometimes I feel like she’s made it her mission to get me to like it.  NEVER!

Our church has a monthly potluck.  Kelly brought her latest concoction.  Some brown rice salad thing.  I raved about it.  Yeah, you know what’s coming.  She triumphantly told me her “secret ingredient.”  I didn’t even taste the cilantro.  “That’s because people use too much, Jennifer.  See you can handle it in the proper amounts.”  I hate it when she’s right.

So if anyone is reading this, please don’t overdo the cilantro or chop it too finely.  Oh, I’ll still ask when I’m out.  I hate when my pecan pie tastes foamy.

Adventures in Accupuncture

How does a wuss like me end up voluntarily participating in something involving needles and the word “puncture?” This is what I am thinking as I fill out my medical history in the incense-filled waiting room. No, I’m not scared. The back pain has gotten so severe that I don’t care what they do to me. Putty in their hands.

The questionnaire is the usual. What “western medications” are you taking, how many times have you been pregnant, etc. OK, where does it hurt? Apparently each area of your body is connected to an internal organ. You mean I can blame my bad breath on my spleen? Cool. I’m liking this so far. A middle-aged woman with a walker shuffles out of the back office toward the receptionist. I secretly hope that she arrived in a wheelchair and this is an improvement.

After turning in my paperwork, I’m escorted to the exam? room. I take a seat across from a massage table covered in that same paper roll they have at the doctor’s office. Three posters on the wall show the various pressure points. I am particularly interested in the one that shows the full male body, half front, half back. These posters better be for my information and not serve as a cheat sheet for the acupunturist. I wonder what I’m supposed to call this guy. He’s not a doctor. Mr. So? Calvin? “Hey, Cal, baby!”

Just then he comes in the room. We shake hands. Mr. So sits on a chair on the other side of the room, the massage table between us. We spend some time going over my history and my present. He takes my right wrist from across the table to, he says, take my pulse. He quickly takes my left wrist. Am I dead? Cal then tells me to stick out my tongue. He writes down the color. Gross. We talk about my knees. He explains that my cartilage is wearing down and asks me to remind him to show me a massage that will help. He decides that most of my problems are stress related and come from a war going on between spleen and my heart, which have a mother-son relationship. Great. Life imitating health.

I am then instructed to take off my shoes and my glasses. I’m relieved I don’t have to undress. Probably not as relieved as he is. I lie on my stomach and put my face in the hole. He moves a folding chair under the opening in case I want to hold on to it. The only comfortable position for my hand and arms is the “Thriller” claws attached to the end of the table. I feel ridiculous. Looking through the hole, I see an eyelash. Must have been left by the previous occupant. Grody. I close my eyes.

Mr. So tells me he’s going to start inserting the needles and will say where as he goes. “Right shoulder.” A little poke. Then twisting. Ew, the needle is actually being screwed into my flesh. Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt. He continues down my back and is able to cover up the needles with my shirt after they’re inserted.

My eye begins to itch. I so want to scratch, but can’t decide if I should lift my head and rub my eye or try to get my claw through the hole. Is this how the last patient lost his eyelash? I ignore the itch as there are stranger things going on.

He pulls down my skirt to get to my hips and bottom. “Right butt.” “Left butt.” Now he starts the “stimulation” and asks me to tell him when I feel each area, so he can control the amount. All’s well until the last needle on my hip. Ouch! Too much, too much. He turns it down.

Heat lamps and strange gonging music are turned on. Lights out. Cal, baby, leaves the room. I start to relax. Well, I am as relaxed as one can be with perpetual gonging in the background. I imagine how crazy I must look. I hope there isn’t a fire. How will I get out? Will all these needles still be attached both to me and the source of the stimulation? Can I get my hands out of the “Thriller” claw position? It’s five days before Halloween. Would anyone think my appearance odd?

Fifteen minutes after he left, Mr. So returns. Bye bye, heat lamp and gonging. Hello, bright light. The needles are removed. Am I supposed to get up? I tentatively lift my head. A warm blanket is placed on me. Head down. Calvin starts rubbing back, shoulders, knees, everywhere I was pierced. This is nice.

And now, it’s all over. Mr. So helps me up. I finally get to rub my eye. I find my glasses and my shoes. “How do you feel?” I tell him I feel great. He asks me if I’m opposed to herbs. I say as long as they aren’t dangerous for my soon-to-be pregnancy. He urges me to work on the stress before getting pregnant.

I’m given a small bottle of BB-shaped pills and am instructed to take seven three times a day after meals and to see how I do on the herbs before having another treatment. I thank him and we say our goodbyes.

Will I go back? Absolutely. I felt amazing afterward. Besides, how else will I find out what to call him?