Friday, October 29, 2010

Five weeks later, another five on Friday!

Yegods. I wrote last on Oct. 1. And while I've been gone, been busy getting ready for and hosting my brother and sister-in-law, going to doctors and meetings and taking kitty boy McMurphy to the vet, my mind hasn't stopped churning -- until this week, anyway, when I just stopped everything. I've been doing stuff, just not on anyone else's timetable. I've loved it.

So let's go back to the Friday Five today, since it's FIVE weeks later and approaching Halloween.

What gives you the heebie-jeebies?
Heights, hands-down. I get queasy and light-headed from practically any height and always have. I could never stand on the back row of risers in choir because I'd be too afraid of falling to think about singing. I don't do glass elevators either, unless I'm huddled close to the door and facing it, vast expanse of bottomless pit at my back. I can paint from a stepladder, oddly, but not a tall one.

I'm not fond of snakes, spiders, rodents, etc., but nothing in the animal realm truly makes me shudder with fear just because they are in sight. My daughter V, on the other hand, can't even bear to see PICTURES of snakes because they terrify her so.

And then there are the unseen fears, the mental gymnastics of 'what if' that nearly everyone deals with, usually in the middle of a dark night. Those can truly give me the heebie-jeebies, even when I know there is nothing I can do about whatever situation I'm obsessing over.

When were you most recently in double trouble?

I'm practically perfect in every way, so am never in trouble. Well, rarely. Hardly ever. Really.

What puts you in the mood for some hanky-panky?
Sometimes just snuggling up to my honey in bed will do it because it feels so good to touch him and be so close. Sometimes it's reading (or watching) something particularly romantic or, um, lustful. Sometimes it is just thinking about past hanky-pankys...

What easy-breezy task is still a pain in the neck to accomplish?
Dusting and vacuuming the floors. It's not a hard chore, but I just don't get it done as often as I ought to-need to-want to. I swear we could make a fur coat for another whole cat with the cat hair I vacuum up when I do.

What area in your life seems especially rife with mumbo-jumbo?
Probably the biggest unknown in my life is my daughter's health, especially emotional health. Helping her deal with mumbo-jumbo providers and uncertain financial aid and the issues all of them encompass is akin to winding your way through a dark, vast, and scary maze, and you don't know when it will end nor what will be the reward if you find your way out. And if *I* feel this way, reasonably healthy and sane, I can only guess at how very unsettling and distressful it is for her.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Five on Friday

Before I leave town for a week with my BFF Julie in Indianapolis, I want to do the 'Friday Five' -- starting out this new month with something written, this 10th month of the year, this countdown to the end of the year. (Today is also my cousin Joy's 60th birthday -- which means that my little brother's 60th birthday is next Friday. Welcome to a new decade!)

What was the last thing you dropped on the kitchen floor?
That would be a piece of mushroom as I was chopping it to go in this morning's omelet. I picked it up and yes, I threw it in the compost pot. If it had been chocolate, I would have invoked the 'if I saw it fall it's fine' rule and eaten it.

What cough drops do you like, and do they work very well?
I don't like cough drops because that means if I'm using them, I probably have a cold that has gone into my chest. Yuk. I prefer to ward off a cold with Wellness Formula first, if I'm feeling tickly-in-the-throat, or, if it does erupt into that stuffy sort-of-sick feeling that indicates something is going on, I start on Cold FX. Both of those remedies usually ward off a full-blown cold. And that said, if I MUST use a cough drop, I like Fisherman's Friend because they sort of explode their menthol-y taste into my (stuffy) nose and down my (scratchy) throat. Do they work? Eh. They help in that they generate saliva to combat the dryness and menthol to help the stuffies. Don't know that any of them work all that well.

Who was the last person you dropped off somewhere?

Probably Princess #1. When we need to do errands in town, I usually pick her up and I drive.

When were you ever dropped like a bad habit?
Friendships take on many roles during our lives. There is an e-mail that has made the rounds -- I believe I've written about it previously -- about 'reason-season-lifetime' friendships. It's not usually until you look back at the friendship that you can identify the kind that it is/was.

I've had 'reason' friendships that I recognized as such pretty quickly -- especially those who were in my life as teachers to learn something I needed to know -- or to teach them something -- at that time in my life. I still wonder about some of those people (I like to know the whole story!), but they are no longer active participants in my life. I am grateful for what I learned, for the experience of knowing them, for the part I played in their lives and them in mine.

The 'season' friendships can also be a learning experience, a time to grow, to laugh, to play, to cherish the moments that are there. Sometimes these can grow into 'lifetime' friendships, but that takes time and track.

I've been part of social groups in the past that were close, had a great time together, shared some experiences, and then just drifted apart for no discernible reason -- the people involved found new interests, had additional responsibilities, were not available to get together because of family or travel or ... whatever.

That's been the source of some hurt feelings in the past, too, because I always tend to blame myself when a friendship drifts into an acquaintance state (what did I say to cause this? what did I do? can I make it better? yikes!), and I have to re-learn the lesson that I am not responsible for other people's actions or feelings, and accept that I probably had nothing to do with the reasons the friendship has waned, and that a friendship requires both sides to engage and nurture it if it is to continue or grow. If just one person wants it, it ain't gonna happen no matter what you say or do. And that hurts, at least for a while.

The 'lifetime' friends are the ones who are there no matter what, and if you have more than one of these, you are indeed lucky. I'm going to see Julie, my lifetime friend, although we haven't been together for four years. But we both have nurtured the relationship through letters, e-mails, and phone calls for around 28 years now, despite divorces, surgeries, illnesses, and traumatic and horrifying revelations. We have a bond that has lasted through the whole mess and will until the end of our lives, I believe.

What are your favorite kind of raindrops?
I like ANY kind of raindrops in this neck of the woods where we get rain only from November-April most years. I miss the daily thunderstorms and warm rains of the Deep South, the smell of rain that cleanses and refreshes everything, the almost iridescent green glow of the leaves and grasses when the sun comes back out. In northern California, we get the rain smell, sorta, but it is the smell of the dirt sucking it in like a dying man in the desert finding an oasis. Thunderstorms are a bit scary because of the extreme fire danger during the late spring and fall, until the rains begin again and the earth comes back to life. I love the lazy rain, the one that soaks in and caresses each brown blade of grass, nurtures and coaxes it back to green. I'm looking forward to what I hope will be another wet, cold winter here. (The kitty forecast says it will be: our outside boys are fattening up and their fur coats are thick and heavy already.)

It is a new beginning again, this day, another month, one that will see us transition between the hot days of summer into the cool, wetter fall. I love October.