Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to .....

I have been having foot problems my whole life. My feet are long, narrow and flat. Long, like size 13; Narrow like AAAA over AAAAA heel; and flat, well like a pancake. Even in high school, I can remember my mother dragging me to a shoe shop that had shoes "especially for you". Yeah, I didn't drink that Kool-Aid either. There is no way to disguise an orthopedic shoe store. It took me about 10 seconds to figure out I didn't like the place. ALL the shoes were ugly. I mean they all looked like shoes from 30 years ago and big soles and lots of shoe laces. Yuck. "We are not buying my prom shoes here, are we?" I could already hear my friends laughing at my old folks shoes. I wanted to crawl in a hole. I couldn't go to Baker Shoes or Thom McCann where my friends got their pretty pumps and cool sandals. Nope, I had to wear shoes that were good for my feet. My shoes cost more than shoes for my mother, brother and sister combined. That just added to my shame over having skies for feet. I got over it and took care of my feet, only because my feet were just too big for normal shoe stores.

Then when I joined the Navy. In the first week of boot camp, you get measured for your uniform and within days, we were all modeling our new uniforms. Ohhh La La. As I waited in line to pick up my uniform, I noticed that everybody had the same black oxford shoes. Wow, everybody has to wear ugly shoes. Woo Hoo. So how does that feel having to wear old folks shoes? Not so funny, now, huh? Then I got to the front of the line and got my seabag. Right on top was a box with my shoes. Now I would be dressed like everybody else.

I sat down with my new friends and opened the box of shoes. White sneakers? Huh? Has there been some mistake? In boot camp, you learn pretty fast not to make waves (no pun intended). But I couldn't wear white sneakers when everybody else was wearing black oxfords. So I got back in line and asked where my oxfords were.

It was like prom shoe day all over again. "We don't carry that size. We are ordering Girl Scout shoes for you". At first, it was just a giggle I heard behind me followed by a low buzz. Like wildfire, everybody in my boot camp company, all 73 of them, knew that I had big feet. They may have suspected it when they saw my feet but the white sneakers just confirmed it. Worse yet, I was the tallest person in the company so I always marched in the front right position. Yeah, no hiding in the back for me, everybody in the world could see me marching with white sneakers.

At first, I thought it was cool that I didn't have to shine my shoes every night like the other girls. But then I realized that I had to wash those white sneakers every night by hand. Some mornings they were not dry. December in Maryland in wet white sneakers. I was miserable. And one little smudge on those white sneakers and I would get gigged on an inspection. I finally got my oxfords in week 9 of boot camp.
So fast-forward 40 years and I am still having problems with my feet. I have an ulcer on my right foot that will not heal. It has been treated for months with various anti-biotics, salves, creams and bandages. So since the right one hurts, I have been favoring it. So my left foot is now having problems. I have gone to the podiatrist for cortisone shots in the left foot before. Not something that I look forward to but it takes care of the pain for a while. So I went to the podiatrist today for my shot and this is what I came home with. You're not laughing at me, are you?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Anna Is Back !

Ten, maybe eleven years ago, my hair dresser put me on to her housekeeper, Anna.

I was so nervous before her first visit. Does anybody else clean their house before the cleaning lady arrives? Sure, we all do. It's silly but we are either embarrassed that we can't keep our own house clean without help or we are ashamed that we live in a pigpen. For me, it was both reasons. My sons, teenagers back then, were slobs. It didn't seem to bother Anna. She just took charge and presto, I had a clean house.

This little Mexican woman, only 5" 2", is a ball of fire. She has raised her 3 kids all by herself. The two girls, Carol, the oldest and Roxanna the middle child have both graduated from college. Yes, university. Carol was only 18 when she finished and Roxie was 19. She pushed her girls so they would not have to clean other peoples' houses. The youngest, Jose Luis, is not a bit interested in school and will finish high school and do Mexico's required 2 years of military service.

Anna speaks almost no English. It takes her about 2 hours to cross the border and catch a trolley so she can go to work and then repeat that trip to get back home after work. I just think she is amazing. Back in March, she had some medical problems and had to have major surgery. The recovery has been long, 12 weeks. She was so afraid that her regular clients would find somebody else to clean their houses. Nope. We are all waiting for Anna. And since I am the only one that speaks, reads and writes Spanish, Anna has had me coordinate the schedule for her return to work. We email back and forth.

So watch out, dust bunnies, Anna is back in town.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Busy Weekend

We are home bodies normally. But since we moved into our new place, we seem to get out more. (That flight of steps up from the garage at the old house may have something to do with it.) I need another day off to rest up from the weekend.

Saturday, I had a haircut appointment at 9 AM at Bella Mia, a new full-service salon in town. The house is surrounded by big shade trees and a white picket fence in front with an arch through the gate. This front yard is where they had a beauty pageant recently. The crafsmen style porch has a swing on one side, big windows and a screen door. It is like stepping into Girly-Land when you cross the threshold. It is very tranquil, some low-key music playing and everybody is so friendly. I just relax and let my hairdresser, Linda H, take care of everything. I stopped by the boutique and found another retro wallet like mine but a different color. After years of carring a big bag, I am trying to downsize my "purse load". I'll have to think about who will get this new wallet. It really has a summery look to it.


Then I ran over to the old house. Yes, we are s-t-i-l-l moving stuff out of there. I stayed just long enough to get sweaty and hot. So I had to run home, change clothes so we could go 'down the hill' to Santee for my grandson Gavin's 4th birthday party. My daughter-in-law did something different this year. We were in Big Rock Park with lots of shade and Dana had the kids make ice cream sundaes. We had a blast. Of course, water guns and blowing bubbles were involved.
You can't have a decent kids party without bubbles. It was over 100 degrees. We kept making the kids drink water. and of course, getting squirted by the water gun felt pretty refreshing. Hunter was being a stinker, so no photo of him.

Saturday night we went to a dinner party held by one of the families in our church. They just finished getting moved in and updating flooring and paint. There were 20 of us for pulled pork barbeque, jello salad, watermelon and much more. The food was wonderful. We played a game and told jokes until it was time to go. I haven't laughed so much in a long time. Even my stoic husband had a good time.

Sunday after church is always grocery shopping for the week. This is a chore that I have never enjoyed but I like to eat, so I shop. Terry went off to a baseball game to watch the Padres get creamed again. I did some quilting and then started my MQR Postcard Exchange. The theme for the post cards are the Beach Boys song "i Get Around". This is my first post card exchange so I'm starting out simple. I can't wait to see what ingenious cards I get from the others.

Sunday rolled into Monday and my youngest son, Benjamin, arrived in town for the ComicCon event. Ben works for Comic Relief in the Bay area and they always have the biggest booth at Comic Con so he will be working all week. It has been SOLD OUT for months. No problem for me, I am grounded in reality. I will not be attending ComicCon. I call it the Freak Show. Well, if you have seen the news and how some folks dress up like their favorite comic book or anime character, then you know what I mean. I had favorite comic books, too. But then I grew up. Since Ben is in town, we all gathered for dinner at the Lakeside Cafe. Anytime I can get a dose of my grand-children, I am there. Ben quit smoking for Mother's Day last year. He gave that to me as a present. Honestly, I thought he would cave in and start smoking again. But I noticed last night that my 6' 4" little boy has packed on about 20 extra pounds. He says it is from the smoking. That's ok, you can lose the weight, but you don't want to lose your lungs. Now if I can just get his brother to quit. We had a great dinner and lots of talk. Both Gavin Madison mooched off my salad and hardly touched their sandwiches. Ben came up to see our new house and he likes it. He noticed how quiet it is. Yeah, we like that.
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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks