Friday, May 25, 2012

SPF Billion

I am only half joking when I tell people I need sunscreen for the brilliant light that radiates from my refrigerator bulb. Yesterday, I was reminded why I need sunscreen.

I consider SPF 30 part of my daily uniform. As a kid, sunscreening-up was the norm before family outings. Our fair skin and my siblings' corn-silk-blond hair made it necessary to take sunscreen baths before heading anywhere that the sun's rays could possibly touch us. My sunburns have been severe enough to produce marble-sized blisters and trips to the doctor in the past.

I wore a tank top yesterday on a day trip to Natchitoches, Louisiana. I knew the weather was only going to reach 94 degrees (note my hint of sarcasm at the May weather) and that the majority of the trip would be spent in the car or indoors. I brought sunscreen, but wanted to wait to apply it until necessary. No need to be extra sticky until I had to be, right? Wrong.

I forgot to apply the sunscreen before leaving the car. For most people, 8 minutes in the sun might seem a little warm, but bearable. Just a quality dose of vitamin D! For me, 8 minutes sears my skin, encouraging ever-so-tiny-but-noticeable blisters on my arms and shoulders. I was not outside for any more than 15 minutes during the day, no joke. Mm, mmm. I remember why I don't open the refrigerator door without applying sunscreen, first!

My cotton-polyester blend uniform shirt felt particularly cozy today, stinging my burn with every small movement.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today's To-Do List

  • Drink coffee
  • Water container garden (Tuesday is Miracle-Gro day... I will have happy plants)
  • Clean Room
  • Clean Bathroom
  • Vacuum apartment
  • Finish laundry
  • Drop off recycling
  • Shower/doll up
  • Drive to New Orleans
  • Meeting with coworkers
  • Visit Best Friend in the Quarter
  • Eat dinner at Best Friend's house in Mid-City
  • Hang out on Best Friend's front porch
  • Refrain from over-indulging on Best Friend's Husband's delicious margaritas
  • Enjoy my evening off with good friends, good food, good times

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To Risk

My friend, the Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy, sent this to me. I am in the process of adjusting my sails.

"To Risk"

by William Arthur Ward

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

The optimist expects it to change;

And the realist adjusts the sails.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

running in circles

I have discovered a new reason to keep up my cardio. As if training in preparation for the zombie apocalypse was not enough of a reason, I recently found out alligators have the potential to provide a good reason to run, too.

Some coworkers and I this week were chatting about alligator stories (they were telling me that if I had a dog, I should keep this dog on a short leash). Then one of them piped in about running in circles, and I chuckled in response. She looked at me and said, "no, sweetie- if an alligator chases you, you need to seriously run in circles because it won't be able to follow you because of the physics of its body length."

"Alligators can chase you? Like, out of the water?" I asked.

"Oh, yeah!" the other coworker replied. "I always stay aware of my surroundings when out at Lake Martin, mindful of the closest trees. They can't climb trees." I just stared at them. After all I read about the scientific side of alligators, my understanding of their "30 mph" was the launch rate at their prey. Turns out, that is an alligator's top speed on land.

Aw, hell no!

I need to work on my speed when I go around curves, evidently.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Just like me?

A mom with two youngins stopped in the visitor center this morning. The alligator display immediately caught the kiddos' attentions. While talking to the older little girl, maybe three or four years old, I asked, "are you as big as that grown up alligator?" pointing at the tape stretched across the floor. She looked at it then dropped to the floor, stretching herself as long as she could parallel with the eighteen-foot length. "Nope!" she told me. Then she wanted to see if the stuffed alligator was a grown-up alligator or a kid alligator. So I carefully manhandled the four-foot stuffed gator (it is surprisingly light, if you can imagine, but I generally don't lift a lot of stuffed gators for comparison's sake) and laid it across the tape so she could see for herself. "Nope!" she said again. I said, "you are right, this is a kid alligator, probably only three or four years old." She lit up and said, "just like me, I am free, too!" The little girl paused a moment, looked at the alligator, then back at me. "So does the kid alligator go to preschool just like me?"

Those are the moments that light up my whole day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 4, 2012


While watering my patio garden, I saw it.

No, not the dying leaves. I've since addressed those. Look! Do you see it?

Yes! There it is, peaking through the leaves! The first red tomato!

Eating a garden omelette FROM the garden is a particularly satisfying way to start a day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

I rediscovered Dr. Suess's book, "Oh, The Places You'll Go," and it struck a particular chord with me today. You can read the full verses from the book (without Suess's whimsical drawings) here.

I like the book because it is a book that opens the door to the idea of potential. But then it also includes some realism:

"I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?"

The narrative continues with more ups and downs:

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up 
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's 
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

The end is especially what I have tucked away in my pocket:


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Maybe I need to incorporate more rhyming into my life. Regardless, my mountain is waiting and I must get on my way.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day is Lei Day

Where did April go? I wasn't finished with my "to-do" list for April! I can't believe it is already May. I do this to myself every month, but I still can't believe it. 

Every May 1st, I think "Oh, hey! It is May Day!" and that prompts the song "May Day is Lei Day in Hawai'i." I am singing it right now, in fact. I don't know the roots of May Day, actually. What? Trivia girl admits to not knowing something?? Historically related, at that?? What I do remember about the day comes from living in Hawai'i when I was in first grade. Our school had a Hawai'i Day on May 1st, in which we all wore our muumuus and leis and ate traditional Hawai'ian foods and probably did some dancing. My class performed the song "May Day is Lei Day in Hawai'i" (in my head it is "Hawaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiii"). I don't remember why we sang that song or chose May 1st to have the festival at school (besides the fact that "May" and "lei" rhyme). And even after I post this and do some quick searches on the origins of the day, I will still have that song (in my 6-year-old voice) stuck in my head. 

Me and siblings in Hawai'i.
And if it looks like my sister is about to hit somebody with that branch,
it is probably because she was about to hit somebody with that branch.