The Wait

Is this how it begins?  The end? 

The voice on the answering machine informs me that the results of my biopsy are in.  Yet the doctor's office will be closed for the four-day weekend beginning in the morning.  She says to call at my earliest convenience for the results.  Four days from now.

If it were benign, she would have said so on the answering machine.  I don't say anything.  He doesn't say anything.  Then he speaks,

"I'm sure it's nothing."

Does he really believe that or is that the only thing he could think to say?

He asks if I want a beer or wine.  I don't drink anymore.  I ask for white wine. 

Suddenly the weekend plans to drive to the mountains to look at property seem meaningless.  My dream retirement home vanishes before me.

I feel scared and hollow at the same time.  Is this the beginning of the end?


Hello, My Name Is Gaelic, and I'm an Addict

The good news is that all five pins were removed from my finger last week.  The bad news is that the bruise covers half my palm and it's that putrid purplish-greenish color.  The doctor prescribed Oxycontin.  I love that man!

However, that's not what I'm addicted to.  When the entire weekend is spent in bed in a drugged-up stupor, Facebook and work are prohibited on the doctor's orders.  Lest I write something that I would later regret.  At this point, the drugs have lessened and it's probably safe to go back in the writing pool.

Reading wasn't easy while on the heavy drugs.  No concentration.  Which means that movies were also too difficult to follow.  Even when Mr. Gaelic queued up an old Popeye cartoon, my mind couldn't stay on the plot.  Now that's saying a lot.

To occupy myself I reverted back to a deep, dark secret that only a few very close friends know about me.  It's my p*rn habit.  Actually, two different kinds.  Because I like to spice things up a bit.  My usual food p*rn websites make me hungry.  But the meds kept me from salivating too much over gorgeous photos of flan and roasts and cream sauces and wine sauces and, well, you get the picture.

So instead I indulged in my other p*rn habit.  House p*rn.  Maybe I'm a frustrated, closet architect.  Because I adore looking at house plans.  And you can keep your colonial, center-stairway, ranch, split-level, saltbox, McMansions.  I like modern house p*rn.  Give me concrete and steel and glass and cantilevers and hearthless fireplaces. 

This is one addiction that causes no harm.  Until it's time for the retirement house.


Not So Clean Break

There will be a short break in the challenge.  After gearing up for my first motorcycle ride in almost four years, the pins in my finger were dislodged while wearing the protective gloves and spending a couple of hours on the motorcycle yesterday.  The pain that had been occurring on both sides of my knuckle shifted all to one side.  The knuckle looks not only massively swollen but also deformed.  Even the mini Ace bandage wrapped around it to control the swelling sends me into stomping fits accompanied by more expletives than most sailors know.

Oxycontin is my constant friend until the doctor's office opens tomorrow morning.  The new hand doctor (finally got to see him over three months after my original hand doctor's untimely death) said two weeks ago that his office would call me to schedule the in-office operation to remove the pins.  Call me?  My a$$!  It reminds me of "Don't call us, we'll call you."

This has been one long weekend.


Two Words

30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge:

Day 14:  A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

Two words:  Mr. Gaelic.


A Song For Every Season

Lucky number thirteen.  Today's challenge is:

13.A picture of your favorite band or artist

Band?  Artist?  Jeez, make it difficult!  Which do you want?  How about both?

Band?  Can that be just a singer?  If so, hands down, it's Johnny Cash.  But then there's also Hank Williams III or Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys.  So Ralph and the Boys is more of a band.  If it's a group you're looking for, it would have to be U2, The Who, or Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Artist could be any number of things.  But my thoughts on this are keeping it limited to paintings.  In that case, there are three that require an extended viewing.  John Singer Sargent, Frederick Leighton, and Gustav Klimt.  My three favorites by each are here, here, and here.

There's no way to narrow it down any more.  My tastes change with my moods.  There's a song for every season.


Little Girls

Getting down to business, in the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge, here are the last three.

10.A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with - Yes
11.A picture of something you hate - Yep
12.A picture of something you love - Now

Another short one tonight.  Mostly because of the highly stressed week in the office.  And it's only Thursday.  Something I love?  Finola, Deirdre, and Maeve!

[Title taken from this.]


Bring Me a Dream

This was supposed to be another installment in the 30 Day Challenge.  But a nice full belly and a set of clean sheets later and this gal is headed off on a date with Mr. Sandman.


Damn This Traffic Jam

We're now in the second third of the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge and they're getting harder. Before we get to today's topic, here are the last three.

9.A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most - Ναι.
10.A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with - Sim.
11.A picture of something you hate - Here!

Hate is such a strong word.  Believe it or not, it's not the opposite of love.  Both love and hate are emotions, strong emotions.  The opposite of love (or hate) is indifference.  But today's post isn't about semantics.  It's about something concrete.  Something I hate.

Let's see now.  The eulogy at my funeral will include a reference to the three people in my life - those I love, those I hate, and those I never met.  Passion is a major part of me.  If our paths have crossed, you fall into one of the two earlier categories.  If you've never introduced yourself, please do.  I don't bite.  I can actually be a very nice person.  Most of the time.

Sometimes people can fall into both the first and the second categories at the same time.  How?  My pet peeve.

Seeing as how my city has one of the worst records for traffic in the U.S., it makes sense that my pet peeve has to do with traffic.  If I know and love you but you are caught in my pet peeve, that's how you'll be both loved and hated at the same time.  My pet peeve?

When traffic is slow and backed up at an intersection, I don't enter the box in case the light changes and I get stuck in the box.  Anyone who has driven in New York City knows about "Don't Block the Box".  But there is inevitably some jerk waiting to turn right into the backed up line of traffic who uses my courtesy as an invitation to whip right on in line ahead of me even though it means that no one else can pull through the intersection before the light turns red.  Oo, I hate that!  It steams me!  Depending on the day and my mood, the driver might get anywhere from a honk to a finger to rolling my window down and yelling at the moron. 

Word of warning to anyone driving on the East Coast - if you see a redhead in a white convertible not blocking the box in heavy traffic, do not, I repeat, do not pull your car in front of me thinking that I'm letting you in line.  Got it?  Good.  Now back to your regularly happy Mrs. Gaelic.

[Title taken from this.]

[Happy Birthday to anyone born today!]


My Own Worst Enemy

Moving on with today's entry in the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge and recapping the last three.

8.A picture that makes you laugh - Da.
9.A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most - Si.
10.A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with - Here!

As you can guess from the title, I don't need anyone to help me in finding f***ed up things.  But, in my defense, I'm not the instigator either.  I'm the lone wolf who does an excellent job in f***ed up activities all by my lonesome.  But my f***ed things skirted the rules. 

In high school as the good girl, it wasn't until the day before graduation that I broke the mini-skirt rule.  In royal style to boot.  As the valedictorian, I was seated on the stage on the 50-yard line in the football stadium.  To the graduation run-through the day before, I sported a navy leather mini-skirt.  What were they going to do?  Not let me graduate?  Take away my valedictory speech like they took away all but one of the top academic awards?  "You scored the highest in every class.  But we need to spread the awards around.  So you're only getting one.  Which one would you like to be recognized for?"

My fearlessness increased with age.  Even today, bungee jumping doesn't seem like too big of a deal.  Except I probably wouldn't do it for the same reason I gave up roller coasters.  Headaches from being thrown around in the seat.  Sigh.

Sure, wearing a mini-skirt to graduation practice and bungee jumping aren't f***ed up by lots of people's standards.  But getting sloppy drunk and ending up, as Laoch said to one of his friends, "sun soaked, covered in beer and strippers, and not knowing where my wallet or my car is" isn't my kind of f***ed up.  I prefer meeting four men on the beach of Puerto Rico and having dinner with them, followed the next day by meeting one man on the beach and having afternoon tea with him, followed by meeting two men on the beach the next day and having drinks with them.  All while vacationing by myself. 

As I said, a lone wolf who can find plenty of f***ed up things all by myself.  Yep, I am my own worst enemy.


How I Do Love Thee!

Rule #1: Never blog under the influence.  I only drink on special occasions.  Last night with the gals from the office was a special occasion.  But the beer tainted my words.  Perhaps what was said should have remained unsaid.  Before moving on here are the last three topics in the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge.

7.A picture of your most treasured item - Oui.
8.A picture that makes you laugh - Ja.
9.A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most - You're reading it.

This one is E-Z.  This is the person who was with me during my mother's diagnosis of a brain tumor.  The one who wiped my tears when she died.  Who wrote her obituary.  The one who held my hair back during a total of six months of morning sickness.  (Two full months of "morning sickness" which was really "all-day sickness" times three pregnancies equals six months.)  The person who sat with me as I watched my father die.  Who wrote his obituary.  The one who keeps me grounded but inspires me to soar.

Mr. Gaelic, of course.

Title taken from this.


Sweet Content Be Mine?

Yesterday's blog was a crap out.  It was supposed to be Day 8 of the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge. Instead, my brain wouldn't come up with anything.  Before heading into today's blog, let's recap the last three.

6.A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day - Yep
7.A picture of your most treasured item - TWO nights ago
8.A picture that makes you laugh - At Last!

Tonight after work, the Press Secretary had all the gals in the office over for Girls' Night.  The conversation ran the gamut from genealogy to why some American men have a yen for Asian women.  Beer and wine flowed freely.  It's nice to kick back after a long week at the office.

So what part of that makes me laugh?  Our Legislative Correspondent.  She's the youngest of all the women in the office.  During the past six months, her confidence level in herself as a person has really increased.  During the first few weeks together as a new office, she tried to stifle her laugh.  It's not a girly giggle.  It's a snort.  Her self-consciousness got in the way of truly expressing herself. 

But her self-confidence has blossomed.  She no longer holds back on her laughs, and snorts when she finds something really funny.  Her laugh, uh, snort, is infectious.  Hearing her makes me laugh.  Well, maybe not laugh out loud, but smile broadly.  At the same time, it makes me sad.

If my co-workers were to know that I'm even the slightest bit purple, they would probably not be as open and friendly as they currently are.  I feel like I can't be myself around them.  I'm hiding a major part of myself in order to keep a job.  Although only one person in the office is openly hostile to people of the other party. 

I wish I could tell them, "Hey, I'm not really a [insert party name].  I'm more of a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal or a Blue Dog [insert other party name]."  But I feel like I would need to follow up with, "But I'm not a spy or a mole or a saboteur."  I have a good friend who worked on the legislative staff of a member of the other party.  Actually, I know several people like that.  Of course, that was before 1992 when the climate on the Hill changed drastically.  Until then, there had been comity and relationships across party lines.  My former office was close to our next door neighbor who was of the other party. 

Shortly after 1992, my former boss retired from Congress, as did his counterpart on their shared subcommittee.  Neither of them liked the new atmosphere on the Hill.  Things have only gotten worse over the last 20 years.  People are more polarized and quick to judge others based on their political beliefs.

Even as the LC's snorting laugh makes me smile and laugh, not being able to fully share who I am keeps a cloud over that smile.  As with most things in life, it's bittersweet.

Title taken from this.


Seventh Challenge Stretch

I got nuttin'.  After an incessantly long day of vouchers, accounts payable, payroll, and my regular scheduler responsibilities, my brain checked out at 5:00 today.  Even reclining on the couch for an hour hasn't revived it.

Let's call this my Seventh Inning Stretch in the Challenge.


The Circle of Life

Three guesses what the most treasured item is for a genealogist and family historian.  Go ahead.  Before you read any further.  Make your guesses.  The most treasured item is today's entry in the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge. As usual, here are the last three.

5.A picture of your favorite memory - Done.
6.A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day - Check.
7.A picture of your most treasured item - Here!

It took me a while to figure this one out.  Family heirlooms crossed my mind.  Photos from the present to almost the earliest photographs.  It was hard to narrow the list to one until I asked myself what one item I would save if the house was on fire.

So what are your guesses?  An old portrait of a Civil War soldier in his dress greys?  My grandfather's dog tags from World War I?  A pocket watch?  How about a Bible?

The answer is my great-grandparents' Bible.  There are six generations recorded on the pages between the Old and New Testaments.  Being my great-grandparents' Bible, they listed themselves on the main lines and both of their parents under, well, Bride's and Groom's Parents.  As the children came along, they filled in the names and birth dates.  And in some cases, death dates.  They listed marriages and the in-laws' names. 

After my great-grandparents' death's, the Bible became my grandfather's.  He recorded the birth of his daughter and passed it along to her.  My mother recorded my sister's and my births.  She recorded our marriages and the in-laws' names.  And she passed it along to me.  Mostly because my sister had no children.  I recorded the births of my children and am awaiting the times I will write the marriage dates and their husbands' names.  Sadly, the job of noting my parents' deaths fell to me as well.

But that's what life is.  It's cyclical.  We are born, give birth, and die.  And new generations replace us.  I am a generation to be noted, just like my parents, and my grandparents, and great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents.  I have given life to the next generation who will bring forth the next. 

Just one big circle of life.


Aren't They Lovely?

What would you need to know about someone to switch places with them for a day?  The great thing about the loss of privacy in the past 40 years is so much is known about so many people that there is not a single person I would want to switch places with today.  In all of history is a different matter entirely.

The sixth day of the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge delves into the question, but doesn't limit the answer to someone alive today.  In case you missed any, the last three challenges were:

4.A picture of your favorite night - Check
5.A picture of your favorite memory - Check
6.A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day - This is it

It's a good thing this is my Prose-Instead-of-Picture Challenge.  There are two people I'd love to switch places with for a day.  The problem is no picture exists of either of which I'm aware.

The first would be my 11th great-grandmother, Mary Horsemanden Byrd.  She was only two years older than I am now when she died on November 9, 1699.  To know how people lived back then, the mundane stuff, the boring!  How exciting that would be!  Yes, it's official.  I am weird.  I get excited over boring details like what she ate for breakfast or drank with supper or how she put her children to bed at night.  Why her and not any of my other ancestors?  With her, things are tangible.  I've walked the banks of the river that she called home, put flowers on her grave, read her husband's diary.  For someone 400 years gone, she has a real presence in my life.

The other person from history to switch places with?  Her presence in my life has lingered as a question of who she was and what motivated a simple act of kindness.  Her name is unknown to me.  As is the town she lived in or when she was born or whether she had children.  All that is known to me is that on December 24, 1944, she offered an American soldier supper and took him to church.  From old memories, I feel certain she was married and might have had children.  But those stories weren't recorded except as tales told at my childhood bedside.  For one day (Christmas Eve of 1944) I would like to be that woman in the French countryside.  The one who offered hospitality to my daddy.

[Title taken from this.]


Somebody's on the Beach*

When the house is full of noise, and the kids are asking "Why" and "What" and "Who", and the dishes need washing, escaping to a favorite memory would be like a trip to a tropical island paradise.  Favorite memory is today's challenge in the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge. In an effort to keep you up to date, here are the last three challenges.

3.A picture of the cast from your favorite show - Check
4.A picture of your favorite night - Check
5.A picture of your favorite memory - Today

So come escape with me.  Imagine being on the island of Puerto Rico.  The turquoise Caribbean Sea rolling onto the white sand.  The warm sun (even in November) caressing your skin.  The shadows of the palm leaves dancing across the pages of your book as the breeze gently moves them.  And huge iguanas scurrying underneath your hammock.  Nobody on the beach but me.

It was my first sabbatical after becoming a full-time mother.  Time away just for me.  Alone.  No kids, no husband, no dishes to wash, clothes to iron, carpool to drive.  Just me and my book and the beach. 

Typing this tonight, Finola was reading over my shoulder about today's topic. 

"Mom, do any of your favorite memories involve us?" she looked up at me from the floor where she lay petting Thing 1.

My mind raced through all three of their births and how happy I was.  I paused and heard the other two and Mr. Gaelic arguing about who ate the ice cream.  The brand new container that was full last night but was now half eaten.  Out of the container itself!

I looked lovingly into Finola's eyes and assured her, "Not right now."

She rolled her eyes at me.

*Title taken from this.


Sittin' on the Roof of the Apartment*

Welcome to the fourth installment of the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge.  To keep the list from getting too long, there will only be three previous challenges shown on each day's post.

2.A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest -- Check
3.A picture of the cast from your favorite show -- Check
4.A picture of your favorite night -- This is it

How the night began is foggy in my memory.  Perhaps it was with dinner and a movie.  Perhaps we had been hanging out with a group of friends at a local watering hole.  That part's not too terribly important to the story.  The important part was my suggestion to take a bottle of bourbon and sit on the roof of my apartment building.

The roof was not intended to be a deck.  It was just a flat roof on an older apartment building in the direct landing pattern for the airport.  Watching planes' headlights approach from the south upped the heart rate until the planes banked with the bend in the river.  The planes looked as if they would fly straight into us.  Soon the planes ceased arriving due to restrictions on when planes can arrive and depart.  Yet the party at a close-by townhouse continued to drone on into the night.

We sat on the edge of the roof, drinking bourbon straight from the bottle.  The conversation ebbed and flowed.  Quietness was filled with vain attempts to find stars in the metropolitan light-polluted sky.  Soon voices from the townhouse party ceased.  What time was it?

Whose suggestion it was to stay up on the roof until sunrise I don't remember.  In the relative silence, staying awake became more difficult as our conversation ebbed more than flowed.  Sitting on a hard, flat roof with no back support made me crave my soft bed just below us.  Soon we were headed towards the stairs.

The length of time on the roof must have been several hours.  The before and after are lost in the cobwebbed, unused stacks of my mental library.  But my night on the roof with Matt is by far one of my favorite and most memorable nights.

*Title taken from this.


La Vie Bohème*

Today is the third installment of the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge. If you haven't been keeping track, here is the list so far.

1.A picture of yourself with 10 facts -- Check
2.A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest -- Check
3.A picture of the cast from your favorite show -- You're reading it

For someone who doesn't watch TV, today's is quite a difficult challenge.  Not because of a lack of subject matter, but because of too many favorites from which to choose.  The first thing that crossed my mind regarding "favorite show" was stage production.  The second thing was whether "cast" meant of which I was a part. 

Really good Broadway shows aren't big-name vehicles.  Will "The Addams Family" continue its run after Nathan Lane or Bebe Neuwirth leaves?  What happened to "Spamalot" after Tim Curry, Hank Azaria, and David Hyde Pierce left?  Who were the big names in "A Chorus Line"?  But stage productions are so much more than Broadway.  "The Fantasticks" holds the record for the world's longest running stage show at 42 years -- Off-Broadway, no less.  There are also ballets, operas, plays (as opposed to musicals), etc. 

Do movies count as shows?  Weren't they once referred to as moving picture shows?  Whoa!  Too many choices.  It's making my head spin.

As for the cast, well, should it include me?  My parents introduced me to the theatre at the age of five.  They were on the Board of Directors of my hometown Civic Theatre.  My roles included everything from Ngana in "South Pacific" as a five-year-old (my red hair wasn't anachronistic, was it?) to a chorus line nurse in a different production of "South Pacific" as a high school senior.

Narrowing the list is harder than anticipated.  But there is one that affected me like no other. 

On a couple's weekend to New York City several years ago, we ended up seeing a total of five shows -- "Wicked", "Hairspray", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Chicago", and "La Bohème".  Of those five, one was the sexiest show I've ever seen and one was the most romantic.  "Chicago", hands down, is the sexiest.  "La Bohème", the most romantic.

Oh.  My.  God.  Nothing has ever touched me as fully as seeing it live on stage did.  Even though I've seen it live on stage before, there was something about that production.  Even though I know the story backwards and forwards, Mr. Gaelic had to give me his handkerchief during the last scene.  I was sobbing.  After the last round of applause and the house lights came up, older ladies puzzled at me, sitting there crying, dabbing my eyes. 

"Baz Luhrmann's La Bohème" only ran for a few short months on Broadway.  But, for me, nothing can ever hold a candle to that one show.  Vive la vie bohème!

*Title taken from this.


I've Got a Friend in You*

The second installment of the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge is here.  Before we get to today's topic, there needs to be some clarification about the daily requirements. 

1.A picture of yourself with 10 facts -- Check
2.A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest -- You're reading it
3.A picture of the cast from your favorite show
4.A picture of your favorite night
5.A picture of your favorite memory
6.A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
7.A picture of your most treasured item
8.A picture that makes you laugh
9.A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
10.A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with
11.A picture of something you hate
12.A picture of something you love
13.A picture of your favorite band or artist
14.A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
15.A picture of something you want to do before you die
16.A picture of someone who inspires you
17.A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently
18.A picture of your biggest insecurity
19.A picture and a letter
20.A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
21.A picture of something you wish you could forget
22.A picture of something you wish you were better at
23.A picture of your favorite book
24.A picture of something you wish you could change
25.A picture of your favorite day
26.A picture of something that means a lot to you
27.A picture of yourself and a family member
28.A picture of something you're afraid of
29.A picture that can always make you smile
30.A picture of someone you miss

Yesterday's blog contained ten facts.  Today's blog is about the person I've been closest with the longest.  Family members won't count for me.  Too easy.

We met when we both were 14 or 15.  August in the mountains of North Carolina at the Southeastern YMCA Leaders' School.  He was from east Tennessee.  I was from Alabama.  Two southern kids with a passion for physical education and leadership. 

Our friendship was immediate.  For one week every year during high school, we were inseparable.  We took classes together, sat together each night at vespers, hiked to the top of the mountain to watch the sun rise, shared a banana split on my birthday.  (My birthday fell during the week-long Leaders' School every year.)  And hugged and cried and hugged some more at the end of our yearly week together.  It was the most physical platonic relationship anyone has ever had.  He is my T and I am his Red.

During college, he was a varsity cheerleader for an SEC school.  I was the sorority girl at a different SEC school who visited him during spring training.  But things got in the way.  Significant others took up all of our time.  Slowly we began to lose touch.

Until we reconnected on Facebook. 

We rarely comment on each other's status or pictures.  Occasionally we'll email each other.  Recently he was in town for a conference and we had lunch.  It was as if not a day had passed.  The conversation was easy and relaxed.  We kidded each other, talked about our spouses and children, brought each other up to date on life in general.  And reminisced about a photo he took of me our last summer together before graduation.

He caught me off guard early one morning before breakfast.  Seated in an old rocking chair on the porch of the main hall overlooking the mountains, my face bore a look of concentration usually reserved for church services or SATs.  The shutter clicked before his footsteps tore me from my thoughts.  Back in Tennessee, the photo was entered in a contest, unbeknownst to me.  It took first prize.  He later sent me a copy of the picture with a sincere note of gratitude for helping him win the photography contest. 

He's my oldest, dearest, closest guy friend.  Through thick and thin.  I'll always love him.

[*Title taken from this.]


30 Days to a New Me?

Thief!  Again with the plagarized material.  This time it's the (infamous) 30-Day Facebook Picture Challenge.  Only without pictures.  If a picture can paint a thousand words then why can't I paint you?  Whoa!  Already off on tangents and the first paragraph isn't finished yet.  It's going to be a long, disjointed blog.  So hang on.

Day 1. A picture of yourself with 10 facts:  Here goes.

Red hair, hazel eyes, 5'10", classic curves.  Eh...  If you want the real picture, go reread all of my blogs.  As for ten facts, what don't you know about me?

1. Born and raised in the heart of Dixie.
2. My granddaddy lived with us until he died.
3. Competed in a few junior beauty pageants as a child.
4. My first camping experience was with a canvas pup-tent held up with wooden poles.
5. Filed my first 1040 when I was 12.
6. Play the piano when bored.
7. Won scholarships to five colleges in a pageant as a high school senior.
8. Can never keep my Lenten discipline all the way to Easter.
9. My picture can be found in the dictionary next to the word "stubborn".
10. Want to live high on a mountaintop.

#8 and #9 seem to be contradictory.  Let's see which one wins out in the quest for the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge.  Who's with me?


Born the Redhead Way

Boobs or hip bones?  What's more attractive?  C'mon, fellas.  Inquiring minds want to know what y'all think.  It started over the weekend with pictures of two celebs on two beaches.  LeAnn Rimes in Mexico and Christina Hendricks in Italy. 

LeAnn tweeted a photo of herself in a string bikini.  The paparazzi caught Christina stepping out of her cover-up.  Those two pictures ignited the body wars again.  "She looks anorexic."  "That's obese."  Women can't win.  Either we're too thin or too fat.

It's been reported that Christina is 5'8", approximately 154 pounds, and a size 14.  When you remember that the average woman's dress size in the 1950s was an 8, you also have to remember that in the 1950s, the average woman was 5'3", 120 pounds, with a waist size of 24" to 25".  Today, the average American woman is 5'4", 150 pounds, with a waist size of 34" to 35".  And her dress size?  12.

Don't forget that the U.S. Department of Commerce abolished the uniform sizing system for women's clothes in 1983.  A size 8 in the 1950s is a size 4 or less today.  A size 12 today would be a size 16 or larger in the 1950s.  For anyone who sews, we know our "true" size because the sizes on patterns didn't change to fit our vanity as our waists expanded.

My mother was plump from her early 40s onward.  At her largest, back in the 1970s, she was a 16.  Granted she was only 5'2".  Having inherited some of her nicer vintage dresses, it's surprising that they fit me.  Me?  A size 16?  Okay, so I'm 5'10" and don't look as plump as my mother did.

Shockingly, my secret is that my dress size is the American average.  Yep, just one dress size smaller than Ms. Hendricks.  Hurray for us hourglass-figured women!  Other than our figures, Ms. Hendricks and I share the same hair color.  But I was born this way[WARNING!  Do NOT click the last link if you are offended by over-the-top music videos.  If so, click HERE instead.]