It Snot What you Puke

I don’t like being sick. I suspect most of you are with me on this one. I like to relax, but only when it’s my choice. Bed rest when you feel like death on dung is not near as fun.

Getting a head cold is such an incredible downer. My colds always announce their arrival with an early morning, paper-cut-like, sore throat. From there, I slide into the land of long-suffering snot. I drag around the house with my jaw scraping the floor, gasping for air. The hardware I normally use to breathe, namely my nose, is too busy to do its job. While I’m forcefully blowing into scratchy toilet paper, those little booger babies are working hard to replenish my supply of green goo.sick (1)

The next time I get a cold, I’m going to conduct an experiment and not blow at all. If I stop blowing, will they stop making green goo? My experience tells me that blowing my nose doesn’t achieve my desired goal. I empty it, it fills back up. The cycle repeats itself. I end up with a mountain of moist bacterial cultures, a glistening, raw, flaming red moustache and the same plugged honker. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing something over and over and expecting different results? Aw, who am I kidding? I don’t think I could stop blowing, even if I wanted to. It would be like going on a diet. I’d last about an hour and I’d have to go on a blowing binge. Besides, when we’re in trouble, our first instinct is to do something. Blowing my head off seems to suit the circumstances.

I’d rather have the stomach flu than a cold. The stomach flu is more intense, but usually shorter in duration. It’s a near death experience without the bright light and peaceful feelings. The worst part has to be hanging around by the toilet for hours. A BIG bowl solves that problem, but when you feel like someone is stirring up your insides and you’re no longer living with mom, crawling back and forth to rinse out a bowl is inconceivable.sicktoilet2

I’ve suffered through nights of camping out on the bathroom floor. In between the retching, I lay my head down and call out to God for help. I regret the man-sized chips and salsa I ate the night before. I’m thinkin’ I should chew. I’m wondering why lumps going down are so much more pleasant. Puking is so unappetizing; the psychedelic colors, the gruesome flavor combos, the hunks, chunks, and strings of things make me want to give up food for a whole day. When the ordeal is finally finished, my mouth reeks like a sewer and my hair clings attractively in moist tendrils to the residual bile on my cheeks. I drag myself back to bed, too exhausted to care.

My husband once got sick after inhaling a beef and onion pizza. He has a booming laugh and people in auditoriums have exited to tell us they knew he was in the house. They’ve never heard him spew! My two-year-old daughter ran down the stairs and hid in a corner, as if she was participating in a fire drill.

Over the din, I called out, “What’s wrong, honey?”
“Daddy’s going to spit on me,” she cried. I almost crouched down next to her.

I’ve been fortunate. I haven’t experienced chronic illness and for those of you who have, I empathize. I admire you who battle cancer or other such diseases. Watching strength grow from weakness is an honor and privilege. I’ve congratulated many a lopsided lady patient for surviving breast cancer. I hope I’d be up to the challenge. I’m such a wimp even when it comes to mildly bad feelings. After a bout of sickness, I usually endeavor to take better care of myself, but my exercise efforts are minimal and junk food is constantly wooing me. My uncle, who smokes, says you have to die of something. I’d be okay dying with a slice of pizza in my hand. I just don’t want them to find me next to the toilet. 😉

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: @penelopepantaloons. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Unearth the Bowl

We bought a bowl once. It’s a shiny gold with vibrant splashes of red, green, blue and orange and we thought it would make a striking centerpiece for our table. We did not, at the time, consider what, if anything, we would put in it. Nor did we consider how much an empty bowl might beckon us to fill it. I’m ashamed to say this beautiful bowl has become a bowl for bills; piles of important papers now cascade from it completely blotting out the original reason for which it was purchased. Now instead of looking at the beautiful bowl and experiencing joy, I look at a bowl of bills and feel frustrated, worried, and depressed.

How often do we do this in life? Every day affords new opportunities to discover the beauty of this wondrous world and we put our heads down and hone in on the dirty and mundane, intent on working that extra hour, finishing that task, or crossing off that next item on our to-do list. We are surrounded by sunsets and cute kids, ice cream and symphonies, butterflies and flowers and we still have our faces glued to our iPhones. Then we wonder why we’re tired, why we need therapy, why our lives are devoid of meaning. This world is rich with beauty and we’re made to enjoy it. Beauty, in all its diverse forms, refreshes and revives, delights and excites us. Beauty brings us joy, but only when we pause to acknowledge and appreciate it. Otherwise, it just gets lost in the blur.

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We moved 5 years ago and bought a fixer upper. We went shopping for granite and even if you’re not in the market, I highly recommend this activity. We were given addresses of a couple of warehouses in Calgary, secret places with great slabs of earth on display. I kid you not, my mouth was gaping. Some slabs spoke boldly with splinters of jagged color. Others sparkled like white sand on a beach. Still others made me think of animals like leopards, tigers, and appaloosas. One they aptly titled “Circus”, I was sure, gave off the the sweet scent of cotton candy. Many times in the course of that afternoon, I was dumbfounded and all I could do was stand and stare. Some slabs were so beautiful, I couldn’t imagine them as countertops. The very thought was sacrilege. Who knew that shopping for granite could be such a nourishing experience?

The thing is, this kind of soul lightening stuff is available every day, if we open our eyes to it. We need to unearth the bowl, so to speak. We need to climb out from under the “have to” and into the “just because”. Now I try to pause, even if only in my mind, and thank God for the beauty revealed to me each day; for the lime green ruffle on the little girl’s coat, a favorite tune coming in on the car radio, the scent of lilacs, every hug I receive from my kids. I also thank God for all those artists, poets, writers, actors, dancers, musicians, architects, gardeners, interior designers, landscapers—anyone who, by pursuing their passion, makes this world even more beautiful than it already is—anyone who can make us stop and look—anyone who can, for one second, take our minds off of our troubles. I’m trying to even up the score and add a little delight to my drudgery and I invite you to do the same. Have you seen the bottom of the bowl lately?

Feature picture taken by me. The Bowl. 🙂

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: @penelopepantaloons. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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See if I Care

I lost something recently that I cherished. No, there’s been no death in my family. I like to use big words and have a tendency to exaggerate. I lost pictures I’d taken on my holidays, pictures I’d admired and played with and hoped to share on Instagram, probably 500 of them. I went on a hike to a lake this summer and impulsively took my phone, the keeper of my precious pictures, on a swim and, nope, I didn’t have them backed up. My phone is dead, blank, unyielding, even though I smothered it in quinoa, rice, and silica crystals, took it in to have it checked out by people who know more about phones than I, stroked it and prayed over it. I’m still praying, but to date, sadly, there’s been no resurrection.
Continue reading “See if I Care”

A Poem For Starters

It’s never too late to start over

No matter the day or the hour

To change one’s mind is not a crime

If something isn’t working

Then

It begs that one begin again

Barreling head long toward some lofty plan

Can mean the end of one’s self

rather than the end one intended to pursue

Start anew

Pause and ponder

Gain some fresh perspective at an intermediate juncture

Recognize and titter at your blunders

Take a new tact or commit to stay the course

For more effective progress can be realized in repose

And a thoughtful journey does a better outcome make

So

Stop

Take your time

Take a breath

Take a good, hard look

Take a break

It’s never too late to start over

 

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Sleep Becomes Her

We play a game in our house called “What’s Your Favourite”? We ask each other, “What’s your favourite color or animal or whatever?” Once my son asked me, “Mommy, what’s your favourite thing to do?” “Sleep”, I said.
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Out of the Blind Side

Those of you who’ve been following my blog know that I’ve been running to improve my fitness level. The city I live in has two sides divided by a river and coulees or, if you’re not familiar with that term, ravines. I live a few blocks from the trails on top of the lightroad-815297_12802coulees, a pleasant place to exercise with a beautiful view of the river valley. Yesterday, I awoke at 5 am to get my run in, because I had to be somewhere to volunteer at 6:45. I know, an ungodly hour, but I work in healthcare. A 5 am start to the day isn’t unusual for me. What was unusual about this particular run is it was in the dark. I still opted to go out on top of the coulees, because running on trails is gentler on the body than smacking the pavement, but I didn’t consider how challenging it would be to run without being able to see. Continue reading “Out of the Blind Side”

Hit the Suds, Kids!

I recently experienced the death of a loved one. My dishwasher bit the suds. I knew it was coming. It started to hesitate, buzzing and stalling. For awhile, I was able to coax it to continue on. Then, one sad day, there was no response. I was devastated. She was so disheswashing-machine-1772579_12802dependable, always willing to take on whatever messes I stacked in her. A real wash horse, that one. She was quiet. She kept to herself while she worked. She was even willing to store that food-encrusted stink until she had a full load. No complaints, no rank belching. I loved her. I was thankful for her everyday. I was thankful when I loaded her and thankful when I unloaded her. You’d think all the thankfulness I lavished on her would have had a life-giving effect. I know plenty of people who take their dishwashers for granted. They don’t give them a thought until they break down and then they pelt them with verbal abuse. I was good to my dishwasher. Why me?
Continue reading “Hit the Suds, Kids!”

There’s a World out There

There’s a kid picking through a garbage can

While I sit down to breakfastworldpoor-2382641__4802

There’s tired man in an unemployment line

While I head off to work

There’s an invalid struggling to use his limbs

While I climb on my bicycle

And there’s a world out there trying

While I’m watching my TV

 

There’s a girl, she’s been living in a cardboard box

worldchildren-of-war-1172016_12802While I’m warm and sheltered

There’s a child lying broken on a kitchen floor

While I have been embraced

There’s a boy dodging bullets in a civil war

While I take peace for granted

There’s a world out there crying

While I’m watching my TV

 

I live in a world where I can choose to stay

Will I venture out, will I look and really seeworldboy-529067_12802

That life is happening all around me?

I’ve been living in a fairytale

Some are living in a tragedy

What can I do?

Will I do anything?

 

There’s a lonely one pining in an empty room

worldalone-2666433_1280While I’m loved and wanted

There’s sickly soul looking for a lasting cure

While I’m whole and strong

There’s a muddled mind searching for the simple truth

While I’m clear and rested

There’s a world out there dying

While I’m watching my TV

 

I live in a world that I must choose to leave

I must venture out, I must look and really see

That life is happening all around meworlddrink-3021521_12802

Lord, I wanna be a living spring

Welling up to eternity

Where everyone can come and drink

There’s a world out there

 

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

 

What are we Waiting For?

I have a confession to make. I was a Ferberizer. If you aren’t familiar with this term, a Ferberizer is a person who prescribes to Dr. Ferber’s approach for training an infant to sleep. When I think back on those early years with my children, the newborn stage was, by far, the most difficult for me. You see, I adore sleep and have generally been very good at it, sleeping on average seven to nine hours a night. Going from a healthy, luxurious eight hours of sleep, to sleeping three hours before being awoken by a cute, tight-fisted, red-faced, screaming narcissist was a nightmare. Within a month’s time, I was transformed from a relatively fashionable, semi-capable human being, to an unkempt, waitingbaby-2387661__4802smelly, baggy-eyed, babbling zombie, which is why I was a Ferberizer. It was imperative that I find the quickest way back to my cozy bed and the sweetest of dreams. You can read all about Ferber and his methods here, but essentially, when it was time for your babe’s beddy-bye, you placed your little one in the crib awake. The premise was that the child needed to learn to fall asleep on his own and self soothe, if need be, without any cuddling, rocking, or excessive bum patting on the part of the parent. Inevitably, the crying would begin. The parent was to wait an increment of time and then go in and give their offspring a few gentle pats of reassurance and exit the room once more and continue doing this until the child went to sleep. Eventually, the kid, squawking, waiting for his mother’s return would think, “Aw, nuts, she’s not coming back and this is exhausting” and he’d peter out into a restful slumber. Sometimes, this worked perfectly and sometimes it was an agonizing waiting game, but whatever you think of this method, I believe it taught my children a valuable lesson: sometimes, in life, one has to wait.
Continue reading “What are we Waiting For?”

Polly Does Dopey : A Chronological List of the Dopey Things I’ve Done that Amuse Me

  1. When I was 16, my youth group held a wet n’ wild event where I proceeded to get wildly wet. At the close of the evening, I climbed into the back seat of my friend’s dopeyrefreshment-438399_12802car, my shorts drenched, and I was immediately sitting in a puddle. I did have a semi-dry towel which I used as a screen to remove my Sham Wows. I wrapped the towel around my waist covering my near nakedness. We stopped at a light and my most supportive friend yelled, “Chinese Fire Drill”. Do I have to continue?
  2. Continue reading “Polly Does Dopey : A Chronological List of the Dopey Things I’ve Done that Amuse Me”