Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WACKY WEDNESDAY...Where Anything Goes

Today's subject:  SKINNY JEANS...when you're not

Just so you know, it's 6:00 in the morning and already a balmy 82 degrees. By the time I leave for work, it will be 90 and by the time the noon whistle blows (this really existed a one point in time), it will be around 105 degrees. Summer has found my little "neck in the woods." And, its just begun.

I invested in a pair of "skinny jeans" ... the latest, greatest designer flair with pockets that say "touch me here," and a price tag that ensures my family is on an involuntary diet until my next paycheck. Time to start cracking the wheat in the food storage and call that dehydrated mystery meat "delicious" because the cupboards are going to be bare...but I am going to look fantabulous, baby!

Bless the sweet salesgirl, she found a pair to "fit" me. Now I love shopping for clothes, but having designer jeans "fit" means I have not eaten all day, taken a water pill or two, and have on several layers of lycra. Almost as bad as shoe shopping, only I can forgo the standing on my head for thirty minutes to make sure my ankles have shrunk and I can wiggle my toes. I have a twenty minute window after that to find the shoes that feel like they will be somewhat comfortable when my feet swell to normal again.

I wriggle into the denim, containing just enough stretch to allow my thighs entrance. Granted, I can suck furniture across the room when I hold my stomach in to zip them up, and the "muffin top" is hardly noticeable...when worn with a parachute. I admire my reflection, thinking I am one hot mama, and will have no trouble losing 5 pounds before actually wearing them in public. I didn't want to stress out my sales person by asking for a size bigger, because her eyes went wild when I told her to find me a pair in the first place and she took inventory of my lower regions. "No problem," was her confident statement when she staggered to the back room. I thought her breath held a hint of alcohol when she came back, but she had my size (or the one I was fitting into come hell or high waters). 

I proudly strutted in my skinny jeans several times before the inevitable happened. I washed them. 

Note:  It is a scientific phenomena that something unexplainable happens when clothing is laundered. It shrinks. The label can promise you anything, but it's going to happen. Unless its underwear. That "grows." Shrinkage in the washer follows the same mystery as missing socks. Put two in, one comes out. The other has sought freedom in "sockland."

I don't dry my fabulouso denim wonders to insure only the minuscule of shrinkage. I wait for what seems like "forty days and forty nights" for those embellished pockets to dry, then excitedly slide, or tried to anyway, my jeans on. Something happens part way up my leg. The denim fuses to my skin, refusing to budge. Well hell. 

I tug, jump, and go through various stages of my old ballet routine,fist position, squat, plie, squat deeper, lift one leg and yank, lift second leg and yank. Finally, over the knee caps. I'm almost there! Feeling triumphant and exhausted, I drop to my stool to gather strength. We are going up the thighs! At this point I decide in the future, to put jeans on "wet" and let them dry on my body.  After several minutes of repeating my new calisthenics program and checking for a pulse, not to mention needing to towel off from working up a sweat, I'm ready to lay flat on the floor and zip the jeans shut. I lay there for several minutes, pulling oxygen back into my flattened lungs, before deciding to sit up. I feel my internal organs readjust at that point. Somewhere near my shoulder is my spleen.

But I'm back in my skinny jeans! Granted, I need to wear them around the house for a while until I can walk upright and those pockets that say "touch me here" are back on my derriere instead of behind my knees, but they are plastered on my body by damn! I search my closet for a top that will strategically cover my backside "smile" and billow slightly to make my thunder thighs appear smaller. My mirror has that little warning label in the corner..."all objects are actually bigger than they appear." 

I pay particular attention to my makeup so my beauty will distract from the fact I'm walking like something is terribly wrong, even applying a touch of glitter around my eyes to make sure whoever I talk to will keep eye contact, if for no other reason than to say, "really? glitter?" Out of the five pairs of new shoes I purchased, I'm down to two that last longer than an hour on my feet, which I slip on and head out the door.

Later that night, when I peel the denim off my legs, rub the red indentation out of my waist and pry my shoes off my swollen feet, I decide to soak my abused body in my hot tub. The temperature is a perfect 102 degrees, the light set at a soft lavender hue under the swirling bubbles, and a candle is lit to insure ultimate relaxation. I pull my swimsuit out to put on.

My new "miracle suit." You with me? That's right. It's six inches by six inches, but guaranteed to make me look like a Victoria Secret Angel. Fitting into my skinny jeans is a walk in the park, compared to inching my way into industrial strength lycra, only to have my torso appear slim and trim...however...the "excess" has to go somewhere. Hello mega legs and arms...I think my eyes are bulging out of the sockets and my lips have disappeared into my new puffy cheeks. I am definitely a "secret angel" .... one to be kept hidden!

How about you? Got a "skinny jean" story? Ever try to fit into something that's really not you. Become someone you're not? A "secret angel?" We all have different faces we try on depending on circumstance. Just remember, if it's not you, it's not going to fit comfortably. Here's to elastic waistbands and being "real."

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a laugh. Still keeping the skinny jeans. Still dieting. Just looking for a different mirror!  See you on the weekend!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Take me home...

Tonight's melody:  "Coming Home" sung beautifully by Gwyneth Paltrow
(From the movie Country Strong - a new favorite tear jerker)

I've just returned from four wonderful days at a writers retreat in a cabin tucked away in the mountains above Sundance Ski Resort in Utah. Listed as a "luxurious" cabin, it sported 3 floors, several decks, walls of windows inviting the woods inside, several bedrooms, an unwelcome mouse, two black widows we affectionately named Jack & Jill prior to their demise, and an impressive paper wasp nest (praise the good Lord abandoned) poised above the patio doors. After I got lost and retraced my driving instructions, I found the driveway. Said a prayer. Listened to the spoiler on the front of my car loudly argue the fact I really was going to go "up", and finally "landed" in front of one of the garage doors. 

Unfortunately, the next day, a dear writer friend, Cindy A. Christiansen, arrived in her husband's truck and had to move it to make room for the truck of the highly anticipated exterminator, "Orion" (who will be a character in several newly plotted manuscripts and the subject of several blogs). Things went "amiss" and Cindy's truck ended precariously perched, daring anyone to touch it or it would roll down the "Matterhorn" (or aforementioned driveway). Luckily, thanks to our new hero/bug man and a sturdy chain, everything was righted. Our mouse was never seen again and Jack and Jill entered Arachnid Heaven, "leg-in-leg."


Despite a few other minor calamities (who has a coffeemaker and no carafe?), we got to know each other over several delectable meals and created several thousands of words on new or existing projects. We took evening walks to the stream nearby (Warning disclosure: I'm posting a picture of me without makeup and bad hair, but thanks anyway to my good friend Lisa Williams-Cox (writer Lisa Deon) who encourages new blog pictures), discussing tactics to use in case we ran across a mountain lion. We had no small children to offer for food, so it boiled down to making sure we just out ran our comrade and talented author, Doree Anderson.

Writing spot...Really Lisa? Possible Sasquatch look-a-like!

This morning when I left, a melancholy chord struck my heart. My ride down the winding canyon road to the highway remained behind a veil of water. I'm a mountain girl who lives in the desert, although I have quaking aspen and pine trees filling my yard instead of cactus.

I live in an amazing State. Born and raised in Northern Utah where all four seasons are presented in all their glory, and huge mountains with snow capped peaks all year rise from the valley floor, I spent many winters skiing the slopes and summers camping in the mountains. Several years ago my husband was transferred with his job to the lower corner of the state and my scenery changed from majestic granite mountains to breathtaking red cliffs. I'm only an hour away from skiing in the winter and a little over an hour from selling my soul and mortgaging my house in Vegas. I'm within minutes to only a few hours from Zions National Park, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and the Grand Canyon.

 Gunlock Reservoir natural spillway-- favorite Harley ride

I'm blessed. No other way to say it. My creative muses are stimulated depending on which window I look out of. Of course I live in amazing motorcycle riding country. My Harley or 4-wheelers are used year round. Driving home the long 5 hour drive, I dropped from close to 8,000 feet in elevation to 2,200 (my ears will not pop until tomorrow), watching the scenery around me constantly change (from what I could see beyond the road construction barriers, anyway.  Seriously. Our State symbol should be changed from the beehive to the big orange construction barrels and our State sign reads "Road Construction Ahead" instead of "Welcome to Utah.")

The point to my ramblings this evening? Even though I live in the southern end of the State, my heart still recognizes the northern part as "home." If I could create my own "Heaven" when I leave this wonderful world, it would be the majestic Rocky Mountains dropping to the aqua waters of the Pacific Ocean. I would sit on a sandy beach beneath a pine tree.

All the songs, poets, and all knowing wise men say "home is where the heart is." I believe that to be true. Sometimes where we live changes, but our heart always knows where it's comfortable. All we have to do is close our eyes (maybe click our ruby slippers a time or two) and we're there, smelling the scent of "home" and feeling its loving warmth fill our hearts. To those of you far away from your home for whatever reason, take a moment before falling asleep tonight and let your soul wander those familiar places so your heart can, if even for only a few moments, "go home." 

Here's me raising a fruity island concoction to you from beneath my pine tree. Did I mention my beach chair is also perched on a small mound of snow? See you on Wacky Wednesday. As always, thanks for stopping by.  Joelene - getting a tan while Harley Brooks is off on the dogsled.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WACKY WEDNESDAY...The Anatomy of a Kiss...

Riley's Pond

Note:  Be careful looking for pictures under "kissing."  Talk about an education!

So. What's in a kiss?  Do you remember your first one? Honestly, I don't. Must have been "memorable."  I do remember different kisses, or I should say "kissers."  So...

1.  Are "bad boys" better kissers than "nice boys?" 

Well, face it. They've got experience going for them - the talent perfected. Knew a couple of  "boys of questionable character" and yes...they were excellent kissers.  However, something about the innocence of the tentative kiss made it "special."  Nice boys (or the ones my mother preferred) were always a bit more shy, or as she put it..."respectable."  Want to kill a romance quick? Have your mother comment on your goodnight kiss. "He seems like such a nice boy. He didn't try to suck your face off."  The guy could send me roses dipped in chocolate and I wasn't going out with him again. Ever.

2.  Lips soft or firm? Full or thin?

Dated a guy once I really liked. I could almost see him in my future if it wasn't for his kisses. Lips were "lifeless." Code blue. Dead and limp. When he french kissed me I swear his lips disappeared entirely, and that was with a full set of teeth. Imagine fifty years later and dentures. Fact of life, your lips shrink as you age.  If a guy hasn't got good "lipage" when he's young, you're pretty much raking teeth later. If they're dentures, you'll be knocking them out if you put too much force on the oral cavity.  Something about that fake pink plastic with a set of chompers attached falling into your mouth, could be one hell of a mood killer.

3.  How much is "too much?"

I enjoy deep, heady kisses. Oh my, just the thought triggers a hot flash! But when a kiss becomes a search for my internal organs, my nose pushed to the back of my skull, and my cheeks sucked out from the inside, I'm pretty much flailing my arms to signal the paramedics. I prefer to breathe the air from my own lungs, not share what's inside some guy's lungs! If I'm left gasping for air and reaching for a towel after being "devoured," you can bet I'll be busy for the next hundred years if called by the "roto-rooter guy" again.

4.  Do you like his tongue in your mouth or yours inside his? 

A "power position" play.  Depends. If it's the cousin of the guy in #3, I might exercise my "right to bite."

Okay, it's "sharing time." Popcorn dripping with real butter is on the table to the side of the lazy boy. Get comfortable.

I dated a boy "exclusively" for almost six months before I let him french kiss me.  Not that I was a prude, but because I didn't know how.  My mother, bless her heart (you know if you repeat this before saying something derogatory about someone, it doesn't count as a sin), told me all about sex before I was thirteen, but never explained the finer points of intimate "kissing."

Note to parents here. Tell your child about sex, and they can't wait to share! Scene setup:  Slumber party at my BFF's house for her thirteenth birthday and eight giggly girls in sleeping bags. I was busting at the seams with anticipation of sharing my news. When I explained the "details" of how this mysterious ritual is performed, all manner of gagging sounds were performed. I'd traumatized an entire neighborhood. My mother must have received several chastising calls the next day, because of course, I blamed her. 

However, my mother never told me about "french kissing."  So when I sensed my boyfriend's frustration at my locked lips and clenched teeth, I decided to consult the experts - my cabin mates at church camp. They may have forbade face cards and gambling, but there were no rules regarding discussing forbidden subjects.

When I posed my question to my peers, hysterical laughter ensued for at least thirty minutes.  After my bunkmates realized I was serious, but couldn't put me in a wax museum, they each proceeded to give me "instructions."  His tongue inside my mouth?  Gross!  Swapping spit seemed like the most unromantic thing ever!
A week later when I returned home, my boyfriend arrived that evening for our usual Friday night date. Little did I know that my secret tutoring session had made its way to his ears earlier that afternoon.  His eyes sparkled with anticipation.  He kissed me carefully a few times, then decided to go for the kill. I opened my mouth and allowed passage. Bile licked the back of my throat! No way! My brain yelled abort, abort!  But it was too late. My mouth was not longer "virgin territory."  After a few minutes, I was a "tongue slut." And he was such a "nice boy...."

Designer Genes

Romance writers are the professionals at describing the anatomy of a kiss.  Hands wrapping the back of the neck...fingers braiding into hair...noses grazing...lips sliding tentatively against each other...tongue teasing lips to open...lips blossoming against each other...  When you are through reading the lines of the first kiss between a hero and heroine, you are forever spoiled. My husband loves it when I'm writing a romantic scenes! 

5.  How do you like to be held in a kiss?

Do you prefer arms around you? Hands wrapping your neck or framing your waist? For me they all work, but "tenderly." I don't like to be crushed.  I want to walk away without injury and still have my skeletal composition in the correct limbs.  Rearranging my spine doesn't work for me.

I like the way John Mayer said it in his song...Your Body is a Wonderland.
....I'll never let your head hit the bed
Without my hand behind it.... 
Kissing is a universal language.  You don't have to press "1" to get it in English. 

What's in a kiss?  Emotion and endless meanings.  Quick and on the cheek:  friendly, caring; on the side of your head:  compassion or apology; on the forehead:  farewell; on the neck:  I want you; on the lips:  romance, love.
What's in a kiss for you? Was your first kiss awkward, embarrassing, or "over-the-moon."  Whatever a kiss means to you, keep giving them. A simple gesture, wielding a lot of power.  An action saying everything without uttering a word.

   Imagine all the "prince charmings" in the world waiting for a kiss! Come on, what's the worst that can happen?  It's just a kiss...or is it?

As always...thanks for stopping by.  I'm off to do some lip lock (done to the tune of "I'm off to see the wizard"...)