A Swimming Pool

He asked for a house with a swimming pool and plenty of green space. The house had to be in a good location and not too far from the places he liked to visit. It was a tall order and it got taller when he presented the budget.

The real estate agent suggested that we chose the item that was most important and then go from there. After some discussion and deliberation and yes negotiation, we settled on location. Although I did promise he could have his pool. Some how. Some way. He’d get his pool.

It took a bit, but we finally found a house that met our needs in location and function. The green space wasn’t too hard to come up with, after all grass seed and some water, with a splash of sun and viola green space.

Then he reminded me of the pool. I had promised him a pool. He wanted his pool. So I went to the store and found just the thing…an inflatable kiddie pool. Hey we didn’t specify the type of pool!

He loved it, laughing so hard and then blowing it up and filling it up with water. He announced that we had a house with a pool. It wasn’t a lie, but it wasn’t exactly the way most people would think of a house with a pool. Yes I realize he was too big to swim in the pool, but it was sold as a swimming pool and so that’s what I bought.

Some people thought it was silly, but to him it was brilliant. And he said he’d never be so vague with a request ever again. Because you may just get what you wish for!

Tough Enough

There were times, as a girl, I missed out on things because according to the boys “I was a sissy girl”, or I simply wasn’t tough enough. In truth I was far more of a tomboy than anything else. I didn’t cry easily either. But to little boys, little girls are sissies or soft.

Growing up things were sometimes deemed to be too tough for me to do, “leave it to the boys” or hat have you. Sometimes I had no choice because I wasn’t strong enough to do what they could do. But I was tough.

I work in a male dominated field where I hear time and again that women weren’t tough enough for something. Men did the spiritual work because women weren’t tough enough to handle the challenges; women are inferior in some ways apparently.

But it is women’s who have the children, women who deal with sick children and women who leave their babies to go to work and help bring in income. I’d say that tough.

I don’t have children, I have a four-footed, slightly ill mannered, but very lovable dog. Leaving him to go to work is nothing compared to what working moms do.

On average women will suffer from more autoimmune illnesses, ones that are hard to diagnose or treat. Lupus chose me to be it’s host even though I’d rather not be. Lupus has done irreversible damage because it liked my organs and awful lot. Still I go put and I work, I try to have a normal life so I’d say that’s tough enough.

The treatment I take for lupus would kill some people, while for me it helps keep me going. I wonder of that’s tough enough for those little boys? I wonder if writing my thesis while receiving chemo therapy and such is tough enough. Beloved assures me it’s more than tough enough. As he faced his cancer he said he didn’t want to complain about how he was feeling because it was nothing compared to what I do every day, day after day after day. People cut him slack because he had cancer so his sickness and weakness was accepted. Because I hardly look sick and lupus isn’t well understood people decided I just was complaining etc.

According to loved ones and dear friends I’m tough enough. Tough enough to fight for my life every day. Tough enough to cry when I need to and not when I don’t. So there you little boys playground! :p

Different And The Same

The rain fell for three long days. For three long days we stayed in the house trying to remain busy with other things and basically stay out of each other’s way.

This whole exercise was proving far more challenging for me than it was him. Of course he was used to days of rain and he was used to staying out of the way. I wasn’t used to multiple days of heavy rain, rain that fell non-stop. Nor was I used to staying out of the way because I hadn’t had a need to stay out of the way of anything or anyone.

How did they manage on the ark? There certainly wouldn’t have been enough space to stay away from others or get out from under foot. There wouldn’t be anything to take your mind off the rain and the rain lasted longer. I certainly wouldn’t have survived on the ark. But then how many people and animals would?

Beloved pointed out that there are countries where it rains for months on end. I guess you just get used to being “damp”. I guess you get used to not seeing the sun for periods of time.

Beloved also happily pointed out that numerous people would call our house spacious. Many large families exist in spaces smaller than our home. I contend that those families do not have to live with Beloved after he’s been on the house too long. Nor have these families had to deal with Beloved’s imitation of a wet dog. Honestly I’m not sure who can spread water further, the dog himself or Beloved imitating the dog. 🙂

I’ve never mastered having fun with an umbrella or splashing in the puddles. Oh don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it for a bit, but it’s never that pure uninhibited joy that a child finds with rain puddles and umbrellas. This may have to do with the fact that rain and my hair do not get along.

When we have days like those three days, I yearn for the weather I know best, long days of dry heat and endless blue skies. I yearn for the odd, intense thunder storms that come up out of no where and fade away just a a quickly.

When we have just a bit of rain here I don’t mid it at all. It suits this place, the buildings and spaces seem to thrive on it and there is a beauty to this that I don’t find in the places I come from.

Why Is It?

As I was struggling to open an item that had been vacuum sealed I wondered if it was all worth it. Of course that peace of food is fresh, it will stay fresh longer because no air is getting at it. It will also stay fresh longer because I am unable to get at it. In fact, if packaged properly and with a few additives it may n fact stay fresh longer than I will live. Because this is the stuff that consumers are asking for.

I struggle to open these awful child-proof lids too. I used to wonder why we had to make child-proof anything, why people couldn’t just store their stuff out of the reach of kids, but then I realized there is a whole new market of gadgets this way. None of them work for me. But the need to protect a child is greater than the need of an adult who struggles with arthritis etc.

Beloved has cut himself trying to get into items that have been packaged in rigid plastic, molded to the object inside. I’m sure he isn’t the only person to have had this happen. Why? Because we need to protect the object during shipping and it’s time on the shelves. How manufacturers and stores deal with all of this in the past?

Why is it that we make things harder to get into under the guise that it’s to protect someone or the item we want? How many times have we watched young children defeat the child-proof lids while adults struggled with them? How often have we given up n items because we know it’s going to be a pain to get into?

Why is it we tell ourselves, or rather we allow companies to tell us this way is better? What has happened to us as a group of people that we need to protect things from us and keep them fresh longer? Please don’t tell me it’s that our lives are busier because we’ve just swapped what was busy for our parents with chauffeuring children to and fro activities.

All In A Name

The door was thrown open and he barged into the house announcing, at the top of his lungs mind you, that he was a Superhero. He didn’t happen to mention what his name was a superhero, nor did he announce what his special powers were as evidently none of that was required.

An old soft blanket was loosely hanging from his shoulder, his cape no doubt. A cape, I decided, as I gave him some cookies and milk, must me he could fly. Well maybe not fly, perhaps glide as he seemed more a gliding kind of child.

He played happily while his mom and I visited until he decided he needed to be cuddled. Yep, even superheroes need a good cuddle now and then. First he cuddled with his mom, but then he decided he wanted to sit on my lap, which was okay.

It was while he was sitting on my lap that he softly told me the name of his superhero….ThunderBum!

I’ve heard of thunder thighs, I’m not sure if that’s just for chubby thighs or well muscled thighs though because it seems to me heavily muscled thighs would make a thunderous noise with each step…that is if this made a noise.

But ThunderBum? The problem here is that, well let’s face it, bums do make noise. Not only do they make noise, they can emit a noxious odors, strong enough to make any villain cry and beg for fresh air. And noxious odors aren’t the only thing to emit from the bum either.

It got me thinking though, in a sense aren’t we all gifted with special powers or gifts? Things that help make the world a better place? Some of us have the heart of poet while others the gift of making beauty with our hands. Others have he gift of inspiration, motivation, education and so on. Then there are the doers and the makers. And on and on.

Reflect upon your own special gift and you too will find your own special superhero name! 🙂

Won A What?

I recently won a round trip cruise for two without having to do a thing. They phoned me, I picked up the phone and the woman happily informed me that I had won a round trip cruise for two!

Now I don’t believe in stuff like this happening to me. In all honesty my examples of puck have been more of e dumb/stupid type or the flat-out bad type. Good luck is very rare in my life. Yet here was this happily bubbling lady on the phone informing me that I had won this trip. Fully paid. No strings attached.

Except that wasn’t the whole story. See there was a catch, a wee one, but a catch none the less. It started so her allowing that I’d have to fly to Florida on my dime. Well okay she hadn’t said that the cruise included the free flight and since I don’t live in Florida of course I’d have to find a way there.

Then she told me that I’d have to pay a small processing fee followed by some other admin fee, but that was it, well other than tipping the staff and paying for meals and such. Typically I don’t listen to these calls, I simply hang up, but for some reason I wanted to hear the whole thing

When she finished I asked her a few questions of my own, such as how is the cruise free if I’m paying admin costs and how on earth was it that I came to win the cruise. She couldn’t answer either of those questions, but was super eager to book me on a cruise.

As eager as she was to get me registered for a cruise, and oh by the way we need to process these admin fees right away so a credit card number is needed NOW, I was more eager to find out how she got my number and how this cruise came to be. Evidently my enthusiasm to get these questions answered was off-putting because she said to me that she’d put down I wasn’t interested and not to call back, and then she hung up on me.

Beloved suggested next time I should tell the telemarketers or whomever that they are the lucky caller of the day at our house. They’ve won an all expense paid trip to the moon! 🙂

I may, in fact, do something like , when I have time simply because I’m getting tired of these calls. Sure you can put your name on a list so telemarketers leave you alone, but that doesn’t really work. In my experience it’s a bit like grabbing a can of mosquito spray and spraying the air with the expectation that it will keep that entire air space pest free for hours. Give it a try and let me know how it works!

My Allergies

If you were to ask my mother, she’d say I don’t have any allergies, but she’d be wrong.

This isn’t even a case of late developing allergies either, although I do understand how over exposure to certain substances can later on equate to allergies.

If you were to ask Beloved, I do have a lot of health issues thanks to lupus, but no allergies. Again he’d be wrong.

You see folks, I’m allergic to math. I always have been! While some people see beauty and simplicity in the way the numbers work, I just see numbers. People marvel about how black and white numbers are, how it’s easy to prove a point when using math. I just stare at them and wonder where the nearest calculator happens to be.

It isn’t that I can’t do math because I can. Obviously I had to take math all throughout my education after all. It’s just that I’m allergic to math.

I get itchy all over when I see columns of numbers or have to find X. My eyes water and my throat feels like it’s closing in when calculus comes my way. Geometry gives me hives. The only thing math does not do to me, is make me sneeze. But it will make me leave a room! 🙂

I’m also allergic to people who are closed-minded and uncaring. They don’t make me sneeze, but I get itchy and tense and feel my throat tightening up. Beloved says I narrow my eyes as well, but he claims it’s a sense of anger that does that and it isn’t an allergy. What does he know!?! 🙂

1 Child + 1 Towel = Magic Carpet Adventures

I spread out a towel on the floor and told him it was a magic carpet. To his mom and I, it was an old towel, but he saw the potential and went with it.

“How does it go” he asked looking for what I later learned was a steering wheel.

“Magic carpets kind of go on their own. They listen to the wishes in your heart and go where that place is. Let’s think of a place to go,” I explained as I sat down on the floor beside him.

“Egypt,” he decided because they had a finks and he wanted to see it. The good thing about magic carpets is that they can tell a finks means the Sphinx! 🙂

“Okay so close your eyes and hold on tight and soon you will be there!” And with that I left him and his imagination on the floor, to check on the finks and probably play in the sand.

After all under the right circumstances and training people from times past to present have said they have traveled far away following the path of a shaman. Not that I’m a shaman (I have studied this though) or that he was trained as one either. But children have the uncanny imagination to turn the most ordinary of things to the most wonderful stuff. They can stay in one area and still use their imaginations to be taken into another world.

The magic carpet, in my kind, was similar to giving a child his age a box and letting him turn it into a car or an airplane or a house etc. And it worked!

Until the dog came into the room and decided that a child shouldn’t be placed on a towel. So the dog tried to take the towel with the child on it.

Unfortunately for the dog, the child was too heavy to steal the towel from and the hardwood floors didn’t help. Well that’s not really true, I guess it depends on whose point of view you saw it from because what ended up happening was the dog tugged on the towel which resulted in the child sitting on said towel to be pulled about the room.

“The best magic carpet ever!” He exclaimed as the dog pulled and shook once more. I guess if you can’t beat them, you might just as well accept it for whatever!

Fickle Feathered Friends

Gourmet food? Check! Fancy setting? Check! The right atmosphere? Check! Secluded area allowing for privacy or intimate conversation? Check and check!

We had it all, well okay minus the candles, but given that it was eating outdoors, where the wind might whip up at any moment, it seemed okay to not have candles.

No we didn’t have music, rather allowing the sounds of nature to be the music. It was, after all, more natural that way.

Despite our best efforts, despite everything we tried, not one bird came to use the bird feeder. Location? We tried various spots around the area,same with trying a variety of different food, but no matter what we did, the birds refused to feed.

We added a bird bath, which they took to almost immediately. We put the feeder in the area of the bird bath, and while the birds continued to come and bath, not one was enticed to try even the smallest nibble.

A neighbor decided to give it a while, put out seed, gourmet and otherwise (yes I know, who knew they made gourmet bird seed!) and had all sorts of success so he offered to come to our place and see what he might be able to do. He relocated the feeder to original place we had it set up and used the same seed he had at his place. This was seed we had tried already. He counseled patience and timing. All to no avail. The birds would come, dip this bodies in the bird bath and then sit out and dry off a bit before hiding off. Off to his place. To eat bird seed. Bird seed we had in our yard.

I guess it goes to show some times no matter how big the effort on your part, you won’t be able to please every one. Even birds can be fickle and drama queens! 🙂

No Guanratees

They almost promised we’d see whales in the brochure. When we boarded the boat the captain assured us he had not had a dry spell of no whales in years. Well, the brochure lied and the captain pressed the odds a bit too much.

I wasn’t horribly disappointed when we didn’t see the whales because they aren’t really my thing. I’ve seen them before, granted in captivity and always with a rather large barrier between myself and the animal. I’m okay with this kind of distance. I’m not so sure that the small boat we were in would be able to out run a whale, nor did it appear to be anti-tipping. And in case you are wondering, whales are huge! Massive even!

I understood then, as I do now, that when you take a trip that is about seeing wildlife, there is a chance things won’t go as you hoped. The wildlife tends to not follow human schedules etc.

I recently read that someone was seeking to be compensated for having one of these nature trips not live up to expectations. Specifically the whales refused to cooperate and the eagle that they saw stayed a huge distance away from the people.

I’m pretty sure the fine print on these trips does not guarantee that a person will see wildlife or that if said wildlife is visible that it will stay still for that perfect picture or video.

Sometimes you can’t please people no matter what. If the eagle was closer and decided to make a deposit on someone, a law suit would probably be considered. The whale surfaces near the boat? Well you might get wet and there may be an issue with that.

Then again, maybe I’m just being cynical and snarky.