The New Haircut, or Why Are Men So Unobservant?

Well, it’s that time of year for what my dad likes to call “shear pleasure.” My hair was down to my shoulders and getting in my way constantly. The weather is getting hot and there won’t be any more cold fronts for a while. It was time to get a haircut, so I did that yesterday. I took our old video tape of the movie I.Q. with Meg Ryan’s photo on it to the lady who cuts my hair. I told her that’s what I want, so that’s what we did. I like it. It’s different and it’s cooler.

Yesterday evening, my son who is 29 years old, was in his room. I poked my head in and asked if he was eating supper with us. Then I went back to the kitchen and finished cooking. He came in there a time or two and we spoke. He also walked right past me a few times. He never said anything about my new haircut.

When we sat down to eat I kept looking at him until he asked, “Why do you keep looking at me?” I had a question for him. I asked, “Would you recognize your mother in a lineup?” He said, “You got your hair cut!” I continued asking questions just for fun. I asked, “Could you find your mom in a crowd? If your mother was lost and alone and needed help, could you describe her to people so she could be found?” We laughed and he said he likes my new haircut.

My husband, on the other hand, noticed it immediately. He’s learned that his life is better if he notices such things.

What a Day!

A different kind of Christmas tree this year, a stowaway, shopping for ankle weights, a really sore back and a Celiac-y me won what? Where did this all start?

Uh, maybe yesterday when I starting thinking about getting a Norfolk Pine, or some small something that we could decorate for Christmas, instead of the whole big tree.  I stopped in at a locally owned nursery to see what they had, with plans to ask hubby what he would like to do. The nursery had Norfolk Pines, and when I asked, hubby said he was all for something small. He works retail and he’s tired.

Today I was lifting a box. I did it like the guy in the drawing of how not to do it. You know, the one with the big X over the stick figure who is leaning out too far. What happened when I did that is all the muscles in my lower back that I overworked two days ago while pulling weeds went all wonky on me and got super tight. They were mostly better yesterday, but not anymore.

When hubby got off work today we went to a different nursery to see if they had more than Norfolk Pines because I’d had second thoughts about getting one of those. If I could keep the thing alive it would get too big for the room. We found a Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow shrub and got it. I am really excited about that because I’ve wanted one for a long time. When we are finished using it as a Christmas tree/shrub, it will go outside. This will involve moving a bunch of stuff in the front yard, like moving furniture, but a lot more work with shovels and such. I’ve been wanting to do that anyway.

After we got the plant we went to look at ankle weights. I got a book at Goodwill a few weeks ago, “Strong Women Stay Young,” and I need some ankle weights so I can do the exercises. I’m doing my best in that department – trying to be strong and sort of young. I used to hit the floor running in the morning. Now I try to hit the floor without a splat. So, here we are going into the store and I can barely stand up straight and I’m walking like I’m 99 years old on account of my misadventure with the box, but I’m going to look at weights. Really felt weird to be in such shape while shopping for exercise equipment.

Now, for the thing I won. There was a food drive yesterday and I contributed. A lady at the collection table told me to fill out a coupon for a raffle. This was after I’d been to the plant nursery. I saw a Norfolk Pine among the prizes. I thought I might win that and we could use it for our Christmas tree. I had a feeling I was going to win something. I did and it wasn’t the Pine.

I got a phone call today and was told that I won a bakery tray from the bakery at the grocery store where the food drive was held. I thought, “I can’t eat that and don’t want it in my house because I’m so sensitive gluten” but what I said was, “Oh! Thank you!” and I immediately began to think of who I could give it to. I decided my son and his girlfriend (who is also a friend of mine) could eat it and she could keep it at her house. So, tonight she and I went to pick it up.

Guess what? My photo as a raffle winner – taken while holding the (beautiful, delicious I’m sure!) bakery tray – will be on TV because one of the local stations was doing the food drive along with the Southeast Texas Food Bank. I was laughing. I had to tell the lady at the store who gave me my prize and took my photo that all my friends know I can’t eat gluten and here I’ll be on TV holding a bakery tray.

Oh! I almost forgot. The stowaway. He was a brown lizard and he was on the plant that we bought. I was taking the tag off and looking at the shrub when saw him clinging to a limb, and I’m sure hoping that I wouldn’t see him. I caught him and was going to put him outside when I noticed markings that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen on a lizard. I wanted to look him up so I decided to put him in a pickle jar while I looked up lizards online. He made a leap for freedom and I tried to catch him but the cat got him first.

Well, I reckon this is enough living for a day. G’night, good folks. I’m going to hobble off to bed now.

It’s Monday and My Head is All Over the Place

I’m like this a lot on Mondays. Only this time besides just wanting to do a gazillion different things at once, I’m also thinking about things like the two lawyers that I had doing damage control last week when I was in a jury pool for a murder case.

The first one was a prosecutor who asked if we were all familiar with DNA. Of course, everyone has heard of DNA. Then he said something that I thought was a leading question like you see on TV when the a lawyer objects and the judge sustains it. He said something like, “So you all know and agree that DNA is accurate?” Everyone agreed except me. He was stunned. I had to explain that labs make mistakes and it’s not 100% reliable, you don’t get 100% certainty. He kept asking for specific times that I could tell him about when it wasn’t. Good grief. I kept telling him labs make mistakes and I’ve read about it and I have the impression, although I couldn’t give him details, that DNA is not 100% reliable and with 100% certainty. So, he ended up talking in an encouraging and persuasive tone of voice to everyone else about how people are set free when DNA exonerates them. (Of course they are. You can say with 100% certainty that someone’s DNA does NOT match, but not 100% certainty that it DOES.)

The other lawyer whose head I seem to have messed with was the defense attorney. He asked who all had police officers in their families or were close friends with any cops. I raised my hand and told him I used to ride with them in the Ride-Along program, and I knew a few over the years from church or from being in the same organization.

Then he asked if we would believe the testimony of a police officer over the testimony of another person. I thought his tone of voice suggested that we should. As everyone else was nodding their heads “yes”, I raised my hand. He looked over at me and said, “You wouldn’t?” He didn’t sound thrilled. I told him, “No. People are people.” We had a bit of conversation and a bunch of other people started talking and it’s all gone fuzzy in my memory by now, but then he said, “Well, she rode with them.” I told him the ones I rode with were good cops. I liked the ones I rode with, but people are people and I watch the news.

I was #11 out of 40 in the seating order, but I wasn’t chosen for the jury. Whew. I was glad because I had a bit of a stomach ache. It was from being glutened (accidentally ate gluten and I shouldn’t ever eat that stuff) for the second time in eight days and it took a few days for it to wear off completely. Thankfully, I feel great now.

The week before last when I was glutened, I was writing checks and I made a deposit and I wasn’t recording any of this. Normally, I would record it, but I’ve learned to take it easy when I’ve been glutened and my head isn’t all with me, so I did that. Only I forgot. One afternoon last week I went to the doctor and when I got to the office, it dawned on me that I better look in the checkbook and see if I had the money to pay the doctor. (I think my head was more messed up than I realized, so it’s really a good thing I was not put on a jury.) So, in the parking lot and within 10 minutes of my appointment time, I looked in the checkbook and saw that the checks I had written were more than the last amount of money that I had showing. Uh, oh. For over an hour, until I could get back home and get online and see where I was at with all this, I thought I might be overdrawn. I have overdraft protection so I would be covered by money in my savings and I think they would charge me something to do that, but at least nothing would bounce. When I checked on it, that’s when I discovered the deposit I forgot about. Whew, again. Oh, I used my credit card at the doctor’s office.

One thing I want to do today is order a set of cookware and a few other things that I need to replace. Mine is mostly old so it needs to be replaced anyway, but I’m having to do this because of gluten cross-contamination. I’m more sensitive to gluten than I was when I first came off of it. Sometimes that happens. I’ve learned that it’s not only plastic mixing bowls that can harbor bits of gluten, but also a non-stick pot with a single scratch. So, my scratched ones need to go, as well as my pitted aluminum. I can’t use my rolling pin because wood absorbs gluten, and my wooden spoons are out, too. It’s aggravating, but it’s worth it. I’ve had a bit of a problem with stomach acid at night, not as bad as before I came off gluten, but I may be getting just a tiny bit of it from my cookware. OH…cast iron and cooking stones absorb gluten, too. I read that they can be run through an oven with a self-cleaning cycle that goes up to about 900 degrees and that will kill it. I’m looking for a friend with an oven that I can use that does that.

My kitchen is inside out because of me going through everything and I hope to make some visible progress on that today. Also, I want to try out my new bread pans on some Basic White Bread. This will be my first attempt at making gluten-free sandwich bread. Baking gluten-free bread is different from baking regular bread, which I was only so-so at baking, so I hope I’m better at this kind.

There are about 50 things I want to clean here today. (Not really that many, but you know how it feels when you just want to clean everything?) And this evening, I want to work in the yard. And I need to make some soap. I want to try using a different recipe this time. I’ve been using recipe #8 on this list, but I want to try #7 today, just out of curiosity. I see one or two others that I also want to try later. There are some things I want to pack up to send to my grand-daughters in Canada. And some other things I want to send to another son near Houston. And I want to take some time to read the next section in a textbook that I’m reading. It’s a college literature book and it’s interesting.

Well, hubby went in to work at about the middle of the morning and my writing itch was too great to ignore, so it’s now early afternoon and I better get started on this stuff. OH…I am going to call the courthouse and see if the jury is still hearing that case. I haven’t seen anything at all in the news about the outcome.

I’d Love To Find The Owner Of This Skin!

A few days ago when I was out at my clothesline I glanced over at the garden and saw a really long snake skin. My first thought was that it once belonged to a rat snake.

I brought the skin in the house and got my book and started counting scales and such. It’s not the easiest thing to do, identify a snake when the owner of the skin isn’t there any more. It would help if I could see colors, however, a bit of pattern is visible, even on the scales. This one is solid with no markings at all. By the way, did you know snakes have scales over their eyes? They need those scales because they don’t have eyelids. This skin was totally intact, ocular scales and all.

Keeled scales have a little ridge on the middle of them. The scales on this critter are smooth and not keeled. He has 17 rows of dorsal scales in the middle of the body, with 15 just in front of the vent. (The vent is a scale that looks different on his underside. It’s where the digestive system ends. And, I have no idea whether this is a boy or a girl snake. I’m just going with the all-inclusive “he”.) He has a divided anal plate, with the scales going from the plate to the end of the tail being divided. If all the scales from the anal plate to the tip of the tail are divided, it’s a non-poisonous snake.

This rascal was 44 1/2 inches long when he left this skin behind in my garden. What a gift for me to find! Oh, my very best guess, according to all my counting of scales and such, and I think I’m right, is that he is a tan racer. We do have them here and they will even crossbreed with the buttermilk racer.  I actually skinned one that crossed. The poor thing was dead in my street, with just a tiny indention on his small noggin. Other than the dent in his head and being dead, the skin was in perfect condition.

I happen to like snakes and I like them to be alive and living in the wild. They certainly serve a good purpose, eating things like rats which carry diseases.

I took a few photos. The skin showed up better in the grass so I laid it out there for a photo.

Then I set it up by my tea cups. It’s still there. I don’t know how long I’ll leave it as part of my decor. Folks just never know what they will see when they walk into my house. Don’t you think it looks nice there? I like the contrast between cultured and wild, myself.

I Like How Survivor Ended!

I think this was one of the most interesting seasons of Survivor ever. The personalities were fun to watch, from Colton who was a lightening rod with his selfish, manipulative and seemingly racist (says he’s not?) comments, to Kat, who was crushed when she was voted out by people she trusted and the way she handled it. Did you see that? She, at the young age of 22, told the folks on the jury that life is too short to stay angry, that we need to forgive and get on with life.

Initially, I thought Colton would be back on a new season as his mean ol’ self. After seeing his mother’s reaction to his behavior at the Reunion, I’m not so sure. If he comes back he may try to tone himself down a little. He had absolutely no consideration for anyone’s feelings but his own. I was torn between being fascinated by such callous behavior and wanting him to be gone, or shut up, because he was hurting people.

I’m glad the women got it together enough to get it down to three women at the end, although I’m not as sure as I was when Tarzan was still there that he would have been able to get enough votes to win if they kept him til the end.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a group of people on Survivor, who for the most part, had affection for each other despite their idiosyncrasies. It’s got to be hard to be in difficult circumstances with people who you don’t know, you are competing against, but yet, you need them and they need you. For them to see past things like Tarzan’s crotchety self, to his good side just rarely seems to happen on this show. It also doesn’t happen often that so many of the contestants realize that it’s a game and they are supposed to play it like poker. Finally, someone used that analogy that this is like a poker game. I’ve been thinking that for years and wondering why they get so mad when they are outplayed? That’s what is supposed to happen.

It was refreshing to see contestants have good things to say to and about each other at the end. I especially like how Tarzan (Greg Smith) and his wife Terri’s relationship was inspiring to Chelsea. She said she didn’t know love like theirs could exist, and I’m sure other folks felt the same way.

I also liked how it came down to the last three women who had an alliance from the beginning. I like that Kim stayed true to Sabrina and Chelsea, even though she felt like she was risking losing the game, and with that the money.

The next game will be in the Philippines. The only thing is, we have to wait until September!

Tarzan Could Win This Thing

I’ve been watching the women on Survivor play a really good game by using their brains. It’s been pretty refreshing and I’ve had my favorites among them. I’d like to see Sabrina, Kim and Chelsea in the final three.

The only time I had another favorite player was when they were ganged up on Troyzan. He was such a fighter that I began to pull for him, but they took him out, so I’m back to my original three favorites.

I think though that these smart women are over looking something. It looks like they are all distrusting each other so much that they have missed this one man who they have left alone. Tarzan is just coasting along, quietly staying in the game while they look at each other and squabble about which woman ought to be voted out next. If they don’t get rid of him pretty quick, you know what’s going to happen. He will be the one man who all the men that they voted out will vote for. The women who are shocked and angry (wow, Kat certainly was rattled last week!) will likely also vote for him.

Details, Ladies. It’s all about the details. Let’s hope they wake up and get that done tonight.

I Wonder What Russell Hantz Thinks?

If you are a Survivor Fan, you know who Russell Hantz is – the fellow who could get two or three people under his control and use them to control the whole tribe. I wonder what he thinks about this upstart named Colton Cumbie? This is truly one of, if not the most, fascinating seasons ever!

I’ve been watching how each tribe talks about and treats the other tribe. There are several things to watch, but this is definitely the most interesting. At first, the men said the women were controlled by their emotions and not thinking logically. They said this because the women were a mess in challenges, and didn’t have any sense of cohesion going for them. It looked like a totally unorganized tribe of women was going to be decimated. That’s not fascinating.

However, there’s this guy, Colton, who is gay and said he didn’t fit with the men, so he kept trying to hang out with the women. (This is the first season that both tribes have been set up within view of each other.) He was telling the women that he didn’t fit with the men and he wanted to hang out with them and there was all this “I love you!” and “I love you, too!” talk. That was my first clue that he was going to be a problem if he turned on someone. Any time someone is so quick to “love you” my alarm bells – the ones that say “Manipulative, Vengeful Person Ahead”  – go off.

Well, the women told Colton he was going to have to go home and work things out with his own tribe, that he wasn’t part of their tribe, and it wasn’t right for him to be over there all the time. So, Colton stayed away from the women.

Then one of the women found a personal immunity idol, but it had a note with it stating that it had to be given to a member of the other tribe before the next tribal council. She gave it to Colton.

In the meantime, at the men’s tribe, there was a group of young fellows who thought of themselves as the ‘muscle guys’. They planned to get rid of what they thought of as the ‘misfits’ on their tribe and go to the end and win the million. There were two problems with this. These guys had more muscles than brains because they didn’t seem to realize they didn’t have good solid numbers to control anything. The second problem was Colton. He had an idol and he let the ‘misfits’ know and got them all around him. At that point he was controlling most of the tribe.

So, after saying the women were controlled by their emotions and thinking they were going to have an easy go of things, the women started winning, the men had to go to tribal council, and guess who was a goner? One of the ‘muscle men’. Guess who controlled that? One of the ‘misfits’. The one named Colton.

This is the part that made me wonder what Russell thinks. Last night, after being beaten three times in a row on challenges, the men won tribal immunity. The women were going to have to go to tribal council again. But then there’s Colton. He controlled who went to tribal council. What? How? Why?

He said he didn’t like – no…that’s not what he said. He said he “hates” this one man, Bill, and wanted him gone and he wanted him gone NOW. Everyone knew Colton had the numbers on his side, so everyone – with Leif thinking he had no chance (because he was caught in a betrayal and Colton chewed him out royally) and might as well vote with everyone else, and Bill thinking that Leif was going to be voted off – all agreed to go to tribal council. The women were shocked to see the men come over and hand them the immunity idol, but their shock was nothing compared to the look on Jeff Probst’s face when he saw a tribe of MEN walking into tribal council.

So, the men, who thought the women were controlled by their emotions, are now all being controlled by a man, who is playing according to his own emotions. He’s a man who said he didn’t fit in, and who also said he gets what he wants, that he is able to make people do what he wants them to do.

In my opinion, Russell Hantz knocked Johnny Fair Play off the throne as the most villanous player. I hope Russell didn’t get hurt when he was knocked off the throne by Colton last night. I’m not that far from Dayton, TX, and I think I heard him scream.