Saturday, June 28, 2008

Now, how about that Xanax?

It is all my fault.  The military graciously offers to move us and all we would have to do would be sit back, sip a margarita and occasionally throw out a, Ohhhhhh be careful with that, it's an aiiiiirrrrrrrrrr-looooooooommmmm!  But when I heard that we could make several thousand dollars by doing it ourselves, I was adamant that that was the route to go.

It's not that I've changed my mind, but from the look of my house, you'd think I had been ransacked by secret agents looking for a hidden file.  

It's almost over.  We pick up the truck in thirty minutes.  Later tonight our friends are coming over to help us do the heavy lifting and then, then we will sit back with them for one last time on my patio and proceed to do that thing that southerners have perfected.  Socializing.

I am filled to near bursting with waves of melancholy and nostalgia.  Are you up for that?  Let's play therapist.  I talk, you listen.  But not today.  Today is Rex Manning...I mean Moving day.  And today is filled with friends, and boxes, and later, pizza and beer.

Friday, June 27, 2008

And This, Kids, Is How One Becomes a Glutton.

When I was in Belize recently, I spoke with many families about the rising cost of rice around the world. It affects the worlds poorest people the most and many of the families in Belize may eat only rice for the majority of their meals. It was the realization of that old cliche every one's parents threatened them with as a kid. Jimmy, eat those Brussels sprouts, there are starving children all over the world who would love to have them! My answer as a child was always, well, why don't you go ahead and mail it to them, cuz I aint eatin it! This was the point in which my Father would get up from the table and head my direction with THAT look in his eye that said, WAITTILLI get my hands on you! My best bet was to run, run  fast.

My point is that I'm afraid I may be suffering from post poverty guilt syndrome, or PPGS as I like to call it. I've been cleaning out my fridge and cabinets in preparation for this move and I can't bring myself to throw ANY food away. I've been shoving food into the mouth of anyone who enters this house to the point where they're about to throw up. And now, I'm the only one here and I have guilted myself into eating almost everything that was left. I AM THE HUMAN GARBAGE DISPOSAL! Now I feel guilty AND sick. I think it was the buttermilk that finally pushed me over the edge. You think I'm kidding. I can literally hear my thighs getting bigger. If I wore corduroy pants right now, I would catch fire. I would be fire crotch.

Lesson here: It is possible to experience hallucinations from an exorbitant amount of shat on one's belly. Particularly the obscene combination of artery clogging dairy products on top of a pint of blue berries. I see God, and he's giving me the "Oh No you Di'int" face. Lord, I did, and I'm really, really sorry.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Don't Pet the Rabbit...and Other Such Nonsense

To enter into friendship with me is to enter into a kind of quasi wonderland in that you never know just what kind of nonsense you might be getting yourself into...or trying to get yourself out of.

Unfortunately strangers have no forewarning of my shenanigans and therefore often times find me quite strange. Take yesterday for example. I had to take the rabbit to Jeremy's clinic at three to hand her over to her new owners. And because I am annoyingly punctual, I was an hour early to drop her off. I didn't know what do do with myself for an hour; I couldn't take the rabbit into the clinic, and I couldn't leave it in the car. It was nearly 100 degrees outside.

So I went shopping. I put the rabbit in my purse and put the purse in the cart in the store, which was kind of like a T.J Maxx. And just because many things work out serendipitously for me, that waskally wabbit just stuck it's little paws and nose out the front of the bag and hung out the whole time Ellie and I looked around the store. And NO ONE noticed.

Eventually I had to go to the restroom, so I grabbed the bag full 'o rabbit and Ellie and went into a stall. Ellie had been eating a sucker and her hands were incredibly sticky along with her face and shirt. There was actually a line of people waiting to use the stalls and so I was hurrying; in the meantime Ellie reaches down and tried to pull the rabbit out of the bag and I'm all, no honey don't pet your bunny when you're hands are all dirty like that, she'll get sticky. Awwww dang it, now you've got hair all over your hands! And there I am just carrying on like a fool not thinking about the dozen other people out there listening to me.

When we exited the stall to wash our hands, a woman leaned over to me and whispered with a knowing smile, "I know, my daughter always tries to touch, and I quote here, "her parts" with dirty hands too." At that point I decided that it would be harder to explain the truth than to just nod and shrug as if to say, "eh, waddayagunna do? Kids these days".

Note to self: NEVER give the kid a blue sucker whilst she is wearing white...ever...again. She looked like she had gone on a smurf massacre. WHAT THE SMURF IS GOING ON HERE?!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beautiful On the Inside

I know I haven't talked about the Green Experiment in awhile, and that's because I really won't start it until we move....which will happen in T-minus six days.  I am planning on adding some guidelines to the experiment a) because I can and b) because I need to make some changes in my life and not only on the outside.

Just like Heather, I have been feeling pretty crappy lately and I mean in the sense of how my body is functioning.  I know alot of it has to do with the fact that I have not worked out in many moons, and that my once very clean eating habits have fallen by the way far away side.  I blame all of this on Jeremy.  That guy just makes me sick and I am so jealous of his legs.  I call him my little Kenyan because he can run faster than anyone I know and if he wanted to; he could drink butter all day and not gain a pound.

When I do the grocery shopping I make sure not to buy unhealthy items that would tempt me in those hateful TV hours before bed.  But lately he has been running to the store and EVERY single time he comes back with some form of sinful confectionery concoction.  Just like Charlie Sheen can't say no to hookers, I have a real problem with sugar when it's all dressed up in pretty celpohane and making sweet goo goo eyes at me.

The fact that I live in the fattest state in the US really doesn't help either.  It's easy to say, well heck, by comparison I'm practically anorexic.  But that's really not what it's about.  I want to FEEL good on the inside again.  Here's what I am planning to do.  When we move, I am going to do my grocery shopping at a farmer's market or a health food/ whole foods grocery.  The green experiment will start as soon as we get there, but this phase will probably begin after we're unpacked.

I am going on a 30 day detox, that will consist of supplements that I have purchased from the health food store and I intend of doing Bikram Yoga three times a week to aid in the process.  If you've never heard of Bikram, it is a specific kind of yoga that takes place in a class that is set to 104 degrees and so you sweat profusely.  My Aunt, who is my go to health guru, told me that she thinks that the stretching of the muscles in combination with the profuse sweating release long stored toxins and she felt amazing after doing only one class.  I also plan on lifting weights 3 times a week, because when I was doing that on a regular basis, I never felt better in my life and I could eat as much as I wanted and not gain any weight.

I am putting a ban on all refined sugars and processed foods in our house.  Jeremy may be skinny, but diabetes runs heavily in his family and that is something to look out for.  I'm not actually going to tell him he can't have something, but we will discuss these concerns and if he wants to flirt with sugar he can do it somewhere where I can't find it.  Like in the garage.  

This move makes number 30 for me and I am only 28 years old.  Growing up I had no choice but to deal with the fact that we were leaving, once again.  And because I am just naturally an optimist, I would look on the bright side.  I can be whoever I want to be when I leave.  Everything I don't like about myself or my lifestyle here, I am going to leave behind.  Except my thighs, unfortunately those I am stuck with.  But not for long.  You don't have to move to make these kind of decisions, it does make it easier though.  Every day is a new day.  

  I will leave you with a quote from Ghandi: Be the change you want to see in the world.

  And here's another one I saw in New Orleans: Quit bitchin and start a revolution.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Nails Are the Window To My Soul

Much like Pete Doherty and Britney Spears, alot can be read into the state of my fingernails.  Presently, they are bitten almost to the quick and my cuticles look like a flokati rug.  When this happens it means that no matter how put together I may seem to be, things are kind of falling apart in my head.

So, because Jillian is entering what she likes to call a "funk", and she wants some company, I am going to go completely off course from my previous blogging about my trip to Belize and tell you about my weekend.  Did you notice how I referred to myself in third person and then switched to first person?  It's a fun way to make you feel like you're always with someone.  Subsequently though, many people might mistake that for a case of multiple personality disorder.

So, my weekend went a little something like this.  I was in the passionate throes of packing up my possessions and singing at the top of my lungs when Jeremy tells me that we were going to pack the car and make a five hour drive to Shreveport to drop off the cat at her new home.  Because, like the rabbit, she can't go with us either.  And in case I haven't ever mentioned how attractive a quality I find spontaneity to be, let me just say I about knocked Jeremy down while licking his ear lobe.

I ran to our room to pack and left a trail of newspaper and bubble wrap in my wake.  On the drive up, Jeremy and I worked on our top secret genius invention and I think we just may have found the key to the universe while collaborating together.  My brain definitely feels bigger, but after all those pralines I ate, so does my butt.  One does need a snack to hatch great plans after all.

We made it to Shreveport and introduced Atticus to her new home (her goodbye letter will follow later this week...if I haven't ripped my nails completely off by then).  She promptly christened the litter box about eight times as if to say, "ha ha, this is what you have to look forward to with me as your cat."  Fortunately, our friend was not completely put off and didn't demand her immediate removal.

We had a wonderful dinner that evening and the next day I paid a visit to Caroline whose baby is now two weeks old.  She looked gorgeous as usual and so did her baby.  Shiloh, you got nothin on Edie!

Her french mother was in town and made us the most delicious lunch of insalata caprese, Caesar salad, and slices of ham with Swiss cheese and toast.  I was all, sheesh, if I had cooked like that when I was pregnant perhaps I wouldn't have looked like Jumbo the elephant after Ellie was born.  But noooo....I wanted fat with a side of butter and a glass of donut icing to wash it down.  Ah well, C'est moi.

My visit with Caroline was short but very sweet as we both knew we probably wouldn't see each other again for a few years.  We hugged goodbye and I drove back to J.R.'s house to be regaled by the tale of Jeremy and J's epic mountain bike ride.  They both survived with nothing more than sore bodies and we drank some beer and hung out in his beautiful back yard.

We all realized we're getting old when we said the hell with drinking, let's get pizza and watch a movie...and so we did. And it was awesome.  Then I drank some geritol, put on my depends, took out my dentures and went to bed.

The next morning we said goodbye to J. and Atticus and headed home.  And on the way Jeremy stopped and...GASP...let me go to the flea market where I quickly snapped up three vintage table cloths and two antique etchings for a mere 30 bucks.  And dear readers, that is how Jillian gets her rocks off.

We got home and instead of packing and being the little Martha Stewart that I think I should be, I invited my neighbors over for dinner and had a great time.  As I was debating whether or not I should do this, I employed what I like to call "The Deathbed Scenario".  It works like this, I imagine that I am on my death bed looking back on my life and I say something like this to myself.  "Would you rather have had all your boxes perfectly packed and labeled or would you rather have spent some time with your friends over a nice dinner."  Nine times out of ten, people trump chores.  So that's what I did.

Now I'm just sittin here talking to you instead of packing my crap.  Because I CARE dang it!  Well, that's about it for today.  I'll keep you posted on my finger nails, and perhaps one day you will hear the rest of the Belize story.  Time will tell, but until then, adios.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Medical Mission Belize Day 2

 I awoke with great joy on our second day in Belize to find that I had not swelled to the size of  Anna Nicole Smith from a bug bite.  The sound of cat calls from the aviary which was just outside our room were what caused me to stir.  I hadn't noticed the cages in the dark the night before and when I heard the whistles coming from outside, I thought it was more than the monkey peeking into our room.

I got dressed, bathed in bug spray and stepped outside to admire the beautiful morning.  I was one of the first people awake and it was very nice to feel like I had the whole place to myself.  Inside the aviary  were a pair of my favorite birds.  The eclectus parrot.  If I ever decide to get a parrot, I would like to have an ecelctus.  Their voice sounds like a little girl and instead of large feathers they're covered in what looks like downy fur.  I couldn't get them to talk to me this morning, but the African Grey wouldn't shut up.  Hello, hey baby, good morning, cat call, cat call.  If Jeremy talked to me like that every morning I might just spontaneously burst into a flame of red hot passion.

I wandered around while waiting for seven to arrive when we were to meet for breakfast.  The place was much less scary in the day time.  It was breathtaking in the early morning light and the cacophony of exotic birds was like strange music to my ears.

We met for breakfast in a large dining area under a canopy of  bougainvillea and were served eggs, coffee and strange little toasts with some dark plum preserves.  The coffee at first seemed to assault me with it's bitterness and strength, but as the trip progressed I came to love it and I am now trying to duplicate it.  I know instead of cream, they used sweetened condensed milk, saves me a long international delight, I have found another flavored milk and she isn't a diva like you.  She costs me less and doesn't require refrigeration.  So what if you  do have more curves; it just so happens that I find that short squatty can very appealing.

If you are still reading this, what is wrong with you?  And if you haven't NOW left, I shall tell you what happened the rest of that second day.  There were two separate groups on this mission.  A medical team, which yours truly was pleased to be on, and a team that was to build a church in one of the remote villages.  Our bus driver and an accomplice left after breakfast with the builder team with the intentions of delivering them to the village where they would be working.  This meant they would have to ferry across the swollen river in small groups.  Lee, our bus driver, said it was about a 2 hour trip and they should be back after lunch at which point we would leave and begin our mission.

We set about unpacking the suitcases of supplies and organizing and labeling everything.  Many people were bent over tables sorting and counting piles of pills.  It looked like we were running some kind of evangelical drug trafficking ring.   It took us about four hours to sort and organize all the supplies, and after were finished we had some free time.

Many of us took a horseback ride through the rain forest.  And even though they gave me a children's saddle (they must not have looked at the size of my rump), I had a wonderful time.  Our guides who all looked to be about 12, led the horses to the river for a drink and mine had ideas of swimming.  The water did feel good, but all I could think about were the fish that Jeremy said could swim up your urethra and had to be surgically removed.  NO THANK YOU.

On our walk back one of the guides told us how the idiots (he didn't use that word) from Jack Ass had been there and some of the stunts they did.  For the record I would like to say again that they are idiots, and here is a video of the jaguar Tika  that used to live at Banana Bank. 
She died in 2006 and they now have a rescued orphan jaguar named  Tikatoo.

We had a wonderful lunch of empanadas and rice and beans and expected to be back on the road shortly thereafter.  But as I was quickly beginning to realize, nothing in Belize takes as long as it is supposed takes MUCH longer.  We received word from Lee that the bus ride down to the river had taken four hours and that they would be a couple hours late.  So, I curled up under a mosquito net for a siesta and when I awoke they were back with the bus.

We loaded our luggage and the supplies and set out for Dandriga.  This ride would be through the mountains and we wanted to make quick time to avoid driving for long in the dark.  As we made our way, I nearly fainted when I saw the size of the bridges that we had crossed the night before on our arrival.  It's a good thing it was dark when we came in because I might have jumped off the bus and offered to walk.  These "bridges" were made of several beams of wood parallel to the river and two for each tire laying perpendicular across the other boards.  There was virtually no margin for error when crossing them.

The ride through the mountains was beautiful.  There were orange groves for miles and a low fog had settled into them.

We made it to Dandriga with all fingers and toes intact in about three hours.  We had a late dinner of cheeseburgers and fries on the patio that overlooked the ocean and were amused to see that a fiddler crab had come to investigate the floor for bits of food.

I fell into a deep coma as soon as my head hit the pillow in our freezing cold air conditioned room.  This trip was turning out to be a lot easier than I had expected.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Medical Mission Belize Day 1

One of my favorite things to do when entering foreign soil for the first time is to take note of the smells.  Many parts of Belize smell very much like New Orleans' French Quarter, which is a combination of the sickly sweet scent of rotting garbage and the mingling of human perspiration and exotic flowers hanging like chandeliers in the humid air.

When we exited the plane and collected our luggage we had to wait for the bus.  Because the bridge over the river in the southern part of the country had been knocked out due to the flooding; the bus we were supposed to take was unable to get to us.  So we waited.  As the trip progressed I realized that we would do a whole lot of waiting in this country.

We had an obscene amount of luggage due to the fact that in addition to their personal bags, everyone brought at least one additional suitcase filled with medical supplies.  When the bus finally came to pick us up we were so crowded that many people had to sit on water jugs in the aisle.  

We had to make a stop in Belize city to pick up a generator, and like most stops, this took awhile.  We occupied ourselves by watching a rat run out from under a building to steal bits of dog food from a dog that was busy eating garbage.  We laughed about the irony of this and were soon enough back on the road.  

We stopped at a little restaurant for dinner but the owner said that she would not be able to feed us since most of her staff had already been sent home.  We must have looked pitifully hungry (which we were) because she finally agreed to feed us.  I offered to help take drink orders and serve food because I had experience as a server, honestly, what haven't I done?  After that night, I was kind of delegated the job of group waitress and whenever orders had to be taken it was assigned to me.

We were served a wonderful dinner of BBQ chicken with beans and rice and coleslaw.  To drink I had a real coke in a glass  bottle; it was like having dessert.  We loaded back on the bus, and before long we were on a very bumpy dirt road for what seemed like an eternity and at our final destination in Belmopan at a place called Banana Bank Lodge.

While waiting in line for our room assignments, we met a spider monkey who had jock itch and wouldn't stop scratching himself, typical man.  And then I saw IT.  I noticed something moving in the grass which I assumed was an opossum or cat, but upon closer inspection I noticed it was a cock roach as big as a man's hand.  

After I recovered from the massive heart attack I had while looking at that bug, I decided to lock myself into my room and have a nightcap of benadryl to put myself into a coma and sleep through the night.  As I was preparing for this, Jennifer who would be my roommate for this trip, said hey, there's a monkey peeking into our bathroom window.

Like an idiot I went outside and turned on the light.  The area I was in was like a breezeway dining area and was open on both ends but connected to our room and the room behind us.  There sat the monkey sticking out it's tongue at us in a way that seemed very judgemental.  And then I looked down.  There were spiders of a tarantulan nature all over the floor.  I tried to remain calm, but at that point one of the herculean roaches came flying at my face and I screamed.  This caused a chain reaction of screaming from Jennifer and the monkey.  And we ran into our room and slammed the door and collapsed on the bed in fright.  

As if it couldn't get worse, I noticed that our door had a two inch gap in the bottom and all manner of crawly things were just coming into our room like it was the LA expressway.  That's when my inner Mcgyver kicked in and Jillian got resourceful. When it comes to a war with bugs, I win.  EVERY. TIME.   I got my industrial sized can of bug spray and sprayed the whole door frame especially concentrating on the bottom.  Then I got a towel and soaked it in the spray and wedged it into the crack under the door.  By God, no bugs were getting in that room even if it meant that Jennifer and I were going to suffer brain damage from all that deet.  

I think I managed to fall asleep although I don't remember how long it took.  My knife lay beside the bed all night.  Open.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaack!

Whew!  The last week has come and gone in such a whir of activity that as I sit here and look at my photos, I wonder if it was all just a fantastic dream.  But I believe that the multitude of insect bites covering my body and the beginning of dreadlocks in what used to be my hair are telling evidence of my wonderful trek.

I am filled to overflowing with things I want to share with you, and yet I don't even know where to begin.  I think that a shower would be a nice place to start and a delousing may be in order.  My suitcase definitely needs to be unpacked and then there's this house.  NEVER leave a husband unattended with an xbox for a week and  expect to come back to a clean house.

Tomorrow, I will begin sharing my experience with you.  We will take a photographic journey and I will pepper it with colorful language sure to entertain and perhaps disgust you.  

I hope you missed me, because I sure missed you, dear readers.  

Until tomorrow,

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mrs. Hayes Goes to Belize

In two days I am leaving.  For Belize.  

This trek to Belize is a medical humanitarian mission  which I was fortunate enough to be invited upon.  Because of my medical expertise and gentle bedside manner?  NO, the most I can do is apply band aids and ice packs with a reassuring, SUCK IT UP and Quit crying like a little baby!  Was is because of my knowledge of the native tongue of Belize, I doubt it.  Although the national language is English; I am skeptical that the people would appreciate my precarious grasp of their language.  I was simply just invited.  These things seem to fall divinely into my lap almost once a year.  Last year I was invited to Cabo, although that was not a humanitarian trip.  Unless you count my margarita induced tipping spree humanitarian.

A friend of a friend asked me to go, and it couldn't have come at a better time.  After reading this book and watching this movie and this movie, I have felt a strong desire to devote myself in some way to global humanitarian efforts.  And I hoped that I would be able to do so first hand and not just in a monetary way.

What is confusing to me though is how hilarious everyone finds it to be when I tell them what I'm doing.  Just yesterday my friend said, "my Aunt thought it was funny when I told her I was going, but when I told her you were going she really laughed.  She asked me if you had a pink suitcase with hearts on it."  Ummm, so maybe I do have a pink suitcase, but there are NO hearts on it!  Why does that make it unbelievable that I can survive this trip?

I am the girl who asks to go camping in places where there are no showers or bath rooms.  I am the girl who never wears shoes and when asked about what he would remember of me when I passed, my husband replied, " that the bottom of your feet are always dirty."  That's not to say that I'm just a dirty, dirty girl (hehehe), but as I was explaining to the people who were at my house last night.  I take showers because I CAN, but I am totally cool without them too.

You see, inside this exterior that I am confused as to how people perceive,  there is a little hippie just dying to get out.  People are shocked when I tell them that I would love to have dreadlocks.   Come on people!  On any given day you can come to my house and find two dogs, a 27 toed cat, a rabbit, and a turtle wandering around and there used to be a DUCK for the love of foot long hot dogs!  The duck I had to reconsider though, because although his nonstop crap was a good source of nutrients for my garden, he would not stay off my patio and for a person who finds shoes to be a regrettable invention, that became a little unpleasant.  When people inquire of my daughter as to her poor manners saying, "were you raised in a barn?"  She can reply almost honestly, and say, "kind of, and so was Jesus."

But that is neither here nor there.  I utilize proper hygiene because I have the tools at my disposal, and also because Jeremy is the resident Dental dictator and germaphobe.  But....but, I will be fine on this trip.  There is no delicate or fragile constitution to this chick.  My temperament and character were forged out of great tribulations and have withstood some powerful tragedies and yet, here I am, still smiling.  So, me...I will be fine.  

It has always been a dream of mine to visit with children from another culture and interact with people who have no concept of life in our society.  They wouldn't know George Bush from Martha Stewart, and I find an untainted purity in that.  They live to survive, and they work hard.  In two days the realization of this dream will be fulfilled.  My spare suitcase (because my other one, you know, the pink one, is filled to the brim with evening gowns, stilettos, and DVD's of the simple life) is filled with basic family packets which include toothbrushes, soap, wash cloths, and vitamins, medical supplies, and toys.  I can not wait to hand out these toys, especially the bubbles.  Because bubbles are cool no matter where you're from.

A few days ago a tropical storm devastated parts of Belize, and subsequently our itinerary has changed to allow us to visit those areas most affected.  Although I am a girl from many miles and customs away, perhaps my experience of loss due to a hurricane can in some way help me to offer empathy and compassion to someone who is experiencing the same thing.  If so, everything I lost will not have been in vain.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Goodbye Beemer

I LOVE German cars, and beer.  I have had many cars since getting my drivers license, most of which ended up totaled from my inept driving skills.  I am a MUCH better driver now, thank God.  The majority of those cars have been Volkswagens, beetles to be exact.  

After the hurricane we decided it was time to trade Jeremy's Grand Am ('Ol Verde) in for a new vehicle.  Since losing everything, I was in this mindset that if I had to replace everything it was going to be replaced with the nicest things that we could afford, even if it took forever.

I convinced Jeremy to test drive a BMW, and for all his scoffing, once he did he was hooked.  We bought our Beemer that day and I have loved it ever since.

As part of the Green Experiment I am selling my car, and while the BMW is technically both of our cars, it costs more to fill with gas and can transport less than our other car, a Jetta station wagon.  And anyway, I think Jeremy would rather give up sex for life than part with the Yakima rack that is on the Jetta.

So, this is my goodbye letter to the Beemer.

Dear Beemer,
This is goodbye.  If cars could be lovers, you my dear, are tops.  I say this goodbye with a tear in my eye and a pain in my materialistic little heart.  
I remember the first time that I saw you.  Even though you were a little older than the other cars around you, you outshone them by miles.  Your body was something straight out of my dreams and when we test drove you I sat in your back seat and stroked your supple leather arm rest and imagined my fisrt child being cradled protectively in that very seat.

It was always a struggle for your attention between Jeremy and me, but then the Yakima came along and he moved on in the blink of an eye.  Men... typical.  But I never stopped loving you and once I had you all to myself  we were so happy because unlike him, you LOVE to take me shopping.

You have transported me safely and luxuriously time and time again, and I thank you for that.  You have tolerated my ear-splitting attempt at singing, and your radio has even done a nice job of making me sound not half bad at times.  Thank you.  

It was you who took me safely home to visit my parents when I was 6 months pregnant and everyone balked at me driving a thousand miles by myself.  And it was you again who took me home when Jeremy went to Kuwait.  You did cradle my first child safely in your seat day in and day out and you never complained when she threw milk and crumbled up goldfish crackers all over your fine leather.  Because that's just the kind of classy car you are..  Thank you.

Giving you up is a very hard thing for me to, and that boy in Brokeback Mountain said it best when he said: I wish I knew how to quit you.  

Quittin you makes me sad, but we both know it's the right thing to do even though that doesn't make it any easier.  I hope you always love my butt in your driver's seat better than anyone else's.  

Goodbye pretty lady,

Insomnia Is a Nasty Bed Mate

It's one of those nights for me again.  Fall asleep like a ton of bricks and then just a few short hours later I am wide awake.  I turn to the left, flip the pillow for the cool side and wait.  Nothing.  Flip to the right, accidentally punch Jeremy in the face, he startles and groggily says, "What the hell was that?"  

"Just me punching you." He relaxes and drifts off to sleep as if being punched in the jaw by your wife at two AM is the most natural occurrence.  

Flip, sigh, wait for sleep.  Flip, sigh, wait for sleep.  It avoids me like Gandhi avoids food  at a buffet.

Fairway watches me from his place on the floor by my side of the bed, trying to decide if he loves me enough to get up with me  if I do.  I can't take it anymore so I get up.  Apparently, he doesn't love me enough.  I'll forgive him this time, but only because he's about to have an eyeball ripped out of his head.  

I clean up the kitchen and feed Jack a sausage with  this warning:  I swear to God if you crap on the floor from this sausage I am going to make a collar out of Fairway's eyeball and you shall wear it for the rest of your life.  A life which will be drastically reduced due to the flogging I will give you with Tickle Me Elmo!  He doesn't seem to hear me, and the sausage is gone in seconds.

I fold two loads of laundry and watch some weird TV.

The intermittent thump of bugs on the screen of the window behind me is an eerie backdrop to the dead calm of these pre-dawn hours.  I hate being awake like this.

Jeremy stumbles out of our room squinting and says, "Are you OK?"

"Yeah, I just can't sleep."

"Can I do anything for you?"

(Stay with me, talk to me, watch a movie with me, pet my hair like I am your lap dog) "No, but thank you, that's sweet."

He turns around and shuffles back to our room.  The punching wasn't so bad then, eh?  He has to get up in two hours and  will see patients almost non stop until he comes home. 

Now the question arises, to drink or not to drink coffee?  The possibility still exists that I may fall asleep before Elsbeth wakes up, but would it be worth it?

I say let's get crazy!  I'm gonna get all jacked up on coffee and then redbull smoothies and make Jeremy and Ellie breakfast fit for a king, and a tiny little princess with ringlets of spun gold.  

I will leave you with this song that I absolutely can't play enough.  I am still dumbfounded at how such an angelic voice could come out of the man that is Aaron Neville.  He looks like he'd win in a fight against Mike Tyson.  But then again, just listen to Mike Tyson.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Opposites Attract and then go Ughhhhhh!

I knew when I got married that I was going to spend the rest of my life with someone who differs from me in many ways.  But I was all, Hey, this will be fun and we'll never get bored.  It's been true for the most part and I am continually amazed how someone can think so differently than me.

As the days grow nearer for us to leave, my to do list seems to continue growing as does my stress level.  This is from a person who's blood is made up of a combination of laughing gas and lithium.  So, for me to flip out requires a lot, usually.

Last night I was on the phone with Jeremy explaining where exactly in the grocery store the manager had said she would place the boxes for him to pick up.  I was jabbering away and he's on the other end going, hello?  hello?  Is anyone there?  Meanwhile I am yelling at the top of my lungs, YES I AM HERE CAN YOU HEAR ME?  Finally he said, wow can you speak up, I can barely hear you?

At that point I think I may have felt a spring come loose in my head and something snapped.  I hung up the phone and threw it across the room as hard as I could thinking that would do the trick and fix it in a jiffy.  As an added bonus it sure did make me feel better to relieve some tension...until...  I went to put it back together and realized I really had broken it for good.

Because my cell phone doesn't work in our house, Jeremy traded phones with me today and took my cell to work with him.  In my cell phone phonebook most people are listed under the many nicknames I have for them.  If I know you for more than five minutes, you're getting a pet name.  My dad is Big D, brother is G-dub, Jeremy is My Luvah, and so on.  

So I'm looking through his phone for my name so that I can call him on his way to work.  Finally I found it, under my fecking first and last name as if he had to put in there that way just in case he forgot what they were!  I was appalled, and I felt like one of his patients because he had labeled me in such a formal way.

I called him up in a fluster of righteous indignation and said why am I Jillian Hayes in your phone?  HUH HUH HUH?  Why not The Love of My Life, or Goddess of the Sexual Realm, or The Object of Every Prepubescent Fantasy I EVER Had, or Culinary Genius with A Smokin Hot Brain?  AM I merely Jillian Hayes to you, is that all, a name?

And then he did that thing he does and offset my crazy with his levelheadedness yet again.  He said, whoa whoa, I did that so that if anyone ever got my phone they wouldn't know who you were if they wanted to find you and get you.  RIGHT, and the number labeled HOME isn't a dead give away?

Therein lies our difference and our compliment.  While I am all bleeding hearts and unicorns, he is the guy that sees diseases every day and thinks FOR A LONG TIME before he acts.  While I have been referred to as ready, fire Aim.  Jeremy will plan and plan and plan until I am bleeding from the eyeballs.

But thank God for that because if it weren't for him, I would probably be dead.  We both know I was going to stay in that apartment and ride out the hurricane, but he called bullshit on my cup of crazy that day and threatened to spank me if I didn't leave.  And not the fun kind either.

Hopefully, we will be able to combine our differing personalities and raise a healthy, well-rounded child.  And, either way, we're having a good time in the process.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Just to Make Up For Not Posting

It cannot be said enough or in too many ways how much I adore summer.  Even if it is hotter than 700 hundred hells here, I revel in it.  

Every morning I wake up feeling like a kid on Christmas morning.  I practically skip to the coffee pot to grab a cup and then I burst through the back door singing to the hummingbirds as I water my flowers.  To me this is a token of my gratitude to God for blessing me with another beautiful day; to the poor ears of my neighbors, it is probably death by auditory rupture.

Is it because summer is finally here after what felt like an endless winter (yeah that IS coming from someone who lives on the ocean) that everything feels so much brighter, funnier.  Or could it in fact be the hallucinatory chemical drip that is being put into the water supply? DUN DUN DUN!  It really doesn't matter to me because I am having one helluva good time every day.

My weekend was spent at the pool and in my garden with intermittent breaks for spontaneous dancing and eating, sometimes WHILE dancing.  Most of this was done to the accompaniment of the radio.  Presently I am obsessed with the oldies station because it reminds me of the summers of my childhood.  

My knowledge of older music far outshines Jeremy's as does my knack for picking out voices.  Although he will deny it, I am right every time.  AHEM, Liam Neesom as the voice of Aslan.  Patting myself on the back AGAIN.  

So throughout this weekend as I would be in the kitchen Jeremy would come in every now and then and no matter what song was on if it had a male singer he was all: Oh, I LOVE Creedence.  And I was all:  This is Three Dog Night you goof.  Not wanting to lose face, he says: Well, I still know voices better than you do.  WHATEVER.  And then he spent the next 45 minutes online refreshing himself on the ENTIRE music catalogue of Creedence Clearwater Revival while pretending that he was looking up bike parts.  He fails to realize that I have eyes, EVERYWHERE.  

About an hour later he comes back into the kitchen while Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes is playing.  He is all:  OHMYGOD, this is my FAVORITE Creedence song.  That's about the time I sprayed him with the hose from the sink and we both ran outside giggling like children to drink a glass of sweet tea while the sweat ran down our bodies and into this earth that I love.

Jurassic Bugs

One cardinal rule of bicycle riding in the deep south is this:  Keep thy mouth closed.  Unfortunately, this has always been a very difficult thing for me to do.  As read my kindergarten progress report:  Jillian is a very bright student, but she enjoys visiting with her neighbors a little too much.  

One would tend to think that after having been a cart girl for three years, and eating my fair share of bugs, I would have learned this lesson while riding my bicycle.  But no, let's just blame my deviated septum.  Because if it's not for my chatting up the person I'm riding with (even if it's Fairway) or singing to myself, I usually have to breathe with my mouth open.  

 Because it is so hot here most of the year round, many scary things are given a chance to flourish.  Such as alligators, lots 'o poisonous snakes, Bigfoot, and yes GI-NOR-MOUS bugs.  These bugs aren't just big; they carry weapons AND cell phones.  Because when they find you they like to summon their posse and they don't want to wait around.  

So, this one evening recently, we were taking a bike ride through the neighborhood and I was all chipper as usual just singing some songs to Fairway about the adventures of Pirate dogs of yore, and someone punches me right in the forehead.   Then I realized that there was no one around, and that little voice in the back of my head that says: DUN DUN DUN at moments like this did the dun dun dun thing.  When the stars cleared from my vision and I realized that it was a prehistoric bug or perhaps a pterodactyl that flew into my forehead, I quietly shat my pants, shut my mouth for the remainder of the ride and mumbled to Fairway that I would only be humming to him and he would have to make up his own words.  I mean, I can only do so much.