Wednesday, July 14, 2010

OH THE HORROR! Accidentally shot with an epi pen

At exercise class on Monday, one of our most vibrant members breezed in. Vitality vibrates off her. She walks so fast, she could be a New Yorker, not a native Texan. She runs on the treadmill. She does the eight pound free weights (I currently am at four and starting five.) She is violently curious, indefatigably enthusiastic, and constantly on the go. She hates exercise, she groused once to me. But she had a heart attack a few years ago, so she perserveres.

They had an oldies station on, and the woman on the next mat and I began talking about some of our favorites. Anita breezed up, exchanged a few comments, said, "Bye, Lucy!" and left.

The woman laughed. "Lucy!" she said with another laugh. "That's not my name. She's my neighbor." And, she said, there was a story with this.

Anita is allergic to wasps. I guess it's all the rain, but they are bad this year. About a month ago, Anita came running across the street (not recommended when fearing anaphelactic shock), waving an epi pen in the air.

It was early, and the narrator hadn't even had her morning coffee yet.

"You've got to shoot me," Anita cried. "Shoot me! a wasp stung me."

She pressed the epi pen in her neighbor's hand and promptly dropped her pants.

"Wait a minute," the woman said. "I've never seen one of these before."

She carefully read the directions, took off the lid and plunged--the needle into the palm of her own hand. She had held it upside down. She got the full dose. Anita didn't get any.

Her husband drove BOTH women to the emergency room. Anita was fine. She was treated in time, and felt very well in a few minutes. The woman who had accidently shot herself with the epi pen, however, shuddered and shaked and experienced a rapid
heart rate. She had to stay a couple of hours. She felt AWFUL.

And that's when Anita started calling her "Lucy".

Huh. I have my own ideas about who Lucy is.

But I admit, this woman made an awesome Ethel.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Home and a Functioning Computer--Sweet!

THAT took longer than expected.

Moving itself took a matter of hours. Basically camping out the first night, I still felt "home" the next morning in a brandnew place. I think, perhaps, because this house is mine after renting for 16 years. I own this space, good, bad or indifferent, and apparently, that makes a difference.

The green space makes a difference, too. The large backyard is just begging for flower beds, and, of course, a vegetable garden. I've gotten some plants out in the front bed particularly, and I have basil, oregano, rosemary, parsely, dill and mint growing for cooking. Between my own family and several friends and new neighbors, I have a steady supply of yellow squash, zuchinni, eggplant, Bell peppers, fresh corn, chilies, and tomatoes.

I haven't really thought about it before, but in this part of Texas, many people, even on suburban streets, have begun raising chickens--most town ordinances allow them so long as no rooster is in the mix to crow and make noise. On my street, roosters are allowed. Why not? We are close to the railroad track and have frequent train whistles we are accustomed to ignoring. A crowing rooster is pretty feeble next to that. The roosters are the administrators of the flock, I find. If no rooster is present, the Head Hen takes over. A young friend, knowledgeable in types of chickens and their pluses and minuses, tells me a Head Hen not only bosses the other hens, she often ceases laying. Too busy, I guess. The eggs are wonderful, and I have three sources to buy eggs--two women charge only $1 a dozen. These eggs are two or three days old at time of purchase. Supermarket eggs are generally four to six weeks old. My fresher eggs beat much higher, and I swear they taste better. And I don't eat them with guilt over the way the birds have been treated to produce my eggs. Good eggs from happy chickens. Makes me smile.

I didn't get my hardwood floors refinished. The price, though fair, was more than I wanted to spend at this time. Maybe later. I'm going to check Home Depot to find out whether polishing has changed since the 1960's, my last time with hardwood floors. Surely so. Meantime, I've bought a Swiffer instead of a dust mop.

The weather has been crazy. More than 100 degrees during most of June, the temperature abruptly dipped just before July, and daily rains came. My grass is brilliant green. It rained so much, in fact, my newly planted flowers gasped, drowned, and are lying flat on the ground at this point. Temps going up again this week, only into the nineties, but the heat index with all the humidity is over 100. As a former resident of New Mexico, I like humidity about as much as most cats like water. (It was a pure shock at age 18 in Dallas when a bead of sweat rolled down my back. At first I thought it was a bug. In New Mexico, sweat evaporates.) All these years later, I am still sweating--in no way "glowing", as ladies were supposed to do. Hoeing and weeding is hot, sweaty work. The trick is to do it before 9 a.m.

My neighbor has made good on his promise to mow my grass. I get eggs for them, too, and share the extra produce, a pretty lackluster return for his work on my behalf. I seem to be making out like a bandit.

I still have four boxes to go, then the task of getting a few rugs and some curtains.
The delay has not been so much due to so many boxes as that I tire of the process and wander off to do something else. Such as writing this. Those boxes are waiting, but I have fresh peaches my DIL brought me to peel, sugar, and freeze, and then need to make eggplant parmesan with the two eggplants a friend brought me.

So I have moved and settled in. Youngest granddaughter came over yesterday after church with a deck of cards to play Slapjack. She had to tell me what to do--I hadn't played it since I was her age. When my friend recently brought me a four-pound zuchinni, I took it to my talented DIL, who whipped up some incredible muffins full of spices and sugar. She sent youngest granddaughter over one morning last week with a warm muffin straight out of the oven. Great start to the day.

I need to buy a new jug and begin making sun tea again. (With hot summer sun, water and tea bags are set in the sun for a couple of hours to gently diffuse a most delicious beverage) My fresh mint will be tasty, too. As a Southwesterner, I prefer cold tea unsweetend for the most part. On really hot, humid days,though, it is delicious with slices of orange, lemon and lime squeezed in with the mint over much ice.

I look forward to having the house "finished". I have a little more time. Then I will begin having folks over in a way, I believe, I never have. Certainly not in the past 30 years. The last third of my life is beginning.

I think I'm really going to like it.