Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Southpaw for a Day

Hello Again, oh Loyal Ones. I am rather surprised to be typing again so soon, but my hand actually works fairly well even in this bandage. When I have to type top-row letters with my middle or ring fingers of my right hand, I do feel a slight discomfort. But, knowing how worried you must have been about your BloomingtonGirl upon reading that she was to have surgery, I rose above my excruciating(ly mild) discomfort to write you this post.

I have spent most of the day watching season six of Sex & The City. Unfortunately, I couldn't watch the entire season because I was unable to watch episodes five through eight. It appears that our older daughter (whose name I won't mention in order to protect her privacy) lost that particular disc out of the set that Santa so generously and thoughtfully gave her last Christmas. But, I'm not annoyed or anything.

To add to my not unexpected guilt of doing nothing constructive all day, I just finished eating two cookies. Admittedly, they were divine, but after having seen how much I actually do weigh (they weighed me before surgery...a complete invasion of my privacy and, more importantly, denial!) I need to have a little less delicious in my life to be sure.

Interestingly, getting weighed might have been the most unpleasant thing about the surgery, which was pretty quick and painless. I elected to have no drugs but to just have a nerve block, which makes the whole thing much easier. When I had surgery on my wrist almost seven years ago, I had a violent reaction to the sedation meds and decided that this time, I didn't want to spend my day throwing up. Though, when I take into consideration my official poundage on the medical scale, it might have well advised.

The actual procedure took about ten minutes, during which I bantered back and forth with my delightful surgeon - also a friend of ours. The weirdest part was not being completely awake, it was that during the actual surgery, a real tourniquet was applied and the sensation of having that on for ten minutes was a completely new one. My hand felt as if electrical current was being applied to it. It was a bit bizarre, too, because while there was no pain, there was a pushing and pulling sensation when he was cutting things open and cutting things out (I think that is what he did.) I said to him - quite honestly - that he had made me feel things that no man had ever made me feel before.

In other news, this paltry little procedure has made me realize what a pain in the ass sick person I would be. I make it so hard for anyone (Chris) to do anything for me and after a while (in his case, a pretty brief while) I am just plain annoying to be around. Having taken care of a few very sick people in my day, I should know better than to be like that. The best patient is one who tells you exactly what you need and lets you do it for them.

Well, I am off to rest. Might as well. Tomorrow, I am back in the saddle.

Monday, October 29, 2007

So Long Pesky Trigger Finger

Good Evening Loyal Readers. Here is your BloomingtonGirl in her PJs holding up her right hand. This is my before picture. Before surgery, that is. Tomorrow, my dainty little paw is going under the knife -- worry not, I think that it is a small knife -- for the removal of a pesky over sized tendon-tumor-thing-a-ma-bob that is causing me to have a rather uncomfortable and rather pronounced case of Trigger Finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis.

I plan to lie around for the entire day after my twenty minute so-called minor surgery and read my latest book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, watch old Sex & The City episodes, and perhaps even doze off from time to time. In short, I plan to milk the forced non-use of my dominant hand for all that it is worth.

As soon as I am able to type again, I will report back on how well I did at doing nothing.

(PS...I finished Middlemarch and was sad to see it end. What a treasure!!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Spinster Weds"

...was what was printed on the little party favor tags at the wedding I attended on Saturday evening. It was in keeping with the humor that pervaded the elegant evening celebrating the marriage of my terrific cousin Melissa to her wonderful new husband, Tim. Melissa is a first time bride at age 47 and I think that is incredibly neat. She and the groom graduated high school together but their paths didn't cross in earnest until their 25th high school reunion a few years back. I've known Melissa since I was a wee little girl and I knew Tim in high school. We grew up in a town where everyone knew everyone else.

I think that they make a great couple. They are SO happy. Hooray for true love!!!

The wedding was near my hometown of Herkimer.

Chris was working all weekend, so Jack and I flew by ourselves to upstate NY. Jack was an unexpectedly angelic kid most of the time. (Unexpected because he pitched a fit over going on the trip the night before we left and prompted me to prepare for the worst.)

For the first two nights, we stayed in the sadly decaying Herkimer with my parents, where we ate copious amounts of spaghetti and meat balls and Yetty's pizza. I have written about the Herkimer dietary experience in past blogs, so I will just say here that I truly despair of having anything else that my mother might cook for the rest of my life. For some reason, she cooks only spaghetti and meat balls when we visit. The first night we arrive we have that and on subsequent nights, we eat at Yetty's (I don't mind, it is my favorite pizza in the whole entire world) or we eat variations on the spaghetti and meatball theme at my parent's house. The last two nights of this trip, we stayed in Springfield Center, NY with my beloved friend Cindy, and her equally beloved family and got to eat other kinds of food. Every time I visit Cindy, I implore Chris to consider buying a retirement place in that area. It is so incredibly beautiful there.

One fun thing about this trip was that I got to hang out with both of my sisters at the wedding. Stacie, my younger sister attended without her husband and my older sister Kim's husband ignored us for the most part, so we were on our own. For those of you who didn't grow up with us, my sisters and I have pretty much nothing at all in common and we are rarely - almost never - in touch. That said, it was really fun to be with them at this wedding. My little sister rode with me to the restaurant from my parent's house and other than almost being asphyxiated by her perfume and hairspray, we got along famously and had quite a few laughs.

She fascinates me because no matter how much weight she puts on - and lately, if I can be absolutely honest, there is a great deal of weight- she ALWAYS gussies herself up in a big bold way and believes that she looks fabulous. And, the result of that attitude is that she does look fabulous. There isn't a self-conscious bone in her body. It probably helps that no matter what she is wearing or what occasion she is dressing for, she displays a minimum of two inches of cleavage. At this wedding, there might have been more like four inches showing. I am awed by her complete body confidence. Well, more honestly, I am a bit envious of her cleavage. I'm not even envious in a greedy way. I'd settle for a mere half inch of my own cleavage. That's not so much for a girl my size, right?

Now, back to the Spinster thing. Your BloomingtonGirl was once legally classified as a Spinster. When I was in my early thirties and single, I bought a house. When I got to the closing, I was surprised to see myself described on the documents as "Joni L. Ruller, Spinster". For some reason, marital status seems to be incredibly important in an official description of a person, doesn't it?

Spinster, Married woman, Divorcee, Widow. That about covers the stages following "Maiden". My question is when does a female cross the threshold from "Maiden" to "Spinster"? Is the hymen involved? Does it have something to do with clothing or style? Or is it strictly an age thing? If age is involved in the never married classifications, might there be an "Old Maid" category? And if so, at one point does one go from "Spinster" to "Old Maid"?

For men, I guess the categories might be Young Buck (really, what is the male equivalent of maiden?), Eligible Bachelor, Married man, Divorced man, Widower. If a man doesn't marry, he becomes a regular old Bachelor, but at what age does this label kick in? And if he is gay, does he still get classified as a Bachelor, or is there some other legal label for him?

Ah, these are the topics swirling in your BloomingtonGirl's head when she is not thinking about cleaning grout or fashion trends or whether her lovely son will get sent to the "office" tomorrow like he did today. When I was pregnant, I swear I put in my order for a perfect kid. If only I could find that receipt, I might be able to get some sort of discount after the fact.

In other news, I am still enjoying Middlemarch immensely and I am nearing the last part of the book. What a masterpiece! And speaking of that, I am off to cozy up in bed and read away.

Good night my Loyal Ones!

Monday, October 15, 2007

BloomingtonGirl Gets Rid of Grout and Attempts to Accept her Gadangadang Butt

Let's deal with the first topic, shall we? The Master Bath Shower in our home has been a source of frustration for me since we moved in. In fact, I have whined about scrubbing the monstrously large shower right here in this very blog, now that I think of it. It wasn't so much the labor of scrubbing that got me down. We all know I like to clean. It was the lack luster result of all that scrubbing that got me depressed. No matter what technique I tried, or promise-laden product I used, I could NOT get rid of the black mildew stains in what I believed to be previously white grout around the edges of the floor of the shower. It just looked so bad, no matter how "clean" the shower seemed to be. To show for my many attempts to conquer this problem, I have a cupboard full of both environmentally safe cleaners (completely COMPLETELY useless on mildew or anything nearing mildew) and environmentally destructive cleaners (surprisingly almost as completely useless as their eco-safe cousins).

The other day, I hit a real low with this and the other topic of this posting, my Gadangadang butt. After cleaning the shower in vain one last time on Saturday, a particularly "fat" day, I actually sat down (on the toilet....how pathetic is THAT?) and cried real tears over the stubborn mildew stains in the shower and the stubborn and growing fat stores on my hips, butt and thighs. I suppose I should be ashamed to admit that I cried over these trivial things when for most people in the world, life is full of REAL suffering and REAL problems. But, your BloomingtonGirl must be truthful even if the result of that brave truth telling shows her to be the shallow girl that she is. I'll say it again. I really did cry (albeit for a brief time) about the mildew in the shower and the weight I have gained.

Pitiful but true, Loyal Ones.

But, fret not. Your BloomingtonGirl is not one to stay down for the count for too long. I went to my Oracle and typed in the words "cleaning mildew grout" and found a treasure trove of advice on how to rid myself and my grout of this pesky problem. (Nothing on weight loss popped up, but I had planned to tackle that problem separately anyway.)

I chose one site called something like "Ask the Contractor" and decided to follow his advice to the letter. Suddenly, I had a new hope ! I couldn't wait to get up the following morning to try his method, which boiled down is basically this: you scrub every surface of your sorry shower with a good cleanser and a nylon, stiff bristled brush to get rid of all the superficial crud. Then, you apply paper towels soaked in straight bleach (sorry Mother Nature!) to the mildewy areas and let them sit for a few hours. Proper ventilation is key. Very, very KEY. As are GLOVES.

Now, the best thing to do while the bleach is doing its work is to leave the house and run errands or go shopping for new clothes that fit your newly curvy bod. (more on that later)

After you are with your travels around town, you may return home and peel off the now almost disintegrated paper towels from the previously black mildew stains.

VOILA !!!!

Like magic, the black is gone and all you see is beautiful WHITE grout! Choking back the Chlorine fumes, you then rinse and rinse and rinse the shower and rejoice in the results. I wish I took a before picture so you could see how dramatic the results actually are. You will have to be content with the after photo, which I proudly display above.

Deep inside, I do feel guilty about using harsh chemicals. I try to avoid them for most household jobs. But, I am not going to lie. This is one area where I must turn a blind eye to my environmental concerns. The white grout is a seducer, Loyal Ones. It has me in its clutches now and there is no turning back. Should the dreaded black mildew pop up again, the bleach is coming right back out of its bottle. And, that's the end of it.

Now, on to the next topic. The acceptance of my booty come lately Gadangadang Butt. My commentary here will be brief for two reasons. One, it is getting very late and I want to go to bed and read Middlemarch and two, how much can one say on this topic that hasn't been said a million times before?

So, I have gained some weight, even while being completely physically fit. I can swim 2000 meters fairly easily, I do a spinning class two times weekly, and I take two Pilates classes a week. (Yes, I brag a bit but I want to make sure that my Loyal Ones don't get the idea that their BloomingtonGirl has completely let herself go.) My blood work is exemplary, though this is surely due to heredity rather than good eating habits. I favor tortilla chips over broccoli if you must know and I will never give up butter, milk, cheese or SALT, which though non-caloric causes some serious water retention.

Anyway, the situation has reached a crisis point as the season changes from summer (forgiving A-Line skirts, sundresses....you get the picture) to fall (not at all forgiving jeans and pants and tailored and slimmer skirts with demanding waistlines). I find myself with little to wear that doesn't make me appear as a Blivet. (also known as ten pounds of sh#! in a five pound bag)

I am ambivalent about this extra weight. Part of me is made crazy by it, as Loyal Readers might expect, knowing that their BloomingtonGirl is pretty obsessed with her weight (and facial pore size). To be fair, there is another part of me that isn't much bothered by it and is not phased by my new, shall we say, lushness. (or perhaps more accurately my new Tush-ness?) But, no matter how I feel about my flabby-come-lately, there remains the issue of covering it appropriately.

So it comes down to this. To shop or not to shop? For to shop would accommodate this new real estate and it might stick around for good or get the godawful idea that it can expand further. Do I really want that? But to not shop would be to look awful and be uncomfortable much of the time while I starve myself, which frankly, I am not in the mood to do right now.

Stay tuned for BloomingtonGirl's decision on this pressing question.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's Going to be Really FUN!

Loyal Readers, I urge you to check this out! Shoctoberfest! will soon open at the Waldron Art Center and my advice is that you get your tickets NOW so you don't miss out on the fun.

More information can be had at:

Cardinal Stage Company

More later on the adventures of your BloomingtonGirl.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Just Checking In

So that my Loyal Readers don't wonder if I have run off to join the circus, I thought I should check in and say hello.
I have been frightfully busy with all sorts of stuff, not the least of which was plannig Jack's birthday party and hosting my wonderful in-laws who are here visiting. I just have not had too much time to write.

Perhaps tomorrow I will renew my posting in earnest.

Until then, Loyal Ones.