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A Comedy of Perils

Introduction

In 2010, I had been a nurse for less than two years and was working the night shift at a local hospital. One night, I had a sweet patient who was a wise and lovely older woman. She was witness to my gracefulness when I got tangled in the curtain between the two beds. While I was escaping from the curtain, I bumped into her bedside table, which caused her cup of water to fall over and drip onto the floor. I dropped my pen when I was en route to finding a towel to clean up the water, and while bending over to pick it up, my glasses fell off of my face. She giggled at me and said, “You are a comedy of perils!” I got the biggest kick out of that! She made my major klutziness sound almost elegant. By the way, I thought that word started with a “C.” You know, “clutziness.” Learn something new every day! Anyway, I thought, “Yep. That’s me!” I decided that if I were ever to write a book, that would be its title. 

And, I am in the process of writing my book, A Comedy of Perils, and have 63,604 words written/typed, so far! The book’s description: A collection of hilarious, true-life, you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up stories, thoughts, quips and quotes, scattered throughout and interspersed within the traumatic experiences, tragedies, and heartbreak which, through its process of being typed, slowly morphed into my memoirs. 

To my wise and lovely patient, if you are reading this, I dedicate my book title to you.

Last night, my eldest daughter, Amber, suggested that I start a blog. She said, “You can make money doing that!” Really? Make money typing stuff for the world to read? (You know, kind of like publishing a book. Haha). She said, “You’re a professional.” What? Me?? You can get paid for that??? It turns out, you really can, and many bloggers make substantial incomes, too. I spent some time researching it before going to bed and woke up with it on my mind. I read through the guidelines on bloggingbasics101.com and voila! Here I am, a blogger. Who’d uh thunk it?! As promised, Amber, my blog is dedicated to you, for without your inspirational and vocal nudge, I would not have imagined doing this, at all. Thank you. I love you. 

I’ve also done a lot of research on how to get my book published. Traditional publishers prefer authors who have a “large online presence.” I guess that makes sense. If you already have an audience, you already have potential buyers for your book. I doubt that my Facebook page and my enthusiastic and supportive 50 or so readers qualify as a significant presence. Still, blogging is a great way to achieve it! So, let’s do this blogging thing!

Streeetch!! It does the body good.

Last Sunday, my husband Greg and I went golfing with our wonderful couple friends Elaine & John. They live right on a golf course! How cool is that? Now, mind you, I had never swung a club on a golf course in my life. Putt-putt doesn’t count, apparently. My hubby, on the other hand, has played golf many times. Of the four of us, I was the only golf virgin.

First, we went to a driving range so I could be schooled on the basics of golf. I heard, “Stand with your feet apart, point your toes this way, bend your knees, and stick your butt out,” along with, “Put your hands here and here.” They told me it would feel awkward and it sure did. Felt like it was a twisted version of the Macarena dance (or my impression of a horny chicken). Since our friends were kind and generous enough to invite us on this outing, I didn’t want to disappoint them, and brought forth my best effort to send that little ball into the air. I’d say that maybe one out of every five balls that I attempted to hit with the club actually traveled down the range toward the goal, even if only 20 feet. I began to envision pro status in my future. Not!

Next, we had a lovely lunch with great conversation, and before we knew it, it was time to head to the actual course to play our nine holes. Here we go! Tee time!

You know what? Golfing is HARD!! If the hole was a par 3, I got at least a 10…that is, when I was really counting each of my swings. It was probably more than that. Yet, I persevered, though all the while I was thinking, Oh my gosh…are we done yet? By the 6th hole, I was thoroughly and completely exhausted. As I swung that club multiple times at the same damn ball, never hitting it once, never advancing toward the sixth yellow flag, I got so frustrated I picked up that defiant little white ball, yelled, “Mother clucker” [or something like that] and I flung the obstinate sphere a whole 30.3 feet closer to the lil yellow flag. TAKE THAT!!

As luck would have it, during our game, I hit my ball into a sand trap. Fun fun fun! I don’t remember if it was in the first five holes, or after that nasty sixth one. Getting the ball out of the sand trap was, surprisingly, not that hard for me to accomplish. What was hard, I mean really hard, was climbing my ass up out of that pit! I almost fell backwards into it as I frantically grasped at the super short grass in an attempt to pull myself out. I’m pretty sure I heard Elaine say, “Aw,” as she witnessed the fiasco. Talk about a wakeup call. In that instant, I realized that I am not flexible — NOT AT ALL. It’s causing issues in my life and could lead to a fall and/or serious injury one day.

I mulled my inflexibility dilemma over for a few days, then came to this conclusion: If I don’t do something different, I’ll never have anything different. Thus began my quest for a more flexible and mobile body. It was on October 1, 2020, that I searched YouTube for a suitable (easy) video for me, you know, not being a young girl any more, and found a channel called Fabulous50s. That’s me! Well, for another year anyway. I watched this very fabulous woman demonstrate the stretches for a simple 5-minute daily stretching routine. I got down on the floor and followed along. Although it felt incredibly awkward and caused bits of pain here and there (kind of like golf), it actually felt really good. I decided right then to make it a daily, if not twice daily, routine for the rest of my life. We can all dedicate five minutes a day, right? Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to do the splits one day! Can you imagine that? An almost 60-year-old woman doing the splits for the first time in her six decades on earth?! That’s gotta be some kind of record — somewhere. Or, maybe it will be. Haha.

By the way, the last stretch I did after my first 5-minute stretching workout was standing with my legs straight and bending over to touch my toes. This wasn’t on the video, I just wanted to determine the baseline of my flexibility.  At my best, my fingers were a good 1.5 inches from my toes. As I kept my legs straight and stretched as far as I could go without snapping something, I chanted, “C’mon toes! You can do it!”

Today is October 3, 2020: It’s Day #3 of my stretching journey. I can now bend over with my legs straight, touch my toes AND the floor beneath them— without pain! I am completely, 100% amazed!

I keep this up and I’ll be able to tie myself in a knot! At the very least, I’ll be able to pull myself out of a sand pit with graceful ease. Stay tuned!

You want me to…WHAT?!

FYI: Raising chickens is not for the faint of heart!!

During Labor Day weekend, a friend of ours gave us their sole surviving chicken. Sadly, dogs had destroyed their other birds. She’s a very pretty, fat and fluffy, black and white hen. We put her in her own coop area so that our flock could become acquainted with her through the fencing before making any attempts at integration. I would visit her multiple times every day, offer her treats, and talk sweetly to her. Regardless of my sweet talk, she would stay as far away from me as possible. I mean, she would spastically and frantically run circles inside the run — like I was chasing her with an axe and picturing her on our dinner table! This went on for about three weeks, along with a couple attempts to merge her with the group, which resulted in gang pecking and me breaking up the West Side Story street fight with a stick.

Then, surprisingly, one day last week, she was different. With her treat in hand, I entered her run area and she ran towards me! This was new. Strangely, she stopped at my feet and hunkered down to the ground. I wondered if she was hurt or sick. When I bent down to check her, she let me pet her. Wow, I thought, she’s really taming down and getting to like me. I was so excited, I had to run and tell hubby, “The new chicken let me pet her!” The next day, the same thing happened. Too cool! Then, it hit me. No other hen had ever behaved this way around me and I wondered if she could be, umm, you know — amorously motivated. I asked my husband, “Can hens get — horny? Is that possible?” He said he imagined that they could. I mean, why not? If a female praying mantis can devour her mate after sex, why couldn’t a female chicken be horny? Seemed plausible.

Well, my brain couldn’t stop questioning this possibility, so I consulted my friend, Google, for the true answer. My search led me to a discussion on the backyard chickens website titled: Excuse me – horny hen? As it turns out, hens can be horny! Who knew?! The obvious solution is, of course, allowing her access to a rooster so that he may service her, scratch her itch, and otherwise make her happy. It’s only natural, right? I read further and learned of an alternative method to soothe a horny hen — without a rooster. I never would’ve imagined something like this: “If you cannot have a rooster where you live, move, get rid of the chickens, or reach down and put a finger and thumb on each side of her tail feathers and lightly squeeze and wiggle side to side — she will get up and shake it off just like the rooster was there. BUT, she will be back the next time you enter for more of the same. LOL.” WHAT?! I’ve heard of animals receiving artificial insemination, but artificial sexual relations?! I’m not about to be a hen’s surrogate lover! I mean, give a chicken a hand job?! Nuh uh. Not gonna happen.

Yesterday morning, as I was walking toward the coop with my daily treat delivery, and mentally preparing myself to receive another dance-with-the-feathered-pants from our horny hen, I discovered that she was not in her run area. What the…?! Did I leave the door open? No, it was still locked. Where in the heck could she — ahhh, I see. The little fence I’d placed between the two runs had been knocked down and she had escaped her safe haven. She must’ve been extremely motivated! Fearful that I was about to find her lifeless, hen-pecked, blood-soaked body, I ran to the main run to look for/rescue her. But she wasn’t with the other chickens. She wasn’t under the coop either. Curious. As I stood there pondering the possibilities, Frisky, that’s her new name by the way, popped her head out the main coop’s doorway. Well, look at that! I guess she decided it was time to integrate and was determined to make it happen.

Last night, just after sunset, I checked on Frisky and found her perched on top of her mini coop. I went inside, gathered her in my arms and while her claws nearly impaled my arms, I carried her to the main coop and placed her in one of the nesting boxes. I watched through the little window with my iPhone flashlight as she left the box and surveyed her possible sleeping spots. It took her a few minutes, but she finally claimed her place on the roost with the other hens. Yes, it would appear we have successful integration!

As of this morning, Frisky is mostly happily cohabitating with the others. There is definitely a pecking order with those old biddies and they certainly let her know it; however, she seems safe and content. I haven’t witnessed any interaction with the rooster…yet. While I’m not hoping to watch such chicken porn, it might be kind of nice to know that she’s being, umm, satisfactorily serviced by our rooster.

I tell ya, this farmin’ stuff is BRUTAL!

A little perspective

Yesterday, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself for having a hearing impairment and having to wear hearing aids to hear people speak; for having feet that swell all the time and not being able to wear the shoes that I’d love to wear; and, having to wear glasses to read.  

Then, I saw a woman leaving the hospital, dragging her life-sustaining oxygen tank behind her on two little wheels.  I watched her through the windows until she was out of my view as she slowly walked toward her vehicle.  That moment certainly gave my self-pitying a jolt into perspective.  I imagined that this woman would gladly take all of my physical problems if that meant she could breathe without having to lug around her constant companion.  

“Seek and ye shall find.”

If you seek something to be pissed about; you shall find it.

If you seek something to scare the shit out of you; you shall find it.

If you seek something to prove that the world is a horrible and scary place; you shall find it.

If you seek to find and expose mistakes made by others; you shall find it.

If you seek something to make you smile; you shall find it.

If you seek something to renew your faith in mankind; you shall find it.

If you seek to find the beauty in this life; you shall find it.

If you seek something to be grateful for in this very moment; you shall find it.

BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU ARE SEEKING; FOR YOU WILL FIND IT!

I strived to, and did better!

In Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, he refers to life’s difficulties as “situations” instead of “problems.” He explains that if any situation makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from it, change it, or accept it totally.

Remember, in a prior post, I mentioned that I’d been striving to do better with my impatience behind my car’s wheel? Well, without being aware of it, I utilized Eckhart’s method.

First, I realized I can’t remove myself from driving. Well, that is, unless I get a chauffeur (which I’d be more than happy to accept). My life does not exist exclusively in my house, it’s in many different cities. Therefore, driving is a requirement.

Second, the situation cannot be changed. The fact remains, there are many drivers on the road who insist on moving below the speed limit, thereby blocking numerous others who want to get to their destination. Others feel it is their divine duty to control every car lined up behind them.

So, that left me with one option: acceptance. At first, I felt like I would be admitting defeat, that impatience was the victor, and I was a failure. Then I realized it merely is what it is. I have totally and completely accepted the fact that I am an impatient driver. I’ve embraced the realization that if a car on the road is poking along and I can safely pass them, I’m going to continue to do just that.
Surprisingly, with this acceptance, my patience has improved. What?! Yes, it did. It filled me with a feeling of peace, and I’ve discovered that I don’t rush quite as much. Of course, I still pass slow drivers when it’s safe to do so and go my merry way. Overall, driving is now a less stressful task, and I’m on my way to actually enjoy it. Wow.

This Monday, on my way home on the 6-mile country road, I encountered three very slow driving vehicles. Of course, one by one, I passed them all. I drove a couple miles further, and as luck would have it, I spotted a turtle in the middle of the road. By the way, I need a bumper sticker that says, “I stop for turtles.” Anyway, I stopped to save the little guy from imminent destruction. As I was carrying him to the side of the road he was heading toward, all three cars that’d I passed came along, slowed down, and allowed me to finish my life-saving turtle placement. One guy, driving a small white pick-up, stopped and said, “So you were in such a hurry to pass everyone just to stop and get a turtle out of the road?” I could’ve used some choice words, ignored him, or flipped him the bird; however, with my newfound acceptance and inner peace, I responded, “I am what I am. I didn’t hurt anybody,” and he drove away. I smiled.

Communing with ducks

Since mid-winter, there has been a group of ducks that regularly visits our pond. The most we have seen at one time is seven. Would that qualify as “flock” of ducks? Anyway. I think they were a neighbor’s ducks, initially, but they like our pond, so we basically share joint custody now. I love it, too. I often admire them from afar as they paddle across the pond, flop their wings then shake their tail feathers upon leaving the water.

There were four ducks on our pond’s dock today, all preening themselves after their swim. I was pulling a large tree branch to the fire pit in our field and, after I dropped it off, I decided to see just how close I could get to this herd of ducks. In the past, merely walking in their direction motivated them to get back in the water. I casually walked over to check my mother’s memorial tree, which was roughly 30-40 feet from the band of ducks. They didn’t move. I slowly stepped a few feet closer while pretending to look for 4-leaf clovers in the grass. They didn’t move. This was getting exciting! I walked to the water’s edge, still about 20 feet from the dock where the mob of ducks remained quite content, and they again didn’t move. Every few minutes, I’d sidestep a foot or two closer to the dock, glance their way, then pretend I didn’t see them.

After several minutes of this maneuver, I was close enough to the dock that I could touch it, and they weren’t budging, but I waited a little longer. Sidestep once more, look at the troop of ducks who were still calm and happily sunning on the dock. Then, I went for it. I sat down on the dock, my back to the array of ducks, fully expecting that that would send them into the air, or into the pond. But, I didn’t hear flapping wings or the splash of water. I slowly turned my body around toward them and was a mere 6 feet from this gaggle of ducks. They didn’t fly away! I brought my legs up onto the dock, sat Indian style, and we communed with each other for 20-30 minutes, right there at our pond. The two largest ducks actually fell asleep, one perched on a single leg.

I enjoyed this interaction so much, communing with the gang of ducks, but all the while I was thinking, I really wish I had my camera. These would be some excellent photos. Next time, duckies. Next time!

Humility

These are the few ways we can practice humility:

To speak as little as possible of one’s self.

To mind one’s own business.

Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.

To avoid curiosity.

To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.

To pass over the mistakes of others.

To accept insults and injuries.

To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.

To be kind and gentle even under provocation.

Never to stand on one’s dignity.

To choose always the hardest.

~~Mother Teresa

Memorial Day

The day our nation set aside

A time to honor all who’ve died

They gave all for you and me

Home of the brave, land of the free

Countless battles and many wars

Bodies sent home by the scores

Flag-draped coffins brought heroes home

Yet some of them remain unknown

Let us give thanks to each and all

They that answered our nation’s call

For every conflict that was fought in

May they never be forgotten

By: Vonda Newsome 5-24-2020

I woke up at 7:41 a.m.

Then, I spent over an hour, creating a board on Pinterest to help promote my blog. I followed the directions, saved it, and now it supposedly exists in Pinterest land…somewhere. I’ll be danged if I can find it, it doesn’t show up in any search I tried. It probably posted on a secret government website! But, hey — long as they read it!

Keeping an eye out for a cavalcade of shiny black vehicles.

So, how’s your morning?