No Bones About It

Today is the 8-week Injur-versary from when I fell down, go boom at the roller rink. As you may remember (bear with me — I’m telling the newbies!), I fractured my distal radius and was in a hard, yet removable-after-4-weeks cast for 6 weeks, then a soft brace when I worked and slept until this past weekend. What a strange, weird, interesting experience this has been. I know I still have weeks to go until I have full use of my left extremity again, but I think 8 weeks is a good time to look back at Bone Break 2017.

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Waving the White Hair

It’s official. On Thursday, December 8, I finally conceded defeat. After years now of finding and foiling its plot, I am becoming outnumbered and simply can’t go on fighting.

Little white hairs pop out on my hairline. I see some springing to life in my part. And for a long time, I would seek and destroy, plucking them from within their auburn nest. They were short by the time I caught them white-handed. They were (and still are) extremely outnumbered by brown comrades.

Woman pulling white hair

Artist rendering of the actual event.

But that morning, as I brushed my beyond-the-shoulder length tresses, one popped up on the side, springing to life with a curl all the white hairs apparently long to be. And it was more than half as long as the surrounding brown hairs.

How did you get by me, you little bugger, I thought. I shouldn’t have been surprised, because last year, I bought my first pair of reading glasses at the dollar store (simply because companies are making the text on products and boxes much smaller now, of course). This long white curly hair mocked me, daring me to pluck it.

I thought about it, but then decided to let it be.

Anderson Cooper is older than me and has been white-haired since his 20s, he has said. I accepted, hell, I celebrate the laugh lines around my eyes, which I’ve had for decades. I EARNED those. Well, maybe I earned the white hairs, too, if only by living as long as I have so far on planet Earth.

It’s no biggie anyway, right? I look younger than I am (coworker, bless his heart, guessed 30 and admitted he thought he was guessing too high, and I’m frequently asked what college I go to, still). Plus, the brown hairs still maintain control, for now. Go ahead, white hairs! Come in and curl ’til your heart’s content. I won’t bother you anymore (of course, I can’t see most of you, so that’s a help).

But look out, white eyebrow hair. You stood out like a sore thumb (especially in the magnifying mirrors) so you had no hope of survival. Of course you return incessantly, unlike many a brown hair I plucked by accident (WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN?). I haven’t given up on you… yet. I wonder how long it will be until that one gets a few more friends…

For now, though, white head hairs, be free! I surrender.

 

Salon, farewell (I wish)

 

I hate the entire experience.

I hate waiting, flipping through magazines with hair styles I neither like nor have the patience to pull off, or the latest copy of whatever gossipy mags lay about. I hate sitting in the chair, looking at her looking at me in the mirror, discussing what to do with my hair, even though it’s always simple. I hate the always too-tight, uncomfortable, and unattractive smock. I hate having my hair washed, usually by a gum-snapping curly-haired girl. I hate looking at her armpit, clothed or not, while she scrubs bubbles then takes an eternity to get all of them out of my tremendously long tresses. The water’s always too hot, but after three wrist tests and upside-down inquiries, it’s faster, I think, to just go along.

I hate being back in the chair anticipating the small talk I can’t stand. I never go to the same cutter twice (I go to cheapie places since I just need trims) — I don’t want to know about their kids, their vacation plans, or how awful they think the news story that’s blasting on the TV at the back of the room is. I dislike small talk in general, but it’s definitely not fun while trapped in a chair with clips holding my mop on the top of my head as it’s trimmed layer by layer. Besides, I worry when the stylist chats away that her view will skew and my hair won’t be even. Since it’s straight, that’s kind of important, ya know?

I hate the clips that aren’t strong enough to firmly hold my heavy wet hair in place, the smell of Barbicide, and locking eyes with the person two chairs over in the mirror between us, her head slightly down, as her short fuzzes are shorn off her neck. That’s never been done to me, I think. Why do our eyes meet? Because one can only look at themselves and the woman cutting their hair in the mirror for so long, and closing my eyes seems weird.

Wet, cut. Blow dry? No, thanks. I don’t have that kind of free time. Plus the 30 minutes this ordeal takes is long enough. I’d trim the two (to however many) inches off my long locks myself if I could. See: age 13, bangs, promise to never do that again.

Of course, all that’s not why I don’t go to the salon the way some people do (monthly, for hours, gleefully gossiping, and surfacing — engaging only in pleasantries). I don’t have to go that often because my hair is long, which I love. Except when I hate it. See: humidity, mostly.

At this point, it’s the longest it has been in decades, and that’s the question: how long should it be? Just below the shoulder blade — meaning a visit three times a year or so — has been the standard for a while (especially since a shorter, layered disaster in 2010 that I’ll never repeat). But now it’s just below the waist of all my pants. I’ll be able to sit on it soon!

Big girl pants, party of one. Your salon chair is ready… and waiting…

The Spider I Named Lazarus

Either the counter was moving or something was on it. Upon closer inspection, I discovered a teeny tiny spider crawling along. He ended up walking on my most recent grocery receipt — perhaps an accountant spider? I wanted to throw it away, though, so I picked it up and gently tapped the edge on the counter, hopeful Mr. Spider would simply slide off.

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It’s curtains for me

Shower curtain with gold fleur de lis

Purty, right? (Still not worth the agony.)

Chores I dread: getting the oil changed in the car (endless waiting); vacuuming out the car (I seem to have car issues); and hanging a new shower curtain. For that last one, I put it off for weeks, until I can’t take the mildew that refuses to be Scrubbing Bubbles-ed off the plastic liner anymore. You know after a time, it just neeeeeeeds to be changed, no matter how much you clean and scrub. It just need to be gone. Every few years, I decide to reward myself for doing this awful chore by also hanging a new shower curtain with the new liner. Somehow, the pretty new curtain doesn’t make up for the torture of getting them in place, though.

The torture: a good 15 minutes with my arms up over my head trying to get the rings to clasp back together: shoulder pain that I haven’t known since the last time I did this chore, which demands I hold my arms in an unnatural position up and over my head for an unnatural amount of time. Sure, I’ve put my arms over my head for, let’s say, jumping jacks, raising my hand in a class, or when I conform and let peer pressure force me to do the letters in Y-M-C-A. But to hold your arms up seemingly forever while the ends of the clasp that worked just fine on the last curtain for months all of a sudden forget how to do their jobs — A-G-O-N-Y. (I don’t have the strength to form those letters with my arms, though.)

Of course, I don’t help myself by always — ALWAYS — misplacing a ring. No, I don’t take the rings off the curtain rod and yes, that means I, too, wonder how I can misplace something that’s hanging right in front of me, but seemingly invisible, at least for a second. Then there’s the lining up of the holes wrong, ending up with an extra empty grommet on the liner and an extra stitched hole on the curtain. And they are NEVER the same hole or anywhere near each other, meaning every — EVERY — ring has to be undone and realigned and… for the love of all things holy, do my shoulders burn right now!

Oh, did I mention I just did this? Trying to take my mind off the pain by delving into my writing, my happy place here. I know! I’ll go take a shower. Good thing that lining’s up and ready to go….

Look Down

 

Usually, I’m an eye-to-the-sky kind of girl. There are cloud shapes to recognize, blue sky to marvel at, birds flying by. There’s a lot going on up there. Plus, when you tend to be optimistic, things are always looking up, eh?

Last week I discovered, though, the joy of looking down.

On the hottest day of the year, with my gas tank gauge needle dangling perilously above the “E,” I decided I needed a little fuel. I wasn’t looking forward to getting out of the cool of the air-conditioned car, but hey, that’s why I  wear the big girl pants. Adults do what they gotta do (whining optional).

As I walked around to the passenger’s side where the gas tank is, with my head slightly tilted toward the ground, I saw something shiny. (This is not an ADD alert — I really saw something shiny.) Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a quarter — a whole 25 cents! — just waiting for me to pick it up and pocket it. “Thanks, Mr. Person Who Dropped a Quarter,” I said out loud to no one in particular.

After fueling up a wee bit, I decided to go to the library to pick up the books I had on hold. Four. To add to the stack in my office already — both library and bargain bought. As I left the parking lot and ambled on the pavement leading to the Door of Knowledge (I love the library, in case you didn’t know), I saw chalk on the ground. There were hearts and books, numbers, random letters. Then, a most beautiful sight: “I ❤ books!!” Me, too, kid. If only I had some chalk to add a contribution to your awesome thought.

I sometimes forget to look around and down, rather than looking up, as I’m wont to do. Turns out, if you do, you might find and/or see some amazing things. Give it a try. I’ll bet you a quarter you see something cool.

Drop it like it’s hot

 

I didn’t see it coming.

I didn’t think it could happen.

I’ve been on the planet long enough to have learned this lesson by now.

In the kitchen, I danced around the island, arranging Tostitos Scoops(tm) on a plate, then filling them with a Mexican four-cheese mix. The cookie sheet heating in the oven was to make them extra crunchy on the bottom (an experiment). Mom’s dog came prancing in as he’s wont to do when I’m near the island. He knows that’s where the magic happens. I stand there and teeny pieces of shredded chicken or cheese sometimes accidentally drop onto the floor just under his nose. Just a taste.

He seemed especially excited about what I was making. I deduced it was because, as a Chihuahua, he favored Mexican-inspired dishes. I started singing ~ it’s our thing.

“Little puppy, here for cheese. You would cross your paws, say please.
‘Drop some cheese onto the floor and I won’t beg for any more.'”

(I make up lil’ songs for the boy. He wags his tail and barks, i.e., sings along)

Humming whatever tune I put those words to, I put an oven mitt on and pulled the now-hot cookie sheet out. It sat on top of the stove as I created verse 2 of my new doggie song. I thought about bringing the cheese-filled Tostitos over to the stove a couple at a time. It might be quicker if I held it, I thought, then did the unthinkable ~ swung around from the island to the stove and reached for the cookie sheet with my bare left hand.

Thumb, index finger ~ full grab. Middle finger, just starting to grip when 3… 2…. 1…

OW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I dropped it immediately (twas only lifted a bit ~ hadn’t a full hold of it) and ran to to sink. The dog looked at me, wondering why his song stopped. So I made up a new one, while cool water ran over the forming blisters.

“Doggie, I have burned my hand. I know you do not understand.
You just want more cheese and chips. My fingers, they hurt like a bitch…”

An hour later, with pruned multi-crimson-shaded thumb and finger, I turned off the faucet and dried my hands gently. The mere idea of air made the skin tingle as if a flame was trying to break free from the inside out. A white bumpy blister formed quickly on my index finger as I wrapped it loosely in gauze. The thumb, extremely red, seemed to have escaped such serious injury. Still, I wrapped it, too.

“That’s a pain that will tend to linger.” Ed Grimley, clutching his burning fingers after removing a batch of cookies from the oven without using a mitt

The pain did linger, for a few hours, until the Advil kicked in. The gauze/Hello Kitty combo did a great job keeping the enemy ~ air ~ at a distance.

A couple days later, both fingers are a wee bit sensitive still, but the blister’s just about gone. The Tostitos were delicious ~ filled with cheese and topped with homemade pico de gallo. I ate them while holding my left hand awkwardly upward to stop the throbbing blood flow. I wasn’t letting something that good go to waste for a blistery burn and a wee bit of pain. I ate my way through the pain. Twas delicious.

What I’ve learned:

  • (again) the human body is an amazing healing machine
  • finger injuries hurt like a *&@#$!
  • And being on the planet for several decades is not long enough to avoid doing something stupid.

They have all kinds of treatments for burns and finger injuries.

Unfortunately, as of yet, for idiocy, there is no cure.