Monday, April 24, 2006

This Day in My Life - June 29, 2004 - dairy contributor

Spring of 2004 I received a once-in-a-lifetime invitation from a book editor to be one of about 500 women in America to keep a diary for one day. That day was to be June 29th - a Tuesday - because apparently Tuesday are as dull as our days tend to ever get. Seriously though, Tuesdays rarely have out-of-the-ordinary events occur on them. So it was set.
Below is my diary from that day. I had to wait until after the book arrived on shelves to print what I wrote. I have, I believe, two whole sentences in the actual book. Nevertheless, if you want to know how we girlies think the book is a great place to start. My day diary is just full of my normal silliness, and is sure to convince the President that I am full of attitude but not smart enough, or organized enough, to be a threat to anyone save myself. (Rest assured W, the world is safe from me!)
Oh! Forgot to tell you the book title: This Day in the Life: Diaries from Women Across America. Details can be found at: www.thisdayinthelife.com and is in stores now. Pick up a copy and welcome to our world!
-Mel. Edwards

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June 29th 2004 – TADAAAA! The Big Day has arrived.
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1:30 a.m.
Woke up to pee. I wonder if I went to bed too early (8: 30 p.m.) and hope I will sleep until the alarm goes off.

5 a.m. Alarm off. Hubby getting up. I’m a slug. After a month of sleeping in with no alarms, it’s time to get on track. By WHY today? Can’t we do this tomorrow? No. Didn’t think so.

5:05 a.m.
I’m up. Bed is made. Bunny (yes, a real rabbit – a German angora cross) is up. (Her name is Poppet.) Morning bun-bun! Boy, are you ready to run around or what? Glad one of us is awake. Let mama pee and I’m all yours.

5:20 a.m. The bunny has run around the bathroom while I cleaned her 3’ long cage. As far as bunnies go, I suppose the cage is palatial, but she deserves it. She brings so much joy to our lives. I discovered she didn’t pee where I laid out shredded newspaper for nesting. Wish I learned that weeks ago when we got her. It would have saved a lot of work. Oh well. I’m learning, bun-bun. Mama is learning. Give me time.

5:35 a.m. Driving with hubby to work. He’s driving there and then I have my truck for the day. I look like such a redneck this morning. I just put my hair in a messy ponytail pulled jeans and hiking boots on with my nightshirt, which is actually a men’s gray undershirt. I haven’t even put on my wedding band yet. (Can’t sleep with it on because my fingers swell at night and when I wake it feels like a tourniquet.) Oh well. Kissed hubby good-bye, handed him his lunch bag and drove off. Today I’m being wild and going to buy some mammoth muffins. Gotta go to the ATM first, though.

6:25 a.m. Home again. Bought three muffins, one for this morning and one for hubby and me for tomorrow morning. Yummy! Tried to stop at the local bakery but they don’t open until 7 a.m. Rats. I love bakeries. Not just for eating their wares. I love to bake. I’m a frustrated pastry chef in-the-making, I guess.

6:45 a.m. Just checked e-mail. Got a note back from King Arthur Flour. I’d e-mailed and told them how much I loved their cookbook and what I had already made from it. One of the owner-operators wrote back and said thanks and that their goal was to educate cooks in the home (as opposed to chefs). She also said she’d share it with the rest of the company. That made my day. The Internet is so cool! I can write to company exec’s and get a note back within 24 hours! How neat is that?!
Got an e-mail from a storytelling pal who is compiling a list of love stories. I wrote up summaries of Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Anderson version), Tam Lin, Psyche and Eros, Pygmalion, plus Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell and sent them her way yesterday. Now she needs my sources. Ooops. As an English teacher, and storyteller, I should have known to get them to her immediately. I have to do that next.
But right now I’ll read the rest of the storytelling list serve messages, enjoy my English toffee flavored coffee and the rest of my banana nut muffin. I’ve been up nearly 2 hours already and accomplished so little. It’s no wonder my master’s thesis isn’t done yet.

7:24 a.m.
I just finished 50 messages from Socknitters (a list serve for people who knit socks). Found a handful of answers to a question I posted yesterday about making socks out of cotton yarn (as I usually knit with wool and prefer wool I’ve spun to commercially spun yarn). I knit because I like it and spin yarn on a spinning wheel, like in the fairy tales, but I can’t spin gold (darn it all) and no little strange men are asking for my firstborn. (Which is good since I’m sterile.) Anyway, I still must shower! Time to go!

8:16 a.m. Whew! I’ve been up three hours now and still haven’t started on my thesis. It’s not looking promising, either. Anyway, the shower is done and my hair is set. Yes, in rollers. The ugly foam kind. Most women won’t admit it, but it’s a heck of a lot of work trying to look nice. If anyone thinks looking good isn’t work, they’re wrong. So many movie stars are butt ugly without make-up and their hair done up but still, countless women and men think they should just look great when they roll out of bed. Bullplucky! It ain’t gonna happen. Ever. I know, my head shots for storytelling are gorgeous. That photographer is a magician. Each year I show them to my students and each time one of the little angels blurts out, “That’s you?! You look like a model,” and then they look at my face, then the picture, then my face, until I finally say, “It’s just good make-up, honey. With good make-up and a great photographer we can all look like that.”
The secretary at school just called to ask a few questions. It seems the boss (principal) is gone until Thursday. I just may run up there and check things out. (No, not with the rollers in, and probably not today.) I’d like to see Cheryl, the boss, but it doesn’t seem like it will happen too soon. The secretary is a gem. I love her already. I can’t wait to start there, though I haven’t planned a thing yet. I guess I have a month, but the Virgo in me hates being unprepared. I just hope I love it there as much as I think I will. Starting a new school is just as stressful for teachers as it is for kids. Maybe even more so.
The dishwasher is running. Had to change the paper in the rabbit cage. It seems I didn’t secure her water bottle well enough and about 4 oz soaked the paper. Drats! [I’m trying not to swear. If I do it at home it might inadvertently slip out at school. Though my big laugh for last week was the news report that Cheney said the F-word at Patrick Leahy. Leahy is a distant, shirttail relation of my father’s. If my father’s family’s temperament is any indication as to Leahy’s, I can see why someone might sling the F-word in the direction. They’re all bull-headed but funny! Listening to my grandmother and her son, my uncle, go at it as I grew up was like the lines from “Grumpy Old Men.” They’d fuss and grumble but in the end, they all really love each other. I so miss my grandma. She was a knitter. I should have learned from her but never got around to it when I was home. I taught myself from a book. Still, I have the last pair of mittens she ever made me in my trunk and dad gave me her knitting needles. I looked at the needles two weeks ago and noticed two pair came from the same county I’ll be teaching in. Some people think objects can make you change your direction in life. For example, one friend wanted red dirt from Arizona when I lived there. She said she’d always wanted to go and heard if you had dirt from a place that your life would take you there. So, perhaps the needles brought me here. Of course, it all could be a bunch of hooey.]
Okay, did I get off track or what? Time to do my citations for Jackie before the copyright police hunt us down. LOL!

9:30 a.m. Just got the citations done and took time to check e-mail. A woman on Socknitters wants to learn how to spin yarn with a hand spindle but has no one to teach her. I wrote what I could and told her I’d look for a website. I really don’t think I’ll get a darned thing done on my thesis today. If my body were as busy as my head I’d weigh 70 lbs soaking wet. No wonder I get mentally drained!
Dinner…I know it’s not even 10 a.m. but Brandon will be ready for dinner when he comes home around 3 p.m. Ooops. I forgot, I have to pick him up today. I’ve got the truck. It’s my truck but it has a/c and his car doesn’t, so he takes it to work when I’m home working on my thesis – or whatever it is I manage to waste the hours doing each day. Maybe I can talk him into taking me out to eat tonight. If I get my hair and make-up done and dress like a real girl (dress, hose, shoes) instead of a redneck (T-shirt, jeans, hiking boots), he might even be extra glad to come home. He loves me no matter how I look but we both smile more when I take the time to go the extra mile, and since it is summer vacation for me, I certainly can afford the effort.

10 a.m.
Okay, I at least e-mail my thesis advisors. That’s a start. I also had to take time to respond to a list member on how to unsubscribe. I think it’s funny out of all the members out there that she wrote to me. I don’t know her and I know she doesn’t know me. Hmmmm. There must be something psychological about whom we feel safe asking those kinds of questions.
The alarm clock just went off. I set it so I could turn on the local oldies station. Each day they have an hour where they’ll play a certain song. If you’re the 6th caller you get $500! No, I’ve never gotten it to ring even once, but I remain optimistic. If I win I suppose I’ll have to split it with Brandon since he does the calling when I’m busy. Too bad, because my dream mixer is about $500. Yes, I said mixer. It’s a stand mixer, with a 7-qt bowl and 1000 watts of power! Vrooom! I know, you’re rolling your eyes, aren’t you? I’m excited by power tools too. I’m the only gal I know that loves hardware stores more than her husband does and is silly enough to set her hair in rollers and give herself pedicures all in the same day.

11:02 a.m. I didn’t get through this time either. In fact, as soon as the song comes on I turn off the radio as I’m dialing. If their goal is to get more listeners I can tell them it only works for that one hour per day. I’m not real fond of the oldies. Of course, when I’m nursing home age there’ll be someone who’ll look as a shiny faced teenager saying, “Son, now Tool and Tori Amos, that’s music!” and minutes later that same senior will be pushing his or her walker down the hallway singing, “Crucify myself, every day. I crucify myself…”
I did, however, just paint another coat of red and a coat of yellow on my shelf that will be on the wall above my computer. Think Mexican artwork, you’ll get the picture.
I’ve got to sit under my drier now. I refuse to go around all day with these ugly rollers in. Besides, I can knit while my hair dries. (All great women multi-task.) I’m working on a baby blanket for my cousin’s little girl, due in October. Baby Sophia is her name. It’s nice to have a little girl come into the family. Right now there are 4 boys. Poor girl is doomed when it comes to family outings: grandmas pinching her cheeks and cousins ready to pummel her. Ah, the joys of childhood.

12:10 p.m. I have to get Brandon in two hours.
He’ll say, “So, what did you do today, honey?”
“Gee, dear, after I did my hair and put enough hair spray on to shellac a ship, I didn’t have much time left. Sorry. I didn’t cook dinner either. We have lots of leftovers, though, ” she smiled innocently.
So much for June Cleaver!
I finally forced myself to look at today’s headlines. I don’t get the paper nor do I have TV - on purpose. I get nothing done as it is, besides, I have no control over anyone else’s lives and the news is always depressing. Looks like the Marine that was held hostage has been executed. Like this is a surprise. Yesterday they had an appeal from his father on the news. It made me want to choke a reporter. What kind of insensitive jerk asks a parent to do an appeal when everyone knows you can’t negotiate with a kidnapper, especially one labeled a “terrorist” who is angry at our governmental policies? I guess some thought because sovereignty was handed over two days early that the kid had a chance. No such luck. I can’t wait until Election Day. Maybe we can make some changes that will get these folks back home. No one but the government heads win anything in war.

12:31 p.m. Jackie just wrote and didn’t see my citations. I panicked. Then she wrote right back and said she’d missed the message they were in. Whew! Cyberspace is such a weird thing. I depend on it far too much. My thesis advisor also e-mailed and said he is sending me edits via e-mail as well. It is easier and more productive than meeting him to tell me what he’s already written down anyway.

1:22 p.m. Still haven’t had lunch. For the last hour I’ve been doing my make-up and getting dressed. I went from black tights (yeah, I know it’s June), black skirt, black heeled sandals and a red top through multiple variations down to a loden green lacy top, jeans and silver heeled sandals. With my dark, curly hair, it looks a bit like Betty Boop crossed with Sally Fields in “Smokey and the Bandit” but it’ll work. I was trying to hide the little belly I seem to have developed overnight. Turns out it’s that time of the month again. (So, I have an excuse for the bloated feeling.) I wouldn’t have issues with this but it just ended on Saturday! For the last year I’ve gotten repeat performances of the hormones and all my doctor said was, “Well, you are getting older.” I just stared at her. I was born in 1968 not, ’58, and besides, mom didn’t go through her change until she was older than that! Whoever said female doctors understand women more was not entirely correct. Trust me.

3:27 p.m. Brandon is home. We just ate cheeseburgers, tater tots and drank soda. I at least had diet soda. That ought to help the blood sugar a wee bit. Besides, it’s lunch AND dinner. Oh, who am I kidding? Not a good nutritional move, but I don’t care.
Talked to Mom on the cell while I waited for Brandon to leave work. She wanted to know if I’d seen the Cheney/Leahy exchange. I told her I had and even e-mailed it to her. She never saw it. I’m telling you, e-mail is an odd thing. Sometimes people get what you send. Sometimes they don’t.
Okay, just re-sent those e-mails to mom and got a call from my best friend. She’s making sure I’m journaling. That’s sweet. I can’t believe she’s put up with me for 32 years, and we’ll only be 36 this summer! Nothing can replace a friend who’s been there, done that, knows it all, and loves you anyway.

4:31 p.m. Just finished painting again. This time it was a key “rack” – a wooden key with 4 hooks on it, in the same colors as the shelf: red, yellow, white, deep blue. I also did another coat of paint on the shelf. Painting one shelf takes forEVER! Dry wood just sucks up that paint like crazy.
Speaking of crazy, my friend just called again. She’s on her way over. For once she got out of work on time and can visit. Brandon just laid down for a nap. Wish him luck! We laugh too much and too loud when we get together. Dad used to call us Laverne and Squirrelly. Yup, I’m Squirrelly. Thanks, Dad.

6:51 p.m.
My best friend just came for a visit. She cracks me up. The not funny part of what she was telling me, was how she has people who work for her that can’t write a sentence in long hand due to Instant Messaging. They also never use proper punctuation or capitalization. What a surprise! I have the same problem with the kids I teach. Everyone is in such a hurry to do everything that no one will even bother with the traditional forms of communication anymore. Okay, I’m sounding like an old lady. Guess I’m a child of my times, that’s all – as are the ones I teach.
Balanced the checkbook. Had a minor panic but all is well that ends well.
Hubby and I are headed out for a walk. We mall walk – like the old people, but it’s air conditioned and quiet, unlike the rest of the city. We are wimps. I admit it.
8:20 p.m. Brandon is in the shower and I’m getting ready to do my yoga. I’m terrible about keeping up with my daily practice when on school vacation. At least this school year I’ll get to head a yoga club. Last year they had about 30 kids in it, which is great for a school that houses only freshman. I’m sure my lack of practice is exactly why I am getting a belly. (Turns out I don’t have my cycle. Just spotting. Good on one level, not so good for the belly excuse.) Choices, choices. We make ‘em, we live with ‘em.
Anyway, after this I think it’s our nightly game of Scrabble, a good night to Poppet (bunny) and my llamas, and then bedtime. My llamas are not here with us, but I say good night to their picture each night. They’re in Colorado being boarded with a dear friend until we can bring them south. I miss them. They’re so gentle and playful. Halle Bopp, whom I call Hallie, might be preggers. I can’t wait to see her cria (baby). Llama babies are up, dry, nursing and scooting around the field in a matter of hours. Bet a lot fewer humans would be born if we were that fast in being fully mobile!

9:45 p.m. Well, it’s time for bed. 5 a.m. comes quickly. For all the kids of the world who wonder what their teachers actually do in the summertime, this day might be typical for some. Nothing fancy.
I beat Brandon at Scrabble. I hate it when I win - not that I ever try to lose, either. Poppet is already asleep. Last night Brandon said when she arranges the newspaper in the nesting area of her cage she is fixing her Fung Shui. He’s so funny. He also makes me smile. I would have never dated him if we hadn’t become friends first. We met via the Internet through a personals service. When we finally met in person I immediately came home and whined, “But he looks like Danny Bonaduche.” I was looking more for a Joe Penny, Robert Urich, or maybe even a Denzel-type. But I hit the jackpot. I say it was divine intervention. I laugh now when I say it because once I was interviewed for a storytelling event some half-wit reporter quoted me as saying “diving intervention.” Yeah. Like that makes sense to anyone in the world! Now it doesn’t matter what kind of intervention it was, or if he looks like Danny or not. He’s beautiful in my eyes and he’s all that is good in mankind. Thank you, G-d for this day, my husband and my life. Baruch ata Adonai eloheinu melach olam. (Blessed are you, Lord, Master of the Universe.)

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