Saturday, May 29, 2010

8 days to go

This is what supper looks like when I've decided to "slow down". It's an embarass- ment, my weekly menu list and the pantry/refrigerator are full of fast food, grab it off the shelf, be grateful for small favors (a husband who eats whatever is put in front of him).

But Natalie is a "picky eater" since childhood and grimaces at the hamburg. There is no excuse, I could have jazzed it up with a slice of cheese, a tomato. This is just a small demonstration that I have no idea of what "slowing down" is. It's either full steam ahead or nothing.
©Natalie Norman Baer 5/29/10

Friday, May 28, 2010

9 Days to go

The dogs (that's Pico on the right, Ipo on the left, with Jamie, the daughter of the pet center holding them) know something is up. They sense a change in the household. Up the stairs they run, down again, whine to go out, whine to come in. Ipo bats me with her paw and on my fragile skin are the marks of her claws. Below the knuckle of the small finger is a tiny slit, below it and down to the wrist are three more slits, progressively larger until you get to the wrist with its three cornered tear from her dew claw. By the time I board the plane in just nine days, the whole back of my hand will be a mass of bruises. Earlier I had tripped over a bowling bag and scraped the skin above my ankle. I look to Buzz and say, "I think I better slow down" he gives me the look like what have I been saying?
Dear heart, my husband, my Southern born gentleman husband, how can he ever understand his driven, dogmatic, hustle to get everything done, can't keep still a minute wife of his who has never grown away, in her 40 years in Hawaii, from her New Engand roots?
You've got it!!
©Natalie Norman Baer 5/28/10

Thursday, May 27, 2010

10 days to go

Today is the day for my haircut. See the straggle over my ears? Buzz driving, stayed at his bowling league, I took over and in my day dreaming drive to the salon, missed my turn and ended on King Kam IV road. Oh well, I had plenty of time, turned around and headed back toward town, took another wrong turn, then another but saw my doctor's new office was straight ahead of where I had pulled in. Might as well take care of prescriptions - said hello, gave my request of a prescription for traveler's complaint, waited and was asked for my street address. As I've said before - we live a mile down the mountain from the mailbox (remember, turn right at the geraniums?) Job done, made it to my appointment with five minutes to spare.

We're done, with lovely Susie putting on the final touches. Tomorrow it's shopping for our final week of groceries, returning books. Time's a'wasting
©Natalie Norman Baer 5/27/10

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

11 Days to go

That isn't me but it is the new skirt and sweater set I've ordered with the gift certificate from my daughter for my upcoming birthday. It will be just the outfit to wear as Buzz and I sit around the piano tapping our feet and smiling at all the other passengers sitting with us on our cruise. I'm waiting for that phone call from Mel, the UPS man, to say he'll meet me at the top of the hill with the package from Travel Smith. Our friends say we live "in the jungle" but its really not that bad, just .9 mile down a two lane road to a gate, take a left turn and bump along the dirt path (usually rutted from feral pigs who love to toss up the soil and rocks.) Then another gate and into our part of the farm. It's still a dirt roadway but no pigs. Thank God we fenced them out several years ago after they destroyed my flower garden. You would be surprised what damage they can do in one night. Back to the UPS man - he knows me by now and the territory in which we live which does not accomadate the width of his truck.

Here's my last minute list to take to town tomorrow when I get my haircout (the part that's scribbled off.) The plumber came yesterday. Our indoor facility is working fine, thankyou, but we had to move a standpipe away from the fence we share with our neighbor. We had a survey a month ago and they gained a few feet, so it was move the pipe or go without water. The notes to the left of my reminder list have nothing to do with the trip, just times today when we used the generator that needs upgrading when we get home in July. The address is the new office for my doctor, the phone number, who knows.
©Natalie Norman Baer

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

12 days to go

That's the stole and the evening gown I will be wearing at a formal dinner in a little over two weeks as we cruise the Atlantic on the Queen Mary2. This is Buzz trip - the one we've saved for two years.

That's my lunchtime outfit

and here's the shoes to go with it (the heels are hidden under the shelf), along with my crossword puzzle book, daytime clothes, camera. Now all I need to do is get them into the suitcase:

It's just twelve days before we board the plane - have them weigh the luggage and hope its not over 50 pounds. I'm well prepared with my lists of things to buy, haircut to get, nails to be polished, you know what it is when you take a trip. But its also the time when my life falls apart, I lose the camera and then I find it, I forgot to fix supper because I'm busy with this blog. Buzz is left to get himself some scrambled eggs and I'll make myself a sandwich.
You would think that an accountant, a CPA even, would be so well organized that the preparaton of one year would go easily. It does, on paper, but its putting the written words into practice that breaks my soul. Have I bought the treats to eat on our 14 hour air flight to New York for boarding the ship? Got my credit card ready to buy bottled water when flying, or is it free? And our passports?
And how do I put a hold on messages?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The bane of my childhood

Winters in New England often meant cold, mean, nasty days; sometimes it began as a dripping rain that turned to ice and snow on an instant notice. We kids donned our snuggies (see the picture); underwear that was a horror bestowed on thin girls who would rather shiver in the cold than have the pink ribbed underpants fall beneath her knees for all to see. Snuggies only came in three sizes – small, medium and large. With our skinny frames, we needed something shorter in the legs. None of us thought to tie them up with a string tight above our knees or maybe fasten them up with safety pins.
Fully dressed in ski pants, sweaters and coats, hoods and mufflers, boots and mittens we started the long trudge to school. The wind howled down on my sisters and me. Living at the bottom of a hill, it was a long half mile up to the school. Our classmates, lucky to be on the school bus, waved to us as they went by. Mother had talked to the town officials but the ride was only for children living more than a mile. We traipsed up that hill, leaning against the mean wind that seemed to enjoy blowing down on us little children. I kept my scarf wrapped around my mouth and nose, breathing as shallowly as possible. I hated that cold.
Once in the school house, I took off my outer clothes, hitched up my snuggies and sat at my desk, waiting for instructions from the teacher. This year it was Miss Fallows, a stern disciplinarian who made sure we learned our lessons. Those winter days I kept my head down, hoping I wouldn’t be called to the blackboard at the front of the room to work on a sum or spell a word. It was the snuggies, always falling beneath one or the other my knee that kept me to my chair.
This day I was out of luck as Miss Fallows called me to the board to work out a problem in addition. Keeping my legs together as closely as possible, I waddled cautiously to the board. I smiled at Miss Fallows and turned to the board, chalk in hand. Absorbed in my work, I forgot my problem until I felt them begin to slip. A hitch at the waist slowed the process but then as I worked again at the board, they slipped again.
“Please, dear God, don’t let them show to the other kids, please God.”
Why hadn’t I just slipped them off when I arrived in school and dropped them into my ski pants? (Because the same God I prayed to for relief, would see me and let my mother know.)
I heard a giggle, and then a tee-hee. I knew it was too late. The pink, ribbed pants I wore were in blatant display. Miss Fallows didn’t notice my distress but heard the giggles and frowned at the class.
“Very good, Natalie,” she said as I hitched up my underwear and scurried to my seat, knowing what lay ahead for me at recess:
“I see England, I see France,
I see Nat-lee’s underpants”
©Natalie Norman Baer