Durante and Adele make it better

It’s not such a bad day sitting in traction when you get to start out listening to Jimmy Durante’s, Make Someone Happy and end up with Adele’s, Someone Like You, with a bit of everything else in between.
.
I’ve mentioned before how I have a string of songs on my playlist that are timed just perfectly to coincide how long I have to sit here. Some days life is as easy as pressing a button, closing my eyes and listening, other days not so much. Don’t ever underestimate the power of music and what it can do for you. Here’s hoping you can just hit play today and make it all go a lot easier.

May be

Oh my, the time is flying, in this month of May as I’ve completed my traction routine I haven’t felt much like typing. My fingers have been stiff and tired and let’s not talk about the neck. I just wanted to write some words for this month as I’ve not missed a month of writing since we started this experiment a couple of years back.
I look forward to June and nimble fingers, a girl can AND should dream……

Forcing Spring

I feel cool. I’ve watched many a gardening show and dreamt of having the skill and know how to take care of a little patch of beauty. I’ve tried here and there and have had moments of glory but Mother Nature and her elements have not always been my friend. All of my gardening mishaps have led me to appreciating the first signs of Spring in potted tulips and hyacinths growing in gardening centers. Rarely have these beauties made it to my table if they were growing in my yard. They’ve either been snacks for chipmunks or killed by late frost. I’ve just not had a lot of luck with growing bulbs. I know, every other yard displays them, looks easy to accomplish, but if I want to see blooming early spring bulb plants I need to buy them at the garden store or walk to the neighbor’s house.

But this year is a new year and I’m growing things indoors! Paperwhites adorn my desk and fill the room with a lovely fragrance that has me wondering where I am! I’m waiting any day now for the daffodils to pop. Who knew you could grow such beauty in the tiniest of spaces indoors? Here’s all I did: I placed the bulbs in a brown bag for a couple of days or maybe a week, at the first sign of root growth I set them in shallow wide container and surrounded them with a few pebbles or small decorative rocks. I then covered the rocks with water, I’ve consistently keep the water over the roots but have been careful not to ever completely cover the bulbs, add water as needed. Voila, then the most amazing third grade science project happens right in your tired winter home! Forcing bulbs indoors is easy and fun and if it works you look like a master gardener and if it doesn’t I’m not telling.

Spring is coming, hope grows right before my eyes. Old dreary traction is surrounded by a lovely scent and pushing toward a new day.

(Bonus, if you bought that bag of bulbs in the Fall and never got around to planting them here’s your answer, it will look like you planned it that way all along) Good Luck and a special thank you to Mary M. for her introduction of the idea into my life!

No dessert in the desert

Here we are as February is coming to a fast end, two months will soon be over in 2012. I’m going to sound old, heck, I feel old while I’m sitting here hanging in traction but time always marches on, ready or not. It seems I just decided what I was giving up last year for Lent and now I’m in the midst of another. Last year I tried this sort of funky thing where instead of giving up something I told myself I’d do more. I tried to study more, pray more, give more, do more, you get the idea, the things that were difficult I tried more, not less. It sort of fundamentally sounded like it went against the sacrificial aspect of Lent but it truly was supposed to be a penance to do “more of” the things I didn’t like or at least, felt like the things that didn’t like me.

That was too complicated in the end so I’m going traditional this year, I’m just trying to show up for Lent, I’m going to try to remember it’s Lent. When I want to go to the drive thru to pick up something quick and easy to eat I’m going to try to remember I do have food at home and I can eat that when I get there. When I want something I’m going to try to remember my little girl friend in the orphanage in Port-au-Prince that would literally find a crumb on the floor and instead of gobbling it down she would divide by however many others were in the room. A small child and she knew more about sharing and giving of herself than I’ll ever know. This might sound selfish and delusional but traction it seems to me is like Lent, it is about showing up, remembering, completing the task at hand, no room for BS, no forgetting, no I’m too tired, no I don’t feel like it, no, it’s not fair. In addition, Lent is doing what you said you’d do but not making a big deal about it, or as my Mom would say, “no broadcasting it.” There’s no need to go on about saying no thanks to dessert, passing on seconds or giving up the fancy morning coffee. Lent is being out there on your own, no fuss, no frills, no extras, no pity parties, real life stuff, just you and God. AND, the last time I checked there wasn’t any chocolate growing in the desert.

Yep, I’ve not found sacrifice a bowl full of fun but if you stick with it you do find something new. I owe Lent for any ability I have to sit here in traction, the more I grow to understand Lent the easier the traction gig is for me. When it comes down to it really, isn’t it just about taking away life’s distractions and excuses, learning more about your true self, therefore, knowing more about God.

There should be a Super Bowl for this!

As I sit in traction today listening to all the Super Bowl coverage I’m thinking about how many of the NFL players may have ever been in traction. It’s bad enough with all the scary talk about concussions, what their brains are like down the road, I don’t think they need damaged spinal columns too, no one does. But for a profession that shows their love for one by hitting each other in the head with their helmets it wouldn’t be surprising if they didn’t end up having traction troubles or plenty of other issues.

We as a population make such a big deal out of stuff, it leaves me wondering why all the fuss? Halloween is now practically a National Holiday, I think more adults now dress in costume to celebrate than children, when you drive down the street the morning of St. Patrick’s Day it doesn’t take long before you see folks showing up to the local O’Brien’s bar, no matter what day of the week it falls, no wonder in the middle of winter we go crazy for the Super Bowl. Are we really that bored to go overboard for everything?

How dare I diss such a big day in the sports world, a day where if you’ve never watched a game in your life you are invited to a television party. So I’ve been thinking, if I connect with other folks also doing traction we could have regional matches, who sits up the straightest, for the longest, looks the best in the gizmo, best attitude, that might be tough to judge, but give me some time. Once we get competition categories, we go regional, then the nationals are only a few years a way! Could you imagine what the trophy would look like for a cervical traction competition?! The height of it, we’d have to celebrate height since we are all shrinking! It would have to be light in weight or none of the recipients could carry it out of the ceremony. In fact I think it should be a sit down ceremony. Just wait, gives us another five years and we will be on the airwaves, singing the National Anthem, all strapped in, waiting for the opening whistle to start the annual Traction Games. Us traction folks work hard, we have the potential to become professionals at pain and fortitude. I dare any competition to challenge our dedication, our drive for success is intense, only thing, after a big play, you won’t see any of the competitors hit another in the head for fun.

Jay Leno tries traction

It’s not the first time this cervical traction device has made the big time. This time Jay Leno tried to entertain his audience with crazy stuff you can really buy on the Internet and of course we made it. The audience laughed hysterically when he strapped him self in and then made a joke of what it would be like if some one walked thru the door while you were sitting there. Hey Jay, attach the gizmo to a closet door, it tends to not have much foot traffic. He looked predictably ridiculous and everyone was surely puzzled why the heck would you do that to yourself. If you have a collapsing neck and numb fingers maybe you’d try it to….I gotta say it is weird to depend so much on something to keep you going that gets an immediate laugh in a comedy routine on television. I consider my self having a decent sense of humor, but this isn’t funny to me, yeah, it looks silly enough but it also represents something so different to me, along with the stupid pain it means literally whether I can function independently.

This is a goofy world sometimes and instead of getting a cheap laugh on Leno(sorry Jay) maybe I could find a reality show that would pay me to be the girl commenting in the corner while sitting in traction. Think about it, people watch Kendra, The Kardashians, goodness sakes, the Jersey Shore, why not, Cervical Traction Girl Goes Crazy! Now, to me, that’s funny.

I’ll take some fettucini with that please!

Oh boy! I thought I was so clever trying to get the grocery shopping over with before the weekend.
It was definitely a good idea, wasn’t too crowded, but when I reached for that jar of alfredo sauce and saw it slip from my fingers I doubted why I ever left the house. I heard the jar hit something but my eyes were closed because I simply couldn’t bear what was going to happen. I heard, “Oh no!” and a couple of “Wows” and I slowly lifted my eyelids and looked down. White sauce every where, including my blue jeans and my black shoes. I’ll save you all the gory details but lets just say a clerk and I really bonded over paper towels and shards of glass.

As I pushed my cart to the parking lot in pouring rain my foot began to feel the delayed reaction of being hit by a jar, my limp was showing it, the woman walking next to me asked if I’d like to share her umbrella. I found myself telling her about how I was hoping the puddles would wash off my shoes. She was so kind, she listened attentively and when I finally got inside my car I thought how sometimes all we need is someone to just listen, even if it’s a total stranger. Dropping a jar on a foot you can’t feel and forgetting your umbrella in a rainstorm all the while feeling sorry for yourself as you imagined the second you got home sitting in traction was pushed aside. One simple act of kindness changed everything.

I’ve been trying to add time to my traction schedule to prevent jars full of alfredo sauce from flying thru the air but sometimes no amount of traction can save me. Life can be hard, but we aren’t alone and we should readily allow ourselves to receive kindness as much as we look to show it to others.

In the mean time have a merry, merry Christmas and know that I’ll be back here in 2012. Until then, I hope you are lifted up by someone just as I was today or better yet, you do the lifting.

Waiting and remembering

As I’m sitting in traction today waiting for the last few minutes to pass I begin to think about how silly it is that I’m impatient with time passing slowly. December 7th, the date that should “live in infamy” has just passed for another year, this year marked 70 years. I heard it mentioned a couple of times on the news but certainly not in any conversations I had with others. I suppose in 70 years September 11th will quietly pass as well. Those that are still alive that lived thru it will never forget, but will future generations remember?

Reading how men tapped on the steel of ships the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor causes my own embarrassment as I wait out a few minutes. Those heroes were among the first to die waiting in sunken ships for help that would arrive too late, or as in the case of the USS Arizona could never arrive. It is unimaginable to me to comprehend the fear and horror of being trapped alive. The sinking of the Arizona killed twenty-three sets of brothers.

This life for unknown reasons will have moments filled with such agony for some and their families and for others, they will gratefully or otherwise never know of anything more inconvenient than a traffic jam. My thoughts and words feel very inadequate today as I remember those that died at Pearl Harbor. Courage, fear, faith, forgiveness, honor, respect, peace, hope……all these words are better understood when we remember.