Posts Tagged ‘humor’


Slow Reader Friday: Twirl


I needed this book this month. I especially needed this book this week. Things exploded this week on the Compassion Counseling Center front (in a good way) and I found myself scrambling to just get the essential tasks of living done each day. I’m not complaining–God has chosen to use me in a way I never thought I could be used and it’s exciting. But, if one is moving too fast through life, we may fail to stop and realize how much “extra” God has provided for us to simply enjoy, particularly in the United States.

Enter TwirlIf you’ve never heard Patsy Clairmont speak, plan to do it. The elder stateswoman of the Women of Faith speakers is hilarious when speaking and she could easily have her own comedy series any time she wanted. Instead she chooses to use that sharp sense of humor to remind us to take time to appreciate the little things in life.

The titles of her very short chapters ( more like long devotionals) tell the things we fail to appreciate every day: decorating, reading, laughing, art, dancing, fragrance, bubbles, trees, birds, cuddling, and stars, just to mention a few. At the end of each chapter she asks the reader to ponder 3 well-written questions to encourage deeper reflection about ourselves.

Even though Patsy is probably 20 years my senior and has a deeper appreciation for all of the above (particularly this month), I found myself identifying with various parts of her life and enjoyed both the poignant and humorous “phraseology.” Here’s a taste of what I mean:

1. “Sometimes growth can only be measured by where we’ve been, not by what others are doing. (You might want to back up and read that sentence again.)”

2. “Take, for instance, the seed….Get this: It has no brain, yet it knows exactly what it wants to be when it grows up. (Most of us are still trying to to figure that out.) We never see zinnias strain to produce tomatoes, nor have I caught my petunias trying to be svelte lilies. Instead this diminutive encasement follows its Creator’s plan and purpose right up to the blossoms.”

3. “As I age my sleep patterns become more unpredictable. I’m finding it takes a lot more discipline to set myself up for sleep. Resisting sweets, ice cream and chocolate after 6:00 seems helpful. And personally, I can’t handle any caffeine after 3:00, which includes chocolate; otherwise I’m practicing Zumba steps at midnight, which tends to annoy Les.”

As we enter this holiday season, I hope you will pick up this book and put down what you’re so busy doing and just read one chapter. And take a moment and remember how much fun it is to twirl, like you did as a kid.

Monday’s Post: What in the world is “infix”?

You Might Also Like: Slow Reader Friday: Beating Goliath; Slow Reader Friday: The Way Home; and Slow Reader Friday: The ONE Thing


Lessons Learned from Recuperating…

blood pressure

Warning: You may need two beverages first.

You might reason, “If you had 2 heart attacks in 1999, surely there are no new lessons to be learned from recuperating from 2 more.” Well, that would be true if 14 years hadn’t transpired in between and I hadn’t been on morphine drips both then and now. It’s starting to come back to me now, but apparently, going through this in your 50s is not like going through it in your 30s. I wonder how bad it would have been if I hadn’t exercised my butt off and tried to eat reasonably for most of that 14 years??? Oh. The list would have been even longer? A reason to be thankful that I exercised, hunh?

  1. It may not be such a hot idea to have a blood pressure cuff. Seeing my current blood pressure readings….well, raises my blood pressure readings. I sense a vicious circle here.
  2. Even on Xanax I can hear the youngest’s alarm clock from across the house, through 2 closed doors. He, on the other hand, won’t hear it for another 15 minutes…after I go and throw a cup of ice water on his head.
  3. Pouring a cup of ice water on the youngest’s head raises my blood pressure.
  4. The hubby doesn’t understand portion control or the elements of a heart healthy diet. I’m not sure I care.
  5. I can drop 6 lbs. in 4 days…while on a morphine drip. Remind me to attach a morphine drip next to my treadmill when I’m cleared to exercise.
  6. I’m supposed to rest during the day. I don’t think the doc has ever been to my house in the daytime. A war zone is probably quieter.
  7. Hockey games put me to sleep. See # 6.
  8. Basketball games raise my blood pressure. Once a Hoosier, always a Hoosier.
  9. I will do just about anything to avoid helping someone move.
  10. I will do just about anything to avoid another Texas Tech orientation.
  11. If you travel extensively for a living for 30 years, your wife will make you pay for this by taking the youngest to Texas Tech orientation…without a referee or a face mask or a baseball bat.
  12. To prepare your hubby to take your youngest to orientation, he will need a folder full of documents, 16 Internet links in an email, and the rest of your prescription for Xanax.
  13. I have good gift elves—they not only shop for me, but they get it on sale and wrap it. That gift elf needs a breakfast at IHOP on me. Now, if I could only get an IHOP in our town. For that, I think I’m going to need bigger elves.
  14. I asked God to get my mind off the heart attack concerns so I could sleep one night and the next thought that popped into my head? Toilet plungers. God is efficient.
  15. # 14 would be the epitome of “Be careful what you ask for…”?
  16. People still doubt that God has a sense of humor. See # 14.
  17. I no longer care about IRS scandals, surveillance of my cell phone, and Oklahoma tornados. But, I do care deeply about getting a Twinkie on 7/15 and seeing the minions again. I have a Master’s, right?
  18. A good day prior to 6/6 was to spend 4 hours writing and maintaining my web site, spend 4 hours doing housework or running errands, mentoring the 18 year old, studying my Bible, sorting the mail, reading 1/7 of a book, watering the plants, and helping some charitable endeavor.
  19. I now view having a good day as putting on mascara. Just so I don’t scare people in public.
  20. We need a new thermostat at our house. One moment it’s too hot in the house and the next moment it’s too cold. Are heart attack survivors required to go through menopause again? Probably really interesting for the male heart attack survivors.
  21. My blood pressure graph resembles the side view of the Titan roller-coaster at Six Flags. And I didn’t even get on the Titan to do that.
  22. I have about as much luck avoiding heart attacks as Marco has at winning IRL races with an excellent car. Maybe he and I need to start a support group for people cursed by gypsies?
  23. Eating dinner with your family, watching TV, and writing in your journal trying to de-stress…causes heart attacks. So, if I breathe deeply, I’m back in the hospital, hunh? Where is that oxygen tank?
  24. My arms and hands now make me look Iike I’m a heroin addict. I don’t remember getting the high from that addiction. Of course, that may be due to the morphine.
  25. I did have plans for the youngest’s last birthday at home before college. Think we can make it up to him by giving him a new car? Oh. Wait. Hospital bills. Never mind. Maybe he wants a Twinkie for his birthday?
  26. My brother informed me they don’t give frequent flyer mileage for Careflites. Dang. I wanted to go to Tahiti this year. Oh. Wait. Hospital bills. Never mind. Texas looks like Tahiti, right?? Maybe I can wire some coconuts to the cacti??? Mai-tai’s look like margaritas if you stick an umbrella in them?
  27. Readership of my blog goes up when I tweet from a hospital bed. I’ve ordered a hospital bed for my office.
  28. When I have heart pain, I develop Internal Tourette’s Syndrome (ITS?). The risk of “oral leakage” at these moments increases my blood pressure.
  29. The hospital chaplain assures me that Jesus has heard cuss words before. Probably because people generally use His name as a cuss word. And that was your sermon for today.
  30. If you go to and tell their calculator that you’ve had 4 heart attacks in 14 years, it computes your “real age” as “corpse.” It computes your life expectancy as -2. This explains the pale face and dark eye circles that now greet me in the mirror on a regular basis.
  31. Based on # 30, I now qualify to be in the next zombie movie. No makeup required. Apocalypse optional.
  32. When you start posting about heart attacks on Facebook, your banner ads are for comfortable walking shoes, selling your home, eye glasses, and auction houses. Refer to # 30.
  33. My “co-mom”, who helps me parent the “adopteds” said she can’t parent all these kids on her own. Note to self: Need to designate a successor “adopted mom” for her. Perhaps the successor will be more successful at getting IHOP to my little town. And can we get my “co-mom” a prescription for Xanax and energy formula multi-vitamins for women 50+?
  34. I think I have Recuperative Stress Syndrome, or RSS. I knew they weren’t giving me the straight scoop about what that RSS thing meant.
  35. Never watch “Puss in Boots” while on Xanax. ‘Nuf said.
  36. I no longer care about ironing. (My children are doing cartwheels in celebration.) Unless I can figure out a way to iron out the flabby skin I have from 6 lbs. of weight loss in less than a week.
  37. I am constantly hungry. And yet I weigh less than I have since the first child was born. Does this mean I’m pregnant? If so…need…more…Xanax. Oh. Wait. You can’t take Xanax while pregnant. Where is my box of chocolates??? Oh. I ate them already.
  38. To get a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist 6 weeks from now, I guess I have to practically die. Oh. Guess that won’t work, either. Not even if you do it twice in 1 week.
  39. While trying to get the follow-up appointment, I was admonished to not leave multiple messages. Kinda hard to do, since they keep leaving me multiple messages about how the dates I’m available are all booked and they never actually answer their extension when I call back. My solution? Leave one long “filibustery” message giving them my attorney’s contact information.
  40. For the record, my attorney’s name is Mr. Pitbull. He probably won’t answer his phone, either, because he likes to go “hunting” pretty often. He also seems to have an anger management issue, too. Sooo thankful he chose to go to a different counselor for that.
  41. I opened my underwear drawer and the Spanx apparently have amnesia—they don’t recognize me now that I’m a skeleton. Maybe they’re on Xanax, too?
  42. I am now required to find an allergist. Since we don’t have those in our little town, this IS an excuse to go shopping for skeleton-sized clothes, right? (I plan to shop in the “Pre-Anorexic” department of Macy’s.)
  43. My new allergist is conveniently located next to my favorite heart-healthy restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory.
  44. Wheelchairs sound so much more appealing now. My mom-in-law named hers, “Sally.” I think I will call mine, “Roy.” I always wanted a family member named after Bruce Willis.
  45. Twisted humor lowers my blood pressure. Not sure what it does to yours. But, I have a blood pressure cuff you can borrow.  I’ve quit using it. See # 1.


Tomorrow’s Post: Some actual useful information…

You might also like: Lessons Learned from Heart Attacks 3 & 4, Lessons Learned from a Routine Examination, and Lessons Learned from My Dentist.





We go to church twice
Once shortly after sunrise
And once after sundown
Despite adolescent protesting cries.

In the second one
There will be blue “gowns”
And funny-looking hats
With golden tassels
Swaying this way and that.

The persons wearing this
Unusual Attire
Will probably look annoyed,
Bored, and about to Perspire.

The rest of the crowd
Will be dressed in their finest
And still smile broadly even when
The robed crowd is whiniest.

The name of the occasion
Is also pretty extraordinary
And is probably named that,
To make atheists less wary.

But the fact remains
Despite all the nonsense
That God has brought success
To teens who are now a lot less tense.

And so we acknowledge
The Power that blesses
And hope that those children
Don’t displace their perfectly-combed tresses.

Monday’s Post: How carminative is Carmen????

You Might Also Like: Wedding Cake, I’m Glad to Be Your Man, When East Meets West, For Boston, Cheese Please, The Uninvited Guest, Mexican Bunny Hop, My Madness



You 3.0: MIP Exercise Plan

Heart 9

The other harsh reality about being healthy and fit is that you most likely will not keep off the weight you’ve lost unless you exercise regularly. Regularly does not mean every 6 months, whether you need to or not. Sorry to burst your bubble on that one.

So, what is the story on exercise accoring to research findings and the experts? Regularly means you have to exercise most days of the week. That’s a bare minimum of 4 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. However, that’s the MINIMUM for MAINTAINING your current weight. If you want to actually lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than you currently are eating and you exercise a MINIMUM of 45 minutes per day at least FIVE days a week. If you are middle-aged or even age-proficient (my personally favorite way of saying that someone is no longer a spring chicken), guess what? It gets worse (just like everything about aging). Because our metabolisms tend to slow down with the aging process, we actually have to exercise a MINIMUM of 60 to 75 minutes per day at least FIVE days a week  to see some actual weight loss. Yes, this just stinks…big time. But, we really don’t get a choice on this one, so we just have to put on our big guy or girl panties and deal with it!

So, here’s how I do it with a really busy schedule:

1. Buy a good treadmill. Did you know that, if you get a doctor’s note stating that you need to exercise for your health, you can write off the treadmill sales tax on your income tax? Yep, it’s true.

2. Resist the urge to use your treadmill as an extra place to hang your laundry.

3. Put treadmill where you will have to trip over it….regularly. That doesn’t mean your junk room, your closet, your basement or your garage. I think the most effective place for it is right in front of your refrigerator door.

4. Get addicted to some series on TV or to a really good book.

5. Mount a cool TV near that really irritating treadmill.

6. Put on some really cool (You interpret cool the way you want to–I prefer both meanings.), really comfy exercise clothing.

7. Get a G2 (That’s gatorade for Hefty bag-sized people like me).

8. Get an old towel.

9. Take the G2, the old towel and possibly that great book to the treadmill.

10. Get on the treadmill. Yes, you actually have to get on it to begin losing weight. (Yes, I think it’s unfair, too.) Stop whining.

11. Start the treadmill. If it’s been a while since your last workout, you may need to actually read the instructions for this part. (I personally believe this is why many men still have their beer bellies.)

12. Increase the speed of the treadmill one “notch” at each commercial break or scene change. If reading, increase it at the end of each page, section or chapter. Try not to fall off the treadmill each time you do this.

13. Stay on that treadmill until you’re reaching for that towel or G2 like your life depended on it. For me this happens at the 50 minute mark. Why? Because I exercise for 99 minutes per day 5 to 7 days per week. Yes, you read that right. And yes, I worked up to this, starting with 30 minutes in the beginning. And I’m in my mid-fifties. Stop whining.

14. Slow that treadmill down about 90% of the way through your workout, gradually.

15. Get off the treadmill when snails can crawl faster than your walking speed.

16. Collapse on the floor and let the dog or cat lick the sweat off of you. Easier than getting in the shower–trust me. But, when you recover next week, you might want to wash off the dog slime in the shower. Then, clean the dog slime off the shower walls. That’s part of the workout.

17.  Repeat each day and vary the walking routine. (Most treadmills come with a variety of walking workouts.)

You better be reading this while on your treadmill. 😉 Yes, the treadmill has to be moving…and so do you. Stop whining.

Don’t miss on Friday: You 3.0: Tips and Tricks

Tomorrow’s Post: The last person to ever encounter Morrie…

You might also like: You 3.0: Mindset, Part I; You 3.0: Mindset, Part II; You 3.0: Mindset, Part III; You 3.0: MIP Eating Plan


The Merits of Cookies, Limericks, Sag Harbor, Pam, and Dead Ends…


Several Saturdays ago I introduced my MIP readers to the haikus of Dave Mattson. Those first brief poems were largely serious in nature. But, Dave has a wry sense of humor as well and the haikus today reflect the more silly side of his poetic offerings. And Dave? I may not be able to answer your last question, but my favorite breakfasts always have dessert: Starbucks lattes with whipped cream. ‘Nuf said.

She’s baking cookies
Olfactory seduction
Gastronomic negligee

Please no more Haiku
Its sentimentality
Demeans limericks

Don’t burden children
With the responsibility
To train their parents

Let her sleep in
Served coffee in bed; her thanks?
Is the garbage out?

Can you tell me who
Male or female would desire
Clothes named “Sag Harbor”

Spraying Pam will not
Make your long johns easier
To slide on and off

In between naps I
Lie down until the urge to
Exercise subsides

I’ve lived long enough
To learn some roads not taken
Just lead to dead ends

Why do we bless a
Toxic sneeze’s germs and yet we
Shame a harmless belch

Who declared breakfast
The one meal without dessert?
I would like to know

Monday’s Post: Not too much bosky near the Bosque…

You might also enjoy: The poetry of Dave Mattson; When East Meets West; For Boston; Espresso; Green Eggs, One Fish, The Cat in the Hat and Me


Word of the Week: traduce

Dictionary --Word of the Week

Last week’s Word of the Week was scumble. Scumble means to make (as color or a painting) less brilliant by covering with a thin coat of opaque or semi-opaque color applied with a nearly dry brush or to apply color to something in this way. Since I have no artistic ability whatsoever, I now completely understand why I had no clue what this word meant.

This week’s word is traduce. As usual, submit guesses via the comment box below or send me an email on the Contact page (if you’re shy). No fair looking up the word in a dictionary!

traduce: (trə-ˈdüs) 1. to lower the number of traditions practiced in one’s family at Christmastime (something that MaryAnn should try to do next December!) 2. to lose pounds from your waistline by flying through the air with the greatest of ease on a trapeze. 3. to figure out who gave us the best performance in Trading Places

Your turn.




Growing up somewhat close to the University of Notre Dame, I spent a lot of time with Catholics. In fact I dated all Catholics (including one who was training to be a priest) until I finally found the one non-Catholic man in Indiana. Thus, this protestant preacher’s kid went to a lot of masses and Catholic weddings. My equally protestant mother also enjoyed watching the suspense caused whenever a new pope was to be selected during the cardinals’ conclave. I’m afraid I’ve succumbed to her “illness,” too. Since I have only known of 5 popes during my lifetime (including Pope Francis) and I am no “spring chicken”, the reality is that we probably should be paying some attention to each conclave. The election of a new pope does affect a rather large portion of the world’s population. Unfortunately for the Catholic community, I have known just a few too many crazy Catholics and so, I feel no obligation to be completely reverent about pontifical poetry. My apologies to God, Pope Francis, and my Catholic friends. After this, they will probably be my former Catholic friends.

The rare has happened,
A papal resignation
That has led to reason speculation.
Because of too many scandal seasons?
Or because of aging health reasons?
No matter what the trouble,
The Sistene Chapel is still far from rubble
And seems like a majestic setting
To drink Italian espresso
And celebrate ego less so.

To elect a new pope
You have to wear a dress
Which might cause distress
To an ordinary male witness
And the only sign of a decision
Is smoke with questionable color division

This method was first thought
By the Vatican distraught,
Who felt cardinals should elect a new pope
In less time than it takes for a spinster
To regain matrimonial hope.
So, they locked up those gentlemen,
Who had little papal acumen,
And gave them sparse nutrition
And little religious hydration.
And presto!
A quick election
With minimal additional frustration.

So, here is my question,
For our national consternation
Why haven’t we locked up our Congress
To fix our governmental budget mess?
It hasn’t been attempted
Because we know them all too well
They’d rather not jell or budget fight quell,
And most would rather drown
Before getting caught wearing a gown.


Excuses I Can Make Because I’m Old…

sarcastic face

Today is officially “Be Nasty” Day. And since I have never had much difficulty being nasty (Blame it on being raised in a sarcastic family.), I am particularly fond of the fact that I now have the “luxury” of being old and getting away with saying things I couldn’t say as a “youngster.” I hesitate to share these, for fear my family and friends will now be “on to me.”  But I can’t resist such a golden opportunity…I mean, they “double-dared” me, since it’s actually a day:

1. I don’t remember telling you your nose hairs are too long, but I can see that that’s a very sensitive issue for you.

2. There was fine print?  Sorry, my reading glasses are on vacation.  They have more fun than I do. They are the only thing I own that can afford fun.

3. You want to do a body cavity search? Good luck in there. You may need a flashlight….and a map. No, there’s no “Nav” system for this “neck of the woods.”

4. They STILL pay people to do this???

5. Unless it has carbon paper, I usually don’t have a copy. What do you mean you don’t know what carbon paper is? You haven’t lived until your fingertips and your entire desktop are purply-blue.

6. They don’t make Calvin Klein hearing aids yet, and my ears don’t wear anything generic.

7. You want me to WALK where? Seriously? I’ll need my Calvin Klein cane, as well.

8. Yes, I’ve always been this fat. It was just time to wash the Spanx. They don’t stretch over all of this as well when full of body slime.

9. I’m making paper fans out of the wrinkles on my face. It’s not old…it’s art.  Move over, Picasso. Perhaps Picasso face wrinkle paper fans will pay for my retirement?

10. Co-pay? Oh, I’m sorry. All my money goes to the government. I guess they didn’t send you the memo that they’re paying my co-pays now. And yes, the government says you have to submit it in quadruplicate and then wait a millennium for reimbursement. Don’t blame me. I just work for a living.

Tomorrow’s Post: Growing Up in Seussville