Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wahoo! Wednesday

We're heading into the final weeks of the kiddo's school year and they're loading us down with activities - concert, fund raisers, banquets . . . you name it. Posts will probably continue to be short and possibly become a bit sporadic, although I will try not to skimp on the reviews. Writing a review is like purging, for me, a chance to spill thoughts. Anyone else feel that way?

That's my youngest son smiling in the red shirt, above . The band concert was terrific and I was immensely grateful, once again, for his willingness to tidy up the hair for a school event.

I'm almost finished with Rises the Night and, honestly, had trouble putting it down to zip over to the pool and drop off son for Lifesaving class. Way to go, Colleen! It's every bit as gripping as the first book. Review forthcoming, probably tomorrow.

This week's things that make me want to say "Wahoo!":

1. Emergency back-up internet options - Last night, as youngest son was preparing for his band concert, I realized that I had completely forgotten how to tie a Windsor knot. My father taught me how to tie a tie in a simple Windsor knot when I was a young tyke but we've somehow managed not to teach the youngster (who is what I would refer to as a Very Casual Fellow). I did a quick search and found this:

How to tie a tie website

Wahoo for that! We had to practice a bit, but eventually got the tie to look decent and then - just to be sure - my delightful son ran across the street and asked his friend's dad if we'd done a decent job. Kiddo's friend's father gave him a thumbs-up. So, we're also grateful for . . .

2. Nice neighbors - You really do have to appreciate the kind ones, don't you?

3. Wahoo for clean, drinkable water! - I haven't got the foggiest idea how I ended up thinking about this, but I think clean water that comes right into one's house at the turn of a tap is something we often don't even think about in the United States and that we should be very, very grateful for. I've thought about it occasionally since moving to Mississippi, twenty years ago. We never experienced broken pipes and "boil water notices" back home, probably because Oklahoma is quite young, as developed areas go. During the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, when people from outside our city were driving here and literally stripping the store shelves of bottled water and food items (wow, was that ever unexpected), we were actually just fine and dandy because I've learned to keep a ready supply of bottled water for emergencies. And, in fact, I had a strong feeling that Katrina was going to be the worst hurricane we had ever seen. I made my husband cancel a business trip and call to warn some of his associates not to travel down here. So, I'm also really grateful for . . .

4. That weird thing we call the "sixth sense". - Sometimes it freaks me out a little, like the time my husband kissed me "goodbye" at 4:00 in the morning and I had an immediate mental flash of twisted metal and people walking around with flashlights (the initial image turned out to be the front page photo in our newspaper, that night). Because of that little moment of intuition, I stopped my husband and wouldn't let him leave the house for nearly 45 minutes. Had he left, he might very well have been involved in one of two horrific accidents that occurred at approximately 4:15 a.m. Both accidents took place near the on-ramp we use to access the interstate. What are the chances of two deadly accidents taking place within minutes of each other within a quarter mile? Probably very small. To have an earth-shaking mental warning like that image that flashed into my head is just such a huge gift. I don't have premonitions like that very often, but I'm very thankful for them. I think they're truly a gift from a higher power and that sometimes they're totally useless but at times a brief moment of intuition may save a life.

5. Socks. Seriously. More than half the year it's too hot down here to wear them. But, when it's cold outside my little feet turn into ice cubes. Wahoo for socks!

I've been thinking about occasionally posting a "What do you think?" question because I'm like the human equivalent of a feline, with a burning curiosity and always, always silly questions running through my mind. Here's what I was thinking about, today:

My husband and I are coming up on our 25th anniversary (I'm way too young for that, honest), which merely goes to show you that the spouse is a middle-aged guy. I think by this point in his life, he ought to be able to do simple things like remove the change from his pants pockets before putting them in the hamper, rinse and stack dishes, and remember where the paper clips are located rather than rely upon his wife to do the sorting and thinking about trivial things for him. I'm not, by any means, referring to a man with limited mental capacity - he has three university degrees. His opinion: "I'm not like you. You can't expect me to remember the little piddly details like you do." After asking me 25 times where the paper clips are kept, I seriously think he ought to be able to remember. I say it's much like the fact that I'm not good with names, but during the time I was involved in direct sales I learned how to make myself connect names with faces. I actually got pretty good at it. So, my thought is that you can make yourself do or recall something if you really desire to.

Then again, Einstein refused to remember things like phone numbers because he didn't want to waste his neurons storing useless information.

What do you think? Should a grown man of reasonable intelligence be expected to do some basic things rather than rely upon his wife to do them for him? Or is it perfectly acceptable for him to expect the wife to remember and claim incompetence?

Latest book news: Not a single book has walked into my house in at least 4 days. And, I'm planning to stop looking in the library sale corner until I've made a serious dent in the piles. I would not be willing to lay odds on my success, but I'm going to give it a try.

Lousy photo, great moment:

This is a terrible photo of a squirrel invading our bird feeder, to which I've added a little soft focus to try to improve the looks of the subject. Somebody needs to wash her windows. Ahem.

Hope your Wednesday was full of wahoos. There are still a little more than two remaining hours of Wednesday in my corner of the world. I think I'll spend at least one of them with a good book.

21 comments:

  1. Great post today! I really enjoyed this one.

    I've never appreciated nice neighbors so much as I do now. While we're waiting for our house to get fixed up STILL...we're living in my Grandma and Dad's neighborhood. So our neighbors are our family and all the kids (who are now grown with families of their own) who I grew up with it! It's great!

    Clean drinking water! I know exactly what you mean. We weren't allowed back home for awhile after Katrina because of the water and then when we were, we had to boil the water. There are so many things I used to take for granted that I no longer do since Katrina.

    Wow! What a sixth sense story! I'd say your husband's a lucky man to have you as his wife. I've never had a moment that extreme, but I've had quite a few little moments. I find that whole topic fascinating!

    And I think you may just have to accept that us guys don't do much changing ;) And this is a counselor telling you that!...that's horrible, lol...But I'm guilty of the same thing, and the ex used to complain about it all the time. But seriously, paperclips are always kept in the strangest places.

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  2. Stephanie6:13 AM

    I have a bunch of nice neighbors and count myself very lucky.
    Stephanie
    www.thewrittenword.wordpress.com

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  3. We just had our 37th anniversary yesterday. It's taken almost that long for Dom to learn how to put dishes into the dishwasher and empty it when it's finished. He still does not empty pockets and can't find anything in the house. He's constantly losing keys, wallet, hats - you name it. I think there's a special male gene that makes them that way. I've just about given up hope with Dom.

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  4. In "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus" (yeah, I read it and I use it), Dr Gray says that men don't remember little things like what to get at the grocery store or where the paper clips are because their priorities are different from women.

    Men tend to deal only with the BIG PICTURE and not the little details that make life run so smoothly. That's where women come in.

    We know where the Christmas decorations are stored, and when the kid's dentists appointment are, because that stuff is important to us in our daily lives.

    If your husband's job depended on knowing where the paper clips were, you can bet he would be on top of it.

    Kind of ticks me off. I'm spending 5 or 6 hours every day cleaning this week and my husband doesn't even notice. He had to read my blog to even know that I was doing spring cleaning! Men. Heh.

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  5. The internet is wonderful isn't it? Yesterday I looked up some info on flowers-oh so handy!

    H isn't too bad -if he's previously been told where something is he'll mostly remember but often he just doesn't know where I keep some household things. But asking him to do something, unless it's done right away, is another story altogether. I agree though, must be a guy thing.

    And great moment indeed! Is that the same squirrel that you took a picture of a while back hanging out on the tree branch?

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  6. Chris,

    I thought of you when I was writing about Katrina, of course. :) We only had 100-mph gusts, lots of downed limbs, and about 36 hours without power, phone and cell service - it was mostly the lack of fuel and people coming in from everywhere else to get food and water that caused trouble. The "aftermath, not the storm," as my son's swim coach said. But it was enough to be really eye-opening, you know?

    My poor husband had to deal with hysterics, the morning of that little sixth-sense flash. LOL But, he's been around me long enough to know that if I have a "strong feeling" about something, it's worth noting. I've only had a few moments that were that strong, thank goodness. It is fascinating, isn't it? I loved Allison DuBois' book because I could relate to it in many ways.

    Yeah, I know I can't change the spouse. But, the eternal optimist in me can't stop hoping that he'll figure out a few of the little things, one day. :)

    Stephanie,

    Yep, same here. I think we're very lucky to have good neighbors!

    Lynne,

    I think maybe half the problem is that my father was a detail person, so I'm living with the polar opposite of the kind of man I grew up with. My dad didn't miss anything - my husband doesn't see anything (definitely a big-picture guy). He'd just as soon step on a pillow that's slid onto the floor as pick it up. So, I think that's a major part of my frustration. It's not just a guy thing; my father-in-law is also a perfectionist. But, anyway, he was my choice. :)

    Kookie,

    It's been ages since I read Men are From Mars. Maybe I need a reread. I remember we both found it helpful. We had a CD with video clips and Gray was really quite funny.

    Yeah, I could get the house spotless and the hubby wouldn't even notice. I feel your pain. Come to think of it, the paperclips aren't in the most obvious place. LOL Maybe I need to organize in a different way - like, label everything. My sister had a friend whose dad had a wall of shoebox-sized plastic containers, all meticulously labeled and shelved. That's probably what my husband needs. Not that he'd put anything back when he finished with it.

    You know, I knew a lot of male perfectionists as a kid. I guess that's what comes of growing up around accountants.

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  7. Nat,

    Okay, I give in. It must be a guy thing. LOL My dad and FIL must have just been two rare exceptions!

    Yes, the internet is such a great thing. I was just thinking that I need to look up orchids to find out what you do with them once they're done blooming. Mine is still alive but it's beginning to drop the blooms. I want it to live to bloom another year, of course. :)

    There were actually three squirrels playing around in the backyard when I took that photo, so I have no idea if it's the same one. Probably not. We have a lot of squirrels hanging out around our house. It took me a while to realize that those thunk, whoppa-whoppa-whoppa sounds I heard on the roof were squirrels dropping down from the trees and then scurrying (often chasing each other) across the roof.

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  8. That's amazing about your intuition. No wonder you responded so strongly to the book by the "Medium" writer.

    Where did you live when you were in Oklahoma? I was in Lawton and Broken Arrow.

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  9. That's a cute squirrel/birdhouse photo!

    That sixth sense flash you got was pretty lucky for your hubby.

    Speaking of which, he can possibly forget all those things. What he CANNOT do is refer to them as "piddly" things for YOU to remember.

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  10. Number four, awesome!

    Oh, and just give up with hubby. My husband still cannot get the correct color in the correct hamper, even when there is clothes, honest-to-goodness visual clues, to help him do the right thing

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  11. Bybee,

    I really did relate to Don't Kiss Them Goodbye, in some ways (I don't see ghosts, though!).

    You lived in Oklahoma? Cool! I'm from Ponca City, hubby is from Tulsa and we met at OSU and lived in Stillwater, then moved to Tulsa and then Sand Springs (near Kaw Lake). My SIL lived in Lawton, for a time, and sort of hated it. I don't think I've ever been there, but I know Broken Arrow pretty well. :) When did you live in OK?

    Carrie,

    Thanks. I love those crazy squirrels. I didn't have my camera handy when one dangled from a limb by his hind legs, today - so cute!

    You are definitely wise beyond your years, babe. :) I agree, no calling what I can recall "piddly". Great point.

    I think the hubby did appreciate that flash of intuition, when I told him I'd figured out exactly what I saw and why I had to bar the door. LOL . He takes it pretty seriously, since he's been around me for so long. The best thing about that particular morning was that after I'd delayed him, he still had to leave but when he kissed me goodbye the second time . . . nothing. No bad feeling. I really did feel like something amazing had taken place.

    Maggie,

    Thank you so much for saying that. When hubby changed out of his work clothing, tonight, and tossed the black socks and pants on the red pile I said, "Hey, did you totally overlook the pile of dark stuff sorted on the floor at your feet?" He looked at me, looked at the floor, said, "Oh", reached over to pick up his pants (left the socks where they fell) and dumped them on the dark pile. I thought my life was just too weird. It's nice to know one is not alone. :)

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  12. Can't wait to read Rises the Night! I'm so jealous!

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  13. Wow. Neat post!! My neighbors are ok. They pretty much keep to themselves. But we did have a nice couple move in next door. He has a daughter from his first marriage that is Ana's age, so now my girls have someone to play with a lot in the summer and on the weekends. They are really nice and offered to watch the kids anytime I needed it. Can't beat that!

    That's a great story about the accident! I don't think I've ever had a moment like that.

    My husband is the same way. SLOWLY I've been trying to break him off all the bad habits his mom left him with !! But there are some that I'm afraid will never go away!

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  14. Angela,

    It's soooo good. I'll have a drawing in a few weeks, so hang on. Maybe you can get yours for free. ;)

    Stephanie,

    We've got a lot of retirees around us and they tend to make really nice neighbors. No loud music, they're tidy and laid-back. And, the family with kids my son's age is terrific. I really do feel like we're lucky to have such great neighbors. Oh, heck yes, you can't beat having someone willing to watch your kids!!

    I've had several of what I guess I'd call "warning premonitions", but that's one of the most vivid and startling that I ever had. I was just sure it meant my husband's plane was going to crash. The idea of a car accident didn't occur to me, so you can imagine how stunned I was when I opened the paper and saw the exact picture I'd visualized and found out it was a photo of one of two accidents that occurred right as my husband would have been entering the highway. It took my breath away.

    Men. Messes. Antidepressants. Think there's a connection? ;)

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  15. I loved your sixth sense story. Thank god you listened to yourself and took it seriously. Also, my opinion is that it's not acceptable for men to be like that. It's SO annoying! My husband is always asking me where HIS stuff is, like where is my precision screwdriver? Where are the plans to the shed I'm building? I keep track of enough without having to search for stuff I've never even touched! :)

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  16. Camille,

    Thanks. That was a rather strong flash of intuition, so I don't know that I could have actually ignored it - at least, that one time!

    Oh, yeah, the screwdriver. The funny thing about my husband and tools is that he leaves them right there, wherever he was doing whatever little fix-it job he did last. So, it's kind of easy if you know what he most recently repaired. LOL But, try to get him to remember! I actually had my hubby put up a peg-board in our utility room, so that I could get some little organizing doodads and hang things up when I found them. That, at least, has worked pretty well. Except when he takes his stuff into the garage. :)

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  17. I was in Oklahoma off and on all my life until 1997, when I moved away for good. Lately I'm thinking I'd like to move to Norman, but I'm sure it'll pass.

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  18. I may not be posting at the moment but I'm still reading some blogs! Love your Wahoo Wednesdays. There is so much to be grateful for.

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  19. Bybee,

    As much as I'm enjoying the wildlife here, I'd move home in a heartbeat. I feel like moving South interrupted my life and there are things I want to finish that can only be done back home. Norman's not bad. You wouldn't have any trouble finding bookstores!

    LC,

    I'm glad you're still visiting blogs. Is it getting cold in your part of the world? Hubby is probably going to Australia in June and he's thinking about trying to take me along (nothing is ever definite with that fellow) but he's been told you really feel how close you are to the South Pole during winter in Melbourne. And, we don't have very good coats. :)

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  20. Melbourne isn't terribly cold in winter at all! You can get buy with a trench coat-type of thing. We Melbournians layer a lot: singlet, long sleeved t-shirt, cardi/jumper and light coat and scarf and hat, and that is when it's REALLY cold! During the day you can get away with jeans and a long sleeved top inside. Just so you know :-)
    Is he/you coming to Melb? I'd love to meet you if so!

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  21. LC,

    Thanks! Sounds like I can handle the layering just fine! Yes, hubby is headed to Australia some time in June and we're thinking of tagging along. He'll be in the middle of the desert, but I thought maybe he could just drop me off (and, hopefully, my son also) in a major city. As far as I know, it's Melbourne that he's flying into, first. I don't know if it will work out, but I'd definitely love to meet you if it does!

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