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I have suffered numerous bad habits over the years, beginning with Thumb Sucking.

My parents tried everything including rubbing something on that tasted bad.  Nothing worked.  Finally, on the first day of kindergarten the teacher announced, “Look around children.  We have a baby in the room.”  And there they were all looking at ME!  I do love commanding attention (still) but that was the last day of thumb sucking.

Then in the teen years there was the Nail Biting habit.

Would you say these habits were symptoms of an insecure personality?

In those days, long fingernails were a sign of beauty (but mostly a sign of control over one’s habitual impulses).  I proudly decided to stop nail biting and stopped.  Congrats to that determined young woman.

Smoking was another horrible habit which took hold for years until I stopped “cold turkey”.

I still feel rather smug and self-righteous about that and sincerely try not to lecture friends about the evils of smoking.

Oddly enough, Rubbing-it-In can become a habit too.

But now my latest habit involves Reading Books!

READING BOOKS?

Habitual reading maybe?

Habitual reading of special interest books?

Too much reading?

Too much of the same kind of reading?

No, No, No and No.

What happened the other night revealed  an entirely new habit to break.

The story goes like this:  I was reading a “real book.”

The definition of a real book is one you can hold in your hands and turn pages.  If you are destructive you can even write in it or turn down page corners (but this is a travesty and can be considered inhuman behavior).

Anyway, I was reading a real book for a change and suddenly found myself tapping the side of the page.

Nothing happened so I tapped again.

Then I tapped more aggressively.

Nothing happened.

Until it finally clicked in that I was not reading on my Kindle, and could not tap the margins of a real book to make it turn a page.

 I had to turn the page myself!

Talk about a strange habit in late life!

THE PAGE TAPPING HABIT!

THE KINDLE READING HABIT.

THE HABIT OF READING BACKLIT PAGES WITH NO PAPER CORNERS.

THE HABIT OF TAP TOUCHING THE MARGIN TO GET TO THE NEXT PAGE.

This habit of page tapping has become so ingrained I may need lessons on how to read a real book – the kind you can find in the library – or at least some libraries.

I hear some university libraries are doing away with real books and going fully digital.

Yikes!

Any suggestions for a cure though?

I am a Habitual Page Tapper and need help to break the habit.

 

Clock Phobia

cartoon-clock-clip-art-clipart-free-clipart-OFP7yV-clipartI am Afraid of Clocks.

Maybe it is because I missed the second grade class when Mrs. Weinberg taught us how to tell time.

I was an asthmatic kid who could be “absent” for days and happened to be home listening to Stella Dallas on the radio (anyone remember that soap?).

Who knew those few stolen days would be the cause of a lifelong handicap?

Anyway, when I did return to school, Mrs. M gave a private lesson which went like this, “It’s easy.  Just count 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes around the clock.”

And no, I had not yet heard the lyrics to Rock Around the Clock yet.  Elvis may not have even been born!

And from then on, when the big hand made it to the left side, I could not tell you what time it was.

Still can’t.

I tend to simply hold up my wristwatch to strangers who ask, “Pardon me, do you have the time?”

A Clock Allergy?

I think there is something wrong with my blood flow or energy fields.  Inevitably the watch on my wrist winds up (pun intended) to be about 10 minutes fast.  That’s as the big hand goes “5, 10, 15, 20.”

Rushing through life is what I call it.  Think of all the time lost with just those regular ten minute skipped intervals.

And of course, Setting Clocks is a Challenge.

We just had a very brief power outage – enough to make all the timepieces in the house flash in outrage.

The kitchen stove clock is important for making dinners so I inhaled deeply and poked and pushed buttons until there was a positive response.

Hopefully I did not set off the “self clean” option instead.  It’s  always guess work with no guarantees.

The bedroom clock on the dresser isn’t too hard but continues it’s yearly flashing warning “low battery.”  I never listen since that clock is permanently plugged into the wall and the dresser is too heavy to pull it out far enough from the plug.

The bedroom clock on the dresser has been low batteried since 1998.

There is another bedroom clock that flashes on the ceiling and tells how cold it is outside too.  It is the only clock in the house that resets itself except for the battery operated one in the living room that is eternally dependable.

Maybe getting rid of all but the latter two would be the sane thing to do.

Unless you know of a second grade class teacher who would allow a senior citizen to audit the segment on telling time?

Time Changes are Annoying.

The car clock is the MOST intimidating and takes immense courage for me to go at it.  Somehow it gets done (husbands help) but for now I would rather count out loud.

Let’s see….. it’s 10:15 AM on the dashboard, which means it’s really 11:15 AM now because it was 10:15 AM before the time change.

Who needs to change settings anyway?

Good thing the car clock is digital or I would have to be counting,“Five, Ten, Fifteen, Twenty” and if the big hand is in the wrong place you would never get the right time.

I get “the bug” this time of year.  Not the flu bug (please), but the urge to get rid of stuff.

Sunshine brings it on and Virginia has had many sun-shiney days this winter

It’s high time to make decisions about what clothes to discard and which to donate!

Over twenty years ago I was a working girl of semi svelt proportions who invested in quality stuff befitting a career girl’s status.

And would you believe those pencil thin skirts and silk blouses are still in a back closet?

They are the favorite clothes that will not button or zip no matter how much I hold in deteriorating abs.

Never mind  the suits and silks of the past are no longer in style and never mind that most of those vintage beauties are ridiculous to wear in the country.

Sensible sneakers and jeans are things to wear here in rural Virginia (with the exception of one or two special occasions where people still turn out in jeans!)

But back to the bug, my warped thinking every Spring is,  “Hang onto this.  You might get down to that size again!”

That skirt was high quality you know.

But there are many other “things” to hang onto.  Shorts, bathing suits, and even underwear have accumulated in plastic bags marked Medium, L, XL, XXL (notice there never was a Small).

It is exhausting work to try all those sizes back on.

Sigh.

I have managed to donate two coats to Good Will, but promptly bought two more – needed someting in beige after all.  Something to wear with jeans.

Best to leave all this decision making until it is really Spring, or maybe a year from next Spring?

I might get down to that size again!

Sepia Skylights

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A Virginia View

Is it a mirage or a dream,

or another sunrise in Virginia?

 

Memories by Design

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 A watercolor painting by a first-grader Grandgirl.

A child-painted bird house too sweet to expose to the elements.

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And a trio of little ones painted this watering can to celebrate Spring!

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Handcrafted gifts from young-uns are memories by design.

A nostaligic art form that makes our house a home.

Not to dwell on the saga of my ailing foot but it has survived months in an Air Cam Boot, weeks of physical therapy, tests and more tests and about six different diagnoses.

Dwelling may not be such a bad idea at that.

Here is a photo of an obstacle course (duplicated for home use).  The real thing is at my “PT” place.  PT stands for Physical Therapy.  Have you noticed how people talk in initials now?

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Cone Obstacle Course at Dor’s House

Anyway, the orange coned obstacle course is among other torturous devices at my PT place.  It is designed to build strength and agility in a foot that flaps.

My left foot now flaps when I walk. I can hear it.

And to confirm the lopsided flapping gait,

Bill said, “You walk like a duck!”

So much for grace and pride.  Now add a dog leash for optimal humiliation!

Back to Physical Therapy, my well-meaning therapist, Brenda, puts a belt around my waist and the belt is so long it has a tail.  Then she holds the tail in case I am inclined to teeter toward a crash landing.

The challenge is to high step over each cone without falling or knocking anything down.

  • No swinging a foot outward and around instead of over.
  • No leaning on Brenda.
  • No hopping.
  • And if you knock a cone (or Brenda) over, keep going.

As a beginner at this dog/duck walk I managed to knock down quite a few cones.  Then, just as practice made perfect, they put out taller versions!  Staggering over a new set of towering obstacles was like being a beginner again.

And I was just getting good at the taller versions when they announced, “YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!  No more leash.”

ALONE?  Are you kidding?

Nevertheless, grimly poised for action, I aimed to prove versatility, flexibility, agility, strength, balance, and the powers of a gimpy woman to convert liabilities into assets.

AND I COULD NOT MOVE!

Terrified, to take the first step without a security dog/duck leash, I was frozen at the starting gate.

Finally, Brenda took pity and offered psychological support. She followed along as a human safety net.  And I completed the arduous leash-less journey with only two fallen cones!

Next visit I plan to shock everyone with a perfect solo performance (hence the home-based obstacle course for practice)!  But what diabolical activity will they come up with next?

Did I tell you they have me picking up marbles with my toes?

Ghostly Selfie

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