Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Verdict is In!

Yes! Nuts! However, I was far from alone. I was also underdressed, at least in the costume category. Cousin Eddy from Christmas Vacation was there in his short bathrobe, Elmer Fudd hat, Budweiser can and cigar, and hose to drain the RV holding tank! Also present were several elves, lots of Santa's, and a few men in red longhandled underwear! My favorite was the guy dressed up as Winter. He had the best hairdo!

About the run ...

a) The weather was about right. I had to shed the headband and gloves along the way. This didn't help my hairdo, but who cares at the end of 6.1 miles?

b) Choirs, cheerleaders, and water stations were a bit sparse!

c) Thank goodness for running buddies!

d) Thank goodness for country music on the iPod.

e) I really wanted to turn right with the 2.5 milers!

f) The hill. Bad. Really bad! I thought I died and went to Hell, but then they must have had a change of heart. When I hit the downhill it felt like Heaven!

I'll probably do it again next year. Maybe I'll wear a costume. I wonder where one can find a really big Planter's Peanuts can?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Am I Nuts?

Red and white striped gloves? Check.
Fleece headband? Check.
Green running shirt? Check.
Running playlist? Check.
One point five mile warm up run? Check.
Ibuprofen? Check!
Fluids? Check!
Carbo loaded? Working on it.
Nuts? Yes, I am!

Who talked me into running in the YMCA 10K Christmas Run, anyway? Oh right, that was me! This race isn't even called a "fun" run. It's just a run. Just over six miles, one and a half miles of which are uphill, it's what everyone wants to be doing the last Saturday before Christmas - right?

I hear there is a costume contest. I'm pretty sure I can't run in a costume. My green shirt and candycane gloves will have to suffice. Too bad I couldn't just enter the costume contest and forget the run!

I'm thinking there is going to be mud. What goes up, must come down, and the reverse of 1.5 miles uphill is a half mile downhill trail. Maybe I can slide.

There are bagels, hot soup, and hot chocolate at the end of the run. Ever tried eating after a six mile run? I suppose I could stash the bagel and eat it later. I may have to pass on the soup! But I'm pretty sure I paid for it with my registration. Yes, I actually paid to get up early to go do something painful and often nauseating on the last Saturday before Christmas! Hey, I'm getting a new T-shirt out of the deal. At least, I am not the only one. There are a few hundred other "nuts" who will be joining me, ages ranging from 13 - 69. Both genders. I guess you could say we're a bunch of mixed nuts.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


What was I thinking? I heard the forcast. I listened to the counsel. I remembered the last time the pipes froze. It isn't that difficult to leave a faucet dripping!

Alas, I ignored the weatherman and woke up to frozen pipes! Ugh! So now I wait. Space heater pointed at the suspected area of icy blockage, I wait. I also had to fuss with the breaker box! (See previous posts.) My plans have been changed because I failed to follow one simple instruction. "Leave a faucet dripping!" When I heard the anchorman offering his wisdom, I thought, "I remember the last time our pipes froze. Somebody left the garage door open all night. Well, the garage door is shut. I'm not going to mess with a dripping faucet." Turns out six degrees below zero goes right through the garage door!

My husband is out of town. He spent the night in a warm hotel room. I'm sure he had running water this morning. My teenager is at school. One bottle of spring water (Yes, I purchase bottled water. Just because my name is Green doesn't mean I am green.) and he had his teeth brushed and was out the door. Another son is in Brazil. It's 75 degrees there! Me? I'm just waiting. I intended to make a mad dash to town this morning, however, I dare not leave. The space heater could burn down the house. I have every faucet open - there could be a flood!

What does this experience teach me? I don't know. I'm beginning to think I'm not very teachable!

I think I'll go bang on the pipes!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Power Gremlin Strikes Again!

Phone rings ... "So Carol, remember when you were having problems with your power last year?" Boy do I! Only, it wasn't just last year, it was last month as well.

"Well, some of my house has power and some of it doesn't." Sounds familiar.

"None of the breakers have tripped." Neither had mine.

"The part of my house without power is the part with all the major appliances - LIKE THE FURNACE." This through chattering teeth. It's 25 degress outside.

Of course it was the part with the major appliances. That's how this game works!

"You better call the power company," I counseled. "It sounds like my power problem a few weeks ago." (See October 28 Post - Power? No Power?)

Sure enough! The little power man had to climb a pole outside and fix a wire that apparently hadn't been tended to in, oh ... maybe FIFTY YEARS! But hey, he did it for free. After all, it is the power company's responsibility to maintain that line ... and it has been their responsibility for the past FIFTY YEARS!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey Trickery

Well, we survived it! Not without mishap, mind you. I have learned over the years not to put too much weight on the success of the holiday. Too many Thanksgivings have been fraught with personal trials to anticipate perfection, but do you think the turkey could have been done? I thawed the bird early. I used a bag. The oven was hot before the bird entered. I timed it longer than the directions suggested. To no avail! Late for dinner, I stuffed the bird inside another bag, shoved it back in the oven, set the timer to turn the oven off in another 30 minutes, and traveled 20 miles East to dinner - no turkey in hand! After dinner, we traveled 20 miles West in an attempt to salvage our bird. We then made a 48 mile journey East to eat a piece of pie and returned 48 miles West to sleep. I think I'll stay home next year!

Note: The well-done turkey that stayed inside a bag while cooling was undoubtedly the best turkey I have ever roasted! And ... I had it all to myself. Leftovers anyone?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why I Don't Eat Oysters

My husband took me to dinner for my birthday. For those interested, I'm still in my forties - barely! The waitress greeted us warmly and announced the special of the evening, "Fried Oysters." I looked her in the eye and announced, "I grew up and I don't have to eat those anymore!" I'm still wondering why I ever ate them in the first place.

Fear? Of what was I afraid? Would the precious and expensive oysters go to waste if I didn't eat them? Surely not! My parents loved fried oysters. They would have readily consumed my portion. At my house the parents (that's me and my husband) rejoice when the shrimp, mushrooms, and avocadoes go untouched. More for us! We grieve the day the children develop a taste for such delicacies. Less for us!

Duty? To be a true Nelson must one eat the strangest of foods? Maybe it was duty.

Isolation? Would I have missed out on the party that sprouted around a meal of fried oysters? Probably.

I'm pretty sure that the fried oyster meal was an impending coronary catastrophy! Dipped in egg and cracker crumbs, the oysters were fried in leftover drippings - most likely, bacon grease. They were then dipped in homemade sauce - a Miracle Whip and catsup mixture. It required equal parts sauce and oysters for me to ingest the slimy, greasy, creatures. That's a lot of saturated fat!

So ... I don't have to eat them and here is why.

#1 - I am not afraid!
#2 - I am a Nelson!
#3 - I enjoy my own company!
#4 - I am taking care of my heart!

And most importantly ...


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I am not much of a numbers girl. I prefer words. Words give me control - I know where I am going and where I want the reader to end up. Numbers have a way of controlling me. Numbers on the clock control what time I rise each morning. Numbers in my checkbook control how I shop or don't shop. Numbers on the bathroom scale, well ...

Maybe I was bored, or maybe I wanted a challenge. Whatever the reason, I tackled my first Sudoku puzzle. Pure luck helped me find the first number I could fill in. I soon determined that I had the key to the puzzle figured out and hastily filled in digits from one to nine horizontally and vertically. Things were going good until I viewed the puzzle from another angle. I had duplicated digits in several of the nine 9-square boxes! I didn't feel so smart any longer.

Sudoku is restricting. There is an exact answer to each puzzle. One digit out of place and the whole puzzle is a mess!

Not so with words. One can "write around" a problem. If it doesn't work one way - try another. Freedom of speech, or in this case freedom of the written word, truly is freedom! One is not limited by boundaries set forth by another; she sets her own boundaries and then writes to explain them. So I say to you would be poets, writers, authors, all commanders of the English language, "Write on!"

Please excuse me now, I have a number puzzle to work!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No Wonder!

I’m not a beer drinker. Never have been. Never plan to be. I am, however, trained in the art of intervention. In other words I spent three ours last evening learning how to (a) determine if someone should be “cut off” because they are becoming intoxicated, (b) detect suspicious behavior in the form of alcohol purchases for minors, (c) identify counterfeit identification, and (d) how to effectively address the preceding issues. I did this in the name of volunteerism. My son’s high school choir fundraises by selling concessions at the local hockey arena.

I’m okay with all of this – really, but the "allocation of funds” (fancy school finance term) is a bit confusing. The training is to protect the vendor, the facility, and the volunteer from lawsuit. Hey, wait a minute! I’m a volunteer! I’m not even making any money! I am, however, busy ripping off customers at $7.50 per beer. SEVEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS! Two beers is half a pair of jeans. Two beers can buy school lunch for a week. Two beers can put five gallons of gas in my car! No wonder I don’t drink beer!

I'm thinking the training was actually for the customer. It taught me how to (a) cut him off, thus saving him pocketfuls of cash, (b) save him money by preventing him from giving away more beer, and (c) prevent youngsters from spending money on beer in the first place. Like I said - no wonder I don't drink beer!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Power? No Power?

Why is it that we never know how much we love something until it goes away? Like electricity, for instance? I am confident that I am prepared. I can handle a little inconvenience when necessary. What I don’t handle very well is unnecessary inconvenience.

A storm occurred. It knocked out power to 8500 homes in the area. It did not knock out power in my home, at least, not completely. Some lights worked. Some outlets worked. The refrigerator and water heaters worked sporadically. Some lights dimmed. None of the major appliances had enough power to run. Some power, just not enough. The furnace certainly did not work!

How can this be? Well, I assumed the problem was in the wiring in my home, so I called my electrician. He checked the work from his previous visit and quickly diagnosed the problem. One of the connections on the outside of my home was burnt through – a casualty of years of weather abuse. This explained the partial power. Some power was getting to my home, just not enough. It was a simple problem, easily repaired. It would take a matter of minutes.

Enter the unnecessary inconvenience. My electrician was able to repair the problem. He just wasn’t allowed to repair it. Huh? That’s right, because the problem was outside the house the problem was on the power company’s side. This meant the power company would have to repair the wires. Did I mention there had been a storm that knocked out power lines? I don’t think I mentioned that I was way down the list, or that my son was home with the flu. How about the fact that I have lived in my home for twenty years and the same power company responsible for maintaining outside lines has never attempted maintenance on said lines?

My electrician could have corrected the problem in a matter of minutes, but the power company would have none of that! Rather, I waited hours! When, after a second phone call requesting repair the service man showed up it took him exactly fifteen minutes to restore full power to my home.

What did I do first? I turned on the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, furnace, and stovetop. I reset four digital clocks - again. And then I listened. I listened to the sound of my house running. What a beautiful noise – a house doing what it was built to do! I love the convenience of electricity!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Did She Say That, Or Did I?

I called my voice mail the other day and my sister answered! It scared me. I thought perhaps she had moved into my home. As I began to explain that I wasn’t calling her, I was calling my voice mail, she claimed that she were me and would I please leave a message. I made a smart remark and hung up the phone!

You see, there are six of us. An eighteen year span separates youngest from oldest, yet we all have the same voice. I’ve learned to use my mother’s tactic when receiving a phone call from one of them. Just listen and comment “Ahh” or “I see” until I am confident which sister is on the line. Sometimes I attempt to steer the conversation in a direction that will cause her to identify herself, such as, “Are your kids coming for the holidays?” This is only effective for those sisters with grown children living away from home, which is almost all of us. “How’s the weather?” works for those in Eastern Idaho as it is always colder and windier than Southwest Idaho. It narrows the field by two if the answer is “fine” and three if the answer is “cold and miserable.”

One sister had occasion to contact a teacher friend of mine for a reference on a prospective employee. “Bet ya can’t guess who he said I sounded like,” she challenged. Duh! The teacher, a wannabe rock star, suggested us sisters form a singing group. Bad idea. None of us can carry a tune. There are those that believe they can, however, they sound exactly like the rest of us!

An English instructor once suggested a technique for preparing a speech. Taping the practiced speech would allow a better handle on inflection and timing. So I tried. Another bad idea. When I played it back, I was certain someone had erased my voice and replaced it with her own in an attempt to confuse me and sabotage my English grade!

My parents had so many daughters that I thought they ran out of ideas when naming us. Maybe it was foresight. Wise they were to have given some of us similar names. I always thought their confusion was a slip of the tongue – Kaye, Carol, Claire, Barbara, Bonnie. Maybe their confusion was really due to a slip of the ear.

It’s hereditary. I had a phone visit with my younger sister for several minutes the other day. Then she revealed her true identity. She was not the mother. She was the daughter. It’s passing from generation to generation and I’m beginning to feel like my mother!

The similarities of voice have been convenient for denial purposes. I can claim “I never said that!” The listener isn’t certain I did. For if they heard me, they very well may have heard my sister!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


My Mother had a basement,
My Grandma had one, too.
But I don’t have a basement,
I’ll leave them all to you.

My Mother’s basement flooded,
Grandma’s smelled bad, too.
If I had a basement,
Here’s what I would do.

Paint the walls bright yellow,
Install fluorescents, too.
Then burn lots of candles,
Cinnamon and Honeydew.

Smoke bomb all the spiders,
Catface, Black Widow, too.
Move all my things upstairs,
And rent it out to you!

My Mother had a basement,
My Grandma had one, too.
I’m glad you have a basement,
I’m sure it’s fine for you!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


An artistic arrangement of adverbs, adjectives, and afterthoughts appropriately advancing acceptance of acrobatic alphabet activity. Alright?

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Win!

Scott threw down the gauntlet
And he tried to start a war.
We kicked up our miles
Since he could ride so far.

He was way ahead of us
And we thought we were beat.
Kevin logging his on wheels
And I on my two feet.

But Scotty got discouraged
Cuz his bones and muscles ached.
We just kept on going
Cuz pain’s a part of age!

I began to write a bit,
I even started blogging.
Scott just had to copy me
Recording miles he’s logging!

But one thing I have over Scott
He’ll never catch me here!
I have way more birthdays
Cuz I’m his Auntie Dear!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

For Judy

My sister has a fishin’ hole
And it’s just right for her.
She built it there in her backyard
Where she can dig some worms.

It’s really kinda fancy
‘Cuz it’s full of planter fish.
Just hook a worm and cast yer line
You’ll catch one, ‘less ya miss.

A drain pipe’s in the middle
So the pond is always fresh.
It strains out all the noxious weeds
Through a cover made of mesh.

Sometimes they move the cover
And I’m not sure just why.
For when they must replace it
It’s tough to remain dry!

Some rebar and some wadin’ boots
Are both tools that’s required.
I said, “What were ya thinkin’?
For this job I’d have hired!”

I grabbed her belt, she leaned over
Drain cover on a hook,
Stretchin’ far as she could reach.
A fine sight we did look!

Now we’re not young
And we’re not spry
But hold her I did try!
Although she did replace it
She is no longer dry!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Call Myself A Writer

I call myself a writer
And I think it’s kinda neat,
That I do my work at home
In blue jeans and stockin’ feet.

I tried to write a novel
But somehow it wuz all wrong.
So I put the words to music
And I claimed I writ a song.

I couldn’t get it published
‘less I handed them some bucks.
So I mortgaged off the homestead
And I even sold my truck.

Now my novel’s in the dumpster
And I ain’t got any wheels.
My song sounds like a train wreck
And I’m panhandlin’ for meals!