All posts by verily sherrilee

Directionally challenged, crafty, reading mother of teenager

Winter Attitude

Most of the people I know are thrilled to get a few days of above freezing temperatures at this time of year. Not me.  I chose this climate.  My family visited relatives in northern Wisconsin quite often when I was a child and I always knew I wanted to live here.  I chose a college because it was in Minnesota and after wasband finished grad school in Milwaukee, we headed to Minneapolis even though neither of us had jobs yet.

I don’t mind the cold – until I lose my winter attitude. Once we have some warmer weather, my body decides that it’s ready for spring, a return to shorter sleeves and flip flops.  Then the cold weather DOES get to me.  So even if it’s 35 degrees out, I’m still wearing my gloves and big knitted scarf and pretending Mother Nature is still bringing on the chill.  Once my body has made that transition, there is no going back!

How do you handle the last weeks of winter?

 

Gold, Silver, Bronze

I didn’t grow up watching sports. We didn’t follow any teams and even though my parents were avid tennis players, we never watched tennis either. None of my sisters nor I did any sports except what little we were required to do in phy ed.

So it was a surprise to me when I first watched some Olympic coverage in college that I enjoyed it. Not enough to follow sports throughout the years, but more than enough to spend the two weeks of the Olympics in front of the television.  Sports that I would NEVER watch any other time seem interesting during the Olympics (think bob sled, pole vaulting, skiing, swimming).

As a young married in Milwaukee, in a teeny apartment, wasband and I were excited to watch the 1980 Winter Olympics but we had a teen little black & white television. To celebrate the Olympics we splurged with a Rent-a-Center color console for two weeks.  It took up most of the living room, but we really enjoyed it and watched the Olympic coverage constantly.  After the Olympics, back the tv went.

These days I actually watch a couple of channels at a time. Men’s team ice skating on one channel and downhill skiing and luge on another; I switch back and forth at the commercials or whenever the commentators get verbose. I don’t really have a big preference for either summer or winter Olympics.  I have favorite sports in each, but nothing that tips the balance for me one way or the other.

What gets a gold medal in your world this week?

Slurp

You all know that I’m fascinated by coincidence and the baader meinhof phenomenon. I don’t know why, but it won’t surprise you that it’s happened to me again.

Last weekend, while watching some cooking show (something about how you’re eating it wrong?), there was a snippet about slurping noodles. The theory is that slurping makes the noodles taste better because the increased air in your mouth allows the flavors to mingle and develop.

Then last night I started watching “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” (thanks BiR for the suggestion). The first episode is filmed in Tokyo and Phil spends one whole afternoon and evening going from one noodle shop to another.  In the first of the shops, the owner/chef tells Phil that he needs to slurp the noodles and then explains how they will taste better with the extra aeration! This is amazing to me to hear this tidbit twice in a week when I’ve I’ve never heard it before.

How to you like your noodles?

 

Decades

One of the worst things about being sick is the lack of energy.  For me, this translates into watching more tv than usual, which is difficult for me because at any given minute, I can’t find anything worth my time.  I detest reality tv – all of it.  I also don’t like shows in which competitors are thrown off (which is all the dancing shows, lots of the cooking shows and the grand-daddy of them all: Survivor.  I don’t like most cop shows – too dark and intense.  Ixnay on most situation comedies and sports doesn’t do it for me either.

If you tally this up, about the only tv left is nostalgia tv… those couple of stations that are re-running shows from “the good ole days”.   Perry Mason, Barney Miller, Andy Griffth, even MacGyver – I’ll watch these any time instead of American Ninja Warrior or Judge Judy.

In addition to the couple of already existing channels, there’s another one that has shown up the last couple of months. They caught my eye last week with the made-for-tv Perry Mason movies and a lot of old Dick Cavett shows from the 80s.  I ended up watching Perry Mason ALL weekend.  They also run Laugh-in, Wonder Woman, Gunsmoke and even Kung Fu, which I haven’t seen for decades.

So why am I willing to watch all these old shows again? Do I yearn for my youth? Am I too old-fashioned for today’s tv trends?

The Lesson from Cuba

Today’s post comes to us from Crystal Bay.

My son, Steve, along with his girlfriend, sister, and best friend, all returned from Cuba three days ago. He said that the trip was life-changing and overwhelming. Unfortunately, all four suffered “Montezuma’s Revenge”, and were violently ill the last day and are still sick. Imagine a 12-hour flight while being sick from both ends?

It’s worth noting here that it hurt my feelings that I wasn’t invited. He’d told me that I’m not physically strong enough to endure 15 hours a day hiking and walking. When he shared the horrific illnesses they all suffered, my exclusion from this adventure quickly felt like dodging a cannon ball.

Steve and his girlfriend, Lani, went to Cuba to film an episode for their hopefully upcoming reality cable series. My daughter graduated with her BSN a month ago, so this was his graduation gift to her.

He said that he’s never met a more loving, kind, happy population in his life. He joined a little band on the street and played guitar with them as they sang and danced.  He told me that Cuba doesn’t have toilet paper or even toilet lids!  He shared the surreal beauty of the architecture, plant like, and generosity of the Cuban people.  I asked how they could be so happy given that they live under a dictatorship. He replied; “You wouldn’t know it. In fact, these people are far happier under a dictatorship than we are under a democracy.”

This leads me to the most “life-changing” part of his adventure. He spoke of meeting people from every corner of the world and, without exception, the very first thing out of their mouths was; “Why did you put a man like Trump in office?” Every single one. They shared how Trump’s impact on their own country has been devastating because it’s unleashed extremists, racists, bigots to gain traction and threatens to endanger their own democracies. Steve and the others were stunned by learning how foreigners around the globe are now viewing the United States, and how our president has the power to damage so many nations abroad. “It’s like a cancer, Mom”.

He, Lani, Mary, and Sully found themselves profusely apologizing and saying, “This is not who we are as a people – please know this”. It’s a very sad day when my own children have to apologize for being Americans.

What do you think kids studying this era in 20 years from now will be reading?

Not Science

I know that anecdotes are not science. Just because you know two people who know two other people who have had something happen to them doesn’t mean it is science.   When the anecdotes don’t agree with your own world view it’s pretty easy to refute them.  But when it happens to you, it’s a little harder.

For many years I didn’t get a flu shot because they were made with thimerosal as a preservative and I’m sensitive to that. Then about 8 years ago, they started making the shots without the preservative so I signed up at work and got the shot.  A month later I was as sick as a dog; since I’d had the flu shot I was sure I had food poisoning and that was when I got a lesson in flu coverage by my doctor.  The flu shot is an educated guess about what will be coming around each flu season; sometimes they work, sometimes they miss the mark.  But the memory of being that sick made me hesitant to get a flu shot again.

Fast forward to last spring when I had pneumonia (ick). My doctor told me that the flu shot would be a helpful preventative against pneumonia so I dutifully got the shot this year.

You know where this is going, right? As I sat in Urgent Care yesterday with chills so bad I could hardly drive and a temperature over 103, the doctor (of course) asked me if I had gotten a flu shot this year.  I said “yes, and a lot of good it’s done me”.  She repeated to me that every now and then the current flu serum for the year really doesn’t help that year’s flu strain at all.  This is one of those years.  And apparently 8 years ago was one of those years as well.

I understand that this is a complete coincidence that both years I got the flu shot were the only two years that I’ve gotten the flu in the last couple of decades. My brain knows that getting the flu shot didn’t really give me the flu…. but just the same, my hearts thinks it’s going to be really hard for me to go get that shot next year!

Has your brain ever disagreed with your heart?