Monday, May 23, 2016

Some Gardening Thoughts

One of the things I love about hard work outside is that it affords me plenty of time to think, uninterrupted.  Usually about things completely unrelated to the work I'm doing. Yesterday I thought about how it's kind of a strange feeling when you first discover how much you didn't know, that you didn't know, you didn't know.  Right?!  Allow me to explain with some examples...

Great Blue Herons

The first time I ever remember seeing one, was about 17 years ago as we were driving down the highway.  A giant pterodactyl-like creature flew over the van and I screamed "whoa! what was that?!" to everyone in the van, and probably a 2 mile radius. Of course no one in the van knew what in the world it was, so when we got home I used whatever search engine worked at the time (google was still a baby and wasn't really anyone's go-to for search engines back in the day) and looked up "a pterodactyl like bird" and discovered what it was.  There was no such thing as an image search back then either, so I had to do a fair bit of reading before I found it.  The Great Blue Heron instantly became my favorite bird ever!

The funniest thing is, a few years later we all took a road trip to my home state of Washington and on the way to my mom's house we passed a beach that was full of... herons!  Of course I was delighted and told my mom all about them and she just sort of chuckled at me.  She wondered where I'd been living the first 33 years of my life since that bird is native to the area, and pretty much always has been.  To this day I have no idea how it's possible I lived in western Washington, with water and beaches pretty much every where you look, and I never once saw a Great Blue Heron.  But it's true.

Brain Freeze

I've heard my whole life, not to eat ice cream or drink ice cold drinks too fast, or you'll get brain freeze.  Everyone hears that.  It's sort of like you hear not to go outside with wet hair or you'll catch a cold. Well, it's sort of like that but it's actually true. Once, one of my kids claimed to have brain freeze and I knew that because right before she threw herself on the floor holding her head and wailing like a banshee, she screamed "BRAIN FREEZE!!" and then cried for 15 minutes.  I should have earned the Worst Mother of the Year Award in that moment because a.) I didn't really believe it was that big of a deal and b.) I just told her something along the lines of "get up and stop acting like a fool". The thing is, I'd never experienced brain freeze myself, so I had no idea. Yet.

Last summer while on yet another road trip (I'm sensing a theme here) we stopped for lunch at this amazing little place in Wall, South Dakota.  It was about 100 degrees that day so everyone ordered an ice cold drink with their lunch.  I opted for a strawberry daiquiri. Now before I continue I have to say it was the most fantastic daiquiri I've ever had in my life.  And, they served it (more or less) in a mixing bowl.  It was HUGE, and I really wanted to finish it since I paid for it.  Well... this is where things went sideways. I mean, really sideways.

I noticed that everyone else was almost done with their lunch and drinks and I still had this giant vat of ice cold strawberry goodness to finish.  So, in between bites of my over-loaded amazing nachos I took a few big gulps of my drink.  At first, everything was fine. Until it wasn't.  Suddenly my throat tightened like I'd been poisoned, my heart felt like it was going to burst out like Alien, and my brain started to melt in my head. I wasn't sure what was happening but I assumed I'd just contracted every fatal disease on the planet, at the same time. My cheeks even went numb.  Hubby took one look at me and said "brain freeze?" and it hit me.  In my mind I pictured that time my daughter was on the floor screaming her face off, and that's when I understood.  I want to throw myself on the floor and do the same but... 50 year olds aren't allowed to do that.  I just whispered "brain freeze" and put my head in my hands and hoped it passed really really soon.  While I sat there waiting to die, I could hear my family giggling and making comments.  I couldn't see them as I'd gone temporary blind with pain but they sat and mocked me.  See, they all know how no-nonsense I am about such things and there we were, out in public and mom's having massive brain freeze for the first time, ever.   Somewhere deep in the back of my brain (the part that wasn't frozen, I guess) I actually wanted to laugh with them, but I was pretty sure I was about to slip into a coma.

Thankfully, it did pass pretty quickly.  We left the restaurant and headed outside to walk to the van. They were still laughing and I was trying to remember how to walk.  Needless to say, I did not finish my lovely drink.  Nor will I ever under-estimate the power of brain freeze to render someone utterly helpless.

Resting *Witch Face

*It's not actually called that, but for G rated purposes, that will have to suffice.

For as long as I can remember: "why are you giving me a dirty look?"  "what's wrong?" and my all time favorite "you should smile more". Goodness gracious why do people have the audacity to tell someone else they should smile?  If I live to be a hundred I will never understand that. In case, this image of me on the left is what I look like with zero expression. I've never taken a selfie while I'm reading or thinking but this is probably what I look like when I'm doing that.  Or, just minding my own business and don't have any real reason to have an expression. This is my "resting" face.  I'm not tired, sick, angry, upset, confused or any other negative emotion.  Although I am without make up and it's not the best lighting on the planet, this is actually what I look like the biggest part of the time.

It was only a few years ago I found out that having such a face, even had a name.  In a way, it was kind of a relief.  I always felt sort of singled out for the alleged dirty looks I was giving to people, or why people used to ask me who I was mad at, or what was wrong.  I don't really give this much thought but the other day I took a couple of the kids to get their passport photos taken to renew their passports.  My daughter's looks lovely, a genuine expression of her pretty face. My son on the other hand, the poor child, has inherited my facial features. His mouth turns down at the corners like mine, and his "resting" face makes him look angry.

It's funny how I've known this boy his entire life and I never really noticed it until I saw his passport photo.  Granted, they do tell you not to smile so that doesn't help if you have Resting *Witch Face.

For my son, thankfully, he'll never have to deal with the same sort of weirdness that women have to deal with when they have this face.  I don't know why that is, it just is.

So I've include a selfie for the "you should smile more!" people.  I promise I don't always look mean and grumpy. Just when I want to. :)