Sunday, August 16, 2015

After Market Air Conditioning

An electrical hiccup;
for less than half a second
the house loses its hum.
A sudden loud whoosh
as too much air is forced
through long snaky tubes
out tiny circular vents
then dispersed throughout the rooms.
We raise the volume of the TV
or radio
as rooms cool.
I don't know what magic lives
in the metal box sitting outside our window
that controls this process.
It could be pumping in chemicals
or controlling my thoughts
or making me fat;
I wouldn't turn it off.


Monday, June 22, 2015

A Belated Father's Day Toast To My Dad

I'm ashamed to admit that I take my dad for granted. I frequently talk more than I listen. My check-ins and visits and sporadic and sometimes too brief. I know I'm so fortunate to have him, and to still have him around - yet I treat that fact like it's a given and I often forget how amazing he is and why I should try to be more like him.

The biggest reason; his passion. He is always learning. I have lists of things I want to learn about but my dad is the guy who goes to meetings, talks to people to find out what they know, and pays attention. He doesn't flaunt his knowledge. In the midst of a very casual conversation I will discover that he attended a seminar on helping to replenish the diminishing deer population up north and can now tell how old a doe is just by looking at her.

I don't always have the same interests, but it doesn't matter. He is interested enough for the both of us. And his passion is contagious. He listens when anyone talks, and I'm always amazed at the things I tell him that he remembers. He has an incredible memory.

He's also the guy who can fix anything. Anything. When his pipes burst in the winter he fixed them himself. After he fixed his pipes he went over to his church and fixed the broken pipes there.

He looks on the bright side of everything: he discovered that his pipes had burst when the washing machine overflowed, pouring soapy water into the den. His response: "That carpet needed to be cleaned anyway."

At an age when many people are slowing down he is forging a new career making metal parts for machines. He says that so many machines are now being made with plastic parts that people can only get replacement parts for some of their old machinery made out of plastic. He can look at a part or a drawing and make it out of metal, so it will last longer.

And he's so supportive; he drives around the state to see his grandchildren perform in concerts, recitals, sporting events, and plays. He came to my Halloween party -- in costume! He drove 2 1/2 hours (each way!) last Friday to see my brother perform in Les Miz even though my brother told him he was busy after the show and wouldn't be able to chat with him. My dad waited around anyway, just in case, so he could tell my brother how great he was (and chatted up the Director while waiting, telling him how great the show was), then went in to see why my brother was so busy. They were taking official show photos and, instead of leaving, my dad sat and watched as they recreated every scene from the show for photos. Because it was interesting, not because he had nothing better to do. Then he got in his car and didn't get home until 2:30 am.

He's kind and generous. If you want something, he'll give it to you. "It's just stuff," he'll say. When one of my childhood friends was having lingering car issues, he showed up to help her fix her van. He's driving a truck with 400,000 miles on it because "it still works fine." When the odometer hit 400,000 he actually pulled over on the side of the highway to snap a photo. He's shooting for 500,000. He's witty on Facebook and will scan old photos for #tbt (throwback Thursday). He brags up everyone he knows. He would never tell me - or even suggest - that I'm too busy; he shows up whenever I ask him to whether or not I've been consistent in showing up for him.

He's so smart he probably knows how much he means to me, even though I don't tell him enough.I love you dad, and I'm grateful for you every single day.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Cat and the Fire Department

This morning on Liar Liar I partially told the story of the time I called the Fire Department to rescue my cat off the top of an apartment building.  First, I would like to state that I have nothing but respect for Firemen everywhere. Here's the rest of the story I didn't have time to tell.

We lived across the street from an apartment complex and all the kids there LOVED my cat.  He roamed around the neighborhood freely but at least twice a week some cranky mom would pull into my driveway with a car full of kids; one of them holding my "lost" cat.  They were so proud of themselves so I never bothered to tell them that he always made it home.  (Until he didn't, but that's another story).

One day some kids ran over to tell me that my cat was stuck on top of one of the apartment buildings and he was crying.  I still don't know how he got up there, though there was a very large tree next to the building and Barney WAS quite the daredevil.  I called the Fire Department, who gave me the run around for a while but eventually agree to come rescue him.  

It was right after school, so a group of kids gathered around as the firemen set up a ladder and climbed to the top of the building.  My cat ran to the other side of the roof.  The fireman came down and said "Even if I catch him I can't carry him down the ladder."  Without a word an eight-year old girl opened her backpack, dumped the contents on the ground, then handed the empty bag to the fireman who reluctantly went back up the ladder, chased down my evasive cat and stuffed him into the backpack.

He climbed down the ladder and handed the backpack to me.  I pulled Barney out and noticed that he had something stuck in his paw.  I showed it to the fireman and said "I think he couldn't come down because of this."  When I got home I realized he didn't have something stuck IN his paw, he had one of those sticky things from a cotton weed tree stuck TO his paw.  Still, it helped me save face a little.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New Michigan Business

Hello Michigan Businesses!

Do you have a product that you'd like to get in the hands of new customers?  Are you as addicted to Subscription Boxes as I am?  I'm combining Michigan and Subscription Boxes in a new venture so -- let's chat!  I am SO excited!

Send me a note at sduford@aol.com!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cindy Crawford and Leeza Gibbons

A lot of women are talking about this picture

I think it's less about what Cindy Crawford really looks like and more about how anyone can take an unflattering photo.  Apparently the shot is from a December 2013 photo shoot so perhaps she hadn't quite recovered from an over-enthusiastic Thanksgiving.  And judging by the sunbathing pic that her husband posted on Valentine's Day she doesn't really look like this. And she wants us to know it.

Still, I have to admit that it's nice to see an unretouched photo and one that shows that Supermodels, while being super, are still just women who age like the rest of us.

I actually wish that she would address what she's doing to her face.  There have been several photos of her with that puffy-just-got-a-lot-of-filler look that is so disturbing and unnatural.  Every time I start to get tired of my aging face in the mirror and begin to think about doing something to combat the lines and wrinkles I'll come across a picture of a celebrity with "filler face" and that calms me right down. I don't want to be wrinkly but I don't want that stretched-skin-Joker-from-Batman-mouth look either.

Yes, I'm talking to you, Leeza Gibbons.



She was SO amazing all season on Celebrity Apprentice!  She was inspiring, effective, kind, and funny!  She was so passionate about her charity and her final project and presentation were fabulous.  Yet I couldn't get over her face - so tight and puffy and shiny that it looked painful. 

It's hard to be an aging woman in today's world.  It must be extra hard to be a woman aging on TV.  I know the pressure; I feel the pressure.  But I found it hard to concentrate on the great work that Leeza and her charity are doing when the words are coming out of a near-Joker-mouth.  

It's too bad we can't all be like Frances McDormand.  Granted we don't all have her genes, but I like her attitude.  It's what I shoot for every time I look in the mirror.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sore Muscles, Sore Foot - Will Paczki's Soothe My Pain?

Happy Paczki Day!

Today I am distracted by my sore muscles and sore foot.  I'll start with the muscles.  I have been working out once a week at RPM in Birmingham, my daughter and I worked out there together while she was home for the summer (it was a great bonding experience, I highly recommend it) and I kept it up after she left.  I swing kettle bells, do ball slams, and am working towards being able to dead lift 150 lbs. (Check out this article on the benefits of doing dead lifts).  My trainer, Jaclyn, got hit by the flu last week and I didn't have time to get in so I - foolishly - asked if I could work out with her Monday AND Tuesday this week.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

My arms and back are SO sore today I can barely open the door to the studio (it IS a really heavy door). I don't know how I'm going to live through another hour today. This could be my farewell blog post.  If so, thanks for everything.

Now for the foot.  I've had plantar fasciitis since June.  I've tried stretching, cold/heat, injections, etc.  I finally decided to get smart and am now visiting Blast Pain in Troy.  It no longer feels like I'm walking on needles, but some days feel better than others.  I'm not resting it like I should either (obviously).  I have finally stopped running. So that means any day now I'm going to have to stop eating.  It's going to be Fat Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for me.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bravo, Stop Trying To Sell Me Trash

I don't remember when I jumped on the Real Housewives train. And I guess it doesn't matter.  I'm not proud but I'm riding it.  I can give or take those crazy women from Atlanta and New Jersey but can't help but Hate Watch those dames from Beverly Hills.  Even though NONE of them are technically housewives.

I have no trouble watching them fake fight, pretend parent, or have faux "intimate" moments (though I REALLY don't need to see those, Bravo) but when you start using those women to sell me stuff - like I take them seriously - well, that's when I start to get offended.

Those ridiculous car ads with Kyle and her husband? I drove a Jeep Cherokee for 10 years - and LOVED it - but will never buy one again.  Sorry, Jeep.  And I had no plans to see 50 Shades of Grey but if I did, seeing Kyle and Lisa (and I like Lisa!) sitting on the couch talking about seeing it as a girl's night made me want to gag.  And not the kind of gag like from the movie.

Listen, Bravo, I will watch your trash, but I'm not going to pretend that it's anything but trash.  I'm not going to pretend that these women have anything to tell me about parenting, or shopping, or party-throwing, or flower arranging.  And I'm certainly not going to let them influence what I buy.  I watch them because they are ridiculous.  Let them sell their overpriced crap to each other, but leave me out of it.