I once knew a woman who had to dress her baby very carefully.  Not in the o is my precious bundle dressed in her best coordinated Baby Gap ensemble for maximum cuteness sort of way, but more in a can I stand to touch my own newborn because of the fabric cloaking her body sort of way.  She had an aversion to velvet, you see.

I know another lady who hates cats.  She hates them not for the allergies they bring in their feline wake, nor for the hair they deposit everywhere they go.  She just. can't. stand. them.  The idea of touching the long, lanky muscles just barely cloaked by skin and fur makes her cringe. 

I know two men who can't even look at a child with a danglingly loose tooth.  The only answer for these men is to avert their revolted eyes.

I, myself, am very nearly horrified by ketchup.  Though for the most part I try not to, when I think of putting some of this - to me - noxious substance in my mouth, I feel a speckle of tiny pricks spreading their horror-struck way across the back of my neck, culminating in an animalistic shake of my upper torso.  I'd rather eat bugs, frankly.  And I'm only exaggerating a little when I say this.

What perhaps irrational thing creeps you out?
 
 
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Zumba.  Zooooomba.  Doesn't that sound interesting?  Don't you wish you could get your hair to do that?  I've registered for some Zumba classes,  inspired by the classes my sisters and I took while in Maui.  The Maui ones were some of the very funnest exercise classes I've ever taken (and though I hate to say it, I'm a bit of an exercise class whore).  Though I can't yet speak for the Abbotsford version, I'd be tickled to have some Zumba buddies join me!  I would have to insist that your hair look like the girl's in the photo, otherwise you'll just be wasting my time (and yours, too, I think it goes without saying).  The classes run Thursday mornings from 10:30 - 11:30 starting January 13 until February 3 at the Abbotsford Rec Center and cost $40 for all four.  You do  have to pre-register, though.  If you're interested, the program registration number is 147334.  Just call ARC @ 604-853-4221.  I would love to shake my booty alongside yours. 
 
 
Check out Trale Lewous.  He's - really good.
 
 
Jude asked that I post this.  Immediately.  It's actually pretty fantastic.  Check it out and see what's huge in the 11-year-old boy crowd. 
 
 
In high narcissist fashion, I'm about to elaborate upon my fave's and their polar opposites, my yucks.  Brace yourselves.  Be forewarned, no one here ever asserted that there was anything very particularly others-focused about this post!

I love San Pelligrino, rose-bud-lipped children, people who emanate a sparkly personal wholeness, the words melodic and mellifluous, holidays in Maui, running both in and out of the rain, Bengal Spice tea, my sheepskin slippers, Black-Eyed Susans and their more elegant cousin - the Daisy, loud-laughers, the elusive intelligence/humility combo, Victorian literature, thick, hand-knitted cardigans, reading, my bed and it's all-white accompaniment, beautiful tea towels, Nigella Lawson, the Barefoot Contessa, birds, seafood, the triumph of order over chaos, C.S. Lewis - both his writing and his take on Christian faith, British accents (I don't care who you are - you seem brilliant to me), mushrooms, The Lord of the Rings, going to the library and then Starbucks, darkest of dark coffee with cream, confidence, kindness not caught up in wondering if one looks stupid, the JoyKids and the JoyBoy.

On the other end of the spectrum, I feel a bit repelled by people with visible yucks in their eyes, ears or nose, raisins, mess, prolonged noise, months and months of incessant grey damp, most movies, boy food like mashed potatoes and stew, ketchup,  the colors burgundy and forest green, liver, bickering people, gory halloween decorations and costumes, chapped lips, litter (who still does that?!), bumper stickers or t-shirts featuring tasteful comments like when this van's a'rockin', don't come a'knockin,  people who don't espouse the idea that kids are people worthy of full respect just like their adult counterparts, and lard.

Jump in!  Tell me some of yours!  I'm just dying to know!
 
 
I like to think of myself as a relatively competent person.  Actually,  I prefer to be a very competent person whenever possible.  It really bugs me when after repeated attempts, I struggle with something still.   Something like this:
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I look around me in the hot yoga room (though of course you're not supposed to) and I see people all around me mastering this pose.  The Toe Stand Pose.  I see fat people, thin people, short people, old people.  They're all doing it with confidence and grace.  But do you suppose that makes any sort of difference when it comes to me and the supposed twisting of my body into the intricacies of this posture?

This, no problem.  For whatever reason, I find this one easy:
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And this one, too:
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But the Toe Stand Pose?   It mocks me.
 
 
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Oh that it were right side up.  Sadly though, accomplishing that is beyond my skill, prodigious though it may be.  I blame  my Mother for letting me out of the house looking like this.  Ah, this disheveled, this enormous hair.   This pre-goth gothiness.  This cherubic all-knowingness.  I'm like a kewpie doll who stuck her finger in a light socket.  For your viewing pleasure...
 
 
Ah.  I'm a bold girl, assuming this will interest anyone but me.  But I plow forth anyway and ask, who among us has embraced and celebrated and more than that - intentionally perpetuated - the precise color that God saw fit to give us?  I'm at that place - thaaat place - in life where  more and more and then more salty/peppery strands sense that it is appropriate to make their way to the surface, proclaiming, really, to all the land that this woman is no longer 22, Universe!  These are the times where only a British accent can really do justice to the message that demands a hearing.  Enough now with England.  Let's talk hair.

I'm wrestling right now (for the first time) with the age appropriateness of my hair.  While I'm not quite ready to begin to crop it close to my head in the gender-defying perm that so many older ladies seem to favor, I'm also wondering if I can really pull off the lengths that heretofore have characterized my hair.   I am sensitive to my desire to walk that fine line between hey! I'm a 55 year old Brittney Spears wanna-be and who cares that my 13-year-old daugther is ashamed of my antics; she's just jealous!  and the woman who abandons any semblance of an attempt to present herself attractively to the world because she's too tired and the thought of the exertions required make her feel even more so.  I wish to be classicly tasteful and right now, I'm not sure that my current hair reflects that.  What do you think?  Any suggestions?  I know there are stylists among you and I need your help. 
 
 
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JoyBoy laughs at me and mocks.  He loves the mocking.  He can't live without the mocking.  But my self-esteem can handle it and my bird collecting can handle it.  He calls me the ornithologist, but as I gaze at these beauties, I note with finality that I can handle the name-calling.  Aren't they pretty?  I'm almost obsessed with birds these days.
 
 
I was inspired to write this post when I read  another blog, though which blog it is, by now sadly I've forgotten.  The author posed the question to herself (and by extension obviously, to her readers):  What are the five things that are always in your fridge?  These are the items whose absence make you feel naked, so to speak, or at least socially so.  The shelf seems empty, bereft even.  You don't feel good about inviting people over when these precious items are no longer filling the spaces in your fridge reserved specially for them.    If your husband thoughtlessly thrusts another condiment into their Spot, you feel a surge of annoyance and then surreptitiously move his thing aside, preserving the Order of Things.   The 'surreptitious' part is key, though, as you don't want to provide him with fodder to call you controlling, of all things.  In no particular order, my never-be-withouts are:

1.  Sparkling Water - I always feel so elegant sipping on a glass of this.  It makes me feel fancy without drinking wine.  This is my weekday 'wine,' and by extension, the kids are not allowed to touch it.  I think in their little minds, sparkling water  is akin to alcohol and I've even heard it referred to as 'Mommy Pop.'
2.  Aged Cheddar - Does this really require further elaboration?  It's sharp, aged cheddar.  I need it.
3.  Whipping Cream - I allow  myself one dollop of this each day in one of my cups of coffee.  My bum cries out from the overindulgence of it, but I don't care.  My bum and I have been together for 37 years now and I say it's time for the bum to get over it.
4.  Olives - Ahhh.  I love olives.  All sorts of olives.  I've never been able to relate to the olive-haters among you.  My favorites would have to  be the garlic stuffed sort and the almond stuffed sort.  They're fancy and pungent and sort of other-worldly all at the same time.
5.  a Gargantuan Container of Diced Garlic - I've always suffered from a mild inferiority complex induced by my use of two items that I can't stop myself from using (and liberally) time and time and time again.  These trailer trash foods of mine are store-bought pre-diced garlic and canned mushrooms (which seem to me to be the stuff of Heaven Itself.  I could easily sit in my darkened closet and secretly eat cans upon cans of these, plain, without adornment .  I'm not saying I do, though.  Just that I probably could.  I'm practically a Hobbit in my passion for mushrooms of all sorts, most especially the ersatz canned variety.).  But back to garlic:  many of my lovely, well-intentioned friends have tried to convince me to go the more 'foodie' way of crushing one's own, fresh garlic, but the hassle of it puts me off every time I reconsider the idea.  I know, I know.  Fresh garlic is in a whole other category of garlic.  I've heard. 

If I were to be so bold as to extend the list somewhat (other than my passionate diatribe regarding mushrooms), I'd undoubtedly have to tack on these precious foodstuffs:

6.  capers
7.  canned diced tomatoes
8.  feta cheese
9.  hot pickled vegetables
10.  hotsauce

What's in your fridge?  Tell me!  I must know!  (Plus, I want to know who's reading this.  Evidently, yesterday, 52 of you did, which I find delightful and shocking and so encouraging.  Delurk!  Delurk you chickens!)