Wednesday, July 30, 2014

(From Jay) If the Shoe Fits, WEAR It Already

Pamela is normally a responsible person. But she has some blind spots (see my posts about her issues with fire, counters, and power tools.) One of them is an aversion to wearing shoes on our property.

She has footwear of every conceivable type, so her persistence in being barefoot 98% of the time drives me nuts. 

Especially if she's outside. 

Worse, if I'm building something. 

I want her help because she has a good eye and great ideas, but I'm a First Responder firefighter, so I know freak accidents occur with surprising frequency.

She doesn't always handle my safety rules well. Here's a typical conversation:

Pamela (coming into the work shed, all business): Hey, Jay, Rose keeps knocking over the chickens' nesting box. I figured out a solution. If you cut this piece of wood on a 45 degree angle...

Me: Why aren't you wearing shoes?

She (puzzled by the question): It's hot.

Me: I don't care if it's hot; it's not safe to be around all these tools without shoes. 

She (contemplating her bare feet, then shrugging): It's hot.

Me: You could step on a nail or a staple.

She (wiggling her toes): It's hot. 

Me: You could get splinters in your feet.

She (patiently): It's hot. (pause) And I have cute toenail polish on.

Me (patiently): It's nice. (pause) And get some shoes on. 

She (stepping back): Now I'm on the ramp. I'm not in the shed, so I don't need shoes.

Me: Pamela!

She (back to business): If we angle a piece of wood this size to fit between the top and the shelf, it will stabilize the nesting box but also allows us to remove it for cleaning. Here, let me show you.

Me: Stop! You're not coming in here without shoes.

She (rolling her eyes): I'm just going to step on that one spot. It's clear. There isn't a nail, staple or splinter on that spot.

Me: No.

She: The chickens come in here without shoes.

Me: If you sprout feathers, I'll reconsider.

She (marching through the doorway): I'm an adult. You can't tell me what to do.

Me (throwing her over my shoulder): Fine. I won't tell you.

She (yelling at my back): Illegal use of the fireman's carry! I'm reporting you to the Chief!

I deposit her on the deck and walk away. A minute later she comes back to the shed.

She: I'm wearing shoes. Are you happy now? Okay, if you cut right here, this piece of wood will fit right in the...

Me (folding my arms): Those are sandals. You need shoes.

She: Sandals are shoes.

Me: You know what I mean.

She (patiently): Darling, you said I should put on shoes so I wouldn't step on a nail or staple. Please explain to me how I could step on either with the top of my feet. 

Me: No.

She (triumphantly): Because you can't! I win!

Me: Whatever. You're still not coming in the shed without shoes.

She (wrinkling her nose): Your work boots give you a sock tan.

Me: Yes, I have tan legs and white feet. White feet without holes, punctures or splinters. You need real shoes.

She (trying one last tactic): We're married. That means that half of the shed is mine.

Me: The back half is yours. You have to go through my half to get to your half, and my half requires shoes.

Enough said. 

Verse of the day: (Isaiah 52:7-8) "How lovely on the mountain are the feet of those who bring Good News, announcing peace, proclaiming news of salvation, saying 'Our God Reigns!'"

Note from Pamela: I think a more appropriate verse would be Song of Solomon 7:1, "How beautiful are your sandaled feet, oh queenly maiden."

To read a similar story, click here.

To read about how Pamela gives Jay gray hair climbing on counters and randomly starting fires, click here.
Or by trying to use power tools, click here.
Or by reading (yes, reading can be hazardous to your house if Pamela does the reading), click here

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Mysterious "Poke Lawn"

If you ever come to the South, expect to have conversations like this:

Waitress (in a strong Southern accent): Well, aren't y'all just cute as two pigs rollin' in the mud. Here yer menus. The special today is poke lawn with grits 'n greens. Here's sum biscuits, and I'll fetch yer sweet tay while y'all decide what to order.

Me (watching her leave): But I don't want sweet tea.

Jay: Too bad. Don't even ask for unsweetened tea in the South. You sound like a Yankee.

Me: A Yankee? I came here from the Southwest!

He: Doesn't matter. If you're not from the Deep South, you're a Yankee.

Me (sighing): Whatever. Hey, what's this poke lawn she mentioned? Is that some kind of a salad?

He (absently reviewing the menu): What? Poke lawn? I guess you could get it on a salad. Just ask.

Me (wallowing in a bite of buttery biscuit): Why would I want grass on a salad?

He: Chicken and dumplings look good. Wait, what are you talking about?

Me: The lawn. My parents grow special grass for their cats. Is that what it's like? Or is it like wheatgrass?

He: Is what like what?

Me (patiently): Is poke lawn some kind of nutritious grass that people eat in The South or what is it?

He: Grass?

Me: Is 'poke' a special kind of grass that makes up the poke lawn?

He (laughing): Not 'poke lawn.' She said pork loin.

Verse of the day: (Ephesians 4:29) Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." Note to our sweet waitress: changing "pork loin" to "poke lawn" is neither helpful nor encouraging. But I'll forgive you because of those crazy-good biscuits.

To read about the time I was inexplicably offered Bald Peanuts, click here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I Don't Know Beans

I love my husband. I really do. But although they try, it's simply a fact that men don't know how to communicate. They throw out curious fragments of thought without the essential facts or context necessary for understanding. For example, Jay recently ended a story with, "It's not worth a hill of beans." And then left the room!

I, of course, called him back.

Me (gently, knowing that most men struggle to express themselves): Honey, without more detail I simply have no idea what you're talking about.

He: About what?

Me: Beans.

He (long pause): Huh?

Me (patiently): You just said, 'It's not worth a hill of beans.'

He: Yeah. And?

Me: And? Where do I start: Are you referring to a pile of beans or a hill with beans growing on it?

He: What?

Me (logically): There's no possible way for me to know the market value of the beans without knowing what kind they are: green beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, or what? And their worth increases dramatically if they've been organically grown.

He (muttering--to his shoes, apparently): I have to stop using cliches around her.

Me: And what size is the hill? The size of a molehill? Or an anthill? Or 1,999 feet high?

He: As opposed to 2,000 feet high?

Me (impatiently): Of course, darling, because that would make it a mountain.

He (snickering): You would know that.

Me (earnestly): If it's worth a 1,999 foot high hill of Kopi Luwak coffee beans then it would have great value.
But if it's worth an anthill of navy beans, then that's less than a dollar.

He (shaking his head): You're lucky you're cute as a button.

Me (even more confused): A button? You're comparing me to a button? What does that mean?

He: I said cute.

The extent of my cuteness, apparently
 Me (cocking my head): Yeah, honey, I still don't get it. I've never heard someone say, 'Wow, that's a cute button. It looks just like my wife.' What does it mean? That I'm round but useful? Cute enough to hold your pants up, but you'd still cover me with a belt?

Communicating with the man is nearly impossible.

Verse of the day: "The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking" (Proverbs 15:28). Jay might want to try that.

For another story about our communication challenges, click here.