Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Men Can't Tell Time

Jay tried to tell me that when a woman says, "I'll be ready in five minutes" that she really means a half an hour. I informed him that my time is estimated according to his leadership. He thought I was kidding until I reminded him of this conversation early in our marriage:

He: I'm going to Home Depot. I'll be back in half an hour.

Me (with faint skepticism): Did you just say a half an hour?

He (grabbing his keys): Yep.

Me (innocently): I'm new to the area, so I keep forgetting, how long does it take to get there?

He (a little distracted, looking for his wallet): About 20 minutes.

Me: And how long does it take to get home?

He (pausing to look at me as if I'm a little slow): Like I said, about 20 minutes.

Me (raising an eyebrow): OK, then by my math, the soonest you could possibly get back is 40 minutes.

He: Fine. I'll be back in 40 minutes.

Me (sounding a bit confused): So, you don't plan to get out of the car? I'm sure you have your reasons, but I don't understand why you'd go all that way just to gaze at the store as you drive past it through the parking lot on your way home.

He (rolling his eyes): Okay, okay. I'll be about 45 minutes.

Me: Well, that takes care of walking to and from the store. Weren't you planning to buy anything? Or are you just going poke your head in the door, wave at the salespeople, and sprint back to the car?

He: Fine. Add another 5 minutes for shopping.

Me: Oh, pah-leeze! I've been to Home Depot with you. You'll be in there at least 45 minutes.

He (offended): I'm just going in to get some 3" nails. That will take me 5 minutes tops.

Me (snickering): So, you're not going to stop at all to look at lawnmower attachments, power tools,
culled wood, shop vacs, survival magazines, saw blades, sandpaper, handheld multi-tools...

He (reluctantly agreeing): Okay, I might get a little distracted if I see something on sale. Or if I get there and remember something else I need. Or if I see something I could use.

Me: No kidding. And have you added time to get through the checkout line? Unless you're planning to shoplift. Because if you are, let me know in advance so I can get some cash ready to pay your bail.

He: Funny.

Me: Why don't we just say that you're going to Home Depot and you'll be back in about two hours?

He (sheepishly): Maybe three. I think they have a new line of outdoor grills. 

Verse of the day: (Psalm 90:12) "Teach us to make the most of our time so that we may grow in wisdom."

For another "shoe on the other foot" story, click here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

You Can't Trust Men

...when they're in a hurry.

Jay was trying to quickly pack (perhaps he should have done his famous "preplanning") before leaving on a weekend trip. I'd cut a few layers into my long hair the night before, but I couldn't reach the back. 
My hair's normal length

So although he was running late, I thought he could spare 30 seconds to trim the ends about an inch. He's done it before. In fact, he has trimmed the back of my hair every few months since we got married. It's not difficult. One little cut, straight across. 

But he was in a hurry. He grabbed the scissors, I heard a snip, and off dropped about two inches of cut hair. Startled, I remarked, "That looks like more than an inch." But the deed was already done, so I wasn't going to make a big deal about it.

Then he said, "Wait--it's not quite even," and cut again. I assumed he was just trimming a few straggly hairs, but in his hand he held about three more inches of my severed locks.

I gasped, "What are you doing? You just cut like five inches off!"

He looked at the pile of hair and said, "I don't know. I wasn't thinking. I just was trying to get it straight."

His eyes widened as he absorbed the extent of the damage. He hid the scissors,
which was a smart move since he'd just cut off five inches of his wife's hair. 

I looked in the mirror in shock. My curls, suddenly freed from the weight for the first time since I was in Junior High, poofed out.

I resembled Bozo, the legendary clown.

Just call me Bozela
At that point, Jay said, "I'm so sorry! Um, I need to leave," grabbed his luggage, and bolted. Which was another smart move since he'd just cut off five inches of his wife's hair. 

I tried straightening my hair, but it kept curling under. I looked like the late Joan Rivers. Brunette version.

Photo of Joan from PopSugar.com

I called my mother for consolation. She soothed me with, "You always look beautiful, honey. I'm sure you're cute with short hair."

So, I sent her a photo.

She called back.

"What did he do to you?" she gasped. "It's awful!" 

I emailed the photo to a friend. She responded, "It's not bad. But it makes you look older." Great. Facebook already thinks I'm over 50 and looking for "older men" (for that story, click here.).

I tried pulling my hair back to see if it made me look younger, but then I looked like Becky Conner from Roseanne reruns.

Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage
Photo by Nastase Nuttiness

The next day I washed my hair and let it air dry after gobbing on gel to tame my unruly, clown curls. The styling product helped quite a bit. But I still had a triangle-head hairdo.

It gave me flashbacks to the 1980s. (I know you think I was a mere infant in the 1980s, but let's just say that I was old enough to walk and leave it there.) I totally had an overwhelming urge to throw on jellies and totally run to the mall for an Orange Julius. Like in a ripped sweatshirt, acid washed jeans, and totally rad legwarmers. Totally. 

For some reason, I just wanted to Dance With Somebody (with somebody who loves me. Oh, yeah. Uh huh. Woo!). I wondered if Walk(ing) Like an Egyptian would help my pyramid hair make more sense.

I don't often look at myself, so I kept forgetting that half my hair was missing. Every time I walked past a mirror, I shrieked thinking there was an intruder in the house.

Jay called several times during his trip to apologize to me. 

I told him that it was just hair.

And it would grow back.

And I love him more than my brownie-locks.

He was thankful since he knows that most women would be furious if their husbands butchered their tresses.

Yet I'm an example to all of a heart of forgiveness. 

And godly mercy.

And grace.

I also plan to give him a Mohawk while he's sleeping.

Verse of the day: (Judges 16:19) "Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down, and his strength left him." On a second thought, I need Jay to do heavy lifting and yard maintenance, so I may leave his hair unshaved. This time.

Bonus verse of the day contributed by Jay: (2 Samuel 18:9) "He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air." At least I made sure that if Pamela is ever escaping through a forest on a mule, long hair won't slow her down. Knowing her, something like that could actually happen. #SilverLining

To read why I thought better about asking Jay, "What did I ever do to you?" click here for "Our Trip was the Bomb."

To read another story to prove I can't depend on Jay listening to me, click here for "She Said, He Heard."

To read about Jay's bizarre concept of "preplanning," click here.  

To read why Facebook thinks I'm over 50 and balding, click here

Followup: It was six days before I found the scissors. My hair-genius friend Amy made a house call and modernized the style of my unintentional bob, so Jay felt safe enough to return home. This time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Post from Jay--Mount Vesuvius (with Kefir Recipe)

Pamela is still on her blogcation while she's getting hyperbaric oxygen treatment, so I'm filling in for her.

The other night I was comfortably lying in bed when Pamela called from the kitchen, "Um, honey. I might need a teeny bit of help in here."

She hadn't screamed and I didn't hear anything crash, but I know her "I was just an innocent bystander when..." tone of voice well enough to get there quickly.

Pamela makes her own water kefir (a fizzy drink made from fermenting kefir grains). Feeling the need for a shot of probiotics before bed, she went into the kitchen to get some, even though she suspected that had she let the most recent batch ferment for a day or two too long. 

When Pamela uncorked the bottle, the kefir shot up like Mount Vesuvius. The entire contents hit the ceiling and rained down. She stood, holding the empty bottle, with caramel-colored kefir dripping off her face and hair, and casually explained her reason for calling me: "I can't reach the ceiling, and you won't let me climb on the counters." 

I grabbed some towels to sop up the sticky mess muttering, "Well, this is a blog post."

She brightened and said, "I'll get my camera!" 

"I'm kidding!"

She wiped up the floor and counter, but most of the spewed liquid was out of her reach, so she helpfully followed me around cheerfully pointing out things like, "Look! Some even got on top of the refrigerator!" and "Hey, it's even dripping down the inside of the cupboard doors!" until I shooed her away.

When I finally finished cleaning, I suggested she put a Post-It note on each new batch of water kefir with the date on it. She looked at me, puzzled, and said, "Why would I do that? I like it fizzy."

Verse of the day: "What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). By the way, the Bible recommends baptism in water, not in a kefir geyser. 

Note from Pamela: On the plus side, our kitchen ceiling hasn't been this clean and sparkly in years!

To read why Jay flatly refuses to let Pamela climb on the counters, click here.  (This is the blog's most-read post, so we know we're not the only ones who can relate.)

To read about how Pamela started fermenting, click here

Pamela's directions on how to make water kefir:

1. Obtain water kefir grains (they're different from milk kefir grains.). You can get them from a friend (like me) or order them here. If you order them, you'll have to rehydrate them for a few days. Use plastic--don't let your grains touch metal. Put your grains aside.

2. Dissolve an equal amount of sugar (preferably organic cane sugar or sucanant, do not use honey) as you have kefir grains (1/4 cup of kefir to 1/4 cup of sugar) in a couple of cups of filtered water (tap water has chlorine that will damage your grains).

This is sucanant, a raw sugar
We have well water, so we have happy kefir. It grows like dandelions in the spring. Well, a little differently, but I couldn't think of a good analogy. Multiplies like tiny, rubbery bunnies? If you don't have well water or are using distilled water, then add liquid minerals. You'll have healthier grains if you add them, and happy grains give you tons of probiotics.Which is why you're making kefir in the first place. Unless you're just trying to be hipster.

I mix the sugar in a bit of hot water to speed up the dissolving process. When the sugar is dissolved, then I add cold water (because you don't want to cook your little kefir grains).

3. Pour your sugar water into a glass jar. Add more water until you have about 4-6 cups of liquid (depending on how strong you want your kefir).

4. Make sure your water is cool (again, so you don't cook your kefir grains) and then add the kefir grains.

5. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band and let it sit in a dark, warmish (70-75 degrees) place (a pantry or cupboard is recommended. A shelf in your husband's closet is not recommended because he might accidentally knock it over. Not saying I know anything about that--just guessing.).

My water is brownish because I used tan sugar. If you use white sugar (please use unbleached), then your water should look more clear (if it's not, then you need to call a plumber because something scary is growing in your water pipes.).

6. After 3 days (no more or you'll starve your poor grains), strain out the kefir grains with a non-metal strainer (don't let your grains touch metal). Make sure your kefir juice is in a plastic or glass container (because you don't want to kill your pro-biotics).

My grains are brownish from the brown sugar. Normally they're clearish. I think mine look better with a little tan. As do I.

7. Rinse off your grains. Everyone needs a shower now and then.

Remeasure the grains so you know how much sugar to use in your new batch. They should double in number each time you use them. If you have more than you want, put the extra grains in your compost pile where they will greatly benefit your soil.

8. Make a new batch of sugar water. Add about 1/4 cup of your strained kefir juice to the new sugar water as a starter. Your probiotics will grow better in the new sugar water if they have some kefir juice to encourage them. Like new kids feel better if they have someone to play with who already knows their way around. 

9. Put your strained kefir juice in a glass or plastic jar with a plastic lid (you don't want a metal lid to accidentally touch your kefir juice and kill the probiotics.). You can drink the kefir juice just as it is. Start with a few tablespoons at first to see how your body reacts to it. It might clean out your innards a bit if you drink too much at first. I drink like a cup of it a day, but I need a lot of probiotics with my digestion issues.

Or you can add some fruit juice to your kefir juice to make it tastier. I like it in equal parts. And I only like pear or apple juice. Pineapple, orange, and pomegranate juice tasted weird to me. So did coconut water. But you might like it. If you're weird.

If you juice your own apples and pears, then strain the juice or you'll get bits of pulp floating around. That puts people off. On a plus side, you won't have to share your kefir juice. Just say, "What's that floating in the juice? Odd. Oh, well. Do you want to try some?" It works until they catch on that you're hoarding your kefir.

10. If you want fizzy kefir, then put it in a bottle with an air-tight lid. I think the blue ones are prettiest. They come in 16 oz. or 32 oz. sizes.

Let it sit in a pantry or cupboard for another day or so. Sometimes it doesn't get fizzy if your cupboard isn't warm enough. 

Warning! Don't let it sit in the cupboard for 4 days even if you think your house is really cold (unless it's really cold--our house was at 68 degrees) or it will erupt when you open it (see above story.). But that's kind of fun, so I advise you to try it at least once. 

If you need a break from making kefir, put your grains in a new jar of sugar water and put it in the refrigerator. The cold slows the fermentation process. Your grains will hibernate like bears in Yellowstone Park in the winter. Not that I've ever been to Yellowstone Park in the winter, but that's what I learned from watching Yogi Bear. He might sneak picnic baskets, but he'd never lie about hibernation.