Friday, October 14, 2016
Recently, my sister and her family came to town for a visit. When she takes a road trip, one stop is always a requirement and that is a visit to the local Cracker Barrel. Now, I don't know about other parts of the country, but every Cracker Barrel restaurant that I have ever visited has been standing room only...even in the bathroom.
I have strategies whenever I visit a busy restaurant. First, I go at odd times of the day, like before noon for lunch or around 4:00 p.m. for dinner; that way you beat the crowds most days.
Next, if there is a school bus within eye shot of the parking area, I'm going somewhere else; too many pimples and hormones for me. The same goes for tour or charter buses; I try to avoid these as well.
Also, if I arrive in the parking lot at the same time as another patron, I always try to beat them to the door. Nothing personal, but beating them might be the difference between a seat by the window or a seat back by the open kitchen door, or worse, right in front of the bathroom. Sitting there gives a whole new meaning to "What's that smell?"
Those are all good strategies but they don't work at Cracker Barrel. I think the company knows that too. Why else would they have all of those comfy rocking chairs out front and a gift shop that I always get lost in because I can't seem to stay away from the hard stick candy if they didn't know that waiting was part of the allure?
Anyhow, upon arrival at the restaurant, sure enough, there was a tour bus parked out front. It was later in the afternoon, so maybe they had already eaten and were browsing the gift shop was a thought that passed through my head.
As we hurried in the door trying to beat the minivan full of people that had parked near us, it was soon apparent that my thought was correct: They had finished eating and were browsing the gift shop. It was packed!
I needed to use the facilities immediately upon arrival so I headed through the crowd and tried to enter the bathroom. I made it just inside the door when I fully grasped the situation at hand. In front of me, filling every available empty space was a senior citizen. They were washing their hands and fluffing their blue hair; one had her false teeth out and was applying an extra layer of Poli Grip.
One thing I found quite astonishing was that here was a line for the handicapped stall. Three lovely old ladies and their walkers on wheels waiting patiently to get the stall big enough to turn around in as one of them said.
I don't know how many ladies there was in the ladies room, I do know that I smiled politely and moved out of the way for this one and moved over there for that one. I opened the door twice and I pulled off paper towels for another; all the while getting a little bit nervous because I needed to go myself.
Somehow, at the exact same time, every old lady left in the bathroom wanted to get out at the same time. Some were skipping the hand washing, others had finished with their hair and teeth and every one of them made straight for the door, heading right to me. I had backed as far back in the corner as I could and one lady with a walker said, "Honey, you're gonna have to move, so I can get this thing out the door."
I was trying to move. But the other ladies weren't being cooperative. Instead of backing up against one of the stalls, they were all converging towards the door where I was. Another made a comment about them trying to get out, and then another.
It was a standoff! Finally, after some polite laughter and a loud gurgle from my stomach, I said, "Sorry, I'm bigger than all of ya'll put together and you need to move."
And they did. The lady with the walker maneuvered to the right, another backed into an empty stall and two others backed up against the sinks. "Here ya go, honey. Why don't you use the handicapped stall? It's got an extra roll of paper in it!"
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Posted by Gianetta at 2:20 PM
Monday, September 19, 2016
It's time for another trip of a lifetime. And, yep, I'm going too! Mom and I are going on a bus ride all the way across the central part of the country to Denver and The Colorado Rockies. We're going to the Olympic Training Center, the Air Force Academy, Pikes Peak (or bust) and a really high bridge which is going to be difficult for me to get across. It seems the older I get, the more afraid of heights I become. I might need to be medicated. Pass the brownies, please!
We're very excited!
So here are the top ten signs that you are going on vacation very soon:
10. Your Facebook page is full of the places you are going to visit.
9. You're worrying because you haven't counted to see if you have enough underwear.
8. All work related emergencies are not your top priority.
7. You're broke!
6. You're the only happy person in the room when the boss says everyone has to work overtime the day you go on vacation.
5. No one likes you because they've already used up all of their vacation time.
4. The cats won't get out of the suitcase so you can pack.
3. Every piece of clothing you own has been tried on repeatedly and you are now convinced that the bright purple shirt goes with the too tight red pants and lime green flip flops.
2. You've concluded that there isn't enough time to lose that last ten pounds, said screw it and have just eaten a box of donuts.
1. The car breaks down and you are presented with an estimate that costs twice the price of your vacation.
Be sure and check back again, I'll be doing updates from the road.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
In memory of those who lost their lives on that tragic day and for the family and friends that continue to grieve for you, I silence my laughter on this day and fill my heart and soul instead with the prayers and songs of those who remember.
You will never be forgotten and we will never forget.
God Bless America.
Posted by Gianetta at 8:42 AM
Thursday, September 8, 2016
It’s after Labor Day, and besides not being able to wear white (not that I have anything white to wear) or go to the local swimming pool (because it closed on August 1 when the kiddos went back to school), it also means that I am nearing the completion of my one hundred days of writing. In fact, when I finish this post I will no longer be nearing the finish line, I will have crossed it.
Hooray for me!
I have thought about what I wanted to write about in this post for several weeks. I could list the breakdown of the words and what got added to which project but my eyes begin to glaze over when I start to talk about numbers and if it bores me then it certainly will bore you, too. No, I’ll leave the numbers to the math teachers and calculators, but all of them do add up to over a 100,000 words (which if you do the math is…well, you know).
Hooray for me!
So that leads me back to the original questions: Why write for one hundred days? What is so special about that? Does anyone care? (All good questions, mind you, and there are probably several more that could be asked but who wants to waste time with that.)
The answer is simple: To prove to myself that I could.
I made a decision to do something and I followed through and accomplished the task. For me, decisions have always been a challenge. Here’s an example: Do I start with a salad at Golden Corral or go straight for the mashed potatoes? (Good Heavens! Why would you even waste any of your stomach space for lettuce and cucumbers when there is macaroni & cheese and ribs to choose from?)
And rolls! With honey butter!
(Well, maybe I did an okay job on making this decision but it was tough to decide between Ryan’s Buffet and Golden Corral.) Actually, this decision wasn’t difficult either because Ryan’s has closed its doors recently because of a bankruptcy filing.
But, I think you get my drift.
I could go on and on about this and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Someone once told me that you could become paralyzed by the possibilities and not choose anything at all (Personally, I will always choose the mashed potatoes over the roughage, but that’s just me.).
I did more than just write these past 100 days. I also had at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, most of it being a walk around the outside of my house. It’s a 114 paces around the house and is mostly covered so I tried to walk early in the morning or right before dusk so the heat wouldn’t make me wilt (I don’t like wilted lettuce, either.).
I’ve lost about seven pounds, which isn’t as much as I wanted to but my clothes definitely fit better. I’m even beginning to chip away at the cellulite on my hips that has remained as unmovable as the gridlock in Congress over the last eight years (Be gone with ye, oh patrons of little use.).
Hooray for me!
Another thing I have started doing is keeping an (almost) daily journal. I don’t start each entry with ‘Dear Diary’ but as I have gone back and read over some of my past entries I was surprised at some of the things I had written. Not earth shattering, by any means--some days the entry might only consist of what I had to eat, but I also recorded where I was, who I was with and how I felt. It’s hard to recollect an average summer day, months, if not years in the past if there isn’t a record of it (My memory ain’t what it used to be.). And aren’t ‘average’ days some of the best days that you can have?
Hooray for me!
Lastly, this challenge wouldn’t be complete without a story about me and my mom and finding help in the most unexpected places. The following is our conversation from a few days ago:
Mom called me:
Mom: “What are you doing?”
Me: “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you straight to your face.”
Mom: “Hmm. That bad, is it? Are you trying to balance your checkbook again?”
Me: “No. Worse.”
Mom: “You started another low-carb diet?”
Me: “No. But, that’s true, though. Ain’t much worse than that. Except going to a buffet that serves rice instead of potatoes.”
Mom: “You’ve got a point there. So what’s your problem?”
Me: “I’m trying to sew a button back on my favorite shirt.”
Mom: “I thought Jimi Hendrix was your favorite shirt. It doesn’t have any buttons.”
Me: “It doesn’t. I guess it’s my second favorite shirt then.”
Mom: “Oh, I see. So what’s your problem?”
Me: “I can’t thread the needle.”
Mom: “Well, you know I showed you how to do that when you were in 3rd grade.”
Me: “If I still had the eyes of a 3rd grader, I’d be finished by now.”
Mom: “Oh, I’m sorry. That hole is hard to see.”
Me: “Tell me about it. Hold on a sec, there’s someone at the door.”
I went to answer the door and returned a few minutes later.
Me: “Guess what?”
Me: “Problem solved.”
Mom: “Who was at the door?”
Me: “I think it was the Jehovah Witness people. I still had the needle and thread in my hand and when I went to accept the literature she was handing out it almost fell out of my hand. I told her I’d been trying to thread the needle all day and you know what she did?”
Me: “She said since I didn’t slam the door in her face and accepted her literature, it was the least she could do and reached into her purse and pulled out an eyepiece that looked like Colonel Klink’s and threaded that needle on the first try.”
Mom: “What about that. That’s my girl. Be kind to everyone. All the time. And one last thing?”
Me: “What’s that?”
Mom: “Be kind to yourself.”
And that, my friends, is the main thing I learned in my one hundred days of writing. That’s why I wrote ‘hooray for me’ several times in this post. I think everyone in life could use more cheerleaders and it must start with you. The last thing I said to my mom before ending that conversation was “You know, Mom, I’m a pretty terrific person.”
Her response couldn’t have been any better unless I had written the words for her. “Sure you are. You’re too hard on yourself. You’re headed in a good direction and keep setting goals for yourself. Just look what you’ve accomplished this summer? Small steps eventually lead to a marathon completed.”
Small steps eventually lead to a marathon completed.
That statement really sums it up for me. Whatever it is that you want to get accomplished can only be achieved one way and that is the decision to start. Just decide. You can do it.
Hooray for me!
And, hooray for you!
Posted by Gianetta at 1:50 PM