Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

No New Suit For Me

****Enjoy this classic post****

Beachgoers beware!! The middle-aged fat woman is coming soon to a beach near you with a brand new bathing suit. Cover your children's eyes. What was that flash of white?(My pearly white skin.)

I don't care what anyone says, this year I'm going to the beach for a whole week and I am going to enjoy every minute of it. So I bought myself a new swimsuit. I didn't try it on 'cause I know what size I am. Plus, I don't like to use dressing rooms.(I always think someone is watching through those mirrors) And if you're at one of those big stores where the dressing room is out in the middle with no ceiling, they can look right down and check out your stuff.

I hate to admit it but I spent over $18.00 on my new swimsuit. Seems like an awful lot of money for a little piece of string. I picked out a nice brown jungle pattern that matched the splotchiness in my complexion and was the color of my new sandals. Once I got home I thought I would try it on and see how it looks. I began to remove all of the tags including the price tag,(paid too much) the security tag,(it only cost 18 bucks) the designer label,(yeah, right) and lastly, that other thing called a panty shield. (Gross!)

Ok, I'm ready to take that first step. One leg goes in, then the other. I begin to pull the one-piece upwards toward my hips and am met with a slight resistance.(Not a problem, happens all the time.) I tug harder and up it snaps(Ouch!). I insert each arm into the proper slot and begin to pull, stretch, twist and contort myself into my new suit. I begin to adjust everything and put it back where it normally sags, but darn it, if the shoulder straps don't keep slipping off my shoulders.(I hate that.)

My chest is heaving, sweat is dripping off my brow; I think I might have pulled a muscle in my back trying to get the stupid thing on. Now, comes the moment of truth. I turn around and look in the full-length mirror to check myself out. My head turns to the left, then the right, I turn around and look at the back....I shake my head and say to myself, "Aren't you glad you bought the matching coverup?"

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Top Ten Things To Do During A Heatwave

Here are the top ten things to do during a heat wave:

10. Complain to all your friends on Facebook about how hot it is?

9. Step outside to get a closer look at the thermometer to be sure it actually says 102 degrees at 11:00 AM---in the shade.

8. Confirm that it actually is 102 degrees in the shade with 75% humidity and begin the day with another nasty case of swamp ass. (Sweating of the loins.)

7. Stay indoors! (Nope, can't do that. It's hotter inside than it is outside.)

6. Plan a road trip to audition for a television game show. (I'll let you know how that turns out.)

5. Change clothes for the 5th time because it's too hot to do anything inside either; those chores will just have to wait.

4. Stare at window air conditioning units and wonder just how high the power bill is going to be this summer.

3. Sit and sweat as you look at the window air conditioning units that are now turned off since the power bill was over $300.

2. Have some ice cream while typing out a top ten list about things to do during the first heat wave of the season.

1. Move to your mother's house for a few days; she has central air!
Stay cool!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Future Of Track And Field...UPDATE

As a former high school athlete, I can appreciate the effort that millions of kids throughout the country put forth every day. I'm sure many of them dream of becoming a professional athlete, but to many, it's only a dream. We've been fortunate in the MA Fat Woman's family to be around a young man that has dreams of the Olympics and beyond.

Antonio Blanks is his name, or Tonio for short and his sport is Track and Field. Tonio is an up and comer in the Track world and has been setting records since he was a freshman at Dunbar High School in Dayton, Ohio. He recently completed his junior year and went to the State Championships in four events. He won the 300M hurdles and is now state champ. Isn't that amazing? I threw the shot and discus back in the day and missed going to the District finals by two inches in the shotput. Even if I would have made it to the District, I would still had to have gone to the Regionals and won there, before I made it to the State Championships.

Tonio is a personable young man that loves to laugh, eats Mambos candy and munches on fresh fruit by the gallon. Needless to say, he is tall and lean. His coaches have asked him several times to anchor various relays and to watch his kick on the back stretch is just breathtaking. If ever there was a 'natural', Tonio seems to have it. (Whatever it is?)

Tonio already has his eye on the future: He wants to be an engineer and build things. He' s an A student and has the grades to get a full academic ride wherever he wants to go. (Oh, yeah, don't forget the full athletic scholarship too!)

Antonio Blanks, remember the name and remember you heard it here first! Watch out Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Olympics, the MA Fat Woman and her family are heading your way!

********That was then; this is now**********

I wrote this story about Tonio in 2010 and just wanted to update that he is a freshman at Ohio State, finished 7th in the NCAA Championships, and, in turn, made him eligible for the 2012 Olympic Trials, in Eugene, Oregon, later this week. How cool is that?

Here's a quote from Tonio that ran in the Columbus Dispatch: “I’m treating it like another meet,” said Blanks, a freshman from Dayton who finished seventh at the NCAA championships. “I don’t know what’s going on; I’m just running. I don’t have anything to lose.”

Amen, to that! Run fast, young man; we'll be watching!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lost In Translation

It's amazing to me sometimes just how prevalent Facebook has become these days. Friend and I were out enjoying what North Georgia had to offer one weekend afternoon (antiquing and avoiding the tourists) when a visit to the local Chinese buffet sounded like a good idea.

At this particular restaurant they have a row of American food as well as two rows of Chinese food which is good because I do like a little spicy meatloaf with my egg drop soup. The food is normally good, depending on what time of day you get there. In case you were wondering, the best time to go to a buffet restaurant is about 45 minutes after it has opened (leftovers from the day before have usually been eaten by this time) or about 5:30 p.m. (when the food that has been sitting since morning has been removed and fresh food for dinner has been served.)

If you go mid afternoon or 15 minutes before they close then you're solely responsible for the consequences: hardened, dry food that has developed a crust on it or no food at all. (Just don't say I didn't warn you.)

The proprietor of the restaurant, a nice oriental lady, would periodically make her way through the restaurant, smile at the patrons, walk to the buffet area and stir everything that was sitting under the glowing heat lamps and then return to the front where she also manned the cash register. In between these activities, of which I was soon to find out, she was at her computer totally engrossed in an animated adventure called Cafe World.

Cafe World is one of the many addicting games on Facebook. Not only was the lady running a real restaurant, she was also running a virtual one. (Not sure if she did the same things at her virtual restaurant.)

When we approached the counter to pay I made a comment (like I always do) about her playing and said I like to play Words With Friends. "Oh, not me." she said. "I not spell so good. I like Farmville and Cafe World, no spelling or Engwish involved."

It was at that particular time when I looked down and saw the handwritten sign that I have seen in more than one Chinese restaurant on more than one occasion. The sign read 'We no accept checke'.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Tale For Father's Day

Growing up on the farm on Cherry Fork Road was a lot of fun. We raised tobacco, had a HUGE garden, dabbled in the hog business and had a few cows and chickens. We had a tractor, a wagon, and a manure spreader as well as various lawn mowers, rototillers and chainsaws.

My dad loved his chainsaw. I don't remember what the name brand was but it was yellow and matched his pickup truck. Throw in a Kool cigarette dangling out of his mouth and a John Deere hat perched on his head and he was ready to do some sawin'.

I remember the year my father got his new chainsaw. It was Father's Day, 1974, and let me tell you, that saw was needed. A late spring thunderstorm had blown through and there were trees everywhere. Trees across the road, trees down in the yard. It was like a tornado had come through. It wasn't that long after the storm had passed when you could hear the roar and the whine of the chainsaws as neighbors up and down the road got to work clearing a path.

Dad wasn't one to be outdone by the Dotson's so he grabbed up my brother, the chainsaw, and a couple of axes and headed towards the road. Never one to be left behind, I decided to tag along.

The destruction that this storm had caused was amazing. Big, bold and majestic trees had fallen victim to Mother Nature. I'm not talking about the scrub pines that are so prevalent where I live now; I'm talking about maples, poplars, elms, and sadly, the big oak tree in front of the barn. Strong, sturdy trees that were toppled like matchsticks.

I started to follow Dad onto the road when I was quickly told to get my butt back up in the yard. This was no place for a kid and I was just going to be in the way. The road had begun to fill with the volunteers from the local fire department checking to make sure everyone was okay. Some power lines had fallen across one part of the road and traffic was being diverted around it.

The major concern was the big oak tree; there was no way to go around it. You would end up in the ditch if you went one way or in the creek (which was flooded) if you went the other way.

Gentlemen, start your chainsaws!

And so it began.

The neighbor nodded at Dad and hopped up onto one end of the big oak. He pulled once, twice, three times, and finally, the damn thing belched to life. The neighbor lined his saw up at the widest part of the fallen tree and began to slowly eat his way through the massive trunk. He kept looking at Dad, waiting on him to get started. As he reached the deepest part of the log his arms began to strain from the exertion of pushing the saw through. Sweat started to stain his overalls and beads of perspiration began to drip off the brim of his cap. The chainsaw began to whine, to sputter, to spit, until at last, it just stopped.

Dad chuckled to himself, hopped up to where the neighbor had been sawing, pulled the string, and that new chainsaw roared to life. Dad pulled the brim of his hat low, chucked his cigarette towards the swollen creek, set himself and started to saw.

Dad finished the cut that the neighbor had started and began to work his way up the log. From time to time you could see him glance at the neighbor who was struggling mightily to restart his saw which didn't seem to be cooperating. Finally, in exasperation, he threw up his hands in defeat and asked my father if he wanted to take a break.

"Nah, that's all right," he said, "I'm just getting warmed up."

As I look back on this memory with amusement, it was amazing just how prophetic Dad's statement was. Once he started to use that chainsaw, he never stopped. He cut everything. He trimmed all the limbs on the trees that surrounded the house. All of the wood from the oak tree was sawed in perfectly measured lengths so they would fit precisely in the wood stove.

Within a year's time, he had run out of things to saw, and the chainsaw was laid to rest. It was no longer needed, almost forgotten; in fact, Dad never used the saw again, until he moved to Georgia.

And he took the chainsaw with him.

Dad never really used the saw that much in his first couple of years in Georgia; there really hadn't been a need for it. That is, until the late winter blizzard hit in 1988. It was like a northern snowstorm; almost 21 inches of snow fell in North Georgia. And to make matters worse, it started to thaw quickly and then froze again, and then everything was covered in a sheet of ice.

That's when limbs started cracking, and branches started snapping, and before you knew it, any tree that was within 15 feet of a power line toppled to the ground. No lights. No furnace. No stove. No nothing.

It didn't take long once things had settled down before the locals started to work on all of those fallen trees. Dad had gotten the old yellow chainsaw out of the storage building and it cranked on the first try. Dad was able to cut his way down the driveway and cut the limbs away from the power lines so the electric company could begin to restore the power to the area. The saw was over 14 years old and still worked like a top.

After that, I'm not really sure what happened to the saw, it just faded from memory. Until a few weeks ago. Mom was having a yard sale and was cleaning out the old shed when she came across a familiar object. It was the old saw and it seemed in pretty good condition, so she put it in the yard sale to sell.

It was late on Saturday evening and we had begun to put the things away that hadn't sold. An older gentleman in a beat up Chevy pickup pulled up in the driveway and asked if he could look around. We said sure and stopped what we were doing and watched the old guy browse what we still had left out. I didn't think he was interested in anything until he noticed the yellow chainsaw. My goodness...his eyes lit up, he picked up the saw, turned it this way and turned it that way. "What'cha want for this old saw?" he asked. "I had one just like it for over 35 years and it just cut out on me recently. It was the best dang saw I ever had."

I looked over at Mom not exactly sure what she was going to say. "My husband loved that saw; we got that for him on Father's Day back in '74. I'll tell you what, since it's so close to Father's Day, I'll let you have it for free on one condition."

"What's that?" he asked.

"Use it," Mom said.

"Yes, Ma'am," he said. And with that he pulled his hat down low over his eyes, lit himself a cigarette, and gave that cord a yank...

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just Singing Along

I had the radio blasting the other day and was just singing along to one great song after another. Some days the radio people get it right and they seem to play all of my favorite songs.

I really don't like the sound of my own voice. I can carry a tune in a bucket, mind you, but I like to impersonate the voices that I hear. Whether I can sing high or not usually depends on the weather. If it is low humidity and no rain I can scream with the best of 'em. (i.e. Axl Rose, Aretha, Janis and Garth Brooks to name a few)

All of this got me to thinking one day as I was midway through Kenny Roger's the Gambler, "Do artists sing along to their own songs?" or do they turn the station. Do they critique themselves? Do they like the sound of their own voice?

I don't know any really famous singers personally, but there might be one reading the blog. Maybe one of the readers knows somebody. Either way, if you'd like to leave us a comment and let us know if you sing along, that would be awesome!

Well, it seems like we'll be cruising just as fast as we can now... (Sorry, gotta go. The Beach Boys just came on.)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy Blogaversary...Year IV

It's hard to believe that's it been four years since I started Reflections on a Middle-Aged Fat Woman. Over the past four years Reflections has grown from a one paragraph post about my visit to the doctor into stories of my farm life as a girl, my inconsistent search for the perfect job, tales of hospital visits, unfortunate mishaps at the drive-thru and the silly things that can happen in everyday life.

One of my readers told me that the main reason they like coming to visit the MA Fat Woman is they never quite know what to expect, and usually, get a laugh in return. Personally, I think that is the highest compliment that can be paid to a writer, and for that, I'm grateful.

Over the last year I also fulfilled a life long dream and that was to have a book published. Not many people can say that; but I can! How cool is that?

When I attended the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop last April I had a conversation about what I wanted to accomplish with my writing. Did I want to continue to write stories free to everyone to read? Or did I want to try and make myself into a syndicated columnist? I think I like both of those ideas.

Over the past few months I have been working on my better half. And by that I mean that I am happy to introduce to you my new website I hope you will join me there every Wednesday for life, laughs and the search for humor everywhere. It's still a work in progress and I'm sure it will evolve over time as I continue to find my voice.

Several people that I met at the workshop and my mom, too, said that with a name like mine, why in the world was I hiding behind the middle-aged fat woman, thus was born! I hope to see you there!

Don't worry, I'll still be posting adventures about my life as the MAFW and my crazy family and neighbors here at Reflections, but I hope you'll check out my other site too!

Thanks for stopping by and keep coming back. As you've probably figured out by now, you never know what I'm gonna be talking about.

MA Fat Woman...a.k.a...Gianetta


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