Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This Crazy World in Which We Live

Times are hard for all of us right now. With trouble on Wall Street, unhappiness on Main Street, confusion everywhere, I've decided to stay home, do yoga, write, and watch my new goldfish swim in their aquarium. I'm all for maintaining sanity.

I'm not advocating being an ostrich and sticking one's head in the sand, we all have to do our bit for the economy and the state of the world. But let's not go crazy and worry ourselves sick, okay? I figure if Bush, Obama, and McCain can keep their heads while all about them are losing theirs ... all I can say is, I'm glad that I'm me and not one of them. Yikes!

I figure stay home and use less gas in my car, read more, learn more about what is happening in the world, make wise choices. I don't have a lot of investments but what I do have are diversified. They'll rebound ... eventually. My house is worth less than what I paid for it three years ago. If I sit tight it will gradually rise in value. Meanwhile I'm paying down the mortgage and increasing my equity.

I've become a smarter shopper. Gone are the times of buying whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. Now I weigh the pros and cons. The same goes for travel. The same goes for dining out and entertainment. Europe isn't going anywhere. I can wait five years. I'm enjoying trimming my budget of expenses that are not necessary to my overall happiness. It makes me proud whenever I cut something. And, I'm feeding the pig. A percentage of my money is saved every month. It's not huge but it's something.

On the plus side of our crazy world, I'm reading more. Every afternoon I finish my writing, grab a diet coke, and sit in the recliner. Two hours of reading takes me to a place I knew growing up in a big noisy family. Hey, living with six siblings is no picnic, and it fills the need for adventure, romance, excitement, suspense, whatever it is I'm craving. I've always been a reader, just haven't given it the dedication I now do. Just finished John Grisham's novel, Playing for Pizza. It transported me to a small town in Italy, walking those streets, eating those foods, hearing the local language. And, in addition, I learned more about American football than I'd ever known.

Check it out. It's highly entertaining.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Pool Buddy

Since my knee surgery I've been doing the exercises suggested by the physiotherapist every day, in the pool. Part of that is because it's still so awfully hot here, and part is because I'm convincing myself that I'm getting twice the workout for my effort.

Anyway, I walk the dog, come home, take a quick shower and put on my bathing suit and by eight thirty I'm in the pool. I usually swim a few laps to warm up first. Several of the exercises require different water levels. Like when I stretch out my hamstrings I need to be at about the four feet level. I grip the edge of the coping and stretch for fifteen seconds then alternate legs and repeat several times (who wants one toned skinny leg and one chubby one, eh?) By the time I'm doing this stretch it's close to nine.

In the last week I've noticed that I'm not alone. A little beige-colored spider with long golden legs comes to join me. The first day I met my pool buddy he/she was floating in the water but I could see the spider was still alive. I scooped it up and threw the handful of water (and spider) onto the deck. Spidey, as I've come to name it, got up on those lovely long legs and ran away toward the shrubs that surround the outside of the wrought iron fence. I felt quite good about that. I'd saved a life.

I decided Spidey was a girl because of the legs. Yesterday she came down the deck at almost nine o'clock and scooted over the coping and ran up and down the tile. I wondered if she was trying to get a drink of water, but before I could decide, and because I was making small waves, she was washed off the side and into the pool. I scooped her up and we went throught the same procedure as the day before. I did lecture her a bit about being more careful, however, today, at exactly the same time, she returned and again fell into the pool. I tossed her back out. She ran home in the same direction.

Only thing is, I'm not so sure anymore that Spidey is a girl. The actions are very masculine. Keep risking one's life to ride the waves? Yeah, gotta be a dude. I can't decide if I should leave Spidey to his adventures or keep on saving him from drowning, I figure if Spidey is indeed a guy, he goes back to the Spider Bar and tells his buddies:
"Yeah, so there I am riding the waves, and some human gets in and splashes around, nearly kills me. Then there's a tidal wave and I get washed onto the deck. It was thrilling I tell ya'. Same thing happened yesterday, and again today. I'm going to try it again tomorrow. Maybe I'll even go to the deep end."

If Spidey's a girl she goes to the nest and says, "Darn another day without a bath. That human has got to go. She keeps scooping me up and throwing me onto the deck. I'm going back tomorrow and if she tries it again, I swear, I'll bite her."