Boobs, burgers and snarkiness

This post is a bit all over the place but let’s begin.  I went for a mammogram last week at the insistence of my new gynecologist who is determined to sort out my dodgy hoo-ha.  He has suggested that I take a genetic test to see what cancers might lurk in my future – not as much fun as the Ancestry genetic test.  He has put me on estrogen – top and bottom.  Y’alls know I live in Texas, the land of strange modesty, and when you go for a mammogram, the female nurses delicately slip off part of your robe and pull out each boob.  This time I said, “Look, I was brought up in Europe.  If you don’t mind I am just going to take off the robe and stand in my knickers”.  She laughed and said that in Sweden women just sit in the waiting room breasts akimbo.

She asked me why I was having a mammogram and said I was a little anxious about HRT.  Turned out she is on the same treatment as me and she told me that 98% of women, diagnosed with breast cancers, had not been on HRT.  That said, however, I bet many of them had been on the contraceptive pill.  Then she asked me about my ethnicity and was a tad surprised about the Native, North African and other exotic parts of my DNA.  She noted that I was slim and my skin was in good condition.  In her opinion, people’s eating habits in America had much to do with their health and I have to agree.  It shocks me to see queues of rich people waiting at McDonalds for their lunch (they have a choice).  I would no more eat a fast food burger than fly to the moon.  I do eat processed food from time to time but try to lean towards clean and organic food.  Perhaps there is a tad too much vodka in my life…I’m not perfect!

So…on Saturday I went out early to take some of my fancy dresses to a resale shop.  They only wanted one of them and gave me $4.55 for a dress worth close to $100.  On the way home I gave most of it to the fireman with the charity boot – what a waste of time but he was a handsome guy!   I called Teddy to ask him to get washed and dressed so that we could go out for lunch.  When I got home he was still in his pajamas.  Normally this would raise merry hell but the HRT has a curious calming effect.  FINALLY, after many baleful looks, we got on the road.  We went to a local foodie place that served a perfect lunch.  I had a delightful glass of Albarino from Spain – just faintly pink and dry, followed by a miniature appetizer.  It was four little chickpea fritters with two delicious salsas.  You could taste each individual flavor.  Teddy had a crab and avocado sandwich with micro cilantro (weird but lovely).  To finish we each had one scoop of yummy ice cream about the size of an egg.  That is a perfect portion for lunch unless you are a marathon runner.

I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone and it drives Teddy crazy that I don’t answer his texts (all the more reason not to…)   He asked me if I had seen his text.  No, was the obvious answer but I got out my phone and looked at his text.  It had been sent from a new ‘dragon?’ app where he just speaks into the phone and it sends the text.  I texted, “Good for you, asswipe”, his face was a picture especially when the female computer voice nicely enunciated asswipe.  He then spoke into the phone saying, “I am not an asswipe” to which dragon lady responded, “I – am – not –an – asswipe”.  By this time I was really laughing but became hysterical when the phone auto-corrected his text to “I am not a Muslim”.  My laughter ricocheted from one end of the restaurant to the other.  As you know, I am not bigoted but just love those autocorrects.  I am just grateful that most people can’t understand our Celtic accents.

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!🐤🐰

PS   The mammogram showed that I have benign stuff (that’s a medical term) bilaterally. Don’t you panic when it says anything other than negative?

The HRT is turning me into a snarky teenager…

 

Random moments of happiness

mountain-laurel

Mountain Laurel

I am struggling to write and read just now. Many apologies to all my wonderful followers and those I follow for being absent. I have talked about my chronic anxiety and depression many times so no need for any further explanation. Between sad bouts, I experience moments of great happiness, for which I am thankful or life would not be worth living. These are some of my recent moments.

Mountain Laurel

Close up of mountain laurel blossom

Close up of mountain laurel blossom

My lovely neighbor with green fingers gifted me this tree a couple of years ago because it wouldn’t thrive in her garden. I was very anxious because my fingers are not green (blackish) and then this year we had flood, excessive heat and finally a terrible cold snap. Some of my tropical plants died but the lovely Laurel has new growth and exquisite lavender flowers. They have an intense fragrance which my neighbor could smell as she approached my house. I now just buy plants and ask my gardener to place them in the right spot – it is working, so far…

The Dead Grasshopper

dead-grasshopper
This poor little green person probably did not survive the hard frost and fell out of our house planks. He was perfectly preserved and so green. Normally these noisy critters frighten me because of how they jump but I do like their songs. It was fun to really examine his little body and hold it. There truly is beauty in death. After I took his photograph, I left it on the rock. When I went outside later, some lucky bird had eaten a freeze dried snack. I wonder if she thought, “they are usually juicier than that?”

The Tulle Filled Nest

Romantic front door

Romantic front door

This is a photograph of my front door decorated for Valentine’s Day. My Mountain Laurel neighbor loves to decorate her presents with ribbons and tulle – almost too nice to open. I keep them to use myself and had created a bow with pink and white tulle sitting atop the beads. We had a windy day and suddenly the bow was gone. A squirrel or bird probably has a pink tulle lined crib and I just smile at the thought. Maybe they also had the freeze dried snack…

The Syrian limo driver

During my recent contract work, I was paired with a Syrian-American limo driver. He was courteous, respectful, articulate and charming. You probably expect me to say something about executive orders and how nice Middle Eastern people are but the truth is he was Cougar Eye Candy. I am purring softly as I write this. He was tall, slim and handsome with dark hair, white skin and the most exquisite grey/green/blue eyes with long black eyelashes. I flirted outrageously in Arabic and English, wondering what I would have done with him were I 30 years younger…

The Spanish Translation

In a previous post, I talked about the coffee barista from Jerusalem who is Muslim. He works at my local Argentinean/Venezuelan Café. Those two sentences somehow encapsulate the interesting diversity of Houston. This week I went in for my usual cappuccino and he was serving on his own. The lady in front of me could only speak Spanish and although coffee guy looks Hispanic, he can’t speak it. I offered to translate and I think I got three beef empanadas correct. The lady looked Latino/Indio and was utterly confused by the blonde Texan lady translating to the ‘Spanish’ guy. It’s a wonderful world.

More happy moments to come…

Black and blue with RED!!!

Red hair for autumn

Red hair for autumn

Teddy could tell something was amiss. I kept talking about how my hairdresser could cut my hair so that I could grow it long again… Then I asked his opinion which elicited a frustrated sigh. On Friday I woke up and decided to go red. It took three dyes and a sore head, but I did it. First I chose a light red which made my hair go the color of a Biscotti – meh. Then I dyed it dark auburn but it was very intense and too dark for my skin color. Finally I added a dark blonde and went to the hairdresser today to cut it into the color. Although I am proficient in dying my hair, red hair is difficult and by sheer luck the blonde and red worked well together, like unintended highlights. In a week or so, I am going to have it professionally dyed and then will touch up the roots myself.

I am wearing black and gold dangling earrings and my 13 year old boots.

I am wearing black and gold dangling earrings and my 13 year old boots.

While I was at the hairdresser, I went to my favorite thrift shop. What do you think of my blue and black bargain dresses. The longer one was $10 (originally nearer $100) and the tunic was just $4.30 (with an over 55 discount) – I am not proud! I even got my husband an almost new red check shirt for $4 and change.

This is a full picture of the turquoise blue/black dress, which is knee length. I have hematite and turquoise jewelry and my black stilettos which I can only wear when imbibing…I have been known to dance all night and wake up the next morning thinking I have stumps for feet.

I love lacy tights!

I love lacy tights!

On Friday night I was meeting friends and Teddy to celebrate a birthday. Nobody knew about the change in hair color but I would say it is a 90% success. Teddy loves it and friends commented that it seems to suit my skin tone better. It is fun to wear darker eye makeup for the winter and look somewhat Hispanic, for a change.

Bunny and Teddy at the birthday party.  He looks like the cat who got the cream...

Bunny and Teddy at the birthday party. He looks like the cat who got the cream…

Charming Charleston, SC

Honeymoon?

Honeymoon?

I had no idea that Charleston was a honeymoon destination but when I saw this couple at Charleston Market, I thought, “Awwww, how sweet they look”. The local style was reminiscent of Reese Witherspoon’s preppy clothing line and very different from Texas. I felt a bit under-dressed… The Charleston Market was wonderful with endless vendors selling everything from local artwork and food, featuring the famous Sweetgrass baskets. I admired them and the work put into them but was on a budget.

Horse and Carriage in the French Quarter

Horse and Carriage in the French Quarter

Seeing the horses and carriages helped me envision what Charleston might have been like in times past. The traffic was relatively light in the historic area and it seemed as though the carriages were given priority. It is fun to hear the clip-clop on cobblestones.

Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic

This building intrigued me. At first I thought it was derelict and when I looked closely realized that it had been renovated in this way. It was admirable but I am not sure if I liked it. Shabby chic is a fashion that has passed me by. I am perfectly fine with architecture or furniture that is naturally old but not made to look that way. At the very least, the building made me think about it so perhaps it achieved it’s aim.

Theater

Theater

By contrast, I loved this renovated brick building. I guess you can’t please everyone! Below is yet another church the Circular Congregational Church which dates back to the 1600s. I loved the simplicity of it – it welcomed Scots Presbyterians and French Huguenots amongst others. Below is a sad little French grave of an infant son.

Circular Congregational Church

Circular Congregational Church

Bebe Peronneau

The final crush?

What's sexier than a man who loves cats?

What’s sexier than a man who loves cats?

Following the theme of the last two posts, I had a huge spark and crush on my husband when I met him. I was 21 and he took me by surprise. Given my previous experience of geologists, I was expecting a woolly sweater geek. He does have woolly sweaters and is a geek but has an amazingly sharp sense of humor and is good looking, too. Our romance was very speedy, causing anxious relatives to think that it was a shotgun wedding. (No, we still have no spawn apart from ungrateful Egyptian cats.) We met in August 1981 and married in July 1982. We worked in different countries during this period so only really were together for about four months. At various point in our courtship and marriage, I have thought that I made a mistake and I am sure that he has too.

I had a crush on another librarian in my late twenties, at least eight years after I was married and since Teddy still refers to him, this one made him anxious. I was going through a really difficult period in my life. My father had died in his 50s and my mother had a heart attack leading onto a heart bypass operation. We lived in a rurally isolated village and the most excitement I got was when the mobile library came to us, every two weeks. The librarian was about my age, handsome and he had books. Even better, he could choose books for me from my likes and dislikes. He was remarkably good at that so the crush was inevitable.

My husband was currently having a crush on someone at work, so I guess mine was a revenge crush. Again it was just innocent fun but the librarian thought that I was losing weight to please him but I was just worried about an early death like my parents. He told me a little too much about his personal life and that was enough to dissipate the crush. Once my husband’s crush saw the new slim Kerry, I was satisfied.

We have been married for 33 years so our love and desire for each other has waxed and waned. I remember a wonderful vacation to the east coast of the United States in the late 90s when we were totally in synch. Lovemaking in Pennsylvania to the sound of cicadas will always stay with me. Teddy looked particularly handsome then and I remember thinking how handsome he looked tall, slim with a tan.

Teddy and Bunny in their 40s - married 20 years then

Teddy and Bunny in their 40s – married 20 years then

I am fascinated by our memories being different. We both remember that night in Pennsylvania but then I will remember Madrid and he, Lisbon. We have always loved each other but had some significant ups and downs until recently. We have traveled the world together over the last few years and have been embarrassingly noisy in hotel rooms, particularly Istanbul.

We went to Palm Springs during Christmas break a couple of years ago. I had my usual itinerary of National Parks to visit, restaurants to eat at but suddenly became ill. I told him to go to Joshua National Park without me and then realized that I was ‘ER ill’. I got a taxi to take me to ER for breathing problems, was nebulized after some hours and given antibiotics. I tried to contact him but he was out with cell phone reach. By the time he came to ER he was in such a panic. Despite all that, after a day on strong antibiotics, I was in the mood and since we were staying the Hard Rock Hotel we had the most amazing night together. The whole room was mirrored, our room was named after the Grateful Dead (which seemed particularly appropriate), and we had a sex kit in our bedroom full of toys and condoms. My vulnerability and the mirrors turned Teddy into a sex god. I taught him a few acrobatic positions that night.

I am assuming Teddy will be the final real crush but am too pragmatic to create a Hollywood ending. Nobody can tell what’s in the future and if he died suddenly, I think I would marry again because it was such a wonderful experience. He feels the opposite – no one could compare to his Bunny. In the meantime, I will keep having crushes on movie stars, doctors and anyone else I meet in life. He will too, and I am optimistic that we will live happily ever after until the next time he drives too fast, doesn’t empty the trash or snores. On a final funny note, he queried why I was all dressed up the other day and I told him I was going to see one of my doctors (i.e. crush). In bed that night, after a bottle of wine or so, he snuggled up to me, grabbed my boobs and said, “You have the most beautiful breasts”. I waited with anticipation but the next sound was very loud snoring. I slept in the front room…

A bad day

bun and ted baja

Bunny and Teddy in Baja

My husband called me today, “How has your day been?” Immediately, I knew that he had bad news. He works in oil and we knew that there was a possibility of redundancy. He had been laid off and I felt a sinking of my stomach. I wasn’t quite sure what to say but told him to drive carefully on the way home. We have been preparing for this since the dramatic drop in oil price. I could tell that he was worried that I might fall apart but I didn’t.

He is a geologist with specific skills. When we first married in 1982, he had a job with a small consultancy. He had been working in Kuwait and things looked good but then…he was made redundant. It was devastating for him and he drove around all afternoon taking photographs before telling me. I was stiff with shock – I had a part-time job and we were already struggling to pay the mortgage and utility bills. Almost immediately he was offered a job with lesser status but the same salary for the sister company. His pride took a knock but at least we could pay the mortgage.

From that moment on we were careful with money, paid off our mortgage in our 40s and saved relentlessly. It was a valuable life lesson but harsh, nonetheless. We are fortunate, compared to most. We still have no mortgage, no debt, two cars paid for but what next? There are half made plans; opportunities with small oil companies; possible contracts in the Middle East but still nothing concrete.

I feel guilty that my mental illness makes it difficult if not impossible for me to be the sole wage earner. That said, I could probably get a job in the short term. His company has given him a generous pay off so we can relax over Christmas and then make definitive plans. Strangely, my thoughts today were with the people who jingle the bells for the Salvation Army. They have reached rock bottom and yet still have a sense of optimism. They seem grateful for every donation and cup of coffee offered.

We have drunk too much cheap Trader Joe wine today but know that life will improve. I was concerned for him because he was unhappy at work but couldn’t afford to move in case we lost essential benefits. Thank goodness we have lived in a third world country and are able to put life in perspective. He will get excellent references because he followed the rule: “Be good to everyone on the way up because you never know when you will be on the way down”. He is a good husband, provider and the love of my life.

The Peterhead Situation

Andy Norway 001

Many years ago my husband and I were shopping in our nearest large town, Peterhead. We lived in a rural agricultural area – the nearest large city was Aberdeen, 30 miles away. Some of my husband’s family is from Peterhead which is the largest fishing port in Europe. We must have been bored because there were few shops or decent restaurants. It was in the middle of the day, we were walking along the main shopping street when my husband grabbed my arm with a panicked look. “What is it,” I asked with concern. “I really need to go to the bathroom”. “Okay, we can go get some lunch and use their bathroom”. “No, I need to go to the bathroom right now and it’s a poo!” I quickly located the public restrooms (that should never be used by humans) and pointed him in the right direction. My laughter had remained inside, but as I watched him waddle off trying to keep his sphincter under control, I just collapsed laughing. When he came out I asked if he had a tummy problem but it was apparently just a gigantic poo that had to come out instantly. Using those bathrooms must have been just as scary as the problem. He just needs to mention The Peterhead Situation for me to fall apart laughing but also look concerned.

There is now spit all over my lap top as I am laughing so hard with these romantic memories. Around about the same time, we had a small inheritance and bought ourselves a Superking bed. They were very uncommon in Scotland and we paid almost as much for the bedding. My worse half had been out at a business meal and I think I was already in bed, almost asleep when he came home. In the middle of the night, he shook me and said, “I have had an accident in the bed, we need to change it!” Still sleepy, I asked precisely what happened and he had pooed his pants after eating bad mussels. I really didn’t want to get up so just suggested that he take his pants off and move to my side of the bed – it’s 6ft wide, after all. Then he really got upset, disgusted at himself and at his slothful, sleepy wife. He made so much fuss that I changed the bed with very bad grace, all the while berating him for eating something as stupid as reheated mussels. Nag, nag and harrumph!

He has mostly learned to eat sensible food except the time he ate nuts at the airport bar in Cairo. Really?? Apart from hepatitis, there are so many illnesses you can get from shared nuts in a third world country. He threw up for 5 hours on the plane – he is such an ass. We have been married so long (33 years) that he now looks at me before he makes his choice at the restaurant. The wait staff look amazed that my shake of the head can change his mind – but they have never cleaned mussel poo out of a Superking bedding!!! He is going to love me for this post… 🙂

PS This is what he looked like at the time of the incidents which is why I didn’t divorce him for lack of sphincter control…