Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Extra Effort

This morning I'm staring at the screen and trying to remember what it was last night that I wanted to write about when I got up.  Actually, I was supposed to be up 45 minutes ago...and I asked God to please wake me up so that I'd have a little time to put some thoughts down.  He did...via Riley's incessant whining...not my cell phone which was set for 5:15 a.m.  

I got up, opened the door to let him out, but Dixie was in no mood to be roused before she heard the phone alarm go off, so I had to lift her out of her warm bed and shoo her out the door with him.  I sunk back into bed because yesterday was "leg day" at the gym and there are certain parts of my lower half that had apparently not been worked hard enough over the past few days and were screaming for me to rest a few more minutes.

I did.

Made my coffee...which I am still drinking black...even though I can technically put cream back in should I choose...but I've gotten used to giving up those calories so I do.  It serves the purpose of keeping me at one cup because I hardly make it to the bottom of the first one.  

The dogs ran from window to window as I prepared their food with the Dinovite in it and put them at their places.  I feed them in two different spots and give Dixie a head start because Riley tends to finish early and will prod Dixie to move so he can finish hers.  Sometimes she is okay with this and other days she goes all Godzilla on him...making sounds that are hard to believe come out of a well behaved, loving, little shih tzu.

She doesn't much resemble a shih tzu right now seeing as she got into a nest of briars last week on her great escape from the yard into the neighbor's.  There is a strip of wilderness between the two yards because apparently we are not people that they care to associate with after we scared a guest of theirs with a fake alligator by the pond and our sweet former dog, Harley, would chase his guests up from the pond.  You've not lived until you've seen somebody's MeeMaw take off at warp speed toward the house.  

Anyway, the briars are there, but weren't really the prickly kind...more the kind that stick to everything and you can pull them out but it takes forever and eventually you realize that it is necessary to let a professional handle it.  So, we let Petco do it.  Fifty dollars later, she has very little hair on her ears or face and underbelly.  Her tail is not the plumey long variety, but looks like someone attached a stick on her rear end.  

It isn't her best look.  But if she keeps getting in the briars when her battery runs down (which I suspect was from chasing the cat) then she deserves to look like a canine Sinead O'Connor.  

Bless her heart.

The room is really quiet now that Big Dave has gone to take his shower...and in a few minutes...he will reappear and make breakfast.  It will either be eggs and oatmeal or oatmeal and eggs.  He changes the order every morning just to keep it interesting.  I'll drown the oatmeal with a fair amount of cinnamon from Penzey's Spices (you can order online...) and eight blackberries cut up so that I can taste some in each bite.  I don't put any sugar, honey, or milk in there.  Yes, it can be a little like eating what I suspect wallpaper paste tastes like...but I'm still off of the artificial sweeteners.  The blackberries help.  The copious amounts of cinnamon actually taste sweet to me now.

Yeah, I'm weird.

After we eat, I'll go back to the bedroom, make the bed, pick up any underwear that Riley has stolen from the laundry basket overnight and dry my hair while reading "James Madison" by Lynne Cheney.  I am on this quest to read something about each of the Presidents and would like to go to some Presidential libraries.  I still miss my book on Harry S. Truman by David McCullough ("Truman") that was my constant companion for about a month because I couldn't read too fast (McCullough is full of details and I don't like to miss them...much like reading C.S. Lewis...you cannot speedread through it.)  I actually liked the person who was Truman.  I'm finding Madison a little less interesting so far...but that is because he was the 4th President and it is hard to relate to living in colonial Virginia.  I'll probably skip around and hit Eisenhower next and then go back to John Quincey Adams (another book I've already purchased) so I don't get all bogged down.

Yes, I'm a nerd.  But I've embraced it and moved on.

I don't know what today will hold...whether it will be another "Chamber of Commerce" day where the weather is perfect and I make excuses to go down the street and drop a letter in the box just to get out of the confines of the four walls and the air conditioning that is apparently set on "arctic."  There are two temperatures at work...Hades lite and arctic.  You have to own a fan and a heater just to survive.

(Big Dave just asked me if I want oatmeal and eggs or eggs and oatmeal.  Told you we were predictable.  We're having oatmeal and eggs today.)

I also just remembered what I wanted to write about...the little bit extra...so I'll see if I can launch into that after describing my incredibly boring morning to you.

It really came about yesterday when I was in the ladies room facing a fresh roll of toilet paper for the umpteenth time.  Yes, it is better than being "stranded" but almost as bad.  Why?  Because the little extra bit of effort is always required when I see a fresh roll.   Let me explain...apparently our toilet paper in the bathroom as a lot of glue on it to keep it closed and when you try to undo it, you'll either get a pretty clean break, or the roll will look like a wildcat has gotten a hold on it and left little paper pieces all over the floor.  There is nothing in between.  

To use the paper, you must undo the glue.  To do that, you have to take the paper off of the roll.  Why people don't just do that when they change the paper roll is beyond me.  They stop at just replacing it.  Why not go the extra step and make it easy for the next person?  

Because very few people go beyond what the minimum that is required.  Even with the things that don't matter.  They just don't notice it.  

I, of course, notice that kind of stuff because I'm apparently weird.  And because I am almost always the next person behind the fresh roll.  

It is the little things that really get us sometimes, isn't it?  Finding out that you are out of one ingredient that you need to make something that you really want.  Finding that someone left the toilet seat up when you are making a mad dash.  Finding that someone didn't secure the cap on the 2 liter bottle of Coke and the rest is flat.  Finding that there is 1/8 of a tank of gas which means that you have to fill it...when you don't really have time.  Watching a yahoo (always male) jump in front of you when a new line opens and you were next.  Having people submit things to you that aren't proofread.  

The little things.

And as Big Dave's grandfather used to say, "It's the little things that make the big things look so good."  The reverse is also true.  It is the little things sometimes that make the big things look crappier than they really are.

I realize that I'm probably just being a little ridiculous about the toilet paper, but it is something I noticed months ago and try not to roll my eyes about.  I'm pretty much the queen of eye-rolling sometimes.  I'm also a little vocal with the jackwagons who break line too...like the guy at CVS on Saturday who should have let the guy with the two kids bouncing around go before he did.  But he didn't.  Because men in stores don't like to wait.  They'll hold the door for you if you get there first, but after that...chivalry is dead.  

I can live with that.  Sometimes Towanda mentions it to anyone who will listen...so that the offending individual cannot help but hear as well.

Maybe you are one of those people who does more than anyone expects.  I hope so.  I think if everyone did just a little bit more than expected...the world would be a far better place.  And because there are a  lot of people slacking...you may even have to do a lot more than expected.  Chances are...people won't thank you for it or mention it.  You have to do it because it is the right thing to do.

This does not mean that I get it right every time.  Do I snatch the bibb lettuce at the Farmers Market on Saturday that someone behind me had her eye on because I was ahead of her in line?  Yes.  After I offered it twice and she refused...I took it.  After all, if you want it...then if someone offers it to you...you need to take it or get the romaine.  That's what she did.  I'm sure that she thinks I'm a heifer.  I suppose sometimes I am.

But I do try.  

Most of the time anyway.

I am currently six minutes away from having to get to the second stage of my routine - drying my hair.  So, although this post is a little odd...I'm going to have to wrap it up anyway.  Plus, my oatmeal is getting a little cold and I can't write and eat at the same time.  I lost that skill set when the kids got old enough to feed themselves.

Have a great day everyone.  Look for an opportunity to do more than is expected.  Like my friend, Michelle, who mailed me cookies one year because I happened to say how awesome they sounded.  Or my friend, Allison, who shared my blog on hers because she's an encourager.  Or my friend, Beve, who goes beyond the normal confines of friendship into sisterhood to blaze the way ahead of me in many ways, to my friends Bonnie and Lisa who will send me a card in the mail to encourage me on my weight loss and tell me to keep moving forward.

Or anyone reading this who takes the time to do so and often checks "like" or leaves a comment.  I appreciate that extra effort so much.

I really do.  

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