Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Secret

This bird looks about how I'm feeling right now.


I just thought I'd drop in and say hi!

I have a couple days off. My sister and I are both in a play this summer, and have been working hard getting the songs memorized, learning dances, lines, and everything that goes with being in a play.

We only have one practice this week, which is great, because I need to catch up on a lot of things I've been neglecting, this blog being one of them.

It's weird how once you start a blog, it's like you've had a baby.

Suddenly you have this living thing that needs you. Not really. But it feels kinda sorta like it.

A blog's a needy thing. No matter how many times you write in it, it there's always more to write about. Once it's there, once you write in it, it's alive. It's a living breathing, entity, waiting for you to feed it, water it, make help it live.

So no matter where you are, it's somewhere in your mind.

Some event worth writing about happens, and you think, I should write this in my blog.

You neglect it, and you feel like you're turning your back on your own flesh and blood.

Who needs a fish, or a pet when you have a blog?

It will be more than enough to feed and maintain, clean, and keep up. It's always hungry.

And if you forget to put water in the blog bowl, it dries, up. Seriously.

But who can blame anything for drying up in this heat----blog included.

Here, it's been hot, so hot you can feel yourself cooking the second you step outside.

it's been 105 degrees for a long succession of days and climbing.

Hot as heck!

I fear that the Drought has been released just like in my last book, and he's aiming his dry eyes right at my house, trying to dry up my little patch of lawn I struggled so hard to get growing.

Here, its hotter than Death valley. And that's saying a lot.

I think why I've avoided checking in so long is that my computer, and my room are located in an oven, an oven that never cools down in this heat. I have to climb a flight of stairs and traverse into a sweltering land full of mirages, where wafts of heat  swirl round my head, trying to get me to abandon ship, to vamoose and forget my blog, my writing career, and art altogether.

And for the most part, it's worked. You can only be creative so long in such heat, until your computer short circuits, and your head grows fuzzy, and all creativity evaporates.

I can feel it now, the creative juices wafting up creating little clouds, only to be

I have learned though, that if I do want to survive the writing in the oven, I have to leave my little air conditioner on for a hour before I enter the oven.

But for some reason, I have a hard time thinking with the buzzing and blowing of the air conditioner. So after a while, I turn it off, hoping that the cool air already inside the room will last a few moments.

But not so.

The second I shut it off, the sweltering sweat lands appear, and all my creative thoughts evaporate. Poof. Like a dragon the heat swallows up any cool there is in the room, like it never existed.

The spring rains have evaporated, everything has evaporated.


I'd cry, but those too would probably evaporate before they touch the ground.

Crusty earth. shriveling grasses.

Parched pavement

Parched everything.

Steering wheels become rings of fire.

Seat belts with the metal handle, nasty creatures ready to stink you when you touch them.

I feel a bit sorry for the plants, especially when you can dig down with a shovel and come up with nary a bit of moist anything.

Dust. You know it's hot when stores start selling off all their greenhouse plants at 90 percent off.

I looked at those unwanted plants outside the store with compassion like someone looking at a puppy in a cardboard box.

Here were the unwanted, struggling to hold onto dear life. Plants without a home. Without a chance at life.

So, after carefully inspecting them, I picked out several struggling flowers, some sage, and whatever else I could find to place in my own dry garden, knowing their chances of survival we only slightly better if I bought them.

While planting them, reality began to sink in. I dug deep down, and every partial of dirt was dry. After planting them, patting down the dirt, and giving them a good drink of water, I surmised that live or die, I tried to give them a better life.

It's kind of weird how the heat can become a great equalizer.

When standing in the heat, the great, the small, humble, proud, poor, rich, tall, short, all get hot.

Everybody sweats. Everybody gets hot. Everybody gets thirsty.

And somehow that thought comforts me.

Under such heat, things you'd normally hold onto, you let go. Things that were so important in winter become things you frown upon. Handle bars, metal, winter shirts, campfires, hot chocolate, heaps of blankets. You toss away. In fact the quicker you can toss those things away from you the better. 
Food? Who needs food when it's this hot. Who wants to heat up the oven?
Not me.
The heat changes everything.
Ice cream, lemonade become foods of choice. Cold cut meats, and salads. These are the simple foods that keep us alive. 

It's so hot here, where you'd normally see people in the summer, you see forsaken, parched gray yards, and empty playgrounds, and for good reason. Nearly all of them are placed in full sun, so that no playground is safe.  In such heat, these seemingly harmless playgrounds become medieval torture mechanisms, wherein if you trod into their bright, and happy kingdom, blisters await your bum, and you are left scarred for life. Metal slippery-slides become easy bake ovens that actually cook whatever happens to be on them. And that's saying a lot because the easy bake oven I owned as a kid, didn't ever cook anything. It only slowly heated the cookie dough into gross little doughy blobs that we thought were wonderful, and sold at our lemonade stand to the poor souls who bought them.  I could write a whole blog post on those weird, wonderful, horrible little cookers. But I shall refrain, because the exceedingly hot temperature is the topic foremost in my mind.

In such heat, potted plants, become baked veggies.

If you don't have an automatic sprinkler, green grass is a very rare commodity.

Gardens that were so carefully nurtured in the spring, become places of sorrow and morning in such summer heat. You walk into your yard and avert your eyes from the cries and outstretched shriveling leaves begging you for a crust of water.

But you can only give so much water till the water bill exceeds your income.

Everywhere I look thirsty is the word that comes to mind.

I can step outside with wet hair, and in a few moments, my hair will be dry.

And woe unto the person who steps on the sidewalk, or onto the hot sand without shoes. To witness such a person doing so is like watching someone walk over hot coals, yowling, and running over the ground like it was molten lava.

In such heat, no chocolate bar is left solid, no water bottle cold, no ice cream cone not melted, no puddle left standing.

It is a tongue parching thing this heat. Powerful, drying, deadly. In a single day the heat, and wind can dry up weeks of rain.

It is a reminder to me how little we all need to survive, yet how much.

Water. It's such a simple thing, often taken for granted. We strive for so many frivolous things in life, but water is one of the primary things we actually need to live.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this, only that while I was thinking something very profound, but the heat is starting to make me feel gross, and my stomach feels a bit gross. Not to mention my air conditioner vooming in the background beamed its way into to my thoughts, and all that's left is the voom sound.

Voom, voom, voom.

How's that for inspiration.

Thank you Voom.

I appreciate it.

Now my very epic blog post is now trumped out by Vooms and wafts of heat.

You can see now why I've avoided blogging. I was afraid this would happen. This place is dried up too.

I'm sorry. I really am.

The heat can do that. And vooms.

The heat has made me ADD, short tempered, and a sweating skunk.

It's weird how the heat can change normal, kind-hearted, sweet people into sweating, maniacs. Seriously. I've felt the hot short temperedness in myself.

Outside, under the hot sun I've felt it most---toiling away milking the goats in the full sun, feeling the sweat trickle down my back, and the sun beam down on me, while the evil mosquitoes suck my blood, and the sticker weeds cling to my socks.

It's a recipe for a short fuse. Yes. Every morning, I feel quite discombobulate by the time I come in from battling the heat, mosquitoes, the goats dragging me to heck and beyond, the weeds, dust, and roosters trying to kill me. By the time I drag my bruised, sunburned, sweating body inside, I'm in a jolly good mood. I feel like I've fought a war. And I'm ready for a nap, and the day hasn't even started.

Seriously. I've read some strange stories about kind people going a bit bonkers under heat.  I wonder if the heat raises testosterone levels---often associated with aggression, and anger. It would make sense to me. Just think of all the wars and angry people in the middle east.

It's the heats fault.

God just needs to turn down the temperature, and I'm sure everybody would go back to normal.  Problem solved.

How simple.

But until then, the heat has created many problems. Everything seems to short circuit in the heat, electronics, people. And then there's the problem of BO. It has been my curse  ever since puberty, my sweat glands under my pits think they have a job to do, a job that involves making me smell very unattractive, and very unfeminine.

I remember the first time I was introduced to the world of deodorant in my adolescent years. My mom was braiding my hair, and she stops mid-braid, and sniffs the air and scowls. "Ugg, What is that smell?"

She crinkled up her nose, and sniffed me. "Oh, Steph, you need to wear deodorant!" 

And that's how I was introduced into the magical world of deodorant. Oh there were so many kinds, so many smells. There were deodorants that could make you smell like a flower, or a strange spicy man tree, there were deodorants that were clear and shaped like magic rocks, and the best deodorants of all that could stop you from sweating at all--- now that was cool.

The idea of not sweating at all appealed to me, so that was my deodorant of choice.

Not wanting to smell bad, especially around my friends, I was meticulously careful to make sure I dawned  that special deodorant under my pits several times a day just to be safe. Little did I know that, the real secret was, that most deodorants are cancer causing, and very bad for you. Most contain propylene glycol----a solvent that's used to remove barnacles off boats. And then there's aluminum. Also very bad for you.

Once I learned that little secret, it was a sad day. I was back to smelling savory. I did my own research though, and made some of my own homemade deodorants, I also tried various natural deodorants. Some worked great, some smelled pretty okay, but nothing stops me from sweating like the old bad for you smell goods.

At one point, I had to consciously make a choice.

It was simple.

To stink, or not to stink. To face the shame, of Bo, or risk getting cancer.

Uh....let's see. I'd rather stink and be happy, and healthy, and friendless, than sick, and surrounded by friends smelling good.

But there are times when I do wonder about my choice, times like last week at dance practice. Like I mentioned previously, I'm in a play this year, 12 Dancing Princesses, a play about 12 princesses who dance all night, and wear out their shoes.  I'm one of the princesses (April, and I'm supposed to cry a lot) Anyway, we were learning the dance for the ball scene, and I'm sweating and stinking to high heaven, and nervous, and whenever I get nervous I stink louder.

Yes, louder. It's weird.

My sister says that each person has a unique colony of bacterium living under their pits, effected by PH and eating habits.

If this is true I have a hobbit, dwarf colony living under my pits. They are used to solitude, and quiet living in the happy peaceful shire undisturbed. Alone, I smell sweet, and good.

Yet every time I get with a group of people, something strange happens. All good smells are gone. Surrounded by new people, where potential dangers may lurk, my own particular hobbit, dwarf colony do what normal dwarf hobbits do when threatened. They turn into gremlins and goblins.

Then they turn on the defense system, and crank up the volume. They are great at upping the security. Building trenches, filling them with foul moats, alligators, and flesh eating fish. They put up a force field, consisting entirely of sweat that's sure to keep anyone from getting within a five foot radius of me.

True story.

Now you know why I might look a bit disturbed when you want to hug me goodbye, like a lot of touchy-feely people do when parting. Now you know why I may want to step back away from you as quickly as possible.

It has nothing to do with you.

Now you know my secret.

But perhaps you have one too.

Perhaps you know what I'm talking about.

Perhaps you have your own colony of skunks or bats, or chocolates or little toadstools, or moss people growing beneath your pits, ready at a moments notice to give off vapors of poisonous smells.

Let's just hope whatever colony you have, we get some water soon, because I'm frying here. In view of the heat, I'm seriously considering taking up sleeping during the day, and staying awake at night, so I can actually get something done.

In the meantime, until I get enough courage to water you again, please don't dry up little blog. I'll be back soon....

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