Friday, October 30, 2015

High and Low Life

Today was a day of highs and lows. Let's start with the Halloween candy issue. There was the splendiferous discovery that when you procrastinate and buy the bags of sugar on the day before, they are half off!!! For those of you who suffer with fraction-itis, that means that for the same price, I could buy twice the amount!!! So that is the high point. The low is that I can eat twice as much.

Then, I WARNED my son to not open the bags. He said it would be fine because the candy is in little bags. He had the audacity to then whip those things open, pour the little bags of treats into a big bowl, and stash them in a cupboard where I could reach it. Another low. What was that kid thinking? For goodness sakes here, people, I have been going to Pilates for over a week now. Was all that exercise in vain when I can just waltz into the kitchen at any time, day or night, and devour twice the amount of chocolate before Halloween is even here? WAY low point.

Then came dinner. I decided home made mac and cheese was the best thing for tonight. I make a mean, bad a** mac. But tonight, on some kind of crazy fling, I went for a new recipe. This may have worked out, but my first born ensured me that he needed to have a doubled recipe. He is a mac addict. The doubling did not work. Soon after the roux was not thickening the sauce properly, my other son made the mistake of asking when dinner was going to be ready.

I screamed at that poor kid like a banshee from hell. Perhaps I should feel guilt and shame after my poor behavior, but I was in the middle of a thin roux. You can understand the frustration and agony I was under. Would this be classified as a low parenting moment, or a high on voicing clear and honest communication and feelings? You be the judge.

The day was saved with my clever recipe manipulations. The mac turned out just as good as normal. I know you are itching to know what I did to rescue my soiled sauce, but it is too personal to disclose. That's just how it's going to be.

My third high/low challenge comes from my sons. The oldest was not at home when the mac came out of the oven. He was off carousing and causing chaos with his dance buddies. He is in the Nutcracker Ballet. So you know what that means--hours of practice, great exercise, wholesome friends, and a healthy life style. This is hard for me to admit what he is putting the family through. But I know there are others out there with great teenage sons who suffer also.

The other son did this tonight: the dishes, played the piano, and completed his math homework with a pleasant attitude and high spirits. Where did I go wrong with this bunch?

(Now before you go defending yourself and wondering about your own kids, rest assured. Those sons of mine have their issues too. It's just that today was a good day for them both.)

So there you go. My day of highs and lows. Tomorrow is Halloween night, and at midnight starts NaNovWriMo: National November Write a Novel in a Month. Who knows what kind of crazy spell we will be under in just a few hours.

Heather Leigh
High and Low Author.
P.S. I apologized to my son for the Banshee scream. He understood once he found out it came from almost ruined mac and cheese. He knows the importance of a good roux.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pilates Pain Conspirators

Ever tried a Pilates class? As of this morning, I have. Funny thing about pilates. The true pain is discovered later. It's a tricky, sneaky snake of a beast.

The teacher said it was an intermediate class but that I looked fit enough to try it out. Wow, does he not ever know me. Maybe his glasses were broken. The word intermediate scared me, but I was too hyped up and ready to try this thing. I mean, after all, I had woken up at 7:30 to do this danged class. With that kind of sacrifice and commitment I was not about to leave. But then, lo and behold, I got through that 50 minutes with out a huge amount of discomfort. I actually followed through with just about every exercise.

But now here comes the funny part. The City Manager of our small town decided to re-pave just about every road in town TODAY: first time pilates day! There must have been some kind of special with the tar the road company. Every road I tried to turn down was blocked. The detour sent me to the other side of town. By the time I got home, it was too late.

My body was ruined. The aches and pains that avoided me in class had time to catch up with me on a drive home that took twice the usual time. I'm pretty sure this is part of the conspiracy theory that people whisper about. You know, the one about waiting for Heather to take an intermediate pilates class, set up road blocks to make her get home late, and then hit her like a girl scout cookie on diet days. You've heard of that theory, right?

So now I am stuck in this chair, writing for the rest of the day. Don't know if I'll even be able to get up and fix myself lunch. Perhaps the local vegan restaurant will deliver lunch to my home office desk.

Have you ever been attacked with a personal conspiracy theory aimed right at you? Up until this point, I had been skeptical they existed. But now that I've gone through one, I can tell you that they are out there. Lingering, stalking, watching your every move. Waiting until you were vulnerable and stupid enough to try out something new.

Well, you mean old conspirators, I will fight back. I will vow to never try another exercise class again. Wait, I'll go even farther. I'll just stop exercising altogether. That will set my revenge in place. HAH!

I don't even care if I put on fifty pounds and go for three chins. Anything I can do to prevent myself from being attacked, I am ready! And to seal the deal with myself, I'm going to eat a box of chocolate covered caramels. As soon as I can get up, of course.

Don't think yourself above such things as personal conspiracy theories. I did, and look what that got me. Join the campaign and quit all exercise and nutritious eating habits right away! Have donuts and soda for lunch. It's the only way to fight back. I'll be here, stuck in my chair, routing for you.

Good luck and may poor health be with you. And remember, there are others joining you in our cause. You are not alone!

Heather Leigh,
non-exercising Author

Monday, October 12, 2015

Jealousy and the Caterpillar

The front wall of our house has been under siege by monarch caterpillars for over a month now. At first, I thought it was just a few wayward souls who lost their way from the front yard maple tree. But since then there are too many to believe it is just some random occurrence. Evidently, our green house calls to them. Must say something about the splendiferous nature of the people living inside.

Today we got lucky to the extreme. We caught one in the act of building her cocoon. Since I feel a deep, personal connection after seeing this caterpillar in such a vulnerable moment, I am going to take the liberty of naming her. Chloe, I've always liked that name.

I was watching for Chloe to be spitting up some kind of cocoon wrap. She was surrounding herself with little pieces of something, attached in an oval around her. When my son came to check out nature in action, he noted that Chloe was plucking out her caterpillar fur one strand at a time. Then she placed it next to her body. So far, she has a horseshoe around herself!

It's just like that disease in which people pull out individual strands of hair. Except instead of being something based on stressed, this is the foundation of Chloe's new house.

So, I know it's something that people have been dwelling on forever, but how do insects know to do that? Did Chloe wake up this morning and think, "yah know, it being Monday and all, think I'll go over to the green house and pluck out my fur. And then, hey, this would be neat, I'll turn my hair into a house."

Is that what she was thinking? What else could it be?

The other thing about caterpillars is their reverence for a good long nap. I mean, look what they put into making their bed customized, comfy, and cozy. This is no lazy insect. If they are going to that much trouble to deck out their sleeping arrangement, they deserve that lovely deep sleep they are going to get. Personally, I feel full of high flying self-esteem if I actually take the time to make my bed in the morning.

I am rather jealous of Chloe, I have to admit. When I wake up in the morning, I do NOT come out looking like a butterfly. Not even close. Those monarch's sure have one cute style after a next. From fuzzy black and orange to intricate gorgeous wings of the same color. Do they ever have a bad hair day? I think not.

Hmmm, gosh, now I'm wondering what I could accomplish today that would be even half as interesting as building myself a napping house with my hair. Maybe if I add some new kind of sauce to tonight's tofu meatloaf, that would be something worth talking about. Who am I kidding? All I can do is sit around and write about the wonders of nature. But then, that's not such a bad thing. At least I get to share this with you.

Heather Leigh,
Fanatically jealous of the monarch

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mid Or Late At 47

Saturday I will be forty-seven. And I have some huge questions gnawing away at my brain.

First off: Will I be in my mid or late forties? If I am still in my mids, that let's me out of having to be any wiser, right? Or face a mid-life crises. Life can go on Easy Breezy Lemon Squeezy.

But late forties? I'll be responsible for knowing all of life's answers. I don't even know the questions. What do I say when asked how to bring about world peace, end suffering, and how to win at Mahjong? So much is expected at this great and noble age phase. I'm going to screw it up.

But then, if I am hitting mid-life crises stage, that means I get a new Porsche and some hot guy to ride in the passenger seat. Maybe we'll fly to Fiji to celebrate my birthday in my new jet. Well, now, that sounds good.

Second question: is there a list somewhere of things I was supposed to have accomplished by this age? And is the list about my happiness, or if my house is bigger than your house with more expensive toys in the garage. So much pressure.

Third issue: Several of my friends have already made it to the fifty year mark. They tell me they feel more free. That what others think of them is less of a concern. They feel happier.

Does that mean that I have three years left to suffer? Because I didn't even know I was suffering. I had been thinking I was pretty happy. Perhaps if I am in my late forties, then I will know if I am suffering or happy.

Finally, by the time I reach fifty, both kids will be graduated and gone. My old pets will probably be off to where ever it is that they go when they die. I will be free to live where ever I want. Should I go with tropical island vacations for the next ten years, or cruises around the world. Probably a mixture, I should think. As long as both places serve pina coladas, chocolate covered caramels, and Cabernet, I'll be set.

There are a group of yellow finches in our maple tree. I can see those little guys hopping around like they are not even involved in a forty-seven-year old anxiety. Shesh, just because they won't live a whole decade, it's like they don't even care.

Well, I guess Saturday I will find the answers to my huge questions. Think the answers come in a dream, or do angels come out and whisper what comes next into my ear? How am I supposed to wait three days to find out what happens for the rest of my life?

Maybe next life time, I'll come back as an instinct driven finch. Much easier.

Heather Leigh,
Almost forty-seven year old

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Cooking, Writing, and Accounting

Quote from the picture on my kitchen wall: There are things you do because they feel right and they may make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and eat each other's cooking and say it was good.
         ---by Brian Andreas (

And I think to myself, that is so right on. I mean, think of all the stress, wars, dramas, and arguments that we put ourselves through in this life. Is that what we came here for? I know I'll be sounding like John Lennon here (which is an awesome thing to do!)  but think of how spectacular this life would be if the quote was our reality. We could all be doing what brings us the most happiness, sharing it with the rest of the world, and telling each other that their 'thing (cooking)' was good.

Why does it have to be any other way?

For stuff that no one wants to do, like clean the Men's room in public places, we would have to take turns. But really, when you think about it, just about every job there is, somebody out there enjoys doing it.

How many times have I heard people say they hate writing--especially the revising part. Well shiver my timbers if I don't love to write. I'll take that job.

And did you know there are actually people out there who enjoy accounting, working on cars, and reupholstering furniture? Yes, it's true. Those people exist. Well, what if they are stuck writing books for children because it pays the rent. Shouldn't we be able to swap jobs like it's no big deal?

I know there a oodles of teachers out there just waiting for the opportunity to show people how to switch their career.

I think we should form some kind of committee to get this 'eat each other's cooking' philosophy as a working motto for the world. Of course, somebody else will have to run the committee. I hate that kind of stuff. But I would be willing to write about it.

What I'm talking about is a total Utopia Society. But goodness gracious, why not. I mean, whose world is this anyway? When did we let it get so out of control that most of us are spending hours everyday NOT doing what we are blissed about? Is there a person, corporation, political figure out there who we could talk to about changing the world to something we all enjoy? No, I guess not.

I guess the only thing we can do is, well, do it ourselves. Maybe we all have to move in the direction of making our life what we want it to be. Sounds pretty wild, huh?

Perhaps we could take baby steps toward the beginning quote, then let our children take it from there.

Heather Leigh,
Writing my stuff and saying your stuff is good