In other words, the kitchen here at the ranch looks like a scene from a Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel. Ahhhh….I see it now…the lights on the marquee…the movie trailers with the eerie music segueing into a view of a kitchen, a lone chef at the counter, slicing and dicing whatnot. When all of a sudden, blasting from the loudspeakers one hears Ms. Spears in her throaty, teeny-bopper-tryin’-to-be-all-growed-up voice “OOPS! I did it again!” And a cutaway to a bloody cutting board, a red-tinged knife and then a sanguinous stump of a digit. Gory enough for you yet? Got the picture yet?
Yes, damn it. I cut my bloody finger. Again. Well, to be sure, it wasn’t the same finger as two short weeks ago. But still. This time it was the fourth digit on the left hand (the ring finger in laywoman’s terms) that lost, ironically, a chunk of skin about the same size and in the same location as the last victim. Cutting up bloody pieces of bread, no less, to make “fresh bread crumbs” for the chicken pot pie slated for the dinner menu. Bread. Sheesh. Couldn’t have been slicing and dicing like Emeril or anything. It had to be bread. Ohhhh, the shame. (However, if I do say so myself, the chicken pot pie met with absolutely rave reviews and was pronounced one of my top five dishes of all time. No kidding. Really. With a bloody stump of a finger no less. And yes, I threw away the blood-soaked bread crumbs, washed all involved parties to the crime and started fresh once the requisite ice, compression, and elevation thingy was done. Not to be gross or anything.)
But seriously. One begins to wonder what goes on here at the ranch some days. Two weeks before Christmas, it was a deadly pair of scissors that sliced not just one but two digits on the right hand. I’m surprised I actually didn’t lose the tips of those two fingers that day. And then, just shortly after Christmas, when I was finally able to walk around sans bandage, I willingly sacrificed same body part to save a falling glass. No, the glass didn’t survive (unfortunate as that is, as it was a favorite, and hard to come by no less…bought several years ago at a lovely coffee shop in College Station…Sweet Eugene’s. Those were the days I will say. But, as usual, I digress.). The glass bit the dust and the tip of the fourth digit on the right hand (again, in laywoman’s terms, the ring finger) decided to hang on by a sliver of epidermis, a whole bunch of Gluture (which, if you’ll remember from a previous post is simply Super Glue in disguise, but with a much higher price tag), some steri-strips and a big bundle of bandaids.
Now, here’s the sad part of the story. Earlier today, while doing dishes, I was actually congratulating myself on the fact that a) it wasn’t necessary to have my finger wrapped in a bazillion and one bandages, b)I didn’t need to wear the big, yellow dish gloves that smell horrendous (as in rubber-smelling, as in ‘ick’) and c) I could probably start typing again with very little difficulty. Don’t get me wrong. There is still a rather nasty looking wound on the tip of the right finger. It is exquisitely sore and every time it comes into contact with something the shriek emitted could probably be heard in the next county. Not to mention the fact that there is a zone of numbness surrounding the wound, which begs the question of nerve damage. And all because of Sweet Eugene’s. I swear.
And now? Well, now there is a humongous, blood-soaked (albeit dried) bandage on the fourth digit of the left hand which unfortunately corresponds to the “s” key on the keyboard. Also too the “x” and the “w” but how many words do you type with the letter “x” in them on a daily basis? Right. Same goes for “w” actually. So it’s the “s” that’s going to give me some trouble I can see already. So far so good though as I look back and see I’m doing ok. So there’s that.
I will tell you though that radio silence has not been good for the ol’ cerebral mass. The fact that I’ve not been able to get it all out of the squirrel cage up there and onto the computer screen means it just keeps circling. And circling. And circling.
And believe me you. There are things circling.
Like this for instance:
~a man was shot and killed in a movie theater in the last few days because he was texting before the movie…yep, you read that correctly–texting. It seems he was on a “date” with his wife and was texting the babysitter of their daughter before the movie started. Probably to find out how they were doing or to let her know the movie was about to start and he wouldn’t have his phone on. Or something like that, I would assume. Whatever. He was texting the damn babysitter. Seems a fight started because someone was mad he was texting. Turns out the pissed off person decided he should shoot the texter. No kidding. The texter died. The shooter??????????? A retired cop. I kid you not. So. One question Mr. Wayne LaPierre of the good ol’ N. R. of A.: was that cop a good guy with a gun and the texter was the bad guy (without a gun by the way)? Or was that retired cop the bad guy with a gun and someone should have blown him away after he shot the texter? You know, cause of the asinine comment you made after the Sandy Hook shooting in which you said “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Mmmm-hmmm. Need I say more?
~Then there was this tidbit I read the other day. It seems that 85 people at the very tippiest top of the income chart (meaning the tippiest top of the 1%), the world’s richest 85 people, have the combined wealth of half of the world’s population, or precisely 3.5 billion of the poorest people. This came from a report by Oxfam entitled “Working for the Few.” I would imagine that Pope Francis might not think too highly of this little nugget of information. So one of our math lessons right now is about congruence and comparing and whatnot. I’m thinking that 85 doesn’t come anywhere close to comparing to 3.5 billion. Unless one considers that each number has a “5” in it. That would be something I should think. Maybe it would be more obvious written in numbers rather than words. So the number sentence would look something like this: 85
= 3,500,000,000 NOT. Yeah, definitely not equal. So I’m also thinking that this would definitely NOT help the decades-old (since the days of St. Ronnie) argument in favor of trickle-down-economics. Pretty sure it blows some serious holes in that one. Though, to be sure, the stellar, stunning, to-die-for, out-of-this-world fantastic, totally-awesome, pretty-much-the-coolest-ever Pope Francis already addressed this. And zowie did he have something to say about the income inequality in this world. You go dude. You are my new hero. Right after Sir Patrick Stewart. That is one cool dude as well.
~Speaking of new heroes, one might want to take a long, good look at Ms. Wendy Davis, down there Texas way. Yes, I know there are allegations circulating that are petty at best, and political at the most basic, but bottom line, she is a woman who is standing up for women everywhere. And just this once, I wish I was back in Texas so I could cast my vote for her.
~Speaking of Texas. Well, this is a bit roundabout, so bear with me. I had wanted to post something on Martin Luther King day, but we’re recovering here from a nasty little bug and my focus these days is school, school, school. (Which is why we’re going skiing tomorrow. 🙂 Don’t tell the truant officer. But I figure we’ve earned it the last few days, so there you go. Pfffttttt. As Hobbes tells Calvin as he’s sticking his tiger tongue out.) Anyway, I didn’t get to the MLK post. But it was written in my cerebrum I will tell you. Part of the circling. Sometimes the squirrel cage is SO annoying.
Here’s what I wanted to write. We spent a bit of time on Dr. King last year and then again on the 50th anniversary this summer of the march on Washington. Last year at this time I had purchased a children’s book of the “I Have a Dream” speech that came with a CD of the entire speech. I also found an additional CD with a handful of other speeches for us to listen to. Gracelyn loves audio CD’s and was mesmerized by Dr. King’s voice. When we read the books this Monday, she grabbed the “I Have a Dream” book, after I had read the other one, and told me she would read it to me. She then proceeded to read the speech, in “a big voice” because as she told me, Dr. King “had a big voice.” And darned if she didn’t hit it right on. She had the inflections down and the cadence and the highs and the lows. It was humbling to hear her read his words. And to know that she gets it. She gets what he was trying to say. We have had many, many, many discussions about race, racism, prejudice, discrimination, segregation, slavery, black people, white people, Dr. King, President Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights movement, President John F. Kennedy, President Obama, racism of today, you name it. We have discussed it. I have tried mightily to not fill her head with my bias. I have tried to impassionately discuss the history of race in this country. I have tried to educate her about our past and about the problems still existing today, all without the bias that I am sure all those who know me know I have deep down inside. And to watch and listen to my little girl, my seven-year old daughter, read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words is humbling indeed. She told me after she was done that maybe someday she could be a speaker like Dr. King and use big words like Dr. King did. Those “big words” being ‘love, peace, non-violence, together.’ Those were the big words he used. She asked me if Dr. King would think that it is all better today, fifty years later. I told her I didn’t think so. I told her that I thought Dr. King would think progress had been made, but that it probably wouldn’t quite be what he was thinking it should be by now. I told her that racism still exists, that it is everywhere still. It may not be as blatant as when Rosa Parks sat on that bus, or the Whites Only signs were in every storefront window, but it still exists. And that brings me to Texas. And my own shame. You see, there was a time when I did not appreciate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There was a time when I complained, as did all of those around me, about the need for a national holiday for Dr. King. About why there had to be a street or boulevard or highway, in every city it seemed, named for Dr. King. I didn’t get it. I don’t know why. I’m not sure where I was when the subject of civil rights and Dr. King and segregation and discrimination was being taught during my U. S. history courses. I’m sure it was taught then, right? It had to have been covered in that U. S. History course in high school, right? But somehow, I missed it. Somehow, I didn’t get it. When I lived down in Texas, I was with some classmates at another vet school student’s house. Some furniture needed to be moved. A neighbor offered to help. The furniture was moved. Afterward, the student returned to the house and I heard this comment: “You better go wash your hands!!” Guffaw, guffaw. This was after witnessing the student shaking hands with the neighbor and saying thank you for the assistance. The neighbor was a black man. No kidding. That left an indelible image on my brain. One that has not left me to this day. To say I was shocked by this is an understatement. And it made me view the world around me a little bit differently after that. Sadly.
Then I became a mother. The entire earth shifted the moment Gracelyn entered this world. Everything I thought I felt or believed or knew as fact changed. It suddenly, and to this day, became extremely important to teach this child love, compassion, kindness, taking care of others, tolerance. Not that I didn’t think those things were important before. But now, they seem even more so. Now it seems that I need to imprint on her mind the information about the injustices that occur in this country, in this world on a daily basis. I need to instill in her a sense of gratitude for being born into this same country in which she, a girl, is free to go to school, to become who she wants to be, no limits. But along with that gratitude for this country and its freedoms and its opportunities is a duty, a requirement, a responsibility to make sure that others are afforded those same freedoms. There is a responsibility to learn of our past so that the mistakes there will not be repeated. There is a responsibility to be of service to those around us, to take care of those who are not as fortunate as us, to dedicate ourselves to carrying on the work of those who have gone before us. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being one of those people. I have told her often, to use the words of another great man, “to those who have been given much, much is expected in return.” I tell her how fortunate we are–we have a roof over our heads, we have food on the table, we have clothes to wear (along with quite a few other luxuries, such as ski days, toys and books coming out of our ears)–and there are so many who don’t even have these basics.
Again, the earth shifted that day. I never was one to stand by and let the bullies get away with their bullying. I did try at times, but I don’t think I spoke with a loud enough voice. I didn’t affect any change. The bullies just kept on bullying. But I have found my voice now. I can atone for my relative silence before, for my inability to see Dr. King for who and what he was, by instilling in my daughter an appreciation for those great men and women who have shaped the fight. I will make sure she knows the whole story of our country, the good and the bad, so that she will be able to frame her views based on facts and truths. In this way, perhaps, I can make up or atone for my earlier callous, prejudicial, bigoted views. Those views that questioned why we needed a day just for Dr. King. Now I know why. We must be reminded every year of where we’ve come from, of the journey along the way, of the men and women who fought valiantly, who sacrificed mightily and then paid the ultimate price for freedom and liberty for all. ALL.
Much more in the squirrel cage, but it’s horribly late and the ski slopes will be waiting bright and early!
Vaya con dios mi amigos.