Thursday, September 20, 2012

the GOOD and bad of this past week

The good... I taught  an extremely HIGH energy one hour Zumba class on Sunday. I was feeling very 'on' despite feeling very nervous/anxious to know that two zumba instructors were taking/observing my class because they've heard great things about how I teach, As was one of my bosses at another zumba job.

the bad.... after class my heart didn't feel so well... not really racy because we did have a 10 minute cool down...just a  weird feeling of pressure and me being conscious of it which I never experienced before.
Then, On the drive home I had indigestion, and weird discomfort in my left arm.
I kept pushing thoughts of 'heart attack symptoms' out of my usually neurotic brain and took a shower.
I tried to eat lunch, but felt nauseous and couldn't eat.

The Good AND bad?....GOOGLE...  gee's it's either a life saver or death sentence, isn't it?...

The bad... after reading that I had FOUR heart attack symptoms and how usually women's symptoms are more of a 'whisper'... I began to feel very panicky as I thought of my 42 year old neighbor who came home from work this past June with only pain in his left arm. He chose valium & a nap over a 911 call
and never woke up!  My other neighbor also had subtle signs and his wife forced him to get checked and he found he had indeed had a heart attack!

The Good- I decided to chew two low dose asprins.
the bad/stupid..  Yet, I forced myself to push all those crazy thoughts out of my overly imaginative mind, determined to enjoy the most gorgeous weather and take a drive to the beach to walk with my husband... I continued getting ready for the beautiful day we had looked so forward to sharing but as I put on my blush... my jaw began to hurt... Symptom FIVE!  Yet, I said nothing and got in the car to head off for our lovely day off together.

The Good-   as we got to the gas station, I felt another flutter in my chest, I began crying and panicking  and decided  it's SO much better to be safe and alive than dead and sorry, So...finally I called 911 from my car as my husband stepped on it and drove the 3 minutes back home in only 1 minute to meet  The ambulance and paramedics who were dispatched. They arrived in 2 minutes time! They were all wonderful despite me not being able to stop crying, i guess from fear, embarrassment, more FEAR. My EKG was normal but they still needed to get me to the hospital because the blood work would be the determining factor.
the bad- my blood pressure which has ALWAYS been 120/70 was 170/90. That really made me worry, probably pushing it even higher.

The bad-  Why is it that even without a siren on... EVERY neighbor knows to come outside and stare when there is an ambulance and several other emergency vehicles on a street. more tears/ fears/embarrassment  :(

The Good-  The EMT HEROS were so wonderful and really tried to make me feel calm and safe. I've never been in an ambulance before, but they made it much less traumatic.
 After IV fluids, and two series of blood tests in the ER.. They determined I DID NOT have a heart attack, most likely a panic attack! although my pressure was still high, they finally let me go home with instructions to follow up with a cardiologist.

MORE GOOD!-  after two BAD,worrisome days of just not feeling well and STILL having subtle symptoms and still believing in my heart that my heart was somehow not doing well... my cardiologist yesterday, gave me a check up and convinced me that what I've been going through is more likely related to anxiety about worrying and THINKING I was having a heart attack. Between The scary thoughts of my poor neighbors, the worry I shared with her about  my grandma who died at MY age in her sleep of a heart attack, and the worry that I am teaching extremely physical classes at my age, and the fact that I really AM  an overly imaginative, extremely sensitive,  crazy girl!  She reminded me of the stress test I had two years ago that I did 'OFF the charts' Exceptionally well on!  She wants to repeat another stress test but in the mean while... wants me to continue LIVING my life and put my fears and worries behind me. (an occasional xanax or glass of wine is recommended as well!!)
  I am so grateful to be okay and I think it's my extreme fear of dying that keeps me always thinking the WoRSt!  I am reminded of a lyric in the BEAUTIFUL Jason Mraz song...'living in the moment' that I should REALLY start following... he sings...
"I will not waste my days thinking of all kinds of ways to worry about all the things that will NOT happen to me"

How often do you do this?  I tend to spend too much time dwelling on thoughts of 'what if this happened  and that'??  and what would i do IF this or that happened??... when often those fears never materialize. When these crazy/wasteful thoughts come into my mind... I am going to try to merengue them away and just try to enjoy living in the moment. !
xtra good stuff that I almost forgot to include....
the loving words, actions and devotion of my husband who would NOT leave my side. The love, healing words and concern from my best friend Carol. My three sweet loving boys.  Also..
getting home from the ER to the beautiful concerned  phone call from my sweet friend/ neighbor Lynn and  the next day...finding a YUMMY tin of homemade cookies from another lovely friend and neighbor  Emily, with a note that made me cry... "PLEASE DON'T EVER SCARE US LIKE THAT AGAIN!"   (there's So much good in my life!)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

broken resolutions

When the little red car pulled into the gravel driveway, Annie jumped away from the broken window pane, a window she herself had broken in anger, she bolted, heading for her mothers cluttered bedroom closet. As she ran, her worn thin, pink bathrobe flew open behind her and for a second she imagined being a soaring butterfly. She hoped her big sister didn't see which way she was running. Annie didn't realize that the closet wasn't a secret destination. Her family knew it had always been a hiding spot for her. To Annie, it was more of a comfort zone. She liked hiding under the big brown quilted winter comforter that was balled up in the tiny corner. She loved the smell of her moms perfume on all the long gowns and shawls that hung in plastic bags in that comfy corner. She also loved moms 'hidden' jar of poker pennies on the closet shelf, which she 'borrowed'  every time she heard the happy tune of her neighborhood ice cream man.
Annie sat as quiet as she could and thought about how the little red car sort of looked like a lady bug without the black spots.  There was NO way they were going to make her get in that dumb car and go with that strange man. That undefinable feeling came over her again, A feeling that felt like her best interest wasn't really being looked after. A feeling of dread, insecurity and fear. It was a scary feeling, being only 8 and not trusting  the decision of the person that you know is your guardian, your parent, the grown up who's suppose to know best about making sure that you are always going to be okay.

Annie's mom had called Frances from her waitressing job a few minutes earlier and snapped at Frances about a man who was coming over to pick up Annie and bring her to school. "Get her ready Francie!" Annie's big sister Frances was accustomed to taking care of Annie, taking orders from their Mother and spending time cooking and cleaning their small shabby home. Wishing instead to spend more time giggling and primping with her 14 year old girlfriends from school. School! Frances hadn't been there all week. Like Annie, playing hooky from school had become a regular habit.  It wasn't too difficult to over sleep and skip school when there was no one home seeing to it that you got up and out.

Frances gently slid the closet door to the side, peeling away another white paint chip and knelt down low. "Annie, I know you're scared, but this man is from your school and it IS safe to go with him. You've had too many absences Annie, they know you're not sick. You won't be in trouble but You need to let me help you get washed and dressed and you have to hurry up and go."  Frances always had a softer way of mothering her than their own mother did. Whenever Annie was home alone with Frances, Annie's disguise never appeared. Annie's trust of Frances suddenly overpowered her fear of the strange ladybug man.  Quietly, with tears streaming down her face  mixing with breakfasts maple syrup still on her cheeks, Annie cooperated and got ready for school at 1 in the afternoon.
"what do I tell the kids Free"? whispered Annie.   Free, the nickname 2 year old Annie had given her big sister when she couldn't pronounce Francie.  Frances' heart skipped a beat for her little sister, trying to be so brave while suppressing stabbing sobs. Silently she cursed her mother for allowing this to happen. What mother gives permission for a little kid to go with a total stranger. Why couldn't SHE just leave work and take Annie to school herself?  Herself.. hmm...   She answered her own question.
 Giving a gentle hug to the tiny shaking shoulders in front of her,  she replied, "just tell them you're feeling all better now Annie".

Mr. Crawbid opened the passenger door for Annie. He was very tall, very polite and his car smelled like fresh cut grass. Inside the car between their seats Annie quizzically spied a zigzagged slot holding a black stick with a brown leather handle with random letters on it. Mr. Crawbid kept moving it as they drove along. Annie had never seen a car like this before and she didn't take her big brown eyes away from that black stick even while Mr. Crawbid asked her what her favorite color was (pink.) and if she liked Mrs. Wolfes class.(yes.)

 When they got to George Washington Elementary school, Mr. Crawbid walked with Annie to her classroom  and Mrs. Wolfe greeted her with a big genuine smile. "Annie! So nice to see you! Glad your feeling up for school today! The class is at recess but will be back very soon, you can take your seat and wait for them."  When the kids came scurrying, noisily back in, Zachary and Billy, who were the known trouble makers in class 2-4 walked right up to Annie and Billy offensively sneered "weren't you absent? why did u come to school so late weirdo?"  As much as Annie loved Free and her good advice, she didn't reply, she resolutely decided never to confess what had happend today. She buried her  matted head of dark curls down into her arms on top of her ink smudged desk, mentally pulling on her invisibility costume. The very same disguise that she so often wished would disappear at home.


Friday, June 01, 2012

Inside the fortress of CRAZY!

Every week your trash is picked up but do u ever really pay much attention? I always remember our collectors at Christmas time,  If I am outside while they're out front, I wave. That's about it. Although, when my kids were small and we were always outside, I do remember offering a drink occasionally on a hot summers day, and of course there was that classic time at christmas when i ran down the street screaming for the 3 garbage men ...well that's a story that deserves it's own post at another time... anyway..

Mr. Petals?... he doesn't miss a beat  "We must have a new garbage man working on the truck". According to my crazy husband, this new guys 'signature' is turning ONE pail upside down, which is turning Mr. Petals inside out! A few weeks ago he comes inside all gruff ( i think he even grunted). "AGAIN! Why they have to turn the pail upside down, I have NO Idea! makes it more difficult for me now! " Then a few days later he says to me (as if it's the first I am hearing it..)  "This must be this new guys signature...One up and one upside down, it's so stupid!"  I resisted saying 'You told me this already'... (ie..see 'marriage is a marathon'  post below.)
A few days ago when we're driving down our street... he points out SEVERAL homes in our neighborhood... YUP... One down and the others UP!  AGAIN.... he tells me "look..LOOK at this... this is this BASTARDS signature!"   I HAD to finally say... "honey you've told me this already,I know, I know.. it's his SIGNATURE garbage pail maneuver, he's trying to leave his mark all over our town.

YESTERDAY was my breaking point, but thankfully I broke into a fit of laughter instead of  screaming at him... when he came in all irritated and said "this F***ing garbage man... this must be his signature move... one up one down..  what the hell? "  I was washing dishes at the time and literally FELL over into my kitchen sink hysterically laughing!!  At that point ... he realized he had said this to me BEFORE!  i pointed out...MaNY times before and he went into a fit of laughter!  I said... is this how our old age is going to be??  
I guess as my memory gets worse, I won't even notice his repetitiveness. (unless he is standing on his head)

Friday, May 25, 2012


I just can't get enough of this perdue chicken in a bag... affectionately  known by me as "the big chicken"
as it was cooking today... I kept talking about it to Mr. petals...." i can't wait for the big chicken"
"omg... smell that delicious big chicken"  " i can not WAIT to EAT the big chicken"  "what are YOU eating for dinner?  the big chicken is all  mine!"    Then.... while we were eating it....  S I L E N C E!  when no one is talking at my table, you can bet we are LOVING our food like CRAZY!!!

It all started a few months ago when we went to a friends for dinner and she served an oven stuffer roaster and hers was moist delicious and cooked perfectly!  I told her HOW much I love chicken, but every time I attempt one of these BIG boys, despite meat thermometer and carefully calculating its timing, as I carve it, I notice it's under cooked, have to put it back in the oven, wash the plate, knife and WAIT! The whole pink juice, raw chicken thing just makes me sick and turned off! Then, i usually put it back for TOO long and  I dry it out and the side dishes are ready and the chicken is gross and there is A LOT of conversation at the table that night.  So she told me her method of roasting it, the next week i tried to do it her way...PINK!
I  then told my meat lady this... ( the lady who puts out meat at the stop and shop)  She is very friendly and we say hello each week. SHE suggested the big chicken. I have to say...It is FOOL proof!  first off ... no washing that raw chicken which always reminds me of a baby and kind of freaks me out.  This sucker comes in a cooking bag, seasoned and ready to roast!  Another great thing?  the amount of juice in this bag is GREAT start for chicken soup! I always time it for 100 minutes and it's perfect! I use the leftovers and carcass and Voila... soup for dinner the next day! BUT- Even better....When I don't make soup...
Well... Did u ever notice, In many movies and tv shows, whenever they open the fridge to look for a snack, there is a delicious BIG yummy looking drum stick in there??  SO often, I've said to my husband  through the years... Mmm that looks so good,wish I could get up and find a snack like that in our fridge!  YUP.... on my way there right now!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Marriage is a marathon of give and take

My husband and I had an argument yesterday. It was so upsetting but thankfully it's so rare. We really get along very well and since arguing is NOT my forte yet he could argue the fleas off a dog, I am relieved it's infrequent. As we are growing old together some of our annoying traits seem to be getting the best of us. He for example, WON'T admit to it, but he repeats his statements and questions, OFTEN. I am not trying to act like an angel here because I admit I do have some very annoying traits, but I have to say... I wouldn't even mind him repeating himself to me, I would patiently keep repeating the same answer, but WHY I get so annoyed and a bit bitchy is because i KNOW if i did this to him, he would be impatient and SCREAM... 'I already told you this!!!"  So ...really, that makes this HIS fault? right?! come on...  RIGHT!!!
As a matter of fact, most of my impatient reactions are only because (the sicilian? or bitch? in me) I have to give him a dose of his own medicine.  

An annoying habit of mine (so HE claims), is that I complain .... A LOT.   I used to listen to his criticism, and try to be conscious of when I did it, so I could try to curb it... but after ALL these years married... it started dawning on me several years ago.... He is WAYyyyy out complaining me!  Trying to argue my point  with this expert arguer would be futile... so i dealt with it in a new way.... I began imitating Mr. Petals at every situation where I just KNEW a complaint would be certain. 

(for example)..EVERY single time we have ever driven down a particular secondary road to get to a shopping center, he has always negatively commented.... 'Who in their right mind would buy these big homes on this busy street?"   So now.... before we get to the big homes... In my big, booming, best Mr. Petals Voice... I say...
(exaggerating my point with a REAL heavy brooklyn ny accent, which he doesn't have but I love to imitate).... 'WhO the hell would buy these freakin homes on this shitty street?? are these stupid people out of their F***ing minds???? ' husband cracks up laughing at himself.     (genius, no??)
It's been working every time!   When we witness someone driving like a moron.... I BEAT him to the punch...  "Freaking Asshole...get off the F***ing road!"....       He seems to be getting my point and has really cut back on all this senseless complaining!     

Marriage truly is a test of endurance, we all hope its a long distance test. I am finding the best way to ensure it continues, is to find a balance of love, patience, communication and a lot of (freaking) humor.    

sunday scribblings

Friday, April 20, 2012


SIX YEARS OF BLOGGING!? how can that be?? kind of like... how can it be that my eldest will be 28 yrs. old in two months. I still FEEL 28, well most days i do...certainly not nights, when I get up off that couch and my legs shuffle me oh so slowly to the bathroom, which I need oh so quickly. Six years! how can that be?? kind of like how can it be that my baby is 19! NINETEEN! I was married at 21, he couldn't Possibly handle marriage in two years! Kind of like my middle son being 25... 25!!! I had my first baby at 25, how can that be?? He couldn't be a dad now.. how was I a mom then?? How did this happen?? time is flying by way too quickly.. it just can't be that I am middle aged! wait... middle aged... that would mean I have to live to 104. How can that be??
does that mean I am already OLD?? well... more and more people are living past 100.. so that makes it POSSIBLE that this is the middle. maybe I'm just approaching the end of the middle years and the beginning of old age. Wait... anniversaries should be happy... this is depressing the shit out of me. 6 years ago when i began this luluspetals blog I was only 46. FORTYsix! how can that be... I will be fifty freaking three this summer! 53! sure... some of you that are older think... sheesshh that's so young! YOUNG??!! my hair is thinning, my wrinkles are growing, my bones are aching, my feet hurt my back hurts (well from my new fanged washing system). If I keep on (occasionally) 6 more years I will be 59! that's almost SIXTY! sixty?? how can that be... I feel 28 most days! GEE... repeating myself ... maybe this IS old age? anyway.... todays is my blogoversary... i thought I should write something... this is it!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why can't they make things like the good old days??

So.. my super large capacity maytag washer blows it's transmission after 5 & 1/2 short years. Is it just my luck? or do u find they are building temporary appliances, designed to break and be replaced every few years. Not appliances only.. it seems I can't even get a frying pan to hang around a year, before it's non-stick surface is non-existent. So after my very trustworthy repairman tells me... "it doesn't even pay to fix this washer...he also adds... "And WAIT till you go shopping for a new one, YOU will hate them... they now have NO WATER! " He explains they are all made to be energy efficient using a fraction of the amount of water that my Super maytag did.

I set off to the giant appliance store... already soured and determined to find a washer with water.
(this is my first mistake)
Oddly enough... Kevin (trustworthy,miracle repairman) is INcorrect... You CAN still buy the 'old fashioned' type ( from 5 years ago) the type with the agitator in the middle and Tons of wasteful water. Woo hoo! Lucy scores what she thinks is one up on this new fangled crap! (mistake two)
They deliver it the next day...
I notice something I didn't notice in the BIG store... this washer is SMALL ... REAL small. So, I call the salesman and ask if it is as large as my SUPER CAPACITY 'old' maytag?? he gives me a whole lot of mumble jumble that they're measured by cubic ft. now and the old ones weren't ...blah blah blah.... "it should be the same as the maytag". The next day, I attempted to put my king sized sheets in, they just about made it in there, but much more frustrating than that... when I tried to take them out they were SOAKING wet and tied in about 20 knots!!! do u know how difficult it was to undo HEAVY knotted jumbo sheets?? long story shortened... the same thing happened to 2 more wash loads. .. TIMe to call for a repair... on a 2 week OLD new machine!!
Now, mistake three... I SO Wish I could have been home and witnessed... CRAZY mr. Petals response when the repairman tried BLAMING ME (ME! laundry Queen) of Incorrectly loading the machine... he actually asked Mr. Petals... 'Now is your wife placing the clothes in the washer Or Dropping them in?? She needs to DROP them gently and evenly in the machine. My husband said... MY WIFE HAS BEEN DOING LAUNDRY FOR 32 YEARS! ARE U TRYING TO TELL ME THAT SHE NOW NEEDS A LAUNDRY LESSON? SHE IS KNOWN HERE AS THE LAUNDRY QUEEN! IS THIS WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO TELL ME??? I WANT TO RETURN THIS PIECE OF S**T AND GET A NEW ONE!
He was told that they have to make 3-4 repair visits before a return is ever considered... so my husband said...well set up another visit for next week and the week after that...because if that's what it takes... you can waste your time and mine and keep coming back each week until I get a refund...
They came for it the next day.

This time when I shopped... I decided to allow the savy salesman to explain 'high efficiency' to me.
well it turns actually made sense! He used the following analogies... when u wash ur hands... do u want to sit them in a sink FULL of dirty water? or constantly run clean water over them?? and instead of an agitator the clothes rub on each other kind of like how our ancestors rubbed them on a rock near the river in the olden days....(hmmm.... why didn't brilliant Kevin know this theory?) it made some sense to me now.

He had me sold, but before I committed, I tried to reach into this Gigantic, agitator-less machine... "Gee, I am on my tippy toes and I still can't reach the bottom" To which the savvy salesman said... 'does that really matter? do u think you really ever need to reach the bottom?"
had he NEVER done laundry??? I looked at him trying VERY hard to not let my expression show him that I thought he was a complete moron now and I wasn't sure I could trust that great sales pitch he had going a minute ago. I looked right at him and softly said..... you know ... you need to reach down and pick up like a sock or something. As I said this, I thought about the step stool i keep in my laundry room and the giant bar-b-que tongs I never use... and....
I make the decision to go for it. To spend EVEN more and buy this EVEN bigger than super capacity BIG, No Water, No agitator, high efficiency, can't reach into the bottom without tongs or a step stool.... new fangled washer!!!

Well... so far I am happy with the results of the clothes but doing the laundry is a bit more complicated than ever before... Because I am UP on a step stool taking out the wet clothes, I can't simply fling them into the dryer like before... NOW... I keep a laundry basket propped up on top of my rolling hampers. I put the wet in there then have to get down off my stool ( hang up my tongs) and lift the Heavy basketful of wet clothes, put it in front of the dryer and then throw them in there! Modern conveniences! no river,no rock...but made to break our backs ...just like the good old days!
(picture to come soon!!!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012


The week after new years, I received the nicest call from a complete stranger, with whom I chatted away with, for about an hour! She wasn't sure she had the phone number of the actual person she had been searching for, and after 15 years of searching, she was beginning to think that it may not be possible to ever find husband. (NO, she wasn't a long lost lover or mother of a child he is unaware of!!)

Fifteen years ago, When my husband Peter left a salon he had been working at, he tried contacting all of his hair clients to let them know where he was moving to. Unfortunately, he didn't have ALL of his clients contact information.

Mary so sweetly told me that she had always been skittish about doing anything with her hair until a friend recommended my husband. He encouraged her to perm her hair and she Loved the results and HIM! she went on to tell me SO many beautiful compliments about his personality, his great sense of humor, his talent, oh and also... how Handsome he is!
She had asked Peters ex-boss to PLEASE tell her his new location and he (falsely) claimed he didn't know it. A few months later she asked for Peter's last name, hoping she could look him up, but the grouchy boss wouldn't comply.
Mary went on to tell me that finding Peter became an obsession with her! It also became a joke between her and her daughter Terry, who insisted she should give up, that it was impossible!

Mary however, who prior to peter, had been through too many bad hair experiences, always had felt hopeful. She told me that any time she would go to a shopping center and noticed it had a hair salon, she would pop her head in the door and say... 'excuse me, does a Peter work here??" Some times there was a Peter, but not her Peter.. or should I say MY Peter! As the years passed, she eased up her search but still hoped it was possible. Her daughter had dated a man named Peter which then stirred up her head-hunter story again, And again, her daughter would laugh and say..."give it up Mom, you are NEVEr going to find your Peter'!

So by now (if you're still with me) you're curious, I'm sure!, to know... HOW did she come to find our phone number and HER Peter!

Before Christmas, while waiting to go into yet another surgery, Mary turned to her compassionate nurse and said, I am so upset about losing all of my hair. The sweet nurse said, don't worry, it's going to grow in even more beautiful and before you know it, you will need a haircut. Mary then told her nurse about Her long lost Peter. How she finally had to give in and try another hairstylist, how it was awful and how she then had let her hair grow long, so she didn't have to deal with bad haircuts as often. Denise heard all about the search, All about Mary's friends and family teasing her about her futile attempts. Denise then said... tell me about Peter? where did he work? Mary couldn't remember the name of the salon but knew the street it was on. Denise then asked... Describe him? Mary went on with great detail about his looks and charismatic ways. Denise took Mary's hand and with the kindest smile said... what if I told you, I think I know your Peter!?! I'm pretty sure, who you're describing, is married to my good friend Lucy! Mary was so excited she temporarily forgot what she was going through.

Mary went on to tell me that Denise gave her our phone number after the surgery. When Mary's daughter Terry came to the hospital to see her, the first thing Mary said was .. I FOUND PETER!!!
Terry was worried her mother was still delirious from the anesthesia! She said, They laughed for a long time afterward.
Mary is waiting for her hair to grow in and as soon as it's long enough, She is looking so forward to visiting with her favorite hairstylist. (they have since spoken)

I know I am married to a very wonderful man, but hearing Mary's story not only reconfirmed that fact, but it made me really think about How many lives we all touch in our day to day lives. Wether you connect with many people every day like a hairdresser does, or just the smile that you give one stranger, which may be the only one they receive all day, it's always possible to touch lives in a positive way.