Saturday, August 27, 2011

I have not had a good day. 

A flea market day at the end of the month is rarely much fun... add in that everybody has been spending all their money on school supplies, and the heat is sapping whatever energy everyone has left, and it just doesn't add up to huge sales... but still, we were busy in a very strange way...

It started when one of the local 'homes' stopped by with a busload of people that are 'challenged'

They bought a few things.  And paid for them with an astounding collection of pennies, nickels, dimes and the occasional quarter.  And some of that change was... sticky...  lets just say that the hand sanitizer was very popular today... 

And while this was happening, a church guy has been having a battle with depression issues, which I'm afraid to say I strongly suspect are more about his sense of drama than any real issue I can see... and after about the 4th text telling me about his total inability to sleep the night before, I responded that I was perfectly willing to cure his insomnia by knocking him out cold with the nearest heavy object.  (I can be very warm and nurturing at times... with proper warning, When I'm not driven to distraction.  And provided you're a cactus and not a full grown person who has stopped taking their medication.)     

And of course, about 20 minutes after that, I recieved notice that the church would very much like it if I would read the Biblical Scripture during church service.  Now, those of you who remember the Archangel Gabriel moment, may remember that these things always seem to be thrust upon me when I have just said or done something that is most vehemently Not Christian... and threatening to knock someone unconscious would probably qualify for that.    

And to top it all off... Little Bit... which is what we call one of our regular customers behind her back, came in at exactly 15 minutes to close, and began her favorite tactic of placing items priced at 10 dollars on the counter and announcing she was only paying two dollars.  It hasn't worked at any time in the last 2 years, but she keeps trying.  Gotta admire her persistance, God love her. 

She invariably pays the marked price... eventually... and I was 30 minutes late getting out of there. 

I have one nerve left, and I would strongly advise anyone out there to STAY OFF OF IT.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last night... a small miracle occured...

It was all very confusing... I walked out of he house this morning and the first thing I noticed is that it didn't seem quite bright enough outside.  And it wasn't as hot as usual...

then, I felt something on top of my head.  A little cold spot suddently appeared... then another and another... on my head, my shoulders, my back... I looked up and something hit me in the eye...  not unpleasantly mind you, but still, it was jarring...

turned out to be... WATER. 

What is this?  Is my neighbors sprinkler system being a little overzealous?  No, water is coming down everywhere... terrified I ran into the house and turned on the TV...

Turns out that this mysterious phenomenon is called 'rain'

seriously folks... rain for the first time in well over a month feels miraculous.  And you have no idea how good 85 degrees feels when it's been in the mid hundreds for weeks on end.  It lifts your soul not to be oppressed by the very air that you're trying to breath.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

so yep... it actually hit 110 degrees in the Dallas Ft.Worth Metroplex today... unfortunately I missed this great historic event as I was driving up to McAlistar Oklahoma... where, at 3 PM it was a mere 107... HAH... I laugh at 107...   WIMPS.

Raced back to Ft. Worth, because I'd been invited to dinner at one of the church guys house.  

Now, this particular church guy has these dinners almost weekly.  I enjoy the company.  I enjoy the food... usually, but we'll get to that...   I don't enjoy the wine. 

He invariably serves chardonay. 

I hate and despise anything chardonay.  Now yes... I will admit that there are very subtle nuances to it's flavor... sometimes its a hint of kerosene.  Sometimes it's turpentine... on one very memorable occasion, I would have sworn that someone had poured a glass of chilled vintage gasoline.  But, according to my tastebuds... it's all distinctly oily and petroleum based.  It doesn't taste like anything that should be in my mouth.  

I have tried every subtle way of letting this be known.  I have had loud, easily overheard conversations obout the lack of merit of chardonay... I have taken one sip, sat the glass on the table and drank water for the rest of the meal.  I have even, three weeks ago, brought a fairly espensive bottle of wine along... that is still sitting on that mans kitchen counter...

Tonight, as I was speeding towards Ft. Worth and dinner, I made a quick call from the road saying that I'd be about 15 minutes late.  I texted another guy that was going to be there and said I'd see him there but I was running late. 

I get there... only 10 minutes late actually, go to the table, and commence to dig in.  Or try to.  What's this? 

"It's Moroccan Chicken..."

"There's chicken?"

Then the guy who I had texted said... "Oh, well we figured you weren't coming, so I ate it"

"I said I was gonna be late..."

"We didn't think you'd make it back from Oklahoma this quick."

"I drive places quickly for a living." 

Blank stares all around.

Finally, after a little digging, half of a chicken thigh was located.  There were also four chunks of potato and some carrots with what appeared to be onion gravy on them. 

I was offered cous cous which I declined.  I've eaten a lot of cous cous in my life, but I have to admit I've never tasted any of it.  Evidently, the tastebuds that taste petroleum in the chardonay also refuse to acknowledge the mere existence of cous cous.  I also didn't eat the pita bread, but that's because I'm not a bread eater.  We didn't have one of those families that had bread on the table at every meal.  Actually, it was rare.  I evidently just don't have the habit of it.

And then, of course, the inevitable glass of chardonay.  I'm afraid that after the polite sip, setting the glass down was a bit of a thud, followed by a lunge for the water glass tho... this glass was distinctly on the chilled gasoline list.

Anyway... excused myself as soon as possible and headed to the nearest fried chicken joint.  It may not be "Moroccan" but it's damned good. 

Monday, August 01, 2011

I had a few drinks and I think I woke up in hell...

No, really...

Today the weather man was predicting 106, but the temp officially reacged 107 degrees, and the thermometer in my back yard read 113.  We're not even going to talk about the heat index.  Tomorrow... they're predicting 110.  Please God help us all...

Now, I know what some of you are thinking... you live in Texas... what are you griping about.  Trust me, these temps are record breaking.   The usual case is a few days hitting a hundred in July... we've now had aproximately 30 days solid of it... and there's no summer storms.   There hasn't even been a heavy dew.  There are big burned patches by all the highways.  Even the cactus are suffering, many look like half inflated balloons, and no amount of watering seems to be helping. 

Yesterday, I washed a pair of jeans, put them on a hanger, and hung them from the eaves of my house.  They were dry in 15 minutes and I'll swear to it in court on a stack of bibles. 

I'm pulling every trick I know to keep cool and hydrated, but I think I may be losing the battle... 

Everyday, I pack a little cooler with frozen bottles of water and bottles of fruit juice.  Juice is better for you than those sports aides which are full of corn syrup.  And they taste better.  (Quite frankly, I can't choke Gatorade down.)  And if you buy the fruit juice in big bottles or in frozen concentrates, then refill bottles at home, it's much cheaper, and you're saving the landfills from all those hideous single serving bottles.

I also take frest fruit of somekind.  A banana is good... most fruit juices don't have the potasium that you need when you're that hot, and a banana can replenish you.  Sometimes, I take cherry tomatoes... I can eat them like grapes and they're a great potasium source too. 

I also take peppermints.  Those little startlight mints actually make you feel a bit cooler.  Of course, Altoids can give you a cold jolt!  Some people almost find it painful! 

I also pack a plastic bag with 3 or 4 wet bandanas in there... if you get too hot you wrap a wet bandana around your neck and you feel much better.  Lately, I've been putting a capful of rubbing alcohol in the bag with them... it helps.  I also keep hand sanitizer in the truck... it's rubbing alcohol too... NowI know... they say putting rubbing alcohol on your skin will dry it out.  Listen, I'm sweating faster than I can drink sometimes, my skin is consequently extremely oily.  If it was 70 degrees... I'd worry about drying my skin out.  It's bloody 106 already! 

Every day when I come home, I take a special cool bath... now, this is gonna sound strange, but I'll explain it... Three or four inches of cool water with two capfuls of mouthwash in it.

here's the thing... the blue mouthwashes, like Scope, (although I tend to buy the store brands that are identical but cheaper) contain Eucalyptol, Menthol, Methyl salicylate and Thymol, in addition to alcohol.  Eucalyptol and Menthol are both great for cooling down the skin, and these ingredients are all stong antiseptics.  What most of us smell like when we're skanky sweaty isn't our sweat, but the bacteria growing on our bodies and feeding on the sweat... now, I don't claim to smell like a rose, but I don't smell as bad as I used to.  No, you're not going to sanitize yourself, everything is diluted in all that water,  and it probably isn't advisable to sanitize yourself, but you will seriously keep it under control, and when you're sweating buckets, that's neccesary. 

Then I do a quick rinse, again cool water...  quite frankly when it's this hot outside, the water that comes out of the tap marked cold.... ain't cold... but again, hot showers actually promote bacteria growth, and quite frankly you're sweating when you go in and with a hot shower, you're sweating when you get out. 

And... a cool shower actually feels good.  I know, there's all sorts of jokes about cold showers, but it ain't any colder than jumping in a swimming pool. 

And now... that's more information than any of you needed to know about my grooming habits.  LOL