Right Hand Red, Left Foot Green

I'll bet you know what that's from. That's right folks, Twister, the game that ties you up in knots. That's also the name of an exercise class that I've started taking.

No wait, that's just the way your body feels during the exercise class...and the tied up in knots part is what you feel for days afterwards.

You read that right me lovies no need to break out the reading glasses and call in the family to point at the screen and laugh. Me. An exercise class. Me. Who would have thought? Well certainly NOT ME...

Yes, yes, it was me who, if asked to go work out at a gym, would loudly profess "I don't believe in public humiliation."

And yes, it was me who swore she wouldn't be caught dead trying to keep up while sweating with a room full of shapely bodies. Bodies that don't actually need to sweat to the oldies.

Yes, yes, yes, I would put working out in public right up there with having your teeth pulled and trying on bathing suits - I thought of it as just that painful.

Yes that was me. Ah but how quickly the treadmills turn for that was me then and scarily, this is me now. And I've discovered crow goes down much easier with a little Crystal Light.

This is me now, in all my glory and all its jigglyness, poured into a pair of sweats huffing, puffing and flailing around the room and actually enjoying - quite profusely I might add - the torture being meted out to me and 10 others. I think I might need some intense psychotherapy folks because I'm not quite sure just who I am anymore.

And, if I am to be at all fair in giving you a complete picture, I must give you these bits of information, for it would be slightly untruthful and less than forthcoming not to. I am participating in this bit of human degradation at a gym in a church. This is an exercise class with co-workers, all of whom I know and love. And this is a beginners weight training class - well, supposedly for beginners but none of us are buying that bridge.

Now, with all that said, it is still a gym. And all that aside, there are still witnesses in the room. And, all things considered, this is still to be filed under the category titled public humiliation.

Now you would think when he started the class with how many? jumping jacks I would have run Forrest, run screaming out of the room. Nope. I obediently began to jump. If you could call it that - looked more like jack. I thought dude is this high school? It has that same utterly embarrassing feel to it. The instructor looks like my old high school gym teacher - thick mustache, big muscles and deep voice, except this time it's actually a man.

Then I hear the sound. I try to place it. Kind of sounds like hands clapping slowly. Who is that, is someone keeping beat???


Oh. My. Word.

That. Is the sound. Of my thighs. Slapping together. Seriously? Oh yes. Gulp. This could get ugly. Truthfully, it already is quite ugly. Uber. UBAR.

Gratefully no one can hear the mini-ovation over the grunting and gasping for air. Either that or everyone is just too kind to laugh in my face.

The next hour proves to be one that shows - no matter how strong, healthy, in shape I might foolishly dream I am - I am not. I am a sad sack of jelly fish and every muscle in my body is at that very moment screaming for me to be taken down by a licensed professional at close range. And the gelatinous things that used to be my legs and previously had held me up so stoically now feel like I am being cattle-prodded and tasered simultaneously and the traitors have abandoned ship. They've mutinied along with my lungs and every other cell in my body.

Once class is over we look around taking a mental body count as we smile at each other. I hear myself pant and wheeze. I take a swig of water hoping to hide my asthmatic sounding breathing. I wheeze louder. And then I praise God I made it through without passing out or passing gas and wobble out the door. And look forward to next week for more of the same.


Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Because the rooster was chasing her.

No. Really.

Right smack in the middle of this very modern metropolis known as Houston. There we were - close to 20 cars - held to a standstill by two ten pound birds in the intersection of an otherwise busy street, waiting and watching rather amused (at least we were) while a rooster slowly chased a chicken across the road.

A second chicken was right behind them but seemed to change her mind mid-stream and headed back for the other side. Perhaps she didn't want to be a part of the re-enactment of this age old joke.

And this isn't the first time we'd seen farm creatures roaming the streets of our concrete jungle.

Two years ago we were in North Side (say it Nancy, North Sieeed) - which is a seedy area of Houston at its best - helping with a little something our church calls Houston Project. Approximately ten of us have set out on foot going door to door inviting the folks to come join in the fun at the local church when out of nowhere comes a donkey. A rather large, forbidding looking donkey who is quite agitated to say the least.

Now being the educated city folk that we are, we stood right there in the middle of the road and pretty much right smack in the middle of his path and not one of us is moving. I believe we were in shock. I mean it is not the most normal thing to see coming out of the backyard of a house in inner city Houston. Inner city anywhere for that matter.

A few seconds behind him comes his owner with a rope in his hand yelling in Spanish for the donkey to 'stop' and 'get back here' and I think that he called that donkey a few choice names which might have made matters worse because that darned animal seemed to take offense at whatever he was saying. Okay so I don't know nothing 'bout no donkeys, but I am pretty danged sure the yelling and name calling ain't a working. But that's what he keeps right on doing at the top of his lungs as the pair of them go running right by us standing there with our mouths hanging open.

Apparently this was a common occurrence - at least for these neighbors - as it did not warrant the slightest bit of attention from anyone else but us because folks went right about washing their cars, fussing at their kids, playing in their sprinklers and paying no mind to the man chasing the donkey down the road.

That's what's going on here in Houston folks. What about in your neck of the woods?


More than just a good bra or a pair of Spanx. Support is in those who surround you, those who cheer you when you stand firm, who understand when you fall short and somehow carry you forward against the crushing rush of the tide.

Support is an assorted collection of family, friends and even, sometimes, absolute strangers. Strangers they may be, yet because they've walked in your shoes and you in theirs quite enough in life, these unfamiliar faces ring of familiarity.

Because in them you witness your hard-fought tears slip from their eyes, you hear your selfsame struggles in their voices and recognize the demons they have seen as the very same that have haunted you for years. The scars they bear - some old and barely visible, others fresh and still on the mend - are identical to yours for you have been warriors fighting a parallel battle. Synonymous lives.

I only remember a few of their names but I remember every single face. I remember them because we've come together gathered around a common purpose and have rallied for the same cause. I remember each one, because together we are strengthened by each admission of weakness; we take away a measure of courage in the fact that these weaknesses are normal and only temporary. I remember each face because I look around and I see victory in their expressions. I remember because I hear the triumphs declared in each of the voices. I remember the courage and determination of my circle who, against odds decided long ago, have clawed our way out of the dark prison cells of our own making and in to the light of freedom.

And freedom is a marvelous thing.


My friend Sharon sent me this link for a website called Wordle. Instantly I was fascinated as - and I've said many a time before - words have always been my love language. (What the que is a love language you ask? Well silly, click on the link and find out...)

So, on this Wordle page, you can enter just about anything from your own selection of words to your blog URL and make word art.

I entered the URL for Ventage and here is what I got:

Click on the picture to see it larger. I think it's pretty funny that Chuck is front and center due to the recent post about Chuck E. Cheese.

Then I placed my own words on the canvas. I took my time and chose my words carefully, as I knew they would be viewed with many eyes. Do I always take such care?

Of course not. No.

I don't think I've ever thought of my spoken words becoming art but there they are. And whether it is an impressionists brush stroke offering reflection and peace or a hardened sculpture repelling its witnesses with its cold reality, words create impermeable moments in the museums of our lives.

What works of art do your words create?