Last week, Donn was sick, and I told him I refused to get it. Which meant, of course, that by Sunday my temperature was 102 and I had only a terrible croak where my voice used to be.
I spent the afternoon in bed, dozing in and out while catching up on my Hardy Boys books. I’m pleased to be able to announce that I am now not only familiar with the classic series, from my own childhood, but with the new and improved “modern and exciting” paperback series, and the ultra-new graphic novel versions. Which are kind of fun, really. I like the name graphic novel, as it sounds much more serious than “comic book,” which can be important for your self image even when you are high on antihistamines.
So Monday, I didn’t do much what with one thing and another. In fact, I don’t even remember the day, except after about 10 p.m. when I realized that I was hosting a baby shower the very next morning. Oops!
Ok, hosting isn’t exactly the word. It wasn’t at my house, and someone else got the cute confetti and pretty candles and flowers, and others brought muffins and scones and coffee cake and other munchies. But I was in charge of the event. Voice or no voice, the show must go on.
So I googled baby shower games, looking for something I could do at the last minute that didn’t involve diaper jokes. I know many of you find the game hilarious where you have paper nappies filled with mustard or relish or glutinous chocolate icing, but I just don’t get into those. For one, it reminds me too much of the reality of small children, and for two, it turns me off my food. And I like liking food, which might explain why these gym sessions aren’t having the desired results as far as me suddenly losing 20 pounds goes.
One site mentioned a nursery rhyme game. Perfect, I thought. I may not remember how to conjugate French verbs in the plus-que-parfait or where I put down the cordless phone, but I know my nursery rhymes! These little scraps of rhythm continue to take up plenty of space on my own personal hard drive, and no I don’t know why. Any ideas? Preferably not insulting?
So I sat down and shot out lots of ideas, like the hard-edged questions: How many bags of wool did the black sheep have? Why shouldn’t you put your baby to sleep in a tree? Yeah. This was gripping stuff. However, round about question 14 or so, I started to run out of steam. I googled nursery rhymes and found this fascinating site, guaranteed to take up even more valuable brain space. Yes, now you can waste even more time online learning the historical origins of popular rhymes.
My current favorite, and yes I have told this to everyone I know so far, is the origin of “Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary.” For those of you with brains devoted to the knowledge of how electricity works or simple calculus equations who may have forgotten this childhood favorite, the rhyme continues, “…how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row.” Pretty, right? Sweet, even. Nope. It refers to the reign of Mary I, aka Bloody Mary. The “garden” is the Protestant graveyard, which she did all she could to fill. “Silver bells and cockleshells” were instruments of torture, and the “pretty maids” were guillotines! Isn’t that fascinating? I love mixing medieval torture implements with soothing bedtime lullabies. No, actually, I do. This way, everyone involved gets something out of it.
The shower went fine, I think, although I have a feeling I talked too much in my croaky, croaky voice–something I tend to do when I’m not as prepared as I should be.
I’m mostly better now, stuck in that awkward in-between stage when you’re not really sick enough to be sick, yet lack energy to do anything useful. I absolutely hate this as I feel I am being really lazy, although I continue to race through mindless books. But on this typical Oregon spring day, when sun and shower mix it up constantly and my planters are full of daffodils and tulips, Elliot made the Perfect chocolate chip cookie. It is truly serendipitous! They look perfect; they smell perfect; they taste perfect. It was like little cherubs dressed in Nestle yellow (actually in the Trader Joe’s minimalist red logo) sprang full-formed from the oven door when he opened it to take them out. (Ok, maybe I should back off on the Benedryl, which is the only thing that dries up my nose) (And no, it’s not allergies. It had a definite beginning and will soon have a definite end, if I have anything to say about it.) So here I am, not at the gym, with little chunks of Paradise cooling on my counter. I wonder how long my self-discipline will hold out?
I’ll let you know. Later.

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