Freakish feet

After surviving the drama that is growing up, I have learned to be comfortable in my own skin. I am no longer exceedingly self-conscious about my appearance. My scintillating personality more than compensates for any physical quirks. Except for my feet.

Anyone who knows me well knows I loathe my feet. I hate looking at ’em, they hurt, they look ridiculous in cute shoes, and most of all, I can’t stand for other people to see ’em. It is only within the past few years that I will even wear open-toed shoes. I finally figured, so what, they’re my feet and you gotta love the whole package.

For starters, I have bunions on both feet. I have had them since I was a teen. Right after I graduated from college, I had surgery to correct them. The surgery got rid of the pain, but they look all the more hideous with the scars. And worse, the left one is coming back. The podiatrist told me in 1989, give it ten, 15 years, and sure enough, it’s baaaack, just like the Poltergeist.

Also? My second toes are way out-of-proportion longer than the rest of my toes. The bunion surgery only exaggerated this issue, as they took a small wedge of bone out of my big toes, which shortened them. I could probably get over this, except for two things: One, the third toe on my right foot is too short. In fact, it’s missing a bone. It looks extra hideous next to the extra-long big toe. And two, my left second toe has developed a hammertoe.

My second toes have always sort of curled downward. But within the past year, the first joint on the left one has shot up into what appears to be a right angle. It hurts inside shoes. I looked down at my feet one day and said, my goodness, Mary Losch’s foot is on the end of my ankle and GAAAH how did it get there?

Mary Losch was my grandmother – my mom’s mom. She was a wonderful woman – plump, with an ample bosom, and she gave the best hugs. She also had a variety of health ailments, among them, her feet were a wreck. I remember visiting with her and watching her toes, all bound up inside her support hose, as she rocked in her rocking chair, and thinking, ick. I hope I never have old grandma feet.

But, I do. And I’m only 40!

So yeah, I’m obsessed about my feet. I look at other people’s toes, especially in summer, and think, wow, I wish I had feet like those. Or, even more fun, I love to spy some hideous feet and be able to think, well, mine don’t look so bad next to those.

I spied just such a pair coming up the Metro escalator a few weeks ago. It was chilly – definitely not flip-flop weather – but the girl in front of me was sporting a skirt and some old flip-flops. I glanced at her toes and had to double-count: Upon first glance, it appeared she had only four toes on her left foot! But then I looked again. Her third toe was growing on top of her fourth toe, such that two toes occupied the same space. And she was wearing flip-flops! On purpose, in March! I so would have been wrapping those puppies up inside socks and boots until at least June.

If that chick can run around with her mutant toes hanging out in March, then perhaps so can I. I hear DSW’s having a big sale…

The Jar of Squalor

When our oldest son was a baby, he attended a wonderful in-home family daycare. I remember the daycare provider commenting, without hyperbole, that she could feed a third-world country daily on what she swept off of her kitchen floor. I saw her sweep it once. She was right!

I was remembering last night as I swept my own kitchen floor, and dumped unspeakable piles of filth from the dustpan into the trash can. The filth-pile contained pet hair, food crumbs and bits, dog kibble, broken bits of leaves and stones dragged in from outside, and plain old garden-variety dirt. Where does it all come from? Why does it end up in my kitchen? And how much of this filth have I swept and discarded over the past weeks, months, and years?

I got to thinking that perhaps this was blog fodder. What if I collected and kept the dirt? How long would it take me to fill a one-quart Mason jar? Would this be compelling or merely insipid?

Well, Readers, let’s find out. Behold: I present to you, the JAR OF SQUALOR!

Jar of Squalor

Follow along in my never-ending quest for cleaner floors. Feel the suspense as we attempt to quantify the nasty bits that land on my floor. How long will it take to fill a quart jar? I will collect whatever I personally sweep up, from the kitchen floor only. I will only use my broom – I will not vacuum. Too easy.

Today’s installment is pictured here in all its filthy glory. Can you see it? Here, come a little closer, dear. Click the photo. Those red things? They are racecar-shaped sprinkles, which I put on the three-year-old’s oatmeal. There is, of course, dog and/or cat hair. Possibly pepper and/or salt, too. A piece of trampled leaf that became detached from the dog’s paw, or a kid’s sneaker. Bits of egg shells that hit the floor during the three-year-old’s recent attempt to peel a dyed Easter egg.

Jar of Squalor Contents

I know you’ll want to check back again soon for the next installment!

Soup is not a finger food… or IS it?

“Wildscribe” over at suggests that, armed with little more than a regular kitchen strainer, soup can, in fact, be a “great finger food” for your tots! And here I have been fervently preaching the use of utensils. Kinda shoots holes in the premise of my blog, doesn’t it?

Please, check it out, but shhhh – let’s keep this between us. I don’t want my boys finding out about this. OK? Thanks x 1,000!