Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Home

I am pleased to report that my couch has found a new home with Stephanie. The best part was that two kindly and well-muscled biker type fellows hauled it up the flight of stairs so we didn't have to. The next best part was being treated to a nice cold Session beer, exclusively brewed in Oregon. As you can see, Irving and Holly also approve. Of the couch. They did not get a beer. Please! Cats really are more the scotch drinking type.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Meeting Sherman Alexie

He is to-the-point, sometimes scathing, brutally honest, insightful and intelligent, and funny, funny, funny. Hearing him speak and meeting him goes on my top ten lifetime list experiences. Learn more about him here. Buy his books! Read them! Watch the movie Smoke Signals, it was a personal favorite long before I knew he wrote the screenplay based on his short stories.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ghostly Gourds

In an homage to Popular Science magazine's feature, Wordless Workshop, check out what I did with last season's dried gourds. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Windbag Curtailment Device

My favorite part of the Ig Nobel Prize presentation ceremony is Miss Sweetie Poo. The 2012 awards featured two of them! If only this most dignified custom to cut short overlong acceptance speeches would be adopted by the Oscars. Who ever came up with a whining child for this clever ploy deserves a prize. My second favorite part of the Ig Nobels is the Thank You, Thank You speech, for which Miss Sweetie Poo's services are not required.

Knitmaster Kneeded

This is it! The answer to my chair recovering dilemma in the living room! I need a chair sweater with a matching ottoman sweater! Yesssssss! But first I need an expert knitter. And a lotta yarn. A whole lotta yarn! Thanks to The Campaign for Wool for this photo and a way cool idea! Also thanks to LindaCo for posting this photo for me to admire. I wonder if she'd tackle such a project. Hmmm.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Crones are Cool

Tis Mabon, girls and boys! Celebrate the day with honorable gestures toward the wise elder women of your tribe. Beg a story from your granny or aunt. Delight in and be grateful for the food they prepare. Remember how they have cared for you when you have been sick or troubled. She may wink and tell you it's just a cookie or a bandaid or a kiss, but deep down you know it's magic.

Friday, September 21, 2012

I Hate the Term Closure...

Colleen's comment on yesterday's post got me thinking. I know, dangerous territory for one not properly equipped for such activity. And for those of you who don't regularly read the comments, this is what I had to say:

I have reconciled to the fact that it's over and whatever small wound was dealt has healed.
For me, the problem is leaving so many what-ifs dangling. I'll likely never know if I would have been, as you say, selling short.
We all arrive with some baggage, particularly at this point in life. There may be dealbreakers in there, maybe not. I'm fortunate enough to be well acquainted with my own and to know what I'll tolerate from another.
It seems the ones who need love and affection the most are the ones who push it away the hardest, often after opening the door just enough to let you halfway in. It takes enormous courage to be vulnerable with another human being. Often you are giving them ammunition that they could use to hurt you later. Trust isn't easy to come by.
Which got me thinking about my expectations from a man, and a list I made over a year ago. There I go thinking again, but I still think this is a pretty accurate description of what kind of male company I would prefer to keep. Applications are currently being accepted for those who feel they qualify.

1. Talk to me. Not just to fill the quiet, but to share what's going on in your head. No one is a mind reader, and no one should be expected to be. Share with me your deepest and darkest places and trust that I will not judge you.

2. Accept me. For the ever passionate, deeply flawed, relentlessly optimistic, work-in-progress human that I am.

3. Never hold back. I can take it! I am resilient and strong. I am capable of growth and accommodation. Do this out of kindness rather than anger.

4. Fuck my brains out. Regularly.

5. Miss me when we're apart. Be with me in the moment when we're together.

6. Appreciate me. Bring me a flower once in a while. Cook a meal. Tell me I'm pretty. Kiss me often. Hold my hand. Be generous.

7. Love me, love me, love me. And trust that as you do these things for me, I will do them for you in return.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Here Again

A year ago today I met Reg. Perhaps the most promising first date I've ever experienced. Alas, it didn't work out. Our relationship, such as it was, was confined to a single month last Fall. Phone and email contact was resumed a couple of times but never resulted in another face-to-face. As sister Pam is wont to say, girl, you dodged a bullet! I hope you heard that in her mellifluous Tennessee/Georgia accent. She was right, on the surface a true connection seemed to have been made. But digging a little deeper I found a man who avoids intimacy and keeps more than a few secrets. Disappointed once again but still resilient, my resolution for this year was to stop actively looking for a man. That I will meet him when I do, it will happen when it happens. I've found myself to be happier focusing on projects around the house, friendships, family and writing. And my three longer term objectives, settling my work comp lawsuit, launching the younger son toward independence, and planning my anticipated move to Colorado. All these things within the framework of dealing with the greatly diminished function of my hands and wrists. I'm a little relieved that Reg moved a couple of hours further away last month. That action on his part solidified the break that I needed to move forward. He's been deleted from my phone since June, I know myself too well and wanted to avoid the two-glasses-of-wine-inspired texting frenzy. I'm into my seventh post-divorce year and still a little surprised that I'm single at this point in my life. I have done considerable work toward shedding the air of desperation that used to hang about me. And filling that void with a confidence that comes from embracing my life for what it is, not what it ought to be or might have been. Here. It's a good place to be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Black Nobility?

I love these decadent little cookies. Especially the shortbread variety with just the right amount of heavenly dark chocolate drizzled over the top. The wafers aren't far behind. Available at World Market. From whom I receive absolutely no compensation. This is what this single girl does on a Wednesday night. She pairs cookies with red wine and Netflix and everyone is happy. Who cares how it translates.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Landshark Warning

There's something wrong with his eyes. It took me a while to sort this out, but clearly there's something wrong with his eyes. He looks intently at you, he smiles or laughs when appropriate. He knows intuitively what it is he must do to capture your attention or interest in the moment. But if you look closely, his eyes don't smile when his mouth does. No twinkle whatsoever. They lie there dull like cold fried eggs on a plate. Shark's eyes. Flat and unresponsive as can be. Twin black holes that suck in everything and anything within their indiscriminate range. Inside his personal event horizon there is no room for anyone else. It is then that you understand that it is all about him. I've read that sharks do three things. Only three things. They eat, they swim, they make little sharks. No wonder their eyes are so dead.

Monday, September 17, 2012

English Assignment

Sometimes you go out to listen to terrific jazz. Jeremy, Matt, Andrew, and Dick were absolutely cookin'. On fire. Inspiring. Sometimes you go out to listen to terrific jazz, drink a bottle of Menage a Troi, snag the fireplace table and get an English assignment. They played a John Coltrane piece entitled Mr. P.C., which from what I have been able to gather, has nothing to do with personal computers or being politically correct. The question is, did Jeremy know what he was getting into when he suggested, on mic, that the audience members see how many pc's we could come up with. Which inspired Andrea and Liz and me to scribble ferociously on napkins while drinking the bottle of wine. You can't make this shit up. Oh, wait. We did.

pork chop
polygamist commune
political carnage
pompous charleton
passive coping
Polish chef
passionate creature
popped cork
presidential caviat
pale cheeks
post coitus
peas & carrots
playful calliope
persuasive case
picky cynic
possessive choker
punishment corner
postal code
past crime
peckish cricket
primitive court
painful childhood
Portuguese castanet
painted cabinet
private chateau
pirate captain
party college*
pancreatic cancer*
perky climax
pleasing creation
pink clitoris/Cadillac
pedantic curmudgeon
public communication
pesky cat
poisonous crustacean
plumber crack
pepper corn
popular crowd
prospective client
pliant collar
probable cause
pervasive corpulence
primo celebration
plebian caste
prefab cellophane
problem child
portable crematory
pebbly creek
part Cajun
poop chute
prune candy
pagan/paper craft
pretty curls
petty cunt
pissy cervix
pistol cock
packing cucumbers
phucking capitalists!
peevish crone
pocket capacity 
predatory creep

*extemporaneously provided by Xopher Smith


My niece Amy has joined the ranks of Blogger! She is an intelligent, thoughtful, soulful mother of two. Amy is educated as well as practical and hands-on, so I look forward to reading what she writes here. Welcome, Amy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oh! Andrea!

We have so much in common. From our unique funky feet to our love for nut brown ales, we are foodies, we are wordies, so many similarities. Moonmaidens are we with birthdays just hours apart. We are almost mother/daughter, sisters under our skin. We are singers and actresses who don't shy away from a naughty wink and knowing smile. So it shouldn't have been such a surprising shock to learn we have a man* in common! Oh. My. And left with a similar after-not-glowing assessment of the experience. Her first and my last. While nothing can be done to alter the fact that he was Andrea's first...please, please, please Mother Goddess, grant that he was merely my most recent, not my literal last. If I must exit with a bang, let it at least be one worth remembering. 

*Now, was that toast with apples? Or, hmmm, appletoast?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Always Use Protection!

Has anyone noticed the Halloween themed painting dropcloths I have been using? Truth be told, they are vinyl tablecloths from several years ago. I find them to be the most excellent painting dribble protection ever. I snatch them up, usually for less than a buck apiece, in the post-holiday clearance aisle. They are a sturdy enough weight to be used for multiple painting projects. A big plus is the flocked backside! Makes them stay put on the carpeting, a real bonus for walking across while laden with buckets of paint and a stepladder. My handy-chick tip of the week. Seasonal themed vinyl tablecloths. Don't open a paint bucket without them.

It's a White Kind of Night

This stuff is delish. And in my defense, one and a half cups of this bottle went into the pasta sauce. That is all. And is there an echo in here?

Is My Bedroom Really This Big?!?

What can I say...

...painting again.

Draping and taping and paint, oh, my!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My 911

I was thinking about eleven years ago today. How out of the corner of my eye I saw a building on fire on the tv in the bedroom as I rushed to grab shoes and usher my younger son out to the van for the daily trek to school. Just a few minutes earlier Michael had called out good-bye as he bounded out the front door for his two block walk to the middle school. Ten minutes prior to that I had kissed my husband farewell for the day and handed him the sack lunch I had prepared. I dropped Reid off and watched him run toward the building, backpack bobbing up and down, the sunlight glinting off his shiny brownish blond hair. What I remember more clearly than anything else is what a beautiful Fall day it was. Crisp and cool, the sky clear and brilliantly blue. On the drive back home I had the window down and was mentally running the day's to-do list. I meant to start the first of many loads of laundry and to wash up the breakfast dishes. But I couldn't tear myself away from the tv, so I turned all of them on. In those days, I'll give my ex credit for this little item, there was a tv in practically every room. They were all tuned in to the Today show on NBC. So I began my day's work, going from room to room collecting laundry and sorting it. And viewing that same film clip over and over again of the World Trade Center billowing smoke and crashing to the ground. Allen called me from work and said he was coming home, his office was all abuzz and he didn't see himself getting any work done. I fought the urge to go their schools and pull the boys from their classes and bring them home. To have them near me. To know they were safe from harm. Allen said no. That they were fine. That we should try as much as possible to have an otherwise normal day. We went grocery shopping together. Eventually our sons were home from school. We had dinner. Homework was completed. We all went to bed. I don't remember if I cried. I do remember feeling numb and horrified. On the surface it had been a regular Tuesday in September. But underneath, it would never be the same again. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Women Like Short, Homely and Powerless?

And now, from the land of cheese and beer, we Wine? Yes, wine. I feel like saying, let's Cellabrate. Aldo, where are you when I need your assistance with a screw-top bottle of Wisconsin wine? I expect, stuck in the 80's somewhere.

So Proud

After dinner conversation with Reid.

That was great! (referring to the garlic lime chicken and basmati rice) Well, I'm heading down to play some more Banjo Kazooie.

Yeah. I need to blog, I've neglected it for a few days.

You know, Mom, you have no ah-blog-ation to do that.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Halfway There!

Just out of frame are the original color walls. But I am really liking the new color! In a couple of weeks when it's all done I will be ever so happy. These things take time. Oh, and I am still gleeful over the fact that this is free paint! Pinch me. But not if I'm actually sleeping.


Laundry room and laboratory both start with "L"!

Six colors, five buckets and one sample size, three brands, two finishes. Cackle over the big bucket, or cauldron, if you prefer, stir thoroughly, and voila!

No worries, Colleen! Almost half done, over two gallons remain, and by direct comparison to the paint chip, it would seem that I nailed the desired color!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Homemade Olympic Red Cedar B33-4

Of course I'm painting my bedroom. One section of wall at a time as my cranky hands permit. When the paint is essentially free, how could I not? Last spring in preparation for the local paint recycling event, I discovered three unopened gallons in various colors that were left over from previous painting projects. So yesterday I located a large bucket and opened, dumped, and stirred various amounts of different colors of paint. And miracle of miracles, created a color that I was considering purchasing. I love it when things work out.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

And the Answer Is....

Sigh. Nobody wants to play. On Cheers, Carla had eight children. Anthony, Gino, Anne Marie, Lucinda, Ludlow, twins Elvis and Jesse, and, tada, second in birth order, Serafina. I know, not quite an exact match spelling-wise, but certainly a match homophonically. And the title was clearly a play on welcome to the hotel California, so I had to add some syllables to make it work rhythmically. So the mother/daughter Cheers trivia thingy answer was my inadvertent pairing of Carla, as in Sara's adorable ginger cat, and the title that included SaraFina, a reference to the fine guest facilities at Sara's house. Sometimes I'm not nearly as clever as I think I am. Especially when the explanation is this long-winded. Thank you for your patience.

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Old Couch

When this guy was banished to the garage...

...this one took its place in the living room.

And now, after nearly a month of swearing, cranky hands and many misfired staples, the loveseat has been transformed! For a $60 investment in fabric, which was more than covered by recent consignment shop proceeds, this napworthy, extremely comfy sofa has returned to the living room in style. I am pleased. Okay, I'm goofy happy about this. 

Gross-Out #3

Gross-out number one occurred whilst I was shuffling into the kitchen to make coffee, sans corrective lenses. I like to wake up slowly. The soft focus world I encounter allows a gentler transition into consciousness. Unless I step into a generous pile of cat hairball barf. Fresh enough to be squishy, old enough to be chilly. Then I am unceremoniously slammed into wakefulness as well as thrust into cleaning mode. All of this in a pre-coffee state. Gross-out number two was discovered while making the pancakes promised to the younger son. Upon opening the flour container I found its contents to be in motion. Due to the tiny black bugs milling about within. As well as earlier incarnations of said black bugs  having hatched out in a veritable bug restaurant and enjoying the somewhat limited menu. Infested flour disposed of, new bag opened and sifted into a thoroughly washed container, cupboard inspected and cleaned. On the bright side, the pancakes were yummy and I received a bonus newspaper this morning. But if we hold to the rule of threes, potential gross-out number three is dangling out there like a Damoclesian sword. With any luck accompanied soon after by the third bright side happening. You can't make me go down to the basement.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Top Ten Activities on Wisteria Lane

1. Taking out the garbage.

2. Hiring private detectives to unearth unsavory information about the activities of their neighbors.

3. Breaking into each others' houses. Occasionally their own. 

4. Throwing parties. Birthday, anniversary, engagement, dinner, charades, Halloween, barbecues, wedding/baby showers. You name it, they celebrate it.

5. Exercising. Mostly running and jogging, but also yoga, weights, treadmill, stairmaster. 

6. Dramatically leaving with a suitcase in hand, or kicking out their significant other or a another family member or a house guest who has overstayed their welcome.

7. Drinking. Alcohol, coffee, and water. Pretty much in that order for frequency.

8. Washing their cars.

9. Raking leaves, trimming bushes, mowing lawns. Lots of yard work going on.

10. Putting up or packing away seasonal decorations.

11. I wasn't going to mention this, but okay. Sex, sex, and more sex. Most of the time with their underwear on. I don't know about you, but I find it amusing when a couple is lying about in a state of post connubial bliss more dressed than they would be on the beach.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


There is a certain department store credit card I swear I will never use again! No matter how fabulous the perks might be that are associated with its use! I know, I know, never say never. I registered for paperless statements over a month ago. When they informed me that the credit card would now be managed by a different bank, I registered as advised in order to pay my bill online. No matter how many times I try, I can't log on to my account. And I wrote down my user name and password so I know it is correct! They're not sending me an email with the "correct" information that I requested over an hour ago, either. On the other hand, there is a department store that I shall name. Kohl's. Which I love and will continue to use my credit card there. The difference is, yesterday I was on the phone with Kohl's customer service for nearly an hour. By the time I was finally transferred to the supervisor who could help me, she cheerfully fixed the problem. I will likely still patronize the unmentioned store. But I won't use their credit card. Because when signing up for services that ought to simplify its use end up complicating matters, I just don't have the time or the patience.

Last Night at Karen's

Blue moonrise out on the farm. 

Between the trees.

Hanging in the sky. Just a little bit further down the road.