Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thank You, My Darling DiLly!

Use the good dishes. And the pretty wine glasses. Eat the chocolate. No, savor the chocolate. Laugh heartily and often. Tell that someone how you feel about them. Hug. Share. Be kind. Wear the boots. Most especially, wear the boots. Seize the day! It's the only one you've got.


I've been thinking about Thanksgiving as I pack away the decorations of Fall and feasting. And how I don't wish to perpetuate the myth of the Pilgrims and Native Americans that was popularized during the Great Depression. I questioned whether to put out on display the carved figurines to the left. Your typical, I suppose, Pilgrim couple holding symbols of the harvest. That we still see and accept this glossing over of what it was really like has come to feel like a distortion of history to me. Part of White European forgetfulness of the fact that Natives were pushed aside in favor of the doctrine called Manifest Destiny. Meaning that the plunder stopped primarily because the pioneering Caucasians ran into the Pacific Ocean. My point is, and I did have one, at least I think I did, is that I did take the Pilgrim figures out of their box. They sat amidst a number of turkeys and candles on the sideboard in the dining room. I'm attached to them. They belonged to a dear friend's mother and ended up in my possession after she died. So mostly, it's sentimental value. Next year they may very well stay in the box. I'm moving away from the Pilgrim myth in favor of celebrating Thanksgiving for its original meaning. One of gratitude for the many good things in my life. And like this year, most years actually, in the company of family and friends. Surrounded by love and warmth. A harvest celebration of the bounty and good fortune we enjoy. Sounds good to me.

Trump is a Humbug!

My dear friend AndiBean has started a petition at concerning Macy's Department Stores continuing its relationship with Trump Brand merchandise. She has put together a thoughtful and convincing message that addresses Macy's conflict of interest and how it could be remedied. Bah, humbug, indeed!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving Aftermath In Photos

Dishes are so patient, aren't they? First they sit in the cupboard or in the china cabinet waiting to be put to use. Then they hang around waiting to be washed. Once they're clean, they sit on the table waiting to be put back in the cabinet. They never complain or fuss. I'm just cluing in to why I love dishes so much!

Five days post-Thanksgiving, this is still the only Christmas decoration on display. Like the dishes, they sit quietly waiting to be unwrapped and see the light of day. Also, isn't this beautiful? If you want to buy something similar, go here!

As you can see, my CD shelf is nearly to the point of running over. Not anticipating that I might store videos on this stretch of wall, how totally amazing is it that the shelf tucks in neatly fractions of an inch under the pictures of adorable sons already hanging there! I love it when things work out. They often do. I just need to relax, sit back, and let things unfold as they will. I still believe in the Dish Fairy.

Monday, November 28, 2016

My Native Tongue

Let's see, I was born in Colorado but relocated to North Dakota while I was still pre-verbal. Then had a very short stint in Mississippi only to return to North Dakota until I was seven. Then back to Colorado for a couple years, Las Vegas, Nevada for thirteen months, then North Dakota once more til I was eighteen. With me so far? Good. I dabbled with higher education in Minnesota for close to two years followed by a brief regrouping effort in North Dakota and then off to South Dakota for the next four decades. Consider also that along the way I have been heavily influenced by Norwegian-Americans, American Southerners, Midwestern flat-speakers, and the Fargo-esque dialect leaking across the border from Minnesota. And I was married to a Dutch/Swedish husband to boot! All of these earlier speech-isms have, according to my Facebook vocab, been over-ridden by a mere six months in Colorado. Maybe I was born with it. Maybe I'm a natural mimic. Uff da, pass the lefse. Or cornbread. I'm not confused.

Thanksgiving Aftermath

1. Today is a pajamas day.

2. Yes, it is possible to eat too much many? mashed potatoes.

3. Only one more day of pie for breakfast.

4. I love, love, loved having Michael and Liz visit over the holiday weekend.

5. I am already behind doing the Christmas decorating since I haven't even managed to slap the wreath-with-magnets on the front door.

6. I do, however, have my newest decoration up in the sunroom. Three tiny felt trees in pink and aqua on a base that is an actual slice of a tree.

7. I have assembled the shelf, placed it in the hall, and organized the dvd's on it in alphabetical order.

8. In reference to item #7, I only get to buy maybe ten more movies before I will require more storage space.

9. In reference to item #8, there isn't room in the hall for another shelf to store movies.

10. After going mostly Facebook-free over the last few days, I have found I'm much less interested in it today.

Don't Encourage Them

Also, please don't feed them. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016


It seems more likely to me that Canada would build a wall to keep us out. When considering the incoming Administration in Washington, who could blame them. At 5,525 miles, it's more than twice the length of the US/Mexico border. But Canada has better things to spend its money on. And, thankfully, knows it.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Under the Radar

I left the house for over two hours this afternoon. I was fine. Until I realized that I had forgotten my phone. Then I felt naked and needed it. Needed it? Probably more like wanted it. Upon arriving home, I found it on my desk. No missed calls. No messages. This is why I never bought an answering machine back in the old technology days. Because it would have felt so sad and pitiful to never have missed an important call that ended up being an urgent message. I was off the grid today. Wish I'd done something inappropriate.

Test Drive

There she is. My new mixer. Looks like magenta to me, but the color name on the box is cranberry. After selling my fifteen plus year old standard white KitchenAid mixer before moving, I was just waiting for the right combination of bargain pricing to arrive before purchasing a new one. So. Upgrade in power and a pop of color in my cobalt blue and stainless steel kitchen. Michael will be happy to know that gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough is tucked away in the refrigerator just waiting to be popped in the oven at a moment's notice. Whether they're at home in the garage or in the kitchen, I do love my power tools.

"No Man's Ignorance Will Ever Be His Virtue"

Beautiful. Powerful. Haunting.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Food on the Brain

I'm thinking about practically nothing but food. So I might as well write about food. A new addition to the Thanksgiving spread this year is peach cobbler. Seeing as I'm half Southern and I have a freezer full of peaches this seems appropriate. Also very easy to convert to gluten free for the elder son's enjoyment. Though I don't remember if he likes peaches. Hmmm. I do know that he loves chocolate chip cookies which are also pretty easy to convert to gluten free, I even found GF oatmeal! I'm also needing to adjust oven temps and some ingredients for the higher elevation here. Darling DiL Liz has shared her family's recipe for cranberry salad. She brought it along to TDay dinner a few years ago and I loved it! Now that she's part of the family, so is the cranberry salad. Win, win! In non-culinary holiday preparations, the living room and dining room are freshly painted. Amazing what I can accomplish when I approach a big project by breaking it down into small increments. It took nearly a week, basically two walls at a time with a day of rest in between. Made me a little crazy to live with the furniture discombobulation for those extra days, but no injuries and enough spoons to get it done. I'm guessing it will take two more shopping trips to get everything for Thursday's spread. Plus the Wednesday slipping around the corner to the liquor store for a couple of items. Have I mentioned that there is a liquor store on my block? I still find this fact quite amazing. Turns out it is all about location.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Dark Side

Carla, all of us have a dark side, and so do you. But the fact that you manage to be so positive and welcoming while having a dark side is what makes you so beautiful.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tom Freeman is a Fucking Genius

Don't ask why. Or, do. Ask why. Just go here. It hurts to laugh this hard. Ironically, it's healthy to have a good belly laugh every day. Even if it hurts. Carry on.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Freshly Painted Throughout!

Today's title was a selling point for my house. I have to say it was an accurate statement. Because of this phenomenon, I have a sneaking suspicion that the real estate business as a whole has a stake in paint futures. Or stocks. Sherwin-Williams heirs perhaps? The thing is, if the former owners painted, and they did, but also hung about forty million things on the walls and left all the various nails, wall anchors, and hooks lodged in the freshly painted walls without leaving matching paint behind to repair all that shit after they were removed, then the phrase freshly painted throughout is totally moot! Ahem. Or I could have done what my dear mother always did. She hung up her stuff on the nails that were already there when we moved into a new abode. And seemed fine with it. Even if the height or placement was kind of odd. This is not a trait I inherited from her. After several days of applying wall spackle, moving curtain rod brackets, and cleaning back into the corners, today I painted three of the four walls in the living room Olympic Lovely Linen in the satin finish. Then I ran out of spoons. I'm taking tomorrow off painting duty but will be back at it in a couple of days. I have to go shopping. Tonight's post-painting, celebratory beer is the last one in the fridge.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Righting an Enormous Wrong

Experiencing voter's regret over having cast your ballot for hewhoshallnotbenamed? Or perhaps regretting not getting your sorry ass out to vote in the first place? Have I got a deal for you! Go here and sign the petition. The Electoral College meets on December 19 to determine who takes the Presidency for the next four years. This is what will happen if hewhoshallnotbenamed becomes President. My underemployed 24yo son will likely lose his health insurance coverage, along with those who have pre-existing conditions as well as all of the people given coverage by the ACA. Women will lose their reproductive right to choose. hewhoshallnotbenamed is a science denier meaning you can kiss clean, renewable energy goodbye as well as this country's participation in curbing Climate Change. The EPA will get kicked to the curb along with clean water, air, and soil in tow. It will be open season on women, people of color, LGBT folk, Muslims, immigrants, face it, pretty much anyone who doesn't precisely conform to hewhoshallnotbenamed's vision of America. And last time I looked, all of the aforementioned are American citizens. Just like you. This isn't fearmongering. This isn't selling you a bill of goods. And it sure as hell isn't telling you what you want to hear. But it is the facts. Make no mistake, if you do nothing, you will suffer the fate that hewhoshallnotbenamed's ill-informed, ill-advised policies will impose on us all. What kind of country do you want to live in? What kind of world will you leave to your children and grandchildren? Consult your conscience and your deity of choice and act accordingly. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I Have a Dream

That's it. My heartbreak over the election has turned to resolve. I have this crazy dream that's lifting me up from the dregs of doom. A dream that begins in January when hewhoshallnotbenamed* is sworn into office. A dream that involves Barack and Michelle Obama working from the outside, and Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Al Franken from the inside. Along with artists from every discipline, musicians, writers, sculptors, and painters. They often inspire and express what the rest of us struggle with. And so many, many others who will not stand by and tolerate racism, misogyny, religious intolerance, or homophobia as the norm. We must stand strong together and turn this creaking, leaky ship of a country around. If you're listening President and Mrs. Obama, give me a call when it's time to get things going. Until then, I suppose the best place to start is to get involved with my local Democratic Party cohorts. This cranky, introverted woman who is pretty good with words and possesses remarkable organizational and speaking skills is pledging herself to public service. It's time for this phoenix to rise up from the ashes and flames.

*I need to come up with a code name for the p-elect since I vow to never again type his name in this space. Suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Recharge and Reset

I am in shock this morning. Emotionally numb and wondering when the reality of the last twelve hours will sink in. This level of puzzlement and despair that has descended upon me is familiar, I have been here twice before. The morning after 9/11 and in March of 2005. The first is obvious. A feeling of helplessness and horror over observing death and destruction here, on American soil. It brought home, through pure empathy, what so many of Earth's citizens experience on a regular basis. There was nothing I could do except hold my loved ones close and feel grateful for the relative peace and sanity in my own life. The second time was much more personal. The feeling had been growing for some time, but became clear that spring eleven years ago. My marriage was over. How I defined myself and my immediate world was on the verge of a tumultuous shift. One that took years to overcome. Time, forgiveness, love, and a good therapist pulled me out of the depths and helped me find a life and purpose once more. While the events of 9/11 were beyond the scope and control of my quiet, safe life in Midwestern America, the deterioration and eventual end of my marriage was very much due to my and my husband's neglect. Big picture, little picture. Observer, participant. Today feels a little like a combination of these disparate examples. I engaged in political discourse with friends and family and on social media. I informed myself on the issues, donated some money, attended a rally, moved to another state where I made it a point to register and vote. Those activities were all personal in nature, but like the aftermath of 9/11, the implications of yesterday's election results will have not just national, but international effects. The political bed that we are all to some degree complicit in creating, was born out of anger, fearmongering, disenfranchisement, and hate. I'm going to allow myself today to mourn. To attempt to make some sense of how we got to where we are now. Tomorrow I'm climbing back on that horse we call activism. It's more important than ever before that we move forward with love, resolve, and optimism rather than cynicism and bitterness. We had an opportunity yesterday to make history in a very positive way by electing the first woman President. Instead, history of another kind was made. Rising above and overcoming the fact that a man who espouses hatred, disrespect, and abuse of women, people of color, people of other religious beliefs, LGBT folks, innocents who are fleeing their war torn homelands, and, yes, even the handicapped, will soon occupy the Oval Office will not be an easy task. But it's one we must take on. Today I'm hanging out my Please Do Not Disturb sign. Tomorrow I'll be back.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Some Mornings

...the mug says it all.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Truth in Labeling

It seems that Newton has discovered the bowl of cat toys on the dining room table. I heard him scurrying about last night and awoke to discover the rugs in disarray. A couple of items from the bowl were found on the floor. I feel that I have been duped. The packaging for this varied selection of frou-frou stuff was clearly labeled as Vase Filler. Perhaps I erred in placing the contents in a bowl rather than a vase. Maybe things like this ought to be marketed as cat toys. In my experience, this would pretty much guarantee that any self-respecting cat would totally ignore it.  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Nice, Warm Feeling

Yesterday afternoon I left my ballot in the drop-box at City Hall. But there was no one there to give me a sticker. Sigh. Sort of like no lollipop after your flu shot. Or peeing yourself in dark trousers. Nobody knows what you've accomplished. But you do. I guess that's the most important thing.

Let's Do, Shall We?

Planting a Beatle's Song Earworm

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Bar Cart

Behold the bar cart. Every time, or nearly every time, when I say bar cart, Reid retorts with Bart car. I ask, do you see anything remotely suggesting the Simpsons here? Me, neither. I expect he just enjoys saying the anagram. And grinning. This was the original entrance to the hallway where the bedrooms are located. When bedroom #3 was opened up into the living room providing another route, it didn't seem necessary to use this passage any longer. This area also has a somewhat cumbersome floor transition from the ceramic tile to the laminate in the hall. My solution was to block it off with a screen, creating a space to park the bar cart. On the other side is a convenient niche for towel storage and a hamper right next to the bathroom. It does make for a few extra steps from my bedroom to the coffee maker in the morning, but it's a compromise I'm willing to live with when compared to the inevitable tripping and swearing.

Inside the drawer we find shot glasses, swizzly stirry thingys, and various other implements with which to open and later seal up bottles of wine.

When the doors are opened, voila, we have wine storage and room to tuck other things away. Is that a blender? Mounted on the left side of the cart is a towel rack! I really must run out and get a bar-themed towel to hang there. The bar cart. A handy and festive addition to any home.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Transforming Reid's Bathroom

Behold, the basement bathroom when the house was listed that is now Reid's bathroom. Vintage fixtures! I think that toilet took twenty gallons of water to flush. The original plan was to update it. Eventually. But then the supply line to the toilet started to leak. Very quietly. And flooded half the basement! At least it was clean water. So I started thinking, dangerous, I know, if I have to get a plumber in here to fix the untrustworthy supply to the toilet, maybe I should have him just remove the damn thing. And install a nice, new, low volume flush model. And while he's at it, take that fancy sink as well.  

Sink gone, old flooring removed, new flooring nearly done. Time to remove that nasty steel plate that the old sink was mounted to. 

Ooooh! Let's take a closer look! Five, count 'em, five rusty, slotted screws holding that plate to the wall. I hate slotted screws. Give me a nice Phillips or hex head any day. Such an interesting assortment of nasty, cruddy items lodged next to the wall! One comb with half its teeth missing. One small artist's paintbrush. One, I think anyway, Pick Up Sticks stick in red. Two extremely rusty bobby pins. Plus flakes of paint, possibly half of the previous users' microbiome, traces of grooming products, and other icky things embedded in the muck that took decades to accumulate. After much swearing and creative application of standard household tools it was gone.

New toilet! New paint color! New flooring! It's getting there.