Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Curiouser & Curiouser


I've been trying to plan & plot for this Christmas extravaganza.  (It has taken on an extravaganza quality in my mind.)  I went grocery shopping.  Made multiple stops.  I had a list, checked twice, thrice, four times, and again.  Everywhere I went they all kept asking me if I needed help finding something.  I can find things, it's cooking I could use help with!  And would any of them like to come wash my windows, vacuum, or dust?  Cuz that'd be great!!!  I'm not really a fully domesticated animal, but indoor plumbing really does have my number.

I am absolutely certain that no one is more curious about how this will all turn out than me!  I am not even going to reveal my attempted menu.  After the fact I will tell you what we ended up having.  But I do have high hopes.

*years ago after my brother & I watched Dances with Wolves we assigned Native American names to everyone.  The dog became Stands By Door.  I became Gets Hopes Up.  So, my kemo sabes- if I pull this off- all I'll have to say is, "Hi-yo, Silver!"


Monday, December 21, 2009

Floats My Boat



I do not know who first thought of decorating sailboats with lots of happy twinkly Christmas lights & then parading them through harbors, but I am totally for this.  I love a parade in general, but a parade on the water so satisfies my mermaid sensibilities.  A parade on the water preceded by fireworks?!  It is like this event was tailor made for me.

Then after the parade I always have a ride on the merry go round.  And oh how I do love a merry go round!  I told my friend who was on the carousel horse in front of mine that I wanted to get a CD of that calliope music to play while I drive in my car.

What is Figgy Pudding Anyway?

Even though if we were playing 20 questions with the answer being "my house"- when you asked if it was bigger than a bread box... I would have to say not really.  Even though my house is not really bigger than a bread box, I have invited the western faction of my family to my eensy weensy teensy tiny home for Christmas dinner.  (Oh, and also, I don't cook.  The dog & I just use the kitchen to get to the backyard.) 

I knew that they would all accept my invitation out of sheer disbelief.  We will be like Christmas sardines stuffed into a wee wooden beach cottage can.  But, we'll be together!




It's potlucky, so at least some of the food will be really good.  Oh, and!  And!  It's all vegetarian.  No roast beast.  Possibly, roast beets. 

I am prepared to never live this down with my family.  I imagine the curiosity will be quite peaked with the eastern faction of the family as well, and there will be an inquiring of details.  I think that I can make up for what I lack in square footage & culinary prowess with twinkly lights, candles, and wine, wine, wine!

Wish me luck!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snoopy Snippet

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUQX2B67KL4

This really reminded me of The Bean when I just watched it.  Though of course, here we are always pro-dancing.  Dance like no one is watching, that's what Bean always says.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guacamole, Aircraft Carriers, Etc.

The shop's Christmas party was tonight.  May I start out by saying how much I love guacamole?  In fact, may I finish by saying that too?  Oh, how I do love the avocado!  Genius invention, the avocado.   I have a friend who makes such good guacamole that I have actually dreamt of it.  Delicious.  I tried to recreate her guac once & ended up so very happily consuming 8 avocados in less than 24 hours- not to worry, its the "good fat."

So anyway, the party- we were instructed to bring "some weird thing from our house" wrapped up for a White Elephant Gift Steal.  As soon as I got there I feared I would be the one to have the weirdest things in my house from which to choose.  Some of these gifts the others brought were not at all weird- some were.  Surprisingly, there was a clamoring for a bright blue Snuggie.  And the thing that seemed the least popular- a Lexmark Printer/Scanner/Copier/Faxer even with extra ink thrown in is now sitting just to my right.  No one else wanted it!  I was told by the person who'd been saddled with it to just take it, she said I didn't even have to trade anything- "just please take it."  I insisted on trading- so I exchanged, not the first gift I'd opened (a blue ceramic penguin cookie jar- someone "stole" that one,) but the second gift I'd opened, a travel size bottle of bath gel & the like.   The Lexmark looks a bit like an aircraft carrier to me, but I taunted that once I started making photocopies of my bum with it- they'd all be sorry they hadn't chosen it themselves. 


I love guacamole.


 


 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bailey the Unknown Reindeer



Bailey looks like he's probably good at reindeer games!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sUL0KCIc48












Friday, December 4, 2009

Direct Line

I was told another good story when I was over at the shop.  That place is a treasure trove of good stories.

A fabulista was telling me that it has been getting crazy busy there with the holidays approaching.  This day in particular being, I believe she said, "Crazy.  Crazy crazy busy," and there was a look that accompanied that statement that showed me that she was not kidding.  The phone was ringing off the hook, etc.

That night when she and her husband sat down to dinner he said, "You say grace tonight."
When she opened her mouth to say grace this is precisely what came out, "Thank you for calling the Pannikin."

Awesome.

I asked her what her husband's reaction was when that happened, and she said he just looked at her and said he'd say grace.  I couldn't get over the fact that he didn't laugh hysterically.  She was surprised too, but said that the next day while her sister was eating she told her the story.  Her sister laughed so hard she spit out her food which to me seems the appropriate response.

She also told me that once when her mom was saying grace she was going along just fine, and then closed with, "Ok, bu-bye, I'll talk to you later," as opposed to the usual more standard, "Amen."  They all looked at her mom, and her mom said, "What?    ...oh."

Perhaps, if I didn't find it so hilarious when our minds do this to us I would be completely unnerved by how often our mouths work completely without the aid of our brain.  But it is irrelevant to even ponder that, because I do find it so hilarious!



 

Book Signing

Who:     Eliza Rhodes
What:    Signing copies of Sign Language 
When:   Sunday December 6th 3 - 5pm 
Where:  Pannikin
Why:      Fairy Godmother's idea!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!



This photo made me laugh when I came across it.  It turns out that Dave Barry posted it on his blog.  I read a few of the comments people had left after he had posted it, and one of them was, "Drunk turkeys are hilarious." 




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Remote Sales & PR Departments

When I offered up my book for pre-order my mother sent an email saying, "I want ten."  That email was soon followed by an email saying, "No, I want twenty.  I'll sell them at work."

Very very early this morning I got an email from her telling me that she only had 2 or 3 left.  She wondered should she possibly need more could she get them before Christmas?   That email was followed an hour later with one asking, "How about 5 - 7 more books before Christmas?"  Later in the afternoon she sent me an email which read, "I was thinking that maybe you could send 10 - 15 books if you are able to.  Let me know the chances of getting them."  Then she wrote some very nice things relating to how well the book is being received, etc. 

The very last paragraph of that email consists of a single sentence which states that yesterday my father sent my book to Oprah. 

My father, who could bench press your father, sent something to Oprah Winfrey yesterday. 

I imagine after reading this you will want them for your own parents, but I am sorry, my brother & I beat you to them.  





Monday, November 23, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

S & D





The book is sold out.  There are still people trying to buy it.  From what I remember from my 8th grade Economics class- I think this means that I am on the right side of Supply & Demand.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Goodwill toward Snowmen

When I was at my local post office earlier (shipping more books!) I overheard a woman & the very pleasant postman talking about stamps for her Christmas cards.  As it is really getting to be the time for that I decided to share with you these fun holiday cards that one of the other fabulistas makes.  Last year I admired some that she had done, and those were on a nice natural background of a cardboardy color, and I wanna say she did some on a cheery red backing as well.  We can certainly find out specifics if need be.

I could say more about this fabulista, but she has her own blog & I don't want to steal all her material.  What I will tell you is that she holds the distinction of being:
1)  The only person I have ever heard of who's been struck in the face by a live fish.  (It had leapt out of the ocean & her face just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.)
2)  She owned the shiniest vehicle that I have ever seen.
And my friend, Steve, once saw a dolphin jump right over her head.  In short, you just cannot buy holiday cards from anyone else with these qualifications.

Plus, look at how cute they are!  Wee Snowpeople!!!!  (well, one snow, one sand- but both wee!)


The cards are sold individually at $4 a piece, or in a pack of 10 for $25.  Each card is made with an actual photograph.  You can buy them from her Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/seejaneshoot
Or she says better to contact her directly by email juanarama@hotmail.com or to go to her photography blog:  http://janewertzphotography.blogspot.com/

With that Sandy the Snowman card I'd be tempted to go with a greeting of either Mele Kalikimaka or I hope Sandy Clause brings you everything you asked for this year.  tee hee.

As for Marty the Littlest Snowman, she showed me a video her sister took the day they made Marty.  If only these cards could be made into the musical type of card- it would be worth any amount of money to hear those two giggling & carrying on about their little snowman!  Holiday cheer indeed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Spirits

There is a chance that I live down the street from the friendliest most well appointed liquor store in all the land.  In addition to what you might expect, they also carry homemade deli sandwiches, whole avocados & other fresh fruit, whole wheat pasta, sea salt, firewood, various types of over the counter allergy/cold/flu medication, toilet paper, Draino, motor oil- every time that I have ever gone there to see if by chance they had what I needed- they have.

They let me park my bike inside.  If there weren't probably codes against letting someone bring their really waggedy dog inside, which would surely prevent them from allowing any such thing ever to occur, they are so friendly- they would let someone do that.  (wink wink.)

At 9:45pm I know I can get both a bag of popcorn for my hot air popper & good conversation there.

When I was in earlier I saw that they had raised the bar on themselves.  At the end of the aisle displaying the magazines & just before the movie rentals was a Rubbermaid flat topped wheeled cart with several rolls of wrapping paper, four different color choices of long shiny ribbon, tape, and a sign informing shoppers that this was a complimentary gift wrapping station.  If that doesn't warm your heart, well, they've also got an entire shelf of brandies from which to choose.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fit for a P.I.


     Today when I was over at the coffee shop one of the fabulistas who works there said, "I've got to make more mustache pillows.  I got three more orders." 
     To which I said something like, "Hmmm?  Pardon?  Que?  What?  Mustache pillows, hello?"
     She then told me that she makes pillows shaped like giant mustaches, and sells them over the internet.  I laughed, slapped my hand on the counter, and said, "Fantastic!"  Because, boy oh boy do I love a good bit of ridiculousness.
     When she originally had the idea she looked to see if anyone else was already making giant mustache pillows, and what do you know- no one was!  So, she is the exclusive manufacturer of giant mustache pillows in all the world.  I live in the Giant Mustache Pillow capital of the world.
     Here is the link to her Etsy shop- just in time for all your giant mustache pillow holiday needs:




Friday, November 13, 2009

Super Power: Grinning

Ok, so obviously I love dogs.  But, come on- look at this!

My cousin sent this photo of her dog, Will, taken at the Howl-o-ween party at their local dog park.  She reports that Will smiles when he's happy & when you ask him, "Who's handsome?"

Will looks like a party all on his own.






Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Speed Must Be in the Spots

A friend sent me this photo of her dog outrunning the purported fastest land mammal.  The cheetah can do 0 to 60 in 3 seconds!  Apparently, Hershey can do it in 2.

Though, possibly it was just home court advantage, as this looks to be our local beach.  I wonder if the cheetah will now demand a rematch in the Serengeti. 

Photo credit T.Springstead

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Campers

Seeing as my book goes on sale in a few hours I've been tempted to go over to the shop to check if people are camping out to buy it.  Obviously I'm joking, but it got me thinking about that whole camping out on the sidewalk business.

There are musicians who have fans who will camp out on sidewalks to buy tickets to their concerts.  A few years ago when I went to pick up the last Harry Potter book at Border's it was One o'clock in the morning, and the place was mobbed.  Can you imagine what it must feel like to have something you thought of, something from your imagination create such enthusiasm?

Of course, people will also sleep in a parking lot in front of Wal Mart on Thanksgiving so that they can buy a TV on sale the next morning.     
...to each their own. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

They're Here!

"They're Here!"  That is what my fairy godmother instructed me to write on the chalkboard today. 

The books have arrived.  Currently, they are in the storage room at the shop.  They're going to start selling them on Monday.  Or as the fairy godmother put it, "Now for the fun part!"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stick Chewing Ballerina

On Halloween I saw my dog out in the front yard happily chewing a stick whilst wearing her ballerina costume.  It made me smile.  I tried to snap a photo, but she tends to be an awfully mobile model.




 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ready!

I have checked my stock of Halloween staples: glitter & duct tape.  I have plenty of both.  I am a go for Halloween!




Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pre-Z Post

I have finished the book, finished looking at fonts, finished the editing, finished the proofreading, finished the taking of the photographs for the cover, finished the cover design, finished approving the proofs.  Fini!  

Next order of business- trying to catch up on sleep!  Before I start in with the zzzzzzzzs I thought I'd share this.

As the homestretch of the book stretched on I told one of my aunts that I kept thinking I was done & then it turned out I was not done.  I commented on the labor intensity & brain wavery required to do everything.  My aunt emailed me back: 

When Beatrix Potter first wrote her story Peter Rabbit she tried to make it into a little book for little hands.  The publisher wouldn't do it so she had to publish it herself.  The printer didn't want to make it so small but she insisted.   She sold the first copies to her friends and relatives.  It finally took off and she wrote many many stories as you know.
Happy thoughts 

I found that such a sweet thing to say that I wanted to tell you about it too.

And now I am off to have sweet dreams about bunnies wearing cute little jackets....





Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nothing 2 Sneeze At

I was just getting a new box of tissues out of the cupboard when I happened to notice that this was somewhat surprisingly printed in small type on the bottom of the box:

Kiss calm, cool, collected goodbye!
Don't be bashful.  Don't be shy.  It's time
to unabashedly let it out!  So be messy.
Be imperfect.  Be liberated and free.
Be what you are.  Be human.
Blow it out and blow it proud.
With KLEENEX Tissue.

It is also printed on the box in french:

Au revoir les bonnes manieres!
Fini la timidite et la retune.
C'est le temps de vous liberer!
N'ayez pas peur du riducule.  Soyez
vous-meme.  Soyez authentique
Dites-le haut et fort.
Avec les mouchoirs KLEENEX

KLEENEX let it out/KLEENEX liberez-vous

What an encouraging reassuring supportive tissue!  


Monday, October 12, 2009

Homestretch

Sorry, I've been MIA from the blog...  etc! 

I've been working very hard on getting everything finished for my book.  Yesterday someone said to me, "Well, if you don't get it finished in time for this holiday season you can always wait til next year."

Here's a video clip of my response:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qw9oX-kZ_9k&NR=1


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Whoopsy Daisy

Someone told me that they had read that the Museum of Modern Art in New York (aka the MoMA) had a Matisse painting hanging upside down for 47 years.  Well, I thought that was really something! However, this person added that he had previously told someone else this, and when that other person looked it up online to see if it was really true it said it was only upside down for 47 days.  Well, I wanted to know, and this is what I found:

The work, Le Bateau by Matisse, hung upside down for 47 days in the Museum of Modern Art Exhibition The Last Works of Henri Matisse.  It was uprighted after Genevieve Habert, a Wall Street stockbroker, noticed the mistake.  At first she notified a museum guard (this is soooo the best part) who responded, "You don't know what's up and you don't know what's down and neither do we."  (an absolutely perfect New Yorker response if ever there was one)  After trying to get someone to listen, Habert gave up and called the New York Times about the mistake.  The next day, after the director of exhibitions, Monroe Wheeler, was notified, the work was rehung properly.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

(Purple) Rain Dance?

Whether it's cold,
or whether it's hot
we'll have weather,
whether or not.

My old boss (who was from Seattle which means he actually had an immunity to weather) used to recite those lines to me every single time I brought up the weather.

I know that talking about the weather is the stereotype for a boring conversation, but I have a love of weather, weather watching, and weather talk.  And so does my father!  Genetics?!

Several years ago I bought myself a Home Weather Station & rarely have I been more pleased with a purchase.  You ever wanna know the temperature, humidity, or barometric pressure inside or outside of my house- just ask!  Phase of the moon?  I got that too!  Built in Atomic Clock keeps it all right on schedule.  I have a rain gauge in my yard in case it ever rains here again I will be able to tell you how much.  Though, I do not have an anemometer to measure the wind speed I did order, read, and enjoy an entire book written about The Beaufort Scale.  Sundials, tide charts, tide clocks, windsocks, weather websites, The Weather Channel, the counting of seconds in between cricket chirps, and the counting of seconds between lightning flashes & thunder claps- yes indeedy!

I have long harbored an interest in reporting the weather on the tele.  The Weather Gal, I fancied myself.  Motioning to those smiling sunshines, giving the sweeping arm gestures to indicate a high pressure system following the jet stream, delivering the forecast in galoshes & a drooping yellow sea captain's rain hat.  The raining of cats & dogs!  I could go on & on!!!

With all that said, imagine my pure delight at having just received this link from a dear friend:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o38xEDbdQ-0

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bird is the Word

I have just asked someone if I could meet their chickens.  I don't think that I've ever really met a chicken before- I have met a turkey, but he was a bit aloof.  I also met a barn owl once, and I must say that the owl did not look nearly as excited to make my acquaintance as I was to make his.  Chickens seem like they could be friendlier.  Was Big Bird a chicken?  I just don't know that you can get any friendlier than Big Bird.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thick as Thieves


Roscoe & Suryia yukin it up


They're best friends!  How freaking cute is that?!!!

You can check them out here on You Tube: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QByHat2BJLs&feature=PlayList&p=910AA613A4DC6E0E&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2 

Or they also have their own website:
http://www.suryiaandroscoe.com/ 

They even have a book coming out at the end of the month!  Hmmm...  I wonder if it was Suryia or Roscoe that did the formatting for their book, maybe, they'd help me with mine.  Bean was just reading over my shoulder- she says that it had to have been the orangutan. 




Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Majestic Pink Plastic

Due to the fact that I had run out of, or was about to run out of bar soap, dish soap, hand soap, face soap, toilet paper, food, and beverage (not to mention the absolute essentials of raw apple cider vinegar & yogurt for the dog) I was forced inland to shop.  It is only a few miles, but for whatever reason it seems like a trek.  The trip to Target I view more as a pilgrimage.

Once at Target I do always try to make a quick sweep through their Dollar Section as I frequently find it to be both highly entertaining as well as extraordinarily economical.

A few years ago I finally had decided to buckle down & obtain the flock of plastic pink flamingos that I had envisioned nesting in my backyard.  I went online.  Turned out that the factory that had been churning out these tacky pink beauties for 50 years had just closed, thus creating a "run" on the plastic pink flamingo.  They were going for a fortune on eBay.  Even the Chinese knockoffs were backordered into oblivion.  Crestfallen, yet still hopeful that a woman in need of a flock of plastic pink flamingos would be provided for- I found myself so sweetly rewarded.  One evening soon thereafter whilst making my trip to Mecca there in Target's Dollar Section I laid eyes on the Holy Grail: an entire shelf of individually wrapped plastic pink flamingos.  I loaded a shopping cart.  I bought every single one.  I don't think that I have ever bought anything that drew so much attention.  I did not explain myself to any of the curious shoppers.  I pretended to ignore the stares, and met all questions with only a very disinterested faint & distant smile.  My reaction seemed to only add to their intrigue which I figured would make for a better story for them once they got home to the rest of their families.  For all I know that cartload of plastic pink flamingos accompanied by their tight lipped companion could've been the best thing that had happened to my fellow shoppers that Monday night.

Anyway, that was then, this in now.  During my most recent scan of Target's Dollar Section I came across a tiara.  When I saw the tiara I flashed to my real life Fairy Godmother (who owns the coffee shop with her husband) telling me that her tiara which she keeps in the kitchen to wear while cooking had become awfully dinged & damaged.  So, for the investment of one single dollar plus tax I bought her a new tiara to preside over her culinary magic, etc.

When I took the tiara to the coffee shop today to drop it off I found her out front on a bench.  Upon receiving her new tiara she did what I now realize any fairy godmother would do- she immediately placed it upon her head.  As we sat engrossed in our conversation she was continuously & royally addressed by many passerby.

"Ta ta, Your Majesty."

"Who crowned you, Oprah?"

"Congratulations!"

"What are you..." (our friend from Czech then intervenes to answer their trailing question,) "Homecoming Queen."

"Is it your birthday?  Should we all sing All Hail the Queen?"

All the while my Fairy Godmother kindly explains to each of them that her tiara had merely become so banged up that I had bought her a new one to replace it.  That's all.  Uh huh.  That's right.



Just another day in Shangri-La.  
   


    

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Entitlement

I've been trying to think of a title for my book.  My mind keeps coming up with things of this nature: 
Blah Blah Blah:
Blahditty Blahditty Blah blah Blahditty blah Blah Blah blah Blaaaaaah

Not so catchy.  Bit too wordy.  In fact, the size of the book would have to be enlarged just to fit such a verbose title.

The title needs to convey what the book is about & I think also how it came to be- without being too limiting to the audience, too wordy, too contrived, or too boring.

I asked myself a few minutes ago what were some of the greatest book titles I had ever heard.  Perhaps, there would be a helpful guiding thread that ran through them.  I thought,  "I read a lot.  This is probably a great approach."  Two titles shot immediately to mind:  The Unbearable Lightness of Being & Hop on Pop.  No other titles came to mind- just those.  Well... fair enough.

Google.  Surely, Google will help me.  So, I type in, "What are the best selling books of all time?"  I did find that to be pretty fascinating.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books

And in that list I found, for me at least, the payoff to my inquiry:  Captain Underpants has outsold The South Beach Diet.  

Monday, September 28, 2009

Abracadabra!

Today at the coffee shop I was talking with one of the fabulistas who works behind the counter.  I hadn't seen her in awhile, because with her college degree she went off & got some type of grown up job:  park ranger, designing turbine engines, interpreter for the I.N.S.  Something like that.  So anyway, she had asked what I'd been up to, and I gave her a little update.  Then I asked about her.  

She said, "I got a job as a magician's assistant.  I disappear!"


I love my life.  I had that conversation even before I had breakfast.




Sunday, September 27, 2009

Clown Shoes & Cowboy Boots for Everyday Wear

I love when I am at the grocery store during a month nowhere near October, and I see a 4 year old wearing a spider man costume & cowboy boots.

Today at the coffee shop I saw a high school kid in a baggy, albeit very shiny costume.  He looked a rather loose interpretation of an admiral from Napoleon's Navy.  Neither the looseness, nor the extraordinarily shoddy three cornered-ish hat diminished my enjoyment.

A couple of months ago I saw a man riding a bicycle past the shop in pig costume.

A few months before that I was sitting like a bump on a log with my friend who is from the Czech Republic when two little girls came around the corner wearing princess costumes.  With no emotion in my voice whatsoever I said that I thought I'd start dressing like that.  Very matter of factly my friend responded, "You pretty much already do," which made me burst out laughing.

However, I think my out of context costume sighting that takes the cake happened a few years ago.  I was inside a restaurant staring out the window when I just so happened to see a white Volkswagen Jetta drive past containing five adult clowns in full clown regalia (rainbow wigs, round red noses, make-up, etc.)  My eyes bulged out, and I yelled, "Did you see that??!!!"  People looked at me like, "see what?"  One person out on the sidewalk heard me through the open window, turned around, and excitedly yelled, "I saw it!! I saw it!!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How Could This Be Topped?

I believe that there is a very good chance that I have heard the two best pet names of all time.  A friend of a friend of mine has cats by the names of Bunnychicken and Sea Bass. 

Outstanding.

Oh, and it isn't even a six year old girl that has these cats- it's a fella. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sneaky Peaky?


I just finished doing the drawing which is to be the holiday ad for my favorite coffee house's sister shop.  I don't know if I'd be committing some type of retail advertising faux pas by giving you a look so far in advance.  Hmmm... well... how 'bout one of the other sister instead?


Monday, September 21, 2009

2! 4! 6! 8!

I left Jeff the Painter a note today telling him that I wrote about him & how to find the blog.  I left him a note instead of telling him in person, because though there was an open can of paint with a wet paintbrush in the front yard I didn't see him anywhere & could not hear him either (bless that guy's freaking heart!)

I was inspired to make sure that he knew how much he was appreciated by something that had happened to me.  I was over at the coffee shop writing my daily message on the sandwich board out front when an unassuming gentleman approached.  He stopped very briefly, and told me that he reads what I write on that board every day.  He said that he really enjoys it.  Then he added as he was walking away, "I bet you change a lot of people's lives."

....wow.

How's that for something to say to a stranger?

So often I think that we not only quietly admire others from afar, but we quietly admire them from up close too.  Let's let them in on the secret.  Tell your favorite bagger at the grocery store that you always pick the line that they are in, because they never stack all the heavy stuff on the spinach, and they never put the eggs in sideways, and they never put the Draino in with the eggplant.  If you haven't had to take the trash out for 40 years, because someone else always takes it out for you, maybe, you assume that they know you're appreciative.  Why make 'em guess?

Thank you everybody for everything that you do that makes life easier, more pleasant, more peaceful, more joyous, and with less crushed spinach.

(don't worry this isn't homework....   it's extra credit)

Commence Commenting!

It was brought to my attention that the previous default comment setting on this blog made trying to comment on the posts, "confusing/tricky/too much of a commitment."  I have just changed the setting to what I believe is the one that is the easiest to navigate, and for those with commitment issues- the one with the least strings attached.

Hope this better suits everyone. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Le Pew/A Rose by Any Other Name



I wondered today if as long as there have been skunks if there've also been dogs & tomato juice.  It seems such an age old combination.

Pictured above is my darling skunk chaser in the midst of her tomato juice soak.  Note the pink tint to her ordinarily white chest.  (Yes, she does have ears- she must've taken them off for the bath.)

I let her out to go shi-shi before bed.  A few seconds later I heard her running across the backyard barking.  A few seconds after that I heard her sneezing.  I knew what that had to mean, and the skunky scent started not wafting, but storming into the house. Peeeeeee Yooooo!!!

An old neighbor of mine once sent a de-skunking recipe that she found online when one of her cats got skunked.  I liked that cat, but knew him well enough to know that he deserved it.  She said the mixture worked really well.  I saved it knowing that it would only be a matter of time before I'd need it.  I mixed it up the last two times The Bean went skunk chasing, and it does work.  I'll include it at the bottom.  If you know anyone who might ever chase a skunk- save the recipe.

Well, as I sat in a chair in my living room engulfed in skunk fumes listening to my dog roll around in the grass snorting I realized a few things.
1.  I didn't really have enough of the ingredients on hand to make a batch of de-skunk. 
2.  Due to some medication she's been taking her skin seemed to me to be a little too sensitive for the mixture.
3.  I didn't see myself getting dressed, driving over the hill to the 24 hour Ralph's, buying tomato juice, coming home, and giving the skunk chaser a bath in the dark with the hose when I had been right about to go to bed.  I didn't see myself doing this mostly due to the last time she got sprayed.  Oh, there we were out in the middle of the night in the dark scrub a dub dub, and for the only time in all the years that we've been together she was giving me the stink eye.  And boy was she givin' it!  Like it was my fault!
4.  It was an awfully pleasant evening.  Maybe, a night sleeping outside away from her most beloved couch would learn her.  She loves that couch.  When she's not too busy hanging out with painters, or chasing skunks- she's on that couch.

For reasons that I cannot explain for all the skunk chasing & skunk spraying that goes on she has never really quite gotten got.  Last time was only a little.  The time before that I saw the whole thing happen (in slow motion, of course, with me yelling, "Noooooooooooo!")  She had her face so close to the back of that skunk her head was probably helping to hold up his tail.  I slowly closed the door, went & changed my clothes, found the recipe, mixed it up, and then went out to my patient.  I felt her fur in order to tell where the epicenter was, but she wasn't wet anywhere.  I then tried to determine where she'd taken the hit via my nose.  Well, the whole freaking backyard was thick with skunk fog.  So, I took her out in front of the house.  I patted her down again.  I sniffed sniffed sniffed.  I looked at her as if to say, "Could it be?"  She looked back at me as if to say, "I think it could!"  Miraculously & inexplicably she didn't get skunked.  She started wagging her tail.  I started gleefully dancing around repeatedly telling her that it was a miracle.  She wagged, wiggled, and danced along.  What a sight we must've been at 3am.

I wondered could we possibly get so lucky again this time.  I heard a very light scratch at the back door.  (That's Bean for open up.)  I went to go assess the damage.  When I opened the door she looked at me sheepishly from the bottom of the back steps.  The aroma in the backyard was so heavy that I was surprised you couldn't see the smell.  I bent over the dog to have a sniff.  She wagged her tail lowly, slowly, & guiltily.  When I got close to the top of her head I quickly retreated.  I told her, "Sorry, Charlie," and I went back in the house.  She didn't protest, didn't ask to come in, didn't even try to make me feel bad.  She knew.

Now, she's so fluffily contentedly snoozing on her precious couch.  Every time I get near her though I get a craving for a grilled cheese sandwich, because she smells like tomato soup.  I wonder if as long as there has been tomato soup if there's been grilled cheese sandwiches- seems such an age old combination...


De-Skunk Recipe
1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 Cup baking soda
2 teaspoons dish soap
mix it all together in a bowl, it will get all fizzy
soak the animal with it, rub it in, let it soak in for up to 5 minutes.
(C adds, "Good luck with a cat!")
...then rinse.
Neither one of us found that the recipe required much precision.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This Old House

The exterior of the little house that I live in is being repainted.  It was built in the 1930s, apparently, when people were much smaller and they didn't have any things.  It might be more sensible to give the square footage of the place in square inches.  Anyway, the house has a wooden exterior (not good if The Big Bad Wolf comes huffing & puffing, but I like the look of it.)

First, I was told that there would be pressure washing.  Then the scraping off of the old paint.  Next, sanding.  Finally, repainting.  This all sounded noisy enough in and of itself.  There would also be painters who possibly would be yelling to one another, playing a radio, whistling while they worked.  And, of course, all this was to be started every morning soon after I'd gone to sleep.  Needless to say, I wasn't quite looking forward to two weeks of this.

But who could have ever guessed that I was to be blessed with Jeff the Painter?  He is a painting team of one (no yelling.)  He does not bring a radio.  He does not whistle.  Unlike the man from AT&T who came a few months ago to fix the phone box, Jeff does not sing loudly (albeit sweetly) from atop his ladder.  He is nice to the dog, but does not get her too wound up.  I do not hear the sound of tools clamoring.  Countless times a day he silently moves & places the ladder up against the house.  Today when I awoke I saw his ladder outside my open bedroom window.  Jeff was up above my window surely setting the world record for the absolute quietest paint scraping ever of all time.

You just never know when something great like Jeff the Painter is going to happen to you!  I don't know that I can even muster up caring about what it looks like when he's done.  The process itself has been so pleasant.  Why get bogged down with the outcome?!  As they say, "Life is a journey not a destination."

Friday, September 18, 2009

It Doesn't Suck

My vacuum.

It must've taken one last look at my intensely shedding canine, and decided to surrender.  I'm going to contact the local school to see if they'll send over a kid from the band to play Taps when I set the vacuum out on the curb.  That machine served so valiantly.  For years it braved tumbleweeds of disembodied dog fur, cobwebs galore via the hose attachment, sand, flora tracked and/or dragged in by said shedder.  Not to mention the recent... incident involving the diatomaceous earth.

I had to borrow a friend's vacuum yesterday.  Upon surveying the scene he suggested a rake might be a more suitable tool for the job.

I used to wish that the dog would run the sweeper at least every now & again due to the fact that she created the constant need for all the sweeping.  She is so stubborn about learning to use a doormat that I imagined teaching her anything else would be easier.  However, (and this just sounds way too impossibly good to be true) I have heard of the existence of a vacuum that runs all by itself.  How could this be?!  Had Cinderella known about this- she may have wanted one of those instead of the prince!  I'm going to look into these robo-vacs.  I'm giddy just at the idea of it!  Who invented such a wonderful thing?  I may look into that too! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thought that Counts

I've been very diligently & most happily working on a friend's birthday present.  Whether intended or not, I've glued half the things in my house to the other half of the things in my house, and because I'm a woman making a present for another woman- it is all glued together in glitter glue.  My fingers included.  It looks like a fairy threw up in here.

I'm not even done yet.

I consistently have these wonderfully creative ideas that I lovingly devote hours & hours to in their execution only to step back at the very end & go, " ....   oohhhh   ..... "  However, I believe that all that love & devotion will come through no matter what.  Regardless of actual artistic talent-  I believe-  I want to believe-  that it IS the thought that counts!

(It is.)
    
(....I know it must be.)

 ....  (I'm hoping so)
  
right?  : )

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ode to the Bubble Lovers

I have a bubble machine that I use for everyday celebrating- lazy sunny afternoons with gentle breezes, etc.  I wondered if for more formal occasions I could run it on champagne.  Elegant, yet festive.  It may encourage a larger number of people to catch bubbles in their mouths, but I imagine that could make for excellent spectating.  

On a related note...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAmoEED_mvA

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lolly Lolly Lolly

This could very well be the origin of my love for words....    

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWYmEICNgOQ&feature=related

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Everyday Ecstasy

I spent a good deal of time looking at the sky today.  In fact, I found it so beautiful that I couldn't seem to keep my eyes off of it.  A saturated blue with these high white clouds.  (If the memory of my 5th grade meteorology unit serves me correctly they were cirrocumulus clouds.)  The quality of light was so radiant.  And the sunset!!!  All those clouds turned pink, and were back-lit with gold light.  The whole day looked as if it had been painted by Maxfield Parrish.  Utterly enchanting.

Could be the world is actually rose colored- just sometimes gets viewed through gray colored glasses.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Age of Possibility

The following is an exchange that took place between a five year old girl & me.

The scene is my living room looking into my kitchen

Wee SheWhy do you have those hula hoops in there?

Me:  (hesitant- somewhat perplexed that there could be another answer other than,...For fun.

Wee She:  (longingly,) Ohhh...

MeWould you like to hula hoop?

Wee SheOh, yes, I like hula hoops.

Me:  (thinking, So do I!)
  Alright, well, go ahead and take one out back where there's enough room.


The scene changes going through my kitchen door to the backyard where my most beloved 70 pound shepherd mix, Bean, has joyfully waggedly accompanied us.


Neighbor: (to the Wee SheE is a really good hula hooper.

Wee SheOhhh?  (wrestling with the hula hoop around her waist & the effects of gravity...I can do it around my neck.  (still though- hoop, gravity & five year oldedness convene.)

MeI've always been afraid that my head would come off if I tried that.

Wee She:  (in all total & complete seriousnessCompletely Totally Seriously.E, does Bean hula hoop?

Me:  (thinking, THIS MAY BE THE SINGLE GREATEST FREAKING QUESTION THAT I'VE EVER BEEN ASKED!!!!!  But, answering very calmly, nonchalantly & with total honesty, cuz I don't think that you're supposed to lie to kidsI've never seen Bean hula hoop.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Life Aquatic

I was tickled to check in on the blog today to find that Google had paired it with ads about showers!  Sooooooooo fitting!  It's as if they are trying to subliminally encourage me to have more showers, so that I can think more thoughts, so that I can write more posts, so that you can read more posts, so that more people can click on more ads for showers, so that more people can buy more shower... whatnot, so that Google will get more kickbacks & kick me down some chump change.  And by the end of the day- we'll all be so relaxed, squeaky clean & shower fresh.  Totally win win.

As if that bit had not tickled me enough!  
 ...Upon seeing the blog I was also offered a free jacuzzi today by my friend, G, and I quote, "I will consider it an enhancement to your professional career."  Good ol' G- always so supportive of the creative process!  Certainly, there will be some engineering involved in shlepping it to & fro, and "installing" it in my backyard.  Additionally, my house has enough power to just about run three 60 watt light bulbs at once, but if I have to get Gilligan to ride a bike that The Professor made out of bamboo in order to generate enough power to run that tub- so be it!  Warm watery starlit thoughts sound plenty worth it to me!    
warm watery starlit thoughts....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Welcome! Welcome!

I had an idea in the shower today.  Then further thunk on it floating in my friends' pool (thanks M & S!) Rarely, it would seem that I have an idea out of water.  Must be the mermaid in me.  The next place I live will have to have a tub, and my next laptop will have to be waterproof.  A real think tank!  Oh, the productivity.

Anyway!  Here's the idea.  I want to write a blog that is only good news, optimism, whimsicism, half-fulledness, cheerfulness, fun-lovingness, ridiculousness, silly observations, happy realizations!  No bad news in this blog.  Enough already!  All pleasantries all the time!  No one's car will break down in this blog.  No one will arrive too late, or too early to this blog- everyone's timing will be perfect.  There is no dress code to this blog.  No one's boss is in charge of this blog.  You are not too young, or too old for this blog.  You do not have to be a certain height to ride this blog.  You are not too rich, or too poor for this blog.  Come as you are.  You are welcome here!  This will be a safe haven for us all.  A harbor from whatever our particular storm.  A Happy Place.  We can all come here whenever we want day or night.

If you are so moved- please share this blog with others.  If you've got a good bit of silliness to share- write & let me know.

Hi.  Hello.  I'm so glad you're here.  Welcome  : )