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?"


"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


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.

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


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. 


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."

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...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lolly Lolly Lolly

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

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  : )