Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Who are Your Top Teachers?

Question of the day… Who are your top teachers?

Of my 50-some-odd-years, the very first that always comes to mind are my high-school teachers, Mr. Yee (horticulture and so much more), and Mr. Johnson (art). I thank them both for seeing so much more in me that I did.

My mother and father, of course. They were wonderful parents. Thanks Mom and Dad!

My three children. My, my, my… and I never wanted kids. Thanks gang.

As of the last couple years, Rich German, Beath Davis, Judith and Jim.

And most recently, Neale Donald Walsch, “Conversations with God.”

All my wonderful friends and relations (ex-husband included)… they’ve all been blessings. Thank you!

Even my little brother. Thanks Bro.

Plants and animals… and oh, so much/many more, but it would all be the stuff of a memoire (which I’ve written).

And thank you, Vishen, of FinerMinds for the question, and all your wisdom and teaching too!

So, tell me... who are your top teachers (so far)?


Monday, November 30, 2009

Funny How those Fingers Work… or not.

Well, it’s obvious I’m not gonna make the deadline for NaNoWriMo.

Sorry kiddies.

Nevertheless, I will continue to work on the book. I will say that I’m happy the challenge got me off to a great start.

Thank you very much.

Happy December, everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Normal Isn’t Natural

Gee, why am I suddenly hearing Ethel Merman singing this… ?

Get out of your mind
And back in your senses.
Normal isn’t natural at all.

Get out of your mind
And into your senses.
Natural is nature’s normal call!

Do what you want
Be who you are
Scratch your own itch
Scale your own wall….

Find your own find
Be your own kind
Send out your pitch
Grab your own niche…

Get out of your mind
And into your senses.
Natural is nature’s normal call!

I’m probably stealing the tune from someone (sounds so Cole Porter-ish to me… but it’s my own words… (I’m pretty sure)!

Gee, I sang that to my Flip Video… I looked so old and scary… but it sounded good! Gotta fix the lighting… and wear my hat. Yes siree. That was fun!

Tomorrow will be a good day for that. Yep.. with the hat! Jazz hands and a cane would work too! Maybe Ksaldria would like to join in?

I’m sitting up super straight again… maybe I’m meant to be a lyricist…
A bard by any other name
Can sing as sweet… ?

Okay, I’m a Quizmo… we just don’t have serious moments when we can help it. We let those “normal” folk around us do it (be serious) for us… it’s called delegating.

Hey! Ksald, you and I can do a whole song and dance! That would be fun!! What cha think?

I have the coolest hat! (To be revealed!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

May the Fastest Fingers Finish First!

It’s officially been declared… WAR!


Ksaldria, (Travels Aboard the Blue Selkie) has declared a NaNoWriMo Word War with moi, Quixwrite Quizmo,  in order for us both to WIN the 2009 National Novel Writing Month challenge.

Of course she did this on purpose to slow me down as it’s taken me hours of wasted writing time figuring out how to wedge in the widgets at the left, and officially except the battle.

So, dear Ksaldria, may the fastest fingers finish first!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Aura Colors and Pam Oslie

Just after my mother’s passing in January 2002, I discovered Pamala Oslie who reads auras and has a very cool on-line test  to determine your colors, which I took, and I also purchased both of her books, Life Colors, and Make Your Dreams Come True. Super interesting reading and learning.

Back then I determined I had four main colors. Most people have two.

My colors back then, according to an old journal entry I found that started this whole thing back up again, were blue (love, sensitivity), violet (art, creativity), crystal (that reflects the aura of the person I’m with—therefore, no crowds… I can’t be everybody’s aura at once, don’t you know) and yellow (the free spirit—someone that doesn’t understand why they have to be serious, don’t tell a yellow what to do, good at procrastinating, money not important).

I took the test again the other day, and now there are SIX colors… no wonder I’m so screwed up! Add lavender and indigo. (But don’t those go with a blue/purple combo?)

So like the many “gift markings” in my palms… I’m also blessed with a many colored aura.

Lavender is the color of living in daydreams, in a fantasy world. What is the “real world?” No such thing, a “real” world. Isn’t the “real” world the world we make up?

Indigo is the old soul. I’m not so sure about that one for me, but heck… I sure feel like I’ve been around the block more than a few times, and I’m tired of hanging around with a bunch of bozos.

I was listening to past recordings of Pam Oslie’s radio show. (the archive list is on her website, so you can listen too… ALL very good listening!) She’s quite a sweetheart. Very cute. I was frustrated about all my colors, and took a gander at sending her a question about it… in her little ask a question box. I thought maybe she would answer it on an upcoming show. So, I asked my question… why so many colors? Got brave, and “just clicked send.”

The dear gal emailed me back within minutes. I had sent her the link to this blog, which is something I wouldn’t normally do, but I thought maybe, she read a little of the story, and give a little insight.

She did even better. Sending the link to the blog was a very good thing… not that she read any of the words (that I know of), but that my picture was there for her to read my colors from.

Sure enough… and she did help clear up my confusion, she says I’m a yellow/blue with violet, who’s added  and the other colors. She says she and I have the same life colors… yellow, blue.. with violet. No wonder she’s so cute!

She went on to explain that sensitive yellows often score high in crystal. (Once again, you can take her little testy-pooh at her website, to find out your colors. She’s very good, and listen to her past radio broadcasts too!) And that a lot of people who have violet, score high in the indigo. Go figure. As for the lavender, she says I’m probably doing some soul-searching and “and maybe trying to figure yourself and life out.” Do ya think??

Pam is also a professional psychic. I didn’t know this till I listened in on the show. She communicates with persons on the other side. Very cool! So it’s not just about colors.. which is a wonderful gift.. it’s about life, past present and future.. where we’ve been and where it can take us.

The funny thing about this whole thing is that I want to know more about Pam… how she ticks and what makes her work, rather than more about me.

In truth, I know about me… all too well. But learning about me for over fifty years now. So then… why oh why do I keep searching?

Sigh…  It’s cause it’s what I do.

Laterz Gazerz

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Graceful Upsidedowness Part 2~The Light

The way that spiritual event described in the last entry was really not detailed enough. I’d like to tell it a little better… Yes, the bottom line is that it happened, and the ecstasy not only was, but still is there, it’s a matter of finding it again, and staying in that space of always being a part of that – space –  albeit in our own physical world.

How come it takes the darkest hour, the blackest pit, to seek and remember always the bliss of the brightest and the whitest light?

I think it was summertime and I had just finished a three-day fast. I was living in a little house-behind-a-house. A tiny, two-roomed guesthouse that was originally built as a pool house. My home was behind the landlady’s full three-bedroom front house with her own backyard that anyone going to the back-house had to pass through.

My place was somewhat like the secret garden. It was fenced off by eight-foot high walls of purple and gold bougainvillea laced with orange lantana, blackberries and a myriad of wild flowers.

A large gate opened to my wonderland of another large yard complete with a full-sized swimming pool. Now mind you, the concrete pool no longer held water; the bottom had long been removed so it was full of weeds and more wildflowers. The old wooden diving board, however, was still intact and in place. All in all, it was a wonderland.

I loved that little house. I lived there for seven years with Bosco, my faithful Irish Setter, umpteen cats, and various other critters that came and went.

With the help of a clever (and very strong) friend, I was able to turn the bottom of the pool into a terraced vegetable and flower garden. Very cool.

Like I said, the house had only two rooms, I called them the “living room” and the “other room.” There was a Murphy bed in the wall of the “other room,” but I never used it. I slept on the floor in the living room on bedding that I rolled up and stuffed in the closet each day.

The place was funky. The living room was obviously a much later addition. It was paneled in rich golden pine, yet when I first moved in, the low ceiling was unfinished. The exposed insulation was an eyesore, so my first order of decorating was a trip to Cost Plus for three inexpensive East Indian type bedspreads that I stapled up to cover the pink and silver stuff. The sheets filled the spaces perfectly, the room was warm and cozy and I was a happy camper.

The “other” room was not as distinguished. It had only a small counter top with sink for a kitchen, to which I added an electric wok and a toaster oven. Nearby there was a cubby-hole in the wall for a small refrigerator, a tiny bathroom lurked around the corner, and the Murphy bed, which I covered over immediately with board and brick bookshelves and, needless to say, never used.

But it was a fairly large space. There was plenty of room for my drafting table and a large dining table that I mostly used for my art stuff.

I did love that little house-behind-a-house.

Anyway, I was at the end of a fast. I worked for a vitamin store at the time and was big into health foods and all that… still am, just not as fanatical. Earlier that evening I had been chatting with my landlady about her dance business. She was trying to think of a good name, and maybe I could come up with a logo.

I don’t recall being depressed at all at the time. I was happy, I had my dog and cats, I had a job I liked, and I had my own very private little space.

I was sitting on the floor in the living room propped up against the big stuffed gold chair – the only piece of furniture other than the bookshelves, a small TV and, the small ugly, old console stereo. (I thought nothing of driving all the way out to the valley to go pick it up from a friend of my mom’s who just wanted to get rid of it. But it worked, it was free, and I was in no position to afford a new one.)

So, there I was leaning against the chair using the seat as a table, happily doodling dancey designs. The Beatles’ song, I’m not sure of the title, but the line, “and we all shine on, like the moon and the sun and the stars…” repeated loudly and vividly through my head… then… suddenly, without trying, I slipped into a trancelike state and literally lifted right out of my body!

In no way was I trying to do this, but I didn’t fight it. I knew what was happening. It was scary, amazing, and wonderful all at the same time. From above, I watched myself sitting there frozen in mid drawing against my golden chair. Then I lifted right up and out of the building… over the houses, over my favorite beach, then back over the lights of the Los Angeles, soaring across the country, faster and faster but not too fast to know what was going on. Then, over the water again.

Meanwhile, back on the floor, my physical body sat in state of suspended animation yet fully aware of myself and my surroundings.

The flying me (as one often does in dreams), came to very high, very beautiful, very vertical white cliffs. I turned upwards and soared straight into the heavens.

The stars raced by me like a light show until it vortexed into a tunnel, a dark curved tunnel. I could see a glimpse of a very bright light ahead. As I curved towards the light, it got bigger and brighter. I didn’t think anything could be so bright, but it was.. and it got nearer, it became brighter still! It was almost scary, but there was no turning back…

WHAM, I was there, I was IN the light, but I wasn’t IN the light—


Omnipotent, omnipresent, omni-everything!

I remember thinking, perhaps my physical self even saying out loud over and over, “Oh, my God! It’s got me! Oh, my God!”

I don’t think I can even begin to explain how magnificent it felt! To be absorbed into this… energy. The ultimate orgasm is about as close as I can get.

Remember “Beam me up, Scottie,” from the old Star Trek days? And when Scottie lifts the lever they turn into little light energy fields and disappear only to be reassembled on the mother ship?

Well, that’s kind of what it’s like.. except you’re beamed in a bigger energy. There is no distinguishing any bit of you, of your energy of your being, from it… because you are IT. You are IT… God, the Universe, Spirit, Light, Love, call IT what you may, but IT is real… very, very real. And very, very wonderful.

I did not want to come back, no siree, but something somehow told me, I couldn’t stay, at least not there, like that at the time. Next thing I knew, I was reluctantly back in my body, but ecstatic over the journey.

For the next, at least month, I walked around in a state of absolute ecstasy. The journey was so remarkable.

I learned, first and foremost, that death is not at all a bad thing. Pain and suffering.. not a great thing… but in the end, death is wonderful, it is a rebirth in a much better place. And, I’ll bet you anything, you’ll forget all about physical cause you’re just not physical anymore, you are so much BETTER! You get to go to that extraordinary place! There is absolutely no need to fear dying.

But the biggest question I’ve faced ever since is, why? Why me?

I know I am not alone in being blessed with this glimpse, many have gone to that heaven and come back to our earthly plane only to tell of the wonders. I’ve read many near-death encounters that tell of the lifting of the spirit, the gazing down at the body, the tunnel, the white light… then the zap back.

In my case, this was not a near death situation. Not at all. I know it now and I knew it then. At all times my body was right there sitting on the floor… in a way “with” me.

It was a gift. An amazing magnificent gift… a gift of knowing there is so much more than most mortals care to believe, or can conceive. Thank you, God! Thank you, Universe!

I still wonder. I feel so… privileged. I like to know the reasons for things, but this one is still puzzling. Why me? Why the gift? What makes me so special?

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly do not feel superior or better than those who don’t know this
I do appreciate the gift, the gift of absolute knowing that there is another realm. And that we are of that oneness, of that energy and bliss.

And all I can suppose, is that the reason is… I’m supposed to tell about it. To help reassure others, that there is life, or another realm, after death. It’s taken me over twenty-five years to finally get the courage to blurt it out… but more possible still is that NOW is the time. NOW is when the people are ready to listen… to hear… to strive to feel the bliss.

At the time, I told only my brother and sister of the experience. I was afraid to tell anyone else because I figured they’d just think I was nuts or making it up. Spiritual awaking wasn’t something many people talked about those days, or at least any body I knew. It was kind of like, if you weren’t of a formal “religion” you were bad, a witch, evil, “hiss, get the crucifix!”

I told my mother about it years later. She, almost upset, asked me why I didn’t tell her back then. Don’t know? My mom was pretty in tune with it all, it took me a long time to figure that out too. I knew at an early age she was psychic, but I didn’t know how any of this all linked together. I knew too, that we are all one. That God is everywhere and everything, we are only physical forms inhabiting this body, this earth. It just made sense to me.

I am honored to be shown the proof. To be part of the proof... as are we all.

~ * * * ~

Monday, November 9, 2009


Well, it's November again and time for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

I wasn't sure if I was going to participate or not, but on Oct. 31st, I found an old journal and was inspired by the entries to just go for it.

At some point in the book, I encapsulated in a thought bubble the words.. "a graceful upsidedowness."

"Hey, that can be the title!" I thought, and the rest is now emerging.

As you may know, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel within the month of November. Since that’s about 250 pages of type, the idea is to just write the dang thing! Forget the editing and fixing. In December you can go back and edit all you want.

So, dear friends, you’ll probably find more than a few major or minor errors. Please forgive me. I’ll keep editing to a minimum at this point.
Cranking out so many words in one month is a monumental task… but I wanted to share some of the goings on this year. And I’ve been wanting to post… so here we go…

  A Graceful Upsidedowness

I found an old journal I had been looking for the past few months. Funny, it was right where it was supposed to be, but I couldn’t find it. I looked in the same place several times, but it just wasn’t visible till yesterday. It was there all along, but I suppose I wasn’t really ready to find it.

You know it’s hard work being depressed, but I’ve had a lot of practice, I’m getting quite good at it. The journal, with entries ranging in date from November 2001, to what I wrote as 6-6-6. Interesting that I would even write a date like that? Nevertheless, the first two years of postings, mostly in poetic form, confirm my practice. I was in a very low place, almost as low as I am now. It was just a good practice round.

As I read through the pages, the pain and pleasure was all too obvious, at least to me. I wrote very clandestinely. Clever, many of the words, the drawings too… Wow, did I draw that? Did I write that? Who was that talented person, depressed as she may be, and where the heck is she now, when you need her?

The entries swing from depression and repression, through the total ecstasy of love, then back down again which is clearly noted on the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year. The final entry as follows:

Don’t try to be me. You’ll be sorry.
Too many trails traveled – too many times having to return—but each time a piece was left behind. There I am, in parts of woods and forests that most likely are no longer there. My little heaven’s now someone else’s business, skyscraper or backyard. I miss me. I miss my adventures. My hiding places.
There I am on sandy beaches, on rocky shores… ignoring all responsibility until the sun begins to set too deep and finding my way back would be a treacherous treat.
Lost and found all in one instant. Found in the movement, lost in the retreat.

No, do not try to be me – admire a small part if you must, but there is nothing left but long gone beaches, woods, creeks, forests and suburbs that never cared.

My mother cared that my shoes were wet when I came home—a tell-tale sign I had strayed way too far.

Please don’t be me. You will be sad.
That was the last “dated” entry in the book… yet there is one more writing. A final plea for that special place, that voice, the genius inside to find its way to the surface once more. It’s a recount of an event that actually happened to me when I was in my mid twenties.

The printing in the book is big, blue and bold, a not-so-neat version of my standard uppercase printing.
The most extraordinary experience with God I had was joining him/her. It was wonderful—ecstasy!
I came upon a white light so enormous—so huge. I was engulfed and I became a part of it – NO – I became “IT”—IT was me, I was “IT’—GOD! It was wonderful. I was a gazillion particles of the most brilliant white light. I was THERE. The whole time my physical body was totally aware of my surroundings. I kept repeating, “Oh, my God! It’s got me! Oh, my God!”I crossed over—however briefly, to see the first bit of heaven. I did not want to come back! It felt so good! An orgasm beyond description!
I wrote that story apparently to get God’s attention. The next paragraph is the plea…
Now, God, I guess I’m asking for inspiration. My poet seems to have disappeared. Writing – if I have to – so what’s the inspiration? Music felt good tonight. [I must have been playing the banjo.] I can study all their methods, but I still do it my way. My fingers have a mind of their own. It’s simple, just like my taste buds.
So again, I called for my talents in a six-six-six backwards way. The rest of the pages, not too many, are blank (kind of like me now).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grand Canyon (Part Finally!)

Okay friends, true confession. I haven’t written cause I feel guilty about the Mr. Man bashing. He takes great offense to being made fun of, and someday he may even read this blog and get his feelings hurt (which is so easy to do). So, I will cease and desist with poking fun at his antics (even though he makes for good subject matter).

Okay, I’m stopping now.

So.. the rest of the trip was uneventful (not really, it was much of the same and had some really funny moments, but I promised, no more Mr. Man bashing).

How ‘bout some pictures… ?

Finally, I’ve arrived—the Grand Canyon! YAY!

I really liked that tree!

Mr. Man takes better photos than I do.

The only thing I didn’t like about the Grand Canyon was that we were only there for about an hour. I really wanted to hike down, too. Maybe next time.

The next day we went to the little town of Oatman on the original Route 66 in Arizona. Very cool!

First we had lunch at the Oatman Hotel.

(Lots of money’s gone into that place!)

Meanwhile, a gunfight ensued outside.

Then we perused the shops. Mr. Man just LOVES to shop.

Shop till ya drop??

Of course, the best part about Oatman is the wild (yeah, right) burros that also peruse the shops.

You’re not going to hear it here, but “someone” (I’m not mentioning any names) got way too happy and I had to drag that “someone” out of there before we finished looking in all the shops. (And trust me, it’s not a very big place.)

I drove us back to Laughlin where “someone” spent the rest of the day once again looking for his cup.

We had a fairly pleasant ride home the next day… except for the fact it was the day Michael Jackson died. Please, just let that man go to heaven and us rest in peace!

Anyway, I’d like to write about our last trip to Mexico, but alas, I promised and cannot.

“But there’s such good material,” she whines. “Oh well.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Grand Canyon (Part Two)

Our first evening in Laughlin, NV., and here we are in our hotel room at the Golden Nugget. Mr. Man was way too happy. He repeated his rave about the wonderful shower after his hot tub session several times in the course of a few minutes until I finally hustled him out of the room to get dinner at one of the hotel restaurants downstairs.

By the time we made it to Joe’s Crab Shack, he was pretty toasted. I’d never seen him so drunk. We were seated at a table outside where it was nice and warm (it was FREEZING inside), right over the river. I ordered an entree salad with blackened shrimp. I thought he would go for the beef, but he only ordered the calamari appetizer for himself after repeatedly asking me if I wanted calamari as an appetizer (which I always want, silly boy).

Well, for the most part, the dinner conversation consisted of how high the water level in the river was. It was obviously not at a lack for water and as high as it seemed it could be in fair weather. And, Mr. Man pointed out that there can’t possibly be a water shortage, the government is scamming us, and that most of the water goes to Mexico. Yes, he pointed it out over-and-over again. No water shortage… water to Mexico… government scam—okay, got it.

The food came quickly and my salad was excellent, as was his calamari of which he choose to eat with his “chopsticks.”

Now his “chop sticks” were, in fact, the flimsy plastic drinking straws that came with our iced teas. Hello?? “Um, Honey, those are NOT chopsticks.” I tried, oh so gently to point out, but he didn’t care and forged ahead using his chopstick straws dipping as deeply into the cocktail sauce as he could weighing down his catch till the camel’s back finally broke and I had to hand him his fork. I also shared a good portion of my salad with him, which he drowned in the Cesar dressing I ordered on the side. A spoon would be in order for slurping up that mess. Or, he could have used the straws, but they were done deals.

We made through dinner then back to the room where I hoped he would pass out, but nooooo, he wanted to go back down to the Jacuzzi, AND this time, he wanted me to go in with him. Just to keep the peace, I agreed.

Back on went the swimwear, then down to the pool. It was dusk and very pleasant, though still hot. I like that kind of heat.

Now, along with air-conditioning, I’m not a big fan of hot tubs. One extreme to another. But in this case, from hot to… um… hot? But, okay, I got in.

He insisted (over and over) I try the ultra-hard jet that he loved. I (over and over) flatly refused. I was fine with the gentlest one on my lower back. I was in the hot tub and he should be happy with that, for heaven’s sake. But he was not. I watched as the ultra-hard jet plummeted him like a machine gun… no way, Jose—not for me. And I stood my ground. Or rather “sat my ground” in quiet jet comfort.

He also repeatedly got out to look for his “drink” which he did not bring down with him, and no matter how many times I told him, he looked anyway. I finally got out, sat next to the river in the in hopes it would be prettier (no luck), dried off, then retreated back to the room, leaving Mr. Man to his machine-gun hot tub and drink hunting vigil.

I knew he didn’t have a room key with him, and I really wanted to take a rinse off shower, but waited for him to return cause, go figure, he would as I was in the shower. I waited and waited then started getting worried as he was quite a bit over the limit. I went back down to fetch him and found him, once again, wandering around looking for his drink. I reiterate, I have never seen him so inebriated. I managed to get him back to the room, “Look, Honey, I found your cup!”

“Oh, there it is!”


To be continued…

Friday, June 26, 2009

Grand Canyon or Bust! (Part One)

Well, we did it… Mr. Man and I finally went to the Grand Canyon! Yay! Albeit we only stayed there for an hour and a half. Now call me impractical, but it seems to me if one drives 500+ miles to see a magnificent hole in the ground, one may want to take in as much of it as one can, don’t you think? But, it was getting late (?) and it would be well past dark by the time we got back to base camp, which was at the Golden Nugget in Laughlin, NV.

Well, I’m getting ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning…

The principle plan was to visit the Grand Canyon. The bottom line in my book, but Mr. Man also wanted to take me to Oatman, AZ, a little Route 66 tourist town that boasts of wild donkeys roaming its one street. Laughlin was a midpoint (?) on the Colorado River with exceptionally low hotel room rates Mr. Man could not pass up. So, we booked three nights in Laughlin, one day to get there, one day for the Grand Canyon, one day in Oatman, and the last day… well, the travel home. It all sounded good to me, what did I know, I’d never been to any of those places—let’s go!

So, we got all packed up and left around 9:30 Tuesday morning (to avoid LA’s horrid traffic as well as possible—which we did). Mr. Man had his van, a white Nissan Quest, all tuned up and washed and this time we were good to go! (As you may recall from a past post, we tried to do the same adventure last April, but his van started doing not nice things the very night before exodus and we had to cancel at the last minute. I even shaved my legs in anticipation for that journey… this time, as not to jinx the expedition, I did not. So there you are, ladies, the secret to adventure.)

Mr. Man surged us expertly out of Dodge avoiding LA traffic nicely. After a couple hours stopped at an AM/PM Minimarket to top off the gas tank near Barstow at which time I took a potty break and bought a cup of coffee for myself. We did not have breakfast, and it was close to noon. I (shamefully) thought (silly me) that we would stop somewhere along the way for lunch, you know, like at a restaurant… a Denny’s or what have you. Mr. Man looked at my coffee and asked, “Is that all you’re having?” to which I cleverly replied, “Well, yeah,” with a bit of question in my answer. He then dashed back into the market and returned a couple minutes later with two hotdogs loaded down with every condiment in the book! (I wondered if he could even taste the hotdog itself—gross!)

Did I mention, this was our first longer than day trip together?

Now, Mr. Man lives to eat. I, on the other hand, eat to live. He constantly thinks about food and what to eat next (consequently, he worries quite a bit about his weight—hellooo?) He’s sure it’s the “carbs” that do him in… and that he can eat as much of everything else (like FAT) that he wants, but he is older now, that metabolism is slowing down, and watching the intake of cholesterol-rich, fatty foods he consumes in horrid artery-clogging, gut-building combinations is down-right scary. And, then watch him wash it down with a Diet Coke, oh please. At least he stays away from sweets.

Needless to say at this point, I missed lunch, but that was okay.

And it was my turn to drive, which I enjoy doing very much (just not on the ugly LA freeways). It was a good thing cause I could keep my eyes on the road and not have to wince at watching him eat that… crap.

Oh, by the way, the night before we left, he bought a bunch of beef jerky, teriyaki flavored beef jerky, that he munched (I passed) before bed. I tell you, that teriyaki flavoring reeked through that man’s pores throughout the night! It was a dreadful smell… I didn’t notice till I had to get up and use the potty. When I came back in the room, the smell hit me like a ton of bricks! Yowsers! I’d climb back into bed secure in the knowledge that he would shower in the morning and it would be over soon.

Guess what, the man of a-thousand-showers-a-day, did not shower that morning. Then the hot dogs loaded with more stinky skin stuff… Oh lord, this was going to be a long trip. A long “learning” trip.

You know the saying “opposites attract?” Well that we are in so many ways. I suppose that’s why we are sooooo attracted to each other, we are practically polar opposites.

He loves his air-conditioning. I hate it. Oh, it does have its advantages, of course, however too much, too cold, is too much for me. I’d rather roast and let the windows be my vents. He was good about it though, and kept the temp (and blow) mostly on his side, thank you very much. I was smart enough to be prepared, wore long pants, and packed lightweight long-sleeved shirts to protect my sensitive self from temperature extremes of which there proved many.

So I got to drive… it was a beautiful day! The whole time the weather was wonderful. Oh, it was hot all right, but that I didn’t mind. It was clear and clean and the mountains were scenic wonders as we made our way through them and the long desert stretches. There were wispy white clouds all the way to add to the scene and WOW, did you know the sky is really blue?! Very pretty with the white cloud contrast. Very, very pretty.

We made good time to Laughlin and our hotel, the Golden Nugget, arriving shortly after three o’clock. Mr. Man had started his party, after his hotdog brunch, with a stiff, very large (like in a 32-oz.-Pepsi-drink-cup size large) Bloody Mary, complete with celery. I really didn’t notice at first, but he was well on his way to “happy-land” by the time we got there. Please note: during the whole journey, I drank only non-alcoholic beverages… seltzer, tea, water and coffee, and therefore, the designated driver for the most part.

We checked in and found our room on the third floor with little effort. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I must stay in a hotel, I prefer at least a view. Mr. Man opened the curtain and nobly declared we had a “garden” view (yeah—of the tiered parking lot looming over us with a large shrub off to the side). Oh well. And there was no microwave or fridge (of which we both naturally assumed). Oh well again, we would have rough it. To the ice machine! Fortunately, we did have our small Playmate cooler, and an insulated Trader Joe’s bag to keep our perishables from perishing (or drinks getting hot).

As soon as we got settled in, Mr. Man wanted to go down to the pool. Okay, so we got on our suits, he fixed himself another drink, I armed myself with a crossword puzzle book, and away we went.

Now this was the first time I’d been to Laughlin and the Colorado River. I’ll admit, that the lobby/entryway to the hotel was beautiful. There was a gorgeous, tranquil, tropical atrium highly scented of plumeria and jasmine (that I worried may become overwhelming, but it didn’t). It was truly lovely.

The pool and Jacuzzi area overlooked the river. The river. Water. People in boats and racing on jet skies on the water. That was about it. Nothing pretty about it. No trees, just a few shrubs here and there. It wasn’t cooling or refreshing. It was just there. The mountains in the background were very pretty, but it was brown everywhere else and, in my opinion, not much to look at. Maybe it looked better from the other side with the resort hotels lining the banks? Maybe in the spring? Dunno. All I can say is, it was okay but not a place I will really want to go to again. I don’t care to gamble, and though I love water, it just didn’t do anything for me, at least not there. I’m I making my point clear? If it’s any condolence, I don’t like Las Vegas either. Oh well, live and learn. Perhaps if our room had a view of the river and the mountains I would have enjoyed the venue more. I did think about how awesome the sunrise would be, and tried to program myself to slip out early and check it out, but that didn’t happen either.

I settled into my crossword on a chaise, and Mr. Man opted for the Jacuzzi. It seemed like no time before he was back and wanted to leave. It was hot, and there was still sun, and I was enjoying myself. “Huh? We just got here. What’s the rush?” He got the hint, kind of, went back in the hot tub, then came out shortly wanting to leave again. He said he was worried about me not having anything to eat.

“What do you feel like eating?” he asked. I was content with the sun, and wasn’t concerned about, nor had anything to eat in mind, but he kept pestering me… it was his trip, he was footing the bill, so okay, “I’d like shrimp, or salad, or fish… something light.”

We went back to the room where he finally showered. Whew. And, in hindsight, this was the first clue, he came out boasting of what a wonderful, refreshing shower it was, and don’t I want to take one? No, thank you, I didn’t. I was fine. He, on the other hand, was way too happy.

To be continued…

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Cried

Susan Boyle... please, let her be an inspiration to us all!

Do you think I even bothered to watch the winners?

The Runner-up is the WINNER in my book (blog)!

May all our dreams come true!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Never Judge a Book by Its Movie

I saw the film version of Kate DiCamillo’s, The Tale of Despereaux last night.

Quite frankly, it stinks.

Parents, please, please, please READ this wonderful tale to your children before they watch the movie. The book is soooo much richer. The stories of the three wayward heroes entwine in such an intriguing way, it leaves the reader breathless and wanting more.

I read Despereaux in 2003, when it was first published. I absolutely loved it! I was not surprised when it won the Newberry Medal later that same year. It is extremely clever and cute. A good read-aloud for all ages. A good read-alone too (for us loners).

So, I reiterate, never judge a book by its movie.

I urge you all to let your mind’s eye splurge in the fantasy and enjoy what the author truly wanted to offer.

Enough said.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Live Like a Dog

I recently saw a cute movie, Made of Honor, where the lead fellow (the maid of honor for his best friend’s wedding) would always stop and talk to dogs to tell them, even though he’d never seen them before, he loved them, but he couldn’t tell the love of his life (his best friend who is getting married, and not to him) that he loved her.

I’ve often wondered, considered, and observed myself with my animals (and most animals). I am always happy to see them (unless of course, they did something naughty), and greet them with joy and enthusiasm. “Molly! How’s my pretty Molly today?” “Pearl! Hi Pearl! Where’ve you been? I’ve missed you.” And always give them a pat, a smile and a loving hug.

I am genuinely happy to see them.

On the other hand, with my people, it’s not the same. I’m quiet and reserved. They are lucky if they get a hello and a smile, especially my own family. What's with that? Gotta try to work on that.

Just think, to be that enthusiastic with all people. My mom was somewhat like that—and everybody loved her! Gee, would you think? Mr. Man’s somewhat like that too. I like that.

So this morning, I open a forwarded email with the following message… I had seen this before, and found it poignantly true, but wasn’t considering it when I was writing yesterday.
So to reinforce the message…

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish
Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if
he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life -- like loving
everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.”

Then the email went on with these wonderful words of dog wisdom…

  • So live like a dog:

  • Live simply.

  • Love generously.

  • Care deeply.

  • Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog were the teacher you would learn things like:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

  • Take naps.

  • Stretch before rising.

  • Run, romp, and play daily.

  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

  • Be loyal.

  • Never pretend to be something/one you're not.

  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. (Not sure about this one?

  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


  • I challenge us all to START NOW!
    Hooray for today!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Reoccurring Theme (This is "Weird")

In a notebook/journal found today (in a drawer in my daughter’s room, hmm?)—this entry from January 2003, caught my attention:

How do they find me? It’s like I have a neon sign flashing overhead…

Weirdoes Welcome!

Not that weirdoes aren’t wonderful. For the most part – they are the best! I guess we just attract like-kinds.

Without a different sort of mindset one cannot be weird… what the heck is normal, anyway? Normal sees as normal does. What is weird?

The wonderful thing about weirdoes
is weirdoes are wonderful things.

They talk in circles and riddles, about living and loving they sing.

The wonder, wander,
sashay, squander,
fooling in the their fun.

But the most
wonderful thing about weirdoes
Is I’m the weirdest one!
* * *


I'm not sure to whom I am referring, but I have a pretty good idea. :-/

I think the best part about finding old journals is seeing all the cool drawings and doodles that I did.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Can You Tattoo?

What to write? What to write?

I can write about Max’s new tattoo! Yeah, I guess, the world needs to see my son, Max’s new tattoo, and read all my wonderful words of wisdom that go with it. Oh, and maybe, just maybe I can take a picture of the drawing I did several years ago of the very same tattoo subject and show it too!

Okay, World, "Can you tattoo?"

I think tattoos are only good for identifying your pet. I’m not in the school of thought that we should use our bodies… our skins, as canvases (unless of course you can wash it off). My parents or grandparents didn’t have tattoos. My children’s parents are tattoo-free. Why oh why, do my kids insist on graffiting themselves? They’ve asked since their tweens if they could get one. My stock answer was, “NO!”

Then I always followed with, “When you are old enough to move out, you do anything you like, but not while you’re living with me.”

Like my kids listen. Uh-huh. Sigh.

I tried to find photos of what happens to tattoos as you get older. How they get distorted, and how skin stretches, sags, and thins in the later years, but alas, nothing good enough in tired tattoo department. But I found some pretty ugly pictures that I’m choosing NOT to post here. I’ll let you Google them for yourselves.

Those of us who are a bit older, know what happens to aging bodies. "Come on," I try to tell the kids, "imagine grandma (whose at one time svelte, beautifully tattooed body glistened with artistic sexuality) on a hot day (did she really need that tattoo?). So now she’s 80-something in her sleeveless tent, house dress. Her great sagging underarms wobbling in the afternoon sun, The etched words, “Blonde Bombshell” seemingly melt down to her elbow while she serves you up another helping of the most fattening food ever. 'Eat!,' she demands, 'You’re too thin! Your tattoo needs to plump up! See what happens when you let yourself go?' and she holds up her arm Popeye style, except the flesh is hanging down to here!” I say pointing at my knee.

No… please, don’t imagine it. Forget I even mentioned it. Sorry.

But my kids didn't get the vision and did it anyway behind my back. (Yeah, like I wouldn’t notice.)

First Max got a tattoo on his forearm, a simple but noticeable black star with a red border about the size of a 50-cent piece. Pretty ugly. Then, God only knows what he was thinking, he had the number 13 penned on his elbow. Okay.

Then about six months ago, Roxzi got a fancy one across the bottom of her back that says, “Let the Good Times Roll” in large, swirly script lettering. I kept asking her about it, and she’d tell me, “It’s just temporary, Mom. Don’t worry about it.” But after a while, and I know the kid bathes regularly, I figured it out. (I’m smart like that.) [choke]

Thankfully, Max finally opened his eyes and saw how tacky his homespun tattoos looked (though he does have difficulty seeing the one on his elbow).

He decided to have the star covered up and this is what he got…

That’s Angels Gate Lighthouse at the entrance to the Los Angeles Harbor.

Actually, as a work of art, it’s pretty dang good. Max said the guy did it freehand while looking at a photo. And you can’t even see the star in there that’s hidden in the base and the rocks.

I do give Max credit for picking the subject matter too… it could have been a lot worse.

So… upon seeing that, I was motivated to dig out a pen and ink sketch I did from a photo I took (while on a whale watching field trip with one of the kids) of that very same lighthouse. (Can you tell?)

So, I’m looking at his tattoo, I’m looking at my drawing… and I’m wondering if maybe… maybe… maaaybeee… I should broaden my horizons and add tattoo artist to my resume? They make pretty good money. I could display my artistic talents on walking billboards. And, just think of all the colorful characters I’d meet! Um..



I’ll stick to keeping my ink on paper, thank you very much, and hang my art on the wall, not on someone’s epidermis.
Thank you, Nikki, for being the "good kid!"
Tah-tah too for now!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Move Over, Chester

Well, I was feeling guilty about the last entry, and got to wondering if maybe my definition of “nerdy” was off kilter so I looked it up in my handy-dandy American Heritage College Dictionary, 3rd Ed. (The real volume – an actual book with paper pages and little black indented tabs with gold letters, mind you. Not the on-line kind.) However, it is over 10-years-old now, so perhaps the meaning has changed, but for some reason I don’t think so…

nerd also nurd (nûrd) n. Slang. A person regarded as stupid, socially inept, or unattractive. [Perh. after Nerd , a character in If I Ran the Zoo, by Theodor Seuss Geisel.] – nerd’y adj.
Word History: The word nerd first appears in 1950 in Dr. Seuss’s If I Ran the Zoo: “And then, just to show them, I’ll sail back to Ka-Troo And Bring Back an It-Kutch a Preep and a Proo a Nerkle a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!” (The nerd itself is a small humanoid creature looking comically angry, like a thin, cross Chester A. Arthur.) Nerd next appears, with a gloss, in the February 10, 1957, issue of the Glasgow, Scotland, Sunday Mail in a column entitled “ABC for SQUARES”: “Nerd – a square, any explanation needed?” Authorities disagree whether Dr. Seuss’s nerd and the Glaswegian nerd are the same word. Some claim there is no semantic connection and the identity of the words is fortuitous. Others maintain that Dr. Seuss is the true originator of nerd and that the word was picked up by five- and six-year-olds of 1950 and passed on to their older siblings, who by 1957, as teenagers, had applied nerd to the most comically obnoxious creature of their own class, a “square.”
(End blockquote)

Just as I thought. (But, I didn’t know about the Dr. Seuss part, which I find fascinating! Wow.)

So now I’m starting to wonder, do they think I look like our 21st President, Chester A. Arthur??

Hey! And what ever happened to me being “The Cool Mom?” Guess I don’t don enough piercings and tattoos. (Oh, the shame – the shame!) In this case, I’d rather be classified a nerd. Thanks Dr. Seuss!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Nerds Need Not Apply

I’m not sure how to start this.. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but I really need to call it like it is, you know—a spade is a spade.

(And it's too funny not to share.)

A person can come in many different forms, smart, good-looking, level-headed, but why-oh-why do I seem to attract all the goofballs? (It takes one to know one? Birds of a feather… ?) Now don’t get me wrong, I like oddballs, but I like intelligent oddballs, the one’s that don’t fit the mold but have some knowledge and something to say, they are much more interesting.

Lately though, I’m surrounded by, sorry family (not talking about you) but you’ve got to admit, a whole bunch of mindless not-normal people I’d rather not have to deal with.

I am proud to say that all my kids and I easily find humor in the silly things we do or say… the big mistakes, or the little faux paus. In other words, we take great pleasure in making fun of each other and ourselves but never in a mean or spiteful way.

But.. I'm not so sure others see it that way. So, let me start by saying, my son Max’s girlfriend is currently living here (against my better wishes). You may remember her mousecapades from earlier entries. (January '09 entries… “Riddle Me This Batman” and “Mousetrap Mania.") (Hey, does anyone know how to do the “target” thing on this Blog site?)

She is, through no fault of her own, bi-polar and consequently on disability. And, how can I say this tactfully… oh well... a ditz. I can claim that title too, but she has a few other issues going on, like not playing with a full deck—like missing all the face cards—in the intelligence department.

Oh, she’s pretty enough.. and sweet, but so was Elsa the cow, who did her best for Jersymaid. Moo.

Anyway, her disability case is to be reviewed by a judge early next week.

Max came in the studio yesterday to ask me a small favor. “Can ‘Girlfriend’ borrow something to wear for court?”

I was just fixing to start in with a client call, but I seriously had to turn my chair around and raise my eyebrow at him. I mean, this gal is five-feet-nothing, and a bit on the plump side… her bust is much bigger than mine (well, everybody’s bust is much bigger that mine!). I’m tall and skinny, she’s… not.

“Maybe," he asked coyly, "one of your… um… Mickey Mouse shirts?”

“WHAT!? To wear to court??” (None of my shirts would fit her anyway.) “She shouldn’t wear something like that to court! Even I wouldn’t wear a tee-shirt, Mickey Mouse or otherwise, to court!"

“Well, her Dr. told he she needs to look kind of… um… nerdy.”



I shook my head in disbelief and started to giggle. “So you want her to wear MY clothes so she’ll look ‘nerdy?’ Are you insinuating I’m a... nerd?” I said grinning at him. “And what makes you think Mickey Mouse is... um... nerdy?”

“Well, the Dr.,” he argued, “said that one of his patients lost the claim because the gal went in all fancy with her hair and nails all done up stylish-like.” (But with our girl, it’s a bit obvious that our tax dollars are being well spent not only on make-up, nails and hair dye, but also on lovely tattoos and facial piercings. What part won’t the judge notice?)

Okay, folks, now when it comes to me, it’s true, I’m super low maintenance in the beauty and fashion department. Jeans and tee-shirts for me… call me a hick or a hippie maybe, I like to think of myself as smart, and maybe a bit eccentric, but a NERD? (Don’t I wish!)

“You want her to look ‘nerdy’ and you come to me??” I said still in disbelief, practically choking.

In the meantime, here comes Girlfriend who tries valiantly to explain the dilemma.

Too late. Now I’m laughing. “Excuse me, do you even know what the word “nerdy” means?” I seriously doubted it at this point.

Enter my goofy brother, Luckey (who's able to take and deliver a good ribbing). “Hey Luckey," I call, "Girlfriend here needs to look ‘nerdy’ for her hearing, and they came to meeee for something for her to wear!” (I really wanted to say “whacko” instead of "nerdy" but bit my tongue.)

Of course, it takes him absolutely no time to start laughing, “No, no, no… " he says pointing at me, "she’s the one you want to ask for clothes if you want to look homeless.” That really put me in hysterics.

Poor embarrassed Girlfriend, turning red-faced because Max didn’t present the case right, and probably ‘cause we're making fun, stomps off in frustration.

I announced that I really have to get to work and everyone cleared the room. Nevertheless, I was still giggling so hard as I called my client and wasn’t exactly able to contain myself for the first few minutes of our session. Thank goodness, he understood.

Anyway, I’m still shaking my head and still laughing. Please, what are these young people thinking?

Oh, and did I say she was blonde? Yeah, bleached blonde.

And, even as ditzy blond as I can be, she’s really giving our delicate recessive genes a bad rep!

My advice to her in court: “Just be yourself, Girlfriend, just open your mouth and be yourself! You’ll do fine.”

(Heaven help us! Let us pray!)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I See Stars

Mr. Man is always sooooo cold at night, so for his birthday I decided to crochet an Americana blanket for him.

I ordered the materials about three weeks before his birthday (March 10) but I was very bummed that I didn’t receive the goods till the day before his special day. I did have some of the red yarn to get started, but one stripe didn’t help much.

So… the project is finally finished and delivered. Yay! And now I can show you a picture...

Or two.

It actually took me only about a week (in between Mr. Man’s visits) to make the blanket—stripes and blue star field, and even making the stars went fairly quickly. BUT attaching them was the tough part. I can crochet, but sewing is whole a different story.

Those pesky stars. It took me approximately two hours to sew on one star! Making them was a breeze (I thought that would be the hard part), but sewing them on, geeze. You’d think it would be simple to just whipstitch ‘em on, right? Nooooo… I wanted them to be straight and PERFECT, and when it didn’t happening to my liking, I’d undo it, repin and try again. Grrrr.

Only three of stars are sewed in this shot (the bottom left corner), the fourth is pinned. (If you look closely you can see the little orange and yellow heads on the pins. I actually had to go out and buy a box of straight pins for this project! Only for you, Mr. Man, only for you!)

I thought they were so cute the way their little arms curled. They reminded me of Dr. Seuss’s “Sneeches with stars upon thars.”

Well, I finally had to face it, they were not going to be perfect. Who’s gonna notice anyway? The thing’s supposed to be draped over a lap, not hanging on a wall (which several people have said that if it were theirs, that’s what they’d want to do with it).

Of course, Mr. Man loves it and says it was worth the wait.

Hmmm… the original pattern called for 32 stars. Can you imagine?! I might have had it ready by his next birthday if I went that route. Yikes!

Okay, stay tuned for my next trick… :-)

Cheers for now, people!

Friday, April 17, 2009

All the Buzzz

I’m reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, again. It’s absolutely as enchanting as the first time I read it several years ago.

I recently watched the film version which caused me to seriously scratch my head and wonder what was wrong with this picture? (No pun intended... okay, just a little.) However, so much seemed wrong with the film, that I wanted to renew my faith and read the book again. Perhaps the book wasn’t as great as I remembered? My vision of it was so different.

Having read a borrowed version of Bees way back when, I looked into acquiring a used addition from Amazon, then remembered Mr. Man has a client who’s a used-book seller that I thought would maybe give me/him little better deal (and make a buck for his client); after all, I just wanted to check my memory.

Mr. Man did one better and just went ahead and bought me the book. Yay! Thanks, Honey.

Well, just as I hoped and remembered, the extraordinary insight and imagery incorporated in Kidd’s wonderful writing doesn’t even come near the surface in the film. Granted, the movie does follow the story line fairly well, but it lacks so much of the meaning intended.

Nothing like a two-hour movie to ruin a good 300-page novel.

All in all, I sincerely recommend reading the book first… then don’t watch the movie (which I guess is probably “okay” if you don’t know any better).

Here's what I hate, when they plaster the pictures of the movie characters on the cover of the book. I prefer my own images, thank you.

So now, Marley & Me is available for my viewing pleasure, but I haven’t read the book by Josh Grogan, which is what I would really prefer rather than acquire the taint of movie-murdering before I read. I suppose in this case, it really doesn’t matter, I’m gonna sob at one point or another. Any movie, or book, involving animals (animated or otherwise) almost always jacks up Kleenex brand’s profits on my behalf.

I just finished, Dewey, the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron. Dang if I didn’t cry my eyes to puffiness at the end of the story. (And the middle when another beloved pet was put down.)

The cat lived 19 wondrous years!

The reader knows from the start what happens at the end, nothing tragic, but it doesn’t matter. I still wept, even though Mr. Man, who was napping beside me as I finished the memoir, would most likely note my eyes, suddenly with lack of make-up and horribly puffy, and I would look totally different when he woke up. Hey, love is blind, right?

Say, “right.”

Thank you.

Dewey is a charming, quick read. Probably not one I’ll want to read again (unless they botch the movie version). But if you like cats and libraries, and I suppose it helps if you’re from the Midwest, it’s worth the effort (and tears).

Still, Bees is much better. And, thankfully, I don’t recall crying at the death of any insects.

Oh wait… Charlotte, dear Charlotte!

Oh geeze, don’t get me started. That's a whole different story.

Much Love!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Who's Walking Down the Streets of the City... ?

... Everyone knows it's Windy."

I just heard it. Mr. Man pronounces my name, which is Wendi (WHEN-dee... you know, like in Peter Pan), “Windy” (WIN-dee... as in gusts of air).

Why does this bother me? I'm not sure.

Perhaps it bothers me that I hadn’t noticed before? (And we’ve known each other for how long… nine years?)

Perhaps because he thinks wind is the only thing blowing around in my head making the name more appropriate? Could be true at times.

I’ve certainly been called “Windy” many times before by people who don’t matter, but by my own sweetheart, all the time? And when I finally caught it and corrected him, he shrugged it off like it doesn’t matter. :-/

Maybe I should retaliate and call Mr. Man (Tony), Tuney… or better yet, Teeny!

I guess I should be happy he at least spells my name, Wendi (with an "i"), correctly (but not always). Grrrr.


(Teeny... that's a good one, [tee-hee] but not true ! It wouldn't reform him anyway.)

Oh well. I guess I better just blow this one off.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Beware: Genius at Work

The day before Easter, I was at the supermarket, only because I had to go get dinner stuff for that evening. Shopping, especially when the throngs are out shopping too, and/or cooking are not my favorite things to do.

Anyway, there I was with my five items in the “express” line of about a million people. When it was my turn, I noticed a hand-written notice at the register saying, “Cash only. No debit or credit. Sowy.”


I read the sign slowly aloud to myself…

“Cash only. No debit or credit. Sowy.”

Oh! It’s supposed to be sorry!

Well, being the English language aficionado that I am, I very politely asked the young, Hispanic male checker if he knew that the word “sorry” on the sign was spelled incorrectly.

“Oh,” he said laughing with nary a Hispanic (or Oriental) accent, “I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be with a ‘y’ or an ‘ie’.”


Gee, I wonder if his high school English teachers were sowy to see the genius go?

(Is it wrong for me to assume Vons requires a high school diplomma to work there?)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trip Canceled

I’m bummed. I even shaved my legs, for heaven’s sake!

Everyone knows you have to shave your legs to go to the Grand Canyon. Right? (Fellas not included.. unless of course… well, nevermind.)

Alright, alright, I shave my legs once, maybe twice a year. Once at the beginning of sunning (bikini) season, and maybe once more in August… maybe. The plumber loves it when I do.

I even plucked a few nose-hairs and spiffed up the ol’ eyebrows.

Anyway, I was all packed and ready to go. All I had to do this morning was grab up the laptop and my morning stuff and we’d be off for a three-day road trip to places I’ve never been: Laughlin, NV (this is not exactly a place on my wanna-go-to list as I’m not a gambler, but you never know), Oatman, AZ (on old Route 66 that looks very cool—and don’t forget the carrots for the mules!), and then, (ta-dah!) The Grand Canyon! I’ve wanted to go there from forever, and this morning, I was to be on my way!

Mr. Man, who has been to all places several times, made all the arrangements and I was so excited (in my low-keyed way). But, as fate would have it, yesterday, Mr. Man’s van started doing funny things. Not “good” funny things, like shaking violently on the freeway going any faster than 50 mph. Oops.

Then he suggested we take his new (used) truck, but I had to put my foot down to that one. It has a bench seat that sits super low and is pulled forward cause Mr. Man’s legs are much shorter than mine. It’s very uncomfortable, in my long-leggedness, for my 50-something-year-old frame to sit for any length of time with my knees pressed up next to my ears. And three days worth of driving, oh pleeease.

The sweetheart did look into getting a rental car, but it was a bit more expensive than he planned for his budget. Of course, I understand. As it is, he lost his deposit on the hotel, dang it.

I’m guessing there must be a bigger reason we’re not able to go at this time. Our Angels are watching out for us. Perhaps something else is supposed to happen? (Please let it be something wonderful!)

Oh well, me and my clean-shaven, Levi covered legs will just have to wander around the neighborhood with Miss Molly while my Mr. Man gets his van fixed. The plan is to maybe try again next week. He’s a sweetheart, that Mr. Man is.

Oh, and did I mention... I even painted my toenails!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Puppies - Post Partum

I feel somewhat better today about the puppies moving to Anthony’s. Not wonderful, just not tearful or sad anymore. (Although, I’m really hating the puffy eyes. No amount of make-up is gonna work here. Could take days to recover... grr.) It all really is for the best.

It’s funny, I’m still on “puppy alert.” I keep thinking I “hear” their cute little puppy squeals. Sigh.

So, let’s focus on my bestest, best friends.

This is Pearl. She’s in my lap helping me write (yeah, right). Okay, at best she’s comforting me and keeping me warm.

There is nothing nicer than a kitty curled (sprawled) on one’s lap, purring away. (Well maybe a big, strong, handsome man sleeping with his arms wrapped tightly around one’s waist. :-))

It’s hard for one to type in either of those scenarios. But in this case I’m managing with my

Pearl, who is now totally belly-up, her hind end butted up against the keyboard making me have to work around her hind legs! (Like she cares.)

Pearl is either three or four-years-old now.

We got her when she was three-months-old mostly because “God” said so. (Isn’t that right, Ksaldria?) God does know best.

She came to us as a precious gem, and has remained so ever since. Besides, I always wanted to be called Mother of Pearl. Ex-hubby wouldn’t go for that name for either of my daughters. And he was allergic to cats.

Did I mention he’s an “ex?”

Everybody loves Pearl. And Pearl loves everybody!

And then there’s Miss Molly.

She’s waiting for her outing… on my half-made bed, and off her red blankie (which is much easier to wash than that big comforter I need to take to the laundry mat).

For those who are new to us, Molly is a 98-pound Coonhound. A very big dog, with very long legs..

See? Gee... she's getting a little chunky. Guess we better go on more outtings. Hmmm.
That's one "cool" Coonhound! (Okay, you're right... that's one lazy dog!) At least she's smiling.. somewhat.
Momma dog, Elsa (below), seldom changes expression. This bugs me. She always looks like she’s done something wrong, but she is actually a very good and sweet dog. I have tried to get her to smile, but she just doesn’t seem to have it in her. The only time I see her smile is when Roxzi comes home, and then only briefly.

And she will not look me in the eye. That also bugs me. Oh well.

Molly, on the other hand, is an alpha-female who not only smiles, but will look you full-on in the face! I love that dog.

Molly and I have a great bond. We read each other’s minds. I just think about a w-a-l-k, she’s up and wagging. The more imminent the departure, the more she starts nagging—very loudly! So, I try to not think the “w” word, quietly stuff a plastic grocery bag in my pocket, grab the leash and surprise her at the front door. This helps keep my nerves and eardrums intact. The ploy works about 20% of the time. And don’t even think about going, then delay. She’s one big dog who demands her outing with one big voice until you obey. Ouch!
Okay, got my friends here with me and I'm feeling MUCH better now. Thank you, gang!
Bye for now, you beautiful bloggers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Puppy Blues..

I am so sad!

Roxzi and her fella, Anthony, came and took all the puppies, and Elsa, to his mother's house today.

I never wanted to have Elsa, the sweet black puppy, (a gift to Rox from Anthony for her birthday) in the first place. I told them up front, I would not be responsible, i.e. pay for shots… spaying.. food.. etc. They were the parents.

But I have such a soft spot in that respect. I said “no” but they (Roxzi) knew, I could not follow through.

They said they would have her fixed… yeah, right.

Anthony (20) lives with his mother, and now Roxzi lives there too. Nevertheless, I got the dog. She’s a good dog, and a sweetheart, but I refused to be too responsible.

Okay, I didn’t let her go hungry, or get flea-full. I loved her, as I do all pets and animals. But I stood my ground, and kept a step back.

Elsa, obviously, did not get fixed. She endured her first “heat” with no incident. The kids, Roxzi and Anthony, claiming to take care of “it” all along.

But with the second “heat” Chewie, an Akita-Inu, Anthony’s dog, got to her. Oh boy, it was love, love, love, and now we have nine fat babies to show for it.

Elsa lived here with me, Roxzi at Anthony’s. Of course the puppies were delivered here last Sunday, as previously posted.

Well, today, shortly after 4 p.m., Roxzi, Anthony and his brother, Vince, came to visit.

But visit they didn’t.

They just gathered the pups up in a prearranged box, leashed Elsa, and took them all away to Anthony’s!

I have been in tears ever since!

I know that’s where they should be, and that all is fine and dandy, but I’m a basket case!
Animals are my Achilles heel.

Have I mentioned that there are ALWAYS animals in my dreams? Always. Usually puppies and kittens, but sometimes exotic animals, like snakes, lions and bugs, that are all my friends.

So with that, I will miss my puppies. I suppose it’s best that they all go at once. I can’t imagine having to give them away one-at-a-time! Just let me get these puffy eyes over with now.


How can love be so entwined? No matter how detatched I "thought" I was.. I'm a goner.

I'll be okay. Sniff.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Puppies.. Day Three

All nine of the no-so-little critters are doing well. Proud Elsa is feeling much better.

I think this sweetheart is the fourth.. the female I revived. Will ya look at those drumsticks!

One BIG happy family!

That mondo brown pup in the middle is the "screamer." He's twice as big as the rest! He's already one tough dude.

Monday, March 23, 2009

You've Got to Pick a Puppy or Two


2:52pm –Just arrived, number eight.... Eight puppies!

Yikes – poor Elsa (she looks soooo tired). But she’s being such a good momma. She started her little maternity ward around 11:15 this morning.

All puppies are fat and healthy, though there have been a few close calls.

My Darling, Tony, stepped up to bat to help the first (or second) one out of it’s sac. I went in earlier to check and saw the sac, and decided to leave Elsa alone a bit and “let nature take its course.” However, I was uneasy—almost overwhelmed. Tony, who would have preferred to entertain Sunday with stay-in-bed-all-day shenanigans, quickly caught my worry, figured I’d be occupied, and readied himself to leave. In the meantime, I went back in to check on our girl. She was cleaning one puppy, but another (seemingly the same I saw 15 minutes earlier) was still in the sac and screaming VERY loudly to be released!

I guess I could have handled it by myself, but I knew Tony had experience in such matters, so I employed him to please help. He did. The puppy is fine. But, no matter how much I pleaded he stay, he insisted I take charge.. which I did. He did coach me through the next birth and helping the puppy out of the sac, which was much easier than I thought, before he left. He’s a good man.

The other brave men, son, Max (waving in the background), and goofy brother, Luckey, high-tailed it at the first signs and sounds of puppydom.

Roxzi, her beau, Anthony, and his mom, Sabrina, came while number four was struggling for life. This one was not at all feisty like the one screaming “I am here! I am here!”in its cocoon earlier. It wasn’t moving, and Elsa was slow to help. I broke its sac, and rubbed its belly and finally, with the help of Elsa kisses, we got it going. It was a blonde with black female. (Possibly the one in the center of the pack in the photo.)

Anthony stepped in and calmly took over for the rest of the deliveries, that young man is not squeamish, thank God.

The rest of the pups came at intervals of about 25 minutes.

Roxzi sat by pale and quiet. (And this girl wants to be a nurse?) She finally got in and helped shuffle the pups to the feeding ground, and petted and praised her “Elsa Doobie.”

All is calm.


Good grief, the news just in…


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Script Frenzy

Recently I got an email from the NaNoWriMo people. (National Novel Writing Month—remember, I did that last November?) Now they are instigating Script Frenzy, the writing of a screenplay (100 pages) during the month of April.

The letter really emphasised that writting a script is a great way to hone your novel writing skills. Sooooo… I signed up. This doesn’t mean I’m committed to it.. we’ll see. But, it did get me into doing further study on how to write a script and I find it quite fascinating.

The Script Frenzy site gives good examples, tips and strategies, and even links to hundreds of movie screenplays anyone can access.

The formatting on these things alone is very strict and tricky. But Script Frenzy clues you in that department too.

Last summer, my dear Tony, gave me the book, How to Enter Screenplay Contests and Win! by Eric Joseph. I found what it absolutely mesmerizing. Though I knew nothing about screenplay writing, this book really piqued my interest; so-much-so, I purchased three other popular screenwriting how-tos: 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, by Karl Iglesias – wonderful writing tips for any writer; There's No Business Like Soul Business, by Derek Rydall, (who I heard interviewed via Internet – he approaches screenwriting from a spiritual stand point), and Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder (lots of great tools and tips). All are very well written and fun to read.

One of the things the Script Frenzy site suggests for newbies is to READ screenplays. Okay. (It takes about as long to read one as it does to watch the movie.) They suggest first to read the screenplay of a movie you really know and love. I picked Return to Me, written by Bonnie Hunt (who also, you may remember, plays a major role in the film). Surprise!—it is just like the movie—practically word for word! I laughed and cried, just like I do every time I see the DVD. I love that movie—the Return to Me sound track too!

Okay, so now I’m gonna try their suggestion to read a screenplay to a movie I haven’t seen… then watch the movie and see how well the writer made me “see” it in my head. I picked the movie Disturbia only because I know I have that available. (Most new-new movies don’t have their screenplays in the public domain yet.) I could have picked Letters from Iwo Jima, or Munich, and a few others I know I have access to, but I’m not so sure I want to see. Not that Disturbia will be much better, but at least it’s fiction. I’ll let you know how it goes.

So, dear reader, if you should decide to get your creative juices flowing and join me in the madness. Be sure to look up Quizmo, and do the "buddy" thing. I found it great help to “race” my friends (while cheering all the way) to the 50,000 word count needed to “win” the NaNoWriMo challenge.

Laterz Gatorz! [she says while putting on her frenzy-thinking cap!]

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Blarney Spoken Here

The following poem is a recant of a true story of a St. Patrick's day debacle that happened several years ago. To this day, not one of my three (now grown up) children have fessed up to the deed; therefore, what other explanation can there be? Pesky leprechauns!

Emerald Tricks
By Quizmo LaGrande

Tis a story well true, by gosh, and by gore,
A trick of the leprechaun isn’t just lore.
They saw fit to choose what they found quite enjoying,
A mighty slick feat I found quite annoying!

Corned beef and cabbage, traditional spread,
With carrots, potatoes, and wee soda bread
I planned for the making, I planned for the guests
Of fifteen stout Irishmen, and their ladies best.

Scrub, wash, and slave the castle walls clean
For a party the likes of St. Paddy’s not seen.
Corned beef is a beast, the cooking not toiling.
(It’s just that it takes several hours of boiling.)

The evening before St. Patrick’s big day,
I boiled the beastie the right proper way;
Plenty o’ garlic, pepper corns, spices, dill
And a pint of one hardy dark ale, if you will.

In a pot big as Ireland, meat simmered and stewed,
Heavenly smells wafted through as it brewed
And bubbled and cooked, till tender throughout,
Then let off the fire, delicious, no doubt.

Into the fridge to meld for the night,
The beef with the juice concocted just right,
Saved for carrots, spuds, cabbages lot,
Cooked the last minute, and served piping hot.

Green the décor, the shamrocks on high,
I pull out the beast as the guests did arrive.
The plan was to wrap it up snugly to heat
In the oven while vegetables boiled to a treat.

“All Saints preserve us!” My family heard cry
As I lifted the lid for the corned beef pot’s prize,
The color of shamrocks, of Erin, indeed,
The juice and the beast turned to emerald GREEN!

“How could this be? What happened?”
I cried,"Green as a lush Gaelic preened countryside!"
The smell was still sweet as the evening before
No mold or equivalents were beginning to grow,

Twas bright green as grass, as Christmas, as leaves,
Where once was pink, I was starting to grieve.
My grand dish for thirty, now fit for none!
What prankster turned goodness to mossy green scum?

I queried my family, no one had a clue.
An expression genuine on each face did ensue
Of shock at the sight of their dinner turned green,
Not delight at the mischief that caused such a scene.

I pondered and thought, “How could it be so?”
It didn’t smell sour, a wee taste proved it so.
But hardly a dish I could serve to my kin
Must be the leprechauns delivered such sin.

Now it was my turn to think up a trick,
Think up a dinner, and think it up quick.
“A darlin’ corned beef doesn’t cook in a wink.”
I thought as I poured me guests one hardy green drink.

As I watched my guests laugh and merrily swig
"Would they wonder," I thought as I danced a wee jig,
"If I cleverly planned festive meal in green clad,
That I’d blame on the wee folk, if truth be it had?"

So I boiled the veggies in green corned beef soup,
I heated the beast, baked the bread for the group.
On a lovely white platter displayed the green feast.
(Though potatoes seemed blue, and the carrots deceased.)

On a table set proud for a leprechaun king
My guests, eyebrows high, raised their glasses to sing
A toast to their hostess. A prayer to St. Pat.
And toast to the leprechauns (as I cursed the brats).

Then dig in, indeed, my guests did with great zeal.
(Though my family looked on with reluctant appeal.)
Green beer and banquet, such grand combination.
Good cheer and good hale--leprechaun liberation!
© Copyright 2003 Quizmo LaGrande (UN: quizmo at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

(Don't forget to be wearing o' the green!)