Monday, January 30, 2012

Ready? Set? GROW!

It seems like only yesterday that I pulled the old calendar off the wall and replaced it with a new one. And yet, almost a month has gone by. Where do the days go?

When I smoothed out the 2012 calendar and pinned it in its rightly place near my desk, I loved the idea of new beginnings- of starting over- of turning a new leaf, burning old bridges, putting my best foot forward...

It's January 30th, and I'm not even out of the gate yet. Still sitting and waiting for good things to just surround me. Thinking that by some miracle, my house will be organized, my body will be fit, my dreams will come true...

I've decided to take this week and start an early spring cleaning. To de-clutter and simplify my life. I just need to put priorities on my "junk".
I love too many objects.
I see beauty in everything from an old jar to a rusty doorknob.
I pick up flea market treasures "for later".
I hoard picture frames and ribbon and books I'll never read.
I put things off too often...

It's time I've grown up.

It's supposed to be a beautiful day here.
I think I'm gonna pull open the blinds and let the sunshine in.
Think I'll crank up some John Mayer, Nora Jones, and CCR.
Think I'll start packing stuff up for Goodwill. (Won't someone love them as much as I do?)
I'm getting realistic, frugal, seeking that unspeakable peace that comes with organization.

So, to all you three or four people that actually read my blog, I'll be away this week. (I may or may not come back with photos of my cleaning adventures!)
You all have a great week.

I'm opening the gate now...

See you in February!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Good Intentions

I'm sure that very few of you realize that today is "Spouse's Day". Most of us are getting so geared up with visions of Valentines Day, that this little-known holiday is  virtually ignored.

However, this day is an all-important step in making your Valentine's Day even more prosperous, romantic and enjoyable. Today is your chance to show your loved one how much you appreciate them. Not with gifts- (save that for V Day)- but with simple words and actions. Do something nice. Say something sweet.  

Don't take anything for granted.

When I found out about Spouse's Day, I immediately decided that I wasn't taking any chances. If this was actually the foreplay to getting real chocolates on February 14th, then I would do what must be done.

Because, seriously- dollar store chocolates taste like a ball of wax with cake frosting in the middle. And a freshly picked dandelion bouquet might be pretty, but within days it's a freakin' flying mess of wild seeds that stick to the drapes like tiny Velcro bugs.

Believe me, I know about such things. day of being extra kind (and setting the stage for cupid), began at 4 a.m.. I crept out of bed without disturbing my spouse, covered his cold feet with an extra blanket, and tiptoed quietly to the kitchen. There I muffled the gurgle of the brewing coffee maker, opened drawers and cabinets with a ghostly silence, and proceeded to make pancakes in the shape of a heart.

While the skillet heated up, I laid out my his work clothes, socks, packed his lunch box with his favorite goodies- and placed his shoes strategically by the doorway. I wrote a little love note and hid it in his jacket pocket and warmed a towel up in the dryer for his morning shower.

If this didn't earn me some Russel Stover, then all this butt-kissing was a lost cause.

After breakfast was ready, I arranged it on a tray and took it into the bedroom, utilizing my softest voice to rouse him from his XBox 360 dreams.

"What's this?" he asked, yawning and scratching his head.

"Breakfast in bed", I answered with a sly smile.

"I don't have time for this today", he said, rolling out of bed, "I've got a safety meeting this morning, so I gotta get on the road. Sorry, Honey."

I was deflated like a helium balloon on a hot summer day.

But with chin up, I followed him to the bathroom and greeted him with the warm towel as he finished his shower.

"Where's this been? In the dog's bed?" he asked. And then before I had the chance to explain,he added- "Did you polish my boots last night?"

"Oh, I forgot !" I said, suddenly going into panic mode. All this work, and I was certain that I wasn't any closer to a velvety-truffled future. So I grabbed some polish and rags- and went out in the cold garage to shine his boots to a glassy finish.

He was already dressed and ready to go when I stepped back inside. He slipped into his boots without saying a word about how utterly fantastic they looked after my buff of love.

Yet, I still had hope. There was a mini-apple pie in his lunch box. His favorite...

"Oh- forgot to tell you," he said, "they're feeding us today- don't need my lunch packed."
And as he wrestled into his jacket, he pulled out the note I wrote him and crumbled it into the waste basket without even looking at it.
"Junk...", he said, kissing me on the forehead and jingling his keys. And then he left for work.

Spouse's Day? Epic fail.

So I ran to WalMart and bought myself some Dove chocolates, Lindor Truffles and an expensive bar of real Godiva goodness.

Like they say - Life is sweet.

But revenge will definitely be sweeter.....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dad's Coffee Cup

As I stirred my coffee this morning, I thought back to places in my childhood- the sound of a metal spoon being swirled inside the thick Buffalo China coffee cup that my dad claimed as "his" for as long as I can remember. His hand was always gripped around his mug and his cigarette slowly dropping gray ashes into a nearby tray.

That same coffee mug was the center of "company"- on evenings when friends from church gathered around the gray Formica table, smoked cigarettes and ate donuts with their coffee. Somehow Dad always managed to spring for a few dozen Dixie Cream donuts. (Or maybe they split the cost?). Either way, I still drool at the sight of those blue and white gingham boxes stuffed with glazed, fluffed and jellied delights. And the kitchen offered an awesome perfume... A mixture of strong coffee, sweet pastries and puffs of cigarette smoke. Heavenly...

Sometimes I would lie awake in the morning and hear Dad in the kitchen, pulling his chair out and smashing the middle of freshly fried eggs into a yellow pulp with his "grease gravy". Then he'd eat cold butter and jelly blended with a fork on top of Mom's extra-special canned biscuits.
There was only a soft hum as he and Mom talked- (As a mother, I now know they secretly hoped that all us kids would stay in bed a while longer). And again, the swirl of a spoon inside his china cup was an unconscious sense of comfort to me.

Dad often took his cup to the living room, and carefully placed the steamy coffee next to his recliner as he cranked it back and lifted his feet. Then he pulled on his eyeglasses, fitting them slightly down the bridge of his nose, and cracked open a faded paperback that was covered with wild horses...or space ships. He loved to read both Westerns and Sci-Fi- perhaps to keep his feet in both doors of time.
Sometimes he would have his favorite bologna rolled into a meaty cone- to be eaten with crackers- while he searched for a good black and white cowboy movie on TV. Other times it was a variety show like Carol Burnett or a series like the Honeymooners. I liked watching those kind of programs with the family.
But Lord help us all if it was a Sunday and all that was on was sports! I still cringe at the voice of football announcers and basketball referees blowing their whistles and the sound of a bat cracking as the crowd grows wild....

I think my brother Cranston has Dad's coffee cup now. I hope he uses it. I hope he makes that bittersweet sound as he stirs a metal spoon around the inside. I hope he remembers fondly the blurry childhood of  Dad's presence, his unspoken love, and days that still sparkle brightly within our hearts.

Drink up. And, hey- let's have donuts sometime soon...:)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Wedding Planner

I've always loved the thrill and excitement that comes with planning a party. Even though I often walk that fine line between anxiousness and a total breakdown, I've realized that I enjoy the challenge of putting it all together.

You must realize however, that this is coming from a woman who can't keep her linen closet clean, her checkbook balanced, or remember what she watched on TV last night. Maybe I'm just one of those right brained kind of people. All I know for a fact is- my newest party is a real challenge.

My daughter (first baby) is getting married in May and I've unofficially been designated as her "wedding planner". Now just to clarify - it's not going to be one of those money-draining ceremonies that people take out a second mortgage for. It's a budget-conscious-creatively-challenging-five months of our lives. And I've got 116 days to pull it off without looking like a dollar-store-white-trash wedding planner.
We are NOT doing this
OR this!

It's mostly all in my head now- a huge imagination that keeps me awake at night and refuses to let me do anything but surf the web for ideas and scribble notes and simple math in random notebooks. ( I can't even write my blog!)
I can see it all- peaceful, perfect, beautiful...all unfolding on a bright sunny day in May...the grass green and the sky blue and everything flowing easily without a hitch.

So, if I am absent from my blogging duties, you know what I'm doing. Thanks for your patience!

Now- where did I put that notebook?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall- What the Hell Happened?

I'm officially depressed.

And this time it has nothing to do with the weather.

It has to do with dressing room mirrors.

They suck.

Big time.

But what's so depressing is- they don't lie.

Oh, yeah, they may distort things from time to time, cast unattractive shadows,
and enlarge certain areas that are better left microscopic, but- they never, ever lie.

In fact, I came face to face (literally) with a dressing room mirror yesterday that wasn't only honest and frank, but downright sarcastic.

First of all, let me tell you that I was trying on dresses.
You know, those sheathy, form fitting body wraps that don't cover your legs, seldom hide your arms, and never live very long in my closet.

I don't do dresses.

But I must find one for my daughter's wedding. So, I have no choice but to subject myself to torture and truth before critical dressing room mirrors.

The first dress I tried on made me look six months pregnant.
The second dress made me look like I'd left my backpack tied around my butt.
The third dress made my knees stubby, my arms flappy and my neck crepey.
The fourth dress....

Well- there was no fourth dress!

After the first three, I was ready for a large alcoholic drink, a long winter nap, and a body transplant.
I was sick.
And tired.

And so ready for change.

I've got to get control.
I've just got to make those dressing room mirrors say kind and flattering things.
I just need to shrink the bulk, minimize the menopausal mommy bump, and melt those wing flaps.

And, ladies, please don't suggest Spanx.
Because sooner or later you gotta take them off.
Did you ever see Clark Grizwold cut the rope on his Christmas tree in the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation?

That's what would happen!

Today I'm trying to be strong.
To fight my fight.

And hopefully win the battle of hateful dressing room wars.

But it ain't gonna be pretty!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Seeking Treasure

I've always been a scavenger of sorts- a huge believer in the old adage that "one man's trash is another man's treasure". Contrary to what some people may believe, there is nothing socially wrong or hygienically unsafe about buying "pre-loved" items. I have grown to love my little collections of cast off art, home decor, glassware, boardgames and even clothing. I'm not ashamed that they know me by my name at Goodwill and that yard sale season is something I look forward to almost as much as a vacation.

Lucky for me that I've adopted this thrifty past time because my daughter is getting married in May- and we are on a mission that restrains our budget. Yet, it is so  gratifying to me that limited finances also stretch our imaginations. We think outside the box. We create without fear. We learn to grasp the unusual and the unique and hopefully turn them into enchanting.

I spent the day with my daughter, gathering ideas from second-hand stores and consignment shops. We accomplished quite a bit in a few hours- and stayed in our little town. It makes us wonder what other treasures are to be found outside the city limits. Happily, we're going to discover that on Monday's shopping trip.

If you haven't taken a look at Pinterest, you are missing out on a virtual scrapbook of inspiration and dreams. It allows people from all over to "pin" photos of ideas or favorite things to the Pinterest board. And it usually links back to the original source. I have found that this offers unlimited volumes of amazing projects and I'm utilizing dozens of  the creative ideas for the wedding.

I'm fortunate that the "country rustic" /casual bohemian style" is quite popular now, for it makes a great canvas for thrifty, homemade and budget items. Don't get me wrong- I'm not trying to be a cheapskate- and I don't think my daughter thinks I am, either. She just wants a beautiful, unique wedding- and I hope it all comes together on her special day.

I would post pictures of our treasures, but I'm going to wait till after the wedding. We're keeping track of the money spent, and she suggested that I might do a blog about budget weddings. We'll see how it all turns out first...but we have high hopes.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

H. F. Posey

A few of you may remember the story I started titled Frog Leg Friday on my previous blog. I've been keeping a little notebook in my purse and writing while I'm waiting for getting the oil changed, a doctor's appointment, picking my husband up from work...

I decided I'd share the latest little bit. I'm trying to learn how to develop characters- something I've never had to do in blogs or poetry! It's good exercise- and now I just need a sounding board...

Harold Posey straightened his tie and stood taller, noticing his reflection in the heavy revolving door of the Nugget. His white shirt was stiff and itchy- no doubt a result of Martha Baldwin down at the Dry and Press using too much starch.

Of course, everything was going to seem uncomfortable after after wearing tee shirts and jeans to work for the past ten years. But he had finally gotten the chance to hang up the shovel of a laborer and move into the position of a floor supervisor at Rebel's new casino.

It didn't hurt one single bit that his sister Dottie was dating the personal director, Wilson Gray. And it also didn't hurt that Harold let Wilson win at poker on more than one occasion. Buying that expensive bottle of whiskey that the three of them shared during the last football game had apparently been the deciding factor that tipped the scales in Harold's favor.

It was nice to be someone. To not blend into a haze of dust and denim. No longer soaking up the noise of heavy machinery and crunching gravel and men who cussed as easily as they said hello. His fingernails were clean for the first time in months and his skin smelled soapy -and a nice kind of spicy-(thanks to his new underarm deodorant). His unruly brown hair was finally tamed into a stylish spike, and the full beard had been clipped away, revealing a goatee that even his sister Dottie approved of.

He had only been at his new job two weeks, but he sensed that the clientele of the Nugget respected him. He could tell by the way they smiled, or tossed him look of approval across the room, or tipped him with a fan of green bills that he tucked inside his fancy black suit. If they had ever noticed his calloused hands or stooped shoulders, they never let on.

Harold caught his reflection again. This time in the massive mirrors that flanked the bar. He looked like he belonged here- on the maroon print carpet beneath crystal chandeliers- wearing a black brocade vest and a plum colored tie- his shoes so shiny they looked like glass.

He had a nice golden key chain nestled into the watch pocket of his freshly pressed slacks, although the key was merely a small plastic card with a mag strip that allowed him access to a variety of stations and floors and doors that smelled like new paint.

His favorite part of the uniform was the bronze name tag that he carefully pinned neatly below his left lapel every morning. His name had been abbreviated. H.F. Posey
But it sounded so much better than Harold Fitzgerald Posey.   
H.F. had a sense of adventure to it- like the name of  guy that just might know a thing or two about safari hunting or world travel.  H.F. had a distinguished ring to it, too- like a professor that wrote novels as thick as his arm- and knew how to suck on a pipe without choking.

It had gotten to where Harold even hated going back to his trailer every night. He'd pop some popcorn, swig a beer, and stare at the ancient TV that snowed more than a Siberian blizzard. The place was a dump, and Harold began seeing that fact more clearly every day.

Harold suddenly noticed a lady standing in the lobby fumbling with her purse and it occurred to him that maybe she had lost something. He ran his fingers through his hair, cleared his throat, tugged at his vest, and approached her.

"May I help you?" he asked, placing both hands behind his waist and bowing slightly.
"No. No thank you,"she replied, sniffing into a pink tissue and adjusting her sunglasses.

Below the rim of the tortoiseshell glasses, Harold noticed two black streaks of mascara. Her cheeks were a bit flushed and it was obvious she had been crying. She looked exhausted and tired, not like a woman who would show up in the middle of the day to gamble.

Her tight white leggings hugged blue suede stilettos and a silky blouse printed with nautical anchors barely covered her abundant cleavage. Her hair was unnaturally black, long- with delicate ringlets that bounced like feathers when she moved.

"I'm H. F. Posey," he introduced himself, pointing at his name tag, "I'd be glad to help you any way I can. Do you need a room? A taxi?...

"A drink," she said, grabbing his arm and leading him to the bar.

To be continued....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This Too Shall Pass

It's raining today.

Not one of those bright, mystical,enchanting rains that come in the spring.
Not one full of music and greenness and the smell of happy.

This rain is gray and thick with shadows.
Fragrant with moldy leaves and dirty concrete.

This rain is ill.

It cries from the sky and grows weaker...
and becomes pale from too little sunlight
and the absence of warmth.

The raindrops touch my skin,
saturate my clothes-
bury themselves in my hair like silver dust.

And I become infected.

I, too, grow sick with this winter plague-
uncertain if I'll recover soon-
or be tossed into an epidemic coma
that bleeds sorrow for months to come..

Rain ticks at my windows-
runs off the roof in search of a cure...

The pond swells with the weight of misery...
Even the bluejays seem disheartened-
and coffee-colored puddles reflect pockets of bloated clouds.

I need a transfusion.

I need to fill my veins with the medicine of summer.
I need a shot of sunshine.
I need a dose of delight,
a pill of positivity,
and an intravenous flood of "feel good".

Until then,
I curl up tighter beneath my woolen blankets-
Make a toasty cave

and wait for this to pass.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Say Ahhhhhhhhh...

I've been having little sensitivity issue with my teeth lately. I'm very lucky to still have all the original fillings that my dentist put in when I was about fifteen years old. However, lately the occasional ice cube or cold food would bring about a sharp pain that made me say bad words.

So, last night I made a visit to my son, Dr. Frazier, and he was more than willing to crank back that hydraulic chair and pry my mouth open wider than a Scream mask.

He numbed me up with Nasty On a Stick and in moments I felt like the Elephant Man.

Then he tricked me into thinking he had this:
When he really had THIS:

And this:

...When he actually had THIS:

But, being the gentle man that he is, it was a totally pain free experience and I had a new filling in minutes!

Now remember, Readers:

1. Brush after every meal

2. Cut back on sweets

3. Don't use your teeth as tools

4. And keep smiling!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Burden of Unkept Promises

Sometimes those hours between midnight and dawn are like little doors that open and close and draw you into faraway thoughts. Your body should be sleeping, but instead- you drift...
Your soul is restless, your mind questions, your brain plans, your memory replays visions....oftentimes your instinct worries- yet, other times your heart finds hope.

I drifted into one of those doorways this morning. It was situated somewhere between 1 and 2 am. And behind it stood a lifetime of resolutions.
When a person says "resolutions", we tend to think of New Year's Eve- of a giddy, half-serious, handwritten list of habits we wish to break- or dreams that we desire.

But actually resolutions come to us all during our lifetime, and they come to us in many forms. Some are ardent prayers, others simple plans, and still others are a detailed layout of the future.

This morning I realized that mine have been promises. To myself.
Promises I didn't keep.

How would I treat a friend that had broken so many promises?
Well, I would find it hard to believe and trust them again.

And yet, I excuse myself !
I fully accept "sweeping them under the rug", giving up without a fight...
forgetting completely and without remorse-  the zest and determination that fevered those promises.

When I was young, I wanted so badly to "be somebody". To grow up famous and wealthy and successful.
But now, I just want to be "me".

It's in these early morning hours of meditation and reflection that I realize how difficult that is. How painfully unfathomable is that goal of being the person that I know I can be!
It's sad, really. Like being lost in a forest and not knowing which way to go... Afraid to go anywhere at all-  because you might lose sight of the sunlight through the trees...
...that you might stumble and fall- and forever be a prisoner in a stranger's body.

Last night my husband and I ran into two old friends of ours- and after a bit of laughter and reminiscing, the woman looks at me and says. "What do you do now?"

I froze.
And then said, "nothing".

What was I supposed to say? I blog?
I wash clothes and dishes and dirty floors?
I dust and doodle and read and write and watch old black and white movies on TCM?
I dream? I eat? I nap?

That I make millions of resolutions that I never keep? That I meant to be productive, artistic, healthy and thin? That I meant to have a career, a purpose, an independent income... an interesting life?

Resolutions....Those promises that disappoint, die, and dishearten...

But it is only because I have allowed them to be such.
It's gotten to the point where no one listens anymore. No one believes or trusts that I'm going to do those things that I say...that I'm going to be "me".
I've simply "cried wolf" so many times that my voice is blocked out... and silent.

I had written a comment in my new daughter-in-law's blog that this year I was ready to start my transformation.
Last night my son says jokingly- "Feel free to start coming out of your cocoon anytime, Mom."
And we all had a good laugh.

But last night when the doors of solitude and reflection opened, it suddenly wasn't funny anymore.
Reality stabbed me like a knife. It stung over and over again like an angry bee.
I had not only let myself down, but I had also let others down.
Friends and family that had expected more from me than what I had given.

How do you say "I'm sorry"?
How do you regain that faith they once had in you?

How do you go into that forest and blaze a path so beautiful and clear that you never become lost again?


"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born."
       - Dr. Dale Turner

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tool Time

I've been nesting.

I know you understand what I mean by that.

Contrary to what my husband believes, I was NOT sitting on my "couch nest" all day nibbling on crunchy snacks.
I was rearranging, fluffing,filing (and making a dozen or more holes in the drywall that I'm trying to hide from my "hammer boss").

All this was Yard Sale/Goodwill finds

I knew I had to break away from the computer- and all those usual daily chores- to actually switch things up a bit- decoratively speaking.

And I might not have gotten up the energy at all, except for one fact:

My husband thinks we're midgets.

Let me explain...

We got a flat screen TV from my son a few months ago, and my husband finally decided agreed got tired of me nagging - so he prepared to mount it on the living room wall.
Luckily, he's got a wife that knows where to find the flashlight, drill, level, screws, sharpened pencil, bolts, nuts and all other manner of contraptions needed to start this project.

"Right there..." he says, drawing a faint line on the wall.

"That's the bottom?' I ask, peering over his shoulder.

"No- that is the middle." he answered smugly.

 I kinda went berserk.

"Oh my Gosh- what are we- midgets? There's no way that TV needs to be placed so low! It will look like there's a tiny television on a giant, bare wall! It looks... so...stoooopid!"

"You're stoooopid..." he mimicked, drilling the screws into the drywall with an added punch of "I'm always right."

He sits down on the couch and pretends like he's drinking a beer and clicking the remote - "See..." he says, "it's eye level- just perfect...right where it should be."

I let it go. It wasn't worth fighting about.
I just felt so blessed that the TV wasn't still leaning up against the bed in my daughter's old room.

But yesterday, I had to do something.
That wall looked so bare!

So, I found a couple of frames in my junk art spare room and printed off two pictures on my computer. I just scotch taped them to the back and hung them up.Viola! Instant satisfaction!

It grounded all that open space and made the TV look as though it was installed at the "almost-correct" height.
I've still got to be on the lookout for a console, table, or other flea market piece of furniture to place under it to hide the cords and hold the DVD player and such.
I'm sure I'll come across something at Goodwill.

Or at the midget furniture store...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beans and Babies

While finally hanging up my new January calendar this morning, I noticed that tomorrow is Epiphany-(also known as Twelfth night).

I had to look that one up.


noun, plural -nies. 1. ( initial capital letter ) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day

However, when Daniel Webster is somewhat vague with his definition, I rely on Wikipedia for all my pertinent information.  

Wikipedia clarifies things a bit, telling us that Twelfth Night also marks the last day of Christmas festivities. (Could this be the 12 Days of Christmas?)

What interested me the most was that this holiday is designated as a time for merrymaking.
Wow! When was the last time you had a chance to make some merry? 

(Oh- yeah, I forgot- New Year's Eve.)

Personally, anytime I get the chance for merrymaking- or any excuse reason
holiday   chance to break my resolutions, I usually go for it. 

Anyway- I also discovered from my internet sources that it is considered unlucky to leave Christmas decorations up past this date.

(Hellooooooo- lady with the 60,595 bright twinkling lights, plastic Santa and sleigh, 45 - 5 ft candy canes and ten giant blow-up snow globes! It's time to take them down! It's time to put up those six thousand Easter eggs, giant bunnies and tacky lavender baskets full of artificial daffodils!)

I just had to say something.
That kind of thing bugs me...

Some sources mention the inclusion of cake and alcohol- which I totally agree upon.
One custom is that a bean and a pea are baked into a cake. Slices of the cake are handed out to the guests and whoever gets the bean is declared "king", and the person getting the pea is "queen". Then the "king" is put in charge of the celebration and merrymaking.

Sounds right to me.

Southern tradition tweaks that a bit and hides a little plastic baby in a cake. 


Nothing like biting down on a tiny synthetic baby head to make the merrymaking even merrier! But I suppose after the alcohol, it probably goes down fairly easy.

Personally, I prefer my giant, deep-fat fried donuts with cheese, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry filling. 

But that's just me...

I suppose that in order to celebrate Epiphany or Twelfth Night correctly, I better take a quick drive to town and wave goodbye to that ten food plastic Santa, pick up some alcohol, and find a plastic baby to cook.

Enjoy your holiday!

Just wanted to add a little note today to wish my sister-in-law Karla a wonderful, fun-filled birthday! Karla has been adopting a new healthy lifestyle and has lost a lot of weight since December! Yay, Karla! We hope to play follow the leader this year- with you at the lead!
Folks, this lady has got to be one of the sweetest and most soft-spoken people I know- but at the same time she holds her ground and stays tough! Love that!

And we love you, too, Karla!! Happy Birthday!

Now- on with the merrymaking!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Have A Daydream

I've got resolutions. Really.
I do.

My list consists of a poorly handwritten paper numbered one to ten.
Or so...
Kinda lost count.

Am I keeping those resolutions?
Absolutely Yes Maybe  Well, only in my imagination, to be honest.
But, my-oh-my how vividly I see the result of well made plans.
If only I could go back and keep every resolution I ever made!

Things would be different.
Yes, siree.

... Video daydream starts now...

Dim the lights. Take 1. ACTION.

I float effortlessly through the living room, bending down to pick up newspapers and dog toys- twirling in graceful pirouettes like Tinkerbell herself. I'm no longer inhibited by belly rolls... and my glossy, freshly brushed and flossed mouth no longer emits crude grunts or curses as I fold myself in half to fluff the couch cushions.
My hair is tossed and messy. But in a good way. Like in a Charlize Theron kind of way.

My makeup is flawless. My bare feet are soft as silk- no longer plump and crusty- no jagged nails or cheap, peeling polish. I sport a perfect pedicure- each toe dotted with Pale Persimmon from the best salon. And my manicure is topped off with French tips- my hands tanned and smooth from daily moisturizing.

I'm wearing skinny jeans with a fitted, button-down blouse.

And no one is laughing.

I go to my closet to find sheets for the bed. There they are-  all neatly stacked and color-coordinated  and folded like Martha Stewart says they should be. They smell like fresh cotton- not like old gym shoes. Everything in my closet is pleasing to the eye - proper hangers, cubbies for the shoes, belts on a revolving rack...In fact, my entire house is a peaceful little place of feng shui harmony.

I grab an itsy-bitsy container of yogurt as I leave the house and skip out to the truck. It's clean, waxed, polished and still smells like "new car". There's no mud hanging from the running boards or last summer's mosquitoes still smashed on the windshield. And there's no Dairy Queen Blizzard in the cup holder.

After a refreshing three mile jog around the park, I return home to pay bills.
The envelopes of my electric bill and car payment are still cold from the mailbox, but I pay them immediately.

My desk is efficient and immaculate, yet- at the same time- both trendy and cute. Reams of paper are nestled in a wicker basket, bills are stored in an attractive file folder... and tape, clips, stamps and pencils are artfully arranged in an eye pleasing

Later, I knit a new scarf for my sister, bake two peach pies, do an hour of yoga and write half a novel. And I still have the energy of a hummingbird!

...Oh, wait...the picture is fading! I'm losing it! I...I...

Here I am back in reality.
With my list.

Hoping that it's never too late to start again.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Drawing Straws

I think one of my favorite things about grade school was getting to drink chocolate milk from those miniature cartons. It cost three cents to buy chocolate milk- compared to two cents for the white- but I never did like milk in the first place. Only chocolate made it bearable for me.
Plus the wonderful striped straws!

Who wouldn't enjoy a refreshing beverage sipped from a red and white paper straw?
This simple accessory made lunchtime entertaining and attractive.

Marvin C. Stone invented the drinking straw on January 3rd, 1888. Experimenting with paper wrapped around a pencil- and a wax coating, he introduced the world to a timeless way of enjoying a drink.
Or shooting paper wads.

I think many of us today take this invention for granted- rarely considering the advantage and tidiness of a straw. Every fast food and sit-down restaurant in the country offers a straw with the purchase of a drink.
Free! Hey- take two if you want!
Can you imagine the mess that some kids would make with a chocolate shake or a root beer float- if they didn't have a straw?
And how would we adults stir our mixed drinks at the bar without that little red straw-stirrer?

Straws are sometimes like the cherry on a sundae- just extra bling on an otherwise ho-hum food presentation. Doesn't a tall glass of icy lemonade just look better with a straw? And doesn't it make an iced coffee seem more sophisticated?

But maybe you just want to play with straws.... Like this:

Pinterest image

I even found a website where you can buy the original paper straws:
Thanks. Mr. Stone- for inventing this simple pleasure!

Well, I'm off to keep my New Year's resolutions! Which is why you may want to tune in later this week when I'll probably need an umbrella in my drink instead of a straw!

But, you know- sometimes that's Just The Way It Is...