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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ready or Not... it's almost here

Nothing profound or even reasonably wise to say today, this last day of 2013.  I will say nothing takes the zing out of getting home after ten days away like arriving in Nash to find you and 3,000 other residents are without power.  Such was last night for Benji and Andrea but after lighting candles and getting all settled in, on came the lights, "and to all a good night".  OK...enough of Christmas.  It's almost the new year.

In my sleep or just as I was becoming conscious this morning, I saw in my head where that other piece of glass goes, in the refrigerator.  My mind is just like that.  If I give it time and just chill, it will usually tell me where things are that I've lost or give me solutions for things I can't figure out.

It was almost like a snap shot in my head with that glass. You couldn't see where the glass went, once the drawers went back in.  Wellllll, dee duh.  Take the drawers out and look.... and bingo.  Now all is back in place and I'm feeling pretty damn on top of things, let me just tell ya.  In fact, I'm even thinking of doing some yard work so maybe I just need to chill a minute and wait for that idea to pass.

As Sis snores loudly below me in her bed all burrito-ed up in quilts and fluffy white duvet, I'm reminded of all the (non material) gifts I've been given, all the love shared, and an old black hound dog girl who still delights and brings me joy every day. good does it get???

Here's to 2014!                                            

Monday, December 30, 2013

Well, crud

As luck would have it, I'm having a little afternoon snafu--of the refrigerator kind.  In my zest to clean out the refrigerator this morning after Benji and Andrea hit the road, I took a big old piece of glass out of somewhere and now I can't figure out where it goes.  Shuuuuudup.  There was a several hour lag of time from when I started to when I actually finished so hence the confusion.  There were actually two pieces I took out to clean and no, it's not as plain as the nose on my just goes....someplace.....somewhere I have yet to determine, that's all. hell....I don't know.  One was obvious....the other one not so much.

Now my refrigerator gets a lot of action anyway but the holidays pushed that gal to the edge, so it's no wonder I'm trying to help her with her parts.  Getting them clean anyway.  I'll keep monkeying around and see what I come up with or give the job to you know who.  He can usually figure out stuff like that but then, he doesn't do much with the refrig other than stand there with the door open.

I have a big old pot of vegetable soup I just made for dinner.  After all that food over the holidays (and I didn't even go crazy at all this year) I just want a clear soup without any MEAT.  No dairy, no meat.  Nada.  The cookbook I'm using is one of my winter favorites because the gals who wrote it are hilarious.  They have a whole page of ideas of what you can do with old, stale bread (the good stuff--not Wonder Bread) and the very first line says "Put a crouton in anything and it's guaranteed a kid will eat it".  Then they proceed to tell you how to make them and they are a mean little son of a gun to throw on soup, salad, or simply throw straight on your mouth.  Shooowee.  Some things are just worth the carbs.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Buckle up: approaching 2014

Since it's cold and dreary looking outside, I'm taking time this afternoon to think about the last year--the good, bad, and the ugly--as I get ready for 2014.  I always enjoy a brief stroll down memory lane reminding myself of what lessons I learned and what my take-away was from each one.  Then I laugh my a** off over the stuff I angsted over that wasn't worth the time or energy.  One thing I have learned is that if I don't get the lesson, whatever it is, I'm doomed to repeat it and since most of them are not fun and require lots of personal growth (pain), I'd just as soon get them the first time around.  I know you feel me here.  I can just tell.

For 2014, here are a few of the things I plan to concentrate on:

1.  Having fun--no matter what that looks like to anyone else
2.  Playing more with little kids *see #1
3.  Planting more of my pots when it warms up
4.  Making more salads and eating less meat
5.  Eating more vegetables
6.  Reading more books now that the holidays are over
7.  Reading the paper and Internet LESS
8.  Listening to my intuition more
9.  Hibernating if that's what I feel like doing when it's cold
10. Drinking more tea in the afternoon and pretending like I'm in England
11. Making an attitude of gratitude a priority
12. Laughing a whole lot more
13. Taking life and myself a LOT less seriously
14. Spending more time outside in nature             

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Somebody's 4!!

Round two of the chalupa caper is in the slow cooker for a small baby boy to take back to Nash. After nine hours in the car, you just need something to roll up in a tortilla or dump over Fritos, when you get home and unpack.  They don't leave for another day or two but to taste the best, chalupas need time to make friends with all the ingredients and laze around for a bit.  Hence the do ahead.  Also, since I originally cooked half a pig, this was the easy version.  Dump, heat, season, taste, adjust, etc.

Today is Avery's (The Smalls) birthday (big # 4) so her mom invited me to come to her party at KidArt, after lunch.  All of her sweet little friends were sitting at kid sized tables doing art projects, quiet as little mice.  Man....what a difference girl children make.  A quiet birthday party with everyone seated?  Never had seen it before and almost burned my eyeballs off to know it was even possible.  Boys are always leaping, yelling, running, so this was a brave new world for me.  That's Hudson and a friend in the background and even they were quiet.  Holy moly.     
What a relief to have all the Christmas gear down and stowed for another year.  I don't know about you but when I'm over it I'm really over it.  Every year, down it all comes the day after Christmas and I sigh a huge sigh of relief adios. 

Last but not least, on Christmas morning the phone rang and it was Senora Maria calling to wish us Feliz Navidad.  She had her family there with her and wanted us to know she was thinking of us. It was a gift to hear her voice and I assured her we were thinking of them as well.  They are such a cool family and neat people and I miss her, but know her hands are just too full with her son who is ill.  Sometimes that's just how life is. 
Happy Saturday to all and now it's nap time.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

And...we're done

And what a Christmas it was.  Fun, funny, tender, and very sweet.  Imperfect, sad, hopeful, and full of change.  A new year is coming and lots to look forward to and lots to be very glad is over.  In short, time to move on and move forward to a new season and a new world.

Our family went to visit mom this afternoon along with two of my nieces, and their mom.  At first mom was out of it and confused, but the longer we talked with her, back to the partay she came.  Or, at least the performer in her rose to the occasion.  She hadn't seen some of the grand kids in a good while so I'm sure she was confused at first, but she made a comment or two that let us all know she was somewhat on top of things.  Another visitor's family had brought their dachshund with them so we borrowed her for a second, and it was like old times.  Mom went nuts seeing their dog and loving on it, so no wonder she rallied.  Nothing stirs old family memories for my group like a dachshund.  

I am beyond grateful for all that I have and all the people I love and that love me.  I'm also grateful for the ones that don't, for they are my teachers.  Life is all about living and learning, and I don't want to miss a single lesson.

 And that's a wrap, baby.  Done and done. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013


The lull before the storm.  Andrea and Benji are on their way here from Nashville as are loads of other folks heading home for Christmas.  As a result, I have done my usual "blanket prayer" to cover anyone traveling by air, car, boat, 4-wheeler, or anyone brave (crazy) enough to go to a mall.  Heaven protect you.

As I stroll down memory lane this morning, I'm thinking of all those near and dear to me and now departed--specifically Wiggles Felix Francis Harris, man dog extraordinaire.  I'm remembering the Christmas BS (before Sis) when I bought him a regal, royal looking velvet neck doo-dad (think joker collar with the pointy ends) with jingle bells on each pointy end.  He was in the kitchen with all of us when I put it on him, amidst shreiks of laughter.  Each step made him jingle-- and as hard as he tried to get away from himself and the infernal jingling, he simply could not.  Ohhh, the pain....the agony.  The embarrassment.  He liketa died.  And we loved it. ((This will give you the idea but now remember...his was purple velvet.)

Quickly, off it came, but every year, out came the Christmas Torture, to at least don for a moment of hilarity, at a great sports expense.  You have never seen a more relieved dog than when that purple jingle thing went back into the drawer for another year.  I don't know what happened to it but it's g-o-n-e.  (I bet he took it with him to Dog Town when he died, as proof of what he'd endured.  Sort of like extra credit.)

I'm remembering all the years we tied the left over package ribbons on all of our animals and how Muffin (cat) liked to hide out in all the boxes and play.  When we all left the room to go get ready for lunch, Muff could be heard playing Christmas Cat Polo with box lids, wads of tissue paper, or wrapping paper, swatting it all over the hardwoods and enjoying himself to the max.  If you walked by, he was not averse to launching straight out of a box at you, after hunkering down waiting for "prey". A little fresh Christmas catnip and he was off in his own little "cat world".  I still maintain catnip is merely cat weed and boy, did he love it.  He used to roll in it-- as well as eat it.  I guess a stoned cat is a happy cat.

In short, I cannot imagine a Christmas without animals. It just wouldn't be right.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Still Shopping?

Attention last minute shoppers.  I'm getting ready to save your bacon so listen up.  If you want to find the coolest gifts ever, for all ages, and would rather poke your eye out than head for a Mall--any mall--go to Whole Earth Provisions.  I was in there yesterday playing and almost lost my ever lovin' mind.  They have everything from Uggs to toys and loads of gear (literally) in between.  But it was my inner five year old that twerked off.  (No, not like Miley.)

I had heard from a friend that she buys a Christmas toy every year for her family to all PLAY with and scream over.  Yes, they are all grown ups but who cares...we like toys too so off I went to the one in Preston Forest.  I got so overwhelmed I asked one of the sales dudes to tell me which ones were the most fun and most popular.  Suffice it to say I should never be allowed in a toy store.  I wanted to sit down and play with all of the stuff...and did I mention their stuffed animals and hand puppets?  And the science stuff??  I wanted ALL of it.  Welcome to my inner child. 

Let's just say it's a very good thing the train whistles were wrapped in cellophane.  Some people simply cannot control themselves. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

And the cooking begins...

It's a little after 8:30 AM and my house already smells like a Mexican restaurant. I got up early to get my chalupas and beans going and have had to resort to dueling crock pots.  My pork shoulder was pretty big so it's doing it's thing swimming in my new birthday toy, while the beans swim and snorkel around in the other one.  Yes, the theory is to do them together but I would need a cauldron to do that with what I currently have cooking and I'd look like Granny Clampett.  (The flavor just gets better the longer these have a chance to mingle hence the do ahead.) 

We are having a partay on Sunday for both sides of the family's kids, hence the food.  It's a casual come and go, hang out, eat if you want, don't eat if you don't want, don't come if you don't want to, type deal.  Dr. Frostie, my niece, is on call so I hope she gets to come.  Last year she brought one of her dogs, Cash, a long haired dachshund, and he was the total star of the party.  Sis hated him for stealing the limelight but not for too long.  And speaking of Sis, I haven't yet shared with her that she'll be serving time in her dad's bathroom during the party so she won't get stepped on.  Yeah, that's not going to go down well with her but it's just for a little while.  She can come out towards the end and cruise and work the room.

Last year I caught her raised up on her hind legs trying to slurp hummus off the den coffee table with that long frog tongue of hers.  Party manners are just not her thing.  Another reason for bathroom jail.  I don't want to have to police her.

It's Friday, we all made it through the week, so remember to take care of yourself and rest.  "NO" is a complete sentence so practice saying it.  It's easy and you're worth it.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Love Languages: What's Yours?

There are some things I only do once a year like make cinnamon rolls, fudge, biscotti, and special Christmas cookies that are my absolute favorites.  I only do these once a year because that's what makes them special.  Making them, I learn something every year about myself and life.  Here's what I've learned recently.

1.  If  I make biscotti, I will eat it.  I will definitely give some away but I'm gonna eat it.  Period.
2.  Ditto fudge, cinnamon rolls, and cookies.
3.  I am really making these things because I enjoy them and love giving them away in hopes that others will feel the love.
4.  It is FUN. I enjoy every single minute. 
5.  It allows me to be creative and play.  Heavy on the play.
6.  It brings me joy.  It's just one  way for me to give unconditionally.
7.  There is something magical about roll dough.  It is soft and satiny as a baby and smells just as good. 
8.  Cinnamon, sugar, flour, melted butter and the smell of rolls cooking says love like nothing else can.
9.  Cleaning up the above is a pain in the butt but worth every second.
10. Cooking is one of my love languages. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

'Tis the Season

In my annual 'Tis the Season post, I thought I'd  post a list of ideas and suggestions to keep in mind for the next two weeks.  Some folks may get overly marinated in family so here are some of my ideas.

1.  For any family visits/activities, take two cars.  That way if one of you needs to bolt, you can.
2.  BEFORE going to any functions with family, PLAN YOUR ESCAPE, should you need to.
3.  Determine a code word that means "I'm the hell out of here".  Do not tell little kids or they will blab.
4.  Get plenty of rest and quiet.  Take your kids to the park and let them run until they are ragged.
5.  Treat family members as if they were new acquaintances. It helps tremendously when you'd like to murder them.
6.  Don't over share, over drink, over anything.
7.  Mind your manners even if you are related.  Being kind doesn't mean be a doormat.  It just means be nice.
8.  Laugh a lot.  And then laugh some more.
9.  Nobody likes a martyr so go when you've hit your limit.  You're not gonna get a medal so just GO.
10. Get outside in nature and take a walk, go to White Rock Lake, walk your dog (borrow one if necessary), or call a trusted friend and share family stories.  *See # 8.
11.  Remember Christmas is just one day and it happens every year.  Limit your expectations or better still, don't have any. 
12.  And finally, it could always be worse.  Your last name could be Kardashian.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


It doesn't happen every year but it's for sure happening this year...I've got a TERRIBLE case of the I wants.  Usually, there's just not that much I care much about, so when I do find things I like, I tend to go berserk. I'm a  feast or famine shopper.  I don't unleash the beast often but when there are things that I really like, I let myself have them.  And things I really like, I want a bunch of, in all different colors.  And I want to play with 'um.

Yesterday my neighbor and I went to the wholesale Nursery.  It was like being turned loose in a candy store.  Colors, all different textures, plants of all different shapes, sizes, species....omg....brain flood.  Suddenly, I was so overwhelmed I had to just stand there and drink it all in.  I started in the poinsettias.  I had taken a container I planned to use and while it looked fine, it was just too blah.  Next, I hit the cyclamen for my planters outside.  I filled up one box and proceeded to fill another one.  As my neighbor went about her shopping, we both admitted how easily we go into paralysis from beauty overload-- and she does this for a living.   

Then on to the orchids and succulents.  Lawd, lawd lawd.... please just let me just die here.  We. had. a. ball.  No sooner did I get home and get unloaded than I had to play with my toys.  My neighbor and I texted back and forth pictures: good, bad, or ugly, and then we did the front door hand off for her box of green moss to cover the plant tops in their respective containers. ( I did that part outside today on my table in the back yard so I wouldn't have a messy clean up.  Man, is that moss messssssy...but FUN.)   

I think allowing myself to make things beautiful is excellent self care.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dinner? Why not.

I've said it before and I'm saying it again. Pope Francis is the type of spiritual leader for this world  I've personally needed to see for a l-o-n-g time.  He is so on message, such a REAL role model, that I can't wait for Christmas Eve to watch him on TV from the Vatican.  I don't watch the whole thing--just a little bit-- and it puts the spirit in me every year and gives me the chills.  Even though I am not Catholic, there is just something so familiar and uplifting--spiritually stirring-- that a few minutes is all I need.

I don't think you have to be religious to be spiritual.  To me, they are not one and the same.  Some folks may not agree with me on that, and that's totally OK.  That's what makes this big old world interesting.  We each get to believe and practice exactly what feels right to us, and Pope Francis just does it for me.  The whole Catholic message isn't for me but that's not the point.  I can connect with him regardless of my beliefs because he's so open. 

While I'm betting he's no pushover, I'm thinking he'd be a really cool best friend.  I don't see him as being judgmental, critical, or arrogant.  I see him as being an incredible listener, someone whose wisdom is from a life of real "doing" vs talking about doing, and I understand he's a man with a wicked sense of humor.  

Can you imagine getting to call his cell and just talk with him?  Hey...that's what best friends do, so since he'd be my BFF, I'd get to-- and I could ask him how he sees things, what he daydreams about, if he misses his old life as a Cardinal.  I'd love to know who his best friend is (besides God), and what his favorite book is and, no, the Bible doesn't count.  Does he read magazines?  Which ones?  What does he do for fun?  What brings him the most joy?

If I could choose the person of 2013 who I'd most like to have dinner with, hands down it's him.  Who's your pick?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


From year to year, there are lots of things I forget but I'd forgotten for a second how seriously snoopy my kids get at this time of year.  Since one lives out of town, he's off the hook currently--until he hits town--and then he's just as guilty.  As Christmas gets closer, they start scoping out presents.  Whose is whose, what it sounds like when shaken, such that I used to try to address their gifts to other people to throw them off.  I'm brain just can't handle that much chaos anymore without a computer printout, and that brings me nicely to online snooping.

Oh, yeah, baby.....they do that, too.  They'll take a stroll through your recent emails to see if the sender might be from someone or for something you've ordered that was on their list.  They think I don't know this but I do.  My best hiding places for wrapped or unwrapped gifts have all been plundered since they were teens....having any surprises takes lots of effort and ingenuity and this year, I'm fresh out of both.  We used to hide the wrapped gifts in the top of my closet until the boys not only found them, they thoroughly investigated (unwrapped) several.  I've been known to hide some at Mary's so I'm no novice.  With two of them on the hunt, I'm just outnumbered here.

I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, though, and one I just wrapped for Brian has been thoroughly booby trapped.  If he does anything other than just gaze at it, I'm gonna know.  I'm not telling how.... if I do he'll read it here and figure out a way in.  He also just called wanting to talk to "Ms. Claus" and find out how much cash he had to shop with, and what on his list it was to cover.  Puuuulease....if I answer that, dude, you know exactly what I've already gotten you!!  Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Wow.  Sometimes I realize I don't know which path to take.  Last night was a perfect example.  The holiday dinner on mom's unit.  The few from her unit who attended with family, were all light years more capable than mom.  They had dolled mom all up--make up, fluffed her hair, and some of her new clothes--but what I keep remembering is how cold she was in the dining room, (we got her a blanket) and how after awhile, she simply shut down.  Plus, the "fluffers" didn't know mom before she came to the unit, so how they dolled her up didn't look a thing like her.  They couldn't possibly have known that and I do not blame them.  It was just another layer of added weirdness.  Dinner with someone who is your mother, but looks nothing like her.

At first she tried to enjoy herself, tried to talk, then came the yawns, and by the time the salad course came, it was time for her jammies.  We fed her beef tenderloin, scalloped potatoes, and vegetables, warm jalapeno cheese bread, and she drank her favorite Cranberry juice and water.  My brother told her the cranberry juice was wine and then she choked, laughing.  The flambeed baked Alaska was a bite or two and then zip.  Lock jaw.  Time to roll her back home.

I was surprised to see how many from her unit were not attending.  I'm sure with some families living out of town, ice on the roads, and the expense, lots of people decided not to attend this year and that's what I'm thinking for next year, assuming she's still alive.  I really hope I don't have to make that choice but I will if I have to.

I just am not sure which path to take-- and luckily, it's not for another year so no decision is required today.   I may not have to make one anyway.   
And speaking of all things weird, I walked into Nordstrom's yesterday only to find most of their power was off.  Minimal lighting (wish I'd brought Benji's head lamp from camp) but people were still shopping and carrying on as usual.  You could put purchases on a credit card with their little hand held scanner phones and that's what I did, and it emails you your receipt.  Don'tcha just love progress?  I sure do!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


As I sip my coffee this morning, I am thinking about how grateful I am.  I am grateful our power never went off like others experienced during this iceageddon.  I'm grateful to be able to hear the birds out front yakking at each other wondering what the hell just happened in our front yard.  Big branches are still down and we plan to attempt to drag them to the curb later today.  Notice I said attempt.  Some of these are big honkin' limbs and I'm a little leery of getting underneath any branches still attached, but am willing to give it a shot.  (flexes muscles)

I'm grateful for social media and as much as I hate it sometimes, it was a great way to stay in touch and know what was happening with others and how they were faring.  I'm also grateful I was able to get out for awhile yesterday so I didn't have to pull my hair out.  I can only stay cooped up for so long before it gets ugly.

I am grateful for laughter and there's been lots of it over the last few days.  Nothing gets your juices flowing better than a good old belly laugh, which brings me to yesterday and my neighbor (Claire's mom).  In short, she thought there was wood or something burning in a front yard down the block, so she called 911.  I saw the fire truck stop at the end of the block and went outside to ask what was going on.  The firemen (OOO, la la) asked me if I was the one who called or if I knew of a problem.  I stalled as l-o-n-g as I could but said no.  Turns out it was a false alarm, my neighbor saw car exhaust, thought it was a fire, and has now been crowned Block Ding-a-ling....but I did get a rare firemen sighting and for that I am really grateful.  I love me some hot firemen.  She and I texted back and forth all afternoon, laughing.  I thanked her for the early Christmas gift and could we please do it again soon.  If I can find a hot firemen 2014 calendar I'm going to give it to her for Christmas.

Tonight is the holiday dinner over on mom's unit entitled An Affair to Remember.  Considering this is an Alzheimer's unit, I find that an especially ironic title.  My brother and I are going, and while it's painful and not exactly fun, I am grateful mom is still here.  Every year I think this is probably the last Christmas she'll be here and here she is still perking.  Just shows you how little I know.

Lastly, I am so grateful for close friends who are like family, that are there or would be, if I needed anything.  They are wise, calm, sensible, and just downright FUN.  Woo hoo.  It's going to be a wonderful day.

Friday, December 6, 2013 hit

After the Utility room mayhem of a couple of days ago, we now have a big fat mess outside.  Holy cow....we are going to have some chain saw work ahead.  Given that we still have power, I am grateful and will proceed on, pretending I am our cleaning lady today.  Sis has a fresh chew bone she is hard at work on in the den, and I'm about to start doin' mah thang.  Cheers and happy Friday Ice Storm.

Hot coffee or hot chocolate to all!!  Stay warm.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wonder what that sound was?

There are all kinds of odd noises coming from underneath the table where I am.  There's the snuffle breathing, the whiffle sniff, and then the assorted yips and biffs and lip puffs, as one old gal squeezes in yet another afternoon nap.  How she can sleep that much and then sleep at night blows me.  I would be up howling at the moon if I did that but she never is.  Every night between 8:30 and 9:00pm, she'll wander to the den to get up into her "sleeping throne" and get snuggled in for the night. 

OMG....I just heard the most hellatious prolonged crashing sound... and now there's water running somewhere....  I mentioned yesterday to Bruce that our shelves (of my cookbooks and other stuff) in the Utility room were sagging, so I ran towards the water running the door of our Utility room.  What shelves?  We don't have any.  Not anymore.  I had to crawl across the counter top to turn off the water that flipped on, when everything came down.  It even flipped the trash can lid open.  Oh, damn it. 

and this

I think I'll just watch the news rather than clean it all up.  Seeing Bruce's face will be loads more fun.  :)))

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dog Spanx?

Poor Sis.  I just invited her to go on a walk with me and she was all for it that is until I put her pink harness on backwards and she looked like she was wearing dog Spanx.  The little chest belt clippie was too tight and the neck part bulged,.  She looked at me like it like "why can you not get this thing on right......Daddy can".  Oh, gimme a break, Sis. 

I finally got it on correctly, off we went, and less than a quarter of the way down the next block, she bailed.  That's the deal with her now.  One screw up, she gets in a mood, and she's done.  Me?  I brought her back home, took it off and will head back out shortly, ALONE, to enjoy this gorgeous day.  Forget you, Sis.

Now in other news, I went to check in on mom and made a supply run for toothpaste, perfume, and body creme.  I changed her perfume since it is winter, and the one she had been wearing was more a summer smell.  Hey....she may be in a nursing facility but you need to roll with the seasons or life gets too dull.  For the foreseeable future she'll be rockin' Chanel Allure, for her winter scent.  It's an old favorite and one I could find without having to go to NorthPark.  God forbid. 

She told her Hospice lady I was her "baby" no less than three times, as I stood there laughing, so she still knows who I am.  She was just back from getting her hair done and it looked lovely, and will, till after her nap.  By then, it will be all bent up and bed head will take over.  Such is life.

Headed out now to drop off her supplies and come right back.  Too gorgeous to waste this day inside.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

See ya, November

As I sip my coffee and look out at my front yard, I am reminded that one holiday month ends today and another begins tomorrow.  In the Black Friday and Cyber Monday chaos and craziness, I am so thrilled not to participate.  Today I know I have choices.  Lots of them.

Many years ago, I thought I didn't have any choices and in some cases I didn't.  Those days are gone.  Long gone.  This holiday season I plan to do more service, go in love, be kind, help others where I can, and take care of myself first--not last.  Like they tell you on a plane, if the cabin loses pressure, put on your own oxygen mask first.  Then you can really be of help to others.

Lots of us growing up learned that backwards.  We were told that to take care of ourselves first was somehow wrong, selfish, self centered.  Nothing could be more untrue.  If I take care of myself first, I have something left over to share.  If I don't .....well, you get the picture. 

Resting, avoiding the insanity where it lurks, honoring myself and my feelings, honoring yours, getting outside in nature, being with little kids, and loving you from a distance-- if that's what's required-- is still LOVE.  LOVE is not a one size fits all emotion.  It looks different at everyone's house and in everyone's lives.  For some people, love has to look a certain way for it to truly be categorized as love, or it doesn't count.  It has to fit in a certain predetermined mold and we all have to act a certain way, whether that's how we feel or not.   Yikes.  That's not love.  That's control.  That's dysfunctional. 

This holiday season I'm concentrating on recognizing and knowing my own limits.  I'm going to endeavor to really feel all my feelings--even the uncomfortable ones.  I'm going to laugh more and angst less.

Today that's where my true joy and peace reside.

*** Please remind me of this if I take a pre-Christmas nose dive.  Repetition strengthens and confirms.***

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Funniest line on FB yesterday.  As last minute grocery shoppers were complaining about the crowds, one gal from LA commented "I just went to Whole Foods.  It's easier to get into Syria".

Probably true.  :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ohhhh, Flounder....

While I snuggled with Sis this morning, Bruce showed me this photo of a friend's dog.  I could sooo relate.  It seems Flounder was left alone for awhile, didn't appreciate it in the least, so he did what all hounds do to retaliate--he drug out the trash.  All I can say is, at least he had fun.

I've come home to a few works of art like that and while it royally pisses me off, it also makes me laugh.  Look at that face.  Omg. Sooo busted.
Gobble, Gobble.  Flounder sure did.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I love my block!

Yesterday was a total hoot.  The seated lunch for Baby John next door was warm, fuzzy, and like family without all the drama.  Claire was beyond the cutest gal ever and seated at tiny kids tables, all of the kids were remarkably well behaved.  Score for their parents!  Well behaved children are always a credit to the time and effort their parents spend with them setting limits.  This bunch was phenomenal and their parents were so fun--at least the ones we were seated with--and even though we were the "oldsters" at the table, we felt like we fit right in, minus the wrinkles.

I was informed by one of the older little girls present that Claire and John's dog, Buddy, had "passed away".  (I had asked where he was thinking he was hidden in a back bedroom somewhere.  Oops.)  It seems old Buddy was old, not well, and just grumpy.  He had snapped at both kids recently and actually nipped Baby John's cheek a few weeks back, so when they went on a weekend trip last weekend, so did he.  Permanently. 

On arriving back home after that l-o-n-g walk across the driveway, we were remarking at how much we love our neighbors and our block.  Bruce remarked that we are sort of the " in town adopted grandparents next door" and we decided we LOVE that designation.

It was at lunch that we also found out about a single mom (and good friend of one of our lunch mates) who had moved in yesterday across the street from us, with her four kids, post a very recent divorce.  Ouch.  When we got home, out came the brownies I had made, onto a paper plate they went, and across the street I went to meet them all.  The mom was unpacking her car from a grocery run and looked exhausted, so I gave her the brownies, told her all my info was on the card on top, and to holler if she needed anything--our house was the one with the red front door.  I told her I was a retired nurse, adored kids, to let us help her if we could, and gave her a big hug.  Cue the tears.  We ended up laughing.  I was the hug. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Invisible String

In a little bit we'll be heading over next door for Baby John's Christening lunch.  (Bruce had to sing both services at church or we'd have gone to the actual Christening.)  As I wrapped Baby John's gift, I was thinking about the importance of honoring other people's religious and spiritual beliefs.  Since I was raised an Episcopalian at the very church where today's service is taking place, I realized while I know what that particular Church's belief is, I really don't know what his parent's spiritual path and beliefs might be.  No matter what I believe, it's hugely important for me to be mindful and respectful of the beliefs or spiritual practice of others.

With that in mind, I bought Baby John a children's book called The Invisible String.  It's a short story about two little twins--boy and a girl--who become afraid of being separated from their mom during a noisy thunder storm so their mom explains the idea of the Invisible String--the one that ties us all together, always and forever, even when we can't see each other or when someone is already in Heaven.  

It's the sweetest story and is such a comforting way to explain an otherwise abstract concept that no matter what, no matter what we believe or how we practice our religion or spiritual lives, or even where we are, we are all connected.  We are all one.

I thought it was a wonderful concept to remember, as we enter this holiday season.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

We are just back from a Petco run and are now loaded with dog food and a few dog cookies from the cookie bar.  I couldn't find Sis's favorite from last time, the peanut butter ones so I branched out to the Strawberry Peanut butter ones.  They look just like an Oreo, only pink, and it took me clutching the bag to keep the driver from tasting them as he drove home.  Seriously....that guy will eat anything if he thinks it has sugar in it.

Sis also scored a few animal crackers but I thought that was a little odd...cookies of animals for dogs to eat.  I also got her the heart healthy ones that are also for her joints.  Knowing her, she'll hate those.  Too healthy so fagedaboudit.

I just finished making the cornbread for my dressing.  It's cool and in a ziplock and I'll do the other prep in a day or two so throwing it all together is fast and easy.  Brian came by last night on a wood run and wanted to know what we are having on Thanksgiving.  I almost said liver but he knows I won't touch the stuff.  What he was really checking out was had I ditched the old favorites and replaced them with some other kind of nonsense or was I doing the usual.  I told him the usual, minus the queso green bean casserole.  I say queso because you add Velvetta to it and by then well, might as well have made queso.  He didn't throw too big a rod over me nixing it, considering I'm trying to protect all of our arteries and it's one less tonnage element to deal with.

In closing, let me just say I did show Sis's dad a little girl's dog dress- up Christmas dress (black velvet and plaid taffeta swirly skirt) for Sis, while he attempted to pay at the check out.  But I saved the worst for last.  A Mrs. Claus dog dress with sparkles......oh, could so own that dress.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Enuf already

With all due respect, I don't want to hear another word about the JFK assassination.  It was horrendous, it has not improved any with time, so let's be done with it.  Dredging back up all of that pain and terror benefits no one except school kids learning history, so take them to the Museum downtown on a field trip and let the rest of us move on.  Sometimes life is hard enough without reliving traumatic events. 

'Nuf said and that's just how I see it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


OK...I admit it.  I'm one of those women.  The kind that laugh and have a best friend relationship with my hair dresser.  Kevin is the funniest person alive and we both truly believe were brother and sister in another life.  We tell family stories back and forth and it's a competition to see if we can shock each other.  Sadly, it never happens. 

 When he told me he calls one of his sisters "Jan Brady", is when I realized that is me-- in my family.  Even though she's bratty and pesky, Kevin says she's the only sibling he can deal with.  His younger brother is developmentally disabled and his older sister is....well, let's just say.... a piece of work.

Kevin was describing the latest skirmish between his sisters over a butt ugly piece of crystal, his parents bought in Germany a hundred years ago.  Kevin told "Jan" to just take the damn thing home next time she's  at their mom's, and that's when she admitted she didn't really even want it--she just didn't want the older sister to have it.  I almost fell out of his chair laughing  Isn't that the most "sibling" thing you've ever heard?  Don't all sibs do that?

I see you shaking you head like "No, I never did that" and I also see your nose growing, Pinocchio. You know you did.  I did, too.

Just call me Jan.

          "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha !!!"                                                       



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wood Thief

I'm slowly ticking the things off my Thanksgiving list.  Got my fresh turkey ordered at Whole Foods this morning, pie choices have been made by the chief, and he just told me to"make a cherry gallette with canned cherry filling" instead of with the frozen peaches I lovingly stashed in the freezer from this summer.  What is he smoking?  Does he really think there's even a glimmer of hope that's ever gonna happen?  Nuh, huh.  I told him I'd buy him a can of cherry pie filling at Tom Thumb and he can just eat it straight from the can.  Sometimes he can be so trailer park.

I have been fiddling with what I want to use for a TG center piece and table design.  I love doing stuff like this and so far I've got antlers, pine cones, colored fall leaves, and heaven only knows what else will make the cut for my table.  Dragging it all out is half the fun. 

Last but not least, when Brian was by for dinner last week, it was still frosty and he wanted some fire wood for his place.  We said "sure" so out he went to toss some logs into the bed of his truck.  The next thing he knows, a neighbor is stopping in his car telling him "to quit stealing fire wood!"  Brian told the man "My parents live here and I have their OK".  The neighbor knew that in the past another person had helped themselves to our wood without our OK, so he was just being neighborly.  Brian loaded up and called me to tell me what had just gone down and we both howled.

Cut to right now.  The same neighbor just came down the alley in his car with two of his kids, rolls down his window, and we both start laughing.  By now he knows I know what happened, and that Brian is who he said he was.  Between bursts of laughter, he told me he'd even taken down Brian's plate number and checked him out, to be sure he was who he said he was. 

I luvvvvv my neighbors.   They are always good for a laugh! 


Thursday, November 14, 2013


I greeted.  I seated.  I'm pooped, and Feast of Sharing is in the can.  I don't know how many people I greeted/seated or how many miles I walked but suffice it to say I am done.  In fact, after 3 hours of non-stop standing, walking, shouting to be heard over the music and being "ON" with no break, I finally went over to the drinks station and got a water for myself and a Sprite for one of my gal pals from the Potter's House.  Those ladies were a complete hoot and let me be a pretend "Potter" for the day.  I got to be a real "sista girl" and loved it.

Once the gates opened, our greeter job was to step forward into the flow of humanity, welcome them and ask a guest how many in their party, immediately start walking them towards the tables and seat them, while pointing out all of the freebies, and hoof it back for the next one.  Think of a rushing river of hungry people and you've pretty much got it.  Guests in wheel chairs went to the ends of tables so a chair could easily be removed for them.  The first several hundred guests were easy until all the tables in the Centennial building started filling up.  Guests were allowed to enjoy the music and stay and eat as much as they wanted for as long as they wanted.  Many were with family and/or friends.  As some folks vacated the table, you had to find a spot for the ones just coming in.  Volunteers with signs were to help you spot empty places, but walking, talking, and looking to find a clean spot, and being friendly and welcoming as you did it, is a lot going at warp speed.  For me anyway.

Did I mention these guests wanted to eat?  Well, they DID.  I schlepped extra plates of food and beverages when necessary and when one elderly man asked me "Can I eat again?", it thrilled me down to my tennis shoes to personally hand him another loaded plate.  After the pumpkin pie, there was a Bluebell truck inside the building with dixie cups for anyone who wanted it and, honey, they did.  Shazam.  Food disappeared right before your eyes.

There were Medical tables where your blood pressure could be checked and I couldn't see what was happening at the Dental table...maybe free toothbrushes.  There were jumping houses for the kids, face painting, pictures with Santa, free new socks for anyone needing them, and most did.  Some people spent the night last night outside the building, in order to get a free meal, and come inside to be treated like people

I'm so glad I did it and I'm so glad it doesn't happen again for another year.  I'm whupped. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I found out earlier today (the hard way) that I am not the only one around here that likes banana bread.  I had pulled a loaf from the freezer earlier this morning and decided I needed to quality test it a little while ago.  Sis positioned herself so I would be sure not to "forget" about her.  Like that would eeeeeven be possible.  To torture her a little, I turned around, with my back to her.  To the other side of me she went, giving me the "I am helpless, homeless, and starving" look.  She had everything but a little sign to hold up.

I have zero tolerance for that look so I gave her a bite just like I always do.  She snarfed it and then began the campaign for more.  I knew she loved pecans but was unclear about bananas.  I guess combined with butter and sugar, anything is a go.  Bananas?  Why not.

Yesterday was a wild day for one Benji Harris.  As many of you know, Scarletta was involved in a bad wreck that totaled their van and trailer and tossed instruments, drums cases, and cymbals into the ditch they rolled over into.  About a half mile or less from their hotel for the night, they hit black ice and if you've ever experienced it, you know that helpless feeling as you watch yourself careen into what ever is in your path.  In their case, it was the median.  It's a miracle no one was seriously hurt though Emilee got a nice goose egg and small cut on her head.  Bumps, bruises, and cuts, and the good news is, they are all OK.  Benji was not with them, as he'd flown to Miami for Andrea's birthday.  He was to have flown someplace to meet the band for their next show but the wreck changed all that.  Instead yesterday he was desperately trying to get back to Nashville to help them unload when they arrived home, and do whatever he could to give them all a chance to rest and process what had just happened and meet with the insurance adjuster.  

His wonderful MIL drove him thirty minutes to Fort Lauderdale to catch an earlier flight, and with a two hour layover at DFW, we had planned to go see him.  Then he called saying that that his flight out was delayed.  No layover.  He'd be lucky to catch his connection on to Nashville.  Next call I get is, he's on the ground taxiing to the gate, has to change terminals, and has 15 minutes to make it to his connecting flight or we'll need to go get him, and let him spend the night with us.

Cue the Mission Impossible music.  He's already asked the flight crew to alert the other flight he's on his way and not to shut the door, pleeeeze.  Polite smile.  They don't hold flights anymore.  Tick...tick...tick.  I'm about to put my clothes back on to head for DFW when the phone rings.  I answered and said "I'm on my way" when he says "I ran like Forrest Gump and made the plane".   At this point, I can't stop laughing.  I have a bad visual in my head of him hauling a** through DFW, dragging his carry on, probably wearing cowboy boots.  OMG.  Such is the life of a musician or at least this one anyway. Onward to a new safe van and thank you to all for your prayers for Scarletta.  I know they felt every single one.

Tomorrow is my FOS (Feast of Sharing) volunteer day at Fair Park and my job is Host/Greeter.  I figure that may be one of the better jobs, if you don't want to wear gravy for 4.5 hours.  I'll know more tomorrow after my shift so stay tuned.  This ought to be a hoot!   

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Today's lesson

After this afternoon, I am a little stunned.  Today was my afternoon to be of service a la Jury Duty at the Municipal Court building downtown.  I packed my little bag with all of the things I knew would pass security and would keep me occupied during my allotted 1-4:30 (?) shift.  You know what I'm saying...I had a bag full of design and clothes magazines, a bottle of water, and my phone charger just in case.

This was a much smaller jury pool than I'd ever encountered before but it was basically the same drill.  Sign in, turn in your summons, put your phone on silent, watch the video, meet the judge and get sworn in.  And then a miracle happened.  Our Bailiff started talking to us, made us all laugh, and then went person by person and had us state our name and our occupation.  Not only did he entertain us and make funnies as he went around to each person, but he personally thanked people for what they did for a living.  By the time we were finished, we all felt like we knew each other.  We were "connected" for that afternoon.  We "related" to each other and lots of us ended up yick-yacking together during the breaks. 

Some of us walked out the back door together to go get coffee at the 7-Eleven behind the building.  The Bailiff had told us right where it was and called it his "Starbucks".  As you might imagine, that downtown 7-Eleven had some interesting looking customers.  One man handed me a cardboard ring for my coffee to protect my fingers.  When I dropped a dollar on the ground, another man who looked like he sure could use it, pointed it out to me.  When I got to the counter, the clerk could not have been kinder.  I'm not talking about that blow off kind of kindness.  I'm talking the kind you can feel across the counter.  Real.  Legitimate.  Holy cow...where am I?

By this point, my brain is trying like crazy to figure out what's going on here.  What is this?  It feels so good...and that's when I realized this is just how it feels when people are kind and caring to each other.  We don't have to have ever met, for us to be w-a-y on down in the kindness thing.  I'm talking that deep, soft, gentle feeling that wraps around you and is impossible to refuse because it simply feels so good.  You see it in people's eyes and hear it in their voice.  People are laughing, patiently waiting in line, just beeeeeeing.

Holy moly.  The jury duty I dreaded and got let out of early, turned out to be my gift for the day.  Just goes to show me gifts come from all kinds of places.  Even Municipal Court.  

Monday, November 11, 2013


If you haven't had the cranberry bread from Eatzi's I'm suggesting it as a Thanksgiving must.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, at night before bed (Snack Man Harris) it is by far and away one of my favorites and with the cranberries, well, it just fits the season.  I am having mine now, lightly toasted, with my coffee and it is just rocking my clock.  It has a little bit of candied ginger in it, too, or as Bruce refers to it, " that funky taste."   He ate it and went back for more--just wanted to know what it was.

Tonight I was planning to fire up my Big Green Egg and smoke some chicken but now I am leaning toward BBQ chick-chick on the grill.  I haven't done either in quite awhile so before it get's cold tomorrow, I thought I'd get outside and get my cook on.

Over the weekend, Sis finally made it to the Vet thanks to her dad.  I had made the appointment but lay down for a little while--wasn't feeling great--and woke up at 5:30 PM.  Since Sis was beginning to look like Edward Scissordog, it was high time for nails to get clipped and a spot on her tail to be looked at.  Turns out she has a cyst on her tail and we can just leave it alone.  Since she wouldn't let me see it, I figured we might better check it out.  Just one more bump on an otherwise lumpy old girl.

She also got another bath as she was all stinky again.  I have no research to support my theory but I am suggesting that older dogs get stinky faster than younger pups.  Why?  Because they just do.  Maybe because their parts are running on old.  I don't know.  I just know a fresh dog is a goooood dog and gets lots more kisses.                                  

     Happy Veteran's Day to all our service men and women, those living and dead, and thank you for your service.  I am deeply grateful to you all.                                                        

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nic and Hardie, Frank and Sam

Yesterday after lunch and a quick stop at Eatzi's for bread, we pulled in for a Nicholsen-Hardie scope out.  It's one of my most favorite places to visit and even if I don't buy a single thing, I still walk out happy.  Specifically, I have enjoyed all the garden beauty and visited my cat friends.

Now way back when, there used to be two litter mates that were the in house live- in cat-greeters.  They were Nic and Hardie and were quite a pair.  According to the owner, they fought, they played, they chased each other and tore the place up after hours.  It was a daily occurrence to unlock in the morning and have to clean up plants they'd chewed, plants and gifts they'd knocked off and broken playing chase, and that was in the days before they had as many gift items as they do now.   During the day, they were mostly nice guys but no one cried much when they went to the big Cat Colony in the sky.  (One actually got run over in the alley out back.) 

Enter Frank (gray) and Sam (orange marmalade).  Frank is the more laid back of the two and his main job is lounging.  If lounging was ever an Olympic event, he'd bring home the Gold for sure.  Fat and friendly, rarely is he spotted vertical and if he is, it's for one of two reasons.  When it's cold, on some Sunday afternoons you used to find find him lying up front at the check out counter sprawled out by the printer.  It was the epic spot for napping due to the warm air blowing on him from the printer, proximity to the staff, and all the attention he scored from customers.  (He was also a welcome relief after seeing your purchase total and handing over your credit card.)  His presence helped the sting, as you signed your life away. 

Sam is, however, a different story.  While he is just as fat, laid back, and lovable, he is a bit of a roamer and once loose, he is one bad hombre'.  In other words, he is a c-a-t.  They both have the run of the store after hours but because of the busy alley out back, cars, and delivery trucks, they go on lock down in the store office around noon.  If Sam is not in the office by noon, the cat wrangling begins and can be ugly.  He will not come when called, can't be tempted by food, takes off for parts known only to him, and arrives back whenever he damn well pleases and that can be anywhere from 10 pm to midnight, depending on his mood.  Apparently the staff has learned this the hard way and if you let him out, you are that night's Cat Wrangler.  If customers ask, they are welcome to go visit him or Frank in the office--just don't let them out--especially Sam.  You will not be popular if you do.

Even with Sam's penchant for roaming, and Frank's narcoleptic napping, these two are a definite improvement over the previous pair.  They don't fight, tear up, or even chew all that much except maybe the fresh catnip  You gotta love any store that has resident animals.  Meow.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, Andrea!!

Today is the thirtieth birthday of Andrea Gonzalez Harris.  As my D-I-L, she is one of the greatest gifts I have EVER received.  She is fun, funny, loving, kind, smart as a whip, uber talented, creative, a killer cook, stunningly BEAUTIFUL, and loves my youngest son to pieces (and he, her).  I am so grateful to her for all the gifts she brings to our family by just being who she is.

I know...I know...I brag on her a lot but I just can't help myself.  I feel like she is my friend, my peer, and I would lie down in heavy traffic for her.  (To say that when I love, I love HARD, is an understatement.)  Andrea is just the best of the best.

Happy Birthday, Andrea aka Princess Jasmine!!!
***This is one of my most favorite pic's of her.


Friday, November 8, 2013


Here's what I know today :
1.  Some years the pecan crop is great and other years it totally sucks.
2.  I don't have acrylic nails right now so I can't pick pecans anyway.
3.  Old dogs get really needy and so do old people.
4.  Mom's laughter is still contagious to me.
5.  Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
6.   If it's not the end, it's not over and if it's not over, it's not the end.
7.  Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. 
8.  No means no.
9.  No is a complete sentence.
10. Friends are God's gift to me.

Someone I adore turns 30 tomorrow.  Find out who, then. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Birthday Brian !!

Thirty two years ago today, I was down at Baylor Hospital being induced with Brian Felix Harris.  I was pre-eclamptic, my blood pressure was too high, and Brian needed to come on down and join the world.  He was giving it his best shot--my body was just not quite ready.  As a result of a cervix that simply wasn't ready to do it's job and before all the new drugs that can help one get ready, Brian arrived via c-section at 6:59 pm and boy, was I glad to see him!

As I held him on my chest, I tried to shield the overhead OR lights out of his eyes, so he could see us.  I remember saying to him "Heddooo" and thinking he was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.  Such began the love affair that continues to this day.

He was over here yesterday to pick up a birthday gift that was delivered here.  He's been under the weather a bit with a stomach bug so he didn't hang around super long.  It seems this "bug" started this past weekend, improved such that he decided to dump a little Chipotle down the shoot, and was in shock and awe that it roared right back.  Guys.  Gotta love 'um.

Happy Birthday to the neatest 32 year old man I know. 

Monday, November 4, 2013


Bang.  First thing this morning I set two important boundaries that I had known were coming and both were done by 8:15AM.  Now that's what I call efficiency.  Especially on a Monday.  Nothing feels better to me than setting a limit with someone (no it was not Bruce) on what's acceptable to me and what's not, when I have reached that point.  There is such personal freedom and relief in setting limits for people who simply do not get it or don't want to get it. 

 I was nice-- just firm and direct-- and what others choose to do with my boundary is their choice.  They don't have to like it and they probably won't.  That's OK.  I still have the right to take care of myself and not be railroaded by someone elses agenda.  Everybody violates a boundary once in awhile, unintentionally, and then has to clean up their mess.  That's called personal accountability.  That does not mean it's OK to keep mowing over someone else and then just say " oh, sorry".   People that do that are sending you a very clear message.

Today I know if I want to know what's really going on with someone, I watch their actions.  All the words in the world are just that.  Words.  Words are cheap.  Easy.  Flow right off the tongue.  Watch and see if their words and actions match.  If they don't, pay attention to the actions--not the words.  Their actions will tell you everything you need to know. If their actions have a repeating pattern, you know.

On another note, I went by to check on mom the other day and showed her Halloween pic's of the Smalls and told her what's been happening.  When I got ready to leave, I told her I had to go home and figure out dinner.  I had no clue what I was cooking.  That's when she told me she "was going out to dinner".  I liketa d-i-e-d.  I said "You sure are" and thought to myself..."all the way down the hall to the dining room."  I chuckled the whole way home. 

Friday, November 1, 2013


I swear I'm not making this up.  I got home a little bit ago to find Maria holding half a mop.  It seems she mopped so hard today, the mop's body snapped in half.  Remember now...she's the same gal that mopped so hard in the boys bathroom, she fell down.  Damn.  I don't even know what to think about this.  Armed with a mop, she is a menace.  A danger to herself and others.  Mopping with a deadly weapon.  Orange cones: Caution/ Cuidado:  Senora mopping.

If you could see her, you'd swear I was lying.  She is skinny and medium height but give her a mop, and she becomes a deadly weapon, a cleaning hazard waiting to happen.  She can tear up brooms, too, but then today's brooms are worthless anyway, but a mop?  That's a skill set I'm not sure what to do with exactly.

Sidebar.  Back to brooms for a second....Where are the blind guys that used to come door to door selling light bulbs and brooms....and the Fuller Brush man?  Remember him?  I loved those guys and they always had great cleaning utensils.  I guess Walmart put those guys out of bidness' and not for the better I might add. 

On my run to Tom Thumb to get a replacement mop, I ran into a old friend from my Belclaire days.  He lived in the block before ours and is still a good friend of my brothers to this day.  When he rounded the check out line, I stuck my mop between my legs (a la broom) and started riding, pretending like the wind was blowing. 
When you've known someone since childhood, I figure you can get away with anything. After I paid, I did the majorette deal with it, as I marched out of the store and I still had a "jumpin' the mop", a " mop dance partner", and a limbo left in my arsenal.

No wonder no one will go to the store with me anymore.  They are just no fun.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Meow! Part 2

Wish these had scanned in color.  Hope you laugh as hard as I did. :)))


While having coffee this morning, I heard Claire's voice outside and looked out to see what was going on.  She was dressed in her Halloween costume greeting her housekeeper with her mom and baby John.  Get a load of Miss Kitty Kat.  Please note the accessorizing:  pink sparkle shoes, matching sparkle purse, and pink doo-dads in her hair.  I nearly dropped my phone.  Here is the back.
She was on her way to ballet class and since it's Halloween, everyone was told they could wear their costumes.  Hers actually has a kitty head piece with ears but she doesn't like it --it's probably hot as blazes on her head-- so her mom simply drew on whiskers, with eyeliner.  Baby John was not in costume since he wasn't going to ballet but word on the street is, he is going to be a dragon, so I'll see him tonight with his posse. 

Sis shot out the front door with me and when she saw Claire, high-tailed it around the side of the house and headed for the alley.  Tonight will be her least favorite night of the year.  The ringing door bell makes her bark and get excited, but then it's like opening the front door to find Hell on your own front porch.  Since she is terrified of kids, it's just repeated trips to Hell for her.  She feels sort of safe if one of us is with her, but it's still her worst nightmare and I know it is for other animals, too. All that squawking and squealing and she needs a Valium.

More later.  To be continued.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This and That

Lots going on today including bidding an old appliance adios.  Our dishwasher recently began to smell like a three pack a day smoker and since she's served us well, it was time for her retirement.  Today our new one arrives and after chatting with a pal (Jodi) and based on what I already knew about Bosch dishwashers, that's what I got.  I did not opt for the one with the three levels--the top one being for large spoons, pancake flippers, etc.  Why?  Because I could not see the damn thing unless I bent over completely and knew if I put things up there, I'd never find them again.  Ever.  The chief concurred with me and we both decided that was a tad fancy for our needs. If we can't see something, it's not going to get used. 

One of my favorite little people got hurt over the weekend.  Avery, the youngest of the smalls, bit into a glow stick, and the goopy stuff inside burned her mouth.  Why do you bite into a glow stick?  I dunno.  Maybe because you can, but the result is, she had to drink loads of water and will have to wait for the chemical burns to heal up.  They were not bad--just uncomfortable.  Check her out in her Halloween costume.             
Which brings me nicely to Halloween costumes.  When you are little, there are only two categories:  Beautiful or Badass.  Either sex can do either one, but that's about it if you plan to make a statement.  As you get older, the world of categories opens up:  most politically incorrect, funniest, sexy/hunky, most clever, cheapest, tackiest, and scariest, but most people don't do the scary anymore.  It's simply too expected and real life is scarier than any costume I've ever seen except for maybe Universal Studios, so why bother.  Plus, you have to use all that nasty fake blood and make up.  That just triggers my ick reflex.

I'll try to get pics of Hadley in hers and Hudson in his Ninja one, unless he's changed his mind. fun!!!  They are exactly what the craziness of this world needs. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Customer Service

After battling this afternoon to bundle our cable, computer, and phone service, I not only got a better deal but can email my "service retention specialist" tomorrow if I want to do even better.  A haggler I am not, but do not tell me you cannot help me if I am, and have been, a loyal paying on time customer for eons (and I'm talking to you, AT&T.)  After so long as a nurse, customer service has been drilled into my bones and practically shoots out get what I'm saying.  Crummy service and I'm gone.  There's just way too much competition in this world to settle.
Which brings me to my favorite customer service people:  Lands End and DSW (by phone because I had a question).  Not only did they honor a coupon I had for $40, they then gave me free next day shipping, and because I called in and am a certain level member, they rounded up on my spending points to send me another $10 off coupon in the mail.  Yeah...I know what you are going to say.  That's how they keep me spending but at least they are nice about it, and AT and T isn't. Now for Lands End.  No, their stuff isn't the same quality as it used to be but then neither is anyone elses, so I might as well go with people who are nice and offer me great customer service. Besides...they are old school and some part of me still just loves that.  Can't help it...I'm a softie.

Lastly, today I finally fired the design gal I'd been attempting to work with for over a month.  You knew I was gonna.  I had nothing to show for it other than a tension headache.  Too busy with her other pursuits, full of excuses and justifications, and not action oriented, after four weeks I was cooked.  I have learned that when I see something : once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, and three times is a pattern.  If I see a pattern, it's adios, muchacha.

 What a relief.  Taking care of yourself is so worth it. But maybe not like this.  Hilarious, though, isn't it?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Candy

Jeeeeeepers, I love Halloween.  It's like a free pass to eat candy.  You're supposed to do it.  It's the Halloween law and it's the ONLY time of year I let myself do it.  This morning I took the candy Pop Quiz  in Parade magazine.  It's a side view of seven different candy types and you had to guess what they are by looking at a cross section shot.  Seriously?  I aced it-- except for the one candy bar I'd never ever 1) even heard of and 2) didn't know existed.  What in the hell is a Charleston Chew?  In all my almost 60 years of candy eating, I've never come across that one.  I bet I'd try it, though.  It looked a lot like a Three Musketeer with whiter fluffy stuff.  

Friday night, I finally opened our big old honkin' bag o' calories from Sam's and did a half gainer right into it, followed within minutes, by my TV watching partner.

 Between the two of us, we are two happy little candy eating kids, minus the costume and hassle of going door to door.  Gee, it's great to be a grown up.