Sunday, March 28, 2010

CHELSEA'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

INTRODUCTION

I woke up this soggy Sunday morning, washed my face and threw on the same pair of jeans and the same sweater I had worn the day before.  I don't know when this started, this wearing the same thing two days in a row.  I used to wear a pair of jeans, then into the laundry they would go that evening, lifeless, dulling, but clean.  Never have I stunk, that I know of.  I remember being painfully aware of the odors coming from kids sitting around me in late grade school, and constantly stopping in the bathroom to sniff my underarms to see if it might be me, but it never was.  As an adult, I sort of felt cheated because I never really NEEDED deodorant; however, the ads for all the pretty little bottles and scents and all the pretty women with their arms in the air smoothing on a white, invisible barrier that smelled like the ocean or the breeze, sucked me in.  Now it is just a habit, and at this stage in my life when hormones are drying up and hair is growing where it never did before, I really am not in the mood to experiment with not using deodorant.  I'm pretty sure nobody else wants me to, either.  

So, really, I do know when this laundry compulsion eased up.  One day my local newspaper was interviewing me for a public opinion piece.  See?  I also do not have the slightest idea how I became a local celebrity worthy of interviews.  Anyway, somehow the subject came up about laundry detergent, all the different brands/smells/miracles they perform, yada, yada, yada.  I happened to mention that I used to never wear the same thing twice, that my clothing had to be laundered after one wear, no matter how long I had them on.  The reporter, who looked about twelve said, "So, you grew up and suddenly became aware of what damage you were doing to the planet?"  And I answered, "Uh, no, that's not it at all.  I noticed that the cost of detergent had skyrocketed, my jeans were wearing out too fast from all the washing, meaning I would have to break in a new pair, which I hate to do with a passion, and I never stink.  Panties and socks are the total exception...panties and socks have no compromise when it comes to washing those, you know what I mean?"


She was not quite sure how to process that information, probably grossed out even thinking about an older woman's panties, and we moved on to other more compelling subjects like, "What do you think of George Clooney?" (and for the record, I think he is totally hot)!  I guess the interview really began to fizzle when the reporter realized I had nothing glamorous to tell, was just a plain Jane, small town girl who couldn't even be bothered to put on an unworn pair of jeans and makeup for her big break into super stardom, which the reporter was vain enough to think she could drive, getting her out of this little teensy weensy rural town.  Why she chose me, I will never know.  The only thing I did was follow the sun one day.

CHAPTER ONE


Snowflakes and sunsets are just alike in that no two are ever alike.  And before you go Googling to find out who made that profound statement, I will just go ahead and tell you it was me.  I say profound things like that sometimes.  They just form in my brain and come out my mouth.  My mama used to call me her "Happy Guru."  One day I made the mistake, or had the good fortune, whichever way you want to view it, of posting that little tidbit of information about myself on my Facebook page:  Chelsea is..."thinking about when her mama used to call her her Happy Guru."  And it took off.


You know how sometimes things take on a life of their own and you just simply have no way of seeing the reason?  That is how I became a reluctant Alice and formed my very own Wonderland on a cool late-March Spring day in rural Indiana. Mama used to call me her Happy Guru.  Bye-bye everything that makes sense, and hello hole in the ground with a psychotic rabbit residing there.  Welcome to Chelsea's big adventures in her own out of control Wonderland.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A BOOK FOR SOME COMIC RELIEF

I don't know about you all, but sometimes the news, politics, everyone bashing everyone else because they are Republican/Democrat/religious/not religious/Christian/atheist, and you know the list could go on for an eterinity here, gets to be a little much.  I find myself on a self-imposed news hiatus, and in order to feel a little less hopeless about the way we are headed, I turn to comedic relief.  

This was the case when I downloaded the book, "The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher" by Rob Stennett.  

The fast forward version of Ryan's life is that he is a real estate agent in a slump and makes the decision to place his ad in a Christian advertising book.  Now, Ryan has never been to church, but soon he "signs up" and of course his real estate business soars, but based mostly on all the lies he is telling about his faith.  He is a lovable guy, though, and he finally decides to move his wife from Denver to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to "plant" his own church.  

In a matter of a few days he is known as Pastor Ryan.  His first services are held at Chuck E. Cheese because that is the only place in town that will have him, and he preaches his first sermon on the stage with a "six foot robotic mouse behind me."  His topics for his sermons have titles such as "God, The Fifth Beatle."  Add to this mania that his worship music leader is a Karaoke singer named Cowboy Jack who finds his niche by taking Rock and Roll songs with "churchy" titles, like "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," and rewriting the lyrics to make them sound like Christian songs, and you can imagine the problems about to arise with this scheme.  

Great read so far!  

Have a peaceful Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TO LOVE A MOCKINGBIRD

Springtime in my back yard is always marked by the influx of mockingbirds.  The natives are always here.  One is a cat imitator of the greatest magnitude and amplitude.  One rings like a cell phone so convincingly that I have answered mine only to find nobody is there and even though I have opened a connection, it is still ringing.  

We have a baby that cries to the point you want to pull your hair out some afternoons.  

But each new season the mockingbird population rises as new families move in.  It is almost like they got tired of the crime or the traffic in their cities and chose a smaller place to live.  Some stay here, some find the traffic issue is just as horrendous as where they came from, others cannot cope with the kitty cat issue in the neighborhood.  Still others find the human children and dogs intimidating.  

Mockingbirds might be fun, but they are aggressive and mean when they have a nestful of little ones, swooping down as people walk past, picking at their hair, even confronting them face to face.  

Spring, however, is marked by the new sounds arising from the back yard, and this morning, as I was attempting to sleep in a little bit, one of the newbies settled in and it was not long before I realized I have a car alarm in my tree.  Not one of the beeping horns, which would be annoying enough, but one of the sirens.  

Yep, spring has sprung and the peace in the queendom is blissfully disrupted by the imitators in nature once again.  Beautiful, it is, this perfect instinct of our planet to burp up the seasons!  

Please enjoy this season.  Thanks, Mother Nature, for making the grass thick and green again so I may start mowing this weekend every three days in the heat and humidity for the next six months, and thank you for the babies, sirens, cats, dogs, and cell phones inhabiting my tree.   

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I NOW SUBSCRIBE!

For about the last 5 years I have not subscribed to a newspaper.  There were several reasons for that, the biggest reason being that I was inundated with news; all the news all the time.  My job is a remote position, and being home all day long means there is a never ending assault with every breaking news story in the world.  Using the computer for work even makes it worse because it is so easy to click on those alerts and get the scoop during breaks or flip the TV on and watch the news during lunch.  At any rate, it was not that I wish to see newspapers fail.  I just preferred not to have them delivered to my door. 

My boyfriend, however, is even more a news junkie than I am, and it irritated him no end that I did not receive the local newspaper.  Every time he would come over he would be dying to have a discussion about some local news story I had never heard about, and every time he started the discussion, "Well, you don't get the Herald..." and he would proceed to bring me up to speed, then by the time the "discussion" part came around, I was sick of hearing about it already, because unless you read it for yourself, it really is difficult to become horribly enthusiastic about something.  The person telling it has already interjected their feelings or views, so there is nothing to learn about him on that topic.

It usually went something like this:

Don:  "Hi!  Hey, you don't get the Herald, but the prosecutor is in a LOT of trouble!"  (Here he explains what has been going on).

Me:  "What?  When did that happen?"

Don:  (Big sigh) Well, you don't get the Herald, but it started about three months ago."

Me:  "How could I possibly live two blocks from the center of the "lawyer hole" and not have heard this?"

Don:  "Well, you don't get the Herald..."

Me:  "I swear if you say that to me once more EVER I'm going to not only GET the Herald, but I am going to cram it right down your throat!"  

So last week, my friend Donna and I, went to Vincennes together, and when we got back into Jasper she said, "Oh, let's run past that new specialty food store real quick and see if we can get some fruit!"

I said, "What specialty food store is that?"


Donna replied, "Uh, the one that opened by your house about three months ago?"


I said, "Wait...seriously?"


And what do you think Donna said to me?  "Well, you don't get the Herald."


I actually growled at her.  I said, "How can I live two blocks from a specialty food store, ME, a person who loves odd foods and likes to cook weird stuff, knowing I can never find the ingredients and having to substitute, not know there is a specialty food store right down the street?"


It was neat, too, I tell you.  I am going to go down there with my camera in the near future and get some photos and blog about the place.  


After spending about twenty dollars in there on all sorts of exotic things, as we were getting back in the car Donna turned me toward her and said, 
"S U B S C R I B E  T O  T H E  H E R A L D!"


"Good grief," she said, "No wonder you never want to do anything or go anywhere...you don't know anything is going on!  Aren't you even curious about who gets arrested and what crimes are going on?"


"No," I replied, "not really."  


Yesterday my first daily newspaper arrived.  The very first one, the paper carrier laid it flat on my porch, and when I went outside, it was blown in about fifty different parts of my yard.  And then I got one today, and already I realize why I don't like getting the daily newspaper.  There are now two big papers full of all sorts of ads and coupons I will never use, laying on the floor by the sofa.  Within about a week, I am going to have run out of time to read them, and they will start getting thrown in the recycling bin before I even open them.  


But one very cool thing?  Today I had time to read one part, and it was "the scandal sheet" as Don calls it, and I found out someone very prominent went to jail for a DWI, and I also found out which kid hit the other one in the parking lot of a school, AND...there was a cool story about a dog on the front page.  I just think dogs are such awesome people.  


So, to anyone who has said to me, "You don't get the Herald, but..."  I GET THE FRICKIN' HERALD NOW!  Thank you for talking me into it.  I'm sending you guys the monthly bill, and someone better start figuring out how to make those fireplace logs out of newspaper before I am overrun here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

YOU KNOW WE HAD TO TALK ABOUT THIS, RIGHT?

Okay, get the children out of the room.  Give them some leniency on the video game play while we talk, adult to adult.

So, last night on American Idol, Lee Dewyze took the stage with his guitar.  He is the classic bad boy, kind of looks like the type of guy I would have fallen for as a younger woman.  Well, let's get real.  I could actually fall for him right now, but I have my doubts he would find this fifty-three-year-old grandmother quite to his liking, knowing that every woman between the ages of sixteen and thirty-five is willing to follow him anywhere.

As Lee was singing last night on the show, I said, "Here's the way this goes, Don...that boy is probably getting every vote of every woman in America right now.  Don, oblivious, said, "Why?"

I was just holding my breath, could hardly wait for the judges to put in their two-cents worth, because I was sure that at least Kara would have pointed out that the song he was singing was guaranteeing him a safe spot this week on AI as well as a spot in anyone's bedroom.  But I was horribly disappointed and a little embarrassed when Don said, "See?  What are you talking about?"  Randy, E., Kara, and Simon The Terrible all just sort of ho-hummed through their review.  No mention of the obvious. 

I no longer had the heart to point out the lyrics to the Rolling Stones hot little number "Beast of Burden," just for us, the adults, ahem, I am going to post them here, then you can weigh in.  

I'll never be your beast of burden
My back is broad but it's a hurting
All I want is for you to make love to me
I'll never be your beast of burden
I've walked for miles my feet are hurting
All I want is for you to make love to me

Am I hard enough
Am I rough enough
Am I rich enough
I'm not too blind to see

I'll never be your beast of burden
So let's go home and draw the curtains
Music on the radio
Come on baby make sweet love to me

Am I hard enough
Am I rough enough
Am I rich enough
I'm not too blind to see

Oh little sister
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, girl
You're a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty girl
Pretty, pretty
Such a pretty, pretty, pretty girl
Come on baby please, please, please

I'll tell ya
You can put me out
On the street
Put me out
With no shoes on my feet
But, put me out, put me out
Put me out of misery

Yeah, all your sickness
I can suck it up
Throw it all at me
I can shrug it off
There's one thing baby
That I don't understand
You keep on telling me
I ain't your kind of man

Ain't I rough enough, ooh baby
Ain't I tough enough
Ain't I rich enough, in love enough
Ooh! Ooh! Please

I'll never be your beast of burden
I'll never be your beast of burden
Never, never, never, never, never, never, never be


I don't need no beast of burden
I need no fussing
I need no nursing
Never, never, never, never, never, never, never be 


Here's the video:


Click here!


So, I'll leave this up to you guys.  Bedroom invader or just an okay song?  Am I just a woman with her mind in the gutter?  America, YOU decide! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

YESTERDAY IS OVER

There are mornings you wake up and realize that you are pretty glad yesterday is over with.  Not that yesterday was terrible, just that it WAS Monday, I had to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 in the morning, fasting, thirsty, hungry, dizzy, grumpy, sleepy, and irritated, to make a two-hour round trip to get some lab work done.  

Okay, like I said, it was not a horrible day, until I got home and had to go to work and was still reeling from the time change and the unusually early start to my day.  My fingers refused to type...well, they refused to type FAST and in most cases, they refused to type correctly.  

As the evening s o o o s l o w l y dragged on, and as more and more people found it necessary to contact me and complain to me I began to wish I could just disguise myself for the rest of the night...kinda like this guy:

If I didn't just come right out and tell you this was a kitten, you would never have known, right?  What an awesome disguise!  There is a costume shop just down the block.  I think I might walk down there and see if I might be able to rent a big frog head to wear until I feel more like myself.  Think I could pull it off?  

Enjoy Tuesday, March 16, 2010, because it will not ever happen again!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

THE LITTLE THINGS

The little things I enjoy:

Waking up in the mornings, especially on Sunday.
Watching my Dachshunds play.
Having a supply of Starbucks Via coffee on hand for my iced coffee.
Hearing my friends' voices.
Holding my grandkids.
Taking pictures of sunsets and sunrises.
Enjoying a cup of coffee on my patio at dawn in the summer.
Laying in bed all day on Sunday with a good book.


What are some of your little big things?



 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Remember when you were a little kid and you were so easy to entertain?  It took very little to make baby giggles that caused you to roll on the floor.  And those baby giggles made even the usually-somber adults laugh out loud prompting them to do the same thing over and over and over until finally you realized there was a jelly bean under the couch you could probably shove up your nose to see where it would go?  

The adults would try the same trick to make you laugh like that in front of their friends, but you would just sit and stare at them like they were totally crazy.  I think children realize how uncomfortable that makes the parents, so they purposely refuse to laugh.  

I wonder if this rabbit realizes his children stopped watching and hopped off several minutes ago to chase dandelion fuzz?

 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A WEEK'S WORTH OF GRANDCHILDREN

Five grandchildren and holding...for right now; however, when I mentioned how much I love snuggling with my grandbabies, and how much I always seem to want another one about the time the youngest starts walking, I definitely saw a look pass between the mommy and daddy of my youngest, Tori.  There are enough grandkids now to have one stop by five days a week for a little cuddling action from Gramma...two more and I would have a different grandchild visiting everyday! A week's worth of grandchildren, oh, my!!   I know two couples are planning another one each, so chop, chop!  Tori is cruising, no, running now, so better go ahead and get started on another one.  

We all live in close enough proximity to one another that it only takes about five minutes to get to my house from each of their homes.  And for me, especially in the warmer weather, there is nothing I love more than to get surprise drop-in visits from these little darlings.  

I think it's so heartwarming that they each have a place here that makes then feel special.  Kaylee likes finding the dolls and stuffed animals, David the snacks, Damien the games, Abigail the plastic McDonald's food service basket and my shoes, and Tori the rocking horse.  


Last night was a Tori night.  She is my cuddler and spent most of her time in my lap resting her head against my chest, listening to my heart beat.  


Here she is from last night.  I cannot believe how much she's grown!


             As you can probably guess, I am now on the hunt for cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat for her bronco-riding adventures at Gramma's house!  Ride em cowgirl!

PUFFY, THAT'S IT...I'M PUFFY

I go through phases.  For a month, food means nothing to me, then for three months, that socialization thing that goes along with eating becomes very important.  

But I never gain weight.  No matter now much Nutella or creamy peanut butter mixed with dark chocolate, how many Jelly Bellies, how many bags of Snyder's Hanover sourdough pretzel pieces, or popcorn, or jawbreakers.  I never gain weight.

What happens is, I become puffy.  Just cute and cuddly like a little old...whatever that thing is in the picture.  I don't normally grow cotton balls out of my butt, though.  

And I don't pee in a puddle on the floor.  I have fingers and my eyes are the same size, and my ears are on the sides of my head and covered with my hair...but I promise, if it wasn't for those things, that picture looks EXACTLY like me right now!  

So today I am going to get myself back on the Wii Fit. It's raining, I don't work until 2:00, there are just no excuses, except that I need to finish my book and dust and vacuum.  Let's see...exercise or lay in The King and read while the rain is pouring down outside.  Oh, what the heck!  It's only 6 a.m.  I'll clean later, maybe 24 or 48 hours later!  

There is one thing that I am going to be shopping for, though.  I just simply, without a doubt, even if I have to give up Nutella for six months, have got to have these:  I hope I can find my size, the size to fit on my puffy feet.  I will be wearing these on Easter weekend, when my sweetie is taking me to St. Louis to a car show.  

Come on, Puffy!  We're goin' to the mall! 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A COUPLE OF HORSES, ANYONE?

Belle2

Once upon a time I met a remarkable couple:  Ginny and John.  Does this sound slightly familiar?

Cats were not their lives, but their little Shih Tzu, Billy, was.  Again, as four-legged creatures are wont to do, Billy got himself into a situation that became fatal for him.  And once again, we are talking about people whose animals are just simply four-legged people with a slightly different language than ours. 

There were days when Ginny would e-mail or call me on the phone and be so irate she could barely speak:  “Billy ate my…” and you can just about put any word in there you want.  Glasses, iPod, headset, underwear.

By far my favorite Billy story revolves around the day he squeezed around Ginny’s feet and flew out the front door with her in a robe and slippers in hot pursuit.  Neighbors were pointing and laughing, and Ginny was waving and screaming very unlady-like things at the little guy, wondering what was so funny.  Well, she found out when Billy took a corner and flying out behind him was one of her bras.  I seemed to find this quite a bit funnier than Ginny did.

Billy passed away from an accident the week before Valentine’s Day.  I remember this because I had been scheduled to travel to Birmingham and spend that weekend with my beloved friend and her family and go to the Sylvia Browne lecture with her. 

A lot of pretty crappy things have happened to Ginny and John in Februarys past, so we have all taken a vote and decided that there will be no February from now on. 

I loved little Billy, and we gathered around his gravesite, Ginny’s little grandson, Luke, with his tear-streaked little face hidden inside my coat and his arms wrapped around me, Ginny on the other side, her arms wrapped around me, and we mourned the little monster dog.  He really was special.  But we know where he is now, up in Heaven with his namesake most likely, just waiting to swoop down and pilfer another bra or maybe the new iPod so he can rock and roll in Heaven with that goofy little smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.

So far no new situation has made itself available to the Alexander family, as far as a new doggy for them, but it will.  I believe in miracles. 

There is a situation, though, in a town near me, that makes me pretty sick.  "Upon our arrival we noticed there were approximately 18 horses that were in very deplorable conditions," Deputy Jim Tucker with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office said. "They were standing in at least two to three feet of their own feces." So I was sort of wondering if Billy’s replacement could maybe be a  horse or two.  Now, seriously, Ginny is called The Critter Magnet, and whatever new animal takes up residence with her, will have the run of the house and will be treated with tremendous love and compassion.  I know she would feel so sorry for an abused horse that she would keep it inside, it would share their bed, and have its own seat at the table for meals!

So what do you say, Ginny and John?  In the market for a horse or two to round out your family?  You might have to buy a bigger vehicle, but I can just see it with its head out the window, wind blowing through it’s brushed and styled mane, a big horsey grin on its face, going on a picnic with its people!  Let me know, I’ll give the humane society a call for you!

In memory of the wonderful Billydog.  Love always, Mick

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

GRACIE – THE CAT THAT MADE THEM WHOLE AGAIN

russian-blue-cat-facts

Once upon a time I met this remarkable family.  They were Susan, Richard, their son Bryan, and so many cats I have lost track of all their names over the years.  I became a member of this family, myself, because we all bonded and fell totally in love with each other. 

A few years ago, Richard, Susan, Bryan, three cats, and two birds decided to move from Newport, Rhode Island, to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I was in direct line, almost the halfway point in that trip, so I offered up my house for a couple of days respite, so then we had Susan, Richard, Bryan, my granddaughter, Kaylee, my grandson, David, my boyfriend, Don, my kids, Jamie and Ian, two birds, three cats, and two Dachshunds in residence.

After a couple of days of “rest” if you could call it that, and after a trip to my local vet’s office for kitty cat sedatives, we headed for New Mexico, now back down to the birds, the cats, and four people…in a small SUV that was packed to the gills. 

I drove a lot of the way, but when we traded off and Bryan did some of the driving, Cami, that’s not a picture of her up there but it is a picture of a Blue Russian, who was Richard’s cat, and I, bonded.  She quickly learned she could put her bottom on the back of the seat, her front paws on my shoulder, and rest her chin on my head for a very comfortable view of the world going by.  She was stoned on kitty sedatives, too, which made this all the more enjoyable for all of us. 

Now, I have never been a big cat person, but I absolutely loved that cat!  She was special.  She had yellow snake eyes that could send a really big message from such a small creature, and she loved to go out on her leash with Rich and take walks. 

We spent a lot of time in a small hotel room, all of us together, and Cami and I became good friends, though her one and only true love was her daddy, Richard. 

When we moved from the hotel into the house Susan and Rich had bought, it took, oh, about a day and a half before Susan had brought home two dogs and a three-legged cat to round out the family.

Life went on.  Then one day, Cami was strolling around as cats are wont to do, and she had a run in with a couple of pitbulls.  As you can imagine, Cami did not win that fight, and as Richard said today, “Those dogs killed her two years ago, we just kept her going for two more years.” 

That’s true, too.  She used up 8-1/2 of her 9 lives that day, and her soul really sort of left that day.  I think she realized that she had to keep her body hanging around for a little longer until some sort of miracle happened to make sure her constant human companion would be okay.  And last week, it did.

You first have to know that these are not just animals.  The animals that this family own are just special.  They never seem like cats and dogs.  They get in trouble, they pout, they stand in the corner, they converse with you like you’re just sort of an odd-looking cat that walks on two legs.  In other words, I call Susan The Cat Whisperer, and Richard is just as much a cat as he is a man, I believe that with all my heart.

Cami died.  She gave up after her daddy returned from a trip to LA, waited until he got there, then said her good-byes.  She was tired and sick and wanted out of that broken body which never was the same, anyway.  And the next day, on a visit to the vet with another of their cats, a flyer was up, and staring back at Rich was a fatter version of his Cami, and her name was Gracie. A coyote had bitten her tail off, so she probably felt a little vulnerable being advertised like that, missing her tail and all, but Rich took down the flyer and said, “Susan, get me this cat.”

Now I have to tell you that just the day before that, there was never going to be a replacement for Cami.  It was over…”Mick, no more cats, I just can’t do it.”  And I smiled and said, “I know.  Let’s see what happens down the road, okay?”  I consoled a sobbing, sad, sickened family and prayed, “Please let them be okay,” and the next day or two, there was Gracie.

It was going to be about a three-hour drive to get her, and Susan, Richard, and Bryan called and told the lady who was keeping her that they would be for her in two weeks.  I asked Susan, “Why two weeks?”

There was silence and then I said, “Richard, dude, go get your baby!”

And yesterday he did.  Did I mention her name is Gracie and she has yellow eyes and looks at Richard like he is a god?  And she talks?  Did you doubt for even a minute after reading this story that Gracie would be anything but a human soul in a cat’s body? 

Now, here’s the ending to this story.  Gracie needed a new daddy.  Her daddy had died, and she missed him so much.  She consoled herself with food and is a little chunky, but when she starts having to deal with all the birds, other cats, dogs, and people in that house, she will trim up in a hurry…oh, but here’s the ending.  Richard has a brother, Barry.  Barry also loved, Cami, and I cannot tell you how many times when Barry and I would be visiting Susan and Richard at the same time that we would end up having to chase Cami, who Barry called, “The fuckin’ meow,” down because he would forget and leave the door open, and it somehow became partly my job to find the cat, even though it was not my fault she was on the loose again. 

Sadly, Barry passed away during Hurricane Katrina.  He was a beautiful soul, a fantastic musician, and he’s very much missed by many.

But if ever your faith in God, or at least in the existence of a power much higher than us, ever wavers, remember this:  Ted, Gracie’s owner, her favorite human on earth, looked just like Barry.  So now you have the rest of the story. 

Cami held on until Gracie was available for Richard, and Barry and Ted orchestrated the tradeoff from their heaven.  Cami is running from Barry as we speak, Barry yelling, “You fuckin’ meow!” free of her pain and suffering, and Ted and Barry plopped Gracie right into Richard’s and Susan’s lives.  How much more evidence does anyone need that Richard’s brother was showing his love for him in the most poignant way he could come up with.  That, at least, is the way I see it.  That is my story and I am sticking to it.

In memory of Cami, the magnificent Blue Russian feline and Barry Cowsill, the magnificent musician from New Orleans…Love always, Mick.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!

My sweet, sweet dad passed away almost a year ago.  April 28, 2009.  But today, March 9, is his 76th birthday, and even though he is in Heaven, and believe me, he has probably totally taken over by now, I wanted to wish him a happy birthday.  I love him and miss him but never grieve him because I know he's with me still!  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLD MAN!  HOPE YOU'RE ENJOYING YOUR WINGS!

THE SCARY OLD WOMAN

Remember when you were a kid and your town had a frightening old person who lived in a scary, haunted-looking old house and all the kids avoided walking past it?  And God forbid if ever they encountered the owner.  Once that happened, chances were pretty good you were going to die from some disease, or a curse.  

Well, I think I just figured out how he/she got labeled that way in the first place. Love.  

Last night I talked for a long time on the phone with my granddaughter.  Kaylee is 8 years old and just the light of my life.  All five of the grandkids are lights of my life, but Kaylee being the first, has a special bond with me.  

Before we ended our call, this sweetheart of a little girl said, "Since they tore the old building down, I can see your house from Sixth Street when I go past on the bus every morning.  I always sit where I can see it, and I blow a kiss and say 'I love you, Gramma.'"

If that is not enough to melt your heart right there, then you should go take a really hot shower.

So now knowing this I told her I would put on my bright red fuzzy robe and stand in the doorway this morning.  The only problem was, I had trouble reading the numbers on the gazillion buses going by, so I was waving and blowing kisses at all of them, just to make sure I was there for Kaylee when she came by.  I stood there for about 40 minutes, waving and blowing kisses at school buses loaded with children, in a red fuzzy bathrobe.  

Then, the final bus came up the street, just as I was about to hang it up, and I could read the number on it plain as day...ONE.  And yes, that is her bus number.  Number one is the last bus.  It makes total sense to me.  I waved and blew kisses and hoped she was on the bus this morning.

Now I am back in bed.  I'm waiting for the police to show up.  I think I just earned that title of Scary Old Woman.  I expect tons of kids now daring each other to step on my property and throwing things at me or making the sign of the cross like I might be a vampire.  

Guilty?  Yes, I am definitely guilty.  Guilty of loving my granddaughter so much that I will risk becoming The Scary Old Woman in our city if it makes her happy.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

SUNDAY SUNSET

 

  

  

 
Dear Ms. Mother Nature:

Thank you.

Love,

Kathy

Saturday, March 06, 2010

SATURDAY SHOPPING TRIP

I know I spent the last two days telling anyone who would listen that Don and I were heading out today on a big shopping trip.  The weather was supposed to be perfect (it was), the sun shining brightly (it was), and the sky that bright blue that almost blinds you with its prismatic effect (it was).

We live in a small city, or a large town, but our shopping choices are extremely limited.  We are located about an hour from a larger city with a mall.  While we have no mall, we still have a Walmart store and the same traffic problems a place three times the size of ours is encumbered with.

But like I said, the weather was perfect and we needed to fly the coop for a little while.  We have both had cabin fever and sitting here counting the days until spring was getting very old.

I have made it a point of telling everyone Don wants to go to Harvard Salvage Freight.  I call it The Tool Store, but they have almost everything you can imagine there.  I have made it a point of telling everyone Don said he might be too tired to go to the mall and I told him, "No mall, no tool store."


So, here is what happened today.  Don had to drag me out of The Tool Store.  We did go by the mall for some lotion and lunch.  We were going to the Olive Garden on Tracy's dime, but we could not even find a place to park within a hundred yards, and there was a line, and Don is not a big fan of having to wait in line for his food.  

I really wanted to spend a little more time at Harvard Salvage Freight, but Don was getting tired since he worked today.  We made a quick swing past Toys R Us, of course, spent 30 minutes in the mall, and then satisfied and sated on Chinese cuisine, I drove home.  


Here is a photo of my purchases:
 
A Bubble Bellies tiger bubble blower.
A bottle of sensual Sandalwood and Fig body lotion (I did go to the mall).
The tennis racket thing is an electronic bug swatter.
3 pairs of woman's gardening gloves.
A blind spot stick-on mirror.
A compass.
A new set of screwdrivers (never have one when I need it).
A giant box of sidewalk chalk.
And an elementary school letters and numbers book.
Oh, and a pair of hard knee-cap protecting knee pads (for gardening).
And I left out my new 7-function multimeter (just never know).

 



 

NOW THEY TELL ME!

As far as I know now, as of this writing, no monkeys were ever hurt in the making of my impressionable little life.  Now they tell me!

And as far as I was concerned when I was between the ages of zero and fifty-three, my mother was a bitchy old monkey killer!  Okay, I figured it out long before the age of fifty-three, of course, but it makes the cadence of the story a little nicer.  

Yesterday I was eating dinner with Don and I somehow managed to bite my inner upper lip.  I "pulled the punch", though, and so the result is this big blood blister that this morning is swollen up and covers my upper teeth.  Surgery is in order, and the tools are laid out because that blood has to drain...I'm going shopping today, and this is embarrassing!

Anyway, as my teeth found that soft skin, I said, "Shoot a monkey!"  Now, I can't tell you how long it has been since I heard that phrase, but saying it caused a flood of emotions and memories to wash over me, so much so that I barely felt the injury happen at all.  I was sitting there holding my burger, smiling, staring out the window, not hearing anything else around me.  Don eventually began waving his hand in front of my face and asked what I was smiling at.  I said, "Oh, nothing, just a memory."  I just was not ready to share it with anyone right then.  

According to the Winthrop Slang Dictionary, saying, "Shoot a monkey," is equivalent to saying "g--damn it."  

So, now I know that never once did my mother just go frickin' nuts for a moment, maybe being controlled by alien voices in her head, like some people think the TV is sending them messages, grab her gun, and fly out of the house to murder some innocent monkey!  She was just cussing at a situation.  You just don't know how much better that makes me feel!  

Isn't it amazing how we store things in the deep recesses of our minds when we are younger so we can pull them out and use them when we're middle-aged and need something to totally embarrass our kids and grandkids with?  

I am so looking forward to the first time I can't find something in Walmart and have a pack of grade school-aged children with me, and about the time we run into the most popular kid in school I stop and yell out, "Shoot a monkey!!"  Oh, what fun I'm going to have then!

Here is a photo of an attractive-looking guy who is just happy to have survived my mother's lifetime and now sees the new matriarch of the family coming for him! 

            http://www.freemonkeypictures.com/wallpaper  /cmu473_monkey_outline_linedrawing.gif.html

Friday, March 05, 2010

KIDS RUNNING THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER - OH MY!

So in February, a daddy took his twin children to work with him.  He is an air traffic controller, by far probably one of the most stressful jobs on this planet.  He is proud of his kids.  They are proud of their papa.  I think he did this as part of a "take your children to work" project or something, although I really am not sure about that, so don't quote me.  

The kids obviously could read and read well, so he saw no harm in putting the headset on them and letting them speak to a pilot of a JetBlue flight.  The little boy said something like, "You're cleared for takeoff," and then Papa said, "That is what you get when the kids are out of school."  The pilot even quipped back, "I wish I could bring my kids to work with me.  Awesome job!"  Then the father allowed the kids to talk to another pilot, say something like, "Cleared for takeoff," or something.

When the story broke yesterday morning, I thought the father was going to be applauded for actually bringing his kids to work with him.  I thought, "Wow, lucky kids."  

Then I realized this was turning into a media brouhaha with reporters talking about how ridiculous it was to let the children anywhere NEAR the control tower.  I kept thinking that, by the FAA's own admission, we would absolutely go insane if we realized how many near misses there are everyday over our heads and on our runways, and the people controlling THOSE planes are adults.

I just do not see any harm in these kids saying a few words to the pilot under the watchful eye of their daddy, and I say LET IT GO MEDIA!  There are real problems to focus on in this world without making sure some other poor sap loses his job!  

Just wondering what you think?  

New York (CNN) -- "Unauthorized and unprofessional" is how an internal memo describes the conduct of an air traffic controller, who allegedly allowed his two young children to speak with pilots on an air traffic control frequency, and his supervisor, who allegedly allowed it to happen.
The memo, dated February 25, was written after the facilities manager for the air traffic control tower at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport learned about the incident, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
"The display of professionalism in the past by the control personnel at this facility has been exemplary," the memo said. "However, a lapse in judgment for what may seem a minor transgression diminishes our credibility and slights the high standards of professionalism."
It was not immediately clear what prompted the manager to write the memo or how he found out about the incident, the source said.
The incidents occurred on succeeding days last month at JFK, the Federal Aviation Administration said this week, and the controller and the supervisor have been placed on paid administrative leave.
"We have an incredible team of professionals who safely control our nation's skies every single day. This kind of behavior does not reflect the true caliber of our workforce," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in the statement Wednesday.
Babbitt was referring to the February 16 incident involving the controller's young son, who is heard in a recording -- posted on liveatc.net -- clearing a JetBlue flight for takeoff and later speaking to an apparent Aeromexico flight.
Later, an FAA official, who asked not to be identified because of the ongoing investigation, said the controller brought his daughter into the same tower the following day, and the child was allowed to talk with pilots of two planes.
A separate source said the supervisor "should be making sure that things like this don't happen."
Yet another source familiar with the investigation said the two children are twins.
The controller who brought the children to work later reported that he had done so, the source said. The controller and supervisor involved are veteran employees, the official said.
Dave Pascoe owner of the Web site where the recording of the air traffic communications is posted, told CNN he thinks the attention the incident has drawn is "ridiculous" and it has been "blown out of proportion."
In the recording, a child says, "JetBlue 171, cleared for takeoff."
A man then tells the plane, "Here's what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school."
The pilot chuckles and says, "Wish I could bring my kid to work." The same pilot later tells the child, "Awesome job."
During the recording, which is dated February 17, the child also speaks to an apparent Aeromexico flight. A recording from the following day, when the daughter was reportedly in the tower, also was posted on the Web site.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown later said the incident took place about 7:30 p.m. February 16.
Pascoe said most people "in the aviation community felt like this was (not) anything more than a noble thing, that a father would take his kid to work."
"It was one incident where a kid was up in the control tower," he said. "If you know anything about aviation, you know that the air traffic control towers are highly supervised. ... A father was taking a child to work and let the kid clear planes for takeoff and now the world thinks it's an unsafe place."
The FAA has suspended all unofficial visits to air traffic control operational areas during its investigation into the incident. Babbitt has directed a team to review air traffic control policies and procedures related to facility visitors.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union representing controllers, issued a statement, saying its members "do not condone this type of behavior in any way."
CNN's Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.

COULD IT BE? YES, IT'S FRIDAY!


Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.  ~Zenna Scha


Actually, give a WOMAN a fish...etc.  Last Spring I bought myself a new rod and reel and spent countless weekend hours  packing up on Saturday mornings and heading to some pond or river to cast and reel cast and reel cast and reel.  One day this happened:
I had to recruit my boyfriend to hold this baby up!  And I have a bridge to sell you that spans the Atlantic Ocean.  However, I can dream, right?  About the fish AND the guy?  


There are Spring Birds singing outside, even though it is staying pretty cold.  I wonder if they realize yet they came back too early?  But because of their songs that I have missed so much this winter, I had the rod and reel out getting it ready yesterday for my first fishing trip of the season.  That first Saturday when I look at the weather forecast and see 70 degrees or above, and sunshine, I will be hanging up the GONE FISHIN' sign, digging up a few night crawlers from my worm bed out back, throwing the sunscreen and insect repellent, my Kindle, and my iPod into a tote bag, and spending a day in the sun!  


For now, though, I have to drag myself out of The King and wade through the workday.  HAPPY FRIDAY, HAPPY WEEKEND YA'ALL!









         









http://www.imgfave.com/

Thursday, March 04, 2010

GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN

 
 Many years ago, when I was a child, I would spend long, lazy, hot days at my Gramma's and Grampa's house in the country.  They made life for a stressed out, nervous little girl as close to perfect as they could.  

My favorite thing to do was to lay on a blanket propped up on pillows, lacing my fingers through the blades of grass absentmindedly, gazing at the robin egg blue sky through squinted eyes, through the lush green leaves of the trees in the woods surrounding the property.  Squinting until my vision blurred, the leaves took on the quality of green silk fabric draped over the branches, satin sheets tucking the big trees in for a cool afternoon nap.

I can still taste the bottomless frosted glasses of cold lemonade that would appear beside the blanket while I was deep into my daydream world.  People visit earth, then people leave to go to heaven, and if we are lucky, they come back to earth again to be our angels and help us remember the times of our lives when crickets sang us to sleep, the trees sighed with us, and the earth yawned with comfort. 

 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

First you have to know I am extremely electronically and technologically challenged.  Some days are worse than others.  Sometimes I can blunder my way through some setup or actually program the DVR to record shows on time.  Computers baffle me for the most part.  But this story is about a friend of mine who continues to have faith in my ability to solve all of her computer snafus, even after it took just ten minutes the two of us to manage to wipe out her entire system one Saturday afternoon.  

"I do not know what I am doing!" I keep exclaiming to her.

"You know a lot more than I know!" she yells back at me over the phone lines connecting my house and hers.  

She continues to call me a computer wizard even though I had to call HER to figure out why my printer would not print one afternoon.  When I did that, and she told me what was wrong, (make sure you have it plugged in) I said, "SEE?  DON'T EVER TRUST ME WITH THE COMPUTER!"

Good friends, though, do not allow their friends to crash their computers alone.  

Sunday she called in a panic.  Something was wrong.  She thought maybe her monitor was going out.  I told her it did not really sound like a monitor problem and just happened to say, "I had a Trojan horse virus last night and..."

"Trojan horse?" she asked.  Those words came up on my screen just before this started...is that bad?"

I replied, while I was popping jelly beans in my mouth and praying she did not ask me how to fix it, "What did you do when that came up?"

She said, "I just clicked the X and got rid of it, I didn't want to look at it."

Laugh all you want, but I did walk her through getting a virus scan going and inoculating against the nasty bug.  She was so relieved!  I felt like a hero.  

Today my friend, absolutely a matched friendship made in Heaven because the two of us are so much alike, e-mailed and said she wanted to get rid of her Hot Bar.  "What do I do?" she asked in the e-mail.

First of all, I did not tell her I had no idea what a Hot Bar was.  I immediately got back with her and said, "Well, first of all you need to go to My Computer and take it off that way.  Don't just..."

And as I was telling her what not to do, a new e-mail popped into my box and said, "Never mind, I just told it to go away and clicked on some stuff and it's not there now...problem solved!"

I sighed.  Then I called her and asked her why the insurance company was not paying my claim, and she answered, "Did you plug it in?"  

This is why Donna is one of my closest friends.  We work together, cry together, and sometimes we show up at each others house with food, strong alcoholic beverages, and broken computers that we have probably thrown out the window, but we never make each other feel bad.  We say, "Come on in...oh, what a pretty computer you have!"  even though the thing looks charred, sort of like this:

"Just set it right over there so we can look at its beauty.  Shot of tequila?"

And we know everything is going to be okay!



(I found these computer images at http://images.google.com/images?q=photos+of+computers&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL_enUS355US335&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=082OS-n1HITINfj50KAN&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQsAQwAA)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I should have been braver.  Should have stood up to my mom when she demanded I wear ridiculous outfits to school.  I mean, seriously, nobody could have pulled this off without getting teased to death or the crap beaten out of her.  On the other hand, her outrageous choices that were extremely fashionable for a flapper in the forties did not work for a fourth grade student who was gangly and not the easiest person to get along with on a GOOD day.  

But I will say this.  Looking back out of adulthood, I am thrilled my mom made such choices for me and forced them on me.  I grew up with a sense of pride in myself because I had to defend not only myself but my family.  And I did so...fiercely.   There were days I did not like it, days when I voiced my displeasure by even coming down with a sudden bellyache to keep myself home from school, but fighting for your family bleeds over into fighting for your friends, bleeds over into fighting for yourself, into fighting for your children, for their rights.  You learn to handle bullies when your mom dresses you for school.  Everything I am I attribute to a headband just like the one pictured here, cat's-eye glasses, and braces.  


Cheers to mothers and daughters!  May the tradition of humiliation surface once again.  It seemed to work to build our characters.  Clink!


(Thanks to  http://weheartit.com/ for the photo)

Monday, March 01, 2010

I AM SUCH A DRIP!

What happens when you give a grown woman, a grandmother, yet, a package of tubes of various colors of food coloring, a bowl of water, a measuring cup, a camera, and too much time on her hands? 

What happens is she starts pouring different colors of water from a measuring cup into the bowl of water on the table, takes about fifty shots of that while her boyfriend looks on in wonder, probably jealous that he did not think of it himself, ha, and then spends many minutes changing colors, depth, sharpness, contrast, highlights, and shadows in her very first drip experiment.

Amazingly, it is an all-consuming project that she is looking forward to carrying out in many, many different settings and with many, many different colors.  Amazingly, it is exactly what it sounds like, now an obsession. 

Drip experiment Color

 

 

 

 

 

Drip experiment BW

There you have it!  Be sure to look for these masterpieces the next time you are in a high-end gallery, please.  Buy them, put them on your kitchen wall, or in your bathroom! 

Happy Monday, all you drips!