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Tchotchkes

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Location: Connecticut, United States

marybb1@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Normal Eating Must Return


I have had enough hotdogs.

And beans.

And potato salad.

I feel like I do after indulging myself in a Twilight Zone marathon or CSI marathon.

I will want more someday..but not for a while.

I have not, however, tired of Lemon Drop Martinis.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Enjoy the long weekend!

I'll be ODing on hotdogs, one of my all time favorite foods, going to the parade, romping on the beach, having lemon-drop martinis and generally having a grand old time. I hope you do too.

Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

3 Lemons juiced
3 shots Vodka
3 TB sugar (use bar sugar AKA superfine sugar or castor sugar) if possible

Rim martini glass with lemon then dip into sugar. Large crystal yellow decorating sugar looks really good.

Throw juice, sugar and vodka in shaker with lots of ice. Shake.

Pour into rimmed glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Yummy

(No Sour Mix! It only tastes good with fresh squeezed lemons.)


Keep away from the kids as it tastes just like a lemon drop candy!

And keep in mind, just like the old martini jokes, one's not enough and two's too many!

Friday, May 26, 2006

(Shhh Don't Tell Anyone, Promise?)


I'd only share this with you: I'm getting unexplained "bites" that seem to show up at around 8 pm as tiny but itchy red bumps. Immediately my mind goes to fleas. After all, I do have two large dogs and one part-time cat.

(He's part-time because after his sister died a few months ago, he spends a lot of time across the street visiting the two female cats that live there. All of the cats have been altered so it isn't sex driving him to "visit" so often, it must be a manifestation of his loss of his own sister.)

Back to the bites, I combed and brushed and analyzed all three furry bodies and couldn't find a flea. Doesn't mean a wayward flea hasn't made it's way into my home, but I'm ruling out fleas at this point. One, I know what a flea bite looks like, it's smaller and usually around my ankles. This is slightly bigger and found just about anywhere.

A quick Google search gave me the willies. Chiggers...it sounds like effing chiggers that are biting me! But when I read more I ruled out chiggers. Then I read up on bedbugs and scabies - terrifying until again, I ruled out these critters as not producing my particular type of bite.

I read the section on spider bites with my eyes closed. If I ever found out a spider was strolling over my body sampling my blood and flesh I would truly have to be tranquilized and I would insist on moving that day to a place where no spiders could live. Where that would be I don't know. I guess you can tell I am not a fan of spiders.

Just when I decided that there wasn't a single bug bite I could find listed that resembled the pattern of the ones I had, I found a site on Noseeums.

Noseeums are tiny biting flies or midges and they can fit through a screen (we keep our bedroom window open) and they live in an area similar to where I live and they love to bite during the month of May.

Great...somehow biting flies doesn't freak me out as much as some of the other possible bugs...so I will stick with Noseeums as the reason for the bites.

Or, like that boy in the fourth grade said to me: You have Cooties. So, whether it's Cooties or Noseeums -- at least it's not spider bites.

EW!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


What Ifs?

I need help.

I need inspiration and ideas on how to purge. I’m not happy in the current shape I’m in and I suffer from a form of gluttony that is quite powerful. Purging is the only way I can think of to pare down and gain control.

Oh, no, I’m not bulimic at all. What I am is a collector: I can’t seem to throw out a single birthday card, book, CD (even if I hate it).

I can’t seem to dump the dowdy ill-fitting clothing that sits in my closet, dusty from no use. The jeans that I used to adore but no longer fit right. The jeans I bought last month when I thought I could deal with the how-low-can-it-go low-rise waist.

The odd little house gifts that people have brought: lilac-scented dusting powder (come on, even my Grandmother didn’t use dusting powder!), the various candle holders in the shape of bunnies, Santas, etc.

(I think: what if they come and ask me where the Santa candleholder is they gave me four years ago or where’s the Scull serving plate they brought me for Halloween? This is one of my main reasons for hanging on to all this junk…the perpetual and paralyzing fear of what if? )

I have four or five computer hard drives in my attic. I am afraid to throw them out because what if someone picks one out of the trash and finds out all my secrets. I’ve saved every bill I’ve ever paid; every pay stub; every Christmas card, mother’s day card, Halloween card.

I still have every end roll of wallpaper, every rug scrap, every piece of tile; all the dried up paint cans that have been used in my house. What if I need them for a repair?

I save every gift bag, every bow, orphan wine glasses, mismatched plates and piles of recipes I have no intention of ever making-- I have a problem folks: I might have makeup in my makeup drawer that was purchased when I was in the seventh grade. (What if Popsicle Pink lipstick comes back into vogue?)

I can’t even throw out my Free Tibet shirt which has more holes than fabric at this point. I’m very attached to this shirt and what if I wake up one day and not a single item of clothing will do except this comfy, super-soft Free Tibet shirt?

So, today I start the process of the great and grand purge. I will be ruthless. I will dump mounds and pounds of useless objects until my home is free from the useless and tasteless debris that can be found behind all closet doors, cupboards and in the attic and basement.

I did learn the basics on how to dump the junk in the main rooms…so my house appears to be neat and tidy, when in reality it is bursting with stuff in every dark corner – from attic to basement.

So here goes, let the purge begin and the first thing I’m ridding myself of is the “what ifs”.

Is there anything you save because of the what ifs and if so, what is it? And what will you do if you throw it out and then decide you need it? What if that happens?


Oh no, here I go again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dodd’s the Dude!

Here in Connecticut we have two Democratic Senators: Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman.

(Lieberman is not a real Democrat as his devout religious beliefs have caused him to side with the religious right in theory and practice.)

Chris Dodd, however, has consistently embodied the very best in political minds, actions and deeds. He has often made me proud to live in this state and he’s got mucho charisma and zero baggage.

That’s why when I read that he is going to run for President I wanted to open up a bottle of champagne. So what it was 6 AM and I hadn’t even had a cup of coffee?

Yes, his name is not a household word and yes, he has no war chest to speak of – but he’s got that “thing” that can make a candidate win. He’s the total package.

Because of Republican chicanery, deceit, lies and hypocrisy, I truly will vote for any Democratic candidate that runs, including Mickey Mouse. That’s how fed up I am with the direction of my country and the desire to lift the United States up and away from the muck and mire brought in by Bush and his disciples. But like any voter, I wanted to have a candidate I could believe in.

I voted for Kerry – but I knew others would see him as stiff and unsuitable. I voted for Gore but knew he too had that stiff look that people find off-putting. I would vote for Hillary but let’s face it: she has a large group of people who hate her with a passion – no good reason but lots and lots of passion. Obama? Edwards? Not yet.

Each candidate discussed as possibly running would make me think: can he or she play in Peoria?

Christopher Dodd can do that. He’s passed my litmus test: He can play in Peoria.

He is an eloquent speaker but a down-to-earth guy. He’s got Yale and Harvard smarts but he graduated from Providence College and the University of Louisville. He’s a nice guy, but beware do not confuse his kindness with weakness. He’s got spine and lots of it.

He can reach the voters of the coasts as any of the above people can, but what he can also do is get into the hearts of the heartland and get votes there too. He can become president and he would lead our country with dignity and respect, something that’s been missing for far too long.

And, if he wins, he will make every political cartoonist in the world extremely happy. His ebony eyebrows and ivory hair are not easily forgotten but easy to lampoon.

And that will be all that can be lampooned about Chris Dodd. How nice for a change.

Change.


Just that word is clearing the black clouds of the current administration out of my mind.


There’s hope.


There’s a candidate: Chris Dodd.



Hallelujah!




Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"At the end of the game the king and the pawn go back in the same box." -- Italian Proverb.


I'm dying to use this proverb some day.

Is there a proverb, punch line or comeback you're dying to say someday? Do you ever pre-plan conversations in your head when you know someone is going to go after you for some real or imagined slight?

I guess since the "Blindsided" incident, I am beefing up my verbal armory in preparation for the next attack.

Husband taught me a long time ago (sometimes I forget) that responding to an uncomfortable question or statement with a question is a good device.

For example: Why aren't you having any more kids? Answer: Why do you want to know?

Or

"You're very selfiish if you won't go to Aunt So and So's birthday party in Guam when she always thought so highly of you." Response: What would make you think it would be possible for me to travel to Guam for anyone's birthday party?

My mother used to say: Put the ball back in their court.

Verbal sparring is like a pingpong game. They lob something at you you send it back to them. Even a single Why? can cause people to stammer as the verbal attackers, usually, only like waging the attack and not fending one off.

Another favorite that is applied when you have had to attend a business meeting where someone lectures for hours about changes in policy or procedures -- yet you have no idea what it is they want you to do.

You say: As a result of this meeting, what is it you want me to do differently?

Then watch them squirm because most of the time, if you come away from a meeting in total confusion, it's because the presenters have not said anything concrete and when you ask them a concrete question they have great difficulty telling you what to do differently.

I've also had to practice, believe it or not, saying NO.

Yes, is my default response, and it's not a good one. It has caused me to bake more cupcakes than most of the mothers in CT. It's caused me to do door-to-door collecting for every disease known to mankind. I've ended up taking other people's children to dance classes, the dentist, work, school and even the mall. I've hosted most of the holiday parties for the family up until recently when after religiously practicing my noes, I managed to come out with a few.

If no is too hard for you to make your default response, "let me think about it" is also a good one. Then you can take a cold shower, smack yourself in the head a few times and call back the person and say No.

I wish I could take a class in how to handle bizarre requests; how to fend off the perpetual and artificial hurt feelings of some people and the nasty and snide comments that others seem to think are okay to say to someone who's just done you a favor and never asked for one in return.

I need to brush up on my noes --I need to take a refresher course in saying NO for the people who call asking for money too.

Any tips, ideas are welcome and I hope some of mine might help you in the future.

Of course, if you don't want to share tips or comebacks, feel free to say NO!

That's what I'm working on...the ability to free myself by swallowing my yesses and burping up noes in return.

GAWWRRPPPP!





Monday, May 22, 2006

Good Luck Lewis the Cat!!!

The saga of Lewis the cat is not over. It’s just beginning as tomorrow the trial begins.

According to the CT Post, Lewis’s owner, Ruth Cisero, was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment after Lewis allegedly attacked Maureen Bachtig, on Feb. 5. It’s been said that Bachtig won’t back off until Lewis is put to death.

I mean really.

The following quote was also published in the paper and I have to say, Bachtig sounds like one crazy kettle calling a crazy cat black. (By the way, Lewis is black with white paws.)

"Lewis saw the headlights from my car as I was pulling into my driveway," Bachtig told police. "He then ran to my front lawn. I then told my son who was in the car to run quickly into the house and get his dad. I then became concerned for my son's safety and I ran up the front walk and told Lewis to 'go home now.' Next thing you know I felt Lewis' claw on my left leg and I shook him loose. He then lunged and clung to my right leg, leaving one very deep puncture wound, one long deep gash across the top of my knee and various other more shallow claw wounds."

I guess Bachtig’s going for premeditation here.

So we are to picture the cat laying in wait for an automobile, seeing headlights and running to attack the car. (Lewis is a pretty big cat, but taking on a car seems a bit much.) We are to presume that Lewis is lusting after Bachtig’s thighs planning with forethought and malice to jump up on those fleshy limbs and sharpen his claws.

Then according to Bachtig, she and her son started running all over the front lawn. Then Bachtig ran up to Lewis and told him to go home in English rather than in Cat. If she’d spoken in Cat with a HISSSS I’ll bet Lewis would have high-tailed (pun intended) it out of there.

Somehow we are to believe that Bachtig stops running at some point while Lewis claws, punctures lunges and clings to her legs.

Where the hell was “dad” as he was supposed to come out and help, wasn’t he? Why didn’t he come out and run around the front yard too? Why did all the running around stop at the sidewalk? Why, if she was so scared did she open the door to the car and let her son run around the yard when something as ferocious as a house cat was already preparing to attack a car? Why didn’t she call 911 to report a cat in her yard?

I’ve seen pictures of the alleged wounds and really I’ve done more damage with a razor –I’ve seen worse mosquito bites.

Maybe if Bachtig and her son hadn’t been running wildly around the yard, Lewis would have merely peed against a bush and left.

Running up to Lewis, as she admits she did, could have spooked the poor kitty.

Bachtig and son were the ones acting in an aggressive manner to Lewis and the poor cat probably was scared into baring his claws. (If in fact he did what she said.)

The idea that Lewis saw their car’s headlights and ran into their yard to attack them is inane and Bachtig’s frivolous lawsuit, I hope, will end up biting her in the ass.

What a waste of court time.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Rules:


Write 10 words beginning with the letter K in your journal, including an explanation what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along.

‘K’ Kimananda… I am ready to play!

1) ken

This is an important word because when I first heard it I thought the person was crazy: They said “I just don’t know; this is beyond my ken.” Only the person speaking was married to a David and had a son named William. I didn’t get it. So as soon as I got home I looked it up and saw this meaning:

1. Perception; understanding

2. Range of vision

3. View; sight

2) kern

I first heard this word when I was proofreading a magazine and the editor said: This line needs to be kerned differently. I said sure…then ran to a co-worker and asked what he meant.

3) kumquat

I love the sound of this word. But I didn’t always like this word. In the tenth grade, a senior boy in my Physiology class called me a kumquat. I thought it was a dirty word and was very indignant and avoided this boy until he graduated. Shortly after, I read an article about kumquats in a magazine. I’m pretty sure if I had known the definition at the time, I would have been his date for the prom.

4) kindergarten

I couldn’t wait to go to school like my big brother and sister. I can still remember skipping to school on my first day of kindergarten happy as a child could possibly be.

5) Kool-Aid

This is not a drink we ever had in my house. My mother called it crap. So of course, I was wildly and madly in love with Kool-Aid and would drink pitchers of it at my friends’ houses.

6) Khaki

I love love love a man in a long-sleeved white shirt and a good fitting pair of khakis. Sexy as hell. I personally don’t wear any form of khaki pants. I hate them on me.

7) Kaleidoscope

I have my very own kaleidoscope. I bought it for myself about ten years ago and it wasn’t cheap. As a child I had these cardboard types that I would kill from over-use. My new one is made of brass with semi-precious gems but it isn’t semi-precious to me, it is very precious! When I look in the eyepiece I dream.

8) Keg

I adore beer. I adore beer that comes from a keg. I like to pump pump pump and then dispense the golden liquid into a big, plastic beer cup. I especially like keg beer with a hotdog done on the grill. Add a bocce game into the mix and I’m one happy camper.

9) Kiss

Is there a better feeling in the world if the person who’s kissing you is someone you love? Is there a worse feeling than being kissed by someone who makes your stomach churn? First kiss for me was the stomach-turning variety at a game of Spin the Bottle and I could feel the bile in the back of my throat. I didn’t dig this guy at all.

10) Kitten

I want one so badly. I lost my beloved Murphy a few months ago and I hate being a one cat house. For years we had three cats. Then it was two. Now it is one and I want that feeling of holding a tiny kitten in my hand and pledging to this baby that I will keep it fed, warm and happy for the rest of its life.

Wow, interesting. When I started this post I wondered what words I could find for the letter K. Now I feel warmed up and words like kite (love them) knee (first operation I ever had was on my knee) knot (I loved my cousins Boy Scout handbook with instructions to tie knots.) Even knife… (terrified on them) spring into my mind.

I could go on. I’m really into K’s unless there are three of them in a row.

Lewis the Cat, Tree Branches, Mole Holes, Bird Shit

I already wrote about Lewis here, but I keep thinking about him. We are talking about a cat who some people think should act like a third year med student, or a driver’s ed teacher or Father Finnegan down at the church.

Really, so a cat scratches you. Big Whoop.

I’m not sure how that happened. People are bigger than cats. People have all the skills and abilities to scare off a cat. How a 10 pound cat could attack an Avon Lady is beyond me. Unless, the Avon Lady was wearing a new Avon perfume called Eau de Mouse.

So we now want to legislate and litigate cat behavior.

How about tree limbs? Once I was walking down a tree lined street and a small limb, already cracked from a storm, fell and landed on my shoulder causing it to hurt like a summanabitch for about a week. I got a black and blue mark and a few scratches.

Should I have sued the tree? Should the tree be on house arrest? Should we ban trees in general because maybe a limb might fall down?

Recently I twisted my ankle on a mole hole. Why haven’t the local cops rounded up all the moles in Connecticut and put them on trial?

(I went to an outdoor wedding where the bride resplendent in her white dress and veil was bombed with a white glob of bird shit just before she said I do. Should she have demanded that all birds be shot on sight? Should she have sued the Audubon Society for pain and suffering?)

Cats, trees, moles and birds exist and sometimes you get a scratch or a bruise or a scrape or even some shit dropped on you.

Is it possible we can alter these acts of nature?

People have to lighten up and realize – just like our bride here – that shit happens.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blindsided

I don’t know why, but lately this is happening a lot to me. More frequently than I can tolerate.

I’m going along, doing my chores, humming, happy because it’s the first sunny day in a month and I take a break, go upstairs to see what’s on the computer and I get a stinky email. Or maybe it’s the same scenario and the phone rings and I pick it up with a happy hello while the caller is only calling to read me out for some imagined slight.

I pride myself in going out of my way to attempt to please all the important people in my life, starting with my husband and children and moving on to other relatives and friends.

This particular email was from a friend who was upset because I said I might not be able to attend a party for her daughter, a party that happened to be planned on a day that we are having a family party.

Now I’ve done an awful lot for this friend in my life – more than I’ve done for anyone else but my immediate family.

Still, it comes down to a "maybe" for one party, and I’m subjected to a half dozen paragraphs of not nice commentary.

(I was actually trying to figure out a way I could stop by this party to avoid the whole hurt feeling scenario when it would have been highly inconvenient for me and my family to do so.)

Back to the email: Comparisons are brought up as to how much she’s done for me and my family and moves on to other nitpicking, foolish and all encompassing always/never statements.

Good mood plummets to bad mood and now I’m feeling grouchy and mean.

I don’t do well with friends for the simple reason that so many of them seem it’s great sport to “discuss” the relationship or to “clear the air” by telling me something negative about myself. Things that I believe are totally unfair and untrue. And because I never criticize a friend or relative, they must think that they've never done a single thing to hurt my feelings or make me angry.

I have this weird idea that I don’t fight with friends nor do I want them fighting with me. When it gets to that point-- the friendship is put-a-fork-in-it dead.

I don’t like fighting and never have.

I don’t fight with my husband or sister or brother. I never fought with my father or mother. I just don’t fight.

I always think that people are doing the best they can; none of us is perfect; most people don’t try to be hurtful – and I’m self-contained enough not to harbor ill will or have grandiose expectations about how people will behave. When I feel people are taking advantage of me or are lying to me or manipulating me, I end the friendship with a whimper rather than a bang. I just avoid them if I can.

Unfortunately, I am bombarded with people who are always on the edge of hurt feelings and when you try as hard as I do to accommodate all these people one isn’t very happy about the attack phone calls or letters.

So, if you -- and you know who you are -- come and visit my blog, please be advised: if you value our relationship, then keep your criticisms to something real, or better, do what I do, give me the benefit of the doubt.

Anyone else have people who pop up into your happy world and drag you down for no good reason?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Enough With the Gray Already


I'm grayed out.

I look out the window day after day and all I see is gray.

I look down at my hands typing and they look gray. I look in the mirror and my hair is gray, my eyes are gray, my lips are gray.

I look in my kitchen which is normally blues and reds and creams and all I see is gray. I make a grilled cheese sandwich and it's gray; the bread is gray and the cheese is gray.

I look on the dining room table where a vase filled with fresh flowers sits, and each flower, from rose to lily, is gray.

I look in my front yard and realize my specimen tree -- a miniature, red, split-leaf, japanese maple must be renamed to
miniature, gray, split-leaf japanese maple.

My golden retrievers are no longer golden..they are now gray retrievers.

My pink grapefruit, sectioned and ready to eat is a gray grapefruit.

I brush my teeth and when I'm done I notice that my teeth are gray.

My freshly polished nails, polished with Sally Hanson Cherries Jubilee Red, are Cherries Jubilee Gray.

My belly button is gray.

My pink flipflops have flipflopped into gray.

My mood is gray and I search hundreds and hundreds of CDs to find one that plays in color: Even Jimmy Buffett sings in gray today.

I talk on the phone with a friend and it's a gray conversation.

I look at my kitty and he looks gray. (That's okay though since he is a gray cat.)

I look at the bananas hanging limply from the absurd banana hanger I have sitting on the kitchen counter and they are all gray.

The recently acquired papercut on my left index finger is still weeping a bit of gray blood onto my gray keyboard.

Gray rain is flooding my basement and causing me to Wet Vac my little gray heart out until either the rain stops or I build myself a gray ark and sail away.

My world is gray.

My tears are gray.

Rain rain go away.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Employee Commuter Vans,

Panties with Wings,

and Unflappable Engineers

A while ago, husband joined a commuter group with his coworkers. The company hired a van to take them to work to save on gas and help limit I-95 traffic congestion. The forty minute trip to and from work became “play time” for the usually serious group of engineers and accountants who rode on the van.

One Halloween they concocted the idea to ride into work wearing the worst masks they could find. Christmas time someone smuggled aboard a pitcher filled with Bloody Marys, and one commuter made up a group of signs that could be held up to the window: “Stop Tailgating;” “Your Signal is Still On” were some of the more mild “directives” they’d put up against the windows to be seen by nearby drivers.

After a few months of commuting together in the van, the group started to play practical jokes on each other.

(Spending a minimum of 80 minutes in a van spawned a group of knuckleheads out of once professional and polite employees.)

Husband being one of the more serious types on the van became the group’s choice as to who they most wanted punked, so to speak. It seemed that whenever anyone tried to play a joke on him it went flat; he just couldn’t be tricked.

So they came up with what they thought was a brilliant idea: One of the women on the van was going to go out and buy a new pair of panties, sexy black lace jobbers and slip it into husband’s attaché case when he wasn’t looking. The idea was he’d be at a meeting and reach in for a file or document and pull out the panties in shock and embarrassment.

Since I was very friendly with the group, I got a phone call that day telling me what they had done to poor husband.

I replied: Don’t be so sure you’re going to get him on this…

The van jokesters were beside themselves with glee and kept a good eye on husband the whole day. Anytime he went near his attaché case they held their breaths waiting to see his expression change; waiting for a laugh or a look of surprise. But it never happened.

At a few minutes before quitting time and the van ride back to the commuter lot, the panty donator finally caved and said: Didn’t you find anything unusual in your attaché case today?

Husband said: “Sort of”, with a wry smile. Then he asked: “How’d you know?”

“Know? How’d I know? I put them there,” she said.

“Oh,” husband replied, I thought they were my wife’s.

(I’d done a massive underwear shopping the day before and he thought that one of the pairs of panties had somehow flown into his attaché case, I guess.)

Since gas prices are so high, companies are starting up more commuter vans and I just wanted unsuspecting wives and husbands to know, that something happens inside of those vans. People get the crazies and don’t be surprised if you find women’s underwear in your man’s attaché case or men’s underwear in your woman’s pocketbook.

Nutty stuff happens on commuter vans. Let this be a warning.

Also, for future reference, it’s pretty hard to fool an engineer because they’ll create a logical reason why a pair of woman’s underwear has appeared in their attaché case.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Motherhood


It’s the hardest, most wonderful job in the world.

It’s a job you are working at full time even if you have a 9 – 5 job outside of the home.

A high school drop out and a PhD can sit for hours talking about the joys and sorrows of motherhood.

Being a mother connects us to all other mothers in the world, past, present and future.

It’s both the most alien and familiar state of being a woman will ever feel.

It is impossible to master because each child is different from the next and each age is different and changes occur daily and so must our mothering styles and techniques.

It never ends. Once a mother always a mother. You cannot retire from mothering.

Even on a two week vacation to the islands, you are still a mother.

No mother I know believes they have done an excellent job as a mother. Most are willing to relate anecdotal evidence of past mistakes to back up their claim.

Most children love their mothers; even the mothers that by society’s standards aren’t that hot.

Still, mothers struggle with guilt and worries; are they too lenient? Too harsh? Too demanding? Not demanding enough?

The list goes on.

I’m hoping that all the mothers in the world will do something extra nice for themselves this weekend. Pat themselves on their own backs and ease up on their expectations for themselves.

99 percent of all mothers are doing a wonderful job and the other one percent does not visit my blog.

To all women; those in active combat with a couple of toddlers; those experiencing adversarial motherhood as their children are growing up and challenging parental wisdom; those women who are pet mothers: feeding, cleaning and caring for furry children;

To the mothers who have grown children but are now mothering their children’s children; the single aunts that take the time to visit and play with their nieces and nephews; the mothers-to-be who are donating their own bodies as flesh and blood cribs while they wait for the birth.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone of you!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Terrorism


Today I got a small inkling of how terrorism works.

I was washing the glass-top cover, that slides in over both vegetable and fruit bins in my refrigerator, when I heard a gunshot. But it wasn’t a gun shot, it was exploding glass.

Then glass was flying everywhere: in my hair, on my eyelashes, all over the bathroom, all over me, a pile of glass in the bottom of the toilet. Glass shards clinging to my towels, shower curtain, toothbrush. Horrendous!

Just in case you are thinking: oh she must have taken the cold glass out of the fridge then was washing it with hot water. No. I had taken out the glass -- let it get to room temperature, then placed it in the bathtub on a towel and washed it with lukewarm water.

Very carefully, I removed it from the tub, brought it over to the vanity where I was drying it off.

No, I did not let it torque; I did not drop it or knock it or do anything to it at all. It just exploded on its own just as if someone had shot it with an unseen gun.

I am glad it was “safety” glass, because I ended up with only a half dozen nicks here and there and I don’t require any stitches but maybe a few Scotches.

I got the shakes after it happened because of the element of surprise, the sound and all that glass all over the place…making sick little clicking sound as it kept popping into more and more little glass chips.

I reacted to the small trickle of blood on my chin as if I’d lost an eye.

As I was cleaning up (which took over two hours in order to make sure no glass pieces were left to lodge into feet or paws, ) I kept thinking about why my heart was still beating so fast; why I felt rattled, jumpy, and almost weepy. Why I was over reacting.

Then it came to me.

Fear.

Fear of something I couldn’t prevent, didn’t deserve, hadn’t even thought possible: a rather large piece of glass literally blowing up in my face for no reason.

The terror of it all.

Now every piece of glass in my house is suspect and maybe it should be.

After doing a quick Google search I found that toaster oven doors, shower doors, patio table tops, average drinking glasses and fine stemmed crystal are exploding all over the world.

In fact, almost every type of glass product made has shattered for no reason.

Terrible.

Time for a cocktail but I think I’ll use a Sippy Cup rather than a glass.

I'd like to say: Please be careful dear friends.

But like terrorism, there isn't anything you can do to stop it.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Disclaimer:

I am not a clean freak nor do I enjoy housework.



Laurenbove wrote about the Flylady here and she reminded me of how I once had a love/hate relationship with her. (The Flylady, not Laurenbove)

Flylady gets as close to god talk as I can personally tolerate: the hate part; but when I’m signed up and receiving the emails, I have to admit, I get more done and am happier in the long run; the love part.

For those of you not familiar with Flylady you can go to her site and see if you can stand her.

Basically once you sign up you get a series of emails guiding you through your chores; encouraging you to love yourself; reminding you to do everything from finishing your laundry to flossing your teeth. If you’re up around eleven PM she even sends out an email telling you to go to bed.

Sounds simplistic I know, but after reading Lauren’s post I signed up again and my house is shiny happy clean without me ever feeling like I’ve had to overdo working.

Flylady tells you to do things in 10 or 15 minute time periods and gives out assignments daily. All this week we are supposed to focus on our kitchens -- and today was look up and clean the dirt from all things that are above eye level.

Yesterday, I think was locate the source of that awful smell.

(How did she know?)

I found a green/brown fuzzy lemon way in the back of the fridge.

I hate housework but I adore clean…and if you do, you also might benefit from the Flylady and her reminders and emails of encouragement sprinkled with tips, recipes and testimonials from Flylady members.

One thing I do love that she says over and over: You can do anything for 15 minutes and she’s right. It’s also very surprising how much you can get done in 15 minutes.

The best part is by the time I’m writing this post at 2 PM, I have accomplished all my goals and have plenty of free time to blog, chat on the phone, read, or whatever I care to do. And I'm doing it in a sparkling clean house.

I guess I need direction, reminders and gentle pushes to get things done. I need to replace bad habits with good habits. I need to balance my dislike for housework with my love of having a clean house.

I guess I even need that 11 PM reminder to go to bed!

Thanks for reminding me about Flylady Lauren, (come back Lauren I miss your blog!) -- I’m back soaring, so to speak, and getting things done fifteen minutes at a time.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

There’s a Kind of Hush All Over BlogWorld

Is it spring fever?

Or fever and malaise?

Or just plain malaise?

Maybe it’s just mayonnaise…

I don’t know, but something is shutting down bloggers and blogs. They’re dropping like flies. They’re crawling into the woodwork leaving terse goodbyes, pithy kiss-offs and blank pages.

People who blogged daily are now updating only on the bicentennial.

People who woke up and ran to their computers, eager to share the good, the bad and the ugly in their lives have “gone fishing”, moved with no forwarding address or are now posting under an assumed name in another blogosphere.

Bloggers are deflating, disintegrating and disappearing at an alarming rate.

What are they doing now?

Are they working for crissakes?

Tending to the children?

Cooking gourmet dinners in their oh-so tidy house?

Writing the great (fill in the country) novel?

Riding their bikes?

Having picnics in the country?

Taking in a show?

Putting together Ikea furniture?

Watching Tivo?

Scrapbooking?

Am I the last lazy do-nothing blogger in the universe?

Hello?

Anybody home?