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Archive for March, 2010

Star, the Headmistress

Have you ever been shopping and seen something that intrigued you, but you resisted temptation and didn’t buy it?  That happened to me last December.  I was Christmas shopping with a friend at Pier 1, which is one of my favorite stores.  As we wandered through the aisles, admiring this and that, my eye was drawn to something which immediately captured my imagination.  It was a HEAD.  But it was not just any head.  It was a green-tinted head made in Spain.  While my friend was wondering what on earth one would do with such a thing, I was going through the endless possibilities.  It was only $19.99, but it was Christmas and I had gifts to buy for other people.  But I did drop some pretty heavy hints to my friend that the head would be a great gift for me, if someone might be wondering.  Unfortunately, the hints didn’t take, and I was destined to go through Christmas headless.   But I never forgot about it…

Flash forward to last Friday.  I had a to-do list of several errands, one which took me within a block of Pier 1.  As I headed toward the stoplight, I had to make a split decision – right to go home, left to the store.  Visions of The Head danced through my mind.  Did I need The Head?  No.  Should I get The Head anyway?  Darned right, I should!  I turned left.

As I pulled into the lot, my hopes were not high.  What were the odds that something they carried in December would still be in stock in March?  Not too good, I’d say.  As I entered the store, a clerk asked, “May I help you?”  For some reason, “Yes, I’m here for my HEAD,” didn’t seem appropriate, so I just shook my head and smiled.  I headed straight to the area where The Head was last seen.  And there it was!

As a matter of fact, there were a half-dozen heads, all waiting for the discriminating buyer.  I chose the most intelligent-looking one, wrapped my arms around it and took it to the cashier.

She smiled and said, “Ah!  Now what does one do with these?”

I replied, “Well, I’ll have to try it out in several places, but I mainly just wanted to have it around.”

Was it my imagination or did she step back, just a tiny bit?

Anyway, it’s home with me now and I foresee good times.  I haven’t named it yet, because I haven’t decided if it’s a bald girl or a guy.  I’m leaning toward female because the nose is so delicate.  And she DOES look good with accessories!

So anyway, it seems like what they say is true.  Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get aHEAD!

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Birds Fighting?

The other day I observed a very interesting “bird incident.”  I was eating breakfast, when I heard a commotion of squawking out front.  I went to the front window and saw two birds going at it, almost taking turns attacking each other.  After watching for a few minutes, I returned to my breakfast.  About twenty minutes later, I looked out again and they were STILL going at each other!  Their persistence was amazing.  At this point, wanting to record this, I decided to go get my Flip Video camcorder, knowing full well that by the time I did this, they would be gone.  They weren’t.  Neither did they fly off when I stepped outside, but they did start covering a wider territory.

Before you watch this little movie, let me apologize in advance.  This was the first time I actually tried to record something with this Flip Video and the results are  pretty terrible.   It’s very bouncy at the first because I was trying to follow the birds out to the side yard.  After about one minute, there is a swooshing sound which is the wind.  But, despite the poor quality, I think you’ll get the sense of how relentless these birds were.

So, here it is.  It runs three minutes and 7 seconds, but it gets more passionate the further you go.  Again, I know it’s totally bouncy.  Just bear with it.  I’m learning.

After viewing this, the thought did occur to me that maybe these two birds could be mating.  Since I had no idea how birds mate, I checked with Answers.com and they explained it like this:

The female bird unfans her tail, moves it to one side while the male climbs onto her back or gets close to her.  Their cloacas are pressed together and the sperm moves from the male to the female.  This act is called a “cloacal kiss.

So, the question is, were they fighting or having sex?  If they were having sex and I was filming them, then that would make me a dirty old lady, wouldn’t it?  But don’t get too cocky!  Wouldn’t that also mean that you just sat there and viewed avian porn?

That’s okay.  I won’t tell if you won’t!

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Happy Saturday!  Today I have several little bits and pieces of things to catch up on or to tell you about, starting with that damned mole!

If you’re starting to get the impression that I have a “thing” about moles, you’d be right.  At my last house, a mole single-snoutedly destroyed my front, back and side yards.  I actually drove by there not long ago and could still see the bumpy terrain left by that nasty critter.  So, about a week ago when I saw that the mole who had torn up my neighbor’s yard, was back and inching into mine, the battle became personal.

I have stepping stones, leading from my front door, up the hill of my front yard to the sidewalk by the street.  I like those stepping stones.  Not only are they handy for going up the hill, but I think they look quaint.  So anyway, on Wednesday I glanced out the window and what did I see?  One of my stepping stones was completely covered in a clump of dirt!  It was the DAMNED MOLE! I screamed “Oh NO you don’t!”  and then insanity must have overcome me.  The next thing I knew, I was out in the rain with a broom and my trusty rubber mallet!  I swept the mud and dirt off the stone and then proceeded to pound down his run leading to it!  I pounded with fury, visualizing his head!  And yet the next day he had pushed up a little more dirt, which I promptly pounded down.  If he thinks this is a battle he can win, he is sadly mistaken  This is WAR!  (Meanwhile I’m sure I’m providing lots of gossip and entertainment for the neighbors, but hey, I live to serve!)

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Okay, my eye exam was this week and let me tell you, I have a new admiration for all of you who wear glasses and do this all the time.  This was my first “complete” eye exam and it took me by surprise.  First the technician took me to a room and put a machine to my eyes and ran me through about a hundred tests.   Fortunately, my far vision is perfect and I don’t need anything but my reading glasses.  But then she said she was going to put some yellow drops in my eyes and test for pressure.  YUK!  She didn’t tell me that they would deaden my eyes!  It was an awful feeling!  They felt numb and gritty.  I knew that I would be having my eyes dilated, but had no idea what that entailed.  I had asked if I would be able to drive home and they said yes, as long as I had sunglasses.  So in went the dilation drops.  Then the technician left the room and said the doctor would be with me shortly. (Liar!)  Anyway, I sat there reading for awhile, then pulled out my mirror to check my eyes out.  Momma mia!  I looked like a zombie girl!  It was “Night of the Living Dead” all over!  Take a look at the size of my pupil! If you look closely, you can see the reflection of my hand holding the camera…
After the doctor examined my eyes, I headed to the front reception room and almost went blind!  The whole room is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and I couldn’t see anything.  I pulled out my sunglasses and asked one of the gals how long this would last.  “A few hours,” they answered.  A few hours my butt!  When I got into my car, I was squinting, even with the sunglasses.  Under normal conditions I am light-sensitive, so this was hell for me.  But, what was I going to do?  Sit there in the parking lot for the rest of my life?  After I had gone a few blocks, I remembered that I have an extra pair of sunglasses in the glove compartment and hoped that they were darker.  At a stoplight, I changed to them, and they did help.  But it was still awful.
When I got home, I had to go around closing the blinds because, honestly, the light was still blinding me.  The “few hours” they told me this would last turned into all day.  Thank God I don’t have to go back for two years!!!
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And finally, I tried a new product – Aquafresh Iso-Active Foaming Gel Whitening toothpaste.  Sensodyne has the same thing, but the Aquafresh was about a dollar cheaper.  The idea is that the foaming gel penetrates hard-to-reach places in your mouth and actively breaks down stains and removes more bacteria than ordinary toothpaste.  I got it mainly because it looked fun, and brushing your teeth is normally so boring that I figured anything would help.
It comes in a can similar to a shaving cream can.  When you put it on your toothbrush, it looks just like regular toothpaste.  But!  Once you start brushing…
IT’S A PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH!!!
Seriously, it’s like the gel multiplies or something and pretty soon you have a mouth full of toothpaste the consistency of shaving cream!  But aside from the joy of having a mouthful of foam (keep your minds out of the gutter!) it really does feel like this stuff cleans out your whole mouth and makes your teeth sparkly clean.

So, the next time you’re having a slow Saturday night, go get yourself some of this stuff!  If you do it right, it will keep you busy for a whole ten minutes!  Don’t thank me!  I’m just happy to help.   🙂

That’s it for now!

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Does This Ring A Bell?

Since I’m not in the mood to write anything really heavy or thought-provoking, I’ve decided to share a little story my friend, Francie, sent me.  It’s not rocket science, but it might just make you grin or maybe groan.  Here goes…

After Quasimodo’s death, the bishop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bell-ringer was needed.

The bishop decided to conduct the interviews personally and went up to the belfry to begin the screening process.   After observing several applicants, he decided to call it a day when an armless man approached him and said he was there to apply for the bell-ringer’s job.

The bishop was incredulous. “You have no arms!”

“No matter,” said the man. “Observe!”

And he began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon.  The bishop listened in astonishment, convinced he had found a replacement for Quasimodo.

But suddenly, rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below.  The stunned bishop rushed to his side.

When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard moments before.

As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, “Bishop, who was this man?”

“I don’t know his name,” the bishop sadly replied,

BUT HIS FACE RINGS A BELL!”

BUT WAIT! There’s more………….

The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the bishop continued his interviews for the bell ringer of Notre Dame.

The first man to approach him said, “Your Excellency, I am the brother of the poor armless wretch who fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday.  I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty.”

The bishop agreed to audition him, and, as the armless man’s brother stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest, twirled around, and died on the spot.

Two monks, hearing the bishop’s cries of grief from this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side.  “What has happened?  Who is the man? the first monk asked breathlessly.

“I don’t know his name,”sighed the distraught bishop, “but…

(…..Wait for it…….)

HE’S A DEAD RINGER FOR HIS BROTHER”…

Oh, come on.  It wasn’t THAT bad!   Have a great week, y’all!

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Happy 101

Smocha has a blog, Cats on the British Counter, which I read regularly.  It is a wonderfully entertaining journal of her experiences as an American woman trying to adjust to life in England after her husband was transferred there.  She has been kind enough to bestow upon me the “Happy 101 Award,” because, to quote her, “I decided to go with blogs that make me happy.”

Smocha, what can I say?  I am honored!  Thank you!

The rules of the award are: (1) When you receive this award, you must thank the person who awarded it to you in a new post.  (2) Name 10 things that make you happy.  (3) Pass this award onto 10 other bloggers and inform the winners.

So, here I go.

TEN THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

1) Stars in the sky. I truly love gazing up at the nighttime sky, and, when weather permits,  I go out on my balcony in the early morning and say my prayers while gazing up at the stars.  They make me feel closer to God.

(2) The sunrise. There’s something awe-inspiring in watching each new day come into being.

(3) Clouds. If you read this blog at all, you’ll already know that collecting clouds is one of my hobbies!

(4) A hug from a friend. Hugs are in short supply in my life right now and when one of my friends greets me with one, it lifts my spirits beyond description and makes me feel wanted.  With this in mind, I try to be generous with my own whenever I see someone who needs one.

(5) The southwest part of the United States in general… I love this landscape so much.

(6) And White Sands National Park, in particular. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

(7) My Kindle which is another way of saying “books.”  Books have always been my joy and my refuge.  Reading them on a Kindle makes it an even more delightful experience.

(8) Getting lost in great TV. Some think that all TV is trash.  They’re wrong.  Great TV can educate you, touch you, comfort you, delight you, and provide you with an escape when you need one.  Miniseries like “Six Feet Under,” “Deadwood,” and “The Shield,” can draw you into worlds and introduce you to people you never forget.  Other shows such as “The Good Wife,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Castle,” and “House,” can sit you down and make you laugh, cry, or just listen to a good story well told.

(9) My imagination. Having a vivid imagination has provided me with a place to go when reality was just a little too real.  From the time my mother died when I was eight years old, I have been inventing worlds and characters to entertain myself.  Some may think I’m weird, but as long as I’m happy, I’m happy!

(10) My faith. I can’t imagine surviving the things I’ve survived in my life without my faith in God.  I’m not big on organized religion, but I am a firm believer that faith can move mountains.  I’ve seen it work and that makes me happy. (Okay, I haven’t seen actual mountains move, but I have seen faith work, over and over.)

Whew!  So, those are ten of many things that make me happy.  (Be glad I spared you aliens and puppets!) At this point I’m supposed to pass this award to ten other bloggers, but I’m hesitant to do that because I would have to leave out someone and that would make me unhappy.  So, let me leave it at this:  If you have a blog and you are reading MY blog right this minute, feel free to take the Happy 101 Award for yourself because if you’re here, I’m happy.  Just follow the rules I laid out above.  Those of you without blogs who have gotten caught up in the whole “happy” thing, feel free to throw out what makes YOU happy in the comments.  That would make me happy, too!

Be Happy!

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Spring 2010

On Saturday morning, the first official day of Spring, I woke up, got dressed, and went downstairs to have breakfast and read the paper.  You’d almost think it was a normal day…

Then I went outside to shovel loads of “Spring” off my driveway.  After I had finished, I created a little piece of abstract art from all the “Spring.”  I call it,

“SNOWMAN RISING”

All I can say is, if this is Spring, God only knows what summer will be like!  Just sayin’!

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The Great Jeans Conspiracy

My mission was simple – find two new cheap pairs of jeans to wear around the house.  I was very flexible.  If I could only find “nicer” jeans, I’d buy them and rotate two pairs of my current nice jeans to hang out at home in.  Summer is coming and the jeans I have for home are either wearing out or too big.  I swear, I must be shrinking.  I went through a pile of jeans in the top of my closet and found a pair of Ralph Laurens and a pair of Calvin Klines, both lovely jeans, but they just hang on me.  Obviously a size 4 in designer jeans is not a size 4 in the real world.  The waists are too big and I can pull a handful of fabric from the side of the legs.  I know I just need something to wear at home, but still, I don’t want to be walking around looking like an auto mechanic or some old farmer with my pant legs flopping in the breeze!

So, I started my search about a month ago.  What a nightmare!  Dragging pair after pair of jeans into the dressing room only to be disappointed once again,  is so depressing.  After trying Wal-mart, K-Mart, Sears and Kohl’s, I came to the conclusion that they just don’t carry jeans to fit me in the grown-up women’s department, and that’s pretty insulting.  So I headed over to the Junior Department.  That was even worse!  Now maybe it’s a sign of my age, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay $60.00 for a pair of jeans that are already ripped to pieces and have faded knees!  I can do that myself, thank you very much!  That’s why I’m shopping for jeans in the first place!

Anyway, two pairs of my dress jeans, which I bought years ago, are made by Glo and are Juniors and they fit beautifully.  So I got the bright idea that I would go back to Macy’s and buy two more identical pairs.  I should have known better.  Whenever you fall in love with a product, you’d better buy as many as you can right then, because when you go back, it will be gone.  Thus was the case with the jeans.  And I could find nothing else at Macy’s that was even similar.

So this brings me to now.  This past week I woke up and decided that I would go to J.C. Penney’s and FIND me some jeans.  One and a half hours and about a thousand pairs of jeans later, I gave up.  It’s a case of either too-big jeans or tattered ripped-up  jeans.

Or else, it could be a conspiracy against me, personally, by the jeans manufacturers of the world.  It’s not like I’m some stick-thin model.  They have jeans for them.  It’s just that I must apparently be smaller than the normal woman, judging by piles and piles of jeans sized 8, 10, 12, and 14.

And the thing is, I do weigh less now than I ever have in my life and I consider that a healthy and good thing. So, does that mean I have to be punished?  Don’t I have a right to have a selection of good- fitting jeans like everyone else?  I think I do.  But right now I have no idea where I’m going to find them.

Yes,  ladies and gentlemen, I am a victim of “Jeans Discrimination.”

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