Heimliching My Dog and Other Stuff

Bear with me here – haven’t posted in so long, my fingers are rusty. But let’s do get down to business nonsense.

So, my dog will not re-enter the house without my giving him a treat. My bad and he’s a fatso as a result. But I digress. Several weeks ago, I provided the requisite treat to get his fat self back in the house. The treat was rather large. Several minutes later, I noticed him walking in circles, mouth open, ears down … choking. Somewhere, I’d read something about someone giving the Heimlich Maneuver to their animal. So I got my arms around him, did HM and out popped the offender. He was so happy, he went straight into Liberace mode.

Himself, after donning his faux fur stole

Hairy Stuff

So, my hair is longer than it’s been in 22 years. Big whoop, you say. Well, it’s working for me in two ways. First, my “do” is so patently different from my former “pixie”, I can go almost anywhere undetected. Really, people I’ve known since I was 12 don’t recognize me. So great for covert operations and dodging people I can’t possibly be nice to. Second, men like hair. Who knew? I’ve grown my hair out because I wanted to, period. But it is hilarious how many men talk to me. This is not a vanity thing; when you are a certain age, the eyes aren’t what they once were and I think they are just now figuring out I’m not a boy. Je suis tout étonné.

Need some awesome White Elephant gifts? I did and boy, did I hit the jackpot at Dollar Tree. Got 12 separate hair extension situations (a bevy of colors) for $12; my friends will be delighted.

Fab hair extensions, complete with braided bandeau

Old Photos

My mom keeps giving me old family photos. Here’s the latest – it’s really a dear mother/child shot.

My grandmother and mother - love

Books

Am working through a load of pages. My book club is reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. Having a bit of a time getting into it. Other pages I’m turning:

  • Big White Panties by Dale Alderman – sort of amusing but no classic
  • Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane – she’s pretty funny
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – loved this even though it broke my heart

Bargains

Two words:  Dollar Store. No, you can’t buy everything there, but you can save some bucks. Aside from hair extensions, these spots are the best for wrapping paper, gift sacks, tissue, dental floss and weirdo stuff from childhood. Have also found an online shopping secret … check out websites you purchase from; they often featured unadvertised discounts – like 30-40% off. Experts say the discounts will only get deeper. Just so you know.

Ok, gotta mush.

Be happy – it’s a choice.

Later.

Advertisements

Can’t Touch This & a Book List

Ok, everyone is crazy. Your crazy may or may not be my kind of crazy. I just reviewed the search terms some people have used to find this locale lately. Wow. I can say with certainty, these folks are Not My Kind of Crazy (NMKC). And a few have a real struggle spelling. And a few others are clearly insane. You decide:

  • “I’m so hungry I could eat a hores” – assuming you meant “horse” and we don’t eat those here
  • Hours in a dress spanking” sounds most uncomfortable and s-t-r-a-n-g-e
  • Droll chicken” have yet to encounter an amusingly odd chicken but I like the reference to “droll” because it sounds so Oscar Wilde
  • Dentist crowns my mouth pantyhose” just gonna jump right out and say that mouth and pantyhose do not belong together, period
  • What does it mean when a fox poops on your doorstep?”it means a fox pooped on your doorstep
  • Grandma in her coffin” while this is sick freak material, a mandatory Halloween hall pass has been issued
  • I am not an ATM” nor am I
  • Starling poops on your head” wash hair ASAP
  • “Two trees chasing a dog” WTH?
  • When we go down, we go down fighting” ok
  • “Madame Poot”sorry, NMKC
  • Throw some water on me” ok
  • “Good looks a factor in love”bet you are deep as a pie pan
  • Is Temple St. Clair a bitch?” she designs the most beautiful jewelry ever, am clueless regarding her temperament

ENOUGH. Let’s talk books! Have been reading more lately – rah!

  • Already Home by Susan Mallery – read this in advance uncorrected proof version, usually don’t read this sort of book but it was good!
  • Inspirations, Selections from Classic Literature by Paulo Coelho – still reading, good
  • It’s All About the Dress by Vicky Tiel – still reading only because I’ve yet to find out about the damn dress; someone forgot to spellcheck as well as write about anything other than 1960’s celebrities
  • Apologize, Apologize by Elizabeth Kelly – will start on this one as soon as I find out about damn dress (see above)
  • shift happens! by Robert Holden – really liked what he had to say

Dashing. Be happy. Your choice.

Later.

Creative Explosion: A Movie, A Book, and Two Singers

Color Explosion

You just never know when or how that creative urge will arrive. I mention this only to explain my lack of posts lately. Right in the middle of a Mahjong game last week, I had a vision. Which explains why I couldn’t win to save my soul. Have been lost in color, ideas, creating. When that happens, I have no concept of space and time. I think it’s Tuesday and I’ve come up for air. For a moment. To share some GREAT creations of others.

Movie

If you haven’t seen it, please check out “Heartbreaker. This romantic French comedy made me laugh out loud a number of times and smile throughout. The film was made in 2010 and is set in Monaco. Directed by Pascal Chaumeil, it stars Vanessa Paradis, Romain Duris, and Julie Ferrier and they are brilliant! Even if you are Grumpy Grumbleson, you will be in a great mood after watching this. Just sayin’.

Book

My youngest daughter recommended a book to me. Donald Miller had me at his author’s note: “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It’s as if they are showing you the way”. The title, “Blue Like Jazz” is a beauty, but it’s the subtitle that indicates you are in for a thought-provoking ride … “Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality”. His writing is anything but traditional; I find myself wondering how he got in my head while reading this. I think he and author Anne Lamott would get on famously. Two of my favorite passages so far are:

“My mother had given me her Texaco card for my date, so on the way home I stopped in for some Cheetos and donuts. I sat in the Texaco parking lot and thought about poor Romeo, begging for love, running off with his woman, and then accidentally dying. Some dates go terrible, it’s a fact.”

“At the time I was attending this large church in the suburbs. It was like going to church at The Gap.”

And this from his blog, ” My flight out of Nashville was cancelled and I found myself, suitcase in hand, standing outside the Nashville airport dismayed because all I wanted to do was go home. But there was a part of me that wondered if something good could happen, if I couldn’t “create a reason” for being stuck in Nashville. I made some calls and the night turned out to be great, one of the best I had that season.”

More, please.

Singers

Christopher Jak does it for me. Favorites: “Hold On Tight”, “Squeeze”, and “Begin to Cry”. Awesome.

I like David Gray. This singer/songwriter is most excellent at what he does. His latest album is Foundling, which should be available on iTunes. Previous to this release, my favorite DG songs are “You’re the One I Love” and “Babylon”.

That’s enough for now …my muse is calling me ….

Later.

I Don’t Drink Outside My Zip Code

Isn’t that the best line ever? My friend, Demona, threw that down when we were discussing where to have dinner.

Topics for today include: Books, Movies, and Finds. Off we go:

Loving the WordFoto App

Books and Movies

One of the books I recently read was The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Historical fiction about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley. I’ve read everything about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald during that crazy time; it was nice to get a different perspective. And I’m damn glad I did because …. two weeks later, I saw Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Had I not read that book, I wouldn’t have “gotten” all the nuances in the movie.  Book – good; Movie – not so much. I’ve also read Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan; really liked it until last chapter. Next up: The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal, Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister, and Wait for Me! Memoirs by Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire.

Finds

If you are anywhere near Oxford, Mississippi, do stop by Bottletree Bakery. Everything in that place looks delicious; everything I managed to cram in my mouth was delicious. Find yourself in Houston? Head right over to ….

Yum!

I swear, Relish has the very best Blueberry Cookie I’ve ever eaten. The hummus is amazing as well.

On the shoe front, a group of us stumbled upon the most comfortable sandals in the entire world in Charleston, S.C. The Charleston Shoe Co. and sister store, Savannah Shoe Co., sell these babies in an abundance of styles. Because they use a bunch of elastic and rubber soles, I could wear them every day. And, one of the sales women told me they can go in the washing machine. Won’t happen at my house because I am on a laundry strike, but you can do whatever you want.

Can't help myself

*It has been said you cannot stick your tongue out and look at the ceiling simultaneously (tendons say “no”).

You just tried it AND you can do it.

I know, because I did.

Idiots all.

Later.

Milestone Playlist in Three-Part Harmony

This is a story in three-part harmony.

Drove to Austin listening to my current favorite playlist.  My youngest, McPaddie, was graduating from UT. My solo road trip was extra fun because I could sing at the top of my lungs. SWEET. This morning, I jumped in the car, turned on the tunes, and headed home. SWEET and SALTY. What a difference 24 hours make.

One: BeforeWoke up yesterday morning at Austin Ann‘s peace haven. Something is off – oh, haven’t had coffee yet. Drink my body weight in java, read Nora Ephron‘s, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” from cover to cover. Jump in shower to wash off oompa loompa tan and get all gussied up for the Big Event. The second I see Ann, I tear up. Her baby just graduated from UGA, my baby will have a diploma in a couple of hours. It was a mom moment. Lots of deep breathing.  Fairy Godmother, Poob, arrived, we put our high hoofs on and off we went.

Two: During –  Met up with Miss Peach (eldest daughter) and her dad at the venue. Each school has a commencement ceremony; we were in an enormous venue for The School of Communications.

Yep, we were going to be there for hours. Poob‘s daughter graduated from Stanford; Oprah gave the commencement speech. We were anxious to find out who we would be listening to. Opened the program and OMG. The address was being given by a guy who dated one of our friends in high school and was engaged to another friend after college. I immediately sent a text to both women: Craig Dubow is the SPEAKER!” Furious texts flew back and forth between Austin, Houston, and Fredericksburg. I mean, he does have cred – Chairman and CEO of Gannet Co., Inc. Whatev. We had most excellent seats and McPaddie was front row. She walked, we screamed, and two-and-1/2 hours later we hooked our horns,  sang, “The Eyes of Texas”, and piled out into the Texas heat. Pictures taken all around amidst a throng of other picture takers. My graduate was one happy camper. Another mom moment – proud. Off we went for drinks at the W, very cool. Then Skywalker, the graduate’s fab love muffin, met us at Eddie V‘s for dinner. All great fun, saw the world, including friends we’d gone to UT with. Poob and I left the younger ones at that point; we’d been in graduation mode for 12 hours and it was closing time – for us. This morning, we left Ann with smooches, had a bite with the grad, hugs and smooches all around, and we headed in three different directions.

Three: After – Driving out of Austin for the umpteenth time, I turned up the tunes and pressed the pedal to the metal. But this time, it was different. My oldest has a big life in our home town. The youngest isn’t coming home. They are both amazing. We’ve all experienced a milestone. Listening to the music, tears started falling out of my eyes. Happy, proud, sweet tears mixed with some salty, sentimental mom water. Deep breathing. Nothing is impossible. Life is good. Mysterious, but good.

The Playlist, in no particular order

  • “Raise Your Glass” – Pink
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
  • “Gimme Shelter”– The Rolling Stones
  • “Stronger” – Glee Cast
  • “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’Roses
  • “Heads Will Roll” – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
  • “Born This Way”– Lady GaGa
  • Dueling Guitars” – August Rush movie
  • Defying Gravity” – Idina Menzel and Lea Michele
  • On The Floor”Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull
  • Someone Like You” – Adele
  • “Learn To Fly” – Foo Fighters
  • “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynrd
  • “Shout It Out Loud” – KISS
  • “Daughter” – Loudon Wainwright III
  • Mercy” – Duffy
  • “I Was Made To Love Her” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley

As for the three-part harmony ……..

Peach, McPaddie, Cita/iz

 “A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.”

Blessed two times over, I am.

Later.

Why I Love Letters & Quotes

 

 I love letters. I love letters because when put together, they sometimes explain so much about life. To me, at least. Have always been a “quote” collector; some people can just explain everything better than I can at any moment in time.

Scouring my bookshelves this afternoon, I found a book of quotes my dear friend gave me in 1980. I’d been looking for another book for an explanation of some experiences that keep repeating themselves. I found that too, but this 30-year old treasure has plenty of  relevant material as well. Let the sharing begin:

  • “What is said drunk has been thought out beforehand.”
  • “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
  • “Nothing is so strong as gentleness; nothing is so gentle as real strength.”
  • “Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.”
  • “There is no such thing as a little garlic.”
  • “Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.”
  • “Don’t see all you see and don’t hear all you hear.”

That last quote is pertinent to my experiences this week. Lots of commotion, talks about friendship, and realizations about some personal relationships. In an article written in the March 2010 issue of O Magazine, author Paige Williams wrote about “Friendship Detox”. She listed some great pointers regarding friends vs. frenemies, keeping in mind that “friendship is about collaboration, not domination.” If you have some funky relationships or nine, Williams says to ask yourself:

  1. Do you look forward to seeing this person or is it a chore?”
  2. “Is she truly happy to see you, or do you suspect she wants something from you or needs to lord something over you?”
  3. “Will you walk away from this meeting feeling good – or manipulated, demeaned, poisoned, or played?”

That is some brain munch, and most necessary at times. Other related quotes popped up, like, “There’s a special place in hell for women who do not help other women,” from the mouth of Madeleine Albright (!). My take on the whole frenemy thing – never complain to – or trust – a faux friend. Leaving this topic with a quote from my mom, “Some people are about as deep as a pie pan.” And we:’re walking …..

  • “If you don’t throw it, they can’t hit it.”
  • “Never let the bottom of your purse or your mind be seen.”
  • “A narrow mind has a broad tongue.”
  • “When it comes to helping you, some people stop at nothing.”
  • “It is the cracked ones that let the light through.”
  • “Don’t complain, don’t explain.”
  • “Opportunity at every door knocketh, but it has never been known to pick a lock.”
  • “Turn a frown upside down and all the frown juice will fall out.”
  • “If you have to ask what “jazz”is, you will never know.”
  • “Never put off ’til tomorrow what you can get by with not doing at all.”

That’s all I have for today, folks! I’m positive you have some good ones. Share!

Happy Weekend. Over and out.

Later.

When the Clock Goes Crazy…

 

 

*This post is not sad, sorry, or whiney; crazy, yes. Anything else, not so much.*

Truth is stranger than fiction. I don’t know if you have a “clock” thing, but I do. I don’t wear a watch just because. When I do look at a clock – in the car, at home, wherever – nine times out of ten, it reads, “11:11“. I have a clock that belonged to my grandmother; it works, but always stops at the time of her death, no matter what. I just use it as an accessory. Unwound. It has been my experience, when a clock goes crazy, so goes everything else.

Last Friday, I noticed the enormous clock in my kitchen was crazy. Twenty minutes behind, then an hour ahead. I didn’t even think about the clock crazies. It can be good crazy, bad crazy, mixed crazy – but crazy, regardless. Sort of like me. Sharing:

  • My family of origin has been playing hospital tag for the past year. I’d planned on going to the farmer’s market Saturday morning.  Instead, was sitting in the ER. Hollering, “MORE MORPHINE, NURSE HOLLY”, as the patient was in severe pain. She was very accommodating. We are the Loud Family. I noticed there were four people in the room across from ours. And only the nurse was speaking. Being the Nosy Otis I am, I looked in there; everyone in the room was signing. How do you scream, “morphine”, in sign language? Before I pushed my bossy self in “to help”, a patient advocate appeared and all was well. In that room.

 

  • Ok, so Mother’s Day Brunch was not happening. Miss Peach (eldest daughter) and I went to the hospital. Where I got to storm the nurses’ station, with the same request, “MORE MORPHINE, NURSE HOLLIE”. Two nurses, same name … what are the chances? Peach and I left, picked up some food, and came home. Then a crazy beautiful bouquet of flowers are delivered to my door. On Sunday. From Miss Peach. Love. But Miss Peach says they are wrong. They look right to me. Then I get a text from McPaddie’s beau. McPaddie is youngest, texting, calling, emailing me love bombs from the basement of her house where she is trying to finish last project for graduation. Bless her bones. Her beau’s message was also crazy beautiful – to a mother’s eyes. It said, “Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for McPaddie“. Crazy good. Love my girls. Went to bed at 4 pm.

 

  • Morphine. Cowgirl explained hospital morphine to me; apparently it is diluted somewhat – not pure. So you can ask for it a lot. Good to know.

 

  • Monday was Pro Flowers Day. I called customer service, told them the arrangement wasn’t what Peach ordered; they were lovely and another bouquet was on the way.

 

  • Tuesday was big crazy. Patient to be released from hospital, no diagnosis, but no pain. Rah!? I get to go to see Lien. She makes my hair look amazing – even though it is not amazing as I am growing it out. Last month, I looked like Justin Bieber before he cut his hair. When I got to her salon, she seemed fine. She had to excuse herself, mid-cut, for about 20 minutes. I think she’s preggers. For the first time ever, she phoned in the hair. I left looking like Dan Fogelberg (RIP!). A tall, skinny, white woman does not look good with Justin or Dan hair. That’s ok, she wants to be pregnant and I can wear a baseball cap for three more months (her estimate).

 

  • Am failing mightily at this housekeeping thing. So today I walked into my dry cleaners/wash-n-fold for the first time in two years and handed over the laundry pile. Standing behind the counter is my favorite friend, Pung. She screamed, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” Pung and I have history. We have laughed a lot, we’ve cried together, I love her. Crazy good reunion. She wants to get pregnant, too. What is in the air?

 

  • Ding Dong. Pro Flower delivery. Open that big green box up and … oops, not what Peach ordered. Got back on the phone with customer service (they are so nice). And another bouquet is on the way. If this continues, my house is going to resemble a funeral parlour. Not complaining. I love flowers. So, crazy good because Pro Flowers has excellent customer service. Taking extras to patient’s home. Win-win.

In between, my friend sent me a great piece of writing I love by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. She’s very cool and I feel good when I read her writing. Am also reading essays by Regina Brett and enjoying her writing thoroughly. Am thoroughly pissed off at Angry Birds Rio/Rovio/Apple/Blue Sky Productions/ Chillingo because the promised May update hasn’t appeared. So I guess that makes me an angry bird.

I must go as I am very busy. I must pray for family health, great friends, babies for Lien and Pung, deliver flowers, take the damn clock off the wall, and remember to be thankful for good crazy, healers, calm during storms, good writers, amazing daughters, baseball caps, and anything else I will remember after I push the Publish button.

Favorite quote today: “If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come” (Chinese proverb)

Off to mop the kitchen floor. Tomorrow. Maybe. Or not.

Later.