My Not-So-Stange Addiction

Pinterest.

Yep, I’m addicted.

I resisted for as long as I could. I was turned off by having to “request an invitation” to participate. Got over my snarky self, pressed the request button. Got my “invitation” shortly thereafter and my addiction was instantaneous.

For me, Pinterest is like this amazingly magical treasure chest. And I can’t control my addiction because there are so many beautiful images, great tips, hilarious words … well, something for everyone. Creativity and beyond …..

Oh my, I must go back there right this minute. Might miss exactly what I’m looking for. Even though I have no idea what I’m looking for which is par for my course.

You can follow me there – Izzie Darling, duh. Check my boards. You might find something you are looking for. Or not.

Happiness is a choice.

Later.

If Your Life Was …

The sky's the limit!

Hola!

Thumbing through The Awe-Manac by Jill Badonsky, I came upon a question she posed that has intrigued as well as baffled me. I’ve yet to come up with an answer – so I’d like to know yours …. let your imagination go wild, no borders.

If your life was a box of Cracker Jacks, what would the prize be inside?”

Do tell. I’m all ears eyes!

Later. Tomorrow.

Crazy stuff.

I Remember (Grand)Mama

My Grandmother, in a piece from her trousseau

“Don’t frown; it will cause wrinkles!”

If my Grandmother said this to me once, she said it a million times. I miss her. While it has been years since she passed away, she took flight over Memorial Day weekend.

Grandmother was elegant, charming, and always a lady. She was also an extraordinary flirt, which is a win-win for a gorgeous woman, which she was.

She was the only child of prosperous parents. Her aunt made every piece of her wardrobe (including everything from the lace to the buttons of her trousseau).

Grandmother had three husbands, three children, and seven grandchildren. People still come up to me and say that she and my Grandfather looked like a movie star couple.

I don’t think she felt like much of a movie star during WWII. My Grandfather was in the Cavalry and she lived on an army base in San Antonio with three children under five. There were lots of Hispanic children on the base, which, for some unknown reason, inspired my five-year-old Mother to become a humanitarian. She took my Grandmother’s jewelry box, which was filled with some serious bling, and passed the contents out to all her young friends. My Mom still remembers the spanking she got and none of the jewelry was ever recovered. Whoops. Completely overwhelmed with kiddos and trying to live on a very small budget, she finally threw in the towel, called my Great-Grandmother and pleaded for help. My Great-Grandmother thought over her darling daughter’s plight – no money, three ankle biters, and army base life. She did what any mother would do. She sent her a full-length mink coat. No wonder my Grandmother’s hair turned white at 26.

Flash forward to my appearance on the scene. Grandmother was all of 40 when I was born. She adored me because she didn’t have to birth me, I was her first grandchild, and I went home with my parents. She also loved me like her own child, which I could have been. My sister and cousins will tell you I was the female equivalent to “Baby Jesus” according to my Grandmother. They were loved as well, but sort of had “shepherd status”. Happens.

Four Generations

Mom, me, and Grandmother

I spent lots of time with my Grandparents. And it was all good.

The Three Amigo(a)s

Flash forward to the last years. She called my Mom, “Sis”; they lunched together every Friday. While “mothering” might not have been her best gig, she gave it what she could. Grandmother never said a bad word about anyone but I’m sure she thought of some zingers. And she had very nice manners. When my Dad’s father, Andy, came to town, she invited him for dinner. Andy was born and raised in the very rural deep South. And he thought Grandmother was “hubba hubba” material. After dinner, he gave my Grandmother a big compliment. He said, “Beautiful Lady, them squashes was delicious!”. Her reply, “Oh Andy, you do go on so.”

She was a steel magnolia. Her southern accent got deeper when she sipped on her favorite adult beverage, a scotch mist. The only time we got sideways was when McPaddie was born.  We decided to call McPaddie by a nickname; Grandmother said she absolutely would not call the new baby anything but her formal name. I said that was fine, the entire world minus her, would be using the nickname. She caved, and dearly loved both of my daughters. When she passed away, we ordered a blanket of fresh magnolias for her coffin. When I went to check on the situation, all the magnolias looked like they’d barely survived a southern tsunami. I marched myself into the funeral director’s office and said, “SHE MAY BE DEAD BUT THE FLOWERS SHOULDN’T BE, MR. MAN!”. Winner, winner, scotch mist for dinner!

I miss her.

The Steel Magnolia in her early 20's

My Grandmother at 78

And she was right, you know. If you frown, you will get wrinkles.

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.

Scentual Speak: Just What IS Your Favorite?

Scent is the main reason we buy a certain candle.  Makes sense, scent is very personal. Personally, my sniffer is seasonal. Holiday and freshly baked cookie scents in fall and winter; bright, crisp citrus and very light florals for spring and summer.  While doing a little scentsual research, I was not surprised to find the top-selling scent of most candlistas is … vanilla.

Vanilla scents evoke a warm, cozy feeling.  And a notable scent can stir up the deepest memories.  Aromatherapy gurus agree that citrus and mints are energizing, lavender is calming, basil has properties that support concentration, and jasmine can be an aphrodisiac.  My own bit of unscientific research tells me that people are strongly opinionated about what wafts around their homes. As well they should be. I need to know these things. That’s my business. Method to madness ….

With a sniff, sniff here and a sniff, sniff there … my new “endeavor” puts my olfactory sense into overdrive. After evaluating all sorts of activities that produce money, I’m rolling out a new business.

When I told Austin Ann about it, she laughed so hard. “You’ve had so many jobs, you remind me of that nursery rhyme … “…a butcher, a baker””; now I’m a candlestick maker smeller/seller.    My new situation rocks with the lights on; I can be creative and outsource production. When I was a real estate agent (don’t ask), I would put a tray of slice-and-bake cookies in the oven before an open house. That smell was a home aphrodisiac. Now I have a candle for that! One interesting tidbit about choosing candle scents and/or perfume: have coffee beans on hand when doing so. Take a whiff of the coffee beans in between each sniff; this clears the olfactory palette for the next option.

There are many cool aspects to this venture . I’m so lucky to work with an incredible candle maker (local), actually apply my marketing plan, design labels, packaging, and sell the product. And I know this product because I’ve burned these candles for two years.The fragrance combinations are limitless.  I like limitless.

Here’s where you come in – if you are a candle person.  I want to know what you like, scentually speaking. Do you have a favorite? Favorites?

Please, please tell me now … this is something I should know! (apologies to Duran Duran).

Merci.

Later.

*Many thanks to Dizzy*

Watering Dead Plants

Sitting on my patio, I looked over to see three dead plants. The same three dead plants I’d meant to throw out for … months. Just lazy. Nevertheless, someone waters them every week. They are dead. Water is wasted. While it is an incredibly optimistic action – feeding something that will not eat in hopes it will magically spring back to life – it is, in the end, futile.

It’s all about change, isn’t it? Watering dead plants is symbolic to me. Resisting what you know to be true. Refusing to acknowledge what is, hoping what isn’t will resurrect itself. Change is inevitable in every inch of our lives. Feeding what was, what we knew and were comfy with, is at the very least, a waste of time. And energy. And emotion. Yet we do it sometimes, because change means … something new, something we haven’t welcomed in and snuggled up to. Miracles and epiphanies (small, medium, large) do not happen on demand. And watering the dead plants is a roadblock to anything happening. Life blockage.

When I was raising my daughters, many of their little peers had daily schedules that would rival – and exhaust – the busiest of executives. I opted out of this for a number of reasons. I knew there would be plenty of time for them to be overwhelmed and unprepared. So, when they would ask me what we were doing on any given day, my answer would usually be the same:  “Let’s see what the day brings.” And roll with it.

 I cannot for the life of me remember much – if any – bad coming from this “program”. But I do remember many days filled with surprises, relaxation, and activity. We didn’t water any dead plants. Because my girls trusted me. Because they knew if I was willing to roll with it, then certainly they could as well. Because they trusted me.

I’m not watering the dead. I will not honor the impossible by blocking the possibilities. It’s all about trust. And I am firmly convinced – even though I waver/stand steadfast – that a power higher than me has, once again, showered me with possibilities. My job:  trust. Keep eyes wide open.  The result?

 

Later.

Flower Power

Wanted:  one gently used ark. Must float. Will pay $11.99.  Haven’t seen the sun since June.  While the rain provides a welcome respite from the usual 100-degree + temperatures – and gives the exhausted air conditioner a much-needed break – it also requires us to live like moles. Moldy moles. Stuck in the house hole for who knows how long. Which forces me to get creative – as opposed to sullen. Flowers always make me happy and I just happen to have a few more photos from recent trip.

Feeling better already …

Later.