Friday, April 29, 2011

The Hunter

Somebody outed Santa Claus and giving the stinkeye to anybody who gets in his way.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gardening 101

I was a late bloomer to the gardening phenomenon, so to speak.  I didn’t get it.  Not only did I not understand it, I was completely bored by the subject.  When I would get in the middle of two gardeners at a dinner party rattling on and on about compost and garden gloves, my eyes would glaze over and I'd repeatedly top off my glass of wine until my glazed eyes became had too much to drink eyes.

My friend pestered me for years to garden and I ignored her time after time.   When another spring was approaching, she firmly said, “You need to garden.”  I just as firmly replied no thanks but then she said,   “You have to do this because you're creative, "  It was too hard to argue with that so I gave in, dipped my hands into the soil and was thus baptized into the Kingdom of Gardening.

I was such a rookie at every aspect of gardening that I tested the limits of our friendship with every trip to the nursery.  It is not an exaggeration to say that I struggled for years trying to understand the difference between an annual and a perennial.  At an estate sale, I thought I was buying a spade when in fact I was buying a trowel.  It was only when I paid for it and the cashier asked me if I was laying a ceramic floor did I realize I had absolutely no business pursuing this endeavor. 

I persisted, however, and my first garden was modest and sweet.  I looked after it as if it were a newborn and like raising a child, made many mistakes before it took hold.  A few years and a lot more confidence later, we redid the landscaping around the house and moved my garden so it was steps from the front door and much larger.  Putting a garden in your front yard is either stupid or brilliant, but I took that leap of faith and and flowers became my drug of choice.   When my mom, who is not a gardener, went to a mega-garden center with my brother, I asked her to give me the scoop.  She said it was filled with everything you could possibly imagine but that, “some of those damn fool people were spending three and four hundred dollars on flowers.”  “Damn fools,” I repeated, but inside I envied those shoppers who could pile their plant wagons with all those flowers.

I wouldn’t know where to begin to explain what has happened to me since that initial introduction many years ago.  I study gardening books and growing zones and peer into strangers carts to see what they’re buying.   I long for delphiniums but they never do well in my garden so every year I pass them by and sigh deeply.  Very deeply.  I battle rabbits and when they chewed two flats of petunias, I thought about getting a hunting license.  I have bent over a weak, sickly plant and whispered, “come to Mama,” as if that would cure all its ills and make it bloom.  There is nothing I enjoy more than tending my garden.

This spring has been cold, overcast and often dismal, and my garden, which was knee-deep in leaves, seemed as sad as I was.  When the sun made an appearance, I spent the day cleaning up the remains from winter.  When all was finished, the heads of those dormant flowers were beginning to push their way upward and I was charmed once again.  My old friends had come back and I didn’t feel the weight of the world on my shoulders any more.

Now I am the one at the cocktail party rattling on about flowers and if someone asked me to explain my passion, I would say that this little garden of mine calms my restless mind and awakens my senses.  It is the place I go to dream and plan and offers a winding path of surprises every year.  It knows my prayers and my problems and only answers with color and life.

Eventually, spring will come to stay so I will dig and plant and mulch, and at the end of those long, sunny days, it's that garden of mine that will have tended me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sign Me Up

For those who seriously want to look more youthful without surgery..........

....and have orgasmic sensations while firming up those face and neck muscles.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Saying Goodbye

The Adams Mortuary, located in Compton, California, has covered a 12 foot wide drive-through with a glass display window so that mourners can pay their respects to the deceased without leaving their car.  Yep, fat-ass Americans can grieve their dead without even getting out of the car and if they stop at McDonald's first, can gnaw on some supersized fries while telling Grandma she meant so much to them that they can't be bothered to come in for a look and a prayer card.

I'll give you some thinking music to ponder this concept.............

Feel free to replay it if need be, but I'm gonna bet the house and say Alex, is the Final Jeopardy question WTF?  

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Cialis Tub

This is BD's new tub.  He thought it would spice things up a bit.  Har. Har. Har.

Actually, we saw it at a garage sale.  I wanted it for the house.  Oh, BD, a cast iron tub for the upstairs bathroom?  Be still my vintage heart.  BD had other plans - a koi pond and keep your mitts off it, Curly.  It sat for months on the side yard and the neighbors were like, "For krissssssakes, Fishers, keep your erectile dysfunction problems in the house.  This ain't some commercial."   To hell with them we said and left it out there until spring.

Last weekend the Cialis Tub got moved to its permanent location by the patio and isn't she pretty?  The fish will be ready for their new home once BD runs the pump awhile to clean it out.  The power for the pump is coming from an outlet in the basement.

Like so......  BD, shouldn't we do something about that window situation?  When the raccoons discover your pond, they're going to come in the house thru the basement window to dry off after their surf and swim.  BD said I was crazy.  He said animals don't come in houses.  He doesn't watch Hoarders so he doesn't know about the old lady who had a house full of chickens.  And I mean chickens everywhere.

Once upon a time, BD and the Boy Child came home from a scouting campout with a snake.  BD put it in a little aquarium with a screen on top.  Shouldn't you put something heavier on top of that so it doesn't escape?  Oh, Little Woman, he says, you slay me with your heebie jeebies.

Months later, I'm up and down the stairs on a Saturday morning doing laundry and BD is whistling and wandering around with a flashlight.  I ask him what he's looking for and he says, oh nothing, just looking.  About the third time up the stairs. two neurons in my brain region make a love connection and that's when I figured the whole thing out, looked at BD and said, "That fucking snake is missing, isn't it?"  (No italics and an F-bomb cuz I was really pissed.)   It's not missing he tells me, it's lost and he goes back to whistling zippety-do-dah like it's my, oh, my, a wonderful day with a snake on the loose. 

Not to anyone's surprise, the snake was never found which is why I try not to keep my butt on the toilet seat too long.  BD says that's why I'm uptight and constipated, but if it has grown to python size, I don't want to be in a compromised position should it decide to check out our little Garden of Eden..........

...........because when that snake thinks the moment is right, plenty of trouble could be headed my way.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter Peeps

I've been a little overwhelmed this week which explains the lame posting.  I'm in charge of the Easter Vigil reception on Saturday nite for about 100-150 people.  On Sunday, we're having 30 people over for Easter dinner.  Can you say AHHHHHH???  Today after I grocery shopped and made umpteen reminder calls to volunteers, I crafted.  For hours at the dining room table.  It's how I handle stress.  I check out with scrapbooking paper and scissors.  I feel better and still have no idea how I'm going to fit this many people in my house, but how lucky are BD and I that we have so many friends?

In the meantime, have the loveliest of Easter seasons when all of life gets a do-over.  Thanks for supporting this writer these last few months.  I heart you all.  Big time............

Love, love, love, love, crazy love

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Three Cups of Something

In the past few days, 60 Minutes and Jon Krakauer have called into question Greg Mortenson and his book, Three Cups of Tea.  I read the book several years ago and heard Mr. Mortenson speak just last year.  It was quite an evening.  He was dynamic, articulate and passionate about education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and upon entering the event, envelopes were passed out should you wish to make a donation to the Central Asia Institute to further the cause.  Whether he has experienced or accomplished all that he claims in his books is now under question as is the financial management of his nonprofit.  I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and think that there are minor discrepancies to clear up, but when interviewed about the allegations he commented that he is not a journalist, did not take a lot of notes and places the blame on his coauthor. 

So now what? 

Somebody somewhere is teaching a kid to read and opening a door to an exciting world.  We'll never know their name and hundreds of people aren't likely to go out in the evening to hear their story.  That is grace and should they wobble or fall from it, nobody will even notice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

True Confessions

For several years, I was a volunteer at my church in the religious ed program.  Every Monday from 4:15 to 5:15, public school kids (like mine) would go to the Catholic school to learn about their faith.  For two of those years, I was a 4th grade teacher.   During Lent, each grade would be assigned a day to go to the church for confession.  Most kids are terrified of this and so we spent a lot of time practicing what to do and say until the day came for the 4th graders to confess their sins.

One by one, I watched those nervous, little kids go up on the altar, take a seat, make the sign of the cross and start talking.  When they were done, they'd come back to the pew.  One little girl came back, sat down next to me and whispered, "Mrs. Fisher that wasn't hard at all."  I'm happy to hear that.  "Mrs. Fisher, do you want to know why it wasn't hard for me?"  Why, yes I do.  "Because I never do anything wrong."

In the year those kids learned the Beattitudes, Ten Commandments and how to be good stewards of all God gave them, I was educated about self-esteem from a nine year old who sat down, looked the Company Rep for the Jesus Corp right in the eye and said, "Bless me Father for I have sinned...........well, actually, I haven't so I'm gonna go sit with my friends and not waste your time or mine."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pat, Vanna & A Dream

When our Teacher Girl moved home for a year, she watched Wheel of Fortune every night.  I quickly got hooked since there's nothing a wordie likes more than to solve word puzzles.  Between us, we were a one-two punch and if the contestants didn't know the answer we'd shout at the t.v. until they paid attention to us. 

A few weeks ago, I was watching it and when the guy who solved the first puzzle had to introduce himself, he was nearly overcome with emotion.  He said that he'd been watching Pat and Vanna for 20 years and his lifelong goal was to make it onto the show.  Well, whaddya know?  He did that and made some money to boot.

By the end of the show he'd made it to The Final Spin and couldn't believe his good fortune.  Sure enough, he solved the last puzzle and left with SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS (insert dramatic voice over).  Oh, he had himself a good, ol' cry then and all alone with my glass of wine, I dabbed my teary eyes for this man who kept spinning a wheel until he made his dream come true.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Birding & Writing

This has been an uneventful writing week for me.  Not much kicking around, not sure what to do about that and not sure if I'm even a writer soooo.........when Fancy Nancy gave me this ticket the other day and said let's go out, I did the happy dance.

This is the second time I've seen Anne Lamott and whether she's talking about birthday cake or writing discipline, she's a deep sigh of satisfaction.  I wanted to write down everything she said, but she's such a great speaker that to do that while she's talking would be counterproductive.  I did make note of this, however, "The amount you know any day is sufficient."  How brilliant is that?

This book has been next to my bed for 10 years.  I'll pick it up and start reading and it's never failed to make me laugh and think and push me over hurdles.  When she signed it, I said something generic and dumb instead of saying, "Thank you you for writing this because every time I've picked it up, I got a shot of confidence and it's as if you knew my heart better than me."  If I said all that, though, I'd have started crying and then they'd have to call security cuz that starts getting creepy and stalkerish.

Guardian angels come in all sizes.  Mine's a white chick with dreadlocks who knows a whole lot about substance abuse, has a wicked sense of humor and is so spiritual and honest when she writes that she makes me want to step it up a notch.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Have The Right To Remain Silent

Big News: I'm Thinking Of Doing Something

This week's news reported a story that Mitt Romney has formed an exploratory committee to determine if he should run for president.  Previously, Newt Gingrich (I love America so damn much it causes me to keep cheating on my wives) made the same announcement.  Tim Pawlenty is traveling a lot and talking like he's running for president, but I guess his committee hasn't tied up the loose ends yet.

Big Daddy and I want a summer cottage.  Something small and rustic and close to a pond so he can fish and practice his speech for when he wins the Nobel Prize.  While he's doing that, I'll be putting the finishing touches on my book,  The Story Of A Marriage - How To Go To Hell And Back Without White Lights To Guide You that will likely win me a Pulitzer.  This plan has been in an exploratory committee for nearly thirty years and the conclusion is always the same.  No denero senor and senorita...maybe next year.  After all this time, you'd think somebody would be interested in this compelling story of ours, but no microphone or camera crew has showed up here at the plantation to get the scoop.   I guess BD and I aren't all that newsworthy.

Pssssst, here's a little secret.....neither are theyPass it on.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Ants Go Marching One By One

Day by day, spring makes its presence known and as if somebody flipped a switch, the ants wake up and start invading the house.  Kitchen counters, cabinets, the sink...they're all coming by for a look see at the improvements we've made to the crib in the last year.   None, so get your hyper, little fannies out of my kitchen.  

I have trouble figuring out how to end their life.  I bought some ant traps and put them in various spots where they congregate, but no luck.  Deep in the walls of the house, there must have been a big longevity seminar this winter sponsored by the Ant Life Insurance Agents of America.  #1 tip was likely to avoid the ant traps so I sweep them into the dishwasher or wipe them up with a sponge or use the sprayer and send 'em for a ride down the sink (wheeeeeee).  If I've really had it with their invading behavior, I start smashing them with my hand.  The other day, I consulted Mallie Bee on how I should kill this newest batch and she was appalled.  "Mom!!!  They're just little ants." (This is on the down low but I think she might be on her way to becoming one of those PETA types).

When I was a little girl and staying at my grandma's house, I saw a mouse run across the kitchen floor and Gram said to me, "Honey, fetch me the broom and show me where it went."  I did as told and when it came out she whacked that thing but good and killed it on the first try.  She didn't mess around or wait for my grandpa to get home to take care of rodents.

When my mom saw ant colonies outside, she'd put the kettle on and let it come to a boil as if she were going to have a nice cup of hot tea in the middle of the day.  Instead, she'd march outside and pour that boiling water right down the little hole they were crawling in and out of.  Best summer show in town.

Some girls grow up learning skills like sewing or quilting that have been taught from one generation to another.  My people pass down extermination techniques.  My daughter may be tenderhearted now, but wait until she's got a place of her own and them varmints decide to inhabit.  In the meantime, watch and learn, baby, watch and learn.

Monday, April 11, 2011

One Cluster After Another

Sale date for the Prairie Girls Market.....June 6th.

Pressure on the Prairie Girls to deliver the goods.....biggety.

I channeled Martha and spent the weekend doing some refurbishing and crafting. I was ready to crank out some signs so I penciled in the wording, painted it, let it dry, then antiqued it up.  And you know what happened when I did that last little thing?  I smeared those not quite dry letters to kingdom come then sat in the driveway and said shit about a thousand times to the hot, little mess in front of me.  Two signs that I painstakingly lettered now looked like a used butt wipe.

I repainted and started over.  This time I decided to let it dry overnite (duh) and moved on to something else.  That something else ended up getting aggressively flung into the trash.  I headed directly to the fridge to crack open a beer.

If I keep this up, I'll never get my own show and therefore, no chance for you the viewer to watch a pissed off, cussing, drunk try to reproduce something she saw in a magazine.   Now what?  Well, I'm not gonna brag here (or maybe I am) but I have perfected throwing my crap projects into the garbage can from the free throw line and the crowd always goes craaaaaazy when I do that.  Oh yeah, I've got me some very marketable skills.  I'm a contenda.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Extreme Freaks

This week TLC debuted a new show called, "Extreme Couponing."  Two of the women that were profiled in the first episode were interviewed on the Today Show.  Follow along, kids, cuz my watching the interview saves us all from having to tune into this.  It can take up to six hours to make a list with matching coupons.  Dozens of papers are purchased on Sunday to get the coupons.  The whole family is responsible for clipping coupons.  They save more than 90% on their food bill. 

Here's where the train jumped the track (as if the above weren't goofy enough).  They call grocery stores regularly to find out their coupon policy and then work around it to beat the system.  They have over 6000 canned goods in their home.  Shelving was constructed in the basement just to hold the stockpiled food and the parents bedroom is stocked with canned fruits and vegetables.  Hey, baby, looking at all them peaches is getting me horny.  They monitor expiration dates and donate canned goods to a food pantry if they can't use them before they expire.  6000 cans of food and the nearly expired stuff goes to the less fortunate.  Under the kids' beds were stored rolls of toilet paper.  11,000 rolls of toilet paper.

Reality t.v. never fails to find a circus to film.  "People might think it's odd that we go to such lengths to save money, but we wouldn't have it any other way."  When you have enough toilet paper to wipe the butts of a small country, that's not odd.  That's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

This morning our paper had a story about poverty in our area.  A little boy was seen at his preschool headfirst in a garbage can trying to get half-eaten peaches to take home to eat later because his unemployed parents couldn't afford any more food than what they could get from the local food pantry.  In desperate times, there are plenty of heroes trying to pull people out of some very dark places and they are all around us.  They'll never get a reality show (maybe because it's too real) but here's hoping that the Barnum and Bailey family's five minutes of fame lasts only two.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Can I Get A Witness

Some people run from responsibility, some from an ex and some from the law.  I run from Jehovah's  Witnesses.  I'm not proud of it but I do it.

When the kids were little, I learned that once a Witness got you to open the door, they took it as an invitation to occupy you for an hour.  Behind me, all hell would be breaking loose and the little darlings would use their get out of jail free card to throw toys in the toilet and flush them for fun while the uninvited guests at the door asked where you thought you were going after you died.  Anywhere but here.  Are you afraid of dying?  No, I'm afraid how much the plumber's going to charge me to fish the toys out of the john.   What does Jesus' death mean for you?  That I, too, will have everlasting life and if that means being a mother of toddlers again, I choose hell.

I taught my kids to lie.  I'd see the car pull into the neighborhood, close the blinds, get the kids to hide and tell them to be as quiet as a church mouse but not the Kingdom Hall kind.  The bell would ring and they would giggle and I'd shush them because we're not home, remember?   When the coast was clear, I'd give them ice cream at 10:00 in the morning as a party favor for playing along in Let's Make A Deceiver.

Last summer, I was outside stripping a piece of furniture and from behind me came a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses.  I never noticed them so when they asked if they could talk to me a minute, I about jumped out of my skin.  After they scared me, they said they weren't going to stay as I looked very busy.  Yes I am.  I appreciated the brevity and offered them water on a very hot day.  They declined and thanked me and do you know what I got for my kindness?  I got them to come back THREE more times because they thought I was interested in their message.  Jesus.

Today I happened to look out the window and saw them in the neighborhood.  Again???  How many times are you going to canvas the same block?  I can tell ya, everybody on this street loves a good party and couldn't last a day in a religion that frowns upon those.  They were headed my way so you know what I did?  On a quarter tank of gas that's supposed to last until the end of the week, I jumped in the car and drove around until I was sure the coast was clear.  $4.00 a gallon and I'm driving nowhere cuz I can't look them in the eye and tell them I'm not interested.  Well, I can but if you're standing and breathing they take that as a yes.

I picked up Mallie Bee from school and took her to Starbucks.  She must have wondered when the hell I decided to spring for over-priced drinks since I go on and on about how you can get a cup of coffee from the deli at the grocery store for less than a dollar.  Well, honey, I changed my ways about 20 minutes ago when the  Witnesses started flushing me out of my own house like a beagle in a fox hunt.  Half an hour later, I'm back at home looking at the info they left at my door and contemplating how Jesus takes away all the sins of the world, especially the repeated ones.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Speak Your Mind

I was at work one day and a woman came in her with her little girl.  I was helping the mom and the little girl kept interrupting saying, "Hey, lady", over and over.  Her mother told her to shush but finally gave in and said, "Now, what in the world do you have to say that is so important?  The little girl looked at me and said, "Hey, lady, why's you're hair so crazy?" 

That afternoon I went and visited the shop next door and told them the story.  One of the employees asked me if she was dark-haired and about four years old.  Yep, she was.  While they were in that store, the little girl yelled, "Hey, Mom, my butt itches real bad."

Maturity......the moment when the thought bubble hovering over your head ceases to yap despite the overwhelming desire to inform the world of an itchy butt.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dogs and Cats Living Together

We got a kitten.  A real cutie named Beemer after a sweet little ride we had back in the day.  Har, har, har.  If we really named him after one of our early cars, he'd be called Oldsmobile Firenza (with faux paneling on the side).  When he came to his new residence, we took him straight to the basement so that Henry the Aging Dog wouldn't find him and kill him.

This worked out pretty well until Beemer followed Mallie Bee up the stairs one night and said what the what people?  He found out he likey sunlight and the Man Cave wasn't fit for a lion wannabee such as himself.  Once he entered the public domain, Henry was slow to realize that there was a friggin cat in the house.  He's a little hard of hearing, can't see so well and packing a few pounds so he'd feel something near him (like a cat) and by the time he'd get his lard ass up and moving the cat would run off.  He'd go back to sleep only to have it happen over and over until he figured out it wasn't some kind of bad dream but a cat living in the compoundPoor, poor baby.

This is Beemer.  He weighs about 2.5#

This is Henry.  He weighs about 90#.   This is where he sleeps most of the time (away from the friggin cat).

Nobody puts baby in a corner (unless you're the new sheriff in town).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Let's Go Shopping

Big Daddy rides his bike every Saturday morning regardless of the weather.  His riding partner was out of town this weekend and on a lovely spring day that was perfect for bike riding, he was stuck with me.  He tried to act like it wasn't painful but I recognized his sadness and decided to make our morning fun.

Once a year, the burbs around here have large item pickup.  Homeowners can put anything on the curb and the city will pick it up at no cost.  I'm after the old stuff - trunks, gardening tools, dressers, chairs.   With my big sale coming up in June, I needed some goods to repurpose that were free in nature.  I shop well alone but sometimes you need two people to heft the large items into the car.  Enter Bee as in the Dee.

I think it's safe to say that digging thru other people's garbage is not for everyone.  BD was reluctant to participate and wanted to wear a ski mask so nobody would recognize him.  Hey, we're not robbing their house, we're robbing their garbage.  A ski mask could be problematic with homeowners and God knows here in Kansas people defend their property (even when they don't want it) if you know what I mean.

He started to make small talk since it was technically a date, but when I'm in the garbage zone I don't like to be chatting.  "Oh", he said, "sorry to disturb you."  No worries, just pretend I'm you watching River Monsters.  Then this, "Just so you know, I'm not enjoying this."  What did he say?   Since when did he start thinking that marriage was supposed to be enjoyable?  Hey, I've got an idea, let's stop talking to each other.  Lookie, here, I'm having more fun already. 

Thirty minutes into the excursion and mighty slim pickings, BD starts bouncing his leg.  Oh no he didn't.  Yeah, he was having a Flomax moment.  He was plenty sorry about that what with all the coffee and such and said he'd try to hold it for awhile.  Hold it like I do except when I cough, sneeze, push, pull, lift, bend over or laugh.   So with one stinkin' ladder to my name, we turned around and headed home.

The next day I found out that the town divided pickups over three weekends according to neighborhood.  Thank ya, Jeezus.  As I write, the remaining citizens of Overland Park are perusing their basements and garages and while they may think of it as spring cleaning, I call it Christmas in April.  Giddyup and drink all the coffee you want, BD.  Plan B is to buy the economy size of Depends cuz you and me have two more dates scheduled and we're not leaving until the wagon is full.  I can almost pee my pants in excitement.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Can Ya Hear Me Now?

The Beester lost her cell phone.  It's been missing for a couple of weeks and in the Land of Tough Love, it was too bad, so sad kind of sympathy until a neighbor told me about someone who left his cell phone in a cab.  When he realized what he'd done, he called the cab company the next day and got the phone back.  What he also got was $400.00 in phone charges to a sex line that the cabbie was fond of (things must have slowed down a lot after that fare).  I had one of them there holy shit moments.

I hate cell phone companies and calling them makes my blood pressure go up and stomach knot but I needed to cancel service on this phone.  When I got around to it and gone thru all the prompts (press 7 if friends make fun of the "old" phone you bought six months ago, press 8 if your bill is longer than the # of pages you read in all of the last year, press 9 if you are going to put your fist thru the wall) I was pretty pissed and ready to do battle.  What I got was Tonya, who tsked, tsked my teenage daughter for losing the phone, told me it happens all the time, suggested we suspend service so that should it show up in the next thirty days we could call and activate it again and apologized for having computer problems.

Oh, I was going to rip somebody's head off alright but instead I laughed with Tonya, said no worries about your computer problems, honey, said don't teenagers and cell phones make you crazy, said hey, Tonya, do you and the fam have plans for Easter dinner this year cuz me and Big Daddy would love for you to comeOh, a jello mold and some deviled eggs, why that would be great.  Hmmm, mmmm....2:00.

Cell Phone Company Rep + Me = Two Shmoozers.  One of us is going to end up getting hurt and I'm pretty sure it's not my new BFF, Tonya.