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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

 

I figure you’ve thought I’ve fallen off the face of the earth by now, that I’ve given up blogging and didn’t tell anyone, that maybe something bad has happened to me considering my November post about my October. But none of the above is the reason for my absence. Silly you for letting your imagination run away with you. No. The real reason is I was abducted by aliens and I have been rejected returned.

Well, how else do you explain an unexplained absence? I wake up every day and say, “Where have I been and what have I been doing?”

There is evidence I’ve been gone. Just today I opened the fridge and noticed stuff. Bad stuff. I popped open lids to hairy, unidentifiable things. The only thing remotely familiar was the sweet potato dish leftover from Christmas. Or was it Thanksgiving? (At least my Christmas stuff is put away. Yes, I’m talking to you my next door neighbors who still have their Halloween décor in their yard. [maybe they were abducted by aliens, too]}.

My paper stacks are piled higher. My house is in disarray, as with my hair, my yard is unkempt, as with my hair, and my bills are unpaid.  See?

What?  I. Am. Not. Always. This. Way.  Not even a little bit. Well, maybe a little bit. Maybe a lot. Ok, damnit, I’ve been slipping. Ok?

And I’m not taking it anymore. Today, I’ve turned a new leaf. No more Missy nice gal. I’m doing something different and it’s called Three Damn Things. But not just any things. These are things things. Things that will change my life and make me a better person. But because I’m still recovering from scary refrigerator *things (*things that are bad and unmentionable and not to be confused with Three Damn Things), I will have to continue this post tomorrow. Let’s just hope aliens don’t abduct me before you learn important life lessons.

Until then …

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My parents find all the good signs. And then they send them to me to exploit on my blog. But I’ll leave this one to my readers. I don’t think I can do it justice.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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So there I was braless in my front yard minding my own business killing things—black widows—with my deadly saber weapon—broomstick—when all of a sudden a Mexican man in a pick-up truck pulled up and got out and approached me, braless me, and began waving his arms and speaking a mix of English and Spanish—Spanglish.

And this is what I saw/heard. You … pear … (hand mimes what looks like a round shape, not hourglass but round, I tell you) … no good … too big.

Perceptive as he may be regarding my body shape, insulting a woman holding a deadly weapon is not a bright person. I may have poked him with my sword (it’s a sword now) had I not been so busy pondering his reasons for needing to bring it to my attention. Possibly he thought I was blind and was doing me a favor. Ah, thanks. Good to know. I’ll get right on it. Or, he’s from PETS (people for ethical treatment of spiders) and was trying to dissuade me from further massacre. Or, simply a community service message.

Then, as I was about to bring down my iron hot poker upon his head, it occurred to me he was offering to trim my Bradford Pear tree. He cruised the neighborhoods looking for folks outside and would stop to offer his services. He almost died for trying.

You said I'm a what?

If this post has a familiar ring it’s because I kind of do this kind of thing a lot, you know, adding fantastical elements to a very dull happening, and way outside the realm of logic and reason. You’d think I’d learned my lesson since my last publicly-admitted blunder in Believable Characters  (notice I say “publicly admitted. Imagine what I keep private).

If I read the above scene in a book—sans the part where she comes to her senses—I’d say, “Bah.” So why, why, why, did I believe it could happen in real life? (because it’s happening to me, that’s why)

Moral of today’s story: Keep it real, baby. Keep it real. (unless you’re writing fantasy, then you can do that.)

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Christi Craig‘s post on Sunday Discoveries inspired my own post on things I found in my own house. Last week I had a yard sale, and in preparation for it I found some things. Lots of things, really. But I’ll mention three.

1.)    The long lost bleach pen. I have a pair of stained white pants in my closet waiting for the day I find my bleach pen. There are just a few spots and don’t want to bleach to whole thing and ruin the colored part of the pants. Bad news is why bother having wearable white pants after Labor Day? I mean, wasn’t it Kathleen Turner who played the role of a woman so upset by another woman wearing white after Labor Day that she killed her? Best not to chance it.  Worse is by the time Memorial Day rolls around, I will have lost the bleach pen again. Maybe then I’ll just suck it up and buy another one. Just like I do Scotch tape. I think I’m in possession of about 4000 rolls of tape due to my “sucking it up”.

2.)    My Autumn garden flag. Unlike the bleach pen, this find is quite timely. I lost this flag when I moved to my house about eight years ago. I’ve been pouting about it since and not sucking it up and buying a new one and just doing without. Now I’m very happy.

3.)    I found an old calendar. Sometimes I’ll buy a calendar of art or photographs that is too beautiful to throw out. Some I’ve cut my favorite months, framed and hung on the wall. The one I found is photographs of Provence, France. I had big plans for it—no wall space, but big plans, anyway—and shoved it away in a closet for the big plan day—otherwise known as the day of big plans, of which I have many.

Tree in lavender field. Provence, France. photo credit Brian Lawrence

Now if you’ve ever run across an old calendar it’s just as nostalgic as the scent of something from your past, a song from your childhood, or an old letter from your grandma. But this calendar isn’t that old. 2004. Seven years ago. Seven years ago didn’t seem like that long until I started flipping through the months.

February I had “off” written. Wow it seems so long ago that I used to work for a living. I feel like I’ve been writing my whole life. I almost forgot about that other life.

Flowerpot in window photo credit: Bruno Morandi

That same February I went to Hawaii. Ahh, pleasant memories. The following month we went to Disneyland and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, and by April, the memories of income and what I did to spend it came rushing back. The happiness I felt moments before turned to envy—of my own dang self—and I wanted my old financial security back. I wanted trips again, to Provence, in particularly.

Oh, but look, at the end of April was preschool open house. Preschool? Now my envy turned to tears as that little preschooler just started middle school.

I took another vacation in June, and in July, I celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary. Also in July I had laser eye surgery—the first of three. Ahh, the things money can buy—the gift of sight.

In August I had another vacation, this time to Oregon. (I got three weeks a year but accumulated some years.) August my little one went to kindergarten and my oldest to 8th grade.

The excitement continued, but when I finished poring over the entire year, I remembered something else about my past life. The year 2004 was two years before my back surgery. I’ll call that B.S. In B.S. I wasn’t a broken old lady. I didn’t have to make accommodations like I do now after surgery (A.S). I would not plan a trip to Disneyland now as I can’t stand for longer than a half hour. I can’t ride rides. A.S. I can’t do many, many things. And tragically, I can’t medicate due to reactions to almost every kind of medicine there is.

I flipped back through the months and lived those days over again and again, thinking how unpredictable life is, how I never in a million years could have predicted that I would take on a new persona, a new career path, a life of plotting and planning, not just on how to have the least pain-free day, but in my writing, which in 2004 was the furthest thing from my mind.

Naturally I would love to live with no pain or physical limitations, but I can’t complain too much. These days I’m doing something I feel I was born to do. Plus life is slower not working outside the home. The days go by faster but life is slower without competing in the “rat race” and worrying about my performance. I’m there for my kids. I can spot bleach my pants—or not—and I can enjoy the fruits of my labor, even if all I did that day was hang my Autumn flag.

Have you ever found something you thought you lost?

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I know from my last post you might be a little concerned that a 30 “family” pack of Bud is in poor taste.

from my last post Photo: courtesy of my mom

And it is. See not everyone has a large family. Take mine for instance. Since my oldest moved out, it is just my husband, my little one, and me. There must have been many small families, like mine, who called in to voice their complaint. And they listened. Because now they have a 12 “family” pack for just $999.

Small Family Deal (photo: courtesy of my mom)

Yes, folks, you don’t need a second mortgage to afford a 12 pack. You see, $83.25 per beer is a lot more doable than $1999 for 30 beers (though, there is a cost savings with this number at $66.63 per beer). I know we have a growing child, but 30 beers is excessive. We don’t want to be show offs

While I applaud their efforts at customer satisfaction by offering less product for more money, I still think we small families get the shaft. But hey, the price of gas has gone down. Maybe it’s all connected.

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In tough financial times, we all need to shop strategically, scan the sale ads, and keep an eagle eye out for super deals. My mom has such an eagle eye, because here, at this place they got gas in Oklahoma, you can get a “family” pack of Bud for cheap. Now parents don’t have to hog all the booze themselves, not with the family pack deal. Heck, maybe next week they can get a family case of Marlboros.

Photo: courtesy of my mom

P.S. When I showed this pic to my husband, all that really caught his eye was the cheap price of gas. Men.

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I am not a techie IT girl. I have a cell phone made before last month (collective gasp). Actually I bought it about 10 years ago. I does nothing but make and receive calls (more gasping). The lid is broken and can’t be flipped to make a call but gingerly opened, nurturing that last hinge. It’s a pay as you go. And I can’t take a picture with it. The cell phone before that was called a car phone and was the size of a loaf of bread.

I still read books that have a cover and can be used as a lamp stand afterwards. I’ve seen those computer books from a distance, and I wonder what it’s like to finish and not put it up on the book shelf like a trophy.

                           

My laptop is in worse health than my cell phone. To get it to work, you have to jimmy the cord until you get a connection then hold it there without moving or breathing until it feels a shift in the rotational orbit of the earth around the sun and then it dies right there. It must charge that way and then you have to unplug the cord and work on the dimly charged battery that lasts around 15 minutes.

I can’t afford a replacement and wouldn’t know how to buy a new one if I had the means. Technology moves too fast for me and laptops do things now that would require a PhD to master.

I write this from my desktop. A very old desktop.

It does things I know it to do. It also does things I don’t know it to do, which is more than I know, which is very little. So needless to say when I go on vacation these days, I am somewhat cut off from the world. No Blackberry, no lap top, nada, nothing, zilch.

I got back Tuesday evening and am still catching up.

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