Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Fancy" for Yummy

Besides, "Mm! Mm! Good!" was taken.


Not like Oso's Fast, Unlikely Friend at Laurasmagicday:
...a fat gray cat. I don't like using the word fat to describe her because she had a the kind of self-confident personality and depth of character that makes her so much more than her physical attributes.

I had a fat gray cat as a kid. His name was Fog and he was anything but confident. Fat and slow aptly describe him. Slow of speed and character.

He was the son of Mrs. Setzler-Angel, a cat my parents allowed me to name (a permission which they may have immediately regretted). When Mrs. Setzler had kittens we gave them all away, but one. A gray one who was slower than the rest and no one wanted.

Fog, named for his color, grew (and grew) into his name by also being dense. Round, he was, but as devoted as a cat can get, too lazy to be aloof. He would take a nap on one love seat only to wake, stretch, walk as far as the next love seat, and take another nap.

When out patrolling the neighborhood, Mrs. Setzler had to defend Fog from birds, rabbits, and small woodland creatures, Cowardly Lion that he was. But when Fog was inside he could watch the birds who came to eat from the bird feeder hanging just outside the living room window, immune from their taunts.

There was a radiator inside, just underneath said window which made Fog eye level to the birds feeding outside. With the window open in the Chicago summertime, he could hear them and smell them only inches away. These birds didn't scare him like other outside birds. Being in the domain of the household gave him access to a secret reserve of power, like a Super Hero dressed in tights and cape. I remember him as he once took a swipe at the birds with ultimate confidence until it was too late and his claws were neatly stuck in the screen that separated him from his intended prey.

Fog was embarrassed but I don't think he was worried about what the birds were thinking. He was worried about what the humans might be thinking if he was seen. This, I could tell as he looked over both shoulders back into the living room to see if there were any witnesses, a lovable look of humility across his gray face.

When he saw that I was there, he was humiliated not only by the failed attack, an heroic feat that could have supplied him with the only prize he'd ever possessed, a present which he could bestow, but by the fact that I would now have to rescue him from the screen, his claws trapping his paw in a permanent high-five.

I tried not to laugh as I extracted his claws from the screen that had fooled him, seduced him into a false, predatory confidence. I loved him for the hero he aspired to be.

Fog has long since shuffled off this mortal coil but before he went he signed his portrait. A closeup photo of his face, his green eyes peering into, exploring, a camera lens. Signed with his paw print on the back. It was a going-away present from my dad when I went to college.

School was only about 150 miles away but he wanted me to have something that reminded me of home.

Still have it. Still does. Always will.

(Thanks, Dad.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pool Party

Someone's having a pool party. I can hear it.

Just about every house here has a pool, or certainly one nearby. Makes sense, since it's 93 degrees in April. (Accuweather.com seems to think this feels more like 99. Needless, it's much hotter here than at home.)

I don't know exactly where the party is as I've not ventured outside the confines of our backyard all day today. Not since I took my coffee this morning in exactly this same spot. But I know the party isn't next door because I can peek through the fences that border all three sides of my outdoor domain. Nobody there.

I don't know if it's a party with cars lined up out front or if it's a loud pile of kids that live there. I guess I'll know tomorrow if it still feels like 100 degrees out there and school gets canceled on account of sun. Suppose that ever happens here?

Why is it that at every pool party, one kid is crying? Is he the one being excluded by the older kids or one being singled out for a nap? Doesn't matter, there's always one.

And, why is it, that only one person is plagued by flying insects and the other isn't even if they are sitting next to each other? I'm talking about my own backyard now. But, still, I don't get it.

Just glad it isn't me.

That was actually yesterday. Today, no crying kids. None splashing or screaming, so I guess they either don't live there or school has not been canceled. Instead, being Monday, people are back at work which includes all the construction folks working on neighboring remodels. Seems there are two such projects in progress across two of the three backyard border fences.

Loud, they are, an intrusion on my backyard serenity. Besides many flowers, smelling sweet in this hot sun, the backyard has a peach tree and lots of birds - some of which are really giant bees, I think. One bird, that I can never pick out, I call the Hawaii bird because it has the same hoot as one that, also unseen, makes quite a racket on my visits there. In fact, when I'm in Hawaii I call this bird the Wake Up bird because of his preference for early morning hours and a shrieking call that sounds like Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up and invariably sounds as if he is perched directly outside my window. (Once for fun, late at night in Hawaii I thought I would give the Wake Up birds a dose of their own medicine. Figuring they were at rest, I went out on my balcony deck and shouted Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up. Take that!)

The Hawaii bird of Palm Desert is not such an early riser for which I am very grateful. It occurs to me they must be on the same time clock even in different time zones since the Hawaiian Hawaii bird gets up exactly three hours before its SoCal cousin.

I thought I heard an owl last night and right now there's a bird that sounds like an owl except it's the middle of the day and it sings hoo HOO rather than hoot hoot. Not exactly the same, is it?

There are hummingbirds everywhere, and they will fly so close to my head that I can hear their wings beating. Yesterday, one hovered so close above the pool, I could see its surface ripple from the force generated by its beating wings.

There are a couple of other birds - I have no idea what they are - that swoop and dart from tree to tree. They have bright yellow bellies and white feathers in their tails and wings, all of which you can only see while they are in flight. These like to swoop over the pool to take quick sips, dodging back and forth.

I like the flowers and the birds, and sitting in the shade in a lawn chair, taking in the backyard activity, construction noise and all. (Pictures to follow.)

Without a party, my temporary backyard pool looks lonely. I should keep it company. (Picture not likely to follow.)



Cell tower as palm tree....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Post April 15

We often go to Hawaii this time of year, unless we don't, of course, like this year. For a few years we were travelling around the country in our RV which we loved. We saw so many interesting places. We really enjoyed those times.

Of course, we couldn't drive to Hawaii but to get out of town from where we live we had to cross a mountain pass or two. And, in April, we almost always found snow somewhere along the way. Sometimes we expected it. Sometimes we didn't and we would find ourselves buried in the white stuff when we would otherwise be buried in warm sand by the Pacific Ocean.

This year, we did neither - go to Hawaii, or drive an RV. We flew to Palm Desert where the wind blew so hard two nights ago, you would have sworn you were at the beach, the surf too loud to sleep. Indeed, it was too loud for me to get any rest. I moved to the couch in a room with fewer windows to get away from he howling.

With the windows open I could hear the palm trees rustling. Not rustling, louder than that. What's louder than rustling? Slapping. Palm fronds slapping, they were. With the windows closed it was almost worse as the not-airtight windows whistled as the wind forced its way through every crack in the house.

Next day, we went to Borrego Springs, a round trip road trip of around four hours. Found snow along the way. Somehow, that seemed just right.

Time Travel

I was born in NYC in a hospital that no longer exists. 1963, that was.

Twenty years later I lived in a sorority with another girl who was born in the same hospital. Our moms figured this out during a Mom's Weekend. Turns out we may have been in the hospital at the very same time. Small world.

Some 27 years after that, I spent the weekend with members of Rainier Yacht Club. Another couple in attendance was sharing stories of their travels together when they were much younger. Flashback 45 years and we were at the same Worlds Fair. 1964/1965 in NYC. Whadyaknow?

I have pictures of me at the Fair. Remind me when I get home and I'll get those pictures out.

Wonder if they've every been to Circleville.

Road Trip

This is our route to San Diego. Hubby would rather be driving a performance car rather than this rented Altima right now. A motorcycle, even. My convertible would be great fun except that within twenty miles we came across this.

Beautiful drive.

Surfing Down the Highway

Posting at 70 mph. Playing around with a new 3G mobile network card. How's that for geeky?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I know it's cold way up in the sky. Up high, where the airplanes fly is what I mean. But when the sun is shining outside your window and it's a beautiful day it's not something one immediately thinks of. Especially, when one is flying to Southern California.

On our flight from Seattle to Palm Springs I had the window seat and as I looked out I noticed there were snowflakes attached to my window. Not many, just a few. They were tiny, almost like they weren't there. It was amazing to me that something so tiny could cling to something so much larger, something that was traveling over 500 miles per hour.

I started to think of them as wishes. Tiny, against all odds, and all that. Were they my wishes or someone else's? Would these wishes be granted? What if I had an aisle seat?

I looked out my window from time to time to keep an eye on them, to see if they were still there or if they flew away. Even as we descended, they remained. But as we neared the airport, they disappeared. I didn't see them go, I missed it. I didn't know if they blew away or simply melted.

Did someone get her wish when those snowflakes disappeared or had they expired, unused? We'll never know.

If they were mine, what would I have wished? It doesn't matter, I think, because what I would wish for today is different from what I would wish for tomorrow and what I wished for yesterday. Maybe that's why snowflakes, on their own, are temporary.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

And the Winner Is

Sue Compton.

Reported by Hick Chick.

Buzz Kill

I was greeted yesterday by a friend shouting "Minus One!"

"Minus One?"

It was the day after Zero she explained, having followed my countdown for the last two weeks.

Minus One, she called it. I called yesterday One. As in, Day One of Vacation. Today would thusly be Minus Two by her count and simply Two by mine.

Hubby called yesterday "364."

Buzz kill.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What was the last klutzy thing you did in public?

This Question was posed by my friend on One Question A Day:
What was the last klutzy thing you did in public and how did it make you feel?
Uh, klutzy?

I have no doubt this was not the last klutzy thing I've done as I'm pretty much a goofball all of the time and quite enjoy it. But this is the very first (and maybe the most) klutzy thing I thought of. (People who know me will know doubt have other suggestions.)

Hubby and I were on our way home from a ski trip. It was just the two of us and we traveled a lot back then. We always had the same routine when we arrived at an airport. I would wait for the bags to come off the luggage carousel, and he'd fetch the car.

I thought I was pretty tough back then, too. Strong, independent (roar). So it didn't matter if we had two sets of golf clubs or two sets of skis. I'd get all the bags and hang whatever they were over my shoulders and prove how powerful I was by getting them to the curb on my own. (Wow! Strong and sexy!)

This trip was no exception. I retrieved our bags including ski boots and skis - one pair of which were Volants which ride like Cadillacs on the snow and are about as heavy. Just as I emerged from the airport the laces on one of the high-topped boots I was wearing looped in the hooks of the other boot. I didn't know what happened. All I was aware of was the sidewalk rapidly approaching my face.

Down I went, kit and caboodle, with no way to stop, reverse, compensate, or correct. Right on the Arrivals sidewalk of Sea-Tac airport.

Welcome home.

Plenty of witnesses. No injuries. Hubby missed the whole thing. (Still thinks I'm strong and sexy!)

Due Date

Today's the day and, even better, tomorrow isn't. Tomorrow, no alarm clocks. Not even coming in.

But today, I got another visit from the latte fairy. And recently, I had a visit from the banana bread fairy, too, so I'm pretty well set for caffeine and calories for the day.

There's also some sort of green juice wizard lurking about. Not sure what to make of him yet. Something about something-something-healthy or somesuch. Clever wizard, too. Tried to disguise his green juice in a take-away coffee container. This wizard knows me too well....

Elves worked late into the night to ensure the day would go smoothly. No doubt they deserve much, but will receive too little, praise for their efforts. I love elves.

And, fairies.

(And, queens.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I'm trying desperately to goof off here but people get kind of demanding when it comes to their tax returns and downright testy where money's concerned. Just because you waited until the last minute doesn't make it an emergency for me! Oh, well, I guess that's my job....

Besides being only a couple days before the 15th, it's also a couple of days before travel and that's just double trouble, for me. Don't get me wrong - love the travel - just not good with the two or three days beforehand.

Spent the last couple of days being grumpy which doesn't make me any fun to be around and - truth be known - that's okay with me. But I'm tired of being grumpy so it's time for me to humble myself, make my apologies, and get a change in attitude. So, as of right now Not Grumpy.

You can come out from under the covers now. I probably won't bite.


... and grumpy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Thanks for the reminder, Sandy. Guess that means I better get going..... Only four more days. Better pour another cup of joe and get the old brain fired up. Sort of like a lawn mower with a rip cord. Put it in gear and focus on the task at hand - and nothing else. The coffee is my only reward. (sigh)

Do I hafta?

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Really? Only 5? I was thinking about not working today until I wrote
Really? Only 5?

Friday, April 9, 2010


Today, I was visited by the Latte Fairy. I love the Latte Fairy! Today should be a good day ...

... until I do my taxes. Probably should get on that.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Even Steven

What if Steven changed his name to Stephen, would he even be Steven? What if his legs were uneven?


Choo Choo

Do you remember that trick we used to play on each other as kids? The one where you grasp your friend's wrist and squeeze it really tight until the blood drains out? There was probably some incantation that went along with it that I can't remember. Ultimately, though, you'd let go and watch the blood rush back in while you friend felt the sensation of it in his hand.

That's what "7!" feels like. Blood returning. Thoughts returning. Creativity returning. Command of speech and thought patterns. Sleep. Feeling human.

Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't' a train after all.

No Dirt Here

Ever catch yourself daydreaming in the shower? Mentally napping? Only to discover that you can't remember what you've washed and what you haven't? You end up having to start all over again!

At least I'm really clean.


Monday, April 5, 2010


I don't know what's in my purse anymore. Stuff goes in but not much stuff ever comes out. But I suspect that whatever's in there is very important because it certainly has become weighty.

I guess the trick is to buy a new one every couple years and just start over.


I would like to discuss the office dress policy: flannel jammies for the next 10 days.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weather or Not

I think people who live in Seattle have weather-related amnesia. Why else would they live here? There are substantial reasons, except I can't remember ....

What I've noticed, not being from here originally, is the local drivers often forget how to drive. This phenomenon occurs when there is a change in weather. Just as they figure out how to drive in the rain, the sun comes out and they have to learn how to navigate under new, and strange, conditions.

If the weather turns back to rain, we're back to square one.

Heaven help us if it ever snows. Seattle-ites have never, ever, figured that one out. It's just embarrassing. Their version of driving in the snow is upgrading their 4WD which is assumed to also mean four-wheeled-ice-braking-while-going-downhill. It's just easier to cancel everything and hope it goes away.

And, when it doesn't, they blame the Mayor.

But it turns out "plowed streets" in Seattle actually means "snow-packed," as in there's snow and ice left on major arterials by design.

"We're trying to create a hard-packed surface," said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. "It doesn't look like anything you'd find in
Chicago or New York."

The last big snow storm, among other things, cost the Mayor his job. But the great thing about amnesia is ... wait, what?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oh, Yes!

I don't know how I got from here to there but it started with I love my job. I can do this. Just keep going. Don't stop....

...and ended up here: