Snow Birds and Broken Appliances

My husband was  recently on the phone with his parents and they were discussing their annual  trip to the Florida Panhandle.  They are the typical snow birds that descend south every winter  spreading their tiny wings to fly out of the freezing cold chicken coop.

I was eavesdropping , I could hear my husband, “You are driving where for a microwave? The same microwave that you had when I was a kid? Let me get this straight – you are taking your microwave with you to get it fixed in Alabama?”

However, I learned many years ago never to breathe a word about his parents appliances or their need to hold onto everything. It was a lesson I  learned the hard way!

My mother in law had her eyes on The Kitchen –Aid mixer it was like a red sparkly bike that was calling her name. It was with impulse she purchased a new kitchen-aid and handed her  Braun mixer down to me.

It was within that brief time the Braun and I were together we  were a happy couple baking until our hearts content from bread to pastries. It was until that one fateful spark that changed everything!  My beloved mixer was gone and floated up to the appliance heaven in the sky.

It was weeks later over lunch with the in-laws popped  my mother in law asked, “Do you still have the mixer? The kitchen-aid just isnt’ the same.”

I’m already the black sheep, the art student, opinionated women, that stole her golden boy. I could never do right and knew that I was going to have another strike against me the moment I opened my mouth…

“Um! Well no!” I stammered.

“No?”

“Well it broke.”

My father in law chirped “You what? You threw it out?”

“Yes. It broke.”

They both had stunned looked on their faces waiting for me to finish as if I had just dropped an F-bomb in church.

In my own defense I proclaimed “ It was made in the sixties!”

They both gave me a ghastly look that I had done some great injustice to the world and couldn’t believe I acted without the thought of the consequences it would have on them.

I clarified “Well it was old! And we didn’t know how to fix it…”

It was with that I was given another look.

“Do you still have the bowl?”

I exclaimed out of  nervousness, “Yes! I kept the bowl! I love it! It’s wonderful just for day-to-day baking.”

“Can I have it back?”

And it was with that I handed back the bowl never to be trusted with second-hand appliances again.

So as my husband got off the phone he gave me a look and said “Why don’t they just buy a new microwave?”

I looked at my husband with the knowledge of never insulting their appliances, “Honey, it must be the one they love forever. The breeze along the river would say  Just let it be.”

How far would you go to rescue your appliances? Would you drive to Alabama to get it fixed?

Celebrity and Wildlife Sightings: I Have Nose for It!

I have a very sensitive nose which leads me in all directions giving me the ability to spot celebrities and wild animals.  They are very much the same trying to hide from the public eye, produce a strange aroma, and are unpredictable when they are out of their element.  My nose senses their subtle traits and my eyes are always quick to catch them!

My sister Jane is very skeptical of my nose sniffing abilities from Tom Cruise and Snoop Dog sightings to the bear in the woods or the dear hiding behind the tree.

She never believes me even when they are standing right in front of us!

Until one day my sister and I were driving back to my grandmother’s house on the old rickety road.  I peered out the passenger window only noticing a black bear running into the bush.

I looked at her and exclaimed “Bear! Did you see the bear?”

All that was left was the distant swaying of the trees.

She gave me a skeptical look, “There was no bear!”

 Damn You Bear!

“Yes! It was a bear! “

She then laughed and said, “Okay! A bear!”

I could sense she didn’t believe me and I let out along deep sigh!

It was with that we had a nice visit with our Nana, she chastised me for my taste in men, my sisters choice in pursuing a PhD, and we hopped back in the car to drive home feeling a little cranky about our not so cuddly grandmother.

It was at that moment we watched a Mama bear and her cubs run out the woods and onto the side of the road.

“See! I told you a bear!”

We watched in awe the little family dive back into the bush and I was filled with smug satisfaction that for once I was right in my life.

It was years later, we had a rough night, at the hospital, my father was very sick, and we were staying in the hotel downtown.

As we walked sleepily into the hotel  I noticed a short man with several young beautiful women standing around him. I made eye contact with him and wondered where had I seen this creature before?  My mind turned the pages of the encyclopedia and I was thinking of every magical being including the unicorn.

Was it a badger? No.

Short man? Yes.

Was it Napoleon? Nop.

Jean Jacket and tight jeans? Yes.

Beautiful Women? Yes.

It was at that categorical moment the light bulb went off in my head!

Rock Star! Hell yes!

I looked at my sister, “That’s Bryan Adams!”

She gave me a cynical look thinking I really lost it, “No! It is not!”

“Yes it is!”

He then went into  the elevator, looked at us, with a smug smile, knowing that he had escaped a barrage of questions, and a request  to sign my sister’s Sebastian Faulks novel.  It was the only thing I was holding at the time.

My sister laughed, “That was not Bryan Adams!”

At this point I was tired, and there no explaining that elusive creature was indeed Mr. Summer of 69!

And as we were waiting for the elevator another man appeared with a guitar and my sister in her best voice “And I suppose that’s one of his roadies?”

It was with that I sighed  and the next morning the newspaper arrived at the door only to discover Bryan Adams had played in the city that very night. So never question my ability to spot wild animals or celebrities!  They may try to live with the common man but with a keen eye and good nose you can spot them a mile away.

One word of advice  always trust your instincts and if they are frothing at the mouth just get their picture and run!

 Where does your nose lead you? Have you ever spotted a celebrity sighting?

Blogger Obituary

It in the past couple of weeks I have been getting some really great  spammer comments! However, when I received one that I had to read over, think twice, then pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dead. 

“I have your obituary in my car to keep me safe and so that I can look at you and think about you every day.”

I wondered does this spammer know something about my future that I do not?  Was I already dead? I began to question my fate and existence for most of the afternoon.

So I took a swallow of fish oil and gagged! I knew from that awful taste I was still alive! Thank God!

It was from that one  comment which inspired me to write my own blogger obituary:

Belle was a versatile blogger and loving mother who leaves behind two sons, and a wonderful husband.  She loved to sing in the shower, do silly dances throughout the house, and mortify her two children with an array of questions about their day. Her toots will be deeply missed as it was an aroma which could stop a lion in its tracks forcing it to run the other way.

It is in her life she believed her greatest accomplishment was raising her two boys to be strong men with a great sense of humor.  She also believed each day no matter how solemn should have a few moments of laughter.

In the event of her death she requested to be buried in a red dress, fancy hat, and ruby-red slippers. Belle also vehemently voiced  instead of  a wake  “where people could have one last memory of her with  bad make-up and a grim face”  that there is to be a party held in her memory at the Black Horse.

She expects everyone to have at least two shots of tequila and six pints of beer with the sounds of Billy Joel playing in the background.  It is also mandatory for at least one drunken sot to pass out in her Mother’s front lawn just for memories sake.

Now lets hope the other obituary that the spammer has on the dashboard of his car  is keeping him safe because it is definitely not mine!

What would your blogger obituary look like?

Digging in the Trenches

I have days when I’m tired of expert advice and their suggestions about how to blog to be ranked better.  You know the social media expert who asks the important questions:

  • Are you using the right tools?
  • Are you social networking properly?
  • Are you telling twitter you are picking your nose?
  • Do you share enough? Like that time you had that wedgie?
  • Do you have a button?

Why! Yes! I do have a button it’s the one that says Sex Pistols!  I use to wear it on my jean jacket because it made me look cool! 

Life is about priorities I want to read good books, enjoy time spent with my kids, and  enjoy the process of writing.  Blogging for me is  a creative outlet to attempt to polish my skills and relieve tension from a busy day.

I love connecting with such a spirited group of bloggers that make my day with their own insightful posts. If there is one thing I relish is how many of you share your dreams, your short works of fiction, your great ideas, and vent if you really had a bad day.

The blogs I enjoy aren’t always high in the ranks in fact they are digging  in the trenches. It is the quality of their writing, their authentic voice, which makes me want to stop by and visit for a cup of coffee.

It is  when I read expert advice I know they are just trying to help many of them being in the very same trenches that we  are all standing in, muddy, and digging. However, I’m tired of expert advice because all I really want to do is read great blogs and fucking write!

Now can someone explain to me how Tribber works? Kidding!

Do you ever get lost in the maze of expert advice? Is there one social media tool you love to use? Or hate?

I Love the Cheese!

It was just the other day as I went through my spam comments that one struck a nerve . It said “Your blog is just as bad as Norwegian Carrot Cake.” It was at that moment I snorted out my coffee and reflected on his kind words. 

If I were to compare my blog to a food item it might be the stench of Gouda cheese, on a good day smooth havarti, or sometimes I will go wild like jalapeno cheddar. But never in my craziest dreams  did I think I would ever be compared to Norwegian Carrot Cake.

It was with grim determination I had to investigate!  The surprising fact I discovered from my investigative research is Norwegian carrot cake is not bad at all!

It is full of warm spicy goodness with a delicious cream cheese icing. How could that ever be bad?

So thank you Mr. Spammer for making my week! I love being compared to such a wonderful dessert! I guess that means I can have my cake and eat it too! The best part is it even has cheese in the icing!

What specialty dish best describes your blog? Is it a spicy dish that knocks your socks off? A big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs? Or a succulent dessert?

Who Wore it Best?

I am one of those women who loves the beach but does not love the inevitable task of  finding the perfect swim suit. However, you would not know  from observing my swim suit collection that has over forty different pieces of tops and bottoms.

Daily Mail UK

It is on this vacation I needed a little confidence boost and purchased several more swim suits to add to my collection.

The first day I opted for the flowered halter and  frolicked in the waves like a haphazard mermaid flailing about in the water.

A woman swam over , “Nice suit!”

“Thanks!”

It’s when I looked closer she was wearing the exact same bikini that I was wearing!

People magazine flashed  before my very eyes with the title Who Wore it Best? The picture of us side by side laid out on the spread for the whole world to see only to critique who rocked the  halter style best. I could hear the voice in my head hitting a full conversation between Tim Gunn and the Go Fug Yourself Girls.

It was at moment a wave hit me and knocked me to my senses!

We then  both looked at each other knowing we were both thinking the same thing and began to giggle.

She laughed,” It looks like we both have great taste!”

I exclaimed, “Let me guess Le Vie En Rose!”

“Yes! You are curvy like me isn’t it the best place to shop for swim suits!”

“Yes! It is!”

It was with that we did a high-five for the curvy gals! Who cares who wore it best? We were both in the waves having fun and enjoying the sun!

Have you ever shown up to a party in the same attire as another?

Communication: It’s All Greek to Me

Do you ever have one of those moments where you stop listening to your partner in the middle of a disagreement? It feels like you are speaking in Greek and they are  speaking tongues neither  of you getting the point of the conversation. It’s at those moments you want to throw your hands up in frustration and scream “I give up!”  

I know exactly when my hands begin to flail that I have failed communication 101. It is that crazy thing called active listening that I forget  when trying to prove my point to my significant other.

My ultimate goal is to be right!  I want to be one step ahead of the debate – ready to throw my opponent under the bus. However, there is the odd time we are debating  but oblivious that we agree on the same valid points.

It was just the other day I listened to my two little men have one of those conversations.

“Robert, have you seen my Nintendo DS?”

“I saw it last year!”

“The last time I saw it was last week!”

“Yes! That was last year!”

“No Robert! That was Last week!”

“Alex, that was last year!”

As I listened to Robert torment his brother  and chuckle as he waited for Alex to realize last year was last week. It reminds me that  we need not hear but intently listen to what the individual is actually telling you. Sometimes it can make all the difference in how we communicate with others on the off-chance that we both might be right.

Have you ever debated your point until you are blue in the face only to realize your opponent agrees with you?

The Perfect Butt Clench

The perfect butt clench is not something you master with ease over night! It is something that takes years of practice! I think of it as an effortless flow where I close my eyes, sip my coffee, and squeeze really hard like a curler with a broom!

Sometimes I feel really ambitious and throw a Kegel  in for good measure! We all know that the Kegel has its benefits but throw in that rock hard butt clench – you get that Double Whammy!

I blame my butt clench addiction on Jane Fonda! She started the rage with her thong unitard and butt clench craze workouts.

I butt clench all of the time  because of her! It happens while I’m eating, disagreeing, reading, loving, and sleeping.

It is the effortless workout perfect for the core and your love hump.

So just follow my lead take a deep breath, pull in your butt muscles, next your kegel muscles, and squeeze for five seconds. If you are feeling really wild you could do a set of twelve!

It’s the perfect butt workout for any blogger! Go ahead and give it try! I Dare you to feel the burn and give  it a good hard squeeze!

Can you drink coffee, workout and read at the same time? Do you have a favorite blogging workout?

This post was inspired by Mel at Is this the Middle.

The Other Side

Do you ever wake-up in the morning and sometimes your rose – colored glasses don’t want to wake up with you? Instead your goggles might have a green tint to them. I have those mornings all of the time!

It’s the one were you see the women walking to work in a beautiful white cashmere jacket, or opening the national geographic traveler only to read about another wonderful vacation.

I find at those moments my goggles get a little greener and I have to tinker to get the perfect pink hue.

At those moments I have to remember we are all our own individuals, all have chosen different life path’s, and my own life path is what makes me unique.

I believe that there is just too much beauty in this world to constantly wear those green goggles. It’s it’s okay to admire the other side but I know that white cashmere jacket will never suit me.

Do you sometimes need to readjust your goggles?

Spark

Spark it is the link that ignite the passionate creativity from your brain to your heart! It is that moment of inspiration which tingle through your fingers as you type away at the keys. It is the eureka moment when the light bulb comes on in your head! 

A spark can happen at any time and any place! It is the start of an idea, a dream, a labour of love.

How do you find your spark?

Is it waiting in the back corner of your brain when triggered by a beautiful sunset? Is it resting in your heart when that one song plays on the radio? Or does it transpire from the poignancy of a painting?

Inspiration rests from within us all and it is the creativity which is genuine! The need to create, share, and collaborate with others to see our projects come to fruition. It is at these times we are left to spiral out of control in our own creative energy.

How do you maintain that energy?

I know for some it is meditation, others daily routines, and some like me just flailing about in a chaotic mess. It is trudging out of the mess or routine that clarity can hit us!

Clarity?

The clarity to see our project through from beginning to end! The truth behind our words and actions! It is something that we can all do at one time and place!

The question is where do we begin? Where do you find your creative spark?

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