Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Smell the Burning Flesh...er I mean Rice.

Last night while trying to fill out forms and cook rice, I managed to burn up one of my stainless steel glass-top pans. I simply forgot to turn the burner down once the rice water started to boil. Pretty soon the black smoke was rolling and I had an awful mess of blue smoke rolling through my apartment. I'm suprised my smoke detector didn't go mad, it usually does with less smoke than this.

It rather makes the issue of the stinky sofa a moot point. Now my entire apartment smells like the aftermath of a bombed out rice patty in 'Nam. Napalm and charred flesh.

I had to cover the sofa just so I would consent to sit and loll on it. I just had this vision of rubbing tar and nicotine into my skin every time I moved. Hopefully this doesn't look too tacky:

Before I covered the sofa, Mackie wouldn't sit on it. He kept sniffing around and then moving to another spot and sniffing some more. I guess he felt like I did about napping in the bottom of a wet ashtray. Now he loves it: more places to nap! Here he is deciding which of his toys to play with.

Monday, January 29, 2007

New Arrival

After months and months of searching for a used sofa that was: comfy, clean, cheap and not butt ugly, I finally found something at the new Salvation Army Thriftstore that just opened up in Antelope. It wasn't until I got the cushions in my car on the way home that I realized it was not from a smoke free environment. Ugh! So here it is, delivered by Men in a Truck with a Dolly, reposing in the only spot in my living room that will fit a sofa.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Neck Tie

My Great-Aunt Julia Hass-Muesing, all tied up in a bow!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cousin Fantine at the Harvest Festival

I'm sure that my Great-cousin Fantine did not intend to look like she was wearing a heavily-adorned-with upholstery-tacks rendition of a tomato stem around her neck; in fact I am fairly certain she was pleased as punch with her fancy rig!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Yeast Roll of Beauty is a Joy Forever...

Or at least until they are all devoured! Ta-DA! I just made my very first batch of Yeast Rolls! I know, I know, you are all hanging on the edges of your computer chairs waiting to discover how a bread-baking 50 year old has managed to get this far without having made any! But it's true! And the reason is because there are in my family, several really EXCELLANT yeast roll bakers who vie for attention as to who will bring the yeast rolls to any family event.

My Mom openly declares that Aunt Iney's are the best, and she bribes her every year to make the rolls for Christmas Dinner at our house.

I do not DARE to declare any yeast rolls better than the other for fear of offending 8 other aunties, so my lips are sealed! I only know that mine, even after one attempt, may well fit in with the others as a tasty edition to any bread basket. Now I just need to remember how I made them, because I just threw the ingredients together without a recipe! Oops!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Candy Dishes

I have a real love for candy dishes. My Gramma had an old 'refrigerator glass' square dish with a lid that was quite clanky, and she had it loaded with candy. We were free to help ourselves when we went to her house, and if we didn't she would remind us: Did you look in the candy dish today? It was such a delightful and magic-y thing to have that dish of candy. Because it was the fluted glass (is that the right word?) you couldn't see exactly what was in there, but you could definitely see that it was loaded.

So when I went Plastic Container shopping at Walmart and saw this little glass candy jar I Had to have it!

And then of course I had to go back and get the other two sizes that it came in so I could have a candy-counter display of my very own.

The trick is to buy candy that you cannot stand to eat, otherwise you can't keep the jars full!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Making the bed

You can change the linens but you cannot change the cat!

~~Ancient Sufi-Derbyshire Proverb

As witnessed here by Mackie being adorable. How can I shove him off onto the floor when he's looking so cute and being so obstructive?

No, I cannot be such a heartless beast! The sheets will have to wait for another time to be changed.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Smug Age-ism

When I turned 50 I decided I was no longer going to stand for being diminished or disrespected or trivialized. I know to some of you ladies it will come as a shock that I waited until I was 50 before declaring myself an adult, but that's how long it took.

See, the thing is, when you are 18, everyone who is 21 tells you that you are just a baby. So you can't wait to turn 21 so you will get some respect but at 21 there are those smug 30 year olds telling you that you are a mere pipsqueak. So you reach 30 and think, Aha! I've Arrived! All those older folks will now begin to realize that I am a fully mature adult who makes sensible decisions and has a place of honor in society.

Not so! Because at 40 you get the 47 year olds. And at 47 you get the 60 year olds telling you that you are somehow LESS as a person because you are NOT YET OLD ENOUGH.

Well, Fiddle-dee-DEE! I am 50. I am a grown-ass woman. I AM old enough, and I'm not going to put up with being diminished because of ageism anymore.

The other day while doing yardwork at my client's house, her son-in-law and I were having a chat. He was discussing his health problems, I was discussing mine. (that's a blog for another day: Why do we talk about our health problems with such relish?!) I said that I never thought that at 50 I would be so decrepit and he responded with a rather demeaning, "Oh, 50! You are just a baby!"

I looked him square in the eye and said, "Excuse me, but no, I am not a baby. When I turned 50 I determined that I was no longer going to be put down by older people telling me that somehow I hadn't experienced enough or learned enough to qualify for anything. When you were 50, would you have put up with it?"

He got it. We laughed about it. I said, "I can just see it now. I'll be 97 years old in an institution and some darn 100 year old will be telling me that I haven't seen Nothing Yet and wait until I turn 100, THEN I'll know something!"

Of course now I have to wonder how often I tell people they are just too young to know what they know? I do see young parents and my college age nieces and nephews as frighteningly young, vulnerable and mere babes in the woods. But I think that I will try to be aware of my words around them. It's fine to give spinsterly advice, but I want to try and do it in a way that doesn't make them feel that whatever their age is, it's not good enough for the world.

Because we are, each of us, good enough for the world.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More about Plastic Bins

After yesterday's mayhem and foolishness with Plastic Bins I had to recline and sniff sal volatile and sip tea with a nip of brandy in it, Gentle Readers! I was done-in, as they say! Because wouldn't you know it, not only did NONE Of the plastic bins fit the objects for which they were purchased, I almost had an attack of the "GIT-MORES". You know what I mean! It's that little ailment that quickly escalates into the dreaded "HOARDING DISEASE".

In this case the 'Git-Mores' was brought on by a sudden urge to race back to Walmart and buy LOTS more plastic storage bins of all shapes and sizes, regardless of cost or need and with complete indifference as to necessity!

But I used restraint. I tied myself to the newel post and diverted myself with snacks until the attack passed.

My organization needs have not been met, but now I must focus on selling some of the items of which I wish to rid myself, and better utilizing the things that won't sell.

This lovely old pie safe, for instance. I've been trying to sell it for a couple weeks now, and no one wants it. Well, actually, somebody offered me 100 dollars for it but I think that's just silly. It's an antique Pie Safe, people! In it's exact condition in a swanky antique mall it would have a $700 dollar price tag on it. I was asking $250 or best offer. Anyway, I decided to turn This:

into This:

And now I must get rid of This:

I can't believe all my quilts fit into that pie safe! Hopefully my efforts at downsizing will pay off and I will have a clean, crisp, airy feeling. Uncluttered and unfettered, and unspoiled by Plastic Storage Bins!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


P.S: The underbed plastic chest designed specifically for the purpose of fitting under the bed?


I've Succombed to the Lure of Plastic!

Yes, I've done it. I've succombed to the Lure of Plastic Storage Bins. For years, I have loudly proclaimed my Utter Loathing for having a house filled with Plastic Thingees. I like glass, wood, cardboard, wire baskets, vintage tins. None of that utilitarian nonsense for me! It must be decorative as well as functional, and preferably downright pretty to look at.

A while ago I had the brilliant idea to put my cookie cutters in a cookie jar. I thought it was a darling idea! They currently reside in a jumble in the bottom drawer of my kitchen cabinets with all the canning jars, rolling pins, parafin wax, etc; But, Lo! and Behold! I never did find a cookie jar that was the right size and had a big enough mouth. Some of my cookie cutters are quite large. No matter how often I looked, nothing ever worked, nothing was ever the right thing.

This morning when I was digging around for a tea cozy it just hit me that what I chiefly needed was one of those rectangle shoe-box keeper boxes in clear plastic. It would fit perfectly at the back of the drawer and solve my cookie cutter storage dilemna! Because frankly, I really don't have the counter space to accomodate a cute cookie jar full of cookie cutters.

An hour later, I came home from Walmart with these:

I don't know what got into me! Did the plastic secrete addictive fumes? Was I subliminally programmed to purchase Rubbermaid Items as a child when holding my first rubber spatula and stirring up a batch of chocolate chip cookies?

I don't know, gentle readers. I only know that now I must put all my videotapes in the big one for underbed storage, my cassette tapes in the beige one, the cookie cutters in the smaller rectangle one and...the one with the pink lid? Don't tell me you actually expected me to RESIST buying THAT one? No way! It's PINK! I HAD TO HAVE IT. So what if I have no use for it? It's PINK!

The little candy jar is actually glass and I needed it to put my cherry gummy hearts in for Valentines. After loading my cart with all that plastic, I didn't even blink an eye about the glass candy jar.

Any and all suggestions for what to use the pink lidded Rubbermaid tub will be greatly appreciated!


Miss Pink

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Series of Unpleasant Emissions.

Oh my Goodness! What a Title! What could Miss Pink be about to tell us, Gentle Readers? Is an Indelicate Subject about to Rear It's Unseemly Head?

I started a new medication for nerve pain just a few days ago. Now, some of you know this, that nerve pain cannot really be managed with the plethora of pain medicines out there. Aspirin, Vicodan, Oxycontin, Morphine, Stun Gun...none of those are really effective in managing constant, long-term, permanent nerve pain. So they come up with new things, and not all of them effective. And some of them with really awful side effects. I was on Neurontin once, and got so bombed and spaced out that I found myself standing by the dumpster with my laundry basket. I caught myself in time, but I was just about to throw the dirty laundry in the trash!

But this new stuff, Lyrica I believe it is called, has little or no side effects. It is fast acting, it doesn't need to build up in your body in slow increments like Neurontin did, and it's just two pills a day, once in the morning, once in the evening. It did stress that WEIGHT GAIN is one of the side effects, something I'm not thrilled about; but at this point I wanted to go ahead and give it a try.

What they did NOT list as a side effect is that about 2 hours after taking the first pill, your body will turn into a Highly Toxic Controlled Substance Manufacturing Plant for Methane Gas. Explosive, Dangerous, Rocket Fuel Flatulence. It was unbelievable! I was highly pressurized and deadly.

All I could think was, "There goes my social life."

Even Mackie was keeping his distance. By the second day it had subsided somewhat and by the third day my body seemed to adjust and all was back to normal. Do you suppose that if they listed "Rocket Fuel Flatulence" as a side effect, they'd never be able to peddle their medicine?

Whew, I'm glad that's over. What's next? Oh yes...The uncontrollable weight gain. Rats!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Baaaad Bundt! Baaaaad!

I recieved those floppy silicone baking pans for Christmas and have had much fun playing with them every since. However. They don't always work like magic, the way they say they will...

For one thing, they make things VERY dark, almost burned, and the center will sometimes come out slightly raw. I haven't learned how to adjust the oven for these new pans, yet. And the other thing is...they don't exactly pop out like greased lightening, either. Stuff STICKS in these pans, even though they say they don't. But I shall keep going. I shall persevere. I know everyone thinks I am a perfect chef (ha ha NOT!) so this will encourage those who also have failures.

Oh, and here is the picture that goes with the Breakfast of Champions post. Blogger simply will not let me load a picture for that day!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Breakfast of Champions

I'm so glad I have my own identity! Several of them, in fact! But they all belong to me and are not a product of having lived my entire life defining myself for a man.

My most recent client is 79 years old, and her husband has been gone for 5 years. She lives in an entirely new house that she picked out herself and could have decorated any way she wanted. But as I sit there day after day and look around, I cannot find a single trace of WHO SHE IS. It's all about Dead Bill. The wall over the fireplace mantel has Dead Bill's deer antlers on it. The large 'brag wall' behind the main sofa has pictures of where Dead Bill spent his camping, hunting, fishing trips: without her. Dead Bill's airplane, Dead Bill's oil refineries, Dead Bill's automobiles.

When sorting through her photos, for the project we are working on, she pours over pictures of him and his life like he was a movie star she barely got to touch, just once. Pictures of her own family, her own self and her own life are dismissed as not interesting, trivial, hardly worth saving.

I understand the myth of being madly in love your entire life and forever mourning your dead spouse, after all Queen Victoria did that and carried it off quite well, but according to my client's daughter, Dead Bill spent almost zero time with his wife in the last 40 years and when he was there they didn't get along all that well. So it's all just some elaborate self-trickery on the part of Dead Bill's Still Living Wife. And Old habit that will never die.

What a shame! What a shame that she has no identity of her own. What in the world did she do with herself for the decades and decades after her children were grown and had moved to other states and she was left sitting alone in Bill's House polishing his elk antlers?

I try to spark her interest but everything bores her. She can't make me into a Dead Bill Replacement so I am basically of no use to her. It's sad, but it's not going to change. All I can do is observe it and thank my lucky stars that such a dismal mind set will not be my outcome!

No, no! I am free, regardless of how crappy I feel most of the time, to forge my own identity. Make my own choices, decorate my own space with my own things. I don't have to live vicariously through an overactive and indifferent spouse! I just get to be ME!

And if that means having delicious shiny slivers of smoked salmon on a rosemary and olive oil Triscuit for breakfast, then I am VERY fond of myself! No Dead Bill for Me!

(insert photo of scrumptious breakfast here when/if blogspot lets me.)

Also, I've added a new link under the 'sweet' catagory. It is my new baby cousin Dawson who seems to actually enjoy smiling, laughing, and being giddy regardless of the circumstances. It's really quite adorable. So pop over there and leave a comment about her beautiful baby boy and you will thrill her to the bone!! Smilin's" my Favorite

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Yesterday, while out running errands, I managed to get stuck in midtown traffic on Capitol Avenue where they are doing a lot of construction. I was just patiently waiting behind a string of cars for the light to change, because I was just a few blocks from home and not in any hurry anyway.

Suddenly, up on my right, came a speeding little car, boring it's way through the BIKE LANE and trying to force passage so he could get to the intersection and make a right hand turn. I must have been further to the right than the rest of the cars because he honked at me and GLARED at me when he pulled up along side. I just glared at him back and then I grinned. I thought he looked completely silly.

But my grin turned to giddy glee when he pulled ahead of me and I saw that his bumper sticker said: SHARE THE ROAD.

That calls for a cup of tea!

And I finally recieved a replacement saucer for my Petit Point cup that I broke so long ago! One of my clients had a stack of them because she had broken the cups, instead. So she gave me one as my Christmas Present.

Happy New Year!