Yes, I’ve Been Meaning to Write

Sunlight Off the Patio
Would ya look at that?

Glorious! That sunshine. It’s what greeted me upon entering the living room this morning and has inspired me to write, at last. The early part of this week was absolutely hellacious. I spent days in bed sicker than I’ve been since childhood with the flu. Tossed cookies left and right all day Sunday only to wake groggily at midnight to that movie Dead Calm playing (has the most beautiful score by the way) which set the stage for my dreams to follow as I tossed and turned waking midday Monday to the sorest sides ever from all that cookie tossing and a headache capable of splitting the Red Sea. Ai carumba! Energy returned early in the evening and I had just enough time to finish watching the latest episode of 24 on the ipod (watched all the past seasons through Netflix at the great urging of my sister) before the newest episode started. I awoke to “You’re sleeping?!” from Bean who came down to my room to discuss something big that had just happened- guess I’ll be seeing that on the ipod, too. Tuesday was one of those well-am-I-still-sick-or-not-kinda-days and I’m happy to report, that nope, I wasn’t! My sister was.

I’ve been meaning to write.
About the most spectacular Christmas season and how I didn’t want it to end.
Maurice Sendak's Drosselmeier

How that feeling, that Christmas spirit that I wonder each year if it’ll arrive, and it has, save for one, was abundant this time around, arriving on Thanksgiving and ending only after each holiday decoration was packed away.
How there were many activities and outings, almost daily, and how cookie baking lasted until two in the morning and shopping was a cinch this time around, and how our much too tall tree bent right off the ceiling and back down to the floor in a dramatic swoop after a gross overestimate in vertical height, but mostly about the Pacific NW Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
How this was my year to finally, finally attend after many years of saying I would one day, and could’ve, too, except the key was that my dad had promised me tickets years ago, ten to be exact (years, not tickets), and that he would attend, a big deal because he’s quite the hermit at times.
How he called up and told Tina and me to reserve us all seats.
How a dilemma arose when we sat staring at the online seating chart, coded with little colored blobs to indicate sections on all spots, but one, the important one.
How the little yellow blob in front of the orange blob had no price listings and that happened to be right where we wanted to sit.
How to purchase tickets in the orange blob behind the yellow blob meant we were to be rows and rows back behind dozens and dozens of heads potentially obstructing the view of a ten year wait.
How I wanted to sit in the yellow blob!
About the huge internal victory dance when we arrived to find we were in the yellow blob!
How the heck that happened I don’t know, but thank you mislabeled online seating chart for your grace because front row smack in the center was divine!
How I don’t think I blinked the entire time.
About how the production’s fabulousness lies in the sets designed by Maurice Sendak, the celebrated children’s book author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are.
How no other city’s production would do.
How I was thrilled and touched and blessed to finally attend it with my hermit, I mean, dad.

Yes, I’ve been meaning to write.
About 2006, about the year’s highlights and lowlights, a wrap up of sorts:

About my favorite art exhibit.
Henry Darger

How it was called Highlights from the American Folk Art Museum, but it’s like no folk art I’ve ever seen.
How the artist Henry Darger was a janitor by trade who in his off hours created his own imaginary world.
How he began his work at 19, continuing until his death at age 81, when his landlord discovered the accumulation of his work blanketing the room he’d rented for decades.
How he wrote a 15,000 page illustrated epic entitled, wait for it, The Story of the Vivian Girls, In What Is Known As the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. Whew!
How it’s the tale of seven little girls who attempt to rescue enslaved children from an army of adults, the Glandelininas, whom enslaved them.
How his work consisted of an incredulous amount of material, several diaries, a six-part weather journal, an eight volume autobiography, a sequel to the aforementioned mondo epic novel, several hundred nine foot long, double-sided scroll-like paintings, collages galore, five hundred pen and pencil sketches and studies, and thousands of media clippings, often of girls, most especially the little Coppertone girl, clouds, landscapes, plants, weather, war, and disasters.
How that sheer mass of material, that whole secret world fit in that room he rented.
How that handwritten novel, 15,000 pages, was absolutely amazing to view in person, I mean, imagining the time each page represented as he thought, planned, wrote, drew, painted, each and every one and then the accumulation of his touch on each of those pages, the sweat, the smearing, and tiny tears in the paper, amazing.
How the words “whimsical” and “sinister” begin to describe his work, and “obsessive” continues.
How this isn’t my favorite exhibit of the year because it’s pretty, or executed with immense skill, or contains my weakness, that being an arrangement of color to make my knees go weak.
About how it’s my favorite because it got me thinking.
How this man had such a need inside him to tell a story, that it wasn’t about the recognition of others, purely about that need to release what existed in him based on what he experienced in life.
How it’s a reminder that no one knows what another may live in their mind and in their home.
How it spoke to me about what lies in me as well, about the stories and art and work to be created, how it finds a way to express itself in one form or another, my clothing or my home or my cuisine, whether I consciously choose to give voice to it, or not.

About my favorite films | movies. (You drink coffee at a film and eat popcorn at a movie.)
About how this could so be a post in itself, so rather than even begin, I shall end with a list, the good, the bad, and the to-see list.
The World’s Fastest Indian
Akeelah & the Bee
Running Scared
Last Holiday
Inside Man
Lady In the Water
Final Destination III
Notes On a Scandal
Stranger Than Fiction
The Last King of Scotland

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
(love the first one!)

The Science of Sleep
Lucky Number Slevin
Curious George
The Dead Girl
My Super Ex-girlfriend
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
(I wanna go fast!)

About my favorite song.
How about Til Kingdom Come by ColdPlay, Into the Ocean by Blue October, The Adventure by Angels & Airwaves and just about everything on the local jazz station, and I’m talkin’ the real jazz station, not that soft jazz, muzak bull puckey.

About my favorite book.
How I’m sorry to say, this year held not one standout book for me, I did read a few handfuls of ’em, though apparently, they were the wrong ones.

About my greatest struggle.
How I spent a better part of the year, okay, the whole darn thing, and then some, wrestling with myself, with the fear of moving forward on into what I’ve been working toward for so long now, have laid much of the groundwork for, and yet it’s got this precious, “fragile status” stamped on it because it’s taken so dang long in coming and because, the truth of it, it holds my heart, and I think writing it down here is the good swift kick in the bum I may need to push me over and on into it.

About my greatest triumph.
How it’s been such, what are the words, fun, a delight, and such a completely satisfying experience to reconnect with people from all different seasons of my life via, who-da-thunk it- MySpace!
How that makes it a triumph because I really didn’t think I’d make the connections again, but thought I’d like to, and it’s made life richer and fuller.
How there are still more out there I’d like to know again.

About my greatest hope.
How I have great hope for the full recovery of a friend of mine.
How the most nasty of turns were his for the taking about midway through last year and that has left him on dialysis.
How it happened to him, yet I’m the one still reeling to find one of the most energetic, hustling, bustling, moving, shaking kinda guys halted and slowed to a snail’s pace.
How I marvel at his upbeat, nothing-less-than-positive attitude and how I’ve known more than a few “poor me’s” who could take a lesson from him.
How a side effect of it all has been poor vision for him.
How I find I know how to communicate with someone who can see, but can’t hear, but to hear and not see is a challenge for me!

I really was gonna write.
About the year ahead.
Scrabble Q Tile

How resolutions are such nasty buggers and I never make them, but how else am I ever gonna take time out to learn how to cook a rockin’ turkey for the holidays if it’s not by resolution?
About how I could nearly float with the joy I feel for the year ahead and about all the odds and ends I want to learn along the way like words beginning with “Q” for Scrabble, and five killer poems I can recite at the drop of a hat, and police codes, and all about volunteer vacations.
About so much more!

I was gonna write.
About the Oscars.

Oscar Statuettes

About how Helen Mirren was favored to win for her role in The Queen and how I had nothing to say about that other than &#%[email protected]!
How thankfully, Beyonce was not nominated for her Dreamgirls performance as was once rumored saving me the task of pitching a fit.
How Notes On a Scandal was a delicious piece of work due to Judi Dench’s smug, wry narration.
How the film’s a great reminder that any fun found in cheating on one’s spouse often comes all too quickly to the messiest of endings.
About how Penelope Cruz captured my heart with a song in Volver.

About how I suppose it really has much to do with the story being set in Spain and all that glorious, vibrant color, so easily swayed am I, by a little color.
How Jennifer Hudson was utterly fantastic in Dreamgirls, her, too, with a song.
How the song was delivered from the gut, all the pain, angst, need, want, desire, raw, bitter desperation of love and loss all wrought up and spewed forth in that song performance.
How it’d be lovely to see Abigail Breslin win as the bright, gleeful girl, Olive, in Little Miss Sunshine.
How much of her charm in that role was simply her being her in all her little girl glory.
How more than all the nominated movies combined, The Last King of Scotland made its impression on me, so much so, I must tell why another time.
How originally, I wasn’t looking forward to Dreamgirls and I could hardly believe all the hype surrounding it concerning its potential Oscar worthiness (Hudson song aside).
How then I saw Eddie do his thing.

How first I thought he might just be reaching into his bag of former SNL glory and pulling out an over the top impression of a musical performer on stage, but quickly thought differently.
How Norbit reared its ugly head all too soon!
How in Little Children, Jackie Earl Haley brought humanity to the role of a sex offender- a man who liked to expose himself- he was vulnerable and child-like, and it was a sad, sad thing to watch his compulsion and the consequences.
How Mark Wahlerg was even nominated in The Departed is beyond me, for the natural understated performance angle, maybe.
How I enjoy Ryan Gosling immensely and hope and expect to see him win one day, and in the meantime am thrilled he won a Spirit award, like the Oscars for indies, for his performance in Half Nelson.
How Little Miss Sunshine was a delight because it showed hurting, miserable people care enough in spite of themselves to help a family member, little girl Olive, reach her goal of winning a pageant.

How they ended up helping each other, too.
How the final scene may be a bit off-putting, but it’s so not the focus, it’s about the freedom and release and togetherness the family experiences.
How if anything should be of concern, it should be those plastic little girls cast as the other pageant contestants.
How I’d heard it called the little movie that could and I so wished it would!
How The Departed was aptly titled, I’ll give it that.
How I failed to see the greatness in Babel.
How I so looked forward to this film, expecting a film to follow in the steps of Crash in telling interconnected, individual stories with a deeper meaning to take away after having viewed it.
How I sat indifferent, almost put off, by the characters portrayed, not caring one iota for really even one of them as the movie rolled on.
How that’s just the state of mind the director intended for the audience.
How, rather than engage the audience’s hearts in caring for his characters, he wanted the audience in a state of agitation to reflect how the world often treats one another- like an annoying channel to be changed, out of sight, out of mind.
How it’s a brilliant idea, I appreciate the thinking-outside-of-the-box approach.
How personally, I prefer to be moved to action by being engaged to care.
About how Pan’s Labyrinth … oh my!
How what a tasty bit of terror was to be had in a brief but effective scene introducing us to the incredibly creepy, horrific, and oddly cute (?!) creature to be found tucked into one of the three tasks the main character of the film must accomplish.
How you must watch and see!
How everyone could do themselves a favor and learn a bit with The Last King of Scotland, feel a bit with Little Miss Sunshine, and dream a bit with Pan’s Labyrinth.

I was meaning to write.
Dolly In a Tree
About roadside etiquette.

About how we were driving up to Leavenworth for the weekend to celebrate my mom’s birthday only to break down on the side of the road just over the pass, but still tucked behind a momentous hill that kept the warm sun from shining down on us.
How when we were all sitting in my little car, people stopped to ask if we needed assistance on a regular basis.
How once we were without my little car due to a super-fast towing service and just a semi-fast rescue effort from the family, the three of us sat by our lonesomes perched in a row on three large rocks, while not a soul stopped to inquire of our needs, car after car drove by.
How maybe it had something to do with the dolly sitting behind us in the bare little tree.
How really, what else is there to do but break out the camera and take photos in such situations, hence said dolly in bare little tree?
How the fact that there even was a dolly accompanying three adult women on a trip into the mountains is an altogether different story best told by Bean.

Yes, I’ve been meaning to write. ♦

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Roadside Attractions

Here’s a bit of catch-up-doing from the last several months, a whirlwind of roadside attractions, mostly pleasant, and a few, not so much.

Back in August, we hosted our own roadside attraction with a go at a super-belated, afore-mentioned home warming party. Hey, anything to justify a large arrangement of glorious sunflowers! And mounds of food, too. There was much ado, including hours spent (thanks, Jess) rolling up bits of brownie into little balls and then rolling them in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar for a dessert entitled Poo-Poo Surprise (for our aunt, who has an abundance of her own kind of poo-poo surprise out on her animal farm). My sister made her specialty, Weenies with Coats, and I covered the chicken, pasta and salad categories. The whole affair cemented the fact that I absolutely love entertaining for masses of people!

Vase of Sunflowers

Food Buffet

After much fun was had on a canoe trip at the UW Waterfront Activities Center with my friend Shannon, I’d been itching to return, taking anyone and everyone I could get to jump in a boat and paddle through canals, under overpasses and out into the deep and rougher waters. However, a trip with my sister turned out to be overly abundant in water. As the raindrops began to fall, Bean was urging me to lead us back in towards the dock, but I insisted that it was just sprinkling, nothing of significance. We continued on, paddling our way over to an inlet where a small beaver dam was nestled, and promptly saw a critter. A beaver? Noooooo, it was the largest beaver-sized flippin’ rat I’ve ever seen. I think it ate the beaver. A half hour later, we made our way back, as the “sprinkling” picked up and quickly turning to a downpour. Gonna hold off until spring to pick the paddles back up again.


With September, came our annual trip to the Puyallup Fair! I seem to love it more each year that passes as the memories stack up and the nostalgia builds. I don’t understand the kinda folks who call the fair a waste of money, as there are dozens of free things to attend and do. The fun lies in your level of participation.

Roberto the Magnificent

That’s Roberto the Magnificent, formerly part of a juggling duo that has been featured at the fair for over ten years. Though partnerless this time around, he was just as charismatic and goofy, if not more so. A good thing! He peddled about on an impossibly tall unicycle paying his own personal tribute to the King in between acts to drum up an audience. Bean was her own attraction of sorts, as she lugged the Boo’s around, that is, Boo and Boo II, as previously mentioned in blogs past. Little girls pointed and waved as we made our way around the grounds. :)

Monster's Inc. Boo Dolls

The food, the most fabulous and yes, not so good for you, food to be had in the way of fair food. Here, my dad’s noshed on onion burger, no cheese, extra mustard.

Puyallup fair Onion Burger

Followed quickly by fruit-on-a-stick, strawberries, yum! Currently, in my top five of all-time favorite foods, chocolate, or not.

Fruit On a Stick

My mom and I took advantage of one of the last days of sunshine with a walk in the rose gardens at the Pt. Defiance Zoo. My mom got caught up in snapping photos and meandered a bit too close to a Samoan wedding party. If I wasn’t so busy snapping my own shots below, I could have warned her that she was backing into their back row of outdoor seating. With the men dressed in long white shorts and deep red button-downed shirts, and the women coordinated in red and white sarongs, all with lei necklaces, they were a delight to view.

Bumble Bee In Rose

I love this shot with the bumblebee peeping out, the little guys look like they’re made of velvet.

Sun Rays On Roses

This is one of the many lovely works of chalk art found out along the Tacoma UW campus pathways last month. Gone now, I’m sure, what with our massive torrents of rain as of late.

Tacoma's Chalk the Walk

I was a roadside attraction myself recently. Or rather, my car was. I was dreadfully sick, rare, as I can still count on two hands the number of times I’ve been sick over the last ten years which makes up for the teen years, I suppose, when I was always seemingly under the weather. I’d been tossing and turning all night and into the early morning, having just begun to dose off, at last, when the sound of a car horn went off. And kept going off. A huge groan as I dragged myself out of bed to open the blinds and see if anyone else was at their window peering out to see the nut whose alarm was blaring. It was a constant tone, none of that patterned honking that I’ve previously heard from somewhere out in the parking lot. Between the congestion built up in my head and the ear plugs in my nightstand, I was able to fall to sleep shortly after 4:30 a.m., a while after the alarm had begun, with only a faint drone of the still blaring horn in the background.

I had no voice, whatsoever

I abruptly woke to my cell phone ringing, noticing the sound of the continuing horn, when there was a knock at the door. I stumbled out of bed, grabbing the phone and with blurry eyes, tried to make out who was calling, as I went to the front door. Opening the door to find a young boy standing there, I saw that it was the apartment complex calling. The boy asked if I owned the little red car outside with the car alarm going off since early this morning. I opened my mouth to tell him that, yes, I own a little red car, but that, no, it doesn’t have an alarm, only to find that I had no voice, whatsoever. In the past, I’ve lost my voice in such a way that it cracks on every fifth word, or so, or deepens so that I sound like a bullfrog, but this time, there was nothing at all. He stepped back a bit, and I closed the door, shaking my head.

Back at the window, I saw a mob of kids standing around along the sidewalk near my car, waiting for the school bus. Dilemma: Fifteen torturous minutes left until the bus arrives … let the kids wait it out, or go down to check out why the heck my car is sounding its barbaric yawp? I feared facing all those little people without the vocal ability to apologize as I walked, to explain that I have no alarm, and have no idea why my car is upset. I chose the way of the chicken. Baquock! I felt a tinge bad leaving those kids out there to steep in that horrid sound awhile longer. Some had been pacing, hands over their ears, while others lamented, “Please! Make it stop!” 

Then, then, I recalled the summer’s worth of loopy children yelling at each other late into the night, barking like animals, screaming like banshees, you know, normal kid’s stuff, but without the supervision of parents reigning them in, because they lounged in their master bedrooms unaffected facing outward from the building, completely on the other side. The kids often awoke bright and too early to resume the night’s activity. Sooo, a little sweet revenge. By way of natural occurrence and therefore, I plead not evil.

I sheepishly waved him over

Once the kids piled on the bus, I timidly approached my car, unhappy to see that a young guy was making his way out of the building across the way and would likely intersect with me and my car. Speeding up wasn’t gonna help and walking way slow wasn’t either, so I bit the bullet as they say, and continued to my car. The guy called out, “Annoying isn’t it?” with a smile on his face and a nod to my car. The smile was all I needed and I sheepishly waved him over so that he could hear my attempt at whispering an explanation. After I told him how I spent part of the early morning completely ticked at the nut with the blaring car alarm, I discovered, I was that nut. A little hoopla and further maneuvering, and the worn out horn fuse was removed leaving, sweet, sweet silence.

Here are a few shots of the abundant fall decor, currently all over our place, in honor of the fast-approaching Thanksgiving holiday. Come Friday, Christmas explodes! Can’t wait for my first super tall tree. Thank you, high ceilings.

Autumn Decorations

Autumn Decorations

My dad has a mild thing for politics, oddly, more so for the buildings in which the politics reside, all that marble and regal decor, he says, so down to Olympia to visit our state capitol, we ventured recently. In the library, I found a quiet spot near a large window at the end of several rows of shelves filled to the ceiling with law books. I chose volume 716 from a nearby set (my 5th favorite number). My phone began ringing and I looked up to see Bean standing on the floor above me, leaning over the railing. She lifted Puppy D., her 22 yr old stuffed dog from her bag, and because, try as we may, being grown up just doesn’t have the same fun without a little childish play interjected, down Puppy D. dropped for a visit. We spent a few good minutes tossing that dog up and down between floors, trying to capture a good shot of her in transit, taking care not too be overheard by the stern woman sitting aways away at the desk out front.

Olympia Capitol Building

Stuffed Toy Falling From Above

Among other roadside attractions, this here toilet was out for the taking one day …

Toilet Alongside Road With Free Sign

… well as this squirrel. The little guy, was down for the count, as though he was just taking a short nap, rather than having croaked. A bit grody maybe. But, fascinating. Awww, grody and fascinating … Stephen King …

Dead Squirrel

Yes, Bean and I went to hear the man speak a few weeks back, the day after Halloween to be specific. Wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised to find that he was completely real. He donned a pair of worn-in blue jeans, classic black Converse and a faded black t-shirt. There was a podium in the middle of the stage, but he chose to wander as much as the none-too-cooperative clip microphone allowed. He opened with a mild rant on his loathing of cell phones, and continued on in run-on ramblings that all somehow led back into a brief reading from his latest work, Lisey’s Story. He answered audience questions, all with a self-mocking humor, not too much mind you, that had me thinking he could do stand-up on occasion. The audience apparently agreed, with their frequent laughter.

The next time I thought of it, of course

Two highlights: He shared a time that he was at the market when a hobbly, little, old lady made her way up to him from behind a cart and said, “I know who you are! You’re that Stephen King.” To which he replied, “Gee, thanks, guess I don’t have to worry about figuring out who I am TODAY!” She then said, “You write all those horrible stories about evil. Why don’t you write something nice like that Shawshank Redemption?” He said, “Well, I did. I wrote that.” In a huff, she hobbled away, pushing her cart and shaking her head. Love that! He talked about how he’s always been one to check behind the door, look in the car backseat, and that hmmm, maybe we’d be wise to do the same upon leaving that night and heading home. He spun this great “what if” situation where you found yourself being told about all the potential doom to be had on the way. The next time I thought of it, of course, was driving to a friend’s house on a stormy night, to babysit in a dark house. Sure, I laughed at remembering the humor in having Mr. King spin a tail of heebie-jeebies, but you bet your boots that I checked behind the door that night and the backseat, too. ♦

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A While Back Now

A while back now, I went to see Dr. Maya Angelou. Bean had bought me tickets for my birthday! Huge YAY! As the night kicked off, Maya settled into an extra tall director’s chair, centerstage. The initial clapping had yet to even settle down from her entrance, but my cheeks already hurting from smiling too much. I was bursting with joy to be in the presence of one of my favorite writers. Tears inevitably came, because clapping, whoo-hooing, smiling and laughing just weren’t enough to let the build up of utter delight out. The sea of faces seated behind me appeared to share my sentiment, eager to sit in her presence and soak up what she had to share. Stories. Stories spanning her life from early childhood to present day. One story of several years back, of her last flight ever to be exact, in which the plane was on a steady ascent. About five minutes in, the captain’s door opens and out comes the captain making a beeline for Maya. He begins to gush about how he’d seen her name listed on the flight manifold and how he just had to come back to meet her. Her response was something to the affect of “Don’t you have more important things to be doing right now?! I assure you, sir, I’ll still be here later on.” She took to traveling by bus after that in hopes of being less of a distraction in the daily workings of life. The woman exudes wisdom, commands strength, and frankly, is adorable.

In the meantime, I was content to be in the same room with her.

She happened to be speaking at the Paramount in Seattle. That means, for a fairly short wait outside off to the side of the building, you can stick around and often times meet whom ever your heart desires. Bean and Jess have done that quite a bit, stacking up an array of meet and greets with a bevy of bands. There is no secluded nearby area to park tour buses in, as there are with other theatres around town, so inevitably the performers must face their fans to some degree in crossing the street to where their ride is waiting. To accompany the tickets, Bean bought me a gorgeous hardback book- a collection of Maya’s writings, perfect for an autograph. Armed with a new Sharpie, we were set to wait outside afterwards, in hopes of catching a brief moment with Maya. As we sat anticipating her before the curtain was even drawn, I had a change of heart, though. Got to thinking about the droves of people she must meet and all of a sudden it wasn’t enough to simply have a nameless brief encounter. No. Didn’t want to be another duty she must attend to, as one does with celebrity status. If I’d encountered her naturally in everyday life, and the right moment presented itself where I could be a bright spot in her day, giving, rather than taking, than wonderful. Happy, I’d be. In the meantime, I was content to be in the same room with her.

Maya’s running message throughout her stories and poetry shared that night was “Be a rainbow in someone else’s clouds”. Though a bit cliche in metaphor, the meaning rang true. Get outside of yourself long enough to see what you can offer to someone else each day, everyday. Long ago, I got over expecting others to seek me out first, to call, or say “hi”, to reach out. A tough lesson it was, in penetrating my sometimes thick skull, for, it’s certainly lovely when people do reach out first, it offers assurance that one is wanted. The benefit from the lesson learned, lies in now deriving much pleasure from being the one to offer that assurance of being wanted to others.

My favorite part of the night was hearing Maya state her life’s progression: At 16-17 years of age, an unwed, uneducated, pregnant, black girl. For many years now, a successful, highly educated, world renowned author, speaker and teacher. The juxtaposition of the two roles, both lived by the same person, offers such hope for overcoming, for redemption, for possibility.

In reflecting back on that night, I’m glad for the reminder to spread some color, be that rainbow, and to remember the possibilities in the face of the seemingly impossible, as I push forward into a new chapter in life, difficult territory. ♦

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Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

Oh my gosh! A week ago now, it was nearing midnight and I went to the kitchen to rinse out a dish left in the sink from a friend coming to dinner earlier. When I turned on the faucet, the top flew off spewing water everywhere! It was literally raining in our kitchen! Had a few surreal moments with thoughts like “This isn’t really happening, I must be dreaming because this kinda thing is meant for the movies, not real life!” Woulda sworn I was dreaming in fact, except that I could smell the pasta I’d prepared and could feel the water raining down on my back as I fumbled with the handle to no avail. I got my bum movin’ and ran to Tina’s door.

“Tina, Oh, my gosh, Tina! Water, water everywhere! It won’t stop! Stop it! We gotta call the emergency number! Call the emergency number! I’m going to get the phone. Get the phone!”

Tina’s calling the emergency number …“Babe?” she said …

… uh, babe?

“Hi!” she continued. “My sister woke me up and I’m in the kitchen and there’s water everywhere! No, water! WATER! Everywhere! Babe! What do I do?”

She’d called her boyfriend.

I’d frantically began removing stuff from under the sink to reach the knobs to turn the water off. She did a mini-dive under the sink next to me and began working on the knobs as he instructed her on which one of the three to try. We had water jets in the face, up the nose, down the back, we were sopping wet! While she maneuvered the knobs, I grabbed a phone and began calling the real emergency number. Ringing … still ringing … no answer, no voice mail picking up either … hmm … it occurred to me, why not take some pictures?

Was snapping away (camera’s often thisclose to me), when I began to catch bits of conversation from Bean over the sound of gushing water …

“… something going on … electrical … yeah … flashes like lightning … overhead lights … electrocuted … help … what do I do?!”

We were so flipping soaked and I remembered the wild-eyed look on her face as she came barging out of her room, door flung open, glasses askew

I let out a teeny little laugh over her thinking that the camera flashes were electrical issues caused by the water. Tried to point and yell and let her know it was just the camera, but she couldn’t even begin to hear me. She was losing the battle under that sink so I gave it a shot next. Lefty-loosy, tighty-righty, I repeated to myself. NOTHING was working. No knob seemed to be the one. I began cranking one of the suckers to the left all the way.Turning, turning, turning, as the knob came loose, as in wobbly, in my hand. “Oh, no, it does NOT!” I’m thinking, “It can’t fall off!” One more hard crank to the left caused the water pressure to significantly drop, but it was still spraying water in my face. Turning it back in the opposite direction just a bit did the trick for some reason, and the water came to an end, thank God. Knob still in place. I stood up into a sloshing of accumulated water on the kitchen floor, my toes on the way to pruney. Bean and I looked at each other and cracked up. Nothing else to do, you know? We were so flipping soaked and I remembered the wild-eyed look on her face as she came barging out of her room, door flung open, glasses askew, no clue what was going on, but ready to fight, all the same. She told me how funny I sounded shouting about “Water, water everywhere!” and let me know I was nuts for taking photos amidst the entire thing. Then she forbade me from ever rinsing off the dishes past her bedtime again.

The emergency number I called after the boyfriend still brought no emergency response. They ended up calling shortly after 8am the next morning, apologizing profusely, as they well should have, and came over to install a brand new faucet. Yay! All’s well that ends well since we simply dried off the appliances (for fear of any more “flashes like lightning”), and went to bed. Nearly all was dry by morning. Guess what renter’s insurance doesn’t cover here in Washington? Water damage. Due to the state’s tendency for excessive flooding. Glad we had no need for it!

We’d had our much overdue housewarming party just days before the faucet fiasco. So glad the faucet didn’t kaput during the party! It’d have been a little added party dynamic, yes? ♦

The action – Wet lens, wet Bean, diligently at work
Kitchen Sink

The aftermath – water falling from the ceiling

Water On Ceiling

Rolling down the radio

Water Rolling Down Radio

Beading on the fridge magnets

Water on Fridge Magnets

Dripping off the cupboards

Water On Cupboards

Pooling on the stovetop

Water On Stovetop

A thoroughly drenched Bean

Drenched Woman

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A Little Zobmondo In Your Day

More nonsense. Because I can.

Remember, that “I won’t choose either”, “Neither one”, “Who cares?”, and “I would rather die” should never be uttered in a given answer. Would you rather …

1. Eat a cup of uncooked popcorn


a box of uncooked spaghetti?

2. Have a see-through nose


entirely white eyeballs?

3. Have to kill Winnie-the-Pooh



Why did Tigger look in the toilet?
He was trying to find poo.

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Common Household Ingredient Aids In Curbing Appetite

Found the perfect deterrent to that late night snack. Looking to resist some extra calories? Try poo under your fingernails. It should do the trick! Yeah, was watching the children of some friends again last week. I’m rocking the little girl, 2-and-a-half-years-old, to sleep after a bedtime story and thinking that all is right with the world when she exclaims, “I have to go potty!” Well, glory be, this is a welcome development! Potty training has stalled as of late, so to hear such initiative on her part is a great thing. A little off in timing perhaps, but nevertheless …

We troop out to the nearby bathroom where I look to her to kinda lead me through the steps she’s been taught and we’re doin’ great! That is, until, down come the jamma bottoms, to reveal the almighty poo-poo, untamed poo-poo overflowing, nearing gush mode, out and down the little legs of my little friend.

“Stay right there! Don’t touch a thing, okay? I’ll be right back with wipes!” Who tells a 2-and-a-half-year-old that and actually expects positive results, you may ask? A desperate woman, that’s who.

Up to the tile counter I whisk her.

Running downstairs grabbing the container of wipes, running back, all with delusional hopes of little fingers staying out of the brown mush emerging from her drawers. It acts as a magnet to most little fingers. Had visions of smeared brown walls, tufts of rug covered in random pieces of drudgery. The possibility of dookie poked in ears, wiped in hair, squished in between tiny little toes. I re-entered the bathroom to find the little lady laughing and pointing gleefully at the poo. “Tinky!” she says. “Yes!” I agree, with krinkled nose and nodding head. Up to the tile counter I whisk her. Strip off all remaining clothing, promptly gagging at the sight of what looks like a brown chocolate cake glued to her little bum. Visually, can totally deal with this. Having huge difficulties with the aroma, however. From the waist down, I remained standing in front of her while I flung my upper half out the bathroom door into the hallway gasping for fresh air.

She didn’t miss a beat! “What doing?” she asks. I tell this child the truth. “Honey, the poo-poo is stinky like you said, and I was trying to breath in some fresh air.” “Oh,” she replies, and promptly laughs. Ha! She totally laughed at me in all her 2-and-a-half-year-old wisdom. “This lady’s an amateur,” she had to be thinking, “Wait till she gets a LOAD of what I dosed Daddy with last week!”

Love that munchkin. We wiped and cleansed and freshly dressed our way back to a lovely time in the rocking chair. Me nodding off while she snuggled in, wide awake and “reading” to me this time around. No poo-poo displaced to walls or carpet or little ears or little toes.

Yeah, just to under my fingernails. ♦

Smiling Toddler Girl

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