OPTIONAL SUNDAY – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Optional

After getting up a dozen times this morning to try and convince Bonnie to stop barking — which only something crunchy will accomplish, it would seem — I began to wish I was deaf, too.

Normally when I get up in the morning, I take out something to defrost for dinner but I decided today is optional. I’m not doing squat. I am tired. I’m frustrated. I don’t want to cook dinner, put away laundry, or clean anything.

I’m sure by tomorrow, I’ll manage to get past this, but right now, I am feeling as un-housewifely as I ever have. Am I the last woman of my age who cooks dinner — a hot dinner — every night unless I’m hospitalized? Do other people get a day off sometimes?

Is any woman married to a man who actually recognizes that dirt is not something to be ignored because you-know-who will take care of it, but actually cleans it? Just wondering.

So today in Optional Sunday. I will do as little as I can. I might even go TWO days and option Monday, too. I think I’ll call it “Marilyn’s Weekend.”

CARRYING ON – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Carrying On


I am a nurturer. Not necessarily by DNA, but because that was the task assigned to me when I was young and it has hung on there for a lifetime. It is, as they say, “woman’s work.”

I have always been taking care of someone. Child, adult, cats, dogs, everyone. Cooking and shopping. Making sure it all got taken care of … somehow. These days, as my ability to do a lot of things I used to do without even thinking about it become increasingly limited, I wonder what will happen if I can’t?

There’s no point in worrying about it. Life will bring what it brings, for good or ill. Everyone will get sorted out. Those who never thought they could do “that” will discover, after all, they can do a lot of things they didn’t think they could manage.

My mother was a reluctant nurturer. She had so many projects going on at the same time. Painting, sculpting, sewing, knitting, rug hooking. That was what she wanted to do. She never learned to cook, but she did it anyway … which encouraged her children to learn to cook early and often.

I’m sure a woman who could do all those artistic things could have learned to be at least a passable cook, but for some reason, the kitchen was where she drew the line. I grew up in that changing period when women were expected to do everything. We won the freedom to have a full-time career and raise the kids while making sure the marriage hung together.

Mostly, it failed. Almost all we “superwomen” of the sixties wound up divorced. It turns out, we weren’t super. No one can do it all. Something had to give. Typically, the marriage went first, but eventually, other things, too. For many, careers went down the tubes. Other women just ran for their lives or simply disappeared.

It didn’t seem like such a heavy load in the beginning. When you are young and have tons of energy, you bounce from the job to the kitchen with a supermarket in between, balancing childcare and work and a social life. But it grinds you down, even if you don’t notice the process. It’s like a potato being slowly peeled until one day, there’s no more potato.

Your partner doesn’t understand because it never seemed like a big deal. That’s what all the wives did. You were doing what you were supposed to do. Carrying on. Taking care of everyone. Knowing where the mittens were last seen, making sure the cupboards were full, know when who was supposed to be where and when.

Time has played havoc with much of that. These days, I can’t remember anything unless I write it down — and I have to first remember to write it down. Then I have to remember to look at the calendar because writing it down was just step one. Getting it done — the harder part — was steps two through however many more steps were required.

I don’t know if young women today see themselves as nurturers the way my generation did. Despite the grueling nature of the process, we were proud of our ability to balance everything and somehow, make it work. I don’t think they see their lives like that and that’s for the best.

It didn’t work out well for us and trying to recreate a reality that didn’t work before doesn’t seem likely to be any better now. The time has really come for an equal partnership where both members of a couple pull together. Willingly. And fairly.

The thing about women’s liberation is that it wasn’t freeing. It wasn’t liberating. What we won was the freedom to do everything and be good at it. Better at it than anyone else. Because being as good as the man next to you wasn’t good enough for a woman to make it.

We had to be better.

WHO DECIDED THAT? – Rich Paschall

The House Rules, by Rich Paschall

A place for everything and everything in its place.  Perhaps you have heard this old proverb or words of advice.  It was often handed out as instructions for life, usually by parents, methinks.  In the 18th century, it may have been a popular topic of preachers and local leaders.  That was an era when you were also told that cleanliness was “next to godliness.”  

The idea of cleanliness may have come out of a 1778 sermon by John Wesley.  If cleanliness will get me next to God, I am all for it.  If I have to be orderly too, this will take a good deal of work.  I wish to be neat, clean and orderly, but I am still looking for a large chunk of time to work on that.  I have been looking for that for years, in fact.

I thought of “house rules” recently while eating at the kitchen table with my young South American roommate.  Yes, he is back for more Culture Shock, but that is another story for another time.  We were feasting on one of his favorite items, chicken wings, and he was putting the bones on a small saucer.

In my head, I could hear my mother scold him, “That’s not for chicken wings, that’s for coffee cups.”  At that, she would have grabbed the saucer and replaced it with a small plate of about the same size.  “What’s the difference?” I wonder now.  Either way, we are going to wash the small plate when we are done.  If you come for coffee at my house, you will never know if that saucer once held spilled coffee (or covfefe) or chicken wing bones, as long as it is clean.

Neat dishes

That particular saucer was from a set of china my mother had for special occasions.  By the way, it was from England, not China.  Anyway, as God is my witness, I do not recall EVER eating off that set until she was gone and I was left with it and a lot of knickknacks I don’t need.  When we were younger, she had another nice set for dinner.  We also had plastic plates or TV dinners in aluminum trays.

As for the knickknacks, two might belong on top of the large stereo, another two in the dining room and one on the dresser.  Random shelves were usually populated with random knickknacks.  If one was out-of-place, there could be hell to pay, as the saying goes.  My mother and my grandmother knew exactly where these items must stand. 

There could be no variations.  It was as if the locations were handed down by God and no other place would do.  Worse yet, if something broke, we would hear about it for at least a year, maybe longer, depending on its worth and sentimental value.

Utensils

I hated to touch these things, particularly in my grandmother’s apartment.  She was a stern old woman who rarely smiled, and she could let you know her displeasure at something being out-of-place with a mean look and a few terse words.  My mother could hand out the same look, but we were lucky if we only got a few words as well.  Silence was not her style.

“Why are those bells in that order?  That is not the correct order! Fix it.”

My humble reply might be, “But I thought that was the order.  I put them right back in place.”  No pleading innocent would change the fact that something was amiss.

Roomie has asked me a number of times if he could put things in a closet.  Apparently, my clutter of coffee table books and table games looks out-of-place to him (not to me) and I should not have this stuff lying around.  I usually give in to these requests because I made the rule where it belongs and it is not important enough to me that it stays there.  My books on baseball, theater, and The Doors (look them up, millennials) have been banished to darker places.

I do not do the dishes often as roomie thinks he is better at it. When they are dry, I might ask why he did not put everything away.  His usual answer is that he does not know where everything belongs.  I tell him to put it somewhere, I will find it or ask if I need it.  Would that work at your house?

You probably have several drawers in the kitchen. Is each designated for certain items? We have one for silverware, one for other kitchen gadgets and larger items (rolling-pin to chase roomie around the house like a cartoon), and one “junk drawer.” Everyone has one of these.  It is for the items not designated for somewhere else. This could be batteries, a tape measure, random tools, a flashlight, scissors, tape, matches, etc. Junk drawer items should be in the junk drawer!

It would be possible to go on about the house rules, particularly the strict ones from my mother or grandmother, but you get the point by now, or you are a hopeless case like I am.  I could not understand why my grandmother would have a certain doily to go under a lamp, and another to go under a Hummel.  (OK, go look up doily and Hummel. We’ll wait).  These doilies were not interchangeable.

Unlike the previous generations, I can not stress out about silly house rules that I made up in the first place.  With the return of roomie, even if for a brief period, there is no reason not to alter my life so we both feel comfortable.  Everything may have a place in our home, but that place can be changed tomorrow and that is OK with me.

See also: “CULTURE SHOCK, Travelling to America”

NOVEMBER DOGS

That time of year has come again by which I mean the period when I don’t go out a lot to shoot. Right now, there isn’t much to shoot. The trees are almost naked and whatever leaves remain on them, are not especially interesting. The dogs think this is a great time to catch up on their sleep.

Garry is on the computer, writing something. All’s quiet throughout the house. All we’ve got on today’s agenda is a trip to the doctor for Garry’s shoulder and a trip to the pharmacy for dog drugs.

I love filling prescriptions labeled “Bonnie” Armstrong (she gets eye drops) … or “Duke” Armstrong. Some people might suspect Garry is the Duke. He has an emotional relationship with “Duke” Wayne. Okay, not necessarily mutual but at least they had one, good, long chat, right?

But the pictures? Around the house. Maybe around the grocery store. No broad landscape vistas for now. When the snow falls, maybe then. So hard to know what will happen. But for now and for the month to come until we turn the year, it’s local, personal. Interior for the most part. It’s that time of year again.

YOUR PACKAGE IS ON THE WAY

Delivery messages typically show up in my email and are as often as not, followed by retractions. “Sorry, it’ll be a little late,” or “Weather issues have delayed …” and my favorite, “Your package has gone walkabout and may never be seen again … we’ll let you know if we find it. ”

About half the time, I get a message telling me “It’s here!” Which would be great if I had any idea where it might be. The message usually says they’ve left it on the porch (NOT) on the front steps (too many dogs) … Where it actually is? Ah. That is the rub.

We’ve found packages in late spring that have spent the entire winter buried in a drift. We’ve found items flung into the woods and gnawed by squirrels. Tossed under the stairs of the deck. Dropped in the middle of the driveway, after which they were apparently rolled over by the same truck that delivered them.

The creativity of express delivery is never-ending. I think when the guys get together for a post delivery day beer, they laugh hysterically as they plan all the ways they can make packages disappear and then swear they were delivered to your front porch (NOT).

We really don’t have a front porch.

Or maybe they it’s on the back porch, except we don’t have a back porch either. Unless you count the deck. Which is a long flight of stairs upward. Why would anyone voluntarily put something up there?

Mostly, they plunk them down by the garage, which is where we actually do want them. We’ve even supplied a table on which to put them and if it’s the regular UPS guy, he will normally put them where they belong. The FedEx guy is too weird. He throws packages from the truck  into the woods, to the great amusement of the wildcats and skunk. Or delivers them to the wrong houses from which we may get them back … or maybe not. To be fair, we also get other people’s packages.

If they belong nearby, we take them over. But many of these packages are for people who live half a continent away. How they wind up in Uxbridge is something a greater mind than mine will have to contemplate. We call the delivery people, tell them to come get the packages. They never show up. I wouldn’t mind except is always sometimes completely useless … like shoes for people with odd size feet.

So let’s hear it for express. Don’t forget:  Christmas is coming!

I CAN FIX THAT FOR YOU

CAPABLE | THE DAILY POST


People used to help me do all the setup and wiring stuff of life, but things have changed. Today, they call me. It’s not like I’m particularly good at it. I’m not. About the best you can say of me is that I’m logical . I can dope how to plug A into B and B into C. Usually, it only fits together one way. If you stare at the plug awhile, you will have an AHA moment.

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I guess it’s that Garry is less capable at this stuff than I am. He looks at something mechanical and his brain freezes. Like, say, a vacuum cleaner. I look at it and I figure there’s got to be an “on/off” switch. There has to be one of those step-on-it release thingies so the upright will let you vacuum under things. And there’s got to be a release button on the canister so you can empty the dirt. The problem isn’t whether or not these buttons, pedals, et al are there. The only question is “where”? Garry says just one thing: “HELP!”

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Anyway, last night I finally got the extension cords I had ordered. Amazon has a new delivery service. Their own. Not UPS and not FedEx and not even the pretty lame USPS. Nope, it’s AmazonLogistics, or AMZL. I had ordered these from Amazon because I didn’t feel like hauling ass to the mall or Walmart. I figured with Prime, I’d have them in a couple of days.

It took a week. First they sent them to Wisconsin. I got an emailed apology that they had been sent to the wrong city. Then they wandered around the midwest for a while, showed up somewhere in Texas. Got another apology. Eventually, the night before last, I got a note saying they had been delivered. To my back porch.

We have a back porch. A deck. It’s a steep stairway nobody will climb in anything but full light, and never ever if the steps are icy or even wet. Except for one FedEx guy who not only brings the package to the back door (which is on the deck), but knocks and hands me the package to make sure I got it. The man is a saint, but I digress.

It was 1AM. It was pelting rain. I suppose I should have checked earlier, but usually, I get an email to tell me something has arrived. But that’s from UPS, FedEx, or USPS. Amazon doesn’t do that. You have to look at the order to see if it was delivered. I didn’t want the electrical cords out in the rain, so I put on my robe and slippers and went to the back door. No package.

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I limped downstairs and checked the front door. Nope.

Went down another flight of stairs to the bottom floor. Checked the two side doors. Nope. Nada. Nothing.

I limped back up the stairs, got back into bed and called Amazon. She said “sometimes the delivery people say they delivered it, but they haven’t.” I said looking for a package that ISN’T THERE in the middle of the night IN THE RAIN is uncool. I know why they mark things delivered when they haven’t been, but I’m too old to be running around in the rain to find a package that isn’t there. Eventually, I got compensated (appeased) and drifted grumpily into sleep.

Last night, I realized I should use those cords. Garry had been unable to use his heating pad for more than a week. The cable box and Roku in the bedroom were strung together with a huge, heavy-duty surge protector that was overkill in the extreme. It was safe, but weird.

I dug through the stuff stored between the dressers (extra bedding and pillows in zip bags) to find the outlets. Moved the lamp plug. Added the new extension with the multi-plug and connected Garry’s beloved heating pad. By then, Garry was done with his nightly ablutions and was offering to help. I let him hold things while I did things easier done with two hands.

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Detached the cable box and the Roku. Carefully unplugged and removed the huge, heavy surge protector. Replaced it with a standard extension cord (note to self, should buy shorter extensions for future use). Managed to NOT knock over every single thing on the dresser (only half of them). Booted up TV, cable box, etc. Lights came on. All was well.

Garry was happy. I had brought back the power. And I’m thinking “I just added an extension and replaced another” … but one person’s simple act is another’s miracle.

When I wondered when (and why) I became the woman who fixes stuff? When did people stop helping me and instead begin asking for my help?  I should be glad. If I had to call someone for everything that needs doing, I’d spend my life waiting.

I’m not old enough for that. Yet.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH …

A gray day in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. It’s cold, damp, sunless. Nothing to do. Not even something to bark at. The humans are drinking coffee and doing stuff on their computers. Nothin’ to do in this burgh.

Bonnie watches and waits.

Bonnie watches and waits.

Every now and again, Gibbs — our very special agent — goes out to patrol the yard. Barks a few times to make sure his presence is known. Bonnie watches from the window. Since Gibbs moved in, she sees no reason to go on patrol. That’s clearly his job. But in the evening, when the barks fill the air from far and wide, Bonnie is out there, communicating on the doggish network. Getting the news of the day, passing along any juicy gossip she may have. She expects Gibbs to come too. She gives him a short bark, and he leaps to his feet. When Bonnie says “jump,” Gibbs doesn’t even ask “how high.” He just jumps.

Bonnie agrees with Johnny Rocco: "I'll never have enough!"

Bonnie agrees with Johnny Rocco: “I’ll never have enough!”

We think of a day like this as peaceful. I guess for the dawgz, it’s boring. No squirrels to chase, though now that I’ve repaired Squeaky Squirrel and he is back in action, mauling him is always an option. I had to do some serious stitching with super strong button thread. I also un-stuffed his tail and removed the second squeaker from it to make eviscerating squirrel less tempting. So far, so good. Squirrel is still in the game.

Garry cradles a newly sutured squirrel, but fears for his future.

Garry cradles a newly sutured squirrel, but fears for his future.

Missing an ear and oddly misshapen where I was forced to suture sections of him to other sections that were never meant to be sewn together. I look like that under my clothing too. When they had to put me back together, they had the same problem, so they stitched whatever they had to whatever else they had.

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My abdomen looks as if I was mauled by a wild animal. I tell them I was taken by a lion while we were on safari in Botswana. Why not? It’s a lot much more entertaining than the truth and a lot simpler to explain. When they ask for details, I tell them “It all happened so fast. Once he had me in his jaws, it was just a blur.” That usually ends the conversation.

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So it’s quiet on the home front. We are all inside. There’s coffee to drink, sandwich makings, and a decent steak for dinner.

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A little bit boring, but only if you are a dog. For the humans, days like this are the best part of life.

INTERIOR | DAILY POST

LAYERS AND LAYERS

The other day, my son came over and stripped the kitchen floor of who-knows-how-many layers of old wax and dirt to expose a reasonably attractive pale lemony linoleum. He then added three new layers of fresh, clear wax so that it gleams in the light.

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The dogs, taking this as a challenge, have been doing everything within their power — which is more considerable than you might imagine — to undo all that work.

Thrilled as I was to finally see a clean, shiny floor in the kitchen, I invested in a big “tray” to put under their water trough. They drool. All dogs drool. Our dogs don’t have jowls, so they ought to be minimal droolers.

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But. Since I acquired this protective tray, they have upped their game. They now spread at least twice as much liquid all over the kitchen as before. We now have to wash out the tray and clean the floor under it. Wipe up all the flooding.,

Garry says they’re messing with us. Hard for me to disagree … but why?

These are spoiled dogs. These are dogs that live from handout to handout, sleep wherever and whenever they like. They come and go as they choose through their own door. Fresh water is constantly on hand and we fill that huge pot a dozen times a day. They get top quality food and treats and as much love as they are willing to put up with.

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Right now, they are resting from their labors.

What labors?

The drooling, the barking, the begging for something more?

Perhaps they liked the old layers of dirt. Maybe the dirt was like old scrap books. Odors of food long consumed, other dogs passed on — conveniently embedded in the grunge on the floor. I’d ask them, but I don’t want to disturb their naps.

LAYERS | THE DAILY POST

WHAT’S COOKING

Multi-tasking is a great concept. I’m usually pretty good at it. I can listen to an audiobook while I edit photographs, or play a simple game ( but I can’t listen to a book while I write or read). I can also listen to an audiobook, edit pictures, and cook. Usually.

As look as I remember what’s cooking.

Chicken soup 1

A lot of the cooking devices I use these days turn themselves off. They’re on timers. Both my oven, the big one that’s part of the range, and the convection oven. The rice cooker, and my microwave have timers too.

Which is how come I forgot, yesterday, that I was steaming shrimp while rice cooked. And while I was listening and assembling a photo post.

Until the moment when I smelled that old familiar acrid smell drifting on the breeze. The scent of torched food.

I haven’t burned anything that badly in a long time, probably more than 20 years. But I did it thoroughly. So completely I had to throw the entire pound of shrimp and worse, I had to toss the pot. That’s a major loss. I hope I can replace it.

Lechmere advert

I’ve had it so long. I bought it at Lechmere, a great store which was put out of business for no good reason 20 some odd years ago. It sold all kinds of appliances and housewares … good stuff, not junk. None of the stores that rushed to fill the gap are half as good or carry the quality and variety you could find at Lechmere.

The moral of the story? When multi-tasking, remember what’s cooking.

IN SEARCH OF TWINE … SINCE 1983

Today is the day I reblog this hilarious and oh-so-true post! Happy laughter to you-all on this gray Tuesday morning.

Stuff my dog taught me

images-6I have been actively searching for twine since September 1, 1983. I remember the date because it was written on the top of the rental agreement for my first flat – a three bedroom with high ceilings and inadequate heating that I shared with a couple of roommates. In honour of my newfound independence, my uber-practical father presented me with a black plastic toolkit filled with home-dweller essentials, including a roll of twine.

The twine went missing almost immediately. No one fessed up to using it… it simply disappeared. I replaced it. It disappeared again. Thus began the never-ending cycle. My father was right about the practicality of the items in the toolbox. 23 years later, I still have it, and still use most of the items inside. But the item that is most ‘handy’ is the twine, which can never be found in the toolbox… or in the gadget…

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IN THE KITCHEN – CEE’S BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Things Found in a Kitchen

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What a great challenge this is. I love taking pictures in the kitchen. There is so much stuff in a kitchen … so much going on.

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howling coyote cooking jar BW

sepia kitchen wide monochrome

So many textures and moods. I have taken a lot of my favorite photographs in the kitchen, usually in the morning when its east-facing windows catch the light. I was happy to take this today. Because the sun is shining.

copper kettle BW kitchen

A COLD DAY

It was bitterly cold outside and downright nippy inside when I got up yesterday morning. The temperature was below zero, so I figured our aging heating system had been over-matched. I slipped into sweatpants. Added heavy socks and a pair of house booties. Warm sweater. Poncho over sweater. I was still cold.

ice dams february

Cruelly, I forced the poor doggies to go outside. I apologized with biscuits and wrapped them in blankets when they came back. They brought winter with them. Damn. The house was cold. I looked at the thermostat. It read 64, but it felt colder.

ice dam februrary 2015

I got a cup of coffee. Drank it. Got another cup. Drank it, too. Still not warm. Especially my hands.

Owen got back from work and came up to tell me the boiler wasn’t working. Which explained the lack of heat. It’s a testament to how good our insulation is the house remained as warm as it did. Meanwhile, I realized my bathroom window was sealed tight by a thick layer of ice in the window. On the screen. In the frame itself. That in addition to the ice dams along the eaves.

72-One-More-Blizzard_09Owen had found a kid to come over and get the snow off the roof. He and the boiler repair guy showed up at the same time. The kid couldn’t move the ice dams at all and he’ll be back today to finish the snow. He was late getting started. Suddenly, it was too dark to work.

ice dam February 2015

Nothing but warmer temps and sunshine is going to melt that ice. At least it won’t get worse if the roof is clear of snow. Today’s storm is supposed to be tiny, just a couple of fluffy inches. I hope they are right. We have had more than enough.

Last night, I heard the funniest weather report. The meteorologist said there would be snow “somewhere in northern New England, probably New Hampshire or Maine. It will be very cold.” He wasn’t sure how much snow, or exactly when it would start, but he was sure there would be snow. Somewhere in New England.

You could give that forecast anytime during January or February in New England. You would always be right. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way that wind blows.

Next weekend? We’ll cross that storm when we come to it.

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Winter is ending. A glance at the calendar screams “spring is just around the corner,” even though it looks like winter in Siberia. It’s warm again, inside. Our boiler is chugging away. The cold spell won’t last forever.

Although I have no empirical evidence to support my opinion, I firmly believe spring will come.

PITY THE POOR ELECTRIC RANGE

Wronged Objects – If your furniture, appliances, and other inanimate objects at home had feelings and emotions, to which item would you owe the biggest apology?


Pity my poor electric range. Cursed, sworn at. Abused by everyone for its tendency to flare into super nova status and burn everything, or decide it’s not in the mood to cook today (I can sympathize with that viewpoint, actually).

kitchen in morning lightNot to mention its lack of natural (or artificial) convection, making its baking capabilities dubious …

Of all our appliances and home furnishings, the range has suffered the most as humans speak to it cruelly, harshly, without compassion.

Yes, I pity it. I do. It is not its fault it isn’t a gas range. This area doesn’t even have natural gas available. We had no choice but to get an electric range … and it certainly had no choice about becoming part of this household. To be fair, after you understand its limitations and quirks, you can bend it to your will, sort of. I can bake banana bread and pound cake that’s pretty darned good.

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So pity my poor, abused, under-appreciated range … but you totally gotta love my little Waring convection oven. It rocks.

Interior Design: Pornography for the Heavily Mortgaged

Stuff my dog taught me

designer living roomThis week, I finally made it to my semi-annual appointment for a dental cleaning (Can it still be called “semi annual” when you end up cancelling three times and are therefore seven months late for a once-every-six-months event?).  I love my dental cleanings because there is no risk of the dreaded needle and because I can count on about half an hour of waiting room time.  As a working mother, this is like a mini-holiday – child-free, husband-free, client-free, and surrounded by magazines.  So lovely!

In keeping with my mini-holiday fantasy, I refused to read anything that included health and fitness advice, tips on cooking/cleaning/organizing the home, or pictures of skinny, young models sporting clothing I cannot afford.  This left me with a stack of home decorating magazines, or as I like to call them, “pornography for the heavily mortgaged”.

Inside the glossy covers, every room was freshly painted, perfectly lit, and usually sans people (

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THE NAMING OF THINGS

The Name’s the Thing – Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.


A toilet named John

A toilet named John

Have I ever named an inanimate object?

Does my ex-husband count?

Garry and I both call the toilet “John.” Does that count?

Computers on a network all have names. This one is Silver Streak but I have not recently addressed it directly, though I do have serious discussions with it during which I point out it can be replaced. “Don’t mess with me, bitch. You can be replaced with a Windows 8 machine.”

I can hear it laughing at me. It knows perfectly well I would never replace it with anything running Windows 8. I hate Windows 8. And 8.1. And whatever it is they are planning to call the next version of the Horrible Operating system. I sold my Win 8 tablet because all it did was piss me off.

I buy my makeup from Lauren Hutton. She  named her cheek and lip stain Larry, Joe, and Ed. I own Larry and Joe, but haven’t met Ed yet.

We used to own a GPS called Richard, but our new GPS is just The GPS. He has taken us down one dead-end too many and we don’t have warm fuzzy feelings about him.

However. I feel obliged to mention the four dogs. We have Bonnie, Nan, Amber and Bishop, each of whom has multiple nicknames. I suspect this has satisfied our naming urges.  Moreover, I have trouble remembering names I already am supposed to know. I see no point in further confusing myself.