Monday, December 16, 2013

Searching for Ugly

I was pretty sure this was the place.

Had it been dark out, I could have easily missed it.
Behind the coffee shop, and around the corner from the tattoo studio, 
   it was small, and (yet) indiscreet.  

I pulled into the alley, between the short row of red, brick buildings,    
   and parked the car. 

And, I am not sure if it was the way 
   that I was dressed, 
or the desperate and determined look in my eyes, 

                                 BUT . . . 

when he appeared from the back room, 
   he seemed to know exactly what I had come for.  

He showed me his stash. 

   "This is IT?" I asked.

   "Everybody wants some," he replied, shrugging his shoulders.  

I stood back, assessing the size, shape, and quality of his goods.

   "Do you have anything . . . uglier?" I asked.

   "The ugliest are the first to go," he said.  
   "We should be getting some uglier ones in next week."

   "Okay," I said.  "I'll come back then."  

With a nod, and half a smile, he returned to the back room.

And, as I exited through the front door, 
   the sign dangled to and fro.


Monday, December 9, 2013

The Quitter's Studio

As we were driving past the line of brightly lit storefronts,
   my oldest son blurted something out from the back seat.

     "QUITTERS studio???"

I turned my head in the direction where he was looking, and could not help but laugh.   

     "QUILTERS studio," I corrected.  

It did not compute.

     "O-kay, sooooooo, what's a QUILTERS Studio???"

But, he had already lost me.
I was much too distracted
   imagining what a "QUITTERS" studio would look like -
a guilt free zone filled with unfinished projects.   

A portrait painting with barely a face,
   a knitted sweater with no arms,
a wooden chair with not enough legs.
a metal clock with no hands . . .

Island of Misfit Projects.       

A speckled wall that still needs painting.
   piles of papers that still need filing,
kitchen chairs that need tightening,
a broken bookshelf that needs repairing . . .

Suddenly, I realized, my dream had crossed over to reality.


And, then, a brilliant thought came over me.  

I could start charging money every time someone enters my home.      

"Welcome to my home!"  I would say.
"Please enjoy and appreciate my unfinished projects.
   And, don't forget to enjoy the unfinished cookies and coffee, as well."  

Technically, though, "unfinished" is not the same as "quitting".

I do intend to finish those projects . . . some day.

Maybe after Christmas.

   "Mom!" my thoughts were interrupted.  "What's a QUILTERS studio?"

   "A place where people go to buy materials and get ideas for making quilts," I responded.

   "What KIND of quilts?" he asked.

   "You know, like, blankets, comforters, bedspreads . . . hand stitched and embroidered.  There are people who do that," I responded.

With a look on his face, as if I had just given him the most bizarre piece of information, and it was his job to solve this "problem", he said,

   "Can't they just buy one at Bed, Bath & Beyond???" 

Monday, December 2, 2013

You Can Pick A Turkey (but you can't pick your relatives)

 It was late afternoon . . . 

The sun – just barely peeking through,
   casting a warm glow across the linen dressed table.  
Perfectly choreographed fine china. 
Candlelight - flickering, flirting;
   dancing alongside the portly glasses, adorned in red.  
Turkey - carved, and presented, beautifully, on a platter. 
Anticipation of a tasty, mouthwatering meal.    
And, as they all gathered ‘round, cousin Bob spoke 
     (a question, in the form of a statement, and very profound) :


And, so began the dinner table conversation . . .

     “HE has a butt chin.”

     “SHE has a butt chin.”

     “YOU have a butt chin.”

     “I DO???”   

     “What IS a BUTT chin?”


Suddenly, Grandma Rose,
     who is sometimes there (sometimes, not) chimed in:

     “With a chin like that, I’ll bet your mom had a hard time
                                                     figuring out which end to diaper.” 

                 STUNNED SILENCE.


Then, cousin Bob spoke up, again.

   “Who can touch their tongue to the tip of their nose?”

And, the dinner conversation continued . . . 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Let there be turkey!
Potatoes, and pie; stuffing,
gravy - piled on high.

Gather round those you
love, or at the very least,
those who will feed you. 

Thanksgiving? I thought
we skipped it ; went straight from Hal-
loween to Christmas.  

Never liked those.  And they don’t
go well  with gravy.

Light the candles! Pour
the wine.  The turkey’s still fro-
zen.  Who wants more wine?

And, Grandpa will eat
his meal, sit down in his chair, 
unbutton his pants. 

Let us be thankful . . . 
for this meal and, also, for
elastic waistbands. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Raindrops on Roses and Unwanted Whiskers

Raindrops on roses?

Whiskers on  . . . kittens? 

     Well, not exactly.

But, in honor of Thanksgiving, here are 10 everyday household items
    that I am thankful for, and “why”.

1)   Coffee Cup:  Thank you, coffee cup, for holding the most valuable, 
     most important, most necessary liquid nutrient of the day.

2)   Q-Tips:  I love you, Q-tips.  I know the experts tell us NOT 
      to clean the insides of our ears 
      (allowing the wax to do the job it is intended to do), 
      but DAMN it feels good when I swirl your fuzzy, cotton tip 
      around (and around and around), 
      collecting all of the WATER and WAX and DIRT (i.e. ear crud).  
      And, there is something very satisfying about discovering 
      all that I have captured on the other end. 

3)   Spatula:  What can I say.  You help me flip my eggs every morning.  
     I have tried using a spoon (when all of the spatulas were dirty), 
     and the result is a messy blur of white and yellow on my plate.   
    It's  JUST   NOT   THE   SAME.  
     Thank you, Spatula!  

4)   Sticky Notes:  For the perfect canvas to write out all of my 
     lists and ideas, and post them around the house.  
     Even though I ignore them (most of the time), 
     I know they are there.  And, somehow, that makes me feel as if I have   
     accomplished something.  Thank you, sticky notes!

5)   Paper Clips:  Thank you, Paper Clips.  
     Not only are you good at holding papers together, 
     you can provide hours of entertainment, 
     connecting one to the other (to the other), 
     which is particularly entertaining to those of us with 
     attention deficit disorders.  
          Not to mention . . . 
                            what was I saying? ? ? 
     Oh, yes.  You come in handy when the need arises 
     to gain entry into the locked bedrooms of 
     rebellious teenagers (who shall remain nameless).

6)   Corkscrew:  Thank you, corkscrew, for helping me gain access 
      to the (other) most valuable,  
      most important, most necessary liquid nutrient of the day. 

7)   Channel Changer/Clicker/ TV Remote:  
     Thank you for indulging my lazy side; 
     allowing me to sit on the couch and (channel) surf 
     for hours of mindless entertainment.  
     And, the only “sharks” I have to worry about 
     are sitting on the couch next to me, 
     waiting for the opportunity to annihilate the Food Channel, 
     and cruise on over to the Sports Channel.  

                             SHARKS LIKE SPORTS.      

8)   Dryer Sheets:  Thank you, dryer sheets, for preventing me from 
     “death, by electrocution” in my sleep.

9)    Tweezers:  Thank you, tweezers, 
      for helping me pluck those unattractive, 
      unwanted hairs that have no rightful place anywhere on my body.  
      In case an unfortunate circumstance were to occur 
      (and I were to fall into a coma), 
      I have a designated “plucker person” 
      to take care of those unsightly
                                                    . . . whiskers.

And, LAST, but certainly not LEAST -

10)      Toilet Paper:  There are a number of reasons why 
         I am thankful for you, toilet paper.  
                  Actually, there are exactly . . .  TWO. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Straight Lines vs. Angles

There is a small rug that lies in the front hallway.
I prefer calling it "front hallway", as the area is too small,
     and not fancy enough to call a foyer.

The rug is striped, with eye-pleasing colors of blue and green.  

I purchased it at a local shop, filled with so many unique items,
     that I could spend HOURS of my time
getting lost in the possibilities.    

I like to position the rug at an angle, between the stairs and the front door,
     next to the over-flowing basket full of shoes.
And, I am not ashamed to admit that, somehow,
     this little rug brings me happiness.
Every time I walk up or down the stairs,
     I am pleased with how my rug looks -
                  its perfect size, colors, shape, and texture.

Every now and then, however,  I find that the rug has been moved -
     perfectly lined up, and parallel to the door.

     That's just not right, I think to myself.

With one push of my foot, I slide the rug back to the preferred position.

     But, inevitably, it happens again.

So, again, I slide the rug back (with my foot) to the angled position.

I have never seen the culprit, but I currently live in an "all boy" house.

     Even the dog is a boy.

And, I have yet to meet a male creature
     who does not prefer straight lines, to angles.
In fact, angles seem to cause them a feeling of unease,
     as if the world, itself, has been tilted.

I remember when I angled the carpet in the living room.

     "Why is the carpet like that?"asked one.

     "You aren't going to KEEP it that way, are you?"said the other.

That was several years ago.
Fortunately, that carpet is too heavy to move.

And, so it goes, over, and over again -

     those who prefer straight lines, and those who prefer angles . . .
                                                                             just trying to co-exist.

Delicious Autumn!

"Delicious autumn!  
My very soul is wedded to it, 
and if I were a bird 
I would fly about the earth 
seeking the successive autumns."  

~ George Eliot