Friday, July 25, 2014

Crap Shoots and Spanx

calamitous, glittering, fraction, ambitious, spanx and indispensable

Delores at Under the Porch Light must have had extra fun wrapping the gift of words into a clever package this week. The bow on top was "Spanx.' Let's just say, it's unusual "material" as writing prompts go, which makes it all the more exciting. 


Irene wondered if she were making a calamitous mistake by saying "yes" when her best friend Gladys asked her to be her matron of honor. After all, Irene had watched Gladys change boyfriends as often as some people unload the dishwasher. 

A first wedding for the 77- year-old Gladys, she had  spent the better part of 60 years pursuing what most people would call a glittering career as a Las Vegas showgirl. Plastic surgery provided the nips and tucks needed like oil changes every 5,000 miles on her Mercedes of a body. Gladys thrived on the ambitions she'd dreamed for herself when she'd left  the plains of Nebraska. 

Gladys's second best friend, after Irene, was Spanx, the rubberized brand of material known for punishing the largest fraction of the female torso in the name of vanity. She endured the punishment heroically; after all, a showgirl's tight curvatures--derriere, midriff, and cleavage-- were indispensable to her paycheck.  

What's more, she knew she couldn't retire the Spanx unless she herself retired.  

Or got married, whichever came first.   

It was the crap shoot of all crap shoots.


Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time
It's been too long since I posted, and it's not for lack of desire. I've been spending most of my free time at my sewing machine, making a gift which has a deadline in early August.   Not only that, I am so behind in editing all the photos I've taken, I have felt overwhelmed.

1.  It's hard to edit when clicking on photos causes a "big Mac attack."  And by that I mean the Apple laptop. Ours  has been crashing every half hour  or so, at random times, mainly when clicking on an image or video.  This Mac holds all my photos of 2014.  So "picture" this: I'd open blogger, select a few photos, write a few captions, continue, and then POOF!  Crash!  Aggravating to the max .

2.  We finally had the sweet privilege of having our 22-year-old computer geek son come and diagnose the problem.  He said it appears to be a flaw in the graphics card. A hardware problem.  That explains why it's been crashing when I've clicked on photos or other graphics for this here blog or when surfing the Web. We are pretty sure that Apple will take care of it at no expense.  And it's not my fault. That's the main thing.

3.  I've finished five baby doll quilts and most of a sixth. My goal is to send seven in all through Operation Christmas Child, AKA "the shoebox ministry."  A friend who loves to make cloth dolls is making seven dolls, dressed in colors to coordinate with each quilt.  Our small group will be adding the extra little things (school supplies, toys, candy, etc.) so it's a collaborative effort I'm excited about.

4.  Our master bathroom is all but finished. Just a better window treatment and a piece of art and I'll be able to show pictures.  Provided, of course, that Mac gets fixed soon.

5.  My niece will turn one on August 12th.   Wow, a whole year has FLOWN by!!

6.   Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the death of my dear friend Carol. She left a legacy of prayer and joy.  I hope I leave as wonderful a legacy as she did.

7.  Please don't abandon me for lack of frequent posting. Honestly I do care about all my bloggy friends and readers. I just have had to focus on other creative elements of my life lately--while the confusing, paralyzing stuff like computer hardware malfunctions really screw up my plans.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Peppering the 'Podge with P's

1. The month of July was named for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. He's quoted as saying, 'Experience is the teacher of all things." So what has experience taught you lately?

That eventually cancer touches every person's life. You, someone you know and/or someone you love will be affected by this  horrible disease. Last year I lost a friend to breast cancer, a co-worker to brain cancer, and my fifth grade teacher to brain cancer.  Monday we got the shocking news that one of our family friends died of liver cancer just one WEEK after his diagnosis.  And yesterday,  when I picked up my friend to take her to her oncology appointment, she was saying goodbye to her son who was loading a U-Haul heading to California. It was all too much to bear.   In my car she sobbed and screamed,   "It's just not right! This is all SO WRONG, ZO!  I AM SO OVER THIS WHOLE CANCER THING!"

With a little bit of time and tears, her spirits were lifted and she was telling me that she's going to every appointment wearing pearls.  They make her feel pretty. She also asked the doctor if she had kids, because the only way to describe her chills was to call them "pee shivers."  The doctor didn't have kids and she'd never heard of pee shivers. Have you?

2. Where did you last 'roam'?

Around the house, looking for something I just had.  Happens too often.  Perchance you know what I'm talking about?

3. Speaking of 'Rome', pasta, can only pick one, which would you choose?

Pasta.  Of course we are assuming it's topped with marinara or meat sauce.  right? Or shrimp and scallops with alfredo?  No? Well, that's okay. I've been known to eat cold noodles pulled right out of the fridge. I'm  99.9 percent sure that when my organs are harvested when I die, the tissue will all be made of  pasta. They won't be worth a penne to me at that point.

4. 'Rome wasn't built in a day', 'All roads lead to Rome', 'When in Rome...' which 'Roman' idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.

Rome wasn't built in a day.  All these projects I want done NOW, take time. Take redecorating a bedroom, which is the big goal I have set for myself at the moment, home wise.  There's planning, preparing, purchasing, purging, and --while I'm using annoying alliteration--pinning pictures from Pinterest for pleasure.

5. What's a movie you've seen or a book you've read, that makes you want to book a trip to Italy?

Roman Holiday

6.  Walt's original Disneyland opened almost sixty years ago, on July 17, 1955  Have you ever been to the California park? How about any of the other Disney parks around the world? What's your favorite amusement park ride or attraction?

I've not been to the California park but we took the kids to the Disney World (Florida) when "the baby' was 3.  Our fondest memory is when that "baby' decided he did NOT like Mickey Mouse touching him for a picture,-it was creepy to my boy-- he turned around and punched him in the stomach!

I'm not an amusement park fan, but I do like bumper cars  and dolphin shows. Anywhere to plop my posterior down after walking miles,  or standing in line for an hour for a 45 second drop from Pluto to pavement.

7. It's that time of year...when were you last bitten or stung?

Last year, within 3 hours' time, I was stung twice on our front porch steps as I attempted to take my son and his friend out for a game of laser tag. 
It was as if that darn bee said, "Not today, lady. If I can't go, THEY can't go. 
And if YOU can't go, THEY can't go.  So ----bzzzzst!--gotcha!.....Gotcha again!"

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I am grieving this week (see question 1) .  Too much heartache. And on top of that, I screwed up my back.  It's hard to get up out of a sitting or lying position. It's uncomfortable to walk or bend over. I'm not sure what I did but this is the third day of near-misery .

Okay, I promise not to wallow here. I will be back with fun pictures of my baby niece, 
maybe some doll quilts I've finished, and something to make you smile. But today is the middle of a hard week emotionally and physically. It's real life and Jesus promised, "In this world you will have trouble, but I give you my peace, that where I am, there ye may also be."

His presence and peace...yes, that is where I'll end my post. Think on Him. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pleasantries Under the Porch Light

For the first time in a long time, I'm joining Delores at Under the Porch Light for her meme called Wednesday's Words.  Each week she presents six words; the idea is to craft a literary something- story, poem, memoir--whatever you want. You don't even have to post on Wednesdays, and there are no rules.  Sweet.

This Wednesday's words are: insinuate, method, reverse, pleasantries, donkey and darker.


Sixteen-year-old Colleen pulled her long, red, frizzy hair into a tight knot on top of her head as she leaned  against a fence post on the north side of the pasture.  It was the quickest method of getting her messy tresses off her neck.

"Sure is hot out here!" she moaned to her friend Shaniqua, whose short, wiry cornrows made Colleen jealous sometimes. "I wish I had your hair today!"

"White skin, freckles, and cornrows.  Girl, you crazy!"  said Shaniqua.  She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, gazing out over four acres of flat fields.    "You know I never get to see this much grass--I mean the green kind sticking up from the ground--where I come from.  All this land. All this sky. All this fresh air. Girl, you don't know you good you got it."

Such pleasantries were a treat to exchange between city girl and country girl, who had become friends four years prior, when Shaniqua's grandparents bought the adjacent farm . Every summer , Shaniqua would spend two weeks here, enjoying the company of Colleen O'Neal and her six brothers and sisters and their parents.

Shaniqua folded her much darker arms on top of the whitewashed fence and gazed out at the two horses and one lone donkey in the field.

"Ever wonder what they're thinking?" Shaniqua asked.

"All the time. But honestly, I think they only think about food and sex.  In reverse order." said Colleen.

"They all guys?"  Shaniqua laughed.

"No, just Martin, the donkey. Goldie's a mare,  Dotty's a filly, her daughter.  But are you insinuating that only guys think about food and sex?"

"Of course! Everybody know we girls think about all kinda stuff, not just that!"

"Speak for yourself," Colleen quipped. 'Why do you think Irish women have so many kids?"