April 29, 2015

Numinous Moments

Our little commune is blossoming.

If you drive by the house, you might observe little bubbles of joy popping out of the chimney or escaping from open windows. The laughter is contagious and inspiring.

There seems to be a subtle contest being waged on who can create the tastiest dessert. It started with my husband sneaking into the kitchen one evening after NCIS and baking the absolute best brownies in the world (no, not that kind of brownie!). He mixed peanut butter in the batter and OMG....yummy!

Sadly for me I am trying to stay to juices and low carb/low cholesterol foods so I only had a small piece. I went to bed and prayed with all my might that the brownies would be consumed before morning!

The next night, sister and grandson decided to 'build' a cake that could compete with Tuesday evening's brownies. The conversation between the two was hilarious as they cracked eggs, debated which type of oil to use and which pan to use.  After the batter was spread out in the pan, grandson spot-poured caramel sauce and fudge sauce (leftovers from last weeks sundaes) over the batter. He than swirled the sauces throughout.

After harassing each other about the oven buzzer over and over, the cake was brought out. The great debate, To Frost Warm vs To Cool Before Frosting begin. Short lived as 'To Frost Warm (NOW) won out! Chocolate frosting was added.

Now, I am not a fan of chocolate, although I do make exceptions for Almond Joys. This cake was a hint of what heaven may hold for us. (I promise, God, to be a good girl from here on).

One evening the Food Channel had a 'upside down cake' competition!  Not to be outdone, sister and grandson decided on a peach upside down cake for dessert. Again, the laughter and joking from the kitchen was infectious. The debates and teasing included who is going to break the eggs and possibly if a couple of pieces of egg shell would corrupt the final product. The egg shells were removed.

Great deliberation was conducted regarding the viscosity of the batter! Should it be thinned with a little juice from the can, should 8 pats of butter, 1 more than the recipe called for, ruin or improve the taste. The extra pat was lovingly placed in the pan with the mutual decision that 'rich is better'!

The house was filled with a heavenly scent (still trying to be a good girl, Heavenly Father). 

Again, the great 'that's the buzzer' teasing and their masterpiece was done. Perfection!

But wait! Can upside down cake be served from the pan 'as is' or should it be flipped upside down on a serving platter? (Serving platter! PLATTER! P-L-A-T-T-E-R).

Flipping the cake won out....yes, we are enablers to grandson....get over it!

A platter was not found but a long oval serving bowl was located. This may be an opportune time to advise you, the reader, to not attempt tricky maneuvers while laughing so hard the tears are running down your face and your bladder is chuckling uncontrollably!

1....2....3.....Flip.....Fly....miss the not-platter and land across the counter in many, many pieces followed by hysterical laughter.

Yes! It was consumed and it was delicious!

Next day! Pineapple upside down cake....and that, my friends is a whole other story!

I love our little family! I do have heaven on earth.

April 09, 2015

Chasing Photo Opportunities

Photo by Toni Tona

My husband has been snapping photos of this tree on Millville Plains for about 20 years. Most photographers in the area call it "Frank's Tree" and have started gathering at the spot for sunrises and sunsets, lightening and moon rises.

Our Easter picnic was snatched from us by thunder, lightening and a torrential downpour a half hour before the picnic was to begin....'best laid plans'!  We watched the storm though until about 6:00 when we saw the clouds breaking up. My husband ran into the house, "Grab your camera, I think this is going to be good!"

We dropped Easter baskets off to two of our granddaughters then bee-lined it to Millville Plains. As we turned the last curve before 'his' tree we spotted six vehicles, six tripods and cameras and six shivering photographers standing behind their cameras! 

"Hey, Frank!" everyone yelled. "We were wondering if you'd show up!"

"Did you bring a Lightening Detector?"

"Two are expected at the store tomorrow!"

A chorus of boos was accompanied by smiles and laughter.

I usually jump out of the car and take my share of photos but this group of photographers clearly intimidated me.  They are some of the best on the west coast. I stayed in the car reading my Kindle, observing the sky with an occasional head swivel.

The sky was dramatic. The thunder and lightening did not disappoint. Every now and then I would jump out of the car and snap a photo or two, then jump back in out of the wind (and competition).
I did capture the photo above but it is definitely sub-par from the photos the camera jocks posted the next day; my husband's being the best (in my humble opinion).

Wednesday was the first day the storm was expected to break up. Frank was chomping at the bit to get a fresh-snow-on-Lassen pic. We checked the weather and road conditions for Lassen Park. Roads clear, temperature 29 degrees! 

We packed up the cameras, lenses, tripods, gloves, hats, blankets and  Chex Mix (Bold) to nourish us in case we get snowed in!

The beauty of the park was amazing. Fresh snow everywhere; only our footprints on the paths around Manzanita Lake. I stopped at my favorite spot and Frank hiked a half mile past me. We snapped pictures and waited patiently for the clouds to clear around Lassen Peak.

This was the last photo I took just before the mountain momentarily cleared. As the final clouds begin to clear, a huge bald eagle flew above me. It soared across the lake and circled several times, then flew off.

I stood with my camera at my side, mesmerized. No photo of eagle, no photo of cleared mountain top, no reflection of cleared peak in the lake...but the majesty of the eagles flight was worth it.

Photo by Toni Tona

April 07, 2015

I Love Your Mug

One of my special friends is starting up a new business creating inspirational mugs that hold a substantial amount of liquid and the handle can take three large fingers. Nothing dainty about these cups. Each mug will nourish the spirit, one sip at a time.

Mugs, cups and certain pieces of glassware are very vital instruments of life, a tool for daily rituals. I have several mugs that are favorites, depending on the mood, the weather and the drink, in other words, which ritual is at hand. I am not much of a dainty cup person..hands are big, fingers are long and dainty isn't my forte.

For a cold, winter's afternoon of reading there is my hand-crafted mermaid mug. It is no less than 4 inches across.  It holds a considerable amount of hot ginger-green tea so that refills are few which makes for more pages read under my blanket curled up in my favorite chair. The mug is thick walled so the tea remains hot for chapters and chapters of erudition.

Two of my granddaughter's, Alli and Katie, gave me my next favorite cup. The interior is pink; the handle is striped white and pink. The whimsical font on the sides reads: "Fairy Grandmother. She grants wishes and gives kisses." It is a tall-ish cup, wide diameter but thinner walls. It is great for sitting at the table on a cold morning. I wrap my hands around it and I am warmed from finger tips to  heart. It can be used for coffee or tea, mood can start out in any of my vast dispositions but I always end up feeling blessed.

Another granddaughter, Haley, gave me my next treasured favorite. It is a tall latte mug, also has a striped handle though this one is white and purple (one of Haley's favorite colors). She hand-painted it herself, inside and out; and in my favorite colors (purple being one of them). My favorite part of the cup is that she painted a peace sign on it. Does she know me or what?

We all have auspicious memories that were accompanied by a hot cup of coffee. An early morning discussion with a loved one or spouse (not that a spouse isn't a loved one but you know what I mean!).  Making some big decision or sharing earnest emotions.

Coffee is a very meaningful ritual for most of us. Henning Mankell in his book One Step Behind said it quite succinctly:

"“Police work wouldn't be possible without coffee," Wallander said.
  "No work would be possible without coffee."
  They pondered the importance of coffee in silence.”"

"“Coffee first. Schemes later.”" is how Leanna Hieber states it in her book, Darker Still.

We know, however, that cups and mugs are not for coffee alone. We do need our teas on occasion!

Monty Python always says, "Make tea, not war!"

In Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett says it best, at least in a way that I can relate to. She states,
"Writing is a job, a talent, but it's also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.”

Let's see; coffee; tea, oh, don't forget those cold mornings around the campfire with your big-handled cup filled to the brim with open-fire percolated coffee and Irish Cream. The smell of smoke in your hair and clothes. That's the best.

April 02, 2015

When Does It Stop?

Ever have those periods when life just dumps a huge bucket of 'stuff' on you and no matter how you dodge and duck every single drop hits it's mark?

The lyrics of an Anna Nalick song, Wreck Of The Day, has a line that goes a little like this: "driving away from the wreck of the day....and I'm thinkin' 'bout calling on Jesus."

Those lyrics have been going through my head for about 3 years now. Typically, just before I call on Jesus.

He (Jesus) has been real busy lately and has me on hold. I don't know if you've ever called heaven on a cell or landline but the wait-for-the-next-operator music is extremely tinny and a little on the flat side; must be an early 1900's recording of Amazing Grace. The only words that are clear is the phrase about a 'wretch like me'!

Apparently there is a lot of shit going down for a lot of people. A recording, that I could swear is the voice of Sister Marie Claire, my fifth grade catechism teacher, frequently disrupts the incommodious music to repeat, "We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls, please be patient and an angel will be with be you shortly."

If I get to the pearly gates...which will probably happen before I get off 'hold', I will definitely inquire of St. Peter to define "shortly".

Now is the part where I could list all of the events that have motivated me to make this call to Jesus, but with the "high volume" of calls, it sounds like a bunch of you are probably up to your knees, if not neck, in your own detritus of life.  I'm not sure any of you would be interested in the details. Let's just leave it at 'this sucks' and I'm a little worn out.

If any of you get your call through to Jesus or even his assistant can you relay the message that I'm about done...having to put down my puppies took the last ounce of reserve. I have the energy left for two, maybe three red lights on my drive to Red Bluff to see my parents and possibly the Raisin Bran box being empty...

No More, Can't Do It!

March 25, 2015

Joyful Household

We are a three generation household. Great-grandparents, Great-Aunt, Grandson and his bright-light girlfriend and their precious 9 month old daughter. We also have three dogs, a border collie and two pit bulls and, occasional puppy-visits from Coco and Charlie, two chihuahuas. Now before you pull your hair out and run screaming...relax, it's all good.

We are five pretty happy, mature adults who love, love, love each other. We are incredibly devoted to OUR baby and she knows she is loved! A happier baby you cannot find!

Everyone in the house is experiencing some major life event (or two or three). The environment is supportive, nurturing and exudes a sense of humor that has no match. Adam Sandler, Will Farrell and Kevin Hart would pay us to participate in any given afternoon or evening.

I, honestly, can't tell you that there is not a few f-bombs flying around but those little explosions are  directed towards some miscellaneous aspect of a random 'life event" not each other.

Dinner time is an active, social occasion. Originally, we had planned that each family would be responsible for two dinners per week, and, for the most part, that is still the plan but, as we prepare the food it becomes a little team effort. One of us peeling potatoes, one of us washing the asparagus and several of us adding a little more (pick one), salt....pepper....garlic...seasoning...garlic...salt... and a little more garlic!  Dinners are yummy but the deliciousness is, in part, the love and camaraderie.

I can't imagine going through the 'events' we are going through without the support. My parents are failing in health; grandson is in a medical crisis but glimpsing a little light at the end of the tunnel. Other 'stuff' is tough but our little band of Big Kid Zoo Crew have each other's backs.

We are each other's SIX!  That's a good thing!

March 24, 2015

Poison Toadstools

Photo courtesy of http://www.tenderlogic.com/

Magic is...well....magical!

The following quote  touches all my mystical, whimsical senses. It is Robert McCammon's quote from his book, Boy's Life.

"We all start out knowing Magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand.
But then we get the Magic educated right out of our Souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our WILDness and youth, and because the Magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves."

Do you know people who have let the vibrancy of their souls wither? Have you noticed that most of those people try to get the magic back by attempting to squeeze it out of others? These people are poison toadstools. 

There is no handbook for living our lives but I am sure if there was, there would definitely be a chapter on keeping your magic and it would start out with "Avoid the poison toadstools!"

There would also, most certainly, be a chapter on feeding the soul. Directives may include playing in the dirt, dancing at dawn (and noon and dusk and midnight), making love in a forest (often), carry a quilt in the trunk of your car for spontaneous cloud watching and, definitely,  swimming naked.

One of the most important things about keeping your magic is not hiding it in the shadows. Let your magic shine, sing to those birds, read those clouds and get those toes of yours in some sand!

Rejoice in your magic!

March 12, 2015

Shooting Star

My heart hurts as I write this. For the last several years Teresita, a young woman of 19, has been a close friend and family member of my niece and sister. She and her younger sister were adopted by a nice family, rescued from pretty frightening bio-parents.

She spent the last year trying to discover herself; who she was; where she belonged. She was much like any other 19 year old, just a bit more intense.

Ten days ago, Teresita was killed in a horrible auto accident. Three other young people died, one person is in a coma, one is on life support and another walked away with a couple of bumps and bruises.

Saturday we attended her funeral service. The service was incredibly sad but not for the reason one might think. I walked out of that service feeling as if I had just been cornered in a back corner of a used-car sales lot. Even sadder, so did the kids that shared life with Teresita and my niece.

The crew of kids loved and cherished Teresita. They are all devastated by her death. They left the services extremely angry with the church and God.  We met with them after the service and all of them felt as if the service was, "Sorry your friend died, nothing I can say is going to make you feel better so as long as we have to be here let me sell you God!"

There was so little about Teresita and her wonderful nurturing, loving personality. She was a pillar of a young woman in the way she supported and protected her friends. She was estranged from both her adoptive family and bio family so those kids were, easily, her family for the last year.

I believe in God. I know the strength that Faith can offer in times of grief. Not one of the kids that attended the services had anything to hold onto as they left.  The service focused on two days in her 19 years of life, days when she was much younger, for a few short minutes. The other two hours was  used to evangelize.

We will be having a Celebration of Life service for Teresita later this summer. We will be celebrating Teresita's life, sharing stories, videos and pictures. Maybe some of her favorite songs and favorite things.

God will definitely be in attendance at our service but will not shove the beautiful spirit of this young woman aside to take center stage. I believe in God with all my heart and believe, again, with all my hear, that God will not mind sharing the light with her beautiful soul.

You will be missed, Teresita. You were loved.

March 06, 2015

What Is Act III

Several people have asked me to explain what I mean when I say I am in the Act III stage of my life. The following is a brief explanation, and as in a typical play pretty much follows a basic pattern.

Act I: The protagonist is introduced, events occur that set action (life) into motion. Act I is all about discovering self, the rules and regulations according to "The World".  It's the time in our life when we explore our space. We are filled with awe and wonder and adventure. Events, culture, education start to define the protagonist. By the way, we are the protagonist in our own lives (hopefully). Self is defined by family, teachers and community/culture.

Act II: Events challenge the protagonist's foundation of beliefs, theories, character. Choices made (poor and good) have consequences. The protagonist questions and examines the bedrock of beliefs, truths, spirituality; self sheds the layers that don't fit, reinforces the layers that feel true to the real essence of one's soul. The self nurtures a personal relationship with God, All There Is; with the Divine, instead of an unquestioning robotic pantomine of what we are taught our relationship should be. The true self is born.

ACT III: Time to share the wisdom without the audaciousness of believing you 'know it all'! Still having much to learn but  willing to stand without the false armor of living in our culture's costume but to stand naked our own truth. We discard ego (some of it, but sadly, not all). Act III is the time of advocacy, championing, crusade without trepidation, without fear of what the 'others make think' or of 'not winning'! No longer looking for external validation. To reach for the stars and dreams without worrying about failure but enjoying the reach for it's own sake. 

Yes, my committal hearing will probably be scheduled soon and that's okay. It might actually prove interesting!  It is good to be rid of (for the most part) the definitions and 'shoulds' of the world and to own my truth. To know who I am through my own examination, not through the rules and regulations of the world.

Act III to me is about expanding horizons, mine and those around me; to touch lives in ways that will make the world a little bit better place, a safer place, to help the people around me to recognize that divine surrounds us.

Act III is pretty damn exciting and I like it!

February 26, 2015

Time To Share

My cousin shared a link on Facebook this morning to the article below. As I read the article, I realized that some of these "alpha women" items are almost the opposite of what I was taught growing up.  I just had to share...the universe demanded it!!!! The original post is on Thought Catalog.

"There’s a quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich that states: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” It’s a often posted on Pinterest boards and slapped onto cards with women in 1920s-fashion kicking up their heels in unison. But for me, this sentiment is more than encouragement to go on a girls trip and go wild; it’s a celebration of women who choose to be defined by their courage, bravery and decisions to go after the life they want to live instead of being confined by “appropriateness.” Call them bold, fearless, or powerful, these are women who light up a room with their magnetic energy. They intimidate the close-minded and inspire those who have long hungered for tangible proof that they, too, will serve themselves well by igniting their passions and relishing in their independence. I know a few of them very well and they have changed my life ...Here are fifteen things alpha-women do differently:

1. They cultivate a life they actually enjoy living:
Whether they’re single, coupled or in that complicated gray area, they commit to creating and living a life they love. While they may not feel 100% comfortable initially, they push themselves to take the class, book the ticket, try the restaurant and understand that life won’t wait for them if they’re choosing to wait for a specific someone to enjoy it with.

2. They make their move.
Whether it’s walking up to a stranger and saying hello, putting in an offer for an apartment they want or asking their boss for more responsibility, bold women would rather risk hearing “no” than sit on the sidelines and hope someone else will bring them the opportunity they desire.

3. They don’t put themselves down.
Very few men and women walk this earth feeling one hundred percent happy with their looks and life one hundred percent of the time. But fearless alpha women accept the fact that there will always be someone younger, smarter and thinner than they are and don’t stress it because, well, that’s not the point. These women know they’re not defined by any one attribute (and certainly not by something as small as a few dimples on their backside.) They know they’re a whole package and that package is so f***ing awesome it demands to be spoken about with respect.

4. They don’t need a boyfriend but they’re open to having a partner.
In a world that treats singledom as a disease that needs to be treated, it’s refreshing to meet a woman who’s not only OK being on her own but unwilling to compromise the time she spends with friends, on her career, or enjoying hobbies just to have any old someone in her life. Fearless women aren’t looking for a savior, a benefactor or boy toy. In fact, they are not even looking. The bold and fearless women is, however, excited when she meets a man who understands her, accepts her, respects her, respects himself and is looking in the same direction as she is.

5. They don’t waste time wishing.
We all have situations we wish would have gone differently but a bold woman knows that the only thing the past can do for her is serve as a lesson in how to do better for herself here in the now.

6. They call people out.
They aren’t the type of women who will sit silently in front of someone feeling disrespected or violated and then cry about it over cocktails. They will call those people out, set a boundary in place and move forward right then and there.

7. They know when to walk away.
They know that bending themselves backwards, forward (and backwards again) in an attempt to make something work — a friendship, a relationship, a failed decision – usually means they’re investing time and energy into something that isn’t offering respectable returns.

8. They expect FaceTime.
Witty text sessions can serve as fabulous foreplay in-between dates but spending day-after-day texting a guy you never meet? Fearless and focused women are not looking for pen-pals. Instead of spending hours replying to winky faces, these women encourage face-to-face contact because they know that any man who’s serious about them will want to see their real smile in real time.

9. They give themselves a real chance to meet someone.
Swiping right has it’s place and Match.com has made some real-life connections, but these ladies know there’s a real value in getting out into the world and having human interaction in a space that’s supportive of an introduction. They enjoy the clubs with their girlfriends but aren’t afraid to pop into a sports bar, networking event, museum opening, gallery showcase or even a trip with a carefully curated guestlist.

10. They don’t pretend they’re on an episode of “The Bachelor.”
Compete for a man’s attention and affections? You’re kidding, right?

11. They also don’t pretend they’re a Kardashian.
They aspire to be a star in reality over a reality star." (Side Note: My sister and and niece do have one day a week that they 'talk-like-a-Kardashian' which is completely different and totally acceptable)

"12. They see themselves as an investment.
They take pride in themselves. From their word, work ethic and reputation to their friendships, manicure and handshake, these are the women who invest in themselves without the slightest bit of apology.

13. They don’t play the victim.
They know people will do things to let them down and even screw them over — such is life. What they won’t do is re-live that scenario a million times over. They know they are in full and total control of how they react to a situation and when the going get’s tough, they learn their lesson, roll up their sleeves and get tougher.

14. They dare to go for it.
Whatever “it” is — the job, the guy, the bucket-list experience or adopting a baby on their own, these women think things through, make a plan and bring their own unique idea of happiness into fruition.

15. They would never put their lives on hold to accommodate someone else’s idea of who they should be. Instead, they get into the driver’s seat, turn-up their favorite tunes and go in the direction of their dreams."

February 21, 2015

There We Were

Such a beautiful and pleasant dream this morning. I'll wager there was a smile on my face as I slept, though drooling or not drooling is off the table....or pillow.

I woke up (real life) at 2:30 this morning and could not fall back to sleep. There were new paints in my studio, alcohol inks to be exact. I've never worked with these inks on ceramics! They were singing out, "Come play!"

And I did!

There were three sets of beads, crosses and medallions in need of paint; six new bottles of oh-so-delicious inks and one excited artist. Don't forget Rex. He was at my feet urging me on.

It was love. Love. Love. Love. "All you need is love...da ta da da da....all you need is love..."

As I create each bead, I say a corresponding prayer. I caught myself painting, praying and smiling around 4 a.m.  Carrying on for another hour was just about all the joy I could handle at such an early hour. Tightened up the caps, washed the brushes, discovered ink is permanent on skin so I brushed my teeth and hit the pillow.

It could have been moments later, or hours, but the dream came so vivid and luxuriously.

Six women, including me, living in a whimsically painted Victorian house. We all lived on the second story but never really went up the stairs. The stairway was painted in exquisite shades of purple, blue, turquoise, orange, greens and little pops of white. The entire downstairs (open concept) was our studio and we were all artists of one type or another.

The style of clothing was very bohemian and all, but one of us, had hair styles much like the one I saw in the mirror while I had been brushing my teeth. The style may not have a formal name but 'bird's nest' adequately describes it.

One woman had an incredible bun of white, white hair on top of her head and though it swayed to and fro as she painted the piano, remarkably it never let loose its hold.  All of our clothing seemed to match the colors of the walls, furniture and floors. We were a mad bunch of smiling ladies!

We chatted as we painted, drew, wrote, sculpted and danced. Now and then we would burst into song or one of the women would hold up a piece of art and exclaim, "Hey, what do you think of this?"

We would all look up and cheer her on.

At one point, we gathered up some of our art (not the piano), slipped on purple ballet shoes and trotted down the front steps of our lovely porch and headed to another whimsical Victorian house.

It felt like we were going for some kind of Women's Artist Show and Tell. We laughed, we teased each other and walked on the grass but the grass welcomed us....then I could hear the snoring of my three dogs, feel the warmth of my flannel sheets and the muscles in my face...yup, that was a smile!

Opening my eyes, I already missed my gal pals.

Today's plan is to hit the little orange "Publish" button on the top right side of the screen, throw on my most bohemian outfit (that already has paint stains) and take my dream and my stained fingers back to the studio. I think I have a couple of grins left in me!

February 18, 2015

Record Breaking Showers

Living with my sister is awesome. We are doing a lot of things on the fly, in fact, today we played so hard at not doing nothing (yes, I know that is a double negative...get over it). So we needed to shower quick and head out for our 'to do' list.

"I'll shower first, I'm really quick!"Slam, bam; I'm in the shower, Shampoo. Conditioner. Lather up the body for the 22 seconds that my hair is conditioning...no leg shaving on this shower because I'm lazy in my old age....I "naired" myself 3 days ago.

My "Why" factor kicked in as I was rinsing out the conditioner. Why do I rush through my showers? My husband takes 20 minute showers. He lets the hot water caress his neck and shoulder muscles. Showers to him are so much more about relaxing and soothing.  Showers are purely utilitarian
for me.

Donning my Sherlock cloak, waterproof, because it is invisible (What a beautiful wrap and such fine vinyl, Mrs. Emperor!) I begin some serious self-investigation.

Why are my showers record breaking quickies?

Am I afraid I'll miss a phone call if I'm in the water? (insert giggle) Hell, I don't answer the phone when it's in my pocket or sitting next to me at the keyboard.

Am I concerned that someone will come to the front door and I will miss them?  'Nother giggle and eye roll. I don't answer the door half the time even when I am sitting at the dining room table  and can be seen by stranger pushing new rain gutters or million dollar vacuums!

Am I preserving water? Yeah, but that certainly isn't my intention!

Epiphany! It's all about fear! Not a Er!-Er!-Er! Psycho shower scene fear but more of an ego based body image fear!

For instance...what if there is an earthquake and the house collapses on me? When the rescue team finally digs me out of the rubble there I am....an older, fluffy, naked woman!

What if a truck misses the corner and plows into my house, ripping the wall away from the shower exposing my sopping wet naked body?

Sick, huh?

Tomorrow morning I am going to take a 20 minute shower. I am going to let the hot water soothe my neck and caress my shoulders. I am going to really, really condition my hair. I am going to enjoy my my self.

I just hope the conditioner doesn't have any ill effects on my swimming suit.

February 08, 2015

The Art of the Tweak

We are all masters of something. Something grand or something humble but we know, with every cell of our body, that we do "it" better than anyone in the world.

I believe I am a Fire Master. I can build and maintain the hottest, most efficient, roaring fire in a fireplace, wood stove and campfire! Bar none! In fact, when we lived out of city limits, my burn piles and blazes were epic!

My husband is a fire master (note the lower case lettering), He believes he is my superior in fire building skills. Alas, he is equally delusional in other areas of expertise (soups, pruning, driving).

My children believe themselves to be masters in the art. I totally agree with their self assessments as they studied under a Master!

I'm considering mounting a little Go-Pro video camera high in the corner opposite the wood stove to record many not-so-discreet tweakings of my awe-inspiring infernos.

My husband leaves in the morning after stoking the fire. When his car leaves the driveway, I promptly open the cast iron door to our wood stove to gently adjust the logs for maximum heat. A quick modification of the draft knob and we have perfection.

I keep the consummate blaze going through the day. Paradisiacal Artistry!

Just before hubby comes home, I check to make sure the glory of the burn is in order.

Husband walks in, gives me a kiss, a couple of pats on the heads of dogs and beelines it for the wood stove. Tweak, tweak, tweak.

Brushing ash or stray bark from his hands he heads down the hall to change into comfortable clothes and remove his shoes or, weather permitting, he grabs leashes and takes dogs for a walk.

I move to stove to repair any damage to the fire and readjust the draft knob.

If husband catches me putting in a new log or checking on fire he quietly returns to tweak whatever I have done. I know because the door is very much in need of oiling. It can be heard opening and closing in every room of the house.

There is no way I am going to allow that door to be silenced from warning me that my artistry has been tampered with!

Boy, is he going to be surprised to find out where the WD40 is at the end of fire season!