Tag Archives: Blue Moon

Dating Myself

Dear Me:

I know it’s been a while. Sorry ‘bout that. I get busy.  I know, I know. It isn’t an excuse. That’s why I’m going to make it up to you. It’s time for a girl’s night out! Even Kirsten said she’d come—her hubby will watch the kids while we frolic! Go ahead, get gussied. I’ll wait.

Butch's Dry Dock

Surprise! We’re heading to Holland for dinner and a show—Kirsten is meeting us there for a Saturday night on the town! Can you believe it?  Hang on. “Hello?” (It’s Kirsten.) ” Holland Brewery is overflowing? No problem!”

Kirsten suggests Butch’s nearby—so convenient as it is one block west. We whisk off for an alfresco dining experience at Butch’s Dry Dock. You’ve a perky step that wasn’t there earlier in the day.

Have I told you how nice you look? The earrings are a nice touch.

You saunter through the sublimely bland concrete exterior, pretending to belong. The interior hallway displays expensive looking clothes—a well-heeled, faux brick shopping plaza.

Kirsten & Kiri Go Out!

The host leads you to a patio where giant sunscreens shade quiet, well-dressed patrons. Kirsten ‘Woo Hoos’ for you to join her; it’s a bit noisy with the rustle of seating and umbrella adjusting to keep us from drowning in the sun as we eat. You can tell middle-aged moms don’t get out much—we laugh as we decipher the cryptic menu. The rest of our meal we are the table to be! Laughter races from topic to topic. Our neighbors’ conversations never rise above a murmur the whole evening! How do they know when they’re having fun?

This is the fine dining portrayed in rich television dramas. The menu offers carpaccio ‘dusted with cocoa nibs’.  Confit, chutney and cipollini are scattered on the menu in the same casual manner a fast food worker would ask, “Do you want fries with that?” The napkins on the table are cloth, lovingly scrolled in their own holster mid-table. No more McDonald’s cubed food for us! Now you can say you’ve risen to the hoi polloi at least for one meal!

Sexy Leg Martini

Kirsten orders probably the sunniest looking martini you have ever seen—the Sweet Georgia is a slice of pink-orange froth accented with lemon. It tastes like a promise of eternal youth, almost masking the sticker shock of $11.00 with each tangy swallow. One sip is your reward for eyeing the drink like a thirsty spaniel. Kirsten is such a marshmallow!

Our waiter is sufficiently aloof to make a British butler proud, we warm much faster to red-haired Jack (of our hearts) who checks to see our glasses never empty. We dub him the ‘water boy’ as he obviously isn’t a waiter. He fixes our wobbly table and, with a furtive look, first left, then right, promises to provide a diversion so you can steal the menu.

The meal arrives in stages. We share the most exotic spinach salad ever concocted. Spicy bites of candied ginger pair with the grapefruit—but do challenge the palate with pepitas and a rough-ground mustard vinaigrette. The avocado is neutral and balances the whole. The table votes that it is a winner! Huzzah!

Spinach Salad

 

The meals arrive just in time to keep us from hunting down our waiter—though we do dragoon Jack into getting us some salt and pepper.* The verdict on the entrees is mixed. Kirsten braves the ethnic dish ‘Bahn Mi’ and concludes that, “It’s a good pork sandwich, but it doesn’t taste as good as the Bahn Mi served at the more authentic Huyen’s.” Even a dash of balsamic doesn’t fulfill the umami bite she’s looking for.

“You got the best dish of the three of us.” She says, eyeing your flatbread a little wistfully.

Go ahead gloat, I know you want to.

The brandade is good, but a tad salty.  The brandade….you know, the smoked whitefish topped with bread crumbs served in a ramekin on a gold-edged plate?  What? Ramekin.

R. A. M. E. K. I. N. 

No, it’s a little dish to serve small souffles or dips like this one in.  Why would you think I’d be talking about a Norwegian elf? It sounds Norwegian? Just eat your flatbread.**

So the banh mi that’s not a banh mi and the white fish are a smidge disappointing but the flatbread rules. The real draw is the bonhomie, under a hot sun, inviting warm exchanges.

“Will you look at the time!”

We’d better hustle if we’re going to make the show. But of course, there’s always time for a little detour…Chocolate

I see you! You’ve spotted the candy store next door.  So that’s why you skipped dessert! Okay, one…maybe two truffles, but then we’ve got to go!

Nibbling our chocolate, we head to the Holland Civic Theater for live entertainment in a new production: The Lies the Bind.

Kirsten warns us, “It’s a tearjerker.”

I know, I know, I should have checked with you, but I wanted it to be a surprise. Okay, so it’s a drama. I know, you like comedy, but a little drama never hurt anybody, right?

The Holland Civic Theater is located in a corrugated gingerbread house of a building. It even has the curlicue decorations along the eaves.*** It looks like a former church and we, the penitent, file into the pews awaiting the Southern discomfort to come.

Holland Civic Theater

Turns out the small venue is perfect for the family on the brink of tragedy. The space is intimate—you are knees to neck with the audience member in front of you. The line of sight is a bit awkward.

“Someone should tell management to stagger the chairs.” What do you mean, shush?  You shush. Oh right, the show is starting.

TWO HOURS LATER…

SPOILER ALERT

Okay, so next time, we do comedy.  No, I know you don’t like it when bad things like that happen…especially to children. Yes, yes. You get to pick the next one.  A musical? You know how I feel about musicals!  Okay, Galavant was an exception; who doesn’t love a good spoof musical? What about Ella? You mean the movie based on the book Ella Enchanted?  That wasn’t really a spoof musical, now was it!  No, it wasn’t good either. But you’ll admit, Anne Hathaway did her best to save it. Yes, yes. The book is turning over in its grave. Right, no more theater tickets without your express approval.

What? Yes. You can use my hanky. I’m sure you just got something in your eye.

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnotes:

*The subtle hint by condiment omission is that everything the restaurant serves is delicious without question. Only a hairy-knuckled troglodyte would add a thing!

** This is why we don’t go out for fancy dinners—one sip of martini and we’re lost.

***Alright, alright. I don’t know architecture terms.  What do you call that bric-a-brac found along Swiss chalets?

__*__*__*__*__

The Lies that Bind
Veni Vedi et Mortuus Est (We Came, We Saw, Someone Bit The Dust)

 

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Phase

Would we do it differently, if we had the chance?

Knowing what comes, could we suck the fresh air, replacing it with fumes and chemical perfumes to stain the lungs and wilt the flowers?

Would seas rush out and dry with salted sands the scorched planetary face—eclipsing centigrades beyond mercury under the heat of a grinding sun?

No atmosphere to cloud the judgment of solar condemnation.

The ghosts of tomorrow say “Never,” but I would disagree.

I travel this slow-motion path of destruction and see our unshadowed future–no wind to rustle the memory of leaves.

We stopper our ears so we can’t hear trees weep.

The moon hangs her head—a ghost-shaped reflection of a desolate Earth.

 


Note to Self: Watching Interstellar may have imbued your writing with depressive fatalism.

 

Daily Prompt courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

Unless the Febreze* wins the battle soon, this will be my next Craig’s list ad:

“Car for Sale.  Barely used. Only vomited in once.”

Recommendations (besides demolition) highly appreciated.

Midnight Storm.jpg
You’ll note the telling absence of any vomit icons.

And for those of you caring folks out there who wonder how this kind of thing happens, when your child turns down ice cream, recognize it as the sign from the universe it is and get him home tout suite.**

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote*

*So far, the only thing the Febreze products have managed to do is stun me for a short period of time. Whenever I turn up the A/C, my nose feels like it has been punched by a Midnight Storm.

**Or should I say ‘toot not-so-sweet?’

 

CAKE! It’s what’s for breakfast.

Winter is LONNNNNNNG. Like trapped-in-a-conversation-with-someone-who-just-won’t-take-the-hint-that-my-interest-was-over-when-they-brought-up-their-explosive-digestive-issues-and-the-massive-and-highly-disgusting-failure-of-home remedies-made-with-eels-and-cod-liver-oil-for-said-constitutional-problems long.*

That is why CAKE was invented.

Carrot Cake in Progress
OKAY – MAYBE THIS PICTURE WASN’T THE BEST CHOICE FOLLOWING MY INTRO!

I cannot take credit for this recipe. It is a gift from my mother who made it for most of my birthdays and made a giant-sized one for my wedding. I finally made one for myself this weekend and I never want to lose this recipe again. So, I am putting it out for the whole world to enjoy.**

Mary’s Carrot Cake

3 Cups grated carrots (I do mine in the blender and drain well)

2 Cups flour

2 Cups sugar

1 ½ Cups oil

4 Eggs

2-4 tsp Cinnamon (I use 4)

2 tsp Baking soda

2 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp salt

½ Cup toasted pecans (omit if stomach problems)

½ Cup raisins

Mix all dry ingredients (sift) and add the rest of the goods and mix well. Grease and flour baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes in a 9×13 pan.

(I used two smaller pans and it took about 40 – test for doneness as you go.)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz package of cream cheese softened
  • 1 stick butter or margarine softened
  • 4 Cups of powdered sugar or a little more if you like it stiffer
  • Vanilla to taste (1 tsp).
Cake - Carrot
CAN YOU SPOT WHERE I CUT A PIECE AND THEN REMEMBERED I WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE A PICTURE FIRST?

As Dora the Explorer would say: Muy Delicioso!

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:

*Like, run-on-sentence long

**You’re welcome.

 

A Toy Too Far and an Emotional Sucker Punch

IMG_8977

My inner child typically goes wild during the holidays: perusing the many catalogues that come to the house pointing to each item (or circling) the ones I want the way I did when I was a kid. Now, instead of Easy Bake Ovens or Barbie accessories, I’m eyeballing whatever takes my fancy and trying to justify buying it.*

Brookstone
My butt really deserves a $5,000 massage

Yet, this time of year also brings with it the anxiety of gift buying that grows more intractable every year. Worry about buying a commensurate gift or any gift for an unexpected kindness makes me want to avoid people.** Trust me, when I say “You shouldn’t have!” I really mean it. The Big Bang Theory’s neurotically lovable character, Sheldon, said it best: “You didn’t get me a gift, you got me an obligation.”

But I understand, there is a joy in sharing and caring for the ones you love. But maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to do it with tangible, pricey exchanges—beautiful bows, notwithstanding.

This brings up today’s quandary. I have looked up from November’s hole of self-absorption to realize Christmas is barely two weeks away. I have not strung the house with any kind of decoration. I have not written any cards. I have baked no cookies. I have purchased no gifts, no boomwhackers or fandoozles. In short, I have been the Grinch who Ignored Christmas.

My son, however, has finally noticed the holiday comes around every year. He has started dragging me to the toy aisle to point out the extremely expensive plastic monstrosity which is this year’s IT toy:

HotWheels
Because nothing says love like $99.99 worth of plastic.

Now, I try not to be a Scrooge when it comes to my kid. But there is a history here that wars with my better nature. Maybe it is because he is autistic, but in the past my son has insisted on one toy in particular. He will drag me or run to the toy department to make me follow him. He will try to get me to buy it…or, failing that, will try to tuck it under his arm and walk out with it. It takes the skills of a ninja for me to sneak out, buy the item, wrap it and hide it where he can’t find it, and keep it secret until December 26th.

Then, when the holiday rolls around, and I wait to see his excitement as he opens his present, I am floored by the total disinterest the toy produces when it is actually removed from the many trip wires they use to entrap parents into never returning the item for fear they would have to repackage it. It’s as if, the minute it is out of the box, it loses whatever magic it possessed in the store when I refused to buy it for him.

So I sat down with my son and pulled up several much-cheaper options online which he willingly clicked on and watched the video ads that promoted them. Over, and over, and over. Afterwards, I type out my questions on the iPad and wait for his painstakingly slow replies:

Me: “Why do you want the garage toy?

Son: “It is wider.”

Me: “It is very expensive. Let’s see if we can find a cheaper toy you like.”

[interlude with several nearly identical v-tech toys.]

Me: “Will you like this toy instead?”

Son: “Yes”

Me: “Is there anything else you would like for Christmas?”

Son: “Crayons.”

Me: “Okay, anything else?”

Son: “I would like you to teach me to talk.”

It took me a few seconds to remember how to breathe, that’s how much the sentence hurt. I typed a few more sentences about how well he is doing and how much I now know about him because of the iPad…but he is done for the night. He runs off to play and I get a glass of wine and try not to cry.

It is entirely tempting to just order the damned prized toy to make up for all of the things my child doesn’t have. It is a constant measure of guilt that underscores many of the decisions I make as a parent. It is a trap of desperation: “If only I can make him happy it will make up for him being a non-verbal child with autism.” But I have been down this very expensive road before and, though it is a scenic route full of enticing detours, I stick to my pecuniary path. I order a VTech Ultimate Amazement Play Park car set that will make him happy for at least an hour at half the price.

Do we as parents say “No!” to the overpriced toys and the overpriced holidays since we know that it isn’t worth the cost?  On the other hand, do we really want to face disappointing our child and the associated guilt? This is my continual quandary.

I would really like to know, where do you all come down on this issue? Do you cave and buy the exorbitant junk or do you grit your teeth bear the price of impecunious, parental perspicacity?***

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnotes:

*I am impulse consumerism personified.

**Let’s be honest, people make me want to avoid people.

***Because I like alliteration, so there.

When a Tune Haunts You…

 

A certain song got stuck in my head while I was cleaning this weekend. Then things got weird. You may all thank (or curse) me later.  Enjoy

____________________________________________________

I’m Getting Buried in the Morning

To the Tune of (what else) “I’m Getting Married in the Morning

 

Scene: Graveyard, shadowy suggestion of a tomb and various headstones.

Enter: Vampire singing

 

Vampire: “I’m getting buried in the morning

Ding dong the corpse is looking fine

Don’t try to stake me

Or reanimate me

But get me to the crypt on time!”

 

“I gotta be there by the morning

Or else I won’t be looking in me prime

Dawn’s light will baste me

Fricassee and waste me

So, please do, get me to the crypt on time!”

 

[Enter sweet young thing to be mesmerized by vampire.]

 

Vampire: “If I am hungry, roll out a vein

Vampire Bite
He totally sucks…but that isn’t always a bad thing. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

 

Girl:  “This sucks!” [fainting]

Vampire: “If I should drain you, try not to complain”

 

[sucks victim dry, drops her]

 

Vampire: “For I’m getting buried in the morning”

 

[Enter Zombies – crawl from graves/blankets of grass?]

 

Zombies: “Braai-aiiiins!” [Instead of Ding Dong] [Chew on girl dead on floor.]

Vampire: “The Zombies are just fine.

After their dinner, your brains will be much thinner.

So get me to the crypt,”

Zombies: [shout] “Get us to the crypt,”

Vampire: “So get me to the crypt on time!

 

-Music Slows Dramatically –

[Frankenstein monster enters in tux]

Frankenstein: “Aaunnnnghgh.”

 

[All take off hats to mourn]

 

Vampire: [Gesture to Frankenstein]

“He’s getting married in the morning.”

“The poor sod’s doomed before his time.”

Frankenstein: [nods agreement] “Aaunnnnghghg.”

 

Vampire: “We should detain him

In the mausoleum chain him…”

 

Bride of Frankenstein: [Stalks across stage, drags Frankenstein away.] “Hands off, Vlad, this monster’s mine!”

 

Vampire: [shrugs, then pulls cape across face]

“If I’m a villain, well that’s okay.

The bad guy has more fun anyway.”

 

[Vampire will get into coffin – or lie on table to be raised and carried away.]

 

All: [even dead girl – who becomes zombie]  “He’s getting buried in the morning.

Ding dong, the corpse is looking fine.

Vampire: [sitting up] “Don’t try to stake me

Or reanimate me

But get me to the crypt…”

All: [moving slowly] “Get him to the crypt…”

Vampire: [Stands causing zombies to fall back – dramatic pose] “For unholy sake, get me to the crypt…on…

Ending One:

[Lights up-with a vengeance.]

Vampire: “Oh crap.”

[Vampire disappears in a poof of black smoke. Zombies shamble off, muttering ‘Brains?’ softly.]

Janitor: [Crosses stage with broom, whistling theme song, sweeping up vampire dust. Looks to audience.] “The refrain gets them every time.”

 *

Ending Two:

[Begins where the last refrain stopped.]

Vampire: [singing] “Time.”

Zombies shuffle off taking Vampire with them.

Brief pause with lights still up.

Whistling comes from off stage and Woman (or man) enters

 

Woman: [draped in crosses and garlic necklace, holding stake.]

“He’s getting buried in the morning.

This time, death is gonna take.

With this, I’ll impale him.

Behead and flail him.

‘Cause this vamp slayer’s got a lot at stake!

[End Scene – Lights out]

A Walk With The Grim Reaper

When he comes to call, you might as well invite him in to tea. He's going to stay either way and it pays to be polite. Art courtesy of Tolman Cotton (Francesco Amadio)
When he comes to call, you might as well invite him in to tea. He’s going to stay either way and it pays to be polite. Art courtesy of Tolman Cotton (Francesco Amadio)

There must be a first step after loss—that moment where you get back up and say, “I guess I’m going to work.” Then there are the dishes, the laundry and the garbage to be hauled. The leaves to rake, the window to be fixed, the child to wrangle. Every motion is dragged from your body like an unwilling slug making its way across glass strewn pavement. One gets used to the sound of their tiny, anguished screams.*

I am an automaton clanking through my day with the occasional grace note of pain as thoughts pass by. “I should call him…oh…” “Dad will laugh at this comic strip…” and finally, I slip into past tense as I buy a Bigby’s pomegranate green tea: “Dad would have grumbled at the expense.” Days spent wondering when he would be gone are now chased by the ghost of that moment.

This seems apropos, if slightly in poor taste. Courtesy of gocomics.com/nonsequitur
This seems apropos, if slightly in poor taste.
Courtesy of gocomics.com/nonsequitur

In photos, I can revisit the man I somewhat, but not quite, knew. He would smile upon command, but caught unawares, usually was bowed with thought, twisting a strand of his hair so it stood up, Alfalfa-like, a shrubby cockscomb on the back of his head. The pictures are faded, pink or yellowed, erasing the certainty of who he was and leaving me with an afterimage I stare at and wonder, “Is that really him?” And then I will see a hint of that smile. The ear-to-ear, sh*t-eating grin with his eyes closed in pleasure at his own cleverness. The smile I sometimes wear whenever I feel the same.

I will shake this fugue state, I know. It is a sadly familiar road I travel. I plod the path where death greets me like an old friend. “Oh, it’s you again! Has it really been that long? Where does the time go? Shall we go past the park or down to the river this time?”** As I walk, I am cocooned by sorrow. It is like putting on a heavy cloak that I wear to winter the pain. Eventually, the sun peeks out from behind the clouds and I can take it off, basking in the surprise of warmth half-remembered. For now, I await the thaw.

Carl Krueger - Lover of irreverent humor and his equally irreverent daughter.
Carl Krueger – Lover of irreverent humor and his equally irreverent daughter.

I spent the day after he died digging a ton of rocks out of the wedge of dirt alongside the house. I planted enough bulbs—seasoned with cayenne pepper to deter hungry rodents—to choke a bouquet. When the sun does finally reappear after a winter that is decidedly too long, I will count the daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths and measure my grief in petals.

“He loved me.”

“I loved him too.”

“He loved me.”

“I love him still.”

He Loves Me
Image courtesy of RochelleGriffin.com

ALWAYS

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:

*Warning, my metaphors are squishy (like worms after a rain) and make little sense (ditto); it is a common side effect of grief.

**Death is overly chatty and loves to reminisce. The bastard.

A FITTING END

The world's most unwieldy toy.
Must add fine print to label: Not A Toy!

If you ever wondered what a Macy’s Day Float would look like in a closet…

I’m skyping with my friend late one night, yakking it up, when I hear a sound from my son’s bedroom.

“Whirrrrrrrrrrr, hisssss, Whirrrrrrrr, hissssss…”

Friend: “What’s that noise?”

Me: “Oh, that’s a video my son took of inflating an air mattress. For some reason, he finds it hysterically funny.”

Friend: “Do you want to go check it out?”

Me: “No, I’m sure it’s just his video.”

We continue talking, ignoring the odd whooshing noises from the other side of the wall, when all of a sudden…

“Clunk, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.”

Me: “Wait. That’s not normal.”

Said friend laughs as I dash to check out the ominous sound coming from my child’s room. I fling open the door and it’s all I can do to get it open. I wish I had a picture to show you, but I was too busy rescuing my child from his predicament to grab a camera.*

[Update-News Flash: Child has since repeated the offense and so I have photographic evidence of the claustrophobic effect.  Enjoy]

The Guilty
The guilty has been masked to hide his identity–that and his eyes looked raccoon-in-headlights spooky and it creeped me out.

Apparently, while I thought he was being a good boy and bringing his blankets and pillows from the basement, what he’d actually been doing was smuggling a queen-sized, double thick air mattress into his room—a room just barely wider than said mattress. He had inflated it on the narrow space between his bed and his dresser and the gargantuan mass was crushing him to the wall while trying to devour the furniture around it. The motor objected greatly to the compact restrictions.

Despite child’s objections, I removed his ‘toy’ and hid it some place new. I have no idea how he snuck the keys to the laundry room where this was stored, but obviously, I’m going to have to get clever to outwit my child.**

Beware...Boy Genius at Work!
Beware…Boy Genius at Work!

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:

*Anyone possessing a photo of an inflatable stuck in imaginative (uncensored, g-rated) places may feel free to post them here.

**Although, the odds on me becoming smarter are incredibly low. That, and I’m tempted to let him do it again, just to take the picture. It was that funny.

Blue Willow and White Wash

Blue Willow Chicken
One of the few items I don’t actually have…a Blue Willow Chicken. Feel free to gift it to me as a house warming present. (Easier than catching and painting an actual chicken.)

I have been so busy unpacking my life, it is almost a metaphor.* You have dusty old boxes you have been carting around for years that sentimentality prevents you from throwing out, and yet, the emotional scars they hold keep you from opening them up. Then there are the boxes with carefully wrapped and painstakingly placed treasures. You lovingly tucked them in and worried about their safe arrival. Those were the first boxes you packed. They have color-coded labels and warnings to ‘Handle With Care’. You expected to take time with every one of you millions of items. However, by the time you reach the end of your tether/patience/time-to-move you are shoving possessions in willy-nilly and throwing stuff away just so you won’t have to pack one more damned thing. Case in point, my computer tower didn’t fit into the boxes I had left, so I taped the giant rip which formed when I crammed it into one anyway. I strongly suspect my lack of finesse may be why it refuses to turn on at the new house. It holds a grudge.

After struggling so long to find a place to live, it was almost a relief to move. Almost. I dragged a hundred boxes into a house with room enough  for maybe twenty and a few plants. I was careful to instruct the movers to put the furniture in first, otherwise we’d never have made it. As it turned out, the house wasn’t big enough for everything. There are two giant bookshelves and a piano sitting in the garage as proof. It is no doubt very odd for the neighbors when my son goes to practice. I plan on telling them he’s starting a garage band, if anyone asks.

One thing I really wanted to do when I finally got my home, was to unearth my china. It has been ten years since I saw it. I only got to use it once during my marriage. It was always kept ‘safe’ for a special occasion. After my husband died, it became a symbol of all the times we would never get to use them again. After the move, though, I was itching to get at the Blue Willow because I had the perfect place to store it—a built-in china cabinet tucked in my new home. Through the chaos of packing and recovering from surgery, I focused on uncrating my tea service and putting the cups and saucers in a perfect arrangement around the pot—like a herd of blue-speckled chicks around a fat hen. It became a symbol of hope. Or perhaps I should say ‘cymbal’ the way it crashed all around me those first few weeks.

My first act after the movers left was to carefully unbox my brand-new teapot and reach for the door to my shiny white cupboard…only to discover that the paint crew had managed to shellac the door closed. After I yanked and tugged on my glassed-in door to no avail, I allowed myself a massive hissy fit of frustration. I called the painter, who promised to come out and fix it. He never did. I ended up hiring someone else just to come out and sand down three doors that kept sticking too badly to tolerate.

The noise and dust storm that followed coated the walls and floors of the house which had just been painted. I gritted my teeth—not just because of the dust—and stalked to the paint store to repaint the sections exposed by the overzealous use of a circular sander. I knew the name of my paint and asked for “Snowfall White”. Or, I thought I knew my paint color. Because, as it turns out, there are many, many shades of white.** Specifically, there was more than one shade of Snowfall White. I didn’t realize this until after I had re-painted every damned surface into the wee hours of the morning.

I was cross-eyed with exhaustion when it dawned on me that the paint that had dried hadn’t turned into the color that was on the walls and trim in the living room. In fact, it was a hideous shade I would have called ‘autopsy white’ because it was actually a corpse grey. There was some moderate swearing—I may have cursed the Fickle Sherwin-Williams Gods who stole a name from another company. The next day, I trudged back to the store where I’d picked up the outrageously expensive can in the first place. I begged, I cried. I may have troweled it on a bit thick—I think the man gave me the replacement paint so I would leave. I tromped home and looked at the room decided which things absolutely had to be changed and which ones I could live with. (Who cares what color the inside closet door is anyway?) After applying some paint—a touch here, a dash there—I had a sense of foreboding. “Hmm, this seems really light.” I waited for a small area to dry only to discover it was in fact, a horse of a different color. Alternately hyperventilating and swearing, I ended up repainting the entire china cabinet the third shade of Snowfall White. What I think happened is, the original, benighted painters somehow mixed the paint wrong in the first place. I have no idea what color it is—probably something called You-Will-Never-Match-This-Again-In-A-Million-Years White. But I have decided I can live with the piebald walls…as long as I never look too closely and pretend any shadows are a trick of the light.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks. Struggling with unpacking boxes, some which haven’t been touched in  a decade.*** And when I am not over-emoting about the zillions of pictures I find, I am trying to white wash my world so that I have a blank canvas to work with. But an artist has to admit that sometime, the paint of a previous work is going to bleed through.

Blue Willow 1
What you can’t tell is that there is actual tea in the teapot. I was drinking a cuppa while writing this post. I ran upstairs to photograph the dishes in situ and just popped the pot back in to take the shot.

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:

* Except metaphors don’t usually make you sneeze this much.

**Even more than 50 shades of gray…and a lot more tasteful too.

*** It is like maneuvering an emotional mine field; every item revealed is a bomb waiting to go off. I’m crying over tchotchkes, dammit.

Friday Fictioneers – All Systems Go!

Every Friday, authors from around the world gather here to share their 100-words and offer constructive criticism and encouragement to each other. This creates a wonderful opportunity for free reading of very fresh fiction! Readers are encouraged to comment as well.  The prompt is from Marie Gail Stratford  For details, check out Rochelle Wisoff-Fields http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/12-september-2014/

Slapped together with much haste and little grace, I give you ALL SYSTEMS GO:

Glass Star Drive

“Gimme another.” Bob slurs.

“Give it up, captain.” Joe says, resigned.

“The engine needs fuel.” Bob glowers, his eyes pickled in red-rimmed sockets. “Jesh one more.”

“You still owe for last night…if we survive that is.”

“It’s almost calibrated.” Bob squints blearily. “Give me a blue one.”

Sighing, Joe twists open a Blue Moon and hands it over.

At the brightly-colored wall of empties, Bob studies the pattern. Draining his beer, Bob then shoves the last bottle in.

The sub-light engines whine as they come alive.

“I’ll be damned.” Handing Bob another beer, Joe adds, “This one’s on the house!”