Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ida Clare, It's Crazy Out Here

I try not to listen to the news.  It’s not that I don’t care.  I just don’t care enough to put myself through the wringer day in and day out.  I have been wrung out stiff by events in my own lifetime so much that every now and then, a good wind will blow me up against the nearest fence and I have a heck of a time picking the barbed wire out of my backside. 

One might argue that my apathy has settled in due to my age, but I disagree.  I don’t care, because I am sick and tired of giving the mental midgets that surround us in this world the air time that babies and blue-faced asthmatics could be breathing. 

If you don’t have a blooming idiot in your family drinking aftershave or dialing 911 because they’re out of cigarettes, you surely work with one.  The work place is where crazy comes to roost. 

I used to work with a woman who wrapped her lunch in the newspaper and would unwrap it at her desk and read it from back to front while she ate.  One day, I was curious about something going on in the world and I asked her if she had the front page.  She did, but when she gave it to me, it took me a minute to realize that she was wrapping her lunch in newspaper that was eight years old.  I asked her why she was reading eight year old newspapers and she told me she had gotten behind and she was trying to catch up.
Ok?  So that meant that she had eight years worth of newspapers stacked somewhere in her house just waiting until she could find the time to read them through the mustard and mayonnaise stains.  I don’t know about you, but I’m on information overload as it is without trying to catch up. (Or ketchup, if you’re into puns.)

Crazy doesn’t discriminate.  It can be at the head of the line at the bank or attached to a voice at the other end of the telephone.  It carries a gun, drives a car and is married to someone you know.  It has money, opportunity, an internet connection and often a desire to be on the six o’clock news.

What we need is a vaccine for crazy people.  No one has ever said:

“Dear, we must get the children down to the clinic for their crazy vaccine before another outbreak comes to town.”

Why aren’t politicians getting on that band wagon, I’d like to know?  They could argue about whether Obama Care was going to pay for it, or if women should have it while they’re pregnant or if it will ever work for all those good old boys who never mean us no harm.

It’s hard to avoid crazy when you are out in the world, but in the privacy of my own home, tuning off the news can help me feel like I have some sort of control over the basket cases and wing nuts that parade across my television.  This I can do until that vaccine comes along.

Do you know someone who need a vaccination?


Monday, August 26, 2013

Ida Clare, Are We There Yet?

I stumbled across some sage advice from the Dali Lama when I was traveling across the Internut this morning, “Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before,” so I am thinking that he meant traveling on a broader scale than cruising to the new TJ Maxx that they’ve just put in at the mall. 
However since I haven’t been to it yet and my Tibetan travel budget has been depleted by my inconvenient need to pay for air conditioning and cat food, I’ve been contemplating the Dali Lama directive.  The truth is, I’ve been to TJ Maxx in other cities so technically this sojourn might not count.  I think Dear Dali would understand that the reason I haven’t been yet is because I’m not sure I can face the disappointment.

You might ask: “What makes you think TJ Maxx in Big Thicket will be a disappointment?  What have you heard?”

I haven’t heard anything one way or the other.  It’s just that sometimes the national chains have a low opinion of our little hamlet and give us the “lite” version of their store or product.  Heck, even Facebook only shows up on the right side of your screen seeing as how East Texas tilts to the right on most topics.

Here, our Starbucks is only a Starbuck. There are deer hunters in these here woods, People!  Nothing goes with deer hunting like a cup of scalding hot coffee and a fist full of bullets, so some of the bucks have already gone to meet their maker. 

Naturally, we can expect to have a TJ Max, with only one x.  The religious right here will only tolerate one x, not two and we boycott anything triple xxx. 
Well, I’ve gotta go.  I am meeting a friend today for lunch at What-a-burg, where they only serve hamburgs and you have to Bring Your Own Bottle of Ketchup.  (BYOK)

Where are you going today?
Ida Clare

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ida Clare, I Confess

Dear Creative Chicks,

I read this blog post the other day on a blog I had never visited where the woman had a section called, Confession Friday.  Well, you can bet your pope ring, I was all over that.  I admit, she did some confessing and in my mind, I granted her absolution.  The truth is she really didn’t confess anything juicy.

Oh yeah, she was slovenly.  She procrastinated.  She was behind in meeting her goals.  She was over-worked and didn’t take care of herself as she should, bla-bla-bla.  Real gut wrenching confessions. 

It reminded me of one of those tricky questions they try to spring on you in a job interview, “What would you say is one of your negative characteristics?”  And you pop up with the old, “Well, sometimes I work so hard, I fall down and don’t remember to go home at night to my wife and children because I become so obsessed with a project.”  Like your potential employer can’t see through that one.

We can see through your veiled confessions that you really are just tooting the other end of your horn.  So how’s this for some true confessions:

I eat Miracle Whip on crackers.  A lot.
I cut out the size label in all my clothes.  I say it’s because they make my neck itch.
I’ve adjusted the scales in the bathroom to reflect the weight of my denial and my sleep number.
I hide my trashy romance novels in public by wrapping them in a faux King James Version book cover.  I live in fear that someone will ask me to read them a scripture.

See, that’s what I’m talking about.  They say confession is good for the soul.  I say it’s good for the blog.

Here’s one more:  I don’t know what day it is.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Ida Clare, It's Friday. Do you know where your Party Girl is?

It’s Friday. Do you know where your Party Girl is?

If you are a young woman, you probably are in touch with your inner Party Girl. You can’t wait for the weekend. You’ve actually made plans. You’re wondering how you can manipulate your budget to include one more new outfit because you simply can’t go partying without something new to wear.

If (darn it), the rent is due and something new to wear is impossible you hope where you are going will be dark enough so no one will notice that what you are wearing is a tad wrinkled since it has been living under a pile of discarded clothes in the corner of your bedroom for emergencies such as these.

Since it is Friday and you don’t have to work on Saturday, you will surely be able to finally catch up on some sleep you’ve missed because you were out late three nights this week. You figure you will worry about sleep when you are sleeping for eternity. You never hear about there being parties in the afterlife. So your philosophy is to get it while you can.

But really, this question isn’t for the likes of you. I’m going to ask again. It’s Friday. Do you know where your Party Girl is? Do you even have a Party Girl? How about your inner Party Girl? Does she still exist? Do you have weekend plans that include more than flat diet coke, macaroni and cheese, a remote control and the password to a paid up Netflicks account?

Is your idea of a party watching a marathon of HGTV where one after another whinny young couple with a higher credit score than IQ sign the dotted line on a mortgage for three-hundred fifty thousand dollars so their dog Poopsie can have a bigger back yard and the wife’s hands won’t fall off if she has to touch Formica in the kitchen instead of the granite counter tops she has her heart set on? That is not a party people!

I did some insane things when I was a Party-Girl that I survived only because of dumb luck and a lack of funds. I’m not talking about invoking that Party Girl. She’s left the building (read: body) anyway.

Do you find yourself humming, "Turn out the Light's the Party's Over" before going to bed at night and there is still beer left in the fridge and you no longer have a hangover on Saturday morning. If you aren’t sure if you ever had an internal Party Girl or you are pretty sure she has been turned to stone, you might want to invite her back into your life for a little fun. If you don’t she might surprise you some day when you least expect it and you might find yourself creating some high drama just to get yourself out of the boring existence you have come to expect on a Friday night in August.

I am guilty of all of the above and I am here to tell you that there seems to be a no party zone here at Rancho-Wrecko. I get it that life in the slow lane isn’t all bad but what ever happened to having a good time with your inner party animal?

There is going to be a little party here. You are invited to create one too. Here’s what you do:

  • Buy party food. You can’t party hungry. Dress the part. Bunny slippers not allowed unless you are having a slumber party and then that’s a whole other story. 
  • Do something different! If you are addicted to Netflicks, go to an actual theater and watch something first run. 
  • Get creative. Make a plan or be spontaneous. Read your local newspaper for ideas for events where there will be other like minded people.
  • If all else fails, call an old friend and have a party on the phone. Google hangouts allows you to see each other online and invite people from far away who you might really want to party with. You can check it out here. 

Well, I‘ve got to go. It’s almost Friday night and I’ve got a party to go to, how about you?  I hope you have fun, isn't that the point?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ida Clare, Let's Dance!

Hello Friends,

There is a video at the end of this post and I am posting it because today is the birthday of a friend of mine and I won’t be able to be with her today as she is in a land far far away.  

 If she were here sitting across the table from me at our favorite ice house, this is what I would say to her on the anniversary of her birth.

You are fabulous just the way you are.  Don’t let anyone infer, suggest, insinuate or blatantly tell you otherwise, especially someone younger than you.  (You can still listen to me because as you never let me forget I am older than you by fifty-six days.)

It’s ok if you’re bossy.  Men call it “Leadership” and get paid one-and-a-half to a thousand times more than women to be that way.  Lead on, Sista.

Don’t let advertisers or sales-sluts make you feel less beautiful than you are just to sell you something.  You clean up nicely.  

Stop hiding the fact that you are brilliant.  Get up and put on your smarty-pants every day.  In a world of low-wattage intelligence, we need your brain power. 


We are not our history.  Whatever has happened in our past is behind us.  And I have the big behind to prove it.

Create for yourself.  You are talented, innovative and often fearless when it comes to a creative project.  Tell all internal and external art critics to go eat worms.

As for gardening, you can throw in the towel or wipe the sweat with it and keep digging.  This applies to other things too.

Let go of crap you can’t control.  Take the very best care of yourself that you can.  Rest, relax, and resist the urge to ruminate.

Whatever you do, always be my friend.

Now, Let's Dance.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ida Clare, I Can't Stop Complaining

Hello Friends,

I would like to thank all of you who listened to me while I whined relentlessly about the unbelievable amount of canning that Ida Mama made me help her with last week.  Now that a few days have passed since I have had something organic to pick and shell, wash and peel, chop and slop into a hot water bath over a hot stove, I am starting to feel better. 

I finally understand that the reason a person desires to fill the freezer to capacity is that it prevents you from climbing inside to cool off which might seem like a good idea at the time, but would eventually lead to a whole new set of problems, not the least of which would be starving to death surrounded by all that frozen food and you unable to get to the microwave and the defrost button.

Instead of turning into a human Popsicle, I made the decision to get cool by drinking pink lemonade from the one Mason Jar I had left that wasn’t full of jalapeƱo peppers or plum jelly.  I guess since nobody has made moonshine around here since prohibition, we won’t be cranking up the still, especially since we’ve about run out of jars.

Ida Mama doesn’t believe in going to the store and buying more jars when you’re running low.  Much like looking for change in the couch cushions, we look in the storage room, the garage, under the bed, under the sink, in the pantry and all parts in between for empty jars that we can scald with hot boiling water to make them canning ready again.  Since it has always been the philosophy of anyone in our family to never throw anything away, this seems to work itself out. 

Well, you’ve done it again: Listened to me complain.  I’m sorry, I just can’t seem to stop myself.

I promise the next post will be about something else.