Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bloom where you are planted!

The other night when I was painting this entry for my art journal, I was too lazy to walk over to my computer to ask my know-it-all friend, Googlie for a quote to go with my picture.  All my little pea-brain could come up with was this one, “Bloom where you are planted,” so I decided to use it.  I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on how much the laziness of the artist contributes to the outcome of the art.

Anyway, as with any quote worth repeating until it is a cliché, it got me to thinking about how well I have been blooming since I was transplanted here to Rancho Wrecko, my three-bedroom fixer-upper in need of carpentry skills, power tools and a home improvement budget.  Some days I think I’m blooming and then some days I’m in the blooming idiot category. 

This house came to me when I was one dead battery away from being homeless.  I had been planted along with the sum total of all my worldly possessions in my car.

Ida Car is a four-door wonder.  She makes me wonder if I’m going to make it to my destination whenever I leave the house.  Every journey is an adventure.  Not that I am opposed to adventure, but sometimes you  just want the pleasure of knowing that car trouble isn’t in your immediate future and that you won’t be that person who leaves those steel-belted crumbs on the highway as a means of finding your way back to grandma’s house.

Ida Car has a lot of character.  She gets her chalky color from a paint job so unattended to that it has never had a wax job.  She doesn’t mind, as ladies everywhere know that once you start waxing, you can never go back.  Ida Car does get the occasional trip to the car wash where the water pressure is strong enough to dislodge the enamel from your teeth which is what is required if you want to get the dead love bugs off your windshield.

As a side note, if you get the opportunity to come to Big Thicket you might want to wait until the Love Bug Love Festival is over. It’s not something the Chamber of Commerce advertises since Love Bug couples are acting out inappropriately in public.  Me screaming, “Get a room,” has no effect.  Since the only way to kill a Love Bug is to accidentally swallow a mouthful (that’s where the blooming idiot shows up) or run them down with your car, I vote for the latter.  Ida Car is an expert in Love Bug annihilation and seems to kill with no remorse.

I have driven better, faster, sleeker cars, but none who have meant as much to me as this little sedan who was my home away from homeless when I had no where else to go.  She took me to job interviews, friend’s houses with couches to loan, and for a while to a state park where at night, I counted the stars through the moon roof that one know-it-all man in my life promised would leak every time it rained.  Ida Car may leak Havoline on your pristine driveway, but her moon roof keeps me plenty dry.

I’m not sure I am blooming here, but Ida Car is.  She likes the slower speeds, easier parking down town and when she is ready to be put out to pasture; I am going to plant her just like this:

 Are you blooming where you are planted?


Friday, September 20, 2013

Ida Clare, I gotta a secret!

Wouldn’t you love a Secret Garden?

Where will magical thinking get you?  Well, you could ask J.K.Rowlings or J.R.R Martin; we already know where it got them.  Or you can ask Ida Clare and I will tell you where it gets me.  Aside from the impossible dream of earning back my investment in the Texas Lottery, magical thinking sends me outdoors to a Secret Garden with low humidity and a temperature in the 70’s.

My Secret Garden has a spring-fed water fall and an old fashion swimming hole that is never muddy and turns me into a beautiful mermaid whose hair floats gloriously through the sparkling water and then dries beautifully without conditioner, hair gel, or something called: got 2 be glued blasting freeze spray.

In my secret garden, I am friends with the fairy folk who tell me stories about olden times when I used to be Princess of Quite-A-Lot and not The Dowager Queen of Big Lots, about how I used to rule the Forty Acre Wood instead of stalking the bargains of Dollar Tree.

My secret garden has a hammock filled with designer pillows and a gossamer throw from Overstock Dot Bohemia Wagon.  I take long uninterrupted naps there where my dreams of financial security and emotional stability come true and I seldom need to raise my voice to anyone with the exception of the occasional troll who wanders in from the hinterlands, otherwise known as Big Thicket.
(The trolls are bad this time of year just before hunting season starts. The whitetail deer keep them thinned out by poking them with their antlers in their beer guts where all their courage and bluster comes pouring out in a puddle and they stumble on back home wondering why their guns are limp and don’t shoot like usual and why they now have no desire to go back into the woods.)

Oh I could go on and on but you get the picture. The possibilities are endless in one's Secret Garden.

I’ve included some photos today of places that look magical to me.  I hope you get to visit your Secret Garden very soon.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ida Clare, Is there a Pig in Your Garden?

"In the summer, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." --Margaret Atwood

Oh Margaret Atwood, I do, I do.

Here is the dirt on the dirt at my house:

My yard is the pits.

For some people, working in their yard is the way they express their creativity and their love of nature.  For me it is just a prime opportunity to complain about the weather, piss ants and my aching back while spending large quantities of time, energy and money I could have been devoting to some other fruitless endeavor. 

(I debated whether to use the term piss ants but I sorely detest the little buggers and calling them little buggers is so unsatisfying when they are swarming your ankles stinging you.  I’ve tried to kill the population in my yard, but they are immortal, evidently eat poison for breakfast, and can only be killed by running a tiny stake through their tiny insect hearts.)

This is my first year at making an effort to do more than walk passively through the weeds from the car door to the front door.  If my yard could complain as bitterly as I do, it would tell you that the only green thing about my thumb is that I have finally surrendered and started painting my nails green or purple or blue; nail colors I always said I would never wear, but in a moment of weakness, I let the girl at the Walgreen’s talk me into it.  I swore I wouldn’t get a tattoo either and since they don’t do tattoos at Walgreen’s, that promise is still holding for the good it does me. 

Why I made a vow to not get a tattoo is beyond me when it would be so nice to have conveniently located somewhere on my body those pesky, hard-to-remember items I am constantly forgetting.   I could have my own personal Google right on the inside of my knee.  A man I know who doesn’t approve of tattoos bemoans that a valid reason not to get a tattoo is, “Think what it will look like when you get old and your skin is wrinkled.”

I say more power to me.  If I only have to lift a wrist to show the taxi driver where I live and don’t have to remember the address myself, who cares if he has to smooth out a few wrinkles to get to the good stuff?  I imagine I will never get too old to not enjoy having my wrinkles pressed.

However, I am not sure I am going to press on with gardening.

The grass has turned brown and does the rice crispy snap, crackle and pop when you walk over it.  My midnight rain-dances out in the back yard have yielded only mosquito bites and the indifference of my multi-cat audience.  The plants I spent good money for have given up the ghost and their skeletons mock me from their boney-branch graveyards formerly known as flower beds.  Decorating for Halloween should be no problem this year.

Dragging a water hose long enough to reach to the edges of my yard during temperatures so hot I could spontaneously combust makes me wish I was a fire-fighter with six-pack abs and an oxygen mask. 

Oh, not really.  Excuse me for a minute while I day-dream about sweaty fire-fighters with six-pack abs and, well, never mind.

Here are some more photos of flowers I haven’t killed only because I had nothing to do with them.  We can dream can’t we?
Flowers I had not the opportunity to kill.  Photos by Marilyn Farmer who has my gratitude for sending these.
How does your garden grow?


Friday, September 13, 2013

Just your luck; It's Friday the 13th

Seven years bad luck for breaking a mirror quote by Steven Wright

Dear Creative Chicks,

I don't know about you, but I don't believe all that stuff about Friday 13th being unlucky.  I can't worry about bad luck I haven't had yet.

Here are some quotes about luck:

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like? --Jean Cocteau
 A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck. --James A. Garfield
You gotta try your luck at least once a day, because you could be going around lucky all day and not even know it. --Jimmy Dean 
Some folk want their luck buttered. --Thomas Hardy
I am just lucky to have butter. --Ida Clare
Good night, and good luck.--Edward R. Murrow

I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five. --Steven Wright
So make your own luck today and have a Lucky Friday 13th!



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ida Clare, Dance Like You Mean It

And if the music is good: Dance  www.idaclare.com
Well, it seems like this has been, Ida Clare digs dancing week. And I guess you’d be right.  I do like to move to music that moves me whenever I get a chance.  Dancing down the hall in my socks is the only way this old floor gets polished, so that’s a real plus.

 I have friends who watch Dances with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance like it’s church and the participants are angels come from heaven to show us what it’s gonna be like when we ascend and get our wings.  Although my sarcastic friend says Dances with the Stars should be renamed Dances With Someone You Might Have Heard Of.

Regardless, I am into these shows too. I love the choreography, the costumes, the dance moves and the drama.  Watching feels about the same way as reading a steamy romance novel set to music.  I get to live vicariously through the dance routines without having to worry if it will be me who is about to have a wardrobe malfunction in front of millions of viewers or that those cheeseburgers I have been enjoying lately are getting slung around the dance floor in the form of thunder thighs.

I like the imperfect bodies.  I root for the chubbiest contestants.  I want them to beat out the ones with the naturally lean bodies who never have to eat celery sticks when what would make them really dance a jig is a fried mozzarella stick.  My heroines are the women who endure all that make up, get their hair frizzed, wear costumes held together with scotch tape and a safety pin and still manage to be able to speak in complete sentences without the help of a ventilator after the dance is over. 

I know I have harped about this every time I talk about dancing, but men, pay attention here.  A woman will take the risks equivalent of a trained circus performer being flipped flopped around like a trapeze artist and danced backward in high heels with the concentration required of a dare devil on a high wire just to get a little dancing action.  And the ladies down at your local VFW hall will dance with you for the pleasure of your company and your ability to feed quarters into the juke box.

Dancing is a way to connect and disconnect at the same time.  What you are connecting to is your business, whether it is your body, your partner, your audience, or your spirit; the connections are what you make of them.  Disconnecting has its payoffs as well. One of my favorite ways to disconnect while dancing in my living room is to close my eyes and forget my saggy Rancho Wrecko surroundings and all the stuff that needs my attention.  I only have to attend to the moment of movement and let the music take me away.

I’m gonna dance on out of here and crank up some music and maybe paint something.  Yay.  Here’s a video that I recommend.  If it doesn’t make you move, you might want to check your pulse.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ida Clare, Would you like to dance?

Take more chances, dance more dances.  www.idaclare.com

Dear Creative Chicks,

I love dancing, don’t you?

I love everything that goes with it: dressing up, kicking off your shoes, dance halls, concert halls, ballrooms, smoky bars, the music- oh my gosh, the music; how the music can make you move.  Dancing can make you change your mind about that nerdy-looking guy you thought you weren’t interested in until he got you out on the dance floor and did that thing he did when he twirled you around and then pulled you in real close, all to the sexy beat of a song you didn’t even know you liked until you danced to it.

Is it hot in here, or is that just me?

One of the mysteries of life is why more men don’t learn to dance and learn to dance well.  If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the way to a woman’s heart is by way of the dance floor.  I have taken a casual survey of my friends and 9 out of 10 will admit to being a push-over for a man who knows what to do when the lights are low and the music is flowing. 

After all, if you totaled up the amount of money it takes to pay for the new dress, the sexy underwear that may or may not ever be seen, a trip to the hairdresser, a mani-pedi, a new lipstick and perfume, and gas for the car, most men would choke at the expense.  And they wonder why we are happy to have them buy us the occasional drink.  We’ve got eight dollars in our purse and a twenty stuck in our bra to last us till payday.  They on the other hand have perhaps taken a shower and put on blue jeans and a tee-shirt that says, “My boss went to Hawaii and all I got is this stinking shirt, yelled at by six clients and charged with tax evasion.”  What’s not to love, according to them?

Buddy boy, if you want this woman’s attention, you’re going to have to have some talents other than witless banter and the ability to grow whiskers.  You need to know how to dance.

Don’t you agree?

I was looking for some dance videos when I can across this one and it just seemed to fit my mood. Here are some creative chicks that know how to wear a tight skirt with attitude while busting a move. 

I bet the guy she is writing the letter to knows how to dance. Now get on out there and do a little strutting dancing too!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ida Clare, We get by with a little help from our friends!

Dear Creative Chicks,

I hope you have recovered from Labor Day, Hump Day, National Popcorn Day, Dragging Your Feet Day (I made that one up) and are moving gleefully into the downhill slide toward the weekend. 

A friend came for a visit and we got our creativity on and worked on a quilt she is making.  It was scary fun.  Scary because any time I am collaborating, I get nervous.  Friendships have been wrecked over less.  This worked out just fine and we are still speaking.

There is nothing better than a friend.  And I'd like to thank all of you for your friendship.  Here, have a piece of virtual chocolate.  (You can eat all you want.  I'll never tell.)


photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fornal/373418814/">Bob.Fornal</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ida Clare, Labor Not on Labor Day

If I’m talking about the “wearing white” controversy, it must be Labor Day.  If I am wearing white, it must be to keep from going naked.  I started out this day looking like the cleaner, much more attractive, younger sister of the new creepy looking Mr. Clean who has recently shown up on Mr. Clean television commercials.  Evidently, Mr. Clean doesn’t believe in the wearing white rule.

 For you poor uniformed innocents who take your fashion cues from Project Runway or Lady GaGa, there used to be a fashion rule going around that you COULDN’T, SHOULDN’T, DARE NOT wear white after Labor Day.  What Estee Lauder really said was that it just isn’t done to wear white shoes after Labor Day, but we make our own rules, don’t we Creative Chicks?

Since it is hot enough outside to cook your biscuits, wearing white has not only a psychological advantage but there is a claim that white helps you stay cooler.  There must be something to it because you see all those guys wearing white bed sheets in the Middle East.  I think they wear them so they can stand over the air conditioner vents in their mobile homes or hog all the cool air in the Range Rovers up close and personal.

When I wear white, I turn into a dirt magnet.  I even dropped an open tube of lipstick down the front of my white wedding dress.  I should have taken it as a sign of things to come, but that is another story I am too lazy to tell.  I put on white in the morning and by the time I pull it off in the evening my white is so filthy even Mr. Clean would wash his hands of me. 

Speaking of lazy:

Labor Not on Labor Day
I am pretty sure Labor Not on Labor Day is one of the Commandments that Moses neglected to bring down from the mountain top.  Moses was a control freak and considered his followers to be lazy; (after all they wondered around in the desert for forty years) therefore he forgot to mention some of the other commandments like: 

  • Thou shall daily enjoy the life I have given you.
  • Rejoice when you have a good hair day.
  • Laughter is the best medicine; laugh at your mistakes.
  • Don’t wear white shoes after Labor Day unless you really want to.
  • You know, ones like that.

Hope you have a great Labor Day and the air vents are all pointed your way.