Archive for the ‘Silliness’ Category

Just In Case You Still Remember My Last Post…

May 26, 2009

Since it’s been nearly two weeks since my last post, you’ve probably all pretty much forgotten what the post was about.  But just in case you do remember and just in case you’re curious about whether or not my shameless exploitation of Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man’s hurt toe actually got me into Blog Log…why, I’m happy to report that…yes…yes, it did.

But the thing is, Brian was a little late with Blog Log this week (apparently he was moving last week), so until today, I thought I had embarrassed myself  for nothing.  In fact, I was just about to publish a post bemoaning my previous post and exposing the egg on my face.  It was going to be titled something like The Folly of Following Fickle and Fleeting Fame.  (You know how I love alliteration) 🙂 Here’s an excerpt from my unpublished post: 

Yes, it’s true—it seems I humiliated myself and exploited my beloved husband’s injury for naught. It would appear, in fact, since it has been two weeks since the last Blog Log was published, that the Mountain Xpress has decided to discontinue the column. And they apparently made this decision just as I published my post where I all but begged to be in Blog Log again.  So it seems, as usual, that my timing is thoroughly and painfully off.  Which, of course, is nothing new.  I’m always the one who remembers the punchline of a joke long after everyone has walked away; who arrives at the party after all the food is eaten, half the crowd is gone, and the balloons are starting to deflate; and who sends a cheery “Get Well Soon!” card only to find out that the person I sent it to has just passed away.

My, that certainly was a light-hearted little piece, wasn’t it? 🙂  However,  I then went on to say:

But, on the bright side, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man is still employed!  And his completely blackened toe did not wither and fall off!  In fact, it no longer looks gangrenous so I can now see it without flinching. 

Yep, it’s a good day alright when your toe doesn’t fall off!  I mean, I really hate it when that happens.  Bummer.   Yeah, nothing ruins a good day like losing a digit.

Seriously, we are truly grateful that Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man still has a job.  And that his toe didn’t drop off. 🙂  He even scored some free vegetable plants for our garden last week when there was a closeout at one of the places he does maintenance, along with some herbs that we can’t identify (but they sure smell good).   And I found the butterfly bushes I’d been wanting at a price I could afford.  Plus,  all the perennials I planted last year have come back this spring, except for the purple verbena.   All that…and I got on Blog Log, too!  Almost too much excitement for one week!  Things are definitely looking up.

So thanks, Brian.  I hope your move went well.  And I sure am glad the Xpress isn’t dropping Blog Log.  I enjoy it, even when I’m not on it.  But I sure do like it when I am. Makes me ridiculously happy.   Quite a thrill to see Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl in print, even if that isn’t really my name.  That would be “Beth.”  With a “B.”  As in beaming.  As in buoyant.  As in bountifully blessed.

Whereas I Shamelessly Exploit My Husband’s Injury To Achieve Only Modest Fame

May 13, 2009

blog - tom's foot

Tom’s foot with one sad toe (by Benjamin)

Our local alternative weekly newspaper, the  Mountain Xpress, has a feature called Blog Log, where reporter Brian Postelle chooses certain local blogs and a particular post on those blogs to highlight for the week.  My blog’s been chosen several times, and I’ve got to tell you—it makes me inordinately happy.  Perhaps I’m a little silly, but it’s really nice to be recognized, however modest the fame may be.  It is particularly gratifying because, although we have a very active blogging community in the area, I don’t really fit with the general blogging crowd here.  I’m sure they’re all very nice, but they are a hip, savvy, and trendy crowd.  And I…well…I am not.  So I don’t fit in.

Anyway, it’s been a while since Brian mentioned Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl on Blog Log, and it’s got me a little down in the dumps.  The truth is, the only posts of mine he seems to like are the funny posts.  And, well, these days I’m feeling about as funny as fire ants at a picnic.  As funny as a big zit on prom night.  As funny as screen doors on a submarine.  You get the idea. 

Because Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man and I have been a little anxious lately.  Big cuts are being made where he works, and he is still classified as a “temporary” worker.  He is also the most recently hired.  So we’re feeling a mite vulnerable.  Plus, they’ve cut his $12/hour pay and gone way up on our insurance, while our benefits have been sharply reduced.   So we got the poor-boy-beans-for-supper-again blues, and I just don’t feel like being funny.

So here’s where you will see me shamelessly exploit Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man just so I can maybe be in Blog Log again.  You see, Brian Postelle also has a fascination for blogger injury stories.  He said so himself here. And I offer as proof the fact that he featured my post about the time Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man stopped bleeding with a condiment, not one, but two times on Blog Log.   So here I present the sad, sad story of Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man and his tragic toe injury:

Since Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man works as a maintenance man, I worry a right good bit about his safety.  He has a lot of roof leak experience, so he’s the man they turn to when there’s a persistent leak.  So he spends a lot of time on ladders and roofs (I always want to say “rooves.”)   He likes it up there, but it makes me nervous, especially considering our luck for the past twenty years. 

So it finally happened—he got hurt about a month ago.  But it wasn’t falling off a roof.  Nope, so often it’s the little things that trip you up—in this case, an extension cord that he tripped over.  He then, in regaining his balance, managed to somehow come down hard on his toe and sprained it badly.  He came home limping like Grandpappy Amos on The Real McCoys.  (Does anybody else remember that show?)   When he showed me his toe, I got that weird chest-tightening I only get when someone I love hurts themselves.  It was one ugly digit, let me tell you.   Completely black—almost gangrenous looking—like his toe was going to wither and fall off in a matter of days. 

And, unfortunately, he is afraid to take time off from work (See Paragraph 3 above).  So he’s been gimping about for a while now, and while he’s some better (and his toe is unwithered and firmly attached), it still hurts quite a lot.  So, really, I’m not just posting this to get on Blog Log.  Certainly not.  I’d truly be grateful if anybody has some ideas to help a seriously-sprained toe.

But…there is no escaping the fact that I’m shamelessly exploiting my husband’s injury and milking it for all it’s worth just to see my name in print.  I’m kind of like that kid in grade school who was always raising their hand and waving it frantically to be recognized. Desperate, I tell you.  Heck, I’d even resort to excessive flattery to see my name in print. And it’s not even my real name.  That’s the saddest thing. I mean, my name isn’t really Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl, of course.  It’s Beth, with a “B”.  Like Brian, with a “B”.  As in, Brian Postelle, the very fine reporter and creator of the entertaining and delightful Blog Log in that most outstanding and venerable newspaper, the  Mountain Xpress

That’s Beth.  With a “B”.  As in blog.  As in bold and brazen. As in Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl. 


The Previously Unrecognized Mating Dance of the Eastern Bluebird

May 5, 2009

Ornithologists worldwide were alerted this week to a previously unobserved and most curious mating dance performed by a male Eastern Bluebird at a bluebird house at the Blue Ridge home of Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl.   Reportedly, the female bluebird was not impressed by the male’s lively performance, though she did eye with interest the juicy caterpillar in his mouth.






(Note to Tom: Happy 22nd Anniversary to my Anam Cara.)

Hank and Homer-Part 3: A Visit from the Easter Bunny

April 14, 2009

Okay, so I know it’s a bit soon for yet another Hank and Homer tale, but I just couldn’t resist!  [Note to the snarky dude on Twitter who mildly ridiculed my last Hank and Homer post:  No need for snark—-it’s just for fun.  Silly, goofy fun.  Obviously, it’s not everybody’s idea of fun, but it makes the five-year-old in my heart happy.  Silliness can be very therapeutic. You should try it sometime.]


Well, look who I caught in the act!  That most venerable and worthy of rabbits—the famous Easter Bunny!  He hopped by the Doublewide Ranch to see my little friends Hank and Homer because they…believe.  


Hank and Homer really enjoyed their first Easter Egg hunt and had quite a haul!  Here they are counting their eggs.  They loved the bright, happy colors.  But there were a few hiccups along the way when…


…Hank (who is easily distracted) started picking the pretty pink flowers instead of looking for eggs, leaving Homer to find them all.  Then…


…that rascal Homer frightened poor Hank with a very silly Easter bunny disguise.  Of course, they both ended up laughing.  But then…


…Hank was startled again when a bee landed on his head and made a bee-line for his ear! But, luckily,  the little critter bee-haved himself, was quite bee-nign, and was soon bee-gone, but not before creating quite a buzz!  

But sometimes even the best of friends bicker.  And so it was with Hank and Homer…


…when they tussled briefly over the huge egg that they both found hidden in the daffodils.  But Hank and Homer are good eggs, and in the end…


…they found a way to share the big red egg.  At first, they were just being silly, but then Homer got the notion that the egg halves looked like motorcycle helmets and that maybe he and Hank would look really cool on motorcycles.  “Hey, we could hit the highway on Harleys, Hank!” said Homer happily.   But Hank was not so thrilled at the thought (although he did enjoy the alliteration).  He’s the sort of fellow who likes to amble along at an easy pace and and stop and smell the flowers and touch the flowers and pick the flowers and roll in the flowers and sometimes even taste the flowers.  And how would they ever be able to hear the birds singing on a noisy motorcycle?  Also, Hank pointed out (very sensibly he thought) that perhaps driving a motorcycle was not the smartest idea for a couple of invertabrates without opposable thumbs.  (Opposable thumbs are very, very useful!)  Homer had to concede that Hank had a point, but he was a little sad because Homer loves adventure.  And Homer loves roadtrips.

But he loves Hank more.  So Homer agreed that maybe it was adventure enough to climb trees and play with gnomes and ride old Pinky and old Blue.  And adventure enough to ride their imaginary Harleys (very, very quiet Harleys!) down the endless flower-strewn roads of their dreams.

Hank and Homer-Part 2: Hank and Homer’s Odyssey

April 2, 2009


When I wrote about Hank and Homer (who at one time were  gloves and socks) and how they came into being here, you probably thought you’d seen the last of them.  Well, I  can’t help it—–I just love the little fellas.  And not just because I made them.  They make me smile every time I look at them, so if you’re reading this and thinking, “Good Lord, I can’t believe a 51-year-old-woman would be playing with a couple of stuffed animals!” well, I’m afraid you’re on the wrong blog and you should probably go read Nietzsche or something.  Wait a minute, even Nietzsche said, “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.”  Well, there you go.  And, thank God,  my inner child is always ready to play.

Anyway, Hank and Homer are finally starting to feel comfortable around the other invertebrates.  Homer was a little sensitive about his resemblance to Homer Simpson, so I made him a hat (out of a sock!) that I think somewhat mitigates the unfortunate resemblance.  He’s very fond of his new hat, but Hank’s a little jealous.   He wants a hat, too.  They’ve been working a lot on self-improvement (people are always telling them their heads are full of fluff!).  So they’ve been reading the classics.  As you can see, they started on Moby Dick, but then they heard the birds singing outside and saw the flowers waving in the breeze and knew it was time for an adventure! 

First up:  a ride in Mr. Gnome’s wheelbarrow!  For Hank, at least.  Homer just wanted to lie in the creeping phlox and bask in the warm spring sun.



Giddyup, Pinky!  Hank takes a ride on old Pinky, while Homer…


Rides old Blue.

Time for a little tree climbing—- into the flowering pear tree.  There were about ten thousand bees buzzing around the pear tree flowers.  Hank and Homer loved being in the bee-loud tree.  They even found a bird’s nest there!



Look!  The dandelions are back!  Time to make a wish.  Hank wished for a hat just like Homer’s.


But all that activity and fresh air makes little invertebrates kind of tired.  So back inside they went to watch the NCAA tournament on TV.  Sure, Hank and Homer’s TV is a little small and old, but watching the Tar Heels play basketball is exciting no matter how you’re watching it!  Go Heels!


Not that they watch much TV.  They’d rather read.  After they finish Moby Dick, Homer is thinking about reading another book he heard was really good, if a mite long.  He really likes the name of the author—- Homer.  And he finds the title very exciting—-The Odyssey  (he does like a good adventure tale!)   Hank’s not so sure that these classics are all they’re cracked up to be.  But he’ll read The Odyssey if that’s what Homer wants because he likes to make him happy.   Because they’re best buddies.  And they always will be.

“A Whale of a Tale to Tell You–A Tale of a Tail or Two”

March 25, 2009



It’s an exciting life we lead here at the Doublewide Ranch. Always something new to share, like the pink blossoming of the peach tree or the thrill of new bluebirds nesting. Or getting to visit with our children over Spring Break. Or the fact that Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man just finished reading Moby Dick.

Moby Dick? Maybe you’re wondering, as I did, why Moby Dick? Well, partly for the intellectual challenge, according to Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man. But also…Providence. He felt like he was destined to read it when he got it for free in a book discard pile where he works. But after hearing his description, you couldn’t get me to read the book if the Lord Himself appeared to me in a radiant, holy vision, a chorus of angels singing in the background, with an illuminated copy of Moby Dick in His hands. (Unless, of course, the Lord told me to read it.)

Oh, it starts out promisingly enough. Right off the bat, in the first sentence, the narrator introduces himself (“Call me Ishmael.”) and explains in the first paragraph why he was heading out to sea.

 “…whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself …pausing before coffin warehouses and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet” and when “it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street and methodically knocking peoples’ hats off, then I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”

Oh yeah, I get that. I felt like that when I first went into menopause. Wanting to knock peoples’ hats off, that is. Not so much the “pausing before coffin warehouses” part though.

Anyway, things get even more interesting when Ishmael ends up (after looking for a place to stay) having to share a bed with a cannibal named Queepueg. Now, in case you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to sleep with a strange cannibal, well, Ishmael tells you, in considerable and often humorous detail. And in case you’re thinking, Hey, no way I’d sleep with a cannibal!“, well, I like what Ishmael says about that:

“…the man’s a human being, just as I am; he has just as much reason to fear me as I have to be afraid of him. Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.”

Ha, ha…yeah…that’s what I always say.

My interest in the book was piqued even more when I heard about Ahab, the captain of the ship Ishmael was sailing on, who had only one leg because the other was bitten off. What’s that you say? Oh my goodness, no,…ha, ha…not by the cannibal! It was Moby Dick, the white whale, who did the deed. And, boy howdy, is Captain Ahab ticked off! So ticked off, in fact, that he’s setting sail just to find Moby Dick and avenge his bit-off leg. It’s understandable and all…I mean, how would you feel if a whale bit your leg off?

Anyway, they head out into the stormy deep and it’s all downhill from there. This is the place in the book where Herman Melville can’t decide if he’s writing a novel or a treatise on whaling. He goes off on tangents where he holds forth for several pages about subjects ranging from why the Pacific is his favorite ocean to a graphic description of the skin and blubber of the whale. You would think that Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man, being a carpenter, would have been interested in Melville’s long exposition about the ship’s carpenter, but how could he be when the description contained sentences like this?

“And this it was, this same unaccountable cunning life-principle in him; this it was, that kept him a great part of the time soliloquizing; but only like an unreasoning wheel, which also hummingly soliloquizes ; or rather, his body was a sentry-box and this soliloquizer on guard there and talking all the while to keep himself awake.”

Hey, maybe that’s why Melville soliloquized so much in the book—to keep himself awake! Unfortunately, those of us slogging through his long, excruciating soliloquies on “the honor and glory of whaling” are not so lucky. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The action does pick up near the end when they finally encounter Moby Dick (“There she blows!”) In case you actually want to read the book, I won’t tell you what happens, but we did learn some valuable lessons. Like, sometimes it’s best to let bygones be bygones. And if the whale is bigger than your ship, maybe you should leave him be. And, well, you should probably stay off the ship in the first place if the captain’s a crazy man. Also… coffins can float! Who knew?

Anyway, I’m proud of Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man. He persevered and finished that thing. I’m thinking about getting him a shirt that says, “I Survived Moby Dick.”

Which brings me to my question. A serious question, believe it or not. As you know, neither Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man nor I went to college and though we are fairly well-read, we’ve wondered if we should read more of the classics. To be honest, I feel a bit like Mark Twain when he said, “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” But as an aspiring writer, I feel that there might be “classics” that I could learn from. (And I should say here that there are many learned people who consider Moby Dick a masterpiece, so maybe we just didn’t get it.)

So, I ask you, my discerning and erudite readers: What classics should we read? And, if not the classics, what books do you think would make us better writers and help make up the education we never had?

Bonus questions: Would you sleep with a cannibal? And…what would you do if a whale bit off your leg?

And finally…which would you rather do? Sleep with a cannibal, have your leg bitten off, or read Moby Dick?

Wide-Eyed Wonder at the Wii We Won

October 23, 2008


If you want to see this better, click on it to enlarge it.

(The cartoon above was created by my daughter Ariel aka Lucky Pennies in Microsoft Paint.  Now, in case you were thinking, Gosh, that seems kind of mean, well, let me explain.  The truth is—I have a large fanny.  (Or Gluteus Maximus, if you prefer, with emphasis on the Maximus).   That’s just the way it is, no ifs, ands, or…um…buts about it.   There’s no getting around it.  (I mean, reallythere’s no getting around it).  So, like Steve Martin making jokes about his huge nose (in one of my favorite movies, Roxanne, a hilarious retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac), I’ve always made jokes about my big rear end.  Might as well laugh, because there’s not a darn thing I can do about it.   So my family has always been given license to poke gentle and affectionate fun at my derriere.  And, yes, they’re laughing with me, not at me.  Really, they’ve always been the first ones to boost my confidence by telling me I’m pretty.  So, I really don’t mind being the…er…butt of their jokes.)




Recently I heard yet another story about an Idaho man who won big, not just one—but three times—in the state lottery.  I always roll my eyes and sigh when I hear those stories because, although I’ve entered any number of contests in my life, I’ve rarely won a thing. 


Okay, there was that dozen eggs in the PTA raffle I won when I was six years old.  When they called my name, I was nearly beside myself with rapture.  I ran up to collect my dozen eggs, then in my excitement, almost tripped and dropped the eggs on the way back to my seat.   Yes, you read that right—I was practically apoplectic with ecstasy upon winning a dozen eggs.   Sad, but true.


So you can imagine my excitement recently when my daughter Ariel called me with some exciting news:   She had won a dozen eggs!    No, no…I’m just kidding.  Actually, she had won a prize for writing the best definition of “health” at a…what else…health fair at college.  She had won….drum roll, please…a Wii!  And a Wii Fit! 


Yes, it’s true!  She broke the family, never-win-anything curse!  Even better, she brought the Wii home for fall break.  I’d like to tell you that we spent her break communing in nature, discussing deep and profound philosophical insights, feeling one with the universe and all mankind.  I’d like to, but I can’t.  Because the truth is, when we weren’t out running errands or shopping for things she needed, we were one with our Wii.  (Now for any one that might not know, it’s pronounced  “wee” and don’t feel bad if you didn’t know because, a year ago, I didn’t either.  I pronounced it “why”).


And, oh my, this Wii is just way too much fun. To start with, it was a blast to make the little Beth Mii character (of course, pronounced “Me.”)  I could make my Mii as pretty and thin as I wanted to!  Never mind that later, after the Wii Fit had weighed me and done my “fitness evaluation,” that the Wii made my Mii fatter.  At least my Mii still had that gorgeous hair!  Yes, that’s right—the Wii Fit, after it weighs you, will actually change your Mii’s size to match reality.  That just amazes me.  Sure, it annoys me a little, too, but mostly…it amazes me.  Ariel and I made some more little Mii’s—she made Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton and I made an Obama Mii.   He was really cute.


Anyway, Ariel went back to college Sunday and took her Wii with her.   Good thing, too, because if she had left it here, you wouldn’t be reading this post because I wouldn’t have written it because I would still be playing that river bubble game where you float down the river in a giant bubble trying to get to the end, which only happens if you don’t burst your bubble on the rocks or if the bee doesn’t puncture your bubble with its stinger, thus drowning your little Mii.  Sadly, my Mii was drowned repeatedly, which, I can assure you, is most unpleasant. 


Yep, no doubt about it—I am a woman obsessed.   I have a wiikness for Wii, and the only cure is to get one myself or have counseling.  Or possibly I could exert my parental authority and tell Ariel of my grave concerns that the Wii might be too much of a distraction from her college coursework, so, regretfully, her father and I think it might be best if she left it here (I would say this, of course, with great gravitas, shaking my head sadly). Or perhaps I could rationalize buying a Wii for Mii—after all the Wii Fit provides obvious health benefits by encouraging people to exercise.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  We need a Wii  ’cause it’s good for me!  Who knows… maybe it could do something for my big backside—tone my tush, give definition to my derriere…


Or…maybe not.  That’s probably just a little too much to ask.  🙂  



(I sincerely apologize for the small print.  I have no idea why it came out that way.  I tried to change it, but it wouldn’t let me.  I’m sorry!)




The Strange, Sad Tale of a Beauty Shop Washout

September 25, 2008

So, I finally did it.  I went to the beauty shop to get my hair done.  It was about time, I’d say.  It’d been a full year and a half since I’d visited Jane at the Classic Image Beauty Salon—a year and a half since I’d been anywhere at all with beauty as my objective.  Okay, maybe actual “beauty” has never been my objective—let’s just call it “image enhancement” or…“lipstick on a pig,” if you like.  

Whatever you want to call it, it costs an arm and a leg, which is one reason I hadn’t been in so long.  Plus, you know how it is when you move to a new place—it’s not easy to find someone you can trust to come at you with a big pair of scissors.  I liked Jane.  We had an understanding.  She knew that I liked a little hair feathered around my high forehead, she knew how to perform the equivalent of a comb-over to make up for the hair I was losing, and she didn’t complain when I dragged my raggedy self in every 14 months or so and asked her to perform a miracle.  I mean, if I was a house, you’d probably call me a real fixer-upper.   She also never mentioned that my curly perm made me look like some refugee from the eighties.

So I put off going until my hair in front that I’d been curling back off my face with a curling iron just wouldn’t stay in anymore without about spraying half a can of Aqua Net on it, no doubt causing considerable widening of that hole in the ozone layer.

I’d noticed one of those chain places near where I buy groceries, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I showed up early, trying to beat the crowds.  The little bell rang cheerfully as I walked in.  There was one person there sweeping, and she looked up, frowning.  I could see it in her face.  She was thinking, Dear God, please don’t let this old lady with gray hair halfway down her back be my customer.   I smiled apologetically and a little obsequiously, like, I know I’m a mess and I’m sorry but can you please help me?

I sat down.  She swept slowly and carefully, obviously stalling for time, looking out in the parking lot eagerly every time a car passed, hoping she could foist me off to one of the other stylists.  But it was Monday, and apparently no one was eager to come in early for work.  So finally, she sighed audibly and resigning herself to the arduous task ahead, motioned me into the chair. 

It wasn’t long, though, after we’d chatted a bit and she realized that I didn’t expect miracles that she began to relax.  She was really quite nice.  I, however, was not so relaxed.  In fact, I was gritting my teeth in pain.  She (we’ll call her Rhonda) obviously believed that the only good perm was a tight perm.  With every roller she rolled, she’d give this little yank at the end, just to make sure there was not one iota of slackness in that curl.  It hurt so much that tears sprang involuntarily to my eyes, but I just bit my lip and thought about how sometimes, we must suffer for our beauty.  And, really, all that tautness had the effect of smoothing out my wrinkles.  Why, my face hadn’t looked that tight in years!  My first facelift!

Two excruciating hours later, she was done and it was time for the big reveal.  As she started pulling out more and more of the little rollers, it became apparent to us both that something had gone terribly wrong.  There was no curl…no, not a bit.  Neither one of us said a word.  All I could think was—I do not care, just let the nerve endings in my head recuperate.  And she was probably thinking—If I don’t say anything, maybe she won’t notice. 

But there was just no denying it.  Rhonda took out the last curler and stared bleakly at my reflection in the mirror.  My hair hung lank and limp.  Finally, she spoke. “You,” she said sadly, “are curl resistant.” 

She called over the other stylists and they stood in a circle around me, shaking their heads mournfully, as though observing the scene of an accident.  “I just can’t understand it,” said Rhonda.  “I’ve never had this happen before.”

They all cast sympathetic looks her way and some of them looked accusingly at me, as though if I wanted it badly enough and if only I had lived a good life, my hair would have curled.  “Curl resistant,” they all repeated, like a chorus in some really bad opera.  “She is curl resistant.”

Finally, Rhonda turned to me and said, “Okay, well…you go on home and see what happens overnight, and if it doesn’t curl, you can come back tomorrow and I’ll do it again for free.”

I couldn’t help it—I laughed.  Partly in relief, that I could get the heck out of there and partly at the idea that my hair might magically curl itself overnight, as I slept.  Rhonda was not amused.  There was nothing funny about curl resistance.

So…to make a long story short, my hair indeed did not curl itself overnight, and I did return, reluctantly, the next day.  The ordeal was repeated, and Rhonda and I both held our breath as she began to remove the curlers.  But, alas, curl resistance is a powerful thing.  We both stared dejectedly at my still lank hair.  Rhonda said nothing, but began to blow dry my hair, perhaps thinking the heat would somehow activate the curl.  But I just ended up looking like a cross between Albert Einstein and Bozo the Clown. 

It was pretty clear that nothing could be done—I was a hopeless case.  Rhonda looked depressed.  I felt sorry for her. “You know,” I said, fingering a few tendrils of limp hair. “I think I definitely see some curl this time.” 

Rhonda brightened and looked again at my reflection in the mirror.  “You know, I think you might be right,” she said, fluffing up my deep-fried frizz.  “Yeah, there is definitely some curl there this time!”

So, I thanked her and made my escape.  Both of us knew it—I looked like Buckwheat on a Bad Hair Day.  But, like I said, she was a nice lady.  At least, she didn’t charge me for the second time.

And, at least the frizz gives body to my thinning hair, though as it grows out, I resemble Bozo more and more.  Maybe I should start a new line of work—buy me some clown shoes and a big red nose.  Maybe I shouldn’t fight it—just go with the flow.

After all, there’s no fighting curl resistance.

When Vegetables Go Bad

September 23, 2008

Yes, this is a peaceful still life of one of the final harvests from our garden.  But don’t be fooled by the serene and tranquil look of these vegetables!  Because little do we know what can occur when we’re not looking,  when we take our eyes off our produce,  when we look away….

Because sometimes, they may look good on the outside, but inside—they are rotten—rotten to the core….

Regard your produce with great wariness, because at any moment, after you’ve turned your back on your vegetables,  you may suffer the consequences of your careless neglect 

And discover,  to your horror,  what happens….


And, sadly, (when vegetables go bad), there may even be a clash, a sudden face-off,  between those who once grew up peaceably together in the garden…

Who, at one time, were just happy little sprouts waving in the warm, spring breeze…

Winter Squash:I’m gonna skin you alive, Tomato!  You’re gonna be sauce!”

Tomato:  “Oh yeah?  Well, I’m gonna squash you, Squash!”

Winter Squash:  “UmmI’m already squash.”

Tomato:  “Oh.  Yeah.”

Unsung Heroes #1: Ode to My Recliner

August 29, 2008

(My beloved)

I thought it was high time I paid homage to one of my dearest and most faithful friends—an unsung hero in my life—my recliner.   We take our recliners for granted, I think, but when we pause to ponder the pivotal part they play in our lives, we realize how often we overlook these stalwart and steady companions.  They demand nothing—yet give so much—never complaining about the…ahem…heavy burdens they bear.  They’re always there, waiting to comfort us at the end of a long, hard day.  They rock us to sleep, bearing us away to the Land of Sweet Slumber—like a magic carpet ride, only better.   So…all hail to thee, my beloved friend, my staunch and steadfast comrade.  I dedicate this poem to you…

(To any high-brow and high-falutin’ academic types out there who might read the following poem and be appalled at the sheer banality of “Ode to My Recliner,” well….it was meant to be funny, in case the preceding paragraph doesn’t clue you in.   I almost never write “serious” poems any more because I’m completely intimidated by those of you who sniff at poets who are accessible, especially those of us who haven’t taken one of your high-brow college poetry classes.   I would especially like to thumb my nose at those of you who disparage poet Billy Collins because you feel his poems are trite because regular people like me CAN ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THEM!   Because when I read a completely obscure and ambiguous poem (like so much of modern poetry),  I feel as though the person who wrote it is showing contempt for us ordinary folks by willfully seeking to obfuscate.  I like poetry that leaves room for joy and delight and surprise, and poetry that we can all take pleasure in.  I love Billy Collins.  He got me reading poetry again.)

Sorry, I got carried away—I’ll step down off my soapbox now.  Perhaps I should do a post on that. 🙂  Anyway, here’s my tribute to my beloved Barcalounger.  Hope it gives you a laugh:

Ode to My Recliner

When the world seems hopeless and cold
You give blessed rest and console
My body and soul again made whole.

When I feel your soft touch on my weary face
And you enfold me in your sweet embrace,
I rest in your soft and welcoming grace.

As, weary, I gaze upon setting sun,
When my body and spirit are quite undone.
You carry me away to sweet oblivion.

Without judging, you greet me
Stout seat, you complete me
My retreat—my dear, sweet settee.

So let the world maltreat me,
Deplete and defeat me.
You receive and relieve me—sweet reprieve.

So give me a day of peace unencumbered
Please ease my way to the sway of sweet slumber,
My soft chairiot of sleep—my heart’s ease.

Oh, there is nothing finer than to be in Carolina
Supine in my recliner (oh, nothing is diviner!)
For none can outshine her—my beloved recliner.

[If my legs look huge here…well, please bear in mind perspective…where things closer to you appear larger than they really are  🙂 ]