I think I need to flip the wired pink and brown ribbon over so the hat will be primarily pink, instead of the three-way tie between ivory, white, and brown.
That should pull it together more. I'll still have three textures (flowers, ribbon and feathers) but there will be more harmony with the colors.
This is not a handsome man:
It's a cold thing to say on his wedding day, but it is true. All day the media has been fawning over how the "bride is so lovely, the Prince is so handsome - " No! No, he isn't. Big forehead, giant nose, creepy smile.
And Diana had a big nose.
And you could perform surgery with Kate's nose, it is that pointy. I'm sure they all have excellent characteristics that override these flaws, as we all do, but royalty doesn't guarantee good looks. It does seem to guarantee flattery, and then you're in a frumpy tan dress with too much eyeliner and a beribboned toilet seat balanced over your nose.
Oh, and James Hewitt is Harry's father. Nyah. Honeymoon is over, royals!
Low fever and all-over body aches. Last time I had this, I slept through it. That didn't work this time.
I feel like I have been pumped full of mild acid. I feel so bad that I can't imagine other people having this and not giving it a name. Like the "The Toxic Marianade of 2011."
I mentioned it to my brother, and he said he'd had it, and his doctor said it's going around and it's very contagious. It hurts like hell, I know that. I think a big part of it is that everything is swollen, too. Right now I'm pretty sure I have a sick day on the horizon.
On the plus side, I surfed the net all evening and found how to curl ostrich feathers. So that's something to live for.
Here in Saint Louis, two local channels pre-empt network coverage and use the Doppler Radar to follow the storms. This local coverage goes on for hours. I've been watching since 7 or so (when I heard the tornado sirens) and now it's after nine.
The lunch crowd was discussing Tuesday's tornado show, and my work husband Tim remarked that the Channel 5 meteorologist was able to talk calmly, in full sentences, for hours and give constant accurate information, while Channel 4 reports information like, "Now, see that dark area? That's dark because it's full of debris, and that's dirt and cows and trees." Cows.
Plus, Channel 4 has a team of reporters, and they often talk over each other, breaking in to interrupt with National Weather Service bulletins. There's a chaotic vibe at Channel 4.
These tornado shows have changed my tornado behavior. Today I looked closely at the Doppler map when they zoomed in on the first reported tornado, and said, "Oh, that's four miles away. Let's just stay upstairs." Because really, you can see the little comma-shaped hook that heralds a tornado, where it's headed, and really we had a good four miles of green radar between us and It.
I think another thing that contributes to my blase attitude is that I finally understand what a tornado watch is vs. a warning: the terms describe what the Weather Service does. They watch their screens for the comma hooks, then they warn you if you need to seek cover. Sure, there were tornado warning sirens, but that was for that area four miles away.
There was plenty of drama in and around Saint Louis: thousands of people in the stands at Busch stadium waiting for the ballgame, glass windows blown in at Lambert airport, trucks and trees tipped over. Back at my house, there was a yellow sky and the sound of birds and crickets and cicadas. I don't know if that's typical, but it was chirpy.
Speaking of typical: I was driving home during Tuesday's impending tornado, and I made the last turn onto my street when lightning flashed and my car simultaneously died. A neighbor said the same thing happened to him, that his battery wa scrambled and he lost all his radio pre-sets.
And is this typical tornado toilet behavior? Both Tuesday and today I walked in to my hall bathroom and the toilet seems to have ... not leaked ... exploded. There were drops of water on the lid, on the floor, but not on the back of the tank. Most important, all the cobwebs and dust on the ceiling were undisturbed. Not a leak. More of an explosion.
Update: Since I typed that, I see Lambert Airport is utterly out of commission, the highway that rings around the city is shut down both ways, but no fatalities to report.
Update Update: The one big house that got smacked in New Melle? That's Gary's boss. In true Saint Louis small town fashion, I went to Jr. high with him.
A few days ago, I had energy. I suppose it's because I had no pressing work deadlines, and because the dog knows to wake whoever's sleeping on what used to be "my" side.
I had so much energy I researched recipes and went off to buy supplies for broccoli with Parmesan, chicken with dumplings, mushroom / barley soup, chicken fricassee, and chopped salad.
The energy ran out while I unpacked the supplies, but I had a short day on Thursday so I started a few dishes. I woke this morning to the soup base in the crockpot, and, damn, it smelled heavenly. The chopped salad turned out well, and it seems my head turned as well. I even ignored that I had broken the biggest crockpot the night before. I could do no wrong.
"I'm going to make popovers," I thought. "I don't need to look up the recipe." Well, then my head straightened out, because who does that? I never do. I look up the recipe for boiled water. There were no differences between the Fanny Farmer recipe and Mom's Betty Crocker recipe, only Mom's cautioned against over-beating.
That's why I poured out three thin popovers and three of nothing but lumps."No problem," I thought, "I am on a streak. I can do no wrong."
I gambled on my cooking streak.
People, these were the worst popovers ever. Three were scrambled eggs in flour, three were water-filled crusts. I have lost my confidence. All I have to do to finish the soup is add the cream and heat, and I've decided we will just heat and assemble our individual bowls. Every man for himself with the cream. I am not to be trusted.
I'm a little afraid to touch the hat, too.
Lawrence O'Donnell and Jerry Seinfeld have both questioned the media's fascination with the Royal Wedding.
Lawrence O'Donnell's complaint was that "the Crown" should be held responsible for the decisions of the politicians running the English government. First: Lawrence O'Donnell scares me. He seems always on the verge of tears or ready to shout at someone. (As if he has a little Tiger Blood in his veins, y'knowwhatI'm sayin'.) The whole venomous rant was perplexing, until I realized ... O'Donnell? He might be Irish. And many Irish songs blame "The Crown" for the troubles, because "Another martyr for Old Ireland, another murrrrrrder for the duly elected Parliament and Prime Minister" does not scan.
So if Lawrence O'Donnell is crediting the figureheads of "The Crown" for England's prime ministers and parliaments, Jerry Seinfeld is dismissing them as ordinary people playing dress-up. So, puffed-up everyday folks or bloodthirsty puppetmasters? How seriously should we take Kate and William, they ask.
I say I don't care squat about Wills and Kate. I'm getting up at 3 and watching the wedding because I care about history.
Another example: George W. Bush? Fairly average everyday figurehead or Warmongering Decisionmaker? Either way I'm tuning in for the Inauguration-- it's history. And among my other concerns will be what the First Lady wears, because after she takes it off it goes to the Smithsonian for one of their more interesting exhibits.
And an Inauguration is just a ritual that happens every four years. How often does a member of the royal family get married? Last big one was 30 years ago, wasn't it?
Larry and Jerry are going to close their eyes to history. Why? Spite?
The brim of the hat is nearly done. Not attached to the crown yet, though, but here you are.
Things I learned today:
1. If you want a photo taken, take it yourself in the bathroom mirror. I tried, Gary tried, and this is the only one that gets the slanty effect.
The feathers look a little bumpy, I know. I'm not quite done with the feather side. I need to add one more row by the crown, and I need to brush out the little bits and hairs and glue.I have my head ducked down, so you can't quite see the height.
2. Don't sigh in frustration when you are working with feathers. Especially if you've made a pile for easy access.
3. Go With What You've Got.
Remember my plans for a starburst effect on the pink side with a pink tutu? Or, even better, pelated silk organza? As it turns out, Mr.Winston himself is the man I'd been talking to from Winston's Sewing, and he was nice enough to look in his basement and found me some ivory silk organza. As I told him, I was tempted to buy it and thus have ALL the silk organza in Saint Louis, but I had decided to go another way with the non-feather side. And that way was pink Rustoleum spray paint.
(This is how I would look if I were strangling you. Just so you know.)
(By the way, the stringy stuff on the hat and on my hands in the bathroom is the fabric glue. Not spiderwebs. Wait. (Checks all photos for spiderwebs. No, only bad thing is the deodorant peeking up in the bathroom.))
The nicest thing about the pink paint was a suprise. Gary took this photo:
...and it looks interesting when backlit. I have to say, I was planning to check what the pink Rustoleum looked like in daylight, since that's the only light it will see. It certainly doesn't look like buckram painted pink. I'll need to fill in that hole with another feather.
So. there are flaws, (really, is it big enough?) but I'm pleased so far with what Gary calls "The Bird Pizza."
(Note: During this post, many of you will scream that I am an idiot. Rest assured I realize this by the end. We can't poop on ourselves every day, so I find other ways to be humiliated.)
During the Margaret Davis Memorial Sorting and Boxing, I found my brother's birth certificate. To my delight it's a Certificate of Live Birth. He was born in Illinois. During his wasted years the police "lost" his original birth certificate (I didn't pry) and he ordered a copy.
Huh, I thought, I just saw Gary's birth certificate (which we thought we'd lost). It doesn't look like Dave's at all. And this is what's really suspicious: Gary was born in Illinois, like Dave, so shouldn't he have the same form? Granted, Dave was born six years after Gary.
Gary's birth certificate is similar to mine:
His foot prints were on the back, and mine, as you see, are on the front (Spunky's first photo), and of course my seal is more ornate. Dave's SUSPICIOUS "Certificate of Live Birth" is very plain in contrast. It doesn't look legitimate at all.
My suspicions led to Wikipedia, where I was reminded of something I swear I must have learned sometime in my life.
Most hospitals in the U.S. issue a souvenir birth certificate which typically includes the footprints of the newborn. However, these birth certificates are not legally accepted as proof of age or citizenship, and are frequently rejected by the Bureau of Consular Affairs during passport applications. Many Americans believe the souvenir records to be their official birth certificates, when in reality they hold little legal value.
I have a passport, so I must have a real birth certificate, and a little more rooting in the file got me my spooky black certificate with white lettering. Dave's looks all fancy in contrast.
Regarding the document shown above, I really should write "THIS IS NOT YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE" across it. Or, "THEY DON'T PRINT BABY FEET ON LEGAL DOCUMENTS" or "DOES THAT LOOK LIKE A REAL SIGNATURE TO YOU?"
So, at least I know all the sites now to go to to order Gary's official certificate of live birth. You know Donald Trump is preying on witless people who think these things with the footprints are the real deal.
Of course, I'm keeping the hospital souvenir copy because Spunky looks so young.
I hate off-line shopping.
1. There is No Search
Saturday I was able to find many things on my shopping list. The only thing left was bias tape. I kept thinking, "Where is the bias tape. In MY day they had something called BIAS tape that you could use to finish a curve. BI. ASS. TAPE. WHERE is IT."
After half an hour of looking for bias tape, I considered asking a sales person, only I was a little afraid that since I hadn't sewn in decades it would like the time Gary and I went searching in Target for carbon paper. I was reduced to pacing up and down the aisles thinking "ALL I WANT is BI as TAPE,"over and over in iambic pentameter, trudge trudge trudge. When I found it I was too brain dead to get the right size.
2. 404 File Not Found
Today, I went to Wal-mart looking for double-fold bias tape and because I know Wal-mart has a pretty good sewing / crafting store. I trudged to the sewing corner and found no sewing supplies.
"Where did you sewing area go?" I asked the nearby underpaid WalMartian.
"I have bad news for you. It is gone."
So, I think that's the death knell of sewing. No silk organza in Saint Louis. No bias tape at Wal-Mart. Hobby Lobby closed on Sunday. "Spending is better than mending!"
You can't sew on the internet.
The only good thing is that my brain is so dead it couldn't stop my body from moving. I came home and organized and planted and shovelled and cleaned. And I was too tired to work on the hat,
The Work on the hat continues apace. A steady apace.
I complained to the lunch crowd that the Scarlett hat looks good full frontal but not so good in profile. I said I was thinking of getting some material covered wire. gluing ostrich feathers to it, and then spiraling from the edge to the crown, but then pulling the crown upward to give it more height.
How would YOU respond to that? Think a moment.
Because the lunch crowd and my husband six hours later all had the same response.Tim, my work husband, articulated it first.
"Are you going as Cindy Lou Who?"
I have looked for Dr. Seuss characters in hats, and none look like what I described. Still, I played with the Scarlett hat this morning and it just doesn't work, even if Seussified.
Supplies are being acquired. I suffered a blow when I realized most of the tutus are coming from China and won't be here. Then I thought, hell, I can run a gather. However, I thought a little more about the look I wanted, and I want pleats. Internet advice was unanimous: tulle (tutu fabric) is for soft pleats, Silk Organza is for crisp pleats.
There is no silk organza to be had in the Saint Louis metro area. The man at Winston's Sewing of St. Peters (formerly Winston's Fabrics of Frontenac) kvetched with me over how people don't sew anymore. He had no place to point me but the Internet, and you can't feel the world wide web. (And, while JoAnns Fabrics is nearby, they only sell the inferior softly pleatable polyester organza.)
Screw it, I decided, I'll just cover everything with feathers and paint. It will be stunning enough. So I bought loads of supplies at Hobby Lobby and JoAnns.
Who am I? I AM A PRETTY PRETTY PRINCESS.
A pretty princess in a Barbie Pink hat. Motherfucking Hat Haters. I'll show you all!
Here's a quiz. Of these shirts, which one would my husband never ever wear?
Pretty easy quiz. I can't have the only husband who would scream if I handed him the shirt on the top right.
"Flowers! It has flowers! I can't wear flowers!"
This prohibition applies to ties as well. No flowers. A shirt could have a hybrid Pegasus / unicorn flying across the torso with a rainbow bunny rampant and he would wear that as long as there were no flowers.
Because we slept till two Saturday, we were not tired when we were picking out shirts at 8:55. In fact, Gary took a break to use the bathroom. When the salesman came over to ask if we were going to pay by cash or card, I realized not everyone had just had breakfast at 8 pm and that I needed to buy the four shirts in my hand without Gary trying them on.
That's why he returned one later. Imagine my surprise when he exchanged it for the shirt on the top right. AND WORE IT to work today. Loud and proud and floral. He blames a drop in testosterone for opening his eyes to flowers.
I've got this and this:
So those will cover the bottom of the brim and the crown. The brim will be tilted. Above the brim I was thinking a ruffle of tulle might be nice. I jumped from that search straight to children's tutus.
People with children. Tell me. Do you really pay $100 for a childs tutu? I had to HUNT and found some on e-bay. I hope my head is about toddler size.
Yes, that cost me ONE PENNY. And I don't have to sew anything. Shipping doesn't count.
I got a brown one and two pink ones, because earlier I got these ostrich feathers:
In case you worry it might be too crazy and tasteless, I talked myself out of using honeycomb fabric blinds for the ruffle. Though one of the tutus does have a leotard attached. Does anyone else see a premade wimple? Could be.
There is also plan B: I bought this hat, because it was only $22:
and I loved it on Scarlett:
I will be deeply disappointed if I am forced to wear the Scarlett hat because no matter how lovely my homemad hat is, my husband will know it is made of a tatty boa and children's tutus.
These bad boys are going to be dismantled and put in my belly soon with some butter.
Once you start a tradition, you have to uphold it.
I am again celebrating my Mom's life and teachings by killing a lobster with my bare hands on the anniversary of her death. I thought Gary might want to participate, but he does not. When I called from work I found he's back on his diet. I'd call it the six-bite diet, but when I got home it seems he'd consumed several pounds of raw vegetables. He's very uncomfortable right now.
When I heard he wasn't participating, I thought, "Well, I'll just go home and have something frozen." And then Mom-in-My-Head roared, "When I have I suggested that it is even remotely acceptable to put an Event on hold because you don't have a man sharing it with you?"
So, both these bad boys are for me and my Mom.
Today was the day Mom died three years ago, so today was the deadline I gave myself for getting her files completely sorted, and it is Done.
I put the lid on the last box and announced "Mom is officially dead." Gary said, "Your Mom will never really be gone," and that is true. When I later mentioned I'm $16,000 in the hole for the repairs and upgrades to her house, he said, "See, as long as you're in debt, your Mom will still be with us." So that's a comfort.
There was no LobSlau this year, because the last two have dissolved into me talking about death, and that's not fun. I did, however, mark the anniversary of her death with lobster on Friday night.
We went to Ruby Tuesdays, because we have neglected that chain restaurant for months now, and I ordered the Lobster Carbonara so that still a lobster may die for Mom, even if not by my hand.
I had asked them to go easy on the peas. I had a few bites. It was very light. A fair amount of bacon. Not much lobster. I pulled a forkful up to the light and looked through the strands for lobster. "How do you confuse 'peas' with 'lobster'," I thought.
A manager appeared. "There's no lobster in your carbonara," she announced.
"I was wondering about that!"
"I'm so sorry. The chef was in the kitchen with his hands full of lobster and was all, 'Where is that lobster carbonara? I wasn't done.' But someone had already served it to you."
So I handed it back over. She returned with a heavenly top sauce and loads of lobster and cheese. And, she asked, "Are you having dessert? It's on the house."
Well, yes, now I am. Cheesecake with blackberry sauce. Not, as Gary suggested, lobster sauce.
So, three boxes: one for family history and photos, one for legal files and certificates and misc., one for anything Mom wrote. That's a nice box. I'm keeping that one upstairs
I kept this a secret for a few days, because it felt like a betrayal to write it down. Surprisingly, the party involved unlocked the figurative lockbox and all can be revealed.
There is a lot of cursing in this one. And seriously, enough TMI that I kept it under wraps. So think about that. If you have any human pity, stop now.
Last Saturday I said to Gary, "The only thing I want to do today is go see Mom's house." The carpet, the paint, I wanted to see it.
"Let's get breakfast first," he said. "Cracker Barrel is on the way."
I am an unprincipled whore for Cracker Barrel. There was some lawsuit filed against them and I should hate them on principle, but: grits. Plus you can essentially create a buffet on your table for less than ten bucks. I ordered eggs, pork chops, biscuits, gravy, and grits. Gary had a bacon cheese omelet. And grits.
We left, and about three blocks before Mom's house, Gary said, "Ow. I need to find a bathroom."
He usually hangs out at restaurants for twenty minutes after a meal, "digesting." That's what he calls it, "digesting." Not doing anything, waiting to see if everything stays put. He'd skipped that step.
I said, "There's a bathroom at that supermarket. Or we can use the one at Mom's. There's even toilet paper there, and if you need more I'll go and get it."
So we chose to white-knuckle it to Mom's, where we unbuckled and I hit the garage door opener.
I went up to the garage and turned the door key. Usually one turn activates the door. Nothing. And I have no other key.
Commence the screaming from Gary. "What is WRONG with you WHY the FUCK would you bring me here YOU KNOW I HAVE TO" (whispered) "poop." (Again, screaming) "WHAT is WRONG with your BRAIN! SHIT! Why do you only HAVE ONE KEY! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING DO YOU HEAR ME I HAVE TO poop YOU FUCKER SHIT! SHIT! Ah ... damnit. FUCK FUCK FUCK."
During this I was "searching for another key," and then jogging to the back door where I knew the realtor had put a lockbox. Not that I had a combinaton, I just didn't want to be screamed at in the front yard, even though he was genteel enough to whisper "poop." But, by the time he got to "damnit," well, you know there was no hope. The deed was done.
So, we piled into the car - well, I piled, Gary positioned himself daintily, all the time continuing with the screaming, screaming all the way up the street and blaming ME for doing this to him. (Because that was my plan all along.) He decided to clean himself up at the bowling alley one block from Mom's, while I waited in the car.
I waited patiently, because who among us has not been in a similar situation? Granted, usually one is alone and not screaming into a sympathetic ear. One is on the express lanes on Highway 70 and unable to make an exit, and one has to pull over, remain in the car and employ the four quart red tupperware bowl one has in the back seat because one never cleans out ones tiny Honda CRX. Then one must choose between storing a red tupperware bowl of crap in ones car during the workday or accessorizing the red bowl of crap with ones red scarf and leaving it on the side of the highway. Where it stayed for five days. Who among us, I ask you, who among us.
So, I spent my time in the car calling the realtor for the lockbox combination. Unbeknownst to me, Gary was in the bowling alley bathroom and his luck had not changed. First of all, there were no doors on any of the stalls. Happily, he was alone. Sadly, all this happened after a three-day bowel backlog, so when he pulled off his pants some poo escaped and fled across the floor. He had to throw away his underwear entirely. And, by the way, there was no toilet paper. In that stall, Or the next. OR THE NEXT and then my husband, FACED with leaving a mess for the janitor, walked half naked around the bathroom scooping up poop in his bare hands. It was at that moment I decided to call.
He answered with: "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME I AM IN HERE COVERED IN (poop)." Click. He hung up.
Fuck you, I thought, I have the combination to the lockbox, I'm going back to Mom's, and you can just look for me when when you come out. I'm not taking this abuse all day.
I walked back to Mom's, where I entered the combination, and while some little thumb latch clicked in response, I was unable to pull the lockbox off the door handle. I tried and tried. I really did. If you haven't had occasion to use a lockbox ever in nearly 49 years, it looks more like a combination lock than a "box." With a key inside. Whatever. I know now. So I stayed outside.
Gary got out of Bowling Bathroom Hell and called. I said "Hello."
'WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU WHAT ARE YOU THINKING I AM COVERED IN poop AND I HAVE TO GO TAKE A SHOWER AND THEN I COME OUT AND YOU AREN'T HERE WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU -" I hung up on him this time. Because really, is the yelling necessary?
He called back and said it would take him an hour to get home (no), then an hour to shower (maybe), then an hour to get back (no), and I would just have to wait wherever I was for four hours (rounding up). I said fine, I'd take the forty-five minutes I knew he'd actually be gone and walk to his parents. Bye. Then I sat on my butt on Mom's front porch for five minutes.
Until my stomach hurt.
Gary must have felt my intensines cramp from miles away because he called to say he was relenting and would be back to pick me up. And because I KNOW how peristalsis works, I set off immediately for the bowling alley.
Of course, I know you can't let your guard down a second, so I lied to my bowels and said the bowling alley was ten blocks away, and there would be a line, and I might need to get a key. I was nice enough to call Gary and say I was heading for the bowling alley (or bowel-ing alley) and I didn't want him to get to Mom's and find me not there.
Though Gary warned me off the bowling alley, may I say the women's bathroom had many doors and a great amount of paper, and I was there and was seated well before my spinchter found out I'd lied.
I was still pissed about the yelling, so after I walked halfway across the parking lot toward Gary's car, I decided to stay put and let him drive to me, which he did. Surprisingly, he was done screaming and surprisingly, the car did not smell, and except for the terra cotta splotches on his hands I might never have known anything was amiss. He had washed the palms of his hands, but given the bathroom was not exactly spotless (no toilet paper, you recall) he wanted to leave. Plus, he had a rash on the palms of his hands now from the nasty bowling alley soap, my delicate flower.
So, he told me the whole sad tale, and we drove the e-Coli mobile back home, where the sight of his jeans made me back away in fear. Poor guy. I sympathized and said if he took a shower it would be like it never happened and we could forget about it and NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN.
After he showered he came out and apologized for yelling. We washed the jeans twice and lysoled the car seat. As for never speaking of it again, he has not stopped talking about it. ("Which jeans are these? Are these my POOP jeans?") Last night he asked why this had not been up on the blog.
I was shocked. "I would never betray you that way." (Pause) "I felt guilty just telling Caroline and Marcia."
"Nah, it's okay. It's good blogfodder." So here you are.
Gary wanted to correct me. "That tumor tree in the backyard is NOT an oak. I asked the tree guy. He said it was something, like a 'Shinsplint cypress.'"
"Shag bark hickory?"
"Sweetgum?" "No." "Sassafrass?" "No." "Shining Sumac?" "No."
So I've decided it's a sycamore.
I was dead wrong about my "polyester" suit. I looked at the tag and the jacket is 100% silk. I think the pants must be a silk blend. It's slinky and doesn't wrinkle. I figured it must be polyester.
The hat parts arrived today. I had a moment of Scarlett O'Hara inspiration: Instead of spraying the hat ivory or sewing on a fabric, I can make use of my feather boa. Thirty years ago Boyfriend Michael gave me a massive feather boa, which had had great use through the years, but now it molts. I walk across a room and look back at a trail of feathers. So, I'm going to pluck it and glue each feather individually to the hat frame.
Like this, only ivory:
Has it been obvious I've been keeping a secret from you? I have been. A story too horrible, too personal, to tell. Details tomorrow.
As miscellanea means, in the usual sense, “a miscellaneous collection of different things”, a single miscellaneum is logically impossible because variety and diversity(in their usual senses) are attributes of groups of things, not of individual things; for example, a populace can be varied and diverse, but a person cannot be various or diverse.
I really should stop with just one bullet. But I cannot.
There is an oak tree in our backyard. It is not my fault, it was there on the lot when we built the house. (I would never purchase an oak tree. Who would? Who would purchase fifty bags of leaves that drop after the first snowfall? Leaves that never decompose: there are leaves wedged in the shrubbery at Mom's that are older then I am.)
Still, I let the oak live because it was very straight. I use the immortal leaves for mulch. They chip up nicely, and they are very durable.
One day, many years ago, I was alarmed to see some growths on our trees. I was familiar with the bagworm, I researched the orange cypress balls, and I dissected one on the brown balls growing on the limbs of the oak. It was nothing. Just a woody growth. (A hard woody growth. A stiff rapidly expanding growth. This would be fun if I hadn't just mentioned dissecting.)
The tree pruners were out today, and Gary asked about about the tree tumors. Oh, that's nothing, they said. It's just a worm that attaches to the tree and it builds a ball around it. Harmless.
Harmless. Harmless wood balls FULL OF WORMS all over our tree.
Of course, when confronted with terrifying information like THERE ARE WORM BALLS HANGING OVER YOUR HEAD I go to the internet to calm myself.
I found that a "tree ball" is called a "gall." And it would seem "worm" is the tree man's term for larvae. What type of larvae? WASP larvae. The larvae matures for a few years in the gall and and then the wasp emerges.
Oh. I'm sorry. Check that. "A gall may contain up to 150 larvae." So the wasp SWARM emerges.
I had a few moments of comfort when I found there are two types of gall common in my area:
(Gouty. Tree's been overeating rich foods.)
I was now praying for actual worms instead of wasp larvae, but no. The difference is that on the horned gall, the horns are the escape hatches for the wasps.
I was much happier before I knew wasps were in my oak tree waiting years for the day the emerge. (And you KNOW they all emerge in one day.) (I would look that up but then I'll find they come out and lay their eggs indoors when the moon has recently been abnormally close to the earth. Or they eat dogs.)
Gary's doing some specialized support at work and gets calls at 2:30, 4:30 am. I'm the one who picks up those phone calls. The caller hears:
Silence, then, "I need to speak with Gary."
"Garrr... garr... wkup."
"Whaa! Wha! Whathufuh!"
"kup!" (Throw phone at Gary.)
It is interrupting my sleep, that is what I'm saying to you, plus when I get back to sleep Mac alerts us if there is an atmospheric disturbance in our state. Last night he paced on our heads until 5:00 am.
I was awake at work, but at home I hurled myself in the guest bed hard. I slept hard. So hard that when I woke up three hours later I did not know what day it was (thought it was Sunday) or where I was. (What is this wallpaper?)
This would be an ideal time to implement my new divergent thinking brainstorm. I could change shifts.
Right now, I could stay up until 6 am, go in to work, come home at 4 and go to sleep tomorrow as I did today. That way I'd sleep through all those tedious hours waiting for Gary to come home, waiting through the hour-long Gary rant-down when he comes home, and the daily phone call for my brother. (I slept through that today. Do you call your siblings every day? Isn't that excessive?)
I could wake up at midnight, Gary'd be relaxed, and we could have dinner. He'd go to bed and I'd stay up all night, catch up on what the TiVo has recorded, and let the dog out every few hours, as I do at night now anyway. I could buy groceries at the Walmart. No one on the roads. No one in my bathroom.
I don't have kids. I could totally do this.
That is 8 inches. I think the tulle will extend it an inch or so as well.
I'm going for this design:
Only with ostrich feathers, a starburst of tulle , a wimple, and of course since mine is buckram I'll have to cover it or spray it.
$12! It looked cute. I couldn't decide.
I'll have to see which makes me look less sweet and round faced.
As soon as the singing started on Grey's Anatomy, Gary recoiled. "What is this? Why are they singing?"
"It's a gimmick." I said. "They must have jumped the shark."
(Wouldn't it be awful to be the writer who wrote the infamous episode of Happy Days that coined that phrase? Ah, the Internet. Here's Google Hit #2, in which the writer of that episode defends it.)
He held on until the Hunt character began to sing, and then cracked. "Ahhh! I can't watch this!" Click goes the remote. He allowed the tiVo to continue recording.
We tried it again. Evidently the producers of Grey's recognize the problem they have with the music drowning out the dialog, so they just replaced the dialog with music. That would work if the songs had something to do with the plot, other than containing trigger words like "breathe" and "heart" and "lie down."
It was SO bad we watched the commercials for entertainment. We could have tiVoed over them but we needed a brain palate cleanser.
Check out these two commercials:
"If you buy into the idea that shopping should be a source of pleasure rather than frustration ... If you buy into the notion that shopping should be exhilarating, not exasperating ... If you buy into the belief that a store should give you hassle free returns, rewards without restrictions, and affordable style, you're obviously one of the forty-two million women who buy into Kohls."
"If you endorse the radical theory that investors who spend less time playing the market and more time understanding it ... If you buy the crazy notion that your Financial Advisor should actually return your call ... If you reject knee-jerk investing, join the nearly seven million investors who think like you. Face time and think time make a difference. At Edward Jones it's how we make sense of investing."
(What? It was on CNN non-stop this morning.)
Soon to come:
"If you are impudent enough to feel a man's birthday dinner merits cheese popcorn, champagne, and fried chicken ... If you have self-worth independent of your pants size ... If you buy in to the belief that anyone who says 'buy in' should have her mouth washed out with salty brown gravy ... join the millions and millions who buy in to KFC."
But, the commercials would come to an end, then we'd have to watch more Grey's Anatomy. I can imagine the writers of "How to Save a Life" cursed the day they used that phrase in their song, which is evidently about the writer's interaction as a counselor with a troubled teen. Not about heart surgery. At all.
Then, then they piled gimmick upon gimmick with the cross-over casting of Kate Walsh.
I know these actors can sing, for God's sake they can act and they're gorgeous. If they went fishing on a live episode, would we be surprised if they caught a fish? No. They are blessed. "Look, I can sing too!" Let up already.
Unsatisfying. I know the feedback I saw on Twitter was negative. It's not just me.
Martha Stewart shows how easy it is to make a hat from scratch!
(You have to look on the right side and scroll past all thr boring segments to "Couture Millnery." Then just jump to 2:22 - thats when the millner makes the hat.)
Seriously. A steam iron? How hard can that be?