Monday, November 29, 2010

To Burp Or Bounce...That is the Question

Some people like to sit back after a big Thanksgiving meal and let the digestive system go into overdrive while they brag/whine about the kids, avoid Uncle Lester and fight about politics. 

 But not my boys
 This move is known as the "Pepe le Pew"

 Taking turns at being Harry Potter and a Dementor

A trampoline fine art reproduction

I get indigestion just looking at the *pictures.

*Superb photograph courtesy of  my daughter, Rachael Pullman

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rodent Jewelry

I feel sorry for you crazies passed out on the couch nursing your bunions because you got up at 4 a.m. and didn't even brush your teeth and went to Target to score a 40" flat screen and they only had two and as you bawled out some punky kid wearing a baggy red polo shirt and stained khakis the local news station was filming and now everyone in your neighborhood has seen you with no makeup, a hairband and stretchy pants.

You could have stayed at home like me and let your fingers do the shopping, but too bad.  I scored this one of a kind gift that could have made all your shopping dreams come true.


A vintage taxidermy squirrel paw 
with a little black bow on it's wrist, 
set into a silver bead cap, 
capped off with a tiny silver heart at the end. 

priceless rodent paw jewelry found here


Monday, November 22, 2010

Bird by bird

You have probably been biting your nails with anxiety over

 this boy...

who you may remember bullied me with three solid weeks of a freakishly clean room in order to obtain a bird to keep him company during the hours he spends doing homework and playing melancholy cello music in his lonely room.

I won't torture you an account of the grueling process and l-o-n-g afternoon of searching for the perfect parakeet.  Low lights include:
  • three pet stores, all which smelled like untrained dogs and moldy amphibians

  • the painstaking evaluation to find  the perfect architecture in a "cage" that doesn't look like a "cage"

  • watching Joey cock his head from side to side, staring without blinking, seeming to morph into on the of the birds he was piercing with the laser like focus of his intent blue eyes

  • an excruciatingly long process of elimination to choose an ideal bird amongst the fluttering herd
Dear readers, may I introduce...
All this for a bird named after a cooking spray

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Muggles at Midnight

    There I stood, clutching a Route 44 mug of pumpkin juice in my shivering hands...waiting outside the movie theater for the first half of the last installment in the Harry Potter series midnight showing to end so that I could bring to you, dear reader, first impressions from diehard fans - sleep deprived muggles queasy from consuming a bucket of popcorn the size of an elephant feed bag and one too many cherry Icees - fans dragging homemade brooms and badly carved wands... people like you and me.

    Willard said he has been a fan of Harry Potter ever since he noticed that if he removed the l's and inserted a "z" his name would magically become "Wizard" and you can't get much more legit than that.  Also he has a pet rat that he smuggled into the theater and they both thought the film was "spot on".

    Sabrina was named for a teenage witch and can't sleep without magic crystals in her room.  She said that after watching "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" she is not going to be able to sleep at all.

    From childhood, Sigmund and Bob grew up with Hermione and Luna Lovegood dolls and admit that they don't expect to marry until they can overcome the humiliation of their suburban muggle background.  Bob commented, "I cried a tiny bit...okay so I cried a lot."

    Nelson never thought he could love anything as much a marching band, but after being introduced to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, he is obsessed with inventing his own exploding Tuba.  He enjoyed the "Deathly Hallows" premiere with his eyebrows singed off and his hands swathed in white gauze and pronounced the film  "Brilliant".

    Reba and Terence drew the line at growing beards like Sam and Alvin.  Said Reba, "The whole family doesn't have to look like Hagrid.  I'm not taking testosterone for a stupid movie."

    Fernando didn't even have a ticket but waltzed right in after he cast a spell with his magic falcon cane.  He said "Personally, I think death-eaters are over rated.  You should see my Abuela in her black head scarf!"

    images all found at Sexy People

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Prince Dubya and Miss M.

    First a disclaimer.  I am speaking from a position of bitterness because my July wedding in 1981 was totally eclipsed by the world wide frenzy over the la-di-da royal wedding of Prince Dubya's parents, Charles and Diana.  I got absolutely no press coverage, even when...
    • a hawk perched on the roof throughout the evening of my backyard reception
    • I lost my contact lens (blue) in my bouquet (blue and white) 
    • the occasional scent of a pig farm wafted in when the breeze came from the north

    I shouldn't hold grudges because my marriage lasted and Charles and Diana's did not.  So, to demonstrate my equanimity, I am going to offer some *free American advice to Miss Kate Middleton.

    * worth even less if converted into £'s

    image found here

    1.  Miss M., put your daintily clad foot down...hard, when your new Grand-Mum-in-law asks you to babysit her fat Corgis while she goes to Harrods to try on hats.  If you don't speak up now you'll be Corgified for the rest of your married life.  

    image found here
    2.  Sure, that engagement ring is a pretty impressive rock - but if you let Prince Dubya get away with giving you used jewelry there will be no end to it.  You are going to end up with  rusty old crowns and useless gem encrusted sword hilts for every anniversary and it won't cost your cheap husband a farthing.  And think a minute missy, just what are you going to say when your friends ask "Did he go to Jared?"

    image found here

    3.  Katie dear, your first delicate diplomatic challenge is going to be convincing your, cough cough,  "scarce-haired" boy to give up the pretense and join the ranks of the shiny noggined.  Find a kind way to tell Prince Dubya that his plan to wear a crown 24/7 is not going to fool anyone.

    image found here

    4.  When brother-in-law Harry turns up with Diddy and Kanye and wants to crash on your sofa and watch soccer while you "whip up a little chow for the blokes", tell him that he can go root through the royal treasury for his own engagement ring and see if he can talk some bird into marrying him and no, he cannot borrow your polo pony again this weekend.

     image found here

    When Mum-in-law Camilla insists that you borrow her endangered species hat "so the leopard and spotted owls will not have died in vain", tell her to give it to Queen Elizabeth's corgis to gnaw on next time she has to doggysit at Buckingham Palace.

    Good luck Miss M., you're going to need it.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Pigs Gone Wild

    It was about 7:30 and chilly on Friday night when husband and I  stopped at a red light in Payson, Arizona. How innocent I was, unaware that I was about to encounter a wild animal of such hideous ferocity that my very life would hang by a bristle.

    Out of the razor sharp corner of my finely honed vision I caught a  flash of hairy movement on the sidewalk. 

    To be honest, this is not unusual in Payson, which is a town known for it's hirsute population, but this bushy creature had delicate little legs and a snout more prominent than the norm.

    image found here

    Husband pulled around the corner and I got out with my cell phone, preparing my camera to snap a picture for you, dear reader.  Did I know what the beast was?  Yes, I had my suspicions, but until I came face to face mujer contra javalina and stared into those beady eyes positioned north of the agile snout, I did not know for sure.

    There it was...a brush pig, a stinky wild swine 
    come to town to terrorize tourists...
    an Arizona javelina.  

    Time stood still as  blue eyes bore into boar eyes and then he lost the staring contest and was off like a shot, heading across the highway.
    Now I realize this blurred shape does not do justice to what I saw and so I have used my prodigious photoshopping skills to refine and clarify the image.
    I hunted the cowardly swine, combing through the untended landscape of Payson's main street.  I caught glimpses in the tall dry grass and smelled the musky aroma but as my bristly friend melted into the night I wiped away a tear and raised a hand in salute while softly singing...

    Born free as free as the wind blows
    As free as the grass grows
    Born free to follow your snout 

    Adios amigo, until we meet again.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Thirty Days Hath November

    image found here

    Leaves twirl and crunch
      and the daylight wanes
       before the kids are tired

    Cheers from the stadium
     drift on gusts of cool night air
      while you walk the dog

    Grandma Costco bakes
     a thousand pumpkin pies
       and they are gone before seven

    Aunt Myrtle calls
      to bring the dressing
    You lie 
      and say
      "That would be lovely"

    Take an extra 
       at dinner tonight
    It's time to start
     stretching your belly
     for Thanksgiving.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Did You Know A Bike Can Make You Smarter?

    Let your mind drift back dear readers, through the misty thickets of time, over the sand dunes of memory, across the wide ocean of...oh forget it, my poetry tank is low this morning.  

    Remember how you used to get to school back in your vibrant youth? 

    Did you travel...

    • by horse drawn carriage?
    • on a Vespa with your scarf trailing and your hair artfully windblown?
    • on the back of a family milk cow that was forced to do double duty by feeding you and transporting you?
    • in the back of a Bentley with the faithful family chauffeur; a mysterious man with a dropping mustache, sad eyes and a cap?
    • on a yellow school bus filled with children carrying tuna scented brown lunch bags?
     Okay, time to put your thinking cap on for a brief moment because this next part is serious...I know, weird huh?

    However you traveled dear reader, you probably didn't walk for miles like many students in far off Thailand.  Nearly 1 in 4 students drop out of school in the transition between primary and secondary school.  Just like in the U.S., in Thailand primary schools are located in most villages, but secondary schools (jr. high) are often several miles away.  Children from poor families often walk the 2 hours each way.  So, for lack of a ride to school, these kids often drop out during 6-7th grade and essentially lock in their family's poverty for another generation.

    ThaiCycles is working to break that cycle by providing bikes to schools who check them out to kids during the school year.  Read more about it here.

    For the next 4 days it is as easy as pie to donate to this great cause because you can to Tipping Bucket.  Tipping Bucket features worthy causes and urges you to donate $1 to "change the world or your money back!"  

    Today, I'm giving up my happy hour Sonic for the cause.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Charging a Head

    Image found here

    Electrical stimulation may boost math skills
    by Thomas H. Maugh II - Nov 7, 2010 12:AM
    Los Angeles Times

    LOS ANGELES - Applying a mild electrical current to a particular part of the brain could improve math abilities in people who suffer impaired skills...

    The weak current apparently allows neurons to fire more freely, stimulating the ability the learn, the researchers reported in the journal Current Biology...

    ~ * ~

    At last, a solution to my M.M.D. (metabolic math deficiency).  Back in the good old days in the womb when my cells were dividing- my math cell went rogue and became a "I love ice cream cell".  As a result I have always been at the bottom of the family mathematics totem pole.  While the children play chess I read.  When a child looks up from an Algebra textbook and I sense a question is forming, I leave on an urgent errand to Walmart.  Fortunately, the children have all inherited the missing math cell from their father, but that makes me the permanent outsider.

    Until now...

    Thanks to the marvelous new development that I read about yesterday, it looks like my problems are solved.  When I run into a thorny quandary involving numbers, I now possess the formula for success.  See, I'm already speaking arithmetic.  Did you see how I used the word "formula" in a sentence?

    Behold how I plan to implement what I am calling my "Math Charger" in everyday life.


    Having just consumed a lovely Chicken Mango Salad at Tia Rosa's and confronted with a table full of confused ladies who forgot to ask for separate checks; I will pull a balloon out of my purse, quickly inflate it with puffs of salsa scented breath and tie it off. I will rub it briskly on the top of my head, producing a charge that will enable me to quickly calculate how much we all owe, including tips.  


    It is happy hour at Sonic...that golden time when magical elixirs are 1/2 the usual price.  As I place my order I realize that I left my wallet at home.  Will I be able to find enough change in the cluttered compartment between the seats?  Before I break out in hives trying to add up a Rte. 44, two medium slushies and a small tater tots and subtract the discount, I quickly hold a 9 volt battery to my tongue for a quick jolt of algorithmic clarity.  Voila, an accurate total and a Diet Coke to get rid of that nasty battery taste.


    I am in the ladies dressing room with an armful of pants to try on.  How can I quickly calculate the odds that the only pair of jeans out of the whole bloomin' stack that don't make my fanny look like a denim covered pumpkin are the one pair that are not on sale?  Oh never mind, I don't even have to stick my tongue into the electrical outlet to figure that one out.  

                                                                                      image found here
     Those odds are always 100 to 1.

    Friday, November 5, 2010


           This boy      
    came home from high school with a wild story about 
    a teacher who owned a corn snake...

     which had given birth to baby corn snake.

    "What in the world does this have to do with me?" I asked in a futile attempt to ignore the obvious.

    Thus, Joey formally opened the lobbying process to obtain another pet. 

    Now I have been down the winding snake highway many times before and I know where it goes.


    Joey:  Mom, it's only as long as a pencil.

    Me:  Pencils don't grow or wolf down rodents head first.

    Joey:  I'll keep it in my room and you won't even know it's there.

    Me:  You won't even know it's there because your room is so messy you won't be able to find it.

    At this point, Joey withdrew for tactical reasons; stunned by my forceful Mommy logic and the guilt inducing maneuver that I have carefully honed for 28 years.  But ever vigilant, I continued to keep up my guard, sleeping with one eye open and watching for further signs of assault.

    However, Joey has developed his own set of skills and they are formidable.

    Joey:  Mom, I have a proposition for you.

    Me:  Judgmental eyebrow raised high  Oh?

    Joey:  If I keep my room clean for 3 weeks, and pick up dog poop, will you let me get a parakeet instead of a snake?

    Me:  Mind racing and naivete oozing from every pore  Oh sure, you're going to keep your room clean for 3 weeks and clean up after the dog without being asked?  Of course you can get a parakeet.  Wink wink, nod nod.

     First came the chart.  What Mother can resist a chart with check marks?

     Then came an era of cleanliness unknown to exist in this corner of house for many years.  Of course the bed is unmade but that would just be too weird.

    Looks like the feathers will by flying soon.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Sign Me Up

    I wonder if the Pig Family is ever going
    to tell their highway that he is adopted?

    This sign used to be outside my hometown of Snowflake, Arizona

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Preguntas por la mañana

    Waking up on a post election morning naturally fills my mind with. questions.  Oh... you thought...  Heck no, not questions about politics you silly goose.  All political questions have been asked, evaded and stomped into the ground.

    No, the questions I'm asking are much more profound.


    1.  Why did Coke give up on teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony?

    2.  Why is it that the kids you can't get to cut the grass always want to smoke it?

    3.  Could Albert Einstein beat Ken Jennings on Jeopardy?



    4.  Did someone invent the crock pot by saying "Hey, lookee here.  If I just add a plug to heat up Grandma's chamber pot, I bet I can cook up something real tasty."

    5.  Is my inability to scrapbook going to cost my children years of expensive therapy?

    6.  Are there nursing homes filled with old people pretending to have memory loss who just don't want to hang out with their boring families any more?  After visiting hours, do all the seniors crack up and high five each other because they faked out Leonard Jr. again?  Is Wii bowling with the golden oldies really more fun than babysitting the grandkids?  

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Your Vote Always Haunts You

     The only thing scarier than my doorway last night

    is this sobering knowledge.

      Wednesday morning,

    when you
      answer your telephone
    open your mailbox 
    and watch TV 

    no one

    will be needling/lying/wheedling for your vote.

    And the only thing scarier than that
    will be
    finding out what we have all created.


    maybe there are a few other scary things to worry about