Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And Bingo Was Her Name-O!

Psst...were you looking for me?
Bet you thought I had run off with the circus...or the mailman!

Sad to say...no such luck.  I've been busier than a rented mule...and I'm twice as tired.

Stop the madness...I wanta get off!  I'm dizzy enough without bouncing around in circles like a bingo ball in a church basement!

Y'all know this a crazy time for us.  We're four...you read right...four weeks out from blasting off for the Greatest Show On Dirt.

Hark...I think I hear the Mother Ship calling my name as I type.

Coming Mother!

I'm busy hunting, cleaning, pricing and packing.  Cat Daddy is rolling the Dolly Mama around to beat the band and slo-o-o-wly that trailer is filling up.

Where the heck did I put those tags?  Hey...who stole my magic marker?  Has anybody got an extra trailer stretcher they're not using?

Like Punxsutawney Phil, it may be 4-6 weeks before I get to stick my head out again, but I'm gonna try and keep y'all up-to-date on our progress.

Law...what I wouldn't give for an extra set of hands right about now!

In the meantime, I'm taking advantage of these crazy, mild temperatures we're having.  Y'all know here in Texas, that can change in a heartbeat.

Ahhh...70 degrees, flip-flops, braids, and grocery store feet...perfect working conditions!

If you don't hear from me in the next week or so...don't fret.  Just send pimiento cheese, a loaf of light bread...and a big bar of Lava!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Letters To The Lovelorn

June 12, 2011

Dear Miss Spoken,

All my life I've dreamed of only one thing...finding my dream boat and sailing away on the sea of love with him.  Upon reaching the age of consent, I've found myself adrift in a sea of discontent comprised of dinghys, shipwrecks, and barnacled covered bottoms.  In fact, I always end up on the passenger list for the ship of fools.  All of my friends' attempts at hook-ups have landed me nothing but a lot of bottom feeders, a carp or two, and one spawn of Chuckie.
I've exhausted all my al-lures in my tackle box o'tricks and my arms are worn out from paddlin' my canoe up a creek without an oar.  I'm tired of trolling bars in thigh-high waders with nary a bite nor nibble for my efforts.
What advice, if any Miss Spoken, can you give a mere maid to improve her angling skills and help her in harpooning the really big one?  I'm so tired of catch and release and would appreciate any help in insuring the next one won't get away.  I think I'm gonna need a bigger boat-load of information.

Sitting on the dock of the bay anxiously awaiting your answer,

The Lady Of The Lake
June 16, 2011

Dear LOTL,

Miss Spoken gets many, many letters such as yours and the advice is always the same...fish or cut bait!
Obviously you're working with jerk bait and it's time for some changes.  If your idea of a sea of serenity is a houseboat complete with Captain Jack (instead of Captain Crunch) at the helm,  my dear you will have to find your own honey hole-in-the-wall.  Trolling the bar waters is never a good idea...unless you're in the mood for swimming with sharks, hand holding with noodlers, and waiting for the next creepy nightcrawler to slither in.  Chumming the waters...also not a good idea. Why throw all you have to offer right at the get-go.  Leave some things a mystery to be learned in time. You would be better served to test the waters at a bookstore, coffee house, or grocery store.  Any man who can read, relax with a cup o'joe, and knows how to shop is trophy-wall ready.  (FYI...I would recommend checking to see what they are reading, if they snore, and if the shopping basket is full of single-serving, pre-packaged meals.)  Remember all men are like fish out of water when it comes to matters of the heart, but when played out correctly and given enough lines, they've been known to jump in the boat rather than overboard.
Another tip to the wise...do not determine a keeper by it's size.  It's been my personal experience, while you may think you need bigger fish to fry...shrimp is just as tasty as catfish...no bones about it.  Plus...they are guaranteed to lose their heads over you.
When angling for the catch of the day...remember to always keep your bait simple.  Lose the barbed hooks and salty language.  Forget the anchovies and opt for tic tacs instead when trying to set your hook.   Think more bated breath...less baited breath.  If something smells fishy...you don't want it to be you.  Avoid the bends, keep your head above water, and a wise woman always keeps a pair of fishnets handy.  One last piece of advice...more success will come with real rather than artificial bait.  They're smarter than they appear and flashy lures only work for a little while.  After enough time in the water, everything will start to lose it's color and wrinkles will set in, but what's inside never changes. See to it that your inside is ship-shape as well as your outside and I promise smooth sailing.
Now...get off that dock before dry rot sets in, step into a dry martini, and chart your course for dry land.

Good luck my dear...and I hope you reel in a keeper.

Yours truly,

Miss Spoken
February 14, 2012

Dear Miss Spoken,

I swallowed your advice...hook, line, and sinker and buoy boy oh boy...were you ever right. By using your amazing tips, I landed me a whale of a guy and the wedding is just around the bend.  Charlie and I are full to the gills with love...and have you to thank.

Sincerely yours,

The Lady Of The Lake...AKA...Mrs. Soon-to-be C. T. Tuna.
(All of the photos were taken by Melissa of Foto Fabulous with styling by Jenn of Give Me Props. Consider this my shameless plug for my daughter and her talented friend and remember them when thinking about capturing your next memorable event.)

Here is a little Valentine from me to y'all.

Through the fog, her eyes searched frantically as the trees and brush snagged her hemline.   The wind whipped her hair across her eyes, momentarily obscuring her vision, as he stepped out of the shadows and with outstretched hands, softly whispered "Lily?"
Fearing it all a dream, but unwillingly to relinquish this one chance at happiness, Molly...

To be continued.

 Now go give that special someone a kiss.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Deja Vu...All Over Again...Really?

For those of y'all that read me on a regular basis, you already know most of my...ahem...brilliant ideas come either during a semi-conscious state in the wee, still hours of the morning or at night...as I'm soaking in the tub.  I'm thinkin' in the morning 'cause I'm still half asleep and at night, 'cause I'm running water instead of my head.  Basically same difference...I'm not talking for a change...I'm listening and He seizes the opportunity to get a word in.

Last night as I was steppin' into the tub, the word Pinterest flashed through my mind.  While relaxing with Mr. Bubbles and dreaming of all that Pinterest has to offer, my thoughts drifted in another direction...plagiarism.

Right about now I'm willing to bet a dollar to a donut,  I got y'all wondering what the heck is she talking about and how does Sweetie Pie figure into this...correct-o mundo?  She doesn't.  She's just my favorite pin-up gal (get it...pin-up...pin-it?) and if you hang with me...I promise a caboose to end this train of thought!

Pinterest is this fantabulous, visual social network that has exploded over the last coupla years.  It didn't take long to figure out it allows us to do pretty much what we do on Blogger...with a lot less work...and no need for spell-check.  (If you ever get to wondering where me...and everybody else...is hiding out, check Pinterest first.)  It dazzles the mind with all the talent that's out there and if they ever add scratch and sniff...oh mylanta...I'll never leave!

We can share ideas, words, comments and a whole mess of stuff with a click or a "pin it", but...and this is a huge but...it also allows us to borrow (a nice way of saying copy) another's brain child.
This is the conundrum I'm wrasslin' with.

At what point does it steer off from borrowing into flat-out plagiarism.  By pinning something, does it then become public property or is it still protected?

(We're not gonna even address using it as a marketing tool, 'cause that's a whole 'nother can of worms!)

Trust me...I'm not pointing fingers here...'cause if I did...there would be three pointing back at me.  I see ideas, displays, and words I fall in love with.  I go there for inspiration and leave with tons of ideas I'd like to incorporate into my work, but I'm afraid of crossing the line and being labeled a copy-cat.

So-o-o...I'm asking y'all...what is the line?  Is there an etiquette at play and what is and isn't up for grabs?  By helping ourselves to ideas, are we following our dreams...or chasing another person's?  Are we truly admiring their work...or pinning our hopes on them?  Does the end justify the means?

In all fairness, if I put it out there to be admired, wouldn't it be foolish to think it won't be stolen used by others?  More importantly...do I care enough to stop or do I need the admiration...even if it's double-edged sword?

If I'm gonna be honest here...sometimes I wish I had the morals of a politician.  If I did, I could just steal someone's ideas or words, claim 'em as my own...and keep moving with nary a pang of guilt...but I'm just not geared that way.  Not to say that I haven't inadvertently used someone's cleverness...just never on purpose.  I've been found guilty of reading something, filing it away in my head, and using it later...not remembering where I read it.

(Hmmm...could this be a form of selective memory...or another manifestation of my Squirrel disorder?)

Most of the time, I do try and research out a clever phrase...just to be sure it's not a fluke and really my idea, but some do slip by me.  It's important to remember words are an art form too and while we can't copyright them or the way in which they are used, we can try to make them our own.  As much as I study the writing of others, I can't capture the rhythm, imagery, or style and it's their uniqueness combined with originality that keeps me reading.

(I sure wish I had wrote all this down on paper last night instead of on the tile with a loofah...'cause it read so much better and made so much more sense than I am now!  I keep telling Cat Daddy I need a small tape recorder to carry around....water-proof natch!)

It's been said imitation is the highest form of flattery and I see the mega-talented get flattered out the wazoo constantly and yet...with style and grace...never utter a peep.  I guess if I'm gonna be a copy-cat...I need to start with adopting this attitude...and thereby answering my own question.  I have to be my own watchdog, hold myself accountable, give credit where credit is due...and let all the others struggle with their conscience.

(Although I'm pretty sure those with no remorse are the same ones who came up with the whole "imitation...form of flattery" malarkey!)

I apologize for my rant y'all.  Consider this a lesson in why one should never leave a child...or an old woman...unsupervised during bath time.  One...they get all pruney, two...water gets splashed everywhere, three...they leave their towel on the floor, and four...they have way too much time to stir up a tubful of crap trouble bubbles.

(Now let's just wait and see how many copy-catters flatters Pinterest and it's success has to fend off.  We all know it's just a matter of time, but we'll remember where we saw it first!)


Friday, February 3, 2012

Carpe Diem...Deja Vu

February 3, 2012...6:00 a.m.

Fall outta bed and make my way into office.  Power up the computer and stumble into kitchen to make coffee.

While waiting on said coffee, click on TV to double check if the earth is still spinning and what the weatherman is predicting so I can dress accordingly...socks or bare feet.

Stumble back into kitchen to administer the first of 3 cups of coffee, then head on back to the office for just a few minutes of computer time.

February 3, 2012...8:30 a.m.

Try to get up from office chair, but find my butt and legs have gone numb.  Scribble a note to remind me to google this later and find what might be causing this...hoping it's not old age.

Hmmm...find myself wondering on how earth I got that second cup of coffee in my hand...and is it somehow tied to the whole numb-butt phenom.

Start household chores by picking up Cat Daddy's dirty socks from where they hit the floor...smiling to myself at this...just one of his lovely daily reminders of how much he needs me.

Fill sink with hot sudsy water to cram soak dirty dishes in from the night before then off to make the bed.

Do a multi-task walk through picking up cr@p while straightening at the same time.  Place vacuum cleaner in the middle of the room in case I decide the floors need a swipe.

Start to kitchen to wash dishes, but remember I need to check e-mails first.

February 3, 2012...10:00 a.m.

Stiffly, get out of office chair and run some hot water into the sinkful of dirty dishes that somehow got cold.

Put on rubber gloves and haz-mat suit to clean bathroom.  Clean the three sides of the bathtub that show, wipe down the faucets (gleam says clean) and disinfect the toilet seat for that oh-so-fresh feeling.

Look at vacuum cleaner sitting in the middle of the floor and think to myself...is it really dirty.

Fix a little breakfast of Pop Tarts and sit down at desk to eat while checking out new blog posts.  I can't afford to lose any time on trivial activities...like adding another dirty dish to the overflowing sinkful I got on stand-by.

February 3, 2012...11:30 a.m.

Struggle outta office chair and limp into kitchen to find drops for watery eyes.  Funny...I don't remember Evan mentioning in his morning forecast a heavy pollen count. Numb butt, loss of memory, watery eyes...must remember to look this up on WebMD.

Add more hot water and Dawn to sink, but make the executive decision to go ahead, bite the bullet, and wash them to avoid a monster water bill next month.

Look at vacuum cleaner for the third time and have a light bulb moment... floors are clean enough.

My tummy is rumbling, reminding me it's almost lunch time...and I'm still in my pajamas.

February 3, 2012...12:15 p.m.

Fix a burrito (on a paper towel) for lunch, grab a coke outta the fridge, and using my time management skills, make a quick stop at the computer to visit Facebook.

February 3, 2012...1:30 p.m.

Decide to put on street clothes just in case Cat Daddy comes home early and give my hair a lick and a promise.

House smells a bit stale, but can't find my new fig scent candles to light.  Searching for them is eating up my precious time, so instead throw a load of whites in the laundry, being sure to add fabric softener.  Nothing like a little Downey to add a nice fresh scent to the house.

February 3, 2012...2:00 p.m.

Doing all that laundry has me too pooped to pop.  Grab a snack sized Butterfinger and plop down at computer to re-charge for the next round of household chores.

While waiting for energy level to return to normal, get busy doing some real work...reorganizing my Pinterest boards.

February 3, 2012...3:30 p.m.

Jump outta my office chair, hobble into kitchen to run some water and Pine Sol into sink, having recently discovered it gives the house that "just cleaned" smell...without actually having to clean it.

Clean the glass storm door and hope I don't have any birds crashing into it...again.

February 3, 2012...4:00 p.m.

Realize I haven't done a post on my blog in over a week.  Start post, but have to hit "Save" as Cat Daddy's truck pulls into drive.

Hurriedly shut down all tabs, lurch into the kitchen to throw water on my face to resemble beads of sweat, and notice my britches are on...inside out.

Throw wet towels in dryer and almost hang myself trying to get the last wash cloth outta the washer.

February 3, 2012...4:30 p.m.

Greet Cat Daddy with a weary, but loving smile from my day's exhausting work, sit and listen to his telling of his day...and try not to yawn.

Watch jealously as Cat Daddy sits in my chair at the computer to check out auctions and estate sales.

Start dinner while discreetly shooting him the stank eye.

Go ahead and put away vacuum cleaner for another day.  He never even noticed it sitting there.

February 3, 2012...5:00 p.m.

Take a much needed sit-a-spell while supper's simmering to watch In The Heat Of The Night reruns.

Fold semi-dry towels while Mr. Tibbs solves the crime du jour.

February 3, 2012...6:00 p.m.

Sit down at separate TV trays with Cat Daddy and dine in the romantic flicker of The Big Bang Theory reruns.  Laugh together at the same hilarious lines...over and over.

Make plans with Cat Daddy for the coming weekend to work around the house.  Make silent note to self...that'll be the day.

February 3, 2012...7:30 p.m.

Wait patiently as C.D. takes his bath and gets ready for bed.

Listen for heavy snoring and sneak into office for just a short visit to blogs.

February 3, 2012...11:59 p.m.

Check the time and ponder where the time went, while thinking to myself...didn't I just do all this yesterday...and the day before...and the day before that?

Glancing down at the screen, I notice the date on Yahoo shows February 2nd...wha-a-a?

Jump to my feet with the realization...

I'm trapped in Groundhog Day!

Somebody quick...save me!

Change my date and time stamp if necessary...pull my plug...put me in a DeLorean...whatever it takes!  Otherwise y'all...I'm trapped in this loop until further notice and...

if you gotta shoot, aim high.  I don't want to hit the groundhog!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A TKO At W&T's!

Once upon a time there existed a world where women wore curlers and hair nets while talking nonstop for hours on telephones wearing rotary dials and cords.  A world in which hand written mail...paid for with a 4 cent stamp...came from far-away lands postmarked with exotic names like Ft. Worth, Duluth...or Toledo Ohio.  A place where television came complete with rabbit ears, twittering was for the birds, and to kindle was what a husband had on his mind Saturday night.

A simple existence for these village haus-fraus...except in January...when an annual not-to-be-missed event would roll around and transform those same prim and proper ladies...seemingly in the blink of an eye...into marauders and pillagers.

It was called a White Sale.

Ladies would cluster outside Sanger-Harris and Titche-Goettinger's, sizing up the competition while awaiting the opening of the doors.  A pox befelled the poor store manager who failed to unlock the doors promptly at ten and woe be unto any stragglers who stumbled and fell.  As the women...armored in their pill box hats and Playtex girdles...staked out their line of attack, they wasted little time before beginning their assault on tables holding meticulously folded sheets and towels.

The tireless quest that ensued rivaled that of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table.  For as much as the knights of old searched valiantly for the Holy Grail, these stalwart damsels had their own dragons to slay...beginning with anyone blocking the 2-fer pillows and ending with a set of mismatched Fieldcrest sheets at 30% off.

Biting, scratching, hair pulling...girls and boys...it was better than the Saturday night wraslin' matches at the Sportatorium.  Yea...even better than Fritz Von Erich's Iron Claw.  Undaunted and prepared to run the gauntlet, these wenches of old, wearing white kid gloves instead of boxing gloves, kicked, elbowed, and gouged each other to reach the granddaddy bargain of them all...."While they last...white towels at...(gasp!!!)... three for a dollar!".   With broken nails,  black eyes, and missing a hank of hair or two, they would lay their bounty at the check-out counter while smiling sweetly (sans a tooth or two) at the clerk, secure in the knowledge...they had won and victory was sweet.

The end...

or is it?

Nowadays, there is a sale going on somewhere...every day...always.  Whether it's a mattress or Red Apple Sale, it's just not the same.  The anticipation of a really good, once a year, lose your mind sale is but a legend of old.  Sadly, the frenzy those annual white sales could whip up are gone forever...BUT...if you lust after a really good sale...look no further.  W&T's/Sweet Pea's to the rescue.

You want a knight in shining armor to rescue you?

We can do better than that with a day trip to rusty heaven and junk salvation.

You want him to carry you away on a white horse?

You'll be carried away by all the merchandise we are offering at 20-30% off at the shops...and not just in white.

You'd give your good right arm for a fortuitous deal...but don't want to lose your left one in the bargain?

Then...come on down!

If you're going to Canton tomorrow...or Thursday...or Friday...why not plan on making a little 20 minute detour to beautiful, downtown Athens?  For a plethora of items guaranteed to make you see stars...and not from another shopper conking you on the noggin....head to Winnie and Tulula's and Sweet Pea's for Not Your Normal White Sale.  You're gonna want to give your eyeteeth for our deals, but I promise you...the only one who'll be missing teeth at the register will be our precious shop baby!

Just to be on the safe side though...be sure and bring your checkbook!

Heck y'all...he's worth the trip!

Remember...listen for the cash register bell...no hitting below the macrame' belt...and may the best woman/man win!