Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Of Karma, Temper Tantrums, Southern Gentlewomen and Smileys

We have been hit by the karma fairy over the last couple of weeks and evidently, judging by the number of things that went wrong or broke, I am currently paying back wrongdoings over the past two or three lives.    

It started with the air conditioner shutting down on one of the hottest days of the year, continued with toilets that made your heart stop when flushed....

....kept going with a  faucet  that leaks water from the hot side handle ... and sending my irritation to new levels was my old Sonic toothbrush with a new mind of its own motor.

The breakdown train rolled on with never-seen-before error messages from the digital camera and I felt my stomach turn over after biting into a pear resulted in a tooth breaking  off.

It truly hit a high point when it was discovered during a weatherization check-up that my furnace is showing signs of a carbon monoxide leak . . .

I won't even go into the little things that happened in between the big things...

Like the lettuce and tomato planter mysteriously being toppled off my patio ledge, destroying most of the plants. . .

Now, I admit to having my moments throughout my life and I've never claimed to be an angel but the problems, breakdowns and possible hazard to my health was making me reconsider the pitchfork and horns approach.
(Of course I would look just like her - wink, wink)
Foul of mind and mood, I headed out to my car. At least the air conditioning isn't broken in the grocery store and I was out of milk.  Pulling into a parking spot, I was mulling over how much food I could buy without overdrawing my account  when I saw a small sedan clip the side of a grocery cart and send it sailing into the side of my car.  Grabbing my purse and my temper, I hopped out of my car, ready to do battle with the owner of the car.

The car's door opened and out came this teeny tiny woman of indiscriminate age with an obvious hunch and almost translucent skin---she reminded me of my grandmother in her failing years. She turned toward me and smiled. And like a cheerleader facing the losing home crowd, her bright and happy face took the anger wind right out of my sails.
Smiling back at her, I found myself following her into the store.  She had me the moment I heard that sweet southern accent ask me to help her with the electric cart. Her name was Rose, she was a widow living with her busybody son and still missed her truck driver husband -- passed on some years ago.

For the next hour and a half, I listened to stories of this couples' adventures on the highways and roads of this U.S.A. 

I became lost in her tales and adventures and enamored of her life. Forgotten were the battles of the last few days, replaced by visions of endless countryside, snow mountain peaks, out-of-the-way diners with fabulous pies, and homes filled with people who still didn't lock their doors at night. 

It was a country I had dreamed of discovering and a secret I kept mostly deep down inside.

Finishing up her shopping, we grabbed my milk and cereal and headed to the check-out stands. Standing silently beside her, I felt an overwhelming rush of thankfulness for a wayward grocery cart and a woman whose vision probably should have kept  her out of the driver's seat. 

I turned to tell her of my gratitude and humbleness but she grabbed my hand and squeezed. It  seems she saw the look on my face after the cart had careened into the side of my car and knew that I was a woman on my last nerve.  Experienced with a life that had thrown some lemons -- and some days, an entire orchard of 'em -- she had sidetracked my day and reminded me of the good things that are still out there, waiting to be rediscovered. I hugged her and we headed for our cars, knowing that life had put us together that day.

I watched as she disappeared inside her car and smiled just a little at the image of the driverless car heading out of the parking lot. Gosh, she sure was tiny.

Sighing to myself, I started the engine of my car, ready once again to take on the little battles waiting for me at home.

As I opened the front door to my condo, I felt strength and obstinacy return to my soul. Turning to face life once again, I held out my hands, turned my palms up and said to an empty room, "Bring it on Karma Fairy, bring it on."

Sometimes you just have to blast back at life with guns a-blazin....

Why are the clothes still damp in the dryer?

And sometimes, you just call your best friend and say, "Sandy, I'm feeling a need for a happy hour beverage and my friend. How fast can you get dressed?"

Hopefully, the camera will be fixed in a couple of days.
Aren't you glad this posting is over?

So we can go back to regular pictures and makeovers?

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Blue is my favorite color. You can probably tell that from all the pictures I've posted on this blog.  Funny thing is that purple was my favorite color for more years than I care to admit to (don't even try to guess my age!).  My closet is filled with clothes in every imaginable shade of purple and my favorite jewelry was of course, amethyst. I even painted the walls of my room a fuchsia-leaning purple (what was I thinking??!!). It was only after shopping at sales for new sheets and curtains and scouring craigslist for free paint that I noticed I was picking out shades of blue.

My yearning to get back to the ocean? Perhaps. Blue is the color of my eyes so maybe it's a familiarity thing. Or maybe because it truly is a soothing color and these days, I hold on for dear life to anything that soothes the soul. Whatever the cause for the change, it looks like blue is my new signature color. 

Blue was my mood last night and all day yesterday. All because of the cutest little thing I've EVER found on craigslist:

We rescued this little angel from a person who posted an ad that read, "7-Week old female kittens, litter box trained, weaned from mother and ready to be adopted for a 'rehoming' fee of $40."   Feeling my B.S. meter rising, I donned my supergirl attitude, grabbed my keys and iced tea, yelled "let's go" to my teenage son and flew out the front door.   I could hardly drive fast enough to get to the tiny kittens listed on craigslist for a "minor re-homing fee."  I've heard stories about scams involving stolen felines being stolen and then sold for medical research. I'd recently read a story about kittens grabbed from the large colonies of feral cats that we have roaming around our city. Evidently the dregs of society have found a new way to make money: Grab a litter of feral kittens, acclimate them to people for a couple of weeks and sell them on craigslist.  Shameless bastards.

Do you think that people scanning the ads on Craigslist really believed the nonsense that this was a 7-week old kitten?  Surely they must see what was so obvious to me. Were hustlers truly going to look me in the eye and try to sell me too-young kittens?  Boy, where they in for a surprise. I hoped.

Arriving at the evildoer's home, there was just one kitten left.  Dirty but adorable, I took the kitten from the arms of a man while assessing his gullibility and whether or not a kitty-nap would be dangerous to my son and I.  Thankfully gifted with the ability to distract with fast talk, I volunteered to give the kitten the best home. Smiling, complimenting, asking question after question as I walked out the front door with the kitten in my arms.  Almost sprinting to my car, I kept them talking"Thank you so much" --  opening the car door --"she is just so adorable" -- handing kitty to son -- "You did the best job raising such a cute thing" -- starting the engine -- "I have your email, I'll send pictures" -- put the car in drive -- "Gotta run to beat the rush hour traffic" -- go, go, go!!  

Sixty seconds later the guy was calling my phone, reminding me that I forgot to pay the fee for the kitten.  Hahaha. I laughed and hung up. Better pay the fee or else. Sure, sure. I'll be right over. Better yet, consider it a donation to my own kitty rescue from jerks like you.

For the next four hours, the SOB had the audacity to threaten me with all kinds of things, including the police.  As we arrived at the vet's office, the threats continued but we let every call go to voicemail. Explaining the situation to the veterinarian, he graciously waived his fee while assessing the condition of our kitten that he now held in his arms.

Three weeks old, malnourished, not litter box trained, not enough teeth to eat dry food and a little boy - there was not one true thing in the craigslist ad. The vet was almost as shocked as I was by the audacity. 

Three weeks old, malnourished, not litter box trained, not enough teeth to eat dry food and a little boy - there was not one true thing in the craigslist ad. The vet was almost as shocked as I was by the audacity. 

And it so happened that there was a couple in the vet office who had lost their beloved kitty a month ago.....they fell in love with my "Lil Kitty" .... but I had grown so attached to the darling little boy over 48 hours.

I bathed him (normally you don't bathe a kitten this young but we had to get the dirt and grime off),  dribbled kitty formula down "Lil Kitty's" mouth, pulverized dry food in the coffee bean grinder, mixed it into wet food and coaxed him to eat, slept with him in my lap and laughed because he kept trying to sleep next to my bottom. We played "I'm a ferocious tiger" as he pounced on my hand, snooped through everything, including the bird cage, followed my feet everywhere. The vet vouched for this couple who would devote the 24-hour-round-the-clock care that "Lil Kitty" would need for awhile. I listened to the woman story and felt my heart giving in as the woman's eyes welled up with tears over her beloved lost cat.  I kissed his little face and handed Lil Kitty over. Silently willing myself to show strength, I got to the car before the kitten's new owner could see my own tears. Bye little kitty.

So I am blue and sad and missing that sweet little face. I still hear that mew --- not even a whole meow. Doing the right thing is hard sometimes.

 See how his eyes are blue? 

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Proud to Present - My Almost Finished Bathroom


In my previous apartment, I did not have a linen closet so I bought this  glass shelving that fit over the toilet and gave me a place to put my towels, etc. After I bought my condo, I not only had built in shelving inside the bathroom but also discovered this big ole thing would not fit in the same spot as it had previously.  So I put it over the hamper and haphazardly decorated it. This "Before" picture is how it looked for almost three years.


And as they say, out with the old and in with the new.....oh...that doesn't really apply..... this is all from garage and church sales and Goodwill.  Okay, out with the stuff you were given as a secret santa gift, a present from an aunt you haven't seen since you were 5 and your first attempt at decorating a wicker basket.  In with the square wicker baskets, seashells, pitchers, flowers, more flowers, a seashell picture frame with the best beach picture you've ever taken, chimes, shampoos, conditioners and lotions from your favorite vacation hotels and any other treasure you've dug out of your "loot box."  Without being too graphic, sitting on my throne will make you smile, if you know what I mean.  Teehee.

Pictures of Carmel, California
Shampoo & conditioners from hotels everywhere.


The pictures below are of the opposite wall in the bathroom - the wall with the throne and sink.


How to hide messed up mirror - tiles and glue
Putting up shelf over towels.

Shelf was added and decorated
Small blue tiles hot glued to mirror to hide flaws.

                                       TA DAH......UHHH...... EXCEPT......

What should I do with the cabinet? Paint it white, paint it a different color or leave it alone? And how about the walls?  Sea blue or bright white? Let me know what you think.

As always, thank you for spending time reading my blog and please vote on the poll shown on the side of this posting.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trying New Things - The Lamp

This is a table lamp that I picked up at a church rummage sale -- a sale in which the ladies running the show would not allow me to spend a dime.  This lamp was the first thing that we got into my car. At the end of the hour at that church, I had a bunch of new things for the "loot box."

I couldn't wait to get home and show my son his new bedside table.  I knew he would scrunch up his face at the brass coloring but I had plans for that table. Yes indeedy.  I shall show no fear at brass and metal. That lamp was getting a makeover.

Now where is my paint?

I had heard stories about how difficult it is to change anything brass and in fact, I had noticed that Goodwill is just overrun with anything that has a gold or brass tint.  I was determined that this lamp was going to be a glossy black. The colors of my son's room are blue and black with a smattering of silver and red. Silver might have been an easier color to spray over the brass but black was what I saw in my head.

White, red, more white, grey, silver, primer white, more primer white, lite blue, dark blue. All those cans of spray paint and no black?  *&*#%*#$  Curse, bad word, curse.  Hmmm. Okay, well it needs to be primed anyway.  Carefully taping up the glass table and the lamp socket, off I went outside with the lamp, newspaper and spray can of Kilz.  Half hour later, the brass lamp was now white.

After ten days, it was time to make that lamp a shiny black. I had read somewhere that if you are painting a metal object, the longer you let the primer sit, the better the final coat of paint will go on to the lamp. I figured ten days was good.  Believing I had just overlooked the black spray paint, I pulled out all the cans again.  Nope. No black.  Uh oh.  Three little cans of brush on black glossy but no spray.......Dare I??  Brush black paint on a metal lamp?  Hmmmm.  Brush marks, dripping, uneven....surely this is not going to work.

Well, I swore not to buy any paint so out came my little brush - an artist's brush and a little foam brush.  First coat -- looks okay to me.  That little brush sure came in handy as I discovered there are teeny tiny places to paint on a lamp.  Second coat - here goes nothing....


Look how black and shiny.  Fits perfectly with the color scheme in my son's room.  It's perfect....well.... wonder how he would feel about a silver chain around the lampshade.  Just a little bit of glue....