Ya Gotta Eat a Little Dirt Once in Awhile

In some parts of the country, the weather Gods haven’t figured out that it’s spring, yet.

As of this writing, my Mom (who lives in upstate NY) is still in her long underwear on a daily basis and I’m 3,000 miles away trying to figure out how my Buddha belly is gonna look in last year’s bikini.

(Yeah, right. And for those of you that think I ever owned a bikini, what medication are you currently taking? I’d like some myself!)

My Mom starts climbing the walls when the weather gets bad and she can’t get out, so I thought I’d best give her a call to see how she was doing.

She usually plays cards with the ladies today and I decided to give her a call to see if she was gonna bundle up and venture out or hang out in her hamster cage for the day.

She answered right away and I asked her what she was doing.

Rarely at a loss for something to say, she started talking immediately.

“I’m eating strawberries, Lucie. Your brother, Anthony, told me that they’re healthy for me. Got something called oxidants or some such thing in them that are supposed to be good for you. Guess they clean your blood and keep your blood pressure down to prevent heart attacks. Sounds like some kind of laundry detergent to me, but what ta hell do I know?” she sarcastically asked.

“Well, Ma, I think you mean antioxidants. Berries are loaded with antioxidants and yes, they’re good for your heart and have been known to reduce blood pressure and inflammation,” I told her.

“And,” I continued.

“They’re rich in potassium, Mom. I’m glad you’re eating them, but I thought you didn’t like berries?” I asked.

“Cazzo,” she responded.

“I hate berries! Your Aunt Carmie eats them with her cereal every day and has been trying to get me to eat them now for years. I can’t stand them,” she empathically let me know.

“I sliced them up and put on a bunch of sugar and then remembered that I had some Cool Whip left over from Easter and slapped on some Cool Whip. They’re not too bad with the sugar and Cool Whip. I don’t know how your Aunt eats them plain, though. Makes me gag,” she informed me.

Yep.

W e l l,” I slowly said in a high pitched voice.

“Sounds to me like you’ve negated the health benefits of the berries with all that additional sugar that you added, but what ta hell do I know? I’m sick all the time and eat my berries nude.”

“Cazzo, Lucie. You gotta eat a little dirt once in a while. You kids eat too healthy and aren’t getting enough natural germs in your system and then get sick all the time. When I was a kid, I was really sickly as a baby and our neighbor told Nonnie to give me a raw egg to help me get stronger. Nonnie did and I got better. You damn kids don’t know how to eat right today. The old timers knew how to eat,” she rattled on without taking a breath.

“Hey,” she continued without letting me get a word in edgewise.

“Aren’t you supposed to be packing for your trip this weekend?” she queried.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“But I thought I’d call you before I started packing and see how you were doing with this crazy weather, lately,” I continued.

“And any way, I don’t know what the hell to pack. The weather’s crazy out here, too. Don’t know if I need my long underwear and boots or bikini and flip flops!” I chuckled, cracking myself up.

“Figurati (fee-GUH-rah-tee, loosely translated: don’t worry about it), Lucie!” she responded, totally ignoring my humor.

“Pack a duffle bag with a pair of undies, socks and a toothbrush, and you’re good to go,” she continued.

“Madonna!”

“You always pack too much shit,” she bluntly informed me.

Yep.

Mom knows best.

I thought I’d pack the flip flops and buy my underwear and a tooth brush on the road. My Doctor said I’ve been carrying around too much weight, lately, anyway.

Remember to be kind to each other today, People, and take the time every day to laugh.

Catch ya next go round, looking at life from my shoes!

 

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Each Man for Himself!

Years ago, when the Princess and I first met each other, we prudently decided that 10 years of therapy between the two of us was more than sufficient for two people to plan a simple tenting expedition to the local Santa Cruz Mts.

After all, she’d been on a catered backpacking trip to Yosemite in her youth, and I was a former Brownie from the local Girl Scout troop of the Adirondack Mts. in upstate NY.

An inexperienced backpacker and a naïve Girl Scout – we were the perfect pair for camping in the Redwoods of Northern Ca. – or so we thought.

Preparation for food and camping equipment was carefully planned and packed into my Isuzu Rodeo, and a short time later we found ourselves quietly standing in a secluded canyon of dripping redwoods, babbling creeks and various chaparral ecosystems; listening to a pileated red-crested woodpecker chopping away at a dead tree nearby, presumably foraging for carpenter ants for its evening meal.

One minute we were sweating like pigs in a bacon factory, hustling to pack my SUV and get ahead of Friday’s ghastly commute; and the next minute we were staring in total awe – jaws dropped, chilled to the bones – as a blanket of fog slowly immersed the forest of majestic, towering redwoods.

How could we live so close to such a paradise and be so blind to its beauty in our day to day lives?

I didn’t know.

Being the more pragmatic of the two, though, I knew that if we wanted to get our site set-up and dinner started while we still had some daylight, that we’d better stop gazing at nature and start hustling with some practicalities of the tasks at hand.

Yep.

Apparently, I took too long appreciating nature and somehow lost the Princess to the ever-enticing Woody, the Woodpecker, because she was nowhere in sight.

“No biggey,” I told myself. “The tent poles had bungee cords and I’d put it up without assistance before. I could easily do this myself.”

So, I did just that.

I set up the tent, lickety-split, and made everything cozy with sleeping bags, pillows, blankets and a lantern.

Shortly after I set up and prepped the tent, I spotted the Princess lollygagging in the woods nearby and decided that Girl Scout or no Girl Scout, I needed help preparing our dinner that night if we were going to eat before sunset.

So, I shouted to her and asked that she give me a hand.

Yeah.

Well, the Princess being the Princess, she decided that prepping for a simple meal of hamburgers and potato salad was not exactly a herculean feat requiring any expert preparation and brusquely shot back, “What’s the big deal? Slap together some hamburger meat, throw it on the fire and we’re good to go!”

She then stared at me in disbelief, shook her head and asked, “What are you getting your panties all up in a knot over?”

“Just look at how beautiful this is!” she continued, throwing her head back and stretching her arms toward the redwood-crowned-horizon, like Stuart, of the famous Minions cartoon characters.

Yep.

Deciding that a fire was best started sooner than later, to deal with the chill of the blanket of fog enveloping us, my knotted-up panties and I headed into the nearby forest searching for dry kindling in woods that were slowly becoming saturated from the fog and dripping trees.

And, of course, there wasn’t a dry twig to be found.

I wasn’t worried, though.

Girl Scouts are always prepared.

I went into my car, whipped out my little camping stove, set it up under the raised, hatchback door of my Rodeo’s cargo area; and began the arduous task of prepping our simple meal; while continuing to make my case to the Princess for her assistance.

Once again, the Princess informed me that I needed to lighten up and chill-ax.

Uh-Hun.

At that point, I’d had enough chill-axing to last the whole weekend, and decided that it was too soon in our relationship to tell her to “f – herself” and that an each man for himself survival strategy may be the more therapeutic way to go.

So, I carefully made a meal for one, took myself and my hamburger into the tent to get out of the dampness of the night and settled in for an evening of reading and chill-laxing; when I heard the unmistakable sound of the tent zipper opening and the elfin head of the Princess suddenly poked in.

“Hey,” she said, smiling at me.

“I smelled the hamburgers cooking a while ago. Where’s mine?” she innocently continued.

Acutely aware of the fact that it was ME who set up the tent, ME who prepped the inside of the tent, ME who attempted to light a fire for us, and ME who prepped our meal; I decided that a simple constrained statement of, “Tonight’s dinner is an each man for himself kind of meal. Help yourself, Sweetie. If you can see your way around out there, the meat’s in the cooler in the outside storage unit.”

I then proceeded to zip-up my sleeping bag and continued my reading.

After what seemed like forever and a day, the red-headed Minion fumbled around outside, threw some sort of sustenance together and crawled into the tent – wet, tired and looking not too friendly.

Observing that she was not too keen on bed-time conversation, I decided to call it a day, and settled in for the night.

I figured tomorrow would bring with it a new day and hopefully a new attitude by all.

Uh-Hun.

The next day the Princess woke up bright and early, crawled out of the warmth of her sleeping bag, unzipped the tent, rummaged outside for some breakfast goodies, and brought them back to the tent; where she carefully preceded to lay out a verifiable breakfast feast for one, on top of her bag.

Smelling the buns and the sweet, earthy smell of freshly brewed coffee, I woke up and sleepily said, “Smells great, Sweetie. Where’s mine?”

Looking at me like only the Princess can when she’s being the Princess; she smiled and tauntingly said, “Sorry, Hun. It’s an each man for himself kinda meal.”

And on that note, we looked at each other and slowly burst into unbridled laughter!

Be kind to one another today, People, and I’ll catch you the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

Lucie Plays Vanna White at Church

A month ago, Cindy, our church’s Welcome Coordinator, emailed me asking for help with the upcoming church photo directory.

I never know where my various health maladies are going to take me, so I rarely volunteer to help out.

The directory, though, is something that she and I have worked on in the past and I figured, “What the heck? No big deal. We’ve done this before, so it’ll be a slam dunk.”

Yep.

You’d think by this age, I’d know that nothing is a slam-dunk in my life.

I don’t have enough nonsense in my day to day existence living with the Princess and two wacked cats. I need a little more drama in my life to keep my blood pressure up.

We meet with the photo company’s representative and learn that everything now-a-days for church directories is computerized – from setting up the initial appointments for the photographs, to designing the actual church directory.

OK.

No big deal.

Technology comes as easily to me, as swimming to a duck with a 100lb anvil wrapped around his neck.

Yep.

Cindy’s a couple of steps more tech savvy than me, but between the two of us, we’re not exactly Silicon Valley’s version of Bill Gates and the late, Steve Jobs.

So, we decide that we need to get ourselves organized and agree to meet with each other a couple of times to set up a to-do list and get a handle on the situation.

After meeting a couple of times, I was feeling quite competent with what we needed to do and figured the cheat sheet that I meticulously wrote out and placement of the photo company’s web-site as one of my “favorite’s” on my computer would have me totally covered to do a competent job of signing up people after Sunday’s service in no time flat.

Uh-Hun.

You’d think as a retired teacher, with multiple years of teaching experience under my belt, that I’d know better by now.

Unfortunately, wisdom and intelligence does not come with the graying of one’s hair. If it did, I’d be a genius many times over.

Yep.

I got to the church early Sunday morning, so that I would have plenty of time to set-up, get myself settled-in and meet with Henrietta, the other sign-up volunteer, and I discovered that my oh-so-reliable computer (that the Princess lovingly purchased for me for my 60th) did not want to connect with the church’s Wi-Fi.

After an hour of repeated failed attempts by a number of the church’s tech gurus to connect me to our Wi-Fi, I decided that I needed to call the Princess and have her bring her Mac to the church.

Surely, the Mac would work and we would be good to go, as soon as the service had ended and people started heading into the social hall to sign up.

Uh-Hun.

Well, the Princess decided after 6 months of endless nagging by me, that this particular Sunday would be a great day to organize the garage.

And of course, being the little multi-tasker that she is, she threw in a load of laundry, turned on some ear-splitting music to keep her spirits up and the fleas at bay; and started to organize the disaster of a hell-hole that we sometimes refer to as a garage.

All the while she was home innocently singing and cleaning the garage, I was at the church, calling and texting her endless messages and thinking, “When I get ahold of her, I’m gonna ring her scrawny little neck. She’s gotta be taking a shower, but how long can a shower take for a 4 foot, 10 inch smurf?”

Seriously.

Che palle! (keh Pal-leh, loosely translated, “What a pain in the ass!”)

As luck would have it, our church’s Board President takes a crack at my computer difficulties and gets me hooked up just as the church lets out and our table gets swamped with eager attendees.

I started signing up my first parishioner, pressed the bottom to confirm the date, and whoosh, the information went into some tech cloud never to be seen again and my computer screen went totally black.

Madonna!

I had a table swamped with eager parishioners, a computer that I wanted to permanently bury, and a sign-up partner that was calmly and efficiently taking as many of the requests as she could, all the while politely dealing with a couple of parishioners that apparently fell asleep during our Pastor’s sermon on grace, because they weren’t exactly what you’d call graceful while they waited, don’t ‘cha know?

In the meantime, the Princess had gotten my messages and attempted to get ahold of me, only couldn’t because I had my phone on vibrate and conscientiously crammed into my purse while I attempted to sign-up people.

Not knowing what to do and knowing how I freaked I get when I’m “outta my bubble and stressed”, she grabbed her computer and sped to the church, bra-less and in raggy sweat pants.

She then attempted, once again, to get ahold of me by phone from the confines of her automobile. (God forbid someone spotted her walking toward the church with her ta-tas flapping in a stained sweatshirt and shaggy sweat pants.)

Failing in her attempts to connect with me, she decided that nothing was worth our church friends seeing her bra-less and looking like a bag lady, so she headed back home and anxiously waited for me to return.

In the meantime, I was into my Vanna White act talking up the photo shoot, while Henrietta did a stellar job in single-handedly managing the computer sign-ups.

We finally got the last of the parishioners signed up and I looked at Henrietta and commented, “You’re totally amazing, Woman! No matter what anyone threw at you and how crazy it got, you remained totally cool-headed and calm.”

“You’re amazing. Simply amazing,” I continued while shaking my head back and forth in total disbelief.

“What do you do for a living that has you so level-headed and calm in the midst of pure chaos?” I innocently inquired.

Without missing a beat, she slowly turned her head, calmly looked at me and matter-of-factly stated, “I work as an intake counselor for the mental health clinic at Stanford Hospital.”

Uh-Hun.

Yep.

I’m thinking maybe she’s  good at what she does, People. What do you think?

Have a great day and I’ll catch ya next adventure looking at life from my shoes!

Lucie Does Facetime for the First Time!

So, I’ve read a lot of books on writing lately and decided that Julia Cameron’s suggestion to solicit a friendly reader to read my writing and tell me what they like and what they’d like to see more of was a good idea.

I decided to solicit one my blog followers that has similar pieces as mine and dropped her an email asking her if that’s something that she’d be interested in doing, and lo and behold, she actually said, “yes!”

Both of us aren’t exactly tech geniuses, but with the help of grandchildren and significant others, we figure out that there’s a thing called facetime on our Apple phones and computers and that we can talk to each other and actually see each other on this facetime thing-a-ma-bob.

“Great,” me thinks.

So, after she stopped wrestling with a rotten head cold that she had picked up on an out of town visit, and I stopped tap-dancing with some weird stomach bug that I had recently acquired, we finally set up a date and time.

And I was tickled pink.

Finally, after all this time, I was gonna meet one of the writers that I actually admired and emulated.

“This is totally cool,” I tell myself.

Then it dawns on me.

What does one wear to a “face time viewing” for the first time?

I’m usually in raggy sweats and a stained sweatshirt, while I bum around the house. And I rarely comb my rat’s nest of a hair-do hair in the morning, unless I have an appointment.

Surely I can’t look that scruffy on the first viewing.

If I scare the hell outta her, she’ll never wanna be my writing buddy. Maybe a clean turtleneck and a pair of pearl earrings will do the trick. It’s supposed to be in the upper 70’s today where I live, but hopefully I won’t be sweating too much so she notices.

Hm…I’m not into make-up and lipstick, but after dancing the tango trots for a few days, I was looking a little peaked and thought that maybe a touch of lipstick and a little rouge would help make me look a little less dauncey.

Cazzo!

Get a grip, Lucie!

You don’t wanna date the woman, for Chriminy sakes! You just wanna have her as a writing buddy.

I’m setting up my computer and getting everything ready for the big event, when I notice a familiar smell wafting through the house and discover that our cat, Molly, who was not too pleased with us for having an over-night guest stay with us last night, has peed on not only MY bathroom rugs, but the Princess’s, as well.

Yep.

Swell.

So, now I’m sportin’ a clean turtle neck and one of my better pair of sweats and end up with two stinky sets of bathroom rugs to wash before Janet calls to facetime with me.

Cazzo!

Forget the rouge and lipstick!

I’d better get those rugs into the laundry before Janet calls and thinks I live in a barn, for Pete’s sake.

And then it dawns on me – unless this facetime app has some serious “smell-vision”, I was good to go.

Yep.

That’s life in my shoes today, People!

Hopefully yours is less odiferous than mine was today.

Have a great day and I’ll catch ya next adventure, looking at life from my shoes.

Lucie bakes her first (and last!) birthday cake!

I hate cooking.

And I like baking even less.

But the Buddha belly and I are strong advocates for eating.

So over the years, I’ve become a quasi-good cook – out of simple necessity.

Years ago, I naively volunteered to bake a cake for a friend of mine, who’s the female version of the Cake Boss (only sweeter!).

Exactly why I volunteered for such a self-defeating, herculean feat, I have no idea.

But volunteer I did.

I never baked a cake before and figured my Mom’s stand-by Duncan Hine’s yellow cake mix would be the easiest way to go.

“After all,” I reasoned, “What could go wrong with a simple box mix?”

“It’s a pretty straight forward recipe of eggs, water and oil. You mix it all together, dump it into a pan, slide it into the oven and voila!”

“A cake fit for a queen!”

Yep.

Well, I learned that night that it’s important to have all of the ingredients before you start making it, or you’re liable to find yourself scrambling downstairs to your neighbors to borrow some, if you don’t.

And that, People, is where the story gets a little kooky.

I only had a couple of hours to get the cake baked, cooled and frosted before my friend picked me up to drive me to said birthday girl’s house; when I discovered that I didn’t have any eggs.

I didn’t want to waste time to go to the grocers to buy them, so I slipped downstairs to my friend’s flat and discovered that her kids were home alone, while she went on a quick errand; and they had just smashed one of the front door windows while playing indoor broom hockey.

Being the responsible friend and neighbor that I am, I didn’t want to leave the hellions with broken glass in the door and on the porch; so I ran upstairs, grabbed a pair of pliers, a broom and dust pan; and quickly headed back down to tidy things up and make everything safe, again.

Not exactly the female version of “Tim the Tool man”, I took the pliers and grabbed ahold of the bottom, broken piece of glass; and while yanking it out, accidently grazed the fingers of my right hand against the serrated edges of the broken glass protruding from the top of the window pane, and sliced-opened the top of my four fingers.

So now, on top of broken glass all over the porch and inside the entry way, I’m presented with a screaming munchkin that’s thoroughly traumatized by all the blood from my cut and I’m seriously thinking, “Well, isn’t this a swell kettle of fish I’ve got myself into? The oldest kid is already in weekly therapy sessions-maybe their therapist has a group discount for the whole brood of little buggers?!”

Swell.

I calm-down the small fry, grab a roll of paper towels, start wrapping my hand in it and continue cleaning up the broken glass, when it slowly dawns on me – “Lucie, you’ve just gone through half a roll of paper towels in a short time and your bleeding is out of control. Unless you want to faint in front of these little rascals, and send all of them into extensive therapy (well into their old age), you’d better get your uncle on the phone and get some assistance.”

So, up to my apartment I scooted, and call him I did.

My uncle, who lived a block away from me at the time, listens to me rattle-on about my “bleeding to death” in front of these kids, and then calmly says to me, “Lucie, you’ve got a whole half-a-roll of paper towels left, right?”

“Yes,” I nervously answered.

“Well, relax,” my uncle calmly says.

“Make your cake, and if you’re still bleeding by the time you finish the other half-a-roll of paper towels, call me back, and I’ll take you to the ER for stitches.”

Uh-Hun.

“Great,” I’m thinking to myself. “Nice to know my uncle’s got my best interest at heart. Let’s hope to hell these paper towels I’m using are the more absorbent brand, or I’m up the proverbial creek without a paddle!”

I make the cake, throw it into the oven, and discover (to my dismay) the two eggs that I borrowed from my neighbor, glaring back at me from the top of my kitchen counter.

Lovely, just lovely.

After all this, my cake is “egg-less” and my fingers are still bleeding.

Swell.

In the meantime, my uncle apparently reconsidered his sage medical advice and comes shuffling into my apartment to make sure I haven’t bled to death, only to find me teary-eyed and totally stressed-out, ‘cuz my cake is missing eggs; I can’t get my hand to stop bleeding and my ride is supposed to pick me up shortly and I don’t have the birthday cake made.

Long story short – my uncle gets my bloody hand under control, we got another cake mix and I mix together another cake in time for my friend’s pick-up, but did not have the time to put the frosting on because the cake was too warm.

“Not to worry,” my friend, Judy, assured me when she discovers my dilemma.

“While I’m driving,” she continues, “you stick the cake out the window, cool it off and we’ll slap-on the frosting and birthday greeting when we get to Rosie’s house and everything will be hunky-dory.”

Yep.

Everything was the bee’s knees, until Jute hit a pot-hole and sent the cake flying out of the pan into the air; forcing me to lean out the window, juggling the pan back and forth, to catch it on its way down.

Swell, just swell!

So, now we’ve got a car that needs a front end alignment, a cake that needs some heavy duty culinary repair work and me with a bandaged hand that was still dripping blood on everything and anything and badly in need of some medical attention.

Cazzo!

Could anything else go wrong that night?

We got to the house in time for me to whip together the frosting, when my other friend came strolling into the kitchen where I was working my magic; eyeballed the cake and the frosting that I was making, and says, “What the hell happened to the cake?”

“And,” she continues, “What ta shit is with the ugly pink frosting?”

Madonna!

Just when I thought things couldn’t have gotten any worse, I discovered that my fingers had been bleeding through the bandages into the vanilla frosting.

Yep.

While I tended to my bleeding hand, I got my friend to make another batch of frosting, minus the added rose tinting.

We get the frosting on the cake just in time for Rosie’s grand entrance to yell, “Surprise!” and sing “Happy Birthday!”, when Rosie leans over, smiles and says, “Thanks, Luce, for the cake, but what’s with the Happy Birtaday, Rosie written on it?”

Cavolo! (Literal translation, cabbage or holy crap!)

That was the FIRST and the LAST birthday cake that I ever made, People.

Rosie is the baker in our friendship and I’m the willing recipient of her scrumptious creations.

It’s been a successful friendship now for over 35 years, so why mess with perfection?

Have a grand day, People, and I’ll catch you next adventure, looking at life from my shoes.

 

 

The Princess and the Pelican

In November, the Princess learned that unless she wanted to be losing them, she’d best use her “floating holidays” by the second week of December or she would be kissing those days “good-bye”.

So, like the respectful royalty that she is, she put in for the time off and we got our buddy, Jimmy John (alias JJ), involved with our plans for silliness and merrymaking, and decided that a trip down to Monterey to do some bike riding along the coast would be a nice way to spend her time off.

Being the pizza and pastry lover that I am, though, I can’t drive down to Monterey, without a stopover in Capitola for a thin-crusted slice of pizza from a joint named, “Pizza My Heart” or a pastry from “Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria”.

So, the three of us agreed, before hitting Monterey’s coastline for bike riding, that a detour to this quaint beach town – known more for its steep cliffs and colorful houses and hotels, than its pizza joints and bakeries – was definitely on the agenda for the day.

The Princess and I had never been down to Capitola during the Christmas season and were pleasantly surprised to find “free parking” and Christmas music being piped-in throughout the village’s popular downtown.

Unlike other times of the year, the streets were pretty empty of tourists, and with the fog and overcast sky, it seemed more like a scene straight out of the Dicken’s era, if it weren’t for Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” playing in the background.

With nearby parking to the pizza joint and no one in the usual cue in front of the place, we quickly placed our orders and got served lickety-split.

Because this restaurant has no seating for its customers, and also because we enjoy eating with “an ocean view”, we headed down to the nearby beach to sit on a bench and watch the local surfers ride the unusually large waves of the season and enjoy our prized slice of pizza.

The powerful waves and surf had created a lot of beach debris, so no one, besides the multitude of pelicans and other shorebirds, was on the beach.

We decided that sitting on the boardwalk’s benches and using the cement beach wall, that separated the walk from the beach, as our “outdoor table”, would be the best plan of action for enjoying our pizza; and started to do just that, when out of nowhere, in one fell swoop, a pelican snatched the Princess’s slice of pizza out of her hand and gulped it down without so much as a “How do you do?”

The Princess, caught off guard and in total shock, stared at me in child-like innocence and whined, “OMG! That pelican just ate my slice of pizza. Did you see him? I can’t believe it, but that flippin’ bird just grabbed my slice of pizza outta my hand and ate the whole damn slice!

Un-Hun.

(And she expected this bird to share her pizza with her and leave her a piece?)

Yep.

In the meantime, she began to hungrily eye-ball my slice of pizza, looking for sympathy from me and JJ.

And, of course, being the sympathetic partner that I am, I let her know that she was shit outta luck when it came to sharing MY pizza and that if she wanted pizza for lunch, that she’d best head-on back to the pizza joint to buy another slice.

JJ just kept laughing, as he kicked back on the bench and savored his pizza, and told her that he saw the bird zero-in on her, but by the time he went to warn her, it nosedived directly at her and it was too late to say anything.

pmh-pizzas-126-big-sur

Photo credit: Pizza My Heart

Totally disgusted with all of us – Me, JJ and her new friend, Petey the Pelican – she traipsed back to “Pizza My Heart” for another piece of pizza, walked into the restaurant and announced to the clerk, “I just got mugged by one of your beach pelicans and I need another slice of pepperoni pizza.”

“Well,” the young man responded, “You’re in luck this afternoon, ‘cuz we have special insurance on pelican muggings and your pizza is on US today!”

Then he graciously proceeded to tell her how the shorebirds were unusually aggressive this time of year because there weren’t a lot of people feeding them and sent her on her merry way with another hot slice of peperoni pizza safely ensconced in a pelican proof pizza box.

Be careful out there, People.

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again, when predators, of all shapes and sizes, come out of nowhere and swoop-in and take our valuables.

Have a Merry Christmas and I’ll catch ya next adventure, looking at life from my shoes.

 

Lucie’s Day from Hell!

The Princess knew when she saw me crawl outta bed this morning, with bags under my eyes and hair looking like one of Methuselah’s daughters, that I needed to head straight back to bed, not pass go and definitely not collect my two hundred dollars.

Yep.

Well, being the little over-achiever that I am and not wanting to waste the day lollygagging, I got my walking clothes on, took a hearty walk and came home to start my day.

Uh-Hun.

Decided that my writing skills definitely needed some tweaking and that maybe a trip to the library to pick up a couple of books that author Dani Shapiro recommended would be the way to go.

Got my water bottle, checked my wallet for my library card, put my books to return in my book bag; and out the door I headed with the feeling that I was gonna do something good today.

I’m driving and singing Christmas songs with the radio and I arrive at the library, take a swig of my water (God forbid I get parched hunting for books at the library), grab my book bag and go to pick up my purse and lo and behold, there’s no purse.

Yep.

Drove all the way to the library and don’t have a stitch of i.d. on me.

Okeydokey.

So back home I drive and the storm that was supposed to hit us at 1 p.m. has arrived 2 hours early and is now wind-whipping the hell outta my Petey the Penguin Christmas decoration and other ornaments that I just put up 2 days before.

No big deal. I have all kinds of time to put them up, again.

I’m retired, don’t cha know?

In the house I go and think, OK, let’s put up the Christmas crèche. The storm will pass and you can pick up the books later.

Good idea.

Yep.

I’m carefully taking out my very old (very dear) crèche pieces and I noticed that one of my little donkey’s ears has broken off.

No big deal.

I found the piece. I can glue it. I just bought a brand new bottle of glue, so I’m good to go.

Hm…

Can’t get the glue outta the nozzle.

No big deal.

I take the nozzle off and get a little glue with a tooth pick.

Perfect.

Little Eeyore’s surgery was a success and we’re good to go.

Yep.

Well, have I mentioned how my cat, Boo, loves to jump up on our kitchen counters?

Yep.

Nasty habit that we’ve been unsuccessful in breaking with her.

So, while I’m busily setting up the crèche, Boo is on the counter searching for food and unbeknownst to me, tips over the uncapped glue bottle that slowly empties into my kitchen drawer that I left opened when I got out the tooth picks.

Have I mentioned that I have a nasty habit of leaving drawers and kitchen cupboard doors opened?

Yep.

The Princess has tried all kinds of reinforcement strategies to break me of this habit.

Doesn’t work.

She’s threatening to use Boo’s squirt gun on me  soon, if I don’t straighten up and fly right.

Yep.

Little did I know today that I’d be using Elmer’s All Purpose Glue for everything from Eeyore’s ear to all the little odds and ends in our junk drawer.

No big deal.

As a retired person, I’ve got all kinds of “extra time” to clean up messes like this.

Yep.

The mess gets cleaned-up, the storm dies down, my crèche is successfully laid out and I decide to tackle a trip to the library, again.

And this time, I remember everything – water bottle, book bag AND purse!

I’m nobody’s fool.

No siree, Bob!

So, I find the 3 books that I want on the library’s catalog system, but none of them are at my home library. One of the books has 76 copies of it in our library system, but not one of them is in my home library.

No big deal.

I’ll get an e-copy of it.

Yep.

I’m a county library person, don’t ‘cha know, and the county hasn’t purchased the e-versions of these books.

No sweat.

I don’t wanna improve my writing skills anyways.

Maybe Donald Hall’s, “Christmas at Eagle Creek” will be a better read for me during this season.

Bingo!

The library has Hall’s, 76 page, “Christmas at Eagle Creek”.

I’m good to go, People.

Got my Christmas music softly playing, my hot cocoa next to me and I’m settling in for the evening to tackle my 76 pages of labored reading when the Princess walks in the door and says, “I hope to hell you’ve had a better day than me! I’ve been walking around all day at work with my fly unzipped!”

Is it a wonder why our friends call us “Lucie and Ethel”?

Have a good one, People, and I’ll catch ya next adventure, looking at life from my shoes.