Tell Me My Worth

I don’t know what’s more difficult: moving or selling your home.

Frankly, I think both of them are a pain in the butt! And lately, I’m thinking that maybe adding some medicinal marijuana to my chocolate chip cookies may be good for what ails me.

For the past 6 months,
the Princess and I have been prepping for the big move to the state of WA, and as much as I’m excited and looking forward to this new chapter in my life, I’m also sad about saying goodbye to loved ones here in CA and a tad frightened of the unknown of what lies ahead.

Recently, our CA home was professionally staged, by a young woman who spent all of 45 minutes schlepping our furniture around and strategically placing a couple of lamps and pictures in our rooms. This Herculean endeavor cost our realtor $1600, and our house looks like a million bucks.

But $1600 for moving furniture around? Seriously?

Damn!

I think I spent too much time in college getting all those degrees for a field of study that in my earlier years, paid $1600 for the whole month.

What was I thinking?

When I was a kid, the school’s career counselor asked me, “So, what do you want to study after you graduate from high school, Lucie? Nursing? Secretarial science? Education?”

“I think you’d make a good teacher,” he continued, and off to an all-woman’s college I headed with my future career firmly etched in stone.

Never, and I mean NEVER, did I ever hear him or any one of my counselors broach the topic of me pursuing a career as an astrophysicist, or an electrician, or a veterinarian, or any one of a bazillion other fields of study that I, as a woman, could have pursued. Mind you, my science grades weren’t anything to write home about, and I couldn’t tell you which end of the chord to plug in on the vacuum cleaner; so becoming an electrician might have been stretching it a bit, but gee whiz, he could have directed me toward becoming a house stager or maybe even a professional belly dancer.

Then, again, there wasn’t too much demand for house stagers in upstate New York in those days, and my belly wasn’t very Buddha-like in my youth to pursue the art of belly dancing. So, maybe teaching wasn’t such a bad field to encourage me to pursue. I always liked kids, and I played school for hours-on-end on our rickety, uneven back porch that needed to be condemned long before we ever moved into the place.

And, here I sit today in a million dollar, staged home thinking about this 30-something-year-old stager who did her job in a quick 45 minutes and got paid this obscene amount of money for moving furniture around, and I’m asking myself: “What kind of society and time period am I living in when the value of a house stager, and basketball player, and movie star are all paid so much more than those of us entrusted with shaping our country’s future?”

I am truly happy that this young woman is earning her creative worth,
and I hope that other young women start demanding their fair share of the pie. I just hope that in my lifetime that what I did for a living becomes as important to others as the house stager and the basketball player and the movie star.

Until then, I need to keep packing and hiding my underwear and cat bowls in the closet, and wait for the house appraiser to do his job this week and tell me my worth.

Have a great week, People,
and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

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A Mouse in the House

After living in Northern Ca.  for over 34 years, technology and the entitlement that goes along with the money and privilege associated with that technology, has forced me to re-evaluate my opinion of my once thought of paradise that I call home and pack it in and go north to cooler temperatures and less people.  A friend of mine who moved out of the area herself a year ago volunteered to help me in my pursuit of such a formidable task, and I gratefully accepted and spent a week on the road looking at various cities for the Princess and I to call home after her retirement.

 

On the evening before I was to fly home after my house-hunting expedition, I got 2 back-to-back phone calls. One from my older brother, Anthony, telling me that his wife’s Dad was not doing well, and that they were disappointed and apologetic, but that our plan to get together and head to Mendocino for some camping and relaxing when I returned home was not doable for them and that it was unfortunate, but they’d have to cancel. The other phone call came from my distraught, out-of-breath partner, who animatedly informed me that my bedroom had been turned upside down and that there was an F-ing mouse somewhere in the house.

 

Accustomed to my cat’s mouse-gifting behavior from previous adventures, I tried to calm her down and assured her that the chances of a small mouse surviving the evening with two cats in a tiny house were slim to none and asked her, “Where are the cats right now?”

 

“Boo’s chowing-down and Molly’s spread-eagle on the couch,” she answered while gasping for breath. “And I’m not feeling so protected by these fur balls right now. If the truth be told, I’m feeling kinda freaked-out and that lump on the side of my head is totally throbbing. I’m not looking forward to going to bed with a mouse in the house, Lucie, and these cats aren’t making me or my throbbing head feel any better.”

 

Concerned with the fact that she said she had a sizable knot on her head, I asked, “Hun, how in God’s name did you get a bump on your head?”

 

“Well, she began, “Do you want the short version or the long version?”

 

“I just want the version that tells me if the mouse was involved,” I answered, while taking in a deep, cleansing breath. “Just give me the abbreviated version, please. I’m already on emotional over-load right now with my phone calls tonight, so please be succinct.”

 

“Well,” she again started. “The mouse ran. I chased it. Boo chased me and after the three of us were thoroughly pooped-out, Boo cornered it between the back of the desk and the front room closet, and then pinned it in the corner with her paw. I figured I could grab its tail and capture it and crawled under the desk to do just that; and when I did, Boo released the mouse and it jumped, scaring the hell outta me, and I smashed my head on the underbelly of the desk, losing the mouse for good.”

 

“I don’t know where the hell that flippin’ mouse is right now, Lucie,” she continued, “and I’m exhausted and my head hurts. I don’t know where it went, and it’s freaking me out. I need to go to bed, but I’m afraid the damn thing will end up curled up snoring next to me, and it’s making me crazy just thinking about it.”

 

“Listen to me,” I said to her aware of her fragile state of mind. “The fact is: you have TWO cats in a very tiny house with you tonight. You’ll be fine,” I said trying to assure her, but wondering where the hell the mouse went and praying that it wasn’t establishing residence in my thoroughly messed-up closet.

 

“Keep Boo hungry and go to bed. I guarantee you, Hun, you’ll be fine,” I continued all the while thinking to myself, “With her luck, the damn thing is gonna end up sleeping with her, and I’m not feeling too keen about putting our house on the market with a resident mouse.”

 

“Cazzo!”

 

So, we hung up and each went on with our evenings, and I eventually went to bed. The next time I heard from her was via a cryptic text at 12:45 a.m.: “Everything under control. Woke up to blood-curdling squeak. Turned on light. Saw mouse belly-up under kitchen table. Think it died from fright. Had startled look on face. Both cats with me when we heard last squeak. Oh well… Have a good flight home!”

 

Yep. Just another day in our crazy, wacky lives.

 

Have a great day, People, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes!

 

 

 

 

 

Spider Guts and Clean Sneaks

Mom called me this morning. The weather was crappy and she was bored.

“Hey,” she said, starting the conversation.

“Your sister, Carmie, called this morning.”

“Hm…that’s nice,” I mumbled as I tried to feign interest.

“What’d Carmie have to say this morning, Ma?” I asked.

“Ya know,” she said, totally ignoring my question. “You kids need to let the phone ring longer when you call me sometimes. Your sister called when I was on the toilet this morning and only let the phone ring 3 times before leaving a message. Cazzo! I’m old, ya know? I can’t get off the toilet and answer the phone that quickly any more. My legs aren’t that flexible any longer.”

“I know, Ma,” I started to say before she continued rattling on.

“You kids are so impatient. Wait ‘till you get to be my age,” she continued.

“Mom,” I tried interjecting again. “If you change the answering machine setting…”

“You kids are all alike,” she said, interrupting one more time. “You’re all in such a damn hurry.”

“It’s a miracle I didn’t have a heart attack trying to answer the phone this morning,” she continued.

“Uh-Hun,” I quickly interjected before she started on another tirade.

“Don’t you have your card game today at Trackside with the gang?” I asked, trying my darndest to change the topic of conversation.

“Yeah,” she responded. “I hope we play cards today, but it’s windy out and it’s supposed to sprinkle. Who the hell knows if they’ll show up today? The girls don’t like the wind or rain.”

“Well,” I responded, “Isn’t the place that you play cards right there on ….”

Once again, she interrupts, “Cazzo! What the hell is crawling on my rug?”

“Che schifo (keh SKEE-feh, ‘how disgusting’)!”

“I don’t vacuum today and I’ve got a spider crawling on my rug! Don’t hang up, Lucie. I gotta kill this damn spider!”

“I’m not going anywhere, Ma, I…” and again she interrupts me.

“Son-ah-batch! Your Mother’s a killer!” she yelled into my ear.

“Shit! Now I’ve got squished spider guts on the bottom of my clean sneaks,” she rattles on.

“Damn it! I’m gonna hafta wash my sneaks and I just washed them last week.”

“Well, Ma,” I calmly started to say. “You can simply wipe off the….”

And once again, I get cut off mid-sentence.

“If I wasn’t such a pig and vacuumed my rug this morning, the little shit wouldn’t have found a home on my rug and I wouldn’t have had to squish it with my sneaker,” she abruptly informed me.

“Well,” I started again trying to get her back on the topic of playing cards today. “Why don’t you wash your sneakers tomorrow and go over and play cards today with the girls? It’ll give you something to do, alright?” I lovingly suggested, trying to get her off of the topic of squished spider guts.

“Madonna! I told you at the start of our conversation, it’s windy today and it’s supposed to rain. Ma, che sei grullo! (How silly are you?),” she said.

“Well, Mom, don’t you guys all live right there at the complex?” I innocently asked.

“Correct me if I’m wrong,” I continued, “but isn’t the hall like 20 to 30 feet from your apartment complex?”

“Yeah,” she curtly answered, “but like I said Lucie, it’s supposed to rain and be windy today.”

“Uh-Hun,” I mumbled.

“Don’t you all have umbrellas out there on the East Coast, Ma? Or rain slickers?”

“Can’t you put on a rain slicker and brave the elements for 20 feet, for Pete’s sake?” I continued.

“Ya know, Lucie, I’m so glad you went to college. You’re such a stoonod (idiot)!”

“Cazzo,” I answered back.

“Ya know, old woman, if ya don’t wanna walk the 20 or so feet in a little wind and rain today to play cards with your buddies, then stay home by yourself and work on your circle word puzzles. I really don’t care. I thought you sounded a little bored and lonely when you first called me, but what ta hell do I know? I’m an educated stoonod!

Yep.

Conversing with my Mom can be sooo uplifting some days, ya know?

She’s lucky I love the little rompicoglioni (pain in the ass).

Have a great day today, People, and I’ll catch ya next time, 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.

 

 

A Walk in the Rain and a Whiplash!

It started raining in Northern California.

Yay!

And like the US postal people, I will not let snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, interfere with my morning constitutional through the neighborhood.

It’s good for my heart, my Buddha belly, and it “clears the ole cob-webs” out of that petrified gray matter of mine.

My infamous blue rubber rain suit and barn boots (of last season), have been temporarily placed on moth balls, and as much as I swore I’d never do this – my belly, booty, and bazoombas are now sporting Spandex these days.

Yes, I know, People.

I swore that I’d never wear a pair of Spandex to emphasize my jiggly gluts, knicker bonkers and tumultuous tuckus, but I found an XL outfit (in black, of course), that’s actually quite comfortable, and a tad nicer than that ole blue, rubber rain suit.

What can I say?

I also vowed that I would never be caught dead in a pair of Orthotics or rubber Crocs; but alas, old age and prudence has forced me to rethink my pigheaded stance of my youthful naivety.

Oh well.

Got a funny idea, I won’t be the first one to meet my Fairy Godfather in assorted-colored rubber slippers or old lady shoes with special insoles.

Nor will I be the last.

I’m not exactly what you’d call a fashionista (lest my blue rubber rain suit made you believe otherwise), but I have always had a keen sense of matching my sneakers and sport socks to whatever I’m sportin’; and I decided that my white, orthotic Dr. Scholl’s weren’t exactly “the look” that I wanted to project to my adoring public.

So, with that in mind, I purchased a new black pair of Dr. Scholl’s, and a matching, DrizzleStix Flex 54” Golf Umbrella, with spring action canopy, for when the rainy season began.

“I’d be damned if I’m looking goofy on my walks, this rainy season.”

“No siree, Bob!”

Well, the rainy season began last week.

(Or at least we hope it did!)

And I got a chance to fashion this new outfit of mine, to all the neighbors (umbrella and all) – on my inaugural rain walk of the season.

Yep.

Everything was going swimmingly, don’t ya know?

The Mario Andretti’s and Janet Guthrie’s of the neighborhood were mindful not to shower me with the mucky rain water from the newly formed puddles, that had pooled on the side of the streets, as they grinded down into 2nd gear to pass me.

And a few of the drivers were actually hesitating at the stop signs that morning.

Yep.

Miss Buddha Belly and I were actually working up a good sweat and gaily humming along, and I was thinking that maybe with all the rain we were getting, that this idea of using reclaimed sewage water (that certain county officials were suggesting for our drinking water), could be shelved for future draught solutions, and we could move past this distasteful idea.

Uh-Hun.

I’m happily humming and singing off key and just having a grand ole morning, walking and reveling in Ca’s first, sweet, purifying, renewing rain of the season.

Yep.

Suddenly, one of the prickly spinose teeth, on the neighbor’s tall rose bushes, precariously reaches out, bites into the canopy of said nifty, new umbrella; stops me dead in my tracks, and catapults my head backwards; like the rubber band of some anthropomorphic bean shooter.

Still humming and naively thinking that this was no big deal, I quickly raised the hood of my spiffy, new Spandex jacket over my head, for protection from the now steady rainfall; and then attempted to carefully assess the situation, so I could return to my morning walk.

Yeah.

When is anything ever simple for me?

I patiently tried to unhook the umbrella from this bush’s death-grip, and began getting wetter and wetter with each passing minute; when I aptly concluded, that this plan of action was going nowhere fast.

If I didn’t want to be soaked to the bones very shortly, I’d better head-back home, put on some dry clothes, get a pair of pruning scissors; drive back to the neighbors and try to salvage what was left of my nifty, new umbrella.

Uh-Hun.

Well, the winds picked up while I was trying to implement plan # 2.

Let’s just say, I need a new umbrella, and, like Dopey’s best friend of Disney’s “The Seven Dwarfs”, find myself sneezing at the most inopportune times.

Have a grand day, today, People, and remember:

Some days you just need to let it rain and get a little wet…

It’s good for the soul.

I’ll catch you next adventure, looking at life from my shoes!

 

The Little White Dog Learns to Swim!

A number of summers ago, my siblings and I, along with my sister-in-law and a family friend, all got together and went to Strawberry Lake, in Utah, to spend the weekend on my brother’s boat and do some fishing and other fun “boating activities”.

My sister, Carmella, had a little, white Maltese at the time, called “Shelby Marina”.

Carmie would disagree with this characterization, but Shelby was quite the “pampered Princess”- owned her own baby carriage for taking “dog walks”, and sported a SF forty-niner jacket with matching booties, for when the cold and snow of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah became insufferable; and like most overindulged, mollycoddled Malteses, enjoyed all the luxuries of a spoiled, only child.

Wherever Carmie went, Shelby went.

And if Shelby couldn’t go, Carmie didn’t go.

It was a simple fact. And we all knew it.

So, we all agreed to “take one for the team” and let the little yapper spend the weekend with all of us on the boat, so that we could all “be together”, as a family.

Yep.

That was the plan, anyway.

And everything was going along just swimmingly.

We were docked at the harbor, and the youngest brother and our family friend, Jimmy John (alias J.J.), were intently focused on their fishing.

I was in the boat’s galley, starting to prep for dinner, when Carmie yelled, from the upper deck, (to no one in particular), that she was headed to the wharf’s store with my older brother, Anthony, and his wife, Lucy, and for us to watch Shelby Marina for her until she returned.

Not familiar with my brother’s new boat, and intently trying to understand the mechanics of the oven, I dispassionately mumbled something to the effect of, “Sure. No problem. Go on. I’ll watch her.”

I sincerely thought that Shelby would be fine.

“She was wearing a little doggie life vest, and if push came to shove, she could always DOG PADDLE, if she fell in,” I casually reasoned to myself.

“She’s a dog, for Chriminy sakes!”

After fiddling with the galley’s stove for 10 or so minutes, I vaguely heard J.J.quietly say something from the back of the boat about some “white dog swimming for her life”.

I was totally distracted and intent on prepping for dinner and not quite putting two and two together, yet, when I heard J.J. calmly, but sternly, shouting, “If anybody cares, the white dog just went under for the second time and is headed for the underbelly of the neighbor’s boat!”

Un-Hun.

By this time, I’m acutely aware of the fact that it’s eerily quiet, and that I haven’t heard a whimper (let alone a yelp!) from little Shelby since my sister left.

As I was anxiously stumbling up the galley’s stairwell, on my old (and oh-so delicate) shins, to check on my sister’s little Princess, I heard J.J. emphatically yell, “The little white dog’s mastery of the dog paddle, ain’t lookin’ so good, and if somebody doesn’t get up here, soon, and fish her out of the water, she’s a goner!”

By this time, it dawned on me that the “white dog” was Carmie’s precious little Shelby Marina, and I started yelling, “Cazzo! Ya wanna throw her a life preserver or something, before we lose her for good?!”

“If anything happens to this dog, we’re all as good as dead,” I nervously continued shouting, as J.J. slowly and calmly grabbed his large fishing net and scooped up the frightened, shivering, little Shelby, from what was soon to have been, a burial at sea, for the little bugger.

“Cavola!” I say, while glaring at J.J. and my younger brother.

“What’s the matter with you two stoonods (idiots)?!”

“This dog could have drowned, for Chriminy sakes,” I angrily continued, while eye-balling the two of them.

“And then what, pray tell, would we have told our sister?”

At that point, J.J. looked at me with that boyish, impish grin of his and calmly responded, “Oh for Pete’s sake, the dog had on a life preserver and I made sure she came up after she went down the second time, didn’t I? You didn’t think I was gonna let her drown, did you? I just needed to reel in my fish, first.”

“You gotta relax, Lucie,” he casually continued. “You get your knickers into a knot too easily, Woman!”

Uh-Hun.

Yep.

That’s me: old, knotted-up, knickers Lucie.

One of these days, I’m gonna slap these here boys upside their pea-sized heads, and then we’ll see whose “knickers are in a knot”.

Have a great day, People, and don’t be getting “your knickers into a knot” over the small stuff!

I’ll catch ya next time, looking at life from my shoes!

Lucie Breaks her Crayola’s!

My friend, Rozzie Roo, came over to the house a few weeks ago with her art folder from her teaching days of years ago, and gave me my first art lesson, using crayon pastels.

I had so much fun with her, that I decided to purchase my own pastels, and then, with childlike exuberance, asked if she’d be interested in meeting with me on a monthly basis to do some art projects.

Being the loving, agreeable person that she is, Rozzie enthusiastically accepted, and we set up another date to do just that, last week.

So, she comes over on Thursday, and we’re quietly sitting at my kitchen table.

We’re intently focused on doing our individual “art-projects”, with my nifty, brand new, 50-count, extra fine quality oil pastels neatly laid out on said table; and her broken, chewed-up, miniscule pastels strewn on her side of the table, when Rozzie, suddenly looks over at my art work, and nonchalantly says to me,

“Ya know, Hun, if you break your pastels and peel off their wrappings, you’ll be able to work with them better to get the effect you’re looking for with the waves in your picture.”

Uh-Hun.

At this point, I’m skeptically staring at her, with an expression of total disbelief, when she encouragingly continues,

“Lucie, why don’t you just put on your big girl pants, take the plunge, and snap ALL of them in half?”

“You’ll feel great after you’ve broken the first one, and you’ll NEVER look back!”

“Come on, try one – just one. Snap it for Rozzie-Roo.”

“You’ll feel much better.”

“I promise,” she sincerely continues.

I anxiously look up and see Rozzie smilin’ at me with that kind, nurturing look that is so typical of Roz.

“What?” I incredulously ask her, while breaking out in a cold, nervous sweat.

“Are you nuts? These are brand, spanking new. I just bought them.”

Cazzo!”

“Why would I want to break them, for Pete’s Sake?” I continue, while eyeballing her ancient, broken (well-used) “micro-pastels”, which she used for years teaching local youngsters.

“And besides that, Rozzie, I really don’t like to get my fingers “yucky” when I’m working. I don’t like stuff caked under my nails,” I adamantly explain, raising my left eye brow, while scrutinizing her crayon-caked finger nails on her right hand.

“Yuck! It makes my skin crawl, just thinking about it,” I emphatically continue, as Rozzie correctly interprets the judgmental affect of my raised left eye brow, and sheepishly starts to wipe-off her hands with one of our cleaning towels.

“Ok, Lucie,” she patiently says to me. “You color the way you wanna color.”

“I think you’d get the look you want on your picture, if you’d break them,” she encouragingly continues.

“But do it your way, Honey. I’ll leave you be.”

Uh-Hun.

So, for the next fifteen or so minutes, the great Georgia O’Keeffe and I, quietly continue working on our individual art pieces.

I then suddenly stop working; impulsively grab ahold of one of my crayons, and snap the crayon in half.

“There,” I impishly say to her.

“Ya happy? I broke my first pastel,” I smugly inform her, as I promptly start breaking the next one.

“I hope you’re pleased that my nifty new crayons are soon to be lookin’ like yours,” I curtly continue, while decisively snapping another one.

She slowly and lovingly shakes her head back and forth and says, “Lucie, now use the crayon like I taught you to and see if you like the results.”

“Go on.”

“Do it, Honey. Try to do what I showed you, ok?”

Hm….

I could be wrong, Miss O’Keeffe, but I think there’s a method to your madness!

I’ll never be the next Grandma Moses, People, but I’m sure having fun with this new “hobby” of mine.

I still have a few “unbroken crayons” and that’s ok.

I did a fairly decent job breaking the first few and got my fingers pretty grimy, smudging some of the pastels on my piece to get that “artistic effect,” to please Ms. O’Keeffe, herself.

Maybe next time, I’ll break a few more, and maybe even get my finger nails really yucky.

Who knows?

I just know that the kid in me that preserved my precious, set of 64-Binney and Smith, Crayola Christmas Crayons every year, felt a whopping sense of abandonment and childlike innocence with every snap, and highly recommend the “breaking of one’s Crayola’s” to everyone out there old enough to know better .

Have a grand week, People!

Dance in the street.

Throw your bra in the air.

And by all means, “snap a few crayons”.

I’ll catch up with you next time, living life from my shoes!

 

Lucie's first masterpiece!
Lucie’s first masterpiece!