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.

Advertisements

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.

 

 

There’s Water on that Dust-Blown Surface!

There’s a draught in California.

Just saying – in case, you’re unaware of this noteworthy, indubitable fact.

On September 28, 2015, NASA scientists proudly informed us that their Reconnaissance Orbiter showed dark, narrow streaks on Mars and that there may actual be WATER frozen beneath the crust of the Red Planet.

I started thinking maybe those local, elected officials, that I wrote about in May, who thought that “reclaimed sewage water for drinking” was the answer to some of our draught problems, should be taking note of this newsworthy event.

Yep.

And, according to astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, “On Earth, any place we find liquid water, we find life.”

Hm…

So, the Princess and I were thinking maybe we need to use our 30% off Kohl’s coupons this weekend and see if there are any bargains on “travel wear” for flying the friendly skies.

Yes-siree Bob!

I’ve always preferred traveling during the autumnal season, and it would be quite delightful to “git outta Dodge” and meet some new folks.

After all, the Princess and I are rather different ourselves, so I’m thinking that maybe we’d all get along quite amiably.

Un-Hun.

I’ll pack some Italian biscotti, to share with them there Martians, along with some clean undies and Thorlo sport socks, and we’ll be good to go.

Yes-siree!

Have a great day, People, and don’t forget to make time in your day for some silliness.

I’ll catch ya next time, looking at life from my nifty, new space boots!

Lucie’s Buddha Belly is Outta Control!

 

All righty!

I just finished scarfing down a grilled, medium rare, quarter pound, grass-fed, angus ground beef (no hormones or antibiotics added!), cheese burger; loaded with sweet onions, home-grown tomatoes and lettuce, mustard, ketchup and mayo on a (Northern Ca.) Dutch Crunch roll with a freshly picked ear of white corn smothered in butter!

And I’m thinking that I sure as hell hope my doctor doesn’t read this week’s posting on my blog.

Cazzo!

My Buddha belly has gone berserk and is totally outta control.

I happened to be listening to Dr. Oz’s T.V. show today, while I was doing my daily wifely chores, and heard him mention something about asparagus being a really good food to eat to maintain weight (or some such health nonsense).

For some reason, though, my Buddha belly and I couldn’t get our head around grazing on a grilled asparagus sandwich, minus the Dutch Crunch roll and cheese, when we were already salivating on the strong possibilities of devouring a grilled, quarter-pounder, encapsulated in Havarti cheese, bedded-down on a Dutch Crutch roll.

No siree, Bob!

I may be from health-conscious California, but don’t be messing with my angus fed, cheese burgers.

I don’t care what people claim – a vegetarian/soy burger is not the same as a grass-fed, angus cheese burger!

And besides, People, if you really think about it, isn’t the grass (as in grass-fed angus beef) considered a type of vegetable?

MY logic certainly says it is.

It’s green.

It grows from the ground.

And individuals, on occasion, have been known to fertilize it.

Sounds like a vegetable to moi!

Now understand, People, I have no problem eating asparagus.

I just don’t personally view it as a suitable substitute for a grilled cheese burger.

Once I figured out, years ago, that the odiferous after effects of eating said vegetable weren’t indications of some God-forsaken  weird disease, especially concocted for curing closeted homosexuals teaching special needs children in Northern Ca, I actually started to enjoy the veggie – as long as it had a titch of mayo on it.

It wasn’t until years after I left upstate New York, and had one of my first teaching jobs in inner-city Oakland, that I naively discovered the lovely attributes of said vegetable.

As I was apprehensively walking out of our classroom bathroom, one day, after lunch, my loyal, and highly astute instructional assistant, says, “Girlfriend, you look like you’ve been rode hard and hung up to dry! Wuz up?”

Well,” I reluctantly and ever-so-anxiously start, “I don’t know how to delicately say this, but my urine has the most peculiar smell to it, and I’m not too sure what to make of it.”

“I think something is wrong – something is SERIOUSLY WRONG with me,” I emphatically continue.

Uh-Hun.

At this point, Lea Joy is doubled-over, coughing with laughter, while I’m skeptically staring at her with a raised left eye-brow that says, “Woman! Have you lost your mind, today?!”

Still laughing, but aware of the fact that I’m earnestly concerned with the situation, she slowly and thoughtfully composes herself, and says to me, “Girrrllll! This one of those peculiarities that’s special to YOU, or are all white people from upstate New York one tit short of an utter?!

Did I tell you that Lea Joy was a transplant from the South and had an uncanny ability, at times, to make an otherwise intelligent woman look (and feel!) quite stupid?

Yes-siree, Bob!

Din’t you just eat some spare-gus with your lunch today?” she continues between fits of laughter.

Un-Hun!

I learned a lot, that first year, working with Lea Joy in inner-city Oakland.

And I’ll always…..always be grateful and indebted to this dear, dear woman for taking on one, very naïve, dumb, (highly educated!) white woman from Upstate New York.

Have a great week, People, and may your day be filled with the joy and laughter that comes from knowing you may be one tit short of an utter, but thank goodness you’re not ME!

Catch ya next adventure, looking at life from my shoes!