Sunday, December 30, 2012

Waiting on The Birdbath to Thaw

A friend of mine posted on FB this last week "We are now open for bird ice skating!"  With a picture of a frozen over bird bath and the thought of birds ice-skating made me smile. But as I thought about it, actually a frozen bird bath is an inconvenience to a bird not a delightful event.  Where I had been thinking of doing a picture of ice skating birds with smiles on their faces and tying to the verse from Matthew 6 to it

 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life" 

I began to think-- a frozen bird bath, while beautiful and whimsical-- its actually a hardship to the birds. A source of help was inaccessible.  A place of fun gone. And if that frozen over bird bath were all I could focus on it would be depressing-- if not for the promise

Lord, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions.
25 There is the sea, great and broad,
In which are swarms without number,
Animals both small and great.
26 There the ships move along,
And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.
27 They all wait for You
To give them their food in due season.
Psalm 104

Life at times can be hard.  Even more so when others around you are rejoicing. I'm reminded of the line from the movie Sense and Sensibility 

            What do you know of my heart? What 
                         do you know of anything but your own 
                         suffering? For weeks, Marianne, I 
                         have had this pressing on me without 
                         being at liberty to speak of it to a 
                         single creature. It was forced upon 
                         me by the very person whose prior 
                         claims ruined all my hopes. I have 
                         had to endure her exultation again 
                         and again while knowing myself to be 
                         divided from Edward forever. Believe 
                         me, Marianne, had I not been bound 
                         to silence I could have produced 
                         proof enough of a broken heart even  
for you.

At times though we may try and be happy, our griefs are heavy to bear and even compounded. But let the word of God encourage you and take a lesson from the frozen birdbath. He attends to all in their due season. And like winter-- it will end-- and the ice will thaw, and the place where joy was once found will be found again-- or there will be an even better place of iceless joy.  Though sometimes the winters are short and other times longer-- it is really just a season and not forever. 

This one hope we have as Christians is, that in Christ, eventually there will be a spring that never ends.

In the meantime, my prayers goes out to all those who read this and find they are stuck in a frozen bird bath.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Brilliantly Busking

I just came back from a lovely trip to visit some friends in Princeton.  Mind you I couldn't say "Im going to New Jersey" My friend decried, "No please tell people you're coming to Princeton"... I guess to spare me the infamy of having to explain that I was not going to the Shore.  While out one day walking my friend pointed to a large house and said "That is where Einstein played his violin"

I had recently seen a movie which portrayed a fictional Einstein in his older years as a kindly gentleman who with his silly cohorts was trying to match his adorable mathematician niece to a charming and misunderstood auto mechanic-- but I had never thought of the REAL Einstein as actually playing the violin-- I mean, he was so brilliant, I assumed his life was consumed with math and other matters relatively related.  But Einstein was a person just like all of us, and of course he had other interests-- and he had friends as well.  Maybe they were silly, or maybe they were serious, but he spent time with them as well.  It wasn't his home he played in but theirs.  Why? because they had a music room.

Later,  went to Times Square. I hadn't been since I was a teen ager-- which is to say I might as well say I had gone for the first time two days ago.  (youth is wasted on the wrong people)  and as I stood there in the lights of historic thoroughfare  and marveled at the sights the lights and the crowd I thought of Einstein and his fiddle.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Noble Gift of the Noble Pine

It seems like only yesterday I was at the big box home improvement store buying my first live Christmas tree in many years.  And as if by some cruel finger of fate, my tree has gone toes up two weeks after I got it... or should I say roots up.  What once was a lovely and noble pine has become like a drooped over old man.  Still standing straight up, but everything hanging down and sadly brown. I wondered if I could resurrect it, but after polling my FB friends, including one fireman who said 

" I have seen a house completely destroyed by a Christmas tree fire BUT BUT BUT, it was still plugged in and left on overnight. I wouldn't have a problem with keeping it unplugged and making sure there are no real sources of fire within several feet."

I decided it was best to just unplug the pathetic thing and and enjoy the memory of what it had only just been a week ago.

Do I regret having bought the tree you may ask?  Well, maybe you didn't ask. but I thought about it anyway.  I smiled as I thought what a gift it was even in its short life.  When I first expressed my desire to get a tree so many people and why, many people expressed their love in a way that I had not expected. One friend told me that she was so touched that she wanted to help me go get it (which was an unspoken prayer as I imagined myself like Meg Ryan from "Harry Met Sally" trying to lug the thing to my car.)  So I got love, an offer, and a fun evening with a friend that lasted well into the night as a couple of usual humbugs listened to Pandora's Christmas list and strung the light with trees (after spending an hour trying to make it stand) laughing all the time.  

Not only that, I learned to make cool light effects by cutting out a mask for my camera lens because I wanted to capture the magic of the tree  (something that would have never caught my eye had I not had the tree... or a camera for that matter. ) and got to make other people's day a little more filled with wonder when they saw the result.  So even as it died, the community outpouring of caring through information showed that my little tree was not just a tree to me, but a lightening rod of support and love. Okay, the tree is dead-- but it served its purpose.  To help me remember a time of love.  Sure I wish the it had lasted just one week longer (its been sincerely dead for a week now)  But it gave its gift long before the Christmas day.   

It kind of reminds me of God's gift to Mary of a baby boy.   Mary is said to have treasured things in her heart that she had heard about Him from a group of shepherds who were told

"...I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' "

Thirty three years is not a long time when you think that you're going to see you Child grow up and have children of His own. But the gifts she got along the way could not be taken away from her-- and the greatest gift being the promise she had "...He will save His people from their sins.”

Everything dies. My mom, this tree,  and I will too one day. But the message of Christmas is the gift that was given that even in death, there is hope for not only life-- but meaning to life while we walk this earth.  I am thankful to the tree for that last little gift-- because in thinking of it's death, it helped me to remember my Savior's everlasting life. 

Merry Christmas 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sledgehammer Sleeping Pills

"Can't sleep. Coughing fits and bruised ribs. I just need the Sandman to show up with a sledge hammer."

My poor poor friend is sick... again.  and there's nothing worse than being sick... except being sick alone-- which is what often times I hear happens when you're married and coughing... so I guess whether, your single or married, being sick simply stinks.  Its been a long time since I've been kept up with wracking coughs. but my mom told me she was taught by my great aunt Francis who hailed from Oklahoma, that to relieve a cough; dump a little salt in your hand and lap it up.  Mom said she even tried it on me as a child and said when she left the room, she was convinced it wouldn't work.  She sat in the other room and listened in frustrated helplessness to her small child:

hack hack hack
hack hack hack

and then silence.

The old wives' tale proved to be a back woods remedy to which I resorted from time to time in my growing up years.


in my adult life, I've decided I didn't really know how much salt I should be downing (and since high blood pressure runs in my family I really don't want to be guessing-- though I suppose having a stroke would stop the coughing just as much as robitussin. ) So when I'm out of cough medicine, I warm some water, dissolve some salt and gargle.  It seems to do the trick for a common cold cough at least for a little bit.  But for my friend who has bronchitis-- I got nothin' for him,  but if he's still up-- I hope this cartoon will make him feel a little less alone on the couch, where Im sure he's been quarantined.

feel better soon friend...I'm going to sleep.
ps) the reference to purple butterfly is a logo for a sleeping pill. the commercial has people being visited by a giant butterfly as they drift off happily to sleep... I don't know, it must be just me, but being visited by a giant butterfly seems more like a nightmare than a welcome dream... 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Never too Old for the Young

When I was a new believer I was introduced to the concept of serving by an elder's wife at my church as she stood on the platform and announced, "We need help in Sunday school and no one is signing up. So I am sending around this clip board and if it comes back with spaces on it, I will keep sending it back until the spaces are filled"

Fear that she would find out I hadn't signed up was as good a reason as any to serve I suppose and so sign up I did.  Soon I was summarily dropped into the nursery department where I learned to be smarter than a three year old, come up with crafts, and at times shhhh them by holding my foot up to my mouth instead of my finger.

I was charmed by their equal parts play, and cuddly love.  Though I couldn't understand the whole "what do you mean you can't push a push pin into a cork. Its not that hard.--- or understand that a child of that age shouldn't have push pins in the first place...  As time went on and I began to understand development, over the years I grew to love watching the change even a year would bring in a small child.  I remember the first time I saw little Sean as he leaned against the wall with his tiny arms folded around his little legs.  "What's wrong?" I asked, expecting a pouty sputter of someone took my toy kind of drivel.  instead he said replied with two words.  "Im depressed"

Depressed?  What's a three year old have to be depressed about?

But thats the thing.  They may be little kids without the ability to push pins into cork, or time to remember to go to the bathroom.  but every now and again, there is a glimpse of who they will be and how they will feel, and how they will see the world.  Those moments grow bigger and bigger as they age, until those moments spill over their lives like water spilling from a bucket and saturating a floor.  No longer puddles, but them-- and the puddles of who they once were as a child show up in a tickle fight or two when no one least expects it.

I guess Im thinking about that in light of recent events.  The puddles of who they will be.  I didn't know any of those children.  To watch any videos would almost be pointless, because there is no context. I but I think of the children I know, who've passed through my life like a meandering stream passes a river rock.  All the little kids who've snuck into my lap to cuddle during bible story time  because they possessed me from the other kids.  All the children  who have moved on to the next class and onto the next part of their lives.  They are like those kids in Newton.  They said to someone "Don't you remember my name?" or "that's my mommy's friend" or "watch me, watch me"

For someone who doesn't like change, they are the embodiment of it-- yet somehow its okay, because they are so adorable...  I wish all change could be like that...

When Kelly was four-- back in the day when a child could still ride in the front seat of a car,  I took her someplace I can no longer remember.  As we struggled to put on her lap belt in the very old and used 1976 Dodge dart, I asked her if she was okay in the seat.  I was new to little children so what she muttered made no sense.  I apologized and said, "Im sorry Kelly, can you repeat yourself, sometimes I don't understand little kids"  And she replied "Its okay, sometimes I don't understand grown ups either" While she might have been referring to how we speak... I always ascribed to it a deeper meaning.  And as I live my life I tend to agree.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Best PR, Ever

When I was in eleventh grade I went to Manhattan for the first time.  First time on a subway, first time to a Broadway play and first time eating street food.  Being that it was winter,  on many of the corners, there were many carts that sold Chestnuts.  Well, after walking out of Macy's (of course I HAD to go, after all  I couldn't resist having grown up on Miracle on 34 street),  I could no longer resist, and since I had already eaten NY Pizza, Ny Cheesecake and NY bagels, I decided it was time to have some NY Chestnuts. 

I figured they had to be amazing... someone had dedicated an entire memorable line of a beloved Christmas song to it..

As the frosty vender shoveled a few of those dark brown  beauties into a little paper sack, my mouth watered in anticipation.  I was so delighted at the taste that lay ahead.

I know it may be just me... but the best thing about Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is the line in the song.  What a disappointment.  They weren't' horrible  but they certainly weren't nuts.  they didn't taste like walnuts,  pecans or my then favorite at the time Brazil nuts.  They were hot and squishy, not crunchy and satisfying.  It was like eating a mushy kneaded eraser-- with a flavor that was indescribable, but not like a nut.  Where I had been disappointed that the NY vender had not given me enough of those little brown beauties when I bought them, I was now miffed that I had to throw so many of them into the NY trash can.

Well, that was many years ago, and since then I have learned to like many foods I would have turned up my nose to as a fifteen year old.  Sushi, pate and Chitterlings... okay, I lied-- I always liked Chitterlings. But suffice it to say, I figured it might be time to give those old chestnuts roasing another shot... and even though they were done in the commissary oven and brought out to the steam table in one of those long metal pans at the office Christmas party, when my friend said, "Ooh, I've never had a Chestnut before" I decided it was time to try them again.  We each grabbed one and stood over a trashcan while the DJ played unseasonal 80's music (I suppose as not to offend anyone  who might be bent out of shape because he didn't play their favorite Kwanza tune) And joined a random young man who also had not ever had chestnuts roster on an open fire, or any fire for that matter.'

The concusses was unanimous.  three unilateral thumbs down.

It still was still warm, and it still wasn't a nut-- however my friend described it perfectly.  "it tastes like lima beans"

I don't have a problem with lima beans-- but not when Im expecting a nut.  It made me think of all the greatest PR jobs ever done or ever will be is the one done by the Torme and Wells song.  Perhaps if they were still alive they could take a pass through the entire unpopular produce in the vegetable aisle.

Imagine the eventual bump in sales for Turnip and Dandelion greens.  Children would be banging their tiny slender fists on the table singing the familiar words

July and turnips, Barbecue style
Parsnips on picknicks 
Sunshine kissed smiles"

So many family dinner time arguments could be averted if only there was a new songwriter to champion the cause of unloved but good for you foods.  Sigh...

Oh but that is just a pipe dream, a wish for something that can never be... like me ever eating a chestnut again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cartoon and Cookie

Im always sketchy about those kiosks at the mall.  I've been chased by many a young woman eager to sell me 50 dollar Israeli hand cream only to find myself smack in front of a henna tattoo parlor on wheels.  When I first saw one several years ago, a lone cheap jewelry huckster, I was like "why is this here?  Its so random and out of place"  but as time has gone on I realize the necessity of it. The malls want to make more money for all that needless empty space, and the venders want to be in the mall and can't afford to pay for all the larger space.  so voila,  a symbiotic relationship, like the shark and the pilot fish.

But there's certain things at which I draw the line... and when my friend Alfred took me out for my birthday a few years back and told me he would pony up the dough for one of those water massage beds,  I was more than creeped out by it. First of all, its all public, with your head sticking out of it like some kind of pig in a blanket for all to see, second of all how do you keep a dark moist place shared by multiple people from not developing creepy icky germs and third of all, ewe, just ew.  Plus I know Alfred-- all his protestations of innocence and curiosity veiled a more devious plan I was sure of it.  He's a wiry jokester who is fast on his feet and cagy like a fox.  nothing is innocent with him... he would get me locked in that thing take a picture of me and post it on FB--and that would be the tame guess of what he had up his sleeve.

Well, today's Alfred's birthday.  And I wanted to wish him the best. so in honor of him I decided to live up to my blog title. I made him a special gift.  When he opened it, he was very delighted and exclaimed

"Ooh!  My favorite food group!"

Happy Birthday Alfred... and for the record-- I have a friend who tried one of those water massage beds things, and he said it was pretty okay-- so that will have to be enough sate your curiosity.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blogs are like Ducks

When I was in 6th grade the teacher who taught in the classroom next to my super cool teacher was, as I recall a real sourpuss of a lady.... Everything about her was pinched. Her shoulders hunched up around her ears next to her short curly hair and framed her pinched face complete with eyebrows that knit together like a homemade sweater that was created on knitting needles two sizes smaller than what was recommended in the pattern.  Out of her tiny pinched mouth emanated a high pitched nasally pinched voice.

while I only had her for one class when my afore mentioned super cool teacher was out for the day, I still remember the words she said from her tiny pinched squinty face when  a child followed her and tried to ask her a question:

"I am not.  a mother duck..."

while I too am not a mother duck. I am acutely aware how thankful I am to have you following my cartoon blog entries.  It is a huge encouragement to me and I hope that I can return the favor by encouraging you with a smile, or maybe even an inspirational thought or two.  

at any rate. 

I say this with all the openness I can muster-- from the top of my head to the bottom of my heart.

thank you for following!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A friend of mine posted on FB 

"My daughter just prayed - Jesus I give you my mommy, my daddy, my baby sister and my gum. Actually not my gum." 

At least she was honest. 

How many times have I prayed and "given" something to God but not really. its cute when a child does it, but notsomuch an adult... Its an interesting thought... especially in light of the verse,  "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"

To God we are His children-- but until that time when the child grows up, he or she has to trust that their parent knows better than they do. 

As I think of all the prayers in which I've reneged, I am thankful that though God doesn't have a giant FB where He updates His status for the angels with tales of my flakiness, at least I can hold on to the promise that because I stand in the shadow of my bigger brother Jesus, God my father who overhears my false prayers though they may not amuse Him,  is kind and patient enough to forgive and transform me-- sometimes teaching me lessons:Like the one I just learned from a two year old child.

The Acrid Stench of Contempt

Today pastor Tim was preaching out of Ephesians 5 on Marriage and he brought up an interesting point. That of all the things that the Apostle Paul could have spoken about in terms of issues that come up in marriage,  rather than tackle individual topics that commonly fill countless books on all the self help sections of any book store,   he focused on each person's responsibility before God.  Ultimately, all sin is sin against God, so wouldn't it make sense that if one sought to make peace with God, then one would eventually find peace with their offended spouse, family member, friend or co-worker? Of course this does not absolve the other person in the relationship of any wrong doing, but the idea is to look to oneself and accept and repent of one's sin (even asking forgiveness if necessary of the wounded party--without the expectation of the other person doing the same)

That way one can transform the acrid stench of contempt to the smell of love in the air.

He told a story of a time he took his wife out for an anniversary and used it as an opportunity of telling her the things she could do better as a parent-- which strangely enough did not go over well... As he was joking about the event he made the statement which inspired this drawing.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Coffee I.V Drip

As much as I've tried... I don't like coffee. Wait, let me correct that.  I like coffee--IF its about a tablespoon of coffee in a cup of milk with a lot of sugar. so basically what I like is coffee candy... on second thought--scratch that, coffee candy's too strong for me too.

But like Cats, Coffee has its very strong and very vocal defenders.  I haven't had the right kind or been to the right place or I haven't lived until I tasted coffee the way THEY made it-- then the clouds would open up. the heaven's would be revealed and the angels would descend and do jackknives off the side of my coffee mug.  Until that day when I have that perfect heaven opening cup.  I will only be an unenlightened one.  A tea drinking troglodyte  who cant cross over due to my uneducated palate.  But it's more than just the coffee connoisseurs who cluck their tongues at me while sadly shaking their head.  I had no idea that coffee was not only a drink, but an actual psychological state of mind.  I even had one person tell me that there was a type of person who was a coffee drinker and only they could be a friend who would truly understood them.

uh. okay.

Well, while I don't understand this rabid ardor for what is essentially brown and bitter water that makes one's breath stink and turns one's teeth yellow, I do have people in my life whom I love dearly, and if they can put up with my not being a coffee drinker, I most certainly can put up with them being one.

So this ones for you you lovers of the Petes, the Priscilllas and the Starbucks, French pressers, custom blenders, and foam latte toppers...

Who needs caffein when I have you all in my life to keep me jumping?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sometimes Little Kid's Jokes Make me Think

I had a friend who was incredibly ticklish. so much so that if you just pointed at him it would make him  giggle. He explained that even the displacement of atoms was enough to send him into volleys of laughter.  I admired his ability to make a silly response seem somewhat less foolish by applying a thin veneer of science to it...

I saw this joke on someones wall and at first I was like "huh? but then when I said it out loud it made me smile... 

How many tickles does it take to tickle a squid? 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh Deer...

Perhaps its because I spent the day at the LA Superior Court waiting in purgatory more commonly referred to as the jury room, that when I saw my friend's status:

" I was hearing the strangest noises right outside my bedroom window and I started panicking that someone was waking around my house; turns out it was a group of mule deer taking shelter from the wind about 5 feet from my window! I love where I live

I couldn't help but think that something innocent was actually guilty in reality.

I would make a lousy juror for the defense.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In the Event of a Zombie Apocalypse

While I don't believe in a zombie apocalypse (who needs an apocalypse when there are a lot of seemingly undead shambling around as it is)-- but it never hurts to be prepared.  so for those of you planning on being around for the ZA, feel free to use this idea.

Saw this on a friend's status update and it made me smile.  

"Line at Dunkin donuts is just stupid driving by. Glad I'm not one of those suckers that needs coffee to start their day. Good luck during the zombie apocalypse"

Monday, December 3, 2012

Oh Nevermind

I got up this morning and decided that I would bake two dozen cookies before work.  When I got in I saw that I should have gone for my jog instead

My friend Jessie had a shower over the weekend and well... tis the season.  We have made an agreement that when each other bakes that we are compelled by the law of "ooh, I never had that before"  to at least taste one.  Thankfully, it turns out of the enormous pile of things she brought only one of them was hers...

Well played Jessie M. Well played...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wait, What am I Supposed to Be Doing Here?

A sketch from Sunday's sermon.  I find it interesting that I could draw a soldier's uniform from memory, but I had to look up the design of a volley ball...

On Sunday one of our Pastors was speaking to us about discipleship.  In the introduction to the topic he said often times we have  a faulty idea of what discipleship truly is and it would be just as silly as getting suited up to fight in Iraq and then someone giving you a volley ball and telling you to go  out and do what you were equipped to do.  He made a great deal of awesome points, but one of the ones that struck me right off the bat was when he noted

You are always making disciples and you are always in the process of being discipled.  You are either doing it towards making them like Christ or like the world in that your life is teaching others how to live. Whether its at home, the church or at work

That was fairly sobering to me as I immediately thought of some "trivial" (by the world's standards) behaviors that were not leading others to see that I am submitted to a risen Lord.

Even though I was really convicted by what I heard, I was also incredibly encouraged as I learned that discipleship isn't actually as difficult as often we make it in our minds.  If you'd like to know more.  Take a listen here...

(he made the soldier comment in the first service, this is the second service and he didn't use the same illustration)

Deep Fried From Within

A friend of mine posted on FB

"Does anyone else find it a bit strange that KFC sponsors The Walking Dead? Soylent Green is People????"

I suppose they're positioning themselves to be the preferred food in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse. 

Hopefully with any luck, if you subsist on fried chicken during that time, you'll have the good fortune to to be tracked by some health conscious zombies, then they'll leave you alone.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

At Least its Beginning to LOOK a lot Like Christmas

I wish the weather would make up its mind.  This year I would actually like to participate in Christmas. I even want to go out and get a tree.  which for me is HUGE.  Im pretty much a Christmas scrooge (message of God's gift of His son to save the world notwithstanding) The last actual tree I got was in 2003. since then I've been using a chintzy fake tree I got at Rite Aide the year my mother found out she was really sick.

She was always a HUGE Christmas fan. She could wrap anything and make it look so professional, and she loved getting people gifts. I think it was frustrating for her to spend the last six years of her life with such a humbug, but we put up with each other.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't completely without Christmas cheer, just not to match the degree of her enthusiasm.

It was the week before Christmas when she finally got the news that she had cancer and most likely a year left to live.  She had just moved back in with me from the hospital.  My house wasn't decorated (in fact it was a mess, the plumbing had backed up while I was out and I spent a lot of the night cleaning up water that had gone down the hall to my bedroom.  to make matters worse, her stuff and my stuff were everywhere so she had to sleep on the couch (and I on two chairs pulled together)  I decided that for this time, she needed something to make her happy. I was going to get her a Christmas tree.

Except, no matter where I went, there was not a tree to be had. the lots were deserted, there wasn't even a charlie brown branch in the garbage.  My good intentions were foiled by my poor timing.  I had wanted to get a tree, decorate it quietly while she slept and have her wake up to Christmas, but it was not to be.

So I went to Rite Aide, I don't know why but it wasn't for a tree, but as I walked in, just to the right side of the door, there it was,  an artificial tree, marked down from 79 bucks to 50.  It was a sign!  or at least it was a Providence-- fake though it may be.  I took it home an the next morning mom had her Christmas tree.  I think I was actually more excited about it then she was.

Thats been my tree for the last seven years.

For some reason this year though-- something changed, and I walked into the living room just before Thanksgiving, and the ghostly smell of pine needles stung my nose, and though there was nothing there, I realized it was time... time to get a real tree.  Time to actually... well actually decorate the house!  What's this? who am I and what have I done with Carole?

So Im contemplating getting a tree, though I do confess its a bit difficult to think of Christmas when the weather is so helter skelter. I wish the temperature were more in the Christmas spirit and quit blowing hot and cold.  I hear its supposed to maybe rain on Wednesday-- so I will settle for that, and get my Christmas tree on the way home tonight.

oh wait... I better find my tree stand first. Okay-- tomorrow.  Even though its supposed to be five degrees warmer by then.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sorry in Advance to my Friends Who Have Cats

Im not a fan of felines.  Think about it, if a cat were a person, would you want to be friends with them?  Disdainful, mercurial, sneaky and demanding. Yet put it in a tiny fur coat, give it a soothing motor boat sound and you invite it into your house for tuna. Often I have friends who say, "You'd like my cat, he/she's more like a dog than a cat"  as if they know deep down inside that there's something wrong with being a cat.  The truth of the matter is, that a cat is a cat, no matter how dog like they seem-- and in the end, if push comes to shove they will expresses their contempt for you by using your bed as a litter box.

Im a dog person all the way through. Loyal, protective,  short memories and always happy to see you.  Yes they poop in your house on occasion, but at least they look contrite about it when it happens.

I saw this on my newsfeed this morning and of course I had to come up with something for it.
"Last year, our cat Jerry became the $2000 Cat. This year, he is now the $4,000 Cat. Stop eating toys!!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gangsta Cowgirl

Laura is my forever friend. Even though we have come in and out of each other's lives since 10th grade, we just pick up where we left off.  This latest run has actually gone the longest since high school and its been lovely.  Because of FB I have gotten to get glimpses into her beautiful children--now almost in college-- as well.  This morning she posted this "It never fails to amaze me when I learn something new about my kids. I got in the car to pick up my son from soccer practice and as usual, after borrowing the car earlier in the day, my daughter left the seat in the "wrong" position. She also left the radio on the country music station. bwhahaha. According to her brother, she's been listening in secret for ages!"  

I wonder what Laura's parents would have been posting about her on FB if they had had it back in the day?  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fill to Be Empty

I just heard this account in a sermon about obeying God and I was like "ooooh... yeah... that makes perfect sense.  Duh"

Mortal Combat

"Kill sin or it will be killing you." John Owen

The morning I woke up and thought about the line from Shawshank Redemption "Get busy living or get busy dying"  I guess that's why my friend Karl's status update appealed to me today.  What choices we make, obedience/disobedience it all has consequences.  Even though it may seem like a sunshiny day at times, if one's eyes are open, life is never just a walk in the park-- rather its a cautious trek through the dark forrest where one must be armed, and ready to do battle to sin's death or it will do battle to yours. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


I am not much of an animal person--dogs not-included-- (though I have been known to be a bug Buddhist every now and again and set the occasional spider free rather than kill it) so I find the unmitigated gall of the neigborhood squirrels to be... well unittigatingly galling.  Every year around this time, these fat shiny tree rats spend the last two months of the summer eating walnuts from my neighbor's tree (which hangs over my driveway) leaving a huge mess to clean, then once they have denuded that food source, they move over to MY back yard and start eating my avocados....

Now I wouldn't mind sharing with the fuzzy little creatures, but they are not sharers. they subscribe to the "if I lick this, then no one else will eat it" school of scavenging.  They take several bites from the luscious fruit, throw it to the ground and move on to another one.  Later they come back to the ones on the ground and finish them off.  grrrr... well, not before I have to clean up the dozens of discarded nibbled fruits they've cast aside for later or I will step in them and track them in the house.

what's more, when I walk out into my own back yard, they stand in the tree, twitching their fat shiny tails, and chatter angrily at me-- as if they were the old man in those old films that was saying "get offa my lawn you good fornuthin kids!"

A friend of mine said to me once, "Well, they were here first" to which I replied, "yes, but they're not paying the mortgage, I am..."

Well, I will have the last word! my avocado tree is dying and soon the squirrels will have to go squat in someone else's tree and cuss at them.

Sigh... sounds like we both lose on this one.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Without a Hitch

I have a friend who's getting married at the beginning of next year.  She recently sent me a message saying "Hey!!! I have set a tentative March date (though we'll know for sure in about a week after we tour two more venues!) Will you be able to join us in March? Because aside from marrying Phil, that would basically make my life" to which I replied "Are you kidding? You have to ask? Wild Horses couldn't keep me away... I mean they would have to trample me and kill me--"

Well today she posted on FB

The venue is all booked!! Gettin hitched March!

I don't know if it was because of the lack of G at the end of gettin-- or the fact that Jessica rides horses, the thought that "hitched" can have multiple meanings sprang to mind.

Looking forward to being there!  Hopefully I won't find her tied up to a post... awk-ward.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Perfect Hostess

A piece of my childhood died today.  RIP Hostess Brands Inc. Maker of the Twinkie, the Ding Dong and wonder bread: the bread so highly enriched that if you took off the crust you could completely crush it into a small dice sized cube and say, drop it into your Kool-aide.

While I can honestly say I haven't had a Twinkie since I was approximately six or seven,  I still have a slight pang as I see them sail into the sunset... First the Time Lady and now this? And I know others have felt the same pang of melancholy-- a lone box of Twinkies showed up on our snack table today as a reminder of kinder and more carefree days: when we didn't have to watch our cholesterol intake or worry about our widening waists and bottoms.

Yet for all the wistful thinking bygone days and the confections therein-- the rampant snack cake hoarding I see on the news perplexes me.  I mean--They're Twinkies.... they have a half life of 50,000 years?  With that reasoning, the Twinkies I ate as a toddler are still coursing though my bloodstream to this very day.... do I
really want to add more to it?

You can't go home people...  You can't go home.  The Twinkie has had it's day and like our childhoods, may they rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Its a Jungle Out There

a friend of mine posted on FB how with both her and her husband being tall with long legs it was like a gazelle and a giraffe in bed together... it made me laugh to think about it

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trying to Hit a Moving Target

A friend of mine posted on Facebook "Perhaps I would be able to take today's politicians more seriously if they wore monocles. Alas, they do not." which I thought was rather funny considering that a few weeks back she jokingly posted in her status that she was not hoping for more from the debates-- except maybe a Unicorn.

While my young friend's humor amused me, it did make me think of recent stories I've heard on the news regarding the GOP's thoughts on how to make themselves more relevant to the people who didn't vote for them... to me it was just as frustrating as listening to the Democrats try and cram bible verses into their speeches after their Bush took a second term.

But I guess that's just politics for you.  Im glad that I base my voting decisions on viewing issues in light of my informed conscience and not on what a human has to say or do--- which is often based on what other humans have said or done.  

--and my conscience is based on the bible.  While I know thats appalling to some.  At least I have the comfort in knowing that unlike popular opinion, God's word doesn't change.

Tonight We are Young

you know how sometimes the people we care about do things that we don't care for? When that song "We Are Young" came out my roommate listened to it over and over and over and OVER and over and --well, you get the point.  The day after she moved I heard the song on the radio and I cried like a baby because I missed her.  It's now one of my favorite songs.  Happy Birthday Sassy lady Duckling butt!  thank you for the fun and adventure !

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh Banana Farts...

I am a big fan of bananas.  Why not?  They are a great source of potassium as well as both providing options for physical humor as well as brilliant costume design.... well maybe not brilliant.  But this one thing I have against the colorful fun fruit;  They have like two days that they're any good to eat.  Blink and you miss the window. I prefer them when they have just turned yellow, no green-- no brown little ant like spots--then they are peeeerfect.  I used to get three bananas at a time and sure enough only get two before the last one went past the point of no return.  To me, eating an overripe banana is like eating a slug. blehhhh-- not that I've eaten one, though I HAVE stepped on one--and I wouldn't want THAT feeling in my mouth.  At least I learned that it could be frozen for banana bread later.  (the banana, not the slug)

Well my Banana diaries inspired a status on FB which in turn inspired a quick doodle...

At least since penning the doodle I can add to the banana's list of benefits-- Cancer fighting fruit...

That is if I could choke it down

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Swept Under the Flag

Yesterday I was at a wedding shower when I heard with deepest sadness that a friend of mine's brother in law had been severely wounded in Afghanistan when he and his partner were on patrol and fell into a deep well.  I learned that he was going through the slow and painful process of recovery near his home in Texas where he was surrounded by many other young vets who were severely wounded, missing parts of their body forever more to be changed from this moment on.  Nobody talks about the war any more  since its been going on since 2003 and it's become just like the weather.  Since we always have it, why discuss it?-- I mean unless it's very severe. I don't know if its a knee jerk reaction to not cover the sacrifices of the young men and women overseas, as if not mentioning it wont foment picketing and protests.

I thought it was ironic to be reminded of the selflessness of many the day before the nation set aside a day to remember the sacrifice of many.

It made me think of an American man I recently became acquainted with while traveling in abroad. He was a soldier over seas-- Iraq I believe, and he's a very disciplined and serious man.  As I've observed him on Facebook, I have grown in my respect for him in both his love of family but most of all His love of God.  But for all his strong words and unwavering principles, he posted a picture of himself with sitting with a smirk on his face while his two or three year old daughter put ribbons in his hair.  I love opposites-- and I guess, that's as opposite as you're going to get.

To all my friends and those I don't know

Happy Veterans Day.

your your service should not be forgotten, and remembered every day.

ps) here's a link to my short film Witt's Daughter if you haven't see it... there's a theme here-- Soldiers and their families

Call Me Mr Bond

Everybody has a dream.  Some folks dream to be an astronaut  while others dream to be a mother.  When I was a little girl, I dreamed to be a singer: now Im a storybook artist for Walt Disney TV animation working on Sofia the First-- a far cry from the five year old girl singing "Santa Claus is Coming to town lit by the red blue green spinning color wheel.

Well so much for dreams.

 However, just because our dreams aren't realized in the way we wish, it doesn't mean they can't be realized some way.  In my career as an animator/storyboard artist, I've worked on characters who sang, and even wrote a song myself for a short film I produced.  I also sing in choir at church. Its just a lesson I suppose, just because you can't realize your dream the way the world says you should, doesn't mean you can't realize your dream.  As long as you don't care how big your audience, God can always provide a venue.  One of my other dreams is to tell stories of my own... and so here I am in a short form to tell them.  A panel at a time.  Thanks for coming a long for the ride. I hope you stick around for a while

My mild mannered friend is a study in paradoxes. He's going to seminary to be a music pastor-- but secretly he dreams he's James Bond... of course the clean kind

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Class Clown

Monday night is my last day of clown class (for now) and when a friend heard this he asked "So.... after Monday night, we'll be able to say "Carole, you're such a clown" and it'll be official?" to which I answered "Well, since it is actually called a physical humor class and my TEACHER is a clown, it would be more appropriate to say, there was something funny about Carole's education, maybe its because her teacher was some clown...