Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Erica!

It's Erica's birthday; ring out wild bells! I have known her for twenty birthdays, and my life has been better for knowing her. She is an artist, musician, writer, runner, swimmer, camper, decorator, gardner--and oh yes--wife and mother, daughter and sister, and aunt.

Okay, I can't stop the listing. It's like counting for writers.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Erica. I hope your day is filled with cake and flowers, friends and family and everything else your heart desires.

Strike up the marching band!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lamb's Grill Cafe

This restaurant has stood on Main Street for 90 years now, but I've not gone there much. Always thought it was for old geezers. So we went last Friday with friends (old geezers) and I had their rice pudding with whipped cream and cinnamon. Holy cow is that good. On Monday, I said to Tom, "I think we need some of that rice pudding," and we drove in and had it again. I'm thinking I may need some tomorrow as well. Rice pudding. Who knew?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Buddy Holly look

The best part of seeing AVATAR last night was the cool 3D glasses that I brought home with me. They're so much better than the old folded plastic ones we used to get. These actually have frames. Of course, they charged us an extra $2.50 a piece. Believe me, these didn't cost anywhere near two and a half bucks to make, but hey, this is America, land of the 500% profit.

I'm not a big fantasy lover and didn't really care about seeing AVATAR, but I'm a fool for 3D movies. I'm a big kid in the theater, gawping and exclaiming, "ooh and aaah" while moving my head from side to side to miss those bullets zinging at me.

The movie was thoroughly entertaining and creative, and three hours zipped by. I had to pee the last hour, but didn't want to miss anything.

Change of subject: Tom just yelled at me, because I ate the remainder of his chocolate Rittersport with Hazelnut candy bar. It's 5:30 in the afternoon and I ate it first thing this morning. He hasn't missed it until now? Hasn't he been married to me long enough to know that he can't trust me to save his piece of chocolate when he leaves it sitting out in the open on the kitchen countertop? Hasn't he learned anything at all?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Playing Scrabble

A few months ago, Tom and I realized that we were living parallel lives in the same house, in the same living room, in the same bed, grunting to each other when necessary but not really connecting in any serious way. We'd taken the marriage for granted and plugged into our individual computers, watching our individual movies. Just two old people waiting for death to scrape us off the sidewalk and dump us in a can.

The good thing about The Tom and Louise Show is that we dislike boredom of any kind and we especially don't like boring marriages, especially if it's ours.

So we've taken up playing Scrabble again. It's not quite the same as deciding to move to Buenos Aires or Cuente, Ecuador, but believe me, there are downsides to picking up and taking off. We've done it more than once.

We are competitive Scrabble players and well-matched. Often the difference between winner and loser is a couple of points. This week, though, has been a week of extremes. He beat me big time, crushed me by almost a hundred points yesterday.

Today, I pushed back and won by the same amount. Victory. I like winning more than losing and so does he. We expect to do an even amount of each. We are lazy about looking up questionable words. We do it after the game is over. Jinn is a an islamic ghost or devil. (I learned this from reading Turkish novels). Jen has something to do with Confuscious. I put down jen thinking it was an islamic ghost, and was happy to find that I'd spelled it wrong but it was a viable word anyway.

Word games don't work for everyone, but Scrabble makes our day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Glue gunning

Yesterday, I used a glue gun for the first time in my life. I was down in Chantel's basement scrap-booking room with Erica and the ever yummy Murgatroyd, who was allowed to stay home from school.

Yes, I am making a scrapbook. I am cutting and pasting and choosing colors and buttons and learning how to stress the paper. It was like being in 4th grade art class, and I loved 4th grade art class. Chantel has more art supplies than any fourth grade teacher and three work spaces. It was a perfect way to spend a January afternoon.

Get this, Greg, Chantel's husband, made us a lunch of grilled salmon, steamed spinach and baked squash. It was practically a spa day.

"This is my first experience with a glue gun," I said to Chantel, holding the gun like it was a Glock 27.

"Where were you in the 80's ?" she asked.

"I was preparing to be a novelist," I said.

"Hoity toity!" Chantel rolled her eyes.

We listened to Billie Holiday.

It was the coolest afternoon.

Thank you, Chantel. Thanks for lunch, Greg. Thanks for introducing me to your friends, Erica. Thanks for the kisses, Murgatroyd.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Five more crows

Don't you love these five crows? We always had crows waking us up on Prince Edward Island. They're loud, insistent birds. My parents were married in a house called "The Crow's Nest" in Holland. It was down the path from my grandparents' house. That's really what I wanted to name this blog--The Crow's Nest-- but the name was taken. Now "The Crow's Nest" is a small hotel. I want to spend a night there this summer.

So I broke down the writing resistance this past week and wrote some scenes and thought to myself: what can be better than work that lets you sit in your study at a desk? Everything I love doing can be done at a desk. I wore my magic multi-colored socks. Magic socks are the solution to most any problem.

I can see the Bingham Copper Mines and the Oquirrh Mountains from my study window I have a tiny bird cage with a canary in it hanging from my desk lamp. I have three wooden artist mannequins and the snow queen on my desk, along with a bright red stapler and matching alarm clock. I have water colors and acrylics and brushes and books and canvas bags from various cities. I have a black antique rotating GE fan. I keep my pens in a University of Minnesota mug. I have computer paper and art paper.

I allowed myself one Dr. Pepper while I wrote. I don't smoke. I would be a better writer if I smoked. One Dr. Pepper a day isn't going to kill me.

Ann Cannon is having a follow-up operation on her wrist today. Everyone say this aloud: Bless Ann. Shout it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Make me cry

According to the paper, the golf index today is zero. The quality of air is red alert, which means that if you have lung issues you need to stay indoors. You shouldn't drive your car if you can avoid it. It pollutes, don't ya know.

Nuts to that. Get out of the house. Play golf. Revolt. Stick your tongue out at that wet cement colored sky.

I have a blooming geranium in the kitchen. This is its second winter. I love that geranium.

I think I need my fiction writing group to do an intervention. They should come to my house, knock down the front door, shout profanities at me, and make me cry. Make me write a sentence. Somebody, make me write a sentence of fiction.

Save me from myself.

Did I say I've kept a geranium blooming for two years running?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Decade!

I have been unplugged for a couple of weeks, mainly because I was out of town enjoying myself and also because I just need to be unplugged occasionally.

January and the new decade has come in like a lamb. I know that's a March metaphor, but I'm always expecting January in the form of a monstrous lion's jaw aimed at my face. That is not the case this year. I have even been so bold as to think resolutions, which I generally think of as the loser's path to disappointment and destruction.

But hey, it's a new decade and for me, I think, the last full decade. I don't expect to live to 2030. My resolutions are :

1. Write daily. Work on the novel , but also write about family.

2. Exercise daily

3. Eat more and more vegetables

4. Clean up after myself.

5. Love Tom.

6. Go outside every day, no matter what the weather. Walk out to the lake and around. Listen to birds.

7. Read the complete Old Testament. Read, read, read.

8. Enjoy new and old friends.

9. Make a collage. I keep thinking I will, but then I don't. This year I will.

10. Practice Ms. Pac Man on the Wii. Make Ed wait for his turn.

It's a small list. It's taken me forever to learn that getting up and starting again is not failure. It's life.