Monday, September 30, 2013


Here's where we live:

. . . and here is our Globe:

No wait!

. . . It's not a globe, it's a pet.

No wait! It's not a pet, it's a goose.

It's not a goose! It's an insane goose-necked gourd.

. . . An insane goose-necked gourd with an awesome reflection . . .

An insane goose-necked gourd with an awesome reflection who's onto something.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Friend Photo

These goobers have had a pretty great summer of fun and deepening their lifelong friendship. I can't think of anything better in the world than bestie moms having bestie daughters. Can you?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

As pretty as a picture

Well, it's been a year. A year today.* A year since I left Crown Point for Ocean Beach. A year since I fled my marriage and the home that I lived in while married.

I remember a year ago today very, very well. I was jacked up an adrenaline. I was not quite ready when the movers arrived. I paid them extra to disassemble then reassemble. Luckily they were nice, and didn't charge me rack rates. And by the time they left the girls' beds were set up, the dining table put together. I then had that night and the next to settle in before the girls arrived. I wanted it to be ready. Ready enough for them to feel like they at least knew where to find their clothes and toothpaste. (Okay, so they don't give a shit about the toothpaste.) But still.

My mom came over that day with lunch --  Chipotle and a Coke -- which I don't always drink, but which matched my anxious mood perfectly. Had she not, I probably would not have eaten at all. I was driven. I hit Target like a whirling dervish, not caring about the cost of all those home goods I loaded into my cart. I left my former home with not a lot. I tried to err on the side of leaving more behind than was necessary. It was a strange time, and I didn't need any backlash from taking the blender or the vacuum, even if I did just buy it a few months before.

The point was to get out. To flee. To start something new. To get on with it.

I promised myself that day (or maybe it was the day before or the day after) that I would not get into any relationship, or date, or even think about men for at least a year. It would need to be September 24, 2013, or later, before I was willing to take the chance of making such a mess of things again. I didn't trust myself to go there. Still don't actually. But, alas, the year has past.

Does this mean that I will be uploading my photo to PlentyOfFish or or Tinder (or Twinkle**!?) later tonight? No. No it does not, but it does mean that I'm now open to the possibility of a relationship.

Oh, but who am I kidding?! None of us are ready. My oldest especially. And I get it. She likes me focused on her and her sisters. She doesn't want any more change in her life. She doesn't need that complication. She didn't like the outcome of my last attempt at love. And she has every right to be wary. Granted she does now have a super awesome little sister, and an ex-step dad who loves her. But still. It was rocky. And she's 12. Middle school is hard enough. She does not need a middle-aged mother who is dating.

In fact, while we were going through old photos last week (or maybe it was the week before), she was delighted with all the unflattering photos of me. (Let me assure you, there were plenty.) She asked if she could keep one, then another, and another. The worse the shot, the uglier my facial expression, the better she liked them.

"Um, what are you going to do with those?" I asked. (Hoping she wanted to have a mini bonfire or something.)

"I'm going to put them all up on my bulletin board in my room, mom."

"Ha, ha. Good one."

"No, really."

"Really? Now why would you go and do that? You have all these other adorable photos of you and your sisters."

"I'm going to keep these photos handy for when a guy comes over, then I'm going to show them to him."

She picked up an unattractive photo from my wedding day and added., "I'm going to make sure to mention, this photo was from her FIRST wedding."

Then, picking up a really unattractive photo of me holding her as an infant, she continued, "And this is her with her FIRST baby."

She was laughing, but not kidding about using whatever ammunition she could come up with to scare away potential suitors.  Really quite savvy.

I mean it's one thing to meet a guy and tell him that you are twice divorced and have three kids and an alcoholic kitten. That's going to stop a lot of potential relationships before they even start, as most people tend to avoid two-time losing train wrecks, especially those with a tribe of daughters. But then to have the pre-teen drag you into her room to show you how ugly and complicated her mother is? Now that would be quite a show, would it not?

I'm thinking it will be a very long time before I invite a man over. (At least while she is home.) I mean, I may be a train wreck, but I'm not stupid.

* I wrote this on Tuesday, 9/24/13
** Twinkle is the new, er, dating site that Jacquie and I are going to get rich from once we launch it

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don't Make Me Come Down There......

We have a Bird Bath in our backyard, the Bird Bath that Mumsie most graciously passed on to us when she moved this summer.

(Pssssst. We gave her the bird bath. This was our plan all along.)

And the birds *do* bathe in it. They swoop in, they turn around, they dip in their cute little bird bums and shake them all about . . . that's right, friends. We actually host a Bird Bidet in our backyard.

But not always . . .

Sometimes we get interlopers.

Okay, fair enough. We have a pear tree, and we have a free source of water, so what should we expect?

But still. It's a Bird Bidet. Don't you think Squirrelly would have a little more modesty? Be a little less brazen? Every time Mistah sees Squirelly down there he yells, "Don't Make Me Come Down There!"

But does Squirrelly listen? No he does not. Squirrelly ignores Mistah every time and instead drinks from the Bird Bidet -- where the birdies clean their bums.

Which again incites Mistah's cry, "Don't Make Me Come Down There!"

Yeah, you'd better run.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back in Time Tuesday

 I linked to this post the other day, and re-reading it made me laugh and laugh. Do you click through when we link to stuff? If so, sorry for the rerun. If not, here's what you missed:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

cutting through the clutter

One day I asked my mom to drop me off at a highway rest stop, and then a Peter Pan bus filled with people who were drinking and gambling picked me up and whisked me toward New York City.

But that’s not what this story is about.

This story is about what happened when I tried to cut through the clutter.

You see, the only problem with cracking your first of many beers on a bus to New York well before noon on a Sunday is that by the time the afternoon rolls around, you’re pretty much beered out.

This was the predicament I found myself in on the fateful day when I joined the Dutch Tavern’s sojourn to Citi Field in August. After enjoying a couple of cold ones on the bus and a couple more in the parking lot, the thought of another ballpark brew was immensely unappealing.

We had just done an investigatory exploration of the park, and I distinctly remembered seeing a vendor selling Mike’s hard lemonade…. somewhere. I assured Ellie and bill that I’d berightback, and I set off to find that vendor.

It was nowhere. Nowhere! I wandered about in a hops fueled fugue state, quietly pleading with the saints to direct me toward the sweet nirvana of spiked lemonade. After a few laps, I was beginning to imagine that this quest was futile. I dejectedly slowed my manic pace and tried to bravely lift my sad sack of self from the doldrums and head back to my peeps.

As I soldiered up from the depths of despair and set my sights on finding the way back, something caught my eye. Something slushy. Something slushy with a pineapple in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry pierced through with an umbrella in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry pierced through with an umbrella in it that said Bacardi on the side.

I tackled politely approached the holder of this bounty and bowed before her with trembling acquiescence. “Please, ma’am” I stammered, “pray tell… is that a…a….” I could scarcely utter the words….”a PINA COLADA?!” She considered me, saw my plight, and had mercy. She offered the words of sage wisdom that would free me of my peril: “Yeah, there’s a rum stand over there.”

Oh, rapture! Joy! A rum stand!

Within moments I was the proud owner of my very own pina colada, icy and righteous and worth all twelve of my hard earned dollars. I clutched my prize lovingly and made my way back to our seats, stopping just briefly to use the ladies’ room on the way.

In the bathroom, I gingerly placed my sweet nectar of the gods atop the toilet paper roller while I undid my drawers. I gazed upon it as I did my bidniz, and then as I merrily stood to move on, I reached out to pick up my cup just as someone came into the stall next to mine and slammed her door shut.

What happened next is difficult to recall. In slow motion, my hand reached toward that condensating slippery vessel of love just as it began to teeter. An inhuman sound began to form in my lungs, forcing its way out into the heat of that day to become a primal command of “NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”


Oh, my beautiful baby. Reduced to a sticky puddle on the bathroom floor. I wept. Through my misery, I began to notice that the sounds I heard from those around me were not horrified admissions of guilt or pleas for forgiveness, they were angry voices. They were yelling! They were yelling at ME!

I stood there aghast, rum soaked and alone, trying to lick the few remaining drops of the drink from inside the cup while telling myself that it was okay, I probably didn’t need any more to drink anyway, and that one sip had been really refreshing.

The barbarians were upset that they’d been splashed by my $12 drink. I took as much time as I needed to construct a witty, wilting response that would allow them to see the error in their ways. It’s really too bad that by the time I was ready to come out, they were gone.

My cup was poised above the trash bin and I was ready to face the cold new world when I thought to pause. What would be the harm?

I shyly approached the Rum Cart guy like a Dickensonian orphan with my empty cup. "Please, sir...." I sheepishly implored: “Do you have any mercy for someone whose drink got knocked over in the bathroom by mean scary brutes?”

I believe his nametag read “Gabriel”, or it might have said Jesus. He grabbed my cup and said the most beautiful words ever spoken by a mere mortal……… “sure.”

And that is what this story is about.

Monday, September 23, 2013

This is why you hire the pros

In this age of digital cameras, where you can immediately see your results, and continue to take and review your clicks to infinity, some think there is no need for professional photographers.

I disagree. (Unless, of course, you're Ellie, and have a resident semi-pro in house.) Here's my proof of principle.

My shot of my girl and Des & Eric's girl:


Breaane Leach's (of Breaane Leach Photography) shot of these same girls:

Need I say more?

No, I need not.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Schooner Fest

Last weekend was Schooner Fest here in New London and you know what that means.

That's right. Mistah crossed the Big Bad Bridge so he could take photos of the schooners sailing down the river in front of Ledgie, with the sun shining behind his back.

Mistah and 20 of his best friends.

The problem, though, was that the schooners sailed in front of New London Light -- the world-famous New London Light -- then went on their merry way away from Ledgie.

But, hey, we're equal opportunity Lighthouse Lovers around here. And New London Light is fabulous.

And look how gorgeous he looks with this ol' girl sailing in front of him . . .

Made for eachother.

And then a couple of ferries joined the fun:

 The New London . . . 

. . . and the Mary Ellen.

Hey, Schooner Fest is not just for schooners any more.

But that schooner's a beaut.

And, yeah, that house.

This schooner was fab, too . . .

She took her turn sailing by the lighthouse . . .

. . . and then down the river . . .

. . . into the great beyond. But she can still see New London Light.

And then?

The moment we've all been waiting for.

Our very own Ledgie Light finally joined the show.

And the very best part about being across the bridge?

The gorgeous backdrop of New London.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

things I hate

Way, way back many centuries ago on Labor Day weekend, Bill and Beth and I had ourselves a big time in Del Mar. It was the last of the summer's free concerts, and we've made it a tradition to catch the one and only Ziggy Marley whenever he visits our fair town.

I was excited to go to the racetrack, because although I'd been there twice already in the span of this summer's season, I had not been to any of the other concerts. There was another reason I was anxious to go back. I had seen something during my previous visit that I felt desperate to document. To be perfectly honest, I had not actually seen this great thing, but I had heard about it while waiting in line to use the restroom one time. I heard about it from someone in another stall, who had seen the thing and was reading it out loud to her friend, cracking up. It cracked me up too, and hearing it was almost funny enough, but I still felt mildly desperate to photograph it if at all possible.

So we went to the track, and I went to the bathroom, and I crossed my fingers that I'd end up in *that* stall, and guess what? I got lucky at the racetrack! What? No, of course my horse didn't win. But I did choose the lucky stall. The one with the world's best graffiti:

Sigh. It's perfect! Makes me want to carry a sharpie everywhere, always. I took another photo for scale, and don't worry I'm almost positive my pants were pulled up.

Have I learned nothing about drinks in potty stalls?
We enjoyed most of the races from our usual spot on the happening side of the grassy infield. Then, still basking in the glow of my bathroom graffiti success mission, we three misfits wandered around a bit to the far side of the infield track.

It was the end of a gorgeously hot and sunny day, and the light was so cool over there on the far side.


We had never noticed the housing over there, or the bleachers only accessible from those housing units. We agreed that they must be inhabited by track employees. Modest accommodations to say the least, but not a bad view of the action.

We were having a big time, we three. No kids, a cooler full of  "lemonade," and good friends.We started to document our glee. 

Perfect. Wait.

Perfect. Wait...but where am I? Selfies in order.

Perfect. Wait. What's with the finger?

Seriously, the finger!
Oh man, that was funny. On my camera, I am the master of the long arm selfie. I can snap with the same hand that holds the camera and no one is the wiser. On my phone, I had to hold it with one hand and then reach across to tap the icon for photo taking. And I found it impossible to move my finger out of the way, while keeping everyone in the frame, before the shutter clicked (as it were).

We had no choice but to lose a person if we were to get the shot.

Ah, that was funny. Soon it was time for the last race, and we packed up while watching expectantly for the horsies. It's cool on the far side. Quiet (when people stop guffawing) and unexpectedly calm.

right until it's not, and the thundering hooves fly by in a blur of color.

 My horse actually won that race! The board said baby brought in $8.41. The craggy old guy in the window said he didn't have enough change, so I only got like $8.14. Seriously
Goodnight sun.

Goodnight racetrack

Goodnight Ziggy

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Durango photo dump

The first day of fall is on September 22, which is this Sunday. This Sunday!  So, I figure I better get photos from our summer trip to Durango posted this week, before summer is gone for good.

Girls in brown

Girls in green


Durango Discovery Museum


Steamworks brewery:
The matriarch

True sad story: my brother has given up gluten since we were there. Beer tastings are not going to be nearly as much fun without him!

Genes are weird, aren't they?! Is this not the same scary face her uncle was just making?!

Coolest restaurant floor idea ever, no? Genius! (You draw, we'll drink.)


On the river:

Goodbye summer, goodbye Durango, thanks for the memories.