Thursday, January 31, 2013

rolling up and down the hills

The dread cookies have arrived.

They are delicious, I will give them that. But they irk and annoy me, and there is a mountain of them in my garage.

I don’t like selling things. I never liked selling things. I am clearly not the cadet in the family, but unfortunately 11 is a bit young to be pounding the pavement solo. Sending them out alone is against the girl scout code or something, whatever.  It’s not like I looked it up. cough.

So last Sunday, my girl and I geared up and set out to hit the streets and pimp some cookies. It was slow going, but I can’t explain all the details about the pesky obstacles we faced on the road to our success, because although 11 is too young to make sales on the street, it’s too old to be made fun of on your mom’s blog. It wouldn’t be right for me to tease my sweet girl about the complicated schema of observable details that rendered seemingly random houses unapproachable. Let’s just say that she skipped many houses.

After almost two hours, sales were slow and we were tired. I was the sherpa lugging the wagon, which was supposed to be growing lighter as the boxes flew into our wealthy neighbors’ hungry pieholes.  Our neighborhood is hilly with high curbs, and after a while I got tired of moving to driveway ramps to cross each street and I just started blowing over the curbs, much to my girl’s despair. I reassured her that the wagon could take it, Jidoo built that wagon and Jiddo built things strong.  

It was tempting to call it a day and head toward home, but that would mean having to find another way to rid ourselves of the mountains in the garage. We talked about it as we approached a crossroads, then as we agreed to soldier on, an old man and his little dog turned the corner towards us.    

My girl got right down on the ground to frolic with the mange beast, and I chatted with the man. He told us that the dog had been abused and was nervous, but of course my girl was gentle and sweet and won his little rat-sized heart right over. The old man commented about the cookie mobile, not for its wares but for what lay beneath. I told him that my dad built the wagon when my first child was born 14 years ago. He nodded his appreciation, noting the clever design and fine touches. It was a nice moment. We all smiled. As we started to move along, he said he’d like to buy some cookies, but then he realized he didn’t have his wallet. He pointed up the hill to where he lived, told us to circle back that way and hit him up. We moved on.

My girl asked if/why I was crying.

I miss my dad.

We got to the end of the block and looked back at that hill, we wondered for a minute if he really cared whether or not we came back. By the time we finished wondering, we were at his house and could see him in the window, watching for us. He came out and bought a few boxes, wished us a great day.    

We felt renewed, and pushed on for a while longer before heading back toward our street. As we approached the last turn, a car pulled over and the driver rolled down the window to talk to us. She was an older woman, she said she’d been waiting for someone to come and sell her cookies, her son was coming over and her neighbor’s wife was sick and he was afraid he’d missed his chance to buy some. We didn’t quite know what the heck she was talking about, but it seemed really important to her that we agree to come to her block. She gave us her address and insisted that we write down her neighbor’s phone number. They lived at the big cul de sac at the very bottom of a very large hill, so I told the woman that we’d drive over with cookies for her and her neighbor.

We went home, did our Sunday thing, I sat outside in the sun and got sucked in to my book and started dinner. There was some drama with the garage door and we had to call a repairman to protect the valuable mountain of confections, and yada yada yada. When it was started to get dark, I remembered the promise we made, and we gathered up some inventory and got in the car.

We found the lady’s house, and she was expecting us. It was weird, her whole family was there and the son she had been so concerned about providing cookies for informed her that the next door neighbor also had a mountain in her garage, so….awkward. They were cool, though. They bought a bunch of boxes and pointed us in the direction of the neighbor she had mentioned. There was some really boring back story she kept telling about how he though it was the last day to get cookies but it was really the first day to get cookies and the dogs were yapping and there were so many people and finally we got out of there.

The neighbor was on the next block, they had adjoining back yards. We found the house and the door sprung open the second we knocked. He had been waiting for us. We walked in and saw his wife, who the lady in the car had mentioned was sick, and was clearly nearing the end in a hospital bed facing the huge windows open to the canyon. I guess there was a time when an 11 year old wouldn’t know cancer when she saw it, but there were no questions on this day. Her husband told us about her. She had been a girl scout troop leader, and one time when she got to camp she busted her co-chaperones with booze in their thermoses and kicked them all out. They volunteered at the maritime center museum. They’d always had cats, but none of them ever liked him before this one, who stayed glued to his side and only stepped away to roll and present his belly for my girl to rub. He bought 14 boxes of cookies, we had to go home and restock to fill his order. He made us promise to come back any time we had anything to sell, even if it was “something stupid for school.”

My girl and I held hands as we walked back to the car.

I love selling girl scout cookies.      

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Central American love letter

I just arrived back from Belize a little before midnight last night. It was a great trip. On many levels.

One of those being the ego boost the trip provided.

Here is some tangible proof.

Phone number blocked out to protect the privacy of my man Sebastian

Yes, it's a bit creepy. Especially the "unforgetable hug" part. But I do admit I love the "Bethy" touch, it takes me right back to childhood. And the "nice lady" comment? Priceless. Plus the fact that Sebastian is 20 years younger and 5 inches shorter than me, and that he dropped this off to me, folded up into a tight little square, with my mom lying right next to me on the beach  is somewhat endearing. Or maybe only creepy. Either way it makes for good blog fodder.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hygienic XXXIV

The Hygienic Art Show. It just gets better. And better. And better. And Hygienic XXXIV, 2013 edition? Why, it was better, more awesome, and more spectacular than ever.

And look who showed up!

No, not him, although he did show up.

And no not her, either; she is very comfortably living on our wall at home, thankyouverymuch.

Yes, her! She! Dorothy's Girl 2013!

And, oh so many of her co-celebrities showed up..........

Oooh oooh oooh! Look in the corner!

Oh, wow. What a bad photo. I really need to find myself a good photographer. Know any?

(Bad photo notwithstanding, that little red sticker in the bottom righthand corner says it all.....)

Oh, him again! Welcome to New London, Brucine! What a magical time.....

. . . Oh, and Mistah was there too . . .

. . . and so was Linda . . . 

. . . and Sean . . . 

. . . and, um, well, everyone joined the fun.

Because Fun?

. . . well, Fun is what we have around here . . . 

. . . clearly.

And Ledgie? Well, our darlin' lighthouse, we'll meet you in the Ledgie Loo.

And as for *you*, Piano Table. . .

Well, we . . . 

 . . . you . . . 

Welcome to the family.

Monday, January 28, 2013

how to cut a mango in less than one million steps

When my boy was in first grade, he loved mangoes. He requested them in his lunch every day, and those stupid half lost wannabe tupperware buckets always came home empty. One day, he had the unfortunate experience of succumbing to a gastrointestinal demon after having recently ingested a healthy portion of mango. He never ate them again.

Until today.

My girl loves mangoes, and there is a short lived celebration every time I bring the beast home. It's short lived because we all know that as lovely as the mango is to behold in its virginal state, it is fated to become much, much less after I try to cut it up.

What is it about a mango that makes it so awkward? The shape? The pit? The squish? I buy a mango thinking I've got a nice big hunk of fleshy fruit, and I end up with 1/4 cup of pulverized horror and a murderous disposition. 

I recently pleaded for help on facebook, and received numerous well intended tutorials about how to prettily section the halved fruit after you've hush hush done away with the pit hush hush. And in response, I screamed: HOW DO I GET AROUND THE FUCKING PIT?!?! And I mean that so not metaphorically.

Somewhere in that conversation and/or the ensuing google searches for mango-1-1 assistance, I came to discover that God had created a tool made solely to manage the unwieldy and dehumanizing task of pitting a mango. Behold:

I had to borrow this image from google because I suck. Obviously.
But yay! There's a tool! A tool with good reviews that costs under $10 and will be at my house tomorrow? Yes, please. And thank you Amazon prime.

On Sunday morning, I enlisted some minions to test the new apparatus.

 We followed each step with obsessive compulsive careful attention.
Here's where there was something about aligning with the vertical axis. For God's sake. IT'S FRUIT! 

Line the splitter up on the  freaking vertical axis

Then push down with force to pierce the skin



Such a much, much cuter display of genius.

voila! genius.

That middle part around the pit? Just gnaw on it. It's awe-some.

As for the halves, score them with a knife

then invert for easy consumption. this particular model would allow only hand shots. What's the teenage boy word for diva?

I've still got some time with this one.

However you slice it, the mango is a tasty beast.
Now you know.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fiction Friday meets five word friday...

Did someone say alliteration?

Friendly foamy floating face w/fuchsia

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Deep Freeze

Unlike our friends to the West, who have broken their cold snap and been reunited with their well-deserved sun and warmth, we're finding ourselves in a cold snap of our own over here on the Least East Coast.

Baby, it's cold outside.

We're intrepid New Englanders, though; there are things we can do to remain warm and toasty despite the frigid temps.

We can turn the heat up.....

They invited this new kind of thermostat so now we can set the heat to go on before we get up in the morning.

What's that you say? They invented that years ago? Well, someone* really should have told me about that sooner.

(*Someone other than Mistah.)

We can wear wool.....

I had to cut my head off because I have an embarrassing case of Hat Hair* this week.

*Everybody has an embarrassing case of Hat Hair this week.

We can clad our tootsies-toes in wool, too.

We can create nests for ourselves on the couch.....

This is where I spend my evenings.

We can roast veggies.....

The lefties are going to make some serious-ass 
hash browns on Sunday morning.....

Anything involving the Vulcan is a good idea because our little friend warms the house right up.

We can make soup*.....

(*See note on the Vulcan, above.)

Getting there.....


We can eat lots of garlic*.....

*I invented that. But garlic works for everything else; 
why wouldn't it work for this?

We can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that we're not the worst ones off.....

Now Minnesota? That's cold.
And, frankly, not all members of our household mind the weather outside, as long as the sun shines through the windows, into the kitchen . . .

Hello gorgeous.

Don't forget your winter woolies today, my friends. It's gonna be a cold one.