Friday, October 12, 2018

The Case of the Collapsing Cantaloupe

The other day my partner brought home the fruit I requested, a melon, and cottage cheese upon which to eat it. Yesterday afternoon I prepared to serve myself this yummy treat.

But the cantaloupe looked lumpy. Odd.

Preparing to cut into its rind and see what was what, I found a small swarm of gnats taking wing. Ugh. I picked up the fruit to find fuzzy mold all over the bottom, a shameful and disappointing waste.
Remington Leith, Front Man of Palaye Royale
& How I Reacted to the State of My Fruit
What the heck?

A while later I solved the mystery. Also a little earlier in the week, my dear love pulled an ancient, near empty can of baked beans out of the refrigerator at my behest, only to leave it sitting on the counter. Last night I picked it up, dislodging the lid, and found the can was not rinsed clean for recycling as assumed.

It also had a fine coating of furry mildew. And there were more gnats. Those hungry little flyers must have transferred the mold from the beans to the fruit. No wonder almost every room of our home has been visited by those little pests. Maybe the next fruit we bring home should be from the freezer section.

What’s your favorite fruit?


Monday, October 8, 2018

A Near Miss, Back in the Saddle, & a Revelation – Adventures of a Dirty Minded Matron

It’s official. My body feels better when I consistently lift weights and swim laps. Today I returned to the YMCA fitness room for the first time in weeks. My morning started with rattling lungs and use of my rescue inhaler, a creeping, increasing occurrence.

Photo Courtesy of Barricuaeddie
Then it dawned on me while resistance training – I think the regular deep breathing improved my asthmatic old lungs. Needless to say there are definitely more gym trips in this able body’s near future, God willing.

On the way there, though, I almost caused an accident. And it was all the fault of my libidinous brain. There was a trio of power line workers standing on the sidewalk on my way to the Y, one of them rather attractive.

I grinned at the oblivious male before returning my eyes to the road. Right in front of me another car had slowed to a near stop for a right hand turn.

Thank heaven quick reflexes saved us a rear end collision! To celebrate avoiding that mishap, I’m going to write another naughty tale.

Don’t you agree I should just enjoy my dirty mind?


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Not Technically a ‘Rainbow Snippet’ Snippet (Borderline NSFW)

As mentioned in the title, this post is not exactly family friendly. And if you are ill at ease reading intimacy, please feel free to give the following a skip. It’s a little beyond suggestive. Instead, feel free to enjoy once again a boy in a dress during this past LA Fashion Week.


Remington Leith of Palaye Royale
If you are hanging in there, let me first say I’m sorry that I did not participate in the Facebook group Rainbow Snippets the last several weekends, in part due to our long trip out of town. Today I am too busy trying to get back into (re)writing and catching up on laundry to do those talented authors justice (reading their snippets and commenting).

But in the process of working on “The Cat Who Ate the Canary” this afternoon I decided to take a minute and share something anyway.

The five sentence snippet is meant to illustrate the weakness of a character who breaks off relations with his morally ambiguous, manipulative ex-wife. I’ve struggled with the sentence/paragraph structure before. Today I think I may have gotten it better.

If you have a minute, please read the former and latter incarnations and tell me what you think. I appreciate constructive feedback. As for back story, Jackson is getting turned on by a stranger and wonders if he should have continued relations with his ex. Thank you, Lisa, for mentioning the confusion.

Before today:

Lighting a cigarette, Pamela announced her pregnancy by the fertile new husband lying in post coital infidelity. Jackson held his breath and his tongue that day. He walked out that motel room door with socks stuffed in his jacket pocket and became a devoted hermit at the ripe old age of twenty-seven.

He had not regretted the decision for one minute. Until tonight.

My revision:

Lying with her ex-husband in post coital infidelity, Pamela waved a lit cigarette announcing her pregnancy by the fertile new spouse. Jackson held his breath and his tongue, and walked through that motel room door with socks stuffed in his jacket pocket.

A devoted hermit at the ripe old age of twenty-seven, he had not regretted the decision for one minute. Until tonight.


In the first one, doesn’t it read like the new husband is lying with his wife in post coital infidelity? ~snicker~ I hope you’re having a lovely weekend!


Monday, September 24, 2018

Good News – and a Happy, Superstitious Camper

Autumn has arrived in the northern hemisphere. Hallelujah! I could swear it has translated into my immediate better fortune regarding minor annoyances.

For starters, Tilly is unlikely to have a urinary tract infection. The vet mainly wants to see kidney functionality. Testing for a UTI is just routine.

Whew! My wild imagination ran away with me again.

In other good news, if she does happen to be infected there is a onetime antibiotic injection our veterinary often uses in cats. She expressed utmost confidence in a good outcome without ill side effects.

Now, our pet sitters can schedule treatment if necessary. We’ll just reimburse them for any expenditures and time. We shall see.

Now, as for my antique eyeglass frames, the prognosis seemed grim as of yesterday afternoon. The optical technician appeared ready to cry giving me the news that she could not help me. But she did refer me to a specialist.

Specialist, indeed. His business is called Special Eyes. Specialize. Get it? This gal hoped he could weld my frames back together.

Anyway, this morning’s call to the taciturn specialist gave me neither hope nor despair. He advised me to visit his shop soon as possible and he would take a look.

I practically flew out the door.

Well, he got the job done. Hurray! As a blessed side note I spent more time driving back and forth, traversing two separate Ohio counties, than waiting at either establishment.

You Were Right, Lisa, I Shared This Image in August :)
The cost for my frame repair? $20!

I was in awe, and beyond grateful. He didn’t crack a smile, but I could tell he enjoys his trade. Not only did he explain the work when finished but showed me a piece from his collection of antique frames that he thought I described over the phone.

(mine are cooler, I think, though I didn’t say anything)

Come to think of it, I wonder if he would have sold me an item from his collection had the repair been impossible but my lenses fit. Who can say?
There is way more going on under the decorative fa├žade here than imaginable to a layman, by the way. The craftsman explained creating a hidden pin from among spare parts that fits somehow through a sort of U shaped clip I never saw.

I don’t know. I’m just thrilled at the results.

How is your day going?


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Reframing My Attitude

Little trials seem to just keep coming our way. Now our cat Tilly might have a urinary tract infection. It’s to be diagnosed the day we leave for a trip. I have no idea how we will handle things, though I will ask about an antibiotic shot when we go in to the vet’s office, what risks there are and expectations on the outcome for a geriatric feline.

Meanwhile, I’m reminding myself we are blessed in countless ways. For one, Tilly’s thyroid is responding well to the new dosage (pills she will, at least mostly, miss while we are gone ~sigh~).

We also have caring and capable pet sitters who charge affordable prices. Jezebel hides, but Tilly adores them. Unfortunately, the couple refuses to hand feed any cat pills after a mean fellow almost tore off her thumb.

I can’t say I blame her. It’s our wish Tilly will gulp down a pill with some food as she did this morning on the days they visit.

There’s more.

Yesterday afternoon I may have jinxed myself. Driving home from a late lunch, I told my partner how happy it’s made me to find these bifocal reading/driving lenses working out. Well, later that evening the frames failed.

It seems a screw broke or got stripped, perhaps from over-tightening. That left lens needed to be reseated shortly after I got them because a wrong angle within the frame distorted the fit.

Have I mentioned my frames are antiques?

Wish me luck on getting them repaired. Otherwise, I may end up wearing an old pair of underpowered reading glasses on our travels. These computer reading lenses provide a way too fuzzy view at any distance.

What are you up to this week?


Monday, September 17, 2018

Summer Bounty – An Accounting of Blessings

In my human frailty, I have done quite a bit of complaining this season. And granted, I’m still beyond ready for the onset of autumn, but I thought it time to readdress and assess some of the bountiful goodness.

For one, I’ve (most weeks) achieved a good deal of rewrites. Today I’m having fun reworking “The Wolf at Your Door”. I plan to contribute toward the incomplete ending before closing down for the evening .

The new deck, finished within a single week (!), turned out very nice. For the first time we can remember, it’s a safe and attractive structure. We’ll just have to get some of the lumber painted or stained to protect it from the elements once the green has bleached away.
Composite Floorboards Should Hold Up Better

At Last We Have Safe, Comfortable Stairs!
I’ve mentioned gardening numerous times. Stashed in our freezer are bags and bags of processed tomatoes ready for stews and casseroles or chili alongside others loaded with roasted jalapenos and parboiled chard. We also have leftover West African peanut stew and, as of yesterday, several servings of homemade tomato basil bisque ready to defrost. My next task is to cook up Buffalo chicken chili with some refrigerated fresh tomatoes and freeze half of that. I like having plenty of meals on hand.

If you think the above looks like fortune cookies, check out how I managed to freeze individual packets of the thin bisque without inconvenience or mess. Ice cube trays are so useful, even though my experiment in freezing cubes of fresh herbs didn’t work out so well. The soup bagged up quite nicely. I’m pleased with having thought to try this.

Three Bowls Full Ready to Go
Yesterday we shut down two of three Earthbox gardening containers for winter (tomatoes and rainbow chard). We’ll harvest the hot pepper plants in the next day or so. Once dehydrated, the spicy Thai dragon pods will fulfill our recipe needs for a couple of years.

There may still be some marglobe tomatoes to harvest ripe from the corner patch. We’ll see what the weather does. Those plants grew taller than my five foot two inch self and just look at my colander full! How beautiful are these tasty globes?

Prettiest Tomatoes We Have Ever Grown
Also, potatoes! We shall see how these little purple guys cook up. They will be part of dinner tonight.
A New Experiment Using Potato Growing Bags - !
And while my heart goes out to all those who have or will face hurricanes this season, I’m thrilled to know my favorite vacation destination (more home away from home, really) has weathered quite well. We look forward to returning to the Kill Devil Hills region of North Carolina’s Outer Banks yet this year.

Our Beets (Upper Right) Were Disappointing
But Who Wants Fried Green Tomatoes?
Last but not least, Palaye Royale is about to drop their sophomore release “Boom Boom Room: Side B”. I’ll be seeing them live in November, too. That should be fun.

PR's Underwater Album Cover Shot
Now the question remains, what should we plant in place of Thai dragon peppers next spring?


Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Never Ending Summer

I’m grateful for this summer’s bounty. We preserved so many cucumbers and tomatoes it isn’t funny. There are years’ worth of Thai dragon hot peppers yet to harvest and dry.

That’s not happening today.

We planned to do it. But first I set out to mow the front lawn. SO decided it high time to weed whack the edges of same patch of grass.

All went swimmingly at first. He had the courtesy to halt his efforts whenever I neared with the lawnmower.

At first. You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Finished cutting grass, I wheeled the mower onto a shady patch of concrete to reattach the recalcitrant grass chute, which I gave up trying to reinstall in the midst of my job. All of a sudden, I feel pain in the back of my head, as if someone threw a handful of pebbles at me.

Or hornets attacked.

I stood, whipped around, and backed up in one movement. There stood my dear husband, just a few feet away, industriously edging the driveway.

Near where I had knelt moments before.

Screaming, “Hey!” didn’t even register. I stomped into the garage, threw my gloves on the shelf, kicked my shoes into their usual corner near the door, and left him to put everything away.

I’m so done with this summer’s sweat and painful little indignities. And still the grass grows. The back is so high we should just get a goat.

I’m going to drown my sorrows in pictures of pretty musicians. Meanwhile, my husband did a nice job and apologized for the mistake.

Left to Right:
Sebastian Danzig, Remington Leith, and Emerson Barrett
of Palaye Royale

Would you hire someone for yard work if you could?

Here is a Bonus for My Cat Loving Friends
Drummer Emerson Barrett's Zen Moment