Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trash To Treasure

Normally I stray from reviewing anything on this blog except books, once a dream cable show comparison, but I decided to share some feelings on Picker Sisters.  Lil'sista called me last week to say there was a great new show on. Dumpster diving to antique pickin has always been one of our very own hobby's of choice, growing up dirt poor and all. So, of course we would love to see two girls from the south digging in someone else garbage. 

Our dad's father had a junkyard when we were growing up, and I spent lots of time there. It's in our blood. I never think he and my grandmother planned on that happening, but over the years of 1920 to 1950 he was building small air craft for himself, hoping to become well known as the Wright brothers. He does have patents, and is well known in the piloting circles. So I imagine they collected more than he ever needed for parts, and then some right. It just became a way of making a buck or two. Bartering was a way of life back then. I got my start in that junkyard off Old Jacksboro Hwy in Fort Worth. I would make deals with him on stuff (my grandmother called it crap) like milk glass. He would laugh as she stormed around his work shop taking things out of my hands. I even got it for free! *silly snickerin' on my end*

The show? The designers find industrial-looking trash and re-purpose it for use in the home. Road signs turn into headboards. Troughs turn into light fixtures. And, all of it is done for their pop-up store i-10 (The store is located at 8300 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles, the cross street is Sweetzer. It's approx. 1 mile from the Beverly Center) Fun aside, recycling used objects for decorating is a great way to spruce up your home while keeping the environment in mind.

And...Two designer friends rent an SUV with a trailer hitched to the back, and go off on road trips looking for the rustiest stuff you can imagine. My kind of *sniffle* job description at best. I love antiques. *sniffle* I love to drive. *sniffle* I am not afraid to get my hands or knees dirty. *sniffle* Hey! My sister loves to yap, she would make a good side kick, just like the blonde in the show.

These two girls travel around a state, town to town asking if anyone knows of old buildings or property that needs some pickin'. Is it a real word for anything else but music in our vocabulary? Outside of the south? Evidently it is now. Pickers is what they call shopping your junkyard, barns, and basements for gems.

I will refrain from the nose jokes, you too...please, thank you.

Antique Archaeology is the name of the most famous business on cable, hosted by Mike Wolfe of the original 'American Pickers' show on The History Channel. And I do find it interesting to see what everyone is hoarding in their backrooms. I am guilty of buying stuff and forgetting, maybe conveniently, about it as it gets buried under the newest purchases. Although I often give it away to avoid the title, hoarder.

I have many times driven by country side acreages and saw things (many rusty and falling down things) and thought 'Wow!' what I could do with that, but kept driving, because I have no money or big trailer to haul it home. Like my dad would say, "Everything is for sale, and nothing is for free." Brings up another memory- my father knew how fond I was of old buildings and barns as we drove through Texas, so he would say when I got married he would buy us a fixer upper. After years and years and the laughter of the others in the car, I announced it would be alright with me.

Back to the show...Darn it, my lil'sista and I could have really run with this idea. Too bad we did not think of it first. A few people here told us we could (should) have our own reality show with our personalities and how we kept them all laughing. More bickerin than pickin. More like pickin on each other. I doubt the Akin sisters, real sisters, have a chance at it now. Maybe a parody show? Come on cable executives, give The Akin Sisters a chance!

Some advise to the girls, if this was my show-

Sure spunky young hotties get attention from men, but my no-no's...

1) Whisper more darlin!

Or maybe I should say become an Antique Whisperer? Don't run up and spot treasures while the owner/seller is standing there, while you spew out your ideas... "Ahhhhh, and OMG'd!" *high pitched voices* and say "Can you just see that as a such and such and such, oh what we could do with this". Shut up and act like it would take a lot to turn that junk into trendy pieces (which will eventually end up in someone's dark and dusty garage, or a trash dump!).

2) Appreciate that handyman you employ! 

All I have heard you two girls say so far is how lucky you are to have this wonderful job. Alan, he is a hunk and may have more talent in his little pinky than you two really do. Heck he might even start his own show if you don't compliment him more often! I will hire him, if...

3) Wear job appropriate clothing, please.

Hint hint: Knee pads for those ladder climbs, and full length jeans! Sure I see you have at least taken caution to heart and got yourselves a pair of garden cloves before you break your nails on some of that rusty junk you try and pick up. Maybe add a funny telephone-Superman booth meets Benny Hill quick change after you meet the junk yard owners.

I know you want to look cute, but please...leave the silk and lace in your closet at home. And please, those jean shorts? What would happen if you were to slip and cut yourselves with one of those rusty nails or large farm equipment pieces as you try to lift. Be consistent, your not hosting America's Top Runway or Top Chef.

Are your tetanus shots up to date? I'm just sayin...

4) Have you considered hiring a psychic?

All that history is being taken a part and redesigned. The ramifications you are going to bring into your store. There are people like Billy Bob Thorton, somebody who can afford your new junk, who won't buy antiques because he is afraid of the ghost and stories that lie in their bones. You might want to either make sure they are not haunted, or if someone wants to know the history, please disclose this 'could be horrifying' information.

Okay ladies, lil'sista and I will keep watchin, and we will have some more pickin comin' your way!

Inherited Values- I am not the only one who decided to pick on the girls in Picker Sisters...

(Photo by E Stelling, Nicklesville, VA, and deep in the heart of a friends farm in the Appalachian Mnts)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene- Princeton, NJ

Not much to say for this week. No writing this weekend, as my area was in the dark until noon today. I called on my cell phone to my friends in Texas and they relayed information from the news and etc to us. I charged my phone in the car. The wind and rain was not as bad as near the shore, but it really came down. Limbs and trees lay all about. Many neighborhoods around me are still without power, and they are saying it could be another week. My development is on a bit higher ground than the roads and rivers around me. The major power lines are a quarter mile or less out from our secluded development, off US 1. (Route 206, south of my home)

Severe flooding is all about as you will see in these photos (below Route 1, south of my house). At one point to the right of my house it was under water. We were prepared for much worse, but now my heart goes out to those who are suffering more than I am.

Hubby and I did enjoy snuggling together as we had a back up DVD player and batteries to watch a few old movies. I read this book about Peru I have had laying around, and we also enjoyed resting. Although hubby is like a caged animal when it comes to no internet. He is a big time computer geek and engineer, so he was on his IPad, but at times that was not working.

I took a trip out driving this afternoon, and went to the market to get some things for the refrigerator. The shelves were sparse, no water, no ice for those without power, so I feel extremely lucky to be able to go home and cook dinner tonight. I also found out the pool was open, which I think was crazy!, but hey I put my suit and Emperor Penguin face on and dived right in. It was cold, around 70 degrees my friend Kate said. I was not the only crazy person doing laps. (Route 27, just west behind my house)

What is amazing to me, that Vermont was hit so hard. I hear on the news that they are used to flooding, but this is the worst they have ever experienced. I pray they stay safe and things begin to come together as quick as possible. I just heard our rivers have not crested yet, and because our area is so criss crossed with rivers, it could get worse in the next day or so.

We have family on LI, and they surprisingly (and under evacuate order) came out fine. Hubby's step mom is still without power and a small tornado took down trees and such near her. I have not heard directly from any NYC residents, but would like to see some photos if any were taken. I know the subways were back in action this morning, just delays in some areas for mass transit. Our trains were shut down due to flooding, and lack of movement in and around the areas.

What really disgust me...seeing people walking through the murky rising flood water barefoot and kicking it around like it was okay. We have been asked not to run any water that would go into sewers here, because the pumps are down. Most of that flooding water you see on the news is mixed with sewage water. Uh huh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Voices CarryTo Friday- Poem Share

Are we immune to our surroundings? How often do we just sit and listen to the silence? Does your mind speak louder than white noise?

Yes, I think way too much. Or so I have been told.

(Poem removed by author for submissions)

I stumbled upon a great video poem site, Moving Poems by Dave Bonta. (Toon, you should start checking these sites out, and join us/share your work via creative writing teacher/poet, Jessie Carty's 'Blog' site!) Well, really it was through Diane Lockward's 'Blogalicious' recommendation where I found this wonderful blog. I could spend hours in that site. And it did inspire something.

You can go watch Raymond's video poem Orphan's here, but do not turn down the volume, and yes, I really did watch a show on television with the fan on and no way to hear them talking, and the rest the poem.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Taking It Slow

Yes, I am enjoying my developments pool for the next two weeks. But then it's closed. Kind of sucks since the weather is warm for another month. (I do not lay out to tan, I wear 100 SPF sunscreen hubby found for us) In Texas we can swim all year if we desire. Here they pay for life guards to watch over the sometimes almost empty pools. Parents almost never let their young tweens or younger rug rats come without an adult. So why do we have to do this? Not sure, maybe insurance here is out the roof. Maybe it's the state rules.

I have been hitting the exercising hard and heavy, in the pool and gym. Hubby also bought me some weights to go with my bike and stability ball in living room. I have lost more weight, but still have a long road ahead. So, I am fully working on my portion control. Why? Because this past year I did lose 46 pounds, but I had a lot more to lose, and was still eating heavier than I maybe should have been. My lower back still hurts, and I am tired of it. I assume my weight is responsible. Friends tell me to go to the doctor, but I will refuse to have surgery or take medication. I have not taken my other meds, outside of HB medication, since last summer and I am doing great. That has helped me keep the weight off, as well as very very low carbs in my diet.

For now I will relax and enjoy this beautiful weather. I am also taking a week off from writing. Jessie has put some of her writing blogs on hold, so I am taking the opportunity to focus on other goals. I have been doing some research for my Zombie book, and that requires some reading. I have two books to finish to accomplish this, so no writing until I answer some questions.

BTW did any of you on the east coast feel the earthquake yesterday? I did. I read it went from VA up to NY. I was upstairs and thought my neighbor was slamming doors. Often I feel them walking up their stairs and shutting doors. Then I noticed friends on facebook announced they had felt their houses shake. My clients husband felt it in Manhattan at his office. There are no true fault lines in VA where it originated, but a website explained it as reverse movement. No real damage was done, just a little shaking going on. Reminds me of Jerry Lee Lewis song.

Whats new? I am going to buy a new car. Looking at Prius and BMW, not sure. Going to Korea sometime in the future. Hubby has been traveling, so lots of time to read and relax (my house stays clean, Yay!). My great nephew turned three years old! He is so adorable, and loves cars! My lil-sista says he wears her out. I long for that kind of tired. My client has a baby in her future, so I am sure she will make good use of my time. I did go over and cook for them and company. Pizza crostini, mushroom meatballs and pasta, and a nice fat apple caramel apple pie. I learned how to play Texas Hold'em. A good night!

I am trying to take life as it comes. In a positive and productive way. How about you? Exercise does help reduce stress if things are not always going the way we wish they would. Try it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's More Dangerous?

A bull in a china closet, or...

My husband emailing me a photo of him shopping for a hat in NYC, or,

A wife holding back her desires, and comments?

My personal opinion...the fashion police should have their own 911 number on every person's speed dial.

There is no real danger here, I just had no idea he was even looking for a hat.

I learned in the beginning of our relationship he had his own agenda...for style, so I never have been pushy about such things. At least he has a style, and one I can live with. But he has never been one for adornments, bling as it is called today. My key to a successful relationship, pick your arguments, this one is totally low on my list of happiness.

I wanted to buy him a bracelet once. Why? Because I am a woman who likes men who wear rings and jewelry. Aren't all accessories bling? Although I am not big on the 'guido look' of New Jersey, you know, the slick hair and bling bling bling. Partly, it just doesn't do it for me. But fit intelligent  men who wear bracelets do. I also admire men who look distinguished in hats, vests, and even walking sticks. You know those little extra bling accessories.

Does wearing a certain style of accessories or bling say "I am confident" to you? I always thought so. My husband did give me a flat out "No" when I asked him about the bracelet purchase. I am going to blame the first boyfriend Leslie for this obsession. He wore one, he even gave it to me to wear in high school when we went steady. I miss that at times.

I gave up hope along the years of my man ever looking the way I had always imagined, or longed for. I just accept hubby likes to dress up when we step out. He is an engineer, crisp and clean cut for the office. Stay with me here, please. This feeling I have about how my man would look goes back even further than the first boy friend. Maybe to early childhood. When a nice looking or older gentleman sporting a nice hat over well groomed hair, an overcoat, maybe a smooth looking pair of shoes and briefcase walked by, my neck tends to bend in their direction. It was my earliest memory of my father (and a few other male role models in the family).

Yes, the father thing.

When I was as young, three or four, I have memories of my dad leaving for work. As I got older his uniform changed, but was always neatly ironed. Crisp and clean. We were told he had worked as a salesman, maybe even a door to door salesman, and it was their uniform during that era. No one today would be caught doing door to door sales, would they? Because it means you cannot get a higher paying job, maybe? Sales is not at the bottom of the totem pole, I guess, maybe it depends on what your selling.

I am a girl and my father was my hero, so it seems natural, according to Freud, I would steer in this direction as I matured. Nope, I just like nicely groomed men. Sure I like my man in a good tight pair of jeans and a t-shirt, but I remember sitting in Sunday church service and seeing a few men with gray dusted hair sporting Fedora like hats and wearing artistic like vests as they entered or left. It always catches my attention.

My ex, the father of my children who attended church with me just did not like them. His hair was too important to mess up. Nor did he like clothing or jewelry outside of the wedding band. He was one step from wearing a pocket protector like his own father. If that ever happened I might have denied knowing him. I would sigh and hold out hope he might change his mind as he aged.

Being pushy would have only alienated him from what was already a difficult relationship. Women if you find these words hitting a chord, have patience, or if your single hold out for what you want. My mom always said "You can fall in love with a rich man as easily as a poor man". In my case I was not looking for money the next time around, just common ground companionship, beliefs, goals and love; it just happened the next man I feel in love with had a higher paying profession.

After a two year friendship, I fell for an upscale dresser of my ex. He also liked food, wine, dancing, fishing, reading, conversation, God, and so many other things I had come to enjoy (like my writing). He just doesn't want to wear bling outside of his beautiful wedding band. We have been together sixteen years, and to my surprise in the most recent years, he came home with a fly fishing vest. Points! Hey its a vest right? But the hat he bought that day, well was kind of...big time dorky.

This will give a bit away about myself, but I am sort of old fashioned. I know so many relationships that are 'his is his, hers is hers' in these times, but many of them do not work out in the long run. Marriage cannot be about selfishness. Fifty/fifty folks! Let him pick out a few of his own purchases now and then because he works hard all week. He doesn't bug me about my personal shopping. I do enjoy wearing jewelry he has bought (surprised) me, which might not be what I would have bought. But he loves me and he has good taste.

So, when he emailed me this past weekend with this picture, well, I panicked. I was happy to throw out that dorky hat he wears everywhere to keep the sun out of his eyes, saving him from skin cancer, but I kind of wanted a particular hat. You know, the kind I see on professor types around the college town we live in, or on tourist men walking around the streets of Spain. Can't you imagine?

When he came off the train and climbed in the car Sunday night, I was smiling. The sexiest man had just reached over to kiss me hello. Woo Hoo! I loved the hat. He did ask me if I thought it made him look old. No, just mature, like I always wanted, and he did it all on his own.

Nawwwww, he just got lucky and probably had the salesgirl tell him what was fashionable for his age. Too bad they did not sell bracelets. She could have told him "Oh women love bling on their man, and it's the latest fashion." For her, the sales girl, is truly the life of danger when a clueless man walks in.

Okay, now I take back what I said about sales jobs, they are unsung heroes in my book.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I like Men Who Like and Read Poetry- Book Review

If a man writes poetry, well then, I really really...really like him!

That was just me thinking out loud, but it's true. How many men do we know personally who read, or even write poetry?  I only knew of one man in my life, my grandfather. I so admired him. These days I am acquainted with a few more men who do read and even write poetry. I have enjoyed both sexes who have written poetic verse.

Okay, where am I going with this? Marcus Goodyear is one of those men, and not only does he read, but he writes poetry...AND he was born and raised in Texas. My home state.

There is an element of personal connection in his writing for me (and I say so many times in this review!). I recognize things he speaks of, especially this piece, 'Resort' (pg 14, Barbies at communion, by Marcus Goodyear)-

When the Baker Hotel died,
no one ordered an autopsy
or called the local mortician.
They just left the carcass
at the crossroads where it fell,
bulging brick walls, gouged eyes
empty sockets jagg'd with glass.

Each line holds me on the steps out front of one of my favorite haunts in Mineral Wells, Texas. A place I pass each time I visit my dad's family in west Texas. A once grand attraction which put a dead town on the map. I never got beyond the foyer (more frightened of jail) or surrounding grounds, but have known so many who dared to take its contents. And display them proudly.

On coffee break, the local doc
doesn't wonder if he could
save her. ...

The marrow sold cheap to antique
stores, and left rooms mostly hallow.
Shout your name in the stairwell,
the space will keep your voice

Remember me, Remember me

It could be any abandoned giant along your horizon these days, but it draws up emotion for me I cannot describe. Eerie are his words; eerie as the stories surrounding its ghost sightings on each floor, and all along the Baker Hotel's grounds. Lots of history is written about this place if you like conjuring up old haunts.

(Baker Hotel, July 2009, taken by myself)

I also identify with another aspect of Marcus works, religion. Normally I am put off by anything from my southern bible belt upbringing, mostly television evangelists. He has a way of looking at his beliefs, and you know when he says "...poetry is prayer...", well it hits home in a more personal down to earth way.

Many of his words, lines, and stanza's in this book conjure up my own memories of sitting in the pew each Sunday, all dressed up, and if we even gave a "I can't sit still" sigh, my mom's hand would slither right over bibles, hymnals, siblings laps, purses like the snake in Eden's garden...and *strike!*, bite us right on the leg. Which would surely lead to our own personal Jesus experience after the service, if we kept it up.

Without giving away Marcus Goodyear's book title's whole poem 'Barbies at communion' (pg 3) during communion his daughter is undressing her dolls, it is a chuckle for me to read-

my daughter undresses
Ariel Barbie, Tinkerbell Barbie,
and 12-inch generic Sleeping Beauty.
I don't know why Ariel's butt crack
makes me nervous, shining up at me

He clearly has a good sense of humor, and a down to earth dad (much of his writing depicts this to me). I only wish my mother had thought of bringing things for us to do during those long hour and half services, especially ceremonial ones. But things were different back during my childhood, clearly my siblings and I were raised during the 'children are to be seen (show off our Sunday best, make the parents look like they were raising good children), and not to be heard' or allowed to express our boredom era. My own children were allowed to be themselves during service, as Marcus's, then thankfully they had their own class so the parents could focus on the lesson at hand.

What more can I say about this wonderful poetry book? Lots, as he has many other topics he touches base on. He also honors friends and family on many of the pages, possibly with inside jokes, or just thoughts that often occur to poets (or at least they do with me) about subjects. I would be honored to see myself related to a poets deep thoughts.

Marcus conjures up my grandfather's thoughtfulness, and many other great male poets whom I admire. I hope to read more of his work. I have a feeling studying his work will help me in my own writing endeavors.

You can find Marcus Goodyear on his website 'GoodWordEditing'. In his 'About' section of this website he explains...

'He is the Senior Editor for Foundations for Laity Renewal, a nonpofit organization in Texas founded by the H. E. Butt Foundation (and the same family that owns and operates the H. E. B. grocery company). Practically speaking, this means I spend my days working with words–sometimes writing, sometimes ghost writing, sometimes editing, most often in the space of new media on these websites:,, or Christianity Today’s

PS- This also conjures (there is that word again) up images of my favorite food market from the H.E.B. companies- Central Market. If you have not visited this store in the Austin or Dallas area, you should be ashamed. This store cannot be compared to that big health food store chain, no not at all, and if you want one in your area or state, then run, run to the altar and pray they expand beyond Texas (said with a chuckle).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Arms Hurt, I've Been Flying All Day

I know talking about my wonderful son can bore you, but hey, I am proud that my son has taken the high road to a successful and happy future.

He is in Korea teaching, and someone just found out she gets to travel there and visit him. He is lucky his step-father is so into trying new and unusual stuff.

Hubby has been traveling a bit more with work, yes, after my sister leaves. One of the purposes of bringing her here months ago was because it would give me something to entertain myself with when I am not working low summer hours. Oh well, you have to take life as it comes, a lesson I have been struggling with lately.

I love to travel too, and am envious he is having so much fun in work and play. Both hubby and son. Well, I am sure hubby strains to find fun in going to isolated military bases and no good eateries for miles and miles.

Lots of poetry has been flowing the past weeks since my sister left, but no sharing yet. I need to meditate and have been entertaining lots of company this past week. One coming today, my poet friend Pasquale. We will walk/swim the pool, talk of poetry, life, and enjoy a tasty brisket I have slow cooking on the smoker per his request.

I wish for you all a wonderful positive energy, and for my son, that he continues to find the positive paths to his destiny.

I am along for the ride.

Peace to you all.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Sky Is Falling

Often I find myself wide awake at 5 AM (like today!) so, I might check out something on television. I am still out on a sci-fi show called, 'Falling Skies'. I catch a show or two here and there. Since its not one of my regular DVR choices, I am a few, well more than a few behind. Ice and Coco have taken my attention if totally bored.  Yes, I know that is some bad TV, but I am curious. Not so curious as of this past week, because I have had enough of that Jessica Simpson doppelganger. Coco may have more money and got back, but geez.

My whole thought on this is what would I do if aliens did come to earth and begin attacking us. Could I, would I survive?

I might have to kick some alien butt if it meant I was left to eat can goods for a whole season. Not be able to eat good local produce? Or some good seafood...the cows, what have they done with the cows? My whole foodie existence would be enough to create an alien butt kicking rage.

I wonder if Obama's daughters have asked him, "Daddy, what would you do if aliens came down to earth and started kicking some butt?" Wonder how he handles those questions as a parent and president, just sayin...

Aliens or Zombies?

Oh goodness, now look what I have done to my brain...back to writing 'Crush'...I will fight them on paper for now...