Monthly Archives: July 2013

Moon & Stars (not Danaerys)

Earlier in the month, I was driving home and noticed the star on the mountainside was all aglow as it had been every night since Independence Day. Normally, they turn it on the evening of the 4th after the fireworks, the lightbulbs are red, white, and blue, and we all celebrate. Then it’s off again until the end of the year. This year, the lights were white and they shone each night for 20 not-actually-consecutive nights in honor of the firefighters who lost their lives in Arizona in June (as Gabe found out when he asked at the library)

I thought I’d stop to take a picture. I used the camera on my tablet because it does better in the dark than my Adventure Olympus. Of course, it was important to post the pic to Facebook because, you know, proof and all. I walked from where I was parked over to the town library and sat by the door, sucking out wifi, uploading my starry-night goodness. Once I had finished the task, I stood, walked down the ramp, looked up and saw the star on the mountainside to my right and a crescent moon rising next to the mountain in front of me. It was an amazing sight.

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The thing is, it was one of those moments, the kind I wish I could capture forever to replay in my future olden days. I regretted not having a better camera, one that does night pictures with grace and ease. It’s a regret I often have, actually, but it’s not something I want to use money to rectify because there are other things that need purchasing over a camera. You know, like my vast and crippling student loans.

Anyway, if I owned a good camera complete with filters and all that jazz, I would have been able to run home, grab it and the tripod, then run back down the street to an even better vantage point and get some seriously amazing shots. You have no idea what a phenomenal photographer I would be if only…
As it is, I have to make due with this and the memory of what I saw. And if you’re all, “Uh, no, that would be a stupid picture,” here it is without the graffiti, completely untouched. Can you not see the potential?

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Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Phenomenal Fake Life

Stalkers: A serious post

Warning: This is not a fun story. In fact, it could be considered scary and may trigger unpleasant feelings, memories, or emotions. If you feel stalking is a sensitive subject, please skip reading the rest of this and go do something light-hearted that will bring you joy, like watching kittens eat ice cream.
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Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My journey to writerhood, My Opinions on STUFF, Out & about or abroad

Denied.

Evie the Editor rejects today’s post. She says come back next week and there may be something not made of crap she wouldn’t even allow in her litter box.

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Filed under My Phenomenal Fake Life

My tomatoes are turning into zombies but the cornflowers are cute.

ARGH!

So my tomatoes – you know, the Siberian one and the Czech one – are both infected with plague. I think it’s because Siberia and Czechoslovakia don’t have droughts and ridiculously high temperatures in their mountains whereas my backyard has both of those things this year.  I’ve babied these ungrateful plants and now all I can do is yell profanities at them and cry. I guess it’s like having a teenager come home with an STD or something.

I tried to cut off the badness but it just kept spreading. Now I’m taking pictures every week so as to be able to watch it die slowly and to remind myself that I should not even bother with tomatoes in the future.

Damnation. I am not amused by this. Not one little bit.

Being me, I freaked out and figured these two disease vectors would go after all the other plants in the yard just out of spite and malice so I moved them far away, over to the fence and to the neighbors’ stupid, invasive, evil acacia forest. The rest of my nightshades (ok, I’m showing off; they’re potatoes) seem to be doing fine as are the vine plants and the strawberries which is good because, apparently, they’re all susceptible to blight and other horrors.

Happy zukes, happy peas. No blight over here.

Ok, the cabbage isn’t at risk, I’m just bragging. They rarely do this in my garden but they seem to like heat and drought. I had no idea.

The strawberries, up there in the corner by my very classy animal-scarer-awayer, are thriving. And it appears the garlic will need harvesting this coming weekend.

As you can imagine, I’ve been bummed. Stupid tomatoes. However, my spirits were lifted on the 4th of July when Noelle and her family came over. She walked up to the door, saw my new Bachelor’s Buttons, and pretty much shrieked, “YOU HAVE CORNFLOWERS! I AM SO JEALOUS!” I always feel good when I can make her jealous.

We’ve loved these happy flowers since we moved to our little mountain town as children. I don’t think we’d ever seen them down in the city and they grew abundantly all through our new town along with the ornamental sweet peas, Oriental poppies, and wild roses. But the cornflowers were the most amazing; they’re bright and so round, like a wagon wheel that’s really fancy…and not on a wagon. They survive grubby child hands and they thrive even if you ride your bike over them every day. They’re wonderful little things and we fell madly in love with them, a love that has endured all this time.

Sadly, years later, they started to disappear. I don’t know what happened. The ones that did pop up were only blue, cornflower blue (that used to be a Crayola crayon color, do you remember?) and not the white-with-purple/pink-center or the light-pink-with-dark-pink-center or the megawatt-magenta (those are the most rare).  Just blue and few. Even now, I only see small patches of them in rocks or empty lots, not the proliferation from my childhood.

It was a happy day when they began blooming in my front yard, a whole new patch I’d seeded from the drought-resistant mix I bought this past spring. Even Noelle noticed their cuteness and I think I am going to Miss Rumphius their seeds up and down the roads this autumn so that my little mountain town will once again be colored with summer’s Bachelor’s Buttons which will, in turn, make me feel better about my failed tomatoes.

These were always my favorites.

Here’s a little pink Bachelor’s Button

This is where the term “Cornflower Blue” comes from, this here flower.

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Filed under Adventures, In my backyard

Shaving cream and toilet paper: Recipe for disastrous fun

Remember when Noelle and I got together and talked about our White Trash Childhood? Well, I recorded the whole thing, only not really because I erased the first half. But I have the second half and I’ve begun to transcribe some of the stories. This one struck me as something that should be illustrated so that everyone could see what we were talking about.

I am pleased to present to you my illustrated version of our memory regarding shaving cream and toilet paper, featuring Noelle and me and guest-starring Little B.

Noelle: Do you remember when we used to take Dad’s shaving cream and fill up the toilet paper and then pop it? Ohmygawd, that was SO MUCH FUN!
Erica: That was the BEST FUN EVER!

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Noelle: Because it came out gel and then you put it in the toilet paper and if you touched it the right way, it got bigger and bigger…

 At this point in the story, Gabe was snickering and I had to tell him to shut up.

Noelle: …and then you squish it and alllll the…white shaving cream all over!
[What Noelle’s saying here is that you put the shaving cream in the toilet paper, wrap the toilet paper around the gel, then massage it all gently until you have a foam-filled toilet paper balloon]

Then Gabe was full on making fun of us so we both told him to shut up. He’s a perv, trying to insinuate his creepy old man ways into our pristine and sparkly memories of funtime for sisters in the bathroom.

Erica: it would just be like KABLOOIE! with the shaving cream…
Noelle: …and [it] was so fun to play with!”

Erica: …and it smelled really good!
Noelle: …yeah. Yeah, it didn’t taste good, though. It looked like whipped cream, like Cool-Whip, but it didn’t TASTE like Cool-Whip. It had a sour, horrible, gag-inducing taste.

Little B: …Why were you eating shaving cream?

Erica & Noelle: BECAUSE IT LOOKED LIKE COOL-WHIP!

Note: If you heard Cool Whip while reading, then please join us. You belong in our family.

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Filed under Adventures, My Dearly Beloveds, White trash childhood