Tag Archives: my fine art

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!


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?


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


Filed under Adventures, My Dearly Beloveds, White trash childhood

An unexpected guest

I haven’t been getting much sleep lately for a variety of reasons, some of them unknown even to me. I had a plan, though: Gabe was away, I was going to go home, do my chores, then relax and get to sleep early. That’s how I came to be sitting in bed at 9:30 on a Tuesday night, reading a book and winding down for the day when something flew up the stairs, into my room, past my head, followed closely by two speeding cats. I looked over to see Toki and Evie attentively staring at the window next to me. I followed their Serious gazes to a wild bird that was perched on the sill, watching me, looking worried.

It was like this. I'm reading, thing whizzes by, cats follow.

It was like this. I’m reading, thing whizzes by, cats follow.


Sighing, I crept out of bed, told the cats their game was over, then calmly walked to the laundry basket, dumped out the dirty clothes and tried to trap the bird. It sort of worked but I couldn’t get a seal around both the window frame and the blinds so the bird squirmed out and flew to the shelves.

This is not as easy as I'd hoped.

This is not as easy as I’d hoped.

The cats, their eyes still large and psychotic, leapt to the bed and watched our feathered new friend with malice-aforethought. I quickly got the basket around the bird again and slid it from the shelf to the wall but didn’t have anything big enough to create a sixth side for this make-do cage. I could, however, get the bird to the bathroom door, which I did via more soft sliding.

Scooooootching the bird to the bathroom door.

Scooooootching the bird to the bathroom door.

I opened the door, kicked at the cats to keep them out, then did this amazing magic trick that resulted with me-n-the-bird in the bathroom (it’s like “Clue” only I’m no General Mustard) and the cats stuck in the bedroom.
T&E were yowling and reaching under the door, begging for their toy back, the one they’d undoubtedly brought in sometime during the afternoon and left for dead which actually means it was Evie because Toki would have eaten its brains. I planned to use Door #2 to make our escape but, first, I had to catch the bird.

Now...to just catch the bird again. *sigh*

Now…to just catch the bird again. *sigh*

Situation: I’ve got a outdoor bird flying around the bathroom at 9:45 pm. 

It fluttered around for awhile then landed on top of the linen closet. Of course. Because that’s what birds do. That meant I needed to fetch the stepstool and even that didn’t help because I couldn’t really see up there, but I could point my camera, which I’d also retrieved.

Meet Towhee. Towhee likes to hang out with the birds which are sometimes rubber duckies. Also, Towhee likes to pose for the camera because he’s kind of a ham.

The camera is shiny and the bird was intrigued so started hamming it up. Seriously, bird? You’re beat-up and tail-busted and you’re posing for pictures? This is how you’re going to spend your evening in captivity?

Towhee on rubber duck

Wow. Towhee’s got a good sense of humor. This is actually pretty funny.
And, yes, I know it’s dusty up there. That’s 6+ feet off the ground. I can’t reach up there and I don’t care if it’s clean or not. Don’t judge me or, if you do, come over and clean it for me and then shut up about it.

I shooed it off the linen closet and it fluttered to the ground then ran to the corner between the door and the tub and BAM! There’s Toki’s little paw, groping and hoping. I smacked his hand, put the laundry basket gently over the fugitive and urged it onto the rug, then slowly turned the basket right side up so that the bird had to walk from the rug to the basket side to the basket bottom and the rug became a lid.

Problem solved. Except for Toki who is trying to grab the rug and pull Towhee back out under the door to play with. And eat.

Towhee is not worried…much.

Once the bird was secure, I opened Door #2, ran downstairs to open the back door then ran back upstairs and grabbed the basket and we all – the bird in the basket,  Daisy, and I – walked out into the night. I uncovered the basket and the bird…it did nothing. It wasn’t stunned any more but it also wasn’t leaving. It just sat in my laundry basket, staring at me. I said kind things to it, told it I hope it had learned a valuable lesson, gently encouraged it to try its wings and then finally gave the basket a small shake and yelled, “GO, ALREADY!” The bird hopped, skipped, and flew away from me and out into the night air where it promptly smacked into the side of the shed then slid down into the raspberry canes. I rolled my eyes, hoped the skunk wasn’t around, and watched it hop around the side of the shed, climb a tree and sit there. I bid it farewell, wished it luck, and went back inside.
Poor bird.
Poor me.
Poor cats.
Daisy thought it was all good fun, though.

All's well that ends well. Or so says that dead English dude.

All’s well that ends well. Or so says that dead English dude.


Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Dearly Beloveds

As I age

In 3 years, I will be as old as my grandmother was when I was born. My grandmother, ZZ, has been dead for 21 years – this is beginning to sound like a word problem in some horrible math book. Don’t worry, there are no trains leaving the station in this post. Moving on (yes, I did really just do that)

Anyhow, for the first half of my life, she was my most-favorite person in the world; we had a very strong relationship and I thank her daily for all she gave me. I haven’t seen her in a long time. Obviously. I mean, it’s not like she’s a zombie, though ZZ would be an awesome name for a zombie.

No, my grandmother didn't look like this, but if she were a zombie, maybe she would.

No, my grandmother didn’t look like this, but if she were a zombie, maybe she would.

Anyway, I haven’t seen her in 20+ years…until today.

I’m 40. Life and time have taken their toll on my person and it’s showing. I look more and more like my own mother every day and today, when I looked in the mirror while washing my hands, I also saw my grandmother.

It’s the jowls.

I’m sure she didn’t have them when she was 43 but by the time I started memorizing her face, her voice, her smell, all those things you learn about a person just by being around her, her jowls were probably making an appearance and the older she got, the more pronounced they became. For some reason, one I can’t figure out, I loved them. They looked so soft and touchable and they were so … ZZ. No one else had a jawline quite like hers. And now I do. Or, at least, I’m beginning to.

I know I should be a little alarmed by my sagging skin, my gray hair and wrinkles, my changing appearance. And sometimes I am. But today I’m thankful and even joyous to find my grandmother’s face in mine; it’s nice to see her again.


Filed under My Dearly Beloveds

My First Mammogram

I turned 40 at the beginning of this blog (making it sound like 40 is somehow the blog’s fault). Here in United StatesLand, women are supposed to get their first mammograms at 40 if they haven’t had one already. It used to be 35 and that was called your “base mammogram” but, apparently, too many breasts were still too full of breastliness and so medical professionals upped it to 40 when our breasts have really started to deteriorate. Or so I’m assuming.

Anyhow, like so many other women going in for their first mammograms, I was treated to a platter full of war stories. Several of my moms (I have many) told me that mammograms are almost as bad as giving birth in a Saharan dust storm with the assistance of hungry lions. At least, that’s what I thought I heard as I listened to their, “Oh, it hurts SO BADLY and I ALMOST DIED!” tales.

This is what I was hearing.

This is what I was hearing.

Thus, it was with some trepidation I entered the examining room and stood before the x-ray machine. Imagine my surprise when the whole procedure took all of two minutes and that included the moving and shifting and getting all four pictures. In fact, the actual squishing and photographing of my breasts took less than 30 seconds.

As soon as I was finished, I thought, “Huh. That wasn’t fun by any stretch. I don’t want to do it every day. But it also wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d been told. I’ve suffered much worse.” I had to tell Facebook about my experience ASAP.

I said: As far as Milestones of Womanhood go, the first mammogram is waaay easier than the first period and the first attempt at sex. It’s also less messy than the first kiss, though the fondling and squishing are about the same. The only thing for which I was not prepared was the odd positions I had to adopt to stand in front of the machine; I briefly regretted not taking Modern Dance in college.
So, old ladies? STOP telling horror stories about mammograms. It may have been torture back in the day and I’m sure it’s unpleasant if your boobs are on the small side but it is NOT the torture you people (MOM) made it out to be.

This is pretty much what I went through. Mostly.

This is pretty much what I went through. Mostly.

My status then started a conversation (Gabe and I are always amazed at which things we say online bring on the commentary) and while most women my age were “meh” about it  (it hurts but it’s such a short amount of time that who cares? or It wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected) there were several who said it causes them great pain and trauma, or has had in the past.

So I thought about it. Did it really hurt me? No. It was an awfully irritating full-on pinch and had someone done that to me outside of a doctor’s office, I’d have screamed at that person and punched him/her. Probably him. But it didn’t leave me wanting to cry. But COULD it have hurt me? Why, yes, I imagine it could have. For instance, had I gone in too close to a period when my boobs were sore and aching, it would have been more than unpleasant. If my breasts were small, it would have hurt more because all that pulling to get one into the grips and then the smooshing to keep it in place and what with there being no fat for cushioning? Yeah, that would hurt. If I had a low tolerance for pain, I’d have left the place in tears. But none of those things were true for me, thus, the experience wasn’t bad.

If you’re going in for your first mammogram and you’re freaking out about it because everyone says it’s going to make you die, don’t worry. It won’t make you die. It might hurt. It might even be awful. But it’s super-fast. It may be embarrassing if you’re not comfortable showing bare breasts to lab technicians and equipment but it’s not going to be mortifying. They’ve seen this all before.

Kotex put together a quick little list of things to think about when going in for your first mammogram. I’d be interested to hear other people’s advice.
And horror stories. But they have to be true. You can’t make crap up to scare the incoming mammogram generation. This isn’t a hazing ritual, people.


Filed under Adventures, In someone else's backyard, My Opinions on STUFF