Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Few Unmentionable Thoughts

I just can't let this muse go.
The situation in my drawer was pathetic.
Yes, it was time to venture to the land of retail and purchase a bra (or two).  Was I nuts?  The mall which was the ONE place that I would find the particular brand that I like was my destination.  Santa and a kazillion other shoppers would be there but as mentioned before the situation had become dire.
Loaded with good intentions and reminding myself that nothing would "disturb my calm"  (a saying I  happily adopted from a character (Jayne) in favorite sci-fi show of ours Firefly).  I ventured onward. So far, so good, as it was still early in the day. There was a Choir of sweet cherubs singing and the crazy crowds had not left their native habitats yet.
I  checked on a few Christmas gifts, picked up tights for my granddaughter and was feeling very empowered by the whole experience, even wishing a fellow shopper a "Happy Holiday".
Then it was time for the dressing room.
Tell me what are the odds of getting the SAME salesperson when I have only been into this store one other time this year??  I should wish for such odds and play the lottery that's all I have to say about that.  So I KNOW what style I like, and let's face it ladies bras are an EXTREMELY unique item to purchase.  The wrong fit could leave one black and blue, or worse make ones breasts look like torpedoes or a cantaloupe...(you get the idea) therefore STYLE, PROPER FIT and of course $$ are all important items to take into account.
I researched the brand I usually get and decided to actually try on a different STYLE.
Open the floodgates of retail opportunity for my salesperson!  She now held me captive in a dressing room with "other" STYLES that would most surely not only fit well but help me to feel super sexy.  
Seriously how many people see you in a bra??  O.K. Maybe that is too personal of a question.  So I realize it is time to make a decision and get the heck out of the room when she hands over not one but two different style of "very beautiful" bras that cost $125... EACH!!
Now I am used to spending a bit more for my bras, much more than most women I would guess, but seriously $125?!  For that amount one would think that it not only offers support and sexiness but also massage, skin conditioning and an overall euphoric experience for my breasts.
I passed them by.
Guess good old practicality and plain jane-ness won out.  My breasts might not be having the ultimate bra experience but I bet I can find some other fun way to spend the $ I saved.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A Holiday Afternoon Tea

Fancy teacups.
Scones with strawberry jam and cream.
Little sugar cubes.
Finger sandwiches.
Six young ladies.
Holiday music (playing softly in background)

Hopefully a fond moment for my granddaughters and their friends as we welcome in this season of Joy.
(but then again sisters are involved and things could go any which way!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Few Thoughts on Poinsettas and Being Present

It's official.  Two beautiful poinsettias have made their way to our little cottage, my Johnson Bros "Merry Christmas" plates are unpacked, and I am enjoying my first cup of Stumptown coffee in one of the mugs that has a picture of a candle lit tree in front of a fireplace.


Autumn is truly my favorite time of year and this year in particular seemed to make its appearance and then be over with much too quickly.  That being said, I am extremely thankful for the holly-day season that help to fill the colder, bleaker days with wonder and fun while the last of the leaves make their way to the ground. It is also the perfect time of year to practice being "present" as well as initiating a state of perplexedly within myself.  My daily "to do" list is usually quite full. Add to that all of the wonderful things that one would like do do during this special season, being able to stay "present" and enjoy every moment with our loved ones and friends is easier said than done. However I believe it IS possible and so worth it!  The days of the season then contribute to our mental stash of fond recollections instead of despair over what could-of, should-of, might-of happened differently.

What about holiday music?
I would take a guess that the majority of people dread when their favorite radio station becomes overtaken by scores of "Jolly-Holly" music.
It doesn't have to be that way!  I treat myself each year to a new CD (this year it's Pink Martini's new Joy to the World album)  and then rely on Pandora (it's free on your computer) to supplement.  That's right, you are the DJ that chooses the music that suits your soul and spirit.  I have come up with a few  stations that are just right for me.  Chanticleer (Holiday) and Winter Solstice Radio both play quiet reflective, Gregorian type of music, reminiscent of what one might hear as they quietly slip into an old church on a Christmas Eve.  I also love the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Holiday) station.  Who would think that electric guitars, violins and some very impressive drumming would create such magical Holiday music?

Every so often I need to re-read a book that helps me along with my life's journey and one that comes to mind during this time is year is The Precious Present by Spencer Johnson.

During this magical month I plan to give myself the gift the moments.
And I will embrace all of them!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's Spring

It's springtime here in the NW.
I need to remind myself of that.
It fascinates me to watch the plants push through the soil so that they may enjoy the sunshine, the rain and all that it means to be a living, growing entity on this planet. Less than a month ago as I began the process of pulling old dead weeds and doing some general cleaning up in the yard I wondered what would pop up. We moved into this old cottage after spring had sprung, so I had no idea what to expect.
From the appearance of things, I was not overly optimistic.
Everything looked dead and barren. Difficult to imagine lush, flowering green-ness.
We cleared away a small area where the ivy had totally "taken over", hiding planters that had once held beautiful plants and a couple other shrubs that looked barren and leafless as well. It seemed as if the ivy had won and that we were too late.
But wait...was that small buds on the lifeless appearing plants?
Life busting through to show itself after a winter of dormancy and several seasons of the ivy dominating the space.

As the soil thaws and softens around our cottage little shoots are appearing everywhere from slumbering annuals. After these last few days of sunshine and some light rain its as if they are stretching and reaching for the heavens.
I definitely need to remind myself of this miracle.
It happens every spring.
We each have a beautiful bud within our selves that may not be outwardly visible. But it's there and when the timing is right and the conditions encourage can and will burst forth to fulfill it's destiny of growth and blossoming.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


It comes in all shapes and sizes. Some folks have it. Some do not. Some (like me) have it occasionally and question where it has gone when it is needed most.
My grandparents (of Mexican heritage) had a STRONG sense of faith. It was evident in everything they did. Their home had crosses, bibles and rosaries in each room, and more importantly it was demonstrated in how they lived. Granted it (their faith) seemed to be a a tad bit fearful to me at times, but it also seemed loving and protective as well.
Granma Chavez KNEW God would take care of everything. Period. Our job as humans was to not screw things up and piss him off. I remember her telling my brothers that their black light poster of Jimi Hendrix hung up in their room would most surely bring the wrath of God down upon them and cause them to turn to the devil,use drugs and do other crazy things.
I was usually exempt from any of the you are going to hell and damnation talk. My grandparents allowed me to see the softer, more nurturing side of their faith. Maybe that was the side I wanted to see as well?
I especially loved the quiet way my grandfather blessed his morning coffee and sugar. He would whisper a few words and wave his hand with the sign of a cross over his cup. Then he would repeat the ritual and bless the toast and jam and of course blessed the fact that I was sitting there beside them for a morning cup of coffee.
I liked that part of their religion.
We never blessed anything in our house growing up and in fact were not permitted to even THINK that that could be a "higher source of power" (other than my father).
So the fact that my grandfather blessed his morning toast and coffee and me was pretty cool to observe.
They (my grandparents) had always been Catholic, until they decided to join the Pentecostal "church". It sort of freaked out most of the family as it appeared to change their belief system a bit. And cost them alot more money.
However I have always felt (even at a young age) that one's spiritual journey cannot be dictated by others.
Despite the change of church affiliation my grandparents FAITH remained strong and loving (to me at least) for the duration of their lives.
Their car had a bumper sticker that said that "God was their Co-Pilot".
Thank goodness because as they got older they sure needed someone who knew what they were doing as they navigated their car through the streets and freeways in Arizona!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jobs That I Have Held

I just received yet another, "Sorry you do not have the qualifications that are needed for this job" notices. It was for a friggin cashier job!! I can smile, I can tally up items, I don't drool in public why I can even count back change the old school way!
Not qualified.
It seems amazing that I find myself in this situation since I had been gamefully employed for 37 years! And not just at one occupation either.
My very first job was working for my older brother who mowed lawns on weekends. Our dad let him use our super nice, put it in gear and it drives itself all you have to do is steer it, lawn mower. He would make $5 a lawn. He hired me to be the "official edger and sweeper of sidewalks" oh, an maybe run around and pick up the extra tuffs of grass the lawn mower left behind. For this very physical part of the lawn service that he provided I earned 50 cents. That's right 50 cents. Thank goodness back then 50 cents went fairly far at the candy counter in Sprouse-Ritz. While that position did not inflate my piggy bank it did instill a strong work ethic that would at times plague me throughout my work history.
I didn't baby-sit much, diapers caused me a lot of grief, so my next job was at a Cafeteria style restaurant. The older people would ask me to please dish up a bit more, and the owner would come and level off the peas and say we aren't giving it away! I did not last long there. I then became the first girl chicken cook at Kentucky Fried Chicken. What an honor. I loved that job. I got to take home lots of left overs, my brother (the younger one) LOVED the way I always smelled like fried chicken. I usually would take some chicken to some friends whose mother was too busy selling/using drugs to ever have actual food in their house. After that I worked for a nice man named Harley who owned a gas station. I changed/cleaned and gapped spark plugs there and pumped gas (when they had it). It was during the "gas shortages" of the 70's and some days we could only pump for one hour.
Good times.
As I wander down the memory lane of my work history I realize I might expedite things by listing jobs that I have held in the style that Johnny Cash did in that song he sang about the car he built from stolen parts? When he went to register the vehicle he just had to sing out all of the years that it was.
Guess I will "sing" all of the jobs I have held to the best of my recollection and in chronological order. Here goes:
Lawn Care Assistant
Gas Station Attendant
Server~Furrs Cafeteria
Kentucky Fried Chicken Cook
Montgomery Wards~ Salesgirl in the "Missy Dept"
Bank Teller
School Bus Driver
Freelance Writer (primarily interviews of people who think they are interesting)
Teacher Aide
Substitute teacher K-12
Community Relations Director Chamber of Commerce
Phone line operator at a hotel
"Temp" (this had me loading trucks at a Walgreen's loading dock and filing papers at a loan shark place)
Attendance Secretary at a Charter High School
Server at an exclusive Golf Club
Barista/cook at a coffee shop
Salesperson at a fancy department store (holly-day help)
Medical Supply Salesperson
Waitress at a not as nice golf resort
Starbuckian Barisita
Teacher Aide to some very smart 10th graders
Flower delivery person
Manager of Gift Shop
Barista (did this one for free drinks instead of pay)
Owner (for much too short of a time in my life) of a fantastic coffee place
Drive-up Espresso Barista
Boys and Girls Club Assistant Cook/Teen educator
Vitamin Sales person
R/V washer ($1 a foot) what a deal!
Receptionist at a fancy spa/salon (owner nicknamed Cruella DeVille)
Server at a greasy spoon "landmark" cafe...

After all of these "work experiences" I find myself not even being able to get an interview for a grocery cashier position! I owned my own coffee shop less than eight years ago, and I recently was asked if I even remembered what an espresso drink was and how to make it.
My wallet and non-existent savings dictates that I better forget all of these wonderful? memories of jobs that I have held and get busy finding a publisher.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spontaneous Memories

Spontaneous memories. They happen when you least expect it. Guess that's why they are spontaneous.
I had one this morning.
We were at Floyds, one of our favorite coffee stops. (lucky for us coffee junkies there are many of them here in Portland)
Back to the spontaneous memory... we are sipping our "fluffy" 16 oz latte and in walks a mailman wearing a pith? helmet. I think that's what they are called. Immediately my mind flashes back to the 60's and my residence at the time in Anaheim, California and a little girl who spent alot of time home alone sick. (that would be me)
We had the NICEST MAILMAN EVER. He wore one of those type of hats (pith?) and pushed a cart full of our neighborhoods mail up and down the "keyholes" in that small suberb of Los Angeles. It is almost always sunny in southern California, and when it rained he had a little plastic baggie type thing to keep his pith dry. Oh~and for those of you who do no know what a "keyhole" is, that is what we used to call a cul-de-sac a back then. Well, the shape of it sort of resembles a keyhole doesn't it and it sure sounded better than "dead end"?
O.K. back to the NICEST MAILMAN EVER. I wasn't allowed to open the door to anyone when I was home by myself so to pass the hours in between watching Captain Kangaroo and the Beany and Cecil Show I would wait by the door for the mail to arrive. We had one of those slots that he shoved the mail through. My intention was to freak him out by talking (in an eerie voice of course) to him while he was shoving the mail in our door.
Except he never would get freaked. He was much too kind, too easy going. He would ask how I was doing and tell me to feel better. He knew all of our names.
I think his name was Barney or something like that. All I know is that for the ten years that he delivered our mail he always had a kind word for all of us ruffians that terrorized the keyhole.
Now the ice cream man was another story...