Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Greatest Gift is YOU!

A couple years ago, a woman named Felicia lived across the driveway from me. She was an older, sixty-something gal. Not a lot of people in the neighborhood liked Felicia because she tended to be crotchety. She didn’t like any of the neighbors either. Actually, as far as I could tell, she didn’t like anyone. Wait. That’s not true. Felicia liked children, and she liked me. I liked her too. We’d hang out together between the driveways and talk about our gardens, politics and her volunteer activities. One day Felicia waved me over to ask me a question. She said, "What do you think of Tomato-Red?"

I nodded quizzically, "Sure?"

"For my house. I’m thinking about painting my house Tomato-Red. My son thinks it’s too bright, but I think it would be cheerful and add some flair to the neighborhood." As she said the word flair she dramatically flipped her hair and waved a hand in the air.

With a wide grin of approval, I agreed. "You have fantastic taste, Felicia. What could your son possibly know about flair?"

"I knew you’d understand, but I thought I should ask you anyway since you live right next door. I don’t care if anyone else around here likes it or not, but I wanted your approval beforehand." Felicia was thoughtful that way.

Later that week I realized that Felicia probably didn’t have the money to buy paint and hire painters. She was on a limited income, and any extra money was usually donated to charity. She was also disabled and wouldn’t be able to do any of the painting herself. However, I just couldn’t shake the image of her delighted face as she talked about her Tomato-Red house. I decided to organize a painting party the following spring.

Spring came and I found myself horribly busy getting ready for a friend’s wedding. I didn’t have a minute to myself, but I vowed that as soon as it was over, I’d get Felicia’s house painted. It would be a fabulous surprise. I’d already talked with half a dozen friends. Even my Dad was willing to come down for a weekend to help. If everyone pitched in ten or twenty bucks and we spent 2 days working on it, Felicia would have a gorgeous Tomato-Red house. It was a good plan. I just needed a little more time. Just more time.

The day after the wedding, I got the sad news. I was having breakfast with my parents in the Raleigh-Marriott restaurant when my roommate called to tell me that Felicia had died. I knew she’d been sick, but I didn’t realize it was so serious. No one did.

Felicia’s house was sold a month later. The new owners put tan siding on it, almost exactly the color of my house. It’s horribly ugly. I frequently have to fight the urge to sneak over in the middle of the night and paint it Tomato-Red.


Have you ever wished you hadn’t waited to show your love? Have you ever wanted another chance? Have you ever let complications, distractions or doubt, keep you from doing what’s in your heart?


My blog-mate, fellow Hot Chik, and dearest friend, Lu is having a really tough time these days. As some of you know, she suffers from severe Bi-Polar Disorder. Her symptoms are debilitating and extremely painful. Pharmaceutical treatments that typically help other people don’t work well for her. Currently, she’s undergoing a change in medications, and while that’s happening, her symptoms are worse than usual. As someone who loves her, it’s hard to see her suffering.

Earlier today, Lu asked me to spend some time with her. Thankfully, she asked for help. Sometimes I ask her for help too. It’s nice that we can do that for each other.

While we were talking, Lu told me that it’s really hard for her to live in her house while she’s experiencing such severe Depression. Her house is currently very disorganized, cluttered and in need of a thorough cleaning. It’s definitely not something a woman with severe Depression can tackle.

It took a while, but I finally managed to convince Lu that it’s okay to ask her friends to help her. People who love her will be glad to help. If they know that a few hours of washing dishes, vacuuming, and sorting & organizing will make her life easier for a while, wild horses won’t be able to stop them. This is how it is when people love each other.

A clean house isn’t going to cure Lu’s Bi-Polar Disorder. However, if it eases her suffering enough that she doesn’t have to go to the hospital, we will essentially be giving her the gift of freedom. That’s a pretty amazing thing. In fact, it’s almost as if Lu is giving us a gift. Finally, after all this time of watching her struggle with this horrible illness, there’s something we can do to help. Not only that, but if I have anything to do with it, it’s going to be a hell of a fun party! Anyone who doesn’t show up is going to be sorry they missed it.


Have you ever been in a situation where someone you love was sick or hurt and you didn’t know what to do to help? Have you ever watched helplessly while someone you care for suffered? Have you ever felt powerless because you couldn’t think of a way to make it better?


The Keep Lu Out of the Loonie Bin Party is Saturday July 29th. All our friends are welcome to attend. If you’re our friend and want to attend, call or write to me as soon as possible.
(Space may be limited.)

Saturday, July 22, 2006


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

--- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm Melting

It's too hot to do anything. Sweating takes all my energy. See you in a couple weeks.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


He: I can make you do what I want.
She: No you can’t.
He: Even better, I can make you WANT to do what I want.
She: No you can’t.
He: Lick your lips.
She: What?
He: Lick your lips.
She: No.
He: You want to lick your lips, don’t you?
She: NO!
He: Baby, I really think you’ll feel better once you lick your lips.

She: No, I’m sure my lips are fine.
He: Actually, your lips look a little dry and ashy.
She: I don’t care.
He: Watch me. Doesn’t this look nice when I lick MY lips? Mmmm, very moist.
She: You’re mad.
He: Go ahead. Lick your lips. You want to.
She: No, I don’t.
He: I won’t think any less of you. Lick your lips.
She: Stop it.
He: You want to.
She: No, I don’t.
He: If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for me.
She: No.
He: Lick your lips.
She: No, no, NO!!!
He: You are soooo close. Come on. It'll be very satisfying. Do it.
She: Give it up. I’m not going to.
He: You might not do it, but admit it, you want to lick them.
She: Don’t you have something better to do?
He: No. This is the most important thing in the world.
She: You’re twisted.
He: I can’t stop watching your lips. Lick them.
She: Go away.
He: By now, you must want it more than I do.
She: No, I’m not insane.
He: Lick your lips.

She: No.
He: Lick your lips.
She: Damn it. Do you know where my lip-balm is?
He: Yes
She: Where?
He: In my front pocket.
..........., lick 'em.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Five-Five MeMe

Tagged by the clever and alluring Spin-Doc

In my purse/wallet:
Tape measure
Personal alarm
Cork screw
Condom (lord knows why)

In my refrigerator:
Soy Juice
Fat-free Reddi-Wip
Red peppers

In my closet:
A sleeping cat (sometimes)
Cedar blocks

In my car:
Jumper cables
Three sets of headphones
Gym shoes
Lots of dog hair



Monday, July 10, 2006

The Scheherazade Project: Theme for 7/3-7/16

The Scheherazade Project: Theme for 7/3-7/16
My submission for this week's theme, "Don't fear the big blue monkey", is Heartbreak on the High Seas.
If you're interested in participating in this stimulating group writing activity, follow the link above.

Heartbreak on the High Seas

Back in the day, long before I discovered my calling as The Love Goddess, I found myself working as a lowly tavern wench in a spirited establishment down near the docks. The Hairy Lemon was a colorful place where I met all sorts of folk, but none stood out quite as brightly as my dear, Leslie. Of course, being a dread pirate, Leslie preferred to be called, Spike. It was only later, in our private moments that I was allowed to drop public formalities and call him by his given name.

The first night we met, Leslie offered me the world. He told me of his love of the sea; he introduced me to his ship and his parrot, Milo; and he showed me his extra special private collection of gold doubloons. However, more than anything else, I think it was Leslie’s unique style that caught my eye. The man could wear a pair of pantaloons like nobody’s business.

The very next day, I impulsively followed my heart and set sail with Leslie, Milo and the rest of the crew. My old life as a wench was over, and I was off with my new Love to find our fortunes as dread pirates.

I was surprised by how easily I took to the sea. Perhaps, I was blinded by passion. The thievery, burning, pillaging and senseless destruction by Leslie and the rest of the crew didn’t bother me a bit. After a while, I even got wrapped up in it myself. When I saw all the booty, I found myself getting just as excited as everyone else. It was almost as if I belonged there; as if I was destined to be with Leslie on the high seas.

Life as a dread pirate seemed perfect except for one thing. My dear, Leslie had a dark affliction. He was obsessed with finding and owning a most peculiar object; something so rare and mysterious that many pirates suspected it was a myth. Even though the thing was said to be hideous, Leslie was hell-bent on finding it. He wanted the infamous, Blue Monkey statue.

It wasn’t as if Leslie needed the money. His greed and daring had earned him all the gold and riches he would ever need. The real reason he wanted the blue ape was because no one else had been able to find it. He wanted to do something that no other pirate could do. He wanted to make a name for himself. He wanted to be, like the blue monkey itself, bigger than life.

Leslie’s obsession took over the entire life of the ship. There were times that nothing else seemed to matter to him. Neither Milo nor I could distract him or ease his angst. No amount of gold, gems, cash, or DVD players could quell his lust for the monkey. Even capturing and torturing innocent victims didn’t amuse him for long. Once Leslie was in a monkey-mood, we all suffered from his blue streak.

After a while, I began to forget why I fell in love with Leslie. It seemed that all the passion he had for the sea, his ship, pirating and me, had been swallowed up by his crazed fascination with the mythical azure idol. The sad realization that our romance was over came to me the day Leslie walked past me wearing a particularly sassy pair of pantaloons and I didn’t feel my familiar little tingle. That was the moment I knew it was time to find land again.

The last I saw of Leslie was when he left me in a fit of rage on the island of Moroni. He said the only reason he wasn’t making me walk the plank was because I polished his doubloons better than any other wench he’d ever known. I suppose I should have been grateful, but I still resent him for the 6 months I lived on breadfruit and berries. Between you and me, I hope the scurvy bastard never finds his stupid monkey.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

... and I Want it Now!

I want a fabulous wardrobe
I want world peace
I want more patience
I want tight abs
I want a good night’s sleep
I want a clean house
I want more love
I want less hate
I want a new couch
I want everyone to smell nice
I want to curse less
I want a foot massage
I want to speak Spanish fluently
I want a lightning quick wit
I want more play-time
I want a great glass of wine
I want to forgive myself
I want perfect pitch
I want to feel remarkable
I want a great haircut
I want to believe everything is going to be okay
I want …

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The All-American Delicacy

Ah! Strawberry season is upon us. Is there any tastier coupling than a simple ripe juicy strawberry dipped in dark creamy chocolate?

Every strawberry lover knows where to go to get the best berries of the season. She will don her summer hat, tote a bucket to the field, and pick them herself. She’ll be very selective. Despite the sweat collecting on her brow and between her breasts, she’ll take her time to choose carefully. If she does well, her patience will yield a bucket of ripe, red, firm, well-shaped beauties.

The most challenging part might be the trip home. We have to resist the temptation to taste prematurely. It may be difficult, but when our delicious dipped fruit is laid before us, we’ll be very pleased with our self-discipline.

The cleansing step is the first part of the preparation. Use cool running water and be very gentle when washing the berries. I like to keep the stems and leaves on so I have something to hold onto, however, a little chocolate on the fingers probably won't hurt too much. Once the berries are washed, lay them on a towel to dry. If you roll or pat them, be extra careful. You don't want to bruise their tender flesh.

Next, is the chocolate step. Always use GOOD chocolate! I prefer dark chocolate on strawberries, and I don’t mind investing a little bit more, even if it means I skip lunch one day next week. It’s totally worth it.

When warming the chocolate, use a double boiler on low heat. This sweet confection likes to melt very very slowly. If it gets too hot too fast, it will be ruined. If you ruin GOOD chocolate, you will be sent to your room without supper!!! (and you may even get a sound spanking, but not the GOOD kind)


Now, the very best part … (I like to do this step by candlelight with a glass of champagne)
Once the berries are dry and the chocolate is smooth and melty, line a tray with wax paper and prepare to be delighted.

At this point
, I look at all the strawberries and choose my very favorite. It may not be the ripest, firmest, biggest, or best shaped berry. It just needs to appeal to me in some way. Once I make my selection, I remove the chocolate from the stove and position it for best accessibility. Then, I stand directly over the chocolate and slowly dip my berry in.

I absolutely love to watch as the tip of the strawberry first penetrates the warm creamy chocolate. Once it’s almost completely immersed, I pull it out again. Then, I dip it another time or two so more chocolate gets on my fruit. Once I’m satisfied, I cup my other hand under my perfectly drenched strawberry, and bring it to my lips. The combination of the warm chocolate and the cool strawberry are heavenly. It’s tempting to suck the chocolate off the strawberry and have another dip, but when I bite into it and the berry juice mixes with the chocolate, I can barely contain my delight. Inevitably, my ooo’s and ahhh’s cause some to dribble out the side of my mouth and down my neck. It’s a good thing I always do my strawberry dipping naked, or all my summer clothes would be stained.

** (I almost didn't post this. People might think there will be left-overs to share.) **

Happy Independence Day