Tuesday, November 27, 2012

American Beauty: A Thankful Life in Few Words and Several Pictures

So, after family and health--namely a new niece and a *not* broken leg in Scotland; after kicking the winter blues and reveling in holiday decorating; I am thankful for the beautiful, stunning, funny, lovely looking things that fill my life with color and joy all year round.

Peeled Beets

Gorgeous Spices

Polka-Dot Sandals and Pretty Pedicures

Coming Home to Roses on the Table

Surprise Luscious Yarn in the Mail

My Very First Plying When I Though I Couldn't But Did Anyway!
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Saturday, November 24, 2012


~~~Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say/ On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day~~

Before you read any further, go download this zippy Bing Crosby/ Andrews Sister ditty and play  as we proceed and you will experience Christmas the way I always have, as a native California baby.... Go on, I'll wait!

....There we are!  So, Thanksgiving was PANDEMONIUM! I worked a bunch, and due to the gracious gesture of a co-worker, I was able to switch and take Wednesday off to prepare for the 20-family-member melee.  The result:



Black Friday is never too black round Penzeys, so we decorated and celebrated with customers their Thanksgiving triumphs.  Now it’s Saturday, which is....


Already I attacked the unsuspecting bushes:


Now the tree’s up, but we’ve discovered this may be the year Santa will bring us an After-Xmas End-of-Season-Sale New Tree to last the next 7 years.  


It’s not the fuses, and we’ve plugged and re-plugged.  Poor thing.  But with about 230 ornaments, I’m gonna Charlie Brown the hell outta him one last time.

The SAD is still nowhere in sight, and I am nearly more joyful every moment I realize I’m happy than I am just being happy.  Dunno if that made any sense, but it doesn’t have to.  

Hero Tree Pic to follow, for now, Happy Christmas Season Starting!!!!!  Much Joy from your Fairy to You!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012


I’m sorry, thanksgiving is in how many days????? (4).

Last Monday, I worked, selling spices to people stocking up for the BIGGEST FOOD HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR, oblivious to the actual calendar.  The next day, my day off, I crack open my computer and see an IM from Jedi Jasmin:


It’s ok, this is my Specialist Subject.  I majored in Holidays.

I looked ahead on the calendar and saw I worked the next day and then had off until the next Monday and Tuesday then had off the day before Turkey Exam Day.

Then I was called in to work on Thursday. 

J and I had worked out the guest list, somehow comprising 20 people, even though it was just family.  Twenty people???  This shindig will have to go down at my pad, so the Never Ending Redecorating Project will have to move on to the Tidy the F*&k Up phase fast this weekend.

Then we made up a menu, and decided what we were gonna tackle and what to delegate.  Not so bad, I’ve done much, much, much more on my own in tiny, inadequate kitchens.  Now the sticky part:  Since that’s the way I’ve always rolled, now I have to break my recipes down into actual ingredients with actual amounts and procedures.

Huh? You say.

This is rub for your Fairy, my friends.  I learned to cook on my own.  I buy by approximation, I fabricate by eyeball.  Every single recipe I have created here I have had to sit down and corral my unconscious lizard-brain to formalize. Whereas I just grabbed several boxes of chicken stock because I had on my list “Stuffing and Gravy” and I know in my mind’s eye how much that requires, now I have to do it on military scale with standards and protocol.  Oik.

So this is a new experience.  One I am most thankful for, because on Thanksgiving Day 20 people I love very much will enter this house to plonk down and eat and talk and laugh and pass out from Stuffing Overdose.  A lot of people have been posting lately the things and people they’re thankful for, and quite a lot of people have been posting about dropping out of the holidays to avoid the stress and cliché and commercialism.  After two years of seasonal affective disorder, something just snapped in my head round about October and I am once again filled with absolute joyful abandon, and some stress, but mostly the enthusiasm of combined 5-, 12- and 20-year-olds.  I am childish in my love for presents got and given, just old enough to relish my freedom and time off, and suddenly aware of my ability to make this anything I want to.

The boys are once again grilling the meat, allowing them to (hopefully) sit outside, drink beer and not-quite-set-things-on-fire. Other people are bringing veggies and desserts.  I'm making a mountain of sourdough bread stuffing, enough mashed potatoes to feed the Pacific Fleet, some pie and a cake.  It almost feels like cheating.  But in a good way.

Thus, every day or so, as work permits, I will post a few snaps of everything I am thankful for this year.  As I sit here listening to oven-dried bread cubes crackle as they cool, I  begin with the most wonderful to happen to our crazy family: Our shiny, new, crazy little Danger Mouse:

A Knitter's a Knitter, No Matter How Small! Society Debut! (Jan '12)
Extra 'Tude with a Side of Sauce (Easter '12)
First Bookshop! (Summer '12)
Preparing for Launch--Antennae Raised, Speaking in Raspberry (Fall '12)
So this is me, Chillin', wherein I invite you to join me.  And most of all, I wish you Joy.
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Friday, November 16, 2012


So, this week, on Monday, 12 November 2012, I arrived home from work to find my neighborhood had been invaded by Christmas.

This was by no means an isolated incident, as I had scooted out for the shop's afternoon coffee run and found, to my delight, that we have an entire Christmas boutique shop in Menlo Park.

And yes, I said delight.

I know, I know,  I should be on the bandwagon with all the other frustrated, temporally displaced refugees who despise twinkly lights bedecking bushes a full three weeks before Thanksgiving, but I canNOT get enough.  Don't get me wrong, the music has official sanction from Black Friday to Boxing Day.  The tree from Black Friday to Epiphany.

But I do deeeeeeelight in the whole gorgeous spectacle.  Delight, revel, celebrate, carouse, roister, whoop this season up. I nearly knocked myownself right down to aboutface and get into that shop, my friends, because I saw this:

A Christmas GingerBird
It would be sweet to say this is the first ornament of the season, bought for GingerMan, as it is so difficult to find high-quality Robins.  The photographic record says otherwise:

Two from Buckingham Palace, the Royal Thistle from Edinburgh and a Christmas Robin from Harrods, London

And these don't include the mouse and silver teddy bear "Baby's First Christmas 2012" from Harrods for Danger Mouse.

What?  It's my contractual obligation.

OH! and Christmas cards!  For the first time in about 8 years:


And now I will leave you, my itchy little fingers know where the mesh lights are, and those bushes out front ain't gonna dress themselves, pal....

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Monday, November 5, 2012


I have been considering, reconsidering, grappling, with how to cover this election. Here in the South Bay we have a bunch of tax/bond issues that are supposed to lock money into the local economy.  There are state measures which allow me, when I have hoped against hope to be able to, in my lifetime, repeal the death penalty and make the asininely-implimented Three Strikes law right. 

At the national level there are the greater issues about which, more and more, all I hear about on social media and in social gatherings is, to quote:  "Gaaaawd I'm just sooooo sick of this!!!"  

I'm sick of it too.

I'm sick of fighting for the civil and human rights of women and minorities 100 years after our struggle began in earnest in this country.

A young friend posted on Facebook that she could not understand how some idiots could trade a "stupid 'free' pill for our national security", with the assumption that the party espousing equal access to health care would throw open the borders to murdering, raping, pillaging pirates overnight simply because those darn contraceptive pills let us whore around.  Says the girl who lives independently and enjoys the benefits afforded by such a luxury.  

The problem seems to be that so very few people remember what women 100 years ago (yes, I WILL KEEP REPEATING THIS) were derided, demeaned, arrested, imprisoned without aid or bail and, while incarcerated, often humiliated, beaten and tortured.  These are historical facts.  These women suffered to give us the chance to vote.  To be counted as real human beings.  

One. Hundred. Years. Ago.

And yet, we are now fighting the same basic cause.  Measures passed in state assemblies bypass the Supreme Court's 1973 decision establishing that abortion, as part of a woman's entire right to equal health care without the consultation of a male authority is considered her right to privacy.  These unbelievably incomprehensible laws draw the boundaries of pregnancy to two weeks back into your last cycle, effective making your period a miscarriage.  Or they force women facing the loss of a later-term physically damaged baby to go to extraordinary, inhumane measures before terminating the pregnancy.  They want to limit or ban access to basic health services and contraception on the grounds that they are immoral under certain belief structures.

I'm not fighting any religious war.  We are fighting our war for human rights.  We cannot regress 100 years to being counted as 100% less than a man, unable to garner our meagre intellectual capacities to truly consider the weighty affairs of state. We cannot regress 50 years to the time when we were still tacitly considered the moral property of our male family members when obtaining reproductive health.  

We cannot allow ourselves to be crushed beneath the feet of those who merely use modern phrasing for the same old "Little Lady".  

I am the only person who ties my apron strings.  I am the only one who calls me to the stove in the evening, barefoot, socked or shod.  I am the only one who decides my best course for MY medical care, for my equal earning in the workplace,  if I would be allowed to marry no matter the gender of my partner, for my equal standing in the human race.

Vote.  Do anything you can to get to a polling station.  Your employer, BY LAW, must give you adequate time off to vote.  If you are at the polling station, waiting in line when the polling station closes, they cannot kick you out.  If you are in a disaster area, I know life is really, really tough for your right now, but if you are online, look for polling places, they are trying to put as many in place as possible.

100 Years of Suffragettes want YOUR vote.  They want you to count.  Some of them died for it, for you to be heard no matter your stance, no matter your beliefs.  You are a woman and you are valid in your humanity and your opinions, but please, remember above all, your humanity and that of all women and consider it when you tick those boxes.

Human Rights, Civil Rights, Women's Rights.  Make your vote count. Pin It Now!