Easy Sunday

I’ve spent the evening curled up in the bedroom with two small dogs keeping me company, and a thunderstorm beyond the window. We slept late today, then I got up and puttered on my computer, cleaned the kitchen, and made a grocery list, and returned to bed because it was soft and comfortable, and sometimes you just have to have a completely lazy day.

Besides, the dogs are happier when we’re both in one location. It’s all about the dogs.

Last night, over a post-midnight snack of peanut butter on multi-grain toast and chilled apple cider, Fuzzy and watched an hour of Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet. I like the meerkats, because they’re small, fluffy, mischievous, and remind me of chihuahuas. Fuzzy likes the meerkats because he’s a closet ferret fan (we talked about getting ferrets when we lived in SoDak, but never did, which is good because we couldn’t have brought them to California with us).

Ferrets are legal in Texas, and I confess, I love them, too, but chihuahuas share terrier traits when it comes to small squeaky animals, and MissCleo’s part Staffie, and is pretty good at going to ground, so we can’t have them.

Anyway, we were watching the meerkats, and after Fuzzy saved me from accidentally enabling closed captioning, I found out that while I only watch the show when there’s NOTHING else on, he apparently knew it well enough to miss Flower, the previous matriarch of the Whiskers clan.

Me, I just wanted to know if meerkats were related to ferrets or not. (They’re not. Nor are they cats. They’re a variety of mongoose.)

Later, I had to explain to Fuzzy who Riki-Tiki-Tavi was.

Anyway, we slept away the day, napping, and talking and playing with the dogs, and then we got up, bought dog food, wild bird seed, and went for Chinese food (it wasn’t very good) and then grocery shopping, where I bought new measuring spoons to replace the ones that Fuzzy ran through the garbage disposal, but I noticed that the new sets no longer come with 1/8 teaspoon, and that’s one of the ones that were mangled.

Not that you should really have to measure 1/8 of a teaspoon. It’s just a pinch. Go with your instincts.

And then we came home.

And he packed for his trip tomorrow.

And I blogged, and watched the musical version of Legally Blonde (again) and am now watching the original movie, and soon, very soon, we will turn out the lights and sleep.

Which is fine.
Because it’s been an easy Sunday.
And sleep really is the best way to end one of those.

Vampire Decorating Skills

I’ve been watching the second-season DVD’s of Forever Knight this week, and really enjoying the commentary from James Parriot, Geraint Wyn Davies and Nigel Bennett, especially the latter.

Bennett, in commentary, seems to be enjoying the show as much as his character, Lucien LaCroix ever enjoyed biting into a pretty girl’s neck, and his insights go beyond things like direction and casting to talking about things like how the crew used to like keeping the camera angles off-level (he called it “wonkizing” – making everything wonky) and how they seemed to enjoy lighting just little bits of his face during the radio booth scenes where he would be uttering a Nightcrawler monologue.

He also mentioned that when the show was canceled, they auctioned off the set pieces, and he now owns three of the torch lamps from the alternate version of Natalie’s apartment used in the Alice in Wonderland tribute episode, “Curiouser and Curiouser.”

Is it wrong that I enjoy the commentary more than the actual episodes, sometimes?

Ocean Waves

“Ocean waves lulling you to sleep, a soft breeze wafting over your skin, as you sprawl across a white bed…” these were the words my mother spoke to me on the phone a few minutes ago, describing why she wanted an outdoor bed. She spent last weekend in a remote Mexican resort, you see, on the ocean side of the Baja peninsula, in just such a bed.

“Does the bed have to be white?” I asked, knowing the answer already.

“Of course.” Her tone made it clear there as no questioning this.

“And I suppose the bed itself has to be teak, because there’s nothing better than teak outdoor furniture,” I added.

“Mmm, resin might work,” she said, “If it was available. But teak is prettier.”

We laughed together, and then she said something I didn’t understand because, as she explained several seconds later, she’d put a frozen cherry into her mouth.

“Frozen grapes are great, too,” I shared.

“Oh,” she said. “Yes. I’ll have to try that.”

What do you talk about with YOUR mothers?

All Doors Lead to Inspiration?

In my studio, I have turned the closet doors into my “inspiration wall” where I hang things that make me smile, motivate me, remind me that even though writing is an insular job, there is still a world beyond my doors that I must take the time to actively participate in.

It changes as the seasons change, currently sporting a collection of blank cards I bought when they were first sold at Barnes and Noble, post cards from friends, engagement announcements from friends and family that I found prettier or more interesting than conventional formats, a calendar, a couple of bumper stickers, and a gift bag full of…stuff…on each door knob (one has a collection of post-it note pads gleaned from years in the mortgage industry – never turn away free post-its).

I glance at the inspiration doors, and never think to comment on the symbolism of them being, you know, doors.

But I guess there’s some deeper meaning there, after all, beyond a glossy white surface waiting to be filled.

People Watching

MissCleo’s bark alerts me to movement, not within our house, or even on our property, but on the sidewalk across the street. The sounds of another dog yipping, a man hushing it, a babyish giggle, waft through my open door, and I move from the kitchen to peer out the dining room window.

We live in a walking neighborhood. Tree-lined safe streets, where kids play basketball or street hockey in their driveways, and enthusiasm for holiday decorating are two of the things that struck me as positive when we were looking for our house. At any given daylight or twilight moment, someone is out walking.

Early mornings, the parade of dogs on leashes comes down the street, each one happy for their fifteen or twenty minutes of time outside the ubiquitous six-foot-tall wooden privacy fences that shield our back yards. Midmorning, the older women. Not OLD old, just older-than-me (less so every year) in their bermuda shorts and white sneakers, waling in pairs, and often sporting tennis visors or straw hats adorned with flowers.

Afternoons, and sometimes weekend mornings like today, bring the young parents. Mothers pushing strollers are common during the week, while today MissCleo has me noticing the guy across the street, dragged by his dog, carrying his child in one of those hands-free baby slings, enjoying the day despite the overcast sky.

No doubt his wife is enjoying a few minutes of time free of both child and football.


It’s a grey day outside my windows, but it’s not the grey of an impending storm so much as a day that seems somehow muted, shrouded. Or maybe that’s just how I’m choosing to see the world, today.

I came home from a day of beautification and book-browsing to an email informing me a cousin had died. I didn’t have a particularly close relationship with her; she is my mother’s generation, after all, and while I’m sad for her family, I also know she’d been fighting serious kidney disease, in and out of hospitals, for much of her life. Her death is an end to that, and end to her pain and her struggle. If death can be a balm, this one is.

She did not “pass” and she is not “gone,” and we did not “lose” her. I hate those words. She was not taking a test, she remains very much present in our hearts and minds, and she is not an object to be misplaced like a stray ring of keys. I hate that people are afraid of death. In the garden of life, as in any garden, there has to be death to complete the cycle. A flower must start from a seed, bloom, grow, wither, die, and return to the soil to offer nutrients to the next flower.

Mind you, I don’t think we should actively seek death, except in the case of terminal illness, because it seems to me that to do so is to give up.

I don’t believe in giving up.

But I do believe that sometimes you have to rest, and today, I see the grey sky as a resting state.
Soft clouds.
Balmy breeze.
A hint of coming change.
A whisper of winter far down the road.
Pencil strokes of thoughts, rather than bold declarations in fat black ink.