Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring is Here & Here's Some Help

Spring is Here, which means alot of us are doing double-duty. Alot of us have spring fever ... we're ready to start our days earlier, end them later & get more done. We're ready to cook-out, take longer walks and swing from the old oak tree.
It's also time to do our spring cleaning & get the taxes done for Good Ol' Uncle Sam.
I can't help anyone with their taxes too much, as my own are overwhelming, but I can share some spring cleaning tips... some are very old, tried & true.

  • Mix vinegar with salt to clean copper and lemon to clean brass.
  • To clean drain pipes, pour baking soda into your sink, follow with some vinegar. Watch the bubbles eat the funk then follow with some boiling water to was it all down.
  • Vinegar and water can be used to clean tile floors, soaps dull the tile. This mixture will also clean mineral spots off of irons, faucetts & drains.
  • Permanent ink can be blotted from upholstery/clothing using any alcohol based spray...such as hair spray. Spray it on, blot it up...repeating as needed.
  • Shaving cream can similarly be used for red wine stains.
  • Fresh lemons sliced & added to cups of water then thrown in the microwave for 5 minutes will make it smell again. The steam can be wiped up removing all that funky splatter from the inside.
  • Brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and water in the oven will make the whole house smell good.
  • Lift spilt candle was from your table linens with a paper bag and an iron on low. Place the paper bag on the wax & lightly iron. Lift & repeat on a fresh area of paper bag.
  • Use newspaper instead of paper towels when cleaning windows & mirrors ffrom a streak free clean. You can use a mixture of vinegar & water (1 Tblspn to about 16 oz water) to do this. No windex needed!
  • Uncooked rice, salt & water(or vinegar) can be used to clean the inside of coffee pots, stemware & vases that have stubborn stains. Alka-Selzter tabs can do the same if the stains aren't too terribly bad.
  • Down pillows and comforters can be thrown in the dryer for 10 minutes a week to kill dust mites.
  • After doing the dishes, microwave your sponge for 1 minute to kill the bacteria in it.
  • A tablespoon of rubbing alcohol added to a gallon of water will make glazed tiles shine. Rub it on, then dry it off.
  • A cup of olive oil mixed with 1/2 cup of vinegar,shaken, will make a wonderful concoction for dusting & polishing wood furniture
  • Black tea can be used to clean & shine natural hardwoods (not poly-sealed) Brew tea and let it cool, then mop with it!
  • Use old mis-matched socks on your hands to dust ceiling fan blades with warm soapy water.
  • Avoid summer humidity in your winter shoes by stuffing them with newspaper & a dryer sheet.
  • Kerosene can be used to clean rust spots caused by leaky faucets.
  • Use your blow dryer to dust pleated lampshades.
  • Clean ashtrays can be wiped with furniture polish to avoid a funky build-up.
  • Polish your jewelry in 2 minutes by dropping 2 alka-seltzer tabs in a cup of water with your jewelry.
  • Use dryer sheets (used) to dust tv screens, computer monitors, blinds and any surface that you want to keep from electro-statically attracting dust. Used sheets can also b e used to buff away soap scum on shower doors
  • Fresh dryer sheets can be used with water to clean baked on stains. Allow to soak over night & then scrub in the AM. Also put a fresh one in your suitcase and car, to keep them smelling fresh.
  • A cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract & placed in the fridge will keep it fresh smelling.
  • Silk flowers can smell fresh& look clean again by dipping in a solution of liquid laundry softener and water until clean.

Here are some recipes found for homemade concoctions to clean with:

Glass cleaner

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70 percent concentration)
  • 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, which gives the solution a lovely smell (optional)

  • Heavy-duty scrub

  • Half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup borax (a laundry booster; find it in the detergent aisle) or baking soda

    Great for: Rust stains on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs
    How to use: Dip lemon into borax and scrub surface; rinse. (Not safe for marble or granite.)

  • All-purpose cleaner and deodorizer
  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 quart warm water

    Great for: Kitchen counters, appliances, and inside the refrigerator
    How to use: Pour solution on a clean sponge and wipe.

  • Am I doing all of this? Nope! I'm wrapped up in taxes! Soon, I hope to be able to bounce around some more & visit all of you.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007


    All in all, throughout my educational life, I enrolled into new schools 13 times. Thirteen. Lucky thirteen. Thirteen times, I was a new face. Thirteen times I was able to re-define myself, if you will. Thirteen times I was exposed to new educational environment & a new social culture. Thirteen opportunities to make a whole new set of friends.

    One transition, in particular, was kind of rough for me. I went from a casual seaside environment into the world of big city stuffiness. We were 'moving on up.'

    The kids at my old school wore Ocean Pacific, Innerlight, SunBritches & Levis. The kids at my new school wore Polo & Aigner. Clothes are so important as a budding a sense they help define you. I was blown away that girls at my new school wore panty hose & high heels to school, that they carried pocketbooks to match their shoes and doubled their blue pencil eye-liner up with liquid black eye-liner. In my world, they were s-t-u-f-f-y!

    I entered this new school in February of my tenth grade. In my Innerlight surf shirt, skin tight Levi's and choker coral necklace, I guess I stood out in appearance a little. I entered my first class & could hear the whispers...'the new girl is a freak.' I had been called lots of things in my young life, but, uh, freak was not one of them. I didn't get it...did I have an extra head growing off my back or something? oh well, I dismissed the comments. That wouldn't last long.

    The skinny little blonde that so many know as being full of peace & love was once, and sometimes still, is full of spit & fire.

    Upon entering my second class, the same thing happened...even more so, as this teacher had less control on her students. As I left the teachers desk to grab a seat left vacant toward the back I locked eyes with someone just as they spat out the words "FREAK" at me. Barely breaking my stride, I leaned into this guys ear and whispered a throaty, heart-felt "Fuck You.' Later, we became friends but not before I discovered some unknown enemies.

    Walking down the ever-so-congested hallway, I suddenly got shoved, shoved hard by someone. I heard someone say 'excuse me' and I thought it was an accident. As I knelt to pick up my scattered books, I heard the girls laughing & saw them look over their shoulders at me. I didn't exactly hear the words, but I saw the girl with the heavy blue eye-liner lips move...'Fuck You Freak' and then a smile curled up as she tossed her peroxide streaked & permed head around.

    Skinny snaked her way through the people, passing 3-4 folks with each stride. I got right behind the pack of girls that had shoved me. One was tall, two were average & one was short. All of them were wider than me...but a telephone pole had been rumoured to be wider than me. They had forgotten all about me & were busy chatting it up on something else. I summed them up with my eyes.

    As they went to turn the corner I slammed the biggest girl with all of might. She flew all the way across the angle of the hall. I said 'Excuse Me!' and kept on with my long stride.

    Later on, a boy, a stranger came up to me and asked if i was Paige so&so. I asked him why. He said 'Your Ass is Grass.' Whatever. 'No, really Helen Bed & all of her friends are going to jump you after school. They say you shoved them.' Ummm...I don't even know them, I said. 'That's rough because they know you.'

    Before you knew, the short chick with the blue eye-liner came up and asked me what bus# I rode. I asked her why & she told me that she & her friends were going to kick my butt as soon as I got off the bus. Nobody messed with them. Yeah, right Ok...well, then I guess you'll have to figure my bus # out yourselves.

    Art class, 5th period, was two rooms. One entry, one exit with one emergency side door. the kids in 11th grade had to paddle through the tenth grade room to get to theirs. As I sat waiting for the class to begin I watched the people coming in & passing through & thought to myself...this is one screwed up room.

    She passed through...the chick with the heavy blue eye-liner. She didn't see me as I sat there. The bell sounded and the door between the two rooms was closed. there was one small glass panel to the right on that door. I got up & moved to another seat, a seat where I could look through that window right onto Helen Bed. I was staring her down & she never noticed it, wrapped up in her personal doodlings. But some of my classmates DID notice it.

    They were eager to tell me how she was the one who hated me. Apparently her boyfriend had just broken up with her & she saw me talking to him before school. They told me his name. They described him to me. So many new faces & names, I had no idea who he was. Didn't matter. According to her I was a slut & I stole her boyfriend. i was a freak and she & her gal-pals were going to beat me up. OK, fine.

    The bell rang. I left my books on the desk & stood by the slat window door watching as all the 11th graders meandered out. Helen saw me. She froze. She waited, looking through her bag, her books etc. 6th period apparantly was teacher plan period because the teachers too soon exited into the office off of the 10th grade room. She was now alone in the 11th grade room. I stepped in & shut the door behind me. She started yelling... 'Fuck you, you little freak whore. I got your bus number. It's # 113! Me & my friends are so gonna kick your ass'

    I didn't steal your boyfriend, I don't even know who he is. I don't want to fight you or your friends.

    She was nearing hysteria & could care less what I had to say. Apparently she took my my initial words as a weakness & she continued on her verbal tyrade of how they were going to beat me so bad that I wouldn't ever want to come back to this school.

    Before I even realized what was happeneing, I had this girl by the neck with her feet dangling 2-3" above the ground and her back to the wall. Nose to nose, with my teeth clinched shut peace & love turned to spit & fire. 'Fuck you bitch. I don't know you & I don't want to know you.You come today after school & you bring your friends, as many as you can and you all just kick my ass & kick it good, you hear me? It may be a day, a week or even a month, but it won't be long I can guarantee you that...I will come back to you. And I will kick your ass. I'll draw blood bitch & might even leave your fucking toothless!' Whew! Her blue eye-liner and heavy mascara was in streaks running down her cheek. I let go. She stood there shaking. I turned to leave & she stuttered 'You don't know my friends.'

    'Yeah, well, you don't know me & you have no idea what you have just gotten yourself into.'

    My brother saved me a seat on the school bus. He asked if I knew Helen Bed. She was in his 6th period class & was talking about the new girl Paige. She was saying that she thought I was crazy & that she was going to have all of her friends kick my butt. I was a slut & a freak.

    My brother has dark skin, dark eyes, dark hair, a broad flat face looking very much like the Native American Indian that allowed my parents to adopt him. He correctly assumed she'd not immediately realize that we were siblings (In fact another new girl who became one of my best friends was assumed to be his sister because of the physical similarities)

    Anyway, he asked her who she was talking about. She answered & he laughed. She asked him why he was laughing and he said 'All I can say is Good Luck. You don't know who you are dealing with. She may look small but she can lay a grown man out.' He said her eyes bugged out & she said 'what?!' He told me that he said 'I don't belt, taekwondo, karate, I don't know but she's trained at something'

    I got off the school bus & there was no-one there.

    I never got shoved again & they quit calling me 'freak.'

    In October, I turned 16 & signed myself out of that school.

    Yep, we were moving on up indeed.

    *I usually try to keep posts here positive & relatively clean...but felt compeled for whatever reasons to write about this. If your offended, I apologize.
    If you are disappointed to see that I am not all peace & love, then welcome to the real world...sometime we have to fight for our peace.

    Monday, March 26, 2007


    Mockingbirds put out some of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard. They have a tendency to 'mock' other birds, often at a rapid speed & will bounce from one birds sounds to another.
    Being a nightowl myself, I notice that these are the birds that whistle solo in the wee hours of the early morning when all else is quiet.
    Last year, I noticed that one of our neighborhood mockingbirds even had whistles that sounded like police sirens and ambulances.
    Several years ago, I had a parakeet & my parakeet found a friend in the mockingbird. They would whistle endlessly back & forth...with the mockingbird imitating my little birds whistle. After my bird had passed away, that mockingbird would come back to my kitchen window & whistle in. I couldn't help it. I had to whistle back & for that year we enjoyed whistling to each other in loving memory of Touree(my bird).
    This morning my DH heard scraping sounds coming from our wood-burning stove. He opened the door & out flew one mockingbird. I ran around...turning off ceiling fans & stood at the front door crouched down with it wide open. My DH ran from room to room with a butterfly net in hand encouraging the mocking bird to go to the front room. At one point the mockingbird landed on his thumb and before completely escaping our four walls, it briefly landed on my pointer finger.
    The mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee & Texas. They are known to know 40 different songs at any given time & have even been known to mimic the bark of a dog. They like open feilds for the eating of insects & thorny bushes for their nests. They love berries. They are very protective of their nests and I have seen one mockingbird successfully chase away 100's of blackbirds. They do not typically visit bird feeders, but will if you have a suet feeder or fresh fruits & berries for them. They prefer holly trees, mulberry trees, dogwoods, blackberries etc.
    Somehow or another, a bird comes inside this house every year...
    I just hope that the old wives tale about birds in the house are, once again, inaccurate. :)
    Spring is officially here!

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Lotus Blossom

    Th Lotus represents the world, sun & moon. It reflects beauty, silence & beginnings, mystery & truth, creation & resurrection, perfection & purity.

    Things I can never add up to...but things that I can strive for.

    It is historically sentiment to Egyptians & Indians...from the far East to the West, it is recognized for it's simple beauty & tenderly strong petals.

    Happy Friday & here's to the Lotus Blossom!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Finding Old Marbles...

    Last fall I did a post on marbles and since then we have found several more.
    Three this year, two just since we started laying all the brick.

    Anytime, a marble is found, I always take it as a sign.

    Outside of the obvious... that someone once played with marbles here, that the rain washed away some dirt or that we've been doing yardwork...I never really know what they mean. We have found 3 already this year & I always find them intriquing (as does my fish in above photo)

    Anyway I thought I'd analyze the meaning of the colors of these marbles found this year.

    The green one was found a few weeks ago. For a fleeting moment, when I first held this marble, I thought it meant 2007 would be a year of growth. Green is the color of plants, grass, emeralds, money & water. No waterfalls of money over here, but the pond is looking mighty green. Perhaps this marble was reminding me that it needs to be cleaned. A book I have says it represents hope, comfort, strength, regeneration. tranquility & family. Sounds good!

    Last week, we found the one to the right. It is 1/2 orange & 1/2 white. According to my gift-giving book, orange is the color of the spirit & libido, love & lust, marriage & revelation. Hmmm..whoda guessed orange to mean all that? According to the same book, white represents intuition, romance, dawning & passage, promise, power & fulfillment, divine wisdom & responsibility. Ut-oh, things are getting deep!

    Today, the center one was found where we were laying bricks and it is almost all orange with just a little bit of white. So...same as above with more emphasis on the orange. Hmm...

    Maybe , I'm just losing my marbles as quickly as quickly as I find them.

    Or maybe, I'll just keep wondering if the mean anything outside of the obvious.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    A peaceful end to St. Patty's Day for some at our house...

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Happy Birthday Singleton, Butch & All you Other March Babies!

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    5 Little-Known Facts About The Skinny Little Blonde

    I am a sentimentalist with ADD who lives in a 100 year old house with 5 dogs, a bunch of swings, bricks, marbles & I scatter my time and attention like salt sprinkled on a pot of stew. A lot of folks know that. I 've been tagged by Queene Anne to list 5 little known facts about myself, which is actually kind of hard because I only keep other people's secrets. Like my sister, I always rat myself out.
    So, here are 5 little known facts about myself:

    1-I am so skinny that anytime I go to a new doctor, they always insist on running bloodwork & checking my thyroid. Everything always comes back thyroid disease,vitamin deficiencies or eating disorders. In my twenties, I met once a week for 3 mos. with a doctor who was going to 'figure' it all out. His final opinion was that I have an allergy to cocoa (chocolate) causing me to hyper-metabolize. Avoid all products containing coccoa and I should gain weight. Hmmm...I'm still thinking about that one.

    2-I once took pictures of feet(artistic pics) and sold them on discs as foot fetish art (nothing kinky or sexual) to get extra money to pay for some fat vet bills. They sold for 10-15 bucks each. I love my dogs, I'd sell my sole for them ;)

    3-I signed myself out of school on my 16th birthday and then registered myself in alternative school. I ended up graduating early, just 3 mos after I turned 17. My dad didn't know until I was about 6 mos away from graduating.

    4-As an adult, I have a growing fear of heights. I cannot do sky-buckets anymore and once got stuck for two and a half hours at the top of an 18' ladder, yet I went sky-diving & the height involved there didn't bug me.

    5-I have terrible road-rage which luckily never killed me. I did quit my good-paying job because the commute often landed me in hysterics. Altercations of the strange kind no longer exist. Now, I average 27 mph and have a 6 minute more breaking down into tears, tyrades and/or temper-tantrums. I am supposed to tag 5 people
    Fuzzy Logic
    Angela Marie
    and number 5 I will leave blank for anyone who wants to!

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Brick Roads Take Me Home

    Queene Anne & BarDouble did a post a week or so ago which included lists of their likes & dislikes, beginning with a particular letter. I told them about a notebook I have had since high school that contained pages & pages of my own likes (no dislikes listed). The last time I had this old spiral was 3 or 4 years ago & it is safely tucked away somewhere for 'safekeeping.' I remember the very first thing I wrote was "I love the sound of tires on a brick road."

    Just before I turned 3 my parents moved us to the house we lived in the longest. It was on an old red brick road & we lived there until I was 8. Big wheels, bicycles & cars all sounded so cool on that road.

    Slowly but surely, we are transforming my house into the house I have always wanted....a home, my home. I have been here 7 years. What was once pink & covered in graffitti, is now barn red. Drafty, caulk-sealed shut windows, now open. A yard filled with poison ivy & fire ants, now have camellia's, hostas, azaleas, gardenias, roses, dogwoods, lettuce, broccoli, onions, garlic & many, many others. Pot holes & bare spots became filled. New holes were dug & rocks have been stacked, fish ponds & bird houses/feeders attract the migrating birds & neighborhood stray animals. The old metal mailbox wired to a chainlink fence has been replaced with a masonry one. The hardwoods bared & refinished. Linoleum is out & the tile is in. Slowly, but surely it is all coming together.

    Friday night I searched for my spiral (I have things to add to my list) & Saturday night, I drew up the plans for a new walkway and driveway (we have street parking & no garage) My DH wishes I'd spend less time on the computer, I wish he'd spend less time watching the boob tube. Sunday we honored each others wishes.

    I have been collecting bricks since I bought this house 7 years ago. DH has been collecting them since he moved in 4 years ago. We are about 2/3's of the way done with building our own little 'brick road.' Not a big that will go from the curb to our house.... our new 'park pad'. One brick trail will lead to the back yard and another to the front sidewalk with a fork trailing to the pond. Brick roads, Take Me Home.

    So, even though DH thinks I spend too much time on the computer, in a not-so-direct way this little project would not have come to fruition if it weren't for this blogging community. TY! One thing leads to another.


    We both enjoyed a Sunday full of scraping & laying old bricks.

    Bricks Roads, Take Me Home.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Sandcastles & Scrapping

    In 1979, we lived in a very small town on the gulf coast of Mississippi. Our town was small, yet festive. We had one gas station, a grocery store no bigger than a 7-11 and a police department that consisted of 2 men & one woman. There were no casinos, bowling allies or movie theatres, but we did have annual festivities...the Blessing of the Fleet, Mardi Gras, the Crawfish Festival & more.

    These events were very important, perhaps more important there than in other larger communities where the citizens had more entertainment on a daily basis. One of these events was the Annual Sand-Sculpture Contest. It was an all day event...beginning at 8am and ending promptly at 5. I can't recall how many contestants there were, but the usually desolate beach was packed with each group assigned to a 20' x 20' section of sand.My brother, a year and a half my senior, and I were contestants.

    We got to the beach when the wind was still cold and the water freezing. We lugged 5 gallon buckets, shovels, forks, picks and knives to our little plot in the sand. We worked with increasing franticness throughout the morning. At lunch time, we were able to walk around & enjoy the eye candy of everyone else's creations. It was amazing spectacle.... mermaids, ships, lobster, gnomes, houses and more... all built of sand.

    After lunch, my brother felt somewhat already defeated. The other sandcastles seemed to be so detailed and grand compared to our massive mound of sand, true. But we, still had a wonderful fondation and were left only with the details that would make our castle 'pop.' So, I took to one side and he took to the other....slicing, carving, smoothing & shaping.

    'Damn it!' was the first profanity I heard from the other side of our mound. I asked 'What is it?' The mumbled words held a warning for me....'Nothing! Just shut up.' Ut-oh... young teen-age boy testosterone kicking in on the other side, I shut up. A few minutes passed and I could hear more... 'Stupid peice of sh-t.' Ut-oh, he's wearing thin. I said not a word. Then I heard the caravan of every word our Mother had told us to never use... they rolled off of his tongue and into te air like a tsunami. I walked over to his side to see what the problem was. A small section of the castle kept collapsing. He warned me, 'Don't say a word, I know it sucks! We're gonna lose!'

    I smiled (mistake) and said, 'It'll be ok...we can fix it!' Boom! Trigger was tripped, the levy was broke & the profanities flew. I shut up. When he seemed to calm down a bit, sitting on his upturned 5 gallon bucket, I ventured to speak again. 'Maybe some more water in the sand will help.' He looked at me and sighed in defeat, 'Yeah, maybe. I'll get it, I'm just taking a break.' Ok, cool. I ventured back to my side...packing & poking my sand.

    I saw my brother walk to the water with his bucket/stool in hand. He filled it with water & came back. Another labored sigh and 'Ok, I can do this.' I let him be, not saying a word. He could do it, I just knew it. He had been stressed & just needed a little bit of peace. Hopefully, the break and the absence of my voice were his tickets to peace.

    Moments later, the motherload of profanities flew through the air. A hurricane in our little section of the sand. Water flying upwards, downwards & sideways. Sand being blasted, smashed & our castle trashed. A 5 gallon bucket of water had been slung onto the face of our sculpture. I had rose to my feet just in time to have sandy water splatter into my face. I paced maybe a step or two when I saw the bucket get thrown into the remains of our melting castle. A pace later, I could see his leg & foot maliciously kicking the remains of our sculpture.

    That's when it happened. The storm in me had been aroused. I jumped onto my sibling like an angry hornet attacking someone who had intruded their nest. We were rolling in the sand, fists and feet flailing. Whack! Bam! Crack! I felt it. I heard it. I did not immediately see it.

    In the flurry of sand and elbows, in a rage of munts, grunts and occassional profanities the sun disappeared from my sky, the sound of the waves & the wind had ceased. Whack! Crack! Bam! echoed in my head and on my back through all of our munting & grunting & heaving of air.

    Then I saw him. A little old man. Bent knees. Dark gray hair gone wild. Cane in hand, but not on the ground. 'Damn Shame!'

    I froze. His cane was once again over his head & he was ready to pelt me again. He said, 'Where's your mother?! You children should be ashamed!' Once again, I said nothing. I looked around, scanning the masses for our mother. Still spitting sand out of my mouth & collapsed on top of my brother, I scanned the masses for our Mother.

    I saw her. She was about 5 castles away, backside to us... walking away. I called for her. She didn't flinch. I yelled loudly for her, she kept walking away.

    The old man, cane still overhead, said 'Get up you shameful little varmit!' Where's your mother.' I got up and spotted my mother, now twice as far away & gaining speed. I told him, 'I'm sorry. Your'e right. We should be ashamed & I am ashamed. I'm sorry. Would you please lower your cane?'

    Humpft! 'Where's your mother.'
    I got up and spotted my mother, now twice as far away, backside still to us. 'Our mother didn't come out today'

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Snip Its From My Recent World

    5-Better to trip, stumble, even fall down while moving forward in life than to get knocked down & trampled upon because you did nothing.

    Some of you, may or may not, know that I should be served at the local Waffle House. I am scattered, covered & smothered... like some of the best hashbrowns the house could serve.
    Really, I think I am sanely sane. I find myself sleeping less. My mind is consumed. :) Just Give Me Peace.

    About 5 weeks ago, I bought a website.
    It was a knee-jerk reaction.
    Then I opened a shop in that website.
    Most recently, I have set up a rate & review forum in that site... which for some reason, has me most excited.

    All of this, plus issues with being able to leave comments, helps to explain my recent inconsistant presence here.

    I'm trying very hard to follow the words of wisom, quoted above, that I tout out to others.
    As often is the case in life, I really do not know what I am doing.

    Although I may get knocked down, I'm doing it. I'm learning. I change things daily because I really don't know what I am doing.

    If any of you have any constructive criticsm to throw my way, please do.