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being nessasary

a quirky look into being

Category Archives: animals

My last post may have illuminated that I have been struggling a bit lately as far as anti-epileptic medications go.  Sleeping for 18 hours a day is not really my thing – there are way too many fun things to do out there in the world.  Including the anatomy homework I am about to attempt.

I forced myself out of bed this morning to do the most mundane and necessary of tasks:   laundry. I get a lot of peace from doing laundry – which I think is why I MUST have a washer and dryer in every apartment/condo I live in from now on.  Maybe even two sets:  one for when I go outside to play with my future mud-covered poochies/garden/hike/jump in a gross pond, and another for my amazing collection of underthings.

The thing is, I like simplicity.  It has been incredibly tough to apply the theory to my life the past 4 years with all the pitchy jazz that comes with cancer, the deaths of friends/those afflicted with cancer, medications, and relationships.  It takes a lot of deep breaths, a very strong support group, and a whole lot of the icey cream.

The more I attend my massage classes, the more I learn how many ways one can learn about their body, spirit, and the planet we live on.  The simplicity of having air in my lungs and a pair of hands to lay upon someone else’s body, gives me some of the simplicity I need – most of us are born with these two things.  No diamonds or decadent designs needed.

I suggest we all focus on simplicity, especially in the wake of the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan.  Many lost family, friends, homes, pets, and possessions.  I would much rather cope with the 10+ pills I swallow each day than lose my beloved family, friends, Betty and Maggie, and the roof over my head.

One of my favorite songs featured in the Waycross Camp songbook/sung at my grandmother’s funeral is called “Tis a Gift to be Simple.”  I will leave you with the lyrics:

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained

To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,

To turn, turn, will be our delight

Till turning, turning we come round right.


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Look at them.  So sweetly cradled in their vines.  So bathed in warm morning light.  Doomed. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!These faceless fruits are ripe and ready for their destinies.  It’s time for some fall-fashioned love – whether they be pureed and baked into a delicious pie, ground up into some sort of spice for Starbucks, or, you guessed it, carved in a festive manner for the naughtiest night of the year:  Halloween!

I am going to provide the low-down on carving, not like you need it.  You’re already an expert.

Step One

Most people prefer to begin by making a circular incision around the stem of their pumpkin or jab peaks around it.  This was standard protocol for years, that is until my lovely mom discovered the elusive, pumpkin butt method.  Instead of going at the pumpkin from the top, one must slice open the bottom of the pumpkin in whichever shape desired, thus allowing the pumpkin’s crown to remain happily intact (having endured a rather scarring skull fracture, I do not wish such an affliction upon even the most inanimate of objects).  In having your pumpkin’s derriere bare, you needn’t fear the sad scenario of your candle tipping over because of the unstable insides of a hollow pumpkin.

Ah, the goop, the slime, the sweetly pear-shaped seeds! My favorite part is reaching into the guts of a chilly pumpkin, and tangling my fingers in the orange webby veins.  How satisfying it is to pull out a handful of copper colored glop and smacking it into a bowl or paper bag!

After your slightly disturbing affinity for goo removal comes the scraping.  Nothing too exciting to give you there.

Step Two

After one has successfully disemboweled and prepped his pumpkin for carving (animation?), a plan is typically devised.  Most often, unless a pattern is used, the scheme never works accordingly.  I was raised believing that mistakes can often be miracles.  My pumpkin creations usually start big, have a tumble, get up, and brush off their shirts and smile.

This year, I used the ol’ butt incision method.  Once I gleefully disposed of the pumpkin’s guts, I sketched a prototype in a notebook I have been carrying around a few years (save paper, friends!).  I wanted a face that would so perfectly capture a laugh that the entire neighborhood would envy the happy pumpkin and the happy lady that resides just inside the door.  I used a gray Sharpie to mark where I must guide my knife, and began to breathe life back into my innardly-challenged subject.

Miraculous Mistakes

  1. The squinted eyes were too small for my limited tool selection thus causing a fracture in eyebrow region.

    Happy Pumpkin!

  2. The pumpkin was very thick, making its gaping smile tough to push out.  Said pumpkin lost its first tooth before it had a chance to decay.
  3. He (the pumpkin now has a face, thus a gender) wasn’t supposed to have a nose, but my muse was calling, so he has a gaping scalene triangle in the middle of his face.

Step Three

Admiration.  Glory.  Hot Happy Mess. No matter what happens, a carved pumpkin is always perfect.  You do not have to be ridiculous, making glorified, yet very cool looking “masterpieces.”

Cool, but is your hand boiling with blisters?

Cool, but is your hand boiling with blisters?

The way to be a pumpkin carving expert is to have fun and smile a bit  for the sake of tradition and silliness.  I had a blast carving my pumpkin.  I am sure that I looked hilarious sitting on my porch steps digging elbow deep for slime and seeds; not to mention I’m 25, was completely alone, and smiling into my pumpkin’s butt.

I sat the jack-o-lantern next to my purple and yellow mums.  Eureka!  Wait until the neighbors see!  Wait until Trick-or-Treaters are too captivated by its happy three-toothed smile to even ask for candy!

Or maybe they’ll see my cat’s pumpkin and think, “A cat lady lives here.  She’s going to chuck cats at us.”






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Greetings. Hugs. Kisses. Walks. Living heating pads.  Unconditional love. Pets.  Unless someone has insufferable allergies, or does not have the time or space for a pet, I have trouble trusting them.  Yep, I just don’t trust ’em. Call me close-minded, but how can someone not love a kitten’s purr or a dog’s tail fanning you as if you were a goddess (but I know I already am!)?  Our pets are often our greatest comforts and friends.  When no one is there when you get the news your grandma passed away, the dog that is usually running-into-walls, eating-sticks-of-butter-off-the-counter crazy, knows well enough to sit quietly beside you.  And when you want to be run-into-walls, eat-sticks-of butter-off-the-counter crazy,  your pooch surely would be up for the challenge!  You smile, they smile.

Sure, there are messes, but life is messy.  They can be a pain when you’re tired and they’re awake.  Litter boxes are foul and liquid dog ‘reah is a heinous crime against man.  Even a dirty fish bowl can make folks cringe. Hamsters, bunnies, rats, frogs, lizards, snakes, whatever pet a man or woman chooses to love has its own pitfalls.  But, it is worth it – kind of like the glass of wine you treat yourself to at the end of the day (preferably with your creature by your side).

I currently have a cat named Betty.  She is a person, preferring filtered to tap water, my Brookstone NAP blanket to cotton, my shower to her tongue. She likes hogging my bed and clawing the squares out of my screen windows.  I love her.  She is there when I get home from a job I love less than horseradish and blue cheese soup (made that up, but FOUL).  I know cats do not need much, but she is great at faking it.  After nearly two years, she still manages to convince me to buy her mousies, “activity pads,”  a fish shaped Christmas stocking, catnip toys, and on special occasions, live catnip. Sure I’m creepy. On my way to becoming a cat lady? Nahhhhh she is irreplaceable.  A character.  And hilarious.  When I’m scooping her poo or cleaning up her hairballs, I remember that she is a fun fur ball of wild joy.  Betty makes me smile. And she cuddles my feet every night as I fall asleep.

Pets are a good thing. I am happy having Betty around.  It is a joy to sprinkle a little Maggie in there too (the happy Irish Setter getting her car ride on at the top of this post). I find fuzzy love and loyalty nessasary!


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