A Suburban Sign Of Spring

• • •

“So let it be written. So let it be done.”

~ Yul Brynner Rameses, The Ten Commandments

• • •

As I was driving back into our subdivision late Saturday afternoon, I came upon a traffic jam.  This is unusual because unlike some subdivisions, we have different ways in and out of this area.

As I sat there, not moving, I wondered what the hold-up was all about.

Then I saw the sign.  It was a handwritten sign, propped up against some large blue + white Coleman coolers.  The sign explained it all.  It said:


Around this sign + coolers were three adorable, yelling, jumping entrepreneurs who had set up their lemonade stand in such a way as to get business from the traffic coming toward them in three directions.  

These were clever girls.  With oodles of energy– and the persuasive powers of a pharaoh.

So, like all the other dutiful suburbanites in the cars ahead of me, I bought some lemonade– which turned out to be red fruit punch.  And being of a kind nature, I purchased a large cup for 75¢– which was a half-filled 16 oz plastic cup.  And then, because service with a smile is so rare these days, I tipped the young entrepreneurs 33%.

Some people may believe that Spring arrives when nature says it is the right time, but for me it’s officially Spring when I spot my first lemonade stand and get suckered into buying a cup.

• • •

Happy Spring, everyone!  It is finally here.

• • •

2 Movies, 2 Books & 1 Inspirational Quote

As part of my attempt to live a more balanced life in 2013, I have given myself the assignment to watch 2 movies and to read 2 books each month.  Here is my March report.

2 Movies

Butter – Satirical + jumbled.  With Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde, Rob Corddry, Alicia Silverstone and Hugh Jackman in it, this uneven movie has its moments– and those moments are hilarious.  All the action revolves around the Iowa State Fair butter carving competition– and the politics associated with it.  Recommended if you can overlook the mocking anti-conservative slant and want something light [and rather pointless] to watch.

How Beer Saved The World – Informative + upbeat.  This is a short, fast-paced documentary about beer.  The narration is wonderful, the cartoon reenactments of history are delightful and the interviews with academics are great.  Recommended if you like history and smart, happy people.

2 Books

Mad About Undead You: A Zombie Apocalypse Love Story – Clever + unique.  A  mad scientist miscalculates and suddenly San Francisco is overrun with former water drinkers turned zombies.  This is the backdrop for Carl S. Plumer’s fast-paced novel about love.  Yes, love.  With characters that could easily be your friends, this slightly campy novel is a different sort of love story that made me laugh out loud.  Recommended if you like San Francisco and enjoy a modicum of gore.  [H/T to Kristen at Kristen Loves Design for recommending this book– that just happens to be written by her husband!]

Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me – Not what I expected.  I picked up this book thinking that I was buying a book of essays written by British mums a la Listen To Your Mother.  I was wrong.  Instead, Lucia van der Post’s book is a charming, well-written guide to living an upper class, stylish life in London or NYC.  I enjoyed it, but will admit that I skimmed through parts of it that seemed too high brow for me.  Recommended if you want detailed information about where to shop and how to create a glamorous lifestyle.

1 Inspirational Quote

Winston Churchill said: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”  I’m focusing on this quote because March was not the productive month that I had hoped it would be.  In fact, there were a few days when I wanted to crawl into bed and never come out again.  Nothing seemed to go right.  With the weather.  With how I felt.  With what I said.  With what I planned on doing.

In other words, March, one of my favorite months, was a bust.  But then I remembered this Churchill quote and figured that for me the lesson of March 2013 was to just keep going.  Which I did.

I’m Twinkling Here, Said The Crow

~ ~ • ~ ~ 


“Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.”

~ traditional English lullaby [from a poem by Jane Taylor (1783-1824)]

~ ~ • ~ ~ 


“Twinkle, twinkle little bat,

How I wonder what you’re at!

Up above the world you fly,

Like a tea-tray in the sky.”

~ Lewis Carroll [or the Mad Hatter, if you will]

~ ~ • ~ ~ 


“Twinkle, twinkle little crow,

How I wonder what you know!

Up above the deck so high,

Like an ominous evil eye.”

~ Ally Bean [blogger extraordinaire who likes to rhyme]

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

PLEASE NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that the stupid birds in these photos are not crows.  These birds are something called TURKEY VULTURES.  So, with the help of Zen-Den, I have rewritten my verse to accurately reflect this fact.  Here goes:

“Twinkle, twinkle turkey vulture, 

How I wonder what’s your culture.

Up above the deck so high,

Like an ominous evil eye.”

In Which I Am Not Mindful While Shopping In The Grocery Store

I found myself with an hour of free time late in the afternoon.  As I was already out & about I decided to run into Kroger to pick up a few things.  Because I wasn’t planning on going there, I didn’t have my shopping list with me.

I knew that I needed 6 items to make what I had in mind for dinner, so I decided to assign each ingredient to a finger/thumb.  The result of this impromptu shopping list was that I looked like a child counting on my fingers as I shopped.  Goofy as it was, my finger list did work.  BUT it also meant that I started pushing my cart, a large one, with one hand.

And if there is anything that you must remember about me, it is that I am not too coordinated.  Clumsy, even.

Thus, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that while counting on one hand and pushing the cart with my other hand I managed to block a produce aisle with my catty-wampus, slightly out-of-control cart.

I knew immediately that I was in the way.  Pretty much because I heard the metal clank of my cart bumping another cart head-on.  It’s a sound one recognizes even while staring at one’s fingers and thumb.

I looked up ready to offer an apology when I  realized that the woman who I’d inconvenienced was Lilias Folan.  As in someone famous.  As in someone with a nationally syndicated PBS TV show.  As in the woman who is sometimes credited with introducing yoga to the USA.

Yep, that’s who I bashed into in the grocery produce department.  Good job, Ms. Bean.

But here’s the thing, Lilias was just standing there with a kind smile on her face waiting for the crazy lady [moi] to get out of her way.  She had no where to back up to, so her choice was to be patient OR to get angry.  And because she was living her life off the mat as she did on the mat, she chose the former.

Of course, me being me, after I said that I was sorry I tried to explain myself by babbling about fingers and no shopping list and dinner– et cetera, et cetera.  And my dithery explanation, I’m happy to report, got Lilias laughing.

This made me feel better about my screw-up and got me thinking that it’s time for me to get back into yoga because I want to be that older woman with perfect posture, a calm aura & the ability to laugh when things go wrong.

And who better to emulate than Lilias?  The bumpee in my brush bump with greatness.

The Point Where Compassion And Mispronunciation Meet

I’ll tell you straight up that I did not correct this young woman’s pronunciation.

The whole conversation happened so quickly, and I was so slow to understand what she was talking about, that the chance never came in the moment for me to tell her: “that’s not how you say it.”

Plus she was so happy about what she was telling me that I didn’t want to rain on her parade, so I said nothing even after I figured it out.

I’ll also tell you that this young woman is a high school graduate from one of the better high schools in the region.  And that she speaks using perfect grammar + polysyllabic words.  And that she is quite bright about the logic of things.

But here’s the thing, the situation that I found myself in, where I did not know what to do. 

She was talking about her vacation plans, in detail.  She had found a deal on airfare by watching the prices online.  When she saw that she could travel to her western destination with just one stopover in the midwest, she jumped on that ticket because the price was right.

As she had never been to that part of the midwest [and I guess that she missed school the days when the teacher talked about it], she was mispronouncing this city’s name.  At first I didn’t understand where she was going, and then when I did it was– well, re-read my second paragraph.

So here is what she said to me.  She was going to change flights in: my knee A poe Lis

Care to guess where she was going?  And any suggestions about how to handle a similar situation should it arise in my lifetime again?

I await your comments below.