It’s Time to Put on Your Big Girl Panties: Life is Getting Embarrassing

pants-downThe thing about being me: I embarrass myself regularly, so there’s never a shortage of mortifying moments in my life.

I could tell you about the time I sharted in my skirt on a flight to Houston and stuffed my undies in the teeny bathroom trash basket and flew the rest of the way commando and then my luggage was lost and I was underwearless for three days, but that’s more lame than embarrassing, really.

Note: The airline kept saying the delivery of my bag was imminent, which explains the delay in the purchase of replacement underwear. And also, I kind of liked it. Being commando, I mean.

What was I talking about?

Oh, yes. Embarrassing moments.

The Setting: A high school parking lot, in front of a gym, circa 1980. I am running across the parking lot, where the bus is rumbling its impatience.  My long golden hair is blowing in the wind and I am tossing my head, fabulously. The driver honks. My twin brother is ahead of me, but mostly because he’s not in a skirt and cute shoes, and not because of his great speed. On the bus the rest of the Gridley Bulldogs Boys Varsity Basketball Team wait for us, the straggler and his sister, the stats girl. Once we board the bus, we will head off to play some other small town team like The Honkers (seriously), The Wolverines (seriously), or The Musketeers.

Note: Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I made that last one up. But that’d be cool, right? The refs calls a jump ball but instead of jumping, the guys have a sword fight for possession. Of the ball, of course. This is a brilliant idea. I need to write this down.

So, I juggle my textbooks and toss my head, of course. The team calls from the windows. The bus rumbles. The driver honks. And somehow, in the midst of the tossing and juggling and calling and rumbling and honking, I find myself stumbling. Over my skirt. Which has somehow ended up on the sidewalk. At my feet, yes.

In front of the entire Gridley High Bulldogs. 

Sweet Holy Moses.

At least I didn’t shart.

Embarrassedly yours, Bacon

So, Oleander, are we even? I think the world should hear your thoughts now about team mascots. Choose a sport, it matters not. They are all ridiculous. What would your team be called?

I’m Not Emotionally Equipped to Deal with a Loud Chewer and other pet peeves that I completely forgot

funny,dieren,tekening,tekeningkleur,tekst,cartoon-6651f4156d1a8c52640972f2632a9024_hOleander is a freaking mind reader. She wants to know my pet peeves–which is the exact question I was going to ask her. In fact, I have been taking mental note of my peeves as I have contemplated challenging her with this query, which leaves me remarkably ready to tackle this post.
Except for one thing.

I forgot.

I forgot my pet peeves. How is this even possible? And the post was going to be mind-blowing. Hilarious. Witty and grand, even.

But for the life of me, I can’t remember what irritates me. Oh, and there are plenty of things, believe you me. If I could just remember.

Actually, this forgetfulness thing is getting pretty irritating, because it’s not just my pet peeves that I have forgotten. Oh, no. After three months of fruitless searching, I finally found Oleander’s Christmas present under my bed where I always hide Christmas presents. I suggested I would bring her the gift the next time I flew out for a visit.

But I forgot.

Like the other day. I was driving. It was a spectacular spring day. This time of year, the hills are covered with the most exquisite shades of green. As I admired the view, I made my way to the freeway entrance and headed out. Except I started wondering where in the heck am I going?

I also spend a lot of time wandering around my house, ending up (often downstairs, often in my ridiculously-oversized laundry room) looking for something. That much I know for sure. So I stand there, frozen. Bah!

What’s going on with my brain?

The internet tells me that I may be suffering the effects of waning estrogen levels. The internet tells me that these sorts of problems are to be expected in women my age. The internet is lucky that I can’t wring its paltry little neck. I cringe at the inference that I am old
not as young as I used to be. It’s very aggravating.


Aggravate. Irritate. Annoy.

Why, it might even peeve me, yes!

Bingo. At least I accomplished one thing with this rambling post. I identified my pet peeve!

I can’t stand it when I forget stuff.

With sincere regards, Bacon

Okay Oleander: Tell us about the scariest movie you’ve ever seen, and why. And I think you might know where I’m going with this one …


Facebook: Where Grammar Meets Grandma

Oh, I almost forgot. Almost.lets-eat-grandma

I have another SUPER POWER. I am one of those people who can spot a spelling error or grammatical error from across the room. From a mile away even, on a freeway billboard, of course. But I keep my mouth shut about it, mostly, because no one likes a know-it-all.

Note: I am not really a know-it-all. I mean, yes, I know a lot of stuff, but not all of the stuff.

I know what you are thinking. “I’ve never seen so many ill-used commas and italics in my life! How can such a person claim any sort of grammar aptitude?”

First of all, I’ve taken tens of dozens of those internet spelling and grammar quizzes.

Note: I have taken three.

And on these tests, I am always rated Ph.D. or Grammar Guru or Wizard, even.

And obviously the commas and the italics are used somewhat ironically to emphasize the hilarity and surprise and whatnot of the content, and do not reflect my actual knowledge of grammar rules.

Now, what were we talking about? Oh yes, Facebook spelling and grammar, or lack thereof.

Misspellings today are actually way more embarrassing than when I was, well, younger. A youth. A whippersnapper. We had things like pencils and papers and dictionaries. None of this auto-correction and spellcheck for us, nosirree. We didn’t have grammar checks to remind us that our participles were dangling. No. We were alone. With our teacher’s red pens. With our participles hanging precipitously over the edge. 

Yes, we learned hard and fast, back in the day.

A quick perusal of my Facebook feed this morning found “kids all over the world that were hungery.” Now I’m wondering if the kids were hungry or if the children of Hungary were migrating. All over the world, even.

I also ran across, “the doctor don’t no whats wrong with me.” Doctor No? He just plays a doctor. You know, in the movies, sort of. I’d back away if I were you.

And this one: “I think I’m loosing my mind.” It reminds me of a cheesy saying from my teenage years.

If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be. – Unknown

Note: How ironic and delightful that this cheesy saying, copied directly from a cheesy quote source on the internet has a GRAMMAR error? Be still my heart.

Additional Note: And that mind that you’ve turned loose, well, don’t expect it to be returning anytime soon.

But here’s the kicker and the aha! moment. It’s killing me to say this, but here goes, you young, vibrant whippersnappers.

Each of these comments was written by a person over the age of 40.

Note: Someone needs to teach them to use their autocorrect feature.

Heck, yes!

Oleander: Your hair has been pretty much every color in the book. So, tell me. Do blondes really have more fun? And if so, why are you a brunette?



So, I’m a fan of professional sports. Seriously. And by fan, I mean I am wearing my Oakland Athletic’s pitcher warm-up sweatshirt as I write while the Golden State Warrior flag flies in the driveway.

Note: The San Francisco 49er flag is, sadly, gathering dust as we speak.

And I know stuff about professional sports, such as I understand the infield fly rule and I can recognize traveling in the NBA (although the refs clearly cannot).

Note: I am definitely a fan of TEAMS, however. I don’t sit and watch the Knickerbockers play the Sixers. And don’t get me started on the San Francisco Giants.

But now Oleander has asked me to discuss the pros and cons of baseball and basketball and in the process, perhaps, choose a favorite?

Note: Dastardly.

Let’s be clear. I am a past season-ticket holder of the A’s. And by past, I mean you can only watch your team lose live and in person so many times. But how I love a baseball game! The crack of the bat! The smell of hotdogs! The roar of the crowd!

But, Steph Curry, my neighbor, and his cohorts are absolutely chewing and spatting the competition. The timing of the alley-oop! The thrill of the dunk! The swish of the 3-pointer!

Note: I use the term neighbor somewhat loosely, but not really. I mean, we don’t live next door to each other, but I drive by his house everyday. 

Additional Note: Not in a creepy, stalkerish way, although I do check to see if the lights are on and if the Currys are home.

Additional Note to the Note: That does sound stalkerish.

Because I am a fan of both sports, my decision comes down, really, to a few things:

  1. How much time do I have to devote to a ballgame?
  2. Are we winning?
  3. How do the players look in their uniforms?

Basketball games are shorter. But they are noisier. The squeaky shoes can put my nerves on edge. Baseball games can take forever. But you can clean the house, mow the lawn and crochet an afghan, in its entirety, while you watch.

I will forever love my Oakland Athletics, win or lose. But winning is more fun. And the Warriors? What the what?

Perhaps it comes down, then, to aesthetics.

And body parts.

Note: Yes, I just said that.

Are you a bum person? Or do biceps curl your toes?

Allow me to present a few exhibits, for my your viewing pleasure.


Baseball clearly wins the war of the bums.

Note: I can see why bum-whacking is a thing in baseball. Who can resist that, really?

Basketball, however, definitely has its virtues.



Frankly, I’m stumped.

Perhaps someday a genius will combine the two uniforms to create the ultimate sport.

But for now, let’s just play ball!

Okay, Oleander: I’ve been wanting to hear your “visionary” thoughts about your dog’s visual impairment, to put it lightly. (Animal Lovers: I, in no way mean to demean or demoralize the visually-impaired animal community or its supporters, probably.)


My mom had eyes in the back of her head. I never actually saw them, no, but they were there. She always knew what we were up to, behind her back, if you will. True story.superpower

Dad had a superpower, too. He could tie knots, double knots even, with a cherry stem using nothing but his teeth, and tongue, I guess. It was nothing short of miraculous. I remember one time Dad and I decided to put the knot-tying to music while I played “Stars and Stripes Forever” on the piano and Dad danced around, making strange faces as he tied knots with his tongue.

Note: Somewhat surprisingly, the concept never really took off. Maybe we needed costumes.

Some people are born with their Superpowers, like my Dad. Others have to choose and cultivate their Superpowers. Like me.

Note: No, I am not referring to my title as Typing Champion of Northern California (yes, we used to type, not keyboard) or my uncanny ability to eat the most giant salads you can imagine.

Additional Note: I am definitely not kidding about the giant salads.

No, I am referring to my choice to cultivate a Superpower that scientifically increases longevity, reduces pain, improves relationships, increases salary, lowers blood pressure and makes wrinkles disappear.

Note: I am lying about the wrinkles, sadly.

I am talking about the power of GRATITUDE and more specifically, the ability to cognize a situation, then flip it around and RE-cognize it (analyze it again) and find a place of peace and learning and hope. And that is the secret to a happier life!

It may not sound like a Superpower, but it is. 

Note: People have actually paid cash money to hear me speak about it. Imagine that! Getting paid to TALK to a roomful of people who hang on your every word. Holy Moly!

So, try it. I’ll do a little exercise with you. Empty your mind and think of three things for which you are grateful. Empty it!

Okay, I’m ready.

Here goes:  1) Bacon–sweet holy moses, that always happens to me  2) Oleander–because, heck yes and  3) The Smell of the Chocolate Cookies that are baking in my oven, in my beautiful kitchen, in my lovely home in the most beautiful place on earth. You guessed it. Holly Hill!

Go smell the roses and breathe in life. Who knows? You just might develop a Superpower, too!

Oh and P.S. If you want more info about the Superpower of Gratitude, leave a comment! I try very hard to live a grateful life and it can change everything around you. I promise!

Disclaimer:  I can’t promise that your significant other or small children won’t leave dirty socks laying around the living room, sadly.

Okay, Oleander: In an earlier post, you alluded to issues with pond water? Whatever could be the problem?






Hello? Is Adele There? Hello?

Hello? Hello? Adele, is that you? HELLO?

Note: First, dear reader(s), telephone1please understand that I am protected by the First Amendment right to free speech and I am also aware of my right to Plead the Fifth, but that sounds so darned needy.  There are other important rights and amendments, too, which I will use as necessary to protect myself from the onslaught of negative emotion headed my way.

Note: Oleander knows my dark secret.And now you may be privy. To the inner workings. Of my darkest thoughts, sorta.

I will just say it, then.

I’m just not into Adele.

Note: Yes, I heard the audible gasp.

There it is. Out there. In the universe, likely to be picked by aliens light years away in 2098 who will also gasp! What!??! She’s not into Adele?

Note: However, I would like to hear John Travolta introduce her sometime, yes.

Interestingly, perhaps it’s the singular name business itself that turns me off. Cher? No thanks. Charo? Enya? Bono? Even Madonna isn’t my style.

Actually, I like the empowered Adele. I like the Adele that “rumor has it”  is stealing your guy. You go, Glen Coco.

Note: Mean Girls references makes every post more outstanding.

But this moaning. Someday I’ll find Someone Like You, But in the meantime, I shall wallow.  I mean, good grief You’re stronger than that, girl! You’re freakin’ Adele! And Hello? Hello? I’ve called you 27 times today. Why haven’t you picked up?

Yes, I understand the meaning of the song Hello. It’s about reconnecting, not stalking. And that’s excellent. I’d just like to feel happier about it. Where’s the joy? 

I’m really not looking for deep meaning in my musical life.  I’m looking for joyful music to backup montages of dogs chasing their tails and cats getting their heads stuck in paper bags. I’m looking for music to make me bust a move in the grocery store or to dance to at a professional ball game, yes.

Note: Can’t touch this.

Now, that’s music.

Heck, yes!

Okay, Oleander: I’d like to get the truth about Fargo. As in, North Dakota, from someone who has actually lived there AND adopted the accent, now and then, you know.

FIT as a FIDDLE: Fitbit vs AppleWatch


As Oleander is aware, I’m a counter by nature. I count things a lot, like how many cars I see on a certain stretch of road every time I drive it, or the number of turkeys pooping in my yard. I count the stairs in each level of a parking garage and how many times The Bachelor saysAmazing.’

I don’t really mean to do so. It just happens.

Note: It has become abundantly clear to me that I need serious help.

So, the concept of fit-ness trackers that actually count stuff for me seems like a perfect fit for my healthy, active lifestyle  

The intent of the trackers is to simply motivate normal people to get off their collective lazy bums and move more.

Note: There is also a chance that I might not be normal.

Further, and I hate to admit this, I might actually be afraid of my fitness trackers. They are fixated on everything I do. It’s their only job. My Apple Watch activity app is always screaming at me, ‘Stand up! Stand up!‘ And I do so want to please my Apple Watch, but the pilot has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign.

My Fitbit is less demanding of me. It’s more of an enabler for my feeble fitness attempts. It sometimes gives me steps I don’t deserve, such as when I’m flipping hotcakes or playing my ukulele. And It gives me a weekly report with smiley faces and frowny faces like a gosh darned kindergartener.

Note: I love those smiley faces.

It also bothers me that neither device is really waterproof. I move around a lot in the shower what with all the washing and scrubbing and rinsing. I would like credit for all that business.

Ultimately, I guess the jury is still out.I love all the apps available for my AppleWatch, but I enjoy the simplicity of my Fitbit.  And I’m open to expanding my horizons and to wearing even more fitness gadgets. So if the folks at Garmin or Misfit or Jawbone want to throw me one, I’ll wear it. I’ve clearly got no respect. I’ll wear them all.

Proudly. And obediently.

Oleander Challenge: The ice has melted from your pond and the ducks are feeling their moxy.

Note: I have no clue what I just said.

Anyway, you seem to be learning a lot about them, such as but not limited to their “springtime” rituals. Wink, wink. Let’s hear it. I see some PG-13 content headed our way!


I don’t know why-or even when, exactly- that bacon became my default word. And by default, I mean the word that comes to my mind when nothing else is there, which is, quite sadly, far too often.

It is rather ironic, yes, that bacon is such an integral part of my mindset. I neither eat bacon nor consume pork products, generally, unless it gives me an excuse to use a comma. Note: I apologize about the abundance of the commas. But how I love ‘the comma.’

But I’m not alone in this strange relationship with bacon. Others before me have said it better, if that is possible:

“Give me bacon or give me death.” –Patrick Henry

“Let them eat bacon.“–Marie Antoinette

Bacon is a girl’s best friend.”–Marilyn Monroe, sorta

As much as Oleander is a weird choice for my co-hort, Bacon is hardly the expected ‘handle‘ for me and let’s be honest, I’m just impressed that I can use the word ‘handle‘ in a sentence without breaking out with “10-4 Good Buddy” which may indicate that I am definitely not a millennial. (Note: The use of the comma makes periods almost unnecessary!)

We actually consumed a lot of pork when I was a kid. Dad built a pigpen near the barn and we raised them and slaughtered them and hung them from a dastardly hook in the garage to drain their blood. I’ve seen many-a Wilbur swaying there in the summer breeze, ready to become my supper.

Note: Dad pretty much ruined my aspiring social life.

This experience, actually, may explain the whole ‘bacon‘ thing. It’s probably the ghosts of pigspast haunting me, calling me, when my mind is silent. Bacon. Bacon. 

So, like Oleander, I’m not what you’d expect. I’m more. Whatever that means. I’m interested in everything. Seriously, everything. Especially things that are interesting. I have a dog, six birds and goats. Note: I don’t really have goats. But I find them to be very interesting! I like to cook and hike and make string art or whatever I find to be … yes, you guessed it.


So, Oleander. Here’s your topic: What’s the deal with Chick-fil-A? I mean, doesn’t it taste like … chicken?