Spooky little girl like you

“Spooky little girl like you”   

The BFF prompt today is the song Spooky… 

….funny story I went to pick up my son on a dark, foggy night over the Halloween weekend and was stopped by the-longest-train-in-the-history-of-trains….while sitting there with my oldest daughter, all the doors in the SUV in front of us opened…and all the boys scrambled out in a great big Chinese fire drill. One of the teens looked like my daughters friend, Connor. I said, “Go on, knock on their window, say hi, scare them, go on, it’ll be funny.”

Oh. It was funny all right.

She knocked, then swung the back door open and poked her head in the vehicle….. 
You’re not Connor!
…slammed the door and ran back to our car. 

and sat there.

while the train went on and on and on….

when it finally moved, we had no choice but to follow the SUV – it turned down the first street, then the next and then our road…… then whew, it turned and we went home.

She said those boys looked really scared when she flung the door open… my spooky little girl gave them a Halloween they won’t forget!  – including a great story to tell all their friends about the crazy chic on the dark foggy Halloween night…

don’t open that door!

I do not make it a point to watch scary movies, horror flicks or any sort of slasher-esque style show….but even in prime time, (like crime shows…..)  there are times when you just want to shout at the screen, “don’t open that door!!!”  “What, are you INSANE, do NOT for the love of Pete go in the basement!!!”

Can’t you HEAR the scary music??????   it is getting louder, and louder….oh man, something BAD is going to happen…”idiot, just turn around, there is no shame in fleeing. Just GO!” 

This is how I am feeling about the upcoming NaNoWriMo….

I want to do it, I love the supportive group, 
I even like my outline, my characters and the ideas that have swirling around..

                but, I can hear the scary music. It is getting louder and louder….

oh come on, this is silly, I seriously need to retrieve stuff from the dark scary basement of my mind…but

I am scared. 

The thing is, I do not know if I can afford to actually “write” again, emotionally-it throws me for a loop, makes me loopy,  and then financially- can I hold enough of my brain power back to concentrate on those words I exchange for dollars?

(while I know universally, artists and writers have dealt with this issue- I am going to ignore history and simply carry on as if it is just me– which is exactly what it feels like right now)

Getting lost in the characters and mixed up in their lives is a strange place to find yourself. -letting them run amuck in my brain is not wise… but it is the only way to get their lives on the page…
I guess the same thing happens when I read, certain authors completely alter my reality- it takes a bit to shake their thoughts-

So the question I’m facing is, can I keep everything in their proper compartments, packing up the crazies when necessary?   I don’t know. I have to, but I don’t know how.

I need a plan. I need to actively counterbalance the effects of inevitable weirdness that will overtake me in November….

if you thought this was going to followed up with an actual plan,
sorry. no, 
like I said, I NEED a plan…
still working on it.

spaghetti in heaven

King Louie loved spaghetti and meatballs…..

Louie came to live with us twelve years ago. A little Havanese, this feisty Cuban pup was a ‘consolation prize’ of sorts. The breeder felt terrible about an unfortunate accident involving my Labrador Retriever and let my kids choose one of her new puppies. Louie was a cutie, a white and black curly haired fluff ball. 

*The accident: We dropped Nike (my black lab) off at a friend’s house the night before we left on vacation….but, before we actually left – my friend called and said there had been an accident….her neighbor’s dog, a German Shepherd, attacked my small lab pup and broke several bones- we rushed over, took Nike to the vet….but she didn’t make it.*

I was never a “small dog” person, but Lou became part of the family.  Liza Jane, the cat I introduced below, came right about the same time, and they were buds.

Louie loved carrots which turned his mouth orange, and spaghetti – which he couldn’t have of course, but the smell drove him crazy…and over the years, he had his share. he’d steal a bite – and the evidence on his curly white fur was clear.

Since he was a Havanese, he did not shed, his curly hair just grew and grew and grew…more often than not he looked like a dirty mop. The photo above was right after a grooming – a very rare occurrence. So, needless to say, Lou was not often very photogenic.

                                                      Unlike this fancy creature…..

  We are going to miss the little moppy fella.

The good news is that everyone was home, this is not the norm for a Saturday morning. I wondered if he would even make it through the night – so, while I am so sad he is gone…my oldest (who was only 8 when we brought lou home) held him as he took his last breaths and everyone else stood nearby.  precious.

                               I hope they serve spaghetti in heaven….with meatballs.

the itty bitty boogeyman

Embarrassingly enough, the image for the BFF blog challenge this week is a very accurate rendition of my childhood. The only main difference is the size of the monster under the bed.

No, I had itty bitty boogeymen interrupting my sleep and running through my dreams as a child – and beyond…

All the scary creatures I imagined in the dark, (and man, I could/can imagine-) were smallish and decidedly mouse-like.

Yes, mouse-like…or maybe rat-like, it sounds more omnimous…

Mice were not just animals in my mind, they had a plan…like little mobsters, with Tommy Guns, or like evil scientists planning the end of my household, secretly poisoning the water or mixing dangerous concoctions while we slept.

I did grow up in an old farmhouse, and sure, there was an occasional mouse or mole…possibly even a rat, but I do hope to never know the truth about that… I’ve seen the rat traps and rat poison in my mom’s basement….but refuse to connect the dots…
anyways, it was not as if we were infested.  (again, I do not want to know the truth)

My dad didn’t help the situation, he stomped a nest of baby mice with his work boots
 (I am going to go with one time here…
 if it was more, I don’t care,
 it would only take one time to ignite the rage of the underworld.)

Killing innocent future evil warlords…the horror. They had to be plotting revenge. I was afraid for my dad’s life. . .

…and then, somewhere along the line, dad decided it would be funny to use my irrational fear. He stuck a piece of fuzzy gray electrical something or other in his mouth, you know so it dangled out and looked like a tail. Then he puffed out one cheek and ran his tongue around…so it looked like the “mouse” was still alive.

I freaked.  Literally, lost it.  Ran and locked myself in my dark closet and screamed until…well a long time.
“dad is eating a mouse, dad is eating a mouse, dad is eating a mouse.”

has the world gone mad, this is bad, bad, bad, what next- he eats the mouse, all the evil mouse blood starts circulating in his body- goes to his brain and –  oh.  my.  god.  – the family is next.

is it clear why I do not watch scary movies?  

TV completely agreed with my theory too….Tom and Jerry anyone?  Really, you were rooting for Jerry? the MOUSE. He did not belong there. Again and again Tom was beaten up  … IN HIS OWN HOME. ugh.
did no one SEE behind that happy little mouse facade???

well….I would like to say I outgrew this fear…but um, not quite. I did get protection though.

My cat’s name is Little Liza Jane, the merciless.  I did not want a cat.  I told my daughter who was begging for a kitten.  I told my friend with the new litter of kittens.  I made it clear that I was content being pet-less….then I walked in my friend’s garage and the little calico took one look at me, and I said “Wait. I want THAT cat.”  her name is Liza Jane.

I lived in an old house at the time and there was the occassional mouse, but traps were clearly just as bad – (see above, the whole ritual killing thing)  Why not bring this beautiful calico home? This cat will cure everything…and she did, hence her ephithet.
She is a killing machine.
I love her.

She cleared the neighbors garden of moles, and took care of any rodent that even thought about crossing the street. She still, ten years later, brings home large birds and is determined to someday catch a squirell. She is a girl on a mission.  (she also walks around the neighborhood with me…knocks on the window blinds when she needs to go out- no litter box mess…she is the perfect cat)

All this after a slightly rough start. I did not realize kittens liked to play with their prey. She found a mouse within the first week and I was thrilled. She was going to eat him whole, or take him out back and dispose of him properly….yeah right.

Turns out, Little Liza Jane could juggle. 

The mouse, slightly dazed, but not at all dead, was being tossed up in the air repeatedly….STUCK in the house, since they were closer to the exit than I was…I did like the cartoons and climbed on a chair…..but….what was that going to do. Liza had an arm, baby. She could toss that mouse definitely higher than the chair…so I went to the center of the table…then the kitchen counter…eventually I made a break for it. She outgrew that habit.. and chased all the mice away, thankfully.

……to jump back on topic, I am just as surprised as anyone that my boogeyman has a basis in reality…albeit a very small basis. ~

Posted in art

Miss Understood


I write. That is what I do. I interpret what I see, no what I feel – then I spin it through the wash cycle, toss it in the blender, rip it up and then paste it all back together.  It’s messy, sometimes slightly inaccurate – yet very real. More real to me than the keys under my fingers….

Some situations have come up recently that make me cringe….i want to explain, shout out WHAT I MEANT but who am i talking to? The person I’ve known since grade school?  my crazy neighbor? -yeah, I said it, hi neighbor :) ….one of my writer friends?  a complete and total stranger from cyberspace?  I don’t know, and really don’t often consider the who.  It is addressed to “you”  but…. it’s more to me, for me…

it’s a place to throw thoughts in order to make room, and put things in line in my head.  Honestly, when confronted with something I have written, you may have to take my hand and physically direct me to the page….I probably won’t remember unless prompted.

***case in point, part of my day to day work life involves coming up with several fashion articles a day…one was declined yesterday because it was too similar to one I sent in last year…oops. I had to go back and look, yep, they were most definitely right….still a good article even if I did not recall writing it…



Comments on a blog post I wrote earlier this week (ownership) was another indication I really need to work on this area.
***note, for the record, I was not the least bit upset or offended by any comments made at the wake, funeral, or anytime before or after….was just making an observation in the blog post and hoping everyone would remember to think first-talk later.. as a general rule….

it seems I need to think first-and then edit-edit-edit… 

***note, also for the record, I probably will not work on this area. I will continue to stick my foot in my mouth and make bizarre (you know, in light of reality) statements…sorry in advance.

with all that said…
.thank you for reading along,
I really do appreciate it. 

just remember you are walking into a roomful of fun house mirrors

everything is there, but objects are closer
– farther, uh, different – than they may appear

SO. if you are trying to “read between the lines”  –
consider this fair warning

You are at a disadvantage.

I do not, nor ever will, color between the lines

understand?  k.

(snarkiness sprinkled with…)
love, Sylvie

Posted in art

…special writer trick – hodgepodge

 One of my favorite bloggers ,Word Nerd , sometimes posts lists of random questions, a hodgepodge of this and that.. so today, while I was employing some “free-association” special writer techniques..(er, procrastinating on a project I really should be focusing on…) I clicked over to where these question originated from – Joyce, From this side of the pond  and figured I’d join in……
it’s all very technical, the physics of writing really, you know an object in motion stays in motion…type type type….

1. What gives you goosebumps? 
Incredible music, beautiful old buildings, kisses, COLD….and when I would walk to my car after working too late in that-very-inexpensive-studio-space in a very bad part of town, fine during the day- should not be out without supervision, pepper spray and a large dog….at night though!  (and other situations like that)  goosebumps from beauty, love, cold and fear- hmpf, they really are not that special I guess.

2. Halloween-are you a lover or a hater? Okay, that sounds harsh…Halloween-yay or nay? 
Halloween, eh. not a fan  (but I love costumes and Tim Burton- so I can’t flat out say nay) 
3. Can you respect someone you do not trust, and can you trust someone you do not respect?
Tricky… I can ‘pretend’ to respect someone I do not trust. That is a matter of survival.  And, maybe I can trust someone I do not respect, it really depends on what I am entrusting them with- did I just ask the neighbor, who I do not respect, to bring a dish to the potluck…or am I trusting them with something more substantial? 
4. Apples or oranges? Yes, you have to choose.
I love oranges….but will choose apples. They are much more plentiful (cheap) where I live…and can be eaten so many different ways, raw, baked….yum, baked sounds good right now (as I sit here shivering with goosebumps…)
5. What is something you wish was in your town? (shop, restaurant, attraction, etc)
 Cannot think of anything – I think this place is full.  -can we bring back the open fields, woods, lakes…?
6. What non-food item is in your refrigerator or freezer?
Ice packs, wet/frozen washcloths – red washcloths, you know so the blood stays hidden….. 
7. Are you at all superstitious?
Synchronicity, coincidences, intuition….in my own way, I guess I am
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
This is good place to share the odd coincidences that will allow me to sleep sometime soon, like always, I have taken on a bit too much this week, add in my son’s play-off football games and …my daughters college open house and …saying this very gently, but Mr. E’s passing added more to the complicated mix….

but, it all works out- it always does. 
1. The open house was cancelled – not enough interest in the program she was checking out- political science/history ….okay then.  We were looking forward to the 3 hour trip- my mom was coming along to visit my youngest sister too….but, that cleared up my Saturday.
2. SCHOOL was cancelled – due to winning sports teams. yup, that is what happens when you work at a private school who lives and breathes sports/music/art…..the soccer team and volleyball teams are going to the state tournaments…and so, school is cancelled.  -too many kids would be absent to make it worth it.

Yay, Go Team! 
Posted in art

Tell me about yourself reward

Kathy , Giggling Truckers Wife, sent me the “Tell Me All About Yourself!” blogging award. 

The idea is to tell 7 things about myself 
and then pass the award on to 15 other deserving bloggers.

I’ll keep this short and sweet since I have been spilling details all over the place lately….
….and I am going to attempt to not repeat myself from previous lists.

Let’s go food-themed too,  since instead of breaking for lunch, I am writing this post….
and it is still Tasty Tuesday…..
and I am a little hungry, but would rather sit here under this tree than go into the kitchen…

7 food quirks

1.  Peanut butter throws me into a ‘drug-induced’ coma….i am not allergic to it- technically – but that stuff knocks me out. I wind up falling into an ugly unavoidable sleep-state….when I finally wake up, I am a groggy mess.

2.  I only crave peanut butter on Fridays….when I am not allowed to have it. (peanut allergies at that school)
this reveals a hidden  evil part of me that I am not proud of…..(while I do not purchase any peanut products…
I do seem strangely drawn to them on Fridays )

3. I used to beg people not to give my son peanut butter….it had the opposite affect on him- making him unable to sleep, angry and irritable…but that is not really about me, so

3. part two. I like to throw strong flavors together- there are a few flavors that go with everything..salsa, ginger, garlic.. and I love green shakes, a frozen banana, kale, ginger, spinach …yes, it is green.

4. Peanut butter and chocolate together is gross, in my opinion. Sweet milk chocolate is not on my favorite list and that mushy sweetness is not peanut butter… – but it still knocks me out. 

5. A piece of dark chocolate, a big orange and an even bigger cup of black coffee is my school day diet of choice. (this combo takes my mind far away from any unintentional sadistic thoughts of eating peanut butter)

6. Fruit flavoring- orange, grape, sour apple… – turn my stomach, and don’t get me started on blue flavoring…
…the only nasty, horribly bad for me flavored soft drink I like is Faygo Rock n Rye, Faygo’s red pop is a close second.
I know, I know- cancer in a can….but it’s a once in a… long, long, long.. while thing….oh, probably even worse- i only really like the canned version.

7. I like soup – spicy,  not creamy….never creamy….no beans, no potatoes, maybe meat, probably not… Tomatoes, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots…. (only added to this list because I should at the very least start thinking about feeding the kids tonight…and soup it is)  add bread, a salad and voila! – a healthy meal that I most likely will not burn.  

oh uh, 15 bloggers to tag….I may have to pop back later….
words for lunch -now I have to make deadlines :)

Posted in art

Chocolat – movie and magical recipes

One of my all-time favorite movies is Chocolat, based on the book by Joanne Harris. Let me start off by saying I am not much of a movie goer, um, that would be an understatement. Although this film came out in 2000, I saw it for the first time last year….after renting it from the library…(and renewing it at least once) 
before finally sitting down to watch it.
It had me in the first line
Once upon a time…

” … there was a quiet little village in the French countryside, whose people believed in Tranquilité – Tranquility. If you lived in this village, you understood what was expected of you.
You knew your place in the scheme of things.
And if you happened to forget,
someone would help remind you.

In this village, if you saw something you weren’t supposed to see,
you learned to look the other way.
If perchance your hopes had been disappointed,
you learned never to ask for more.

So through good times and bad, famine and feast,
the villagers held fast to their traditions.

Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North…”

What did I love about this movie?

The village itself…I am a sucker for scenery
The shop….again, I just want to be there, soak it all up- could watch the transformation again and again
Red capes = love
Red shoes, again = love
Vianne – love her name, it means Alive,  her adherence to all things magical, and the way she reached out to people, despite their initial reaction to her.
Magical chocolates- these were not cheap milk chocolates – i can take or leave those, no her creations had power, they changed women, making them believe in themselves, rekindled sparks and completely absorbed my imagination.
Story line- just right.

Chocolat is classified as a romantic comedy, and I guess it would fall there, but that is probably why I steered clear for so long…..although Vianne and the gypsy Roux, do fall in love- the romance extends right from the heart of the chocolate shop. If it was centered on just Vianne’s relationship with Roux- even if he is played by Johnny Depp…it wouldn’t have been as good to me. 

~**~**~**~**~*~post written for blog hop #19, Take me to the movies ~*~**~**~**~** 

and….it is also Tasty Tuesday, here is my own recipe for Magical Chili Chocolate Truffles.
~make with love and a inch of chili powder like in the movie  :)

 Magical Chili Chocolate Truffles

  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoon ground dried New Mexico chili powder
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate — coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  1. Mix the cream and chili powder in a sauce pan.
  2. Stir over low heat until the mixture is bubbly.
  3. Slowly add chocolate continuing to stir until the chocolate is melted.
  4. Add cayenne to taste. (a small pinch will add spicy heat to the chocolates)
  5. Cover and chill for about 2 hours.
  6. Form the chocolate mixture into small one inch balls.
  7. Roll in unsweetened cocoa to coat.
  8. Set on a plate, cover and chill.

Put the truffles into mini cupcake cups and then place into a boxes with tissue paper for a decadent gift.
                                                                Aztec Hot Cocoa

 Aztec hot cocoa

 1⅔ cups water
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 red chili pepper, split and de-seeded
1 cinnamon stick
1½ ounce chocolate (bittersweet)

I even wrote an article about gift ideas for Chocolat movie lovers – obsessive, maybe.
                    good chocolate will do that to you.

take ownership

“Well, who would want to know if they were actually dying?”

That was the unusual (to me) comment made by the son of a man who passed away suddenly Saturday night.

Back up a little, Mr E was a good man. His family has been a part of my family since my senior year of high school. They were like second parents and never failed to simply “be there”….usually with lots of food. 

Of course, Mr. E was getting older. He was tired more often and seemed to be coming down with a cold, or flu. So, when his youngest daughter came home and saw him sleeping in his chair, it was not a cause for alarm. He was snoring…then he wasn’t.  That is basically all that happened.

                                              One minute, he was. The next, he wasn’t. 

We got the call less than an hour later.

….and started preparing food…..because that’s what you do when something like this happens; keep busy- cook, clean, make phone calls… 

The next day we sat-walked-talked-laughed-cried with the family.

Mr. and Mrs E’s house was full as always, and sometimes you could even manage to forget why we were all there…until you looked out the back window. Seth, the oldest grandson was busy doing all the work around the lake, alone. He spent every Sunday with grandpa. They had a routine. He took it upon himself to handle the very important tasks of collecting all the stray sticks for the burn pile, cleaning the row boats and I’m not sure what else, but he was busy…. and unbearably sad.

When he was finally forced to come inside to eat something, it was clear the boy hadn’t slept, his hands rubbed his face, his hair, his hollow eyes… the sandwich was torn and then put in a baggie in the fridge – and he got back to work.

Things are said in the midst of all the uncomfortable sadness that don’t always make sense. People are coming at the situation full of their own thoughts and experiences and sometimes ugly “wisdom,” it’s best to not to really listen…just nod.

When the one son started to explain his dad’s symptoms leading up to Saturday, it was clear Mr. E was not doing well….and some questioned why he didn’t go to the doctor. In his defense, there was a lot going on, his wife was scheduled for surgery (today actually- now postponed) and it very well could have been the autumn flu that has been going around…and then the son said, “besides, who would want to know if they were actually dying?”  

I didn’t know what to do with that phrase. I still don’t.  I think Mr. E would have wanted to stay around, he enjoyed life too much. But I will not judge the man for not going to see a doctor – for a probable virus. I understand that much.

The GBE2 prompt for this week is “Ownership”  I saw ownership in the actions of the oldest grandson as he took over in grandpas absence, and I wonder about taking ownership of your health. This connection is a floaty idea that hasn’t quite come together. Sure, you can do everything under the sun to take care of your body. Take ownership of your health so to speak, but even then, there are no guarantees.

Mainly, I hope more people take ownership of what they say this week around the family…..and remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT….words are unnecessary. 

Posted in art