Friday, January 15, 2016

Happy National Hat Day.

I have many hats. Some are plain functional; some are fashion statements. But whether functional or fashionable, all hats serve a woman living in the South. The southern sun will bake you to leather if you don’t take care.

Functional hats: Most people call them baseball hats. When I lived in Texas, we called them gimme hats, because most of them were free handouts with various company logos – gimme one of those please. I’ve never bought a one and I own many.

Not my favorite hat, but they are useful in my life. They shield me on my morning 5-mile walkabout from the sun’s summer rays, falling acorns and pinecones, and from the errant bird relieving itself from a tree branch or on the fly. I’ve worn them on the tennis court, playing water volleyball, Frisbee golf, gardening and more. They not only shield me from the sun, but just as important, they keep my wild naturally curly hair in check.

Fashion and function: My battered Fedora gets the most compliments, but it serves me well in winter. It keeps my head warm, protects me from the winter sun. And, as I hate umbrellas, it and my London Fog take the brunt of rainy days. Berets and Boggans are for the coldest winter days when the sun rises late and walkabout is over while it’s a hint on the horizon, and when the sun sets early and I have places to go.

So much of life in the south takes place outside: barbeques, weddings, receptions, fairs, Doo-Dah Days, Art in the Park, Parades, and on and on. So, I have a selection of straw hats for summer wear; my outback vented canvass hat; and I have fancy hats for weddings and dressy parties.

I am grateful to a lady I met when I was very young. I’ve long ago forgotten her name, but not her words, “Take good care of that pretty face. Clean it well, moisturize and above all else, wear a hat to protect it from the sun.” 

Yes ma'am. I've been hatted ever since.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Are Cats Psychic?

"Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place."- Paul Gray.
Jazzmine knows I'm leaving for the day. Don't know how, but cats seem tojaz waiting 2 have that sixth sense.  I can pass the front door a dozen times a day to place things in my outgoing stack and she does nothing.
But today is Wednesday – Mom’s day out.  We go out all day: we shop, talk, lunch, shop, talk, happy hour, shop.
Jazzmine seems to know, so today my many trips to the front door are watched with considerable interest.  The little cupboard by the door is my staging area for things to take with me when I leave the apt. The top shelf holds keys, change, hats, outgoing mail (there’s less every year in this digital age); the closed second shelf holds 3 purses, business cards, kitty treats; the open third shelf holds books for the library; large jar for mom to decant some canned peppers, umbrella and the bottom shelf is shoes (I usually take them off when I get home).
This morning, each time I pass the front door, she nearly trips me then jumps up on the coffee table and speaks to remind me that I'm not allowed to leave until she is handed at least 4 treats.  I made the mistake of giving them to her early once, but 30 minutes later when I was actually ready to walk out the door, she demanded more.
Treats doled out, and I’m out the door.  One stop to make on the way - Sneaky Pete's.  One of Mom’s favorite breakfasts (and mine) is a Sneaky Pete's hotdog and a beer for breakfast before heading out for our Wednesday adventure.  Sort of kicks the day off the day as a celebration.
Today, we’ll head straight to the Summit and work our way back to Hoover from there.
Later y’all and cheers.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Change. More Certain than Death and Taxes?

End of era – for me at least.  I will not be renewing my P.O. Box, and I feel as if I’m losing apo box 1 friend.  Actually, In a way I am.  The people who work there are a friendly helpful crew.  I’ll probably still take them my annual gift of 3-4 tins of cookies as I have for the past 25 years, but alas, it will be the last.
The post office has always been open 24-7 for those of us who have office hours of our own and need access in the wee hours of morning or night.  Now, because of the unwashed who use it as a nighttime squat, leaving their trash and on occasion vomit, the Post Office has announced office hours of its own and the rest of the day the doors will be locked. 
po box 2I’m not sure how those who have jobs outside the home will make it work.  Fortunately I work from home and it doesn’t affect me except in principle.  I loved stopping by and picking up my mail after an evening out or on my early morning walkabout (rain, shine, or snow), but they won’t unlock the doors now til 7:30, and I’m home from my walk way before that. Worse still they'll close early on Saturday and totally close on Sunday.
I’ve had a post office box on Southside since 1990.  It’s always been staffed by a terrific bunch of people that I’ve enjoyed doing business with.  It’s up for renewal and at $33 for six months, it’s a bargain for the security they’ve given me over the years. footprints snow po box
My first 2 apartments on Southside, the one on 15th Avenue (10 years) and then the one on 14th Avenue that burned in 2011 (also10 years), had exposed and unsecure mail boxes easily accessible from the street.  The day I moved in on 14th  in 1990, my neighbor came home to find his mail and an empty box of CD’s rifled and strewn across his front steps. 
I immediately went to the Southside Post Office right next to the Golden Temple and got a box, and I’ve used it for 25 years.  My neighbor did, too.  I considered it a business address, but now I wonder if it’s necessary. 
I live in a more secure 4-plex now; the boxes are inside; the mailman climbs the stairs to deliver packages to my door; I only have one magazine subscription that’s print; all my bills, bank and credit card statements, etc., are digital; payments from Amazon and other places that owe me money go thru PayPal or digitally credit my a special credit union account set up for such payments - separate from my house account at another bank.
Sad to say, but my PO Box is no longer necessary. I might of kept it just because it's been part of my routine for so long.  I picked up change of address forms, but opted to do the deed online instead. Later I’ll order new business cards from VistaPrint and probably omit a physical address and opt just for email, as that's pretty much how people contact me these days.
I waited until the last possible pay by moment, November 10, to let the box go.  I stopped by to say goodbye to the crew. 
Up there with the certainty of death and taxes there is change.  Death comes and you're no longer here to know it on this plane; taxes are a constant and expected, but change, oh change. Of the three, I think change is the more difficult.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Do I Paint or Do I Write? Both!

Well NanoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is here and I rose early to get my wordcount done (1773 done).  I could write more and will probably do so later in the day, but I've been sidetracked.  
What is it about me, that I've barely touched a paintbrush, pencil or pen to draw or paint all summer long. I blame my ennui on the sweltering summer heat.  But now on this cool rainy Sunday with the Nano challenge of writing 50,000 words before me I'm working on unfinished paintings.
Madness to dilute my time in one of the socially busiest months of my year. What can I say. Here are 4 that are finally ready to post to Etsy unless they disappear via Blog. Acryllic, pencil and/or pen on rescued (I gather wood from construction sites and upcycle it and lessen the burden on our burgeoning waste)
Psykhe (9"x11-1/2")
Psykhe (9x11-1/2)
Meowling at the Moon 1 (3"X9-1/2)"
Meowling at the Moon 1
Sundrenched Village
Sundrenched Village (3"X9-1/2)"
Meow Amour
Meow Amour (3-1/2"x16")