Beware of the Bulb Snatchers

I’m not super crunchy, but I think I’m green enough. I turn the thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and up a couple during the months when we run the A/C. That second one is no easy feat, because I frequently spike internal temps that I fear could cause spontaneous combustion, but I suck it up and take one for the earth-loving team.

I buy a lot of locally grown produce and my hubby and I eat far less meat than we used to. Our gas guzzling SUV was exchanged for an ugly, rather uncomfortable little sipper, and both the planet and our bank balance are better for it.

When I leave a room, I turn off the light, I don’t stand endlessly in front of an open refrigerator, laundry gets done when we have enough for a full load, and the water heater is set to power-saver mode. Recyclables always go into the proper bins, although when the giant truck comes chugging down the alley to pick the stuff up and the guys dump it all into one big cavernous cave of stink, a little voice inside whispers that the whole lot of it is headed straight for the city dump.

I’ve finally won the decades-long battle of weed-n-feed that has brewed in my house since we said our I do’s. He thinks the lawn should be bright green and weed-free, and is willing to spray it with whatever evil concoction will help achieve carpet store plushness. I, on the other hand, offer a friendly welcome to every weedy thing that would like to live here and believe that dandelions are every bit as beautiful as tulips—and far prettier than roses, which kind of give me the creeps. For the past few years, the hubs has used organic feed and the manual weed plucking technique favored by our forefathers.

A couple of summers ago, I bought my husband a lovely push lawn mower, the kind powered solely by human exertion, and I even offered to do the mowing after his look made it clear that he wasn’t going to touch the thing. He holds steadily to the belief that yard work falls neatly into his list of tasks, though, and being the good wife that I am, I of course concur.

Oh, one quick thing, and this is important. Please don’t tell him, but the yard looks like crap. I know it and he knows it, but we just focus on the fact that I’m content, and all is well. Happy wife/happy life and all that. Okay? Thanks.

So I try to live a greenish life, but I do have one small not-so-green request. Can I please, please, please use decent light bulbs? The incandescent ones that the check-out girl at Home Depot gives me the stink eye for buying as she scans them? Excuse me, girlie, but unless that zebra striped hair thing you have going on grew that way right out of your noggin, you might want to keep your disdain for my household lighting choices to yourself. Have you read the ingredients list on the hair color box lately? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Just bag the bulbs, darlin’, and I’ll be on my way.

Most of our fixtures have those wicked little fluorescent bulbs now—my concession in order to get the organic lawn food—but I have a little stash of the good ones for my reading lamp and I don’t want to give them up. Ever. They light right up without a waiting period and they provide a steady, non-flickering stream of crystal brightness that rivals sunlight. I love them. And I think I’d better stockpile a bunch of them before the zebra haired greeniacs take them all away.

Truck. Cabin. Spoon.

Truck, cabin, spoon. Those are the words that Meredith Grey asked patients to remember to see if they qualify for the Alzheimer’s trial on Grey’s Anatomy. Three words. Simple enough. Then she continued, “What did you do last Thanksgiving?”

Crap. I had to think about that one. I remembered, though. We went to our daughter’s house, feasted on organic, free range turkey and seven thousand kinds of pie. Phew.

So, no Alzheimer’s for me. Yet. But I do seem to be suffering from a doozy of a case of CRS*. I think it’s a forty-something thing (Hey! I’m still forty-something! I’ve got nine more months of younger-than-fifty!). Most everyone I know has been complaining of the same symptoms. Lost keys, lost bifocals. Calling your cell phone with another phone to find the damn thing.

Luckily, we seem to be able to fill in one another’s gaps. I was on the phone with a friend yesterday and she couldn’t remember the name of an actor. “Short,” she said, "and boyishly cute. You know, the couch jumper.”

“Tom Cruise,” I offered.


The conversation continued, and I couldn’t remember an actor’s name. “Hot,” I said, trying to summon the name. “Must be seventy-something**, but still freakin’ hot.”

“Sean Connery,” she said, as if I’d thought of it myself. She’s good like that. No judging.

We had a lot of catching up to do and talked for ages. My stomach started to growl. My head hurt. I knew that I shouldn’t really be hungry. I’d sucked down a Campbell’s Soup at Hand right before the phone rang, but man, I sure was doing a good imitation of hungry. Finally, we said our goodbyes and I headed to the kitchen to find something to eat.

There, on the counter, was the soup. Still full. Ice cold. Just for reassurance, I said to myself, “Truck. Cabin. Spoon.”


* CRS: common name for the ailment, Can’t Remember Sh*t, most often seen in those forty and older.

** I Googled him. Sean Connery is 80! Whatever. He’s still hot.

Dirty Little Secret

For the past two years, I’ve been teasingly pursued. I’ll admit that I was often tempted and that while it would be easy for me to say that it was one-sided, the truth is that I played an active part in the whole thing. The stolen glances, the daydreams about how it might be, that was all me.

I looked through the photos—yes, there were photos—and I didn’t care about what I already had, what had been so good for so long, my desire grew until it was impossible to ignore. On more occasions than I care to recall, I came thisclose to surrender, but I resisted. I’m old school, I guess.

Well, I was.

It started online and it seemed harmless enough, but now, it has come into my life. Into my home.

On Valentine’s Day this year, I gave in. And it was great. Fabulous, really. I’m unapologetic and unrepentant. I liked it. I loved it. I felt light and free. Untethered. A little reckless.

I’m not making excuses. I’m a big girl and I knew exactly what I was doing. Maybe I should be sorry. The me that I was on February 13th would be sorry, but I’m not her. I’ve changed. And now, there’s no going back.

I’ve always been a bookish girl. I read for fun. I write for big fun. This “Word Nerd” thing is no exaggeration. So it took more than just a passing fancy kind of feeling for me to set aside my innate reservations. I’m no stranger to temptation, but I’ve always been consistently steadfast and loyal. Well, I guess I can’t say always anymore.

I’ve written about weakness. I’ve shaken a virtual finger in the faces of those who’ve done exactly what I did. I not so secretly chided them for their seeming ability to dis-value what had been in favor of some shiny new possibility.

I apologize for that.

Just over a month ago, I did it. I got a Kindle. And I liked it.

Elements of Time / A Review

"You're a Winner!" Every writer who enters a writing competition hopes to hear those very words and the authors featured in this book were certainly delighted when they got the great news. Each of them had a story or poem that spoke to the judges--some penned several winning entries--and the tales, though connected by a general theme, are as varied as the writers themselves.

What happens when you open up a writing competition and provide the entrants with a broad topic? You unleash lots of creativity and end up with a collection of work that reflects the attitudes and abilities of a wide variety of people. Elements of Time is a compilation of short stories, peppered with a few poems, all penned by winners of one of the many short story contests sponsored by Accentuate Writers. Newbies to seasoned writers are represented in this collection, each with a story to tell.

Did I love every story in this book? No. What I did love is that the book represents a wide range of attitudes and aptitudes, and as a writer myself, I appreciate the heart that each of these fellow writers put into their work. Every reader is sure to have a few favorites; mine are the poems by Laurie Darroch-Meekis, especially In the Round, Lost or Found, and Seed.

Elements of Time