You've come to right place if you're looking for some good stories, reliable recipes, interesting photos (if ever I figure out how to use my new camera), household tips, book recommendations, advice and discussion on everything from aquariums to zabaglione, and you'd like to read about the world according to me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Garbage Day

Today was Garbage Day so tonight is a perfect time to tell you about it. First, let me say that I am married to the nicest guy in the universe. When I wake up in the morning and look like Medusa, he says things like, "You look so pretty this morning." I mean really.

But on Garbage Day morning he is unrecognizable. Hair sprouts in coarse tufts all over him; he hunches over like Quasimodo; and he drools as he careens around the kitchen hunting for things to throw out. Despite the ungraceful air, he is shockingly fast and agile when it comes to getting thngs into the bag. He focuses like a laser on the idea that there might be a molecule of food in the house that could be thrown away. Nothing is safe. Vegetables and fruits are the first to go. It doesn't matter if they are barely hours old. Who needs vegetables? What purpose does fruit serve. Between you and me he is always teetering on the edge of scurvy. I'm a bit concerned that he may have O.D.'d on the broccoli I served this week--I know it was a shock to his system.

I have to stand guard in front of the refrigerator to prevent him from throwing EVERYTHING away. When I suggest that ripe bananas can go in the freezer for banana bread he just snickers and drools and throws them in his giant garbage bag. He even loses his mind over the garbage BAGS.

We have at least 15 different types of garbage bags. Ones in plastic bags and ones in boxes, white ones, green ones, yellow ones, orange ones, black ones, heavy-duty ones, flimsy ones, scented ones, drawstring ones, easy-tie ones, in all sizes. You get the idea? Although my husband (I was planning to refer to him as Banjo but he suggested Flabio, so Flabio it is) normally totally leaves me to do whatever I want, about anything, he is fussy about his bags. He doesn't hear so good--and is deaf in one ear--but if I open the cupboard for a garbage bag he can hear it 6 miles away and is immediately by my side whispering in a Gollum slippery voice, "can I help you choose one?" WTF? Who cares? As far as I'm concerned whichever one comes into my hand is the right one. Oh no, we have to choose the PROPER one depending on its intended use.

It's intended use? It's intended use is to put GARBAGE in it so who cares? Needless to say, (he thinks) selecting a proper bag is important--except on Garbage Day. On Garbage Day he pulls out all the stops and takes out the largest bag we have because we want to have lots of room to throw out all kinds of things that don't need throwing out! Get it?

Fortunately, once the stuff gets to the curb, his psychosis subsides. The bushy hair falls out, the glazed look is replaced with his normal gentle demeanor, and he starts walking normally again. He usually feels a bit tired and has to lie down, and then it's over. The storm has passed until another week goes by.

Interestingly enough, between Garbage Days sometimes things disappear from the kitchen area that should not have been thrown out. There's a surprise. Maybe I had to take the dog out or go answer the phone, and in a moment of inattention he has used a lightening fast reach to throw something extra away. Oh well, I guess that's a small price to pay for an otherwise very peaceful and happy existence that we have together. Flabio has no memory of these things that have disappeared--maybe an apple I was saving or a coffee from Starbucks that wasn't finished. He smiles, and I just say "I guess it threw itself away." I think you have to choose your battles, and this is not one that is important to me. I'll just buy another apple and some more garbage bags. We definitely don't want to run short on those.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Twitter Twaddle

I was planning on telling you about Garbage Day today, but that's going to have to wait because since I blogged last, I've discovered TWITTER. I want to talk about Twitter while it's fresh in my mind.

A week ago I had no idea what it was. I had heard it mentioned a few times on CNN, but that was it. So I read a little about it, and nope, still didn't get it. It was only after my webmaster suggested that I at least look into it, I jumped in.

Twitter is very hard to explain to people who aren't familiar with it. As is often the case with computer applications, the best way to learn it is to use it. Just do it. So on the 13th of January 2010 or thereabouts, I arrived on Twitter. A childhood friend of mine, who had just launched a new website herself, helped me to get started and answered the first few idiotic questions. I registered the name quinceandquilt and just started talking (or tweeting as they say).

For a quick and dirty explanation, the way Twitter works is this: You decide who you want to listen to (or read), and others decide if they want to listen to (or read) what you have to say. The ones you listen to you "follow" and the ones who listen to you are "followers". There's a steady stream of comments (or tweets) that you have access to, coming from the people you follow. You can read them or not and respond to them or not. If you tweet only your "followers" see those replies. And the rest is commentary.

As someone explained to me tonight--a nice person I met on Twitter--some people or most people are only on Twitter to sell something and to promote themselves or someone else. Some people participate to learn something, offering or gathering links and information. A few are there just for entertainment. I'm sure there are some screwballs too. Some people are probably on there because their employers make them do it. I'm thinking of Fareed Zakaria of CNN who rarely posts and doesn't seem to have his heart in it (BORING), even though I believe he's a great newscaster.

I have to admit I like Twitter more than I thought I would, and I have found it very addictive. A week ago I had 2 followers (2 girlfriends helping me get started) and I followed them too. As of this writing I follow 97 people and 76 are following me. Will I follow more people? Probably, but I'm getting more and more selective about who I follow, just because like the ShamWow guy says, I can't do this all day. It takes time to wade through lots of messages. I think this becomes easier with a desktop Twitter application, but that's a blog post for another day.

I get the impression that most people on Twitter stick to a specific topic. Photographers talk about photography. Government people talk about government crap. Not me. I offer household tips, weird science news, opinions on current events, ideas for art inspiration. You'll never know what I'm going to say next because I don't know what I'm going to say next. So far 76 people find that entertaining.

I probably won't continue permanently tweeting as much as I am right now, but I think I'll be there for a while. I like it. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @quinceandquilt. If you'd like to know who my favorites are on Twitter, then follow me because I retweet (RT) them regularly.

Next time I PROMISE I'll talk about Garbage Day.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Natural Blog Birth

Welcome to my world. I decided to start a blog because a) my son told me to, b) my webmaster suggested it and c) I felt like it. How's that?

In preparation for this auspicious beginning, I read a *lot* of blogs and a lot of articles about blogging and social marketing. I don't know if any of that is going to help me blog well, but at least I tried. The fact is I don't know if anyone is ever going to read any of this, but I'm going to assume at least my kids will....hopefully.....

I looked up some "mommy blog" rankings and found mommy blogs fit into different categories.

The most popular ones seem to be written by moms with little kids--well, don't fit there, my kids are 20 and 22.

Then there are moms trying to get pregnant--nope, been there done that, had a hysterectomy last year. (It was botched, by the way, and I got a bowel resection for the same price, but I digress.)

Moms who are breastfeeding--nope, been there done that, LIKE 20 YEARS AGO.

Moms who are homeschooling, raising multiples, raising kids with the LORD, etc. etc.--nope nope nope don't fit in there either.

I didn't see a category for crazy grey-haired opinionated moms whose kids are in their twenties. Guess I'm going to start a new category.

So let me introduce myself. My name is Cynthia. I was born and raised in Louisiana, but now I live in British Columbia near Vancouver. That's the west coast in Canada, and no, I don't know your neighbor's cousin in Toronto. Within the last 6 months I left my job of 15 years, got remarried, I sold my house of 20 years in Calgary, Alberta, and moved here with my 2 French Bulldogs into my husband's house. Here's a picture of his house:

Ok, so it's not a FULL picture but at least you get the idea. It looks like a gingerbread house.

Quilting is one of my passions:

 Several years ago I used to carpool, and the lady I carpooled with didn't know what quilting was so I took a little square with me one day to show her. She looked at it and then looked at me and said, "you mean you take perfectly good fabric, cut it up in little pieces and then sew it back together again?" "Yeah," I said, "that's what I do for fun."

And here's my older dog, Thibault, pronounced T-bo. Like the French surname. You know, French dog, French name, get it? He is the great dog-love of my life. Sweet, quiet, farts a lot, loves CNN.

And here's my young female, Paris. She's a wild woman. Friendly, cute, full of energy, doesn't understand NO, does lots of naughty things...she's kind of like my daughter.

So I have to go now. Craig Ferguson is on--I can't miss Craig. By the way, does anyone know where Tiger is? I'd sure like to know. Tomorrow is Garbage Day. Garbage Day is a BIG DEAL in my house. It's the day when my kind, gentle, loving husband turns into a psycho. The experts call it Garbage-Induced Psychosis or GIP. I'll tell you all about it next time.

So that's my first attempt at blogging. Night night everyone.

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