The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for July 2012



freedigitalphotos.net
my new stuff almost looks like this.  almost.



So, I ran to Old Navy today, in search of t shirts that didn’t smell like my last twenty workouts and shorts that weren’t coming apart at the seams, like the ones I’ve had and worn for the past four years during the summer. 
Wandering the aisles, I found some colorful, non smelly t shirts and was looking at shorts when this girl snuck up on me and here I was, all ready to do battle with her over the last “Miami Bunny” t shirt in neon lime green, when she just leans over and gives me $20 in Old Navy cash.  She said “I saw that you have quite a few things and I can’t use more than one coupon today, so here’s my other one, today’s the last day of the sale.” 
Then the little fairy godmother scurried away.
Now, I’ve experienced lots of things in various local establishments.  I’ve seen parents yelling at their kids in stores.  I saw a man shoplift not one but two or more bottles of cologne, not ten feet from the cashier, on Christmas Eve.*  I’ve seen certain teenage girls racing around our grocery store playing cart tag and acting more like two ten year olds than 18 and 16…(A & M, I’m talking to you) but this was a new one.
I’ve given people my place in line, and once gave someone a $5 coupon, but this chick topped that by saving me 40% on my new “I’m gonna workout” clothes.  For no reason, other than to be nice. 
So here’s to you, girl with the dark hair who wasn’t actually honing in on the t shirt I wanted.  I’m sure you’re (not) reading this, but I wanted to thank you anyway.  And you’re welcome to that shirt because although I hid it behind my back when you came by so you couldn’t have it, I tried it on and it was too tight in the boobal area.  It’s back on the shelf.
You’re welcome.
*That Christmas Eve thing?  I did tell the manager but since she didn’t see it she couldn’t do anything.  I like to think the gentleman in question got coal in his stocking.
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jennifer ellison/freedigitalphotos.net
I’m sure the storm looked exactly like this.  However, I was snoozing.



Our power went out at 5:30 this morning, in the midst of an enormous, rainy, loud, crashing thunderstorm.  Unconcerned, my husband and I snuggled a little tighter, listening to the soothing sounds of the rain, which we could hear ever so much better because the central air conditioner and our ceiling fan were not moving.  Le sigh.
Soon, thanks to the stagnant air, “snuggling” became “sticking”.   We untangled ourselves and hurried to get ready for work.  (We take showers at night).  I couldn’t see to put on makeup and had no power to blow dry my hair.  No problem, I thought.  I’d doll up in the car and straighten my hair at work in the bathroom.
First, though, my husband and I had to deal with something we didn’t think would be an issue, to wit: 
a)      The side door to our garage is always locked. 
b)      The big garage door won’t go up when the electricity is out. 
c)      You can’t open it by hand unless you’re inside the garage.
d)     You can’t get IN the garage unless you have a key for the side garage door.
e)      We can’t find the key for the side door, and….
f)       My car is in the garage.
He tried all the keys we had.  None worked.  We sipped furiously on our tepid, weak coffee, plotting our next move.
I tried unsuccessfully to McGuyver the lock with a Swiss army knife and a bobby pin but decided I’d better quit screwing with it before I snapped the bobby pin off inside the lock, making a bad morning even worse.
Long story short, we found the garage key.  Sometimes, luck is on your side.  Or hanging up on the key rack.
This marks the second time in a week that we’ve lost power…last Wednesday night; ten minutes after I had applied hair color to my head and eyebrows, a furious thunderstorm came ripping through the neighborhood, knocking our power out.  I ran shrieking into the bathroom to wipe the color off my eyebrows, ensuring I didn’t turn out like Burt & Ernie. 
Hair, I could fix, recolor, cut, or hide under a hat.  Eyebrows?  Not so much.
Dominos made dinner tonight, as the power was still out at dinnertime.  However, the power came back on (let me say that again, because the words are so delicious, the power came back on) around 8. 
Thanks, Dominos.  The pizza was delicious.  Thanks to Com Ed for getting the electricity up and running again.
I’ve got the Power!!!

Why is it that time seems to go so fast? 

I find there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done…done.

Sometimes when I am planning to sit down and write after work or on the weekend, I notice the bathroom needs to be cleaned.  A co-worker mentions a clothing drive at Hilander.  Our black lab is shedding the equivalent of one dog per day; I see black tufts of it floating into the corner.

While I do like to “keep house”, it is not my passion.

Writing is my passion.

Finding quality time to write is hard.  That’s what I say.

I believe everyone would agree with me when I also say that if I were to have an entire Sunday alone to write, I wouldn’t. 

I’m being honest.

I would clean the bathroom.  Sort the clothes.  Vacuum.  Talk on the phone.

When only an hour or two is left until dinner, and my house is satisfactorily clean, I suddenly find the “zone”, where everything I put on paper is golden

Time flies during those moments until I realize I can hear everyone’s stomach growling, including mine, and off I go to the kitchen to make dinner.

I am upset with myself because I had the entire day to write and I only used a portion of it.  No one really cares if the bathroom goes one more day or if they have to reuse their last bath towel.  It’s just my excuse. 

Why is that?  Do other writers do that?  Why am I compelled to, say, clean the microwave when I get a big chunk of time to write?

I tell myself sometimes, I’m brainstorming.  I’m developing my characters.  I’m plotting out the next great American novel.  I’m not, though. 

I am procrastinating.  I’m being lazy. 

I’m afraid.
I’m futzing away my time, only to get aggravated later when I have to rejoin the real world and put the computer away.  I think, bitterly, I never get time to write.
The honest truth is, I have plenty of time to write.  Yes, I work full time.  Yes, I have a family, a house to clean, laundry to do, a husband whose hand I love to hold.
I also have best sellers floating around in my brain.  Great characters that are just clamoring for attention; funny characters jockeying for the same thing.  Plot lines that would delight, amaze, and thrill you.  Amazing screenplays that would have theater lines out the door, should they ever come to light.

Don’t I owe it to myself to let that creativity come out? 

It doesn’t matter whether or not anyone likes it.  I write for me; I write to please myself.

do have time to write.  I just need to be disciplined enough to take it.

I need to face my fear of failing.  I also need to face my fear of success.

I think I need to quit standing in my own way.

As weekends go, it was a pretty fun one, to be sure.  After an excruciatingly LONG four day work week, Joe and I slept in Saturday morning, getting up at a leisurely 8:30 a.m.  (I think.  I had the wrong glasses on.)  Into the living room we went to map out our garage saleing for the morning.  Aside from a few promising prospects, there weren’t as many as normal; although there was one with 8 homes on one street, though, and we were sure to score something there.
We didn’t score anything there and in fact, there was one house where the clothes and various dirty household items were strewn about on rickety tables with no prices.  Ew.
People, if you’re going to hold a garage sale, there are ten rules.
1)      You’re trying to get rid of it, right?  Price it that way.  Otherwise you will be packing it all back up again.  If it means that much to you, don’t sell it.
2)      Group like items together attractively.  Make sure they’re clean and if electric, make sure they work.
3)      Put a price on your items.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  People attending your garage sale tend to walk away from something if it doesn’t have a price. 
4)      Signs.  There can never, ever be enough signs to gently guide me, the garage-saler, to the exact location of your garage sale.  After all, if you’ve gone through all the trouble to have a garage sale, let people know where it is.
5)      And if you advertise a garage sale, then hold a garage sale.  We have searched high and low for a particular sale because of what was promised in the ad, only to find a closed garage door.  It wasn’t pretty.
6)      When said sale is advertised, please don’t just say “too much to mention.”  Give us poor coffee-swilling; diehard garage sale fans some idea of what you are selling.  My idea of miscellaneous is household/clothing/glassware.  Yours might be quilt blocks, pictures of cats, old baskets, and embroidered, raffia’d toilet tissue (For Decorative Use Only).  Neither one of us would be happy, right?  Right.
7)      Having a cooler of water/soda or a lemonade stand on a hot, hot day is a stellar idea.  Just don’t charge more for the drinks than you do for items on the table.  And if you are charging more, they have better have liquor in them.
8)      Have a “free” box and put something in it.
9)      If you have colorful children’s items, line them up and down the driveway.  It catches our jaded garage-saler’s eye and makes us more apt to stop and browse.
10)  It never hurts to have friendly people manning your garage sale.  Throw on the radio.  Turn on a fan for circulation in a hot garage.  It does make a favorable difference in your garage sale ambience. 

Yesterday on our Saturday “hunt” we found:  a cool Schlitz sign, a unique square plate, a bag of pretty  headbands, and a ceramic heart decoration. 



the headband on the left is for when I go hunting.  Not.
Jos. Schlitz.  Too cool for school.
new fruit plate.  new heart thingie.
We also, despite our complete zig- zagging around Rockford, found that we came across the same husband/wife couple at three consecutive garage sales in three different neighborhoods.  When we saw them the last time, I mentioned that we weren’t going to map out garage sales next week; we’d just follow them around.  The wife responded by slyly grabbing up all of the cool dog toys that I didn’t see.  The husband retorted that we’d have to be willing to go to breakfast first and pay the bill in exchange for their knowledge and expertise. 
We laughed.  As the husband passed my husband on the way to the truck, he told Joe that he and his wife were going to do a little tweaking to their current garage sale schedule so that he could, and I quote, “see if he could shake us.”
I’m sure he was just kidding.  He probably just didn’t want us to get all the embroidered toilet tissue.
Game on.  See you next Saturday.



Despite being wracked with grief over the impending divorce of Katie Holmes from Tom Cruise, we were able to have a lovely Fourth of July*.  Busy?  Yes.  Fun?  Yes.  Family?  Some.  Beer?  Yes.  Oh, yes, please.
Not only did we have today off, about a week ago, after work, Joe and I packed, got our routine “drive” coffees and some candy, and then drove to his sister’s house in Wisconsin, arriving around 7:30 pm.



Yes, we actually stayed here.  It was gorgeous.



There, we met up with two of my husband’s sisters, Anita and Carla, and Joe’s mother Mary.  Also present:  Anita’s boyfriend Ron and Carla’s hubby John.  (Missing:  the last sister Lisa, her three kids, and all three of mine.)  Sadly, work schedules are extremely prohibitive sometimes.  L


Hey, turn around.  I’m taking a picture here.



But I digress.
We were there Thursday through Sunday afternoon.  A typical day consisted of getting up and having coffee, then taking a nice hour long walk looking at the pretty scenery.  It was also very hot.  It is beautiful, too, as you can see.  



Woops, wrong picture.  But still pretty darn cute.


That’s better. 

Did I mention it was hot?  By the time we got back, it was almost beer: thirty.  Time to get on the bathing suits and head down to the refreshing water after packing up a cooler and some reading material.  I was able to finish the book “The Litigators” by John Grisham (it was good), and Carla worked on the last book by Stieg Larsson, which I believe is “The Girl with the Tattoo Who Played with the Fiery Hornet’s Nest”.   She recommends it highly. 

We read.  We walked.  We ate.  We laughed.  We floated on our backs, on rafts, on noodles.  We hogged the cookies.  We drank one or two beers.  (cough *an hour* cough)  We played games of Sequence every night before the sun, fresh air, and liquid beverages caught up with us…then woke up to do it all again the next day.

We were on lake time.



A very serene Sunday except for the Loch Ness Monster sighting.

In short, it was an awesome (if somewhat abbreviated) vacation.  Good for the body, good for the soul. 

Not so great for the waistline.  Those vacation calories waited until I was asleep before slapping themselves all over my sunburned self. 
Stay tuned for the next article, tentatively entitled “The Girl Who Lost Weight by Running Away From a Hornet’s Nest.”
*interesting note.  Tom Cruise also starred in the movie “Born on the Fourth of July.” 


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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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