That April Fool Brought Soy Cheese To The Party. Great.

This is why children have trust issues.

There are two kinds of friends, and April Fool’s Day is society’s yearly reminder to sort, categorize, and cull them.  There are the friends who respect you, and the friends who bring a vegetable tray or low fat cupcakes to a potluck. The day is meant to be ripe with tomfoolery and gotcha moments in a good natured way, but the people who opt for healthy alternative cheese are the very people who will switch your sugar for salt.  They’re not the worst people, but they might rank up there as the kind of people in my experience who still participate in the April Fool’s tradition.  These people should not be held solely accountable for their misdeeds however.  No one is born wanting to be a dick.  Someone had to teach them how.

April Fool’s is meant for children, but the hidden damage won’t manifest until later life.  This is the day when we lie to the children and hope that it’s hilarious. It’s the day when it’s OK to put dry dog food in a box labelled “Fruity Sugar Dumps”, or tell them the wasp nest in the garage rafters is a piñata.  This is the kind of lying and mistrust we are encouraging, and we need to do something about it before we can’t undo the carnage.

Our actions, as innocent as they might seem, give way for these children to mature into adults who then bring low fat sour cream based dip to office parties…because they trust no one.  Unchecked, the cycle perpetuates and these grown-ups will be the first to switch out your salon shampoo with Pepto Bismol.  But with childhood wounds that deep, their only true recourse is a pre-emptive strike.

It is then our duty as an adaptive society to cease and desist with these April Fool’s lies.  We owe it to our children to be honest in our ways and examples, and to stop wishing we had thought of the piñata thing sooner.


The day the DEA came to the door looking for my mom.

You will know me as my mother’s daughter because I inherited her voice, her stubborn need to do things on my own, and her comically long second toe that reminds me every summer how much I hate open-toe shoe season.  There are of course some traits I did not inherit from her, like her good cheekbones and lovely singing voice.  The gene that skipped me that hurts the most however is her botany prowess.  When I’m not complaining about my toe that looks like a transplanted index finger, I’m lamenting about my garden and how it doesn’t look at all like hers.

We used to tease my mom about how she could grow anything, anywhere.  Drop a cigarette butt? DuMaurier could build a factory in our back yard.  Spill some coffee? A kind farmer and his donkey would be harvesting beans on the hillside in a month.  Eat an avocado and toss the pit into the compost?  Tom Selleck just moved us to his California farm and became our dad.  She is that good.  Amazing, actually.

Apart from growing, she is also good at what she will call “propagating”.  It’s what the court system refers to as stealing, but it’s just semantics at that point.

I Acquired this tiny shovel too!

At public gardens and plant conservatories, she will remove seed heads from whatever flora is on display with such stealth that British Intelligence agencies have been scouting her.  She is  however a contradiction of character at this point. As a staunch believer in God and in doing the right thing, she also sees no issue with her acquisition of seeds.  Perhaps she is doing God’s work…who are they to judge, other than Conservation Officers and security guards.

When she is not appropriating seeds, she is also known for her basement grow-op.

Every Spring, should heat seeking law enforcement helicopters be flying by, they would be shocked at the glow her house would show on their display.  Banks of fluorescent grow lights line her basement, bursting with tray upon tray of seedlings and starter plants for her summer garden.  The police don’t know this though.  All they would see was a hot spot and a 76 year old choir member who distributes baggies of dried green herbs to all her friends.

It’s oregano, officer.  I swear.

Somebody’s dealer has the right idea…

I’m not trying to out my dear mom here as El Chappo or anything.  I’m probably just a little envious of her skills with greenery.  Maybe I should just call it even though, because in my younger days I was pretty good with a bag of oregano myself.





Are those real?

Every year around Christmas – because it would be weird to do in June – I vacillate between real or artificial Christmas tree.

I’m no environmental maven – I have been known to order my food to-go while sitting in the restaurant…just so I have the option of leaving when I want to.  ‘The  man’ isn’t going to control my comings and goings. I also have an impressive collection of travel mugs which never actually travel out of the house with me, forcing my addiction to accept one more paper cup at my drive-through coffee dealer.  My issue with getting a real tree does not have much to do with the ecological effects.  The amount of oils for plastic and energy it takes to manufacture an artificial tree is actually quite shocking.  Nature just pops these things out like Duggar kids.   My problem is this;  the idea of a what I see to be as a living, sentient being in my living room dressed up like a Vegas showgirl on display for all to see, seems wrong somehow.  Objectification of trees?  Is that even a thing?  Even worse is the removal of the body after we’ve all had our fun with it.  For most people, a few days after Christmas and they are denuding their showgirls of baubles and bling and tossing them out into the back alley.  I have been known to keep my Christmas tree up until the last week of January, so now I’m the one from the Bates Motel who keeps the dead thing sitting in my living room, living the lie that everything is fine.  I spend my days sitting in the same room as the tree, drinking tea, making small talk with it while sweeping up its daily detritus of glitter and used needles.  It’s looking more like a crime scene every day.  However, now because it’s the end of January and I’m the last one to bring out my dead, I have to go to elaborate lengths to conceal my crimes of procrastination.  I bag it from top to bottom, rolled in a carpet if I have one handy because, really, what good serial killer doesn’t have a disposable rug in the house, then drag it out to the garbage bin under the cover of darkness.  If it doesn’t fit in the garbage can I will need to tamp it in with my shovel, and by tamp I mean smash.


A Buddhist acquaintance of mine says that it is the intention attached to the object rather than the object itself.  I see where he’s going with that.

My intention is to make this a little less criminal, a little more traditional.  the best part is, defining tradition is up to me.  For now, I will stick with the artificial tree, but it’s also entirely possible I will expand my tradition to include try a cardboard tree, or a pile of used tires with garland around them.  The intention is to make the intention pure.  The intention is to define tradition how I want to.

Tires it is.

There is also the notion that, perhaps, the fewer things in my home which I fear are plotting revenge or loading up Karmic debt against me, the better.  I might keep with the artificial tree for now, but perhaps I’ll also start working on a good solid alibi for next year just in case…

Happy New Year!