Thursday, May 25, 2017

That Crazy Place—America

I read an article about some of the things that visitors to America find odd or off-putting. Some of the things are valid, some not really.

Portion sizes for food or drink. Yeah, we do love our food, and plenty of it. I frequently will eat about half of a meal in a restaurant and bring the rest home to have the next day. Apparently this is JUST NOT DONE in some countries. I figure, if I paid for it, I’m darn sure gonna get my money’s worth and not leave it behind. According to the article, portions in Europe are 50-100% less than American portions. I think “doggy bag” would be “sac chienchien” in France.

The number of drive-through places. And the sheer size of this country. Americans don’t walk if they can possibly drive. I chat a lot with a Brit penpal and I remember how surprised she was when I told her how long it took to drive from Oroville to Los Angeles. She was blown away. Her family can drive 3 hours and be in Wales! And Carol walks just about everywhere. There are so many store and places within walking distance of her home. She was surprised when I told her how long it took to just drive to Walmart. And that Chico was a good 40 minutes’ drive away. And another thing…our cars are considered really big!

So many ads for lawyers!! Billboards all over the place!! TV commercials!! Visitors might come to the conclusion that we are a litigious people…

And speaking of commercials, the ads for prescription meds are fairly terrifying. All seem to include the possibility of death, along with lesser, but still scary, side-effects.

A lot of visitors are shocked by the number of squirrels in America, and the fact that they are so darn BOLD!!

The number of detached houses and all the space around them. I read long ago that America is the only place where we have a front yard of just grass, and it’s just there for looks.

For the most part, Americans are incredibly friendly to complete strangers, and it kinda spooks some visitors. We will smile at ANYONE!! We are also considered a bit too open and uninhibited. Personally, I think that’s a good thing.

The gap at the bottom of restroom stalls. Apparently elsewhere, there is a complete door that no one can look under. The ones here leave a visitor feeling terribly exposed.

Now here is where I COMPLETELY agree with visitors…TAXES on purchases!! If the price tag says $5.45, it should cost $5.45, not $5.45 + 39¢ equaling $5.84. If you want $5.84 for the item, put that price on the tag!!

So yes, things can be weird in America in the eyes of a visitor, but I still love her! ♥

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Three Questions

Q: If you could afford a live-in maid or nanny, would you have one?
A: Nanny never had an appeal, but I would have LOVED someone like Mr. French from “Family Affair” or Alice from “Brady Bunch.” Having someone else do the cooking would have been a HUGE delight. I’ve never minded doing laundry, but having someone else do the dusting and vacuuming would have been wonderful. Ditto on ironing. I HATE ironing. I would probably get up earlier in the morning if I had some bacon and eggs or some yummy French toast waiting for me. I loathe cooking in the morning, which is why I start my day off with a combo of Slim Fast and Orange Cappuccino instant coffee. Now that it’s just Marv and me at home, I don’t need an actual live-in person, but having a cleaner in once a week would be perfect.

Q: When you're sick what do you seek comfort from?
A: I’m blessed to not get sick that much. Meaning colds or flu. I had headaches most of my life and migraines constantly from the age of 12 until around my early 40’s. With migraines, the only thing I could do was take pain meds. If it was bad enough, Marv would take me to the ER for a shot. For colds, I take Nyquil at night and the lesser stuff during the day. For flu, there is NOTHING on this earth to do except die. I CANNOT handle stomach upset. I would rather have a migraine. And that is saying something. As a child, comfort was being taken care of by my grandma. Chicken soup, tea, curling up on the couch with my blankie and watching cartoons. Also, a big deal when I was young was our Viewmaster set. We had a ton of reels for it, and going through them all when sick was a joy. Sadly, the whole thing ended up in the shop at my parents, and went up in smoke when the shop burned down. Why I didn’t take it with me when I got married I will always regret.

Q: Do you wait until the "low fuel" light comes on before you fill up the gas tank?
A: NO!!! Marv laughs at me every time, but when that gauge gets anywhere NEAR the quarter tank reading, I start to panic. I absolutely refuse to ever run out of gas. I remember one time riding to school with a friend who had the use of a clunky old VW. As we were heading into town, the car started sputtering. Debbie kicked the little lever that goes to the emergency tank (or whatever it was) and there was nothing there, either. We managed to coast into a gas station and pooled our money to get some gas. We weren’t even late to school.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Force to be Reckoned With

There I was, happily lazing about, thinking of craft stuff and doing a few things. No big plans in mind. And I had posted in my New Year’s Resolutions that the next altered book I did would be for ME. I had been pondering on that project and had even sort of picked out a book I would like to alter for this.

THEN---it happened! I was suddenly grabbed by Myrtle (my altered book muse, for those have not been following me regularly, and if you haven’t, WHY NOT??) in a grip that allowed no recourse but to acquiesce. SHE wanted me to do something DIFFERENT!

Almost immediately, ideas came flooding in and whirling about. The book I had sort of chosen for me was now to be used for something else. I began feverishly looking through ALL MY FILES on the computer, trying to find certain images and/or words and/or ideas I had filed neatly away for future use. Of course, my filing system is on the arcane side and even *I* have trouble trying to remember WHERE certain things were stashed.

After a while, things started to gel a bit, and I went through my usual process of putting everything I thought I wanted for this particular project in a separate file. Then came the filtering and getting rid of the stuff that I really couldn’t find a cohesive place for. I don’t just throw these things together, you know. I ponder, I cogitate, I reflect. I second-guess like you wouldn’t believe. Eventually, even Myrtle loses patience and says “Put it together, already!! You got enough crap to work with now!!” (Myrtle can be quite the female dog…)

The reason I recount this story for Pete, Gladys and the rest of you, is to explain why I don’t have a decent blog for you this week. There is no denying Myrtle when she’s musing on a person big-time…

I hope by the first post in June to have pics to show and the end of this tale to tell. Until then, I will stick some other stuff in to pacify y’all. I hope. Maybe stories about my cat…