Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Legend of Legs Mahoney

Legs MahoneyYesterday, Shane posted a picture on Facebook of the frog that he saved from their pool. He put him out front in the grass, and Shane later found him in the pool, saving him once again.

I said that if they wanted to, they could bring him over here to one of the Nutwood ponds! We have two small ponds, so he has lots of cousins at Nutwood, and the peeping can be quite loud at night. (I love it, though...I find it a comforting sound.) Shane said that if the frog comes back to the pond, he just might do that.

Later that evening, shortly after Ken got home, I get a call from Shane, who says, “Elite Frog Relocation Services will be arriving at Nutwood in about ten minutes!” I cracked up and said, “Okay, see you soon!”

Shane and Matt show up with a small cooler, and we walk out back to the larger pond. I said, “Let’s put him in that one, because the smaller one in the yard has a lining. This way he can be free to roam.” Turns out that Matt had dubbed Monsieur Frog “Legs Mahoney,” which I think is a fantastic name! They opened the cooler, and there was Legs looking up at us. Shane got him out onto the dead leaves at the edge of the pond, and Legs just sat there. I wondered if he was okay, and Shane said, “I can see him breathing. He didn’t move much when we were around him, so let’s step back.”

We did, and chatted about a couple of things, then looked again. He was gone from his spot in the leaves, and Ken was able to spot him in the water. “There he is!” Yep, he was floating there, kicking his legs a couple of times.


We wished Legs Mahoney a happy life at Nutwood. He’s among his people here...I think he’ll be happy.

I love it that Shane and Matt are good-hearted enough to drive out to relocate one lone frog. But as Shane said, either the chlorine was going to kill him, or he’d get sucked into the filter. Legs Mahoney wouldn’t have been long for this world if he’d stuck around Hanover Valley for long. He’s got a fighting chance in the ponds of Nutwood.

Just a word of caution, Legs: watch out for the hawks and owls!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Self-confidence and selfies

Beth on the deck2Wow, I couldn’t ask for a better day than today. It was just gorgeous, warm and sunny, and after an early errand run, I was able to enjoy the afternoon out on the deck! I finished a book, started another one, and got caught up on messages and stuff.

Nutwood is really beautiful this time of year, and I love all the greenery and foliage. It makes me happy.

The bikini pictures have become kind of a joke, because when the nice weather hit, I would mention that I was strapping on the bikini and heading outside. People wanted pictures, so I obliged. I got a nice response. :)

To be honest, for many years, I went with more sedate swimsuits, either one-pieces or short board shorts and tank tops. After spending several years staying at our timeshare on the beach in Florida and seeing some of the women that were okay with wearing bikinis, I was like, “Well, what the hell should I be worried about?!” and decided to just go for it! No regrets.

I don’t have a perfect body, and I certainly don’t have a perfect soul (right, Radiohead?), but over the years I’ve learned to have some self-confidence and not feel like I had to hide things. Really getting into workouts lately has helped, too, as well as quitting smoking. I just feel good about myself, and I think there is a big difference between self-confidence and arrogance.

I’m far from a supermodel. Good grief, I’m not quite five feet tall! I put on some weight after I quit smoking. But confidence comes from within, and if you feel good about yourself, who you are, and what is happening in your life...and most importantly, if you feel happy and try to pass that along to others...well, I think that’s a good place in which to be!

Love yourself and love others. Seems pretty simple to me!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

Beth on the deckWhat a difference a day makes!

After a hot and humid afternoon yesterday, followed by a strong line of thunderstorms in the evening, today was cool, breezy, and beautiful. Easy breezy beautiful Nutwood! It really was just a perfect day, with a bright blue sky and only a rare cloud to be seen.

I spent all afternoon out on the deck, catching some sun for an hour or so, then sitting at the table under the umbrella (mostly...still caught a little sun on my legs) and reading. I always feel glad to be alive, but today I felt a little extra-glad! I had a moment where I felt like belting out “Green Acres,” but decided that would spoil the perfect afternoon, so I held back. Ha!

After an unexpected extra night in Houston, Ken made it safely home today. Sheeba and I are glad to have him back, but we were happy to “loan” him for a few days to Cousin Ros and family to help provide support to them. Despite the sad circumstances, he says it was a wonderful visit. Love you, Ros and family!

Watch and/or listen to this. It’s important.

Well, that went better than expected!

DerechoYesterday, we started hearing about some really bad weather coming our way. After an overcast morning, the sun came out in the afternoon, and I was even able to get out onto the deck and catch some rays—although it was really hot and humid, so after an hour, I was a hot, sweaty mess!

The sun meant an increase in the coming storm’s severity, though. As it moved in, I turned over to the local weather, and when they said there was rotation in the area, that’s when I decided to pack up and head downstairs. After reading about how awful the Oklahoma tornados were, I’m not fooling around. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I had already gotten the kitty carrier out and ready, so I pulled Sheeba out from under the bed (that’s where he goes to hide from thunder) and got him in his carrier, got my computer and phones, an extra beer, and dished up the eggplant parmigiana. I got settled in the Retro Lounge and I was ridin’ the storm out in style!

There was lightning, thunder, and rain (and it’s still going on), but the worst of the storm seemed to pass to the south of Nutwood. There were reports of high winds and tennis ball-sized hail; my niece lost power at her house; a brick building next to my friend Cassie’s grandmother’s house was hit by lightning and partially collapsed, but her grandmother and her house were okay! This storm had the potential to be a derecho, which is essentially an inland hurricane, with straight-line winds 70+ mph. We had one pass through here a couple of years ago, and although we had no major damage at Nutwood, there was plenty of damage in our area.

Reedus Urban DictionaryKen was supposed to get back from California tonight, but due to the severe weather in the Chicago area, his flight from Houston to Chicago was canceled fairly early. So he’s hanging out in the Houston airport Marriott watching the Stanley Cup finals, and I’m watching them at Nutwood! Sheeba and I came through the storm just fine, although he’s a little wigged out and is currently hiding under the bed. We were riders on the storm. I hope it will pass through soon, and I’ll be sure to call my Mom tomorrow and make sure all is well, because it was worse in her area.

I made you the Daryl Dixon meme about the derecho because I also made a word. I told you about that yesterday, and I checked a moment ago, and it is published! I made Norman a word. Normans love words. haha

Have you reedused anyone lately? Have YOU been reedused?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A word is born

ReedusThis is total silliness, but it made my day. (Click picture to embiggenate.)

Earlier this morning, I figured something out on Facebook. It was a problem that my friend Cary posted about yesterday, and I’d been having the same problem. I accidentally discovered a solution, and posted on his wall that I’d figured this out. He commented something about how it worked for him, it was rock solid, and he could “lick my sweet face.” I cracked up and said I was happy to be able to help.

Face licking made me think of Norman Reedus, the actor who plays Daryl on “The Walking Dead.” For whatever reason, that seems to be one of his things...there are many photos out there of him licking people’s faces. It’s funny and...well, it’s kind of hot. (But then I’m a major fangirl...your mileage may vary.)

So I thought, “Hey! That should be a word!” I posted my new word, “reedus,” a verb, and my friend Ryan said, “You should send it to Urban Dictionary.” I did, they approved it, and soon my new word is going to appear on Urban Dictionary! I’ve already had a couple of Norman fans like my tweet about it, so I’m hoping it will catch on, and maybe even catch his eye!

You know, I’m just having too much fun. As David Letterman once said, “More fun than human beings should be allowed to have.” Wheeee!

Hope I die before I get old

Pete TownshendPete Townshend was maybe 20 years old when he wrote “My Generation,” with one of the most famous lines in all of rock and roll.

I’m sure it meant certain things to him at the time; I know that in my younger, more rebellious days (not that I’ve left those days completely behind), it meant a certain thing to me. It was all defiance and rage and railing against the status quo and the “old people” who just didn’t understand. A few decades later, it means...well, it actually still means all those things to me, but something a little more.

It means that I never want to become that person who is so set in their ways that they are unable to maintain their sense of adventure and fun.

In the car today, I was listening to Green Day’s “American Idiot,” and I loved these lyrics from “Letterbomb”:

Nobody likes you...
Everyone left you...
They're all out without you...
Having fun...
I don’t want to be that person, either. The person who says, “Oh, I just don’t feel like going out tonight,” or the one who says, “Oh, I really shouldn’t...that wouldn’t be proper.” Then watch as everyone goes out and has fun while I’m sitting home waiting for...what, exactly? My ship to come in? A friend? Godot? Someone to come and save me from my miserable, lonely existence? Fuck that shit. I don’t want to live my life afraid, staid, and unplayed.

Another line in “Letterbomb” says, “It’s not over till you’re underground.” I saw a recent quote that said, “You only live once. But that’s wrong. You only DIE once. You LIVE every day.”

I choose to live my life, to enjoy myself, and I can honestly say that I’m having as much, if not more, fun as I’ve ever had in my life. I’m with my best friend, someone who gets me and has the same philosophy, I’m feeling good, I’m enjoying my present, looking fondly back at my past (ohhh, I’ve had some good times, people!), and I’m looking forward to my future.

There are more adventures to be had, more concerts to enjoy, more songs to be sung, more trips to be taken, and more things to be written. MORE EXPERIENCES. And if life isn’t about the experiences, what is it about?

I look forward to every moment, both the good and the (hopefully rare) bad—both are part of life, right? Because every day we experience these things is another day lived and enjoyed and experienced. What a gift, and if my gusto seems a little improper to you at times, then you just go right ahead and cross your arms, furrow your brow, and give me give me that disapproving Church Lady look.

While you’re occupied with your disapproval, I’ll be living and enjoying my life, and awaiting the next adventure. Because there is always a new one around the corner, as long as you’re willing to look for it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Time Warped

RHPS2Well, last night was just a stone cold blast, Daddy-O! (Click on any picture to embiggen.)

First we headed to Shane and Matt’s groovy pad to exchange Christmas gifts. Better late than never, right? They seemed to enjoy their gifts, and they got us some fun and cool stuff. I just love the heavy glass squirrel bookends they got us! They are gorgeous...thanks, you guys! The squirrel is kind of the unofficial mascot of Nutwood, and we have quite a few squirrel things. These are by far the most beautiful!

Then we headed to downtown South Bend to grab a bite to eat at CJ’s. It is just a few feet from the State Theater, so we walked down there to see if we could pick up our tickets a little early. As we walked in, Drew, the guy who is spearheading (I can’t believe I just got to use the word ‘spearheading’) the renovation of the State, was walking through the lobby towards the doors. He saw us and said, “Are you Beth? Beth!” and came up and gave me a hug, and shook Ken’s hand. Awww! How sweet! Dude is a tall drink of water, too. Hard for me to judge, since I’m so short, but he has to be at least 6’4”. Anyway, he was just heading for CJ’s to meet up with us, so the timing was great. As we headed back to CJ’s, we saw Shane and Matt outside, and there were introductions all around.

RHPSWe all enjoyed the beverages of our choice, and it was a great opportunity to talk with Drew about his plans for the State and why he decided to stay in the area after graduating from Notre Dame. He basically felt like there was a lot of potential for downtown South Bend, and we all agreed that there has definitely been a sort of renaissance downtown. Since Shane and I grew up here, I think he enjoyed our perspective on what downtown used to be like, including the Ethnic Festival, which used to be held downtown, but was moved to a city park. We all agreed that we’d love to see it move back downtown. There used to be a lot of cool little places downtown, like Vegetable Buddies, that hosted local bands. It was a great conversation, and he really impressed me with his vision and ambition to restore the State and make downtown a real destination again. You rock, Drew!

He couldn’t linger for long, because they were doing a 9 pm showing of Rocky Horror, so he had to get back for that. After he left, the rest of us sat there and chatted a while longer, and then it was getting close to the midnight hour, so we headed out.

There is a salvaged church pew at CJ’s, and Shane took my picture. Despite wearing a Mick t-shirt and fishnets, I managed to not burst into flames. What a relief!


So wonderful to see the State marquee all lit up, and people in line! Everyone was in a great mood, and we were all having fun. We had a little bit of a scare when we got up to the table and they didn’t find our names on their list...then either me or Ken said, “Drew said he was going to reserve four tickets and...” and she was like, “Oh!” and checked another list. She found our names and said, “Okay!” and marked an “R” on all of our hands. Well, all righty then!

I didn’t realize until later that no payment took place. Ken told me later, and I said, “What?” He said, “Yeah, I guess Drew comped us the tickets!” Drew, did I mention that you rock? Thank you!

So sorry I didn’t get a good pic of me and Ken, but I forgot that my forward-facing camera on my phone doesn’t have a flash. Drat! I’ll see if I can doctor up the picture and get it a little brighter!

RHPS5We bought our “survivor packs” in the lobby, a large baggie filled with all the stuff you throw at the screen during the movie. Including toast!

We found some seats, third row, and settled in to wait. After a brief warm-up from someone with the “shadow cast” (a troop that acts out what is happening onscreen), the movie began.

I hadn’t seen the movie since college, it had been years since Shane had seen it, and Ken had never seen it before. I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think Matt had ever seen it before, either. (Hazy memory, sorry!) I had forgotten how much fun it is, how good the music is, and how poignant the ending is. It’s obviously a bizarre movie, but there is a lot to be seen there, on many levels, and I’m not ashamed to say that I got a little verklempt at the ending. The participatory portion of a Rocky Horror viewing is a blast, but I think the movie stands on its own as a campy and bizarre cult classic. It was a total blast! We really did all do the Time Warp, and it was so much fun! It was a raucous and enthusiastic crowd.

RHPS6I think my favorite part was “Great Scott!” and the throwing of the toilet paper. When was the last time you got to throw a roll of toilet paper with great abandon and joy? It’s been too long for this gal, I can tell you that! But the toast part was pretty fun, too. You can see the aftermath above (picture via the State Theater’s Facebook page). Yikes!

Drew hopes to make it a regular feature at the State, and although I’m not going to be going every time it’s held there, I would definitely go again on occasion.

I’m sorry to report that there was one casualty of the evening. My fishnets took a beating when my bracelet got stuck to them, and I had to tear a hole in them to get it unstuck. I’m not throwing them out, though...they’ll be my future Rocky Horror fishnets!

The State has a ways to go on renovation, but good things are happening, and work is progressing. It is once again becoming a downtown destination and the “Pride of South Bend,” and it makes me happy to see this happening.

RHPS4A fun night!

Of course, we had to end the evening with a Minion Flip-off! This might be a new tradition!