The Spine-Tingling Red Satin Story

Last week I took Little Guy to the party store to peruse costume paraphernalia in the hopes of inspiring him to choose something cheap easy fun. It turned out the scariest thing in the store wasn’t the gory zombie decorations or the 6’ vampire statue looming over me at the entrance. No, I encountered something even scarier than the horde of freakishly upbeat teenager girls, who were texting in the check-out lines, instagramming in the dressing room line, and just plain blocking the aisles.

It involved red satin. The costume choices of these girls, pardon my fuddy-duddiness, left me feeling slightly terrified on their behalf. While I completely understand the allure of red satin (my eyes went there too), I suddenly had visions of drunk teenage girls at unchaperoned parties dressed like fantasy whores where the high probability of something more horrible than nip-slips and cheek leaks would transpire. And for a fleeting second, I was thankful that I don’t have a daughter.

And then the shopping trip took a horrifying turn. Go ahead and call me judgmental…I deserve it.

As Little Guy and I tried to skirt around a box of plastic tridents and witches’ brooms to escape a pack of cackling teens, our path was blocked by a woman who, in my humble opinion (and for reasons that I won’t share), had no business shopping for a red satin corset for public viewing!

Go ahead and call me judgmental! With her hapless husband by her side, bingo wings flapping in the air, she was pulling apart packages of shiny red satin and ribbon rosettes like a kid opening packages on Christmas morning. I took a step back as her elbow grazed my cheek, stepping on Little Guy’s foot. He gave out a sharp yelp, which was heard over the giggling gaggle of girls by an unfortunate gangly teenage stock clerk. He stepped in our direction, a knight in beige gabardine and a blue vest, only to be trapped in the vice-like grip of the female patron.  Little Guy and I were now completely surrounded and forced to watch her conversation with the clerk.

“Sweetie,” she said in a husky “smoker’s” voice, “do you have this in an Extra-Large?” She held up a glossy rectangle of fabric. Then she opened it, and pressing the garment against her ample bosom, added: “I don’t think it quite fits”. As the clerk’s shoulders rose and his eyes widened in horror, I turned away. I have seen things in my life that I wish I could un-see… Sadly, my ears can still hear the sharp intake of his breath. Before he could answer, she added “If you don’t have red, I would take white.”

I imagine it looked like this…

Little Guy was cowering behind me. I knew that once he saw things, he could never un-see them. He told me, “I don’t like it here. Can we go home…now?” It was time to take charge. I had survived mountain biking. I had survived Mud Hero. And I had survived getting stuck in the bathtub. Darn it, we were going to survive this!

I quickly glanced around, looking for any means of escape. At this point, I was willing to humiliate myself by clamoring over the box of tridents and ending up in a Youtube video. But then, a glimmer of hope…Two of the teenage girls had moved away from the pack, were admiring something fluffy with wings. I grabbed Little Guy’s hand in a death grip, and in slow motion, I sprinted forward toward that small gap between a perky blonde and a perky brunette. Together, we flew down aisle #1, past the wall of costume pictures, and we leapt with surprising agility over a knight’s shield and out the exit.

Warm sunlight washed over our ashen faces. Little Guy squeezed my hand. Looking up into my eyes, he solemnly vowed to “never go in there again”! I was amazed at his maturity.

I understand the unmistakable gravitational pull toward things that are shiny and pretty. I also gravitate toward the slutty costumes, desperately wanting to believe that I’ve still got “it” (whatever “it” is because I’m pretty sure I never had “it” in the first place)! But I have to be realistic. I live in Canada and they’re predicting snow tonight, so I would be far wiser (for a number of reasons upon which I will not elaborate) to simply don a snowsuit…so Little Guy can “trick-or-treat” longer and acquire enough candy that I can pilfer a few without his knowledge, and lament my bygone “red satin corset days”! It’s really in the best of interest of the public.

(hat tip: Tastefully Offensive, GIF by Reddit user oPHILcial )

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

The Challenge: For this week’s Photo Challenge, stimulate your creative process and imagine which of your images you would like to see gracing the cover of a book, an album, or a magazine.

I wanted to take this week’s Photo Challenge seriously…but the “vision” I had required photographing a couple but I knew finding a couple and an empty crib at the same time just wasn’t going to happen. So I improvised. I wrote about a book idea over a year ago, but received an underwhelming response. That’s ok…the prospect is incrediby daunting! But this was fun!

WPC: Cover Art

Little Guy’s name is not Micah… :-)


To see more Cover Art, click here!

Capture Your 365 (October 6 to 18)

This weekend, I received a very high compliment from The Nest. Not only was Evil Squirrel kind enough to call me an “avid photographer” (as opposed to what I really am – a “wanna-be” with a fancy camera I’m not sure how to work properly), but he also showcased some of my backyard beauties (and my overgrown garden) on his Saturday Squirrel post! I say backyard beauties because black squirrels are abundant here, but not so in other parts of the world, and I never realized it before. Cheers to all creatures great and small!

While I patiently waited on my back porch to snap my furry friend (he’s been taunting me for months), I managed to fulfill a few more Capture Your 365 Project prompts as well. But I’d better hurry…October is over in less than 3 days. Click on the photos to see the prompts and quotes I chose to go with them. :-)



Holly Homemaker Must Die!

Holly Homemaker visited again this weekend. It’s always around this time of year, when the air is crisp and the leaves are golden. It’s been two years since she fled my home in tears. It was either my incompetence or my bad attitude!

After raking leaves for the morning, I dusted off the food processor and spent the next 15 minutes trying to figure out how to put it together. Finally I chopped and buzzed and ground up a large head of cabbage (over 12 cups). Then I used the food processor to chop carrots and celery. You know those movies with the stupid Mom who doesn’t put the cover on and the food sprays everywhere…

When you’re dead, you don’t know you’re dead. It’s only painful for those around you…It’s the same when you’re stupid.

I have to remember to check the toaster or someone might get a nasty surprise the next time they make toast.

I should have asked Holly to bring celery seed though, since my cupboards were bare. I made the coleslaw any way.

And then I used the food processor to chop cauliflower for soup. The recipe says to blend it after it’s been cooked and now I know why…raw cauliflower turns into dust like little Styrofoam pieces that stick to everything…

Doesn’t that look appetizing?

By the time I was done, I had a huge mess to clean up. There were bits of veggies all over the floor, the countertops, and the sink. And Holly? That sweet smiling domestic goddess had disappeared out the back door, leaving it all for me to clean it up! If she visits again, I promise you, it will end badly…


Your honour, I swear…it was self-defence!

TMI: Terrible Mental Image #6

It’s been almost a year since I posted a TMI.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term TMI, it is the suddenly manifestation of a mental picture painted “with broad, sweeping strokes” when your brain (whether it dwells in the gutter or not) spontaneously fills in the blanks after someone says something that may be completely innocent.

The Scene:

Wednesday morning, chatting with another parent in the school yard before the bell rang.

What I said:

“I work in an office, so I can wear short skirts now that I’m not standing on a street corner waiting to work.”

What I meant:

I can wear a skirt, even though it’s getting chilly outside, because I drive to work rather than standing outside and waiting for a bus to get me to work.

I know I call my high-heeled boots “Hooker Boots” and my sassy green boots were the muse for my blog, but you didn’t seriously think I worked the streets, did you? Happy Weekend!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

Refraction (noun)

“the bending of a ray or wave of light, heat, or sound as it passes obliquely from one medium to another of different density, in which its speed is different, or through layers of different density in the same medium.”


“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it.
Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.” –Zhuangzi

To see more Refraction Photos, click here.

Memories of Mrs. F.

September 1984. The beginning of Grade 6. Unknown to me, my best friend Geoff had moved away; he was the “Leonard Hofstadter” of our little group. The other 2 boys that had comprised our happy group of four for all of our primary years, remained friends, but like most 11 year old boys, they suddenly noticed I was a girl and they didn’t quite know how to handle that.

Add that to the fact that I had Mrs. F. as my teacher…and the year was certain to be the blackest of my academic career. I’m not sure how D and I became friends, but that year we banded together as if our very lives depended on it. At the time, it felt like it did!

Mrs. F. was probably only in her mid to late 40s. She had dark hair and a thin face that never smiled. But her defining physical characteristic was her voice. It was high-pitched and shrill, like Mickey Mouse after he sucked on a helium balloon. She had 2 favourite catchphrases too. 1) “You poor ape” and 2) “it’s time to cut the apron strings”.

No one escaped her vengeful eye. Like Sauron, her red unblinking eyes surveyed her students, searching for any infraction. She handed out detentions like candy on Hallowe’en. Detentions were served consecutively, during recess and every child, even the keener A+ students like me, accumulated several over the course of the year. I learned to forge my mother’s signature that year in order to avoid a detention. But being a “good” kid, I did it in pencil so I could erase it and get her to sign it for real.

Chances were high that even if you didn’t currently have any detentions, you would still lose recess. All it took was someone talking when they shouldn’t, or the class failing to sing “O Canada” to Mrs. F’s standards.

Mrs. F. was environmentally-friendly before it became popular. Our math textbooks had to be covered in gift wrap to protect the covers. Mine was pink with hearts all over it. I used to write my initials in the hearts. She made me erase or colour over them. She also made us use every inch of paper in our notebooks. Our daily math quiz was squeezed into every available space between our math homework questions. If you couldn’t find space, she’d shake her head, announce that you were a “poor ape” and find a space for you.

Grade 6 was the year I learned to hold it until my eyeballs were floating. Mrs. F had a sign-out sheet. 1 page per month. Once the sheet was full, our peeing privileges were revoked until the next month began. As a class, we quickly devised a plan…the last few lines were written on only in pencil and very lightly so that the name could be erased and used again. We took turns sharpening our pencils to make sure lines remained available for emergencies. There was the unspoken rule – abuse the final lines of the bathroom board and you’d pay at recess time. For once, peer pressure was a good thing!

She was merciless. If a “home kid” (i.e., the kids who went home at lunch time) had to bring their lunch one day, she made them sit on the dirty hall floor to eat their lunch. She made the “unsporty” kids take extra turns in gym. And the one time my parents called to complain about a detention I got but didn’t deserve, she erased my name with great ceremony and a long, loud speech about princesses and apron strong. Her intent to humiliate me was highly successful.

I still haven’t forgiven her for accusing me of cheating on a division test. I always struggled in math, but I had worked and studied very hard for this test. And it paid off – I aced the test. She accused me of cheating because someone else also aced the test…someone who sat 4 seats up and 1 row over from me. Way to encourage a student!

Mrs. F. tried to snuff the life out of us, but D. and I forged an alliance. We commiserated with one another at recess. We commiserated with hand gestures only we understood during class. We compared homework before class, and reminded each other by phone to get things signed. That alliance continued for many more years in our academic careers.

We cried together on the last day of Grade 6, but not because we were going to miss Mrs. F. (We went on to have her for some subjects in Grade 7 and 8). No, we cried because we had been given a second chance. We were going to appreciate life and live it fully. We had our whole lives ahead of us…