Dear Fortune Cookie…

Someone was asleep at the wheel when I ordered Chinese food the other night. Instead of the obligatory two fortune cookies, (I assume that they assume that I carry my order back to an additional human. I don’t. I get 3-4 meals out of my delightful carryout.) I got THREE fortune cookies! Oh, the great fortune, I thought, until I started opening them.

Fortune cookie 1: “Always be kind and loving to people older than you. You’ll soon be their age.”

img_8864Ughhh. It’s like the fortune cookie sweat shop (Yes, I mean sweat shop. Hundreds of tiny fingers stuffing fortunes into fragile cookies.) has tapped into my life right now. I’ve been helping my neighbor Sick Margaret mother to the vampiric Baby because she fell…AGAIN. One simple helpful task quickly escalated into more helpful tasks as I put on my smiley helpful face to hide my daily dread of being sucked further into her world.

I want to be  a good person and kind to others, but at the same time I don’t want to interact with my neighbors beyond the friendly wave or head nod.  I’m happy in my bubble of cats and gardening. Conversations about how nice it must be for me to have friends (hers are dead) and “don’t you ever get lonely” intrude heavily into my safe bubble.

Fortune cookie 2: “You are realistic, and others relate to you.”

Oh, fortune cookie! What. The. Hell? I try to be realistic, but most people seem to find my realism horrifying. It might be my delivery which does not always self-edit and is heavy on the sarcasm. Students have gasped from the back of the room: “She’s so real.” This happens primarily when I’m calling out someone on whatever bullshit they’re indulging in at the moment. Surely other teachers have a limit to their tolerance and ability to sugar-coat life.

Maybe I just know too many glass half-full people who react in horror to my assessment of situations. “Let’s not pretend. Let’s be for realz on how this will pan out.” Being realistic labels me as negative and a quitter. Two combine two already odd turns of phrase: The sun does not shine out of my asshole, don’t blow smoke up it. 

Fortune cookie 3: “Cheerful company and a  merry time.”

Yes! I’ll take it! Let’s get drinks and tacos….but mostly tacos!

Morning Routine

Before breakfast, I scoop up The Bird and we check out the world from the kitchen window. Of all the cats, she’s the one who melts into me and purrs as we lean against the window frame making note of all the goings on in the front yard. Sometimes she reverts back to her younger behavior and tips her head back to nuzzle my neck. Pre-coffee, it’s a good way to start an unhurried morning.

A Means to an End

Olivia Wigglebothum has two obsessions: mousie and houseplants.

She is the reason my giant aloe plant lives outside during the summer and then in my classroom during the school year. After two days of vomiting following the aloe plant episode, I eliminated all toxic houseplants and now check the ASPCA plant list before even considering a new houseplant.

Olivia clings to me and cries piteously any time I scoop her up near the back doors where the plants hang. I wish I could say that this is out of a deep love for her mum’s cuddles, but I have enough claw marks in my shoulders to know better.

I’m just a handy ladder to her end goal. Olivia Wigglebothum life goals: sample all the houseplants.¬†

Burning the Garden to the Ground: Match in Hand!

This is NOT the offspring of last year’s giant garden spider that had me trapped in my house gathering flammable substances. However it is hanging out in the same location, and I have watched it grow this week and really structure its web.DSCF1883

It’s either a Basilica Orb Weaver or a Venusta Orchard Spider.

You figure it out.

Frankly, I can’t decide and looking at page after page of close up spider pictures is making me queasy. Seriously, if I see another close up of a hairy spider’s eyes, I’ll probably just faint and roll under my desk. The cats will never figure out how to dial 911, we’re doomed!

The spider is not yet at horror movie size, but I know where my lighters and matches are. Just. In. Case.

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Yoga and…..

Yoga and…

Yoga and…

(My sister and I have an unhealthy love of Super Troopers. “Do you boys like Mexico!” is family code for getting tacos.)

Yoga and….FOOD!

I’ve done yoga with cats: awesome! Yoga with some friends and hundreds of strangers in a giant soccer stadium: pretty cool, but almost barfed a little. The instructors kept trying to one up each other and suddenly 50 minutes of yoga turned into 90 minutes on a July evening.

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However yoga with the promise of food is on par with petting cats during poses. The local trend seems to be bars and restaurants that will clear out their dining space, bring in a local studio teacher and hold yoga sessions with anything from craft beer to full meals afterwards.

When I’m done flipping my dog, I’m more of a full meal type of girl. If that full meal involves plantains and black beans all the better! El Arepazo, which serves a combination of Venezuelan and Colombian foods, has hosted two yoga brunches that I’ve coerced friends into attending.

Trying to be subtle about setting the camera timer and taking pictures while following instructions was a challenge. The instructors took a ton of photos and continue to use one where my warrior 2 looks like I’m a whiskey barrel with arms and legs attached to promote additional brunches, but I won’t steal pics from them.

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The most recent brunch left me moving like I was ready for the retirement home this weekend. Yesterday my hips refused to work which meant lots of hobbling and an inability to try on shoes at DSW unless they were slip-ons. Today my hips are better, but my abs are screaming which means sneezing is an adventure in bodily fluids going everywhere.

For $25 we got a pretty challenging 50 minute session. Part of the challenge was mentally tolerating the ongoing yogi “change your outlook, change your life” life coach monologuing. My glass is often half empty with dead bugs floating in it.

However the pre-fixe meal options afterwards were worth it. The first time I got the chilaquiles (top photo), but this time I tried the tostada (bottom photo). Chilaquiles win due to the overall quantities of plantains and beans. The tostada was good, but was essentially a salad with a few desirable items hidden inside tons of lettuce. I’m no rabbit. That green sauce on the side that is a combination of cilantro and some highly addictive street drug is the magic that holds all Arepazo meals together. I want to bath in this sauce.

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Yoga and cats and food so far are the winning combos. Yoga on stand up paddle boards?

I just don’t know.

Solar Kitten

Super-heated sunbeams have solar powered my boy. I found him up and enthusiastically trying to kill an already dead spider plant leaf. When I picked it up, he took a swipe at it with his giant panther paws. (He also tries this technique when I’m holding the food scoop.) The sunlight brought out his inner kitten.

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This one is my favorite. I love the double-pawed, almost cross-eyed enthusiasm. He needs his nails trimmed. I texted the photo to MomBert and she responded with “Is that Miles????” When I asked who else would it be, she said, “Looks like a kitten.”

(There’s always that strong-ish possibility that I will adopt a mini-me for Miles. I think he would be a great kitten mommy. However MomBert was probably¬†gearing up to yell at me via text message if it was a kitten…other than Miles who is totally “The Baby.”)

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He’s packed in enough enthusiasm for the day and is back to a more realistic level of exuberance, “helping” me at the computer.

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If your Sunday needs additional cat pictures, check out the Cat Welfare calendar contest currently in action. This is Miles and Bella Luna’s former shelter. They do the yearly calendar as a fundraiser.