Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thirft Store Treasures and the demise of Binded Information

Another one of my income streams (or better known as a way to keep Teri busy so she doesn’t lose her mind, us ADD people make very productive adults) is video production. I specialize in non-profit videos that educate, entertain, and drive a point home. My best masterpiece to date was a video regarding teen children talking to their parents about sex. It is a one-hour homage to the generation gap and the inability of teens to speak in complete sentences or start any sentences with anything buy “He’s like…..” It ran on the local public access station for a year and because my Narrator did not show up, I was the talking head. People would come into my store and scream, “Aren’t you that lady that talks about sex on TV?” Yes a proud moment indeed.

I have been wrangled into a new production that includes a talking head trying to explain something that no one understands. All this without benefit of special effects or music. The subject is so serious; he insists that I have a whole wall of matching books behind him at all times. So guess what I’ve been doing for the last three weeks? Trying to locate an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica. I originally wanted two sets, but I would be overjoyed just to find one. This is the one item that EVERY thrift store refuses to take. Garage sales have been known to pay you to take them away. With Google, who needs it? So these dusty vestiges of our past --are my ambition.

I spent four hours today in thrift stores, bought myself a beautiful hand made pot, my husband a camel hair jacket, my employee a pink matching storage units, the dog a new toy (he loves to rip the eyes out of stuffed animals and then take out all the stuffing. He loves it even more when it cries while he does it). No books, but lots of laughs when I asked the staff if they had encyclopedias, but no Britannica’s for my o’ so anal obsessive client.

My best friend and I entered a contest once to buy each other the tackiest thing we could find for under a dollar at a thrift store. She clearly won with her “Pancreatic Coffee Mug.” This ugly vessel was shaped like a pancreas and lemon yellow. It even came with a tag telling the virtues of the pancreas. I got her a corncob dressed like a cowboy. She even found a mate that was a pituitary gland. I was impressed and am still trying to out do her.

This weekend, I am up at the crack of dawn and off to every garage sale within 50 miles, because the client wants it, I love a good treasure hunt and Britannic deserves it. Fuck Google!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Self-Depreciating? Me? No Way!

Husband says my writing is too self-depreciating. After trying to explain I was using irony to make a good story, he still did not get it. He doesn’t get the whole blog thing and is sure I am writing every day about his penis size (not that he reads the blog, but in case this is the one time he does, IT IS HUGE).

Here is me tooting my horn:

I’m a nutritional guru, juicing organic spinach, bok choy, collard greens, beets, mustard greens, apples, and oranges every morning (I feel I should be mooing instead of moaning during sex).
I buy only organic food visiting the farmers market twice a week (I also have secret runs to Taco Bell).

I try to bone up on nutrition. Here is irony. My latest trip to see a Doctor “talk” about nutrition and what you should be eating to live forever was hosted at the local IHOP. I had three orders of organic bacon.

I am a Food and film critic for three newspapers- but I am running out of adjectives for “spicy salsa.”

I was in the Circus for 6 years performing as a trapeze artist, an elephant rider, magician assistant and general pain-in-the-ass for all my South American brothers-in-law.

I have owned over 15 businesses, my first bar came with a dead body that had been parked in a van in the parking lot for 3 months (it’s cold in Reno).

I am now running three and trying to open another business(all the while trying not to kill my husband as our pillow talk almost always involves him bitching about an employee).

I raised my own kids and several fosters to become reasonable adults.

I drink an expensive bottle of wine every night trying to help my palette along. (Okay that was said just to piss him off).

BUT- my house is being remodeled and I feel completely discombobulated. My shoe rack was left out back and all leather items were ruined. Pink clogs now go with everything. Plus every item I own that resides on my bottom floor is in now my driveway. No end in sight. Screaming at the painters made them paint slower.

My house Cleaners haven’t been here in a month, they usually come once a week. This is the one luxury I have always found a way to afford. I feel like I’m swimming in my own filth.

I am out of sorts and a little down. Who wouldn’t be? Well the circus folks, but they live with elephant shit and roaring lions.

This is my son at 6 months with five baby tigers. Aren't I a great Mom!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sushi on Food Stamps, Only in America!

My oldest son has had a hard time for the last few years. The story is in my book, but is really his to tell. He was a talented motocross/Supercross rider and gave it all up for a different adrenaline rush. Bottom line, he is clean and sober taking it very seriously. However, with a felony still to be worked out (a crime he committed to only himself) and this wonderful economy, finding a job is almost impossible. Guys with PhD’s are not being hired at Wendy’s. He has reduced his enormous ego to wave signs on the road while dressed in a turquoise robe illuminating people where the best place is to hand over what’s left of their savings (otherwise known at getting taxes done). He’s done day labor, pulled weeds at mental hospitals, worked for Doggy Doo-doo business. He was hired for the census and starts in three weeks.

Now he is helping to paint and remodel our house. He refuses to take money from us, because he says he did all the damage (which is true, but a huge leap in his recovery to admit that). He reminds us that we don’t have to be alcoholic to go to 12-step meetings and maybe I should attend to deal with my anger at UPS. He is peaceful, gracious, and happy. Really happy, a Ray of Fucking Sunshine.

I love it, but in his blissful, calm, sober state, he is hungry. Ravenously hungry. He now weighs more than my husband does. I showed him how to use the food bank, the local church outreach that offers one hot meal a day and the Dollar store. Part of MY recovery is to show him how to help himself and not enable him by filling up his cupboards. When you have an addict in the family, everyone must learn to recover.

His probation officer told him to apply for food stamps. He asked if that was the right thing to do. “Wasn’t that system set up for Moms with three kids that were starving,” he asked. Probation guy told him that it was just as important to feed him and to get him back on track with nutrition. Restoring his health was part of the recovery. They gave him a small amount of stamps for the month and the first day he went to Von’s and shopped like a king. Hand rolled sushi, fresh potato salad, brand name chips with Pace. This was his loot and he was ecstatic. He ate every bite, all before 10 am and promised that his next visit would offer more restraint. Our government at work, making people happy, one at a time.

I know my republican friends will get pissed off at this story, but that food and the food stamps built some kind of respect that the drugs had taken away. He is not getting any more than I spend in one night out for dinner and it is the habit of picking out, purchasing and preparing his dinner that will help to make him heal. Then I promise he will make millions of dollars and pay it all back in taxes and helping the poor.

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The New Elite Drug- Expensive Wine

Remember back in the 80’s when you were at a party and a buzz would go thru the room? People whispering to each other and then disappearing. This usually meant that someone had cocaine, if you could get a secret nod, you too could embark on the white power smart-fest. Now when a buzz like that goes through a room, it means someone has brought a VERY expensive bottle of wine, wants to impress and share but there is not enough for everyone. I want to be on that short list, but I don’t posses enough clout. Being a red head gets me some leeway in the “ballzy” category and people are not surprised when I wriggle my way into a situation I have not been invited too.

I followed the buzz to the garage, where there were 5 men, sitting in a Rolls Royce. Only the drivers door was open and I was not sure what they were all doing smooched in this elegant auto. “CDR” was the whisper I heard and had no idea what that meant. So I bullied my way into the car (I think they let me in so they wouldn’t seem gay being that it was all men in a small space). Once inside I experienced the supple leather of the Rolls, the amazing elegance of this hand made machine, that still sported an 8-track, but Boz Skaggs never sounded this good.

What they were hiding and doing in their “fort” was drinking a bottle of wine. A $700.00 bottle of wine. The main wine guy tried to explain to me what it was, but comments like French AOC and such bounced off my non-wine educated brain. He let me try a sip of the miraculous nectar. It was okay. Not as good as the hosts wine. I was an idiot and said this out loud. I was instantly kicked out of the Rolls and sworn to secrecy.

I had spoiled their party and they all tumbled out except one gentleman who couldn’t get his door to open. He hollered for help and I offered my assistance. The cover of the Rolls had been shut in the door, and it would not open. His only way out was to crawl to the other side. But first, he had to hand me the wine bottle. This he didn’t want to do. I was a stranger to him and could go running down the block swirling his treasure. I assured him not a drop would touch my lips. He released it slowly like it was his last drop of water in the desert. I set down the wine bottle and helped him shimmy out of the shining sedan. He dropped on to the garage floor like a stone. Half drunk and giggling like a school girl. For my part in the rescue, I was offered a sip of the illusive wine, I declined as was happy with the pinot that had rocked my core.

The party had settled around the bottle of CDR and all talked in hushed tones as if in the presence of a God. It was just how I remember the coke in the 80’s. I was thrown out of everyone of those parties too, because inevitably I would giggle and blow half the blow on to the avocado green carpet. Cool is just not one of my virtues.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wine Dreams

I went to a garden party filled with appealing people, wonderful bottles of wine and fabulous food. What I love most about living in wine country is meeting Wine Makers. These are the sprites of our time. Nearly make believe characters that are real in my dreams. They take a bit of fruit, a bit of chemistry, add magic and their heart and come up with a bottled piece of heaven. All winemakers I have met are very special people. They have a sense of life that others do not possess. They are magicians who laugh often and much and live well. That doesn’t mean that they are all affluent, just rich with life.

I was surround by dream makers and their products, thirty bottles of the best of the best was there for me to sample. In addition, a chef from Kansas City was BBQing in the back yard, wild salmon on a wooden plank, spicy shrimp, and pork ribs. He also made the best rum cake these Caribbean driven lips had ever sampled. The light drizzle of California rain only added to the ambiance of people coming together to eat, drink, tell stories, but mainly to laugh. Laughter with this group comes fast and often. I am an outsider, with no knowledge of wine except of what I like to drink. My palette not my pocket book is my chief. They gratefully let me in their circle because of circus stories I offer and my cute husband.

Parties are funny entities, usually starting in the kitchen and then swelling to the other parts of the house as the wine loosens inhibitions and people want to see the intimate details of the host’s lives. Is that where she sits and reads? Was the stuffed bird shot by him? How did she talk him into a pink bathroom? I wanted to know the story of every mineral aggregate on the mantel and our host was kind enough to enlighten.

The wine was overwhelmingly good; the food was out of this world. The company perfection. These are the parties you remember and talk about when you are old and attempting to explain to your children what life was like “back then.” I had to leave for my yearly vestige to the Academy Awards, armchair referring every frock and suit.

I am so excited to be part of this special group and hope they don’t grow tired of my stories or my husbands’ cuteness.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You Know You Are The Business Owner When.......

It occurs to me that all my best friends are self-employed. It takes a defiant personality type. My one friend has a hand painted plaque on her front counter that reads “Natural Child Birth and Owning Your Own Business Are The Two Most Overrated Ventures.”

When I walk into a business and an overdressed person is taking out the trash, I know instantly it is the owner. Business ownership is challenging, hard and rewarding. One day I did the math and figured I was consistently making $4.00 an hour. With no one to call in sick too (or no sick pay), vacation time a joke, I still can’t work for anyone else.

Therefore, I complied my own list of business owner rewards:

You know you’re a business owner when:
Scanning documents at 10:30 pm to email them to the client because you know your assistant will not be in until 10 AM, then spend an hour fixing her makeup, getting coffee, a bagel and bitching about her boyfriend, so she won’t get the job until around noon.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You clean and take out the garbage can with the maggots growing on the bottom of it because it is where everyone throws the half-full coffee cups.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You are the only one to File that one large group of papers that grows and grows and no one knows where it goes.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You let three employees go home sick at the same time and run two business by yourself (quite grumpily, I might add.)

You know you’re a business owner when:
You clean the spider dung out of the windowsill, the corners of extraordinary cobwebs, and piles of unknown bug parts in the packing peanuts.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You have no hesitation of calling and yelling at UPS for overcharging you, EVERY week.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You seek and find just where THAT SMELL is coming from and deal with it.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You will be nice to smelly-barefooted-whack-jobs that come in only to get out of the rain. They never buy anything, but eat all your free candy.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You will fight software until it bends to your will and does what the sales guy promised.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You also will fight with lying purveyors that randomly change their prices and attempt to screw you.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You have to cut back F'way (Fucking Half Way) employees by telling them their energy just doesn’t work well with the others.

You know you’re a business owner when:
To avoid a $500 charge, unplug the toilet because employees flush tampons (did you know the plumbers call them “Mice” because they see the tails when they look in the pipes).

You know you’re a business owner when:
You don’t think twice about picking up piles of termite larva that has fallen from the ceiling, same goes for dead rats that you and your customers hear being caught in the trap in the attic.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You take time to read the entire 500 page manual for the new digital copy machine so it works like it is supposed too.

You know you’re a business owner when:
You throw away that open umbrella that has been sitting outside your store for a month. Same goes for sweeping up the cigarette butts.

Believe me, I’m not complaining, just stating the facts. For those you like me, that are unemployable, you know I’m not lying.

Ebay isn't for the light of heart

This fight with the crazy old watch guy was just to bizarre not to share. Read this before you decided to sell things on ebay.

This is how is started. Crazy guy bought a $20 watch from me. Then I got this email:
just received this item.....very bad packing as it seperated from that piece of plastic youm nwrapped it up in and rattled around in that oversized box! I assumed it ran prior to getting to me as that was my assumption by your ad wording. It is damaged in transport or...? It isn't worth a fraction of the $500 you said it is valued at. Please let me know mhow to return it and have my funds put back on my pay pal account. Thank You.
12 hours later I got this email:
Since it's the weekend and assuming you just work your shop m-f I'll give you the benefit of respect/fairness and wait until noon of the 9th of Feb to act upon this...after all, you have a 100% rating and must have been doing something right? I would get with 'your professional shippers' as the watch rattling around it that oversized container reflected badly upon you
So I sent him my address on Monday morning. I told him to send it back in the orginal packaging so I could see what happened. Didn’t mention nuthin about surgery (should have been my first clue)
Then I got:
teri...thank you for the quick response. I live out in the country w/garbage service but I burn burnables and I think I just burnt a bunch of paper/boxes so the box is no longer available. The proper way would have been a bubble wrap enclosed envelope rather than that 4"x6"x12" approx. cardboard box with just a chunk of heavy plastic wrap that was so stiff it wouldn't secure the watch. Plus, you paid more for the package/shipping that you had my opinion. I hope your surgery went well unless your a doctor and perform them? I'll get it out Mon.
Five days later I got the watch. It was not damaged and worked fine. I refunded his money anyway.

Then I got this:
you must not care about negative feedback as your going to get some...told you I want to return watch and not reply w/your addre4ss...been over 48 hours...this isn't a thread, it's a promise!!!
Then he sent:
Thank You Teri!! Sometime I wonder if my retired life is so shallow that I tend to dwell on the trivial? Sorry to be so petty.....Need to sent the watch back. Please enclose your address. Ed For what it's worth, leaving you feedback....5 star!!

My Answer:
Yes, you should examine your temper and procedures. I got the watch on Thursday, that is why I refunded your money. So clearly you got my address. There is nothing wrong with it (I took it to the jeweler and they wound it and it worked fine). So what I see is that you just didn't like it, so you lied about it being broken. Maybe You should join Rotary, Mason's, Lion's and do something with retirement to help mankind instead of buying stupid watches.

His Reply:
Teri----did I send you the wrong watch? I swear the reason I asked for your address was the watch I got from you is sitting right here on my end table! I tried to verify the watch by your ad but no picture. I looked through by bought items and can't find a match either. Is that your watch that you had in the ad? Please accept my humble apology.
I'm 58 years old and it's not about the's about mutual respect. Are you the one that was away due a surgery and had someone pack your stuff? When the package arrived, it was in a very over sized box rattling around loose. This watch I have here is a piece of crap and looks like it came out of a cracker jack box that was driven over!
When I sent numerous e mails and you didn't reply, that's where the disrespect came from. You have to realize, if the roles were reversed, a buyer has no recourse except by feedback. When you returned my money, I left you 5 star feedback....only to leaving myself now open to your wrath. If this was a mistake (the watch), I again apologize.
Then I got this from Paypal:
Dear Teri, (STUPID OLD MAN) has opened a dispute for the payment made on Jan 30, 2009 indicating that the item they received did not match the originald escription
Disputed Amount:
· $33.00 USD
Not as described:
· Vintage Sheffield Pocket Watch-Swiss with Aluminum Case

2/16/2009 16:17 PST - Buyer: bought watch with a value of 500 dollars and by item description assumed it was working. received a piece of junk that was cracker jack quality and definetly not working. Was packed in an oversized box wrapped in a hunk of plastic unsecured. During shipping, item became dislodged and rattled around in box. These facts can be verified by Mother-in Law and my wife. Opened the box and tried to wind watch and it would not run. After numerous tries, seller ignored my E-mails. The amount of money wasn't was the disrespect asnd total unprofessional manner in which this person does business. I received my money back after she received watch back. I was so totally surprised that I left her 5 star feedback and even lied that the item was described truthfully. Now I get e mail from her in a threating manner about how I basically a lier and that she filed a complaint against where admitting her part in this manner. There is my story, her story, and the truth.....I do not want to have this go any farther. I got my money back. She got her junk back.....All done.

My Not So Calm Reply:
Ed- Just what do you expect me to do? I refunded your money, even though you lied about the watch being broken. I gave you my address, I have received the watch back from you. What the hell are you disputing now? I think you are just plain crazy and you need to close this claim IMMEDIATELY .You are out of your mind. This deal is done!
His reply:
it was/is closed as far as I was concerned.....I apologized to you TWICE!! Then I got that message in RED saying what a piece of crap I was and how you bad mouthed me to e bay.....Who lied to who? The watch was not valued at 500 dollars and it did not mother in law and wife will attest to that....The only lie I did was giving you a 5 Star feedback rating. Please Teri...I am again sorry about this whole thing. Whatever it takes to cfose this claim I will do.....How do I go about retracting my claim?
My response to Paypal (which had now put a hold on my account)
2/16/2009 17:07 PST - Seller: This crazy man has me confused with another seller. When I refunded his money, he told me that was impossible and that he still had my watch, all though he mailed it to me with a delivery confirmation of #03082040000066967560 from the USPS. I refunded his money, even though THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with the watch and I had the jeweler verify it. Now he is disputing it, even though he got ALL his money back. This is a gross miss use of this process. I have answered everyone of his emails in a timely and professional manner. HE does not know who or what he bought OR who he is talking to. I want this claim closed and to never hear from this crazy person again.
His Answer to me in an email:
I have contacted the dispute center and retracted my claim.......if that isn't good enough, I stated whatever it would take I'd do it.....Stated it was a mutual agreement? Ok with that? AGAIN>>>>OK?
What he sent to Paypal:
2/16/2009 17:29 PST - Buyer: I retract my dispute with Teri Bayus on item #?? Have resolved my issue and wish to cancel my claim. If this is not formal enough I will do whatever to make it so.
2/17/2009 14:50 PST - Seller: This is not formal enough. You must retract the claim with Paypal
My Email to Him:
You need to cancel the claim. Just talking to me in the dialog box does not cancel the claim. At this point you have FROZEN my Paypal account and I am not pleased about it at all. If you do not know how to CANCEL OR FINISH the claim, I suggest you call Paypal and have them walk you though it. I have been patient, but I am running low of good will to you. Please fix this problem. Teri

Now I am laughing so hard, this is ridiculous, except Stupid Old Man has somehow fumbled through and frozen my Ebay and Paypal accounts.

His Response:
Do I pull their number out of the air....I have done what I know how...I'm a senior citizen and I don't know or versed in E Bay...why don't you get the number as my dog is dying and I have diabetic problems.....I thought I was talking to them....
Then his pleas became more hysterical:
At Midnight I got:
been looking for a number to contact e bay...keep getting into a loop that takes me back to the start....even created a telephone pin no but looped back.....maybe in a.m.?
At 6:50 AM I got:
been on here since 6 a.m. can't figure out how to talk to someone or even get a telephone number to cancel the claim. You were also under the assumption that the dialog box was talking to e bay also. Doesn't the e mail your getting have a resolution person to contact?

I was starting to feel bad for the guy, Then I got:

Your Dispute Has Been Escalated to a Claim
2/19/2009 3:20:23 PM Pacific Standard Time
So I sent him:
Ed- You need to go to your Paypal account at, go to Resolution Center Cases. Our case is number ???##?? You need to CLOSE the claim. They have a help button on the top left side if you need help.
The final communication:
PayPal has concluded our investigation of the following Buyer Complaint

The buyer cancelled this case and our investigation is now complete.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fish Tales

I have a fish problem. I have owned up to six HUGE tanks at one time, spending every minute of every weekend, tending to them. Didn’t matter if I had a hurt kid; the tank had algae and needed a scrubbing. I loved my Oscar (Al) so much that he moved his tank into my bedroom. This fish really loved me. He was visibly excited every time I walked into his room. He could play ball with me against the tank, eat worms out of my hand, and play dead when I changed his water. He started out small, and then grew gargantuan. As he grew, he needed bigger tanks, so I filled the smaller tanks with more fish.

After 10 years of surviving teenagers filing his tank with grape Kool-Aid, cats trying to catch them with a fast paw and several suicide attempts on to the shag carpet, Al got sick. When I called my vet and asked him what he knew about fish, his smart reply was "They taste good with butter?” I knew mine and Al’s fate hung in the balance with acned boys at the aquarium store. He had a ruptured swim bladder, from eating bad fish (that has to be the world’s biggest cosmic joke).

Al died and my husband planned the burial for him to join all the other critters in the back-yard graveyard (where bizarrely, the flowers bloomed brighter). I declared that Al was going to stay with me. I was going to have him stuffed and put on the mantel. Fishermen did it all the time with fish they only spent 15 minutes with, so why couldn’t I? Husband didn’t even try to talk me out of it, he got the butcher paper out, wrapped Al like a filet, and set him in the back of the freezer, with his name Sharpied on the outside. Five years went by and every time I prepared Tator Tots, I suffered an emotional blow as I revisited the fish in the back.

When I moved to the beach, I took four tanks with me. As we emptied the freezer, Gary held up Al in his frozen grave. I decided it was best to leave him in our Reno Graveyard.

All of our belongings were shmushed into a 28 foot U-Haul. The fish were the last thing loaded on the truck, all separated in big plastic bags with a battery-powered air pumps trying to keep them alive, I had 6 hours before they started to die. I also had a parrot, 2 cats, 12 finches, 2 lizards, and our new puppy. Gary drove the car with the Siberian Husky and the Malamute. The brakes on the Truck went out over the Sierra’s, after an extreme nervous breakdown, I found a brick wall to park the truck against. It took the portable repairman 3 hours to fix it, and then 200 miles later, they went out again. I was worried for the animals, but could not check on them or open the back of the truck as a hose had jammed it shut. It took me 13 hours to get to the new front door and my nerves were rattled. We unstuck the door, ushered the big tanks up our new winding staircase and filled it with Pismo water. Only three fish had not made it. We didn’t have the strength to bring the mattresses in, so we slept in the warm glow of the fish tanks on our new carpet.

I slowly began to resent the fish as every weekend was spent tending them. Plus the tadpoles, which were supposed to be small African frogs, grew into toads, and would croak so loud in the middle of the night, it would sit us straight up in bed. So I found them new homes and started writing about them. My first published story was about my fish.
When my daughter got her own house, she set up a tank. I was called over to meet my “Grand fish.” She now has four tanks, seems the problem is generic. I get to visit and not have to worry about the cleaning, maintenance or health, and I can spoil the Grand fish with expensive shrimp. She called her first Oscar, Al in my honor. I was so touched.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ebay and Old People Don't Mix

It's Monday and some obscure holiday where the banks and post office are closed, but the rest of us are in work-limbo-hell. We gotta be here, but no one thinks anyone else is working so nothing gets done, except lots of visits to You Tube and Facebook.

I am having a fight with a CRAZY old man on Ebay. It is another one of my income streams; I sell things for people on Ebay, taking a percentage of the selling price. It has been and continues to be a pain in the ass and no one knows why I continue to do it. The items are never as great as the people selling them feel they are worth. People also suffer under the illusion that Ebay equals riches. That stupid people will throw millions of dollars at their dusty old shit. Maybe it worked like that in the beginning, but not now. Ebay now has twice as many sellers, as buyers, thus it is a buyers market. My employees have boycotted the business and REFUSE to help me; because they have seen the turmoil it causes me.
I started selling my husbands old watercraft (jet ski) parts and made some good money. It was very specialized and for that guy with a 1996 Kawasaki 440 ski, my stuff was as good a gold. Then I started selling for people and the nightmares began. Gems that are actually glass, dolls that are knock offs, collectors who expect perfection, and NO ONE wants to pay for secure shipping. I still have 100% rating, but have worked my ass off for it.

Now an OLD FART WHO HAS NO BUSINESS NEAR A COMPUTER wants his money back for a pocket watch he bought from me. He sent it back, claiming it was damaged in transit and didn’t work. I refunded his money. I got the watch back, it works, nothing wrong with it. Then he starts sending me threatening emails that if I do not send him my address, he will do all sorts of bad things to me in cyber space. I told him, I have the watch. He has my address. I refunded his money. He is sure he still has my watch; he is sitting there looking at it. He admits he got my refund and gave me perfect feedback. Then sent me another threatening email. I told him he was OLD, STUPID, NEEDED A HOBBY HE UNDERSTOOD and to stop emailing me. Now he has reported me to PayPal, why? For disrespecting him! He is crazy and it is pissing me off. But only because I have too much time on my hands on Presidents Day.
I am going to drink 12 martini's tonight!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines, the Pismo Way

Its VD day and everyone wanted to know where the local food critic would be spending her special night. Truth is I don’t go out on holidays, as they are amateur night. Too many people who NEVER go out with unrealistic expectations make for a horrible mix with love and commitment.

The last time we went out for VD dinner, I had a whole romantic scheme planned. Watching the sunset over the dunes, listening to an authentic mariachi band and then dinner at a renowned steak house. The sun set before we got off work, the mariachi band called in sick, so we spent three hours waiting for our table at the bar. This is a small locals’ restaurant and they were intrigued with us. We told tales, they bought shots. The more shots came, the more wild our stories got. When we finally ate (and if you put a gun to my head, I couldn’t tell you what we ate) it was around 11:00 pm. We got the check and then couldn’t find a waiter to pay. We went to the front desk, the kitchen, but everyone seemed to be gone. So in my drunken state, I decided that I had always wanted to “dine and ditch.” I never had and this seemed to be the right time as these people clearly did not want our money. We tried one more time and then ran giggling to our car. When we began to drive away, we realized we had committed a crime and became extremely paranoid. Too scared to go back and sure that every head light behind us was the man ready to take us in, we slid home.

It was the next day, I realized that I had left my treasured leather coat in the booth at the restaurant. Leaving it there in lost and found was not a choice. Being the local food critic, crawling back after I “dined and ditched” was not an option. I was terrified and sure I was going to end up on the front page with a wretched mug shot. My knight in shining amour, drove to the eatery, explained our predicament, paid our tab, and got my coat. Funny thing was the restaurant had no idea we skipped on the check.

This year, I planned on locking out the contractors, turning up the heat (it is a balmy 50 degrees here) and running naked on my new floors and have wild monkey sex with my husband. I was planning to serve bacon wrapped scallops, shrimp scampi, raw oysters, seven different kinds of chocolate and champagne.

I was foiled when a dear friend (Sunshine) called on Friday and said he would be passing thru on Saturday. Crashing on our couch is what he does best, along with sharing startling comical stories, so no is never an option. I live for his stories, his happy presence, and a chance to catch up on his adventures. So plans changed, clothes were put on, romantic movies and accruements were hid and we welcomed our visitor. We also were sure to ply with enough Hennessey to have him soundly sleeping so the monkey part of the day could go on.

My husband began the day with covering all the clocks with enduring sentiments like “My love for you is timeless…….” On every clock, I had no idea what time it was all day, but I did know that I was loved passionately.

We had estate sales to go to, looking for strange and atypical furnishings for my husbands cave (his room), and our guest bathroom. Sunshine loves our piratical adventures, so he came along. We bought him vintage bean pots.

We ate at Jocko’s, known as the best steak house in the US (according to GQ) and savored eating in the bar where the locals gossiped, argued, and romanced each other. The steaks were huge, delicious (they age their meat and then grill it over an oak open pit flame) and it is worth the wait.

At home, the kids came by for their Valentines, and to spend some time with Sunshine, as they love him as much as we do. We shared stories and as usual, his where the most astonishing and comical, although I did impress him with current drama’s facing the fine people of Pismo Beach. We feed him our romantic meal, cognac and other California treasures. He was asleep by 9:00, we left the Blues on satellite radio and had our grown up fun. It was a good VD.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Own Bucket List

I am cleaning out every nook and cranny in my house because of the remodel, and finding interesting matter. In a box tucked way toward the back in my closet, I find my most precious treasures.

My blown glass container that was supposed to hold my sister’s ashes that we picked out together when she was alive. It is empty because my half brother decided to steal her ashes (it’s a long story and in my book). Love notes written on sugar packets promising eternal love from my husband, my children’s teeth now in hundreds of pieces. My Nana’s favorite broach and the Yahtzee pencil we used to keep score with, my grandpa’s pocket watch (not as precious as the one from Pulp Fiction), my uncles stick that he used to beat a bird with (it was a mean bird) and a check from my daughter for five million dollars. The most important find was written in red ink on the back of a business card (I was a sales manager for three radio stations at the time) labeled my DBID List.

My DBID List (Do Before I Die otherwise known as a Bucket List from the popular movie staring my friend, Morgan Freeman), was written in 1989. At that point I had already spent 5 years traveling on the road as a trapeze artist with the Flying Valencia’s, given birth to two beautiful children, ruined a marriage, lost my best friend to a Hydro-planning UPS truck, been a cocktail waitress and then the first woman bartender at a casino, bought a house from a guy that didn’t own it, adopted a foster child, was in extensive therapy and a single mom. I didn’t have time for much, but I still wanted more. More adventure, intrigue, and excitement. I made a list of seemly impossible things that I had to do before I die. Now looking at it 20 years later, I am surprised and quite pleased at what I have done. Here is the list:

Meet Jimmy Buffett
Sky Dive
Go inside a volcano
Be in and write a movie
Buy an island
Own a race horse
Take a year off work
Go to Greece
Take a trip around the world
Become a pilot
Swim with dolphins
Swim with whales
Own a radio station
Go on an exotic cruise
Own a sea plane
Read the whole bible
Stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Spend a month in New York, seeing a play every night
Spend 3 months on a sailboat
Live at the beach

I feel happy and sated that so much has been unconsciously accomplished. I going to make a new list and get going!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big Relationship Discussion

Husband requested a BRD today (Big Relationship Discussion). I was is in no mood and there was a crew of painters, carpenters and other cover-all covered men on my bottom floor banging things. He took me to the bedroom and closed the door. Usually this means an afternoon delight, but it was his brain, not his fun part doing the thinking. BRD’s scare me because it usually means we are adding or subtracting from our family or that my role is about to make a polar ice shift in this relationship. He had yellow pads, calendars and florescent flags (which I am equally afraid of, they represent some kind of signing.).

He started with his usual explaining (which in our family means you ask him what time it is and he builds you a clock). I was not prepared and had no idea where this was going. It seems that his looming 50th birthday is giving him the willies and we must get things in order. This is a surprise to me, I feel that everything is in order. Except I have some weird food allergies threatening my primary income is as a food critic, the house is being remodeled by Neanderthals, and we are sharing a bathroom.

Here’s what an hour of not so patiently listening got me all the while deciding "I really do hate three of the artwork pieces in our room":

We are getting a puppy
We are starting a new bookkeeping business
He really wants to listen to me
He wants me to be healthily
He is afraid for the first time in his life of his mortality.

I agreed, took notes, signed flagged sections, and agreed to everything. I even agreed to type up notes of summation. My only comment, (and there was a lot I wanted to say) was that I was not willing to support another mid life crisis of his, it is clearly my time. I am the one so ensconced in Menopause I can barely get to work. I told him to get a therapist, tell it to them and just shower me with love and sex (and a diamond bangle every now and then. BRD’s scare me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What is a Face Book?

When I first started this blog, I was told that the way to promote my writing was to join Facebook. So my retarded-over-40 brain filled out all the required information and was up and running in around two hours, (I’m sure it would have taken a 16-year-old 10 minutes). After two weeks of checking and clicking I just do not get it. Everyone is doing it, but no one gets it, that’s pretty powerful.

I have asked everyone I know and they are all new to Facebook, (even my 19-year-old employee), no one seems to understand the significance of “poking”, “Flair”. “gifts” or “notes”.

I made major fauxpau the first day and talked about a restaurant experience that was not favorable on the “Wall” when I thought I was talking privately to my friend. The chef I was bagging on read it, and lots of pots and pan throwing ensued. Why do I need to see who friends with who? Why do I need to connect with people from school? Is it telling that I have more wineries as friends than real people?

A friend who I love dearly, but haven’t talked to in years is now on there and I know what she is doing every night. It’s kind of like marriage. It takes all the mystery out of everyone. No need to call, catch up or go to lunch, just see who and what they are doing on Facebook. I got on there to promote the blog, I blog to promote my writing. I am a self-promoting whore and openly admit that. However, I don’t see how Facebook and the cute pictures of my dogs will do that, make me money, or make me feel more connected.

But I am playing along. Here are two exercises I was forced to do and them pass them on to my limited list of friends ( I apologizes for the misery of reading or doing this exercise).

25 random things to Share

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

Here is my list:

1 I live for the ocean
2 I want to live in Grenada
3 I want to be paid for writing (like swimming pools full of money)
4 I love to travel
5 I love to giggle with friends while our feet are rubbed
6 I was a trapeze artist for 6 years
7 I wish I could help every foster child out there
8 I love to read
9 Bad books by good authors piss me off
10 I am honored to say my husband is my best friend
12 I am very proud of the people I gave birth too.
13 My dog can speak English and knows my every thought
14 I want to get a female Giant malamute puppy, breed her and take off 8 weeks to spend every minute with the puppies.
15 Everything in my house was found second hand, and its beautiful
16 I LOVE Memphis
17 My jag is my greatest material thing I own
18 I drink too much wine
19 I am happy about the way I look at 45
20 I wish my husband and children were happier and could see just how blessed they are
21 I can spend hours in a bookstore (especially a used one)
22 I am a cult follower to several TV shows but would never admit that out loud
23 I wish I lived on a farm
24 Wild monkey sex with my husband still is my favorite thing
23 I buy fresh flowers or a blooming plant every week for my self
24 I burn candles every night (but I only buy them at garage sales)
25 I have a very green thumb (Some of my plants have been with me for 20 years)

Here is another exercise:

Teri Bayus
Today at 8:19pmThe Bucket List. Copy and paste the instructions and the list into a new note. Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not, then send it to your friends (including me).Things you have done during your lifetime:
(x ) Gone on a blind date

(X) Skipped school

(x) Watched someone die

(x) Been to Canada

(X) Been to Mexico

(x ) Been to Florida

(x) Been to Hawaii

(X) Been on a plane

( x) Been on a helicopter

(X) Been lost

( ) Gone to Washington, DC

(X) Swam in the ocean

(x ) Swam with Stingrays

(X) Cried yourself to sleep

(X) Played cops and robbers

(X) Recently colored with crayons

(x) Sang Karaoke

(X ) Paid for a meal with coins only

( x) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch

(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't

(X) Made prank phone calls

( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans

(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

( x) Danced in the rain-naked

() Been to Europe

(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus

(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(X) Watched the sunrise with someone

(X) Blown bubbles

( ) Watched a Mardi Gras parade in person

(x) Gone ice-skating

(X) Gone to the movies

(x ) Been deep sea fishing

(x) Driven across the United States

( x) Been in a hot air balloon

( ) Been sky diving

( x) Gone snowmobiling

( ) Lived in more than one country

(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets

(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish

( ) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser

(x) Seen the Grand Canyon

(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty

(x) Been to New York City

(x) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle

( ) Gone out with someone you met online

( x) Been on a cruise

( ) Traveled by train

(X) Traveled by motorcycle

(X) Been horse back riding

(x) Ridden on a San Francisco cable car

(X) Been to Disneyland OR Disney World

(X ) Truly believe in the power of prayer

( x) Been in a rain forest

(x) Seen whales in the ocean

(x) Been to Niagara Falls

( x) Ridden on an elephant

( x) Swam with dolphins

( ) Been to the Olympics

(X) Seen redwood trees

( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China

( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf (a piece breaks off)

( ) Been spinnaker flying

(x) Been water-skiing

(x) Been snow-skiing

() Caught fireflies in a jar

( ) Been to Westminster Abbey

( ) Been to the Louvre

( ) Swam in the Mediterranean

(X) Watched the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas

(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game

( x) Been to a National Football League game

( x) Swam with sharks

(x ) Fed a giraffe

(X) Gone camping in a tent

(X) Seen both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

( x) Been on a horse and buggy ride

( ) been to an NBA game (WNBA)

Grumpy Teri - Good Employees

Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy and in soooo much pain I am ready to take off everyone’s head who comes within shooting distance. Could be the cleansing, the remodeling, sharing the bathroom with the husband or just the damn cold weather (I know that low 50’s is not chilly for most the world, but I’m freezing my ass off). My bones ache, my stomach gurgles and I can’t sleep. All I want to do is jump on a plain to the Caribbean.

I am blessed to have to extraordinary and talented young ladies who run my businesses. These young girls do the work of 8 people with a smile on their faces. They are mature, make good decisions about my businesses and treat my customers like royalty. As long as I let them get stoned on their break, they are fine. It used to make me uncomfortable --but now I see that it helps with certain types of work. I have had my share of rotten, self absorbed, shrouded in a sense of entitlement employees, but I threw their scrawny asses out.

Maybe that is what I should do to help my health, start smoking ganja everyday. It will certainly make me care less about the pain. But if memory serves me, it makes me really paranoid. When my sister was dying, she got a prescription for Mary Jane to help with her pain, appetite and attitude. Plus it was fun teaching my mom to load a bong. As we had to help her smoke, she was too weak to sit up. I hear they make the kind that doesn’t get you paranoid, but I have to get a prescription to get it from a pot store. Being in a data base, makes me paranoid. Pot is legal in California, but not with the Fed’s, I don’t want no G men breathing down my back. I going to take a pain pill, eat Taco Bell and drink a bottle of wine. If that doesn’t make me feel better, I’ll make an appointment with Dr. Feel Good.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What to do with a bad Novel?

I’m a voracious reader, embracing 3-4 books a week. I alternate between my favorite authors, heavy books (the kind that require you to read every sentence twice, the prose is just that good) and mind candy (romance novels that always have a sentence like “his throbbing desire for her was only matched by her determination to enter him……..). Problem is that once I have started a book, I can’t not finish it. It’s like an obsessive-compulsive thing. No matter how much I hate it, how flat the characters are or stupid the prose is, I insist upon finishing it. My husband teases me, because I complain the whole time while torturing myself to the last page. The problem is worse when one of my favorite authors’ produces a turd.

I am currently reading a book from an author I have followed for years and adore. This one is the worst thing my mind has ever experienced. Like eating a sweet grapefruit and accidentally biting on the bitter seed. It takes all day to get the taste out of your mouth. Plus, I can only read one book at a time. This one is agony; I have been at it over a week and still am only half way thru the dreadful manuscript.

I have a stack of books waiting to be read, calling my name, and it is driving me crazy. I want to call the author and yell at him, “how dare you produce something just to fill a quota from your publisher?” I guess the problem is really mine. I should put it in the fireplace, use it as kindling, and move on the next book. At this point, my next book is going to have to be sexual mind candy to erase the taste out of my mind of this drivel. I’m thinking Nora Roberts or Daniele Steele.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's Always rains in California!

It's Saturday and raining. Buckets of the stuff, something that rarely happens in Pismo Beach. When I first moved her from the snow bound mountains and took the California driver test, one of the questions was what to do when it rains?
1. Slow down
2. Drive faster to out run the rain drops
3. Pull over and wait for the rain to stop
4. Do not drive in the rain unless it is an emergency

I picked number 1, but I was wrong. The correct answer for California weenies is #4. I almost didn’t past the test because of this. I argued with the automaton DMV employee and said how I took my driving test in 4 feet of snow, but thems is the rules in the land of sunshine.

So now that I am a weather weenie, I went to farmers market, and complained like everyone else about the water spots (drizzling), bought my produce for the week but had to go without my weekly bouquet of flowers. I have gotten into the habit of buying myself roses and exotic flowers each week. I have long given up on my husband buying me romantic flowers, so I treat myself. He loves the flowers; I place yellow roses and jasmine on his nightstand so his first sight in the morning is beauty (and then me). However, because of a stupid Hallmark induced holiday coming up next week (Valentines Day) my roses are twice the price. Even the lilies from the fields, otherwise referred to as weeds are now $20 a bunch.

I went to Long’s instead and bought a bottle of Herradura tequila. On this rainy afternoon, I am making stew, rice and beans and soup for the week ahead, listening to the minstrel show on NPR, and drinking good tequila. Loving the rain. Looking like I gonna survive without my flowers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What, I'm Not Normal?

We had dinner with friends last night and the conversation came around to the fact that I am not normal. This comment was made after I explained to them the show I had seen, Puppetry of the Penis. This show consisted of two men using their genitals to make objects (like origami). After the show, I bought their book and had the autograph it. I think I am normal, but let’s review:

Ran away with the circus and left a full 4-year scholarship to Mills College to be a trapeze artist. But I can tell you more about living with monkeys, tigers and elephants and I can tell you what kind of noises come out of kangaroo boxers when doing prop guys.

Everything in my life is second hand- even my husband, but I refer to him as reconditioned.

Bought not one, but two businesses with No money. I have changed careers more often than I have upgraded my underwear.

I took in every stray teenager that landed on my doorstep, fed them, housed them, and tried to make them good adults.

I raised my children without TV, fast food or soda. They claim I was the cable Nazi.

Bought a 33-foot sailboat without ever sailing one. Or knowing how to get to it, since it was bobbing out in the ocean.

I haven’t balanced my checkbook in 10 years.

I believe everything I want, I will get. If I am short of money, it magically materializes. I believe that people never want for anything, if you believe it, you will get it. Case in point; I wrote a screenplay with no training or even the correct software and no idea what I was doing…….. and I sold it!

I paid for a photo shoot of my dogs, but never for my children.

I start each day with a drink I make from organic spinach, bok choy, Swiss chard, beets, kale, apples, Meyers lemon and bell peppers.

I’m sure my children can give you a much larger list on what’s not normal about me, but hey, it all feels right to me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Things I Learned About My Husand

Things I learned about my husband now that we are sharing a bathroom again after 10 years:

1. He has more beauty aides than I do (but he is prettier than I am. My mother told me when I married him that is what not goood idea to marry someone prettier than I was.)
2. He uses a lot of hair products.
3. He uses 4 towels to dry one body.
4. Even though there are two of us sharing one commode, we are using 3 times as much toilet paper (maybe he is writing secret notes and then flushing them like a spy).
5. He is really good about keeping the toilet seat down.
6. His razor has 4 blades, vibrates and is REALLY expensive and it is not a good idea to use it on my legs.
7. He reads weird business magazines and the last two pages of my books. (then likes to tease me that he knows how they end).
8. There are several items, I’m not sure what they are or what they do or that I want to know.
9. If he gets up before me, I can count on a full hour of writing before I am allowed in the room with the reading material.

10. I still love him enough after all these years to not mind sharing a bathroom with him.

Painting is coming along nicely- Love the painter, he is quiet, polite and doing a GREAT JOB!

The carpenter is noisy, late and fway (that is a term we use for people who do things Half Way.) The yard guy didn’t show up today because it rained last night and 1 inch of rain here is like 5 feet of snow anywhere else. We should have the bottom part of the house back in a week or so. But every day begins with boys in coveralls knocking on my walls.
The princess is not sleeping in and is not pleased about that detail.

Long Live Skippy

Okay there is one item on my list of things I’m not supposed to eat while I do this cleanse that I find I cannot do without and that’s, peanut butter. Nearly everyday of my life, peanut butter has been a calming, ever present source of nutrition and joy. On the first day of school wrapped in wax paper encased in my Bobby Sherman lunch box was a peanut butter sandwich. It was a reminder of home and that at some point I would be released from the stressful alphabet learning confinement and return to my Grandma’s loving embrace (also the only place where I would go potty, making it a LONG day.)

Peanut butter helped me thru my first camp out with the Brownie troop into the nearby woods. Afraid of giant moths, I was nearly paralyzed when the sun went down and the lantern flicker and swayed as the behemoths attacked our only source of light.My heart shape sandwich filled with peanuty essence calmed me down.

Peanut butter has been the one constant in my life. When I was in the circus and too poor to buy real meat, peanut butter was my only source of protein thru the entire state of Texas. It was the only food my children didn’t hurl at me when they first tried it, unlike the green pea mask I got used to wearing.

Now, THEY, some stupid book, say it’s bad for me. That I should substitute almond or sunflower butter. They all taste like paste compared to my Skippy. And they don’t warm my heart. My heart is very cool with all this juicing and avoiding wine.

Husband and I always fight about which is better, Jif or Skippy. Every time we are in the grocery store, he grabs one, I the other. He is a smooth man, I like mine super crunchy. He refuses to let me buy both (as if we are too poor to buy two kinds of peanut butter). If I lose the battle in the store I sneak back and buy it later (like a smoker trying to quit).

It butters my toast each morning, makes a great way to get a big pill down a dog’s throat, and comforts me. I won’t do without my peanut butter. Guess I just won’t be perfect cleansed. (I never thought that was possible anyway).I'm naturally dirty.

What to do with an empty bottle of Skippy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Home Improvement and PMS

Puppies are the only thing that is going to help!!
Cleansing/fasting and home improvement do not mix. Then you add in PMS and someone’s gonna die. I awoke groggy this morning from the multitude of pain pills I took yesterday to three men at my house awaiting instruction. Painter wanted to know which wall was chocolate, landscaper wanted to know which of my plants to kill and construction guy wanted to know if I really wanted the tile ripped out of the downstairs bathroom. All before coffee, all before my juicing, Hell I didn’t even have a bra on!

Husbands having his monthly melt down, so he grumbled at me too about contacts scratching his eyes, credit scores, and dog shit. Now in my wretched pain state where I just want to sit in a corner and cry, I gotta figure out why “he” is so unhappy!

I’m planning my escape to Grenada. Jumping on a sailboat and never coming back. I’m to pissed off to even eat and that’s bad.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cass House Blog

Very exciting for me to see my favorite restaurant in the blog sphere. There is even a quote from one of my food reviews on New Years Eve. Click on New Years Eve and see how I was waxing poetically about this chef. If you love good, organic food, this chef is the one to follow. If I could eat here every night, I would, he is that good. Please check them out.

Cass House Blog
Get behind the scenes with pictures of our New Year's Eve dinner, the Central Coast Magazine's "Ultimate Chef" competition, and the L'Aventure winemaker dinner. Read weekly farmer's market advice with recipes from our chef, Jensen Lorenzen. Get wine advice from Daniel Green, our sommelier, and read about his adventures in the local wine region. Check out all of our favorite restaurants, wine shops, and other local food & wine blogs. You can even listen to the staff's Pandora radio stations while you are browsing our library of photos and articles! Wow! All you have to do is click on the link below:

know someone who loves food and wine and spends all of their free time blogging? pass it on!

Pain, Pain, Pain (Caveat- this post is for women)

God has a strange sense of humor. Now that I am in the throws of menopause, about every three months, my old friend comes to visit and with a vengeance. Last night around 3:00 am I was torn from my Brad Pitt dream with searing pain in my belly and the o’ so familiar wetness. The pain was so bad that by 6:00 am I had to take a pain pill and crawl back into bed. The same bed that was wet from my night sweats! How can this be fair? How can we both be in menopause and still experiencing the horrors of our adolesance?

I have hot flashes so bad, I resemble “Miss Charlotte” with a fanning and flushing that always comes at a really appalling time (usually a cocktail party or when I am speaking in front of a group). The night sweats are so horrific, I have to wash my sheets every day. My husband says I get around 102 degrees every night, so he bought a body pillow so he wouldn’t accidentally roll over and touch me. My mood swings are so awful, that sometimes I think I just might kill someone. My boobs are bigger (okay-one good side affect). But my memory is for shit. I am used to remembering EVERYTHING. And now a period. A period so depilating I had to miss my appointment with my aesthetician. This double upsets me because she is also my pseudo- therapist, exercising my emotional demons as well as she does my black heads.

When I get to heaven and have my conversation with God, he had better have a good explanation for this double-hitter. What do men have to suffer? Shaving their faces? Well in menopause, now I do too!! It’s just not fair! I’m grumpy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Boaters for Books!

Very Exciting! My books made it to the Spice Island! It took a whole year, but they are there! I encourage you to support this wonderful organization that is helping with litercy in the Carribean. If you live by me, bring the books in and I will ship them for free. If you don't live by me, just send them money or get help from your local Rotary or Library.

Here is the website:

"Hi Teri,
Our 2008 shipment of books reached the Grenada docks on January 29th. I received an email from our Grenada coordinator, Anita, that she and Lillian Sylvester from the Library, have things well in hand. I was able to consolidate all those wonderful boxes you sent into 3 less boxes, which helped with the stacking and crushing problem. So - I got to see first hand the great volumes. I'll have a complete report, together with photos, shortly. As soon as the girls get it together on island time. You know how that goes.Take care and thanks again. . .we're collecting now for next year!!

Here we go again.

Hot Water Makes White People Crazy

With my cool backpack loaded with Champagne, water for the dog and European sandwiches with American chips we jumped in the convertible GEO topless to let the dog surf the waves. I love exploring tide pools, Gary loves to gaze at the sailboats that he does not own. Our beach is a great dog beach and everyone’s off leash. They sniff butts, bump noses and chase the waves wagging away.

Tripper and Gary were enjoying a game of “get the stick” when the “Marley and Me” family arrived. Two little boys (about 4 and 5) with a large white lab, Mom following with baby girl in her arms (BTW, real Mom’s look nothing like Jennifer Aniston). Dad was swimming the length of the bay (Not a smart idea as a great white shark patrols there and has already eaten a nice lady swimmer). Ol’ Marley comes up to Tripper and steals his trusty stick right out of his mouth. Tripper did the growly thing, but not to upset the little kids, let it go. Mom says to me, “Oh you’ll never get that stick back.” Other dogs try to wrestle it from Marley’s clamped down jaw, but to no avail.

We go back to our blanket to drink the champagne and enjoy the sandwiches (one bite for us, one for Tripper). Everyone on the beach needed to comment on this stick business. People came and suggested, pried and basically wanted to talk. We talk for a living all week, no conversation was needed about the stick. It was gone, there are more. K- go away.

Trying to race the setting sun and its cooling shadow, we walked the beach. Tripper made sure that no seagulls were landing on the beach and Gary and I skipped rocks, found sand dollars, and waded in the sea. The beach was surprisingly empty because all of America was planted in front of a TV set watching men in tight pants run around.

To warm up, we went to the Avila Hot Springs. This 20’ x 28’ foot pool is my haven. The pool is 3 feet deep, it is rectangular in shape, it smells of sulfur and is pumped from a well of pure mineral water. It is around 106 degrees. It has signs all over the wall about being quiet and not drinking alcohol.

My healing waters, my favorite place. Except for the people. The Asian people get it; they come, soak, talk quietly, and then leave. But for some reason, white people just can’t be alone with their thoughts. I have had so many run ins with idiots in this pool, the staff knows me.

Years ago, when I first started coming it was a place where people in AA would come for social interaction. This was fine. They were meditative and nice.

One day, a man recited every moment of his recent colon-oscopy. To anyone within earshot. People talk about personal financial problems, how their spouse beat them, or neighbor molested them. I swear white people just cannot shut up.

Then some evangelist targeted the pool, trying to save the souls of the soaker. He decided to convert the Japanese ladies. They didn’t even speak English and he was trying to get them to accept Christ as their savoir. He preached at them, when they didn’t understand, he yelled at them. We waded thru the pool, getting in everyone’s face, asking about Christ. Most people just nodded to get him away. But he kept up on the Japanese ladies. He scared then and they got up to leave. That made me mad. When he came after me, I said if Jesus was alive right now, he would call you an ASSHOLE and would not want you on his team. He stood and sloshed thru the water aiming to hit me. I dived underneath and ran from the pool. The lifeguards ushered him out.

Last night it was just us and a couple of teen girls and one really red-red head in the corner talking to her self. As soon as we got in the pool, I knew there was going to be trouble. After a lengthy conversation with herself, all the while sipping on a big gulp that I know contained more than coke, she went for the girls. Telling them she could help their spirit. She told them they were powerful goddesses that were destined for great things, all seemed good. Then she grabbed one by the shoulders and started rubbing, poking, manipulating this poor child against her will. The girl cried out in pain. She did not let go, telling her she was holding in “the terror.” Her friend finally peeled crazy Red off and they ran for the locker room.

I knew I was next. She talked to herself quietly in the corner and then swam over. She started the slurred conversation saying how a Profit had said we were supposed to meet. She explained that red heads were stronger and better than Ninja’s. She told me I was strong, wise and ornery, maybe a bit bitter. I just nodded and agreed, trying not to laugh or encourage her. She kept saying the same sentence over and over. Gary had enough and calmly explained that we come here for quite and peace and asked if she could respect that and go talk to the rocks in the corner, (he didn’t say that, he was very nice).

She slid away for about 5 minutes, then the talking to herself started again and she darted after me. She tried to take hold of my shoulders, claiming my scapula was holding too much. She needed to massage me. To get the demons out. Aint no way the crazy bitch was going to touch me; I’ll show here Ninja Red Head. She chased me around the pool. Gary giggled, and then I stood and told her we were leaving. She claimed she could tell I was having family issues and went back to her big gulp.

I went to the front desk and told them they had a drunk alone in the pool and if they didn’t go get her, they next number they would dial was 911.
I think I am a crazy magnet.