Saturday, August 1, 2009

It’s For My Collection Mama!

My youngest daughter used to collect the strangest things when she was little: half-empty spools of thread, headless dolls, crayon nubs, stray bits of fabric, matted stuffed animals that the other kids no longer wanted, coloring books that had been all colored in. I’d say something like, “Why on Earth do you have a pile of pebbles in the corner of your room Girl?” And she’d say, “It’s for my collection Mama. Don't touch it!” You get the picture, she would use her collected junk to create things. Clothes for the headless dolls, constructions. She was an artist. She’ll be turning 21 this year; she’s graduated from fashion design school, and is now working on commercials doing costume work. So, even our early collections do speak volumes about us.

I currently own collections of: teapots, quilts, old umbrellas, leather suitcases, books, tablecloths, masks from all over the world, candles, aprons, shoes, and did I mention books? I came to the conclusion that I’ve got enough stuff now. I stopped collecting, even my cherished books. I received a Kindle reading device as a gift; so I only buy digital books now. Just some of the stuff I used to collect in the past: paper-dolls, brightly colored or metallic stilettos (high heels), notebooks, angora sweaters, knee socks, incense burners and incense, posters of my favorite rock stars, charms for my gold bracelets and necklaces, silver dollars, dolls from different countries, trolls, and my used Pee Chees which were covered in drawings and whatnot, (remember Pee Chees?).

What did, or do you collect? For some lame reason I downloaded the picture of the suitcases twice, and didn't get my tablecloth picture up. I can't undo this, I don't know why. (I'm a bit daft I suppose.)

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Rock and a Hard Place

We lost our phone service and our Internet connectivity last night. Since we both work from home this is not just a major inconvenience, this is impacting our livelihood. Do you think Verizon cares? It’s amazing that they call the department that you talk to CUSTOMER SERVICE. They don’t know the meaning of the word. Jeeze.

Anyway, The Husband was freaking out because they didn’t want to come fix our problem until next week. He’s normally a pretty mild-mannered guy, but presently he’s got clients all over the globe that can’t get a hold of him, and that won’t do. The soonest the repairman could come out; he was assured after asking to speak to a “higher authority” is tomorrow.

So, I collected my disturbed mate and drove him to the Murrieta Library (pictured above) where they have all kinds of cool places that you can work. From tables, to easy chairs, to nice little personal cubicles, (that’s where we’re sitting), and he’s working away. The club chairs look like the ones they have at Starbuck’s. Only they don’t serve iced tea or coffee drinks and sandwiches and pastries here at the library. And I am so HUNGRY. I haven’t had anything to eat, and I drank the last, (about 4 ounces) of the bottle of liquid yogurt smoothie from the refrigerator at home, and that was two hours ago. I’m dreaming of food. We're related to the guy (in a roundabout kind of a way) that runs a little place up the road called "Gourmet Italia" (pictured above), and I'm remembering how delicious their fried calamari salad is. Mm, margarita pizza, bread sticks. Oh God! I've got to stop doing this to myself! Don’t know when we’ll be able to leave. Work is being done by The Husband, as I fool around. I’m unable to check my e-mail. But I can do that on my phone. I’m just playing around on Twitter. Blogging about our catastrophe. Many of you are probably thinking, man, she’s making a big deal over nothing. But seriously, if you let your clients down they won’t come back and in this economy you can’t afford to let you clients down. Unless you’re Verizon, because then, you have your clients where you want them, between a rock and a hard place. Ouch.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I remember my Uncle Ronnie telling Daddy that our neighbor lady was a hot tomata. We had a big garden out back where my mama and daddy and my grandparents grew all kinds of veggies, but hands down, those tomatoes were the stars. Big red fat ones. My job was to pull the ugly green worms off the plants and drop them in a big metal bucket. I don’t know what my grandfather did with the disgusting creatures after I harvested them. It was my job to protect the lovely aromatic tomatoes at all costs and I was vigilant about my duties. I tried in vain to understand why Uncle Ronnie thought that pretty Mrs. Kelly resembled a tomato. I thought she looked like more like Marilyn Monroe. But Mama told her best friend Vi that she thought Mrs. Kelly should start doing sit-ups, on account of her potbelly. But her belly didn’t look like a pot to me. Her son was just an itty-bitty baby and Mrs. Kelly used to push him up and down the street in a fancy English-style pram. “You stay away from the hot tomata,” Daddy told Uncle Ronnie. Uncle Ronnie smashed his cigarette out on the side of the house and said, “Don’t worry, she won’t even look at me.”

Here’s what I do with vine-ripened tomatoes in the summertime, and when my kids come to visit they expect me to serve a bowlful with every meal.

I’ll leave the quantities up to you. Chop up your tomatoes in bite sized chunks. I like to mix different varieties and colors, if available. If not, just use what you have on hand. In a pretty bowl with room to toss, add: diced garlic (roasted works really well for a softer garlic flavor, but raw works too), diced shallots (or purple onions or green onions), fresh basil ribbons, chopped Italian parsley, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar (or champagne vinegar), and sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Let the tomatoes sit for at least twenty minutes before serving, and be sure to stir several times.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.