That Odd Duck Living A Hodge-Podge Life

Once upon a time I was more rigid and conventional about things. For instance, I bought dishes in sets and only used those dishes. It would almost improper to not have a full set with all the matching things that went with them.

Now I find it fun to mix things up. Who wants to eat off the same matching dish every meal?

So I just grab which ever one is on top. And if it is the blue and white one, which until now I always had hanging on the wall for some reason, then I enjoy looking at that one as food disappears and the colors show through. 

When I eat on the yellow ones, I think of the sun and daisies. Bright yellow and white daisies, which are my absolute favorite flower.

I ask myself why I didn't think of such things years ago. Why did I march to the same drum? 

But you did whatever everyone else did, and it really didn't occur to me to do it different. 

To have a hodge-podge of dishes showed you were poor and couldn't afford a set. You hid this fact as best you could. 


I've been hanging quilts on the walls for years. I know it's not very customary. Bloggers talk about paint colors and getting just the right shade of gray or green. And you can barely even see my walls. 

I guess I like a hodge-podge of lots of things. Paint shades sort of bore me after a time, know what I mean? Do we need more green in this or blue or yellow or whatever changes the shade to get to the exact right color we've just got our heart set on?

I look at the photos and all the grays somehow just look the same to me. What am I missing, I always wonder?

There was a time when I ate breakfast foods for breakfast, a sandwich and such for lunch, then the big meal was supper, where you had meat and potatoes and vegetables. 

As I've gotten older, I might want pancakes for lunch. Or grapes for breakfast. And veggies for supper. Or maybe I'll eat a bowl of cereal. The food cops haven't ticketed me yet. So I'll just go on and eat a hodge-podge of foods and not worry a bit over it. 

I once thought that buttons belonged in a button container and a set of measuring spoons belonged in a drawer. 

But as you know my flatware resides in two bright red plant pots. Because one day it just occurred to me that it was sort of boring to have to open a drawer and take a spoon from the food section. A fork from the fork section, and so on. 

Maybe I've just gotten more contrary. I abide by a lot of rules, but at this point in my life I kind of take pleasure in swimming against the tide. Like taking off the cabinet doors and just letting the dust go willy-nilly without even caring. 

Because if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Or if you take your cabinet doors off and don't look at the dust, is it really there? 

So you folks who are afraid to take your cabinet doors off because you're worried about dust, I have an answer for you. Use the same few dishes all the time, the ones that get washed every day. And don't worry about the dust that might be hiding on all the others till company is coming and you're going to be forced to use them.

I don't know, because I don't get out and about much, but I imagine it's said that I'm the strange woman that had a perfectly good stove taken away. I imagine someone saw that and word got out fast.

Who doesn't have a stove in their kitchen for heaven's sake? What kind of a fool woman would do that? 

That would be me. Ms-Divorced-Three-Times-Woman-In-Her- Fifties-Who-Lives-A-Hodge-Podge-Life. Kind of like the old woman with a houseful of cats that never invites anyone in and the neighborhood children are afraid to go there on Halloween.

Did you ever think that that old woman might have a house full of cats on purpose, and appear strange and a bit frightening because she just wants to be left the hell alone?

I imagine folks around here notice that I'm the woman who hums out on the patio while I tend to my plants. Who sings a silly song to the dogs while I'm clipping the roses. 

That would be me. If I was in a classroom, my hand would shoot up straight because for once I had the answer.

I think as we get older, we just take on odd traits. Or maybe we've been odd all along, and were better at hiding it. 

Or maybe we don't really give a tinker's damn what anybody else thinks and merely swim against the tide because we can. And then thumb our nose at anyone who scowls our way. 

Do you ever think how many things a day we do because we can? 

Like eat pancakes for lunch and not even want a full set of the same dishes if they cost a thousand dollars. I never owned china. Or had wedding showers. I was just always an odd duck. You know?

You might see me in another life walking along with a bunch of geese. Or trotting along beside a pack of dogs. And people will say: "What's wrong with that odd duck running with a pack of dogs? 

And maybe I'll just quack and in duck language say that you should have seen me in my former life. 

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Last Night's Abi Scare

Last night was a nail biter. I had noticed that for about an hour, it didn't seem as though Abi was closing her mouth. She's such a little toot that I thought maybe she was trying to get my attention with a new "feral look."

After about an hour, it started to worry me. I reached over and tried to close her mouth. Wouldn't budge. And it didn't seem to me it was her strength holding it open. I put my finger into her mouth to see if something was in there. Nope. 

I brought her a few pieces of kibble and tried to hand feed her. Nope. 

Okay, I needed to bring out the heavy artillery. I got a small dessert plate and plopped a spoonful of non-fat cottage cheese on it. Her favorite. And only one of the two people foods she is allowed due to both dogs' tendency for pancreatitis. The other people food is plain potato.

She wouldn't touch it. My heart amped up. I put my finger in it and tried to feed it to her. She would put her mouth down to it, but couldn't take a bite.

Then she would lay her head down, and push around her mouth with her feet. Which nearly tore me up, watching her trying to fix whatever was wrong.

I'm crying by this time, because I know there is something really wrong. So I rush over to the computer and do a search for "my dog can't close her mouth." And came up with all sorts of reasons: drop jaw, etc. 

I thought: "Oh my God, how is she going to drink water till morning when I will rush her to the vet?"

I call Judy. She says do you have a syringe? I use to when they were pups, so I go into the kitchen where I keep several plastic boxes of pupster meds, etc. I found one. I'm about to go fill it up. I go check her again on the bed. 

Her mouth is closed. A big (or it sure seemed big at the time) piece of blue chewed up plastic dog toy keys is in front of her. She is staring at me. Apparently she coughed it up while I was in the kitchen.

I was so relieved I thought I was going to sink down to the floor. 

These are the culprit. Not only her favorite toy. But the only one she will have anything to do with. You can see I took them away from her for the night.

Here is their bins of toys of all varieties. Chew toys, stuffed animals (which are Charlie's favorites.) So it's not as though these dogs don't have toys.

You can see the navy blue key toward the top that no longer has its proper end. In fact look around at these keys, and you will see that she has chewed some down to almost nothing. 

She has loved these keys since she was a puppy. Every few months I have to go to Petsmart and buy a couple of new ones, to the tune of about $9 a piece.

(Abi next to her beloved keys)
But keep in mind, Abi is a chewer. She will hunker down after the lights are out and Charlie is snoozing next to her and chew like a fiend on her keys. Finally she will wear herself out and go to sleep.

I have tried every chewable dog toy I can find. She doesn't like them. Charlie has never been a chewer. Hence he had to have 10 teeth taken out last fall. If you don't use it, you lose it. 

Here is Charlie's attitude in life. No worries. Walking across the patio. Hoping a squirrel will show itself. Which rarely seems to happen here.

By the way, Charlie Ross turned 8 yesterday. Abi was just before him turning eight last month.

Charlie did have the perfect opportunity to eat the cottage cheese Abi could not close her mouth to eat. Which is probably the only time they haven't been attempting to edge one another aside to see who could get to it first.

Say hi Charlie Ross! He's a bit shy, the very opposite of his sister. Tell them you were the birthday boy yesterday.

So crisis averted. And I laid awake awhile trying to get myself to calm down from the scare. 

Meanwhile, as I'm writing this, here are the pupsters. They can be fighting at one minute, and the next they are like this in one of the dog beds next to this computer.

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Blooming In The Patio Garden Today

Still a few flowers and vines blooming in my patio gardens, but many of the flowers have given up the ghost and handed the baton to another season, I do believe. They are tired of the heat, weary of the strange weather.

Fall is of course the season for mums to shine, and shine they do with their pretty yellow petals.

I just could not bear the scarcity of blooms, so I stopped and picked up five little pots of pansies. I also want to find some asters and use kale as fillers where the summer annuals have kicked the bucket.

I told myself I wasn't going to buy a single plant except for maybe the yellow mums. But flowers are balm for my soul, so I shall probably get a few more.

In terms of vines, the morning glories are still going strong. Winding up the tree branches and winking at everyone from among the still green leaves. 

The hyacinth bean vine has been blooming for weeks, and now I notice the actual bright purple bean pod is showing up. I will wait until these dry up and save them to plant next year, as I've been harvesting them for quite a few years now.

The way the two vines, the hyacinth bean vine and the morning glories, mix together in their hue of purple perfection makes me smile.

In the galvanized container gardens, sage and purple potato vine mingle with the tall strands of various ornamental grasses. 

The grasses have had to be cut a time or two, but now I won't cut them because they are showing off their wheat-colored and red and gauzy plumes.

What's still hanging on in your garden today? I hope you still have some brightly colored blooms to enjoy awhile longer. 

Linking up to the Fishtail Cottage Garden Party.

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Java Talk: If You Could Live Anywhere, Where Would It Be?

Some new statistics just came out announcing that where I live is the most dangerous city in the nation. And that made me think: If I could live anywhere, where would it be?

Online blog site My Life ranked cities based on the
population, number of police officers, deadly crashes, violent 

crimes, property crime, registered sex offenders, and the 

number of people enrolled in health care coverage. 

Out of 200 cities in the study, Tulsa ranks

as the most dangerous.

The top 10:

1. Tulsa, OK
2. Oklahoma City, OK
3. Birmingham, AL
4. Orlando, FL
5. West Valley City, UT
6. Kansas City, KS
7. San Bernardino, CA
8. Indianapolis, IN
9. Jackson, MS
10. Memphis, TN

So today, just imagine you've been given a ticket to live
anywhere in the world. Where would that be and why?

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Using Tile In Your Bathroom

5 Uses for Tile in Your Bathroom

Tile has long been a preferred material for homebuilders and designers. Its durability and versatility make it a wonderful addition to just about any room, including the bathroom. You may not realize it, but tile has a variety of uses that can add an aesthetic value to your space as well as bring functionality to the room. 

You can browse the mosaic tiles at online retailers, such as, and think about how you can use them in these five ways:

1.      Floor Covering

The most popular use for tile is to create a durable yet elegant-looking floor. Tile is easy to clean and maintain, which is why so many people choose it for their floors. The possibilities for tile flooring are endless, as the material comes in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors. 

It can also be a cost-efficient flooring option if you choose to install the tile yourself. Consider going with large, neutral tiles on the floor and then using smaller, colorful pieces to make an interesting design in the middle. You can also alternate colored tiles to liven the space.

2.      Back Splash

Just as you may love having a tile backsplash in your kitchen, you can also reap the benefits of one in your bathroom. Depending on your space, you will likely want to tile the area between your vanity and the mirror in your bathroom. The backsplash is the perfect place to bring more color and character to the room. An added bonus is that the backsplash easily wipes clean.

3.      In the Shower

A tiled shower is an essential addition for anyone looking to upgrade the bathroom. While traditional shower stalls are easy to clean, a tiled shower wall adds elegance and provides another opportunity to introduce color and design to the room. Additionally, tile adds texture to a room, which is another aesthetic benefit many homeowners enjoy.

4.      Tile the Sink

As a really fun do-it-yourself project, you can transform your existing bathroom sink into a fancy new piece. There are many videos and tutorials online that can show you how to tile over your vanity, which will not only upgrade the sink but also have a positive impact on the entire room. It is important to note that tackling this project will mean that you will likely have to use a tile cutter and have a lot of patience.

5.      Accent the Wall
You can enhance the bathroom by adding some tile to the wall. For example, you might choose one wall in the bathroom to tile from floor to ceiling, creating a gorgeous focal point. You could also tile a space between horizontal wood panels placed along the wall.

Working with tile is an easy way to give your bathroom an upgraded look. With so many styles to choose from, you can be sure to find the right pieces to cover your sink, enhance a wall or tile your shower.

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Tweak It Tuesday #107

Last week on Tweak It Tuesday, Martinel Art showed off some gorgeous artwork.

Hello Little Home cooked up some veggie enchiladas.

Creative Country Mom showed us a shelf display area in her home.

My Great Finds sewed up some shirt pillows for autumn decor.

I'm So Vintage tweaked an area in her room.

Kathe With An E gave us lots of menu ideas for game days.

Oh my, this looks good from T-Shirts & Jeans.

Ornate Splendor showed us a gorgeous ornate fall vignette.

 Number Fifty-Three happened to show a cat in her post, and I like to show a pet here when I can.

 My 1929 Charmer served up dinner on the deck.

In this age of up-to-date technology, This Green Life doesn't want us to forsake the menu box.

Frugal Little Bungalow took some nature shots. That last bird seems to be a bit upset.

Making Our Sustainable Life has more canned goods for the winter cupboard.

Simple Design Life baked up a pan of Butter Cake.

The Heathered Nest rejuvenated this bedroom.

Let's see what you tweakers have got this week...

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