The essence of attachment is discovery,
but there’s also much allure in a mystery.
So sometimes when an answer seems definitely certain,
it might behoove us just this once to sagely pull a curtain.
What I photographed a few days ago was this clear balloon lit up with L.E.D. lights. I think it was a leftover from the Rave they held across the bay which had just closed down. Afterwards, they brought them over to La Manzanilla to sell to the rodeo crowd! A man approached me in the street in front of my house and offered it at 180 pesos, then 150. Finally, at 100 pesos, I put him out of his misery. A friend said she bought one for 280 pesos! I really wasn’t bargaining. Just didn’t think it necessary until it was so cheap that I couldn’t resist.
Here it is two days later. The balloon is deflating and the LED strands aren’t. When it is almost totally deflated, I’ll try to figure out a way to blow it up again. It has replaceable batteries, so if I can keep the air in it, it should last for a long time.
HERE is my initial post entitled “Cosmic Self-Portrait” in which I asked you to identify what it was. It was taken on my terrace at night and you could look through it into the inside of my rental house but also see me reflected in it as I took the photo–plus surrounding lights.
Click on the first photo to enlarge all photos and read the captions. You must do this first to reveal the mystery. What do all of these things have in common? Can you guess before reading the complete story printed after the photos and captions? Do you even want to?
Annie just peed in my shower––I mean a man-sized stream that arced up from where she was standing on the floor in front of the shower, over the 6 inch ledge and into the shower, where it ran from a couple of feet away right down the drain. I shouted, “No, no,” but she finished and ran away. Then I remembered that I’d cleaned out her box this morning in the location where it is located in the guest room shower and had to empty all the sand and wash out the box and under it because there was pee all over the shower floor, probably because all the cats were in yesterday and had used it and it was not pleasant to enter, so she just peed in the shower, or they did.
Anyway, I had sprayed ammonia over all the floor and box, scrubbed them both and then sprayed again with an odor eradicator and stood the box on end to dry while the shower floor dried. Then I closed the door so she didn’t go in there while it was drying. Unfortunately, I then left to drive Yolanda home, do a bit of shopping and stop by the fraccionamiento office to see if I’d paid my special assessment. I then stopped by a couple of neighbor’s houses to apologize for Diego’s barking while I was gone–another story–forgetting that I hadn’t opened the door to her guest room bathroom and set up her litter box again, so she had nowhere to pee. She did it in the easiest place to clean. Good girl.
Phew. Telling about it took as much effort as doing the two cleanups, but now the plot thickens.
Yesterday I knocked a bottle of dark rose-colored nail polish off the counter of my master bedroom bathroom and it dropped and broke on the eggshell-colored ceramic tile of my bathroom, spraying across 8 feet of floor, over the new rug I had just bought in the states, and a bit up the wall. Rapidly drying pools of bright polish and splatters mixed in with shards of glass and tiny pieces of glass made passing through the bathroom to the tub nearly impossible! Damn! How to clean it up without walking through it and cutting my fingers to shreds? I ended up wadding Kleenex and toilet paper and picking up what shards were big enough to see, then used nail polish remover pads to tackle the polish, removing big gobs with Kleenex, then carefully scrubbing with the pads. When I ran out of pads, I put polish remover on wads of Kleenex, but it was a big job.
When I had cleared away most of the bigger puddles and largest shards and removed most of the polish off the wall and rug, I had just the decorative splashes left—about 3 feet of them—it occurred to me then that the first thing forgottenman would say when I told him the story was, “Did you take pictures?” No, I hadn’t. So, now that most of the mess was already cleaned up, I did. Secondly, it occurred to me that I should just pour the rest of the bottle of polish remover over the floor and use my foot in my Croc to rub Kleenex over them. I wouldn’t have to worry about glass and could apply more pressure. I finally got it all up and then put more remover down and rubbed over larger areas to remove the stain, as that porous area now sported an overall pinkish glow.
Finally, coming up to the present and Annie’s peeing in the shower, when I was mopping up her urine with toilet paper so I could flush it, I found a pretty good sized clear shard of glass from the top part of the jar which had no polish on it to make it obvious, jagged end facing up, in the shower just where I would have stepped when I took my next shower. It had flown up and over the edge and into the shower when the nail polish bottle broke! Good Annie! Her foresight (or hindsight?) in peeing in my shower probably saved me a serious injury.
But! Did I really say finally? As I was writing this post, the plot thickened again. Just before I started writing this post and taking the photos to accompany it, I had put a small pan of Brussels sprouts on to steam. Since there were only seven largish sprouts, I used a steamer basket in a small covered saucepan with water up to the bottom of the steamer bottom. I had cut the tops of each sprout almost through to the bottom in an X pattern, and as I sprinkled them with “No Salt,” pepper, garlic powder and a bit of balsamic vinegar, I was remembering the last Brussels sprouts I’d had when I first got to Sheridan two months ago. They were served as an appetizer in a restaurant and since both my sister and Jim, her husband, hate them, it was up to my friend Patty, her boyfriend Duffy and me to polish off the whole batch. That was no problem. They were delicious—piquant and a bit charred with a wonderful smoky flavor. I was wondering how I could duplicate that recipe. Would I steam them first, then char them? What were the spices? For years I’d been using a friend’s recipe which I loved but I liked these even better.
At any rate, the present day Brussels sprouts went on the gas stovetop to steam and I went to the bathroom to survey the scene and to write this story, then to my desk in the bedroom to finish it. One thing led to another and a half hour had passed before I finished typing the story. When I came back to the living room to plug in my computer, edit photos and post, I heard a sizzling and rapid rocking sound and smelled a burning smell. Damn! The Brussels sprouts! I quickly turned off the gas under the completely waterless smoking saucepan, removed the sprouts with tongs and took the pan to the sink, running hot water over the charred black inside of the pan. Yes. More hissing and steam, but then, mindlessly, I turned the pan over and ran cold water over the burning hot pan. Instantly, an explosion of steam so intense that it removed the color from the outside of the enamel pan that was nearest to its bottom.
Luckily, I had a huge box of baking soda and two partially full bottles of cider vinegar. Into the pan they went with the expected chemical reaction: rapidly swelling foam and more hissing. I did a rigorous scrubbing with a scrubber sponge and Spongedaddy, using lots of muscle power as well as more soda and vinegar. Scrub scrub scrub. Although I got some of the char off the sides, I made little progress with the bottom of the inside of the pan.
As I left the pan in the sink to soak, I spied the Brussels sprouts neglected on the counter. I mixed up a bit of stevia in balsamic vinegar and sprinkled it over the sprouts. Swirled them a bit, then decided to taste. I think you’ve guessed the ending. Yup. They tasted exactly like the Brussels sprouts appetizer in the restaurant in Sheridan, Wyoming. So, again, thanks Annie. I’ll think twice before scolding you for any future misdeeds. But I’m going to have to buy a new pan. xoxoxo
The Mystery of the Vanishing Red Tennis Ball Lids!!!!
My small dog is a fetcher, but oh, at what a cost.
I swear for every twenty balls I throw, one shows up lost.
I’ve been buying tubes of tennis balls for many years,
yet within a few months, our supply is in arrears.
I go to buy another lot that vanishes the same.
Where are these balls? What eats them? What ambitious tree’s to blame
for hoarding them like fruit up high in assorted branches
where they are invisible, thwarting all our chances
to retrieve the orbs that are so vital for my throwing,
and in his pursuit of them, for Morrie’s come and going?
There is another mystery surrounding this adventure—
one that is more serious, occasioning my censure.
These tubes of tennis balls that come packaged in neat threes
so I can loft them from the pool to reside in trees,
happen to have covers that I find indispensible
and when you know the reason why, I’ll think you’ll find it sensible
that I hoard them like diamonds, a utilitarian treasure—
for it just so happens that they fit, measure for measure
my cans of open cat food, and dog food, too, precisely.
No tops bought for this purpose can seal the cans so nicely.
Since I feed seven animals two times every day,
there are always half-full cans I have to put away.
They have four different diets, and for every one I feed
I need a different can of food, so you can see my need
for those red tops that seal them up, free from any smell
that makes a fridge with human food smell like cat food Hell!
For my odor-free fridges, I’m fast in Wilson’s debt,
for I’ve had Morrie for four years and in that time, I bet
I’ve purchased 15 tubes of balls for him to chase and chew.
So I should have 15 red tops. Still, I have only two!
Where can these tops be going? Is my dog-walker purloining them
to sell on the black market? And have tennis balls been joining them?
Are they being used as Frisbees by some child of a friend
who snatches them when I am not there to apprehend
this purloiner of cat food lids, this wily thief of tops,
knowing that no sane person would dare to call the cops
over a piece of plastic, no matter how securely
it hugs the tops of dog food cans–so snuggly and so purely?
Are dogs stealing and chewing them and burying them after?
Have the cats purloined them and stowed them in some rafter?
I’ve questioned sweet Yolanda who must think that I am crazy.
She only shakes her head at me, looking somewhat hazy.
“Donde estan mis tapas rojas?” Pasiano, on a breather,
does not seem to have a single clue of what I’m saying, either.
They point out other pet food lids. I’ve purchased quite a few,
but not one fits securely. Only tennis ball lids will do.
Each life contains its mysteries—mundane or scintillating—
concerning who put dents in cars or whom our kids are dating.
Things break, get lost or vanish by means less than pernicious,
and yet the regularity of my thefts is suspicious!
These valueless little objects to me are indispensible
and so I find the loss of them especially reprehensible!
Roll on the floor and laugh at me. Deride me if you must,
but I still view these petty thefts to be vile and unjust.
I’d like to solve the mystery. Stop the crime spree. Put the skids on it,
so I can solve the crime and literally put the lids on it!
What we keep hidden from each other
forms the mystery that keeps us coming back for more.
Like the relish that enhances the main course.
Like the dessert at the end of the meal,
not the real nourishment, but rather
a reward for putting up with the day-to-day
ragtag repetitions, irritations, boredoms
of knowing each other so well.
The loyalties, down to the heart honesties,
those passions held in common, those trials shared
are the meals we feed each other day-by-day.
But what person does not need, as well,
the thrill of the unopened package,
the darkness hidden under the stairs?
FOWC’s prompt for the day is Hidden.
Illustration by Starstone at Lithuanian Wikipedia
I recently had a 3.5 hour lunch meeting with two friends at one of the nicest restaurants in Ajijic, Mexico. While we were there, the scenario I am about to describe started to unwind at the next table—the one directly in my line of vision. See what you make of it:
An elderly Anglo white-haired man sat alone at the table for 1/2 hour or more. Then a respectable-looking middle-aged Mexican woman joined him, sitting at a right angle to him. Both of their faces were clearly within my sight and I could see that for the next hour, she never smiled at him. She smiled at the waiters, but not at him. Nor did she often talk to him. He looked excited when she came in, smiled and talked a blue streak. She just stared in front of her, not looking mad, just not ever engaging or talking, and only occasionally looking at him. Once she nodded. Never said one word. The waiter came and brought a dinner plate of food which he sat in the middle of table. and placed two small empty plates in front of them. The woman piled what looked like shish-kebab and rice on her plate. He put food on his plate. Obviously, they were sharing a meal. She ate neatly, spearing the food piece by piece. He ate. He talked some. She never looked at him. I wondered if it was a blind date and she wasn’t interested in this old codger, or if she was perhaps his housekeeper and he had invited her out. She ate all on her plate, filled it twice more and ate it bit by bit. Drank her margarita. He had a tall beer. He ate the food on his plate and filled it again at least once.
When the waiters came, she smiled and talked to them. I thought their meal was through, so was surprised when the waiter brought two more full meals—a huge steak and fries for her, steak and baked spud for him. She ate one French fry after another from her fork, but no meat. Eventually, she cut off a small piece of the steak and ate it. He ate his meal and for most of the time they ate, there was no talking. Then he talked a bit, smiling and animated like he was telling a story. She occasionally nodded. Didn’t talk. No smile. So odd. This went on for a couple of hours!
She asked the waiter for a doggie bag and he brought one Styrofoam container. She put her huge steak in it and some French fries. The old man cut off part of his steak and gave it to her to put in her container. When he finished, the waiter took his plate away and I thought they’d leave, but the waiter brought the dessert menu which the woman looked very interested in. All at once she was animated and talked a little bit to the man. They shared a chocolate mousse which she seemed to enjoy immensely. She then talked to the man a bit. Two and a half to three hours had now passed. I was pretty sure she had probably come out with her employer and was being sure not to flirt and to make it clear this was not a date. He still seemed interested in her, but with no reciprocity.
The waiter brought the bill in a basket and presented it to the man. He had a look at the total and passed it over to the woman, who opened her purse and paid the whole bill with her credit card!!! Now the whole scenario was a mystery again. She left first. He left after and I made sure to follow him out. She was totally gone by the time we got to the door. He headed out toward the lake, a few blocks away, on his own. Now I’ll never know what the deal was. Can you guess?
This poem written over two years ago and edited a bit today seems to fulfill the requirements of today’s prompt word. As I look at those who have already read it, I see only a few familiar faces. (Hi, Marilyn) so I’ll risk running it by again. (The prompt word today was mystery.)
The fresh bookstore smell of them,
bending the pages to crack the spine,
notes scribbled in the margins,
hearts with initials on the flyleaf,
something to loan or to wrap for a gift,
something propped up on the bathtub edge,
it’s paper sprinkled with drops–
pages wrinkled into a Braille memory–
that rainstorm run through,
how he put it in his back pocket.
Poetry touched by fingers.
Single words met by lips.
Words pored over by candlelight or flashlight
in a sleeping bag or in a hut with no electricity.
Books pushed into backpacks
and under table legs for leveling.
Paper that soaked up
the oil from fingers
of the reader
or chocolate chip cookies
in lieu of the romance on the pages–
finger food served with brain food.
Passions wrapped in paper and ink–
the allure of a book and the tactile comfort.
The soul of a…
View original post 311 more words
Even when she’s in the buff,
he feels she’s not revealed enough.
He wants to know her heart and soul—
to know her entire being, his goal.
But, alas, she cannot do it.
If she does, she knows she’ll rue it.
Much as she loves a certain sir,
there is a certain part of her
that must remain a mystery.
For in this maiden’s history
are other suitors it behooved
to have her secrets all removed.
But when she revealed it all,
one by one, they did not call.
And thus she learned a maiden’s rule:
Men are fickle. Men are cruel.
Lest you be put up on a shelf,
keep parts of you safe in your self.
To keep him interested in your stuff,
Most of you is just enough.
The prompt today was “buff.”
Okay, superbloggers. It has been said that anything can be solved with statistics, but this one is impossible!!! How can it be that there have been 154 viewings of my Migraine blog today but only 45 viewers? I’ve seen before where one person viewed several blog entries, but it is impossible to chalk up more than one view per viewer for each single posting, and who would want to see it more than once, anyway? Can anyone solve this mystery?