Friday, August 14, 2015

Look Up

Today, during my lunch break from jury duty, I was sitting in a coffee shop with my head buried in my phone - a position I'm never very proud of.  Mostly because it's not a welcoming invitation for someone to come talk to you.

But today I realized there are generations who know nothing different and perhaps having your head down doesn't necessarily mean "leave me alone."

As I sat there shuffling through work emails (aka: checking Instagram and playing Words With Friends) I could feel someone in my space.

"Do you play chess?"

I looked up and met eyes with a little girl about 10 years old standing in front of me with a wide smile on her face and a portable chess board under her arm.

I slumped my shoulders and said, "Actually, no I don't."

"I can teach you!"

"You know what, I'd love to learn. But I actually have jury duty today and I have to be back in 15 minutes.  Do you know what jury duty is?"

"Sort of. People hate it, right?

I smiled and explained that was mostly true and then tried to explain it was important as a citizen, and wasn't SO bad. She nodded and seemed slightly interested.

"Well, I can teach you a little bit right...," she paused and looked out the window toward an outside table where a 20-something year-old girl - with awesome bright green hair - was reading a book.

"Hey! That's the girl who plays with me sometimes." She leaned over me and knocked on the window repeatedly until the girl looked up.  The green-haired girl smiled, closed her book and gestured for the girl to come sit at her table.

"Well, I'm going to go play with my friend. Maybe I can teach you some other time."

I said thank you and wished her luck on her next game.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Mom Would Be Proud

A dog can teach a human a lot of lessons.

For example:
Pick up after yourself. (Or your belongings will be chewed.)
Don't over stay your welcome at a party. (Or your most expensive belongings will be chewed.)
If you have expressive eyebrows and a cute face, forgiveness is easy.

We have a hose in our backyard I have now repaired three times because I haven't learned these important lessons. Ms. June loves the challenge of chewing through what is supposed to be an industrial, indestructible hose.

Today, after I turned the hose on and received an unexpected shower directly in my face, I begrudgingly went to the shed to gather tools to repair it once again.  As I tried to remove the plastic connector from the torn hose, I was impressed with how well I had installed it last time June was left home alone for too long.

No matter how hard I pulled and twisted, I couldn't get it out. I tried cutting little slits in the hose to make it loose so I might be able to pull easier. This seemed to work, but my fingers couldn't quite hold on to the cut pieces to tear them further down. 

So I used my teeth. 

As I started pulling and biting at the hose, I realized there was a thin strip of see-through yellow rubber running the length of the hose and it seemed to be easier to tear than the rest. I caught myself feeling excited about this discovery and started to bite and tug harder, concentrating on the yellow strip.

Then I realized I was pretty much my dog. 

And I had a new appreciation and even acceptance for what she does to entertain herself while I'm gone.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Judging Too Soon

I was standing in line at Target today watching a little girl pick up each individual candy bar at the check out and say to her mom, "What about THIS one?"

Her mom was slightly annoyed and mostly ignored her, saying no or shaking her head at every other one or two. At the same time, mom was head down in her phone -- texting or Facebooking or researching nuclear energy -- who knows.

I caught myself being a little judgmental of the mom for ignoring her daughter and not interacting with the checkout person.

I also am not a mom who has been asked 1, 257 times "Can I have this?" So I tried to mind my own business and wait for my turn.

As mom and daughter walked away, I watched the mom try to squeeze her cart by a man in front of her and as he turned around she was sort of startled and said, "Oh, it's you. Do you run at the Y?"

He was confused, furrowed his brow and said, "Yeah."

The mom smiled and said, "You inspire me. Always running, always working hard. I wish I worked that hard."

She walked away before he could respond and I watched as he tried to hide his smile under his blushing cheeks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Living in a teeny town in the desert has made finding a local coffee shop difficult.  And on all my trips back down to LA, it's become ritual to stop and grab an iced coffee for the drive down.  I've been going to a Starbucks that's just off the freeway out of ease, but haven't been happy about it.

About a month ago I found a cute shop right off the Rosamond exit called Sister Sister Coffee House and it's been such a great find.

Today, as I pulled up and started to place my order, the girl behind the counter said, "You want your regular iced coffee today?  Splash of soy?"

I couldn't contain my smile.  "Yes, please."

I was surprised how good it felt that she remembered me.  Loved it.  And I let her know she had made my day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Secret Smile

I was in line at the grocery store today and the man in front of me had only one item: flowers. As he waited for his turn, he stood there with perfect posture and a very stoic, manly expression on his face. I couldn't help but smile as I watched him and was already making up stories in my head about who he'd be giving them to.

As he approached the cashier, a smile started to escape and I watched him pierce his lips to try and hide it. The cashier scanned the flowers and wasn't as successful at hiding her smile. Neither of them said a word, but as she glanced up and made eye contact with him, he couldn't hold it in any longer. He smiled from ear to ear and quickly looked down to grab his wallet.

She placed the vase on the ledge and avoided eye contact as he started to use the credit card machine. As he was punching in numbers, she reached over to take the price tag off the vase and they caught each others eyes again - this time sharing a smile as he said, "You're so kind."

Seeing people buy flowers, specifically men, warms my heart every time. It's exciting to know there is someone out there who will be on the receiving end and two people will share a smile, even if just for a moment.

Friday, November 1, 2013

34 Reasons The Last 365 Days Were Pretty Great

When I started this post on 11/1/13, I had intentions of making a list of 34 reasons. Cause, ya know, that's clever.  I was turning 34. But after 6 months, I would like to retitle this post:

14 Reasons The Last 365 Days Were Pretty Great

  1. I actually started making a quilt.  Something I've been meaning to do for way too long.
  2. Discovered what this whole CrossFit craze is.  
  3. My brother and I got another pup.
  4. At Christmas, we thought it was a good idea to adopt a new dog, foster a puppy and foster a kitten for a few days.
  5. Ms. Rita Grindle and I spent 8 hours in a bar in NYC.  On purpose.
  6. I spent another week in Monteagle, TN transcribing love letters from the turn of the century.
  7. I took time to rest. Finally.
  8. For the first time in 27 years, all my dad's children were in one room.
  9. Turns out the pups don't like each other.  But I got to meet Cesar Milan.
  10. I met a boy.  A really cute boy.
  11. I did a real pull up. This is a big deal, people.
  12. I flew in a super small plane.
  13. I expanded my business.
  14. I officiated a wedding. 

Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Fourth is Sexual Harassment

I was minding my own business in the Staples parking lot when I heard someone from across the lot say, "Hi. I like your smile."  For the record, I wasn't smiling.

When I looked up, there was little old man headed my way.

"I just lost 20 pounds. What do you think?"

I smiled and said, "Congratulations! How'd you do it?"

"Well, I'm on the seafood diet.  If I see food, I don't eat it."


We proceeded to have a 5 minute conversation that consisted of him shamelessly hitting on me.  Which is easy to take when someone is 40 years your senior.

I'll spare you all the details, but two of my favorite moments were him asking me for my phone number, to which I declined.  Twice.  After his second attempt he said, "Well now that you're getting to know me a little better, you might give me your number before I leave.  My parole officer says it's okay to ask three times for something.  After that, it's sexual harassment.  So I've got one more shot."

After turning him down a third time and deciding to part ways, he reached in his shirt pocket and handed me a carnation. My heart melted a little and I took it but offered to give it back in case he wanted to give it to someone who would give him their phone number in return.

He smiled as he started to walk away and said, "Oh no, baby. I got a dozen of those in my car."