Thursday, June 28, 2012

Working like a Rented Mule

It’s not that it has been an especially bad week.  Yesterday felt fine.  Today I got up and knew that it was all over.  Someone dumped the bag of white feathers marked ‘extra-large’ in front of the cathedral steps while I was standing there like an anime girl beholding the ultimate in ridiculous tragedy.  If you have no idea what I mean – I dare you – please read on.

No one died.  An extremely handsome man with a sculpted abdomen did not take a bullet in front of me.  Nor did my most important person get plastered by the front of a foreign car right before our reconciliation.  I did not lose my job and I was not forced to sell breadcrumbs and thankfully, I wasn’t even attacked by birds.  As I have ruled out the most terrible things, you must assume that my trouble is relatively trivial.  I’m a woman, so sometimes the thing that strikes my heartstring with anguish is fairly trivial.  Yet, that single tear is racing down my cheek like I just saw a horrific accident, when actually … I just can’t work the spray nozzle for my pesticide. 

This past month I have been working myself like a rented mule in order to prepare for the summer holidays.   This morning when I got up and went to yoga, I couldn’t even muster the spunk to do a three-legged dog and ended up loafing in child’s pose instead.  So, there I was with my forehead against my mat trying to figure out why I was flipping out.  Well, it wasn’t exactly brain surgery.  I am worn out. 

So, what’s this about pesticide you say?  It’s one of the things on my ‘to do’ list.  And I hate pesticide … intensely, passionately … enough to make that little vein in my forehead stick out (another perk for staying in child’s pose).  Anywhoo – my ‘to do’ list hasn’t been getting smaller.  Every day, it’s just as long and just as tiring as it was the day before.  It’s like watching an extendo Asian drama in the tragedy genre.  Just when you think the heroine can’t suffer any more, her mother-in-law walks in and before you can snap your fingers, our heroine is in the mountains on her hands and knees looking the ginseng.  And she probably has a smear of mud on her cheek and a cut on the palm of her hand, just to make you feel extra sorry for her.

Can I really compare to that?  I can when I’m wearing a hat, facemask, gloves, long-sleeves, heavy boots, it’s a million degrees, and I’m accidentally spraying myself with toxic chemicals because I’m too stupid to figure out what’s wrong with my pressure sprayer. 

I’m just saying …. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jealous Brown

Did you all know that I am obsessed with eye colour?  Well, I am.  When I was a little kid, I always thought that brown eyes were not as pretty as blue eyes (it’s a disease), and I got really tired of blue-eyed people saying stuff like, “My eyes are not blue.  They’re only blue if I wear a blue shirt.  The rest of the time they’re grey.  Unless I’m crying, then they’re green.”  BOO!  After a while, I just thought in my head, “If your eyes aren’t brown, then they’re blue and shut up about it.” 

Well, that all changed when one day, I was sitting next to a couple of my friends.  One of them had extremely blue eyes (didn’t matter what she wore) and a friend who had extremely green eyes.  I turned to her and commented that her eyes were green, and she was like, “Yeah Steph, it’s about time you acknowledged it instead of being so pigheaded to always tell me I have blue eyes when THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY GREEN!”  So, I apologized to her. 

Then one day, I realized that my eyes are not the same colour as my hair.  For some reason, as a kid I was always like – brown is brown is brown.  So, I couldn’t recognize that my eyes were not dark brown.  And actually, like those people I despised who said that their eye colour was affected by what they wore – I realized that my eyes only look brown because they are beside my brown hair and the comparison overwhelms the green.  However, my eyes are probably 60% brown, and you can’t see the green unless you look for it – or unless my hair is wet and looking black (then and the green is more visible).  For your information – my driver’s license says my eyes are hazel – which they are.  I thought that made me special because I thought brown eyes were more common than hazel ones.  DEAD WRONG.  Tons of people have little green lights in their brown eyes.  Actually, I have found that finding people with pure brown eyes is a little tricky.  And depending on that shade of brown – it can be really, really pretty.

Anywho, my husband also has green lights in his brown eyes.  I expected all our kids to have brown eyes (or at least that jealous brown colour my husband and I share) – NEEEP – WRONG.  None of our kids have brown eyes with green flecks or undertones or whatever.  They say they don’t know what genes cause hazel eyes and grey eyes.  My gene pool must be really muddy because none of my kids have green eyes, blue eyes or brown eyes.  Not completely.  Only one of them has brownish eyes and that kid’s undertone is not green – it’s grey. 

Now my philosophy is – if your eyes are the windows to your soul – they’re whatever colour you say they are.      

Thursday, June 14, 2012

This is a little gem of a book written by a friend of mine – Jandy Branch.  I did the editing on it and also the cover design (try to remember that ‘cover design’ and ‘cover art’ are two separate copyrights).  My blog today is all about Jandy and her new book Parakeet Princess. Here’s the synopsis: 

Heather MacLean is in a new world. She's always been happy to be a Mormon but now, at age sixteen, she's moved to a small town where Mormons are mainstream instead of a minority. It's a shock to her system -- and her love life. Though she doesn't feel like she fits in at her new school, Heather finds friends at the restaurant where she works part-time. Her new friends aren't Mormons. But that doesn't keep some of them from being interested in more than friendship. The most tempting of them is her best friend's twin brother. His name is Wayne and he's got a natural charisma that makes Heather wonder if she'd like to follow him -- no matter where he leads. Guiding her through her growing pains is Heather older brother's new best friend, Ben. He's an awkward, thoughtful boy who calls Heather "Parakeet" after his family's pet bird. Can Heather overcome her prejudices and Ben's reserve and find romance with him? Or will she take a giant step away from the way of life she's always known and follow Wayne? Set in the early 1990s, the story offers something for young adult readers and for older readers looking to revisit their own high school days.

This ebook is available for purchase on Smashwords at and truly, I gave this book a good whack a few times and it was always entertaining to the last drop.  It’s only $2 and will make you squeal with girlish delight.  Jandy is hilarious!  Enjoy her humour and quirky metaphors.  Guaranteed, she’ll make you smile.  And as a bonus, there are two more of her novels coming out soonish.  The sequel to Parakeet Princess – Bats In Between and Swans in Sight.  Enjoy!  I certainly did.