Tag Archives: gnome

Talking Dirty

If you’re new here, I should tell you that I love my garden and flowers.

The OCD in me takes immense pleasure in dead-heading petunias, picking green beans and pulling out weeds (in both my yard and any other surface that makes me feel twitchy—it’s actually really a curse.)

While Michigan weather is unpredictable, it’s usually a safe bet that you can start planting things any time after Memorial Day, which means we’re getting down and dirty around Chez Abby these days.

But a few trips to the greenhouse and Home Depot combined with my useless need to make puns have enlightened (questionable word choice) me to the fact that the simple act of gardening could also be a great bed to plant the seeds for a budding romance—or at least leaf a good first impression.

So if you’re someone like me whose relationship status is often: “Drunk on allergy medication and just cleaned out the cat’s crap box,” this guide might be just what you need to get down and dirty.

Get Down and Dirty

The most important thing to remember is that no trip to Home Depot (or similar home improvement store that will make you feel like you need all new handles for your cabinets) is official until you loudly proclaim either, “I just want a good stud finder!” or “Where my hose at?”

This establishes your mission—not to simply find tools or get kelp for your yard, but to find someone who will be mowtivated to maybe plant one on you (wink, wink.)

When approached by a possible suitor, be sure to lure them over to the gardening section, as making initial contact around the nails, caulk and nipples is a bit too forward these days—and the puns are entirely too obvious. You’re screwed.

See? Way too obvious.

Once you’ve secured your position in the Garden Center, casually mention that you’re an entre-manure who wants to create Miracle-Gro for small boobs. If they don’t get your humor, move on, as brilliance cannot be wasted on those who can’t till it like it is.

But what’s that, you say? They dug what you said?

Then with the fertile groundwork planted, continue to cultivate the conversation by sharing that although you’re “a bit rough around the hedges, you’re really a kick in the plants” or that you “just finished trimming your bush and are looking for veggies that will ex-seed all your expectations.”

They will probably counter with something that sounds like, “Umm…I’m rooting for you—ha, ha—but I thought you were looking for the aisle that contained cow shit for your garden.” That should be interpreted as, “I think that weed make a great pair.”

But if you’re forced to leave without your stud finder or hose, don’t feel too bad. Remember, it’s the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and at the end of the day, you’re still single and ready to shingle.

gnomes

And of course, there’s no place like gnome.

Like the blog? Buy the NEW book!

Thanks again to everyone who has shared and will continue to share—hint, hint—the news about my new book. If you read it and don’t hate it, I would love for you to write an Amazon review. If you hated it, then you probably hate my blog. And raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but that’s okay. Some people are weird. Don’t feel bad.

Anyway, the winner of the Amazon gift card as chosen by random.org is Marie! I’ll send you an email today.

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Jose Can You See

While Thursday is generally just the day in between people annoying me with “It’s Hump Day!” and “TGIF!” it’s actually a really important day for me this week.

It’s Opening Day.

leylandgnome

And yes, we have a Detroit Tiger gnome named Leyland.

If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, first of all, thank you and you deserve a medal of honor and possibly a psychological examination. But you also are aware that baseball has always played a huge role in my life and quite frankly, in my happiness.

Because the Tigers open up their regular season on Thursday, I felt like I needed to write a post about it. Then I realized that the post I was trying to write had already been written—last year, by me.

It’s tacky to refer you back to old posts, but if you have even one tiny cell of fandom or like reading about my 89-year-old grandma explaining the rules of the game to her deaf friends at the nursing home, please go back and read these two posts.

Opening Day Senior Moments

My Perfect Game

They’re important to me, as I’m grateful to have another Opening Day to celebrate with the old woman and another season to enjoy. I’m taking Thursday afternoon off and once again, the three of us will gather around the TV and belt out the National Anthem off-key before my grandma simultaneously yells about a bad call or how the popcorn tastes like shit.

But another reason I love baseball is that after star players retire, they can still entertain us with their talents. No, I’m not talking about starting charities or becoming insightful game analysts, although those are commendable endeavors.

I’m talking about Twitter, and specifically, Jose Canseco on Twitter. The following stream of tweets last week have nothing to do with baseball, but quite honestly, they’re just as entertaining. And now I want Jose Canseco to send me a virtual hug.

Enjoy.*

Jose Can You See

how do we stop global warming

reduce reuse recycle morons class in session i complete you of to practice for my playboy celebrity golf tournament

clowns if you dont stop your mass consumption we will have no polar bears soon need to recycle or else no more bears

1 more stop global warming tip .turn your home heat all off at nite .saves $ an energy and lowers your body temp so u will live 20% longer

flanel pajamas morons share body heat like the pioneers did even in snow

hole families used to sleep in one big bed and produce no waste how did we go from their to killing polar bears in 100 years

al gore was a head of his time .i miss him rest in peace buddy hug for u

sorry al you need to make some more noise .Keep fighting for us i believe in your and i am with you

what did you clowns learn yesterday other than gore is not deed?

Had no idea @algore had a tv station. What a coincidence he is all over news today about firing people. Hug for u al

we need to consume less and protect enviroment for future generation nobody has no regard for the earth anymore. lets do our part

His last solution?

how about a sitcom where I play a gym teacher and wear those old skool nuthugger shorts coaches used to wear with those high tube socks

*I did not edit any of these, as the horrific nature of grammatical structure simply adds to the charm.

Home run.

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A Gnome Noel

I know most of you are busy doing holiday things and not reading blog posts from yours truly. (I won’t take it personally, unless I should. Should I? Excuse me while I go obsess about this.)

But I thought I would amuse myself by presenting to you a poem with a little help from the incomparable Uncle June.

A Gnome Noel

gnometree1

I’ve already published some holiday posts,

But Uncle June wanted his say.

So now we present to you our little poem,

To celebrate on Christmas Day.

He’s had quite a year and has seen some new things,

from  New York to Detroit he did go,

And who could forget the night just last month

at the theater to see a show.

There was mystery surrounding a fountain or two,

And the big gnome was left off the hook.

Uncle June told me they’re all in the clear,

As gnomes always live by the book.

Speaking of books he did make his debut,

And is waiting for agents to call.

I tried hard to tell him the point of the book,

Wasn’t fame, but was giving to all.

gnomebook1

But still he assumes that the one page he’s on,

Will guarantee fame and some riches.

I found Post-its around with his chicken scratch notes,

About book tours and agent pitches.

He’s kind of confused but I think he’s okay,

And told me to tell all of you.

The support that he’s witnessed has blown him away,

(He’s small, but that’s still hard to do.)

But as for this week and the holidays now,

He’s spreading the “spirits” ‘round town.

gnomemantle

Eggnog and cocktails and things filled with rum,

There’s really no drink he’ll turn down.

Myself, I’ve laid low and just hung out a bit,

But the same can’t be said for the gnome.

Last night he was passed out right under the tree,

This is what I found when I got home.

drunkgnome

Then later I found him all dressed up again,

with mistletoe stuck to his head.

And I still have no clue how he managed to climb,

Up the tree without winding up dead.

Between book things and travel and blog cameos,

He appears to be getting quite haughty.

Perhaps he’s just sowing some more wild oats,

Or the holidays bring out the naughty.

What I think it is is the presence of elves,

The other small guys in December.

They make all the toys and they get all the credit,

While old Uncle June’s not remembered.

So instead of enjoying the holiday season,

The family, the food and the lights.

stocking1

My little gnome friend is apparently bitter,

And drinking away silent nights.

But with all that said he still sends you his love

And I don’t think that’s just the rum talking.

For when he’s not drinking or pimping “his” book,

He also spends time cyber stalking.

Blogs and The Facebook and Twitter sometimes,

He feels grateful to know all of you.

And hopes that your Christmas was filled up with joy,

Or at least a strong cocktail or two.

As for me, I’m not drinking, but wish you the same,

And look forward to times up ahead.

I feel like there’s so many things left to share,

And many words left to be said.

Hopefully Santa has brought me a muse

And some focus to get those posts done.

But now I’m just dealing with one drunken gnome

who apparently loves everyone.

bumble

So no matter the way that your holiday’s spent,

I hope that you enjoy your day.

And know one drunken gnome and a rambling blogger

send heartfelt good wishes your way.

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If you can’t beat them, join them

Because I’m sure you are all wondering how I’m doing, let me put your minds at ease by saying my canker sore has gone away—for now. Thank you for your kind words, as they helped me through a very rough two days. I’ll assume your cash donation is in the mail.

Then again, I might not need your money.

You see, I’m thinking of becoming a “Mommy Blogger.”

nataliedeehaha-dork-i-bet-your-dogs-name-is-ipod

Even though I don’t have children by choice, I sometimes get the feeling that people think I am a card-carrying mom and kid hater. This largely comes from other women’s reactions to my decision to keep my uterus empty, mind you, but I can tell you that I’m not. I just have no interest in reading about children and pregnancy and everything that goes along with it.

To each their own.

But I’m beginning to think that I’m missing out on something in the blog world—the opportunities afforded to those moms who blog, and moms in general.

According to eMarketer, there were 3.9 million moms who were blogging in 2010. Now I have to think there’s a big difference between moms who blog solely about their children and daily potty training attempts and those women who simply have “mom” as one of their roles, and as writers, aim to contribute more to a greater cultural dialogue.

But the term “mommy blog” is as prevalent as the nation’s current obsession with bacon and Target’s Missoni collection, and let me tell you, it looks like moms are getting some perks.

If you write about your children, you are automatically inducted into a club of sorts, as motherhood binds women together via a common experience and therefore represents “womanhood” to a lot of people. So they can talk about anything that happens in a typical day—nursing, discipline, juggling duties, etc.— and have an instant audience and steady material, not to mention advertisers looking to place all their ads.

Don’t get me wrong in that I think it’s great that there’s a support system out there (and sponsors and such.)

But lost in the shuffle is the fact that other women (and men) — without children — do their own juggling act by working to support themselves and dealing with stressful issues of their own—finances, security, dying relatives, health issues, family drama — and they don’t get a special parking space or a Sarah Jessica Parker movie incredulously saying, “I Don’t Know How She Does It!” 

That last one’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Anyway, with just about everyone spitting spawn out left and right and getting some perks with the deal, I feel a bit left out. But I have no interest in anything maternal, and even if it provided me daily fodder to write about, I don’t care enough about popularity to even interact with a child on a daily basis.

So I thought about using the “Mommy Blogger” template to create a “Gnome Blogger” format that might just sweep the country.

Uncle June could totally pimp out “Just For Men” or Keebler cookies.

I could talk about his daily adventures and whether or not I should use organic cleaners to wipe off his face, how I feel he’s exponentially smarter than every other gnome on the planet and update you on his bowel movements.

Since I already take him on airplanes and trips, maybe he would like to go to the store or the gym with me some days? Perhaps some play dates?

But again, I feel like he’s a bit too needy for daily interaction. Plus, I want to share more of my identity as a writer outside of my role as a gnome mother, so I guess that we’re back to square one.

I’m stuck aiming to contribute to a greater cultural dialogue about important things that need to be discussed—you know, things like punctuation marks, senior citizen Bingo games and banana clips.

But for the record, Uncle June is exponentially smarter than every other gnome on the planet.

CSI: Pond/Fountain thing

For the past couple of weeks I have been enjoying the soothing sounds of a gentle waterfall. No, I have not neglected to fix my runny toilet once again, but rather I speak of the fountain/pond in my backyard oasis.

We—and by “we” I mean my mom—got it running once again with the help of a new pump and some elbow grease, and the gentle tinkling of the streaming water has been providing a relaxing background as I swat off the bugs of summer.

Well, that went down the crapper.

pond1

The damn things sprung a leak—again—and has since emptied itself out to reveal a new spot for annoying white fuzzies and tree debris to congregate. I’m not quite sure why it happened, but I would like to blame something other than the fact that it simply sprung a leak.

Enter CSI: Pond/Fountain thing and the short list of suspects.

The Diva Chipmunk

When I left for work the other morning, there was a chipmunk frolicking near the crime scene. Due to my excitement at getting to work at 6:30 a.m., I failed to inform him that I was not running a private spa for small woodland creatures. It’s possible that if he chose to swim laps with unpedicured nails, the liner of said pond could have been torn.

However, I feel the small woodland creatures enjoyed the pond as much as I did and doubt this was an impulsive act to display disappointment in my failure to supply little fuzzy robes, acorn appetizers and complimentary slippers. I have eliminated all diva chipmunks as suspects.

The Masked Menace

While I have a soft spot for small woodland creatures, I have no such feelings towards large bastard raccoons that destroy my birdfeeder and refuse to fear me.

coon

The first time I looked out my window and saw this thing climbing up the stairs, I thought it was a bear. (Never mind the fact that we don’t really have bears in my area.) This beast is huge, and when I ran out flailing my arms and making crazy sounds, it simply moved one step lower and looked positively bored. I swear I heard it sigh before slowly retreating, only to return the second I went back into the house.

So while I would love to nail this sucker to the wall for the crime in question, considering there is no food involved, I don’t think it would have the motivation—other than to piss me off.

Ernie the Gnome

With Ernie, jealousy could most certainly be motive. Uncle June gets a fair amount of mini-face time on the blog, whereas Ernie only appears in warm-weather situations.

ernie

It’s very possible that these feelings of inferiority could have manifested themselves into a vindictive act of vandalism, but alas, he would have been destroying his own little humble abode. I feel he must be eliminated from the suspect list as well—along with the turtle.

Long Shots

I thought about blaming the neighbor kids, seeing as they have been wandering around the neighborhood with their improvised nunchucks and potent pellet guns. But they haven’t really ventured into my yard since I moved in, at which point in time the  little mouth breathers rode their bikes across my front lawn and dug holes in my backyard because the old owners apparently allowed that.

I calmly told them that I didn’t allow that behavior and was not above installing an invisible electric fence to prevent a repeat occurrence. I then added that both Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy had died tragic deaths as a result of their reckless excavation and bicycle operation through my yard.

With that said, they now call me “Miss Abby” and only come over when selling overpriced products for various Scout troops and cults they belong to.

So they’ve also been eliminated as suspects, leaving me right back where I started from—an empty pond and empty leads. But this investigation has not been for naught, as I’m thinking the neighbor kids might be included as possible allies in the war against the raccoon.

coon2

Let’s put those nunchucks and pellet guns to good use, shall we?

*No animals were harmed in the writing of this post, nor will they be harmed in the future. I can’t speak for any psychological damage that may have resulted from finding out the Tooth Fairy is not real.

Houston quickie by the numbers

So far my trip has been rather work-related in preparation for the first party event tonight, but I thought I would drop in and let you know I haven’t been swept off my feet by some elderly oil baron with one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel–or a hot cowboy–so there’s not much to report.

However, a few numbers and random rambles.

3:  As in, I woke up at 3am Thursday for our 6am flight.

3: Hours in the air, but I lucked out and was not stuck next to a screaming child or a chit-chatty adult with morning breath. Bonus.

I would make sure my oxygen mask was in place before assisting Uncle June.

2: Hard-boiled eggs eaten on the plane as part of my breakfast. They were apparently suspicious material, as they prompted a bag check and funny looks when pulled out with prunes, Larabars, almond butter and cereal. Are these not normal carry-on items?

40: Degrees. In Houston. This was not on my daily manic weather check of the weather and I am not impressed. While I’m coming from single-digit Michigan, I am still cold.

1,009: People from Texas that have told me I must have brought the cold weather with me. If my fingers weren’t frozen, I would selectively choose one to flip to them.

2: Salads eaten at the closest place for anything green–a “mall” food court (there are about 10 stores.) Delicious option, but they’re not open on the weekends, so this lunch option will not exist going forward. If my fingers weren’t frozen, I would selectively choose one to flip to mall management.

I like green things.

450: Sponsor bags stuffed yesterday in a back room of the House of Blues for our event tonight.

750: People expected to be at our event tonight (I will post about this later, but it’s the same thing as last year.)

1: Lackluster cheesy mushroom sandwich on wheat from Potbelly’s. Lame.

I had high hopes...meh.

300: Kids at the Children’s Museum last night when I had to go take pictures for my other publication. However, I actually enjoyed seeing how much fun they were having. I might or might not have created a Styrofoam cup creature…

1: Picture of Uncle June at Minute Maid ballpark, as that’s where our second event is tomorrow. I love baseball. I miss baseball. It needs to hurry up.

Buy him some peanuts and Cracker Jacks.

40: Degrees. Did I mention this, along with the fact that this event is semi-outside tomorrow night? Again, if my fingers weren’t frozen…

2: Cab drivers that I think were either blind or driving with a chronic case of road rage and a blatant disregard for lights, lanes and laws.

1: Ironing board in the hotel room that I can’t figure out how to collapse, no matter how I flip it around and hit it with random things. It’s become a nice stand for my junk–making the most of it.

3: Towels used as a “yellow brick road” of sorts from the shower to my suitcase, as I forgot my hotel shower flip-flops.

10+: Unsuccessful attempts at figuring out how to jack up the heat in my room (so far.) Like the ironing board, I seem incapable of mastering this device. There’s still time to conquer this one.

4,000+: Times I’ve mentioned I’m cold. I know I’m annoying, but I’m also cold.

That’s about it so far!

I miss my vegetables and such, but I can rationalize that it’s just a few days of limited options and discomfort–physical and mental. Tonight should be fun and it’s the kick-off for the rest of a very busy weekend, so updates to follow.

So, sorry I’m not commenting–I’m sure my insightful wit is greatly, greatly missed–but there’s not much time for that. Plus, my fingers are frozen, so it makes it hard to type. Try to get along without me.

And now it’s time to get ready and put on my professional game face–and possibly some heels.

Quote me on it

I’m a big quote person. I love quotes.

quotable

This is one in particular that I keep forcing myself to come back to for a couple of reasons, the obvious one being that I tend to keep past actions/feelings/discomfort in the back of my mind. There are times I  hold onto them far too long, almost by force of habit.

While I’m getting much better at this, I still have a tendency to act impulsively when I get uncomfortable—physically or mentally. I will obsess over what led up to that point, how I can prevent it from happening again, how I can make it go away right that second. These are the times when I need to take a deep breath, let it go—whatever “it” is— and take the next positive step forward.

Easier said than done, I know. But Emerson was really onto something.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.”

It’s actually the last part of this that speaks to me quite a bit.

Have I done everything I could have/should have done? If the answer is yes, then there should be no guilt or regret when I lay my head down at night. All of those feelings are unnecessary self-judgments, and as long as I do what I know I can do—for myself and for others—then there’s no reason to look back and feel regret.

“Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.”

Well, that’s an understatement.

Not a day goes by that I don’t feel like I should have zigged when I zagged at least once. When  anxiety or uncertainty creep in, I have a tendency to default to my unhealthy coping mechanisms and fall back on those for relief. Although it feels right at the moment, I often look back and regret that I didn’t do what I could have/should have done.   

But I also have to leave that behind and not obsess over things I can’t change—food/exercise choices, something said, a blog post with no response, work stuff.

Forget it, learn from it and move on.

“Tomorrow is a new day.”

This really isn’t related to anything, but I think that’s why I love breakfast so much. It’s a brand new day and a new chance to start over. This doesn’t explain why I could eat breakfast food all day, but I do like the prospect of starting things new. Now I’m rambling. And I want oatmeal.

“You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

I’m not always happy, especially when taken out of my normal routine, but it’s up to me to deal with whatever situation I am faced with.

june

Uncle June and I are going on another business trip (this Thursday until Monday) and I would be lying if I said that I was excited about going. It’s the same trip we’ve done the past couple of years and it’s a really big deal with a really big amount of work.

And wherever I go, there I am. 

My issues get packed along with the Lysol, but I will try and remember the quote. I’m going to forget my past experiences and not use them as a springboard for any assumptions going in. Just because I tend to self-destruct and restrict a bit on trips doesn’t mean I have to do it this time.

Because let’s face it—more often than not, situations are less than ideal, not just with work but with life. I only make things worse when I allow myself to be “encumbered by my own nonsense.”

Side note: nonsense should be used more often. I kind of like it.

So I will finish today and not worry about the things I can’t change. If I screwed up, I can try again tomorrow. If other people screwed up, I can figure out a way to make the most of it, if only for my own sanity.

And if things still suck, I can finish the day and be done with it.

Then blog about it later.

Do you have a favorite quote? This is my most recent one, but I have a million that I like and I find more all the time.

I know I’ve asked this before, but do you like traveling?  Favorite/least favorite parts?