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zuzu's petals
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Recent Entries to this Blog Extended Season ~
Posted: 01 Dec 2007
Halloween Howls ~ 2007
Posted: 01 Nov 2007
Sizzlin' Summer ~
Posted: 21 Aug 2007
Lasts and Firsts ~
Posted: 06 Jun 2007
The Invasion ~
Posted: 26 May 2007

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Zuzu's Blog

Halloween Howls ~ 2007

Category: Zuzu's Homefront Blog | Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:17 pm

We are Halloween freaks in this house, it's just that simple.

As far back as I can recall, I have always been a nut about it,
and I think that my hubby caught the enthusiasm from me.

We had a great time again this year, and had a much better turnout than I ever expected,
particularly considering that the day fell at mid-week.

A couple of friends came over, we had such fun visiting together over wine and nibbles
greeting the trick-or-treaters when they came to the door.

This year, they had to come through a spooky cemetery to get their treats.

~ Welcome to Zuzu's Family Plot ~

Come right in, the gates are open . . .
YIPES! Look out, there's a bat overhead!

Please step this way, we RELISH new blood . . .
err, I meant to say "visitors".

Many spirits haunt our little plot, and each one has a tale to tell.
Their tombstones reveal many details.

Meet "Digger", he does all of the "planting" around here
. . . gee, it looks like he's taking your measurements.
He's the lazy type, he doesn't like to excavate any deeper than necessary.

True, it is primarily a family plot,
but, don't feel too confident . . .
we DO make exceptions from time to time.

HEY! WAIT!! Come back! Why are you running away?? You forgot your candy!

This blog entry has been viewed 2148 times

The Invasion ~

Category: Zuzu's Homefront Blog | Posted: Sat May 26, 2007 5:23 pm

Well, it's Memorial Day weekend, the weather is fantastic
and the population of our area has exploded!!

I think that all of the local hotels are all at full capacity,
and most (if not all) of the expensive beach houses
are rented out for the week.
And those of us who live here have suddenly been remembered
by friends and family looking for a free place to stay at the shore.
Folks who probably haven't given us a second thought
since this time last year.

I don't mean to sound crass, but it's hard not to get an attitude
when we suddenly find that we are the favorite Aunt and Uncle of
frantic young families who can't even remember our mailing address
to send a Thank You card after Christmas.

Suddenly the two of us find ourselves outnumbered
in our own little house, inn keepers to families of 5 or 6
(depending on which group thinks to call first).
Trying to make everyone comfortable in a home
that is ideally suited for 2.

Constant shopping, cooking, cleaning,
and stunning amounts of laundry,
these are the realities of my life for the next week (at least).
If you don't see much of me for a while,
now you'll know why.

Oh well, it's time to count small blessings,
at least they left the dog at a kennel this year.
Oh, not because the dog was a major pain in "dear old Auntie's" butt
the last time they brought him, destroying the insides of both
exterior doors one evening when we all went out to dinner
(we had to leave him in the house alone
because we don't have a fenced yard).
Rolling in my garden beds,
treating the fish pond like it was his own personal spa,
and generally terrorizing our poor old sick pussy cat.
And barking, barking, barking!!
At every strange sound, all night long.
In short making an already stressful visit, MUCH worse.

But NO, that's not why we were spared this year.
They left the hell hound behind because the kids are bigger now
and they just didn't want to spend 6 cramped hours in the van with him.

Don't get me wrong, I really do love 'em, honest I DO!
It's just kinda hard to remember that sometimes
when they're actually here,
working my last nerve to a frazzle!

Little wonder this island gets soooo quiet at the end of summer,
those of us who live here, lock ourselves inside our homes
with the doors closed and the phones and lights turned off,
repeating the mantra
" Never again, never again, never . . ..

Okay, thanks for letting me get all of that off my chest,
now I'm going to glue the smile back on my face
before the crew gets back from the beach . . .
. . .
maybe if I think about seeing the back end of that van . . .

I think I'll try to get a little bit of gardening done
while I have these few moments of "me" time.

Last edited: Sat May 26, 2007 5:35 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 2034 times

To Retirement and Back ~

Category: Zuzu's Homefront Blog | Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:28 pm

The holidays have provided hubby and me with a sort of
preview into how we get along with lots of leisure time on our hands.
We both took off 2 entire weeks.

Well, I'm not bragging, but if this has been any indication,
we just might be alright when the time comes.

Of course , the fact that we didn't schedule any
major projects into our holiday vacation may have had
a little something to do with it . . . yes, I'm sure of it.

As much as we love each other, we both have our own ideas
of how goals can best be achieved. Ideas that can tend to be
rather firmly held . . . not to say inflexible . . .
and often, friction and frustration are the outcome.

Neither of us lacks self-assuredness or endurance,
and we have been known to come to a dead stop on a project
rather than give ground. We lived with a raw-cut edge of
carpet in the bedroom doorway for over 17 years before a
mutually agreeable threshhold was purchased and installed.
Try to imagine rhinos equiped with porcupine quills.

Considering our personalities, our conflict resolution skills
are, perhaps, just a teensy bit underdeveloped.

Oh, what am I worried about?
We've both become accustomed to regular meals and
a roof over our heads.
We'll NEVER be able to retire!

Last edited: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:22 am

This blog entry has been viewed 642 times

Let The Self-Flagellation Begin ~

Category: Zuzu's Homefront Blog | Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:15 pm

For me, and for many people, New Year's Eve is a time for reflection,
and often for a heaping dose of self recrimination .
Even though I swore off formal resolution making years ago,
when this time of year rolls around, I am conditioned to review,
and it is utterly ridiculous to try not to.

The list of things I meant to do, and didn't, seems endless
- rivaled only by the list of things I meant not to do, but did.

I did not rid myself of all the junk I've accumulated.
I did, in fact, add to the accumulation
~~ I may as well face it, I'm a crap magnet.

I did not put my not-so-good eating habits behind me forever.
I did, as a result, put another inch on
~~ now that I put behind me, so to speak.

I did not learn the self-discipline to finish one undertaking before beginning another.
I did, therefore, establish several new stacks & boxes of semi-complete projects
~~ all waiting for my interest to rekindle, they mock me.

I did not set up and adhere to a schedule of routine medical checkups.
I did fall even further behind on every sort of "personal maintenance"
~~ from eye exams to . . . whatever.

These don't represent even a scintilla of my list of shame,
but why bother to go on, I already know that the coming year will be the same.

Last edited: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:21 am

This blog entry has been viewed 795 times

It's Time For The "Christmas-Mystery" Award ~

Category: Zuzu's Homefront Blog | Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:05 pm

I used to decorate much more elaborately for the holidays . . .
. . . when I was younger.

One year, I built a couple of deer out of chicken wire
and some grapevine freshly cut from our back lot.

Hubby built a plywood sleigh, that was big enough to hold
a small cedar tree, which we picked up from a brush pile
at the side of the road.
I "harnessed" the deer to the sleigh with ribbon.

And the following year I built and added
a life-sized figure of St. Nick and another deer, this one lying down.

(No, that's NOT hubby )

We eventually developed a little bit of a reputation,
and the traffic flow on our street picked up noticeably
in the week or so around Christmas.
I got such a kick out of watching the cars slow to a crawl,
or even stop. And, each night, through the front windows,
we could see the spark of flash bulbs, and occasionally,
the steady gleam of a cam-corder light.
I was just so flattered to think that people wanted
to come and see what I'd done,
and some even wanted to keep or maybe share it on film.

Every year I made a new and different display.

Gosh, I used to go all out, back then! Looking at these old photos,
I wonder where I got the time and energy??
Well, I was younger . . . did I already mention that part?

Anyway, it was because of one of those "productions" of mine,
that our annual award tradition was born.

One day, near Christmas, I came home to find
a pretty little poinsettia plant on my doorstep.
With it, there was a short and very sweet, but unsigned. note.
It said how much they enjoyed seeing our display,
and how seeing it had been a much-needed bright spot
in an otherwise difficult season.
It was a sort of a "Thank you" note.

It really touched my heart.
It made me feel so appreciated and humble all at the same time.
I was reminded how we can sometimes touch a life
in a positive way without ever realizing it,
just by being who we are, and doing what we do naturally.

I asked around for weeks afterward,
but I never worked out who it had been,
all of our neighbors denied any part in it.
Hubby called it "The Christmas-Mystery Award"

In the years since then, my outdoor holiday decorations
have become distinctly more subdued,
I can't seem to find the energy and time that I used to have,
but hubby and I have replaced that old tradition
with a new one.

We started giving out "Christmas-Mystery Awards" each year.
I just pick up a little something extra when I'm shopping,
an ornament, a small gift or maybe a seasonal plant.
Then, while we're riding around, enjoying everyone else's
lights and decorations, we choose one place,
and leave the little gift, along with a card, saying
"Thank you for making our Christmas brighter with your lovely display"

I've got everything ready, we'll go out one evening later this week.
It's a lot of fun . . . . . . so long as we don't get shot or arrested.

This blog entry has been viewed 838 times

Confessions of a Paneling Painter ~

Category: Zuzu's Homefront Blog | Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:43 pm

OOh , the evilest of all renovation evil deeds in some folks' eyes . . .

There is something that, for some people,
goes very badly against the grain (please excuse the pun)
where painting over wood is concerned.
"How could you possibly consider applying paint over real wood?!?"
The words "real wood" usually spoken in hushed and reverent tones.

In my opinion, the answer was simple. The room in question looked dated
and, despite having 3 large windows, it felt dark and dingy.

The (now "vintage") knotty pine, with it's obligatory coats of
shiny orange shellac, was apparently a popular construction
choice in this part of the world in the 60's,
which is when this addition to my home was built.

At least, it was certainly popular with the builder who built the addition.
He used it to cover all four walls and the ceiling
of the small (9'x13') bedroom which we are now in the process
of converting into a home office.

It took more than a few "trust me's",
and a handful of magazine photographs to sell the paint idea to hubby,
even though he conceded that he did not love the pine.

I think the moment that may have tipped the scale, was when I pointed out
that even if we didn't paint, we weren't off the hook work-wise,
we were still going to have to refresh the existing finish with something . . .
. . .
Good grief!! Not more shellac???

So, after applying a single coat of oil-based primer, we painted the walls
with a latex paint called "Patina", a soothing mossy-grey color,
and then did the trim and ceiling in a very soft (nearly white)
chiffon yellow named "Pale Sunshine".

The thing is, I think the space still has the "craftsman-ly" quality
of a paneled room, but it really does look and feel so much fresher.
As you can see, the room is still a work-in-progress,
but we both love the paint, trust me.

Now . . . if we can just come to terms on furniture . . .

Oh, by the way,
the same paneling also swaths a small adjoining hall and bath,
as well as my little kitchen . . .
here's a brush, I hope you wore your painting clothes.

Last edited: Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:37 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 20293 times

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