Writer’s Tees

I’m a superstitious person.  I don’t step on cracks, open umbrella’s inside, and when I’m losing  I’m not above chanting “spooky dust” repeatedly under my breath to jinx my opponent.  No, it’s not cheating, no matter what my mom says.

I have a lot of superstitions when it comes to writing as well.  Scooby Doo is on my desk looking out for me like a guardian food hound.  I always make a playlist for when I am working on a story. I know what you are thinking,  “Hey Marika, that sounds like PROCRASTINATING not writing. ” To which I say,  procrastinating is all part of the ritual.  I listen to it when  I’m stuck, when I go on my walks, and sometimes when I’m writing.  Right now, I am working  on something a little creepy for my writers group, so that means a lot of Don’t Fear The Reaper, and Devil Woman, because seriously, no playlist is complete without some  cow bell and Cliff Richard.  I have a favorite glass, I have a favorite snack ( Cheerios! ) and I have a favorite shirt.  At least I used to.

My writing shirt is nothing glamorous.  Basically, it’s a 3 quarter sleeve baseball shirt, red sleeves, that is just really comfortable.  I didn’t wear it every day because how gross is that – but it seemed that when I did my best work i was always wearing it. So I started wearing it when I needed a little mojo, and that seemed to work too.  It has seen better days.  I have written holes in it, and there was a tragic  Cherry Walmart off Brand Crystal Light incident that we don’t speak off.  Last week I knew it was time, my writing shirt  needed to be put out to pasture.  But how to find a replacement?  None of my other shirts seemed right … and I needed something special from the get go. I wasn’t sure what I was really looking for, I knew  I needed something not too expensive, and  something  that would grab me and say “Marika, I’m the shirt you need – I am busting with creativity each and every day.”   So I went to Shirt Caddy, because that is where those shirts live. That led me to  Tshirtbordello -  just the name told me something special was waiting for me.

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Pretty cunning, don’t you think? 

Jayne Cobb ALWAYS speaks to me.

…and since I shop smart….

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I’m happy to report that Jayne is doing exactly what he’s supposed  to do, I have high hopes for Ash,  and no cherry Walmart off brand Crystal Light  in the vicinity.

Hail to the king, baby.


Since moving here, I’ve started living the life of a traditional Disney Princess – not in that I am waiting for a Prince kinda way – rather in that I am making friends with the animals sort of way.  They really are my neighbors and I want to be a good neighbor – except for the foxes. Sure they may be cute, but I have the feeling that the three of them are eyeing Dash like a leg of lamb, and we don’t need to encourage that.



See? I make sure all the birds on the block are getting some sort of nourishment. AND that they have nesting material as well.


Check that out, food for Squirrel-zilla on a bungee cord, because unlike my Mom I think it’s perfectly fine to play with your food.

Do you know what i wake up to?


Now, my birds did not do this, and yet that is how I find my bird feeder every morning. So I investigate.  Shall we follow the trail?




Is it a deer or   is it HOOFER?

Have you never heard of HOOFER?  I attended high school in Illinois, and around the campfire someone would always tell the story of  HOOFER, the upper half of his body deer,  the lower half man,  who roamed the woods looking  in search of human flesh to feast on. Apparently  bird seed was left out of the story to make it a little more terrifying.

Of course, what is more intriguing is that HOOFER is doing cartwheels across my yard and knocking the top of my bird feeder with his feet.

Has Hoofer migrated south, does a half man half deer beast live in the woods behind me? And the most important question, does he wear pants? Let’s hope so.

I have no history…

So today was grocery day, Which means Mom and I go out while  Opa and Dash hang out and grump like the curmudgeonly old men that they are. I am sure that naps are involved as well … but for  Mom and I – well, we go hunting.

Sure, we’ll make it to the grocery store, but first we stop as always at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, which by the way, should have a banner that says “WELCOME BACK KUNI!”  because my mother  is there at least twice a week, if not more.

My Mom is amazing she found some extra French China bowls that would go so lovely with the set that she has, but they were $4.00 and she be damned if she pays that much!  She paid $20 for a service of 8, and two bowls for $4 each, was just too outrageous of a price for her to pay. However, she did try to con me into getting them and letting her “hold” them for me, since the set will be mine … eventually.  I know, it was a pretty sweet deal for me, but I found the strength to pass.

I also got this …


You see I had to grab this, hold it above her head, laugh and run like the wind to the check out place. I know, boring plate, but it is a plate from Kaisertslautern.  My Mom grew up in a tiny village outside of K-town as it is affectionately  by the Americans that are stationed there. And it holds a lot of memories – and a plate that costs 50 cents is better than a $4.00 bowl. Especially when my Mom wants it too.

I also got three, yes three pairs of jeans, with the labels and the stickers on – brand spanking new, in my size for $4.00 each, again – better than bowls.  I’d show you them, but they are in the wash now.

I also got these …


First, Dar Williams is an author? What can that woman not do? LOVE HER!  And check out that Caddie Woodlawn.  My bud Ashley has two young daughters that are really into reading, and I try to foster that, so this year for Christmas I am hunting down books I think they will like.  Last years book was a hit, that they don’t mind if the books are pre-loved. So this went into the Christmas box. I managed to get the entire set of Little House books at an estate sale for a steal, so I’m thinking that there’s a pioneer theme that I truly hadn’t planned on.  Although I could have bought the children’s book on the Kennedy Assassination and busted that wide open, but I kinda like it now. Oh, and so you know,  Caddie Woodlawn was way more awesome than those Ingalls girls. There I said it and you all know it’s true.

And finally, I got this frame. I spent a whole dollar.


That’s my Tante Liesl and my Mom when she was a little girl. Of course my Mother told me stories about when she was a kid, but until three weeks ago I had never seen a picture of her as a child Her family was very poor, and even more so after the war – I know that there were nights when they went to bed hungry,  so camera’s were a luxury that they couldn’t afford.  This picture was taken by an American soldier who was sweet on Tante Liesl.  My Mom told me everything that happened that day, and there was a little something that Tante Liesl wasn’t supposed to do, but did anyway, because that’s what girls do when they are in love. It’s a still secret, even though everyone who would have cared then has passed away, even though Tante Liesl  passed away  last year.  I love that my Mom still protects her. By the way, want to know where they are? KAISERSLAUTERN.  And check out all those Volkswagens in the back.

Your fly is open

So I went down to the river for a walk after my writers group meeting. Now I love my writers group, but they are all working with serious  matter.  I know that reading part of Closet Kitten for critique, right after Edna reads a few pages from her memoir which details her 20 year marriage to a truly horrible and abusive man, is just not going to cut it.  How can I follow that?  So i was thinking of what I am going to present next month. Ugh. 

But wait, why are there so many men in rubbers at the river?


There’s a contest going on and there were cars from Wyoming, Alabama, Missouri, Texas and New York.  Good thing I took my camera!


I told you they were in rubbers!  Snort! Snort! Snort!


Yeah, I went down on the riverbed to take that picture just for you.


Oh, and another writer  in my group, writes in a TREE HOUSE. A tree house with electricity and a mini fridge. How awesome is that!

Breakfast In America

So since I haven’t touched base with the ‘rents this week, I got a call and invite for Sunday breakfast. Scratch that, DASH got the invite  I was his plus one. We got there at 10am,  for sausage and scrambled eggs.. mmmm… Only not.

Marika: You didn’t put milk in the eggs.

Dad: ??

Mom: I never use milk when I’m scrambling eggs.

Marika: Yes you do.  I use milk when I’m scrambled eggs and I learned to make them from you.

Dad:  I knew these eggs tasted funny!

Mom:  I don’t use milk anymore because I am trying to make HEALTHY MEALS!  I use seltzer water to make them fluffy!

At this point Mom starts salting a platter of tomatoes and passes them to me.

Marika: So let me see if I get this straight, you want us to eat healthier so no milk in the eggs, but you are giving us a platter of SALTED tomatoes.

Dad:  That makes no sense!

I got the evil eye from Momster after that , and quite the “I- haven’t-made-scrambled-eggs-with-milk-for-8-years, and-HE-never-knew-then-you-open- your-big-mouth.”  lecture  when we went for a walk.

When we got home, Dash did his thing and started running around the house, showing off.  I was in the garage getting something out of the  freezer, when I heard my Mom my mom scream “DASH.”

I honestly was thinking some sort projectile vomit thing on the new carpet.  My Mom doesn’t like him walking on that thing if she thinks his nails are too long.  It was actually a little worse. Apparently my Little Man was  running around the house as he does, he got tangled in an electrical cord and knocked over a lamp.


Believe it or not the lamp is okay.  Dash is okay.  The new wood floor that my parents just put in?  Not so much, there is a huge gash in it where the lamp  hit the floor.  Dash was shamed with his tail tucked between his legs and looking down and my sweet mom sat down with him and comforted him and told him it was okay.  I  almost felt bad about the egg thing, ALMOST.

So what does a doggie do after he’s been over at his Oma and Opa’s house, playing , snacking and destroying a new wood floor?

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Wreaking havoc can take a lot out of a guy.