Once Upon a Timepiece

Posted by Kathy on March 15th, 2014

abacusI attended a conference this week for writers in higher education. During one of the sessions, I sat next to a woman who intrigued me because she was wearing a device on her left wrist that looked foreign to me.

In my tech job at work, I thought I’d seen everything. Devices are getting so much smaller these days and they do so much that it’s like walking around with an entire computer in your pocket.

But this thing she had strapped to her wrist was something that really baffled me. This device looked like jewelry, but wasn’t quite a bracelet. It had symbols on it, but didn’t light up. I wondered if it was taking her pulse or counting her steps or something.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I just blurted out “What’s that thing on your wrist?”

“It’s a wristwatch.”

“A wristwatch? What’s that?”

“A wristwatch is something you wear on your wrist to tell time.”

“Tell time? You mean, it speaks to you? Like Siri?”

“No, you just look at it.”

Look at it? But I see it’s not digital. How can it possibly tell you the time? Does it beep and remind you of appointments?”

She drew it a little closer to me. “See, it has hands that move. The shorter hand points to the hour and the longer hand points to the minutes.”

“So it keeps moving throughout the day as the time changes?”


“But does it alert you to appointments?”

“No. You just have to glance at it when you think you’re getting close to an appointment time.”

“That must be hard.”

“No, not really. You just think about when you need to be somewhere and you check whether you’re close to it. Observe. I’m going to look at it right now and determine that I have to be at the next session in fifteen minutes.”

“Wow. That’s remarkable. No beeps. You mean you use your brain?”

“Yes, I use my brain.”

“Huh. Brain. I don’t see you have a place to plug it in. How do you charge it?”

“You don’t. You wind it. It’s mechanical. It’s powered by a spring mechanism.”

“A spring mechanism?! What is this madness?”

“You have to wind it periodically to make it keep accurate time. The spring tightens as you wind it and drives the watch as it unwinds.”

“So you’re saying that when it runs low, you don’t have to run all around looking for a place to plug it in?”

“Right. You just turn this little dial here a few times and you’re done.”

“Fascinating! So listen, did you get that last comment the speaker made that sounded really important? I didn’t type it on my laptop.”

“As a matter of fact, I did. I wrote it down.”

“Wrote it?”

“Yeah. I used this thing. It’s called a pen. “

“A pen? What’s that?”


Posted by Kathy on March 8th, 2014

Hey, folks. Remember me? Yes, I’m still blogging, but I’m just really having a hard time of it. I don’t brain very well these days, it seems.

Just wanted to post something so you knew I was still alive, unlike that poor woman who was found dead in her car for like five years and nobody noticed. That’s a hell of a thing.

I did actually write up a post a few days ago after I accidentally propositioned someone at the car wash, but I wasn’t happy with the final product, so you’re just going to have to use your imagination.

Anyway, to ease back into what I hope will be regular-ish blogging, I give you this picture I took last week while on my lunchtime walk.


Rat Face Snow Melt. (March 5, 2014) Water on sidewalk canvas, 4’ x 6’. That’s right. This is art, baby!

I asked my walking buddies if they’d keep a lookout for other interesting things I could photograph for the blog.

Specifically, I asked for snow skulls. There were lots of frozen blobs of winter remnants that looked like skulls to me, but not enough good ones to make the grade.

My walking partners probably don’t know if they want to be my walking partners anymore because can’t you just walk without looking for disembodied heads in the snow?

You must always look for disembodied heads in the snow! Because if we won’t, who will?

Hope y’all are having a super fantastic weekend and enjoying some balmy temperatures since this hellish winter appears to be over.

Until later……

It’s Like Winning a Nobel Prize, an Academy Award and the Lottery

Posted by Kathy on December 7th, 2013

sexy jeansThat first ten pounds.

I recently began a mission, a serious one this time, to lose 25% of my current weight and I’m on track to do it by spring.

How am I doing it? Simple. Somewhere between 1,200-1,400 calories of “clean” food a day, cardio 30 minutes daily and walking 10 miles a week.

I’ve lost 10 lbs so far in five weeks. Slow and steady, good momentum, highly motivated, feeling happy. I’ll get there.

Today was a very good day, since I was able to drop one size in my jeans. Any woman will tell you this is an exciting milestone moment. Like finding a bathing suit that doesn’t make you look like a sausage squeezed into its casing.

I jumped for joy, showered and headed out to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

At my first stop in my “new” jeans, everyone at the store held doors for me, offered me hugs and told me to have a good day.

Boy, this feels really wonderful!

At the next store, strangers stopped to tell me how fierce I looked in my jeans and asked how they too could look this fabulous.

I didn’t have time to explain, but thanked them anyway and darted to the checkout counter.

The cashier brushed aside customers that were ahead of me in line and said “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to let this lady with the smaller jeans ahead of you because she’s really feeling it today and it would just be better if you let Her Specialness through.”

And so they all stepped out of line and motioned me forward. They applauded and smiled and a couple people high fived me.

Then the cashier told me to just skip paying for my items – You should have all this for free, because you really look good in those jeans. I wish I could look so good in mine.

I thanked her and left to go to the last store, strutting down the sidewalk to the cheers of onlookers.

Great jeans, lady!

Way to rock the look, woman!

I didn’t know they made jeans that small!

When I got to the store, a band was waiting for me and they played a fine rendition of I’m Too Sexy and then they presented me with a congratulatory cake with candles on it that spelled out YOU ROCK! But I declined because cake is not how you get into these jeans, just sayin’.

I bought my last gifts and skipped out of the store to find a limousine waiting for me to take me home because people who can fit into smaller sized jeans shouldn’t have to be bothered with driving.

So you see, fitting into smaller jeans has its benefits. I’m just not telling you which of these benefits, if any, is true.

Well, the ten pounds is true.

A Low-Carb, No Sweets Birthday

Posted by Kathy on August 31st, 2012

This is the sort of thing you get for your birthday when you’re watching your carbs and sweets.

You get a bacon-wrapped meatloaf cake and you love your husband for keeping you on the straight and narrow.

meatloaf cake

I’m back to the gym and losing all the weight I regained last year while I was nursing injuries to my knees. Down 7lbs so far. Go me!

As an aside, today my family got to make fun of me again for something I loudly proclaimed as a child when this day rolled around.

I’d run around screaming “My birthday’s the laaaaaast day!

For some reason, I thought it was a very special thing to have a birthday that landed at the end of a month.

As though millions of others weren’t having the same birthday as me. My last day is really something! It’s the LAST DAY, people!

My siblings would all roll their eyes and chime in with the month because you just can’t go around sounding so stupid.

And so, for the last several decades, whenever it’s my birthday, my family calls and leaves me messages: “My birthday’s the laaaaaast day!!!! …….. OF AUGUST!

And that is how my August 31st went and shall go forever more.

Thank you everyone for all the lovely Facebook birthday wishes. I did wind up getting cupcakes. I cheated, but not too much.

I’ll take care of that on the elliptical tomorrow.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Dumpster Diving FAIL

Posted by Kathy on August 9th, 2012

My mother is moving out of her apartment soon and so my sister, bless her heart, is doing the bulk of packing.

I’ve been supplying her with boxes from work and she’s picked up a bunch from places herself. But you never have enough boxes when you’re moving, do you?

We learned today that my mom’s apartment has to be vacated sooner than we thought, so our need for boxes just skyrocketed.

I told my sister I’ll just go drive around and dumpster dive. No problem.

Problem, meet Kathy. Kathy, meet problem.

My obstacles:

1. It had just rained. Hard.

2. Stores and businesses often flatten boxes to reduce the room they take up in the recycling containers. That means unless you’re Stretch Armstrong, you’re not getting at them.

3. Many places put their bins behind security gates and so they’re inaccessible.

But I was undeterred. I should have quit before I started.

At one place, I found a good-sized box, unflattened, lying right on the top of a heap. Except it was comingled with regular garbage.

Food garbage.

I put it in my car anyway.

I drove ten feet and the stinkage punched me right in the face and I had to put it back.

At another location, I found a giant unflattened box, but it’s too tall to be helpful, has no lid and it’s stupid and my sister probably won’t want it.

I put it in my car anyway and now I have to get rid of it because I’m dumb and don’t know how to shop properly for boxes.

I thought I hit the mother lode behind a strip mall, where I found boxes sitting under a roof. They are dry!

Except they turned out to be thick, wax-coated boxes used for produce and they were heavy as hell. They also had fruit and vegetable pieces stuck to them, which I’m sure I didn’t want to touch.

I did find a medium square box with handles (!!!!) in one dumpster, but I had trouble grabbing it out from under other things because the bin lid was too heavy and I needed a third arm.

I don’t have a third arm, so I used my head to hold it up.

And then rainwater from the lid splashed down upon me and right into the box. I had to let it go.

And now I’m wet. Wet dumpster diving is even less fun, I assure you.

Another dozen stops with no box to be had, I’m fed up and decide to go home.

On the way, I had a glimmer of hope when I approached a college campus where I thought there might be office paper boxes, computer boxes or any other freaking kind of box.

I instantly realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time because I hit serious traffic, half of which were cops.


Because Michelle Obama is giving a speech at that college.

Of course she is.

On my dumpster diving night.

Even if I did try looking in their dumpsters, this is exactly the sort of thing that’d make CNN with a headline like, oh, I don’t know, Woman Suspected of Hiding Bomb in Dumpster Arrested Minutes Before First Lady Speech.

That’s it. I’m done. One and half hours of fruitless labor.

It could have been great. I could have had a thousand boxes. It could have been a Box Miracle.

boxesExcept for this, which I found at every other place I drove by.

So many, so tidy, so hands off.

You know what I’m going to ask now, don’t you?

Anyone got any boxes? I’ll come pick ‘em up. I swear I don’t smell like garbage anymore.


Mug Shots

Posted by Kathy on June 8th, 2012

I work with a mug hoarder apparently.

Right before quittin’ time today, I walked into the kitchenette to rinse out my mug and found a colleague, Sherri (not her real name, or maybe it is) cleaning out her mugs.

Mugs. Plural. Like seven of them. I’m scared a little. Did she lose a bet?

It’s like a load of laundry in there. She’s got bubbles up to her elbows, a scratchy sponge and I don’t know what else. Maybe she is also doing laundry.

Busy cleaning, she missed the “I’m going to blog about this” look on my face and so here we are.

Let’s begin.

“Um? Are these all yours?”

“Yeah. I used them all during the week.”

“So, what’s the deal? You leave coffee in them and then grab another? Like disposable mugs?”

“No, they’re for oatmeal. You know, the instant packets.”

“Ah, yes. I used to do that. And uneaten oatmeal gets hard and crusty and you could mortar a brick wall with it?”

“Right. Hence, the violent scrubbing.”

We’re all about saving the environment at work, so I give her props for not using Styrofoam cups for her oatmeal and then the conversation shifts to all things mug.

Our favorites, what we like about their shape, height, weight and which ones have good “mug feel.”

Mug feel is critical. Bad mug feel is the death of mugs and the reason I have a cabinet full of them over the microwave.

They’ll never get used because they’re either too tall or too narrow (or both), or they’re the size of soup bowls or they’re too tiny for a respectable cup of coffee.

My favorite one at work is this:

work mug

Minus the spillage. That happened on a Monday, by the way. The day coffee gets all bitchy and ruinous about things.

This mug is the perfect height, width and weight. What I love most is the color. It’s such a soothing shade of blue. It makes me happy.

A happy Kathy is the goal, especially at work. I don’t even mind that it’s an ugly mug, in terms of the company stuff written on it. I got it free at a vendor expo and I don’t even buy from them in my job. But the mug is awesome and for that, I love Lehigh Valley Business Machines.

Now here’s my favorite mug at home:

002 001

I love my Tigger mug! As far as I know, you can only get one at Disney World, so I’m totally screwed if this one breaks.

Although I would fly 1,000 miles to get a new one if push came to shove.

It’s perfect for its short, stocky size and circumference, and has a good weight. A hair heavy, but I forgive it because it’s TIGGER!

Tigger makes me happy. And – all together now – a happy Kathy is the goal.

So, peeps. Tell me all about your favorite mug.

I know you have a favorite.

What makes it so?

What This Curly Top Girl Learned by Having Straight Hair for 36 Hours

Posted by Kathy on May 18th, 2012

Kathy straight hairThose of you following me on Facebook learned this week that I had my very curly hair straightened at a salon, just for the fun of it.

Thought I’d post about it on the blog in case you’re not following me there. Why aren’t you following me there? Really, why not? Geesh! Go follow me on Facebook!

OK, let’s continue.

So. I’m back to curly now, but for just one day, I got to have the hair I’ve wanted all my life.

What I learned:

1. I got to be Clark Kent for a day. It was as though I was a totally different person, just by the length and style of my hair. I added probably 4-5 inches just by having it straightened.

I fooled a client of mine, who walked into my office and didn’t know it was me until he saw my whole non-curly self. When it registered, he had that cartoon reaction where he whipped his head back and forth and his eyes popped out.

2. You know that thing celebrity women with long straight hair do? They take each index finger and smooth hair strands away from their faces? Over and over. It annoys me when they do that because they appear rather full of themselves, with their shiny and luxurious hair. Like they know they have it all.

I did it all day. Couldn’t stop. And I loved it.

3. My straight hair became smooth as silk. This was perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of my new hair. Curls can sometimes feel silky, but not tight corkscrew like mine. I have kink and when it’s humid, game over.

Even on that foggy day, my hair behaved (with the right salon products) and I continued to run my hands over it when no one was looking. Only lunatics pet their own heads in public. Just sayin’.

4. Bed head after having the hair straightened actually turned out really good. I slept without pulling it back or covering it. When I woke up, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe how stunning it still appeared. Atheists have it all wrong. There is a God.

5. A cable knit beanie hat makes a fine stand-in for a shower cap. It’s bizarre to step into a shower wearing nothing but winter gear on your head, but you know. Gotta save the hair. And I did.

6. Women with curly hair want straight. Women with straight hair want curly. Very few women have what they want, but the right products and time investment make all the difference. It took the perfect gels, shampoo and conditioner, thirty minutes and no less than six different implements for my stylist to create the look.

Could I do it myself? Not on your life. But I’ll go back to my stylist when I want this look again for a special occasion.

7. I loved my new hair so much that I didn’t mind posting pictures of myself, despite the fact that I’ve gained back nearly all of the weight I lost last year. Most days I feel like a lumbering walrus. But on that day, I felt pretty.

For I had good hair.

And all was right in the world.

If anyone lives in my area and is looking for a professional stylist, who’ll give you expert advice and treatment for your hair, ring up Karen Johnson at The Artisan on Broad Street in Bethlehem, 610-867-2454.

Tell her I sent you and couldn’t shut up about the fabulous hair she gave me for one glorious day.

We’re Quitting Our Jobs

Posted by Kathy on March 28th, 2012

solitaire blitzIt’s official. My husband and I are quitting our day jobs.


Because we need more time in the day to play Facebook games.

It’s extremely hard work trying to squeeze in three hours of game play every day when you have to work eight hours at something else.

We’re addicted – like morphine addicted – and need to find a way to play for 20 hours a day.

Because we still have a house to pay off, we’ve decided to look for sponsorships to keep us financially afloat.

We’re thinking of tattooing Pop Cap Games on our foreheads and then streaming our game play live over the Internet.

We might play naked. You need a hook to keep people viewing.

As for the cats, we sat them down for a family meeting and explained to them that they’ll be seeing more of us now.


They cannot expect us to spend an inordinate amount of time petting them, playing with them, or checking to make sure their food trough is full.

We might need to get a live-in assistant.

We have game play to deal with. We’re professionals, you know. You can’t rack up points and coins just lookin’ at the screen.

You have to forego all of your daily chores like cleaning, laundry and why do we have to shower every day?

All of it takes away from game play.

This blog? Jury’s still out on that. While writing this post, I played six games of Solitaire Blitz.

It’s my morphine drip and I pressed the button.

The button ……

The button ……

The button ……

What Do You Give Someone Who Finally Finishes a Bathroom Renovation?

Posted by Kathy on February 16th, 2012

My friend and co-worker Jason finally finished a bathroom renovation last weekend and that’s how he came to receive this from me.

Toilet paper is the perfect congratulations gift, wouldn’t you say?

toilet paper

He took the renovation plunge almost two years ago, which is about twenty three months longer than I could stand to wait. I’d rather the job just whiz right by.

Sometimes the work would happen in explosively productive sessions, sometimes he would only get tasks done in a trickle.

Some days he’d strain to get the smallest job done.

Many times he was too pooped to keep going.

But keep going he did.

If something didn’t go right, his motto was always “No worries.” He’s not the kind of guy to make a stink about anything.

Now that he’s done, he’s flush with pride and bowled over by the results of his hard work.

And that’s why we shower him with gifts to wipe away the memory of such a crappy project.

Clown Day Movie Premiere!

Posted by Kathy on February 3rd, 2012

Got your popcorn and Milk Duds?

Dim the lights, turn off your cell phones, sit back and relax, because it’s time for Clown Day: The Movie!

If you want to watch it in widescreen, please view it at YouTube.


Clown Day and The Movie Trailer

Posted by Kathy on January 27th, 2012

Clown Day was a huge success, except for the fact that students on our campus couldn’t have cared less that a clown walked among them. I’m still calling it a win because no one threw a pie at me.

I’ll recap the day and then let you enjoy the movie trailer we produced to commemorate events. I’m submitting it to Sundance. They take everything.

The day began with my clown assistant sister Marlene collecting me at my house. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat later, and she immediately chastised me for putting too much of everything on the bread. I can’t do anything right.

We piled in the car and headed to work, getting noticed by no one. We clowned around in my office with everyone who came to get an eyeful. Took video and pictures and then headed out to our first stops.

No one said anything to us. And I looked like this. I don’t get it either.

Clown Day Students, if anything, simply glanced and put their heads back down. Only one student spoke. “Run! Run away!

Wow. Tough crowd.

We headed for visits to various buildings on campus, stopping at my satellite office, where I followed a grad student back to hers, saying “Would you mind if I followed you back to your desk? in the creepiest way possible. Until I told her who I was, she would not look me in the eye. Note to self. Creepy is only fun for the clown.

Before we knew it, lunch time! We headed to a deli nearby, where I had my first and last PBJ sandwich. I know I made it wrong. I know I used the wrong jelly (strawberry), but that didn’t matter. I was a “mouth feel” thing. Jelly too slimy. Make clown sad.

So my videographer graciously offered me half his BLT sandwich. Bacon good. Make clown happy.

The rest of the afternoon was more of the same: Students not caring, but friends and co-workers loving it.

By 3PM, my clown assistant and I were exhausted. Clowning is much harder than I thought it would be. You always have to be ON. We felt OFF by then and decided to head home.

Made a quick visit to my clown assistant’s workplace for pictures. Found out that her co-worker’s son is a campus police officer where I work and got the email that I sent warning that a clown would be on-campus (can’t be too careful).

Can you imagine the morning briefing? Be on the lookout for a clown today. She’ll be unarmed and hilarious.

So what did I learn by clowning all day?

  • A clown can hold her bladder for eight hours and not suffer any ill effects.
  • She can also eat a whole pizza for dinner by herself.
  • No one’s butt looks good in a clown suit. Hourglass figure? Forget it.
  • A blue afro rocks.

Thanks go again to my sister for helping me with picture-taking and lugging all my clown paraphernalia around. Clowning is hard, but I think clown assisting is harder.

Jason Slipp, my good friend and co-worker, filmed and edited the following movie trailer. Thanks for your creative spirit, time and talent! (Movie to come in a later post).

Here you go!

January 20 is Clown Day

Posted by Kathy on January 16th, 2012

post-it Many of you know that this Friday, January 20th, is Clown Day.

The day I agreed I would go to work dressed in full clown gear after you donated so much to my food bank fundraiser.

Let me tell you, it’s hard being a clown. But it’s also some of the most fun I’ve had in my life.

In the past weeks, I went shopping for just the right clown suit, makeup, a wig the size of a basketball, white gloves, a dozen balloons and a tote bag to keep all my girly clown things secured.

It took me four attempts at a face to land on one I’m happy with. YouTube videos helped, and so did pictures on the Internet and makeup packaging. I started out with a dreadful Joan Crawford face, but wound up with much more cheerful one in the end.

I took my clown self for an “in public” test drive yesterday, visiting my mother first. I had to call and warn her that she would not recognize my fully-painted face and to please not attack me with a baseball bat.

I drove around town before and after and waved at anyone who would look at me. If you have a bucket list, put clowning on it! It’s a laugh a minute!

All but one person waved back or smiled.

That one person who didn’t?

He flipped me the bird at an intersection.

I think he needed a hug. If you can’t smile back at a clown, you’re dead inside. That’s all I have to say about that.

So that you can all follow along with my clownal shenanigans, I’ve set up a Facebook page that you can “Like.” I’ll post pictures and updates as often as possible.

I’ll also blog about it after, with plenty of photos and video.

You are as much a part of this as anyone I run into that day. I hope you enjoy following along with me for the ride.

Thank you again for making the food bank fundraiser a huge success!

Chicken Disrupts Flights at Kauai Airport

Posted by Kathy on January 10th, 2012

chick in red zone Kauai, Hawaii – A distraught chicken was responsible for the delay of two flights out of a Kauai, Hawaii airport today after blocking passengers from boarding their flights until his travel complaints were addressed. One passenger was injured.

Charles “Chuck” Poulet, of Duluth, Minnesota, was scheduled to meet his long-time girlfriend, Marie Fowler, at Hilo International Airport, but his Air Pacific flight was rerouted to Kauai a short time before scheduled landing due to poor weather conditions.

Airport officials attempted to book Poulet on another flight to Hilo the next day, but Poulet insisted the airport get him on an earlier flight so he could meet Fowler on time for a surprise marriage proposal.

Kauai Airport customer service representatives reported there were no flights scheduled that would get Poulet to Hilo any earlier than the following morning.

Poulet said he’d been planning this trip for months, since Fowler gave him an ultimatum. She told me last year “If you’re serious about our relationship, you betta put a ring on it,” Poulet said.

Poulet and Fowler have been long-distance dating for five and a half  years.

I started planning this thing where she and I would meet in Hilo for a trip of a lifetime. Hawaii. The ultimate, right?” Poulet said. “I wanted to make it something special, you know? And now it’s all clucked up.”

In addition to landing at the wrong airport, Poulet complained that he was not given adequate time or assistance to retrieve his carry-on luggage, bags that contained not only his preening equipment, such as specially-designed combs and gel products, but also the carry-on that contains the tiny opal ring that he plans to present to Fowler.

I have to have that stuff. If I don’t show up with a ring and if my feathers aren’t just so, I can’t face her,” Poulet said. “I’m a mess over this.”

chicken at airport Flight attendants could not be reached for comment. However, airport policy states that all luggage, carry-on and checked, must be unloaded for any re-routed passengers who are booked on later flights.

Poulet reportedly nipped at the heels of nearly all passengers waiting to board their flights to other Hawaiian islands, in protest to what Poulet felt was subpar customer service.

Katherine Johansson, of New York, New York, required first aid for an injury she sustained when Poulet repeatedly pecked at her flip-flopped feet. “The guy’s insane. I mean, everyone suffers some kind of delay at airports. People, chickens. Everyone,” she said. “I’m sympathetic to his situation, but weather’s weather. It happens. But now my feet are bleeding.”

Poulet also allegedly flew around the airport in spurts of 10-12 feet at a time, in an effort to disrupt two Hawaiian Airlines flights attempting to depart in the hours after his flight landed.

We can fly if we need to,” Poulet said. “It’s tough, but it’s possible. If only I could fly to Hilo.”

Poulet confessed, “I didn’t mean to scare other passengers. I just wanted to get on an earlier flight. They said they would pay for a shuttle to get me to another airport, but man, what a hassle.”

Poulet’s behavior caused delays for both flights, 30 minutes and 20 minutes respectively, until airport officials could secure the check-in areas.

Air Pacific officials were eventually able to convince Poulet that he would make it to Hilo within four hours of his original flight arrival time, taking a shuttle van and then a puddle jumper flight to the island. Poulet agreed to the arrangement and accepted vouchers for his flight home to Minnesota on January 18.

No charges were filed.

Public relations director, Andrew Fenton, reported that Poulet was put on a van and given all of his luggage, which Poulet inspected carefully before departing.

The ring is dazzling, isn’t it?” Poulet said. “She’ll be one happy chick.”

*photo credit: Billy Ayers

Feed the Hungry. Embrace the Crazy.

Posted by Kathy on December 7th, 2011

We’re embracing the crazy again at The Junk Drawer. If I gave you the chance, what would you dare me to do? Something gross? Something scary? Something embarrassing?

If I offered the power to choose one of those things, and I promised to do it on camera, would you pay for the opportunity?

Read on and see how the crazy works.

Bill White, a columnist from my local paper, The Morning Call, sponsors a fundraiser every year for a food bank in our area.

He’s also responsible for one of my family’s most-anticipated holiday traditions – visiting elaborately decorated homes on a Christmas lights tour that he designs based on reader submissions.

He drives by every nominated home and publishes a tour of the very best ones, including driving directions to take from house to house. It’s a huge deal around these parts and my family picks one of the routes to enjoy every year.

What’s really fun is that Bill turned his fundraising efforts and the lights tour into a challenge for his readers to collect as much as possible for a chance to win a personal tour with him.

Those who make the largest donations to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley get to be driven around in style to see homes on the tour.

And I want a tour!

Here’s where you come in.

If I can reach my fundraising goal of $750 by December 14 that should guarantee me and my family a tour with Bill.

AND! My sisters and I are willing to match your gifts (up to $250).

What’s in it for you besides spreading Christmas cheer? YOU. GET. POWER.

Your reward for making a donation is to vote on which of the following you’d like to see me do. I MUST DO whichever one receives the most votes.

1. Eat my first ever peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Many of you know I find these two foods together a rather disgusting combination. I’ve gone my entire life without one, but I’d make an exception if it meant others could go a little less hungry.

2. Ride a horse. Some of you may recall this being on my list of 10 Things I Don’t Have the Guts To Do. I’m afraid. I’m afraid. I’m afraid. And the horse should be, too. Do horses have weight limits?

3. Wear full clown gear to work all day. Face paint, big red shoes, wig. Everything. I will work as normal on my clients’ computers, go to meetings, and eat lunch with strangers. In public.

If you’re willing to donate, please use the ChipIn tool below to make a secure contribution. And THANK YOU!

Then leave a comment indicating which task you’d like me to do. If I hit my goal, I’ll get the job done and post back with a video of me in action.

REMEMBER: ALL DONATIONS DUE BY DECEMBER 14! That’s not a lot of time, but I know you can do it.

You have the power!

My Divorce is Final

Posted by Kathy on June 27th, 2011

divorce After nearly four months of sweated bliss, it’s official. I divorced my gym.

I knew the separation was coming, since I’d started seeing someone else. I found a new love on Exercise TV and his name is Kendell Hogan. Kendell knows how to move me and we’ve become quite a couple.

I knew parting ways with my gym would be difficult and guilt-ridden. On the first attempt to divorce them, they lured me back with the promise that a “woman of my age” who does strength training will see bigger and better results than one who doesn’t.

You really need to come in and do weights, they said. And so I did. For two weeks.

But the love was already gone. While I was busy heaving, pushing and pulling, my thoughts were always with Kendell.

Kendell the Cardio Man.

Kendell says “Come on! You can do it! Fight it. Make it happen!”

My gym says “You can’t live without us.”

Oh, but I can. I don’t need you and your treadmills. I don’t need your mind-numbingly boring ellipticals either. Although I did love your ample parking, bank of TVs and sparkling bathrooms. Don’t feel bad.

Truth be told, we were good together in the beginning. You got me started. Made me feel better about myself and encouraged me every step of the way. You got me results.

But now I’ve graduated to someone better, Kendell KickAsserson.

Someone who screams sweet nothings in my ear. “Push through! Now squat thrusts!”

Someone who makes me sweat more than I ever did at the gym.

Someone who comes to my house every day whenever I want him to. Sometimes twice and he never complains.

Someone who doesn’t charge me $48 a month to show up at the crack of dark.

So it’s over, gym. I can’t see you anymore. We were something special, but we are no more. I thank you for helping me lose 25lbs so far.

But the next 25 belong to Kendell. Or maybe a shiny new kettlebell. I’m fickle, you know.

If Babies Texted

Posted by Kathy on June 18th, 2011

Baby-TextingZach: Dude, where u at?

Dylan: My crib

Zach: Yo. UR house?

Dylan: Yea but no. I mean my actual crib.

Zach: U ain’t up yet?

Dylan: Ruf nite. No sleep.

Zach: Sup?

Dylan: Batteries dying on my teddy. Makes a racket til you change ‘em.

Zach: Dude?

Dylan: You know, the batteries go and the guy beeps and talks gibberish. Doesn’t yours?

Zach: I don’t even have a talking bear. U suck. So listen. U heading to park later?

Dylan: Can’t. Nana’s today.

Zach: Which one?

Dylan: The awesome one who knits me the bitchin’ booties.

Zach: Yea, remember ur Converse ones. Dude. Awesome.

Dylan: Heh, yea those help with the ladies. Picked up a cutie at mommy n me class once.

Zach: I remember her. Chrissy, right. She’s hot. Cept her diaper wasn’t doing her any favors.

Dylan: Like yours are? U always look like your carrying a load. Why do u wear them so low?

Zach: Man its the look.

Dylan: See it isn’t. U look like a fool with a saggy crotch. Makes U crawl stupid.

Zach: I crawl awesome. I won a race once.

Dylan: Oh man. Mom’s on the move. Gotta run. Trying to feed me solids now. I kinda miss milk. Do you?

Zach: U kidding? UR such a baby. I’m chewin’ now. Nom nom carrots!

Dylan: Catch you later. Text you after my second nap. Prob 4 or so, K?

Zach: K. Headin to park. I’ll let you know if Chrissy’s there. Heh.

Dylan: Don’t even

Zach: I think she’ll like my saggy diaper. Might even share my paci with her.

Dylan: Gross. Seriously dude. Hands off.

Zach: Tell ur mom I said yo.

Dylan: Yo to the mom.

Zach: Later dude.

Dylan: Later.

Local Man Avoids Kitchen Hazard and Survives

Posted by Kathy on June 11th, 2011

paper towel holder Bethlehem, PA – A local man today avoided certain death by not over-exerting himself changing out a roll of paper towels.

The man, David Frederick, when asked by his wife whether it would actually kill him to swap them out, responded “Yes. Yes, it would kill me.”

Though he got close to changing it – the roll made it within inches of the holder – he insisted it would have been much too difficult to lift the old roll and put on a new one.

Frederick’s unwillingness to change the roll makes no scientific sense, given new research from American University that suggests men in households with easy-to-change paper towel holders are 34% more likely to change the roll than households with the wall-mounted type, requiring two hands to change it.

I just didn’t feel like it,” Frederick said.

Lead researcher, Robert Jones, says that Frederick’s difficulty in changing the roll may stem from his general laziness or the fact that he worked that day and felt he had no energy left, despite the fact that his household sports the one-handed type of holder.

Although Frederick’s wife was pleased her husband didn’t have to die by changing the roll out, she expressed frustration that she would have to do it herself – again.

“I mean, he went to the trouble to get a new one and put it down next to the holder. The empty roll weighs, what, two ounces? I just don’t understand it,” she said.

Reports indicate that Frederick’s wife did eventually change the roll, sighed heavily and then stomped away from the kitchen.

Frederick and his wife have been married nearly 20 years. There was no indication whether Frederick’s near death experience will keep him from changing new rolls in the future, but researcher Jones suspects so.

“Once a habit of neglect has been formed, it’s very hard to change, particularly for husbands. They have a hard time with toilet paper rolls, too,” he said. “It’s just asking too much.”

Join Me at the Tribal Blogs Conference in Minnesota!

Posted by Kathy on April 27th, 2011

Im going Some of you may remember that I’m attending and speaking at the first annual Tribal Blogs Blogging Conference in Minnesota, June 23-25, 2011.

What does it mean to be speaking at the conference, besides throwing up 20 minutes before I go on?

As a speaker, I get to give away THREE conference registrations to Junk Drawer readers!

That’s right, peeps. Here’s your chance to get into the two-day conference free of charge (excluding hotel and airfare; a $199 value!) More in a bit.

About Tribal Blogs

I’ve been blogging now for almost four years. And in that time, I’ve joined many networks to learn as much as I can about blogging. The truth is, Tribal Blogs was the first and only place that I could honestly recommend as a value-packed resource for both new and seasoned bloggers.

Ask a question in the forums, get an answer in minutes. Share a blogging frustration and get support and advice immediately. Need some laughs to break up your day? Get that too!

I’m thrilled that Jennifer Brown, Tribal Blogs’ founder, is taking the network to the next level with this amazing blogging event.

About the conference

How many articles have you read about how to build a better blog, but they’re written in general terms with few actual step-by-step takeaways? And then you leave thinking “But how do I do that? I need details!”

The goal of the Tribal Blogs conference is to teach bloggers valuable skills that can be used as soon as you get back to your laptop.

It’s also a place where bloggers who’ve only communicated online can share successes and techniques that have worked for them (and ones that didn’t) in a relaxed, supportive and fun environment.

Topics on the agenda:

SEO (search engine optimization) You write good stuff. Now get found!
Marketing, networking, monetizing and increasing blog traffic
Technical aspects of blogging (plug-ins, tagging, backing up your blog, design and stats/analysis)
Using social media to your benefit
Blog-to-book strategies
How to write compelling content that gets you noticed
How to position yourself to go viral

View the full agenda.

Other fun stuff and goodies!

There will be a cocktail party on Conference Eve, where bloggers can socialize and chillax before getting down to business.

Because I don’t drink, I shan’t be having cocktails. That means you’ll have me to guide you back to the right hotel room so that you don’t try your room key in the wrong door for half an hour before giving up and falling asleep on the hallway floor.

See how helpful I am?

I might also see if I can squeeze in a Q & A session, featuring my husband Dave, who’s coming along with me.

During Kathy 101, you can ask him what it’s like to live with me, how he copes with that reality and whether it’s really true that I’m a few cards short of a deck. Ha!

Advance thanks go to some outstanding conference sponsors, including:

  • Publish Green, an eBook publishing and distribution company who is giving away a premium publishing package worth $1,000! Holy jackpot, Batman! 
  • Beaver’s Pond Press, a Minneapolis publisher whose guest speaker will talk about taking your blog to a book. I’m takin’ notes, baby.
  • Go-Girl, a Minnesota-based company that offers a unique, no-mess way for women to use the ladies room without the ladies room. I know! Crazy, right?
  • StormSister, also a Minnesota-based company, who makes an eco-friendly, three-in-one beauty bar called Shhh that can be used to shower, shampoo and shave. Awesome!

So how can I get into the conference for free?

Easy! All you have to do is email me with your interest and I’ll fill you in on the rest.

If you’re not among the first three to contact me, you can still enjoy a $50 discount on the two-day registration (code TB50) or $24 off the one-day pass price (code TB75). Enter the code on the registration page.

If you can’t make the trip, but you know someone in the Minnesota area who might be interested, please send them a link to this post so they can get in contact with me.

I’m so stoked about this conference, even if it means I pass out during my presentation. If nothing else, it’ll give all the bloggers in attendance something to write about, complete with pictures of me in a heap on the floor.

How to Make a Dippy Egg (aka Egg in a Basket)

Posted by Kathy on February 27th, 2011

I participated in a Tribal Blogs chat last night and the subject of eggs came up. I explained how much I liked to make dippy eggs and only one other person knew what the hell I was talking about.

You may call them something else, like an egg in a basket or egg in a hole. If you’re sick of your eggs scrambled or in an omelette, here’s a funner way to make ‘em next time.

Kathy’s Dippy Egg

Step 1: Press out a hole in one slice of bread. I use a glass, some people use jar lids. Hold aside the bread you cut out, or if your pan’s big enough, throw it in to get toasted, too.

dippy egg 001

dippy egg 002

Step 2: Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat. Toss in a pat of butter (or more, the butterier, the better!)

Step 3: When the butter sizzles, toss in the bread to soak up the butter.

dippy egg 003

Step 4: Crack an egg and deposit it in the hole.

dippy egg 009

Step 5: Let it fry for a minute or two, until the egg white starts to solidify. Meanwhile, toast another slice of bread. I like extra buttered toast with my eggs.

Step 6: Carefully flip the bread/egg to “seal” the top side of your masterpiece. Allow it to fry for about a minute.

If the yolk breaks, you’re screwed and you should just start over. Feed your mistake to the dog.

dippy egg 011

Step 7: Butter the first slice of toast and place on a plate.

Step 8: Carefully scoop out the dippy egg without breaking the yolk, and flip over on top of the other slice of buttered toast bread.

dippy egg 015

I did a quick Google search on dippy eggs, and one woman said she wishes she knew what to do with the cutout. Well, duh. You dip it!

Step 9: Cut up pieces all around the egg, as well as the buttery toast underneath and dip into the egg for a savory, delicious breakfast. Bacon optional.

dippy egg 017

And there you have it. Kathy’s Dippy Egg!

Have you ever made these? What do you call them?

Adventures of Bacon, The Blog!

Posted by Kathy on January 27th, 2011

Bacon has lunch Anyone who’s been to the Junk Drawer before knows I have a special place in my heart for delicious bacon.

So I was over the moon when a friend sent me a link to a blog documenting the adventures of Bacon himself.

I love, love, love this blog!

Bacon’s owner, Devon Boatwright, graciously agreed to an interview so I could learn more about my new fatty best friend. 

I’m Bacon’s #1 fan, possibly in a Kathy Bates/Misery sort of way. I just love him so. Where did you get Bacon and how did you get the idea for Bacon to have his own blog?

Bacon was actually kind of an accident! My mom ordered Bacon for my sister but accidentally ordered two Bacons. Not knowing what to do with the second one, she decided to give it to us as a family gift. She kept joking that it wasn’t a big deal and we could open it before Christmas and it was just a silly gift. Well, I opened up the box and completely freaked out even more than my children.

Since I opened Bacon before Christmas and my sister was also receiving a Bacon, I was not allowed to post pictures of Bacon. Despite my begging, I posted no pictures of Bacon for 3 days! Then Christmas day I managed to wrangle Bacon from my children and was inspired to pose him with the turkey. Then I thought it would be funny if he helped Ray with the dishes. And it just went from there.

When I posted all the photos, people on my Facebook loved them and someone told me I should start a blog. I figured I would do it and make a coffee table book out of it when I was done. I didn’t realize how many people would actually think Bacon was as cool as I did! 

bacon grocery shopping Bacon has ridden the subway, crowd-surfed on a dance floor, gone grocery shopping and helped make home brewed beer. Does Bacon realize he’s a Renaissance Man? 

Bacon is most definitely an “out and about” fatty meat. He does not like to sit around at home. I had to convince him to get out on the dance floor, he was scared to get stepped on. And sometimes I’ve had to give him a pep talk (seeing all his kin packaged and eyeless was like something from a horror movie). Bacon is really open to trying new experiences no Bacon has ever tried before.

What is the reaction of people in places you visit (restaurants, museums, stores) when you ask them to hold Bacon and have their picture taken? Do you get strange looks? Also, does your family think you’re insane?

MOST people think it’s kind of funny and definitely think I am weird. Honestly, I am a little weird but I am relatively shy in real life. Asking people to pose with Bacon is really a challenge for me sometimes. I haven’t had anyone say “no” outright. Though, there was the one guy who handled Bacon like he was covered in disease. I don’t even know why he agreed to allow me to take Bacon’s picture. But his lack of humor is the minority. Many people have actually approached me asking about Bacon and what he’s doing.

My husband and kids already knew I was insane. Bacon just takes that insanity into the public. I mean, my husband and I went to Italy with my parents for our anniversary and took pictures of the toilets with the insane plan of making a book entitled “Toilets of Rome.” I sometimes wonder if Ray knew what he was getting into when he married into my family. Hee hee. Luckily, he embraces Bacon and has actually come up with Bacon ideas.

Bacon can say only two words: “I’m Bacon!” Can he express himself in other ways besides speech, where he is clearly limited?

I think Bacon can express himself in the way he stares pointedly and blankly at things. And I think, depending on the context, the words “I’m Bacon!” can have a variety of deep meanings.

bacon with pretzel I’ve seen Bacon eat soft pretzels on two occasions. Is that his favorite food? Does Bacon understand he is a food?

Bacon does realize he’s a food and it makes him really nervous in certain situations. Being in the kitchen at Counter Burger terrified him. Sometimes when I cook bacon for breakfast, he hunkers down and hopes I don’t eye him ravenously. He also realizes he’s a lovely stuffed thing and hopes the dog won’t decide to drool all over him.

To make matters even worse.. Bacon’s favorite food is actually bacon. He doesn’t care if it’s cooked or raw. He’s even been known to cook little bacons for himself on occasion.

One of my cats has a favorite spot on the back of the couch where she hangs out when she’s not doing cat things. Does Bacon have a favorite spot in your house where he likes to chill when he’s not going on Bacon adventures?

Personally, I take issue with Bacon being left around like a toy. He’s very much a family member. When he is not going on adventures, he generally sits at the 6th chair at the kitchen table. There he can see everything going on. Yes, he sits in the chair properly. I have the same thing with dolls, too. It bugs me if the girls’ American Girl dolls are laying on the floor. I always have to pick them up and put them in a proper, more comfortable position. 
bacon at computer One question about mechanics: How do you position him to, say, sit in seats, hang onto larger objects or bend over? Does he have special innards that allow for this malleability?

I don’t know if I should say that! It’s a secret! Hee hee. Really, Bacon has this wire along the sides of him that make him poseable. His mouth also moves when he says “I’m Bacon!” so that actually allows me to use the mechanics of his mouth to hang him on something. I have a thing about people handling Bacon for photographs so I try to make sure as much as possible that no one is touching Bacon when I photograph him.

If someone has to be propping him up, then I try to cut their hand out of the picture. Sometimes I snap really quick pictures as Bacon slowly slides down whatever I have managed to prop him on. I probably look like a weirdo posing Bacon in public. Especially at our night out where I took like 20 photos of one of my friends holding Bacon up on the pool table to play pool. I kept saying “I can see you in the picture and I can’t crop that!” So we’d repose. Heh.

Where does Bacon see himself in five years?

Bacon definitely sees himself in a coffee table book. He hopes he’ll have to wear sunglasses and a fake mustache when he goes out so people won’t recognize him because he’ll be so famous. He also hopes he won’t have been eaten or become a dog toy for an oversized canine.

bacon goes to school I think we can learn a thing or two from Bacon. What is Bacon’s philosophy on life?

I asked Bacon what his philosophy on life was. After all, he’s read many books and must be quite brilliant by now. I waited with bated breath as Bacon thought long and hard about my question. Finally he answered, “I’m Bacon!” So there you go.

Bacon believes everyone should be like him. We could interpret that to mean he thinks everyone should live life to the fullest and go on many fabulous adventures and take lots of pictures. Or we could take it to mean that Bacon has a bloated self image and thinks everyone should be him.


Devon, thank you for taking the time to help us get to know Bacon better. Also, if you get that coffee table book published, I want a signed copy (and I wouldn’t be disappointed with a Toilets of Rome book either!) I just hope Bacon remembers me when he gets famous.

Adventures of Bacon blog
Author, Devon Boatwright’s Facebook page

The Peep Drop for Early Birds

Posted by Kathy on December 31st, 2010

I know it’s not 2011 yet, but I’ve already been out to see the clock countdown to the new year.

I went to my first ever Peep Drop!

What’s a Peep Drop, you ask? Just Born, the company who makes deliciously sugary, marshmallowy Peeps, is located in my town. Every New Year’s Eve, they drop a Peep at two times: early evening (for kids and tired old people) and again at midnight, for people who can stay up past say, 10PM.

I’m a tired old person, so that meant fake midnight. My husband and I sidled up to the viewing area, and looked up to the sky to find a glowing fiberglass Peep hanging from the top of a giant crane.

As the countdown approached, screaming kids chanted “Drop-the-Peep! Drop-the-Peep!”

And then at the appointed time, Enormous Peep in all its paunchy yellow glory, was lowered to the ground to great fanfare and then fireworks.


After Mr. Peep touched down, an organizer came over to the area where I was standing and said “OK, press? You can come over now.”

OMG. She thinks I’m press. Should I go over? I can get real close and maybe hug the costumed Peep who walked around and cheeped at people.

And then I chickened out. I stayed behind while real press people got to get within inches of both real and Plastic Peep.


At least that’s the last regret I’ll have in 2010. Tomorrow’s a new year, ripe for plenty of new regrets.

peep drop

I’m Sneaky and Clever!

Posted by Kathy on December 24th, 2010

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. My husband wanted something for the home office for Christmas and here it is!

I know you won’t be able to guess what it is because it’s wrapped so good.

Totally camouflaged!

Dec24 013

I even wrapped the bottom with the paper going the wrong way to fool him. He’ll wonder if the bottom piece is right side up or wrong side down!

And I’m so excited he won’t have a clue what it us until he gets all the paper torn off.

I’m so tricky, I can’t stand it!

Is There an Expert in the House?

Posted by Kathy on November 16th, 2010

OK, so you know how it this blog works, right? I tell you everything about me, but then I occasionally ask you to spill the beans about yourselves.

I love reading about my readers!

Here’s today’s curiosity….

What are you an expert at? If someone asked you what you’re really good at, what would you say? It doesn’t have to be what you do for a living.

Are you a restaurant-quality cook? Can you fix any plumbing problem with just a screwdriver? Can you finish a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle? Does every picture you take come out perfect the first time?

I wanna know what’s your thing. What do people always say you’re the best at? Don’t be shy!


Trouble in Pumpkinville

Posted by Kathy on October 30th, 2010

Honey, can you roll a little to the right?

Uh. No. Can you?

Nope. My cheek fell asleep again and I can’t roll.

How many times have I asked you not to call me honey? We dated as seedlings for like, what? Two weeks? It’s over and you know it. I still can’t believe you found me again. And now look at us.

Oh, honey, it’s not as bad as it seems.

Is too. And quit it with the honey.

Well, I’m not sorry about it. Why do you always have to find the negative?

Look, the patch has rules. One pumpkin every ten square inches. You just had to roll over near me, didn’t you?

I was cold.

Too bad. You knew we’d bake in the sun during the day and get chilly at night. Those are the rules.

I thought they were going to give us blankets. Besides, I like us as a couple. It makes us unique.

It makes us stupid. And stop saying we’re a couple. We’re not. And you’ve ruined it for me. We’re supposed to be two pumpkins with two stems. We have exactly one between us. We can’t even sit right! Who wants a pumpkin that can’t even sit right?

Well, I quite like it.

You would. This isn’t normal. I want to be normal.

Normal is overrated. And what’s all this about rules? Why do you always have to follow the rules? Maybe if you weren’t such a tight ass, we’d still be together.

Maybe if you weren’t so clingy, I’d have given us a chance.

Why all the hostility? I can guarantee you someone will buy us because they like us as a pair. And, admit it, you still like me.

If you think someone’s going to buy a defective set of pumpkins for Halloween, you’re out of your gourd.

Aw, you made a funny. See? You look all cranky, you act all cranky, but you made a funny anyway. Is that a smile I see? Are you smiling?

No, that’s a frown. If I wasn’t contorted like this, you’d know that.

Aw, I choose to think it was a smile. Now let’s make up. How ’bout a kiss?

We’re already kissing.

Hee. My plan worked then.

The Pre-Baseball Briefing

Posted by Kathy on October 16th, 2010

Share Your Genius

Posted by Kathy on October 9th, 2010

coffee cup I recently posted a silly Facebook update:

“I don’t understand why the MacArthur Foundation didn’t award me a genius grant. I figured out that if I pour my coffee creamer in my mug before the coffee goes in, then I don’t need a spoon to stir it. The coffee does the mixing as it goes in. If that’s not genius, then nothing is. Honestly.

This got me wondering what tips you guys might have for saving time or aggravation, or just generally making mundane things in life easier. It might be something you do in your house, at work, or for your family.

I always remember a little thing my Mom did when I was small. She always wanted me to be nice and warm getting out of the bathtub. She turned on a space heater to warm things up, but she also sewed together two bath towels so that the whole thing would reach the floor and my feet didn’t have to be cold for one second. Thanks, Mom!

I’d love to hear about the creative things you do to make the little things in life easier and better. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Remember, no tip is too goofy or insignificant. No one will laugh. In fact, someone will probably thank you.


The Stinky Weight Loss Plan

Posted by Kathy on September 5th, 2010

So how much weight have you gained since blogging?

Me? A whopping 30 pounds and I’m tired of walking around with all that extra tonnage. So what am I doing to lose?

  • Walking two miles most weekdays and eight on weekends.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast and lunch, with fruit for snacks.
  • Having a very light dinner.
  • Eliminating the Frisbee-sized iced cinnamon bun I used to have twice a week. OK, make that three times.

I’ve had good success during the first month. And rather than mark my weight loss milestones by a straight number of pounds, I’ve decided to mark them by the number of Stinkys I’ve lost. Stinky, my beautiful, sweet kitty, weighs 5.2 pounds.

My progress so far:

image                        image   

Weeks 1-2 Weeks 3-4


Every time I lose a Stinky, an angel gets its wings. Wish me luck. I’ve got four more to go!

And to the guy who asked me last week if I was losing weight, you have no idea how close I got to jumping in your lap and giving you a big sloppy kiss. Thank you!

Where to Find Big Girl Panties

Posted by Kathy on August 26th, 2010

clothesline So you know how you get so busy and you need underwear, but never have time to drive to Wal-mart and you hate it there anyway because you have to park five miles from the store, then walk three more to find anything, so you hope that they sell them in your grocery store, only to be disappointed that they just sell socks and you think it’d be a fine idea to sell underwear right next to the toothpaste because they’re a convenience item, really, and it’s not like you have to try them on or anything?

Oh. Just me?

Well, in case you ever find yourself too busy to shop for underpants, the next best place to get them is Amazon. That’s right. I’m buying my underwear at Amazon now. The world’s biggest book seller and purveyor of panties.

Incidentally, if you’re not a teenaged twig, Amazon sells Hanes Women’s Comfort Soft Low-Rise Briefs.

They are described on the website as “…… appealing to a broad range of women – from professionals to part-time employees to homemakers. The woman who purchases Hanes Her Way Cotton underwear is typically 25-55, married with children, values pretty things and comfort.”

See how they don’t even call them granny panties?

I love you, Amazon. Screw you, Wal-mart.

The Copier’s Over Here Next to the Irony

Posted by Kathy on August 12th, 2010

ricoh_copier This morning at work I took an elevator to a lab I’m responsible for maintaining. Two service workers from a copier rental place got on-board with me.

They asked if I worked in the building.

“Yep. What’cha need?”

“We’re here to pick up a copier in Room 61.”

“Oh, that’s great. I’m headed down to Room 51 myself. I’ll take you to the room.”

We arrived at the pickup location and I unlocked the door for them. Inside was a giant copier on wheels, the kind that can do every task imaginable in addition to copying.

The guys checked the serial number to make sure it was the right copier and it was.

They thanked me for letting them in the room and asked if I wouldn’t mind signing the pickup form.

“Sure. No problem.”

I signed and dated the form and then because the guy wanted to send one to the department who requested the pickup and keep one for himself, he asked me this:

“Do you have a copier I can use?”

Hand to God.

I’m Granting Wishes Today

Posted by Kathy on July 20th, 2010

voodoo doll That shriek you heard this afternoon? That was me! I got my voodoo doll! An authentic New Orleans voodoo doll complete with instructions.

Isn’t it the coolest-looking voodoo doll you ever saw?! Oh, it’s the only voodoo doll you ever saw? Me too!

Because I’m a giver, I’m going to let one lucky reader benefit first. All you have to do is drop your wish in the comments and I will randomly pick one winner and see what I can conjure up for you.

Now remember, I told you I would never use the doll for bad, only for good. So none of that “world peace” or “fix the BP oil well” nonsense. Never gonna happen.

If you’re curious, here’s what the instruction paper said I have to do:

This doll is handmade by local practitioners and is “all-purpose.” In New Orleans, we use dolls as focusing tools to bring positive changes into our lives. First, get a personal item (worn clothing, hair or nail clippings, etc.) from yourself or another individual you wish to affect and pin it to the doll (Please be careful not to stick yourself!)

During the waxing moon phase, use the white pin when drawing positive influences to yourself (love, prosperity, etc.) and during the waning moon phase, use the black pin when sending negative influences away from yourself (oppressive people, bad energy, habits, etc.) Remember your karma & try to stay positive.

Now, while holding the doll, in your mind, picture the result you desire (creative visualization). For example, if you need a car, see yourself driving that car. If it’s love you seek, picture yourself with the type of person you desire, doing things you enjoy. You get the idea!

Do these focusing exercises daily, for our specific purpose, until your result is achieved. Remember, true magick (sic) takes time and effort, so don’t give up. Whenever possible, do your magick outdoors to get the power of Mother Nature on your side. You may also add candles, oils, drawings and any other personal items you feel will assist you to best creatively visualize your goal.

When your needs have been met, be sure to thank God, the Universe, the Spirits, or yourself (depending on your perspective) for the Blessings you’ve received. Always have an “attitude of gratitude.” We thank you for your patronage and wish you good luck & wisdom in all of your magickal pursuits!


Isn’t this fun?! I can’t wait to try my voodoo doll out on someone. I promise I’ll try very hard to grant your wish.

* Please don’t send me your hair or nail clippings. I’ll make do without. Really. Don’t send parts of you.

Get wishing!

I Love Technology, Good Timing and People Who Know Other People Vacationing in New Orleans

Posted by Kathy on July 6th, 2010

voodoo_doll While searching online for voodoo dolls at lunch today, a co-worker friend walked into my cubicle with a laptop she wanted me to configure.

We exchanged pleasantries, I unboxed the laptop and then casually mentioned I’m looking for a voodoo doll. Specifically, one from New Orleans, where you can get authentic ones blessed by a real voodoo practitioner.

Discriminating, I am.

I go on to explain that I don’t want to spend too much money on my doll. Wanting a voodoo doll is a little insane, but spending fifty bucks plus shipping is insanier.

So my friend, who totally gets me and doesn’t think it’s odd I am in want of a modestly-priced voodoo doll, grabbed her cell phone and got tapping.

She texted a friend of hers who happens to be visiting New Orleans this week.

She told her I was in the market for a voodoo doll and could she please shop for one.

The friend, finding the request not the least bit disturbing, says she can and asks Looking for anything special?

No, just keep it under $20.

Male or female?



I love that I have friends who have friends who can acquire voodoo dolls at a moment’s notice. I love that I had such luck with timing. I love the technology that made it possible to grant my wish in two minutes flat.

But I especially love that I have readers who won’t ask me why I want a voodoo doll.

Don’t worry. Hand to God, I’ll only use it for good. Unless you accuse me of witchcraft or something. Then you’ll get a pin in your eye.

The Purse Curse

Posted by Kathy on July 2nd, 2010

purse The good thing about carrying a purse is that I have everything I need in a day whenever I need it. The bad thing is that I have everything I need in a day whenever I need it. It’s freaking heavy.

Granted, I’m not one of those suitcase purse kinds of women. That’s just crazy. Nor am I like the Sherpa woman I work with who walks into the office a few times a week carrying no less than four kinds of bundles: her laptop case, her regular purse, her knitting materials bag and usually some books. She’s a librarian Sherpa, so I can make a concession for the books.

That’s not me. I need exactly one bag and I’m thoroughly annoyed if I have to grab a bigger sack to put the purse and other things in. I want to be a minimalist, like my husband, who gets to walk around earth carrying a five ounce wallet.

Anyway, I’ve got a bag big enough to hold my wallet, a digital camera, my sunglasses case and about a thousand envelopes with what I think are important papers in them, but never find the time to actually check. At least they’re all rubber-banded together so that I look some measure less disorganized when I go hunting for something.

Even though I don’t think I have too many items in my purse, the weight of it all means that everything is laying at the bottom of it and I still need to dig around. Since I have nothing unnecessary in my purse, this annoys me to no end.

Tonight when I went to the vet’s to pick up medicine for one of my cats, I got in line behind a woman who had her purse slung over her shoulder and in that purse sat a dog.

Cute little thing. Really little. About the size of the turkey sandwich I had for lunch today.

The woman was trying to check out, pay her bill and be on her way. But she just could not get to her wallet. Dig, dig, dig. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

She says “I don’t know why I can never get at anything in here!”

I’ll tell you why.

Because there’s a dog in your purse.

So tell me, ladies, do you hate your purse? Love your purse? Do you wish you could walk around with only a wallet? Do you wish you could carry a teeny-tiny dog around in it, ignoring the snickers of people like me who think that’s hysterical?

Making a Blanket Statement

Posted by Kathy on June 23rd, 2010

And that statement is: We have too many blankets.

Ay-carumba! They’re just the ones in the living room. There are at least eight more upstairs.

Yet each one of these is here for a reason.


From top to bottom:

#1 traveled downstairs one day and got stuck there. I believe it got washed and never made it back up. You know, because it’s so hard to carry a blanket up fourteen steps. My back!

#2 is for Shadow, our cat who likes to sleep on the red chair’s ottoman.

#3 is for Lucky, our cat who likes to sleep on the red chair.

#4 is for me to cover my legs at the kitchen table where an A/C vent blows arctic air right on me.

#5 also came down for a washing and never made it back upstairs. Oh, so heavy!

#6 is for covering a chair you can’t see. Another spot where Lucky likes to nap.

#7 is for me to nap with. Used in conjunction with #4 because one blanket is not enough for napping, so says me, the Napping Queen.

Can anyone beat this? Extra points of you own a Snuggie. Subtract points if you have one for your dog.

Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzel Face

Posted by Kathy on June 16th, 2010

Thanks to an alert reader, who didn’t chomp down and ask questions later, we have a new submission to the Food That Looks Like Stuff series.


Peanut butter-filled pretzel face

Pretzel face 

Oooo! A photo shoot? Lil ‘ol me? I must be special! Wait… what are you doing?


I’m always on the lookout for food that looks like stuff, so if you find something, please visit my Contact page and email it in!


On another note, I want to thank everyone again for your positive response to the Windy story that aired on NPR Monday. I’ve had the time of my life and I’m so happy to have readers (and new followers!) like you. This is what makes blogging so incredibly fun and fulfilling.

You guys are THE BEST!

Windy Interview on NPR: All Things Considered

Posted by Kathy on June 14th, 2010

radio microphone Welcome NPR listeners! Please click here to access all the posts about Windy, the plastic bag stuck in a tree since March, 2008. The posts appear in reverse chronological order.

To all my regular readers, big news! I had the honor and pleasure of being interviewed by Melissa Block of National Public Radio (NPR) for a segment on All Things Considered, which aired today.

Visit NPR’s website to read the story and hear the interview (available at approx. 7PM EST).

Who knew our little Windy would go national? If we can’t get her out, I’d say that’s not a bad consolation prize.

I want to thank everyone who’s followed and enjoyed Windy’s story. Getting on board with it helped make the saga something worthy of all this attention. I have the best readers in the blogosphere and no one can tell me otherwise.

Thank you! Thank you!

Trouble in Paradise

Posted by Kathy on June 4th, 2010

I picked up takeout food last night at a restaurant and found a sad little Bird of Paradise drinking his sorrows away over at the bar.

What’s up little buddy?

What’s up? Just have a look.


Did you see all that? And what happened at the end?

Yeah. Brutal. What gives?

I don’t know. I tried everything. I cleaned my pad, swept the patio, buffed my tree branches to a nice shine and burned up the dance floor. Then nothing.

You know, I’m terribly impressed. You’ve got some mad dance skills.

True dat. I practiced at the studio for like eight weeks to get that down. I wanted to give up in week three, but my trainer encouraged me to stick it out. Six days a week. Sore feet, sore wings, sore neck. And for what?

I’m sorry.

She didn’t even wait for my finale. I was planning on throwing in a moonwalk and then a little soft shoe at the end. I would have killed.

I believe you. So is this something all Birds of Paradise do in your forest?


I’m the only one who took the lessons, went to a stylist, got a Feather Smoothie, consulted with a clutter expert, and bought a Swiffer. You could eat bugs off the floor of my tree house.

I don’t understand why she turned you down. You did everything you’re supposed to do. You smell nice, too.

I have my suspicions. Word on the tree is there’s some shinier bird over in 2C with a really big wingspan. He just moved in and all the ladies are curious. Got a Wii, high-def TV and a mini-fridge filled with spiders. Pffft. He’s got all of the fluff and none of the substance.

Well, all I can offer is my sympathy. You have it hard. Are you going to put on another show for someone else?

I don’t know. I may take off a couple weeks. I’m frustrated and tired. Trying so hard to get a date is for the birds.

Hey, did you see that?

See what?

That chicklet over there, by the jukebox. She winked at you.

Uh. Maybe you should leave now. Might be able to salvage this night after all.

Sure thing. Just don’t try so hard. Sometimes the ladies like a more relaxed approach.

Relaxed? Hell, no! Drop some coin in the jukebox for me, will ya? I feel a dance coming on.

Same Baby? You Be the Judge

Posted by Kathy on May 26th, 2010
blue sweater pink sweater

The economic downturn hits hard at Plymouth Yarn Company. Two different babies cost more to model sweaters than one. But it’s all good. The lad can use his earnings to pay for therapy in 20 years.

What say you? Same baby?

If I Say It, I’ll Have to Do It

Posted by Kathy on May 21st, 2010

writing This post is more for my benefit than yours.

I’m taking a two-week vacation in early June. Everyone who knows it asks me where I’m going.

While I’d like to say I’m jumping on a plane to take me to some faraway place, the truth is I’m headed to a dark, dank corner of my basement.

I plan to lock myself down there for at least the first week so I can finally get my book off the ground.

No sunlight.

No fresh air.

No email.

No cats.

No husband.

No TV.

No distractions.

Just me and my laptop.

I’ve been wanting to write a book for the last couple of years and I settled on the subject matter only recently. You’ll probably all be mad at me for not telling you what it’s about, but I’m superstitious and feel that if I tell you, I’ll jinx myself.

I also feel if I announce publicly that I’m going to venture into book territory, I’d better actually DO IT.

So send me your good vibes that despite being surrounded by dusty old Christmas decorations, furniture we don’t use, kitty litter boxes and bugs falling on my head, I will still feel creative enough to knock out a few thousand words a day of decent book material.

I consider this venture the hardest thing I’ll ever do, but probably the most rewarding.

If you’ve ever tried to write a book, I’m open to advice and suggestions, but I’m scared you’ll all tell me it’s a waste of my time.

You know what?

Lie to me.

How I Got to Paris on Ten Bucks

Posted by Kathy on May 1st, 2010

Sometimes luck taps me on the shoulder, introduces itself and shakes my hand.

Luck paid me a visit in 2004 and sent me to Paris.

I was sitting at my desk at work, fighting an urge to raid the snack machine downstairs. The urge won and so I grabbed my wallet and headed out the door.

On my way downstairs, I spotted a fraternity student sitting at a table by the elevator, selling raffle tickets for a charity fundraiser.

The sign on the table read “Win a Trip to Paris!”

Curious, I walked over to the table to get more information.

“Tickets are $5 each,” the student said.

Digging through my wallet, I was disappointed to find that I had only a few singles and change I planned to use in the snack machine.

“Will you be around later this week?” I asked.

“Yep, til Friday,” he said.

“Good.” I told him I’d be back later with enough cash in hand for two tickets.

The next day I found the student, paid him $10, filled out a form and received my tickets. A note on the back said the winner would be announced a few weeks after that, and it included a URL with more raffle information. I stuck the tickets in my wallet.

Weeks went by.

And nothing. No phone call to say I had won. Oh, well, better luck next time, I thought.

But then I remembered the tickets in my wallet and thought maybe the winner would be announced on the web site for the contest.

Maybe someone I know won. That’d be nice for them.

And so I pointed my browser to the web site, which revealed an animated image of the French flag.

The caption read “Click here to see who won!”

I clicked on the flag.

The French national anthem began playing over my speakers and the image dissolved gradually to reveal this:


I immediately felt a rush of adrenalin and almost started crying. It was me!!! At least I thought it was me. Feeling like a game show contestant who’d just won a car, I thought for a moment maybe I wasn’t really staring at my own name on the screen.

Winning big things makes you take leave of every last one of your senses.

So I did what crazy game show contestants do. I got up and, arms flailing, ran over to a woman who worked outside my office. “Nancy!!!! Go to this web site!!!! Does it say Kathy Frederick on your screen too?!?!?”

I swear to God I did that and you can ask Nancy. Just don’t ask her how stupid she thought I was at that very moment. She’s such a nice lady, she wouldn’t be honest with you anyway.

There we were, looking at my name and listening to La Marseillaise, letting it all sink in.

Wow. A trip to Paris for ten bucks. You just can’t beat that.

I called my husband and didn’t even say hello when he answered. I simply shouted “Pack your bags! We’re going to Paris!”

He let an expletive slip and we hooted and hollered for a good five minutes, not believing my good fortune.

I contacted the student organization who sold me the tickets and they apologized for not notifying me by phone earlier. They confirmed my prize, told me to contact travel services to make arrangements and the rest is history.

It was the trip of a lifetime.

And all because luck pulled up a chair and gave me a fine How d’ya do?

A What’s That Winner

Posted by Kathy on April 15th, 2010

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Babs of Beetle Blog was the first to guess correctly that the What’s That object from yesterday was a boot spur.

I found the item in the woodworking shop of a friend of mine. He had all kinds of cool, antique, things in his shop hanging from the rafters (which explains all the dust on it that many of you pointed out). What keen eyes you have!

Way to go, Babs. You asked for the black cat bandaids instead of what was up for grabs. I’m nothing if not flexible. I’ll see that you get the kitty bandaids.

Thanks for playing and submitting such good and funny guesses, everyone!

And Cardiogirl? Six guesses? Maybe I’ll get you those cupcake bandaids simply because I’m afraid you’ll die without them.

Until next time!

whats that 


What’s That Wednesday

Posted by Kathy on April 14th, 2010

I’m just under the wire for a What’s That Wednesday. I suspect someone will get this immediately.

I have one regular reader who should recognize it instantly. Do you wonder if I’m talking about you?

How to play:

1. The photo shows a small portion of a larger object.

2. First person to guess the object wins a Junk Drawer magnet and a box of cupcake, pickle or Jesus band-aids. Your choice.


whats that

What’s that?

Windy Cake and Bacon Shoes!

Posted by Kathy on April 12th, 2010

I think we can all agree that Monday is the crappiest day of the week.

Not today, peeps!

Our Windy celebrated her 2nd birthday today with cake and curious visitors. The only downside is that when some of them saw how ragged Windy looked in her picture, they sadly proclaimed “Awww, that’s too bad.”


Windy 008

It didn’t help that I hadn’t planned very well for the party and couldn’t get helium balloons in time to pick up before work today. So she got the Lazy Person’s version of party decorations. Lame balloons inexplicably shaped like light bulbs and no streamers or party hats.

Hey, at least I remembered the candle.

Windy 009

After I filled my belleh with cake, I decided to jump on the Zazzle web site to see if my delicious custom-made bacon shoes were due to arrive soon. I’d been tracking shipment for days, knowing a package would land on my porch this week.

I give you, the most awesome shoes known to mankind.

Bacon Shoes

A little too big for my feet, but maybe if I fry them, they’ll shrink up to my size.

Admit it. You’re jealous.

Tuesday will be the happiest day of the week for me, as I plan to wear these babies to work tomorrow.

How many people do you think will try to have me committed?

Probably as many as will want to cut off my feet and steal them.


Art? Prank? Scavenger Hunt?

Posted by Kathy on April 9th, 2010

Every spring a honeydew melon shows up on the roof of the university building where I work. I do not understand what’s happening here, but I’m sure students are behind it.

Is it a prank, part of a scavenger hunt or some weird tradition they keep up for the sake of tradition?

Sometimes the melon disappears suddenly. Sometimes it rots until it’s black and stinks. Sometimes it’s placed off to the side. Sometimes, like this time, it’s right in the middle.

Always I ask “why?” but I will probably never learn the reason.

And that gives me a one way ticket to Crazytown. Why? Why is it there?


melon 002

Incidentally, this is the roof from where I take Windy pictures. She turns two tomorrow (!!!!!) and there will be a cake on Monday. If you work with me, come on over to my office and we’ll celebrate!*


* Tours of the Melon-Windy roof run every hour. Admission is free.

My Mailman Hates Me

Posted by Kathy on April 5th, 2010

Yeah, those would be tire tracks.

Not folded.

Not spindled.

Not bent.

Not torn.

Driven over with a two ton vehicle.

Dude, bad day?


At first I thought the envelope was special, you know, embossed with a pretty pattern of some kind. The tracks were so evenly distributed I thought my brother’s birthday gift thank you card was kinda cool.

And then I realized someone was just hatin’ on my mail.

bacon sneakerI hope when they deliver my Ked’s bacon sneakers, they arrive in one piece.

That’s right, folks. I bought bacon sneakers.

Certainly, no one who reads my blog with any regularity will be surprised by this fact.

Fashion show to follow.


Does the Five-Second Rule Count for Ice Cream?

Posted by Kathy on March 27th, 2010

Because I really wanted that.

Also, scoops should come with a seat belt or something. It just went sailing.


ice cream fail

Food That Looks Like Stuff

Posted by Kathy on March 10th, 2010

You guys are always pulling through for me. Last night I was tearing my hair out trying to come up with a post. I remarked on Facebook that my husband suggested I get in the zone by drinking a beer. Which is bad because I hadn’t had a beer in ten years and a little would go a long way. And then I wondered whether drunken posts were any good.

In the end, I decided to go to bed early and hope that a post came to me while I slept.

That never happened, but look what did! I woke up and checked email to find this photo taken by my blogging bud, Moonshadow. She writes:

“Sorry I didn’t get this sent to you sooner since you were have so much trouble coming up with a post. A week or two ago I had made chef salads for supper and my husband called me to the table saying I needed to take a look at “this face.” So I told him to hold it right there so I could get a picture, that I knew someone that loved food that looked like something… so here you go.”

Thank you, Moonshadow! It’s just what the doctor ordered. I love that your husband noticed the face and that you thought to take a picture for me. If you don’t already have a Junk Drawer magnet, I’ll pop one in the mail for you as a big thank you!

Oh, and your chef’s salad looks delicious, what with all the BACON!

Tell me, did the little egg scream when you ate him?


A Menu With an Attitude

Posted by Kathy on December 24th, 2009

Geesh. It’s not like this restaurant was the epitome of fine dining. Actually, it’s more a bar than a restaurant. Whatever.

For the record, I ordered from the weenie drink selections with pride.


chicken fingers

Bent Objects, The Book!

Posted by Kathy on October 18th, 2009

book I’ve been following the blog Bent Objects for a couple years now. The man behind the blog, Terry Border, is an uber-talented photographer and artist who marries everyday objects and wire to tell a story.

Some of his pieces are funny, some are heartbreaking, some are twisted and a few have taken me a beat to figure out. I love art that makes me think.

Terry recently published a book of his works called Bent Objects: The Secret Life of Everyday Things. Some pieces are from the blog, but many more are brand new. Congratulations, Terry! You’ve achieved something that most bloggers only dream about. I’m just a wee bit jealous. OK. A lot jealous.

I cracked open my copy today and leafed greedily through it much like a bag of potato chips. One led to another and before I knew it I was stuffed and happy. I wish I had half of Terry’s wit.

With his permission, I’m republishing a few of the pieces that appeared on his blog to let you get inside Terry’s head. Enjoy!


Pretty Cupcakes 


Yesterday’s Flowers


Horror S’morer

For a fun and funky look at more of his pieces that didn’t make it into the book, check out his rockin’ promo video:

If you’re interested in reading about where Terry gets his inspiration and want to see more of his work, the book is available from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Blogger’s note: I received no compensation for this article. I bought the book and wrote about it because I’m in love with Terry. Don’t tell my husband.

Coffee No. 4

Posted by Kathy on October 10th, 2009

Holy cow! It’s been over a year since I last posted something for the Food That Looks Like Stuff series. It’s not that I haven’t been looking. I’m still searching for the elusive Virgin Mary on a Pop Tart.

I’m pleased to bring you a submission that ends the yearlong drought. Thank you, reader Louise Pena!


Coffee No. 4

Wouldn’t this cup of coffee go great with Bagel #9?


If you’re a new reader and want to see some past foods that look like something, check these out:

Do You Write Cursive Anymore?

Posted by Kathy on September 30th, 2009

Is cursive handwriting dead?

Ah, I remember fondly learning how to write cursive in grade school. My teacher used a funky metal contraption that held three pieces of chalk in alignment and then she dragged it across the blackboard to prepare for our lessons.

The first step produced this:


The second step was to go back and erase part of the middle line to form dashes. This way, you learned where your lower and upper case cursive writing went in relation to the dotted line.


I barely write in cursive anymore, mostly because most everything I write, save grocery lists, is on a PC.

When I do, something strange happens. I tend to mix printed letters with cursive ones. Why? No idea.

Here’s an example:


I don’t know if schools even teach cursive writing anymore. If you have kids in grade school, do they come home with practice lessons in handwriting? Someone please tell me it’s not dead yet.

So, other than signing your name on paperwork, do you write cursive anymore?