What Missing Towel Day Means to Me

I am not much into big holidays. They come, I notice and then they go. Sometimes they involve seeing people in a group and wishing I could just go for a nice walk with them one at a time and hear what is happening in thier lives. But Towel Day is important to me and I don’t care who else has an opinion negative or positive about it, I LOVE IT.

At 6pm (Irish Time, omg don’t you LOVE that) I missed a live stream of a reading from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe.

I missed going to the grocery store and carrying a towel with me. Instead I got in a really bad mood about my electricity bill, I completely defiled the meaning of Towel Day which is:

Don’t Panic!

Here is a wonderful music video called: Towel Day

Debbie Downer

I have decided that my recent angst against optimistic slogans is not helpful.  I suspect that many people are freaked out about a lot of the things they see going on around them and in the world and so clinging to sayings like, “Sometimes when it seems things are falling apart they are really falling into place…” might make them feel better for the moments before things really fall apart, or not.  I also know that the world is simultaneously wonderful for some and that saying is statistically true for many pan-dimensional beings, of whom I have never consciously met but have read about AND possibly met in a dream.

My point is, I am going to keep my grim forebodings to myself and continue to work on my latest quilt.  Oddly, I am not depressed, just depressing.quilt (2) This I suspect was left by one of those pan dimensional beings, see no contact info.

Things you can clean with vinegar…

This was originally posted in 2011. I found out that this was my most viewed post, probably because I tried an experiment. I put “boobs” as a category. Still it is one of my best. Funny.

I find it annoying when, unasked, people give me “helpful hints”, for example telling me great ways to clean this or that.  I also resent unsolicited decorating advice, advice on clothing, make-up, parenting, gardening, shopping and preparing meals.  I don’t like being told I should go on Prozac or take up yoga.  The last bit of advice might be the only useful advice I’ve been given but I still don’t like it.

I am now a woman of 50+. Is that meaningful?  I don’t know.  Apparently Feminism is dead. Apparently I am not. It might explain why I am cranky.  I repeat my age  whenever my mother tells me, (daily) that she is 89 years old.  Yes, 89!!! That means, as far as she is concerned, no matter how old I get she will always be wiser. I feel cheated.

I wrote this little article for a now defunct periodical called “Homebase Magazine”. It was published by MAW a feminist lobby group here in Canada, focused on the concerns of feminist moms.  I called it: “Helpful Hints”. I don’t know what year it was. It was before we had to watch television to know “reality”. 

There are people and pets mentioned who are no longer living. My brother has nursed many dogs since Kelly, the dog I mentioned here. I have also questioned the bit about people asking to smoke in the house.  WOULD ANYONE DARE NOWADAYS? The whole article was supposed to be funny/informative but with so many people on anti-depressants now and the fact that making things “shiny” could be considered a career, I am afraid it will not be.

These really are things you can clean with vinegar. 

 Dog Pee

 If your doggie pees on the carpet, apparently washing it with vinegar will discourage him from peeing there again. I don’t have a dog, so I have no idea if he won’t just keep finding new places to pee.  I suppose you can just follow him around with a bucket of vinegar washing where he pees until every inch of floor is washed.

My brother’s dog peed on a balloon in my dining room.  He peed on the same balloon when it was in the kitchen.  He is a very old dog. My brother has to lift him up after he’s been lying down for a while because he gets stiff and can’t move.  He also has to brush the dog’s teeth every day because they are bad. 

 His breath is terrible, the dog’s breath, not my brother’s at least I don’t think his breath is bad but I can’t be sure because I didn’t kiss him.

 I didn’t try washing the balloon with vinegar.  I just threw it out. But if his dog had peed on the carpet I could have told you if washing with vinegar really worked.

Clean Air

 This information I got from a Mennonite cookbook: “A saucer of vinegar will rid the room of cigarette smoke.” If you are like most people these days, you won’t let any one smoke in your house.  If anyone asks you if it’s al right to smoke in your house you will tell them that you think they are disgusting and that they have no consideration of their own health or the health of their friends and children.

Furniture Polish

 Use cider vinegar for dark woods; white vinegar for light woods.

 Mix 1 c. vinegar

2 c olive oil

Apply lightly and buff when dry.


 Combine ¼ c. turpentine

¼ c. vinegar

¼ c. boiled linseed oil

Shake and rub on the furniture with a soft cloth and polish dry in twenty minutes.


 Paint brushes that have hardened will soften and clean more easily if boiled in vinegar.

You can remove dried paint from glass by rubbing it with a cloth soaked in hot vinegar and then scraping it with a knife.

 Lime Deposits

 Here’s something that I bet you never thought of:  There are lime deposits in your kettle, shame, shame! Bet you won’t sleep at night now.  But there’s a solution! Equal parts of water and vinegar boiled in that nasty kettle and left to sit over night will wash them away! Rinse it in the morning with cold water and you will sleep better from then on.  Honest!

 Vinegar will also work on the lime deposits in your children’s pet hamster cage, if it’s not politically correct these days to keep pets in cages…well, I just don’t know.

Bob is really my son’s hamster but I don’t mind cleaning his cage at all.  I really love Bob.  I think he loves me too. A lot of people tell me that I shouldn’t get so emotionally attached to a rodent because they don’t live very long but I no longer feel that it is how long a relationship lasts that determines the value of it. I feel I’ve grown as a result of knowing Bob.

 This doesn’t really have anything to do with Bob, except that it illustrates how you should not judge the value of relationships by longevity, this is what I wrote:

  I joined an artist’s guild.  I had finished chemotherapy and my hair had grown back.  At a meeting a woman came up to me and said, “Where you the new member who was bald last year?”


“Oh, I thought so.  Sorry I didn’t introduce myself at the time but I thought you were going to die.

See?  You never know.

 Washing windows

Half vinegar, half warm water and a few drops of dish soap make an excellent solution for cleaning the dirtiest windows. Buff with old newspaper. It dries without leaving streaks. That’s all. Seriously, you just have to believe me.

Life is full of messes. I try not to gripe and to look after my own.   But I also believe it is not all about keeping things shiny.    It’s important not to confuse smells with stink.  It’s important to think.

What’s in a Name?

By any other name

She got hired!  It was an office full of good looking people, purely by co-incidence. Of course they were highly qualified and skilled at their jobs. The only detractor to what would appear to be a bunch of superior office workers was that they all had funny names. They were the sorts of names that could get a kid beaten up.

For example: Her bosses name was Peter Dickey.  He was truly the most beautiful man over 50 that she had ever met. He was like a George Clooney without the pugnacious insincerity.  Peter Dickey oozed sincerity. He had the most gorgeous voice. For the first three days of meetings her panties were wet.

  “Don’t worry; the effect of his benevolent beauty will wear off soon. Most of the women here and some of the men had this experience. You will simply adjust and it will no longer affect you. I can only wonder about the woman who had the good fortune to call him son. It must have pained her to have to wean him from her breast”, Umu, the woman in the cubicle across from her said. She smiled in a way that made it clear she was joking. Umu was as beautiful as any Nubian princess ever born.  Her skin shone like polished ebony; her accent, more a choice of words than any slanted version of them, was charming. She was warm without being familiar and was as calm and as quick as a cobra. Her full name was Umu Mumu.  Ms. Owen choked on her coffee when she read the name plate on Umu’s cubicle wall. 

“Ethiopia, if you were wondering where I am from.”

“Oh, no, I mean, yeah, I figured East Africa. My grandfather was from Tunisia. You have a lovely accent.”

“It’s is you who have the accent, and odd choice of synapse.” She smiled a pearly white smile and winked.

Sing Song, the tech support person walked by and gave them a wave. 

“Umm, Umu, have you noticed that all the people working here are extremely attractive?”

“I am not looking in this fashion, however, everyone here is very healthy, strong, hard working and qualified.”

“Okay, well, don’t you think some of the people’s names are funny?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, Peter for example.”

Umu held up her long supple arms, palms facing the ceiling in an expression that conveyed, you’ve lost me, or I give up, or what’s the joke?

“Never mind”, Ms. Owen said and she went back to reviewing the reports that would be due later in the week.

She had met Harry Wacker, Anita Hoare, Haywood Jablome and Abbie Birthday.  Later that day she would be introduced to: Hank Erchif, Harris Gray and Pat Butt.

Her husband’s name was Allyson. Ms. Owen knew it was a tricky business talking about funny names with him. He was tortured as a child for having a girl’s name. He would tell people his name was Ali like Mohamed and they would make even more fun of him because he wasn’t black and as far from being a boxer as, well, as she was. 

She couldn’t help it. She thought she would explode if she didn’t talk about it.  That night she told him about how everyone in the office at her new job had a funny name.  She neglected to tell him that they were also gorgeous. That was Allyson’s other sensitivity.  He was a smallish man and he was very skinny. He was going bald and he wasn’t yet thirty. He had a Welsh accent. He didn’t think himself attractive.  He was terribly jealous as a result and for some reason he thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world and that every man would be trying to steal her.  Love is blind she thought.

She loved him.  She couldn’t seem to help herself.  People, including her family would say, “What do you see in him?” and she would tell them that he completed her. When he asked her to marry him it was the second happiest day of her life, the first being the day she became Mrs. Owen. “It was as if I was incomplete before.” She would say.

“So what you are saying is you find it hilarious, all these people with funny names?” Allyson narrowed his squinty eyes from behind his thick glasses and glared accusingly at her.

“No! Oh Allyson, I just find it odd that every one of them has a funny name.  There’s not a normal name in the bunch, well except for me.  Even with my mixed race I ended up being the only un-funny name in the bunch.”

“Well, your first name is a bit out of the ordinary…”

“My mom picked it; it’s Indian, like the dish.”

“Well didn’t you get picked on for it?”

“I guess.  I never really minded.  I was a happy kid. I had a positive attitude and I was always quite fearless, like I am now!”

“I wish I knew you when you were a little girl. I just have the feeling I would have loved you even then. I must be the luckiest son of a bitch in the world!  You saved me when you married me, Arhar!”

Arhar Owen: Our Heroine, bad, I know!!!!

Activities to Beat the Winter Blues

#4. Not drinking alcohol and eating nothing but oatmeal and vegetables for a week so you can go crazy on Christmas because you didn’t take back that new dress and you don’t think you can let it out yourself.

Okay, at first you will feel sad but if you remember WHY you are suffering you should feel a bit better.

I like oatmeal with a bit of cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Yes! It’s true. I’m wacky like that!