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  • Dear Canada,

    February 8, 2006

    I love your country. It is so very beautiful. Your flag is pretty and so is your national anthem. You have Candice Olsen AND you have some of the best photographers and funniest bloggers around. But please, for the love of all that is good and holy, stop sending me 25 emails a day about your pharmacies. If the need for Viagra arises in our family, or doesn’t as the case may be, you will be the first to know.

    Sincerely,
    Antique Mommy

    The Hostess with the Leastest

    January 12, 2006

    We had visitors right after Christmas – a family of four from California. They stop by for a few days about once a year and we always look forward to their visit. They are smart and interesting people with kids they have home-schooled into smart and interesting teenagers. We are always hoping that maybe some of that smart and interesting will rub off on us by proximity, so we ask them to stay with us whenever they are in town. And they always do, which makes me think they might be faking that smart thing.

    The challenge for us, in hosting our friends, is this: They are from the Bay Area. And that is a problem in that there are so many great sites to see and restaurants and things to do in the Bay Area that our sites seem a little rinky-dink by comparison. Let’s see – they took us to Golden Gate Park and we took them to the Trinity River park area (no link had pictures which I think says all you need to know). River is probably an overstatement — trickle would be a more apt description. The Trinity River is the reason why Dallas and Ft. Worth exist, which proves it doesn’t take all that much. Think about it, you can probably start your own metroplex.

    They have the rolling streets of San Francisco. We have Cow Town. (Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a picture of a sleeping homeless person. And if that doesn’t make you want to visit, I don’t know what does.) It’s a struggle to think of a site we can take them to that is not known for someone being shot. I know. It’s Texas and that’s a toughie. Southfork? The Grassy Knoll? Anywhere in Dallas? But no matter what culturally enlightening freak-show shoot-out of a site we force on them, they are always gracious about it.

    And it’s not just that the local sites we take them to are so… so um, (figure out your own word), it’s also that everything seems to curl up in ball and die or puke on us when we are trying so hard to make their visit enjoyable so they will come back. And we want them to come back because it’s not that many people we can trick into returning to the Antique House of Weird. 

    For example last year when they visited, we had a week of tornado threats and the power went off every night. And then the shower broke. And the toilet backed up. And every restaurant we took them to, it was as if someone was standing at the door on the look-out for us and hollering into the back, “They’re coming! Quick find yesterday’s schmluckchiladas! Can you get those bad boys any closer to the heat lamp? Be sure to let them get good and cold before serving them. Who’s got the bugs? We need a bug for the water. Oh, and find the dirty glass with the lipstick. Anybody seen that?” It was as if we Googled “Worst Restaurants in D/FW” and made a to-do list.

    But in spite of the adventure of misadventure that usually defines their stay at our house, they keep coming back. Which proves they really are friends. Either that or the hotels here are just that bad around here.

    Part-Time Pet

    November 11, 2005

    My neighbor thinks I am trying to take over his cat. And it’s partly true. I’m not trying to take it over completely. It’s not like I want the responsibility of vet bills, flea collars and a litter box. I just want to have a fling with his cat. I just want some “no strings attached” pet affection. I just want an opportunity for my son to learn that cats do not normally kill little boys. That’s all. And if lovin’ this cat is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.

    Photo Temporarily Unavailable

    The neighbor claims that the cat is named “Smokey Joe” but I gave him the unusual name of “Cat”.  He responds equally well to either name as long as you are holding an open can of tuna.

    The first time we saw Cat was early in the spring when we were out for a stroll in the neighborhood, a few months after we lost our dog of 13 years. In the interim, Sean had inexplicably developed an irrational fear of cats and dogs. If it were not for the thought of potty training a boy and a puppy at the same time, we would have another dog by now. Anyway, Sean spotted the cat about a block away and started screaming like he’d seen a lion. With all that screaming, the cat figured surely a baby bird or mouse was being served up for appetizers, so he sprinted our way to check it out. And one thing I think we all know about cats is that they are most attracted to those who like them the least. Which reminds me of an episode from my teen years, but that’s another topic.

    Anyway, in Sean, the cat correctly figured he’d found someone who couldn’t stand the sight of him. So he followed us home to find out where he could terrorize him on a regular basis. Which he does. And even though I am a dog-person, I think I’ve fallen for Cat.

    After he followed us home, Cat started coming around to the back door every afternoon for drinks (milk for him, martinis for me). Then he started staying around for dinner. And then one day I found myself in the grocery store stocking up on Fancy Feast and I realized that maybe it was getting out of control. So in a moment of clarity I emailed my neighbor to confess that I had a thing for his cat. I admitted that over the summer we had engaged in some heavy petting and that at this point, I couldn’t promise that with the temperatures dropping, that I wouldn’t ask him in to spend the night. I am not a home wrecker, just a woman caught up with a very charming and handsome cat, and I just thought he should know while there was still time to call Dr. Phil.

     

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