A humorous look at the little things in life

Of stupid signage, stupid weeds and stupid Anita July 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 2:25 pm
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Recommended wine for today’s entry: 2007 Monte Antico Toscana IGT. A confession: I jacked this recommendation from an article at written by Cathie Beck, the author of Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship (which I also recommend) … anyway, SHE got the recommendation from, so peruse the whole list at your leisure! They describe this choice as “a medium-bodied, almost light wine. It’s flavorful from start to finish with tastes of sun-dried tomato and faint oak or black pepper, or maybe even worcestershire sauce. It’s extremely versatile, good by itself or with almost any food, especially dishes with cheese or strong vegetable flavor, where you want a wine that complements and doesn’t try to overpower.” Best of all, it’s widely available and only around $11!

Here just a few random things that have given me pause lately.

1) Recently, this sign was posted at the end of one of the state roads out here in the sticks. Oh, wait — these two signs were posted. I always wondered if roads could have split personalities.

Sybil works for the KY Dept of Transportation

I hate to tell ANYONE how to do their jobs, but I can’t help but think that the same DOT worker who hauled out to our neck of the woods to install the high-faluting flashy sign announcing that the road had reopened MIGHT JUST HAVE BEEN THE PERFECT PERSON to remove the OTHER sign that announced the road closed. 

Just a thought.

2) And this is what happens when you think like an SAT test and you are totally bored, pulling weeds in 130-degree heat.

If foot size is related to human height, and root length is related to weed height, how tall would this dandelion have gotten?

If Foot size: Height and Root length: Dandelion Height, just how HUGE was this sucker headed?

Now, I’m no mathmetician, but if that’s my foot and I grew to be 5’5″ tall, that dandelion was headed for about 6’2″.

3) I recently got a super-nice e-mail from Anita, who said she is 25 years of knowing me. She saw me and and GUESS WHAT? She has interesting in get to know me better!!

Just in case I was getting a big head from all the unsought attention, she also let me know in plain terms that she “doesn’t think that age and appearance are very much matter.”

Well, Anita, at the risk of seeming like a skeptic right here in the face of your direct and honest flirtation, I have to admit that it seems you are just trying to woo me with your astounding sensitivity before you send your request for 100,000 US dollars to be deposited to an account in Mozambique. Because if that’s your goal in get to know me better — as if you could, considering you have 25 years of knowing me already — I have to tell you, I am not your type. And I happen to think that age and appearance matter very much. Also, I am married. To a man.

I really don’t think Anita has 25 years of knowing me AT ALL and perhaps she is a liar.

… oh, and what the hell is I’m assuming it stands for Zero Other Options, Screw Kentuckians.

Well, little missy, not this wise woman. I know you too well for that.


The garden is a playground for the senses … without the fun. April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 7:49 pm
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 Recommended wine for today’s entry: I believe I will bust open a bottle of 2008 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec, which I am chilling ever-so-slightly first for an added note of refreshment. After toiling in the garden for an hour and a half, I find my throat a bit parched and my attitude in need of an adjustment that only a glass of wine can provide. This Argentinian Malbec is described at as “This reasonably priced everyday Malbec shows well every vintage. This year it is dark ruby colored and opens with a mild black cherry and cranberry bouquet. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced, slightly acidic and juicy. The flavor profile is a tasty black cherry with notes of black raspberry and light old oak. The finish is dry and its very mild tannins are subtle.”

Well, you all will certainly be glad to hear that I attended a writer’s workshop in Ohio last weekend. I imagine you will be awed by the sudden improvement in my eloquence and my ability to convey just how dull and mundane my life is. So read on, faithful follower (notice that is a singular) … as I weave a web of intrigue for you!

I really did learn quite a bit of useful information at the conference. One of the things that really stuck in my mind was when one of the leaders told us to always think in similes and metaphors … to constantly observe everything around us and equate those things that are hard to describe with something that everyone knows. And as she was saying this, I had a view of the head of the guy in front of me. And growing out of his ears were … hmmm, my first thought was “rosebushes,” but then I realized that they certainly hadn’t been pruned into any particular shape since, well, since he was born, I suppose. So I thought, “He was a nice man, with a crisply starched shirt and a thick Middle Eastern accent. Tumbleweeds of hair grew wild and free from his ears, looking, I supposed, for a corner in which to lodge themselves.”

As you can see, I’m a quick learner.

Today I decided to practice my descriptions by telling you what I saw, smelled, heard, felt and tasted while weeding the flowerbed in front of the house. You are in for a treat, because it was an exciting experience that you will sure enjoy.

I started with a beanstalk that still had the outlines of Jack’s shoes on its leaves. “Oomph,” I said as I hammered the spiky tool deep in the surrounding clay, using a trowel to pound it in. “Crap!” I shouted when I pounded my pinkie and it began to throb like my pulse when I don’t take my blood pressure medicine. Inside the house, I heard the dog bark, as if he was saying, “Dad! Mom’s cussing in the front yard and her pants are droopy in the back like a plumber.”

Then I set my sights on the weeds that my husband told me the name of last weekend as we worked in the same area of the backyard. I would tell you what he said they are called but I wasn’t listening to him. Here is what I know about them: when you touch them, or look at them or blink or breathe, they go POOF! and they inseminate you by shooting their seed into every orifice on your body. I am not kidding, the little bastards go from dormancy at the end of 5,000 little green fronds to lining the insides of your nose within a nanosecond. Then, when I moved my hand to wipe my nose, their second string shot down my throat, like someone bulleted Pop Rocks into my mouth with a bazooka.


Then I moved on to the dandelions, once yellow and perky and reminiscent of Moe’s hairdo on The Three Stooges, but now, in their demise, fragile and drained of color. Gingerly I approached, careful not to allow THIS species to spread their evil seed, blocking the cool breeze that rustled them so they wouldn’t disperse their little white gnats throughout the garden, where they would burrow into the soil and erupt in new gobs of dandelion glory as soon as I put away my trusty trowel. I don’t know why, but worms love to live next to dandelion’s deep roots and I winced as I heard them screaming. “She’s cut me in half,” I heard a British worm say, “bloody wench, she’s cut my stomach right off of me and now I’ll have to wait until I regenerate to know if I’m bloody hungry or not!”

Well, hearing those kind of horrifying things will make even the toughest gardener sit back on her heels. So I sat back on my heels and realized that I’d squatted down and gotten up about three times and, that being the definition of lunges, I went to replace the calories I’d been burning. The Weight Watchers ice cream bar was a cooling salve making its way down my Pop Rock plant-irritated throat. Afterward, I lined up worm pieces on the bricks lining the garden, hoping that the heads would recognize their lower extremities and, like a mother whose child has been away at the first day of school, scoop it up and reattach it to its rightful place. But that didn’t happen.

Finally, I looked at the soft-looking, mounding plant with small purple flowers. I felt a deep sadness that these poor weeds worked so hard to look like flowers — like the insecure eighth-grader who wears a cheerleading uniform for Halloween. There they were, trying so hard to fit in; trying to be popular and pushing their little lavender faces to the sun.

So I left them. I’d had enough similes and metaphors in the garden. Now I need some wine to finish soothing my weed-laden throat. Those Pop Rock plant sonofabitches.


Gardening is great, but only if you have a gardener June 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 10:02 pm
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Recommended wine for today’s entry: How about a Montes Cherub Rose of Syrah, a Chilean wine that, while pink, isn’t like the boxed wine you drank to excess when your relatives visited because it was in a box and no one could tell how much you were downing. This is on the dry side and “very refreshing, perfect as an apertif, …” as described by Stacy Slinkard at–Wine-Top-Picks.htm. And it will be pretty as you sit amongst your zinnias. 

Gardening is stupid. Now, before you get your dander up, I’m not saying that gardenERS are stupid, just the act of gardenING. Very different. I am lucky in that my husband likes to — OK, is the only one willing to — do the gardening at our house.

Now, I do have my garden chores. I buy flowers that I like and I bring them home for my husband to plant. I also replaced the thingie that looks like a snake tongue that he lost due to his inability to take care of his toys. Also, and this is big — I water ALL the plants on weekdays. That includes the vegetable garden where a large snake with a really mean face resided all last summer. Did my husband think that was cause for concern? Absolutely not. Just sent me right in there, no matter how many times I showed him patterns of two puncture wounds on my lower legs.

Also, until this year he refused to buy a decent hose caddy, instead opting for the cheap plastic ones that not only look like crap but also work like crap. I would have to stand on it with one foot and haul the hose to it with one hand while cranking like I was making ice cream with the other. And at the end, did I have ice cream to reward me for my effort? No. In fact, the only thing that happened at the conclusion of this tedious chore was that the hose inevitably flipped a stream of leftover water in my face as the end wrapped around the coil. Oh, and on at least three occasions it smacked me in the teeth with its cold metal nozzle.

Here is another of my tips for newlyweds: As soon as you have a house, offer to help with the weeding. Pull up all his daylilies, than act contrite. Even tearful. You’ll never have to weed again.

Actually, a few weeks ago I did decide (after 26 years of marriage) to do some more weeding. My new arbor area was desperately in need of it and I had a friend coming over for cocktails. So I went out there and attacked the wild garlic with a vengeance. Those insidious little creatures look so delicate from above the Earth’s surface, but underneath, they not only have a ginormous bulb, but the bulb has scattered its spawn all over, buried deep under your garden. Anyway, after about ten minutes, teeth gritted, I threw all my weight into hoisting a particularly resistant one and, like the jerk that it was, it broke and sent me flying backward, landing me with a thump, hard, on top of the wisteria that we’d been babying for eight months — the one that was designated to cover the new arbor. Broke right at the ground. I tried to tape it back together but my husband went out and put it out of its misery. Stupid garlic stuff. And now that I think about it, I might have been using the snake-tongue thingie that subsequently turned up missing … oh, well, water under the bridge.

I do like to dead-head. For those of you who don’t know gardening lingo like I do, that means to pull off the expired flowers and throw them over the wall onto your husband’s rose bushes. I find it cleansing. The spent blooms are ugly and depressing. Oh, and just a hint to the newbies — soon-to-bloom wave petunias and already-spent wave petunias look almost exactly the same.

Another cleansing garden chore, one that is particularly effective after a fight with your children and/or spouse, is purging the garden of Japanese beetles. Those little shits ate about half of my prized weeping cherry tree last year, before I got aggressive. My daughter’s friend Kees prefers to pinch them dead, which was really gross before we made him wear gloves. Me, I like to take a big vessel, like one of my husband’s plastic University of Louisville beer cups, fill it with soapy water and flick them in there. They can’t crawl out because they’re covered in a slippery film and eventually they go to beetle heaven. And no, I in no way think that this is contrary to my vegetarian’s stand on animals. These critters have no redeeming qualities.

So, if you’re like me and you don’t like to squat, sweat, get dirt under your nails, see the guts of a worm you just sliced through or really help out very much, you can still have a lovely garden. Just marry a gardener.

Oh, and you might want to make a note to yourself not to drink out of our plastic U of L cups.


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