Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Zebra

I don't have much more to say about the A to Z because it's finished. Hooray! I did it. 
Hope you enjoyed visiting my home and seeing a personal and tangible side of Eve Gaal.
This little zebra is a fashionable magazine holder.
 Zebra Joke I found online:
 Q-Why don't zebra's color?
          A-They like staying between the lions.

Did you take the A to Z Challenge? Did you finish all the posts? 
Do we deserve a medal? YES we do!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X & Y=?

I’m not sure if anyone else can relate to this but school had a way of tangling my brain like a kitten in a yarn shop, especially regarding sex and the opposite sex. My example has less to do with the how and more to do with why.

In history class, the teacher said that tribes broke into warfare to protect the women and children. Basically, war was about courtship, security and sex? Saints preserve us!! Guess that explained the Sunday night movies where adults kissed and suddenly there was a family to protect.  Okay... but why?

During English class the teacher said most poetry was part of the oral tradition used to lure unsuspecting virgins into bed. Naughty boys like Chaucer and Shakespeare, committed some of those stories to writing and the tales are full of corset-busting sexy scenes but the only thing my inquisitive, adolescent mind wanted to know was why? (We studied homophones too—which made sense--Why and Y?)

In biology class, the teacher told us that the factors determining whether a person becomes a boy or a girl depended on the XX or XY chromosomes. The double XX for girls held the attention of the boys in the class but something told me I was being hornswoggled, because there was nothing sexy in his discussion about conception and zygotes. In fact, if it related to sex, the teacher made it sound gross.

Algebra!!! Where do I start? Especially, when they asked about X+ Y. The previous class they had taught us that Y is a male chromosome and here they were asking what happens when Y is missing from the equation. Didn't the teachers talk in the lounge? Why did they expect innocent students to tell the math teachers the dirty truth! Why was the Y missing anyway? More importantly, why would anyone care?

I took my homework home and asked my dad about it. He was an engineer and was willing to help. He sat me down and began somewhere after the Stone Age. There was the wheel and then some pulleys, gears and finally ball bearings. He told me ball bearings worked a lot like my joints. I yawned and yawned and after four hours, my math homework was still blank. He told me to go brush my teeth and said I was adorable before saying goodnight.

 I had one more question. “Dad, is the missing Y a boy?” “A boy?” He asked, looking surprised. He smiled and searched the room for my mother’s eyes. “I think she’s ready for the talk,” he said, sounding serious. Mom laughed and told him she wasn't up to it and asked him why he thought it was time?

That night as I slipped into my pajamas I thought about what he meant by ‘the talk’—and in my heart I mistakenly knew-- I knew it had to do with sex, chromosomes, wars, poetry and lots of kissing. Which proved my inconclusive theory that Y stood for various boys and as a member of the crowd, I would always be asking why!

How about you--does any of this sound familiar?

Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for The Winner!

In case you don't know or don't remember,
our dog Pinky goes through pet toys instantaneously. She's a dog toy tester as evidenced by this previous post about the dog toy trials. Losing My Stuffing-Dog Toy Trials-(Click here)
Anyway, by instantaneous I mean--One hour after coming home from the pet store, the toy is decimated like a frog in biology class. Okay, so sometimes it's a little longer than one hour, but still.

It's a crunchy little goat? Pinky loves it and doesn't want to tear it apart--either that or  it's well made. 

A pet toy manufacturer must have felt my frustration because we purchased the toy pictured above about two months ago, from a supermarket called Winco. Two months ago??? Can you believe it? I cut off the tags and can't tell you who makes it but it's the undisputed winner!!Hooray!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Value

Home is something we value and that's why I chose V for Value.
This particular home came with fancy features such as lights that turn off by themselves, energy efficient double-pane windows and solar panels.  Like most home communities we are assigned three different trash bins but we still have to collect recyclables.

The Earth is our home too and though we are striving to make a difference, it's a collective effort and something none of us should take for granted. Simply because our home came with modern technology doesn't mean we're off the hook. Not only do I value the blessings but now I question what comes through the doors. Paper or plastic? Squiggly bulbs or incandescent? CFLs or LEDs? Drought tolerant or annual plants? Wood mulch or shredded paper moss? Fruit trees or shade? Diesel or gas? Everything makes a difference and every product has a positive side or an argument against it.  The list is endless but educational and I'm always learning something.

The way I see it, green is my favorite color, so it must be good. What about you? Do you drive a hybrid or plant trees on Arbor Day? Are you eco-friendly or are you retro, perhaps old fashioned, with a penchant to re-purpose one person's trash into another person's treasures. Everything helps, even making quilts from old scraps or using old bricks for a walkway.  

My home's footprint on the planet is rather large, so I'm glad it came with a little assistance.
How about you, have you made any green choices lately?  

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Unforgettable

I miss listening to my vinyl records. The sultry voices of Nat King Cole, Bing, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Perry Como, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw--not only, Big Band and Swing but Blues, Jazz etc. all attracted me as an adult. I had to get a record player and the records I wanted were old. Very old. I wanted to hear the crunchy sound of the needle and the pleasant dissonance of warped albums. Unfortunately, my record player is on the fritz-kaput-broken. Plus it’s just a cheap replica of the old RCA players and it wasn't even good when it was new but I had begged my husband for it and it was a generous Christmas gift about ten years ago. He’s so romantic. So of course, I still love it—even if I have to imagine hearing: “Unforgettable-That’s what you are. Unforgettable-Though near or far. Like a song of love that clings to me, how the thought of you does things to me. Never before has someone been more...Unforgettable....” Isn't that romantic?
His Master's Voice is now a dust catcher. 
I remember playing my rock and roll LP's on my parent’s Magnavox record player. Elton John sounded like he was right there singing Benny and the Jets and Crocodile Rock. I sang Candle in the Wind a thousand times into a pretend microphone and danced all around the living room singing Saturday Night’s Alright, while my parent’s weren't home of course. I played Chicago’s Saturday in the Park and dreamt of true love singing Color My World. I played The Eagles, Janis Ian, Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel and rocked out to Sonny and Cher. Of course I adored Elvis and the Beatles but I didn't have too many of their records. In hindsight, it all seems so romantic to me.

Mom and dad liked Classical and Opera and the Magnavox blared Verdi and Puccini every weekend. I have to say they inspired me with the romantic stories that take place in operatic performances. One big influence was Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade about a Persian queen who tells wild tales to entertain the King. Telling stories to entertain? Now that was something I could wrap my heart around because it's romantic and who knows, maybe someday, I'll be unforgettable. ...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Toys

I think having toys around can be inspirational. Toys from your childhood can remind you of happy times or inspire you to think about things from a younger perspective. No matter my age, there are some toys I can’t part with and want to live with forever. Sure, they might be collecting dust, but I love them anyway.
My first doll is wearing a hat I made(yes, my dog Fiona modeled it once) and a nightgown my mother made from flannel. Her name is Katie. She's also wearing some sort of blue jeans under the nightie but they were never finished. Behind her, is my favorite stuffed animal which is a bunny I used to sleep with. The bunny played Rock-a-bye Baby when it was wound up but it doesn't work anymore. The wooden monkey was a gift from my dad when I was three. He brought it home from San Francisco. The doll on the right side of the angel is a souvenir from New Orleans. 
My brother gave me this bear and I made him wear Fiona's raincoat
 since she won't have anything to do with it.
This is an antique Hungarian pitcher I found at an antique shop and now it's filled with bears.

Before Minions there was this guy.

                                     Do you love toys?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for See Something Funny!

See no evil,
Hear no evil,
Speak no evil--
Found this at an antique shop in Twenty-nine Palms, CA

and for Heaven's sake--don't do that!

Don't you love monkeys?
Have you seen the new movie Monkey Kingdom yet?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Rooster

Not really sure why I love roosters in my kitchen.
Maybe because I was born in the year of the rooster?

 Or because rooster in Italian sounds similar to my last name--if my name had an o after it? (Gallo)
Gift from brother
Or simply because they make me smile?
Hand-painted by husband
And smiling is always important!
Small one was a gift from my friend Tally H.
What objects in your home 
make you smile?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Quest

What are you searching for?

Me, I’m searching for peace and yet,
living in the desert was almost too much peace.
Our neighbors were snowbirds—
A sighting was as rare as seeing a White-winged Scoter 
or a Red-breasted Merganser.
The only sounds were golf carts and maintenance men with grass blowers.
(Google images-white winged scoters)
Can there be too much peace?

Right now, we live a mile to the freeway and in our bedroom it almost sounds like the ocean. We can walk to the store and many restaurants. A hospital is one mile away. So are traffic filled roads and all kinds of realities. Yes, Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Before we lived in the desert, we lived a few miles from this current location and remember it as bucolic horse ranches. Ancient oaks now only a memory, the builders have stripped this romantic land and filled it with two story homes. Ours of course, is one of them.

While content in the desert, we had to move for personal reasons. Temperatures reaching 129 degrees didn't help my case. I was the ostrich with my head in an air-conditioned home--writing--thinking everything ‘rocks’ but not everyone agreed. We were at least six miles to any store, church or hospital. Oh, and nighttime temperatures didn't cool off. At 120 in the day, it would be 98 at night. The gorgeous clay mountains surrounding our home held onto the heat like an oven. Needless to say, I wasn't complaining. I’d rather be warm than cold but it was never all about me.

Our quest is not over. Perhaps we will find the serenity we're looking for here on Earth and if not, there's that promise of a place in Our Father’s house. I imagine it as peaceful, without any road noise or grass blowers. I imagine the temperature is perfect and the view divine.

 We were searching for something when we came here. Are you on a quest too?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Pinky

Pinky is a playful, 10 yr old puppy.
(Notice the active tail in my blurred photo.)
She has been rescued twice and sometimes she gets anxious,
especially around loud noises and strangers. She has a boisterous,
deep bark that belies her 15 pounds. She hates closed doors
but loves chewing on her toys. They don't last very long.
Pinky and my other dog Fiona like to argue.
Pinky is resting in the back while Fiona stands guard.

Fiona is only 5 pounds but she scares Pinky.
In fact, Fiona scares everyone--even me. 
Poor Pinky.

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Orange

Okay, all my poetry loving friends.....
Drum-roll please....

Did you know that there is a word that rhymes with orange?
I didn't, 
until I wrote this post. 
Sporange is a sac where spores are made--
Verification is here: Oxford Dictionary

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Naughty

A bright sunny day is making Fiona squint like Clint. 
Famous stars and actresses become the ‘face’ of LancĂ´me or Revlon cosmetics. Here we have the ‘face’ of naughtiness. Plain and simple—this is it—in case you wondered—and now you know. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is Motivational Messages

These motivational messages came from my heart:

Listen. Sometimes a stranger can say something remarkable. 
You are unique and an integral piece of a large puzzle. 
Change what happens by starting something new today. 
Perseverance is the only way to reach perfection. 
Human contact and face-to-face communication is 
better than the fastest internet connection or wireless phone. 
You don’t have to choose between style, beauty and intelligence. 
Embrace your entire package. 
Since we have the ability to love, then using our heart should be easy. 
Keep the sad parts of your life story
 for someone who will listen, care and appreciate your pain. 


This morning...
 the world is waiting for your good ideas. 

Plan a strategy for ruling more than your side of the sink.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Love

Love is my prayer

Love inside.
Love outside.
Love in the front yard.
Love in the backyard.
Love when it hurts.
Love when things are going well.
Love in the cold.
Love in the heat.
Love up.
Love down.

Love all around.

Eve Gaal
Inspired by Saint Patrick's famous prayer

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Just

Is it foolish to defend a word?

I keep seeing articles about how the word just is nonsense and we shouldn't use it when writing.
What about....

Just a minute...?
Just because...?
Just between you and me...?
Just the two of us...?
Just for Men?
Just  you wait, Henry Higgins, just you wait?
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...?

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!”
or for those of you watching and following The Voice:

Christina Aguilera & Blake Shelton
 Just A Fool 

Just keep those home fires burning! 
Some people are taking this word 
straight to the bank!

Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for Islands

Did you honestly think I could go through the entire 
alphabet without promoting Penniless Hearts?

Besides, there are a few zillion people who haven't read it yet
 and they might enjoy a hula-style nudge. 

Islands, luau, flowers and love....
What can go wrong besides everything?

This is what the front and the back of the print copy looks like.
Isn't it nice? It was designed by Collin Beishir.
Also available for all your favorite eReaders.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Home


Home is more than a state of mind.
It's a feeling you get when the key turns.
It's a smile in your heart when YOUR flowers bloom.
It's a view,
A smell-
A comfortable room.
It's sunshine
Bouncing off YOUR ceiling. 

Home should be YOUR warmest place.
The prize after a hectic day.
A haven offering solace when your're tired,
A cup of cocoa,
A place to unwind.
Or hide under covers, 
While rain beats on YOUR roof.

Home is worth the trouble.
Noisy neighbors and their dogs-
 Mortgage, taxes and association dues.
Even field mice and ants-
Weeds and mello-roos.
Scrubbing, cleaning polishing
 'til YOUR fingers turn blue.

Because of LOVE.
Without love we stand on Real Estate.
On carpet between walls-
In kitchens,
And cold empty halls.
Without love-
We stand alone...
Without friends and family-
We don't own a home.

--Eve Gaal

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is for Fiona

Feisty Fiona!

There are other words beginning with the same letter that might describe my adorable dog that draws blood on a regular basis but I’ll just go with the name she had when we rescued her. 

This morning for example, I was wiping sleep from her eyes and chomp. 

Since I love her and want to keep her, does that mean we both have issues? 

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Electrical

Since I have two kinds of solar, a wireless computer and  wireless printer, why are there a million wires under my desk?
Any clue?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for Dictionary

These giant books are becoming obsolete
 but I still love them. 

Happy Easter Everyone!

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Cake

Here’s an easy recipe for a delicious Hawaiian desert.
One box of Angel Food Cake Mix
20 oz. can of crushed pineapple.-(don't drain it)
Whipped topping.
Mix cake mix and pineapple. The enzymes create a lot of fluffiness. Pour it into an 11x13 inch pan (which you have sprayed with cooking spray) and bake it at 350 for half an hour. Then top it with whipped topping.
Aloha deliciousness in every bite.  

As my friend Shelly likes to say, "Easy Peasy!"

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Bug

My 8-year-old granddaughter visited our new home and told us she wants to be an entomologist when she grows up.
 Doesn't that sound wonderful?

Imagine my embarrassment when she held up what I thought was a twig and informed me it was a millipede. Then, to make matters worse, she seemed ecstatic when she noticed the earwig scurrying across our living room floor. Finally, on her way out the door there was the photo-op of a giant moth. Don't they have bugs in Connecticut? 

Her parents must be horrified at my slovenly housekeeping and I'm glad for the gentle reminder about spring-cleaning. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Angels

My A to Z theme is: Home-The personal and tangible side of my heart.
Since everyone needs to get to a thousand other bloggers, I figured my posts should be brief.

A is for Angels in my bedroom
Guarding a window

A print from Italy

A small photo we purchased at a desert art festival. I think it's from Notre Dame Cathedral. 

This is a giant painting facing our bed. Cavacci?

A tapestry

Angels read books.

Master bath guardian

Yes, there's more. What about you? Do you like angels too?