Category Archives: Holidays

Green Is Good

Hope you enjoy some more greenery in your feed for Terri’s Sunday Stills photo challenge. πŸ€πŸ™‚πŸ’š

The Struggle Is Real (Green)!

Some friends and I decided to hang out Sunday, so naturally I had to buy some festive apparel. I know, you’re thinking… Paula, don’t you already have St. Patrick’s Day themed stuff from prior years? Well, not really! I have a hat, I guess, but that’s about it. I wore my greenish shirt on Friday to work, and it’s not that festive besides. I have a lime green sweater, but March 17th isn’t really about lime green, now is it? I used to have shamrock socks, but they got all holey. 😒

So, Friday night I went onto the Target app, like you do, to commence shopping. There wasn’t anything I liked much in my local store, so I moseyed on over to Huntington Beach. Eh, a couple shirts were okay, and there were some cute socks and earrings. Then I had a brainstorm to try the men’s department. Well! The guys had adorable shirts! Beautiful green ones with the Lucky Charms logo (we just got plain white), and OMG a kitty shirt, black and white, with a widdle green hat!!! Obviously, I had to get the kitty shirt. Why wouldn’t they make it for women/juniors? Who even can figure out the logic to these things? πŸ™„

I ordered the shirt, socks, and earrings, paid for all that, and planned to pick them up the next morning. I was very happy… for about 5 minutes until I received an email saying those items were no longer available in Huntington Beach. Or Costa Mesa. WHAT? I began searching the whole area on the handy-dandy app. They said I could buy all the same things in Irvine on Barranca. FINE. I was very happy again… for like 5 minutes. Then they said I could only have the shirt. No earrings, no socks. Wtfff? What about the Target in Irvine Spectrum? NO. Westminster Mall. NO NO NO! You can’t have any festive socks or earrings. Get over it. 😑

Ooh, I was so mad. This wasn’t the end of it though. I stayed up late, all energized by my fury. First thing Saturday morning I went right over to the Barranca Target and got my shirt ~ there was a minor drama however because they couldn’t find it at Guest Services and I was about to have a heart attack, but then they did, so I was okay. I went to Peet’s after that for coffee and a PB cookie (yummo). The reason Target was out of green things is because they took them away to make room for Easter things. I stopped at CVS, which sometimes has fun socks, but they too were all Easterized before St. Patrick’s Day. Kohl’s had one little sad display of green dishtowels. ANNOY! πŸ”₯

But then… then I went to Party City. And guess what? They had tons of St. Patrick’s Day stuff still on the shelves Because… because PEOPLE WANT TO BUY IT! And unlike Target, CVS, and Kohl’s, Party City likes to make money from people who want to buy things! What a unique and interesting concept! Stores keeping things in stock that people want to buy. Huh. Who would have thought? Capitalism at its finest, folks, right here in Huntington Beach. Or over there rather. Up there? Idk. Directions confuse me. WHATEVER! I bought green things, which is the point. Yayyy!!! πŸ€πŸ’–πŸ€

Opposites Attract: Challenges 4 & 5

These two challenges are perfect for International Women’s Day! 🌏

So many things have been forbidden to women over the centuries, depending upon the society. Certain professions were not deemed permissible for “the fairer sex.” Only in the last hundred years have women demanded and received the right to vote and manage their own money, here in the USA! It some cultures, it’s not allowable for women to drive or choose their own spouses. 😑

On social media, wherever a woman may be physically located, it’s likely that in cyberspace she has experienced misogynistic bullying and trolling, if not worse. But she is still expected to be pleasant and have a smiling selfie as well as an emotionally generous and forgiving “tone,” lest she be accused of not being feminine. The horror! 😱

Speaking of looks, in the dating arena (yes, we are back to that, pffft), a woman is expected to be fashionable. Men are always jabbering on about women’s looks, even when they say stupid things like they prefer “Mary Ann to Ginger,” as if Mary Ann’s pigtails and non-makeup makeup look didn’t take just as long to style as Ginger’s glam. But supposedly it’s okay for men to obsess about looks because they’re “visual” and can’t help it, but if a woman cares about comfort and security due to her DNA, then she’s a gold-digger, right guys? πŸ™„

Whatever! I’m just happy to be done with all that, and now I can schlump around in uncool corduroy pants, cozy unstylish sweaters, and all manner of comfy dowdy shoes that aren’t sexy in the least.😜

Laura’s Eleven

Laura nominated me for a Liebster Award and presented 11 questions. As a finale to my lazy 3-day weekend of doing nothing much, I’ll answer them while watching yet another episode of Game of Thrones.

1. Tell me an event that changed your life.

– All of them.

2. Favorite color?

– Turquoise.

3. What is one of your favorite quotes?

– Life is short; eat dessert first.

4. Tell me your favorite post that you wrote on your blog?

– The Duke vs the Secretary.

5. What can bring a smile to your face daily?

– See the photo.

6. What movie scared you as a child?

Candyman.

7. Favorite game? Board, online, gaming system.

– Board games, variety of.

8. How did you pick your blog’s name?

– From leitmotif.

9. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 13 year old self?

– Buy tech stocks.

10. If you had to give up one which do you think you could live without? Cell phone, television, computer

– Television.

11. What is your guiltiest pleasure?

– Watching TV all day and not working on my writing.

Thanks for the nom, Laura! I’m not going to nom anyone, as is my way. πŸ™‚

Valentines [99 words]

They were not sentimental people, and they had many differences. He grew irritated over her lack of interest in the arts; she snapped at him for being so unhelpful around the house. They didn’t bother buying gifts for each other. You would never find them exchanging Valentine’s Day cards or candy. In another era, they might have divorced, but they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary before she died. When he moved into Assisted Living, the attendant asked his secret for so many years of togetherness. He said: “Find the most beautiful girl in the world and make her happy.”

~*~

For the Carrot Ranch

Happy Valentine’s Day β€οΈ

To me!

From all of you! Thank you so much for the group Valentine card!

That really made my night.

Hope everyone has a happy hearts day! ❀️

Make Mine Magenta

Cee says we can choose our own color this week, and in the Valentines’ spirit I choose hot pink aka magenta.

V4L Challenge 16

Keep Valentine’s Day Legal!

“I’m meeting someone,” Cupid said to Chantal. He didn’t want to tell her he was meeting a woman from a personal ad, but since she might show up any second, he decided to be honest. “It’s kind of a first date.”

Chantal frowned. “What a coincidence. I’m meeting someone for a first date too. Your age. Blond hair, blue eyes, white shirt. His name is Apollo, ha ha. But it can’t be you because you said your company didn’t allow its employees to use dating sites.”

“Are you… Kitty Cupcake?” Cupid asked. This was so crazy! His mom had sent him the dating profile from his ex-girlfriend.

“Yes,” she said. “I guess we could sit down and stop blocking the doorway.”

After they were seated and had ordered drinks, Cupid said, “It’s true we signed an agreement not to use dating sites. Please don’t report me.”

Chantal smiled. “Okay… Apollo. Just don’t bring me any more candy with peanuts in it.”

“I’m so sorry about that!” Cupid shook his head. “I was working way too hard. But things are changing at Love, Inc. A couple of the Directors were let go this morning by the new CEO and we’re going to reorganize the teams. My workload will be split with another Project Manager.”

“That’s great news!” Chantal said. “I think I misjudged you. I’m surprised you answered an ad without a photo. I had thought you were more superficial and I apologize.”

“Thanks,” Cupid said. “We really didn’t know each other that well prior to the candy incident, but I really am looking for something lasting, just like you.”

She nodded. “I’ve been stressed too. My boss gave me an important assignment and I need to really ace it. I’m drafting the proposal to keep Valentine’s Day legal. You know we have only thirty days to appeal before the new law takes effect and then Valentine’s Day will be taken off all the calendars for next year.”

“Yeah, we’ve all been talking about that law at work and how it might impact our business.” Cupid handed Chantal a menu. “Would you like to get some dinner here, or did you have other plans?”

“I’d love to get dinner. But would you mind taking a look at my proposal first? I can pull up the draft on my phone. It’s pretty short so far. I’d be interested to hear what you think.”

Cupid was thrilled that she cared about his opinion. He began to read her essay…

Valentine’s Day Should Remain Legal

After the stress of the end-of-year holidays, along with New Year’s festivities, many people are burned out. Valentine’s Day offers a fun break from high-expectation holidays. It’s pure indulgence with glittering pink cards, chocolate candy, and crafts for children. While people can certainly get fancy and go over the top with fine dining and lavish gifts, if they wish, they certainly don’t have to, for as we all know, the gift of time is the most precious one of all. Visit a sick relative, spend time at an animal shelter, make cards for charity, etc. Give of yourself and see how good that feels; it’s actually a gift from you to you. Some who don’t have a sweetheart might feel sad around February 14, but Valentine’s Day is about so much more than romance. It’s about generosity of spirit. And if we wipe that off the calendar, we’ll be bereft of anything to celebrate until St. Patrick’s Day. Nothing against green, but we need some happy pink hearts in the wintertime!

“Chantal, that’s fantastic!” Cupid said. “I really like the generosity of spirit line. Honestly I never thought of visiting an animal shelter on Valentine’s Day, but that’s a great idea. Obviously it’s too late this year, but what about next weekend? I’ve been thinking about adopting a cat actually. My mom has a couple and I miss having one around.”

“It’s a date,” she said.

πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

V4L Challenge 11 (ranty)

Why Valentine’s Day Sucks!

First, if you’re wondering (and of course you are) where challenges 9 and 10 are, no worries! You did not miss an exciting installment of Cupid + Chantal. I simply skipped those challenges due to math: the pesky 24 hours per day adding up to 24 yet again. Dammit.

Second, I actually like Valentine’s Day and think it’s a lot of fun to celebrate love cuz gawd knows we spend way too much time focusing on stuff we dislike, amirite? The day doesn’t have to be sad if you don’t have a romantic sweetie ~ it can be about other loves. Children, friends, pets. You can even buy a treat for yourself, or for me. 😍

However! I totally get why people hate Valentine’s Day. It’s stressful to be forced to demonstrate your feelings on demand ~ some people just don’t respond on cue, and I respect that. They don’t want to spend money on schmaltzy cards or buy pink teddy bears, jewelry, flowers, candy, etc. because it’s the fourteenth day of February. Whyyyyy? How is that meaningful? Unless it’s the anniversary of that particular couple’s first date or other special occasion, I can see people (especially men) feeling resentful of the expectation to produce tangible evidence of their relationship commitment on this random date.

What’s even more annoying is that women will go along with the above paragraph and then still be upset if the man ignores Valentine’s Day as they had previously agreed to do. She had probably agreed mostly to make him happy, but then when the day arrived she thought well he could have at least gotten me a silly card and a cupcake. That wouldn’t have taken so much time or cost very much. Then he’s mad that she’s upset. True story. πŸ’”

I personally don’t like the pressure to make a huge fancy deal out of Valentine’s Day cuz that’s a lot of work, and who needs more work? I resent the idea that (when I did have someone), I was supposed to buy a gorgeous new outfit and look spectacular on Valentine’s Day, or else I’d disappoint my guy. Naturally he was supposed to make reservations somewhere nice, or else we’d have to plan to cook something special together. So much work! Especially on a weeknight. Ughhh.

But it seems like everything has to be extreme these days, all or nothing, love or hate. Why can’t we (if we have a romantic partner), celebrate Valentine’s Day in a fun, low key way? Do something special but not annoying or expensive? Maybe plan it for the weekend afterward if February 14th is a work night. If we don’t have a partner, there’s no reason to hate the day when we can treat a relative or friend to a little gift, or even ourselves. Gifts can be of time too.

Sure, it would be ideal to express our love every day of the year, to buy a gift exactly when we felt the genuine urge, not when ads told us to, or to give the special people in our lives extra time and attention at any random time just because. We certainly do not need a pink and red hearts day mostly concocted by greeting card companies to nudge us, right? But let’s get real. People who say that stuff mostly aren’t that loving. They’re cranky curmudgeons who don’t randomly make pretty, glittery cards for people or bake pink frosted cakes or jump up and say hey I’m really glad you’re in my life!

So pffft on them and their hatey poopery. They bag on Valentine’s Day because they like to be cynical about all things all the time. They don’t want to shop or create something handmade or give you extra time. They feel awkward about expressing positive, good feelings. Mostly I’m talking about the men I’ve met, since I’m more forgiving of women who are sad on Valentine’s Day because men are so hatey about it. But don’t be sad! We can buy our own candy now.

Sorry… but I guess I just don’t think that Valentine’s Day sucks. There are so many ways to celebrate love. πŸ’–β€οΈπŸ’—

V4L Challenge 5

A Day in the Life of Cupid

When we last left our intrepid hero, he’d been comforting his girlfriend at the hospital on Valentine’s night after buying her drugstore candy with nuts in it to which she was allergic. But now it’s back to work for Cupid. He’s Project Manager at Love, Inc. and his days are hectic. Today is no exception.

Cupid arrived at his office early at 8am, hoping to get a bunch of work done before the crew came in. He’d bought an egg and cheese muffin and a large coffee to fuel himself up for the tasks ahead.

First, he remembered to text his girlfriend and ask her how she was feeling after the candy ordeal last night. She didn’t respond right away, but that was probably because she was busy at work too. They’d only had two dates so far, plus the funny hospital mishap, but Cupid had a good feeling about their potential. Chantal was a really sweet, understanding person.

Just as Cupid started to plow through his pile of unread emails, the head arrower stopped by his desk.

“Sorry to bother you, boss,” the HA said. “But I thought you should know that the new batch of arrows are at least twenty percent defective. The rest of the crew is experiencing the same.”

“Darn it!” Cupid said. “I recommended we stay with Universal Arrow, but was overruled because they wanted to cut costs.”

The HA nodded. “These are definitely inferior.”

“Thanks for letting me know. I’ll make a report.” Great, thought Cupid. Another task for the to-do list. But this one was high priority.

Cupid shot off a report about the defective arrows to his Operations Director and then returned to his other tasks. But he was soon interrupted again.

“Excuse me,” one of the new arrowers said. “But I ran into a problem on Valentine’s Day. My target was hit again an hour later because she hadn’t disappeared from the list. The same thing happened three more times with different targets as I discovered just now when I compared notes with a coworker.”

Cupid’s naturally calm and cheerful demeanor faded into anger. He realized immediately this was due to yet another boneheaded cost-cutting measure some of the Directors had insisted upon. His Director was a good guy, but had voted in favor of the measures regardless in hopes of getting concessions from the other Directors in return. “Politics,” he had said to Cupid at the time.

Now Cupid said to the arrower, “I’m sorry that happened. It’s the new software. We’ll alert them to the problem and hopefully it can be a simple fix.”

“Thanks,” she said. “I’ll tell the others. It’s really sad when we set up a promising situation and it all falls apart because of some technical glitch.”

Cupid agreed with her. He called Hearts Aflame, the new software company, and put in a help ticket with Quality Control. They promised to give his issue their fullest attention just as soon as his number came up in the queue. It was 37.

Next, he attended a luncheon seminar slash sexual harassment program that all Project Managers were required to attend quarterly. It lasted two hours and they received free chicken pesto sandwiches, sodas, and handbooks on how not to be jerks, and then they watched a movie on how to deal with any jerks on their crews. Now it was 3pm and Cupid still had at least a full day’s work left.

At 7 he decided enough was enough and went to the gym. He felt like skipping it, going home, and flopping on the sofa, but thinking about his hot new girlfriend motivated him to go. He did a quick workout, showered, and headed back to his pad. It was after 9 and he was wiped out. As he nuked a frozen burrito, his phone dinged with a new text. Chantal!

Hi, sorry to do this over text, but I’ve met someone else. Thought you should know. It just happened all of a sudden like a bolt out of the sky. Take care. C

πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”