Category Archives: Postcards from a Parallel Universe

You’ve Got to be Kitten?

I just love this tshirt!

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade Don’t miss a post! Be sure to follow my blog at

http://dianabeebe.com

It’s a funny thing moving from WordPress.com to my own domain that uses WordPress.org. Maybe I’m missing some key setting that lets you follow the dianabeebe.com site as easily as it is to follow this one. *shrug*

Do come over and subscribe to get email notification of new posts. ūüôā

Here’s a list of my recent posts that you may have missed here at the old site:

Not a Sweet Failure After All

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasyThis weekend, I was inspecting that garden bed, where the sweet potatoes died and the volunteer celery is thriving. What did I see?

Go to my new website to find out:

Not a Sweet Failure After All

While you’re there, sign up to receive a note whenever I post something new–if you haven’t already. You don’t even have to be a mermaid to subscribe. I hope you will! ūüôā

Just Because…

Lately, I’ve had a few extra projects going on, and I’ve been away from Mermaids Don’t Do Windows.

To make it up to you, I give you CUTENESS:

Image by Amber West via WANA Commons

Image by Amber West via WANA Commons

I’m not owned by any cats now.¬† (Yes, I wrote that correctly. ūüôā )
Throughout high school, I was owned by a couple of hilarious and wonderful kitties.

My favorite cat was a wild kitten who found me at the shopping mall.

While my best friend, V, and I waited for her dad to pick us up, the most adorable speckled calico kitten walked up to me and mewed.

She was the sweetest thing ever. We played with her until my friend’s dad arrived, but then I couldn’t leave her. I scooped her up and brought her home.

“Mom, look what I found on the driveway!”
(Terrible lie, I know. I’ve since confessed to my family where the cat found me.)

This was absolutely the best cat that has ever owned me. Here’s why:

  • She made friends with our dog, who hated cats.
  • She purred all the time.
  • She let me bathe her and blow her dry with the hair dryer. She loved it.
  • She ambushed our ankles, but never used her claws.
  • She was my cat. When I walked into the room, no other humans in the house mattered to her.

Have you ever been owned by a great cat or other pet? What was the cutest thing your pet ever did?

Confessions of the Musically Challenged

Hi, my name is Diana and I’m musically challenged.

Isn’t that a lovely euphamism for “I suck at music”? How about “pitch deprived”? Or, “note ignorant”?

Forget the euphamisms. I suck at music. It is a skill I wished I had sometimes. I’m surrounded by people who know music. They can read music.¬†The running joke in my family is that musical talent skipped my generation. Well, it definitely skipped me.

Diana Beebe's Blog

Growing up, I fiddled around on the old piano that we had but didn’t take lessons. My brother taught me how to play the basics of “Chopsticks” while he played the more complicated parts around me.

In middle school, music was a requirement. I picked choir, because I was terrified of failing at playing an instrument. I had a decent voice back then, so it was an easy choice. The choir director had quite an…er…interesting group of kids who had various levels of interest and talent. She taught us the notes on the treble and bass clefs, but I never learned to read them. (If you take just the notes in the spaces of the treble clef, they spell FACE. Yep, that’s what I remember.) Still today, if you played a note and asked me what it was, I’d have no clue.

I knew to sing a higher note if the note on the page went up. If I didn’t know the song already, then I didn’t really know what note to sing next. I felt sorry for Mrs. Petrash at the UIL sight reading competition. We sounded like a cacophony of wounded animals.

The Armadillo can play the piano. She already understands some musical theory. She gets what major and minor mean. I have NO clue. She heard her grandmother practicing piano (they take lessons together) and corrected her, “Not in minor.”

When she got a new piano music book, she was so excited. Here’s our conversation:

The Armadillo: “This book¬†has ‘Blow the Man Down.’ What’s that?”

Me: A pirate song.

The Armadillo: “Cool. Then it should be in minor. You know, ’cause pirates are usually bad guys.”

Me:  *blink blink*

The Armadillo: “Let me read you the notes for ‘Hot Cross Buns.’ E D C…”

Me:¬†*Laughs*¬†“I¬†don’t know what that means.”

The Armadillo: *blink blink* “Didn’t you ever¬†play an instrument? I thought you played a¬†horn. How¬†can you¬†not read music?”

Dynasty II French Horn Bugle

Dynasty II French Horn Bugle

It’s true that in high school I played a French Horn bugle. It is what it sounds like. A bugle built to sound like a French Horn. It resembles a marching French Horn, but it’s a bugle. I was pretty good at playing it, too. I loved it, actually, for a few reasons.¬†It wasn’t a soprano or tenor bugle (those killed my lips), and there were only two of us who played it in the entire corps. Also, I didn’t have to read music to be successful. Most of us in my high school drum and bugle corps learned by ear and memorization. Remember my choir music-reading experience? Yeah, it’s a good thing no one made us do that. If someone was really bad (because they didn’t practice, maybe), then they faked it on the field (not pointing any fingers at my sister, or anything. ūüėČ )

Music is one area where I’m happy to let my husband help our daughters when they have a question about music or what they are practicing. They can ask me if they want, but all they’ll get is…

*blink blink*

What musical skills or talents do you have–or wish you have?¬† I’d love to hear about it!

If you want to vote on which comic book cover Armadillo picked, go here. I’ll post the results and the answer this week!

Something Light and Fluffy

After the super, heavy seriousness of my recent deathmatch with my dishwasher, I think we all need something light and fluffy.

So…

Pillows!

The newest generation of My LIttle Pony characters

The shirt from kindergarten outgrown too soon… It’s hard to see in this picture, but she put pretty multi-colored cording around the entire seam. It matches perfectly!

If you’ve got kiddos, there is a really good chance that he or she has a favorite shirt. One that they want to wear and wear and wear, even when it’s two sizes too small. The Armadillo loved these two My Little Pony shirts. She cried both times when they didn’t fit anymore. So I saved them.

Rainbow Dash from the last generation of ponies.

The shirt from preschool…bought too large on purpose; it wasn’t big enough to last forever.

The daughter of one of my friends loves to sew and design, so I asked if she would convert the shirts into pillows. She did a fabulous job, don’t you think? And Armadillo loves them and keeps them on her bed.

Some people collect their cherished baby and toddler clothes and make them into quilts. My friend told me that she saw one that was a pieced quilt. All the onesies and shirts were cut up into pieces, some of them even had tiny babyfood stains. Cute, right?

What about you? Do you have a favorite thing from your childhood or your children’s childhood that you’ve saved or converted into something else?

You Can’t Drive to Hawai’i!

How did this revelation take place?

We were talking about vacations: ones we’ve taken and ones we’d like to take. Hawai’i was in the middle of the mix because family friends go nearly every year. The car reference was based on renting a car once on the island–My little one heard only part of the conversation. She thought I wanted to drive there. (D’oh!) LOL.

OK, Smartypants, if you can’t drive to Hawai’i, then how can you get there? By plane or boat, of course.

By Cole Vassiliou via WANA Commons

By Cole Vassiliou via WANA Commons

I don’t know about you and your family, but we have a how-to-travel debate often. One doesn’t want to fly. One does want to fly. Another goes cross-eyed looking at airfares for a family of four. The last cringes at the driving route across several states.

So, the thought of taking a boat to Hawai’i…. I can’t even fathom it. An expensive, long cruise on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean doesn’t sound like fun to me.

My BFF has taken a few driving trips halfway across the states, crisscrossing and site seeing for weeks at a time. A different hotel every night. A different adventure everyday. If driving to Hawai’i was an option, I bet her family would do it.

Whew! I’m already tired.

So my daughter asked if we ever went to Hawai’i would we take a boat or a plane, as if there was a choice. I wiped tears of laughter off my face. Did she really ask me that?

Where do you want to travel and how would you get there? Have you already been on an adventure that included different modes of transportation? Would you ever travel that way again?

Thor Isn’t a Native Texan…

But he got here as fast as he could.

If you’re a native Texan, you know what I mean.

When Debra Kristi said that Thor wanted to tour the world, I jumped at the chance to show him my little piece of Texas.

Thor thought it might be nice to have one of these lovely steeds go home with him.

Thor thought it might be nice to have one of these steeds go home with him.

The first thing he asked about was whether we had cows or horses.  Uh, no.

Horse stealing...Nasty business

But we have¬†this lovely collection of model horses.¬† They were more his size than the real thing.¬† I lent him a hat to wear, too.¬† It wasn’t exactly a cowboy hat, but straw hats are nice.¬† He was afraid of messing up his hair though.

Real cowboys don’t worry about hat head.

Thor found himself in some trouble with the local law.¬† When he saw his “Wanted” poster, he knew it would be best to leave the horses at my house.

Horse rustling is nasty business.

One day, I took him to work so he could hang out with Spidey-Spud and Darth Tater in my office.  They showed him around my bookshelf and plants.  They took turns trying to convince Thor that they could hold his hammer.  They even offered up the light saber and web!

Thor wondered about the potato-shaped men...

Thor wondered about the potato-shaped men….

Thor, being the responsible god that he is, chose to keep his hammer to himself.

"I said, 'No!' You may not hold my hammer, strange potato men." He decided that he wanted potato salad and barbeque for lunch.

“I said, ‘No!’ You may not hold my hammer, strange potato men.”

Even with those eyes flashing in anger, I think he was trying to keep the spuds from embarrassing themselves when the hammer wouldn’t let them lift it.¬† Only one has the humility and integrity to wield it.¬† Just saying.

Then he decided that he wanted potato salad for lunch.

In honor of his godliness, I took him to an NBA basketball game with two of my besties (the witch and the vampire). It was the Dallas Mavericks against none other than the OKC Thunder.

He took in the crowd and asked, “All these scantily-clad women and other mortals came here to see me?”

Uh, no.

The god of thunder cheered his team to victory.

The god of thunder cheered his team to victory.

I¬†got worried when he complained about the OKC team’s uniforms.¬† “How can they not include a bolt on the jerseys?” he asked.¬† I told him that it was better than¬†the other ones where “Thunder” was written on the back of their shorts. (Think about it.) ¬†The god of thunder was appeased when he saw so many lightning bolt shirts in the stands.¬† He was even more pleased to hear those fans cheer when the Thunder played well.

He was a bit of a stinker during the game.¬† Everytime the home crowed chanted, “Let’s go, Mavs,” he countered with, “O – K – C!”¬† At one point, he was so thunderously loud with threats to strike the arena that¬†I thought one of the ushers might ask us to leave.¬† After a nail-biting overtime, the Thunder managed to win by two points.¬† Thor claimed the victory as his own and hailed the Thunder players as the best in the NBA (they are pretty good).¬† He taunted us on the entire drive home.¬† No humility there.

As a gracious guest (or maybe he was still giddy from his team’s win), he thanked me profusely for the look at Texas, short that it was.¬† I hope he wasn’t too disappointed that some of his wacky assumptions about Texans weren’t true or that he didn’t get to steal a horse.¬† ūüėČ

What would you do if you hosted a¬†god or superhero?¬† Who would it be?¬† Come on….share!

Dream Cars and Drool…

The other day, I sat in my dream car. Sigh. Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

Telsa Motors Model S.

The sleek lines, the amazing interior, the very cool door handles (they are flat against the door until you touch them). I had to restrain myself from flailing my arms in excitement.¬†The screen behind the car says, “My eyes were wide and my jaw has dropped.” Sums it up nicely. Except for one thing…

Diana BeebeThe salesman in the showroom approached us. Here’s our conversation:
Sales guy: Do you have any questions?
Me: No, I’m just drooling.
Sales guy: *Puzzled look* then *hearty laughter* That is the best answer I’ve heard ever!
Husband: Get the girls through college first.

Kill joy.

I left the Santana Row Tesla Motors Design Studio willingly and with most of my dignity intact, much to my husband’s relief. I’m sure he had visions of my hanging onto the sleek, beautiful hood and clinging to it with desparation while begging for the sedan to return my love.

Ahem. Moving on while I have a shred of dignity left…

At dinner that night, a friend told us how he’d just gotten the delivery date for his own Model S.¬† We’d planned our visit too early.¬† I wouldn’t get to drive it.¬† *pout*

Could I invite myself back on the day he gets his beautiful, sleek Model S, so I could drive it?  And maybe pull a couple of fuses.  You must watch the video toward the bottom of the article.

My friend sent me that link with the note “For your drooling pleasure.”¬† I have it bad, don’t I?¬† Truthfully, I would be terrified to drive the car in that manner.

It reminded me of when I drove the Tesla Motors Roadster.

As if that’s not bad enough Tesla Motors also has the Model X. The ultimate crossover with the coolest doors ever.¬† My seven-year-old hopes that I’ll get that one so she can drive it someday.¬† Keep dreaming, kiddo.¬† You will not be parking that in a high school student parking lot.

I’ll keep dreaming, too.¬† I’ll try not to drool.¬† No promises.

What’s your dream car?¬† Have you ever owned your dream car?¬† What feature do you love about cars?

Fit to be Twisted

I’ve been accused of being twisted sometimes. It’s true. My twistedness reveals itself at surprising times. But I’m not writing to share about my twisted sense of humor. I’m writing about a towel.

A couple of Christmases ago, my mom gave me something that made me wonder. I remember thinking, “Huh. What are these strange little towels that Mom gave me?” Turbie Twist towels?¬† I was skeptical and maybe a little put out that I got towels for Christmas.¬† ¬†(Sorry, Mom!)turbietwist

Some smart woman got tired of twisting her just-washed hair into a bath towel that may or may not stay piled and balanced on top of her head. Forget picking up after a toddler or leaning over to pick up anything without the bath towel flopping off her head.

After one use, I was in love. My older daughter was, too. Two or three years later, the little elastic loop on my original Turbie Twist is stretched and elastic-less. Don’t care. One of these days, I’ll fix that, but it still works.

My younger daughter has been asking for her own “hair towel” for months. The requests escalated after she used mine. My towel disappeared one day. I found it in the girls’ bathroom. Coincidence? I think not.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, my mom-in-law asked me about little gifts she could get for the girls’ stockings, I told her about the Turbie Twist towels. I think she may have looked at me sideways, a little, like I was crazy, but she picked up enough for all four of her granddaughters.

When my younger daughter found that pink “head towel” in her gifts from her grandparents, she was thrilled. (Yes, my child was happy to get a towel for Christmas!)

The BFF laughed at my story. But as Fate would have it, she found herself in a store one day staring at a huge wall display of Turbie Twist towels. She bought a set. Then I got this note from her yesterday (personal details edited out and quoted with permission):

I have a new obsession! Yesterday after talking with you on the phone …¬† There was a huge wall display of Turbie towels. I stared at them for a long while wondering what was the fascination with these little towels? I was looking for some new pillow cases, but walked out with a Turbie towel 2 pack :). I couldn’t resist after our conversation …. I used it this morning for the first time and I loved it! I have been using 2 towels forever. One for my hair and one for my body. I would twist the towel up on my head and walk around like that for awhile. This Turbie towel was so much lighter on my head. I fell in love with it! I can’t believe I had never heard of this wonderful invention. My head was so light and free this morning! I even looked at towels while I was there. That is one (of many) things I want for my new home. This time I will only have to buy 2 towels instead of 4 – what a savings of money and laundry time! Thank you so much for telling me about this wonderful product!

Seriously, the BFF would make a great commercial. She ended by asking if there was a blog post in there somewhere. D’oh!

Then this morning, she told me she didn’t have to take the towel off to put her turtleneck on. Try that with a bath towel piled on your head!

While I ponder why I wasn’t smart enough to cut and sew towel fabric in such a way that I could comfortably wear my wet hair in the lightly twisted knot, the sisters who did are thinking, “Yeah, we were smart enough.”

This video shows how simple it is. The kiddo in the video is adorable, too.

BTW–I have no connection to the company. I just love the product. I don’t know why I didn’t think to share this with everyone sooner!

While I think about those really cute animal print ones that I saw at the store, I’d love to hear what’s going on in your head. Is there a product that you wish you’d invented or sold?¬† Have you tried a Turbie Twist towel?

2012 in Review and Looking Forward to 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for Mermaids Don’t Do Windows.

In the almost¬†six months that I’ve been blogging, here are my top 5 posts and my theories for why they made the list:

  1. Mermaids Aren’t Real?¬†—¬†This War of the Worlds moment (remember the radio program that had people panicking?) had to be shared.¬† If they are real, they are smart enough to elude Animal Planet film crews.
  2. My Very Own My Little Pony¬†— Ponyfest12 was a success!¬† I couldn’t believe that my pony won, but then again, I have awesome friends.¬† Look for a pony reveal¬†soon.¬† In the meantime, you should check out Rebecca Enzor’s blog, because Ponyfest is hers and she’s great.
  3. Totes, Selfies, and Sharpies¬†— Why did this one make the top 5?¬† Because there are people searching on teen selfies.¬† Not kidding! Exactly 25% of the known Google searches that linked to my blog were about selfies, and most of those were looking for teens! Ick. Parents of teens, monitor your kids’ phones and uploads.¬† Just sayin’.
  4. Welcome to Gattaca¬†— Who doesn’t love that movie?
  5. We figured that one out a long time ago¬†— I just can’t help myself when I hear of discoveries that shock scientists about the intelligence of women.

These fabulous people were my top 5 commenters. I love their blogs.  I hope you check them out:

  1. Pauline B Jones
  2. Julie Glover
  3. Ryan King
  4. Debra Kristi
  5. Jordan L. Hawk

I launched this blog at the end of June last year with a ton of support and encouragement from my WANATribe Blogging for Brand classmates and WANA founder, Kristen Lamb.

So what’s in store for Mermaids Don’t Do Windows in 2013?

  • Three¬†posts a week.
  • Pony reveal!
  • A visit from a Norse god. Yes, Thor is coming to visit me soon!¬† He will get to see what Texas is all about.
  • A blog upgrade and some tweaks.
  • A posting¬†schedule.¬† What?!¬†
  • More housework avoidance (and maybe some decluttering projects).

Happy New Year to you all!

Thanks for stopping by.¬† I’d love to hear what you have going on for the new year.