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

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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*

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

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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

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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!