Category Archives: Signs

Ding-dong Ditch

My son admitted to a bit of “Ding-dong Ditch” the other day. I tried not to admonish too strongly–after all, it used to be one of my favorite illicit activities, and one that was relatively harmless. But I did tell him that it was not thoughtful, complete with reminders about how some people–older or infirm ones–have to work very hard just to respond to a rung bell. I saw the lightbulb moment in his eyes.

And then, the scared-Mommy thoughts surfaced: “What if some creep comes to the door, hunts them down, and grabs…” – or- “What if they don’t make it away from the door in time, and the grumpy, gun-toting dowager down the street decides to teach them a lesson, barely missing a foot, or an arm as she shoots, cackles (not all dowagers are dignified), and bangs the door?”

What makes our children stop and think about how they spend their time? Do each and every one of our lessons land somewhere inside of them, to be culled as needed–in time to keep them safe? I like this fantasy.

I also know reality–know that all too often our beloved children step out and into trouble before we can blink back our fearful tears.

“STOP!” I want to yell – “Ingest every single shred of wisdom I have heaped on you.”

“STOP!” I want to yell – “Don’t make the same mistakes I made.”

“STOP!” I tell myself. Then I take a deep breath (or five hundred) remember that I AM doing my level-and-not-so-level-headed best to help my children avoid the deepest potholes, and that there are plenty of other signs along the way–signs I hope they will heed.

Funny thing is…had I known all this before becoming a parent–how certain moments make you wish you hadn’t, because sometimes the worry and the pain seem unbearable-nothing could have stopped me from doing it anyway.

Fo Rent

“No smoking. No drinking. No drugs.
No loud noise. No cats, dogs, or horses.
No sour people. No drama.”

Perfect. Not for me…I’m loud, I drink rich, red wine and I definitely have cats. I am also occasionally sour and definitely capable of drama, particularly when losing my patience. I’m wracking my brain to come up with a person I think might be able to “FO RENT” this place. Hmmmm. Tick, tick, tick, down the list I go. Just when I think I’ve found someone, I remember a small detail that would surely disqualify them. It’s a shame too…this place is nestled between some cute little ramshackle homes in the heart of Laguna Beach’s most creative residential “mecca.” It’s a stone’s throw from the Sawdust Festival, and completely charming in its own, unassuming way.

Oh, and by the way…did you notice? It has 4 bedrooms! Quiet? This owner wants quiet renters who need four bedrooms? Kids? With muzzles. Roommates? Without problems. In-laws? Enough said. Even on the off-chance there is a single, quiet artist who simply needs room for all of her supplies, creations, home office, etc., she will likely NOT be able to afford the $2,450-plus-utilities, plus equal deposit price tag.

I’m going to do it. I’m dying to do it. Yep…I’m gonna march right up to that door the next time I’m in LB, and knock. Camera in hand, I’m going to photograph the one person on the planet who:

Doesn’t smoke. Doesn’t drink. Doesn’t do drugs.
Who makes no loud noises. Who hates cats, dogs and horses.
Who is never sour. Who despises drama.
And…who needs four bedrooms and can pay $2,450 for them.

I’m a little nervous. What on earth will I find there? I’m certain that whoever I find will definitely be blog-post-worthy. Stay tuned…


I’m not sure why, but each and every time I take a freeway exit that has two choices, I get flustered. Directionally challenged? Sometimes. But here’s the mysterious part: even if I KNOW which way I am supposed to travel, I am still sidetracked by the alternate option. Supposed to be taking Brookhurst North? Well, what about South? That looks interesting too.

This is a silly discussion, I know…but it is leading me to some deep thoughts about my seeming inability, in general, to stay on task. I have decided that I am a bit like the Laura J. Numeroff/Felicia Bond characters in the delightful children’s book series that includes, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, and other such tales about one thing leading to another. My own version might look a bit like this: If you give her a task such as washing the dishes, she will ask you for some dishwashing liquid. When she notices that the bottle is empty she will go to the garage for a new one, where she will notice that the cat box needs cleaning, which will then cause her to notice the smell of a wet, molding towel. After starting a hot load of laundry, she will of course have noticed that the dryer is full of clean clothes. As she dumps them on the couch, the doorbell will ring and the UPS driver will hand her a package. She will open the package to discover that her new lens has arrived. She will open it, of course, place it on her camera, and immediately begin shooting, which will of course lead her to view the pics on her laptop, which will naturally lead her here, to this photo blog, which will remind her that she needs something to drink, which will lead her into the kitchen, where she might notice that the dishes still need washing.

See what I mean?