One of the items on my “to purchase” list is a good point-and-shoot camera. I love my DSLR more than it should really be legal for a girl to love an electronic device, but it’s just too big and bulky for me to lug around everywhere. For now, like many people, I rely on my phone when I take photos on the fly.
Problem is, I rarely remember to upload them anywhere. They end up just staying on my phone.
Not anymore, though! I finally figured out how to upload the photos from my phone to Flickr.
Turns out it takes precisely two clicks. Huh.
Long story as short as possible, I joined St. Joseph Catholic Church five years ago. (This was long before I learned to cook. Trust me, this detail will soon prove relevant.) Anyway, each year on or around the feast of St. Joseph (Jesus’s father, of course), the fine folks at St. Joe’s celebrate with a St. Joseph altar. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, you can read about the significance of St. Joseph altars here. They’re much more popular in South Louisiana, but St. Joseph being our patron saint and all, we keep the tradition going here in Shreveport.
In a fit of…industriousness? Piety? Domesticity? Displaced maternal instincts?, I volunteered to bake five dozen St. Joseph cookies when The Church Ladies put out the call.
Now I don’t care if you’re Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, Wiccan or Buddhist, Church Ladies are Church Ladies no matter where you go. And no matter what religion or denomination they are, Church Ladies don’t like johnny-come-latelys such as myself horning in on their territories.
The recipe they gave me for St. Joseph cookies was so bad, Martha Stewart would’ve run herself on her icing knife.
But see, I didn’t KNOW this because I didn’t know how to cook yet. So when the recipe called for, like, five pounds of flour and two cups of liquid, I was all, “Okey dokey! Looks like I’m gonna need a bigger mixing bowl!”
After mixing up this…concoction in my mother’s lead-crystal punch bowl then giving up and pouring the whole mess out on the kitchen table, not to mention crying a holy-water font full of tears, I called my friend Emily, who demanded I read the recipe to her. “You’ve been duped by The Church Ladies,” she announced.
For the next four years, when they asked for volunteers, I just wrote The Church Ladies a check.
But this year, they got so desperate they emailed everyone. And being the sucker that I am, I volunteered once again. THIS time, however, they told me all I had to do was bake two cakes. Any kind. Using my own recipes.
Hot damn and hallelujah, we’s back in business, folks!
My mother, desiring, as she put it, to have at least one Catholic star in her Methodist crown, volunteered to bake one of the cakes (a pineapple Bundt cake that my Dad had to use all his Catholic restraint not to dive into face-first). For the other, I made a carrot cake.
(Please note that there are three carrots in the center. These represent the Holy Trinity. The 12 carrots around the edges symbolize the 12 apostles.)
(Yes, I know I’m a freak.)
“You’re a freak,” The Guy said. “Jesus would LOVE my cake,” I shot back. “Jesus INVENTED going outside one’s comfort zone.” “You’re still a freak,” he retorted.
But I’m a freak who’s been REDEEMED!!
I shouldn’t brag on my newly-acquired domestic skills too much, though. This is what happened the last time I tried to bake cookies:
And the last time my friend Katie brought over her children, her daughter Evangeline got really sleepy. No big, right? Just put her down in my bed and go on about our business.
Evangeline can’t go to sleep without a binkie (translation: pacifier).
Just what do you think the chances are that I have something child-appropriate in this apartment that even remotely resembles a binkie?
Yep. Slim to none.
“WAIT,” said my friend Holt. “Just what do you have in this apartment that resembles a binkie that’s NOT child-appropriate?”
Finally, the lightbulb came on!
A dog’s medicine dropper.
WHAT. I washed it with hot water and soap first!
Look, it’s probably way better for me to give her a dog’s medicine dropper to use as a binkie than to try to sing her to sleep with Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue,” which I also did.
When you engrave my future Mom of the Year award, make sure you get my name right. It’s spelled K-E-L-L-Y.
Do you have some, um, interesting ways to get the creative juices flowing when you’re trying to write? Do tell. - Cristy
I really wish I had some Hemingway/Fitzgerald/Thomas-esque answer to give you here. Truth is, I tried a couple times to write under the influence. At the time, I thought, “This s–t is brilliant! The words are like magic jewels dripping straight from my brain to my fingertips!
The next morning, I realized the words actually read like a Dick-and-Jane primer. Sigh. At least I didn’t succumb to the overwhelming urge to click the “Publish” button.
There are four tried-and-true methods I use to give the engine of my creativity the equivalent of a quickie-lube oil change:
1. Spend time with my friends.
2. Work on a creative endeavor that’s NOT writing (e.g., sewing).
3. Go look at/listen to/watch somebody ELSE’S art.
4. Read something important. Think Tennessee Williams plays or Susan Sontag’s speeches.
Very rarely does one of those not do the trick.
That’s a little boring, I’m sure, but I figure it drastically reduces my chances of making my final exit via blowing my brains out, sticking my head in the oven or walking off into a river with rocks in my pockets.