Category Archives: musing

Cloak hoods off to next gen blogger

aragorn-and-legolas-in-the-return-of-the-king-aragorn-and-legolas-34519903-960-406It’s no secret The Lisas are bookish and nerdish (respectively). We salute this passionate up and coming young writer.

via My Life Called Fantasy – Home

21 Stages of Throwing Out Your Kid’s Old Toys

Not to be confused with throwing out your old kids…

Source: Scary Mommy

Happy BFF Day! | Borderline Fab

For TOL (The Other Lisa)

Happy BFF Day! | Borderline Fab.

Picture Perfect


Yes, I cooked a tree.

Most of the time The Lisas are too honest. Spouses, parents, coworkers, children (ours and others’) are buffeted by the verbal tsunami that is the Lisas’ innate compulsion to say things as (we think) they are. They don’t enjoy this. We can’t help ourselves. Except on facebook.

Like most everyone else, we like to pretend our lives are prettier, better, more exciting, much more fulfilled, and generally a heck of a lot nicer than they are. We do have nice little lives, but we have plenty of downs to go with the ups. We just don’t mention those. Michigan Lisa preens herself on her baking and inundates her feed with attractive (she hopes) photos of beautiful bakes. Sometimes she scrolls back and stares at them again just to sigh over them.

Except, you know what? Tons of stuff she bakes looks like absolute crap. Even when it does come out, the kitchen looks like a tornado hit, so why, why does she feel compelled to pretend that baking is just one little perfect square of perfection sitting on her one attractive plate with her best tablecloth underneath? Why are there all these web pages where the cook coyly claims to be messy and all this means is an plate of scrumptious food with one artfully arranged clump of quinoa on the edge of a plate in a photo worthy of a Williams and Sonoma photo shoot?


Don’t cry over spilled burned milk.

Messy? It isn’t messy until you can’t find the salt because it is buried in a mound of empty butter wrappers, bags of flour and tea towels. Messy is when the egg whites have fallen to the floor from their teetering position on the counter and the house rings with a shriek of , “Oh bugger that.” So let me slip into first person and go for full disclosure. This is what my baking looks like. It ain’t always pretty. Although I do think it has a certain charm all of its own. And the enchanting smell of burning milk.


Cooking a la Florida Lisa.

Recently Florida Lisa was asked to describe her dream kitchen. She had two words: room service. Instead of culinary delights she prefers to inundate facebook and twitter with her wry wit and charming turn of phrase. This is much harder than it looks and she spends lots of time editing and re-editing posts that never seem to go viral…

…yet. The Lisas may have missed the twerking craze and our selfies are mercifully few, but one day our social media ship will come in. Likely we’ll be at the airport waiting to catch a train, but no matter. It’s all in good, messy fun.

The Lisas take London …and the Brits jolly well want it back

BattleofLongislandBe afraid, People of Great Britain, be very afraid. Thelisas are coming to invade your island. Casting aside all domestic and professional cares (nothing new here), we’re crossing the pond for a girls-only holiday filled from start to finish with tea shops, stately homes and gardens. Our husbands have already run and ducked for cover, breathing sighs of relief at dodging our chintz-filled itinerary. That leaves only the population of southwestern England to worry about this adventure.

Because once outside of London, our motto will be “Keep Calm and Careen On”.top gear

Our advice? For the love of Heaven and St. George, stay off the roads of Devon and Cornwall from early to mid-September. Roundabouts, driving on the wrong side of the road, navigation…these are just a few of the many grave concerns for us. And they should be even graver to the populace we may be endangering at every charming village or green-hedged road we careen through in our sensibly priced mid-sized rental car with the steering wheel firmly affixed to the passenger side.

We will most certainly be a danger and a menace to motorists, pedestrians, animals, fences, hedges, signposts and the TARDIS, should it have the misfortune of materializing in front of us. We can promise sharp, unexpected turns and sudden stops. We brake for cream teas. We would like to believe a GPS will keep us from getting lost, but we admit with deep shame that it will not. We may forget to use it, manage to misinterpret mind-numbingly simple instructions, or simply be talking too loudly to hear them.

tea crumpetsAlas, People of Cornwall and Devon, if it were only the roads that were unsafe. Even out of the car we will disturb the rural bliss. Individually Thelisas are loud, even by American standards. Tag team us and we never–never–stop talking. If you seek sanctuary in your quaint tea room or traditional pub, you shall be horrified to hear the clash of our Midwestern accents as we cackle our way through pints of beer and pots of tea.

Shutter your windows, lock your doors. We urge you to take a leaf out of the American history book and hang a lantern in the belfry of your church when you see the whites of our headlights. Remember, it’s ‘one if by land’.

The Lisas are coming, The Lisas are coming!


How much wordplay could a wordsmith chuck if a wordsmith could chuck words?

Inappropriate Writer Brain Moments | Lydia Laceby. Thank you Lydia, Debbie & WordPress Press This for allowing us to legally borrow the brilliance of others. With appropriate credit, of course. Too funny to not share!


copyright 2010 Debbie Ridpath Ohi. URL: INKYGIRL.COM


The Lisas have a deep streak of prudery. This is reflected in our namby-pamby shockswearing style. We pat ourselves on the back every time we hold back a real flaming curse word, but there are repercussions. MI Lisa has teenagers who live through the daily horror of her made-up swear words. These include, but are by no leap of the imagination limited to:

  • Buns. It’s short, satisfying to say, and is quickly and easily repeated three times in quick succession. Because all swearing is more satisfying and successful if repeated three times. Preferably with the anger and/or volume increasing on every repetition. (Try it. buns, Buns, BUNS!) If MI Lisa is really agitated it can also be expanded to the inexplicable bunfaces.
  • Equally inexplicable, but oddly gratifying to say, is the similar ratfaces. Sometimes she plays it cool and just goes with the more mainstream rats, but not nearly often enough.
  • Farty fart. Newly added to the MI Lisa Swearing Lexicon, this has the lovely alliteration of the best cursing, but has been roundly, and justifiably, condemned by her children. She tries–she really tries–not to use it.
  • Forsooth. MI Lisa’s latest ‘swearword’. After reading that Henry the VI of England didn’t allow cursing at court and would only use the mild expletives of “Forsooth and forsooth!” or “St. John!” she decided to follow his example.

Next time you stub your toe, or have another driver cut you off–don’t hold back. Take a deep breath and say it out loud. FOR-sooth! You’ll feel better.

What do a cocktail shaker, Spanish naval cap, wedding dress and two alarm clocks have in common?

Bridal GownIf you said “Tom Cruise” you may be right. It really sounds like a Tom Cruise movie montage, doesn’t it? However if you guessed, “what 1Lisa bought at a garage sale this past weekend,” you would be a winner. You might also be a stalker, but we’re cool with that.

You see, 1Lisa fancies herself an American Picker. She comes from a long line of…well, let’s face it, hoarders. Seized in the grip that “somebody,” “someday” might need “something,” hoarders find it difficult to throw out anything of value. And nowadays almost anything can have value. But who would have dreamed a semi-lucrative career in the import/export business would manifest itself in the form of an empty lighter fluid can?

It all began a couple of years ago when 1Lisa’s mother encouraged her to explore the entrepreneurial side of ebay. Already deeply entrenched and skilled in the dark arts of bidding and buying, Lisa said, “no thanks, I’m good.” After a bit of cajoling, ego boosting and various other jedi mind tricks her mother picked up on a recent visit to Korea, Lisa finally consented to give selling a try. What did she have to lose, after all? And there was everything to gain: great wealth and the prospect that she would not have to help shlep all her parents crap around (again) should they move (again).

So she and her father started their vast empire with an empty lighter fluid can. It was however, not just any empty lighter fluid can. It was a vintage empty lighter fluid can. And those of you well versed in the lingo of the ‘bay know “vintage” means big $$$. Or it just means “old crap.” One man’s trash and all that. Anyway, as you can probably guess there was a huge bidding war for said vintage can and we made a million dollars and retired to Pensacola the-end. Except not really. Pensacola isn’t what it used to be and we only made ten bucks — but seriously, who would pay $10 for an empty tin can?! Somebody. Somewhere. And so the chase goes on. Unfortunately for 1Lisa’s husband the wedding dress is her size (if she loses 80 or 90 lbs and undergoes excess skin removal), so she just might have to keep it. Along with the framed photo of Secretariat, the signed Ice ashtrayCapades program and the nifty keen Las Vegas casino ashtray. I mean, you never know what Rat-Pack celebrity might have snuffed his stubs in that tray? With the magic combination of vintage and provenance, heck that thing could be worth tens of dollars. To somebody. Somewhere.

*1Lisa is not divulging her identity or location at the risk of being audited by the IRS, but suffice to say garage sales in Michigan in April are more rare than snow in Florida. 1Lisas is already hiding her vast book royalties in an offshore account, while TOL (The Other Lisa) keeps hers in her underwear drawers (plural).

Something Like That

Hamster Getting a Workout on Spinning WheelOnly 84 days past the normal time for making a New Year’s resolution, The Lisas have decided to jump on the healthy train and become a better and healthier us! NO, we have decided to hijack the darned train! We will replace our previous mottos of “Never let the bastards win” and “Never do today what you an put off until tomorrow” with “No pain, no gain” and “A moment on the lips means a lifetime on the hips”. Hot rivulets of sweat will pour down our faces as we try for just one more set of reps. Post-workouts, neon yellow sports drinks will be greedily gulped. Our plates will be a shining rainbow of healthy food choices.

Or, we will simply try to eat more oatmeal. Yes, perhaps oatmeal is the way to go. We hear that a big bowl of oatmeal can do a heck of a lot of good. And all that gym stuff would be tricky. We’d have the horror of shopping for gym clothes, the horror of the world seeing us in yoga pants, the drive to the gym, the sticky floors of the odiferous locker rooms and the actual discomfort of the exercise itself. It would be so much easier to pop a bowl of oatmeal in the microwave. In fact the next health study we read will very likely being one stating that nothing in the word could do more good than starting the morning with that big bowl of oats, and to hell with the rest of the day!

MI Lisa is not only on board the oatmeal train, she is the bandanna-bedecked engineer tooting the oatmeal whistle! “All aboard, FL Lisa,” she gaily calls. FL Lisa spurns the very idea of oatmeal, even if it has delicious dried cherries in it which makes it just exactly (except not really) like eating cherry pie.

cherry pie“Tastes like cherry pie you say?” FL Lisa asks with more than a hint of skepticism.
“Just like. Except not really.”
“Move the Oatmeal Express along. I’m staying at the station.”
“You’ll be sorry when I’ve lost weight and feel great,” MI Lisa chastises.
“I though my credo was ‘never do today what you can put off until tomorrow,’ but now I’m leaning toward ‘fat and happy beats skinny cherry pie oatmeal – except not really'”
“Perhaps it’s best to mix it up from time to time. A soft boiled egg would be nice.”
“French toast is good this time of year.”
“A Belgian waffle might be too decadent?”
“But not for brunch.”
“Brunch it is then!” MI Lisa sounds ever more cheerful.
“With a side of cherry oatmeal?”
“With a side of butter and syrup!”
“What are friends for?” FL Lisa asks.
“Sabotaging diets, obviously.”
“Maybe tomorrow. Pass the whipped cream.”

A Clean Sweep Under the Rug

Around the time the Detroit Tigers were making short work of the New York Yankees (but before the games against They Who Shall Not Win The World Series), I found myself at Walmart. TOL (The Other Lisa) has set foot in Walmart once in her life, but only because I, along with some mutual friends, tricked her. But that is another story for another time.

I found myself in need of a broom and dustpan, having loaned mine to a neighbor, which then became a gift after she inherited a family of cats. I was in the market for a cheap, identical replacement, secure in the knowledge that all brooms are more or less alike.

I could not have been more wrong.

Amid the selection of basic varieties: straw, angled & push, there was a baby blue model that caught me by surprise: a stadium. What on earth? As in ballpark stadium? As in amusement park worker, dustpan on a stick, walk while you sweep your cares away, whistle while you work, Mary Poppins style broom and dustpan extravaganza!?

It was wild, it was daring, it was off the hook. Off the hook and in my hot little hands! But then I put it back. Whoa there, Mama, I said to myself. What the heck are you thinking? First of all you never call yourself ‘Mama’ in your head. Smarty Pants, Still Got It and Don’t Mess With Me, sure, but never ‘Mama.’ Okay, maybe occasionally Red Hot Mama when the produce guy is checking you out. Can he see me from this aisle?

The Stadium Broom/Dustpan combo was a full five dollars more than the angled-broom-dustpan-sold-separately option. Possibly more, perhaps slightly less than five. Math has never been my strong suit. But it was definitely a big, long term commitment in any case. I don’t plan on making friends with any more cat lovers in the foreseeable future.

I’d never operated such a broom before. Perhaps it was better left to the professionals. I reached for the conventional broom. Yes, of course. I was being silly. I am a conventional sweeper. I sweep in piles.

Oh, but I how hate sweeping in piles! Piles are for losers. There, I said it.  Inevitably you get interrupted, then somebody walks through one, forcing you to weep and give up and take a nap. Plus, what is the best pile-to-room ratio? Several small groupings? Fewer large ones? Piles suck. (Shingles are worse. Don’t even get me started on shingles.)

But did I deserve a stadium broom/dustpan combo? Had I done anything outstanding that day? That week? Was I planning on doing anything particularly spectacular soon? Perhaps not. And to that end I deserved an ordinary, sucky broom and ugly, non-matching dustpan. I deserved to make piles for the rest of my life.

Just how long did this debate go on, you may be wondering (if you’re still reading)? Long enough that my grocery cart fish sticks were thawing and my willpower was waning. I wanted that stadium broom and dustpan. I wanted it despite the sinfully high price tag of $15.99.

Nay, I needed that tool. After all, I wouldn’t be the only one to benefit from it. My husband has been known to handle a tool or two around the house from time to time.

I picked it up. I put it back. Oh the torture! Oh the agony! In one final, desperate grab, in sheer and utter madness I snatched the bloody thing and made a dash for the twelve-and-under checkout. At last. It was mine!

I took it home. I unwrapped it lovingly. (In case I needed to take it back, unworthy wretch that I am.) Then, I swept my dirty, dirty floor like it had never been swept before. It was a moment for the ages.

Because I’m pretty much over it now.

Oh, The Stadium is still outstanding, better that a conventional broom by far; I fully recommend it to any and everyone. (Except one-handed people. That would just be cruel.) But let’s face it, housework is drudgery of the highest order, no matter what tools are involved.

Oh no she didn’t!

I’d rather be blogging. I’d rather be napping. Heck, I’d rather be cat wrangling. (As long as there is a covered litter box, but that is also another story for another time.) But I’d really rather be watching my beloved Tigers crush They Who Shall Not Win The World Series.