Monday, August 22, 2011

Blossoming Pyromaniac....

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

I am an accidental pyromaniac.

Over the years I’ve had a few things happen due to neglect husband says. I say due to overlooking what I’d forgotten I was doing.

He says that’s the same as neglect.


He doesn’t like ‘whatever’--I say it’s almost admitting neglect.

When the kids were young and I was a stay-at-home mom (translates to dabbling to near insanity on given days) we owned a house that had a long hallway leading to three bedrooms and the kitchen and den on the other.

I had a gas stove because it’s hard to burn things--just turn off and voila....heat is gone. Electric stoves don’t do that and I have a penchant for overcooking.

The telephone was on the wall close to the kitchen with a cord long enough to walk down the hall to check on the urchins and also cook and talk and talk and cook. You get the picture.

Husband came home while I’m walking around the kitchen talking to a friend about nothing much because nothing much is what stay-at-home moms often feel they have to discuss.

He walked through to the den and hung his cap on a hat peg. I’m still talking about nothing much when I realize he’s watching with a devious smile.

“What?” I demanded as I turned to stir ‘whatever’ on the stovetop.

“Hot conversation?”

In defensive huffiness I assured with clipped, whispered tones I was not gossiping.

Calmly, he grabbed the paper, “Just wondered, the phone cord is on fire.”

I looked and the cord was in flames! I’d drug it across the gas stove I so loved because it was hard to burn or overcook.

“Oh my gosh....I have to’s on fire!” I started flapping the cord. “No, not the house, the phone to you later!”

When I bathed the cord in the sink and stopped my little fire I went and stood in front of husband with hands on hip whining “Why didn’t you tell me sooner, I could have burned the house!”

Again, very calmly (I hate that!) he looked over the top of the paper and said he would’ve stopped it if he thought the house or family was in danger.

From experience I knew the “moral of the story” was coming.

“Besides, I figured you’d remember better this way.”

He began to read again smugly knowing he’s right.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Who Needs A Tan?

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

A conversation at my desk centered on tanning. One thought the safest tan was bottled. I wanted to scream “Noooooooooooooo!”

My fear of bottled tans comes from when my dear friend Kathryn told me; no promised me I could appear tan without blistering, peeling, and without damage to the skin.

I tried to tell her I’d tried this once and the palms of my hands were the same as the tops and this “tan” took forever to disappear no matter how many times I scrubbed.

“No, Alisa, this is the best (she named some brand)” she spoke in earnest with an all-knowing look of authority.  “And look at me--I’m fair skinned and it works on me.”

I was visiting before going to Dallas to a writer’s conference and I wanted my feet and legs to look tanned so I wouldn’t have to wear hose. I’ve since gotten over wearing hose. I simply don’t care. Back then, I thought I had to look better than I did, and feel good about what wasn’t real.

Make sense? It made perfect sense to me then.

Long story short, I let her talk me into the tanning of the feet and legs.

I don’t remember the brand name, which is good because I’d want to file a truth in advertising suit. There should be a disclaimer that reads:  “Alisa Dollar should not use this product because she is super pale, with no pigment and will turn orange no matter what Kathryn says. All others use as directed.”

We were perched in the middle of the Graham’s king size bed watching Law and Order reruns, drinking diet coke, laughing and talking while waiting for it to dry. It became apparent this wonderful product wasn’t going to work on my legs, skinny ankles and feet.

I screamed, “My legs look like Cheetos, Kathryn!”

I’d forgotten her basset, Agatha’s favorite snack is Cheetos and before our eyes, she did an Evil Knieval jump onto the bed and plopped down on my legs and licked. The disappointment was evident when she realized it was only a fake failed tan. 

The moral is to not ruin skin with a real or fake tan. Natural is a-okay. Everybody can’t be a golden tan, so give it up!

Most importantly; don’t listen to Kathryn; even when she’s extremely convincing.

She means well though.  Really.

Monday, August 8, 2011

There are grocery stores for a reason.......

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

I have bad luck growing tomatoes. I love fresh tomatoes. When I’ve decided I can grow them something always happens.

Years ago, I tried. After husband told me to whip them, a hailstorm, and a very early freeze we had many jars of Chow Chow and meals with fried green tomatoes.

Looking back, that was one of my better growing seasons. Sounds as though I’m a seasoned tomato grower, right?


I rarely whipped my own children much less a bunch of innocent tomato plants that our then miniature dachshund Klutzheimer ‘watered’ daily. At least with the acts of God, I still had Chow Chow and fried green tomatoes.

After 30 plus years I decided last year I’d try again. I got four little tiny tomatoes, hardly enough for a good salad.

I think the bugs enjoyed the rest of the plant. Husband didn’t tell me to whip these since I only had one pot of them. I had to get them high enough so that now mini-doxie Maxwell Smart couldn’t water them.

This year I got one of those upside down hanging things. I didn’t know when the box is opened there’s no dirt (husband says soil, I say dirt is dirt) or seeds, just a green hangy-downy floppy plastic thing with a hole in the bottom and the top.

It’s easy to figure which end is the top (thank goodness) because the hanger is on that end. I decided rather than put seeds in all the dirt I’d funneled inside the little hole in the top, I’d put an already started plant with little tiny yellow leaves, which hubby says should be tomatoes.

I didn’t miss he said “should” rather than “would”—it appears he has no confidence in my gardening/farming/tomato growing skills.

There should be a gadget that says “STOP! That’s too much water” or “HELP! I need water” and “These bugs are driving me crazy.”

I never seem to know when to do what. Whatever I choose seems to always be wrong. I wish I could blame the weather or the dog, or that I had spanked them even though they were upside down.

They died a slow and painful death. Those little yellow things fell off and nothing replaced them unless you count brown brittle leaves.

Wish I had a Farmer’s Market next door.

I’m really good at buying fresh yummy tomatoes.