Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Warts and All!

It's Wednesday! It's Barbara's postbag!

Dear Barbara,
I've just met this really nice man. We've been on three dates and I want him to meet my family. This weekend is my parent's wedding anniversary and my sister is having a party. The problem is that my parents argue a lot and mom has a terrible temper. Last time the buffet ended up in the pool. Should I invite him?
Worried, Glendale

Barbara says: You are quite right to be cautious, Patsy dear. In the early stages of a relationship, exposing your man to marital struggles is a recipe for disaster. Lets not forget that many men believe their women turn into their mothers! Wait until you've had twelve dates and then, invite your mother over alone for tea—a nice Victoria Sponge is always perfect for such an occasion. By that time he will be suitably enamored and will love you, warts and all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Ironman Champ!

Finding time to exercise when working an intense day job and writing books is always a challenge. Yet, next to the shower and ironing, my best ideas come when I am not deliberately thinking about writing—when I'm spinning for example. I was so excited to find that YAS (yoga and spinning for athletes) finally opened downtown. True, I come back from lunch with a face as red as a beetroot but also with some unexpected plot revelations. It also means that I can eat whatever I want for the rest of the day since spinning burns off between 600 and 900 calories per hour! Of course, I'm a tad tired but nothing compared to how our dear friend Colin Walker must be feeling today.  He just returned from competing in the grueling Ironman Lake Placid—a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride ... followed by a 26 mile marathon. ALL WITHOUT STOPPING. Colin—you are our hero!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where there's love, there's hope!

It's Wednesday and that means it's Barbara's postbag ...

Dear Barbara: Your inaugural newsletter features a beautiful photograph of a remarkable, champion snail named Seabiscuit. In a platonic sense, I find myself oddly attracted to Seabiscuit. Am I hopeless?
Snail Male

Barbara says: "Love—even between hemaphrodites—may well be challenging but never hopeless, dear. Courting snails fire love darts which add quite a thrill in the vegetable garden—though I'm told that being hit by one of those is the equivalent of being stabbed with a hypodermic needle! I believe snail hanky-panky can take as long as six hours so I do hope you have plenty of stamina. And of course, if a romantic dinner of shared lettuce leaf is planned, avoid the salt! Good luck!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Snore Mute Jaw Muzzle?

Yes. Apparently there are ways to stop your husband from snoring—although try as I might, I was unable to locate this vintage product advertised at the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena.
Not for my husband of course (he's perfect)—but for the man who sleeps in the upstairs apartment building across the driveway from ours! At first, I thought it was an old air conditioning unit but a loud, sputtering snort followed by an anguished squeak, confirmed my suspicions. If anyone can suggest a snoring solution, I'd love to pass it along to our neighbor. Anonymously, of course.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today, I'm excited to introduce Barbara Meadows—the Gipping Gazette receptionist and agony aunt (see above), eager to answer your questions in the love department. Barbara will feature every Wednesday. Email with DEAR BARBARA in the subject line.

Dear Barbara:Every time my boyfriend comes to my apartment, he goes straight to the fridge and looks inside. It’s annoying because he knows I don’t cook and we always get take-out or eat somewhere cheap. When I ask him why he does this, he just shrugs and says he doesn’t know. Can you help?

Alice, San Diego

Barbara says: “A way to a man’s heart is through is stomach, dear. As a boy, I’m sure he’d come home from school ravenous and head straight for the fridge. It’s a habit few men break out of. Fill up that fridge and your kitchen cupboard with goodies. Learn to cook. There are lots of easy recipe books available if you can’t afford to take a class. My Chocolate Fridge Cake is always a favorite and remember, when you are cooking, add warm, saucy feelings. If you’d like a copy of my own recipe, just drop me a line. Good luck!"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mr. Tig and Dr. Fox

Like many writers, I have a cat. Not just any old cat, but a very special cat called Mr. Tig. And like all cats, Mr. Tig has a terror of visiting the vet. I'm sure other cat lovers know how wretched I feel thrusting my kitty into a cat basket and bearing him off for hours of tortuous and humiliating examinations. Mr. Tig (nicknamed Mr. Pig because of his obsession for food) recently started losing weight. Not a good sign for a cat of 14. 
To my joy, my husband recently found a mobile vet service. This morning, Dr. Fox visited us at our home and brought with him, gentleness, kindness and a genuine love of animals. Mr. Tig adored him! Of course, it might have had something to do with the high-grade cat-nip Dr. Fox gave him which made him instantly popular. It was such a relief to hear Mr. Tig purr instead of lash out. Yes, he still had blood drawn, shots given but in his normal environment, lying on the rug in front of an open window basking in the morning sun.