Author Archives: writerinsoul

Fun shed door updates summer 2018

It’s summer!! YAY! Last year I showed how I made cute shelves for the shed door from someone’s cast-off metal bathroom shelves in a post on garden decor. I’ve added new things to the shed door and wanted to share them.

First, an overview of the shed. Check out the AMAZING hydrangea in the foreground.



I thought to put an impatiens in one of the little pots on the shed door.


I added a hook and red hanging impatiens on the right. Those are new white solar string lights I strung across the top.


Finally, because the pot is there on the left I want to show you this lone tomato I’m very excited about!


EDIT 6/20: I’ve come back to this post to include a nighttime shot of my new solar string lights. They don’t reach the ground on either side but I DID hang them evenly at any rate; the right side is blocked by plants.




Short Thought 209 (girlfriends)

There are some men who make all of their girlfriends (or wives) do the same thing. That is, all of the girlfriends in turn have to sing in his band, or work in his yard, or throw dinner parties with him, or take cross-country motorcycle trips together, or swing dance. And I think to myself, I could never be such and so ‘s girlfriend (or wife) because I don’t want to do whatever that thing is that all his women have to do.

A phrase best left in the movies

In his late twenties my older brother went on a solo journey across the country, an adventure trip that took place over the course of about a year. He met a woman and after they’d been together awhile, she agreed to leave her home and come back with him to live in our town. We were all quite curious about who this woman was, leaving her life and job behind to make such a drastic move for a man, and one she hadn’t known terribly long at that. In her car no less!

On the night they returned the family gathered to see him and meet his new lady. I don’t remember much about that evening except that my brother asked our mother rather grandiosely to “rustle up some grub” for his new girlfriend. Rustle up some grub??! Had my brother really said that?! The only place I’d heard the phrase before was on TV, on Westerns. Our suburban family didn’t talk like that. Also, why the hell couldn’t he get up and fix some food or order a pizza or something? As it was he didn’t have to; our mother did indeed go to the kitchen to “rustle up some grub” for my brother’s girlfriend.

The relationship didn’t last – she returned to her home after about a year – and if you ask me there was a major hint in how it would devolve in my brother’s words and attitude that first night. Perhaps he started demanding his girlfriend, a modern, independent woman with her own career to “rustle up some grub” and so on.






I sort of joke – but I’m not entirely joking – when I say that I want a man to treat me the way Amazon does. How so?

Amazon makes my life better. Amazon is interesting and stimulating and does things to hold my attention. Amazon mixes it up and doesn’t take the chance of letting me get bored. Amazon even feeds me; I get plenty of dry groceries from them (the way to this woman’s heart is definitely through her stomach). Amazon isn’t perfect but when Amazon screws up not only does Amazon say sorry, they usually do something concrete to make amends. If I take issue with a transaction by and large Amazon doesn’t blow me off. They don’t make me wait around wondering; they communicate with me.

Amazon doesn’t always tell it straight and sometimes tries to blow smoke but I can usually get over that because it doesn’t interfere with my overall experience. I don’t mean it’s a free ride – I have to do my part too,  be a good customer, or Amazon loses interest in me. it’s not charity and it’s reciprocal. Amazon sends me a strong message that they want me around but they don’t push or act clingy. They don’t take me for granted. And I say this after years. Amazon had to earn – and keep – my trust.

I read once online that people think they’re having a relationship with Amazon but in fact they’re not. The thing is I know I’m having a relationship with Amazon. Amazon is a player in my life. I would be very, very sorry if for some reason Amazon went away or dumped me or I could no longer use them. I’d get over it and move on but I’d have a tough time of it. I’d feel sad for myself. Kind of like a breakup.

I try to think of Amazon in a less human way but they’re not making it easy.  More than once I’ve received a message from Customer Service, after I’ve alerted them that something is wrong, which refers to their desire to win back my heart.  Win back my heart?! Isn’t that what boyfriends and intimates say?? I realize that English isn’t the first language for many of Amazon’s reps (this is obvious in many cases) but still. The thing is it’s kind of charming when they say things like this. Even though I know it’s almost like a robot or android is telling me sweet nothings; how personal could it possibly be? When you correspond with Amazon as regularly as I do it is also obvious certain templates and canned phrases are used by them. Somehow I doubt “win back your heart” is one of them but who knows?

Once in awhile something genuine slips through from their side and I find myself again charmed. I usually write back a thank you or words of appreciation when Amazon does me a good turn or corrects an error. The same as I’d do with real people. And more than once they have responded kindly. I figure they take a lot of abuse so I am never rude, demanding, or nasty even when I’m annoyed with them. Once a customer service rep expressed pleased surprise at my thanks, saying that they don’t usually hear from customers after an issue is resolved. Another said they’d share my appreciation with co-workers and more or less said that hearing complimentary words kept their spirits up. That didn’t sound canned or rehearsed to me.

I didn’t grow up in an internet world. I grew up in a time when if you bought something by mail you filled out a little form, wrote a check and then waited “6-8 weeks” (everything was 6-8 weeks). If you wanted to contact them, you usually hand wrote or typed up a letter. Then you waited.  And waited.  This kind of interaction did not promote intimacy or a feeling of personal involvement  You may have trusted a brand or company or had confidence in them but it didn’t feel like a relationship, not like now, not like Amazon.

Short Thought 207 (memories of people)

Sometimes you’d rather just opt to retain whatever good memories you have about certain people than deal with the current version of them, which will produce no good memories and likely crush any positive feelings you’ve managed to keep.

Probably not the word you want to misspell