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Christmas Television with Ella or How I Caught Myself Being Cynical

With Ella fed, bathed and in her pajamas we found what looked like a cute Christmas story. All three of us snuggled into the luvsac for some cuddle time.

I was looking forward to an old favorite, something along the lines of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, or the Snoopy/Charlie Brown Special (always loved the way Snoopy skated).

The special was entitled "Nestor the Long-Earred Christmas Donkey" ... WHAT? WHO IS NESTOR?

I immediately sent Darin a text to his phone asking him if this was some kind of joke ... have you ever heard of Nestor? As the show continued it was blantantly similar to Rudolph. Much like Rudolph with his disturbing red nose Nestor's troublesome feature was his incredibly long donkey ears. I was irrate by the templated story. As the story progressed I felt resentful of the emotional manipulation not to mention they ripped off Rudolph!!!

On a commercial break Darin did a little Googling and discovered that Nestor was from the late 70's. Ok, I know that they take stories and rework them to see what what will work. I will let this one pass. Maybe I just can't get into it because I don't have any history with Nestor so I am actually seeing it as a grownup.

I am watching this show thinking ... this is so transparent and stupid. This is absurd. Why do they always have to just emotionally wreck you. They get the kids so wound up and filled with emotions.

I feel Ella's little body start to weep and a little sniffle is heard. Darin turns to her and asked "Ella why are you crying?" (It wasn't a sad part at all.)

Ella's little voice "It's ... just ... so ... beautiful."

Then it all comes back to me, that overwhelmed with emotion feeling. I start to remember that it's the EMOTION of it all that makes it beautiful. It's letting yourself get overwhelmed and filled with awe.

With the story over Ella and I walk to the bathroom for teeth brushing and our evening girl talk. She turns and asks, "Was that a true story or was that made up?"

Oh *#$&$%*#$& what am I supposed to say????

It's a story of a story I reply.

It's times like that when I know I am totally in over my head.

8 Dollars for a Dataman

With the Holiday Season approaching (and have you noticed that it approaches more quickly with each passing year) I was reminiscing about a favorite Christmas gift I received as a child. Procrastinating at work I chose to google 'Dataman" and found it being sold on-line for the opening bid of $8. What I really wanted was the picture. What a blast from the past to see my darling Dataman's picture right there on my computer screen.

If it weren't for Dataman I may have never learned my multiplication and division tables. I would spend lots of time (as I remember it) doing the random timed tests and playing the different number games on my toy. It never dawned on me that my Mom got me a stinking educational gift!

The Miracle of Miracle Fruit

Last night Darin and I went to visit our friends in Vista. We had a great time and it is always an interesting visit with them.

Dennis grows all kinds of exotic plants. We ate lychee nuts fresh off the tree ... a totally different experience.

It was the Miracle Fruit that was so remarkable. We followed Dennis into the greenhouse and he grabbed a couple berries and on the way back to the house he also picked some lemons. We ate the Miracle Fruit, the picture with the hand shows some perspective, it was a mellow fleshy fruit, really good. But that is where the miracle starts. Dennis cut up a lemon and we ate the lemon and IT WAS SWEET!

After eating miracle fruit it changes sour foods into sweet tasting treats.

Olivia 1991-2007

August 28, 2007 Olivia Merriam McClure passed away. She is grieved by her mother Lisa, father Darin, skin-sister Ella and doggie sister Pretty, cat brother Citrus, and the two fish really don't care because they can't see through the algae bloom to even know she is gone.

Olivia was born in a closet in Burlington, Vermont. Born from a stray that my friend Tammy had rescued I agreed to take her in when our friend Catherine's landlord would not allow her to keep her. Named Olivia before I even saw her I took her home and for 16 1/2 years she was my loyal companion as well as my first pet I ever had as an "adult."

In Burlington Olivia was known as the kitty in the bag, as she used to travel with me in a little backpack that I had converted into a kind of baby bag. She and I lived above a little cafe called City Market Cafe. I used to work at the cafe and Olivia and I would stop in and they would slice little bits of ham and turkey for her. At the time I was a waitress at a sushi bar and Olivia was always given fresh salmon sashimi by the sushi chefs when we would pop in together.

Olivia as a traveler:
After our first year in Vermont Olivia flew on a plane with me to Seattle. In Seattle we had many adventures together. She has also travelled cross country twice by car. Travelled back and forth between LA and Seattle by car. Olivia loved to travel and all I had to do was set her box out and she would hop in and make herself comfortable. Olivia in later years loved to vacation in Ojai where she could relax and watch Orioles.

A few little known facts about Olivia:
  • Few people are aware that Olivia has met all the members of Sound Garden
  • Olivia has walked all the way around a building on a ledge 6 stories above street level.
  • Olivia has caught one mouse in her lifetime, in the window well of our apartment in Seattle.
  • Olivia is named after a soap opera character.
  • Olivia was once attacked by a pit bull and when I pulled her out of his mouth and lifted her to the top of a cement wall to safety she promptly jumped down and attacked the pitt bull's face. In retrospect I realize that we were both VERY lucky we didn't get mauled.
  • At age 12 Olivia had hyperthyroidism and was sent to a special hospital in Irvine where she was shot up with radio active iodine to kill a tumor. For 10 days she remained radioactive and I had to flush her poo down the toilet.
Olivia found her final home in San Clemente. She would sit outside by the street and warmly greet passers by. On one occation she followed us on our way down to the pier. Later we discovered signs with a hand drawn picture of a cat looking much like Olivia with the caption "Cat Found ... Possibly Pregnant." We laughed and said ... "gee that almost looks like Olivia." It was, she was returned, and all was well.

I will miss my kitten. I will miss her walking with me down the street, her motorized purr, and the way she would reach out and set her paw on my hand. She was a loving and loyal cat. She will be greatly missed.

Exploring Mariposa Reef


The water is 75 degrees and its just crazy.

"Meet you at Mariposa Reef!" "Call me when you leave the house. See you at the reef."

And so we started to paddle towards the reef. The flattest day by far all summer. Flat and mid 70s water temp.

Diving under we saw lots of Garibaldi, the California state fish. The boards just floated as we took snorkel and mask to check out the reef. I couldn't help but remember this childrens' storybook about otters I read as a kid. They packed their little waterproof bags and would swim to each others houses and play in the water.
I'm a long way from shore. My legs feel very vulnerable just hanging in the water and I wonder if anybody will consider them a tasty treat. I pull my legs up on the board to look like I am just lounging, but really I have just realized that I am in the ocean and other things live here and I don't know anything about this place.

where I am a little more E and a little more me

What I mean by more E.
Ever heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test? The assessment divides into four personality preferences. The initial category, the attitude category is your preference for how you interact in the world. The E personality prefers to experience externally. I don't need an assessment to tell me I am without a doubt all I. I like to reflect. I like my internal life. So I like to think of my blog as where I share and reflect a little more externally, a little more E. Myers-Briggs assessment suggested it might even be good for me to have a place to express myself. Check your personality type.

It's Where I Share
My digital scrapbook where I lifestream, play, tell stories and share. It's kind of my personal playground and laboratory. (Please use the British pronunciation, la-BOR-a-tor-y as it rolls out more playfully). I used to have boxes and boxes of journals and sketches that no one ever saw. Some I have and some are lost forever. They weren't masterpieces but why should I put it in a journal? Why not share?

Moving Off Private Street
So I am moving off private street. Going public but continuing to write for myself alone. Let it go and let it keep moving. I can be found on Twitter.com @lisamcclure being a little more E. But here is where I need more than 140 characters for my I self. There are posts I want to do simply because I want to do them ... it's fun and why not share.


San Clemente is Home
You can find me in San Clemente, where I have now landed and intend to stay until the day I die. It's Mayberry by the sea this place I call home. It's not the only place I have called home. There are other places and times that have that title. It's a dichotomy I still haven't solved. Maybe I'll leave it that way, unresolved. I kind of like the way it pulls at my heart, makes me feel like I am in a movie.

Day or night you can peek in on us in San Clemente. Our city's 24 hour pier cam is always on and streaming.