Posts in Cape Cod
Post-Franmas AND a Donkey Wine Bottle AND a Very Special Franmas Presentpublished by Fran Shea
My older sister warned us even before we dared set foot in the antique shop of Barnstable Village, “DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TOUCHING ANYTHING IN HERE!!!” We quietly crept in, SHE turned around while “shopping” and promptly knocked The Donkey Wine Bottle to the floor AND had to shell out $24 to pay for it.
She swore us to secrecy because she was filled with shame AND when we got back to the house, she WHIPPED that no-longer-perfect Donkey Wine Bottle into the Great Salt Marsh. When The Coast Was Clear my friend and I picked our way through the low-tide marsh, found that no-longer-perfect Donkey Wine Bottle/element of shame and put it in her bed ala The Godfather.
MINUS the blood/mafia message BUT WITH ALL SHAME INCLUDED. Oh, how we laughed!
Speaking of laughing… Our sewer backed up yesterday, the laundry-room was full o’ poop, and the plumber used his special camera to determine that we need to tear up our front yard and replace the pipe! ANOTHER oopsy! The good news is that Lucy scrubbed the laundry-room floor with gusto and into the night! Whew! That’s totally worth it!
That event inspired a card!
That Dad drops wisdom and truth-bombs.
Various Meats, Come Forth!published by Fran Shea
I wrote this in 2009 for another blog and decided 12 years is long enough to wait to share with the dedicated Zeichen Press readers. See how important recycling is?!
There was a story in the news yesterday about a fish-store owner who drove to the airport to pick up a special delivery of exotic fish. The seven-foot long package they gave him did not, in fact, contain $1,000 worth of exotic fish. It contained exactly one dead man – Jon Kenoyer.
The dead man was supposed to be delivered to some institute – he had donated his body to “science”.
What the f*ck?
A) Who does that?
B) What does that even mean? What sort of experiments can be performed on a man that has been dead for 5 days?
C) Who does that?
D) Isn’t that whole embalming thing done so that your loved ones don’t have to plug their noses while they kneel in front of your stiff corpse at your wake?
E) Was Jon packed in those cute little peanuts or placed gently in a silk-lined coffin?
More about rotting meat:
We left Minnesota in the middle of a heat-wave one summer and returned to discover a “freezer” full of rotting meat.
The cab dropped us off and we dragged our luggage past tumbleweeds and panting squirrels.
That’s how hot it was.
Opening the front door of the house was like opening the tomb of Lazarus.
“Various Meats, come forth!”
Whereupon they that were dead stayed dead. The stench of rotting meat stung our noses. The refrigerator in the basement had lost power and 40lbs of frozen chicken, cow, and pig thawed and rotted. To make matters more delicious, every window had been shut tight for two weeks.
Two steamy weeks.
I had a dream last night about a really, really smelly raccoon. He wanted to be my “companion” but every time he came near me, I winced – it made him feel bad. I kept apologizing and saying, “okay, I’m sure it’ll be fine this time – come closer.”
JUST KEEP MARCHING!published by Fran Shea
On the Cape, before we got our mail from the Post Office we would dig our grubby fingers in the change return box from the line of pay phones hoping to find a forgotten dime to spend on penny candy. (I swear I’m not 90 years old.)
Things are so much easier now because of our smart phones! RIGHT?? (Insert cry-face here.)
Speaking of pay phones, my son-in-law finished that balcony just in time!
But wait! in a few days:
See how magical?? I finally have a place to march!
And SPEAKING OF MARCHING?.. The Intern ™ brought me some Easy Reading:I think she was hoping I’d scour the magazine for vintage content to inspire new cards.
But first I have A LOT of stories by Miss Phyllis Moore Gallagher to catch up on (like, 80 years worth).
Oh, ALSO, I got an email from the art licensor… They want to turn some of the “card art” I sent them into post-it notes!
And here is a design I made inspired by the 2020 election. DON’T TELL ANYONE.
Inspiration!published by Fran Shea
The kids (NOT ME, NEVER ME) had a silver Mazda station wagon that my older sister would drive with her leg-braced-leg sticking out of the rolled-down window. Safety-schmafety! And because we lived in the lap of luxury, the Mazda had a tape-player (but no power-steering or air-conditioning BECAUSE WE WEREN’T SPOILED BRATS AND THOSE FEATURES WERE FOR WIMPS) and when my older brother wasn’t listening to RUSH, I guess he would listen to the 10,000 Maniacs?? Maybe I borrowed this tape from him when I was in 8th grade. And maybe I spent the summer sprawled out on a beach towel, drenched by the generous sprinkler, and listened to it on my waterproof Walkman.
The next tape (vinyl records were for old people) that the 10,000 Maniacs released was one that still sticks in my craw: Blind Man’s Zoo. That album inspires so many things.
Oh, here’s another card but this was inspired by my mirror:
206 Bones AND Licensed Artpublished by Fran Shea
Did you know that a three-year-old’s collar bone can be broken with just a spinning tire swing?? IT CAN!! In 1988, old-fashioned fun quickly turned into a nightmare. Sure, I might have had impossibly bronzed skin,
and kissable Zinc Pink lips, but that didn’t prevent me from absent-mindedly spinning that tire swing straight into my little sister and knocking her to the ground.
That reminds me! A collar bone is just one of the 206 bones that a person can break and I only broke ONE bone in her little body! DO YOU HEAR ME, ALICE??
RSVP (the Art Licensor), wanted us to make a birthday card:Luckily, I carried that teeny incident with me for 32 years!
Parting Giftspublished by Fran Shea
Do you diffuse internal drama, anticipate stress, and manage your primitive mind?? I do! I hate to brag (do I??) but I’m kind of a Zen-Master and when something unplanned happens, I just meditate! It’s so easy!
Leaving the Cape was a cinch this year because a dozen turkeys high-fived us on our way out
and a Random Baby sent me well-wishes telepathically. Or he might have been trying to hypnotize me – nice try, Harold! (If that is your real name.)
Merry Jenmas everyone!!published by Fran Shea
Sunset on the Cape SANS Jen… WISH YOU WERE HERE!But she’s probably pulling orders and thinking of me just like Fievel in American Tail.
Oh, but I DID wipe my tears long enough to make her a birthday card!
Silly business men! Just ask your secretary to figure out that stuff!
CAN I GET AN AMEN???published by Fran Shea
Whenever Jen goes out of town, Millie prays
that I can hold the Zeichen Press fort down… Or maybe she’s praying for a bath? Or better kibble?? WE’LL NEVER KNOW. Between weighing packages – packaged by the Intern,
and photographing old cards reprinted with poppin’ fresh ink,
I scour antique newspapers for graphics drawn by long-dead art directors
so I can REPURPOSE them into greeting cards that will be (fingers crossed!) added to the line.
(SAFE TRAVELS, JEN/DON’T GET EATEN BY A SHARK.)
Water is closed due to blood in the water OR WHATEVERpublished by Fran Shea
The most important part of getting ready for the Cape is downloading important apps. The Sharktivity app is my latest obsession because tide charts are boring and knowledge of shark activity is a guaranteed conversation kickoff!
Try it yourself:
You: Water is closed due to blood in the water north of the life guarded beach…
Them: Whaaat, closed due to blood in the water??!! Well, that’s crazy!! Do you think it’s seal blood or human??
Who could resist that conversation?! Oh, and hopefully the Lovebirds coming with me don’t have their limbs ripped off (by a shark) before they get married. STAY TUNED.
Don’t Stop Believingpublished by Fran Shea
Belting out classic tunes in a rental car on the way back from the beach after not being eaten by a shark is the best/only way to express our love for Cape Cod.
Getting past crippling body dysmorphia, skunk babies, and smelly garbage has only brought us closer together. Yay, Cape Cod!
And because I’m a big fan of Mr. Edward Gorey (who lived, and died, on the Cape once-upon-a-time), I am making some pretty useful medical flashcards. Stay tuned for H-Z…
Oh, and The Intern always performs radical stunts, so I made her this birthday card:
I hope no one in our party is eaten by a shark – fingers crossed!