Building a Little Birdhouse in my Soul

I’m home and I’m happy. Part of that is because I’m off the road, and part of that is because I love my work, and part of that is because I have the best friends in the world, but sometimes happiness is also in the details. For example:

Rachel brought me tons of chocolate from England, and I’m still eating it. And whenever I pick up a piece, I think of Rachel, and how wonderful it was to finally meet her. Especially since she brought me so much chocolate. It adds an entirely new dimension to calories.

If I had known that squirrels and birds and coyotes would leap in the car and sing with me if I bought a Jeep Liberty, I’d have gone that way instead of the Prius. The Prius did get 46 miles to the gallon on the trip to SC, but I’ll sacrifice the environment to sing with wildlife. That commercial just makes me really happy.

Pushing Daisies is the new Buffy. With dialogue like, “That wasn’t the Truth Bus, that was the Bitchy Crosstown Express,” and Kristen Chenowith as Olive singing “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” this show has made me its viewer slave. I’m in complete sympathy with the writers’ strike except that there won’t be new episodes after Thanksgiving if they don’t come to terms, and I need my Pushing Daisies fix. Do not deprive me of Olive. I love Olive. Even if she did lie about the jockey thing. And don’t get me started on Swoozie Kurtz and Ellen Greene as the aunts. Or Chi McBride as the detective. The leads are lovely, too, but it’s the supporting cast that makes me insane with delight.

Krissie and Lani and I have decided to move to Oregon and buy land and build three houses and a common office building and start a commune. We were talking in Campfire about calling it Mesopotamia, but then Krissie suggested Clitoris, and Clitoris, Oregon just has a nice ring to it, but then Lani pointed out that the guys would never find it. We laughed for a long time. I can’t wait to move to Clitoris, Oregon. The guys can use GPS.

It’s finally cool enough that I can wear my long red velvet dress. I love this dress. It has a v-neck and buttons down the front and it’s heavy enough to drape really well without dragging me down, and it’s warm, and I feel dramatic and creative in it. You know, you really can’t underestimate the value of clothes that make you feel like the Real You. I am so a red-velvet-dress, sequined-beach-skirt kind of woman. And yet I dress in black pants and jackets when I go out. I must begin to embrace color. Stopping just short of the Red Hat Club.

Speaking of wildlife, there’s an insane woodpecker that keeps flying into the big window in my TV room. Like three times a day. For months. No exaggeration. He keeps doing the exact same thing over and over and getting the crap knocked out of him (you should see this window) and yet he never learns. I’m calling him “Bob.” (And somewhere from the direction of Seattle comes the mutter, “Humor. Har.”) Anyway, now when he hits, instead of getting annoyed, I just say, “Hi, Bob,” and laugh. But I am hoping he goes south for the winter.

I’m working on three books right now. This should be stressful, but I love them all so much, I’m just having a wonderful time. Oddly enough, they’re all paranormal. I don’t know how that happened. One’s a ghost story, one’s about a goddess who rises, and ones about a portal to an alternate universe. It wasn’t a plan to do that, it just happened. I told somebody that and she said, “Paranormal is over.” Not in Crusie world, it isn’t. Besides, I don’t think you can call a genre that began with Beowulf “over” ever. Although Beowulf may be now that Angelina Jolie is playing Grendel’s mother in spike heels. Also, I don’t care. Markets come, markets go, good stories are forever. Also, I think anybody who says, “Paranormal is over” when you’re telling her how happy you are about the book you’re working on is probably not a soul mate, so I’ll just take my happiness back to Clitoris where they get me.

I’m in love with the new Mac OS, Leopard. I know. Hi. My name is Jenny and I’m a Mac Geek, but really, this is so amazing. My first fave thing: you can put folders in the dock now so they’re not all over your desk top but, even better, whatever the first file in the folder is becomes the icon, so if I put a space before an image’s label, it becomes the first one and the icon. So here are the folders for the three books I’m working on it the dock:
Files in Dock
The little girl is Alice from Always Kiss Me Goodnight, the three daisies are the women from Dogs & Goddesses, and the dog is Albert from Wild Ride. It makes me happy just looking at them.

I suppose you’re all gagging now. The last time I talked to Mollie she said, “You can stop telling me how happy you are. I get it.” Really, I’m all Ellen Greene singing “Build a little birdhouse in your soul” lately. Then winter will come and I’ll get depressed, so I’ve ordered those lights that make you perk right up even in February so with luck, I can keep on building my birdhouse. And if not, well, hell, it was fun while it lasted. And spring will come some day, and eventually we’ll all be in Clitoris where there will be nothing but good times ahead.

But enough about me. What’s in the birdhouse in your soul? Because happiness is in the details, and you should share.

86 thoughts on “Building a Little Birdhouse in my Soul

  1. You sound like me when I drink NyQuil… jk

    I’m glad to hear that you’re happy. For me, singing builds bird condos, especially when the piece has really rich harmonies and a good baritone line. Also, cuddling with my husband always makes me happy and I block the whole world out and it’s just us. Now that builds little birdy mansions.

  2. “Markets come, markets go, good stories are forever.”

    EXACTLY! Thank you, thank you, thank you … finally someone who gets it. There has been a lot of chatter lately concerning children’s and ya literature and how the classic stories should be re-written and brought up to date for a new generation. Leave them alone and write new books. They are good stories just as they are.

    Glad you are happy, more power to you. πŸ™‚ I just finished re-reading Agnes last evening for the third or fourth time and that makes me happy.

    Right now, a brand spanking new laminator at work makes me happy because I no longer listen to whining about the old one being dead.

    Here’s hoping “Bob” doesn’t hurt himself.

  3. Details that make me happy right now. Because this semesters study is over, I am regaining rooms from books and papers.Sadly my office still looks like Jenny’s in the before pictures. It lightens me just seeing clear surfaces. This is surprising to me has I generally hate housework…

    However my Granparents table that my youngest daughter helped me restore, stands free of books in its own little clean oasis, with a ring of red jacquard velvet and dark oak dining chairs.

    I just had breakfast there using a nice placemat, napkin and lovely old china and it was lovely.

    It also brings me delight that my eldest daughter has recently discovered the joy of eating veggies she has grown herself. Oh and that she loves promenading with 50 year old umbrella I bought her.Red again with black fifties style roses. Oh and I so agree with the adding colour just short of red hat ladies.

    It’s also good well very good to keep meeting more people that like to sit around drinking Champagne or Gin and Tonics and talk and laugh.

    Clitoris the town, love it. Especially the quip about guys never finding it.

  4. I, too, am a Pushing Daisies junkie! That show is art, on TV, odd to even think such a thing and there it is on my DVR to watch and watch and watch! Olive and her great dresses and plunging neckline delivering malcontent in her plucky/sweety voice is yummy! You are right the leads are great, but the players are so good I get gleeful on Wednesdays waiting for them.

    I bought a fabulous yellow with big white dot matrix flowers cut chenille swingy femine jacket that just makes me grin to write about and giggle outright when I wear it!

    Fall is just a happy time!

  5. Wow, I’m smiling just reading your post. Please continue to tell us how happy you are as often as you like.

    I also love that Jeep Liberty commercial, until it gets to the end and both the narrator and the text on screen say “The New All Jeep Liberty”. That irritates me. My brain really feels it should be “The All New Jeep Liberty”. Weren’t Jeep Liberties all Jeep before?

    And your title made me start because:

    1) I’m headed out in a couple hours to see They Might Be Giants in concert. It would be great if they played Bluebird of Happiness/Birdhouse in Your Soul. It’s one of my favorites of theirs.

    2) My husband’s family just bought a bluebird of happiness to replace his great-aunt’s bluebird of happiness that was stolen. She brought it with her from France when she was a war bride in the 40s, and has been very depressed since she lost it. I hope this makes her happy again.

  6. I love Chi McBride’s knitted gun cozies. I would so knit a gun cozy, if I had a gun.

    What’s making me happy lately? I completed one of my New Year’s resolutions last weekend. I read 100 books I’d never read before. No re-reading old favorites over and over again. Just new stuff. Two of them were Crusies. My big discovery this year was Lois McMaster Bujold. Love. Her. There was some other good stuff (and some crap, too) but those were the highlights.

  7. I totally ADORE you, because this: Pushing Daisies is the new Buffy is so true!

    I’m also singing the praises of Leopard – I updated my iMac and MacBooks right away. πŸ™‚

    In my world, I’m singing because my 2nd book is going fairly well and my editor and I are consulting on the book cover concepts (!!). Deadline is not yet in the looming stage, but close. I’m not panicked. I guess that’s a great reason to build a birdhouse. ::g::

    Oh, re: Clitoris – HEE!

  8. Thanks for sharing Jenny.

    I’m learning to find Happy in lots of places lately:

    -In my e-mail box when I got the email that says my order has been rec’d and is being processed. Many Christmas presents off the list. I’m not Scrooging this year!

    -In my DD10’s face when she got her “aha” idea for her “creative” book report. (And remembering that she struggled so to read, and now she can say “Mama, this is just my kind of book. You know, when you really just like it -even if someone else thinks its stupid.”

    -When I find the PERFERCT pair of red heels with a button for a fastener on the ankle. I just know I’ll find the perfect dress to match them anytime now. Maybe red velvet!

    -When I see the PERFECT Christmas card photo of me and my girls. It was taken by a friend and shared.

    -When my best friend’s husband got the call saying they found a bone marrow donor match.

    When I think about putting up my 9′ tall Christmas tree.

    Good times are here, and more are ahead.

    Time to start planning a vacation to Oregon.

  9. What makes me happy?

    ~Going to the library or bookstore. I love books!

    ~That I am going home to see my family for Thanksgiving. I need a break from school.
    ~Playing with my roommates baby, who makes me smile no matter how sad I feel.

    Thanks for reminding me to look for the small things that make me happy, I needed that!

  10. Hello all, long time lurker, first time poster.

    I am happy and thankful that I decided to quit the job that I have loathingly been going to every day for 18 months now and go back full time to the one that is the most fun job I have ever had and makes my soul as light as a feather.

    I am happy I did this before I ended up plunging a knife into the Executive Chef’s chest and be required to spend a lot of time in jail, which I imagine would be not so fun.

    And of course, I am happy because you are happy. Namaste.

  11. Clitoris, Oregon **SNORT**… I Love It.

    Jenny, winter: 800 mg. of Vitamin D. It is now a proven fact that during the winter people do not get enough Vitamin D. Take it and it should help a lot!!

    Happiness: Watching the small finches in my backyard eat out of the bird feeders and take baths in the bird bath. Playing with my two Rat Terriers, riding my horse, sitting on the back patio reading a good book. Only a few of the small moments that make the endorphins run riot.

  12. Happiness should always be shared. It’s contagious in a good way and you never know who might need some.

    Thanks for the reminder about Pushing up Daisies. We caught an episode while on vacation last month. I think I’ll try to catch it tonight – in 3 minutes! yikes.

    What makes me happy: I got a manicure Sunday. My first for the year. The first hour I’ve had to myself in over a month. It was pure bliss.

    I’d love to learn how to put icons on my mac bar-thing. This is my first mac. It is gorgeous and sexy and i don’t know anything that it is capable of, but i’m hoping to learn. Oh and scrivener – where can i learn all the cool stuff it can do?

    Okay, almost time for tv, and that will be fun, too. Keeping passing around the happiness.

  13. My happy fix: dancing to Dwight Yoakum’s FAST AS YOU in the kitchen. The dogs go nuts and try to dance with me. It’s the only time they’d rather be human, I think.

  14. Sitting on the back patio with girlfriends laughing and giggling and drinking and telling dirty jokes

    Lying on the floor with my dog watching movies

    When I try a new craft project and it comes together like I saw it in my head

  15. Today what makes me happy is great tv (go Daisies! and Heroes!)

    And my beautiful new afghan. That is purple and pink flowers.

    Also, rediscovering my love of L.M. Montogomery πŸ˜€

    But mostly, I love you writing. Because that means more books for me!

  16. Oregon is The state for weird place names. I’d hate to live in Boring or Wanker’s Corners. If I were a teenager who lived in either place, I’d never, ever have a pen pal, or write any letters at all.

    (Actually I’m not sure if Wanker’s Corners is an actual town or just a neighborhood. Still embarassing.)

  17. Ah, but paranormal, Crusie-style has just begun!!! I’m thinking snarky ghosts and aliens with attitude. The genre won’t know what hit it. Oooh, is that Danae?

    My birdhouse place … usually involves all those lovely books by favorite authors that start hitting the shelves this time of the year. Also, I’m almost finished with the bolero I’m crocheting out of trellis yarn. I’ve never made myself a garment before and I’ve never worked with trellis before either. It was dumb to try both for the first time all at once, but I’m loving the results. It’s all watery blues and greens and if I can stop ripping it out and finish it, I just might never take it off.

    Shopping in yarn stores. I can’t draw, paint, sing, play an instrument, sculpt or do anything else remotely artistic. But I follow directions really well so I can soothe my soul with color and texture in the yarn stores and pretend I’m artistic.

    And for town names, really I think PA has it hands down.

  18. my birdhouse just got a new level as I played with a friend’s roomate’s bunny. so adorable. and I’m going home soon where I’ll get to see my sweetheart puppy. (and the family/friends).

    thanks for the post. made me smile.

  19. Hello All,

    Jenifer: I saw TMBG in a bar in college. I wish I was there w. you tonight. Have a blast.

    Jenny, I love Clitoris OR. Thanks for the really nice post. I went to the Chiropracter today and am feeling really crunchy and tall. Plus, I had a pretty good writing day.

    DD1 is in a great, contagious mood. DD2 snuggled up and read “Little House in the Big Woods” with me and is enchanted, and DS is reading Captian Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman, where no plot point is too absurd, or joke too childish.

    And, I made a mean turkey pot pie tonight. All is well.

  20. Pish tush forsooth, McB, thou varlet!
    (If that’s the word I want.)

    I’ll grant you that living in a town like “Blue Balls” is going to be embarrassing to most teenagers, but I’ll wager that living in a town called “Boring” is something that all teenagers secretly believe but would be publicly humiliated to acknowledge.

    All right, I probably should go look up the word “varlet” and make sure I didn’t just call you something anatomically improbable.

  21. First of all, woodpeckers don’t fly south in winter. You’ve got that kamikazi guy year-round. So what you want to do, Crusie, is buy–oh, never mind, I’ll get some for you. These little decals you stick on your window which are PRACTICALLY invisible to you but to birds look like–whatever shape you order them in (butterfly, leaf, other bird, Jeep Liberty). Or so, at least, they claim in the Gardeners Supply catalog.
    So tell us, who was that bitch who said “Paranormal is dead”? We’ll kill her for you.

  22. You’re too good to me, Pgaf. I will hie myself to Gardeners Supply.

    As for They Might Be Giants:

    Not to put too fine a point on it, one of the best songs in the history of music. “After killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts . . . ”

    Keep the nightlight on in the birdhouse in your soul, people. Gaffney, this is practically your anthem.

    Preserving a discreet silence on the bitch. Off to listen to “Istanbul (Not Constantinople).” If only they’d done one for Mesopotamia, life would be perfect. (I do NOT want to hear about the B52’s, thank you.)

  23. Just a couple of contributions:

    Pushing Daisies is my new addiction! The narrator is the one who did all the Harry Potter audiobooks. Plus, how cool is it that the detective knits little pouches for his money?!?!?

    If you want to catch up, go to and you can watch the full episodes.

    I’d pay money to hear a conversation:
    Guy #1 “Hey bud, where do you live?”
    Guy #2 “Just south of Clitoris.”

    Too, too funny!

    Oh, and Jenny, I own a Jeep Compass and I haven’t had anything jump in and sing with me!

  24. I’m happy because I’ve just found out the woods where they filmed The Princess Bride is just next to where I work (Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire, if anyone’s passing) and apparently the colours are beautiful at the moment, so I’m going to go and have a wander around it today. In my head I will be keeping an eye out for Rodents of Unusual Size and other hazards, which will bring me great joy. There may even be twirling and leaf kicking. I have no shame πŸ™‚

  25. Ah good ‘ol Clitoris, Oregon. Just tell the guys if they’ve reached the sign with the big G on it they’ve gone too far. Oh no, hang on, they dont know where that is either.

    I sat in a sex ed class for parents once (where they tell you what they’re going to teach your kids) and one mother complained that last year her son came home with a diagram of the female anatomy that had all the parts labelled. “Including the clitoris.” She said she didn’t see the need to go into such detail. I turned to her and said very politely, “I think we need to teach our sons where the clitoris is.” I did not say ” are you freaking nuts, lady, lets not raise another generation of men who have to be told two centimeters to the left!!!” Which is what I wanted to say.

    That was not a birdhouse moment.

    So, what is? I’m about to drop a night shift at work which means I get to write more and be less tired and more sane(well, thats the object anyway). And there’s a country song around at the moment on the radio and I don’t know who sings it or what it’s called but it just makes me smile like a lunatic (its probably been out for years – not exactly up with the latest music). The chorus goes “its a great year for the regular guy” and one of the lines that cracks me up is “I’d like to thank Lyle Lovett for starting it all”.
    If anyone out there knows the name and singer you’d add extra joy to my birdhouse. Have tried googling some of the lines but draw a blank.

  26. Lily, I’ll come and kick leaves with you. This has been an excellent year in the UK for autumn leaves crunching and kicking – I did some last week with my friend Helen in the woods near her house, and the smell was heavenly.

    Happy times: I’m on countdown to Christmas which I can thoroughly enjoy for the first time in 10 years as I’m not working in retail any more! And therefore I am not surrounded by tired, grumpy colleages and stupid customers who complain there’s no frozen Yorkshire pudding on Christmas Eve (if you’re using frozen then a) you’re sad and should be ashamed and b) why the hell didn’t you buy it last month and stash it in your freezer?).

    Jenny, I was going to send you a chocolate orange for Christmas – it says orange so it has to have some vitamin C in it and therefore be healthy – but maybe you’ll be fed up with English chocolate by Christmas?

  27. “Clitoris, Oregon just has a nice ring to it”

    LOL, a ring and not a bar. Personally I’d prefer Clitoris to have a bar but hey, I’m easy, I can always pack a flask.

    Oh, and watch out for that red velvet dress – AKA temptation in a frock. They’re just made for twirling:-))

  28. I love this post! And yes, I would come and stay at the Lodge in Clitoris Oregon.
    I also feel deprived. Pushing Daisies is not yet shown in the UK AND ABC only allows US citizens to watch episodes online.
    Now is that fair?
    On the other hand the sun is shining on sparkly frosted grass and there are blackbirds bathing in my garden pond.
    Upwards and onwards. Keep on twirling!

  29. Thanks for starting my day of with a smile.

    What makes me happy right now is spending hours drawing, cutting, and pasting with DS and hearing him say, “I want zizzers peas!” Also, Knowing my MIL will go home in 9 days, seeing the piles of laundry shrinking, getting a new hair style, and having a guy who can find his way to Clitoris (he’s got a great sense of direction), all make me deliriously happy.

    The icons on your computer are fabulous! Seeing them and knowing you are happy also make me happy.

  30. OMG!!!! Ok, let’s see if I get anything done today besides playing with my folders and photos. I had no idea! Love all three of your folder pictures. Let’s see . . . what makes me smile . . . daisies and chocolate ice cream with peanut butter in it. Oh, and my label maker. Ha! Sad, but true.

  31. You all made me smile so much whilst I am here counting widgets! Thanks! I am going out of town and playing Scrabble this weekend–that’s in my birdhouse.

  32. There’s an Intercourse, Pennsylvania, so why not a Clitoris, Oregon? Let’s not forget there are eight million stories in the Naked City . . . in Clitoris, we won’t settle for less than multiple.

    What makes me happy these days? My two new seven-month old English Cocker Spaniel puppies. A couple of months after losing my 12 year old Brittany, this brother and sister pair jumped into my life and filled up the quiet in the house with puppy shenanigans. Even when they misbehave I love them and it’s very difficult not to laugh when training them right from wrong.

    I’m on the verge of total depression about the huge stall in my writing and my inability to push myself through it. I try to remember that every ocean sometimes goes flat calm for awhile, but eventually powers up again.

    In the meantime, it helps that I love my day job where I can see dolphins any time that I want. They always bring joy.

    I have the best friends and family.

    I wake up every day to a terrific life.

  33. I was wrong. TMBG’s Birdhouse in Your Soul involves a bluebird of friendliness, not happiness. But close enough. They did play that song last night. It was great! I love the line about Jason and the Argonauts.

    And . . . drumroll please . . . They do have a song called “The Mesopotamians” that is apparently about a fictional band made up of Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh.



    Today my soul-residing birdhouse is full of joy because I get to play hooky from work tomorrow and go Christmas shopping with my mom. Yay!

  34. Ya know, the “paranormal is over” thing is a bunch of baloney. Markets don’t “disappear”. They just get strangled with crap, IMHO.

    Unless I’m just totally weird (always a possibility of course), most people will pretty much always be drawn to the things that appeal to them. I will always be drawn to (well written) romantic comedy. Barring a massive brain trauma, I don’t think that’s going to change. I will always be in the market for comedy. I’m not gonna just up and say, “Oh, I don’t like romantic comedy anymore. I suddenly want to read only bleak tragedies.”

    I think what actually happens is that readers found great paranormals and started snapping them up, so publishers shoved out anything that looked like it could bend a spoon. Readers don’t care for crap, so they didn’t buy it. They are (impatiently) waiting for the good stuff to float to the top. But since they aren’t buying the tripe, publishers have decided the interest is just gone.

    The market is still there. Readers are just waiting for the good stuff. (Oh yeah, I like paranormal stuff, too. So I’ll be waiting for whatever you write.)

  35. In the birdhouse of my soul is a good report from the Mayo Clinic and the knowledge that para is not dead. thankyouverymuch

  36. Okay. I’m packing my bags to move to the commune in Clitoris OR. I can raise and milk goats and look good in long denim skirts studded with rhinestones, so should fit right in. What a hoot.
    My birdhouse is that I just got an art piece juried into a fairly large show and I finished the third draft of my WIP. It’s out to beta readers and we’ll see what the comments bring. My husband is open to “romance hero” coaching – life is good.

  37. Birdhouse moments …

    Long hot showers with expensive, yummy smelling soaps. Hot tub soaks in dim lighting with candles and an audio book.
    Sitting inside curled up on my new rocker/recliner and watching the rain fall outside.

    And, oddly, having my cat knock my feet out from under me as she races me to the kitchen this morning in a pre-caffeine moment. Adventure is where you find it.

  38. Your non-soul mate friend was rude. And probably jealous of your happiness. She could use a coat of fresh paint on her birdhouse.

    I have a friend who’s last name is Boring. She isn’t.

    Pushing Daisy’s is Buffy meets Dr. Suess. They better watch out or Olive will steal the show.

    I love the little girl in the non-sequitur comics. Have you seen Emily Strange?

    My little birdhouse is knowing that my hubby gets me.

    Thanks for the good mood vibes.

  39. Pushing Daisies makes be very happy. Laugh-out-loud hysterically happy.

    Too funny. A good location for Clitoris, OR, would be just north of Climax, OR, which is south of Butte Falls and east of Wonder. (and you think I’m joking…)

    I looked it up on MapQuest, and it shows links for local businesses. The one for Climax Hotels has potential, but I think I need shares in Climax Insurance.

  40. Oh Jenny, re the woodpecker… Birds are afraid of owls (owls are predators). A statue of an owl on your roof near the window, or an outline of an owl in the window should discourage said woodpecker. It works on all the birds at our next-door neighbors.

  41. It looks like “The Mesopotamians” is on their newest album which just came out this summer. Glad you liked it.

    I’ll second the YAY JILL! It’s great that you got good news!

  42. I love They Might Be Giants, they’re what I thought of from the title – p’raps I’ll ask for this new album for my birthday! All male Mesopotamians, but so are TMBG, so I guess it’s OK. Supply your own goddesses.

    And maybe someone should have an Econoline van…

  43. Clitoris, Oregon. Wow. I want to live there. Maybe I can have the nice little house on G-Spot and Main. Happy times will be had by all.

    I have not seen Pushing Up Daises. I’ve been addicted to Saving Grace.

    Hmm, woodpecker? That wasn’t supposed to be a pun, but I still find it giggle worthy.

  44. A commune in Oregon (writer-centric, mind you) has been a lifelong dream of mine – ocean, forest, coffee. Your version is even better because if more men could find Clitoris on a map the world would be a better place… wait, gotta get ’em to read the maps… it was a man who claimed that not all who wander are lost. Maybe make a 12-pack of AA batteries the price of admission for those wandering souls who get lucky?

  45. You know what’s really sad – every few weeks I’ll have a couple of hours free at work and so I catch up with your musings. And it makes me both nostalgic and cheerful at the same time. Anybody ever tell you your world is so much better then the grey world?

    Stop giving off so many good vibes, makes me want to stalk you to give you a hug πŸ™‚

    Seriously, though, thanks.

  46. I have been having a birdhouse week too. The boss is on vacation; I am planning a vacation/cruise to the Mediterranean next year that will go to Instanbul (among other places)! Looking at pictures of Instanbul really got me excited. I got so inpired by the cruise that I started a blog and one of my non-techie friends has taught herself to use it. Your post, Jenny, about the collages got me closer to understanding that concept; I started a story; the sun is shining and it is warm. Oh, I missed PUD last night and forgot to record it. Thanks, whoever posted the link to past episodes. I thought that might be available but have been too [insert here: lazy, dizzy, out-of-it] to look it up.

  47. My birdhouse is filled with meeting local NaNoWriMo writers for write-ins at cafes, everyone tapping maddly at their keyboards, secret smiles of delight fluttering across their faces. And my kids and DH; being with people who really understand me, and who are fun and funny! And my neighbor is crafting purses, and is planning one out for me! So sweet! Oooh and 3 cords of wood all stacked and ready for winter. And Jenny’s fabulous post really filled my birdhouse. Thank you!

  48. Jill’s news makes me happy!
    A commune in Clitoris, Oregon makes me happy.
    The tiara from Cherry Con makes me happy (thank you so much!)
    Writing 2000 words, and finding a turning point for my NaNo Novel makes me happy.
    All the Cherries make me happy.

  49. My husband bought The Else by They Might Be Giants for my birthday and got it imported from Germany so I had the version with the bonus CD. Then he put up shelving for my immense yarn stash and organised it. He lives in the birdhouse pretty much year round.

    Thanks for the Pushing Daisies tip – fingers crossed that it comes to the UK.

  50. With winter breathing into every crack of our house, I’m smiling at my homemade draft blockers–fabric cylinders stuffed with plastic bags plus a few rocks for weight. I have an olive-green snake printed with metallic gold swirls along my office windowsill, faux leopardskin crawling along the bottom of our front door, and–my favorite, at the bottom of the porch door in our bedroom–a four-foot-long orange felt carrot. It’s a prop left over from the magic act I produced starring our son and seven of his classmates, back when they were in third grade. I was more than a little birdbrained to attempt that, but it yielded happy memories for the birdhouse.

  51. Oh yes, the red velvet dress! We must see the dress. Preferably with you in it. Ooh and chocolate oranges. And sequins that glitter when you twirl. (Twirling is the thing you do after a serious shimmy, just to make the shiny point.)

    Don’t mind me going all magpie on the birdhouse.

  52. I dunno, I think it was awfully nice of the anonymous downer person to reveal herself as Not Your Friend with her “paranormal is dead” crack. Much easier to cut her off now, so count that as another happy-making thing.

    My birdhouse is filled with Daisies (I want Olive’s perfect bob haircut), and daily writing, and weekly Artist’s Dates, and the knowledge that it is Friday and the end of a hellish week at work, and that next week will be much more serene. And not just because I’ll be od-ing on trypophan next Thursday.

  53. I LOVE that clip of Kristin and Hopelessly Devoted. I am so glad that they are letting Kristin sing in the show. When I first realized who she was (I am not all that familiar with her), I wondered why she would want to be on TV! There are some great clips of her on YouTube.

  54. I’ve had a terrible week — a hole in my shoe, a car with a funny noise, and a computer that won’t let me access my e-mail, and just treating me with general disdain. Who needs that from a computer?

    BUT, today is good. The car is fixed. The computer is conquered. I’m going shoe-shopping today.

    But what makes today really good is:

    Finding an e-mail, or a post, that makes me smile, makes me think, and makes me respond. I love that.

    Sunshine and blue skies over the golden lawn.

    Smiles on little girls.

    Going out to eat, and having a kid from school recognize me with a perky “Sensei!” (I see these kids once or twice a year — I’m more of a guest speaker than an actual teacher.)

    Shiny stuff. I’ve got a sparkly little turquoise mirror that was probably made in India, and it always makes me smile.

    I finally submitted something to a public slush pile, and it wasn’t ripped to pieces. Even though it deserved a little bit of ripping. People actually had some nice things to say about it.

    I love that metaphor — keep building your birdhouses! I think mine shall house a parrot. I’m the kind of woman who would keep a parrot, after all.

    And thanks for sharing your thoughts! Loved ’em!

  55. Oh, wow! This is great. Thank you for the big smile, I needed it and now my birdhouse brimmeth with sunshine and my birdbath has bubbles in it and no bluebirds are coming by to crap on it. I’m up in the Pacific North West at the moment taking Bob’s writer’s retreat, it’s gorgeous up here. I’ve been absolutely sick of the sun in the desert and am having a wonderful time in the constant drizzle.I’m especially thankful to writer’s who share their knowledge and critique with kindness even though they want to say my work is dreck. This wanting to be a writer gig is damn hard work.

    But you know, I could be the barefoot busboy/girl at the commune, I love the name, it’s a hell of a lot better than Tittytown, Oregon. I could fill big tubs with hot water and dishwashing liquid and scrub everyone’s dishes. Oh yeah, and we could have an outdoor clothesline where I could do everyone’s laundry and hang it out to dry on those rare sunny days. Can you imagine all of those silk thongs flying in the breeze? Definitely no granny panties, we’ll ban those. And you wouldn’t even have to pay me I could just get free writing lessons.


    Did you notice the Mesopotamians were eating Twizzlers ? And there was a fainting goat ? Just wanted to be sure you did not miss that.
    Can I be the event coordinator in Clitoris, OR ?
    The events being sitting in the hot tub reading, sitting in the beach chair reading(Clit is on the coast , right ?), wine tasting.

  57. To the Intercourse, PA comment:

    Not only is there Intercourse, there is also Paradise and Blue Ball (I’m not joking).

    As far as my birdhouse goes~

    Monday is my birthday (ewww, 37)
    I’m going to Vegas from Sunday to Friday~Viva Las Turkey!
    A new bracelet that reminds me of a collage because it’s a modified charm bracelet (
    Checking in with this blog (I love you guys! You make my day!)

    Thoughts for our Clitoris, Oregon commune~
    All young men should be sent for instruction at the proper age-this is to help our sisters everywhere.

    We are not, I repeat NOT, putting up a monument in the center of town that in any way, shape or form resembles anything phallic!

    There are so many opportunities for fun in naming the town bar, not to mention items on the menu!

  58. I love Pushing Daisies. And that song! The way she moves in perfect rhythm behind the floor cleaner, that is just hilariously beautiful. Thank you, ABC, for putting this online so people like me in the sticks can watch it.

    I have eggnog in my coffee. If that isn’t happiness, I don’t know what is.

  59. The guys would never find it.

    The timing is perfect. My coworker told me this week that she broke up with her boyfriend (she’s that young) because she got tired of telling him where it was. And I thought…good grief, she’s thinking there’s a man out there who can find it. LOL

  60. (-: So, Jennifer, what *would* be the monument in the middle of town? I vote for a wishing well. That’d be deep (har-har-har!). A nice cave would also be . . . hmmm, vaginal? What’s the counterpart word to phallic, anyway?

  61. Physiologically speaking, a clitoris IS phallic. It’s actually the same organ, same nerve cells, different configuration.

    Anyway … in my birdhouse, my teenagers made a dozen rolls of sushi for dinner.

  62. No counterpart word micki. Women don’t feel the need to express their power and domination through the pysical gymnastics of their genitalia.

    But maybe it’d be something like Clittoral? Vagallic?

  63. As Kira says, it’s the same organ. Women’s erectile tissue is all internal, and it’s thought that this is in part a protection against developing cystitis – when you have (good) sex the tissue swells, closing the urethra and stopping infections from your partner reaching your bladder. I have seen it suggested that sexually active women suffering from repeat cystitis suffer from the female version of erectile dysfunction.

    Or is that TMI? Off to do the ironing and watch Life on Mars…

  64. A small town with a giant water tower filled with inner peach. And a pony. She gets all the good stuff.

  65. I’m thrilled to know you’re working on three paranormal projects. I hope one day soon you may venture even further into, say, Science Fiction, becase we could really use more super fun and witty, kick ass heroines in that genre too.

    If I were able to move to Oregon, build houses with friends and name the place Clitoris I think I’d have more than a birdhouse; I’d have some kind of giant aviary full of pterodactyls, pink ones, with glittery diamond tails who all talked like a dinner party featuring Dorothy Parker, Mae West and Mary Shelley. Meantime, I’m off to kill some more Argonauts, fictionally speaking. And that’s quite bluebirdy.

  66. Birdhouse moments:

    Ridiculous Marketing Moment: Wandering Home Depot, exhausted from a remodel, and see Kohler’s new toilet campaign. Class V: Flush it and forget it.

    LOL. Class V is the rating for un-navigable rapids. I asked my dh what’s a good description for class V and he replied “Death. Lethal.”( … um.. perhaps you had to be there.)

    Really, all the signage in MD is cracking me up, being from CA where things are quite beige and sunny. Bars have big neon signs saying “Package Goods”. What’s that I ask– Well, deary, it’s liquor to go.” Talk about denial. Honey, I’m off to pick up a package. Gritz’s Liquors. CluckU Chicken. Bob’s Oldies Cafe right next to the No Drama Beauty Salon. This place has color coming out of every orifice.

  67. OK, this is the way my mind works – very OT. Justina and others: there’s a CD of “holiday music” available at theAmerican Museum of Natural History gift shop (gosh, I love preview), that includes such gems as “Hark, the Pterodactyl sings”. And “Dino, Dino, Dino” to the tune of the dreidel song. By what sounds like pretty good real singers, not goofy people.

  68. Yeah, Bob’s just a wee babe. Har. I remember being in the operating room with my ex, he used to do heart surgery to the Moody Blues. They’re still one of his faves. Guess it’s better than betting on a horse and listening to the race whilst sawing through someone’s chest. Exits stage to left, humming “Nights in white satin, never reaching the end …”

  69. my bird house is resplendant now, we put up our Christmas tree, with 500 lights. came from the box we put it away in. had 4yr old grandaughter overnight, it was a project we had fun with, went to our fav Chinese food place, came home, tree on side, our 125lb ridgeback and 20 lb border terrier knocked it over and chewed thru wires on 2hundred lights. lived. now tree is tied to wall, and dogs go out if we leave. least no ornaments were on. so it was ok…and paige helped as we laughed.

    another happy, went to giant bead and sparkle show for a couple hours last weekend, it was wonderful…saw old friends selling, bought things i could not live without, and was reminded another show this weekend that i should not miss. i love my bead seller friends. they travel all over the country, yet still think of me and make time to talk, or let me roll my chair in, to talk or go thru stock more easily…. wether i buy or not.

    and mostly am so happy we had thanksgiving early, jon works it, so our daughter had us over, i helped cook big meal of turkey as well as meatloaf, all the stuff, for 9. but i remembered last year she wasn’t with us, she was playing the part of a twit felon, and we have seen such change, so much loving and giving..we got our daughter back.

  70. Ah, the birdhouse in my soul. First, I’ll say I still am annoyed by the narrator. But Olive is a beaut, singing, twirling, dog-petting and all.

    My birdhouse is my sweetheart, Richard, who managed to save vacation for the entire Christmas week and will actually be HOME for every weekend in December this year! Kev and I are so happy about that.

    Plus, I don’t have to travel for Thanksgiving, or cook for more than the three of us.

    I don’t have to do any more backbreaking work until Monday!

    And I’ll say, to the envy of all and since TMI has been taken off the table, Richard can live safely in Clitoris, Oregon. Plus, I’d enjoy the commune-ity (commune-ness?) of it. I miss my writer-pals. Jumpstart spoiled me something awful.

    My biggest birdhouse is that since I only have to cook nominal Thanksgiving dinner, I have lots of writing time. Starting….. now!

  71. Since my current computer is so old it’s pretty much a boat anchor, and after hearing all of the wonderful things about Macs, I made the switch and bought an iMac. Took it out of the box (even the packing material is sleek!) and fired it up last night – OMG, I LOVE it! And I barely had time to play around, so now I can look forward to discovering tons more cool stuff about it in the weeks to come! YAY!


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