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Yucca

yucca

Here is a happy Michael, less than an hour into our training hike last weekend. He is standing in front of my favorite plant of all time, the yucca. The yucca plant is a unique plant. It grows in the dessert and it has lots of magical properties. (I may be exaggerating slightly when I say “magical”.) The particular variety found in the desserty-wild places of the San Fernando Valley was near extinction in the eighties because back in the seventies people thought it was hilarious fun to tie a yucca to the back of their pickup truck and then drive away really fast, ripping the plant from the earth, dragging it for miles, leaving nothing but a pulpy stump behind.

People are idiots.

But I’m getting off topic.

yucca blossoms

Not bad for a point-and-shoot

The reason I say the yucca has magical features is because each part of the plant has a beneficial use. The long, sword-like leaves at the base of the plant are made up of dozens of strong fibers. If you pull the leaf apart, separate the fibers, then braid them together, you’ll have rope that only compares to hemp rope in its strength and durability. The leaves have razor-sharp needles at their tips, which you can use as sewing needles. A little yucca strand and one of those needles and you won’t ever need a needle and thread again. Also, the liquid that is released from the leaves when you are harvesting the yucca threads makes a fabulous natural shampoo. The icing on the yucca cake are its blossoms, which are edible and as sweet as candy.

edible blossom

Mike didn’t believe me that the blossoms were edible and delicious, so after we took this picture I ate one. It was kind of gross.

So much for magical qualities.

Foxy

This is Foxy:

Foxy

Photo courtesy of Sebastian Budderhor

He was given to me by my brother and his wife. They found Foxy on a ghost hunt one night, but they didn’t take him home. Ty wanted to, he really did. Foxy was beautiful, despite the fact that something had been eating him, but my brother couldn’t justify bringing him home. After all, what are you going to do with somebody’s discarded, half-chewed taxidermy fox? Not a whole lot. So my brother attempted to satisfy his desire to bring the thing home with a few photographs, and he left the fox alone.

Two months passed and Ty couldn’t get Foxy out of his head. He finally decided to drive all the way back to the haunted site to retrieve the fox, only to discover that his face had been entirely eaten away, leaving nothing but bare skull.

Foxy After

Photo courtesy of Sebastian Budderhor

My brother is the kind of guy who understands that even old faceless taxidermy foxes need love, so he brought the thing home and now he (Foxy, not my brother) lives happily ever after with the rest of my beautiful dead things.

One day, if I can ever take a good enough photo of it, I’ll show you the mummified mice that were my Christmas gift from Ty last year. He set them up in a diorama of heaven’s pearly gates and I swear to Goldfish if that wasn’t one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given in my entire life I don’t know what is. I love those mouse mummies almost as much as I love Valentine.  Maybe a little bit more. (Don’t tell her.)

P.S. I just found out that you can buy dried baby llama‘s in La Paz. I’m DYING. Apparently, if you bury a dried baby llama under the cornerstone of your home you will have good luck. We don’t have a cornerstone, but we do have a fireplace and that can totally count, yes? If I can bring home a dried baby llama for my mantle, that will make carrying around my poopy toilet paper for three weeks totally worthwhile.

Gertrude

The weather has been so lovely that I’ve been able to spend my work days out on the balcony, the little dogs at my feet, and a family of house finches squabbling over my shoulder.  They don’t mind me at all. The big orange feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds is far too wonderful to ignore just because there is a large possible predator mammal sitting a mere three feet away.

Gertrude

This is Gertrude.  As in Stein, of course.  She’s a house finch and she is very brave. I call her mate Atticus (I have to thank Kate for that one) and I know he’s Gertrude’s mate because they always fly in together. But they never eat at the same time, oh no.  Gertrude is very particular and insists that Atticus wait on a nearby lantern while she and her best girlfriend Anastasia eat their fill.  Atticus isn’t particularly fond of this arrangement.  He gets impatient and will frequently drop off of the lantern, wings spread, toes aimed at the lip of the feeder. When Gertrude realizes he’s left his post (the nerve!) she flaps her wings furiously and squawks at him, sending him back to the lantern in a flurry of feathers. This will happen two or three times, he drops, she squawks and flaps, till finally she’s sick of it and follows him to the lantern, wings beating, squawk! Squawk! Squawk! Now he knows he’s in trouble so he flies to the next lantern, a little further away. Gertrude circles him once, squawks a final warning, and goes back to finish her meal. When I move to pick up my coffee, the females startle and fly off in a spray of seeds. Atticus will dart from the lantern to the lip of the feeder, just long enough to grab a mouthful of seeds before he’s off after the girls.

They have such lovely and complicated lives. Like us.

Or else I am totally anthropomorphizing.

Geraldine

geraldine

This tiny section of my family room makes me feel indescribably happy. The portrait is of my mother-in-law, Geraldine, when she was sixteen. She’s a real beauty and I think her portrait is lovely over the radio table. One day, if I ever acquire a camera that takes fantastic photos in low lighting, I’ll take a real picture of Geraldine so you can admire her too.

About – Oct. 2010

once-upon-a-time

My name is Patricia Frost and I’m married to a handsome, brainy, mechanically gifted man named Michael who finds much of what I write on this website to be mildly embarrassing. We have two dogs, two cats, and a pet python named after the devil. We spend most of our free time vacuuming.

In February of 2007, just ten months after we married, we left our home in Los Angeles for New York City because I didn’t want to wake up at forty wondering what my life would have been like if I’d moved to New York and Mike didn’t want that either. Now I can say I know what life in New York is like and I’ll take Los Angeles any day. We left the city in August of 2010 and moved in with my parents in my childhood home with our five animals in the Valley. It’s a little weird. In a good way.

You’ll probably notice that I talk about New York a lot, and that’s because the nearly four years I spent there left a huge impression on me. The first two years were the hardest, most horrible years of my entire life, and if it weren’t for Michael, I don’t think I would have survived it. But survived it I did. We survived it together and the challenges we overcame made our marriage stronger and better than I ever could have imagined. He’s my best friend, my world, my hero, my everything. I adore him.

I am a writer, an actor, a Certified Family Law Paralegal and a professional blogger. I earned a BFA from a university-accredited art conservatory where I spent four years rolling around on the floor in white body make-up making funny noises and watching my tongue in a hand mirror. My college transcripts include Yoga, Tai Chi, Punk Writing, Queer Books, and Singing For Actors. In the future I’d like to go back to school and study science. I’ve always liked looking at the insides of things.

I love Neutral Milk Hotel, The Bangkok Five, and The New Pornographers. I collect photos of dead animals, I love poop jokes, and I frequently say inappropriate things. I hate high heels and fancy clothes. I’m terrible at standing up for myself. I dread dinner parties because I always end up standing awkwardly alone in a corner with stains on my dress and runs in my stockings. I’d rather stay home with good friends than go out for a night on the town. I want to have a baby so badly that sometimes I think my ovaries are talking to me, but the state of our current health care debacle is forcing us to wait. (Thanks for that, United States. I can vote but I can’t see a doctor. Awesome.)

In addition to A Serious Girl, I edit, compile and write for Ron and Robert on Divorce, a blog that provides information and education to families in crisis. I started writing my first blog, Frosty-licious, in May of 2007, just three months after moving thousands of miles away from home. At first I used blogging as a way to whine about how awful my first-world problems were. After a while I started writing instead of whining and before I knew it writing became my sanctuary. This blog is my sanctuary. Thank you for reading.

Amelia

Amelia

Yesterday I walked into the living room and found Amelia sitting on my writing chair. She looked so much like a little person that I burst out laughing. Then I took this picture.

Amelia was a Christmas gift from a friend in December of 2001.  A tiny ball of fluff, I carried her home zipped into my coat.  For the first few weeks we were together I brought her everywhere.  I couldn’t tell if she was a boy or a girl, so I called her Claw, because of the way her cactus claws gleamed white against her coal black fur.  She was so young that mostly what she did was sleep, which is why she stayed so happily in my coat, nuzzled against my beating heart.

She’s the least demanding of all four animals, and the most ignored.  We get our quality time together in the early morning light, mug of coffee warm nearby, her round belly in my lap while she purrs like a chainsaw, twisting her body under my hands so I’ll scratch here, no there, right there, that’s perfect.

Amelia is the animal that long-time friends ask after.   She’s the one who comforted me through every college heartbreak, who welcomed Toby home when he was adopted, who slept tucked under my chin until I married my love and his allergies.  She’s also the cat who ate my eighty dollar laptop cord, several sets of headphones, various connection chords, stereo chords, component chords, destroyed our first sofa (with Theo’s help) and eats all of our houseplants down to nubs. It’s a good thing she’s so pretty.

Amelia, circa 2001

Amelia, circa 2001

About – Jan. 2010

My name is Patricia Frost. In February of 2007, after less than a year of marriage, my husband and I moved from Los Angeles, California to New York City because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering what would have happened if I’d moved to New York.  Now I know. It’s been a wild adventure and we’re looking forward to getting back to California as soon as we can scrounge up enough dough.  We check our couch cushions daily.

I grew up in a suburb outside of Los Angeles, like omigawd, three malls within walking distance of my house. My favorite mall, The Topanga Mall, was renovated recently and now when I go there I feel lost and confused. Luckily I don’t go there very often since I live 3,000 miles away in a place that rains year round, is cold nine months out of the year and doesn’t have any malls at all. I only mention the stuff about the rain and the malls because when we moved here I didn’t know that there were cities in this country that lack malls, yet have year round rain.  The revelation was actually painful.

If it weren’t for my husband Michael, a full-time student and NYC EMT, I don’t think I would have survived the first two years we were in this crazy city. Through thick and thin he’s been my best friend, my biggest fan, he’s picked me up and dusted me off and he’s forced me to move on. He makes me a better person.

Mike and I live in a spacious and sunny apartment in Harlem.  We have three closets and a bathroom sink.  In case you weren’t aware, in Manhattan bathroom sinks and closets are considered really fantastic amenities.  We share this fabuslous amentitied apartment with two dogs, two cats and a python.  We spend eight hours a week vacuuming up pet hair.  That’s not even an exaggeration.

I am a writer, an actor, a Certified Family Law Paralegal and a traveling sales girl.  I earned a BFA from a university-accredited art conservatory, where I spent four years rolling around on the floor in white body make-up making funny noises.  My college transcripts include yoga, tai chi, Punk Writing, Queer Books and Singing For Actors.  In the future I’d like to go back to school and study science.  I’ve always liked looking at the insides of things.

I love Neutral Milk Hotel, The Bangkok Five, and Trent Reznor.  I collect photos of dead animals, I love poop jokes and I frequently say inappropriate things. I hate high heels and fancy clothes.  Cocktail parties and dinner parties terrify me because I always end up being the weird girl alone in the corner with stains on her dress and runs in her stockings.  I’d rather stay home with good friends than go out for a night on the town.  I want to have a baby so badly that sometimes I think my ovaries are talking to me. I miss The Valley.

In addition to A Serious Girl, I edit, compile and write for Ron and Robert on Divorce, a blog that provides information and education to families in crisis.  I also take care of the blog for A Tail At A Time, a NYC based animal rescue.  I started writing my first blog, Frosty-licious, in May of 2007, just three months after moving thousands of miles away from my roots. At first I used blogging as a way to whine about how awful my first-world problems were. After a while I started writing instead of whining and before I knew it writing became my sanctuary.  This blog is my sanctuary.  Thank you for reading.