iFAQ (Infrequently Asked Questions)

(as well as frequently-questioned answers and frequently-unanswered questions)

Did Meps really write and illustrate a book? Where can I buy it?

Yes! And if you like the stuff on this blog, you’ll like Strangers Have the Best Candy a lot. It will be available on Amazon in April 2014. If you’ve been following the Adventures of Meps ‘n’ Barry for a while and you want an autographed or doodled copy, please write to Meps with your request.

How do you pronounce Flutterby?

Meps' original flutterby logo
Meps’ original flutterby logo

It’s Flutter By, not Flutter Bee. In other words, it is a Spoonerism of butterfly, not butterflee.

What kind of boat is Flutterby?

Flutterby is a Freedom 33, a red balsa-cored fiberglass hull with bright blue unstayed carbon fiber masts. She originally had a rig with wraparound sails and wishbone booms which we replaced in 2012 with a junk rig.

Barry didn’t really sew the sails himself, did he?

Yes, in Meps’ father’s one-car garage. She was supposed to help, but she was out of town when he started, and by the time she returned, he said something like, “I have it all figured out now. Just keep feeding me and holding my tape measure, and I will do all this sewing by myself.” Here’s the story, with photos.

Why do you call it The Squid Wagon?

Because it is a Ford Club Wagon, and the original license plate ended in SQD. It no longer does, but the name (and associated nickname, “Squidley”) is endearing for such a large, lumbering land creature.

Do you have any pets?

We originally traveled on Cayenne with Prussia, our cat. We bought the Squid Wagon so she could accompany us on the first half of our North American circumnavigation . She passed away in 2005, and we have lovingly cared for strays, feral cats, and friends’ cats since then.

We do have a full complement of teddy bears aboard Flutterby, including Frankie, Precious, Happy Joy, and Beau.

What is the Foodie Gazette?

Meps originally posted her recipes on this blog, but eventually they took on a life of their own, so she moved them to the Foodie Gazette. She is not a dedicated food blogger, but having her recipes on the internet makes it a lot easier to find them when she is cooking in other people’s kitchens.

How do you make a Happy Spot?

Oakland Happy Spot
Philip surprised me with chalk in his pocket to make this one in Oakland, California

Take a piece of sidewalk chalk, and draw a square large enough for two people to stand in, hugging. Write “Happy Spot Stand Here” next to it with an arrow, and draw a smiley face in the O. For indoor happy spots, use a piece of paper. For playa happy spots, use a piece of string or draw in the dust with your finger.

How do you use a Happy Spot?

Everybody loves a Happy Spot hug
Everybody loves a Happy Spot hug

<– Like this. You can stand in it and feel happy, or you can mark a spot that feels particularly happy to you. They are especially good for hugging, laughing, and smiling. Here’s the story of the first one we made.