Friday, December 20, 2013

Classic Wishes Never Go Out of Style

Thought for the day: Classic, you say? Oh, yeah, baby. Play it again, Sam!



 Instead of trying to come up with something new today, I'm gonna give myself an early Christmas gift, and do a re-run of a post some of you called classic when I ran it a couple years ago. Good enough for me. Sounds like a reasonable enough excuse to turn it into a tradition, dontcha think? This makes the third year for it, now, and don't be surprised if it resurfaces again next year.  So, here it is, a classic tale, although not exactly in the same category as Dickens, about (ahem)  inflated dreams... 

Enjoy.


++++++

Thought for the day: We don't stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.


No telling how many years this wreath has graced our front door.
We never made a huge production out of outdoor decorations, but every year, our kids made the same grand proclamation after we cruised our decorated-out-the-wazoo neighborhood on the way home from the candlelight service on Christmas Eve.

"The best one of all!" they'd lie as we pulled into our driveway.

Okay, so maybe they weren't really lying through their braces. Maybe anticipation of the hidden presents awaiting inside added a certain luster to their perception of our decorations.

Anyhow, I'd say decorating styles can pretty much be divvied into three categories: traditional, enlightening, and inflated. Us? We're traditionalThat means, except for an occasional new acquisition, I've pretty much used the same decorations every year. For a LOT of years. Like the ornaments that hung on my parents' tree when they were first married, some of which are now paper thin, and considerably faded with age. And a slew of decades-old goodies fashioned by our children with copious quantities of felt, glue and glitter, construction paper, walnut shells, clothespins, eyeglass lenses, and even a Mason jar lid. A black spider in a golden web and a huge decorated crab shell, both made my by sister-in-law. Boxes of tinsel painstakingly applied, strand by strand, and then painstakingly removed to store in a box for yet another year. Like I said, traditional. Well, to be more accurate, I suppose we've become more traditional cum lazy, because each year, I use less and less decorations, and some of them don't even make it down out of our attic anymore. For sure, our formerly traditional tree is considerably NOT traditional these days. (I'll give you a peek at the end of this post.)

These singers once belonged to my grandmother.

Everybody knows the enlightening type of decorator. They're the ones with so many lights blazing in their front yards, they risk causing a blackout across three states every time they turn 'em on. Very flashy. Sometimes, they even incorporate animation and music, too, and carloads of people stop by every night to ooh and aah over their winter wonderland. It isn't at all unusual for a competition of sorts to begin when multiple enlighteners live in close proximity. (Those neighborhoods can be seen from the space station.)



And then, there's the inflatedThis is a fairly recent category. I sure don't remember seeing this sort of display when I was a kid. Nowadays, you can purchase just about any character you can think of ... inflate it ... and stick it on your front lawn. And if you can't find a particular character, for the right price, you can probably have someone make one for you. Then, all those characters can weave and bob all over your yard.











Now then, to the point of today's post. Time for a tale about a Christmas inflatable of an entirely different ilk. This story originated in 1999, and was alleged to be the winning entry to a Louisville Sentinel contest about the wildest Christmas dinner. Turns out, no such newspaper ever existed, and the writer remains unknown, but the story lives on, thanks to the good ol' Internet. (WARNING: Better put your drink down before you read it.) Now here, after a bit of minor editing on my part, is that story:




As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of pantyhose over his fireplace every Christmas Eve. He said the only thing he wanted was for Santa to fill them, but what they say about Santa checking his list twice must be true, because every Christmas morning,  the other stockings would all be bulging with treats, but Jay's poor pitiful pantyhose were still dangling empty.

So one year, I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses, a fake nose, and a ski cap, and went in search of an inflatable love doll.

Know what? They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore. By the way, if you've never been in an X-rated store before, two words: don't go. You'll only confuse yourself. I was there for an hour saying things like, "What does this do?" "You're kidding me!" and  "Who would buy that?" 

So anyway, I finally made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane, but finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry, but I settled for the bottom of the price scale: Lovable Louise. To call her a doll took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve, with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life. My sister-in-law was in on the plan, and let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled Jay's pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. Then I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. We agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. "What the hell is that?" she asked.

My brother quickly explained, "It's a doll."

"Who would play with something like that?" she snapped.

 I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut.

"Where are her clothes?" she continued.

"Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran," Jay said, trying to steer her into the dining room.

 But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?"

Again, I could have answered, but why risk it? It was Christmas, and nobody wanted to spend it in the back of an ambulance saying, "Hang on, Granny, hang on!"

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me, waggled his eyebrows, and said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?"

I told him she was Jay's friend, and a few minutes later, noticed Grandpa standing by the mantel, talking to Louise. And not just talking. He was actually flirting. It was then we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise that sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the pantyhose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants, and Granny threw down her napkin, and stomped outside to sit in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember. Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health.

After that, Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies, and I'm pretty sure Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.

                                                     *****************

This is gonna be my last post this year. Time to declare family time. But before I go, let me share a picture of our non-traditional Christmas tree I mentioned above.

Not too bad, right?


It's made of cardboard, cut in the shape of a tree,  painted green, and decorated with bubble lights and twinkle lights. Easy up, easy down, and we don't have to worry about our cats climbing it, or breaking our antique tree decorations, and I don't have to follow them around to pull tinsel out of their butts. PLUS, they can still look out the front window. Win-win all the way around.




         Merry Christmas.  May all your dreams... no matter how inflated...  come true.

                                Until next year, take care of yourselves. And each other.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Face of Christmas

Thought for the day:  People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.  [Sheila McKechnie]

 You can't see my face, but I still have one.
Are there any homeless people in your town? Do you ever pass them when you're walking down the street? Maybe see them sleeping on a park bench or under a slab of cardboard? Do you... see them? I mean, really see them?

Most people don't, you know. Most don't look at their faces, and don't think of them as real people. As individuals. It's much easier to dismiss them as a faceless and nameless group of... what? Unfortunates?

A castaway in the sea was going down for the third time when he caught sight of a passing ship. Gathering his last strength, he waved frantically and called for help. Someone on board peered at him scornfully and shouted back, "Get a boat!" [Daniel Quinn]

Is that the kind of disdain society shows the homeless? I'm ashamed to say it, but all too often, it is.

Last month, a homeless man who's been wandering the streets of Atlanta since March was featured in the newspaper. His story started with him doing what he does every day... digging through dumpsters for something to eat.

Well, he found a wallet in one of the dumpsters. A Frenchwoman's wallet... and it contained her ID and credit card. This homeless man... this man named Joel... was determined to make it right for that tourist, so he walked from hotel to hotel, until he found where she was staying. At the luxurious Omni hotel, he turned the wallet over to the desk clerk. When the clerk asked for his name, Joel gave him a fake name. What difference did it make? He was... nobody.


But he wasn't nobody to the hotel manager. Based on Joel's picture taken by the security camera, people hit the streets until they found him... and brought him back to the hotel. There, he was given five hundred dollars and a week's stay, complete with free room service and a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.


Joel was much appreciative of the shower and bed. He also received new clothes, a haircut, and new-found dignity. He also got a lot of publicity. Other people sent money and gifts to him, and he got several job offers. He was the homeless man who'd done the right thing. He was the homeless man with a background story... the homeless man with a face. With a name...


And a family, a family that had been trying to find him for the past decade. His deceased father's long-time girlfriend and two half-brothers flew to Atlanta to reunite with him. They all had Thanksgiving dinner together. Then the family left. Went back home to their lives.

Joel's story certainly doesn't end there, but that's the end of the newspaper coverage. What happened to him when he left that luxury hotel? Did he go to Alaska, like he said he wanted to do? Did he get the medical and mental help he needed? Will he be able to hold a job this time? Can he get back on his feet... and stay there? Will he ever see his family again?

Joel's short time in the limelight brings up a lot of questions. Like, what does it say about decent society that it can be so insultingly surprised that a homeless man did the right thing? After all, no matter what his current circumstances, how can we justify jumping to the automatic assumption that he isn't a kind and caring soul, and a decent man with concern for other people?

I mean, I don't think I'm alone when I look at the homeless person or the psychotic or the drunk or the drug addict and see their baby pictures in my mind's eye. You don't think they were cute like every other baby? [Dustin Hoffman]

Hungry not only for bread — but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing — but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks — but homeless because of rejection.  [Mother Teresa]

 I also can't help but wonder if this time of year... this glorious time of Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and joy to the world isn't the real reason Joel got the royal treatment for a week. Do you think he would have been treated so well in the middle of  July or August?






Have you ever wished people were as loving and caring year-round as they are during this time of year? Wondered why the smiles and laughter aren't as heartfelt, and the hugs as warm, in March as they are in December? Why you don't get a mountain of wrapped presents every day, instead of just one measly time a year? (Only kidding about that one. Just checking to see if you were paying attention.) Anyway, Christmas is fast approaching. Anticipation builds, and as we all prepare to celebrate, I'd like to share an excerpt from Keeping Christmas, written by Henry Van Dyke:

There is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.

Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness.

Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front of you so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open---

Are you willing to do these things, even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas. And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?
+++++

                                        Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

If you light a lamp for someone, it will also brighten your path.  [Buddhist saying]

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lucky Thirteen

Thought for the day:  I think it's incumbent on anybody born on the thirteenth to consider that number... lucky. 



Yep, today is my birthday. (whoopee)  Since it falls on a Friday this year, I guess that makes it extra lucky, right? Right.

Smarticus and I will be out and about today, so I won't be hanging around the computer, but I didn't want to leave y'all hanging without a post. Lucky for me you, this rerun fills the bill perfectly. It ran originally on another Friday the 13th, back in May of 2011.

Before I take off, let me send all kinds of good wishes to someone else who's celebrating a birthday today. Please join me in wishing  Jon a very happy birthday... and many more. [Happy birthday, cowboy!]

Heck, I'm even gonna leave the weird news stories of the week attached to the old post. What the heck? Sure, the news is old, but the laughs are still fairly decent.




+++++++++++++++

Thought for the day:  Luck is the idol of the idle.


How ironic that on a day I intended to write about Friday the 13th, Blogger took a dive. A bit of nasty luck, eh?

Friggatriskaidikaphobia is a freaky cool word that means fear of Friday the 13th. Since Friday is considered by some to be an unlucky day, and thirteen is feared by some as an unlucky number, it should come as no surprise that when the two converge, superstitious fears multiply accordingly. We could say that

Unlucky Friday + Unlucky Thirteen = Unluckier Friday

The word superstition means a belief or practice resulting from ignorance and fear of the unknown, a trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation. Although I have no statistics to back me up, I'll hazard a guess that there are far more superstitious males than females. I mean, really, have you ever heard of a woman refusing to change her lucky drawers or socks? No, of course not. Although I will concede that this peculiar attachment to one's dirty socks and undies and by extension, one's aversion to donning clean ones, may in fact be rooted in something entirely different than a belief in their ability to prolong a streak of good luck. For any gentlemen with a proclivity to wear said scuzzy skivvies, be forewarned: No matter how much  luck you believe those skivvies may bring you in games of chance or sport, I double dog guarantee you that wearing them will NOT lead to any semblance of luck with the ladies.

Most of us are familiar with superstitions dealing with black cats, spilling salt, breaking mirrors, and walking under ladders, but have you ever wondered where those superstitions originated?

And why FRIDAYS, for goodness sake?

And why the number THIRTEEN?

Since this is the only Friday the 13th we'll be encountering this calendar year, I thought today would be the perfect time to investigate.

WHY FRIDAY  : In ancient Rome, Friday was the designated day for executions, which certainly ended a streak of good luck for anyone whacked by the authorities, whether he was wearing his lucky bowling shirt or not. Witches' covens allegedly gather on Fridays, too, and in the Middle Ages, Friday was actually dubbed "Witches' Sabbath". The Good Friday crucifixion of Christ casts the greatest stigma on the day for Christians, but other Biblical events are also attributed to Friday: the day Eve gave Adam the apple, the day they were expelled from Eden, the day God struck the Tower of Babel, and the day Solomon's Temple was destroyed.

Some superstitions regarding Friday are:
  • Clothing made on a Friday will never fit properly.
  • Visiting a doctor on a Friday will lead to no good news.
  • Changing bedclothes on a Friday will lead to nightmares.
  • Marrying or moving on a Friday will come to a bad end.
  • Cutting your nails on a Friday will lead to sorrow.
  • Receiving bad news on a Friday will cause more wrinkles than receiving them on any other day of the week.
  • Starting a trip on a Friday will lead to misfortune.
  • Ships that set sail on a Friday are doomed to suffer bad luck.
About a hundred years ago, to disprove the superstition about ships, the Brits commissioned H.M.S. Friday. The crew was selected on a Friday, the keel was set on a Friday,  the ship was launched on a Friday, and the man chosen to captain the ship was even named Friday. The ship set sail on its maiden voyage on a Friday, too. And was never heard from again.

There are 13 members in a witch's coven. 
WHY THIRTEEN: You're probably more familiar with this word: triskaidekaphobia. That's the fear of the number thirteen, and it's no secret that many buildings don't acknowledge a thirteenth floor, and many cities opt to skip Thirteenth Street. But, WHY? 

For one thing, a witch's coven has thirteen members. There are also thirteen steps leading to the gallows, and thirteen knots in a hangman's noose. The blade of a guillotine falls thirteen feet, and at her trial, Lizzie Borden spoke thirteen words. There were thirteen people at the Last Supper, and the thirteenth card in a deck of tarot cards? Death.

Apollo 13, the thirteenth mission to be launched from pad #39, (13 X 3)  was aborted after an explosion in the fuel cell of the service module, after leaving the launching pad at 13:13 CST. The date? April thirteenth.

One theory about the root of triskaidekaphobia lays it at the feet of ancient man. It claims that when man was first learning to count, he counted on ten fingers and two feet, so anything beyond twelve was considered frightening and mysterious. On the other hand, what I find mysterious is why he didn't count on his ten toes, too. It's highly possible that he refused to take off his lucky socks.

Would you believe the number thirteen was once considered lucky? For one thing, some early religions considered the thirteenth step to be the one souls take to enter the eternal glory of the afterlife. And in the prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures, the number thirteen represented femininity, and corresponded to the number of lunar (and menstrual) cycles in a year. The Earth Mother of Laussel, an ancient carving found in France, depicts a female holding a crescent-shaped horn with, you guessed it,  thirteen notches in it. Later, when society became male-dominated and the solar calendar replaced the lunar one, twelve became the "perfect" number, replacing the "imperfect" thirteen.

So, there ya have it. Now you know a little bit about the superstitions associated with Friday the thirteenth. Me? I still prefer the TGIF approach.

How about you? Do you have any superstitions or lucky socks?

OK, time for (a drum roll, if you will ...) the

WEIRDEST NEWS STORIES OF THE WEEK

**  In New York, a 21-year-old happened to be riding in a car that was pulled over by the police. As soon as the car stopped, the young man immediately took off running, and jumped into the Hudson River. He was able to latch onto a branch 250 feet downstream, where he waited for the police to rescue him from the fifty degree water. Know why he ran? It seems that the shivering young man thought there was a warrant out for his arrest. There wasn't. Sounds to me like there should have been.

** When two female investigators in Vienna, Austria began questioning his client, a lawyer (ahem) showed his briefs. The attorney dropped his trousers and then perched on a desk in his tightie whities with his back to the women. The client is suspected of a sex crime, but now the lawyer is being investigated, as well. (Maybe they were his lucky shorts?)

** After three late-night escape attempts, a German shepherd named Jack finally escaped from an Oregon veterinarian's office by pulling his kennel open, tripping the dead bolt on the clinic's back door and pulling down the handle to get outside. In the process, Jack tripped three motion detectors and tore open four bags of dog food. The vet said he was "impressed" with Jack's impressive recovery from the flu. Me? I wonder if that dog's last name was Bauer.
Bauer, Jack Bauer.


                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Oh, by the way, Goodreads drew the five winners of my book on Wednesday. Now Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade is on its way to exotic faraway places I can only dream of seeing... Lithuania, Kenya, Philippines, and Holland. (Lucky book!) The fifth book is headed to Texas. A total of 1429 people entered the contest, so let's see, if all the people who didn't win actually buy my book, it just might cover the cost of mailing it to the people who DID win. HA! Oh well. I didn't have any expectations of making a lot of money... and by golly, so far, I'm succeeding brilliantly. Take care, y'all.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

No Skirting the Issue

Thought for the day: Yer bum's out the windae.  [Scottish slang for, You're talking rubbish.]


My bum isn't out the windae when I say I love this picture of our daughter and son-in-law. He cuts a mighty fine figure in his kilt, doesn't he? And their poses? Priceless.





Aye, 'tis no secret that there's something charmin' about a Scotsman sportin' a kilt... no matter how coy he may be about what he's wearing under it. (i.e. She: What's worn under your kilt? He: Nothing, lass. It all works just fine.) Indeed,  the lads seem to enjoy perpetuating the mystery. But, guess what? Thanks to a picture I found on seniorark, I can now provide a definitive answer to that age-old question about kilts and skivvies.








OH, laddies! And a fine cheeky revelation it is!










I shared the following video with you once before, but now that the truth has been laid bare once and for all, I believe this auspicious occasion calls for an encore.


Gee I don't know why, but for absolutely no reason at all, an old Saturday Night Live skit just came to mind. For copyright reasons, I can't share it, but it's a classic skit called... (ahem)...  Schweddy Balls. (If you've never seen it before, you should be able to find a facsimile of it on Youtube.)

This post is a wee bit short, so tell ya what. I'm gonna fill it out with a wee joke:

As the dance was coming to an end, a Scottish lass smiled at a handsome young man and said, "Would it be that ye'd be wantin' to walk me home noo?"

"Aye, it would!" he said. "And how would it be that ye'd be knowin'?"

"Oh, by the twanklin' in yer aie," she said. After a wee walk down the lane, she said, "Oh, and would it be that ye'd be wantin' to hold me hand noo?"

"Aye, it would!" he said. "And how would it be that ye'd be knowin'?"

"Oh, by the twanklin' in yer aie," she said again. A few minutes later, she stopped, and asked, "Oh, and would it be that ye'd be wantin' to kiss me noo?"

"Aye, it would!" he said, moistening his lips. "And how would it be that ye'd be knowin'?"

"Oh, 'tis that twanklin' in yer aie!" After they shared a kiss, she peeked at him through her eyelashes and whispered, "Oh, and would it be that ye'd be wantin' to make love to me noo?"

"Aye, it would," he said gruffly. "And how might ye be knowin'? By that twanklin' in me aie?"

"Oh nae, lad. By the tiltie in your kiltie."
++++++++++++

By the way, never tell a drunken Scotsman he's wearing a skirt. That just might get ye kilt!

                                Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.








Thursday, December 5, 2013

Best Place on Earth

Thought for the day:  My fear of flying starts as soon as I buckle myself in.  Then the guy up front mumbles a few unintelligible words, and before I know it, I'm thrust into the back of my seat by acceleration that seems way too fast. The rest of the trip is an endless nightmare of turbulence and near misses... and then the cabbie drops me off at the airport.  [Dennis Miller]

Hey, hey, hey! Do you know what day it is? Do ya, do ya, do ya? Okay, so it isn't Wednesday, but it is time for the kick-off of the Dream Destination Blog-Hop, sponsored by those lovely ladies  Julie and Lexa. Today's the day millions  thousands hundreds a whole bunch of clever bloggers will be writing about their (duh!) dream destination. (Weren't you paying attention?) Talking about destination, don't forget to make one (or both) of their blogs your destination, so you can enter their big Rafflecopter Giveaway. LOTS of terrific prizes!

Anyhow, my entry is a little different, but what did you expect? Coloring inside the lines isn't nearly as much fun as smearing color all over the page.

But FIRST, (psst! psst!) how's about a little secret? Today isn't just the day Julie and Lexa are launching a new blog hop. Oh no, no, no. Their new books are also being launched today! Check 'em out: The Ghosts of Aquinnah by Julie Flander , and Soul Cutter by Lexa Cain . Please join me in wishing both ladies much success.


All packed up, but where should I go?
And now, without further ado, I present to you (ta-DA!)

               my poem

Picking a dream destination
Took a heap of contemplation.
Shall I go north, south, east, or west?
Which one place would be the best?


For beauty and wildlife of great wonder,
What land better than the one Down Under?
Bright flowers, koalas, and kangaroos,
And a duck-billed platypus, I'd like to choose.
Plus, while I'm there, know what I'd do?
Visit with a blogger pal or two.



Then, again...

I'd love to see the Northern Lights,
One of Earth's most amazing sights...
A surreal sky of shifting hues,
Of reds, and greens, and electric blues.
So perhaps, it's best when I go forth,
To set my compass for way up north.


Then, again...


There's Glasgow, London, and Paris, too;
Most any place in Europe would do.
What history, culture, and oh... the food!
(If I can't speak their language, will they think me rude?)
Or maybe Africa to see a jungle beast,
Or perhaps the mysteries of the far far east?


Then, again...


How foolish to run to far-off Tibet
When there's places here I haven't seen yet.
Mount Rushmore, Grand Canyon, and Niagara Falls...
Such beauty to see... and Old Faithful calls!
New England, California, Utah, and Maine,
Buttes, mountains, deserts, glaciers, and plain.

Then, again...


After giving the matter consideration,
What matters isn't destination,
For the dream doesn't spring from a special place;
It's more about a special face.
Whether we travel far away,
Or in our town we choose to stay,
What matters (although he's sometimes a farticus),
Is being wherever with my guy Smarticus.



DISCLAIMER:  In the unlikely event that my hubby Smarticus happens to read this post, be it known that in no way was that poem intended as an underhanded attempt to coerce him into buying me that spiffy Albert Einstein bobble-headed Chia pet for Christmas.


                                     
                                       So, where's your dream destination? Huh, huh, huh?                                    

                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

  There's nothing American tourists like more than the things they can get at home.  [Stephen Colbert]

 [Images courtesy of morguefile.]

Here's a list of participants, if you wanta hop on over to their blogs to find out which destinations are making them dreamy-eyed today. The list looks like I scrubbed it with Clorox, but the links still seem to work.

18.
27.
58.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hunting for Something to Write About

Thought for the day:  The word 'vegetarian' comes from the ancient Indian word for 'lousy hunter'.


Surprise! I don't usually post on Mondays, but what the heck. The Dream Destination blog hop will be kicking off on Thursday, so just for this week, we'll go with Monday and Thursday instead of Tuesday and Friday. (I'm such a rebel.)

But what to write, what to write...

Since deer hunting season is well under way, how about a little something about hunting? Anybody in your family into that? Smarticus used to go every year, but it's been a long time since he's had the urge to crawl out of a nice warm bed to traipse around in the woods or to sit up in a tree stand freezing his arse off at the butt crack of dawn. And that's just fine and dandy with me.

Not everyone is a natural hunter...
Granted, hunting isn't for everyone. Our younger son used to go, too, but for him, it was more about the camping, male bounding, and communing with nature. It all but required dynamite to blast him out of the bed at home, but he could hardly wait to hit the woods at dark-thirty in the morning... but I don't think he ever pointed his gun at a single animal.




Critters are pretty darned smart. As best as I can remember, Smarticus only went dove hunting once. He and a neighbor went on opening day of dove season. They spent allllll day long walking and looking, but didn't see hide nor feather of a single dove until they pulled into our driveway. Then they saw about fifty smirking doves safely sitting on the telephone lines between our houses ... thumbing their beaks at them.





Yes sirree, animals are plenty smart, but not quite as smart as some people think. Like the gal who thought somebody should move the deer crossing sign at the side of the road to a different location. She figured there was so much traffic on that part of the highway, the deer would be much safer if they were directed to cross at another spot.
You can hardly blame this ol' geezer for doing his hunting in the grocery store. (That's where I catch my fish these days, too.) After all, roughing it in the woods isn't nearly as much fun once the aches and pains take up residence, and I suspect the thrill of taking a whizz in the woods is inversely proportional to the number of times per cold night it's necessary to get out of a nice warm sleeping bag to do so.





But now this... THIS... just might work.







I enjoy target-shooting, but when it comes to shooting at an animal, I suspect I'd be about as useless as Bill Engvall's wife. She wanted to share more activities with her husband... but I don't think hunting was what she had in mind. Kinda reminds me of the joke: I just got a new rifle for my wife. It was the best trade I ever made...



So how about you? Been hunting for Christmas gifts at the mall? (I tell ya, some of those shoppers are real animals, aren't  they...?)

                                     Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Third Time's the Charm

Thought for the day:  Why fix it if it ain't broke?


Grandson Aaron is a rather, um,  exuberant eater at times.
Rather than come up with a new post for Thanksgiving week, I'm gonna do a re-run of last year's rerun. (If it ain't broke...) After all, the year may be different, but the sentiment hasn't changed a bit.

Since our grandson is two years older than he was when that picture was taken, his table manners have improved considerably. But he's still cute as a button. (ALL the grandchildren are, of course.) I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, and I'll be back with y'all next Monday. (I plan to spend the weekend doing some very serious... digesting.)

+++


Thought for the day:  An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving day.  [Irv Kupcine]


I'm optimistic, but I'm not stupid, so I won't even pretend to count calories on Thanksgiving. At best, maybe I'll exercise a little discretion and only eat one piece of pie. And skip the whipped cream. (I know. Such phenomenal control.)

Some years ago, when one of our kids was in middle school, I wrote a silly poem for one of the bulletin boards I'd been asked to design for the school's hallway. The senior Bush was president at that time, but with a quick presto change-o to that part of the poem, I'm gonna go with it here for an easy lazy extremely thoughtful post for your enjoyment.

And so, without further ado, I give you ...




                                                                Turkey Blues


                                                There once was a turkey named Jake,
                                                Said, "How much must we poor turkeys take?
                                                When Thanksgiving rolls round,
                                                We must go underground;
                                                Why can't all those people eat STEAK?"








                                                   Now, turkeys may not be so pretty,
                                                   Can't fly, and aren't very witty,
                                                   But with a leader like Jake, 
                                                   A chance they might take,
                                                   So a bunch of them left for the city.

                                                   Jake led a big march on D.C.
                                                  (The IN place for protests, you see)
                                                  "We don't want any fights.
                                                  But we, too, should have rights,
                                                  For this is the land of the free!"

                                                  Obama came out on the green
                                                  With the most turkeys I've ever seen,
                                                   Said, "The issue is not at all murky ...
                                                   Rights are for MAN and not TURKEY;
                                                   That's the way that it always has been."

                                                  Thanksgiving is special in the U.S. of A.
                                                  And turkeys are heroes, I'd like to say.
                                                  So thank the next turkey you meet on the street
                                                  For being so terribly tasty to eat
                                                  And have a great Thanksgiving Day!

                                                             ***************

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.      Erma Bombeck

                                   
Hmmm, this is one smart bird. Crabs would be even better than steak...

One final thought: I'd like to wish all my Jewish friends out there a very Happy Hanukkah. As a Christian, I'm certainly no authority on the subject, but I do know that Hanukkah commemorates a miracle, when a single day's supply of oil kept a lantern burning brightly through eight dark nights. So it is an 8-day festival of light that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, and spirituality over materialism. Seems to me, whatever your religion or non-religion may be, these are all things worth celebrating. So, Happy Hanukkah, everybody. May the light always conquer the darkness in our lives.


Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.