Friday, August 30, 2013

A Perfect Blendship

Thought for the day:  Friends are the bacon bits in the salad bowl of life.

Last weekend was all about hanging out with family and playing with the grandchildren, and believe me, it was great. This weekend is gonna be about hanging out with a terrific couple we haven't seen for a while, and it's gonna be great, too. Bottom line? I'm gonna do another fly-by post and then disappear from the Internet until next Friday.

Friends are people who know the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you forget the words.

Well, to tell the truth, we probably won't be doing a lot of singing. But we will be making a good bit of noise. We always do.We, um,  laugh. A lot. The kind of laughing that makes your sides hurt. We may also drink a tad too much. (But just a tad.) Laugh some more. Swap lies, and trade tales. Play Scrabble and other games until we can't see straight. Make new memories. And laugh some more.

Kati and I might even do a little...  shopping.

Heck, who knows? Maybe the four of us will chill in the hot tub for a while.

Everyone hears what you say.
Friends listen to what you say.
Best friends listen to what you don't say.

Not only does smarty pants Cliff know all about us, he remembers every story and experience we've ever shared with him, and knows precisely when to bring them up again for maximum effect. Which naturally begets more laughter.

And more laughter. (Okay, I admit it. The booze may up the hilarity a bit, too.)

Yep, for the next few days, all we have to do is enjoy ourselves, and try to keep the animals out of the Scrabble box.

I hope y'all enjoy your Labor Day weekend. I know we will.

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Roaring Good Time

Thought for the day:  Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused. 

Sometimes I laugh so hard, I get a little horse...  (Sorry.)
Okay, it's time for this oldie but goody to run an oldie but goody. Yep, rerun time. But, wait! Don't change the channel yet... some reruns are worth watching a second time, and I think this is one of them. Besides, since it first ran in November of 2011, it'll be brand new to most of you.

Its original title was Why Can't We? And so with a little updating and no further ado, here 'tis. Enjoy!


Thought for the day: And one day the lion and lamb shall lie down together.

No, not THIS Noah's Ark!

My brother was in town for a couple days the week before Thanksgiving, and he, Smarticus, and I took a trip to a really neat place. Noah's Ark. That's what the place is called ... it's not like we made a quick run to Mt. Ararat or anything.

It's actually a privately-owned animal sanctuary here in Georgia. A sprawling place which a variety of furry, scaly, and feathered animals now call home. (And some of the ... "Hello! Pretty bird!" ... feathered ones are VERY talkative!)

This emu was almost as interested in watching us as we were in watching him. There was an extremely large group (flock? herd?) of emus at the sanctuary. Not sure why there were so many of them. Maybe some breeders unloaded them on the facility.

In spite of the thought for the day, we didn't see any actual lambs and lions cuddling up together, but we did see something almost as startling.

Above is home for three very special critters. If you look closely, you'll see a tiger lying on the porch. See him? (Sorry ... couldn't make the darned zoom on my camera work.)

And HERE, resting beside the fence, is a lion.

And here's the lion and tiger ... TOGETHER! Oh my!

And, surprise! Above, you'll see the third member of this unusual trio. When the chow wagon drew near, the bear lumbered out to join the cats. Guess he was hungry as a... you know...

Here's the three of them together.

And another shot of the three amigos.

The bear and tiger kept nuzzling each other.
The lion is slurping on what the caretakers called a beef popsicle.

So, what's their story? How is it that these three animals, who would ordinarily be considered mortal foes, can live and play together in peace? They've been raised together since they were cubs, when they were confiscated from drug dealers. Bottom line, who cares how their species behave in the wild? These three are friends. And perhaps, therein lies an important lesson for all of us, dontcha think? A lesson of hope and peace.

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

P.S. Many thanks to all of you for the good wishes about our visit with some of the grandchildren over the weekend. We did, indeed, have a wonderful time. (A roaring good time!) I was too busy playing to take many pictures, but here's one:

Devyn, Aaron, and Kymber

That picture was taken right after a reshuffling. Jaiden decided to abandon the swing to do some climbing, so Aaron left his spot on the swing with Devyn to sit on the big boy swing. (And now they want to know why I'm messing with a stupid camera instead of pushing the swings... like I'm supposed to be doing. Heck, while I was pushing all four of them, I was beginning to think maybe I should try out for America's Got Talent...)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Let's Play Hug o' War

Thought for the day:  The laughter of a child is the light of a house. [African proverb]

(sniff)  Some days, we really miss the kids.
Is there anything more wonderful than the sound of a child's giggle? Than the sight of a child jumping up and down with excitement and running into your arms?

Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. [Doug Larsen]

Yep, you guessed it. Glory hallelujah, it's time for us to pull out the liniment, because Smarticus and I are gonna spend time with our four Alabama grandkids this weekend!

 Needless to say, I won't be messing with a computer when there's playing to be done and silly songs to be sung, but how's about a quick post before I pull the plug and dig out the BenGay?

Aren't kids terrific? It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to see our grandchildren enjoy some of my favorite things.

And I can't tell you how proud we are of their terrific table manners.

And oooo-eee! Talk about helpful...

The handwriting on the wall means the grandchildren found the crayons.

And smart? You'd better believe it! They're all avid readers, and can work the remote controls and DVD player way better than I can. (Which, granted, ain't saying much.)

Grandparents are just antique kids.

They're very inquisitive, and show a natural affinity for animals, too.

My grandkids believe I'm the oldest thing in the world. And after two or three hours with them, I believe it, too. [Gene Perrett]

The grandkids we're gonna be with this weekend are very close in age. The oldest just started kindergarten, and the youngest is just under two. So, as you can imagine, it's a blessing that they play together so well, and know how to entertain themselves so creatively.

(Pssst...take a closer look.) 

They're all little angels, as far as I'm concerned.

Do you know why children are so full of energy? Because they suck it all out of their grandparents.  [Gene Perrett]

There's nothing quite as invigorating as playing with a child... or quite as exhausting.

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, you start to age quickly.  [Gene Perrett]

Okay, all these pictures so far are just cute or funny pictures from the Internet... from good ol' senior arkmorguefile, and from my good ol' brother. (Thanks, Ron!) Wanta peek at the real thing? The four we'll be with this weekend?

                                           All together now... AWWWWWWWW!

Kymber, Aaron, Jaiden, and Devyn
That picture was taken at the Georgia Aquarium earlier this year. Smarticus and I weren't with them, but my Spidey sense tells me the boys weren't overly thrilled at having their picture taken in front of all those people.

They look a lot happier here, and yep! they're in Mommy and Daddy's bed. (Good thing they have a big one, huh?)

I will not play tug o' war.
I'd rather play hug o' war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses and everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.
[Shel Silverstein]

So, y'all have a wonderful weekend. Me? I plan to be hugging and cuddling and giggling like an antique kid.

                                                   Take care of yourselves. And each other.

Know what? Getting old isn't all bad.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Fine Balancing Act

Thought for the day:  The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are a wise man. [Euripides]

Balance. It's a noble goal, isn't it? Even for clumsy people like me, who would never aspire to, say, walk across the street on a high wire or juggle chain saws, true balance is achievable. Not juggling for klutzes kinda balance, but balance in the deeper sense of the word. Juggling responsibilities and priorities, and meeting the needs of others, as well as yourself. A judicious use of time and resources.

Then, there's the amazing balancing acts we sometimes see in nature. You may have seen some of them. Like this giant rock that seems to defy the laws of gravity.

And then there's a fella named Michael Grab. Since 2008, he's been doing some amazing rock balancing of his own, much of it in the Boulder, Colorado area. Part spiritual, part therapeutic, part art, he's managed to create some rock structures you've gotta see to believe.

Grab says the most fundamental secret to balancing rocks is to start by finding some kind of a tripod for the rock to stand on

He says every rock has some sort of indentations, varying in size from very small to very large.

These indentations serve as the tripods, which either allow a rock to stand upright...

... or to fit in perfect  balance with other rocks.

By paying close attention to them, he gets a feel for the rocks.

He feels the tiniest clicks as he brings the rocks into contact with each other...

... and their notches mesh.

It's as though he performs a sacred dance with nature...

... putting these rocks in their rightful places, into balanced relationships with other rocks. Creating asymmetrical symmetry. Forging connections between the animate and the inanimate.

Creating one-of-a-kind works of art.

Finding within himself a sense of peace, and experiencing a natural balance within the universe.

He says, Parallel to the physical element of finding tripods, the most fundamental non-physical element is harder to explain through words. In a nutshell, I am referring to meditation, or finding a zero point or silence within yourself. Some balances can apply significant pressure on your mind and your patience. The challenge is overcoming any doubt that may arise.

                                                   Would you like to see him at work?

                                        And an even shorter piece, showing more of his pieces:

                                   Amazing stuff, huh? How do your balancing skills... stack up?
                                    Tell ya what. Ain't no way I'm playing Jenga with this dude.

                                                     For more info, see his website.

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

P.S. Talking about balancing acts, there's a fine line between casually mentioning my book every once in a blue moon and running around shoving it in everyone's faces while screeching, "BUY this, my pretties!" So I try to play it cool, ya know? Oh yeah... I'm cool; I'm cool. But that doesn't mean I can't jump up and down and shake the pom poms about somebody ELSE'S book that's getting released all over the place tomorrow, right? A really really GOOD book. Sassy, sexy, funny, and fun, with plenty of adventure. I'm talking about Linda Grimes' second book featuring delightful human chameleon Ciel Halligan. I'm telling ya, Linda out-Evanovich's Evanovich. You should be able to find a copy of Quick Fix in most bookstores, some libraries, as well as on Amazon. Same for Linda's first book, In a Fix. I'm not screeching here, my pretties. Just saying... I think you'd enjoy her books. I sure did.

Oh, wait, WAIT! Stop the presses! I have another cool tidbit for ya. I just heard that Amazon is currently offering Jennifer Shirk's book Kissing Kendall for the paltry sum of ninety-nine cents. Considered a sweet romance, it really is sweet... and romantic. Oh, and did I happen to mention it's only ninety-nine cents? But not for long... so if you haven't already read this book, you might wanta get it now while it's only... yep, ninety-nine cents.

Okay, I'm really going now. (Doggone it, how can you miss me if I never go away???)

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

Friday, August 16, 2013

Best Bib and a Tucker

Thought for the day:  Put on your best bib and tucker.

 Here's a picture of one of my favorite bibs. (Of course, it'd be even better if it said, I love grandmommy.) That cute little fella wearing it is our grandson Aaron, and the picture was taken almost three years ago, so he doesn't need to wear a bib any more.

Know what a tucker is? It's a lacy piece of cloth worn by modest women in the 18th and 19th centuries to cover their cleavage decorate their neck area. The cloths tucked into a woman's dress and extended to the top of her neck. (And wearing your best bib and tucker means to dress in your finest clothes.)

But that's not the kind of tucker I was hoping to see last weekend. (Nope, that was just a silly lead-in.)

I know a lot about cars, man. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming. [Mitch Hedberg]

Do you know enough about cars to recognize this one? It's a 1948 (ta- DA!) Tucker, courtesy of Wikipedia. Alas, the one I was hoping to see in person was gone. Sold right out from under me. So to speak.

But fear not. There were plenty of other beauties to see.

Okay, so maybe not this one. This one, um, needs a little work. A fixer-upper. (But it has lots of potential, dontcha think? )

A close-up of one of the fixer-upper's wheels. In case you can't tell, the spokes are made of wood.

So where did we go to see both fixer-uppers and beauties? The annual Model A swap meet. This was the third year we attended, and the second time we drove there in my hubby's 1930 Model A rat rod. Unfortunately, in spite of the sign indicating reserved parking for Model As only, so many interlopers were allowed to park there, we had to park elsewhere. Bummer.

This Model A was there last year, too, and it's still one of my favorites. I LOVE the colors. Very classy-looking.

What was kinda neat about this one is how the flags are mounted on front. With springs as holders. Clever, huh?

The real show-stopper vehicles were inside. The annual Model A swap meet, held outside the warehouse, marks one of the few times of the year when the public is invited inside to see the Cofer family's stable of award-winning vehicles.

Rows and rows of gorgeous vehicles, shiny, immaculate, and better-looking than when they were new. If you're interested, a simple Google search should take you to a site where you can take a gander at all of them. The collection is world-renown.

This sign would fit right in at a brothel, wouldn't it?

Of course, this is the kinda Woody the sign was actually referring to.

Here's a slightly closer shot of the wood paneling, but not close enough to do it justice. Rich wood with a mellow glow... and the pieces are joined together beautifully with dovetail joints.

Yeah, I posted a pic of this last year, too, but it's still one of my favorites. An Indian motorcycle... with a sidecar. And it's RED! (What's not to like?)

Any of you guys remember this? A Whizzer. (If you had one, I wanta hear about it!)

Anybody recognize this one? (Hint: the flux capacitor isn't included.)

Time to head home. This is a rear view of the rat rod. Smarticus made the cedar bed out of our old hot tub. Pretty neat, huh?

A side view.  What she may lack in aesthetic beauty, she more than makes up for in good old-fashioned fun. And I'm proud to say, Smarticus did all the work himself. All he started with was an original 1930 rusted cab. Yeah, it was a major fixer-upper.

A lot of the pristine vehicles we see at various car shows have signs on them saying, "Do not touch." The owners are forever spraying and wiping, lest a dust mote or fingerprint dare mess up their perfect paint jobs. That's all well and good, but not exactly our style. We once had a "Do not touch" sign on her at one of the shows, too, just for a laugh. We told people we didn't want THEM to get dirty.

And so we come to the end of another fine adventure on another hot summer day in Georgia. Well, almost the end. We still had the drive home... and believe you me, a ride in the rat rod is always an adventure in itself. And we were both... tuckered out.

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