Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Gratitude and Joy

Thought for the day:  I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness--- it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude. [Brene Brown]


 Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. For a number of years, this drawing, along with my silly Thanksgiving poem, provided an easy-peasy starting point for a blog post to celebrate this time of the year. A good way to ease into the Holiday season with a smile.

But this year feels different.

Because it is.

This year is different in many ways, not just for me, but for all of you, as well. How do we give thanks when the entire world is being swamped by the third... and largest... wave of this relentless pandemic? When our healthcare workers are being overwhelmed by the sheer number of patients, by their own exhaustion, and by what must be utter frustration at the number of people who still refuse to wear a damned mask?  

How do we rejoice when we're still isolated, for the most part, from our families and friends? How do I rejoice without my husband? How do you rejoice without that special person you may have lost this year? How do we keep smiling through our tears?

                                           One day at a time... one blessing at a time. 

image courtesy of Unsplash
It's been four months since my husband died, and I must admit, it's still sinking in that he's truly gone... and each time that soul-sucking reality punches me in the gut, it knocks the wind out of me all over again. Yes, it brings tears to my eyes, but not for long. What good will tears do?

Far better to concentrate on the many blessings that still remain. We can spend all of our time lamenting what is gone... what has changed... or we can choose to accept our circumstances and be grateful for the many good things remaining. Goodness and joy are still all around us... we just have to look away from our sadness and anxiety and pay better attention. 



I betcha turkeys are finding it easier to be grateful this year, eh? Especially the really big ones. Not much demand for 20-something pound turkeys when our gatherings will be so much smaller. My daughter, her husband and a family friend will be sharing Thanksgiving dinner with me... but no turkey. Not even a little one. It almost feels like blasphemy to have something other than turkey, but Mike was the big turkey-and-all-the-fixings fan in our family, and it seems almost disrespectful to go through all the hoopla without him. So we won't. New beginnings. New traditions. We'll eat lighter fare, and we'll enjoy each other's company. And we'll shoot pool. Maybe play some board games. The one thing I'll try not to do is cry. Laughter is so much better for the soul. 

For all of you, I wish much joy and laughter, too. Whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving or just enjoying a regular run-of-the-mill Thursday, I wish you a grateful heart and many blessings. In spite of everything, life is still good. Different, yes. But still good. I am soooooo grateful for my kids... my friends... you. Hang in there, people. We've got this.


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




Friday, October 30, 2020

If I Could Turn Back Time

 Thought for the day: If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. [Maya Angelou]

I reckon we've all had to change our attitudes to survive this crazy Twilight Zone of a year. Fine, I can do that... I have done that. I'm sure you have, too.

But one thing I don't want to change is my darned clock. I mean, why in the name of all that's good and holy would anyone choose to nudge the clock back an hour this weekend? Who, I ask you, is delighted at the prospect of prolonging this year from Hades by adding an extra hour to it? Now, if the powers that be really want us to turn back time, I think they should make it worth our while. Why not crank it back ... oh, I dunno... maybe twenty years or so? Betcha that would garner near-unanimous support.






Could be worse, I suppose. 

At least we don't have to rearrange huge stones to change the time, eh?











                                      
                                                     A handy-dandy guide just for you...


Yeah, I know it's a pipe dream to think we could dig our heels in and forget about changing the clock. (Now if we could move it forward ... like past the election, past the pandemic, past the insanity...)

I trust that, like me, you've had enough of this stinking year. We've had our fill of the pandemic... the needless deaths... the racial divide... the protests and rioting... the toxic political atmosphere... the lies... the venomous hatred. It sucks. All of it. But wait! That's not all! Let's not forget the horrific wildfires, the hurricanes, and the floods. And how about them murder wasps? The brain-eating amoebae? And of course, for me, the worst thing, the most definitive thing, has been my husband's death. Some of you have lost loved ones this year, too. I say ENOUGH, already! We're full of this year. Fed up! Done with it. Then again, so many bad things have already happened this year,  what else could possibly go wrong?

WHOA!!! Scratch that! I take it back. If the zombie apocalypse is coming, I don't wanta know. This year has been for the birds. I tell ya, it's enough to make a saint swear.

Come to think of it, birds, too. Yep, I've got it on good authority that birds are fed up with this year, too. Specifically, ever since five African grey parrots were adopted (from five separate sources) by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in London, those angry little guys have been cursing a blue streak. To keep their fowl attitudes from spreading to the other parrots in the sanctuary, the ornery little potty mouths had to be moved away from the others. Quaranteed. So to speak. Hmmmm, I bet that didn't do much to improve their attitudes...



 On the plus side, this year... this pandemic... this unrest... can't last forever. Before we know it, it'll be winter. Then a new year... and hopefully, a better year. A more hopeful year. Less stress. More joy.

                               But FYI: best to be careful this winter. I mean, it's this kinda year...     


 Sure, this year has given us all a ton of challenges, but it hasn't been all bad.  There's been some good stuff, too. Like I found a really good company to fix our air conditioning when it went belly-up smack dab in the middle of our Georgian summer. I've also gotten pretty darned good at fixing toilets, if I must say so myself. Plus, all that hand-washing and disinfecting has made toilet-cleaning easier than ever. It seems the stuff has permeated my skin, so now the toilet gets cleaned every time I tinkle. Woo HOO!  Oooh, and our younger son got me set up on Netflix. Awesome! I loved it, and quickly developed a brand new binge-watching talent. Until it stopped working. (My TV isn't "smart," so he fed the stream through our DVD player... which decided to stop working. ) BUT... a new TV... a "smart" one... is supposed to be delivered today. I also got a cellphone. A first for me. Something I never ever wanted, but I got tired of my friends and family insisting I "had" to get one. So I did. A week ago. I hope they're all happy now. (Just because I have it doesn't mean I'm gonna use it.) Just kidding. A little. At first, I kept it nearby... in its box. Turned off. (sigh) Fine. It's still in its box, but at least, I turned the darned thing on. Baby steps, right?

Anyhow, chins up, people! (Otherwise, you'd be staring at your feet or your boobs all day. And that's just weird.)  Maybe if we were to rate 2020, we'd struggle to give it any stars at all, and we wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but this, too, shall pass. Honest. Sure, if 2020 were a drink, it'd be hemlock or maybe that yummy colonoscopy prep stuff.. If it were a movie, it'd be ... what? Baby Boss, maybe? Sausage Party? Which song...? Oh, I've got it. It'd have to be the dogs barking Jingle Bells. Come on... help. Which song and/or movie do you think suits the essence of 2020? Sock it to me. I've got nothing but time.

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

                                                                                 

Friday, October 9, 2020

A Salute and a Toot to Sophisticated Humor

After being such a barely there blogger for the past few months, I'm kinda late to the game. You guys got a big ol' fat head start on me, but I'm only just now beginning to "appreciate" the "new and improved" version of Blogger that's been foisted upon us by the mighty blogging powers that be. (Yippee, huh?) Turned out, I freaked out over nothing. Yeah, the draft of this old post looked weird... I mean, the html coding showed in lieu of the pics and videos that were in the earlier post... but that was it. Much to my delight, everything re-appeared like magic once I hit the preview button. So not a big deal. But even if it had been, it would've totally been worth it. See, my wonderful son-in-law is verrrry musically talented (in oh-so many ways) and I simply HAD to rerun this oldie-but-goodie "just for him." And for you guys, too, of course. I mean, we ALL need to lighten up and laugh, right? (Right!)

Thought for the day:  Beans, beans, the musical fruit; the more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you'll feel, so beans, beans for every meal!

Nope; it wasn't ME!
Have you ever wondered what makes something funny? What makes one person laugh uproariously at a comedian, while the next holds his nose and says the routine stinks?  I mean, we all laugh at something. Even little babies laugh.

Music and laughter ... universal languages. Is there anything better than the sound of a baby's unbridled belly laugh? That in itself sounds like the sweetest music, doesn't it? So we cross our eyes, stick out our tongues, and make all kinds of faces at babies. We tickle their chubby little bellies, make utter fools out of ourselves, and generate weird noises... all in the hopes of getting to hear their precious laughter.

And what, I ask you, does almost every baby in the world think is funny?







                                    Apparently, they're partial to... farts ... those musical toots.

Please don't think lesser of me, but (shhh!) so am I. There must be something wrong with me. Maybe a twisted kink in my DNA helix has stunted my maturation process. That would explain it. Why else would a woman my age still think flatulence is so darned funny?

I know. Embarrassing, isn't it?

What three qualities matter most to you in the people you hang around with? For me, it'd have to be kindness, intelligence, and a good sense of humor. But lately, I've begun to question the quality of my sense of humor, because I must admit, few things are off-limits when it comes to cracking a joke or twisting words into a groan-worthy pun, and it doesn't take much to make me laugh.

Like last week. While talking to a  gastroenterologist's appointment nurse on the phone, I asked her where I should report. Upstairs, where my regular doc saw patients? No, I was to go downstairs. "Figures," I said. "In the bowels of the building." Nothing. (Tough audience.) So I apologized, and said she must hear that all the time. Nope. I was the first. See? Sick sense of humor.

Then there was the time Smarticus came home from a hunting trip and told me about a harrowing experience he'd had after one of the other fellas fell out of a tree stand. While driving his friend to the hospital, my poor hapless hubby looked out his truck window and saw a wheel roll past... HIS wheel. Needless to say, he got everything fixed, and got the guy to the hospital okay, but what would YOU have said to him under the circumstances? Me? I sang. Uh-huh. I sang, You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel ...  See? Sick, sick, sick.  But not as sick as my penchant for potty humor.

Years ago, when our daughter was about eleven, she ... how shall I say this ... cut the cheese in church. Not noisily, mind you, but with an exuberant and lingering bouquet. Most normal mothers would have scolded her for not saving her stink for the bathroom, or at least given her a suitably disapproving look. Not me. I leaned over and whispered, "Gives a whole new meaning to church pew, huh?"

Fortunately, we weren't asked to vacate the premises.

This is an ACTUAL musical!
But I can't help it. I think the sounds of  flatulence are absolutely hysterical.

Call me gauche, but the very idea of a musical about a man's fartistic abilities strikes me as fall-down-on-the-floor funny. (I mean, really! Can you imagine a man on stage tooting his arse  like a trumpet?)
But I'm not kidding! 'Twas an honest-to-goodness off-Broadway play intended to delight all lovers of potty humor and "pull my finger" shenanigans. Entitled The Fartiste, this play, based on fart artist (I kid you not!) Joseph Pujol, a 19th century Moulin Rouge tooting star, blasted its way to some great reviews and thunderous applause. Pujol had the unusual ability to suck air in through his anus, and then blow it out again, which enabled him to use his posterior portal to tootle tunes on a trumpet, emulate the sounds of thunder and ripping fabric, and even to blow out the theater's gas jet lights. What can I say? From what I've read about it, the play didn't stink.




                                         






  Can you watch this video without laughing? I can't.






A few years ago, Smarticus and I saw two boys in a Dollar Store aisle playing with Whoopee cushions they'd pulled off the shelf. The more rude noises they squeezed out, the more they laughed. Um, me too. Matter of fact, I just HAD to get me one of those things. For one of our grandsons, of course. Didn't mean I couldn't entertain myself by squeezing it as we went through the store. (WHAT? I had to make sure it worked, didn't I?) Anyhow, the intended recipient of the grand gift didn't enjoy it nearly as much as his younger siblings. Especially the twenty-month-old, who would squeeze out a good one, wrinkle his nose, and say, "EWWWWW! Schtinky!" Then he'd laugh hysterically. Um, me too.

It was about then I began to wonder if some aspects of my humor weren't a tad juvenile. I mean, laughing at the same thing a twenty-month-old found amusing? The same thing that makes babies all over the world laugh?

But, as it turns out, I'm not alone. That book on the right? Belongs to my husband. One of our grandsons picked it out for him. The shameful truth is ... our whole family cracks up at bathroom humor.

And we aren't the only ones. The reason for this, I don't know, but many people find flatulence hilarious. Not burps, or hiccoughs, or sneezes ... just poots.










Smarticus once emailed me a newspaper article about a little girl who won a speech contest with her speech about ... you guessed it ... farts. I even read an article in a scientific journal about a medical researcher whose major focus is studying ... you guessed it ...  farts. (Guess his lab is in the bowels of the building too, eh?) Sorry. And another about an Australian study to determine whether pooting in the O.R. could contaminate the field of operation. The conclusion? There's a minute possibility, but only if the perpetrator is naked and taking direct aim at the surgical site. But, don't worry about your surgeon eating beans. According to the study, flatus germs are as benign as the bacteria in your yogurt. Both of these article, I must say, although reporting on the results of serious studies, (or as serious as studies in this particular field can be) were full of puns, innuendos, and fart jokes. Y'know, like something I would've written.

                                                               Kinda made me proud.


So, um bottom line, maybe I'm okay after all. Right. I'm a mature sophisticated woman. (Shut up. This is MY fantasy.) And maybe I'm not the only one with an inner child squealing I don't wanta pull your finger.



So, how's the wind blow with you? Fart jokes crack you up, too, or do they just plain stink?  And what's the most inappropriate thing you've ever said or done in the name of humor? Come on. You can tell me ...

                                There was an old fellow named Clyde
                                Who fell into an outhouse and died.
                                One day, his brother
                                Fell into another,
                                And now they're in-turd side by side.


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