Friday, May 31, 2019

I'll Drink to That!

Thought for the day: Unlike a hangover, some things are worth repeating.
[source: unsplash]

Funny, but when I looked for an image to show hangover, the pics were all of men. Gee, I wonder why that is...

Anyhow, no I don't have a hangover. The truth is, I've never been much of a drinker, unless you count tea and water. Even so, I do enjoy a nice glass of wine or sip of bourbon from time to time.

But, um, yeah... this is gonna be a re-run. This post originally ran in June of 2013 with the title Cheers' Y'All! and it got a lot of comments back then, so some of you may remember it. Then again, maybe you won't. That wonderful dude Geo recently re-read and re-commented on that old post, so I figured, if he still got a kick out of it, maybe you would, too. (Heck, I'd even forgotten some of it...)

So here goes. I hope you enjoy! I'll be back with a brand new post for next Wednesday's IWSG Day. (The week after THAT, I'll show you some pictures of where we did our adventuring to celebrate our anniversary... I should be recuperated by then...)

P.S. Thank you guys so much for the anniversary wishes. (Yes, you WERE all brilliant.)


Thought for the day:  Whiskey is, by far, the most popular of all remedies that won't cure a cold. [Jerry Vale]

In 1952, Armon M. Sweat, Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked for his opinion of whiskey. Being the true politician that he was, this was his response, as recorded in the Political Archives of Texas:

"If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

"However, if by whiskey you mean the lubricant of conversation, the philosophic juice, the elixir of life, the liquid that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.

"This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle."

You've gotta love a politician who can speak so articulately out of both sides of his mouth, but he's right, ya know. The abuse of alcohol can lead to all kinds of horrors, but as a social lubricant, it can also be quite... delightful.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. [Ben Franklin]

Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep;
Whoever sleeps long, does not sin;
Whoever does not sin, enters Heaven!
Thus, let us drink beer!   [Martin Luther]

While Smarticus and I were in Dahlonega, we went to a wine tasting... in broad daylight even. How decadent! I must admit, I'm a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, so those little bitty glasses of delight put a giddy little giddy-up in my step and made the world look even rosier.

Here's to alcohol, the rose-colored glasses of life. [F.Scott Fitzgerald]

While in that wine-tasting shop, I took pictures of some stuff that tickled my funny bone. So this post is gonna take a look at the funny side of drinking. Yeah, like the good politician Sweat from Texas, I know alcohol has a nasty underbelly, but who wants to write... or read... about a nasty underbelly? Far better to share a smile or two.

A cute bar towel, huh? Not that it's at all applicable to any women I know.

I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.  [W.C. Fields]

I should've bought some of these napkins, darn it.

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three, I'm under the table,
After four, I'm under the host.
[Dorothy Parker]

Another bar towel.

I knew I was drunk. I felt sophisticated and couldn't pronounce it. [anonymous]

Yet another towel.

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.  [Ben Franklin]

My personal favorite. This sign was next to the cash register.

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. [Ernest Hemingway]

This sign was at an antique shop we visited after the wine tasting. It cracked me up. Of course, after three teensy weensy glasses of wine, everything cracked me up.

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.  [Dave Barry]

Here's one of those fun make-believe billboards from the fine folks at dribbleglass (Which reminds me, we're overdue for one of those road trip posts, aren't we?)

Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or fourteenth.  [George Burns]

One must always respect one's beverage.

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.  [Henny Youngman]

I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample, it had an olive in it.  [Rodney Dangerfield]

Don't try to join the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. It turns out they're apparently against all three.  [Wiley Post]

Wine is sunlight, held together by water. [Galileo]

The mouth of a perfectly happy man is filled with beer. [Ancient Egyptian proverb, circa 2200 B.C.!!!]

The following video is just over nine minutes long, which may be longer than you want to hang around. No problem. But if you have time, I think you'll get a kick out of Bill Cosby's 30+ year-old take on drinking...

And one final clip. A short one, which I could hardly believe I found. This is one of the folk songs my cousin Phyllis and I used to sing when we were teenagers. Anybody else ever hear of it before?

Okay, that's it for now. Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Friday, May 24, 2019

I'm Still Not Here

Thought for the day:   Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day. [Gene Perret]

Okay, so this dudette isn't popping back just yet.

Know why?

Today is our FIFTIETH anniversary! Holy cheese and crackers, how in the world could that many years fly by so quickly, Batman...?

So needless to say, even after last week's adventures, we're still celebrating. (So sue us. We're old... it takes us longer! HA!)

 I barely recognize those fresh young faces... but the feelings... they're stronger than ever.

                                                 (YES! I know how lucky we are.)

I'll be climbing back into the ol' blogging saddle again next Friday. I thought about turning the comments off, because I might not be around to respond, but what the heck? I'll leave 'em, just in case you have something scathingly brilliant to say. (You always do!) Please forgive me if I don't respond or pay a return visit to your blog. I'm, uh... celebrating.

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

Friday, May 17, 2019

I'm Not Here

Thought for the day: Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd go away. [Hughes Mearns, from his poem Antigonish]

[source: unsplash]
I'm not here, either. I'm not getting all woo-woo weird on you, (Okay... weirder...) but I'm not gonna be hanging around on Blogger for a while. I'll tell you about it... later. You know, when I'm no longer not here. Or there. 

In the meantime, since I already took the entire month of April off, I figured I should at least leave you with some kinda post. So here goes... some kinda post:

Are you some somma kind of chameleon? I mean, do you change your behavior or appearance so you can blend in better with your surroundings and with the people around you? Shakespeare's Polonius was one smart dude when he told his son, To thine own self be true, but to some extent, I think most of us are occasionally more intent on fitting in than we are in being ourselves. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, the language you use and the clothes you wear when you're with your friends might not go over too well with your grandmother. (ahem) Unless she's a cool chick like me, that is. HA!

Here are some fun pics of some critters who just wanted to be one of the gang...

Then again, Roofus may not be trying to fit in... maybe he's in the KFC witness protection program.

Poor Fluffy had been spending far too many hours around the stables...

I AM a puppy; I AM a puppy...

Jumbo was always different from his pals. For one thing, he loved to sing, but no matter how hard he tried, he hadn't quite mastered the ol' laying-an-egg trick.

For the most part, Tabby fit right in, but he still wasn't wild about eating out of garbage cans.

Fred was getting pretty good at the ol' stand-on-one-leg stuff, but no matter how many of those disgusting shrimp he ate, his feathers STILL weren't pink.

Gertrude had always admired the ducks' ability to swim, so she finally found a way to join them in the water... but she couldn't QUACK worth a darn.

For some reason, the giraffes never did accept poor hungry Leo as one of their own.

Ethel had 'em all fooled. Everybody thought she was a classical music gal, but as it turned out, furniture wasn't the only thing she liked to shred.

Alas, their successful plot to be accepted by the old lady was about to be foiled.

Skippy was a mere cat, so he was sure he'd fit right in...

Chipper was off to a tough start, but if he was lucky, maybe he could make friends before lunchtime.

Whether we fit in or not, I reckon the most important thing is how we see ourselves.


I see myself as a perky twenty-something.

Well, crap... I'm still a saggy old broad. That stinks!


Then again, being an SOB... sassy old broad... ain't half bad.

And just because I AM old doesn't mean I have to ACT it! It's time for an ADVENTURE, y'all! "'Cause, ya know, I was Born to be Wild!)

Since I'm not  here, I won't be responding to your comments right away, but I'll get to them. Eventually. (Honest!)
                        Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Mom's Day Off

Thought for the day: Good moms let their kids lick the beaters; great moms turn off the mixer first.

This coming Sunday is Mother's Day, when numerous little kids all over the country will be treating their mothers to breakfast in bed, and then they will oh-so-kindly get out of the way so said mothers can clean up the God-awful mess they've made in the kitchen. (How DO they get eggs on the ceiling...?)

Being a mother is one of the most demanding... and rewarding... jobs in the world. Looking back on our child-rearing days, I'm astounded that I ever had that much energy. But it wasn't necessarily energy... or determination... or even love... that got me through. It was a sense of humor.

True story #1: One of our sons and his best pal asked me to take them to the hobby shop, but I was up to my eyeballs in stuff to do that day, so I said sorry, but no. I said if I had to go out anyway, like if we needed milk or something, then I'd take them. You see where this is going? Yep! Those little turds drank an entire gallon of milk! Then they oh-so-sweetly told me we needed milk... Well, I may have cursed on the inside, but on the outside, I laughed. I mean, they'd beaten me at my own game. They played by my rules, and they won. So, yes, I took them to the hobby shop... and while we were out, we picked up another gallon of milk.

Moms don't yell. Sure, they may occasionally raise their voices a teensy bit, and sometimes, they may even raise it so much their next-door neighbors run to 'wash their hands' or 'brush their teeth.' But, really, what moms do is actually more along the lines of motivational speaking... for verrrry selective listeners.

True story #2: I'd spent the day making a fabulous pot of homemade soup. I mean, I went all out with it... it had wonderful homemade sausage and meatballs in it, and all kinds of fresh veggies, noodles... YUM! Kind of a minestrone kinda stuff, I reckon. Anyhow, I put it into a huge plastic container to cool on the counter a bit before putting it into the fridge, (We never eat soup the first day I make it.) and one of our teens was hanging out in the kitchen with me, just shooting the breeze. Hanging out. Being silly. Dancing around to the music that was playing on the radio. He did the bump with the fridge a few times, and... oh yeah, did I happen to mention that I kept my lidless Mason jar of poker-playing money on top of the fridge? You guessed it. One bump too many, and said jar did a swan dive off of the fridge and directly into that huge container of soup. The jar ker-splashed soup all over the place, and all those dirty coins and filthy bills were now one with the soup. He was stunned; I was stunned. Finally I was able to speak. I said, very slowly and precisely, "If you didn't want to eat the damned soup, all you had to do was say so!" (Yeah. Then we laughed.)

Being a mom... even on Mother's Day... means being in the bathroom with kids banging at the door like a mini SWAT team, because they 'need a drink' or whatever... when dear ol' Dad is already right there in the kitchen... And a Booty Call? HA! Man, that sure changes post-kiddie, too. After having kids, it means one of them is shouting from the bathroom for you to come wipe a butt.

Anyhow, enough of that. This was supposed to be a real easy-peasy post with a bunch of adorable mom-and-baby shots for everyone to enjoy... because, ya know,  being a loving mother isn't exclusively about us humans.

Moms are great for giving their little ones a boost... no matter how big they are.

Everything goes better with a hug.

It's easy for kids to be brave when Mom is nearby. 

A little Mom spit can clean anything from a kid's face.

Is there anything better than hanging out with your mom?

A kiddie's legs may be wobbly, but Mama's strength will support him.

There's nothing sweeter than baby kisses.

This mama looks unsure of herself. Having a new little critter to take care of can be a little scary for anyone.

Like mama, like baby.

A smart mother takes advantage of her baby's rest time by... resting.

NO! No catnip until after dinner!

Sheesh. All this kid wants to do is horse around...

Lest you think all animal mothers are good mothers, be aware. Some of them may use their cute little offspring as diversions...

Not all human moms are top o' the line, either. They can be a bit insensitive at times...

(Or maybe she just has a weird sense of humor!)

Well, that's it for now. Happy Mother's Day, y'all.

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

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A Genuine Super Power

Thought for the day:  Time's fun when you're having flies.  [Kermit the frog]

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: some kinda dastardly plot must be afoot that's making time go faster these days. Have you noticed? If you haven't, I bet you will some day. (It's only a matter of time... HA!) Since the hands on my office clock sometimes spin around fast enough to provide service as a fan, I reckon I shouldn't be surprised that a month-long blogging break would zip by faster than a Corvette on nitrous oxide. (Oh...and if you didn't happen to notice my absence, um, no need to mention it... ya know, no need to hurt my tender widdle feelings...)

So, anyhow, I'm back. I hope those of you who participated in the A-Z Challenge had a lot of fun with it, and I hope those of you who didn't participate had a fantabulous month doing whatever wonderful things you may have done, too.

Me? As planned, I did some writing ... but not nearly as much as I would've liked. Ditto for the editing job. But I did a lot of reading... that's gotta count for something, right? As for the spring cleaning I hoped to do? PBBBBT! As it turns out, I guess I didn't really give a good diddle about doing it, after all. It's possible... nay, probable... that I'm getting too darned old to be scrubbing walls and ceilings, anyway. Besides, it was a lot easier to simply switch to lower wattage light bulbs. And nerts to shampooing the carpets, too. I figure, our cats are prolific barfers, so I'm already washing portions of the rugs every day, anyway, so why should I bother hauling out the noisy machine and turning it into a big production? (Lower wattage bulbs helped with this task, as well...) But I did get the windows washed. Not much choice there. They were covered in pollen. (Have I told you about the kinda pollen we get here? Unbelievable!) And I got some other stuff done, too, but bottom line? Smarticus didn't see a need for me to go overly nuts with the cleaning products, so... I didn't. But we DID shoot a lot of pool. MUCH more fun than cleaning any day of the week.

As you can probably tell by that nifty badge on the right, I returned just in time for our monthly IWSG posts. As always, thanks to our fearless leader, Alex Cavanaugh, for founding this fine group, and
 thanks to all the other nurturing guys and gals who've helped turn it into the thriving community it is today. To join this super supportive (Better than a high-dollar bra... and no underwires!) group of writers and to see links to other participating blogs, please go HERE

Most writers just want to... write. (I know. Profound, right?) Unfortunately, even those who've signed with big publishing houses are expected to be involved in the promotions and sales of their books. (UGH!) And I think it's pretty safe to say most of us HATE that side of things.

[image courtesy of Wikipedia]
I mean, is there anything more uncomfortable than... blowing our own horns?

Heck, if I could play like Louis Armstrong, you probably wouldn't be able to shut me up, but given the heady responsibility of handling a horn properly, I'm afraid I'd be just as likely to stick it into my ear as into my mouth.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. (I KNOW you aren't supposed to stick anything smaller than your elbow into your ear...)

In other words, I HATE the idea of promoting myself or my books. So what's a writer to do... especially an indie writer... when sales are slumping? Well, I have a suggestion for you. Check out Bargainbooksy, a program offered by Written Word Media. For a reasonable fee, which is determined by your book's genre, your book will be listed in a single day's email promotion, which is sent to thousands of people who have already signed up with an interest in your genre. To be included as a bargain, you have to offer your e-book for a reduced price, and you can do this very easily in conjunction with an Amazon countdown offer. I offered both of my novels for ninety-nine cents apiece, and I sold a lot of them. Not enough to cover the cost of the promotion, BUT... and here's the cool part... the number of page views has skyrocketed, and the ripple effect is still in effect a couple of weeks after the promotion ended. If your book is in the KU programs, those page views mean money. So... I've more than made up for the amount of money I spent to set up the two promotions. Whether or not the additional sales will translate into new reviews remains to be seen, but I'm pleased enough with the results at this point to share my experience with you. There's also another program offered by WWM, which is called Freebooksy. Oddly, it costs more to register for that one, and you make NO money from sales. What you do get is a quick boost in your Amazon ratings, and possibly more book reviews, because lots more people receive those daily emails about free books than the reduced-price ones. (I get both!)

Okay, let's take a gander at this month's question, shall we?

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

A smart-ass response would be that I've always known... seeing's as how I like to say I was born with a book in one hand and a flashlight in the other. (It's dark in there!) But in reality, some of my earliest memories are of how terribly destructive words can be.

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble. [Yehuda Berg]

Unfortunately, my father was an evil genius when it came to using words in a negative way. My brother would probably disagree and say the belt hurt a lot more than the words... but to my mother and me, his words were devastating.

Fortunately, there were many other people... relatives, friends, teachers... who made up for his toxic use of language, and who consequently, also taught me the immeasurable value of positive words and encouragement.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. [Mother Teresa]

Words- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. [Nathaniel Hawthorne]

A life-long love affair with reading and writing has amplified my appreciation for the power of language. Books can help us escape from something and transport us to another place or better understanding. Hmmm, I could pontificate on that, but why bother? I'm preaching to the choir here, right? You guys are prolific readers, too, so you already know of the magical, transformational powers of a good book.

My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel... it is, before all, to make you see. [Joseph Conrad]

                                                Isn't that what all writers hope to do?

We just have to know... and appreciate... our audience.

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

Sometimes I wish my first word was 'quote', so that on my death bed, my last words could be 'end quote.' [Steven Wright]