Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is When?

I just realized that Christmas is right here, just about to beat down the door. Why do I feel that it is coming earlier this year? Maybe because I am getting older? This whole year has gone by so fast I wonder why I don't have whip-lash. Yesterday was July 4th right?. No? You mean I missed Labor Day, Thanksgiving and now Christmas is coming? I guess it's a good thing I put up that little tree. Maybe by next year it will have grown. Years ago, we used to set up our decorations and Christmas tree at Thanksgiving. We used to have the whole family come for dinner. Now I couldn't fit everyone in this tiny little space. I know that it's just around the corner. After all I have already watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol" on TCM. I've seen several Christmas movies on ABC Family Channel. All the early shows like Good Morning America, The Early Show and the Today show have been decorated for Christmas. Even the Sports channels like ESPN have decorations. Where was I? Many of my neighbors have their homes lit up with lights and lawn decorations are everywhere. I did put out a few decorations. here is a snowman on the desk here. Small candles in the shapes of sleighs, trees, and Santa. Even my downstairs bathroom has Christmas towels in it. But that was all last minute thoughts.

We got our annual Christmas card from our insurance company and Aunt Pat. Aunt Pat always sends us her "Year in Review" letter along with the card. I gave up sending cards years ago. The rest of our family seems to have given up that tradition too. Of course there are times when we are lucky to remember who we all are. These are the days when everyone seems to do their own thing. Not only that but most of the family is scattered around Texas which makes visiting each other a monumental event. Flying is something I used to enjoy, but that is know. Have you heard "Grandma Got Molested at the Airport"? There is a lesson in there somewhere, I think.

Actually I am really glad that I don't have to fight to buy and hide toys anymore. But I still remember the days when you would set foot into a house and be taken back to a different time. The home always smelled like the season. If cookies weren't in the oven, they were cooling on the racks. Candles burned brightly with festive sents. Sometimes just a hint of the smell of a warm apple pie candle or a bayberry or pine scented candle would be enough to send anyone back to a simpler, slower time.

But now the simpler, slower time seems to go faster and faster. So fast, sometimes I think I missed it all. Maybe it's just me. I remember going to buy a live tree with my parents. Today when I do see a live tree, I can't help but think that it's not the same. We do thinks so fast today. When family comes to visit do they talk to each other? No, They sit on the couch, each with a laptop or phone texting each other. What ever happened to talking?

Yes I did suddenly realize how close we are to Christmas. Some people would like to flash forward and be done with it. Not me. I wish I could turn back the hands of time and do more, even if it is just putting a quarter in that red kettle. At least I don't have to battle the scotch tape or try to figure out how to wrap an odd shaped present. Where's the figgy pudding? So before I loose track of time again, I would like to say Happy Holidays to everyone!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

All She Needs is a Miracle

A woman was walking along the beach when she stumbled upon a genie's lamp. She picked it up and rubbed it. Lo-and-behold a genie appeared. The amazed woman asked if she got three wishes.

The Genie said, "Nope. Due to inflation, constant downsizing, low wages in third-world countries and fierce global competition, I can only grant you one wish. So, what'll it be?"

The woman didn't hesitate. She said, "I want peace in the Middle East. See this map? I want these countries to stop fighting with each other."

The Genie looked at the map and exclaimed, "Gadzooks, lady! These countries have been at war for thousands of years. I'm good, but not THAT good! I don't think it can be done. Make another wish."

The woman thought for a minute. She said, "Well, I've been trying to find the right husband. You know, one that's considerate and fun, likes to cook and helps with the housecleaning, has a great sense of humor and gets along with my family, doesn't watch sports all the time and is faithful. That's what I wish for. A good mate."

The Genie let out a long sigh and said, "Let me see that map again."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Poor Little Tree

After a few years of no Christmas decorations we decided to put up a tree this year. Alas, we are without room for a big tree anymore. Our big tree sits in it's box lonely and depressed. It's used to being the star of the show around this time of year. Can a Christmas tree be a diva? I don't have the nerve to ask it. It might just throw branches at me. Dozens and dozens of ornaments of various shapes and sizes used to adorn it. "I look great! I am the center of everything!" After all those years the ornaments sat in the boxes waiting hopefully to be released to adorn the branches of the room commanding tree. Sorry, not this year.

It just doesn't feel right without a tree in the place. One year I tried to decorate with poinsettias. They looked nice but something just wasn't right. There was a point when nearly every room had some decorations in them. But time and downsizing have taken a toll on the Christmas season of decor. Then we were out shopping one day. Our eyes met. Poor little tree... We decided to see if we could find a smaller tree which we could put on top of a chest in the living room. It would have to be inexpensive since this year has been less than what we'd hoped. We wandered over to Big Lots and there it was. A four four tall pre-lit tree. It beckoned to us, "take me home with you."

After so many years of big trees, the little tree looked so puny as it sat on the chest. It reminded me of Charlie Brown's little tree. I went upstairs and brought down a few of our many ornaments. Not boxes and boxes as in the past, but a few special, memorable ornaments. The little tree seemed to smile as I put some bows and birds and other ornaments on it. "Thank you," it seemed to say. "I know I'm not your favorite, but I will make you happy. Wait and see." As I put the decorations on it, somehow it seemed a little brighter, a little happier. No longer a poor little tree, it seemed to know that it was wearing decorations chosen with love. The poor little tree was no it is a member of the family. It even looks like it is smiling. "Ho,ho,ho. Merry Christmas!"

Monday, November 08, 2010

To Spank or Not to Spank...

I am so glad that my children were as good as they were. Sure they were not always good and the occasionally were spanked for various reasons. Most of the time it was because they would not listen and left me no choice. Yeah, I did the time out routine when they were little. I also spanked when that did not work. But right from the start I had rules for them.

I feel that in some cases spanking is not only a useful too but sometimes there is no other option. I do understand that some people don't want their child spanked. So what do you do when time out or taking away something doesn't work? Some small children do not seem to respond to time outs. This is fine for parents who have kids who listen. What happens if they don't listen and continue to misbehave even after a time out?

My children had a certain bedtime and a certain routine every day. They knew what to expect. However some children don't seem to have any ground rules. They stay up late and talk back to parents or caregivers. They don't listen to what the adults say. They are too young to understand that somethings are not safe for them to do, so the adult has to watch them closely to keep them out of harm's way. When told what to do they don't always listen. This is not good for their future education and relationships.

While I respect a parent's right to choose a non-spanking form of punishment, that does not always work. It is fine for some who have docile children or only one child. But occasionally there is a child who refuses to pay attention to anyone. Since I've been babysitting a couple of children I have run across many hurdles in childhood. I'm looking after a couple of kids all day and one after school. All of them know the rules. Occasionally they break the rules and sometimes a little spanking helps. I rarely have many serious problems. Just the "threat" of a spanking usually does the trick.

But recently there is another child in the mix. She is the same age as the two all day kids. So that makes two who are four, one three and the eldest is six and in school during the day. The newest four year old will be leaving my care soon because her mother did not like the fact that I had to spank her daughter one day. I can understand that. But personally I don't think the child is getting proper supervision at home which is creating a problem for me. I think a four year old should have a set bedtime, say eight o'clock in the evening. She has no such rule. She is often up at midnight. Then she has to be up early to go to the baby sitter (me). Since mom won't allow spanking, this little girl does what she wants when she want to do it. She often talks the other children into trouble. Then she lies about it. I've seen it all. She will go to kindergarten next year. I hope she doesnt talk to her teacher the way she talks to me.

In some ways I hate to see her go. She is a bright little girl and very smart. Unfortunately she thinks she can do what ever she wants and there will not get into trouble. She actually is the ring leader as far as getting others into trouble. I have tried to adhere to her mother's no spank rule. But this girl refuses to listen and no seems to get thru to her. I fear that the parents are not giving her the right lessons. There are always rules and dispbeying them always involves some form of punishment. But when no kind of punishment seems to phase a kid what should we do? She will soon be going to a daycare rather than this house care. I'm afraid that she will find that she is not "in charge" and she will not like their rules either. Me, I'm glad she will soon be out of my hair. Of course now I will have to remind the others that the way she has been behaving will make me call Santa. He won't be happy with her behavior either. But only time will tell. Have fun little girl, you may be able to fool your mamma but you can't fool me. Your new school will be more than you thought you would get.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Bully This!

I can't help it. I've been thinking about my childhood. Why? Because I was picked on and bullied. Also I've thought about the teens who feel they have no choice but to end their lives. I was picked on and laughed at through out my years of school. In grammar school I was small, wore glasses and my last name rhymed with "tomater" so you get the picture. I was shy and small, a perfect target. High school was not much better. My sophomore year was a nightmare because three football players in my fifth period English class made fun of me. They taunted me because I realized I'd get better book report grades if I read harder, "classic" novels. I got straight A's. The football players picked easy books to read and got very bad grades. They gave me the name "Oswald". I dreaded going to class with them so much I threw up nearly every morning. I hated my life because I felt like a misfit and nobody wanted to know the real me. I spent a lot of time alone at school and at home. I was an only child so who did I have to talk to?

My parents talked to me. I didn't really think they understood. But they listened to me. They told me things like "laugh with them, when they laugh at you." I said that would not work. I tried it. It helped. At least I thought that they would never seem me upset. I could be a good actress. After all that is what I wanted to be. Still I was different so I spent a lot of time by myself reading or listening to music. I loved Broadway music. In my mind, I could play every part and sing every song. Too bad I never really could sing. In my junior year I got up the courage to try out for the Junior Play which funded the prom. I became another person. I took the major character role and ran with it. I was at home. Suddenly those football guys saw something different. They quit taunting me.

The question still remains today. What do we do to help those who are being bullied. Where are the parents? I didn't have many of the issues that we have today. I went to segregated schools and really never heard of homosexuality or many other problems children have today. But I was still different. I even told my kids later the same things that my parents told me when they were laughed at by someone. They listened. My oldest daughter had a hard time with a girl in her glass who made fun of her. I told her how to make a joke. The two ended up becoming friends. Who is there for these "misfits" now? I admit not enjoying a lot of my childhood. But my parents were there for me. Teachers were there. Neighbors were there. Ministers were there.

We must do something to stop the bullies. We all grow up. One day the bullies may have their own children. What will they say as parents? Who is at fault? Is it the school systems? Is it the parents? The issues of today are so much more difficult than mine were. What do we say to the kids who enjoy the "power" of being the bully? Does it make them feel important? Does it make them bigger? How many will end up in a life of crime? When will they look at themselves and be ashamed of what they did? I don't have an answer. I don't know why one child becomes a bully and the other one doesn't. I remember hearing Hillary Clinton say, "It takes a village to raise a child". Our village is not doing it's job. Maybe the village idiot is running things? We must stop this now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

That Time of Year Again

Fall has arrived in several parts of the good old USA. I remember last year walking around the tiny town of Ozona, Texas. Ozona is not far from San Angelo, around west Texas. The colors of the leaves were so nice to see. All the yellow,red, gold and orange hues of leaves that were still on the trees. Here in Houston it is a different story. It is almost as if we have two foliage seasons - green and dead.

I have always liked fall. Fall, I think, is Nature's way of telling us that life is always changing and we should not take that lightly. Who among us hasn't had different seasons in their lives? Some good some bad, some colorful, others not. If you go around Houston there will not be much in the way of fall colors in the trees. If you want to see fall colored leaves, go to a store like Hobby Lobby or Michaels and buy some fake leaves and scatter them around. That is about the extent of our season of fall. You want fall decorations for your home? Go buy some pumpkin candles and decorate your house with the colorful leaves that you bought at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. That is it.

I envy those areas which have real colors of fall. The leaves hang on the trees just long enough for people to appreciate the season. Of course there disadvantages to living in an area where trees have colorful foliage. The leaves eventually fall off the trees. Then they turn brown and dead, just like here in Houston. They crunch when you walk through them, just like they do in Houston. The wind blows them all over yards and into streets where cars blow them around again, just like here in Houston. The difference is that unlike other places, here in Houston the trees are green one day and dead the next. Color, what color? Green or dead - not much choice.

So if you live in an area where the leaves change color, enjoy them. Sure you will still have to rake them just as we will, but remember that the colors remind us that there is a season for everything - even leaves.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Look Up, See What You Could Have Missed

I've always liked to look at the sky. I love the variations of blue and the colors created at sunrise or sunset. To me these colors are a thing of beauty. Ever watched ducks fly in formation against a clear blue sky? Or the rays of sun projecting from behind a cloud? Sometimes a red morning sky can be breathtaking. Some parts of the country have "city" problems which make seeing the sky a little less alluring. Smog tends to obscure colors. Then again some people don't notice that grey haze lurking over a city. Maybe people are too busy with daily life to look up and think about what is going on up there.

I smiled at the "Peanuts" cartoon when Charlie Brown was lying on the ground looking up to the sky. At least he thought about what he saw. It doesn't seem to matter if the sky is clear and seemingly endless or angry and dark during a storm. There is always something to ponder. Even clouds tell stories. Who hasn't, like Charlie Brown, seen shapes or characters in the clouds. Those cummulus, cirrus, stratus, or nimbus clouds can tell how the day will go or if the weather will change. Flying in an airplane over the clouds can seem like flying above balls of cotton. Then again,trying to go around a thunderstorm in a plane can be a little scary to the average airplane passenger.

Looking up to the sky on any given day surely must make even non-believers wonder. Of course we can all talk about science and atmospheric conditions but those are numbers and laws of nature as a science. I remember when I wanted to grow up to be a meterologist - that is till I learned the dreaded "advanced math" would be involved. So I just settled for the artistic, or philosophical approach to looking at the sky. Yes, we can all see what we want to see in the bright colors or cloud formations.

Every once in a while even a jaded person like me can have an " oh my, look at that" moment. I was walking Daisy yesterday and had not really paid much attention to the sky. After all the sky is always changing and clouds always blow around. There are days when the blue seems very blue and the white clouds seem very white. Nothing was out of the unusual until I looked at the sky and noticed that two long, slender clouds had drifted together to form a perfect cross. I had to stop and look for a moment. Naturally, the philosopher in me wondered...why? I just stood there, looking. Then Daisy decided it was time to move along. When I looked back up, the cross had vanished. I guess it was a good thing that I looked when I did. I could have missed it. Was it a sign? I don't know. It was probably just two wandering clouds who decided to stop and say "Hi" to each other. Right?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I Found This, Reminds Me of a Lot of Politicians

A powerful senator dies after a prolonged illness. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the senator. "Well, I'd like to but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in Heaven."

"I'm sorry but we have our rules," replies St. Peter.

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. Nearby are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is in evening attire and very happy to see him. They run to greet him, hug him, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar.

Also present is the Devil, who really is a very friendly guy and who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that the time flies, before he realizes it, the senator has to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves while the elevator rises.

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on Heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit Heaven."

The next 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well then, you've spent a day in Hell and another in Heaven. Now choose your eternity." The senator reflects for a minute, then answers, "Well, I would never have said it, I mean Heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in Hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he is in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags.

The Devil comes over to him and lays his arm on his neck.

"I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a beautiful club and we ate lobster and caviar and danced and had a great time. Now there is only a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable."

The Devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted for us!"

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Magnets...Chick Magnets That Is

The other day I saw a survey about what kind of things attracts gals to a guy. Of course looks were on the list. Sunglasses were too. Why I don't know. Hair color and style were also on the list. But the number one chick magnet was a guy with a dog.

A guy walking a dog is more likely to attract a look from a female than just about anything else. So what kind of dog? Is a girl more likely to start a conversation with a guy who is walking a tiny dog or a big lab? Do shepherds make the list? How about a tall guy walking a short dachshund? Is a chick more likely to approach a guy walking a mastiff or a poodle.

Is a short, fat guy more likely to attract a girl if he is walking a dog opposed to not having a dog with him? Would a gal give a second look to to this guy if he didn't have a dog with him? If the guy is a handsome man walking an ugly dog, would he be noticed because he has a dog or because the guy is attractive?

I wonder if the kind of dog a guy has suggests what type of person he is. If the dog is mean, is the guy? If the dog is a nervous, yappy dog will a gal think twice before talking to the guy. Who wants to have a conversation with a guy while his dog is barking? What if the dog is a slobering type? Would the gal be less likely for fear of the slinging slobber?

So chicks like guys with dogs. It shows the guy is capable of giving and receiving love. It shows that he is usually caring and compassionate. On the other hand, if his dog is a big mean dog, would the chick want to take thc chance? Let's see how many men would approach a chick walking a rotweiler?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tis the Season - Sort of...

The children around here are back in school.Parents are happy. I thought of a song which used to be played on the radio this time of year for parents. It was also played at the end of the school year for the kids..."Happy Days Are Here Again". I also heard the old Andy Williams Christmas song..."...the Most Wonderful Time of the Year..." played on the radio. Tis the season.

We are still in the middle of hurricane season here. So far seven storms have blown up and out. Houston is in the middle of a heat wave with heat indices in the 105-110 range. We'd almost be happy with a litte bit of tropical weather - just not too much. The leaves on a couple of trees around here are turning yellow and falling off. Tis the season.

Halloween stores have been open a while now. I guess they expect people will be looking for costumes and decorations early this year. So where is all the candy? Oh, I guess all of that will be selling right after Labor Day. Tis the season.

Somewhere in the middle of all this Thanksgiving will appear. Some stores will have a turkey price war.I must remember to get some cranberry sauce. Maybe I'll just get sauced thinking of how often Thanksgiving is skipped right over into Christmas. After all some stores have already put some decorations on sale. Tis the season.

So since today is 4 months until Christmas day, let me be the first to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Just forget Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Tis the season...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Bunny Story

Once upon a time there was a man who was peacefully driving down a windy road. Suddenly, a bunny skipped across the road and the man couldn't stop. He hit the bunny head on. The man quickly jumped out of his car to check the scene. There, lying lifeless in the middle of the road, was the Easter Bunny.

The man cried out, "Oh no! I have committed a terrible crime! I have run over the Easter Bunny!"

The man started sobbing quite hard and then he heard another car approaching. It was a woman in a red convertible. The woman stopped and asked what the problem was.The man explained, "I have done something horribly sad. I have run over the Easter Bunny. Now there will be no one to deliver eggs on Easter, and it's all my fault."

The woman ran back to her car. A moment later, she came back carrying a spray bottle. She ran over to the motionless bunny and sprayed it. The bunny immediately sprang up, ran into the woods, stopped, and waved back at the man and woman. Then it ran another 10 feet, stopped, and waved. It then ran another 10 feet, stopped, and waved again. It did this over and over and over again until the man and the woman could no longer see the bunny.

Once out of sight, the man exclaimed, "What is that stuff in that bottle?"

The woman replied, "It's harespray. It revitalizes hare and adds permanent wave."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Family, the Tie that Binds, even on Facebook

I saw today that Facebook now has 500 million users now. And to think that the genius behind all of this is 26 years old. I've got clothes older than he is. I've been on it about a year now. My children are on it and I have quite a few friends on it as well. I even found my ex-husband on there. No, we are not friends. Not in this life or the next either. But I have met some nice, interesting people.

Anyone who is on Facebook has probably had the urge to check out an old friend from school or someone they have not thought about in years. I remember searching for an old high school friend. He's a priest now. I still find that hard to believe. I looked up my maiden name to see if I found anything. There were lots of them but I doubt any were related to me. That would have been quite a find. I only have one uncle left on that side. My father had four brothers and one sister. Through them I ended up with eleven cousins. It's sad to say but if I ran into to any of them I doubt I would know them at all.

The other day I had a sudden urge to look up the name of a cousin. She was six months younger than I. We spent many school summers together in New Jersey. My grandfather lived in New Jersey as did my uncle and aunt. My mother and I used to drive up from Alabama for a couple of weeks each summer and occasionally during Christmas breaks from school. My cousin and I were both only children. She had red hair. I sill remember cutting off her pig-tail. We got into a lot of trouble over that episode.

I put her name into the search. Imagine my surprise when I actually found her. She still has red hair. I knew instantly that was her. We lost touch many years ago and I haven't seen her since the early 70's. So now we are Facebook friends. After chatting with her I even discovered the my aunt and uncle are still alive. That was a surprise. My cousin said she would have them e-mail me. Thanks Facebook. I thought that tie was forever broken, but the family ties still are there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Addiction or There's an App for That

Ok, I admit that maybe I need to go into a virtual 12 step program to get me off "Farmville". I got on Facebook last year. Now I find that I have to see what is going on each day. And I thought Twitter was bad! I was addicted to that too. I even had TweetDeck which chirped every time a new tweet came in. My grandsons kept asking where were the birds.

This year I started playing "Farmville" a little more. Last year I didn't really do too much. Now it is serious business. I have to work my crops and do all the work around my farm. Sometimes I get the help of arboritists or farmhands. Mostly it is me who has to do all the harvesting. Oh, and I can't forget the co-op either. Jeez. Who know that simple games could be so addicting. You can apparently get "an app for that" for just about anything including Facebook games on any "smart phone." There is even one which will "analyse" a baby's cry to tell you what is wrong.

I find myself thinking every day that I need to go back to writing. Then I have the urge to see what is going on at my farm or my Hotel City, or my Social City, or my Mafia Wars, or Pet City, Happy Aquarium, etc... Get my drift?? I am beginning to think my life revolves around the games instead of real life. On the other hand, sometimes the games are more fun. I don't have an app for that on my phone... can't play games in the car. Of course the cops would not take too kindly to that anyway.

I used to laugh at people I knew who spent a better part of the day playing games instead of doing housework or cooking or anything else for that matter. Then I wondered what would happen to me if I didn't have the ability to play these games? Oh dear, can I stand one day without them? Uh...well, aw come on, just one game! Maybe the fun will wear off soon. Oh crap! Last time I looked my crops were 98% ready to be harvested. Can't let them go to waste. Gotta get thos coins so I can make my farm bigger. Sigh. And so it goes. There's gotta be an app...for quiting. Right?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

For Those Who Have Ever Golfed

A man went to the confessional. “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”

"What is your sin, my son?” the priest asked.

"Well,” the man started, “I used some horrible language this week, and I feel absolutely terrible.”

"When did you use this awful language?” asked the priest.

"I was golfing and hit an incredible drive that looked like it was going to go over 250 yards, but it struck a power line that was hanging over the fairway and fell straight down to the ground after going only about a hundred yards.”

"Is that when you swore?”

"No, Father. After that, a squirrel ran out of the bushes and grabbed my ball in his mouth and began to run away.”

"Is that when you swore?”

"Well, no. You see, as the squirrel was running, an eagle came down out of the sky, grabbed the squirrel in his talons, and flew away!”

"Is that when you swore?” asked the amazed priest.

"No, not yet. As the eagle carried the squirrel away in his claws, it flew toward the green. And as it passed over a bit of forest near the green, the squirrel dropped my ball.”

"Did you swear then?”

"No, because as the ball felt it struck a tree, bounced through some bushes, careened off a big rock, and rolled through a sand trap onto the green and stopped within six inches of the hole.”

The priest signed, “You missed the putt, didn't you?”

Shadows on the ceiling

The other day I was upstairs in the bedroom when I noticed shadows moving on the ceiling. Big deal, right? Of course the dancing of the shadows was a result of the tree limbs at the front corner of the building. It was a breezy day so the limbs were swaying to the song of the wind. The window curtains block the sunlight but not the motion of the shadows of everything from the neighbors walking into or out of their place or that tree. It is really in a bad place because the branches rub along the wall and gutters at the corner of the building. Quite annoying to those who live there.

I don't have to listen to the rustling of the leaves or the scraping of the branches along the walls. I had not really paid much attention to the shadows made by the tree though. That is until I decided to lie down on the bed because I had a headache. A couple of aspirin and a nap should cure the problem I thought. I soon forgot about the headache because I noticed the movement on the ceiling. The tree limbs were bending in the breeze, but from my vantage point the picture on the ceiling looked like giant legs of a spider. Almost like a nature video the "legs" moved up and down, stretched and curled just like any good spider.

For a moment I thought I was watching one of those old 50's horror movies. The giant spider is about to devour the building! Run for your life! Each leg seemed to move independently of the others. Slowly, they reached out to grab an imagined prey. Is this spider ever going to get the unsuspecting victim? Or are the legs waving to others to signal that the take over of the world has begun? I couldn't help but watch all of this. Ah, well so much for a wild imagination...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Wonder How Long It Took?

Gotta love Spring. Flowers, weeds, bugs all come forward. If you like the time of year, you may like watching things. I do. I've always liked to watch things grow and see flowers bloom, especially if I grew them.

Occasionally I find myself watching and wondering about nature. Yeah we all have seen the fights between mockingbirds over the "ladies". I accidentally ran into a dove's nest a few weeks ago. "Excuse me - didn't mean to bother you". Even birds can give you "that look". Looking at butterflies I wonder about their colors and in some cases how far they flew to get here. Any vegetable garden is witness to crawling creatures foraging for food so they can move on to butterfly-hood. I have watched them chew their way through leaves or try to hide in among like colored leaves.

Then one day I watched a small green caterpiller moving along to what it hoped to be a good place to transform into that butterfly. At least I hope he was thinking. But the funny thing was he was inching along and trying to dine on a green sponge. Did he not think it was a little tough to chew? Never mind that the sponge color did not blend well with his body. Hum... It seemed to take a long time. I wonder how long it took for him to figure out that he was not crawling along a leaf? Was the taste, or lack there of, a clue? Or did a hungry bird grab him as a tender tasty bite first? I guess I will never know, but I wonder if he ever figured it out in time?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Biblical Theme Songs

Noah: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"
Adam and Eve: "Strangers in Paradise"
Lazarus: "The Second Time Around"
Esther: "I Feel Pretty"
Job: "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues"
Moses: "The Wanderer"
Jezebel: "The Lady is a Tramp"
Samson: "Hair"Salome: "I Could Have Danced All Night"
Daniel: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
Esau: "Born To Be Wild"
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: "Great Balls of Fire!"
The Three Kings: "When You Wish Upon a Star"
Jonah: "Got a Whale of a Tale"
Elijah: "Up, Up, and Away"
Methuselah: "Stayin' Alive"
Nebuchadnezzar: "Crazy"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Finding Jesus...

An old drunk stumbles across a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river.

He proceeds to walk into the water and stand next to the preacher. The minister notices the old drunk and says, "Mister, are you ready to find Jesus?"

The drunk looks back and says, "Yes, preacher, I sure am."

The minister dunks the fellow under the water and pulls him right back up.

"Have you found Jesus?" the preacher asks."Nooo, I didn't!" said the drunk.

The preacher then dunks him under for quite a bit longer, brings him up, and says, "Now, brother, have you found Jesus?"

"Noooo, I have not, Reverend."

The preacher, in disgust, holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time, brings him out of the water, and says in a harsh tone, "My God, man, have you found Jesus yet?"

The old drunk wipes his eyes and says to the preacher, "Are you sure this is where he fell in?"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The End of the Journey for My Lady

We all have best friends. They are always with us to cheer us or comfort us. They never question or fault us. My best friend of nearly 14 years was that way. She couldn't speak as you or I can, but boy could she express herself! She had four legs instead of two, but to me she was just as human as any other member of my family. Sometimes I thought she had better since than they did.

But now she was old and tired. She had seen many things happen during her life's journey. I tried to convince her to hang on just a few more days. But that was not to be. Lady had walked many a mile on her short legs. I remember when the kids went to get her so that she could be a member of the family. I laughed when she nervously crawled into the arm of Traci's school jacket because she was scared of riding in the car. I still remember the day she chased one of Pat's friends down the hall because she did not like him. As it turned out she had the right opinion of him.

Somewhere there are pictures of her. I'll have to dig through boxes to find them. Traci, Annie, Pat and Amanda have all been caught by the camera with Lady. So many times they all looked guilty...even Lady. Now there are grandchildren who are forever preserved in time with her. Cheyanne was the first to be "pictured". And of course Brad, Aryn, Skylar and Michael did too. There is even a picture of one of Brad's friends asleep on the couch with his arm around Lady. Lady tolerated it all. Sometimes she seemed to say, "Not again!"

Lady learned to work the system. Just how many times did she beg to be picked up into the beds with the kids? And how many times did she wait for the kids to come home only to pee on the carpet, floor, or bed in excitment? She was always happy to see the kids and grandkids.

She was not really happy to welcome Daisy. Lady made sure Daisy knew who was in charge. "It ain't you, kid" she told Daisy many times. Lady was truly the Grand Dame of the house. Even when she was introduced to Rowdy who she though of as just another "subject".

But over the last few months Lady began to feel less and less like bothering with any of us. As long as she could stay in her chair covered by her blanket she was happy to be left alone. But I began to notice that time was short. She began to lose weight and became more and more listless. Then she quit eating. Dachshunds usually only live 10-15 years. My first, Peanut, lived to be 14. Daisy is now 5 and Rowdy 10. Lady was 13. As the days past, I began to wonder how much longer I would have Lady around. Would come home from work to find that she had died? I really didn't want that. Should I put her down? She wasn't in any pain or suffering. What to do?

I decided to keep her comfortable and wait. We came home Tuesday evening to find her lying on the floor. She did not want to move. I knew the end of the journey was near. I hurried with supper and dishes. Then I picked her up out of her chair,wrapped her in a blanket and held her in my arms. Her breathing and heart rate were erratic and she seemed to have drifted off into a coma. Her eyes were glazed over and I knew her time was near. Even Daisy and Rowdy seemed to know. Instead of bouncing round from chair to chair, they stayed quiet and watched over her. We went to bed a little after. We took Lady in her blanket with us and put her on the bed. Daisy and Rowdy stood guard. A little after mid-night Lady's journey ended peacefully.

Rest in peace little Lady. Thanks for being part of our family. Long live the Grand Dame. See you on the other side someday.

Monday, April 19, 2010

God, Please Send Me Money

Little Johnny wanted $100 for a new bike and prayed for two weeks, but nothing happened.

Then he decided to write God a letter asking for the money. When the local postmaster saw the letter addressed to “God, USA,” he decided to send it to the President of the United States.

The President was so impressed, touched, and amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5 bill.

Little Johnny was delighted with the $5 and wrote a thank-you note to God. It read: “Dear God, thank you for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington, D.C. As usual, those crooks deducted $95.”

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Walking Through a Mine Field

The other day as I tended to the care of Dylan and Jade, I walked into their bedroom to see what was going on. They had been playing in there a while. As usual there were toys every where. So I decided it was time to clean up the room. They were not interested in helping. Snacks were their primary concern. So we went to the kitchen to find suitable snacks for them. While they ate I went back into the bedroom to survey the damage.

As I stepped back into this room I was startled to hear a noise. The tv was on but that is not from where the noise came. Apparently in my quest to enter the lair of the children I had stepped on a toy. In the process it had decided to do what toys do best, make enough noise to really irritate any adult within ear-shot. That is when I thought "walking around in this room is like walking into a mine field". Toys littered the floor, the beds and spilled out of the toy box which was in the closet. There are all sorts of dolls, guns, cars and other toys which when prompted by some sort of activity make all sorts of noise. Usually these are in the hands of the small children when they do this. But sometimes they lie in wait for an unsuspecting adult to bump into, step on, or pick up. It is then that all Hell breaks loose. A "laser gun" will suddenly emit a red beam of light along with a "Star Wars" type of sound which makes me wonder what it would be like to use such a weapon in real life. Or a battery operated race car will take off running, or a least the wheels will spin wildly. Jimmy Johnson's car should have such power! Or worse yet an especially annoying doll will lament "I don't feel so good".

Of course when trying to clean up this room, the toys all have to start the noise at the same time. But finding the toys can be a problem. The floor is littered with toys. Toys spill out of the toy box at will or hang precariously at the edge. Every time a toy from the floor is tossed into the box another jumps out and poses a problem for any one near. Of course none of these toys seem to have an off switch either. At times, walking into or around the room really can be an assault on the ears, feet or ankles. There should be hazard labels on the door. "Caution, enter at your own risk". I don't know how many times I have tripped on some toy that was lying peacefully quiet until I stepped on it. And just wait till the kids decide to either look for a particular toy or start throwing toys at each other.

I think I may have to request "Hazardous Duty Pay". After all walking into a child's room or attempting to clean it is dangerous work. You just never know if an Iron-Man mask is going to start giving orders, or a remote controlled car makes a run for it.And don't forget the tiny metal cars that become missiles when launched by a four year old. Mine fields do exist, especially in kids' rooms.

A Place to Rest

I go by this place several times a week. There seems to be activity almost every day. Yet it seems to be quiet and peaceful almost every day. The grass is always green and the trees provide shade and a nice place for the birds to watch over every person who goes into the place. Sometimes during the day there is a large tent where many people gather to remember. Other days I will see a hole being dug or covered up with care. The ground is always clean and the grass is well manicured. Many flowers are brought there frequently by families. These flowers and other tributes are a constant reminder of someone who was loved.

Yes,it is a cemetery. All the headstones face the road traveled each day by hundreds of people, maybe even thousands. Do those that pass notice? Do they pay attention when they see people gathered as a loved one being buried? I don't know if anyone pays attention to what happens at this little place. But it does seem to be busy. Almost every day I see some kind of activity going on here. I guess you could use the old joke and say "people are dying to get in there", but there is much more to it.

If the headstones could talk, what would that say to each other? "Nice to meet you"? to a new addition? Or maybe "I've been here a while, you'll like it here"? Maybe even, "Hey, I like your design"? Or maybe they would just take note of all the traffic as it goes by every day. Would they wonder why nobody has come by to see them or put fresh flowers out for them?

I don't know how long this cemetery has been there. It seems to stretch far into the back. Some of it can barely be seen from the road. I've always been curious about cemeteries. Ghoulishly to some, I've always wondered how old a place like this it. What was the first grave there? How long ago? Who was that person? Is there a history there? Is someone important or famous laid to rest there?

I guess for most people a place like this is where they hope to be one day. I'm not much for that. I'd rather be cremated and save the land. But for others I'm sure there is a sense of security that they will ultimately find peace there in their own place to rest.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hymns by Word Association

A minister decided to do something a little different one Sunday morning.

He said, "Today, in church, I am going to say a single word and you are going to help me preach. Whatever single word I say, I want you to sing whatever hymn comes to your mind."

The pastor shouted out, "Cross!" Immediately the congregation started singing, in unison, "The Old Rugged Cross."

The pastor hollered out, "Grace!" The congregation began to sing "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound..."

The pastor said, "Power." The congregation sang "There Is Power in the Blood." The Pastor said, "Sex." The congregation fell in total silence. Everyone was in shock.

They all nervously began to look around at each other, afraid to say anything.

Then all of a sudden, way from in the back of the church, a little old 87-year-old grandmother stood up and began to sing "Precious Memories."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saint Who? Paddy What?

What is all the fuss about? Green beer and green rivers. Why does everyone want to be Irish? Me I could care less. Other than the opportunity to drink a bunch of beer and eat corned beef etc, big deal. Yeah, I'll drink a few beers with ya but I don't care if the beer is green. People wear green so they won't get pinched. Pinch me and somebody is libel to get slugged.

I lost the joy of being "Irish" for a day a long time ago. My ex-husband was what I liked to call a "Professinal" Irishman. He insisted that we all wear green. He was downright nasty if we didn't. He had an "Irish" temper too which we all bore the brunt of on occasion. Too many occasions to suit me. Even though his last name was an obvious one, his family did not come from Ireland. Mine lived in Ireland at one point though, before they moved on to Scotland and France.

Didn't St. Patrick chase snakes out of Ireland? Ok. What about the guys who do rattlesnake roundups here? Why don't we have a party for them? What color should we make the beer?

So to all the "Irish" I say "Top O the Morning" to ya. But I'd rather wear a Scottish kilt thank you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

When Sex in the City Meets Wild Kingdom

They walked into the room. Candles were lit giving the room a warm glow as they shimmered on the bar. Bath water had been drawn and was shining with bubble bath. Red rose petals were scattered on the bed. Champagne was chilling in a silver bucket.Soft music played in the background. Everything was perfectly set for the lovers tryst.

His strong arms engulfed her as he kissed her ruby red lips. Piece by piece their clothes fell to the floor. The lovers were oblivious to anything but each other. As they sipped their champagne they gazed longingly into each others' eyes. Their caressing touches fueled the fires of their passion. After the last drops of the champagne were finished they stretched out their naked bodies on the golden colored satin sheets. So sensuous they felt.The lovers joined their bodies in hot passionate love which consumed them both. Nothing would stop their pulse pounding love-making. Hours faded away as they caressed every inch of their bodies as they pleasured each other.

Unnoticed by the lovers were the others. In the heat of the lovers passion the audience awaited patiently for them to finish. The audience looked at each other as if to say, "If we did that they'd be mad." The three dogs just sat there,careful not to give themselves away. After all it was better than watching re-runs of "lassie". Finally. The lovers were spent. They could do no more. It was then the couple noticed the audience. Quickly the dogs discussed the lovers dance. Len, the old, grouchy dog, Carrie Ann, the young free-spirited one and Bruno, technical minded, but funny put their heads together. Finally they had come up with their scores. They eat help up their signs with the scores. Carrie Ann "10", Bruno "10", Len "9". Total score - 29 out of 30. A gold metal performance of the dance of love. After the scores were revealed, as if on cue, the dogs jumped of the bed and ran back into the living room. They grabbed some dog food and ran back to their rightful dog places in the quiet of the late night. Carrie Ann climbed into to her chair, Bruno jumped onto the sofa and Len the old grouch crawled into his spot and covered up so no one would see him. All is well.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Just Another Day of What the Hell...??

Child care can be fun or it can be exasperating on any given day. Sometimes the kids say or do things that make you think or snicker at their logic. Then there are the tv programs which entertain the kids and sometimes annoy adults. PBS has some very good cartoons which cleverly teach words, colors, numbers, reading and math concepts. There are other channels which feature cartoons with interesting music. I wonder how many parents know that some of that music is classical. Chopin would be so proud.

I've long since gotten over Sponge Bob though I still don't understand the concept of a talking sponge wearing clothes who lives under the sea and his friend Patrick. Then there is the "Barnyard" cartoon which I had to look at several times to make sure I saw what I saw. I realize that television programing for children can take a stretch of the imagination for adults to watch but... So there is this family of cattle complete with parents and children. They are just like any average family. Mothers take care of children, run the home and teach the children while dads go off to do the manly jobs. But why do both the "lady" cattle and the "men" cattle have udders? I had to stop what I was doing to make sure I had not missed something. But the kids don't seem to mind at all. I, on the other hand find it a bit disconcerting to see a "cow" with a male voice doing chores.

Then there are on some channels the frequent commercials trying to sell mom or dad on the latest toys for the kids. I remember when all dolls did was just, well nothing. You posed them and changed their clothes or brushed their hair. Some dolls had houses and furniture. I played for hours with my doll house. Then came the baby dolls that talked. They still sound weird to me, even now. Oh but toy makers and children wanted more. So they made dolls that had to be fed. So where did all that stuff go after the kid fed the doll forty-seven times a day? Guess what? Next we have to have the baby pee and poop so they have to have a diaper change. How many mothers have bought extra diapers for those dolls?

But the real what the Hell moment is when I discovered Barbie had a dog that she has to potty train. Huh?? I saw a commercial which had a cute little doggie lifting his leg on a little "pad". There was even a little "pee" which wet the training pad. But wait, the puppy has to be trained to poop on the pad too. Oh joy! When I saw that commercial I did not know if I should cringe in disgust or laugh at the thought of a young child "potty training" a toy. And just how much does this little "gotta have" toy cost anyway? And what about the extra training pads for when little Fido misses or his human uses them all up in two days. Then what?

What is next on the horizon of popular toys and tv shows for kids? Hey Carly - what will you do when you grow up? "I love you, you love me...". Oh shut up Barney! I need a cup of coffee.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jewish Country Songs

* Honkey Tonk Nights On The Golden Heigh lo

* I Was One Of The Chosen People ‘Til She Chose Somebody Else

* Stand By Your Merch

* I'm Crying In The Manischewitz

* The Shikoas Gonna Hit The Fan!

* Four Thousand Years Of Sufferin' And I Had To Go And Marry You

* Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Latkes

* You've Been Talkin' Hebrew In Your Sleep Since The Rabbi's Come To Town

* You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Schiemiel

* Yippee Ko Yi Oy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

There Are No Words

I enjoy blogging and reading friends' blogs. I've been occupied with other things lately. I've been working part-time watching kids. One is in school and the other two and just 3 and 2. It never ceases to amaze me how fast they can get into something. So last week you can imagine my surprise and sudden sorrow when I checked on my blog friends only to discover that one of my oldest and dearest friends had died.

There are no words to describe how I felt.It is true we are, in the grand scheme of things, only here for a short time. I just wished had just a little more time with Dr John. I enjoyed his tales of Pigeon Falls. But now the trains have stopped. The residents there are quiet. The storyline has been cut short. Where will they go, what will they do. Nobody could tell a story like Dr John.

I remember his little comments to me on my blog as well as his "leave a comment" and other little "contests" he had to keep us motivated. Such an imagination he had. I actually won a couple of his contests. One prize was a tiny ceramic figure of two cardinals on a bare tree in the snow. Now that is a very special treasure for me.

How do you find the words to describe how much someone touches you? I never physically met Dr John, but he touched me. I never looked into his eyes but I saw God's love there always. When I was happy, he made me laugh. When I was lost, he always knew how to find me.

Over the years of my life I have had people come and go. I would like to think I have learned something from them. I know I learned from Dr John. Peace be with you my dear friend. It was my honor to know you. Thank you for being you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your Packages are Here, Oh Wait They're for Me.

Every day is different. It's another chance. Sometimes it's good and sometimes not. And if you go back and think about the year before...well. Take last Valentine's Day. My son and his girlfriend took me to lunch. He gave me two roses. Last year said "Don't read anything into this" and gave me a book. This year he didn't give me a book.

"Your off Friday? That works out great! I've got three packages coming. Can you stay home and make sure they are delivered?" I said sure. It never entered my mind to even think what those three packages might be. He called me a couple of times during the day to ask it the packages arrived. "No, not yet." I said. Finally late in the afternoon after he had gotten home from work there was a knock on the door. Of course the three dogs went nuts. Guard dogs? No. Nosy, yes. I figured that it was his packages so I grabbed the dogs and tried to get them out of the way.

"Jill, it's for you..." he said. Just try wrestling with three dogs and answer the door. And how did he know the door was for me, anyway? So I open the door to discover a delivery person standing there with a big vase of a dozen red roses. Uh, for me? Oh and there was also a teddy bear and a box of chocolates. Click! Now, I see the light. The three packages were not for him but for me. Sneaky. Seems he had ordered all of this on-line. Sneaky. As much as I love to read, I'll take roses any day!

I will also never turn down Sunday morning breakfast made for me complete with a heart in the center of the plate. And I didn't have to wash the dishes either. Later we went to Fry's to drool over computers. A 1 terabyte hard drive sure would hold a lot of music or other stuff. Sigh... While there he decided to buy me a new mp3 player. So I picked out a nice blue 8 gig one. That's 2000 songs I could put on it. That's a lot of music, even for me. So far I've only put about 200 on it. Now I have to decide what else I put on it. A little country, a little rock and roll ( no Donny and Marie jokes here), Eagles, George Strait,Asleep at the Wheel, Rod Stewart. Billy Joel, etc. Now I have to figure out what else... Barry, Dave Koz, Nora Jones, Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Straight No Chaser, plus some old standards. Plus now I can add more of my jazz friends and some classical without driving other people nuts.

I'll be happy to answer the door if I can get roses.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Mozart Beyond the Grave

When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried.

Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate.

When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, "Ah, yes, that's Mozart's Ninth Symphony, being played backwards."

He listened a while longer, and said, "There's the Eighth Symphony, and it's backwards, too. Most puzzling."

So the magistrate kept listening; "There's the Seventh... the Sixth... the Fifth..."

Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, "My fellow citizens, there's nothing to worry about. It's just Mozart decomposing."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Image of WHAT?

Every so often we see news stories of some person who find the image of Jesus or Mary on a wall, tree, potato chip or piece of bread. We all wonder about the significance of that. What does it mean and why was this person "honored"? Sure those images are odd and make us wonder. But what if the image is not so "divine"? How about a snake? What does that mean?

We are having company later today. Since it is a dreary, cold day, Jimmy decided that chili would be good for supper. So I dug around it the closet where the big pot has been kept. We can make a lot of chili in that 10 gallon pot. As I brought it into the kitchen I took the top off. It was then I discovered something a little eerie. There was an image in the bottom of the pot of a coiled up snake. Huh? I did a double- take! What is that! I first thought that maybe it was marks from scraping the bottom of the pot. Nope it was a perfect picture of a snake. I could see that it was coiled around several times and very thin. I could distinctly see the head. Creepy to say the least. Now the next question is, what happened to the snake? I was reminded of the snake on Traci's porch in Waco. That one was moving. This one was just a picture in a pot.

Obviously we washed the pot and the image disappeared. So where is the snake? Is it still in the closet? Is it still alive? I don't think so. We were thinking of cleaning out that closet. Uh, well, now I'm no so sure. But curiosity is about to get the best of me. Do we have a house guest? Will I find remains of this snake somewhere in the house? Did it just take a nap in the pot and decide to move on to the outside world? I can't get the image of that snake out of my mind now. Is there a deeper meaning here?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Do Buying a CD, Fire Trucks, and a Sprained Knee Have in Common?

Why can't I think of the right lottery numbers and then win? Of course that is assuming I bought a ticket with those numbers. Why do I remember something I was going to do in the morning, late in the afternoon? Why did I think about the tv reports of some recent apartment fires in Houston and wonder if they all had a common attic. Deep thoughts for me I guess. Maybe too deep.

Yesterday I had planned to go buy the new Barry Manilow cd, "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time" which has some classic love songs, many of which most of us have heard from movies, tv, Broadway or other singers. Remember to go get it, remember to go get it. I forgot. By the time I remembered it was late in the afternoon, not a good time in Houston. Nuts, guess I'll just have to wait.

Then Jimmy calls, he's driving home, be home about 5-5:30 depending on traffic. As we talked, I was watching the tv news and thought about recent fires during the cold weather. There were pictures of apartment fires which put many people out of their homes. I wondered how many of these big complexes had common attics instead of firewalls between units. Why did I think of that? Jimmy gets home. As he comes through the door he says the neighbors in the unit in front of us are trying to put out a fire under the covered patio roof. All they have is a garden hose. I go outside and see the smoke billowing from under the roof and in the patio area of their unit. Not good, I think. I leash up my three dogs and go outside. In the meantime, two cop cars, two fire trucks and five fire department vehicles show up, lights and sirens going full blast. I even watched as a third truck arrived but was waved off. This one had a high bucket ladder but since the fire was not on top of the building it wasn't needed. The fire, it seems, was just in a small area.

As I walked around to the parking lot I watched the fire fighters poke and chop and dig around the walls to see what is going on. The dogs are excited. Theater for Daisy- "Everybody here to see me!". The other two don't know what to think. Then I accidentally trip and nearly fall. Who wants to fall in front of a bunch of firemen? Not me, after all they aren't calendar guys. Somehow I managed to remain upright but felt a sharp pain behind my right knee. Not a good sign. Finally most of the fire people leave. That is all but the supervisor who had turned off all the electricity and gas to the four units of our townhouse building. Ok, all but the burned unit can turn back on their gas and electricity. Lights, no problem, got to reset all clocks, microwave and coffee maker. And since the gas company won't light (or re-light) pilot lights Jimmy has to go up into the attic way in the back and re-light the water heater. Not fun for him. But we did learn that our fourplex has firewall between units. That was the one good thing.

But now I am hobbling along with a sprained or torn knee ligaments. Ever try to go up or down stairs without a working knee? Of course the back of my knee throbbed all night long. I tried to take the dogs out this morning- nope, not gonna work! Anyone want to walk the dogs for me? Maybe I should just try to focus my thoughts on better things- say George Clooney??

Friday, January 15, 2010

Improvements in Hell??

An engineer died and ended up in Hell. Soon, he became dissatisfied with the level of comfort in Hell, and began designing and building improvements. After a while, they had flush toilets, air conditioning, escalators. The engineer was a pretty popular guy.

One day God called to Satan and said with a sneer, "So, how's it going down there in Hell?"

Satan replied, "Hey, things are great. We've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next."God exclaimed, "What? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake--he should never have gotten down there in the first place. Send him back up here."

"No way," replied Satan. "I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him."

God threatened, "Send him back up here now or I'll sue!"

Satan laughed and answered, "Yeah, right. And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Never Knows What the Day Will Bring

I have always heard that we should look forward to the day. Tell that to someone who didn't get any sleep the night before! On the other hand for me, today is one of those what next days. At least it is starting out as a what next type of day. Now remember I didn't say bad, just what next?

Taking three dogs out early in the morning can be an adventure on a workday morning. Will they co-operate or not? Will they waste my time or not? I never know which one of the trio will be the winner. The Grand Dame Lady usually is dependable and gets her job done because she wants to get back inside so she can get onto her chair to survey the underlings' deeds. Daisy, on the other hand, is a social butterfly who thinks life should come to a stand still when she is showing off outside. Most of the time she adheres to the rules of the job. But not always. Rowdy is, well, a "what shall I do or not do today" type of dog. I never know. Of course when I'm in a hurry - he's not.

Then the Trans Am is picky in the colder weather. Sure it is easy to warm up. But just try to guess if it will get out of park and into gear easy. From one day to another I just never know. Today, language that would make a sailor blush came out of my mouth. I was not amused. As a result I have decided that today I will be THE drama queen just because I can.

Now the fun has begun. I got a call from Amanda asking me to go into their bedroom to retrieve a letter that needs to be mailed. No problem, right? That door is kept locked. Why? Just how many times have your little kids gotten into something and smeared it or written on something with eyeliner, or worse. Ok, no problem. Typical bedroom door, no key needed. But it's locked from the inside. Just in case, they keep a tiny screwdriver above the door out of harm's way of small children. Since, I'm short I have to have a little extra height to get the "majic door opener". So in the best traditions of the CIA, and 007 I picked the lock, entered the room, grabbed the evidence, and sent it to the next operative. I thought of all those times I've seen movies or tv shows where someone gets a little case out of a pocket, grabs, a little instrument, sticks it into the lock and voila! The door opens!

So much for my foray into espionage. Like I said one never knows what the day will bring. I'm ready, I think. Any body need a dog whisperer, supernanny, or secret agent? I said I was THE drama queen today, remember.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Whatever Happened to Conway Twitty?

A young pastor moved to town and decided he would go around and introduce himself to the new congregation. He rang the first door bell and a lady came to the door. She stared at him as he introduced himself.

She said, “I can't believe how much you look like Conway Twitty, the country music singer.”

He replied, “Yes, ma’am, I hear that a lot.”

He went to the next house and the next, and every lady that came to the door said the same thing—that he looked like Conway Twitty.

At the last house, a shapely young lady came to the door with a towel around her. He started to introduce himself, but she loosened her towel, threw her arms in the air, and screamed, “Conway Twitty!”

The pastor stood there, stunned. Then he said, “Hello, darling!”