Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Romantic Interlude with Snow

From my phone, cemetery across the street from the hotel

My son John was married on December 4th. to a lovely woman Arlette.  We flew to Chicago for the weekend and witnessed a beautiful wedding, which filled me with tears and happiness.

It was cold, just below freezing.  Not 1° like it is today, but just cold enough for flakes of snow.

Bare trees, as we never see them in desert California


By the time we returned to the hotel after the wedding, big flakes of wet snow were falling heavily.  My granddaughters were with us, and they ran in and out onto the balcony.

Falling snow as seen through my phone, with streetlight below




It was an amazing day.  We are blessed.


All is at peace.


This is my last post until after the New Year.  May God bless you all, and keep you, make His face to shine upon you, and grant you peace.

Monday, December 19, 2016

This is REALLY What Happened on Christmas Eve


Now, after all the shows--Scrooged, White Christmas, Christmas Story (Red Rider BBgun with a compass in the stock), Rudolph, etc.--it is time for the real story of Christmas to be heard and seen.

And, who better to do this is are children at Southland Christian Church.


Rejoice! For unto us has been born a Saviour...

Now you know what really happened.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Wednesday Words from 2012: Maniacal Old Woman

Deluxe hot chocolate with marshmallows
source


Violin music scratched from Miss Violet Ramsey’s record player, volume turned up high, pouring music directly at her head. Her deaf ears scarcely heard even a note, which did not seem to be a problem.

By the window where Miss Violet sat, she stroked her calico kitten and sipped hot cocoa topped with melted marshmallow.  "How about we have another, Kitty?" as she set a fresh cup next to six empties. It had been a long cold day, and six cups were nothing.

Violet had barely taken a sip, when she cried out, “Oh, look, Kitty!  There’s another one!”  Even with her glasses steamed and fogged, Miss Violet did not miss a man  in a dark overcoat as he rushed by on Albany Lane, now a very slippery street.  

When he tumbled and cursed, Miss Violet giggled and marked another hash mark on her writing tablet. “That makes 13 today!” Marshmallow spittle splattered onto Kitty, who was not in the least bothered by it.  

Her joy was disturbing on so many levels.


This is a re-post from Nov. 29, 2012.  The italicized, underlined words were a gift from Delores (her blog at the time "thefeatherednest") and Wednesday Words challenge she instigated. Being the clever girl she is, Delores managed to capture and pique the interest of many bloggers who delighted in using 6 unrelated words and playing with them.


This writing challenge still exists!  You can find the words at several bloggers' sites, mainly Elephant's Child, River-Drifting through Life,  Please head over to Delores' site, as there is always something going on there!



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Squeaky's Great Send Off

ziggy the hamster: No description

Squeaky died sometime in the night.  Scotty said that he noticed when the hamster wheel suddenly went silent.  Oh, well.  It was his time.

Scotty was always pragmatic about things in his life.  Lose a favorite car?  Oh, well. It'll turn up somewhere.  Dropping a slice of pizza?  Oh, well.  Things happen.  So when Squeaky's little ancient hamster heart stopped beating, we both thought about how to give him a send off.

Scotty had been into Vikings after watching "How to train your Dragon" for the twentieth time.  "Let's throw a Viking funeral!"

He retrieved a canoe/barge made of popsicle sticks at church camp last summer.  We put Squeaky on a pile of twigs layered in the water craft.  After pushing the funeral barge out in the swimming pool, Scotty used the "Hunger Games" bow with a burning marshmallow at the point of the arrow aimed at the barge.  

Again and again.  

When the canoe finally caught fire, it initially went up in flames and the thing burned before hisssssing out and sinking, leaving a singed Squeaky floating on the top of the water.

Oh, well.  

I managed to scoop Squeaky from the failed Viking send-off with the pool  skimmer.  What now?

Scotty had watched some warrior movie where the slaughtered hero was placed on a funeral pyre.  "Let's do that, Dad!"  So we did.

We lay out some sticks criss-crossed and carefully placed Squeaky on it. Scotty once again used the Kingsford wand lighter to get a good burn going on the bottom layer.  But, with us being novices at funeral pyres, the whole pyre thing collapsed, leaving Squeaky lying on the concrete surrounded by embers.

Oh, well.  

I didn't know how we were going to give Squeaky a big send off.  But, Scotty, being the boy scout he is, had an idea which made me wince and cringe.  It made sense, but man....really?

I pulled out the old rusty Coleman barbecue and built a pyramid of Kingsford guaranteed-to-light charcoal briquettes.  Scotty placed Squeaky in the center above the coals, using my brand new set of BBQ tool set.  Then he used the Kingsford lighter and got the coals going.

At first, it seemed that Squeaky was finally heading to his fiery hamster Valhalla.  But Noooo.

Squeaky had some sparks here and there, but clearly the charcoal was not enough.  It developed a nice white ash like briquettes do.  But that was it. Instead, the odor of grilled Squeaky told us the truth.

Oh, well.  

By this time, Scotty had had enough.  "Let's just bury it."  He retrieved a shovel from the garden and quickly dispatched the hamster with minimum effort.

"Dad?"

Oh now, what will he ask?  What do I say?

"Dad?  Can we go to Famous Dave's BBQ tonight?  Mom has a coupon for free appetizers."  He wiped a charcoal streaked hand across his nose.  "I'm kinda in the the mood for ribs, aren't you?"

Well, then.

Susan Kane

This was first posted on 22 March 2014,  Decided to re-post it, since I really enjoyed writing it:
Sorry about the lengthy story; just got going on it, I guess.
My daughter's hamster Max died on the first day of middle school.  My son, in an unusual act of kindness, placed it in a shoe box and buried it.  Nothing elaborate, mind you.  She has never recovered from the loss, she says (at age 32).

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Special Occasions

Image result for thanksgiving dinner
Source
My Aunt Vada is one of the most precious people in the world.  She has always been my ‘crazy’ aunt—the one who goes places, tells stories well, listens to me, and communicates with others.  Aunt Vada sends me the funniest stories, some of them not repeatable to anyone other than my close family.  

I think this story would be fine.
  
                                              The Good Napkins

My mother taught me to read when I was about four years old, thrilling all who heard me. One day, I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar.  I read the box in the cabinet. 

I then asked my mother why she was keeping ‘napkins’ in the bathroom.  “Don’t they belong in the kitchen?” 

Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she told me that those were for ‘special occasions’.

Time passes, memories remain…it’s Christmas Day, and my folks were leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for dinner.  Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone.  Mine was to set the table.

When they returned, my uncle came in first, and immediately burst into laughter.  Next came his wife who gasped, then began giggling.  Next came my father, who roared with laughter.  

Then came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a ‘special occasion’ Kotex napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top.  I had even tucked the little tail in so they didn’t hang off the edge!!

My mom asked me whyI used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter.  “But, Mom, you said they were for special occasions!!”

Aunt Vada’s friend added, “life is too short for drama and petty things…so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly, forgive quickly, and for heaven’s sake, use the good napkins whenever you can.”


Happy Thanksgiving to all! Eat well and eat wisely.

Won't see you all until December 12, will be posting past (historic!) posts until after New Year.  So much to enjoy, so much to give praise to God! Christ Jesus is born! Salvation is ours!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Best of Radio



We're back, taking calls to answer the question of "Regrets?  Looking back on my life..."  First caller on line one.
  
Radio Personality: So, let's hear it, big fella.  What can you say looking back on your life?

Anonymous:  I'll state it clear...I've lived a life that's...uh...full.  I've traveled down each and every highway...


Radio Personality:  So, you're a traveling man, who lives in cheap motels? Away from the family, huh.  Any regrets?

Anonymous: Regrets?  I've had a few, but then, too few to mention…

Radio Personality: Oh, one of those.  Love 'em and leave 'em? 

Anonymous: I did what I had to do...saw through without exemption...


Radio Personality:  Let me guess:  you planned each careful step, right? Had to, I imagine.

Anonymous:…More, much more than this, I did it my way….

Radio Personality: O-kay, but were there times?  Didn't you ever think you bit off more than you could chew?  You know, the balancing act?

Anonymous: But, through it all…I ate it up and spit it out…faced it all and stood ta…

Radio personality:  I see.  A life of love, laugh, and tears, right?  Yours or your family?  Ever think about 'em?  I mean, didn't you ever think about losing them?

Anonymous:  I’ve had my share of losing, but…now I find it all so amusing!  To think I did all that and…

Radio Personality: AMUSING? But, you’re not shy, are you?  Not humble at all! I bet you shout...

Anonymous: Oh, no, oh, no, not me!  I did it my way!

Radio Personality: Well, then, what IS a man?  What has he got?  If not his family, what is important?

Anonymous: Yes!  If not himself, then he has naught!  To say the things he truly feels…

Radio Personality: NAUGHT? Sure, but these are not the words of one ...?

Anonymous:  ...who kneels!  The record shows…Yes!  I took the blows!

Radio Personality: Well, I'd love to land some blows on you, you narcissistic bastard.  You got a record, a felony record?  

Anonymous:  And did it my way!  Yes, it was my way…

Radio Personality:  Right, buddy.  Whatever you say.  Next caller, line 2?...




Best of Radio, Pt. 2

[]
no such number


Radio Host:  Okay, you’re on live.  How can Dr. Love help you?

Male voice:  Okay…I wrote this girl a letter…I gave it to the postman and he put it in his sack…

Dr. Love:  So he put the letter in his sack, and…?

Male voice:  (sobs) Bright and early next morning, he brought the letter back…

Dr. Love:  So, the letter was returned?

Male voice:  …she wrote upon it:  Return to sender...address unknown…(sniffles) no such number...no such zone...(quiet sobs)

Dr. Love:  Did you had a quarrel?  A lover’s spat?

Male voice:  We had a quarrel...(unknown background noise)...yes, a lover's spat... I wrote “I’m sorry!” But my letter keeps coming back…(indistinct nose blowing).

Dr. Love:  So, the letter was returned....What did you do next?

Male Voice:  So then I dropped it in the mailbox, sent it special D (delivery)…

Dr. Love:  And the next morning…?

Male voiceIt came right back to me…RETURN TO SENDER…address unknown...no such person ...no such zone...

Dr. Love:  Same thing?  Address unknown?
  
Male voice:  ...and, ‘No such person…No such zone’! (soft crying)

Dr. Love:  What the heck?  What’ll you do next?

Male voice This time, I’m gonna take it myself!

Dr. Love:  And put it right in her hand?  Isn’t that stalking?  I mean, really?

Male voice:  …if it comes back the very next day, then I’ll understand the writing on it…(mysterious harmony background...ooooo...)

Dr. Love:  I think that is best.  Take a hint.  Move on, buddy.  Move on! Let that girl escape your sad obsession...and get some help...

Next Caller, line 2...something about "Your Cheatin' Heart" you're saying?...
1962


"Best of Radio"...I wrote "Quintessential Radio" for April Bloghop 2013.  Combining Q-R, two notable singers, icons of their time, are featured.  You know them, and now you get to see how vulnerable they were, as the lyrics convey. Gotta love Ol' Blue Eyes and Elvis the Pelvis.



Friday, November 18, 2016

A Vessel of Kindness

Business ideas for 2016: Pottery
vessel in the making

Great Aunt Evangeline always visited on my birthday, as regular as calendar and clock. Auntie E was full of so many things, most of them really irritating.  Adages? She had them. Shameless bragging? Overload there. A hoard of wisdom?  Good there, too.

Auntie E was a bland plain woman, with legs like stems. So utterly huge to the point of bursting, her size dominated any room. A successful business woman, she owned her own brokerage, always possessing great insight on sales and trends. And, believe it or not, that lady had a great golf swing

Yet, for all the things I hated about her, I loved her for them. In so many ways, Auntie E was a vessel of kindness to all she knew. While I possessed just a vestige of humanity, Auntie E loved and was loved, cared and was cared for, gave and then was given. 


I was none of those things. Still am.

The smallest act of kindness...
source


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

On-Hold, please

Image result for on hold music
But I hate reggae!
Apparently creating and then selling “on-hold music” is a big business with many restrictions, legalities, restrictions, and other red-tape issues.

Most are simply awful, looping and looping, interspersed with a voice admitting they are very sorry about the wait, which will be ___minutes, that questions will be handled in the order received…then the music starts again.

So far, the best on-hold music is on CVS pharmacy.  Lots of questions on line have been asked about the composer, with no answer given. Some have speculated that is a portion of “The Golden Dragon”

The "Forum" is in the Synth Zone, a bar "for casual discussion". Forum participants are researching, trying to find the source of CVS on-hold legendary music. They are each clearly experts, part of this forum.

What is also interesting is the relationship these people have with each other.  Bantering, insulting, non-segue—I felt like I was in a bar listening to them and laughing.

Finally one of the administers of the site (Maybe Nigel?) hits gold, locates this on-line music hold for CVS.

And here it is: Golden Dragon

What is totally amazing is that this conversation spans four years.  

Ah ha! They found it! I felt elated at the end of the search. And totally exhausted. 

Tell me what you think. 



CVS N Tarrant Davis.jpg
CVS



Monday, November 14, 2016

WedWords: Fairy Hell

fairy land 1680x1050 wallpaper Art HD Wallpaper
Fairy Lane

Being a fairy is no easy job, I tell you.  I know; I have been one for years, and hated every moment.


Oh, sure. Some fairies paint flowers, some water lovely green plants. Their primary job is to care for the planet, keeping it healthy and green. Those fairies’ skin shimmer with a fluorescent glow, their clothing is cross-stitched with spider webs, and their boots are soft butterfly cocoons.

My job? My job?  I am in charge of slugs and carnivorous bugs.  In fact, I am President of Chapter 207 Union of Scavenger Bugs. One assassin bug attacked me, put me in fairy hospital for a week.  Best week of my miserable life, the only best week.

If there were even one thing about my job that I loved, that would be wonderful.  But as it stands now, I live in fairy mud hell.


The above italicized underlined words above have been provided by Carolyn at Worlds and Words in the weekly Wednesday Words. This Challenge was created by Delores years ago to challenge bloggers to leap out of their genre, using a group of unrelated words to create a poem, prose, whatever. 

These are fun and I always love playing with them.  Post your take in their comment section or at your own site!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Prayer for Our Country

American Flag
Passion for Freedom

God our Father,
Giver of life,
We trust the United States of America
to Your Loving Care.

You are the Rock on which this nation
was founded.
You alone are the true source
of our cherished right to life,
Liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Reclaim this land for Your Glory,
and dwell among Your people.

Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts
Of our nation's leaders.

Open their minds to the great worth of 
Human life,
And the responsibilities that 
accompany human freedom.
Remind Your people that true happiness
Is rooted
in seeking and doing Your will.

Grant us the courage to reject 
the "culture of death."
Lead us in to a new millennium 
of life.

We ask this through Christ Our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer for our Nation  Since this was copied from a site, the words are highlighted in white.  And my computer choose to highlight my own words.  It also, it seems, has free will.

God has given so much and He has taken away.  He is in charge.  We are not.

We are responsible for our choices.  When an opportunity to help or influence a needy person, that is through our own will.  When there is a time to help and we ignore that time, that is through our own will.

Free will, that is a gift from God.  We may implement that gift or we may abuse that gift: our choice.

Think of that as these days and years following this election.  Complain or don't complain.  Support newly elected leaders or don't, your choice.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pop the cork...balloons drop..confetti in the air...



Yup.  The insanity is over. OR has it merely begun?




Benedict Cumberbatch (sigh) and James Corden






Maybe there is also another performance yet to come?  More to come? 



Monday, November 7, 2016

One Day More



It is Monday, November 7th, 2016. Tomorrow is Tuesday. Election coverage will be non-stop, intense, dissecting, and I will not watch it at all. After all the blood-letting, the televised advertisements will come to a blessed end.  



This is James Corden's Karaoke in "his" Uber car service. There are several other karaoke episodes, all entertaining in their own way.  

This time Corden's car holds major talent:

Lin-Manuel Miranda (writer/director/music/actor of the Broadway Award winning musical Hamilton), James Corden; back seat Jane Krakowski, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Audra McDonald.

One day more...

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Let There Be Light

\
space-nebula-blue-and-red-galaxies
Source

Towers as dust rises

Pillars of creation

Eaten by brilliant light

Divided and torn

Infants emerge

Fire explodes

Streams of gas

Towering peaks

Arrows sail

God's Heaven

Thus magnificent photo from the Hubble Telescope has been provided by  Carolyn at Words and Worlds. Please visit her site and find some excellent words and thoughts theres.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Music is Eternal


In the music world, what is super popular comes and goes.  Do you remember any peculiar one-hit wonder?  Do you remember a group that came out strong, with a string of weak hits, and then disappeared?



Music has those in weak lines of music, and music has the eternal, immortal music that reverberates with every generation.

Beethoven’s 5thHandel’s Messiah?

How about Les Miserable?


The above is "Bring him home" from a concert presentation. Not everyone has seen this performance, sung by Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean ValJean. The four tenors below have also held the role of Jean ValJean.   




Will this join the legendary music of the past?  I sure hope so. How can it not?



 I hope you can access this site: 17 Tenors from around the world



Monday, October 31, 2016

Joy of Pumpkins

English pumpkin field

Already stores are setting out Christmas decor.  No more ghosts or witches haunt stores. Halloween night is a few hours away, so best hurry, get the good candy (chocolate for yourself, and Jolly Rogers) before ragged monsters and fairy princesses knock at your door.

But, for little children, there is no bigger joy than sitting on one’s first pumpkin.  And we adults are awed by their smiles. Oh, sure, they like the candy, but sitting on a pumpkin will always be a photo op, a fond memory.


It takes just one pumpkin experience to remind us how marvelous creation is and how utterly awesome is God who created it all.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Wed.Words: Passion


Angel readings
Source

There were two types of people crammed in an elevator heading to fifth floor: those who smiled, nodding; and those who huffed with condemnation.

Stuffed tightly as in a jar like a jar of pickles, people were heading to the top where a conference on “Passion for Christ” was being held.  A grandmother holding her grandson’s hand was also attending.  The huffing group glared at her tattoo of an angel wrapping up her arm.


In actuality only a few held that passion for Christ, Grandmother being one of them.


The above underlined words were given as an encouragement to writers to take a leap at different genre. The Wed Word meme was started by Delores who is now writing her own blog, and handing off the word challenge to other bloggers.  Currently, Elephant's Child is providing words to encourage writers to write. Post your own Wed Word take in her comment section, or at your own site, inviting other bloggers to read.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Monster Mash


One knows that Halloween is at its end when all Halloween stuff has left Lowe's, and Christmas stuff is in its place.

So, as a last homage to Halloween, this is given to you:


To you and Halloween monsters knocking at your door, Happy Hallowed 'eve.

Monday, October 24, 2016

There she was, just walkin' down the street....

Image result for stiletto shoes
source
There she was, crossing safely in the pedestrian walk.  While I sat, idling in my conservative car, I found little to do, except to watch this woman make her way slowly to the curb, leaving her car a few houses up.

She was someone no one could ignore, including a car beside me.

Wearing stiletto shoes, glossy black with red soles and heels, she understood how to wear these shoes.  She strutted, proudly so. Legs were white--almost un-naturally white—and they were long and lean. 

Legs led up to short black skirt, so short that her butt cheeks peeked out below. They were white, skin was white even there.  And she wore a clinging red sweater outlining full breasts.  No fat hung off her, a black patent leather belt cinched an already tiny waist.

Her face, oh that face. It was white, so white, with blood red lipstick spread on heavily on full thick lips. That was when she turned her head to gaze defiantly at me and other moms watching from their cars.

She tossed black glossy hair, teased high and out.  Midnight black eye shadow with massacre framed pale blue eyes.


Carrying a metal storage clipboard, she glanced down at a paper, then at the street sign.  Finally, she reached the sidewalk, and strode down into a residential area, walking past family homes.
We all drove on, heading to pick up our school children. Catching each other’s eyes, we realized what we had seen: a street walker, walking down the street.


 She had an appointment to keep.



Friday, October 21, 2016

Rock 'n Roll, full of sin, die and go to hell!


1950s was an amazing time in every sense.  My parents and all that generation witnessed growth beyond their expectations.

What remains unchanging is fascination with Rock 'n Roll, its beginning and growth.  The following video is about 7 minutes long, but watch some of it and smile. Awesome interjections by preachers and judges.


From YouTube

Do you remember any of this? How old were you then? What did your parents say? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Second Annual Lobster Festival, Murrieta, CA

First Annual Lobster Festival, 2015
Sunday, October 7-9, 2016, marked the Second Annual Lobster Festival in Murrieta, California. It was a rousing success by all, including ourselves.

Where did all those find their way to our community? Murrieta is far as it gets from Maine. Air fare to ship that many lobsters is staggering.

One day of attendance

There were too many lobster vendors to count.  Lobster mac & cheese?  You got it, over there.  Lobster with butter?  Cajun Lobster? Over there, buddy. Lobster gumbo? Same place 

Dig in!
Everywhere.  And, what was impressive, was the huge steam tank into which live lobsters were dumped. And then young men carried tubs of freshly steamed lobster over to the vendors. For more info, please access this site, Web site.

Happy people
Granddaughter Lily was ready for it all.  “Just don’t get in my way…”  Granddaughter Clara was “Ah.  I’ve had enough of it all.”

Somehow a petting zoo was worked into the festivities, and was ringed with children.  Clara’s time finally came.  Clara petted goats, sheep, pigs, chickens—all the usual. Chickens were amazing.  I have never seen a chicken stand quietly, let alone be touched. I believed firmly that those animals had had a dose of sedatives.

Lily returned, saying, “Steer Clara away from here, before she sees…”  the dancing chickens on Hawaiian Dancing Chicken Grill BBQ.

It was too late, Clara was there, sobbing.  “They killed them! They murdered innocent chickens.”


Clara sobbed all the way to the car.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Veronica Darling: About Me

Veronica Darling: About Me: Hi! Welcome to my blog, where I write about sewing, crafting, DIY-ing and living in Shanghai! I'm an Australian, living in China's...



You have to check out this site if you sew.  Which I do.  Love this.