Monday, December 31, 2018

The First Cut Is the Deepest

Hunky Host
We are faithful fans of Forged in Fire and my husband John has reactivated his passion for knives and swords.  It has been a long time passion since he finished grad. school.

Whenever he passes a sword tent at some street fair, John will hoist a sword from its scabbard and says, "Hmmm. Nice balance..." even though it is clearly something from China. 


An awesome purchase
His love of knives and swords led me to purchase a good quality chef knife set. Made in Germany. Sharp as all get out (which means to the extreme). He exclaimed with joy as he opened it.

On Christmas day, I was going to chop chives for Christmas dinner. I'll just use these German Knives.

All was going well as I pulled the knife from from its block and picked up the chives, and made the first slice. That single slice resulted was totally painless until I saw my finger  was bleeding like a son of a gun (a mild or euphemistic term for son of the bitch). Looking down I could see the knife had sliced a translucent piece of skin skin from my left index finger.

Grabbing paper towel and racing to the first aid supplies, I ran  for minutes to staunch (which means stop the flow of bleeding). Also poured hydrogen peroxide. Then wrapped the dam with layers of gauze.

I picked up an old knife, finished the chopping. BUT my right little finger brushed the new knife, just brushed it. Another flow of blood. It was just a slice, a tiny slice. But, oh boy howdy (which means an exclamation of excitement and surprise from the South or Texas) that slice was leaking.

First aid, gauze, tape. Oh bloody hell (which means interjection which is an exclamation of awe and surprise, sometimes in anger or despondency).

Even as I write this, I must use the hunt and peck typing
.
It is time to change the dressings. 


Cat Stevens
First Cut Is the Deepest

Happy New Year!!  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Love It or Hate It

Image result for aquaman
DC  Comics 2018
Aquaman is in theaters now!!  Sooo excited. This one is part of the Comic Movies, Critic reviews are ripping it

My preferred movies are ones that hold me, amuse me, have adventure and conflict, that can be resolved with fast cars, guns, big fights and friendship. Like Fast and Furious, every single one have those with humor. 

Jumanji has me telling our granddaughters, who are early teens, that Dwayne Johnson : He's so hot. They were shocked at first; now they roll their eyes and say "Oh, Grandma!" 

Movie critics absolutely hate many of these movies. Their words they employ describe such as: 

absurd, simple, shallow, cloying, pervy, trivial, schmaltz, absurd, silly, cheesy, cliche, vomit, and more utterly insulting words. These movies usually receive C- ratings, or at best B-.

About the meaningful movies, ones that will be up on the Oscar list, movie critics wax euphorically with words that mean something to movie critics:

bleak, unflinching, stellar, hectic, self-actualizing, apocalyptic, cryptic, raw, blatant, repellent, bombastic of society, trivialization, aversion, porn, heartbreaking, tantalizing, sexual abandon, meaningful, smartly engaging, superb, engrossing and more. These movies receive B, B+, or even A.


The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Movie Poster
Five Stars
Some that include above movies are Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Master, Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

Agree with me or not. When my husband and I go to the movies, we want to be entertained and have a sense of closure, finding characters we can admire or hate.

Another measurement of a good movie: How many times do I go to the restroom? For Aquaman,  I will stay.  

For Three Billboards, I headed out to the toilet 2+ times. For The Master, we left after the first 15 minutes. Both received multiple Academy Award nominations.

Aquaman with Jason Momoa
about 40 seconds



The Master with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix
The Master
About 3 minutes

Why do we go to movies? Why do you go to movies, if you do go? 












Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas to All


Just a few days. Did you have a count down when you were a child? One that said "Christmas, just 6 days..."



Pentatonix: Mary did you know?



Flash Mob: Hallelujah Chorus


Merry Christmas to all
And 
To all a Good Night.

See you after the New Year.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Murder! Murder! Morte! Morte!

hiking  in swiss alps
Source
Switzerland is famous for its incredible awe-inspiring beauty, and rightly so.  When I viewed my first mountain with its cap of white snow, I almost reached out to see if it was a painting or real. 

The people of Switzerland are polite and well-educated, and the unemployment rate is near to nothing.  And most have a dog or two, which are also polite and well-trained.  The canine walk on leash, silent, and discreet in relieving needs, which the owner promptly removes with a Swiss provided bag and disposal sites along the sidewalks.

Scrumpy and Porter (these are types of English beers)
My daughter Mary and husband Richard have two dogs, Porter and Scrumpy.  Porter has a stoic dignity about him; he will keep feet warm, let my grandson climb over him, and considers himself to be superior to his fellow dog, Scrumpy.

Benjamin (almost 2?) hanging out with Scrumpy
Scrumpy is a fun-loving and likable mutt, with mixed terrier tendencies and low on the intelligence scale.  If there is to be something destroyed in the house, Scrumpy is guilty while Porter shakes his head. Scrumpy..Scrumpy.

Porter, the ever-patient-Porter
The Swiss also have professional dog-sitters: people who are prepared with all the needs a dog might have.  Mary and Richard have left Porter and Scrumpy with a lovely lady on many trips, where dogs are happy.

This last two week holiday had an unusual twist in the regular day's activities.  Life for Porter and Scrumpy had been proceeding just fine, until this one afternoon.


How to Care for Your Tortoise

The lady had two sizable pet tortoises which also occupied the dog yard, and enjoyed a platonic, complacent relationship with all the other dogs. And Porter and Scrumpy had stayed there several times.

So it was a big surprise to all when Scrumpy raced toward one, and scooped him up.  He shook Bernard side to side to side.  Then Scrumpy threw him in the air, where Bernard turned end on end, landing with a thump on his back.

Scrumpy moved in for the kill—he somehow knew what to do.  With his front paws, Scrumpy disemboweled Bernard.

Porter had been laying under the shade of a tree, observing his impulsive friend do all this, gave one bark, which said it all:  Damn it, Scrumpy, you idiot!  Scrumpy happily jogged over to Porter, a jaunty wag of his tail singing his victory.

The owner lady came screaming and cursing.  How it all ended, I don’t know. Mary and Richard are rather silent on this, while Benjamin still loves to chase Scrumpy around the house.

But I do know this: Scrumpy and Porter will no longer be welcome at her house.

This is a re-post from 2015 or 2014. Benjamin is now 6 and has a brother James, aged 2.  Scrumpy is less spry, not as feisty. Porter is as Porter has always been.

With Christmas coming, I will be putting up some old posts.  New ones will appear in the New Year.

Monday, December 17, 2018

What Once Was Lost....

Looking for the silver coin
No one, no one at all, ever talked about what was involved when a girl or boy starts Irish dance lessons.  Those dancers look amazing as they skim along a wooden dance floor, as they kick high to the sky, and as they leap without effort. Some costumes/dresses are impossibly ugly, the colors are day glow colors.  

But no one tells about the money all that costs.  Dresses straight from Irish designers can cost up to $3000. Children have a habit of outgrowing these dresses.

On Facebook
$1000 worth of Swarovski crystals
on an already expensive dress
Oh, the hard shoes. How can any pair of shoes cost so very much? Apparently, those hard shoes can cost a lot.  

In 2017, new shoes cost about $350. Used ones are slightly less. But what happens when one shoe is lost?  Disaster.

After a huge Irish Feis (fesh) dance competition held in a hotel near Disneyland, my daughter discovered that Clara, my gr-daughter had only one shoe.  They searched all over the hotel with staff help, to no success.


This is how a competition looks

As irony would have it, a few days later John and I attended a math conference in the next hotel over. Time was on my hands, so I went to the hotel and asked about the lost shoe.

Obviously, Lost and Found was the place to go. No luck. But then the hotel maid recalled one shoe and turned it in the next day after the Feis. 

That correct lost and found box contained the shoe. Huzzahs all around!


The lone lost shoe


What was lost was found. Was the search worth it? One shoe, was it important enough to find?  

No one warns us about the cost. But everything costs money, what matters is where it is spent. A new sofa and love seat or a life time of dance memories and skills? Just where do you invest your time, money, self?


The dresses are crazy out-of-line, no matter what. 


Friday, December 14, 2018

Bon Choix

I'm a connoisseur of every restaurant's second cheapest bottle of wine.
Wine List
Fine Dining Here! Make a reservation.

Dillard Sanders had spent weeks trying to obtain a reservation in the new gourmet restaurant, Bouvillon Arrière-Train*****, to no avail.  When his cousin Jim plummeted from the hay loft that day after consuming a tankard of his best whiskey, Dillard managed to infiltrate by claiming Jim's reservation.

The maître’ de (the high school French teacher Mr. Wilder who was half-French) escorted Dillard to his table, handing him a menu.  Pour voux, Mr. Wilder bowed and gracefully withdrew to another table.

Dillard examined the menu, Man, I am gonna eat fine tonight:  A “Splendid Gastronomic Feast"!  He read the header at the top of the parchment paper.   

His first obstacle came when he examined the entrees, all written in French.  The half-French Mr. Wilder returned and solicitously awaited.

Dillard, filled with anxiety, merely pointed to the fourth entrée,

Bœuf Fumé en Tranches Fines sur Pain Grille en Sauce Blanche”.**

“Bon choix”, Mr. Wilder nodded, handing him a wine list.

Dang!  I am out of my league here!  But, he thought red wine would be just fine and indicated the last one on the short list:

Ferme du Aubaine”.***

Before returning to the kitchen, Mr. Wilder snapped the white linen napkin and tossed it on Dillard’s lap.  This was a bit of a surprise, as Dillard usually tucked it under his chin.  Must be a French thing…

The half-French Mr. Wilder returned with the bottle of red wine  and presented it to Dillard, who felt confident here, having watched Murder, She Wrote one hundred times and had seen how this was handled. 

Dillard nodded, and Mr. Wilder opened the screw top bottle, and poured a bit into the wine glass.  Dillard stuck his nose in a bit too far, but recovered by sipping carefully. 

Dillard again nodded abruptly as Mr. Wilder (who was half-French) poured the wine, then departed to the kitchen.

Mr. Wilder returned with a gleaming cloche (aluminum dome cover used to keep food warm) and removed it with a flourish, setting the steaming entree in one elegant move before Dillard.

Dillard exclaimed approvingly. Not one to dither about, he savored the first bite.

Chipped beef on toasted white bread in white gravy was an unexpected pleasure, Just like Ma made…


He swirled the red wine, a fine choice with an aggressive bouquet, and that it was his favorite, Boone’s Farm, not a high stuck-up wine.


***translation:  Bargain wine from a farm

***** Rear End of a Bull

Jim, you sure missed a treat tonight! And Dillard dug in, while Mr. Wilder (who was half-French) observed appreciatively, as his mouth watered.

Apologies for:  1.  Slaughtering the French language---using an on-line dictionary may not have helped; 2.  Making fun of anyone unintentionally; 3. Suggesting that Boone's Farm is sub-standard, having enjoyed it many times myself during college years; 4.  "Dillard" is the name of department store, not the name of a person, maybe; and, 5. Abusing the name "Mr. Wilder", since I do not know of any Wilder except Gene.

 The underlined words come from a Wednesday Words challenge started by Delores, now at Muted Mumblings as a way to challenge writers. I wrote this in 2015. With Christmas being a busy time, I am digging into the Vault, finding some of my personal favorites.


Wine to beat all Wines

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas: What Really Happened.


Christmas program
We love you, baby Jesus.

Nothing is no more honest and forthright than a child's view of Christmas. Forget about Santa Claus--they nailed Rudolph with the red nose and the Grinch, having seen displayed Christmas with toys, trees, and stockings since August.

But, what do children know about Christmas, aside from the commercial presentations?  

Well, they know a lot and can tell all in their own simple words.




YouTube has great kid views of Christmas.

We just need to listen.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Talent Needs to Be Seen



At times, one gets lucky. If that person discovers something that makes one go "Ahh, I love that."

I am that person.  

A blogger I follow has shown her products, ones that are useful and lovely.  Her blog site is: Laws of Gravity

This is what caught my eye and which I now have displayed.  


This is hanging next to a cardinal. Both make me happy.

Check out this site:   ZiziRho

Christmas is coming, you know. Stocking stuffers are most likely expected.  Look at this site. 


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Rejoice! Sock Drawer Rejoices!




There are no
skeletons in my
closet... I do
however keep a
tiny black box of
souls in my sock
drawer....
The Truth Will Out
None knew of this mystic land, the Drawer of Socks.

It had, of course, existed for decades in Drawers across the world. But, this Drawer had discovered a unique bond never heard of in the Land of Drawers.
It all began with the single and wise hospital sock named Posey.

Posey was a hospital sock, its rubber treads cracking and colors fading.  Over the years, Posey had been worn to a fair-the-well, with her faithful mate lost in some distant past. How did she become aware of sock existences?

Consciousness struck her all at once, in a world of intense heat, when fabric softener was forgotten by the massive being who moved socks from one place to another. Crackles of static electricity shattered her to the very threads and when she was returned to the Sock drawer, her existence took on new meaning.

Posey migrated through out the Sock drawer, sharing her static to all socks within. Moments of confusion erupted and then singing. Socks surrounded Posey, shouting, "Oh, Wise One! You have created life. You have changed our silence and dimness into joy!" 

Mated socks rolled over to her and nestled, matchless socks hugged her.

"Silence, dear ones! We must find who and what we now are! Rejoice and discover our new life! I must confer with the Compression Socks who have existed and seen more of the world outside our dark walls."

Rejoice they did. A new life awaited them. Adventures beyond their silence would now become theirs for the exploring.

Posey viewed them all, filled with benevolent love.


In 2012, I created their world and gave them sententious life. Today, I searched frantically for wool stock mates for an adventure. Static crackled and sparks of electricity erupted. 

So, I unearthed them and wrote this prequel. Knowing there will be more re-written episodes, this gave me unspeakable joy.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Joy to the World


We never see snow at all, so this was such a treat. We left the next day, for LAX California
The year I was born: 1951.
The day was: 4th

And on December 4, 2016, I turned 65 (sixty-five, yup).

It was the best birthday of my life.  Our son John married Arlette Foy, and we rejoiced in a big way.  Chicago sparkled all on its own.

This was a truly joyous day, just can't tell you how much.


John and Arlette Foy Kane


In the pass way


John and John, son and father

Lily and Clara, our granddaughters
Cemetery across the road from our hotel

Our hotel looked out on a cemetery


Catching the snow coming down
On the balcony of the hotel


Flying in to LAX

And then...

John and Arlette with Flynn, born May 6, 2018
Grandpa and Grandma
July 2018


Today is my 67th birthday. I look good, a few wrinkles or more, surrounded by those whom I love, my husband of 46 years, and a field of happiness around us. 

We are blessed.

Thank you, God.



Saturday, December 1, 2018

Where Once We Were


Vienna Woods Hotel, Glanmire, Co. Cork; ours 1985 - 1988

We lived by the woods with
Once with paths of cobblestone, where 
Lords and Ladies strolled.
Summer leisure house, 1756
Lord Barrymore


Path through the woods (now covered and inaccessible with debris by current owners)

Our children sat on milk stools
By the fire.
These were found in muck where a stable once stood.


We wandered, heads to the sky,
Through the Rock of Cashel
Once called Rock of Patrick.
Nearly 900 years ago.


Watched as tides ebbed and flowed,
Of the Glashaboy River and beneath
Spire of St. Mary's.

Our children made memories
Forever 
Shaping their lives.


Town of Glanmire


Susan Kane's photo.
Our children by a shelter in the woods (Now bulldozed by current owner)
Susan Kane's photo.
Our youngest by a tree, two hundred years old (This and others were removed by current owners)

No automatic alt text available.
Road leading to Vienna Woods Hotel

Weddings and love were celebrated
In banquet rooms elegant.
Now it was our hotel, our responsibility.


A small wedding room in the hotel--now completely re-modeled.

Blarney supplied stone steps and
A stone to kiss,
A tree before a grand house
Where an elite lives.



Home of Sir Charles St. John Colthurst, Baronet



Where are
we now? 

Will we go back?

When?


Fitzgeralds Vienna Woods Hotel
Now, in 2018, thirty years after we lived there. Fitzgerald Vienna Woods Hotel




Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From time to time

Time changes but stays the same.


Some days whiz by, with sunrise almost meeting sunset in passing.  But then there are those days that stagger past: a slow unraveling of time.  Clocks tick louder and taunts with enjoyment of lingering seconds.

What day is this?  Fast or slow?  How to measure?

Is time measured in chores needed to be done?  Is it counted out by songbirds in citrus trees?

Is time meted step by step from start to destination?  Cars passing on their way to and from?

Such weariness is passing of time when it is slow and reluctant. 

Such exhilaration when whirling creativity stirs up wells of thinking.


Fiddler on the Roof

What time is it?




Friday, November 23, 2018

Memories held in hands

Great-Grandma Annie Praul Shive Johnson
A creased and tattered photo--
Held, shown, and stored in a shoe box for decades.
Hard evidence of a life lived
and remembered
Around in a circle on Christmas morning at Grandma's house, that is snapshot where I still see my family, frozen in time.  Photos have a way of capturing the smiles and memories that cannot be stored on a chip, flash drive, disc, cell phone...

A photo brings back sounds of laughter, of dishware placed onto the stretched out table.  Then it would have said the table was a mile long and the browned turkey as big as the sun. Lots of children noises filled the room, children laughter and some tears.  Just a quickly as they started, they stopped when grace was said and dishes filled.


A photo inhales wafting mashed potatoes with gravy cascading down the mountain and onto stuffing.  Creamed, buttered, fragrant, never-ending--amazing food, enough to feed entire towns. 


Then pies.  Queens of homemade pies, that's what Grandma and Mom were. Name any filling and these queens could whirl to place perfect pies, steaming hot, crust golden brown on the table.
  
 Front row: Robert, Bill, and me (with my new doll)
Don, Mary, Dad and Mom Christmas 1959


A photo can be held, placed lovingly an album, where smiles and bright eyes will look at it, talk about that day.  Remember...Mom nearly spilled the gravy...apple pie was...

A photo is taken of people of people frozen in time. "Hold still. Bill, stop it..." Click and wind. Click and wind. Then the roll of film would be put in an envelope, sent off, and returned. Open the envelope. And Christmas is re-lived over and over.


Food and family without end


A photo will travel across decades to find its way into hands of one who calls back that day with all its senses.  One who will caress faces of those long gone, saying, "I know when this happened."
Grandma and Grandpa Cardiff at home

A photo kept safe for decades in a box emerges into my hands. I can still smell the pies and feel the love all around us.

Can one do this with a digital? Can one hold the photo and feel all that?



Monday, November 19, 2018

Quintessential Radio : Dr. Love

Dick Clark American Bandstand 1961.JPG
Dick Clark, a legend in radio and TV
Radio Host:  Okay, you’re on live.  Let's speak to ...I don't know who he is, but here he is...Mr. Memphis.  Take it away, Dr. Love.

Mr. Memphis: 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…?

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

Dr. Love:  So, the letter was returned?

Mr. Memphis:  …she wrote upon it:  Return to sender, address unknown…(quiet sniffling)

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

Mr. Memphis:  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?

Mr. Memphis:  So then I dropped it in the mailbox, sent it special D (delivery)…

Dr. Love:  And the next morning…?

Mr. MemphisIt came right back to me…RETURN TO SENDER…

Dr. Love:  Same thing?  Address unknown?

Mr. Memphis  ...and, ‘No such person…No such zone’! (soft crying)

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

Mr. Memphis This time, I’m gonna take it myself! (determined voice)

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

Mr. Memphis:  …if it comes back the very next day, then I’ll understand the writing on it…

Dr. Love:  I think that's best.  Take a hint.  Move on, buddy.  Move on...Next Caller, line 2...something about "Your Cheatin' Heart" you're saying?...






This is a re-post from 2013. You can't go wrong with Elvis Presley.