Saturday, April 20, 2019

Balloon of the Mind

hot air balloons floating in the sky
Kenny Luo@kennyluoping
The Balloon of the Mind

Hands, do what you’re bid,
Bring the balloon of the mind
That bellies and drags
In the wind,
Into its narrow shed.

Wm. B. Yeats
A Drinking Song

Wine comes in at the mouth
And Love comes in at the eyes.
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift my glass to my mouth,

I look at you and I sigh.

W. B. Yeats
William B. Yeats—always a favorite of mine.  

Always follow the balloons. 
Drink good wine.

Life is too short to drink cheap wine.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Snail School 101

Garden snail, half out of its brown shell, on a green vegetable leaf.
The have somewhat of a personality
Parents had forced Sam Snail and all his mates to attend the class on snail safety, where posters covered the room:

“An Informed Snail is a Safe Snail!”

“It’s not dandruff, you idiot!  It’s salt!”

Source: Wikipedia

“A stupid snail becomes escargot!”

Mr. Goo, the oldest snail in the community, scanned the adolescent snails with his antennae.  “Listen up, you slimy slugs!”

The snails convulsed with laughter---the slug joke was an old one. 

Then all became quiet as the spectres of snails long gone before filled the room.

They whispered, “Grass is good.  Sidewalks are bad….” 

Then Mr. Goo shouted, “If you are ever besieged by a bunch of birds, then kiss your shells good-bye.”

Intervals of laughter and silence of doom broke up the rest of the day.  Finally, class was dismissed.

Mr. Goo shook his antennae. "Poor dumb Molluscan GastropodsHalf of them won’t even make it home."
YouTube, about 3 min. long
I suggest fast-forwarding

The underlined words are from Wednesday Words, a writing challenge for all writers to inspire their writing.  This challenge was begun by Delores years ago and is still continuing.

This post is from 2015.  I know, I am digging into the archives, but why not? Why the heck not.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Morning Tee Off

picture of the golf 7
a good walk wasted

When Evan dropped dead in front of his golfing foursome, Frank responded quickly.

With his brand new E. Vogel Palmer golf shoes, he nudged Evan, and turned him over.  “Damn!” Frank cursed, looking down at the grass around Evan. “Now I have grass stains.  Damn.”

Clem interrupted. “Well, you insisted on a morning tee-off time. Wet grass is always brutal then."

All looked down at Evan’s still body.

Jack spoke up. “Who will be our fourth?!  It isn’t likely Evan will be regenerated anytime soon.”

Frank shook his head.  “No help for it.  Let’s head back to the clubhouse after we play the next hole.  We’ll tell the Front Desk about Evan.” He nudged Evan once more with a heavy sigh.

This is a 2015 re-post with some re-writing.  Underlined words are from Wednesday Words, developed by Delores as a way for writers to challenge themselves.
I really love using words that have absolutely no connection to each other.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Shelves and Shelves of Bottles

1st Writes Photo

Over the years, Helen had dusted the shelves for her Great-Aunt Elspeth.  At first Helen could reach only the bottom shelf, and Aunt Elspeth had praised her. 

“Oh, what a magnificent job you have done!  Someday,” Aunt Elspeth had pointed to the very top shelf, “you will reach that shelf!  I will let you choose the bottle you love the most!”

Each time Helen polished and cleaned the shelves, she gazed at the bottles so far out of her reach.  ‘Someday…’  One time Helen would favor the green bottle, but the next time she dusted, she desired the pink bottle.

Years stacked up in numbers as Helen grew and she could dust the next shelf, and then the next.  Which one would she choose?  The blue?  The violet?  So lovely, so hard to decide.

When Helen could just almost reach the shelf, Aunt Elspeth dropped dead right in front of her. Dead, darn dead.

By this time, Helen was now grown as much as she ever would; she was a mother with a small child.  As she closed the eyes of her now-deceased aunt, Helen smiled gently.

Then Helen found a sturdy stool and a box.  She stepped onto the stool and stood level with the shelf.  Gazing fondly at each bottle, Helen sighed.  

Reaching carefully, Helen spoke loudly, “One?  Hell, I’m going to take them all!”

Re-post from 2011. Some posts still make me smile. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Kindle Windle Valentine

Gone walking

Kindle Windle Valentine

Went looking for something
He could not find.
It need not be something gentle or kind.
But something where the road would wind,

Which would be just fine.

Kindle Windle Valentine stumbled and fumbled,
Then rose to his feet.
Questions to complete,
Questions in his mind that rumbled and tumbled,

Should he seek a world for believers?
Should he seek a place for dreamers?
Should he seek a space of solidarity?
Should he seek a dance of clarity?…

With hands on his hips, a whistle on his lips,

Kindle Windle Valentine

Was undone, then done by all his searching
with thoughts in his mind.
He was tired of walking and working,
To find a place of comfort he would find.

Which was where he started,

Which was just fine.

The underlined words are from a Wednesday Words in 2015. Delores of Mumblings created this as a way to break writer's block, to toss out a challenge in writing.

This tumbled and rumbled in my mind and this stumbled out.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Age of Not Believing

I've never let anyone talk me into not believing in myself. Muhammad Ali Quotes
Rush in hopeless circles
Searching for truth,

At the age of not believing 
Make-believe is gone.

Set aside heroes,
Put imagination on a shelf.

All has become an

Age of not believing,
And self doubting. 

 A Castaway
No one hears.

A barren isle 
On a lonely sea.

Where are endings with smiles?

Where did those dreams go ?

The age of not believing.

All that was ever known.

Start believing.

Marvelous can be true.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks was a favorite of my family and I still love it.
Angela Lancaster is 93 yrs. old and apparently still feisty.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Up, Up, Up in the Sky

This is a photo prompt provided in 2015 by Delores

Flying in this yellow box with wings and engine, Melba smoothed her new silk dress.  It cost her $600, the new purse $400. Dammit! I've saved for this moment, I deserve this!

When her long-time beau, Clarence, decided to take her up in his brother's plane, Melba hesitated.  James was an okay pilot, she had been told.

After a spectacular loop and bank, Clarence turned to her with a giant diamond ring in hand, "Will you marry me, Mel?"

Melba looked at him in a daze.  She opened her $400 handbag.  "Blaaah!" as she threw up in it and all over her dress.

It was a moment to remember.

Re-post, changed and rewritten, September 2015

Friday, March 29, 2019

Music, Oh Their Music

Lyrics, quotes, and music image

The irony of being our age is that now we can afford to go to concerts of our favorite singers and they are our age:

They have given their last concerts. Some have retired, some have health problems, and some have died.

Oh, they all were so very much the part of our youth, our parenting days, our middle age years.  When we hear a vinyl classic on radio, we sing along loud and smile.

We did see Willie Nelson, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, and Ricky Nelson.  Good memories. Ricky is gone tragically and Neil Diamond retired with Parkinson's. Dylan is still performing, at age 77.

Gladly, Willie Nelson is still with us, still performing at age 86.

Official video, Just Breathe

In 2017 at Harrah's in Valley Center, California, Willie and his son Lucas Nelson performed. I gave (expensive) tickets to my husband for his birthday and we sat in good seats and they were worth it.

Lucas Nelson started the performance with his own incredible voice like his father's and his amazing guitar skills. He was part of A Star Is Born by Bradley Cooper's request.

Then his father walked out on the stage and the air was electric with us fans shouting, clapping.  

It was obvious that Willie was ill, coughing and having difficulty breathing. He sang and played some of his classics, Lucas and brother Micah with their father's voice. For that all too brief time, it was a gift.

When Willie left the stage, he tossed out his battered straw cowboy hat like always. We clapped until our hands were numb. Then Lucas picked up where Willie left and gave us a concert I will always remember. (Willie had pneumonia, had to cancel the next few concerts.)

You know, someday he'll hand his battered guitar to Lucas. A talent like Willie Nelson's will continue even when he steps off the stage and walks on ahead alone. 

I wonder what he will be singing?

This is a chat about their lives, affect of his music
about 3 to 4 minutes

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Truth about Fairies

working with fairies
Being a fairy is no easy job, I tell you.  I know the truth. I have been one for years, and hated every moment. Every. Single. Stinking. Moment.

Oh, sure. Some fairies paint flowers, some water lovely green plants. Their primary job is to care for the planet, keeping all plants healthy. 

They flutter around with gossamer wings, whatever gossamer is.

Their soft skin shimmers with a fluorescent glow, their clothing is even cross-stitched with spider webs, and their boots are soft butterfly cocoons. 

They even have great hair. Damn them.

My job? My job??  I am the fairy 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.

This a re-post-rewritten-upgraded from a "Wednesday Words" challenge for writers to see what they could do with the underlined words back in 2016.

I love taking an old post and changing it.  Also, it shows me where I was as a writer then.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Old Men in Caps

Canes, walkers, wheelchairs

Old men.

Navy WW II
Army Air Corp

Korean War
Vietnam war
Now, war in places unknown.

US Navy air craft carriers sending planes to fly off
Army Air Corp, carrying food, supplies,
and bombs—

Women who served,

but hidden.

Men and Women,

not on the front lines,
But at home, making survival

Gold embroidered
On black.
Proud to wear their caps.

Old men in caps.
Walking away,

Walking on ahead.

Oldest veteran of WW 2, Richard Overton, died at age 112 In December 2018

Lately, I see very few WW 2 veterans, as most are in their nineties. When I do, I shake their hands and thank them for what they and their comrades did.

Now, the Korean vets are the old fellers. They still walk straight and tall. Shake their hands and thank them for their valor.

The Vietnam veterans are from my era. I thank them and ask how they are doing after their unappreciated service. We talk a while, share our memories of friends and families. 

My small county with the rural towns had many men who headed to Vietnam. Some returned, some returned but with scarred memories, and too many found their ways home in caskets.

Now veterans from this era come home and are welcomed by a grateful nation.  Too many come home with prosthetics and horrible scars. If you meet one, shake their hands, thank them for what they and their comrades sacrificed. 

Try not to cry.

 This was originally a re-post from 2013, now re-written.

My appreciation and understanding have grown. I have shaken many hands.
We live near Camp Pendleton.

Hugging the kids

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Road Rage Gone Wrong

Sometimes, no written words are needed. Indeed, no photos are needed at all, just the voice.

Pay attention to rules of the road. 
And, also, be sure to watch out for little old ladies.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Hoist a Pint

A stained glass image of Saint Patrick at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Port Clinton, Ohio. (Credit: ‘Nheyob’, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
What St. Patrick can teach us.

Saint Patrick's Day: At (King) David’s Pub and Winery

(Scene opens in Heaven, at the Pub.  Seamus and Patrick are sitting at the bar.  Patrick is asleep, with his head on the bar counter.)

Seamus (St. James):  Say, Paddy, now.  Wake up, you idjit. (Slaps him on the back.)

Padraig (St. Patrick)/Paddy:  Ah, Seamus.  Can ye not leave a good saint ta a daecent sleep? (Wipes some drool from his cheek.)

Seamus:  It’s yer people there, Paddy.  They’re at it again.  (Leaning over his pint, looking down on the velvet green) Sláinte.

Paddy:  Oh, Mother of God, is it that day already? (Shaking his head.)

Maire (Mary):  Paddy, was it ye who called?  Oh.  (She looks down on Dublin.)  So.  Yer Irishmen are up and celebratin’ yer Holy Day.  (Seamus and Paddy stand up and pull out the chair by a gold-gilded table.) The day ye up and died down there. (Maire settles into the chair.) I'll be havin' ta usual, Dave.

David:  Here you go, Maire. (He places a Waterford Crystal Rosslare sherry glass filled with Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry) 'Tis only ta best for ya, love. (She smiles and smooths her blue gown.)

Paddy:  (Looking down) So it ‘tis, Maire.  And would ye look—Chicago dumped green into ta rivers again!  As if that meant a ting, Lord help us.

The Lord God: (enters with angels singing and clouds billowing)  Was it ye, Paddy, that called m’name?  (Seamus and Paddy vacate their pub stools immediately.)    David, here, be a good man, and pour me a glass of cider.

King David:  Ta', My Lord.  The best Yer Hands ever made, here Ye go.  Have at it. (David pushes the glass over to God, who has settled down on a stool.)

The Lord God:  So, Paddy, what’s troublin’ ye, up here in heaven?

Paddy:  Oh, it’s the Irish people agin.  They’re after celebratin’ my holy day with all sorts of carryin’ ons.  And it bein’ Lent, ‘tis a sad ting ta behold.

The Lord God:  (quaffing a satisfying amount of apple cider) Well, ye know, Paddy,  People ha’ forgotten jest what I did for them, sendin’ ye to Ireland.  They were a terrible mean group, worshippin’ trees and such, ‘fore ye taught ‘em about the Trinity. Those seamro'g . Set them for ye.

Seamus:  Yer right, My Lord God.  An’ Paddy drove out dem dere serpents, and done all them miracles.  Ye did right good work, there.  (Seamus pats Paddy on the shoulder, who nods and perks up a bit.  Maire rises, holding her sherry, and stands next to The Lord God.)

The Lord God:    ‘Tis my desire that ye shake the Irish up a wee bit.  Paddy, ye go down to yer holy wells—there’s one down near Clonmel I’m partial to.  Stir the waters up a bit when ye see group there.  And, Maire, go ta some of yer holy grottoes, and send some tears down the cheeks of yer precious image.  That’ll make the Irish think a bit.  I bet ye’ll see more pious Irish at Mass come Good Friday.

Seamus:  I’ll go along with ‘em, My Lord, jest to keep ‘em company.  (The three saints exit.)

The Lord God:  (watches the saints depart, and laughs softly) Ah, there go some fine saints.  Glad I made ‘em.  (He leaves the pub in a cloud of glory, with angels singing.  David gathers up the glassware, and hums “When the saints go marching in…”  Scene ends.)

If I have offended any, please forgive me.  

This is a re-post of 2011.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

You're Home

open hand
Patsy shivered in the new home, despite the heat and the friendliness of the other occupants and the happy sounds, despite the good food waiting for her, despite…everything.

She had never, in her whole life, been in a place where she was welcomed and where nothing was expected of her.

Someone approached her and Patsy reflexively ducked her head and curled up, waiting for the first strike and subsequent kick, over and over again.

Instead Patsy found a kind hand and quiet reassurances that she was home, that this was now her home: love, friendship, food, and a warm bed were hers if she wanted them.

If she wanted them?

Patsy licked the offered hand and gazed into the gentle eyes, with her tail wagging for the first time in a long time.

How to find help organizations worldwide:

"The way we treat our children in the dawn of their lives,
and the way we treat treat our elderly in the twilight of their lives,
is a measure of the quality of  a nation."

Hubert Humphrey

"The greatness of a nation
can be judged
by the way its animals
are treated."

Mahatma Gandi

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Value of Vicissitude

Hubble Photo
“…the Universe, presupposed  to limitation and thinking that the Universe remained in a state of stasis, astronomers were astounded to discover, that inexplicably, with a smidgen of disbelief, space as we had known it to be, was in fact, in vicissitude…”

Phil’s head now lay in the lap of female physics major beside him as his snore reverberated off the walls of the huge, completely packed lecture hall.  Silence reigned as Phil awoke with a small embarrassed giggle, wiping the drool from his cheek, “I’m in the wrong lecture hall.  So sorry…”
He ran through the doors, throwing his Advanced Physics textbook into the nearest garbage can.  Even though the book was worth $300 used, switching his major to Social Sciences seemed a better choice. 

Vicissitude is applicable in many ways.

Some time ago, I was stumped as to what would be interesting for a blog post. Mind was blank, so I found an old college dictionary and let it fall open:

Vicissitude--I had no idea what it meant. So, this is a stab at what would be a most horrible place for me to be.

Vicissitude struck me as a good choice. I mean, haven't we all found ourselves in a situation where nothing made sense and we had to make a sudden change?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Great Expectations

We moved from our home of 27 years to a retirement community. It feels like we live at a time share with elderly people of all generations. We are the age of many residents' children. Living here is a gift.

For scale

part of 70 lbs. in 2016
But, we miss our dwarf orange tree, our 40+ year old tree which produced copious amounts of precious orange globes. It was fabulous. There were so many that the idea of doing anything with them in the kitchen was overwhelming. Juicing them was daunting and lost its novelty darn quick. Instead, I walked around the neighborhood several times and gave them away.

Given that, I insisted we plant a blood orange tree in our new community, knowing it would take At least two years to produce. Huzzah! it did.  Twelve oranges, precious gems all of them.

for scale
It was exciting. I bought jam-making supplies to supplement my 12 blood oranges and make blood orange and berry jam: 1/2 pint jam jars and rings w/lids, extra 5 lb. sugar, 3 lbs. of frozen mixed berries, extra navel oranges, Sure Jell the tune of $30+.

The rest of the dishes are in the dishwasher. 
Followed the directions and it took three hours from start-to-finish, and also cleaning up dishes and kitchen.  These are the results:
Six 1/2 pint jars


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Hey, there!

Could you all do me a favor and check out my other blog, please?  I am trying to expand my writing and encourage people to read it.

The address is:

Going on, Going forward Susan Kane, Writer


Easter Sunday 1960
It was so important to Mom that we were dressed nicely.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

No Votes for You

I follow only my relatives on Facebook, and that's it. My sister-in-law's husband Phil is a brilliant man, truly brilliant Senior Directer of IT in a school district. He obviously searches for and finds the weirdest stuff to send onto us, people who love him.

But, every now and then, he finds gems.

Image may contain: text
Woodrow Wilson had suffragettes picketing White House
They went on a hunger strike.  Then they were force fed raw eggs. More info

Here are some key phrases from the article you may access in "more info":

"...clubbed, beaten and tortured by guards at the Occoquan Workhouse...33 suffragists from the Nat'l Woman's Party had been arrested Nov. 10, 1917 while picketing outside the White House for the right to vote."

Some women were "tied by (her) hands to bars above her cell and forced to stand all night." One "suffered a heart attack and was denied medical care until the next morning". Hunger strikes resulted in forced feeding.

But there is more that happened. I won't detail the horror performed upon them.  This is something to relay: "The superintendent W.H. Whittaker (who) ordered beatings, called for Marines to guard the compound."

Pres. Woodrow Wilson and the Democratic congress stayed silent. 

This unequivocal torture and cruelty lasted so long, indeed long after U.S. involvement in and after WW1.  

At that time, 20,000,000 million women being regarded as chattel in America alone. In some countries there has been little or no change regarding the status of women.
Okay, I am done reciting the horrors of history and women.  

Thanks, Phil.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Who are you? Who... who? Who...who?

Michelangelo's Creation of David in the Sistine Chapel
The single touch

After spending/wasting a good part of the afternoon, the truth has emerged.  GENI© has wandered through the family line of my mother’s grandmother, Sarah Ann.  Twisting and turning, I followed only the male line for ease of surnames, there it was:

I am related to God Almighty!  God Almighty is my 93rd Great-Grandmother!

Sarah Ann introduced some great genes into the humble family line, as her husband Elish’s information dead ends when he was orphaned with his brother in Ohio. 

Her ancestors came from England = from Wales= from being the King of the Druids Wales = from Italy = from land of the Hebrews.  The researcher(s) made some phenomenal leaps to some conclusions that announced Adam had a daughter (!) who started the whole march of lineage.

While I could be rejoicing here, there are few things I know already.

I am a Child of God, the bloodline is Christ’s blood. And I also know that the jump from Sarah Ann involves some crazy speculation: God Almighty is not my 93rd grandmother.

I will take this part about brutal leaders because they are just plain cool:

Brân “Fendigaid” (the Blessed) ap Llur Lieddiarth, Saint, Brenin of Silures

Or, Cerwyd ap Crydon, King of the Druids and Cornwall

Or, Tros, King of Troy.

P.S. My mother always told me that “Grammy” Sarah Ann had been  "kidnapped" and raised by Gypsies and had the gift of second sight. Mom believed this, and I believe her.  

Actually there is some truth to this one. Her family came from Europe to Kentucky as part of the immigration of Romanians, also called Gypsies. People came to her to read tea leaves and receive natural herbal healing.  

I wonder what tracing through the matriarchal lines would show me?

And, Queen Elizabeth 1 is my second cousin 14 times removed!  
Queen Elizabeth I
The formal painting of Elizabeth 1, now hanging in Hatfield House

This is a re-post from 2014 w hen I was researching my mother's side of the family. Left off from that to do other writing.  Recently I did the DNA tests, connected with cousins from my father's side.

Heck of a thing, DNA. It showed me that I have Viking blood. Makes sense.