Sunday, May 29, 2016

Life is too short to....well, lots of things...

"Life is too short to drink cheap wine" is now repeated way too often, but it is still has meaning. With that thought, life is too short to do many activities.  Here are a few I have compiled.  In the comment section, please add your own thoughts.

Life is too short to:

...always order chicken from a menu because it is the cheapest entree. and eat CostCo or store bought sushi.

...use duct tape over and over to mend the same object; this indicates laziness. ignorant of history. mean. freezer-burned meat

freezer burned sausage links
freezer burned meat

...stay out of the rain.

...avoid stomping in a rain puddle. TV for hours and hours. video games non-stop.

...miss a sunset.

...waste your time. bitter.

...hold a grudge.

...miss opportunities to learn.

...lose a friend by choice.

...forget those who helped you when you were helpless.

...accept rudeness from a check-out or store clerk.

...make judgments. (Only God has that right.) away from problems. stale grocery products.

...use cheap toilet paper. store-bought pies.

...hold back love.

...sleep on an old mattress.

...give up on people, relatives.

...walk quickly through a rose garden.

...dismiss an art museum as "boring". walk by a child without giving him/her a smile.

This list is probably short compared to what could be.  Add some below.

Friday, May 27, 2016

WW...the life of a Dodge Charger, Fire Red

Charles sighed deeply, gazing at his brand new, fresh off the show room floor, Fire Red Dodge Charger, lying in a field just off the road. Just a dent...I wouldn't mind that.  But this??

Taking that last U-bend on hwy. 238 and then skidding to miss a stray sheep had sent Fire Red spinning out and over onto weeds and grass of some rancher's field.

It did not matter now how many fluoride rinses and teeth extractions Dr. Charles Bentley, DDS, had done to buy Fire Red, now a totaled mass of metal, seat belts, open door, and shattered windows. 

He managed to "extract" his phone, and call 911. Sigh.

Note: there was no way I could insert "espionage" into this and keep a cohesive story.  Instead the Table of Elements will come into play. You will need to use a magnifying glass to read this.

The Periodic Table Of The Elements
This page provides names of the symbols.

Es = Einsteinuim**;  P = Phosphorous; I = Iodine; O = Oxygen; Na = Sodium; and, Ge = Germanium

**This is an element, a mighty small one, named after Alfred Einstein. It is metallic and radioactive with a life of 20.8 minutes.

Works for me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It is only another a birthday--get over yourself...

My wedding cake did not look this nice!
Dear Janis,

How I enjoyed talking with you to celebrate your 60th birthday!  Listen, turning sixty is not painful, honey.  In fact, it has perks.

You were always sitting at "Little Girl" table, only you did not realize it.  That table complains about going to the gym, missing out on desserts for weight issues, etc.  Now?  Eat the damn dessert, screw going to the gym.    The Big Girl table still does yoga on occasion, but eats the creme' brulee.
People will/may ask you for advice about all sorts of problems.   The Big Girl can share a wealth of that knowledge beyond the question asked, when they wish you would shut up. Let your accumulation of grouchiness cut loose, and to hell with 'em.  

You  can go to movies, get the discount (pitiful as it is) and say "Excuse me" walking past lines seemingly without realizing it.  Even pass some gas along the way. 

And, this is the best one, we smile knowingly at those 40 - 50 year old women who are going through menopause. The Big Girl tells them "It will be over really soon!" knowing good and well, it will seem like forever.  WE are in the Big Girl Club and THEY are in the "Misery Knows No Bounds" Club.

Those in the Big Girl Club can ogle young handsome men, even hit on them. Those hunks get embarrassed, but we can freely look at their muscles and tight buttocks, because we are the  Big Girl Club. We are their grandmother's age, and they smile at us and we lust back. They won't "hit" on us--they know it, we know it, but we are in the "Big Girl" Club.

My dear one, there are so many joys of turning sixty.  Now, turning sixty-five really sucks, but it can't be helped. So, get over yourself.

Smiling for you,  
Mom (age 84)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lark in the Morning, pt. 2

Ah, sure'n tis overkill.

                                            Derek Byrne and Sean Beckland on YouTube

This is just a follow-up, spontaneous thought.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Lark in the Clear Air by Samuel Ferguson

Singing Birds
Lark that sings at dawn
Dear thoughts are in my mind
And my soul soars enchanted,
As I hear the sweet lark sing
In the clear air of the day.

For a tender beaming smile
To my hope has been granted,
and tomorrow she shall hear
all my fond heart would say
I shall tell her all my love,
All my soul's adoration;
And I think she will hear me
And will not say me nay.

It is this that fills my soul with its joyous elation,
As I hear the sweet lark sing
In the clear air of the day.

Sir Samuel Ferguson, Born 10 March 1810, Died 9 August 1886
Sir Samuel Ferguson, "Perhaps the most Irish Poet 
in the 19th century, because of his interest in Irish mythology
and early Irish history, he can be seen as a forerunner of 
William Butler Yeats and the other poets
of the Irish Literary Revival."

Friday, May 20, 2016

W.W.--It's a rough life--but someone has to live it.

Wallowing in self-pity
I am tired of wallowing in a life that swirls  around on a figurative spindle with no results.

I am tired of smelling smoke of bratwurst wafting from that neighbor just below my apartment.

I am tired of blaring music from another neighbor above me from Trinidad.

I am tired of big boob blonde neighbor across the hall, who parades around in new purchases from Victoria's Secret, 
down around the courtyard. (Actually, I don't mind that part at all, being a red-blooded American male.)

I am tired of that toothless, knobby knees codger on first floor apartment 
ogling the blonde as she struts around applying sunscreen.

Dammit, I am just plain tired of it all.  In fact, I may move out of Mom's apartment when graduation comes (after five years of studying ancient Sumerian history) 
and get a job as a shelf stacker at Barnes and Noble.

The underlined words are Wednesday Words, 
a meme began by Delores from Under the Porchlight who wanted to challenge bloggers to enjoy a break from their chosen genre.

Fighting computer frustrations, Delores handed this challenge off to various bloggers.  This month's words are provided by Mark Koopmans, with Elephant's Child posting the word lists.

If you would enjoy a change of pace, visit E.C. site to collect the words!  If you plan to post at your own comment section, please let us all know, so we can hunt you down.  Or you can write your poem, prose, short story, whatever, posting it in the comment section in E.C. comment section!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W. B. Yeats

Jupiter and Orion Shine
Had I heaven's embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

The Author – William Butler Yeats <ul><li>Born in 1865 & died in 1939 </li></ul><ul><li>Published  over 350  works </li></...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Queen of the Carnival

Abandoned Trailer Home. Tulare County, California. DSMc.2012:

Today I am thinking of Theresa.  

I see her with her dark curly hair, smooth dark skin, living in a land of Wonder Bread.  In my mind, she is surviving with her brothers and parents, moving from place to place, always starting over.  See her catching the bus, eyes cast to the ground, hoping no one noticed her.

I can see her yet, a small teenage girl, shivering with anxiety.  A dark skin among a sea of all white, Theresa was drowning.

It was strange then and even now to me.  

On Friday near the end of May, our Yellow Bus had bumped down a dust and gravel road, everyday passing a weedy patch, hiding a rusted and faded single wide mobile home. With weeds almost engulfing it, this tin can of a home for years had been empty, with overhead wires feeding it power, and buckets to carry for water.

Then, on Monday there parked by the battered trailer was an equally rusty station wagon.  

On this Monday, Theresa stood waiting where gravel met weeds.  She ducked in quickly, and scooted over in the seat behind bus driver.  She shrank down into her shell, dark straight hair shading, covering her face.

Days careened into each other, until Yellow Bus stopped to release Theresa on the last day of school.  And that seemed to be it, no more stops and hiding behind her hair.

Carnival!  Yearly Carnival weekend arrived for its annual weekend of wonder and excitement! Lights and games and rides--glamour and side glances at the exotic carnies!  

In the middle of rides and games stood a booth for choosing "Queen of Carnival".  A photo of each candidate hovered over a gallon glass jar, where one could drop some coins.  The winner would be the one with the most coins, meaning not just pennies, but some silver as well.

I looked at each familiar face, lovely young women all of them.  Donna?  Betty?  Maryanne? ...and then there was a photo of Theresa over an almost empty jar. Theresa?  Is that you?  

Theresa and her family walked around the Wonder Bread street.  Whispers followed them--India?  My dad was in India during the War... Dark skin and oiled coal black hair, deep brown eyes were proud, defying, almost angry.

The sun set on a last night when a queen would be chosen and crowned, culmination of all the lights. 

In the moments before the jars were to be collected, Theresa's brothers carried bags of coins to pour into an almost empty jar sitting beneath the photo of Theresa's smiling face.  Handfuls of coins rained into the jar, over and over, until overflowing. 

Judges walked around and looked at each photo, at each jar.  Stopping at Theresa's coin filled jar, each nodded.  One took her photo and walked up steps of park's bandstand.  Standing at the foot of the steps were Theresa's family,dark eyes reflecting bright lights only a carnival could have.

When her name was announced, Theresa stood tall, a queen in Wonder Bread land, walking up steps.  A crown was placed on her dark hair while Theresa cast a brilliant smile across the town.  Her father stood proudly, tears down his face. His daughter.  His girl was queen. 

For the entire summer, whenever Theresa and her family ventured into town to shop, she always wore her crown.  Every single time that homemade crown-- made of cardboard covered with heavy duty aluminum foil, caked with glitter and shiny sequins--perched upon her dark hair, now pulled back away from her glowing face.

When it was time for Yellow bus to make its its daily journey, the car was gone, leaving the trailer, new weeds growing.

Queen Theresa moved somewhere, taking a glow of one night when she was crowned.

Where did she go? Does she still wear the crown?

Friday, May 13, 2016

...But I have promises to keep...

What’s the deal with jQuery Deferred objects and Promises?
To keep or not to keep
Promises.  How many promises do you make?  How many do you keep?

Without doubt or hesitation, I know that God keeps His Promises.  Mercy and love, impartial judgment and grace, integrity and unchanging character, compassion to the weak crushed by life, forgiveness and salvation...endless list.

In many blog posts, one will express pain and suffering or depression over losses, or heartbreak.  In the comment section, so many sincere followers give comfort and sympathy.  And then, there is "I'll be praying for you" somewhere in the comments, or "Prayers and blessings".  

But, I wonder are these phrases are actually followed?  Once the words are written and the cursor goes to publish, will these word be acted upon?

This is not a criticism, for I write these words myself, but simply a question.

Robert Frost wrote in "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" this last quatrain, 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

But I have promises to keep.  Any type of promise?  Yes, it would seem so.  A promise to bring a salad to a potluck is an easy promise--CostCo.  A promise to meet at 2:00 can vary from 1:55 to 2:05 (we are obsessive about this.) is still an easy promise to keep for most people. My in-laws are lax on this.

But to say "I'll be praying for you" is vague.  Perhaps this sentence should be followed by "I promise". This is one promise that requires commitment and sincerity. It needs to be kept. 

Can you do this?  Do you keep your promises? Why, or why not?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Humor me for a few minutes. I need someone to listen to me.

My grandmother's award for graduating high school in 1906.  I have seen these in many antique stores for $10. My offspring do not want this to part of their inheritance.  What to do with this?

Humor me for a few minutes.

Take a look around your blogging spot.  Then walk around your kitchen and bathrooms.  Walk through all the other rooms.  Then think: What do I really need from these rooms?  What could be ditched without a thought?

This is a surprising and eye-opening activity.  At least, it was for me.  Why did we buy that?  Why are we keeping a hand imprint of our 40 year old daughter? A clock that stopped working last year? A plate from Mexico? 

Stuff. That's all it all is. Stuff from a trip we scarcely remember and stuff placed there because we had no other spot--why are we holding onto it all?

Strange how 27 years ago we moved to this house when our youngest daughter was eight, middle child Johnny was eleven, and older daughter was changing into a confused fourteen year old.  They grew up, stepped into careers, and moved away. The pool grew silent along with the house.

This leads us to look at communities for us semi-old folks and move.

First we will go to Home Depot for quality boxes, load up bags of stuff for Good Will, and call for a pick-up from Disabled Veterans. Second, we...we..really, I don't know how to take the next step. 

Thanks for humoring me.  I appreciate that.

We have looked at this boulder for 27 years.  My dad called it the "boar's tooth".  

Our orange tree was already 20 years old when we moved here.

Our fireplace, with grandson's toys

Of course, I realize there will be another fireplace, another place 
for the Christmas tree. Oranges can't be replaced, and the 
Boar's Tooth must stay.  There will be photos and sweet

The sunset we see from over the ocean.
Our Christmas tree 2014

Monday, May 9, 2016

Just how effective are commercials? Would you change deodorants after watching one?

Dang it, but some commercials are delightful.  They are creative, well done, and clever.

We always record programs we like on DVR, so we can fast forward through commercials for dish soap, paper towels, etc.  But a few of the others have prevented touching the fast-forward button. These make me smile when they appear (frequently).



On YouTube:
What do you really see as you walk by store windows?
Evian water--Live Young!

AND, finally


Now, this makes wonder just how much TV we, and many others, watch.  A lie detector was lying around here somewhere.

What about you?  Have you ever been caught by a commercial?  

Friday, May 6, 2016

Wednesday Words from May the fourth be with you

The best job ever for Brenda was volunteer work: one who wandered around the library and collected books left on tables..  Who would read this?  What a huge book!  Gotta write this one down!... Smells of old and new books were both invigorating and soothing.

The Orchid Thief
Pushing the shelving cart, Brenda grabbed books, reading titles aloud.

"Orchid Thief" Non-Fiction?

Glasnost, Perestroika, and the Socialist Community
A serious book about a serious time
"Glasnost, Perestoika and the Socialist Community"The spine is barely creased open.  Must be a very serious history.

"Vacation in Margaretville, New York"  A real page tuner.

A worthwhile read
"Walter the Farting Dog" Read this to my younger brother.  Never again.

"Wind Talkers" Saw the movie, Nicholas...what's his name..Cage? With Adam Sands?
Windtalkers (Score)
About noble Navajo changing the course of War
An excellent book
"Like Water for Chocolate" Mom was reading this one, once and then twice.

Nancy Farmer Website
"Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer" Loved this book! 

More time remained on her shift. Seeking out "The Islands of the Blessed" by Nancy Farmer, Brenda settled with a sigh, beginning with the first page.

The underlined words are Wednesday Words, 
a meme began by Delores who wanted to challenge
bloggers to enjoy a break from their chosen genre.
Fighting computer frustrations, Delores handed this
challenge off to various bloggers.  
If you would enjoy a change of pace, visit E.C. site to collect the words!  If you plan to post at your own comment section, please let us all know, so we can hunt you down.  Or you can write your poem, prose, short story, whatever, posting it in the comment section in E.C. comment section!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Students, those precious students

School's out for summer....
The last days of school place horrible stress on students and teachers alike.  For the teachers, it is a sprint to finish report cards, say "good-bye" to students, clean out classrooms, return texts to the library, and everything else.  It was truly a sprint, because all the tasks were a finish line that depleted teacher resources, both physical and emotional.

Hard on the students?  In what possible way could leaping into summer vacation be difficult? Daylight-filled soccer games with friends? Time to ride bikes through neighborhoods?  Eat watermelon?

That is a small percentage of student populations enjoying summer with those activities.

But for the other percentage, summer is horrific.  

These students live in small apartments, surrounded by relatives from Mexico.  There might be 20+ people sleeping on the floor, with children in corners on a blanket.   Postage size green play areas cannot accommodate all the children from those apartments.  Green grass is trampled to dirt. Parents take them to a park?

You gotta be kidding me.
Parents are working two jobs.  Cleaning houses, picking produce, working as maids in hotels, and other low paying jobs.  Food?  Slim pickings there.  Who watches the little children?  The bigger children watch them.

Once school ends, so does the free breakfasts and lunches.  Students came to school, having not eaten since the last school lunch.

Once school ends, structured classrooms, which provides friends and learning, disappear.

Once school ends, students may move back to Mexico or out closer to the produce fields, where they can also pick strawberries, beans, melon, and just about every food product that they cannot have in their house.

Is reform in the works? Possibly.
Side by side with their parents, students learn to pick quickly. Depending on the policies of the produce companies, students and their parents may or may not keep or eat some of the produce.

Those students, those precious students have tears in their eyes when they leave the school grounds.  And so does the teacher.***

***There are programs that provide free food, clothing, and activities, but not every family can access them. I know you can feel my anger.  You probably feel the same.   

Just how much meat does a BBQ require?

Spectre aka Dementor, found in
A part of Harry Potter saga

CostCo is a horror to experience on any week, any day, or any hour.  So much fortitude is required to gird up any given body part when entering its gates of hell.  Once a membership is flashed to an employee, air is sucked straight out of one's lungs and a spectre of doom hovers around anyone with money in pockets or purse.  

Common sense flees, prices seem reasonable, and the hunt begins.

We had a list given to us by his sister:  a specific list for specific number of guests.   Twenty hamburgers,  twenty hot dogs, and six chicken breasts to be halved seemed very reasonable. 

When reaching the meat section, my high I.Q. husband starts figuring and asking, "Does one hamburger really mean these? Where each is larger than my hand? Six pounds--is that enough?  Chicken? Nine pounds?  Can one chicken breast really be halved and be substantial? And, hot dogs?  Surely not the cheap ones, skinny and pathetic.  Let's buy these."

$25 + $25 + $40 + .... It was $175 totaled up for twenty people to eat just grilled meat.  What are our relatives?  Ravenous cannibals, piling plates with nine dollars worth of meat? 

Then John reasoned buns and condiments were necessary.  Throw in a jar of jam, a new purse for Mother's Day, a three-pack Redi-Whip, and some vitamins, our wallets opened as spectres vacuum green bills, and a nice cashier smiled, "Have a good one."

God help us.  We are too old to take this pressure.  When CostCo was Price Club 30 years ago, we called it the One-Hundred Dollar store, enjoyed strolling the aisles.  Now, it is closer to Two-Hundred-Fifty Dollars, and our legs hurt.

Still our car wanders there.  It is an addiction.

Just a note: our BBQs usually end up with much charred meat.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sis...let's make some...

Robert Peck, 1951 - 1997

All my life, my family has called me "Sis".  Now that there are only three of us, hearing "Sis" comes less and less frequently. That fact pulls out stories  about a few of those times.

My brother Robert was born January 14, 1951.  Then about eleven months later, I was born on December 4, 1951.  We were inseparable, sometimes enemies and sometimes friends.  But, always always we were ready to be there for the other.  

Robert was able to talk me into cook or bake a treat for him.  How, I don't know.  "Sis...let's make some..."  only he did not do the work. 

He convinced me to make deep-fried onion rings on Sunday afternoon. My hair smelled like onions even when we went to church at night.  Had to shampoo several times to remove that odor.  Then he thought frying up some bologna sounded good and I made that for him.  

But, Robert's favorites were anything sweet.  Again, he would say, "Sis...let's make some..." I would sigh, but there would quickly be some dessert of any type.

Here are some of his favorites, taken from Mom's cook book given to her as a wedding present in 1946. The binding is gone, pages fragile and crumbling. Lots of splatters and wear speak volumes.

God bless Betty Crocker.
She taught many war brides how to cook.

Sis. How I would love to hear Robert say "Sis...let's make some..." again.  I probably would mix up hundreds of batches, just for him.