Saturday, November 27, 2021

Love floating in the balloons.


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.
Wm. B. Yeats

Enjoy, and follow the balloons.

This is a post from October 14, 2013. WB Yeats is my favorite poet.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

I have finally arrived.

                             The "Kid's Table"

This is THE Thanksgiving! Victor laughed as he placed two casseroles in the back seat of his new hybrid Toyota Prius.  His new pristine, low maintenance Prius—Victor eagerly caressed the leather seats around the Jell-O™ salad and hot vegetable dish.  How I love the new-car smell!

After years of wishing that he could finally sit at the Thanksgiving Adult Table never seemed feasible, Victor squirmed excitedly as he started the engine. The Adult Table!  And, I am only 25! Great-great Aunt Agnes had died in August, moving Victor up the roster from the Children’s Table.  At last!

Jell-O is Utah's official specified snack.
  He glanced back at the assigned dishes he was bringing.  Man, I was lucky with these!  Improvising, Victor had thrown together a lime Jell-O™, along with some fresh kiwi and fresh pineapple (see note belowęśś).  These guys were on the verge of rotting…sure lucked out!

The odoriferous steaming hot Brussels sprouts, swimming in Cheese Whiz™, wafted fragrantly through the car. Victor opened the window, and in those few seconds, that precise moment, the beat-up Honda ahead of Victor’s precious Prius braked suddenly.

Victor braked hard and swerved, barely missing the damned Honda. 

That one moment sent the gelatinous Jell-O flying, covering the precious leather with green slime.  Brussels sprouts bounced merrily around the leather seats, leaving ball-sized Cheese Whiz dots there and on the ceiling.

What to do?? What to think??  Victor’s mind spun in search of an answer.

What do you think he should or will do? 

Note from Jell-O box: Do not use fresh or frozen pineapple, kiwi, ginger-root, papaya, figs or guava.  Gelatin will NOT set.
Many thanks will always be given to Delores, the founder of Wednesday Words (underlined above).

Friday, November 19, 2021

Wednesday Photo Prompt: Auntie Marie

 Wednesdays are always fun for me. The Wednesday Words are entertaining and challenging.  This week there photo prompts provided by Margaret Adamson, and her friend Sue Fulcher. The prompts will also include photographs taken by Margaret's friend Bill Dodd.  

Here is my take on those photos:

Auntie Marie reached a shaky hand to the iron work. It had been once black and strong, now it was covered with lichen and rattled. Pushing slightly, Auntie opened it with a creak and rattle.

What had been a garden with pinks, red, and yellows was a tangle of brambles. The house had been one filled with people and family. Now it was bare brick, windows long boarded up.

Auntie opened the heavy door, dust floating in the still air. Closing her eyes, Marie whispered, "I'm home. Do you hear me? I am home."

You may find more bloggers and their comments at Elephant's Child. Head on over there and also to River where prompts are posted.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

A Field of Punkin' Chunkin' Candidates


A fall festival with fun for the entire family – contests, prizes, games, live music, carnival and more!
All are welcome.
Each season in the Midwest has its celebrations and events where there are glorious reflections of community and its people. Traditions date back decades or even centuries where ancestors and their following generations can hold hands across years.

The Midwest, along with the rest of the world, has an event approaching in the first days of November: Pumpkin Chunkin'. I have to believe this event arose from leftover Halloween pumpkins to Medieval ages. Maybe or maybe not, Pumpkin Chunkin' has evolved from simple to complicated.

Here is an official statement from the WCPCA:

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) is a trademark nonprofit that raises money for scholarships, as well as organizations that benefit youth and the local community. 

We host a signature pumpkin-launching event each year, fueling innovative engineering and science-based ideas that draw spectators from all over. 

We believe that Punkin Chunkin cultivates the odd, challenging, and competitive quest for distance that inspires creativity, ingenuity, teamwork, and passion. 

It is this very dedication that drives teams to compete using science and engineering skills and brings spectators to the gate which allows us  to continue our never ending thirst to support our scholarship and charitable programs.

YouTube, about 3 minutes long

There are several divisions from historically accurate to serious military grade.
The passion is the same, love for the event is palpable, and enthusiasm seeps through the attendees.

The above YouTube shows the divisions and constructions. The one below sticks to traditionally accurate 1,000 years ago trebuchet:

About 6 minutes long, skip ahead.

Despite all the mechanics that can overshadow the joy of finding a pumpkin in the field, we look at those faces and hear "Over there! That's the one I want!"

I do not know how many years we have scampered over the fields, chasing grandkids. Each time is like the first time.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Heart of the Sea


Movie reviews are supposed to help movie goers decide what to see.  Most of those who write these reviews seem to have forgotten why people go to see movies.

We go to escape.  To enjoy.  To be part of something bigger than ourselves.

We do not go to examine the plot line, seek to deride director errors, editing decisions, actor choices or screen writer inadequacies.

When I wrote this post, “In the Heart of the Sea” was story about a story.  Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”, had sought out the one of the survivors, adult Old Man Tom Nickerson who had been the traumatized youngest of the crew on the whaler ship, Essex.  It was a bloody, horrible story, and this survivor needed to wrench the images of memories from his tortured mind.
Some strong actors deliver strong performances.

Brendan  Gleason is the adult Old Man Nickerson, who saw the horror of whale hunts when he was innocent and ignorant. Chris Hemsworth is the strong main character who makes hard decisions. He gives an excellent performance.  

Nathaniel Philbrick.JPG
Nathaniel Philbrook
Author Nathaniel Philbrick researched Melville, the painful consequences of the Essex and the greed of the company who owned the ship. With this incredible history, Philbrook wrote "In the Heart of the Sea", based on the events of this tragedy.

Interview and relating the story was therapeutic for both the story teller (played by Brendan Gleeson) and the writer, Melville (played by Ben Whishaw) . Tom Holland in a young actor on his way up: think Spider Man).  Even so, film reviewers turned their noses, criticizing it for lacking “stuff”.  

At This Site  every amateur critic had not read "Moby Dick".  One such critic said this. 

"Nobody gives a crap about Moby Dick.  Just THINKING about the idea of a movie about the friggin' story that inspired the story of Moby Dick puts you to sleep.  How did he (Chris Hemsworth) get paid $80 million to make that?!"  

For us, the movie was riveting.  The actors were strong and skillful.  The director was Ron Howard.  The setting was true to the times.  The interaction between Melville and the survivor was emotional and bonding. Knowing the story of the Essex and its demise hung over the audience, hoping “No, not that!”

Engrossing, hope, loss and gain, greed, a dirty industry, eminent death, and finally redemption—all make for a movie that rises above a flood of bad movies.

Please see what the whaling industry became before its demise.  It was a horror. 

More than that, see what the current intelligentsia reads or has not read. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Turn of the Road


 Charger's many fine points from YouTube.

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 table, a mighty small one, named after Albert Einstein. It is metallic and radioactive with a life of 20.8 minutes.

Works for me. Why I put the periodic table here?  If you can figure that out, let me know.

The underlined and highlighted words are from May 2016, Wednesday Words. This had some challenges. We have a red car and I enjoy the thrill of a red car.

I misspelled "Albert" to "Alfred".  Dang.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

That is the right question.


Question  James Cromwell

People tend to accept ideas without questioning the validity. Over modern times, many have nodded their heads and moved on when given such questions. This may have been part of history, but current herd-mentality changes everything. 

We just don't ask enough questions.  And then, we tend to accept the answer and take it as truth, walk on in ignorance. When we hear questions, whenever and whatever they may be, we must think through the question before accepting it, before we are blinded by the noise that floats around.

What is the instigation that pops up in my mind?  Will Smith. He is such a good actor, great comedic sense. But, why him? I mean, why would I see him as a beacon of searching for truth?

asks the questions to Will Smith

   I Robot was written by Isaac Asimov, a famous science fiction writer. His characters are intelligent, and struggle with questions, with the possible answers. He was a prolific writer. 

Synopsis: 2057 was a world with an industry that produced robots for many reasons, but mostly to assist humans. But, then...the essential  creator (James Cromwell) committed suicide. Leaving a holographic message, he asked for police detective Will Smith to investigate the whole question of why. Cromwell says, You must ask the right question.  

Why is this question important? Detective Spooner wrestles with this question and discovers the answer bit by bit. Seeking an answer to the question several times, Spooner finally does find the answer.

Ask questions, and then pursue the answers. we have the responsibility to search for honest truth. If we don't ask, then who will?

Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Magic of the Oreo


These are not real, thanks be to God.

Over the decades after WW2, there was a burgeoning of fast foods and junk foods. Drive-Thru and fast: No one even needed to leave the car.

That has not changed, not one iota.  More of this and then more of that appears.

On the sugar front, oh boy!  The list is too long to read through, but this one item is high on the list: 

The simple Oreo, at least it used to be simple. 

The Oreo started with 2 chocolate biscuits with a creamy white filling. It was heavenly. We never had them in our childhood, having only homemade cookies (that can be described only as amazing). We then learned about the only way to eat an Oreo was to twist it apart, scrape the cream goodness with top teeth, and eat the biscuit later. 

Here are some newly distributed peculiar Oreos:


Some are real and others could be "are you kidding". Time for a field trip to the store. Heck, serve them at a holiday buffet. Your family will finding this highly amusing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Hard times


As Theo rumbled down the country road to catch his cousin Victor at his business,  he prayed incessantly.  OhpleaseOhplease, Dear Lord…

Victor waited, clearly watching for Theo, his spirit battered by now.  Cell phones are marvelous things he thought as Theo braked in front.  There was urgency in Theo’s step, and some in Victor’s stance.

Theo pulled a business card from his wallet and held it out as they shook hands.  “Does this offer still stand?” Theo gulped.  “My barn was blown to pieces, and I need this….”

Victor’s eyes widened, assessing if this was a true offer.  He credited Theo for the strength it took to come there. “You mean this?  Really?  You want to sell?”

Theo nodded with determination.  “I gotta do this.  I ain’t got a choice…Does the original offer still hold?”  Oh, please say it does!

“Here, sit down,” Victor replied, pulling over a leather chair.  “I’ll make the call, ask him if it the offer stands.”  Victor made the call, spoke briefly, and his eyes widened as he made a thumbs-up. 

Theo relaxed for the first time since the windy storm had crossed over his farm.  He released a deep breath.

Victor jumped up, placing his hands of the desk.

“He’ll give you fifty more!  Think what this means!  $160,000!”  

Dropping his head between his knees, spots and stars floated in darkness. 

“He already has a buyer, some fancy dancy designer up in Chicago.  Been waiting for one of those barns in your county to tumble down! He's been putting together a collection of old reclaimed timbers for a year now. *** 

Who knew some rich person wanted the 'country touch' in their mansion. ###  Gol’durn. You’re going to be okay, Theo.  That designer is already putting together a crew and eighteen wheeler to take that wood away in the next day or so."

Victor heard the sobbing and relief in Ellen’s voice when Theo called with the news.

In the sunny week that followed, from the old growth American chestnut, white oak, black walnut, pine timbers, planks and, hand-carved pegs that had held the structure together since 1840... the hand-hewed timbers were chosen.

The collection embraced the history, decades, and lives which the barn had sheltered.
Then the old barn was driven away, charred wood remaining.

The designer handed Theo a cashier’s check, wished him well, and followed the truck back to Chicago. Victor stood on the concrete porch with Theo and Ellen.  “You’re gonna be okay, Theo. Okay…”

Theo nodded, finally seeing a brighter future. Ellen whispered, “Okay…we’re gonna be okay.” She saw, with a sudden clarity, her husband's courage.

Our old barn was taken down in the 1970s, before the trend to purchase the reclaimed wood began.  At that time, the barn was wafting in the wind.  It was sadly burned to the ground when it lay in pieces. When it was built? Possibly it was built in mid 1800s. We found items that were part of that era. 

italicized and  underlined words are from a 2015 post, and posted from Wednesday post. Many thanks to Delores the creator of Wednesday Words. Talented lady. She started a writing challenged for bloggers.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Falling into Bad Company


File:Amish Outhouse.jpg
Building Plans available
This example is in much better condition than the one at Grandma's house.

Following Halloween shenanigans, outhouse tipping continued. Every house built in late 1800 era sported an outhouse, a necessity for the pre-plumbing days.  Some were quality, meant to last for many years.  Others were built in haste and their construction showed rickety and rotting wood.  Easy pickings, they were targets of gangs of boys treading through darkness and, with little effort, tipping those over.

My Grandmother Amy lived in one of those old houses and had one of the latter outhouses.  This made her graying and rusting outhouse a frequent subject of the outhouse gang.

Each time Grandma Amy had to phone my father, who then drove through dusky hours to place the structure back over the pit. After almost every night's misadventures, Dad and Grandma devised a plan:  move the outhouse over into wild roses, leaving the pit open under a dark moonless sky.  While they waited in silence and darkness with an occasional smirk and giggle, these monsters approached through with giggles of their own.

Moments later screams and profanity were heard as surprised boys tumbled feet forward into the open pit, a not-too empty pit at that.

Grandma and Dad switched on the porch light, and armed with flashlights, they smiled down on faces of well-known-miscreant teenagers. What the.....get us outta here...damn you...

Grandma armed with a water hose and Dad with a rope managed to pull the three boys out.  A casual stream of water dripped down over the excrement covered boys, leaving a healthy amount of odoriferous matter behind.  Dad directed them to place the outhouse back over the pit, promising to inform the town's mayor about them.

Following the order of penance, grumbling in whispers, the boys settled every outhouse through out town, securing them safely and securely in place.  They even assisted my father in building a new outhouse for my grandma; they also dug a new pit for her outhouse, refilling an old full pit in with soil.

This was a memory that gave Grandma a source of giggles the rest of her life.  God Bless Her.

A few years later, an addition to her house included a toilet and sink.

Amy Lucy (Dolly) Nichols Peck
July 1970

Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Rattlin' Bog

 Oh, ho, ro, the rattlin' bog, the bog down in the valley oh....

.Good song, heard it a lot in Ireland. pubs.  Preferably with a pint, this is a fast drinking song. Try to keep up, a pint helps.

We always sang along with it all, kept up with the speed and fun.  The three versions above give a view of the pub with its party and music. Can you imagine all these musicians together?  ? A fun night, is to be found indeed if you ever get an opportunity to attend a seisun at some pub in Ireland.

Paddy Moloney died this past week at age 83. He is considered to be the Irish musician who put Irish music to the forefront.  

Basically, he played many of the instruments.

My 3-4th gr. students learned this song. We sang it during rainy days (too wet to play outside), danced until we wore ourselves out. Well, I was worn out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Who is in charge here?


Boys. What can be said about boys?  So much, a lot. 

As a teacher I enjoyed teaching boys. Cut it out. I am looking at you. And, classroom life would resume.  But girls

A classroom of girls is much like a room full of cats. Things go bad fast when Lisa has a "dispute" with Becky, and then explosions

Another time I will highlight the females of the same age.  Should be interesting.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Food, Glorious Food


Turkey time is only a month+ away, with Christmas sneaking by in the toy aisles. Each year I feel the dread of celebrating without parents and family.

All those memories of watching Dad carving the roast turkey, Mom with her pies, and me mashing the potatoes spring up in my taste buds.  Good memories. 

Any plans for a change-up with the turkey? I have been scrolling through recipes and here is what I have found. Skip the creamed vegetable and marshmallows on sweet potatoes.

YouTube "Appetite Kitchen"
This also exists.
4 minutes or so

about 4 minutes long

These were entertaining. Take a chance, considering it an opportunity.

So there you have it. Open up your horizons. Live large. Go for the gusto. Get lost in nature, and you will find yourself (or possibly die). If you think big, you will live big. Go big, or go home. Give thanks for the pie.  It is just a pie after all.  I don’t care what the problem is, pumpkin pie is the solution (with whipped cream, of course).

What will happen next? I ask, what will happen next.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

A Quaint English Village


I want to visit St. Mary's Mead for a while, maybe even more.  I would like to be one of the villagers who assist Miss Marple, in some very minor way. I'd like to meet her for tea and scones, learning  of details following the librarian's sudden death. I want to know about the frog leaping from the grandfather's clock and scaring the teacher; thus, Miss Marple knows the answer to a mystery where the frog has some meaning.

She passed away a few days ago, age 82
She was feisty.

Dame Margaret Rutherford
She is so good. Worth watching

As none of my dreams will come true, I watch an episode (excellent, too hard to choose). Go to 
List of Joan Hickson's movies . I will be sitting right next to you with a cup of Earl Grey and a scone.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Billions and Billions of Stars

Carl Sagan opened an immense door to stars and planets beyond.  His "billions and billions of stars" sentence will linger for some time. Even now, some 40 years after he opened space for many people, we still remember him.

"The universe is less now that he has left it" is what someone expressed in comments. And to whomever wrote this, this is what I feel as well. What he saw and knew is something we will appreciate for decades to come.

Sagan's devotion to teaching provided opportunities for students to learn about this new revelation we experienced, and that our children have learned. Ultimately, our progeny can look through a telescope and view the spots of light in a dark sky.

Sagan would smile and look through Hubble. Ah, there it is! Did you see that?

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Oh, it's perfectly normal!


'Oh, dear Lord, please help our nation.  Please help and protect our children. Parents must take charge to keep students safe."

Here is a sample of what is being supplied to our babies:

                                                            books online, cheaper that hardback

Obscene Sex Ed 
"Legal" in 43 States!

Obscenity Exemption Allows Teachers to Show Obscene Materials to Minors 
Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education is not what it was 40 years ago. It's definitely NOT just about human reproduction! Dangerous messages laced with obscenity can be shared in the classroom, under the guise of Health Ed. 

Laws in 43 states provide exemptions from obscenity laws permitting sexually explicit materials in schools. These materials can influence and promote illegal behaviors! 

Liberty Counsel, a non-profit legal group is rallying parents against these laws which effectively protect porn in some educational settings.  
                                                                adult to child sex
This is what our children are being spoon-fed. Some parents do not want to buck the school district decisions. But it comes down to decisions, do you want to challenge the school board? Do you want to stand up, literally? This will affect your children his/her entire life.  What your child is being taught now will only increase, all the way through his life.  First graders will be "groomed" to learn more.

"Being groomed" is another term for preparing a minor to be willing to have sex. Pedophiles groom their victims to ease a child into a relationship. A child will develop a online connection and then the pedophile will suggest and arrange a meeting. Look it up. Sadly, the pedophile is often a teacher or any adult in direct contact and a place of authority.

"Oh, dear Lord, please help our nation. Please help and protect our children. Parents must take charge to keep students safe. Give them courage."

Books by Robie Harris can be found and purchased on Amazon: 

 "Fully and fearlessly updated, this vital new edition of the acclaimed book on sex, sexuality, bodies, and puberty deserves a spot in every family’s library." as per Amazon.

Be proactive in your response to this horror. Saying "I'll pray for this" is not enough. Prayer with action is the best way to be active.


Friday, October 8, 2021

The After School Pick up lane


One seldom sees the slaughter in pickup lane for schools. Oh, yes, it could be slaughter if cars do not follow directions and get the heck out the way.

I know this, mainly because I have had after-school duty to keep the car train moving and students crossing in the lanes. Nothing makes you question the lack of humanity when parents jockey for parking when 200+ parents are doing the same. Oh, it gets nasty.

Every negative thing you have heard about parent pick-up is true, and more so.


I know, I know.  

Every driver reaches the time of insanity. One time I had the duty of the "hell drivers" in the enter line. Honestly, I had to block the only car lane that cut through and into the student crossing lane. I had to stand knee to bumper to protect a line of children. He revved his motor. I did have an umbrella and began to open it (why? then I thought it was necessary.) He peeled off and drove down the street. 15 min. later he was back, with no luck, and he moved off to the correct lane, after flipping me off.

Oh, people. Sigh.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Crawling is the first power


“There’s a storm comin’!  I tell you a storm!” Pastor Grimley yelled, pounding the pulpit.  “ARE YOU READY?”

The congregation shouted Amen, Praise the Lord…waking Emily from her nap on the pew.  Mama was standing, being one of the Amen group.

Emily rolled and then planted her chubby little feet on the maple floor.  The walking thing was still iffy, but she had the crawl-ing down.  Distance to the pulpit wasn’t far at all, and at a fast crawl, Emily could cover it before Mama noticed.

And, off she took, under pews, between legs, around feet, past purses.  Oh, Emily knew she was fearless, and this would be another time she found freedom, with her white diaper bottom wagging behind.

“Can you make a joyous noise to the Lord??” Pastor roared. Cue the organist, who joined in with a chorus from different hymns.

Emily reached the pulpit and pulled herself up, pounding on the cross.


Root out sin!  Let joy rise as a fragrance to the Lord!” He raised his arms, pointing to heaven.

Emily plopped down on her bottom, onto a loaded and ripe diaper.  You betcha!  Emily clapped and cooed as Mama came running.

Thank you, Elephant's Child for provided the bold underlined italicized words!  She tosses 6 to 12 words out at writers to take up a challenge in their writing each week.  
Go to her site and check comments, take up the challenge.

This is a 2014 posting.  I am culling through previous posts. Some of them are good, some are mediocre, and the others will never see the light of day.

Side note:  Have you ever enjoyed such a church service? We never had any pulpit vandalism, but had the "amen and praise God" congregants.