#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 5

My next salute to wonderful bloggers is really a two-fer. I don’t really remember how I found Tom von Kap-herr and his blog Cats at the Bar, but the moment I dug into his posts I was hooked. I love cats. Seeing that my own cats are all over me when I’m at my laptop, Cats at the Bar was their choice of reading materials, too.

I noticed that Tom often reposted posts from another great Kat site, Katzenworld. Katzenworld is everything cats. Pictures, information, a kitty goods shop, funny stories — everything a Kat person could want! You really need to stop by both blogs and check out their talent (although I’m told the cats do most of the posting…)

Cats at the Bar (https://catsatthebar.org/)

 

 

 

 

 

Katzenworld (https://katzenworld.co.uk/)

 

 

 

 

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 3

I love following Dave Whatt because he has a quirky sense of humor that can only be found in the UK. I must admit there are times I don’t quite understand the lingo, which makes his blogs all the more appealing. Dave says he is “… a grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil…” Being not so much a brainiac as a researcher, I had to look up plectrum and learned a new word to boot! (it’s a guitar pic, so to speak). I love to listen to local lingo, and Dave’s posts are full of them. Throw in a British accent, and reading suddenly becomes more fun!

Some overheard and misheard snatches of cafe conversation…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s doubled up simile is – He was as happy as two sandboys…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
‘No, I think it is plom David…’
‘It was a non-G bear?’
‘Join in a while with a leading heart!’
‘Eye-vade, eye-vade, and ill lucid!’
‘And the sauce easily drips out.’
‘I studied it for ears…’
‘Dometzy-doos!…’
‘Na na na na! In a pig’s eye!’
‘It was wire thinking Tom!’
‘But how grazing is it?’
‘What?… Tremors this day?’
‘We are all juicing out our world again.’
‘A weekend car-wave! Oh my god!…’
‘Whereas everything is boyfriends now!’
‘Me, I love the grey shots!’
‘You need to grow new parts David.’
‘Never say enough is words!’
‘Not even wiggy?…’
‘Sunny nay-gish, that’s only roughly though.’
‘Have a word with Donna Dominoes tomorrow.’
‘She ass me in tens you know!’
‘But I feel as though we aren’t aren’t.’
‘It was two more with that on the flight!’

https://davewhatt.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/some-overheard-and-misheard-snatches-of-cafe-conversation-46/

If you want a bit of the Brit and walk away with a smile on your face, go check out Dave and his blog at https://davewhatt.wordpress.com/.

Save the Unicorns!!

I am coming up on a dilemma soon that I don’t know how to handle. And for me, this is a big one.

We are remodeling/redecorating our house one room at a time. It’s been 15 years, and the dirty ivory carpet that I never should have ordered is potmarked with dirty shoe prints and cat puke and dog poop. You know what I mean.

So the bedrooms are turning into …. bedrooms, and the library is being relegated to downstairs last room on the left (with only a window well for light), and we are thinning out all the stuff we’ve collected for the past 30 years.

My dilemma? I don’t have enough room for my unicorn collection.

I know I know — that’s not as horrible as losing a house or a job or getting rid of baby toys because your babies are all grown up.

These are unicorns we’re talking about. Not little teddy bears or Beanie Babies or leftover rabbits from Easter.

I’m talking about unicorns.

Magical, inspirational, surrealistic horses with horns.  Signs of life and light. Ethereal. Magical…oh…I already said that. You get my point.

I’ve been collecting these little things for years. And you know how it goes — once someone knows you collect something they always buy them for birthdays and holidays. So I’ve got quite a collection spread around the house. I have framed pics, mirrors, thimbles, mugs, lamps, slippers, shelves, crystal glass, Beanie Babies, necklaces, hanging rugs, glass statues, stuffed unicorns, brass bells, tapestries, crystal ball holders, earrings, blankets, and a set of 12 plates with a diamond at the tip of their horn.

Most of these have found a home on my walls or my curio cabinet or my bedroom. I even used the tapestries/blankets for curtains.  But there are others that are at the moment on a bookshelf that is going downstairs to the new library whose only light is a window well, and I refuse to let them sit in the dark without me.

What’s a unicorn granny to do?

Our lower level is a monster pit of leftover “things” from my son’s move two years ago, plus things from family members passing, garage sale wonders, etc. The lower level is our last battlefield, and we’re going to war this summer.

I know that when I pass from this world my kids will collect all my baubles and put them in a box and out of guilt keep them stuffed in their basement somewhere. That’s no way for a unicorn to live.

But I haven’t passed and have no intention of doing so any time soon, so I need to figure out a clever, artistic way to display my life’s treasures. The main part of the lower level will be a TV/play room. There certainly has to be SOME part of that room that can house my buddies. Maybe I can find another curio/breakfront/shelving unit that I can display proudly on a back wall somewhere (so that when the grandkids play down there there are no unicorn casualties…)

At least collecting unicorns is a walk in a fantasy world. Dreams of unique creatures that can clean poisoned water and make things disappear and can take you to see the fae are indications of a healthy, albeit crooked, mind.

My hubby should be happy.  At least I don’t collect salt and pepper shakers.

 

Feeling Better = Writing Nonsense

Now that the pain in my back is almost gone, my mind is free to wander — and that’s always a scary thing.  Here are some cosmic thoughts (past and present) to get you going this fine Tuesday evening —

  •  If you ever get stuck in a time warp and wind up in another time, you can always become a bard. Think of all the lyrics to rock and roll songs you know!
  • If time travel is impossible, why do I hear myself saying things I said ten years ago?
  • Coca-cola is green without coloring. Ewww.
  • They say it’s better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. Does that mean if I tried to read the dictionary backwards while sitting in a bathtub and singing God Bless America and I didn’t want to stop until I was done singing and the house caught on fire because my cat knocked over the candle I had burning in the other room and I had to stop reading the dictionary, was it better never to have tried that stunt in the first place?
  • If infinity is infinite, and we can see no end to it, how do we know it’s even there?
  • Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
  •  It is a fact that the closer you get to the speed of light, the more time slows down. So isn’t a moot point to drive faster, when you actually arrive at your destination later?
  • Why does everyone on TV eat Chinese food out of the carry out container with chopsticks? I have yet to see one actor eat Chinese on a plate with a fork! I mean…come on…
  • The theory of relativity suggests that before the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, space and time did not exist and matter was packed together in a tiny ball. Okaay…how tiny is tiny? As if it matters…
  • You spend your entire life living and eating and dancing in three dimensions. But according to superstring theory, there are at least ten dimensions in the universe (M-theory actually suggests that there are 11 dimensions to spacetime; bosonic string theories suggest 26 dimensions). Try walking and talking in that! (fyi the article is amazing..you have to check it out..10 Dimensions)
  • Most of us are a walking storeroom of facts — we’ve just lost the key to the storeroom door.

Have a great rest of your week!

 

Spring in February

163921-beautiful-spring-dayI don’t know about you, but a flash of great weather gives me a flash of positive energy.

It’s February here in the Midwest, the land of snow and slush. Yet this past week has teased temperatures hovering around 60. Us Midwesterners know this is only a tease — a mere peek at the lace trim of a very lacy slip.

But we fall for it as much as if the slip fell off the manikin.

I saw a post on Facebook that showed 40 degrees in California (hats, gloves, muffs), vs 40 degrees in Wisconsin (shorts, open windows, bbqs). I thought that was really silly until I found myself driving home from work with the window wide open.

What is it about weather change that brightens the dullest spirit?

When it’s warm I tend to walk outside a little more…get away from the madness of the office or the madness of cleaning house and just breathe. It’s such an inspiring image, isn’t it? Walking the wooded paths, wandering along the deserted shoreline, gazing at the arrangements in a Zen garden…

Of course, that plateau lasts all of one day.

Work, kids, house and car repairs, all need to be dealt with, rain or shine, warm weather or blizzards. Life has a lot of nerve interrupting our serene moments with things like “dinner” or “soccer practice.”  How will we ever reach nirvana? How will we ever become one with the Earth and the Moon and the galaxy above when we have to work on the computer or wash the dishes or fix the lawn mower?

That is what days like today are for. The dream that someday we will be able to wander along in the sunshine, not too hot, not too cold, contemplating and meditating and finding our place in this world. The hope that our food will be fresh from the garden, our houses sparkling clean and full of fresh air, and our dreams will become our reality.

I am more to thinking that this burst of fresh air and 60 degrees just makes me high…

The No-No’s of Office Protocol

a0a4925a0f035cdf664fbd910cbc0297Having worked in an office all of my life, there are certain faux paxs you just don’t do.

I mean, you live with these people 8-9 hours a day. Five days a week. Some of them know you better than your family knows you. So you try and keep some decorum around the office.

You don’t read out loud. Even though the music blasting overhead is enough to make sheep fleece uncurl, don’t add to the chaos by reading or re-reading anything out loud. Like your emails, your checking account balance, or the sentence you just typed.

You don’t pass gas by your desk. It’s one thing if you are walking down the hall or through a group of people standing smack dab in the middle of the aisle. They block, they pay. But sitting at your desk, there’s no one to blame, no one to look at, but you. That’s why women have doors on the bathroom stalls. Some of the noises that come out — you don’t want anyone to know it’s you.

You don’t keep your cellphone turned on. In the age of cellphones, some companies allow them, others do not. But there’s nothing more distracting than your ring tone of “Star Wars” or “I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt” going off in the middle of your typing in a spreadsheet. Buzzers are off, too. People can just imagine what’s going on with all that buzzing.

Speaking of cellphones, don’t talk about your personal life on the phone either. No one wants to know your husband’s favorite color toilet paper or how many times you stepped in dog puke. No one wants to hear your lamenting your weight or your social life or your choice of friends. Take it to the car or parking lot. The far parking lot.

Don’t bring smelly foods for lunch. Seafood Marinara and Fish Stew are wonderful meals at home, but to heat them up in the micro in a tiny cafeteria and then opening up their pungent odor at your desk is enough to drive men wild. And I don’t mean in a good way. Wars were fought for less than stinky fish smell.

Keep your wheezy, sneezy, contagious body home. Your constant drooly and drippy mess does not blend well with the silence, the muzak, or the temperament of those around you. Plus your hacking soon will become my hacking, and I already make enough noise.

Keep your boobs, butt, and navel to yourself. Hard working slaves aren’t interested in a peek at anything but a spreadsheet or a computer screen. If you think it gets you a better job, think again. Bosses have their own boobs, butts, and navels to take care of. And they’ve learned to keep them private.

Have I done any of these faux paxs?

Do you think I’d tell you if I did?

What are those old sayings — it takes one to know one…who smelt it dealt it…yakkity yak don’t talk back…

 

Cut Those Calorie Blues

klice_fresh-alfalfa-sprouts-in-a-white-plate-3Monday I had my (hopefully) once-every-10-years-colonoscopy.

I will spare you the agony and colorful descriptions of the pre- and post-inspection. I’m more concerned about the best after-effect. Weight loss.

And the struggle to keep it lost.

Like many who take this journey through their inner galaxy, you lose a lot of matter. And water. And when you are happily empty of all hauntings, you are about 5-8 pounds lighter.

Here’s me…no food for 30 hours. Not in the mood to think about food. Then everything is done. Finito. What is my first thought for dinner? Macaroni and Cheese.

I tell myself I can keep on this fasting/low cal way of living. After all, gotta keep that colon clean. Jello, bouillon, keep it light. Okay, add some toast and it’s okay if you add some protein. Water. Drink lots of water. Liquids. Okay…Coke is a liquid, right? So on and on we go. And I can see my dream of losing another 15 pounds the pre-colonoscopy way is fading with every whiff of bacon, chocolate, or onion rings.

Colonoscopies are a valuable diagnostic tool. Since I had a breast lumpectomy 5 years ago, (and there is no history of breast cancer in my family that I know of), anything that can happen CAN happen. So better to be pro-active.

I know my dining habits have been slack lately. I am full of “who cares?” and “I’m old so it doesn’t matter” and other reasons to eat anything and everything. But there comes a time when sloppy is no way to live your life. I’ve been a veggie fan for quite a long time, and I’m not a big meat eater. As I’ve gotten older a number of things upset my stomach, including, sadly, alcohol. So I have been forced to eat healthier.

But I have to admit. Losing that much weight so quickly was a boost to the ego. Amazing what 5 pounds can do to a person. But reality isn’t made of chicken bouillon and grape jello. When you put in a full day of work (whether it’s kids, office, farming, or what have you), a cup of tea and a handful of wholewheat crackers isn’t gonna get you up in the morning.

So I have made a deal with myself. A compromise. I truly don’t need the extra bag of cookies from the snack bar or the pasta or the extra slices of raisin bread after I have breakfast. I’m going to eat, but I’m going to eat smart. Not lazy. I’m going to make a menu board and plan my meals a week ahead of time (my daughter-in-law had done it for years and it’s worked wonders for her). I’m not going to boredom-snack, or TV snack, unless it’s healthy.

I’m no angel…I know I can’t say no to mini cream puffs or an occasional donut if someone brings them to work for birthday goodies. But I CAN control portions and choices and pig out on something that won’t add chunk to my already chunky physique.

After all. I want to dance at my grandson’s wedding. And since he’s only 6 and his mom won’t even THINK of letting him get married until he’s done with college, that’s reason enough to become a reasonable-calorie gourmet.

I just wonder how this change of heart will effect my Christmas cookie-making goals?

Positive vs Negative Affirmations

comedyDo you ever get confused with all the positive affirmations floating around the Web?

Life being what it is, do you find it hard to reconcile your own confusing ups and downs with the positive verbiage that  continually pops up on your Facebook and Twitter and in your emails?

Beautiful thoughts build a beautiful soul.

The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us.

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. 

Trust me. No one enjoys (or needs) positive vibes more than me. I like that when the rain clouds come (and there’s no accompanying thunder to rattle my soul) there are positive vibes out there that let me know that tomorrow’s another day.

But positive affirmations don’t help me feel better at the moment when I make mistakes at work or when I can’t get my hair to look more than a flat bathing cap or when I walk in the door and the dog has shred important paperwork.

It’s those times my mind wanders to those “other” affirmations that are more like the beginning of an anger management class.

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Eat my road grit, liver lips.

I mean, come on. Didn’t you secretly enjoy Chevy Chase kicking the crap out of the Santa and reindeer in Christmas Vacation? Didn’t you do a little huzzah when Rhett told Scarlet “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” All the wrongs of the day disappeared with one snarky word or movement.

Sometimes I plain like my negativity. Sometimes I enjoy the fantasy of punching out someone who has crossed the line too many times. Sometimes I love standing in the middle of the room and shouting the “F” word five times. We’re not psycho — we just need an instant relief from the stress of whatever. And that moment of fantasy lets the pressure out of our pressure cooker.

The trick is to let those negative flashes happen,  and then let them dissipate, our angst and frustration dissipating with them.

Like Captain Kirk in the Final Frontier.

Damn it, Bones, you’re a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!

I think that’s what life is all about. We are who we are from the highs and lows we’ve experienced. I do believe we need to take negative situations and get positive results from them. I don’t believe in living in the past, for we can’t change what has happened. But we can change where we go with that experience.

As you get older, your well of experiences goes deeper and deeper. You learn to let go of what you can’t change, and to make the world a better place from what you’ve learned. To protect others. To teach others not to make your mistakes. And, if they have made your mistakes, how to correct them quicker.

Life is one big cliche. And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Affirmations make the truth easier to swallow. Winter will bring snow, the sun will shine, and you will smile again.

It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life

Oh geez — now I need a shower from that sugar bath —

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Chemistry Cat

Chemistry Cat, also known as Science Cat, is a series of puns and science jokes appearing as captions around a cat behind some chemistry glassware wearing black rimmed glasses and a red bow tie.

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While the source of the image remains a mystery, it is likely a stock photograph, possibly of Russian origin.

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This wonderfully serious cat with a quick wit has changed the face of Chemistry.

chemcat_gonefission

Chemistry Cat puts a smile on scientists and non-scientists alike.

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And isn’t that the purpose of Art?

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To bring enjoyment and a smile into your life?

chemcat_lostelectron

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That Glazed Look

Not everyone admits to it, but everyone does it.

In meeting rooms, at desks, at parties, or in the privacy of your own living room.

You are in the conversation one moment, skiing down Mt. Fuji the next. Nodding at the other person one moment, nodding towards twilight the next. It’s not the buzzed look, or the intoxicated look, or the sleepy look.

It’s the glazed look.

The staring eye, the blank glance, the frozen look of concentration that comes across your face when you zone out for a brief moment.

Sometimes it’s inevitable. The meeting where the group is talking about something way over your head. The 10th time the person next to you tells the same story to a new pair of ears. Your friend is confiding something to you and their voice turns into bubbles from under water.

Why does this happen?

Your intentions are pure. You really do want to learn something in the conference room. You really do want to understand what someone is telling you. You really are interested in finding out “who-done-it”. But it’s like someone unplugged you for a moment.

Work-wise, I often wonder if I get involved in things above my pay grade. i.e., the outcome affects me, but the planning stages don’t. I’ve found myself so tired that I’ve been at parties with besties and they are telling me something important and it’s all I can do to keep my eyes open. I have sat on my sofa, watching a movie/TV show that I’ve waited forever to see, and have somehow missed the most important part because my mind has been in la la land.

How does this happen?

I have a feeling people smarter than me don’t space out the same way I do. I am surrounded by various levels of genius, and as much as I want to run off and play with them in their playland, I just can’t. I don’t understand the mumbo jumbo. So I imagine I’m in the meeting glazing, they know everything, and have no time to glaze. They probably glaze later when someone talks about Halloween Wars or the Mediterranean Diet.

This is not only on the work front. It’s on the entertainment front, the social front, the political front. I try hard not to get pumped up about anything I can’t change, so when someone else gets pumped up, I give them their space. And my space. And eventually the glaze.

Is it that I just don’t find most of the outside world interesting? Not at all!

I am all for learning and understanding and discovering every day you live and breathe. Maybe I’m finding out that, as I get older, certain spheres of knowledge are beyond my ken, and that I don’t need to understand everything to move forward. I pay attention when it comes to things that directly involve me — how I’m going to accomplish things that boil down to the Internet Data Conversion Analyst Specialist or the writer or the photographer or the friend. I don’t need the cerebral mish mash to do what I’m supposed to do. I am a good friend and a good worker. I take care of those who take care of me, and I do a pretty good job of taking care of myself.

But if one day you’re talking to me and…I…juussstt….

What were we talking about?

 

Cat’s Eyes

20081221134735180My life has been a whirlwind these past few weeks. I’ve taken off to North Carolina and visited my bff and a city that was fun and busy and full of Southern charm, went to work for two days, then took off to Northern Wisconsin and noshed and laughed and cackled with friends while we hid from the rain.

It seems everyone had fun these past few weeks except for one.

Mysty.

My Cat.

Do you ever get punished by your pets for going away?  I have two cats, a toughy, lovey boy tuxedo named Tom, and a once-tiny-now-balloony girl Mysty.

Tom could care less when I come and go. He sleeps with whomever is around, including sometimes the dogs. Mysty is another story.

Everytime I go away and then return she makes eye contact, barely acknowledging my return, then gives me the cold shoulder for the day.

I didn’t think cats held grudges. But this one does.

When I’m home she’s on my computer, twisting her cute little head sideways, insisting on pets. She sleeps by my head, climbs all over me when I watch TV, all that cute little cat stuff.

But when I’ve been gone a few days — worse, when the whole family has been away and the cats have been left alone — well, hell hath no fury like a kitty scorned.

Of course, things are back to normal after a long day. I don’t think cats have that long of a memory span, and besides, they want to be fed. And pet. But for those few first hours, I swear my cat pouts and looks forlornly out the window, dreaming of a house where her master momma stayed home and played with her every day.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t leave my first born until he was 2 or 3. Just think of the dramatic sigh a toddler would make, looking forlornly out the window, dreaming of a house where his momma stayed home and played with him every day.

That is, until grandma or grandpa gave him popcorn or a Butterfinger or took him to the park. Which was instantly after I drove away.

Maybe I should offer a Butterfinger to Mysty…

 

Remembering Italktoomuchitis

giphy1Greetings!

Although I think all my past blogs are funny/magical/clever, I don’t often repost them for the fear that thousands of likes rather than an appropriate few will jam the WP system.

Keeping that in mind, I was wandering through the rocky mountains of my memory and thought about this blog from June 2012. It hits the bullseye once again.

 Chit Chattin’ Cathy

doll Chatty CathyI subscribe to a few blogs where the author has broken out of their silent shell, finally finding a voice that is sparkling and true.  It’s not easy sharing something as personal as one’s self ― especially if that “self” has been suppressed for longer than one can imagine. I appreciate their efforts to finally let the world know who they are.

I, on the other hand, suffer from Italktoomuchitis.

I don’t remember when I contracted this disease.  It certainly wasn’t in grade school (too ugly), nor high school (too busy trying to get pinned). I worked in downtown Chicago for a PR department, but trust me, it was far from glamorous…or talkative ( I was rather submissive in those days). Found love, got married and had babies. I didn’t think of myself as overly verbal back then. But now I wonder — when did I become so…chatty?

Chatty is a relative word. Those of us old enough can remember the “Chatty Cathy” doll.  Pull her string and she’d say a half dozen things. What a novel idea at the time. For those of you a bit younger, this phenomenon was a highlight in Steve Martin’s tirade in Planes, Trains and Automobiles: “It’s like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll. I expect you have a little string on your chest, you know, that I pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn’t pull it out and snap it back – you would. Gnah..gnah…” Well, I’m beginning to think I’m that doll — and I’m the one pulling the string.

These last few years I think I’ve carried the chatty thing a bit too far. One question and everybody knows what I had for dinner last night, why I think my cousin’s child is out of control, the cramps I had this morning, and how much my dentist charged for root canal. I spill my son’s secrets to his wife, and tell my customers not to buy today for it goes on sale tomorrow. What is wrong with me? Since when have I become this effervescent fount of non-interesting information? I find I want to respond to everything. I have an answer for everything. Whether or not it’s informed. I find I have little patience for opinions other than mine, and need to comment on every and all things that come my way. I try and keep my mouth shut most of the time, but believe me, sometimes it’s a struggle.

I wonder if it’s that old person syndrome. You know ― the older you get, the less you care about what others think.  That seemed like such a cliché when I was younger. All those old fogies saying what they want to, not caring if they offend this person or that.  Most over 70 were a little crotchety and unreasonable, but hey, maybe they just weren’t thinking straight. Pre-Alzheimer’s and such.

As I got older I started to get where they were coming from. Now that I’m teasing the 60 mark, I’m finding those outspoken 70-year-olds weren’t so far off the mark after all.  Having spent a lifetime trying to get my thoughts and opinions across to others, I can see why caution is thrown to the wind and oldies say just what they think. I’ve been questioned and second-guessed more times than you can count; I’ve been unsure of my choices and bothered by the choices of others. I sometimes wonder if I should have turned right instead of left, if I would have made a difference, if I should have said something back then.

And I have gotten to the point where I’m tired of not being listened to.

I’m not saying that my opinion is any better than anyone else’s. We know the world by what we’ve experienced. I have kept my thoughts and opinions respectful and private. But in suppressing the nonsense that runs constantly through my head, I find myself talking and sharing more than when I was 20. It’s like the filter is broken. And I wonder — is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Through this need to reveal more than the neighborhood stripper, I find myself volunteering information that no one is interested in. Well, maybe they are, but in a superficial sort of way. I think we all do that — we listen to others babble their life stories, their grocery store nightmares, their crazy family history or their list of illnesses. We listen because we really do care. Not that we can do anything about their stories, but because we know that sometimes others just need someone to listen.

Often the babble that comes out of other mouths has nothing to do with what’s really going on inside. Maybe the storyteller suffers from insecurities, or illness, or loneliness. Maybe sharing the story of their kid’s accomplishments is a way to assure them that they did a good job as a mother or father. Maybe all they want is to be noticed. To be cared about. To be liked.

Many things fuel our chatter — or lack of. Where we’ve come from is not nearly as important as where we are headed.  If chit chatting about great recipes or the knucklehead in the cubicle down the hall gives us a little clearer sense of self, I’m all for it. We all need to get the chit out of our heads so we can think clearer and feel stronger. And as long as the chat is not destructive, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of babble at the bubbler.

Alas, sometimes I think my only solution is to wire my jaws shut.

What’s Your Favorite Food?

Sitting at work, eating a lunch of cottage cheese and sunflower seeds, is not the right condition for a funny, deeply inspiring blog. So in researching something else deep in my posting past, I came across this post. It’s much more fun. And foody.

From 9/16/14 (and please pass the butter…)

breadBread and Butter Badlands

A funny thing happened this evening. I was all pumped up to write a blog about scheduling things in your life, when I read a fellow blogger’s (David Kanigan) blog called “Don’t Eye the Basket of Bread: Just Take It Off the Table” ( http://davidkanigan.com/2014/09/16/dont-eye-the-basket-of-bread-just-take-it-off-the-table/). It really is an article about how to exert self-control. Which, in that sense, makes sense. If it’s not in front of you you’re not tempted to eat the whole basket.

But I almost missed the point of the blog because I was thinking about fresh baked bread dripping with sweet, creamy butter.  Crispy crust, fluffy inside.  Which led me to daydream about my homemade spaghetti sauce, full of fresh tomatoes and veggies with a smattering of ground beef and/or Italian Sausage, dripping over vermicelli or linguine, fresh Parmesan cheese sprinkled delicately over the top, a small glass of merlot within reach, sitting quietly next to that basket of freshly-baked bread that I’m suppose to have taken off the table.

And suddenly I’m daydreaming about the wonderful world of food.

I’ve been on a diet — no — food behavior modification — for as long as I’ve been out of puberty. I have always had a love/hate relationship with anything that has more than 2 carbs and 35 calories per serving. It’s that homo sapiens thing…anything that is fattening is worth tasting. Of course, tasting, and indulging, are two different things.

They say one can survive on indulging in one tablespoon of anything. Buffet? No problem. One tablespoon macaroni salad, one tablespoon chocolate mousse, one tablespoon mashed potatoes along with one tablespoon gravy. Just think of what a decorative plate you would bring back to the table! One tablespoon from 50 different dishes!

But let’s face it. Living on one tablespoon of cheese souffle is like smiling at only one child at Christmas. Or having one cashew. Or hugging only one grandkid. Satisfying as a bath in ice cubes. We know we should be sticking to the one-tablespoon-rule for our health, for our diabetes and our cholesterol. And most times we do alright.

But sometimes our libido cries for liberation. It just cannot be satisfied with the one-teaspoon-rule. We try to tame it. We hide the food. We buy celery and apples and lean chicken and fish. We succeed where others fail. We lose weight, lower our cholesterol, add some years to our life.

But then something as innocent as a whiff of freshly baked bread or bacon frying and we’re whipped up into a frenzy of biblical proportions. Why is that?

I do believe in moderation. Fortunately for me, the older I get, the fewer things I can digest properly. A couple of cream cheese canapes is not worth the agony of hours in the bathroom later. Spinach Dip, Ice Cream Sundaes, Hot Cheese Spread, all no-nos with the digestive tract from Hell. Yet I have to admit, I cannot pass a chance to try a scoop or two. Just to check it out, you see.

I try to avoid get-togethers where rich foods are the center of attention. Most times I can say “no thanks.” But just as often I hear myself saying, “Just one bite.” Then my big-mouth libido takes over and bread and pasta and Ceasar’s Salads are the order of the day. And as I hang my head in shame, I still enjoy the crumbs at the corner of my mouth or the sweet slide of butter still on my tongue.

I guess I’ve lost the thread of this whole blog to the whims of the wonderful world of food. So let me ask you — what foods weaken your will power? Which sumptuous feasts make you moan with delight? Which part of the banquet table can you not pass by without sampling?

Think I will go bake a loaf of bread while I wait for your answer…

Been Gif’n Again

earth-spinning-rotating-animation-25This is becoming a favorite part of  my humorous, spirally blog.

Been shopping for gifs again.

What I’m going to do with all of them I still don’t know. But I have picked out some for your entertainment. Feel free to copy them, borrow them, share them, send them, write a story about them, talk about them, research them.

Or……just watch…

 

 

 

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You Are (not) Getting Sleeeepy…

eyesDo you suffer from the modern-day dilemma called insomnia?

It’s just after midnight, and I’m still wide awake. Through time I have done all the things I’m supposed to do to fall asleep. I’ve taken a warm bath, sipped chamomile tea, listened to soft music. I’ve listened to no music at all. I have cut out caffeine during the day and take my meds in the morning instead of night. Except for right now, I am off the computer by 8; I’ve read books, tried meditation, boring movies, and total silence. I have picked up the pace of walking, both at work and after work. Tried carbs, no carbs; sugar, no sugar. Bedtime snacks. No snacks.

And yet here I am.

I’ve heard various statistics about those who suffer from insomnia. Without doing extensive research at 12:06 a.m., I believe about 60% of older people suffer from some sort of sleep interruption. Not too long ago I read an article that said that as you get older, your body rhythms change, throwing off your sleep patterns.

Surprise.

I have tried prescriptions, and even though I get a hard night’s sleep, I’m the Walking Dead the next day. So those are out. OTCs are more trips into Zombieland. There are dozens of articles on the Internet telling me why I can’t sleep, but that doesn’t change the fact that I can’t sleep.

Sooo…I prefer to think of this stage of my life as preparing for retirement.

I believe that somewhere in the cosmic timeline is a bend in the road; a crack in the sidewalk that says, enough is enough. The fifth dimension astro influence is saying: You’ve worked your a$$ off all your life, first getting up at all hours with your babies, then staying up all hours waiting for your teenagers to get home, husbands on second shifts getting home at 4 a.m., getting up for work at 6 a.m. for the past 45+ years — enough is enough. Us higher forms of consciousness are preparing you for the day you don’t have to get up to an alarm, don’t have to punch a time clock, don’t have to put data in a computer, or drive to and from work in blizzards and thunderstorms and fog.

Of course, the cosmos’ clock and my biological clock are two different things. The cosmos doesn’t get that I still have a few years left before I can sleep in and/or stay up all night. That I have bills to pay and obligations to meet before I can sleep till 10, have a cup of coffee on the deck, go for walks, play in the garden, and take naps whenever I want.

Did our parents have this problem? Our grandparents? Is it because we don’t work the fields for 10 hours a day that our bodies don’t work to their peak performance? Stress is always a factor. But our parents had stress, too. As did our grandparents. And so on.

It is true we are living in a whirlwind society. That technology moves faster than the speed of light, and if we don’t at least make an attempt to keep up with it, we become as rigid as the statues in our gardens.  With TV and movies and music blaring in our faces and politics boiling our blood and self-centered people taking over our every day world, it’s hard to slow down enough to sleep, no less breathe.

I know my retirement won’t be much of a slowdown. But I will let my biological clock take over, and go wherever the wind blows.

Until then, I’ve found some really cool gemstones on the Gemtopia Shopping Network…

 

Singing Cats

tumblr_lmndk2YwcA1qfoh4tI think of myself as an (pretty much) independent person; loving, kind, funny, quirky, smart (in different ways). Self confidence was a long time in coming, but now that I’m a wee bit older, it is finally beginning to be a way of life.

Imagine my chagrin, then, when my husband told me that my cats are training ME!

For all you cat lovers out there (and I know there’s alot), cats are independent, affectionate, and vocal. Vocal to the point of nagging, sometimes.

Such is the case of my two darlings…Tom and Mysty.

Mysty is one of those squirrel-furred types who is as big as Dick Butkus. Tom is a gray and white tuxedo with a smaller girth but solid as a punching bag.

My hubby feeds them when he comes home from work (4 a.m.) and before I get home from work (4 p.m.) It obviously is not often enough, though, according to my dears, because they follow me and meow and scream and needle me from the time hubby leaves the house until I go to bed.

I once suggested hubby didn’t feed them enough at mealtime. His response was an incredulous eyeball popper. He, indeed, fed them plenty at both meals.

Well, not according to Tom and Mysty.

That’s when he told me that the cats are conditioning me. Training me to give them tidbits all night long.

Not me, I assured him. He MUST not be feeding them enough!

Hubby showed me how much food each should be getting each day, and how he slips a tad bit more into their bowls. It’s their eating habits that are out of hand when I’m around.

Well, when you are home alone evening after evening, putzing with laundry and dishes and working on your computer, and every time you stand up, they come meowing, and follow you into the kitchen and bathroom still meowing, well, it sounds like they are starving to me.

So I give them itsy bitsy extras just to shut them up.

I suppose it’s my fault that Mysty is Tanky and Tom is Wide Buff. They chase each other around the house at night all the time, so I figured they were burning off some of those calories.

Tom gets kidney problems now and then, so the vet has me change to canned food now and then. This change turns him into a cannibal and Mysty into a scavenger. Tom’s habit is eating three or four bites, then play, sleep, then come back for the rest.

Mysty’s habit is devour everything in sight.

Hubby says I should ignore them when they meow at me. That they know what gets to me and are controlling me.

I say pfffish…no one controls me. I am my own person.

Of course, it’s always easy to boast my bravado when I’m sitting at a computer miles away from the choir…and I hear n.u.t.i.n…..

Garage-Envy

gold-chrome-wrapped-bugatti-veyron-owned-by-flo-rida-looks-grotesque-61670_1I am suffering from a bout of garage-envy these days.

I know it’s not the most controversial or personal subject to stress about, but for me it’s a malady that can never really be cured.

I don’t think I’ve had a garage in 40 years. First it was growing up at home, then an apartment, a townhouse, then a bungalow, then a B&B, then a bottom flat rental, then my current house. Unfortunately, none of of these humble abodes bode a garage for me and my flashy vehicle.

We have a pole barn/garage these days, but there’s no way to squeeze my fancy 2005 black Buick Sable in there — not with the boats, decoys, snow plow blade, workbench, mowers, toys, yard rickrack, spare tires, boat parts, camper, trailers, and other assorted oddities my husband cannot live without.

I know living “in the country” (as so many people like to refer to a mile out of town) has its perks, but often garages aren’t one of them. When we had our house built, there was barely money to build the house, no less an attached garage. We needed a pole barn (which is almost the size of the house) to house country paraphernalia, but the paraphernalia soon turned to collections and old stock and a holding spot for my son’s paraphernalia until he moves in a month.

Most of the time I don’t mind going straight out the door and a few steps over to my car to go to work. But come winter, those few steps become starting the car, scraping the windows, wiping the foot of snow off the hood, losing my shoe in the drift, etc. I envy those who have remote start, heated seats, Sirus music — anything and everything I don’t have.

Come spring I kinda get over the freezing fact, but move onto the real garage-envy stage. Shiny, clean cars laugh at my dirt splattered, mud puddly fancy 2005 beast. It’s like they’re saying, “Ha! I slept inside last night! Where did YOU sleep?” I then begin to feel more like a hillbilly and less of a contributing member of the work force who happens to drive an antique car.

I know you say, “Go and build a garage!” At this point in my life, I’d rather spend a couple of thousand dollars elsewhere. Like going to Ireland or Italy or buying a hot tub or something. Or saving for that fantasy world called retirement.

And besides — with my luck, that cute little 2-car garage next to my house would fill up with outdoor paraphernalia faster than you can say Jack Rabbit. Who will also have no place to live.

Too many duck decoys in the way.

Cosmic Questions

dogcatYou would think the winter chill would freeze my wandering brain cells, or at least slow them down some.  But as pretzel thinkers know, nothing can slow down a wandering, criss-crossy mind.

I thought about this blog this morning on the way to work. I was listening to the results of the New Hampshire primary, and wondered how our political future was going to turn out.

One thing led to another, and in my own wandering mind, I thought of putting out there some metaphysical, ethereal, weird thoughts that have no answers. Take away all political bias, all psychological jumble, and just wonder….

  • The number π (pi) is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Whatever that means. The point is, the digits go on and on with no pattern. π has been calculated to over two quadrillion decimal places and still there is no pattern to the digits. So why are we still calculating?
  •  They say it’s better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. Does that mean if I tried to read the dictionary backwards while sitting in a bathtub and singing God Bless America and I didn’t want to stop until I was done singing and the house caught on fire because my cat knocked over the candle I had burning in the other room and I had to stop reading the dictionary, was it better never to have tried that stunt in the first place?
  • How do cats purr? There is no purring organ in the throat of a cat, and even though extensive research has been done on the function itself, the exact origin of the function in the anatomy of cats is still unknown.
  • If infinity is infinite, and we can see no end to it, how do we know it’s even there?
  • If Mr. Spock went back in time in Star Trek and changed the timeline, did he change it for just those in his area of space, or did he interrupt the entire universe’s timeline? And how would we know if our timeline had been changed?
  • Is Donald Trump popular because he says the first thing that comes into his head? Is this something we all wish we could do, but fear getting fired/losing friends/being chastised?
  • And if the shoe fits: I have no opinion on Hillary Clinton accepting $675,000 for 3 speaking engagements, but just think — that is $225,000 per speech. If you spoke for 30 minutes each speech, you were getting paid $7,500.00 per minute. That’s $125.00 per second. That’s a lot of bongo bucks to be paid for opening your yapper.
  • If Pluto was once a planet, and now is called a dwarf planet, isn’t the word “dwarf” an adjective describing the main noun “planet”, and, therefore, once we strip all the fluff away from the basic nature of the being, Pluto once again becomes a “planet”?
  • It is a fact that the closer you get to the speed of light, the more time slows down. So isn’t a moot point to drive faster, when you actually arrive at your destination later?
  • They say light travels as both a wave and a particle. If that is so…..nevermind. I don’t understand what I don’t understand.
  • And, finally, the most important cosmic befuddlement of all: Why is it that drivers always zoom up behind you like a bat out of hell, swerve around you, jam into the spot right in front of you, then turn 30 feet further?

THAT would be the answer to all answers…