Sep 11

Homage Tree

Studies.

Oh.  In the past few years, I have warned you about trusting “studies.”  They tell you this, and they tell you that.

But the reality of it is… they need a study to investigate the haphazardness of studies.

One minute coffee is going to kill you.  The next, it is good for everything that ails you.

The fad that is in at the moment… is the whole gluten-free craze.   Yes.  Blame it all on the Gluten.   And now, many medical professionals have said that most people who think they are glutens for punishment, are in fact…. not.

It is all Bluto if you ask me.

My deal is…. … I like to eat things that taste good specifically to me.  And if they don’t taste good to me… well… I generally do not waste my time ingesting them.

Over the years my tastes have changed some.  I used to be on the lifelong quest for the perfect hamburger.  While I still like a burger from time to time… I would rather eat chicken these days… or fish… sometimes pork.

So,  I am not nearly the beef eater I used to be.

One thing that has remained constant in my world… white pasty foods.  I love them.  Albeit, grits were just named as one of the seven worst foods for you.  Right along with Shark, Seitan (a vegetarian meat-substitute), rice cakes, and sugary drinks.  Blah. Blah. Blah.  Thankfully…. the only one on the list I love is…. of course…. Grits.

Another News Breaker.  Today, a study came out that Omega 3 Fatty-Acid Supplements are neither beneficial for you… or bad for you.  All those little fatty-acid pills…. simply…. a waste of time.

At least… that is according to the latest from the Lab Coats.  Fatty Acid.

Just saying Fatty Acid scares me.

Fatty Acid.

Fatty Acid….. Or… spelled another way it is: Fit Cat Day.

And Omega Three?    Mix IT up and it is Homage Tree.

The Fit Cat ran up the Homage Tree.

It is all how you look at things.

Depending on the Study… of course.

“There are things I can’t force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.” – Denis Diderot

Aug 16

The countdown… counted down.

Tonight, I sit all by myself in a hotel room.  Long story… but I am helping my parents right now.  And here I am.

Did I ever imagine I would be at the Drury Inn to be writing this last installment on Project 188?  Not in a million years.  And I have not seen the Muffin Man.    Nevertheless.

Isn’t it fitting, really?  This is the subject I have written about almost every day for the past three years.  Life’s unpredictability.  Every day, it is something new…. and unforeseen.

It could be out-of-the-blue new.  Or it could just be  a little  twist in the ordinary.  But every day is…. at the very least…. a little, teensy-weensy different than the day before.  And so it goes.  Oh, I can hear the tick tock.

Without getting too long winded tonight, I have included some random entries from the past three years.  I haven’t missed a day in that time (although there were a couple of occasions when internet connectivity hampered a timely posting.)

I have included the very first entry from Project 372… and then a couple more.  They are random…. ones that I pulled out of the hat.  I left the magic white bunny in the hat, just so you know.  However,  there is no rhyme or reason behind the selections.

Here is the thing though.  The most of all.  Right now… I really want to say THANK YOU.  Most sincerely.  To all my friends and loved ones…. who trudge through this yammering every day.  It means a great deal to me.

YOU mean a great deal to me.  From the bottom of my heart.  Because.  So many times… you have helped my heart find its wings.

And that…. as they say…..

is all she wrote.

~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~

Randomish ONE

January 31

Today, for the first day of the project, I just set out with my camera for one looop around the short block.  Meeting to Ladson to King to Prices Alley to Meeting.  That was it.  I wanted to keep it very limited, to see what I could see.  This was an exercise in forcing me to look, and also in thinking about what I could do with certain images in post production.

And this is what I came up with:  Some watermeter covers on Ladson.  I’m not sure there are really meters underneath.  It could be the entrance to the long, lost civilization of Borrowers, or Swamp Rats, or just a bunch of Little People.

~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~

Randomly TWO

On a Sunday, April 18th, I wrote….

Einstein Died.  On this date, in 1955:     Physicist Albert Einstein died at age 76.  He had to leave.

~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~

Randomment THREE

On an August 7th….

When bad things happen to good frogs?
Tonight, I have a little story about Frederick the Frog.  Don’t let this flattened amphibian fool you. The Insect World knew him as “Freddy Four Fingers.”

He took out hundreds of flies, gnats, moths, and such in his day.  If it had wings, Freddy got da’ job done.  But he finally got his alright.  Tonight, while sitting there under the porch light (listening to Sinatra),  a mob of fire flies dropped a rock on his head.  Done.  Word on the street goes:  Manny the Monarch ordered the hit.  And the Carboni Bunnies were in on it too.

Freddie leaves a wife and 4,293 tadpoles.

~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~

Randomer FOUR

And.  On a January 4th.

Unexplained feathers

I believe in Guardian Angels.

I am not talking about the motorcycle gang. Although they do exist. No.

I believe in the ethereal type. I haven’t been reminded of them in a long time. But today I saw a painting…. which prompted all of this.

The story behind the painting is this.

It depicts a woman, kayaking down a stream which is canopied with trees from bank to bank. The sun is splintering through the trees and a light fog is resting on the water. The sunlight is falling every so gently.

There is a large area of heavy mist near the woman…. and in that haze…. there appears to be a figure of an angel. It is a beautiful painting.   The thing of it is…. the painting is a rendering of an actual photograph.

The woman in the painting had breast cancer. Her health declining. Her husband was the artist. On that day… he photographed her kayaking along the river. It was her last time out. She died shortly thereafter. When he reviewed the photographs with his brother, they saw the image of the angel in the mist. So he painted it. And that is what I saw today.

I don’t feel like I am describing it very well here. But the bottom line is… I was reminded of guardian angels. They’ve been with me my whole life. Some might call it luck. Others may say it is simply….. cause, effect, and outcome. They may be right. I can’t say for sure.

But what I feel in my gut is that a guardian angel has had a hand on my shoulder on more than one occasion. I don’t know how it works either. And I can’t explain it.

I can’t really explain infinite space either. But I have read many scientific accounts which detail its existence in our cosmos. There is a lot in life that I can’t comprehend.

I think it would be extremely vain and egotistical of me….. to even expect that my insignificant little speck of a human brain….. could ever be powerful enough to decipher all the mysteries of the universe.

So maybe something “is”…. or maybe it “isn’t”.   But it is our human right…. I think…..

…. to believe.

“You’ll see it when you believe it.”  -W. Dyer

 

Aug 15

Sigh Low. Dream High.

 

Farmer Mavis Claxton climbed up and down the grain bin ladder… for years.  Up and down.  Some days… he would climb that metal ladder 3 and 4 times, depending on the graininess of the day.

On Tuesdays and Thursday, Ol’ Mavis would sit on top of the silo, and eat his lunch.  Most of the time, it was ham and cheese on white… with mayonnaise.  And potato chips.  His wife, Ruth would pack it for him.  She was very kind, like that.

So twice a week, Farmer Claxton would sit at the very apex of that structure, and wish he had a Grain Elevator.  Lots of other farmers had those elevators.  Mavis had to keep climbing that old rickety ladder….

Mavis and Ruth worked hard to grow the plants that made the grain, to fill the bin.  They would get up before the sun… just to set about these chores.  It is just what they did.  Most days, this made them tired.  Dog tired.

So, year after year, the Claxtons filled the bin, and emptied the bin, and filled it and then… back to nothing again.  Mavis ate his sandwiches.  Ruth tended the goats.  It was goat cheese on the sandwiches after all.  They had pigs too.  Hence, the ham.

But I digress.  Not only was Ruth a terrific sandwich-maker… she was a dreamer too.  One day… she said… “Mavis.  This year… let’s fill the bin with Twizzlers, Skittles, and Ju Ju’s. And Mavis smiled.

So they did.

Instead of planting the plants that make grain, they planted cane sugar, and red dye number 40.  They made the candy, and filled the silo, with all the candy that they loved to buy at the moving picture shows.

Now there were DVDs.  So…. Mavis and Ruth rented movies… like Dog Day Afternoon, and Finding Nemo.  At night, they watched those videos in the farm house, and snacked on Skittles, and such.

This made them happy.  As happy as could be.

They have no idea what seeds they will sew next year.

And this too…

… ….. makes them happy.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

 

 

Aug 14

Smart Geese and Fast Fleas

 

I ponder things every day.  I don’t know if I do it more, or less than anyone else.  I just churn a lot around between my ears.

Once again, I’ve noticed that this world of ours is in persistent motion.  A spin of a blur.  Yepperoni.  Life is Transformation.  The Daily Change.  Everything is in a constant state of transfiguration and reshaping.

Here are a few…. from this particular day.

Old Merriam-Webster added words to their English Dictionary…  100 were incorporated this year.  Some that made the list, much to my chagrin:  Man Cave.  Bucketlist.  Sexting. Cloud Computing.  Game Changer.  Gastropub.  F-Bomb.  Aha Moment.

I have a certain resistance to these official language changes.  I feel like somehow… they are inherently wrong. But as I just mentioned.  Everything is in a clutter of metamorphosis.

Alas.. Prithee!  I faith, not a whit do I giveth for this nonsense.  By my fay.  Bless the mark, I beggeth thee.)   So there you have it.  We don’t talk like Shakespeare anymore… and I am glad for that too.  That was an Aha Moment.

~~~  – –  ~~~

Here is another.  Dogs have changed my life, for sure.   And it seems all many relationships with our domesticated pets have evolved.  It is different for everyone…. but I certainly know I love my dogs.  (Hmmm. I have not been so lucky with cats. )

But here is breaking news about felines.

Cats are making good money.  As models.  The most famous fashion cat of them all is named Choupette.   She is owned by Karl Lagerfeld.  This guy is Andy Warhol meets Willy Wonka….  he doesn’t look like a real person in most photographs I have seen of him.  Yet. His cat makes big money as a model.  In Paris.  I bet she is allowed on the furniture.

~~~  – –  ~~~

I saw some birds today flying in the southerly fashion.  They were in the V.  Now, while I think it is too early, I am sure those birds know better than I, when it is time.  They are a smart bunch, you see.

Migrating geese fly in a V-formation to save energy. A goose’s wings churn the air and leave an air current behind. In the flying wedge-formation, each of those smarty-pants birds are in a position to get a lift from the bird ahead. It is easier going for all, except the leader.

We could learn from these birds, I’ll tell you that much right now.  During a migration, geese are apt to take turns in the lead position. Wise as Owls.

~~~  – –  ~~~

Fleas can accelerate 50 times faster than the space shuttle.  Tell that to your dog while she is scratching like crazy.  Fleas are fast.

~~~  – –  ~~~

So. What does it all mean?  It means I yammer too much.

And.  Well, I’ve said this all before.

I think it means this.  Change is inevitable.  It all…. every little molecule of it… is whirling and swirling, and switching and twitching.  It makes my head thunk like crazy just to think about it.  Oh… ……. but my head.

If I could just get this through my dense  head… that everything changes.

Maybe that is why I write about it as much as I do.

I’m always trying to put the brakes on.  It seems.

Yet, when we are in the middle of that glorious motion, it means we are alive.  And that is the best part of all.

I read once that there is a test to see if you life’s mission is completed or not.  If you are alive…. your mission isn’t finished.

Yep.  To be alive and in the thick of it.   As sure as….. as… fleas are fast.

 

“Each person’s task in life is to become an increasingly better person.”
-Leo Tolstoy

Aug 13

Take a shot.

One thing I love about history, is learning the details of the amazingly interesting people who lived it.  There are so many stories.  Stories from high and low, far and wide.  Kaboodles.  And in each of those tales… lived a “Somebody.”

Today is Annie Oakley’s Birthday.  She was born August 13th, in the year 1860.  Now.  Most people have heard of her.  And many of us know she was a really good shot.  So good in fact, it landed her a spot in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

But that is just the surface of her life story.  I didn’t know that much regarding her life or character, before this evening.  I started reading and discovered she was much more than a pretty face for Wild West Show.  And certainly not a wall flower.  No way. No how.

What an interesting life she had.  She hails from these parts.  Darke County, Ohio.  Born in a little log cabin up that way.  Her given name was Phoebe.  Yep.  Phoebe Ann Mozee.  I betcha’ her ancestors were never in a hurry to get anywhere… hence the last name.

The reason behind her adopting the stage pseudonym “Oakley” isn’t exactly clear.  But Oakley it was.

Her birth parents were Quaker.  Peaceful people.  They had horses.  They fed them Oats.  Quaker Oats.  Well.  I just made that up about the oats.  But the rest of this is for real.

They were pretty poor, and to top it off…  her father died.  So, Annie had to be pushed off to an infirmary when she was very young.  She was “bound out” to a local family to help care for their infant son.  The “Sale” was based on the false promise of fifty cents a week and an education.

It didn’t go that way at all, you see.  Annie spent about two years in near-slave-like conditions.  They were pretty mean to her too.  She endured both mental and physical abuse while staying with that family.

One time the wife put Annie out in the freezing cold, without shoes, as a punishment because she had fallen asleep over some darning.  Annie referred to them as “the wolves”…. but when she wrote here Autobiography… she never gave up their real names.  She was kind that way.

I could go on an on about her life, but that gets windy and long.  We all know she was a great shot.    Oakley’s most famous trick is perhaps being able to repeatedly split a playing card, edge-on.  Then…. she would  put several more holes in it before it could touch the ground.  And get this.  She used a .22 caliber rifle…. at 90 dang feet.  How about them bullets?

But probably one of the neatest things about her… is that she was a strong, strong woman.  Strong of character, I mean.  And she firmly believed that other women should stand on their own too.

For instance.  Annie Oakley thought women ought to be in combat operations for the United States. She wrote a letter to President William McKinley…. in which she told him she could get together “a company of 50 ‘lady sharpshooters’ who would provide their own arms and ammunition should the U.S. go to war with Spain.”  The U.S. didn’t take her up on it.  But I am guessing she would have gone to Spain, and kicked somebody’s peppers.

Throughout her career, it is believed that Oakley taught upwards of 15,000 women how to use a gun. Little Annie (only 5 feet tall) believed that it was crucial for women to learn how to use a gun… for … both for physical and mental exercise.  But, Annie also promoted women’s ability to  defend themselves.   She said: “I would like to see every woman know how to handle [firearms] as naturally as they know how to handle babies.”

There is much more.  But Oakley was WAY cool  Whether you support firearms now or not… way back then… I think things were a little different.

But  she had an extraordinary way about her.  She was  independent in nature, had great  strength, and also possessed amazing athletic ability.  And she probably didn’t take too much crap from anyone.

So, another little interesting history bit.  They pop up all over the place .  Like wildflowers.  Beautiful, abundant, and more intricate upon closer inspection.

“Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Aug 12

Plant it here.

The weeds aren’t the real problem in any garden.

No.

It is Vegetable Attitude.

First and foremost… there is the gossip.

The Leeks are always blabbering about everything. Not to mention the Legumes.  They are forever spilling the beans.

And the corn fuels the problem.  You see, the corn is all ears.

The Mushrooms are a bit snobby.  The think they are of high morel standing.

And the Peppers strut around like they are hotter than anyone else.

But.

Eggplant are the worst.  They are a dishonest bunch.

And the more they lie…. the longer their noses grow.

I have seen it for myself.

 

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Aug 11

The Hit Fit the Shan.

Well.  Today, The Sh*t Hit The Fan.

This phrase has been around for quite sometime.  I sincerely dislike it when the sh*t hits the fan.  I do not care for it.  Not one little bit.

But as I thought about this today… the proverbial crap hitting a supposed fan… I simply had to ask the obvious.

Where did this phrase come from?  How…. on God’s Green Earth… did this one get started?

I can only imagine the first case scenario of this.

No.  I take that back.  I cannot possibly imagine anything that may have happened in a real life situation…   Are Floyd and Raymond sitting around the office on a hot day?  Floyd has to crap.  So he just drops ’em right and let’s loose.  It then hits the fan… covering his boss… Raymond in poop?

Raymond fires Floyd because the sh*t hit the fan?

No. I say.  No.

The phrase itself means that there is a point at which an already unstable situation devolves into utter chaos.  This is often in spite of…. or quite possibly…. even due to someone’s attempt to control it.

But how did it start?

I mean…..  SOMETHING happened SOMEWHERE… that put this “imagery” in someone’s head… and hence the phrase to be spoken aloud.  And it must have happened more than once… as the phrase certainly took hold and caught on.

Oh bother.  I just am perplexed by this.  As far as anyone can tell… it has been around since the 1930s. But no real explanation lies therein.

I have heard that it comes from farmers using manure spreaders.

But again.  There is no such evidence supports this origin.  It has appeared in song, dance, and books.  Movies.  It is everywhere.  At times… in our own lives.  So.  There you have it. One of the world’s great mysteries.

But I am certain of one thing.  I do not like it when the sh*t hits the fan.  And boy do we ever know when it is happening.

And… the long and short of it.   I think someone just made up the saying, right out of the clear blue.

I think that I shall propose some new ones.

Boy oh boy.  The ferret really exploded.

Oh my goodness.  Did the candle melted on that one!

The mayonnaise up and spoiled.

Okay.  Let’s face it.  None of these are really working too well.  When the sh*t hits the fan, the sh*t hits the fan.  And there is no way around it.  No way.   No how.

 

“The biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell

Aug 10

TCM….or the cat’s meow.

We talk and we talk and we talk some more.

Everybody has something they want to say… about something.  Our little messages, indeed.

But when we talk… other people don’t necessarily listen.  I guess it all depends on what is being said.

But all that aside.  When the words we are looking for… somehow elude us…  we can be a creative bunch.  And slang is born.

I postulate that “slang” has been around since the human species has been using language itself.

In the times of the Cavemen, Theg probably said to Oeff…

“Uh. Huh. Uh Uggg.”

And then Oeff responded…

“Ugg. Uuuu Ugggg-Leeee.”

And then they hit each other over the head with their clubs.

But slang has evolved I’ll tell you. Right along with language.  And our wheels.

We don’t even call it slang, so much, anymore.  Phrase-ology.  Terminology.  Ha.  Slang got “slanged”….  Yep.  Leave it to us.

I caught myself doing it tonight.  I said… “I go from 6:45 in the morning… until 1 or 2 in the morning.  I need my little power-nap, but then I am good to go.”

Okay.  When did the regular old nap get to be a Power Nap?  Heck.  At one time… we called it a cat nap.  But let us face it people.  A nap is a nap.

Power Nap?  Really?

Ahhhh…. and RIGHT there is another one.  Realllllly?  Really?  Really?
We overuse “Really.”  A lot of people do it.  Something or someone annoys us… and we say…  “Really?”    Yep. Really.

Recently, we’ve had such things as “Wardrobe Malfunctions”; “Cougars”; “Tweets”; “Sexting” and “Can you hear me now?”

There is the clever combinations of two words… like Bromance and Metrosexual” and “Staycation”….
Don’t forget the obligatory text-inspired abbreviations, such as OMG, TMI, WTF, LMAO… and of course…. LOL.

If you do not like what I am writing here… PLEASE don’t “unfriend me.”  UN-Friend me? Really?  Reeeeaaaallllllly???

Now the 1920s had some great phrases.  Actually so did the 30s and 40s.  These are the slang phrases you can bite into.  They are classic.  Beautiful.  Slangly.

“Boy.  He’s all wet.”
“Ah! Applesauce!”

It gives me the Heebie-Jeebies.

Scram.

You sure are swell.

He was at the Speakeasy, and this Swanky Dame walks in.  Boy oh Boy.  She had some Gams on her.  He was a real Pushover for her… he thought she was the Bee’s Knees.  But she just came in for some Hooch.  Good thing he didn’t go make nice with her.  She was a Moll.  Yep. She was Mikey the Spoon’s Best Gal.

Ahhh.  Those were the days.  A nap was still a nap and the sandman came to visit.

So… back to this century.

Was all of that TMI?

Yeah.  Well.  Even if you do unfriend me….  I still think you are SWELL. Yep.  The Cat’s Meow.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember.  You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.. I’ll always be with you.”  – Winnie the Pooh

Aug 09

Guess What.

Sometimes in life… we just don’t know how to react to certain situations.

It could be anything. But when we don’t know how to respond… or when we are irritated… or upset… or even shocked or surprised…  we…. we…..

Oh.  You know the things. They take us off track… rock our boats… knock us off our feet…. ruffle our feathers. Those things.

We have these feelings of being “put out” or anxious or off-kilter… because it wasn’t a part of the preordained plan in our heads.

At least. That is how it goes in the space between my two ears.

I have an predetermined “notion” or idea about every situation before it happens. I imagine what it will be like.   Sometimes… this can be good.  It helps me determine whether I really want to do something or not.  It also helps me to be prepared.

Is “something” worthwhile? Is it meaningful? Will it be productive? Will it be fun? And so on.  But then.  Then, then, then.

Then… when it doesn’t go in accordance with my predetermined donning of events… well… I get upset.

So now  I am getting older. Now I am trying to learn.

Yes.  When life gives you surprises… be surprised!

It is that simple. And happy.    Or sad.  Or in-between.  Maybe it is none of the above.

But one thing is for sure. Whatever it is….  it simply….. IS.    Yep.  That “thing” …. is EXACTLY what it is going to be. Whether we try to stand in the way or not. When I stand in the way is when I get bumped. Hard.

I need to learn to step aside, and let be, what will be.

Yes. To be amazed and astonished when things go impetuously forward. And that is all. Step aside.

“The road of life can only reveal itself as it is traveled; each turn in the road reveals a surprise. The future is hidden.” –  Unknown