Nov 30

Dream a little dream…..

Dreams are a funny thing, now aren’t they.

There are different varieties of dreams….

The kind we do when we sleep at night.
Then there are aspirations, hopes, and life ambitions.
The fantasy kind… where you dream about winning the lottery.
And the poetic variety…. pleasant… “Oh the date was a dream.” OR “He was just dreamy.”

Yep. Dreams. The sleeping kind are the ones that really get me though.

I mean…. what the heck? They come out of nowhere. They can be happy, sad, funny, scary.  You name it…. they ARE.

Sometimes they are exactly how things are in real life and other times they are just whopper-jawed.  Sideways.  Madcapped and zany.  Whack-a-doodle-do.

Last night, I dreamed I was at a huge social event with my friends (that I worked with at the Preble County District Library… about 100 years ago). Some of those friends are still alive and some are not. But in the dream, we were all doing shots of Tabasco Sauce… all different kinds. Specifically, Diane K and I, were really knocking them back.   Some of that Tabasco Sauce was upward of $500 per bottle… various flavors, and colors. Then my old friends from high school started showing up.. intermingling in dreamscape. My friend “Farmer” was playing the cello. As far as I know… she doesn’t play it in real life. Again.. I ask you…. what the heck?

The night before that, I was in a huge bike race, and we were all staying at the Golden Inn in New Paris. My real-life friends own it. But the Golden Inn that appeared in the dream was not the one on Rt. 40. I told my friends, Lea Ann and Jeff, that hundreds and hundreds of people would be showing up without reservations. I kept saying…”Build it and they will come.”  They were directing traffic with those orange airplane-runway-wands.

Dreams.

Another one I had was about a Frog Prom at our pond.  They were all dancing around in couples.  There was one toad who was all dressed up in a white tuxedo… but he also had on red-high-heeled sparkly shoes. There was money stuffed in all his pockets.  He was doing John Travolta moves from Saturday Night Fever.  And that was it. He was just strutting along in all his garb…. eating insects.

Please… I know there is an awful lot of psychoanalyzing happening on the other side of this monitor.  I am fully aware that I am loopier than loopy.

But….I’m telling you. Dreams make me wonder like crazy.
This amphibian dream in particular brought up all sorts of questions.

If frogs did wear shoes… what kind would they wear?

Probably open-toad.

Or if they were rich…. were would they keep all their money?

I’m thinking….  at the river bank.

If frogs ate bugs from Europe… what kind would they be?

French Flies.

Okay….. I better stop now. It is getting late… and I want to see what might be in my dreams tonight.  They might be as fine as frogs hair.  Or they could by hoppy.  Or….

You know.  Maybe I should lay off the Tabasco Sauce for a while…..

Nov 29

Space Monkeys and Sacastic Squirrels

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about contradictions. Ideas which conflict.

The world is full of them, you know. Life too. It is when the contradiction occurs on a personal level, that we stop and take notice. I struggle with some of these.

A good is example is this…..

Some call me crazy… but I like to talk to the animals.

When I was young, I was mesmerized by that ever-so-intelligent-and-proper Dr. Doolittle. (I know now it was Rex Harrison). But back then, when I was five or so…..he WAS Dr. Doolittle.

I would marvel at his extraordinary abilities to converse with the four-leggeds and beyond.

And I would say to myself, at that very young age….”Gosh dern it Polly. One day, you are going to grow up, find a nice top hat, and talk to the animals… just like Dr. D.”

Well, what do you know. I never acquired the top hat… but I talk with animals a lot.

Why… just today, I asked a squirrel to show me his nuts… and he DID.  But not the kind I was asking about.  I meant acorns… and such.

I also prattled with a rabbit, two birds, a sleepy fish… and of course….

…. three dogs and one cat. And they always talk back.  It is just that…. well… sometimes I can’t understand what THEY are saying.

So what brought about all of this? Well, it is “Enos the Chimp.” Enos flew into space on board Mercury Atlas 5 on this day (November 29) in the year 1961. He completed his first orbit in 1 hour and 28.5 minutes. It was a big, Space-And-Monkey-American first. A space pioneer. According to observers, Enos jumped for joy and ran around the deck of the recovery ship enthusiastically shaking the hands of his rescuers. At any rate, he laid the road map for John Glenn, who would be the first American to orbit the earth… about 4 months later.

I just read today that Enos got sick the very next year and died. He didn’t get a Hero’s Tribute, or burial, or anything like that. Instead…. he was subjected to extensive study at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology after his death. Enos’s body is assumed to have been unceremoniously discarded after the examinations were completed.

And there you have it. This news made me immensely sad.

Yes, I read all of this while I was eating dinner. Roasted turkey and vegetables.
There in lies the contradiction. I am sure that turkey was killed in a slaughterhouse. It could have been a Tom, or a Gertrude… a turkey with a family… and one who experienced turkey feelings and emotions. Who’s to say not?

I KNOW our dazzling dogs have feelings. So does our curmudgeony cat.  Why not a turkey or a cow?

Yes, I love to eat meat… but at the same time…. I felt terrible about Enos the Chimp, dying that way.  Contradiction.

It tells me that there is a lot of GRAY in life. Yes, all you people out there that say life is all in black & white… it is either this way or that way… and NO WAY can it be both. Well, I am guessing it can. Yes I think there is gray.  Battleships full of gray.  Podiums full of gray.

And if you are the “Black & White” Sort of a Person… I simply say…

You better not throw crayons if you live in a non-washable walled house.

Well, I don’t think that is quite the original phrase but you get the picture.  I guess sometimes we have to live with those contradictions.  We have to loiter in those gray areas.  Sometimes it is called Compromise, other times it is known as Justification.

Yep.  I am lingering in the grayness of middle-ground.  Because…..  at this point…..  I don’t see me giving up cheeseburgers.   Sorry Enos.

“Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.”   – Blaise Pascal

Nov 28

Planet Spend-A-Lot

 

I don’t like to shop. Not at all.

Especially at this time of year. Black Friday is like the Black Plague to me. I guess Cyber Monday is more my speed… if I had to pick a post-Thanksgiving Day shopping melee.

I don’t get the Black Friday Attraction. At all.

And if you are reading this, and you love to shop on Black Friday… I think that is great… for you. I just don’t have it in me. It seems American consumers weren’t willing to let this old weak economy get in the way of a good sale either. No way Jose. They spent a record $11.4 billion on Black Friday, which is up a whopping 6.6 percent from last year.

Heck, I don’t like to shop in the biggest, most deserted store in the world…… filled with most audacious & incredible bargains…. with pleasant smell abounding and not a tiny bit of canned elevator music piping in anywhere……..  … let alone in a swarm of frenzied, sleep-deprived, chomping-at-the-bit, mad shoppers. “The Bargain Hunters.” Worse than Head Hunters… I think.

Put Black Friday aside.  People are just plain crazy this time of year. They have lost ALL sight of what the holiday is truly about…..

1. The Decorator Christmas starts WAY too early — I saw Christmas lights up before Halloween this year. Blow-up Santa dolls in leaf filled yards. Cut-out reindeer on roof tops. C’mon. This has to make the “Great Pumpkin” just a little sad?

2. The Retail Christmas starts WAY too early — Same thing. Christmas displays in stores starting in mid-October. I like the Candy Corn withOUT the candy canes, and that green Grinch mixed in.

3. The Consumer Christmas is out of control — In L.A., a woman pepper sprayed a crowd of people at the video game discount table. Black Friday shopping was marked by violence in at least seven states, including California.  Most of the reported incidents happening at or near Walmart stores.  Huh.  Hang on to your X-Box baby.

I always thought this holiday was meant to celebrate the birth of a little fella’ named Jesus. That little swaddler in the manger. He grew up to be a very peaceful and loving man as he spent his days on this earth.

He fed lots and lots of people… whether they could afford it or not.
He healed those who were sick or in need… whether they were rich or poor.
He embraced individuals who were different…. and looked down upon by popular society.

Hmmmm.

… And even if you don’t believe in Jesus… there is that cute Santa Claus Chap.  The jolly guy with a kind and giving heart…. making people happy the whole world round.  He gives.  He shares.  Provides equal opportunity for all his reindeer…  even Rudy.

Maybe we should carry some of those principles over in our every day lives…. not only at Christmas time.

It seems that this notion has gone in the wrong direction in the bigger scheme of things. Darn it anyhow.

I think I am going to try to do one little peaceful & random act of kindness…. every day from now until Christmas. Just because.

Maybe if we all do a little thing… here and there… it will start rubbing off.   Maybe we can start celebrating Bright Friday… not Black.

Not spending.  Instead……  simply…..  mending.

“Deliberately seek opportunities for kindness, sympathy, and patience.”
-E. Underhill

Nov 27

Cloudy with a chance of sun.

Doldrums. It is one of my favorite words. I don’t like having the doldrums. I just like the way it sounds. Doldrums.

But unfortunately, last night, I had a case of the doldrums. So, I didn’t write much here. Not at all.

Yep.

A bit “Down in the Dumps”

“On the Blink”
“Feeling Blue”
“Down in the Mouth”
“Out of Sorts”

“On the Fritz”

Call it what you will… I was just feeling low. It is hard to do things when we are sad, or lonely, or despairing.  So I didn’t.

What amazes me is just how many cliches there are describing the state of despondency. But of those phrases… I would have to say that “On the Fritz” is my favorite.

As far as anyone can tell… its originated from the times when the first electrical devices would have shorts in them, and flicker on and off. Fritz, then, may be an imitation of the “pfzt” noise that a faulty connection in an electrical machine might make.

But, I am always reminded of my YoungerYears when I hear “On the Fritz”

We lived in a pretty ethnic neighborhood growing up. One of my favorite families, with one of my closest friends, were the Miklaus Family  (the surname has been changed to protect the innocent).

The father and mother were George and Frances. He called her Fritz. The kids nicknames were Mutt, Yergy, and Elenute…..

Mrs. Miklaus (Fritz) made the best Lithuanian food in the world. I loved her homemade Kugeli. I would go to their house and always asked Mrs. Miklaus if I could have something to eat. I was skinny as a toothpick growing up…. she probably thought Mom & Dad weren’t feeding us…. But… if she had a pan of Kugeli in the house, I was one happy toothpick.

One year, we talked Mom & Dad into getting a cat from them… a kitten… when I was about 9 years old. We named her Fritz. (There was a movie out at the time… called “Fritz the Cat”…. which contributed to the nomenclature).

I loved that cat like crazy. One day, my sister (Batman) and I (Robin) decided that Fritz needed a good shaving. The Joker was on her tail, you see, … and we needed to disguise her. So down to the basement we went… clippers in hand… capes in place… and shaved the holy crap out of Fritz. Dumb kids. She was a long haired Calico / Persian / Furry-Butt-Breed of some sort.

Oh boy. Fritz was on the fritz. Then Mom went on the fritz. Mom really, really went on the fritz.  She flew off the handle.  Batman and Robin were on the hotseat. I’ll tell you that much right now.

Those were the days. And now these are the days.

I have a Mutt named Frances… and sometimes (like today)… I slip… and call her Fritz.

Full circle. It all goes full circle.

Yes…. tonight I am feeling much better. In my mind, I’ve spent some time in my childhood…. with my beloved cat, smelling  Kugeli in the Miklaus kitchen, and thinking about my adventures in my long lost cape.

And better yet…. that sweet mutt named Frances is laying by my feet… dreaming of chasing furry cats.  There are “pfzt” noises…. coming from her butt. Once again…..Full Circle.

So I am “Back on Track”
“One Happy Camper”
“Good as Gold”
“In the Hunt”
“Happy as a Clam”

“Off the Fritz”

Nov 25

Time on your hands… and ears too.

Today, I waited three hours to see a doctor. And once I saw that doctor… it was for about a total of 5 minutes. Seven, tops.

And when I finally got to the pharmacy,  the clerk dangled the bag containing my Rx in front of me.  She proceeded to ask: “Now do you really want these eye drops? The cost is $ 144.95 and it isn’t covered on your insurance.”

“Well….. no lady. I just spent the last four hours of my life waiting for what’s in that bag. I think I’ll pass.”  Yeah.  Right.  Of course I am going to pay the 144.95.  I would give you my first born for what’s in that bag.  What the heck else would I do at that point? What could I do?  Suffer indefinitely without them?

Holy Shhhmackerels. A lot to complain about? Not really. In some countries, people walk for a couple of days to get to a clinic. Once there, they have to camp until the doctor GETS to the clinic. At which point, they can only hope there will be medicine available to help them, or their sick children.

I am a lucky girl.

I think sometimes we lose sight of how good we have it here in the United States of America. Sure, things could use some improvement here and there. That is for sure. But comparatively, we have it pretty darn good in this neck of the woods.

Switching gears… I discovered some really fantastic information while lingering in the waiting room. (Yes, another lucky thing. For those three hours, I was able to check email, search the internet, play World of Goo, and Cut the Rope. I read a bit of the book “A Team of Rivals.”  And on and on. Another perk of our freedoms, and conditions here.)
Okay.

Here are certain things I ferreted out.

Which film star has a daughter called Sage Moonblood?

Sylvester Stallone (Really Sly? That’s the best you could do for that kid?  I think he took a few too many punches in Rocky XXIV)

What is the biggest Dog Holiday in the World?

“Birdsil Day” on November 8th of every year. (Why? The guy who invented the fire hydrant (1869) was Birdsil Holly. He was born on November 8th, in 1820. Max, Frances, and Ollie throw a big party annually.)

Hari-Kari is vulgar name for Seppuku what does it literally mean?

Belly Splitting (I am much calmer now.. but while I was flipping my lid in the waiting room… I considered Hari-Kari. Twice.)

And speaking of such things….. In ancient China people committed suicide by eating what?

Salt, eating 1 pound will kill you.  (I guess that is where the saying comes from…”Go Pound Salt.”)

Where are a cricket’s ears located?

In their front legs. (Now isn’t that something?   Literally…. “Talk to the Hand”….  Can you hear me now?  Can you hear me now?)

What real person has been portrayed the most films?

Napoleon Bonaparte (Okay… I am trying not to… BUT…. I can’t help it.

They are all Short Films.)

Which Shiny Insect Feeds On Such Materials As Wallpaper Paste And Bookbindings?

The Silverfish (This has nothing to do with anything… other than Silverfish give me the creeps.  Bookbindings.  Yuck.  Another argument for the iPad)

Which two initials are used to describe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

ME (Ha. I don’t know what ME stands for.. but CFS seems more fitting… or Me Tired.)

Who wrote ‘The History of Mr. Polly’?

H. G. Wells (I will have to get this on my iPad. I had never heard of this title before today. Wells also wrote “The Time Machine” and “The Invisible Man.”)

So…. on that note…..  I shall end this now.   For it is getting late ….  Time for me to be Invisible.

Nov 24

All for one… or TWO for ONE?

Black Friday Sale at KronyTown!

Everything at Project 368….. NOW… Just 364.50 or less!

One year… same as cash! Guaranteed.

Everything on SALE!

Musings… 50% off

Bright Ideas… All half price (Supplies Limited)

Meanderings… Buy one get one free.

Corny Sayings and Jokes… all marked down!

Deliberations and Proposals… FREE SHIPPING!

Yes. Everything MUST GO!

Door Busters Specials… Come Early… SAVE BIG! Prices good all day.

 

Happy Shopping You Crazy-Black-Friday-Nuts. May the Shopping Gods be with you…..

You’ll need ’em.

“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy”
-Proverb

Nov 23

Happy, and hoppy, Thanksgiving.

On this day of all days… it seems we take the time to reflect on our good fortune, our blessings, our gifts and good favors in life. We give thanks.

I am grateful for sweet amazing graciousness… from the little to the large.   I am thankful for the many wonders in my life. My soulmate, family, friends, and four-legged pals. My health and abilities. A free country. Hot water. Cameras. Grits.  For those little dots that go in-between my sentences.  Museums. Sock Monkeys. Computers. A good pair of shoes. Deodorant. Mayonnaise. Movies. Nature. Clean air. Air in my tires. Sleep. Mashed potatoes… what the heck… all pasty white foods. Fast internet connections (still praying for one in Camden, Ohio). Waterfalls. Eyeglasses.  This list goes into the kazillions. From minuscule Caterpillars to mammoth Constellations.

I think I have finally come to understand…. to realize….. that my attitude toward the life I’m living and all the people in it… has an impact. Yes, I am pretty certain this is true. May attitude can have a tangible, measurable and profound effect on what happens to me during each day.

If I act in a negative way… I can probably expect negative results. On the other hand…..

I am finding that when I give what I am seeking….. it returns to me at the right time and place. It goes much the same way in consideration of futile resistance. It seems when I finally quit knocking my head against a wall… the headache goes away. At exactly the right time.  Balance.  Gratitude.

It is important for me to give thanks every day. Through this gratitude, much can be accomplished, transcended, and shared.

May it be… that we all use the gifts which we have received… and share them with others. That we pass on the love that has been given to us… and be content with ourselves as we are.

May it be.. that we all dance and sing… and give thanks with our trueness of heart.

I forgot about frogs. I like frogs. Thankful for them. Not the deep-fried-leg-kind… but the kind that hop around the pond, and orchestrate sweet songs at night… and swim like crazy all day long… those frogs.

Yep….

……

…. and for each one of you.  I am have much gratitude in my heart.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 22

Hang my hat….

Today was our big travel day. Back to Ohio.  The Buckeye State.  The home of the Wright Brothers and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.  Yes, back to the north for Thanksgiving… and Christmas…. Ho. Ho. Ho.

An entire day in the car with two humans, three dogs, and one cat… has the potential of being quite interesting.  Today, did not disappoint.

We all managed to be good dogs.  All of us.

Here is the iPhone Chronicle.

It started out in a very delightful way…. breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  Any day that starts with 2 eggs over easy, biscuits, grits, and ham… is a red-letter beginning.

But wait.   There’s more.  Big events at our first stop.  While walking through the General Store …. What to mine eyes appear?  A SOCK MONKEY TREE…..

Hold the phone, will ya’?  I dropped my root beer barrels right there in the restaurant!

But wait again.  It doesn’t stop there.  That tree was topped with none other than a Sock Monkey Hat.  One, like my very own.  Oh what a day, what a day.

Then…. While dining….. Shanice came to our table, and presented me with a drinking straw.   I am not sure why she chose me.  I must have looked like I needed a straw.  So,  I was extremely grateful.  She was very kind.  Nice to meet you Shanice.

And then, then, then…..  we did lots of this….     this….     this.

Ate lots of these….

And drank lots of that…

Thirteen hours later… it sort of looked like earlier in the day… but much, much, later.  And blearier.

Five states later.   Orville and Wilbur are wondering why we didn’t fly.

Regardless.  We are home.  Well…. we were home… and now we are home again.  But here we are.

And as Buckaroo Banzai says…  “No matter where you go…. there you are.”

Yes.  Be it ever so humble… There’s No Place Like Home.

Nov 21

Pass the mustard, and the magic.

Picnics are one of life’s simple joys.

Even the sound of the word is melodious. Picnic.

Okay… maybe not melodious. It is “catchy” though…

And to hear the phrase, “We are going on a picnic,” conjures up all sorts of warm and wonderful images.

Just down the street about a half a block, is The Battery. It overlooks the Charleston Bay, and Fort Sumter, among other things.

People picnic there all the time. I love to walk through the park and watch them picnic. They are happy… eating their cold fried chicken, macaroni salad, and potato chips. Or bologna sandwiches, coleslaw and pretzel sticks. Chocolate chip cookies, or apple pie. Some bring a basket, others bring a canvas bag.

They spread out their wool blankets, and set the stage before them. There is nothing fast about it… all is slow, and savored. Methodical. The picnic is both meticulous and messy.

Smiles and laughter…passing plates… sharing forkfuls of food… even though they all have the same exact thing.  A game of frisbee or touch football.  Swing-around-airplane rides.

Heartwarming. Fun. True. Loving.

For a moment, I thought I would suggest that everyone be required to take one picnic per month… and the world might be a better place. Then… I thought better of it. No.  I would not suggest such a thing. Making it a requirement would wring the magic right out of it.  And the enchantment of the picnic would be rendered ….. useless.

Oh.  I believe in magic.

There are those who say it doesn’t exist.  But I am convinced that it does. And when asked where I think magic comes from…. I say…

Magic comes from the heart.

Just take a good look at a picnic.