Small Things

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Oh.  It seems I spend a good deal of time on personal introspection. Rarely… am I plunked on the shoulder with a grand revelation.

At times, something will strike me as being hugely profound.  And just when I think I am starting to figure things out…  well frankly… the universe has a way of telling me I really don’t know a gall-darn thing.

And so it goes.

I guess my spiritual nourishment comes to me in handy little bite sized pieces…. like M & Ms.  Or Milk Duds.  Or Deep-Fried Wall-Eye Nuggets.

I truly like those little pleasures…  in the small and quiet moments.  The kindness of others… a beautiful painting… a majestic sunrise.  Grinning Goats.

There in….  lies the wonder.

I am especially grateful for those times. The little flashes of insight.    Little Pieces.


“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”  – Thich Nhat Hanh

NTBS. (Not The Back Stroke)

Tonight, I write with a sad, and heavy heart.

You see… I have some terrible news.

My BFF died.  My Best Fish Friend.

I came home from a long day of appointments, and errands.  And there he was.

DOA.  That is Dead On Arrival… Old School Abbreviation.  (OSA’s… I like to call them.)

Yes.  It appears that I was in the midst of a SNAFU.  (Systems Normal, All-Fouled Up. ….. …  another OSA reference.)

OMG.  He was FUBAR.  All glassy-eyed and on is side.    And I…. I was BM.  (Beside Myself).

Someone told me this was TBE (To Be Expected) of CFGF (County Fair Gold Fish).  But I am SOL.  (Sh*t Out of Luck).

What will I do with all this LOFF?  (Left Over Fish Food).

I know one thing.  I will be heading to Craig’s List tonight:

FOR SALE.  CHEAP.  One slightly used Goldfish Bowl.  Two River Rocks.  Make an Offer.  Email:

Yes.  A sad day.  But I have wept quite enough.  My little BFF would want me to Keep Swimming.  So….  I did a bunch of laps tonight in the pool, in honor of the Gold Man.

RIP Simon.

Simon the Awesome
2012 – 2012


Maybe next time… I’ll get a bird.

“In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.”  ~Robert Ingersoll

In your pocket.


Did you say we?  WE?  Who-We?  You and the Mouse In Your Pocket?


Blame it on the Mouse.  Always.  Blame it on the Mouse.


“Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it’s addressed to someone else.” – Ivern Ball



Something’s Fishy Here.

This is Simon.

Simon says read this.  Simon says hello.

Touch your nose. ( Argghhhhhh.  YOU touched your nose.  You are out of the game….  Simon didn’t say to touch your nose. )

Sorry, I couldn’t resist a good game of Simon Says.

Okay.  Back to it.  Seriously.

This is Simon.  I won him at the Darke County Fair.  I know.  I already told you.  But he has lived here now… successfully… for nearly a week.  Six nights.  Seven days.

And what a fish he is.  I have come to love Simon…. I’ll tell you.

He is no ordinary Goldfish.  Goldfish are small members of the carp family.  He is no carp.  No way.  He is more like a Golden Fish of all Fish.

People think I am mean to him at times.  I’ll say to him… “Why Simon!  You Cold-Blooded, Scaly, Son of a Mudsucker YOU!”   But the fact of the matter is… Simon IS all those things.

Now…… “Memory of a goldfish” is a phrase often used jokingly to define short memory span.   You know.   People say… “Well he has the memory of a Goldfish.”

On the contrary,  those little goldfish have a rather good memory.  In fact… it can span of 3-4 months and sometimes even more.  This fact is proven by many scientists, in cute little white lab coats,  around the world.

I would like to be in the labs where they prove this.  I cannot imagine.  (Do they ask the goldfish things like…)
Scientist: What did you have for breakfast a week ago Sunday?
Goldfish Answer:  Fish flakes.
Scientist:  Okay then… what did you have for lunch… one month ago today?
Goldfish Answer:  Fish flakes.
Scientist:  One more… you smarty fish.  Where were you 8 weeks ago last Thursday….at noon?
Fish Answer:  In this bowl.  Swimming.
Scientist:  Well you can starch my Lab Coat!!!  That fish has a good memory.

I also read that Goldfish should never be kept in small bowls. They need a spacious environment with high oxygen levels.  Oh Oh.  Guess where Simon is?  In a pretty darn small bowl.  I sort of wondered why he was wearing a little oxygen mask.

Holy Smackerels.  Here is one more thing.  I am panicking just a little bit tonight.  I found out that….  a  goldfish CAN live as long as 40 years.  But they say that 10 to 20 years is not uncommon, if the fish has good living conditions… and is allowed to watch Flipper Reruns on TV Land.

At any rate… I like that fish.  But… no more TV.

And if he dies… well… all is not lost.  We love Sushi around here.

“Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish” – Mark Twain

“Opportunities, many times, are so small that we glimpse them not and yet they are often the seeds of great enterprises. Opportunities are also everywhere and so you must always let your hook be hanging. When you least expect it, a great fish will swim by.” – Og Mandino

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.” – Henry David Thoreau

Up ended…

Have you ever noticed that bugs land on their back when they die?  I mean….  it seems that way to me… at least.  I can’t recall ever seeing a dead fly sitting squarely on its feet.  Even spiders, who have eight flippers, tend to turn over on their hairy backs.

This… keeps me up at night.  Well, it used to.  But I got to the bottom of this.  Finally.

There are a couple of theories by the bug experts to explain this.

1.  Most are poisoned.  Not by a money-hungry relative.  No.  Most succumb to bug spray, that we humans have squirted about to and fro.  The poison ravages the bugs’ nervous systems.  Spasms, convulsions, and such.  And… cough, cough, sputter, spew…. cough.  Spasm.  Dead and gone, keeled over…. onto their little spines.

2. A dead bug doesn’t weigh much.  Any little breeze will flip it over on its widest base of support… the back.

Now my theory.

Bugs are HUGE worriers.  So, they resort to daydreaming as an escape.   They spend hours, and hours… lying on their backs… gazing off into to space… dreaming of a world without Raid, and spider webs… and most certainly… without frogs.  Bug Utopia.  But… when they decided to recline and dream a bit… they forget that it is terribly difficult for them to right themselves.

So… they try and try… but no luck.  They eventually die of dehydration… which doesn’t take long for a little bug.

Help.  I’ve’ daydreamed and I can’t get up.

And that, my friends is how this sad, sad scene…. happens.


I overheard a couple of spiders talking… during this final phase.   They looked lovingly at eachother… and said…

“Can you believe we met on the web?”

There were also a couple of Fireflies near them.  They were speaking their last words too.  And  what did one firefly say to the other?

“I got to glow now!”



How sweet it is to live life with a song in your heart.

And so much better when you can share that song with someone else.




“You make everything……. Groovy.” – Chip Taylor (Recorded by the Troggs)

Ahhhhh, fish poop.

Life has a way of giving us little lessons, if we are open to them.

Sometimes they can be one right after another.  Each one, building on the lesson that preceded it.

Here is what I learned tonight.  It is profound.

There are submarines in the ocean.  They go along the ocean floor, and the only thing they do is scoop up fish poop.

….. I told you it was profound.  And I meant it.


Okay.  Here is how I came to learn this.

A few days ago, I went to the Darke County Fair.  I had the time of my life.  We were walking through the game area,  and I saw the Throw-A-Ping-Pong-Ball-Win-A-Goldfish Booth.

Childhood memories came rushing over me like flood waters pouring over the edge of the dam.  It thrust me back in time to my youth, and the days when I would leave a Carnival with four or five goldfish in tied-off plastic baggies.

And here…. this week….  my friends convinced me to play.  They could tell I wanted to.  They even sprung for the $2 per bucket of 20 ping pong balls.  And there I was, hurling the little white bouncing spheres toward the table of glistening fishbowls.

Oh but yikes.  I was down to 3 balls, and no fish.  And so…. I imagined the next ball landing right in the water.  I pictured it in my mind.

The next ball went in.


From there on I was like a little kid again.  I went up to total strangers, displayed my new-found fish-friend, and exclaimed, “Hey!  I just won a fish.”  We laughed and laughed.  Something so simple bringing so much joy.


Yet what are the chances of this cheap-o Fair Fish living more than one night?  Well, here it is the fourth night, and the fish lives.  His name is Simon.  He is a great swimmer.

I have watched him closely, in this bowl of his.  His bowl of life.  He maneuvers quite well.  And by seeing him move so gracefully, and effortlessly, in such a confined space… his little fins working in perfect synchronization at the every command of his little fish brain.


So tonight, as I am cleaning his bowl, and his water…. my favorite 5-year old in the world asks me… “Polly, why are you giving him new water?”

Because the old water was getting dirty, and he needs clean water to stay healthy.

“How did it get dirty?”

Well, Buddy.  Fish eat, and then they poop in their own water.

The look on my favorite little 5 year old face was priceless.  Like I had just told him that he had to eat nothing but broccoli for the rest of his life.

So he pondered that information… the Fish-Poop-Scandal information.  And he looked at  me in all earnestness, and told me about the submarines, that scoop up the fish poop, on the floors of oceans.


So like a string of dominoes, one right after the other, tapping each other with the clickety clack of knowledge…. it all came together.

That rare moment, when all of life seems to make perfect sense.

“Just Keep Swimming.” – Dory, Finding Nemo

Out of one’s gourd.

Apparently, I am back.  And… I want some answers.

I heard a story tonight.  And now “things” need some clarification.

Who the heck was this “Peter, Peter” person?

Was “Pumpkin Eater” his occupation?  Or merely some sort of hobby?  Or was it more serious?  Did he have a Pumpkin Eating Disorder, or Addiction?

And what is all this nonsense about his wife?

Could not keep her?  What is that supposed to mean?

This could go a lot of ways. If he was addicted to pumpkin eating, perhaps she left him as a result of the habit?

Or was he some sort of chauvinistic, fanatical, horrible man, that tried to squelch the independence and persona of his wife?  Did he try to keep the very inner essence of her from shining through?  I just don’t know.

The last part may require a call to authorities.  Like CSI.

Put her in a pumpkin shell, and there he kept her very well?

It was either a really big pumpkin, or she was a tiny darn woman…. or… or…. or worse.

I shudder to think.  This was a disturbing story.  But I WILL get to the bottom of this.

“When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.” – Wynn Bullock

Way more than moo.

Heck.  There is a lot I don’t know about cows.  There is a lot you don’t know about cows too, I bet.

It wasn’t so long ago that I used to eat a lot of beef.  Steaks, burgers, roast beef… you name it.  Yep, and now I don’t really have it so much.

As the Big Hay Bundler would have it, I met a few cows… and had lengthy and meaningful conversations.  At first, they were Holsteins.  Milk cows.  But the more we talked, the less I felt like grabbing a cheeseburger after.

Here is the main thing.  Cows are quite philosophical.  Humans think cows are dumb animals.  I have come find out the Bovine Species is quite the opposite.   They are not the least bit obtuse.

They are reflective, meditative, and introspective.

I was recently in the midst of quite a few.  One of the cows was named Varny.  She was a hoot.  She would just blurt out random phrases that cracked me up.  I laughed so hard that milk came out my nose.  And I wasn’t even drinking milk.  But, in the midst of all the fun, Varny’s pensive commentary sure did make me think.

“Dreaming should be used to distract people from stigmata.”

“Some people make watery cupcakes without the absurdity of it all.”

“If you see cruddy centipedes next to a waterfall, run the other way.”

“Gather loose daisies with your hands, but never pick them.   Especially on Thursdays.”

“Nazi waffle coupons belong in deep space.”

Do you see what I mean?  I left that cow shaking my head back and forth.  Uncontrollably, really.  The ideas that cow put in my head.  And as I walked away, she yelled… “Drinking Ovaltine at small tables will make your socks stiff.”  Who knew?

Not in all my days, I’ll tell you.  Not in all my days.
“The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.” – Richard Bach

This is not another tail.

Today was one of those eerie days.  Not eerie in a bad way.  It was odd, and uncanny, in a delightful way.  A Cotton-Candy-Good-Day.  I would go so far as to say it was Goose-Got-Your-Gander-Good.

Snappy.  I met a fish named Simon.  Then, I ate a delicious fish.  But it wasn’t Simon.  I talked with a cat named Franky.  AND… I heard about this Phlebotomist who raises Alpacas.  Well… they might be Llamas.  But they are not the daily kind.

Creepy Clowns were standing around making Balloon Animals, and such.  Ill-tempered clowns.  It struck me funny.  I laughed out loud.  Not LOL.  No.  More like HA HA HA HA.

I am telling you.  Things were whacky.  But. More like red-letter day whacky.  Maybe even green-lettered.   They were that good.

Now, I don’t know what Buddy Hackett meant when he said this.  But somehow, I know exactly how he feels.

“I’ve had a good day when I don’t fall out of the cart” – Buddy Hackett

As it turns out…. I do not remember falling out of any cart.  So.  A good day indeed.