See the light?

There are definitely some things I have wondered about today.

I don’t drink, but I am told that white wine goes well with fish.  If this is true, are you supposed to have grapes with sushi?

I am a firm believer in starting over if you need to.  But here is my big question.  Before they invented Drawing Boards, what the heck were you supposed to go back to?

And sort of the same thing with light bulbs.  Before Edison invented that whole deal…. when someone got a great idea…. what appeared over their heads?

I’ve seen photos of the Kamikaze Pilots from WWII.  All of them wore helmets in their airplanes.  I don’t understand why.

Why is the smiley face always so damn happy?

In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.  I understand that perfectly.  What scares me is WHY the law is in effect.

And finally…..   in 1973…. Mao Zedong told Henry Kissinger that China had a whole bunch of extra females.  Apparently, he felt that his country didn’t need this excess of females and offered the United States 10 million Chinese women.

What I am wondering is this:  What in heaven’s name is wrong with that guy?  For that matter…. what is wrong with a WHOLE lot of people in their current-day regard for women?

Piece of advice ladies….. don’t lose any more of your rights.  Work to keep them.  Vote to keep them.  Turn that light bulb on over your head.  This is just common sense for us.   Let’s NOT go back to that old drawing board.  And please…. don’t drive with your blindfold on.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” – Mark Twain

What the heck….

When I was a little girl, I overheard a very disturbing statement.  Someone said to my Dad, “Well Paul, the Devil is in the details.”

“WHAT?”  What could this mean, I wondered.  The Devil is in the details???  I thought the fork-tailed dude lived in the Pits of Hell.  And now…..  now….. of all places….. he is in the DETAILS?

I was on edge.  In fact, I was down right fearful.  I began looking inside pencil sharpeners, and coin returns.  I started overturning rocks, and unwinding spools & spools of my Mom’s thread.  No thimble went unnoticed.  No penny went unturned.

Finally, I went in to see our Parish Priest….. Fr. Schneider.
“Father.” I said.  “I heard that the Devil is in the details.  What does this mean?  And IF the Devil is in the details, does that mean God is a slob?”

“Oh NO, my child!” he extolled.  “Heaven’s NO!  God is not a slob.  He is tidy, and neat, and perfect in every way.  Cleanliness is next to Godliness!  Now you go right home and say ten Hail Mary’s for suggesting such a thing.”

“Ahhhhh.  Sweet Mary Mother of Jesus, Father…..  ten Hail Mary’s?”

“Make it 20 young lady.  Now leave me… before I make it 30!”

And that is how it went.  You see, I never did get a straight  answer from that priest.  And to this very day, the statement has bothered me. The Devil is in the Details.

Since the whole “cleanliness is next to godliness” idea was dropped in to my formidable brain, it seems that I have picked up some obsessive compulsive tendencies along the way.  And…. in addition to all of that …. I am still looking at everything small with unrelenting scrutiny.

I was driven to purchase a macro lens for my camera, and a magnifying glass for every day viewing of life. The search has been tenacious and unflagging.  And so it goes.

So.  I better wrap this up.  This evening at the grocery, I bought a bag of jelly beans, a box of rice,  and a dozen eggs.  I have a LOT of looking under to do.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault


IT is a dark and lonely night.  The midnight air is thick…. with fog.

A cookie, tolls down pan handler’s alley.

Out jumps a mugger.  Yes.  A mugger of milk.

Cookie stops in its tracks…..  filled with fear…. stuck to the pan.

The mugger pulls a gun…. and fires.

Much to everyone’s dismay….

It was….



And that my friend, is how the cookie crumbles.


Quite a jarring experience.


Good movie… in your head.

What is the secret to happiness?  That old question has been around since the beginning of time.

Some people in this life just seem internally happy.  Others have the disposition of a…. well… a toad on a sloggy bog.

I think the difference is simple to see in those you meet along the way.

This next part may seem a bit off track… but it isn’t.  Seriously.  You see, I’m a bit of a sports fan.  I just learned something about Chappy WcWinty.  Chappy was a football coach in Division II for a WHOLE lot of years.  This guy could really lead a team.  He was one of the winningest football coaches in history… at that level.

So….this is what he did.  The week following the game, Chappy would show his players films  of the previous game.  But he didn’t show them the mistakes.  He showed them what they did RIGHT.  He focused on the things they were doing well.

And what if we did this for ourselves?  What would happen if we played the good movies of ourselves in our heads?  Not of us playing football.  No.  But of us doing the things WE do.

I think whatever it is we pay attention to… what ever we put our  focus on …. is the thing that grows within us.  If we look in the direction we want to go…. well…  away we go.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am betting we can learn from our mistakes too.  That is a certainty in my book.  But we don’t have to linger there.  We just take that information… that “thing” we learned from the “mistake”…. and we try not to do THAT again.  But perhaps we shouldn’t dwell on it…. like a sloggy toad.

You can’t slap yourself into happy either.  I think we can become happy… …. yes…. …. we can “find” our happiness by doing the things that MAKE US happy.  Focus on what we enjoy.  Succeed at that.  And happiness is likely to follow, I say.

But if we dwell on the negative, and hang out with the rotten and stinky….once again…. there we go.

Look toward the direction you want to go.  And just go. Go like the wind.  Or…. Like Chappy.  Just like Chappy.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – H. Cain

Times Seven….

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon.  The grand, grand, grand Canyon.  The southern rim, to be exact.  It was knock-your-pink-socks-off amazing.

We took a small guided tour…. which in many ways… was a great thing.  It wasn’t like the 3-hour tour that Ginger, Mary Ann, and the Professor took.  No.

You see….  We learned A LOT about that area of Arizona, and the formation of rocks, and such…. in a very short time.

One such piece of information was about the age of the earth.  Scientists agree it is celebrating none other than the impressive 4.5 Billion Year Old Birthday.

Although… my friends…. get this. We here in the U.S. have a Senator in Georgia who sticks-to-his-guns that the earth is just 9,000 years old.  Hear ye.  Hear ye.  His minor in college must have been Fiction Writing… because it sure wasn’t Geology.

No.  You can SEE the age of the earth in the Grand Canyon.  Those sorts of formations don’t come by way of digging… I’ll tell you that much right now.

But why did I start all of this?

Oh.  I meant to write about the Seven Wonders of the World…. but boy, oh boy… did I ever get off track.  Okay.  What would you say are the Seven Wonders of the World?

Dang it.  Don’t Google it.  Write them down.  On our little tour… Little Mr. Joe-Joe, our Tour Guide told us that the Grand Canyon was one of The Seven Wonders of the World.

Well…..  I Googled it tonight  (I am allowed to Google it…. do as I say…. not as I do).   And he was sort of right, and sort of wrong.

As it turns out… there are many, many, “Seven Wonders of the World.”  It just depends on which variety you are referring to.  In reality, we have more like 49, or 56 Wonders of the World.

Here are a few of the lists.

Ancient Wonders of the World.

Great Pyramid of Giza
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Colossus of Rhodes
Lighthouse of Alexandria

The Middle Ages came up with their own list:

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
Great Wall of China
Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
Hagia Sophia
Leaning Tower of Pisa

And then in 2001, a new list was generated, once again.

Great Wall of China     Since 7th century BC     China
Petra     c.100 BCE     Jordan
Christ the Redeemer     Opened October 12, 1931     Brazil
Machu Picchu     c.1450 CE     Peru
Chichen Itza     c.600 CE     Mexico
Colosseum     Completed 80 CE     Italy
Taj Mahal     Completed c.1648 CE     India
Great Pyramid of Giza (Honorary Candidate)     Completed c.2560 BCE     Egypt

Yet….. the Grand Canyon is…. freakishly absent.

I had to look up the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, which has been compiled by a few modern sources… one of which is CNN.  The agreed upon list….

Grand Canyon
Great Barrier Reef
Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
Mount Everest
Aurora  Borealis
Parícutin Volcano
Victoria Falls

I was beginning to wonder about that Wonder.  But.  There it IS… finally.  That big old wholly rocky hole in the ground!

I have my own Seven Wonders of the World List.  And what is it?  Well…..  I honestly have to say… it depends on the day…. and what I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.  It depends on the day.  And…. my sense of wonder.

“The few wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them.” – Charles De Lint


“Wonder is the beginning of Wisdom.”  – Greek Proverb

Birds of a feather. They do.

This is a bird.

A bird on a branch.

Well…. no.   I say now, this is a fake bird on a fake branch.

The fact of the matter is… you may say that is a bird.  But no…. NO… not really.  Not while you were bird watching… no.

You see, while YOU were bird watching, you turned this bird into a meal for a whole bunch of non-working lazy cats.

Excuse me.  If I may just make my point here…. if you will…

If I were bird watching, I would certainly take this no good bird… and change it… over night…. in to a golden eagle.  A golden eagle for EVERYONE.  Everywhere.

Ahhh…. but YOU just said this was a pair of tweezers… in a feather duster.  Now which is it?

Wait just a minute.  Not so fast.  I am saying this is a good source of income for seed maker and suppliers.  In Ohio.  So while I say this is a bird on a branch, it will also create seed-making-jobs.  But not in China.

And that.  THAT…… …. ……



Rock hard.

This is a Grand Canyon Rock Squirrel.

They are not to be confused with the Pika, or the Kaibab Squirrel.  Nope.

Nor are they to be confused with the Waltz Squirrel, the Punk Squirrel, the Rapper Squirrel, or the Polka Squirrel.


These are the Rock Squirrels of the Grand Canyons.

Little Rockers.

They only play songs by The Rolling Stones.  Well…. and Stone Temple Pilots.    Yeah.  And sometimes Sly and the Family Stone.  Oh.  And maybe… Earth, Wind and Fire.


But that’s it.

Yep.  They sure do like to rock.  And…. they’re nuts.


“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.  – Aldous Huxley”


Survived by one niece.

I am so lucky… so fortunate…. to have a home.  My home is more than a house.  It is a life.  It is where I belong.  My home means being with the ones I love.  It is the safest place for me to be me.

And once again, I am blessed, that I HAVE ones to love.  Those who love me, in spite of myself.  They come in the shape of life partner, and family, and friends…. and dogs.

I read a story tonight.  A very interesting, and tremendously sad account.  It was about a woman named Clara Dickey.  Clara was born on June 4th, in 1880.  The daughter of a fine boat captain, named Isaac.  Her mother was Hattie Mudgett.  Seriously.  Hattie Mudgett.  On that day in June, Isaac docked his ship in Hong Kong.  Clara was born as the ship bobbed up and down, while docked in that bay.

The family moved to New York City…. eventually.  Clara took to the limelight of the Big Apple, and became a world-renowned stage actress.  Big Cheese.  The star of Madame Butterfly, and many others. During that time… she married… and divorced… rather quickly.  No children.  Yet her career thrived on the stage.

Eventually, she headed west to Hollywood.  She started working a wide range of small roles for the silver screen.  Bit parts.  She tallied probably 150 to 200 minor or supporting roles.  She never landed a single lead at any of the major Hollywood studios.

By 1969, she retired from acting.  Her health began to fail miserably.  She was going blind and began suffering from severe arthritis. On April 15, 1962, she returned home from Palm Sunday services at her church…. and she then began rearranging her room.

Clara took great care in placing her favorite photos and memorabilia in prominent places. She laid out her resume and a collection of press clippings from her lengthy career. She put on an elegant royal blue dressing gown.

Clara then took a lethal overdose of sleeping pills.

She went over to the couch…..covered up snugly in a gold blanket  and tied a plastic bag over her head.

She left the following note: “I am now about to make the great adventure. I cannot endure this agonizing pain any longer. It is all over my body. Neither can I face the impending blindness. I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.”

Her landlady, Helen Mason, found her body Sunday morning.

We all know her better as…. Auntie Em, from the Wizard of Oz.  (Clara Blandick was her stage and screen name.)

Though the Auntie Em character proved memorable to audiences, few fans knew Blandick’s name. She is not billed in the opening credits and is listed last in the movie’s closing credits.

Survived by one niece.

Isn’t that something?  Auntie Em…. the beacon…  the matriarch…. the “mother” of “no place like home”  committed suicide…. lonely and alone… and probably afraid.  It appears she didn’t have much of a home.

This made me so sad… and so grateful at the same time.  I have a home.  And…. there is NO PLACE LIKE IT.  Anywhere.

Yes.  I always love to be home.

And tonight, I think about Clara Dickey Blandick… and hope that somehow…  someway…. she has found her own ruby slippers.  I hope that she has found her home.  Where her pain, and worries, and troubles…… could melt like lemon drops.

Light it up.


Sometimes, in life, you meet those people who are the bright and shining lights.  The stars.  The ones who shine, and the ones who everyone sees.  They can be illuminators, or beacons, or just bright spots.  And how great is that?

But, without the light pole, or post, or stand…. that light would just fall to the ground.  Yes.  Sometimes we meet the light posts… and they too are as sturdy and as stalwart as can be.  They offer support, and fortitude, and stability.  And how great is that?

Both are strong. But in different ways.  And one isn’t much good without the other.

The light and the post.  Which one are you?  Which one would you rather be?


“A person shows their true self by how much they need other people.”