We all like our stuff.  We buy things.  We own things.  But, when it comes right down to it…… all of that is not really ours.

It can be taken away at any moment.  Ask the people in Joplin, Missouri.  Sure, some of them have “insurance” which will pay to replace some of their stuff. But they can’t get the “first” things back.

Like a comfortable chair a mother may have sat in when she nursed all three of her children.  A favorite pair of slippers.  An album of old photographs.  A tin trophy a child earned for winning the school picnic egg toss.  Grandmother’s wedding dress.  All vanished with one mighty wind.

But, nonetheless, we like our belongings.  I am the first in line.  I like to get stuff, and take care of it. Use it.  I was born under the sign of Taurus.  We are all about stuff.

But the realest part of our existence here on earth…. is in  finding the blessings that the “living” give us.  Our partners, and children, parents and siblings, friends and fur-children…..plants and animals…. and earth herself.

Today, I think I’ll pick up the phone and tell someone I love them.   Or let someone know how special they are to me.  Hug my dog.  Do a good deed.

Because… when it all comes down to it……..I think……. that’s the kind of stuff our hearts should be made of.

A mud fence is still a fence, after all.

Abner was so mean, he could make a worm jump.  Never had a kind word about anything.  The truth of the matter is, he didn’t know poop from paint.

“Agnes, you look as ugly as a mud fence today.”

Finally…. Agnes had had enough.  Scooch on over.  Ugly is sitting next to you…..and her name is mud.  It’s the new pretty.

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum…..

Well…..  I’m just saying…. I’m starting to notice that things are a little different down here in the south…Just a typical Sunday afternoon here.  Play on  Big Band.  Play ON…..

Actually, this is all a part of a great festival / celebration of the arts down here in Charleston, called Spoleto.

The entire city buzzes with excitement, events, entertainment, and on occasion…. a Patriotic Band.  The festival runs for 17 days….  it is a huge deal here.

But back to this little soire’e….As if coffee weren’t a big enough foe in my daily doings… a little girl seated directly behind me, felt the need to spill her red slushie drink all about the location where I sat.  It worked out okay.  I matched the band for the rest of the performance.  Yep.  I’m fitting right in down here in the south….Rock ON.


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Just drink it…. already.

I am a coffee slob.  I’m a little embarrassed about it really.  Nine mornings out of ten, I have a java mishap, and end up wearing half a cup.  This morning was no different.  Point in case:  this photo taken at 8 am.

I’m not quite sure why it happens… but it is always the same.  The coffee appears mid-air…. almost in slow motion….. a big blob of it, dancing, twirling, spinning, and defying gravity…  ( I can sort of hear the sound effect from “The Six Million Dollar Man” when he jumps up on a tall building… that chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh noise….).  Then all at once, it speeds up, faster than fast…..  I yell  “INCOMING”……, and then hits my shirt or pants.  Relentlessly.

After that, I make the best of it.  I try to decide what today’s splash pattern looks like.  Kind of like the puffy cloud game.  This morning, I think it resembled Oahu, Hawaii.  Or upside down Maui…..

Yesterday, it looked like a rabbit flashing a peace sign with its left paw.  Let Hare be Peace on Girth.

And so it transpires.  The Cup of Joe….  I just never know where it will go.

I got pomped….

I graduated from college today. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree. A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. Yep. The pomp, the circumstance…. the valedictorian’s speech… all took place this morning at 11, west coast time. The celebrations, the tossing of the caps, tassels everywhere. Problem is….my little cap and gown hung on a rack in the North Hall of Cow Palace (….real name of the place) in Daly City, California…. all without me in it.

A little underwhelming I’ll tell you. My diploma came a couple of months ago, in a large white cardboard envelope. I was all by myself when I opened it. No trumpets played. No ticker tape fell. No dang cake and ice-cream.

So what did five years of blood, sweat, and fears get me?

Well, for one, the diploma IS KINDA’ neat…. gold lettering and all. They even spelled my name right.

I guess another thing is…. and I don’t know if this came from my education…. or other life lessons….

…. but about 25 years ago I was a bartender. I met one of my very good friends while working in that bar. We use to hang out and talk about life philosophies, and art, and the dimension of time. She had a photo on her freshly scrubbed wooden kitchen table… in an old black frame. It was an image of a leaf in a basket that she had taken and developed herself.

Hard as I tried back then…..I didn’t get it.

Now I get it.

The extraordinary Greek Philosopher Socrates once said… “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.”

…. and that is what I learned in college.

Woody won’t puke on you.

Okay.  Enough.  I absolutely HAVE to STOP watching Toy Story 3.  Every dang time I see it, I cry like you wouldn’t believe.  It is interesting how certain things affect us.   I’m not sure that everyone cries at Toy Story 3.  I guess I have a special place in my heart for such things…. pets for sure, and now, apparently, some sort of “toy” psychosis.

Now….. with little babies…a much different deal.  I love babies & kids…. but…. well…uh…… there are issues.  I know a lot of people go Ga-Ga over babies.  Not so much, for me.  But for good reason.  I can say with most certainty, that none of my pets have subjected me to projectile vomiting. Kids and babies, however, have a tremendous knack for this.

I truly think it is a parental inside job.   Yes, I introduce to you…. my “Parental-Intrinsic-Sense Conspiracy Theory”.  They KNOW when their kids are going to puke… or poop big boom-booms.  It is a little timer that ticks in their heads.  And just before the kid erupts… they hold the baby out to the nearest friend or relative, and….( in a very sweet voice )…. deliver the inducement:

“Polly, would you like to hold little Junior right now?”  “Oh sure,” I say.  Holy Crap! Fell for it again…. here comes the projectile vomit.  Every time.  It is like their little heads should start spinning 360 degrees on their little bodies… or something.

Yeah, my pets have never done this.  Or anyone else’s pets for that matter.  Toys either.   To infinity, and beyond….

No global warming… just two Fresca Drinking Entities.

For the nay-sayers to Global Warming… let’s just say OK…  You could be right.  Forget the recent increases in frequency & magnitude of things like tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, severe winters, tsunamis….all which have been occurring over the past few years.  Yep, let’s just forget all of that and say the gazillion devastating natural events on the planet are one BIG co-INKY dinky….  just all happenstance lately.

But this part is for real……You see Mother Nature and Mother Earth get together every Friday morning at 7 and just sort of compare notes, go over the week…. plan for the next.   You know, just your typical business meeting.  They tote their little canvas briefcases to one another’s houses.  Typically, they drink ice cold Fresca or Tab…. they are old-school, as you may have guessed.  They like to snack on Twinkies, or Ho-Hos…. sometimes they eat Twizzlers Red Licorice.  Just fun food for these types of meetings.  (SEE Where They Meet….)

One says to the other, “You know Gert.  I’m tired of these humans pissing in our Wheaties all the time.  Throwing cigarette butts out of car windows, mowing down rain forests, blowing smoke out of stacks for no good reason, over-breeding (sometimes inner-breeding)… gosh darn it anyhow…… the whole nine yards Gert.”

“I hear you Millie.”  (By the way, Mother Nature and Mother Earth’s given names are Mildred and Gertrude.  Not some silly Fiona or Fauna or Athena type name… big misnomer.)  Gert and Millie.

Yep. They talk about these things.

“Millie, I say we just give ’em a few rabbit punches to the kidneys… we’ll let ’em know how all of this feels.”

And so it goes.  Our last big oil-spill really tugged BOTH of their boats.   Enough is enough…….., they said.

So, each week, they sharpen their pencils, write notes, make plans, stack up their papers, pack their little satchels….. and get on to business for the week.  As the old Chiffon Margarine Commercial goes…”It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”  Or piss in her Wheaties.

Skippy…. do you like the crunchy kind?

I got a couple of pals that LOVE squirrels.  I like squirrels well enough.   People complain about them getting into bird feeders and such… but hey… a squirrel’s gotta’ do what a squirrel’s gotta’ do…..

My good pallies, Max and Frances are absolutely CRAZY about squirrels.  Maybe “love” was the wrong word.  In reality, they want to run them down, catch them, and chew the living daylights out of them.  What the heck… a dog’s gotta’ do what a dog’s gotta do, right?

Yeah.  But my dog-pals take after me.  Always a day late and a dollar short.  Forever the chase.  Never the prize.

So they adapt.  We have a big skippy-squirrel that lives in our backyard, mostly.  We call him Theo.  Maxine loves to yell at him….”Hey Theo….. show us your NUTS.”   And then Theo puts his little paw-thumbs in his ears, wiggles his little fingers,  crosses his eyes, and bobs his head back and forth.  It is hilarious.  Maxie laughs so hard she pees…..

Never a dull moment around here. Nope, never a dull moment.

And there you have it.  Another day in the life here at Kronytown.

From British Grapes, to Louisiana Lo Mein…

On this particular date, way back in 1701, Captain William Kidd was hanged in London after being convicted of piracy and murder.  He started out as a tap dancer on the stages of England.  Didn’t have much rhythm.  People used to throw fruit, specifically grapes at him during his dancing routine.  So he changed his mind and hit the high seas…drank too much wine… and was captured.  Arggghhhhh Matey.  His final curtain call.

It is human nature I think… to change our minds.  I do it all the time.  Well, not all the time, but some of the time…. no strike that…. pretty frequently.  Okay, maybe not so much… oh crap…. I’m doing it again.

Take South Carolinians….on today’s date (May 23rd) in 1788, SC became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.  Yep, and just 72 short years later…. it became the first state to declare its secession from the ol’ US of A.  One day we’re in, the next day we’re out….. Yep.  You put your left foot in and you shake it all about.

Same with Henry VIII.  On this date in 1533,  his marriage to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.  Love’s me, love’s me not.  At least she kept her head about her.

Finally, On May 23, 1934, a Wednesday afternoon…… bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow decided to fix tuna noodle casserole for dinner at their hideout in Louisiana.  They changed their minds.  Again. Decided to go out for Chinese Food at Sum Ting Wong’s.   Wednesday’s were Chicken Lo Mein Night, their favorite.   They were shot to death by a police posse ambush as they were driving near Bienville, LA, on the way to the restaurant.  With six you get Egg Roll.

Sometimes we change our minds for the better.  Other times, it doesn’t work out so grand.  So if you are in a quandary….. be wary of nooses, guillotines, and the likes.  And, always, always……, try and stay away from “Sum Ting Wong”….