Foolery, Tom Foolery, A Day of…

When I was young I thought April Fool’s Day a nuisance and really had  no patience for it at all.  Then I had a period where I have heartedly engaged in some sportful way.  Mostly now I like to laugh at the ingenuity of others.  You know, people who put some actual planning into it.  Its a day for pranks with a twist to the good natured side.  Not spiteful or mean.  Just funny.

I was surprised to discover the day actually has a long history to it going back as far as 1392 found in Chaucer‘s Canterbury TalesWikipedia naturally has a detailed listing of it ( who are these people and how do they get such information?) and it seems to be world wide.  There are so many usual pranks but the funniest for me was that on April 1, 1698 several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to ‘see the Lions washed.’

It seems people have been sticking notes to the backs of others’ clothing for centuries, so nothing original there.  Wiki also tells us about jokes in other countries around the world. The Iranians call the day Sizdah Bedar and is stated as the ‘oldest prank-tradition in the world still alive today.  Alas France and Spain seem to largely follow tradition by sticking paper to the victims’ backs, but the Flemish have children locking out their parents and teachers and only letting them in when they promise to bring treats that evening or the same day.  Some of the countries celebrate the same idea but on different days of the year.

Perhaps it is just people saying, “Let’s have a little laugh and forget our troubles for a bit.”  I do enjoy the planning and originality of some.

Do you remember what Word Press did on this day last year?

Are you a prankster?

What is the best April Fool’s you have ever taken part in or heard of?

Happy jokester day my friends!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools’_Day

Comes That Time of Year

Comes That Time of the Year

I have been enjoying reading all the blogs on WordPress, or at least as many as I can manage, particularly those of my BB’s (blogging buddies), as most are tallying up, evaluating, assessing and reviewing all they have achieved either in life during the last twelve months or in their pledge of commitment to WordPress Postadaychallenge or Postaweekchallenge.  It is the reviewing and the assessing that helps us set our goals for the next year and gives us a sense of accomplishment for our efforts.  It’s an opportunity to perhaps brag a bit or pat ourselves on the back and I am amazed at what I have learned from my comrades-in-type and impressed that I sort of hang around with the best of the best.  Some of you have taken up the Postaday2011 Challenge Questions and I confess that I am joining the pack for no other reason than to celebrate the ‘us’ of it all.

Unlike many of you I did not reach my goal of 365, not because of writer’s block or lack of material but because the presence of mind simply wasn’t there.  It may have been because of personal upheaval (Lord knows there was lots of that this year) or just too dang tired.  Declaring there was not enough time simply didn’t cut it as proved by 5 Minute Fridays.  Five minutes is never too much to ask, and as long as it is clear it is a twelfth of the hour attempt all is forgiven.

So to recognize WordPress.com for all their support and encouragement:

1)      WHY DID YOU START THE POSTADAY/WEEK CHALLENGE?  I was new to blogging and started with WordPress at the encouragement of MB my daughter-in-law who thought my tales would be of interest to others. I chose Postaday for structure and to gain experience.

2)      DESCRIBE THE STATE OF YOUR BLOG AT THE TIME OF THE CHALLENGE.  Raw is the only word that comes to mind.  I think I started in December and posted once.  It wasn’t much and many of my first blogs did not include tags or categories.  It takes me awhile to find my way around techie things!

3)      HOW DID YOUR BLOG EVOLVE OVER THE COURSE OF THE CHALLENGE?  Well the easiest answer to that is that it grew from being tentative observations to embracing ideas, memories, and recognition of events including acknowledging others in the WP family.  Themes began to emerge which I would like to strengthen this coming year.

4)      DID YOU POST AS OFTEN AS YOU HAD HOPED?  WHY OR WHY NOT? No I sure did not.  Weekends away were skipped and in this last two weeks of the year my dedication slipped as I became preoccupied with other things.

5)      WHAT TYPE OF BLOGGING STRATEGY WORKS BEST FOR YOU?  Definitely looking at what is going on in the moment and framing it for presentation.  I have found first thing in the morning is best as my mind is fresher then.  Since my mornings have become more structured since August it would mean starting before my day begins and I have had some difficulty achieving this.

6)      IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?  I guess there is nothing as what I have learned was a part of the growth for the year.  Even the techie stuff.

7)      WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ACCOMPLISHING THIS YEAR?  Hmm.  Definitely the enriched relationships I have developed. People in word who become part of my heart, my family.  Joss Burnel my Crowing Crone, Judith Baxter, who is growingyoungereachday my down under friend, Val Erde and Pat Cegan for inspiration and encouragement, Tricia at the domesticfringe, Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation, Paul Johnson The Good Greatsby.

8)      NAME 3 GREAT BLOGS YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THROUGH THE CHALLENGE.  Wow keeping to 3 is very difficult but certainly Susan Castle at susanthecoach.wordpress.com whose experience and ability to succeed amazed and motivates me.  My friend Mark at redriverpak.wordpress.com whose humor and journey gives me strength and who is my idol (hmm guess that is my American Idol hehehe), and Colleen at bikecolleen.wordpress.com who seems very brave in all things.

9)      WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE CHALLENGE?  Definitely how quickly so many people/bloggers became important to me.  Many who don’t even know I exist.  I was also surprised at the wealth of knowledge out there.  If I could read fast enough I would read everyone.

10)   WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO WANT TO BLOG REGULARLY?  Do it.  Don’t think about an audience, just do it for you own self-expression.  Be sure to tag your work and reply to every comment and acknowledgement.  Also read and comment on other blogs.  You know how much work you do to post so you know that to show appreciation or recognition of others is equally important.

11)   WHAT ARE YOUR BLOGGING GOALS FOR 2012?  Do it.  Fine tune.  Organize. Read Read Read.

A little wisdom from Erma Bombeck to whose list I would only add…blog blog blog and be sincere.

If I Had My Life To Live Over

by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

 

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.

© Erma Bombeck  

When Going Gets Tough, The …uh Well I

When the Going Gets Tough ….I think I’ll

Wait.  That’s right my friends.  I find just waiting it out works most of the time.  None of this ‘the tough get going’.  I suppose when I was younger and had more energy the  ‘get going’ part was easier.  Inspiring and energizing even.  But oh my, now just waiting it out seems smarter.

 

The saying is attributed by some to Joseph Kennedy, legendary father to President John F. Kennedy (1888-1969) and to Knute Rockne who was a football player and a pretty smart man (one of his most famous sayings was, ‘Win this one for the Gipper which was famously used throughout early era movies.)

 

Now the idea is that when difficult situations arise, people of strong character don’t just lie around and complain but get going to solve the problem, which is fine for all you energy sodden folk.

 

I used to take the need to get going rather seriously but with the wisdom that comes with years I have discovered most things either resolve themselves or at least present a clearer easier solution when considered.  Sometimes old-fashioned ‘pondering’, which, is pretty low energy requirement, works much better.  Leaves the mind open to possibilities.

 

Getting going is such an aggressive approach, even more than the mighty oak which is less aggressive but more resistant, and I prefer to act more like the willow tree gently bending in the winds of life.

 

See there I go again making it sound like I know what I’m doing; that in the spice rack of life I am sage (get it? Get it?  Sage/wisdom/smart)

 

Sometimes it is a wait and ponder situation, and sometimes when events are moving quickly and you fear you have lost control, just picture yourself in a tiny round silver saucer sleigh, hanging on firmly to the handles flying down the slippery slope of life, eyes closed, waiting to stop and having faith that you will survive the journey.  No point in worrying after all there is more than one way to win a battle, be the victor, skin a cat,…well you get the idea.

 

 

I Marked A Wonderful Day Pakulaked With Fun

I Marked A Wonderful Day Pakulaked With Fun


Did you notice what I did there?  Thanks to Mark…Pakulak of course..who allowed me to do a guest post on his golden site I got to meet and find and subscribe to some major A listers and I had a ball!  Thank you redriverpak.wordpress.com!

Now here comes the tricky part….we absolutely must give Mark his 2 millionth hit on March 15th.  That’s the date I chose and the prize is to be adored by him for one week..and yes his wife is fine with this.  So here is the plan….I’ll watch his stats and if he has not reached it by the Ides of March we must, all do us click ourselves silly.  I am beginning to think he will hit it before The Ides HOWEVER if we miss that one we will do it for the 3 million mark.  I love it when a plan comes together! ( As Hannibal, no not Lecter but the other one on A team says).

I have had some great things happen in my life but I gotta say…this was special!,

Mark..I am glad your surgery has been approved and would like to offer free nursing care for that month..but no I do not do poop patrol..but will be happy to direct!!

It Started With Grumpy Old Men

It Started
With Grumpy Old Men

Original Grumpy

That really was the start of a new awareness about life and the uh elderly..no..I mean life in the more senior population.  Notice I say life in not life about.
I’m talking about the movie, not real life grumpy old men.  Or real life grumpy old women for that
matter.   Age, or aged, depending on how
you look at it is popular right now, probably because all we baby boomers decided not to accept ‘old’ as meaning ‘old’.

When I was twenty I thought thirty was ancient and how ridiculous that seems now.  At twenty I could not imagine feeling or looking any different – ever.  A woman I know at
the age of seventy-six went zip lining a couple of weeks ago and loved it.  Now I tend to think eighty-five is old but may have a different point of view when I get there.  I tend not to glimpse in the mirror as often anymore as the reflection belies how I actually feel.

I do seem more conscious of age now and have been looking at what makes age ‘old’ because in spite of people thinking I am much younger the facts are the facts: I am a
senior citizen.

It seems to come down to energy and joy in living.  I have met some in their thirties who are much older than I, who seem beaten down, exhausted, too weary, and as though gravity itself is a weight that relentlessly prevents living.  Energy does not even
have to be physical activity but can be mental.
The fountain of youth as sought by Ponce de Leon was thought to be a fountain and the myth of magic waters actually extended back a thousand or more years.

Men and women alike seek eternal youth through plastics and injections which to me really has the opposite effect.  Nothing
like spotting implants and unmovable facial skin makes me shake my head and wonder where the common sense is and what trigger in their brain convinces them, as they stare into a mirror that they are younger or better looking.

Longevity is of interest to me (current life span in America is 78 and in Japan is 83)
but it is not the number of years of living but the quality of life in those years. Tibet’s longevity is interesting for there the goal is for a long and healthy life. One is no good without the other.
There are a few things that are consistent in everything I have read
about youthful living.

My idea of 5 Factors for Ageless Aging

1)      ENERGY of course that makes each day
an adventure whether physical or mental – actually looking forward to each day
or minute.  Moving with intention.  Showing interest in just about anything. That
is energy.

2)      A SENSE OF PEACE or acceptance – the
feeling that you are not at odds with the world on a daily basis.  It is not that you accept injustice but within you your mind and soul are at peace with yourself.  I don’t think this applies only to religious folk but each of us can find a viable truth within ourselves that makes some sense of existence. Que Sera Sera.  No point in getting your girdle in a knot, as they say about things you cannot change.

3)      SENSE OF HUMOR – this seems to be core to even wanting to live a long worthy life because if you cannot laugh at the irony of life or at yourself for that matter then why would anyone even want to exist for however long?

4)      GRATITUDE – so essential, not because you have to, not because God demands it, but because it increasesappreciation of everything large and small around us.

5)      JOY – What was the last thing you were really joyful about?  Try looking at
just about anything right now, the first object to your right and finding some
joy in it.  Just for the heck of it.  Just because.

What is your true age and how do you define it?

‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’ is an oft used phrase and is pretty accurate as
they reflect pain, sorrow, happiness, deceit, smugness, life, love..the list
could go on and on…but they also show age, for the youth, regardless of years
have a sparkle called life and when that sparkle ceases to show then regardless
of years, there is only ‘old’.

BTW sparkles can come back.  There is little
else more rewarding that bringing joy to another and seeing life.

Big People

Big People

Almost every weekend I journey from Hamilton, where you may remember I am Queen and Granny Nanny privileged to be a daily part of G1 and G2’s life in a wonderful world of excitement, imagination and adventure filled with giggles, laughter and an occasional time out.  It is the most loving environment where I sometimes learn more than I teach….hmm truth be told more than sometimes.

I used to wonder if I had the energy and found I do and when tiredness sets in at the end of the day it us well earned and treasured.  My return to Kitchener for one or two nights is the chance to catch up with my best friends, otherwise known as Sister Act and SIL and other family and friends.

Friday night is typically dinner at our neighborhood fav eating spot Crabby Joe’s, where everyone knows your name or at least our names.  The gathering may be small or large depending on commitments and the next morning it is breakfast with more of the same congenial merry makers.

Kitchener and Waterloo are hot spots with lots of exciting things going on, great clubs, entertainment even dancing for those so inclined…at least that’s what I have heard. My days are usually spent puttering along and it occurred to me this evening as I looked around at Sister Act deep into a book, and me. curled up with my book that this is a pretty nice life.

Then I started to giggle, infectiously enough for my sis to start laughing although she had no idea what the joke was.  Finally she stopped and looked to me for an explanation.  “Well I said between chuckles, do you realize how tame our life is?  We joke, eat, drink and go to bed by nine most nights I visit?”

Yeah that’s what we enjoy.  Mind you we get all excited when an actual evening occurs.  When her staff Christmas Party comes up or some other evening event we are thrilled because, and are you ready for it?  We then comment on the fact that, “Tonight we actually get to stay up late, like big people!

My sister has noted that my shower singing songs that ring out each morning haves changed.  Without my realizing it my repertoire now imcludes the oldies but goodies; ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY and Z, I’m picking up my baby bumblebee….and….I’m a little teapot….hmmmmmmmm.

Falling Off the Map

Falling Off the Map

It’s amazing how one day of not blogging turns into two or three.  I started a number of times each day just to wander off either physically or mentally.  The notes below I did on Sunday basking in the warmth of a true summer like day.

‘Canadian Thanksgiving

This is my favorite holiday of the year, unsullied by commercialism, and stress, a true time of thanksgiving.  Most years it is cold, many times snowy and the odd time like this year it is warm and sunny.  When I say warm I mean like 70ish which is warm for the frozen north.  I am outside, reclining under a cloudless sky, so blue it could be it could be a vast warm ocean, wearing summer togs and listening to leaves rustling from a gentle breeze.  Somewhere distant there is the drone of a lawn mower.

This is the time for family, turkey, warm smells and vibrant colors.  It’s a lazy relaxing holiday with most of the work being a little grocery shopping and some cooking..even lazier now that they have stuffed turkeys which are pretty delicious.  No fuss, no muss, just a little post eating mess.

For some reason, regardless of name, this seems such a natural time of year for giving thanks and snuggling down for winter.  Of course bears snuggle down not people but it is the thought of the whole thing.

I like that there is no thought of gifts and the accompanying stress it’s just about people.  For many years it was at this feast that I made a point of inviting people I knew were going to be alone so aside from family there were friends who became family.

We often think of the first Thanksgiving arriving with settlers to North America but in fact feasts of thanksgiving at the end of harvest were celebrated by our native brothers and sisters for centuries before.’

The plan was to give a more in-depth history of Thanksgiving practices in Canada and to baste flavorful delightful photos, however I was suddenly felled by…yes…my annual October cold.  Nuts.  And Monday I was hosting dinner for my family.  Thankfully my son and daughter-in-law took over most of the work so what was to be a quiet relaxing day for them turned out rather hectic.  Today things are back to normal  and I am pretending this cold and sore throat are soothed by left overs most notably so far…lemon meringue pie, pecan pie, bread and cheese.  And it is only noon!

Soft Kitty Warm Kitty Little Ball of Fur

Soft Kitty Warm Kitty

This is the song sweetest song. It came out of The Big Bang Theory, a song that Sheldon’s (Played by Jim Parsons) mother sang to him when he was sick.

It has become a song of amusement for my friends when we get together and the series comes up in conversation, which probably happens way too much, but the show just tickles that old funny bone.

When the show first premiered in about 2007 I chose not to view it in spite of friends encouraging me to do so, having decided to limit my television viewing. I think it was about a year ago when for some reason it became convenient to watch it.

Well the laughs haven’t stopped due to excellent writing and central characters that while exaggerated have a certain humanness about them and guest roles by some of the best, including Christine Baranski who has long been a fav on stage, film and the small screen.

The story is about four scientists, brilliant in their own field but woefully unable to assimilate into real life (or as real as sitcoms can be.)

Johnny Galecki … (Leonard Hofstadter) caught my eye many years ago and I always hoped to see him do well.

Jim Parsons … (Sheldon Cooper) is someone I had not seen before but is an incredible talent.

Kaley Cuoco … (Penny) plays a neighbor/potential love interest whose work was new to me but she ‘is’ Penny.

Simon Helberg … (Howard Wolowitz) is hilarious as the only scientist who does not have his doctorate, just a Masters, but he does have a mother who you never see but her voice is unforgettable.

Kunal Nayyar … (Raj Koothrappali) is also excellent and is unable to speak aloud to any beautiful female unless aided by fermented fruits or vegetables.

Mayim Bialik … (Amy Farrah Fowler). Amy is always addressed by her full name and used to be the star of the ‘Blossom’ series of years ago..ER decades ago and while I did not care for her then she is absolutely brilliant.

Melissa Rauch … (Bernadette Rostenkowski) is also new to me but stands inherent own right as a scientist and has just completed her doctorate making her boyfriend,poor Howard, feel even worse.

Throw in Laurie Metcalf as Sheldon’s Mom and Christine Baranski as Leonard’s Mom and it can only be good if not best.

This was not at all what I was going to post on however for some reason here it is. My intended post? Something else…I am using the Word Press iPad app for the first time and it seemed friendly enough but as soon as I tried to add a picture I seemed to lose everything else…will publish this sans pics just to see how it works..apologies in advance of any difficulties!

Another day I guess!

Oh Mark, I’m So Excited! And I Just Can’t Hide It!

Oh Mark, I’m So Excited! And I Just Can’t Hide It!

Do you get the point? Er… Pointer Sisters…uh… I am sure I can be excused for ..for whatever I am trying to say and not accomplishing it well.  

Tomorrow, that is TOMORROW the Mark Pakulak, yes THE self proclaimed IDIOT at http://redriverpak.wordpress.com, the same gent who now has more than 1.4 million hits on his site is pseudo biking through the very city I am in…Hamilton!! with a capital H!  That’s Hamilton Ontario!

I knew I moved here for a reason a few weeks ago..I just knew it, even though I didn’t know it at the time but Mr. P. the Big I would never have come to the city I was in before.  It is fate, kismet, fate again!

Why do I love thee? let me count the ways…..

1) okay he is ridiculously funny, falling on the floor, releasing bodily fluids and blaming it on the dog funny

2) he was a nurse…a nurse!  like me!  Please this alone has to say something..more fate stuff

3) he lives in Texas, the same state I lived in for a couple of years! He in the north, me in the south…BUT the same state..Wow!

4) he has a long suffering family who put up with his shenanigans …JUST like me!

5) he bikes hundreds, even thousand of miles..uh I don’t but I believe I could..someday

6) he has and continues to battle medical disasters and personal challenges with grace and humor and courage….well me too if I exaggerate a lot..

7) he loves Skittles and I have never had one..so that means more for my hero!

*I wish to assure Mrs. P that I will contain my adoration and stalker like tendency until The Idiot is safely away.  Although I cannot promise I will not suddenly turn up in the neighborhood sometime.  She has my undying adoration for she must truly be the great woman behind the great man!

Tonight’s the night we’re gonna make it happen,

Tonight we’ll put all other things aside.

Give in this time and show me some affection,

We’re going for those pleasures in the night.

I want to love you, feel you,

Wrap myself around you.

I want to squeeze you, please you,

I just can’t get enough,

And if you move real slow,

I’ll let it go.

I’m so excited,

And I just can’t hide it,

I’m about to lose control

And I think I like it.

I’m so excited,

And I just can’t hide it,

And I know, I know, I know, I know

I know I want you, want you.

We shouldn’t even think about tomorrow,

Sweet memories will last a long long time.

We’ll have a good time baby don’t you worry,

And if we’re still playing around boy that’s just fine.

Let’s get excited,

And we just can’t hide it,

I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.

I’m so excited,

And I just can’t hide it,

And I know, I know, I know, I know

I know I want you, want you. 

Originally performed by The Pointer Sisters (Ruth, Anita, & June Pointer)

The group was formed in Oakland California in the late 60s

They were discovered and signed to a recording contract while performing as backup singers for Elvin Bishop in a California nightclub

There were originally four sisters in the group, but Bonnie Pointer left in 1978 to pursue a solo career

June Pointer died of cancer 4/11/06 after a two year struggle with the disease.  Her place in the touring lineup had been assumed by Ruth’s daughter Issa 

The song first hit the charts in 1982 and made it to #30 on the Top 40 charts

It was used in the 1982 movie “Summer Lovers”

Re-released in 1984 with a somewhat different mix, it went to #9 on the charts and has been a favorite ever since

The 1984 version was the 13th of their 16 Top 40 hits for the group

The song was selected as one of the “Songs of the Century” by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  It was ranked #264 out of 365 songs

In 1993 the song was used in the movie “Hot Shots Part Deux”

Skating on the Thin Ice of Life

Skating on the Thin Ice of Life
 
“You’re skating on thin ice girl!”
 
Life is full of warnings, some overt and some less so. This one is pretty clear and was more serious than, “Stop, or you’re going to your room.” or even, “You’re cruisin for a bruisin.”
 
Skating implies movement, action, direction and a path or destination. Thin ice implies danger, warning, risk …high risk and a calamitous outcome if direction is not changed. Skating is smooth, continuous whether it is a forward, backward, figure eights, it is a confident motion that would seem not easily stopped or altered which increases the danger of being on thin ice. Once your motion carries you far enough there is no turning back and the only choice is to deal with the consequences of your action. This is a pretty good argument for thinking out plans beforehand.
 
But it strikes me that as we age skating on thin ice takes on a new meaning. Our footing may be ( literally ) less sure due to any number of circumstances including weak fragile bones or eye sight problems with depth perception, muscle weakness, blah, blah, blah. The older we get, the thinner the ice and our big rink just plain putters out.
 
 
Sometimes I think a zamboni is the only answer.
 
FYI….Wiki says…Zambonis do not really “melt the broken ice” in hockey arenas. The process of resurfacing the ice is the Job of the Zamboni at an ice rink between groups on the ice or periods of a hockey team. A Zamboni actually has a blade on it that cuts or shaves the surface of the ice (not much because the ice is only 1.5 to 3.5 inches thick!) This way the grooves and uneven surface from skaters is brought back to a more even surface. Then the Zam floods behind the cut with hot water (approx. 140 degrees) which fills in any leftover grooves or odd spots in the ice, freezes up and makes a fresh surface for the next group of skaters.

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