Things That Make Me Go Hmmm


Advertising. The attempt to make you think that you really have to have the product, even when you don’t.

I saw an ad for a cell phone holder. The holder was very cute. The claim in the ad was this: “No more lost phones!”

Oh, really?prd_S0086K3_330x330_001

Sure, the holder will work well, IF YOU REMEMBER TO PUT THE CELL PHONE IN IT!!!!

Ah, there’s the rub. Most of us who lose things easily have all good intentions to NEVER LOSE THAT DARNED CELL PHONE AGAIN. But suddenly, there we are, on an intense phone hunt…and it’s not because we don’t have a cell phone holder. It’s because we forgot to put the darned thing in the holder in the first place, and by the time we think of it, the phone is lost.

I got a land line recently because it was cheaper to bundle phone and internet than to have internet by itself. Amazing how that works. So now if I’m at home and no one with a cell is in the house and I misplace my phone, I can call myself. That’s probably all the use that land line will get. But if you wish to call me, my number is…

No, I don’t think I’ll share it. Sorry.


Here’s another one.

Deep Sleepers

“Beeps get increasingly louder until alarm is turned off!”

Sounds cool — but here’s what I’d say in my ad: “Beeps get increasingly louder until alarm is turned off or thrown across the room to shatter into hundreds of tiny pieces.”

“Buy 1, get 1 FREE!”

Sure! I’ll take a backup, in case I destroy the first one.

Perhaps I could put them on each side of my bed, so if one ear goes deaf from the alarm being too loud, I can hear the other one…until…what did you say? Eh?


25 Things

Here’s a book I don’t need — because I already know what to do with my wine bottles:





A Fishy Story


003Salmon Susie were taking the shortestrout home from the park that they could possibly find. Although it was a sunny day, Susie was carping to Salm about how he’d forgotten to vacuum the carp-et, and it was beginning to look a little roughy.

“All you like to do, Salm, is sit on your perch and tuna the radio to your favorite sports event and when your team loses all you can say is, ‘mahi-mahi, why didn’t they do better?’!”, Susie snappered.

“Yes, I do that, Sus, especially when them bullheads play, ‘cod they’s a bunch of shrimps anyway. Hal, I but-faced idiot could scallop around those tadpoles like a bunch of swordfish getting ready for a joust!”

“Well, why don’t you take up playing the bass like me?” Susie asked. Then she lobster shoes across the room and the soles hit the floor making a loud clatter.

“You certainly are a crab,” Salm commented. “I think I’m going to take you to Dr. Whitefish. I think you’ve got Sharkinson’s disease. And that’s something no sturgeon could fix!”

“If you do,” Susie threatened, “I’ll clam up and there will be silence between us for a whale of a long time!”

“Sea here! Don’t make anemone out of me, Susie!” Sam wailed.

zombie snail

zombie snail

“I’ll cancel your membership at the club and they’ll laugh when you tell them you’re ready to go dolphin!”

“Well, I’ll train your guppies to go after your octopuss!”

Susie stopped and stared at Salm for a long time. Then she sighed. “Y’know, Salm, this argument is pretty darned crappie.”

Salm looked at Susie and nodded salmonly. “Yes, it does make our relationship flounder.”

And so Salmon Susie decided they’d argued long enough. They sat down in the soft lampreylight to enjoy one of the more ancient episodes of Lawrence Whelk as they thought about how lutefisk it was for them to argue as they did. Their heated discussion slowed to gentle conversation that proceeded at a snail’s pace, and after all that went on between them there were left no remnants of eel will. I guess the scales had fallen from their eyes, and they were fin-ished; yes, they’d had it up to the gills. And so have I: thus ends this fishy tail.

This and That, and Then Some



This, that, and the ‘tother. I’ve heard that somewhere along the way in my life. The photo here is a reflection of the miscellaneous nature of this post. Just stuff, this, that…whatever.

So, a number of years ago I wrote some haiku. There are numerous ways to write haiku, I guess, but this is the 5-7-5 kind.

In fact, the date in my book says that it was March 28, 1991. Today is March 4, and I’m not thinking much about spring, birds, colors…because it’s been so effin’ cold. But because we had a little heat wave today (maybe into the 30s?) and some of the snow melted and the sun sent down a few warmish rays, I did get into a slightly spring-ish mood. It doesn’t take much to get me there if the temps are above freezing these days, after a number of sub-zero or single-digit days and nights.

Thus, I share with you my haiku ” about spring and nature.”


Fresh petals in pinks

The songbird in the blue sky

Colors come to life.


Celebrating life

Making music in the trees

Nature’s songs abound.


Forsythia glow

Golden in the sun’s bright rays

Greeting spring with joy.

The Cat

Paws alight on grass

Tail like snake in mystery

On the prowl again.

My Dog Pip

Chocolate begging eyes

Waiting for a snatch of love

Heart alert in hope.



Today’s blog is made up of various snippets of my writing. I did a lot of scribbling in the early 1990s or so — wrote a lot to a friend, who wrote back. It was a fun time. I’ve saved my favorites.

I was a phototypesetter for a number of years in the ’80s and ’90s, primarily before desktop publishing enabled most people to type and design their own printed literature and advertisements. In the process, I came across some funny stuff — either from the copy I typed, or from the result of my typing. Here’s a snippet about one of those moments:

HearthI want to first share with you a funny typo I made today at work. I was typing a Novella for Priests. I typed a couple lines in the “second prayer” with an error that my boss pointed out when she proofread it: “Draw them close to the Divine Hearth of Jesus, So inflamed with love for mankind.” Well, we don’t really know if Jesus had a hearth. He did have a heart. But to type, “…Divine Hearth of Jesus, so inflamed with love for mankind” isn’t actually so off-the-wall, considering the language they used. Picture Jesus at His Divine Fireplace, rocking in an oak chair, his lap covered with a beautiful calico quilt, smiling with utter love at humanity. “Yes,” Jesus would say, “My heart is like a roaring hearth, engulfed in flames of utter and burning love for all men and women. Come to me and I will give you warmth, lest you run straight into the burning fires of hell!”


Do you know what a scientific student who works in a lab with a famous professor should be called? A Scientific Institute brainee.


True story: There’s an ancient verse in a traditional hymn that goes like this:

“Be thou, O Lord, the rider; and we the little ass; that, to God’s Holy City together we may pass.”

I don’t think that one shows up in hymnals anymore.


There’s an ancient hymn that is popular especially among feminist women entitled, “If Men Go to Hell, Who Cares?”


Yogurt 2Today, I am going to run to the grocery store while my clothes are soaking, swishing and chugging in the washing machines, and I’m going to pick up at least three things: yogurt, peach pie and hair spray. What kind of delectable concoction could one make with these three items? You could take the baked pie and throw it in a saucepan, then add the yogurt and cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat. After that, spray the top with a smattering of hair spray to solidify it, and you have Yogurt/Peach Masheroo.

Peach-Pie-007Or you could invent a new line of peach yogurt, calling it Peach Pie Deluxe. Includes crust and all. The hair spray could be added as a special free gift offer if one bought 10 cartons of yogurt. Here are the steps you would go through to obtain the hair spray: Buy your 10 cartons of yogurt. Eat them all (not including the cartons). Return the empty containers to the grocery store. The store would promptly send your empty cartons to the manufacturers, and after three weeks you would get in the mail a note of thanks and a coupon authorizing you to return to the store. At the store, you would go to the customer service counter and they would sign your coupon authorizing you to receive a free bottle of hair spray. After the coupon was signed, you’d have to also print your name, address and phone number on the coupon, and send it promptly back to the manufacturer, enclosing the receipt from the store that proved you had indeed bought those ten cartons of yogurt. Once they received that proof and that coupon, they would send you a notice stating that in six weeks you would be receiving a coupon authorizing you to get your free bottle of hair spray, providing that on that specific date you also bought 10 cartons of Peach Pie Deluxe yogurt. So you would get the coupon, and you’d go to the store, and you’d buy 10 more cartons of Peach Pie Deluxe, along with your bottle of hair spray. The stipulations on the coupon would note, however, that you must return your empty cartons of yogurt and the bottle of hair spray to the store before you could get a refund on the hair spray which you’d have to pay for at the outset to prove that you indeed had complied with all the rules of the contest, and had actually used the hair spray up. Then, they would tell you that in order to get the refund for your first bottle of hair spray you must buy one bottle more along with 10 more cartons of Peach Deluxe Yogurt. By that time, you would be ready to take the hair spray bottle and shove it into places where the “sun don’t shine” if only you could ever, through the red tape runaround, get hold of the individual who cooked up this grandiose, twisted, torturous marketing promotion.

“What offer? Peach Pie Deluxe Yogurt? Oh, yes, we do have an offer — I think you need to get in touch with someone in the Coupons Department.”

a1“Coupons Department….an offer for free hair spray? Did you send in all your yogurt containers? Your authorization coupon? Your hair spray bottle? … These are the rules, ma’am, I’m sorry. You need to talk with someone in promotions about that. We just comply with the rules … have we ever actually given away a free bottle of hair spray? If you want to know that, I’ll have to connect you to the operator who can connect you to someone in the Redemption Department … where the sun doesn’t shine? That might be Norway, ma’am, and you’ll need to check with directory assistance; I don’t know what that area code is … asses? We don’t deal with donkeys around here — I’ll have to connect you with the Swanson Comp–” CLICK!


More snippets to come!

For Heaven’s Sake!


In the retirement facility where I work, residents in both the memory support unit and the health care center get to participate in a lot of music activities. At one time, the company brought in a music therapist to work with small groups of residents in the health center. When the cost of that service rose, the people in charge decided to ask me if I would do something similar, at an obviously lower price, since I’d already led a sing-along or two and they knew I could plunk out a few chords on the guitar and croak out a tune. Being a sucker, I agreed. 😉 Besides, it would pay a couple dollars more than I was making as a housekeeper (for two hours a week). Not only that, but it would be rewarding and fun, which is even better than the cash.

So for a year or two now (how time flies) I have built up a repertoire of songs that most residents know from their younger days, or songs that have been popular (and easy to play and sing) over the years since then. At first, the group time was called Music Therapy until one of the “real” music therapists caught wind of it and asked us not to use that name, since I am not trained in that field. (However, I’ve sung in the field to thousands of ears…ha ha. I’m a farm girl, y’see?) So I re-named the event to Rhythm and Remembrance.

One of my favorite participation songs that keeps us on our toes is “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.” There are several verses. “She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes; she’ll be driving six white horses when she comes; oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes,” and several more. At the end of these lines, I yell out a sound — like, “She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes: YEE HAW!” “She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes: GIDDY UP!” “Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes: HI, BABE!”

It takes a little bit to get them to let out a little more than a whisper, but eventually, they put forth a good effort, and that’s what matters.

One of the residents who came to the group Monday was a tiny lady who sings like an angel. Most residents can’t sing the songs in the key that feels normal for me, so I usually have to sing lower than usual, but in the case of Martha, she sings in harmony above the melody — and does it naturally. Actually, she’s related to me so of course she’s musically gifted! Humble, aren’t I?

So we were singing “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” and Martha was yee-hawing and giddy-upping along with the best of us. Then we came to the verse, “She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes” followed by a wolf whistle.

When we reached the pause where we were to add the whistle, Martha shook her head at the idea of a woman wearing red pajamas while driving six white horses around the mountain, and said, “For heaven’s sake!!”

And that’s how we finished that verse.

She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes: For heaven’s sake!

She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes: For heaven’s sake!

She’ll be wearing red pajamas, she’ll be wearing red pajamas,

She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes: For heaven’s sake!

Do you think I’ll use it in future renditions? Should I? Share your reply below!

The Bug Hits


Not sure I’d have my hand in front of my mouth when hurling, but who would if they couldn’t make it in time?

Whew! I’m coming down off three days of a stomach virus. That takes the wind outta one’s sails. I was home two of those days (Wednesday and Thursday), but even yesterday I wasn’t sure eating was the best idea. Let me tell you, that cream of chicken soup is the best for a comforting and palatable way to ingest nutrition during that time. I forgot about that until last night, after consuming some tomato/vegetable beef soup for lunch yesterday. My son asked me if I was going to make supper and I said, “No, I’m still eating lunch.” He wasn’t sure what I meant, so I explained. I think you know what I mean.

As is often true when one is ill or very tired, I feel like I dreamed all night. In one, I went shopping in a large city with my son, Benjamin. We went to store after store, and he kept walking away, so I would yell for him until I found him. A woman stopped me and said, “Why don’t you just let him go? You’ll find him.” I thought, “Why not? He’ll lose me and then realize he should have stayed with me.” It seemed to work for a while. But at the end of the dream, we stopped at a city market surrounded by all manner of shops and streets, and he took off. I called and called, but couldn’t find him. It seemed hopeless. Then I woke up. It took me a while to absorb the fact that it was only a dream, and believe me, I was glad.


How I feel when I’m dreaming

In another dream, I went into a huge, old, dilapidated building that didn’t seem to have any stairs to the apartments above. I climbed ladders and even an inside wall in the center of the building, though I couldn’t make it to the top. I walked along a beam while holding onto part of the structure near the roof. I never did manage to get into an apartment, and I have no idea why I was trying to get there.

Meanwhile, mixed in the dream somewhere, I found a copy of the local newspaper. I was in town, hanging out for whatever reason, and it appeared to be a holiday, where preparations were being made for activities by the downtown square. The local paper offered an article having to do with the activities (which included a parade), but the article really didn’t include the “who, where, what, when and why” that newspaper articles are supposed to report (unless this has changed throughout the years since I learned this somewhere in my schooling – which is a good number of years ago, to boot). The writer assumed the reader knew what the story was about. I was upset about this, and thought about writing a letter to the editor about it. I found myself in the building I’d been dreaming about, and somehow ended up in a huge room in which the newspaper writers were typing up their information. There were doors providing entrance and exit to the building through the office, and one level up, the same was true – into a huge, empty room across which dwellers had to walk to get from the apartment area to the outside door.

I suppose a good dream analyst would be able to decipher all this.

I actually use a method of dream analysis where every single aspect of the dream is a part of the dreamer. I become it, or I determine what each aspect of the dream means. For example, the building is me. So it is my life, or some part of me. How can I relate a giant brick building to myself, and how can I relate its seemingly closed/unavailable entrances? (Maybe it has to do with me not wanting to ingest food during my illness!)

Through the analysis, using this method, of many dreams over my lifetime, I’ve found interesting meaning, but I can’t say it’s been life-changing. For me, it’s a bit like horoscopes. I can find truth in horoscopes through messages for the Virgo, the Sagittarius, the Cancer and all the others, even though I’m a Gemini. Get general enough and you can cover a tidbit of something for everybody. So I’ll just let the dreams be, and go on about my day. They’ll haunt me for a while, but like everything else, they’ll soon fade. My son is here, safe and sound, I’m able to get into my house and go up and down the stairs freely, and the newspaper continues to report the who, what, when, where and why (most of the time).

May your day be safe and sound as well, and stay healthy!

Just for Fun




Yes. This is my family, at Christmas. My mother’s in the front, and every time I look at this photo, I think it looks like she’s been photoshopped into the picture. 

What captions might I make for this picture? I’m not the greatest at captions. But I imagine my mom saying, “Here I am with my wonderful family. I’m so proud of them.” Of course, she’s totally oblivious to what’s going on behind her.

I’m trying to put rabbit ears behind my great-nephew, but he’s moved. He is looking at everyone like, “What the heck?” Little does he know what’s ahead in his life with this crazy family!

What kind of caption would you add? Leave a comment below, if you dare.

Oh — by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day!