Of Speak With No Sense

Since my face and earlobes are enduring more stress than usual, I’ve decided to use this week’s post to be a little extra silly by encribbling all of you with some gibberishness that may or may not make you smile; but I hope perhaps I will smile at the thoughts of my finger typings and contributing even more to the length of this run-on sentence.

Yes, thank you.

So without further ado doo, I hereby emit particles of important flavors that will stick to your nostrils like the very highest quality chicken gizzards. In spite of all that and in spit of everything else, I will therefore list all these vitally symphonic monster blurbs in alphanumeric / chronological / symbolic order, beginning with:

A) Gravy – Gravy in my armpits, syrup on my knees, buckets full of macaroni hanging from the trees.  Images of all these things will stick inside my head.  Hope I have a different dream when I go back to bed.

R. Flavor Nostrils – I’m thinking I should not have licked those 13 utility poles the other day.  I’m feeling a bit wibbly in my flavor nostrils.

7> Usage – Have you ever replied to a question with obscure usage of words?  Neither am I!!  Yes I don’t!!  What color does that mean?  Avacado.

g% Toe Cheese – Some of the best cheese I’ve ever eaten was not found between my toes.  However, if I could learn to play guitar with my feet I could invite my musician friends to a Toe Jam.

X~ Super Sauce – I intend to inoculate my lunches with Super Sauce so I may become faster than a speeding building and be able to leap tall bullets in a single bound.  After I eat I’ll probably take a nice nap.

72! Continuity – Sometimes my eyes feel like taking a little walk around the block.  Other times they just stay inside my head bone.  I much prefer the head bone eyeball continuity status if that’s OK with you.

111. Stuffing – I really need to quit stuffing donuts in my ears.  But they are so soft!!

3B3, Snacks – Some Of The Most Delicious Snacks Are Capitalized To Enhance Their Complete Lack Of Nutritional Value.

1L+ Toothpaste – I smear toothpaste on my eyebrows almost every other day.  When friends walk by and see me, they ask “Hey, are you OK?”

2D2D: Fizz – Now that I’m getting good at being retired, it’s high time I launched my new invention:  The FizzPhone.  This marvelous device cleans the user’s ears during conversations.  It can be set for various intervals (24 hours, weekly, monthly); and I’ll be working on a “Turbo” mode that will get even the most stubborn gucka-maroo out of your ear canal.

F00! Snack Storage – I’ve decided to keep my snacks in folders so I can organize them according to calorie content.  However, some snacks are not easily folded.

And finally but also last…

U14. Please – I would like to take this opportunity to urge you to please have a Happy Merry and a Joyful Wonderful. Personally, I’m very much looking forward to the Cream of Mustard Celery Toppings and the Dead Snake Surprise desserts!! Oh and the holidays should be fun too…

Well my friends, if you’ve read this far, you may have needed some silliness as much as I do. Please know that I am eager for all of you to be happy, content, OK, or at least grateful. And as I’ve said many times before, “It’s better to be you than for you to be me, and although you can count to it, eight is a word.

Peace, Love, and Hugs,


Happy Black (Eye) Friday!!??!!

The holidays can be nice and warm with family gatherings and friendly fellowship. They can also be a bit stressful, what with all the gifts we like to get for those we love. Personally, I’d be very happy to receive nothing more than the basics for Christmas, or any other day of the year for that matter. By “the basics,” I mean clean air and water, good food, a place to stay warm and dry, and the love of friends and family. What more can a person really ask from life? Oh maybe some clothing… I forgot to mention clothes. I’d probably need some of those; don’t want to frighten anyone with my wrinkly old body running around naked or anything.

After filling our American bellies with Thanksgiving dinners, this weird phenomenon called Black Friday arrives. Believe it or not there was a time when the term “Black Friday” was not necessarily known as a retailer’s most profitable time. According to Wikipedia, the term originated in Philadelphia some time in the 1960s, and was a negative reference to the large amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the day after the US Thanksgiving. The term soon spread outward from Philly and has since gained recognition throughout the US as one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

However, the negative reference to Black Friday didn’t completely disappear. You see, Black Friday was the pet name we lowly employees gave what apparently was our company’s favorite day to lay people off. Our company was restructuring back in those very early 1990s, which of course meant layoffs. For whatever reason, Friday was always the day of choice to deliver the news to often unsuspecting layoff recipients. So on November 20, 1992, my Lovely Girlfriend saw me off to work, gave me a smooch and said, “Have a nice day!” I replied, “Well we’ll see, today is Black Friday.”

I was home by 11 AM with no job.

Being unemployed, at the very least, gives one pause to reflect about life, the universe and everything. And yeah, also about money. As it turned out, the layoff was actually a wonderful thing, because it helped me understand what’s really important in life. Also, my next career path turned out to pay better; and my skill set became much more marketable than it was prior to my layoff. So although I lost a job, I acquired a new appreciation for the simple things in life. You know, weird stuff like family, friends, and Mother Nature. Retirement has brought even more appreciation for those, and I’ve gained a great amount of appreciation of the saying, “one day at a time.”

Gears have shifted more toward Holy Remarkable Cheap Shopping Wow type of Black Fridays. I shake my head at the craziness that ensues each year. And hey, is it just me or have a few dozen Black Fridays sprung up over the years?? My e-mail inbox is always full of Black Friday deals for weeks on end. TV commercials saturate the airwaves with what seems to be an infinite amount of Black Friday deals. At least we don’t hear about shoppers camping out in front of store entrances or literally fighting over merchandise anymore. Hey, in years past, people were actually hurting each other in a race to get their favorite items that went on sale. Not so much these days. I did have to chuckle out loud, though, when I pulled in to the local Meijer to pick up a prescription and get a few grocery items. “Oh Holy Crap!! It’s Black Friday,” I uttered as I spied the nearly full parking lot. I found myself grateful I could get the prescription at the drive up window, and the grocery aisles were pretty much empty of shoppers.

Well I hope all of you had a very nice Thanksgiving. We had a great time with our Family Of Choice. No drama, just some laughs, lots of love, and plenty of delicious food. Oh, and the Lions lost.


Well kids, the video for this week has absolutely nothing to do with Black Friday, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Whining Bad, Happy Good

Ooops!! I caught myself. I got a bit whiny yesterday. Yes my friends, I’m guilty as charged of allowing things to stress me out; and when I do that it sure seems like my head goes up in flames and my reaction to the stress is like putting large buckets of gasoline on the fire but you know it’s really not all that bad but I make it out to be only because I have this magnifying mind that can make a mole out of a mountain hill and then I want to run screaming into the woods and ask the wild animals if I can live with them for awhile and they all look at me like I’m some sort of tree monster and they run for their lives and this run-on sentence has become way to silly to continue so I’ll stop it right now.

Thank you.

I’ve been thinking out loud to groups of friends about all this living life stress stuff. They are very good at reminding me to stay grateful and just try to do the next right thing. Bless them… they’re probably getting a bit weary of my rants when I start spouting off about all the injustice in the world, and how some things that have to do with getting older scare the excrement out of me. . They’ve heard it before, and before that, and before that. Yet, they seem to love me anyway! Not sure how anyone else works it all out; but I need to vent to someone who understands when I’m hurting inside. The way it works for me is to vent until I get tired of hearing myself venting. Oh, and I’ve pretty much given up on being angry for very long. Fortunately, I’ve become aware that if I allow anger and resentment to fester in my heart, I’m basically working on poisoning myself. Being livid about things over which I have no control is about as effective as eating a poison pill and expecting someone else to die.

When my serenity alarm goes off, I need to remind myself to run through my “gratitude list.” Although I sometimes allow life, the universe, and everything to crinkle my brain thing; am getting better at replacing negativity with thoughts of thanks to the Universe regarding how truly blessed I am. After all, I’m healthy and I have the love of a beautiful woman. She even let me marry her! We have zero debt, cars that work, a nice home, plenty to eat. We have loving relationships with our offspring, relatives and friends. Life really is good at our universe.

Here in the U.S., the Thanksgiving holiday is on the horizon. Although I’m not a fan of some of the “origin” stories that were thrown at us in grade school, I do use the holiday as a convenient reminder of how fortunate all of us are. I mean hey, if you’re reading this, you are a fortunate person. Why do I say this? Well, I’m willing to bet that if you are reading my silly blog typings, you don’t live under a bridge with a shopping cart nearby that contains all your worldly belongings. That’s just one example.

So, no poison between the ears for me thanks. I will continue to make gratitude my attitude. I will work very hard at enjoying each and every moment of each and every day. You know that saying, “One day at a time,” right? Sometimes it takes a bit of work to pull it off, but life is much more peaceful when I succeed. Can you tell I’m practicing? So I’ve decided to give myself some homework. My new assignment is just like the old song: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Sounds simple enough, but it takes effort.

As our friend Ringo likes to sing, “I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.”

For this week’s video coagulation, here are those two songs.

Here’s Bobby McFerrin with some friends…

And here’s Ringo with some of his friends…

Imaginary Florksnibbles

Dear Lumpflatteners,

Before proceeding any further, I must hereby explain that although, upon reading the title, you may be hormonalIy imbalanced, I sincerely hope you are not expecting a detailed description of the origin of incendiary snibbleforks. The reason for this is quite simple: the amount of effort required to induce such indelible mud pastries far outweighs the large pile of recycled celery that has already flattened the tires of my trailer. Instead, please enjoy the clam sandwiches currently available at the Old New Dehli Deli.  You will find the sam clandwiches right next to the Belly Jellies, in the frinkle sauce department of a Kolibbik store near you.

You may qualify for a package of used cheese.  Please do not write to the following address to see if you have entered your name in the North American Bilge Experience (NABE):

Log Turner Contest
24Cx Bugsnot Blvd.
Chiclet, MI  44404

Please call 1-800-555-1212 for the number.  Ask for Phlegm.

Be advised that all nickels will be collected by a rodent during the coming drainy season. Do not worry about any plugged drains, for as we all know if a plain gets drugged there are more than enough socks to prevent the chafing.  I’ve been keeping my drained plugs here in the bottom drawer of my desk where I’m sure they feel safe and are finally unable to smell the cabbage burning in the candelabra.

Hey!!  What’s that gourd doing in cat food now?? Didn’t we agree that squashpickles are to be granted the same virtual hallucinations as all those oversized pennies we’ve been finding in your moss pockets? Please try to ignore all my future instructions regarding this ink washing procedure.

Thank you.

Now of course you can be happy to know that I have more paper for sale than ever before.  Some of it is useful. If you want some, send $23.70 in dickels and nimes to my pet dirt clump over there in the hedgerow.  Upon receiving the money, I will send you your 43 tons of compressed paper. Please make sure the car is not in the garage that day.

If any of this makes sense to you, make sure you contact your local Hamper Salesman by July 43, 2104 .  There are also community resources on which you can rely, such as the Cribbled Office Of Pie Stashers (COOPS) and the Ceramic Octagon Plucking Society (COPS).  Neither of these entities will ever run to your aid.  Therefore, if you understand any of what has been written heretofore, you are basically toast.

Enjoy toast with all your might.  Remember, the toast you crave may be on loan.

Happy Bortinkulars to you, and may the sand never fly into your cereal.

My eyes are lamps,

Kebbic G. Fefflewonk
A.K.A. Harvey Ticknoodle

P.S.:  Thank you for changing the tire leggings last night.  I’m not sure my car would have tolerated another month of “swish – swish KABOOM!!”


Perhaps this video will give you enough bread sampling encouragement to face yet another week’s festivities which will, of course, include the Dingle Day Dance. Or whatever this is…

No Time Was Saved

So here we go again, this coming Sunday morning we go back on Standard Time. Well many of us do anyway. I’ve always welcomed the late sunsets that Daylight Savings time brings in the summer; and have often cursed the early ones when we “fall back.” Many times I’d even whine out loud to strangers, whether at a grocery store or gas station. “Why don’t they just spring ahead and leave it alone!?!?” is often exclaimed. Some will also grunt that “We’re the only country that uses this, aren’t we?” And I have to confess, “I’m not sure.”

Well I simply had to look it up. There’s a very interesting map that shows who uses Savings Time and who doesn’t; and you can find it here:


Turns out lots of folks use it. And I’m betting lots of folks whine about the change. I’ll have to admit, though, I really do love that extra hour of sleep, even if it’s only for one whole night.

Doesn’t feel like any time is actually saved. I mean, yes it gets dark later. But the amount of time in a day is still 24 hours, right? So who’s saving all this time? And if they have some extra, where do they keep it? I want some either yesterday or the day before please.  I mean seriously, may I have some this time that was supposedly saved?? Some extra time would be especially useful now that I’m getting older.

So now I’m gonna switch gears here a little, but hey, I’m old enough to remember when The Beatles came to the US on the Mayflower. So I’m allowed to switch gears, OK?? I just have a very simple question: where the HECK did all the time go?? Anyhow?? I really do remember when The Beatles first set foot on US soil. We were in our grandparent’s apartment in Brooklyn, NY; and I jokingly told Dad, “Hey! The Beatles are in town!! Wanna go see ’em??” And he simultaneously smirked and snarled, “Yeah, right!!” It was a definite snarlsmirk.

That happened in 1964, kids!! FIFTY NINE YEARS AGO!! How come it feels like a couple months ago? Well OK, maybe a couple years. Just a few years ago a 50th anniversary edition of the White Album was released. Yikes!! Sure, I’m 69 now… but although that’s how long my body has been roaming the planet, my spirit is still convinced I’m in my 20s or 30s. But my body slaps me back into reality when I do normal chores like chopping wood or hoeing in the garden. The mind says “GO!” and later the body says, “OK, so now you hurt everywhere. Happy??”

Well yes, I’m happy, but also in pain.

Yeah, we’re getting old. I can accept it most of the time… I certainly like it better than NOT getting old. And I’ve learned to embrace and even celebrate the milestones. My Beautiful Girlfriend and I celebrated a huge milestone this past summer: our marriage turned 50 years old on August 21. Is that amazing or what?!?! We’re not really amazed that we’re married… we worked very hard to learn how to give each other lots of happiness. No, instead we’re amazed that it’s actually 50 years!!

These days, in spite of some health concerns, we really are the happiest we’ve ever been. And we are grateful that it has been this way for well over 30 years now. Feels like we’ve been together our whole lives, and we like it very much. Both of us tried to sabotage the relationship but neither of us succeeded. We both stuck to the notion that we needed to be together much more than we ever wanted to be apart. That gave us the willingness to change in ways that have produced a spiritual bond for which we are both immensely grateful.

In the grand scheme of things, we basically grew up together.

I heard a funny statement a while back: “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” Oh, and as the frogs might say, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.” If you’ve read this far, you’re probably getting old (like me), because hey, who the heck reads blogs anymore?? OK, I do. So yeah, time really does fly… and the older I get the faster it seems to go. We’re retired now, and we do decadent things like stay up way late and “forget” to set an alarm for mornings. Andy yes, in spite of the annoyance of the time change, we’ll probably be grateful for that extra hour of sleep.

Us old farts gotta get our rest ya know.

A dear friend of mine got me a t-shirt awhile back that reads, “I May Be Old But I Got To See All The Cool Bands.” Well lots of them anyway… here are some examples of performances of songs relating to time. I got to see Pink Floyd as my very first rock concert. I was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base and saw them at Tampa Stadium, which is long gone (my Beautiful Bride had not left home to come marry me yet). But both of us heard the “time” songs when we saw The Guess Who, Styx, David Bowie, and yes, Cher (and yes, we saw many, many more). Good times!!

Three Cheers For Sninkel (And Free Fertilizer) Season

Oh fine, here we go with another story about leaves. Just what every red blooded Yankee wants to hear about this time of year, right? And by Yankee, I mean anyone who is far enough north to enjoy the massive seasonal leaf gathering festival we call “fall.” Each year, Mom Nature paints the landscape with the beautiful autumn hues we’ve grown to know and love. These days, the leaves are already busy sninkeling (huh?) down from the trees. Yes!! You can even hear the “sninkel-sninkel-sninkel” of the leaves whispering in the wind, and then they fall to the ground and rustle about in good sninkely singing songs. In fact, as this is being written you could even say they’re in full-sninkel!

Or maybe I could just say that…

Anyway, when the leaves have completed their sninkelization, if they don’t get removed from the lawn, well, the lawn changes a bit. Once upon ago I would rake all the leaves onto a tarp and then gather the corners to play Leaf Dragging Santy Claus and haul them to the garden. These days I cheat and use the bagger on my lawn tractor. Takes a lot of trips but it chops them up nicely so I can dump the bags on the planting beds. For the garlic bed I actually till several dumpings of sninkeled leaves into the ground and plant the cloves before the snow comes. After planting, another layer of chopped leaves is added as cover to slow the effects of winter’s cold breath, and also to keep weeds in check when the snow is gone. Takes a while for the cloves to start rooting, and as they do the worms and soil microbes are busy making food for when they emerge in the spring.

Other planting beds will get layers of leaves that will remain throughout the winter to act as “sheet composting.” This practice builds the soil nicely because worms, microbes, and other creepy-crawlies enjoy the food I’ve laid down for them. To show their appreciation, worm manure and other byproducts of leaf digestion (made by the microbes and other creepy-crawlies) make very healthy soil for the vegetables I’ll be planting in the spring. And yes, as my vegetable plants get going I’ll mulch with leaves too; as they help the soil retain moisture, control weeds, and add nutrients as the aforementioned helpers break down the leaves that touch the soil.

We have mostly maple leaves… but when I’ve been a good boy and cleaned up all the leaves from the trees at our house, I actually go hunting for more. As you may have guessed by now I’ve learned long ago that leaves are probably the best fertilizer you can get. And they’re FREE!! And hey friends, there are no such things as bad leaves for the garden. There seems to be an old myth floating around that oak leaves are bad for the garden. To this I say, “Phoeey and Bibble Dee Boo!!” It’s simply not true. Yes, oak leaves have some acidity when fresh. But adding them to the soil actually produces a very beneficial result due to several factors, including: a) oak leaves are high in calcium, 12) oak leaves contain good amounts of nitrogen, and X) earthworms LOVE oak leaves.

So my friends, I hope you can all try to enjoy sninkel season. Not only is this a beautiful time of year, we get free fertilizer too!! This week’s video shows some of the exact ways creatures of Nature enjoy Autumn.

Halloween… Lights??

Halloween is a bit of a strange holiday to begin with, but it evolves into something more ghoulish every year:  COMMERCIALISM.  Is that a word??  I guess so… but it’s not like communism, although sometimes it seems equally repulsive.  My friends call me a “tree hugger.”  I guess I am.  I go around hugging trees all day long and tell them I love them.  Well maybe I don’t really do that… but all of the products that have sprung up for holiday celebrations have me wondering just how much more of all this manufacturing madness Mother Nature can take.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy jack o’ lanterns and fake skeletons and stuff like that there, but lights??  We never had Halloween lights when I was a kid.  Christmas lights, yes.  But Halloween lights??  Sounds like an oxymoron to me.  I mean, Halloween is all about having the wits frightened out of you by witches and hobgoblins and such.  So all these happy Halloween lights are making big brightness of the night which transforms a perfectly scary evening into orange-on-black-holy-cow-look-at-all-the-lights-on-that-house happy joy dead monsters fun world.  

Yes, they are cool in their own Halloweeny way… but I’m thinking maybe some of our neighborhood home owners have electric meters that are going so fast they’re ready to blow an axle.  Our “neighbor” Mike (about 2 miles up the road) has quite the awesome display this year. I even stopped to tell him so one night on my way back from Whitehall. Never knew his name before then, but he was abrim with joy when he described the acquisition of each part of his remarkable display. I must say, it’s pretty impressive!!

But back to my traditionalist whining: how in the heck do you sneak up on someone when the yard is blasting out all that light??  Sheesh.  Now you wanna hear something really weird, when we were kids it was “cool” to walk around on Halloween with a big fat sock full of flour.  Why?  So you could sneak up on people and bop them with it!!  Makes a nice big mark that is really fun to apply, and easy to get off.  And it looks totally cool when you swing your sock full of flour and connect with someone’s back or maybe their booty.  A big POOF and white powder all over the place, and of course a sock print on the point of impact.  And this prank relied on darkness.  You can’t sneak up on anyone in the midst of blazing Halloween lights and bop them with anything.  

Simpler times… I know.  Those days, Frankenstein’s monster scared the living crap out of us, because we knew he was lurking in the dark and was gonna jump out and rip us all apart if we didn’t scurry from house to house with our pillow cases to get those yummy Black Cow suckers, Jujubes, Neccos and Mary Janes.  And if you were lucky enough to hit a well-to-do neighborhood, you could even score a fair amount of chocolate!  Once in a great while you’d stumble upon the “bad kids” who actually had eggs.  And you always knew that bad kids… and worse yet, you knew they would actually throw the eggs.  At other people no less!!  And again, successful egg tossing required a secret ingredient:  darkness.    

Well, Frankenstein’s monster is considered a big wuss now.  Sure, in movies of yore the monster did indeed kill people, and the villagers told of his awesome strength and the ability to tear men apart with his bare hands.  But these days, such a movie would flop unless the monster was shown opening his victims’ bodies with a machete, eating their kidneys, and washing them down with a Mountain Dew.  And it’s all because of those stupid Halloween lights I’m tellin’ ya!!

OK, maybe not.  

Awright, awright awreddy!! I give in: I really do enjoy looking at everyone’s light displays. And the gigantor skeletons. And the inflatable monsters. My Beautiful Girlfriend and I have seen some pretty elaborate displays lately, and we both wonder aloud, “Where do they store this stuff?? And how long does it take to set it all up??”

The grandsons are 14 and 10 now, so trick-or-treating won’t be quite the same as when they were little tykes all wound up about traipsing through neighborhoods asking for candy. Oh, they want their candy alright, but some of that sparkle is a bit more subdued. Sounds like our daughter and son-in-law are switching gears a bit this year and just taking the boys to a local neighborhood for a much reduced trick-or-treat session.

I hope all of you have a safe and Happy Halloween.  It will be here before you know it!! Enjoy the lights, gigantor skeletons, and inflatable monsters. Oh, and don’t forget your flour filled bopping socks!

Believe it or don’t, this week’s video is one that gave me goose bumps when I was a kid. I mean hey, I was pretty young when this was on the old black and white…

Oh Deer!!!

It’s October outside, and here in Michigan, that means hunters will be gearing up for their pursuit of deer. Actually, archery season is already underway, and then in November comes two weeks worth of firearm season.

Whether it’s arrows or bullets, I’ll be staying near the house during the various phases of hunting season. We live in a semi-rural area, and the deer do quite well here. It’s not at all uncommon to see tracks in the back of our five acre plot where Mama, Papa, and Baby Deer have been moving around. Very nice, ya know?? Deer are our friends, except of course when they’re trying to dive into our car as we book down the expressway. Been there. Done that. Not good. But we like giving them a five acre sanctuary, and although we’ve had numerous requests from friends and relatives to hunt on our land, we give everyone the same answer: an emphatic NO. I don’t really like the idea of a stray arrow, bullet or shotgun slug flying past my noggin.

Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with folks who hunt responsibly. But I just don’t have it in me to kill them anymore. I am a WUSSY and I’m not afraid to admit it. Dad used to take us hunting often when we were kids. I got my buck when I was 14, and I haven’t hunted since. I’d much rather shoot them with a camera. I love to eat venison though; yummy stuff, youbetcha. I smear it in my hair with gravy and noodles. Maybe a little mashed potatoes on my eyebrows. A pea or two in my belly button. Now that’s a party!!

Hopefully all the hunters will get their deer and come back all in one piece. Unfortunately, there are some silly boys (and yes, even girls now) who mix alcohol and weapons with very deadly results. And it’s not uncommon for a few to die because an eager hunter sees something moving in the brush and lets a shot fly. Youse guys can go hunting, and I’ll stay home. OK??

Call me. We’ll do lunch. Venison burgers, of course. Your treat, right??

Hopefully our nobody will run across these jokers in the woods…


My hair is probably on fire. Is my hair on fire? I smell hair fire. This whole past week has been fanning the hair flames of my stress world; but that’s not your fault I don’t think. Is it? Can you tell I’m stressed? Holy MOLY… Life, The Universe, and Everything were all BIG in my face this week. Big week of living life stress bigness.


We got some rather unwelcome health news this past Monday. Nothing unexpected, really, but unwelcome nonetheless. This getting older crap is not for cowards!! And I must admit, there are times while I’m kinda frightened. Well OK maybe a whole lot frightened. Fortunately, we have excellent support from friends, our biological family, and our “family of choice;” not necessarily in that order. And of course, not to forget The People Upstairs (a.k.a. God, whoever they are). A quick note about God (whoever they are): I do not subscribe to any religion. Rather, I love the anonymous quote I read many moons ago: “Nature is God’s reflection.” Yeah, I like that one a lot. To me, that means everything from the smallest subatomic particle to the immense myriad of planets, stars, galaxies, and so on that comprise this amazing Universe of ours. It includes all creatures large and small, and yes, boys and girls, it includes us.

OK so that wasn’t so quick, but anyway… We truly believe we will get strength from The Universe if we simply ask Them for help and keep our minds in gratitude mode. After all, we really are blessed beyond measure in oh so many ways.

There are, of course, numerous ways to deal with stress. Meditation and prayer are two very good ones. Sharing our problems with those we love and trust is good also. Distractions like entertainment such as concerts, plays, movies or TV shows can be helpful. Maybe go for a walk or ride a bike. And of course we need to care for our bodies by eating well, getting enough water, and making sure we get a healthy amount of sleep.

My Beautiful Girlfriend and I also have another tool for coping with stress: GOODIES. I remember seeing a meme in the form of a silly placard on the interwebs at one time or another: “STRESSED is DESSERTS spelled backwards!!”

I really like desserts.

We have a place called Mac’s Meats a few miles up the road from us in Rothbury, Michigan (nudge nudge, wink wink). We call it The Carnivore’s Candy Store. Yes, of course they have wonderful bacon, sausage, ribs, and such. But they also make some very nice baked goods. Their Long Johns are big and fat and must weigh in at over 3 pounds (maybe not, but we share one and that’s plenty). Our youngest grandson dubbed them Maximum Meats, and of course after we chuckled I responded: “Yes, and when they start to run out they rename the store Minimum Meats.”

For me, pizza is also dessert, as are potato chips. Those things really should be controlled substances. But I also like peanut M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, oh and Holy Wow those amazing Ritter Sport chocolate bars that are packed with whole hazelnuts. All these and more are delicious, and I find myself accidentally buying some sort of chocolates from time to time. OH, and I also like cookies. Ice cream is nice also. Sure, my Wonderful Sweetheart and I had some muskmelon for dessert the other day; but the next day we had Ben & Jerry’s (Cherry Garcia… mmmmmmmm). So when I’m stressed, desserts start to call my name; and try as I might to resist, I do indeed heed the call. Yes, I know that too much of this stuff is not exactly calorie friendly. Since I’ve retired I do a lot of home cooked meals, so we eat sensibly much of the time. We work on our sweets intake in much the same way as we work on procrastination. Both of us have committed ourselves to quit procrastinating either tomorrow or the next day.

In the meantime, you gonna eat that last piece of pizza??

When I was MUCH younger, watching these two guys was a great stress reliever. Still is, in my professional opinion.

A Paperless Papers Letter

Dear Battery Holders,

As you may have noticed, this letter is not printed on paper.  No… you see it’s like this:  I’d like to warn you in advance that what follows is something of a hot topic. Please, if you have any interest in maintaining a trove of printed documents, DO NOT be like me.

As an egg sample, I often can’t seem to find my brayne. Those of you who are getting older will appreciate this, and maybe some of the younger ones too. So there I was, wenting to the Meijer pharmacy place picking up a prescription for my Beautiful Girlfriend. And yes, wenting is a real word because I said so, and I can conjugate it thusly, in the following usages of went, wented, and wenting.

I am went to the store.

I wented to the store.

I was wenting to the store.

All good?? Yes. I think, maybe…

So I wented to the store to pick up a prescription for the Love Of My Life, and this particular prescription required the presentation of a photo ID. Well, the only photo ID I am having is a driver’s license, so I put that in the little drive up sliding door thingamabob and it disappeared into the other side of the wall where the nice lady was processing the prescription; and perhaps unbeknownst to her she may possibly have had something to do with the composition of this run-on sentence; I simply don’t know.

OK. I am pay with the credit card and then I am receive the bag with the prescription and put it on the passenger seat and I am go home now. Then I am being home and am remove the prescription from the bag. The prescription obeys the law of gravity by sitting nicely on the counter. The bag is transported to the Red Metal Bucket (RBM) which contains junk mail and other fire starting combustibles.

Well sometimes we have a problem. We heat with wood. No, that’s not the problem… the problem is that when you put “garbage paper” (junk mail, prescription bags, etc.) in the woodstove to get a fire going, you can’t really go back through it if you have a little “whoopsie.” If you try, you will have ashes in your hair and eyebrows from putting your face inside the firebox while looking around.

PLEASE: ONLY DO THAT IF THE FIRE IS OUT… BUT GUESS WHAT?? EVEN IF YOU GO BACK TO CHECK, IT’S PROBABLY TOO LATE!! The fire must be out for obvious reasons. I mean, it’s not very comfortable to walk around the house (or anywhere else) with toasted nostrils and face blister ouch. Probably better to screen the papers carefully BEFORE putting them inside the firebox; because paper burns really well.

And fast!!

I did not notice my boo boo for several days; when I happened to open my wallet and discover that my license was gone. My reaction to this epiphany was, “Where the HECK is my lice…. oh crap.” So yes, boys and girls, I put my driver’s license in the fiery furnace. I’m sure it did a superb job of starting the fire, and that it burned really well.

And fast!!

Thankfully, you can now apply for a duplicate license at a kiosk in the grocery store. Is that cool or what?? And because of my weird propensity for remembering numbers, I was able to type in my driver’s license number from memory. I paid a few bucks for the mailing fee, and the kiosk thingy spit out a temporary paper license that I stuffed into my wallet where the real license used to live. And no I did NOT go home and put it in the woodstove. Took a week or so and I got my duplicate license in the mail, at which time I was able to quit shaming myself for using my original copy to start a wood fire.

I think perhaps I’ll be more careful next time I have to present my license to the pharmacy. In the meantime, I’ll just plod along and try to locate my cerebellum and it’s accessories. I may have left it in RBM (Red Metal Bucket), or even worse it might already be in the wood furnace. As the old saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.” But sometimes I find myself wondering if my brain thing is still out in a remote corner of the galaxy somewhere.

I go now. Please have a Happy Merry and a Joyful Wonderful.

If our fire ever gets to be a problem… we could always call Mickey’s Fire Brigade.  Or not…