How To Cure A Sinus Infection

Ever have a cold that just didn’t seem to go away? Well I once had one that started on October 13, 2125 at approximately 12:17 PM and lasted for a -9 years and 10 days. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration… but seriously folks, that “cold” stuck around way too long. My doze got stubbed up, add it stodded rudding, I coughed and coughed and coughed, and den I had to use up da whole box of tissues every hour; which became rather expensive.

The beautiful woman I live with shocked me after several days of this ordeal when she said, “Honey, your cold is lingering way too long. I think you have a sinus infection.” I’m not sure how she felt qualified to say such things. Just because she’s been a nurse for over 30 years and does in home care for people and knows a lot of stuff about healthcare doesn’t give her the right to make wild accusations about some lousy cold her husband might have.

Does it??

Being the enlightened man that I am, I decided to invent a number of methods that would be certain to bring any so-called “sinus infection” to its knees, so to speak. I thought I’d better pass these on to all of you because I’m sure you are interested in following my exact instructions.

Without any further ado, here are the methods, in order of magnitude.

1) Get an eighteen inch length of surgical tubing and shove it deeply into your nostril. Connect the other end to a faucet using an appropriate adapter. Turn on the water quickly, then off just as quickly. Be certain to turn the faucet completely on during this operation to apply maximum pressure. Repeat on the other nostril, then repeat the entire procedure at 3 hour intervals. This will flush out any germ infested mucus.

After 2 days, if symptoms persist:

R) Continue with the water flush, but after each flush use an ordinary toothbrush to clean each nostril. Be sure to remove any clingons from the bristles after each flushing operation. Discard the clingons in the usual manner: rub them on the underside of the sofa or flick them into an inconspicuous corner.

Still having difficulty? I see… try this:

9) Place a birthday candle inside each nostril. DO NOT LIGHT THE CANDLES!!! Whadda you, crazy??? Sheesh! Hold each candle between thumb and forefinger and apply inward pressure while twirling the candles back and forth. This will lubricate your nasal passages and allow clingons to be more easily removed in steps 1) and R)

Still hab a stubby doze?? OK, one more try:

@*) Request the assistance of a trusted friend or loved one. Hand them a ping pong paddle, have them stand behind you with the paddle held parallel to the back of your head. Have them be ready for “the signal.” Fill a glass with ginger ale and place two drinking straws in the glass. Insert a drinking straw into each nostril. Now you are ready to give “the signal,” at which time your helper should whack the back of your head with the paddle. This will cause an involuntary snorking of ginger ale deep into your sinuses; which will of course fizz out any congestive fluids.

I personally have not tried any of these methods, so once you’ve given them a whirl please report back to me as to their effectiveness.

So… remember that Beautiful Nurse Lady I mentioned earler? The one I’m married to? Well guess what she did?? She said, “Honey, you need to go to the doctor.” Now, we’ve been married for awhile and I’ve learned (too often the hard way) that all goes much better if I follow orders.

I went to the doctor. He said, “you have a sinus infection.” “Oh,” I replied. “What do I need to do?” “I’ll prescribe some antibiotic pills for you,” he answered.

I got the prescription filled for FREE at our local pharmacy!! Is that cool or what??

So I wondered, “what, do I just shove these up my nose???”

Could’ve been worse, Goofy got a bad one…

Another Silly Letter

Hello Marvelgrabbers,

May I be the first one to wish you!! Happy Friday, the world is still flat and all the flaming custard pies are of course!! Round as the day is long, and smothered in onions and dripping with gravy, the happy toast salesman changes his underwear more often than a bread flavored pair of zircon encrusted tweezers!! If any of the sentences in this paragraph are not complete!! Please use the localized amnesia to invigorate the invertebrates!! These superfluously punctuated exclamations not to be endured!!!!!

Now there may be a time when time is short, and at that time, please try either thyming or rhyming, depending on the length of your very own noodle fasteners. There may be hours of whistling ahead of each and every one of us. Just pucker your lips and kiss the lightning bugs before they turn left at that silly USB port over there. I don’t care if they insist upon recharging their hineys!! Don’t they know that bio-luminescence is fortified by part of this delicious breakfast??

Huck. Hucka Hucka! Apply Hucka Hucka fastener jelly each and every midnight on the bread and Holy Cow eat the darned thing before the dogs catch a sniff. I’m sure you all know what happens when sniff fasteners change lanes during a staple storm. In order to avoid the obvious need for renting electric staple removers, I wrongly suggest not using electric stables in the first place. After all, electric stay bulls will merely insight a rye out when Victor, the Prize Bull of Lockawanna County takes a whiz on that electric eel you so cleverly dressed as a butter sniffing clown.

Now I must go. Please don’t ask me to explain any of this. I merely had too many burrito molecules lodged in my sandals during the last 14 episodes of “Melvin The Mailman Makes Marinades.” As I’m sure none of you are aware, this week’s episode finds Melvin licking telephone poles and other small animals in search of that elusive Marinade Holy Moly. I’m sure once he discovers the incorrect ingredients, a very unsatisfactory Mystery Marinade will make even the sleepiest Great Blue Heron stand proudly in the swamp. Then, when his guests sample the finished product, there will be intestinal volcano in epic contortions. All will be delighted to induce vomiting during commercials.

In conclusion my friends, please remember that it’s always better to be you than for you to be me, and although you can count to it, eight is a word.

Please pass the gravy,

Kibble G. Wibnerdort

a.k.a. “Freebert Firesauce”

And now for some audiovisual amusement:

Hungry? Will That Be Sand Or Sawdust?

Mom always said, “you gotta eat a peck of dirt before you die.” That profound statement was usually preceded by a piece of partially eaten fruit jumping out of our hands and landing on the ground. God bless Mom, because she did the best she could to feed us on a tight budget. So the “peck of dirt” message really meant: 1) pick it up, we’ll wash it off, and 2) you ain’t gettin’ no more fruit till that’s gone.

Little did I know how true this “peck of dirt” idiom really was. For example: there I was walking through the grocery store, minding my own business, when suddenly I reached for the grated Parmesan cheese.  This was back in the day when we bought the shaky stuff in the plastic containers… a habit from how we were raised I guess. But foolish me, I had to read the label. Again. I’m always reading the stupid labels. I’m sorry, but I want to know what’s going into my mouth. At least, most of the time I want to know… sometimes I completely ignore the label when I reach for junk food. Anyhow, I noticed the Parmesan cheese ingredients include “powdered cellulose added to prevent caking.” And I’m thinking to myself, “hey self, isn’t cellulose like, wood??” So then I get home, and decide to look up “cellulose.” Well, it’s the material that makes up the cell walls of plants… and the dictionary goes on to say that it’s the raw material for many manufactured goods like paper. Oh… that’s nice. I remember reading about how paper is made. I’ve also seen many a logging truck pull into the chipping yard at the paper mill. So basically I was right when I was having that discussion with myself. They chop up wood to get that cellulose stuff for making paper.

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out: a) paper is made of cellulose, ok? 12) they chop up wood to make paper, right?? so therefore G19) the powdered cellulose in the Parmesan cheese is powdered wood. SAWDUST. Those boogers are putting sawdust in my Parmesan cheese! Mom never said anything about how many pecks of sawdust we had to eat before we die. But just for the heck of it, I looked at a different brand of Parmesan cheese. This one had a much fancier “anti-caking agent,” which they called “microcrystalline silica aluminate.” In other words, sand. Little teensy, tiny grains of sand! In the cheese! Dirt!! Mom was right!!!

What the heck has happened to our food?? Anyhow?? These companies take perfectly good food and pollute it with rocks and sticks. If I really want to eat sand or sawdust, all I have to do is go outside by the firewood pile and lick the ground. We have sandy soil, and I’m sure there are wood particles to be had, so there you go. Might even get some bugs, which of course provide protein and various minerals. But I’d really rather not, thank you. But this food pollution is really pervasive throughout just about everything you find in the stores these days. So long story longer, we don’t by that kind of Parmesan cheese no any more. The one with the wood in it. Nope, we’re high class these days and buy those fancy schmancy wedges of Parmesan from the Meijer Grocery Store House.

On top of all this, it seems like there are “foods” being invented just about every day. Take “turkey ham” for example. What the heck is that supposed to be? Where I come from, ham comes from pigs. Yes? No?? You don’t hear people going around offering you any “pork drumsticks” do you? Or how about “pig wings??” No, that sounds pretty silly. But wait!! Some local restaurant was advertising hog wings!!  And then there are “Buffalo wings” which are really chicken wings, but that’s because it’s a style of cooking that originated in Buffalo. Sheesh. A few years ago, some jive nurkeyhead came up with a “food” called “turkey bacon.” Sorry folks, no such thing. Look up “bacon” in the dictionary once. Mine says, “a side of a pig cured and smoked.” No turkey or other such fowl meat is mentioned.

I guess with all the health consciousness and low fat everything, turkey seems to be synonymous with all things nutritious. Well, have you ever taken a gander at the label on a package of turkey bacon? Chemical soup. I’ll eat the fat and take my chances, thank you very much. But if this silly trend continues unchecked, I can see an awful change in the language of dining coming down the pike. Something like this maybe:

“Hi Frank!! Hey glad you made it to the barbecue! What’ll you have??”

“Dunno… everything smells great. Whatchya got??”

“Well, we got tofu dogs, turkey pork chops, and imitation seafood protein conglomerate salad… OH! And I knew you’d probably be coming so I set aside some nice chicken filet mignon for you!!”

“MMMMmmmm!!! Well geez Ken, you’ve outdone yourself. Don’t mean to disappoint you, but I had chicken mignon last night at our company party. But that imitation seafood protein conglomerate salad sounds pretty inviting. Does it have any of that yellow #5 in it?”

“Nope! Not a drop of artificial coloring. Just good old modified soy proteins and hydrolyzed vegetable amino acids.”

“No yellow #5?? You’re absolutely sure?”

“Yep. I’m sure as I’m standin’ here.”

“Oh… bummer. Well, thanks… umm… guess I’ll go with the old style stuff and have one of those turkey pork chops. Could you please make mine… oh I dunno… I’ll be brave and go medium rare. Just a hint of neon green inside.”

“No problem dude. One medium rare turkey chop comin’ up!”

Doesn’t that sound yummy? I’m drooling all over the keyboard here. NOT!!  As far as the chemicals in food goes, I carefully read the labels these days.  If there’s anything naughty in the food it doesn’t come home with us.  Most of the time…

Pass the sticks and rocks please. Anybody seen the bottle of yellow??

And now for something exactly the same but completely different…

Amazing Food-o-synthesis(?)

OK, so there I was, outside planting my garden, enjoying the tingly sensation of mosquitoes sucking my blood and gnats chewing off the top layers of my flesh, and most everything that needed to be planted is growing nicely, but HOLY COW July is half gone awreddy and I shoulda got some peas in the ground and maybe some turnips but then I looked in the planting chart in the Old Farmer’s Almanac and it’s OK, it’s OK, it’s gonna be OK; unless of course I continue with this run-on sentence and then it’s maybe not gonna be so OK.



So yes, it’s gratifying to have most of my stuff in the ground. Now, those who know me understand that my mind is often wandering into strange territories. So today my mind was fizzing with ideas and I poofed out some “scientific” revelations that, if successful, will revolutionize gardening forever more. The “science” goes thusly:

A- Although I’ve transplanted tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings, much of what I plant are seeds (or in the case of potatoes, tubers).

9 – The seeds I plant are often the part of the plant that actually gets eaten during harvest. This goes for potatoes, too, in that although a “seed potato” is planted, one could actually eat it. However, you wouldn’t get any harvest if you ate all the seeds (ha, ha ha).

R) You can plant carrot tops and they will spout leaves and start growing again.  You can also replant celery, but of course you would plant the bottoms.

Therefore and to wit, my scientific infusion shall be proclaimed thusly: one should be able to plant other parts of other things we eat and grow more of them.

Try to keep an open mind here.  If we can regrow foods like celery and carrots, why couldn’t we expand that practice to just about any other food?  So my theory, which of course has to be true because it’s posted here on the interwebs, is that if we plant other food items we should be able to increase our original amount of food things via food-o-synthesis.

One example which seems like a good place to start is Meijer rotisserie chicken. Boy howdy I like that stuff. I’ll start by planting a couple this weekend some time. As with potatoes, the whole chicken would need to be in the ground. I can hardly wait to see what sprouts from this. Other ventures may involve a stick or two of butter, perhaps a block of cheese, and maybe a couple fresh fish.

I’ve also theorized that perhaps non-food objects like a could be planted. For these I’d use the “cuttings” method that is so often a popular way to grow various plants. Some things I’d like to try are: spark plugs (to grow a new engine for my rototiller), radio knobs (should grow a stereo I’m hoping) or perhaps a piece of glass or two for a new type of “cultivated windows.” The possibilities are only limited by the imagination, in my professional opinion. I mentioned these to my friends and was greeted with wide eyed smiles and joyful giggling. I can just tell they are excited for me!!

This weekend, I’ll be planting eggs, bananas, and a vanilla milkshake alongside a few metric socket wrenches and a couple rechargeable flashlights. I’ll let you know at a later date what my success rate is. In the meantime, I hope I don’t have the type of garden problems Mickey Mouse had.

Sixty Eight, Ain’t It Great?? Ummm… Sure!!

Something weird is happening today.  I’m reflecting on Life, the Universe, and Everything ( the meaning of which is embedded in the number 42 for those in the know).  A most remarkable occurrence sprinkled itself into my life earlier this year. I turned 68 for the first time in my living life!! Well OK, this will be the only time I’ll turn 68 as far as I know. There was a time when this boy pondered the likelihood of living more than one life on this Earth; but I’ve long since veered away from the concept of reinfestation.  Or is that ream in carnation?  I dunno… my wife likes carnations.  Perhaps if I lived many lives I’d be reinfested with carnations?

On the other hand, a completely different occurrence showered itself into my life in 1962: our grandmother gave me an 8-transistor radio for my 8th birthday. That has absolutely nothing to do with being 68, but that event did indeed change my life forever. That beautiful receiver opened up a world of music to me, specifically rock and roll, which was all the rage in those days. Our father hated rock and roll, he was a classical music junky. Didn’t make him a bad person or anything… but his FM receiver really didn’t get much else in those days; and that’s the way he liked it.

I distinctly remember falling asleep with the radio carefully perched on my head so the speaker was right on my ear. Sounded much better than the earphone, and you didn’t have to turn it up very high to hear well. However, too often I’d wake up to a dead battery. That would have been a very sad thing; but Mom always seemed to make sure I had a battery for my radio.

For us kids, growing up on Long Island meant that there were two radio stations that really mattered: 77 WABC and 1010 WINS. We’d listen to DJs like Cousin Brucie and Murray the K with just a touch of echo added to their voices as they spun the latest records to our waiting ears. Artists like Bobby Vinton, Chubby Checker, Dion, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Little Eva, and The Shirelles were just a few of them… and a couple years later a new band called The Beatles entered the scene. The 1960s evolved into a decade of immense social changes, and of course the music often reflected the spirits of us young punks. Some of us became hippies, some of us kept the hippie spirit alive deep inside but entered the work force to raise families.

So all that to say how happy I am to be 68 years old?? Well I could probably write a book about all of this stuff, but suffice it to say that this old hippie guy is, believe it or not, very happy to have traveled around the sun a whole 68 times. I mean hey, I’m blessed beyond belief with a loving family, amazing friends, and a debt-free retirement.  One thing that haunts me a bit though, is that 68 is getting powerfully close to 70.  So I think at that time I’ll officially be an old fart.  Maybe I am already!!

So my friends, here’s to old age. It ain’t so bad!! Life is very good for us really. Oh… and you know a cool thing about living for 6.8 decades?? We got turned on to lots of really good music. Not just rock.  When we were growing up there was lots of stuff on TV and radio from the 1920s, 1930s, and so on. Some pretty cool stuff back then!! And yes, today too!! This week, I’m posting a very small samples of music I’ve grown to love over the years. Music is a magical thing in my professional opinion.  Helps keep the blues away.  Soul food, ya know?  Hope you have a chance to check these out.

PEACE, LOVE, AND HUGS TO YOU ALL!!! You young whippersnappers!!!

Let’s see… how about a little Cab Calloway from 1934…

Maybe some Laurel and Hardy…  HUH???  Just watch.

Anybody remember Judy Canova?

Carmen Miranda… oh my I had the hots for her…

Like Peter, Paul, and Mary, I Dig Rock ‘n Roll Music.

Mojo Men… with a woman drummer in 1967!!

Oh and there’s other band I mentioned earlier… you may recognize them.

Here’s one I sang at work some times… Devo says it’s Time Out For Fun

Maybe by now you’re saying, “Lord!!! Enough already!!”  OK… one from Lorde, and that will be enough already.

We’re On Vacation!! Nyaa Nyaa Na Boo Boo!!!

You may not know this, but we are on vacation and you are not. I’m on vacation!! Nyaa nyaa na boo boo!! Not you!! Unless you are, of course, in which case we can be on vacation in separate places together. Of course, these days I am always on vacation because I am retired.  However, my Beautiful Girlfriend are going on a little trip to an outdoor rock concert.  We will be enjoying the wonderful electrically amplified songs from Blue Oyster Hat and Fog Cult.  Or is that Blue Fog Cult and Oyster Hat??  Blue Oyster Cult??  Foghat??  No, those sound way to silly.  I’ve asked a few young people, and also some old farts like me, if they’ve ever heard of any such groups as these, and they shake their heads and run away screaming.

Too bad for them.  We are gonna have FUN!!

Retirement is truly a blessing.  There are, however, a few anomalies that arise when one is retired, such as:

1) I often forget what day it is.  But I don’t care!!

R) I often get to sleep in to at least 8:36 AM

5) I’ve learned that time passes even more quickly than when I was working!!  Seems like my retirement countdown clock was just a tickin’ away like a week or so ago.  Now I’ve been retired for two years and two months!!  Holy moly!!

M) I really should have plenty of time, but my garden still looks like the Garden of Weeden.  Sure, we’re gonna get lots of food.  But one “disadvantage” of practicing regenerative farming (making amazing soil using natural means) is that when you have excellent soil, the weeds do really well!!  So something that’s always on my list is the next item…

Red) I hope to get my garden weeded.

Did I mention I’d like go get my garden weeded? Oh yes, yes indeed.

OK, you see it’s like this: I got my tomato, pepper, and eggplant transplants all in the ground in early May, and sure it can still get cold but I keep hats (well OK, buckets) handy to put over their heads to keep Jack Frost away but then I discovered the seeds don’t march themselves into the ground to grow food plants, so then I nee need to get off my hiney and get out there and make the dirt move in certain ways in order to plant kernels of radish bulbs and transplant the onion vines and oh wow don’t forget the baby Watermelon Trees that have to be hung out to dry for 3 weeks before those doggoned Space Aliens come back and start trying to reprogram our garage door opener again when they could have just asked me for a nut cracker because I have one over here and it works well but you know those Space Aliens don’t have very strong fingers and I tried to tell them that the garage door won’t really crack nuts but they won’t listen and maybe this is not what I really meant to write about; and after all I’m not really sure Space Aliens should be Capitalized but I Did It Anyway and *whew* OK that’s enough.

Often, I ask my Beautiful Girlfriend not to make any plans for me so I can get all this planting ans weeding done.. And you know what? She is so nice to me… but people want to see us (and we want to see them) so often schedule time with friends. But hey, it’s nice to be wanted!! Besides, plans are basically wishes when you look at the grand scheme of things. We never know what a particular day will bring; so just rolling along without barking and making snargly noises is really the most serene way I’ve found to enjoy each day to the fullest. And as a wise person once told me, “If you wanna make God laugh, tell Him you have plans.” Well I dunno that God is just a Him… I don’t really think so, but I can see the humor in the whole “tell Them you have plans thing; don’tcha know.

So I have all these grandiose plans to plant plants and pull weeds; help them grow in a kind and loving way, and then chop their delicious bodies up for food. I also intend also to murder some plants too by golly. There are some trees that could come down, and some weeds that are already enjoying too much garden real estate.

Therefore, I will continue to enjoy retirement in the manner of a very long vacation with added chores and garden work and all kinds of other working but not actually working for someone, but it’s still work, so am I really retired or is this just some kind of weird run-on sentence that really never resolves whether I’m actually retired or on some kind of weird, reduced pay vacation???

OK, I hereby proclaim it:  I’m on vacation. Are you?

No you are not: unless of course you are.

On vacation.


No, just me.

Nyaa nyaa na boo boo!!

We’ve toyed with the idea of a camping trailer… but the cost, maintenance, storage and other issues have made us reconsider.  Besides, we don’t wanna end up like these guys…

Date Night!!

I’m a very fortunate fellow. I’ve managed to retire with zero debt. I am pretty healthy for an old fart. Cars that work and are paid for; and house that works and is also paid for, and also enough book-learnin’ to have the smarts to know that a preposition is a word one should never end a sentence with.

Oh carp, I flunked that one. Anyway…

On top of all this good fortune, I’m in love with a Beautiful Woman who actually loves me back!! Is that cool or what?? We are best friends; and it’s not very often a guy can boast that he’s in madly in love with his best friend. Depending on your orientation, you may not want to boast that you’re in love with your best friend. Not that I have any objection to such things!! But in my case, I am a man, and my best friend is a woman; and I’m in madly in love with her. I guess that labels me as a heterosapiens rather than a homosapiens.

Whether you like it or not, my best friend (who is also my Beautiful Girlfriend) and I still like to go on dates.  We’ve been doing this kind of thing for 50 years now, so we’re starting to get pretty good at it.   One of our favorite things to do is go to the drive-in.  Yes!!  We still have a drive-in!! Before the movie, you’ll find me at home, romantically shelling popcorn for our date. I’ve never romantically shelled popcorn before, so this would prove interesting. You see, I grow popcorn each year, and last year’s harvest is still hanging on the popcorn tree waiting to be shelled. The popcorn tree is actually a homemade coat rack that was given to us by our dear friend Mike’s father.  He was an amazing craftsman.  This coat rack, however, has many, many dowels sticking out; so not such a good coat rack but a splendid place to tie ears of popcorn together by the husk and hang them to dry.  Santa brought me a sheller several Christmases ago, so that provides the good excuse to get busy with the popcorn shelling in a romantic sort of way, whatever that means. No YouTube video will be permitted, thank you very much.

I will also be romantically popping some of this popcorn so we can bring a healthy amount of it to the movies with us. Most theaters would not permit this; but we’d be going to the Getty 4 Drive-In you see. And if you follow that link back there (click on Getty 4 Drive-In), you can see what’s playing.  We were hoping to see the new Doctor Strange movie, but I think we waited too long as it’s now preceded by the Bob’s Burgers movie, and my Lovely Bride has no interest in seeing that one.

We try to do this at least once each summer. Brings back fond memories of childhood. Brings back memories of our early dating years too; when we would combine a trip to the drive-in with watching the submarine races (if you don’t understand, search the interwebs). So that being said, I have one complaint about these here modern-type vehicles. They make any attempt at watching submarine races rather difficult, unless you’re a contortionist.

When we were first dating, we took my father’s Ford Ranchwagon to the drive-in. It had long bench seats so me and my Honey Pie could snuggle and um… watch those submarine races. Now we have two choices of vehicles (remember? cars that work and are paid for!!): a Toyota Corolla IM, or a Toyota Sienna minivan.  Problem for a submarine race fan like me is that stupid console that either car has between the driver and the passenger. Sheesh!! Might be able to slide over for a smooch, but that’s about it.

I don’t, however, miss the speakers. They were actually still working when we first visited the Getty 4, but they’re part of drive-in history now.  They pretty much always sounded bad; and the volume control was always touchy. No, these days they have FM stereo sound sent right to your car radio; and digital projection!! No more scratched films.

But we’ll have popcorn!! With REAL BUTTER!! Oh yeah, we’re gonna party. Might even bring some fake wine (sparkling juice) (non-alcoholic) (we like it that way) (too many parentheses) (so stop already!!). Possibly even some chocolate!! I just don’t know!! Then we’ll head home after the movie and it will be really late outside. And after we get home… look out!! Time for bed!!

And you know what that means, right?


Sheesh we’ll be tired. As we used to say when I was in the Air Force, we’ll be getting home at “0:Early:30.” No submarine races or other such monkey business.

That’s OK. There are lots of opportunities on the horizon, and I plan to chase my Beautiful Girlfriend often.

Wish me luck!!

And now for the cartoon… here’s what they used to see at the drive-in!!

Buzzin’ In Bugville

Ah, summertime… cookouts, fresh berries, warm sunny days, and lots of BUGS!! Especially if you live in Podunk Swamp World, which is exactly where we live. The mosquito vampire bugs have been especially thick lately.  Soon their numbers will be joined by hordes of deer flies and black flies. Oh, not to forget the gnats. They all get hungry every stinking time I go outside. Deer flies are not too bad because they aren’t nearly as numerous as the stupid skeeters, and they’re dumb enough that you can kersmoosh them easily. Black flies are meany punk kakahead mooka flarns, because they hurt like crazy when they bite and I have yet to swat one successfully. You may be able to swat one if they have their blood sucking stabber thing deep into your skin, but I’m a wimp and don’t like the pain. So, I try to swat as quickly as I can and cry for OW when I miss them and hit me. Skeeters are the worst. I mean, there are so many of these stupid things that I swear to The Giant Rhinoceros Statue that I was lifted off the ground by a swarm of them the other day. I have killed many of them; often after they have guzzled a few milliliters of my red blood juice.

Holy Splatter Globs, Batman!!

One thing nice about living in the swamp: you’ll never go hungry. If you need a snack, just run through our yard with your mouth open, and you’ll get a meal and a half of all kinds of different flying meat. I eat them all the time… not purposely mind you, but it happens. Gnats seem to be the most common meal I ingest. I especially enjoy talking to someone outside and having a quick bug snack.  I’ll pause, then interrupt the conversation by interjecting, “I think I ate a bug!!”  Ah well. Summer also means that the dragonflies and their cousins the damselflies are hatching out. They eat skeeters. And gnats. And deer flies. And black flies. Simply put, THEY ARE MY HEROES.

Ants. They are also very friendly right now.  In the past, we had the privilege of a bunch of them coming to visit during a graduation open house, and boy did that give us the warm fuzzies inside. Nothing makes your self esteem higher than a bunch of ants traipsing about the house when you have company from all over the universe. I remember my Honey Pie asking me, “Where the *&%$ are all these ants coming from??”  Well of course, they migrate from Antarctica!  Except fire ants. They don’t like Michigan because our winters put their fires out. THANK GOD.  Those boogers are nasty.

For your enlightenment, I have gathered a few amazing yet little known statements about some of these bug things: Dragonflies, for example, are from a land called Onalee. If you get too close to them they will burn your eyebrows. I mean, hey, they are dragons!! Lightning bugs are, of course, from thunderstorms. I’m truly surprised that there is no loud noise when you see their hineys light up. But then, what do I know about all this?? Deer flies look nothing like deer and black flies aren’t very black. Gnats are tiny, so that one makes sense. And of course, gnats have very tiny hineys; hence the expression, “smaller than a gnat’s hiney.”

Or something like that…

Although I have nothing but hatred for mosquitoes, I also resign to the fact they are useful because they feed not just dragonflies and damselflies, but also bats, swallows and other wonderful animals. And of course the mosquito wrigglers (larvae) feed fishies. Swamp World contains many many amazing wild critters.  And in spite of all the bugs that are buzzin’ around our house, we will likely never leave. We just love being part of the swamp family.

However, my professional opinion is:  the stinkin’ skeeters, deer flies, and black flies can leave any time!

And now for an interesting example of how onions can get rid of bugs.

Clumsiness Is Next To Oldliness

Yes I am aware there is no such word as “oldliness,” but guess what, I typed it into the title anyway whether you like it or not. So there. As some of you may have surmised, I am playing with that old 18th century saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness.” That’s because although I’m pretty good at staying clean, but it seems as I get older I’m becoming annoyingly clumsy.

Getting older… GACK!! What a pain in the hiney. And often literally!! Seems like every time I do a day’s work at the wood pile or in the garden, I can feel really good about what I’ve accomplished, but not so good about the fact that every joint in my body is yelling “ouch!!” at me. Mind you, I am indeed old enough to remember when The Beatles came to the U.S. on the Mayflower (I was not quite 10 when they landed in 1964… that tell you anything??). Nice thing is that I’m still in good enough shape to do pretty much everything. Sometimes it takes longer, and as I mentioned earlier all my body parts seem to enjoy screaming at me when I’m done.

Another “fun” thing about getting older, at least for me, is I seem to be getting clumsier. I get great “enjoyment” out of smacking my little toe on furniture a couple times a month. I’m surprised it’s not jutting out at a right angle from my foot!! Seems to happen most in the evening… could it possibly be due to low light levels at that time of day? Gee… maybe I should carry a flashlight to go to the bathroom or something. Nah…

On the other hand, you have the pepper grinder. Anyone else prefer their pepper freshly ground? My Beautiful Girlfriend and I are still using the same salt shaker / pepper grinder set we got for our first wedding anniversary. Is that cool or what? Of course, once you fill these, they eventually run out (duh). So this evening I had the pleasant experience of losing my grip on the jar of peppercorns when trying to fill the grinder. Did you know peppercorns can really travel?? I’m serious!! And once they get rolling, they do not travel together!! Very independent little rascals. I spent several minutes chasing down peppercorns. I know, they were not moving any longer, but it sure felt like I was chasing them anyway. Then of course when I figure I’m all done, out of the corner of my eye I see yet another peppercorn!!! Oy yoy yoy…

Now let’s visit the coffee pot. The old reliable, automatic Kitchenaid jobby with the wire basket for the grinds. No more coffee filters for us kids, ya know. I set the timer for the crack of noon (OK maybe a bit earlier) (I’m retired ya know) (there he goes with the parentheses again…), then get ready to fill the basket with fresh coffee. So there I was, minding my own business, with the first scoop of grinds, and HOLY CARP WHAT THE FLARN I TOUCHED THE RIM AND BONKED THE SCOOP AND NOW THE GRINDS ARE EVERYWHERE OH MAN THIS IS ANNOYING!!! Clean up time. Very nice indeed.

Have I mentioned that another cool thing about getting older?? My skin is now only 0.007 millimeters thick!! I mean sheesh!! All I have to do is walk past a rose bush and I have gashes all over me!! Not sure I even touched the darn thing!! Oh and I have these wire fence thingies in the garden I use to train my tomato vines. They have little stabby sticky-out parts that can really make me bleed if I brush against them. Oh and speaking of tomato vines, I had to replace one plant already because I accidentally stepped on its head and made it (and me) very sad.

So, for this boy, oldliness seems to be arriving with a little extra clumsiness. Hey I was probably clumsy like this my whole life. But now that I’m nearing the age of OLD PEOPLE, it just seems like all these delightful distractions are wasting precious time. Oh well. I know I’m not alone in this. Friends of mine talk about the same things. They say things like, “I hate this getting old business!!” And you know what I tell them??

I try to reassure them and say, “I like it better than not getting old!!”

Speaking of clumsy….

When “The Boss” Is Away

“Well I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.” If you remember that from a song, you may not want to admit it; because it probably means you’re as old as me. And as many of you know, I’m old enough to remember when The Beatles came to the U.S. on the Mayflower.

You see, my Beautiful Girlfriend is “The Boss.” And no, for you older people like me, I do not mean that my Beautiful Girlfriend is Bruce Springsteen!! Ock!! Ptoo!! No, I mean she really is the boss of me; pretty much… and to a much lesser extent, I am the boss of her. This wonderful compromise was reached many years ago in the interest of domestic tranquility.

“The Boss” is on a 3 day sojourn with two of her women friends. They decided to drive up to Mackinac City to enjoy the rain (pea sized hail from what I’ve heard).  Well, I’m sure the trip’s fun did not include rain, but that’s what they’re getting up there.  My Honey Pie mentioned she was looking forward to some caramel corn “because I’ll be on vacation.”  We have pretty much cut sugary stuff out of our diet these days you see.   Her anticipation of goodies got my mind whirling about a bit.  You know, like hey, I think it’s a good opportunity for me to enjoy some not-so-normal foodstuffs.  Anyway, there’s some old saying like, “when the boss is away the mouse will eat greasy foods and other delicious things.”

Or something…

My thoughts also started dashing about with ideas.  Some things like: “hmmm let’s see… what kind of FUN can I have while my Beautiful Girlfriend (The Boss) is gone?? OK… there’s still some tilling waiting in the garden.  Gotta get those potatoes in the ground, way overdue!!  Guess I better scoop the kitty box so Freddie the Freeloader (our used-to-be feral kitty) doesn’t get bummed out.  Maybe I’ll watch one of those 1930’s horror movies. OH FOOEY!!! My Honey left her lunch bag on the counter!!!”

She wasn’t due to leave on her trip until after work today, I’m sure she would have gotten a bit hungry in the meantime.  So what did I do when I saw that bag sitting there?  I grabbed it and hopped in the car for delivery!!  Twenty two miles round trip… and gas is not really cheap right now but hey, this is my Honey Pie we’re talking about!!

I’m very grateful that I don’t get irate about such things anymore. When I was young and foolish, that would have been fodder for a nasty exchange of crab sauce, which would have done little more than perpetuate the stereotype of male verbal flatulence. I’m not so young anymore but I still know how to be foolish. But no, I just basically left it at FLARN!!(or something), zoomed up to her work place, and continued dreaming of more fun stuff I could do while The Boss was gone. I mean, hey, this is party time!!

Let’s see… maybe get more tilling and planting done if it’s not raining… maybe get the trailer and go get compost from the dump… it’s free you know.  Oh wait, the politically correct term for the dump is “the transfer station.”   Oh and I’ll have to mow the lawn before she gets pack. Ssshhh don’t tell anyone but I sneaked up to the local ice cream joint and got me two scoops of Deer Traxx on a waffle cone.  Oh and I may have accidentally bought some garlic bologna and some salami from Mac’s Meats.  Oh and tomorrow… hold on to your hats kids… tomorrow I’m getting some take out pizza!!   Am I a party animal or what??   But hey, The Boss is gone, so I can party!! My party days may have shifted somewhat… believe it or not I’m looking forward to all of those things.

Well…maybe not that “scooping the kitty box” part.

Speaking of parties…  If you’re old like me, or even if you’re not, you can’t hold a candle to a Betty Boop Hallowe’en party.