The Kiss Of Death

There are some nasty bugs going around these days. People are dying from the flu for cryin’ out loud! Well my Beautiful Girlfriend and I have been getting our flu shots for several years now, and so far so good, I think. However, the flu shot doesn’t catch everything, so once in awhile something seems to slip past the radar.

Take last Wednesday, for example. There I was minding my own business, being unsick and feeling pretty good when my Beautiful Girlfriend started to come down with something nasty. Coughing, feeling run down, coughing, muscle and joint pain from head to toe, fever, chills, loss of appetite, and oh did I mention the coughing?? Yes, much coughing.

Being the loving husband I am, I gave her a kiss on the lips just before bed that night. WHAT WAS I THINKING?? OK, I know what I was thinking… I was thinking it’s time for bed and therefore I kiss my Honey Pie before retiring. Pretty normal for a happily married man to think, right? Well if any of you are in the medical profession, you know that kissing someone on the lips is not exactly “sterile procedure.” And even if you’re not, you probably know enough not to kiss a sickie on the lips.

But I did.

And almost immediately afterward, I thought to myself, “uh-oh.”

Well my Lovely Lady had some sort of nasty virus. And by kissing her I pretty much volunteered for what came next. Yep, a mere two days later I started feeling like crap. Both of us were in bed for several days, and at one point I asked her if I should call Hospice. I was of course making a “sick joke” (get it, sick… joke) but very quickly after the words came out of my mouth I thought of loved ones whom I’ve accompanied during their Hospice journeys and it wasn’t so funny any more.

After a few days we went to the doctor, and she gave my Lovely Lady a flu test. Negative for influenza. Well that was good! So of course we asked, “what is it then?” “Some other nasty virus,” she said. “Go home, get some rest, drink plenty of fluids, and call if it keeps getting worse.” Sheesh! We were hoping for some sort of magic wand or something in the form of a medication or maybe a spell to drive evil spirits away. Back home we went, and I made yet another pot of soup with herbs and homegrown garlic in a vain attempt at killing whatever this damn bug was.

I’m getting better… slowly. She is too, but my Poor Baby is still coughing very hard. Oh, and my skin is starting to sprout little TV antennas every couple inches and both my big toes have flattened out to the size of ping pong paddles. Other than that and the glow-in-the-dark snot blobs that fly out of my nose when I sneeze, I’m doing fine.

Well in case you haven’t been sick yet, here are some instructions on how to catch a cold…

My (Late) 2018 New Year’s Revolutions

Please allow me to greet your face and hands with a very Happy 2018; and may all your wishes be sold to Smoked Fish Merchants (S.F.M.) in trade for Used Flip Flops (U.F.F.) while numerous soft yet Bristly Sock Monsters (B.S.M.) chew rapidly during the Great Raisin Gathering (G.R.G.) at the 134th annual Anonymous Snack Snarfers Hand Or Leg Egg Slappers (A.S.S.H.O… wait a minute!! No no… not gonna do that) chamber pot tossing competition.

So here I am, following my 1st annual run-on sentence with a (late) report what my New Year’s Revolutions for 2018 very well might be. I’m reporting these revolutions in a tardy manner because I simply had to pay tribute to Dick Orkin, the creator of “Chickenman” who passed away last week. And also, in addition, I say to you that these “might be,” my New Year’s Revolutions because I am unreasonably certain that I’m not likely to dig up enough used crayons to change the climate in St. Petersburg, Florida.

My really true and uncrompulated New Year’s Revolution has actually been the same every year for the last couple decades: Try to do better. But if I were to make new revolutions, they “might” go something like this:

A. I hereby resolve not to ever use superfluous exclamation points!! I mean, hey, that’s the least a person can do!!! Think about it!!!! So many people emphasize way too much with exclamation points!!!!! This rather diminishes the effect of using any exclamation points at all!!!!!! Don’t you think so?!?!?!?!?!?

U. My 14th resolution is to avoid using imaginary words that only I can infliborize. Sure, I sometimes use nonsense words for the sheer bagnaffley horkle tones of the contersneffeck. I probably amuse myself more than others with this style of vasherbinking, so perhaps I will cease and desist with the silly words awreddy.

$. Procrastination has always been a lingering hobby of my cat and other members of my corn field. Therefore, I herewith intend to stop procrastinating either today or tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll keep putting off the procrastination until I can’t avoid procrastinating any longer. Or maybe I could delegate my efforts to someone who can postpone them indefinitely. I’m not exactly sure. If one of you has any suggestions, please e-mail them to my garage and I’ll try to read them one of these days.

X12. Have you seen my new socks?? You know, the ones with the fancy frog nostril prints all over them. They really keep my toes happy.

M6. Please erase resolution “U.” above. I do apologize (no, really I don’t), but I am very fond of writing various ibblesnick tenterdoodles. My professional opinion is that with all the horrible things in our past and present world, a little silliness can be a very good stress relief cabbagehamper.

And finally:

O!2!: I plan to do my best to spread Peace, Love, and Hugs to everyone in the Universe. Of course, some people don’t want hugs. That’s OK, I will Love them anyway. And some people don’t want Love, but I will Pray for them whether they like it or not. And some people don’t even want Peace, and I will Pray for them even more. Now don’t get me wrong… even though the People Upstairs tell me I must Love EVERYONE, doesn’t mean I’m gonna like everyone. So I will beam Prayers of Love and Peace to the people who insist on being nasty; but it ain’t too likely I’ll be inviting them for dinner anytime soon.

Alrighty then. That’s what came out of my brain today for the Happy Friday!!! New Year’s Revolution thing. If you have made any, please don’t bonk yourselves or call yourselves bad names for coming up short.

All we can do is try.

Now let’s all scream our lungs out while we sing along with these “revolutionary” guys.

Farewell to Chickenman

I’m going to spend a little time shamelessly showing my age in this week’s edition of “Happy Friday!!!” I’m not afraid to admit it, I’m a Baby Boomer… born in 1954 and very OK with it. Growing up was a challenge at times, and in times of stress I turned to the entertainment media of the time which were TV (in glorious black and white) and of course AM radio. And yes, kids, AM radio is still alive and well; although the programming certainly has changed over the years.

TV was OK… it did provide a valuable escape from reality during childhood. When I look back on it, the words of the Talking Heads song, “Love For Sale” (<–click here) come to mind: “I was born in a house with the television always on…”

But when it came to real escape, for me anyway, AM radio was at the top of the heap. That’s because all the cool music of the day was being blasted to the masses all over the radio dial. Growing up on Long Island, New York gave us 24 / 7 access to stations like 77 WABC and 1010 WINS, which featured Disk Jockeys with names like Cousin Brucie and Murray the K.

However, a traumatic event happened to us kids in 1966. Our father took a job in northern Wisconsin. Not only were we experiencing a huge culture shock; but our music was GONE!! Well, OK it was still there, but we couldn’t get to it.  We had no money for records; and even if we got our mitts on a record, Dad’s stereo was strictly off limits to us kids.  So, the radio was our gateway to the musical universe; and the only AM stations available in the daytime played twang-twang country music or polkas.

Gack!!

There was hope… the ionosphere came to our rescue when the sun went down. “Huh??” you might say. Let me explain: the sun’s radiation energizes various upper layers of the atmosphere; and certain radio waves bounce off these ionized layers and are directed back to earth. It’s a phenomenon known as “skip;” and is somewhat reminiscent of a stone skipping on water. Anyway, after the sun went down, AM radio signals from Chicago would come in really well and voila!! our music returned to us.

Now we were listening to our rock ‘n roll primarily on WLS and WCFL, with DJs like Larry Lujack and Dick Biondi. Both stations were great, but WCFL brought us something extra: “Chickenman!!! He’s everywhere he’s everywhere!!!” Now if you remember that, you’re at least as old as I am. And if you’re as old as I am, I really hope you remember Chickenman.

Sadly, Dick Orkin, the creator of Chickenman, passed to the Great Beyond last Sunday; he was 84. An amazingly talented man, he also created “The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy;” and went on to create wonderfully funny radio commercials. In honor of his awesome humor, I’d like to share of his work I found on YouTube.

So kids, for this week’s “video” I inserted a couple of fun entries:  someone created some animation to accompany an entry called “Chickenman, Episode 1.”  Each radio episode of Chickenman had the began with the shouting of “Chickenman… he’s everywhere!!!  He’s everywhere!!”

The video is followed by the album “The Best of Chickenman.” I hope you can sit back, relax, and let your ears drink the intoxicating humor that only Chickenman could offer.

Happy 45 To Us, Happy Many More To YOU

When I got home today, my Beautiful Girlfriend had the stereo blasting Celine Dion singing “Another Year Has Gone By,” (← click to hear it). She always wants me to dance with her to that song; and since I really like being married to her, I quickly got out of my coat and embraced her as we shuffled about in the kitchen and both became completely mooshy.

As we danced, she blurted out, “45 Christmases… what the F*@# ?!?! “ And in case you’re wondering, yes, there was a very naughty expletive at the end of that exclamation. She wasn’t saying it out of exasperation or annoyance; she was merely letting loose her amazement at the fact that we’ve had 45 Christmases together. So many years, but it all went so very quickly!! There may be some of you out there in blog reading land that can relate; but for you youngsters…

Anyway, I’m writing this to wish that all of YOU a very Happy Holiday Season. I truly hope you are all blessed; I’m very sure that I am. As I was telling a friend recently, “I’m not rich, but I’ve been wealthy for many years.” In other words, for whatever reason I’ve been given the opportunity to become happy, joyous, and free. Took some years of growing pains to get there; but oh my goodness it has certainly been worth it.

Of course, I still know how to get my buns in a bunch when things don’t go exactly the way I would like. Lost my cool just yesterday actually; because I just got home from a business trip that “took 3 days from my chores schedule.” We heat with wood you see, and that means I move several loads from outside to inside to keep a constant supply of dry logs available. There was a winter weather advisory yesterday, and although we needed to do some last minute Holiday grocery shopping, I was freaking out about beating the weather. My poor Amazing Wife was very patient with me and my childishness… I was grumpy and hurrying to get home so I could throw some firewood into the basement before the rain or snow arrived. As it turned out, all my rushing was for naught; the Weather Goddess smiled on me. Thankfully I’ve learned to apologize for being a knuckle head much more quickly (and sincerely) than in the “good old days.” And yes, I meant “good old days” sarcastically.

My Lovely Bride and I have been soulmates since we were 17, for crying out loud. We were basically children when our relationship began. We pretty much grew up together; meaning we learned “how to adult” together. Sometimes it got rather icky, but we persevered with love and made it through all the crappy stuff. These days, our icky stuff is much less stinky and doesn’t linger very long at all. Our friendship, love, and devotion has never been stronger, and continues to grow.

Does that sound gooey or what??

Yeah, it probably does, but too bad. This time of the year has always given me pause to reflect on then versus now. We just got done watching two of our favorite Holiday movies with some dear friends: “Miracle On 34th Street,” and the 1951 version of “Scrooge.” Both flicks make me all mooshy… and with “Scrooge,” forget about it awreddy, I cry like a baby at the end. It’s all about transformation… and thanks to The People Upstairs, some 28 years ago I received an opportunity to start setting things right after blundering through life; attacking everyday problems like a raging lunatic with a chainsaw and a sledgehammer. Took me about 18 years worth of weeping and gnashing of teeth to see the light, but I’m ever so grateful for my life today.

My Beautiful Soulmate Girlfriend Wife person and I are blessed indeed. Our life just keeps getting better; and it has nothing to do with money or things. May All of You receive at least as many blessings.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!!

Hope Santa is ready…

Making Christmas And The Joys Of Being Older

Ten days from now, millions of kids both young and old will be tearing into wrapping paper and gift bags to see what Santa brought. These last days before the Holiday, however, can be hectic and even stressful. We grownups try to find solace in each others’ misery; hoping that at least one person is as ill-prepared as we are for the Big Day. Today at work I had just such a conversation with a friend, who asked the age-old question:

“So, you ready for Christmas??”

“Kinda… still have a few things to get. Oh and I wanna get over to the dollar store and get some kippered herring for the kids;” I replied.

“You buy tins of herring for Christmas??” she asked with wrinkled brows.

“Well, they were raised by a Norwegian, so yeah my kids love kippered herring. I try to make sure I get a few cans for stocking stuffers.”

I don’t think she’s going to run out for any last minute herring purchases, but then she shared her plans for the Holiday.

It’s a busy time of year for many of us. Buying gifts, family gatherings, visiting with friends, baking and cooking all seem to fill our schedules with delightful zooming so we can squeeze love and fun into every last minute.

And then there’s work… that 4-letter word we all revere so highly. My fellow computer flunkies and I have been handed some aggressive deadlines to be completed by the end of the year. It’s always such a treat to get very short notice on things that need to be done before the end of December (sarcasm definitely intended).

One of the better things, for me at least, is being old enough to remember when The Beatles came to the U.S. on the Mayflower. It’s not the aging I relish so much as the ability to take things in stride because of having “been there, done that.” I’ve come to a point in my life where, although I still know how to get my knickers in knots, the severity of my serenity alarm’s clanging is a much smaller magnitude than in “the good old days.” Of course I still complain… but I get over it faster. And a bonus: I’m less self conscious and a bit more other people conscious.

Example: I zoomed out of bed the other morning to get all my chores done before heading to work. We got some snow, so I knew the drive would take a little longer. Got dressed, fed the cat, got the coffee, hit the bathroom, brushed my hair, made the fires (we heat with sticks), gathered up all my lunch things and out the door I went.

Decided to treat myself to some breakfast sandwiches and a thingy of orange juice (one of each for two days’ breakfasts) from the local gas station; and I couldn’t help but notice that folks were looking at me a bit longer than normal. When I zipped back to the car, I caught my reflection in the window and saw this strange looking fellow looking back at me. Well, it was me of course, and some of my hair apparently didn’t make it to the pony tail; and was looking rather floofy. Couple that with my very-recently-out-of-bed-not-very-awake-yet face and I don’t think I’d win any beauty contests. Upon seeing my reflection I was instantly aware of why folks were staring at me; and I started laughing rather bigly.

So this being up in years business has really helped me learn (sometimes the hard way) not to take myself too seriously. And although the Holiday season has my brain a-crankin’ at times, I can write a “Happy Friday!!!” and remind myself to slow my mind… breathe… easy does it… ahhhh that’s better.   Please note: I haven’t said anything about being mature. I’m still way too young to grow up completely!

If you’ve read this far, thanks. Writing this was good therapy. I was getting a bit ornery and even glum (mostly because I have to travel for work for 3 days this coming week) (waahhh waahhh waahhh); and I need to stay out of the stinky part of my brain and just enjoy the moment. That, of course, goes for every moment of every day, not just the ones during the Holidays (although those are pretty special).

So I’ll be making Christmas right up to the very end, just like very other year.

And the years have helped me understand that’s pretty darned OK.

Speaking of videos… how about more than one this week?  I heard this recently on my favorite Canadian radio station (Zoomer Radio:  740 on your AM dial when it’s dark outside) and it really tickled my inner child. The second one is a song that was on the radio when I was a wee one… the animation someone added is a bit funky but hey, better than anything I could do.

Hope all of you enjoy.

A Special Request

Our grandsons are visiting; which is always a joyous time. During dinner, Ollie gave me a request:

“Papa, are you going to write that thing again tonight after we watch cartoons?”

“You mean ‘Happy Friday!!!’ ?” I replied.

“Yeah!!” he said, with a beckoning look.

“Oh… you want me to print it for you?” I asked; but within a fraction of a second he was nodding insistently.

“Well, I was gonna write about AM radio,” I cautioned. “But I bet I can find you something funny!”

His eyes twinkled and he cracked a broad smile. Needless to say, this “Happy Friday!!!” is not going to be about AM radio (although I still think it’s really cool). No, today will be a brand new silly one… and I’m even going to try my hand without the help of that Hyram C. Gilmore guy that fills in for me from time to time (nudge-nudge, wink-wink).

I think I’ll start with a poem:

For The Love Of Candy

by Ken Hansen

We all had some fun at the Christmas Parade.

‘Twas really quite warm, although clouds brought some shade.

Marching bands marched while the drummers all drummed.

Flutes fluted, horns horned, but nobody hummed.

Folks in their costumes all looked very dandy;

And many were throwing (or passing out) candy!!

When we got home, the candy bags bulged;

Gabe and Ollie said “please?” and oh boy they indulged.

After a while I took both bags away

But promised them more a bit later that day.

I said, “see all those chocolates and suckers and sugars?

Well, now you have something to eat besides boogers!!”

(I know that’s gross but keep in mind I’m writing this to make my grandson smile.)

On the other hand, I think I’ll ask both Ollie and Gabe to wash the kitty litter with toothpaste and Chicken Lamp Soup so we can all enjoy another car tasting contest. It takes a lot of skill to taste cars, especially when their eyes are shooting butter globs out of the tailpipe whistle.

Ah yes, good old tailpipe whistle globs. Aren’t those just wonderful on a nice piece of cracked clam shell toasting waffle? Yes, of course you do. In fact, I distinctly remember the time both of my shoes had broccoli oozing out of the chimney faucets. Those were simpler times when rabbits knew how to yodel much more quietly than they do on Sundays. Please, do not put any more ketchup in my coat pocket.

Of course, we must finish this silly story with a small space animal that can write its own name with the largest pile of applesauce this side of the Martian Mud Watering Festival. Small space animals generally have names like “Big Giant Tiny Guy” or “Totally Huge Very Little Donut Flattener.” I’ve never met any of these strange beings; possibly because I just invented them with my stainless steel curtain softeners.

Very well then. Please give Love to All You See; and try to remember ask them to Give Your Papa Some Really Delicious Cake. Also, Ask Them Not To Capitalize Every Word In A Sentence; Because It’s Just Not The Way Squirrels Are Supposed To Explode.

Thank you, and please feel free to use cheese to stay warm on those cold winter grocery store power tools.


Speaking of cartoons… here’s the kind of thing to which we subject our grandkids.  I know I’m a dinosaur but when it comes to cartoons, the oldies are still the best.  We actually watched this one just before we ushered them off to bed.

My Holiday Requirements for 2017

Dear Loving Reader People,

I would like to start off by yelling a VERY HAPPY DECEMBER to all who care to hear it. For many of us, this month ushers in the Holiday Season, which actually started around Hallowe’en some time but it’s really here now with all the fancy TV commercials and marketing gimmicks and Holy Wondoony Sales Events that chingle the golden hearts of even the most miserly people; many of whom are not at all aware of the fact that their giving spirit will soon embrace their MoneyBrains and will cause them to either buy me lots of cool things or just complain that I slammed yet another silly run-on sentence into a Happy Friday Thing just because I haven’t in a long time so the time came when it was time.

To write one.

A run-on sentence.

Not to be confused with sentence fragments.

Like the ones I just built.

Anyway, it’s around this time that I broadcast to all my readers the list of gifts I must receive to satisfy my Truly Important Holiday Requirements. Please understand that if I don’t receive each and every one of the following urgently requested items, I will probably start collecting insect juice in that 12 gallon jar over there. It’s a wonderful accomplishment to fill such a jar, but it’s a rather gruesome process that takes way too long during the winter.

Without any further delay, I hereby bequeath upon you the task of satisfying my lust for material goods with the following list of requirements. I will call it “My Holiday Requirements Lust List.” I’ll try to keep the list short… don’t want to be greedy ya know.

OK, here’s the list:

A. I need a new jar of microwaveable chocolate covered sardines. No need to go to much trouble there, the 174 oz. jar from Leif Erikson’s Lazy Larder will work just fine. The jar I kept hidden I my sock drawer is pretty much empty. Please inspect the jar carefully though, the last one had a small crack in it and I didn’t notice it for 3 weeks. Conversations became awkward…

“Your feet stink!!”

“But I just put clean socks on!!”

“Well, somethin’ ain’t right…they smell like rotten fish!!”

Took a couple months to get my socks smelling nice and clean again.

4. You know that Norwegian cheese that has cloves and caraway in it and tastes so remarkably wow? Well, why did you hide that on top of my car’s muffler last year?? I mean, I like surprises but the fumes nearly burned my eyebrows off when I went looking for the source of the cheesey poofy smoke I noticed when I looked in the rearview mirror on the way home from the Santa’s Helpers Burping Concert last year. Tell you what though, you haven’t lived till you’ve heard “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” sung in burping harmony!!

R. Looks like I’m gonna need a new shoelace loom. I’ve been weaving my own shoelaces for about 17 millibops now, and it has never really worked out. However, once the cat discovered all the cool knobs made of acorn caps there was simply no effective way to recalibrate the nostril fiber spinning mechanism. Oh never mind… just get me one of those pens that writes under a waterfall instead.

7V. Holy Carp!! Someone stuffed my jeans into the bathtub for a drain plug!! Oh wait… it’s OK. The goldfish are doing fine.

B$. Please e-mail me some new spark plugs for my reciprocating toastermobile. That thing makes the best darn toasted cinnamon bacon popcorn sandwiches this side of Lower Loofonia.

And the last item on my Holiday Requirements Lust List:

47!.

Please be kind to every living thing you meet, and try to remember that we are all Children of The Great Holy Whoever They Are. Offer handshakes; or better yet ask if a hug is needed.  Smile. Try to be grateful; because even our worst days may be much better than someone else’s. And last but not least: Mother Nature loves us, so we need to let her know we love Her, also.

Well that’s enough I think. Hope all is as well with you as it is with me. As a friend of mine says, “90% of the world would love to have the problems I have.”

Peace, Love, and Hugs,

Kenny

Went looking for a video and found this one… not at all topic related but rather unique (or should I say weird??)…

Black Friday Woodchuck

Another Thanksgiving passed already. And with its passing came today, what’s come to be known as “Black Friday.” Although years past were laden with reports of Black Friday madness in the form of actual riots; this year seems calm by comparison. However, just to be sure the “magic” wasn’t lost, I went to Google to see if there were any fresh reports of crazy Black Friday fighting. Of course I wasn’t disappointed; but at least these incidents are fewer now.

Can’t help but wonder if the previous Black Fridays were a total set up. These days, Black Friday deals have been going on for what seems like weeks. So were we all used as stooges by the retailers initially? Maybe… but one could argue that’s still the case today.

Anyway, my Beautiful Girlfriend and our Beautiful Friend Mike’s Beautiful Girlfriend took a sojourn into Black Friday Land today. Sounds like they had fun hanging out together and saving a few bucks on stuff. Sounds like they didn’t have so much fun standing in lines waiting to get stuff; but hey, it’s all part of the Black Friday Fun.

I guess…

I celebrated Black Friday by going to the grocery store. Needed to pick up a few things for this Sunday’s 3rd Thanksgiving Dinner that my Honey Pie and I are fortunate enough to enjoy. The difference with this one is that I have to cook… which reminds me, I need to get the pies out of the oven!! Be right back…

OK… back now.

I make our Sunday After Thanksgiving Dinner modeled after my Mom’s recipes. Well, kinda. Her stuffing was simply the very best on the planet, and I’ve managed to make a pretty good rendition of her recipe that never existed; as far as I know. I used to watch her make stuffing, stale bread chopped up and mixed with milk, eggs, parsley flakes, celery, onions, and salt and pepper. She never used a recipe, but would toil over the mix and add this or that to the huge bowl to make the smell and consistency the way she wanted. Some was for the cavity of the turkey, some was for “stuffin’ muffins;” where she’d spoon in big dollops of stuffing into paper muffin cups all arranged in the muffin pans. Not only did these serve to fend off us hungry kids, the stuffing was always immensely delicious.

Anyway, there will be stuffin’ muffins, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, squash, and of course the turkey. Pies are made ahead of time, and I make the punkin pie with grey hubbard squash instead of pumpkin because the flavor is so much more wonderful. And of course it will be served with homemade whipped cream. Pie making happened after the sun went down, which is happening all too quickly these days.

During the day I enjoyed the company of a wheelbarrow and a wood pile. I’ll probably be a wood slave for the rest of my adult life, or at least as long as I’m able to do it. Saves us money; gives me exercise, and the warmth that burning logs gives your bones is much more wonderful than natural gas or propane. Often I can’t help but think of the old adage, “how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” And very quickly afterward I smile as I recall hearing my sister’s answer from when she was very young: “woodchuck woodchuck woody woody woodchuck, woodchuck would chuck wood.”

Sounds good to me… and being a “woodchuck” makes much more sense to me than any of that Black Friday nonsense.

I wonder if our pets love turkey as much as we do…

Just Mind Your Manners

So much sadness in the news these days. I mean, too many people are just being way too naughty! And then, some really naughty people are pointing fingers at those who were thought not to be so naughty but in fact admit to having been naughty; yet the naughtier people who deny their naughtiness seem obsessed with pointing their fingers at those who admit they’ve been naughty; and the naughtiest, finger-pointing folks seem completely clueless that if they insist on pointing fingers, well guess what… they’re gonna get pointed at all the more and probably cause complete disregard for proper paragraph construction and maybe even a pretty long run-on sentence!!

So there!!

I gotta ask… doesn’t anyone think before they act, or even speak?? Is the number of kind people in this world dwindling at an alarming rate? Are there any folks who care at least as much about others as they do themselves? Doesn’t anyone have manners anymore??

Sheesh!!

I’ll have to say, though, that lately the news has brought many people out from hiding who finally feel comfortable enough to stand up and say, “this is enough!!” Women have been treated terribly for millenia. Cultural intolerance has caused too many wars. Industry has sweetened existence for much of the human world but this too often came through harsh exploitation of less fortunate humans and of course Mother Nature.

Well, I may be a weirdo (no need to chime in on that…) but I think that yes, there still are many, MANY people who follow the Golden Rule much of the time. Maybe even most of the time. It’s very simple, yet complex: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I had that one drilled into my noggin in Sunday School at the Bayport Methodist Church. Well guess what? Muslims have a very similar version; and although I’m too lazy to research it I’m willing to bet that many other cultures do too. I’m convinced the reason we don’t hear much in the news about folks who live by the Golden Rule is that: a) they are probably us (you and me), and 12) the media reports primarily about the garbage because that is what sells. Sad, huh?

Well, not completely sad. I still cling to the belief that we’re going to be alright. Yes, there’s lots of bad news; and unfortunately we need to hear it. Otherwise we wouldn’t feel a need to change. It may take some time, but the conversation is changing, and I think for the greater good. For example, one hot talking point is that sexual harassment is never OK. And another that’s at least as important: our planet is being ruined by our human habits, but we can work together to change these habits.

Some of the discussions may be difficult. We all have a voice, we all deserve to be heard; but it’s also our obligation to listen. Even if it’s hate speech. We must stamp out hatred, and sometimes we may have to be firm. But again, we can be firm but still treat others with respect. Heated shouting matches are about as effective as fighting fire with fire. A dear friend of mine used to say, “we can disagree without being disagreeable.” It seems all too easy for folks to bark at each other; takes much more effort to stay calm and do our best to find solutions.

All we need to do is listen to Mom: “Just mind your manners!!” Anyone besides me hear that when you were growing up?

Anyway, I went hunting for a video about manners… this is what I found; hope you get a chuckle like I did.

 

Turkey Time Flies!

I was at the grocery store and saw that turkeys were on sale for 48 cents a pound. Holey Moly!! I can’t believe the holidays are zooming in already!! Wasn’t it September just a few days ago?? Got really cold here this morning… 19 degrees on the 10th of November!! A bit early if you ask me. Soon I’ll be slaving over the turkey hot dog casserole… and of course the obligatory mac and cheese. Maybe some cream corn and of course you need a few cans of cranberry sauce stacked up in the middle to give that elegant appearance. Some folks even take that stuff OUT of the can!! Then the dessert trays: all those Twinkies to unwrap and place “just so” on the pizza platter… And OH!! Not to forget the Hostess Sno-Balls and Moon Pies. Kool-Aid in fancy plastic cups… you know, the see through kind. A feast fit for a champion cow pie flinger!

HUH?? Oh wait, maybe that was the dream I had after those liverwurst sandwiches.

But seriously folks… I’m a very fortunate human. So long as I keep that thought foremost in my brain, life is really very good. I get annoyed at all the commercial hoopla this time of year. However, I’m getting much better at practicing the principle: “accept the things I cannot change.” I do my part in contributing to the family gift pile, but more importantly Thanksgiving kicks off a string of “gratitude days” for me. The holidays have a way of digging up memories of days long gone; and I get pretty mushy this time of year. For the past several years we’ve had the good fortune of spending Thanksgiving at our dear friend Ruthie’s. Holy Moly that girl can cook. Of course; one special person who will be missing from Turkey Day is our dear friend (her hubby) Lew. We all miss him terribly but enjoy Brussels sprouts made specially in his honor. When Lew was still here, he and Ruthie were over for dinner and I had prepared Brussels sprouts for dinner. I asked whether he liked them, and he used an expletive to describe his feelings: “F*%$ NO!!” Hence the honorary dish has been dubbed FN Brussels Sprouts; and we all get a nice chuckle while we fondly remember our beloved Lew.

Things have changed over the years… our daughter will probably spend Thanksgiving with her hubby and our grandchildren with his side of the family. Doesn’t matter, because we all get together on a day shortly after Thanksgiving when I make our traditional meal with all the trimmings. Believe it or not, I love cooking all that stuff. I do the whole shebang: turkey (duh), bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, pie. All from scratch except the pie crusts. I’m just too lazy for that pie crust monkey business. This year it will be pumpkin pie made from hubbard squash (punkins didn’t make it in the garden this year) with real whipped cream; and maybe even a “bluederberry pie” with vanilla ice cream. That’s right… bluederberry. It’s my nickname for pie with three cups of blueberries and one cup of elderberries. Pretty darn wonderful stuff.

The ritual of preparing all the stuff gives me lots of time to reflect. My Darling Honey Pie Beautiful Girlfriend Wife Person has been cranking the Christmas music since just after Hallowe’en; but I prefer quiet when I’m “in the zone.” Cook, reflect… cook, reflect. And now that we are “getting up there,” in our sixties… we have many memories. We’ve had lots of loss in our lives already. Both of us have lost parents, family, and friends. Seems like just yesterday we were caring for my Aunt Joyce, who has since gone to be with her son who died way too early from alcoholism. Just like his daddy. My mom and dad are both gone, my beautiful girlfriend’s mom is gone, our friend Lew, another friend Tommy… I could name more but you get the picture.

Anyway, we reflect not only on how lucky we are, but on how fortunate we were to have all these people in our lives. And in our own little way we honor many of them through dinner. Grandma Hansen’s stuffing and “stuffin’ muffins,” Grandma Bunny always had sweet pickles out for munching. Figs and dates (my mom again), Cousin John’s china and glasses, Aunt Joyce’s potato masher. Memories of my dad cutting the turkey. Then of course we still have the tradition of “forcing” our kids to talk on the phone to relatives. “We gotta call grammas and grampas!” I exclaim, at which point they groan. “Too bad,” I remind them, “It’s Thanksgiving!!” Typical kids. Even though they are adults now, they would rather sit like bumps on a log and watch the tube than actually communicate with anyone. Especially while in a “food coma.”

We are truly lucky humans. Plenty to eat, good jobs, cars that actually work! Pretty luxurious stuff when you think about it. I know it’s a bit early, but I sincerely hope all you turkey (and even non-turkey) eaters out there have a simply marvelous Thanksgiving.

And I truly hope that you are as blessed as we are.

One year our friend Ruthie treated us to “Turducken,” but I don’t think the “duck” part went quite like this…