My Darling Valentine

Today was the Lovely and Marvelous holiday, Valentine’s Day. Believe it or don’t, I was actually prepared for this in advance!! Even got my “Girlfriend” card a couple weeks ago!! And yes, even though I’m married, I’m fortunate enough to be married to my Beautiful Girlfriend, whom I’ve been dating for 48 years as of this May 19!! Is that amazing or what?? And guess what? We still like each other! A lot even!! This is a very marvelous thing. We’re actually getting pretty good at this sweetheart stuff. Some of our “secrets” to a long and happy relationship are:

  1. We tell each other “I love you” at least once a day. Usually more.
  2. I often remind her that she’s the most beautiful woman in the universe, because it’s true (all other women are the second most beautiful).
  3. We kiss. Often. (I kissed a girl and I liked it.)
  4. We make regular use of the magic words Please and Thank You.
  5. We are best friends and treat each other that way.

Well there are probably a few thousand more reasons but I’ll just quit there. This year, she wanted to prevent me from spending $40 on flowers that are dead in less than a week. “No flowers this year, OK??” she beseeched me over the weekend. So I found a nice lily plant at the store with many buds, but no flowers (yet). After that, I went out to the woods with my chainsaw to bag the traditional Valentine Tree, then Mom and I will set it up in the living room and decorate it with the annual collection of Toilet Paper Ornaments, and the battery powered Monkey Lights.

My lovely sweetheart loves to deck the halls for every holiday, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. In addition to cupid knickknacks, valentine’s bears, frogs, unicorns or whatever else she finds cute, there are plaques with mooshy “Be Mine” sayings all over the house. When the kids were still at home, Valentine’s Day was very similar to Christmas in February. And of course Valentine Toys and Sugarcard Plumswere carefully placed under the Valentine Tree and then the whole family held hands to sing the ancient Valentide Carol:

(Sung to the Tune of My Darling Clementine)

Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my DAARRLIN’ Valentine,

You are soft and very lovely, such a hottie, Valentine.

In the market, in the card store, I will find something so fine,

That my babe will want to smooch me, just because it’s Valentine’s.

Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’ oh my DAARRLIN’ Valentine,

You smell nice and have nice curvings, give me sugar, Valentine.

In the bathroom, on the mirror, decorAAtions make me smile,

Cuz my baby puts ’em up there and they’ll stay there for awhile.

Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my DAARLIN’ Valentine,

Please don’t leave them up till Easter, yes I love you, Valentine.

Well OK maybe we didn’t really have a Valentine’s tree… and maybe I just made up the song too.

After all the jubilation, we all sit down for a traditional Valentine’s Dinner of barbequed spare ribs, taters, maybe some salad, and of course some fake bubbly (sparkling juice).   Dinner was followed by Valentine belching, general good conversation, and the exchange of Valentine gifts and cards.     Following dinner was the traditional Valentine’s Day herding of the kids into their beds. 

Nudge-nudge, wink-wink!!

The kids have been out on their own for some time now, so it was just my Honey Pie and me having dinner. I splurged and bought some scallops and shrimp, and sauteed with them veggies and mushrooms that we had over rice. YUMMMM.

Then we watched a very romantic biography of Edgar Allen Poe on PBS while enjoying fancy chocolate and sparkling juice. Well OK, maybe Edgar Allen Poe wasn’t so romantic. But my employer gives us Presidents Day off, so for this 3 day weekend I have some grandiose romance plans. It may be just a simple sign of affection, when I’ll jump out to greet her with my “special pajamas” when she least expects it.

Nudge-nudge, wink-wink!! Know what I mean??

Holy Time Warp, Batman!!

When my Beautiful Girlfriend and I were kids, Batman and Robin were busy chasing bad guys each week on TV. The show ran from 1966 to 1968; and some of the more memorable lines came from Robin, when he would exclaim, “Holy Luther Burbank!!” or other strange lines. Why am I writing this? Well I was pondering how quickly time passes. I mean hey, our oldest grandson turned 11 this year. His younger brother will be 7 soon. This is really amazing. It sure seems like it was just the day before yesterday I was changing diapers for a young girl who grew up to be their mommy!!

As frogs like to say, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies!!” Robin might have said something different to Batman way back when, like maybe “Holy Time Zooming, Batman!!”

Seems like parenthood is a gigantic time thief. Or maybe that’s just what happen

s when we get older. I mean, when we kids, it seemed like it would be forever for adulthood to arrive. Nowadays I’d love to throw out an anchor or something and make things slow down a bit. So we became parents, then grandparents, and now it seems that time just zips along at breakneck speed. We got married when we were 19, which I thought was a few years ago. Then I did the math… 46 years and counting!!


Don’t get me wrong, we treasure each day we are on the planet. We kinda like it here! But as one of our friends put it, we have “more time in back of us and less time in front of us.” For the most part, we’re not worried about what comes next; we’re both convinced that cool stuff awaits us in the Great Beyond. But hey, let’s not rush things. We’re here now and loving life. It’s just that Holy Cow, we’re grandparents!!

I mean hey, I remember vividly when the Beatles first came to America on the Mayflower! Or something… Anyway, I clearly remember sitting in my grandparents’ apartment in Brooklyn, NY when I was 10. My 8 transistor radio was glued to my ear while the Fab Four disembarked at JFK airport; with all the media of the day interviewing them every step of the way through the crowd of screaming fans. I even jokingly mentioned, “Hey Dad!! The Beatles just landed at JFK! We could go over there to see ‘em!!” “Yeah right!!” he retorted.

One cool thing about being a grandpa is that you get to reflect on all the changes that have happened over the years. Life is exactly the same only completely different these days. With technology alone, things have changed just a wee bit.

Picture this, kiddies. When I was born in 1954, commercial TV had only been rockin’ for about 13 years. Most stuff on TV was live broadcasts. If you had the TV on too early, you’d see a test pattern. If you had it on too late, you’d see a flag waving in the breeze while the national anthem was playing just prior to the station shutting down for the night. There were still dramas and comedies being made for radio. And when you turned on either a radio or a TV, you had to wait a few minutes for them to warm up. Took several minutes for the tubes and their associated circuitry to stabilize. Tubes?? Say what?? Yes, tubes. And even after the radio or TV warmed up you had to mess with the fine tuning to keep your signals coming in clearly. When you dialed a phone, you literally used a dial on the phone. None of the phones took batteries in those days. No fancy ring tones, just a bell. I know that some of you readers out there can outdo me on the dinosaur technology memories; but you get my drift.

Now back to the present day. I’ve noticed some “black holes” where a time warp knocks me in the head when I least expect it. For example: I scurry to get ready for work in the morning. Most of this zaniness is self inflicted, because I sleep till the last minute and then play fireman to get ready for the hour long commute. We heat with sticks (we have wood heat), so it’s my job to get the fires going. One is downstairs in the old part of the house, one upstairs in the addition. I start the furnace downstairs and then grab an armload of wood to offer the wood eater upstairs of course.

Next, I yank open the fridge and grab my lunch; shove it into that delightful Old Navy bag with the Hawaiian lady on the front and the cloth drawstring (our daughter bought me the bag years ago so I would quit killing trees from using paper bags. She loves Old Navy but didn’t really notice the hula girl design till several years later.).

Pour the coffee into the travel mug, grab the cell phone, and head for the garage at precisely 7:00 AM. Get my lunch bucket situated, maybe plug the smell phone into the charger, come around to the driver’s seat and turn on the car.

NOW THE CLOCK SAYS 7:08 AM FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. There is NO WAY it takes me 8 minutes to walk from my back door to the garage. As Robin might have said, “Holy Time Warp, Batman!!” And yes, the car’s clock is correct; just like the clock inside. I’m pretty diligent about that.

If you are old enough to remember the Rocky Horror Picture Show… I mean really remember, meaning you were old enough to enjoy it when it first came on the scene… well then you and I really are in a time warp. Aren’t we?

Don’t believe any of this time warp nonsense? Well all I can say is: I bet you don’t have kids.

You’ll see…

Friggley’s Favorite Game

Happy Friday to all who are reading this; even if you’re not reading it on Friday. Our grandsons are spending the weekend with us, so of course that means it’s time for a silly story.

“I’m looking for a story suggestion… do either of you have a title for a story??” I asked. Ollie thought a minute, and replied, “ how about Friggley’s Favorite game?” “Friggley, huh?” I answered. “Yeah! Friggley,” Ollie said with a big smile. “OK…” I replied, and then started wondering what the heck to write. Anyway here goes:

Friggley’s Favorite Game

IT was a dark and stormy afternoon, just before breakfast while the crinkly worm windows wiggled wildly while whining with whistles. Friggley and Foofle, his pet snick-a-boo were just rolling out of the linen closet when they heard a knock at the back door. It was his friends, Blibber and Zork, and they were wiggling their eyebrows very fluffy-like trying to send eyebrow code to Friggley. Friggley opened the door to let them in, while Foofle danced around on his oversized nostrils in a most jovial manner.

Zork and Blibber laughed most iggidy at Foofle, then sat down and helped themselves to all the nice breakfast food that had been sitting on the table for at least 23 seconds. “Mmmm sure glad you’re our friend and don’t mind us helping ourselves,” Zork said. “These are the best clamshell cupcakes I’ve had all year!!” “Glad you like them,” Friggley snorted. “I found them on the road during The Great Chainsaw Festival. They keep really well in the freezer. You just take them out and yell at them in German and they’re ready to eat!!”

Blibber smiled at his two friends and slipped away to the fridge. He came back with the mustard; popped the top, squeezed the bottle, and started writing his name on one of the cupcakes. “This is what I do before I try to sell these on e-bay,” he chortled. “People like personalized banana lumps that can be reused as holiday decorations. I’m thinking I can sell about 43 of these every day for the next 6 weeks and I won’t have to ride that broken tricycle to school anymore. No no… I’ll be traveling in style. Wait till every one sees my brand new antique log wagon!!”

Friggley was grinning from ear to nose. He always enjoys his friends’ silly ways. Foofle seemed pretty happy also, as he was waggling all 7 of his saberteeth during Zork and Blibbler’s antics. “Hey, would you guys like something to drink? I know those clamshell cupcakes are pretty crunchy,” he said. “Sure!!” Blibbler and Zork said in unison. “Whatchya got??” “Well,” Friggley continued, “we have milk… it’s expired but it doesn’t have much mold on it. We have Mountain Dew… oh, and we have Jabba Jabba Jellyfish Juice.” “YUCKKK!!!” Zork and Blibber exclaimed. Then Zork said, “oooohhh gross!! I’ll have the Jabba Jabba Jellyfish Juice!!” Blibber announced, “I’ll have the milk… you got a mold scraper??” “Sure do,” answered Friggley. “I know it’s disgusting but I’m gonna have the Mountain Dew,” Friggley went on. “You guys OK with that??” Again in unison, Zork and Blibbler said, “yep!”

They all guzzled down their drinks while watching each other make very funny faces. Then Friggley said, “Hey, you guys wanna play my favorite game?” Both Zork and Blibber nodded their heads with enthusiasm. “Cool,” said Friggley. “Wanna play checkers? Of course I like chess almost as much”

Zork and Blibber tilted their heads in wonder. “Huh??” they said. “Chess??” queried Zork. “Checkers??” asked Blibber. “Never heard of them…” they said.

“Oh.” Said Friggley, “OK never mind, let’s just watch some cartoons.”

So they spent the rest of the afternoon burping strange odors from their magnificent beverages, and laughing at the likes of Little Lulu and Betty Boop.

The End

My Grandiose Plans For Retirement

I may have accidentally announced my plans to retire in March of this year. That’s only a few milliseconds away!! That’s what happens when you get older… instead of days, months, and years, your life begins to zoom around in milliseconds. For example, our oldest grandson was born 11 milliseconds (years) ago this month!!! How can this be??? Yes, I understand very well that frogs lke to say that “time’s fun when you’re having flies.” Still, this time zoom is a very harsh reality for gentle people like us.

So what was I talking about again?? Oh yeah, retirement. Yes. I’m gonna retire soon. And lots of folks are asking, “whatchya gonna do?? Any plans??” That’s when I mention that I’d maybe like to sell some of my writings to various publications. Then I get this puzzled look, very similar to when a dog tilts its head toward the stereo speakers because it hears something weird from a Pink Floyd song. “Well,” I explain, “when I was laid off back in ’92, I worked for a small newspaper for a while. Didn’t pay much but I had lots of fun. I was thinking about switching careers from technology to writing, but it became obvious that my family would have to survive on beans and rice for a long time before I got established.’”

Nice dream though.

I have other grandiose plans too, which I believe will (not) be much more successful. Here are some that I’m completely (un)certain will produce great wealth and fiddle dee dee:

1 – Gotta take all those soda bottles and cans back and collect the deposit. Maybe I’ll wait till summer and take my bicycle… pick up more along the way!! As my wife likes to say, “ten cents is ten cents!!”

L – I thought about selling my body to science, but then I learned that you have to be dead first. I’m not sure how I would be able to spend all the money I receive when I’m dead, unless I can figure out a way to be dead while I’m alive. I’ll have to noodle on that one a bit.

9 – When friends come to visit, I’ll stage some impromptu “living auctions.” That’s a term I just made up which entails selling household items to the highest bidder during meals. This activity will not only fatten my wallet but will also give my friends the unique opportunity to own some of the most collectible West Michigan artifacts (many of which are actually made in China).

G – Two words: Used Food. So simple, right?? I saw this referenced on what seemed to be a very nicely maintained truck, so the market for used food must be very strong. On the back of this rather attractive vehicle was a nice slogan in large print: “Dealers In Used Food.” Must be a hot deal because the truck belonged to what appeared to be a rather successful septic service company. So like, these guys are making money on food after it’s been eaten!! Pure genius.

26 – I’ll become a quick change artist. “Hey buddy, you got two tens for a five??”

and finally (for now):

4K – I’ll bottle up some of our fresh country air and sell it to city slickers. With all the pollution controls being abandoned these days, this idea just might take off.

Anyway, one thing I think I’ll really do during retirement is have more Cake.

I really like Cake.

A Bull In The Coffee Shop

There are times when I’m just a bit groggy when I wake up in the morning. OK, there are lots of times. That’s part of why we have an automatic coffee maker; so the brew is hot and ready when we drag our hineys out of bed. Hey, you know how the old song goes: “Waking Up Is Hard To Do.” What? That’s not the song?? Oh fine.


Anyway, there I was last Sunday morning, minding my own business, pouring coffee from the pot into my travel cup. Since my Honey Pie was awake, I poured her some too. No problem, right? Good. Now it’s time for some honey… mmmm stir it up nicely. OK, now the cream. So I get the half & half out of the fridge, unscrew the cap, and KNOCK THE STUPID THING OVER, AND NOW THERE’S CREAM EVERYWHERE, AND I QUICKLY STAND THE CARTON BACK UP BUT NOT TILL AFTER CREAM HAS FLOWN ALL OVER THE KITCHEN FLOOR, AND SPLATTERED THE CABINETS, AT WHICH TIME I MAY HAVE UTTERED SOME VERY VULGAR EXCLAMATIONS, but my Beautiful Girlfriend (she let me marry her some years ago) was happy (and perhaps even amazed) that I did not get completely angry or kick the oven or roll around on the floor foaming at the mouth and shaking and screaming; but instead I got an old towel we use as a rag and cleaned up my boo boo and then got another old towel to use as a wet mop to prevent a sticky mess and HOLY MOLY THIS ALL BECAME THE FODDER FOR A RUN-ON SENTENCE WITH AN OVER USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS.

Sheesh… what a klutz, ya know??

Monday, thankfully, was uneventful in the coffee universe. I was very grateful that I was actually able to get my morning cup with no coffee kaboom. My Lovely Bride doesn’t work Monday mornings, so she was unable to enjoy this calm coffee procurement occurrence. Since I made a full pot, I put the rest in our insulated carafe for later. My Sweetie got hers when she awoke, but there was a bit left over. We’ll often leave the previous day’s leftovers in the carafe, then pour it into the pot to top it off and let it heat again after we get our java. Saves a few pennies, ya know?

Then came Tuesday, a workday for the both of us. We shuffle into the kitchen, and I pour coffee into our cups with no incident. Yet. Then I get the carafe, and give the top just a couple turns (or so I thought) to pour Monday’s leftovers into the pot for reheating. I even joked a little, “let’s see if I can successfully pour this leftover coffee into the pot.” I open the lid of the pot, tip the carafe, and WHAM!! The stupid top falls off and goes PLOP!! in the waiting pot, making coffee fly all over the place. This caused instant giggling from both of us. I mean, what else could we do?? It was too funny. And it was also much easier to clean up than cream.

So yes, my name is Ken and I’m a KLUTZ. Not only am I like a bull in the coffee shop (we have no china shops nearby), but I also like to walk into furniture. But when I clunk the couch or whatever, I do say “excuse me.” I also enjoy knocking things down off of shelves when reaching for stuff. It’s a very exciting adventure, this klutz-o-rama business.

Therefore, if you invite me to your home, please map out a specific area in which I may walk. Might be a good idea to move any expensive breakables to a safe location also. And if you are silly enough to ask to pour coffee (or any other beverage), all I can say is, hey, I warned you.

Don’t think I’d do very well in the kitchen with these guys…

Storms!! Danger!! Warning!!

The 6 O’clock news was all abuzz about a Winter Storm Warning for these parts. Sounds like we’re gonna get rain, then snow, then ice, then snow, then more ice, then tree stumps will be hiding in people’s garages while alligators rise from the compost in an attempt to bang out some heavy metal rock ‘n roll on the garden fence while Cheeba The Parsnip Queen shoots lightning out of her nose and Thundersnow out of her navel. Big Storm. Really Big. Size Large. Holy Moly.

Or maybe we’re just gonna have a storm; and the weather man says “numerous power outages possible.” Well I showed them guys; I did something truly radical this time. I actually went outside, gassed up the generator, and even started it up and everything!! This is unusual for me. Last time we had a big storm, I could not for the life of me get the generator started. That’s because I goofed in some pretty big ways:

1 – I put regular 87 octane gas in the tank. Then I learned that such fuel degrades after as little as 3 months!! Oh, and

R – Although I started the generator… um… maybe a year before, I didn’t turn the fuel valve off so the carburetor could drain. That gave the 87 octane gas plenty of time to gunk up the carburetor so badly it had to be replaced.

Well I got the generator fixed up last year and I’ve been diligently starting it up every few weeks. Even started it successfully this evening and got some extra gas.

Then I did really silly things like fill 5 gallon containers with water, and put our phones and flashlights (yes, flashlights) on the chargers. My Beautiful Girlfriend asked, “do we need to get some groceries??” “No,” I replied, “we have plenty of food.” Of course if we lose power, our electric stove is don’t working no any more; we’ll have to drag out the camp stove. So OK Mother Nature, do your worst. On second thought, please don’t!! Here’s hoping we don’t lose power. But if we do, we’re pretty much ready.

As I’m thinking (and writing) about all this, I’m reminded that all of what I just mentioned are truly high class problems. In other words, at our house there is much for which to be grateful, and we often verbalize this; especially if we sit down to watch the local and world news. A friend of ours likes to say, “ 90% of the world would probably love to trade problems with me.”

Ain’t that the truth.

Well if the storm’s a-comin’ by youse kids, try to be prepared; and above all be safe.

Try not to get caught in the storm like these characters…

A Bad Case Of The ‘Fonlies

They say hindsight is 20/20, and now that the year is 2020 and I’m getting close to retirement; I can’t help but look back at what I could have done differently. I have no real regrets, just a bunch of regrets that I don’t really have but I maybe do to a small degree which of course brings a little stress to my universe, especially when my wife is REALLY stressing about money because the money we’ll be pulling in will be a lot less than what we are earning now and she’s getting all freaked out and I’m just kinda wishing I had saved more so I wouldn’t have to write run-on sentences to describe the total panic that ensued just this morning but I cranked out some numbers and my Beautiful Girlfriend’s eyes quit bulging out of the sockets and her complexion went from steamy red to a pale blue and that’s probably not real but you know what I mean.

Don’t you?

No? Well, you know… we have a small case of the ‘fonlies. Like ‘f only we had saved more. And ‘f only I had bought fewer candy bars during the Great Fizz Festival back in June of ’97. Oh, and ‘f only maybe we hadn’t gone to see Paul McCartney 29 times during March of ’02. And perhaps I should only have purchased 12 of those 43 motorcycles when I was sad about having to mow the lawn every week. And another thing: ‘f only we had used less ketchup!!! Do you know how much ketchup costs???

So maybe we only saw Paul McCartney twice times. And maybe I only have one motorcycle… the same 1970 Honda CB175 that my Beautiful Girlfriend and I rode all over the place when we were first dating, and also when we were first married!! That was way back when we could both sit on the bike and not kill the springs. I think the springs would bottom out with just ME on it now… but it hasn’t run in several years anyway. And ketchup… well we just won’t go there. I mean, hey, gotta have ketchup!!

Heinz only please…

So my Beautiful Girlfriend was crying and rolling on the floor about money and retirement and Oh God We’re Gonna Have To Eat Beans And Rice And Use Candles Instead Of Electricity And Maybe She Didn’t Say Any Of That But I Superfluously Capitalized Each Word To Emphasize How Frightened She Was Getting.

Being the responsible hubby I am, I started running down the numbers; and after all our expenses, both real and imagined, we still had money left over. Of course, we’ll have to scrutinize this more closely (very soon) and come up with a budget that can tell us exactly where we are.

Well Ladles and Jellyspoons, the moral of the story is: if you are not retired, SAVE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN… NOW!!! And if you are already retired: could you please come to our house and give us some lessons?

And no, we’re not gonna pay. But we have ketchup!!

We’re actually very fortunate people… especially compared to these blokes.

My 2020 New Year’s Revulsions

Greetings, fellow Silver Chinklers,

Here’s wishing you the Happiest Merry of all Years, with dotted Ts and crossed eyes following all of your newly configured radial sandwich flavors. It is very and ultra important that we greet this new year with pledges of doing remarkable things. As you may already know, pledges are words that express an intent to do something. Politicians know the value of a pledge. They use them to get elected and, once in office, they do what they bloody well want.

But there’s something about the turn of a year that causes many people make pledges. Intentions are good but sometimes the follow through misses the mark for a variety of reasons. That’s not a bad thing. The important thing, for me at least, is to try to do better.

Sure, we could shame ourselves for not living up to New Year’s Resolutions. But this kind of ickyness just gives me the warm fuzzy noodle constipation that every mom loves. In other words, please don’t do that. You are a beautiful person. Yes, I mean YOU. How do I know this? Simple: The Creator does not make junk. We are all beautiful!

Anyway, I thought I’d better lay out a plan for my own self improvement. Therefore, I beg of each of you to elect me as your next Filibuster Yakkity Yak Doo Dah Day for 2020. My plan for selfish kaboom lies below.

Please be not aware that I have regurgitated the following Noo Yeer’s Revolutions:

1) To remind myself that I need to remember those things which I can’t seem to recall.

What was that again?  What was I thinking about…??

R) To lose weight, gain it back, lose it again, and lose some more until my nostrils can be used for sidewalk painting without fear of changing lanes abruptly.

Please pass the pepperoni flakes and the coagulated skim milk.

24) To change lanes abruptly so all weight loss can be vehemently avoided.

Watch out for that tree!! It may have a scale near it!!

++) To boldly go where no earthworm has ever dined before.

Ummm… you gonna eat that compost??

3X) To be nice to all people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Excuse me sire, your toupee is on fire. May I stomp it out for you?

T5) To dress in all recyclable clothing, in order to lighten the load on my laundry licking machine.

I especially favor the milk jug socks and the recycled string bikini underwear.

Z44) To unite all small countries in a global effort to stop Homer Simpson from eating my cake.

Alright folks, this is it… you clunk him on the cake eater and I’ll spray him with a completely different shade of yellow.

and finally:

9) To sing loudly about how wonderful it is to be alive, ever reminding myself that work is a joy and that complaining is tantamount to feeding dog food to caterpillars. In other words, no matter how badly I think I have it, I am really a wealthy person. I have received many gifts from The Creator. As Alistair Sim said in my favorite Christmas movie (Scrooge) “I don’t deserve to be so happy, but I can’t help it.”

I suspect that if you are reading this, you are wealthy also. You don’t think so?? OK smartypants, lemme ask you these: Do you have a car? Do you have enough to eat? Do any of your clothes fit nicely? Do you have friends? A warm, safe place to sleep?

You are wealthy. OK??

So I hereby beseech all of you to have a most Wonderful New Year in 2020, the 2nd Decade Of The New Millennium with New Millipedes under every log you roll. Love your brethren and your cistern. Love your father, your mother, and your Mother (Earth). Share what you can with those less fortunate than you are.

And please, be kind to yourself and other living things.

Peace, Love, and Hugs,


So like… I um… I wanna lose some weight. And I’m gonna quit procrastinating about it, either tomorrow or the next day.

My 2019 Holiday Requirements

Dear Friends,

It’s that time of year again, the Holidays are soon upon us. Therefore, in keeping with the spirit of previous years, this edition of “Happy Friday!!!” will focus on my material requirements for this year. After all, it’s the season of giving, right? So please pay close attention to my list, and make sure I get exactly what I’m requesting so I can be happy all the day long.

I’m counting on you!!

So without further ado, here is my list. Please make sure all these gifts arrive at my house before Santa comes. I don’t want him to know how spoiled I am.

Here, then, are My 2019 Holiday Requirements:

1 – Since I’m retiring soon, please feel free to award me with lots of money. I happily accept large bills, especially the kind with pictures of Benjamin Franklin on them. You can always jazz up a gift like this by hiding money inside a pie or perhaps a donut or two. Or what the heck, you can stuff some cash inside of each donut in a box of a dozen!! Yes, that would be very nice.

R – My cat told me that Climate Change is freaking him out, and we humans need to do something VERY SOON. He gave me an idea: someone needs to convert our cars to hybrids. Or even better full electric. I’m thinking something with an optional set of sails for when the wind is favorable. We keep our cars in the garage when we’re home, so please don’t leave if you don’t see them in the driveway. I’m really not interested in all the engineering problems that go with such an undertaking, just roll up your sleeves and get to it. Thank you!!

8 – I wonder if there’s a way to cross breed a Twinkie with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Someone should be working on that I think. I’ll bet Santa would love snarfing down a couple of those when he makes his toy delivery stops!!

#6 – Please refer back to item number 1. Did I mention I’m retiring soon? Don’t you feel horrible that my Social Security will be much less than my current pay? Are you really willing to endure the horror I will experience every time I try to afford a vacation in Hawaii by saving deposit bottles? Is there any of that delicious casserole left in the fridge? Do chihuahuas like tacos, or do they lean more toward a nice roast beef sandwich? Where is that cat going with my sock??

X5 – In case you didn’t know, Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel are in no way related to Oliver, Our Grandson and Stanley the Dog. Just sayin’.

4@ – Oh My God!! Who let that HUGE spider in the house?? Quick!! Grab that jar and catch it before it hides!! I can’t bear the thought of that thing crawling up my nose in the middle of the night!!

D2 – I probably should have mentioned earlier, but I really need to disarm the Clutter Bomb that is set to go off in my garage. Oh wait, it already went off!! Where did all this stuff come from?? And what is this air filter… for that ’82 Grand Am we traded in back in 2005?? Oh and yes, I know, I put those bolts in that little can “because I’ll need them someday.” Well, someday done come and went, buddy. Please gather a crew of about 47 people and have each person bring a wheelbarrow. I’d like to use my garage again some time soon.

I could go on and on, but I don’t want to seem greedy. Please just make sure all the stuff I listed gets referred to the proper molecular soup flinging robots.

Thank you!!

These days bring times of celebration and love, but also of reflection and empathy. Many of us are blessed, and many are suffering. It’s a time when folks actually go the extra mile to make other people’s lives a little better. Of course, there is much more to do in regard to making our world a better, more peaceful place; and much of that is also discussed a bit more around this time of year.

I wish I had the answers and the resources to fix all the world’s ills, but of course I don’t. So much wrong with this world, right? Well, yes, of course there’s lots of bad, but there’s also a whole lot of GOOD. We just don’t hear enough about it; probably because our media are all focused on the headline stuff. There really are many, many people doing amazing things to improve our planet. We need to join them as often as we can. Even small gestures can make a huge impact.

Anyway, please, all of you, have a blessed and safe Holiday season.

Music has brought folks together for ages. The Playing For Change folks are just one example of good news that doesn’t get nearly enough coverage.

Fruitcake Follies

It’s late outside because my Beautiful Girlfriend and I were visiting a Beautiful Friend, and we definitely had some wonderful food. Too much food, actually. So there I was, stuffed to the gills and getting home late, and I thought to myself, “Self,” I thought… “What are you gonna write about for Frappy Hiday at this hour?? Anyway???”

Well, since the Holidays are upon us, I again thought to myself, “how about a nice story about fruitcake? Haven’t had that delicacy in our home for awhile now, and I kinda miss it. Funny, but all these years I thought I was the only one in the house who craved the stuff; but lo and behold our daughter fessed up to loving fruitcake recently. So now of course I’m gonna have to go find some… if it’s not all gone already.

Anyway… without further ado, here’s my very late night story about: FRUITCAKE. You know, that sugar and fat laden seasonal delicacy. It’s often had a bad rap and has been the source of many a holiday standup comedy schtick. I know it sounds like a deadly thing to some, but I love that stuff. I simply can’t help myself, it’s so gooey and delicious… mmmmm, I just want to smear it all over my eyebrows before I hop into bed so I can floof into dream land with visions of sugar lumps. Or something like that…

Yes, I am liking the fruitcake. I use a chainsaw to cut it into 1 inch thick pieces, and make nice shingles for my home. They are not only decorative, but provide excellent insulation and have an added bonus of being bullet proof. Police peoples will probably be wearing vests made of fruitcake in the near future.

There’s only one thing wrong with using fruitcake for bullet protection. Tests have proven it to be very effective, but nobody can ever find the bullet after shooting the cake. I have a theory that fruitcake is actually a living organism, and when foreign objects get trapped inside, it digests them and alters their appearance. So, although that 9 mm slug is probably in there, the fruitcake instantly disguises it as a maraschino cherry.

Fruitcakes make nice lawn ornaments, and when dried for a week or two, can be painted to match your exterior decor. They are also an excellent substitute for broken concrete to as a border for raised flowerbeds. Other uses are wheel chocks and boat anchors. Its uses are limited only by your imagination.

I’ve heard that people will spike a fruitcake with rum or some other type of alcoholic beverage to make special spongy holiday cheer. I’m allergic to spiked spongefruit. It makes me try to pull my pants off over my head. Then I become compulsive about the stuff, and eat so much fruitcake that the room begins to spin. I’ve even said a few embarrassing things, like, “this is wonderful fruitcake. Will you marry me? May I barf in your sugar bowl?” Then, I’d throw up and go for more fruitcake; and on the way home my allergic reaction would be to break out in traffic violations.

Basically, I learned the hard way that I simply shouldn’t go around drinking fruitcake anymore.

Of course, there is a very practical use for spiked fruitcake: it makes a wonderful fire starting log. Be careful though, because if the fire is not tended carefully it may cause an explosion. You’ll be picking fruit shrapnel out of your hiney and other delicate body areas. Another drawback is the effect on birds flying past chimneys where fruit starting logs are being used. Birdies have been known to inhale spongespike fruit fumes, causing them to:

a) fall straight to the ground

2) roll around laughing

r) go to bed with other birds’ mates, and

12) wake up in a strange home, complaining of a severe headache and nausea the next day.

Needless to say, none of these is very good for the Holiday Spirit.

Fruitcake needs no spiking, really, since it has enough sugar in it to sweeten 27 gallons of lemon juice. Since sugar is a very wonderful drug, it attracts me like a moth to a flame. Even though I stick to the non-spiked fruitcake, I have to be careful not to overindulge. After all, I’ve never yet been arrested for OUIF (Operating Under the Influence of Fruitcake), and I don’t intend to get busted. I’m not sure what the legal BFL (Blood Fruitcake Level) is, but someone is probably out there watching for people who’ve had too much:

“Do you know why I pulled you over, sir??”

“Not sure, officer. I was a bit shaky on that turn, but I can assure you, I’m not intoxicated.”

“How much fruitcake did you have this evening, sir?  That gut of yours seems to be impeding the steering wheel.”

“Honest, officer, I only had two pieces. I was at a party, and, well, things got a little out of hand.”

“But if you only had two pieces, what do you mean about this party getting out of hand??”

“OK, officer. I took two more pieces for the road. I tried to stop, but it was just so-o-o-o good,” I murmured with glazed, squinty eyes.  “Got some of that eggnog too.”

“Get out of the car, sir. Let me get my tape measure to check if that gut is legal. We don’t want Fathers Against Tub-o’-lards (F.A.T.) busting me down to corporal, now do we?? I’m getting ready to retire, and I’m not gonna let a bozo like you mess it up for me! And stand back, Mr. Sugarbreath! Zheesh, you got some stinky sweetbreath there!”

“Pardon my fruit belch, officer. I’m really sorry.”

“OK, smartypants, just don’t let it happen again. Let’s see… a guy your height should have about a 36 inch waist… but your gut is 347 inches!! Doesn’t that belt hurt??”

“Of course it hurts!! I mean…  ummm… officer, can’t you give me a break, just this once? I’ve never been arrested. How would I explain this to my wife and kids?”

“Well, it IS getting close to Christmas. But just to be safe, you better hand over the pieces you haven’t crammed in your face yet. Besides, my bulletproof vest has a shingle coming loose.”

“Sure thing, officer. One of the cherries had a sort of metallic taste to it, anyhow. But I think it should repair that vest of yours pretty nicely.”

Whew, that was a close one. But hey, all’s well that ends well. I didn’t get hauled in for OUIF. I made it home in time for dinner, and “Mrs. Santa” was none the wiser, if you know what I mean.

But just for good measure, I stopped at the convenience store and picked up some more fruitcake.

Good thing it’s only once a year!!