Saturday, December 07, 2002

Good Morning One and All:
I can't believe it's almost that time. 18 more days. And all this snow! We better have a White Christmas this year! Of course, the wise, sage part of me thinks... ssshhhhh, becareful what you wish for. We could end up with the hugest blizzard on record. I can hear the immortal voice of the narrator from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"... "And then..... It Hit!" It would be huge. No present deliveries. No family coming for the holiday. All that food waiting.... which brings me to a thought.

We have SO much! The holiday's tend to bring out the need to overdo. Spend too much, eat too much, drink too much. And you all know this, but the wealth (and I use this word loosely) in our land is spread very inequitably. I'm not arguing against capitalism, just over-consumption. That's a fancy term for greed. I hate to see such differences of comfort in families, not just at this time of year, but always. In addition to a Sun Santa fund, maybe a SunYankeeDoodle Fund. Or a SunBunny(Easter) fund.
Enough of the soap box thing. I'm done. Just trying to give some food for thought. (no pun intended).

Monday, November 25, 2002

Stuff on My Mind

I plain just don’t get this one. The significance of sneakers looped over a power line. I don’t see any connection with a major holiday, such as egging a house for Halloween, or toilet papering someone’s tree’s for… well for whatever reason. I wonder if we research footwear, maybe there’ll be some strange historical trivia that’ll explain it all. Maybe someone thought a pair of Air Jordan’s were literally meant to fly through the air, and land on a phone line? But if they were Keds? What about Sketchers? I’ll need help on this one.

How about lead. Anyone who’s rented, purchased, sold, or lived in a dwelling has faced the ‘lead paint question’. I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat paint chips as a child, but evidently enough children did to make this an important issue in real estate. And rightly so, it’s been proven to cause some nasty things. Enough said. More recently, pediatricians are warning of candles made with lead wicks. Who knew? So, now I’ve gone through all my candles to ensure that they aren’t emitting lead into the air my family breathes. OK.
But in crystal, lead’s a good thing? Don’t get me wrong…if it’s pretty, I want it. But why is lead ok in stuff we drink out of, but not paint and wicks. No, I’m not asking for a chemist to answer this, it’s more of a rhetorical thing.

This one is just dumb. “All employees are required to wash hands before returning to work” Can you say “No Brainer”? But what keeps running through my mind is the unwritten part of this familiar sign. “But it’s cool for all you patrons/customers/clients to run willy-nilly through this place of business with germs aplenty on your person - Go for it!”

And this, just makes me mad. Some smart-a** parks their pretty new vehicle on a diagonal - taking up two (or more) parking spaces. Yes, we all know the pain of that first scratch or ding in a brand new car. One of those moments, less than stellar, that make up our lives: A cavity found during a dental check up, the dental check ups themselves, doing taxes, cleaning gutters, and - the first scratch. Everyone has to go through it. You try to avoid it, of course, but it’s like those taxes, it’s inevitable. So grow up already, and stop being so freakin’ selfish!

I’m wondering if this looks like I have too much time on my hands. No, just too much Stuff on My Mind. Till next time.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

I have to post something that I received in Email. So, at the outset, let me say that I did not write this. But it is an example of how stupid and greedy people are. And that's just something I can't take.

"Unbelievable! These people deserved nada. Only the pain they sustained.

The Stella Awards

The "Stella" awards rank up there with the Darwin awards. Stella
Liebeck is the 81 year old lady who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonalds.
This case inspired an annual award - The "Stella" Award - for the most
frivolous lawsuit in the U.S. The following are this year's candidates:

1. January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded
$780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving child was Ms.Robertson's son.

2. June 1998: A 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda
Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car, when He was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

3. October 1998: A Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania was
leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation. Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars.

4. October 1999: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas was awarded
$14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his
next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in it's owner's
fenced-in yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

5. May 2000: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

6. December 1997: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

And the winner is:

Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City.

In November 2000 Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32 foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having joined the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly the Winnie left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the handbook that he couldn't actually do this. He was awarded $1,750,000 plus a new Winnie. (Winniebago actually changed their handbooks on the basis of this court case, just in case there are any other complete morons buying their vehicles)"
Author Unknown

Monday, November 18, 2002

Signs of the Times

Driving through town, the signs are everywhere. You know what time of year it is not only by a calendar, or the weather, but by the signs.
“Dracut High School Craft Fair” This always promises a great shopping trip to find unique and reasonably priced items, plus catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while.
“Hay Rides and Free Fudge” - The yells of “We want fudge!” drift over the fields as Pete drives the hay wagon of enthusiastic visitors at The Broken Wheel Farm.
“Fresh Holiday Eggnog” - You know you better get to Shaw Dairy Farm before the eggnog is gone, and don’t forget a quart of the best chocolate milk ever.
Some signs are as abundant and varied as masses of flowers. “Vote for Garry”, “Kerry in ‘02”, “Tucker for Senate”, “Tim for Treasurer”. There’s a stretch of Route 38 in Pelham, NH, that had dozens of campaign signs posted like merry wildflowers. And they were gone as quickly as they came.
Other signs are not as obvious, but are there if you know where to look. Driving past the Elm Turkey Farm last Saturday morning, I saw the row of pick-up trucks in the field next to the barn. On the other side of the building, the men were gearing up in aprons and large rubber boots. I know what time it is for the turkeys.
Too soon, there will be a line of cars on Broadway Road, waiting to get into the Post Office parking lot. A longer line still, will be streaming into the Pheasant Lane Mall parking lot. Not many will find parking spots easily.
The signs are there, it’s that time again. It all goes so quickly though, from soccer games, to homecoming dances, to Christmas caroling. When it’s over, and a long January is ahead, what do we look for then? Signs for “White Sales”, and "Tax Preparer"!

Friday, October 25, 2002

The Glory of Fall

Look up at the sky. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? See that blue. Such an intense shade. It's so blue it hurts. Over there, that birch tree, white framed stark against sapphire. It's never looked so white before, has it?

Feel that carpet of leaves under your feet. The most colorful and abundant pattern set out for your walking pleasure. Some leaves are so bright, you wonder if they’re anticipating what they’ll become during a late afternoon bonfire. You can hear the fire in your mind. You can smell the smoke from three streets away.

You remember this morning? You thought you heard the angels giggling. You stepped out into a frosty glitter party. The grass was covered with sugar. You picked up a leaf, noticing how it sparkles in the sun. You realized people pay a lot of money for a bowl of fruit, with just this kind of look. Frosted fruit. And here, a whole lawn full of frosted leaves. Free.

A happy riot of sensations has infused our day, much like swarms of children on a chilly Halloween night. Fall begs for us to notice her beauty the way trick or treater’s beg for our candy.

Notice it all and enjoy the blessings and glory of Fall.

Check it out. I couldnt have said it better myself. *Smile*
Think About It

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

I sincerely hope someone catches that sniper that's been haunting the Beltway area. I can't imagine something like that happening around here. It could. This fear, it's another form of terrorism. We shouldn't have to live like this, afraid of what someone can do to us while we are unsuspecting and vunerable. We do though. It has to stop. If we want it to stop, it will. Think about it.

Monday, October 21, 2002

I think we watch too many movies. Or TV. I’m not talking about the nation here, maybe just my family. Or maybe it’s just me. So I now have this quirk of relating what I’m doing as if I’m in the middle of some sort of action adventure flick.

For example, I’ve been playing Spider Solitaire a lot on the computer. It’s a little different from regular solitaire, but it still involves a mix of luck and skill. Mind you I continually play it on the easiest level possible (I think the level is called “Gutless ‘n Brainless”). Anyway, I get all wrapped up in the strategy of the moves. I’m contemplating whether to move that seven under the eight. OR - should I move the seven that’s covering the three, therefore releasing it to be moved under that four on the end, or should I move the first seven, which would turn over a new card. I have now stopped breathing. This is no longer a game of solitaire, matter of fact, I’m not even in front of a computer any longer. I’m on my back, under a 1968 GT350 Fastback Shelby Mustang, (all black, of course). I’m aware of a ticking sound, getting louder and more ominous. Sweat stings my eyes, as I mutter between clenched teeth, “red wire or blue wire, red or blue… red or…” SNAP, I decisively snip the black wire, and save the day.

Or, if you will, consider this scenario. A child is aimlessly shuffling back and forth in the living room, perhaps picking up a newspaper, or a couch pillow, mumbling something about the ‘remote’. He walks away, not willing to squander much effort on T.V. at this moment. Or at least, not in this room. The scene is hardly worth noting, but yet the husband has registered all details, and as the child moves out of frame, he begins his sweep of the room. To the untrained eye, his actions are cool and casual, perhaps taking inventory of all old magazines, humming a pleasant little ditty. Soon enough though, his movements become more urgent, his humming is tuneless, his breathing has become more shallow. The sensible wife and mother (me) turns her back on this, willing things to return to normal. However, as objects become tossed around in the next room with more force, she only knows too well what will happen next. And it does. Husband goes to phone, punches in a number previously buried deep in his subconscious, and then whispers into the phone. “It’s Foxfire. Yes, that’s right. Yes, you’ll have to alert the Joint Chiefs. Yes, you’ll have to wake them. Damnit man, the Remote is missing” !

Here’s something slightly different. Walking out of the theatre, having just seen a movie full of action like Triple X, or something with Ahhrnold. Going to the car, getting in… trying to shake the feeling of someone following me. (Of course, no one is, I’m just pumped up on adrenaline. I’m pretty sure the popcorn is buttered with testosterone.) I start the car, and slam it into gear, and chirp out of the parking lot. My kids are pinned to their seats from the G-Force, their mouths open in silent screams. I grab the cell phone, connect with husband waiting at home. I speak tersely. “We’re clear”. On his end, he guesses, “So, the movie is done, you want me to put in the casserole now”? I consult my watch and answer, “That’s a Ten-Four, our ETA is 1800 hours, and I’m out” After about two traffic lights, the vehicle has morphed back into the outdated Ford Escort, and I’m safely driving the legal speed limit. By the time we’re home, I’m Mom again, making the salad, having forgotten all about the afternoon’s adventure. Even Walter Mitty had to come up for air. But - sometimes, late at night, I look out in the driveway. In the moonlight, I swear that Ford is a Shelby.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The Name Game

I have a few friends that have named their first born sons after the father in the family. This is a grand and glorious tradition, that I can’t find much fault with. Except… well... when a conversation like this takes place at our dinner table. It gets soo Abbott and Costello, it’s ridiculous.

Son: “So, you were at Mike and Mark’s house last night, what are they up to”? Me: “Oh not much, aggravating their parents - same as you guys”. Son: “Oh very funny Mom”. Me: “Besides, I was really there to visit with their mom and dad”. Husband: “Oh how are they doing? Is Mike’s CD available yet“? (Mike, the dad, is a musician). Me: “No, but he’ll get more copies soon”. Son: “Mike sings? I thought he was an artist”. Me: “No, that’s his brother Mark, and anyway, I was talking about Mike the dad, not Mike the son” Confused looks all around the table for a moment. Me: “And he plays bass”. Silence. Husband: “So…Mark is an artist? I thought he played volleyball”. Me: “No, that’s Mark the dad, not Mark the son, and we’re not even talkING ABOUT THE SAME FAMILY!” Family’s mouths are agape, as my voice has shrilly risen several octaves. Me: (sinking head in hands) “I don’t even know what I’m talking about”.
************Two Weeks Later*********
Son: So, you went to Mark and Matt’s house last night, how they doing? Me: (glaring) “Don’t even start with me Buster”. Son: “But… all I said was..”. Husband: “Shhhh…”.

Monday, October 14, 2002

What a beautiful day - I think it's about 50 degrees right now. We were supposed to go to the Broken Wheel Farm, but that'll have to wait till next week. It's getting pretty chilly, which I'm not used to. It wasn't even this cold at the top of Loon Mountain last weekend! Speaking of Loon Mountain, rumor is, that a bear was seen walking down the street. Yes, a big black bear was spotted outside Peg's Family Restaurant at 6:30AM. Weird. I can't confirm nor deny this, but I'll tell you, that's one animal I'm not going to worry if they like me or not! : )
Until next time.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

I have to beg indulgence here. I have come to a sad realization and I need to share this if I’m going to be able to carry on. Not all animals like me. No, it’s really true. I see the looks of disbelief, but it’s a fact.
I grew up with cats and dogs. I loved them, and they loved me. I took horseback riding lessons as well, and the horse never tried to throw or bite me. So, I assume he loved me. I mean, c’mon, I was a nice kid. I did step into a hornet’s nest once, and those damn creatures did NOT like me. My foot and various other parts of me were quite bitten up and swollen for days after. Come to think of it, my playmates who were stung also, as a result of my releasing the nasty hornets, didn’t think much of me either for a while. But mostly, I got on just fine with the animal kingdom. I fed potato chip crumbs to the wee little ants I found in the bathroom. I remember calling down a mole hole once, begging for Mr. Mole to come out and visit. I thought St. Francis was cool.
I carried this feeling of good natured symbiosis with most domesticated animals into adult-hood. When my husband and I bought our first house, we bought a cat to go with it. He was our baby, and he ruled the roost, as well as most of the condo complex. I had a great deal worked out with one of my neighbors, that we’d take care of each other’s pets while the other was on vacation. Her animals seemed to like me as well. OK, the fish didn’t have much to say, but at least I didn’t kill them. I did temporarily lose one of her hamsters once, but found him in a Barbie doll house later that evening. Whew! So, my self-image of a sort of Snow White type chick, with all the sweet birds and chipmunks hovering lovingly close by was still intact. Until recently.
I have some good friends who got a dog this last year. A ‘min-pin’ He’s a cute little thing, his name is Jedi, and he hates me. I’ve only met him a few times, but the dog is out to get me. I’m pretty sure he was trying to get into my wallet to see my driver’s license so he could get my home address. I don’t know why Jedi wants me dead, but he does. This astounded and shook me. A dog? Dogs love everyone! All they want is a full belly, time outside to play and do business, an occasional crotch to sniff, and a kind word. I’ll give the pooch credit though, he does treat his family members well. I also know that I’m not the only outsider he’s unfriendly to. I thought though, that I was special. I thought I had a knack for communing with All Creatures Great and Small. And now this.
I managed to shake off this rejection, and took solace in the comfort of a warm cat on my lap for the next month or so. One morning I saw a deer in my back woods. Oh what a moment! I called my youngest son to the window to see the noble animal having a quiet breakfast. I gingerly opened the window and called to Bambi. Not only did he NOT come to my call, but he ran away! I was crushed. We’re still paying off the therapy bills.
The final stab was the other day. I saw my neighbor’s cat outside in front of the bush that borders our property. I’ve known this cat for the 8 years or so that I’ve lived here. He isn’t very friendly, he’s never let me pet him, but I just thought he was shy. Some animals are, and I know cats do live up to their reputations of being aloof. But I thought I was close to a breakthrough. I thought after so many years I’d wear him down by virtue of my sterling personality. That day, I spoke to him in a cheerful, soft manner, and then hopped out of my truck. As I looked to down to continue our one-sided conversation, I saw that he was hiding from me! He had donned some sort of Gulf War camouflage outfit and all I could see were his scared green eyes. I was too emotionally worn down to really cry, so I just trudged inside my house, dragging my sorry ego with me.
So, friends, the next time you catch the scene from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, when Ace is surrounded by the all the animals that had been hiding in his apartment, just think.. That should have been me!
(Dedicated to Salem, gone on to a better place, a cat who really did like me.)

Friday, October 04, 2002


Why, someone tell me, is it that so many TV series promote an episode as "all new". All new? I better flippin' hope so! When we're only like a nano-second into the new TV schedule, the networks promote stuff as "All New". Like they'd dare show a repeat this early on? Wait, I should not assume anything. The TV industry has been continually seeking new lows in entertainment. I know it's not a popular opinion, but reality shows? *head-shake* I have nothing against the theory behind those type of shows, but in some ways they just seem like slightly more stylized and choreographed Jerry Springer shows. Better bodies, faces, and sets. But it's still all contrived. Or a great deal is. I have seen enough to know there are some real moments too. I don't HATE reality shows. I sometimes follow Survivor on the web, and I will catch MTV's The Real World now and then just to see what those crazy kids are up to. So, anyway..enjoy this ALL New season!

Thursday, October 03, 2002

This is a test. Not just of your state of mind, but of my prowess at linking URL's. Enjoy!
Insanity Test .
Just an aside here. I told Mr. Redican that I wasn't fond (or capable ) of political commentary. One reason is I don't keep up with local news enough to comment intelligently. Another reason is I really want to try to be politically correct, at least for the first week. It wouldn't do to offend everyone right out of the gate. But being an active PTO member in our local elementary school, I want to remind everyone that there is a Town Meeting on Monday evening, October 7, 2002. I believe the school budget will be up for a vote. *Smile* There - that's it for my soap box ravings.
Hello and Welcome to my column. Technically speaking this is a Weblog, or Blog as the "in-crowd" says. Am I part of the in-crowd? Probably not, but they havn't told me yet, so I'm sticking around until I get booted out.
What I write will reflect what goes on in my life, which probably isn't a whole lot different from your own. Look - we already have Dracut in common, how's that for a start? (Unless you're peering in from some other burg -spying on how we do things - shame on you!) Actually that's just wishful thinking on my part, hoping that Oprah or Peter Jennings, or someone with clout will see my efforts here and extend that mighty hand of opportunity my way.
So, I invite you to come back often. If you're in luck, I'll have had my coffee, and perhaps had a chance to write coherently about some grand adventure or another. Speaking of adventures, I spent last weekend in Chicago at a martial arts convention and seminar. Wow. Very amazing. I'll be writing more on that soon. What's more likely though, is that I'll be sharing with you my adventures in house cleaning, child rearing, and grocery shopping. Lotsa fun, I promise you.
You will probably see this Blog change several times in the beginning, as I decide on the best template, or ways to add links, and so forth. Have patience please (because I have very little). See you soon.