Thursday, 31 August 2017

A Cautionary Tale

I know, I know, it's not quite time yet for another wordy post from me.

So I'll keep it short instead.

Did you know that in Blogger, if you happen to hit Enter on your keyboard when you are typing in the Title box, the post you are working on will publish  THAT VERY MOMENT??

Yes. Yes, it will.

If you've seen a weirdly titled post show up in your feed today, just before this one, you'll know how I discovered that little nugget of knowledge.

BE BACK TOMORROW!

Who knew???

Photo by Pixabay. A photo for every occasion. Free.


Monday, 28 August 2017

Poetry Monday: Total Eclipse Of The Brain

Here's the deal about Poetry Monday:  Diane started it; Delores and I joined in; Joan (from Devon) has been contributing in the comments here on a regular basis; anyone and everyone can join in! Read, critique, or leave a poem in the comments, or post on your own blog and leave your blog address in the comments. It's fun (most of the time), it's calorie-free, it's good for your brain, it's a conversation starter. What could be better? Or easier?

Well, lots of things, especially this week. Because here's the rest of the deal. Diane began giving us a theme for Poetry Monday to help us out. And last week, Diane's husband, the rascal, offered up the theme instead. (At least this is my understanding of what happened; I'm still a bit dazed.)

If you read Diane's blog regularly, you will know that Diane's Husby is full of mischief as well as good ideas. His suggestion for a theme was "Eclipses of Life."

WHAT??? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???

After mulling it over for six days, and feeling the seventh day breathing down my neck, I still can't decide. Perhaps it means those times when life's difficulties cast a shadow over our lives. On the other hand, maybe it's the opposite - the times when life's miracles of beauty or good fortune overshadow its banalities and heartaches. Maybe it means the parts of life that are unknown and shadowy.

Maybe it means Diane's Husby is having a private chuckle thinking about bloggers excavating their last brain cells to figure it out ...

By now, the word "eclipse" is even starting to sound funny, after rolling it around on my tongue so many times hoping for enlightenment. Eclipse. Eclipse. Eclipse. You hear it too, right? RIGHT??

The thing is, the interpretations above are all possibilities, and would make great topics, except they haven't sparked anything in my brain.

Aha. There's the problem ... it's not the theme, it's my brain!


Total Eclipse Of The Brain


My cranium is empty,
My brain cells are dead;
"Eclipses of Life"
Is over my head.

I've parsed the words' meanings.
I've Googled them all.
In spite of my searching,
My brain is on "Stall."

My fingers are ready
To type all my thinks,
But thinks are evasive--
And lack of thinks stinks.

My deadline approaches;
I'm drawing a blank.
The clock ticks and tocks;
It's time to be frank:

The topic has won out;
Therefore--so to speak--
My brain's been eclipsed
By the theme of the week.


*****

Crikey. That was hard!

Over to you, my fine readers :)

Hint: The theme is wearing the boxing gloves and has big ears.


 (Photo: Pixabay)

Friday, 25 August 2017

Even Better Than An Eclipse Of The Sun


Come walk with me, won't you? At this time of year, it's too hot to walk during the day, so I walk at twilight. That means it's too dark to take pictures on my point-and-shoot camera, so you'll need to use your imagination a bit.

The asphalt on our street is still radiating warmth. But the air is cooling, and there's a little breeze that makes walking pleasant. I have about twenty minutes of twilight to wander and wonder.

Early into my walk, I pass a yard that is neatly mowed except for a patch of tall grass near the front step of the house. From this oasis comes the startlingly loud chirp of a cricket. It lives there, I think, because I hear it every evening on my way by. Does the cricket live there because its patch of grass is safe, or do the homeowners leave that grass unmowed because the cricket lives there? I don't think I'll ask, because I don't want to spoil the magic.

A little further along, I pass three elderly pine trees. They are half brown this year, and I suspect they are dying. But from their upper branches comes the breathless murmuring and whistling of a half a dozen mourning doves jostling for sleeping positions. (For an amazing close up video of a mourning dove cooing, go HERE. As it explains, they take in a big gulp of air, and expel it through their nasal cavities to make that trademark cooing noise.)

If I turn left now, I'm headed for the river. This time of night, there is often a train passing through town in the distance, and the screeching and clacking of metal wheels turning on metal tracks carries clearly to my ears. The streetlights and the walking trail lights are all on by now, and they glow softly in the darkening air.

If I had turned right, instead, I'd reach a busier street, but even it is pleasant at this time of night; there are few cars passing and even fewer other evening walkers. Light spills from windows, and dogs who have already had their after-supper walk give a woof (if large) or (if small) yap furiously at me from behind screen doors.

If I'm lucky, I see the new neighbourhood twin fawns and their mama out and about. These aren't the twins of last year, because these ones still have their spots. My husband found them bedded down in our back yard in broad daylight a few weeks ago. Mama was nowhere to be seen. I'm glad she felt our yard was a safe place to leave them while she did errands ... or whatever mama deer do when they go off by themselves. But at the edge of darkness, they are on the move, eating and likely heading for the river to get a drink.

I'm hoofing it pretty steadily because I am not wearing reflective clothing, and I know how hard it is to see a walker at twilight, and I want to get home before it gets completely dark and my husband sends out the search and rescue folks.

But somewhere near the end of my walk, I take a moment to stop, and lift my eyes to the sky, and look at the dark velvet heavens lit by tiny twinkling stars, and marvel - as always - that I am gazing into a space so vast and unknown that I don't know if humanity will ever learn all its secrets. Astronomy has made many discoveries, and we certainly know more than we used to ... but will we ever know it all?

The sky, by night or day, and the endless distance beyond it, is what awes me, and fills my heart, and lifts me up. And it's right over our heads all the time ...

... unlike some celestial events, which shall be unnamed except in the post title but which I disregarded last week like a grumpy old woman, which perhaps I am :)


Not my photo, but it looks just like "my" sky. (Pixabay photo)



I hope you have a weekend with some awe in it. And if all else fails ....... go outside, and look up.

(Granted, some days there's going to be a big ol' mess of clouds in the way, but it's the principle of the thing, isn't it? And you've got a good imagination, don't you? Well, then!)






Monday, 21 August 2017

Poetry Monday (Just Under The Wire)

As Arnold used to say, in every movie he ever made, "I'M BA-A-A-ACK!!!"

It's Poetry Monday, and technically still on Monday!

If you haven't already checked out Diane's and Delores' poems, follow the links by clicking on their names.

If you'd like to leave a poem here, please do!

I really struggled with this week's theme. I started two poems, worked doggedly on them, and ended up with the most stilted, awkward, boring, lame verses ever in the history of poetry-writing. Then I gave up, licked my wounds for a day, and tried again.

I have to admit I went to a "rhymes with" website to get help. I should have called an ambulance while I was at it. This poem needs some CPR, stat!


Anatomy of a Meeting

Greetings!
Seating
(Eating)
Bleating
Repeating
Entreating
Retreating
Conceding
Completing
Un-seating
Fleeing
(And probably tweeting ...)


*****

Looking forward to next week, when the theme will be ... Eclipses of Life ... errrrr ... piece of pie, right? RIGHT??

Thanks for reading, folks!



Usually the best part of a meeting.

(Photo: Pixabay)

Now I want a chocolate eclair ...




This Meeting Has Been Postponed

It's Poetry Monday, with the theme of "meetings" ... but I have had a weekend of meetings that have left me brain dead and tired: meetings with stores where certain items had to be purchased; meetings with the mop, broom, cleaner, etc. to get ready for company; meetings with said company (a dear relative, which was the bright spot of the weekend); and meetings with the pavement - no, not by falling, rather by feet hitting the pavement for a daily walk. All in all, I'm pooped by all these meetings.

So ... my Poetry Monday will be delayed by a day.

Just so your click on this post wasn't a complete loss, there's this, which is a pretty good description of many days in my life:




Some day I plan to change that.

But not just yet. I need the exercise.

See you tomorrow :)


Friday, 18 August 2017

Black Cats, And One Black Cat Especially

Today: an update on our kitty.

He is doing well with our son; he settled in far faster than any of us expected. That is a huge load off my mind, and I'm glad we went ahead with the move, even though I still feel guilty that I wasn't able to give him the play time he needed to keep from being bored. But guilt didn't change the situation, so the situation needed changed some other way. And now it's been done.

This is the furry fellow who is now living with our son (picture taken about a year ago):

Like most cats, he likes boxes, especially if they are too small to really fit into.



And here he is again, about eighteen months ago:

He liked to sit on the arm of the chair while I used the computer



Our son just sent me this picture of him in his new digs; he looks pretty relaxed, don't you think?

It's notoriously difficult to photograph black cats. Hint: his head is on the right, his tail on the left.



When he emailed the photo, our son mentioned that yesterday was Black Cat Appreciation Day. I didn't know there was such a thing, but I give this idea a big thumbs up!

And from the internet, a good reminder:




I know that at least two readers here have black cats. And I think they might agree that while any cat is special, a mini-panther has a certain allure that can't be beat.

Hope you have a great weekend!


Monday, 14 August 2017

Mod Cons

It's Poetry Monday! I want to thank Diane from On the Alberta/Montana Border for the BEST THEME EVER: modern conveniences, also known as "mod cons" if you are British.

Diane, who started Poetry Monday, and Delores from Mumblings, and I are the three musketeers of this poetry challenge. But you can join us! You can post on your blog; if you do, please leave a link in the comments at any of our three blogs to allow readers to find you.

Or you can post a poem in the comments section of any of our blogs. It doesn't have to be original, and it doesn't have to follow the theme.

I like using the theme as a starting point because it narrows my focus enough to let ideas surface. Otherwise, there are just so many possible topics that I am overwhelmed.

Readers who have consumed much of Ogden Nash's poetry may recognize his style in this poem. I've been re-reading his works and they definitely influenced my writing this week. Sincere and abject apologies to Mr. Nash.

*****

I Heart My Toilet, Even If The Cat DID Fall In It Last Week*


There is one mod con in our house I cannot do without.
I have been places where there was none but those were dreadful times beyond any doubt.
The item in question is a flush toilet and it is the greatest invention ever --
Much better than a toaster or a furnace or a TV or even a coffee maker.
For when we need to "go" there is nothing better than "going"
In comfort, and even at times in style, with a lack of breeze blowing.
On occasion I have had to make do with an old-fashioned outhouse
With an indescribable ambience and the exciting possibility of a stray mouse.
There have also been a time or two when I have visited a Porta-Potty
But only out of sheer necessity, and I dearly hope that does not sound too snotty.
This modern convenience is so extremely important to me that
My nightmares involve looking and looking for one and not ever finding it.

You may wonder why I am so consumed with all things toilet and flushable.
Well, it is my "storage capacity" that is in fact both the culprit and culpable.
Whereas other people drink a glass of water and produce less than a glass of wee,
I drink a glass of water and inevitably produce three.
And if by chance I know there will be no flush toilet for me to access,
Then my one glass of water will somehow magically be transformed into six.
It has always been thus, and thus I think will ever be,
And that is why the flush toilet is the mod con dearest to me.

*****

(*If you missed that post, you can read it HERE. Check my replies to the comments to get some of the missing story.)

*****

The sign I most like to see when I am away from home.


Okay folks, time to spill the beans: what's the fanciest/strangest/most memorable toilet you've ever used? Don't be shy! Procrastinating Donkey would be fascinated to hear about it.



Friday, 11 August 2017

Frazzled On Friday, Part 2 Of Probably Many Parts

A short post today, because I'm frazzled, just like last Friday.

Yesterday started off on a different kind of note, with a cat falling in the toilet.

Then the smoke detectors started beeping and there was no fire.

Then I drove two hours to see my son and my ex-cat, another half an hour to see my daughter and her family (including two little grandsons!), and two hours home.

I'm pooped.

So icanhascheezburger.com is rescuing me AGAIN. Enjoy :)


Some of the best pictures happen by accident. Or course, some OTHER best pictures happen because the photographer has skills and talent ... but this is in the first category.




Maybe this is the photographer in the first photo.








Darn cats.




Yes. Sigh.




Husky has sarcasm down pat.




This little guy is "splooting" - right, Steve? (Steve introduced us to this word on his blog Shadows & Light, not long ago. It's what you call it when a dog lies with its back legs stretched out and belly on the ground. I couldn't wait to use this word!)




Better not let Mike near a credit card, either, or Poof!! goes the magnetic strip. Ask me how I know ...




This is me with my husband. I finish the page well before he does. But guess who remembers stuff better? That's right - HE DOES.




This joke never gets old for me. Or maybe I just keep forgetting it ...




These look suspiciously like the "two left cats" in the box from last week's Frazzled On Friday" post!


I hope everyone has a restful weekend, even if you have to sploot to really enjoy it.

And I REALLY SUPER EXTRA HOPE YOUR CAT (IF YOU HAVE ONE) DOESN'T FALL IN THE TOILET. Because it's very traumatic. And it's no fun for the cat either.





Monday, 7 August 2017

Irony Is Funny Too, Right?

Poetry Monday comes around faster than any other day of the week, did you know that? It's true! Especially when the urge to write poetry is elusive, as it was this week for me. As it seems to be a lot of weeks for me, come to think of it.

This week's theme, as suggested by Diane of On the Alberta/Montana Border, is HUMOUR. Or if you're American, the theme is HUMOR.

A little humour/humor there.

Diane was responsible for starting Poetry Monday to begin with; then Delores of Mumblings joined in, and so did I. You can, too! If you post your poem on your blog, leave us a link to it in the comments. Or you can leave a poem right in the comments at Diane's, Delores' or my blog.

Humour as a theme, eh? Piece of cake, I thought.

As my mother is prone to say, "She had another think coming ..."

If you're not familiar with that phrase, here is the definition from the online Cambridge Dictionary:

     have another think coming

      to need to consider something again, because you are wrong
 
     Example: If you think I'm going to pay for everything, you've got another think coming.

In other words, this was not a piece of cake after all. It was not even a piece of bread. It was not a piece of anything, except maybe a piece of hand-wringing and weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I thought about it all week. I Googled "funny poems." I racked my brain.

Finally, with my posting deadline past (horrors!), I pinned my brain to the mat, put it in a chokehold, and forced it to write this:


Oh, The Irony Of Not Being Able To Write A Funny Poem About Humour/Humor


A little shot of humo(u)r
Is a lovely useful thing
It can make a bad day better
It can make a good day sing

Less fattening than chocolate
Less costly than a shrink
A little bit of funny
Can cure most things, I think

A cartoon or a silly rhyme
A limerick or a pun
A meme or gif or clever quote
So many kinds of fun

This poem doesn't have those.
Bothered? No, not me
Because my poem's filled with
Perfect irony

*****

My brain is exhausted from that wrestling match. It's okay, brain. You can go have some warm milk and some light reading now.

How my brain feels today.

An update on our cat situation: I probably should have given more details on Friday about where our cat was going to live. But I was trying to keep it short and simple. Here's the story: Kitty has been delivered to our son, who lives about two hours away. We got one fellow (the cat) when the other fellow (our son) was still living at home, and they are good with and for each other. Son was ready for a cat; cat needed more time and attention than we could give. The transfer went much more smoothly than I ever expected, and according to our son's emailed reports, kitty is settling in okay so far. I'm so relieved. I was so worried that being in a strange environment would stress our furry guy beyond his capacity to adapt, but it appears I might be wrong. (Imagine that!)

Maybe all that worrying had something to do with my brain not cooperating in the humour/humor department.

That, and procrastinating until I hit full-blown panic mode. That, too.

I hope you all have plenty of humour/humor in your lives this week, even if you have to wrestle your brain to the ground to create it!







Friday, 4 August 2017

Frazzled on Friday

The week has been a blur, with heavier than usual work commitments, summer visitors, and the fact that I am writing an owner's manual for one of our cats.

Yes, an owner's manual. One of our furry babies is going to live with someone else. It was not a hard decision to make, back when it was all just a concept, but as the time approaches for him to leave, it is becoming a hard decision to carry out. I think he will get more attention and have more fun at his new home, and I'll be able to visit him regularly, but ... he is ten years old, easily frightened, and I worry about his ability to adjust.

That will be happening this weekend. Wah.

But we will go forward, one foot after the other.

*****

To celebrate Frazzled Friday and keep my mind off cats, here are a few funnies, courtesy of icanhascheezburger.com, in random order to match my disorderly mind:







This actually works, doesn't it?


































I will get through this weekend. I will get through this weekend. I will, I will, I WILL ...

Hope you have a good one, folks.