Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The songs will carry on

I wrote today about the comedians we lost in 2008 on my Happy At Home site. I said there were two things I could not live without and they were laughter and music.

Here I am honoring the musicians we lost in 2008. They will be missed.

January 20th - John Stewart
He was a member of the Kingston Trio and wrote many songs including the Monkees’ hit “Daydream Believer”. He was 68.

February 5th - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
He wasn’t really a musician but he influenced the music scene intensely when he taught transcendentalist meditation to the Beatles. He was 96.

February 28th - Mike Smith
He was the lead vocalist for The Dave Clark Five. He was 64.

May 5th - Jerry Wallace
Country singer from the 50’s. He had a #1 hit in 1972 for “To Get To You”. He was 79.

May 8th - Eddy Arnold
Said to be the baritone voice that helped to create the Nashville sound. He was 89.

June 2nd - Bo Diddley
He was known as one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. And known for calling his guitar Lucille. He was 79.

August 10th - Isaac Hayes
Soul singer who was most famous for writing the theme song to Shaft. He was 65.

August 18th - Pervis Jackson
The bass voice for the Spinners. He was 70.

September 2nd - Jerry Reed
Country and western singer. Best known for his slapstick songs such as “She got the goldmine and I got the shaft”. He was 71.

September 15th - Richard Wright
Pianist with Pink Floyd. He wrote the song “Wish you were here”. He was 65.

October 17th - Levi Stubbs
Singing front man for the Four Tops. He was 72.

October 24th - Merl Saunders
Musician and keyboardist for The Grateful Dead. He was 74.

December 25th - Eartha Kitt
Singer who was best known for her song “Santa Baby”. She was also an actress, best known for portraying Catwoman in the Batman series.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Be very very quiet...

I just had to share this video with you that I found while reading the news! The cat just cracks me up with his sneakiness!

Which one are you?

There are a lot of different people in the world. Some are strong and reliable. Some are weak and unreliable. It seriously blows my mind (to steal a catch phrase from the 60’s) how many different forms of strength walk this earth.

The strong build lives that are good and right. They stand up for the weak. They never follow the crowd. They are leaders.

My father was a leader. He never settled for anything until it was what he wanted it to be. If we were hungry, he found a way to feed us. If he had to roll up his sleeves and dig a ditch in 110 degrees to put that food on the table, he did it. He never complained. That wasn’t his style.

And he was disgusted by weakness which is probably where I got it from. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to witness weak people following others because they can’t do anything on their own. I’m not talking about misfortunes. Don’t get me wrong there. I feel sorry for people that are having a hard time in life. As long as they are working on improving it.

It’s the ones that sit back and complain about all the bad but never get off their butts to fix it. You know someone like this I’m sure. It seems like they’re everywhere I look.

And the worst ones latch on to anybody they think will carry them along for a little while. Oh, everybody likes them, I think I’ll just agree with everything they say… I try not to hate, but I do hate that. To me it says you aren’t worth the effort it would take to try to explain to you why that’s wrong in the first place.

I don’t know what my point is exactly, except maybe to say don’t be weak. Don’t be a follower. Stand up and be strong. Ultimately it will pay off in your favor. Life is so much better as a leader. I promise.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kudos Doc Watson!

As usual this morning I was reading through the headlines on my second best friend, my computer. Most of the time I experience a wide range of emotions while reading the stories. Everything from laugh out loud to oh my goodness that makes me mad.

Less often a story will touch me. This morning however, I read one of those stories. I sat here with tears running down my face and a huge smile at the same time. My first best friend (my husband) came in from his shower and immediately thought something was wrong with me. I assured him it wasn’t and read him the story.

I’ve lived many places in my lifetime but no matter where I’ve lived, I’ve always claimed Texas as home. I love Texas. I love most of the people in it. My guess is if it was a smaller state I probably wouldn’t feel that way. Less people = less chance for good.

The story I read was about a doctor in Yoakum Texas. Yoakum is a small town outside of San Antonio. This man, lovingly known as Doc Watson, has been the town doctor for 50 years. And he still makes house calls.

That doesn’t happen very often these days. Most doctors are more worried about the money they make and not so much about their patients. That’s sad but true. But Doc Watson isn’t one of those doctors. He’s even been known to accept baked goods and home grown vegetables as payment to the dismay of his daughter. He was quoted in the story as saying “These people have paid me with what they could. As far as I’m concerned, they’re paid in full.” How refreshing is that?

He began his career after graduating from the Baylor College of Medicine in 1958. Back then he charged $3.00 for an office visit and $5.00 for a house call. Some of his patients have been lifelong.

One of those patients is 80 year old Lou Olsovsky. As Doc Watson examined Lou he gently asks about his wife who passed away four years previously. When the doctor asked if he was ready to go meet his wife, he was told “I was supposed to go first, but she wouldn’t let me.” Lou still wears his wedding ring. That just broke my heart. It was what made me cry.

It makes me happy that there are still men like that in this world. Sometimes I wonder about our planet and the way it seems to be going downhill. Then I read something like this story and it gives me hope.

I’d like to tip my hat to Doc Watson. I hope he has many more years taking care of his town. According to him he has no plans to quit anytime soon. He said “When I can’t do crossword puzzles anymore, I’ll know it’s time to quit. But as long as I’m reasonably healthy, and have a little sense, I’ll keep doing it.”

Click here to read the original story

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Where are my crackers...

Yesterday I did my grocery shopping as I mentioned on my Happy At Home site. Then this morning, browsing through the headlines as usual, I came across this story from Irvine, California.

It seems a family did a little shopping in their local grocery store where they bought a box of crackers. Upon returning home they discovered an envelope in the box of crackers. Inside the envelope were one hundred crisp $100 bills.

Now I can imagine the shock on the mothers face when her daughter brought her the envelope filled with money. And I can also imagine the thoughts that would be in my head. Maybe the store was giving away a prize. Maybe it’s my lucky day. Maybe somebody was hiding the money for someone else…

It turns out an elderly Lake Forest lady had decided the box of crackers was a safer place for her money than the bank. She then inadvertently returned the wrong box of crackers to her grocery store in Tustin. Frantic she went back to the store but her crackers were gone.

Then in an odd and a little disturbing twist, the crackers were put back out for sale in the Irvine store where the unsuspecting family bought the woman’s life savings.

I can’t begin to imagine how a store would resell a returned food item but thankfully this time they did. And luckily an honest person found the money and it was returned to the rightful owner.

While I believe it’s appropriate to return items to the people they belong to, I also believe the family that turned the money in should have received something for their good deed. Sadly all they received was a new box of crackers. Now that would be my luck.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pop! Pop! Yay!

Well Christmas is over for another year. I’m sure a lot of you have wrapping paper, torn boxes and toys covering your floor. And I bet quite a few of you have some bubble wrap laying around too. You know those sheets of plastic with air filled bubbles that protect the contents of packages and drive you crazy with people popping them.

I’m one of the poppers. I just can’t help myself. And I have to pop every single bubble on the sheet. I’m not happy until I have. And each bubble must be popped individually. It’s an obsession.

A man in Brooklyn has turned this obsession into a money making deal. It’s actually a very cute idea. He’s made a bubble wrap calendar. You get to pop a bubble every day! I’m not sure if this would be a good gift for me though. I’d probably pop the whole year when I hung it up.

I wonder if he uses recycled materials to make these adorable calendars? If he does, I think I wouldn’t be able to resist buying one. You can currently buy one for $29.95 with free shipping in the United States. They are also available in different languages. And all major holidays are printed on them as well.

If I were still a kid (and I am) I would say they were really neato. Way cool. Totally awesome dude!

Click here if you’d like to purchase a Bubble Calendar

Friday, December 26, 2008

Attack of the 20 foot man! ...or something like that

Snow is harmless right? Specifically snowmen. Kids out of school for Christmas break that live in places where snow falls abundantly build them all the time. They don’t come to life and wreak havoc on our neighborhoods. They don’t have any magical powers. And they don’t build themselves. Or do they?

According to a man in Anchorage Alaska a 25 foot tall snowman, dubbed Snowzilla by his family and neighbors, just magically appeared in his front yard on Christmas morning. Call it a Christmas miracle. He practically does in his interview.

This is the fourth year that Snowzilla sits in the front yard of the Powers family. He’s equipped with all the snowman details including a stovetop hat and corncob pipe. Halfway through the building of this years Snowzilla, the city stopped Billy Powers and his seven children from finishing the snowman citing noise and traffic complaints.

A notice was put at the base of the snowman as well as on the front door of the Power’s residence to cease and desist from erecting the snowman. The city says it is a nuisance because of all the extra traffic and noise from people wanting to see the snowman with their own eyes.

They also stated that it was a safety hazard. I imagine it takes a lot of snow to make a 25 foot tall snowman. I can actually see the cities side. But I also think he should be able to do what he wants in his own front yard. And I would love to see Snowzilla for myself. I’m torn between which side I stand on in this debate. Maybe by the time Christmas 2009 arrives I’ll have decided.

Click here to read related Snowzilla stories in the Anchorage Daily News

Click here to watch the video of Billy Powers stating his case

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!

I was going to write about Odin for you today but instead I decided to post videos. The one here is Celine Dion singing Happy Christmas (War Is Over). Besides her beautiful voice the video is full of beautiful images. Merry Christmas everyone! Have a great one!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oscar Meyer wouldn’t trick us that way…would he?

hot dog; food

My television is my hero. It’s managed to last 20 years and still works perfectly despite me sometimes not turning it off for a week at a time. I don’t always watch it… it’s just always on. I listen to it. It’s my background music.

Occasionally I do actually watch it. I’m a huge Survivor fan. And Big Brother, Amazing Race, The Golden Girls… I could honestly go on and on about shows I like but those are the top 4 on my I do not miss list. Anyway, that’s kind of beside the point…

This morning was one of the occasions that I was watching. I saw a commercial…I think it was for a phone. It was talking about questions people have & being able to get the answers through Google on that phone. Still not the point….

One of the questions was ‘what’s really in a hot dog’. It got me thinking. You’ve all heard the urban legends about lips and other parts being in a hot dog. I have an obsessive brain. I’m not kidding. When something gets in there it just gets bigger & louder until I resolve it. I enjoy a hot dog every now and then. Mustard, cheese Mmmm.

Now I’m sure you know what I did next… I Googled it of course! I am happy to tell you that there are NO lips in hot dogs. There are four meats (pork, beef, chicken and turkey) either alone or combined, some water, a curing agent and spices. Whew! What a relief! But not really a surprise… I knew Oscar Meyer was a good guy.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

Last summer we went to the beach several times. On one of those trips my daughter Melanie went with us. It was a great day with just one little glitch…

The kids had gone off together playing in the surf. You could tell they were having so much fun. They were laughing and tackling each other. Suddenly Melanie came running out of the ocean and up the beach towards us with a look of panic on her face! She was holding both her hands across her leg and crying. She yelled, “Momma, something stung me!”.

Luckily a beach patrolman was driving down the beach on his four wheeler. We flagged him down and told him what was happening. He looked at her leg and told us rather matter-of-factly that she had been stung by a jellyfish. He told us that at our beach (Surfside/Freeport, Texas), jellyfish are common. He said it was a good idea to keep 3 items in our car whenever we were planning a beach trip. A clean towel (or two), a spray bottle filled with white vinegar and meat tenderizer.

Use the towel to wipe off the stung area. If you use your hand you’ll just end up with stings all over it too. You definitely don’t want that!

Next is the vinegar. It is said to remove the nematocysts. Nematocysts are the tiny stingers that inject the venom into you. Spray the entire area down to remove them. One word of caution about vinegar: In stings from Portuguese Men of War vinegar worsens the pain. A Portuguese Man of War is not jellyfish although they look very similar to them.

The last item is the meat tenderizer. Meat tenderizer contains papain which will ease the discomfort of the sting. Papain is an enzyme that breaks down proteins. Just rub a thin layer over the affected area. Leave it on about 15 minutes. Be sure and rinse it off after the 15 minutes or it could irritate your skin worse.

Without a doubt I will have these items in my car the next time we are going to the beach. I hope we never have to deal with jellyfish stings again, but if we do, I’m going to be prepared!

(Portuguese Man of War)

(Common Jellyfish)

(Sting on my daughter's leg)

A little history of the man who's made history

How much do you know about our new president? I'd like to share a little Obama history with you...

Barack Obama was born in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father was a foreign student from Kenya at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His parents divorced when he was two and he only saw his father once more before he died in a car accident in 1982. His mother was from Wichita, Kansas. After divorcing his father she remarried and they moved to Indonesia in 1967. She passed away from ovarian cancer in 1995.

When Barack was 10 years old, he moved back to Hawaii and lived with his grandparents until completing high school. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1983 with a BA in political science specializing in international relations. He then attended Harvard Law School beginning in 1988, graduating in 1990 magna cum laude.

He continued in politics securing a spot in the state legislator from 1997-2004. On January 4, 2005 he was sworn in as a senator. He made history then as the 5th African American Senator and he made history last night as the 1st African American President of the United States.

How he performs as president will have to wait to be seen. I personally am hoping that he can do all he has promised to do. I believe this country needs a strong leader with fresh ideas. And I believe Barack Obama may just be that man.


H.R. Pufnstuf

hr pufnstuf cartoon

I can’t remember what Tim and I were talking about this morning. I do that often. But I Do remember we started talking about H.R. Pufnstuf. He never watched it! I was shocked. I have this idea that everything I watch, eat, buy, use are all the best possible thing for whatever it is I’m doing. I watched H.R. Pufnstuf so it must have been a great show…

Maybe that’s a little ego-maniac like. I may need to explore that idea some day… But not today. Today all I can think about is playing. I believe the day I stop liking all my favorite childhood things is the day I grow up. Like Peter Pan, that’s a terrifying thought to me. I don’t want to grow up. When you grow up you get hurt. And old. And die. I want to live forever.

Don’t worry, there’s no need to call in professional help for me. I know I can’t live forever. But it would be nice wouldn’t it? Never grow up, never grow old. J. M. Barrie got that one exactly right.

And Sid and Marty Krofft did too. A magical island where books and trees and clocks and houses walked around. I have an urge to watch H.R. Pufnstuf now. I’d love to get a peek at Witchiepoo. She was my favorite.

Just relax and chat

Out of sheer boredom one day about four years ago I was playing with my cell phone and I came across a chat room. I thought it looked interesting so I joined it. I found it fun most of the time and quickly became a regular. I’ve made many friends there, some of whom will be lifelong.

And believe it or not, I found love. I know several other people who have done the same and are very happy with the mates they found online. I think being in the chat room lets you be less afraid. A lot of people are so self-conscience that they can not relax in a traditional dating scenario. And so many people are obsessed with physical appearances. Chat allows you to get to know the person on a different level.

So now over a year has passed and I am still very happy and satisfied with our relationship. Tim has shown and taught me things I doubt I would have ever seen or learned about without him. We are from different parts of the country and have lived very different lives up to the point of meeting each other. I guess my point to this blog today is to encourage you to try new things. You just never know what the result will be if you don’t. My advice is: Go For It!

I’ll leave you with a ‘chat‘ cartoon.. I thought it was cute… Smile! Today is a new day!

garfield cartoon

Nemo, my suicidal fish

We have a fish tank, a very large fish tank. It actually requires a lot more care than I realized. It’s really not a bother. I adore animals and taking care of them. I have the idea in my head that they couldn’t survive without me. I know I’m right because my animals constantly prove it to me. I have this one fish in particular, Nemo is his name. He’s disturbed. Suicidal even. I swear to you I’m not making this up.

When we first brought Nemo home he pretended to be a normal fish. He acted just like the other fish. Not one sign of mental illness at all. It didn’t last very long. He became obsessed with an ornament in the tank. It’s one of those clams with an airhose attached to it so it opens and closes. I’m sure you’ve seen them before. When it opened, in he’d swim as fast as he could. Then it closed. I know they say a goldfish only has a 3 second memory…I heard that somewhere from someone. Anyway, over and over he would get stuck in the clam. Until I was so disgusted with watching this show that I turned the clam off.

He then decided that the sunken ship would be his new toy. The sunken ship with a hole half the size of his body. The sunken ship with only one way in or out. Can you imagine what he did yet? Yes! He squeezed himself INSIDE the sunken ship. By the time I noticed him he was so panicked that he was actually rocking the ship back and forth. I literally had to shake him out and sometime during his panic he managed to rip half his tail off. He has since recovered from this adventure and thankfully his tail is growing back. Around this time is when I decided he may be on a suicide mission.

We ended up with parasites in our tank, I assume from a couple of new fish we bought. But because I am home all the time I pay quite a bit of attention to our animals so I noticed immediately that they weren’t acting right and did my research on how and what I needed to do. The general consensus was to use Quick Cure and to drain our tank and vacuum the gravel thoroughly. I set out to do this, transferring my fish from their tank to bowls while I was cleaning their house. Of course Nemo viewed this as another opportunity to end his miserable fish life. I have him in the net going towards the bowl and he Leaps out! He landed on the table flopping around, almost reaching his goal of fish suicide but I yet again foiled his plans.

As of today Nemo is alive and well contrary to all his well laid plans. He has made a couple more attempts to leap out of the tank when the lid is open but thankfully the food has distracted him.

Our Georgia trip

We made a trip to Georgia back in July for the birth of our grandson Gavin. It was an unexpected trip. We had planned on going in September when Gavin was actually due, but he couldn’t wait that long. He wanted to be here now! Thankfully everything turned out ok and he is happy and healthy at home.

While we were there Tim took me to see Stone Mountain. I had never been. I had heard of it. Many years ago my parents had taken a vacation and Stone Mountain was one of the places they visited. I had even seen pictures of what my father had dubbed The Mount Rushmore of the South. I don’t know if that was something it was really called. He was funny like that. He liked to give things names.

But up to the point that Tim took me, I had never seen it with my own eyes. It was breathtaking. I was literally in awe looking at the etching on the mountain. I couldn’t believe anyone could carve something like that.

We took the skylift up to the top of the mountain. Again, beautiful. Heights aren’t exactly my thing but once we were on solid ground I was able to enjoy the view.

There’s an entire park surrounding the mountain. There are places for the kids to play. And I hear they put on an awesome Fourth of July fireworks show. Maybe next year we’ll make it in time to see it. I hope so. I think I could love Georgia without much effort. It’s truly a gorgeous state.

It IS a crazy adventure

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately… I mean A LOT. I don’t know why this sudden need to discover who I am or what exactly it is I’m trying to discover. But I do know it has consumed my mind for the last month or so. My mind has been wandering through the years. Remembering moments. Remembering people.

Maybe it’s my age. I heard somewhere that when you turn 40 your whole idea of what life is changes. Things you used to like you now hate. Things you used to hate you now like. Your ideas change. It’s a very confusing time for me.

I also heard that by the time you are 45 things kind of settle. If that’s true I only have 3 years to go! I hope it’s true. I’d like to feel settled. I used to think I knew EXACTLY who I was, what I believed in and how things were supposed to be. Now I just don’t know. But I’m having a good time trying to figure it out even with the confusion. It IS an adventure and as long as I keep that knowledge deep in my heart, I know it will turn out for the best.

I’d like to say thank you to the people who have played a part in making me up to this point. You may not think you have made any difference in my life. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong about that. Every statement, every action, every single thing whether positive or negative has influenced my life and formed who I am. Every single one. So Thank You. You are all important to me.

Henry...he's a cool dude

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter we went fishing at a this little pond. My friend (and now my sisters husband) Mitch saw a little turtle floating on a piece of wood and he caught it. It was adorable, about the size of a quarter…I fell in love with him instantly. I took him home and named him Henry. I don’t know why, he just looked like a Henry to me. Animals have always been a weakness of mine..

I have him in a large tub now. He has lots of room to swim around and we built a little island out of rocks for him to “bask” on. They like sitting in the sun.. If you’ve ever walked up to a pond on a summer day you more than likely saw a lot of turtles on logs.

Henry is a red eared slider. He has distinctive red stripes down the side of his head, hence the first half of the name. The second half comes from their ability to slide quickly off whatever they are basking on and into the water.

I got Henry in 1989 so he’ll be 20 in a couple of months. It’s kind of amazing to me to think he is just now middle aged. They generally live about 40 years…sometimes longer if they are taken care of well.

He is actually a terrapin which means he is semi-aquatic. He spends most of his time under water and has to eat underwater. They have a fixed tongue which makes it impossible for them to swallow if they are not underwater so they couldn’t snap a fly out of the air but they can snap them off the surface of the water. I like to give Henry bugs.. I like watching the hunt and the kill… maybe that makes me morbid but I do like watching it…

And the work begins

I only have about nine of my posts from my original Crazy Life site that I can post here. It's ok though. You live and learn. I just keep telling myself that. So...

I'm going to go ahead and do the work to put those nine posts here. It's nine more than I would have had if I was starting from scratch. I understand I am starting from scratch really. But what can you do?

You have to laugh

So many of you that have spent time following my ramblings knows that I can be a royal, for lack of better words, goob. I had the idea that I could move my website over here to Blogger and therefore save us a little money each month. It wouldn’t be a ton of money, but every little bit helps.

I proceeded to know that I could import my already existing Crazy Life blog to Blogger and all would continue on as it was before. I set up the blog from my dashboard. I hit import blog. It said importing blog. Then it said oops!

Oops was not really the word I was hoping to see. Something along the line of success! would have been much better. But alas, my goob self decided it was not a problem. I would just leave my website alone. No loss no gain.

No issues with that, right? Right (said with pure sarcasm in my voice). No issues. No blog, but no issues. I have to say the deleting of my cookbook a week or so ago was a lot worse than this. This time I didn’t cry. I just sighed and said to myself that I should have known better.

All of my links lead you to this page that you are on now. At least I got that part right. Or so it seems. I’ll have to go through the three million places I have my links posted and make sure they all work.

I do have some of my posts saved. Not all of them. Not the last months worth. But it’s ok. You live and you learn and you go on because to do anything else would just be silly.

I’m not going to stress over it. I’ll go through the posts I have saved and repost any of them that I like on this site over the next few days. And then I’ll just start over. It will be ok. And at least I’m laughing.
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