Good Monday Morning, dear readers! I realize that many of you in the U.S. are still feeling a bit sleep-deprived after setting your clocks forward on Sunday morning, so I shall try to be extra cheerful. Then again, sleep-deprived people tend to see cheery people as annoying, so perhaps I should grumble and growl along with you this morning. But no … I actually had the benefit of nearly four full hours of sleep last night, so I shall be cheerfully cheeky, and I even have a couple of funny jokes to add to my usual Monday morning fare! So grab your coffee … tea for those of you across the pond … and let us see if we can kick off this Monday with a grin, a chuckle, or … might it be too much to ask … a laugh!
You all remember my posts last March & April about the gnomes … and the man, Steve Hoke, who built them their own little gnome homes? The Gnomes Have Lost Their Homes! and Update: The Gnomes Have New Homes!!! Well today we have the story of Chris Newsome who makes teeny tiny hats for the toad that visits him every night! Each evening when he sat on his porch at the end of a long day, he noticed he was paid a visit by a toad. The same toad kept coming back night after night. Chris and the Toadie got to be friends, Chris knew he could confide his deepest, darkest secrets to the toad, and as time went by, Chris began trying to think of something special he could do for Toadie to show his appreciation. So … he decided to make him … a HAT! And not just any hat, but quite a fancy hat, complete with a feather!
Well, Toadie liked his hat so much that ol’ Chris got to work and made him yet another … and another!
Turns out Chris’ dog Daisy did not like the hat quite so much …
Some parts of the U.S. are expecting the largest snowfall of what has otherwise been a very mild winter this week. I have heard estimates ranging from three inches to eight inches. Given that we have had no more than an inch or two a couple of times this winter, eight inches sounds like a lot of snow, and people are already lining up at the grocery stores to get that gallon of milk and bag of Cheetos! But compared to the Hida Mountains in Japan … we do not even know what mega-snow is!
The Hida Mountains are part of the Japanese Alps and meteorologists suspect that parts of the range receive as much as 1,500 inches of snow a year, or 125 feet! There is stretch of highway known as yuki-no-otani, or Snow Canyon that runs for about a quarter-mile along the base of a broad ridgeline where the height of the canyon’s snow walls can reach a staggering 66 feet! That is about the height of a 6-story building! Amazingly, this road is open year-round.
Takuma Igarashi, a Japanese snow plow driver of more than 20 years, has this to say:
“This is a job and someone has to do it. We might be doing it in the shadows, but it’s for the benefit of everyone. Here in Toyama sometimes you’ll have 20 to 30 centimeters of snowfall in just one night. If we don’t remove the snow, no one would be able to pass.”
I believe I have mentioned before that the Japanese are stoics and have a work ethic not often seen elsewhere in the world. When told that New York had closed schools across the city last February for a storm that dropped nine inches of snow (23 centimeters), Mr. Igarashi laughed.
I have sometimes opined in, shall we say a negative way, about the state of Indiana. I actually try to keep this to a minimum, as I have some very dear friends who live in Indiana and prefer not to offend good friends … most times. But today, I have to say Indiana may be deserving of being called the “State with a Heart”. And what, you ask, have they done to deserve this honour? (You can already figure, if you know me by now, that it has something to do with animals, right?) They built RAMPS! Teeny little ramps to help ducks and geese cross a canal that flows through downtown Indianapolis.
Apparently ducks were going into the canal, then unable to climb back up the banks of the canal and were drowning. 😥 The ramps are made of wood and insulation, so they float along the canal, providing a sort of raft for the ducks and geese. Now THAT’s a city with a heart!
I quit believing in romance many decades ago. I believe in love of many sorts, but the kind of romance where the man brings flowers and surprises his woman with candlelight dinners … um, no. Same is true for the mythical ‘proposal on bended knee’. But I just might have to admit an exception for this special couple.
Dale Sharpe and Karlie Russel are both landscape photographers for DK Photography based in Australia’s Gold Coast. Although they had connected online some time before, they first met in person to do a sunset photo shoot together on the Gold Coast.
Since then, the couple has traveled the world, photographing the wonders of nature, and one of their favourites has been the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis. Nine months ago, Dale decided to propose to Karlie in a unique way. He bought her a $4,000 engagement ring, then on a trip to Iceland, he tucked the engagement ring in a lotion bottle, which he told Karlie was pricey and belonged to his mom. However, Murphy’s Law kicked in when, at the airport, Karlie’s luggage was a bit overweight, and unbeknownst to Dale, she tossed the bottle of lotion in a trash can. Now this man … this man has earned my admiration … when he asked her later where the lotion bottle was, she told him what she had done, and do you know what he said? “I politely said, ‘That’s OK,’ while internally screaming. I couldn’t really tell her and ruin my proposal plan.”
So Dale began saving his money once again, and was finally able to afford yet another engagement ring. Presumably, he carried this one on his person at all times. Last week, on a photo shoot in the Lofoten Islands of Norway, Dale and Karlie were once again taking pictures of the Aurora Borealis when suddenly Dale dropped to one knee and popped the question.
“I was completely blown away as it was the last thing I was expecting at that time. I kept telling Dale to hurry up so we could get a landscape shot instead. After he set up the camera, then to my surprise got down on one knee, I was in shock but of course said, ‘yes!’”
The couple is now officially engaged, though no date has yet been set. “Having to buy two engagement rings means the savings is a little behind!” Dale said. And yes, this may be a case that fulfills my criteria for “romance” … one of the few.
Now for the promised jokes:
Don’t talk to the Parrot
Wanda’s dishwasher was broken, so she called in a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman, ‘I’ll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I’ll mail you a check. Oh, by the way, don’t worry about my dog Spike. He won’t bother you. But, whatever you do, DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot! I MUST STRESS TO YOU: DO NOT TALK TO MY PARROT!”
When the repairman arrived at Wanda’s apartment, he discovered the biggest, meanest looking dog he has ever seen. But, just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet watching the repairman go about his work. The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant yelling, cursing and name calling.
Finally, the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled, ‘Shut up, you stupid, frickin ugly bird!’
To which the parrot replied, ‘Get him, Spike!’
See – Men just don’t listen!
Bob, a 70-year-old, extremely wealthy widower, shows up at the County Club with a breathtakingly beautiful and very sexy 25-year-old blonde-haired woman. With her youthful sex appeal and charm, she hangs on to Bob’s arm and listens intently to his every word. His buddies at the club are all aghast.
At the very first chance, they corner him and ask, “Bob, how’d you get the trophy girlfriend?” Bob replies, “Girlfriend? She’s my wife!” They are surprised but continue to ask—“So, how’d you persuade her to marry you?”
“I lied about my age,” Bob replies.
“What…did you tell her you were only 50”, they asked.
Bob smiles and says, “No, I told her I was 95.”
Alright, folks … you have had some chuckles, a warm-fuzzy moment, and some more chuckles. This is all I can give you to start the morning out, so I hope it was enough to make you forget about that hour of sleep you lost. Time for you to head on out that door, endure the cold arctic temps, and go share that smile with somebody else who is grumpy & grumbly this morning. And might I suggest that if you really feel a need to regain your ‘lost hour’, you go to bed an hour earlier tonight? 😀 (P.S. I am struggling for ideas for Monday morning post titles! If anybody comes up with something catchy and relevant, please let me know!)