Jolly Monday … IT’S AUGUST ALREADY!!!

dino-3Good Monday morn, friends!  Yes, it’s Monday again already, but even worse … do you realize it’s already AUGUST???  The year is 58% over and Hallowe’en 🎃 is just around the corner!  Where … just where did the first seven months of this year go???  The only upside to this is that autumn and cooler temperatures will soon be here.  Normally, I’m sad to see summer go, but this one hasn’t been particularly pleasurable between the pandemic, the heat, and the political angst, so I’m happy enough to say ‘goodbye’ to it.  But enough of that … it’s Monday, the start of a new week, so let’s try to find some humour, something to put a smile on our faces as we brave the new week, shall we?  Grab a snack and a cuppa, and let’s see what awaits us …


If you live in Rhode Island and were expecting a tax refund check, you might be in for a surprise.  Some of the refund checks, mailed last week, bore the signature of Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney, instead of the usual Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and State Controller Peter Keenan!  No, you cannot cash them if you receive one of these … I’d hang onto it, though … it might be worth something someday!


According to Jade Borgeson, chief of staff for the Rhode Island Department of Revenue …

“As a result of a technical error in the Division of Taxation’s automated refund check printing system, approximately 176 checks with invalid signature lines were printed and mailed to taxpayers on Monday. The invalid signature lines were incorrectly sourced from the Division’s test print files. Corrected checks will be reissued to impacted taxpayers within one week.”

Just bein’ helpful …

Brett Longo of Mary Esther, Florida, had taken his trash container to the curb for pickup a few days ago.  A bit later, he got an activity alert from his home security camera telling him the camera had picked up movement.  When he checked the camera, this is what he saw …

dino-1On first glance, it appears one of the two black bears was being nice, bringing his trash container back up to the top of the drive, but then the bear tipped it over and … turns out it hadn’t been emptied by the binmen yet, ‘cause the bear spilled the trash all over the drive!  Longo was forgiving, though …

“He was just bringing it up to the house. He was polite enough to move it out of the driveway.”

Barred from da bar …

A pair of emus were once a staple in the pub in the Yaraka Hotel in Yaraka, Queensland, Australia, but today they are no longer welcome.  Turns out the emus, named Kevin and Carol, have been a bit naughty within the confines of the pub, stealing food from patrons and leaving little ‘gifts’ behind on the floor!

Yaraka-hotelGerry Gimblett, who owns the Yaraka Hotel with her husband Chris, said they were left with no other option after the birds’ recent “bad behaviour”.

“They’ve been stealing things from the guests, especially their food. They’d stick their heads in and pinch toast out of the toaster. But the main reason we’ve banned them is their droppings.”

emudino-4The emus had become a tourist attraction after several eggs were hatched at the end of 2018, and while at one point there were nine emus in town, most had wandered away, leaving only Kevin & Carol.

“We love them as part of the Yaraka community, but they’re not welcome inside anymore.”


Now, I’m not sure how many customers the pub can have in a day, for the entire human population of Yaraka is only 18!

Okay, folks … it’s cartoon time!!!



And two cute critter videos, because the first one is super-short, but ohhhhh so cute!


jollyI see those gorgeous smiles on your faces … be sure to remember to share them today and throughout the week, for times are tough and we all need someone to just smile at us every now and then!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly (Joyful is taking an interior decorating class … she became inspired after re-decorating Roger’s dark tower!)

Oh, and just for you, Hugh …

Jolly Monday — Jolly Is AWOL Again!!!

Good morning friends, and welcome to …monday-1Jolly has gone AWOL yet again, not surprisingly, so I’m on my own here today.  Be patient, for it’s Jolly who adds the zest to Jolly Monday and I only do the technical part as a rule, so I’m a bit rusty on the humour end of it.  I do, however, remember how to make bacon!  That is a big requisite here for a few of you!  So, with that thought, let’s grab a bit of a snack and see if I can manage to rustle up just a bit of humour for us to start this week out on the right foot, okay?


Robert Berger, age 25 of Long Island, New York, was on bail, awaiting sentencing on a pair of vehicle-theft charges.  Berger came up with a perfect plan … roll over and play dead!  He decided to fake his own death certificate, and he might have gotten away with it … if only he could spell!death-certificate

“Upon inspection of the certificate by the NCDA, it was noted that font type and size changed in the document. Additionally, prosecutors observed that the word ‘Registry’ in the department name was misspelled as ‘Regsitry’ in the ‘ISSUED BY’ section,” the Nassau Country District Attorney’s office said.

Now, in addition to his previous legal woes, Berger faces the prospect of up to four years in prison on the felony charge of offering a false instrument for filing. He pleaded not guilty.  Just goes to show … it pays to check and double check your work!

Green Onions in your morning cereal?

Back in 2004, Kellogg’s launched a light-hearted marketing campaign for Chex, a five-grain cereal, asking South Koreans to vote on a new flavour.  The two choices were Chex Choco Empire – chocolate-flavoured Cheki and green onion-flavoured Chaka.

The PR stunt was meant to end in an easy victory for sweet Cheki. But the people of South Korea did not agree.  Votes for Chaka surged past those for Cheki, catching Kellogg’s unawares. Citing multiple votes by individuals, the company halted online voting, threw out duplicate votes and declared Cheki the winner.

Over the past 16 years, Chaka fans have referred to Kellogg’s as an ‘illegitimate tyrant’, and even started a hashtag, #PrayForChex.  Said a spokesperson for Kellogg’s …

“We never expected consumers would be interested in this product for over 16 years. Every time we launched new cereals or had promotional events, online communities would repeatedly ask for the flavour.”

And so, at long last, in June Kellogg’s announced a limited edition to be on the shelves soon!green-onion-cereal

When the company put out a call for taste testers, they received more than 14,200 applications.  One of the testers was Lee Soo-jeong, 24, who voted for Chaka as a child.  When asked her impression, she said …

“The green onion flavour is too mild.”

Now, some of you are probably making a face 🤢 about now, but personally I would try it!  Maybe not with milk and mini-marshmallows, but as a late-night snack, it holds appeal.

NOT politics as usual … but maybe it should be!

Pam Iovino is a state senator in the state of Pennsylvania … a democrat, by the way.  Recently, Ms. Iovino lost her wallet, much to her dismay.  Luckily, her wallet was found, and by probably the last person on earth she would expect … her republican challenger in the upcoming election, Devlin Robinson, a republican!  Robinson posted on Facebook …

“I was happy to return this item, a bit battered by passing traffic, to Pam Iovino. She was thrilled to have it back and I was delighted to help out a fellow veteran. Sometimes, it’s great to put the politics aside. Now, on with the campaign to become the next state senator for the 37th District.”

And Iovino thanked him in her own Facebook post …

“Lost my wallet. Ugh! Luckily my cell phone number was in it. Look who found my wallet. Thanks, Devlin!”

robinson-iovinoNow THAT’S how it should be, folks!  But what a coincidence, eh?

Are you ready for some ‘toons?



And what would Jolly Monday be without a cute critter video?


And that’s a wrap for this week.  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and please do remember to share those smiles as you work your way through the rest of the week.  Things are tough all around these days, and you’d be amazed at how much just a simple smile can help.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and the AWOL Jolly!


Saturday Surprise — Teeny Tiny

The weekend is here at long last … I know you all likely have big plans for the weekend, like … um … well, you can watch the grass as it grows, or … ooh ooh … I know … you can finally wash the walls you’ve been promising yourself you would do for 15 years now!  Chafing at the invisible bonds?  Moi?  Nah, only in jest.  In truth, I’m rather content to stay home.  And … it gives me time to dig up some fun things like I have in store for you today!

Fanni Sandor of Hungary is a miniature artist.  No no … she isn’t teeny-tiny, but her art is teeny-tiny, yet in a huge sort of way!  I’m just confusing the heck out of you now, aren’t I?  I tend to have that effect on people sometimes.  Take a look and you’ll see what I mean …12

See what I mean now?  Look at the detail there … everything just perfect.  Ms. Sandor is a biologist who worked with nature conservation projects until she had children, but now she is a full-time miniaturist.  Sandor started making her first miniatures at the age of 6, but only much later in life did she turn that passion into a profession.

“In my twenties, I saw professional miniaturists’ work for the first time through the internet. I was completely fascinated. I realized there are a lot of miniature lovers who live around the world, and some of them are making miniatures at an artistic level. That was the point when I decided I wanted to be a professional miniaturist and I wanted to make art with my works.”


“I’m used to drawing, painting, and sculpting, so I had the basic skills which are needed for this art form. I practiced a lot until I showed my first new generation of miniature work for an audience. In my work, my most important aim is to produce realistic and detailed representations.”


“The first step of making miniature animals is collecting a lot of pictures of the animal species I want to sculpt. After that, I make a few sketches of the animal. The drawing is very important, because it’s much easier to sculpt if you do some study drawings of the subject. After that, I make the sculpture. For sculpting, I use paper embossing tools and pin ending tools. After baking, I add more details to the sculpture with my carving tools. The next step is painting. It’s very important for me that I paint the finished sculpture very detailed; however, the fur or feather coat will cover the paint. And the last step is the furring or feathering. I attach the fibers or feathers to the body with a strong glue. The legs are made of wire.”


“In 2014, when I thought my miniatures were good enough, I applied for the IGMA Artisan title in the animal figures category, and I got it. (IGMA—International Guild of Miniature Artisans was founded to promote fine miniatures as an art form.) It was a great honor. After two years of hard work, in 2016, I was awarded the IGMA Fellow title (this honor is given to those whose work is the epitome of excellence) and I was over the moon.”


Aren’t these just amazing???  This woman has so much talent … I am in awe.


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, whatever you do!!!

Good People Doing Good Things — Making The World A Little Bit Nicer

Okay, grab your tissues … oh, you’ve run out?  No worries … I always have a spare box … and let’s find some good people to lift our spirits …

box of tissues

Tiny Superhero

Our first good people this week is six-year-old Bridger Walker from Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Bridger and his younger sister were visiting a friend on July 9th, playing in the backyard where there were a couple of dogs.  The friend pointed to one of the dogs and told them that one, a year-old German Shepherd, was mean.  No more were the words out of his mouth than the dog headed straight for Bridger’s sister, fangs bared and ready to attack.

What happened next is what has earned Bridger top billing in this week’s good people post … he stepped in front of his sister, yelled at her to run, and shielded her while the dog attacked him.  And this was the result …bridger-190 stitches later, Bridger is back home and healing, and he has been inundated with well-wishes from celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner and The Hulk in the Avengers movies …


He has also received messages of support from such people as actress Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and others.  Anne Hathaway wrote …

“I’m not an Avenger, but I know a superhero when I see one. I can only hope I’m half as brave in my life as you are in yours, Bridger. Wishing you an easeful recovery, and many cool looking rocks.”


When asked by his aunt what made him step in front of his sister and risk his own life, he replied quite simply …

“If someone was going to die, I thought it should be me.”

This kid is already a ‘good people’ in my book, and a superhero to boot!


Thumbs Up to the Amazon Dude …

Carlos Pagan and his wife, Denise, have a sign posted on their door to let visitors know why they cannot answer the door. Pagan was diagnosed with blood cancer in March and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

They were expecting a package from Amazon, and the driver, Antonio, brought it one day last week, but after reading the note on the door, he turned around and left.  A short time later, he returned, and left this …

antonio-1The note inside the card read …antonio-2And a week later, on a Sunday, Antonio returned again, even though he had no more packages to deliver to Carlos, but merely wanted to check on him and offer words of encouragement.  The two men chatted briefly through the window.antonio-1Antonio told Carlos …

“I want you to know you’re going to be okay and you’re going to be walking soon.”

A small thing, sure, but this is the mark of a good person … one who cares enough to go a little bit out of his way.  And it meant a heck of a lot to Carlos …

“I thanked him and told him it meant a lot to me and he just said he had to do something. For someone that doesn’t even know me, to come to my window and say, ‘In a couple months, you’re going to be okay, you’re going to be up and walking,’ it was just awesome what he did. What he did was absolutely awesome.”

Christmas in July

There is a television station in Savannah, Georgia, WTOC which stands for ‘Welcome To Our Community’, and they live by that motto.  Once a week on the nightly news, they feature a ‘good people’ helping others, helping the community.  Why doesn’t every news station do that?  Anyway, this week’s featured person was about a local farmer, Roy Thompson and his family, who is helping bring good cheer and also good food to the area.

Each year at Christmas the family decorates acres of their farm and welcome people to drive or walk through their winter wonderland, all for the price of a few canned goods for the needy.  Although this is July, it’s hot, and the sun doesn’t set until around 9:00 p.m., the family has strung up much of their annual Christmas light display for people to tour this week.tmt-farmsJust like in the winter, they’re asking visitors to bring canned goods that they’re donating to local food banks.  They know charities have been overrun with requests with many people out of work due to the pandemic.  Says Thompson …

“We actually wanted to do a combination of things. One is the shortage of food at the food banks. The other thing that we started thinking about is giving people someplace to go.”

They thought a drive through the Christmas displays would be a fun distraction for families with so many usual venues and events closed. They turn on the lights at dark – around 9 p.m. in the summer. The Thompsons encourage only one household per vehicle, to reduce any chances of virus exposure and people to stay in the cars and not get out to walk around like they would in December. They’ve collected roughly 2,000 pounds of food so far and will keep the lights burning through Sunday. Their effort to help feed and entertain the community makes them Everyday Heroes.

Thumbs up to the Thompson family, but also to WTOC for sharing good news about good people in their community!

A Hero Critter …

And last, but not least, there is Morocho, the Dogo Argentino, who saved the lives of two young girls.  The girls had climbed a fig tree to pick figs when they saw a puma nearby. They sprinted back to their farm as the puma chased close behind.  Morocho was with them and he fought off the puma as the girls screamed for help. Their father came running and found his beloved dog badly injured and a lifeless puma.morochoOver the next 10 days Morocho was nursed back to health, but he still bears the scars from that day.

Well, there you have it, folks … a lot of good people (and a critter) doing small things that make this world just a little bit nicer place to be.

Jolly Monday — ICE CREAM!!!

I was feeling too sleepy to get out of bed this morning, but then Jolly began jumping … yes jumping on my bed!  Just as I was about to throw something at him, he reminded me that today is a special Jolly Monday and that I must get up.  And so, I dragged my tired old body out of bed … though I think I may have left my brain asleep … and here we are.  What, you ask, makes this a special Jolly Monday?  Well … today we will be celebrating National Ice Cream Day!!!  The day was actually yesterday, but since the entire month of July is National Ice Cream Month, and we don’t do a Jolly Sunday post, we will celebrate belatedly, but with just as much fun!  So, there isn’t any bacon per se, guys, but there is bacon ice cream!!!  Grab a bowl or a cone, whichever you prefer, and come see what cool treats we have in store for you to start this week!

Do you prefer yours in a dish …

Or a cone?

And here’s enough bacon ice cream for Larry, David, rawgod, Larry, and Emily … play nice!


Would you like a burger with that?

With lockdowns and stay-at-home orders throughout the spring, some have put their creative genius to work, it would seem.  The R&D guys at Heinz Foods have been hard at work developing new … flavours … of ice cream.  Yes, you heard me right!  The people who make ketchup have developed their sauces into ice cream flavours.  According to an article in the UK publication, The Mirror

As July is National Ice Cream Month and taking trips to your local ice cream parlour may look a little different, Heinz has launched a selection of DIY ice cream kits. Using a range of Heinz Sauces, you can now make your very own ‘Heinz Creamz’ at home and enjoy a soft serve in the comfort of your own home.

Heinz-ice-creamThe DIY Heinz Creamz kits are £15 each and available now. The kits include the accessories you need to make the no-churn saucy deliciousness, including the sauce of your choice, your chosen recipe, a limited edition keystone-engraved golden scoop and golden spoon plus branded Heinz Creamz reusable tub to serve with extra pizzazz.

Um … somehow … I’m not all that enthused, though I would try a bite of one, perhaps the BBQ Creamz?

Ice Cream graveyard …

Ben & Jerry’s has been the creator of some of the most unique (not to mention yummy) ice cream flavours through the years.  Every now and then, though, they miscalculate and produce one that isn’t all that beloved, so it is retired.  A few of these actually don’t sound bad to me …

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly – Proving that peanut butter and jelly is better suited for a sandwich, Ben & Jerry’s retired this flavour after selling it for just a year – from 1989 to 1990. Heck, it sounded good to me!
  • Wavy Gravy – A flavour made from caramel and cashew brazil nut ice cream, chocolate hazelnut fudge swirl and roasted almonds, Wavy Gravy was sold from 1993 to 2001. Years later, the flavour is still remembered on social media – as one person attempted to start a campaign to bring back the ice cream in 2011.
  • Late Night Snack – An ice cream flavour dedicated to Jimmy Fallon, Late Night Snack was a combination of vanilla ice cream, salted caramel swirls and fudge-covered potato chips and was available from 2010 to 2014.
  • Schweddy Balls – This uniquely-named ice cream was sold in 2011 as a holiday season limited edition flavour. The ice cream, which was made from vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and completed with fudge-covered rum and malt balls, was inspired by SNL’s recurring character Pete Schweddy.
  • Vermonty Python – Vermonty Python was a coffee-liqueur flavoured ice cream made with chocolate cookie crumb swirl and fudge cows.

Actually, none of those sound half bad!  Perhaps they sound better than they tasted.


Political Ice Cream???

Ben & Jerry’s is making a statement about the need for criminal justice reform with the launch of its newest flavour, “Justice ReMix’d”.

ben-jerrysThe company announced in September that it had created the cinnamon and chocolate ice cream, flavoured with gobs of cinnamon bun dough and spicy fudge brownies, to “spotlight structural racism in a broken criminal legal system”. According to the company, the limited-edition flavour is the latest in its commitment to “creating social change” since its inception more than 40 years ago.

“Our approach to creating social change is to raise up the work non-profits are doing on the ground. We bring every resource we have to support them—our business voice, our connection with fans, our Scoop Shop community and of course, ice cream. Somehow, it’s easier to talk about difficult issues over a scoop or two.”

While I’m not sure how much of a difference the ice cream will make, I admire and support any company who is trying to raise awareness for social justice issues.

I’ve got a few fun facts for National Ice Cream Day, too, courtesy of the National Day Calendar folks …

  • Thousands of years ago, people in the Persian Empire put snow in a bowl, poured concentrated grape-juice over it, and ate it as a treat. Even when the weather was hot, they would savor this sweet treat. Their trick? They placed snow in underground chambers known as yakchal where the temperatures kept the snow from melting. The Persians also hiked to the mountain tops by their summer capital to gather snowfall.
  • The Chinese, under the Tang Dynasty around 697 AD, took to freezing dairy with salt and ice. However, the results aren’t exactly the ice cream we enjoy today. Frozen treats and beverages later, culinary folks point to Naples, Italy as the birthplace of the first ice cream. They give credit to Antonio Latini. He was born in 1642 and created a milk-based sorbet.
  • In the United States, the Quaker colonists earn the nod for bringing their ice recipes over with them. They opened the first ice cream shops, including shops in New York and other cities during the colonial era.

Annnnnd … believe it or not, Jolly ‘n Joyful even found some ice cream cartoons!!!

'I'll be back tomorrow for the other twelve flavors.'

'Give me your hand... I ran out of cones.'

It was almost called 'Jerry  Bens' until the famous eat-off of '78,


toon-6toon-7                                           toon-8



And we even found a Maxine ‘toon for Hugh …


And while they were finding the toons, I found not one, but TWO videos of cute animals eating ice cream!

We hope you’ve enjoyed National Ice Cream Day here at Filosofa’s Word.  Remember to share your smiles … and your ice cream too!!!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly, and Joyful!

Saturday Surprise — It’s A Surprise!

Good morning my friends and welcome!  Have you noticed that weekends aren’t quite what they used to be?  Even so, though, we will celebrate the beginning of the weekend in style this morning, and with hopes that this weekend will bring joy in one form or another.  For me, it means that at least I don’t have to cook, for daughter Chris cooks on Saturday night, and Miss Goose on Sunday, so I do get a break.

The folks at the San Antonio Zoo in Texas did not waste their time while the zoo has been closed due to the pandemic!  These folks played with Lego building blocks!  Take a look at some of the things they built …





mantisAmazing, aren’t they?  I used to build with Lincoln Logs when I was a kid, and managed to do a windowless log cabin a time or two, but that was the extent of it for me!  This Lego zoo is awesome, and … the icing on the cake is that you don’t have to mingle and mix, but you can see all the Lego-critters from your car as you drive through.





butterflyThe “Wild Connections” exhibition of animal sculptures was created by famous New York artist Sean Kenney, who is also a certified Lego professional. Who knew there was such a thing as a ‘certified Lego professional’???  These animals are entirely made from Lego bricks and will be on display until September 5th. The exhibition features over 30 LEGO sculptures, created with more than three million LEGO pieces, of animals like pandas, lemurs, tortoises, birds like peacocks and bald eagles, and even insects like bees and butterflies.





dragonflyEach sculpture is unique and took a lot of time and patience to make. For example, the sculpture of baby pandas took 405 hours to make and the artist used 53,460 bricks to build it, whereas the sculpture of a bald eagle took 184 hours and 42,198 bricks to build. It’s good to know that artists like Sean Kenney used the global lockdown to create and shed some light in these uneasy times!





calfSays Tim Morrow, President and CEO of the San Antonio Zoo …

“LEGO bricks have been a large part of many childhoods sparking curiosity, ingenuity, and creativity. Now they can be experienced larger than life, in nature by families visiting the zoo. These giant plants, animals, and bugs are the perfect complement to a zoo visit.”






I hope you enjoyed seeing these amazing creations!  Hopefully, by next summer, we can see the animals up close and in person, but for now, aren’t these grand?

Have a fun weekend, whatever you do!

Good People Doing Good Things —

Okay, folks, it’s Wednesday morning and you know what that means … get your tissues ready …

box of tissues

The right kind of cop …

Police lately have been coming under a lot of fire, much of it warranted.  But, we need to remember that not all cops are racists who would just as soon shoot a black man as not.  There are genuinely good police officers out there, and I just happened to find one who I think you’ll agree, has a good heart.

Brownie Lyons and her husband were driving around Lake City, Florida, one day earlier this month, when they saw Corporal Shane Foote of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office removing a chair from his cruiser.  On the grass nearby sat a homeless man.  Next, Officer Foote removed a large Chick-Fil-A bag and walked over to the homeless man, unfolded his chair, and sat down while the two shared a meal and conversation.

Ms. Lyons was so touched that she snapped a photo and put it on Facebook for all to see …

I do not know the officer, and personally it doesn’t matter if he’s in law enforcement or not. I wanted to show that there are people who do good things and not always for recognition.”

Officer-Shane-FooteWhat Officer Foote did was a small thing, sure … probably cost him $10 and a half hour of his time … but you know it meant a lot to that homeless man that he took the time to sit down and share a meal with him.

An aside … when Ms. Lyons’ son saw the photo, he realized he had gone to school with Officer Foote and said that was exactly the sort of thing he always did …

“Shane all day everyday!”

Feeding those in need …

In Kandivali, India, Heena Mandavia and her son, Harsh, run a successful delivery kitchen.  Well, that is to say that they did, until the coronavirus took a toll on business.  As they contemplated closing their kitchen earlier this year, their mission suddenly became clear, says Harsh …

“A few months ago one of our regular customers, Abhinav Chaudhary, wished to donate money for feeding 100 people, but he asked me to find the needy people and feed them since he didn’t want to risk going out due to coronavirus risk. So, after doing some research, I found a place outside a Gurudwara where we did the first round of feeding 100 poor people with a full meal consisting of roti, sabzi, dal and rice.”

Heena-HarshHeena and Harsh have been feeding the hungry in their community ever since.  To date, they have served over 5,000 meals to the needy, and the donations just keep coming in …

“It all began when I put up an appreciation post on my social media regarding the first food donation activity. And after that people started donating money online from all over India. In the first two days, we received Rs.11000 and then we started feeding the needy on a daily basis. I kept posting pictures and videos of the food donation drive every week and donations kept pouring in. In 49 days, we reached Rs 3.2 lakhs from five countries.”

Rs 3.2 lakhs is the equivalent of about $4,245, or £3,376.

Certainly, Heena and Harsh are good people, spending their days cooking for those in need, asking nothing in return, but so are all those people who are donating to the cause.

Update on an old good person …

Every now and then, I get an update on a ‘good people’ I’ve previously written about, and this week I came across one such update.  In April 2018, I wrote about Chad Houser, a top chef and restaurant owner in Dallas, Texas, who started a culinary program to train young men who were being released from juvenile facilities.  He started Café Momentum, a non-profit restaurant that provides employment, educational support and career counseling to these young people.  When I wrote the 2018 post, the restaurant was ranked the third best in all of Dallas!  So, let’s see what Chad is up to today …

Due to the pandemic, Houser temporarily closed the restaurant and with the help of his program participants, turned the space into an emergency food distribution center.

“We refocused the mission really, by listening to the community. We received a lot of calls from folks asking for help in specifically feeding food insecure students that were dependent upon school meals for their basic nutritional needs.”

Since March, Houser’s program participants have been putting together boxes filled with food items. They donate the boxes to a local school district that is distributing them to students in need. These efforts also allow Houser and his team to continue assisting the young men and women in their program.

“So much that we focus on as an organization is to provide … a stable and consistent ecosystem of support. It has also continued to provide income for them. When we have millions of people filing for unemployment, it’s one less issue that they have to deal with.  They’re doing a tremendous job stepping up to the plate during this time of crisis. So many of them have gone to the schools that the meals are going to. They’ve lived in the neighborhoods that the meals are going to. And it’s a full circle opportunity for them.”

A round of applause for this man and the young people he is helping to help others!

A critter saves lives …

Fifteen months ago, Jeff LeCates of Franklin, Tennessee, adopted 2-year-old Roux, a Belgian Malinois, from a rescue shelter.  On Saturday night, the 4th of July, Roux woke Jeff with frantic barking, and when Jeff got up to see what was wrong, Roux flew to the front door, continuing to bark incessantly.  Jeff opened the door, and when Roux went flying out, Jeff followed.  To his horror, he saw that his neighbor’s house was on fire!

RouxLeCates immediately pounded on their door, waking the family of three and their pets, who escaped unharmed.  He used a garden hose on the fire until firefighters arrived.  Not surprisingly, Fire Marshall Andy King said fireworks caused the fire.  Hats off to Roux, who most likely saved the lives of that family!

And that’s a wrap for this week, folks, but I’ll be back with more good people next week!  Meanwhile, let’s all be good people this week, even if its something as simple as baking cookies and sharing them with someone who could use cheering.

A Jolly & Joyful Monday!

Good Monday morning, friends!  Come in out of the cold heat!  So, how was your weekend?  In most parts of the U.S., it’s been putrid hot with little rain, and in most parts of the UK it’s been rainy and chilly.  If only we could blend the two, then we’d all have perfect weather!  Well, it’s the start of a new week, so let’s get this show on the road and start the week with some fun things, shall we?  But first, Joyful is back in the kitchen today, whipping up a few treats, so grab a snack and the beverage of your choice! (Sorry, guys … only one plate of bacon … you’ll have to share this week!  Larry … I’m watching you!  You too, David!)

bacon               food-devilled eggs


Every now and then, I like to take a look at the ‘Amazing Fact Generator’ on the Mental Floss website, so let’s start with a few fun facts:

  • The annual number of worldwide shark bites is 10 times less than the number of people bitten by other people in New York. Seriously???  I’ve lived in New York and never once been bitten by either a shark or another person!
  • Ironically, the only member of ZZ Top without a beard has the last name Beard.
  • The 1967 Outer Space Treaty forbids any nation from trying to own the Moon. I’m biting my tongue here …
  • Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone in 1876, suggested answering calls with “ahoy.” A wanna-be pirate, perhaps?
  • The Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships are held in Finland. A recent winner said he prepared for the event by “mainly drinking.” Who knew?

See, now you’ve learned some new things!  Jolly Monday can be educational, as well as fun!

Define “emergency” please …

I’ve written before about people calling the emergency number (911 in the US, 999 in the UK) for things that … well, just weren’t real emergencies.  Here’s another one …

The West Yorkshire Police Contact Management Center said a call came in recently to the 999 emergency number to report their new appliance had been delivered to the wrong address!  Now what thinking person calls the police for this?  Why not call the store, or the delivery service?  And just what did they suppose the police could do?  I can picture it now … a bobby is putting the handcuffs on a man he just caught robbing a woman in a convenience store when the call comes through …

“Officer Holmes … do you read?  Drop everything and get to 11420 Sycamore Street … we have a missing freezer case!”

My favourite, though, was the one I wrote about back in April, of the  person, again in the UK, who called 999 to report her neighbor was snoring too loudly!

Now here’s a new one that I bet is a first! 

Wynn Hall, a farmer in Exeter, Nebraska, started the process of draining a pond on his property, which is used for pumping waters off his fields.  When he checked on it the following morning, he noticed a rather large object stuck in the mud.  He assumed it to be a some sort household appliance.

“I thought who would throw a refrigerator or a stove and put it in the pond, in fact, the deepest part of the pond in fact…why would that be down there? I took a picture and zoomed in on it and thought, ‘That looks like an ATM!'”

And indeed, it was.  The farmer said he doesn’t know how long the ATM was in his pond, since he didn’t drain it last year, but it didn’t appear to have been in the water for more than a few weeks. Hall contacted the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office, which sent a team to haul the ATM away. He said deputies told him an ATM had recently been stolen in the area.

Are you in the mood for some ‘toons?


Now, I’ve got two animal videos for you today, ‘cause one is super-short, but this ticklish chicken is guaranteed to make you laugh!

And here are some of the most adorable polar bear cubs you’ll ever see!

Well, folks, I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you this morning, but sadly … my laundry awaits, as do your daily duties, so I leave you with one last thought … share those smiles, spread them around for others to enjoy.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa ‘n Jolly ‘n Joyful!

jollyJollys girlfriend JoyfulMonday-basket-smiles

Saturday Surprise — Short, Fun Critter Tales

I almost skipped Saturday Surprise this week, for I had another political post ready to go for this morning and really couldn’t seem to get in the mood for anything light-hearted and fun.  And then, something crossed my radar that led to something else, and before long I realized there was something not quite right with my face … the corners of my mouth were turned up instead of down … I was actually smiling!  And thus came the idea for Saturday Surprise that had eluded me earlier in the evening.  So, get ready to smile at these very short, but fun critter tales …

Big cats are kitties too

ArwenJill Hicks was driving home from work when she saw what she thought was a cat run towards the road. Worried that it was alone, she scooped up the little “kitten” and took her home.  After making “Arwen” a cozy bed, she posted a picture on Facebook, asking if anyone would adopt the “bobtail kitten.” It didn’t take long before her neighbor helped her realize that it wasn’t just a kitten with a bobtail, it was actually a bobcat. “Thank the lord for her because I sure was about to put that baby in the sink and give it a bath and put it in bed with me!” Hicks joked on Facebook. Hicks took the soon-to-be-much-bigger kitty to a wildlife rescue who cared for her until she could be released into the wild.

And speaking of big cats …

mr-bMeet Mr. B.  Mr. B. is a big cat, but not a bobcat, leopard, panther, tiger or other wild cat, he’s just a big cat.  My best guess, knowing a bit about felines, is that he is a Maine Coon cat.

“OMG, big boi Mr. B is a CHONK. He’s a chonk of a chonk. He redefines the term. Can you guess how much he weighs? More importantly, can you give him a home?”

When the Morris Animal Refuge posted the above message, alongside a picture of said Mr. B., they were unprepared for how viral the big boy would go. So many people were touched by the massive cat and wanted more information about adopting him that he crashed the shelter’s website. “Mr. B. apologizes for crashing our website. We have our team working to get it back up as we speak. Unfortunately, they’re all cats, so it may take a little while,” they wrote. Happily, he’s since found his forever home.

A deer who is a real dear

It almost sounds like the opening to a fairytale: A lonely old woman who lives in a secluded cabin in the woods is visited every day by a magnificent stag who rewards her for her unselfish deeds. But this is 100 percent real life!deer-1Mette Kvam, 81, of Norway, had recently suffered the loss of her husband and was trying to adjust to living alone when one day she noticed a deer at her window. She fed him a piece of bread and immediately a friendship was born. “Flippen” now comes to visit her daily. She makes sure to always keep his favorite bread on hand and he keeps her company. She says he has saved her from loneliness and she loves nothing more than to feed and visit with him.

And speaking of animal buddies …

Buzz-1Tough, tattooed, and burly, Mark Cardenaz is probably the last person you’d describe as “Dr. Doolittle” but that’s exactly how friends describe the ex SWAT officer. So, no one was surprised when he took in an injured hummingbird he found on his back porch, nursing “Buzz” back to health with Pedialyte and sugar for six weeks. But that’s not where the story ends. After he released Buzz back into the wild he thought he’d never see his little buddy again but every year the bird flies from South America back to Cardenaz’s home in Georgia and lands in his hand. This year, Cardenaz worried something had happened when Buzz didn’t show up at his usual time but several weeks later, there he was, flitting around his head and begging for pets.

Seeing-eye cat?

After Terfel, an eight-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever in North Wales, U.K., developed cataracts in 2012, he began to bump into walls and furniture. Soon enough, the once-energetic dog was spending most of his time in his dog bed, unable to find his way around.

TerfelOn a whim, Terfel’s owner Judy Godfrey-Brown let a stray cat, whom she named Pwditat (pronounced Puddy-tat), into her home. The feline made a beeline for the blind dog and began using its paws and head to herd Terfel into the garden. Now the unlikely friends sleep together, and Pwditat helps Terfel find his way everywhere.

An inseparable bond

toldoA sprig of acacia, paper towels, and a plastic cup are just a few of the gifts that Toldo, a devoted gray-and-white cat, has placed on his former owner Iozzelli Renzo’s grave in Montagnana, Italy, every day since the man died. Renzo adopted Toldo from a shelter when the cat was three months old, and the two formed an inseparable bond. After Renzo passed away, Toldo followed the coffin to the cemetery, and now “stands guard” at the grave for hours at a time, says Renzo’s family.

Now to wrap up with a cute animal video about a baby squirrel who adopted a human family …

I hope that at least one of these stories, all of which, except the video, came from Readers Digest, by the way, has brought a smile to your face this morning.  And now, as I bid you adieu, I wish you a fun and happy weekend!

Good People Doing Good Things — Young, Old, Feline …

I always delight in bringing you good people who are just starting out in life, the young people who see a need and jump in to meet it.  These are the people who will lead us into the future.  Daniel Grant and Max Caponigro are two such young people, both ten years old, and both with hearts of gold.Daniel-MaxThey wanted to do something to help others during the lockdown. Living next door to a food pantry, they boys decided to raise money to help feed the hungry in their community.

“I live next door to the food pantry, so we see it every day. We know people don’t have enough food and we wanted to help.”

So, what did Daniel and Max decide to do to raise money?  They decided to make homemade dog treats and sell them to dog owners, of course!  So, they have spent the last few months mixing flour, butter, bacon bits, chicken stock and other ingredients into the perfect dog treat that they have been selling and delivering to local dog owners.

When the boys first came up with the idea, Max’s mom, Sue Caponigro, put a note in a neighborhood group chat asking if anyone was interested in buying a bag.

“A lot of people have dogs in my neighborhood and almost everybody with a dog bought one.”

Even people without dogs bought the treats and asked the boys to donate them to a local animal shelter (still more good people!).

So far, Daniel and Max have donated more than $400 to Milton Food Pantry.  Not a lot of money, perhaps, but a heck of a lot of heart.  Way to go, Daniel and Max!!!

Sometimes being a good people is as simple as showing appreciation.  And that is just what residents of a Miami Beach neighborhood did last week.  Now, there are few jobs I would find less desirable than being a sanitation worker, or ‘trash man’, especially in this, the era of the coronavirus.  The men and women who collect your trash each week are heroic, for they are exposed to not only the coronavirus, but nearly every germ known to humankind, and some that aren’t.  But, they do their job day in and day out.

Saul Scruggs and Keon Richardson are two of the sanitation workers who pick up the rubbish in Miami Beach, and last week they got a big surprise!  Residents of North Bay road gathered early Friday morning with signs and gifts as they waited for Saul and Keon to arrive …trash-1The neighbors held a celebration of gratitude fit for the essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Even Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber was there to celebrate Scruggs and Richardson.  Said residents …

“We’re here to celebrate our two sanitation workers who just really make our day brighter every day when we see them.”

“They do so much more than pick up our trash. What is particularly special about these two men is the positive energy that they bring with them. They always have smiles … If you know them, you love them!”

Mayor Gelber honored Scruggs and Richardson with a special declaration of appreciation.trash-2Again, a small thing, but those two men appreciated it.  Sometimes the simplest things mean so very much.

This story is one of those where one good deed inspired another. Rosario Del Real, known as Don Rosario, is a 70-year-old local paleta (Mexican popsicles, or as my Brit friends know them, ice lollies) vendor who sells throughout the south east side of Chicago.

On Father’s Day last month, while other men were spending the day with their families, Don Rosario was pushing his cart, selling his paletas to earn a living.  A few local dads, including Oscar Gonzalez and Victor Dominguez, were hosting a barbeque and invited Rosario to drop by.  He did, planning to stay only a few minutes, perhaps to sell a few paletas, for there was work to be done.  But he was in for a surprise, for three of the men got together and bought Rosario’s entire stock of paletas so that he could have the rest of the day off to spend with his own family!  Don Rosario was so moved that he broke into tears at the kindness of these men.Don-RosarioNow, that story was heartwarming enough to earn a spot on this post, but it gets even better!

The next day, one of the men, Michaelangelo Mosqueda, posted a video they had recorded on TikTok, where it was quite a hit.  As the video went viral, Mosqueda got an idea.  You see, Don Rosario had been working as a carpenter until an injury put an end to that, which is why he was pushing a paleta cart through the streets of Chicago.  At age 70, that’s not an easy way to make a living!  So, Mosqueda set up a GoFundMe page to see if they could get $10,000 to help Rosario out a bit.  Within days, generous people had donated more than $40,000, and today, three-and-a-half weeks after the start, the fund has $62,567 … enough for Don Rosario to hang up his street cart and retire!

Often, I am not a fan of social media, although I do use both Facebook and Twitter.  But there are times when it can work wonders by spreading news and bringing people together to help someone.  And in so many cases, people will rise to the occasion, as they did here.

On occasion, I like to end the ‘good people’ post with good critters helping others.  For today’s ‘good critter’ portion, I suggest you grab your box of tissues … I needed mine last night when I wrote this.

Now, this actually happened in Brooklyn in 1996, although it was in a recent issue of a website where I get some of my ideas for good people posts.  But it is still a good story.  Scarlett was a cat, mother of five kittens.  On March 30, 1996, Scarlett and her five kittens were in an abandoned garage in Brooklyn when a fire started from undetermined causes.  When firefighters arrived, they noticed Scarlett coming out of the burning building carrying a kitten.  Then she went back in and came out with yet another kitten.  All in all, Scarlett made five trips into the garage and rescued all five kittens!ScarlettOnce the fire was out, firefighters rushed Scarlett and the kittens to the nearest veterinary hospital.  According to firefighter David Giannelli …

“Scarlett herself had been severely burned in the process of pulling her kittens from the fire. Her eyes were blistered shut, her ears and paws burned, and her coat highly singed. The majority of her facial hair had been burnt away. After saving the kittens she was seen to touch each of her kittens with her nose to ensure they were all there and alive, as the blisters on her eyes kept her from being able to see them, and then she collapsed unconscious.”

The weakest of the kittens, the white one in the middle, died of a virus a month after the fire. However, after three months of treatment and recovery, Scarlett and her surviving kittens were well enough to be adopted.

Scarlett’s incredible story inspired the North Shore Animal League to create the “Scarlett Award for Animal Heroism” which are presented to one deserving cat at their annual Lewyt Humane Awards Luncheon.

Just goes to show, there are good people … and critters … in this world.  Don’t let anybody tell you differently!