Filosofa Reflects …

snap-crackle-popYou all remember Snap, Crackle and Pop of Rice Krispies fame?  Last night, after working for a few hours on emails, posts, comments, etc., I stood to refill my coffee cup, and I distinctly heard those three characters … in my knees.  And hips.  And feet.  What the …???  It’s likely not the first time I had heard this cacophony of sounds, but … perhaps the first time it penetrated the fog that surround my brain and allowed me to realize that sound was coming, not from a box of cereal, but from ME!  Yes, those were my body parts crackling, snapping, and popping!  What can this possibly mean???  OH NO!!! 

I’m OLD!!!old-shocked

Seriously, though … there comes a point in our lives where we look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “who is that?”  Or, “how did I get to this point, and where have the years gone?”

At this point, once we accept that we are no longer 30 years old, and no longer have the world on a string, we reflect.  We look back on the years and ask ourselves some tough questions.  Was I a good person?  If there is a scorecard, did I give more than I took?  Did my life have purpose, in the grand scheme of things?  What was my single greatest achievement in life?  What was my worst mistake, and did I atone for it in some way?  And the real kicker … if I had it to do over again, what would I do differently?

Thing is, though, that the answers on Tuesday might be entirely different from the answers on Friday.  Take that first question, for example.  “Was I a good person?”  Well, first of all, define “good”.  There was the time that I threatened to beat a lady with a shovel for taking too long checking out at a local market.  I wasn’t very good that day.  But then, there was the time that I gave a family $1,000 that was most of my own bank account at Christmas to buy gifts for their children.  Does one outweigh or offset the other?

And, about that “single greatest achievement in life” … is it my children?  Well, one child now.  That one child is making a difference in the world every day.  She is a nurse, and one who entered the field because she wanted to help people, to dedicate her life to others.  I gave birth to her, taught her all of life’s important lessons, taught her to think for herself.  Do I get a brownie point for that?  No, I think that point belongs on her scorecard.

I spent some 30 years as an accountant … more than once, I compared the field of accounting to a career in prostitution, reckoning that the most successful accountants sold their souls upriver.  Twice during my career, I quit jobs rather than break the law or sacrifice my integrity.  Does that make me a good person?  Doubtful, as somebody else simply stepped in to do the dirty work.

On to another question, then.  Did I give more than I took?  This one is easy … or is it?  I think that yes, I did, but then … did I really?  I first thought the answer was a resounding “yes”, but then … I look around.  I have given small amounts from time to time to a variety of humanitarian organizations, but … I have also lived a life of convenience.  It is snowing outside, and my heat is set at a comfortable 72°.  I have a refrigerator and freezer full of food, a chicken is simmering in the crock pot, and quite literally, I want for nothing.  Or at least nothing that money can buy.  I am not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but neither am I suffering.  I spent $89 at the grocery today, $10 of which was for a bottle of wine to help me relax enough to sleep at night, and $5 of which was to purchase the aforementioned chicken.  Some people are living on $25 or less for a week.  More to the point, perhaps, some people would not see a chicken killed for their own pleasure, so here again, I fail.

So, at the end of the day, I could compare myself to some and be seen as a good person, or to others and be seen as a total dud, a failure.  So, the question really is, I think, whether we, each and every one of us, believe we did our best, gave our all.  For me, I am not proud of all the times I have put self ahead of the greater good, but neither will I kick myself for the times I have failed, for through failure I have learned.

As we get older, as we come to realized that our lives are on the downhill side, we ask ourselves the questions, we contemplate whether we might have done more … and I think that we will, if we are honest with ourselves, come up lacking.  But you know what?  I think that just the fact we take the time to ask the questions, to look back, to assess and analyze, says something about our character.  I hope that at the end of the day, more people will remember me with a smile than with a scowl.

Ghosts, Goblins & Witches ‘Round the Globe … Redux

This was my Hallowe’en post back in 2016 … little did I know then just how scary things were about to get!  I’ve added a few pictures since the original version, and I hope you’ll enjoy seeing some traditions from other countries and cultures!   

 

halloween-3Here in the U.S., our Hallowe’en traditions hail back to Ireland, which is widely considered to be where Hallowe’en originated.  The Irish celebrate much as we do here, with children dressing up to go trick-or-treating for candy, parties with games such as bobbing for apples, bonfires, etc.  A traditional food eaten on Hallowe’en is barnbrack, a kind of fruitcake that can be bought in stores or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake that, it is said, can foretell the eater’s future. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means that a prosperous year is on its way.halloween-2

So, let us take a look at what they do in some other countries around the globe:


Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead):

dia-1In Mexico, Latin America and Spain, All Souls’ Day, which takes place on November 2, is commemorated with a three-day celebration that begins on the evening of October 31. The celebration is designed to honor the dead who, it is believed, return to their earthly homes on Hallowe’en. Many families construct an altar to the dead in their homes to honor deceased relatives and decorate it with candy, flowers, photographs, samples of the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks, and fresh water. Often, a wash basin and towel are left out so that the spirit can wash before indulging in the feast.

dia-2Día de los Muertos festivities often feature breads, candies and other foods in the shape of skulls and skeletons. Candles and incense are burned to help the deceased find their way home. Relatives also tidy the gravesites of their departed family members. This can include snipping weeds, making repairs, and painting. The grave is then decorated with flowers, wreaths, or paper streamers. On November 2, relatives gather at the gravesite to picnic and reminisce. Some gatherings even include tequila and a mariachi band.mariachi


Guy Fawkes Day

guy-1On the evening of November 5, bonfires are lit throughout England. Effigies are burned and fireworks are set off. Although it falls around the same time and has some similar traditions, this celebration has little to do with Hallowe’en or the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The English, for the most part, stopped celebrating Hallowe’en as Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation began to spread. As followers of the new religion did not believe in saints, they had no reason to celebrate the eve of All Saints’ Day. However, a new autumn ritual did emerge. Guy Fawkes Day festivities were designed to commemorate the execution of a notorious English traitor, Guy Fawkes.

guy-2On November 5, 1606, Fawkes was executed after being convicted of attempting to blow up England’s parliament building. Fawkes was a member of a Catholic group who wanted to remove the Protestant King James from power. The original Guy Fawkes Day was celebrated right after his execution. The first bonfires, which were called “bone fires,” were set up to burn effigies and symbolic “bones” of the Catholic pope. It was not until two centuries later that effigies of the pope were replaced with those of Guy Fawkes. In addition to making effigies to be burned in the fires, children in some parts of England also walk the streets carrying an effigy or “guy” and ask for “a penny for the guy,” although they keep the money for themselves. This is as close to the American practice of “trick-or-treating” as can be found in England today. Guy Fawkes Day was even celebrated by the pilgrims at the first settlement at Plymouth. However, as the young nation began to develop its own history, Guy Fawkes was celebrated less frequently and eventually died out.


Teng Chieh

teng-1In China, the Hallowe’en festival is known as Teng Chieh. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family members who have departed while bonfires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night. Worshipers in Buddhist temples fashion “boats of the law” from paper, some of which are very large, which are then burned in the evening hours. The purpose of this custom is twofold: as a remembrance of the dead and in order to free the spirits of the “pretas” in order that they might ascend to heaven. “Pretas” are the spirits of those who died as a result of an accident or drowning and whose bodies were consequently never buried. The presence of “pretas” among the living is thought by the Chinese to be dangerous. Under the guidance of Buddhist temples, societies are formed to carry out ceremonies for the “pretas,” which includes the lighting of lanterns. Monks are invited to recite sacred verses and offerings of fruit are presented.


Yue Lan

yueThe Halloween celebration in Hong Kong is known as “Yue Lan” (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts) and is a time when it is believed that spirits roam the world for twenty-four hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money at this time, believing these images would reach the spirit world and bring comfort to the ghosts. Fires are lit and food and gifts are offered to placate potentially angry ghosts who might be looking for revenge.


austriaAustria: Austria has a Pumpkin Festival in Retzer Land called Kürbisfest im Retzer Land. On November 11, Austria celebrates Martini which includes costumes and a lantern procession. Some people in Austria believe that if they leave bread, water, and a lighted lamp out, dead souls will be welcomed back to earth for that night.


Belgium: In Belgium some villages celebrate Hallowe’en while other villages focus on celebrating All Saints’ Day. On Hallowe’en night, a Belgian may be found lighting a candle in memory of a dead relative.

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Germany: Hallowe’en auf Deutsch became popular in the 1990s. People start to decorate around mid-October and use Hallowe’en as a party theme. On November 11, Germans celebrate Matinstag which includes costumes and a lantern procession.

sweden


Sweden: In Sweden, Hallowe’en is known as “Alla Helgons Dag” and is celebrated from October 31 until November 6. As with many other holidays, “Alla Helgons Dag” has an eve which is either celebrated or becomes a shortened working day. The Friday prior to All Saint’s Day is a short day for universities while school-age children are given a day of vacation.


HalloweenWell, that is all I could come up with for today.  I will likely do another Hallowe’en post sometime between now and Hallowe’en.  Those readers who live outside the U.S., please feel free to share traditions and celebrations in your country by leaving a comment.  Thanks to all for giving me this opportunity to take a brief break from you-know-who!  I can breathe again!  Have a safe and fun Hallowe’en!

Maxine-halloween

Jolly M-M-Monday!!!

Good Monday morning, my friends, and welcome!  Please overlook the messy house … with the air-conditioning out this weekend, I haven’t felt like doing much to the house.  How was your weekend?  I didn’t bake for you this morning, again because the house is hot and muggy, but Jolly dug up a few things, and we made sure to remember Benjamin’s donut with sprinkles and juice box!  And rawgod’s tea.  And even Larry’s bacon!  So, grab a bite and let’s find some fun stuff to start our week off with a laugh or two, shall we?

 

 

Larry's bacon

Sorry, Larry, you’ll have to cook it yourself, for it’s too hot to have the oven on!

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Polite intruders …

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find a stranger cooking himself breakfast in your kitchen.  It happened in Safety Harbour, Florida, about 15 miles from Tampa Bay.  The residents of the house woke to the smell of breakfast, and when they went to the kitchen to investigate, there was a man, Gavin Crim, cooking himself a nice little breakfast.  He was polite … told the owners to go on back to sleep, he’d clean up after himself.

Apparently, conscientious burglars were a bit of a thing in Florida last week: On Monday, a woman in Pensicola returned home to discover a man holding a purple Swiffer mop and attempting to clean up her house.

Shortly after 3:00 a.m., police responded to a call from a woman claiming a strange man was in the house. The woman, who requested anonymity, said she had barricaded herself in a back room.

When officers arrived, they found Tyler Matthew Smith still holding a Swiffer. Apparently Smith, 33, had already swept up glass he broke to get into the home into a dustpan. “It appeared Smith had attempted to clean up the mess,” reads the Pensacola Police Department report.  Okay, well … I guess it pays to be polite if you’re in somebody else’s home, right?


Some pricey sneakers!

What did you pay for your last pair of sneakers?  I’m a frugal person, and it nearly killed me to replace my old ones back in July 2018 … after all, I had only had them for 6 or 7 years, but they were holey and the sole had come loose on one, which meant I was in danger of falling flat on my face.  But, when I found a new pair of Reeboks that I thought would meet my needs, I nearly had heart failure seeing the price tag of $48.19!!!  I think the pair before that cost only around $29!  I mean … it’s shoes, not a new computer!!!  To add insult to injury, I’m not all that happy with them, but … they are going to have to last for the rest of my life at that price!  Anyway …

Sotheby’s auction house and retailer Stadium Goods have paired up in an online auction of … the world’s rarest sneakers!  Now, before you get all excited and think about owning a pair of these gems, check the status of your bank balance, and if it isn’t at least 5 digits, don’t bother.  Take a gander at this one, for example …

Nike-moon-shoe

This is the Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoe, a handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, and one of only a few pair in existence.  These are expected to fetch around $160,000 at auction.  Pick your jaws up off the floor now.  Or how about these …shoes-2

They are the Nike SB Dunk Low with artwork by French painter Bernard Buffet.  Um, okay, but if you bought those and paid say even a lowball $50,000 for them, could you really bring yourself to wear them out walking, or even to the grocery store?

Now these …

shoes-3

… are the once-fictional sneaker worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part 2. Nike released only 26 pairs of the 2016 self-lacing version, the proceeds of which benefited the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Due to the power-lacing feature and extreme rarity, a size 11 pair up for auction is estimated to sell for up to $70,000.  Self-lacing???  Who knew?

Marty-McFly

These are more to my liking …

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The “Chanel x Pharrell x Adidas NMD Hu TR – 1-of-1 for Karl Lagerfeld” is said to be one of the most coveted models in the collection.  It was released only at a special Chanel pop-up shop at Colette in Paris in extremely limited quantities, but this shoe is even more special. It features a modified design that replaces “Chanel” across the top of the right shoe with “Karl” and was given exclusively to Karl Lagerfeld as a gift from Pharrell.  Sorry folks, but no, I am definitely not paying $50,000 for a pair of shoes to slog through the mud in!

As I say at least 10 times a week … Some people got more money than sense.


Cheers for Governor Sununu!

Wendy Auger of Rochester, New Hampshire, has had the same vanity license plate for some 15 years now.  It reads “PB4WEGO”.  Suddenly this year, Wendy got a ‘recall letter’ from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, asking her to turn in her plates for new ones.  Why?  Because apparently, after 15 years, somebody figured out what her license plate says and decided they “do not conform to legal requirements”.  Why?  Because the state says phrases related to “excretory acts” aren’t permitted.  Oh for Pete’s Sake!!!  Has the State of New Hampshire nothing better to worry about?PB4WEGO“I’m not a political activist. But this is a non-offensive thing that I’ve had and it’s part of who we are as a family and who I am and there was zero reason for them to take it away.”

Well, Ms. Auger’s story somehow came to the attention of New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who rallied to the cause!  According to the governor …

“Upon this being brought to my attention, I reached out to the Division of Motor Vehicles and strongly urged them to allow Wendy to keep the license plate she has had for the last 15 years.  I recently left a message on her phone to share the good news that her plate will not be recalled.”

What a nice governor … don’t you just wish all politicos were like that?


And speaking of license plates …

In Australia, starting this year, drivers can get license plates with emojis!  😄 😉 😎 😍 ☺️ Plates will still need three letters and two numbers, as the emojis will not be included in official registration numbers. However drivers can decorate them with one of five decorative emojis — “laugh out loud,” “wink,” “sunglasses,” “heart eyes” or “smile” — for up to AU$500 ($350).

emoji-plateemoji-plate-2emoji-plate-3emoji-plate-4


I was looking for a few knock-knock jokes to knock you guys out with, but first … I came across this one …

Two country dudes are walking down a dirt path. One man has a big sack over his shoulder. The other man asks what’s in the sack.

The first man says, “I got me some chickens for dinner tonight.”

The other man asks how many chickens are in the sack.

“Well, I’ll tell you,” replies the first guy, “If you can guess how many chickens I got in this here sack, I’ll give them both to you.”

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Or how ‘bout this one …

A blonde goes to the library to get a book. A few days later, she comes back and says to librarian at the counter, “This book was very boring. It had too many characters and too many numbers, so I would like to return it.”

The librarian says to her coworkers, “So here’s the person who took our phone book!”

😁😁😁😁😁

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Spell.

Spell who?

Okay, okay: W. H. O.

knock-knock

Okay, okay … stop rolling your eyes!!!  🙄


And last, but not least, if it’s Jolly Monday, then there must be a cute animal video somewhere, mustn’t there?  Now … where did I put that … JOLLY!!! Where’s that animal video you found last … oh … yeah … here it is …


jollyWell, folks, it’s that time again … time to put on your workweek smiles and go do things to make other people happy so that they will give you money at the end of the week.  I shall stay here and risk ulcers trolling the news of the day so that I can give YOU ulcers when you return home each night!  Seriously, though, have a wonderful week, and remember to share those gorgeous smiles with others, okay?  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!Maxine

Saturday Surprise … Just For Fun

Okay, folks … it’s the WEEKEND!  Time to shed those stifling work uniforms and kick up your heels just a bit.  And, after a brief hiatus, Saturday Surprise is back!  Except for the Feral Five, I rarely show personal pictures, but today I have a few that I just must share.  This spring, we planted our usual array of flowers, our favourites being sunflowers.  Well, to say that we planted them would be a fib … Miss Goose actually did all the planting.  We … she … waited a bit late, and so, while they sprouted quickly enough, we have been waiting all summer long for most of them to bloom.  The cosmos came up and bloomed quickly, but everything else has been just rather a jungle, devoid of colourful blooms.  But, in the past week, the sunflowers have bloomed!

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This was a couple of days ago — there are more now, but since it’s dark, I can’t take another pic

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The cosmos

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This tiny little sunflower, only about 6″ tall, sprouted up among the 5′ giants!

Now, every year, our tiny garden is visited by a pair of beautiful yellow birds, but we hadn’t seen the birds yet this year.  On Thursday morning when I had just come in from watering the jungle, I looked out the front window and …

I still haven’t seen his partner … I hope he or she (I haven’t yet determined their genders, for they don’t allow me to get close enough) … is okay, and hopefully now that the sunflowers are in full bloom, they will both come ‘round to visit more often!

20190816_012330.jpg

Oliver says “Hi”


I have no particular direction today, but just went looking for fun things to start this weekend out on the right foot.


And speaking of feet … the holidays aren’t all that far away, y’know, so it’s time to start shopping for those fun things for your friends and family.  I came across the perfect thing!  Chicken Leg socks!  Look!

chicken-leg-socks-1chicken-leg-socks-2chicken-leg-socks-3

They are available on Amazon, in case you’re interested, for $5.99 and up!  Might want to order several pair for those quirky family members … don’t deny you have them … we all do!


I’ve seen some … um, shall we say “different” hair-do’s in my day, but … these take the cake!

do-1do-2do-3do-4do-5do-6do-7

do-8

What do you bet he’s from Texas?


A few funny pictures …

funny-pic-1funny-pic-2funny-pic-3funny-pic-4funny-pic-5funny-pic-6


A couple of jokes …

joke-1joke-2Me-buying-house-plants...


And I wrap it all up with an adorable animal video about a baby pig named Debby and a giant dog named George …


And that, my friends, is all I’ve got for today.  Have a safe and fun weekend!!!weekend

Good People Doing Good Things — Everyday People

Today’s good people are just average, ordinary people who see a need and step in to help another.  Small things, everyday sort of things, but things that mean so much …


In October, Milwaukee bus driver Natalie Barnes started talking with a passenger named Richard, who told her he has been homeless for a week, since the place where he had been living was condemned. When he asked if he could ride along for the night to stay out of the cold, she agreed.

“At some point in our lives, everybody needs help. I wanted to do what I could to help Richard in some way.”

At one point during her shift, she took a break at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and offered to get her passenger a bite to eat.  “Now I don’t know what to say but to say thank you,” he said to Barnes and promised to pay her back somehow.

She refused, saying, “I want to help you.” bus-driver-homeless-manBut it doesn’t stop there. During another break, she reached out to a friend, who helped get Richard into a temporary shelter.  Barnes and Richard became friends during that six-hour bus ride. Now he has her cellphone number, and they keep in touch.

“We talk every couple of days and he thanks me every time he talks to me for helping him. He calls me his little guardian angel. I’m happy to say that he’s progressing well.”

Helping others comes second nature for Barnes, who has received three commendations for outstanding service since being hired by the MCTS two years ago.


Lisa Meilander of Elizabeth Township, Pennsylvania, was eating dinner with her family at Eat’n Park restaurant when a 91-year-old World War II veteran sat down to eat his meal alone.

But he didn’t eat alone.

Lisa shared what happened next in a Facebook post.

“The elderly gentleman was seated in the booth directly across from my family as we ate dinner Saturday night at Eat’n Park in Belle Vernon. We really didn’t see him come in. But we did notice when our server, Dylan, dropped to one knee to look him eye-to-eye as he got ready to take his order.server-dines-with-lonely-old-man-2The man apologized for not hearing too well. He had forgotten to put in his hearing aids. He talked about how he lost his hearing during his time in the war. He was 91 years old with many stories to tell. Dylan patiently listened giving him his full attention.

Eventually the man apologized for talking so much.

‘I’m alone now,’ he said, ‘and I don’t often have someone to talk to.’

Dylan smiled and said he enjoyed listening.

He then helped him figure out what to order and left to take it to the kitchen. It was a touching site. I wanted offer to pay for the man’s dinner, but before I could flag down Dylan, a man seated at a nearby booth asked Dylan to bring him his check.

‘Someone’s already taken care of it,’ Dylan smiled. I guess we weren’t the only ones eavesdropping on the conversation.

After the man received his food Dylan came back to say he was on a break. He asked if he could sit with the gentleman as he ate. As we left the restaurant the two of them were conversing and many people seated nearby were smiling. It was a touching sight.

server-dines-with-lonely-old-manWith all of the negative stories about our youth today this was a breath of fresh air. I wonder if I would have been as kind and attentive if I were the one working there. One thing’s for sure, if you are ever at Eat’n Park in Belle Vernon, ask for Dylan. If he’s your waiter you’re certain to get great service.”


Antonio Basco, 61, made headlines after issuing a public invitation to his wife Margie’s funeral, saying he felt alone as the couple didn’t have any nearby relatives. Over 3,000 people turned out for her services and over a thousand flower arrangements were sent for the funeral.Antonio-Basco-funeralThe following weekend, Basco’s vehicle was stolen and wrecked. In addition to the car destruction, the thief also stole a pressure washing machine from Basco’s trailer that he used for his mobile car washing business.Antonio-BascaoCasa Ford Lincoln, a dealership in El Paso, posted on its Facebook page that it was looking for ways to help Basco.  The dealership gave Basco a brand new Ford Escape and a trailer.  CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reported that an anonymous donor bought Basco a new pressure washer for his business.


When responding to a recent call, members of the Webster Groves Fire Department noticed a woman in a wheelchair falling over while trying to enter her home.

“Multiple stairs and uneven terrain unfortunately led to the resident falling over in her wheelchair while trying to enter the house. Luckily the patient was uninjured, but we saw an opportunity to help.”

firefighters-build-woman-in-wheelchair-a-path-1.jpgThe firefighters spent several off days digging out and pouring a new sidewalk for her.

“She will now have a level pathway and ramp to gain access to her home. A huge thank you goes out to the members that spent their days off helping those in need.”

firefighters-build-woman-in-wheelchair-a-path-2a


See, folks, you don’t have to have a lot of money to help others … you just have to be willing to give a bit of yourself, of your time.  ‘Til next week, then, remember …good people

💖 Thank You 💖

Just a short one to thank all my wonderful readers and friends.

Yesterday, I wrote a post, “Why Do I … ???”  It was written straight from the heart, no punches pulled, and I wasn’t sure how it would go over, but I knew it was something that had been weighing on me for a while, and that these were things I needed to say.

The response was overwhelming, the comments … well, let me just say that each comment brought a smile to my face, some a tear to my eye as well.  I know now, even more than before, why I keep on doing what I do.

I just wanted to thank you all … thank you for your continued support of Filosofa’s Word, but most of all … thank you for being my friends.

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Saturday Surprise — A Hodgepodge!

I was pondering what to make the theme of this week’s Saturday Surprise, and I really wanted to do a new ‘unique critters’ post, but it seems that I’ve done most of them in previous posts.  I thought about just reprising one of the previous posts because I’m in the mood for critters!  But, that’s a cop out, and so I pushed on in my quest.  And what I have settled on is rather a hodgepodge of this, that, ‘n the other.


Here’s a bit of history that you may not have known …

Notorious Pirate/Pirate hunter Benjamin Hornigold once attacked a ship just to steal all of the crew member’s hats. His men had gotten drunk and lost their hats during a party the night before and decided to board a ship to get replacements.  According to one of the ship’s passengers …

pirate.png“They did us no further injury than the taking most of our hats from us, having got drunk the night before, as they told us, and toss’d theirs overboard.”


July 10th was National Kitten Day … I can’t believe I missed that one!!!  I get a nightly email that tells me what the national days for the next day are, and I almost always at least give it a cursory glance.  But, there have been a few nights of late that I was not in the mood for humour (imagine that!) and just deleted the email, sight unseen.  Apparently the night of July 9th was one such night.

We have 4 litter boxes, one in the upstairs hallway, two in the entry hall downstairs, and one behind the couch specifically for Miss Izzie.  But, I found this as I was trolling about this evening …litter-box-table.jpgIt’s a hidden cat box enclosures from a company called Merry Products:

The easy-to-assemble end table is made to house your cat’s litter box, allowing your pet to access its toilet out of sight. It also reduces the amount of litter that sprays out of the box when your cat sprints away after it poops, making for a cleaner experience for everyone. Not to mention the fact that you can use the shelf and top space as a regular end table.

I dunno … I think I might not be too happy having my coffee right above the litter box.  Still, kind of a cool idea.  Oh, and it’s only $61!

And on the topic of National Kitten Day, here is a really heartwarming video about a kitten who started life on the skids, but … well, just watch!

And in honour of a belated National Kitten Day …cat-eclipse

cat-humour

Cat-puns...


I found this video earlier this evening, of a man feeding watermelon to a group of turtles.  It may not sound that exciting, but I found it fascinating!  Take a look …


This one gave me a chuckle …tiny-car-meets-squirrel.pngAnd … I know that Jolly Monday and Saturday Surprise are supposed to be entirely free of politics, but … well, I just couldn’t resist this one …

trump-dog


Well, I told you it was a hodge-podge of this, that, and really nuthin’ much, but … such as it is, I hope something made you smile.  Now get on with the weekend!  Have a fun and safe one, my friends!

Letting The Mind Off The Leash …

I decided just to let my mind off the leash to ramble wherever it wishes this afternoon …

mind-bounce                          mind-2


Until today, we did not live on lakefront property …20190618_151141.jpgIt has rained almost constantly since Friday night, and this is the result.  This used to just be grass, but now I’m wishing I hadn’t given away my fishing rod ‘n reel several years ago!  For a time, the flowers were enjoying the rain, but now I hear their wee voices saying, “Enough already!!!”  Anybody have a small boat we can borrow, just in case?


I remember as a small child overhearing somebody say to my mother, “We lost our mom today”, and I remember wondering why they weren’t out looking for her if she was lost.  Why is it that some people find it so hard to say, “he died”?  It isn’t a difficult word … four letters, one syllable … died.  But instead people say someone “passed” … huh?  No, they didn’t pass … they died.  Or worse yet, is when they say the person “went home”.  No!  She died.  Period.  Call a spade a spade, because finding cutesy little ways of saying ‘he died’ isn’t going to bring him back to life, and it’s confusing as hell to children and those adults like myself who take words quite literally.


Having recently hit the big 6-8, a few friends have told me that 68 is “the new 40”, and one even told me that 80 is the new 40.  I don’t believe them, of course, for I know what being 68 feels like, and I can still remember what being 40 felt like … and believe me, 68 ain’t no 40.  But it made me start thinking … what is the average life expectancy in the U.S. now, and how does it compare to other nations?  It’s plenty old … 78 … but it doesn’t rank in the top ten, and doesn’t even make the top 50!  Surprised?

The U.S. ranks 53rd in the list of life expectancies, at 78.7 years, falling behind the Nordic countries (no surprise there) and almost every country in Europe and the UK.  We also rank lower than much of Asia, such as Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea.  We even have a lower life expectancy than Puerto Rico. Why?  According to the British Journal of Medicine (BMJ), the answer is summed up in one word:  despair.

According to the report …

“In 1960, Americans had the highest life expectancy, 2.4 years higher than the average for countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But the US started losing ground in the 1980s. US life expectancy fell below the OECD average in 1998, plateaued in 2012, and is now 1.5 years lower than the OECD average.

We are seeing an alarming increase in deaths from substance abuse and despair.”

If the substance abuse and despair were bad before, can you imagine what they will be like by the end of 2020?


And since after that, you need a laugh or two … heeeeere’s Jimmy!!!

Saturday Surprise — Happy Father’s Day

It’s Saturday, folks!!!  The WEEKEND is finally here!  For me, it’s a quiet weekend.  Chris is in Chicago for a band competition, so it’s just me and Miss Goose.  Yesterday … we did nothing useful.  We both went for a walk, she took out the trash, I tidied the kitchen, and we snacked on whatever is residing in the fridge that isn’t covered in green fuzz.  Who knows what today will bring?  I definitely have to at least do a load or two of laundry, but beyond that … probably not much!  Sunday is Father’s Day, so before I forget, I want to wish all you dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day!!!

And thus ends another Saturday Surprise!  Have a great weekend, my friends!weekend

Saturday Surprise — Under, And Other Fun Stuff

Hello friends and welcome to theweekend

I went in search of fun things last night, and I found just a few that I think you might like.


Under …

First, I found the world’s largest underwater restaurant.  Now, I’m not sure how I’d feel about being underwater for that long … I never thought I would do well on a submarine, but this place is rather cool.

Under-2Under is the world’s largest underwater restaurant with a total seating capacity for 100 guests, it’s the first of its kind in Europe, and it also functions as a research center for marine life. The Snøhetta-designed dining experience only started operating on March 20th, but people are already adding it to their Norway destination lists. Under-3Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 34-meter long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest directly on the seabed five meters below. With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions.Under-1Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.The restaurant seats 35-40 dinner guests every night, in a dining room protected by half a meter-thick concrete walls.Under-4Its culinary focus is to create a fine dining experience based on high quality, locally-sourced produce, with a special emphasis on sustainable wildlife capture.  Now, I may have mentioned before that I do not have a very adventurous palate, and frankly don’t think I would be brave enough to try any of these …

Um … do you think I could just order a …

pb-j-sammie

For more, be sure to visit their website.


Hand-held …

There is a pedestrian bridge outside Da Nang in Vietnam that made me do a double take when I first saw the picture. golden-bridge-1Known as the Golden Bridge, it stands 1,400 meters above sea level above the Ba Na hills, offering majestic panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.  It appears that it is being held aloft by two giant stone hands.golden-bridge-2

The design for the footbridge came from a company called TA Landscape Architecture, and while the hands look like they are carved from stone, they are actually not.

“We designed the skeleton of the hands and covered them with steel meshes. Then we finished with fiberglass and added the theming on it. The entire construction of the bridge took about a year.”

golden-bridge-3

golden-bridge-4

Pretty cool, eh?


Inspiring ‘toon …

I came across this cartoon in my travels last night, and while it may not fit in with the ‘fun’ theme of today’s post, I liked it … liked the message.inspiring-comic


SPRING!!!

And lastly, before you head out for a weekend filled with fun (and likely the first mowing of the year), I bring you Simon’s Cat and a Guide to Spring!


Now, go forth and have a great weekend, my friends!