Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb"

I know that little saying is usually used for the month of March, but I figured it should be good for other times as well. So this time I’m applying it for the whole year of 2008.

January 1, 2008 came in like a lion, with very cold temperatures, strong winds, and 6 inches of snow so of course I’m expecting the year to go out like a lamb. (Yes, I believe all those little sayings, old wives tales, and even a few little ditties I made up myself)

But something seems to be very wrong this time. Roaring winds gusting up to 40 mph, weather advisory till late this afternoon scrolling across the bottom of the weather channel, 4-6 inches of snow expected, and the high temp. only expected to reach 21 deg. I don’t even want to think of the wind chill factor!

So what the heck happened? Where’s the mild temperatures, the sun, the peaceful end to the old year? I’ll tell you what happened!! Sometime during the year, the lion ate that cute little, tasty lamb. Gobbled him right up when he wandered a little too close. Stupid little lamb. Smart, smug, satisfied, stuffed old lion.

And so ends 2008. In like a lion, out like a lion.

Maybe we should change that original saying just a little bit. How about “in like a lion, out like a goat”. This little fellow is just as cute as a little lamb, and better yet, he looks like he might have a better chance of escaping a chance encounter with “the big hairy one”. And the weather would then do what it's supposed to!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Blue Skies Smiling At Me"

I used to sing that song to myself quite a bit, also sometimes out loud at the top of my lungs, just because it’s fun, ….but a word of caution here. If you don’t normally break into a loud song all of a sudden, better check around first to see that nobody is standing there with a cup of hot coffee in their hands. Ahhh, such fun memories.

Anyhow, I never really appreciate the words to that song until the month of December rolls around and we hardly ever see blue skies. I read somewhere that here in northeast Ohio, December is the cloudiest, gloomiest, dreariest month of the year. I may be wrong about that, (I doubt it), but on the slim chance that I am, I’m sure someone out there will be jumping at the chance to correct me in record time.

But today is not gloomy and cloudy.
Today it’s....

“Blue skies smiling at me”

“Nothing but blue skies do I see”.

Almost got blinded taking that first shot but...

Ain’t it grand!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Dreaded James Gang

You’ve heard of them. Jesse, his brother Frank, and the rest of the robbers, thieves, and thugs that rode from town to town robbing banks, trains, stagecoaches and generally causing mischief and mayhem and sometimes worse, wherever they went. The sight of the James gang appearing on the edge of town was enough to cause all others to tremble in fear, running to take refuge wherever they could until finally the gang were all caught and jailed or hanging from various trees.

The James gang is long gone of course, but over the years new gangs have always sprung up to take their place. And now it’s a gang of 8 or so swooping into neighborhoods, taking whatever strikes their fancy and claiming it as their own. A gang of thieves that uses coercion, intimidation and fear to get what they want, showing little or no regard for others or their property and scattering the residents into their hiding places to wait it out until the thugs have had their fill and decide to move on to greener, richer pastures.

Hearing rumors of this new gang and wanting to get proof of their raids, I lie in wait with my camera. Like all gangs, they can’t get along with each other and are not willing to share the spoils (no honor among thieves) but I did manage to get one picture of three of them in that nano-second when they weren’t fighting with each other. And if you’ve ever seen a picture of the James gang, you’ll remember that they are definitely not good looking, with their un-bathed bodies, dirty clothing, and ratty looking hats covering even rattier looking hair. But these modern day gang members are quite the opposite. All decked out in their finest colors when they decide to pillage, all wanting to look their best in case they get caught on film.

The Dreaded Jays Gang

Friday, December 19, 2008

Speaking Of Chocolate

Oh, c’mon, I know someone out there is talking about chocolate. If not talking about it, they’re thinking about it, or better yet, they’re eating it right now!! I mean someone other than me. I know for sure I’m not the only one that enjoys a nice little chocolate for breakfast.

So speaking of chocolate, first I’ll say that Hershey’s is one of my favorites. You know, the 8oz. super duper bar. The one I have on the night stand in case I need just a little taste before I go to sleep. Break off one or two squares. Okay, sometimes more than just one or two. I also have a fondness for Dove chocolate. Very creamy. But…….the very best, the absolute top of my list is the “TRIPLE FRENCH TRUFFLE” . (Yes, it deserves the capitals) This is the perfect chocolate.

A candy store not far from my house (too far to walk unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you’re looking at it) carries this creamy, smooth, melt in your mouth, piece of perfection. A store that my sister and I usually stop in after our little excursions. A store that I’ve been known to spend more in than the grocery store. Hey, this chocolate ain't cheap.

Anyhow, the other day while sitting by the window, I see Betty come walking up the sidewalk heading toward my back door. Making one of my snap decisions and deciding not to try to dash upstairs and change out of my robe (yes, that one) before she covers the last 15 feet to the door, because after all this is my sister and she won’t say anything about it, I let her in. “Hey, hi, come on in”. “Hi. I see you’re still in your robe”. So much for sweet sisters…..but all is forgiven in an instant because she was a sister bearing gifts. A box of “TRIPLE FRENCH TRUFFLES”.

Not offering her any because #1. I knew she had her own stash in the car, #2. I’m a selfish little pig, and #3. I’m still thinking a little bit about the robe remark, I wait until she leaves before I take my first piece. AHHHHHHHHHH.

OH NO. How'd that happen? Where'd they all go? What am I going to do now?

Hey Betty. Whatcha doing? Want to come over for a cup of tea? And on your way, since you drive right by it………………….

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Are The Odds?

Since it’s that time of year again/already, I thought I would tell a little tale about my oldest daughter and the Christmas gift.

One year while roaming around the shops searching for something she would like, I wandered into a bookstore. Although I knew she loved to read, I had never bought her a book since she was an adult, but I thought I would have a go at it and maybe come up with one she would like. I love books, too. I can spend a heck of a lot of time browsing around in a bookstore. And I can usually tell after reading the first few paragraphs or pages if it would be something I would like. Not always, (I have ended up with a few clunkers) but most of the time it does work. In fact I try to do that with these posts. Try to grab your attention at the beginning so you keep reading instead of sighing with boredom while moving on to someone else. Maybe I should go back to the top and start over with “It was a dark and stormy night…” but no, it’s too late now, you’re either going to keep reading or you’re not.

So there I was checking out all the books, seeing a lot that I would like but not quite sure if she would. After looking around for a while trying to find something really different and interesting, I ended up in the back of the store where the books were just in a pile on a table. No best sellers here. No authors that I had ever heard of. Books just scattered here and there. Books that nobody else was probably interested in, and there it was. A book about Dragons. It immediately caught my interest (“Flydragon”? ). I thumbed through and loved it. All about dragons, no photos (don’t know why) but lots of great colorful drawings, lots of fairy tale and dashing knights info, so much fun, what’s not to like?

After debating with myself for awhile, “would she, wouldn’t she” I decided to buy it pretty sure that she would like it but on the off chance that she didn’t, I would tell her she could give it back and I would get her something else. I mean I knew she wouldn’t sit there and say “I hate this book”, but would instead just smile and say thanks whether she meant it or not, and she could always give it back with some excuse like “Oh I love it but I don’t have any room left on the bookshelf”, or “Oh I already have this one”. ( Well, she wouldn’t try that one because she would know there would be no way I would ever believe that cockamamie excuse, although she did come up with some weird excuses when she was a kid that she thought I would fall for.)

So, it’s Christmas. After much eating and drinking (sodas) it was time to open the gifts. When she removed the wrapping from the book, she starting laughing. Really laughing. Okay, she liked it! That was a relief!! Then I opened the gift she had given me and I found out the real reason she was laughing. Yep, believe it or not, she had given me the exact… same…. book. Now the odds on that happening with a book about dragons by an author that neither one of us had ever heard of have to be astronomical to say the least. To this day, I don’t know if she liked it or not, but at least it still causes laughter.

I course I can’t end this post without a little picture of her for all the world to see…. maybe not the whole world but at least the 12 or so people that read this post….. well at least the 6 people (family) that made it all the way through to the end.

This was taken when she was about 2 1/2 years old, and although she has her little party skirt and hat on, she does not look too happy. Maybe because she found out we were just telling her a little story and there really wasn’t any party? And although she tells me that she reads and likes this blog, she has never once left a comment. If this post doesn’t bring forth a comment from her, then maybe she is just telling me a little story………….

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Up, Up, And Away

While meandering around in blogger land, I kept noticing all the different styles and templates that were popping up. I’ve wanted to put a picture on the top of my blog as so many others have done, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. I thought about asking one of you out there but I didn’t want to appear any dumber than I already do, so I nixed that. Then I thought of asking FD#2 because she has one on the top of her blog, but then I remembered my previous post “Go Away, Don’t Bother Me” and thought, well maybe not. I was on my own.

After searching all the help topics on blogger help, and coming up with nothing, I finally noticed the word “layout” on the dashboard. Thinking that sounded like something I needed, I went there and was on “page elements” and stared at it for awhile. Not seeing anything that said “click here to add a picture to the top of your blog” (I need things spelled out exactly) I finally saw the little word “edit” in all the different boxes. Hmmmm, is that what I want? Clicking on the “edit” in the title box, a new box popped up, “Configure Header” Whoo hoo, I was there. Well, not exactly right there but I was a lot closer than I had been before.

After much going back and forth to my picture file, adding, no not that one, deleting, adding, nope too big, deleting, adding, nope too small, deleting I finally came up with one I liked. Only then did I notice that there was also a preview button that I could have been using instead of going back and forth to the blog itself. What a time saver that would have been if I had noticed it sooner. Why don’t they put BIG, RED, FLASHING ARROWS with a loud BONG sound on things like that?

Being extremely proud of myself (no, it doesn’t take much) I then noticed the next tab that said “fonts and colors” and thought I would check it out since I was on a roll now. Heaven!! I was in heaven! All kinds of goodies to play around with!! BIG letters, small letters, black, white, blue, red, a multitude of different colors. I didn’t know what to change first, so of course I changed them all.

Later, (much later), I noticed the next tab that said “edit HTML”. Checked it out. Wow, what the heck is that? Nope, don’t even think about doing anything with that. Get out of this place before you really screw something up. Stop now while you’re still ahead.

I did notice the next tab after that though. “pick new template” I’ll have to check that one out later, I’ve had enough excitement for one day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Go Away, Don't Bother Me

Sound familiar? Men say this to women, women say this to men. Parents say this to kids, kids say it to parents. Whoever is saying it at the time, it usually only means that you shouldn’t bother them for a short time. Men, while they’re watching the game. Women while they’re trying to get all the things done that nobody else is doing. Kids, when they reach a certain age, all the time period, unless they’re hungry. And when these kids get to be adults, although they might not say it out loud, you know they’re still thinking it.

But this guy says it all winter long. And he means it. Don’t bother me. Don’t come near me. Don’t even be in the same yard that I’m in. From October till April it’s “get away from me, I don’t want you anywhere near me, and don’t even think you’re going to land on that feeder when I’m around”.

And who’s he treating this way?

Yep, the love of his life. Well, summer life anyhow. The one that, come April, he’s wooing and cooing, telling her how pretty she is, giving her the food right out of his mouth, and trying to get all cozy and sweet with. Serenading her with songs of love and togetherness. Trying to show her how thoughtful he is by helping her build a strong nest. Zooming in to protect and defend her from another male who makes a mistake and comes within a hundred yards of her. Trying to make up for the nasty, selfish attitude that he had for all those months.

And wouldn’t you know, she falls for it every time. Or does she? Is she just pretending to forgive him for the way he treated her? I’ve seen her sitting on the feeder eating but still demanding that he feed her too. I’ve heard her when she’s sitting on the nest, letting out a squawk just so that he’ll come running…er flying over…to save her from some unseen danger. I’ve seen her taking a bath and preening her feathers while he frantically flies around trying to feed two squawking kids. So, did she really forgive him, or is she just thinking, “Ok buddy, it’s payback time”.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Okay, Okay. The Infamous Robe

For some perverse reason some of you made a point of wanting to see me in my “wear around the house all day when I’m not going outside robe”. Why any of you would ever want to see this is way beyond my comprehension. Some quirk in your nature? Some little hint of voyeurism perhaps? When you take a stroll through your neighborhood at night, do you hope everyone else has their drapes and blinds open and their lights on so that you can see inside? Oh…I do that. So there’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t necessarily want to see them walking around in their robes, as some of you seem to want. That’s the difference between us.

So whatever the reasons that are lurking in your brains, I decided to do as you wish and take a photo of myself wearing “THE ROBE”. Keep in mind that since I couldn’t stretch my arm out in front of me far enough to get a shot of anything other than my nose, I had to take this picture while looking in the mirror. And since I couldn’t use the flash, it didn’t come out quite as clear as I would have liked. The shutter speed is a bit slower without the flash and I’m not known for having the steadiest of hands.

And since I wanted to be squeaky clean for this event, I took a shower first and that is why the towel is wrapped around my wet hair. Also, just so you know, while I was taking a shower the curtain kept sliding down the wall. I have one of those spring tension rods and evidently the spring is sprung and the curtain kept sliding down, one time falling completely off and landing on the floor. That was fun. I’m just mentioning this part so you know the trouble I went through to get you this picture that you so desperately wanted to see.

Those of you who know me personally already know what I look like of course and will not be the least surprised by this picture. Those of you who think you know how I might look just by the tone of my blog (you know who you are), will probably not be surprised either. The rest of you….well, you’ll see.

With all that being said……..drum roll please

Everybody happy now?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Neighbor Comes a Calling

It’s been extra cold and very quiet around here the last few days. No snow to speak of (just some flurries) but colder than normal for this time of year. Don’t see anybody out and about except for a few hardy souls taking their dogs for their daily exercise walk. Or rather a run, trying to get back home and out of the instant face numbing wind as soon as possible. Days when it’s much easier and warmer to stay wrapped up in your robe. Is there really any need to change when you have no intention of going outside except to fill up the bird feeders and that's something that can be done in your robe if you quickly scurry in and out, checking first to see that no one else is around. I mean, there’s really no point in changing just for that, agreed? Fortunately those dog runners did bother to change out of their robes, although that might have been a bit more entertaining for us watchers if they hadn’t.

I did have one visitor come calling though. I didn’t hear the knocking on the door, but I did hear the scratching on the window. I don’t remember the one-sided conversation verbatim but it went something like this.

“Hi there. I’m your friendly furry neighbor who’s decided to pay you a visit. I know I look warm and fuzzy with my winter coat on, but it’s freezing out here. How about letting me in for a little while just till I get warm. We can have a nice little chat and maybe you can offer small refreshments.

How about if I move to this side without the screen. Can you see me better now?

Yoo Hoo!!….. Hellllloooo!! ….. Hey lady. Yes, you with the camera! I’m talking to you!! You do know that I can see you, right? You can’t very well pretend you’re not home this time, now can you?
If you don’t want to invite me in then how about handing some small treats out? What’s it gonna take to get a few peanuts out here? A little show of my acrobatic skills?

How about my Spiderman imitation?

Hey, this is a lot harder than it looks. Don't think so? You come out here and give it a try, and if you can do it, I'll give you the peanut!

Nothing?? Well jeeze lady, some fine neighbor you turned out to be. I’m sure you don’t treat all your other neighbors this way….. or do you? When you hear someone knocking on your door (or scratching on your window), do you always try to hide while peeking around the corner to see who it is, hoping they won’t see you because you’re still in your robe? Yes, I noticed that. Is that the reason you’re ignoring me? Are you embarrassed to let it be known that you’re still dressed like that at one o’clock in the afternoon? No problem, I’ll come back when you’re decent, if you’ll tell me when that might be. I mean, it will be sometime today, right? Right?”


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Laid Up For A Little While

Favorite daughter #4 will be stuck at home for a few weeks, which is no picnic anytime, anyplace, but if it has to happen, better in the Arizona sun instead of the Ohio snow. Or so she says. I did try to talk her into coming home for this event but she refused. (Funny that when I say her home I mean here, and when she says her home she means there.) But she does have a point. At least she will be able to pass the time in great weather, sitting in the sun by the pool, (also getting stung by bees and scorpions and other nasty things, instead of being here, being waited on hand and foot, being fed all her favorite foods, and being fussed over when she gets bored and cranky.) Okay, okay, so I’m a poor loser.

Anyhow… since she is usually very active she is going to be bored silly so she told me I will have to post something every day, so that she has something to read. Now this is no easy task for me. I’m lucky if I can think of anything to blog about twice a week let alone every day. And I’m not one of those people who thrive under pressure. It has the totally opposite effect on me. My mind is suddenly completely blank and empty. A vast wasteland of nothingness. Yes, more so than usual.

Any ideas I was mentally saving for future posts have completely disappeared from my head now that she told me I had a job to do. I warned her that if I couldn’t come up with anything else, I would have to start posting pictures. Pictures of her. And I would have to start telling stories about some of the things she did when she was growing up. She quickly suggested that I should post pictures and tell stories about her sisters instead. Much more to work with since they were the bad seeds, while she of course was the good one. (Her words girls, not mine, so if you’re thinking of picking a bone, direct it that-a-way and not this-a-way)

Oh good.… down, and since she probably won’t be reading this one for a few days yet, I only have a few more dozen to go. Piece of cake. But just in case, I am also open to suggestions. Help!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Comes In Threes?

That’s what they say. Bad things happen in threes. Well not really bad things, just pain in the neck things. First it was my computer speakers. Turned out nothing was wrong at all and it wasn’t a big pain. Next it was the camera. That also turned out to be easily fixed. Easy for me of course, not as easy for FD#4 since she was the one who had to look everything up and explain it to me over the phone. But that too turned out to be not such a big pain after all.

This time it’s the telephone. I very seldom use the phone, but I admit it is one of the necessity of life. The phone rang this morning, I picked it up, heard FD#4 say “hello” and then it went dead. Thinking she accidentally cut us off, I waited for her to call back. She did. I picked it up but nothing was there. Total silence. Hmmm. Another ring. But this time instead of ring, pause, ring, pause, it was just one long riiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnngg. Even after I picked it up, it kept right on riiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnging. Well, this can’t be good. It finally did stop ringing but then I couldn’t get a dial tone. Nothing.

A little background. When FD#4 first moved in here with me, she also bought her cordless phone. Since she always used a cell phone, we hooked her other one up for me to use. It was the first time I had used a handset instead of being tethered to the phone by a cord. I liked being able to walk around the house or even the yard while talking to someone on the phone. I got spoiled. When hers finally bit the dust, I went out and bought a new one. This time with the extra handset to use upstairs. Neat.

Now this one that is only 2 years old is broken, dead, kaput. What the heck? Only 2 years old!!!
No easy fix here this time…… I take that back. I might not be able to fix that one, but I still have this one that I never got rid of which I will now hook up by my computer desk.

I bought this quite a few years ago when that crap started where anytime you tried calling any business, you had to press 1 for this, 2 for this and etc. This set-up was easier than trying to push the buttons that were in the receiver while you were trying to listen at the same time.

What dodo came up with that idea? I will now use this one upstairs since I don’t plan on calling any businesses from my bed.

And if/when the time comes that both of those go the way of the cordless wonder, I also still have two of these that I’ve been saving in the closet.

As you can tell, I have had this for umpteen years. And they both still work just like new. They sure don’t make things like they used to, do they?

The only downside now is on that rare occasion that I am on the phone, I’ll have to say “Hey, can you hold on a minute? I want to get a cup of coffee” If you don’t want to wait, well then just hang up. If it was important, I’m sure you’ll call me back.

By the way, do good things come in threes, too? If I win the lottery, does that mean I’ll win it two more times? Do you think I should break down and go buy a ticket?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pigeon Pie

There’s a flock of pigeons, numbering about 15, that makes the rounds of the neighborhood, stopping at those homes where birdfeeders don’t have trays attached to catch the falling seeds. I learned a long time ago, that feeders without trays draw too many unwanted critters and birds to your yard. And pigeons fall into the unwanted category. (Sorry Pigeon Lovers but did you ever make a mistake and look up when they’re flying overhead or walk/slide under a bridge where they love to roost? Ewwww…. Yucky….Bleche!!!

And since pigeons are slow to get off the ground once they’re on it, they make for easier prey for predators than the other faster, smarter birds. (Now take it easy PL’s. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m not saying pigeons are slow and stupid, I’m just saying all other birds are faster and smarter)

Now hawks on the other hand are very welcome in my yard. Taking care of some of the aforementioned unwanted critters and thinning the flock of pigeons to a tolerable level. (Yes, PL’s, that means eating them) In the last 2 weeks, “Harry” has landed in my yard 4 or 5 times to snack on pigeon. Harry keeps getting plumper and the flock keeps getting thinner. Twice, I’ve managed to get pretty close to take his picture but since my camera wasn’t working very well at the time, (stop with the ha, ha’s PL’s) none of the shots came out except this grainy one that I managed to get of Harry up in the tree, pigeon clutched in his fat little feet.

Right now as I’m typing this, Harry is sitting quietly, high up in the large oak tree in my backyard. He’s been sitting there quite a while so I figure he’s already had dinner. Maybe he’s just resting a bit before he has dessert. Hey, who’s ready for a piece of pigeon pie? (Now, now PL’s, you know it’s survival of the fittest out there, and I’m not saying pigeons aren’t fit for anything but hawk food but……. Oh who am I kidding, that’s exactly what I’m saying.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Room With A View

I have a large window by my kitchen table where I sit to enjoy my morning coffee. I sit there to look outside at my garden, at all the flowers that are in bloom, the birds as they come to the feeders and the multitude of squirrels climbing up and down the trees and chasing each other across the back neighbors garage roof.

Of course at this time of year, there are no flowers or gardens to look at but I still enjoy watching the other stuff that’s happening out there. I still enjoy the view. Until yesterday, that is.

Oh,oh. Grabbing my camera just in case one of those guys takes an extra step to the side…..In case you’re wondering, yes I also grabbed the phone in order to call 911 if necessary, but no use letting a good shot go to waste if…….

Fortunately for them, but a tad disappointing for me, no accidents occurred and they finished the job in no time. And now I get to sit and look out my window at this huge, ugly, blue thingy. And you can’t notice anything else. Talk about right in your face!!

The least they could have done was to pick a different color. Something in gray, perhaps? Maybe a nice paisley camouflage? A floral print? Anything other than this monstrosity?

The only upside that I can see in this at all, is when it gets a little icy up there and those squirrels that are chasing each other end up tobogganing down the slope. I’ll be sitting here with my camera just in case…….

So far today though, only one squirrel has dared to get on that giant sea of blue, gingerly tip toeing his way across the peak of the roof until making it safely to the tree at the other end. That’s okay. I can wait.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Can't Get Away From Mom

No matter where my kids moved to try to get away from their pesky mom, it wasn’t far enough. I can still bother them. Although it’s with e-mails now instead of face to face bothering. They could pretend they never received the e-mails, but they don’t. Well, I think Fla. Brat did once but she swears she didn’t. Since she swears quite a bit, I’m not sure if I believe her. (My sister Betty swears she didn’t get an e-mail from me one time too, and she never swears but I don’t believe her either)

Anyhow…..last week it was the computer. I was having a problem with the speakers and since this is actually Ariz. Brats computer I figured I would pester her about it. I e-mailed her my problem and she called me to see what’s up. I told her the speakers were silent. She told me that she always turns her speakers off because she doesn’t like to hear anything while she’s on her computer. If she thought it was going to be that easy and that was going to work for me she had another think coming. I like my little beeps, bings, dings, tones, bells and whistles and every other little noise to accompany me while I’m playing.

Since I know absolutely nothing about computers, she was going to have a tough time telling me what to do over the phone. But she bravely started out with “click on start”,… “click on what?“… “where it says start and then control panel”,… “ where does it say that? Oh, okay, I found it”… “then click on where it says…”, “I don’t see where it says that”….
Well you get the idea, right? So after much clicking and unclicking with nothing working to get the speakers speaking again she paused for a minute and then said, “when was the last time you rebooted the computer?”…. “You mean turn it off and then on again?” …. “Yes” (I could hear her sighing in the background). …. “A couple of days ago” …. “Well lets try that” …. “Okay, I know how to do that”. So I did, and when it came back on there it was. The little tune coming out of the speakers. “Hey, it’s fixed. Hear that?”… “Yes, I can hear it” sigh… “Thank you, thank you.”.. “Anytime”

This week it was the camera. For a couple of weeks now every picture I tried to take was turning out way too light. I know as much about cameras as I know about computers. And since this is Ariz. Brats camera that she left here…etc. Another e-mail, another phone call. This time it took a little longer because she hasn’t seen the camera for three years and couldn’t remember the ins and outs of it. And this time I was trying to hold the phone and the camera at the same time while pushing little buttons, and turning tiny knobs, dropping the phone once or twice, (but not the camera fortunately). After three phone calls and much fiddling and fussing, it’s fixed!!! Eureka!! Not only is the amount of light fixed but I can now take more pictures than the 16 that were on the card originally, what ever that means. And when I download/upload ?? them to the computer, I also can hear the little bong that tells me it’s working. Life is good!!

So thank you FD#4. Everything is working great now. And don’t be changing your e-mail address so you can honestly say you didn’t receive it the next time I need to bother you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Bird In A Gilded Cage

Well it’s not really gilded in any sense of the word, but it is a cage, sort of, and there is a bird in it.

And although you can’t tell by his expression right now, this is one happy Chickadee. He sings constantly. He sings to announce his arrival. He sings when he finds that his feeder is full of his favorite seeds and peanuts. He also sings when he takes those favorites and stuffs them into all the cracks and crevices on the house. (Song or no song, I wish he wouldn’t do that)

But all that singing comes to a screeching halt when big blue notices all the commotion and decides to check it out. And although there is a large feeder with peanuts not more than 4 feet away for the blues,

there is always one in the bunch that has to stick his neck through the bars to steal all the peanuts out of this one.

Poor little chickadee’s not singing now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Smarty Pants

After reading my post “I’m A Keeper”, my sister Nan couldn’t resist rubbing it in and sent me this little book.

How do I know she wasn’t being helpful, and was instead being a smarty pants? Well aside from the fact that this book was written for children between the ages of 8 to 10, she also tucked a little note in it that said “couldn’t resist” and it had a very large smiley face drawn on it. And we all know that the bigger the smiley the bigger the rub.

Little did Nan know that I just might find something useful in here to get rid of some or all of my saved umm… stuff. From collages, mosaics and mobiles, to sculptures, prints and masks (that one should come in handy). And one neat idea involves a whole bunch of pull rings from cans. Since I haven’t saved any of those I’ll have to go buy a lot of beer, er…I mean soda, so I can get busy on that project. Oh what sacrifices we artists have to make. And as soon as I finish something… anything… I’m sending it off.

So thanks Nan, and be expecting a package, maybe two or three, in the mail any day now. I know you’re going to love my art. After all, you know what they say. “One sister’s trash is another sister’s treasure.”

Monday, November 17, 2008

Well It's About Bloomin Time!

Ah, the Christmas cactus. Every year about this time, you see them in the stores with bright green foliage and beautiful red, pink or white flowers in full bloom, and think “They’re so gorgeous, I just have to have one”. You buy it, take it home, and a few days later all those pretty flowers have fallen off and are strewn all over the floor, and that bright green foliage is now starting to look a little brown and curled. I’m not totally surprised because all plants do that when moved from the perfect environment of the greenhouse to the dry, unappealing atmosphere of my home, but I nevertheless feel disappointed and let down, and I try to console myself with the thought that it will get used to the stale air in my house (hey, I survive in here okay), and will soon perk up and make itself at home. And next year it will again look beautiful with an abundance of red blooms just like it did when I bought it.

So all year I took care of this baby, waiting for the amazing transformation that would occur in the fall. Buds started forming in early November and started falling off a week later. Little unopened buds littered the floor. What the heck? What went wrong? After ending up with only about 5 flowers, I was determined that next year would be different. Next year it would be loaded with blooms! I figured maybe now would be a good time to actually read the instructions for growing this cactus.

So after reading about light/dark periods, wet/dry periods, fertilize/don’t fertilize periods (jeeze, what a pain in the butt), I set about to do the right thing and nurture this finicky plant to it’s final beauty. Being careful to follow the directions about watering and fertilizing all spring and summer, it was finally the time to start it’s dark/light cycle. I would take it upstairs to the closet at 6:00 p.m. and bring it back down at 6:00 a.m. Needless to say, after a few days I got pretty tired of hauling this now rather heavy pot up and down the stairs, so I decided to leave it downstairs and put a garbage bag over it’s head for the required 12 hours of darkness, and although this is a practice that is not recommended for people, I think I have read somewhere that it is acceptable for cacti. I did this until little buds finally formed. Lots of little buds. A few days later I noticed a couple of buds on the floor. A few days after that a lot more buds on the floor and a lot less on the plant. After all my caring and diligence I ended up with the same amount of flowers that I had the year before. What a waste of time. What a poor result after a lot of work. What a stupid cactus.

Okay, that’s it, buddy. You’re on your own. No more coddling or attention. You want to stick around, fine. You want to be tossed out, that’s fine too. And all this year I ignored it. Watering only when I happened to notice the foliage was hanging down like some over-cooked spinach lasagna noodles. No more dark/light schedules, or bags, or trips to the closet. Whatever happens, happens. I could care less!!

Maybe I will keep it around for another year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Which, as everyone knows, stands for “I Was Doing Just Fine Before The Computer Came To My House”.

In the fall of 2003 or thereabouts, FD#4 (favorite daughter number 4) stopped by to chat and asked if I would be willing to put up with her for a while because she was going to be homeless and living out of her car if I didn’t. Not wanting to see my youngest living out on the streets or under the bridge, I graciously said yes and she moved into the spare bedroom.

How she managed to fit a bed, dresser, desk, bicycle, exercise equipment, filing cabinets, television, dvd player, computer, printer, and a lot more toys and gadgets into that 10 by 12 foot space, and still have room to walk around amazed me. Seeing all that stuff, I’m thinking the homeless and living out of her car story was just a ploy and it never would have happened. What’s really going on??

So anyway, there we were. Happy as two peas in a pod. Well, I was anyway, I’m not sure about her. Then a couple of weeks later the subject of the computer came up.
FD#4…”want to learn to use the computer?”
DOM (dear old mom), “no thanks, not interested, I’ve never used one before, I don’t need to use one now and besides I’d just break it”
#4, “you’d have fun and you can’t break it”
DOM “ha, you don’t know me, I know I could break it in no time.”
#4, “no you wouldn’t, c’mon, I’ll show you how”
DOM “you’ll be sorry”. Little did I know then that I would be the sorry one.

So after a lot of trials and a ton of errors there I was. Using the SC (scary computer). After learning how to log on and off and play a game or two, I graduated to email. The other FD’s all had computers except for FD#1. She was as backwards as I was when it came to TD’s (technological devices). But eureka, I was using email. I could talk to the others without actually talking. Hey. I have email, send me something!! I was so proud!!

After about a month or two of trudging upstairs a couple of times a day to play around with the SC, I casually mentioned to #4 that I really didn’t feel comfortable going into her bedroom to use it, because I felt that I was kinda invading her private space, and did she maybe want to move it downstairs. She agreed, I know she was smirking, and off we went to get a computer desk for the living room. A while later it was all set up. A computer in my living room. Who’d of thunk it. I could use it anytime during the day while #4 was at work (That’s another thing. She always had a good paying job and could afford to live anyplace. Homeless? I think not)

Ahead 6 months. After getting tired of trying to wrestle me away from the computer so she could spend some time on it, #4 got herself a laptop and we moved up to high speed internet. No more dial up. No more busy signals when someone was trying to call “I don’t know why it was busy, maybe #4 was on the computer”. “I thought she was working” “Oh, then maybe I accidentally left the receiver off the hook”. And now we both could be on our own computer at the same time. Yes, I was beginning to think of this one as mine now.

Ahead 6 more months. #4 “It sure gets dusty in here, doesn’t it?” DOM “Tell me about it. I’m amazed at all that dust and can’t figure out where it comes from. Oh, and if you’re hungry there’s some Stouffers in the freezer. Just pop it in the microwave. And look at this neat trick that I just figured out how to do with this program” I was beginning the downward spiral.

Now it’s the fall of 2006 FD#4 starts talking about the upcoming winter. How she hates snow and is thinking about moving somewhere warmer. Like Arizona. WHAT? A little snow never hurt anybody and you should stay here in Ohio where you belong. None of this moving across the country, like Fla. brat (formerly known as FD#3) did when she moved down south. Nope, you’re not going, it ain’t gonna happen.

January 6, 2007. She’s all packed up. Car loaded to the hilt and 2 bicycles strapped to the back. Car so full that nothing else could possibly fit. No room for my EC (evil computer) so that will have to stay here. Then off she goes, driving into the wild blue yonder, on her way to new and exciting adventures in the Arizona sun, leaving me here, alone, with that monster in my living room.

Present day. So here I sit, dust swirling around me, bed unmade, dirty laundry piling up, dishes in the sink, and I’m practically glued to the EC. I guess it didn’t think I spent enough time on it before, because this last June it even made me start blogging. When this EC finally blows a gasket, which it’s sure to do one of these days, I’ll be free at last. Back to the good old days when my life wasn’t ruled by a @#$%&!$CTHMII&@#$#@&EC. (you’ll have to figure that one out for yourself) Or maybe I’ll be calling FD#2 and asking her to come over and fix the darn thing ASAP.

(I never did figure out why Ariz. brat (formerly known as FD#4) wanted to stay here with me for a while, and except for the part where she forced me to get hooked on the computer, everything else was great fun)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Someone Is Not Doing Their Job

Yes, this is a picture of our first snow. And yes, those are leaves under that snow in the front yard. And since I live in a condo, someone else is supposed to be raking those leaves BEFORE it snows.

The only reason I rake the leaves out of my backyard flower beds myself is so nobody else stomps, tramples or squishes all my plants. I prefer to do all the squashing myself. And no I did not take a picture of the back. There’s nothing of interest back there, nothing for you to see, and anyhow, this is about the front yard and SOMEONE ELSE not doing THEIR job.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm A Keeper

And I don’t mean that in the good way you might be thinking. I mean I’m a keeper of things, junk, crap, filling up drawers, closets, boxes, coffee cans and anything else I can find to stuff stuff into.

I have check registers dating back to when I opened up my first checking account. I can look up and tell you what my utilities cost me way back when, with the name of a bank that is no longer in existence. I’m sure I’m going to be needing that information anytime now.

I have clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn for 10 years. Maybe they’ll come back in style, but my new and improved body shape wouldn’t be able to squeeze into them no way, no how. I think it’s time for them to go. Maybe.

I have a large box full of old birdfeeders. When I see a new one that catches my eye, the old one goes into the box. Never mind that the feeder holes are a little too large now, and the top is cracked and leaks water into the seeds. Never mind that the birds didn’t really like it to begin with because the perches were awkward to land on. Into the box it goes.

I have a drawer full of old make-up. Eye shadow of every color that’s so old it would surely make me go blind if I used it now. Mascara that is so stiff that the little handle comes off the brush when you try to remove it from the goop. Liquids and powders that I wouldn’t dare put on my face for fear of immediate burning and peeling and a trip to the ER. If I think about it for a little while, I’m sure I can find another use for those things.

I have a couple of 3lb coffee cans full of a zillion nuts, bolts, screws, nails, hooks, eyes, wires, string, doodads and thingamajigs. And I know if I get rid of even one of those, I will need it tomorrow.

Need batteries? The ones that no longer work in the camera are saved to use in the clock because they’re not completely dead and will power the clock for a couple of weeks. That’s not being cheap, that’s being frugal. So I have a small drawer full of batteries. New and used sometimes get mixed up and a little bit of swearing occurs when I put the wrong ones in the camera and lose a chance at a great shot.

Yes, I am a keeper, but at least I only keep those things that I know I’ll be needing any day now.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Still Hanging On

The Asarinas are still hanging on, blooming like there’s no tomorrow. But of course for them, tomorrow is just around the corner. They just don't know it yet.
Some Geraniums are also hanging on. They’ll last longer than the asarinas but a hard freeze and the few bright blooms that are left will be looking like little sputniks floating in mid air with antennas sticking out every which way.
Then there’s this hanger-on-er. Hanging on by one little finger... toe?... digit?...appendage?
No, of course this is not one of mine, (I should be so good) but when you're talking about hanging on, it certainly has to be included.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why In The World Did I Do That?

I like to think that I know myself fairly well. I always thought I had a pretty good idea of how I would react or what I would say to the little things that go on in my life. I’m not talking about some big decision making event, just about those small occurrences that pop up in normal everyday living. And most of the time I do react as I think I will but sometimes, for some unknown reason, I do a complete flip-flop and do the un-expected.

The first one I really remember is when I was about 10 years old and I went to stay with my relatives for about a week. This was the first time I had ever gone anywhere without the rest of the family. Granted, at that age there were probably a lot of things I didn’t really know about myself, but I certainly knew what I liked and what I didn’t like.

Everything was going along swimmingly until I went to spend a few days with my Grandma L. who lived in a big, old house. When asked if I wanted to sleep in an upstairs bedroom or down in the basement, I promptly said basement. WHAT??? I hated basements. I was afraid of the dark back then and basements were dark, dreary, scary places and I hated them. I knew I hated them, and yet I picked the basement to sleep in!!!!! And not only that, after being scared the first night down there I was asked if everything was okay and if I wanted to sleep upstairs the next night. I said, you guessed it, no, everything was fine and I’d sleep in the basement again. I remember that incident very vividly and to this day, I still have no idea why I would do such a thing.

Another time that sticks in my mind is the one about the anchovy, of all things.
This time I was an adult (supposedly) and we were about to buy a new house. The sellers invited us over for a little get together and served crackers with cheese, crackers with other goodies, and crackers with anchovies. Yep, I hate anchovies. I don’t like the taste or texture of the smelly, salty little critters. When she came around with the tray of assorted crackers, I passed over all my favorites and picked up the one with the anchovy, and I immediately thought “what the hell did you just do?” I sat there holding this cracker in my hand, staring at that ugly little thing lying on top and didn’t quite know what to do about it.

I sat like that for a little while but I knew I would have to eat it eventually because there was no house plant nearby to hide it under, and I couldn’t very well hand it back and say that I changed my mind and didn’t really want this disgusting thing. So, I gritted my teeth, swallowed hard, popped it into my mouth, and chewed as fast as I could while holding my breath. (I had read somewhere that if you didn’t breathe you couldn’t taste.) But that little trick didn’t work this time because I could still feel that hairy thing on my tongue and I swear I could still taste that yuck. And no, I did not repeat that one. When she came over again with that tray, I did not pick the little fishy. I did ask for some more wine though, (of course that was just to get rid of the taste).

So, how well do I know myself? Are there instances in life where I am not who I think I am, but instead somebody completely opposite? Could it be that I have multiple personalities, and the naughty one shows up sometimes to make me scare myself silly, and the mischievous one pops out to embarrass me in front of strangers and yes, even my own family? Hey, I kinda like the idea. That would mean there is also one in there who is snide, sarcastic, snippy, with a dark sense of humor, and who is totally unlike the sweet, smiling, kind, true me, and therefore none of the weird stuff is really MY fault.

I / we can live with that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

They're Baaaaaack

Before I got my first bird book, I used to call the little birds that spent the winter here, “skunk heads”, (because of the white stripes on their heads) “bibbed birdies”, (because it looked like they were wearing little bibs around their neck) and “lightening tail” (because when they fly you can see the white tail feathers flash underneath the gray)

What they really are of course are White Crowned Sparrows, White Throated Sparrows and Juncos. I think I like my names better. And I like watching them fight and chase each other all around the yard. What I don’t like about them is the “why” they show up. And they are here now. Juncos were the last to arrive a few days ago. So I know what’s coming next.

BUT…… yesterday was in the 60’s and today will be close to that. And the forecast for next week looks pretty darned good too.

So, out I go. I have things to do, places to go, sidewalks to walk, leaves to rake, well maybe I’ll pass on the leaves. So… sorry birdies, I’m not being unfriendly but I’m going to ignore you. I’m not going to look at you. You are not here!! And fall will last till spring!!

Why didn’t I think to do this last year?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Stories Your Mother Shouldn't Tell You

But she did. I give credit to the unknown author and apologize for any mistakes.

Little orphan Annie came to our house to stay,
To wash the cups and saucers and brush the crumbs away,
And shoo the chickens off the porch and dust the hearth and sweep
And make the fire and bake the bread to earn her board and keep.

And all us other children, when the supper things were done
Used to sit around the fire and have the mostest fun
Listening to the witch tales that Annie told about
And the goblins will get you, if you don’t watch out.

There was a little boy who wouldn’t say his prayers
And when he went to bed at night, a waaaay upstairs,
His momma heard him holler, his daddy heard him bawl
But when they turned the covers down, he wasn’t there at all.

They seeked him in the rafter room, the cubby hole and press
Even up the chimney flue and everywhere I guess
But all they ever found was his pants around about
And the goblins will get you if you don’t watch out

There was a little girl who always mocked and grinned
Who made fun of everyone, even blood and kin
One day there was company and old folks were there
She mocked them and she shocked them and she said she didn’t care

But when she turned around to run away and hide
There were two big black things standing by her side
They snatched her through the ceiling fore she knew what was about
And the goblins will get you, if you don’t watch out

Little orphan Annie says when the day is through
And the lamp wick flutters and the wind goes wooooooo
And the crickets are quiet and the moon is gray
And the lighting bugs are all squinched away

You better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear
And cherish those that love you and dry the little orphan’s tear
And help the poor and needy as they cluster round about
Or the goblins will get you, if you don’t watch out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin, Scarecrow & Witch, Oh My

I know, I know, the first line of this little ditty has been used a million times before but I’m using it anyhow.

It’s a dark stormy night
In this spooky old town
The thunder and lightening
Keep crashing down
Winds are a howling
Streetlamps go out
And there's too many monsters
Around and about.

So run to your homes,
Lock doors and windows up tight
Because goblins and ghosts
Abound on this night.
There are witches and ghouls
Hiding here, lurking there
But the scariest spooks
Are up in the air

What???…. in the air????

Yep, one of those uglies is me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Changing of The Guard...en tools

Say goodnight pruners, trowels, claws, diggers, and hose nozzles. You are now finished for the year and can hide in the shed (and you’re very good at that, aren’t you?) until spring comes around once again.

I’ll have to say none of you did a very good job the few times you actually decided to go to work but at least you managed to keep from getting lost in the bushes this year as so many have done before. So get yourselves cleaned up and oiled and into the bucket with you.

And as for you, it's your turn now.

For the next few weeks you will be working almost daily trying to keep up with the zillion leaves that blow into your yard. It’s not my fault that your yard is in the wrong place and that the wind whips all the leaves from yours, and all of your neighbors trees, smack up against the back of the house. And those that are not by the house are piled high against the back fence.

I hope your work habits have improved since last year because you were a totally lazy good-for-nothing back then. And if you don’t do your job this fall, I can promise you that you will be working your butt off raking up those leaves in the spring.



With any luck I won’t have to be dealing with your work ethics for a while yet.
Stupid snow shovel.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We all have our own idea of what home sweet home is.

Some like a little witchy log house with a pointy roof complete with it’s own resident mouse standing in the doorway to welcome them home. It also comes with its own canoe in case of flooding and a hatchet for when it needs to replace the parts that get eaten by termites. I have no idea why that armadillo is hanging around the front steps. I kinda like this house even with the mouse.

Others like a cold damp house. The ones who live here are so vain they even had statues of themselves attached to their house so everyone could admire their good looks and handsome bodies. I think I know some people like that.

Still others prefer a double decker with balconies and railings and with a warm cozy fireplace inside. This house also includes it’s own spiders to keep the insects away. Lots and lots of spiders. I think the other residents moved out of this house. I know I would.

And then of course there are those who like to live dangerously. They build their house in the lofty branches of the highest tree, held together by the thinnest of weaves, rocking back and forth in even the faintest breezes. It makes for an exciting night when the wind is howling and the occupants are holding on for dear life. These houses also need a lot of remodeling and renovations all year long. Sometimes complete walls have to be rebuilt. This is a never-ending job for the ones who choose this type of house. Not for me, thank you very much!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I’m afraid it’s that time of year. Time to bring the froggies in that have been hiding in the garden all summer and put them on the kitchen shelf before the frost nips at their little webbed toes.

First is Nan’s frog. I stole him from her garden when Betty and I went to visit her one year. I think he looks better in mine and he must like it here since he never tried to leave.

Next we have “The Thinker”. I never knew what he was thinking about, but it looks pretty serious.

Fatty here was pretty skinny when I first got him, but certainly made up for it in no time. I must have had a lot more slugs in my garden than I was aware of.

Three sisters. I’m the cute one. Don’t be kissing these frogs because I don’t know what we would turn into, although I’m quite sure it won’t be princesses.

Whoa, not you big fella. Sorry but you have to stay outside. There’s no room on the shelf for you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dancing The Bunny Hop

Glancing out the window yesterday, I noticed a rabbit backed all the way up to the chain link fence that separates my yard from my neighbors. And he was dancing. All four feet jumping up and down to the beat of some song only he could hear, not unlike the way I dance around the house when I’m alone. Oh, c’mon, I know you do that too!!

It took a second or two for my brain to tell me that rabbits probably don’t dance very much, duh, and I realized that his little butt was actually stuck under the fence where he tried to crawl through and that there was a large black and white cat on the other side. And that cat was batting at his fluffy white tail with it’s two front paws. As I was getting set to run out there to try to help the poor little fella, he danced a little harder, squeezed the rest of his body through and off he went, none the worse for wear.

The cat just sat there and stared at him as he hopped away, stared at me as if to say “I was only playing”, then carefully washed his paws before he slowly sauntered back through the bushes and went back home.

For not dancing very often, that rabbit had some pretty good moves. I’m going to have to add some of those to my routine.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

History Lesson #1 Via Lake View Cemetery

The other day Betty and I decided to go on a little excursion to the cemetery. Not to purchase or plan anything mind you, but just to look at some of the notable's monuments and headstones.

And Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery has a whole slew of them. From humungous mausoleums and monuments down to the smallest of tombstones and grave markers. From huge names like Garfield (I’m talking about the President here not the cat) and Rockefeller to the unknown (to me anyway) names like Raymond Chapman.

Chapman was a Cleveland Indians shortstop from 1912-1920. While playing the New York Yankees in New York on August 16, 1920, Chapman was hit in the head with a ball thrown by pitcher, Carl Mays, and died 12 hours later. Chapman is the only major league baseball player to die due to an injury during a game. Dedicating the season in memory of "Chappie", the Indians won the league and world championship for the first time. I know that players have had to quit the game because of injuries but I never knew of one that was fatal. See what you can learn?

So anyway, after walking around a bit, taking a few photos, and marveling at the fact that some people will spend huge amounts of money for something they’re just going to lie around and decay in over the next hundred years, or less if an asteroid does indeed plop down on us and we’re all obliterated, I decided to post about a man that is known by everyone. Well, maybe not everyone, but a whole lot of people.

Eliot Ness
Anyone out there who doesn’t know of Eliot Ness? For those of you who don’t, he was the law enforcement officer who brought down Al Capone. Anyone out there who doesn’t know who Al Capone was? Watch some old movies.

Anyhow after being responsible for sending the biggest mob boss in the country to jail on income tax evasion, (thought to have been responsible for a few dozen murders, but could only get him on tax evasion) Ness came to Cleveland and became their safety director in 1935, cleaning up a very corrupt police department, (most big cities had that problem in the thirties), modernizing the police department by developing two-way communications between police cars and their police stations, and developing the Emergency Medical System. Ness also took Cleveland's worst traffic fatality record in the nation and turned it around to twice win the National Safety Council's award for reduction of traffic deaths. But problems were looming on the horizon. Along came the infamous Kingsbury Run Murders, “The Torso Murders” is what one newspaper called them, because… well… the torsos were cut up and there were…um… no heads.

This was the American equivalent of the gruesome crime spree of Jack the Ripper. Like the Ripper case, the murders left a number of mutilated victims behind and they remain unsolved to this day. It was a series of killings that started in 1935 and lasted until 1938 and had a total of about 12 victims, (they weren’t sure of the exact count because….well you know). Obviously it terrified the city and the ensuing newspaper coverage eventually destroyed the career of the once untouchable Ness. (Get it? Thinking Robert Stack? Kevin Costner? No? geeze, what’s it gonna take?)
Later, Ness said he believed that he knew who the killer was and this suspect continued to taunt Ness for years after the killings had stopped, but sadly, the Kingsbury Run murders really began the downturn of his earlier illustrious career.

He never really got over the taint that the murders left on his reputation and the fact they were never solved. The last decade of his life was full of poverty and frequent disappointment and he passed away in 1957 at the age of only 54. Ironically, considering his destruction of the Prohibition bootlegging gangs, Ness became a heavy drinker and suffered from poor health. He resigned from the position of Cleveland’s public safety director in 1941, after a scandal involving a hit-and-run accident, and in 1947 was badly defeated in a run for the Cleveland mayor’s office.

In 1953, after five years of poverty and obscurity, he became involved with a papermaking company and through a friend at the company, he had a chance meeting with a journalist named Oscar Fraley. The two men would later collaborate on a book entitled The Untouchables. It came out in 1957 and was an immense success, becoming a bestseller and inspiring two television series and a popular film. Tragically, Ness would never learn of this success as he died of a heart attack on May 16, 1957, six months before The Untouchables was published. His ashes were scattered in one of the many small ponds in the cemetery, and that reminds me of one of the old mob sayings “he sleeps with the fishes”. A bit ironic wouldn’t you say?

A little more than you really wanted to know about Eliot Ness? Just wait until the next history lesson.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monkey Shines

I have no idea why they call this a Monkey Flower. I can see no resemblance to a monkey no matter which way I look at it. Backwards, forward, sideways, upside-down, or inside-out (yes, I tried that).....nope, no monkey. I have to admit when I first bought these seeds, I did it mainly to say, "I have monkey flowers and you don't, nah nah" Also because I love the way they look.

Every year I start these from seed and put them in hanging baskets for the shady part of my garden. And every year they make me smile until the weather gets really hot, and they get leggy and ugly. But.....cut them back and they will start all over again.

Now in October all hanging baskets are finished, kaput, brown and ugly. All except one little plant with 2 little monkey blooms.
Earlier in the year, I cut some for a little vase on my windowsill.
See any monkeys in there?
I don't. The only monkey I see is the one on the other side of the camera. I beat you to it, nah, nah.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seeing Is Believing??

While watching the almost full moon come up last night, I noticed the halo around it and thought it would make a great photo.
Mmmmm......Both of them
Maybe I'm wrong but I'm almost positive Earth only has one moon.
Just goes to show, you can't believe everything you see.