There was an error in this gadget
There was an error in this gadget

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dropping in the New Year

Most of us have watched the glittering ball in Times Square take the plunge into the new year.
There is a town in North Carolina that has its' own unique tradition.  The tradition has come under fire this year as being cruel to animals.

Brasstown, North Carolina celebrates the new year with an opossum drop at mid-night. I can see it now on Hillbilly Holiday.  It reminds me of a Thanksgiving episode on "WKRP In Cincinnati" when Les dropped turkeys from a helicopter as a promotional gimmick.  What Les didn't know, turkeys don't fly, so the birds landed, non too gently, onto the parking lot below.  At least the opossum has a fighting chance in his clear box that is gently lowered to the ground. 

The organizers have decided to use a stuffed (toy) opossum to appease the protests from animal rights groups.  It was also suggested that they use road-kill in place of a live opossum.  I vote for the stuffed version, that way no matter which way the wind blows spectators won't have to hold their noses. 

Take a few minutes to think about your New Years traditions.  I'm making my new years resolutions as I do every year.  I'm big on recycling so I'll be using the ones I had last year and the year before and the year before get the picture.  Make sure no critters are hurt in your tradition and don't be afraid to try new things.  Until next time beware of falling opossum's, turkeys and anything else that drops out of the sky at mid-night New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Dream Car

A few posts back I talked about technology in the Jetson's catching up to reality.  Well, technology has once again caught up to my imagination.

We all have our dream car.  When I was younger, and by younger I mean pre-driving age, my dream car was a Mercedes Coupe.  I thought they were the cats meow.  When I reached driving age my dream car became anything that ran. 

As a child I would ride in the back of our family station wagon and use the vents as steering wheels and microphones.  I would start my engine and tell the car where to take me and off we went.

I heard on the news a few weeks back that my new idea of a dream car is about to become a reality.  I was born with several eye conditions that make sharing the road with other drivers at night, well, it isn't a good idea.  I also have difficulty reading signs, so driving in unfamiliar places is frustrating.  All of this is about to change.

We already have a car that will parallel park itself, something I could use when trying to squeeze my F-150 into a space meant for a mini coupe.  The next logical step was to develop a car that will drive itself.  I heard this and watched the story.  The possibilities flashed before my eyes.  I would no longer be dependant on others if I wanted to go out at night.  Unfamiliar streets would no longer be a problem as long as the GPS information was up-to-date.  I would be free to roam where I wanted and when I wanted. 

I thought of what this would mean to older drivers.  They could continue driving on their own keeping their Independence.  People who go out and celebrate could get home safely, well as long as they could remember where to tell the car to take them.  The possibilities for this new age technology is endless.  I don't know how much this new auto is going to sell for, but I plan to pay the price and think it is worth every dollar.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Balanced Life

We hear a lot about keeping balance in our lives, Yen versus Yang.  Example, all work and no play makes _________a ____________.  You fill in the blanks.  If we want good health and longevity, we need to balance diet with exercise. 

I like keeping a balanced household.  We have two dogs, one twelve year old female and one young two year old dude.  A female cat that is small and dainty and a younger tom we refer to as our mountain lion.  All balanced between young and old, male to female and big to small.

My husband and I balance, he needs to gain weight while I need to lose it.  Now if only those treatments that claim to melt fat could magically melt it off me and inject it where he needs it.  Our habits are in balance, he puts things away and I simply leave them where they lay.
My inner thermometer runs hot and his runs cold.  In the summer you can find him wearing sweats with a knit cap on his head while I’m sitting there in a bathing suite or shorts.
I keep our meals balanced, I try to have a meat, a starch and something green.  My mother taught me how to keep pies and cakes balanced by trimming off any uneven edges. 
Even our respective families balance each other.  He comes from a large Catholic family while I come from a small Presbyterian one.  His family reunion filled a hotel while mine couldn’t fill a port-a-potty. 
Balance is good.  By staying balanced we stay on the narrow tight-rope of life, but if you think about it, it’s the unbalanced ones that fall and hit the net to experience life outside the box.
Until next time, do what I do as I’m evening up the edge of an Apple Pie popping the trimmed edge into my mouth; tell yourself it’s only fruit.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Technology Catches Up With The Jetsons

Remember the The Jetsons?  They were the space-age family on Saturday morning who traveled in the family saucer, had a robot for a maid and talked on phones with video and audio capabilities. 

We may not have flying saucers for transportation but we do have cars that park themselves, tell us if there is a door open or if you have a tire low on air.  If you have a GPS to find how to get from point A to point Z, just say your desired destination out loud and a voice gives you detailed directions on how to get there.  It even tells you if you missed a turn or went the wrong way.  I understand it is just a matter of time before we have cars that will actually do the driving for us.  I remember as a child sitting in the back of the family wagon pretending to punch in an address and the car took me to where I wanted to go.  Who would have thunk it would come true some day.  I was a visionary without knowing.

The average family may not have a robot maid like Rosie but many families have a Romba, a little robotic floor sweeper that keeps dirt from accumulating.  I imagine they provide entertainment for the family cat as well. 

Now that we have Skype, you can see and talk to friends and family at the same time.  The first time we skyped with our daughter at college we sat the laptop on the coffee table.  Our dog Angel jumped up, tail wagging when she heard Susan's voice.  Thinking Susan was in the room Angel started looking for her.  She stared at the laptop with a puzzled look on her face.  Then she looked under the table and behind the laptop.  When she couldn't find Susan she went back to her favorite resting spot and resumed her nap.

Cell phones have come a long way in the past four years.  We recently up-graded our phones.  The ones we had were three to four years old and way behind in technology.  My husband and daughter chose smart phones.  I went with what I called a dumb phone, no Internet or fancy features like voice to text messaging.  I'd be happy with a Jitterbug made and designed for seniors.  My phone does have a few perks, I can take pictures and video and it has a touch screen that makes changing settings easier and faster.  My husbands new phone can follow voice commands, turn spoken words into a text message, download movies, music, e-mail, you name it, it can do it.  The sad part is by next week technology will have advanced again leaving us in the dark.

Until next time, remember, the sky's the limit which means there is no limit since the sky goes on through space for infinity. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Comments Please!!!

Like most writers there is a part of me that knows what I write is passable but deep in a hidden recess of my brain there is still a small nagging voice that asks, "Do people enjoy what I write?

If you read any of my blog entries, let me know what you think,  even if it's a simple, like or I don't get it.  Writer's can only grow stronger by having feedback. You, my audience, are my critique group for Fruit to Nuts.  Please, critique away.  Until next time, help make a child a reader, let them see you reading a book, magazine, blog post or report.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Black Holes

There have been several stories of late involving the new frontier.  A man donned a space suite and ascended to the brink of space in a souped up balloon, then parachuted back to Earth.  The mere thought puts my vertigo into hyper-drive.  I constantly tell my husband, "If you ever want to get rid of me and have it look natural. put me on a roller-coaster.  I'll be dead from a heart attack with-in the first two minutes, maybe less."
My home is an inter-active model of Space.  There is a debris field floating around waiting to smack you in the face and aliens who have taken over the bodies of my cats and dogs so they can observe a "normal" Earth family.  Then, there's the Black Hole.  I can't see it, black holes are invisible but I know it's there.  In the last year I have had two sets of truck keys disappear.  You say, "Don't you mean lost?"  No, vanished, gone, vaporized...  I have torn my house apart by putting things away and recycling countless pounds of paper.  No keys. I emptied the black hole that is my purse, no keys.   I know they should be there, I had to have them in order to drive home.  I have looked under furniture, in pockets on the ground.  No keys. 
Other items have gone missing in the past.  A couple of years ago a can of varnish vanished without a trace.  The aliens must have finished with it because I found it years later in a flower bed.  I had no idea that space aliens had teeth that left dents like a canine.  Wait, I said the aliens had taken over my dogs and cats, so that explains the teeth marks.
I keep waiting for the black hole to spit back my keys.  I had to have a new key made so I would have wheels.  A new key with micro-chip, without an existing key to program from is painfully expensive.  If I didn't need wheels now, I would have waited for a cheaper solution, going on an inter-galactic space hunt.

Until next time, keep your keys close and your eyes telescoped on your cats and dogs, they are out there watching our every move.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mucking Around In The Mud

“Summer time and the living is easy…”.  Children are out of school and parents are pulling their hair out while it storms in parts of the country keeping everyone inside.

So, what do you get when you mix children and summer rain?   You get a whole lot of fun in the mud.    Mud puddles are magnates.  If you doubt this, watch a child or dog after a good rain.  They will go out of their way to jump in the middle of the biggest puddle making as big a splash as possible. We used to have a leaking sprinkler head that made a huge puddle.  I would watch as our dog made a bee-line for it and splashed until she was soaked and caked with mud.  She always had a happy, goofy look on her face when she finished. The look on my face was not happy or goofy.

Recently, I saw a picture of someone covered in mud.  I mean they looked like a mud sculpture they were so completely covered.  I clicked on the story to find it had to do with a mud festival up north.  I was intrigued. Were there more mud festivals, you bet.  I found celebrations involving mud all over the globe. 

Reading about the celebrations of mud I thought about all the fun I had as a child making mud pies, squishing it between my bare toes and yes, throwing a big handful on someone.  Today mud is used in spas.  Most of us have watched a scene where the character(s) are sitting in a tub of mud, or laying down swathed in robes with mud all over their face.  I, myself, use a powdered mud product I mix and put on my face.  I have to say, it does pull the impurities out of my skin.  Maybe I should try a full body mud treatment.

Children know instinctively what to do with mud, but for those of us without imaginations there are web sites dedicated to activities involving mud.  Children love the stuff and according to the pictures I saw of celebrations and festivals around the world dedicated to mud, the fun doesn’t stop in childhood.

A neighbor told me about how she and her cousins used a muddy field, a tractor and skis or a boogie board to go, as she called it, Redneck skiing.  It sounded like fun.  Guys and I guess gals too put huge tires on their trucks and head on over to the local mud ranch to sling  as much mud as their trucks can muster.  

That’s all for today until next time take off your shoes the next time it rains and be a kid, run without abandon through the nearest mud puddle, you’ll be glad you did.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

From Dog House to Spa: The Ultimate Pampered Pooch

          Back when I was growing up, taking care of the family pet was a walk in the park.You took them for their shots once a year and when they looked or acted poorly you took them to see the local vet.  They ate Gravy Train for dinner and slept on a rug or in a basket.  Children went out to play and Rover followed them all over the neighborhood. 

Speed forward fifty years.  You can still buy Gravy Train but there is also Chef Michaels’ gourmet stew in small tubs, no left-overs for fussy eaters.  Bakeries that cater to the canine palate have sprung up across America from big cities to small towns.  Birthday parties as well as weddings complete with dresses, tuxes, rings, cakes etc. can be catered and orchestrated.

If you have an uptown kind of dog, you can find collars with jewels that cost more than my daughter’s college education.  And of course you can buy the most chic outfit to show it off.

It used to be you went off with your girlfriends for a spa weekend.  Now you can have a spa weekend with your pooch.  She gets a blueberry facial, massage, aroma therapy and a swim.   If you live in the city and work, you can send your best friend out for a good run with an athlete or send them to doggie daycare.

   Want to spend more time with your doggie?  Take a yoga class with him/her.  When the owner is relaxed and feeling good, the pet relaxes and a strong connection is made between the two.

If you live in California, you can subscribe to Dog TV.  They show a variety of shows to relax the anxious dog, stimulate the sluggish dog and entertain.  At some day care and boarding centers, they show dog friendly movies and give aroma therapy.  

For pet lovers who don’t have a pool, you can join a swim club for dogs.  One of our local vets has a bone shaped pool behind her clinic.  She hosts dog swim parties a couple of times a summer. 

Have a best friend, who is a little large for a pool?  Take him to a dog beach and play together in the sand.

There are as many extravagances for dog lovers and their constant companions as there are breeds.  That’s all for today, I have to go massage my Angel while her blueberry mask sets.  Then we’re going for a swim.  What do you do to pamper your furry loved ones?  Tell us in the comment box.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hard Rock Café and Casino, Watch out for the Grannies!

The story a few weeks ago about a weekly gathering of elderly women in Cyprus brought back memories from my childhood.  This group of genarians  got together once a week.  Apparently on this day they preferred poker to bridge.  It also just happened the police chose this day to raid the party, arresting about 40 women. The women, were all 70 and older, including a 98 year old.  The cash involved was small, probably a little higher than penny poker (a penny doesn’t go as far as it used to).  When the attorney general heard about the arrests, he quickly dropped all charges.  Maybe one of the ladies was his grandmother. 

From my earliest days I remember the weekly poker game that took place in my home-town.  Like in Guys and Dolls, the game moved from one house to another.  Not because the players were afraid of being found out, but to give everyone a chance to provide the beer and peanuts.  The group that gathered was a distinguished lot, a well known attorney, professors, doctors and of course the clerk of the court.  It was amazing, these professional men started acting like rowdy teenagers the moment they crossed the threshold.  They whooped and hollered, told what they thought were bawdy jokes and generally had a good time.  As the group aged, the games ended earlier, the pots grew bigger and the drinking less.  Age forced some to hitch a ride with a fellow poker player, making parking easier.  Life cycles changed the roster every so often and on weeks when they couldn’t find enough players, the game was cancelled.  I don’t know if there is still a game going on, all I know is the group my dad played with is long gone.  May the gents from the old poker game always be able to ante up and put together a winning hand.  As I finish this entry, I wonder, if a strip poker game is raided, would the players be arrested?  After all, there would be no money in the pot to use as evidence.  On the other hand, the loser might be arrested for indecent exposure since they wouldn’t be wearing any if much clothing. 

Until next time, when playing any form of strip game, make sure you’re the winner either by actually winning the game or losing to a really cute opponent.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Chamilian Car

I read a story the other day about a Grandma who caught four men stealing her car from a parking lot. She threw down her bags, pulled out her .38 and yelled, "Get away from the car or I'll shoot." The four immediately took off at lightening speed. The woman proceeded to put her bags in the back seat and go home. She tried and tried to start the car but the key wouldn't fit the ignition. That's when she noticed personal items in the car that weren't hers. Face red, she realized she was in the wrong car. Her car, same make, model and color was one row over. She drove to the police station to report what she had done. The officer on duty smiled and pointed to a group of men who were reporting a car jacking by a little old lady. No charges were filed.

I drive a Desert Sand Camry. If the Camry is one of the most popular cars, Desert Sand must be the most popular color. Every time I go out I pass several Camrys that look just like mine. I have even parked next to an identical Camry at Wal-Mart. Now, I didn't go as far as pulling a weapon and ordering a group of would-be thieves to move away from the car but I have to admit I have mistakenly gotten into the wrong Camry at Wal-Mart.
I opened the front door, threw my bags in the passenger seat. As I leaned over I noticed a a sweater tossed over the the back of the passenger seat. It didn't look familiar but I checked it off to being my daughter's. As I tried to put the key in the ignition I saw a banana peel slung over the dash. I may not have recognized my daughter's sweater but I knew I hadn't left a blackening banana peel on my dash. That's when I started noticing other small details that screamed, get out of the car, it's not yours! I couldn't scramble out of that car fast enough. I worried what I would say if the real owner came back as I was taking my bags out. No one came and I successfully found and drove off in my Desert Sand Camry. If the other owner had come back, I would have complimented them on their choice of car and pray they had a good sense of humor. Until next time remember, bright, neon colored autos never get lost in a crowded parking lot.