The One About The Neighbors: What Will Be, What Isn’t Anymore, And What Is

Neighbor’s dead tree with turkey vultures [or turkey buzzards, pick your nomenclature]: I don’t like this.
WHAT WILL BE:

“Come and listen to my story bout a man named Jed, Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed…”  

Remember The Beverly Hillbillies? And remember their theme song?

Of course you do.

Well, that’s the song that’s been stuck in brain this past weekend.

Why?

I know not for sure other than Thanksgiving is about hospitality– and somehow seeing turkey vultures lounging above our property on the neighbor’s dead tree, that leans precariously in the direction of our screened-in porch, put the tune in my mind.

I don’t know that Jed Clampett shot turkey vultures, but it seems like something he’d have done.  I do know that the dead tree will eventually fall.  Fingers crossed, not on our roof.

So there’s that.

• • •

Neighbor’s empty backyard: I like this.

WHAT ISN’T ANYMORE:

“Well the first thing you know Jed’s a millionaire, Kinfolk said Jed move away from there…”

And speaking of neighbors I’ve taken the liberty of sharing with you, my gentle readers, a photograph of their empty backyard.  A backyard that is free from a huge, formerly well-used, swing set that is no longer there.

While I admit that the kids playing on the swing set were hilarious and the squirrels frolicking on the swing set were total goofballs, I’m happy that it’s gone from my view.

The neighbor kids are old enough to drive now and the swing set has disappeared, presumably to some other backyard where it’ll be loved as much as it was here.

Change happens, eh?

• • •

Neighbor’s wistful cat: I like him.

WHAT IS:

“You’re all invited back again to this locality, To have a heaping helping of their hospitality…”  

And finally while I’m on the topic of neighbors, here is a photo of their black and white kitty cat as seen on a foggy morning.

I don’t know his name, but he occasionally likes to sit under one of our trees.  He’s a natural, knowing how to pose for the camera– and takes a darned good picture.

He’s not destructive, just inquisitive, and not afraid to hang out in our yard when so moved by his need for a little peace and quiet away from kids and dogs.

I can understand.

• • •

Questions of the Day

{ answer whichever question OR questions strike your fancy }

  1. So what’s up with your neighbors?  Any of their trees poised to fall on your house? Anything missing from their yards? Any of their pets enjoying a respite in your yard?
  2. Can you sing The Beverly Hillbillies theme song from memory like I can?  How about Gilligan’s Island theme song?  Or The Flintstone’s theme song? 
  3. Do you believe I could get any more rambling and random than I have in this post?  And how does that make you feel?

Where I Was When I Wasn’t Here: San Antonio, TX

TO BEGIN

Colorful bat mosaic on wall at zoo.

“The world is a book. If you do not travel, you read only a page.”

The above quote, that I see every day when I’m at home, is on a framed piece of artwork that I have hanging on a wall in our home office.

I only mention this quote, attributed to St. Augustine, because I believe it to be true, a guiding principle.  Thus I said “hell to the yes” when I had the opportunity to spend a few days in pleasant and pretty San Antonio, TX.

You see, last week Zen-Den was in San Antonio for a conference.  Remembering how much fun we had there years ago, I joined him after the conference was over and we goofed off for a couple of days doing things in America’s 7th largest city that is celebrating its 300th birthday.

[Did not know either of those facts before visiting there. Feel that I’m a better person for having shared them here.]

THINGS WE DID

• The San Antonio River Walk which is a meandering multi-level path around an urban waterway surrounded by restaurants, shops, and hotels.

• The Briscoe Western Art Museum which was beautiful, and wherein I saw Roy Rogers’s saddle, a real Wells Fargo Wagon, and ate a complimentary cupcake.

• The Alamo Quarry Market which is an open-air shopping area filled with stores and restaurants, not necessarily unique to San Antonio but a nice place to wander around in the warm sunshine.

• The San Antonio Zoo which was lovely, with more animals from South America, Australia, and Africa than any other zoo I’ve been to.

• The Alamo City Comic Con which was our first adventure into the happy, trippy subculture that revolves around comic conventions.  Here are my observations: 1) people, often entire families, were costumed like comic book or TV or movie characters [we were not];  2) people were standing in line waiting to pay to have photos taken with and/or objects signed by celebrities [we did not];  & 3) people were buying memorabilia and posters and t-shirts from the displays set up by many vendors [we did not].

IN CONCLUSION

And with that I’ll end this post with a hat tip to St. Augustine and his travel advice, suggesting to you, my gentle readers, that San Antonio, TX, is a fun + friendly place to visit for those of you inclined to want to read more than one page of this book we call the world.

As College Begins, A Conversation About Time-honored Clichés & Proverbial Wisdom

Fawn sleeping in our Pachysandra. Posted here just because.

Here’s a fun conversation I had with a friend.

Friend’s youngest child, a girl, is going to college this fall.  Friend and husband didn’t go to college and their other children either didn’t go to college or lived at home while pursuing a degree.

Friend, who knows I went away to college and lived in the dorms [oh yes I did], was asking what advice would I give to her daughter.

Based on my experiences.

During the Dark Ages.

The question stumped me. I mean, it was soooo long ago, and while I admit that going away to college and living in the dorms helped define who I am today, my immediate answer was the somewhat less than articulate: I DUNNO.

Friend, of course, was taking none of that nonsense so together we got talking about time-honored clichés & proverbial wisdom.  You know, the things we say to each other, meant to be inspiration or balm for the soul, as we listen to each other’s woes and joys.

Eventually we realized that our advice could be put into five categories.  We might be phrasing things differently, but we were saying the same basic five ideas over and over again.  They are as follows.

BE WARY: take care don’t be a pawn in someone else’s game make no assumptions ask yourself, where is the lie?

BE YOURSELF: follow your dreams reach for the stars  well-behaved women rarely make history define yourself

DO YOUR BEST: never give up if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again the same fire that consumes the straw, refines the gold positive begets positive

PEOPLE SUCK: stupid is an iceberg no matter what, someone will take it too seriously never make as your priority someone who considers you optional “no” is a complete sentence

OH WELL, WHATEVER: don’t let the seeds stop you from enjoying the watermelon tomorrow is another day  build a bridge, get over it plans change, often

QUESTION OF THE DAY

What did we forget? What else should be here?

Do tell, in the comments below. 

Self-Awareness Is Good, But I Find Some Of This Questionable

For better or worse I’ve taken some online quizzes…

THE FIRST QUIZ  I took was Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz.  It is HERE.

My results tell me I’m a QUESTIONER, meaning I “Resist outer expectations, Meet inner expectations.”  While it might be heavy-handed to say that I questioned my results, I [of course] did.

Or at least I did initially.

However upon reflection, I’ve decided to embrace my natural tendency to question.  Hence I give you my results from two other online quizzes I took, in which I found myself questioning my results.

Like the questioner I am.

+ +

THE SECOND QUIZ that I’d like to talk about is Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism.  It is HERE.

My results tell me that I barely know squat about emojis.

I’ve no difficulty owning up to this assessment of my emoji knowledge.  What I find myself questioning is why I should know more about emojis– and how many gazillion of them are there now?

I don’t hate on the things, silly as they are;  I use about 10 of them and that seems plenty to me.  But what I’m unclear about is why I need to educate myself about emojis when I can still use my words effectively to convey my message.

Just saying, no disrespect intended.

+ +

THE THIRD QUIZ that I took was Which Era Is Your Soul From?  It is HERE.

According to my results I belong in the Victorian Era.  This is because I “believe in remaining optimistic in a world that is sometimes against you.”

I’m reluctant to accept this result, feeling that if there’s one era I most definitely do not belong in, it’s the Victorian Era.

If my results had said I belonged in the Flapper Age I’d be all *woot, woot* count me in, where’s the gin?  Or if my results had suggested that I belonged in the 1940s when women kept this country going while the men went to war, I’d be all move over Rosie, time for me to get riveting.

My optimistic soul would fit into those eras, but the Victorian Era when women were corseted and stuck at home with the vapors only doing domestic things?

Well, that’s not me… at all.

A Puzzle: Flying Pigs & Swizzle Sticks

Sorting through stack of magazines piled up ready to go into recycling bin.

Found half-finished crossword puzzle book.

Published in 2005, purchased around that time by me at B&N.

Rescued the book intending to puzzle through a puzzle.

[Crossword, that is.] 

Found an almost finished puzzle with “flying pigs & swizzle sticks” written on the page.

In my handwriting.

For some reason. 

No flying pigs in this puzzle, if there were swizzle sticks I didn’t see them.

Mind starts to wonder why I wrote these words on this page.

Delightful gibberish, slightly whimsical, with no actual meaning?

Could be, sounds like how I think.

Something I heard someone say so I wrote it down?

Not likely, but possible.

The name of a new blog I was contemplating?

I suppose. Maybe.

An encouraging phrase suggesting better things are to come?

Sure, why not? Let’s say that’s what this phrase means.

No need to belabor this obvious example of the inevitable decline of my memory.

We’re all older now.

We forget things.

But darn it, I sure wish I could remember what the heck I was talking about when I scribbled this clever phrase on the page.

Saving it for me to find 13 years later…

Anything like this happen to you? Do you remember? 

Don’t Harsh My Mellow, I’m Only Doing What Mom Taught Me To Do

Mom was a proponent of a good lollygag and fritter.

To be clear she accomplished things in her life, but she also took the time to not be focused on her To Do List, allowing herself to let go of the need to accomplish things all hours of the day.

To wit, yesterday afternoon her daughter, moi, was out running important errands when it dawned on moi that spring had finally arrived.

The sky was medium blue with gorgeous white clouds floating across the it.  The trees were sporting bright green leaves again.  The temps were in the 70s so that I was wearing capris + sandals.

Thus, channeling my mother + remembering her admonishment to lollygag and fritter, I decided to toss my To Do List aside and stop at Home Depot to wander aimlessly through their garden nursery department.

I half-filled a shopping cart with herbs and annuals.  Nothing exotic, just tasty and pretty plants.  Then I went to pay for them at the checkout counter where the sales clerk, dispensing with your traditional “hello,” asked me:

Are you having a productive day?

And you know what, my gentle readers?  Her question about productivity, asked in that moment, peeved me in a way that surprised me.

She was, I believe, harshing my mellow.

Was I not, I ask you, paying tribute to my mother’s memory by lollygaging and frittering in the garden nursery department, not bothering a soul with my mellowness?

Why yes, Ally Bean, you were paying tribute to your mother’s memory by doing that which she taught you to do.

However, putting my snitification aside, I also believe that, knowing Mom’s sense of humor, she was laughing from heaven above about my irritation over a small thing in life on earth.

Yep, she was probably lollygaging and frittering on a beautiful white fluffy cloud– like the ones I could see floating overhead while I mumbled something to the sales clerk about being productive enough… for today.

Be The Light: Of Serious Fun & Sensible Fools

INTRODUCTION

As you probably remember I’ve joined a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  Today’s post will be my twelfth and last contribution to this event.

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This almost being the last Friday of March [a month when the last Friday is a Christian holiday] and with the “please post when you can” blessing of the WATWBPTB, I have a short news story to share with you, my gentle readers.

THE NEWS STORY  

Last year Dnald (Don) Levy decided that what New Orleans needed was another parade, one specifically dedicated to April 1st.

Following his muse he named this parade Krewe du Fool April Fool’s Day parade, and along with 25 other people he made the parade happen on April Fool’s Day.

This year the Krewe du Fool April Fool’s Day parade will be on this coming Sunday which also happens to be Easter Sunday.  The theme of the parade will be “Fool’s Gold” and the marchers will distribute golden eggs.

Follow the link above should you like to join in the parade or cheer them on from the curb.

MY COMMENTARY

What’s not to love here? 

New Orleans is known for its parades, so another one, dedicated specifically to a silly holiday, fits right into the vibe of the city.

And then to think that one man, for the heck of it, made this parade happen, tickles me to no end.

We’re living in serious times when seemingly insurmountable problems dominate the world news, so from my point of view anyone, or anything, that can add a bit of harmless joy to our lives is the epitome of positive.

And kids, we need more positive.

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