On St. Valentine’s Day: A Slightly Risqué Conversation Between The Old Married People

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-7-32-22-amZen-Den and I were sitting in our living room the other evening.

I was playing Farm Heroes Super Saga on my iPad.

It’s a free game in which you collect brightly colored produce, flowers, rain drops, wheat sheaves, and acorns.  You accomplish this by moving pieces around the board while dealing with Darwin the Goat who eats wheat sheaves and Fidget the Squirrel who thunks acorns with his tail.

What’s not to love?

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-7-40-43-amZen-Den, on the other hand, was reading a copy of Smithsonian magazine, but he looked up to ask me how my game was going.

I told him I was on a particularly fun, but difficult, level where in order to win I needed to get Fidget the Squirrel to whack all the acorns on the screen.

To which Zen-Den commented: “Sure, any game in which nuts get a little tail is a good one. Enjoy.”

Image Sources: |1| |2|

~ Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone ~

If We Were Having Coffee On This February Morning…



We’d be sitting in my kitchen at the table, staying warm, glancing outside at the bleak leafless trees that make you wonder if you’ll survive this time of year with your sanity intact.

We’d be drinking basic brewed coffee, with cream, and eating donuts because carbs are where it’s at when the world is this dull and gray.  

We’d be listening to the local university rock radio station because on Saturdays they play hits from the 60s & 70s & 80s– and it’s fun, once in a while, to groove on tunes from the past.


√  We’d be sharing… our latest reading obsessions, which in my case would be 3 different books that I seem to read depending on which room I’m in.   My father did this and I realize I’m doing it now, too.  So, when I’m in the tv room I’m reading The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin.  In the living room I’m reading 1215, The Year of the Magna Carta by Danny Danziger & John Gillingham.  And in our bedroom I’m halfway through The Key by James N. Frey.  You’d assure me that this book-reading behavior isn’t as weird as it sounds.

√  We’d be discussing… how I find Cheryl Tiegs’s out-of-touch criticism of Ashley Graham’s size and look to be sad and spiteful.  I’d mention that I never thought CT had much on the ball, so I suppose she hasn’t noticed that the ideal body image of models has evolved and diversified since her days as a model.  I’d realize that I was being snarky, but conclude that sometimes it’s the only response to stupid.

√  We’d be laughing… about how this week, after months of effort, I got to Level 445 in Candy Crush Soda Saga, and how I believe I just might make it to the end of this game, which is Level 565.  You’d roll your eyes at me because whatever, but I’d still be proud of this achievement considering I’ve never come this close to finishing one of these silly games before.

√  We’d be talking… about how when Zen-Den went to buy paint for one of our bedrooms, he made me the happiest girl on the block when he bought me a brand-new slick and wonderful Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Fan Deck that has in it, according to the SW sales clerk, 200 new shades of paint.  My little amateur interior designer heart is racing with the possibilities.


IMG_0028We’d have to part after an hour or so of chit-chat because we each had obligations in the afternoon to get ready for. 

We’d hug and promise to get together sometime in the Spring, which for both of us is busy, then realize that maybe it’d be Summer before we do this again.

And we’d thank each other for listening to & laughing about our small victories and wacky ways.  Like friends do everywhere.  Often over a mug of coffee.

• • •

Idea for this post came from Diana at Part-Time Monster.

• • •

A Summer Afternoon At Home: Rocket Pays Gizzard

Sitting on the screened-in porch.  Reading a magazine.  Sipping an iced coffee.  Late afternoon.

Summer is all around me.

In the distance across the ravine hidden behind the trees I hear kids playing outside.  They have a trampoline over there–  and they play all sorts of “ball” sports, like football or softball or basketball.

These kids, who are around 8-10 years old, are a happy bunch.  Boisterous.

And supportive of each other.  I’ll hear some of them encouraging the other ones with “good job” and “awesome.”

There’s rarely an argument.

So, when I become aware of a lull in the kid noise, my ears perk up.

What is this, I think.  Not the usual light-hearted chatter.  Is there a problem over there in kid-topia?

As if on cue I hear one loud little voice yelling: “Rocket pays gizzard. Rocket. Pays. Gizzard. ROCKET PAYS GIZZARD.”

This child is insistent.

All sorts of other kid voices yell back at him: “That’s not right.”

Then silence.  Nary a sound.

Of course now I need to know what they’re up to, so I wait to hear what they will be say next– and much to my surprise I hear an adult voice.

An adult who is laughing while trying to speak.

An adult who has decided to intervene to keep things rolling along smoothly.

An adult who is correcting the kids who are trying to play…

{Answer in comments below.}

The Old Ball Game: Peanuts, Cracker Jacks & Katie Casey

•  I’VE BEEN TO THREE BASEBALL GAMES so far this year.

Two of the games were MLB & one was Single-A.  I’ve sat a few rows up from the field and I’ve sat a few rows down from the top.  Plus I’ve sat in box seats.

None of the games have been scoreless, but they haven’t been memorable either.  No grand slams.  No amazing fast balls.  No outrageous home runs hit out of the park.

Just pleasant somethings to do.

•  I ONLY MENTION THEM TODAY BECAUSE, oddly enough, I have no real flapdoodle or twaddle to tell you, my gentle readers.

I usually have something to say here, whether it be a topic or an observation or an absurdity.  So in place of the usual, I thought that I’d leave you with ALL the lyrics for “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”

Not everyone understands that if it weren’t for Katie Casey, none of us would be singing this particular song during the 7th inning stretch.

That girl had it going on!

• • •

• • •
Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Katie Casey was baseball mad
Had the fever and had it bad.
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev’ry sou, Katie blew;
On a Saturday, her young beau
Called to see if she’d like to go
To see a show, but Miss Kate said “No,
I’ll tell you what you can do.”

“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.”

Katie Casey saw all the games,
Knew the players by their first names;
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along, good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Katie Casey knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song:

“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.”

• • •

Candy Crush Soda Saga OR Lumosity: A Quiz To Determine Which One Is For You

::  THE QUIZ  ::

Q1:  Do you like to eat chocolate?  Y or N

Q2:  Do you resent being asked, every stinking day, how many hours you slept last night?  Y or N

Q3:  Do you enjoy searching for cute bears hidden underneath things?  Y or N

Q4:  Are you indifferent to the migratory patterns of flocks of black birds on a screen?  Y or N

• • •

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 9.09.04 AM

• • •

Q5:  Are you always up for a colorful, cheerful game with lots of groovy fish that make things blow up?  Y or N

Q6:  Do you think that doing arithmetic problems, that fall randomly down your screen, are the real reason you have begun to have nightmares about 5th grade again?  Y or N

Q7:  Do you think that when you lose a game seeing the message “You’ll get it next time!” is encouraging?  Y or N

Q8:  Do you think that when you encounter the opportunity to make words starting with two random letters, it’s best to make a long multi-syllabled word and that it’s poor manners to scold someone for not making a short three-letter word?  Y or N

• • •

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 • • •

Q9:  Do you like to eat honey?  Y or N

Q10:  Do you think that any game, for which you cannot find an unauthorized website of cheats + hacks, is of dubious value because you’re not learning how to advance in the game?  Y or N

Q11:  Do you think that you did your time as a waitress in college and need not relive that experience by serving pretend food + beverages to cartoon people, with specific names, at a nondescript virtual beach cafe?  Y or N

Q12:  Do you think that you can keep your brain healthy and sharp by playing a free game;  rather than challenging your cognitive abilities by playing games that have a monthly fee? Y or N

::  SCORING  ::

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 9.10.51 AMThe more you answered YESthe more you will like CANDY CRUSH SODA SAGA.   

You can learn more about the game here.

• • •

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.29.16 AMConversely, the more you answered NO, the more you will like LUMOSITY.

You can learn more about brain training here.   

Fred the Monkey & Sandrine the Bear’s Fun Afternoon

[The following story is my entry in evilsquirrel13’s The Second Annual Contest of Whatever.  Please enjoy!] 

Fred the Monkey & Sandrine the Bear’s Fun Afternoon

~ • ~

Fred the Monkey was bored.


All day it had snowed outside while he was stuck inside Grandpa Aloha and Grandma Mahalo’s house.  He wanted someone to play with, so he asked them if he could call Sandrine the Bear and invite her over to play games.

Grandpa and Grandma said that it was okay.


Sandrine arrived at the front door wrapped in her mother’s scarf.  She looked pretty and was warm.  Sandrine was ready to have fun.


Fred suggested that they play an easy game first.  He found Grandma Mahalo’s Tic-Tac-Toe game and the friends started to play it.


Because Sandrine was his guest, Fred let her go first.  She was “X.”


Fred was “O.”


Grandpa Aloha looked on as they played.  He loved to watch the kids goof-off just like he did growing up in Hawaii.

Suddenly, he realized that down in the basement there might be his favorite game for the kids to play.  He went downstairs and searched.


When Fred and Sandrine saw what Grandpa Aloha had found for them to play, they were delighted.  Grandpa’s favorite old-time game was Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.


Sandrine got to pick her side first.  She was “Red Rocker.”


Fred was “Blue Bomber.”


But after many exciting rounds of the game, both monkey and bear were ready for a snack.  They’d had enough fun punching each other.

Fortunately, Grandma Mahalo was more than happy to make them some tea and serve it with cookies.


Then it was time for Sandrine to go home, but the friends decided to do one last silly thing before she left.  They took a selfie with Buddha so that they’d have a photo to remind them of their fun afternoon playing games together.


~ The End ~

A Sunday With Purple Zombies And Deceitful Politicians

This morning is the first time this month that it has looked like winter outside.  There’s a dusting of white snow but it isn’t deep enough to cover the tops of the green grass blades.

I’m not surprised to see the snow this morning.  All day yesterday the TV weather forecasters were babbling about Monday’s SNOW! SNOW! SNOW!

You know how they get.

So yesterday, while anticipating this snowy Monday morning, we decided to spend the day at home getting the bounce back in our pounce.  Which is to say that we, two adults without children, played a board game and binge-watched a TV show.

# # #

We purchased our game on Saturday while shopping at an outlet mall.  We wandered into a toy and game store where I found a board game version of RISK.  Subtitled: THE GAME OF SUBURBAN DOMINATION.  Further sub-titled: PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES.

How cute is that?

So we bought the game and decided to make it our Sunday goal to learn how to play one of the three games available within the box.  We went with the easiest game in the box that I’d describe as a mixture of Chess, Jumanji, You Sunk My Battle Ship, Backgammon and Football.  It’s not all that Risk-like, but oh is it entertaining to play!

# # #

In-between learning how to play (or in my case lose) our new game, we watched House of Cards [American version].  I am totally smitten with this show, that I’d ignored until a few weeks ago when Kevin Spacey won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama.

Now, having watched 6 episodes of House of Cards, I’m fascinated by Francis and Claire.  They are amazing sociopathic characters.  I cannot imagine what deceitful, immoral, unethical, sneaky, conniving, manipulative, under-handed thing either of them will do next. 

With a unpredictable plot line and a narrative arc like no other, this show is fun to watch;  especially, if you happen to have had any experiences, unfortunate or otherwise, with people like Francis and Claire.

Just saying.

# # #

So what did you, my gentle readers, do this past weekend?

Were you productive?  Were you healthful?  Or, were you homebodies, like us, who played games and watched TV?

Spill the beans in the comments below.