In Which I Explain That I’m Not A Cornflake

I like Janet. She knows things. She is encouraging. She is her own style muse. And her name? So easy to remember. { image source }

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Having reached Level 1000 in Candy Crush Soda Saga, I decided to give it up and download a new game onto my smart phone.  To play the new game I had to create a user name, a nickname as the game called it.

Anyone who knows me knows that wordsmith-ery and problem-solving are my strengths in life.  Thus, you’d think that I’d be a wiz at creating nicknames, wouldn’t you?

But in this case I became frustrated because I couldn’t find one that was not already in use.  I mean I tried basic ones, then I tried what I thought were unique names for moi and to a one, these names were all were taken.

Teal Flower? GONE.

BeeBeeBee? GONE.

One Fine Gamegirl? GONE.

So eventually, being a woman with a large vocabulary who prides herself on perseverance & perspicacity, I decided to turn this problem on its head and do the opposite of what I thought made sense. Hence, instead of describing myself as I am, I chose to describe myself as I am not.

And guess what?  Using this shrewd reverse-thinking approach I found a nickname that wasn’t taken.

Yes, my gentle readers, please share in my amazement that NOT A CORNFLAKE was an available nickname, that is now mine.

So on that rather absurd note, with joy in my heart about life’s funny moments, I’m back to blogging.

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How ‘ya been? What’s new with you? Got a nickname that you care to share? 

Just say something in the comments below. Talk to me.

I missed all of you. 

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Share Your World | Going To The Turtles

Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.  It’s a good thing, ‘ya know?

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 What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?



Here’s my take on it: a bunch of people, who call themselves a team and wear matching culottes, make a big deal about bouncing a ball while running to one end of a wooden court where they make squeaky noises with their shoes as they toss the ball among the team members.  Eventually, someone attempts to throw the ball into an overhead small circular net.

Why?  No one knows.

Then, the whole nonsensical show repeats at the other end of the court allowing the other team to do the same thing.  And then it happens again.

Ad infinitum. 👎

What quirky things do people do where you are from?

No one does this where I live now but…

I grew up in a small town where the word “mango” meant green pepper.  Yep, no one called green peppers what they were, except my mother who knew that a mango was a tropical fruit, not a vegetable.

She never tried to correct anyone in town on this point, but she did make it clear to me that what everyone in this small town believed to be true, was in fact objectively false in the rest of the world.

It was a life lesson, I suppose, on the dangers of groupthink.  And of putting the wrong ingredients into your recipes.

 • What are some things you wish you could unlearn?

What it is like to be inside a MRI.  All of them, any style.  It’s a feeling too horrible for words.

Who is someone that you miss having in your life? 

I used to go to yoga classes at the wellness center in a local hospital. Carol, a RN, taught the classes.

These classes were the most safe and satisfying yoga experiences I ever had.  However, Carol retired, the hospital closed the wellness center, and I’ve been left ever since trying to find [unsuccessfully] anyone as fun and centered as Carol was.

I miss Carol.

Optional Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week’s gratitude award goes to Fredrik Backman for writing the darkly humorous novel, A Man Called Ove.  This book kept me entertained/distracted for hours so that the remodeling noise and the various people traipsing around inside our house did not bother me.  No better review, eh?

This week’s looking forward to something goes to meeting some friends to go see a professional baseball game.  We do this once a year and it’s always a good time, regardless of who wins the game.

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This post is part of Cee’s Share Your World Weekly Writing Challenge.

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Thinking About Opinions While In The Presence Of Sharp Pointy Things

{ Photo by Samuel Scrimshaw via Unsplash }

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Just because something happens, and I am aware of it, doesn’t mean that I have anything to say about it.  Or that I will change my behavior because of it.

I got thinking about this idea the other day when I went to the doctor’s office.  After a brief wait in the waiting room a nurse called me back to the examining rooms.  As we walked along she asked me what I’d done over the weekend.

Basic chit-chat as I got settled into the room, ‘ya know?

Or so I thought.

I told her that we’d gone to a college hockey game.  I was starting to elaborate when she interrupted me with a tirade against the university whose team we’d seen play.

# # #


Me, mild-mannered: Uh, no… well, yes… it’s a college campus…


Me, contrite: Uh, yes I did… not good…


Me, polite: Uh, no… didn’t know your son considered it, but if he didn’t feel like he’d be safe there then I’m glad he didn’t go there…


Me, quietly: Because it was for work… and it was free… and we had a fun time…

# # #

Now clearly I hit a nerve with this woman.  And as you, my gentle readers, can tell, I answered her questions as accurately as I could, considering that she had at her disposal sharp pointy and pokey things that she could use, while upset, to inadvertently hurt me.

I’m not a fool.

But this conversation, such as it was, did give me pause.  It got me thinking about how I now live in a society where everyone seems to have strong opinions about many things, and you never know what topics are going to set somebody off.  

[See conversation above.]

I also realized that, ironically, I have to admit that I have no opinion about all the people with all the opinions.  Say what you will, think what you want.  Live and let live, you know?

Just don’t hurt me in the process.  That’s all I ask.

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.

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

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We Didn’t Fit In, But We Had A Good Time: Go Bucks!

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 8.26.01 AM
If you go to OSU, the only red that counts is SCARLET.

On Saturday afternoon we joined our closest 105,000 “friends” and went to a Ohio State football game.  The game was in Ohio Stadium, aka The Shoe, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places.  It is located on The Ohio State University main campus, which is in Columbus, OH.

The Shoe was packed.

After exiting from the highway, getting to our parking place, which was beside The Shoe, was an adventure in dodging drunk psyched fans, driving hither & yon on surface streets– and highlighted by a bomb squad checkpoint.

We passed.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 8.27.48 AM
Gray, however, is GRAY regardless of your OSU allegiance.

Then getting to our seats on a box level, accessible via huge dual-door elevators, turned into a lark.  Fortunately the arena’s staff kept us laughing all along the way, as we two confused outsiders tried to find our box.

Very pleasant people.

The OSU marching band, aka The Best Damn Band in the Land, did script Ohio, which I maintain is the real reason anyone goes to these football games.  And the home team won.  So all was good.

Yay football.

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Here’s my takeaway:

Every person who attended this event, except us, was wearing team colors, scarlet & gray.  I MEAN EVERYONE.  And though no one dissed us for not having any team merchandise on our bodies, I felt odd about it.

I’m not one to wear showy clothes, nor have I ever felt comfortable in team apparel, so despite wanting to be part of the group, I couldn’t bring myself to spend monies on any of the over-priced shirts, hats, shorts, sweatshirts, scarves, et cetera, that were available for purchase.

This wasn’t a problem, but it’s an observation that marketing has taken over the game.  Meaning that looking the part of a fan is now as important as, if not more important than, being a fan.

This reality made for a visually weird overly enthusiastic-looking crowd of people wearing, what they hoped was scarlet but in actuality was multiple shades of red, emblazoned with the iconic Block O.

Fans? Perhaps.  Followers? Definitely.

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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.}