Of Sibling Rivalry & Raffle Tickets


# # #

I’m an only child so for me sibling rivalry is a spectator sport.  Filled with unique characters.  Often entertaining.

So late one afternoon the doorbell rang.  When I looked out our front door side lights I saw two sisters in Catholic school uniforms: a 6 y.o. and a 9 y.o. with their mother standing far behind them down the sidewalk.

The sisters were punching/pushing each other off our front stoop trying to be the one who stood directly in front of our door when I opened it.

The 9 y.o. won.

# # #

But before she could tell me why she was here and what it was I would be buying, the 6 y.o. took one last stab at getting my attention.  And I have to say it was clever.

We have lots of rose bushes along our front walk and with roses, come bees– especially in September when bees get crazy as the summer ends.  They buzz everywhere.

So the 6 y.o., batting her hands wildly, jumped in front of her sister to save me from a bee getting into the house.  The 9 y.o. and I never saw the bee in question, but the brave 6 y.o. assured us that it was right there.

And, as we all know, 6 y.o. girls of all religions, races & nationalities, always tell the truth.

# # #

At this point the 9 y.o. looked like she was going to strangle her little sister.  But her mother noticed this too, so she came up closer to the house and threatened said:

<loud voice> <do this or else>

“Tell Her What You’re Selling.  And Where You Go To School.”

</do this or else> </loud voice>

# # #

There was a long pause, so quiet and still that you could hear the gears creaking inside each girl’s brain.

I waited.

A mere 3 minutes after I’d opened the door the two sisters had come to the realization that they needed to work together in this moment if they were to get a sale and keep Mom happy.

So with a more-grimace-than-smile look on their faces, they told me their sales pitch– and I found out that I’d be buying two $10.00 raffle tickets that would give me the chance, later this month, to win:

<loud voice> <in unison>

“Three. Thousand. Dollars.”

</in unison> </loud voice>

# # #

Not to dismiss the wonderfulness of winning that much money but I gotta tell ‘ya that from my point of view, I felt like I had already spent my $20.00 wisely.  I didn’t need to win $3000.00 later, when at this very moment a live one-act show, such as this one, had magically appeared at my front door.

Like I said, sibling rivalry.  So fun to watch.

One Deck, One Grill, One Squirrel. Of Course.

[Subtitled: Do Squirrels Eat Hamburgers?]

I happened to be walking through the back of our house when I glanced out the patio door onto the deck and noticed that our Weber grill had grown a tail overnight.

DSCN3511 - Version 2

Upon closer examination I noticed that there seemed to be a certain critter hiding behind the grill.  So I bided my time to see if, by chance, this critter was our good old friend, Fuzzy.  It didn’t take long for me to confirm that Fuzzy the Squirrel was back to his annoying tricks.


From my vantage point inside the house I could see that our friend was using his backside to try to nudge the top off the grill, presumably to get to the hamburger grease + burnt nibbles that were left inside the grill from the night before.

DSCN3515Naturally when I inquired about his sneaky-looking behavior Fuzzy ignored me.  He is a master of indifference, so when he turned his back on me I wasn’t all that surprised.  Instead, I just waited to see what he’d do next, knowing that he can never stay still very long.


And true to form, with one wistful sideways glance toward the grill, Fuzzy ran away from me along the top of the deck railing toward his home in Tree #3479 in the forest primeval.  It is there, I presume, he found something else to do with his time besides making himself a nuisance on our deck.


But he also left me wondering if squirrels eat hamburgers.  So I did a quick Google search after which I realized that this question has no reliable answer, but does lead one to an unexpected link to an abstract of an academic paper.  Of course.

QOTD: And What Mysteries Keep You From Going Stale?

{A Different Sort of Throwback Thursday Post}

~ • ~

“Kings and statesmen, business men and professional men read mystery stories for relaxation, for fun, and to sharpen their wits for the daily battle of life.

Don’t let yourself go stale.  These books are better than a radio drama and cheaper than a good movie for the family and keep you alert.  Have your bookseller send you the books listed below and save over 65% from the former $2.00 price.”

~ • ~

Bookmark - 1

~ • ~

SO I FOUND THIS Sun Dial Mysteries 1930s [?] bookmark in an old book that happens to be in a large stack of old books that happen to be in our basement.  I was charmed by the sexist copy on the bookmark, and I was intrigued by the titles of the books listed on it.

I knew that Leslie Charteris wrote The Saint books, but I’ve never read one.  And I knew that Georgette Heyer was a contemporary of Agatha Christie, but I’ve never read one of her books either.  The rest of the authors were new to me.

~ • ~

I HAVE NO IDEA who these oldtime mystery writers might be.  I can’t even keep up with the current mystery writers, which is why I thought that I’d ask you, my gentle readers: which mystery writers do you enjoy the most?  Or, if you don’t read mysteries, what do you read that I should be reading, too?

Heaven knows, I must remain alert and not go stale!

Faced With Irony In The Grocery Store Checkout Lane, I Smile

While standing in the checkout lane at Kroger the shopper in front of me, a 70-something woman, told me and the cashier, a 20-something man, about how she downloaded her coupons onto her smart phone all by herself.  She was very proud of her success, and both the cashier and I congratulated her on doing so.

She was happy. And so were we.

In passing, the chatty cashier mentioned to us that Kroger was using virtual coupons because that was a way to save paper and help the environment.  The 70-something woman said: Oh yes, I’m all about saving paper.  It’s such an important thing to do.  I believe in that.

She was adamant. And we were impressed.

Then she pulled out her checkbook and wrote a [paper] check for her purchases leaving me to glance at the cashier who looked like he was going bust a gut, not saying a word about her incongruous behavior, as he finished the transaction.  Then with a friendly wave to both of us, she pushed her cart through the door and left the store.

She was clueless. And we couldn’t stop smiling.

{ Image Source }

Deconstructing A Delightful Comment From A Dubious Source

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 7.23.38 AM

WP tells me that this comment is spam, but it’s so uplifting that I had to share it with you, my gentle readers.  Despite its tarnished origins, I think that it might be one of the best comments that I’ve received in 10+ years of blogging.  Let’s see if we can learn from it, shall we?

~ ~ • ~ ~

• Sentence #1 – a nice simple greeting.

You can never go wrong with direct and pleasant.   

•  Sentence #2 – flattery.

Oh yes, I like it.  More praise please. 

•  Sentence #3 – a glance backwards.

Isn’t it sweet when someone shares a piece of his life with you? 

•  Sentence #4 – more reminiscence.

I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit here.      

•  Sentence #5 – action intended to create friendship.

Please do, I’m sure that he’s as charming as you are.  

•  Sentence #6 – flattery again.

Oh sir, I blush thinking about how much you like what I wrote here.  

•  Sentence #7 – expression of gratitude.

What better way to end a comment, I ask you?  ‘Tis perfect.