Well here it is–my weekly column. I know many of you await it with bated breath. This week I was channeling Joan Rivers before she became caustic, Erma Bombeck, with a little Carol Burnett thrown in for good measure (where is the King of the Jungle when you need him?)

Funny legs

Funny legs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was an abstainer. No way was I going to join Facebook. I did not understand it. I still do not quite understand it—but it has turned out to be fascinating. I have been on Facebook since January and to say it has changed my life would not be the correct assessment. But it has added another dimension. I can now see my far flung (and for that matter near flung) relative’s and friend’s antics. I have been able to connect to some friends I have not seen since university. I get to see my nephews and nieces and their kids (who are all exceedingly adorable—the originals and their offspring). I get to see what people think is important to share and it is a lesson in humanity and humility, fun and family.

 My picture is on my Facebook page, and while I do not think it does me justice (I am in a time warp—where did all those wrinkles come from?), it does depict me as I am today. A dyed in the wool brunette with a little gray on top I like to think of as my halo;  squinty (I prefer to think of them as sparkly) eyes  arrayed in glasses possibly a bit too prominent for my face; and a slight Mona Lisa smile to keep the jowls from sagging too much. (My niece Chay often gets after me when I humorously “put myself down” but it is a woman’s prerogative to make fun of herself. It does not necessarily mean I have trouble with my body image or the way I look—I kind of enjoy poking fun at myself. Note: I do not particularly enjoy it when other people do though—so if you see me at the grocery store, do not make fun of my nose.)

                I do not have many friends on Facebook and it is mostly by design. I befriended people I knew would not mind and most of those who have asked me—except for a couple of guys who seem kind of suspicious and look like relatives of the Duck Dynasty guys (hey, did you see a pic of some of them without their beards—wow!—but I digress.) Although, on second thought, the Duck Dynasty guys are kind of rich………..

Snoopy as "the World War I flying ace&quo...

Snoopy  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facebook is great if you are kind of snoopy. Which I am. Being a reporter is a good thing as I get to peek behind the curtains sometimes. Do not invite me to your house unless you are ready to have the door of your medicine cabinet opened. I do not judge though—I am just curious. (Just kidding). I am amazed at some of the things people share, and not because they share things that are weird and strange (though I do find those things interesting)—they share their knowledge, recipes, family life, reflections, and pictures.

                I understand why some people do not like Facebook—I can see that it could get out of hand—but the way I use it, I like it just fine.  I also have a Twitter account which I understand even less than I do Facebook. I tweet my blog posts and on occasion stuff like “the bird has left the nest” or “the horse is in front of the wagon”. These tweets make no sense, but neither do many of the tweets I have read.

                I could take the time to understand these tools of social media. In fact I will Google Facebook right now and find out what it says. I just love Google—it is such a lazy way to do research.  Okay, according to Wikipedia, “Facebook is an online social networking service. Its name comes from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some American administrations to help students get to know one another.” Cool. Now I am in the know. About ten years later than most others on this planet known as Earth.

                Okay, now what does it say about Twitter? Just a minute—or few minutes—my Internet seems to be on a bit of a siesta right now.  All knowing and All Seeing Wikipedia says that “Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters.” So that about sums it up. And it is still as clear as mud to me. Maybe in ten years I will understand it and tweet to my heart’s content.

                I am sure this column has been illuminating. Think of all the things you have learned about me that you really didn’t need to know:

1. I dye my hair but not religiously, hence the grey halo.

2. My eyes are close together.

3. It is okay for me to make fun of myself but not for anyone else to make fun of me.

4. I am woefully behind the times.

5. I am in denial about my age.

6. You do not want to invite me to your house unless you have cleaned out your medicine cabinet.

7. I am not, nor have I ever been “cool”.

Published in: on November 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm  Comments (44)  
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Nothing Wrong With a Little Lunacy

English: Green Hill Beautifully rolling hills ...

rolling hills abound here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I still get an uncontrollable urge to roll down a grassy hill, especially on a summer day, with the grass mown smooth and the earth smelling warm. There is a simple wholeness to it, a clarity of cause and effect. The best part is the beginning, at the top, feeling the rolling first in the dreaming of it: rolling straight and fast, faster still, gathering force as I fall.”  ~ Elizabeth Long, “Life in the Clearing”, The Harrowsmith Country Reader

I remember rolling down gentle hills when I was a little girl. Dressed in plaid shorts and a jersey I would throw my whole self into the activity. There was nothing more important. No thought of grass stained clothes. Or getting twigs and bugs and leaves in my hair. Just the lovely freedom of falling, and knowing that at the bottom of the hill, I would get up, brush myself off and run to the top again to repeat the pursuit of freedom—the letting go and just rolling down the hill.

As we get older, we lose that freedom. We care about getting our clothes stained. We care about keeping our hair just so. We care that someone will see us and judge our lunacy. If I tried rolling down a hill today, I would probably break a hip, or turn my ankle running back up the hill, or get too dizzy to jump up again. (My dad was right, getting old is hell, though I will never admit to getting old, I understand his sentiment.)

There are ways to roll down the hill if not physically, actually and literally—at least metaphorically, symbolically and representationally (yes I am using my thesaurus again).  The hill is still there to conquer and I am still that little girl in plaid shorts with my tangled pony tail and huge smile. There is still a lot of life left and I am going to take Erma Bombeck’s advice to herself when she found out she had cancer:

            “…(if) given another shot at life, I would seize every minute; look at it and really see it; live it and never give it back….”   

Tell me what your little bit of lunacy would be…………..

Published in: on July 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm  Comments (42)  
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~ Just a Quick Thought ~

English: Crabgrass Source Richard Arthur Norto...

English: Crabgrass Source Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) archive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I pulled this little thought out of a paragraph in a post I wrote last October called “The Grass is Not Always Greener”. You are invited to go read the whole thing by clicking on the Archives for October 2011, or you can just “enjoy” this alone.

The First Law of Living states that “As soon as you start doing what you always wanted to be doing, you’ll want to be doing something else.” I have a bone to pick with this one—it is a sort of the “grass is always greener on the other side” or as Erma Bombeck would say: “the grass is always greener over the septic tank” type of thinking.

Gazing wistfully or wishfully over the fence, we have to remember that crabgrass is also green.

I personally have no problem with crabgrass—without it, I would have no lawn.

The Grass is Not Always Greener

Cover of "If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, ...

Cover via Amazon

A Bombeckian truism, and the name of one of Erma’s many books, ‘If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?”—is both quantified and immortalized in the following nine laws I came across recently. They are far reaching in their grasp of life, whether you are a student or student of life. While acerbic in nature, they are thought-provoking. But more important, while they may cause you to pause, they may then make you laugh. And what is better than a good laugh?

The first is Kauffman’s Paradox of the Corporation. He theorizes that, “The less important you are to the corporation, the more your tardiness or absence is noticed.” Lampner, who I have on good authority, is Kauffman’s long lost cousin has an addendum to that law. His rule states: “When leaving work late, you will go unnoticed. When you leave work early, you will meet the boss in the parking lot.”

And just to make work life all the more attractive there is the Salary Axiom to contend with. It states that “The pay raise is just large enough to increase your taxes and just small enough to have no effect on your take-home pay.”  You can either lol (laugh out loud) or cry in your tea about this one.

The one I quite like is Miller’s Law of Insurance. I am not sure who Miller is (or was), but he/she is/was obviously wise. The tenents of this law? Insurance covers everything except what happens. How true is this? Yes, your insurance covers water damage but not Acts of God. Seriously, would God really flood our basements?  Does God not have better things to do than mess up our basement rec rooms? (Or in my case, basement dungeon.)

There is a law to cover every instance. For example, Murphy’s First Law for Wives is: “If you ask your husband to pick up five items at the store and then you add one more as an afterthought, he will forget two of the first five.” Okay, then, write them down for your husband. This is an easy thing and a very necessary step for me these days. If I do not write stuff down, it does not get done. It gets filed away somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind—to be left there until they no longer matter. This can be dangerous—the taxman doth not like to be forgotten.

There is one law that I have learned to circumvent (with help) very nicely. It is officially called The Grocery Bag Law, and states that “The candy bar you planned to eat on the way home from the market is hidden at the bottom of the bag.” Due to savvy checkout clerks, who tend to ask if you want the gum or breath mints or chocolate bar you have just purchased set aside to put in your purse, I no longer have this problem. I understand that this does not solve any of the world’s current problems, but it does make my little corner of the planet just that bit more pleasant.

"Never lend your car to anyone to whom yo...

“Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.” ~Erma Bombeck (Photo credit: Foto_di_Signorina)

Staying at the grocery store, there is one other law which is simple, but so true. It is Isaac’s Strange Rule of Staleness. “Any food that starts out hard will soften when stale. Any food that starts out soft will harden when stale.” Bread which is soft gets hard. Crispy potato chips get limp when stale.”

Weiner’s Law of Libraries answers a lot of questions for me. It puts forth the theory that “There are no answers, only cross-references.” But you can thwart this truism by asking your librarian for help. “Easy peasy” as my sister would say. If you need a definition of easy peasy—it means more than easy.

The First Law of Living states that “As soon as you start doing what you always wanted to be doing, you’ll want to be doing something else.” I have a bone to pick with this one—it is a sort of the “grass is always greener on the other side” or as Erma Bombeck would say: “the grass is always greener over the septic tank” type of thinking. Gazing wistfully or wishfully over the fence, we have to remember that crabgrass is also green. Though I must admit, I personally have no problem with crabgrass—without it, I would have no lawn.

I was made aware of these laws through an email from a friend, and the Internet seems to be the foundation of their immediate origin. I would like to extend a personal thank you to Kaufmann, Lampman, Weiner, Miller, Murphy, Isaac and the unnamed for their laws, and add one more that I will attribute to Erma: “the bathroom is the place my kids escape to until the groceries are put away.” This, though is not something I find to be true. The arrival of the groceries is a much heralded event at my house–and the “kids” (which includes my husband) seem to come out of nowhere to go through the bags to see if I bought anything “good”. Suffice to say, they are not looking for broccoli.