So, What Was the Question?

English: Vesper Martini Português: Vesper Martini

Vesper Martini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The top three answers in a survey by the newly off the presses “livehappy” magazine were:

1. Be present.

2. Make, bring, or share food!

3. Do something unexpected.

I love all three of these answers and they pretty well cover the elements of a happy life. The question that elicited these responses was “How would you make others happy during the holidays”, but I would like to put forth the theory that these three answers are the solution to that question that has bugged all of us sometime in our lives and that is: “What is the point?”

The point is to be here and now and understand that that is all you really have and you should make the best of it. Food is almost always a good answer to any question—whether the delicacies be indulgent, or healthy, or both. Food provides nourishment, comfort, and if is a chocolate cake–happiness.

 And the third answer? That is the one that keeps us on our toes. The unexpected shakes things up—that is why ‘Bond, James Bond’, always wanted his drink “shaken, not stirred”. He knew that stirred would probably produce a better drink—but he wanted something more and stirring was just not exhilarating enough. Think about the whole process—to shake a drink you create drama, while stirring neither inflames or inspires—it merely gets the job done. (I read somewhere that shaking your drink does not result in a better drink; stirring does—but stirring brings to mind a double double not a *martini—which is much more cosmopolitan.) I think I may have wrung this metaphor (or whatever it is I am trying to express) dry. (Pun intended).

Anyway, back to the point—what is your answer to “How would you make others happy (and yourself) during the holidays? We are allowed to be a little self-indulgent at this time of year, don’t you think?

·        For the erudite: It was in the movie Casino Royale in 1953, that Bond orders “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.” (Wikipedia)

Rabbit, Rabbit…..

June 1st. A fresh start. A new month. Rabbit, rabbit.

I am not sure why I say rabbit, rabbit other than the fact that Robin Roberts from Good Morning America starts out each new month saying this, and hey, if it works for Robin—it is good enough for me.  She confessed once that she does not know why she says it. So maybe I will Google it—have a sip of coffee or favourite libation (depending on the time of day—remember it is 5 o’clock somewhere) and I will be back…

Okay, I am back and here is what I found out in a nutshell: according to that source I promised I would never rely on, Wikipedia, “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” is “a variant of a common British superstition which states that a person should say or repeat the word “rabbit” or “rabbits”, or say the phrase “white rabbits” or “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits” or some combination of these elements out loud upon waking (or the first moment) on the first day of the month” ensuring good luck for the duration of the month.

Wikipedia also suggested that the superstition may be a survival of the ancient belief in swearing as a means of avoiding evil.


white rabbit

white rabbit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am going to stick to “rabbit, rabbit”—and if it makes me avoid evil and ensures good luck, all the better.

Do you have a superstition that gives you bliss?

Q ~ The Loneliest Letter?

Scrabble game

Scrabble game (Photo credit: jcolman)

Q does not always need U. According to that source that is not given much respect, but that many of us go to because we are lazy, Wikipedia, “the only modern-English words that contain Q not followed by U and are not borrowed from another language are qiana, qwerty, and tranq”.

I was very disappointed to hear this as I was going to write a poem in honour of Q—and I think I will share it with you anyway, even though its premise is not correct:

Q cannot stand alone

Without U to keep it company

A scrabble Q is the loneliest letter.

So I must change it to:

I thought Q could not stand alone

Without U to keep it company

But I was wrong

But a Scrabble Q

is still the loneliest letter

Without U.

So my poetry is not lyrical, nor does it rhyme, and it really only makes a statement broken up to look like a poem—but if I say it is a poem then who can really argue with me?

I think Q is a very sociable letter—as it needs U about 99.9% of the time in the English language. Just like people who, according to Barbra Streisand: “need people”, most of the time Q needs U.

English: Screenshot of Barbra Streisand from t...

English: Screenshot of Barbra Streisand from the trailer for the film Hello, Dolly! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey, I know I am not writing great literature here, but if I was, who would read me?

Published in: on September 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm  Comments (41)  
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Then and Now

As many of you know, I occasionally include my newspaper column on this blog. It is the 14th anniversary of my column “On The Homefront….and Beyond”, so I thought I would share it with you. It appears on p. 5 of the Kingsville Reporter:

I have been writing this column for fourteen years now. It started out as a joint venture with another writer friend of mine, Liz Moore, but after about ten months she moved to London and this space became mine. A lot has changed in 14 years. I was a young (young being relative here) mother then, with a 7 year old and 12 year old. The topics I wrote about then were a bit different than the topics I write about now.

Then, I wrote about sending my kids back to the first day of class in September, and performing a ritual “happy dance” until my oldest asked me not to do it anymore because it made him feel like I wanted to get rid of him. I understood, and I stopped doing the happy dance. And I quit humming “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year” to boot. After a summer of wracking my brain to find things to do to keep my kids from being perpetually bored, I was probably ready to have them back at school, but I did not want them to know that. And if I were honest, they were pretty good at keeping themselves busy and happy.

Today, my kids are in their twenties. One is away at college and is a computer genius (which you have to realize that to me, anyone who knows the ins and outs of a computer is a computer genius— still, I think he is brilliant—but I am his mother after all.) I call my eldest son a Rock God, which he is not really comfortable with, but he is getting used to me referring to him as such. And he does play a mean lead guitar. His band is called Rodents & Rebels. Not a name a mother would choose, but hey, they like it.

Then, I would write about our adventures in the soccer field, at the baseball diamond, and on the basketball court. Today, my kids talk about being “buff”, which I think means there is a six-pack in their future, whether it be the liquid kind, or the “arrangement of six bulges in the human abdomen” kind (this definition thanks to all-knowing, all-seeing Wikipedia).

Vacations back then took the form of camping trips, which was and is not a favourite past-time of mine. But in retrospect, with the nostalgia factor kicking in, camping really was a great family time—even if you had to sleep on the ground and walk half a block to a washroom where the showers were always cold. I remember waking up in the morning to coffee and eggs and bacon being cooked over an open fire in order to get me to “stay just one more day mom” and of course I would acquiesce.

English: Camping by Barriere Lake, Barriere, ,...

English: Camping by Barriere Lake, Barriere, , Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, organized vacations take the guise of attending out-of-town weddings or celebrations together, and are not necessarily vacations, but as a mom, I will take any time together with my grown-up kids.

Fourteen years ago things were different. Fourteen years are admittedly a long time in a family’s life—we have all grown a little older—some us have to dye our hair now, some of us do not have as much hair as we did then, and some of us are not home all the time. Sometimes I would give my eye teeth to have that time back, but I also like things as they are now. We still have a long way to go on our journey, and I will continue to let you in on our lives as they change over time.