Friday, March 27, 2015

When My Mind Wanders, It Wanders to World Domination



My mind often wanders. I know there are medications for that, but then I'd no longer have ideas for my blog, so I'll take the sing-song skip along while trailing a stick across a white picket fence meanderings that make up my inner dialogue.

While folding laundry today who am I kidding I was just throwing another load on top of the last load on the sofa I thought, What happens to dictators when they get old?

Do their sunglasses interfere with their advancing macular degeneration? Does their stance on facial hair change? Will they always need to feel in charge of something? Will their way of complete authority grow even more insistent?

Where do all the old dictators go? Who listens to them as they feebly fight off the forced spoon fed stewed prunes with cries of "No negotiating!"

I think I found the place of their golden sunsets.
Right now, there are secret plans being drawn up for retiree dictator homes in South America. These facilities will be deep under cover in remote jungle locations, catering to the four basic types of despots:
 
1.) the Middle Eastern religious radical
2.) the European socialist revolutionary
3.) the South American strongman
4.) the Central African tin-pot dictator
 
These world leaders will have a place to be cared for in the Dictator Home, as well as duty-free storage and housing for their gold, jewels, and shoe collections, but can these power-hungry wanna-be rulers of the world all get along when under one roof?
 
Perhaps age has mellowed them and they are happily able to relive the glory days of their wild and crazy plotting against the free world. Can you imagine the meal time grazing at the all you can eat tropical high-fiber fruit buffet? I imagine that what we'd overhear would be something like this:

Dic. #1.) Did I ever tell you the story of how I single-handedly defeated a thousand-man rebel force in a climactic battle outside the gates of my Earthly palace?

Dic. #2.) Thousand-man rebel force? Is that what you call it? More like 300 old shepherds.

Dic. #3.) Shuttup and eat your prunes.

Dic. #4.) The prunes have been stewed for you, you with the one remainder of your teeth.

Dic. #1.) I have the medals to prove to you my worth in battle!

Dic. #2.) Would those be the medals that you awarded to yourself?

Dic. #1.) These medals are true and righteously awarded! This one here I gave to myself for bravery in battle against a deathly illness, and this one is for being an honored son of our country … and this one I gave to myself for …

Dic. #3.) Medals that are self-awarded are medals that hold nothing to what I have done! I once conquered an entire country in one week!

Dic. #4.) Conquering a country that you knew not what to do with after toppling the government! I once installed the most brutal, oppressive regime this world has seen!

Dic. #1.) Overthrowing a country of desert and sheep and is not the same as abolishing elections! Elections are for sissies!

Dic. #2.) Nurse! My rifles!

Dic. #3.) If he is given his rifles, then I demand my machetes!

Dic. 4.) My personal guards! Where are my guards?!

Dic. #1.) Gentlemen! We were known and feared in our time. And now we fight amongst ourselves? We must stop this useless feuding and focus on annihilating what threatens us now. Together, we can rise victorious once again as we take on the battle that must be fought - We must work together and overthrow that which is imposed on us! The Mike and Judy Present Piano Party Saturday Night.

Dic. #2.) Murder! Mayhem! We must make Mike and Judy beg for mercy. Nay, make them CRY. CRY! Let us waste no more time with speeches.
 
Dic. #3.) Agreed. We have vanquished governments before. We will be a force to be reckoned with when we turn our energies to rid ourselves of Piano Party Saturday Night.

Dic. #4.) They will beg at our feet and we shall demand our country's music!

Dic. #2.) As we have done before, we will do simply what needs to be done. I will begin with a ban on the Grand Ol' Flag sing-a-long sheets that they force upon us!

Dic. #1.) World domination, comrades! Why are we the only ones who see how it is always so easy?

Dic. #3.) Silencio! I hear the unmistakable rustling of music pamphlets being assembled! My generals, the time has never been better! The others are being fed their applesauce, leaving Mike and Judy alone and unaware! We strike now! Plastic forks, sporks if need be, but our weapons at the ready, to our seats in the atrium!

Dic. #4.) Yes, this is all good my friends, but perhaps another night. I hear my granddaughter calling my name. I cannot accompany you on our coup tonight...

"Grandpa? Grandpa! Here you are. What are you and your friends planning today? You must let things go, grandfather, and enjoy the twilight of your days. You had quite a brutal, oppressive regime, yes, but now it is time for bed and you must eat your prunes. No negotiating. Remember, I learned from the best."

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary


*My nephew's birthday is today. He is not here, in this place, to celebrate, and no one ever adapts to that loss in life. Being able to reflect on him through sharing of memories is a balm to me. I thank you all for the love you've sent me today as I remember him and feel the void of his absence. It is community that carries us through, the kind compassion of those who listen to stories about loss. Thank you.
::


I was going through my family photos, looking for pictures of my nephew to give to my sister. My eyes were blurry with tears, but I still was able to see through to picture after picture of him, always in one setting – a party in our house.

This is what I had of Tommy. Photos with balloons! party hats! table streamers! The funny thing is, I don't remember having all of these parties growing up. My family was not a celebrating bunch. My childhood home would best be described as quiet, heavy, tense.

But here in my hand, I had over 20, 30, more pictures showing him with his arms raised, a beaming smile, and there he is, at the center of it all. I mean, how many childhood birthday parties can you have when you only have one birthday a year??

The one common denominator in every picture is that Tommy is there. HE was the party. HE would turn any occasion into a slice of life. You see him, in the moment, the joy, arms up because he couldn't keep them down, over the occasion of being with people he loved.

My nephews would spend weekends with us. I was 12 and the main baby sitter, the one who would take care of them. One day as I made lunch, 3 year old Tommy stood on his tip toes and watched me slice up an apple. He looked up with wide eyes; waving his arms up and down and began shouting, "Are we having an apple party?! It's an apple party, isn't it?!" This, over getting apple wedges rather than a whole apple on a plate. He worked the same magic on bananas, oranges, pears. Any fruit could be a fruit party.

Nothing was ordinary to Tommy. I would come home with tangerines, the ones called "cuties" that come in those miniature wooden crates. He loved these because he could build a Hot Wheels parking garage with them. “You bought the baby oranges that come in the Hot Wheel house!" he would meet me at the door, tugging at my coat.

This is who he was, and not just to me. My entire family beamed when Tommy was there. Mention his name to anyone now, and before a word is spoken about him, a smile first appears. Laughter, joy, pura vida, with him making it so.

Growing up, I see we didn't have a lot of parties after all – what we had was a lot of HIM.

For a family that lived in a reserved and walls up manner, he gave us permission to forget why for awhile. We felt life, we were among the living, when Tommy was there.

Tommy, you brought raucousness, the energy of the moment, into a house where the air felt as heavy as bricks. You were light and presence and when we were around you, there was a reason to blow up balloons, put on the party hats, and crank the noise makers.

You were with us, and you made everything a celebration.

You made our world shine so bright.

We will miss you in a way it will take a lifetime to understand.
 
 

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Monday, March 23, 2015

100 Word Blog Post Challenge (can she do it??)



Can I do it (I just lost four words right there)

Casey of Life with Roozle issued a 100 word blog post challenge. I'm going to try. Like I said, a challenge.
::

I remember when I was in college, wishing I had my own pictures of myself. It made me sad that I had to count on others to have a record of the things and people in my life then. BINGO. It hit me, Well you know what you can do? Buy your own damn camera, woman.

And so I did. A ten dollar Kodak instamatic at Kmart. And ever since then I have pictures of myself that are mine.

I've heard, “Don't wait for someone to give you flowers, buy your own.”

My flowers are my armloads of photo albums.

If there's something you wish you had in your life, don't just wish - give it to yourself. 
::

**118 words. So what, my own blog - just like my own photos.

Visit Casey and leave a comment. Then take your own 100 word blog challenge.
 
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring, My Precious



Even back to when I was a little, I felt something about spring. When I would ask other kids in school about it, "Don't you feel it? Like ... like something is going to happen!?" I'd get the same response that I'd get to my other questions of Why do they call them mock chicken legs, do they think we'll think they're chicken legs?

Rolled eyes. Their feet that would walk away, from me. Leaning into each other and whispering, she is so weird. Why??

I can't ignore spring. Once dead branches that you'd swear would never come back are now green and fuzzy with buds. The tulips in our yard are about two inches out of the still cement cold ground. How do they push out from that? Tender, and they work their way through to what they know they need, sun and air.

Spring becomes a louder metaphor to me with each year of my life. We bore the weight of winter. The birds in the now wakening branches sing of the promises of the season to come.

The alchemist was dazed and dumbfounded, as the true meaning of the magic was revealed:
*The dead will rise from glade to glen and ancient will be young again*.
 The dead had, after all, risen.
 From dead and dry things there was growth, and new life everywhere.
The endlessly long winter had at last turned to spring.
From life to death and back again to life.

 It was indeed the greatest magic in the world.” 
 
Lauren Oliver

Spring makes me smile like an old fool.
 
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

6 Quick and Spritely Ways to Lose 6 Ounces!



Food is fun. And if you and your family have a heart for itty bitty Lilliputian things like we do, then you can have yourselves a blast preparing these cute little snack could-be-dinner items. In the process, you have the fringe benefit of incidentally losing up to half a pound over six months from mini snacking where you barely have to open your mouth. How cute a time of munching is that?! [rhetorical question, please don't answer]



Pixie Meal #1 - Take one thin slice of apple, slice it even thinner. Arrange in artful pinwheel and dot with one raisin. YUM. And on an appetizer plate? So adorable.
 
 
Pixie Meal #2 - One itsy beef cold cut, rolled up so cute and tight, then cut into 1/4 and set next to just an oh so outer edge of tomato. Hors d'oeuvres for one! FUN!
 

Snack Time? Meal Time? #3 - Three crunchy and satisfying baby carrots, premium brand only, atop a generous tomato slice. My mouth is watering!


Yay! Time for MiniMeal #4 - See? You can eat all dingdangday long because it's mini meals! A coleslaw cup o'lettuce hits the spot around 3 PM., right about the time your vision gets dotty. 

 
Ho ho! No time to say "I'm full!" because you still have Meal #5 - Look what awaits you, the world's bittiest quesadilla. How can you say no? You don't!


What? Time to eat again? Yes, my friend, it is. Mini Meal #6 - And for you, it's slice of pizza time! All you need are 10 Cheerios strategically aligned in a pie shape with one stable counting finger (check that blood sugar).

 
Got all your travels in, Gulliver? Awesome! Now's the time you reward yourself with aaaaall the bread. Baked bread, pressed bread, crunchy bread, raisin bread. All the full-sized gluten, all of it for full sized you. 


If at the end of the day, your stomach still sounds like a steamroller over fresh granite, you can always lose your mind and have all you want of gazing at this ceramic burger that my son made in art class. I can't fall asleep on an empty stomach, so I keep this on the kitchen counter. Just looking at it makes me sigh with full-belly contentment.

At zero calories, not even taking in the sun is a better deal.

Ceramic burger most satisfying when ogled while munching marmalade toast.

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