Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Saying Goodbye to Sophie

I'm sorry, I don't have any hump day funnies for you today. There's just no laughter in my heart right now. This is my Facebook post from yesterday.

You had a lot of quirks and fears from your life before you came to us, but you were full of love and affection and you brought us so much joy. I promised you from the start I'd take care of you and never let anything hurt you if i could stop it. Today I kept that promise. Goodbye, little wiggle butt. I love you.

I've gathered up her beds and blankies, put away her dishes and toys, but I still hear the sound of her feet on the wood floors and I keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye. The house feels incredibly empty without her.

Again, I apologize for not having a more cheerful post for you. I'll try to make up for it next time.

Have a fun and safe 4th of July. See you next week.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

New Stories, New Funnies, and Such

 Happy Hump Day

The disaster recovery work continues and I won't get those wedding pictures until the end of the week, so this week I give you a couple BSPs (blatant self promotions), a couple funnies, and a belated Father's Day aw.  

First, the BSPs... 

I had a couple short stories published last month that I missed mentioning in the chaos of weddings, tornadoes, and such.  The first was released at Malice Domestic, which sadly I was unable to attend. MYSTERY MOST EDIBLE is a fabulous collection of "36 original tales with a culinary bent", including my "Sticky Fingers" - a story of murder, revenge, and cupcakes.  You can find it here.

The second is THE BEST LAID PLANS, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk.  This collection of 21 stories has something for any fan of mystery and suspense and I'm delighted my story, "Deadly Dinner", is sharing these pages with so many talented writers. It's available here.

 Now your hump day funnies. They're all visual this week...

Well, they got it half right.  Sort of. 


 The next one is for all you mystery/crime writers.

 Just move on. Nothing to see here. 

I'm a little late on a Father's Day "aw", But when I saw this picture, I couldn't resist.

Did you say it? 

That's it for today. I hope you found a chuckle or a smile to help you over the mid-week hump and sailing toward a fantastic weekend. Did you have a favorite? 

Have a great week. 

Thought for Today:

Common sense is a flower that doesn't grow in everyone's garden. 

(Boy, ain't that the truth?)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Big Wind...No, Not Me.

Happy Hump Day

I know I promised my next post would be about weddings and big winds, but the wonderful photographer who took pictures at our happy event left for a cruise a week later so I don't have those to share. Rather than subject you to fuzzy cell phone snapshots, I'm going to save the wedding news till next time.

Well...okay, one cell phone shot.

My grandson and his bride.

Now, on to big winds...

Late in the evening on Memorial Day, May 27, our local TV weather broke in on regular programming to announce a tornado warning. To be honest, this was a bit of a ho-hum event. We get warnings all the time, especially in the surrounding counties which are mostly flat farm country. But this wasn't for those counties. This was for us.

For those of you who've never dealt with tornadoes, daylight is better than night. You can see a funnel cloud coming during the day.  At night you pretty much have to trust the nice lady on the TV who's telling you to seek shelter NOW!  I'll admit I dragged my feet a little but when the most recent sighting put the tornado at the intersection where I do my grocery shopping and heading our way, I scooped up the dog and headed for the basement.

I hate riding out a storm in the basement, not knowing what's going on above. We sat there listening to the wind, rain, and hail pound the house, and to the latest radio updates via my cell phone. Finally, they sounded the all clear. The tornado that was heading for us had lifted back into the clouds. I gathered up Sophie and started to head upstairs when the alert sounded again. A second tornado had touched down and was following a path very close to the first. And so went the night.

When the National Weather Service finished their investigation a few days later, they confirmed 18 tornadoes hit our area that night, ranging from EF0 to EF4. The one that passed closest to us was an EF4.

As I mentioned in my mini-post last week, we were incredibly blessed. Our home sustained no damage.  Others were not so lucky. Many homes and businesses in several towns were destroyed or severely damaged.  Whole neighborhoods wiped out. Cars were tossed about and trees uprooted or broken off. Many people lost everything they had.

There are lots of pictures online of these storms if you care to Google them (Memorial Day tornadoes Dayton, OH). I find them too sad to post. I'd rather tell you about:

 The quirky...

We visited a lady from our church whose roof was perfectly intact, and sitting on top of her neighbor's house. The rest of the roofless house had only minor damage.

A car dealership that wasn't hit directly had the rear window of every vehicle blown out by the extreme change in air pressure (evidently the glass in rear windows is weaker than in the others). 

A local resturant had been impaled by numerous branches driven by the wind into the concrete wall like iron spikes.

And the heartwarming...

In addition to the hundreds of volunteers who came out to chain saw downed trees, clear away debris, and distribute water and food to victims and other volunteers, many people - and especially local churches - started donation drives and set up distribution points for clothing, personal care items, diapers and baby food, etc.

Some combed through the debris scattered in their neighborhood, looking for items of personal value (i.e. photo albums), then posted pictures and descriptions online hoping someone would know the owner and the items could be returned.

Many people took in pets who had been separated from their families and, again, shared pictures online so the families could be reunited.  Nothing made me happier than to see one of those posts updated with "Family found. Fluffy is home." 

It is said that disaster and tragedy brings our the best in people, and the worst. Sure, we had some that tried to profit off someone else's misery, but I'm happy to say the spirit of 'love and take of care your neighbor' is alive and well in and around Dayton, Ohio.

Sadly, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods was one where the residents were less likely to have  insurance or the financial means to recover what they've lost. Please continue to pray from them, for all those affected by the storms, and for all those who are working to help. Thanks.

And since it's hump day - though a little late in the day - here are a couple quick funnies.

 What do you think? Did he deserve it?

Every parent will relate to this one.

 But I'd still like to see her try.

 And here's your "aw"...

Now that's just flat out beautiful.

I'd like to say I'm going to be back on my regular schedule next week but there's still so much disaster work to be done, I can't promise. Have a great week. I'll try to visit when I can.

Quote for Today:

You can always give something, even if it's only kindness.  ~ Anne Frank

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Quick post - I'm Gone With the Wind

Just checking in.

You may have noticed my one week break has lasted a month. I never should have planned to post in the weeks before the wedding, I was way too wrapped up in the preparations.

I planned to do a post all about the wedding, which was on May 26, but everything changed on the 27th when our area was hit by multiple tornadoes. (I just got back online yesterday.) 

Our home escaped damage but many of our neighbors were not so blessed. I'm the volunteer coordinator for our church disaster response team, so my time has been focused in that direction, but I hope to get a post up soon. It should be an interesting mixture of wedding and tornado recovery.

I hope you'll come by then.

Prayers for all those effected are greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Taking the Week Off to Celebrate


 And, yes, as the title of this post says, I'm taking this week off to celebrate a few assorted holidays.

First is tomorrow (Thursday), my birthday. I'm hitting a milestone this year but I'm not admitting which one. My birthday has been bittersweet the last few years because for most of my life I shared birthdays with my Dad.  I miss him terribly and "our day" will never be the same. But I'll always remember those cakes we shared with both our names on them, and having his help blowing out the candles.

 Friday is another biggie - but with a different fella. This guy and I are celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss. Or at least something reasonably close to it.  I've already renewed his contract for 50 more. (It was a no-brainer.)  And, yes, I was a child bride.

And Sunday, of course, is Mother's Day. 

Our moms have both been gone for quite a while and we were very blessed to have had them, but there are a couple other moms I'm delighted to share the day with... my two daughters-in-law, the moms to my grandkids. 

This picture of our crazy clan was taken during a lovely professional photo shoot a couple years ago. There were lots of more traditional poses, but this is one of my favorites. It's just

(Can you count the bunny ears?)

So, if you'll forgive me, I'm going to spend this week celebrating, remembering, and enjoying.

Oh, and working on wedding preparations. Someone in the picture above is getting married later this month. Can you guess which one?

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms. Enjoy your day.

See you next week.

Thought for Today:

I am so blessed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

At Least Books Don't Go Dark


You know why books are better than movies or TV?  Because in a book, when you finally get to the big battle you've been waiting for all the way through the story, the pages will not get dark and leave you wondering who got killed and who didn't.

Yes, I'm complaining about this week's Game of Thrones.

I could understand if GOT was filmed for release in theaters before coming to TV. Theaters are designed to handle low light images on screen. That's why it's dark in there. But GOT was filmed for television. That thing people watch in their homes...where light may seep in from other rooms or through windows not covered with blackout curtains.

It was really frustrating having to go online the next day to find out for certain who got killed.

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? What did you think of the latest episode?

I've got all visual funnies for you today. From the "you only had one job" department...

 Oops. A little off center there.

 Note the claim on the sign.

 What do you think? Alcohol or someone saw a spider on the road?

RIP, little buddy.

This last one is my favorite.

 Did they really not notice?

You may have noticed I'm trying not to do rely on puppies and kittens for all my "aw" pictures. There's just so many other beautiful faces out there.

What do you think of this one?

Wouldn't you like to know what he's thinking?
Was that an "aw" for you?

 That's all for today. Hope you found something here to get you over the mid-week hump and coasting to the weekend.

I also hope the next episode of Game of Thrones will be a bit brighter. (Not in tone, just visually. So we can see what's going on.)

See you next week.

Thought for Today:

I may be getting older but I refuse to grow up.

(This was printed on a coffee mug given to me by my co-workers in my previous office. I have no idea why.)  

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Doing Prom Right & Hump Day Funnies


Cranky old ladies like myself often yearn for the good old days. We talk about how much better things were back then and how the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Teenagers are a favorite target. Lazy, disrespectful, and don't even get me started about those drooping britches...

Actually, I like today's teenagers. Through my grandkids, I've gotten to know a lot of them and they give me hope for the future. They've also figured out some things I think we had completely wrong. Case in point...High School Prom.

When I was in high school (back in the dark ages), if a girl didn't get asked to prom by a boy, she simply didn't go. Period. End of discussion. A boy could go stag, if he really wanted to; but it basically meant paying for a tux and a ticket to stand around the punch bowl while the couples danced.

It's different now. Sure, a lot of teens go to prom as couples. Boys ask girls. Sometimes girls ask boys. But they also go in non-coupled groups. Groups of girls, groups of boys, or all mixed together. And no one thinks anything of it. 

My granddaughter's prom was last weekend. She opted to go with a group of girls. And they were geared up to have a great time. (Which I heard later, they really did.)

 I think these kids are on to something.  How about you?

Short hump day funnies: 

A guy broke into my apartment last week.  He didn’t take my TV, just the remote. Now he drives by and changes the channels. Sick son of a...  

Don't wear headphones while vacuuming. I just finished the whole house and realized the vacuum wasn't plugged in.

Not so short hump day funny:

There was a Scottish painter named Smokey MacGregor who was very interested in making a penny where he could, so he often thinned down his paint to make it go a wee bit further. 

As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually the local church decided to do a big restoration job on the outside of one of their biggest buildings. Smokey put in a bid and, because his price was so low, he got the job. 

So he set about erecting the scaffolding and setting up the planks, and buying the paint and yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with turpentine. 

Well, Smokey was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly completed, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky opened and the rain poured down washing the thinned paint from all over the church and knocking Smokey clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.

Smokey was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got down on his knees and cried:  

"Oh God, Oh God, forgive me; what should I do?" 

And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke:

"Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!"

I'm sorry. It just made me laugh.  Okay, let's cut to your"aw".  

Can your resist this face? 

I couldn't either.

That's it for today.Hope these funnies got you over the mid-week hump and heading for the weekend. See you next week. (Please, don't forget to say hi.)

Question for Today:

Why are people my age so much older than I am?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Who's the Birdbrain?


I'm an idiot. No, really. I appreciate you disagreeing (you did disagree, right?) but I have proof.

I love birds. I have a half dozen feeders around my back yard filled with various kinds of seed, and two bird baths - one heated to ensure they have drinking water in the winter. I especially like the feeder that hangs from a hook clamped to the deck railing because it brings my little feathered friends close to the kitchen window.  It's the type with a plastic seed container inside a metal cage. The cage is on a spring that causes it to drop when anything heavier than a bird (i.e. a squirrel) lands on a perch, so that it covers the feeding ports and keeps the seed for birds only. 

A couple of months ago I did a routine cleaning of all my feeders, which involved taking them apart to wash the insides. Since then I noticed the deck feeder wasn't being visited as usual. Birds would land on the perches but not stay to eat. This often means there's a predator in the area and I did spot a hawk a few times. But even when there were birds at all the other feeders, this one was ignored. Once or twice a week I would dump the seed onto the paving stones under the feeder and re-fill it with fresh, just in case the seed was the problem. The seed I poured onto the stones was quickly scarfed up by both birds and squirrels but the feeder remained abandoned. I was confused and a bit disappointed. 

This morning, I went to dump the untouched seed from that feeder and put in new, and something strange caught my eye. When I took it off the hook, the cage moved in my hand and covered the feeding ports, as expected, but when I hung it on the hook and let go, the cage was still covering the ports. At first I thought the spring was broken but the cage was moving up and down just fine. I took the feeder down again and studied it more closely.  None of the feeding ports matched up to the openings in the cage or to the perches. The last time I'd taken the feeder apart, I'd put the cage on sideways (rotated 90 degrees). The birds weren't eating the seed because they couldn't get to it. 

It took me MONTHS to figure this out.

I'm an idiot!

The feeder is now fixed and we'll see how long it takes for some brave soul to check it out and realize the chow line is open again. Hopefully, they'll be quicker than I was. 

For Hump Day...a friend sent me this. I'm not sure which dog shaming site it came from, but I love it... especially the part about not living near a beach.

Something a little different for your "aw" this week.

 Did you say it?  I did.

That's all for today.  I hope my little bout of idiocy gave you a laugh. 

For my Jewish friends, I wish you a joyous and blessed Passover. 

For my Christian friends, I wish you a joyous and blessed Easter.

See you next week.

Thought for this week: 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Happy All Funnies Hump Day



But please bear with me today. While juggling a couple deadlines, a major landscaping project, and an upcoming wedding, I totally dropped the ball on writing this post.

So instead of any pearls of wisdom from me, today you get all funnies.
(Okay, stop applauding.)  

Here we go. 

 Made me laugh, this did.

Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A cell phone on a bench rings and a man engages the speaker and begins to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen.

MAN: "Hello"
WOMAN: "Hi Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"

MAN: "Yes."
WOMAN: "I'm at the mall and I found this beautiful leather coat. It's only $2,000; is it okay if I buy it?"

MAN: "Sure, go ahead if it will make you happy."
WOMAN: "Oh, thank you, sweetheart. I also stopped by the Lexus dealership and saw the new models. I saw one I really liked."

MAN: "How much?"
WOMAN: "$90,000."

MAN: "Okay, but for that price I want all the options."
WOMAN: "Wonderful! You're so good to me. Um, one more thing... I was just talking to Janie and found out that the house I wanted last year is back on the market. They're asking $980,000 for it."

MAN: "Well, go ahead and make an offer of $900,000. They'll probably take it. If not, we can go the extra eighty-thousand if it's what you really want."

WOMAN: "Darling, thank you! I'll call right now. I love you so much!"
MAN: "I love you, too. See you later."

The man ends the call. The other men in the locker room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths wide open.

He looks around and asks, "Anyone know who's phone this is?” 

Did you see it coming?

But a writer's gotta write when a writer's gotta write.

This next one sort of explains why I dropped the ball on this post...

Yeah, I'm looking a little scary.

I know my last couple "aw"s have been about eyes,
but I just couldn't resist this guy's.

Come on, you know you said it. 

 That's all for today. I hoped you found something here to give you a laugh and help you over the mid-week hump and on your way to the weekend.  Did you have a favorite?

I'm going to be offline all day today but I'll be around to see you later in the week. Have a great week.

Quote for Today:

Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense.  ~ Mark Twain