Monday, September 18, 2017

Who Let the Dogs Out, version 3

painting by John Emms
Countries all over the world have iconic structures, plants, and even animals. India has the Taj Mahal and sacred cows.  Ireland has Hill of Tara (and lots of other places), along with shamrocks (sham-rogue).
Bern, Switzerland, also has its own icons that stand out. This past summer was exceptional in representing: St. Bernards.  These are truly immense dogs made famous for rescuing people trapped in snow.  The brandy cask is wishful thinking, not accurate.

Image result for st. bernard dog
23 things to know about a St Bernard

During our visit to our daughter, we discovered an astounding number of St. Bernard artistic statues all over the city.  We bounded around trying to find new statues, photos in all of 20 massive dogs.



Each monument was given a name.  My favorite was "Timmy", the cheetah above. Not so much for the cheetah paint, but for the name. Every Timmy I have known has been a boy, like in the show "Lassie".

We thought we had done so well with our twenty sightings, but we soon found out that there were one-hundred and twenty all over the city. They were even on roofs. 


This live St. Bernard was with his owner who was showing and explaining more about this magnificent creature along old town streets.

What more can I say? You had to be there.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Still Swirling

Bright Eyes (3 yr.) and Sunshine (1 yr.)

From the day our granddaughters were born, we have been blessed to be part of their lives in many ways.  It is a thrill to share our joys and interests with them, receiving same in return.

Now they are in the “tween” age, neither child nor teen, confusing us all. Hormones or no, they still delight us with this new stage.

A movie, Leap, recently appeared and we took our girls to spend time in this dark theater with us and watch a young girl who wished to become a ballerina.

LEAP! animated film about ballerina in Paris
Leap was delightful, at least to us and partly to the girls. Images that once made them happy and laughing held them in silence, even stoic. If we had not sneaked in two orders of edamame for them, they might have fallen asleep.

When Leap was over, both girls ripped it apart. 

Oh, Grandma…no girl could learn ballet in five days…Look, see! NO one could have made that move!...See THAT pirouette! Not remotely possible!...THAT defies laws of physics!...NO one could do that!...She should have DROPPED like a big heavy stone…I mean REALLY!!..

 They were absolutely spot on.  Two Irish dancers with many years of experience and awards could rightly judge.

Just when we were about to sigh heavily, a flutter of little girls in filmy tutus ran by, raced by giggling, to the screen where credits rolled and music played.  They swirled around, arms lifted over their heads in light, shadows against screen.

”Daddy! Daddy!  We want to be ballerinas!  See us dance!”

A new generation of future dancers brought smiles to tween faces and sweetness of remembered days to us when they wore little girl dresses, swirling and squealing.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and shoes
Sunshine (11 yrs.) and Bright Eyes (12.5 yrs.)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Oh, Molebut!

Forget about watching re-runs of NCIS.  Forget about Netflix.  Forget about texting.

Grandpa and I gathered our daughter and husband, along with our two tween granddaughters for a night of Mexican food and game playing.

A "Game Night" is above and beyond all definitions of fun.  This was a blast as we played Balderdash.  Not just the average Balderdash, but we played the Beyond Balderdash version.

To truly understand this game, you will need to visit the above YouTube site.

The word chosen was molebut, which elicited a bunch of crazy answers. This is Sunshine's false answer:

No automatic alt text available.
Sunshine's version of this definition

Brilliant child.  Eleven years old, Sunshine thinks outside, way outside, the box.

Look up molebut just for the heck of it.

Forget about DVD or World of War Craft.  Game night is an awesome way to spend time together.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Smoke in the Air or Lungs, Whatever

This past month has hit me hard, both with its treacherous heat (106 deg., heat advisory warnings) and its effect on my brain. 

I wonder about this possible treatment?

YouTube has a variety of marijuana experiences to view.

Should I give this a try?  It is legal here in California.  What do you think?

God bless Joanne Noragon who is still wrestling with effects of a stroke and a fall. Joanne never does anything halfway.  Excellent writer, sharp.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Happiness on a Sesame Seed Bun

McDonalds burger and fries
I'm lovin' it!
So here we are: sitting in a line of 20 cars at McDonald's, because the debit machine has broken.  Grumbling is at a mild roar.

Since my gr-daughters have helped me become more tech aware, I use my android to visit Google: What is in McDonald burgers? It tells me 100% beef, and shows a site where more info can be found.

Going to a non-McDonald site, we learned much in our ten minutes.

What is actually in their hamburgers?

  After you watch the first minute or so, skip to 6:37 where you will see more.

Beef by-products are meat and fat scraps, connective tissue, and bone bits.  These are the ingredients of the absolute cheapest dog food.  BUT, add some ammonia and voile’! There you have 100% beef.  And, by all definitions, it IS 100% beef with a secret pink sauce added. 

British chef Jamie Oliver shocked American audiences by showing them the raw 'pink slime' produced in the ammonium hydroxide process

The bun consists of 28 ingredients. First three are flour, water, and barley flour. The rest are unpronounceable words, all science stuff. 

I then looked at Chicken McNuggets. This info is guaranteed to be nauseating.

Our turn came up and we drove off with diet Dr. Pepper.  Yes, it is chock full of chemicals.

Coffee and soda are our usual purchases.  Now I know why.

Vintage 1970s commercial

P.S. Nearly every web site visited, I encountered all sorts of blockades, and videos simply disappeared.  Some sites I had just visited had been removed or an error message appeared.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Run, Run Fast, and Runaway

Different music artists in my formative years are plastered in my memory. Some of their recordings make me happy, just humming tunes and recalling some of the lyrics.

Bobby Vee... I always loved Go Away Little Girl.

 Bobby Vee died in 2017 at age 73 years, from Alzheimer's.

Sigh.  Bobby Vee made many teenage girls sigh.  

The Beatles had their own song, Run for Your Life, Little Girl. I never listened to the lyrics until recently.  Creepy.

Run fast, Little Girl.

Del Shannon was famous with My Little Runaway. The organ riff was famous at the time.

Where did this Runaway Girl go?  Why?

So, there you have it.  

Bobby Vee wanted a girl to go away before he begged her to stay. 

Beatles were stalkers, promised to behead the girl if she left. 

Del Shannon wondered why his girl ran away. 

These narcissistic men viewed these girls as objects, didn't they understand that? 

Obviously, all girls need to watch themselves and ask serious questions about any guy who is controlling and possessive. They should consider cross-country training.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Oh, the shark bit, with his teeth bare...

Bobby Darin on Andy Williams Show in 1970

Today has been a Sharknado fest, all shows one through five. Each one has escalated from mildly amusing with bad puns to silly oh-come-on plots and simple special effects. Lots of movie references, including Wizard of Oz, Terminator, and so many. But clever, it is clever.

#1 took place in Malibu and moved inland to LA, stopped only by Fin Shepherd   A mysterious cyclone seems to suck up all the sharks in creation and drop them randomly. Fin manages to save his family and much of LA.

#2 is Sharknado: The Second One, which takes place in New York. This is where Fin discovers his talent with a massive chainsaw.

#3: Oh Hell No! which starts in DC and travels down eastern seaboard.

Five minutes condensed funny scenes.  Silly, yes.

#4: Sharknado: The 4th Awakens! a play on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. David Hasselhoff is a key hero here, not a competent one. This starts in Las Vegas (Wayne Newton!) and moves on. I think it takes out Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon.

#5: This one is Global Swarming: Make America Bait Again! This one had a high budget, being filmed in five countries. It takes out Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, so far. It is still running.

Why is this series still on? Why haven't I gone shopping? What am I doing here?

My husband has the remove remote duct taped to his hand.  I don't drive anymore. My computer is in the TV room.

I am just waiting for Game of Thrones to come on. It at least makes sense.

Friday, August 4, 2017

August Sucks

Just when the inside feels like I could bake cookies on the counter, a magical thing happens.

Melting Ceramics by Livia Marin pattern cups ceramics
Source: livia-maria
Our local energy company SDG&E employs the FLEX energy plan to keep the electrical grids from over-loading.  That means they can turn my A/C off.  Off!! with the fan still running. 

Off, with the interior thermometer rising slowly up the scale.  82º?  That is nothing.  86º, and it keeps rising.  I stop looking.

Outside?  Thermometer past 95 and still going...

The A/C returned.  God bless it.

Truth is: Summer makes me cranky.  Life sucks.  Leave me alone.

This is a re-post from 2014 or 2013.  It doesn't matter; hot one year or the other doesn't matter.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Barbarella Moved On

Barbarella [Blu-ray]
On Amazon, blu ray, $5.30
Husband John will always remember the movie, Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda. Released in 1968, when my husband was 18 and full of testosterone, Barbarella became a cult classic of spoofy erotic sex and science fiction.  It was a coming of age for those male baby boomers.

In 1982, Jane Fonda became a different coming of age (literally) for the female baby boomers, who were thirty-ish and experiencing sag-after-babies, when "Jane Fonda's Workout" video was released.  It led to 13 more such videos, rake in $13 million, and open up a whole industry of muscle toning (leg warmers, incl.).
Jane Fonda's Original Workout
Amazon, $8.96
For two+ years, I faced Jane through the television screen and followed the mantra: No pain, No gain.

But, sandwiched in between 1968 and 1980s, Jane Fonda was an activist for many civil rights issues.  Ranging from women's rights to Alcatraz and American Indian reparations, Jane Fonda was a voice.

It wasn't always a good voice.  Black Panthers, Huey Newton, and then Vietnam were always in the forefront.  It was that Vietnam choice that tarnished who and what Fonda was. 

She visited Vietnam and American servicemen, as well as North Vietnamese military.  So much gets blurred, especially when a photo of her on an anti-aircraft gun was published.

Nicknamed "Hanoi Jane" thereafter
My Aunt Minerva was enraged by Fonda's relationship and actions with North Vietnam.  She was a Gold Star mother, one of too many who had lost sons in this war; Jane Fonda's actions were unforgivable. Even into her dying years, my aunt still held tightly to that fury.

Although Jane Fonda relayed what really happened in her 2005 autobiography, that photo is still too strong. 

From Barbarella to Exercise Queen to Political Activism, Jane Fonda definitely created a memorable legacy.

What do you remember?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Surprises in a Treasure Chest

caption lost in publishing.  Pinterest site.
This is the second day of school for Bright Eyes.  Already, she and her little clutch of friends are striving for good behavior, and most importantly, “table points”.

Class Rules Chart
products to purchase
Unless you are familiar with the discipline plans and rewards used in an elementary classroom, that means nothing to you. 

 “Table Points” are the points a cluster of six students called a ‘table group’ can earn by sitting up straight, paying attention, folding hands in front of them, and/or remaining silent when the world around them is wreaking wild havoc.

The table group who garners the most points throughout the whole week gets to choose prizes from the Treasure Chest.  
Lots of purchased stuff, not donated
“Oh. My. Goodness.  This is so big, like, you know, Grandma!  And, we were the first table group for the school year, too.”  Bright Eyes now sounds like every teeny girl in Disney™ television shows.  

It makes me sad, and a little cranky to be honest. Her young moral compass will be led by a Treasure Chest. When my daughter quietly informed me of this special day, it was impossible to squelch my reaction.

So, Bright Eyes hopped into the van, clutching her prize from the Treasure Chest.  It was a small zippered bag, like a girl would carry in her purse for lipstick and such. She had so much to tell about her day, and she had to buckle in before she could examine her treasured prize.

There was silence from Bright Eyes as my daughter drove, letting Sunshine fill in the news of her day.  Then, “Mommy, what is this?”

From the treasured prize, Bright Eyes pulled out three Tampons™, and held them up for her mother to view in the rear view mirror. She was told that they would talk about those things at home.  

But that was never enough for Bright Eyes, oh no. She knew a brush-off when she heard it. Bright Eyes tore them open, and speculated about their uses.  Not a flashlight…oh, look, here’s string…she swung the tampons around on their stringsNo, this isn’t a telescope. Here, Sunshine!  You can play with this one…”

Both competed with fighting tampons, swinging in a white whirl.

This looks like a good book.

When they all arrived home and the front door closed, my daughter (God bless her.) gave Bright Eyes an abbreviated explanation; she took the Tampons away.  Then she called the teacher, who listened in silence.  The Teacher said, “Oh, dear.  I’d better called Bright Eyes’ best friend.  She picked the same thing.” 

Ahhh.  The joys of teaching. Joys of learning.

And joys of being a grandmother.

This is a re-post from August 17, 2011.

We are visiting family (two grandsons) in Switzerland, and blogging is highly unlikely.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Catch 'em if you still can" a quote from Jarvis DeBerry

Sikeston, MO
Sikeston, MO
Old Man and Old Woman had driven on Interstate 55 many times, too many to mention.  This time they were driving from Beaumont, Texas, the day after Christmas. Christmas in Beaumont with Golden Boy, their youngest son, had been painful and disappointing for too many reasons to count.

Old Woman strongly suggested they stop and get some food.  Old Man said he was just fine, and she could wait a while.  Old Woman replied in no uncertain language that they had better stop or there’d be pee all over Old Man’s precious car.

Lambert is a former Sikeston Bulldog football, wrestling and track coach.
Passing by Sikeston, Missouri, a sign announced “Home of the Throwed Roll”, and this would suit them both just fine, since they weren’t talking with each other at this time. Old Man parked his precious car, and Old Woman got out even before the engine stopped running.  By the time Old Man had opened his door and slammed it, Old Woman was inside and sitting at a table, menu in hand.

The Throwed Roll was unusually quiet this day right after Christmas which suited Old Man just fine with his failing hearing.  Old Woman could have done with some laughing and people around, since she enjoyed visiting with people on next table over or behind.

A chirpy little waitress named Patty took their order of ham and beans for Old Man, and turkey with stuffing for Old Woman.  Old Man canceled his order and instead asked for meatloaf, after Old Woman announced that she wasn’t going to ride with someone who had just eaten beans.

Plates delivered and Patty asked if they would like some rolls.  Why, yes, Old Woman nodded.  Patty called to Norman Lambert, owner of the restaurant, for rolls and Patty moved out of the way.  You’d better get ready, she whispered as Norman launched the first roll to Old Woman, who had excellent reflexes.

The soft-ball sized roll hit her hand with a WHAP, just like being caught in a ball mitt. Then Old Man caught his roll, barely containing it. Patty set a bowl of  smooth butter and a jar of molasses on their table, asking if they’d like to put some on their roll.  Why, yes, Old Man nodded. Patty wiped her hands on her apron, and then burrowed her index finger into each roll.  Then Patty slathered a sizable amount of butter in the well, followed by thin line of molasses easing out from about a foot above.

Norman Lambert

Old Man and Old Woman gasped and then laughed, finally making eye contact. Three rolls later they were back on the I-55, heading home, talking to each other like old couples do.

Throwed Rolls has probably saved many relationships over the years.

My parents are Old Man and Old Woman.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mommy!!

My daughter’s August birthday will be next week.  My eldest granddaughter Bright Eyes has planned this birthday party for Mommy for the past two years, starting when she was six years old.  Dada was always involved and little sister Sunshine made out of the loop.  She cannot keep a secret, ever. Only as party neared was Sunshine allowed to help with food supplies.

This year is different.  Bright Eyes will be in Fourth Grade in September,  and this party is more sophisticated: it will be an on-line party hosted by Bright Eyes and Sunshine, and arranged through the World of WarCraft, juvenile version.. 

Simple graphics and simple choices
The girls have reservations to hold the party in the city of Storm Wind, with the blessing of the Alliance.  Actually, there will be two parties: one in the Realms of Echo Isle and the other in Silver Hand.

Source: characters which may be uploaded

Invitations have been sent in inter-game mail, and requests for gifts have been made.  The gift registry can be found at the registered site. 

World of Warcraft picture
There will be non-alcoholic beer (apparently some of the goblins interacted negatively with the gnomes last party).  There will be fireworks and fortune cards from Sage.

Children's Week is Coming: April 29 - May 6
Source: Children's Week
Some of the attendees will be Pendix, Gnome Mage. WhereamI (a Dranai Warrior) and a Dancing Mechanical Monkey.

Last year Bright Eyes arranged for tortilla chips, guacamole, and salsa.  She and Sunshine made a red velvet cake.  Friends showed up for a pool party.

coolest birthday cakes site

That is so “old school”, I have been told, by Bright Eyes. After all, she is almost 9 now.

I have not been invited.

This is a re-post from 2012.  You have no idea how many times I have been an observer of either Bright Eyes or Sunshine when they play their own games.  I didn't develop my own character (mainly because they didn't let me, which is just as well) since I wouldn't be online playing against anyone.  

Bright Eyes was born November 22, making younger than other students.  But Bright Eyes always holds her own, in fact, she rules and dominates. Brilliant child.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wisdom of the Dinosaur

Yesterday I held a sick child for almost the whole day.  ‘Sunshine’ had been sick with fever and vomiting the night before, and was staying home from kindergarten.  She lay across my lap while we rocked, and I caressed her face and hair.  In my grandma kingdom, this was a great day.

released in 2009
We watched a selection of Disney movies, starting with “Dinosaurs”.  We have watched this movie many times, but I have never been plastered in the chair by a five-year old with a fever of 101 degrees.

 Usually, Sunshine and I watch a movie, and she gives me a running commentary on the movie along with her own unique insights.  You would be amazed by the perspectives a kindergartner has about life and theology.

The plot is straight-forward:  a dinosaur egg miraculously escapes many brushes with crushing, ends up hatching in the tree occupied by a family of primates.  They adopt the adorable newly hatched dino and name him “Aladar”.  All goes well, happy times ensue, and Aladar (who is fortunately an herbivore) develops friendships and family. 

There are some universal truths conveyed in that movie.  Go with me on this:

Everyone needs to love and be loved.

Everyone needs to know they are not alone.

Everyone needs to make conscious decisions for good or evil.

Aladar, Neera, Suri, Yar, and Plio
Aladar and his love interest
Iguanodons and lemur friends
Normally mammals and dinosaurs are not close friends.
Everyone needs to be believed in and encouraged.

Everyone can change and grow.

Everyone has the potential to learn and the capacity to give to others.

Everyone must take chances, to make ‘a leap of faith’.

Everyone needs to trust and believe in something bigger than themselves, something they cannot see.

Okay, these are not a profound revelations.  I have never evaluated a movie for universal elements before, and I was struck by the way the movie displayed these characteristics. 

Then we watched “Night at the Museum (has a dinosaur)”, and “Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure (no dinosaur)”.  We both nodded off before Tinkerbell was able to repair the moonstone.  Dang.

This is a re-post of 2011 post.  We are preparing to go or may even be gone to Switzerland by this post.  I will be holding two grandsons by then, hopefully healthy boys.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fry everything, oh yes you can

It starts here.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, beats a State or County Fair!  Just say those words aloud in a conversation, and see what happens.  Everyone has a memory of a trip to the FAIR.

I believe our memories are firmly anchored by the odors and scents that come with the State/County Fair visit.  Whether it is the walk-throughs of the cow, pig, goat, or sheep stalls or the multiple stops at the food vendor courts, our sense of smell locks in the memories of going-to-the-State-Fair.

So it is with great pleasure, I bring you Fried Foods at the Fair!
These foods go beyond unhealthy or indecently pleasurable. These deep-fat fried foods venture into a realm of absolutely unique.  Here is a minimum list of currently-on-the-menu at different fairs:

 Fried Cola             Fried Margarita    Fried watermelon 
                        Fried Energy Drink
Fried mac and cheese; cheese on a burger with cheese, on a Krispy Crème Donut topped with chocolate covered bacon---it is all there.

Fried Scorpions   Fried Captain crunch burgers  
fried butter

Need I go on?  These adventurous food vendors spend years on experimenting with new ideas.  Who knows what we will see at the next fair, and absolutely have to try?

I have my nose, eyes, and tastebuds ready for Fried Red Velvet Funnel Cake with Cream Cheese topping.

Now, what would you seek in this world of heart attack foods?

This is a blog from 2012.  Since I will be absent from the blog world I decided to dredge some old posts.  I'll see y'all when we return from hugging and kissing my grandsons.