Bed Hogs

Well, our five cats have surprised us again. This time, three of the five decided that it would be a great idea for them to sleep on our bed all day long. This isn’t anything new; it’s just part of the feline entitlement in our house. They have no problem sleeping on our pillows and stretching out as long as they can to take up more space. But since this happens during the day, it’s not a big deal.

However—they now have decided that they will also spread out on our bed during nightime. This means that the Crankee Yankee and I have to lay down new bedtime rules (ha–as if the cats would listen!). Ever tried to teach a cat to do anything? Good luck with that.

Our cats have figured out that we love and adore them, so they feel that the next step is to do as we do, bedtime-wise—spread out! Cats are a lot smarter than you think, plus they also have the “cute” advantage. A cat may knock over and break a lamp, but then they look at you with one of their signature big-eyes kitty get-out-of-jail passes. Seriously, they know just how to work us.

The Crankee Yankee and I realize that we did a poor job of training our cats (ha—as if a cat would really listen to any sort of training!), so now we are paying the price. Day and night, at least three of the cats are on our bed, snoozing away. While we have a queen-size bed, it gets pretty full with us and the cats.

So once again, the cats win and we lose; sheesh. We never had a chance.

What Books Did You Love as a Child?

When I was a youngster, I often visited my grandparents. Often I stayed overnight with them, and my grandmother would tuck me into bed and then read me a chapter of Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends by Thorton W. Burgess. I loved to hear her read to me, just as she had read the same stories to my father when he was a little boy.

When I got older, my mother introduced me to the “Freddy” books by Walter Rollin Brooks. I got thinking about those books recently, and found the following about them:

“The delightful detective story about the beloved animal characters on Mr. Bean’s farm, whose adventures have entertained so many children. Freddy the Pig has been reading Sherlock Holmes and knows that he, too, can apply his brain to solving mysteries, beginning with Farmer Bean’s son’s loss of a toy train. Freddy becomes very efficient in the apprehension of criminals. In the end he not only solves the case of the murdered crow, but successfully acts as defense attorney for the falsely accused Jinx the cat. How often did Sherlock do that?”

I loved to think about those talking farm animals, and I used to wish that I could meet them all. Reading those books made me feel that animals, especially pets, spoke their own languages that only they could understand. As a child I was positive that my cat, Henny, could talk if she really wanted to. However, every attempt I made to catch her talking just made her bored.

Then I discovered the *Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories. I read them and re-read them over and over again. This started me on re-reading books that I loved. It exasperated my mother to no end; she felt that re-reading was just a waste of time. She felt that one read was enough and that I should just go get more library books. However, I loved re-reading just the same; I still do.

So all that said, what children’s books did you love when growing up? (Go ahead, read them again; I won’t tell.)

*From Wikipedia:

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series is about a small woman who lives in an upside-down house in a lively neighborhood inhabited mainly by children who have bad habits.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a chest full of magical cures left to her by her deceased husband, Mr. Piggle-Wiggle, who was a pirate. In the first two books of the series, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (1947) and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic (1949), Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle provides parents with cures for their children’s bad habits. Cures range from the mundane (the “Won’t-Pick-Up-Toys Cure”, allowing a small boy to continue leaving his toys scattered about his room until the room becomes so cluttered that he is unable to escape) to the fantastic (the “Interrupting Cure”, a special powder that is blown on the interrupter, which causes the person to become temporarily mute every time he/she tries to interrupt someone).

(Don’t I just wish that there really was an “Interrupting Cure”!)

Fall Weather

Us New Englanders are in the midst of fall; and our trees are showing off their orange, red and yellow leaves for us to enjoy. It’s a beautiful time of year, and those colorful leaves are the trees’ last hurrah before winter sets in. When I lived in Texas, even though there wasn’t a colored leaf in sight and the temps could be as hot as 110 (or more), I always felt the fall in New England.
It’s my favorite time of year. Our garden was amazing this year, and we still have brilliant red tomatoes on the vines. I have made more spaghetti sauce this fall than last year, and there are at least five big containers of it downstairs in the freezer. Looks like I will be making lots of lasagna this winter.
There’s something rather wonderful about this time of year; we start thinking of Halloween, and the winter holidays. The Crankee Yankee decided that he would start skiing again. I myself have skied so much when I was younger that I’ve skiied enough, thank you very much. However, I will go with him when he wants to ski; while he’s doing that, I will hunker in the lodge by the fire with a good book and a cup of cocoa.
But for now, just seeing the colored leaves and the blue ski of fall, it is a perfect time of year. We are lucky in New England to have all this beauty around us. This is the time we begin thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. But for the time being, just enjoying the beauty of fall is enough.
The birds and creatures feel the change in the weather, and they are busy getting ready for fall and then winter. By this time, the pond dwellers are nearly ready to nap in the mud at the bottom of the pond during the cold months. There are loads of empty birds’ nests in the reeds, and the great blue heron doesn’t alway show up as he does during the summer. The lone massive turtle is still enjoying the pond, but he too will eventually hunker down for the coming winter.
But for now, we are enjoying the beauty of fall. If you decide to drive up to the mountains, you will see the amazing colors of fall on your way. Sure it’s a harbinger of the coming winter, but for now, just enjoy the time and the weather.

I Hate Spiders

If you read Pam Kirst’s wonderful blog, “Catching My Drift,” you will have read what she says about spiders. Not a fan of them, and  either am I. I have hated spiders all my life; they just give me the creeps. My uncle, whom I always called “Unkie”–(sadly recently deceased, bless his sweet heart) really hated them. He often visited us for a week or two when I was a kid, and I always looked forward to his visits. Once when he was staying overnight at our house, he tucked me into bed, saying his usual ‘good night’; “there you are, safe and sound in your space ship. When you go to the moon and find out it’s made of green cheese, bring me back a slice.”

We both laughed, and he happened to look up on the wall, and saw a spider dangling down from the ceiling. Bravely he whacked it with his shoe, sparing me from a scary night. I thought he was heroic!

I do understand that spiders are not only useful, but their webs are works of art. While I admire this about them, what gives me the creeps is that they scuttle so! I think if they just strolled along at a slow pace I could feel less creepy about them. But even writing about them makes me shudder. If I find one in our house, I can’t go to sleep unless I’ve tracked it down and killed it.

It’s bad enough to have spiders of any size in the house, but at least in America we don’t have the huge ones that live in other countries. Can you even imagine a spider large enough to cover an entire window? Just the thought of it gives me the shivers.

As Pam Kirst mentioned in her blog today, the only spider she liked was Charlotte, of  the book, “Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White. I did as well, and from then on always thought that if only spiders could talk to us, we might not be so creeped out about them. But then again, if they did talk, what if they asked us creepy things like, “hey, mind if I curl up in your mouth while you’re sleeping?” Yuck!!!

I really don’t enjoy killing spiders, but it becomes one of those “me or them” things, and I prefer that they are NOT in the house. If any spiders are reading this, I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings. Just stay out of my house and we’re good, ok?

We Could Really Use Some Jokes Right Now!

These days we REALLY could use something to laugh about. I found the following jokes on line by Bob Larkin. Enjoy!


150 Jokes That Are So Bad They’re Actually Funny

microphone bad jokes

A bad joke is just that: a bad joke. But sometimes a joke is so jaw-droppingly ridiculous that it transcends its own awfulness and reaches a higher plane of funny. You don’t want to laugh—every self-respecting part of your brain is rejecting the guffawing impulse—but you can’t help yourself. That’s when you know you have a bad joke so horrible that it’s actually funny.

And the thing is, everyone needs a bad joke every now and then Call them “dad jokes” if you must, but it’s not just dads who love a good groaner. Herein, we’ve rounded up all of the best funny bad jokes that will have you laughing so hard you cry—no matter how hard you try and resist.

The funniest bad jokes everybody will love.

middle aged couple laughing, bad jokes
  1. What do you call a hippie’s wife? A Mississippi!
  2. What did the duck say when she bought a lipstick? Put it on my bill!
  3. I hate Russian dolls. They’re so full of themselves.
  4. What do you call a man with a rubber toe? Roberto!
  5. Where did the computer go dancing? The disc-o!
  6. What do bees do if they need a ride? Wait at the buzz stop!
  7. What do you give to a sick lemon? Lemon aid!
  8. What did the little mountain say to the bigger mountain? Hi Cliff!
  9. What do you call a monkey that loves Doritos? A chipmunk!
  10. Why did the can crusher quit his job? Because it was soda pressing!
  11. Why are there gates around cemeteries? Because people are dying to get in!
  12. What do you call a cow with two legs? Lean beef!
  13. Do you remember that joke I told you about my spine? It was about a weak back!
  14. I just went to an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.
  15. When’s the best time to go to the dentist? Tooth-hurtie!
  16. What do you call a dangerous sun shower? A rain of terror!
  17. Why do seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over the bay, they’ve bagels!
  18. What do you call a farm that makes bad jokes? Corny!
  19. Why do fish live in salt water? Because pepper makes them sneeze!
  20. What streets to ghosts haunt? Dead ends!
  21. What do you tell actors to break a leg? Because every play has a cast!
  22. What kind of dogs love car racing? Lap dogs!
  23. What did Winnie the Pooh say to his agent? “Show me the honey!”
  24. What do you call birds who stick together? Vel-crows.
  25. Today I gave my dead batteries away. They were free of charge.

The best funny jokes to tell at parties.

woman and man laughing in conversation at a cocktail party, bad jokes
  1. What do you call it when one cow spies on another? A steak out!
  2. What happens when a frog’s car breaks down? It gets toad!
  3. I went on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Never again.
  4. What’s the best thing about Switzerland? I don’t know, but its flag is a big plus!
  5. My favorite word is “drool.” It just rolls off the tongue.
  6. Why is Peter Pan always flying? He neverlands.
  7. I just wrote a book on reverse psychology. Do not read it.
  8. What does a zombie vegetarian eat? “Graaaaaaaains!”
  9. My new thesaurus is terrible. Not only that, but it’s also terrible.
  10. Why didn’t the astronaut come home to his wife? He needed his space.
  11. I got fired from my job at the bank today. An old lady came in and asked me to check her balance, so I pushed her over.
  12. I wasn’t going to visit my family this December, but my mom promised to make me Eggs Benedict. So I’m going home for the hollandaise.
  13. What did the blanket say as it fell off the bed? “Oh sheet!”
  14. I like to spend every day as if it’s my last. Staying in bed and calling for a nurse to bring me more pudding.
  15. Why do cow-milking stools only have three legs? ‘Cause the cow’s got the udder!
  16. How did Darth Vader know what Luke got him for Christmas? He felt his presents.
  17. What’s the last thing that goes through a bug’s mind when it hits a windshield? Its butt.
  18. What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet? “Supplies!”
  19. Imagine if Americans switched from pounds to kilograms overnight. There would be mass confusion!
  20. It’s inappropriate to make a “dad joke” if you are not a dad. It’s a faux pa.
  21. What did Batman say to Robin before they got in the car? “Robin, get in the car.”
  22. I have an addiction to cheddar cheese. But it’s only mild.
  23. Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil? Because it’s pointless!
  24. Why did the scarecrow win an award? He was outstanding in his field.
  25. What did the buffalo say when his son left? Bison!

Cats on the Keyboard

Don’t get me wrong, I love all of our five cats. They all have different ways of showing their love; it can be loud purring, or lapping my fingers or settling into my lap while I’m trying to read–and purring their heads off. It seems that their “special” time with me is exactly when I’m trying to write a post.

I think that they really believe that sitting on my keyboard will just make any post I have better. Even though they all have comfortable beds, tons of toys, and more attention than most famous people, they always want more. In fact, I’m sure that if Tom Hanks came knocking at our door, the cats would all turn their noses up at him. What they really want is all our attention all the time.

I do believe that somehow our cats have found out that in ancient Egypt cats were revered and loved by their kings and queens. As has been said many times before; cats have never forgotten this.

Their sense of intitlement is unbelieveable, too. If I happen to be eating a tuna salad sandwich, all five of them will sit and watch me eat until guilt takes over and I end up splitting the sandwich between the five of them. Then I have to run to the kitchen and make a quick sandwich for myself before the cats finish eating my first sandwich.

So it isn’t at all surprising that, when I am typing on the computer, that’s exactly when one or two or more of the cats show up and walk back and forth on the keyboard. This is a sample of what it looks like:


And that’s just one way they type their own messages on the keyboard. They can’t talk, but they sure can type!


The “Gee-Gaw” Lady

When I lived in Texas, I used to go to church on Sundays. It was a nice group of people, and after a time I joined the choir, which was a lot of fun. When it was close to Christmas, we of course sung the usual Christmas carols as well as songs from our hymn books.

While standing and singing, it was fun to see everyone in their seats, especially those who dressed up for the Christmas season. There was always one lady whom I called the “Gee-Gaw” Lady because she always wore lots and lots of jewelry. She quite literally sparkled all during the Christmas season. I always wondered why she put on so many necklaces, bracelets, rings and Christmas-y pins.

Funnily enough, these days I too wear a lot of jewelry. Not because I want to show off, but because I enjoy wearing earrings, bracelets, rings and sometimes necklaces. I always think of the “Gee-Gaw” Lady fondly when I do. Now that I am the age that she was, I realize that it doesn’t matter if you wear loads of jewelry or flamboyant clothing or whatever. It’s all about what you personally like. And as for me, I do love lots of jewelry.

I wonder if the “Gee-Gaw” Lady is still alive and sparkling. I wish I had told her how much she influenced me. I also now understand her; I’m sure that she didn’t give a hoot what other people saw, especially all that jewelry. I feel the same way; these days I don’t feel dressed unless I’m wearing several rings, four or more bracelets on each arm, a necklace and a pair of flashy earrings.

Some time I think that God puts special people in our lives, how ever briefly. When putting on all my jewelry, I think about the Gee-Gaw lady and thank her. I hope that she hears me and smiles. Most of all, I hope she is still sparkling!

Why Animals Have More Manners Than Some People

I have to wonder how some people were raised when I hear about “incidences” in parks, walking trails and so on. The incidences can be everything from throwing trash on the ground instead of putting it in a container or waste barrel. Some people who have picnics outside think it’s perfectly fine to dump the leftovers out on the ground with the idea that “the animals will eat it.” Evidently this too includes all the waxed paper, aluminium foil and paper bags and even bottles!

Worst of all, there are actually people who think it’s just fine to defecate right on a trail or in a park. Especially when in such trails and parks have bathrooms! Seriously, wild animals have more sense than that. You have to wonder what kind of people raised them.

Sometimes it seems like we humans are devolving into animals. If so, I certainly hope that our manners will be better.

Sauce, Sauce and MORE Sauce!

Well, we’ve done it again; we planted way too many tomato plants in our garden; cukes, too. As we always do, we put out a large basket full of cukes and tomatoes with a big sign that reads: “fresh veggies; help yourself!” (Quite frankly, when people stop by and take some, they are doing us a favor!) And people do, once they get used to the idea that we don’t expect them to pay for the cukes and tomatoes.

The Crankee Yankee made a huge jar of pickled cukes; which by the way are absolutely delicious. My job is using up the tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce. So far I’ve made six big containers of it. Thankfully we have a large freezer, so we will be eating that sauce all winter long. It could be worse; we could have planted zuccinis and you know how fast they grow. Worst of all, there are not many good recipes for them either.

I actually don’t mind making the tomato sauce, but it does take time. First there is cleaning the fresh tomatoes, then chopping them up. Then I pull out my largest pot, drizzle some olive oil in it, plus some salt and pepper. Then I chop up one or two large onions and toss those in the pot, as well as chopped fresh garlic and add that in. Then in go the chopped tomatoes. After that, I add a large can of tomato sauce, a dollop of red wine and a bit of sugar. Once the whole mess has cooled down, I grab my Cuisinart Quick Prep (check it out; it is soooo handy!) and stir it all up.

When winter sets in, it’s both comforting and delicious to enjoy all that sauce from our very own tomatoes. And each winter we promise each other that we won’t plant so dang many tomatoes and cucumbers. But every spring we wait for the sunny days to plant (you guessed it) MORE tomatos and cukes.

I guess we just can’t help ourselves.