Boy, Do We Need Jokes!

These days we could REALLY use some jokes. so here you are, right from one of my favorite comedians, Steven Write:

1. “It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it.”

2. “I almost broke both my arms trying to hold open a revolving door for a woman.”

3. “I got a new dog. He’s a paranoid retriever. He brings back everything because he’s not sure what I threw him.”

4. “Every morning I get up and make instant coffee and I drink it so I have the energy to make real coffee.”

5. “Woke up this morning and folded my bed back into a couch. Almost broke both my arms cause it’s not that kind of bed.”

6. “I’m going to get a tattoo over my whole body of me but taller.”

7. “I went to a tourist information booth and said ‘Tell me about some people who were here last year.'”

8. “I’ve been getting into astronomy so I installed a skylight. The people who live above me are furious.”

9. “Why is it a penny for your thoughts but you have to put your two cents in? Somebody’s making a penny.”

10. “I broke a mirror in my house and I’m supposed to get seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.”

11. “When I get real real bored I like to drive downtown and get a great parking spot then sit in my car and count how many people ask me if I’m leaving.”

12. “I spilled spot remover on my dog and now he’s gone.”

13. “I’m writing a book. I have the page numbers done; now I just have to fill in the rest.”

14. “When we were driving over the border back into the United States, they asked me if I had any firearms. I said what do you need?”

15. “I’ve written several children’s books … Not on purpose.”

16. “I called the wrong number today. I said ‘Hello, is Joey there?’ A woman answered and she said ‘Yes he is.’ And I said ‘Can I speak to him please?’ She said ‘No, he can’t talk right now, he’s only two months old.’ I said ‘Alright, I’ll wait.'”

17. “I went to a place to eat. It said ‘breakfast at any time.’ So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.”

18. “We lived in a house that ran on static electricity. If we wanted to cook something, we had to take a sweater off real quick. If we wanted to run a blender we had to rub balloons on our heads.”

19. “I stayed up one night playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.”

20. “I was Caesarean born. Can’t really tell, although whenever I leave a house I go through the window.”

What’s Wrong With a Lazy Day?

The occasional lazy day is actually a good thing, especially when it starts with your own affirmation: “I am taking this day off and I’m not ashamed to do it!” A lazy day is freedom at its best; you can do (or not do) whatever you feel like. You don’t even have to brush your teeth or wash your face. You are allowed to throw on your baggy sweatshirt and your most comfortable jeans. You are allowed to drink all the coffee you want and have a breakfast of cheese and crackers and cookies if you like.

The only proviso is this: NO shaming, NO worrying, and most of all, NO “shoulding” on yourself. So what if the carpet needs vacuuming, so what if the laundry needs to be done, so what if you don’t brush your hair or put makeup on; it’s YOUR day to be lazy.

Now that we are all pretty much sheltering in place, it’s a good time to watch the kind of TV shows we might have turned our noses up previously. Now it’s just good entertainment. It’s also a time to learn how to trim our hair and do our own nails since salons don’t seem to be opening anytime soon. But best of all, we have precious time with our families.

The best of this for me is the pure pleasure of not hurrying. I have always been rushing here and there and where did it all get me except being tired and cranky? So the way things are right now is actually a gift; I no longer feel guilty about re-reading my Harry Potter books, or taking a nap or just plain relaxing.

A lazy day can make you feel less hurried, less worried and less having that nasty little demon on your back hissing that you must do this, that or the other thing. Just relax into the wonderful laziness of the day and enjoy the new-found freedom. My favorite uncle used start his day to his people at work, saying “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

I’m pretty sure that God is just fine with us having lazy days now and then. And as my favorite aunt used to say about lazy days: “go ahead, relax—-it couldn’t hurt!”

Some Whimsy for Today

I posted this quite a while ago, but couldn’t we all use a bit of whimsy these days!

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Whimsy; it’s a wonderful thing. The word “whimsy” itself is lovely: from Webster’s Dictionary:

2the quality or state of being whimsical or fanciful; the designer’s new line showed a touch of whimsy
3a fanciful or fantastic device, object, or creation especially in writing or art
The very word seems full of light and charm.
So, what exactly does it mean to have whimsy or want whimsy? I think it’s anything that tickles you, lifts your spirit, makes you laugh, makes you delighted; in short, whimsy is that particular feeling we get deep in our stomaches that bubbles up in giggles. (And isn’t it wonderful to giggle at any age?)
Your particular whimsy can be anything that makes you happy; a wild pair of earrings, fabulous leather boots that make you feel ten feet tall, a straw hat with a striped ribbon around it, some really good chocolate, a porcelain fairy figurine, a daring dress in wild colors, and so on. There really is no limit on whimsy.
It’s perfectly fine to be whimsical, to bring whimsy into your life, and just enjoy the magic of whimsy. I love it when I see someone who puts their own version of it right out there for the whole world to see, such as:
  • An elderly man with a flower tucked in his hat band.
  • A little girl wearing her pink fairy dress with wings.
  • A group of ladies with pink, purple and teal streaks in their hair.
  • A young man with a big smile wearing a “Free Hugs” t-shirt.
  • A teenager walking her dog, who sports a flower lei around his neck.
  • An elderly lady wearing turquoise sneakers with sparkles on them.
  • A mom wearing a macaroni necklace that her little boy made for her.

And so it goes. Whimsy is whatever you want or need it to be. It lights up your outlook and your spirit; funny how that works, isn’t it? As for me, I am flying my own whimsy flag right out there for the world to see! Go ahead; fly yours as well!

The Peace of the Pond Walk

It’s been a while since I walked around the pond; the ice is out and the male red-wing black birds are already scoping out the best places for their lady loves to make their nests and have their young. I’m pretty sure that the turtles and frogs are still sleeping in the mud beneath the bottom of the pond. We will know it is really spring when they start showing up.

Halfway through my walk, a beautiful blue heron soared down to rest in the bullrushes, and a lone cormorant was paddling his way in what had to be freezing water. As usual, the birds and creatures know when it is truly Spring. It was my grandmother who taught me all about birds and their habitats. She would always say that the birds were truly the harbingers of Spring; they knew when to start making nests and having their young.

Even now some of the flowers around the pond are starting to wake up too; another sure sign that Winter is gone and Spring is here. Soon other blue herons will show up, as well as ducks and swans and cormorants. There is also a single bald eagle that soars over the pond and sometimes roosts in one of the trees; it’s a thrill to see him.

Considering all the bad news on TV and all, the walk around the pond is balm to the mind and spirit. Nature reminds us that life is not all about us humans; it is birds and animals, and fish and frogs and turtles and more.

While these are trying times, it’s good to have a stroll in nature now and then to bring us back to what matters most.

 

What Matters Most

As we all know too well, we are in different times these days. No longer can we go to a restaurant and have a sit-down meal; now we order take-out and go pick it up. It’s actually not a bad thing, just a new thing. We are wearing masks and are washing our hands more, and we are keeping our six foot distance when we are around people.

But all that aside, not a whole lot of things have changed. We still call and email our families and friends, we make it a point to enjoy the outdoors, we take our vitamins and don’t watch too much upsetting news. This time in our lives is what we make of it.

What matters most is how we live through all this while keeping positive. Our “new normal” may be life right now as we know it; we may never get back to how we were before the pandemic. But on the flip side, what are these times teaching us? From what I hear and see, families and friends are closer and more precious. Certainly bad things can happen, but good things can happen as well.

My hope is that we learn from this and always remember how we survived the pandemic. Most of all, I hope that we can never take our families and friends for granted. Maybe when this is all over we can decide to start a food storage in our basements for the “just in case” scenarios. Maybe we will kiss and hug our families and friends more. Maybe we will smile more, love more and laugh more. Because when you think about it, what matters most is how we live, love and rise above fear.

 

 

Seriously; Let It Go, Elsa!

If you have seen and loved the movie “Frozen,” then you are familiar with the “Let It Go” song. When I or the Crankee Yankee are stubborn (and usually that’s me), one of the best ways for us to calm down is say to each other “let it go, Elsa!” Usually that makes us both laugh and no harm done.

These days when we are living through the corona virus and are pretty much staying at home, there can be flare-ups and misunderstandings. It is a bit scary these days, and our new normal is quite different than we could have imagined. My guess is that we are more fearful than we have ever been and we are changing the way we live. Part of our new “normal” is wearing masks or bandanas, and we keep our distance. We wash our hands frequently, and clean up surfaces. These days we are hyper vigilant and it can take a toll on us.

This is when we need to not only be observant and careful, but also to remember to laugh, joke and not let fear take over. As soon as we found out about the corona virus and how us sixty-somethings and older are more likely to be affected, I think we all went into some form of panic.

But here’s the thing: we can be prepared and not scared. We can do all the right things and simply be careful. We can email or call our families and friends. We can play games together. We can learn some new skills, pick up a hobby, watch TV and so on. The Crankee Yankee and I don our bandanas and take our walk around the block at least once a day. It makes us not only feel better, but also feel more “normal.”

As I like to say, “this too will pass.” And it will. In the meantime, let’s all keep it together, be thankful for what we have, remember to wash our hands and mask up if we are going to be around people. When this is over, we can look back and think of what we have learned and what we can still be grateful for.

So whenever we get scared or angry or just tired of the new normal, let’s just say this: “let it go, Elsa!”

Stay at Home Tales

Like everyone in the country, the Crankee Yankee and I are stay-at-homes. Oh, of course we do our weekly food run at the grocery store, and the Crankee Yankee often goes to the hardware store while working on the house. Quite frankly, the way we live now is pretty much how we lived prior to the corona virus, so not a lot has changed.

We have even developed a few fun things to do while being at home. For example, in the late afternoon we may share a beer together while sitting in the driveway in our “outdoor chairs” while we watch the world go by. When cars drive by, whoever has the beer in hand raises it as a little salute to the passersby.

Now that we are starting to have some warmish weather, we are tending to our garden beds to get them ready for planting. Our usual crops are cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, chives, rhubarb and baby yellow squash. We always raise too much for us to eat, so once the produce gets going we put out a large basket on a table with plastic bags under the basket, and a sign that says “please help yourself but please leave the basket!” Works every time.

We used to plant peas, but over time we realized that we just got sick and tired of eating them; in fact last year’s peas are still chilling in our freezer. This year we are going to plant corn; we had done it a few years back, and it came out pretty well.

It’s funny how things repeat themselves; my grandmother had a huge garden, my mother had one as well, and the Crankee Yankee’s mom had one too. Somehow the produce we raise tastes better than the produce we buy at the grocery store. Plus it’s fun to get out on a sunny morning with a basket and start picking.

If my grandmother was still with us during these days, I know exactly what she would say: “this too will pass. Just like the vegetables know when to sprout, all this mess will finally go away. Just put your mind to what matters and go on with your life.”

Enjoy the day and eat your veggies!

 

The Joys of Customer Service

Years ago I worked at a company that sold science projects for schools. I was a customer service rep, and I was on the phone daily for people who wanted to buy the products for their school or for themselves. There were all kinds of neat projects for school age kids, but one of the most popular ones was the butterfly tent.

The butterfly tent had a large branch inside the net that could be hung up in the classroom so that the kids could watch the caterpillars turn to butterflies. The premise was that, once the butterflies emerged, the teacher would take the tent outside with the kids and then set the butterflies free. The kids always loved it, plus they learned a lot about butterflies in general.

Also, there were people who wanted the butterfly nets just for their own pleasure. One such person called me and asked if she could order ten butterfly nets for her wedding day. She wanted to be sure that the butterflies would be ready to come out so that she could let them go after she and her husband said their “I do’s.”

I told her that we could certainly sell her the ten butterfly nets but warned her that we  couldn’t guarantee that the butterflies would emerge on the day of her wedding. She insisted on buying them and told me that she was “positive” that the butterflies would be ready on her special day.

Just to be on the safe side, after I took her address and wrote up the sale, I went to my boss and told her about the “butterfly wedding.” Of course, she laughed her head off (and so did I). We were just about positive that some of the butterflies actually might be ready on the wedding day, but as I told the customer, we couldn’t guarantee that all ten would hatch in time for the big day.

A few weeks later, I got a call from a very angry bride (guess who; the butterfly lady!). She told me that only one of the butterfly nets had any butterflies in them, and that the nine other ones hadn’t emerged yet. She was livid and demanded to talk to the “person in charge,” which would be my boss. I told her that, sadly, the boss was in a meeting but that I would be sure to tell her what happened.

It was at that point that the angry bride went into a tailspin. She said, and I kid you not: “I don’t want to talk to your boss, I want to talk to the person in charge of those butterflies! Who is it?!” I said “God?” The woman hung up on me and when my boss was out of her meeting we had a good laugh. I refunded the bride’s money, and from then on we all referred to what happens at weddings when you expect your butterflies to come out on demand. Sheesh.

Another Good Book to Live In

I have given up remembering how many times I have read and re-read and re-re-re-read the entire Harry Potter series. If you are a fan as I am, you probably have done the same thing. The premise of the series is “the boy who lived.” I won’t go into details in case you haven’t read the books. But trust me, it’s a wonderful series.

Back when I was in college, there was a popular female singer who sung a song with a verse that stuck in my mind: “I’d like to live in a good book.” Ever since reading the Harry Potter series, I would love to live in those books!

There are some books that seem to call to us; you start reading and you know that the book in your hands is going to be a wonderful ride. And when it’s over, you want to sit down and read it all over again. Speaking just for me, I can’t count how many times I have read all the Harry Potter books.

When I was growing up, every Saturday I walked to our library and stocked up on books. It was something I looked forward to every week. The librarian was always kind and sometimes introduced me to some books she thought I might like. She was always right, and I think she really enjoyed opening children’s minds to new authors.

One Saturday, I walked out of the library, my arms loaded with books that I could not wait to read. An older girl from my school came walking up the sidewalk and looked at me and my stack of books. She said, “what’s with all the books?” I told her that I got the books to read and she snorted and rolled her eyes at me as if I was the most stupid person in the world.

As young as I was, I felt sorry for her; in my little world, books were everything. In her world, books were just another annoying thing she had to do in school. As young as I was, I understood that there were readers and non-readers.

There are some books that just take us away and we yearn to live in those wonderful books. I’ve lost count of how many times I have read the entire Harry Potter series, but each time I do I am in there in spirit with Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. These are truly good books to live in.

Happy reading everyone!