Forgiving Ourselves

Sadly, too many of us dwell on all the bad things that have happened to us or the dumb things we have done. Sometimes we think of them so much that it ruins all the good things that have happened to us. Hanging on to bad things gets us nowhere. All it does is make us feel worse all over again.

It took me years to figure this out, but I finally was able to let go of the bad things in my life. The “cure” is easier than you would think, too. When I cringe remembering something stupid I did years ago, I learned to say out loud: “I am not that person any more. I am better than I was.”

Strangely enough, that little mantra helped a lot. Looking back on things I should not have said or done, I realize that those things were teaching moments that I needed. We know that we are imperfect, but most of us try to do better and learn from our mistakes.

Sometimes, though, it’s hard to forgive ourselves. However, I’ve found a way to forgive myself that actually works. It will sound pretty funny, but I’ll tell you from my own experience it works.

So, here is how I banish those mistakes for good and all: take a small roll of toilet paper (about 2-3 pieces), and write down your mistake. When you’ve finished, ball it up and toss it into the toilet, then flush. That’s it; done and done. Strangely enough, it works. Not only will you feel that you have been forgiven, but it’s kind of fun to do anyway.

Try it out; it really does work!

The Tree Across the Street

The Crankee Yankee and I enjoy bringing our cups of coffee out on our front porch in the early morning. We chat, wave at people passing by, and, because it is Fall, we enjoy the colored leaves of the huge tree across the street from us. Some years the tree’s fall colors are just “meh,” but this year they are spectacular.

That tree is what I would call a great climbing tree. If I were a kid again, I would be scrambling up that tree with a book in my back pocket. I know a good climbing tree when I see it. I can just imagine how it would be to sit on a branch, surrounded by all those gorgeous leaves of bright red, orange and yellow.

There is something rather wonderful about climbing a tree. When I was a kid, I would pick out the right tree to climb, and up I’d go; my book in one hand, the other hand grasping limb after limb, and a sandwich in my pocket. It was both peaceful and wonderful.

Well, my tree climbing days are long over, but I remember still what it was like. That’s really the only thing I mind about getting older; you can’t (or shouldn’t) do the things you used to do. Besided, if I tried climbing that tree today, the Crankee Yankee would call the police to get his idiot wife down; how embarrasing is that?

Those were the days; I could climb any tree I chose. I could sit on a branch, my back to the middle of the tree, reading (with no glasses), and eating a sandwich my mother made for me. What days those were!

But at least I can still enjoy the beautiful fall colors and NOT fall out of a tree!

“Oh, I’ll Just Save This For Something Special”

When my grandmother died, my mother and I did all we could to help my grandfather through his grief. He asked us if we would clean out my grandmother’s bureau drawers; he just couldn’t do it himself. Of course we told him we would.

The contents of the drawer were pretty much as you’d expect in an old lady’s things. There was jewelry, makeup, combs and brushes, stacks of letters, nightgowns and a brand new pair of black underpants with the tag still on it.

We both laughed and cried and then laughed again; my grandmother probably thought that the panties were to be worn only on a “special occasion.” That occasion never happened. I imagined her saying to herself; “oh, I’m going to save these; they are too good to wear right now.”

So there we were, folding the never-worn black underpants. We took them and almost all of my grandmother’s clothes and shoes to the church as they often collected clothes and shoes for those who needed them.

To this day it makes me teary about those “good” and never worn black panties. I always wondered if my grandmother thought that she wasn’t good enough to wear them herself. However, because of this my grandmother sent me a message that I’ve always remembered; I decided that I would always wear something special I bought for myself. What good is having something special when you don’t wear it or use it?

Wearing or using something “special” can make your day. There’s no sense in just keeping something like the black panties “just for special.” From that day on, I made it my business to thoroughly enjoy whatever I bought for myself. Just wearing or useing something new can not only lift your spirits, but it can also make you feel like the queen that you are; because YOU are something special.





Heaven; What Do You Think It Is?

Recently my last uncle, whom I always called “Unkie,” passed away; he was my absolute favorite uncle. A few months ago when we were talking on the phone, he asked me what I thought Heaven was like. I told him what I have always believed that, when we pass on, I believe that our loved ones who have gone on before us will be waiting for us; arms open wide and smiling.

Of course, we won’t truly know until we get there, but I’d like to think that this is true. Years ago I watched a movie called “Defending Your Life,” starring Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep. It was an American romantic/comedy movie (1991) about a man who dies and arrives in the afterlife only to find that he has to stand trial and justify his fears in order to advance to the next phase of existence or be sent back to Earth to do it again. (Check it out; it’s a good one!)

Although we won’t know what to expect until we ourselves pass on, I’d like to think that we will see our loved ones again. It’s my own belief that we will. Who knows? Years ago, Mom and I used to talk about Heaven. She too felt that our loved ones are waiting patiently for us, too.

Years ago I read about a children’s doctor who had seen some of his young patients die, only to be revived and have a story to tell. What these children all said was that they saw their aunts and uncles and grandparents who had died, and even their pets who also had died! One little girl who had died but had come back to life described that she had been standing beside a beautiful river with flowers on each side of the river. Then she told the doctor this: “and Penny was there too!” The doctor asked who Penny was, and she said, “that’s my dog who died last year.” Amazing, isn’t it?

Personally, that gives me hope and comfort.


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!