Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Scary Black Ice

Humor Blogs

It was December. Our son stepped carefully onto the black asphalt in the cold snap of his first winter in his new state.

"Why are you walking like that?" a friend asked.

"Black ice," he responded, well remembering foot and tire slips and slides on the tricky stuff. Then he straightened up, and grinned sheepishly at his friend, realizing that 60 degrees was, indeed, cold for Arizona, but most likely not cold enough to form ice.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Melon Joke

Humor Blogs

Probably an old one; I'd not heard this one before; obviously, neither did Uncle Alan.
Did Dear Husband make it up?

Uncle Alan: (seriously asking at breakfast) What's the difference between a melon and a cantalope?

DH: One is married.

UA: Huh?

DH: A melon is single since it cantalope.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Check Your Candle Status

Thirty or so years ago, my now-husband brought me a glass snow globe back from Sweden, in which to hold a tea candle. Every winter for thirty or so years, I have lit candles in the pretty little thing. Last year, with company in the house (of course), I tried unsuccessfully to light the candle in the snow globe. When I complained to my hubby, he responded that he'd replaced the wax candle with one of the new battery candles which flickered. Now our fake candle has an authentic black-charred tip.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beware the Invisible Fence

Humor Blogs

They've been out for a while now -- the invisible fences to keep dogs contained in a yard.

A friend was surprised with how well it worked. She told me how it didn't take the neighbor's cat long to figured out just where the boundry was. The cat would sit just a foot or two from the invisible line, licking herself, as her next-door neighbor cannine jumped around, barking and yapping at her. Only, one day, my friend let out the dog before turning on the fence, or forgetting to turn it on. The cat was cool as always. The dog stopped at the invisible line and barked. The cat continued to lick and tease. Then the dog took a few steps forward, and a few more, then started after the cat, who stopped mid-lick to save her teasing hide.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How Old Am I? (Part II)

Once, a bazillion years ago, I was substituting for a primary grades music teacher. She knew I played guitar & loved singing with the kids from a vast repertoire, so rather gave me free rein in her class -- either than, or she was too lazy to make lesson plans.

Regardless, there I sat with my guitar and about 25 kindergartners sitting on the floor, facing me -- all except for one boy who had his arms folded and his back to me. When I called him on it, he told me he didn't like those songs. "Why not?" "They're baby songs." "Not so. I sing them all the time. Am I a baby?" "No, but Barney sings them." Ah-ha! The truth had come out. "Oh, not to worry. I taught Barney all the songs he sings," I told him. The kid spun around and stared at me wide-eyed. "You mean, you're older than dinosaurs?" "You bet ya." Although he still wouldn't sing the songs, he didn't take his eyes off of me for the rest of his music time.

How Old Am I? (Part I)

I love kids!

When I taught 2nd grade, after repeated questioning about my age, I finally broke down and told them I was 642. One girl obviously believed this was not the truth: "Un-uh!" she said. "If you was 642, you'd be dead."

Well, then I had to explain, "Oh, you were thinking years. No, no. I'm 642 yappas." For some reason that was a much more acceptable answer to them.

Not THAT Disease

Yeah. About 30 school buildings were closed last week around here as a result of H1N1 (of the swinish-type). There's nothing funny about that! (but read on)

Four years ago, I substitute taught in a 4th-6th grade school where nearly 30% of the kids were absent, along with 14 of the 17 teachers. During 6th grade geography time, we were reading about early American History, and how numerous Native Americans died of small pox. One kid raised his hand, and in all seriousness asked me, "Is that the disease our teachers have?"

(Okay. So I lied to the boy and told him "no." I mean, I didn't have any facts on the sick teachers, but was pretty certain they would be returning to school sometime soon, and did. I just made a point of opening the classroom windows for fresh air, and stayed out of the Teachers' Lounge.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hardhat Time

Humor Blogs

It's that time of year again -- hardhat time.

We live in an oak-forested neighborhood, with the trees several times taller than our short roofs. It's lovely in the summer for shade and for keeping us cool. In late October and November, however, I often wonder about the wisdom of living in an oak forest.

Our mailbox is 80 paces from our front door. It's not at the end of our drive, which doesn't lead onto the street of our address. We live on a corner lot. The mailbox is in the middle of our property line, on "our"street. Many times I can simply cut across the front yard to it. But on puddly, mushy-ground days, and then basically all winter long -- about 8 months of the year -- I must walk out the front door, down the long driveway to "the other street," then go around the corner (no sidewalks or curb and gutters in this city neighborhood), and half-way down our property to the box which is the daily depository for bills and junk mail. The good part: 160 paces a day is good exercise, right?

So where do hardhats come into the picture? Imagine pretty autumn. Imagine "ripe" brown acorns. Imagine getting bonked on the head and shoulders from nuts dropping from 70 feet above.

Yeah. Hardhat time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Clowning Days

Humor Blogs

For several years, I did some clowning with magic and songs and tossed in lots of jokes, of course. These were performed at schools, schurches, preschools, a Mexican orphanage, and home parties. The most fun was when I got to gransform from normal-looking me into Sunny the Singing Clown -- i.e., sit and talk about my make-up and outfit and the history of clowning as I changed in front of the audience. I found it amusing that in just 15 minutes, the kids treated me and talked to me like a clown, totally ignoring or forgetting how I started out in real-human capasity. I was no longer "that normal person," but someone else entirely.

I decided to move on from my clowning days mostly after doing a stint for a home birthday party for a four-year-old, and the plastered adults started to attack the clown.

It's called coulrophobia, BTW, the abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Cell Phone Phun, Pt II

Humor Blogs
My poor hubby is sick. There's nothing funny about THAT. His throat is painfully sore, so he hasn't spoken in more than 24 hours. I told him I needed to get out of the house for a bit -- no, not because of him, because I like being outdoors and miss it when I'm not there. I assured him I had my cell phone with me, so if he needed me, he could call. About 10 minutes later, he did. I scrambled through the various pockets I wore -- Coat?... no; Vest... nope; jeans? yep, but couldn't get to it quickly because of the vest and coat. It was just a text msg, so I was okay. I opened my phone and saw it was from my DH. I didn't think anything could have gone wrong in that short of time. Maybe there was a caller who left a msg on the phone answer which I needed to respond to immediately. I looked at his short message. I held my arm out as far as I could. I placed the open phone on the ground for greater distance and squinted. I still coudn't read his msg without my reading glasses. I GUESSED what he'd written, and replied with one letter and one number. (Hey! I know how to text!) Then I turned around and hurried home.

He didn't greet me at the door, so maybe that was okay. He wasn't laying down in bed, nor on the couch with a quilt pulled over him. Ah-ha! The sickie was in the family room, playing Halo Wars! I grabbed my glasses and looked back at his msg: "Luv u!" My "U 2" reply had been appropriate, THIS time around.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Racoon Food

Humor Blogs
Having camped in dozens of states, we've noticed the mighty raccoon is a common campground companion. There are many a tale I could tell of them. But one particular time, after fixing a dried food meal which tasted really bad, we decided to treat the neighborhood racoons, and left the uneated food out on the picnic table. In the morning, we discovered footprints all around the food, but even raccoons wouldn't eat that stuff.

(BTW, this was very early in our camping experience. I would not recommend leaving food out for wild animals. It encourages them to hang around humans, and they are wild, after all.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cell Phones -- part 1

Humor Blogs

I'm not old, mind you, but I do remember a time when we had party lines. (And if you have to browse for what those were, just forget I mentioned it, please.) Getting used to new technology can be... interesting.

Being on the ground level of cell phones was one of those times. I remember a day when I could not shake these couple measures of a song out of my head. They went on and on, over and over in my brain. I couldn't for the life of me remember what the words were. As I walked up the grocery aisle, suddenly I heard the very song I was trying to remember. It was the ring tone of a cell phone of another customer -- the same ring tone on my own cell phone.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's in Style?

Hubby: My sandles have gone in and out of style... twice.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Crispy Shoe

Humor Blogs

Honesty. It was an accident that I burnt the Youth Director's shoe at the Girls' Talk Overnight.

The teams were each hiding their three objects: a purse, a scarf, and one of a pair of shoes. The only time I'd left my spot by the fireplace was for a quick trip to the restroom. As the girls switched locations, I started the fire while Team One searched the floor I was in charge of. I wanted the fire to be warm and welcoming when we were ready to settle down after the game.

When Team Two finally came up from searching downstairs, they were horrified to find a full-blazing fire in the fireplace. They'd hidden the Youth Director's shoe under crumbled paper and logs at the very back.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mount Rushmore Tourist

Humor Blogs

We lived in the Black Hills, near Mount Rushmore, for a time. The top tourist blooper question for me came the summer there was flooding in North Dakota along the Red River.

A tourist called a ranger stationed at Mount Rushmore to say they were debating about visiting. They wanted to know if the Presidents' faces -- standing about a mile high in elevation -- was flooded, too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Proper Way to Hang Toilet Paper

Humor Blogs

Hey! I just made a lens page on The Proper Way to Hang Toilet Paper.

Curious? Check it out at...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Breakfast Fruit

Humor Blogs

This morning at breakfast, my hubby commented, "This fruit was picked by a sad dog."
(a melon collie)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Athletic Squirrels

Humor Blogs

Our present house had stood empty for a several months before we moved in. There was so much to do inside that I only went outside to mow or fill the birdfeeder.

Then came a day when I needed to simply sit in the sunshine and get some fresh air, to relax for a moment. I took a chair to the backyard and sat for the first time in weeks.

My eyelids were starting to droop, when out of my peripheral vision, I saw something dark, wandering slowly towards me, and now about three feet away. It was as obviously unaware of me as I had been of it.

I don't believe we have flying squirrels in this part of Michigan, but when I screamed, that black squirrel jumped about eight feet straight up, moving its little limbs for all its worth -- trying to fly, I think. Impulse made me leap up as well. But only a few seconds after the squirrel landed, it had scampered out of sight.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How to Keep Deer Away From Your Garden

Humor Blogs

While living out west, deer were very much a problem, both in city and in the country. It was not unusual to read about houses advertized for sale, listing they had an 8' deer fence around their garden. I've seen deer standing parallel on the outside of our chainlink fence, and in a blink of an eye, magically appear on the other, inside our yard. I swear, her legs didn't bend at all.

For a week one spring, there was a herd of about 30 deer who chose our yard to be their residence. It was nice for them since our fence protected them from the neighborhood dogs. And every day I scooped up the fertilizer they'd leave as rent payment.

Gardeners in the west have a secret which I'll now share with you. How to keep deer away from your garden? Cougar poop.

Moving to Michigan, I strung a rope around my little garden, not so much to keep the deer out, but to discourage them. A woman with several preschool kids passed by as I was stringing up my rope.

"Know what keeps deer away?" she asked me.

Without thinking, as I sometimes do, I answered, "Cougar poop."

Forgetting what she was going to suggest, she asked, "Where do you get cougar poop?"

And I, again answering without thinking, responded, "From cougars."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Presbyterian Nun

Humor Blogs
While attending a small, rural church for a couple years, there was this one woman whom we dubbed The Presbyterian Nun. Viola was in her mid-90's, had never married, and lived her life for her church. She taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and was also the weekly organist.

Once, in the middle of the sermon, a single note began from the organ. The tone hung in the air for seconds, then a minute, then longer. The pastor stumbled over his words. Everyone looked towards Viola sitting motionless at the organ. I was not the only one present who thought Viola had died at the organ, doing her church thing. Oh, what a nice way and place to die, I thought.

Then, slowly, Viola moved. Everyone in the congregation sucked in a startle-breath. The preacher kept preaching, but glanced now and then to the organist. That's where everyone else was looking, anyway.

Viola looked up (5 seconds), looked to her right (another 5 seconds), looked down to the organ (yep, another 5), then lifted her hand from the keyboard as the musical note suddenly stopped.

Our Presbyterian Nun lived to play for many more worship services.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Where's the Lido Deck? I mean...

Humor Blogs
As we entered the ship for our first-ever cruise last year, we were bombarded with the newness and information. There was already activity going on on the Lido Deck, said the announcer. With the ship so huge, I could hardly determine the bow from the strern. So, as we stepped aboard, to the first uniformed greeter I saw, I asked with my new vocabulary, "So, where's the libido deck?" My husband figured since it was such a huge ship, he'd probably never have to see that woman again face to face. The very funny thing, is that later on the cruise, we actually did find "the libido deck."

Reseraching cruises before we left, I found there were designated places for adults-only, where you could relax away from the yells and screams of kiddos. So one day, we came across a sign reading, "Adults Only. You must be 21 years old to go beyond this point." It wasn't so much that there were tons of screaming kids bothering us, as that I was merely curious. So we hiked up the narrow, dark stairway to the small, but crowded deck. I spotted two free lounge chairs at the far end, so trekked over to them. I grabbed one and started to sit in it when my husband took me by the arm and pulled me to the railing. As he'd never done anything quite forcefully like that before, I took note of him. I found he was having trouble breathing. "What's wrong? Are you ill? I asked him. He shook his head and simply said, "Let's go." I was very confused until I turned around to get my bad, and for the first time, noticed the nude bathers. At that point, since my legs weren't working very well, my husband rather dragged me towards the stairwell. Did I supidly stare? Yes. Why? 1) I was surprised by my initial in-observance, and by what I was now so obviously observing. 2) Because I wondered how come just the women on the deck were naked. And 3) We'd discovered there was a libido deck on board after all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fireflies & Mosquitoes

Humor Blogs

I'm told that fireflies are dying off. Come to think of it, I haven't noticed them around much this summer, except for the 19' yellow cutty in our side yard called Firefly. Mosquitoes, now that's another matter.

The other day as I wiped the white kitchen wall clean of the red splat, I commented, "It died full, but happy."

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bobblehead Goat Photo

Humor Blogs

Here's a story-starter for you: a photo I took at MOOVILLE. Seriously. The place is called that because it is a dairy farm. But there's also a petting zoo there, and I really like goats. Mmwaahh.

ACTUALLY, FYI, we were married by a goat farmer. Seriously. That's not like a captain of a ship or anything. He was a full-time goat farmer, and a part time minister. Seriously.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Big Time Ut-Oh for Son's Pet

Humor Blogs

I'm so bad! I'm the type of person who does things, and then reads the instructions. Point in case: our son wanted a hermit crab. He thought they were cool -- until he owned one.

We put it in a plastic turtle-keeper, equipped with a 6" plastic palm tree in the middle. Our son was upset that the critter never ate, like all his rodent experiences. I was upset that we'd bought a brain-damaged animal into the house. For it would climb up the palm tree, hang upside down for a moment, then crash into the container, only to repeat the climb-and-crash all day long! If it would have simply sat there and scootched over a bit to make some of the food go away, that would have simply been a boring pet, but this one seemed psychotic. To me, the 2-inch wall holding it in hardly seemed secure enough.

Then, one day the hermit crab quit climbing and dropping. If it ever ate anything, we couldn't tell. (And, YES, we only "fed" it hermit crab food!) This sudden change in behavior -- or lack of it -- was confusing. We thought right away that it had died. But since it wasn't emitting a corpse-like aroma, we left the immoble pet alone. But after nearly two weeks of worrying and wondering, and none of the food disappearing, we decided it had indeed died. So we buried it in the backyard. We never got another one.

A decade later, as I was making a high school graduation quilt for our son, I looked up hermit crabs on the Internet and became horrified at my discovery: A HERMIT CRAB GOES INTO HIBERNATION WHILE IT OUTGROWS ITS PRESENT SHELL! This inactivity (with no motion and no eating) can go on for a couple weeks. We'd buried one of our pets alive!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Locked Out

My dad's in his late 80's. One evening, I took my parents out to eat. Afterwards, I pulled our van smack dab in front of the restaurant door, left it running, then dashed around to help both parents get in and situated. As I was trotting back to the driver's side, I heard a "click." Dad had locked me out, van running, and windows up.

"Unlock the doors, Dad," I yelled. He was a little deaf, as well. The closed windows didn't help.

"I didn't lock the doors," he gruffed back.

"Why'd you lock her out?" accused my mother.

"I didn't lock her out."

"Yes, you did. Let her in."

"She can get in."

It was always difficult to butt in when the two of them got to arguing. But as more and more people walked around the van in order to get in and out of the restaurant, I tapped on the driver's window.

"Dad, look at me."


"Roll... UP... your... window."

He looked confused, probably because he could tell his window was already up.

"Roll up your window," I repeated.

Since Mother was no longer nagging him -- probably because she saw the same thing as he, and was equally confused -- Dad "rolled up the window" with a click. I quickly climbed in before he could "roll it back down," for our poor old van actually has handles to roll down and up windows, but near each handle is a button to lock and unlock the doors.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Seed Ticks, Anyone?

On one of our honeymoon adventures, my husband and I backpacked into the Ozark Mountains. By that time, we were tired of crowds and people, so had driven an hour or so on a dirt road, off a back road, then parked the car. We followed an old, unkept and unmarked trail into the woods. Our needs were met. No people in sight or sound.

After hiking a few hours, we took a rest on a log at the edge of a meadow which was created by a fire years before. Black stumps were still scattered throughout the field ahead of us. Soon we felt itchy. Looking down, we discovered we were covered with thousands of seed ticks -- itty-bitty-sized ticks common to the Ozarks.

We jumped up, brushed off as many as we could, and realizing they had gotten under our clothing, rushed into the field (away from overhanging trees and rotting logs where ticks tend to hang out). We stripped naked, and using up nearly every match we had, we lit, blew out, then "popped" each of those little babies out of our bodies, also checking each other over well, since we would be sleeping int he same tent that night.

Grand way to get to know your new spouse.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Brainstorming How to Climb into a Boat

We have a small (19') cutty. I like to swim. It's getting back into the boat from deep water which is the problem. There is a 2-step ladder attached to the boat. My husband says if it weren't for the fact that the lower rung is neck-high in the water, that it would be easy. Agreed. That first step is the first step to dryness. He suggested a longer ladder. I suggested a slanted one with railings. Our son suggested a ramp. And then I thought of a crane, swinging out from the back of the boat and lowering into the water like an elevator. Our son said that if we got that, that he would be the one in charge of operating it. As I smiled at my dear offspring, I imagined what he would do with control of a swinging mommy over the water. I no longer thought it was such a grand idea. So... done with brainstorming. Off to boat and swim, and struggle back up into our cutty via the too-short ladder.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

MyMother's Word Substitutions

My mother would hardly ever get my name on the first call. She'd call me by my brother's name, my sister's name, our cat's name, and then finally -- BINGO! -- my own name. She did this with other words as well.

When our grad school son got his first car, my mother asked him if he was a member of AARP. This threw everyone into a fit of laughter, not knowing where it came from. I, of course, mystery lover of words, figured out that she meant AAA.

When I was in high school, she never liked me going to the public swimming pool because I might get syphilis. Of course, she meant athlete's foot, but it still brings a smile to my face whenever I go near public swimming pools.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Much Zucchini is Too Much?

My husband would say one.

Our first year married, I wanted to go all domestic, so thought I'd plant a garden. My grandfather had a garden. We grandkids were never allowed in it. But it was huge -- house-sized huge. So guess how big I wanted my first garden? Yup. Just like my Granddaddy's. But, what to plant? I wasn't really into vegetables, except eating corn, carrots and peas.

I asked farming neighbors in our new community, and was told zucchini was easy to grow. I'm not sure I ever even tasted zucchini before that. I read the instructions on the package, and then proceeded to plant three seeds to every hill until all the seeds were gone. Zucchini grows like magic. No matter how many you pick, the next day all you have to do is lift a leaf to find another.

Not wanting to waste food, I experimented with the stuff. Today, when I even mention the word "zucchini," my husband turns green.

A few years after that first garden, I actually self-published a cookbook called "The Zucchini Cookbook -- 101 recipes, including a 5-course meal with zucchini in each meal; games included." Stupid title, but descriptive. I printed it on green paper, which was rather pukey, looking back on it. I discovered some favorite recipes, but someday will figure out how to cut them back to one-person-sized.

How much zucchini is too much? Maybe, if I ever plant it again, I'll only sow one hill with two seeds.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fast Moving Building

Yesterday, while driving down a back country Michigan road, half of a house starts coming in the opposite direction right towards us, followed by it's better half. My own better half turned to me and declared, "That sure is a fast moving building."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Someday, a Dog

I've never had one, but there are times when I think I'd like to own a dog. I am an outdoors person, and would take many more hikes were there someone with me to defend against potententially dangerous 4- and 2-legged creatures. My husband has had many negative experiences with dogs, both wild and domestic. Because of that, he told me I could have a dog when he died. His exact words: "Over my dead body!"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What's Under There? (Under where?)

I sing in the church choir. It doesn't meet during the summer months. Still, in our non-airconditioned building, there are many a Sunday morning when I wish to shed the long, heavy, HOT robe. On those mornings, what I leave on under the robe can get rather skimpy.

So it was no surprise when I read about a choir where three women decided to do the same. Beneath their robes they just wore their underwear. Half-way through the service, their pastor, shedding his own robe, declared that since it was such a hot day, he invited the choir members to do the same. Obviously, there were three women who politely refused.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dueling Cacti

During a trip to Arizona last spring, while hiking about in the dry ole desert, we happened across a couple of dueling cacti. I imagined that once they were "caught" by humans, they froze, in order to not to give themselves away. So, what do you suppose they do once humans proceed along the trail and backs are turned to them?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rules of Etiquette When You're Choking

I like to embellish my cereal with fruits, nuts, and/or flax seed. Last week, a mouthful of cereal headed down my throat with a not-very-finely-chewed almond slice. This dainty bit of nut landed length-wise across my throat, refusing to move up or down. Knowing that eating bread helps to push stuck food downward, I dove for our freezer. (With only two of us living here, bread tends to dry out quickly unless frozen.) I ripped open the bag, grabbed two pieces, and started cramming them into my mouth, crumbs and ice crystals spraying out about me as I attempted to thaw and chew and swallow the bread at the same time. It worked.

I looked up at the stunned look on my husband's face. He rolled his lips inwards as he turned away to keep from laughing, finally saying, "I didn't know what to do. We had hot dog buns in the refrigerator. Plus, I didn't think it was proper to laugh when my wife was choking to death." He pointed to the circle of bread crumbs surrounding me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tent on Trampoline

A new family moved into the neighborhood with three kids. They set up a trampoline in their sideyard. This week, returning home after an early morning meeting, I noticed a tent pitched on top of the tramp. 3-4 pairs of shoes were scattered on the ground around it, and 1 HUGE bulge showing beneath the tent. It looked like a spaceship. I imagine the kids had rolled into one blob of torsos and appendages in the night.

Monday, July 13, 2009

First Humor Blog

There is humor all around us, for those willing to look. Children laugh on an average of 400 times a day, while adults average a mere 5 times (so I've read). So what is it that children see and know which we grown-up kids have forgotten?

I shall attempt to see (and post) the humor in my everyday ears and observations -- even when my grown-up eyes don't want to see anything to laugh at.