An Elegant Time-Waster ~ Very Early Morning Thoughts

America’s Got Talent is an OK show – but when I was introduced to the “outside the US” versions, I came to realize there are some very good versions of that show around.   Several things define it for me, but perhaps the biggest on of all ~ there is no 90-second time limit.  The acts take as long as necessary to show what their talent is and how it works.  Here is the winner from 2009 who introduced me to real sand painting.

BTW, this really does have something to do with this post – I promise …

I have been watching sand paintings/painters for several years … until I ran into this interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. To quote:

” And today, we bring you the live-action sand animation of Hungarian artist Ferenc Cakó, who projects his work on a screen for a theatrical audience. These more sculptural forms may be more painstaking than traditional cel animation, and for that reason more rare, but they are also often much more interesting.”





And to give proper credit – here’s the site I found this…I have it bookmarked and visit it daily…It’s call “openculture” for a reason.

It’s My Party And I’ll . . . ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Today is my birthday – a wonderful milestone for me. . . it’s been almost 1 year and 6 months since I decided to live sane(r) and sober. . . it’s been almost 1 year and 6 months since I re-connected with my kids and grandchildren that I thought might be lost to me forever.

It’s been an interesting journey with some wonderful highs and some rather interesting “valleys” . . . but, as I reminded someone today – there is little good grass that grows on the mountain top ~ particularly above the tree line!!

So, how did I celebrate all these milestones? By doing exactly what I wanted to today, sharing with some friends and enjoying the day and my life.


Now that may be a very small button – but press it and press it again and again and help me celebrate my birthday with unicorns and rainbows!!!!

An Elegant Timewaster ~ Early Evening Thoughts

This has been a very interesting week plus. I will blog about it, once I figure out how I can tell what’s going on without divulging too much of what’s gone on and how I feel about it . . .

However, today DB sent me this delightful game, art project, time waster or . . . whatever you want to cal l it.

I will warn you ahead of time ~ it is VERY addictive.

When you click on the link (at the bottom of the post) , you might think you didn’t get to the right place … it will look like this:

But if you notice ~ in the upper left corner is a small box … click your mouse on it and the menu/instructions will be revealed:

As always I am not responsible for lost time, bleary eyes or ignored significant/insignificant others ….

Thanks again DB . . . .

–> Here’s the link <–

Slightly Over The Edge ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Honest – my mind has NOT checked out because of the coming holiday ~ But these two items have been on the back burner for so long, they were about to dry out . . . especially the X-Files Christmas story. It’s slightly over 500 words, but I’ll forgive them!

Signs Santa Doesn’t Like Your Kid

– 10 –
Kid’s letter to north pole comes back stamped, “Dream on, Chester!”
– 9 –
Kid asks for new bike, gets pack of smokes
– 8 –
Along with presents, Santa leaves hefty bill for shipping and handling
– 7 –
By the time he gets to your house, all he has left are styrofoam peanuts
– 6 –
Christmas day, your kid wakes up with a Reindeer head in his bed.
– 5 –
Instead of “Naughty” or “Nice”, Santa has him on the dork list
– 4 –
Sends him off on one of them Carnival Cruises with Kathie Lee
– 3 –
First words when kid gets on his lap are, “Touch my beard and I’ll put the hurt on you.”
– 2 –
Labels on all your kid’s toys read “Straight from Craptown.”
– 1 –
Four words: “Off my lap, Tubby!”

(Source: Top Ten Lists from LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN)

The X-FILES Christmas Case
author unknown

“We’re too late! It’s already been here.”

“Mulder, I hope you know what you’re doing.”

“Look, Scully, just like the other homes: Douglas fir, truncated, mounted, transformed into a shrine; halls decked with boughs of holly; stockings hung by the chimney, with care.”

“You really think someone’s been here?”

“Someone or some THING.”

“Mulder, over here – it’s a fruitcake.”

“Don’t touch it! Those things can be lethal.”

“It’s O.K. There’s a note attached: ‘Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.'”

“It’s judging them, Scully. It’s making a list.”

“Who? What are you talking about?”

“Ancient mythology tells of an obese humanoid entity who could travel at great speed in a craft powered by antlered servants. Once each year, near the winter solstice, this creature is said to descend from the heavens to reward its followers and punish disbelievers with jagged chunks of anthracite.”

“But that’s legend, Mulder — a story told by parents to frighten children. Surely you don’t believe it?”

“Something was here tonight, Scully. Check out the bite marks on this gingerbread man. Whatever tore through this plate of cookies was massive — and in a hurry.”

“It left crumbs everywhere. And look, Mulder, this milk glass has been completely drained.”

“It gorged itself, Scully. It fed without remorse.”

“But why would they leave it milk and cookies?”

“Appeasement. Tonight is the Eve, and nothing can stop its wilding.”

“But if this thing does exist, how did it get in? The doors and windows were locked. There’s no sign of forced entry.”

“Unless I miss my guess, it came through the fireplace.”

“Wait a minute, Mulder. If you’re saying some huge creature landed on the roof and came down this chimney, you’re crazy. The flue is barely six inches wide. Nothing could get down there.”

“But what if it could alter its shape, move in all directions at once?”

“You mean, like a bowl full of jelly?”

“Exactly. Scully, I’ve never told anyone this, but when I was a child my home was visited. I saw the creature. It had long white strips of fur surrounding its ruddy, misshapen head. Its bloated torso was red and white. I’ll never forget the horror. I turned away, and when I looked back it had somehow taken on the facial features of my father.”


“I know what I saw. And that night it read my mind. It brought me a Mr. Potato Head, Scully. IT KNEW THAT I WANTED A MR. POTATO HEAD!”

“I’m sorry, Mulder, but you’re asking me to disregard the laws of physics. You want me to believe in some supernatural being who soars across the skies and brings gifts to good little girls and boys. Listen to what you’re saying. Do you understand the repercussions? If this gets out, they’ll close the X-files.”

“Scully, listen to me: It knows when you’re sleeping. It knows when you’re awake.”

“But we have no proof.”

“Last year, on this exact date, SETI radio telescopes detected bogeys in the airspace over twenty-seven states. The White House ordered a Condition Red.”

“But that was a meteor shower.”

“Officially. Two days ago, eight prized Scandinavian reindeer vanished from the National Zoo, in Washington, D.C. Nobody – not even the zookeeper – was told about it. The government doesn’t want people to know about Project Kringle. They fear that if this thing is proved to exist the public will stop spending half its annual income in a holiday shopping frenzy. Retail markets will collapse. Scully, they cannot let the world believe this creature lives. There’s too much at stake. They’ll do whatever it takes to insure another silent night.”

“Mulder, I –”

“Sh-h-h. Do you hear what I hear?”

“On the roof. It sounds like . . . a clatter.”

“The truth is up there. Let’s see what’s the matter.”

Y A W N ~ Very Tired Early Evening Thoughts

I had said that I would continue the story of what happened to me over the last several months tonight.

However, it was was very long, active and busy day as I am continuing to purchase/find/borrow/steal everything I am going to need as I move into my new apartment. When I sat down at the computer tonight ~ all I wanted was to crawl into bed.

So, I’m letting you know to check back tomorrow night, and I will have another chapter of what happened to me.

But now ~ I’m going to curl up in bed, lay my head down and get a good nights sleep……. Unless ~

Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of night. Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Or tell me clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me till
I’m half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I’m not too hard persuaded.

— Summons by Robert Francis

–more tomorrow

Being Thankful ~ A Small Early Evening Post

Over the next few posts, I’m going to share some of my personal journey over the last many weeks (it seems shorter than it actually was!!) and specifically, what I’ve been learning about being grateful/thankful. One of the many things I’m very thankful for is simply being alive…when at one point there was some doubt (in my mind anyway!) or course, there are some stories to tell – for instance, my problem caused the arrival of not only the ambulance but the police AND the fire department. It was as if an entire swat team had descended on the complex. The certainly was a lot of “thumping” around, which at one point reminded me of a performance of “Stomp.” I think part of that was making me the stomp-ee….but more on that later.

The journey I’ve been on has been incredible, joyful, painful and sorrowful – sometimes all at the same time…but I am grateful!!

For those that have followed this blog, you also know that my Mother (age 94) suffers from TIA … or mini-strokes. Two weeks ago, she fell down five concrete steps (the steps she knows she is not to use) and landed on her head on a concrete pad. She broke her shoulder below the socket, so there was no surgery they could do to “fix” it. Her arm was literally tied to her waist to keep it from moving. Unfortunately, she actually had a moderate stroke while in the hospital and spent last week in an intensive rehabilitation center – doing more in one day than she had done in probably the last 20 years.

She arrived back at her house on Saturday however, early this morning she had to be taken back to the hospital. I would appreciate thoughts/prayers for her at this time. I will know more about what is going on or not going on possibly as early as tomorrow.

It is good to be back with by blog – I have really missed sharing laughs, joys and even some of the sorrows.

Aging Rambo (Complex Tales) ~ Early Evening Thoughts

As much as I enjoy getting out and doing ~ sometimes, with my knees it can turn into an adventure. I usually in the grocery store get one of those electric carts and enjoy terrorizing doing the aisles and getting what I need. I even use them at what are called the “box stores”…large over filled and over crowded stores with the very recognizable name(s).

The other day I went on a new adventure ~ a home improvement box store. I decided upfront that I would use the electric cart and enjoy the ride. The person I was shopping with decided that my cart would be an excellent repository for various items being purchased for our two complexes.

The screwdrivers, drill bits and such I didn’t mind. However, the sections of wood began to present a bit of a problem …and then there was the boiler pipe. A nice, round L O N G piece of pipe. I had that balanced on one shoulder, and had some ability to steer with the other hand. I’m sure it was quite a sight.

Then, I saw him ~ the “kid.” You know the ones in the store – totally bored, trying to stay out of trouble, but looking for something/anything to liven up the day.

Then, he saw me. The one with the large metal pipe leaning on his shoulder, in a cart that could only move at a certain speed.

The following account is absolutely true. (thank heavens there were no video cameras!)

Our eyes met and there was an instantaneous silent agreement. There was a slight nod from him, and a narrowing of the eyes from me. I moved my cart into position.

He ducked behind a handy display ~ but I was ready.

I raised the boiler vent pipe to shoulder level and waited. There were two sales people that stopped, turned and looked. I waited . . . A pair of eyes took a quick glance from behind the display and then he made a run for it.

I didn’t do anything, the timing wasn’t just right. Again, he took a quick glance and made a mad dash for the hand tools section. I fired (loudly, I might add) …once then once again … each time taking careful aim with my rocket launcher. He took a direct hit from the second shot…and fell gloriously, noisily and with great dramatic effect in the middle of the floor.

At this point (to quote someone) the parental unit attached entered the picture. I think he would have liked to be upset, but with several sales people and customers laughing and his child unit dusting himself off …it would have been very hard to be upset.

Understand that during this entire time not one word had been exchanged. I took a last look at him, smiled …blew on my fingernails and dusted them on my shirt. He gave me an enormous grin and a thumbs up sign.

I went on my electrified way to find the friend I was shopping with, he went with the parental unit to check out and everyone went back to doing what they had been doing before all this happened. I certainly felt better – I hoped that he felt better about the day. My friend, totally oblivious that a major motion picture scene had just been filmed, apologized for taking so long to find something.

Complex Tales Or Flip The Switch Henry! ~ Early Evening Thoughts

The finals of the “it was a dark and stormy night” for this year have been announced and will be posted tomorrow night probably… (thanks EB for the heads-up)…Today was my own “dark and stormy”, or so I thought. Along with the usual phones, people, a boss wanting to micro-manage, demands on time and energy – I had my personal SWAT team here today (again with the vice-grip handshake!).

They really worked very hard to get a lot of things accomplished. There was much noise of maintenance happening ~ a lovely sound I haven’t been able to hear for awhile! I also went with them (at their invitation since I was the one with petty cash!) to purchase some of the needed materials.

While on the way back from the trip/expedition I got a phone call from a restricted number. When I answered it, a woman simply started the conversation with: “This IS the ________ apartments, right?” I answered in the affirmative. “And you DO have an apartment XXX, right?” Again, I answered in the affirmative. “And you ARE at __________________, right?” Once more (with little feeling) I answered in the affirmative. “We’ll be out,” was her response as she hung up.

I have to admit there was a sinking feeling of my heart heading for my shoes, and my stomach heading out my back. In all honesty, I inherited a complex (as I’ve indicated) that has suffered from severe managerial neglect (for lack of a better or more politically correct term) ~ and by taking on this inheritance, I also have inherited the possibility of some consequences from the city. I now made the assumption that the call was from one of the city departments (correct assumption) about to do an inspection (wrong assumption).

By the time we arrived back at the complex, I had developed a somewhat plausible plan of action. However, when I sat down at my desk, the phone rang again. This time it was a person who nicely identified themselves as someone from CPS (child protective services) who wanted to know if I had received a call from a parole officer about one of my apartments. Now, I know the person who lives in the apartment in question ~ which is directly above mine. The thought that they might be on parole was indeed laughable. Then ~ as Paul Harvey would say: “The rest of the story…”

It seems this “lady” with six (yes, six!!!) children had given her parole officer my complex and one of my apartment numbers as her address. This “lady” was on the “run” and they were trying to find her. At the end of what I would call a good bridge building conversation, the person made the statement: “Aren’t you glad we called rather than just showing up with police and all?” To which I had to agree. What I didn’t tell them was the image that ran through my mind at that moment, was a montage from several silent movies … that was best left unsaid.

The day carried on from there ~ and made me think my mind was beginning to turn to mush by about 4pm. And it was around that time I heard someone else’s mind beginning to turn to mush ~ or close to it. My vice-grip handshake friend was having real difficulty with something that should have been simple…even for me. (No snickering or sniggering behind your hands, please!!) The light fixture in the laundry room needed to be changed out. A new, improved one had just been purchased and was being installed.

I was watching the miracle of electricity being installed when I was interrupted by a tenant who took literally five minutes to tell me someone needed to clean up in parking slot 5. (Clean up in aisle four!) I kid you not — FIVE minutes. I had to interrupt watching to go on poop detail in front of the complex. All I will say, that was one healthy dog!

I thought when I got back, I would see the wonder of light in the laundry room ~ which had been absent for awhile. Unfortunately, there was no power to the light or the light switch. Everything else in the room was working as it should. My vice-grip handshake friend was reduced to vague mutters about ~ well, I’m not sure what they were about, but I have a feeling various people’s (possibly mine) ancestries were being called into question.

The two of us went through various scenarios, ideas and thoughts. We both prodded, poked and twisted various things to see if they would work. At one point, vice-grip handshake went and purchased a new circle fluorescent bulb to see if that was the problem.

Finally, about the third time we were tearing apart the light switch, it hit me. The breakers. Off to the electrical box ~ some choice words on my part now and definitely an ancestry called into question. I had posted about the maintenance man who is no longer here due to getting in between two people who were arguing – and both people turned on him. He had the key to the locks on those boxes.

Fortunately, vice-grip handshake and those accompanying him have great experience in drilling locks – and in moments we were into the box and checking the breakers. There it was, the one switch on the top. A slight flick of the switch, and there was now power in the laundry room, joy in my heart and vice-grip handshake realized that I might be mature – but I’m NOT dead!!

All in all, a satisfying day.

As I was posting this tonight, I was reminded of a Lewis Carroll poem I once earned three dollars from my parents for memorizing at a very young age…

I’ll leave you with that poem tonight:

You Are Old, Father William

“You are old, father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head–
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And you have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door–
Pray what is the reason for that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment – one shilling a box–
Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak–
Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose–
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said his father. “Don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs.

—more tomorrow
should be able to post pictures this weekend!!!

Where Is The Song Writer When You Need Him ~ Early Evening Thoughts

It’s just now the end of another exhausting day. A lot was accomplished, but a lot is still on my plate. One of the areas that made it so exhausting was trying to make a schedule work ~ that was totally dependent on other people. I had a wonderful couple that wanted to move into the complex…people I’ve known for a long time. Unfortunately, the apartment they wanted was still occupied by someone who I had gotten an eviction judgement against and have been waiting for the constable to serve the “get ‘otta’ Dodge” papers to complete the process.

Yesterday, another apartment became available ~ however ~ it needed cleaning, making ready and getting the furniture into it. The couple I know were ready to move today, and with numerous phone calls, it appeared it was going to happen.

Now, I’m totally relying on other people to get it ready and someone bringing the truck with furniture for their apartment and one other – so I don’t have to go through this again.

The couple (I’ll tell more of their story in another post) arrive at 1:30pm and start moving into the apartment. No sign of furniture. 2:30pm, couple has almost completely moved their things into the apartment. Still no sign of furniture. I have no nails left from biting them.

3:15pm, truck arrives. The Mrs. of the couple is happy because she can go and pick her furniture “off the truck.” I resisted ANY comments about buying fruit/vegetables or shrimp the same way.

3:30pm, somewhat burly help arrives to move the furniture and get it somewhat set up.

4:30pm, the move is now complete. In the process I’ve handled 15 phone calls and 3 people dropping by inquiring about apartments. (The saga of shifting locks around will remain for yet another story…just suffice to say, I’m not a locksmith I’ve decided.) I still have paperwork to complete and more phone calls to make.

It was at this point, a wonderful poem came to mind. With a little searching I found a copy of it, and I’m giving it as my evening meditation and thought for the day.

ERE sleep comes down to soothe the weary
Which all the day with ceaseless care have
The magic gold which from the seeker flies;
Ere dreams put on the gown and cap of
And make the waking world a world of lies,–
Of lies most palpable, uncouth, forlorn,
That say life’s full of aches and tears and sighs,–
Oh, how with more than dreams the soul is
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes,
How all the griefs and heartaches we have
Come up like pois’nous vapors that arise
From some base witch’s caldron, when the
To work some potent spell, her magic plies.
The past which held its share of bitter pain,
Whose ghost we prayed that Time might
Comes up, is lived and suffered o’er again,
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes,
What phantoms fill the dimly lighted room;
What ghostly shades in awe-creating guise
Are bodied forth within the teeming gloom.
What echoes faint of sad and soul-sick cries,
And pangs of vague inexplicable pain
That pay the spirit’s ceaseless enterprise,
Come thronging through the chambers of the
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes,
Where ranges forth the spirit far and free?
Through what strange realms and unfamiliar
Tends her far course to lands of mystery?
To lands unspeakable–beyond surmise,
Where shapes unknowable to being spring
Till, faint of wing, the Fancy fails and dies
Much wearied with the spirit’s journeying,
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes,
How questioneth the soul that other soul,–
The inner sense which neither cheats nor lies,
But self exposes unto self, a scroll
Full writ with all life’s acts unwise or wise,
In characters indelible and known;
So, trembling with the shock of sad surprise,
The soul doth view its awful self alone,
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

When sleep comes down to seal the weary eyes,
The last dear sleep whose soft embrace is balm,
And whom sad sorrow teaches us to prize
For kissing all our passions into calm,
Ah, then, no more we heed the sad world’s cries,
Or seek to probe th’ eternal mystery,
Or fret our souls at long-withheld replies,
At glooms through which our visions cannot see,
When sleep comes down to seal the weary eyes.
—Paul Laurence Dunbar ~ 1872-1906
–>digital collection here<—