Sunday, February 27, 2011

Legend of the Wiener Hawk

The Legend of the Wiener Hawk

     Our family has a few legends that we staunchly subscribe to, namely, The Legend of the Potted Meat Product, The Legend of the Rubber Chicken, and most importantly, The Legend of the Wiener Hawk.
     George and I had moved to a little community in Tamarac, Florida. We liked the large yards, and family atmosphere. We were not aware of the hawk colony to our west. Oh, once in a while I would see a hawk spread its wings lazily and float effortlessly on the breeze. But that was about it.
     Then pernicious rumors started flying. Hawks were multiplying like rabbits. People feared for their pets, the little ones, of course. A hawk reportedly carried off a duckling and this caused acute hysteria, at least in my household.
     George warned me, “Be careful when you take Maggie out for her walk. The hawks could grab her and carry her off just like that!” He snapped his fingers with fury. His thunderous look told me what fate would befall any hawk that dared try to steal our precious dachshund, Maggie, from our yard.
     I refused to take this too seriously. I snickered.
     “Do you want me to practice throwing myself over her in case this Wiener Hawk comes by?”
     George gave me a disapproving look. “I’m telling you, she could be gone before you know it. You have to be prepared.”
     It worked. I started worrying. As I took Maggie out, I would cautiously look up in the air, ready to throw a blanket over her at first sighting of the Wiener Hawk. I knew he was in glide mode, searching for a juicy hot dog. I kept Maggie close and if she wanted to stay out longer, I reminded her that the Wiener Hawk was flying rampant and we had to run for shelter. Then I would pick her up and disappear to the safety of the house.
     The Legend of the Wiener Hawk, 11 years later, is still in force. Despite the fact that there are many circling hawks in south Florida, I know which one of them is the Wiener Hawk. He stalks us, ready to pry Maggie from our desperate fingers. He follows us, even when Maggie is not with us.
     We drive to Wal-Mart. I point to the circling Wiener Hawk. “There he is, George! I told you he was following us.”
     We go to Friday’s to get some lunch. As we exit the car, I point skyward. Once again, the Wiener Hawk.
     I think George is sorry he brought the whole thing up.
    “Jeanne, did you ever stop to think there are lots of hawks?”
     I am annoyed with such a silly question.. “Of course, I know there are other hawks. But this one is the Wiener Hawk. He follows us everywhere.”
     I predict that we will see him again on the way home and when we pull in the driveway, he will once again be circling over the neighborhood, looking for a wiener- schnitzel named Maggie.
     I have come up with an idea to help protect Maggie from the talons of the Wiener Hawk. I searched the nearby pet boutiques for a doggy disguise. A camouflage outfit! Great idea. Now I just have to get her to wear it...


Saturday, February 26, 2011

You Get What You Pay For

     I am a strong believer that you get what you pay for. If someone gushes over a package of deluxe premium cookies that they got at the Dollar Store, I have serious concerns about those cookies and where they have been. I know that if I got to a really price-lowered-almost-to-the ground clearance rack, I find pretty much the reason why it is on clearance. It's crap. "As is" is another thing that sets my suspicious mind to wondering. "As is what?"

     It doesn't mean I don't buy things on sale. I just wonder if someone wiped something on the sale item before lowering the price, or if it was returned having been worn by someone with a particularly pernicious viral illness that seeps into clothing and lingers on clearance racks. Plus for some reason when I get home, every time I look at the item, I think, "Oh, it was on clearance." Somehow it does not look as good then. Usually my really good clearance buys then go on FreeCycle and I pass them on to someone who doesn't know its Clearance Record.

     Which leads me to another topic. Freecycling. I have always been a big fan of giving stuff away. My husband and friends tend to think I am ruthless. At age 60, if it is not going to be going into the casket with me, I'm pitching it. I have gotten rid of lots of stuff. Unfortunately my husband is collecting more as I make room in the house. Unfortunately, not all my stuff is Chez Magnifique! so even FreeCycle won't take it. One example would be the sofa that we advertised this week. This sofa did not belong to me, it belonged to my son. So right there I am absolved of all responsibility.

     I think he got it used to begin with. A "pleather" sofa, creamy color and nice and soft. It had a couple issues. The "pleather" had some pretty nasty scratches in it probably from his cat taking bites of it now and then and had a strong smell of pee thanks to feline indiscretions. George and I loaded it onto the truck and brought it home, determined to put it out for bulk pick up. We set it out last night in hopes that one of the bulk pickup junkies would whiz by in his truck, jam on the brakes and go "Wow! Just what I needed." He would load it into his truck and that would be the end of the sofa.

     Of course once he got home he would be able to smell the pee, indeedy he would, and have one of several choices. 1. Put it out for bulk pick up. 2. Bring it back and put it where he found it, with a nasty note. 3. Bring it back and hurl it at our house. 4. After hurling it at our house, he would pee on something of ours.

     This scenario so worried me that I parked myself outside this morning, feeding peanuts to the blue jays to keep an eye on the pee sofa. A man did come by with a car full of crap and gave it the once over, slowed down even, but kept going. Then the trash men came. I wanted to make sure they took it. I went over and said "Good morning!" and "Thank you so much." I did not have a tip to give them, other than peanuts, but that would have been a nice touch.

     Hopefully, they won't bring it back because of no tip.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Passing on the Award

     Well, it has been a fun week keeping up with the crusaders, and getting to know everyone. I even scored a reward out of it. Thanks so much to Alison Stevens. So now, I think I have to tell some things about myself. First I think I will set the story straight from my crusade blog.

1. The lie was that I worry about looking younger. If you have read my book Wrinkles, Waistlines and Wet Pants, you will find that I am a very low maintenance person.

2. The unfortunate other things I mentioned are true. I do bite my nails. I do find the topic of underwear very humorous.

3. I have 2 children's books published, working on a third. My other book is a Boomer Humor book and it is the real me. Sad but true.

4. I am a totally happy person. I love my life. It is not full of things, or money, or travel, which would be fun but it is happily occupied with a husband who cares for me, two grown up sons and their women, and 2 cats and a wiener dog.

5. I love orchids, gardening and any kind of bird. I love writing of course, and especially poetry.

6. I have been a teacher for 31 years and I love kids and new teachers just getting started. I love public speaking and I love finding the humor in everything!!!

7. I love helping people who need help. 

8. I love all kinds of music.

I want to pass this award on to some others but I need to go for now, so I will catch them in my next blog.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Presidential Procrastination

     Thanks to all the Writing Crusaders who came by to visit my last blog. I will give you the answer to which fact about me was a lie on my next blog. This blog is one of Procrastination. Yesterday was President's Day, a day to honor all of the Presidents of our Country. While I admit I did not spend a great deal of time (none in fact) thinking about the presidents, I have realized the error of my ways...a day later. So today is Presidential Procrastination Day for my blog. Here are some interesting facts you may not know. May not want to know.

1. Benjamin Harrison was terrified of electric lights. A member of his staff had to turn them on and off for him. 
2. John Quincy Adams swam nude in the Potomac River every day, weather permitting. Of course, there were no paparazzi then.
3. Zachary Taylor let his old army horse, name of Whitey, graze on the White House lawn. Visitors were able to take horse hairs as souvenirs. Hmm. Wonder who cleaned up after him. How much would petrified horse poop with historical value get on E-Bay today?
4. James Garfield could write with both hands. For entertainment purposes, he would write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other. What a party guy!
5. At his inauguration, George Washington had only one tooth in his mouth. (No wonder he was not smiling.)
6. While he was President, wild Ulysses S. Grant was fined for driving his horse too fast and fined 20.00. He smoked 20 cigars a day and died of throat cancer.
7. Rutherford Hayes was the first US president to use a phone at the White House. Alexander Graham Bell personally showed him how to do it. His phone number was 1.
8. John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator at the White House.

In honor of all the Presidents who came before us and during our lives, I know that I feel better knowing that they are human beings just like me. I am just not sure I want to see any of them swimming nude in the Potomac River.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crusade Challenge of the Day

     If one blogs on a regular basis, can it be said that he/she is bloviating, or would it be blogviating? I wondered about this as I read through tons of very verbose blogs. The writers rabbit on and on, assuming we read and interpret their intended messages from their choice of words.
      The world is waiting with bated breath to hear our next word(s) on everything from music and books to panties and senior citizens. And of course, my favorite topic,  “Looking Younger Every Day.”
     What are your deepest thoughts? Perhaps you’ve blogged how to prepare your best fancy feast of young duck. Your mouth-watering ingredients has whipped the scientific readers into a fuliguline frenzy.
     “Foul!” they cry, anticipating the slaughter of many sea fowl long before their time. An environmental disaster, second in comparison only to B.P. Oil.
     As a blogger and speaker, my most important character trait from my writing toolbox is the use of humor, ah, yes, and a bit of sarcasm. The sharpened blade of rapier wit, with perfect timing during just the right moment. Delectable. Unforgettable. Delivered with exquisite precision.
     I read a variety of blogs but certain ones touch my heart first. Baby Boomers are my favorites, because they say whatever they darn well please. You can’t shame a Baby Boomer.
     Animals are another favorite and I particularly like any trivia having to do with underwear. (My sons would qualify this as my most annoying habit, but I think my most annoying habit is that I bite my nails.) How can compulsive underwear giggling compete with my nubby nails and chewed cuticles?

The secret to successful blogging? Write as if your life depends on it. Write, not to become published, but to polish your craft. Write because you have to. Just write.
As you have read through my post, see if you can find one thing I revealed about me that is not exactly true, in fact, it’s a bold-faced lie. Can you guess where it is?

Deep Thought from Jeanne

     OK now I know you are thinking, yeah, what's the joke? Jeanne does not do deep thoughts. And you would be right. But occasionally, as I am organizing my desk area and finding nuggets of information that are valuable to me and to my reading community, I uncover something worthwhile. So I wanted to share this with you. I can't take credit for it, just for passing it on.

from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Sogyal Rinpoche

1.  I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.

I am lost...I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall's a habit.
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5. I walk down another street.

Commentary by me: I love this. Has so many applications. My only suggestion is to add a step 6 for Baby Boomers.

6. What were we talking about?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Professional Procrastinator

     I should be working on my book but find myself procrastinating as usual. You, the reader, can be the recipient of this wonderful procrastination. I've been digging around looking for some unusual facts to entertain you with. I've outdone myself. See how many you can answer before scrolling down to the bottom and looking at the answers. (aka cheating)

     1. What were the names of Popeye's 4 nephews?
     2. How many different shapes of animal crackers are there?
     3. What was the first product to have a bar code?
     4. What does "Pinocchio" mean in Italian?

1. Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye and Poopeye
2. 18
3. Wrigley's gum
4. Pine Eye

Now some interesting facts.

1. There is still a law in Tenn that prohibits the sale of bologna on Sunday.
2. The Virginia code of 1930 prohibits corrupt practices or bribery by any person other than political candidates.
3. In Tennessee, it is against the law to drive a car while sleeping.
4. In Alaska, it is against the law to look at a moose from an airplane.
5. And one of my favorites, in the state of Colorado, a pet cat, when loose, must have a tail-light!

     Back to work! But I've learned a lot here today!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How I Lived I'll Never Know

     I have written about this before but I ran across a different version in, which I enjoyed very much, Here are a few nuggets if information. If all this makes sense to you, you are probably a baby boomer.

     Looking back, it's hard to believe I've managed to survive as long as I have with so many life-threatening episodes along the way, As a child I rode in a car with no seat belt or air bags. In the back of a pick-up truck even.

     There were no childproof lids, latches, warnings, doors or cabinets. We had no helmets for our bikes.

     I drank water from the garden hose, because I did not want to run inside to get a drink. We played outside all day as long as we came back when it got dark. No one could reach us. No cell phone, no pager.

     We played dodge ball and Red Rover and sometimes got hurt. We broke bones, got scrapes, and cuts. There were no lawsuits because these were accidents. We got in fights. We hit each other, got bruises and got over it. We ate all kinds of junk food but were so active we never gained weight.

     We did not have personal TVs, Playstations, Nintendos, X Boxes, video games, cable, VCRs, stereos, personal computers or internet chat rooms. We had friends. We went out side and found our friends. We rode bikes, walked by ourselves. We tried out for Little League and some of us didn't make it. Those who didn't learned to deal with disappointment.

     Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. There was no one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They sided with the law! The baby boomer generation has produced some of the best risk-takers,  problem-solvers and inventors ever. The past 60 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned to deal with it all. I am one of them!

     I am now thinking of my blogs with the pathetic subject of panties and I am abjectly sorry not to have kept up the Fine Boomer Tradition. I promise to do better in the future.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Panoply of Nothing: Burger King Needs My Help

Panoply of Nothing: Burger King Needs My Help: "I learned a lesson a long time ago that I think many people have learned, and that lesson is that your senses rely on each other for informa..."

Empty Nest Again

     Well, I am an Empty Nester again. This is the 5th time, I think. Some people get it right the first time. Not me. Our first Empty Nest experience was defined in my book, if you remember. Cory was moving out, the guest room was ours, we painted it pink and decorated in flowers and lace to ensure he would not be moving back any time soon.
      It was great having a guest room. I could go in and watch TV and read. It was a girlie-girl room. However, not long after getting it all set up with new furniture and carpet and all, we felt that it needed to earn its keep. So we rented out our guest room and the adjoining bathroom. Our first boarder was Michael, a young teacher, good looking, tall. blond and muscular. My heart beat a little faster having Michael in the house. He lived here for a while and then moved back home to the frozen north.

     In no time at all, we had rented out the room to Leandro. He didn't speak much English, was learning, but we loved Leandro. He was such a hard worker and a nice guy. We still keep in touch with him, now that he is married and has a baby.

     Then came Robyn. Along with Robyn came an assorted cast of characters from her family, that were absolutely hysterical and kept us laughing. Robyn had so much energy and enthusiasm, she could just knock you over with her hugs. We missed Robyn a lot when she left. I still miss her family and our good times.

     Last year brought Kayla. Kayla is like the daughter I never had. At least, never had till my son got married and provided me with a daughter-in-law. Kayla has been with me for about 15 months and is now moving out, along with her boyfriend Antwan. It has been a traumatic time during the move. It came upon us rather rapidly. Not the announcement. It came about 2 weeks early.

     As is the case with the younger generation, the packing portion seems to have begun the night before. The room erupted into chaos. As they moved carload after carload over to their new "digs," they reported back to me frequently.

     "We don't have a lamp. Can we borrow a lamp?"
     "Can we take these sheets?" (I don't think they have a bed, but what the hey!)
     "Do you have an extra shower curtain?" No, I don't and I would not let them rip mine off the shower. Although I was tempted.
     "Do you know anyone who wants to give away a flat screen TV?"
     "We don't have a microwave, but its okay because we have only one spoon."
     "Do you want this bottle of Sprite? Whose mashed potatoes are these?"
      And on and on.
     I am putting the ad in today.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm Phobic For Phobias

     I am doing some research on anxiety and I came across this list of phobias. It is very interesting. People have have a phobia about anything. Some of them I understand....others, well you will see what I mean.

1. fear of the Chinese culture: Sinophobia
2. bulls: Taurophobia
3. Books: bibliophobia
4. bald people: Peladophobia
5. chins: Geniophobia
6. dancing: Chlorophobia
7. the figure 8: Octophobia
8. hearing a certain word or words: Onomatophobia
9. fear of losing an erection: Medomalacuphobia
10. meat: Carnophobia
11: fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth: Arachibutyrophobia
12. fear of poetry: Metrophobia
13. fear of purple: Porphyrophobia
14. fear of saints or holy things: Hagiophobia

WOW! I read about hundreds more, just about anything you could think of, even a fear of phobias. As for me, I don't think I have any real phobias. Oh I have a certain distaste for chins when I view my aging chin in the mirror, and I think I have a healthy fear of bulls, enough to not be running in front of one at Pamplona. Right now, my fear is that I need to get to bed because of the fear of writing gibberish (gibberophobia) so will say good night!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Venture

     Well, the bewitching hour is upon us. The deadline for joining the Rachael Harrie's Second Writers' Platform Building Crusade is up at 12:00. Fortunately, I read my fellow bloggers and noted that something big was about to happen, and I was not involved.

     I'm excited to be trying something new with my blogging. We are making changes in the blogosphere that will overtake....well, something. Check out her blog. Pretty cool. But do it before midnight.

Who Cares?

     You can find any information you want on the internet. As my oldest son, Jeff, points out time and again, a lot of it is trash, aka, entertainment. I operate on the premise that "Wouldn't it be cool if it was true?" If the answer is a resounding yes, then I go with it as truth, or semi-truth.

     Some of the latest facts that have captured my fancy come from a website titled Quirky Facts. And they are definitely quirky.
     The first one is that Owls are the only bird that can see the color blue. Why do you suppose that is? They sleep during the day, most of them, so they do not see the sky. It is not a matter of worrying that they will get turned around and fly upside down. And how do they determine this? How do you do a color test on an owl? And if there are scientists out there doing color tests on owls, is that one of the things in our budget we could eliminate. The only value I can see of such knowledge is to be able to add it on to a Quirky List.

     Again, here is another interesting factoid. Elephants are the only mammal that can't jump! Who determined that? And have they checked every other mammal to determine that status?

     Not only all fingerprints are different, but so are all tongue prints. If only criminals would lick the crime scenes, we could get exceptional DNA.

     The average person laughs 10 times a day. This one is worth investigating. I am keeping tally. I think I am way above average.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Boomer Humor

These are not original stories. As a matter of fact, they were emailed to me from a friend, who is experiencing the 6th decade of his life, as am I. Remarkably, we can find that we have many characteristics in common regarding our rapid journey into aging. And we wonder...will this be us?

1. Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one fine March day. One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?"
     "No," the second man replied. "It's Thursday."
     And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a beer."

OK, I hate to say it, but this already sounds like some of my conversations with my husband. Except for the golf part.

     2. As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him. "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on I-77. Please be careful."
     "Heck!" said Herman. "It's not just one car! It's hundreds of them!"

This has not yet happened but it seems so within the realm of possibility.... And my favorite....

     3. Three sisters, retired, live in  a house together. One night, the oldest sister draws a bath. She puts her foot in and pauses. She yells to the other sisters,"Was I getting in or out of the bath?"
     The middle sister yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see." She starts up the stairs and pauses. Was I going up the stairs or down?
    The youngest sister was sitting at the kitchen table, having tea and listening to her sisters, she shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful, knock on wood..."
     She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who is at the door."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Football Passion

I am pretty sure it’s Super Bowl weekend. In South Florida there seems to be a lot of Pittsburgh fans, and the only other team I am hearing about is the Green Bay Packers so I guess that's who they're playing.

OK, I’m admitting my shame. I am coming out of the closet and confessing my deepest darkest secret. I am one of the three or four remaining Americans who does not watch, appreciate, or understand football. I believe I may be football-challenged. In my case, I seem to be missing the part of the brain, the corpus footballus, the section that values grown men chasing an oblong piece of pigskin around a field. I just don’t get the point of the game.
I realize most people do not comprehend this Football Disability I’ve been born with. Football enthusiasts tailgate, paint their faces, and sport foam fingers. They wear ball caps or unusual head coverings shaped like various foods, like cheese wedges, and animals.  They are decorated with t-shirts, flags and banners. They drink beer, they celebrate, they party long into the night.
They know the stats of each player, they know the names of the players on their teams, and they follow their career progress like private detectives.
They laugh, they cry. They gloat, they sulk. They scream in anger, they sink down in despair. They rejoice and they revel. They dance and they pound on the bleachers. The entire range of human emotion is packed into one football game. As for me, is confusion considered to be an emotion?
For me, watching a football game is like trying to figure out an especially complex and difficult magic trick. In the couple of games I have attended, I can never locate the frickin’ ball. I have studied the huddle of players intently, they all scatter this way and that way, and that’s all she wrote. I can’t figure out which player I am supposed to be following.
“Where’s the ball?” I will ask of the friend next to me.
“What do you mean? It’s right there. The quarterback has it and…”
Everyone but me is on their feet cheering. My friend Teri is annoyed that she missed the play because she was trying to point out the ball to me.
In three more minutes I ask again, “Where’s the ball?”
“Shut up, Jeanne!” is her terse reply. “Watch the game.”
I can say this with certainty; wherever my eyes are, the action is somewhere else.
Eventually I stop worrying about the ball and focus on a player called the Tight End. I know how he got his name. Wow! Nice Ass, Mr. Tight End.
But the rest just all seems so pointless. These men are putting their lives in mortal danger to get their hands on that stupid ball. They clash and bash together in a giant player pile o’ body parts. The fans become silent, wondering if anyone is hurt. Then the mashed player on the bottom of the pile, staggers to his feet and waves at the crowd. Although he may have lost many of his IQ points in that battering, the fans scream and encourage him to do it all over again. Doesn’t that strike anyone else as odd?
So it seems that I shall live my life as an outsider, never really understanding the greatness and wonder of football. Just buy me a hot dog and a soda and let me sit and take it all in. I’ll get up and yell when everyone around me yells and I’ll become excited through osmosis as the spirit is passed on to me. And I’ll keep my eyeballs focused on Mr. Tight End.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ok Just One More

    I did promise you a blog related to auctions and underwear so I guess it's time to bring it out. Today is a gorgeous sunny day in South Florida and I know how lucky I am to be here instead of the snow or ice-covered areas of the world. Rather than rejoicing outside, I am in here and preparing to write about the auctioning of underwear. It is not just any old underwear, though. (Well, it is old...but it is royal underwear.)

     An auction house in England wants to put up Queen Elizabeth II's unmentionables for sale. This is no new job for this particular auction house...they sold Queen Victoria's bloomers for $9,000. In the article I read, there were pictures of the aforementioned undergarments. The pictures caused an avalanche of not-so-genteel comments from readers.

     What would you do with someone else's used knickers? Are royal ones special enough to be worth having something that might creep people out? And what does Queen Elizabeth think about all of this? I don't know. It is a complicated issue. All I can say is, when I become famous, please do not auction off my underwear or my shoes. Neither should see the light of day, nor the light of the paparazzi.
As for me, when I see a regal pose of Queen Elizabeth now, all I can think about is, "I know what is under there. And it ain't pretty."