Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Can I Help You With?

Thanks and apologies to all of you who read my rant post about gifts.
I am sure that you read it and thought.....
"What a grump!"
I read it again myself and thought, "You are one angry elf"
I don't know where that rankled post came from, because I actually love gifts, given and received and I am actually a pretty positive person most all of the time.
But not lately.
It must be the weather.
We have had ice, snow, rain, ceaseless cloudy skies, fallen trees, broken chain saws, no power for a time and some fun opportunities missed because of Mother Nature.
But ice and snow and rain and no power can be fun, something different, an adventure........
...for 10 minutes.
We have had 2 weeks of it, which is well past my 'fresh until' date.

My son tried to cheer me up and asked Siri, on his cell phone, to tell us a joke.
So she did;
"The Past, Present, and Future walked into a was tense".
I thought it was pretty funny.
Trying to keep the mood upbeat, I asked her on MY cell phone to tell us a joke and she said,
"I can't, I always forget the punchline".
Does she know me that well?
Was she having a senior moment?
Her response actually made me chuckle.
So I asked her to tell me something good and she replied,
"That may be beyond my abilities at the moment".
Mine too.
Thats why I asked for your help.
Siri must be depressed.
Which in a weird way cheered my up.

Thanks for being here.

P.S. Know any good jokes?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Another gift? I'll just stay home.

What the heck is going on with gratitude these days?
Everyone thinks a gift is the only way to show appreciation.
If you give a gift then it seems necessary that you get one in return.

Used to be if you went to a wedding, you brought a celebratory gift for the happy couple and you got a piece of cake in return.
Maybe some peanuts and some good punch.
Now you get pens, candy, jars of honey, bottles of water, candles, lip balm and your name in a drawing for a new car.
Just kidding about the last one.
But seriously, what?

Kids birthday parties offer a smorgasbord of gifts.
You send your kid to a party with a G.I. Joe or Barbie gift and they come home with prizes for winning (or losing) pin the tail on the donkey.
There are gifts at the place setting while they wait for cake,
a treat bag full of candy, small toys to be brought home and stepped on with barefeet in the dark, a silly straw, balloons AND a tummy ache from ice cream and cake received in massive quantities, given out of gratitude for your gift.

You go see your dentist, and they give you floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste, stickers and a reminder for your next appointment.
Does that mean they think you need these things? Or it's just a 'keep up the good work' gift?
Now I don't believe for one minute they pass these things out to prevent tooth decay, thereby making their job unnecessary, it's a gift, so you'll think they love having you there and you'll forget you paid for that wimpy toothbrush with your $150.00 x-ray.

Now the Santa-cookie thing has been going on for decades and I never really understood it.
He brings the whole family gifts, we're talking boocoodles of things, and in gratitude we leave out 3 cookies and a glass of milk.
He comes back every year for this exchange?
Give a gift, get a gift I guess, no matter how unequally financed.

Let's also observe the gift rules on the dating scene.
At least what I understand about it in the media.
After a few or just one date, the young folks sleep with each other, as a way to say thank-you?
Let me ponder.....'I like you and I am so grateful that you would spend 3 hours of your valuable time with a scum sucking waste of space like me that I will risk diseases, infections, death, possible embarrassment and/or pregnancy to thank-you for my cheeseburger'.
If the date was that good, how bout just another date, tickets to an athletic event or a box of good chocolates?
That's about as equal as the Santa exchange.
This is a hard rule!

Going as a guest to someone else's home for lunch or dinner puts me in a fit of the shakes.
What kind of hostess gift do I bring?
(Yes I could say 'host gift' here as well, but let's go with my most recent frame of reference)
Will I bring something she has 6 of already?
Does my gift cost more or less than the meal?
Will she even expect anything?
It can't be a food gift or she will think I don't like her cooking.
It can't be wine or liquor 'cause some folks don't like what I like or they don't even drink at all.
A candle perhaps? Now she thinks that I think her house smells funny.
Flowers? her house is too ugly?
Why am I trading gifts for food?
If I bring an extra thoughtful gift, could we swap it for the rug in the hall that I have always admired instead of the chicken salad?
I am just clueless about this.

Is it the rule now, of American culture, that if you get a gift you have to give a gift?
It makes my brain hurt.
How about a nice Thank-you note?
How about the fact that most people just like each other and want to spend TIME with each other?
Does a reciprocated gift ensure the friendship?
Am I so ancient and out of touch that my concept of reality has run naively rampant and unchecked long enough for me to believe that if I invite you to do something with me that I want no gifts, no anything, except for YOU to be with me?

I get the fact that gifts are nice now and then.
Thats what birthdays, Christmas and being in love is for.
But I am going crazy and broke keeping up with this other stuff.
Everything we do or accomplish does not deserve a gift, an award, a prize or a trophy.
It boggles my mind.
Should we get together, face to face, and talk about it?
Work it out over lunch?
Maybe, but I don't think so.
Even though your thoughts would be invaluable, the getting together part might involve a gift of some kind.
I'll just stay home and blog about it.
No gifts necessary.

Thanks for being here.

Jeplen with the remnants of too many gifts.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blue Ink?

Call me crazy but when I write notes to myself or letters or valentines or anything that needs a writing implement, I want it to be in black ink!
There are several other people in this house who also use pens and could care ZERO percent what color the ink is, so there are pens of every color at different places around the house.
So when my phone is MIA and turned to silent mode, that is usually the time that I need to make a note or a list...immediately...and can only grab the nearest pen and paper.
If I grab a black ink pen then all is right with the world.
If the pen has blue ink then my lip curls into a snarl and my note is scribbled as fast as possible to avoid seeing the dreaded blue ink.
I have always been a list maker/note writer so old age crankiness is not the factor here.
It's the ink.
I have always liked black ink.
Well to be fair, I like black anything.
I have lots of black clothes, a black picture frame wall, a black dog, black guest room furniture, was furious when my black iphone died on vacation and I had to get a white one and my husband has black hair.
So when I have to write a list and it looks like this:

Mongrel note.

you will know that I couldn't write another word until I got up and searched the house for a black pen.
...After a loud sigh...
Now blue ink is fine for some people.
But it just doesn't seem legit to me.
Books are printed with black ink.
Road signs are made with black ink.
The angel of death wears black. Would he seem as important if his garb was blue?
Black means serious.
When I write something down with a pen it means its important.
If the only pen I've got is blue, then I might as well just use a crayon in my opinion.

One of our pen stashes.

I'll bet half the pens in that stash pictured above are NOT black.
Why are they still in my house?
Because until I started processing these angry pen color feelings, I never knew it was an issue.
It's weird what becomes important to you when you're blogging........when you should be doing laundry or vacuuming or doing the dishes or dusting or organizing or exercising or cooking dinner or feeding the dogs or raking leaves or calling your mother or...........

Thanks for being here!!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Piece of Every Book Stays With You. Literally. For Days Maybe.

I have been reading and enjoying books since...forever.
Love books.
Share books.
Keep books.
Books are all over the house stacked on random things or on appropriate book shelves.
The ones all over the house have been read and are ready to be shared or re-read.
The ones stacked in my bedroom on every stair of the step stool or on the night table are 10 deep and waiting to be read.
I would read books to my children when they were old enough to sit up in my lap and notice the pages.
Many of those pages were consumed with enthusiasm.
It could possibly be an undiagnosed medical condition, but all my kids started out chewing their books.
Now my grandson loves to chew his books too.
My home has specifically designed chewable items everywhere, but it seems that the books are the tastiest.
Every person has their own reason for reading and if deliciousness is Jeplen's reason for beginning his literary journey, then the edible way is the way it shall be.
Until he can read for himself, it is imperative that his Grandfather or I read to him the words written on the pages of his books while he anxiously waits (or not) to nibble the pages, drool and taste the book corners till they are mushy and send chewed off bits of the story to his digestive track.
Books are important for a myriad of reasons.
Fiber being near the bottom of the list.
But high on the list, books can be an inspiration for the mind and my grandson will, hopefully, never be without them.

The Tastiness of Books.

Really Getting into the Story.

Thank-you for being here!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lets NOT Read This Book Club........

Saw the following books the other day at my local 'sells everything store'.
Maybe you know all about these books, but I had no idea.
(Still wish that I had no idea)

Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare.

A warfare Manual ?
An entire Manual?
Is there so much stuff going on that it can be manualized for the masses?
Like a Girl Scout manual?
Are there cookie sales and badges involved?
Is the armor, sword and chainmail pictured on the cover supposed to beckon me?
Shouldn't love be the weapon of choice?
Are there too many question marks in this narrative?
If the title was Deliverance FROM Spiritual Warfare, then maybe.....
Plus I hear banjo music when I see the word Deliverance......
Rest assured that this is definitely not a title that makes me want to read this book.

The Demon Dictionary.

A Volume 2 edition???
Volume 2?
Now I feel like I'm taking Crazy pills?
I never knew about, was looking for, or saw volume 1!
And why is a human so familiar with hell, all it's doctrine and the creatures that dwell there that they can ponder, reference and alphabetize 2.....yes I typed the number 2 again.....books worth of demon information.
Is there going to be a volume 3 or 4 or maybe even....Encyclopedia Demonica?
If demons are bad......that's all I need to know.
No introduction or dictionary needed.
My demon education was completed at 6 years old when I watched the end of Fantasia.
Lesson Learned?
Avoid demons under every circumstance.
This book would be one of those every circumstances, so I am positive that I will this book.

How to Expel Demons, Break Curses and Release Blessings.

Expel, Break, Release.........Repeat?

This book sounds like you will stay very busy.
That's all I can type about this one.
This is definitely a 'Let's NOT Read This Book' book.

I am truly puzzled over the oddness and darkness of each of the 3 books of the books which I referenced above.
They were all together, like best friends, on a shelf.
They were all at discount prices.
They were all displayed in front of the romance books.??
They all truly caught me off guard.
I was looking for Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey!
Which I did not find.

I don't even look for any books at the 'sells everything store' anymore.
At all.
It's too scary!
I am obviously WAY out of touch with the interests in my community and I really don't care to get caught up.

A small shiver of speculation......
A quiet shudder at the thought.....
Followed by a good case of the willies....

Thanks for being here.