Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is It Just Me or Do You See It Too.....

I have always wanted a tropical fish aquarium but I don't have very good luck with fish. Even poor goldfish have met their demise once I give them a home. I'm not sure what I do wrong, but because I can't have anymore deaths on my conscience, I just no longer buy them for me. My daughter came across this neat (so she thought) thing around Christmas at one of the m.a.r.t. stores. It looked like a computer monitor but when plugged in, it lit up and fish could be seen slowly swimming around. Wow....all the beauty of an aquarium and none of the work or worry. She got it for me. She bought herself one as well. She paid $30 for it so figured it would last me quite a good long time. It never advised you on the box, however, that once the light burned out inside, it was useless as it could not be replaced and it was recommended that you dispose of it. This, in itself, was a rip-off as far as I'm concerned. The light only lasted a month, by the way.

After we discovered that it would have to be pitched, my grandson decided to take it apart. Excuse the fingerprints on the mirrored edges on the front of the monitor in the picture, but I thought maybe I could use this for a frame for some photographs as its quite pretty. You can see from the photo that its quite colorful.

Upon further and closer inspection, however, it was discovered that there is something hidden in the "plants" of the ocean. Now, Lord knows I've never been deep sea diving and I am no expert on plants but I seriously doubt that this particular rendering is an actual plant. Maybe it is....I don't know.....but it certainly looks enough like something else that now all I can see every time I look at this is that particular plant. So, I post these pictures for your verdict.....what do you think? I've heard of people finding hidden pictures of p.e.n.i.s.e.s. on other things....matter of fact I actually do own a Disney movie case that has one drawn on it and Disney had to pull those from the shelves many years ago. We heard it was done by a disgruntled employee. Another friend of mine has an air freshener spray can with one hiding among the roses on the front.

Here is a closer view. I'm not a prude and part of me thinks its funny.....but another part of me thinks that some employees have way too much time of their hands. This came from China so they can't blame U.S. workers this time.

Well, needless to say, I guess my great idea of putting some family photographs behind this make-shift frame has to be abandoned. Unless I want to have the reputation of the 'dirty old lady' in the neighborhood.

My daughter checked hers out and it does not have the little hidden surprise like mine does. Maybe they figured it out and recalled them and mine was missed......or maybe I'm just lucky.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This must have been hilarious.....

from someone else's vantage point. From mine.....not so much.

As my long-time readers know, I worked for law enforcement for 25 years. During the first half of that time I was a dispatcher for police as well as fire. Police business is more serious than not and whenever the mood can be lightened up, the guys try very hard to do so. A lot of practical jokes take place behind the scenes.

Now, like most women, I am afraid of spiders and snakes. I can take a spider pretty much in my stride.....but not a snake, no matter how small it may be. To say I'm deathly afraid of them is a gross understatement to be sure. I don't think one of our officers realized just how deep that fear ran when he decided to make me the target of his latest joke.

I live in Michigan and our only poisonous snake is the Massasauga rattlesnake. Although the bite is very painful, its rarely fatal like its cousin's, the Diamondback. You still have to seek medical attention for it though. It loves living around swampy wet areas but will sometimes come up around your home just to check things out. One of our officers killed one that was on his patio and brought it into work to serve as joke fodder.

He coiled the snake up to make it look like it was in readiness to strike and put it in the top desk drawer in the dispatch center. All the officers knew we kept pens, pencils, rubber bands, paperclips and notepaper in that drawer. I was coming on duty and when you begin your shift you have to get pertinent information from the dispatcher leaving as a lot of calls overlap. My attention was on getting that information. One of the guys asked me for a paperclip. I opened the drawer, reached in without looking and handed him a paperclip. Another guy then asked me for a rubberband. I did the same thing....all without noticing the snake. Finally, one of the guys asked me for some white-out correction fluid, figuring I'd have to look for that. He was right. I was losing patience with all the interruptions at this point and plunged my hand into the drawer but this time I was looking. My eyes took in the snake, sent an urgent signal to brain, which said Holy Crap....SNAKE....stop your hand! I don't remember anything more until they were helping me up from the corner across the room where I was crumbled up in tears, apparently having left a trail of bodies in my wake.

That officer apologized profusely over and over. He kept saying he had no idea I was so afraid of snakes....but he had to admit I put on quite the show. I did take note that all the other officers, including some command, were nearly doubled over in laughter. He said he'd never seen anyone move so fast. Just wish I could remember it.....and actually wish I could have seen it happening ....... to someone else. I bet it WAS funny. We're both retired from the department now and I never did get to pay him back for that.....even though I thought about it a lot......and, as you can see, I'm STILL thinking about it. I could just never find his weak spot.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I am so sneaky.....

Since I couldn't choose 7 of my blog favorites to receive this award, I decided to let YOU do it. So the first 7 people who commented on the previous post are the recipients of this award. So take it with my love and post it along with 7 items about yourself on your blog.

1. Coffeypot - it couldn't go to a more beautiful person; inside and out...don't let him fool ya.
2. Respectfully yours at Here is what I Think.....I love her memories.
3. Mama Llama - of All Green Thumbs - We've been blogging buddies for a long time now.
4. Rae of Weather Vane - Oh you're gonna love her posts, I guarantee it.
5. Fiwa of Do You Speak Fiwaese - Another beautiful person, inside and out....hands down. We've also been blogging buddies for a long time and I'm a better person for it.
6. Jamie of Everyone Thinks I Can Fix It - One of the first blogs I read way back so many years ago. A good friend and a wonderful person. Her posts are like being there, having coffee with her.
7. Gayle of Gramme's Blog - A young grandma and her lovely stories about her grandson, along with other things we often think about. Everyone loves Gayle - go read her.

Well, that's it. Now you 7 ....don't you go all shy on me and not pick up your award. Pick it up and pass it along....that's what makes them so special. May beautiful thoughts go with you as you do so. Keep smilin'.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award.....

I have been given an award! Oh how I love to get awards!! Linda, of The Good, The Bad, The Worse presented this to me and thank you so very much, Linda. You all must use the link and go read her....her posts are thought-provoking as well as delightful. She and I share a passion....DOGS! We both love our doggies!

One of the conditions of this award is that I have to name 7 things about myself. Then I have to pass it on to 7 bloggers that I have newly met and think are fantastic. Well, that's going to be hard to do because all the blogs I read are fantastic. So, I'm going to bend the rules a bit. If I read you, you're on my blog roll and if you're on my blog roll, then please accept this award from me. Just leave me a comment and let me know if you've accepted it and I'll come and read your 7 revelations about yourself. Please link the award back to me on your post.

1. I LOVE cookie dough!
2. I do not like clowns and would never allow my children near any.
3. I am the most creative when I'm depressed (art and writing).
4. I love the smell of a new book.
5. As far as music goes, I love the blues; it speaks to me.
6. To see horses gallop across a field makes my heart swell and brings me to tears.
7. I believe in angels.

Now, go do yours so I can read about you! Thanks again, Linda.

P.S. I am no longer accepting Anonymous comments. I'm tired of being free advertisement for others selling ambiguous or nefarious items. If anyone other than "anonymous" has trouble commenting, please let me know and I'll see if I can fix it. I'm sorry for any inconvenience to my readers who aren't ashamed to comment under their name. Google accounts are free. Sign up.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Who says men aren't curious.....

This is another story from my fun-filled years in the subdivision of friendly neighbors. Do you like cookie dough....raw? My friends and I do and even though they say its not a good idea to eat it raw, we've never gotten sick on it....but we've always done it with our own scratch recipes. During this memory, I was pregnant, awaiting my first child.

My husband worked midnights at the time; he left the house a little after 11 pm and got home a little after 8 in the morning. The shift premium money was a nice extra and it came in handy for the expenses we were incurring since I had quit work.

Shortly after he left one evening I got a phone call from my next door neighbor....she had noticed my lights on. Well, she couldn't sleep and rather than talking to me on the phone and chance disturbing her husband and kids, she just threw on her robe over her jammies and ran over. I put on a pot of coffee and we settled in for a good gossip session. I remember she had curlers in her hair with a babushka tied around her head. LOL of us had the bright idea of making cookies. I checked the cupboards and I had all the ingredients for oatmeal cookies so we mixed up a huge batch. A big batch because we intended on munching on the cookie dough while we baked them. We probably would consume more of it before baking than after. We had just gotten that bowl of dough mixed up.....the LARGE Tupperware sized bowl and you KNOW how big that is....when I saw headlights coming into the driveway and recognized the tail lights of our own car. My husband was home!

Now ordinarily this wouldn't be a big thing but I was supposed to be on a diet and if he knew about the cookies he would never let me live it down. I grabbed the bowl and just about threw it at her and said "hide it". She took off with it, running into the living room, her eyes wildly darting around to find somewhere to put this big bowl. She ended up in the spare room we were in the middle of fixing up for a nursery. She came back out into the living room just as he walked in the back door which was off the kitchen. She was sans bowl so I figured she hid it but I didn't know where.

I guess they had had some sort of break down with the line at work and sent everyone home early and to say he was dismayed to see we had company is an understatement. I was hoping that he'd just go to bed and when he was asleep we could resume with our cookie dough madness. No such luck. He was used to staying up all night. He started flipping channels on TV to see what he could find and asked me to make him a snack. There was no cable back 200 plus channels to chose from....but he found some old war movie and settled in with a beer and his snack. She and I shared glances.

For the next 30 minutes, she would get up every now and then and go down the hallway.....presuming that it would be assumed she was going to the bathroom. However, she was really slipping into the bedroom with the hidden goodies in there and partaking of said goodies. I was having a hard time holding back the laughter. After the third trip he gave me a funny look and I knew she was pushing her luck. A few minutes later she went into the kitchen and got a coffee mug. She hid it up under her robe sleeve and once again went back into the hallway. Then she came out and said, well, I guess I should get on home. I went to the back door with her and she showed me the coffee mug filled with cookie dough that she was taking with her. She also told me that the bowl was hidden in the closet with some boxes stacked on top of it. Oh brother..........

As I came back into the house, he was just coming out of that bedroom, having gone in there to figure out what the deal was. I don't know if he thought we had Tom Selleck hidden in there or what but he didn't find the bowl. It was almost daylight before he finally fell asleep and I could go in there and remove the bowl and put it in the refrigerator. The next day I made the cookies but my taste for the dough was more or less least for a while. He never did find out about the bowl hiding ordeal.....and yes, he did rag on me about being on a diet as he munched on the freshly baked cookies. grrrrrrrr. Have you ever done anything stupid like this?.....omg please say you have. LOL

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things you don't wanna think about.....

Here we go again, down highway 101, State of Mind, to the tiny burg of Why, the place with so many questions and very few, if any, answers.

I read an article a few days ago that sent my head whirling. This is a practice that has been done for the past fifty years and the government is just now letting us know about it. And affects all of us. In the United States, at the time of birth, every newborn's DNA is taken, without permission of the parents, and kept in a lab somewhere for various amounts of time. Your child's complete genetic makeup....the blueprint of their being. The time retained differs from state to state is one of those who keep it indefinitely. Yes, you read right. Indefinitely.

Holy Clone Recipes, Batman! What's the meaning of this? I know my brain is working on overload and there isn't anything holy about what I'm fearing. Well, they say that they take it for research and that it has saved lives. I guess that's a pretty good why keep it indefinitely....why keep it at all? With all the specimens being added each day, the cache has got to be in the millions. How can they be assured that security is adequate and furthermore......why should the extra expense of security and headaches over whether some could be missing even be in place unless there IS a reason. If you're supposedly finished with something.....why keep it? With millions of specimens, would they even know if any were missing?

Without rambling on about my worse fears and sounding like a complete raving lunatic, I'll give you the link to read the article yourself. Go here. I don't approve of it mainly because it was kept secret for so long; if it was purely innocent then everyone should have been made aware. To find out the length of time your state keeps the DNA, go here, choose the year you want to see from the drop down menu in the box in upper left corner of your screen.

This is setting the stage for the possibility of some sinister acts to take place. If you're under 50, there's a good chance a clone could be made of you. And since the specimens have names attached, how long before someone tries to buy their DNA.....or maybe someone else's DNA. And why are the names attached if its only being used for research to help save lives? The insurance companies are privy to this information according to the video that accompanies the article I've linked for you. And I know I'm not the only one thinking along these lines. I just can't bring myself to write down all the awful possibilities of what could happen, fueled by greed and/or power. Plots of horror/science fiction movies come true.

How do you feel about this? Why do you think these specimens are being kept and is this another example of invasion of our privacy? If you had been asked, would you have given permission for them to take your child's DNA? Myself, I think I would have given permission to let them use it for research if it helps saves lives, but I would not have signed for them to keep it.....I would have wanted it destroyed after they were finished with it so it could never get into the wrong hands and/or used for other purposes.

Leaving the town of Why now.....and as usual, I haven't as yet found answers. But I know I'll be back again soon....I'm always wondering about something........ and usually the optimist, I'm hoping I'll find those answers one of these days.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Invasion of privacy.....

I'm wondering if this is something new or just a low-down dirty way of doing business utilizing the Internet.....and how many places are doing this now.

I received a call a week or so ago from this guy who quickly identified himself as working out of an attorney's office in California. He asked if he was speaking to ....and he said my name and I said 'yes'. He then said he was desperately trying to get in touch with my niece and he gave her name.
He seemed to know that she lived out of my state and named the state to which she had moved (more than 8 years ago) and he seemed to know that she is a relative.

I interrupted him at this point because I had already been given a 'heads up' from my daughter about this guy. He had called her about a week previous to my call and had given her the same story. She, of course, did not give him any information but did agree to pass on his message if she heard from her cousin.

This guy works for a collection agency and they use the Internet to find relatives of people who are delinquent on their bills. They then start bugging the relatives of the debtor in order to get in touch with the debtor. I think they are thinking that if they bother enough relatives that they (the relatives) will harp on the debtor to pay up to get rid of these phone calls and thus, it makes their job much easier.

I don't know who started this process but I really resent being bothered, especially since I don't owe any back debts. I not only resent being bothered by phone calls, I resent the invasion of privacy that's occurred since these people had to do some research to find out that I'm related to this person.....especially with a common last name like I have. But most of all.........I resent the fact that they are making private details about a person known to their family members. I had no idea what her financial situation is or I do.....and that's just not right. I hope someone sues over this and stops it....its becoming totally out of hand.

So anyway, I interrupted him and told him off. I told him he was a lowlife revealing private matters about someone to their family members. I asked him how he would like it if his relatives knew if he was late on a bill and it had gone to collection. His attitude bordered on snotty and he was aggressive but I kept interrupting him. (its amazing how gutsy you can be when you know they aren't after you) He retorted that he had not told me that she owed money....and I said, well, you're from a collection agency and you're trying to get ahold of what else can one think. I told him that I did not want to know her financial was none of my business and I wanted it to stay that way. I told him to remove my name and phone number from his computer and not to call me again. He said he would comply with my request.........but you know he really won't, don't ya?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Time for Mischief.....

I've talked about my old neighborhood and the close relationship I had with a bunch of my neighbors there before. The other night I was thinking about them and this memory popped into my head. I hadn't thought about this in years!

In November of every year, most men get out their weapons and head for the woods so they can rough it for a few days hunting deer. They don't wash or shave (they want to blend with nature so it won't scare the least that's the excuse they tell us) and probably don't change their underwear or socks either during this time. I'm not even sure they brush their teeth and I don't even want to know. Anyway, the wives of these 'great white hunters' also look forward to them leaving. I don't know what a lot of the wives did, but in our little circle of friends in our neighborhood where every man was gone....we women had a ball. We ordered dinner out and in some cases even had it delivered. We had get-togethers at each other's homes and we played cards, drank, cussed and generally had fun. We slept in, watched what we wanted on TV and took up the entire bed, loving every inch of it. For the most part it was all good innocent fun.

Now this story takes place back in the early 60's. Most of us women were pretty darned innocent. I think I was just 21 years old, if that. You have to remember that society, in general, was pretty prudish then. The movies on TV as well as the box office did not have a lot of swearing and never EVER the F-word. Now....all of us had heard about these so-called secret movies called smokers. None of us had ever seen any or even knew anyone who had seen any. It was a guy was p.o.r.n. Curious? You bet. We all were. Well, for THIS hunting season one of the girls had a real treat for us....or should I say "reel". She said her brother, who lived with them but who had also gone hunting, had a couple reels of smokers.....and she found them in his room. We all put our heads of the other girls had a movie projector. There were no VHS tapes back then....or at least not in my circle of acquaintances. We decided we would meet at my house because I was the only one who didn't have kids at the time.

The night of the 'showing', they all brought snacks, their choice of alcoholic beverage, wore comfy clothes, and the ones who needed it had babysitters at their houses....we were ready. The one with the projector showed up and set it up and it wasn't until then that she said what are we going to show these on. I didn't have any wall space that was suitable.....and we wanted a good view! Someone suggested a sheet thrown over the traverse curtain we did that after first closing the drapes. We turned off the lights and settled in for the show.

The movies were old 8 mm, black and white. They were so faded and such poor quality you could hardly see anything......probably they were copies of copies of copies....well, you get the idea. Anyway the plot line lacked imagination big time. Woman's husband out of town, she orders guy delivers, she answers door with next to nothing on and before you know it they are in the bedroom and she's moaning and groaning like you would never believe. The more we drank, the funnier it became. Each movie was rather short, maybe 25 or 30 minutes, hard to remember now. I can't remember how many movies she had....maybe 2, maybe 3, but we watched them several times each, laughing harder each time.

I don't know who now.....I guess the shock from the realization sort of emptied my memory banks a little....but one of the girls went outside for some reason....maybe for some fresh air.... and she came back in, wide-eyed and terrified. At her news, we all ran outside and looked. Seems as though the movie was showing right through my picture window (even though the drapes were closed) and from outside it was like being at a drive-in theater. We all were half drunk, half hysterical, scared and laughing at the same time. We closed up and dispersed faster than an illegal gambling joint.

I lived in absolute terror that the police were going to break down my door and search my home looking for contraband.....I envisioned my picture on the front page of the paper......the embarrassment I would bring my parents. We girls all talked about it in hushed whispers. Then after weeks passed and nothing more came of it, we breathed sighs of relief. We all vowed that we'd never ever do anything like that again.....and we didn't. But now as I think of it, I have to laugh out loud.....and I'm also wondering if old Mrs. Fugate on the next street over had been looking out her window that night. LOLOLOLOLOL

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Good Life.....

This is a picture of my parents taken on the night of his retirement party. It just so happened that it was close to their wedding anniversary also....40 years.

My dad was so nervous about this party. The place where he worked rented a hall and really had quite an affair for him. He was embarrassed over being the center of attention.....and yes, they ROASTED him. He got poems and cards and the usual engraved wristwatch. It was very emotional for him....he felt like he was leaving family.

My father started out as a milkman then went to work as a factory worker. This was in addition to running a farm. After he'd been there many years, the factory liquidated and moved to another state. The employees were all told they could have their jobs if they wanted to relocate as well. There was no way my dad could relocate so he took his severance pay and hit the streets looking for a job, along with 90% of the other workers. He was middle-aged at the time and he knew that he would have to be clever and quick in order to secure employment. He found out about a possible job opening at a place that would be absolutely perfect for him. He knew he could do the job and it was only 3 miles from home.

Since he found out 'by rumor' about the possibility of an opening there, no ads were in the paper. My dad got his foot in the door before anyone else. The old guy whose position they were going to fill was leaving; the job was just too much for him anymore. He hadn't given a date so no one knew for sure when the opening would occur. My dad went there every single day. The boss of the place said to him one day that he was going to hire him just to keep him away from his office. They all laughed but it gave my dad a glimmer of hope. Sure enough, when the old guy put in his resignation they hired my dad; they didn't even bother to advertise. They were never sorry they hired him as he was never sorry he got in there. The pay and the benefits were more than twice what he was getting in the factory.

Perseverance......that was the key. My dad always said that if something was worth having, you had to put forth the effort in getting it. Sadly, for the most part, those old values have fallen by the wayside nowadays.

I think of this story often whenever something adverse happens in my life. My mom always said that things happen for a reason....she was a great believer in that. Given the rough childhood she was a good thing she was. So if my dad's place of work hadn't moved, he would never have found this much greater opportunity which gave them so much comfort in their lives. Yes...they had a good life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sisters in looks.....

I've always loved this photograph. This is a picture of my mother, on the right, and her mother. My mom was 47 here, making her mother 63. I'm going to play around with this picture and see if I can add my own image to this at the age I am now, making me the oldest of the group. That should make quite a conversation piece, to say the least.

Since there wasn't much of an age difference between them, people used to think they were sisters and sometimes, when their horns were out, they would just let them think so.

This is the grandmother I talked about in the previous post. Most of her eight husbands had money so she was very fashionable.....and even when times were tough, you'd never know it by how she looked. My mom, on the other hand, lived on the farm with my father and did all those things that farm wives do, which is hard work, and plenty of it. However, she never failed to put on a bit of makeup to start the day, no matter what she was going to be doing......anything from laundry to canning.