Friday, December 31, 2010

Baby Chicks in the Spring and Life in Montana

This morning the phone rang at 6:30. Not exactly early for me but who calls at that time, anyway?
It was my son. The conversation went like this.

My son said, "Mother, I just drove by your house and was going to shovel for you but it was all done."
"I did it at 3 this morning. I like to get it shoveled for the kids when they walk to school."
"You've got to stop that. You're not a spring chicken anymore, you know."
"I know. But thanks for coming by. I appreciate your offer. I forgot to get gas for the blower so I shoveled by hand."
"Oh god, stop that."

End of conversation

I'm trying to analyse that "spring chicken remark. I used to raise chickens at the ranch and I got baby chicks in the spring. Teeny, fluffy little baby chicks. They sure couldn't shovel snow. If you equate chicken life to human life, they couldn't shovel snow until they were old and seasoned. So, according to that, who is the better able to shovel snow? Me, that's who.

I'm just being a smart ass, because isn't it like finger-nails on a black board when someone tells you you're not a "spring chicken?" (even though they're right!!!!!)

It was sweet of son to come by to shovel. He's such a great person and I'm not ungrateful.

Although the sun is shining brightly today, it's a big fat deceiver. Try out -3. A good day to stay in and try to catch up on blog reading. Tonight it's headed for -15. Wanna live in Montana?

Would you like the name "no spring chicken?" (Get over it, Manzi :))

P. S. Just got weather update.... tonight -21..ouch.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ole Mister Blues Ain't Got Me

Ole Mister Blues Ain't Got me because I installed my full spectrum light bulbs. I keep 3 bulbs scattered throughout the house, one by my computer, my reading spot by the sofa, and by my bed.

In short, the light mimics the qualities of natural sunlight and perks up the people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Syndrome. I don't know if I'm one of them because for years, I've used the bulbs during the winter before Ole Mister Blues had a chance to get to me.

Of course, you lucky people living in tropical zones can kiss natural sunlight hello and the blues good-by but for the rest of us, bulbs do the trick.

I happen to buy Blues Buster because that's what my local health food store carries but there are many brands, as Chromalix, Verulux and sold under cutsie names. Every member of my family used to ski. Now my youngest son, age 48 is still hot-shot of the slopes. His skiing family gets that high altitude natural sun but they still use the bulbs. I've heard people talking about winter depression, but we seem to avoid it with the seasonal light bulbs.

Blues can be good for something...... West Coast Swing. You don't have to know all the intricate moves, just get up and let your hips tell your body what to do. OO la la. Some hot moves for Mamas and Papas !!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey Bloggy Dancers and Waltzers

I had to have some of the original Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas Song.

As an old dance teacher of 50 years, I'll let you in on a secret. Don't think of this as an old corny video but let the waltz beat and the perfect harmony inside of you and I bet you'll be off your chair and waltzing.

One, two, three........ one, two, three....... side, together, in place.
You got it !!!!!

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some Warm Words on a Cold Day

Hey Bloggy Friends
Start Your Day With a Smile

Monday, December 20, 2010

One Rose or a Dozen. Did Timmy Really Fall in the Well

Have you ever heard the old 50's song, "I got tears in my ears from lying on my back in my bed, crying over you." Every time I see John Boehner (new house speaker) I think of that song. I like him, but he's a cry baby. He actually went through two crying jags on TV. I know why.

I was strict Macrobiotic for 35 years. That main premise is built on Yin and Yang. Yin, being feminine and watery while yang is masculine and firmer. Some food is considered yin, and other food is yang. I can change my emotional make-up by what I eat. I can blubber when Lassie barks that Timmy fell in the well or I can flick off the TV in disbelief. Depends on what I've eaten for the past few days.

Things that are on the yin end of the stick ....... sugar, drugs, marijuana, sugary soft drinks. If I wanted to make my emotions hard as nails, I'd load up on salt and meat. Get the picture. What one strives for is the middle.... in other words, "well balanced."

Sooooo.... has John been smok'n too much weed, popp'n too many pills, guzzling the syrupy drinks or taking too many spoonfuls of sugar to make the medicine go down? Yin, yin, yin.... makes a guy all gushy and gooey, thinking it's more sentimental to bring a lady one rose than a dozen.

You can "man-up" John, by adding more salt, stop with the yin and move closer to the middle. But know where the middle is or you'll end up like Winston Churchill, soaking in the bath tub while smoking a stogie, dictating orders to your secretary and ordering roses by the dozen.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Make Me a Match, Find me a Find, Catch me a Catch

Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Make me a Match
Find me a Find
Catch me a Catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look Through your Book
And Make me a Perfect Match

I'm pretty good at matchmaking. Let me tell you about Sophie and Ivan. Sophie, my 58 year old friend, was telling me she was sick of dating. Never even close to finding a match. Ivan popped into my mind. I knew his interests and background and they matched Sophie's. As I was suggesting her meeting Ivan, she was already shaking her head, no, with "They never work." As I was going out her door, she said, "OK, you can give him my number."

I was wondering why I get myself in these dumb situations by opening my big mouth. So I called Ivan and asked him if he was interested in meeting a great gal, knowing that all his past relationships ended in failure. He replied, "No, I'm off women. Never turns out well."
"That's fine." We chitchat a little. "I gotta run."
"Well, give me her number."
I did.
They're both dancers and went dancing three nights in a row and then were together four weeks in a row. Early one morning my phone rang and it was both of them on the phone. They wanted me to be the first to know that last night, as they were dancing to the song, "May I Have This Dance For The Rest of My Life," he asked her to marry him.

I was the one. I was responsible for their meeting. Marrying after knowing each other one month. Crazy.... or was it. They said they knew immediately and that was ten years ago and they still act like they're on their honeymoon.

Here I go again. I'm introducing two friends again on Sunday. They are both coming to my house. Yipes, why do I get myself into this???? I'll let you know.
Have you ever been a matchmater???

Friday, December 17, 2010

Awards and Another Step Beyond

Dear Bloggy Friends,
Do you ever feel like this dog? It's a long lonely road ahead, especially when the wind is blowing and the snow is snowing (like in the song) and Baby It's Cold Outside. All that weather may be true but this has been a warm week when I'm so honored to receive two blogging awards.

The Most Memorable Blogger Award was given to me by Gerry from Gerry's Soap N Stuff. It is a radiant design and graces my blog home page like a long friendship. Don't let Gerry's blog title throw you. She's more "stuff" than soap. Every time we talk, I'm amazed that one more talent pops up. Her artistry ranges from computer animation, every craft imaginable, cooking, home designing, to the one talent she's most modest about, her musical ability and piano accomplishment. Thank you Gerry. You do honor me.

I was also surprised and honored with the "Making Smiles on Faces Award" from Kittie Howard from The Block. Kitty is an exceptional writer who tells stories that grab you and draw you in. I can read Kitty and shut out everything when she transports the reader to her Louisiana heritage. She and Hub are now en route to her beloved Louisiana for the holidays. Bring back your cherished memories to share with us. Thank you Kittie.

As the pages turn and another year draws to the end, it also brings forth new birthdays. I'm shocked....I'll be eighty-one. How'd I get that old? Where did the time go? Then I look at Betty White at age eighty-eight and she's spunky but she looks like an old lady. Holy Crap.... I must look like that. I look in the mirror and I DO. But I'll tell you the secret of the old.... inside, we're still that Bodacious Babe of youth. Edgar Cayce says that when we arrive at the place where the Akashic Records are kept, we arrive in our youthful state. Oh Yeahhhh. Good-by wrinkles!!!

Then I ask my self, "Have I any regrets? What more would I do?" I guess the one thing I'd do is not stick so close to the tree trunk. I'd go still further out on the limb. So what if it breaks ....... crash and burn or survive and create. There's always that fine balance line, where you just instinctively know that if you go one step beyond, the bough breaks but just one teeny more inch or two.... that's what I'd do. Is it too late for that inch? I don't know. This year will tell cause I ain't got nuttin to lose. Come join me, bloggy friends. Let's do it!!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Take Thee ........... FOR MY BLOG

People question me about the name of my blog, "Wanna buy a duck." In choosing a blog name, I asked myself, "Why don't I remember the name of certain blogs?" It's because so many of them sound alike. My main focus was choosing a name that would be remembered and would easily roll off the tongue. I went through a long list of names that I thought had the old bangaroony but all of them were taken..... except Wanna buy a duck.

Where The Phrase Originated
Joe Penner was a comedian during the 1930's. Contrasting his humor to today's standards, it's corny, corny, corny. But evidently he was very popular during his day. One of his scenes had to do with an adorable duck and what was a "hot chick"(girlfriend) at the time. That duck thing stuck with him and he would say the phrase, Wanna Buy a Duck, and everyone laughed.

Names of Blogs That Limit:
Many times you want to limit your audience to your particular passion so toss that word in the title. For instance, "Mechanic's Gazette" might be catchy to mechanics but it keeps me out, as does the word Housewife. I am a health ga-zoobe so put the word Health in a blog name and you got me, baby! On the other hand, it also eliminates a huge audience.

Back to Wanna buy a duck. Below is a corny and silly-by-today's-humor, video of Joe Penner and his duck. It's almost so antiquatedly guasa that it's amusing. Below that you'll see the names of some blogs that reached out and grabbed me. I read many other blogs, but these are just some that I easily remember.

Here are Some Blogs That Reached Out And Pulled Me In With The Name

1. Under the Tiki Hut That name, by Carol Kilgore, spoke to me immediately. I didn't know what it was about and I didn't have to. The words invited me in. I was curious and found a delightful blog by a good writer.

2. Teresa Evangaline Some people's real names sound magical and other's just don't. Teresa's name is a grabber.

3. The Block This name by Kittie smacked me right between the eyeballs. So simple, yet sharp. And boy oh boy, can she tell a good Southern story. I can smell the magnolias from here.

4. Things That Bother Me Here's a new kid on the block. The name beckoned but I thought it was for really young people from the pictures. What a surprise. This gentleman is one funny writer. He hits commonality smack in the core and makes you laugh at yourself.

5. Coming Down From the Mountain This blog by Karen, put imagery before my eyes. I wondered .... hummm how'd someone get up the mountain in the first place. This struck me the first time I glanced at it. It's more than worthy of the trip.

6. Never Growing Old Who can't remember this one. Good choice, Java

7. Gerry's Soap N Stuff This blog put suds in my eyes because I make all my own soap. It grabbed me and I found a gracious hostess, delightful writer and a great friend.

8. Ten Lives and Second Chances Here's a sweet one. Jennifer takes on the name "Old Kitty" and a portion of the post is written through the eyes of a cat named Charlie. It's a grabber keeper.

9. The New Sixty Written by Arkansas Patti. They're both grabbers. Anyone who calls herself Arkansas Patti..... well, you just gravitate to and remember her hilarious posts.

10. Take 25 to Hollister That's a unique "reacher outer. I remembered it the first time I saw it. Su-sieee writes neat things about a small town in CA.

11. Musings of an Aspiring Scribe I put that in the ole brain immediately because that is what I'd like to be but in no way, Jose. Talei's a talented writer.

12. Mi Chiamo Candace This zinged into my brain because Italian was my language in school. What a zinger her blog is. I'm so glad it beckoned to me.

13. Life by Chocolate Here's a comfortable grabber by Robyn. Drew me right in.

14. Inwardlydigesting This was a mouthful and I had no idea what it meant. The word tingled a bell in my head and I remember Christine's blog. She's a wonderful writer.

15. JJ The Disconnected Writer This is a catch-a-rooney. How can you forget two J's. Worthy of remembrance. This gentleman writes with great insight.

16. Fricko's Musings I was blog surfing when I came upon this one. Curiosity again and what a clever writer and story teller. She's always amazing!

17. No Botox Allowed This delightful country frolic is by Wendy who writes of her life on a ranch and includes all the girly stuff too. A fun read.

18. Life Can Be Funny (Sometimes) Count on Jeff to brighten your day with some fun banter and outrageous situations. Never a dull post.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Will The Classics Crumble into Dust

I've seen lists online of the classics that students "should" read. Get that word "should." But are the kids actually required to read the books on the list?

I'm sure school curriculum's require certain books to be read. My question is, why don't the newly graduated students know more about the classics? I've talked to bright students who have absorbed the subjects of their field in college, for instance, but had never heard of "Catcher in the Rye." I know I live in dinosaur-land but I thought kids still read that book. Guess I'm wrong.

My Granddaughter, a very bright girl, recently graduated in sports medicine. She met a young man who was an exception to present day rule. He was more like old school. He knew world history and had read the classics. Then she was suddenly asking me about the classics. Ah Ha.... a catalyst.

But it's true. The classics I cherished, like "Great Expectations," "Ulysses," and "Les Miserables" are crumbling on the shelves. "Wuthering Heights;" I still drool at just the thought of Heathcliff. It's a pity but they belong to a slower time of life. This electronic era is heralding it's own classics. I hope.

I'm pretty far removed from kids today. Tell me, what is your opinion of their reading choices.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hey Babes ..... Let's Move It

Dear Bloggy Babes and Babbetts.

That time again. Snow'n and blow'n outside and we don't want to brave the cold for our exercise. Below is a short video I made to a group of "My Fabulous Generation" about seven months ago after I had just turned eighty. Flamenco is my favorite form of dance and it teaches grace and agility. Grab a fan, (or not) get your butkus off the sofa and follow along. The basic step throughout is just side, ball change. Let's all have fun together.

P.S. Men can do it too. Leave out the fan and keep your fingers straight in a more rigid position, the only difference between men's and women's style.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On The Wings of a Wing-Back

Oh the weather outside is frightful..... but the "fireside wing-back chair" is so delightful!!!
When the weather nips you in the bud, it's time to pick up a book and settle into a wing-back chair that embraces your warmth. I've purchased very few pieces of furniture in my lifetime. The chair below was a find in an old Victorian house a friend inherited. It was a sad frame with a few patches of red frayed upholstery. The non-matching foot stool was minus a leg and sporting a hideous plaid fabric. They were about to take a trip to the dump when I rescued them.

My passion for wing-backs continues with this find. It was just a frame that sat in a pile of "free for the taking" furniture on the curbside . Lucky I drive a pick-up. Screech. Load up and off to my upholsters. I also scrounge old stools as it's always comfy to put your feet up. I think of Martha Washington and wing-backs. She tried to make the house warm and cozy for George when he came home from his skirmishes. (I think)

I can't decide if wing-backs are my favorite or it's my attraction to scrounging and wing-backs rank high on the discard pile. Shrug!! But can't beat a good find. What's your favorite chair?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Working!!!!

I'm not all Barbie, ballroom, bangles and banter. :) I have another blog on Wordpress that touts nutrition and health. Never the twain do normally meet but I'm going to let you read my latest post on my cleansing program.

Hurray, hurray!! I’m dancing for joy. I’m dancing with some toxins twirling around in my bloodstream but THAT’S A GOOD THING. I just had my report from Ken, my medical intuitive and my body is doing deep, deep cell cleansing. It’s flushing out the old toxins, metals, and parasites.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I’m on the Gerson Therapy. That calls for ten glasses of juice a day and that is possible with my illustrious Norwalk Juicer…. shown in the thumbnail picture. I wash that baby ten times a day. I know every line and curve to it’s body. It’s more rewarding than a love affair, by far.

I was determined to wait eight weeks before I talked to Ken again. I wanted to give my body a chance to cleanse, a chance to gain the benefits of those glorious live enzymes my beautiful Norwalk is pouring forth. It’s only the beginning . My trusty Norwalk and I have a long way to go yet but it’s just sooooo exciting to know that it’s really working.

The detoxing is done mostly with the food. Yes, it’s rigid.There’s only certain food that is allowed but you can eat as much of it as you want. For breakfast, fresh orange juice and oatmeal. For lunch and dinner, baked potatoes, 3 kinds of vegetables, salad and fruit. You can have salt-free rye bread but only after you have eaten the required food. Two bowls of Hippocrates soup during the day. No salt. Everything is salt-free.

The juicing alternates green drinks, carrot and carrot with apple. There are some supplements with a liver shot mixed with vitamin B-12.

I am busy all day long because the food preparation is time consuming. I spend most of the day, standing in the kitchen and I noticed my legs were beginning to rebel. I bought rubber floor mats at Home Depot and bingo, it solved my tired leg problem.

Thank you Ken for my wonderful, amazing report. Back to the drawing board for more cell work. As my kids used to say, “I’m jazzed.” Well, I guess that phrase is now politically incorrect but it means I’m determined!!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why Old People are Politically Incorrect

I'll tell you why old people are politically incorrect. You call something by a certain name for 65 years and suddenly everyone starts calling it by another name. OMG. The old name is ingrained. It's a part of our non-thinking vocabulary. It just spills out. After we've blurted out the unaccepted name, we get the shame sign. How could we be so unfeeling to call someone an Indian when they are Native Americans. How can we mix up Oriental and Asian? Oops, did I just call a CD a record? When I say I talked to a gentleman on the phone, everyone knows I'm old. Or when I refer to a lady's "gentleman friend" instead of saying "boyfriend" they know I'm lavender and lace. If I think about what I'm going to say, I can utter the correct words, but it makes conversation "oh, so slow, and no fun at all." I'm getting a little better. I actually used the word "awesome" but I didn't like myself so I think I'll put that one back where I got it. My "bee's knee's" will still do just fine. It may even come into vogue again. Fat chance!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Said By Red Skelton in 1969. Strange How Things Have a Way of Coming True???

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Bloggy Friends. Time to give thanks. I am so thankful for my country and the opportunity it provides us to be successful. Let hope shine in our hearts that this glorious country will once again offer all the advantages I grew up with. Rejoice and be grateful on this day of celebration. Yeahhh America!!!!!

The video below was done by Red Skelton in 1969. How strange that things have a way of coming true.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Evening Was a Surprise

Hi Bloggy Friends. Around 7 PM I stretched out on the sofa with my kindle and a peaceful feeling. There was a blaze in my phony gas fireplace and a glass of fresh carrot juice beside me. The evening announced "quiet" and I wanted to become one with it. Such tranquility ..........

What seemed like the next moment, I opened my eyes and looked at the open kindle on my chest. OMG, I must have fallen asleep. Why am I on the sofa? What time is it? Ten PM? Impossible, I just laid down a minute ago. Am I in Oz or Kansas? Dang a foggy waking up. I'm still in Montana and Cody's sitting by the door, wanting out.

Surprise, surprise when I opened my door. The snow gods had visited and left 6 inches of fluff on the railing. That white stuff wasn't there when I laid down. It arrived in silence.

Cody pranced around the yard and nosed into one spot. "Now where did I leave that bone?"

The bird bath looked like the top of a big snow pie crust. My fluted edges are never that perfect. I will let Mother Nature make my pies from now on. What a glorious evening. The snow was perfect for making snow angels. I had the greatest urge. Should I???? I looked at my slippers and sleeveless tee. Nawww I'll dream that I did. Come Cody, let's go to bed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

American Emblem, the Eagle. Symbol of Strength and Freedom

I honor men and women who enter the field of service to protect our country. The two past wars that I was involved with are WW ll and the Korean War. The following wars I just sat on the side lines and listened to the news. No, my son was in the Marines during Viet Nam War so I had a personal concern there, too.

For three years I lived with people of the Islamic faith and there was a deep bond and harmonious relationship with many of them. I could never understand this so-called war. I screamed in protest when I first heard about it.
I know now how my Father must have felt when he was ordered to fight the Germans, the people of his people. My Father loved and believed in America, the Republic. He was a simple man of honor whose handshake was his bond. He put his life on the firing line for most of four years of WW ll but it was his destiny to return and live out his remaining years trying to make this a better country.

My Father was active in The VFW and American Legion. He got me into selling the poppy and Buddy Poppy on what was then Armistice Day. Do they still sell the poppies? I have no idea. But I do want to wave an American flag for all the service people and all the past veterans, alive or fallen. You are all heroes and I honor you. Yeahhh.... go America.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What's a Poor Dog To Do?

Incarceration Sucks

Boy, it really sucks. But it was even "suckier" when I was "do'n time in the" big house." you know, Humphry Bogart lingo. I don't even know why I was there. I try to be a good dog. Then this nice lady came and adopted me and she gives me great food, takes me for walks, and gives me treats. Then the old one called "Nana" says, "Don't give the dog so many treats. She's getting fat." But I like my treats. I wish Nana would keep her mouth shut but I hear that's the way it is with Nana's. I still have this fence but there's a grassy yard behind it. Oh, and I have lots of balls to play with, too. I love balls and my little fluffy toys.

P.S Maggie, a cocker, was adopted from a dog shelter by my daughter, Lisa. A smart, good little dog. Please friends, adopt and spay your pets. These little innocent angels are at our mercy. Make a dog your responsibility, only if it's volunteering to walk a shelter dog once a week. They're worth it and you'll be loved unconditionally.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Like Water For Chocolate

Vibrational cooking or "how to get your man."

Cooking is such a powerful art that it’s actually scary when you give it your entire thoughts. The cook’s emotions are transferred into the food and those emotions are then, in turn, sent into the person eating the food. This process can be totally unintentional. It’s especially scary for people who eat in restaurants. Maybe the food is being prepared by a disgruntled chef who hates his wife or maybe your own wife is angry at the time she prepared your dinner.

I was Macrobiotic for 30 years and many times I recall Avelyn Kushi telling us that the Mother of a family, as food preparer had complete responsibility for the health and emotions of the entire family. Avelyn, being Japanese and speaking limited English, I never fully understood. I knew about the health part but not the emotions until I saw the movie "Like Water For Chocolate." Then I began reading more about vibrational cooking and I realized Avelyn was giving us supreme information.

I remembered the old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” If you aren’t familar with the movie, it’s a Mexican movie, made in 1992. It won a multitude of awards. These pictures are from my copy, an old VHS. Every so often I dig it out from a box in the garage and renew my love affair with the movie’s characters.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm Thinking of Gratitude This Morning

Howdy Bloggy Friends,

I'm sitting at my new monitor with my overly-generous green drink. (Got a little carried away this morning with the green leafy stuff). I am extremely grateful for my life. I have everything I want or need. That means, my wants are fairly simple. I surround myself with furniture and objects that add only to my comfort. I've never been one for style, design or "what's in."

I turned my garage into a studio with a floating maple dance floor that I designed myself. This was not a "want," but a need. I have always needed to dance. I tell my students to put the music inside of them and the result will come out in the form of dance. It's absolutely amazing what music will do in your life. I am so grateful for good knees, a strong body and hips that still move in any direction!!!!!! Dancing may not be your passion but be grateful for whatever it is. Grab hold of your passion and embrace it. In the end, it's what really matters.

My daughter found the following video on YT. This woman is 107 and still follows her passion.

P.S. During the day hours, when many people are online, this has some pauses. When I watched the video in the evening, it was perfect and it really is worth watching. :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Everybody Loves Marilyn

Howdy bloggy friends and Happy Halloween. Today's the day for spooks, witches, gobblins, bats, ghosts, trick or treating and BLACK MAGIC.

Speaking of Black Magic, below is a clip of Marilyn Monroe singing same from movie BUS STOP. Remember the scene in the honky tonk where Marilyn is a floozy singer but she calls herself a "Chan too ze." This is before everybody gets on the bus that gets stranded in a blizzard.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

People Aways Say, If I Won The Lottery, I'd....Bla, Bla, Bla But Seriously, I'd Have a Chauffeur. Driving is My Buggaboo.

Do you know what this is? I didn't either. It's an icon light that came on in the dashboard of my car. Yikes, I've never seen this before. I'm driving to the store and suddenly I become very nervous. I don't speak icon. What is it trying to tell me? Leaking oil? There's a bomb under the hood? As soon as I get to the parking lot, I dig out the car manual. Oh, I hate these things. I find that little "Power to the People" sign. It means low tire pressure. I just got new tires a few days ago and they look OK to me. Dang, this means a wasted trip back to the tire store.

People love their autos. They clean, fluff and buff them. I never see a dirty car on the street. That tells me something. A car wash is a good business to own. So it's back to the tire store for some answers.

Answers I got. I usually get more information than I really want to know. The tire mechanic showed me a small bulb-like thing that was attached to the air tube (the thingy you put the air in) that was inside the tire. The bulb thing is sensitive, he explained, (big deal, so am I) and will set off the icon even with a small fluctuation in pressure. The way to reset it so the icon light will go off is to drive over 35 mph for at least 10 minutes. Fooey. That would be a highway drive and I live a few blocks from the tire store. So as this story ends, I'm still driving around with the icon light annoying me.

But all kidding aside, if I won the lottery, I'd have a full time chauffeur. Drive me here, drive me there. Ahhhh what luxury that would be. What would you do if you won big lottery millions?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where Did Piss Poor Come From?

Where did Piss Poor come from?

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families
Used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken &
Sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive
You were "Piss Poor"

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't
Even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to
Piss in" & were the lowest of the low

The next time you are washing your hands and complain
Because the water temperature isn't just how you like it,
Think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about
The 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their
Yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by
June. However, since they were starting to smell . ..... .
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man
Of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then
All the other sons and men, then the women and finally the
Children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so
Dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the
Saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no
Wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get
Warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs)
Lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and
Sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof...
Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the
House. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs
And other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence,
A bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top
Afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other
Than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had
Slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet,
So they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their
Footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until,
When you opened the door, it would all start slipping
Outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big
Kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit
The fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly
Vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the
Stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold
Overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew
Had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence
The rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas
Porridge in the pot nine days old. Sometimes they could
Obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When
Visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show
Off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home
The bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests
And would all sit around and chew the fat.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt
Bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests
Got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination
Would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and
Prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen
Table for a couple of days and the family would gather
Around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake
up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running
out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins
and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the
grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins
were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they
realized they had been burying people alive. So they would
tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the
coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night
(the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone
could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rapscallions At The Park

Sunday at the park. Cody's plumb tuckered out after catching the Frisbee twenty times. This particular park doesn't allow dogs off leash, but every dog is. Therefore, owners are ever vigilant, keeping an eye out for the Pet Fuzz. I had just put Cody in the car and the little pet-mobile with the incarceration crates on the sides, drove into the park. Suddenly every dog was leashed and Cody looking out the back car window. Whewww, out-smarted the Fuzz again!!!

I wandered over to the climbing rock. These rocks are plentiful in the parks because rock climbing is a favorite sport with the young people. They practice on these big simulated chunks of cement for the real thing.

Bozeman is a college town and a lot of the kids take advantage of what the seasonal mountains have to offer. Big ski town in the winter, biking, rock climbing, running, and hiking in the summer. They use these climbing rocks to develop strength and endurance.

I've always said the Bozeman kids have a special athletic look about them. It's kind of a tanned, rugged look where energy reigns supreme.

They wear special shoes that grip the rock. They also carry a little bag from their waist of what? I should have asked. Some kind of powder to put on their fingers. I'd need to put "super-glue" in my little climbing pouch. Only way I'd feel safe, hanging there, super-glued to the rock!!!!

And then we have the fearless very young climber. Barefoot, no pouch and away he goes. This little tow-head was up and down that rock like a fly. They start em young in Montana.

Fuzz gone. Time to get back to Cody and give her a few more Frisbee tosses now that they won't be back for several hours. Off with the leashes. Are we being illegal? We all pick up poop after our dogs and I've never seen a dog there that wasn't voice control trained and they all have a license. Oh well, yes, it is illegal but the park's so huge and a cow dog just can't get enough exercise on a leash. Excuses, excuses.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Love Story, This Time Chile

For not being a regular TV watcher, I can get hooked on real rescue things. Anyone else stay up all night watching the rescue of the Chile miners? Remember the little girl who fell in the well? (years ago) I didn't sleep for days on that one.

Report says there is one miner who has both a wife and a mistress, which is not at all uncommon for that part of the world. Reporters were wondering which one, wife or mistress, would be there to greet him as he emerged from the mine. They had asked the wife and she said, "She (mistress) can be there!" Oops. A psychologist wondered what will happen if the mistress is waiting and the miner comes out and says he's had an epiphany and will never cheat on his wife again. Wife may say, "Too late." He is still underground at this point of writing. Could be better for him if he stayed there!!!!!!!!

I have a Chile story. Kind of a romantic story. Seems like I've written about this subject lately but blame it on the stars. Or blame it on my time of birth. I have Scorpio rising. That rules your whole being, while dominating the entire personality. A woman with strong Scorpio is usually a "man magnet." (Carol, I know you are Scorpio Sun!) No way does it mean the Scorpio is a loose woman! Contraire, Mon Cherie! Once the Scorpio finds her man, she's truer than the true! It's just that she may have "more" to choose from.

I was divorced from the full blown Narcissist, dancing a lot of Flamenco with a troupe and working on a degree at the U of MN. A handsome hunk from Chile, Abellardo, was teaching at the U and closely followed our group. Did I say handsome? OMG he was beyond that. Have you ever met a man so devastatingly erotically sexy handsome that your breath stopped at your belly button and you couldn't breath? Abellardo. Every woman was after him but for some strange reason he wanted me. Blame it on Scorpio. I could gaze at him forever, but beyond that, I wasn't particularly attracted to him, but what the heck, I'd have a go a it, especially since every woman wanted him!!!!

WOW. We had one fine whirlwind year!!!!! It was a busy year for me and I'm happy to add it in my memory box. I kinda wore him like a little trophy and was the envy of women. South American men are sooooo attentive. He treated me like a precious, delicate flower. He wouldn't even allow me to put on my own boots (winter in Minnesota) but I have to admit that some of his solicitous hovering, I found slightly American smothering.

Then one day he announced he had to return to Chile to see his family but he'd return in two weeks. Nothing unusual about that so I took him to the airport, said good-by and watched his plane fade into a teeny speck. He called often and sent several tourist post cards.

Shortly after two weeks, he called and said he was back. Strange, he hadn't asked me to pick him up. Said he wanted to see me right away. I agreed but continued to ask him about his trip.

"What did you do in Chile?"

"Oh, I got married."

"What????" I couldn't believe my ears. "Did you say married?"

"That won't change anything for us. My father arranged it. I had to get married for my family."

OMG!!!!! A small cultural clash!

"But I don't love her. I love you."

"You will learn to love her. Good-by."

Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. He stopped hanging with the Flamenco group and later, I heard he had returned to Chile. I wasn't heart broken but I'll tell you a secret. Gather all the good experiences available to your life because later on, in your twilight years, they make mighty good memory candy. Put on "The Girl from Ipanema" and bask in reverie.
Adios Amigo

Friday, October 8, 2010

Love at the Quick Lube, Well Almost

I've known some "gear head" women who love to change their own oil. Yuck. I just drive a car. I don't ever want to know what's under the hood.

It's oil change time by the little sticker on the wind shield. That nasty time-waster job of leaving the car in line at the Quick Lube, sitting on dirty vinyl and chrome chairs in a waiting room that smells of motor oil and reading greasy "Mechanics Magazines."

I threw on a pair of jeans, a sweater and no make-up. I'd match the dreariness of the job. I just wanted to get it over with.

Good. Only one car ahead of me. I went inside and settled into the lumpy archaic chair with my kindle that I remembered to grab. Soon, I was absorbed in "High Heat" and oblivious of the surroundings.

I heard a man's voice from a couple of chairs down, ask, "Aren't you Manzanita?"

Oh crap, just my luck to run into someone I know when I leave the house without make-up. An 80 year old without a hint of make-up is not something you want to see outside of a nursing home. I looked up from my kindle into the handsome face of Leon, one of the best ballroom dancers in the area. Double Crap. No wonder he had to ask if it was me. Ballroom dancing calls for lots of make-up and a filmy swishy dress. That was how he'd always seen me.

We chatted and I got caught up on the ballroom news. I had dropped out of social dancing due to lack of a partner. Leon is not only a handsome older man, but a gentleman of the old school. We always danced when Sharon, his dance partner was out of town.

I know you're reading faster and with anticipation. Is this going to be the beginning of a twilight, passionate love affair for Manzi? Well, is it? Hate to disappoint you but no zinging Cupid's arrows.

Oh, but he did say, "Sharon's leaving for Arizona for the winter. How about being my dance partner?"

My car was ready. I said, "Sure, give me a call."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One Good Find Deserves A Home

Lately I've been annoyed with clutter. I sorted through drawers, closets and furniture, dragging out items I haven't used in a while. If I thought about it too long, I might put it back, so into the throw-away pile it all went. My grand intention was to have a garage sale. This replica of an old phonograph was on the pile. It plays old phonograph records, Cd's and the little tapes. Why am I hanging onto this white elephant? Who listens to records, although I had a stack of old dance records, too.

Then I went into the shed and began tossing out with a vengeance. Whoa.... look-eee here. An old wooden phonograph stand. Perfect fit for the phonograph because that's what they were made for. Duh...Manzanita. It had dividers on the bottom where you can stack records and a shelf above that. It's been stored in the shed just about forever and it was something I recall dragging home from an estate sale long ago. You know those items you can't live without!

I dusted up the phono stand and put it in the corner of my study. As I removed the phonograph from the throw-away pile, I kept saying, "Don't do this," but I never listened. Then I salvaged the stack of records and put it all together. WOW....... What a neat find and I didn't even have to leave the house. And here's the best part. I called a church that was having a garage sale and they came with a big truck and took my whole pile.

Here is a very short clip if you would like to hear what it sounds like. It's "Desafinado" by Antonio Carlos Jobim. I like it and dopey me, it was within an eyelash of being on the church truck.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Farm Party

Since I rarely come out of my mushroom cave, I suppose everyone in the world has heard of a Farm Party. Ho Hum, I'm always the last to know.

It's Saturday again and my weekly conversation with my Granddaughter. Today she is working on the national program where people turn in their old prescription drugs.

She mentioned that kids have Farm parties. I thought. "Oh that's a nice rural thing to do."

But then she said, "That's spelled "Pharm" not "Farm"..... you know, from pharmaceutical. Each kid has to bring a bottle of prescription drugs and dump them into a big bowl to share with everyone."

Were my antiquated body cells shocked over this? No. I guess if kids are taught at home it's OK to take drugs, that's what they'll do. But what I am wondering is, at what point did kids begin to lose respect for their bodies.

I have a joking type personality. I worked my way through serious, found my soul and now I can laugh and concentrate on the humor in life. BUT I'm going to turn serious for the moment. Your soul, this beautiful nebulous thing that is your passkey for eternal life (or whatever spiritual belief you follow) lives inside of the skeletal mass of bones you call a body. When, in the past 50 years, have parents shed their responsibility of teaching their offspring the importance of keeping this temple pure? Instead, it appears that kids have been taught to give it no more respect than they would for a city dump.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the delicate tick tick of all your body organs when they are in sync with one another. If a little book of instructions (like the laundry care tag that comes inside of sweaters) came with each baby, it would say, "Caution, chemicals are harmful to this body." Kids have to be told they shouldn't take drugs. I remember a friend's little boy was a bed wetter. He stayed with another little kid one night and the mother told the boys good night and they shouldn't wet the bed. In the morning, the bed wetter hadn't wet the bed. The mother of the bed wetter was shocked and asked her son why he didn't wet the bed. He answered that no one had ever told him not to. In her permissive child rearing, she had forgotten to tell him that bed wetting wasn't the thing to do. This is a true story.

Some of you have kids, some of you don't, but they are the future of this country, of the world in fact and how do you feel about this drug problem that young kids have?

P.S. The old drawing above is the "Farm" where I grew up.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Saturday morning the phone rang. It was my Granddaughter's weekend call.

"Do you want to go shopping today?"

I really didn't want to. I'd rather have a go at climbing Mt. Everest than go shopping but because Grandmother's never say no, I answered, "Sure."

Why have I become such a "I hate shopping freak?" Is it because I've seen it all? What can they do to hemlines? Raise them, lower them. Bell-bottoms or skinny leg pants? Just don't bring back corsets. Well that may have been a little before my time, but I got in on the girdles. What a pain in the butt they were and certainly there is a pun intended. My idea of shopping, now, is rummaging through my daughter's Goodwill bags. She buys expensive clothes and they fit. Shopping finished. (And they're free)

Unfortunately, our feet are not the same size so when Ashly asked me what I would shop for today, I said, "Boots."

Our first stop was at a store where college kids shop. I took out my camera and Ashly asked, "Are you blogging?" Oh Oh, busted. She's extremely photogenic but also very camera shy so I didn't want to push it, but I did manage to catch her reflection in a mirror.

"Do you have your pile ready to try on?"

"I don't have a pile. You go ahead to the changing room and I'll look at the boots and shoes."

I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think do.

Now here's a good hiking boot.

Shopping's hard work and burns the calories so we stopped at the Community Co-op (or Health Food Store) for lunch. Ashly gets to pick the stores for shopping but I choose where we eat. It's the only place that has organic food. We managed to hit a couple more stores after lunch.

I did find some boots in Costco. Two pair in fact. The white boots have a warm fuzzy lining and I also got a pair of rubber boots for mucking around in the slush. We ended up our shopping trip in a store called "The Barn." There I found the above puffy down-filled jacket. I already have a closet full of down jackets but what the heck, it's Montana and you can always use another jacket and I won't have to think about shopping for another year.
Adios Amigo

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Mundane into Creativity

Don't we all have our little morning routine? Cody begins pacing at 5 AM and I'm ready to get up anyway. The moment she sees me slip my feet into my slippers, she does her little happy dance in circles and softly growls. Oh boy, food's coming!

When I think about it, I hate to be so predictable, but I am. There's nothing more boring than lord-knows, predictability.

Go in the kitchen, turn on Fox TV news, start to prepare Cody's food while her eyes follow my every move. Zap out my OJ on the Citrus Mate,
let Cody outside with a raw bone, prepare my oatmeal and the green drink. Should I put some zing in my routine and make the green drink first? Nawww, that would make my OJ taste funny. So much for zing. OK leave my routine as is.

I half listen to the news, Christine O'Donnell hung around witches in high school.... big deal!

BUT THEN ...... this thing with Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan appears as if it's some big news flash. They both did time in prison and again they're caught with hard drugs. Why are they news worthy? Shrug. I have a lot of theories but too boring to go into right now.

I'm thinking of adding kids Flamenco classes. That's now occupying my mind and I can't waste time on how other children repeatedly waste their lives, especially when they have been given so many gifts.

I'm completely purging my life of dead-wood. Half my living room went to a church garage sale. The room now echos. Needs a few rugs. Yesterday I took another carload to a thrift store and one more load to the dump. The oriental philosophy of less being more is freeing.

I flipped off the TV and turned on a Tangos de Malaga CD. As I settled into my Flamenco passion, the concerns of the mundane evaporated. Free house, free mind and free body. What an amazing change, going from Vanilla Pudding to Creativity. Try it. You'll be surprised.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ya Know Leadbelly, Bill Bloonsey

How about a trip down Boogie Woogie's Memory Lane. (That's Half Past Old and parallel to Outta Shape) Don't worry. I'm not going to be dancing. Found a couple of kids on You Tube, shown at the bottom of the post.
It was around 1943. The war was going on, hot and heavy. My Father was in the Navy, stationed out of Norfolk, Va. It seemed as if every ship in the Navy was stationed at Norfolk and the town was jam packed with wives and kids. Housing was an impossible situation.

Mrs. Powell, a wizened little woman who wore her long cotton stockings rolled at her ankles, supported herself by giving music lessons and renting out rooms of her old Victorian mansion. We thought we had hit on a stroke of luck because she not only rented us 2 big rooms but let us use her kitchen. I was in the 7th grade and she said I needed proper nourishment. That meant grits every morning. Oh well. But there were some great perks. Eventually we became like one family and she and my mother went into business together stretching lace curtains. That's right, lace curtains were the vogue and most housewives were afraid to wash them. So my Mother and Mrs. Powell took in curtains, you might say. It was good for my Mother because my Father was on his ship fighting the war much of the time.

Mrs. Powell's piano students hung around the big old dining room with the grand piano even when they didn't have lessons. Her favorite student was David, a skinny eighteen year old with a crooked spine, unpopular with the girls, but in demand for his piano talent. David became a part of the Madison Street family of sailors and wives. OMG we danced Boogie Woogie on that old wood floor with poodle skirts flying and saddle shoes hitting the floor. I could hardly wait until school was over so I could rush home where there was always music and dancing going on.

It wasn't all happy happy because we were smack dab in the middle of a war, but that's a downer right now and I'd rather you take a peek at the Boogie Woogie dancers. It was so much fun..... still is, only I puff now when I dance it.

Anybody else old enough to remember Boogie Woogie?

Monday, September 13, 2010

What is a Feedlot?

What is a "feedlot?" It is pretty much as the word implies. It's a confinement area where cattle are fattened up for market. Those eye-catching red steaks with the white marbled veins of fat, attractive in plastic wrap in the supermarket are from the premium feedlot cattle.

Montana cattle operations are either grazing or feedlot with feedlot production giving the rancher more bang to the buck. Those of you who are drawn to a pastoral setting of greenery with cattle grazing would be sickened by the inhumane crowded dusty dung-filled areas called feedlots.

Packed in such a small area without being able to turn around, you can hear the distress and fear of the cattle by their constant bellowing. As soon as new cattle are bought at auction, they are de-horned, vaccinated, branded, and castrated. Since the rancher can't vaccinate against all diseases, antibiotics are added to all the food. These antibiotics lose their effectiveness with the overcrowding so stronger drugs are added each month, many of which are dangerous to human health.

What do you get in a cattle pen with each animal producing 25 pounds of manure a day? Flies. Lots of flies. Is there a cure for flies? Sure, large clouds of insecticide sprayed over everything, meaning the cattle's feed and water and in turn drifting to the trees and adjoining crops. The deadly chemical lays on the backs of the cattle and passes through the skin into the tissues that eventually land on your dinner plate.

For faster growth, hormones are either injected or added to the feed. One hormone was DES that was eventually banned by the government as being carcinogenic to humans. But, ranchers stockpile their chemicals and drugs so they are using them years after they may be banned.

Are there laws to protect the consumer against the deadly crimes of putting chemically-laced meat on your table. Of course, there are laws but who is to stand over ranchers and enforce them when the dollar-incentive is their guiding light.

Next time you see that red steak in the meat department, think about this. And by the way, steaks are not naturally "that" red either. Just another cheap carny trick.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is Your Life A Song?

Is your life a song? Is it a scintillating, soul grabbing, emotion retching, gut crying story? Would I dance it, wallow in it, and slurp it up like a smoothie? I just realized my own life is pathetic. How do I know? Here's what happened Saturday morning.

My Granddaughter and I were having our usual little week end chat on the phone with me learning more than I need to know about the loves and flirtations of the young single life.

Especially when she started out with, "Do you know where I spent last night?"

Big alert for the Nana. "No and I don't think I want to."

"It was with Sam."

Sam was the guy the whole family approved of. (Do you think that could trigger a rebellious break-up?) We covered the details but it wasn't at all the shocking scandal you might expect.

We finished our conversation, hung up and I started my morning green drink. I gulped down the drink (shouldn't do that, bad for digestion) and quickly washed the parts of the juicer. I had just finished cleaning the kitchen when my Granddaughter's phone-ring sounded again. I picked up the phone, thinking she had forgotten to tell me more of the Sam story.

She was breathless. "I just wrote a song about you."

"Aaaaaah." I didn't know what to say. It had been fifteen minutes (at the very most) since we talked and no song. Fifteen minutes later, how could she have a song? But, I swear she did. She put the speaker phone down and sang (with guitar) three verses, plus chorus, a song about her Grandmaw. Holy Moly, I was shocked. Songs come to her as a vision, in a flash. The song had a foot-stomp'n, old-tymey waltzey melody with words that would tweak your heart strings into a quivering mass of emotional tears.

OMG..... that's me. That's my pathetic life. I'm a loser. I blew it. I wasted what little talent I had. The chorus was a real dancey beat, repeating"Twirl on, twirl on." The verses told of my Grandpaw who played the fiddle as I danced and my yearning to be a dancer, go to NY and be a star but instead, the babies came and by this time, I'm sobbing for the girl in the song and what a dumb jerk she was.

But I liked it. I more than liked it. It had that hit tune quality that stuck in my head long after we got off the phone. She said her song inspiration had been looking at the old fiddle of my Grandfather's that I had recently passed onto her. I told her I remembered going out in the barn with him and grabbing some hair from the horses tail for his fiddle bow. Oh, that was in the song too. My life in three verses!

But would I change it? Nawww. Not a teeny bit of it, pathetic as it sounds in song. I still danced, though never a star. The picture above was Flamenco in my early 20's. I'm in the middle.

Imagine your life in song. It's actually fun.