Monday, October 8, 2012

Not So Funny

Some things are funny, and some things aren't. This is a story of something you might think to be funny, but really is not funny at all. It all started on a foggy fall morning in Orville. The hamsters in Kevin's room had already shredded their days' worth of toilet paper and were working on their breakfast of multicolored nuggets. Orville is not a big town, but it has its share of big events that the town's people look forward to every year. One of these events is the annual Pumpkin Festival. For whatever reason, this morning the pumpkin shaped alarm clock next to Kevin's bed not only didn't ring for the daily morning wake up time; it apparently had made its last tick at around 11:46 pm. Not a good time for this timepiece to bite the dust. Kevin needed that early morning start on his entry for the pumpkin pie contest. His pie had to be perfect, it had to be fresh, and it had to be on the judges table by 11:30 am. If it wasn't for Lulu and Ollie getting into a throw down scrapping fight over who knows what, Kevin wouldn't have woken up at all. "Ah, no!" Kevin screamed as his eyes focused in on the dead clock. All he could do was throw on his clothes from the day before and rush downstairs to get the oven heating up for pie time.  There was no time for a shower or even to brush his teeth. Just so as not to ruin his chances of offending the judges with morning breath, he grabbed the bag of peppermints from his mother's secret stash behind the sewing machine and stuffed them into his pocket. "Of all days for her to leave so early," Kevin thought to himself.  But Mrs. Agnew came down with a gall bladder attack the night before and someone had to teach the Momma's Little Mermaids swim class down at the community center.  

You might think that entering a pumpkin pie contest is a bit odd for a thirteen year old boy. But Kevin is not your ordinary boy.  He knew what he wanted in life, and football or brutal video games did not make his list of what he considered fun. His infatuation for anything pumpkin seemed to have started one Halloween when he was just four years old. The streets were full of kids in costume filling their pillow cases or plastic pumpkins with candy. But when Kevin came home, he dumped out all of his candy into the bathroom sink and slept with his empty plastic pumpkin positioned on a pillow at the foot of his bed. Up until that day anything pumpkin that was to have crossed his lips, would have been immediately spewed out with a spit and a grunt.  So when Kevin came down the next morning and announced that he wanted pumpkin pie for dessert that night; jaws dropped and the room went silent. "Okay, I'll make one today" said Kevin's mom as she watched her son react in delight with a grin from ear to ear.  

Over the years Kevin took an interest in everything pumpkin and excelled in his projects from growing the largest one to perfecting a pumpkin pie recipe that was the envy of the town's reigning pie queen Ms. Metzgar. To this day his love for anything pumpkin is a mystery, but for some reason that hard orange vegetable brings joy to that young man, and because some think it's funny, it has also brought a thick skin to that same boy because he refuses to let others rob him of his passion.  

If you're wondering what happened with the pie contest; that morning Kevin managed to whip together the world's best ever pumpkin pie and won by a landslide of accolades. The news of his winning pie spread across the land from one blog to another and finally reached the attention of the Libby's canned pumpkin company. They bought that pie recipe from him and with that, Kevin started a nest egg for his dream of opening a pie house at the edge of town. Nobody thinks he's funny now.   

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Place Where Time Stands Still

I would never have thought that there be such a place where time stands still; yet I think I have been there. Come to think of it, I think I have been there in the past before as well. Now I even question myself as to whether I am still there and all that has happened to me in life has just been a dream; I never actually left that place at all. Because today I found myself in that same place again where it felt like time stood still. Of course I am talking about the check out line at Michael’s craft store.

I don’t know what it is about the check out clerks at Michael’s, but every time I have had to endure that long line of waiting they always seem to take foreverrrrrrrrrrr.

To stay true to form, today was no different. After waiting for oh, I don’t know how long; I was finally the next in line. But that is when the forces of nature took over and time stopped dead, as the person in front of me dumps out about twelve items and two receipts with a request for a refund. The clerk proceeds to punch something into the cash register and begins to scan the items. What followed did not happen in real time, but seemed to be more in slow motion. The customer and the agent exchanged possible means of refunding the items by separating the products with the correlating receipts, but this was not to be the end of this return transaction. Next, the clerk dropped her chin in order to speak into the little microphone device attached to her lapel, and sends out the request to anyone in the store that could help her with these product returns. When there was no response she repeated the request with an additional plea for help because she had never actually done a return before. The manager finally did come, but his assistance was brief and minimal because I guess it was part of her initial training to work under pressure and figure these things out on her own. The customer was actually of more help than the manager and finally between the two of them they were successful.
Finally I was next. Before I knew it, the cosmic force of time took over and I found myself paying for my items with one dollar bills, nickels, and pennies. Again the phenomenon of time stopping was in play but this time the target was that of the next person in line.
The moral of this story is: If you plan on doing any shopping at Michael’s craft store, go ahead and prepare dinner for the evening using the crock pot. It will be done by the time you get home.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"P" is for Perfect

Don't ask me "why?" but for some reason I got to thinking about things in life that we are always in pursuit of for perfection. Here is a top ten list that came to my mind:

1) Pizza crust - I am always looking for the perfect pizza crust recipe

2) Profession - it always a good thing to find that perfect profession that you can shine in

3) Pillow - so far all of the pillows I have ever gotten from Costco just don't measure up

4) Phone - they make phones now that are much smarter than me

5) Pen - you know that if there is a choice of pens, either in a pen container on your desk or in the bottom of your purse, I will deliberately choose one over the others

6) Pourage - even the three bears were pursuing the perfect hot cereal

7) Purse - the perfect purse does not necessarily involve pursuit, but rather it finds you

8) Present - what do you get that person that has everything, or what do you get a teenager? Oh wait, there is a perfect present for

9) Pill - whether it is for an aching joint or an aching head, one is always looking for that perfect pill to reliever what ales you.

10) Paint - You have decided on a color to paint a room in your house. You go down to the hardware store to get the paint. But now you are faced with a wall full of little cards that have slight varying shades of color to choose from. You narrow it down to the card color that just keeps jumping out at you. But then after painting that color on your wall; it really isn't the tone you were hoping for. So you either live with it, or you go down to the store again and select yet another paint color to paint over what you thought was the perfect color in the first place.

 But when it comes right down to it; the ultimate "P" in your pursuit for the perfect whatever, will have everything to do with Y.O.U and you will know it when you find it.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Computer Games

Our computer is so slow.
How slow is it?
It is so slow, I do believe we have the Windows Jurassic Version.

Here are some fun computer games you can play while using your extremely slow computer:

1) Go make a cup of tea

2) Run a hot bath. Make sure that the water is hotter than desired so that by the time you have finished working on your computer it will be just the right temperature. I suggest that you also have a glass of wine while you are waiting. This is for if the bath water ends up cooling down too much; you will still feel relaxed and warm.

 3) Practice changing a tire

 4) Read the book War and Peace

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bee Murder Cold Case Re-opened

While on my walk today I suddenly noticed that a bee was following, and at times even circling me. I wondered why I was the target of this deliberate behavior. Then it dawned on me that this could very well be a special agent from the Bee Police on a hot lead stemming from a bee murder cold case involving me back in 1963 when I was six years old.
 After being stung by a bee at that time, with Mason jar in hand,  I proceeded to go out to the garden with the sole purpose of incarcerating as many bees as I could and sealing them in the jar. My thoughts were that I would eliminate all future threat of being stung by a bee again, or at least minimize the chances.
But as it is 49 years later, I have had no further criminal intent on annihilating the bee population. In my life I have come to realize that bees have a very definite and honorable purpose. Besides, I have lived in Canada for over five years now. With that in mind I didn't understand that this bee could think that there was any possibility of extraditing me, or the fact that at the time of the incident I was a minor, let alone after all these years the statute of limitations must be far expired to indite me now. It wasn't long until that bee must have realized these same facts and gave up on the chase.  But if by chance there is ever a bee in the car with me while I'm driving, it's either him or me and I will not hesitate to kill again. 

Child Labor

I don't understand the deal with child labor. We have my husband's teenage niece and her friend staying with us this summer for two weeks. Not ever having any children, I thought the idea of child labor would be of great help for getting some stuff done around the house. I guess I'm not doing it right.
First of all, I have noticed that it is a lot more expensive to buy groceries for teenagers than it is buying food for my dogs. Mind you, the selection for my dogs is only that of one kind of food, and I only feed them twice a day. But by comparison to kids, at least the dogs only use one dish.  
I am not one of them, but there are a lot of people that have never had children that like to put clothes on their dogs. Even then, the  amount of clothing for a dog is limited to one; maybe two sweaters.  If the dog were to somehow get the sweater off, it is still only one piece of clothing laying around the house to pick up, and definitely never any shoes, socks, or other unmentionables.
True, I do have to pick up after my dogs every day, and in light of that, I don't see any difference between dogs and teenagers; with the exception that I can legally lock my dogs up in one room to limit the amount of damage they may do while I'm gone. And maybe also that my dogs are of no help when it comes to programing my cell phone or downloading a file.

You would think that teenage children would be far more advanced in understanding and responding to verbal commands than dogs. I think one of the key differences here is the term "command" verses "request".  Either way, for the most part when I ask my dogs to "come" or "wait", they know what that means and will do as they are told. A dog's whole focus in life is to please you, where as teenagers generally don't focus at all at what you say to them unless it has to do with something that will personally please them. This is where I must be doing something wrong with this notion of using child labor. As I recall growing up, when my mother asked us kids to clean the house we did it. Not only did we do it, we were under high expectations to do our task at hand in a reasonable amount of time and the end result was to be sufficient if not excellent. We did not get paid for these chores; in turn we were fed, clothed, housed, and were allowed to watch TV.
If only there were a game app to program into the phone of a teenager that made it so that their only means of advancement is if they were to actually complete a task in the real world. The "parental control" must give approval upon completion of the given chore in order for their phone to continue to function. This might make a good modern day study similar to that of the research involving Pavlov's dogs. You see, dogs and children are similar. Although the whole electrical shock thing would probably be frowned on.
I guess it's probably a good thing that I never had any children; but I make a good aunt.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Late night dinner?

Last night I was out on the deck reading until I had to come in when the mosquitoes got too bad. This morning I woke up with bites on my leg. It all makes sense to me now. Just before I went inside I could have sworn I heard a small voice saying "Moe Skitto and family, table for three?"