What I want to say No to….

No nudity.  I no longer do public nudity.   Ok.  I never really did except the time in high school when my cousin and I were skinny dipping in her pool until we realized surveyors were on the hill opposite of us.  Oops.

No nescience.  What is nescience?  Duh – It is a lack of knowledge!  How ironic is it that you didn’t know?  No stress.  I didn’t know until I started searching N words.

No news.  I despise all the news channels.  I don’t get how the facts can be skewed.  There are facts and there are opinions.  One is fluid and one is not.  I am leery of people who only believe in one news network.

No nebulaphobia.  Well, I never really had the fear of fog.  Although I might have a bit of necrophobia (fear of corpses) and definitely want nothing to do with necrophagous (feeding on the dead).  

No numbers.  Mostly as it goes for polls.  Polls can be easily interrupted in a variety of ways.  There are a plethora of variants.  6 of 10 people could be asked if the sky is blue and they answer no.  Are they wrong?  Perhaps they are very specific people and they happened to be asked the question at night?  Technically they would be right.  At night the sky is not blue.  A great book on this is Freakonomics and I’m not just saying that because my cousin is one of the producers of the movie.  

No more No.  I realized that whenever my hubby asked me something I tend to always say no.  No, I don’t like that statue on the island.  No, I don’t want to cook you dinner.  No, I have a headache.  So a few months ago I made the commitment to no longer say no – at least not right away.  Now I either quietly contemplate or say yes.  Please note – I am not stupid – I didn’t tell hubby about this!   Power can corrupt even the kindest of folks.

No nihilism.  I may be skeptical but I will not deny all reality.

No negativity.  This is really hard for me!!  Infertility has taken quite a bit of my positivity.  I’m trying to be less negative every day.  I usually feel but each morning I try again.

No nannies.  After seeing The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, I will never have a nanny.  I might possibly have a  sitter who has been completely vetted and followed by a barrage of nanny cams.

No nagging – I don’t nag.  I’m not a perfect wife but I am careful not to nag.

No niramiai – Which is a period of stamping and glaring to cow your sumo opponent.  Despite my physique, I am not a sumo opponent.

Mastering Motivation

Or more precisely how do you master motivation?  I was searching the dusty cobwebs of my brain in search of an M word.  This challenge has been particularly (ahem) challenging this week. I thought “I need to find some motivation”.  What!  Motivation starts with M.  Wow, I’m a genius!  I pondered on what motivates me.  I quickly concluded that I’m a complete and utter failure in the world of motivation.  Try as I might I am more likely on a daily basis to find time to play farmville than I am to complete something on my to do list or to workout.  Which gave me the thought – What would motivate me?

1.  MacBeth?  Or more specifically the curse of MacBeth.  Would the idea of being cursed for the rest of my life be motivation enough for me clean the toilet more frequently?  Would the thought of three cackling witches boiling and toiling in my life be motivation for me to make my awesome lentil soup instead of saying yes to hubby when he wants to eat out?

2.  Michelangelo – He once said, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”  Ok.  This isn’t motivation as much as validation.  Yes, I’m afraid of success just as much as I am afraid of failure.  How the hades is that supposed to motivate me?  

3.  Make-believe – It is said to fake it until you make it.  Is this the reason some women squeeze themselves into clothes way too small for them?  They are pretending they are smaller than they are until they either lose enough weight to actually fit into them or the clothing bursts open causing a scene on the subway and ignite a youtube sensation.  

4.  Moose/Mousse – Perhaps if a moose was chasing me I would be motivated to move more.  Or if I was chasing a chocolate mousse.  Unless the moose was Bullwinkle and then I would let him catch me so I could hang out with him and Rocky.  As for the mousse I really don’t need the mousse because it would just go straight to my hips.  

5.  Mannequin – The creepy empty plastic body that peers at me coveting my brain.  Or the 80’s movie that introduced me to Meshach Taylor.  Perhaps they are both just distractions and therefore neither helpful to my motivation.  

6.  More – I need more ideas to find motivation…

Macaroni – A trip to eat macaroni in Italy like Ms. Gilbert but again the whole straight to my thighs thing. 
Muse – Who could be my muse?  Someone from the cast of Jersey Shore?
Music – Must find a song that motivates me.  Currently The Ting Ting’s “That’s Not My Name” isn’t doing the job.
Mockery – If I already disparage myself, it just makes me feel worse when someone else does it.  Then I eat a pie.  Not helpful.
Madhouse – While one would think the threat of having to go into a madhouse would be a motivator, I often think how freeing it would to eat jello all day and stare at the wall until arts and crafts time. 
Magazine – Another article on how to please my man or the ten ways to pop a pimple don’t really push me to higher goals.  
Malt whiskey – May not be motivating but is certainly enjoyable.  

How about you?  What motivates you?  What distracts you?  I need help.  I have no self-motivation!!

Lens Laughter – A to Z Challenge

A friend and I were talking last year about how her father-in-law is such a stick in the mud that he won’t even take a silly picture.  I was shocked!  What!  All I do is take silly pictures.  Well, I try anyway.  I like to look at the pictures and laugh.  That is what makes pictures fun, right?  You want to remember the good times.  Even the picture of my ex-boyfriend in which I used a sharpie to give him a small mustache and disembodied head makes me laugh.  Here are a few of my favorite tips for producing a picture for laughs:

1.  Practice makes perfect.  You may not get the right message right away even if it is a great location.  Keep trying.

This is ok but it doesn’t completely work.
Now it just looks like I’m trying to take her from behind.  Not a great look for either one of us.
This one is fun.  It might have been funnier if one of us was touching the other’s butt so we had a butt train.  
This is my favorite.  Not the funniest but the most arty in my opinion.

2.  Statues rock!

Why just stand beside it when you can imitate it? 

3.  Occasionally what goes wrong is what is right.  These feature my hubby behind and in front of the camera.  As you can tell from the photos he doesn’t ever listen to me!

I said to act as if we were immigrates on the old ship but he thought I said act like the psychotic immigrate who had to leave his former country by being forced on the ship by the law enforcement of his former country.
Then we were on a ghost tour later that night and there was supposedly ghosts photographed in that corner behind us.  I said to act like we were scared of the ghost behind us.  He thought I said act as if you were the ghost of a psychotic immigrate.  
This photo drives me nuts.  I told him to line it up so it looked like I held the eye in my hand.  He failed.  

4.  Pay attention to your environment.

I backed up to take a picture of an aunt, uncle and cousin at a family reunion.  Later I said their handicap was they didn’t have any hands.  They said they were waiting for the short bus to pick me up.  
I was taking photos at the same reunion with my cousins.  It wasn’t until I was checking them out later that I found my aunt poking her head into the background of many of my photos.  We laughed so hard later looking for Louisa as we went through the photos.  

5.  A good caption will make an ordinary photo funny.

I love catching wild cranes in their natural habitat. 
Your turn!  This is a photo of me and several of my cousins.  I’m in the middle and I’m pissed off.  The twins and just got back from Germany on Army leave.  I got the book Around the World in 80 Days but my cousin got a book about a princess.  I am, if nothing else, a tortured soul.  Give it your best shot.  How would you caption this photo in a way to make others laugh?  

K Day O Kay?

As I thought about K words, I began to gain some knowledge.  Many of the K words hold the Key to my heart.   Kitten.  Kite.  Kiss.  Kangaroo. Kafka.  Kansas.  Karaoke.  Keepsake.  Keg.  Kelp.  Kettle.  Kat.(BFF)  Kiwi.   Kidney Beans.   Kilt.  Kindness.  Kin.  Kitchen.  Knapsack.  Knitting.  Koala.  Kudos.

Although there are a few really bad K words.
Kale.  Kudzu.  Killing. Knocked up(because I can’t manage to get in this condition).

I’m in a really lazy mood today.  I’ve really thought about each post and I’ve never posted so many days in a row.  It is a ton of work!

My aunt loves these trees.  They kind of look like they are kissing.  

Just Junebug’s 10 on Tuesday

Still combining A to Z with The Chronicles of Marla‘s 10 on Tuesday blog hop.

1.  Joy –  How lucky am I that none of the hard letters fall on Tuesday?  I won’t have to come up with 10 Z words!

2. Jaded – Shoe shopping with hubby is awful!  He is extremely picky and impatient.  So this weekend after four stores and several hours I was one jaded witch.  I started gnawing at my nails and nipping at his heels.  He had to appease me with a burger and fries before I would enter store five.  Does that make me less of a woman?

3. Jillion – Wow!  With all the new blogs in my reader I have over 500 unread posts! I think that officially counts as a jillion.  I’m becoming frightened.

4. Jubilant – We finally finished our taxes yesterday!  I’m not happy about them or that I have to do them but I’m jubilant it is over!

5. Journal – I love my journals especially my travel journals.

6. Judgmental – Everyone is judgmental.  It might not be spoken but it is there.  It might be as simple as which candy bar is better than another but it is there.  It could be whether or not this is a could post but it is there.  Everyone is judgmental.

7. J. Christophers – We love to eat at J. Christophers before or after church.  It is half a block away and makes for a nice walk around Savannah.  Plus, it is yummy.

8.  Jilted – My company didn’t come last week.  However, it was for good reason.  Keep praying for my friend and her husband.  He is suffering from cancer.

9. Jalopy – One of my favorite J words!  I first learned it from the Archie Comics.  I love how it rolls of the tongue.  

10.  Jokes – Who doesn’t love a great joke?  Dirty joke?  Simple joke?  Or what my high school boyfriend’s brother called Hammer Hammer jokes?  Never heard of a Hammer Hammer joke?

The example of a Hammer Hammer joke:
What did the polar bear say to the Eskimo?
Is that my typewriter?
You see the point of a Hammer Hammer joke is there is no point.  Get it?
Here are some other jokes to make up for it.

What makes men chase women they have no intention of marrying? The same urge that makes dogs chase cars they have no intention of driving. 

A mother and her son were flying “Southwest Airlines” from Kansas to Chicago. The son (who had been looking out the window) turned to his mother and said, “If big dogs have baby dogs and big cats have baby cats, why don’t big planes have baby planes?”
The mother (who couldn’t think of an answer) told her son to ask the stewardess. So the boy asked the stewardess, “If big dogs have baby dogs and big cats have baby cats, why don’t big planes have baby planes?”
The stewardess asked, “Did your mother tell you to ask me?” He said that his mother had. So the stewardess said, “Tell your mother that Southwest always pulls out on time.” 

The family wheeled Grandma out on the lawn, in her wheelchair, where the activities for her 100th birthday were taking place. Grandma couldn’t speak very well, but she could write notes when she needed to communicate. After a short time out on the lawn, Grandma started leaning off to the right, so some family members grabbed her, straightened her up, and stuffed pillows on her right.
A short time later, she started leaning off to her left, so again the family grabbed her and stuffed pillows on her left. Soon she started leaning forward, so the family members again grabbed her, then tied a pillowcase around her waist to hold her up.
A nephew who arrived late came running up to Grandma and said, “Hi Grandma, you’re looking good! How are they treating you?”
Grandma took out her little notepad and slowly wrote a note to the nephew, “They won’t let me fart.” 

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.” Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.” “What does that tell you?” Holmes asked. Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?” Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. “Watson, you idiot. Somebody has stolen our tent!” 

Is Ignorance Bliss?

For the letter I, I have chosen Ignorance.  It is a word I like.  Most people see it as having a negative cogitation but I see nothing wrong with admitting you don’t know something.  I find that a more redeemable trait than obstinateness to staying ignorant just so others don’t know you are actually ignorant.  People like to use it as an insult.  I find that a shame.  In doing so, they cause more problems than if we would embrace helping each other to grow.  Besides, half the time someone teases me about being ignorant in fact they don’t actually know themselves.  They are just trying to make themselves feel better at my expense.

Times Ignorance is bliss:

When I’m eating a good meal at a restaurant if they didn’t pass their inspection because of bugs in the kitchen and I’m already half-way through the meal.  I don’t want to know until two weeks later.  I can blissfully enjoy my meal and later never return.

Since I’m partially color blind, when I paint a room and in my mind it is a beautiful lilac but in reality it is a blue.  I’m blissfully happy in my world.

If a really large naked man is dancing outside my window.  I don’t need to even know it is happening.

Times Ignorance is not bliss:

When I’m on a speeding train and I don’t know how to stop it before a broken bridge where we will all fall to a sudden death.  I will ask anyone and everyone how the hell to stop the train.  There is no shame in not knowing when it will save lives.

If I am feeling like I am some hot stuff in a smokin’ dress but the back is tucked into my pantyhose.  I need to know!  Business in front and a party in the back may work for a mullet but not so much for an elegant lady.

If super hot man is dancing nude under my window, I want to know about it!  As soon as possible!

When are you blissfully ignorant?  When has the ignorance not been blissful?

Hades is Anticipation

This week the hostess is Christine E-E of Silver Linings 4 Me.  She picked Anticipation.  Hop over to her place to see all the interpretations of anticipation.  Since I’m, also, doing A to Z and today is H, I combined the two.  H is for Hades.  For me Hades is a big bundle of anticipation.  While Hades can be the name of King of the Underworld.  It is used equally to denote hell or the underworld.  Either works in this case.  The King can punish me with anticipation or the impeding threat of punishment which in itself is anticipation.  Or I can suffer in a world of anticipation wondering when I will get a glass of water. 

I’m not a fan of the word anticipation because it makes me think of the word patience.  I find in my world they equal each other.  In order to be anticipating something, I have to have the patience to wait for it.  I have no patience.  When I was young my cousin and I would open all our presents before Christmas.  The first year we did we were about five and she did it by sticking her finger in and ripping the paper.  We got spanked so we got smarter.  The next year we were armed with a razor blade and scotch tape.  We carefully opened each present by slicing along the tape and retaping when we were done.  Worked like a charm for years.   My other cousin would do things like put something small in a big box just to throw me off the scent.  One year my family didn’t put my name on any of my presents so I wouldn’t know.  That truly sucked.  So you see…anticipation leads to anxiety for me.  I’m working on this but I am who I am.  I love to rush into life full force and anticipation be damned. 

So in Junebug fashion….
While I consider myself an avid explorer of life…
Anticipation doesn’t have me leaping for joy…
It has me crawling out of the depths of Hades in search of a *bucks. 

Giveaway Winner!!

In celebration of smashing past 100 on that counter over to the right, I am giving away a blogger blog design by the one and only Mary of Bright Sunshine Designs.  She did my blog!!  I hope you like what you see.  Mary is great to work with and you have a large variety of ideas to work with.   Go check out all her work!   She is really affordable and currently she has been producing some premade templates. 

So I am giving away one…

Bright Package

Normally $40.00
Custom Header
Custom Matching Background
Color Coordination of Links
Name Signature at bottom of posts
Choice of 2- or 3-column template
*Includes One Digital Kit
* Vector images (istock photos) not included, if applicable.

And the winner is Carole Anne Carr!!!!

A really big Thank You to all that entered!!!  I am honored that so many people would waste a few minutes a day reading my dribble with the mistakes and the rambling and the…. 

Fact or Fiction

I thought today we would have a little fun with Fact or Fiction:

Bonus Question:  Today is the last day you could sign up to win a blogger blog design in my giveaway celebrating 100+ followers. 

1.  If you cut a worm in half, each half will grow into two complete worms. 

2. Cow farts are a major cause of global warming. 

3. Walt Disney arranged to have his body cryogenically frozen so he could be brought back to life as some point in the future.

4. Despite posted warnings, people have been crushed beneath vending machines trying to shake candy or sodas free.

5.  The Daddy Longlegs spider is actually the most venomous spider but is unable to puncture its victim. 

6. You will get sick if you go outside with wet hair. 

7.  Some red dyes are made up of ground up beetles. 

8.  Rice should not be thrown at weddings because it is harmful to birds. 

9.  Storing batteries in the fridge will make them last longer.

10.  Goose bumps serve no biological function. 

11.  In 1991 a woman bought an expensive dress at a department store, but developed a rash when she wore it. When her dermatologist concluded that her skin had been exposed to formaldehyde, the woman filed suit against the department store.   In preparing their case, the store traced the clothing back to another buyer. This woman had purchased the dress to bury her mother in. But because of the expense, she retrieved the dress from the mortician after the service and returned it to the store. 

1. Fiction – There are some worms who could grow back their tail but a tail will not grow back its head.
2.  Fact – If you believe in global warming.
3.  Fiction – Disney was cremated which would seem to be the opposite of frozen. 
4.   Fact
5.  Fiction
6.   Fiction – Just another lie mothers make up to torture their children into doing what they want them to do.
7.  Fact – Many food items, including fruit juices, candies and flavored gelatin contain cochineal, carmine or carminic acid to give them a deep red color.  Gross just plain gross.
8.  Fiction – Most places don’t like it because it is easier for someone to slip on and a bugger to clean up.
9.  Fact – But not for much longer.
10.  Fiction – They are your body’s attempt to retain heat when you are cold.
11.  Fiction – An urban myth.
Bonus:  Fact – Go here to sign up.

I glean these from various quizzes on the Discovery website.

The Elderly – A to Z Challenge

Tomorrow is the last day to enter into my Blogger Blog Design giveaway.

I was walking out of Wally World with my bag of hair spray (it was the 80’s) when I noticed an elderly man standing in the parking lot looking bewildered.  “May I help you?”  With a blush and downward glance, he said, “I can’t seem to find my car.”  “Oh well, I would be glad to help.  What color is it? (I’m a girl)”  He looked at me directly in the eyes and I will never forget that mixture of relief and sadness.  It broke my heart.  I reached for his hand and we walked the lot hand in hand search for his car.  Not long after that incident I was driving home late at night after work when a block from my home I discovered a man in the middle of the road.  Luckily I noticed him in time and stopped.  I went up to him noticing it was my neighbor.  He was an elderly gentleman in his pajamas and no shoes.  It was February in Kansas.  “Mr. Smith?”  He grabbed my arm and he was an icicle.  “Mr. Smith can I take you home?”  I walked him over to his house and got him settled into his chair.  He didn’t say anything just looked around as if he didn’t know where he was or even who he was.  I ran home and told my grandparents who called his son right away. 

I have been thinking about the elderly lately. Not just because I’m getting too close for comfort myself but I recently read Water for Elephants.  One of the themes is about elderly men in two different decades.  I’m sure the movie will completely ignore this social commentary so I feel it my duty to speak up.  SPOILER ALERT!  I’m talking about parts of the book.  If you don’t want to know a little bit about what happens stop reading!  I’m not giving away any more then I have to but some will leak out.  Ok, where was I…One old man back during the great depression has made the circus his home and his co-workers his family.  However, when he is no longer capable of being helpful most of the “family” finds him disposable and toss him aside.   Fast forward to modern time and we find another old man whose family has tossed him into a nursing home.  Someone visits once a week but for the most part he is left there.  Are these two scenarios all that different?  One is tossed for a quicker death and one is tossed for an eventual death.  A few years ago I called home and my Aunt informed me that one of my great-great Aunts had died. She was over a hundred.  I didn’t even know she was still alive before she died.  What kind of statement is that?  What does it say about me?  About society?

When I was in grade school and jr. high, my mom worked the gift shop at the hospital.  In rural KS, this hospital was half hospital and half long term nursing.  Bored sitting in the gift shop, I wandered off to around the hospital and wound up in the senior section.  I would spend my afternoon in the nursing home wing watching TV, playing games, talking, singing, etc. with the residents.  I really enjoyed my time with them and they enjoyed the company.   They all had books you could sign to show who visited and once a week the newspaper would print who visited whom in the nursing home.  Schoolmates would say, “Why are you visiting my grandma? or grandpa?”  “Why Not?”, I thought.   They were lonely there.  It was the same boring thing day after day.  The most minor change was a thrill for them.  Imagine being stuck on bed rest for years.  I would go out of my mind.  Maybe that is why some do go out of their mind.

Throughout my childhood, my mother made a point of us visiting various elderly.  Some relatives and some not.   The visits weren’t all pleasant and some were downright boring.  I never appreciated the effort my mom put into lighting up someone else’s life.  I hope to be more like her some day.  A group I was involved with a few years ago would do a Christmas party for a nearby nursing home each year.  They loved the presents, caroling and visit from Santa.  It was a great time.  It has been awhile since I have visited a home.  I did try to put in a few more visits to older relatives before I moved away.  I want to say I’m great in this endeavor but I’m not.  I’m determined to find away to do something this year.  Knowing there are folks just staring at a wall every day for the last days of their life is so sad to me.   Of course, it goes for elderly still at home that have no family to help them with the daily things that has become just a little harder with age like home repair.   So they sit there as their roofs rot around them or weeds swallow their yard.

 With my elderly neighbor, his son came that night to check on him.  His wife had recently passed and he was taking a turn for the worse.  Soon after they got him into a nursing home where he didn’t last long.  It has always been my experience that when people stop moving/working/feeling valued they appear to decline much faster.  Elderly can’t do things as fast as they used to but they aren’t always helpless.  They still have some value. 

As for the old man in the parking lot, I will never know.  Recently when I was talking to my cousin about it I started laughing.  I suddenly realized that I helped an old man find his car but I didn’t even think beyond that point.  If he couldn’t find his car, did he know where his house was?  I didn’t even ask.  It seems so silly to me now but I was just a kid.

Do you do something for the elderly?   Does this topic touch you in some way?  Do you feel as a society we undervalue our elders?