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Opinions

Seeing red devils

Walkin'

Mowing has turned into a great little side job for me. Besides introducing me to alternate life styles, like pot-smoking gnomes, it gets me out of the house, it also lets me work with manly, dangerous equipment like a truck, weed whacker, chain saw and a zero-turn radius mower (ZTR).

Dancing and dreaming

food for thought

As I switched off yet another black and white rerun of Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, I asked myself why I ended up watching that and Lawrence Welk on nearly every Saturday evening. The answer is obvious, I suppose. Unless you’re a big sports fan or get some sort of satisfaction from watching people (people who are even more out of shape than you are) tempt fate and coronaries by running up the side of a mountain, you haven’t much choice.

The gnomes I’ve known

walkin'

A tiny pipe for smoking marijuana, also know as a one-hitter, is just one of the many odd things I’ve seen or found while mowing the grass at an apartment complex in North Liberty, a small town a few miles from Iowa City, where we live.

Room for improvement

Food for Thought

I belong to three organizations that are made up of some very talented and creative people. In all three instances, I feel flattered to be accepted as an equal and I have great respect for the opinions they share about the things we create, both individually and as a group. One group (the one with the broadest scope) consists of professional women writers, artists and composers of music. As a writer and artist, I feel pretty much at home among the others, even though their talents often seem unattainable compared to the things that I am able to come up with.

The bachelor

walkin'

Sabra is visiting her parents and friends in Denver this week. The trip was planned awhile back so she didn’t go there because of the flooding. As it turns out her family and friends are all okay, although her sister, who lives in Golden, had water in her basement. In any event, that leaves me home alone for five days with only Pearl, the cats and chickens to keep me company.

And now a word from our sponsor...

Food for Thought

Once upon a time, there were television commercials that were sometimes more entertaining than the programs the product manufacturers sponsored. Remember the Alka-Seltzer bellies? The dancing cigarette pack? The unusual tortures those Timex watches were subjected to? And how about that instant coffee commercial that nearly turned into a soap opera? People used to drop what they were doing and run to the family room just to watch the commercial when it came on, hoping to see another episode of what appeared to be a budding romance.

The more things change

Food for Thought

...the more they stay the same. Even though I was in junior high when people in Iowa first got television in their homes, I didn’t see much of it until I was in my early 20s. We lived in Knoxville. The closest broadcasting station was in Ames. Reception in Knoxville was poor and some people put up tall, expensive towers for their antennas and still had to often settle for shadowy pictures wavering through the snow and static-punctuated sound that faded in and out. Dad decreed that he would wait until reception was good enough that it would be a pleasure to watch rather than a frustration.

Poultmanteau

Walkin'

Things in the old hen house have been a bit topsy-turvy lately.
One of the original five chickens, Jezzabelle, turned out to not be all hen, but half hen and half rooster. A hooster or roosten. We knew Jezz was different from the start as he/she had the spurs of a rooster on one leg. We also suspected that she wasn’t laying eggs and was never found on the nesting box. The final, irrefutable telltale came when we began hearing crowing in the morning.
In other words she was a henaphrodite.

What’s in a name?

Food for Thought

I’ve always thought it interesting that things without names seem to be somehow more fascinating, mysterious, or just plain scary than things that have names. Names serve a variety of functions: some are descriptive, such as, waterfall, fireplace, sweet corn, football field. Those give us an image of the thing and explain its use. Most names, of course are simply nouns that provide basic information but can cover a wide range of similar ideas. These are things like teacher, vehicle, building, toy and moisture.

Sign, sign everywhere a sign

walkin'

I’ve added a couple of new signs to my collection this summer.
The signs are not physically collected; just the verbiage.
To date, my favorite is the one I ran across on a fishing trip to northern Minnesota several years ago. While taking a break from angling I went for a walk down a rural road and came across this gem: “No shooting/children at play.”

...and he huffed and he puffed

Food for Thought

The old farmhouse was torn down a couple weeks ago, and I couldn’t help thinking about the story of “The Three Little Pigs” and how easily B. B. Wolf destroyed their little houses of straw and sticks. This particular little house stood for around a century and wasn’t so easily gotten rid of.

Not born Sicilian

Walkin'

We arrived at my cousin’s place about 1:30 p.m., perfectly timed to share the late and expansive meal Sicilians have about two in the afternoon. A small, fun party was held that evening. The next day we traveled to the reception site, an elegant seaside resort about an hour’s drive along the coast, to help tie ribbons on the chairs in the already elegantly decorated banquet room. My guess is that Suzzie’s to-do list for the wedding ran to about 100,000 and this was number 979,533 or something.