Musings, reflections, wisecracks from a somewhat creative mind

Archive for the ‘Contemplation’ Category


I came across this inspirational piece yesterday. Good stuff. Worth sharing.

Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments

Author: Kent M. Keith, Ed.D.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.

Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only the top dogs.

Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.

Stuff I am grateful for

I’ve seen several posts this morning where folks have listed things they are thankful for. Now I feel obliged to do the same. Here’s the short list:

My house with a roof that doesn’t leak (anymore)

My job which is part of a joyful, service-oriented enterprise, and my manager who leads me well

My Mom from whom I continue to learn (but she doesn’t realize it)

The rest of my family including my friends (you know who you are) from whom I continue to learn and who are vastly entertaining

My co-workers from whom I continue to learn and who are also vastly entertaining

Old friends and new friends

My neighbors – Xtreme entertainment (and fine folks and friends)

I am relatively healthy considering I’m barely trying (I ought to)

My car which is fun to drive and still runs despite my ignoring basic maintenance lately

My new kitten, Gracie, who is simultaneously a trial and a joy – she makes me laugh!

My sainted dog, Chloe, who is loyal and loving and mindful of my wishes including the one that says “Don’t hurt that gremlin kitten!”

The public library

Alarm clocks (really)


The sun and the clouds and the sky, the breeze and the odor of sea water

Birds chattering


Fans (the blowy kind)

Generosity and generous souls

My Mother’s handyman


Downtown Dunedin

Being an American



The guy who mows my yard (even though he butchers the honeysuckle by my mailbox)

Humor, most kinds

There’s plenty more. Just can’t think of them.


Quiet and Peace

It’s late Sunday morning and I finally find a moment to dig into the novel that’s been sitting on my coffee table for a week or two. Paradise!

After a while I realize how quiet it is and I stop to appreciate it. What do I hear?

The whir of the fan.

The tick tock of the clock.

The whistling respirations and occasional rustle of my dreaming, napping dog.

The hum of the refrigerator.

The faint birdsong of a Mockingbird.

The squawking of a company of wild parrots.

Distant, faint traffic noise.

The sound of a jet flying 30,000 feet in the air.

*Sigh* Peace.

And I should be able to hear the sound of my washer and dryer working.

*Sigh* Chores.

So much for the quiet. I was glad to have it and it was nice while it lasted.

Have Can Opener, Will Travel

Recently, I stopped at a pet supply store to pick up canned dog food. The store has diagonal parking in front. I parked reasonably well – not perfectly but reasonably.

When I came out of the store, there was a BIG HONKING pickup truck parked close to my car.

Now, when I say close to my car, I mean close enough that a circus contortionist would have a hard time moving in between the vehicles … Or a moderately-aged, healthy woman.

So CLOSE a-supermodel-couldn’t-use-chopsticks CLOSE.

Ants-would-lose-the-pheromone-trail CLOSE.

A vigorous-weed-would-alter-its-path CLOSE.

Thwart-a-laser-beam CLOSE.

I’m talking CLOSE.

OK. Maybe I’m exaggerating.

But it was CLOSE.

So here I am juggling 3 loose cans of dog food, my wallet and my keys (I like to go “purseless” a.k.a commando) – doggedly trying to enter my car. (No pun intended.)

For the uninitiated: My car is a 2-door. This means the doors are long because – theoretically anyway – they have to allow access to the seating in the back. A Mustang is technically a 4-seater although reports from the back seat vary as to the comfort of the ride.

So I’m wiggling (and swearing) my way into the drivers seat when I drop a can of dog food … and I know it will roll … somewhere. To where? Probably under my car. I’m am pretty sure retrieving it will cause a certain physical discomfort and … shame. And then there’s the hot tar of the parking lot. I’m probably going to have to drive over the can, losing my $1.36 investment. Possibly hurting my car.  Definitely losing my pride. *sigh* What to do?

I heroically throw the other articles into the passenger seat and wiggle back out of the car … while trying NOT to let my car door hit the &%#@*& truck (what a wuss) … and look for the wayward can. I spot the can. It’s easily retrievable! THANK YOU!!

I get in my car, start it and put the A/C on high, and then I think “I’d like to give that guy a piece of my mind!!”

Pause. Pause.

Hmmmmm. OK. He’s taller than me. Hmmmm. OK. He’s a “he”. Hmmmmm. He looked pretty darned serious in the store. Hmmmmm. I don’t think I can take him.


So I drive away. But, as I drive I think “If I’d known you were going to park here, I’d have brought my can opener!!!!!”

I’m just sayin’.

Since when is ZZ Top EASY LISTENING??

I don’t usually listen to the radio in my car. It can be so noisy and frantic with the fast talking DJs and the hyperbolic ads and news. I have a CD player and happily listen to my own mix of tunes. Riding in my car is like “Sing Along with Mary”, harmonizing and imitating instrument sounds badly … and then laughing at self.

Lately, the CD player has become unreliable. Let’s just say it takes unscheduled work breaks. Without sufficient funds or time to have it fixed or replaced, I find myself driving in silence. Silence is good. Silence means I’m thinking, planning, analyzing, and so forth. Silence can also be not-so-good when I find myself obsessively OVER-thinking something.

It was during one of these moments that I found myself turning on the radio, pressing and pressing the “seek” button to find agreeable music to distract me. Ahhhh. Easy listening sounds of The Eagles, Elton John, The Police, Foreigner, ZZ Top … BRAKE! BRAKE!

EASY LISTENING? What the … That’s “parental music”, not mine! Who authorized calling my music “easy listening”? ZZ Top = easy listening? Seriously? Nobody asked me for my opinion on this.

Waaa waaa waaa. Pity party in my car. Someone thinks I’m old. Really? I can’t believe it. I won’t. I am youthful.

OK dear reader. You are thinking:

  • I’ve been in denial. (True.)
  • You weren’t as shocked as I was when this first happened to you. (Uh huh.)
  • You don’t feel sorry for me. (Admit it, you brute.)
  • Perhaps I missed a major life stage, like parenting. (Wish I hadn’t.)
  • You’re thinking perhaps I should quit whining and grow up. (I don’t want to hear it.)

What’s that thing we’ve all heard recently? We have to grow older but we don’t have to grow up. I agree. I’m going to write a letter to someone and complain.

As long as I behave responsibly where it counts, don’t expect me to act “grown up”. Being childlike, playful, imaginative, positive, loving – these are all healthy things and we are meant to actualize them. I have that on good Authority.

Sorry! I got “all serious” on you. I’m not going to write that letter. It’s Saturday. I’m going to go play, maybe listen to some Pink Floyd or Steely Dan. TTFN!

Fasten Seat Belt While Sedated

I traveled via airline recently and on the last leg of the trip, glanced at the seatback in front of me and saw “Keep seat belt fastened while sedated”. It actually read “Keep seat belt fastened while seated”. But my middle-aged and apparently dyslexic eyes and brain processed “sedated”. Others my age (middle, and let’s just leave it at that) tell me they have experienced this, too.

It is very persistent, mildly annoying and often comic. I’ve been meaning to look into it and see if I’m “normal”. So I hopped on Google this morning and typed in “middle-aged dyslexia”.

I got nuttin’ honey.

Then I tried “seeing the wrong words”. Pretty basic language and I had little hope of an answer. But, presto! Magic! I found one. And I’M NORMAL! (“Really??” you say? I say “Pipe down”.)

Words are stored as pictures in our brains. We see the first letter or a collection of letters and associate them with the wrong word occasionally.

Anyway, I think I like “sedated” better than “seated”. It’s more amusing.


Expressions my Mom has often used

Mother, mother, mother – pin a rose on me – was a film released in June 1924, as part of the Song Car-Tunes series. Early titles in the Song Car-Tunes series were Oh Mabel, Come Take A Trip in My Airship, and Goodbye My Lady Love, all released in May and June 1924. They were the first sound cartoons, not Disney’s Steamboat Willie, as often is thought. The song is a popular song from 1905.

Sew buttons on ice cream – From Norwood Gove’s “Little Green Book”. The quote is “So? Sew buttons on ice cream if you think you’re fast enough”.

Hells bells and panther tracks – American in origin, it is referenced in “The Dictionary of American Regional English,” published by Harvard University’s Belknap Press. It’s used as an expression of vexation or disappointment. The first written usage was in Peter B. Kyne and Gordon Grant’s, “Captain Scraggs and the Green Pea Pirates,” copyright, 1919. Also found in “Vermont History” [1959].

A consummation devoutly to be wished – is a quote from Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” and is part of the infamous “To be or not to be” speech.

To die: to sleep:

Nor more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to; ‘tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished.

Have an apple – OK! This is not really a saying … It’s just what she said if it was an hour before supper and us kids were complaining we were hungry.

Be careful what you wish for. You might get it – is a line in a classic horror story apparently written by W.W. Jacobs, first appearing in Harpers Monthly in 1902. The story begins with a quotation “Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it”.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark – Also from Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet …”

Nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers – This is likely an Appalachian saying.

The bee’s knees – is a term indicating excellence – the highest quality – because bees carry pollen back to the hive in sacs on their legs. (Riiiight.) The allusion is to the concentrated goodness to be found around the bee’s knee. The expression became popular in the U.S. in the 1920s, along with “the cat’s whiskers” (possibly from the use of these in radio crystal sets), “the cat’s pajamas” (pyjamas were still new enough to be daring), and similar phrases which made less sense and didn’t endure: “the eel’s ankle,” “the elephant’s instep,” “the snake’s hip.”

So did I just take all the romance and fun out of those sayings? Hm.