Wild and Crazy Thoughts!

Due to all that has been happening in the USA and the world today with regards the coronavirus and what we have been experiencing over the past few days, I thought I would just sit down at my computer and ramble on writing whatever dribble comes to mind.

One thing that seems to pop into my head more often than it usually does is food. It is amazing to me how when we need to be careful about our provisions and how  we should sort of ration what and when we eat due to not knowing when we will get to replenish them, the thought of food seems ever present on my mind.

What to do, what to do, what to do? Rather than eat, I decided to pick a subject – say – Food – and write about it for my next Rant and Raving on Lakeland Musings by Irwin. My next thought was – “what type of food shall I write about? You will never guess what I came up with. Okay – some of you that have been following my rants and raves probably would.

I got to thinking about some of the wild and crazy things people eat. But after doing some research, I must admit that while some of the things are actually wild and crazy things to eat – several of which I myself would not even consider eating, others are interesting and if one can get by the name, would probably be somewhat tasty.

Let’s take a walk on the wild side and look at some of the crazy names given to some of the foods eaten today both here and abroad.

One that we Americans know and love (well, some of us) is SPAM. Many of us know that Spam is a brand of canned cooked pork made by Hormel Foods Corporation and has been around since 1937. Spam’s basic ingredients are pork with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch (as a binder), and sodium nitrite (as a preservative). Let’s face it – once we get by the name, it is quite tasty, especially if fried.

I don’t know how many of you reading this like eggs, but I discovered that there is such a thing as a coddled egg. At first I thought who in their right mind would want to cuddle with an egg? Then I realized the word was coddled. All it means is that the egg is lightly steamed in an egg coddler. I know, now you want to know what is a coddled egg? A coddled egg is an egg that is gently cooked whole in a small dish that’s placed in a hot water bath. Some might use what are known as coddling cups-ceramic cups with screw-on lids.

Ready for a trip across the water? We now go across to the UK and try something called Bubble & Squeak. I won’t even begin to picture what some of you might be picturing in your minds regarding this weirdly named dish but know that it is fried left-over veggies.

I could go on and on as there are several more unusual named meals that I could share with you but let us discuss one more meal from the UK named Clootie Dumplings? Let me explain the word “Clootie” for you and once you understand that, perhaps you might consider trying it next time you are in the UK. The word “Clootie” refers to a piece of cloth or leather. Think of it as a strip of fabric which holds within it a “dumpling” – a dessert pudding made of sweet stuff, like dough, dried fruits and sugar. See, that wasn’t so bad was it?

Okay, this piece may have enabled me to satisfy my desire to write while in “Lockdown,” but it has also stifled my appetite. I mean, let’s face it, I do not want to cuddle with any eggs anytime soon even if it might make me bubbly and squeaky. Nor do I want to look for any Clooties.

All I want to do now that I have written my piece is to sit down and have some Oreo cookies and a glass of milk!

Until next time!

Prove you’re not crazy.

This week’s post is something different – it is a short story I wrote just to wile away the time and do something wild and crazy.

I was just sitting there, staring out of the window enjoying watching the squirrel do his best to get up the bird feeder. Surely his intentions were not honorable. Why does he do that, I wondered! Isn’t there enough seed on the ground from the droppings created by the blue jays, gold finches, and other bird species native to the area as their beaks throw seeds they cannot open or possibly do not like to the ground.

As I watched the squirrel almost reach the top only to slide back down the pole, I caught a brief glance of what appeared to be someone dressed in white heading for my front door. And what’s that they are carrying? Is it a jacket of sorts?

Could my eyes be deceiving me? Did she finally call them? I know I am prone to say and do wild and crazy things but really, “Was she that anxious to be rid of me?”  I mean who hasn’t gone into a supermarket and taken someone else’s shopping cart while they are deciding which can of Campbell’s Soup they want?

And what is wrong with telling the user of the cart, when told to get my own cart because they have already been up and down all the aisles gathering this stuff: “What’s the problem, you already know where everything is so it shouldn’t be hard to retrace your steps.”

Besides, just think, when I get the stuff home, it will be a real treat because looking in the cart, I noticed that there were many different types of food there. Types of food I never have eaten before.

Problem is I don’t think describing this scenario to the administrator of the institution when they get me there will be enough to make them believe that I am not crazy. And I’m sure they won’t just take my word for it when I just come right out and say: “I’m not crazy!”

Maybe I should not have used two packets of sweetener or I should have had plain black coffee, no sugar, sweetener, or cream. So many things running through my mind. Perhaps I should have built a feeder for the squirrel too. Hmmm, could it be that the squirrel turned me in?

What’s that noise I hear? Is that an alarm clock ringing? Why am I wrapped up in all this white stuff? Is that a picture hanging on the wall with a birdhouse, a squirrel on the pole while various birds are feeding?

Wait, it’s coming back to me. Now I remember. That was some wild and crazy birthday party I was at last night. I do remember someone undoing a funny looking jacket that had belts or straps so that I might be able to drink my morning coffee! What day is this? Is it daytime? I’m not crazy… or am I?

Friend

This week’s topic is the result of a quote I read recently:

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” – Abraham Lincoln

With everything that is happening around the world today and the fact that most of us, especially retirees such as myself, have more time than ever to sit around and think, this quote made me think back to a friend I met in the year 1969.

We were taking on what one might call a major life change as an opportunity came up for me to interview for a position in Jacksonville, FL which meant leaving PA. The friend I am referring to was one of the interviewers I met upon arriving in FL. Not only did this individual interview me, he became my immediate supervisor, and subsequently my mentor.

One of the things that we find when taking on a major life change is that there are few things in life that are more helpful than a supportive friend. Think about it for a minute. A friend such as this is there for you providing ideas, suggestions, and if a true friend, does so with a positive attitude. Your desire to succeed at whatever you choose as your goal in this new endeavor becomes their goal as well.

During this friendship you realize you want to succeed because it is apparent that they want you to succeed as well. Their desire for you to succeed boosts your own motivation for success. My desire to not let this new best friend down added to my own personal desire and subsequent ability to succeed at my own goal.

By sharing my goals, which at the time was to achieve a particular professional insurance designation, CPCU, (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter), not only was he supportive, he provided guidance and stood by me to achieve the designation I wanted and was instrumental in my obtaining other designations along the way.

As we know, lives change over the years. Without going into detail, later in our careers, I became the interviewer and my friend became the subject of the interview, (due to a life change they were going through). The interview was successful and I was able to offer my friend a job as my subordinate.

What does this tell us? Cherish your friends, their worth is priceless!

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Wild and Crazy Post

One never knows what one will come up with!

As we get older many of us think back to what we used to call “the good old days”. Depending on our circumstances we may even wonder how we even got to where we are today. I mean think about it – I am reminded of a quote by David Letterman years ago – “If what you have done is stupid but works, then it really isn’t that stupid at all.”

When we do sit down and think of our past as I do every now and then – okay probably more than every now and then – I love to recall various quotes and sayings by famous people of times gone by. Having gone to a grade school that only had a handful of teachers – another saying I think about from one of our great comedians of yesteryear, I am reminded of a quote by George Burns who used to quote: “Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school, I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.”

Some of you familiar with the sayings of Socrates may remember this saying too. “My advice to you is get married: If you find a good wife, you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.”  I am proud to say that I am both happy and enjoy philosophical sayings. They say it’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but one thing is for certain and that is it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I love to write wild and crazy posts and I do it, not only for myself, but for those that read my wild and crazy rants. We all need a good laugh every now and then and so I am going to get wild and crazy with the balance of this post if for no other reason than to get everyone to sit back, smile even if only for a minute or two causing you to at least temporarily forget your troubles.

Unfortunately, we cannot gather in large groups at the present time but we may have the opportunity to gather into smaller groups if nothing other than to share thoughts and lean on one another in these stressful times. Should we have that opportunity and if you know that the place of gathering will have a big room in it, here’s what you might consider doing. As you enter the room, ask someone for a piece of paper and a pencil (make sure you have both in your pocket in case none of the group has it) and then write the following on the paper “There are footsteps on the ceiling” and then pass it around and watch the people look. Bet you all get a big kick out of it and eventually everyone will be smiling and quite possibly laughing as well.

Oh, and since many of us are confined to our homes or are supposed to stay inside instead of going out and mingling amongst large groups of people, here is one more thing you could do that might just bring a smile to your face. When you know your neighbor across the street isn’t looking out their front window, slip outside and run across the way and leave an envelope on their doorstep with a note written inside saying “You know what to do” and then watch from afar to see what they do.

Okay, that’s enough of my wild and crazy rants for today. Gotta go wrack my brain so that I can come up with something for next week’s post.

Keep smiling and stay safe and healthy. Until next time!

SOMETHING DOESN’T ADD UP!

As has been evident in some of my past writings, I am the type that looks to write something comical on most of my blogs. At times I write trivia, sometimes I write funny jokes and at times I just ramble on and write whatever comes in my head. The following is just my way of coping with all that is going on in the world today and my wanting to smile and laugh rather than sit and worry why the world seems to be going to !@#$% in a handbasket. Please take the article in the light within which it is provided. A funny story. No more. No less.

Years ago when visiting our home state and going to the place where several of my ancestors settled, we visited some of the cemeteries where long lost relatives were buried. Now some might not think that visiting cemeteries is a place where something funny can be dreamed up but in my warped sense of humor, I was able to pen the following post with the hopes that it might just bring a chuckle or two by those reading my attempt at humor.

One of the things noticeable when strolling through a cemetery is the type of headstones found there but more importantly was some of the inscriptions found on some of those headstones.

Why are inscriptions written there – well, primarily to tell a brief story of our dearly departed. But as we all know space is rather limited and so one has to have a vivid imagination. Why you ask? Well the story, being written in basically a few lines, would in all probability be told partly within the lines and partly between the lines if you get my drift.

These old inscriptions were engraved into the headstones with the sole purpose of providing some insight into who the person resting beneath the headstone was. The inscription also enables those of us still living to understand the values of the people who have gone before us.

Now I am not talking about some of the headstones depicted in the old west like those found out in Tombstone, Arizona where you might see a tombstone sporting the following inscription:

Dawn Under

Here lies my wife

I bid her Goodbye

She rests in peace

And now so do I

Or

Joke’s Over

Let Me Out Now!

By now, many of you are wondering where the humor part comes into play with regards this writing. Well as evidenced by these two inscriptions, humor can be found in the wildest of places. Need another example? Picture this, what if the person creating the inscription on the tombstone wasn’t good at math.  The inscription might read as follows:

7 times 4 years I lived an honorable life,

8 times 6 years I loved a righteous wife,

Tired at last of life, I rest.

Born 1892      Died 1972

Need I get my abacus out to tell you what is wrong with this picture?  Until next time!