Balance

I find myself trying to stay more balanced today than I ever have. Writing this blog once a week assists me in that endeavor what with this wild and mixed-up world we are living in today. What does it mean to find balance – well – there are all types of balance so let’s be specific here – finding balance in life!

We all know by now that finding balance in life should help us improve our overall health. Why’s that? Because when we have balance, we should have time to pay attention to many of our body’s needs. Finding balance in life helps us improve our overall health. Having balance enables us to have time to pay attention to various things that are good for us even though we shudder at the sound of some of the words I am about to mention. You know, words like diet, exercise, and if we are really into it, even meditation. Let’s face it, being honest, leastways for me, when I don’t prioritize those items, I find myself regretting not doing them. When’s that you say? When I find myself putting on weight, not being able to bend over to tie my shoes without huffing and puffing, and so forth and so on. In other words, by not taking time to take care of myself, I am not in balance.

Thankfully I am somewhat in balance (I know many of you are thinking about some of the wild and crazy things I post here – and are probably saying to yourselves – him – he is far from balanced), but I am sort of balanced.

What can I say – as Steve Martin would say:

“I am a wild and crazy guy!”

Okay, enough about balance – bottom line is no matter what age we are and in what stage of life we are in – we should seek to stay in balance. Enough for the philosophy lesson. Let’s move on to some other important information.

Did you know that in 30 days Summer officially begins?

Think about that – in June, just 10 days away, the June solstice occurs will occur on Tuesday June 21, marking the first day of summer? Seeing that we here in Central Florida have already experienced temperatures in the mid-90s, I am beginning to wonder what our summer temperatures might be. So, what is the summer solstice? Well, for one thing it will be the longest day of the year. 

Why do I know that you ask? Well, in the Northern Hemisphere, that’s where we reside as does all the United States, the June solstice or as some people would like to call it, the summer solstice occurs when the Sun (you know that bright big ball in the sky) travels along its northernmost path in the sky. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, the southern hemisphere begins to experience the astronomical start of winter because the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky. Meaning places like Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, to name a few would be experiencing their winters. 

If you will recall, June 21 is referred to as the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year. By longest, I am referring to the longest period of sunlight hours are experienced on this day. And if it is known as the longest day, it stands to reason, we also experience the shortest night on this date too.

What other tidbits of information might I share with you before I go off on some wild and crazy thought, idea, or what have you.

Oh, today (May 22) is also considered to be National Maritime Day. Yup, way back in 1933, Congress designated May 22 as National Maritime Day. It took quite a long time to get that designation. Why do I say that? Well, the “first successful transoceanic voyage under steam propulsion” began back on May 22, 1819, when the steamship S.S. Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia. Where did it go, you ask? Why all the way to Liverpool, England. It only took it 30 days to do it because it arrived on June 20. So, what do we celebrate May 22? Well, this day honors both past and present contributions of the U.S. merchant marine during both peace and war.  

Okay, time to slip in one of my wild and crazy questions that may or may not make you smile or chuckle. Here goes,

“What did Mama Tomato say to Baby Tomato when he lagged behind?” Ketchup!

I know, I need new material.

What else is this day famous for – well did you know that on this day in 1859, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – you know the author who penned many stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes – was born. Who knew?

What else can I share with you this week. Let’s see – did you know:

Coffee is break fluid!

Okay, time to share a brain teaser with you:

Charles Chaplin’s chaplain chided Charlie constantly concerning Chaplin’s cow-like chewing. How many C’s are there in all?

Oh, and to end this week’s post, let me just say that:

Evolution is nature’s way of trying to cover its mistakes!

That’s it folks, that’s all I have. Hope you enjoyed this week’s post.

Until next time. Y’all come back now, ya hear!

Better Half

Well, where did that week go? Lately it seems as though Saturday slips up on me faster than it used to. So, what do I share with you this week?

Seeing that we are celebrating our wedding anniversary of 59 years this week, I thought it might be appropriate to share a bit of trivia with y’all relating to wedded bliss. Ever wonder where the term “Better Half” comes from?

The reality of the saying is that it is a tale from the Middle East. Yes, believe it or not, as I understand it, the origin of the modern spouse’s humility when introducing his mate as his “better half” came from a tear-jerking tale out of the Middle East.

As the story goes – a Bedouin had offended his prince and as was the way things were back then, the husband was to be put to death.

But, as luck would have it, the Bedouin’s wife truly loved him and pleaded for her spouse’s life by saying something that goes like the following:

“O great Prince, the blasphemy is horrible, I confess.

But it is not my whole husband who has thus rendered himself guilty towards Thee.”

“Not thy whole husband,” the Prince replied.

“Nay,” she continued, “it is but half, the half of him that has committed the insult; for am I not the other half, I who have never offended Thee?” Now the guilty half places itself under the protection of the innocent half and the latter cannot suffer the former to be punished.”

What are we to make of this – well, just this – it would appear that from this ancient concept of a man and woman being merged into one by marriage comes our phrase “better half.”

Don’t you feel so much smarter now.

Comical trivia:

Did you know that only Robinson Crusoe could have everything done by Friday.

Did you know that pigs are full of balony?

Seeing that I have this thing about writing – did you know that:

An editor makes a long story short.

Okay, as you can see, words aren’t coming to me like they should be so here is a quote or two before I leave you for this week:

“If you stumble, make it part of the dance.”

“In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.”

Charles Schulz

And if you don’t remember anything about this week’s blog, remember this:

“Life is like an ice cream. Enjoy it before it melts.”

Until next time! Y’all take care now, ya hear!

Wild and Crazy Guy!

With today being Mother’s Day, I thought I would create a post involving mothers and some of the dumb things that happen over the years as they raise their children. Then I will move on to some more ridiculous stuff because I am just a wild and crazy guy.

My guess is that mothers know more about weird accidents because over their child-rearing years I am sure that most accidents that happen with children border on the ridiculous. If you stop and think about it, our children never seem to do things in a conventional manner. Think about it – kids stuffing pennies up their nose, catch their arms in weird places or sticking their heads through fences, or get their hand literally stuck in the cookie jar.

Think back to when you were raising your children and they got into some weird type of accident – first few words out of your mouth were probably: “How in the world could something like this happen?” But, as parents, we learn to accept the fact that strange things do in fact happen. As a matter of fact, Dolly has this favorite saying which is: “If it is weird, it will happen to us!”

It gets to the point that when something strange does happen, we just prepare ourselves accordingly. All we end up doing is defend ourselves as we ride to the emergency room when and if the accident does happen.

Can you see it or hear it now? “How did your daughter break her arm?”

“Falling out of her tree house!”

“Your daughter has her own tree house?”

“Doesn’t yours?”

Picture it now – while waiting for your child to be taken in to see the doctor on call at the Emergency Room of the hospital, the nurse attempts to jam the following statement “Child fell out of her tree house” onto the short blank provided on the insurance paperwork they had to complete.

Or here is one for you – “Patient cut his tongue while hiding a G.I. Joe soldier in his mouth that his brother needed to complete his army battlefield just to aggravate him. And this is just a brief sampling of the probable statement’s nurses attempt to write in the short spaces allowed on insurance claims forms.

Speaking of accidents – have you ever thought about ridiculous accidents that you have heard about over the years? Take the one where a guy was out shopping for groceries and was reaching into one of those freezers where you must bend over as far as you can to get the leaf spinach that is on sale – you know – the BOGO – buy one and get one free. Why do they make those freezers so deep anyways?  Anyways as this guy was bending over – he was short you know – like me – he bent too far over and lost his balance and fell headfirst into the freezer.

Another guy happened to be walking by and being a big guy, grabbed the other guy – you know the guy hanging onto two boxes of frozen spinach with ankles shooting straight up in the air, dragged him out and decided they had best go to the hospital to have him looked at, treated if necessary, and hopefully released.

Chances are that falling into the freezer was the easy part. My educated guess is that the real trauma came later when the guy had to answer all the questions posed by the people who create the insurance forms he had to complete. Can you see it now or should I say can you picture the type of questions that might have come up?

Was this an accident?  While the guy really wanted to answer – no – I always go freezer diving for several boxes of spinach! Being the gentleman he is, he merely replies: Yes

Wanting to cover all the bases, the next question asks: “Was there any other way to get the spinach out of the case?”

Thinking about this for a moment, the guy recalls a tall gentleman on the opposite side of the freezer he could have asked to bend over and reach the spinach, but you know us ‘macho’ guys, didn’t want to embarrass himself by asking for help. So, he merely responds by saying: “Probably”

Then the adjuster asks the question: “Have you gotten the spinach out of this case like this before?”

Knowing that he has – he replies: “Many times, but most of those times, the freezer wasn’t almost empty.”

Okay, moving on and thinking about the numerous road trips we have taken over the years and my need to use the bathrooms whether on a train or a bus, I can just see the face of the individual that would have had to fill out the claims form had I had an accident while in the bathroom on the bus.  

The report would read: “individual had his buttocks lodged in an emergency exit window when, while in the rest room of a bus – the bus swerved, forcing him into the window.”

I can picture the staff asking me at the hospital, “Was this your assigned seat?”

What can I say – I told you I am a wild and crazy guy!

Until next time! Y’all come back now, ya hear!

Happiness/Monkey Business!

It is my educated guess that many people have been discussing, debating, writing, and in my case, ‘pondering about life’ – well for as long as I can think back. One of the things I have discovered through the years of aging though, is just this – it doesn’t even matter about the circumstances one is going through – if one wants to heal or understand whatever we are going through, humor can help. Sometimes, even if it seems bad, you just have to laugh. It’s all a matter of putting things in perspective. 

Think about that for a moment. If you are like me, every now and then a funny thought pops into my brain (not as often as I would like but often enough). Maybe that thought or thoughts jelled within one’s brain (mine in this instance) and after giving it a bit more thought, I come to realize that it told a truth in an odd or strange way. The brain is a mysterious place – believe me – mine is anyways. I have this short little comedian that resides deep down in the recesses of my brain and at times he makes me laugh so hard, my wife looks at me funny as though as to say: “All right, is it time to call the guys in the white coats to come and take you away, away, away?” What can I say – when I stop and think about thinking, well, let’s just say that things start getting a little weird?

I am what is known as an early riser (yup, alarm set for 6 AM every day of the week). I know, I know, many of you are thinking of the adage: “Rise and shine – the early bird gets the worm”, but how many of you reading this ‘catch phrase’ know the meaning behind these words? Some would say that those who rise early every day have more time to achieve whatever goals they have planned for that day. But that is not entirely true – leastways – not for me. No, we rise early because we truly enjoy the quietness of the morning and how relaxing that time might be.

At dawn, we prepare our orange juice and sit and watch the sunrise and truly wonder over the various hues of color sunrise provides us. The sun’s rays appear to be caressing the earth – you know how we as parents did way back when we had to gently awaken our children from their seemingly peaceful night’s sleep telling them it is time to wake and prepare for a new day. Once our orange juice has been consumed and we have eaten breakfast, we sit back watching and listening to the birds that fly back and forth over the marshy area outside our window approximately 30 to 50 feet from the actual lake. We keep telling ourselves that we should take a brisk walk in the fresh air and enjoy the gentle morning breeze on our face while doing so, but our PJ’s are so comfortable at that hour of the morning!! On occasion we merely move to the screened in porch and enjoy the sounds and cool breeze while I finish my coffee.  

“Being retired it is so easy to enjoy the simple things in life.”

But mornings mean different things to different people. What do I mean? Well, take me for instance, I am a twin and while I head for bed around 9 or 9:30 P.M. I know my twin brother usually doesn’t retire much before midnight and sometimes even later. So, let’s just say that there are morning people and there are night owls. Some people, like me can just pop out of bed first thing in the morning – at the crack of dawn, if you will, with a get up and go type attitude while others just sort of drudge along until that first cup of coffee kicks in.

What do I do after morning coffee, well, as many of you know, I like “To-Do” lists! It is one of the first things I do once I have had my coffee in me. But being truthful about said lists, I would be lying were I to say that I prepare them every day. There are days that I prefer not to make a list. Oh yeah, there are days when preparing my daily ‘to-do’ list, I feel like George Carlin, who once said:

“I made a huge to-do list for today. I just can’t figure out who’s going to do it.”

“One day you’re the best thing since sliced bread. The next, you’re the toast.”

Okay, time to move on to something a bit more comical –

Did you know that overcoats only last one season because they are designed to be worn out!

Jogging is a change of pace!

Ready for a piece of trivia:

Did you know that New Zealand’s Ninety Mile Beach is only 55 miles!

Did you know that Iceland diverted roads to avoid disturbing communities of Elves!

Did you know that the most consumed manufactured drink in the world is tea?

Okay, so much about trivia! I have rambled on long enough now without truly giving y’all something to laugh at.

Time to move on to a joke about Semantics:

A boy asks his father to explain the differences between irritation, aggravation, and frustration.

Dad picks up the phone and dials a number at random. When the phone is answered he asks, “Can I speak to Alf, please?”

“There’s no one named Alf here.” The person hangs up.

“That’s irritation,” says dad.

He picks up the phone again, dials the same number and asks for Alf a second time.

“No – there’s no one here named Alf. You have the wrong number. If you call again, I shall telephone the police.” End of conversation.

“That’s aggravation.”

“Then what’s frustration?” asks his son.

The father picks up the phone and dials a third time, but this time says: “Hello, this is Alf. Have I received any phone calls?”

Well, as much as I hate to see this come to an end, I will have to leave you with my philosophical quote for today:

I Don’t Suffer from Insanity:

I Enjoy Every Minute of It.

Y’all have a good day now, ya hear! Until next time! Time to get back to my morning newspaper!

Happy or Unhappy?

I am going to open this week’s post with a quote from Dale Carnegie and end with yet another quote from Abraham Lincoln.

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” ― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

What makes me happy? Well, the fact that I am in my eighth decade of life, healthy for the most part, and retired to boot!

Let’s see, why do I like being in my eighties:  Well, now that I think about it, it really is not much different from being 50, 60, or 70 except on those days I wake up feeling like I am 99!  On those days, I want to say, okay Jeeves, I think I’ll have my breakfast in bed today. But guess what? You got it – no Jeeves!

What is the main concern of being in my eighties or any age for that matter? Getting through the day. Possessions are no longer something we seek. The reality of it is that people such as our children and friends mean more to us than possessions. Our comfort over ambition is uppermost in our minds. We value trust more than we do money. And while we all know we gotta go sometime, we find that we value love more and find it more satisfying than we do immortality.

Let me end this portion of my post by saying that… seeing that I am turning 82 this year, guess what? I only have 18 years left until I can celebrate the century mark! Okay, enough about that – let’s move on to something lighter and hopefully funnier because that is why I write. To make us laugh.   

Take a trip in your mind with me. Did you ever wonder about the quizzical expression found on monkeys at the zoo? Are they thinking to themselves: “Am I my brother’s keeper or his keeper’s brother?”

My post would not be complete were it not to include some trivia so here goes:

Did you know that when the mood of an octopus changes, so does its color! Or that a cow spends approximately 18 out of every 24 hours chewing on something…or that the leader of a wolf pack is always female!

Here is yet another thought from my wild and crazy mixed-up mind: People may argue whether we came from the apes, but most agree that we’re going to the dogs.

Of course, so that we do not go to the dogs, what is needed by humans is just this: “We need to be surrounded by more open minds and fewer open mouths.”

Some might ask me why I feel so lucky to be almost 82 years of age. Well, I have a big-screen TV, two remote controls (one for the sound bar and one for the TV), and a wife of 58+ years. And the good news is “they all still work!”  

To end this piece allow me to borrow a quote from Abraham Lincoln who said:

“We are as happy as we make up our minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

Remember:

Until next time. Y’all come back now, ya hear!