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!

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!

What Can I Say? – I’m Not Awake Yet!

Here it is Easter Sunday and while I wanted to post something funny, my mind has been drawing a blank in that arena. So, I will share with you something philosophical, then some trivia, and perhaps by the time I am through, a funny thought will come to mind.

Philosophical:

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trivia:

Yesterday after watching an old Agatha Christie movie with Helen Hayes in the role of Jane Marple, when the movie ended, we were enticed to stay seated to watch the next movie which was another Agatha Christie film but this time with Jean Stapleton and Peter Ustinov as the stars. We didn’t watch it but did write down the title to watch it perhaps sometime later today. Seeing Peter Ustinov’s name reminded me of a movie we saw many years ago with Ustinov in the starring role alongside Aldo Ray and Humphrey Bogart entitled “We’re No Angels.”  

At times my memory amazes me. I mean that movie came out in 1955 when I was just 15 years of age. I loved it then and I am pretty sure were I to watch it again now, I would like it today as well. What does this movie have to do with today’s post? Well, probably nothing but seeing Peter Ustinov’s name and face reminded me of a quote he made many years ago which went like this”

“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”

On that note, allow me to share with you some unusual trivia you may or may not have known:

Did you know that Rocker Rod Stewart was once a gravedigger….or that entertainer Victor Borge used to play the piano at funerals….or and here is one that I truly enjoyed….The inscription on actress Joan Hackett’s grave marker reads. “Go Away! I’m Sleeping.”

In case some of you do not remember these three entertainers, allow me to give you a few hints to jog your memory. 

Rod Stewart is a British rock and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer. 

Victor Borge was a Danish-American comedian, conductor, and pianist who achieved great popularity in radio and television. One of Borge’s other famous routines was “Phonetic Punctuation,” in which he read a passage from a book and added exaggerated sound effects to stand for all of the punctuation marks, such as periods, commas, and exclamation marks.

Joan Hackett was in the 1969 film “Support Your Local Sheriff” with James Garner and Walter Brennan.   Ahh, the good old days!

Oh, here is something to think about:

Gossips are the spies of life.

Funny thought:

Here’s yet another thought for you all to ponder over that has to do with crazy names some cities and towns have. Did you know that there is a place in Delaware called Corner Ketch? Yup, it’s rumored that Corner Ketch – an unincorporated community in New Castle County, Delaware – got its name from a rough-and- tumble bar, whose patrons were so quarrelsome that townspeople would warn strangers, “They’ll ketch ye at the corner.”

Well, that’s all I got this week. That’s about as funny as I get today. We made it through yet another week without any unusual surprises. Our health is good, and as the saying goes or the one that I remember:

I woke up this morning, am on the right side of the grass and I am still taking nourishment. But….don’t you just love it when I add a “But?” But…..

” Coffee where’s my coffee?

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

Metaphors/Time

Hello folks:

‘Tis me, and I am back again one week later with yet another attempt to exaggerate the truth to elicit yet another smile from those of you that take time from your busy schedules to read my dribble.

What am I taking about – well, let me open this week’s post with something that while it probably would not happen today, it could? Is it funny? I think so but you be the judge. Picture this if you will: A man or woman walks into a bookstore, meanders up to the desk where various clerks are diligently working doing whatever it is they do and asks this question:

“Where is the self-help” section?  The clerk closest to the customer stops what she is doing, walks over to the customer, shrugs her shoulders and replies: “If I tell you, won’t that defeat the purpose?”

Each week I try my best to find the funnier side of things to share with those of you following my nonsense. While it is true, sometimes I wander off point and write something more profound than comedy, but the bottom line is that looking at the funnier side of things, especially in today’s atmosphere and world conditions, assists with taking the edge off things enabling us to cope just a bit better.

But before I drift off to funny land, allow me to share with you two things I think about that help me cope. For instance, say I sit down at the computer to do some writing be it something to place on Facebook, create a post such as this one or perhaps start a fourth book and nothing comes to me – nothing, nada, zilch. What do I do? I think of the metaphor:

Books are the keys to your imagination.”

If I feel stumped regarding what to write, I peruse my library of books and sure enough one of them will provide me with the inspiration I need to spark my imagination and shortly thereafter I am back at my computer pounding on those keys. 

Now if, when I wake, I feel like my “A” game is still hidden under those covers, well, then I think of music. What type of music? Well, country (think Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and the like) is my “Go-to” medicine when things have me down or I just need a pick-me-upper. Sometimes, it is just the song title itself that gets me in a better mood, but more times than not it is a memorable “hook line” that gets me out of my mood.

Take the song “The Gambler” sung by Kenny Rogers.

For those of you not familiar with the song, I am referring to the verse that goes like this:

You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them
Know when to walk away, know when to run.
You never count your money while you’re sittin’ at the table,
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

See what it is telling us? Play the hand you have been dealt the best you can. These two methods (my books and my country music) have served me well over the years and more so during these, our twilight years. Books spark my creative side of my brain and before long I come up with a thought or two enabling me to write something, be it a Facebook quip, Lakeland Musings post, or the thought of writing a fourth book. Listening to my country music picks my spirits up and before I know it, I am dancing throughout the house which can last anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes. Listening and dancing does wonders for my spirits and puts me back in the happy frame of mind I prefer to be in.

Now that I am in what is sometimes referred to as the twilight years, some might say that “life (or age)” should be looked upon as a staircase. Each passing year becomes a step up that staircase. Some might say that as we take each step up the staircase, another year passes (I hope it is a long, long, staircase). How do we approach this staircase? By being very optimistic. If we are lucky, being optimistic about such a trip up that staircase will enable us to become more experienced, a wee bit wiser, and as the old saying goes “the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise” more at peace with ourselves by the time we get to the top.

Okay, enough with my viewpoint of life as I see it during my twilight years. Let me move on to something a bit educational. I know, I promised comical, but the post isn’t over yet.

Did you ever think there would be a town called Why? There is. It is a town called Why, AZ. It is approximately 30 miles north of the Mexican border where Lukeville, AZ and Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico, border each other, and 10 miles south of Ajo, AZ.

According to Wikipedia, the town derives its name from the fact that two major highways, namely Routes 85 and 86 originally intersected in a Y-Intersection. At the time of its naming, state law required all city names to have at least three letters, so the town’s founders named the town “Why” as opposed to simply calling it “Y.” The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) later removed the old Y-intersection for traffic safety reasons and built the two highways in a conventional intersection south of the original intersection. Oh, and by the way, it has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names. What’s that? You want to know what the population of this town is? As of the 2020 Census there were 148 residents. Nuff said!

As to the comical stuff I promised, well, here are questions that have been bugging me for some time now:

Do astronauts change their clocks when they move over different time zones in space?

What do Greeks say when they don’t understand something?

What happens if a Queen gives birth to a pair of Siamese twins? Who gets to be king?

If a taxi-cab driver were to drive backwards to the destination given him, would he end up owing his passenger money?

If a bouncer at a bar gets drunk and unruly, who throws him out?

If you had a three-story house and were on the second floor, isn’t it possible that you can be upstairs and downstairs at the same time?

Well, that’s my piece for this week. In conclusion, due to my advancing years, I tend to see life through Forrest Gump’s eyes.  If you will recall, Forrest’s quote was:

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

While it might have sound silly on the big screen, for those of us now in our eighties, we are proof that it means:

“You should always expect the unexpected!”

Allow me to end this post with yet another metaphor and one that I believe in whole-heartedly:

“Life is a song; we each get to write our own lyrics.”

Y’all have a nice day now, ya hear. Until next time!

How Much do We Think About the Aging Process?

Seeing that I turn 82 this year, I got to thinking about various things that pop into my mind when thinking about the aging process. Things I might add, I probably should have begun thinking about several years ago. But, hey – I am not the sharpest tack in the box and as the saying goes “Better Late than Never!”

So, what things should we consider? Age, beauty, physical shape, and so forth!

I am sure that many individuals might say beauty, attractiveness, and so forth and I might have considered that. But truth be told, let’s face it, despite our best efforts to “stay in shape”, chances are our booty sags, our bellies expand, and the attractiveness we may have had many years ago gives way as might be expected when one thinks of what we know as “The Circle of Life!” Wrinkles – as much as most of us do not relish them – tell a story if but one takes the time to read them. One might even say that the lines and wrinkles in our face have been earned and we should look upon them as a face map (roadmap if you will) reflecting where we’ve been and depending on circumstances also reflect how we’ve weathered the journey.

Another thing I have noticed during this aging process is how both our energy and priorities change the older we get. I can remember when I had a strict schedule that I followed religiously but that has sort of disappeared over the years. However, that is not all bad. Energy that is waning should be looked upon as a hint that we need to “prioritize” those things that are truly important at this stage of our lives. While our hearts may suggest that we do this or that and believe me when I say that, at times, intentions of the heart may be very strong – we must keep in mind that aging has the tendency to affect the energy one must have in order to accomplish those intentions. How do we do that? One way I do it is to journal about what I consider to be important at this time of my life.

My list is somewhat short and probably shorter than many others at this stage in life, but nonetheless, having such a list enables me to wake up each morning and face each day with a smile. What is on my list? Things like:

Stretch daily and have a daily step goal I try to meet day in and day out.

Spend time looking and taking in what mother nature has provided us.

Writing every morning.

Eating right 24/7 which means making sure I stay hydrated; eat healthy foods that will sustain me (but allow myself to indulge on a truly special occasion).

Finally, face up to the fact that even though we might be in our sixties, seventies, or eighties and beyond we must recognize the fact that:

We need to find what gives us a sense of purpose. What is truly fulfilling and satisfying to us every day.

What’s on our bucket list, if we even have one and if not, why not make one?

Recognizing the fact that we only go around one time I must ask the question:  

What, at this point in my life, do I truly consider to be important for the time I have left?

Live life to the fullest because none of us know what tomorrow might bring.

Until next time!