Sunday, April 22, 2018

Today, I Feel Like A Genius. Read This And You Will Feel Like One, Too.

We join a Cleveland Sunday news show already in progress...

Robin: And today is National Jelly Bean Day! The sweet little treat is thought to be the invention of a Boston candymaker. His popular candy was sent to Union troops during the American Civil War. How about you, Ryan? Do you like jelly beans? I have to say that myself, I like Jelly Bellies better than jelly beans.

(Camera cuts to shot of Ryan the weatherman, standing in front of the map. For a moment he looks terribly confused; his mouth opens, then shuts. He glances at the camera, then looks over at the anchor desk.)

Ryan: Aaah...Jelly Bellies and jelly beans are the same thing. Jelly Bellies are a brand of jelly beans, Robin.

Robin: (voice heard, off, brightly) Oh wow! You learn something new every day!

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Settle In With Some Fries And Let's Ketch...Er, Catch Up

It would seem I'm a Terrible Virtual Friend and Correspondent. So many days have drifted by and here we are with nothing more wonderful than a Catch-Up Post from me.

Get it?  Catch Up--Ketchup?

Oh well...I tried.

Spring Has Sprung! As I tap away on my keyboard, it is a Blissfully Sunny 75 degrees outdoors. My windows are open, I feel uplifted, and I'm even barefoot right now. My walk was sprightly and pleasant. Crocuses are smiling at the sun, buds are on trees, and the guy down the street was out mowing his lawn. As I leaned over our neighbor's fence to give treats to their dogs (The Boys, as I call them), I took note of their forsythia just beginning to show bright yellow blossoms. My chives are up and ready to be snipped for baked potatoes tonight, and my oregano and tarragon are starting to come on. And, looking closely, I spot a fine sprinkling of dill which has nudged up through the mulch. Hooray!

I Am The Champion! After a grueling season rife with injuries to my marquee players, my perseverance paid off and I beat Sam in the Championship Round of our NBA Fantasy League. I had an impressive record of 18-3 with an 11-game win streak. And I was the only woman in the 10-team league. My knowledge of the NBA is bordering on the obsessive at this point. Once a student, always a student.

Undecorator Update. As of today, very few Christmas Decoration Sloths in my orbit have taken down their decorations, most egregious being the Nativity Wreck on my street and the mailbox wreath three blocks north. I've decided to Be Grateful that none of the offending decor is an inflatable.

Knitting Pathology. I started a mitred square blanket with the intention of A) using up a lot of yarn that was given to me and that I had bits and pieces of; B) focusing on Knitting As Therapy, and; C) having an ongoing small and easy project that wouldn't give me fits and didn't have a date certain for necessary completion. It all sounds Just Perfect, right? Well, baloney to that.

First, I found little mini-skeins of very pretty yarn on sale that I thought, "Oh, that would be so lovely to fill in squares on the blanket project" so I bought a load of them. Then I knitted a couple of different projects that used bulkier yarn, and I really loved that, so when I found a bunch of it at a ridiculously low price, I bought that. And then I decided that I would set A Square A Day as a Knitting Assignment for myself, which is completely reasonable, and then every day I keep an eye on the clock, wondering when I'm going to have some unbroken time to sit down and knit my square. All of which is Completely Counter to what my Original Intentions were. I swear, I am a Horrible Project most of the time.

Looking Forward. Last Saturday, our mail was exciting! In it was an invitation to a release party being thrown by our favourite winemaker in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. We were verbally invited last October, but hadn't given it much thought again until the invitation showed up. Luckily, we were able to book a room at our usual inn, and we can't wait to go and taste the new wines before they are released to the general public. We've developed some very nice relationships with so many of the wineries and winemakers there that every time we open a bottle, it's like reliving a memory.

I do so hope that Spring has shown up where you are.  We here in NEO will be back to the 40s and low 50s in just a couple of days, but this gift of Fleeting Spring has been a much-needed tonic.  And that is, after all, what Spring is all about:  rejuvenation, reward, and renewal.  I'm storing this up until Spring comes again To Stay.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Help Me To Help You To Help Me: My Moneymaking Idea To End The Madness Of Holiday Sloths

This idea is my gift to you.  Please make it happen and keep all the profits!
Dearest Readers, let's all check our calendars together, shall we? It is April; we can all agree upon that. Can we all agree, too, that in the past, oh, let's say...three months, we've had lots of holidays pass by, including the well-known New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter? Certainly a couple of those are Decoration-Worthy for some of our More Festive Neighbors. Yet, some of them are still Stuck--Irretrievably, it seems--in Christmas Past.

Case in point: the photo below is one I took on my walk a few days ago. Sadly, it is on my very own street, and as of this writing, its status has not changed.

Nativity Wreck:  The Wise Men were smart enough not to show up.
And until a week ago, a lighted wreath (illuminated 24/7) hanging out of a second story window was still a prominent feature of the front of this home.

Unfortunately, this Serial Offender is not the Rogue Holiday Decoration Sloth.  On my walk, they are everywhere.  And proud!  Like this home several blocks from my own.

Sometimes this is still lit up when I pass by in the morning!  Fun!
What's really mystifyingly egregious are the Christmas wreaths still left hanging on front doors and on mailboxes, which are hanging right next to the doors, under cover of the porch.  HOW HARD IS IT, EVERYONE?  JUST REACH OUT AND GRAB IT AND BRING.  IT.  INSIDE.  WITH YOUR MAIL.  ANY DAY NOW WOULD BE GREAT.


So, here's my idea for a moneymaking business.  All you need is a van or a small pickup truck, an extension ladder, and a good supplier for sturdy cardboard boxes in various sizes.  Very No Frills.  A client calls and says, "Look.  I don't want to Undecorate my house.  All the festivity of November/December that translated into ten tons of tchotchky dripping from my home has now become a nightmare to me in February EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE HAD DOZENS OF VERY DECENT DAYS WITH NO SNOW AND TEMPERATURES ABOVE FORTY.  Please come and do it for me."  So, the Undecorator comes, strips all the Holiday Crap, and packs it into sturdy cardboard boxes.  He or she places the boxes either into a garage, shed, or into the home (no stairs will be climbed, and no lifting boxes overhead to put them up on shelves will be done, ever; the homeowner must place boxes into final storage).  Finally, the Undecorator presents the bill, takes payment, and it's over.  For all of us.

As far as looking for new business, please.  I could have found you no less than six new clients in a one and a half-mile radius of my own home, happily placing flyers, dreaming of the days when Christmas was really over well before Easter arrived.

So, what do you say?  Can you make this happen for me?

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