Monday, 17 July 2017

My English Teachers Would Be Wincing Right About Now

It's Poetry Monday ... with a twist! We have the option of using a suggested theme now, and this week's theme is NONSENSE. Don't forget to head over to Diane's and Delores' blogs to see what they've come up with, and feel free to leave a poem of any kind, using the theme or not, in the comments at any of our blogs, or on your own blog (just leave us a link so we can find you).

*****

When my mother used to tell my brother and I to "Stop that nonsense!" she meant that we were being naughty, misbehaving, or otherwise getting on her nerves and we'd better settle down.

But when I looked up the definition of the word "nonsense" I found that there is another meaning directly related to poetry: verse or other writing intended to be amusing by virtue of its absurd or whimsical language ("nonsense poetry").

Because I spent the weekend (1) recovering from last week's work and travel and (2) cleaning out the fridge and attached freezer, a job that has apparently not been completely done since 2008, because, yes, I found a couple of things in there with that date on them, and to be completely and embarrassingly honest the only reason I was now emptying it was because great quantities of water have been pooling in the bottom and we needed to move it out of its snug little hole in the wall in order to clean the coils at the back in the vague hope that it would do some good, and it's also been freezing food in the refrigerator section which is very inconvenient if you've got, say, raw carrots for snacking on since you're trying to lose weight and have you ever tried to eat a frozen raw carrot? well it's not all that delicious and when you have sensitive teeth it's not all that comfortable either.

I see that sentence fragment has gotten away from me in a way that entire paragraphs have not gotten away from me in a long time.

So, to make a long story shorter (because it can't be made "short" now, no matter what), I was tied up this weekend and although I kept thinking about our Poetry Monday theme (thinking consisting of putting the word up in front of my mind's eye and letting random thoughts float past), I didn't get any flashes of inspiration, and when I sat down to try to make inspiration behave with hard work instead, I came up dry as well.

The only reasonable thing to do at that point was to Google "nonsense poetry" and ...

BINGO.

There I found a poem that I can dimly recall my brother reciting to me when we were young. He was four years my senior, so perhaps I should say *I* was young, while he was old enough to teach me a few things, both good and bad, that I probably wouldn't have stumbled into on my own. But that's a story (or a bunch of them) for another time.

Anyway, I now bring you this nonsense poem, not from my fertile mind or the sweat of my brow, but from the mists of history, of verses passed down from generation to generation, with many variants (which you can read HERE if you wish). I chose the following version, because it encompasses the best of the variants, in my opinion, and also because the authors of the website where it came from (HERE) explained their reasoning for editing it as they did.

I expect that many or maybe all of you have heard some version of this while growing up.

One Fine Day

One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight, 
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other,

One was blind and the other couldn’t see,
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout “hooray!”

A paralyzed donkey passing by,
Kicked the blind man in the eye,
Knocked him through a nine inch wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all,

A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came to arrest the two dead boys,
If you don’t believe this story’s true,
Ask the blind man - he saw it too!

*****
Footnote 1: After I wrote all of those words up there ^^^ I read the introduction on the BC Folklore website cited above, and discovered that the authors don't consider this poem to be true nonsense poetry ... but you can read more about that at the link.

Footnote 2: I think there are some words in this poem that are not politically correct.

Footnote 3: I feel like I've just written a very badly done term paper for English class because I've spent the weekend doing the wrong things (leisure and home chores), but the time has come to pass it in and this is it, folks ...

Footnote 4: I did manage to remember the elusive post topic mentioned in Friday's post, and have come up with another as well. If I write them on a piece of paper, the paper will probably get lost in the flotsam from the freezer that is sitting thawing on the kitchen counter, so instead, I'll write them here! (1) earworm (music), and (2) summer festivals. There. I'm so proud of myself.

If only I can remember where I wrote the ideas down when I need them.



There's nothing else to add, really.


Have a good week, folks!





 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Facebook Is Not Entirely Useless

As readers know (or can find out from my profile), I post on Mondays and Fridays, which are Tuesdays and Saturdays for some of you, depending on which side of the globe you call home.

This week, after Monday's post was published, my mind turned toward Friday's post. I immediately thought of something to write about. I'll remember that, I thought. How could I forget it?

On Tuesday, I reminded myself of the thing I was going to write about for Friday. AHA! I thought; I had NO trouble remembering that! I'll do the post later in the week when I'm not so busy.

On Wednesday, I didn't think about it at all because I already knew I could remember it at will when I finally got time to write my Friday post.

On Thursday, I drove two hours to the city to have lunch with a friend and then drove two hours back home, with another visit to a relative and some shopping along the way. All the way there and all the way home I tried to remember what I was going to write about.

You know where this is going, do you not?

Yeah.

So, instead of my excellent yet somehow absent post, here are a few funnies that were delivered to my Facebook account. Most of the things that show up on Facebook are, in my opinion, not worth reading (although you no doubt see the irony that I must have read quite a few of them in order to establish that fact), but I had to admit that I enjoyed these, so I stole rescued them for "recycling."

They are actual notes written by apartment dwellers and home owners.

In one of my apartments, my upstairs neighbours never clomped around, but there were a lot of squeaky springs almost every night. Sheesh, people, get a room ... Er, yes, I guess you did. I just wish it wasn't right over MY room.


I bet Bob is SUPER HAPPY about that, especially with the smiley face :)



You'll need to click on this to make it big enough to read (or use "Control +"), but it's worth the effort. I'm especially impressed by Max's drawings.



I hope they plan to get a nicotine patch for the cat's withdrawal symptoms.


Now, some of you already know my thoughts on Facebook (i.e., that it doesn't interest me) so why, then, you ask, do I have a Facebook account?

Here's why: so I can keep in touch with my niece and nephew, whom I see only once every year or five. And to see adorable pictures of my little grand-nieces posted by said niece and nephew.

One final comment on the value of Facebook (hmmm ... could apply to Twitter also):



An isolated incident, I am sure!


If you have cats I hope they are not smokers. If you are painting your fence, have fun with it. If you are wearing cement flip-flops, you're probably pretty tired by now. If you have to share laundry facilities with other, unrelated people, good luck. (I remember those days well.)

Wishing you all a happy weekend!






Monday, 10 July 2017

The Smiling Goat

Welcome back to Poetry Monday!

Read a poem, write a poem, leave a poem, have fun! Check out Diane's and Delores' blogs for more poetic goodness.

Last week seemed awfully busy for a four-day work week (we had Monday off in lieu of Saturday, July 1st, our country's birthday). I'm not sure how a day off makes life more busy instead of less busy, but it seems to do that.

As a result, my poem-making brain cells are dry as a bone. Therefore, I offer this verse I learned from my mother, who learned it from her father. On doing some internet checking, I discovered that it has been around for a long time, in a number of variations, and has been attributed to a number of sources. You can read more at the Wikiquote entry, HERE, for the author Stephen Grellet, who seems to be the most favoured source. 

I shall pass through this world but once.
Any good, therefore, that I can do
Or any kindness I can show to any human being,
Let me do it now.
Let me not defer or neglect it,
For I shall not pass this way again.

The only change I'd make to this would be to substitute "living thing" in place of "human being," because critters of all kinds, not just people, need to be treated with respect and thoughtfulness.

This might be my shortest post ever.

Now, we can't have that, can we???

We need some padding to give this post some self-respect.

A picture and a question should do it.

Here's the picture:

Kindness can be as easy as showing a little smile.

And here is my question for anyone who'd like to weigh in. Random acts of kindness seem to be popular right now, and a very common one is to buy coffee or a fast food order for the next person in line. I keep wondering why. I doubt it's because people in the lineup are impoverished. And if it's to make a stranger feel good, can we do the same thing with a kind word, a smile, or a bit of conversation? Would the money we spend on coffee or fast food do more good at the food bank, the homeless shelter, or elsewhere? This is such a universally accepted form of random act of kindness that I feel I must be missing something here. Any ideas? Thank you for your time and thoughts.

Have a good week, all :)

The smiling goat picture is from our friends at Pixabay.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Random Pictures ... And Hair

I thought this would be a short post today, using a few pictures that have been hanging around in my files since May.

As my mother always used to tell us, You know what THOUGHT did ...

First I found that half of the pictures I wanted to use didn't show up very well in the small format I need to use here. So I was inserting pictures, and deleting pictures, over and over.

Then I thought something was wrong with Blogger because suddenly none of the pictures, good OR bad, could be inserted into the body of the post.

Then I thought the internet connection was dropping, which is a common thing here because we have a wireless router and the signal is a bit sketchy.

Then I did the only other thing I know how to do, which is click on "Troubleshooting" for the internet connection. And it told me our modem was having problems connecting. I was advised to turn it off, wait for all the lights on it to go out, and then turn it back on.

At this point I should just tell you all upfront that my husband always does this stuff when it's necessary. But he wasn't available to do it just then. He is an early riser, and also an early retirer. I wasn't about to waken him to fix the modem so I could write a post.

So down I went to the basement where the modem is located, and tried to turn it off. There was no on/off switch. So I turned off the first of two power bars that looked like it might be the right one. I know I should have followed the cords to see if it was really the right one, but there were an awful lot of cords and I'm not really that patient. Nothing happened. So then I turned off the furthest power bar. Nothing happened. Then I unplugged everything I could see from the wall outlet. Nothing bloody happened! It was like a zombie modem; it wouldn't die.

So I got the broom and started sweeping the cat hair up because at least that was something I knew how to do. I was getting a little rattled at this point, and physical work helps me calm down.

After I finished sweeping, I plugged everything back in, and turned off the furthest power bar again. Suddenly all the lights went out on the modem and the router, and something started beeping. What??!! How can anything be beeping when the lights are out??

Cripes. I counted eight beeps, and then ... nothing.

So then I turned the power bar back on AND VOILA ALL THE LIGHTS CAME BACK ON AND EVERYTHING WORKED.

Who says I'm bad with technology, eh? *preens*


An evening sky in mid-May, caught on my way home from work. My camera couldn't capture the full glory of the whole sky overhead, but the colours in this little rectangle are true to what I saw.


Mary and Joseph in the garden in early June. The blossoms start out pink and turn blue, and the leaves are dappled with white spots. They multiply dependably and flourish in shade. This plant is a good choice for a lazy gardener like me. Its other name is lungwort. What the ...? Whoever thought that was a good name for such a lovely, reliable plant?


Flowering trees by the river, with the church steeple in the background. I have no idea what this tree is called. Any ideas? In the meantime, being a better namer of things than whoever named the lungwort, I shall call this a Frothy Fluffy tree.

A towering cloud formation in early evening of late June, captured on my way home from work ...


... and the same clouds a few minutes later, from a vantage point near the river, facing the same direction. I didn't realize until I looked back at the pictures how much the formation had changed in such a short time. There were no other clouds in the sky at all. My husband said it reminded him of a mushroom cloud after a nuclear explosion.

Speaking of mushrooms ... time to update you on my latest haircut. Fun, right? Here's me when I saw the back of my head in the mirror at the end of yesterday's appointment:



My poor hairdresser. She had worked from a picture I brought with me. I kept telling her the picture was just for the silhouette (i.e., flat, not mushroom-shaped!!) but ... it ended up quite short in the back. Not as short as I had it once about ten years ago (that one was next thing to a buzz cut) but too short for my liking. And the front was long; so long I felt like this:

Sad doggie has long ears. Sad Donkey had long hair-ears. Not ear hairs; HAIR-EARS.


Anyway, she took me back for a second try today (at the end of her long day, bless her), and at least the front of it matches the back now. Oh yes that's right people, more hair is on the floor at the salon and less is on my head.

It will be easier to take care of, though. So there's that.

I'm not sure what the next move is in this chess game, but I have five weeks to think about it. I really appreciate her ability to give me a precision cut, something that's difficult to do with my fine, heavy hair. So I want to keep trying to work this out. Heavens to Betsy; it's almost like marriage. Stay tuned! There will likely be more instalments in this harrowing saga. Harrowing. Get it? Hair-owing? ... Never mind.





Wishing you all a week-end without hairy situations :) And hopefully with a minimum of long-winded people ...



Monday, 3 July 2017

They Should Be Bald By Now

Here it is, Poetry Monday once again! Every Monday, you can find new poems--delicious, freshly grown, organic, and pesticide-free--here, and at Diane's and Delores' blogs. Leave a poem in the comments if the spirit moves you, or tell us where to find your blog if you've posted one there. Have fun!

Here in Donkeyland, it's been a very short weekend. I know there are supposedly twenty-four hours in every day, sixty minutes in every hour, blah blah blah, but I can tell you for a fact that some days are shorter then others and some are longer ... when you are measuring not in real time but in feel-time.

We've all experienced feel-time, right? Feel-time is what makes a dental appointment last forever, and it's what makes a vacation fly by uncommonly fast. Feel-time stretches out to the horizon when we are sad or lonely, and snaps back like an elastic band to less than nothing when we want a magic moment to last longer.

The effects of feel-time also kick in when we desperately need to get more done than we have time in which to do it.

That was the case this weekend when we had family scheduled to visit for supper on Saturday. The previous three weeks were busy at work for both my husband and I, and many household chores were put off during that time. So when Saturday came, we had to cram a whole lot of cleaning into a few measly hours. In feel-time, those few hours seemed awfully short.

There are only two people in our household now, but there are three cats, and despite daily brushing they are somehow still able to stroll through a room and shed hair with every step. We gave up years ago trying to keep them off the soft, cushy furniture, so there is a constant battle with cat hair on the upholstery. And I have even found cat hair stuck to the walls at times. It's a good thing they are cute and lovable, because no one would put up with their hairy mess otherwise.

And that's the inspiration for today's poem.



I'd Really Rather Sit And Eat A Chocolate Eclair

Cat hair
Everywhere.
Didn't I just
Sweep there?
It's not fair!
They don't care!
Makes me swear
And despair.
They stare
Past my glare,
Quite aware
That they share.

Still, they dare.

Cats have flair.
And so much freakin' HAIR. 

*****

Have a chocolate-elair kind of week, people :)



This is why we can't have nice things.

Well, except for the cats. THEY are nice things.

Disclaimer #1: this cat does not live at our house.

Disclaimer #2: we do not have a polka-dot couch.

But thank you, Pixabay, for this awesome picture.