Friday, July 31, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 74

This is week 74 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Thanks again to Carol Pfeiffer (ProArtz) for this week's and next week's words. I have enjoyed the break from coming up with them myself.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: fair warning, hormones, journalism, philanthropist, burgeoning, running the bulls, saturation, tossed in the towel, whine, indelicate details And for the mini: hard labor, lurid, quick fix, sizable contributions, trumpet

This week's 10-word:

Despite having been given fair warning about the dangers involved in running the bulls, philanthropist George Singlebottom decided to take a break from the burgeoning demands of his daily life and give his excitement deprived macho side (his hormones were raging) a rare chance for exercise. Had he known what was to come he would have quickly tossed in the towel and averted the current catastrophe. He felt embarrassed by his folly, but what bothered him most and made him want to whine like a child was not the pain he was experiencing (bad as it was), but the the saturation coverage - this was journalism? - expounding at length on the most indelicate details of his unfortunate trip and the subsequent encounter with a large bull's horns. There was one positive to it all, though. The beautiful nurse who had tended to him go gently had agreed to marry him. On the whole, he guessed, a little humiliation wasn't such a bad trade-off for that kind of happiness.

The mini:

Max Milikin had been about trumpet to the world that he had avoided not only hard labor but a sizeable contrubution to the local plumber with his clever quick fix when his wife's horrified screams had brought him face to face with a scene of such gross and lurid horror that he knew instantly that not only was his bank account about to see a substantial loss but that perhaps this particular quick fix might just be more than even his good-hearted and devoted wife would be able to forgive. "Maybe I should call a plumber," he mumbled. "Ya think?" she replied rather harshly for someone usually rather sweet. "While you're at it, you had better think of something REALLY, REALLY good to atone for this catastrophe." "Yes dear," he replied. "You know I love you, don't you? I really thought it would work..."

The maxi:

Her hormones gave Maria Shaw fair warming every time Max Montgomery entered the room, that her burgeoning infatuation was not going to go away easily. I mean, there ought to be a law against a man like this, she whined to herself. He was handsome and charming, committed to his career in journalism. Bent on adventure - most recently he had participated in the running of the bulls, an event which repelled her though at the same time his description, a mix of macho participant and compassionat observer had endeared him to her even more. If she could forgive him that, she might as well throw in the towel and just throw herself at him. In general as a writer he was willing to engage in hard labor to tell a true and meaningful story. He wasn't one of those creeps whose stories involved trumpeting people's dirty laundry or exposing the lurid indelicate details of the pain of other peoples lives. He had come to interview her several months ago about her work as a philanthropist. She had expected to dislike him, expected him to be shallow like so many reporters were these days. They had had a wonderful discussion of the media - about the saturation of what information was available in hours of gossip and speculation that actually gleaning information was a bit like finding a needle in a haystack... then - this was his analogy - a drop of chocolate syrup in a glass of milk.... impossible. They had gone on to discuss the sizeable contributions made by insurance cormpanies and other interest groups to politicians and how there was no quick fix for any of these problems that were driving the country rapidly down the drain. Anyway, nothing made her fall in love quicker than a good conversation and the fact that he was handsome and smart just added to it. Miraculously he seemed to like her back, a clear sign in her mind that there must be something truly wrong with him. Luckily for her, he had seen that particular kind of insecurity before and he was not daunted by it. He was in love and she would just have to accept it.


Thanks again to Pro Artz for the words. These she took at random from a book she was reading.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: reluctant, sacrilege, territory, humiliating, master of ceremonies, gesture, dirty deed, crumbling, thaw, token

For the mini challenge: official portrait, personal bank account, shoulder bone, unbearable, widow

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Palin's Farewell Speech Explained

My niece pointed this out to me. I think it's very funny. Palin I think is scary crazy and dishonest, but that's a topic for another post.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just Some Pictures

I'm an awful blogger right now and an even worse blog friend. Just can't seem to get myself to do anything. But in case anybody is still dropping by, here are some pictures from the back door. Delaware Opportunities came with 10 (ten!) construction guys and walked through the house. They have now made bids and a decision will be made probably by Thursday and then it takes another week to get State approval and then the next steps depend on when whoever gets selected is available. I'm hoping they are available soon, but it will happen when it happens and I try to remind myself that everything happens exactly as it is meant to.

Want to recommend a book to everyone. It's called the Alchemist. My niece Cindy gave me a gift certificate from and I used it to get myself the audio book as numerous people had recommended the book and my eyes have been bothering me a bit and it was on sale and and and... Anyway. BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL book. I highly recommend it.

Here are some pictures...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 73

This is week 73 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Thanks again to Carol Peiffer (ProArtz) for this week's words... and next week's too! I'm tired today and not feeling up to snuff. I hate everything I wrote.... except manybe the mini - but at least I wrote something. Looking forward to reading what the rest of you have done.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: riverboat, procrastination, drank, demons, invisible, candle, enough, film stars, summer job, computer For the mini: general demeanor, surprisingly, masked man, reach, standards

My 10-word:

When he drank, Sam Wilson felt less invisible, more like the film stars he so admired and wished to emulate... or at least their characters. His favorite fantasy was riverboat gambler. He loved feeling like Bret Maverick. At present he did his gambling on the computer. Sober he didn't do so well. Drunk, no one could hold a candle to him... or at least he had convinced himself that this was so. Thus far he had made more money than he could have with a summer job and his Maverick persona seemed to make him a real "chick magnet." It was a subtle balancing act, though. He had to consume just enough to set what he thought of as his better angels free but still keep the demons in chains. Unfortunately it didn't always work out that way. More often than not, they broke loose and ran riot. Unfortunately, as is true of so many drunks, he was disinclined to remember those moments, clinging instead to the feelings created by the initial haze of good feeling that drink gave him. If he had overcome his procrastination in balancing his check book, he would have discovered too, both that his big winnings were balanced by equally big losses and that the money spent on alcohol was quickly putting him deep into so far into the red that he would soon find himself wishing very much to be truly and not just psychologically invisible.

The mini:

For a masked man, he exhibited a surprisingly a mild general demeanor. "There are standards of behavior," he was quoted as saying, "even for those of us who reach around borders of the law. I can rob you without being ill mannered."

The maxi:

Riverboat Captain, James Reach felt that nothing could hold a candle to this choice of career. It had started as a summer job on a boat called - for some odd reason - The Masked Man. He had wanted a job working for a computer company but his penchant for procrastination had done him in and hadn't been able to find one. He had reluctantly taken work on the boat and had found that he loved it the adventure and excitement of travelling the river. Although perhaps too many of them drank - gambling and drink tended to go hand in hand - a bit more than they might, the general demeanor of river boat people was surprisingly genial by tourism and travel standards. Few of the people he encountered - even the occasional film stars who appeared on his decks - seemed pursued by the invisible demons and neuroses of other industries and he enjoyed rubbing elbows with people who came from a wide variety of nations and social situations. Today he owned his own boat which he had named The Sure Enough because it sure enough was a good life the river had given him.


Thanks again to Pro Artz who pulled this week's words from a blog post she liked... Judging from this collection of words, it must have been an interesting read.

Next week's 10 words are: fair warning, hormones, journalism, philanthropist, burgeoning, running the bulls, saturation, tossed in the towel, whine, indelicate details

And for the mini: hard labor, lurid, quick fix, sizable contributions, trumpet

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


Pride, Foolishness & Utter Idiocy

I'm having a difficult time blogging at present, but since I have to get myself motivated to do my weekly wordzzle and there are a couple of things bugging me, I thought I'd share a funny Daily Show clip and a quick thought on the controversy about the arrest of Professor Gates.

For those living in caves who have missed this sad silly story gone mega... A prominent Harvard Professor returned home from a trip and was having some trouble getting into his house. The door was jammed or something. A neighbor saw two black men with back packs and reported that someone was breaking into a house. By the time the police arrived the professor had gotten into his home and was able to show proof that he was in fact the legitimate resident. From what I can tell he was pretty cranky with the officer who was just trying to do his job. So both men got all testosteroned up and the professor was rude and accused the cop of persecuting him because he was a black man and the cop arrested him for disorderly conduct... in his own home which he had not invaded. Now both men are demanding apologies... and as far as I can tell, both probably should make them. Alas, a reporter at the end of President Obama's Health Care press conference asked him about the situation. He prefaced his comments by saying that the Professor was a friend of his and that he didn't have all the facts, but it seemed that the police had acted "stupidly" to arrest someone in his own home after he had shown them proof that he was in fact the rightful resident and not a felon breaking in. He went on to talk about the historical issue of blacks and Latinos being profiled. The press has allowed these comments to totally eclipse the health care discussion and the police union is now backing up their officer and demanding an apology from the President who already modified his comments slightly the next day. In other words everybody is acting like an idiot and instead of all parties behaving like grown ups and admitting that there was probably some bad behavior on both sides, they are polarizing the situation. From what I can tell, the Professor was probably rude and overly reactive, but a policeman invaded his home and arrested him, so I can kind of see why he might feel that way - particularly in light of the reality that black men deal with a lot of police persecution. Even if this cop was just doing his job and isn't a racist, it isn't surprising that a black man accused in his own home might feel like he's being persecuted on the base of race. That's the reality of the world we live in. It's also the reality of the world that pliceman live in that they have to make difficult decisions, face danger and that they are human and have human reactions when people give them lip. So my guess is, as I said earlier that both men were behaving badly but understandably and both could do with a bit of apologizing to the other.

There's a common belief that apologizing is admitting you're wrong. I've had lots of situations in my life where people have hurt me without meaning to. The grown-ups have apologized, not because they were bad or wrong, but because they were sorry to have hurt me even inadvertently. We all sometimes get involved in misunderstandings. I sometimes miscommunicate or am misunderstood and if and when that happens. I apologize. I apologize because I'm sorry that I've hurt someone, not because I'm wrong or bad. If you step on someones toes, isn't it sensible to say you're sorry? Can't we be sorry for hurting someone even if we didn't do it on purpose, even if we weren't "wrong.?" That's what this whole big fuss is about in my opinion. Two people who stepped on each other's toes and now their pride is involved and they are both too immature to acknowledge the other guy's side. Or that's what I think.

On another topic, there's this wonderful piece from the Daily Show on the continuing nonsense about whether President Obama is an American citizen.... If you want a truly tortured conversation from the other side, check this conversation with Gordon Liddy. Jon Stewart, by the way, recently polled as the "most trusted newscaster" in a Time Magazine Poll. I trust him more than most newspeople.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Born Identity
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Monday, July 20, 2009

Health Care Update

I received this note in my email this morning in case anyone wishes to give their reps a call. I've tried to just copy it from my email and am having a bit of trouble because it's I'm not sure how to fix the coding to make it look right here. This email came to me from the Democrats, but you don't have to be a Democrat to want universal health care., the Aggressive Progressives - 600,000 strong and growing!

Dear Katherine,

Wow!! Thanks to your calls and emails on Friday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich's amendment to let states adopt single-payer healthcare passed the House Education and Labor Committee by 25-19.

Of course the insurance industry will try to kill the Kucinich amendment during future votes, so we will watch carefully and keep you posted.

Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) will vote on Rep. Anthony Weiner's amendment for an even better bill: universal (not state-by-state) single payer healthcare, Medicare for All (H.R. 676).

Please call some of the Democrats on E&C right now and urge them to vote YES on Rep. Weiner's single-payer amendment to the healthcare bill.

If you speak with a staffer, post their reply here:

And if you can be in DC on Thursday July 30, celebrate the 44th birthday of Medicare and rally/lobby for single-payer:

Thanks for all you do!

Bob Fertik

Energy & Commerce (202) 225-2927
Henry Waxman (Chair) (202) 225-3976
John Dingell, MI (202) 225-4071
Edward Markey, MA (202) 225-2836
Rick Boucher, VA (202) 225-3861
Frank Pallone, NJ (202) 225-4671
Bart Gordon, TN (202) 225-4231
Bobby L. Rush, IL (202) 225-4372
Anna G. Eshoo, CA (202) 225-8104
Bart Stupak, MI (202) 225-4735
Eliot L. Engel, NY (202) 225-2464
Gene Green, TX (202) 225-1688
Diana DeGette, CO (202) 225-4431
Lois Capps, CA (202) 225-3601
Mike Doyle, PA (202) 225-2135
Jane Harman, CA (202) 225-8220
Jan Schakowsky, IL (202) 225-2111
Charles Gonzalez, TX (202) 225-3236
Jay Inslee, WA (202) 225-6311
Tammy Baldwin, WI (202) 225-2906
Mike Ross, AR (202) 225-3772
Jim Matheson, UT (202) 225-3011
G.K. Butterfield, NC (202) 225-3101
Charlie Melancon, LA (202) 225-4031
John Barrow, GA (202) 225-2823
Baron P. Hill, IN (202) 225-5315
Doris O. Matsui, CA (202) 225-7163
Kathy Castor, FL (202) 225-3376
John P. Sarbanes, MD (202) 225-4016
Chris Murphy, CT (202) 225-4476
Zachary Space, OH (202) 225-6265
Jerry McNerney, CA (202) 225-1947
Betty Sutton, OH (202) 225-3401
Bruce L. Braley, IA (202) 225911
Peter Welch, VT (202) 225-4115


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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lavender Cowboys and Big Rock Candy Mountains

Kind of after the fact, I thought I'd share where Lavender Cowboy from the Wordzzle came from. It's a Burl Ives song I grew up with. Why it popped into my head last week and ended up in wordzzles, I can't tell you, but I thought it might be of interest to know the source in the deep recesses of my goofy brain. I couldn't find it on You Tube, but did find the lyrics, which are as follows:

he Was Only A Lavender Cowboy,
the Hairs On His Chest Were Two,
but He Wished To Follow The Heroes
and Fight Like The He-Men Do.

but He Was Inwardly Troubled
by A Dream That Gave Him No Rest,
that He'd Go With His Heroes In Action

with Only Two Hairs On His Chest.

first He Tried Many A Hair Tonic.
'twas Rubbed In On Him Each Night.
but Still When He Looked In The Mirror
those Two Hairs Were Ever In Sight.

but With A Spirit Undaunted
he Wandered Out To Fight,
just Like An Old-Time Knight Errant
to Win Combat For The Right.

he Battled For Red Nellie's Honor
and Cleaned Out A Holdup's Nest
he Died With His Six Guns A-Smoking
with Only Two Hairs On His Chest.

Here's Burl Ives singing another song, though.

Then I found this medley with Johnny Cash...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 72

This is week 72 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Lucky for you we have donated words for next week. I don't know who was controlling my brain last week, but yikes!

The words for this week's 10-word challenge were: corn pone, delegation, nectarines, happiness, 12 going on 13, prancing horses, magenta, butterflies, fragmentary, arthritis And for the mini: lavender cowboy, over the moon, preparation, zebra, area rug

My 10-word for this week:

Happiness for Margaret Magenta Simonson was being selected to be a member of the Corn Pone Delegation to the State Fair and getting to travel to Kansas City with Martin Milkin and his sister and her husband for a week of festivities. Being around Martin gave her butterflies in her tummy and made her feel like she was 12 going on 13, not 35 going on 36. The feelings, it seemed, were not unrequited. The first night of the convenion Martin took her out for a fancy dinner. They had a wonderful romantic meal, drank a special nectarine liquer and then went dancing. Being around Martin made Margaret forget her arthritis and shyness. He too seemed to recapture his youth and he danced around the floor like a prancing horse. It was a glorious evening and though due to the over-consumption of alcohol her memory of the moment was a bit fragmentary, much to her surprise and delight, he pulled out a diamond ring and proposed under the light of the full moon. The Fair was wonderful, the Corn Pone Delegation a great success. Though they married late in life, Margaret and Martin lived happily every after.

My mini:

Most people were surprised that Fred Franklin (aka the Lavender Cowboy of western movie fame), would live in an ornate mansion with an eclectic range of furnishing that ranged from massive Tudor pieces, to exquisite hand knotted Persian carpets that looked like area rugs in the vastness of the massive rooms, to extremely modern pieces and even one room with a zebra-skin rug and fabric pattern. In preparation for the magazine lay-out Helen had been granted a rare interview and tour of LC's (as he was called) home. To say that she was over the moon about not only the house but it's owner was to understate her feelings. She was infatuated, in love, in awe... It was something poor Fred had contended with for most of his life and it made him terribly uncomfortable. Helen's husband was not too happy about it either, but he knew it would pass when the issue was published. Her enthusiasm and passion for her work was part of what made him love her.

And the maxi:

Larry Crazner hated being the Lavender Cowboy. He had wanted to go with Magenta, but the film's director had been over the moon about some stupid folk song about a lavender cowboy and so he had been stuck with the stupid sissy name ever since. It still pissed him off. Not that the movies had been much better - all corn pone, prancing horses, heroes and villains and gushy love interests with flowers and butterflies. The movies had been aimed at kids 12 going on 13, he thought, though they had been pretty popular. They hadn't demanded much of him. He had engaged in rather fragmentary preparations, occasional public appearances and the delegation of most other duties to his assistant and his accountant...and anyone else he could foist them off on. Although his films had been produced in the days before there was a lot of marketing, there was at one point a collection of area rugs made in his likeness and that of his horse. Strange what people would buy, he thought. He had tried to break out of the Lavender Cowboy mold at one point, making a safari film. He had loved the experience of Africa and had found such great happiness in seeing elephants, lions and zebras in their natural habitat, that he had decided to make the veldt his home. The film had tanked, but Lavender Cowboy reruns left him with enough money to live in comfortable seclusion where no one remembered him or his horse which the same nutty director had insisted on naming Nectarine. Money being a bit tight, he had recently come out of retirement to do commercials for an arthritis cure. All in all, much as he had hated the role, it had given him a pretty good life and he was grateful for that. He was grateful too, that he had saved a few dozen of those area rugs. They were apparently collectors items now and would provide his son and grandchildren with a nice inheritance. Life had been good to him. Even his arthritis was paying off.


Carol Peiffer (aka Pro Artz) has generously given me a few weeks off picking words. Here's her explanation of how she chose the first batch of 15 words: "#1: I opened everyone's response to the 7/11/09 challenge, positioned the writing on my screen, closed my eyes, moved my cursor, then chose the word closest to the cursor. If the word was one of the challenge words or a very ordinary word like "it," "is," "and," etc, I tried again. There were 16 responses, 17 including yours, so I took one word or phrase from each except yours and mine. "

Next week's 10 word challenge will be: riverboat, procrastinaton, drank, demons, invisible, candle, enough, film stars, summer job, computer

For the mini: general demeanor, surprisingly, masked man, reach, standards

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Letter from Dennis Kucinich

I thought this was worth sharing. I wish all of our Congress people had the passion and dedication to the well-being of our citizens that Mr. Kucinich has. I'm going to let him speak for himself and not add anything.

Healthcare: Change the Debate
Support a Real Public Option

Dear Friends,

In mid-May, in an effort to reach consensus, President Obama secured a deal with the health insurance companies to trim 1.5% of their costs each year for ten years saving a total of $2 trillion dollars, which would be reprogrammed into healthcare. Just two days after the announcement at the White House the insurance companies reneged on the deal which was designed to protect and increase their revenue at least 35%

The insurance companies reneged on the deal because they refuse any restraint on increasing premiums, copays and deductibles - core to their profits. No wonder a recent USA Today poll found that only four percent of Americans trust insurance companies. This is within the margin of error, which means it is possible that NO ONE TRUSTS insurance companies.

Then why does Congress trust the insurance companies? Yesterday HR 3200 "America's Affordable Health Choices Act," a 1000 page bill was delivered to members. The title of the bill raises a question: "Affordable" for whom?.

Of $2.4 trillion spent annually for health care in America, fully $800 billion goes for the activities of the for-profit insurer-based system. This means one of every three health care dollars is siphoned off for corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing and the cost of paper work, (which can be anywhere between 15 - 35% in the private sector as compared to Medicare, the single payer plan which has only 3% administrative costs).

50 million Americans are uninsured and another 50 million are under insured while for-profit insurance companies divert precious health care dollars to non-health care purposes. Eliminate the for-profit health care system and its extraordinary overhead, put the money into healthcare and everyone will be covered, everyone will be able to afford health care.

Today three committees will begin marking up and amending HR3200. In this, one of the most momentous public policy debates in the past 70 years, single payer, the only viable "public option," the one that makes sound business sense, controls costs and covers everyone was taken off the table.

In contrast to HR3200 ... HR676 calls for a universal single-payer health care system in the United States, Medicare for All. It has over 85 co-sponsors in Congress with the support of millions of Americans and countless physicians and nurses. How does HR-676 control costs and cover everyone? It cuts out the for-profit middle men and delivers care directly to consumers and Medicare acts as the single payer of bills. It also recognizes that under the current system for-profit insurance companies make money NOT providing health care.

This week is the time to break the hold which the insurance companies have on our political process. Tell Congress to stand up to the insurance companies. Ask members to sign on to the only real public option, HR 676, a single-payer healthcare system.

Hundreds of local labor unions, thousands of physicians and millions of Americans are standing behind us. With a draft of HR3200 now circulating, It is up to each and every one of us to organize and rally for the cause of single-payer healthcare. Change the debate. Now is the time.

The time to act is now!

Sincerely Yours,
Dennis Kucinich

PS - Over the next several months, I will be engaging all of you with frequent updates and will ask you to continue a movement to fight for what needs to be done now; ending this war in Iraq and stopping the escalation in Afghanistan, attaining true single-payer healthcare for all Americans, standing up for my brothers and sisters of organized labor.

After you have contacted your member of Congress, please tell us your thoughts and ideas on how you are organizing your friends and neighbors towards a single-payer movement and all of the other issues that are important to us.

Contact us at

Monday, July 13, 2009


Well, my heart isn't quite into posting but I'm foolishly listening to the hearings for Judge Sotomayor. The Republicans are having a great time mis-quoting or quoting President Obama out of context on the subject of empathy. (He stressed equally the importance of adherence to the rule of law.)

What's fascinating to me is that they don't seem to understand what empathy is or think that one capable of empathy is only capable of empathy for the side of an argument they are most partial to already. In fact empathy implies the opposite. The capacity for empathy means that you are capable of putting yourself into the shoes of parties on BOTH sides of an argument. Empathy actually allows one to listen to arguments from outside the narrow confines of one's inherent prejudices with an open heart and mind. It is very much the opposite of what Republicans construe it to be. Empathy isn't bigotry, nor does it incapacitate one's ability to reason and adhere to the precepts of right and wrong or the letter - and intent - of the law.

Then there's the whole nonsense about activist judges. The Supreme Court seems to me to be a relatively "activist" branch of our government in some respects. Over the course of history the Supreme Court has interpreted and re-interpreted our laws in ways that have changed the course of the nation, sometimes for good and sometimes for ill. While our law is a set of codes and guidelines, it is also a "living," evolving entity and one which is open to interpretation. That's why there IS a Supreme Court. Were this not so, racism would still be constitutional, women would not be able to vote and many societal evils would still be legal. I really have to stop watching CNN. It makes me cranky.

Guess that's all I've got in me. A little spurt of opining. Now I will scurry back to my cave and rest. Here are some photos of the woodchuck who visited yesterday for a while and posed quite nicely.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 71

This is week 71 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. I thought this was a really tough set of words and I'm not too thrilled with what my brained spewed out for next week either, but... Looking forward to reading what you all have come up with. I just love the variety and creativity of everyone who plays and what a wide range of directions the words take us to.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: sober, spoilage, knight, laugh and the world laughs with you, peak, blueberries, owl, drugstore, lampshade, keyboard For the mini challenge: economy, Michael Jackson, ladder, clue, structure

My offering for the 10-word challenge:

Sometimes I think life would be easier if I wasn't sober, but I know that's not true. The spoilage of alcoholism runs deep and wide and destroys not only your own life but hurts everyone around you. I was lucky that I found my knight in shining armor who swooped me up and helped me heal before I came a lampshade on the head drunk. He was - well he still is - a pharmacist at the local drugstore. His name's Powell and for some reason I started calling him Powell the Owl... I think because he always said "who's next?" in a way that made me smile. My drinking was moving towards that peak - or maybe chasm - from which it's hard to return, but my wise owl - maybe it was his wisdom that made me call him Owl - helped me to see myself as worthy of better. He gave me his love but better than that, he taught me to love who I am. "Laugh and the world laughs with you," he always says, "but better yet, laugh and you lift your own heart. That and a box of blueberry tarts are the key to happiness." He plays a mean keyboard too... and he got me to sing... which is how I make my living now. How can you not love a man like that?

For the mini:

It's a strange commentary on our society that poor Michael Jackson dies and becomes the only news. Forget the economy, forget the goings on in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan... Dozens of people who haven't a clue, really, sit and gossip, try to create a structure of truth out of speculation and rumor and pure nonsense. It's sad really, the alternation between meanness and adulation, the hyperbole. A death called "mysterious," when it was really just unexpected. They build a ladder out of all the ugly half truths, lies, facts and opinions and pretend or convince themselves they have climbed somewhere. For me - whether I'm right or wrong - my instincts say that Mr. Jackson was an eccentric genius and a profound and wounded innocent who was easy prey for the more heartless and manipulative souls in our society. One thing that makes me think I'm right is just how very much those who really knew him loved him. Whatever the truth of who he was, hopefully he is at peace now. Poor Farrah Fawcett (this is for Mommy Wizdom), another eccentric often tormented by the media... was either unfortunate or lucky enough to die in the shadow of Mr. Jackson. Probably she was lucky not to be given our media's idea of a eulogy. May she too rest in peace.

My maxi:

"Laugh and the world laughs with you," my knight in shining armor always says with such sober seriousness that he makes me laugh in spite of myself. George is a physicist by profession, studying the structure of the atom., but an expert on everything from the economy, to decorating (his specialty is lampshades), to comparative pricing at all the local drugstores, the comparative virtues of different computer keyboards based on their structure and ergonomic virtues... The list goes on and on. There is nothing that George doesn't know. Really. The range of his expertise is phenomenal. He can quote the lyrics from every Michael Jackson song, everything that Joni Mitchell ever penned and... well, that list goes on and on too. He's like a living encyclopedia. But with charm. He's also a birder. He can name any bird he sees and not just in general. He knows every species and sub-species of owl and hawk and he can tell you their habits, habitats, mating habits, and calls. He's a genius on every subject. But amazingly, he's not a bore. He's fun and full of the joy of love and living. He makes time for me and the kids and even though he always wins at Clue and Trivial Pursuit, he does so with such good grace that I can't really be as annoyed as I'd like to be about losing. The only game I ever saw him lose was Chutes and Ladders and I'm not sure he didn't do that on purpose because he wanted the kids to feel good about themselves. Oddly, the only thing that makes my George cranky is grocery stores. He gets livid when there's what he considers unnecessary or unacceptable spoilage. This irritation peaks for some reason on the subject of spoiled blueberries, his favorite food in the whole world. This year, we are growing our own. Given George's penchant for excellence, I'm sure they will be the size of grapes and sweet perfection... just like my sweet, loveable husband.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: corn pone, delegation, nectarines, happiness, 12 going on 13, prancing horses, magenta, butterflies, fragmentary, arthritis

For the mini challenge: lavender cowboy, over the moon, preparation, zebra, area rug

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.