Friday, July 29, 2011
Really closing in on it, now.
Today's assignment: "A picture that can always make you smile."
There're quite a few, actually, ranging from personal pix (there are some of my kids that are riots - to my mind, at any rate) to staged photos to Sunday funnies.
I went looking thru some I have on my computer and this is what I came up with. (Because no, I couldn't just stick with one, now, could I?)
There are some pictures that just cry out for humorous taglines:
'Mabel, I said to her, Mabel, you just haven't heard the worst of it--!'
Animal pictures are often amusing anyway, and can usually make me smile. The witty type:
I love really good puns. The borderline crude--
--generally get a smile out of me.
There's the kind of picture that is - possibly - unintentionally funny:
Heaven forbid there are loose women who double as pickpockets in their spare time.
Then there are cartoons, such as talking food:
It spoke to me. I mean, ice cream DOES speak to me.
But when I sifted thru this little collection (I say 'little' - there are probably a good fifty - sixty pictures in the folder) this is the one I kept coming back to:
I know, I know. But it's so representative of both my many food issues, and my warped sense of humor - I can't help grinning. Eh. You know what Vonnegut said. 'So it goes, so it goes...'
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Today's assignment: "A picture of something you're afraid of."
Well, you know, 'fear' being my middle name 'n' all, it's easy to come up with ideas. Not so easy to pare 'em down and pick just one. But I'll go with My Major Phobia.
Somewhere along the line I think I posted a picture of the house where I grew up. (No, that's not the fear picture - stay with me here, now.) It was a two-story log house - not a cabin, just a farmhouse made from logs.
My parents had a small farm. Our place had a U-curved driveway between the road and a creek. The barn and springhouse and so on was on the 'road' side of the creek. A couple other buildings were on the 'house' side. We had a footbridge, sturdy, with railings, that was wide enough it could have accommodated a wheelchair, but not wide enough for even a small car.
Just setting the scene here.
My father didn't acquire a riding lawn mower until, oh, I'll say probably a good ten years after they bought the place. Until then, he used a push-mower for the lawn areas and a scythe blade on his tractor for the big areas.
When I was about 7 there was an, ah, interesting accident. He was mowing a small patch of lawn between the driveway and the creek. I happened to be up on the porch (keep in mind this was probably a good... I dunno, 30 yards? probably a little more, since it was off on a diagonal from where he was mowing) with my mother.
I wasn't paying attention to Dad, really; I was probably playing or something. But I could hear the back-and-forth drone of the lawn mower, a distant rise and fall. Every so often, he would stop and pick up a branch or something, moving it out of his way. This being pre-deadman's-switch days, the lawn mower would idle when he stopped, then the rise and fall would start again.
You're with me, right?
So when the lawn mower stopped for a moment, it was routine. Then my mother said, quietly, 'That's it. I think your father's lost his mind.'
That got my attention. When I looked, he was swinging his arms around wildly. Then he started dancing - at least, that's how it looked to my seven-year-old eyes. I know I was gaping when he started tearing his clothes off.
From where we were, we couldn't see why he was acting bizarre, but you might've already guessed. He'd run over a yellow-jackets' nest. Boy, those little buggers can build fast. I mean, figure it had probably only been about a week or so since he'd last mowed it. There were enough of them to go up his pantslegs and into his shirtsleeves and really nail him good.
I don't remember any more of it. I know the story, of course, because my father frenetically jerking across the lawn, then taking his clothes off, left what you might call an indelible memory. Poor man. It must've been ghastly.
He made it up to the house - thank God, as he could easily have had enough stings to prove fatal, if the nest had been bigger. My mother practically bathed him in ammonia (you know about that, right? just like with sea-nettle or jellyfish stings, it's an antidote for the venom), he went to the doctor - all's well that ends well.
The next weekend one of my aunts came to visit, and my mother was telling her about the hornets' nest (my father had done them in - you just wait till nightfall, as they can't see after dark, and I guess they all go home at twilight so you can wipe out the whole batch in one fell swoop). My aunt said something like 'Yes, you never can tell where they go down into the ground, until you happen to step on it.' Something like that.
I spent the rest of the summer trying NOT to walk on grass. I was petrified, certain that every leaf, every weed, every blade of grass, harbored the hole that led to the biggest underground hornets' nest of all time.
Keep in mind, we lived on a farm. I know I drove my mother bats - I'm not sure Dad noticed* - but she would ask me to go get something - what? walk across the LAWN? and I wouldn't want to go. She thought I was being lazy or stubborn (me?) and would give me dire threats.
*I don't mean he didn't notice Mom was bats. I mean he didn't seem to notice my neurotic unwillingness to walk across the grass. It was years before he noticed Mom was bats, but that's another story.
Finally, I would start edging out, trying to take giant steps on tiptoe, so as to make as small an imprint as possible - thinking, of course, that so long as I didn't step right ON a yellow-jacket's entryway, I would be okay.
No kidding. The entire summer. Facing a death-march every time I walked across the yard, or out to the barn, or over to the garden. Abject terror.
And I don't know why I didn't just say to my mother (or father, or somebody) 'I'm afraid there are hornets in the grass.' I remember my mother doing her occasional 'What's the matter with you?!?' but what kid ever gave that an enlightening response?
Long story short: I am still, to this very day, terrified of hornets.
I mean, just LOOK at the thing! That's a paper-wasp, not a yellow-jacket, but makes no difference.
When my kids were little we found a huge nest in the summer kitchen of the house where we lived at the time. It was so big we had to call in an exterminator - the nest was in the walls of the building. Bald-faced hornets, he said. All I know is they were vicious little b@$!@#&s, who would sting without provocation (as my daughter can attest) and who would keep right on stinging until you managed to squash the thing.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind honeybees, and I've yet to hear of anyone being stung by a bumblebee. But I'm not sure it would break my heart if every hornet and yellow-jacket was eradicated. Not very green, but - there 'tis.
All right. Off for Chicago Code (what can I say? I got hooked), back to genealogy, the beddy-byes. Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Today's blog assignment is "A picture of yourself and a family member."
You know how some of these have been 'two-fers,' asking for photos of two (usually very different) things? Well, today I'll give you another 'two-fer,' except it will be two pictures for one assignment.
1) I think I've posted this in a blog previously, but nonetheless, a pic of Himself and ...myself!
2) My mother would keel over if she saw this - posting pictures on the 'net is such a no-no for her. (And yes, she's online. But she doesn't Spark, so it's okay. Probably. I hope.)
From left to right - my daughter, me, my mother, my grandmother, my son. That was taken a couple years ago on a glorious October day. Isn't it a great four-generations portrait?
That's all you get today. We went to Alderley Edge for a long (long long LONG) walk and I'm beat.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The assignment back on Day 7 was "Your most treasured item." Faithful Readers will recall that I decided 'item' was definitely 'thing,' not 'person,' so I didn't use a photo of my kids (that came later). I used a photo of my wedding ring.
Today's photo is "A picture of something that means a lot to you." You see what I meant about that overlap business. Again.
Rather than use the same wedding-ring picture, I've slightly changed today's, to "A picture of some PLACE that means a lot to you."
And that is easy. There's a tiny village in upstate New York, halfway between Syracuse and Watertown, where one branch of my family has lived since at least 1840.
My parents were living there when I was born, and it was the place where we spent every Fourth of July until... well, I guess until I was long out of high school, maybe even until my kids came along.
Sometimes we were able to get back* for Thanksgivings, Christmases, Easters, and even the occasional Halloween or Mother's Day. And of course there was the usual assortment of family celebrations, and sorrows - virtually all of my ancestors, as well as my brother, are buried there.
*We were living in Maryland, nearly 400 miles south, and it was an all-day car trip just to get there, although I-81 has shaved a bit of time from that now.
This photo was taken around 1911, just about the time my grandmother was born:
Quite a lot of people had a copy - it's from an old postcard; my grandmother had one, which is where I'd first seen it. There was a time I could tell you the names of just about everyone who lived along the street in the picture, and probably the names of most people in the village.
If I can be said to have roots, that's the place. It goes beyond 'means a lot.' I guess it's Home.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I miss that little Word.doc gizmo you used to be able to select instead of the paper clip.
I have a WeatherWidget - at least, that's what I think it is, me being low-tech 'n' all - set for my desktop. It has popped up to show me clear skies and full sun for today. I don't know WHEN that's supposed to happen: right now it's overcast (has been all morning), looking like thin clouds rather than thick, but overcast all the same. No sun.
The widget lies.
Get An Email Alert Each Time KASEYCOFF Posts