Bookmarks

sunshine-2Before we get started on today’s Saturday Smile, I have to get this off my chest: WHY DOES WORDPRESS HAVE PUBLISH IMMEDIATELY AS THE DEFAULT?!

For those of my dear readers who received two email notifications for this post, my heartfelt apologies. *Sigh*

Okay. I feel better now. On to our Saturday Smile (actually on Saturday this time. *Sigh*):

As many times as I have purchased bookmarks or received them as gifts, rarely is there one available when I need it. Usually I just wind up using a scrap of notepaper, a playing card, or even a piece of string.

Back when I worked at a library, I found out I’m not alone. We used to find grocery lists, electric bills, dental floss (ew!), and yes, occasionally money. Recently I read an article about items found in books by used booksellers. Some of the things they find are pretty interesting.

Have you ever visited AbeBooks? It’s a book lovers paradise. I can lose hours on that site. Literally, hours.

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During a particularly boring day at work this last week, I read this article on their site. It lists a variety of things their booksellers reported finding. My personal favorite was listed under “Mysterious”:

A hotel cocktail napkin with a name and a room number on it – from Spain – found inside a 1945 mystery paperback.
Nathan from Kayleighbug Books, New York

Was it the rendezvous that never happened? Or was it a rendezvous so memorable, the lady (or gent) kept it as a bookmark, sighing with every turn of the page … ?

We may never know, but sounds like a nice plot for a novel, doesn’t it? 🙂

Cleanliness is Next to Insanity. Also, a Review of Cat Litter.

This last week, I lost my sunglasses. To fully understand the tragedy of this event, you must know that this was my girlfavorite pair of sunglasses. They were stylish, lightweight, fit me perfectly, and were dark enough that if someone was talking to me, I could ignore them completely and they never knew. Oh, and they protected my eyes too.

Now they’re gone and I have to wear my back-up pair. Actually I have two back-up pairs. (I live in Phoenix, after all.) But neither pair is as nice as the pair I lost.

Well, maybe lost isn’t the correct word. I know exactly where they are.

They are wrapped in three plastic grocery bags, knotted twice, and sitting at the bottom of our garbage bin. Our outside garbage bin.

Here’s what happened …

Continue reading “Cleanliness is Next to Insanity. Also, a Review of Cat Litter.”

Bumper Stories

Despite the fact that I don’t have a single one on my car, nor have I ever had one on any car I’ve ever owned, I love bumper stickers. I love them on other people’s cars.

I love them because I love to imagine the lives of the people I’m sharing the road with, and bumper stickers feed my voyeuristic tendencies beautifully. I might get a glimpse into their politics, their favorite teams, their last vacation destination, their religion or lack thereof, their favorite pastimes, what college they attended … you see what I mean?

But this one confused me a bit. I mean, I realize the guy is an organ donor and a dog lover.  That much is obvious.

bumper 1

Let’s look closer though. Do you see what I mean?

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The guy wants his dog’s life.

His dog is neutered.

Ouch.

By the way, did you hear of the study done a few years back about bumper stickers? Turns out that people who have bumper stickers — no matter what those stickers say — are more likely to be aggressive drivers than we mild-mannered, sticker-free types. Click here to read about it.

I have no idea if the study included neutered males.

Learning to Cook: A Very Special Visit With Betty

Gather ’round, boys and girls. We’re going to have some fun today, because we have a very special guest with us! She’s going to watch as we continue to learn how to cook just like Mother! Because that’s what we all want to do, right?

WP_20151006_05_53_35_Pro[1]Oh, and look … here is our special guest! Say hello to Betty Crocker, circa 1973. Hello Betty!

Johnny, one mustn’t scream like that when someone enters the room.  Say you’re sorry to Ms. Crocker.

You can sit to the left there, Ms. Crocker. You’ll be able to keep a careful eye on everyone, and I’m sure all the boys and girls will find that very comforting.

Now, children, please get out your cookbooks. I hope you all remembered … oh dear. You didn’t bring your cookbook with you?

Well, never mind. Here, you can use mine. Just please don’t spill WP_20151005_16_30_23_Pro[1]anything on it, okay? The current spills will one day be carbon dated and we don’t want to throw off their findings.

Now Ms. Crocker very kindly updated her Boy’s and Girl’s Cookbook from 1957 so it would be exactly what our modern children of 1973 would want. Isn’t that grand?

So let’s get started with learning how to cook!

Continue reading “Learning to Cook: A Very Special Visit With Betty”

The Tree of Life

Here’s a little known fact about me: Early in my college career, I considered majoring in Philosophy. I was kind of a strange, studious sort in those days, prone to thinking deep, somewhat morose thoughts.

Anyway, better sense took hold of me and I decided that earning a living might be more fun.

All this is to explain why I might, from time to time, delve into deeper, more weighty topics.

Such as, have you ever considered the Mesquite tree and how it relates to our human condition, the pressures society places on us, the struggles in our day-to-day lives, and our desire to break free from our bondage and choose a life of purpose and meaning?

 

No?

Well. Good thing I’m here.

Continue reading “The Tree of Life”

Open Letter to My Spammers

ladyatdeskMy Dear Spammers,

Thank you so much for your interest in my blog and the dedicated attention you continually show to my posts — some of which were written several months ago. Your unwavering support of my writing cannot be denied. It is touching, truly.

Why, I remember when I was just starting out as a blogger: nervous, unsure of myself, wondering if anyone could possibly be interested in what I had to say. But there you were, giving me feedback and leaving comments — once I checked the spam folder, that is.

Which leads me to my main purpose in writing this letter, that being, how to keep your comments from winding up in a spam folder. I mean, if they hadn’t, I’d have something like 300 comments in my first month alone! Not to mention how many people would have seen your comments, which always included helpful links and business offers.

I’ve spent some time studying the situation, and I think I might have some tips for you. Please consider these points for the next spam .. er … comment … you leave:

Continue reading “Open Letter to My Spammers”

The Perfect Mug

sunshine-2I’ve never been a terribly possessive person. In fact, my family gets pretty nervous whenever I start cleaning.

However recently I became aware of how much a particular item meant to me. To whit: my coffee mug. Or rather, my tea mug. For I drink tea in it.

I inadvertently left it in the staff break room earlier in the week. When I returned, it wasn’t there!

*Gasp*

Someone must have stolen it! For surely, it was such a glorious mug — everyone must have coveted it! Oh gawd, my mug … my beautiful mug … gone forever! Who could have done such a dastardly deed?!

*Sob*

Then I spotted it, sitting in the sink. Someone had placed it there, thinking it was dirty.

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It makes me smile every time I use it. Here’s where you can find one too — masculine pronouns available.

Guard it well, my friends.

How to Beat Writer’s Block

It happens to the best of us — and the worst of us, for that matter. That horrible time when you’re just stymied for an idea … or just a spark of an idea … or just anything at all to write about.

Here’s what I do when it happens. Who knows? Maybe it will work for you too.WP_20150920_10_14_03_Pro[2]

  • Stare at the screen for an indescribable period of time, focusing on the little blinking icon that indicates where you begin typing, only you’re not typing. You’re not doing anything but staring at the little blinking icon. It’s taunting you, that little blinking icon. It’s laughing at you. You hate that stupid blinking icon.

Continue reading “How to Beat Writer’s Block”

Pastor-ly Thoughts

sunshine-2I think I’ve mentioned before that Husband is a minister, right?

If not, it wouldn’t surprise me. It’s not information I volunteer very often, as it tends to put a damper on conversations. Plus, people start apologizing for their language, even when all they said was “heck.” It’s hellishly annoying.

Anyway, I bring it up now because it explains why I know about the situation I’ll be sharing with you today.

It’s often difficult for small, rural churches to find a pastor, as I’m sure you can imagine. Because of their limited resources the pay isn’t much, and the work itself usually doesn’t offer much of a challenge. Recently, Husband heard of a church in rural Montana that, along with their presbytery, came up with a clever solution to their problem.

Elbow-River-and-Falls-Kananaskis-Country-Alberta-CanadaThe church is described as “very small” and “very rural.” It has 12 members and is located nearly 20 miles from the nearest paved road. Obviously, not a real hot-spot for a pastor requiring a living wage.

Here’s the plan they came up with: They put the request out to retired pastors to come for only a year or two. Their workweek would only be one or two days, figuring that in the off-time the pastor could explore Montana, write a book, and think deep, pastor-ly thoughts.

Since the pay isn’t much, they came up with a compensation plan that included fly-fishing and archery lessons, a book of the month about Montana or by a Montana author, a small weekly stipend, a monthly goodie basket, and free use of the church manse (aka parsonage). So far their plan is working out quite well.

SweatTreatsBasketAnd there’s just something about the inclusion of a monthly goodie basket that makes me smile.

I told Husband that when he retires, we need to look into that place. I want to see what they put in their monthly goodie baskets. 🙂