Thursday, April 26, 2012


A day can be made or broken by the early morning selection of socks.  Two favorite pairs of running socks are carefully kept track of by this laundress - Nike, white, not too thick, tight enough to not slip down over the heel during a run and long enough to stretch over the massive length of my size 9 foot.  Yes, I'm short with a very secure foundation.  Nothing ruins the experience of fresh air, invigorating exercise, and scenic miles passing by like the frustration of stopping, unlacing shoes, and yanking up socks.  Usually an effort is made to do the yank without the unlacing, but the result is often a thumb through the side of the sock.

Dress socks for work must be mostly cotton and not too high or too tight.  It's maddening when the sock over the calf makes pants perch about 5 inches from floor length, so about 6 inches above ankle is just right.  Favorites are the 49 cent bin finds at the grocery store.  Midday relief has been sought by scissors slicing through the top band of anything too tight.  Then sorrow is felt for the assaulted sock when none can be found to match.

Although there is a deep love for just the right sock, freedom from socks is liberating in the spring when socks will no longer be necessary.  Raising 4 kids and keeping up with the accompanying laundry taught this mother to lose the socks early in the Spring, hiding them when necessary, to alleviate the constant washing, sorting, and storing.  Welcome Spring - watch out Garth!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Back in the Day

Way back in time, a person saved pennies and dollars and purchased an album.  An album contained maybe 12 songs total, and great care had to be taken to ensure that the album was not scratched or damaged in any way, for the result would be a song that would skip.  Interpretation:  the needle of the stereo would get stuck in one place and the same three words would repeat until someone got up and moved the needle to a new spot.  Most kids didn't have a lot of albums.  My sweetie had a lot more than me, but I did have maybe 10 total.

That's right folks, about 120 songs to listen to over, and over, and over.

Perhaps that is the reason I preferred activities that offered a bit more variety in my youth.  These tunes were playing in one of my old lady clothing stores the other day.  Took me back to sitting on the still-wet lawn with my pals in early springtime as the days lengthened and the promise of summer awaited.

Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival on Grooveshark

Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival on Grooveshark

Them thar be dancin' tunes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

HA !!!

Justice is served!  I'm goin' to the bank!

Dear Mrs. Smith, 
Thank you for your email concerning our Orville Redenbacher's Original Kernels.
I am so sorry to hear you had trouble popping our Orville Redenbacher's Original Popcorn. This is not what you should expect, so I would like to send you a refund check. I will be sure to share this feedback with our Quality Assurance Team. And, thank you for including the code numbers because that really helps us pin point if there is a trend. Sharing your feedback helps us improve!
We appreciate the time you have taken to bring this matter to our attention, and hope you will accept the refund we are sending via regular mail to give us another try.
Thanks again for your feedback. We're listening!


Consumer Affairs Representative
ConAgra Foods
Case: 60890099

1-877-CONAGRA (1-877-266-2472)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dear Orville

Dear Mr. Redenbacher:

Being a popcorn enthusiast, I have come to know quality corn on a most personal level.  Each night, my air popper delivers a great bedtime snack right before my bubble bath and reading.  A full batch of popcorn is sprinkled with one and a half teaspoons of real butter and salt.  Swedish Fish or Dots are then added to provide wonderful textural contrast.  This is a fine science and crucial to my sleep patterns.  Without a bedtime snack, I wake at 3 a.m. ravenous for something to eat.

With all due respect, I have trusted you with this important element of my life and you have disappointed me.  8 lbs. of popping corn usually gets me through the winter, but after my Fall purchase at Costco, I am sorry to report that at least 1/4 of the kernels do not pop.

Actual Orville Redenbacher Popcorn and Swedish Fish
In addition to a superfluous quantity of unpopped corn, I have found that the size of the popped corn is much smaller than I have experienced in the past.  I have included an actual untouched photo of said popped corn next to a Swedish Fish for your reference.  As you can see, the kernel barely reaches from fish nose to lower dorsal fin (this is not a snackpack size fish, but regular).

From the photo on your label, you appear to be a very kind and happy man, but I cannot imagine such a sweet person wearing that smile if you knew the distress you have caused.  Parting your hair on the side would be much more flattering, by the way.  I have tried sticking a knife under the front of my popper to keep those unpopped kernels in the popper longer, but it is really hard to keep the popper balanced on a knife and I fear electrocution or fire.

Kind regards,
M. Smith

P.S.  3451132000 01 07:57 BEST BY NOV 10 2012 is printed on the lid.  I don't think I can keep eating it that long.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tan Tourists

Two female Asian tourists posed, smiling brightly for the camera at the top of Dreamscape Lift, elevation 9,200 ft.  It was a picturesque day, sun glistening off the melting snow, air crisp and clean.

As a descendant of fish-belly white folk from the bog lands of Scotland, or Denmark, or Sweden (I'm a mixed breed), I am well aware that I will never be tan.   For a person of my lineage, it is not meant to be.  However, I have always considered Asian folk naturally "tan."

As the beautiful lasses posed, hands on hips, smiles flashing, sunglasses reflecting the springtime sun, snow-capped peaks in the background, one turned to the other and asked, "Do you think I look tan?"

.....really!.!??  I sniggered under my goggles and was still smiling as I slid softly away.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Experimentation with Blindness

For those unschooled in the availability of winter mountain activities, there are actually blind people who ski.  They and their guide wear bright vests and glide down the mountain.  I've always wondered how scary it would be knowing that your next turn might be your last.  Most sighted people struggle to make it down in one piece.

My funny grandson has taken to closing his eyes and just walking forward.  He scrinches up his face, closes his eyes and confidently takes off.  Yesterday was a particularly peaceful day on the mountain and I've experienced just about everything that a peaceful day offers, so I thought....blind skiing. With Finn and the blind skiers as my inspiration, I pointed the old boards straight down the mountain, closed my eyes, and took off.  I gauged my dissent in seconds, figuring how many seconds it would take before collision.

 1....2...3..4.5.  Then 1....2....3....4..5.6.  Then 1....2....3....4....5...6..7.  And finally 1....2....3....4....5....6.....7..8.

Absolutely amazing sensation!  Glad I lived to tell the tale.

Hilary - n - Me, The Uncrowded Lodge, The Right Gear

Snow Depth, Start Time, The Place

Cool Graphics, Raindrops on the Windshield, Moi

My Boards, My Lunch, My Resort

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Crushing heartache, palpable and raw, constant at first, is dimming in intensity and frequency.

With age and life experience comes an astute connection between human spirits.  Pain felt by one is literally perceived and experienced in another and with it, the overwhelming realization that nothing can be done about it, merely ride it out, knowing that if appeasement is delivered, theft will rob around the next bend.  Soul to soul love and connection, parent to child, to grandchild, to parent, to family, so strong that a slight change in vocal tone, posture, or facial expression betrays outer fortitude and brandishes inner anguish.

Loss feels permanent and complete, not only for those connected flesh to flesh, but for those once or twice removed.  Grief for the loss and grief for the grieving cannot be explained in terms of eternity, with a simple explanation that life goes on and on.  Wrapping the mind around unfathomable reason warped by human experience is an impossibility for most. The complexity of understanding too enormous.

Somehow gaping holes torn through hearts are filled in, and like a scar of the flesh with visible reminders, hearts will never be quite the same again.   Tiny pieces and bits, bits of love and empathy of souls touching souls through God's hand take a place in the dark abyss creating a mesh, joining together to allow the healing, the going on.  The sensitivity and goodness of soul lends strength to another, but will one day desperately borrow back for its own survival.  Benevolence, kindness, generosity, and sacrifice, tools which make no sense for personal survival, make reason realized in the survival of all souls.

Rowan, I pray that I can always remember holding your tiny hand, your soft hair, your perfect toes and feet.  May I never forget the sweet love of your parents, enveloping you and your brother the day you came into our lives and then so silently left.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I have listened to this song for many years, knowing that it would have significance at some point. It was sung at Rowan's graveside service:

A Living Prayer by Alison Krauss on Grooveshark

In this world I walk alone
With no place to call my home,
But there's one who holds my hand
Through rugged roads, through barren lands.
The way is dark, the road is steep,
But He's become my eyes to see,
The strength to climb, my griefs to bear.
The Savior lives inside me there.

In Your love I find relief,
A haven from my unbelief.
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God, to Thee.

In these trials of life I find
Another voice inside my mind.
He comforts me and bids me live
Inside the love the Father gives.

In Your love I find relief,
A haven from my unbelief.
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God, to Thee.

Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God, to Thee.