Morning Cup of Something

My coffee pot died a few months ago. We had a funeral and everything. It was very sad. I loved that coffee pot like it was my own child.  To add insult to injury, I haven’t had the chance lately to visit the store in search of a few staples (half & half, sugar, a new coffee pot, blah blah blah) AND there was no time this morning to hit the McDonald’s for a fresh (semi-fresh?) cup of joe. It’s the one thing I miss about the very early way too early schedule during the school year. I could swing by the local golden arches and get my coffee before starting work. But not today. So, everything in my coffee this morning, including the sweetener, comes from a tin. Blech.

At least the cup is cool.

 

 

Our Deep Fried Life

Running some errands this evening, and came across this food truck. Well, it’s not really a food truck, because it’s pretty much a permanent, or at least, semi-permanent structure, but it appears to be based on the same “quick, cheap, but better than fast-food” premise.  Among other things, this parking lot establishment specializes in polish sausages, shell pizza, and sweet treats of the carnival variety. I’ll be honest, it was the abundance of fried confections that caught my attention. I mean, come on!  Deep fried Twinkies and Oreos!?  Deep fried peanut butter and jelly!?  Be still my heart.

My first thought was damn, I bet those are scrumptiously delicious…admittedly with a tad bit more excitement than is probably normal for someone over the age of 5.

My second thought was “what the hell is wrong with us?”  The “us” of course being people, the community, our society, and country as a whole. Seriously, what is wrong with us? Is it possible that it’s just because everything is better when it’s deep fried? I’ve seen deep fried cheesecake on a menu. Deep. Fried. Cheesecake. So yeah, I wouldn’t argue the idea that deep-frying has the potential to make most foods even more mouth-watering. But really? Is this what we’ve come to?

I don’t know whether to embrace our descent into decadence or hang my head in shame. I suppose whichever stance doesn’t get peanut butter and jelly in my hair.

Shoo Fly

I have window air conditioners that blow…and not in a good way.  They work to keep the place tolerable, at least to a point, but the monthly cost to keep from living in a sauna is quite high. So I open my windows at every opportunity, especially on particularly windy days and evenings, like it is here now — a storm having just moved through. The problem IS, is that somewhere, somehow, there must be a hole in a screen or some tiny crevice in a frame where all manner of creepy crawlers and buzzing flyers are gaining entrance. I’ve looked at all the windows and can’t SEE any holes in the screens, but something is amiss, otherwise we wouldn’t be living in a frog’s paradise.

Oh, my cat, Shaylee…she makes short work of the larger creeping critters. Being a good hunter of the bug variety, and apparently having no shortage of an appetite for the little buggers, she has a field day, I must say.  Flies are her favorite. It’s actually quite impressive to watch her in action. Awe inspiring to see someone so dedicated to their craft, truly.

But the smaller bugs, and unfortunately the truly frightening ones — the ones that look prehistoric or as though they’ve somehow mutated due to alien interference — THOSE she has no interest in. Maybe she knows something we don’t.

More often than I care to be doing so, I find myself up on a chair, glass or tissue in hand (we catch as many of them as we can and let them go outside rather than just arbitrarily smooshing them), trying desperately to catch a fast-footed whatchamacallit without it springing into defensive mode or simply losing its grip on the wall and landing on ME.  It’s a sight to behold, I’m sure, and I have no doubt my neighbors must wonder just “what the hell is going on over there with all that noise and screaming??”

Knowing my luck, it’s these very same liberated bugs returning over and over again, ungrateful for their shot at freedom…or as I have often dreamt in nightmarish color, perhaps they are rising up, staunchly determined to stage a coup and take over the house altogether.

 

Rufus the Invincible!

I wrote this back when I had a mail carrier that came to my house. I no longer have that luxury. But the concept below still applies.


We all know that cats chase mice. Raccoons steal garbage. Monkeys eat bananas. Birds poop on heads. There are plenty of comical and stereotypical clichés that exist to crystallize the genetic nature of many animals. Take the classic: Dogs hate cats. How many old Looney Tunes cartoons featured this premise? As a kid I thought this was undoubtedly true. The first time I saw a platonic dog-cat interaction I was flabbergasted. Surely, this is an anomaly and scientists should be called in to investigate. Then I saw it again. And again. Now I know that rivalry isn’t as concrete as I used to believe. Their hatred for each other — originally conveyed as some sort of Hatfields vs. McCoys rivalry — is just a bad rap.

There is another battle of a similar nature that I think may also be more psychological than biological. The age-old Dog vs. Mailman.

My dog Rufus is the protector of the house regardless of how truly un-intimidating he is. He’s only 10 pounds and thinks he’s much more imposing of a presence than reality dictates. Please don’t tell him. We just let him go with it. While he might not be a brutish hulk of canine fury he compensates for it with his wits. For instance, he knows I don’t like blackbirds in the yard so he’s quick to chase them off — yet he leaves the other birds in peace since I like them and feed them. Smart, right?

So consider the mailman from Rufus’ eyes. Every single day this strange person comes right up to the door of my house. Thinking in dog terms, the door is a place that turns into a hole that lets people come in where they usually scratch behind his ears and give out snacks. Indeed, people Rufus likes come through at that very spot.

But then there’s this person with the big bag…he/she is never allowed entrance. Every day they try and every day they fail. There must be a reason. Simple dog logic points to the fact that they must not be invited. And if they’re not invited, then they’re not supposed to be around. And after quickly going through those steps in his mind, it just makes sense to Rufus that this person is villainous. Thus, they are an enemy. And enemies get barked at. They get driven away. It’s Rufus’ job to do this.

I wonder if this is how all dogs view mailmen; a mysterious figure always getting right up to the door but never once being allowed access. If so, our wonderful guardians of the gate are getting a bad reputation when we should be praising them for clearly understanding the dynamics of people who are “welcome” and those who are “not.” To be clear I’m sure my mailman is a wonderful person and we would have a great conversation over tea, but Rufus doesn’t know what Earl Grey is. He just knows what to do when it seems like something or someone is not invited and for that I say good boy.

 

Rufus the Invincible

Rufus the Invincible

 

Rufus on Guard

Rufus on Guard

Sunny Days

Everyone has their own personal “pick me up” that makes them happy when they’re feeling low or something that simply brings a smile to their face when they see it. I’m talking everyday things, not necessarily monumental earth-shattering visions. For instance, babies laughing tickle me to no end. No idea why, they just do. I simply cannot stay down in the dumps when I see a baby laughing for all its worth. Animals are another surefire way to make me smile. In addition to the giggling young ones and the adorable critters that make me go “awwww….,” I love flowers. Now, I’ve never been one for Roses like most people. Oh, Roses are beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and I certainly wouldn’t turn any down! They’re elegant and make any room lovelier for being in it. But wild flowers are more my style. My favorites are Sunflowers and Daisies. They’re such happy little flowers.

Well I came across some in the shop the other day, Sunflowers anyway, of the dwarf variety. Perfect for a table centerpiece and then planting outside, although nothing beats the towering, humongous, over-my-head variety of Sunflowers. The pretty yellow Mums were listed as Painted Daisies, but they’re not Painted Daisies. They’re Mums. Still lovely. Just not Painted Daisy lovely. I’m not sure who was in charge of the flowers this week. Maybe they had Painted Daisies and there was a mad rush, so I missed them and the Mums are a “stand-in.” At any rate – together they made a bright and sunny display which perked up my day considerably. At least for a while. Well, I mean, come on! There are people out there in the world. Flowers can only do so much.

 

sunflowers