Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's Winter!

Yesterday evening a frigid north wind blew ice and snow into our Carolina world. We welcome you, winter weather!

Trust me, there are sledders in this picture.
Today rosy-cheeked children are sledding on snow covered grass while Jerry is chipping ice off our driveway. Meanwhile the sun is shining brightly. Water is dripping onto our deck off petite icicles hanging from the eaves.
They say tomorrow will be 50°. The winter season is mercifully short here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ugly Words

I read an interesting article on Facebook about Lee Marvin, Captain Kangaroo, and Mr. Rogers. Interesting, but not true. Lies! Lies! All lies! Still, I give its authors an A+ for creative writing. According to Snopes it's pure fabrication, but it makes for a great urban legend.

While doing that research, I stumbled across this picture. It got me thinking. While a picture may be worth 1000 words, sometimes what you see is not really what you get.

Picture from
Mr. Rogers was not gleefully flipping off his preschool audience here. What he was actually doing was a lot more in line with his character. He was singing that classic children's favorite, “Where is Thumbkin?”

Here's another photo that's open to misinterpretation. This is not my grandson dancing to that Motown classic, “Stop in the Name of Love.” It's not even Grayson volunteering that his brother is five years old now. 

In this case, a picture is not worth 1000 words. It's worth four. “No more pictures, Grammy.”

There's about as much chance of that happening as there was that Mr. Rogers was a Navy seal.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

All's Well that Ends Well

Yesterday Jerry The Superhero rescued a damsel in distress yet again.  That damsel was ME.

It all started in 2015 when I decided to learn to back down my driveway, a feat that sounds easier than it is, especially if you don't understand we live in a house that's dramatically perched halfway down the side of a steep hill.

Not even ten people have braved our driveway in the five years we've lived here.  One of them, our 18 year-old-niece Maggie, yelled "We're going to die!" the entire time she was driving down. Her mother - my baby sister - DID back Maggie's car back up the driveway, so clearly she has nerves of steel. I'm proud to call them both family.

Fact is, without a backup camera I wouldn't have been courageous enough to attempt this insanity myself. With the camera, it is possible.  Painful, but possible.  Or so I thought.  Until yesterday.

Yesterday my positioning was off just a hair and when I got to the tricky part where there are trees on one side and a sharp turn on the other, my front tire ended up off the pavement.

Unfortunately it's been rainy here and the ground is saturated.  In my efforts to straighten the car out, a back tire ended up in the mud as well.  Of course this spot is on the steepest incline and when I tried to go forward I ended up sliding into the clutches of an evil gardenia bush.

This not being my first rodeo, I put the car in park, engaged the emergency brake, crawled over the seat and left the vehicle from the passenger's side.  Why get muddy?

I enlisted a friend to help me.  He dug mud out from under the front tire and added gravel.  Nope.  Next he wedged in a piece of board.  No go.  He shoved the car sideways while I put the car in drive.  Nothing. All that was happening was the rut was getting deeper.

"If it were my car," he said, "I'd back over the bush.  But there's a chance that your [brand new] car will end up at the bottom of the gully and I do not want to be responsible for that."

I respected his candor and was grateful for his efforts, especially because I knew if he couldn't get my car out, I certainly couldn't. I went inside and ate lunch.

When Jerry got home that evening, all he said was, "I need to move your car before it gets dark."  Three minutes later, he was backing the car into the garage.

The best thing about the experience was not that Jerry wasn't angry with me.  I knew he knew I didn't do it on purpose. The best part was that he didn't tease me.

That's the mark of a true superhero.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Too Good to be True

I was feeling mighty proud of myself for having the presence of mind to check out the "Mark Zuckerberg is giving away millions to Facebook users" post on SNOPES.  It is, as most now know, an urban legend.  

Fresh from that victory, you might think I would have been more suspicious when my friend sent me the video of the two ladies selling laundry magnets for $69.95 that "clean your clothes without detergent."  But no, not me. I got excited.

Forgetting that I make my own laundry detergent that costs approximately two cents a load, I began thinking about how much money I could save. Then I forwarded the video to Jerry.  Immediately I began receiving (many) scientific looking pages refuting these claims.  Ensnared in the web of my own gullibility, I finally cried "Uncle!"  He was right and I was wrong - another great idea bites the dust.  Why is it so always so easy for me to believe something that's 'too good to be true?'

Later I stumbled across a video on Pinterest where a guy took an overripe banana, put it in a baggie of rice (like you do when your cell phone goes for an accidental swim in the toilet), waited several hours, then used his blow drier on it.  VoilĂ ! The dark-skinned banana magically turned yellow right before my eyes.

That I somehow convinced my skeptical husband and open-minded daughter to try this still surprises me, but I did.  We buried the overripe banana into the rice and then went out to have lunch and shop.  Hours later, we pulled the banana out of the rice and plugged in the blow dryer.  With great enthusiasm, we all watched as the skin turned ... even darker.   

Banana bread anyone?