People Are Funny by Kathi Harper Hill

If you walk this earth for long, you will find all sorts of odd and funny behavior in your fellow man.

Yesterday, at Mother’s, Other Brother and his lady friend served us supper. “Us” being Nephew, Nephew’s Wife and my wonderful grands,(nephew and niece) their children, Boy age four and Girl age six months, Mother, of course, Daughter and myself.

There was lots of noise, as everyone is prone to talk at the same time at our supper table. May be bad manners, but it sure is fun.
Anyway, Nephew was holding Baby Girl and trying to eat with one hand. His plan, apparently was to feed her an occasional bite of mashed potatoes while he enjoyed his meal.

Not so. We have a lot of Irish in our blood, and that means we eat a lot of potatoes. Once Baby Girl got a taste of mashed taters, she wasn’t about to let her daddy forget.

He would feed her a spoonful, she would wallow it with her lips and tongue, as babies who are just learning to eat do, then, if there wasn’t another spoonful offered immediately, she pitched a holy fit.

It was comical to watch. Poor nephew couldn’t even get a fork to his mouth before the mad screaming started. As soon as he fed her a bite of potato, there was blessed silence for about six seconds. It was comical to watch.

Then today, I sent Husband to a local deli for some food to add to our supper plates. He got there as folks were getting off work with the same idea, so he said there was a small crowd waiting.

They had a new lady: middle age, stout, friendly. Husband said she didn’t do eye contact, though. At some point she sneezed and he said it sounded close to the Tarzan yell. Her co-workers looked rather alarmed, not to mention the waiting customers.

She conversed about her sneezes to Husband, saying her family made fun of her about it.

Then she took a few steps, turned her broad back on customers and co-workers alike, and burst into the song by The Guess Who, “American Woman”. Movements included.

Husband said everyone looked astounded, and one very young, introverted co-worker winced.

Then the lady went on about her business, whatever that was.

I bet every one of you reading this blog can recall something odd or downright funny that you have seen in the last week or so, leaving you shaking your head, hopefully with a smile on your face.

People are funny.

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The Unexpected by Kathi Harper Hill

The husband of an older couple we know asked me the other day if I liked to read. I said I was an avid reader.

He told me he is getting rid of almost all his books, and if I wanted to come pick out some, let him know.

Husband and I went to their home today and brought back to our home two big boxes full of all sorts of books, and his book shelves were still full.

He says they are cleaning out stuff they don’t need so it won’t be a burden on their daughters.

The couple happen to be in their eighties.

He started showing me all the “stuff” they  have that no one will want, and just shook his head.

I spied something that made my  heart skip a beat. “You’ve got a typewriter!” I exclaimed.

“Yep. Want it?”

Want it? WANT it? 

“Seriously?” I asked. This was too good to be true.

But he was serious. Husband carried it out to the car for me.

Here are two of my innermost fears: If we were to go “off the grid”, how would I be able to get to the library to steal   borrow books? And secondly, if computers and word processors no longer worked, how could I write books? My hands are in too bad a shape to write longhand.

Stop laughing at me!  I know we need food and stuff, too.

But now, I am the proud owner of a Royal manual typewriter. I’m going to Google ribbons for it and buy a bunch. Clean it up and  maybe even type on it a little.

Very little, because it’s going to take a lot of arm strength to use it, but boy, oh, boy, what a surprise.

Felt a lot like  Christmas morning.

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Camouflaged Beauty by Liane Rowe

The butterflies appear each morning just after the sun peeks over the ridge of trees to our left when there’s just enough light to warm their wings. They spend the rest of their day in endless rounds of a rhythmic dance that takes them from bush to bush. My plantings of lantana, wildflowers, and several shades of butterfly bush call them from safe havens somewhere deep within the woods, giving them nectar and natural camouflaged nettings in which to feast. Sometimes their intricate coloring has me doing a double take, as at first glance, I must discern whether the breeze is what makes that particular orange blossom wave – or another beautiful butterfly just fluttered by.
Appearances can be deceiving. One of my wise physicians recently shared the unflattering news that one of my organs was grossly out of proportion and really should indicate dire straits…but that it was nonetheless functioning, and therefore not a problem. That was certainly comforting news, but did nothing to water my weary soul or fool me into thinking that surely I must at least feel better than I look. Add to that another’s diagnosis that my lungs suffer from occasional “athletic asthma” and my day was complete. After all, who knew that doing nothing more than twiddling one’s thumbs while waiting for vertigo to subside qualifies as “athletic?”
Proverbs 16:9 tells us that “In their hearts humans plan their course but the Lord establishes their steps.” I just wish my head would quit spinning so that mine wouldn’t seem so awkward. I know that the Lord will never give me more than I can handle – and that He must laugh every time I try to make the plan – but I thank Him in advance for the day I can get on with life as I used to know it. Knowing the blessing of camouflaged beauty in the simplest of things…bending at the sink to brush my teeth, washing the dishes while actually looking down at the water, greeting the neighbor dogs with a pat on their furry heads (at much lower elevations), or even picking up the phone to see who’s calling. I am spoiled by the major and minor blessings of life. I intend to stay this new course of appreciating each and every one.

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We Got Aints Agin! by Kathi Harper Hill

I think I have mentioned previously, that if you are from around these here parts, you pronounce ain’t, aunt and ant all like the word ain’t.

Or, at least you would have twenty years ago. You may have cleaned up your English to be more in step with modern, social media English, which is to say less accent of any kind.

Sobs

I have even done it myself, not meaning to, mind you, it just happened.

Anyway, we have aints: the crawling kind, the teeny, tiny aints, the pardon-my-french, piss aint kind of aint.

Also gnats. Pronounced Nats. (Ha! You thought I was gonna say pronounced aints, didn’t you!)

They are both driving me cra-cra – which is a fine example of the new, improved English I’m talkin about. Before, I would have said they are driving me crazy.

I go around smacking, slamming, whacking, killing everything in sight.

Eli, my Maine Coon got in on the action this morning. He was sitting at his food bowl, when suddenly his head started zooming around, then he sat up on his haunches, and, making a full 360 pivot without losing his balance, smacked a gnat four or five times in mid-air. He finished with a “There!” look on his face and resumed eating.

So, I was just wondering if any of ya’ll out there in blog land have ’em too. And if so, do you know why? We got rid of all fruits and such, but that didn’t seem to faze the gnats. They seem to be more after driving us cra-cra.

And the aints? They are in the upstairs bathroom, climbing all over the sink, counter, etc., for no particular reason I can figure.

I may wind up being cra-cra with a capital C if I don’t get these critters kilt off.

More later, I reckon.

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It’s Your Attitude, Eddie! by Sylvia Robertson

Darling Sylvia,
I vividly remember our first fight in the fall of 1967. We were leaving Tyler Dining Hall. The fight started when you stated the obvious; “It’s your attitude – Eddie!” I laughed and shared with the young married resident advisors of Mitchell Hall approaching on the sidewalk that it was ‘my attitude.’ They joined me in my mirth.
What I did was wrong in so many ways. I had heard ‘your attitude’ from Mrs. Stripe (Spanish teacher), Bruce Smith (basketball coach), Denny Stoltz (football coach), my mother, and now I was hearing it from the person that would become the most important person in my life. With so many important people in my life in agreement, I realized that my attitude did need to improve.
At 20, I had not mastered the skill of straight talk. I had not (1) sensed (seen the hives on your neck) , (2) I had not identified how I felt (a 20 year old defensive end in 1967 did not have feelings), (3) I thought absurdly that everything I did was from my great intellect, (4) I wanted to be close to you and (5) I had brought others into what you had privately said. My action had not matched my wishes, and you had been humiliated in public by the boy you loved.
After 49 years of wanting to be close to you, I am still struggling with the skills that make up straight talk. I do a lot better with feelings (yes, I do have them and now can name them occasionally), I sometimes still have a problem identifying what I intend or want to achieve (which is to be a better man and to be closer to you), and I still may act like an idiot. Have patience; our work is not yet done. I am still a work in progress.
This letter is a very belated and public repair attempt. And, in the present, I am very sorry that I got so pissed off at you Thursday when the roofers came just as we sat down to a supper of your wonderful eggplant pizza.
Love you, Doll,

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Filling in the details by Liane Rowe

I am in the process of reading “The Sound of Paper” by Julia Cameron, yet another in her series of awakening the artist’s creativity in all of us. She reminded me the other day that “It takes time to fill in the details, time to find the right details to fill in.” Without having ever met, she still knows me well.

The right details for me would include living half a lifetime in pursuit of what I thought I wanted, only to stumble upon God’s grace and infinite wisdom with the gift of Mr. Rowe. Here before you is the man I love, featuring the lips that console and caress me with words and tenderness that sustain me in my hours of need. He is a man of few words, but to be honest, he doesn’t usually have a chance to utter more than a sentence or two amidst the flow of my incessant chatter.

Lately, our conversations are comprised of medical jargon, supposition, and whatever enters our minds. That alone is enough to tighten my shoulders with stress, but we always seem to end on a happy note with visions of future travel to parts unknown…just as soon as my head quits spinning and enough empty calendar squares warrant filling the suitcase. I’m still planning to see the Gulf of Mexico next month and prepare in my mind, if not by way of the shopping trip for new swim ware I planned – and just had to cancel.

My dear Dr. Pike is absolutely correct in her diagnosis of acute “frustration.” I would much rather be “filling in the details” of a trip to Spain than by managing to schedule visits to the urologist, pulmonologist, neurologist, and gastroenterologist before month’s end. Time is of the essence, as they say, and I feel as though I’m wasting mine at the moment on a brand of perfume that really stinks. Stiffen the spine, Liane! Hold your nose if you have to…answers are certain to be swift in the scheme of things…and will surely smell sweet.

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The Mystery of Mooch

mooch f cover k

Seeing is believing!

Four cousins squeal with delight as a lone dolphin approaches their boat and begs for food.  But who is he?  Where did he come from?  How did he get here?  Their search for answers leads them to an unlikely stranger who tells a tale full of unexpected adventure and mystery!         

Phyllis Crowley is a retired educator from both the Cherokee County, Georgia and Sarasota County, Florida school systems.  She and her four grandchildren collaborated to write this story based on actual family encounters that occurred while boating on the Intracoastal waters of Nokomis Bay, Florida.  Mabry, Magnus, Timmy and Danny are presently in Middle School.

Visit them at www.themysteryofmooch.com or contact them through Yawn’s Publishing.

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God’s Blessed Angel

Angel f coverThis is the story of a unique life, lived with God – just as she lived it with her family, her friends, her new acquaintances, or with you (if you were one of the fortunate to have had a personal encounter with Jan, anytime or anywhere.) She would talk, listen or pray with anyone on the spot, always turning the conversation to you, even though she may be the one you came to pray with and bless. Jan lived an exciting life of seventy-five years. And, yes, it did have its challenges with polio at the age of twelve. Her left side was paralyzed. She was told she would never live a normal life and never have children. But, she prayed and gave her life to God and He healed her in a year. She lived an incredibly wonderful and fulfilled life.      

This tribute to Jan’s life and ministry was lovingly compiled by her husband of fifty-six years, Bob Fraumann. Bob can be reached at bobfraumann@yahoo.com.

 

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Escaping the Corporate World and Finding Happiness

Book CoverFor more than 20 years, Jeffrey Costa worked at one of the largest corporations in the world. But just as he was at the top, he chose to leave it all behind.

Two Weeks Notice by Jeffrey Costa, published by Yawn’s Publishing, is an “in your face” reality check about whether you are happy with your present position/career in a large corporation or otherwise. In it, he shares his family’s emotional journey in making the most difficult decision of their lives.

“The purpose of writing this book is to simply share my story and hopefully inspire those who can relate to my experiences to initiate a positive change in their lives,” Costa said. “Two Weeks Notice is certainly not a ‘How To’ book.  However, it may be used to provide guidance to navigate your way toward happiness in your professional life.

For people who are at a point in their lives where his or her career is no longer satisfying or meeting their expectations for happiness, the chapters in Two Weeks Notice explore: happiness in the workplace, what makes you happy, making a family decision to change, trusting your feelings and God’s timing and recognizing true happiness.

“I believe millions of people struggle with this every single day,” Costa said. “Is this you?”

Two Weeks Notice is now available in paperback for $14.99 online at www.yawnspublishing.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and www.Amazon.com

Read more about the author here.

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Wonderful Wednesdays: How to explore and grow in your marriage

Busy schedules, time and energy restraints – we’ve all been there. And at the end of the day, every couple needs more time to talk together. “Wonderful Wednesdays: Fifty-Two Conversations for Couples,” published by Yawn’s Publishing, by authors Eddie and Sylvia Robertson, has captured star reviews by self help and relationship authors and specialists, as they attempt to pass along what they’ve learned from their marriage and others.

Married for forty-three years, the authors present fifty-two dialogue opportunities for the weeks of the year through the four seasons. The anecdotes and thoughts shared are personal, yet the book is not about them. The entries offer opportunities to explore and grow in your own marriage relationship, focusing on communication, creative use of inevitable conflict and commitment to growth in marriage. The skills used build upon each other through the year.

“Through the years, we have been privileged to have couples share with us the triumphs and trials of their marriage journeys,” Eddie and Sylvia Robertson said. “By making resources available for your marriage and for those married couples for whom you care, we seek to pass along some of the love that has been shared with us.”

Wonderful Wednesdays is available for $9.99 on the Books page or call 678-880-1922.

Read more about the authors here.

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