Saturday, July 30, 2011

"I Write the Songs"

I wrote about writing a few days ago and since then I've been thinking about good writing a lot.  There is one  type of writer that I really admire more than almost any other....those gifted souls who write songs! 

Those who just write the words (lyrics) are more like poets than musicians, they could even be totally tone deaf!   The musicians who can create a beautiful melody might not be able to string three words together without help!  One without the other is still talented, but it only all comes together when it is a joint effort.  Nothing wrong with that!  I wouldn't mind having either of those talents.  Many many beautiful songs have been written by a songwriting team, each doing their share.

But the ones I consider the creme de la creme, the very top of the line music-maker, are the "words and music by" kind of songwriter.  These amazing writers have two very distinct talents and abilities....single-handedly creating music AND making it into a song to sing!  They write both the music and the lyrics!   It isn't easy to do, but sometimes it can lead to some wonderful music.

Many of you might not recognize the name Cole Porter, but he was the absolute best as far as I'm concerned.  Back in the 1930s he wrote great songs ranging from silly plays on words to wonderfully romantic to wildly satiric, witty, and memorable scores for some of Broadway's best-known musicals. I could write an entire post about this great composer.

Some of the more contemporary.....well, contemporary to me, that is, which could be anywhere from 1950s to about 1995 or so!  You might actually recognize some of them Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Neil YoungJoni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Marvin GayeArlo Guthrie, John DenverJim Croce, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, David Crosby, Donovan, Stephen Stills, Gordon Lightfoot, Carly Simon, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Emmylou Harris, Cat StevensHarry Chapin, James Taylor, Rick NelsonDan FogelbergDolly Parton, Elton John, Billy Joel, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and of course, the GREAT Carole King (thanks, JE!)  The list just goes on and on.   Most of these musicians were actually singer-songwriters.  They wrote the music, the lyrics and then they sang and recorded them (making millions in the process sometimes!!)  Talk about talent!  These folks have (or had) it in spades!!

Wouldn't that be a great career?  To be able to do it all, is probably the dream of every kid who ever picked up a guitar, or plunked out some melody on the piano.  Talent of this level is not that easy to find and only a very special few make it all the way to the top.  But the ones that do?   Boy, Howdy!

One of my particularly favorite songs (I have lots of favorites!) is "Leader of the Band";  words, music, and performed  by the late Dan Fogelberg.  This song brings me close to tears every time I hear it.  Written about his own father, Fogelberg's song is a great tribute to the man who fathered, inspired and guided him.  It is a love song of the highest order.  Read the words and see if they don't move you too. 

"Leader of the Band"
Words and music:  Dan Fogelberg

An only child alone and wild
A cabinet maker's son
His hands were meant for different work
And his heart was known to none
He left his home and went his lone
And solitary way
And he gave to me
A gift I know I never can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn't wait
He earned his love through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument
And his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band

My brothers' lives were different
For they heard another call
One went to Chicago
And the other to St. Paul
And I'm in Colorado
When I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life I've chose
And come to know so well

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I don't think
I said, "I love you" near enough

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument
And his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band

Fogelberg's father was still living when the song was written and recorded.  I am so glad about that.   Can't you just imagine what his father must have felt the first time he heard it??   Fogelberg wrote from the heart and I know his Dad must have been as proud as any father could ever be.  I love these lines in particular, don't you?

He earned his love through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand

 Have you ever heard lines from a song that are better?   I haven't!

And that, my friends, is WRITING.  So yes, the writers I admire the most are the writers who can say, "I Write the Songs".   I wish I was one of them!

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Things I Couldn't Say" (aka Dear So and So)

Dear So and So...

It's Friday, here we go with my latest batch to Dear So and So....filled with "Things I Couldn't Say"....

Dear Produce Farmers,

I'm not a big fan of fresh fruits of all kinds, I can pretty much take it or leave it.  If fruit is included as part of the meal (e.g., orange slices as a garnish, etc.) I will eat it but I don't add it regularly to my diet.  That's not your fault, my mother wasn't crazy about fruit either, it must be genetic!

I do, however, have a couple of things I will always buy at least once when they first come into season.... like watermelon (the little personal size ones are so cute and yummmmmy), sometimes plums or crispy sweet apples, and bing cherries!   All you growers do a particularly nice job with those! 

I would like to request that you spread out the plantings and harvest of my favorites throughout the year.    Having my favorites always ripe during the same 3 or 4 weeks of summer is just unfair.  If you could do plums in winter, cherries in spring, watermelon in summer, and apples in fall, I would have a much more balanced diet throughout the year. I bet a lot of people would like that!

Please let me know when you have adjusted your growing schedule!  It'd sure make me "Plum" happy! :)  I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.



Dear Air Conditioner.

I don't really mean to complain, and I realize you have been doing yeoman service for the last couple of summers dealing with the seemingly unending run of HOT days!  Austin has been having temps at or over 100F for the past two months straight (give or take a couple of days when it teased us with 95F instead). 

You have been keeping the house comfortably cool for the Big Guy when he's home, and as a reward I turn up the thermostat during the hottest part of the day, when he's not home so that you don't have to work so hard to emerge victorious over the HOT outside!

So this morning it seemed that you were not at your best; nope,  our indoor temp was higher than it was set for.  That makes me just a little nervous.  Please don't break down now!!  Pretty please!!  Do you know what it would cost and what the wait time would be to get a repairman out here when it's 100F+??   It doesn't bear thinking about!  So come on, you can do it sport!  Just a few more weeks tops!  Then it will moderate and you can rest because we won't ask so much of you!  But till then.....HANG IN THERE!

Keep it Cool, man!


Dear Computer,

Well, your new trick is very impressive -- not that nice, you understand, but it is impressive.  You have actually managed to achieve something science has been theorizing about for centuries!   Yes, indeedy, you just might be the first computer that can LEARN!!  Wow!  Not only that, but you have learned something that could become something really useful.  But you're not quite there yet.  Trust me on this!

You don't mind if I share this wonderful development with my bloggy friends, do you?  I didn't think you'd mind.  So with fanfare blazing and drums beating a rhythm in anticipation,  here is my computer's newest accomplishment.   (Drum roll......)

My computer knows how to rest when it is tired. and how to freeze up when it is bored, and to (and this is the big news) TURN ITSELF OFF, show off a bunch of computer blue screens with rapidly changing gibberish .....uhhhhn....programming code (or something) and then TURN ITSELF BACK ON, OFFERING THE OPTION TO "RESTORE MY SESSION"!!!!  How about that?? 

That little maneuver can take approximately 10-15 minutes.  10 minutes I just have to sit here and wait till you finish playing around!! 

Artificial intelligence or pain in the @$$??    I think you probably know the answer to that question too, oh little Computer Guy hiding in my machine!!  I also think you probably can guess my most common reaction to this new trick!!  I can sum it up in just three little words!


Mel, the Blogger Techno-Dweeb


Dear Retailers,

This is directed at all of those stores which are, by their very nature, based on the principle of carrying an enormous range of things for sale, and frequently several different well-known brands of many of those things.  To clarify, this includes stores such as Walgreens, CVS, Target, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, and many grocery stores.  There has been a recent explosion of "store brand" merchandise.  For example, when looking for detergent, you might find Purex, Tide, Cheer, and in a very plain white bottle, "Target Laundry Detergent".  The Target brand would be a few cents cheaper.   You will find products of all sorts with a store brand as an alternative...toothpaste,  floor cleaner, baby wipes, tomato sauce, soup, even soft drinks.  The list goes on.

Ok, I can deal with that.  It's offering your customers a choice and a bit of a financial break.  What I cannot handle, however, is the ELIMINATION of some (if not all) of the name brand products!  This is called a monopoly (well, that's not really what it's called, but that's what it IS, kinda!) 

I have a lot of brand loyalty!  I was raised believing that loyalty is a good thing! I use Heinz Ketchup, Downy Fabric Softener, Pepsi, Contadina Tomato Paste, Campbell's Soups and so on.  I have been using those,  and other brands for upwards of 40 years!  I like them.  They are consistent, good quality, good taste, effective, and reasonably priced products!  Why should I change?   To save a few cents?  To me sacrificing quality and satisfaction is not balanced by a minor cost savings.

CVS (or whomever) have decreed that if you want soap, you will buy their brand.  Your only choice is to either buy the "store" brand or you don't buy soap!

Well, guess what guys?  I won't buy least not from you!  I'll go to the higher priced, upscale market and pay 25 cents more for a brand of soap I want!

So what if everybody did that??  Huh?  I'm waiting for an answer, here!



Dear Big Guy,

Congratulations on your weight loss so far!  I think you said if was 12 lbs at the last weigh-in!!  Cool!   I'm beginning to see the change in your face, so the rest of you will soon follow suit!  Good job! 

Before long I'll have to start calling you "Used-to-be-Big Guy!"

And, by the way, thank you for not suggesting I join you in the diet!

Contentedly chubby,


Dear Blogland,

If you like Dear So and So, and want to give it a try, just pop over to Kat's Place at Three Bedroom Bungalow ( ), hook up with her Linky and add your own! It's a great way to blow off steam, and you can read lots of other letters!

Your friend, Mel

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Cappella #11

Writing is such a mysterious thing.  You get an idea (THAT'S a whole 'nother story!) for a subject that seems like it might make  an interesting (or funny, thought-provoking, informative..... whatever) post.  So you sit down and start to write.  Sometimes the words practically tumble over one another and you type furiously, trying to capture them all before they slip away.  Your thought  process translates easily into words and the tale progresses in logical and orderly fashion without much conscious effort.  You know where to start and you know how to finish.  I love that kind of day.  It is when I feel most like I am not just a wannabee!  On the days when the words flow, I feel like I am, indeed, a writer!

Then there is the other side of the coin.  The days when even if you have a thought to share, finding the words and committing them to "paper" is completely impossible.  It is almost as if suddenly I find myself trying to write in a foreign language!  Even if I can actually get a sentence or two down, nothing makes any sense.  I struggle and manipulate the words and the phrases but it's pointless.... what seemed like it would be a good subject ultimately sounds childish and banal and completely not worth the struggle.   I can't even remember why I thought I could write anything.  On those days (of which there are too many), I cannot believe anyone would want to read what I'm trying to write.....including me!  So I have no choice but to walk away and come back to write on another day.

After two full years of writing this blog, I have come to realize that there is a third type of experience.  I think of these as the wandering subjects!  I  feel like writing, I have my topic, the words are coming along as needed.  It's good!  Somewhere around the middle, it hits me.  I'm no longer writing about my original subject!  The story has morphed into a completely different topic or focus!  Without my being aware of it, the story has gone off on a tangent all by itself!  Whoa! Stop!  Runaway horse!!  I have heard professional writers have this problem sometimes with the characters in their novels, but that's fiction and the characters take on a life of their own.  I don't write fiction!  I can't do characters.  My writing is mostly about things or ideas, they have no personality to become strong enough to take over!  At least I thought so!  So how does this happen?

I will stop and try to fix it.  But that never really works too well, because both parts have some good stuff and I can't decide if the post is about Point A or Point B.  Evidently the two somewhat connected but independent thoughts, must go hand in hand.  Unfortunately, the conscious me (obviously NOT the me that is actually doing the writing) can't seem to tie the whole thing together and have it really say something rather than just some random stream of consciousness thoughts that don't end up coming together at all. 

This is the kind of writing that I find the most difficult, because I will work on it and work on it and add and delete and then put back, but it's just not going to work.  No matter how many hours I fiddle with it, it's a wasted effort.  I just cannot make it into anything worthwhile!  What a waste of time. I end up with nothing resolved and nothing to post!  Darn!

So I close it out, save it and put it aside (that would be in the "draft" category).  Perhaps on a day when the words are flowing like wine, I'll take a look at it again  and give it another go.  But then, perhaps not!

Boy, am I glad I don't depend on writing for my income!  I'd never get a dime!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Out of Nowhere"

I know I am about to shock everyone, and I am sorry to just spring it on you "Out of Nowhere", but I have an announcement to make.  I have fallen in love.  I never expected it to happen, but once you meet him, I know you will understand.

He is a funny kind of fellow.  He's sweet and cuddly.  His looks are kind of goofy, but endearing.  Compared to the rest of his extended family, he's a bit on the short side, although it suits him and doesn't seem to bother him at all.  He usually looks like he needs a haircut, but I think the shaggy look is kind of cute on him.  Like everyone he has a few unfortunate habits that can be annoying, but as they say, "Love conquers all!"  Maybe together we can conquer them. I have some bad habits too, so it's fair.

You may think I have lost my mind and in some ways you'd be right.  I just have no choice here.  He is so interesting and compelling and it was simply love at first sight.   It may be wishful thinking, but I'm pretty sure that once they get over the initial shock, even the Big Guy and my family will understand and support my new found soulmate. 

He just may be the love of my life.  It's amazing to me that I found him, at this late date in my life.  How could I have gone so many years without ever noticing him before!?? 

His name is A. Paca Camelid....but I just call him Al....

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You can see what I mean about his kind of "shaggy" looks. 
He hadn't had a haircut for some time.

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Look at this face and tell me you don't want to run away with him too!
How can anyone NOT love this guy??

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The kids in the family are especially adorable!

So, what do you think of my new love?? LOL! Just having a little fun with you all!

In case you don't recognize what animal this is, it is an Alpaca. It is a member of the camelid family with includes llamas, camels, and vicunas. Its hair is very soft and silky and very much in demand in the textile industry. Softer and less scratchy than wool, it is spun into yarn and comes in a large number of natural least that's what is says on Wikipedia! Aren't they wonderful looking??

I was introduced to these lovely animals by my Blogger friend, Joan Haara at She has some wonderful photos of alpaca she encountered just after their annual shearing. Her blog is wonderful and the pictures are gorgeous! Go visit her and see more of these goofy looking critters.

But be very careful, otherwise, "Out of Nowhere", YOU might just fall in love too!

(DISCLAIMER: These photos are NOT from Joan's site. I kind of ....uhmmmm....stole borrowed ummm ... stumbled over them just laying around in Google. Really! lol!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Mellow Yellow" #9

It's Mellow Yellow Monday!!
Sometimes we have experiences late in life that we didn't know we would like.  This is especially true of city boys when it comes to activities that are more usually found in the country!  Who knew??

Yep, that is the Big Guy himself, (wearing a  yellow shirt, I swear) about to embark on the very first horseback ride of his life!  As one of his 66TH birthday presents this year he and M-t-G went on a short  horseback trail ride.  He absolutely loved it.  Though he really was a bit sore for a couple of days afterward!!

NOTE:  Of course, because it was me taking the photos, none of the shots of him actually ON the horse came out  and neither did any of the ones of MtG!  (Why don't I just give it up.  I CANNOT be the one to take photos....EVER!)

Poppa and his BFF
(plus others)
♪♪....They call me Mellow Yellow!....♪
~~ Donovan

My 9th contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday! Hope you liked it! If you want to join the ranks of lovers of all things YELLOW, go to

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Stealin' "

A couple of weeks ago my Blogger friend, JE, from Moment by Moment, "stole" one of my posting ideas and re-used it on his own blog. It was interesting to see someone else's responses and how they differed (yet were so similar).  I thought that was kind of flattering and I was glad to share.

Well, today is my turn!  I am "Stealin' " an idea from him!!  I'm pretty sure he won't mind, right JE?

So here we go.

I Just Hate It When....

....I forget something important and have to go back to get it when I am just a few of blocks from home .

....people say they will do something, but they don't!

....someone (anyone) is is angry with me.

....a book I was looking forward to reading turns out to be a complete dud! 

....I purchase a book (especially at full price) and realize I have already read it!

....someone cuts me off in traffic!

....anyone speaks condescendingly to someone I love (or to me, for that matter!)

....parents that don't notice or care when their child is out of control or conversely, needs help.

....a store stops carrying a product I really like.

....a young child is dressed completely inappropriately for their age!

....people talk on cell phones in a really loud voice for a very long time in a public place! becomes clear that greed is the primary motivator for someone's actions!

....I just can't find anything I want to wear, so I end up feeling frumpy all day long.

Thanks for the idea, JE!  Like you, there are probably lots more things I could include, but there are only so many battles one can fight at one time, ya know?  LOL!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Bits and Pieces" (ad infinitum)

Just a few "Bits" of this and "Pieces" of that!

It could be just a coincidence  or perhaps more likely, due to the high heat we've been having, but I have not seen a single person running or jogging or walking in the street since the day one of the residents of our development died after being hit by a car.  There are a few people out doing their exercise of choice, but they have uniformly been on the sidewalk when I have driven by.  I would prefer, however, to think that there has been a collective epiphany among all the joggers, etc. that they are really safer on the sidewalk.  At least, I hope that's what happened!

I talked with Ratchlet a bit today.  They are on vacation on the Gulf Coast this week and having a good time.  As she described their activities so far, I was extremely glad to hear that they are generally taking it easy (well, as easy as  an active 10 year old will allow them to be!)   Ratchlet even made a lot of progress in catching up on all the magazines I share with her....5 months worth!!  That's a lot of magazines, so I know she was at least sitting quietly reading at least part of the time!  I hope she remembers how to relax even more!

Our development has the good (??) fortune to receive two separate monthly newsletters focusing on this area only.  Even though there are many, many residents I really don't think we need two newsletters.  Actually, given the fact that neither one of them is worth the paper its printed on, I don't think we need ANY newsletters....especially not these newsletters!  One is slightly better than the other, but just barely!  Most of what is in there are generic "articles" or ads for local businesses. 

We got one of these gems today and it has 20 pages!  Among the scintillating articles are:

1.  "Diet Tips for a Healthy Summer"  (Yawn!)
2.  "Getting to Know Your Irrigation Controller"  (Ooo, I hope he's 6'1" with big blue eyes!)
3.  "Nature Watch -- Cicada Cycles" (I didn't know cicadas even HAD bicycles!)
4.  "Diagnosing Autism?"  (The question mark means ......what? And what does it have to do with our neighborhood??)
5.  "Kids Stuff  -- Getting Muscles"  (distributed by KidsHealth,Inc and promoting their website)
6.  A Coloring Contest  --- Subject:  Eagle superimposed on top of a Flag captioned, "Happy 4th of July"  (Really timely, don't you think??)
7.  There's also an article updating us on the Chamber of Commerce activities...(Ummmm, there are no businesses in our development!)

Luckily, they don't try to charge us for these journalistic nightmares, which is good because I think they are written by robots!  I won't talk to robots (i.e., recorded messages) on the phone and I certainly won't read  boring, uninteresting, and banal drivel that must be written by robots , nor will I pay for the privilege!.  I have LOTS of more interesting and better written articles right here in blogland!!

Well at least this month, there is no reminder about all the different naughty activities that will result in a FINE....things like parking on the street in front of your OWN house!!!!

The family across the street holds a "Backyard Bible Club" for kids each summer.  It's held in early evening while it's still light and only lasts about an hour and a half.  The kids seem to spend a lot of time chasing each other and/or playing basketball.  Now, I'm no Biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure there is no mention of basketball in the "Good Book".  Must be some other Bible!  :)

Have you been to Garden Ridge lately?  It used to be a really fun place for all kinds of interesting "stuff", like artificial flowers, table linens, patio furniture, lamps, home decor, baskets, kitchenware, and so on.  They still have a lot of that stuff, but it's just not the same.  I can't quite put my finger on exactly why its different, they still had all those things I mentioned.  I guess it has more to do with presentation.  It now looks a lot more like a warehouse than a showroom. And it felt kind of dim or dirty or something. It was never high-end or upscale by any means, but it didn't seem junky either.   I don't know, it's just not as nice.  Anyone been there recently?   Does anybody know what I mean??

OK, that's a wrap for this session!

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Mellow Yellow" #8


It's time for another Mellow Yellow Monday!

Hitting 65 with the help of LOTS of yellow around!!

♪♪....They call me Mellow Yellow!....♪
 ~~ Donovan

My 8th contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday! Hope you liked it!   If you want to join the ranks of lovers of all things YELLOW, go to

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Baby Baby All The Time"

I ran across a blog written by a mom who has 12 children.  Twelve!  A dozen!!  They range in age from 26 down to 3 MONTHS!  Yikes!  I didn't see any indication that there were any multiples (no twins  or more).  So this poor woman mom has been pregnant off and on for 27 years of her life!  Oh my Lord!  That just makes my head hurt!  (To say nothing of other parts!!)

I make absolutely no judgement of their family size or of their reasoning or desire to have so many children....that is completely the mom and dad's decision!  Both mom and dad have Master's Degrees in a lucrative field.  I would suppose there is no question of their ability to support so many kids.  I believe their religious faith encourages large families, but I don't judge that either!  Their religion, their kids, their choice!

All of that said, I just cannot fathom having so many people around All. The. Time!!  Even those who have fewer than 12 but more than 3 are beyond my comprehension on any real level.  My immediate family has never had more than 5 people in it!  Mom, Dad, Me, and Little Sis....or Mikey, Ratchlet and Me.... or Mikey, Ratchlet, TA, M-t-G, and me!  That's it!  Plus assorted dogs!

Being the product of a small family, I just can't imagine the lack of privacy, the noise, somebody always needing something, the fights, the  confusion that must frequently occur.  My mother (as I have mentioned frequently) was one of 11 children.  Surprisingly, as I think back about the stories she told, I don't think she mentioned any of those things as a problem.  I think that's a little odd.

The Big Guy is one of 7 children.  He never said anything bad about it either.  Hmmmm....what could it mean???  

Of course, I never asked either my grandmother or Mikey's mom how they felt about having a full house.  I'm pretty sure both of them would have looked at me strangely for wondering how they "felt" about having so many children.   They just loved whatever kids that came along.  It's what people did (this was waaaaay before The Pill!) 

Both Little Sis and I are "almost only children".  We actually only lived in the same place for 7 years.  For all intents and purposes, from birth to age 12 I was an only child, she was an only child from 7 until she got married.  Even when we did live in the same place, I always had my own room.  Mom always thought there were just too many years between us to have to share a room.  So Little Sis was in with Mom and Dad until I moved out to get married.   In retrospect, I felt bad about that....but was sure glad about keeping my own room then!!  (Mother Theresa I wasn't!)

There is something so comforting about having a place you can go to shut out the rest of the world when you are angry or sad or stressed!  After Ratchlet went off to grad school, I got my own little room again (no, I didn't take her room!!  We moved to a different house.)

I wonder if the mom of 12 has her own little room where she can chant over and over "Baby, Baby, All the Time" One baby after another, baby, baby, baby.....  If she doesn't, I don't see how she stays sane!  For me, that's about 11 kids too many!!   In fact, if I were her, I might go in that room, lock the door , and stay there until all those children move out!!   :)


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Cappella #10

{I wrote the following as  a response to a question posed on another blog about the reaction to the Casey Anthony verdict.  Many of previous commenters were expressing disbelief that she was not convicted.  There were some who were absolutely positive of her guilt, and those who criticized our system of justice for "failing" in this case to convict this woman.  Those reactions startled me, they were so judgemental of a situation that none of them knew anything about, except what they heard on the news.  Anyway I was compelled to write this as a comment to that post..

Afterward I contemplated publishing it here as my post, but couldn't decide.  Sometimes people are so negative when something is said with which they don't agree and I didn't want to start a big brouhaha.  However since then, two fellow bloggers have expressed similar opinions to mine and that has given me courage (I guess) to talk about my opinion in this matter.  So here it is.  What do you think?}

The Casey Anthony Trial

I do not know if this woman killed her daughter, I wasn't there, but I'd like to remind you all, that in this country, one is "innocent until PROVEN guilty". It is one of the most basic tenets of our society. The jury agreed that the prosecution did not prove the charges. By law, that means that Casey is innocent of the charges in the eyes of the Court.

Also, I also believe that capital cases must be decided by a unanimous vote of the jurors, not just one holdout. It is either unanimous or it results in a hung jury and a new trial.

So many seem to be sure that she was guilty.  Nevertheless, unless they are privy to evidence that the prosecution did not have, it appears their opinions are based what 's been read or heard in the papers or on TV or from people around them.   Juries are not given access to newspapers and TV news when they are sequestered for that very ensure fairness and impartiality and to settle the matter based solely on what happens in the courtroom..

A person cannot and MUST NOT be convicted of a capital crime just because they don't act like one might expect or they don't seem like a nice person.    Whether or not they are likable is not part of the equation!

Many people said that there has not been any justice for Caylee Anthony.   That may be so, but the child is long dead and cannot be hurt anymore by ANYTHING done or not done by the living! 

For a verdict of guilty in court, there must be a "preponderance of evidence to prove the defendant's guilt". Evidently, those jurors did not see the proof. I, for one, am damn glad that our country requires proof rather than convicting someone of murder based on what the newspapers say or a photo showing  the defendant dancing!

I think the justice system worked just fine!  And trust me, without our system of justice in place and working correctly, all of our lives would be quite, quite different. Do not doubt that for one single minute!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"I Could Write a Book" (2nd)

{After a while I have been forced to realize that some of my posts must use the same song title as an earlier post, because there are just some topics that don't get sung about very often!!  This is one of those times.}

Yesterday was my Blogiversary!  With this post I am starting into my third year of blogging!  It surprises the heck out of me!  I'm not usually very good about keeping up a "hobby".  I'll decide to explore something new that appeals to me (like sewing or knitting or the like) and before long I will lose interest and the new "hobby" will fall by the wayside.  So here I am with something that I have actually kept going for two full years!  Wow!  I have accumulated 383 posts over the last two years.  I have 44 official followers, plus some lurkers who I know visit regularly, but never say anything (may I ask, why not??)  4078 visits from people who have stopped by and read a bit.  Some who visit every day and others who are never seen again.  All of that amazes me.  I have been consistent enough to usually have new stuff available to read.  Well, golly gee whiz, good for me!

If you are new here or haven't read any of the early posts, I would suggest that you do so!  Some of my best stuff was the early stuff!!  This is a link to my first post for anyone who is interested. 

Writing a blog has been a delightful challenge.  Finding something to write about, trying not to be repetitive, making it interesting and worth reading, and "meeting" people from all over the world and finding some of them that return again and again....I guess all of that means that I'm doing something right (or should I say "write"?)

What it boils down to in some ways is just an extension of my life-long love affair with the sound of my own voice!!!  LOL!  In a blog post I can write what I want for as long as I want for as often as I want.  It is a totally self-indulgent thing to do, but at least I'm not sitting here writing stuff that nobody reads.  I'd love to have more followers.  I think every blogger likes gathering a group of people who publicly announce that they like what you say well enough to want to come back every time you post.  I am extremely gratified by the response that I have from my faithful "friends".

I am so glad that I have this opportunity to share my thoughts (good, bad, and indifferent) with a so many lovely, talented, interesting, and remarkable people. And I love hearing what you have to say when you comment. I wish more of you did!

Now after two years, I realize that this might not be just a flash-in-the-pan!  I have no clue to the actual number of words that I have written, though it must be a gazillion by now!  If I used all those words in one long post, it could be considered a book!  Wow!  Even I didn't realize I had that much to say!  I no longer can say "I Could Write a Book",  Considering this blog as a whole, it could be said that I DID write a book!  Amazing!

The last two years have been great fun for me.  I hope you all have had a good time too.  Thanks so much for stopping by and for all your kind words!  Hope you come again soon! Amazingly, I think I still have more to say! 

So onward into Year III.  Wheeeee!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

"God Bless America!"

Happy Independence Day Everyone!! 

My family and I plan to celebrate our Freedom and Liberty tomorrow in the only country in this world in which we would want to live, the United States of America.  Just like many things we love, the country has it's faults, and sometimes starts down the wrong path, but somehow over time, we manage to return to reason and good sense....sometimes it just takes a while to get there.  Still, for more than 200 years, the basic tenets that the Founding Fathers identified and subsequently based our system of government on, are mostly still intact today.  That is remarkable.  They were brilliant, those men who set about making a new know, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson and all the rest.... They were somehow inspired to write our Declaration of Independence which stated as clearly as anything could, that "We, the People,... I salute and thank each one, for without them and their efforts, our lives would totally unrecognizable to the  free society we have today.  Bless 'em all!

Between Naps on the Porch

OK, all that said, I am submitting my first (and probably only for a loooong while) photo to  the 128th Metamorphosis Monday run by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch!  This is the only thing I have done recently that even comes close to being a metamorphosis!  The photos are blurry, for which I am sorry.  I'm a terrible photographer, but I think you'll get the the "picture"!  Hah!

Patriotic Mantle for the 4th of July!

Welcome to the 128th Metamorphosis Monday!


And Happy Birthday America!

I hope no one minds that I've combined two different, but related things here, but for once I actually have a two-purpose posting. Happy 4th and Happy Met Monday!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

"Things I Couldn't Say" (aka Dear So and So)

Dear So and So...

Dear Darling Daughter and family,

I know you have a child who doesn't like to sit still.  I know that you have limited time off to accomplish all the things you want/need to do.  I know that the three of you enjoy doing things together and sometimes just don't have the ability to take the time to relax.

However, this is your vacation!  Vacate, as in vacate your usual routine.  Please get some rest, all of you.  You are always running at full speed.  You cannot keep that up, it is not healthy.

I'm your mother, I worry.


Dear Darling Husband,

I know that you are planning on starting a major diet right after the 4th.  That's great!  Just remember that spending the last few days before it starts, loading up on all your favorite foods and eating everything in sight would be  really counter-productive!

Your loving spouse

Dear Mother Nature,

I know that it is summer and that makes me happy.  However, the weather is hot and that is very bothersome to some of your creatures.  Nevertheless, I would seriously appreciate your trying to keep all your flying bugs and baby Geckos (and their parents) OUT OF MY GARAGE!! I swear they race me to the door when I go inside!  They are faster than I could ever be. I assume they are trying to cool off, but I really don't care!   I do not want them in my house!  Truly, I don't!  So if you could keep them outside of the garage, I will be much happier.  Actually, if you could keep them in another county I'd be happier still!


Dear Mother Nature,

And another thing....

We have lived in Texas for 10 1/2 years.  We are currently in our third bout of major draught.  Do you not like Texas?  I know most of the state is filled with tumbleweed, cactus, rock, and desert-like  terrain for miles and miles and miles.  But not, however, in Austin!  We have vegetation, plants,  grass, and wildflowers.  It's supposed to be green here, not brown.  Without water (commonly known as RAIN) the lovely green hills are ugly brown.  Lake Travis is looking more and more like Puddle Travis every day.  Man-made lakes that are really reservoirs are not supposed to have sand bars!

To say nothing of the landscaping all around town.  Millions of dollars (I'd bet) are spent trying to create lovely lawns, gardens, and courtyards.  But all the money in the world can't save plants when there is not enough rain. 

So could you check into what is causing the bottleneck, please??  Whatever it is, you need to pull the plug and let it  pour!  We'd all be grateful.


Dear Credit-Card Companies,

You are doing it again!  You are treating your customers like brainless dopes!  I, for one, seriously resent it. 

All of your awards, points, cash-back, or whatever programs to entice us to sign up with you are just a huge scam!!  After we spend gazillions of dollars, you "award" us measly rewards.  But the ONLY thing you can do with most of them, is use them to BUY MORE STUFF!  And it's usually a bunch of stuff I don't need or want!   How stupid do you think we are?  Isn't it bad enough that we stupidly agree to pay outrageous sums in interest for the privilege of using your "service"?   Do you really have to try to pull the wool over our eyes by offering a "benefit" that is no benefit at all?

Oh sure, it sounds good, "Earn Cash Back on Your Purchase!"   HA!  At best, that is misleading; at worst, it is something like "bait and switch".  The "cash" you award, goes right back into YOUR pocket, NOT mine!

So please, no more opportunities to buy junky useless crap, I'm not interested.  No more offers of points, or cash, or bonuses, that serve only to increase your profits!!  If you want to give me cash back, I'd like to remind you that cash is green, comes in rectangular pieces of paper, and is the legal tender of this country.  Giving me cash back, should result in money for ME, NOT YOU!

Angry about your greed!

Dear Blogland,

If you like Dear So and So, and want to give it a try, just pop over to Kat's Place at Three Bedroom Bungalow ( ), hook up with her Linky and add your own! It's a great way to blow off steam, and you can read lots of other letters!

Your friend, Mel

"A Thing or Two"


I AM... Sleepy!  or maybe Grumpy, possibly even Bashful, but I'm definitely NOT DOPEY!

I WANT... a hot fudge sundae,  I've had a craving lately.

I HAVE...  always had a hard time making friends.  It's one of my biggest regrets.

I WISH I COULD... spend some time in Florida by the Ocean. I haven't been back in 10 years!  It's time!

I HATE... Hypocrites and liars!!

I DON’T REMEMBER...anyone ever having a surprise birthday party for me.

I LOVE... to visit new places.

I DANCE... with M-t-G every chance I get (or with just about anyone who asks me!)

I SING... all the time!  You may not hear it, but inside I am singing my heart out!

I NEVER...have been on a scavenger hunt. I always thought it sounded like fun.

I RARELY... dislike solitude, but I hate being lonely.

I CRY WHEN I WATCH...movies with bittersweet endings

I AM NOT ALWAYS... the person I wish I was!

I HATE THAT … I don't have more family and friends close by.

I’M CONFUSED ABOUT … all things technical!

I NEED … to get involved in some group activity of some sort, just haven't found anything I wanted to do!

I SHOULD … start walking for exercise.  I've been saying that for a long time and haven't started yet!

I DON'T  ...  believe how fast the days and weeks and years go by!

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