Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Mellow Yellow" (#2)

MellowYellowMondayBadge
http://mellowyellowmonday.blogspot.com/

I'm sorry my photo is grainy.  I'm lucky I can get pictures downloaded much less fix them!!  Maybe if I do these often enough, I'll learn more of the basics!  (Realistically though, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!)  Anyhow....onward!


Some days it just ain't worth gettin' outa bed!! 

My 2nd contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday!  Hope you liked it!  Go to http://mellowyellowmonday.blogspot.com/ if you want to join the ranks of lovers of all things YELLOW!

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

                                                ~~  Donovan


Thursday, February 24, 2011

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

Dear So and So...

To All individuals involved in the discovery, drilling, refining, transporting, and sale of oil, petroleum and gasoline,

On Tuesday in my part of Austin, the  most common price for regular, lead-free gasoline was $2.99 per gallon.  On Wednesday the most common price for regular, lead-free gasoline had risen to $3.09 per gallon.  Today that same product sold for $3.19 a gallon.  In case you aren't too good with math, that is an increase of $.20 a gallon which doesn't really convey how outrageous the increase actually is.  After all a fill of 15 gallons (which is what my fills usually are) only costs $3.00 more. 

However, when you look at percentage increase, that means that plain old regular gas price has risen 6.5% in two days!!  (I think, I'm not too good with math either!)

Do you plan to continue raising gas prices at this same rate for the foreseeable future?  At that rate I will not be able to afford to fill my tank by next Tuesday.  Please let me know your plans as soon as possible.  I have a couple of errands I should take care of before I become housebound!! 

Outraged Auto-dependent Mel

**************

Dear Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans Co. (Wherever You Are),

I have been wearing your petite jeans for years.  They fit me far better than any other manufacturer.  Up until the last year or so, I have been perfectly satisfied with the garments you produced.  Within the last year, suddenly I have several pairs which have begun to pucker and wrinkle in front about 4 inches below the waist.  This occurs only in light colored jeans.  Once the puckering begins, it remains there permanently and I can't do anything about it!  I can no longer wear the jeans because it looks just awful.

Last week I went on-line to try to locate a way to contact your customer service in the hopes I could get some assistance with this problem (perhaps the washing instructions have changed or I'm doing something wrong when I launder the jeans.)

Imagine my surprise when after a reasonably long time searching I was UNABLE to find a company website or a phone number to reach your company.  The search only would direct me to retailers who sell Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans.  There is no means of contacting you as the manufacturer.  Do you have a website?  If not, why not? Are you hiding from your loyal customers??  Why??  Sounds like a guilty conscience to me! 

Ticked off Mel

***********

To Whom It May Concern,

I'm not sure who is actually at fault for this, (in fact, it's probably another one of those situations where there is no SINGLE responsible party) however,  I would like to express my STRONG disappointment and dissatisfaction with all the meddling you people are doing into the food industry, particularly in relation to the use of the dreaded trans fats issue.  Since the time when restaurants and food producers have been forced to eliminate the use of trans fats, I have not had a decent french fry, potato chip, cracker, or tortilla chip.  They are completely tasteless and awful.  I am an adult woman with sort of average eating habits.  I am not grossly overweight, my cholesterol is good, and I am bright enough to know the difference between eating fried foods ALL THE TIME and having a few chips with my sandwich.  

Would you all please get your noses out of my plate!!  And put the trans fats back or else find something that doesn't make my food taste like cardboard!  Life just ain't worth living without good potato chips!!

Grumpily,
Mel

***************** 

Dear Amazon.com,

I love my Kindle, really I do!  It is so much easier to carry around than an actual book.  I find it easy to navigate, easy to read from, and it is easy to never be without something to read!  It's cool and one gadget I am thrilled to own.

However, the free "books" that you have available are, for the most part, disappointing.  Much of the fiction  offered there is either poorly written, or a short story or novella, or a "classic" that was written a hundred years ago (I read most of them a hundred years ago too!)  I have also discovered that much of the "women's fiction" offered for free are Christian books (though not identified as such).  I am not interested in "Christian" books as they are usually bland, predictable, and uninteresting to me.  Couldn't you please identify them upfront??

Because I read so much and so quickly I go through a book in a day or two, in order to read books that are new to me, I have to purchase them.  It shouldn't surprise me that the publishers set the prices, but it didn't sink in ahead of time that the Kindle's purpose is to increase book sales.  I keep forgetting that just about everything in the world is driven by the anticipation of profit! 

Now if the public libraries would offer ebooks the same way they offer regular books....for free....then I could read what I want to read rather than just drivel because that's what is  free!

Just never happy,
Mel

*************

Dear Kat,

It was your birthday this week!  Happy Birthday!!  I hope it was filled with all the things and people that you love!!

Belatedly,
Mel


OK, bloggers, now go on over to the Dear So and So home at 3 Bedroom Bungalow to Let in Crazytown!  This is Kat's birthday so she may not actually be doing a Dear So and So, I'm not sure.  Go on over anyway and give birthday wishes to Kat!  She and her kids live in England with her military hubby and are far away from home.  Nobody should spend their birthday far from home!! Tell 'her Mellodee sent you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Something's Gotta Give"

As I have said many times, I am not a very good photographer.  What that results in, however, is a great love of beautiful and striking photographs taken by people who ARE great photographers!  One of my very favorite photography blogs is Stephen Baird's NikonSniper. 

Now one of the main reasons I love Stephen's photography so much is that not only does he take great photos, he also frequently titles his photographs with a quirky, frequently funny phrase.  The pictures are always beautifully done, but his quirky titles can change a photo from one that will make me smile to one that will make me laugh out loud!  Like the photo below that he posted this week:  

Surfers' Obstacle Course

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0Qs9ILNQ8ns/TWQcdONxYII/AAAAAAAAHow/igy4emuazAo/s1600/DSC_0279a.jpg
He absolutely nailed it!  Take a closer look at the photo, especially the rocks.  Can't you just see some Extreme Surfer (and they do exist!) trying to maneuver his board through those rocks like a snow skier on a downhill slalom course?  Yep, one of them is going to lose!  It's a law of nature that when two things are on a collision course "Something's Gotta Give"....and it sure ain't gonna be those rocks!  

If you haven't already, go visit NikonSniper, you might love his work too!

All of this brought to mind one of my all time favorite funny stories.  You may have heard it yourself:
Believe it or not...this is the transcript of an actual radio conversation between a US naval ship and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. The Radio conversation was released by the Chief of Naval Operations on Oct. 10, 1995.

US Ship:        Please divert your course 0.5 degrees to the south to avoid a collision. 
 
CND reply:   Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

US Ship:       This is the Captain of a US Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.

CND reply:   No. I say again, you divert YOUR course!

US Ship:       THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CORAL SEA, WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!!

CND reply:   This is a lighthouse. Your call

Isn't that a great story??  It makes me laugh out loud!!  The U.S. Navy, of course, denies it ever happened.  Maybe so, but I hope not!  It's only really funny if it's real!  Still....  :)

creative-3d.net  

♪♪....When an irresistible force, such as you
Meets an old immovable object like me,
You can bet as sure as you live....
Something's gotta give, something's gotta give,
something's gotta give!....

                              ~~ Johnny Me
rcer


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Cappella #1

The description of this blog in the header is pretty much the story of my life.  Probably about 75% of the time, there is one song or another running through my mind.  The songs are rarely in response to anything I am doing or thinking about, just some random melody that wanders in, sits down, and hangs around for awhile.  Sometimes the same song lingers for a day or two and I am surprised to realize that I have been humming the same song for multiple days.  I don't seem to have much control over what songs visit either.  If I make a conscious effort to switch to a different song to drive out the one that has outstayed its welcome, it works for a bit but before long I realize that the song I woke up with is back!

This goes on most every day.  Sometime during the day I will realize that some random song has taken up residence and I am, once again, humming out loud.  It drives Mikey straight up the wall!  I assume everybody around me is aware of it, but most of the time, they don't say a word.

(Anyone who knows me who is reading this, I'm sorry if my humming bothers you.  More often than not, I'm not even aware I doing it!!)

I guess it doesn't bother me too much because music has always been such a big part of my life.  It's sort of like having my own sound track, just this low key background music underlying every scene.  In fact, it surprises me that it doesn't happen to everyone!  What do people do in all that quiet????

Anyway, when I first thought about starting this blog, I had no grand plan in mind.  What did I know about blogging?  I was just making it up as I went along.  "Mellodee" is sort of my nickname for myself (it's a long story).  So when I decided it was a go, the name Mellodee Musings.... seemed a no brainer.  That very first posting way back then (306 posts ago!) was sort of an introduction.  As I was writing it, the song "It's Not Where You Start It's Where You Finish" popped into my brain and the posting just sort of followed along that theme (you can go here:  http://mellodeemusings.blogspot.com/2009/07/its-not-where-you-start.html
to see what I wrote during that first post.)

I thought the idea of naming my postings with appropriate song titles would be fun and kind of clever (Oh God, if I only had an ego!!)  So that's what I did!  I've always said there's a song for every occasion, so it should be a snap, right?  Once I had an idea for a topic to write about, the first step was coming up with the right song title.  Now I know a lot of songs, but I surely don't know EVERY song ever written!!  There are  hundreds of thousands of songs out there; some are very well known and others so obscure NO ONE has ever heard them!  I made it my rule that I could use any title of an actual published song.  That seemed like it would give me nearly endless resources.  I was on my way!  "Mellodee Musings....the Music that Meanders through My Mind" was born!

So for the last 19 months and 306 postings, the vast majority of the postings have been named with song titles.  (Just to clarify, the posting doesn't have anything to do with the actual song, it's just the title which ties in to what I'm writing about....and sometimes it's a real stretch!)

HOWEVER (dunh dunh dunh), sometimes it's a real pain in the derriere to find a song title that works!  There are several websites that list song titles and I peruse them whenever I can't think of a song to use.  Even so, there are times I just cannot find a title that would work!  The end result is that I DON'T WRITE THE POST!!  It's frustrating and annoying and then I am sorry I ever started the pattern!  But I still like using song titles....mostly! 

Sooooo, for the times when nothing appropriate comes to mind, I have come up with a solution!!!   (Yay me!)  I will continue to use song titles wherever and whenever possible....but when I can't come up with a song title, I will "sing" A CAPPELLA!!!

For those of you unfamiliar with music and singing, one of the basic definitions of a cappella is "without musical accompaniment."  How perfect is that??  A post titled a capella, means that there is no appropriate song title that I can find, but I'm going to write anyway! 

I realize that I am making WAY TOO MUCH of this whole thing.  The reality is that NO ONE has EVER commented on my song title post titles! (I find that a bit surprising to tell you the truth.)  I don't know if that means nobody likes them, or that nobody cares, or that nobody ever even noticed! 

Nevertheless, I am committed to it, because when it works it works REALLY well....and if it isn't working, I'll just go a cappella! 


Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Mellow Yellow"

There are times when life just ups and taps you on the shoulder and says, "Hey, dummy, it's as clear as it can possibly be that you should (...whatever...).  Wake up!"  Well, as I was reading my favorite blogs today, I had one of those times!

As you might expect, it is as plain as the noses on Mt. Rushmore, I was destined to join the meme....

MellowYellowMondayBadge

Mellow Yellow is a song....Mellodee musings....yellow, my fav.....tomorrow is Monday!  Surely I can find a photo with some yellow in it and join the parade, right???? 

Right!




Spring 2010 was a BIG year for wildflowers in Texas!
 So, there you have it, my 1st contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday!  http://mellowyellowmonday.blogspot.com/  Not too bad for a crummy photographer, huh?   They call me "Mellow Yellow"! :)


Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Cecilia"

I read the most wonderful book, "The Saving of CeeCee Hunnicutt".  I read a lot, but only infrequently do I stumble upon a book that touches my heart.  This one did! 

It is the story of "Cecilia" Rose Hunnicutt, a 12 year old girl commonly known as CeeCee, whose mother is slipping faster and faster into insanity each day until she is so far removed from reality that she doesn't even see the truck that hits her and takes her life.  Her father loves his daughter in his way but he is flawed.  CeeCee's great aunt sweeps into her life and offers to have CeeCee come and live with her in Savannah. 

I am terrible at summarizing books (or stories for that matter) so I won't go any further into the actual story so as not to stop you from reading this book due to my inadequacies as a "reviewer".  If you have not already read it, I strongly urge you to do so.  It has received wonderful well-deserved kudos from critics and readers alike, so it's not just me.  I think it is destined to join the ranks of timeless, wonderful books that are on every reading list in the world. 

It probably is true for everyone who reads a lot, but finding a special book that moves you, is like having the winning lottery ticket!  It doesn't happen often. It is a treasure, and the wonderful thing about treasured books is that you can read them again and again over time and will most likely find new things to delight you each time you read it.  There are thousands and thousands of writers and wanna-bees, but those that can create a treasure on the written page through their words and insights are few and very far between.  Beth Hoffman, the author, is one such writer, which is really remarkable because this is her first book!!  I hope she writes many others.

It occurred to me after I finished the book, that I really seem drawn to books about normal kids struggling to get through a life that may not be unusual but is still new and a struggle for the kid living it.  In fact, when I thought about it I realized that several of my favorite books of all-time are about special kids in special times surrounded by special people and occurrences...."To Kill a Mockingbird", "Little Women", "A Catcher in the Rye", "The Secret Life of Bees", "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". "Member of the Wedding".   "The Saving of CeeCee Hunnicutt" is now joining that august company.

I wonder what that says about me.....arrested development, stuck in childhood, still coming of age???  Or maybe it's just empathy for other souls trying to grow up in a world that doesn't make it easy.

Read the book.  It's a gem!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Long Ago and Far Away"

I received the following in an email today.  It originally came with lots of great vintage photos, but for whatever reason, I am not able to copy all of them.  I've included the ones I could.  I decided  to post the poem, because for many of us it is oh so true!  If you don't remember these things, it probably means you are too young.  If you are old enough, this will take you right back! 

(As poetry goes, its not very good, but the message is crystal clear!)

Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan , or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,


For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.
We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn.

We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz , and no one's seen him since.
We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.


Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.


We fell for Frankie Avalon , Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.



Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.


We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis ;was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.


We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
Airplanes weren't named Jefferson, and Zeppelins were not Led.
And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.


We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.
Pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never co-ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.


We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.
And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.


Buicks came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.
Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.



We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for those dysfunctions
in the Land That Made Me, Me.



There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda , and cats were not called Bill
And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.


But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.


So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                                             ~~ Author Unknown


If you didn't grow up in the fiftys, you missed the greatest time in history!   Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.


"Bits and Pieces" (again)

Just some bits of this and a couple of pieces of that....again!

***  It's Girl Scout Cookie time!  Or it will be soon, in a neighborhood near you!   If you see some scouts outside your local grocery store, or shopping mall, or ringing your doorbell, buy a few boxes.  I distinctly remember how disappointing it was to watch so many people just walk by.  The troops don't get much from each box sold, so the more they sell, the more things their troop will be able to participate in.  Scouting for girls is one of the best ways to give girls an understanding of caring and concern for others.  I was a Scout from 7 years to 17 years old.  I learned a lot and had a lot of adventures.  It's a good organization, so give the kids a break, huh?  Besides, how can anybody get by without Thin Mints??

***  As you might guess, Maddie-the-Great is a Girl Scout, and her Poppa is a soft touch.  Good for M-t-G, but not so good for our waistlines!  At least he has stopped buying cookies from every other girl he sees, and buys only from M-t-G!

*** You probably noticed that I have changed the colors of Mellodee Musings again!  Truth be told, I was really tired of the bright red hearts!  Valentine's Day is over so I could finally move along to something softer!  What  a relief for my eyes.  I'm sorry if anybody was bothered by the brightness. 

I have a question for you though.  I've changed the background about five or six times since I started writing, mainly because I get tired of the patterns fairly quickly and I'm always wanting something new!!  I'm the same way with clothes and my house decor too.  But I can't afford to be constantly buying new furniture or stuff, but changing the background is FREE (at least it is through Blogger!), so I can indulge.  What I wanted to ask you though, is the frequent change annoying or disconcerting?  I know a lot of folks don't like a lot of change and I don't want to be any more annoying than I absolutely HAVE to be.  :)  So, let me know what you think, ok?

***  For the last few weeks the Big Guy has been taking advantage of the opportunity to work overtime.  Time and a half is always a nice boost to the coffers!  Overtime is typically only available when the company has gotten behind or has a large rush order or what have you.  It comes and goes like the tide!  Right now, the Big Guy is going to work at 3:00 p.m. and instead of coming home around midnight, now he isn't getting home until after 2:30 a.m.  Last week they added in 8 hours on Saturdays too.  That is a lot of extra hours.  The money is helpful, but I sure hope it doesn't go on too long.  Mikey needs more rest than these hours allow.  Now Mikey says he's fine, and he is, but it's a lot to ask of himself.  I'd rather have him than the money!

*** Remember when I told you about M-t-G's school only offering the kids choir in the fall semester??  Well, M-t-G really missed the singing, so her mom did some research (my daughter is the QUEEN of research!!) and found that there is an organization called the Austin Girls' Chorus.  Maddie auditioned and was accepted into the choir!!  She was very excited.  She's had three rehearsals and so far seems to love it.  That's our girl!!  (Those music genes win out every time!)

That's it for tonight!  I think my mind has already started drifting off to sleep.  I'd better put it and the rest of me to bed soon.  Nighty-nite!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"There's a Hole in the Bucket"

When you reach a certain age, you begin to realize that a great many of the things you own, you've had for DECADES!  And a great many of those "old things" relate to cooking and kitchens.  Now I am not talking about family heirlooms or antiques, nope, I'm talking about the wooden spoons, or steak knives, or measuring cups, or flour sifters.  You acquire them early on, use them almost daily, and they just go along forever.  You rarely need to replace them, they are the stalwarts of your kitchen.

One of the gifts the Big Guy and I received for our wedding, was from my aunt and uncle.  It was an enormous box (about 3x2x2) filled to the brim with the "stuff" newlyweds would need.  There were a gazillion things in it including a napkin holder, a soap dish, a bath mat, salt and pepper shakers, a punch bowl, ladle, and cups, dish towels, just about every kitchen gadget ever made (some of which I didn't have a clue about what it was!), there was a welcome mat, a Kleenex box cover, a couple of mixing bowls, a thing to hang on the wall to hold keys, mail, stamps, and what-have-you, a feather duster, and more!  Each item was individually wrapped and it took forever to unwrap and get through it all. That box contained the most immediately and permanently useful gifts we got!  It was a riot opening it.  We have been using a lot of that stuff ever since!

One of the things we got the most use out of was a dark green plastic bowl.  About the size of a smallish salad bowl, it has been used a lot over the years.  It has held bunches of grapes or cherries.  It was a good bowl for marinating things in, as it wasn't porous and didn't stain.  It made a great bowl for putting a snack on the table when the family was playing board games.  Most recently the Big Guy like to use it when he made himself some popcorn.  It was just an all-around handy bowl to have.

Yesterday the Big Guy walked into the den where I was.  He was carrying that dark green plastic bowl.  Holding it out to me he said,

"Don't try and use this for anything liquid anymore.  It has a little crack in the bottom." 

I looked in and sure enough, there was a crack about 2 1/2" long!   I looked at him and said, "Why don't we just throw it out?" 

"Why?" he said.

I shut my eyes for a second while I took a deep breath.

"Because.  It. Has. A CRACK in the bottom!  Just throw it away, ok?" 

"But we've had it forever!"  he said.

"I know," said I, "but a cracked bowl isn't much good."

He looked kind of sad, "But it's still good for popcorn." 

" We have other bowls." I said soothingly.  "Any one of them would work as well."

"But I've already WASHED it!!"  he cried pathetically.

I couldn't help it, I started to laugh.  You see that is just sooooooo Mikey.  It was clean, it was ready to use, there was no need to throw it away!  It hurts him physically I think, to discard something as long as it might still be useful someday, someway, even if there is a perfectly good alternative.  This is why his office is so filled with boxes and notebooks, and gadgets and things that he just might use someday, that you cannot even get to or sit at the desk!

"How about this?" I said.  "The next time you use it for popcorn, DON'T wash the bowl and THEN throw it out."

He agreed to that!  We'll see.  But if he doesn't throw it out then,  I will personally, dump it into a bucket of used motor oil, and then I will throw it out!  Because, really, who needs a 45 year old plastic bowl with a CRACK IN THE BOTTOM, even tho you've had the bowl as long as you've had HIM!!

Hmmmm, I'd better remember to check first to see if "There's a Hole in the Bucket!!"  Otherwise, you can bet we'll just go through the whole conversation all over again!!    :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Happy Birthday, Mr. President"



Just a few interesting facts about one of the Greatest Men who Ever Lived, Abraham Lincoln! 
    Abraham Lincoln
  • He was born on February 12th 1809, and died April 15th 1865 at the age of fifty six.
  • He was the 16th President of the United States.  He was a Republican and was president for four years from 1861-1865, when he was assassinated.
  • His wife was Mary Todd Lincoln, who was brought up in a very wealthy family.  Her family disapproved of her marriage to Lincoln.
  • Abraham had four children, Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Lincoln, Willie Lincoln, Tad Lincoln. Only Robert Todd Lincoln survived into adulthood.
  • Abraham was an unaffiliated Christian as he never officially acquired church membership.
  • He created a national banking system with the National Banking Act in 1863, resulting in a standardized currency.
  • He was the first president to be assassinated.
  • He was the tallest U.S president at 6ft 4 inches.
  • He patented a system to alter buoyancy of steamboats in 1849.
  • Even though he was strong, a talented wrestler, and proficient with an axe, Lincoln disliked killing and harming animals, even for food.
  • He was the first president to have a beard.
  • Lincoln, one week before his death, had a dream of someone crying in the White House, when he found the room; he looked in and asked who had passed away. The man in the room said the President. When he looked in the coffin it was his own face he saw.
  • Lincoln was fond of pets, and owned horses, cats, dogs and a turkey.  
                                    Source:  http://www.alincoln-library.com/index.html

Quotations of Importance
"A house divided against it cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."


"I want every man to have the chance - and I believe a black man is entitled to it - in which he can better his condition, when he may look forward and hope to be a hired labourer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him. That is the true system."

". . . all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; . . ."

"What is conservativism? Is it not the adherence to the old and tried against the new and untried?"
"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."

"With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die."

"I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."
                                                                       © A Lincoln Library

The Gettysburg Address
“ Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.



Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.


But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."


Abraham Lincoln

Humorous Quotations:
  • Whatever you are, be a good one.
  •  It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
  • If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
  • Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
  • Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
  • He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.
  • When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, its best to let him run.
  • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
  • Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
  • If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.


 He had great strengths, he had surprising weaknesses, his life was full of tragedy as well as success.  He lived in deeply troubled times and managed to end one of the country's worst shames.  He could write.  He could laugh.  He saw humor and he saw sadness.  He was the very first President assassinated by a crazed fanatic.  (Sadly he wasn't the last!)
Saturday Evening Post - 1938-02-12: Bronze Lincoln (J.C. Leyendecker)


History often holds him up as the great president the country has ever had.  I totally support that view.  He was the kind of President we needed then.  He was the kind of President we always need.  He was the kind of leader that that every country needs.  A man who managed to change the world.  
Today, is the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.  I believe he would be appalled at what is happening in our country today, but maybe he could have fixed it!
 
 

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Give The Kid A Break"

In honor of St. Valentine's Day which is coming up on Monday, I am willing to share my only Valentine's Day story.  It's the only one I've got because St. Valentine's Day is not one of the holidays the Big Guy and I put a lot of emphasis on.  We sometimes share funny cards with each other and sometimes there may flowers or even a small gift.  But sometimes the day goes by completely unnoticed.  There actually is a reason why it's not a big deal and it's all my fault!  The Valentine's Day that I'm going to tell you about, sure wasn't one of my life's shining moments, as you shall see.  Read on.

I have mentioned many times that Little Sis is a lot younger than I.  She's 12 years younger, as a matter of fact!  When Mikey and I started dating in December of 1964, I was 18, he was 19, and Little Sis was 7. 

Our first Valentine's Day together, was the following February, when we had been dating for only about 2 months.  We were still in the blissful first blush of love!  We were crazy about each other.  We were both attending the U of  I at Navy Pier in Chicago.  We both still lived at home; me on the North side of Chicago and Mikey on the South side of Chicago.  Neither of us had access to a car. So the bus and the El were our only means of getting together.  He lived about 20 miles from me (Chicago is a BIG town) and it required a couple of buses and the El to get from his house to mine.  Obviously it wasn't all that easy or quick for him to come to my side of town, but he did as often as he could.

What that meant was that when we did get together for a date we were starved for time together so we started out as early as possible and he stayed as late as he  could and still get home by his curfew.

At this same time, my 7 year old Little Sis somehow developed a pretty nasty infection and was actually hospitalized in Isolation so they could give her lots of antibiotics and monitor her till the infection surrendered and disappeared.  It turned out to be the Infant Isolation unit so she was in with babies.  That certainly didn't help the situation, as she had no one to talk to or play with and she was bored, lonely, and pretty unhappy.  She was there alone that day because both mom and dad had to work, so I was going to visit her instead.

It was Valetine's Day and Mikey and I had a date; as was our custom we started out in the early afternoon and would be together till late into the evening.  I don't remember specifically what we were doing the rest of the day, but we were going to start by visiting Little Sis in the hospital before we went on to our Valentine's Day activity.

When Mikey arrived he gave me a very cute Valentine's stuffed animal, a little Scottie dog.  It was the very first present he ever gave me!!  I loved it!  I loved him!  He loved me!  Oh, it was just young love at its gooiest!

So off to the hospital we went, Mikey, me, and the little Scottie dog.  Can you tell where this is going?  Unfortunately, I couldn't, so I was unprepared.

We walked into the Isolation unit (why we were allowed to do that I don't understand, but we were.)  Well, Little Sis immediately focused on the cute little Scottie dog and quite reasonably thought it was a gift for her!  Her face broke out into this enormous smile and she was so happy to see that little dog, and us too! 

Before proceeding, I'd like to clarify that I had never visited anyone in the hospital before.  I was unaware that going empty-handed to visit a child was really NOT the thing to do! I didn't even think about bringing her something. I was just 18 years old and my mind was lost in Love Land and my focus was all about Mikey and me.  (That's not an excuse exactly, just an explanation.)

Well, this is where I fell off the track toward Big Sister of the Year.  I told my sweet, sick, lonely, 7 year old baby sister, that the little dog was (oh, I'm so embarrassed to admit this) NOT HER'S!!  Oh the shame of it now!  I told her that it was my brand new Valentine's Day present from Mikey and she could NOT have it.  I was a real pal!  Couldn't I have managed to "Give the Kid a Break"??  After all it was just a little toy and she was just a little girl alone in the hospital!  Evidently I couldn't!  Oh no, not me!  My thought was how could I give away his first present, with him standing right there???  I wasn't being intentionally mean, just stuck on the wrong priority!
Little Sis at 5 years old

It eventually occurred to me that I could have should have left the dog with her, but not until much, much later.  Way too late to fix.   With that realization, came a lot of self-flagellation!  How could I have done something so awful?  What was I thinking?  These were not the actions of a loving big sister!  I was a selfish, mean-spirited, insensitive clod!  Like I said, it wasn't one of my shining moments....not even close.

I called Little Sis yesterday, because I wanted to verify a few details before I wrote this.  I started out by asking her if she remembered the time that Mikey and I came to visit her in the hospital when she was a little girl.  "Oh, you mean the time when you took away that cute little Scottie dog and BROKE MY HEART???" 

Oh yeah, she remembered it. 

So that is why I don't get too excited about Valentine's Day. 


P.S.  Just so you know what a great sister I've got, yesterday on the phone she told me she didn't remember staying heart broken for long.  It didn't turn out to be as traumatic an experience as it might have been.  Still, it's been 46 years (or thereabouts, -- better LS??) and we both still remember!   I have no idea whatever happened to the little Scottie dog, but Little Sis and I are still pretty close.  So I guess it turned out okay.   Thank goodness!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Snow" Part II

As you might have guessed, Old Man Winter totally ignored my request that he not dump any snow on Austin!  Overnight we became one of the towns shut down by the "Snow-Mageddon" of 2011!!   Austin joined the rest of the nation is celebrating Global Warming!

Businesses all over town were closed.  Drivers have NO IDEA how to drive on snow and ice!  Consequently, during the morning rush hour there was accident after accident.  All of the Schools AND universities were closed!  Some roads were closed.   In a town that is already littered with obstacles like steep hills and rivers and creeks running right through town, closing any road becomes logistical chaos.  The news teams were all over town reporting on the difficulties that the snow brought.  It was a nightmare! 

Maddie and Ratchlet enjoyed the extra day off from "school".  The Big Guy's employer had an announcement on their phone that they would be closed until Sunday night!  Poor T.A. had to work, however, but at least not until afternoon so he avoided the worst of the traffic.

Austin just isn't geared for snow.  They only have a few snow plows.  They have no salt for bridges and overpasses.  Cold and snow in combination can lead to electrical outages.  This just isn't a snow town!!

But today we had snow.  It's hard to believe, but Austin in the middle of Texas, was shut down due to snow!  All I can say is wow!  Just wow!

Yep, we had approximately 1/2 of an inch of snow accumulation with drifts of snow up to 1 1/2 inches deep!!!  No wonder Austinites thought this was Armageddon!!


(I know, I know, sarcasm is mean, but come on,  there wasn't even enough "Snow" around to make a decent-sized snowball!!)

This was last year's snow.  Today we had LESS than this!!


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

Hey, it's Friday!  Let's do a 

Dear So and So...
 
Dear Old Man Winter,

I'd like to ask you to please stop dumping all that snow on my Northern (and a few Southern) friends!!  They have had enough....actually, more than enough!  Even my friends who profess to love snow are re-evaluating their position!  20" in Chicago on top of what they already have??  That's just mean!

And while I have you, you really need to let up on the cold temperatures in the Deep South (particularly Austin).  Houses here are not built to withstand 18 F temperatures.  My poor furnace has been struggling for 3 days to bring the house up to what the thermostat is set for!   Struggling and failing!!  The internal temp is hovering 2-4 degrees below that desired temperature. 

I have closed all the drapes and blinds.  I have shut the bedroom and bathroom doors to try to contain the heat.  I feel like I'm living in a cave!! Those rooms are nice and toasty, it's the big open floorplan areas (that would be the living room, dining room, kitchen and family room!!) that are still chilly.  The furnace just can't keep up!

So, what do you say, hike the outside temps back up to the 78 F we had last Saturday??  And please, don't even think about throwing any of that snow our way!

Shiveringly,

Mel

****************
Sometimes a letter just won't do!
Hello, Fashion Police??

My name is Shoeless Mel and I do not normally bother you, but I just don't know who else to turn to about a small matter relating to fashion (kind of).  I figure maybe you could come and do a top to bottom search of the premises.  You won't even need a search warrant, 'cuz I'll gladly let you in.

You see, I seem to have lost a (I'm embarrassed to admit this) pair of shoes! ..... Well, I don't know where I lost them.  If I knew where I lost them, they wouldn't be lost!!  (Sheesh!)

They were a perfectly lovely cute fairly new pair of grey clogs..... No, you're right, I haven't always worn clogs, but since I can't wear pretty shoes anymore (what has happened to my feet??), I now opt for comfort. .... Yes, clogs are certainly comfortable!  About three years after moving here I bought several pairs....black, red, green, brown, and grey!  Well, I cannot find the grey pair.  I have looked everywhere..... Ha-Ha, yeah, everywhere but where they are -- you're such a comedian.

No, I am NOT in the habit of losing shoes, or garments of any sort!  Do I sound like the sort that would be walking around barefoot?? ..... Yes, I've looked under beds, chairs, sofas, tables, I've looked in all the closets, all the shoe boxes, all the suitcases and I cannot find them.  So, do you think you could help?

Well, noooo, I'm not exactly 100% sure, but I'm really pretty sure I actually own a  pair of grey clogs, I think.  Maybe. ....  I can see them in my mind's eye! ..... No, my mind's eye isn't showing me where they are.....Yeah, good one...not!

Look just forget it, ok?  I'll keep looking myself.  I'm hanging up now.....Hey, it's not nice to laugh at your elders!!! 

Smart-aleck!


******************

Dear Social Security Administration,

Although I, myself, am not too extensively affected by it, there are millions of people for whom Soc. Sec. is their only source of income.  Just before Christmas you sent out the official announcement to all of us, that there would be no cost of living raise in Soc. Sec. benefits for retired people this year....again!  For the  second year in a row, the guidelines used to determine payments, supposedly showed that there had been no increase in the cost of living index (or some such thing).  Since the benefit payments are tied to that index, no increase there means no increase here!

Pardon me, but have any of you had dinner in a restaurant lately?  Have you tried to buy gasoline?  Tried to buy school clothes for your kids??  Have you even been to the grocery store????  I think not!!  Otherwise you would know, like everybody else does, that prices are climbing every day, practically exponentially!  Why doesn't your "index" reflect that??

In a hospital when a baby is attached to a bunch of different things showing BP, pulse, cardiac stuff, etc., and the results are displayed on a monitor, the nurses tell you, "Look at the baby, not the monitor."  Makes perfect sense.  The numbers don't tell the whole story, you have to look at the patient to see the reality!

May I suggest you try the same thing?  Forget the stupid numbers and statistics!  Look at us, the retirees on fixed incomes who are not getting any relief from Soc. Sec. I'm here to tell you that what I received last year didn't go very far,  and this year it's even worse.

Look at the baby, you dimwits!!

Mel

****************

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Following Me Around"

Sometime before midnight tonight, I will most likely hit the 3,000 visits mark!  3,000 different times over the last 19 months or so, someone has spent a few moments of their day visiting Mellodee Musings....!  How humbling!!  That's a lot of visits (and they are not all my daughter or my sister either!)  Complete strangers stop, read, sometimes comment, sometimes become followers!    Isn't that amazing?  Of course, sometimes they barely stop long enough to read the title, and they never come back again, but that's okay! 

I have a pretty loyal following with lots and lots of repeat visits.   (The actual definition of lots and lots is 3,000 as a matter of fact!)  There are 33 people who have signed up to follow me!  Yes, it's true, a big bunch of people are willingly "Following Me Around".  How about that? 

I know there are other people who stop by who are not listed as followers, even though they visit pretty regularly (like Ratchlet and Little Sis!  Hey you two, you don't have to be a blog writer in order to sign up as a follower!!)  I never thought I'd get more than five or six and here I am at 33!!   I dream of breaking 50!
Anyhow,  it mystifies me how this came about!  I love writing the blog, but I never expected much of anybody else would like to read it!  Isn't it a good thing I never tried to earn my living as a fortune teller? 

But whether I understand it or not, WOW!  3,000 visits!!  Thanks to each and every one of you for your comments, your laughter, your sympathies at times, and your interest!  I love having you all come to visit.  Thanks and do come again and bring your friends!!

(Hmmmm, I'd better go check and make sure I have enough refreshments!)

"Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White"


Look at that, isn't that a lovely table setting for Valentine's day?  The centerpiece is made of candy!  (I think you can enlarge it by clicking.)  Wait a minute, what are those things on the bottom tier?  The ones that are "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White"??

Oh heavenly day, they are Valentine's Day Candy Corn!!!  Are they not the cutest?  I don't recall ever seeing candy corn in anything but yellow and orange.  Isn't that the reason they call it candy CORN?  It looks like kernels of corn (sort of). 

But there they are -- red, pink, and white!   I'm just gonna have to get some of that!  Not for eating, you understand, just looking at it makes my teeth hurt!!  Nope, I may start a new tradition....Decorating for Valentine's Day!  Those cute little "kernels" make a great place to start.  Maybe I'll just share some with my favorite valentine....Maddie-the-Great!!

Oh, before I forget, I wanted to point out that  February 2 is one of my favorite days of the year.  February 2 is the anniversary of M-t-G's successful surgery to remove the Hepatablastoma from her liver.  Six years cancer-free!!!  We are grateful every day!  Yay Maddie!!

The photos above are from Susan's blogsite, http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/,  one of my favorite bloggy buddies!  Stop and see the rest of Susan's beautiful Valentine's table! 


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