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Archive for the ‘Just for fun’ Category

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Here’s Ezra, out on the grassy knoll, having a fun time running around the back acreage, getting all sweaty and exploring our simple life on the Cutoff with his big sister, Kezzie, and cousins Jake and Scott (who shared a great big bag of Thomas the Train and all of Thomas’ friends). The camera “caught” our young lad rounding the wildlife habitat. 

 

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What a busy, long weekend was had; decorating a cake for Papa’s birthday with Auntie Jenny, and “funning” around the backyard,

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and taking a walk at Lake Katherine, then visiting the Plush Horse for big scoops of ice cream. Kezzie shared a small table with another little lass while Ezra dipped into ice cream for the very first time.

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All-in-all, ’twas just plain old fashioned enjoyment with family gathered together, here on the Cutoff.

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Stopped at a traffic light, this old building caught my eye. Could it be? After all these years, could it really be? Why, yes. There is the proof above the door.

Am I the only one who takes photos out her car window at stoplights?  I must be, for, other drivers were looking at me quizzically. I couldn’t help myself, for there, carved in stone, was proof that there really is an ACME.

The light changed, a car’s horn tooted impatiently behind me. Beep Beep Off I went as my mind wandered to Wile E Coyote and his boxes of “things” with which to thwart Road Runner – all from the ACME company!

Did you watch cartoons growing up? Did you LOL at the inane coyote whose purpose in life seemed to be only to catch (and eat) the Road Runner? Did you run around the yard with your friends holding your nose and saying Beep Beep?

I had already wasted time looking up cartoons, one of which is posted below, absconded from YouTube (thank you whomever it was that posted it). It’s about seven minutes long if you should decide to channel your sophomoric self, but, I degrees. In my further wanderings, I came across this lawsuit filled on behalf of Mr. Coyote. I hope the Lectric Law group doesn’t mind me linking to them. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/fun13.htm

 Beep Beep

 

 

 

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DSCN4326DSCN4311Come April, our garden club hosts its annual luncheon. We get all “gussied” up, meet somewhere different from our monthly venue, and have a floral related presenter who awakens us to all the possibilities of flower arranging. We take time to thank our retiring officers, dutifully swear in our newly elected ones, and enjoy each other’s company. A member is honored as “woman of the year” (congratulations Jan).  Among a bevy baskets, filled with wonderful raffle items, lively conversations ensue -and we all feel a little lighter for a few hours.

This year, the luncheon’s theme was Stepping Out. It was one of our very best, due in large part to the efforts of the event’s chairwomen and the committees that worked to make it enjoyable. It was topped off with tablescapes that were a phenomenal potpourri of the creative juices of our members.

The centerpieces are usually constructed by our Designs and Exhibits committee. Sometimes, however, they are made by the members at large. Several months ago, we were given the challenge of individually crafting centerpieces – using shoes! You can, I am sure, imagine women and their shoes, but, can you visualize round tables, adorned in white tablecloths with black burlap runners and every possible make and model of shoes on top? From the small Mary Janes of a grandchild and seaside “flip flops” of a sand lover, to golf shoes and sequined high heels, the soles of our members tripped fantastically across the tabletops, giving way to the young girls hidden in all of us.

Here are but a few of the shoes that were allowed, for an afternoon, to dance atop our tables.

Do click on for a better look.

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With childish, glee, I stopped the car and called Tom. He answered with “the mallards are back”, remembering seeing them earlier in the day and sensing just how long it took me to go down the drive and up the road, where I first saw them.

Actually, they were in the street. The pond, a messy bit of swamp and cattails and grasses, had melted its frozen self upon the road, where the mister and missus were happily courting, oblivious to the me and my auto machine as I braked, grateful that I saw them cavorting about in a fowlish way on the Cutoff.

We missed the Mallard family last year. There simply wasn’t enough water to paddle in. This year; well, this year the snow melt has provided a waterfowl haven. As I slowly drove away, muttering quack, quack, quack, I remembered a little ditty for McDonald’s that aired on television here in the 1980′s. It was a catchy little jingle about Nippersinkers and rain and waddling.

We eventually discovered there really was a Lake Nippersink, just over the Illinois/Wisconsin border. A golf resort/family vacation spot with little cabins, a big lodge for eating, and all manner of activities for young and not-so-young alike. Jennifer took arts and crafts lessons and was in a talent show; something with wishy washy washing machines. Katy, about three at the time, opted to take water aerobics with me. Tom took them canoeing, I went antiquing and we all ate and ate and ate . . .

. . . and we all sang the Nippersink song. Do any of you remember it? Did you ever go to summer camp?

We are Nippersinkers. We’re in luck. If it rains all week, just pretend you’re a duck.  Quack, quack, waddle, waddle!

 

 

 

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A poet could write volumes about diners, because they’re so beautiful. They’re brightly lit, with chrome and booths and Naugahyde and great waitresses. Now, it might not be so great in the health department, but I think diner food is really worth experiencing periodically.  David Lynch

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Denver omelets and grilled cheese sandwiches. Swiss steak with mashed potatoes and gravy. Being recognized by name with “Hi, Hon. Howyadoin’ today?” by the waitress as she pours your coffee into a thick, white mug. The cook, his papered head showing over the half wall of the grill, starts your order as soon as he hears you say it, the stub from the waitress just a reminder of whether to add Swiss or cheddar at the end.

With all our fancy, four starred, gourmet restaurants – gastronomical emporiums that I certainly have enjoyed – I think it is the homespun diner that I love the best, especially during a cold, white winter such as 2014 has been. Our favorite diner is Cafe Calbay, just around the corner from the “main drag”, across the street from the train station, a block from the post office, and on the way to anywhere I need to be.

How about you? Is there a diner, cafe, local restaurant where someone knows you name is Hon, Sweetie, of Dear?

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MailAttachmentIn honor of my long suffering black wool winter coat with a crone’s hood, and in deference to the brittle cold still with us, here’s a little fun from the Cutoff. “Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear”, which at least one of my children thought I made up. Could it have have been my unique singing voice, or embarrassingly silly antics?

Written by Randy Newman, it has been performed by many, including the Muppets. I give you three versions. Take your pick of renditions, turn up the volume, ignore the commercials, and smile.

Do you have a favorite old coat or sweater or hat? How about a dancing bear?

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she's a good skate37The four years between the winter Olympic contests seem to slide by quicker than they used to. Where, I wonder, has the time gone?

In one of my recent moments of Olympian “remember whens”, I recalled one of the first Winter Olympics I can remember, as a fourth grader in Mrs. Thurston’s classroom. I hunted down a post I wrote, during the 2010 winter games, which, if so desire, you can read about here.

Can it really be that four years have past since I wrote that post?

Have you been watching the 2014 Winter Olympics? Have you been thrilled by the skiing and the hockey, the snowboarding and bobsledding (gotta love the Jamaicans), the ice dancing and figure skating? To me, no matter where one’s roots are planted, the Olympics are golden opportunities to watch gifted and determined athletes from all corners of our small and wonderful planet.

I’m partial to the ice rink events; from ice dancing to pairs ice skating and anything else with two blades, flowing costumes and music, I sit, perched this year on my couch, with what looks like more snow  outside and much colder temperatures than the weather in Sochi, watching, in awe, the warm poetry on ice; the skill, the strength, the athleticism.

What is your favorite Winter Olympic sport?

(PS – there is a very short post on Olympian skier recently posted on Brittle)

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1621013_saI found another memory in a box.  A big box. Actually, a big box store. Funny, isn’t it, where memories emerge?

There we were, on a snow filled New Year’s Day, shopping for a new stove at Best Buy. Among the many items that go on sale in the new year are appliances. In this newly minted year, we find we need to replace our oven, so, off we pottered, research having been done online and through a few well-placed phone calls, looking for a range.

Trudging into the store after making our way through a parking lot that had not yet been plowed from the first 24 hours of a 48 hour snowfall, we stomped slush from our feet and were greeted with a rush of welcome fit for a duke and duchess. We were so welcomed, of course, because we were just about the only patrons in the store!

Off we went, the Duke of Deer and his Duchess, down aisles of all things electronic, toward the big appliances. Once we found our bearings, we inspected a fine row of stoves and rounded a corner of stainless steel, when I exclaimed “oh, this is just like the stove we had when I was growing up!”; and it was. White enamel in look and as pure as the white driven snow, it had coal, black burner grates and (WAIT FOR IT) and an analog clock with a chubby, round face and arrowed hands, right smack dab in the middle of the range.

My girlish glee immediately aroused a clerk, smelling the prospect of a sale, maybe the only sale on that very first day of 2014. A rather young chap, he slid around an LG, or was it a Samsung, and, swift as a lord-a-leaping, opened the  white oven door. “This is GE’s new retro model, and it is only $….“. We weren’t interested in buying this smart new model. Though it would have fit into our budget, it would not have worked in our kitchen.

Even so, the Duke of Deer, whose childhood also held such a white cooking wonder, and his Duchess spent several sweet moments DSCN3980warmly recalling the features of their childhood ovens. How very wondrous it seemed.

Now, dear reader, there is more to this New Year’s day story, which I will soon share with you, for one thing, you know,  always leads to another when memories are stirred on the Cutoff – and they even involves Hershey’s Cocoa.

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swLet’s lighten things up a bit here on the Cutoff, and celebrate a birthday. Mickey Mouse made his official screen debut in  Disney’s “Steamboat Willie” on this day in 1928. As a child growing up in the ’50s, I watched Mickey Mouse cartoons and was a dedicated member of the Mickey Mouse Club (MIC, see you real soon, KEY, why? because we like you, MOUSE). Were you?

From today’s edition of The Writer’s Almanac:

It was on this day in 1928 that Mickey Mouse was born when the first sound-synchronized cartoon to attract widespread public notice, Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willie,” premiered in New York at the Colony Theater. The black and white cartoon featured Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pegleg Pete and lasted seven minutes. With Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey, the cartoon met with great success.

From YouTube: (I hope I hold up this well after 85 years.)

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