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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sully and Wicca*


Pentacle of Fire

Sully Erna (the openly Wiccan vocalist/guitar player for Godsmack) speaking about Wicca... "Contrary to what most people wish to believe, Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of thinking, an earth religion if you want. I believe it is the oldest religion, definitely pre-Christian, and we don't worship Satan or the devil because we don't believe in it. 

We believe that the earth is a mother to us all and we should honor and respect her and live a harmonious life. We don't own the earth but we are part of it and to destroy it means to destroy ourselves. We respect life above all. Respect for life and free thought I'd say are the basics for Wicca. 

We respect every other religion because we think all gods and goddesses are the same. People just worship them in a different way. Wicca is often mistakenly associated with evil, but we believe in Karma and if we do something bad it comes back to haunt us, as a godsmack! 

That's the basic creed, harm none. We don't sacrifice people and we don't sacrifice animals because we believe in harming no one. We also don't worship Satan; he is a Christian creation and they can keep him. Wicca doesn't work with fear. It's about your own consciousness and doing what's right. We believe in the Law of Three: whatever you do comes back three fold, good or bad." *Original link Great Explanation!


CHICKEN SANDWICHES

This will make you laugh out loud! Don't eat chicken sandwiches, no matter what.....


A little boy and a little girl attended the same school and became friends. Every day they would sit together to eat their lunch. They discovered that they both brought chicken sandwiches every day! This went on all through the fourth and fifth grades, until one day he noticed that her sandwich wasn't a chicken sandwich. He said, 

"Hey, how come you're not eating chicken, don't you like it anymore?" She said "I love it but I have to stop eating it." "Why?" he asked. She pointed to her lap and said "Cause I'm starting to grow little feathers down there!" "Let me see" he said. "Okay" and she pulled up her skirt. He looked and said, "That's right. You are! Better not eat any more chicken." 

He kept eating his chicken sandwiches until one day he brought peanut butter. He said to the little girl, "I have to stop eating chicken sandwiches, I'm starting to get feathers down there too!" She asked if she could look, so he pulled down his pants for her. She said "Oh, my God, it's too late for you! You've already got the neck and the gizzards!!!

 

"Gone" - music video by Saskatchewan's Jeffrey Straker


“Rufus Wainwright, as well as K.D. Lang are among the Canadians making essential and beautiful music. Add the name Jeffery Straker to that list” – Chicago Free Press, Gregg Shapiro (Jan ‘09) “Cycling through (his) record I could not help but wonder why he’s not already a star in this country. Over time, he’s evolved into a fine songwriter with great lyrical sensibilities. Straker is very much an artist to watch” – Canadian Musician Magazine (Feb ’09)

Singer-songwriter-pianist Jeffery Straker performs over 100 shows per year across Canada. He recently recorded for CBC radio’s ‘Canada Live’, had a music video rise to the top 10 (#6) on Canada’s Much More Music and in May 2010 toured his music with the Regina Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players.

His album ‘Step Right Up’ was the #5 selling album in his home-land of Saskatchewan in August 2010, ahead of both Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. He’s sure neither of them cared. But he is sure that he, in fact, did. He has just launched a new album, ‘under the soles of my shoes’ in June 2011 and is touring Canada in support of it.

Tour stops include shows ranging from intimate house concerts to a show with the full Regina Symphony Orchestra (Oct 1, 2011) and many in between. Canadian Musician Magazine recently said, “Very much an artist to watch”. The Chicago Free Press has written “: “Rufus Wainwright, as well as k.d. lang are among the Canadians making essential and beautiful music. Add the name Jeffery Straker to that list”.

Originally from small town Saskatchewan, the classically trained pianist was raised by a church organist mother and auctioneer father. He swears he was born under the piano on the family farm. All this might explain his ability to share songs with audiences.

Jeffery has been invited to showcase at Canadian Music Week, NXNE, the Western Canadian Music Awards (Multiple times), as well as JunoFest. His songwriting has seen him become a national top 10 finalist in the Canadian Radiostar Songwriting Competition and a top 20 finalist in the global 2009 Unisong Competition. In September 2010 he was honored to be short-listed for the Sask. Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award.

Not at all sure if he would actually win it, he was delighted to attend the gala as he was sure the cake would be amazing. It was. In addition to launching his new album in 2011, Jeffery performed a concert with the full Regina Symphony Orchestra at the Conexus Arts Centre (Oct 1), debut at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, perform with R&B diva Jully Black, record new songs on Glenn Gould’s grand piano (at the CBC studios in Toronto) with Danny Michel as producer, and debut at the Regina Folk Festival. Somewhere amindst that, he’ll tour the country.

Jeffery is a musical descendant of Beethoven through teacher-student lineage (seriously…see below for the full story). He was a student of the Royal Conservatory of Music and received his licentiate diploma in piano performance from Trinity College, London when he was 19.

THE BEETHOVEN CONNECTION: His musical prowess and flare at the piano has an incredibly famous connection – it’s true. While studying at the conservatory of music at the University of Regina, Jeffery worked with one Frank Crumly, who had been taught by Thomas Manshardt, who previously had been taught by Howard Wells, who was a student of Leschetizky (acknowledged as the greatest teacher of all time), who was taught by Czerny, who, you guessed it, was taught by Beethoven. A similar lineage through Manshardt connects Jeffery to Chopin. Quite the pedigree.

Visit www.jeffstraker.com for more info + tour dates. www.twitter.com/jefferystraker www.facebook.com/jeffery.straker.music


Breast Feeding in Public Causing Traffic Jam

 NSFW! Click here.

"Whatever!"

Crossing the River Three men were hiking through a forest when they came upon a large, raging violent river. Needing to get on the other side, the first man prayed, "God, please give me the strength to cross the river." Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs and he was able to swim across in about 2 hours, having almost drowned twice. 

After witnessing that, the second man prayed, "God, please give me strength and the tools to cross the river." Poof! God gave him a rowboat and strong arms and strong legs and he was able to row across in about an hour after almost capsizing once. 

Seeing what happened to the first two men, the third man prayed, "God, please give me the strength, the tools and the intelligence to cross this river." Poof! He was turned into a woman. She checked the map, hiked one hundred yards up stream and walked across the bridge. 

GO AHEAD! SEND THIS TO A WOMAN WHO NEEDS A GOOD LAUGH  

WORDS WOMEN USE FINE This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.  

FIVE MINUTES If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.  

NOTHING This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with 'Nothing' usually end in "Fine"  

GO AHEAD This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.  

LOUD SIGH This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"  

THAT'S OKAY This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.  

THANKS A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome. Send this to the men you know to warn them about future arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology! And send it to your women friends to give them a good laugh! Oh, and before we forget ... 

 "WHATEVER" ...it's a woman's way of saying *!#@ YOU!

Did this man just teleport?

Saturday, August 29, 2020

"Normisms"

 


What's doing, Norm? "Well, science is seeking a cure for thirst. I happen to be the guinea pig." 

What's up, Norm? "My nipples. It's freezing out there." 

What's shaking, Norm? "All four cheeks & a couple of chins." 

What's new, Norm? "Terrorists, Sam. They've taken over my stomach & they're demanding beer." 

What'd you like, Normie? "A reason to live. Give me another beer." 

What'll you have, Normie? "Well, I'm in a gambling mood Sammy. I'll take a glass of whatever comes out of the tap." Looks like beer, Norm. "Call me Mister Lucky." 

Hey Norm, how's the world been treating you? "Like a baby treats a diaper What's the story, Mr. Peterson? "The Bobbsey Twins go to the brewery. Let's cut to the happy ending." 

Hey Mr. Peterson, there's a cold one waiting for you. "I know, if she calls, I'm not here." 

What's going on, Mr. Peterson? "A flashing sign in my gut that says, 'Insert beer here.'" 

"Whatcha up to, Norm?" "My ideal weight if I were eleven feet tall." 

How's it going, Mr. Peterson?" "Poor." I'm sorry to hear that. "No, I mean pour." 

How's life treating you, Norm? "Like it caught me sleeping with its wife." "Women. Can't live with 'em.... pass the beer nuts." 

What's going down, Normie? "My butt cheeks on that bar stool." 

Pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson? "Alright, but stop me at one....make that one-thirty." 

How's it going, Mr. Peterson? "It's a dog eat dog world, Woody & I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear." 

What's the story, Norm? "Boy meets beer. Boy drinks beer. Boy meets another beer." 

Can I pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson? "A little early, isn't it, Woody?" For a beer? "No, for stupid questions." 

What's the story, Norm? "Thirsty guy walks into a bar. You finish it." 

What's new, Norm? "Most of my wife." 

Beer, Norm? "Naah, I'd probably just drink it." 

What's doing, Norm? "Well, science is seeking a cure for thirst. I happen to be the guinea pig." 

Can I draw you a beer, Norm? "No, I know what they look like. Just pour me one." 

How about a beer, Norm? "Hey I'm high on life, Coach. Of course, beer is my life." How's a beer sound, Norm? "I dunno. I usually finish them before they get a word in." 

Beer, Normie? "Uh, Coach, I dunno, I had one this week. Eh, why not, I'm still young." 

Norm comes in with an attractive woman. Normie, Normie, could this be Vera? "With a lot of expensive surgery, maybe." 

What would you say to a nice beer, Normie? "Going down?" 

What'll it be, Normie? "Just the usual, Coach. I'll have a froth of beer and a snorkel." 

What do you say, Norm? "Any cheap, tawdry thing that'll get me a beer." 

[coming in from the rain] "Evening, everybody." Norm! Still pouring, Norm? "That's funny, I was about to ask you the same thing." Whaddya say, Norm? "Well, I never met a beer I didn't drink. And down it goes." 

[Norm goes into the bar at Vic's Bowl-A-Rama] Off-screen crowd: Norm! Sam: How the hell do they know him here? Cliff: He's got a life, you know. What's your pleasure, Mr. Peterson? "Boxer shorts and loose shoes. But I'll settle for a beer." 

How's life, Mr. Peterson? "Oh, I'm waiting for the movie." 

What can I do for you, Mr. Peterson? "Elope with my wife." 

How's life in the fast lane, Normie? "Beats me, I can't find the on-ramp." 

What's happening, Mr. Peterson? "The question, Woody, why is it happening to me?" 

How are you today, Mr. Peterson? "Never been better, Woody. ... Just once I'd like to be better." 

Hey, Mr. Peterson, what do you say to a cold one? "See you later, Vera, I'll be at Cheers." 

Well, look at you. You look like the cat that swallowed the canary. "And I need a beer to wash him down." 

Hey, Mr. Peterson, how's life? "Well, the plot's okay, Woody, but it kind of falls apart at the end." 

What's going on, Mr. Peterson? "Let's talk about what's going in Mr. Peterson. A beer, Woody." 

How's life treating you? "It's not, Sammy, but that doesn't mean you can't." 

Beer, Norm? "Have I gotten that predictable? Good." 

What do you know there, Norm? "How to sit. How to drink. Want to quiz me?" Hey, how's life treating you there, Norm? "Beats me. ... Then it kicks me and leaves me for dead." 

How would a beer feel, Mr. Peterson? "Pretty nervous if I was in the room." 

Hey, Mr. Peterson, what's up? "The warranty on my liver." What can I do for you, Norm? "Open up those beer taps and, oh, take the day off, Sam." 

What's going on, Normie? "My birthday, Sammy. Give me a beer, stick a candle in it, and I'll blow out my liver." 

How about a beer, Norm? "That's that amber sudsy stuff, right? I've heard good things about it!" 

What's shaking Mr. Peterson? "What isn't?" 

How's it going, Norm? "Cut the small talk and get me a beer." 

What can I do for you Norm? "Well, I am going to need something to kill time before my second beer so how about a first one?" 

How's life Norm? " Ask a man whose got one." What'll you have, Norm? "Fame, fortune, and fast women." 

How 'bout a beer? "Even better." How's the world treating you, Norm? "Like I just ran over its dog.

The Kiss

 


After just a few years together, a young gay couple whose relationship was filled with constant arguments, decided the only way to save their relationship was to try counseling. They had been at each others throats for some time and felt that this was their last straw. When they arrived at the counselor's office, the counselor jumped right in and opened the floor for discussion. 

"What seems to be the problem?" Immediately, the one man, a 20s something blonde, held his long face down without anything to say. On the other hand, his partner began talking 90 miles and hour describing all the wrongs within their relationship. After 5 - - 10 - - 15 minutes of listening to him, the counselor went over to him, picked him up by his shoulders, kissed him passionately for several minutes and then sat him back down. 

The councilor then looked over at the blonde who was staring in disbelief at what had happened. The counselor said, "Your boyfriend NEEDS that at least twice a week!" The blonde scratched his head and replied, "I can have him here on Tuesdays and Thursdays."

Minimum Wage across the Provinces

 

Scary, man!

Old But Great Prank

 


A note about wasps 🐝

 

You're having a few drinks in the garden with your friends, or a family BBQ, when a load of pesky wasps arrive to spoil the party. You haven't seen them all summer and then suddenly they're all over the place, annoying everybody, causing panic and helicopter hands. Sound familiar?
 
August is the time of year when people start to ask 'what's the point of wasps?' The answer may surprise you.
 
Did you know that there are approximately 9,000 species of wasp here in the UK? These include the parasitic wasps, some of which are so diminutive they are like pin heads. Of the 250 larger wasps which have have a stinger, the majority are solitary and cause no upset to humans.
 
However, when we talk about wasps, we're almost certainly referring to the our nation's nemesis, the Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris). To understand why these wasps become really annoying this time of year, you first need to understand their life cycle.
 
Common wasps live socially like bees but, unlike honey bees, they haven't evolved a way of storing food to allow the colony to survive the winter. In fact the only survivors are the young, fertilised queens who hibernate over winter. They emerge in the spring to build little walnut sized nests where they they lay around 20 eggs.
 
The queen feeds the resulting larvae until around May, when they mature and become workers. Then she focuses on more egg-laying and the workers get on with feeding them, enlarging the nest as they go along. By this time of year the nest has grown to around 40cm in diameter, often larger, and that nest can contains up to 10,000 wasps!
 
Then, in late August and September, a dramatic change takes place. The queen quits her egg laying (save a few that will go on to be future queens and males to fertilise them) and no longer releases the pheromone that causes the workers to work.
 
Basically, these workers are made redundant, and are left jobless and disorientated. And the problem for us is that, although adult wasps are insect predators, that meat is to feed the larvae not themselves. In their adult state wasps are not able to digest solid food and need sugary liquid to survive. Now, with fewer no larvae to feed, they become uncontrollably and insatiably hungry.
 
Wasps love easy food such as over ripe fruit and your fizzy drinks. Towards the end of their brief lives, their hunger drives them to search for easy sugar at exactly the time when we are more likely to be using our gardens and outdoor spaces for eating sweet things. The timing couldn't be better for them or worse for us.
So why are those who panic and try to swat them away more likely to be stung than those who remain calm?
 
Well the problem is that these redundant workers have their own pheromone, which helps protect the nest from attack earlier in the year, and that's essentially a chemical rallying cry to other workers that the nest is under attack.
 
So when you swat that annoying wasp and it feels under attack, that rallying cry will go out. Suddenly it all kicks off, and loads more wasps will start arriving in aggressive 'red-mist' mode, fired up and ready to defend their nest. This is why the best advice is to stay calm.
 
Think of it this way, from May that wasp has been working its socks off helping to keep things nice on planet earth. Now it’s going to die. So why not give it a break, save your swats, put a bowl of sugary drink somewhere out of your way, and let it go out on a nice sugar rush 🙂 At the very least don't kill it.
 
What's the point of wasps? Without them it’s likely that human life would not survive because, in the absence of their role as predators, our planet would be overrun by even more damaging insects such as aphids, ants and caterpillars.
Please feel free to share with others 😊

Friday, August 28, 2020

Little Feet, Little Minds

 

by E. L. Davis

"Big Man - Little Man" 

 

They come into our lives one small child at a time, Always scared and lonely and wondering what they’ll find. Their minds so full of questions and their eyes full of fear, Always listening closely just to see what they can hear. Little feet, little minds. So many children, so little time. 

Once someone’s little angel sent from heaven up above Now battered, bruised, and broken and only wanting love. You offer them affection just to see them pull away, But you keep on trying, every single day. A child is like a garden—without love, it won’t grow. But give it to them daily and soon it starts to show. 

You see a little sparkle in eyes once filled with fear, You hear a little laugh that sounds oh-so-dear. Little feet, little minds. So many children, so little time. Once someone’s little angel, now ours for awhile, That gives us hugs and kisses and a big, warm smile. Now all those deep dark secrets they’ve kept locked up inside, They start to tell them to you, a little at a time. 

As you sit and listen to the words they say, You ask yourself, “How come life turns out this way?” Little feet, little minds. So many children, so little time. Now the days are passing by and all their fears are too. You hope you’ve made a difference with all you say and do, And you know you have when you hear “I love you.” It makes it all worthwhile when bedtime comes at night, And you get those hugs and kisses when you turn out the light. Little feet, little minds. So many children, so little time. 

Now as the love inside grows more and more each day, The call you knew was coming finally comes your way. They’re coming to get the angel that someone threw away, Now your heart is breaking because you know that they can’t stay. As you pack the memories that all of you have made, You gently wipe away the tears streaming down your face. 

And as you place each item a reflection you will see, Of the child as they are today and how they used to be. Little feet, little minds. So many children, so little time. Once again the house falls silent of tiny little feet, Gently, softly running, playing hide and seek. Even though you’re leaving, in our hearts you’ll always stay In a special place, safely locked away. God bless all little angels sent from heaven up above. May they all find families, filled with happiness and love. Little feet, little minds. So many children, so little time.

E. L. Davis is a foster parent in Chatham County, North Carolina. Copyright © 2002 Jordan Institute for Families &#185 Painting "Little Man Big Man" © Steve Walker

As Kidz See It...

 

ya think they unnerstand . . . 'till ya ax 'em some questions on it. I love kids versions.  

Children's Bible Gaffs The following statements about the bible were written by children and have not been retouched or corrected (i.e., bad spelling has been left in.) 

In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off. 

Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. 

The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals. 

Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten ammendments. 

The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery. 

Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. 

David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. 

Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. 

When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. 

When the three 'wise guys' from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager. 

Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption. 

Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to other before they do one to you. 

The epistles were the wives of the apostles. 

A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

From the bureau of interesting - if not useless - information

 

I don't know if all this is true or not, but it does make for an interesting minute or two of reading...)

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.

If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and CharlesThomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

Q. Half of all Americans and Canadians live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace.

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession.

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand.

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. They were all invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey.

Q. On which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day.

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase, "Goodnight, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the "mead" he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based,this period was called the honey month - which we know today as the "honeymoon".

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's".

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Many years ago in Scotland a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

In the 1400's a law was set forth that a man was not allowed to beat his wife with a stick that was thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb".

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can, but women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska.

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28%. (Now get this...) The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%!

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400.

The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades -King David. Hearts - Charlemagne. Clubs -Alexander, the Great. Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321 (the numbers go up to nine, then back to one).

Don't skip this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it:

"I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. (The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid!) Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the
olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

AND FINALLY.....

At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.

Sister Mary Kay Katherine

 

Sister Mary Kay Katherine entered the Monastery of Silence. The Priest said, "Sister, this is a silent monastery. 

You are welcome here as long as you like, but you may not speak until I direct you to do so". 

Sister Mary Kay Katherine lived in the monastery for 5 years before the Priest said to her, "Sister Mary Kay Katherine, you have been here for 5 years. You may speak two words." Sister Mary Kay Katherine said, "Hard bed." "I'm sorry to hear that," the Priest said, "We will get you a better bed." 

After another 5 years, Sister Mary Kay Katherine was called by the Priest. "You may say another two words, Sister Mary Kay Katherine. "Cold food," said Sister Mary Kay Katherine, and the Priest assured her that the food would be better in the future. 

On her 15th anniversary at the monastery, the Priest again called Sister Mary Kay Katherine into his office. "You may say two words today." "I quit," said Sister Mary Kay Katherine. "It's probably best", said the Priest, "You've done nothing but bitch since you got here."

THE OLD WOMAN

THE OLD WOMAN

by Gail Fulkerson


The gate creaked whenever the wind blew. The rusted metal fence had sagged inward and fallen to ruin. The sidewalk that led from the street to the front steps had cracked and flaked after years of neglect. The overgrown lawn was a tangle of tall grasses and weeds that small animals and rodents could hide in and build their homes in relative safety.

The house was about to fall in upon itself. The windows were broken out and the curtains were rotted and tattered. The once beautiful home had been long abandoned and the years of neglect made the place look creepy, like something out of a horror movie. An old woman peered out of a second-floor window, watching Nora survey the property, then disappeared behind a scrap of wind-torn curtain.

Nora blinked, not certain whether she saw a figure in the upstairs window. She looked again, but saw no one. Nora walked away, saddened by the sight of her childhood home in ruins.

A few days later, Nora was in her apartment getting ready for work, when, out of the corner of her eye, she saw the closet door in her bedroom close. There was a soft click as the door latch found its place. She stood across the room in front of the makeup mirror, frozen in fear, as she observed the closet door shut. A subtle breath of bath-powder-scented air brushed past Nora’s cheek and ruffled her hair. She grabbed her coat and purse and left her apartment, shaken by the experience.

The old woman snickered, pleased with Nora’s reaction to the closet door. She left after that, but made sure she was back in the apartment when Nora got home from work. This time, the old woman made the lights in the apartment flicker. Nora thought it was a brownout and ignored it. She could not, however, ignore the shower turning on, the taps in the sink opening full bore, and the toilet flushing over and over again. Nora would go and turn everything off, only to hear the water running as soon as she sat down on the couch to finish watching her program. And, there was the scent of after-bath powder she could not explain.


The old woman kept scaring Nora, night after night, until Nora shouted at the ceiling for it all to stop. It worked, but peace lasted only a day or two. That was when the old lady doubled the strength of her attacks.

It was after a restless night that Nora got up from her bed and walked into the kitchen to make coffee. She had work on her mind, concerned that the workload had increased recently. She wasn’t sure she could keep up the pace before her health started to suffer. When she turned from the coffee maker, Nora saw all of her cooking knives stabbed into the counters and walls, the refrigerator door flung open, and food on the floor. She thought she could hear an old woman giggling, but it was faint, and Nora wasn’t sure where it was coming from.

Not long after the kitchen incident, Nora had retired early and was sound asleep in her bed. Someone or something was trying to wake her up, but she kept resisting. The old woman hovered over Nora’s sleeping body, and stared at her until she awoke.


Nora came awake to see the old woman floating mere inches above her. She screamed and pulled the covers over her eyes, but the old woman grabbed the blankets and yanked them back down. She wanted to make sure that Nora saw her, before she delivered the final coup de grace.

Nora looked into the old woman’s glowing red eyes, and cried out for help, but no one heard her. The bath powder scent had turned rancid. The old lady’s white hair stood straight out from her head. Her mouth was opened in a silent scream.

Nora started praying every prayer she could remember, but rather than helping get rid of the apparition, it seemed to empower the old woman. She cackled right in Nora’s face, then traced Nora’s jaw line with a gnarled forefinger, tipped with a black and ragged nail. Nora fainted. The old woman shrieked with laughter.

She lifted Nora out of her bed and took her to the apartment’s balcony. Nora lived on the tenth floor of the building. The old woman had a time getting the body up and over the railing, but she persevered, and watched, grinning, as the unconscious Nora fell silently through the chilly night air, landing with a satisfying splat on the pavement below.



The old woman didn’t bother sticking around after that. She’d had her fun and now it was time to move on. She wondered how many other people lived in the building and whether or not one of them would become her next plaything. She wafted through Nora’s front door and down the corridor, passing numerous apartments filled with couples and families. They would not do. She needed a single woman (or man) who no one would miss, at least not long enough for the police to become involved.

The old woman heard sobbing coming from an apartment on the floor below. Methinks I hear the sounds of my next victim, the old woman said silently in her head.

She sank easily through the corridor floor and went in search of the crying woman.

Below is a book of poems by Gail Fulkerson




Aerobics for your brain

 

Click here

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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Stupid Is As Stupid Says...

 

 ON MUST WE? It’s time to put our blood or our urine where our mouth is. --Iowa State Representative and Speaker of the Iowa House Pat Murphy, referring to drug testing 
 
ON PASS THE PAELLA INSTEAD, PLEASE • Grilled Knives • Clams to the Sailor • Turned Around of Mushrooms --menu items, Spain
 
ON RÉSUMÉS FROM HELL

• Qualifications: Twin sister has accounting degree. • Salary requirements: Starting over due to recent bankruptcies. Need large bonus when starting job. • References: Bill, Tom, Eric. But I don’t know their phone numbers. --included on actual résumés

ON “ON SECOND THOUGHT, LET’S GO FOR A BIG MAC” TRY A 50 YEAR OLD WHOPPER WITH CHEESE! --sign outside a Burger King (advertising the fact that the Whopper had been invented 50 years before)
 
ON HOTEL GUESTS WE HAVE RESERVATIONS ABOUT • Are you open on weekends? • Are we confined to our room or are we allowed to go out? • How dare you fold the towels in the room like that! That’s not how I fold them at home! I reserved this room a month ago; you knew I was coming here! --actual questions/comment from guests to a front desk employee of a major hotel (thanks to Crystal Lemcke)


Cats by Katy Vezde

 


















Freezing Bread

 

Canadian Starter Pack

 

Cahoots

 

Do you get it?

 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Best of All Summers

 

from Random Acts, by Bobby Stevenson For more wonderful stories, click here.

Some things remain with you forever. When I was ten years old, my father took me on a trip in an old battered car and caravan, and although I didn’t know it at the time, my father was dying. He was only forty years of age and he was dying of a brain tumour.

What can I tell you about me back then? That I was the only son of parents who never got around to marrying? That I lived with my two sisters and a cat and that despite not having any money, we lived in a house packed to the roof with love. Maybe that’s as good as it gets in anyone’s life.

My father was the gentlest of hearts and the kindest of men, and I’m not just saying that because he’s gone. I’m saying it because it was true. It was his strength and his weakness. My mother watched so many people taking advantage of his goodness, that in the end she put herself in the way of anyone trying to use him.

This made her seem hard but she was willing to put up with that, because that was what our family was always about – love. My parents had decided that when school was closed for the summer, Mum and the girls would go to London for a few days to see a show, while me and Dad would go north taking his old car hooked up to Granddad’s caravan. I knew Dad was probably hoping this would be a chance for us to talk, as he was always working and I was always in my bedroom being misunderstood.

Even at ten years of age I had no real idea how to enjoy myself. On that summer, that glorious summer, school finished and my life began. Dad drove Mum and the girls to the railway station and I sat on the front steps waiting, bag ready and caravan packed. I’ll always remember the ‘toot-toot-toot’ of my Dad on the car horn as he returned from the station, letting everyone in the street know that the boys were off on holiday. All those unused days were spread before us, waiting. If I’d thought that it was going to be a particularly difficult time sitting in the car with my Dad, I was wrong.

I had imagined him and me struggling to talk to each other and stumbling over words. I guess I’ve always made assumptions about things. I’ve worried and assumed – I suppose that’s what should be written on my headstone. There I go again. As we drove towards the coast, I felt ashamed of myself. Here was a man who knew all about my writings and about the books I’d read. He would steal himself into my room after he came home late from work, too late to wish me goodnight but long enough to kiss me on the forehead and absorb from the room who and what I was.

There was I knowing very little about him, except he was my father and he was rarely home. I don’t recall when he stopped the car but I do remember it getting dark. I had been telling him all about the characters in some Dickens novel when I must have fallen asleep in his arms. When I awoke, it was morning and the sun was fighting the condensation on the window. Dad had placed me in the back seat and covered me with his jacket. The car was freezing and as I sat up, I shivered. I wiped away mist from the side window and saw, that despite the sun, the sky and the sea were a cold blue, broken up by the foamy edges of the waves. We had parked at the edge of a cliff and Dad was sitting, staring - that was all he was doing - just staring. When I felt brave enough, I ventured outside to join him.

I’ll always remember his face that day, the wind had slapped his cheeks into a Santa Claus red and his eyes were watering, stung by the sea. You could almost imagine that he had been crying, and I wonder now, from all those years away, if he had been. He told me to sit next to him and he put his arm around me, “You, and me, son are going on an adventure”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I liked the sound of ‘adventure’ and I loved my father and felt safe with him but there was always a part of me that wanted to return to the protection of my bedroom, pull up my arms into my sleeves and wait on the next hurtful thing. Yeah, you’re right, I was one weird kid. As we came over the hill I could see it: Blackpool Tower. I had never seen anything so tall in all my life and was so excited that I forgot about my misgivings.

The place was alive with people who were swept up with enjoying life and buzzing with laughter. There were donkey rides by the sea, the odd uncle with a handkerchief on his head to keep the sun away and people breaking their teeth on sticks of rocks, slurping ice cream and getting pieces of candy floss stuck to their noses. Dad and I went down on to the beach and ate our fish and chips from a newspaper. I think it was the best fish and chips I ever tasted.

“That’s better.” said Dad. “What?” “You’re smiling, you’ve got a nice smile, you know. You should use it more often.” “Oh Dad.” “I’m just saying.” And do you know what? I felt that I didn’t want to be anywhere else. Just me and my Dad on the beach at Blackpool. “It’s my fault.” he said, sadly. “What is, Dad?” “The fact that you never smile, me and your Mum left you sitting too long in that room of yours.” “I like my room.” “No one likes their room.”

Dad parked the caravan down some quiet side street and told me to get washed and ready as he took a walk into town. When he returned, his breath smelt of beer and his clothes of cigarettes. “You’ll never guess what I’ve got in my pocket? Two tickets to see Arthur Askey at the Grand”

What a night that was, everyone laughing and singing along with The Bee Song. I looked over at my Dad and he was laughing so hard the tears were rolling down his face. God, I miss him. We had ice cream topped with raspberry sauce on the way back and I never once thought about my misgivings, not once. The next morning after a cup of tea and a bacon roll, we left Blackpool still singing the Bee Song, just me and my Dad. I can’t remember who saw the old lady first.

My Dad had stopped the car because I needed to pee again and I was hiding in the bushes. The woman was sitting on a bench and at first we thought she was just sleeping, but her head had rolled forwards and she was moaning. Dad put his ear close to listen to her breathing. “This isn’t good. We’ll need to get her to hospital.” I sat with her in the back seat of the car while she rested her head on my lap.

She reminded me of my Gran, I almost said “We won’t be long now Gran” when she moaned really loudly. The nurse brought Dad and me drinks as we sat in the corridor waiting on news. It almost felt like it was my Gran. “Are you family?” Dad explained to the doctor that we had found her sitting by the side of the road. “There was nothing we could do, I’m afraid. I’m sorry your trip was in vain. She passed away five minutes ago.” Dad got a bit annoyed but he kept it to himself until we were outside the hospital.

I thought maybe he was sad about the old lady dying, but really he was a bit angry. “Don’t you ever believe that what we did was in vain, son. Never think that. That poor lady would have died alone on that bench if we hadn’t stopped. As it is, you kept her company and there were people with her when she went. So it wasn’t in vain. Nothing is in vain. Always, always remember that. Everything matters”

I guess that’s the kind of thing that happens to a person when they come out of their room. As Dad drove south, I had the feeling that he just wanted to keep driving but as soon as it started to get dark, we stopped. Thinking back, I guess he couldn’t see too well in the dying light, something to do with his tumour.We set the caravan down in a field that overlooked Liverpool. What a city.

Looking over the way the setting sun painted the building tops, a crimson yellow. We were going into town tomorrow and Dad said he had a surprise. I don’t think I have ever been to a happier city than Liverpool that day. People were going to and fro but always laughing and joking. Some were singing, others whistling. I loved every minute of it; every blooming minute of it. “I’ve got a pal and he owes me a favour”, said Dad. I felt ashamed that I hadn’t even known that my father had any friends or who they were.

“He works at a club down Matthew Street. He says if we arrive early enough, he’ll get us in and you can hide under my coat.” I almost had misgivings again, almost wishing I was back in my safe, warm, bedroom - almost. We did what Dad said and he put me under his coat and the doorman, his pal, waved us past all the people waiting to get in. “We’ll need to keep you under cover young ‘un” said Bert, Dad’s pal, as he led me to a small room by the stairs where he gave me lemonade.

“We’ll come and get you when the band is ready” said my Dad. “I’m going to have a talk with Bert. You’ll be okay here?” I would be. I had just finished my drink when there was a knock at the door, followed by it opening. “Hey Paul, look what I’ve found, the Cavern has little people living under the stairs. What are you doing here, son?” I told him I was waiting on the band and that my Dad was coming to get me. “And what band would that be son?”

I shrugged and the man seemed to find that funny. His pal, Paul came over to have a look at me. “You’re right John, that is one of the little people. You’ve got to be lucky to see them” and then he rubbed my head. John said it was his band that was playing and I said I was sorry. He said not as sorry as he was and asked did I want to come to their dressing room? Although on second thoughts, John said, there was probably more room under the stairs. So I went with John and Paul and met the other two, George and Pete.

They were all fooling around and didn’t seem to be in anyway nervous. John asked me what I wanted to do “That is, when you stop being one of the little people.” I told him I wanted to be a writer and he said that was probably the best job in the world next to being in a band, especially his band, and he went into his jacket and gave me his pen. “If anyone asks, tell them John Lennon gave it to you.”

That night I watched John, Paul, George and Pete play the most wonderful music I had ever heard or will ever hear. I didn’t know it then, but a few weeks later Ringo replaced Pete. I never got to meet him. My Dad died, just after Christmas, that year. He left me with the best present that I have ever received in my life. He took me out of my room and locked the door so I couldn’t go back in.

So what if I got hurt? That was the price you paid for being out there, that was the price we all paid, and the other thing he gave me was the belief that nothing is ever in vain, nothing. On the thirtieth anniversary of John Lennon’s death, I flew to New York and walked through Central Park and climbed the hill to Strawberry Fields. There was a little boy about ten and his Dad listening to the music of Lennon and I took out the pen and I handed it to them: “John Lennon gave me this.” Everything matters.

*Random Acts

Bigger Than The Grill

A man and his wife were working in their garden one day. The man looked over at his wife and said, "Your butt is getting really big, I mean really big. I bet your butt is bigger than the barbecue grill." 

With that he proceeded to get a measuring tape and measure the grill, then went over to where his wife was working and measured his wife's bottom. "Yup, I was right -- your butt is two inches wider than the barbecue grill!" 

The woman chose to ignore her husband. Later that night, in bed, the husband was feeling a little frisky. He made some advances toward his wife, who completely brushed him off. "What's wrong?" he asked. She answered, "Do you really think I'm going to fire up this big-ass grill for one little weenie?"

Crushed under the weight

The first police officer reaches under the one-ton bale of hay and attempts to lift it off of me. Of course, it doesn’t budge. He grabs his flashlight and shines it under the hay into my face. I blink. He yells over his shoulder to his partner, “He’s alive! He’s alive! Help me move the hay.”
 
Even working together two officers can’t move it – not a fraction of an inch. A thousand pounds each? Of course they can’t move it.
“Cut the strings,” I whisper. My voice is weak. They can’t hear me.
 
I am not going to last much longer. If they will just cut the strings, the bale will break apart, and they can drag me out of here.
 
“Lift, Joe, lift!”
“Just cut the strings,” I mumble, “Please cut the strings.”
“C’mon harder.”
“It’s too heavy! We can’t lift it. We gotta go for help! Hang on, we’ll be right back!”
 
I am alone again in the growing darkness. Wonderful painless, peaceful, irresistible sleep beckons. I struggle to remain conscious. One. Two. Three. Four… Where are they? How long does it take for police, fire, ambulance, to arrive? Where is the Coast Guard? Where are the Marines? Where is that one old farmer with enough common sense to just cut the strings?
 
The desert air grows chilly as the sky darkens. I grow weaker. Dizziness overcomes me and I begin to drift off into that gray space somewhere between the living and the dead.
Help finally arrives. One of the police officers bends down so I can see his face. “Hold on! A fire engine is here. There are six men aboard.”
 
I do the math. Two big, strong cops and six burly firemen must move a ton of dead weight off me. That’s two hundred forty five pounds each. No way can they possibly do that – but somehow, miraculously, they do. A couple of neighbors who have arrived at the scene stand by to catch me. They lower my limp body to the ground where I lie in a broken heap.
 
Why didn’t they cut the strings? They could have saved a long, tortured hour.
 
How heavy is hay? A piece of hay is about the weight of a feather. How many pieces of hay does it take to make two thousand pounds? Lots. That package of sixteen bazillion individual pieces of hay wrapped in a gigantic bundle is a crushing weight. But separated, it would have been nothing. I feel bad saying this, because it makes me sound ungrateful – and I am very grateful to the guys who saved my life that night – but there is a point to be made here, isn’t there?
 
Is it too big?
Is it overwhelming?
Cut the strings – just cut the strings!
 
Are you buried under crushing burdens? Projects that are too huge? Schedules that are too complicated? Maybe you are trying to do too much at once – trying to do everything instead of doing something.
 
Cut the strings and cut yourself free. Do one thing at a time – and get it Done.

Do You Recognize These Faces?


Leonardo DiCaprio. Click here to view moreLeonardo DiCaprio


Click above to view the rest! This is a powerpoint, which a viewer is included in Internet Explorer. Just scroll down, a line at a time, it will add the names, then the next will advance a page. Please let me know if you have trouble viewing. You can either choose 'OPEN' to view now, or "SAVE' to view at a later time.

You've Been Using These 14 Phrases Wrong Your Whole Life

These are some of the most commonly used English phrases, but did you know that a lot of them are wrong? Whether you're spelling them wrong or they don't mean what you think they do, odds are you've been making a few mistakes.

1. "Free reign" vs. "Free rein"
"Free rein" means "unrestricted liberty of action or decision" and comes from the act of holding a horse's reins loosely so that it can move freely. "Free reign" implies someone reigning however they please, and even though it makes sense, it's actually wrong.
Correct phrase: "Free rein"

2. "Baited breath" vs. "Bated breath"
"Bated breath" was first used in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, and "bated" is an abbreviation of the word "abated," which means "to lessen in severity or amount." So if you have "bated breath," it means you're holding your breath, and if you have "baited breath," it means you have bait in your breath, which would probably smell bad.
Correct phrase: "Bated breath"

3. "Spitting image" vs. "Spit and image"
At this point, "spitting image" is used so commonly that most people have no idea that "spit and image" is most likely the original phrase. There are a few theories about its origin, but many believe it comes from people saying that a child looked so much like their parents that they could have spit the child out.
Correct phrase: Technically "Spit and image". But based on the evolution of common usage, you can't really say that "spitting image" is wrong.

4. "Hone in" vs. "Home in"
These both technically make sense, since "hone" means "refining or perfecting something." But "home in" is the one that means "finding and moving directly toward something." So you hone your skills, but you home in on a target.
Correct phrase: "Home in"

5. "Slight of hand" vs. "Sleight of hand"
This one simply comes down to a common misspelling of the word "sleight." If it makes sense to you because "slight of hand" feels like it implies a slight move in the name of deception, you're not alone! But "sleight" is literally "the use of dexterity or cunning, especially so as to deceive," so that's that on that.
Correct phrase: "Sleight of hand"

6. "On tender hooks" vs. "On tenterhooks"
As it turns out out, "on tender hooks" is complete nonsense, even though it feels like it makes sense. To be "on tenterhooks" means "to be filled with painful or anxious anticipation" and comes from a device people used to use to hang their wool clothes, called a tenter.
Correct phrase: "On tenterhooks"

7. "Shoe-in" vs. "Shoo-in"
A "shoo-in" is an easy winner, and it comes from people shooing racehorses so that they'd run faster. "Shoe-in" is just a common misspelling of this phrase.
Correct term: "Shoo-in"

8. "You've got another thing coming" vs. "You've got another think coming"
Since these two mean basically the same thing, we can say they're both right. But technically, "You've got another think coming" came first and means you're telling someone they're wrong about something and need to go have another think about it.
Correct phrase: Both! But "You've got another think coming" gets the edge because of seniority.

9. "Hunger pains" vs. "Hunger pangs"
Even though you feel "hunger pains" when you're hungry, "pangs" is actually a medical term referring to cramps that are caused by hunger.
Correct phrase: "Hunger pangs"

10. "Ex-patriot" vs. "Expatriate"
These two are pretty close in meaning, with one crucial difference: An "expatriate" is just someone who lives away from their homeland, and an "ex-patriot" is someone who no longer has feelings of patriotism toward their country. A lot of people misspell the former as the latter, so if you've been doing that, it might be a good idea to stop.
Correct term: "Expatriate"

11. "Pawn off" vs. "Palm off"
They can both mean "to get rid of something," but "pawn off" comes from the definition of "pawn," while "palm off" comes from "palming," which is when you hide your cards in your hand during poker. One implies actual deception; the other one doesn't.
Correct phrase: "Palm off"

12. "Butt naked" vs. "Buck naked"
"Butt naked" makes more sense, I know, I know. But "buck naked" came first — what can I tell ya?
Correct phrase: "Buck naked," somehow

14. And finally, "Change tact" vs. "Change tack"
"Changing tact" sounds like it should make sense because you can change your approach to a situation to be more tactful. But "tack" is a nautical term referring to the direction of a boat, so if you're trying to say that you need a different approach altogether, "change tack" is the way to go.
Correct phrase: "Change tack"


Comments made in the year 1957