Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mountains of Holiday Catalogs

“Oh the noise, noise, noise, noise, NOISE!!”

Does the above quote from one of my favorite books “How the Grinch stole Christmas” sound familiar to you? You know, when the Grinch was fed up with all the noise down in who Ville!

Well, that pretty much sums up how I feel about all of the catalogs, catalogs, catalogs, catalogs, CATALOGS that I get this time of the year!

If you are like me and have bought anything on line through a catalog, you know and expect that you are going to get catalogs throughout the year from that company, and many times, from affiliated companies, reminding you of what other wonderful things that they have to offer for you to purchase.

Not only do they send me about a gazillion emails for the same catalogs, but many companies also hit me up with their latest paper catalog about 1 to 4 times a month throughout the year! And now ‘tis the season that I seem to get (and I am not exaggerating here) about 10 paper catalogs in my mail box….Every… Single…Day!

I feel terrible for the poor mail carriers who have to deliver these, not to mention the countless trees who have fallen for this cause!

And while some of these catalogs are from companies that I have ordered from, there are many others that I have never even heard of, can’t correlate how they might even be remotely associated with the other companies, and so, I have no idea how I get on their lists at all!

But, out of curiosity I briefly glance through some of these “new to me” catalogs and find some crazy items for sale. Items I didn’t know existed, and wondered who would ever even purchase some of these things. I mean, who in their right mind would need a $345,000.00 personal robot butler?! I am not kidding, there is actually one of these for sale out there! It seems to me that if you can afford a $345,000.00 robot butler, you can probably afford a living, breathing butler, so I come to the conclusion that someone has a lot of money and not nearly enough to do .

So what to do with the mountains of catalogs that I have accumulated in the last month? Well, I didn’t want to just throw them out, so I tried burning them in the burn barrel, but quickly found out that glossy paper does not burn well, so, until I find a recycling facility to drop them off at, I came up with some creative uses for a few of them. For instance, I found out that if you stack enough of them up, they serve as the perfect height for my nutcracker to sit on high atop my entertainment center, and since no one is as tall as that monster, you would never know that they are stacked up there.

But beyond the annoyance of receiving way too many paper catalogs this time of year, I see a bigger issue with this. With so many electronic means of communicating their products, why are so many companies still killing trees to print these? If I can get creative with how to use some of these paper catalogs, surely, they can come up with some creative solutions to not print so many in the first place! True, I may have to find another item to use for my nutcracker to sit on next year, but I think I could live with that!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Flu Bug

I wrote this poem on December 21, 1991, when both of my kids were sick with the flu and thought that now would be a good time to post it to my blog since in the last week, all 3 of my grandchildren have had the flu... That dirty little louse!!

'Twas 4 days before Christmas, and all through my house,

the Flu Bug was present, that dirty little louse!

He jumped on my kids and said

"I'll let them go....NOT!"

"I'll make them cough, sleepy, miserable and so hot!"

"You won’t get any peace on earth THIS season!" he said

"Just when you think they're getting better, I'll stick them right back in bed!"

"This is war!" I exclaimed, "Both my barrels are loaded!"

And armed with Lysol, Tylenol, and Vicks, I then gloated

"You're days are numbered here bug so go on now, get out!"

"Christmas will come here and be HAPPY, with you or without!"

Then I heard him exclaim, as Lysol sprayed him out of sight

"You'll see me again, I've only begun the flu fight!"

Monday, November 3, 2014


I swear my sister made me do it!

After vowing that I would never have a Facebook account, I am shocked to admit that I now have one.
Ugh, how did this happen??

Well, let me just tell you how it happened.

My daughter and daughter in law are very good about sending me pictures, but recently, my sister, who just joined Facebook, started telling me about some really cute pictures of my grandchildren that she had seen on my daughters and daughter in laws pages. At first I dismissed it feeling confident that I had been sent said pictures, but realized, that while I did have some of them, I wasn’t getting all of them. Not that I needed all of them, but I have to admit that some of them were pretty darn cute!

Now, being a private person myself, I respect others privacy, so I didn’t pursue it, besides, I made a vow to myself never to have a Facebook account, so I let it go.

But then.... another conversation with my sister, more info on the cute pictures that she was seeing, how easy it is to set up, how you can keep your privacy and on and on, until she wore me down!

Okay, so how to set up an account? It has to be like LinkedIn or Pinterest right, and those were easy to set up.

I am sure that some of you might be wondering, that if like my privacy then why do I have a LinkedIn account and Pinterest page? Well let me defend myself by saying, that there are a lot of Meg Maddens out there, (seriously, look the name up) and my Pinterest page does not have my picture on it, so I feel that I can stay fairly anonymous there. And, as far as LinkedIn goes, well, I am a business woman, and even though my picture is on that, there is not much else. I really just do that to stay connected to the business world and don’t share much about myself.  And, I guess that as long as I am admitting to things, I will also admit that I have a twitter account, although I only set that up to have a Pinterest account, don’t really get the thrill of the whole” tweeting” thing, so it pretty much stays quiet for me.

Whew! So now that I have put that all out there, I feel much better for the confession and I am back to setting up a Facebook account.

An hour on the phone with my sister (who will admit that she is not the most technologically savvy person) and I kind of, sort of, have an account set up. No picture of myself, no real personal info, just an account with a few pictures. So now how to get my daughter and daughter in law set up as my "friends"? Not as easy as I thought, but a lot could be user error too. Okay, probably all was user error.

Anyway, long story short, I did get an account set up and although I broke my own vow, (yes, I am a little ashamed of myself for breaking my vow, thank you very much!) I am happy to see some really cute pictures, and will make a new vow to keep my "friends" list small, and if it becomes a stress in my life, I will delete it in a heartbeat and go back to the old way of getting pictures. And, if I am justifying this to myself, (and believe me I am!) I will be saving my daughter and daughter in law a lot of time in not having to send pictures to me since I can see them myself.

You are welcome girls!

Friday, October 31, 2014

A call to Mom

I did something so strange tonight, that it shocked even me. As I was finishing up my dinner, I grabbed my phone and for a split second, thought that I could just dial it and call my mom.

Now it’s not like my mom just recently died, so recently that I was still into a habit of calling her. No, my mom died 5 years ago this month, and when she did die, she had been living in an assisted care facility, so I had not really picked up the phone to talk to her since she had her own apartment, which was more than 6 years ago. And that is what makes that gesture of me picking up the phone, so strange to me.  I had not picked up a phone to call her for over 6 years, as when I did talk to her, it was in person when I would visit her.

In that split second when I realized what I was doing, and how I couldn’t call her, I started to think about why I did that??

Did I have so much on my mind lately, that I forgot that she is gone? No, I know every day that she is gone, but if I could have talked to her, what would I have said, why was I calling her?

I think I would have started out by telling her about how my new kitten, Beans, (named that because his paw pads are the color of coffee beans) was still desperately trying to get my older cat, Josie to play with him, and how Josie was having none of that! I think that would have made her laugh, and I loved making my mom laugh.

I would have asked for her advice on what to do with my current job struggle that I am having. She always had the best advice, whether the advice was that I just needed to suck it up, or that I shouldn’t put up with it. Whatever I came to her about, that was generally her advice, one or the other, and she was always right. God I really needed to hear her give me the right advice now!

I try to channel her thoughts to me, and I think in this instance, she would tell me that I shouldn’t have to put up with it, but for now, I have to suck it up until I find something better.  Of course that sounded like her advice!

I would have tried to emphasize how hard it is to find a good job, even now after the economy seems to be getting better. I think she would have said that she was glad that she didn’t have to work in this day and age. I know she would have said that because she said that to me years ago whenever I would update her on what was going on in the world. She had been retired from nursing for many years by then, so she didn’t really concern herself with things, such as the economy, as it didn’t affect her.

I would then have told her about the Ebola virus and how it is now in the USA, and how scary it is; to which she might had replied that every generation has their diseases and disasters that they had to deal with, and this is just one in this generation. She would have probably also  gone on to say that we need to make sure that all of the grandchildren and great grandchildren in our family were safe and healthy, and would remind me again  of how blessed our family is not with money so much, but of having a perfect record of healthy babies!

Oh how she loved babies! Of course she loved them as she had 11 of her own, and since she left 5 years ago, our family has added about 10 more great grandchildren!

By the end of that call, I would have felt better, and would have hung up having a better perspective on things. I would have ended the call with “Ich liebe dich Mom, thank you for once again helping me, now and forever!”

Now I know why I reached for that phone.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summer Evening

After a long day of work in my home office, I grab my e- reader, download a new book and move out from the cool comfort of my house, to the warm evening sun on my screened porch and I sit down to begin my new book.

Before I really get into my new read, I stop to watch and listen to the summer evening unfold. A light rain falls, not even enough to totally dim the fading sunlight, but enough for me to smell it on the ground and watch the robins gather on the grass in hopes that worms will soon be emerging and the robins will have their dinner!

I don’t think that it was enough rain to push any worms out of the ground, but I do enjoy watching the robins hopping around with hopeful anticipation.

Hummingbirds fight for their turn at the sweet nectar in the feeders. It’s August, so they are in overdrive mode trying to fuel up for their upcoming long journey back south. I wish I had the kinds of Hummingbirds that shared, but in all of years, and all of the types of feeders that I use, mine just fight. Still, I marvel at them each time!

Mourning doves, cardinals, blue jays and sparrows flock around my bird feeders. Blue jays seem to dictate who gets the best spot at the feeders. I think that must be the true definition of “pecking order”

A familiar sound coming from the woods of what I believe to be a king fisher is confirmed when it flies over head. I look up and tell it, as if it understands me, to just keep flying and stay away from the fish in my pond.

I used to love watching the blue heron’s stand by the ponds edge looking for their next meal, and the king fisher’s graceful dive into the pond, but after finding so many injured and dead fish, as well as piles of regurgitated fish bones, (the fish that I objected to when we first decided to stock the pond), I now have no problem moving them along to anywhere else but here.

The fish, mostly large-mouth bass know me well and greet me daily at the beach for their breakfast. It’s no surprise to anyone that knows me to hear me call some of them by the names that I have given them. There is “Mrs. Bass”, (honestly I don’t know if its male or female )who is the biggest, and kind of the meanest of all of the bass, but I like how she swims up and just floats by me, looking towards me when I throw the floating fish food out. Then, newer to the collection is “river monster”, a 3 foot long grass carp who we were told we would never see, as he does his job of eating all of the grass in the pond. Even though he is shy, we do see him eating the fish food along with all of the other fish, including the latest member of the pond,” little guy”, an adorable paint turtle who seems as curious of me as I am of him.

As I look up from this writing, a beautiful deer cautiously crosses the yard staying close to the woods. She grazes and then perhaps hearing me type furiously on my laptop keys in order to capture this moment before it passes, looks my way. Again, in my best” Dr. Doolittle” voice, I assure her with a smile that I am friendly, and she has nothing to worry about with me, but she still seems cautious as she continues to graze and the sun continues on its evening descent into the west sky.

I hear king fisher again, and keep a watchful eye out on the pond, hoping that I won’t have to jump up to scare him off, as that will surely scare the deer off as well.

With the robins still hopping around looking for a fat worm, and all of the other amazing things happening around me, I feel like there should be bunnies included in this Disney like scene but so far, I haven’t seen any which is okay because this was still an almost picture perfect evening among the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my very own back yard, and for that, I am grateful!



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In a Mood


I am not sure who made Mother Nature so upset this winter, but I think it’s high time someone had a talk with her to find out.

She has thrown storm after storm, ice, snow, sleet, wind, frigid, bone chilling temperatures to most of this country for the last couple of months, and as she hasn’t done this much damage in the most recent past, obviously something has made her very mad and I think that if we can just clear the air (The air that currently is being ravaged with snow, wind and ice) with her, maybe we can all get on with our lives and have some sort of a normal spring.

The spring that I thought we about to start having given that in the past couple of days she has used her wiley ways and teased us with her above freezing temperatures, bright sunshine and allowed the poor migratory birds to make their way back here with what I am sure was their assumption of the promise of spring too, only to be duped with this crap of a March snow storm. That bitch!

 She must be finding all of this pretty amusing and is giggling at our expense as she watches us shovel, snow blow, plow, slip and slide, bundle up and endure higher than normal heating bills just to keep our houses from having frozen pipes. She has caused us to have to drive like professionals on an obstacle course trying to avoid all of the pot holes and broken water mains all over our streets. Our skin, nails, hair, lips and houses are so dried out, and I say that she seriously needs to stop already!

The crazy thing is that with all of this misery that she has brought to most of us this long winter, she has also brought some of the most beautiful scenes that I have seen in a long time. The way that the wet snow sticks to the branches of the trees and bushes have been breathtakingly beautiful, and the way that the ice fog leaves its layer of frost on everything is amazing, so she must clearly be using her creative side, but for some reason, I guess that is just not enough to get her in a better mood.

So, if we go back to my original statement in that someone has seriously upset her and since we probably will not find out who that is in the near future, than I propose that we all ban together and as with any female, tell her that she is pretty (as evidenced by the artwork in nature left by her snow, frost and ice), funny, (as evidenced by her sense of humor in watching us humans slip on her snowy sidewalks and icy streets) and smart, (as evidenced by her timing of bringing so many of these storms on our weekends, at least here in the Midwest. Truthfully though, this feels a little more facetious than smart, but we don’t need to add any more fuel to the fire, so let’s stick with smart), then maybe, just maybe, we can melt her and she will feel the love for us again and we can all thaw out and finally warm up.

 Hey, it’s worth a shot, nothing else has worked so far!