Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Friday, March 30, 2012

Keep your fingers crossed!

The odds are pretty darn high that I’ll lose the $540 Mega Million lottery; in fact, the odds are 1:175,000,000. But the way I figure it is if I don’t buy a ticket, those odds go up dramatically.

But here in Alabama, we’re all losers every single time we vote down a lottery. Nearby states recognize that funds generated from lotteries meet a need that isn’t being met elsewhere. Georgia gets 30 cents on the dollar to benefit the HOPE scholarship and preschool programs; while the number seems low, it adds up. Tennessee claims more than $2.2 billion has been raised for education since its start-up in 2004. What does Alabama claim? Moral rectitude. Self-righteousness has never yet paid the bills.

Opponents of a lottery claim that the money generated from lotteries is a poor man’s tax. Living in Alabama, I’ll tell you what’s a poor man’s tax—sales tax, rather than property, that funds education—a sales tax including a tax on groceries. What a ridiculously ineffective way to run the business of education. What a shameful way.

But, getting back to the business at hand—that of winning a lottery—I hear that my chances of being attacked by a shark or hit by lightning are better . . . but I’d really prefer to win the lottery.

After all, I’m willing to bear the burden of a pot of gold.


Monday, March 26, 2012

To get our health back on track, maybe we all just need a good scare from the doc

Duke was a lion, a most able king.
He would have been happy except for one thing.
Like a lion should, he looked so strong.
But when he spoke, his voice came out wrong!
All within sight expected to hear
A really loud roar—but, goodness!  Oh, dear!
He meowed instead!  What a shock!  What a bore!
A puny meow!  Not a terrible roar!
Duke went to Alice, his neighbor and friend,
Hoping that she had advice she could lend. 
He knocked on her door and asked, "What should I do?
I sound like a kitty.  I might as well moo.
Meowing is fine if you're just itty-bitty,
But big as I am, sounding small is a pity."
“You need a nap,” she said with a frown.
“Put on a nightcap, and take off your crown.”
“But I cannot do that—I can’t up and quit!
My subjects would notice; they might throw a fit!”
"Well, do what you must," said the friend with a shrug.
"But meowing like that just won't work, you big lug.
A king should not yip.  A king should not moo.
And meowing is something a king should not do!"
"I know.  Oh, I know!  Oh, I have to make noise!
I want to scare girls!  I need to scare boys!"
“Well, good luck with that!” and Alice said, “Bye!”
“So long,” Duke said, with a great big sigh.
He walked away slowly, his thoughts all a'jumble.
"What should I do?" a bird heard him mumble.
"Are you talking to me?" asked the bird as she fluttered.
"I couldn't help hearing your voice as you muttered."
"My problem is this," said the king to the bird.
He opened his mouth and out came one word:
"Meow," said the king.  And the bird said, "Good grief!
Who stole your roar?  We must catch the thief!"
"A thief did not steal it," the lion said sadly.
"I just open my mouth, and my roar comes out badly.”
"Meowing is something that kings should not do.
A king should not yip.  A king should not moo!”
"I know.  Oh, I know!  Oh, I have to sound mean!
Meowing like that just makes me sound clean!"
Duke walked away slowly, his tail drooping down.
Instead of a king, he felt like a clown.
“I should NOT yip or moo or meow.
I need to roar loudly.  I need to roar now!"
He thought to himself, "Now, what are the facts?"
A light bulb turned on, and he stopped in his tracks.
"A doctor!  A doctor will help me, I know!
To Old Doc Magee, I must go.  I must go!”
He went to his doctor to look for a cause.
The doc looked him over from his tail to his paws.
"Now, what's wrong with you?" asked the little old guy,
As he looked in Duke’s throat, and he tugged on his tie.
"I just cannot roar.  All I do is meow.
I need to roar loudly.  I need to roar now!”
“Everything's fine,” said Old Doc Magee.
"But I’m sure I can help you.  Here is my fee."
The lion looked down at the bill in his hand.
The roar that came out could be heard through the land!
It was loud!  It was fierce!  It was mean through and through!
It was NOT a meow or a yip or a moo!
“I thought that would do it!” the old doctor crowed.
He grabbed his hat then, and he raced down the road.
Duke started to chase him but stopped in his tracks.
Cause these were the absolute, positive facts--
Duke never had yipped, and he never had mooed.
And, thanks to his doctor, he no longer mewed. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Purposeful poetry

Some of my readers know my love for rhyme. And some may know I’m behind this year’s humongous yard sale on April 7 to END ALL YARD SALES! (Well, I wish!)

I’ve been advertising the up and coming sale in the UUCH newsletter, pleading for help and donations. To review the weekly alert, read below:              

Week One:  It’s No Bunk . . . I WANT YOUR JUNK!

Tidy your closets, your cabinets, your drawers.
De-clutter your sofas, your shelves, your floors.
Don’t leave any stone unturned.
What’s underneath may well be yearned
for. Can you not see the value it has?
Whatever it is has a certain pizzazz!
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure,
So don’t deny someone the pleasure
Of buying your stuff. It meets a need.
Clean up now, and do a good deed!

Week Two:  This is no bluff . . . WE WANT YOUR STUFF!

Look in your closets, your desks, your cubbies.
Look under your children, your dogs, your hubbies.
Look for the stuff that you no longer need.
Give it to us, and you’ll do a good deed!
The things that you donate are for a good cause—
Stuff that is perfect and stuff that has flaws—
Maybe it’s no way to run a concern
But it is OUR way, and I’ll be dern
If we don’t make a pile of money—
So give us your stuff. Be a sweet honey!

Week Three:  It’s your duty . . . BRING YOUR BOOTY!

Don’t forget to clear your attic.
We need junk for each fanatic.
Bring me stuff that you find crummy
Bring it all—don’t be a dummy.
Books and toys and shoes and blenders
Pickup trucks with dented fenders
Pots and pans, an old George Foreman—
Sell them to a dude named Norman.

Week Four:  Kid you not . . . WANT JUNK A LOT!

Look in your attic, your basement, your shed!
I want your junk, alive or dead--
With thanks to taxidermists!
Perhaps a lunch pail or a thermos?
Kids’ blankies and their car seats?
Or when they get old, discard their bar seats.
And do you have time enough to spare?
Help me out! Show me you care!

Week Five:  You, in the suit! . . . WE WANT YOUR LOOT!

We are a fancy lot, you see—
No monkey here, instead monqué.
Target isn’t what we say
The proper term would be Tar-zhay.
J. C. Pen-náe is at the mall—
But shop with us. You’ll have a ball
‘cause JUNQUE is what we sell.
It’s fancy stuff you’ll think is swell.
Get out your Franklins now and come.
Ignoring JUNQUE would just be dumb!

Week Six:  Final call . . . WE WANT IT ALL!

Call it goods or stuff or treasure
One man’s junk is another man’s pleasure.
Look in your couches, your bureaus, your beds.
Search your car ports, your cellars, your sheds.
Bring all of your stuff and sell it—
Be a fanatic, a regular zealot!
The time for the sale is upon us!
Sell your birds, your snakes, your iguanas!
(Just in case selling pets isn’t legal,
Better hide that doggone beagle.)


Call it stuff or junk or treasure,
You know it’s been my pleasure
To rhyme with such a reason
Throughout this yard sale season.
And despite what all may think,
while it’s true I’d sell a sink,
I would not sell my mother,
And I would not buy my brother—
Accused unjustifiably,
I like to rhyme maniacally!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Danger is my middle name

I cleaned my blinds yesterday. Okay, I admit it—an odd spring day in which I’m compelled to clean blinds occurs every, oh, three to four years—and cleaning one’s blinds in and of itself doesn’t constitute danger.  However, listening to Zumba tunes while cleaning one’s blinds may—if one performs fancy maneuvers on the stepstool.

And what of my ambitions of walking to the nearby, yet-to-open Baskin Robbins? Yes, it’s within a half mile of my house. No problem there; I love to walk. But, no, there isn’t a walk signal allowing me to cross the very busy five-lane highway safely. What wouldn’t I do for a heavenly BR chocolate almond cone? Not much. As I told my husband upon the BR sighting, “Good heavens! This could be dangerous!”

But I'm prepared. I already live on the edge:

1.      I eat chocolate. It makes my heart race.
2.      I eat sugar. It leaves me wanting more.
3.      I drink wine. It disrupts my sleep.
4.      I zumba. It causes me to jump around in wild abandon--in other words, I’m an accident waiting to happen.

I don't, however, climb rocks, parachute, ride bulls, dive in caves, snow ski, hang glide, shave my head, or get tattoos.  But, hey, I live dangerously in my own quiet way.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

There's no place like home

My  kids + 3 (boyfriend plus dogs) came home to visit last weekend. This is unusual. Our far-flung locations form a triangle, and it’s more common to meet at a neutral spot—or we go to them because they’re just starting out (meaning minimal vacation days) while my husband’s nearing retirement (meaning the opposite).

Having everyone home meant hours of preparation—cooking, cleaning, and, thanks to my husband’s efforts, providing a balloonapalooza. I fixed the crew hearty breakfasts, stuffed them with cupcakes, and cajoled them into wearing complementary clothing for a family photo shoot. I aggravated my daughter and quizzed my son—both have come to expect it. In other words, like Popeye used to say, “I yam what I yam.”

Lucy, an amiable short-haired German Pointer, bounded about with joyous enthusiasm and drank with abandon, as evidenced by the puddles of water she left behind. Although decidedly smaller, Maddie, a feisty Jack Russell, often clung to Lucy’s neck in good-natured dominance. When they left, the silence was deafening.

And that’s the thing. Who needs silence? Playing Yahtzee and Scrabble, hiking up mountains, clinking glasses, talking with friends . . . fun, laughter, and the occasional growl fill a house with love.

So, kids, how about coming for dinner this Sunday? And don't forget the dogs.