Friday, October 31, 2014

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Fall Colors

As we say "ciao!" to October, here is a picture of a tree in my yard - that maple was showing off! Great Fall colors!

Diana Wilder, this one is for you!  If you haven't visited Diana's blog, you're missing something special. Make a visit!


I'm wishing I had this photo when I did a class on leaves.


Happy Fall and farewell, October!

Celebrate the Small Things - It's Halloween!


This fun blog hop is hosted by VikLit's Writing Blog and the following patron of celebrations!

Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

In a brief, but celebratory way, let me make my list:
  1. I love Halloween - it is my favorite hallo-day, and there's a great Fall Festival tonight.
  2. In the last two weeks, a big part of my Fall maintenance and fixin' up has been completed. What a load off my mind! Very happy with my painting, wall color, etc.
  3. Had a great visit with my sister and her husband. Love them tons.
  4. My Mom visited, we had a great time and she is safely home. (Okay, the visit was great, but the fact that she hemmed all the new curtains was just pure gravy on top - I hate to hem. It's a necessary, but totally fulfilling task.  Mom, on the other hand, loves that stuff. Score for us both - eight panels of thermal curtains hemmed!).
  5. The Fall colors are peaking! It's inspiring for those who love artsy pursuits.

So, what are you celebrating? Join the gang and post your celebrations weekly!

It's Halloween!! The Big Scare Revealed!


Oh, I know...it looks innocent enough. Then you start counting the calories - the one thing you should never do on Halloween! Either avoid all candy confrontations entirely or go on a diet break for one spooky day.

Still not convinced? It's not too late to turn your back and run.

Nestle's Crunch   51.3 cal   (x 6 fun sized bars pictured)   307.8
Snickers   72 cal. (I see 3)                                                   216
Nerds   50 cal. (I see at least four)                                      200
Hot Tamales 150 cal.                                                          150
Reeses Cups Fun Sized  80 cal. (I think I see 7)                 560
Total Calories in picture above:                                      1433.8

In the distance, a wild animal howls against the backdrop of a new moon...

What is so bad about this scenario is the fact that the candy I've eaten on past Halloweens really felt more like this:


If you're sneaking a treat of two out of the kiddos bag just remember that we'll all be walking it off next week. I figure I have to log forty miles or so as it is (just for starters).

Have a happy, safe Halloween! All treats, no tricks.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

2 Days to Halloween: Reality Can Be Pretty Scary



It's Thursday, and Halloween is tomorrow - do you count that as day 1? We've been having a debate about it. Seems like the sort of thing you'd want to mention on the first day of a series, eh? Just to clarify, these meanderings are not the scary part (ha ha).

Today's scary post is based on reality. A few weeks ago, Stephanie Faris (most excellent Tween author, plug, plug) ended her post with the question:  "What is the scariest true story you've ever heard?" and I posted my own scary story - something that actually happened to me. One of my readers thought I should add it to the lists of scary things leading up to Halloween. I aim to please.

It's not exactly a ghost story, as you might expect, but it did haunt me for a very long time. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3 Days Till Halloween: Scary Things I Do With My Dog




No one loves their dog more than I love Coco Loco. She is simultaneously the most amazing and equally annoying dog on the planet. It's scary how much time I spend serving the needs of this creature.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

4 Days Till Halloween: "Please, Mom, Don't Make My Costume!"


Halloween Fear, Kid Version:

We've all heard a version of the cheeky saying about how we are all unique - just like everyone else. No where is that more apparent than with kids and Halloween costumes. The scariest Halloween fear for some kids is that they won't get the purchased costume that will make all their Halloween fantasies come true.

Costumes made by Mom were the pits in the minds of my friends. No hot plastic mask? No shiny, flammable material (I'm a geezer)? Are you crazy?

Monday, October 27, 2014

5 Days Till Halloween: Who's With Me?


Halloween used to be fun and scary. It was fun because you got to dress in a costume - any costume. I don't remember ever being restricted.  Maybe I was not savvy enough to consider the political, feminist and social agendas I could incorporate into my costume back in the day. As a kid, I'd grab my closest friends and take off down the street. Guaranteed, we knew the exact hour that our community declared "trick or treat time." We wouldn't miss a minute of it and we'd go as far as we could and hit every house on every block.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Nightmare on MY Street


It's a week before Halloween, and I'm looking for good, scary movies to be rerun on the old boob tube. Sometimes it's fun to have a good scare...or a bad scare! Perhaps it is similar to the adrenaline rush some folks get with thrill seeking activities. All I know is that I have always been a fan of scary movies.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Tip #1


Works like a charm, every time. It helps if your house sits out in the middle of a field with only a porch light.

This has been a Public Service Announcement of Cherdo on the Flipside. You're welcome, peeps.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mom Musings and Abusings

A slave master stands off camera, cracking a large whip.
By the grace of my sister and her husband, my favorite senior citizen hitchhiker is here: my Mom.

I may be too old for this. My mom is a whirlwind of activity under normal circumstances. At seventy-five, she has a social schedule that blurs the mind. It's hard to catch her at home at times. She line dances, goes out to lunch and dinner with friends, works at the local election board and delivers meals to family members "just for something to do."

This week, she is visiting with me and I feel like I'm abusing her; she keeps doing things for me. She reminds me that she needs something to do, but I may run out of things and I'm usually pretty creative.

I have a kitchen buddy now. When I cook, she cleans behind me. Now I can't find my silverware; I know I have teaspoons. I don't know what to do with my own personal kitchen assistant; it's usually my private domain. 

Mom doesn't cook, however. I know it's true because my sons have often told me that their favorite Grandma meal is Jello with Mandarin oranges. Though she was raised by her grandmother on a farm she had no interest in the art of home cooking. The same grandma taught me how to fix many things that Mom loves - why she never paid attention to those recipes, I'll never know. Mom always asks me how I know how to cook her favorites, but she doesn't. 

Later she told me, "Who wants to spend all that time cooking when you'll just flush it down the toilet an hour later?" 

Who can argue with that logic? I think I'll stop cooking today. 

Everywhere we go, she grabs her wallet and tries to pay - I'm faster, by the way, but she still tries. This is not one of my usual daily challenges. I remind her she is my guest.

She's told me some stories ten times since she's been here. Mom asks whether or not she has told me a story, and I tell her that she has; she tells me the story again anyhow.  She'll ask me if I remember when something happened in our family, and I'll tell her I do remember when it happened. She'll give me a play by play every time. 

Other comments are in the "obvious" category, like when she said, "Hey! Look, it's a Tennessee license plate!" 

I live in Tennessee. I'm not nearly as excited. I do, in fact, own a Tennessee license plate; all my friends do. When we got out of the car after a recent errand run, I commented, "Look, it's a Tennessee license plate!" She got a kick out of that.

The week before she arrived, I had my living room painted and was moving furniture and updating some decor. I purchased and hung new curtains. With my crazy ceiling height, it is no surprise that every pair of curtains needs hemming, but I just had time to pin up the hem before my company came. Mom is sitting on the floor, yakking away, hemming eight panels of the new curtains. 

As I said before, I feel like I'm abusing my own aged and widowed mother, but please do not call local authorities just yet. She's not done with those pesky curtains yet.

At fifty-five years old, it is still nice to have a Mommy. I may have to put new curtains upstairs, too. There are worst things in life. I'll roll with it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bucket List Blog Hop


Oh, I'm a day late and a dollar short, but I wanted to add my Bucket List to the Blog Hop!  Missed it by ten minutes (my apologies).  I mistakenly mixed up my days...must be the paint fumes.

Here we go; apparently travel is key:
  1. I want to go to Europe for more than a week or two; maybe a month. With euro in hand, I'll hop on the train and see the sites. I want to get off at a famous European site and find that my children have joined me and they have their own cash.
  2. I'd like to take art lessons just because I want to and learn a totally new style.
  3. I'd like to visit New York and see a great play and a great musical. Maybe I'll drop by the Dakota and say hi to Yoko.
  4. I want to go to Montreal and find the grave of my gr-gr-gr-gr-grandfather (the first immigrant to North America).
  5. I want to take a cruise with my husband, the guy who would do anything in the world I want to do except take a cruise. He thinks it will limit his options OR he will have to get off the boat twenty times (and that would be a drag). I disagree and I've actually been on cruises.
  6. I want to see Redwoods. Real, live Redwoods.
  7. I want to stop for lunch at a nice restaurant and find out that Shady and Janie are already there and they've saved me a seat.
  8. I want to gather all my family at a beach house for a great vacation (scheduling is tough on this one).
  9. I'd like to figure how to get rid of joint pain (argh).
  10. I'd like to go on a mission trip to a foreign country for a prolonged period of time.

The blog hop will close, but share some of your bucket list items in the comments!! Come on, it is painless. Visit the blog hoppers and subscribe to their great blogs.

This blog hop is being co-hosted by Sherry Ellis at Mama Diaries  and Susanne Drazic at Putting Words Down on Paper.   Simply put, what is on your bucket list? What are the special things you'd like to do before you kick the bucket?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wild Times by Graham Nash


Graham Nash's Wild Tales is a biographical journey from his humble beginnings in Salford, England, to the heights of rock and roll. It is a tale only Graham Nash could tell and he does it with a staggering amount of detail about people, places and song.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Here's Johnny...er, Cherdo!


Home maintenance is exhausting; I thought it might be easier if I hired painters, but I'm still whupped. 

Note to self: buy lightweight furniture next time, especially if you have to move it all over the place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

While I'm Away...

Some of my earlier posts are my favorite for a variety of reasons, mostly due to the blatant honesty and lack of shame. Here's a few you might have missed if you are a latecomer:

Run, Kitty, Run...A Love Story

Puppy Love

Truth or Derriere

That Sweet Little Dog...Is a Liar 

Sweet, Sweet, "Got ya!"

I Give These Rock Stars Permission to Retire

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

No Cherdo for Two Days!


Electronics are getting unplugged and everything is under plastic - let the paint-o-rama begin!
Get your Flipside fix with some of the earlier posts and I'll be back on Thursday. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'll Be a Monkey's Uncle...or That Monkey is my Uncle...or There Goes Uncle Monkey...


In upstate New York, Tommy the chimpanzee sits alone in a cage in Fulton County. Tommy has an attorney friend, however, who cares about Tommy and is prepared to argue for his right and entitlement to "legal personhood."  Details and more specifics of the organization behind this case can be found at www.nonhumanrightsproject.org.  You know, just in case you think I'm self-medicating.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things


  1. It's rainy, dreary...AND THAT MEANS MY PAINTER NEEDS A INDOOR JOB!!!
  2. Just so happens, I need an indoor paint job!
  3. Got my painter coming on Monday!
  4. Life is grand. Let it rain, rain, rain. 
It's a blog hop, people - jump on the list and celebrate the small things with your host Scribblings of an Aspiring Writer and her pals:
    Diana Wilder
    LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
    Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
    CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

    Friday Whyday?


    Let's wrap up the week:
    • Jan Hooks, cast member from Saturday Night Live 1986-1991 died yesterday. She was just 57!  I hate to see my favorite performers pass. Huff Post ran a story about her untimely passing and provided an interesting fact: SNL passed on Jan in the 1985 line up and chose Joan Cusack instead. No offense to Joan Cusack, but Jan Hooks was a much better fit for SNL. I loved her Nancy Reagan. I'm glad several of the news media mentioned our favorite Jan Hooks character: the tour guide at the Alamo in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." Farewell, dear Jan.

    • I'm a little late in mentioning this, but former Ohio Rep. Jim Traficant passed away on September 27th after being critically injured in a tractor accident. If you don't know Jim, now is when you want to get those Google fingers flying. No one can do justice with the Traficant story in one paragraph. When I lived in Ohio, I heard Jim speak many times while he was Sheriff and also when he was with a local drug awareness program. Later he would serve Ohio's 17th Congressional District as only Jim could - he definitely had his own style. Most people remember his crazy hair and even crazier comments while he served. For a time, I thought he might have been Bert of Sesame Street turned human (again, the hair). Speaking ill of the dead is not my style, unless you're Hitler, so I'll skip the mention of his run ins with the law and the fact that my husband and I both think the mob flipped his tractor (we're not so old that we can't fabricate a conspiracy theory). Everyone had an opinion of Jim, and most think he was a little wackadoodle at times - but he was our wackadoodle. Rest in peace, Jim.

    • Whole Foods CEO John Mackey announced that the store would stop carrying Chobani Yogurt, a company owned and operated by Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya - a successful entrepreneur who raised himself up by his proverbial bootstraps. Mackey stated he wanted make room for smaller producers and it didn't help Ulukaya's case that Chobani isn't organic and uses milk from cows that may or may not eat GMO feed. It was also mentioned that he wanted to carry more niche yogurts. Here's a great niche, Mr. Mackey: yogurts no one buys or how about yogurts that are ridiculously priced. In the foreseeable future, I predict those will be the "niche" yogurts carried by Whole Foods. Squeeze that middle class.
    • How old do I have to be before I take the stance of "if you've seen one lunar eclipse, you've seen them all?"  They keep occurring at inconvenient hours. The world doesn't want to interfere with my beauty sleep.
    • Anybody got Ebola? Just checking.  Is there anything we can keep out of our borders? Why aren't we quarantining people coming in to the country from those areas of Africa that are hard hit by this plague on their people? There was a time when this country routinely quarantined individuals who showed signs of disease at Ellis Island  - how is this different? Is Ebola being downplayed or blown out of proportion?  Comment below, I'd love to get other people's thoughts on this. Take your temperature before you post, just to protect the blogosphere. 
    Go have a good weekend. Go on; scoot!

    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    My Cell Phone Has No Cash: A Haiku Collection


    Magical money
    I don't need cash anymore
    Lies Apple tells me

    Samsung Galaxy
    Just bump phones to share
    Contacts are yours now

    Clever part time thief
    Will work on his programming
    Make an app for theft

    My money is his
    One bump all is lost
    Electronic checks will bounce 

    Lazy criminal
    Identity theft too hard
    You're fired from Target 

    Public - trust no one
    Keep your money in a jar
    Or let me hold it

    Once again, failure
    No trust, I clearly stated
    Re-read the haiku

    Slow learner money
    Will still spend nicely
    Money jar gone, too

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    Robotic Baby Seals for Granny


    A Japanese company has invent a baby seal robot that is supposed to help patients with dementia. The robot is called the PARO Therapeutic Robot and it claims to reduce stress, improve relaxation and improve socialization.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    Tuesday Newsday: White House Intruder


    Let's be a little newsy, shall we?
    • You never know just how secret the Secret Service is until you pack up your weapons, load your pockets with 800 rounds of ammo and decide to run up to the White House and take a self-directed tour. Oh, buddy, what were you thinking? Omar G, You know that the Secret Service will tackle your hiney if you even give the President a little bit o' stink eye. BREAKING NEWS: Apparently, the Secret Service will not tackle your hiney till you run across the lawn, over the porch, knock someone down, skip through the Blue Room...take a quick jaunt across the Corridor and the Vestibule...stroll past the stairs...and reach the East Room. But if you do that, THEN the Secret Service will be on you, man, with their best off duty officer. Take that!  The Secret Service doesn't put up with your trifling antics. It's the White House. Show some respect!
    • Okay, I'm going to beat this dead horse a little. This same guy, Omar J. Gonzalez, did get a little attention on August 25 when he was stopped along the White House fence - and was found to have a hatchet. Granted, he was on the right side of the fence, but a hatchet? Who does that? Federal Prosecutor David Mudd said he was not arrested at that time. Why not? Because he had a clean record, I'll bet.
    • Dang it, the dude didn't have a clean record - he had run-ins with the law before.  That stuff is written down, right? And the officers have an office with new fangled computer machines - right? Yet, he was allowed go on his merry way.
    • Oh, shazzbat, this should be a different news story bullet point, but I can't get off this White House intruder. It is reported that officers who saw Gonzalez scale the fence determined that he didn't have weapons in his hands and that his clothing couldn't conceal "substantial quantities of explosives." Really, is that the only concern - that the dude might blow up? You're protecting the President and his family and, ahem, he was found to be carrying a knife. Though I haven't been trained as a law enforcement officer, I'm pretty sure you can hurt someone with a knife - I've watched CSI, Magnum P.I., Longmire...and Dexter
    • For crying out loud, I can't drop it... I seem to recall that I had to walk through a ridiculous number of metal detectors in the Capital building, and I don't have a record, actually wore a dress and pantyhose, AND I had an appointment. Why are the Secret Service officers just "eyeballing" White House lawn runners to determine risk?
    • Okay, okay - I didn't technically have an appointment at the Capital...I was running with two other lobbyists trying to catch Moynihan and Sasser to bend their ears on a healthcare bill, back in the day. That doesn't make it better!! Trust me, I look absolutely insane running in heels, my face was red as a beet and I had to go through many, many metal detectors. Come to think of it, why did they trust me? This goes back much further than I thought.
    • You know what information the Secret Service was able to access quickly?  The fact that Julia Pierson was going down for this fiasco. I feel bad about that, because I'm thinking she wasn't the whole problem.
    Other things happened this week in the news...better bloggers than I will have to get to those items.

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    Here, Droney-Droney


    After Coco the Wonder Dog was dog-napped (I know, I should shut up about it already), her free wheeling days were over, basically. No more will she frolic like the wild, exuberantly feral poodles of France, running freely in the fields. Any time she is outdoors, she is with someone - and she's on a leash. At night, when it is pitch black outside and a long trot to the street, I could trust her to attend to business and return quickly. Coco is like a little kid who is afraid of the dark.  It's the skunks that I don't trust, and they are also outside making the rounds. The last thing I want to happen is for me to open the door and have her run indoors after being hosed by an irritated, stink mongering pole kitty. 

    It makes me mad to think that I have a three acre yard that was fine for her running and exercising, but I can't control the neighborhood kids who will call her away from her yard. Not that I'm bitter.

    Okay, I'm bitter. Let me explain.

    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Remove Food Words from Medical Descriptions - Please!


    This topic has been on my mind for years - even back when I was a nurse myself, with Flo Nightingale, it bothered me. It's not limited to nurses, however. Doctors do it. Nurses' aides do it. Publications do it. Before I break into song, someone explain this to me:   What possesses people to use food words to describe funky diseases or medical conditions?

    Actually, I've never seen a big uproar about this, though some might chime in if I mention how distasteful it is (no pun intended). 

    Thursday, October 2, 2014

    A Little Art


    In celebration of the first official Veg Out and Be Artsy Day (Oct. 1, from hence forth), I whipped out the ole' Winston & Newton watercolors and added about ten items to my stack of small "finished product" pictures. I literally needed time to do a little art.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    Hard Day's Night a la Cherdo


    Busy day, catching up my to do list, and I think I understand what the Beatles meant by the phrase, "a hard day's night."

    How 'bout we meet here tomorrow? I declare October 1 to be Veg Out and Be Artsy Day. Perhaps I'm feeling so sassy that I'll do a new blog banner for October. Ciao!