Lightning Bug Season

Tonight I went for a short walk with my dog around the block. When I got to the hill, I looked across and saw something bright. At first I thought it was the eyes of an animal. We have skunks roaming our neighborhood at night, and I was worried that a skunk would come after my dog. So I stopped and looked a little harder. Turns out it was not a skunk and not the eyes of anything critter. It was a lightning bug! And then another one lit up near the first one, and then the yard seemed to explode with little twinkles of light. It was pretty magical and I was so grateful that it was not a skunk!

What is Your Special Treat?

Every night, some time between dinner and bedtime, I get a craving a small treat. I don’t think it has to do with hunger or a diabetes type of sugar craving. It is probably more an emotional craving of just a little something to soothe the savage beast and get me to relax.

Most nights I just want one or two cookies, a thin slice of pie, or maybe a couple bites of chocolate along with a hot cup of tea. The hot tea is soothing to me and the caffeine in it does not seem to bother me with keeping me awake. For some reason the tea caffeine has no effect, but if I drink a cup of coffee at night I am wide awake for hours.

The sugar does not seem to boost my metabolism, either. I know chocolate has caffeine in it, but that does not bother me. I do need a cup of coffee in the morning. That wakes me up and gets me going. People tell me that I am not human until I have been awake long enough to drink a full cup of coffee. They say that smart people will leave me alone and not even talk to me until after I have had my coffee.

Lately my favorite treat at night has been a cup of hot tea and one or two Golden Oreo cookies. I usually take two of the cookies with me, but I break off small parts of the second one and share that with my dog. You cannot give chocolate to dogs, so the Golden Oreo is the perfect treat for both of us.

Renn Faires and Steampunk

Now that I have been to a Renn Faire and had so much fun, I am interested in learning more about the Steampunk festivals. It seems that the Renn Fests also spawned Pirate Days and Fairies Festivals, too. I had no idea that dressing up in these kinds of fantasy costumes was such a big deal to so many people. I think it is great fun, and I want to get a costume for next year.

There is a site on Facebook with a web site called Holy Clothing that makes beautiful long dresses at affordable prices that I might use as a base for my own costume. I would like to buy a nice dress and then use slightly different accessories to make it more Steampunk, and then other accessories to make it more Renn Fest appropriate. The accessories include shoes, hair ornaments or hats and different types of jackets, capes or vests.

This costume thing is very exciting – I have not been this interested in costumes since I went to a Halloween Party at a co-worker’s condo several years ago. I wish I had known about Renn Fest and Steampunk back then – I would have had a head start on this costume!

Thank God Its Friday!

graphic celebrating Thank God Its Friday!

My friend, Jim Hunt, is a cartoonist who lives in Maryland. I love his style of drawing and lettering. He has a Facebook page where he shares a lot of his cartoons and drawings. This one really fits the occasion today. If today was not really Friday, I think I would go to be dearly and pull the covers up over my head and cry myself to sleep! It’s Friday – and not a moment too soon!

Fun at Renn Fest with Wendy

Yesterday my girlfriend, Wendy, invited me to go to the annual Tennessee Renn Fest with her and her two kids. At first, I was reluctant to go. I’m not used to being around little kids and I was not sure I would enjoy the Renn Fest with the distraction of kids running around. I told Wendy that and she was very understanding, and she suggested we take separate cars to the Renn Fest so that if I was not having a good time I could just leave. That sounded like a good plan, so that’s what we did.

Parking was not a big issue although the Festival was PACKED. I was really surprised at how many people went to this event in costume and seem to take the whole Rennaisance era very seriously. There are paid actors who roam about in costume, but a lot of the attendees were also in costume and sometimes you could not tell if they were actors or tourists!

Wendy’s kids are very well behaved and absolutely adorable kids! I think watching them have fun at the Renn Fest actually enhanced my personal experience there. I had a wonderful time, we watched every show and bought a few souveniers and the only reason we left was that the festival was over and packing up for the night!

Thank you, Wendy, for inviting me!

Baking Up a Storm in the Kitchen

When the weather turns cold and rainy, it drives me into the kitchen and I start baking up a storm. I love to cook, and I especially love to bake. I think that cookies are my specialty, but I make a fantastic cake – from scratch! – and a pretty tasty fruit pie, too!

I am going to try some recipes today that call for buttermilk. I have not used buttermilk before, but you see it featured on a lot of boxes at the store as something special: buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk waffles, etc. So I am going to make some pancakes and then a recipe that I found calling for buttermilk and fresh berries.

If it is still cold and rainy tomorrow, I will be back in the kitchen working on some cookies. I have a few things in mind that I have not tried yet and if they turn out well then I can take a couple dozen to my vet’s office and share them. I love my vet and doing something nice like baking cookies is a great way to show your appreciation to the staff there!

Learning About Flowers

One of my girlfriends took a temporary job last month as a delivery driver for a flower shop on Valentine’s Day. The job was just supposed to be for two days, and she just wanted to make some fast cash.

As it turns out, the owner of the shop got mad at his regular delivery driver and fired him after Valentine’s Day. So called up my girlfriend and asked her if she wanted to take the job full time, in his place. She said that the delivery part was fun and she could use the money, so she took the job. I think that is cool how things worked out for her.

Part of her job is not just delivering the flowers but also helping around the shop in the mornings when they get their daily deliveries of fresh flowers. she has to help unpack the boxes and haul buckets of fresh water into the flower cooler case. And she helps prepare the flowers by cleaning off dead leaves and thorns from the stems.

Now she is all excited to be learning about flowers and how to arrange them. I wonder if she has an undiscovered talent for floral design? I talk with her every night and she tells me everything she has learned about flowers that day. It sounds like a very cool job.

Really Funny Commercials Lately!

There have been a lot of good commercials on TV lately. Have you noticed? Maybe the Super Bowl inspired a lot of companies to get busy and come up with cute commercials. One of my favorites is about a little kid riding in the backseat asks his parents where do babies come from. They tell this ridiculous story about astronauts and babies parachuting to earth. When the kids says, but my friend says that babies come from… and the dad freaks out and turns up the car radio real loud and starts singing. That one just cracks me up!

Wow! Lincoln is a MUST SEE movie!

Just saw the movie, Lincoln, last night. All I can say is, “Wow!” What a great movie! It is nothing like I expected. Everyone knows about Abraham Lincoln and how he got assassinated and all that part of our American history. This movie was NOT about that! This movie was about politics in the old days and how the end of the Civil War affected the end of slavery – and it almost did not happen!

Daniel Day Lewis is SPECTACULAR as Abraham Lincoln. You totally believe that you are watching the real man – not an actor who has won the Academy Award for other movie roles like Last of the Mohicans and his other great movies. There were several excellent actors in this movie. I loved Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field, too.

This movie was nominated for all kinds of Academy Awards and should have won them all. It’s a GREAT MOVIE! Don’t wait for the DVD – go see it!!!

Building Bridges

This morning I had a hard time falling asleep – I should not have had that Starbucks latte after work. The caffeine has messed me up but it is my own fault. So, I got online and started surfing some photography sites. I call the photoblogs my eye candy. I love to see what photographers can do with an artistic eye and a good camera.

One of the photoblogs that I really like is made by a man in Pennsylvania, John Maslowski. He takes the most beautiful photographs of waterfalls. The water always looks soft and pristine, like humans have never been there to spoil it.

The most recent photo that he posted on his photoblog is of a bridge located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The photo is stunning in the composition and artistic perspective, but even more was the way it brought to mind the dozens of men who had to work so hard to bring the iron ore from the ground, forge it into massive beams, transport it to the site and actually construct the bridge. All this work and expense so that people would have the convenience of crossing a body of water.

Things like these bridges are what makes our country so great. We have the men who are willing and able to work hard, the men who are educated and smart enough to design massive structures, and a way to finance these massive projects to make them happen.

And, after all these deep thoughts, I guess I will turn off my laptop and try once again to get some sleep. Six o’clock will be coming early for me.