Are Horoscopes Hokey??

My horoscope - LA Times, 10/30/11

Chiapperino has told me about some distant relative of his who used to be in charge of writing and organizing horoscopes for an entire year at a time for some publication that will remain nameless, primarily because I don’t remember which one. This relative shared his process, which was not too unlike pulling a rabbit out of a hat. He would collect or write these little “gems” of encouragement, wisdom, wishful thinking or even caveat, and randomly place them on the calendar so that the seeking one with enough unsuspecting belief could read their “guidance” for the day and somehow have an effect on the outcome of their life. Seems odd that something so frivolously assembled could be given so much personal power and weight in the lives of the eternal seekers. And I agree they may seem kinda gullible if they take it too seriously unless you factor in the concept of a sovereign God who knows and intimately loves each and every being he created and can also use any and every means available to whisper some little something into the hearts and minds of anyone with even a slight willingness to consider it.

Hmmmm…..maybe these things aren’t so random or frivolous….

Chokin’ the Chicken….

"Would you like to come in for dinner?"

I must have been about 5 years old. We lived on a little acreage two miles west of Crescent. For whatever reason it was known as “Brown’s corner”. I don’t know why. I assume a family of Brown’s owned it at one time or another.

It was a little 2 bedroom A-frame house with a cellar out back, a rickety old garage, a wooden rail fence which had shed its last coat of paint many years before and a large apple tree obstructing the view of a small well-weathered barn sagging beneath the weight of its mere existence. I think there were 20 acres there but we were only occupying about 5 of those.

We always had a big garden and there were no child labor laws protecting us from having to dig potatoes and pick green beans while the gnats swarmed around our eyes, ears & mouths. We had a cow, a few chickens and a couple of pigs, which later became sausage. We didn’t name them or get too friendly with them so eating them was not so difficult. 

This warm summer morning my sibs and I were out playing in the yard. Mom was always busy cooking, cleaning, sewing, rendering lard and every other task you can imagine for a hardworking woman running a small farm household while her husband was at work in the oil field. She was terrified of snakes & mice, which softens her image here as you can imagine her shrieking like a little girl at the sight of one of them. 

On this particular day she decided we were going to have fried chicken for dinner. Yum!! Conveniently, there were chickens running around in the yard. All she had to do was catch one and fry it up.
Well, this was back in the day before many women wore jeans or slacks. Mom always wore a dress back then because she thought she was too “full-figured” to wear pants. So, here she is chasing a chicken in her cotton dress with a full skirt flowing in the breeze.
 The chicken was no match for her and could not escape her clutches. I watched in horror and awe as she grabbed that bird by the feet, placed her foot on a large stick across its neck and jerked with all her might. The chicken went flying while its head remained under the stick! It flopped about the yard like the proverbial “chicken with it’s head…….you get the picture.” It was hysterical and gross at the same time! I wanted to chase it but was afraid it might attack me even though it couldn’t see where it was going!
Eventually the headless chicken tuckered out on the top of the cellar and Mom proceeded with the feather plucking portion of this process holding the bird over the trash barrel trying to keep the feathers from blowing all over the yard. I watched as she plucked and plucked, wiped the sweat from her brow and plucked some more.
When the bird was completely naked, she took it into the kitchen to be re-dressed in a milk/egg/flour batter and fried to a golden brown. It’s amazing how just the smell of fried chicken can, at least temporarily, wipe out the shocking images of how it got there.
That was some really good chicken! 

Birthdays can suck! Not having birthdays sucks more!

My buddy Thom makes this chocolate cake to die for......or die from! I overdosed on this thing!!

In case you couldn’t tell, I just had another birthday. It’s always a bittersweet thing for me. I’m thrilled to be alive. I’m proud of the wisdom and life experience accrued from another year of walking the planet and fighting the fight but it’s always hard for me to commit to an answer for the “How old are you?” question. Perhaps it’s hereditary. My great-grandmother was 39 until my grandmother caught up with her! She “adjusted” her age so much on job applications, etc during her life that when she actually turned 65 she had trouble collecting her Social Security.  She had to prove her eligibility. Heck, when she was 93 she was still telling people she was 88!! LOL! Even in the nursing home she still dyed her hair orange and painted on those high arching eyebrows. She passed at 99, we think….

I’ve known people who are 40 who seem to be 80 and I’ve known 80 year olds who act 40-something. It sorta makes the “number” kind of irrelevant to me. Of course, I’m in a business that speaks in “age ranges” rather than an actual age so it’s not always a good idea to tell people you’re 50, for example,  if you look like you could play 40, for example. The cold hard facts might be too limiting. It’s more fun to just keep people guessing.

Of course, family and close friends know the truth and aren’t always willing to keep my secret. My sister, however, started a practice a few years ago to give a dollar for each year of life at birthdays. I told her at the time I felt 36. Still do. She continues to give me a check for $36.00 on my birthday. When I first open the card I’m flattered for a second then I realize my “denial” is costing me some bucks!

Ah, but such is life. I don’t intend to grow old anytime soon even if the lines on my face start to scream otherwise! Perhaps when I’m 80 I’ll shout it from the rooftops. In the meantime, I’ll be content having “numberless” birthdays because they are far better than no birthdays at all!


Ok, so this morning a friend on Facebook posted: “random thought: Let’s bring back calling people a boob”.
That got me wondering when the word switched from being used to describe a entire person to just a part of the female anatomy.
Here’s what a little research revealed: Unabridged

boob1    [boob] noun
1.a stupid person; fool; dunce.
2. British . a blunder; mistake.
verb (used without object)
3. British . to blunder.

Origin:1905–10, Americanism ; back formation from booby1

boob2    [boob]
noun  Slang: Sometimes Vulgar .
a female breast.
Origin:1945–50; apparently back formation from booby2

World English Dictionary
boob 1 (buːb)— n

1. an ignorant or foolish person; booby
2. ( Brit ) an embarrassing mistake; blunder
3. a female breast

— vb
4. ( Brit ) ( intr ) to make a blunder

boob 2 (buːb)— n

1. a prison

— adj
2. of poor quality, similar to that provided in prison: boob coffee

[from the US colloquial sense of booby hatch meaning jail]

Word Origin & History – Etymonline

“stupid person,” 1909, Amer.Eng. slang, perhaps from booby.
Slang Dictionary

boob definition
a stupid person; a rural oaf. : Why did I marry a boob like you?
and booby. [ˈbubi]a breast. (Usually plural. Usually objectionable.) : With boobs like that, she can go anywhere she likes.


So, whether you are a boob, have boobs, act like a boob, have been thrown in the boob or have committed a boob, you’ve now been schooled about them. A google search of the word “boob” will quickly reveal which definition is predominate! 😉

Don’t get me started on “boner”…….LOL!

9/11/11……Heavy Numbers…

To the heavens and beyond....

Standing on the sidewalk at the base of one of the towers, I took this pic. A year later it would stand no more.

My Mom called early that Tuesday morning. I had already moved to California by then. She asked if I had my TV on. “No, I was asleep,” I replied. “A plane just flew into the World Trade Center in New York,” she said with a fear & shaking in her voice. I quickly turned on the tube and watched in disbelief as the second plane hit. The weight of it all pinned me to the couch for the rest of the day into the night. Amidst the shock & sobs I watched the world changing…..

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