The Drawing Lady Teaches Us How to Draw Like Degas

Dear Readers!  Good news.  I have finally managed to talk the Drawing Lady into coming by the blog again to give us another drawing lesson!    Now please remember, Dear Readers, that The Drawing Lady is a tortured artist and, as such, is as explosive as a Nitroglycerin Shirley Temple with a dynamite swizzle stick.  

Oh shh . . . here she comes, now remember what I said.

Dear Readers, today  the Drawing Lady will be teaching us how to draw just like the master artist, Edgar Degas!

Perhaps you are asking why Edgar Degas, Drawing Lady?  What not Vincent Van Gogh, Michael Angelo or Leonardo da Vinci?

Illustrations by Linda Vernon

Dear Readers.  Please do not pepper The Drawing Lady with questions.  The Drawing Lady has only recently recovered from her jump out the sixth story window of her art school.  The Drawing Lady would simply like you to draw the Edgar Degas’s Masterpiece, Two Sisters, below:

The Drawing Lady and Edgar Degas

The Drawing Lady says now you try:

The Drawing Lady draws Degas

Is this right Drawing Lady?  Is this the way you want us to draw the Two Sisters, Drawing Lady? Does this look okay, Drawing Lady?

Dear Readers, The Drawing Lady cannot answer your questions right now because she is busy pulling out her hair.  In the meantime, The Drawing Lady would like you to draw Portrait of Degas and His Friend Valerne.

Linda Vernon Humor, The Drawing Lady

The Drawing Lady says now you try.

The Drawing Lady teaches Degas

You mean like this, Drawing Lady?  Does this look like Degas painted it, Do you think we got the expression right on Valerne, Drawing Lady?

Dear Readers, The Drawing Lady cannot hear your questions right now because she is too busy screaming noooooo!  In the meantime The Drawing Lady is hoping against hope that you can do better drawing the Degas masterpiece, Uncle and Niece.

Art Student's attempt at Uncle and Niece

The Drawing Lady says now you try.

The Drawing Lady draws Degas

How’s this look Drawing Lady?  Do the fingers look right, Drawing Lady?  Do you think we captured Uncle’s expressive face, Drawing Lady?  Drawing Lady? . . . Drawing Lady? . . .   Drawing Lady?

Dear Readers I regret to inform you that the Drawing Lady has gone stalk-raving mad and jumped out the window concluding our drawing lesson for today.

The Drawing lady jumps out the window

Until next time . . . I love you, however, The Drawing Lady doesn’t love you as much as she did at the beginning of this post.

 

Ezekiel’s Weight Problem

Welcome Dear Readers to this Sunday’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today in Sunday School, Gregory learned about the day Ezekiel had an unusual experience.  Let’s listen in as he recounts the story for us.

Ezekiel’s Weight Problem

One day the prophet Ezekiel was relaxing down by the Chebar river in Babylonia where he was hanging out with some of his exiled Jewish  buddies enjoying some Chebar cheese when, suddenly, there was a tremendous rumble.

At first he thought it was just his stomach rumbling from eating too much Chebar cheese, but he soon realized the noise was coming from the sky.

He looked up and was amazed to see a UFBO (unidentified flying biblical object).

He fell face down and heard a voice calling him.

God:  Mortal Man stand up I want to talk to you.

Ezekiel:  Do I have to get up?  I’m really comfortable right now.

God:  I am sending you to the people of Israel.

Ezekiel:  May I ask why?

God:  They have rebelled against me and turned against me and are still rebels just as their ancestors were. So I am sending you to tell them what I, the sovereign lord, am saying to them.

Ezekiel:  Wouldn’t it be easier to just fly over there in your UFBO and tell them Yourself?

God: They are stubborn and do not respect me so I am sending you instead.

Ezekiel:  Okay let me get this straight. You, the sovereign lord, who is flying around the holy land in Your UFBO can’t get the Israelites to listen to you or respect you so you’re sending me instead, a guy who is currently unemployed, slightly overweight and living down by the river?  Do you really think I’m up to the job?

God: Just tell the people of Israel whatever I tell you to tell them. But don’t be afraid of them even though they will despise you and even though it will feel like you are living among scorpions.

Ezekiel:  Well okay,  but scorpions are my least favorite insect.

God:  Scorpions really?  That’s refreshing. Most people say spiders.  Anyway, open your mouth and eat this.

Ezekiel:  What is it?

God:    A scroll upon which cries of grief, wails and moans are written on both sides.

Ezekiel:  No thanks I’m allergic to papyrus.

God:   It’s chocolate covered . . . .

Ezekiel:  Oh in that case, don’t mind if I do!

Ezekiel ate the scroll. (It gave him hives but God pretended not to notice.) Then God’s spirit lifted Ezekiel and carried him to another spot by the Chebar River where Ezekiel resumed eating Chebar cheese and hanging out with different group of his exiled Jewish buddies.

Seven days later God showed up again

God: Okay, here’s the deal.  If I announce that an evil man is going to die, it’s going to be your job to warn him.  If you don’t warn him to change his ways and he dies a sinner, I will hold you responsible for his death but if you do warn him and he doesn’t stop sinning he’ll die a sinner but your life will be spared. Got that?

Ezekiel:  Uh . . .well . . .  uh . . .

God:  Now get up and go into the valley and I will talk to you there.

Ezekiel:  But I just got comfortable.

God:   . . . ahem . . .

Ezekiel :  Okay okay but can I at least bring my Chebar cheese with?

God:  If you must.

Ezekiel:  Say you wouldn’t happen to have anymore of those delicious chocolate-covered scrolls  would you?

God: Yes but you can’t have any.

Ezekiel:  Why?

God:  They’re too fattening.

Ezekiel:  What are you implying?  I’ve been eating too much Chebar Cheese?

God: All I can say is that last statement of yours needs no question mark.

Eziekiel:  Well!  I’ve never been so insulted in my whole life!

God:  That robe of yours is getting awfully tight . . . just sayin’.  So anyway, next I’m going to want you to  go home and shut yourself up in the house and I’ll tie you up with ropes so you won’t be able to go out in public then I’m going to paralyze your tongue.

Eziekiel:   Wait . . . is this some sort of new-fangled diet?

God:  I’ll tell you next week in Part II.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, what Gregory learned in Sunday School.  Please check back next week to find out  what God asks of Ezekiel next and whether or not Ezekiel will lose weight and overcome his papyrus allergy.

Until next time . . . I love you

 

Ezekiel's_vision
What? You want me to eat that? Well, I’d much prefer some Chebar cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uh. . . no offense, but that chocolate kinda looks like water stains.
Uh. . . no offense, but that chocolate kinda looks like water stains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slightly Creepy Seventies Bad Poetry

Good news Dear Reaers!  I was milling around my favorite thrift store yesterday when I found this poetry book written by slighty-creepy-seventies poet extraordinaire, Rod McKuen — world renowned for his random-carriage-return, arbitrary-space-bar poetry!       

The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen
The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen. The inside jacket tells us it’s the most moving, private and essential collection he’s been willing to share  with his millions of readers (at only $9.95 per share)

I looked up the price of  The Sound of Solitude on Abe Books.  It’s worth a dollar.  And I got it for 50-cents! Ha ha!  Suckers! 

Okay, let’s get serious now and open to a poem at random from The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen: 

 After-Hours Acrobatics

I light one candle

With another’s flame

And getting up to leak

I look across at you

First of all, Rod, it is very dangerous to sleep with candles lit.  You really need to blow them out!  For heaven sakes, you’re going to burn the house down!  

Secondly, I’m a little concerned that you are leaking. I’m assuming you are referring to a shrapnel injury incurred while in the war, but at least you seem to be aware that leaking while lying down only makes things worse.  Okay, keep going Rod.

Still curled and sleeping

Coming back I start to pass

a mirror

I stop. Stand back and see me

naked in the candlelight

See? What did I tell you?  If you would have blown out those candles like you should have, you wouldn’t have that problem now would you?

Was I ever beautiful,

ever young or wise

deserving of your arms or other’s?

Tiny suggestion Rod,  Don’t you think saying: “deserving of your arms or, failing that, other’s would be kinder to whomever you are referring to? They might read this poem, you now.

Head-on is even harsh by candleglow

love handles bulge on either side.

 Just a thought . . . could it be that it’s your love handles that are leaking?  (I know a good Love-Handle specialist you might want to consult.)

Of what was once an unfilled frame that I hung hopes on,

never excess flesh

Oh I know what you mean! I always put excess flesh in dryer.

I look at you a second time

hoping I can dive beneath the covers

before you catch my silhouette

against the wall.

My pulse thumps loud enough

to blunt the metronome of cicada

calling to cicada,

OMG Rod!  How did you ever get yourself into such a poetic pickle?  See how complicated life gets when you don’t blow out the candles?

Now you’re going to have to call the exterminators to get rid of the cicada infestion.  I hope you’ve learned your lesson!  

(Oh and be sure to get that pulse thump checked out when you go see the Love-Handle specialist.)

Safe. I hit third base

and slide to home.

You only turn and grumble in your sleep

I do not go back to sleep

Well, maybe all you need is a few hours at the batting cages . . .

All life is spent erecting barricades

that none of us can get through

when love finally comes

And none of this would have even been an issue, Rod, if you would have just taken the time to blow out the candles.  I hate to say I told you so, but . . . well I wont’ say it, I wouldn’t want to upset you.  You might start leaking again.

Until next time . . . I love (handle specialist) you

Sports Illustrated Brings Us 1963

Oh Dear Readers!  Look what crossed my path yesterday at the used bookstore!

Illustration of woman relaxing on a yatch in a two-piece Swim suit circa 1963
A Sports Illustrated Magazine from 1963!  Isn’t it wonderful? Let’s flip through it together, shall we?

Here’s 1963, Master’s Champion Jack Nicklaus  singing the praises of the MacGregor Woods with their exclusive penetrating impregnation method! Wow! Now that’s impressive!

Ad from Sports Illustrated 1963 Golf Ad
Golf in 1963 was sure a lot more interesting than it is now.

The ad goes on to explain that the exclusive penetrating impregnation method was the most talked about club feature in golf!  (Well, I should say so!)  “Because it let’s you use a wood with confidence in bad lies.”  Gosh I wonder if Tiger knows about this?

 

Hey! Who doesn’t want to live in a world where shirts were only $5.00 raise your hand!

Man in car driving away
Shh . . . don’t tell Mr.Sophisticated City Dweller who is wearing his Dacron Docoma Breeze shirt that the poor country bumpkins who just got off the  b.u.s. are laughing at him not with him.

Stuffed shirts didn’t come any less wrinkle-free than in 1963 thanks to Docoma Breeze shirts boasting Grip-Tab, Dress ‘n Play, Blake collars — which only cool city dwellers could afford at $5 a pop.  And if that didn’t make a man want to drive around Manhattan, mannequin-like, in a car three-sizes too small –1963 doesn’t know what did!

 

Don’t Worry Honey! Kent’s Micronite Filter makes cigarettes good for you!

Blah Blah
This Kent ad is the very first and the very last ad to utilize the phrase “refines away”.

Apparently back in 1963, the key to smoking fun was getting the cigarette to have the mildest taste of all!  Kent was hoping that smokers wouldn’t put 2 and 2 together and realize that the mildest taste of all would be not smoking any cigarettes at all.

 

Question!  What’s more fun than shooting guns with daddy?   Shooting guns with daddy in the house!  What else?

Father and Son unpacking Daisy BB Range
Run for cover,Sis! Look out Spot! Whoops sorry, Dear!

What better way for  fathers to bond with their sons and to teach their sons to grow up to be men than by shooting bb guns with them in the house?  Oh sure, a few of mother’s prized figureens may have to be sacrificed, and little Suzie’s buttox will probably never be the same — but it’s a small price to pay for teaching little boys what it really means to be a man — 1963 style!

Now then wasn’t that fun?  I hope you liked our little foray into the world of 1963, Dear Readers!

Until next time . . . I love you

Big Bucks Barbie

Hello Dear Readers!  For those of you who just woke up from a coma, congratulations!  You’re just in time for Christmas!!  Don’t worry if you haven’t got your shopping done yet.  I haven’t either and I haven’t even been in a coma.  So while I’m out shopping, here’s a little Christmas shopping story about the year my daughter wanted a My Size Barbie!  

Big Bucks Barbie

One year my daughter asked Santa for a “My Size Barbie.”  A “My Size Barbie” is a Barbie doll that has been fed huge amounts of hormones at the factory causing her to become the size of Daryl Hannah.

Picture of My Size Barbie in a Blue Dress   Daryl Hanna on Red Carpet

To ensure that “My Size Barbie” would be in stock, I went to the toy store early.   I approached the Barbie aisle and was about to ask where I might find The Big One, when I tripped over a humongous box containing “My Size Barbie” nearly breaking “My Size Arm.”

The adrenalin rush I experienced from the fall enabled me to heft the package containing The Incredible Babs onto my cart, but not being Arnold Schwartzenegger (or even Maria Shriver), I wasn’t strong enough to maneuver the box so that I could see the price tag.

I inched my Barbie-burdened cart to the checkout stand where it took four of us to hoist The Big Gal onto the scanner, and I mentally noted that perhaps some low-fat Barbie cuisine would make an apropos stocking stuffer.

Being an alert consumer, I had estimated the price at around $40, $50 or maybe even $60.

“Do you know how much this is?” I asked the clerk.

“I’ll let you know in a sec, hon,” she said as she fired up the jaws of life to help her run Buxom Barb over the scanner.

As I waited for the price to appear, I recalled a Christmas of long ago when I had received a Barbie Dream House.  My mother had lovingly assembled it all by herself.  It had taken her the better part of the Kennedy administration.

Barbie's first dream house
Assembles in four years

That had been my favorite Christmas and I owed it all to my mother and to my Barbie.  How ironic that this Christmas I would be giving my daughter The Mother of All Barbies.

“Excuse me ma’am? The “My Size Barbie’ is $128.  Did you still want it?”

One-hundred and twenty-eight dollars!  Suddenly everything began to move in slow motion.  I could feel myself turning white . . . then red . . . then green . . . like an aluminum Christmas tree on a rotating stand.

I looked at the clerk, then back at the 20 or so people waiting in line behind me.  They were all staring at me and sighing a lot.  Maybe they were thinking that I shouldn’t let my daughter down for a few lousy bucks and that I should forget the expense because, after all, it was Christmas.  Finally, a gentleman from the back of the line offer his advice:

“Move it lady!”

Then the clerk from the neighboring checkout stand shouted over, ” My niece has one of those and they can  wear the same clothes!” And then, just to bring it on home, she added, “I think she comes with an entire wardrobe!”

The clerk and I quickly tried to figure out how many outfits were included, but that information was on the opposite side of the box and somebody else was using the forklift.

In the end, I paid with a check so big it would have made “My Size Barbie” proud.  And as the crane lowered The Ultimate Barbie onto the roof of my car, I knew in my heart I had made the right decision.

“A little to the left!”
When Christmas morning came, my little girl would open her very special present, and the wonder and joy that is Christmas would be captured again for one brief, shining moment.

I say brief because the day after Christmas, I made “My Size Barbie” go out and get a job.

Until next time . . . I love you

A Visit From the Toaster Reviewer Gal!

Welcome Dear Readers!  Today the Toaster Reviewer Gal was kind enough to drop by the blog and leave a copy of the cover letter she wrote for a Toaster Reviewer job she is hoping to get.  Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Position Applied for:  Toaster Reviewer 

Dear Hiring Manager:

Your posting on LinkedIn for a Professional Toaster Reviewer recently caught my eyes, perked up my ears and blew my nose (jk).   I think you will find that I am an exceptional candidate for the position of Toaster Reviewer.

While I have been temporarily out of work for the last three years (don’t ask), I have still managed to stay on top of my game in the field of toaster reviewing.

You see, I currently own and operate a Hamilton Beach SmartToast Extra-Wide Slot 2 Slice Toaster with Tongs, upon which I keep my Toaster  Reviewing skills as sharp as a butter knife by making toast each morning and recording all my thoughts and feelings about my toasting adventures in my journal entitled,  “Scraping to Desired Lightness” (which is currently making the rounds at various publishing houses on the island of Guam, btw).

As an accomplished Toaster Reviewer, many of my reviews can be found on many high-level consumer review toaster websites such as:

Google Toast (www.googletoast.com)

So You’re Going to Have a Piece of Toast (www.soyou’regoingtohaveapieceoftoast.com)

Unplug the Smoke Detectors Kids!, Mommy’s Makin’ Toast! (www.goop.com).

But my accomplishments do not end there.  I also offer exceptional attention to detail and come to the position with my private list of some of the most powerful toaster-review adjectives in the Toaster-Reviewing industry today–which I have gleaned over the course of my career as an international Professional Toaster Reviewer Career Gal!

As a Professional Toaster Reviewer Career Gal, I have written these e-books, which are, unfortunately, only available on Amazon Guam, but still!

Toaster Book one

 

Toaster Gal Book two

Toaster book 3

My accomplishments and qualifications are further detailed in my hard copy resume which is on it’s way to you via the Guam postal service.  Please disregard the burned edges, frankly the Hamilton Beach SmartToast Extra-Wide Slot 2 Slice Toaster with Tongs, still has some bugs that need working out in my professional opinion as a Professional Toaster Reviewer Gal (see above).

In closing, I am as thrilled about being a part of your Professional Toaster Reviewer team as you must be at receiving this cover letter from me.  (That’s  a Haiku, btw!)

Please contact me at my earliest convenience, and I look forward to our mutual admiration.

Sincerely,

Everybody’s Favorite Toaster Reviewer Gal!

And there you have it, Dear Readers, and I don’t know about you but I think she’s got a pretty good chance. Especially if there’s an opening in Guam!

Until next time  . . . I love you

 

 

Gregory’s Bible Stories: What God Hath Whittled

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today in Sunday school Gregory couldn’t wait to get home to tell everyone about what he learned about the Garden of Eden.  Let’s listen in, shall we?

Gregory's Bible StoriesWhat God Hath Whittled

When last we left God, He had just finished making Adam out of dirt.  Adam turned out great, much better than the dust bunnies God had made the previous day — which even He had to admit didn’t resemble bunnies that much.

dust bunnie or unicorn duck
“Hm . . . maybe I should call them Unicorn Ducks instead.

Then God put Adam in the Garden of Eden that God had just planted all by Himself.  He tried to elicit Adam’s help, but Adam was horrible at taking initiative. God wanted to fire Adam and replace him with someone more competent but He came to this conclusion only after He had used the last of the dirt for potting soil.

After watching Adam live in the Garden of Eden ad nasuem, it soon became apparent to God that Adam was a bit of a mess cat. It wasn’t long before Adam had overrun the pond with dirty dishes, strewn banana peels everywhere and overflowed the laundry hamper with dirty fig leafs.

Then the Lord said, “It is not good for the man to live alone.  I will make a suitable companion to help him.”  To which Adam replied, “Hallelujah!”

So God made a quick trip to the Soil-Eleven and got some more dirt and formed all the animals and birds.  Then He brought them to Adam to see what Adam would name them.  Biblical Scholars believe the conversation might have gone something like this:

God:  So, Adam, what do you want to name this really cool animal thingie I just made that has a tail like a beaver, a bill like a duck, webbed feet and this really cool spiky-thing in the back that has poison in it?

Adam:  Kitty.

God:  Kitty.  Really?  That’s it. Kitty?

Adam:  Kittypus?

God:  That’s the best you can come up with?

Adam:  Don’t you like Kittypus?

God:  Not really.

Adam:  Is it made out of  dirt?

God:  Actually I made this one out of Playdough.

Adam:  How about Playdough Pus?

God: Okay, but only if you’re sure it won’t get mangled in the translation thousands of years from now.

Adam:  I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life — except that I hate the taste of apples.

When God realized that none of the animals was going to be a suitable companion to help Adam, He decided using dirt as a construction material just wasn’t cutting it.

But hey! Speaking of cutting it . . . –why not cut a bone out of Adam and use it to make his companion? (This was way before baling wire had been invented.)

The Lord posed this question to Himself out loud but quietly so Adam wouldn’t hear Him. But Adam did hear and tried to run away by running  around and around the Tree of Knowledge.

God tried explaining to Adam that it wasn’t going to do any good to run away because the question was rhetorical, but Adam didn’t know what rhetorical meant as, up to that point, anyway, he couldn’t stand the taste apples.

Finally, God stuck His Almighty Foot out and tripped Adam and Adam fell down into a deep sleep.  Then God thought, what bone can I take out of Adam that he won’t miss?

Then God snapped His almighty Fingers. He would take out Adam’s middle ear bone, the stirrup.  But when God went to take it out, He saw that Adam had broken it when he fell — so God had to put a cast on it instead.

Then God remembered how much fun it had been making Adam’s ribs.  All He had to do was put the mud in His hands, close His fist and Voila!  All you can eat ribs!

So the Lord God decided to use Adam’s rib to make a companion for Adam. He figured Adam would never know the difference anyway, because as much as God was loath to admit it, it was beginning to look like the Tree of Knowledge was kind of a lost cause on Adam.

So God pulled out one of Adam’s ribs and began whittling away everything that wasn’t a woman . . .

Well that’s all Gregory had time for today, Dear Readers.  Please check back next week to find out what exactly it is that God hath whittled.

Until next time . . . I love you

Just us Playdough Pusses

God Removing Adam's Rib Coloring Page
God Removing Adam’s Rib Coloring Page

 

The Bible According to Gregory: Satan Tests Job

Welcome Dear Readers to this Sunday’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories.  Let’s listen in and see what Gregory learned in Sunday school this morning, shall we?

Gregory of the Bible According to Gregory Linda Vernon HumorSatan Tests Job

Job was a biblical character who lived in the holy land of Uz  believed by scholars to have been located somewhere over the rainbow — providing there had there ever been enough moisture in the holy land to form a rainbow.

Job was always extremely careful when it came to ticking off the Lord. So much so that when any of his kids thew a party, Job would spend the next morning making sacrifices to the Lord just in case one of his kids might have inadvertently insulted the Lord after one too many fig wine coolers.

Cut to the Lord’s Heavenly Conference Room where The Lord was having a meeting with various heavenly beings one of which was Satan himself:

The Lord:   Did everybody get their handouts on Sacrificing Do’s and Don’t’s and does anybody have any questions?  Yes, the heavenly being with the horns and the name tag that says Santa.  What’s you question, Santa?

Satan: Yeah, my name’s not Santa, by the way, it’s Satan, that’s a typo I caused to happen. Bwahaha!

The Lord:  I don’t get it, what do you mean by typo?

Satan:  It’s a . . .  oh never mind.

The Lord: So what have you been up to, Satan?

Satan:  Oh you know, walking here and there, roaming around the earth and holding Idle Hands Workshops for the aristocrats, the usual.

The Lord:  Well that’s just super! Say, did you happen to notice my servant, Job, he’s like the best worshiper I’ve ever had! He never does anything evil!

Satan: Yeah, that’s because he’s got 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 1,000 head of cattle, 500 donkeys and lord only knows how many cats.

The Lord:  That’s not true.  I have no idea how many cats he has.

Satan:  Bwahaha!  There you go again with your sense of humor!

The Lord:  My sense of what?

Satan:  Never mind. Say, I’m just wondering . . . what about testing Job to see if he would still be such a Goodie-Two-Shoes if his life suddenly became a living hell. I could help you out with that.

The Lord:  Well . . . . .

Satan:  Ah come on!

The Lord:  Well I guess, but only if you promise not to hurt Job. You know how hard it is nowadays to find a good Job.

Satan:  Bwahaha!  You crack me up!

The Lord:  Am I to understand that is your awkwardly worded request stating your desire to be cracked up?

Satan:  Say will you look at that! It’s half-past eternity already.  Where does the time go?  I gotta skedaddle.  See ya around, Lord.

Sometime shortly thereafter the following events took place:

Job’s children were having a feast at the home of his oldest son when a servant came running up to Job, huffing and puffing:

Servant:  We were plowing the fields and got attacked! All your donkeys were stolen and all your servants were killed!

Job:  But they didn’t kill you?

Servant:  Yeah . . . (still huffing and puffing) . . . except for me.

Job:  Oh great you’re the only slave I have left?  And you’re not even in that good of shape.

Then another servant came running up to Job, huffing and puffing.

Servant: Lightening just struck all the sheep and shepherds and everyone was killed but me.

Job:  Hmm .  . . I’m starting to sense a pattern here.

Just then another servant came running up to Job, huffing and puffing.

Servant:  Your children were having a feast at the home of your oldest son when a storm swept in and blew the house down and killed them all.

Job:  Except for you . .

Servant:  Yeah, how’d you know?

Job:  Lucky guess.

After that Job tore his clothes in grief and shaved his head which was the standard biblical procedure when someone a) broke a new pottery water-carrying vessel  b) misplaced their dreidel or c) had all their children and animals slaughtered by Satan.

This is about the time the Lord turned on his Heavenly Conference Room hidden earth video camera and observed Job when he said, “I was born with nothing and I will die with nothing.  The Lord gave, and now he has taken away.  May his name be praised!

In spite of everything that had happened, Job did not sin by blaming The Lord.

It’s a good thing too since Job had nothing left to kill.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, what Gregory learned in Sunday school this week, come back next week at this same to so see what new bible lesson Gregory learned about!

The Lord's Heavenly Conference Room
The Lord’s Heavenly Conference Room

Linda’s Bedtime Stories for Grown-up Children

Kerplink!

Marlene Frappuzio –the bestselling author of “The Wind Only Blows on Thursdays” — sat at her keyboard, fingers poised, waiting for an idea.  Any idea.  Having already spent the advance for her much anticipated, but as yet unwritten, sequel to “Shut the Window!”  Marlene was desperate for an inspiration, desperate for a plot, desperate for a drink of water.  Marlene took a drink of water.  One desperation down, two to go.

“Hey, honey, I’m organizing my vitamins!” Howard Frappuzio, Marlene’s awkward husband, announced, walking into the room.  He was holding a shoebox full of vitamins and accidentally tripped –sending hundreds of vitamins flying everywhere.

Marlene stifled a scream of frustration — one that bordered on hair-raising, but stopped just short of blood-curdling.

“Sorry dear,” Howard was on his hands and knees now picking up vitamins one by one and returning them to the shoe box.  Kerplink, kerplink, kerplink  . . .

All that kerplinking suddenly inspired a revolutionary idea to pop into Marlene’s mind — an idea as welcome as a sign on a long stretch of deserted highway announcing: All you can eat buffet! Restrooms open to the public!

That’s it! Marlene would write about murder by way of vitamin overdose! Oh sure, it was only a crude notion of a plot now, but it just might work.  She’d have to try a little experiment first, however.

Kerplink . . .  “I’ll get out of your hair, honey,  just as soon as I’m done picking up these vitamins.” Howard said.

* * *

Marlene pushed her chair back from the dinner table and contemplated her dead husband, Howard, as he lay face down in his cream of mushroom soup — which had been iron-fortified to the point of death — and dialed 911.

“Hello?  Yes, I think my husband’s dead!  Send someone over!”

Marlene bent down and began picking up vitamins.  The murder she had just committed was perfect!  Perfect except for one thing.   She really should have waited until Howard was done picking up all these vitamins.   kerplink . . . kerplink . . . kerplink . . .

* * *

Linda Vernon Humor Trifect Writing Challenge

Gregory’s Vacation Bible School: Jesus and the Pool at Bethesda

Welcome Dear Readers to this Sunday’s Edition of the Gregory’s Bible Stories! This week Gregory is still away a Vacation Bible School  learning about biblical swimming pools. 

Jesus and the Pool of Bethesda

It was time for the Annual Jews and Sabbath Potluck dinner and Jesus (who always got invited to everything) decided to attend.  Nobody knows what dish Jesus typically brought to these things, but chances are he just whipped up something Johnny on the spot.

Anyway, in order to get to the potluck, Jesus had to pass by the Jerusalem Sheep Gate behind which the sheep who were going to be sacrificed lived.

In biblical days people were cruel to sheep and kept them for the express purpose of killing and sacrificing them.  Unlike today, where people only keep sheep for the express purpose of killing and eating them.

While Jesus was walking past the Jerusalem Sheep Gate, he happened to look over and right next to the sheep gate was the Bethesda Memorial Healing Pool.  The pool had five porches upon which lay a lot of unhealthy people waiting to take a dip.

Some of the people were blind, some of the people were paralyzed and some of the people had a really bad case of eczema (sometimes called Leprosy).

This might be a good time to explain that the Bethesda Memorial Pool could cure disease if (and that’s a big if) you were lucky enough to be the first person to jump in the water after a heavenly angel would pop down and stir it with a Heavenly Egg Beater.

After that, the first person to jump in would get healed and everybody else was up the Bethesda Pool without a paddle until the angel with the Heavenly Egg Beater made another visit.

One man had been waiting in line to jump in the water for 38 years.  (It’s not as bad as it sounds because he was waiting in line while lying on his bed.)  Jesus saw him he asked, “Do you want to get well?”

The man answered something to the  effect that yes he did but he was too paralyzed to be the first one in the pool after the Heavenly Egg Beating.

So Jesus just cut to the chase and said to the man, “Get up, pick up your bed and walk.”

Jesus curing my by Bathesda Pool
“Get up, pick up your bed and walk.”
“Uh . . . are you sure, that’s not going to wreck my back? I’ve been laying down for 38 years.”

Now Jesus was telling the man to pick up his bed and walk, and this was a task that was considered work which was completely against the law on the Sabbath.

And sure enough, first thing Monday morning, the cured man was in deep trouble with the authorities for aimlessly wandering around carrying his bed on the Sabbath. (After 38 years laying by the pool, he couldn’t remember where he lived).

Authorities:  Who told you to carry your bed around on the Sabbath? You’re supposed to be resting.

Cured Man:  Sorry, I don’t remember his name . . . I’m terrible with names. I never forget a face though! 

Later that day while the cured man was praying in the temple (probably for directions back home), Jesus recognized him and said:

“Listen, you are well now, so stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

Jesus must have been wearing his monogrammed robe because the cured man ran right to the authorities and told them the guy who cured him was named Jesus.

So the authorities hightailed it over to Jesus and demanded that Jesus explain to them why He had worked a healing on the Sabbath.

Jesus answered by saying, “My father is always working and I too must work.”

This really made the authorities mad.  Aside from thinking that Jesus and His Dad were Sabbath workaholics; they were also completely put off by the fact that Jesus said his Dad was God.

Naturally this made the authorities want to persecute and  kill Jesus even more than they already did.

And the cured man who was wandering around carrying his bed on the Sabbath?   Rumor has it he put his back out from hauling his bed around everywhere and ended up right back at the Bethesda Pool.

Robert Bateman (1836 - 1889) (Artist,
“Hey wait a minute . . . did I grab the wrong egg beater again?”

And there you have it, Dear Readers, I hope you’ll come back next week for another installment of Gregory’s Bible Stories

Until next time . . . I love you

Putting Procrastination to Work for You

Are you one of those people who goes to pay bills but can’t find your letter opener so you search the house for hours until, duh, you finally remember you left it at the neighbor’s house so you dash over to get it and end up sitting down for coffee and then 17 cups later you are on your way back home when you discover that your friend’s ducks are running amok (the very same ducks you said you’d look after while they were on vacation) and by the time you get them under control and lined up into neat little rows it’s  time for bed and you think sadly to yourself that, once again, you accomplished nothing and that none of this would have happened if you had simply used your finger to open the bills?

Welcome to the world of procrastination!

As we all know, procrastination occurs anytime you find yourself thinking up things to do to get out of the things you think you should be doing.

Procrastination always gets a bad rap.  And not just because nothing really rhymes with it, but because people have been conditioned to view the habit of putting off today what they can do tomorrow as an undesirable character trait.

I, for one, am saying pooh pooh to this notion and furthermore, I am going to climb out on a limb and beg to differ. (A little trick I learned in the circus.)

Speaking from personal experience, the act of  tackling a desired task first thing in the morning and then  finishing it before moving on to the next task is futile.

OK, I’ve never actually accomplished anything first thing in the morning, but if I did, I’m sure the only word to describe it would be futile, or failing that, a different word —  which I’ll figure out later (so get off my back about it, will ya?)

My point is this. If Mr. Procrastination has moved in and won’t get off your couch, then by all means put him to work like I do.

For instance, let’s say I want to write an essay.  I simply make that my official goal for the day by jotting it down.  The mere act of jotting down the goal gets my creative juices flowing and, before I know it, I have thought up a million and one other activities to do like mowing the lawn or de-linting my sweaters in order to put off accomplishing writing an essay.

Do you see how simple this is?

Oh sure, maybe I haven’t written that essay, but at least if anyone drives by my house, they won’t catch me standing neck high  in grass wearing a balled-up sweater.

The only downside to using procrastination to get things done is that you have to be happy with accomplishing everything BUT the desired accomplishment.

But this is easily overcome.  With a little practice, a lot of cherry pie, and hours of electronic Solitaire, you’ll be putting the PRO in procrastination before you know it!

Until next time . . . I love you


A Day at the Thrift Store

I finally got around to cleaning out my clutter and
dropping it off at the thrift store yesterday.   Of
course, I just had to go inside and have a quick look
around, Thrift Store Junky that I am.

This was an especially bountiful day at the store.
Forsaken falderal was piled high and wide, and the
atmosphere exuded the same quiet concentration one
might experience while sitting in a room full of
people taking an important exam; which could only mean
one thing.  The Hard Core Collectors were here.

I snapped to attention and quickly grabbed a shopping
cart.  Even though I needed nothing, wanted nothing
and had absolutely no idea what I was looking for,
that didn’t mean I was going to let somebody else get
their hands on it before I did!

Guiding my cart on pure instinct, I tarried not at the
book shelves, by-passed the knick knacks and hardly
acknowledged the exercise equipment.  I was making a
beeline for the shelves marked “collectibles,” when I
suddenly ran head on into another cart operated by a
woman who could best be described as a human Fruit
Loop.  She wore bright blue sweats, tangerine
lipstick, and her ruby-red hair was tucked behind ears
that resembled dried apricots.

Fruit Loop Lady and Her Ilk
We momentarily locked carts. I quickly perused her
cart, and she quickly perused mine.

Atop her mountain of frippery sat a pink, Beanie Baby
Flamingo that had a price tag that said $1.50.  Dang!
I may not be a sophisticated collector, but I was
pretty sure it must have been worth more than that!

I inquired sweetly where she had found the Beanie
Baby.  I kept my voice calm and tried to affect a tone
that conveyed the sentiment that it was not for me but
for my adorable little granddaughter who would dearly
love it for her collection and who, by the way, might
even happen to be blind or something.

Ok, Ok, I don’t actually have any granddaughters, but
she  didn’t know that.  For all she knew I might
have had ten granddaughters, each and every one of them
blind as a bat.

So I was a little put off when she simply glared at
me, shoved her Beanie Baby farther down into her cart
and marched off.   Well! Apparently that dried apricot
thing she had going on extended all the way down to
her heart.

Internal organs of “you know who”
It wasn’t long before I had wormed my way to the
collectibles and spied a set of dishes that were
clearly from the 1950’s atomic era.

They were calling to me in a voice I recognized as Dwight D.
Eisenhower’s.

“Buy those dishes, I implore you!”
The pattern featured boomerangs
intermixed with A-bomb mushroom clouds interspersed
with random dots of nuclear waste.

I simply had to have them!

I rushed to find a clerk who could give me a price.
The woman I found to help me wasn’t technically a
clerk; it seems she was just hanging around the store
in order to burn off a few community service hours,
but she was very friendly and quite helpful all the
same.

And when she said she would let me have the entire
set of dishes for $15, I nearly fell over backwards
onto– guess what? — A huge pile of Beanie Babies.

Needless to say, I acquired the dishes, along with a
few other thrift shop must- haves, and the Community
Service Lady was even kind enough to help me out to my
car with my purchases.  They wouldn’t all fit in the
trunk, but we managed to squeeze the rest of  the
stuff into the back seat.

As I drove away I was filled with an unparalleled
sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.  After all,
there’s really nothing that can compare with finally
getting rid of one’s old, worn out, useless clutter
unless, of course, it’s replacing it with NEW worn out
useless clutter.

Until next time . . . I love you

Gregory’s Bible Stories: Abel’s First-born Lamb Feed

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories.  Let’s listen in and see what he learned about Adam and Eve’s two boys, Cain and Abel.

Gregory's Bible StoriesAbel’s All You Can Eat First-Born Lamb Feed

After the “incident” with Adam and Eve, the Lord gave each of them hoes as lovely parting gifts and sent them to cultivate the soil just outside the Garden of Eden which they unofficially named Little Eden.  (Luckily, Adam and Eve had eaten enough of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge to know how to farm,  but were still several bites shy of an Agricultural Sciences degree.)

Eve soon gave birth to two boys.  The first one she named Cain because she had always liked that name.  The second one she named Abel because she wasn’t able to think of any other name she liked.

Cain became a farmer and grew lots of boring broccoli, while Abel became a shepherd and herded lots of  mouth-watering sheep.

One day, Cain gathered up a big bowl of broccoli  and offered it to the Lord while Abel killed a first-born lamb, sautéed the best parts in clarified butter, and offered it to the Lord along with a glass of His favorite chardonnay.

The Lord breezed by Cain’s alter and sat down at Abel’s table.   Just as Abel was tying the Lord’s First-Born Lamb Feed bib onCain came over with his bowl of broccoli.

Cain:  Hi Lord.  I grew this bowl of broccoli for you.    I think it will make a nice accompaniment to Abel’s Seared Petite First-Born Lamb Chops with Rosemary Balsamic Reduction, don’t you?

The Lord:  Take it away. I am rejecting it.

Cain:  Ah come on.  Don’t be that way.  Couldn’t you take one teeny-weeny bite?

The Lord:  No, I reject you and your broccoli, Cain. But I will have me some more of your brother’s delightful mouthwatering first-born lamb!  Hey . . .what’s the matter, Cain, you look angry.  Why are you scowling?

Cain:  I’m just feeling a little killingish that’s all.

Abel:  You’re stupid Cain!

Cain:  Hey, Abel.  Can I see you out in the field for a minute?

Abel:  I guess.  You want to come too, Lord?

The Lord:  No you guys go ahead.  I’m just going to polish off  the rest of these First-Born Lamb Sliders.

When they were in the field, Cain took the stalk of broccoli he’d won first place for at the Little Eden County Fair, removed the pin from it and stabbed Abel repeatedly with the pointy end — killing him, if not instantly, eventually.

Cain killing abel

When Cain came back, the Lord was just finishing the last of the first-born lamb Jello and was once again congratulating Himself on having had the wherewithal to have always made room for it when he was creating everything.

The Lord:  This Jello set up perfectly, Abel!

Cain:  I’m not Abel, I’m Cain.

The Lord:  Where’s Abel?

Cain:  I do not know.   Am I my brother’s keeper?

The Lord:  That’s rhetorical, isn’t it?   Wait a minute . . . Listen:  I hear your brother’s blood crying out from the soil.

Cain:  Are you sure?  Maybe that’s just your stomach growling again.

The Lord:  No, by Golly, that was blood crying out from the soil, alright.  There’s a fine line, but I know the difference.

Cain:  Gulp.

The Lord:  Okay, Buster, no more tilling the soil for you.  From now on, consider yourself a restless wanderer.

Cain:  You mean the kind of restless wanderer that anyone may kill on sight?

The Lord:  Not so!  If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged seven-fold!

Cain:  Why are you suddenly talking in third person?

The Lord:  I get so bored with omniscient.

Cain:  But why will they be avenged seven-fold?

The Lord:  Seven is my lucky fold.

Cain:  I knew that.

The Lord:  No you didn’t.

Cain:  More first-born lamb shank, Lord?

The Lord:  Thank you.  Don’t mind if I do.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, what Gregory learned in Sunday School, please check back next Sunday to see what will happen next to Adam and Eve and the gang.

Until next time . . . I love you

First Born Lamb Feed

Big Bucks Barbie

Hello Dear Readers!  For those of you who just woke up from a coma, congratulations!  You’re just in time for Christmas!!  Don’t worry if you haven’t got your shopping done yet.  I haven’t either and I haven’t even been in a coma.  So while I’m out shopping, here’s a little Christmas shopping story about the year my daughter wanted a My Size Barbie!  

Big Bucks Barbie

One year my daughter asked Santa for a “My Size Barbie.”  A “My Size Barbie” is a Barbie doll that has been fed huge amounts of hormones at the factory causing her to become the size of Daryl Hannah.

Picture of My Size Barbie in a Blue Dress   Daryl Hanna on Red Carpet

To ensure that “My Size Barbie” would be in stock, I went to the toy store early.   I approached the Barbie aisle and was about to ask where I might find The Big One, when I tripped over a humongous box containing “My Size Barbie” nearly breaking “My Size Arm.”

The adrenalin rush I experienced from the fall enabled me to heft the package containing The Incredible Babs onto my cart, but not being Arnold Schwartzenegger (or even Maria Shriver), I wasn’t strong enough to maneuver the box so that I could see the price tag.

I inched my Barbie-burdened cart to the checkout stand where it took four of us to hoist The Big Gal onto the scanner, and I mentally noted that perhaps some low-fat Barbie cuisine would make an apropos stocking stuffer.

Being an alert consumer, I had estimated the price at around $40, $50 or maybe even $60.

“Do you know how much this is?” I asked the clerk.

“I’ll let you know in a sec, hon,” she said as she fired up the jaws of life to help her run Buxom Barb over the scanner.

As I waited for the price to appear, I recalled a Christmas of long ago when I had received a Barbie Dream House.  My mother had lovingly assembled it all by herself.  It had taken her the better part of the Kennedy administration.

Barbie's first dream house
Assembles in four years

That had been my favorite Christmas and I owed it all to my mother and to my Barbie.  How ironic that this Christmas I would be giving my daughter The Mother of All Barbies.

“Excuse me ma’am? The “My Size Barbie’ is $128.  Did you still want it?”

One-hundred and twenty-eight dollars!  Suddenly everything began to move in slow motion.  I could feel myself turning white . . . then red . . . then green . . . like an aluminum Christmas tree on a rotating stand.

I looked at the clerk, then back at the 20 or so people waiting in line behind me.  They were all staring at me and sighing a lot.  Maybe they were thinking that I shouldn’t let my daughter down for a few lousy bucks and that I should forget the expense because, after all, it was Christmas.  Finally, a gentleman from the back of the line offer his advice:

“Move it lady!”

Then the clerk from the neighboring checkout stand shouted over, ” My niece has one of those and they can  wear the same clothes!” And then, just to bring it on home, she added, “I think she comes with an entire wardrobe!”

The clerk and I quickly tried to figure out how many outfits were included, but that information was on the opposite side of the box and somebody else was using the forklift.

In the end, I paid with a check so big it would have made “My Size Barbie” proud.  And as the crane lowered The Ultimate Barbie onto the roof of my car, I knew in my heart I had made the right decision.

“A little to the left!”
When Christmas morning came, my little girl would open her very special present, and the wonder and joy that is Christmas would be captured again for one brief, shining moment.

I say brief because the day after Christmas, I made “My Size Barbie” go out and get a job.

Until next time . . . I love you

Seven Signs You’re Addicted to Christmas Treats

Seven Signs You’re Addicted to Christmas Treats

That bad elbow has been officially diagnosed as Sugar Cookie tendonitis but you don’t care, you’re never giving up your sport.

Yeah but, Doc, I can't stop eating Christmas cookies n now, the Olympics are coming up.
“Yeah but, Doc, I can’t stop eating Christmas cookies now, the Olympics are coming up!”

If your house caught on fire you would be torn between either rescuing your spouse or his fudge rum balls.

"Sorry Ma'am. The only ting we were able to save of your husband were his fudge rum balls." "Yay! Oh, I mean darn the luck."
“Sorry Ma’am. The only thing we were able to save of your husband was his fudge rum balls.”
“Yahoooo!  No wait . . . I mean darn the luck.”

While you love the puppy you got for Christmas you’re convinced you’d love him even better if he was covered in chocolate and had a chewy nugget center.

Oh! Him so potentially dewishious!
“Oh! Him so potentially dewishious!”

You’re faking a limp just so you can justify carrying around that humongous  candy cane.

No! I'll be okay! Just get me my humongous candycane!"
“No! I’ll be okay! Just get me my humongous candy cane!”

You’ve started referring to your troubles as your truffles.

"Nobody knows the truffles I've seen . . ."
“Nobody knows the truffles I’ve seen . . .”

You lied and told your children all their gingerbread men had been abducted by aliens so that they could conduct eating experiments even though it was really you conducting the eating experiments.

"I can't believe you ate all your children's Gingerbreadmen."
“You mean to tell me, Earth Lady, you actually ate all your children’s gingerbread men?”
” Please!  Stop! Can’t you see I hate myself enough already?”

And the final way to tell if you’ve become addicted to Christmas treats?

You resorted to eating some old-fashioned Christmas Candy that you found painted to the  bathroom shelf of your grandmother’s house and were so ashamed you checked yourself into Christmas Treat rehab.

Question: Does Christmas Treat Addiction get any uglier than this? Answer: No.
Question: Does Christmas Treat Addiction get any uglier than this?
Answer: No.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, how to tell if you’ve become addicted to Christmas Treats.

Until next time . . . I love you