Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Quote For The Day

September 8, 2016

“Editing is hindsight!”

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A Visit To The Bottom Line

September 8, 2016

by Florence Ondré

“When you say to yourself or others, ‘That proves my point,’ it’s good to allow some time to elapse and then see if you can remember what your actual point was.”

Musings On Storm Preparedness & Progeny

September 5, 2016

by florence ondré 8/25/11

A parable, written with loving observation whilst checking in to see if my three sons were ready in case hurricane Irene hit.

I have three sons.

One built his house of straw… a kind of dreamy artistic kid.

One of twigs- a positive kid, who always figured… ah, that’ll do it…the lawn is mowed…looks good from the front.

And one meticulously planned his construction; scouted the best from stone masons, got his building permits in order from the county, pronto; took out his trusty trowel and saw to the solidity of the foundation mortar as he built his two story brick colonial with double safety exits, taking as few chances as possible should the wolf storm his door or could gain entry.

Oh yes… and anchored a boat by the back door… in case.

I Love A Parade

August 25, 2016

I love a parade. It’s theatre on the move. Music, costumes and lighting by God.

Not considering myself particularly patriotic, it never ceases to amaze me each time that familiar lump in my throat arises; choking me with what I can only describe as pride. My heart beats a little faster to the beat of a marching band and strains of Sousa spring memories of my marching in parades and performing in concert with my Junior and Senior High School Bands.

I learned my roots in music there and I guess all those marching feet share the cadence of each note I heard and sing today. I march to first their drums and, ultimately, my own.

I love a parade.

I am a parade.

Once Upon A Wild Hair

December 6, 2014

by Florence Ondré

 

This morning I dragged out the 10 times magnifying glass and took a what everyone the sane world says you must do….a good look in a mirror!

Shock of shocks, the discovery was that I’d gone right past becoming my mother and straight to being my grandmother! …and every bushy, crazy looking, wild haired old woman I’d ever seen.

Yes, I was right up there on my own world list of wild haired women where I’d wondered, “how could she go out in public like that?  good god, how could she live with those crazy ass eyebrows?”

There in the light of day, I stood aghast at my window, peering thru my eyeglasses to the magnifying mirror (yes I need both to see anything now) and viewed my own eyebrows gone awry.

Wasn’t it recently I’d tweezed the errant chin hairs which so cruelly and capriciously grow when and where they want?  I took care of those little stubborn hard line, now thankfully white instead of dark colored bristles.  I may not be able to see you but I feel you and out you go.

Then I moved the glass to my eyebrows and saw I had farm work to do.

Hairs had sprouted like gmo wheat fields from my upper eyelid to my brows.  God, how could I go out in the world looking like a mad scientist!

Pluck pluck groom groom…gone gone.  Whew.

And then I spied the brows themselves…. Hey! Wait a sec!  Shouldn’t eyebrow hair be short?  What karma had I been dealt overnite, with some leaning into the maginot line; lengthy enough to hang down over castle turrets; long and strong enough to be braided for princes to climb upon?

What had I done to become Andy Rooney or deserve curls gone wild every which way but loose?

Memories of women I’d known whose facial hair seemed to explode in odd directions on their aging faces floated to consciousness and I reached the terminal at the end of platform ‘why me?’  I had become them.

I wondered if my friends who spend tons of money on face creams, depilatories and spas had arrived at this plateau, unhaired, or had they just had more time and money to hide the inevitable? s

Some whispered the truth.  Don’t tell me we are not all one.

Stow the baggage of judgement and surface ego on this trip called life.  It’s simply a matter of arrival time.  Just for today, I’m a bit dishevelled from that red eye.

And now that I’m momentarily presentable, where am I going?

To a children’s party… and you know these are our greatest critics!

First Snow Of The Season

December 13, 2013

Kids are the most wonderful beings who are forever giving adults new ways to see things from these pint sized perspectives!
Just love seeing how on a snowy day they can dream up a variety of ways to have fun with even a smidge of snow leftover from a full flurry storm!
My grand daughter, Selia, started with making little snowballs and lobbing them at me when she got off the bus from kindergarten. Then at home she changed her wooly mittens for the waterproof ski gloves and we made a small snow person.  Next we had a game of tushy target snowball throw and when 3 yr old brother, Jack, padded onto the porch in his stocking feet to point to my boots and say he thought they were “beautiful,” I went up to see if he wanted to put his boots on and play.   He said,” Nope. just wanted to say, “beautiful.” …and back inside he went, while his mom, Hope, and I cracked up.
Selia and I resumed the next game of snow stomping, making tracks with our boots, yelling as we went,” stomp stomp stomp!” Out pops Jack again and I go up to him to ask if he wants to put his boots on and play with us.  This time it’s a ‘yes’ and the next game becomes make little snowballs for the neighborhood cat, then see how far we can throw snowballs across the street and, ultimately, on to their own science project, ‘let’s throw snowballs into the water near the curbs to watch them melt away to liquid nothingness.’ Ahhh!   A fine time was had by all as we satisfactorily trudged, fun filled, up the steps; shedding outerwear on the porch bench and entering all rosy cheeked happy into the warm light of home! 

Thanksribukkah

November 30, 2013

Woke up this morning in the afterglow of yesterday’s lovely, simple and fun Thanksgiving/ Channukkah afternoon.  I can still hear the laughter, see the smiles on everyone’s faces and smell and taste the delicious racks of ribs my son proudly cooked on his beloved bbq/smoker.
(right here is where I ask my dear vegetarian friends to please turn away. avert your eyes! please, don’t judge me)

Picture a tall, happy looking guy standing outside his garage in the freezing cold; bundled up for winter; scarf wrapped around his neck, hands gloved and a nice knitted hat covering his head and ears (ok. it was a bright yellow wool ‘minions’ hat; one half of a two part set knitted by his wife for him and his 3 yr old son for their duo costumes on Halloween, but it did lend the chef a jaunty, humorous air to his serious business of seasoning)

Not being much of a rib gal after Tony Roma’s closed, this newly acquired culinary artistry escapes me…until yesterday….

Watching my grown son lovingly lavishing his attention to tending his culinary creation at the finish line of 8 (count ’em, 8!) hours of basting, turning, temp checking with the precision of a surgeon, was enough to rope me in to at least trying this entree again.

He proudly took me into his kitchen and showed me his impressive array of spices, sauces and rubs; explaining his process of how he chooses which for what reason and how he makes his own combinations for just the right flavors of sweetness and spice for each rack.  I listened with respect as he described the stages of the cooking and reasoning behind each to bring about perfection.

In honor of tradition and with permission from the my son, the host, we’d brought a small roast turkey with trimmings. (and honestly, for me, just in case I didn’t fancy more than a polite bite of ribs…I mean, two whole racks of ribs! Who’s gonna eat them on Turkey Day?)

Under the heading of ‘O ye of little faith,’ he opened the promise land lid, plated those babies and ‘ta da’d’ them into the kitchen with the flair of Guy Fieri  confident in his grillwork or Moses parting the sea.

They looked falling off the bone delectable; tantalizing, scintillating, aromatic and tasted tender, sweet and woody smoked.

I went from ‘oh, I’ll try them because my son made them,’ obligatory to bbq sauce mustachioed convert with the first mouth watering bite.  I found myself thinking, ‘Will two racks be enough?’

It was a stand up feast in the kitchen and those bad boys were gone before you could say, “Let’s eat!”

Wow!  All those hours to make/minutes to devour; leaving only the scent of enjoyment, the sounds of lip smacking contentment and smiles on our sauce smeared faces.

Later that night, my nose still filled with mesquite and honey, I wished for more.  Turkey, my tush! I only yearned for what was gone but not forgotten.  We’d split the leftovers; the usual turkey for sandwiches, the sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and cranberry sauce.

And all I craved was wispy dreams of ribs.

As easy laughter and warmth of the day spent in happy camaraderie came floating back to me upon awakening, I realized what a gift my son had given all of us in the invitation to gather at his home.  His was the same labor of love as mine was when, for all his growing up years, I got up at 5 in the morning to start the turkey roasting for as many hours as the bird’s pounds determined, in order to create a fine meal and the custom of giving thanks…. with the grace of the extra ingredient of every really good meal and family tradition…the ingredient of love.

And on this historic, double holiday of Thanksgiving and Chanukkah which will not occur for another 70,000 years, I am filled to delicious, overflowing heart warmth as I share the threads of light we pass along, each in our own way, to one another other; to our children and our children’s children; opening our hearts for better than the best we can imagine in all outcomes… Happy, healthy history with what changes may evolve.

For and from me and mine, to old and new ways of celebrating the good in life…. here’s wishing you a moment in history where new meets old…Happy Thanksribukkah!

If Your Name Is Patience Or Grace, Why Don’t You Have Any?

August 29, 2013

by florence ondré

In the oppressive heat of a hazy, hot and humid day in July, it’s hard enough for a person to get around, accomplish the day’s duties and still keep one’s wits and reflexes above functioning level.  Add to this recipe, a physical handicap, the lateness of the day or merely age and the human machine slows, glitches and/or crawls to a halt.

I believe most of us are aware enough to know this from probable first hand experience.  So, why is it that awareness and sensitivity take leave of the human experience at the checkout counter in a supermarket?

Firstly, what is so super about our food markets today?  The experience of shopping for our daily sustenance is hardly pleasurable.  Employees can be rude or ill informed; prices inaccurate and many cashiers could care less whether it’s important to you that your hard earned money stretch as far as possible or that your food be in good condition- i.e. grapes on top of canned goods and bread uncrushed when bagged.  Mostly, now it’s fast zip your groceries down the ramp for a meet and greet with metal armed hangers of plastic bags which you are expected to pack yourself.

“Express line” generally means smaller orders of fewer items to be expeditious to shoppers but to those behind the register it’s more of a “get out of my face fast and don’t ask any questions!” as in: ‘have no needs of your own.’   God forbid, you have the audacity to ask them to bag the stuff or to ask for for a double of those flimsy, chemical smelling sacks so your jars of marinara sauce don’t crash, and slash; sending you to the nearest emergency facility!

Any condition that might slow one up aggravates rather than engenders any compassion and seems to give register ringers a target for whatever pent up hostilities are lurking beneath their badges.

I experienced “The Shopping Trip From Hell” on one of these steamy July days when I had the chutzpah to take myself with my Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome to the ‘super’- sometimes referred to as ‘stupid’- market.

Having schlepped my tired self through the aisles, trudging behind my wobbly-wheeled basket, I placed my 6 items on the conveyor belt to the cash register on the ‘Express Line’ designated ’10 items or less.’  Feeling rather safe in doing so, I was shaken and appalled as I heard and saw the demeanor of the checkout clerk, whose name tag read, ‘Patience.’   She was anything but!

A grey haired woman stooped in front of me, was getting a tongue lashing about the number of items she’d placed for checkout-11!  Her hands which formerly may have cared for a home and children, created art or capably closed deals in a chosen profession, today clearly shook as she meekly apologized and tried to give the right amount of money for her tallied food bill.  In addition, she asked in measured speech for an explanation of the charges to make sure her receipt was correct.

The curtness and hostility of the cashier was overt and there was no mistaking the aggression of the loud, large, young woman at the register toward the small, quiet, elderly one who moved a few steps, struggling to get her change into her wallet, while her grocery bag was thrown harshly to the end of the checkout ramp by ‘commandant clerk.’

Then it was my turn!

As Patience totted up my purchases at the speed of light, I found myself aghast at not being able to find the cash that I had just gotten from the bank.  I searched my purse 3 times through every pocket, nook and cranny; knowing I had placed the bills there, yet fearing I might have either misplaced them or been robbed.

Inside, I had a sick, sinking feeling that I get when Chronic Fatigue cognitive block happens.  I know it mercifully passes but I also know increases with added stress, and here I am; face to face with ‘She Whose Name Is Patience!’

“Jaws” music begins to play in my head as she glowers at me for being less than perfect and lightning fast on Her Express LIne!

I begin to feel not so much slow and inept, but rather one who has committed a mortal sin.  She grouses loudly and instigates insurrection on the line behind me which now seems not to be just 2 men and 2 women, but an angry lynch mob of 400!

“O.K., Calm down,” I tell myself silently.  The bill is 14 dollars and 53 cents and,  Whew!  Thank God!  There’s the 50 dollar bill I put in my purse, right next to a 5!

I sigh with relief.  I haven’t been robbed.  CFIDS brain fog hasn’t caused me to mislay my money AND I say triumphantly to Clerk Mengele, “Here’s $50 and I have  the 3 pennies!”

Snarling, she snatches the bill, slams her cash drawer shut like a jail cell; loudly informing me that she ‘will not take my 3 cents’ and shoves the denominations of change, which she deems suitable punishment, into my hand.

I have no more rights for committing the crime of ‘slowness.’

When I say, quietly but firmly, “No, that’s not acceptable,” she imperiously barks, “You’ve taken up too much time!”

Standing firm on the outside but shaken on the inside, I ask to see a manager; even though the larger of the men in line behind me has become belligerent and is siding with the clerk to intimidate me.  Clearly, he would like to do her executioner’s work and if the guillotine were at the end of the bag ramp, my head would be in a basket with melons, to the delight of the onlookers!

I refuse to be cowed.  She glares at me with the intensity of a flamethrower.  I feel napalmed in New York.  I’m a stone-statue-still gunslinger at the O.K. Corral standoff til she finally calls.

The manager, a woman of small physical stature, shows up. hears my complaint of rudeness and ill treatment this clerk has dished out to me and the preceding customer.  She says nothing as I tell her that everyone, including senior, handicapped and slow people, all deserve to be treated courteously when shopping and spending their money in that store.

From the looks she sneaks at pistol packin’ Patience, I can see she will do nothing.  There’s not so much as an, “I’m sorry for your trouble.”

No amends will be forthcoming.

I notice her name tag reads, “Grace,” and what I see on her face is fear and dullness.  All in all, I’m sick to my stomach and I know it’s not from the heat!

Returning home with a lump of anger in my throat, I woodenly put away my groceries, which now seemed tainted with negative energy.  I slump exhaustedly on the safety of my comfy couch; an island of friendly, floral print in a world of khaki conflict.  A knot of hopelessness mixed in with a healthier dollop of defiance in my gut moves me to grab notebook and pen as the following declaration of dignity emerges:

I, hereby, put every cash register clinking checker,  or anyone in service positions, on notice to remember and, better yet, write this down and place it clearly where you will see it every day of your life:

THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I.

This means you and every blessed one of us on this planet!

No matter your job, any person who comes before you who is ‘slow’ is your opportunity to become still and practice compassionate patience.

Every person who asks you a question is your opportunity to practice tolerance and generosity of spirit, wherein you can be helpful in sharing your knowledge with others.

Those who shuffle before you with infirmity or age are your opportunity to treat others with the same kindness and respect you would like to receive when you are in similar circumstances.  They may be the mirror image of your future and deserve your admiration for their courage, willingness and commitment to show in the world; attempting to be as self reliant as possible.

These people, ( and remember, you are these people; if not now, later) need your help not your hostility.

O.K., so you got in the right letter of the alphabet.  Try harder.  You can do better.  Get the right word, the right attitude.  I have faith in you.  You can do it!

Anyone who vexes you is your opportunity to grow; to be the best you can be instead of the worst or most mediocre.  This is your chance to notice differences and samenesses of humans; to value everyone just the way you want to be valued and appreciated.  There’s no exact time allotment for getting ‘it’ right.  What is ‘it’ anyway and by whose timeline or definitions are we living?

I know that, even with this day; this experience of mine, I will not die of terminal uniqueness and, still, I feel strongly moved to speak out for all the times any of us has said or felt, “Why bother? No one cares anyway?”

Well, I do care.  I want everyday experiences to be peaceful, harmonious, gentle and interactions respectful of each other.  I believe kindness counts.  How much extra time does that take?

Call writing this my random act of kindness for all who can’t speak up or out.  I encourage everyone to say ‘NO’ to unfair, unkind treatment- one’s own or another’s; to courageously say, “I deserve to be treated courteously and compassionately.  We all do.”

And then, perhaps the market will be ‘super!’

100 Words

August 15, 2013

by florence ondré

 

One hundred words, merely a few

Thoughts set down to read to you

What to write about, I muse

Worthy subjects yet to choose

Something funny, maybe dark

From the mind or the heart

Future forward, reminisce

Timely tale, dream or wish

Must make sense directions say

So, on this page, I wend my way

Through topic possibilities

Visiting before time flees

Merely momentary blink

None becoming pen point’s ink

One hundred words, so large a chore

Just one hundred. not one more

Now, I’m counting as I write

Gads!  There is no end in sight!

Brain- diminished…..

100!!  I’ve finished!

Day In Haiku

August 11, 2013

Removed little things

Surgery went well they say

Believing is seeing.

 

Had a rib removed

They’re making a man

God’s sense of humor.

 

 

The To Do List

June 15, 2013

The list of what I think must get done each day is generally long and well prepared days in advance, or at least the night before days.

Then morning dawns and the Universe rearranges every item like the squirrels do in autumn after the bulbs have been planned, patterned and planted.  Spring shows us how the bushy tails have rearranged everything in their fall endeavors prior to oncoming Winter snows.

Right in the middle of the green grassed backyard, a lone and vibrant violet tulip will pop up like a jack in the box.  In the front flower bed of persimmon and plum, a bright yellow solo tulip stands out like a soloist in a chorus of  crimson and purple.  Where pretty pinks have been planted in perfect rows, ready for the rally of April and May, two tiny thistles, from who knows where, turn their furry heads among the tulip terpsichore; wowing us with the winds of change.

So it goes with my to do list; all orderly in my mind and on the lines before me…until the morrow when my brow furrows question marks and  what will be will be.

With nary a feather or a fig from me.

I’m only a spear carrier in this opera; doing what I can to play my part with good orderly direction; which actually, in anachronism speak, is

G.O.D.

And by whatever name we all call a power greater than ourselves; Spirit, Mother Earth, Father Sky, Allah, Yeshuah, Jesus, Angels, Buddha, The One, Good, All That Is, the Universe, to name but a few, our days and doings get rearranged for our best interest, balance and Highest Good.

I always say that I do not wear glasses for no reason.  Being diagnosed in early childhood as near sighted  should have been a tip off.

My vision goes only so far and my list is not the only to do list.

I have a very creative mind and energy with an affinity for organization and consistency.  The challenge for me is also to remember that I also like new things, positive surprises and adventures in life.  I enjoy the path and off the path journeys and feel guided benevolently along the way.

Accomplishing is part of who I am.

And, here is this to do list each day which never gets done; keeping me in the now and nudging me to see where I can practice letting go; feel satisfied with what I can accomplish; be open to change; patient with process and is very much like I am; like we all are, works of art in progress.

In between the lines of the list, unscheduled activities crop up such as pausing, pondering and just plain breathing; those sacred spaces between the lines where simply ceasing may bring about better than the best we can imagine.

Maybe a better appellation would be a more Shakespearean one…  a

to do and not to do list.

The Solo Artist

June 13, 2013

Hearing the far off voice of my dear, writer friend, Betty, admonishing in my inner ear, ‘you haven’t written much lately,kiddo,’ my decision was made.

Glue your butt to the seat in front of the computer and start typing.

Screw the inspiration or lack thereof.

Chuck the procrastination or ‘right time,’ topic or weather.

Sit down and let the ink flow through your fingers and keys.

Period.

Just do it.

Write.

How many of us, writers, creative spirits all,  have made a million-gazillion good excuses for not doing the very thing for which we have aptitude and love; that which makes us feel more alive and flowing with the energy of our beings?

Why do we not do when we know we can?

What doubt or excuse is ever good enough for not writing; not setting aside sacred space and time for writing?

And yet I know I am not alone in this curious, ever-sneaking-up-on-us skill.

Were I to write a list of all the “really valid” excuses I’ve made or heard, there’d be no time to do anything other than write!

I’m sure I’d have to be carted off to some nearby hospital emergency room to have the computer chair surgically removed from above said buttock.

And then have to post notice of affliction, name of hospital and visiting hours.

Well, that might have a positive side affect.

See.

More writing.

Everything is grist for the ink mill.

That being written, there is no waiting for a topic to click in, assignment accepted or inspiration heavenly or earthly upon which to wait to write.

No time like the present.

Size doesn’t matter.

Do a Haiku.

Look at this, Betty.

I wrote!


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