Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Happy Days Are Here Again

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Why is Cranky dancing?  Why is she jumping for joy?  What’s the reason for her grin spreading ear to ear?

No, the Government Shutdown isn’t over.  No, she didn’t win the Lottery.  No, she didn’t wake up and find that she’s a best-selling author overnight.

No, my friends, none of the above are the reason that I now wake up looking forward to each day with a new, rejuvenated desire to greet the morning.  I’m just slap happy that the summer has ended…the humidity is gone and the sun is no longer burning up every living thing.

Our fall usually starts around October 15th…the calendars say September, but here in Florida we don’t get any relief from the sweltering heat until October.  We don’t get the pretty fall leaves, we don’t get pumpkin patches sprouting up by the roadside and the logs aren’t crackling in the fireplace.

What we get is beautiful mornings in the 70’s and the highs in the mid 80’s during the day (and the mid 80’s feel like the mid 80’s…not the low 100’s).  We get to go to the beach and be able to walk on the sand without peeling the skin off our feet.  We get to open our cars and not be blasted with the stored up heat it’s accumulated.

This week has been right on the mark.  The humidity dropped, the skies are clear and the roads are still relatively easy to ride (most of our Northern folk don’t come down here until November.)  So, I’m a very happy camper!

I am removing the “countdown” calendar from my site and hope that it will be a nice long winter for us here in Florida.  Heck, the coldest I’ve seen it get here in dead winter is the 30’s…bring it on I say!

So, I hope that everyone is enjoying their fall….I know I am!  Well, I have to dance on out of here now.  I hear some gardening that I’ve been dying to do all summer calling me!

Love,

Cranky

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Galloping Gators!

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The other evening, as my canine and I were heading for the lake (a small pond, actually, but everyone calls it “THE LAKE”) when a kindly old gent stopped us.

“Better be careful,” he bellowed from across the street (most of the old timers here bellow at me…I think they believe that the ear pods I wear are hearing aids) and he cast a furtive glance in the direction we were heading.  “John told me that there’s a gator roaming around up the street.  I wouldn’t go down that way, if I were you.”

“Thanks!” I waved and headed off towards the lake.  Since I had no idea who this man was and being totally clueless of who the heck “John” was, I decided to follow our normal route. Gators or not, my pup needed exercise and a place to squat.

There are actually two gators who call our little “lake” home and they differ vastly in size.  I call the smaller one (approximately four feet) “Goober” and I have labeled the bigger eight foot mammer jammer “Godzilla.” They seem to tolerate these names well as they haven’t hissed at me or lunged in an effort to grab me in a death roll.

My pup and I have greeted these mini dinosaurs many times in the past months and in return, they totally ignore us.  They don’t seem to find my chicken legs that I walk on tempting and my sixty-five pound puppy is a little too large for their tastes.

Of course, I’m not stupid.  I’ve lived in Florida long enough that I know to keep a watchful eye out when near the water so that lurking rascally reptiles don’t catch me unaware and decide that they want to have me for dinner.  Actually, it’s not the alligators to blame when they attack a human, 99.9% of the time the humans have brought it on themselves.

They think it’s cute to feed them, allowing the gators to get comfortable with Homo sapiens bearing gifts.  So you really can’t blame them when they see you and believe you’re bringing them goodies…and for deciding on Plan B (a big chunk of you) for a new culinary experience.

Bravely, I popped my ear buds back in and my pup and I proceeded to begin our walk around the water while I kept a keen eye on the banks of the lake.  It wasn’t long before I spotted “Goober” lazing on the center island of the lake.

alligator_6  Now, Goober and Godzilla don’t hang out together, so extra vigilance (all due to the town crier’s warning regarding galloping gators) was maintained as we proceeded around the bend.

I felt something brush against the back of my legs and I didn’t hesitate for a second.  I just knew that Godzilla had snuck up behind me and barely missed taking a chunk out of my butt. I did what any smart, self-respecting Floridian would do when they become an object of desire to a gator…I screamed and ran like hell, pulling my poor, confused pup along with me.  I didn’t look back until I felt that I had left Godzilla behind in the dust of my tracks.

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As I turned to see how far I had outrun the voracious monster, I found a silent and empty street behind me.  The banks of the lake were empty, no bikers or walking dead were cruising the street and no grinning gator was in sight.  Confused, I spent a few moments peeking over the edge of the lake and only found a couple of ducks…I swear they were laughing at me.  Raising my eyes, I caught sight of Godzilla on the other side of the lake, drifting along without a care in the world.

I spent another few minutes resting while my heart rate slowed, my breath returned and my puppy fearlessly took a pee.  A few residents, hearing my previous blood curdling scream poked their heads out of their doors.  Mortified, I just waved and hustled down the street to avoid questions about my less than courageous behavior.

Once again, the soft brush against my legs returned…but this time I turned before repeating my embarrassing waddle and found the source of this terrifying threat was my dog’s fluffy tail wagging against my legs.

Mystery solved.  Feeling like a complete idiot, who could no longer claim that “gators don’t scare this tough old broad”, my puppy and I finally finished our walk and arrived home all in one piece.

I think that the next time “John” sends a message down the neighborhood pipeline…I’ll heed his advice and take a different route…a road where I know no-one witnessed my cowardly escape from the imaginary jaws of death.

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Cranky

P.S.  Here are a few mythbusters for you, just in case you get a visit from Goober or Godzilla in your neighborhood.

1.  Alligators can’t run as fast as a quarterhorse…top speed for an adult gator has been clocked at ten miles per hour.  They can only maintain the speed for short bursts.

2.  Most people believe that you need to maintain a ZIG-ZAG pattern when running away from an agressive gator.  WRONG!  They can’t see straight ahead so just high tail it out of there in a straight line and you’ll be okay.

And, just a reminder from an old lady who has lived in Florida for 25 years.  Don’t feed or swim with the gators.  It’s not healthy for them or for you!

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Bring Back The Goblins!

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I love holidays and one of my all-time favorites, both as a child and an adult, is Halloween.  But, as the years have passed, it seems that all the little goblins that would run up our walk with cries of “Trick Or Treat” have disappeared.

Danny and I moved to our current house over eight years ago.  We live in a mixed neighborhood of young families and not-so-young senior citizens.  It’s a quiet, but friendly neighborhood.  Our first year here, I kept an eye on the school bus stops and was thrilled to see a large number of kids who I felt were sure to stop in for a treat on Halloween.

I dressed the yard with cobwebs, headstones and pumpkins, set up two chairs at the top of our walk, nestled a large bowl of yummies on my lap and Danny and I waited for the onslaught of little trick-or-treaters.  After an hour, my neck hurt from looking up and down the street for the goblins…but not one was out and about.  After eight p.m., Danny and I dragged our disappointed selves into the house.

We followed this disappointing process for the next three years until we finally realized that the days of little goblins wandering our streets on Halloween were gone. I felt bad, not only for ourselves, but for the little ones.

Most parents bring their children to their town’s “Halloween Safe Walk” and do not allow the kids to do any actual trick or treating in neighborhoods.  I commend towns who organize these “safe” (but slightly commercial) walks which really consist of kids in costumes walking down the main street from booth to booth…standing in long lines to get a piece of candy and then moving on to the next booth.  I find this sad.  It’s like the kids are on an assembly line.

When I was a child, Halloween was a big deal.  We spent days, weeks and sometimes months dreaming of the excitement of knocking on our neighbor’s doors, dressed as ghosts, hobos or pirates and bringing home our pillowcases filled with goodies. For a few years, my parents went with us until my brother’s were old enough to escort us around the neighborhood.

When I was a child, Halloween was a big deal, and not just for the kids.  Adults would be at the door, waiting for us with large bowls filled with candy.  Some would hold a open house, where the family could get a cold glass of cider.  The streets were jammed, the costumes were homemade and the kids loved it.

I can hear some people now saying, “But, it’s too dangerous out there now to let our kids go from door to door in our neighborhood.”  I disagree.  Of course parents or responsible siblings MUST accompany the little ones on their rounds.  A strong police presence (or trustworthy volunteers) should be visible to prevent hooligans (or worse) from preying on the youngsters.  But, I feel that kids today are being robbed of the excitement, the fun and the thrill that was meant to be Halloween!

The young one’s aren’t the only ones being gypped by the fear of neighborhood trick or treating.  Think about the elderly people these kids would cheer up with their sweet faces and cute little costumes.  Those who don’t enjoy having kids come to their door could just leave their porch light off…a tried and true method of not being “in the mood” for Halloween.

Of course, there must be vigilance on the parent’s end….they must inspect their kids candy before allowing them to eat it.  Hospital’s offer free x-rays for trick-or-treaters to ensure some idiot hasn’t tried to harm a child.  But, it is doable…we can make our streets safe again and get those kids off the assembly line.  Let’s allow the youngsters of today the thrill of doing some real trick or treating.

So, let’s bring back the Goblins.  I miss them!

Love,

Cranky

This post is dedicated to Bloggers For Peace and to my fellow B4Peace member, Rarasaur.  Check out their excellent site here!

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Paying It Forward Wednesday – 10/9/13

I’m back in the saddle and ready to Pay It Forward Again!

A Dream Come True

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It’s that time of week where I get the special honor trying to Pay It Forward to a fellow blogger and thank them for inspiring me and sharing their own journey in life and writing.

One of my early followers and a great source of inspiration is not only a blogger, but a talented author.  Please let me introduce you (if you haven’t been lucky enough to have already discovered her amazing site) to Barbara McCloskey.  Her blog, “Author McCloskey Speaks” is warm, down to earth and always an inspiration to me.

Barbara is the author of numerous books, including Apple Pie and Strudel Girls and Finding Gessler.  She writes historical fiction that will take you back in time and immerse yourself in the struggles and challenges before, during and after World War II.  Check her out on Amazon.

But, the main reason for Paying It Forward to…

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Stuck on Scared

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I haven’t been myself lately…my sense of humor has fled, my optimism has disappeared and my hopes are dim.  No one sees this…I’m quite good at hiding my fears but I realized this morning that I am stuck on being scared.

Danny’s recent close call was the second in eighteen months. The other day the fact that he might not be with me for the rest of my life slapped me in the face.  I can’t shake the fear of losing him…it has grabbed hold and won’t let go.

Most of you know that we aren’t married…but we’ve been together, through the good times and the bad, for twelve years.  He’s the first man that I’ve met that I wanted to grow old with.  But, this might not happen…and I don’t know what I would do without him.

He doesn’t seem to be coming back from this last bout of bad health…and he knows it.  He spends a lot of time staring off in the distance, or talking about the arrangements he has made to ensure I will be taken care of in the event he leaves me.

I don’t want to hear these things, I want to make plans for the future.

I’m scared that I’m not doing enough for him or that I’m not doing the right things that would bring his health back to what it was.  I feel useless and weak at times as I watch his strength diminish.

His sister asks me how he’s doing…I tell her fine, because that what he wants me to say.  I want to shout, “I don’t know and I’m scared.”  But, I don’t.  I assure her and tell her that Danny will get strong again and be with us for a very long time.

I know this fear is temporary…I’m a fighter…I won’t give up.  And, I’m not going to let Danny give up either.  Together we will conquer his health issues…but, today, in my heart of hearts, I’m stuck on scared.

Thanks for listening.

Cranky

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Hey Amazon…What’s Up With That?

I was soooooo confused!

A Dream Come True

anigif_enhanced-buzz-18509-1355942833-4This morning I was shocked to discover three separate e-mails from Amazon.  Both letters advised me that there were UPDATES available for three books by the same author and I could download them…free.

Confused, my first thought was “what’s up with that?” I didn’t know that writer’s were allowed DO-OVERS once their work was published.  Do readers who purchase a novel expect it to get better somewhere down the road?

Naturally, I ran to my Amazon Account to find out why I was receiving updates on a published novel and how much I paid for the “original” version.

After a little research I found the “updated” versions were for three books I purchased through Amazon by author, James Hankins.  He writes a fairly decent book, not one I would submit for the bestseller list, but I’ve read worse.

The first book titled “Brothers and Bones” that I purchased for 99…

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Are You Tough Enough To Wear Pink?

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October – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hey guys and gals, it’s that time of year to grab that pink ribbon in support of the researchers, patients and survivors of this deadly disease.  A cure is close…hopefully I will live to see it in my lifetime.  Until breast cancer is eradicated from the face of the earth, though, the Cancer Foundation needs support from all of us.

My small part is to provide the button above and ask my followers to consider putting it on their site for the month of October.  I also want to share the information I found on the National Breast Cancer Association, which provided me with information such as how to create an Early Detection Plan, their “Share The Shock” resource programs and fundraisers available for monetary support of cancer victims and research efforts.  Click here or press the button on my sidebar for information on how we can all learn more about this disease and how we can help to beat it in our lifetime.

So, are you tough enough to wear Pink on your website?  That goes for you fellows out there!  After all, many of us have family, friends or acquaintances who have suffered and survived this deadly disease…so come on.  Grab the button and slap it on!

Thanks, my friends!

Cranky

P.S.  If anyone has trouble copying the badge and putting it on their site…let me know!  I volunteer my services to guide you through the process.  It’s the least I can do for your support!

 

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It’s All About The Views

My thoughts on Stats and which ones mean the most to be!

A Dream Come True

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As bloggers and writers we churn out our poems, stories, photos and memoirs and send them out into WordPressland.  We work hard on our pieces, we try to make them shine and hope that a good number of people appreciate our efforts.

WordPress features allow us to see how many readers liked the piece, how many commented on our work, and how many actually gave our post a peek.  I find these features invaluable when gauging if my work was up to par or hitting the mark I was aiming for.

To me, it’s all about the views.  A view means someone actually visited my site, took a look around, and might have stayed to leave a comment or a Like or decided my blog was worth a future visit by pressing the “Follow” button . It means that something in the title, the subject matter or my style of…

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Two New Descriptive Writing Resources Coming Soon!

This should be a must read for new writers…Gwen gives us a site that supplies tools all writers can use!

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Waxing Nostalgic

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Yesterday, I was bored with watching football and started channel surfing to find something to make me laugh, make me cheer on the guys in the white hats or bring a sweet tear to my eye. You know what I found?  Zip…Nada…Zilch…nothing that I felt would satisfy my craving for some good old fashioned show about family values, a good who-dun-it, or a show where the good guys always won.  I started thinking back to when I was growing up in the fifties…and yes, my friends, that was when I began to wax nostalgic for some of those real oldies..but goodies.

My first memory of television was in the 1950’s.  My mother and father would pack the four of us kids up and we would walk each Sunday down to our Nana and Grandpop’s house for dinner and the Milton Berle Show.



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Milton Berle 

“Marriage is one of the few institutions that allow a man to do as his wife pleases.”

We watched Uncle Miltie’s crazy antics live on a television set that looked a lot like the one above.  That was our treat for the week and oh, how I looked forward to it.

We finally got our own television when I was about ten years old and Sundays were spent watching Davey and Goliath, Howdy Dowdy, and Tom and Jerry in the morning.

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Davey and Goliath

Afternoons were spent with Sky King, Dale Evans and Roy Rogers and Zorro.

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Cast of Zorro

Our sides would hurt from laughing at the Marx Brothers and Abbot and Costello.  The evening would be spent watching Lawrence Welk and those lovely Lennon Sisters.

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Abbott and Costello

And, of course, the highlight of Sunday night television would be the “really big shoe”…The Ed Sullivan Show.  I loved Topo Gigio and those Russian Dancing Bears with a passion!

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Ed Sullivan with Topo Gigio

“Awww…Eddie”

During the week after the dinner dishes were done, we watched Davy Crockett, Perry Mason, Danny Thomas and of course, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  Family values were bountiful in shows such as My Three Sons, The Waltons and my personal favorites: The Real McCoys, Ozzie and Harriet and of course, The Leave It To Beaver show .

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Alfred Hitchcock

In those days, channel surfing consisted of going through channels 2 through 13…that’s all there were!  But those 12 channels offered a variety of family entertainment that didn’t require ratings and could be enjoyed by the whole family.

Yes, I miss those days and I miss those shows.  Kids today would scoff at these simple, down to earth programs.  There were no vampires, serial killers or double entendres…there was just good clean entertainment.

My dream is that someday, Turner Network or a new channel will bring back all these golden oldies and remind us what family television was all about.  What I wouldn’t give to be able to watch another episode of Amos and Andy,The Jack Benny Program, or Dragnet.

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Dragnet

“Just the facts, maam.”

All was not lost, though.  Danny and I spent a great afternoon talking about our favorite childhood shows and trying to remember all the characters names.  The ones I couldn’t remember, he did!

Yes, the memories are sweet and I realized that I am glad that I grew up in the era of early television where it was always easy to find a show that would make me laugh, make me cheer on the good guys or bring a tear to my eye.

What were your favorite shows growing up?

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