My In-Laws Made an Out-Law Out of Me (Repeat)

My brother, who lives with his family in central Georgia, is the writer in the family. He has published memoirs about our family and his life. One of the cleverest stories he has ever written concerns the family cat, Fluff. It was decided that Fluff would be housed in a “pet hotel” during the visit of my brother’s mother-in-law, Mary Lou, who is allergic to cat hair. After I read my brother’s story, I wrote the following country music song for Fluff:

My In-Laws Made An Outlaw Out of Me

My life though blessed with loving care
Began to spin ar(eow)nd;
When Joe and Mary Lou, my in-laws,
Aimed to come to t(eow)n.

Her nose is plagued with allergies,
She says cat hair’s the curse.
But when I’m told to shed no hair
It makes me shed it worse!

My owner said, “Fluff, you must stay
Down at the kitty p(eow)nd;”
He packed my bags, gave me a pat,
My life flipped upside d(eow)n.

The other cats were mean as sin,
And treated me real rough;
For five days I was hardened;
I emerged as “Flo, the Tough.”

So when they came to take me home,
I treated them aloof;
And as they tried to scratch my head,
I swigged on 100 proof.

I guess I will forgive them soon,
They didn’t mean to hurt me;
And I will be a purrrfect cat,
If they don’t re-desert me.

(Chorus) My in-laws made an out-law out of me,
They put me in the clink without a key;
It hurt me, so I sing this melody.
My in-laws made an outlaw out of me.

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Just About Aida

Do you work crossword puzzles? It is a great boredom breaker as well as allegedly an Alzheimer’s delayer. I have several books of puzzles and, in the past, worked every week on the New York Times Sunday puzzle. They are super tough. Recently, I was working on a puzzle that included two clues that I had mistakenly answered incorrectly. 1-Down was “Aida was one” (five-space answer); 6-Down was “just about” (five-space answer). At this point, I’d like for you to fill in the blanks with what might have been your answer. After doing that, you now can read my incorrect answers: 1-Down, “opera;” 6-Down, “almost.” I learned I was incorrect when a friend looked at the progress on my puzzle and pointed out that 1-Down and 6-Down were incorrect. The 6-Down answer came to me quickly: “nearly.” The 1-Down answer completely deluded me so I asked my friend for the answer which was “slave.” I should have noticed that Aida was not in quotation marks which would have indicated the play. I had missed that clue. How did you do? I doubt that this will convince you to be a crossword puzzler, but try out your skills occasionally with the puzzles in the newspaper.

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Two Different Ice Skating Parties

My granddaughter, Carli, had her 9th birthday recently. She is taking lessons to become a figure skater so the logical birthday party was ice skating at the local ice skating rink. Since she lives in Nashville, and I live in St. Petersburg, I couldn’t be there, but I called her just as she and her family drove up to the skating rink. Since I keep a journal, I remembered as I talked with her about another ice skating party in 1974 for our son Boh. I hope Carli’s skating party turned out better than that one:

June 22, 1974 (Saturday) – We had a wonderful experience yesterday on Bo’s birthday.
We decided that it would be nice to invite his friends over and then take them ice skating. We had read in the paper that the Bayfront arena would be frozen over for skating, but it cost $1.00. Well, the situation was studied, and we decided to have each child bring his dollar which worked out fine. So nine kids showed up and we bundled them off to the Bayfront only to find the arena filled with Jehovah’s Witnesses. There was a convention so the arena was closed to the public. Well, what do you do with nine kids dressed in their warmest for ice skating on a hot June afternoon? I called the Gay Blades roller skating rink, discovered that it was open and that the fee was $1.50. So … go on and splurge, Cooper … and we did. The rink wasn’t air-conditioned, Robin’s, Boh’s sister’s way was paid, but she wouldn’t skate, and one kid spent the entire afternoon on the floor. We had a good time, but I had my wool pants rolled up to my knees and was still in heat.

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Words Count

I probably spent too much time this week watching the Republican convention in Cleveland, OH. I am fascinated with our politics and will probably spend an equal amount of time next week watching the Democratic convention. I have admitted to you, Readers, that I am disappointed in both party’s candidates this election year. The thing that I am taking from the Republican convention is the lack of praise for Donald Trump and the vilification of Hillary Clinton. My opinion is that the hostile rhetoric regarding Hillary went way over what is acceptable. I understand the tactic of building up the delegates’ excitement, and I’m sure the Democratic convention will have its share of speakers who speak negatives regarding Donald Trump, but I hope the Democrats don’t go overboard the way I think the Republicans did. I wrote my Republican brother once complaining about criticism of President Obama, and he wrote back, “Republicans don’t dislike Obama. They hate him.” That is sad. When politics becomes that divisive and angry, then it is time we re-examine our motives.

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A Perfect Resolution

There’s nothing more welcoming on a hot summer day than an invitation to enjoy a swim in a friend’s pool. Our friend, Kevin, is wonderful about inviting us down to Sarasota for lunch at Taco Bell followed by a refreshing dip (or two) in his pool. When Kevin says “come on down,” we are ready to hop in the car and head over the Skyway. Our last trip was so typical that we joked about how the process has become a “science.” To thank Kevin for the use of his pool, we paid for lunch. The day was hot with puffy clouds indicating the possibility of rain later. And that’s exactly what happened–thunder, followed by rain. We moved then from poolside to the side porch where we sat until the rain stopped. It was time then to pack up and head home. Because it was still cloudy, I did not need to wear my sunglasses home. This morning, when I hopped in the car to go to the gym, there was no rain, no clouds–just sunshine so, of course, I donned my sunglasses. What in the world! I couldn’t see. I had Kevin’s prescription sunglasses, and I was sure he must have mine. The solution: Kevin is coming up Friday afternoon with my glasses and will stay over the night in order to go bowling with us on Saturday morning. We can’t let missing sunglasses mess up a delightful summer swim in a pool.

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This is the time of year when I thrill when the local meteorologists declare a week of 60% rain chances with afternoon and evening thunder showers. I cringe when the same meteorologists declare that we are in a dry pattern with “little change expected.” This week appears to be a middle-of-the-road forecast: 30% to 40%. I don’t like bad storms, especially storms with scary winds, but I do enjoy a good electrical storm with plenty of rain, no power failures, and thunder that indicates the lightning was not nearby. After such a storm, the summer air is cooled radically, and the yard can be heard gurgling, welcoming the water into our sandy ground. As you know here in the city, we are only allowed two days for sprinklers to be turned on. My sprinklers are set for Wednesday and Sunday morning turn-ons, but they don’t come on if there’s has been at least .15 rainfall the previous day, thanks to my Rain Bird. No waste here as I’m on city water.

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Truth or Consequencies

Politics are so very partisan in this election year. Most feel that both candidates for the highest office in our land are tarnished. I therefore hesitantly offer a comparison that I feel needs consideration. First of all, Hillary Clinton has been criticized highly for being misleading in her handling of classified material and has apologized for doing so, as she should. After studying her case for a year, the head of the FBI declared that she had used very poor judgment but had not broken any laws. My point is that there is a precedent for misleading the public as well as public officials. President George W. Bush presented so-called proof that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and therefore Hussein had to be removed which lead to the invasion of Iraq. I’m not excusing Hillary Clinton or George W. Bush, but I am pointing out that both committed errors of judgment. I don’t recall President Bush ever apologizing for his “mistake.” At least, Hillary has apologized. The former president has decided not to cast a ballot in this presidential election. It appears that he does not want to commit a second error in judgment.

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