Dear Politicians

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Dear Politicians,

Stop.  Just stop.

Stop what, you ask?

1.  Stop running a negative campaign.  Instead of slinging mud at your opponent, how about you tell us your plan on how to help our local, state or federal government? The more you diss your opponent, the more I’m thinking that (1) you yourself have something to hide, and/or (2) you really don’t have any idea what you can do for me. If you spent half as much time strategic planning on how to help with education, taxes, and medical care as you do on digging into your opponent’s past to find out he might have visited a strip club once several years ago when he was a young man, I might be more inclined to listen to you.

2. Stop robo-calling my home telephone and my cell phone. Please. I do not pay an inordinate amount of money each month on your behalf so that I can be deluged by calls at all times of day. I know that I can asked to be placed on the “Do Not Call List,” but unfortunately since your calls to me are not by a live person, I would have to listen to your entire recorded message before requesting to not be disturbed by you, but frankly, I don’t have time for that.

no time for that

 

I wonder if George could even fathom what is going on in the political world today.

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Play nice, people.  Remember–the office that you are running for wasn’t created to boost your ego.  It was created to help the people.  Stop the smear campaigns and serve the people of which you are asking for votes.

Sincerely,

An Irritated Taxpayer

 

Things I’ve been doing besides writing on my blog

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Please forgive me readers.  It has been two weeks since I have posted a blog.

You can’t fool me.  I know you missed me.

So what have I been doing besides writing?

1.  Watching those Kansas City Royals inch their way up to the Crown.  I’m not a big “watching sports on TV” fan (except when it comes to college basketball), but those Royals have got it goin’ on!  And they are a class act.  Read up!

KC royals good guys

2. Taking my son clothes shopping.  My son is a senior in high school this year and will be getting his senior pictures taken next weekend.  We went shopping on Saturday for the perfect photo shoot wardrobe. For hours. This boy is more picky than my two daughters ever pretended to be.  Seriously. We did finally buy a few clothing items. Were they what I would have picked out for him?  No, but by that time I did not care. However, he will look great because, well, he is my son and he did get that haircut I kind of badgered him about.  Love that boy.

3.  Running. Then limping.  Running.  Then limping.  This darn plantar fasciitis is a pain–literally and figuratively.  I ran a 5K race a couple of years ago in crappy shoes without training and have been paying for it ever since.   I know a visit to a podiatrist is probably the answer, but I’m afraid of what he’ll tell me.

“Quit running.”

” Wear these extremely expensive orthotics which will only work in ugly shoes.”

ugly shoes

I guess I’ll continue running.  And limping.  For a while, at least.

4. Trying recipes that conceivably have no chance of working.  A muffin recipe has been circulating around Facebook and Pinterest for a couple of months. The recipe only calls for a dry cake mix and a can of pumpkin.

Nope.  Nothing else.  That is it.

There’s no way this will work, I thought to myself.  But I was having a major sugar craving and all I had in the house was a can of pumpkin and a spice cake mix.  So I thought to myself, “What the heck?  Why not try out this impossibly easy recipe?  If it doesn’t turn out, at least Bruno will eat them.”

So, armed with my ingredients,

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I mixed the two together, baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, and voila! Muffins!

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And, dear readers, they are GOOD!  Moist! Delectable! They most definitely deserve the credit they are receiving on Facebook and Pinterest.

Sources have told me that if you add mini chocolate chips to the batter, the muffins are even BETTER!  (I believe them because everything is better with chocolate, right?)  Swoon!

5.  Last but not least, I’ve been perusing the newspaper for typographical errors.  Fortunately for me (unfortunately for the newspaper), our nearest big city newspaper apparently doesn’t hire proofreaders so typos are plentiful.

This particular newspaper article was an inspiring story about an 87-year-old woman who was training to race walk in a half-marathon.  I want you to pay particular attention to what she credits her success:

wichita eagle typos

I know that exercising can sometimes seem like an exorcism, but this is a little extreme, no?

 

So there you have it–the things that take up my time when not providing fodder for my blog.

What have you been up to lately?  Watching baseball? Shopping with a teenager? Trying to ignore aches and pain?

 

 

 

 

 

An Ode to Oscar

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We had to say a final farewell to our cat Oscar.  He recently had become ill the past month.  Even after a couple of trips to the vet and three rounds of medication, his condition rapidly deteriorated.  We were forced to make that trip to the vet that no one wants to make.

Oscar was one cool cat. We hadn’t planned to own Oscar, it was just fate.  When our youngest daughter was a few years old, she was always requesting to get an orange cat named Spot. When we moved into our present home almost 11 years ago and had more room for pets, we decided that we were going to grant her wish.

Mr. Caffeinated Ginger went to the humane society a few days before Christmas to procure an orange cat named Spot.  He found our Spot (who, by the way, has no spots) and as an added bonus, it happened to be Two for Tuesday–you could adopt TWO cats for the price of one.  What a deal! Who can resist anything that is FREE? That is how Oscar also became a beloved member of our household.

I remember the evening that Oscar and Spot came to their forever home.  Oscar just pranced right in like he owned the place. He had no problem settling into his new abode.

Oscar first day

 Oscar’s first night at his forever home.

 

He was quite adventurous when he was a young cat. It was not unusual to find him on top of the china cabinet or the refrigerator.  We also caught him walking on the top edge of the opened front door a few times.  Sure-footed, he was.

Part of our basement has a drop-down ceiling with panels.  Oscar soon found a secret passageway in the basement bathroom that led from the linen closet into the ceiling. He would walk around the ceiling meowing as if he couldn’t find his way out of the labyrinth.  The first few times this occurred, I thought I had to “save” him, so I removed ceiling panels to reach him and came away with some cat scratches in the process.  It didn’t take me long to learn that what goes up can learn to find its way down on its own.

Oscar was a very loving cat who absolutely adored being petted.  He knew no strangers–if we had visitors in our home, Oscar wasted no time rubbing against their legs in hopes of a petting. He, however, did not like being picked up and held. Pet him all you want, but do not expect a hug and a cuddle.

Nighttime was Oscar-time. Oscar took to sleeping in our bed soon after he came to live with us. His mode of operation would be to jump on the bed and then poke us in the arm with his paw until we petted him, alternating between Mr. CF and myself. He slept at my feet every night and kept them warm whether they needed the extra heat or not.

Oscar loved a good can of tuna. Anytime he heard the can opener, he assumed it was tuna and would come in the kitchen and stare at me. Even when I explained to him that it was only a can of green beans, he wouldn’t believe me until I allowed him a good sniff.

oscar and posse

 Oscar and his posse using their superior smelling skills to detect a can of fresh tuna.

 

Our house is a little more empty since Oscar is gone.  I keep glancing at all of the usual places where Oscar used to lounge–the couch, the doorway to the family room, my bed.  When I don’t see him, the hurt becomes raw again. It’s funny how a little 12-pound cat can become such a big part of your life and hold such a large piece of your heart.

Oscar, thanks for bringing your quiet gentleness and loving nature to our family.  You are missed.

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The State Fair: Pigs, Pronto Pups, and Parking Lots

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A few weeks ago we went to the Kansas State Fair.  The fair is something we only go to every 10 years or so and we had “just” been there about four years ago, but I had bought the youngest daughter tickets to go see Hunter Hayes in concert.

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It was a beautiful day in the Land of Ahs.  Abundant sunshine with temperatures in the 70s.  Usually when we attend the fair, it’s either raining or 100 degrees, so this was definitely a change for the better.

Mr. Caffeinated Ginger dropped me off at the front gate so I could procure our tickets while he, daughter, and daughter’s friend drove off to find a parking spot.

I picked up the tickets at the will-call window and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, about 30 minutes later, they appeared.  Apparently they had to park literally a MILE away.  The next time we come to the fair I bet I’ll be the one parking the car and he will be the one dropped off to the get the tickets.

We entered the fair and after handing out cash to the teenager, we were quickly abandoned by our daughter and her friend.  Apparently they didn’t think it would fun to hang out with the parents.  Pshaw.  Whatever.

One of the main reasons to attend the fair is the food.  None of it is actually good for you, but that all part of the fun, right?

First off, was my personal favorite–The Pronto Pup.

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For those of you naysayers who are thinking “That’s just a corn dog.” Nope.  It’s bigger and better.  It’s like a new and improved version of the corn dog. And for $3.50, it’s one of the more economical grease-filled delicacies you can purchase.

We then checked out the vegetables and fruits on the display.  Some of them even came with hair.

veggie collage

We missed out on seeing the butter sculpture because there was a huge crowd jostling for viewing positions.  I wanted to see this year’s monstrosity, but valued my life even more.  So sorry, you’ll just have to use your imagination on that one.

The baby animals exhibit is one of my favorites. I tried to smuggle a baby goat out in my backpack, but Mr. CF made me put it back.

baby animals collage

The rest of our afternoon was spent traipsing through the RV exhibits (I wanted to take a nap on one of the beds, but apparently that is a no-no), dodging older people on their scooters, trying to find the Dillons exhibit with free ice cream (they were out, gosh durn it), and me really wishing I had worn better shoes as I had forgotten that going to the fair means walking approximately 723.2 miles.

But a huge highlight, if not THE highlight of my day, was the pig races.  You haven’t lived if you haven’t seen the pig races at the fair.  Pigs such as Lindsay Loham and Michael Mahoganey race around a small track in order to win the prize–an Oreo!  You would be simply amazed at the masses of people these pig races attract.  I bet you can’t see such fine entertainment like this in Las Vegas or New York City.

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It was finally time for a meet-up with daughter and friend to give them the concert tickets.  Once that was accomplished and an after-concert meeting place was established, Mr. CF and I headed for a rumored margarita garden which, of course, was at the opposite end of the fairgrounds from where we stood.  However, our efforts were rewarded when we found that garden to be a thing of reality and not just fantasy.

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After enjoying our refreshing drinks, we went to a show by a comic/hypnotist.  He was funny, but it felt like deja’ vu so I’m pretty sure we’d seen him before on one of our every-ten-year trips to the fair.

We then rode the Sky Ride to the other side of the fairgrounds to meet up with the teenagers. Being scared of heights, I’m not sure why I thought riding this would be fun.  But I made it through without tossing my cookies or losing my flip flops.

By the grandstand we enjoyed everyone’s favorite fair food–the funnel cake.

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The lights and sounds of the midway are always more alluring at night.

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The concert soon ended and we were able to meet up with our daughter and her friend fairly easily.  As they extolled the virtues of Hunter Hayes, they also expressed that they were starving because they hadn’t eaten all day.  (Seriously?? How do you go to a fair and not eat??  Isn’t that the whole point??)  So we traipsed the mile through the darkened parking lot to find our vehicle.

We moseyed our way to the nearest Taco Bell, whose dining room conveniently closed five minutes before our arrival. So we went through the drive-through and proceeded to attempt to eat tacos as we drove home.  Good times, people, good times.

It was a fun day, but my feet and legs wanted to make sure that I put on the calendar that 2024 will be the next Year of the Fair.  They can’t handle another one until then.

Soul Selfie

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Selfie is one of those new words that was welcomed into existence with the introduction of smart phones and social media. Whether we like it or not, the term selfie has permeated society and has even been added to dictionaries.  There is also a song titled #SELFIE that came out this year.  If you haven’t heard it, DO NOT look it up on Youtube.  Trust me on this one. You can thank me later.

I myself have even taken selfies, much to the chagrin of my teenagers.  To be honest, that is one of the reasons I take selfies–to annoy and embarrass my kids.  Isn’t that my right as a parent?

But recently a quote came across my Facebook newsfeed that made me think a little differently and seriously about selfies.

soul selfie

That stopped me in my tracks.

When I take a selfie or when someone else includes me in their picture, I always have to make sure I look good (good = no food between my teeth, my forehead wrinkles covered, and I’m having a “good hair day”) before I let it be shared with the whole world.  I have an image to uphold, you know?

But what about my soul–that part of me that no one sees, the part that is the true essence of me?

I have always been taught that I need to set a good example for other people.  I’ve taken the song “This Little Light of Mine” pretty seriously since I was young. I do believe that my actions and words need to reflect Christ as it is through me that others will see Him.  I am definitely NOT perfect and boy, do I mess up at times, but I do try to speak and act in a way so that others would not be surprised to learn that I am a Christian.

However, what about those thoughts in my head? The times when I am thinking not-so-kind thoughts about others? The times I judge others on their actions/words/clothing/lifestyle? The grudges (ie. unforgiveness) I hold against others because they have wronged me (real or imagined)? The times when maybe–just maybe–I might have some unclean thoughts?

In the Old Testament, it was considered a sin to act on sinful impulses.  However, in the New Testament, Jesus takes it one step further and teaches that just the thought of something sinful is a sin. That’s because it is a heart–or soul–issue.

While it is nice to have an attractive and kind outward appearance, actions, and words, it is even better and more important to have inward goodness of the soul.  The soul is it is really all about, folks. The soul is the real deal and the condition or “selfie” of your soul will be probably be revealed here on earth and definitely in eternity.

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