28 February 2011

You Made A Difference Award - to Kelly...

Kelly, I have often told you just how much I admire your ability to teach, encourage and truly change lives.  I hope you know, deep within yourself, the magnitude of transformation your actions effect in the grand scheme of things.  I have seen the degree of importance you have made for others long  before you were ever hired to 'officially' guide families in need.  I am not trying to just fill up blank space when I tell you how awed and inspired you make me.  The sheer numbers of those whom you have freely shared your bottomless well of knowledge and encouragement, and your willingness to really use that hard earned Advocate Doctorate Degree from the School of Life to make a difference  for others is not just an empty description and lip service. You are the person I was thinking of when I created this award.  I thought this kind of acknowledgment needed to be publicly shared to show of my appreciation and thanks, for whatever that it is worth to you.  Even though you are the epitome of what I feel this award embodies in my mind, the ruler by which I have always used to measure others against for a 'You Made A Difference Award', I have found myself unable to paint a mental picture with words vibrant enough, deeply enough, clear enough or worthy enough to do justice to how I feel.  At the end of your life, you will be able to look back and know you gave all that you are, and that the gentle wave of your spirit has spread and grown into a tidal wave that has made all the difference in the world.

14 February 2011

A Not So Famous Love Letter To My Husband...

Happy Valentine's Day to the only man who can make me laugh... even when we are bailing water out of a leaky boat... with a teaspoon.  

The only man who can bring to me the warmth of the sun within him, to warm and light our way even in the coldest and darkest of times.

There is no more honorable man I could ever be more proud of.  

There is no friendship I value more, with a bond of depth and strength, that could only have been forged by who and what you are.

I am humbled by the gift of your love that has become my rock.  

You inspire me daily to want to strive harder, to be worthy of, and return to you, all that you have given to me and more.
For it is YOU who taught my heart to beat.  

You who taught my love to shine.  

You who taught me how to accept that which could not be changed and then attempt to turn it into something that could bring peace, not despair. 

You have taught me how to fill my life with what could be, not with what has already past by.  

You have given me the strength to endure and to keep anchored all that we have been blessed with.  

Your love has given me wings to fly and then encouraged me to use them... often.

I can no longer imagine a world without you in it. 

When my life is done, I want to able to look back and know that I will have given to you, everything that was within me.

I Love You.

Famous Love Letters - Robert Peary...

[wow... I forgot to post this before Valentine's Day!]
At the bottom of this post I have listed a few of the sites I have researched for this series of love letters...
Robert Peary (1856-1920) was born in Cresson, Pennsylvania. At 24, he joined the navy, which gave him leave of absence for Arctic exploration. He made his first expedition to Greenland in 1886 with his lifelong associate Matthew Henson; on his second expedition in 1891 he discovered Independence Fjord and brought back evidence of Greenland being an island.
Attempts to reach the North Pole in 1900, 1902, and 1905 all ended in failure. Finally, in 1909 he announced to the world that he had succeeded. That same year his rival Dr. Fredrick Cook claimed to have reached the Pole a year earlier. Cook's claim was dismissed, and Peary's was eventually accepted, in spite of widespread doubt. He retired as a rear admiral in 1911, and lived with his family in Eagle Island off the coast of Maine until his death nine years later.
August 17, 1908
S.S. Roosevelt,
My Darling Josephine: Am nearly through with my writing. Am brain weary with the thousand and one imperative details and things to think of. Everything thus far has gone well, too well I am afraid, and I am (solely on general principles) somewhat suspicious of the future. The ship is in better shape than before; the party and crew are apparently harmonious; I have 21 Eskimo men (against 23 last time) but the total of men women and children is only 50 as against 67 before owing to a more careful selection as to children... I have landed supplies here, and leave two men ostensibly on behalf of Cook.
As a matter of fact I have established here the sub-base which last I established at Victoria Head, as a precaution in event of loss of the Roosevelt either going up this fall or coming down next summer. In some respects this is an advantage as on leaving here there is nothing to delay me or keep me from taking either side of the Channel going up. the conditions give me entire control of the situation...
You have been with me constantly, sweetheart. At Kangerdlooksoah I looked repeatedly at Ptarmigan Island and thought of the time we camped there. At Nuuatoksoah I landed where we were. And on the 11th we passed the mouth of Bowdoin Bay in brilliant weather, and as long as I could I kept my eyes on Anniversary Lodge. We have been great chums dear. Tell Marie to remember what I told her, tell "Mister Man" [Robert Peary, Jr.] to remember "straight and strong and clean and honest", obey orders, and never forget that Daddy put "Mut" in his charge till he himself comes back to take her. In fancy I kiss your dear eyes and lips and cheeks sweetheart; and dream of you and my children, and my home till I come again. Kiss my babies for me. Aufwiedersehen.
Love, Love, Love. Your Bert
P.S. August 18, 9 a.m. ...Tell Marie that her fir pillow perfumes me to sleep.

13 February 2011

Famous Love Letters - Robert Burdette...

April 25, 1898

And when I have reasoned it all out, and set metes and bounds for your love that it may not pass, lo, a letter from Clara, and in one sweet, ardent, pure, Edenic page, her love overrides my boundaries as the sea sweeps over rocks and sands alike, crushes my barriers into dust out of which they were builded, over whelms me with its beauty, bewilders me with its sweetness, charms me with its purity, and loses me in its great shoreless immensity.

Robert Burdette, minister, to Clara Baker. They were married the following year.

10 February 2011

Obituary Review [Warning: Humor Ahead]...

My husband (as usual) sent me this unusual obituary that apparently has longevity in terms of time since publication... as you will see.  He passed this along to me, because his co-workers all wish they could have sat down with this gentleman and had a beer.

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark

Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark, who had tired of reading obituaries noting other's courageous battles with this or that disease, wanted it known that he lost his battle as a result of an automobile accident on June 18, 2006. True to Fred's personal style, his final hours were spent joking with medical personnel while he whimpered, cussed, begged for narcotics and bargained with God to look over his wife and kids. He loved his family. His heart beat faster when his wife of 37 years Alice Rennie Clark entered the room and saddened a little when she left. His legacy was the good works performed by his sons, Frederic Arthur Clark III and Andrew Douglas Clark MD, PhD., along with Andy's wife, Sara Morgan Clark. Fred's back straightened and chest puffed out when he heard the Star Spangled Banner and his eyes teared when he heard Amazing Grace. He wouldn't abide self important tight *censored*. Always an interested observer of politics, particularly what the process does to its participants, he was amused by politician's outrage when we lie to them and amazed at what the voters would tolerate. His final wishes were "throw the bums out and don't elect lawyers" (though it seems to make little difference). During his life he excelled at mediocrity. He loved to hear and tell jokes, especially short ones due to his limited attention span. He had a life long love affair with bacon, butter, cigars and bourbon. You always knew what Fred was thinking much to the dismay of his friend and family. His sons said of Fred, "he was often wrong, but never in doubt". When his family was asked what they remembered about Fred, they fondly recalled how Fred never peed in the shower - on purpose. He died at MCV Hospital and sadly was deprived of his final wish which was to be run over by a beer truck on the way to the liquor store to buy booze for a double date to include his wife, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to crash an ACLU cocktail party. In lieu of flowers, Fred asks that you make a sizable purchase at your local ABC store or Virginia winery (please, nothing French - the *censored*) and get rip roaring drunk at home with someone you love or hope to make love to. Word of caution though, don't go out in public to drink because of the alcohol related laws our elected officials have passed due to their inexplicable terror at the sight of a MADD lobbyist and overwhelming compulsion to meddle in our lives. No funeral or service is planned. However, a party will be held to celebrate Fred's life. It will be held in Midlothian, Va. Email fredsmemory@yahoo.com for more information. Fred's ashes will be fired from his favorite cannon at a private party on the Great Wicomico River where he had a home for 25 years. Additionally, all of Fred's friend (sic) will be asked to gather in a phone booth, to be designated in the future, to have a drink and wonder, "Fred who?"

This Guest Book has been kept online by an anonymous person who wishes to perpetuate the memory of this spirited man. ~ Published in Richmond Times-Dispatch on July 9, 2006

07 February 2011

Assuming The Crab Didn't Go Quietly And Other Observations...

Wild Caught Alaskan King Crab Legs!  "I don’t know what “wild caught” means, but I can only assume The Crab didn’t go quietly."  ~ Leighann Lord

I REALLY needed to find some humor today.  It is now about 4pm and I still haven't found it... Actually, I hadn't found it until I stumbled upon Stand-Up Comedian Leighann Lord  of The Urban Erma.com, a weekly humor blog.  If you click on the link, you'll be able to read her comments about her ponderings on the meaning of the description "Wild Caught" Alaskan King Crab Legs.
Oh.  And the humor and irony did not stop there.  I have had so much of my husband's wit rub off on me over the years, that I am now convinced that I can be considered officially poisoned.  

How do I know this?  Well, although I really enjoyed reading her post, especially because I really needed that laugh today, in the back of my mind, I can now imagine myself asking my husband, what he would have considered to be the meaning of the description of "stand up" comedian.  And, if a stand up comedian sat down while prosing on, could she still be considered a stand up comedian?  Or would she then become a sit down comedian?  But wouldn't a sit down comedian be considered not entertaining and thus is requested to sit down?  What about if she is side-splittingly hilarious while sitting down... well, you can see the path my poisoned mind is now meandering. 

Now knowing this line of thought could go on way past the time I have to attend to my Domestic Goddess duty as the family cook, I decided to cut this short by merely letting the Google gods quickly connect me to a Thesaurus (since my hard copy BOOK version was not close to hand and my time is really starting to run short)

Now after having read Leighann's post, and then reading the descriptions (and definition) of stand up, I started laughing even more. Then I decided to share the humorous irony of Leighann's post and that of her profession. 

[REMINDER: This is a family friendly blog so please keep your minds squeaky clean.  Thank you.  ~ The Management]  You can click on the Thesaurus link and the first entry you will see for 'stand up' is and please, do not miss the 'notes' section:
Main Entry: cock
Part of Speech:     verb
Definition: aim up toward
Synonyms: erect, hump, perk up, pile, prick, raise, stack, stand erect, stand up , stick up
Notes: the male crab or lobster is a cock ; the female, a hen

It really made me wish I knew Leighann, if only to share laugh.  Still, if that were not ironically funny enough? The second entry is:
Main Entry:  disappoint 
Part of Speech:     verb 
Definition:     sadden, dismay; frustrate 
Synonyms:     abort, baffle, balk, bring to naught, bungle, cast down, chagrin, circumvent, come to nothing, dash, dash hopes, deceive, delude, disconcert, disenchant, disgruntle, dishearten, disillusion, dissatisfy, dumbfound, embitter, fail, fall down on, fall flat, fall short of, foil, founder, hamper, hinder, leave in the lurch, let down, miscarry, mislead, not show, put out, ruin prospects, stand up , tease, thwart, torment, vex

Antonyms:  delight, excite, make happy, please, satisfy
With the following AD between the second and the third definition being: 
Stand Assist Patient Lift 
Best Prices on Sit to Stand Lifts No tax; Free Shipping! 
Comedy Coupons 
Get up to 90% off hilarious shows at the hottest local comedy clubs! 
Sponsored Results Groupon.com
Definitions continued:
Main Entry:     erect
Part of Speech:     verb
Definition:     build; establish
Synonyms:     assemble, bring about, cobble up, cock, compose, construct, create, effect, elevate, fabricate, fashion, fit together, forge, form, found, frame, fudge together, heighten, hoist, initiate, institute, join, knock together, lift, make, make up, manufacture, mount, organize, pitch, plant, prefabricate, produce, put together, put up, raise, rear, run up, set up, shape, stand, stand up , throw together, throw up, upraise, uprear
Antonyms: raze, topple

Main Entry: hold
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: continue, endure
Synonyms:     apply, be in effect, be in force, be the case, be valid, exist, have bearing, hold good, hold true, last, operate, persevere, persist, remain, remain true, resist, stand up , stay, stay staunch, wear
Antonyms:     cease, desert, halt, quit, stop
Feel free to go look at the rest of the definitions, but I think the picture painted is already a real humdinger, don't you?

05 February 2011

Apparently, I Was Not Clear Enough...

When you need a backhoe...

in the middle of the night...

to dig a trench...

to stop the flood that is entering your basement...

  it's probably a good idea...

to give your friends and neighbors...

fair warning of your hunting plans...

because apparently, I was not clear enough the first time...

So please bear with me while I lather, rinse, repeat...

There is NO humor here today... and do you want to know WHY there is no humor here todayOf course you do!

Our basement is flooding with water...  I just heard the weather forecast for this week announcing, what looks like, another TWO snow storms heading our way.  You will see from the above pictures of our backyard, that we are running out of places to put the snow.  What we NOW have, is Lake Lemon Stand.  I also wish to make clear that our neighbor Larry deserves homage.  HOMAGE, I tell you!  I will be unavailable for the foreseeable future because, at this very moment, I am planning a hunting trip...
If I see someone doing a 'Snow Dance', I will hurt them.

If I hear someone 'Praying for Snow', I will hurt them.

If I feel 'The Force' being manipulated to produce 'Snow', I will hunt the perpetrator(s) down and I will hurt them... and I won't CARE if you are Yoda or even related to Yoda!

If I even smell someone 'thinking'about Snow', I will hurt them.

If I SEE anyone using the word 'Snow' in ANY of it's possible forms as a Key Word in a search engine... end up in my blog stats?  I WILL BE GOING POSTAL!!!!
We have now passed the 'warning stage' and have moved on towards the 'actively hunting down stage'...

IF you are innocent of all of the heinous crimes listed above... you may carry on...  IF, however, you are guilty... I have only ONE word for you... HIDE...

04 February 2011

The Land of Internet And The Really Creepy Side Of Google...

My kids have been nagging me forever to join the 21st century.  I have a little blog that I really like. What more could I want?  Apparently an Android phone.  It was hate at first sight, but that's another story altogether.  Over the last couple of months I have been dipping my left big toe into the waters of Android phones, Twitter and redesigning my blog that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.  Back in 2006, I learned enough HTML to be dangerous help spiffy up my original blog, so I knew it couldn't be all that difficult to make the changes I wanted, because I'd already done it once... Well...  just paint me stupid and slap an idiot sticker on my forehead.  (BTW, if you were on my blogroll and I missed adding you back, please let me know.)

So after taking a deep breath... AND letting it out again (that shade of blue really does nothing for me) I found an online course in CSS and XHTML.  It had some examples to try on an FB page.  Well.  I didn't HAVE a FaceBook page anymore. I had deleted it a couple of weeks prior after getting hacked and since I only ever checked it MAYBE twice a year it didn't seem worth the hassle.  So I decided to set up a temporary page while I learned how to use this new material and to try and keep in touch with my friend Kelly whom I have been banned from texting to at work. I don't blame her in the least and neither would you if you'd ever had a text or email from me. My first foray into the adventures of setting up a PUBLIC FB page, was less than stellar.
[You know? I really LIKE the rock that I live under. It's a very COMFY rock! I have PTSD. I suffer from depression, panic attacks, claustrophobia, agoraphobia and an assortment of other partridges in a pear tree. I have, unfortunately, learned that I can actually have an agoraphobic attack by using FB. I hadn't expected so many people to:

a) accept my invitations. (Thank you, btw)

b) ask for invitations. (This was unexpected, but again, thank you)

c) make me feel like a CROWD of people had suddenly showed up at my door... out of the blue... and brought a party with them.  (FYI - this is not anyone else's fault)

d) be so overwhelming. (again, not anyone else's fault)

Intellectually, I KNOW that I had not really just started a party at my house. I DO know this. This feeling just came from out of the blue and I think I just tried to go with the flow by being a smart alec. Humor seems to help me get through stuff like this on occasion. Under the circumstances, I think I can look back and say that I was glad I just rode the panic attack out, because REALLY... NOBODY gets an agoraphobic attack from a computer... except for me. Since then I have tried to use FB at least a little every day and I'm trying to get used to it. I LIKE being able to see how everyone is doing... up to a point (I'm not exactly sure what point this might be, because I have not yet reached it, but my imagination, unfortunately, is pretty vivid and here you all thought I was only kidding about not being a natural optimist). I LIKE that there are some AMAZINGLY funny conversations. I LIKE knowing immediately if someone I know needs something. It's just that even thinking about the word PUBLIC really can restrict my ability to enjoy the properties of oxygen. Do you know what I mean?  So, if I pass out, I'll finish this post when I come to, OK?]
Now where was I? Ah, yes. My adventures in the Land of Internet. I never did get to test out any of the things I had learned because I had inadvertently done something wrong in setting up my FB account. Please don't ask me what. I really do not have the slightest clue. I thought I was inviting a few of my friends and fellow bloggers to 'hang out'. Instead, the messages that were going out apparently were inviting these people to JOIN FACEBOOK. Not to be my 'Friend'. (I didn't know you had to HAVE an FB account in order to be friended) So I sent out the following email apologizing for this error...
Lemon Stand to friends:

My apologies to one and all. (the evil) FaceBook hates me. AND I can't figure out how to 'invite' someone to my blog, or to the (evil) FaceBook site. So please excuse the invites to join (evil) FaceBook. I only meant to invite you to be my friend. (Does anyone else get a really weird feeling when you say that last sentence out loud? I feel like I'm in kindergarten again.) You will notice there are parenthesis around that which I wish I could strike through. But Google hates me too. Now that I think about it. I'm probably not someone you should be hanging out with. Apparently I'm cursed.

IMPORTANT: This email is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humor or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is not authorized (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this email, although the Chihuahua
next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you! Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards, so just ignore that Alert Message from Microsoft: However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have received this email in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes.  Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing.
And then Andi of SpouseBUZZ made me feel amazingly wonderful when she sent me the following message. I took it as a sign that today was going to be a GREAT day!
Andi to Lemon Stand:

Don't feel bad. You're doing better than me. I haven't even attempted to create an (evil) FaceBook page. No idea where to begin....
To which I replied:
Lemon Stand to Andi:

I've discovered that STARTING one isn't the problem... It's the CONTROLLING the darn thing! Really. I do NOT need texts at 2am. I do NOT need a mailbox so full of notices of every persons actions... I'm half afraid it's going to start notifying me of people's bowel movements. REALLY! I've had to get my kids to help me with a lot of it, but surprisingly enough, THEY don't know as much as they THOUGHT they did, so it's still trial and error. I have found myself DREADING turning on my computer OR my "EVIL Android" to check my texts or email. (NOT, mind you, that there is a lot of it that is not classified as JUNK or IDIOTIC.) [I feel compelled to qualify this statement... I meant the normal JUNK email everyone gets sent.  Apparently this is becoming as unavoidable as death and taxes and we are all free to be abused equally in the Land of Internet.] Sigh. I have to now go dig us out and attempt to transport our youngest two to the nearest educational facilities. I keep telling them that they have to at LEAST keep up with me in my old age AND be smart enough to get a job to keep me in the style to which I WISH to become accustomed to.

I hope you have a great day! "I'm" going to have one... even if it kills me. I am determined! (Will let you know how that works out for me, but if you do NOT hear from me, fear not. I'll still be working on it.)
[I have just reread the previous email and realized it could be taken wrong by anyone who does not know me or my experiences well. It is not my intention to offend anyone. This blog has always been meant as therapy for me. I made it public because others have helped me in their comments and I hope something I write here might help another. Which means that sometimes I need to write of painful or embarrassing things. It helps me to try to look at things from a different perspective. To try to find the humor or lesson to be learned from every experience, good or bad. Believe me, I would not have posted this here to expose my naked backside, so to speak, otherwise.]

And THEN I saw it... just to the right of the message box. I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head and run away screaming! I don't know why, but I immediately sent poor Andi (please forgive me) the following email...
Lemon Stand to Andi:

Ummmm. Just sent you the last email? And Google has on it's AD BAR to the right of the message box, the following (please read the bottom few lines and then tell me I am just imagining this. I told you, I am CURSED. Darn. That's really going to put a damper on my day.)

I am aware that ANYTHING emailed or posted on the internet is permanent and never private, but knowing Google is 'reading' my mail and tailoring it's Ads accordingly and actually seeing it's results?  Am I the only one to find that pretty creepy?  

QOTD: "Just when someone invents a foolproof thing, someone else invents a better fool!" ~ Unknown

03 February 2011

The Lemon Stand Defends Canada...

Rachel: Does Canada really get this much snow?

Me: Yes.

Rachel: Did you know polar bears cover their noses with a paw when they hunt?  It's so they can blend with the snow.

Me: Then what do they do about their eyes?

Not missing a beat, Rachel: They squint.

I had to laugh.

Me: To really blend, wouldn't they have to cover their eyes AND their noses, making them practically blind without a great sense of smell?

Rachel: Well, it's not like there's much up there, anyway.  Polar bears, penguins and Eskimos.

Me: WRONG.  Penguins live at the SOUTH pole and there are more animals up there than just polar bears, like white foxes, moose, elk, and reindeer.  And one of the most beautiful places on earth is Banff, Canada!

Rachel: I'd still rather live on a warm island.

02 February 2011

Forty-Five Inches Of Snow On My Lawn...

I believe that blog post title rather says it all... don't you?  Will be back after we recover...

01 February 2011

If Books Were Made Of Chocolate...

Oh how I wish I could remember who I had this conversation with, so I could attribute it.  I also wish I could tell you that I was the author of this delightful mental picture, but I must be honest... I remember having this conversation with someone else and had doodled down the notes, as I often do with most things, but failed to write a date or name (I really need to get better about this).  I'm not even sure I'm getting it all right, because it was a long time ago and the scrap of paper I had written it down upon, I had used as a book mark, so it's not very big.  Since I dreamed of it last night... I figure it must be a sign!  So here it is and if someone should recognize it, please do speak up.  It is not only a fabulous idea, but the wording is so vivid, it really should be claimed! 

Chocolate you could read would be practically perfect. As long as it was good chocolate, but poor writing. If you got a good book worthy of saving, you could never eat it - nor could you reread it on sunny days. Also, I'd have to get divorced, because I've never been able to convince my husband that a person's chocolate is sacred. It's deeply annoying when he scarfs an entire box of my Godivas, but if he started eating my books... I'd have to have him put down. (Be great if you could do that - take the husband to the vet, stroke his nose kindly, and tell all your friends that he'd got a bit old and flatulent, so you'd had him put to sleep. Obviously, being a feeling woman, I'd tell the children he'd gone to live with a nice family in the country.)

Where was I?  Yes, product development. It's a good idea, but I think there's work to be done. You could write on the things that you always have, but never actually eat - like porridge oats, or French mustard - but - then again - I can only imagine worthy literature on oats. Things you feel you ought to have read, but don't want to. Paradise Lost. It would have to be a book more like chocolate digestives - perfect with a cup of coffee, and you find you've eaten the whole packet without meaning to.

QOTD: "There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line." Oscar Levant (1906-1972) American Actor, Pianist and Composer.