April Fool’s Day Came Late This Year

danger-april-fools

So last week for Thankful Thursday I told about my recent adventures in Automysteryland. If you missed it, please go read the post entitled Stranded-Not Stranded.

Well, I got my car back on Saturday and drove it the 7 miles home and then did not drive it again until Monday when I needed to drive the freeway an hour to get to Seattle and meet for my doctor’s appt. I made it maybe 15 minutes down the road when suddenly I noticed the check engine light was on. I had been without my car for nearly 2 weeks while numerous mechanics and mechanical shops investigated the cause of my mysterious problem. I did not have any problems on Monday, just the warning light was on. Nonetheless, I wasn’t going to take any chances. On my way home from the doctor I went directly back to the dealership who had seemingly fixed the problem.

They checked the error codes and it said catalytic converter. He knew that was not really the issue because they had (as did all the previous mechanics) checked that. So, he said he thought it was an O2 emission sensor on the passenger side of the car. He said it would not impact driveability. I need only be certain to get it fixed before my tabs come due in January.

The next day I had another doctor’s appointment about 40 minutes from where I live. I got in my car and was ready to go. The check engine light was not on as he had “erased” the code. I was driving down the 2-lane road that is the only ingress/egress from my city, chugging along at 40 MPH when without warning my car started jerking violently forward and backward, forward and backward. The dealership was only about 4 miles away so I was determined to try and get there. Once there, I knew, I’d be able to get a loaner car so I kept on about another mile and a half when suddenly everyone was redirected back from whence they came. The road was closed in both directions due to an automobile exit. I was told that I would have to go in the other direction and take another, specific route to get to the dealership which was now only 2 and a half miles from the closure. I turned around and headed back in the direction of my home, but the problem mysteriously vanished. So, I kept going and took that alternate route. An hour and ten minutes later I arrived safely at the dealership. Turned it in and got the loaner for the holiday weekend. When I left I forgot about the road closure and turned toward home and, wouldn’t you know it, the road was opened. Perhaps, had I just waited there at the side of the road I would have gotten to the dealership faster and saved myself stress, time, and gas.

Anyway, apparently the joke was on me. As now we are back to square one with the mystery that has been eluding mechanics with decades of experience for weeks now.

So 2 of my 3 reasons for a Thankful Thursday last week have been erased. I am still grateful that none of the plethora of mechanics took advantage of me. The other reasons are gone. I am therefore grateful this Thursday for my loaner car. For without it, I would be spending Thanksgiving stranded at home.

Happy Thanksgiving my minions! I hope you have a wonderful day and find at least one thing to feel truly thankful for on this day.

☀ Memee

Why Valentine’s Day Matters

Why Valentine's Day Matters | Memee's Musings

If you are among those that don’t appreciate Valentine’s Day it may be that you have been looking at it from the wrong angle.  Participating in Valentine’s Day is important. It will enrich your life and the lives of the people around you, so please open your heart to why I believe Valentine’s Day matters.

Life moves so fast and as adults we have so many responsibilities burdening our plates that we can lose sight of what truly matters.  Hint: It’s not the house, cars, furniture and toys.  It is the people that make us laugh and hold our hands, the ones that hold us up when we’re about to fall and who put a happy rhythm in our hearts; the people who hold our secrets and share our burdens; the people who dance when we dance and sing when we sing; the people who pat us on the shoulder when we accomplish a goal and celebrate when we cross the finish line.

Life is hard and we cannot get through it alone.  Valentine’s Day is scheduled on the calendar so that even the busiest of people can step out of their mundane routine and celebrate the blessed relationships they’ve been given. Every single person in our life who adds positivity is a gift.  A gift that it is important and not one we should take for granted. Those that love us and give so much for us deserve to know how they make us feel while they’re still around for us to share their significance.  Valentine’s Day is both a reminder and an opportunity.

Personally, I don’t focus on the day. I use the days leading up to and following February 14th as well.  I reach out to the people who enrich my life.  I tell them I appreciate them and love them and specifically why they matter to me, the difference they are making in my life experience.  It enriches my experience with them.  It makes me aware of how blessed I am in this life and it strengthens our connection. It is me taking one brief moment to honestly acknowledge all they do throughout the year that makes my life worth living.

Valentine’s Day is about gratitude and showing thanksgiving for the people who take it upon themselves to share their time, love, friendship and souls with us.

So please stop and take a moment today, who comes to mind. Who makes your world a better place?  Now tell them.

Thank you for reading, you keep me writing and I have found writing to be very healing for me! Happy Valentine’s Day, Minions!

Love,

Memee

 

P.S. While editing this piece I felt my dad’s hand on my left shoulder. Thanks daddy for the Valentine’s Day gift of a visit. I miss you so!

The image above if a composition I put together. The wonderful photograph was taken by Josh Felise and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out: Unsplash!

The Terrible Night Before Christmas

via Myths of the Mirror
Author: D. Wallace Peach

Santa's Terrible Night

The whole escapade started with the black cat. Santa leaned forward in his rickety office chair, puffing on his stumpy pipe and wreathing his head in smoke. He pecked with two chubby fingers at his typewriter, finishing a last letter to a second-grader in the Bronx. The kid was bound for disappointment this year, the result of a spectacular imagination and a dose of new-fangled animation that left make-believe characters appearing plausible. A challenge for the elves who prided themselves on unabashed creativity.

Dear Chuck,

I hope you enjoy the train set, hand-carved by a master elf in my workshop. I realize you requested a live dragon, but creatures that breathe fire are not only exceedingly rare but generally discouraged in apartment buildings where they’re apt to smoke the place up if not burn it down. Be good and Merry Christmas.

Yours Truly,

Santa Claus

He slumped back in the worn seat, adding the letter to his “regrets” pile. That’s when the black cat appeared in the window, yowling to come in. Why a cat haunted the North Pole in the midst of winter was beyond him. No doubt, a practical joke offered up by the elves who reveled in some idle time now that this year’s orders were filled. He’d have to remember to check the sleigh’s bench for Insta-Glue. Last year’s mischief had cemented his britches to the seat, leaving him to deliver gifts in his skivvies.

He cranked open the window to let the creature in, hoping a blast of bad luck didn’t blow in with the snow. Not that he was superstitious, but Christmas Eve was the wrong time for screw-ups.

Just then, the alarm clock on the mantel burst into a raucous version of Jingle Bells, jolting him into action. He quickly slipped on his black boots, red coat and furry hat, crammed the letters in a back pocket, and kissed Mrs. Claus on the cheek before bolting out the door.

The sleigh stood ready, the reindeer harnessed and snorting in the crisp air. Behind the driver’s bench, the elves had wedged a dozen red sleds and a mountain of bulging sacks. Shiny bows and curlicues of ribbon peeked from the cinched openings, and the elves had sprinkled the entire load with magic dust as white as new-fallen snow.

Santa checked the seat and studied the reins. A quick inspection of the runners revealed not one string of tin cans, and he made certain the reindeer weren’t sporting cowbells. Finally, he hefted the bags of magic dust, and satisfied that they were full to the brim, he clambered up and took the reins for the long winter’s ride.

With deliveries to Canada wrapped up, Santa breezed through New England. He descended on New York long after the children were all nestled in their beds. He planned to work his way south to the tip of Patagonia and eventually west across the Pacific toward the International Date Line, the last leg of his journey. Despite the late hour, the Bronx sparkled. Light-entwined trees and storefront displays twinkled with color. Christmas trees glimmered behind darkened windows, and from above, the streetlights formed strands of holiday cheer.

The reindeer landed on the roof of Chuck’s apartment building, raising the ideal amount of clatter. Santa hopped down and did a few lumbar stretches for his back. He lifted a sack from the sleigh and reached into the final bag of magic dust, tossing a handful over his head. With a finger pressed to his nose, he nodded. And nothing happened.

Another handful. Nothing.

He tentatively licked a finger…”Sugar!” Santa scowled and shouted at the reindeer, “Those blasted elves are going to pay if I have to stuff every perky little head in the coal bin!”

After several minutes of ranting, he puffed up his rosy cheeks and blew out a sigh. He grabbed his set of emergency lock picks from the sleigh’s toolkit, slung the sack over a shoulder, and headed to the stairwell.

Quiet as a church mouse, he crept through the building, picking locks and sneaking into apartments. Dutifully, he ate gingerbread cookies and drank milk, packing carrots into his pockets. He stuffed carefully-hung stockings and unloaded his sack beneath the bright trees before tiptoeing back into the hallway and starting on the next door.

In Chuck’s apartment, the sugarplum cookies were homemade. Santa snacked first and then rearranged the presents beneath the tree, placing the train set and letter in front, and flanking it with gifts for the girls. He was just closing the door with a soft click when a light flipped on and he heard a tense voice, “Who’s there?”

Santa took off at a scamper, not glancing back as the apartment door opened. “Hey, you!” the voice yelled. “I’m calling the cops!”

As Santa ran, he cursed the naughty elves once again. In a panic, he burst through the building’s front door onto the snowy street and took off down the slick sidewalk, the bundle of toys bouncing on his back. His belly jiggled like jelly as he high-tailed it around a corner, trying not to slide into traffic. Police sirens wailed and a horn honked as he dashed across the street. Ducking into a narrow alley, he tripped on a filthy snow pile, whirled into a trashcan, and landed flat on his back in the city’s ashes and soot. Lights flashed as a police car screeched into the narrow entrance.

The fluorescent lighting in the police station gave Santa a headache. A plastic tree sat atop a file cabinet, decorated with looped strings of popcorn, and the remnants of a holiday celebration littered the desks.

Santa’s interrogation hadn’t gone well, his candid explanation regarding recent activities rendering him fingerprinted, photographed, and handcuffed to an interview table. His captors were arranging for a mental health evaluation and overnight accommodations, prospects that didn’t bode well for Christmas.

“We’re booking you on breaking and entering,” the tired-eyed detective stated. “Do you have an attorney?”

“I was delivering presents,” Santa explained again.

The man sipped from a cup of black coffee and ate snowman cookies from a paper plate. “Want one?”

“No, thanks, I’ve already eaten about two billion.”

“Yeah, right.” The detective shook his head wearily. “So you were delivering presents with a lock pick. Isn’t Santa supposed to use magic?”

“Ordinarily, yes,” Santa assured the man. “But the elves gave me sugar instead of magic dust.”

“Uh huh.”

“They’re ruthless pranksters,” Santa explained. “Last year they glued me to the sleigh.”

“Uh huh. And the carrots we found stuffed in your pockets are for the reindeer?”

“Precisely.”

“What about the sack of presents?” the detective asked. “Some children are going to wake up without gifts under the tree.”

Santa heaved a sigh and scratched his cherry nose. “Only if I don’t finish my route. I’ve two continents to cover before dawn.”

“That’s only three hours from—“

The interview-room door opened and a uniformed woman entered. She leaned over the table and whispered in the detective’s ear. His chin drew back as he frowned at her. “Is this a joke?”

“Nope. Eight tiny reindeer. I counted.”

“On the roof?”

She shrugged. “And a miniature sleigh filled with presents.”

“Stolen?” the incredulous man asked.

“No one’s missing anything,” she informed him. “In fact, they report unexplained gifts.”

“Holy…moly.”

While both officers stared at Santa, he raised his eyebrows and smoothed his white beard. “I have a route to finish if you don’t mind.”

“Uh…yeah…okay. I guess.” The detective unlocked his cuffs. The pair not only escorted him from the station but drove him back to the apartment building. With the officers in tow, he hiked the stairs to the snowy roof. The reindeer pranced and pawed their hoofs, impatient with the delay.

“You should probably get rid of this,” the detective said, handing him a folder. “We’ll just pretend it never happened if that’s alright with you.”

Santa accepted the folder, and after they removed the yellow police tape from the sleigh, he passed each of them a gift from his sack. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas,” the two murmured in unison.

With a twinkle of his eye, Santa mounted his sleigh. He whistled and shouted the reindeer’s names. Eagerly, the team dashed to the edge of the roof and leapt. The sleigh dipped, and then the harnesses snapped taut as the reindeer flew up over the city rooftops with their sleigh full of toys.

As the dawning sky pearled the horizon, Santa left the team in the elves’ care, too tired at the moment to exact his revenge. Mrs. Claus met him at the door and took the folder as he unbuttoned his coat and kicked off his boots. “My, my,” she exclaimed. “Here’s one for the photo album.”

Santa glanced at his mug shot as he plotted this year’s retaliation, a merry grin curving his lips like a bow. “Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.”

 

 

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Little Elf

Little Elf
Elf on the Shelf by Michael Kappel

Little elf, little elf
hiding there upon my shelf

Every year we eagerly await the
arrival of your shenanigans

Little elf, little elf
peaking from behind the mirror

Santa’s clever little spy
telling if we ever lie

Little elf, little elf
listening from yon windowsill
ticking boxes, passing judgment

While we frolic, laugh and cry,
never recognizing you’re to blame
for the loss of candy cane.

We think your cute, clever and fun,
but truly it’s you who delivers coal to everyone.

 
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀

Well, I did it, with just under 6 hours to spare I’ve gotten my Ode to a Christmas Character written for this month’s poetry party. If you have a little time left today and are feeling the Christmas spirit, you can get your poem submitted by clicking here!

For details check out this link: Poems to Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty!

Voting opens at 00:05 PST on December 23rd and ends on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 2015, at 23:55 PST.*

Then, beginning tomorrow, tell your family and friends to check out all the poems and vote for their favorite by clicking the heart icon while the voting window is open!

Merry Christmas and to all a good night!

Memee

*(If you don’t know PST just Google “What time is it now in PST?” and calculate against your time zone)

Poems to Santa, Rudolph and Frosty

Poems to Santa, Rudolph and Frosty

This month’s Poetry challenge linky party, #OdetoChristmasCharacters has begun. You really mustn’t be surprised that this month I would have a holiday-themed poetry challenge awaiting you! I mean, who doesn’t love Santa Claus, Rudolph and Frosty?  A lot of people even love the unloveable Grinch.  Am I right?

Choose a Christmas character (Krampus counts) to create a poem around. If additional characters find their way into your piece, that’s fine, just try to make one character the primary focus.

This month’s unique party hashtag for your posts is #OdetoChristmasCharacters.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Submission deadline is Tuesday, December 22nd at 24:55 PST.
Submit now!

Voting opens at 00:05 PST on December 23rd and ends on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 2015, at 23:55 PST.*

*(If you don’t know PST just Google “What time is it now in PST?” and calculate against your time zone)

MEMEE’S POETRY PARTY RULES OF CONDUCT:

1. No naughty pictures. (This will disqualify you.)

2. Submit the URL address to your relevant original poem.

3. Please try to visit at least two party guests, leave them a nice compliment or begin a friendly discussion with them. Mingle, people, mingle!

4. This party’s unique hashtag is #OdetoChristmasCharacters, use it. Link back to me and, of course, if you tweet me, I’ll tweet you… tweet, tweet! (Even if you don’t have a twitter account please use the hashtag as a blog tag.)

5. Let your followers know that you’re partying at Memee’s Musings  and they’re invited to drop in and join the party! It’s a perfect excuse to use your participation badge!  Because I do not vote it is important that you participate in promoting the event. The more word of mouth the more activity and the greater the impact on your website.  So challenge your fellow poets to party with us and solicit your followers to read all of the poems and vote their favorite (while the voting window is open).

Memee’s Party Punchbowl

HELPFUL LINKS:

Here’s a Video.
Or if you prefer infographics, go to this post.

Collect your participation badge and find more answers at: Memee’s Poetry Parties.

Have fun and happy, happy holidays to each and every one of you!

Memee

Collage created by Memee’s Musings, 2015
Santa created by Recon Cycles; Rudolph: ClipArtBest.com; Frosty: All-Free-Download.com

Santa’s cc licensing terms.

A Thanksgiving List

A Thanksgiving List | Memee's Musings
Photo by Brooke Cagle

We come together from far and near a day like none other for this is clear.

Rhubarb pie so tart and sweet, ice cream atop I’m eager… let’s eat!

Innocent babes dressed in tiny suits and sparkly gowns with nothing to do but be passed ’round and ’round.

Television commentators giving the play-by-play because the tv screen is much too far away.

Everyone’s happy and eager to help but the men all they do is whine and yelp!

 
 

A big basket of rolls fresh from the oven… please pass the butter before there’s nothin’!

 
 

Lingering flavors perfume the air, but loving moments are the contagion that’s there.

Infectious laughter spreads throughout the house as each woman hears the snore of her spouse!

Sleeping angels, old and young, now the juicy gossip has begun!

The cornucopia of thanks and blessings we’ve shared replenishes the fruit of our souls. Goodbye! So long! It’s bittersweet, and as we walk to our cars we’re already eager for next year’s Thanksgiving tradition repeat!

Tradition!

The holidays have arrived and with it comes so much hustle and bustle, fun and frolic but the best part of each holiday is the traditions we create with our families and revisit each year and down through the generations.

This one came across my Facebook feed the other day. And I love it. Use that spare pumpkin that you didn’t cut for Halloween as your Thanksgiving Pumpkin. That’s right, the morning after Halloween begin celebrating Thanksgiving! How? Every day write on your pumpkin something you are thankful for . You can have one pumpkin per person or one pumpkin for all. You can have everyone contribute something each day or take turns naming the item of gratitude.

The most difficult thing about appreciation and gratitude is acknowledging it. This is a beautiful way to acknowledge the blessings that are in our life and results in a wonderful centerpiece or decorations for the Thanksgiving family gathering.  I like that this tradition has us practicing gratitude every day, even if it is just for a couple of weeks, it is powerful.

I hope your children will embrace this tradition and pass it along to their little ones someday.  There can never be too much gratitude in the world and today we seem to live in a world of too little.  So let’s get our Thanksgiving Pumpkins started and build this Holiday back into the wonderful day of humble appreciation it once was.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin | Memee's Musings

Happy Thanksgiving, Minions, you’re on my virtual pumpkin!

Bonus soundtrack video: