Category Archives: icy road conditions

Is It Too Soon?

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Really, is it too soon?

 

Can we all laugh and joke about the subject a bit?

 

We are in the midst of it. . .

In the thick of it. . .

Knee deep, chin deep and over our head in it. . .

 

Yes, right.

Snow.

Chilly Weather.

Sub-zero temperatures.

Relief on the horizon.

 

I enjoy wordplays and this one just jumped right at me.

In the middle of the night, literally.

 

When the snow plow was noisily scraping the ice off the

Ohio Wesleyan Parking lot, when a big chunk somehow

bounced off my bedroom window pane.

 

Wish that chunk were like my good middle school friends,

ones who would break out of their houses, give a ‘chink’ or

‘clunk’ at my window on the second floor of my house.

 

Wish it were my Romeo, who would make me fly to the

window and ask,

“Why are you Romeo?”

(Aside: You do know that the words,

“Whereforth art you Romeo?

Means,  “Why are you a Capulet?”

or “Why are you my enemy?”

Right?)

 

Know this is not so esoteric or meaningful. It was written

as the hour passed three a.m. and I was to get up at 5 a.m.

 

It is all about “Chill.”

 

Hope you enjoy the way my mind played with the letters

and the meaning of this word.

 

Fog can give me a chill.

 

It produces an icy thought.

 

Chills going up and down my spine are both thrilling and

frightening. It can be eerie and baffling, too. Some things

create emotions which give one person chills, while another

one won’t react or show stimulation in their fear zones.

 

definition of “acrostic” is given to mean a poem or other form

of writing in which the first letter, syllable or word of each line

spells out a word or name.

 

Acrostics of alphabet using the theme of Winter, drew a wide

collection from my mind.

 

I numbered each one so I could ask you if you liked any of

these, you may refer to them by number.

Or feel free to use another word as a “springboard” and make

up one of your own.

I chose to use the singular letters adding up to the word:

 

C

H

I

L

L.

 

Let me know if any of these give you ‘chills.’

 

1.

Clouds

Hasten

Icy,

Lacy

Lakes.

 

2.

Clouds

Help

Icicles

Linger

Longer.

 

3. This one I doubled the letters, “CCHHIILLLL!”

(Br-r-r!!)

 

Creeping cold,

Heaping helpings,

Icy igloos,

Latticework licks,

Liquid lightning.

 

4. Again, double the letters, double the challenge:

 

Crisp crystals,

Intricate Icicles,

Lightly laced,

Lazy liquids,

Hilly heaps.

 

5. This one was one that uses a slang meaning of “ice”

or “to be iced.”

(Just in case this doesn’t translate to another language; it means

‘kill’ or ‘to murder.’)

I like to think of it as a dramatic, yet simple way of expressing

ending a love affair:

 

Cold

Heart

Iced

Love

Lost.

 

*The above five little playful uses of “chill” letters are my

own creations. Please give me credit for the silly word

sets of acrostic poems, if you should wish to use them.

~reocochran thanks you!

 

When my kids were going through middle school, they used

this often expressed combination of two words. It is a friendly

and caring expression, using the word, “chill,” in it:

 

“Did you forget to take your ‘chill pill?'”

“Boy, that man needs to take a ‘chill pill!'”

 

In the seventies, we probably didn’t create or originate the way

my friends and I would use this word:

“Hey, ‘chill’ out!”

“You need to ‘chill,’ man!”

This meant to let the other person know in a non-threatening

manner, to calm down or relax.

 

Isn’t it funny how we may ask someone to “refrigerate something”

for us, but if we have something special, we may ask them to “Put

it on ice” or “This needs to be chilled before serving.”

I sometimes forget that red wines are supposed to be served at

room temperature, while leftover wine usually is placed in the fridge.

 

When you think of an icy situation, you may wish to handle it in

a different manner than a chilly situation. I feel that “icy” people

are very much frozen and cannot change. Somehow, though, I

feel there is more ‘lee- way’  in ‘chilly’ people. Any thoughts on

why?

 

When it is really cold outside, we all wish to bundle up. We

may wish to serve warm soup or sip on a hot drink.

Why do we love to make big pots or Crock Pots of something

that is hot, sometimes meaty and nutritious? This is due to

wishing to create warmth throughout our body.

But, wait. . .

Tell me this. . .

Why is one of our favorite toasty warm meals called, “Chili?”

 

When my grandchildren, who I nickname and often call my

“Grandies” whisper in my ear, it tickles my fancy. It gives me

little goosebumps and it makes me warm all over. This gives

me sweet and innocent ‘chills,’ too.

 

When a man is wishing to be romantic, or is a special part of

my life, he may whisper in a theater, the ‘chills’ are more of

a sensual and arousing kind. Maybe it is due to Pavlov’s

theory of using an impetus and an outcome. It is like such a

wonderful prelude, beginning to what may come later on.

 

My favorite middle of the night thought about “chill” was this

funny one. It is a ‘great rhyming word for First Graders.’

 

Have I got you thinking about “chill” or “chills?”

 

Did you think of a five or six word collection that creates

an acrostic for either of these words?

 

Last but not least, do you forgive me for bringing up this

‘touchy’ subject while Winter may circle back and freeze

us out?

 

I saved it until I saw Spring was just around the corner.

 

We are going to have a “Heat Wave” this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday is the Middle of the Week

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I laughed at this story joke my Mom sent me, especially since

she almost received a traffic ticket in the last months she lived

‘independently’ in Vermilion, Ohio. I hope this will give you a

chuckle or bring a smile to your face. . . since you are always on

my mind. . .

 

By the way, it is not Wednesday for some of us, but it may be

for you. . .

 

“Five Elderly Women” or “Five Old Ladies”

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding

drivers, a Police Officer saw a car puttering along at 22 MPH

or KPH. (Some of you use kilometers and others, miles per

hour.)

He said to himself,

“That driver is just as dangerous as a speeding driver!”

So, he turned on his siren and red flashing lights and

pulled the driver over.

 

Approaching the car, he noticed that there were five

ladies in the car. Two in the front seat and three in

the back. All were wearing their seat belts.

 

He also noticed that the ones who were passengers

were all ‘wide-eyed’ and ‘white as ghosts.’

 

The driver, obviously confused said to him,

“Officer, I don’t understand why I was pulled over!

I was doing exactly the speed limit. What seems to

be the problem?”

 

“Ma’am,” the policeman replied, “You were not going

too fast. I am not pulling you over for speeding today.

But you know driving slower than the speed limit can

also be a danger to other drivers.”

 

“Slower than the speed limit? No sir! I was doing the

speed limit exactly.

Twenty-two kilometers an hour!” The older woman

said a little bit proudly.

 

The police officer, trying to contain a tickle in his throat,

maintaining composure said,

“Ma’am, the highway is number 22 not the speed limit.”

 

A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the

officer for pointing out her error.

 

“But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask, is everyone

in this car O.K.?

These women, your friends seem awfully shaken up. They

haven’t made a peep this whole entire time,” the officer

noted.

 

The lady driver spoke up for her friends,

“Oh, they will be all right in a minute officer. We just got

off of Highway 189.”

 

My Mom’s story is not quite as ‘cute’ as this one, but she

had decided to go on a ‘midnight run’ in her car to the

local Drug Mart in Vermilion, Ohio. If you go down a side

street from her home, you run into a perpendicular street

which you turn one more time and it is a ‘straight’ shot

to get there. She liked to go get Coca Cola and sometimes,

it was for pens, white-out or ice cream. One never knew

what she would be shopping for as she drove such late

hours.

 

She told me she had her dog, Nicki. Her patient dog of

now 14 years has black hair with some gray hairs, along

with white fur around her mouth and paws. She is a good

cute little dog, of the shih-tzu breed. My Mom let her sit

on her lap, since she felt most people would not be out

so late.

 

(When she told this to me the first time, I had to suppress

my laughter, just like the Police Officer in the story!)

 

Anyway, the straight main road goes up and over a bridge

(over a railroad track.)

So she went up the hill at 35 mph. but came down it going

45 mph. The police like to lurk at the bottom of the hill,

for unsuspecting people who may be from out of town.

Also, since this is not too far from a couple of local bars.

 

Mom used to ‘remember’ this particular cop and would

go even slower than 35 mph. Her memory was starting

to fade, by this time.

Like the woman in the above humorous story, she had

an innocent look on her face, I assume. My Mom is one

of the best ‘pretenders’ of things. She has received a few

different things just in the three years she has lived in

the Senior Living Apartments. For example by saying,

“I am out of such and such,” when she doesn’t get up

early enough to  ‘catch’ the bus to take her shopping.

Mom would end up having an apartment neighbor or

a diner at her evening meal, come by and bring her

something extra.

The last time I was there over the holidays, she boldly

told the woman who is the activities director, “I never

got balloons for my birthday.” (It was December, but

the woman gave her a bouquet of them. Her birthday

was in November.)

 

I have to add, if I can get away with this, someday in the

distant future, if I am wily  enough I will ‘aim for’ free

cupcakes and frosted cookies.

 

She told me the police man ‘ran her plates’ and found she

‘had not had any kind of accident nor speeding ticket in

the amount of time or history given for such experiences.’

 

When asked if she drove with her dog on her lap all the

time, my Mom honestly responded, “Only after midnight

when no one can see her on my lap.”

 

He let her go with a ‘warning.’

 

Unfortunately, within a month of this occurrence she had

an accident and hit her head in the bathtub, which made

my brothers take her to the hospital, worried about her

thinking processes. She also had been ‘bouncing’ checks,

losing track of which days she should wait for her deposits.

There were a number of concerns by her neighbors and

we all agreed, winters alone especially on Lake Erie are

just not ‘safe’ for Mom anymore.

 

When we would go anywhere, once we moved her to a

safer environment, Mom would produce her driver’s

license and say,

“They may take my car and home away but I still

have this to show I can drive until next year!”

 

Do you have a favorite ‘oldies’ joke?

I like ones about ‘senior moments’ especially, but also

enjoy ones about children and animal jokes.

 

Another direction of comments may go to something

that happened with one of your parents which made

you laugh out loud.

Feel free to spread the smiles around. . .

 

 

 

Winter Awakens Jack Frost

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There were only shadows and silhouettes when the little sprite-like

one awoke from his long, extended nap. The seasons had changed

while he slept and he looked around, not seeing his special ‘touch’

upon the land yet. He stretched his arms out and shrugged his thin

shoulders, shaking out his stiff joints, while wrapping his coat closely

around him.

The elfin man crept out from under the bridge, ready to dip his toes

into the chilly stream. He shivered with excitement and knowing it

was TIME.

As the water changed from moving sluggishly, freezing into a sheet of

ice, he tiptoed up the bank and left his tiny, crystalline footprints behind.

He hopped over the rock that led to the grass and he slowed.

He stopped.

He took one big breath IN! His lungs burned with the extremely brittle air.

He let one foggy (water vapored) breath OUT!

He prepared himself.

He took his hand from under his woolen blanket jacket and raising it

high above his sweet head, he waved it in a circular fashion.

From the end of his fingertips, little droplets flung through the air,

slowly drifting downwards. This gave them the appearance of a flour

sifter delicately releasing sprinkles of powdered sugar.

The icy landing and covering of each blade of grass transformed them

into miniature, stalagmite soldiers standing stiffly in formation. They

were holding their posts and guarding the night.

He grinned, his face all pink with its color returned. He hurried and

scampered up to the top of the highest evergreen now. He was ready

for the Grand Finale of his mighty annual performance.

Jack Frost released his magical powers upon his surroundings. Ever

widening the circle of his reach, he spread glistening, sparkling diamonds

over the branches of the trees.

J. F. gazed and spied the undecorated eaves and cornices of the houses

and cottages. He pointed and  spread a layer of lacy icing over them,

creating a look as if bewitched gingerbread houses. He allowed this

brilliantly white frosting to drip in a beautiful way into icicles.

Dainty, dancing snowflakes began to fall from the dark, majestic

midnight blue sky.

The moon yawned and closed his eyes while the shining stars twinkled

ever so brightly.

In the stillness of that

first frost…

first snow…

first ice…

a crisp, crackling frozen moment lingered and left its impression of

Winter.

Jack Frost pulled his knit cap over his ears and whispered,

“Be of good cheer.”

Postscript: my friend, Brenda, the creator and author of

http://friendlyfairytales.wordpress.com

inspired me with a post with crystalline branches in her

photograph of a tree. This was the “crystal” that led to my

writing this fairy tale! Thanks, Brenda!

December Wonders

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Making your spirits bright and your home fires warm,

makes me think of our Winter’s blustery cold and the

upcoming holidays. There are several directions your

faiths and belief systems may go- Kwanzaa, Chanukah,

Christmas or other ways. You may not be living in a cold

climate, you may be in the exact opposite of my location,

being greeted daily with warm sunshine, gentle breezes.

Wherever you are, I try to write a monthly newsletter to

keep up with various customs, cultures and faiths.

Please feel free to add in the comments section, a special

family tradition to make this interactive and meaningful.

 

Thomas Kinkade’s ‘healthy habits’ message for December is:

“Take care of your body, keeping your

body running the way it is supposed to

can be effective in lifting your spirits.”

(12/2001)

In a December issue of Prevention Magazine,

there was a list of “7 Foods to Keep You Healthy.”

I took the list and added a few personal favorite

ways to use these in the Season of Peace:

1. Eating almonds over the holidays will add some

much needed Vitamin E.

2. Serving different peas or beans, not only add

extra fiber to our diets, fill you up more, but also

give you a great source of Zinc.

3. The special addition to carrots, sweetens your

salads or grated can be added to various casseroles

(even mac and cheese), along with Vitamin A.

4. Mushrooms, cooked or raw give you Selenium.

They can be used in dips, stuffed caps or in gravies.

5. Drinking tea, either black or green, boosts your

antioxidants. Over a warming cup of tea, sprinkle a

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to create some festive

flavorings.

6. Tomatoes give you Vitamin C, which can be so great

at fighting off colds. I like to have them in salads, but

also enjoy the way you can stuff them with crushed

croutons and Italian flavorings. Nutritionists advise

heating tomatoes releases more of its healing power.

7. Yogurt, which you can include in desserts, sauces and

dips gives you those probiotics that we all need, especially

as we get older.

 

DECEMBER

Birthstone:  Turquoise or blue peridot gemstone

Flower: Narcissus

I think of Poinsettias, when I think of December.

 

There are so many new and old books of Christmas,

along with other December holidays. This is a book

which can bridge any personal choices: “Rabbit’s Gift,”

by George Shannon and Laura Dronzek

(Harcourt Children’s Books) Snowfall, blue skies with

the beautiful effect of snowflakes and a message of hope.

 

December 6-

Full Cold Moon.

Full Night’s Moon.

 

December 7-

Pearl Harbor Day

and

Remembrance Day:

Wherever you live, take some moments to

honor your heroes. Those who serve and

protect us and our freedoms deserve our

meditation and gratitude.

 

“Believe in a Higher Being.

Believe in others and yourself.

Believe in miracles and wonders.”

(Author Unknown)

 

December 14- Quarter Moon.

 

15- Bill of Rights Day.

 

December 16th (sundown)- 24th:

Happy Hanukkah!

 

18-

This is the 50th anniversary of the Pink Panther

theatrical short featuring Pink Panther harassing

his foil/enemy. These characters are the creations

of Fritz Freleng. This won the 64th Academy Award

presentations in the department of “Animated Shorts.”

 

Definitely, this is a reminder that December is the time

to enjoy, laugh and be playful. Pink Panther was so silly

and fun.

 

22- New Moon.

 

December 25th- Christmas Day.

Many religions celebrate Christ’s Birth,

Rejoice and Follow the Stars wherever your faith

takes you.

“December is a time

of celebration and joy.

A time of promises kept

and Love reborn.”

~ Flavia, 2003.

 

26th- First Day of Kwanzaa.

This is a festive celebration of African American

community, culture and faith. This continues

until January first.

Boxing Day- Canada, U.K., Australia and NZ.

 

Many people shop for the following holiday

season (2015), finding bargains and gifts for

the coming year.

 

28- First Quarter Moon.

 

December 31st-

New Year’s Eve.

“Another fresh new year is here. . .

Another year to live.

To banish worry, doubt and fear,

To love, laugh and give.”

~ William Arthur Ward

(American Writer, 1921-1994)

 

May you and your family enjoy many experiences of

happiness. This final month of the year arrived far

too quickly! I hope you find ways to make December

stretch, savoring these special moments. Include some

meditation to help you to relax and not get too stressed.

For me, nostalgia arrives as I take out the ornaments

and decorations of Christmas past.

May this lovely time of year fill your senses with joy and

wonder in the simple things.

Most of all, wishing all of you to experience feelings of

Hope and Peace.

 

 

 

Slippery Situations

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While walking around the warehouse, I noticed several orange cones.  Navigating

in all areas of our life we need to use care and caution. Slippery areas are bound to

turn up. What we do during these stressful times and how we handle them can be

a true example of what kind of character traits we embody. Our values are put to the

test throughout our lives.

The New Brittanica – Webster Dictionary (1981 version) gives us this definition of

the word,

“slippery (adjective)-

1. Having a surface smooth enough to slide or lose one’s hold, (a slipppery floor.)

2.  Not worthy of trust, (tricky, unreliable.)”

 

Roads, bridges and underpasses are “slippery when wet.” When the weather changes,

ice freezes the sidewalks and other things that can be dangerous, like cement steps

or metal fire escapes. Fog or rain’s moisture creates slippery conditions, too. Anyone

who has slid on an icy road in a car or “hydro-planed” through a large puddle has

possibly seen their life pass or flash before their eyes.

 

Here are a few different ways that ‘slippery’ can be viewed in a more humorous light:

1. How many times have you lost a plate or a glass due to soapy water? (It may not be

a funny memory, if it was a valuable dish or antique wine goblet that slipped out of

your grasp. This is a matter of your perspective and how you handle being a ‘klutz.’

It is usually my habit to tend to laugh.)

2. Is there anything more slippery than a wet baby?  Of course, another subject all

together, is a greased pig contest.

3. When you are attempting to wash a wriggly kitten or a squirming puppy you may

think they are the most slippery creatures alive.

4. Often home deliveries or cartoons about doctors delivering babies depict ones that

arrive so fast they need a catcher’s mitt!

5. Paired with the romantic images of silken skin, the subject can become sensuous.

Slinky, glazed slippery bodies glide together. Sometimes the scenes where films turn

this into  ‘spoofs’ can be hilarious.

6. When my son was young, he chose reading books about Reptiles and Amphibians.

I remember learning about the texture and feel of their skin. Salamanders are slimy.

Snakes and chameleons slither but don’t slide. I was so glad when Jamie developed an

interest in mice and a friendship with a rat.

7. I like the following slippery animals/mammals: seals, dolphins and whales.

 

I think people who are ‘sneaking around’ on their partners are slippery characters.

They just seem to be bending the rules, they cannot be relied upon or counted on.

I also feel that shifty, minor level thieves could fall into this category. I think pick-

pockets have to be particularly ‘slippery’ to get a wallet out of a man’s suit jacket.

 

I also can imagine a beautiful picture in my mind of ‘slippery’ described like this:

The graceful ice skaters were gliding across the smooth ice. They were grateful

for ice which was slippery like glass. So much better than frozen ponds they

remembered in their youths, with bumps and uneven ice which created flaws

and falls in their programs.

 

Brainstorming about the idea of ‘slippery’ subjects, I thought about going down a

“slippery slope.” Which sometimes can mean you may soon be shifting your values

or your position on a subject.  It can begin by allowing yourself to go just one small

step past what you consider ‘acceptable behavior’ and then, you may bend the rules

even more the next time.

Society may have gone down its own ‘slippery slope.’  People may have memories

of movies that used to be rated, “M” which meant they were “Recommended for

Mature Audiences Only.” It used to be much more prevalent to find movies which

were rated “G.” Now, most movies fall in the “PG-13” and rated “R” categories.

 

In 2006, a movie called, “Slippery Slope,” was made about a female filmmaker, who

directs a porn film while working on her thesis. (Fictional)

 

In the areas of  government, legal and politics, compromising can be considered

‘normal.’  The idea becomes like a domino effect where ‘one bad decision leads to

another.’ An example of this could be made that the senator got the bill passed by

talking to lobbyists, along with bargaining with senators on both sides of the issue.

Another example of going down that ”slippery slope” in business, employees may be

encouraged to ‘fudge’ on their records, documents and paper work.  This is risky

business, since it could be found through company audits or worse still, the IRS

could discover the less than honest paper trail.  The IRS and government watch-

dog groups can pursue legal ramifications or bring criminal actions against those

who have gone too far. Agencies should not practice following this fallacy:  “The

end justifies the means.”

 

Since many of us love trees, I would be remiss not to mention the slippery elm tree

which has a fragrant inner bark and is a North American hardwood. I don’t have my

Dad around to ask him  what kind of ‘elm blight’ disease our trees had. We had to cut

down several elms while I was in high school, but probably were not slippery elms. I

do remember being sad in the summer since they had provided us much shade, but

(sorry for this) in the fall, it meant less leaves to rake.

 

There once was a movie with the town of Slippery Rock. I thought it was a Western?

There is a town in Pennsylvania called Slippery Rock.

 

In the movie, “Hot Fuzz” there is music from 60’s and 70’s British Rock music which

incluides a song called, “Slippery Rock 70’s” written by Nigel Fletcher. This music is

police-themed, light hearted in tone music. (Goofy, funny movie.)

 

Everyone who is familiar with his music and has heard the song, “Slip Sliding Away,”

may be surprised its 10 years since it came out. This frolicy song written and sung by

Paul Simon on his album, “Still Crazy After all These Years.” (2004)

 

 

Languages, with their roots of words, are so fascinating to me. I enjoy the study of

words, their meanings and history sometimes going as far back as Latin or Greek. It

is interesting to learn how they have evolved or changed in usage. Language and the

ways cultures interpret words captures my mind, too.

I hope this post about the etymology of the word, “slippery,” was a fun read for you.

It may show up in your next short story, article or you may add a shady character

who is rather ‘slippery’ when it comes to being captured by the police authorities.

 

If you speak or know a different language, let me know how ‘slippery’ is written/

translated. Does the meaning of ‘slippery’ stay the same? Or does it change slightly

in its meaning?

To start the ball rolling, “resbaladiza” is the Spanish word for slippery.

Just wondering, since I would not wish it to be lost in translation.