Category Archives: shelter

Side by Side

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Tayla and Kira are sisters in crime,

They are both calico in design.

 

Books are knocked off coffee tables,

Plants are sent into upheaval.

 

The two cats have different personalities.

 

One is outgoing and wishes to be petted,

While the other is often wanting to be fed.

 

In other words,

the second cat

will imply by her

attitude~

 

“Since I wish to

have dinner,

I will allow myself

to be petted . . .

If you must.”

 

There are times their owners use water pistols,

Instead of saying repeatedly the word, “NO!”

 

They hope to dispel ‘bad’ behaviors,

But often they are ignored.

 

The funniest part of this story to me is . . .

When my close friend,

the kitties’ Mommy,

is being ‘bossy’

to her mate,

 

Her dear husband,

the kitties’ Daddy,

squirts her

while saying,

“Bad Kitty!”

 

Written by Robin O. Cochran

 

 

Tayla is a mainly brown, gray and white calico cat.

Kira is a mostly white with brown, tan and gray patterns

on her. This includes one that looks like a butterfly tattoo.

 

My friends, Jenny and Dave,

were the subject of a love story post,

“Love Found in a Video Store.”

 

I’m the one who discovered him

and ‘match made’ the two,

back in 1993.

 

It is 22 years since they met;

21  years since they married.

 

**Inspired by my friend, Luanne Castle’s post written

about visiting an animal shelter with her husband.

While there, they played with the kitties and walked

dogs, too.  I admired how she gave us a serious

reminder of one of the other activities that goes on

there. She mentioned pit bulls and other breeds,

including chihuahuas,  are often put down first.

This was to remind us of what happens when they

are not adopted and which breeds are chosen first.

Luanne has been having a hard time lately due to recent serious losses in her life.
Maybe we can go visit her and shower her with good wishes and hopes for her cat (Pear Blossom) and daughter’s cat (Isabella Rose) to be better.
You may wish to order Luanne Castle’s fine collection of poetry, “Doll God.”

You may be interested in reading her other creative

stories, poetry with meaningful, intriguing subjects:

http://writersite.org

Hearts Among the Treasures Found in February

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February has so much to enjoy and appreciate, despite some of us

who have to endure such cold weather.  I have fun thinking about

what will good ole’ Punxsutauney Phil do on Groundhog’s Day,

how will we celebrate each of the Presidents, along with will any

of my grandchildren make me handmade Valentine’s Day cards

or will they give me a Sponge Bob Square Pants, Batman, Frozen

or Angry Bird valentines?

February is “Wise Health Care Consumer Month.”

There are choices in your reducing health care costs

and making good ones in your physicians, too.  Learn

more about over-the-counter and the prescription

medicines you take, asking what dosage is the least

you need to be the most healthy. Although it is not

always suggested, I like to take nutritional supplements

to ‘back up’ the fresh vegetables, fruits, fiber and protein

sources I choose to consume.

I take out a few decorations for this festive month, including a

couple of American flags which I put two on my door, along with

Cupid, a heart and a laminated Snoopy giving his pal Woodstock

a Valentine. This about covers most of the main ‘holiday rituals.’

I have had the cupid and “Peanuts” laminated pictures, ever

since my years of teaching middle school in the 80’s.

Amy Poehler, comic, actress and “SNL” show alumni

gives us good, comforting advice for February:

“I think sleep can be really magical

because sometimes Balance is only

a day away.”

FEBRUARY

Birthstone: Amethyst

Flower: Violets

Purple is a beautiful color echoed in both the gem

and the flower of the month.

Feb. 1-

“National Freedom Day”

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in

the world and that is an idea whose time has come.”

~* Victor Hugo.

It is Super Bowl Sunday!

Are you rooting for the New England Patriots or

the Seattle Sea Hawks?

What snacks will you serve? If you wish to read

about the history of hot sauce on chicken wings,

you can push your clicker on the side panel of

my topics to read about. Recipes included from

past posts, too.

Feb. 2-

“Candlemas”

“If Candlemas be dark

with clouds and rain,

Winter is gone and

won’t come again.”

(“The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” 2015 edition.)

Groundhog Day.

You know the results, don’t you? If he sees his shadow,

he will run and hide, means a longer time until Spring.

If it is a gloomy day, and he doesn’t see his shadow, we

are that much closer to warmer weather.

Another special occasion is “The 14th Annual AARP

Movies for Grownups Awards.” Kevin Costner will

be honored to receive the career achievement award.

I would like to see his newest family movie that deals

with his character raising his bi-racial grandchild.

Viola Davis plays the other side of the family’s

grandmother, scenes look funny and uplifting.

It is called, “Black or White.” (Nothing ever is. . .)

Feb. 3-

Full Snow Moon.

On February 3, 1913 the U.S. Congress was

authorized to impose a federal income tax

under the 16th Amendment of the U. S.

Constitution. The beginning of our tax ‘woes.’

Feb. 5-

Personal special day, will go to see my Mom if the

weather is good the weekend after this day. It is

the 60th anniversary since my Mom and Dad got

married. In only 9 months and a week, I will be 60.

So many family members of my parents counted

back to make sure I was “legitimate!”

Feb. 9-

Family Day in British Columbia.

This is the beginning of a great week titled,

“Random Acts of Kindness Week.”

Feb. 11- Last Quarter Moon.

Feb. 12-

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday.

The way he read books by the fire and the “Honest

Abe” nickname, made this President special to me,

as a child. Later, when his assassination was more

emphasized in Social Studies, I felt sad to have lost

this fine hero.

The military services always wish for U.S. citizens

to fly their flags for past presidents.

Feb. 13-

This is Friday the 13th… ooh! Some people

believe you may wish to be more careful.

Are you superstitious?

Feb. 14-

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Flowers or candy? Special jewelry or friendly

exchange of Valentine’s Day cards, however

you celebrate, hope it is a fun day for you.

I happen to like heart cookies with vanilla

frosting, what is your favorite ‘treat?’

Flavia quote:

“Love lives forever and belies the passage of time.

It is what we take with us wherever we go.”

The shiny ‘heart shaped’ flowers of the tropical

anthurium are perfect fir a romantic bouquet,

suggested by “Old Farmer’s Almanac,”

2015 edition.

I happen to like peach roses or pink-tipped

carnations. The scent of the roses is sweet

while the carnations smell ‘spicy’ to me.

Last but certainly not least, this is also our

“National Have-A-Heart Day” where the aim

is to raise awareness of healthy eating and

taking care of our hearts.

Feb. 15-

National Flag of Canada Day.

Susan B. Anthony’s birthday.

In 1808, on this date in history, the U.S.S. Maine sank.

Remembering veterans and servicemen.

Feb. 16-

Presidents’ Day observed, United States.

The American Veterans request you proudly

fly your flag.

President George Washington’s birthday is on

February 22nd, but most calendars say we

“observe” his and all other presidents’ today.

Celebrate the tale of young, honest George,

who said, “I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down

the cherry tree,” by having a piece of cherry pie

with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Yummy! I suppose if you were dieting you

could simply eat some fresh cherries or

have cherry yogurt.

A book recommendation from “AARP Magazine” is

of Robert Middlekauff’s “Washington’s Revolution:

The Making of America’s First Leader.”

Celebrate “Family Day” (Alta., Ontario, and Sask.)

The mid-month “Old Farmer’s Almanac,” 2015 suggests

planting winter beets. They are hardy, which surprised me

that they can be planted in the winter time. (Should your

ground not be frozen solid.) They suggest harvesting beet

greens when they are a couple of inches tall.

Did you know the ‘new green sprouts’ can be added to a

salad and are considered delicious?  I learn something

new every time I open and read the almanac. They are

most tender before they reach 6″. This will not disturb

the growth of those red or purple beets, which provide

sorts of healing powers, through their nutritiousness.

Feb. 17-

“Fat Tuesday”

or “Mardi Gras.”

Celebrating the last day before you go on a ‘fast’

for Lent. This seems early and I re-checked this

fact. We have forty days of Lenten Season, before

Easter, should you be Catholic or another church

which celebrates the ‘walk’ of Jesus’ last days by

not indulging in what you crave.

I like the idea which my friends and coworkers do,

eating pancakes with sausage, bacon and eggs. The

Filipino coworkers have a traditional feast full of

a variety of savory and spicy foods.

What I remember from my childhood was receiving

those Lenten “fish” cardboard boxes where we would

put our leftover lunch or allowance money into. On

the last Sunday before Easter, (Palm Sunday) we could

turn them in and they would go to a needy cause.

These days the church I am affiliated with uses the

money for preparing and serving twice a month free

meals for those who wish to come. We also collect

products once a month for local humane shelters,

the battered women’s shelter in Marion (“Choices”)

and  P.I.N. which stands for a food pantry that is

called, “People in Need.” If you wish to do something

extra this month and the next, check out local centers.

You may make a big difference, “in the spirit of Lent.”

Feb. 18-

“Ash Wednesday” is the first day of Lent. Some

Catholic and other churches use ashes to form a

cross on a person’s forehead denoting the start

of the Lenten Season. Mass or communion is

usually served on this day at churches.

New Moon.

“The February sunshine steeps your boughs

and tints the buds and smells the leaves within.”

~*Written by William C. Bryant

(American Poet,  1794-1878.)

Feb. 19-

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

This calls for my going to our local Chinese

restaurant and ordering Sweet and Sour Chicken or

Shrimp, or if I am in a spicy mood, General Tso’s

Chicken or Pork. I will ask for a fortune cookie

should they forget to throw one in. I will let you

know my fortune, hope you will let me know yours.

Feb. 20-

Heritage Day, (Y.T.)

Feb. 22-

If you still have some leftover cherry pie, you may

wish to celebrate George Washington’s ‘real’

birthday today!

This is the Academy Awards or Oscar’s night.

If you are one who likes the Red Carpet, the

guests and singers who will perform the “Best

Song” nominations, or just like to have a fun

time watching all the famous people, this is

one of my favorite nights of the year! I get

some snacks, popcorn or chips and dip, some

nuts and a piece of fruit, sometimes if there is

any leftover wine, or if I need to stay awake,

(more likely) I drink some flavored coffee.

Feb. 23-

The infamous photograph represents this real

event in history today, 70 years ago today:

The flag was raised on Iwo Jima in 1945.

Feb. 25- First 1/4 Moon.

Feb. 27-

Battle of Java Sea, 1942.

Here is a pray or words to consider for February:

“Extra Things

We thank thee, God (or Higher Being) for extra things

You send along our way,

Both when our days are sunny bright

And when our skies are gray.

The little planned surprises dropped

From Thy great, loving hand,

Like unexpected showers on

A parched and desert land.

The meeting of an old-time friend,

The lifting of a care,

And sunlight breaking through the clouds,

To tell us You are there.

Just why You do these extra things

Our finite minds don’t know;

It must be you delight in them

Because you love us so.”

~*Written by Alice Hanche Mortenson.

The above prayer could be just pleasant thoughts sent your

way, as if someone sneezed and you say automatically,

“Bless you!”

What special things do you do to celebrate the month of February?

Critter Lovers

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My Mom and Betty White adore animals of every species and support their

lives with their extra money. My Mom has always been part of the ones who

would donate to any and all causes for animal preservation, prevention to

cruelty and local humane societies. They both use their humor and their

love of animals to ‘keep on going.’ Betty White is often on talk shows, in

movies and recently Hallmark featured her in a movie about a woman who

was waiting for her husband to come back from WWII. It is called, “The

Lost Valentine.”

 

Both women, although far apart in their professions, my Mom and Betty,

were widows and kept on their toes, with causes and interests. Betty has said,

she would have retired long ago, except that she wanted to continue to be able

to donate for animals’ rights. Both of these over 80 year old women, Mom and

Betty, live purposeful and meaningful lives.

 

Oh, and if you didn’t know this; both women ‘love’ Cleveland! You may see

Betty White performing and cracking her audiences up in, “Hot in Cleveland,”

on TV Land on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (Ch. 38- Central Ohio time)

 

If you were to live in Cleveland area, here are some extraordinary animal

supportive entertainment projects being carried on, forwarded from last

Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, via Mom.

Everything from hummingbirds’ research and studies, which you may be

willing to observe and participate to “cat karaoke night,” are included in

this list of 10 upcoming events or fundraising projects!

 

1.  On Friday, September 262014: The group named,  “tails from the city,”

will hold “Karaoke for Cats,” at Paddy Rock Superpub.  This is located at

16700 A. Lorain Road. The group will take questions or donations at:

http://tailsfromthecitycleveland.org

 

2. The Northeast Ohio Circus Boycott Committee can be found on Facebook.

This organization promotes animals living in their natural environments.

They believe that animals should not be made to perform, should be able to

utilize their natural instinctive behaviors and not trained behaviors. Forcing

animals to perform is considered, “mistreatment.” There also is a phone

number for this organization: (440)-213-6342.

 

3. There is a New APP for smartphones that will inform the public of how to

help orphaned or injured wild animals. Free guidance can be found for the

group, Animal Help Now or

http://ahnow.org

 

4.  Do you want to show your appreciation for animals with a variety of

t-shirts with slogans?

The two organizations support animals:

http://sunfrogshirts.com

http://SmolasRescueRailroad/rescue

 

5.  This is so cool! Did you know humane societies and animal shelters collect

package weight circles from Purina Pet Food bags and products? Apparently,

Purina is like the Campbell Soup labels for education program and will reimburse

different non-profit shelters by their receiving labels for dogs, cats, bunnies, and

other domestic animals.

 

6. The National Audubon Society is asking for information about the hummingbirds

in your area. They are offering a free APP for people to contribute to their study of

hummingbirds:

http://hummingbirdsathome.org

 

7.  The Volunteer Vets and Valley Save-A-Pet organizations in Cleveland, Ohio are

working together by offering free spaying and neutering surgeries for dogs and cats

of low income owners. This outstanding joined forces group helped to perform more

than 1200 surgeries last year. Their program is titled, “Have A Heart.” They request

the participants fill out income guidelines and the animals be younger than two

years old and at least 35 pounds. If you wish to participate or donate:  Please Call:

(440)-232-CATS (2287)

 

8. September 21st the Annual Rainbow Bridge Walk and Run will begin at 1 p.m.

to honor and remember pets who have passed on into heaven. This is located in the

North Park, 3595 Grafton Road, Brunswick, Ohio.

Details for the Rainbow Walk can be found at:

http://rainbowbridgewalk.com

 

9. The Medina Pet Pantry is accepting pet food donations, leftovers from animals who

have died or newly purchased at: 6335 Wedgewood Road, Medina, Ohio.

 

10. Going along with the #s 8 and 9, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio

will be holding their Pet Blessings service in remembrance of beloved pets who are living

and also, ones that have passed on, October 5, 2014 between 1-3 p.m.  More details at:

http://stpatrick4u.net

 

If you are an animal lover, you may already know about the fantastic veterinarian and

author, James Herriot. I loved his longer, autobiographical adventures for anyone from

middle school and older. They are rich in English countryside, customs and anecdotes.

Here is his beautiful list of books, which I have treasured for years:

1. All Creatures Great and Small

2. All Things Bright and Beautiful

3. All Things Wise and Wonderful

4. The Lord God Made Them All

There are several more, including The Best of James Herriot but I am not sure, unless

you are a parent whose children adored animals and you were in the juvenile books area,

that some of you are aware of these special and meaningful story books. Each is illustrated

beautifully and my own children chose one of these to focus on in their growing up years:

1. Moses the Kitten (1984).

This was our first James Herriot book we invited into our home.

2. Oscar, Cat About Town.

3. Only One Woof.

4. The Christmas Baby Kitten.

This is kept in our Christmas book collection huge basket.

5. Bonny’s Big Day.

Horse lovers, this is about a special horse!

6. Blossom Comes Home.

People who have affection towards those doe-eyed cows, should

check out this sweet story.

7. The Market Square Dog.

 

There may be more books, your own personal animal stories you may wish to share

in our comments and responses. We all like animals, it is a true fact, babies and pets

are sometimes what bring smiles from even the ‘grouchiest’ people!

 

I will be shortly walking out of the library to see one of the biggest horse parades in

the United States. (Delaware, Ohio at 3 p.m. on September 7th.) I will be running into

a number of my friends, church members and neighbors. I will be sitting on a curb

soon, enjoying the community sense of fellowship and high expectation. In the past,

there have been diverse costumes, including Native American, (some represent the

history of this area, as descendants of the Mingo tribe), KISS band member look-alikes,

old-fashioned period costumes, Servicemen and women, Amish men and women with

their bonnets on, guiding their wagons and Clydesdales.

I will keep my eyes peeled, my camera ready to capture the horses with my coworker

and friend Amy, her ex-mother in law and daughter, riding together as a Trio entry in the

parade. The parade committee and guest judges will be choosing Best of Show, Most

Unique and other categories of winners for varied entries in this annual parade.

I have written about Amy’s horses, Spirit, Lokie and Sapphire. I have not been sure of

which ones they will be riding, one in all turquoise, another in all golden colors and the

third one, still up in the air, as of Friday. This means the headdress and blanket under the

saddle are of a chosen color, all in the ‘regalia’ of horse finery!

 

I am wearing this cowgirl on a horse, fall colors shirt, you can see in my avatar photo. No pants

today, since it is quite sunny and pleasant. Will be sitting on West Winter Street, with some

members of the family waving at the cowboys, cowgirls and children who are in this

All Horse Parade.

Supposedly, it is still considered, “The Biggest All Horse Parade East of the Mississippi!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childhood book verses (Summer)

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I have mentioned this little book, from my years of elementary school titled,

“Kate Greenaway’s Birthday Book.” I like to read the names (Susan, Sandy,

and Allison…) of ones who I knew back then and when their birthdays were.

I enjoyed reading and choosing little verses to share with you.

The pen and ink drawings, with watercolor details, were created by Kate

Greenaway. The verses in this timeless book of collected short poems, one for

each day of the year, were written by “Mrs. Sale Barker.” This book was published

first in London, England, followed by New York City, NY,  by Frederick Warne

Company, LTD.

Summer is a time to enjoy nature’s restful places.

All kinds of activity choices I remember from my childhood like. . .

climbing trees, sitting by a brook or creek, seeing fields of wild flowers

with bees and butterflies flitting above them. The luxurious feelings

of  being filled with a combination of warm sunshine followed by cool

shade.

It was a time of innocence, play and learning from everything around

us.

Hope you enjoy this collection of six Summer poems. After reading

through about 90 days’ of Summer verses, I feel these are the ones

you will enjoy the most! They fill me with memories and nostalgia.

 

~First One~

“I’m rather idle, as you see

I sit upon the ground;

And all the world seems made for me

As it turns round and round.”

 

~Second One~

“I lie beside the running stream,

And watch the clouds, and rest and dream:

A jug with water by me stands,

Which I have filled with my own hands.”

 

~Third One~

“Blossoms, blossoms on the trees

Swinging in the Summer breeze,

Lending sweetness to the air,

To be shed on children fair.”

 

~Fourth One~

“A pretty tree, a shady tree,

Just casts its shadow around:

And we can go and sit beneath,

If we don’t mind the ground.”

 

~Fifth One~

“Little flowers of the field,

To me you tell a tale,

Of blooms upon the hill side,

Of blossoms in the vale.”

 

In this fifth one, I remember how we would say we had traveled

up hill and down, ‘hills and dales.’ But, I had to pause a moment

to remember that “vale” means, ‘valley.’

 

~Sixth One~

“How I love the field flowers,

Blooming bright and gay!

How I love the green, green fields,

To wander there all day!”

 

I remember making rings of daisies for bracelets, necklaces and

“crowns” in elementary school. Later, in high school, when I was

not working as a babysitter or at Lord Nelson’s Restaurant in

Westlake, Ohio, I remember plucking daisy petals off, one by one,

saying the silly words, “He loves me, he loves me not. . .” while

throwing them into a creek. The field flowers I loved the most

were those blue cornflowers and Queen Anne’s Lace.

 

Did any of these quaint verses bring back any memories for you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Another Monday

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I absolutely love the Bangles’ song, “Just Another Manic

Monday!”

It may not be raining, as it was last week, but I have

heard from a few family members and friends on the

subject of “Rain” and am adding another post to

complete or complement the first story.

It may rain later tonight, but if not, hope you had a

great time out in the pleasant weather!

Here are more ways you hear different variations of

the word rain and other close subjects.

When it is an early morning rain, you may already

think of Gordon Lightfoot’s song,

“Early Morning Rain.”

There were several people who gave great additions

to my first list, including Mike Lince’s one of

“A Hard Rain’s A’gonna Fall.” Bob Dylan wrote and

sang this in 1962.

When we all got together and came up with some more

suggestions on this very subject, we were:

“Brainstorming.”

The words, ‘rain’ and ‘storm’ are included in this!

My baseball-loving brothers and Mom, dislike when it

rains, and there are:

Rain Delays!

When I had a nice, long list that included songs with

storms or rain in them, my Mom came up with wonderful

musical production numbers and made a double contribution

to the list!

1. “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” sung by Barbra Streisand

in “Hello Dolly” musical play.

2. “The Rain in Spain (Falls Mainly on the Plain)” sung

by Julie Andrews in the Broadway production of “My Fair

Lady.”

My sister in law, who is also interested in Native Americans

reminded me of the importance of the custom of “Rain Dances.”

Then, once that subject was brought up over dinner as a

family, Mom said,

“It is lucky to have rain on your wedding day.”

When I was reflecting after I had pushed that final “Publish”

button on wordpress.com last Monday, I remembered a simple

nursery chant:

“Rain, rain

Go away!

Come again,

Another day!”

Then, when you have a surplus of problems, or if you are

advertising for the Morton Salt company:

“When it rains…

It pours.”

Can you believe this famous slogan, accompanied by the

Morton Salt Umbrella Girl, originated in 1911? This must

be one of the longest lasting advertising tools in the

history of sales! The woman responsible is Joy Morton,

the head of the sales team that designed the logo.

One valuable symbolism of rain is~ it is like a cleansing

of the spirits. It could be considered a ‘renewal of life.’

The barren, dry parched land’s cycle includes its period

of freezing cold. Almost like a hibernation.

Then from the ground, once drops of rain fall upon the Earth,

plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables seeds start to sprout.

Spring really gets our attention!

If you ate too much Easter candy and were a little ‘sluggish’

as a result today, I can relate to that! I needed extra

caffeine, at first break, lunch and second break, too.

It is interesting to note, our new D.C. #23’s “CEO,” named

Joe, has implemented, “Free Small Coffee’s (or Hot Cocoa’s)

out of the vending machine on Mondays!

Hope this finds you well, happy and enjoying a wonderful

Monday!

Rainy Days and Mondays

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Today is Monday and it does have a foreboding forecast of

sleeting rain and even, in the northern part of Ohio and

other areas of the country: Snow!

The most memorable song, which includes the variability of

our weather forecast for tonight is, “Cold Rain and Snow,”

by the Grateful Dead, 1966. Its original song was an upbeat

tempo rock song, but is also recorded more slower paced.

We can feel cheerful when we remember the way our elementary

teachers had us draw, paint or write about this little ditty:

“April Showers Bring May Flowers…”

I used to staple umbrellas and ducks for the month of April on

my bulletin board in my preschool and elementary school teaching

days. My teaching assistant and I used to like to use chocolate

pudding to create ‘mud’ during our finger painting art times. Once

their paintings would dry, we would have the children the next

day paint pink pigs. Which later, we cut out and glued in their

“mud holes.” I used the pattern of Wilbur, from the book,

“Charlotte’s Web,” by E. B. White to draw on fingerpaint paper.

The subject of ‘rain’ is one that could include multiple choices!

It all depends on your mood or what reference point that leads to

the subject matter. Your mood can be affected by when it comes to

which thing or event reminds you of it. Whatever triggers you

into rain’ it can be powerful in its message. The word can evoke

imagery.

Rain can be deep, richly laced with symbolism.

Rain is a ‘favorite’ or popular subject found in poetry, musical

lyrics and movies. It is the subject of the Shakespeare play,

“The Tempest,” and the movie, “The Perfect Storm.”

Then, there are the simpler, less nuanced, basic levels that

come to mind when you think of ‘rain.’ Of course, coworkers

and people one runs into on the street, often talk about the

weather! Everyone uses this as one of the ‘blandest’ and most

common denominator of subjects.

It can also evoke memories of good times where the song

brings back fun thoughts. Then, due to its darker side

which includes such diverse elements as cloudy skies,

lightning, thunder and storms, it can hold serious ‘weight’

to it. It can be a dangerous event or subject. Monsoons,

typhoons and storms while boats or ships are out to sea are not at

all light-hearted subjects.

There are familiar expressions that include those same words, too.

I like the fact that there are a couple of movies with the subject

of ‘rain,’ included in them.

Some have theme songs, that are paired where they are remembered

as ones that originated in the movies. There are songs which simply

imply the subject matter of rain in their lyrics.

When people complain about too much rain, they say it is ‘raining

cats and dogs.’ This probably brings smiles to children and ones

learning English!

There are many people who have not lived through a drought or a

monsoon, so they should be careful when they complain about the

weather. It could certainly be much worse!

Here is everything I could come up with, from the top of my mind,

on the subject of Rain:

1. “It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is

snoring,…” This is a rather silly nursery rhyme or old saying

chanted in a singsong manner.

2. I love that breathy rhythm and blues song called, “Stormy Weather,”

don’t you? This was sung in 1933, for the first time in the famous,

“Cotton Club,” by Ethel Waters. The movie of the same name, is still

considered one of the best musicals, with an ethnically diverse cast.

The beautiful singer, Lena Horne, is included in that cast. I highly

recommend this, if you have never seen it!

3. Although not really fitting with the theme of the movie, B.J.

Thomas’ song, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” was featured in

a light-hearted break in the movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance

Kid.”

I love the picture I get in my mind, of Paul Newman riding in circles,

with the actress, Katherine Ross, on his bicycle’s handlebars. My

favorite lines in that song are not about the rain, but about the sun

and the way you can change your mood: (Remember “I did some talking

with the sun…”)

“But there’s one thing I know,

the blues they may send to meet me,

won’t defeat me.

It won’t be long, till happiness

comes up to greet me.”

4. “Rainy Days and Mondays (Always Get Me Down)” can get me both

sad and weepy or on better days, just nostalgic. My memories of

the Carpenters include how they were guests on variety shows.

Since Karen Carpenter’s voice is so beautiful in this song, I

try to remember the gifts of their voices and songs the sister

and brother sang together. Richard must have been devastated after

his sister died accidentally of her body shutting down from the

serious illness of anorexia nervosa.

5. I cannot help remembering the excitement I felt, when I heard the

song, “It’s Raining Men.” (“Alleluia!”) It is credited to be sung

by the Weather Girls, but somehow I thought Donna Summer also sang

it.

6. In the song, “Let It Rain,” Eric Clapton created a true iconic

song. He married a central Ohio woman, which makes me happy. His

song about the death of his son, he wrote into a song, “Tears in

Heaven.”

7. If rain were colors, then I would like “Purple Rain,” but

the song and movie, with Prince the singer (who now uses a

symbol to represent himself), is very dark and includes an

abusive life.

8. On the “B” side of the record that had a much more famous

Beatles’ song of “Paperback Writer,” is the one which is now

featured in a Cirque de’ Soleil musical simply called, “Rain.”

9. One of my oldest daughter’s favorite groups, during her middle

school years, was Creedence Clearwater Revival. We used to just

say, “CCR.” There are two songs with the word rain in it that we

enjoyed. Our favorite was “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” and the

second was, “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” They are not the same and both

carry different messages.

10. Who can forget the group, “The Eurythmics?” They sang a really

meaningful song, which became overplayed and lost its importance.

“Here Comes the Rain Again.”

11. There are Bob Dylan songs with rain in them, but only remember,

“Buckets of Rain.” What is another one?

12. I love and adore James Taylor’s, “Fire and Rain.” If the first,

beginning notes or chords are played, I have to turn my radio up

loud and sing the words with him!

13. An ‘oldie but goodie,’ that Melvin reminded me of, at lunch

today, was another ‘favorite’ of mine: “The Temptations” singing,

“I Wish it Would Rain.”

The final reference for rain, that you have been waiting for,

asking, “Did she forget it or what?” is…

The movie and song, “Singing in the Rain!”

Simply a fun and sunny outlook on rain, with Gene Kelly, Debbie

Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. Gene Kelly’s voice and dancing

erase all the bad moments and memories on the subject of Rain!

 

Adding a postscript today, July 30, 2014:

There is a definition in the urban dictionary, where they accept all

kinds of ‘new uses’ and like to ‘invent’ words. Anyone out there who

enjoys or likes rain, you are a “pluviophile!” Smiles for this addition!

Character Study #2: A picture of “Brian”

Standard

I have not seen Joe, the first ‘homeless’ man I studied

last Summer. He had been a frequent visitor to the

computer section of the library with his dog. I had

described him, once the chilly days had arrived and

the seasons had changed.

I still hope that Joe and his little buddy are either

out West or living in a warmer climate.

My second ‘homeless’ person, I have known about for

years. Within the last 7 years of living downtown in

Delaware, Ohio, I have seen him much more often.

The first year I moved into my little one bedroom apt.

I was always heading out to walk or hike, once the

weekend came.

I like to walk to the Delaware Community Market and

on my way, stop to see what wares and produce the

downtown Farmer’s Market holds. (Held on sidewalks

on the eastern side of Sandusky Street on Saturdays.)

Sometimes, I was going to the library or post office.

I was entranced with the novelty of not only being

“ecological” by not using my car, but also by seeing

all the people I had not noticed, while living behind

Buehler’s in the Lexington Glen development in what

is considered the ‘suburbs.’

Brian, I will call this second man. He seems like a

Brian (or a Patrick) since he has reddish hair and

scruffy thin face that sometimes sports a scraggly

red beard. I have looked into his blue or green eyes,

depending on what he wears. I think the time that

Brian was ‘most striking,’ and shocked the heck out

of my youngest daughter was while we were briskly

walking the Mingo Park trail from our apartment,

along the tributary of the Olentangy River.

We saw Brian straddling atop one of the walls of a

dumpster, five or six feet above us, gingerly

examining wine and beer bottles that the fishermen

or teens who may have ‘parked’ by the river to

‘make out’ had discarded.

He was putting the bottles along the rim of the

dumpster. His hair was standing straight on end,

like he had been electrocuted. It was stunningly

bright red in the early morning bright light!

Brian wore raggedy jeans and a brown non-descript

t-shirt on his upper body. He appears to be about

5′ 10″ when he is on the same level as I have been,

in other circumstances.

Brian waved at my blonde daughter and me, like he

recognized us. (Who knows? Maybe he had seen us

travel this walking path on other occasions.)

We actually slowed down to say,

“Good Morning!”

We thought we would have beat all the Saturday

morning walking/running ‘traffic’ at 6 a.m.

Little did we expect that the one who has no

home, must wake up at the ‘crack of dawn,’ too!

Brian repeated the greeting, in a jovial tone, back

to us.

His gallivant nature made us think, as we resumed

our quicker pace, that he was reminiscent of a

pirate! His neck had had a red bandana tied in a

cavalier knot, on the side. His black leather boots

were somewhat like a cowboy, but with a tug of one’s

imagination, could have ‘passed’ as a pirate’s.

We thought his pocked face and grin with a few

teeth missing made him likable. His appearance was

similar to one who had been a ‘mate’ on a pirate

ship on the high seas.

As we turned the curve at Mingo to go along

the river path, we saw him turn a green wine

bottle upwards into the air, catching a small

drop or two. This morning ‘juice’ would hold

him until he walked to the recycling place on

London Road, where he may get a few dollars,

enough to get a meal or at least something to

drink. The wine bottle in the tilted fashion he

had held it, finished my thoughts of a pirate,

as if he were drinking a big swig of rum and

releasing a loud, “Arggh!”

In later Fall, 2013 I saw Brian sitting on a

bench in front of Walgreens, smoking a cigarette.

He wore a khaki colored poncho, his hair a wet

mess. His face looked more ruddy and seemed like

he had contracted a rash. Not to be funny, but

it crossed my mind, “hope Brian didn’t sleep

out in poison ivy as it gets really ‘ripe’ in

the late Indian Summer months. He asked me if

I had a dollar, I looked in my pocket where I

put change and had tucked one dollar in with

the quarters.

I told Brian, “I need my quarters for laundry

so here is my only cash.”

He nodded his head and his raspy voice asked

me a question that stopped me in my tracks.

He was holding out the dollar, as if ready

to pass it back to me.

I had not expected him to really listen,

care or respond except for a ‘thank you.’

But Brian asked me,

“Are you sure you have enough for laundry?

You could go across the street over there

and they have a change machine.”

I smiled and answered, “Oh yes, I would have

not offered it to you if I needed it!”

Brian had longer, more stringy hair, the last

time I spied him at McDonald’s with a hot cup

of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. He was

leaning forward, crouching over the Styrofoam

cup, as if putting his hands over a warm fire.

Either he made it to the recycling or a kind

soul had given him a donation to his ‘pantry.’

He had a much warmer coat than the poncho I had

seen him wearing in the Fall. It was a deep blue

with a red plaid cotton lining, which you could

see since it lined his fake fur edged hood. His

face looked chapped and still had the ‘angry’ red

blotches. These kind of look like they may have

an allergic reaction, but more than likely, are

due to his all weather living quarters.

There is one other ‘homeless’ person, a woman,

who will sometime be my subject to practice a

little of character development. I think observing

details, finding and adding quirks and mannerisms

helps round out a person. I have never taken a

‘writing course,’ although we all write our thoughts

down and analyze life, situations and people.

I hope to see the more buoyant and ‘pirate-like’

Brian again this summer…

on the shores of the Olentangy River.