Black and White Challenge

I know the challenge is probably over, but I thought I’d add this one for the fun of it.  I never was very good at following rules. Yes, I know the featured image is not black and white, but it’s the full sky of my shot below.  Again with the not following rules thing.

I ran across it as I was going through my photos to start my Instagram account (yes, I’m finally one of the cool kids!)  Wait, maybe Snapchat is the cool thing now…I’m old…can’t keep up.  Anyhow, here’s my little cloud.

cloud

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365 Challenge: Day 224 – Help (LIST: Artist Support)

Here are some thoughts from a newly-published author. If you haven’t already, follow https://thisismytruthnow.com and learn about the process of being published first hand. Let’s support one of our own!

I’ll be having Jay as a guest on my blog next month. I can’t wait!

This Is My Truth Now

Help: the various ways to support someone who is trying to launch a new product or service (like a book)

Help an Author

Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. Do you know someone who recently launched a new product or service (artist, author/book, greeting cards, editing services… it goes on forever!) but you’re not exactly sure how to best help them? Perhaps you’re not a reader or you don’t have a lot of money to purchase their new book or product. That’s OK! You can still be a critical part of his or her team by supporting them in tons of other ways. Below is a quick LIST of possible ways you can help promote or market, whether it’s a writer, painter, artist, creator, editor, musician… adapt the option to fit the service.

  • Tell your friends, family and colleagues all about the person and their product.
  • Write a review…

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Guest in Jest #15 Rhapsody Boheme

This is going to be a short funny and hopefully I will find a few of you who think this is amusing. I can think of at least one person and so I’m dedicating this post to my dear friend Linda, her funny Guest in Jest series that posts every week and is filled with funnies, sure to make you smile. Of course the ultimate decision will be hers of whether there is room for this post and there is no pressure to include it. I couldn’t ask for anything more than your smile and if you haven’t stopped by her lovely blog, please do yourself a favour and get acquainted with this funny dragon tamer. 🐉

The story starts with a little bit of an intro of what you should know to understand the circumstances. Yes I’m planning of fully humiliating myself so you can have the best laughter possible. On my account of course. I have a patio door leading to the backyard that is located just off the kitchen. It’s in a huge room that is known as the game room, and it is filled with a bar (imagine that I don’t drink), a soccer table, pool table/ping pong table (yes, I used to play like Forest Gump and have the trophys to show for), a dart board, a pup table and…I think that’s it. Few games go on in that room these days, but the pup table in front of the sliding door for sure sees the most action since I usually write there or paint in that room. There is a small wooden deck that oversees the rest of the yard, and it’s a place to house a small patio set with a table, two chairs and an umbrella. Further there is a grill, a little water feature and of course the large flower box that is now serving as “Dirty Jakes’s” – (squirrel) feeding ground.

It was early in the morning and the sun was out in full force. A bright and cheery glow filled the room as I stepped into the kitchen to prepare my cup of joe. The aroma of the brewing coffee filled the house as I stepped towards the pub table to set a few things down. And then it happened and I didn’t even know what it was that I saw. A shadow in front of the still drawn curtains from the slider stopped me dead in my tracks. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest, my eyes opened in horror and so did my mouth, except not a peep emerged in this silent scream. I even side stepped awkwardly while trying to back away and luckily the coffee was still brewing. It would have spilled for sure if I had it in my hands and it was one of those moments when you see  something that scares the living daylights out of you before your mind can even wrap itself around what it is you are even seeing. Catching my breath, my first initial thought was that the grim reaper was on my patio waiting to take me away. Or maybe it was a member of the KKK. Luckily it was neither (relief), and it took a moment to figure out that this visitor would return over and over on other sunny days and at the same time. I’m used to it by now and it even makes me laugh, but that first intial scare still has my heart pounding and all I can say is “Darn Umbrella” got a good one on me and had me believing that my time had come.

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Please join us in our Guest of Jest series

Please submit your guest posts to mainepaperpusher@yahoo.com and they will be published in order of submission every Friday here at Everybody Else Has the Best Titles

Here are the rules:

  1. Give us some info about your blog.  Make sure to add a link to it.
  2. Write up something amusing.  It doesn’t have to be “laugh out loud” funny, but a bit of humor would be great.
  3. Pictures optional, but encouraged.
  4. The post can be one that has been posted before.
  5. Multiple submissions are encouraged!

 The piece can be anything that is humorous.  A story, a recollection, even something as simple as a joke.

C’mon, you know you want to!  Why should we have all the fun?

The featured image was created by Silas at  My weird, crazy and mundane life Journal 

Quick Apology And Then On With The Show!

I haven’t been reading or commenting much the last few days and I just wanted to apologize for not being as “present” as I usually am.

My elder Great Dane Levi was ill again and I’ve been playing nursemaid.  After a fever of 103.6 and three days of not eating, I am happy to report that his antibiotics have kicked in.  HIs fever is gone and he had something to eat tonight.  I’ve been bribing him with wet cat foot to get him to take his pill the last couple of days and even then it was difficult.  Now he’s gotten used to that and I gave him his food tonight and he just looked at me as though he knew I had a can of cat food at the ready.  Of course, I did!  Smart dog!

Anyhow, I’ll be posting a great Guest in Jest soon and I hope things will be back to normal.

Guest in Jest and Weekly Request

This week we are featuring Rhapsody Bohème.  Be sure to check out her blog that includes personal reflection, nature, and gorgeous photos.

 

This is where I start my shameless begging:

 

Please join us in our Guest of Jest series

 

Please submit your guest posts to mainepaperpusher@yahoo.com and they will be published in order of submission every Friday here at Everybody Else Has the Best Titles

 

Here are the rules:

  1. Give us some info about your blog.  Make sure to add a link to it.
  2. Write up something amusing.  It doesn’t have to be “laugh out loud” funny, but a bit of humor would be great.
  3. Pictures optional, but encouraged.
  4. The post can be one that has been posted before.
  5. Multiple submissions are encouraged!

 

 The piece can be anything that is humorous.  A story, a recollection, even something as simple as a joke.

 

C’mon, you know you want to!  Why should we have all the fun?

 

 

The featured image was created by Silas at  My weird, crazy and mundane life Journal 

Humph! Day #13 Zero Pounders

For those of you who have been around long enough to have read this post, I apologize.  For my new followers, I’m repeating a previous post.  A while back a realized that some of my posts weren’t posting correctly and after saying Humph! a few times, I decided to revisit my older posts on Wednesdays.  What better day to have a Humph! day than a Wednesday?  🙂

Zero Pounders

About forty years ago, I became a vegetarian because I thought it was the right thing to do.  Besides, a guy I liked decided he was going to be a vegetarian and how better to gain his attention and respect?  Ok, so it was mostly the latter but I was fifteen and I didn’t know any better.

I became a vegetarian, and then three days later I had a Big Mac.  We were on a school trip and on the way home we stopped at McDonald’s for dinner.  My new principles went by the wayside and then something amazing happened.  One of my friends on the bus took one look at the hamburger in my hand and said: “I knew you couldn’t do it.”

Oh yeah?  Hummmpph!  Not only did I become a vegetarian, I became a vegan.  That’s right my doubting friend…just watch me not eat animal stuff!  You just watch!  I was a vegan for a year and then it became obvious that living without cheese was a life not worth living….at least for me.  Plus, I was going to college soon and I wouldn’t be able to cook for myself there.  Even if I could sustain a vegetarian lifestyle, I was sure being a vegan would be next to impossible.  As it turned out, I was right.

I was lucky that my college did offer a vegetarian menu.  It consisted of pasta a couple of times a week, but mostly it was lima bean casserole.  If I never see another lima bean that will be just fine with me.  I must have consumed my weight in lima beans 10 times over and I’m a big person!

In spite of the lima beans, that Big Mac on the school trip was the last piece of meat I’ve had.  It’s been over forty years and I’m still meat-free.  Sure, it started for all the wrong reasons, but I’ve never regretted it.

My parents might have questioned it a bit, though.  My big decision to prove my friend wrong happened just a few days before Thanksgiving.  My mother was shocked that I wouldn’t be eating turkey.  How could this be?  She was so concerned that she contacted our doctor and asked his opinion.  It was a short reply: “she’ll die.”  As you can imagine, it was a rough road there for a while. As time went on, it was obvious that I wasn’t dead yet, so things settled down.

I got through college, went out on my own, got married, got a job, and did all of the things people do.  I still wasn’t dead, but by that time, the doctor was.  It seems that being a vegetarian isn’t nearly as lethal as cigarette smoking.

People would hear me say I was a vegetarian and they would ask if I ate chicken…uh no.   “Don’t you eat fish?”  Uh no.  Finally, I came up with a way to make them understand.  I would say “I don’t eat anything with a face or a foot!”  That sounds weird, but it meant I didn’t eat clams or other shellfish either.  Hey, they don’t have faces, so I had to improvise!

I figure if I can’t kill an animal, I shouldn’t be eating it.  One of my best friends is a hunter and she bags turkeys and deer and even bears!  She guts them, skins them and uses every last part of them.  I admire that.  At least it’s not a trophy and nothing more.  I couldn’t do what she does, but I respect it.  Since I could never pull the trigger (at least against anything four-legged) you won’t see me eating bear burger anytime soon.

Early in my life as a vegetarian, every once in a while I would go to McDonald’s and have some french fries.  I’m rather partial to french fries and they were a treat.  Then I learned that McDonald’s put tallow in their fries, so they weren’t vegetarian!  I sent them a scathing comment on their website.  Not long afterward, I got a message from some law firm telling me I was part of a class action suit!  Wow, a scathing comment can have some ramifications!  The end result was that McDonald’s had to give a few million dollars to a bunch of charities who didn’t like tallow in french fries either.  Good!  Serves ’em right!  I vowed I would never set foot in one of their establishments again.

Then the unthinkable happened; I had to go there.  McDonald’s was giving away a doll with the purchase of two Quarter-Pounders.  One of my customers in Chicago who is a dear friend was desperate to get one for her niece.  All of the McDonald’s in Chicago were sold out.  Damn it…er I mean luckily, Maine still had them.  I couldn’t possibly buy meat because it was against my principles. But I was torn.  This was for someone I really cared about.  I was stymied.

Against my better judgment, I went there.  I asked if I could buy the doll outright…No.  I asked if I could pay for two Quarter Pounders and get the doll and not take the Quarter Pounders…I was just met with silence. Once they regained their ability to talk, they politely told me that they didn’t have a button for that.  Eventually, they agreed to provide two Zero-Pounders and the doll.  They didn’t have a button for that either and I’ve always wondered how they dealt with those four extra burger patties at the end of the day.  It didn’t matter, I proudly left with my Zero Pounder sandwiches consisting of nothing but buns with ketchup and mustard…and the doll. Score!

I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking that I went against my vow to never set foot in another McDonald’s ever again.  How could I do such a thing when I promised myself?  Well, I didn’t…I went through the drive-thru!

Photo source: Centralmaine.com

From Mushrooms to Moonshine

It all started when I came home from work and found a butterscotch-colored VW microbus in my driveway.  I pulled in and as soon as I got out of my car, the door of the microbus swung open and a most interesting character appeared.  He was short with salt and pepper hair with a beard to match.  He wore jeans and cowboy boots and his swagger completed the look.  I couldn’t for the life of me guess what he might want.

He ambled over and pointed to a spot on my lawn next to the road.  “Do you mind if I take those mushrooms?” he asked?  I won’t lie.  I was a little dumbfounded.  I didn’t even know there were mushrooms over there.  I certainly didn’t know there were edible mushrooms over there.  Then I began to wonder just what kind of mushrooms they were. Was I growing psychedelic mushrooms unknowingly?  Sure he could have them.  He gathered them up and drove away in his microbus.

I have to admit that I was literally shaking my head as I thought about the odd exchange.  This guy looked like he came out of the 60’s.  He wasn’t really a hippie, but he had the microbus so that gave him a bit of a 60’s vibe right there.  He was kind of a hippie cowboy.  I didn’t even know those two words could go together!  Anyhow, I thought that was the end of it, but it wasn’t.

I don’t remember when he came back, or why.  What I do remember is that Bill was playing his guitar when he came to the door.  He said he played, too and he’d be right back.  Sure enough, in a few minutes, he was back with his own guitar.  It did not escape me that his quick return meant he lived very close by.

We learned that his name was Bill, too.  That’s where the similarity ended.  It’s going to be very difficult to keep the Bill’s straight in this story so I will call my husband Bill, and the other Bill “Other Bill.”  Original, huh?

This microbus-cowboy boot-wearing Other Bill was not one to be one-upped.   He wanted to hear Bill play.  Bill obliged by playing a quiet piece by Bach.  Other Bill smiled and proceeded to play with gusto. l admit now that I couldn’t remember the title of the song.  It might have been Spanish Flea or Spanish Fly, but it was some sort of Spanish insect.  Spanish Fly sounded about right after the whole mushroom episode.

Bill informs me now that I was wrong, it was Spanish Flang Dang.  My insect theory was dashed, but at least it was Spanish!  What the hell is a flang dang anyway?  I’m not sure I want to know.  Other Bill also played something that was very fast and impressive.  I can’t remember the name of that song either, but he was obviously very proud of himself.

I have to admit, he was really good.   He very much wanted us to think he was amazing.  He left sporting an air of arrogance that was undeniable.  After that, I figured he’d probably had enough of us mere mortals.  But no, he wasn’t, not by a long-shot. Apparently, playing those songs weren’t enough to prove his superiority indisputably.  Why he felt he had something to prove, I’ll never know, but it irked me.  It irked me a lot.  I don’t do well with blowhards.

It was Christmas Eve when he invited us to his house for a bit of Christmas cheer.  My mother was visiting us so she tagged along.  My Mom was a Baptist deaconess, but she was pretty much a live-and-let-live kind of person.  Little did she know what was in store as we were heading up to Other Bill’s house.

As he opened the door all I could smell was burnt coffee.  He smiled and pointed to a spatterware enameled coffee pot.  It looked like it came out of a Western movie.  I suppose it matched his cowboy boot persona.  Seeing that, I wasn’t surprised when he asked us if we wanted some “cowboy coffee.”  It had been boiling on that woodstove all afternoon and was about as thick as molasses.  He offered us a cup.  Bill and my Mom were smart enough to politely decline.  Not me!  I’m not smart at all as you’ll see as this story unfolds.

Seeing Other Bill try to one-up my Bill in such a dramatic fashion with those guitar songs had not been forgotten.  If he could drink that sludge in a pot, so could I!  Did I mention that his superiority complex irked me?  This cowboy was going to have a little comeuppance if I had anything to say about it!

Other Bill seemed surprised that I survived the coffee, but he wasn’t done.  He brought out an array of baked goods.  They all looked yummy, but every single one of them was laced with a LOT of alcohol.  Brandy and rum were high on the list of ingredients for these potent pastries.  I think there was some whiskey in there, too.  Again, smart people that they are, Bill and my Mom nibbled a bit and smiled like appreciative guests.

I am so stupid when I think I have something to prove.  There was some irony there and I knew I wasn’t any better than he was by trying to bring him off his pedestal.  That didn’t stop me.  If he could stomach this stuff, so could I.  I refused to be outdone.

His round oak table was covered in these treats and I tried them all.  Nope, he wasn’t going to outdo me in the pastry department, even though my alcohol level was probably high enough to make a breathalyzer melt.   It didn’t matter.  I watched his face as I matched him bite for bite.  I didn’t have to win this stupid game of one-upmanship.  I just needed him to realize that he wasn’t as great as he thought he was.

I thought at that point we would just exchange some pleasantries and be on our way.  Oh no, it couldn’t be that easy.  It was then that moonshine came out.  I’d never seen a mason jar of real moonshine before but I had an inkling it might be my undoing.  He was practically gleeful as he told us just how potent it was.

Saying it wasn’t enough apparently.  He cleared the table, poured a pretty good splash of moonshine on it and set it on fire.  Yes, we were sitting there while the table was burning.  His eyes were twinkling as he looked for a reaction.  Bill and Mom stepped away like sane people, but I didn’t move a muscle.  I was committed at that point.  I was now beyond irked.  I waited for the inevitable.

The fire burned itself out and Other Bill poured two shots.  He wasn’t even asking Bill or my Mom anymore.  This was between us.  My eyes were like slits as we went back and forth, shot for shot, till the mason jar was empty.  At that point, he had nothing more to offer.  We were at a stalemate and we said our goodbyes.

I would like to leave the story at that say that I went home happy knowing I stood up to that arrogant ass.  The truth of the matter is that once I was home, I walked in the door and headed straight for the bathroom.  I revisited every bite and every drop that I’d swallowed that night.  But you know what?  It didn’t matter.  He didn’t have to know that. All he knew was that he hadn’t won.  It was a vomit of victory!

Roda’s Black and White Challenge

My friend Roda over at GROWING SELF  has this black and white photo challenge and she’s forced challenged me to participate.  I’m lazy.  There, I said it!

So I’m not going to do seven photos in seven days.  However, I will do one now and maybe one other one at the time of my choosing.  See Roda!?  TIME OF MY CHOOSING!  That’ll teach her to try to coerce challenge me like this.

Here’s the first, and maybe only black and white photo you’ll get.

 

passenger car