And climb the stairs to the beach...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't Forget Tomorrow's Rabbits!

Most of my longtime readers and Facebook friends know I am a strong proponent of saying Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit before anything else on the first day of the month. It has been promised to bring good luck. I don't know if it's true, but I always try to say my rabbits and can't help having a feeling of dread when I forget them.

I have done whole blogs on this tradition so I won't do another. However, if you want to read almost everything you ever wanted to know about Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, you can go back in my archives to August 1, 2005 where you will find a full explanation of this very old supersition.   Click here to read the 8/1/05 Rabbit Blog

I have learned a couple of things about the Rabbit tradition since posting that 8 years ago:
Did you know that FDR always said his rabbits? And, in some cultures, you had to say your rabbits up the chimney for it to work properly. I don't know why. Maybe it had something to do with Santa Claus. And in some British traditions, saying your rabbits on the first of the month meant that rather than good luck all month you'd get a present before the month ended. Well, since my birthday is in August, I guess I had better remember tomorrow's Rabbits!

I got to thinking about this and other superstitions involving animals and did a little research. Some of them we are all familiar with, of course, like black cats crossing our paths or stepping on a spider bringing rain. But there are some I haven't heard of before that you might find amusing.

Did you know that in 18th century England, if a white rabbit was seen in a village where someone was very ill, that person would likely die soon? And, if you said the word "rabbit" on board ship it was very bad luck.

Speaking of water, if you said the word "pig" while fishing, the fish would stop biting.

If a bee flies into the house, you will have a visitor. On the other hand, if a sparrow flies into your house, somebody will die.

It was once thought that if a child rode on a bear's back it would be cured of whooping cough.

The same cure could be had if the child breathes in a horse's breath.

On the other hand, if you see a white horse... must cross your fingers until you see a dog. (Huh?)

Years ago I heard that if you hear or see an owl during daylight it is a harbinger of death.

But I just learned that if you hear an owl hooting you should take off your clothes, turn them inside out and put them on again. Whooooo knew?

Did you know that any man who eats roasted owl will be obedient and a slave to his wife? Recipe swapping anyone?  Also, eating salted owl cures gout.  If a pregnant woman hears the screech of an owl, she will have a baby girl. And Greeks believed that if  you gave a child an owl's egg, it would never become an alcoholic.

And finally, in 16th century England, visitors always kissed the family cat for good luck. So, if you forget your rabbits tomorrow, you can always come by and give Maggie a kiss!
Have a great day and don't forget your Rabbits tomorrow!!!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Owen's First Birthday

Well I just had a great weekend with my son and his family. It kept me away from the blogging for a couple of days, but I am sure you understand. Although those of you who are my Facebook friends will see this as sort of a rerun, I have to write about it just because it's what's on my mind today. Perhaps tomorrow I will be back off the cloud nine that comes along every time I spend time with grandkids.

It was our littlest grandson Owen's first birthday party. His mom had created this fabulous nautical themed party with family and friends gathered in the backyard. The weather was much better than anticipated, albeit a little warm and humid. But they had strategically placed canopies and umbrellas in areas where the giant oak didn't provide any shade. And there was a pool, too cold for this Grammy to get into, but there were some takers.

Lily thought it was great. Great Aunt Becky, (AKA Becky the Great) thought it was a little chilly!

And for the toddlers there was a water table to splash in as well as a wading pool.

But in the little pool, the water was great!

 A sand table, a playhouse, a workbench and even a toddler barbecue.

Cousin Dylan at the workbench

Cousins Lulu and Maya join Lily in the playhouse.
Uncle Dooger accompanies Lily for her debut. Just give her a minute and she'll be okay.

Lily insisted that Uncle Dooger get her up from her nap for her dramatic entrance to the party. It took her a few minutes to warm up. I think she was a little shy waking up to a backyard full of party guests. (You'll notice the boo-boo on her lip from a tumble earlier in the week. This did not make for the best photographs, but even with a boo-boo on her lip, I think she's an absolute doll.)

Sandtable fun
After a wonderful meal prepared by Kim and Bill and assistant chef, Dooger, the presentation of the ceremonial cake took place. Although the wind had blown out the candle, Owen still blew and we all clapped as he made his wish.  

The presentation.
Oops. Wardrobe Malfunction

A masterpiece!
The Smash Cake

The cake was beautiful and tasty as well. Owen had his own "Smash Cake" which is something I'd never heard of but appropriately named and very entertaining for Owen and us spectators.
Ready, set, smash!
Cake Gloves
What's that? I can't hear you. I have cake in my ear.

As host, my son did whatever he had to do to keep the guests entertained. Some guests enjoyed being part of the four-headed monster walk.

Others enjoyed his tour of his new shed. 

There were multiple sets of grandparents there, as well as quite a few toddlers.

I heard but a very few little outbursts and no meltdowns what so ever. And the toddlers were well behaved, too. (Bah dump bum.)

I think they all must have had good naps that day before they arrived.

Owen was, as always, even tempered and all smiles. He loved the new over-sized stuffed gorilla he got from one of his cousins.

And he enjoyed being passed from person to person as he mingled with his guests, giving everyone a little face time.

Keeping with the nautical theme, bowls of Goldfish and Swedish fish, with a silver scoop provided for self-serve were on a side table with goodie bags there to be filled upon the guests' departure.

It was a great time. Mom's sandals had been left a little too close to the high chair. Filled with leftover cake, one might say it was a cakewalk. I didn't make that one up. I think it was Bill. groan.

Lily has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger, and I suspect that will last a long, long time. After most of the guests went home, but the music played on, there was a little dancing. Here's a little clip of the father and daughter dance.

Sister Lily was, as always, the loving big sister was also the assistant hostess with the mostest.
Happy Birthday kisses.

Playing with Grampa in the morning before the party was just the beginning of  great visit.
We got to spend a couple of fun days with these little ones. Each visit we get to know them better and it's so much fun to watch my son being the dad he is. He and his wife have such a wonderful partnership in raising these two precious little ones. My grandbabies are very lucky to have a home so full of love and nurturing as they do.

 Happy  Birthday Owen! Thanks for inviting us to your party!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Morning Cartoons

I hate to admit it, but TV was still in it's infancy or at least it's toddlerhood when I was a kid. We had our select shows, of course, but there were few to pick from and TV was not on 24/7 like it is today.

Watching the test pattern while we waited for our cartoons to start on Saturday mornings with a bowl of Sugar Krinkles and a jelly glass of milk on the coffee table is a memory that my kids won't ever have.
Typical of the jelly glasses we had that predated the Flinstone glasses.
My all time favorite cereal.
Saturday mornings were some of the few times we were allowed to eat in the living room by ourselves while our parents slept in a little.

Our cartoons were often in black and white until I'd say 1960 or so. But we didn't really care. They were cartoons! But, there were some disturbing characters in some of those old cartoons. Merrie Melodies cartoons had almost all animal characters, almost never people. There were cows and pigs and cats and dogs all dressed like people, pushing baby carriages, going to ball games. But no people!
The cigar-smoking policeman was always a bulldog. The "people" he interacted with usually wound up being hit over the head with the nightstick he wielded.

Merrie Melodies also had Porky Pig, who I did like, although he never wore pants and his stutter was frustrating, but fun to imitate.  I never liked Daffy Duck or Sylvester. I hated how they spit when they talked and they were infuriatingly dumb and often dethpicable. And again, no pants. Tweety was really just a little wise guy who I didnt like either, but I always wanted to like him.  Bugs Bunny was  also a wise guy whose constant tormenting of Elmer Fudd bothered me and wasn't really funny. Hey, wait a minute! Elmer was a person. I guess there are exceptions to every rule. I did like Elmer.  

But some of the more contemporary cartoons that never really became classics, were some of my favorites.  I never really liked Rocky and Bullwinkle, especially Boris and Natasha, but I watched the show because Mr. Peabody and Sherman were on that program. Mr. Peabody was a dog, who wore horn rimmed glasses and a bow tie and walked on all fours. He and his "boy" Sherman, who also wore horn rimmed glasses went on journeys back in time to historical events in the "Way-back" machine that Mr. Peabody had invented.

There would always be something amiss when they arrived at the historical event. Perhaps Nero wasn't fiddling, instead he was playing a drum, or something along those lines. But they'd figure out a way to fix things so history was corrected. At the end of each cartoon Mr. Peabody made some stupid pun about the historical event like Custer's Last Stand really being a hot dog stand. Then Sherman would end the episode by rolling his eyes in annoyance and saying "Oh, Mr. Peabody." Maybe you had to be there, but some of them were very funny.

Then there was Tooter Turtle and Mr. Wizard, a lizard. They had some sort of time machine, too, and at the end of his visit back in time, Tooter would always be in some kind of trouble and Mr. Wizard would have to quickly bring him back. Then Tooter would be swirling around in a spiral, tornado thing and Mr. Wizard would say. "Twizzle, Twazzle, Twuzzle, Twome. Time for this one to come home."

Why do I remember this? I actually find myself reciting that little rhyme sometimes when it's time for me to leave. Nobody, I mean nobody, ever gets that reference. I can't understand it! I loved that one and don't know why it wasn't ever a classic!

And a little later in my cartoon watching career, there was Clyde Crashcup with his assistant Leonardo who never said anything, except when he whispered into Clyde's ear. He was the Penn of the 1960s. (Or was he Teller? I never know which one is which.) But Clyde was some sort of scientist and had a very distinctive voice, sort of  a low Pee-Wee Hermany sort of voice, with a very professorial tone.

His experiments were usually failures, but he could draw things and they would become real. If he needed a door to go through, he'd draw one and step through it. It was very cool and I always thought quite funny.

These  cartoon duos seem to have held some sort of attraction for me. Maybe it was just that for the most part they were people, not animals in drag. Be that as it may, I wonder if today's kids ever watch the cartoons we watched? Probably not. They weren't very sophisticated and they have so many more to choose from than we did. After all, Sponge Bob does wear pants.

Well, "Twizzle, Twazzle, Twuzzle. Twome. Time for this one to go home." Or at least time to get another cup of coffee and start my day.

Have a great Saturday morning everyone!

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