A Toilet Paper Scarcity Story

Pixabay: stevepb. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.Two squares of toilet paper. That was it; two squares. There are some things you don’t realize you take for granted until you can’t.

I was visiting my daughter in Ecuador and went to use a public bathroom. A woman at the entrance took my coin and handed me two squares of T.P. That was my allotment, regardless of what nature delivered.

I suddenly couldn’t take T.P. for granted; not on this vacation. After that first experience—and confirmation by my daughter that T.P. was scarce here—I took to glomming onto any extra toilet-paper-type products whenever I came by them. A restaurant that offered paper napkins? Grab some. A grocery store that sold rolls of T.P.? Buy some.

It became standard operating procedure to try and keep extra paper in my pocket, to supplement that offered by the public facility. Still, even trying to plan, I’d hit periods where my pockets were empty as I went in search of a public bathroom, leaving me nervous as I approached. I’m traveling in a foreign country; my plumbing isn’t working so great. Am I about to enter a stall with a hearty supply of T.P. or only have two squares with which to work?

Sure, I’ve experienced that moment of panic when, mid-movement in a public bathroom, I suddenly realized there was no T.P. It’s a sucky feeling, but infrequent back home, and there’s often someone in the next stall who will willingly pass you some, because, well, there’s plenty of it.

Not in Ecuador. This was not something there was plenty of. Up until that moment I didn’t really think too much about T.P. If I did, it was a throw-away necessity, a plentiful household commodity.

Now? Now, I’m deeply grateful that I have plenty of T.P. in my life. As much as my little butt desires.

 

Photo source: stevepb on Pixabay


 

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Rabbit Update

Pixabay: Alexas_Fotos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.After writing about the Rabbit Prophecy on March 31st, and putting a note by my clock-radio (a permitted reminder), I forgot to say Rabbit Rabbit on April 1st.

“Are you awake?” Bubba asked that morning at 2 a.m.  “Yeah,” I answered.

With that exchange, April’s good-luck rabbit-fortunes were derailed.

For these situations, should anyone ask, I have a trump card. I said Rapid Rabbit on January 1st, which covers the year. It’s my insurance policy.

“No, you have to say it each month for it to count,” my dad argues.

It turns out my dad also disagrees with my conclusion that Rabbit Rabbit was correct.

“No, no, no,” he said, after reading my blog and the Wikipedia post. “I don’t care what the internet says. It’s Rapid Rabbit. That’s how your mother and I always did it. That’s how we taught you.”

Rapid Rabbit was the way I always said it, and according to dad, was correct.

My sister had learned Rabbit Rabbit, and when she did her on-line sleuthing, that was correct.

We were both right, by different sources.

I’m glad to get this resolved. Again.

I still have to remember to do this the first of the month. But my options have expanded. Now, I’m confident the rabbit wand can be waved many ways.

One Rabbit, Two Rabbits, Three Rabbits, four.

Rapid Rabbit, Lapin Rabbit, It’s all rabbit lore.

 

Photo source: Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay


 

Rapid, Rabbit Rabbit

Pixabay: Alexas_Fotos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.I don’t consider myself superstitious. Until I am. Then I do various things to avoid jinxing myself: knock on wood; keep umbrellas closed indoors; sidestep walking beneath a ladder.

I also, on the first of a month, start the day off with the words “Rapid Rabbit.”

Talking with my sister today, she reminded me that tomorrow is “Rabbit Rabbit” day.

“Wait, did you say Rabid Rabbit?” I asked her.

Continue reading “Rapid, Rabbit Rabbit”

It Wasn’t Just an Avocado

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It wasn’t just an avocado. It was an instant of attentiveness, of being awake to a moment in life I usually sleep through. Were I not blogging, I likely would’ve slept through that moment. Instead, I experienced avocado-man with an awareness that saw his small act as something bigger.

As if in slo-mo, I fully took it in.

That’s been a wonderfully, unexpected benefit of blogging.

 

Photo source: coyot on Pixabay


 

Yes, We Have No Avocados

Pixabay: ponce_photography. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

A fellow ran down the sidewalk from Whole Foods, an avocado in his hand. I was in line at a sidewalk sandwich spot off our town square. Avocado-man popped behind the sandwich counter, cut the fruit open, sliced it, and laid it perfectly onto a partially-made sandwich, which he handed to the man in front of me.

Wow, I thought. What a great customer experience.

Can you imagine! I picture him telling his friends. The guy ran over to Whole Foods to get an avocado. For my sandwich!

And his friends would shake their heads in disbelief.

As my friends shake their heads in disbelief when I tell them how things went awry during my birthday outing.  The birthday without clean coffee cups, bananas or bread. And with no one going out of their way to deliver any of them for me.

That customer and I; we each had stories to tell.

 

Photo source: ponce_photography on Pixabay

I wasn’t sure if avocados were fruits or veggies; they’re a fruit. Here’s the scoop from the California Avocado Commission.


 

A Different Puzzle

Walk the goats

I had 1,000 pieces to choose from.

I would put my puzzle together. I would include straight border edges.

If I couldn’t do it following instructions, I could do it my way. It didn’t matter if all 1,000 pieces were there. I was only going to use thirty-one of them. I’d make them fit.

Sometimes you have to bend rules; think outside the box; stretch boundaries; break clichés.

Sometimes you have to own the puzzle.

I owned it.

 

Photo source: Walk the Goats


 

Contemporary Avarice

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An obsession with gold; a craving for it.

Midas—a man of great wealth—loved his daughter, his rose garden, and gold. Certain that more gold would bring more happiness, he was granted his wish that everything he touched would turn to gold. He made a critical miscalculation however: how would it play out at meal time? Or when he hugged his daughter?

He got his wish. And launched his nightmare.

Fast forward to today.  To a world filled with people of great wealth; who love their children. And who, based on the current college admissions scandal, have twisted ideas about what’s important in life.

We’ve created a world where a diploma—issued in limited quantities by elite, Ivy League colleges—is today’s contemporary gold.

This golden diploma is obsessed over. Parents want their children to have it, convinced it will guarantee success; and success will, what, breed happiness?

At least King Midas earned his golden wish by doing a kindness for the servant of a god. He may have made a bad choice in how he spent his wish, but at least he didn’t bribe his way to it.

Not so with today’s parents of wealth who decided to buy their kids’ entrance into elite universities and give them a chance to get that coveted golden diploma. Those parents chose to cheat the system through bribery and lies. I wonder if they planned to continue the deceit and buy good grades for their kids after they got admitted.

The thing is, lies are like the golden touch. They both suggest you’ll get what you want. Midas would get his beloved gold. Parents would get their children into sought-after colleges.

But in the end, the golden touch and lies both destroy; they destroy the person employing them, and their loved ones.

 

Photo source: 3602209 on Pixabay


 

F’ing Bees

114_Fing-Bees“Look!” I said to Bubba. “It’s spring! The rosemary bush is covered with bees, busy gathering pollen. Look at them all.”

Bubba glanced up. “You’re right, there are a bunch of bees.”

“Just think,” I continued. “All those lovely girl bees; working away. Meanwhile, the guys are back at the hive, smoking cigars, hoping they get lucky and get to f*ck the Queen. And then die.”

 

Photo source: Walk the Goats

(P.S. I know that’s not rosemary; it’s an artichoke flower.)

 


 

Red Chair in the Snow

I love this chair. Lots of friends shared their memories of similar chairs when they were growing up. I told dad I thought the red chair would look great against snow. When enough fresh powder lightly blanketed it, he obliged and took pictures for me.  It’s beautiful in any season. May it remind you of a peaceful place, time, moment.

 

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Holiday colors….
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A light dusting of snow…
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Come…sit….
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Snowflakes glisten…

 

Photos: Walk the Goats’ Dad


 

One-Year Blogging Birthday!

Pixabay: Clker-Free-Vector-Images: free for commercial use, no attribution required

I don’t know if blogging for one year triggers a birthday celebration, an anniversary or both. I’m going with birthday, because while I hitched myself to WordPress in 2017, it wasn’t until March 1, 2018 that I launched Walk the Goats, and committed to writing regularly.  Here I am; one year in, plugging away.

Thanks to those who joined me on the outset of this journey. To those who found me more recently, welcome.  It seemed easier to meet fellow bloggers when the WordPress Community Pool existed. Or maybe I just need a gentle push to engage with others more.

So, in honor of this wonderful blogging community and my one-year-blogging birthday, I’ve got an ask. Send me some great reads. Link me to a favorite blog post. Whether it’s your own or a fellow blogger—or both!—doesn’t matter. I’ll read, and I’ll comment.

Help plug me in to others. Help me laugh, learn, ponder, mull and delight in the wit and wisdom of those you read. It’ll be an awesome blogging-birthday-gift. Serve it up in the comments below.

If you simply want to wish me a happy blogging-birthday, I’ll take it. Thanks, and here’s to continued blogging success!

 

Photo source: Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay


 

The Vein-ity of Giving Blood

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I donate blood regularly. I’d like to say I do it strictly for the do-gooder character in me, but, like so many things, multiple characters influence my blood-donating habits.

Mom volunteered for Red Cross Blood Drives when I was growing up, so when the blood drive came to our high school, she encouraged me to donate, reassuring me over my needle-queasiness and worries about having blood taken. The character who wants to please mom is definitely in play

I’ve varied between being an occasional—sometimes lapsed—donor, to being consistent, donating regularly at our local firehouse, which hosts a blood drive every 8-weeks. My lapses were often due to inconvenience—no local blood drive—or too busy.  With our local firehouse setup, it’s easy to give. My do-gooder character believes in the value of donating, so making it easy helps me stay aligned in this corner of my mind.

My every-8-week donation plan sometimes gets thrown off schedule when my iron count fails.

Continue reading “The Vein-ity of Giving Blood”

100 Forever Stamps: $49.75 @ Costco

Pixabay: AngelaT Free for commercial use; no attribution required

U.S. first class stamp prices increased in January from $.50 to $.55. If you’re a Costco member, they’re currently selling books of 100 at the old price, until March 3rd, while supplies last.

Since I didn’t make it to the Post Office before the price increase, make this Item #6 on my Costco Greatest Hits list.

Available at warehouse locations only, not online.

And remember: postage stamps really are wonderful little marvels.

Photo source: AngelaT on Pixabay.


 

 

 

 

 

Bits of Nature

These are bird photos my dad took last fall, when I was on the east coast helping navigate my mom’s last few weeks of life. I went back again this month, to celebrate dad’s 95th birthday and help with taxes. He was happy I was there for the taxes. I was happy I was there for his birthday. We both found our way to happy.

This trip was a lot colder. Snow. Ice. Few people. I forgot how beautiful winter can be, and how powerful nature is, with the cold and wind, especially when you’re in a rural place. My fingers only lasted a few minutes outside of my gloves, trying to take pictures.  I’m a wuss; I kept wondering how quickly frostbite can happen. My fingers got that painful numb feeling, but no frostbite. I was breathing into my gloves to warm them up.

I walked on the frozen lake; I stayed close to shore but felt brave, until I heard the ice crack. I know my face revealed my sudden panic. The ice cracks a lot; it sings and moans and sounds alive.  But it was solid.

First time I’ve made a snowman in decades. I felt like a kid; lost track of time; felt giddy. When I walked back to the house after being gone for 45 minutes, I found dad outside, peering down the road, wondering where I was, given I’d told him I was going out for a short walk.  Some things don’t change just because we grow up.

 

Photos: Dad and Walk the Goats


 

5 Sly Stuff-Taming Sneaks

102_stufftamingsneaks_1-31-19Everyone I know has too much stuff. People I don’t know must, too, given the success of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up Netflix reality series.

In the spirit of less-is-more, here are five sneaky ways to shrink your stuff:

Sneak #1 – The Most Effective Sneak

Don’t buy in the first-place; clutter avoided.  Bonus: Save 100%.

Sneak #2 – Apply Trump’s Regulatory Rule

When you buy one, get rid of two. Whether or not you’re a Trump fan, this two-for-one idea helps declutter.

Sneak #3 – Shrink the Pile

Tiny steps add up: purge one thing a day. At years’ end, that’s 365 fewer items in your home. This works well if you also diligently follow Sneaks #1 and #2.

Sneak #4 – Trick-Trash

Not quite sure you’re ready to get rid of something?  Trick-trash it. Box it up, label it with a date three-months out, then stick it on a shelf. When the date hits, do not open; do bring directly to the thrift store. You won’t even know what you’re getting rid of. No-regrets decluttering!

Sneak #5 – Pretend It’s Rented

It’s easy to return something you’ve rented. You can return a Redbox DVD or a rented car effortlessly, without suffering. But get rid of something you own? Ouch; that’s where the pain is.  Try and treat other stuff as if rented, especially when you’re initially buying; this primes you for an easier parting later.

 

What about you? Do you have stuff-taming sneaks that work for you? Share them in the comments!

 

Photo source: geralt on Pixabay


 

More Blue Screen Haiku

Pixabay: TheDigitalArtist. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

For those who remember computer blue screens and error messages that sent terror through your bones, here are some gentler error messages.

But they still deliver disaster.

A file that big?

It might be very useful.

But now it is gone.


Aborted effort: 

Close all that you have.

You ask way too much.


First snow, then silence.

This thousand-dollar screen dies

so beautifully.


Computer haiku.

Distills angst of those moments.

Our author unknown.

 

Photo source: TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay


 

Blue Screen of Death

Pixabay: Clker-Free-Vector-Images; Free for commercial us; no attribution required

I was going through files from a decade ago and found a collection of haiku poems that took computer problems—something that seems like a modern, human/technological issue—and transformed them into poems about the human condition. Given how frequently computer tragedies happened, the haiku writer was prolific.

I’ve no idea who wrote these, but for anyone who ever experienced a computer crash or got an error message about a missing file, you’ll relate.  I’ll serve up more later. Enjoy!

You step in the stream,

but the water has moved on.

This page is not here.


Serious error.

All shortcuts have disappeared.

Screen. Mind. Both are blank.


Windows NT crashed.

I am the Blue Screen of Death.

No one hears your screams.

 

Photo source: Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay