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Much Ado About Nothing – Cold

Much Ado About Nothing January 18, 2018

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Texans are good at a lot of things, and, as a result, we have an impressive ego about how universally awesome we are, especially around Houston. However, we as Texans do have one weakness: the cold. We don’t do cold or ice or sleet well at all. A few hours of fluffy snow that melts within a few hours so we can go back to our shorts and sandals is okay every nine years, but not the hard core stuff.  Cold is our kryptonite.

During this recent freeze, all Texans were like stunned sea turtles. Even the sea turtles were stunned sea turtles. Poor things had to be thawed out in warm water which probably gave them turtle soup nightmares. My nightmares, however, were caused by all the weather warnings and frenzied news channel weather people triggering off my Post Traumatic Storm Disorder. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

I noticed at least two of my neighbors had their windows open, which I thought unusual considering the sub-freezing temperatures. Then I realized they were airing out the wood smoke that had filled their houses. Don’t judge, we don’t use our fireplaces much around here, so I suppose it’s easy to forget to open the flue.

Personally, I spent the Ice-pocolypse binge watching Netflix. It was that show ‘The Crown’ about Queen Elizabeth so I rationalized that it was sort of educational and therefore not a complete waste of a day. And a night. And maybe part of the next day but whatever. It’s too cold to do anything else so, again, don’t judge.

To people living in colder climes, we just ask that you don’t laugh at us when we try to make sleet angels or google the difference between sleet and snow. Yes, we used the Whataburger gift card we got for Christmas to scrape our windows. What else do we have? Besides, Whataburger is Texas. They understand and will still accept it. And there’s no reason to smirk behind your mittens because we took three boredom naps, stress baked all the frozen fundraiser cookie dough, and cycled through all five stages of grief and loss during our one day at home for weather.

Face it, we don’t do cold, but, thankfully, winter is now probably over since it’s now 70 degrees outside again..

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

What I Heard This Week! Jan. 18, 2018

What I Heard This Week January 18, 2018

Fewer than 3 percent of cars sold today in the US have stick shifts and clutch pedals. You can’t even get a stick shift in a Volkswagen Beetle. I had a 1975 chocolate brown Toyota Celica that I couldn’t quite get into reverse, so the first day I had the car, the boy that carried out my groceries had to do that for me. (That tells you how long ago it was, because no one has carried out our groceries in forever.) After that, I always pulled through to the second parking place, so I could go forward. It took me about a week to master shifting and reverse, then it was THE MOST fun car to drive. It was a 5-speed and I rolled through those gears. I’m making wistful sounds right now.


American Girl Dolls is introducing Luciana, an 18-inch doll, a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. She has skills and brains, is a good leader and team player, has STEM-inspired outfits and accessories including a flight suit, space suit and a Mars Habitat loaded with science and research tools. To insure the doll’s authenticity, they worked with female experts from NASA. Barbie. I miss playing with you in your wedding dress and putting together carboard furniture to go in your Dream House where you could live happily after with Ken. My, how times have changed.


A Louisiana teacher was ejected from a meeting room by a marshall, handcuffed on the floor and put into a patrol car when she stood up at a school board meeting and asked why the superintendent was getting a raise while educators and support staff hadn’t received a raise in 10 years. This teacher had won a teacher of the year award in 2016 and is said to be a really, good teacher and nice person. It’s all on video so there are facts. I watched it all and she should not have been arrested. Maybe there was more to the story.


A New Jersey couple were renovating their new $2-million condo, only to find that the inside of the walls, the insulation and the ceiling had been stuffed full of water bottles filled with urine. There were also containers of partially eaten Chinese food, cupcake wrappers, construction debris, and the insulation in the master bedroom was soaked in urine. The couple tried to sell the condo back to the construction company but are now suing the company. Ugh.


You saw the picture of the little boy in the hoodie that had “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” written across the front. The ad prompted some celebrities to end their partnerships with the H&M clothing line. Well, this little boy’s mom doesn’t have a problem with it and says, “(I) am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled. Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here…get over it.” “Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this…I really don’t understand but not coz (I) am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.” OUCH. At my house, if momma is happy then everybody is happy.


Part of my children’s Christmas gift (memories instead of stuff) involved tickets to see Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, author and science rock star. He and his enthusiasm strips down complex ideas, make jokes and suddenly you understand what a black hole is. All this is done while he is walking around on stage in his socks. He recently released “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” and it immediately went to No. 1 on the New York Times’ nonfiction best seller list. He’s a good Google.


Neil deGrasse Tyson – “Kids should be allowed to break stuff more often. That’s a consequence of exploration. Exploration is what you do when you don’t know what you’re doing.”


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Country singer Naomi Judd is 72. Singer Rod Stewart is 73. Boxing Hall of Fame and entrepreneur George Foreman is 69.  Singer Robert Earl Keen is 62. Singer Mary J. Blige is 47. Texas-born, Mexican-American rock musician Alejandro Escovedo is 67. Singer Pat Benatar is 65. Hall of Fame race car driver Bobby Rahal is 65. Folk singer Joan Baez is 77.  Rockabilly singer Roy Head is 77. Treat Her Right.

Comedian Larry Storch is 95. Ahh. Remember him on F Troop. CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 85. Singer Shirley Bassey is 81. She recorded the theme songs to Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker for the James Bond movies. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 80. Actress Yvette Mimieux is 76. Musician Robby Krieger is 72. The Doors.

Musician Stephen Stills is 73. Actress Victoria Principal is 68. Actor-Director Mel Gibson is 62. NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 37. The Amazing Kreskin is 83. He predicted that Trump would be elected 11 months before it happened. Actress Kirstie Alley is 67. Country singer Ricky Van Shelton is 66. Radio-TV personality Howard Stern is 64. Entrepreneur Jeff Bezos is 54. Amazon.com.

Rock singer Jimmy Page is 74. Led Zeppelin. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 51. Singer Crystal Gayle is 67. Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue. Floor length hair. Voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine in 1983. Baby sister of 84-year-old Loretta Lynn (who btw fell and broke her hip last week.)

Physicist Stephen Hawking is 76. A good quote of his (and he has some really great ones) is, “I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.” Hmmm.


Ray Thomas, Moody Blues founding member and flautist, died at age 76. Thomas stepped back from the band due to ill health in 1999 and in 2014 confirmed that he had been diagnosed with inoperable but treatable prostate cancer. Nights in White Satin. The Moody Blues are to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in April.


President Oprah? Fact or Fiction or just Fantasy?


Stephen Hawking – “My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.” That’s good advice whether you are disabled or not.


Houston Auto Show, January 24-28, at NRG Center and presented by The Houston Chronicle.


In Southern California at a private residence, authorities found 13 siblings, ages 2 to 29 years old, all malnourished, in filthy conditions and some chained to furniture, after one of the children, a 17-year-old, jumped out a window, called 911 and led police to the home. The child that escaped was so small that police thought she was 10-years-old. The mother and father are being held on $9-million bail.


Mahatma Gandhi – “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”


The LJ Civic Center Ballroom will be the location of the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance this year. February 9th and it always sells out so get your tickets soon. Tickets are not sold at the door.


Actually, this was a really boring week. I struggled to find something interesting to tell you. I will do better next week.


Dr. Seuss – “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

 


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Jan. 11, 2018

What I Heard This Week January 11, 2018

Doctors believed that surgery was needed for a 41-year old woman that had not responded to six years of standard treatment for Crohn’s, which is a very serious bowel disease. Surgery finally found the problem, two small foreign objects that had pierced and inflamed the woman’s intestine. Both pieces of plastic had the word ‘Heinz’ written on them. The woman said she had no memory of eating ketchup packages and is relieved that she no longer has any symptoms of Crohn’s.


The Dow Jones industrial average hit 25,000 for the first time, just 23-days after it hit 24,000 – the fastest 1,000-point gain in the Dow’s 122-year history. It was just one year ago that it hit 20,000. Did you get that???


Country singer Mickey Gilley is recovering after the car that his son was driving collided with another vehicle and rolled 3 times. They were on their way to Branson where Gilley owns a theatre where he regularly performs but says he will be back on stage as scheduled in just a few days. His cousins are Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart. The famous club in Pasadena, gained fame in the 80’s with Urban Cowboy and was billed as the “World’s Biggest Honky Tonk.”


San Francisco was hit by magnitude 4.4 earthquake last week. Fires, earthquakes and now landslides. The rain turned the scorched landscape into mud and then flash flooding.


Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut and stars in a remake of the classic, “A Star is Born,” along with Lady Gaga. It was first done in 1937 with Janet Gaynor as the aspiring Hollywood actress and Fredric March as the fading movie star who helps launch her career. Then in 1954, Judy Garland and James Mason starred in a very well received production. In 1976, Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson starred in the third remake. I loved this one, but Rotten Tomatoes only gives it a 31%. But then again, I love Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand. This fourth remake will be released in May 2018.


Pho Saigon Vietnamese Noodle House is opening a new restaurant in Pearland in the Kirby Commons shopping center. My kids and I discovered their original Midtown location years ago on a wet, cold, rainy afternoon stuck away in a shopping center that we didn’t really like the looks of, but we went in anyway. We continue to drop in because their Pho is outstanding.


The 2018 RodeoHouston lineup includes Garth Brooks (opening), Little Big Town, Blake Shelton, Leon Bridges, Kelsea Ballerini, Alessia Cara, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Cody Johnson, Calibre 50, Zac Brown Band, J Balvin, OneRepublic, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Brad Paisley and Garth Brooks (closing.) I’m in for Leon Bridges.


I’m so hot. I’m so cold. Just months ago, inmates of Texas prisons complained that the heat-sensitive needed AC. Some of them got it. Now there are multiple complaints of unheated and under-heated units at around two-dozen prisons. Officials say that all heating units are working. It’s a Goldilocks world.


Researchers at University of Colorado say that injecting wastewater from oil and gas production back underground causes enough increase in underground pressure to make rock formations slip along fault lines, therefore creating human-caused quakes along the Colorado-New Mexico border.


Barnes & Noble sales had a bad sales quarter because they say that in the same quarter (2016) a year ago, “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” was released and there wasn’t a similar hot seller released in the same quarter of 2017. Buy and read a book.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Country singer Patty Loveless is 61. Rock singer Michael Stipe is 58. R.E.M. TV host Jack Hanna is 71. Remember Johnny Carson episodes with animals?  Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 50. Model Christy Turlington is 49. Actor Taye Diggs is 47. Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale is 90. Actor Robert Duvall is 87. Actress Diane Keaton is 72. Rocker singer Marilyn Manson is 49. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 76. Woodstock. Country Joe and the Fish. Yikes, that’s a long time ago. Rapper GrandMaster Flash is 60. I love it when rappers turn 60. Rock musician Andy Summers is 75. The Police.

Actor Sir Ben Kingsley is 74. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 71. Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 59. Dr. Lilith Sternin who married Dr. Frasier Crane in Cheers. Actor Val Kilmer is 58. Author Nicholas Sparks is 52. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Gabby Douglas is 22. Singer Kenny Loggins is 70. Nitty Gritty Dirt Bank, Loggins and Messina, Blue Sky Riders. Actor David Caruso is 62. Talk-show host-reporter Katie Couric is 61. Actor Nicholas Cage is 54.


Actress Rose Marie, best know for her role as a wisecracking comedy writer on The Dick Van Dyke Show died at age 94. She believed that female comedians today think that being funny means you use four-letter words for shock value and that’s just not funny.

Sue Grafton, bestselling author of her alphabet detective mysteries, died at the age of 77. She started with “A Is for Alibi,” in 1982 and continued through “Y is for Yesterday,” released August 2017. Her last book, “Z is for Zero,” was set for release in the fall of 2019, but her husband says that she hadn’t started writing it because of her chemotherapy treatments, so it seems that it’s a 25-letter alphabet and Investigator Kinsey Millhone has retired. Grafton was always adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows. I’ve read them all. She will be missed.

Astronaut John Young, the first man to make six trips to space and to walk on the moon, died at age 87.

Jerry Van Dyke, comic actor and younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, died at the age of 86.


The Starplex Cinemas in Brazos Mall in Lake Jackson had 20 to 30 gallons of water dumped into the theatre after the sprinkler system was activated. First responders and fire fighters from LJ and Clute determined that there was no fire and after viewing surveillance cameras it was determined that a young man had thrown something at the fire sprinklers on the ceiling. I heard it was a coin. When I discussed this with my son, I stated that I would have “torn him up” if he had ever done anything like that. His reply was, “It would have been hard for me to do that because you would never let us go to the mall by ourselves because you said the mall is not a babysitter.” Hmmm. They weren’t happy with me when I told them ‘no’ but they both agree now that the mall is not the place to be dropped off with no supervision. They listened.


American Cancer Society says that studies have shown that taller people have a greater risk of cancer. Shhh.


John Williams has composed music for more than 100 films including all seven Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone,, The Book Thief, Schlindler’s List, E.T., Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Indiana Jones, the first three Harry Potter films and tons more. Part of my children’s Christmas gift this year (working on the idea of creating memories instead of buying stuff) were Houston Symphony tickets to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film with live orchestra and a choir.  It was three hours of pure pleasure. The Butterbeer wasn’t spectacular but it was still cold Butterbeer.


For those of you that haven’t read Harry Potter, Butterbeer was a popular wizarding beverage described as tasting “a little like less-sickly butterscotch.” It was served at numerous locations in the wizarding world and had a very slight alcoholic content. Students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would often buy it when visiting Hogsmeade. I found a recipe online that has sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch topping, whipped butter, and vanilla cream soda. I don’t feel the need to try, but you might want to.


The good thing about science is that it’s true, whether or not you believe in it. Neil deGrasse Tyson


The official name is Eclectic Menagerie Park and I know that you have seen it off to the left as you race towards Houston on 288. The Rubenstein Family and Texas Pipe and Supply has created a very untraditional park with huge handmade metal sculptures. Let’s face it. Welders are artists. There is the armadillo, dinosaur, gorilla, the little red truck caught on a fishing pole, eagle, three art cows, roadrunner, planes, and more. It’s a great place to take pictures. 288 and Belfort.


New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.” Mark Twain


The 86-acre Bayou Wildlife Zoo in Galveston Co. has been owned and operated by Clint Wolston since 1985. He’s loved and raised a white rhino named Pee Wee, zebras, a zonkey (there was some hanky-panky between the donkey and a zebra but I’m not naming names), kangaroos, ring-tailed lemurs, ostriches, emus, giraffes, camels and currently, 500 other animals. The place is for sale because Mr. Wolston is almost 81-years-old and wants to relax with his wife. The park had 90,000 visitors last year and includes two miles of trails, 15 lakes and ponds, native trees and 3,500 feet of waterfront on Dickinson Bayou. Years ago, I remember visiting with my kids and riding the tram through the grounds with the animals practically sitting on our laps. Mr. Walston just wants someone qualified to continue the magic for the next generation. Oh, and $6-million allows you this little bit of heaven.


Momma Mia II, the sequel, Here We Go Again, is due to release July 20th, 2018 and rumor is that Cher has a part.


DeeDee Bridgewater is an American jazz singer. She is a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as a Tony Award-winning stage actress. For 23 years, she was the host of National Public Radio’s syndicated radio show JazzSet with DeeDee Bridgewater. She sang with Ray Charles and she is now coming to The Clarion on January 20th. Don’t say that I didn’t let you know in time to get your tickets. Box Office 979-230-3156.


I thought I saw a spider, but it was just a piece of yarn. It’s dead yarn now.


Hoda Kotb – “I think the whole money thing for me, I’ve always been sort of – I know it sounds ridiculous that I’m going to say this, but I really have done jobs I liked for the job I liked because I never wanted to be happy every other Friday on pay day,” Kotb said. “Like, I didn’t want that to be the happy day. I wanted to feel good throughout. So, no, I’m not making Matt Lauer money. Not even close.” Meanwhile “Today” has thrived in the ratings since pervy Matt Lauer was dismissed for sexual misconduct. There are some thoughts that perhaps a lot of viewers could see his true colors.


If you stumble, make it part of the dance. Lisa

 


– Lisa

Much Ado About Nothing – Space Trash

Much Ado About Nothing January 11, 2018

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Attention People of Earth! It’s like this: remember that 9.4-ton unmanned space station that China launched, oh, way back when? No? Well, it’s going to be crashing into Earth sometime in the next couple of months. While nothing can ruin your day quite like being obliterated by space debris with a “Made in China” tag on it, the chances that you’ll take a direct hit from the Tiangong-1 are about “a million times less than your odds for winning the Powerball jackpot,” according to experts. And let’s face it, your odds on that one are less than NONE ever, so maybe hold off on panicking.

However, Aerospace Corporation reports that “It’s hard to pinpoint where the station or its parts will fall, but it’s anticipated to land” along a line that includes multiple states in the U.S. from northern California to Pennsylvania. Texas is out of the line of fire, so the important national treasures — Whataburger and the 2017 World Champion Astros — are all safe.

Now, I’m just going to throw this out there, but maybe the Chinese should have Googled “Skylab” before they got all giddy over this whole launch-things-into-space business. They would have discovered that in 1979 we were all watching the skies for America’s monster manned orbiter to drop on us like Dorothy’s house in “The Wizard of Oz.” Not since a wayward meteor knocked out all the dinosaurs had so many been terrorized by the possibility of a close encounter with space junk. Yet, here we go again and, wouldn’t you know, all our insurance policies for unplanned injuries, death, or dismemberment caused by projectiles re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere have expired.

While maybe we don’t need to run around like Henny Penny worrying that the sky is falling, scientists are still warning that “highly” toxic hydrazine from the 34-foot long space station could survive re-entry. Yeah, so don’t touch unknown substances on the ground and avoid inhaling fumes. Which is pretty much just good advice regardless and should go without saying.

In other space news, a man in France is raising money to erect a statue to memorialize the first and only cat in space. And we wonder why they cancelled funding for the space program.

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

Much Ado About Nothing – Crabbiness

Much Ado About Nothing January 4, 2018

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

If you have a verifiable emergency, call 9-1-1. Indicators that you might have an emergency are the presence of more blood than can be contained in an average sized Band-aide; firearms being used inside a building that isn’t a gun range; and fire where fire shouldn’t be. All those things constitute a call to 9-1-1. Problems with your dinner do not make that list unless your dinner is obstructing your airway. Otherwise, talk to the restaurant manager. Don’t call the police Nelson Agosto, age 51 of Stuart, Florida.

It seems Mr. Agosto didn’t understand this and called 9-1-1 TWICE from Crabby’s Seafood Shack to complain about the size of his clams. He told the dispatcher that he had “ordered something and it was extremely so small.”

I’m in no way affiliated with any law enforcement organization, but I’ve watched lots of real-crime TV shows and on none of them did SWAT stand for Seafood Weight Assessment Team. So calling 9-1-1 and expecting the SWAT team to rush out in full riot gear and throw gas canisters into the kitchen at Crabby’s Seafood Shack to smoke out larger clams was misguided for sure. I’m going to also step out on a limb here and wager that the even the Navy SEALS, who by the very name of the organization may seem like reasonable allies, are also going to register a big, fat negatory on their scale of concern over Mr. Agosto’s clam size.

The sad thing is that the waiter told the guy before he ordered that the clams were small. When they actually showed up small and he complained, the restaurant gave him an additional free order. He still called 9-1-1. Well, sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, because the Stuart, Florida PD rolled a cruiser and responded to the call. And arrested Mr. Agosto. He’ll do the perp walk for misuse of 9-1-1. Maybe he’ll get charged for being an idiot in a No Idiot Zone. If that’s not a thing, it should be.

A couple of lessons to take away from this: Don’t go getting crabby at Crabby’s. If you do, don’t be shellfish with emergency public services. And if you’ve got problems with undersized clams, just cross your legs, shut your mouth and keep this problem to yourself.

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

What I Heard This Week! Jan. 4, 2018

What I Heard This Week January 4, 2018

They ordered their pizza 5 minutes before the New Year and when it arrived they firmly stated, “Wait, we ordered this pizza a year ago.” 😊


Reliable, smart, compassionate Hoda Kobt has officially replaced Matt Lauer on “Today” and the former (fired) newsman sent her a congratulations text. Whoopee. I don’t know why it would make the news. That was nice, but I don’t think that too many people really cares what he thinks.


Magnolia Market owners, Joanna and Chip Gaines, are expecting their 5th child and we are told that it is the result of a romantic Johnny Swim concert last October. We all wish the Gaines lived next door.


New Year’s Day now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” Mark Twain


A couple were on their first date. He is a well-known Houston attorney. She is…hmm, a “well-known” date. He claims she was drunk, he called an Uber to pick her up, but she refused to leave. She did stick around and destroy $1-million worth of artwork which included several oil paintings (two Andy Warhol valued at $500,000 each) and two sculptures, then poured wine on three paintings and tore a Renoir and a Monet off the wall. Ouch. The young lady was released on $30,000 bond. That’s exactly why I stick with posters. They’re easier to replace when the drunks tear them off the walls.


In February, the first DNA genetic-based dating app, Pheramor, will be launched. It will combine genetic information with data from social media posts to create user profiles. The Houston-based mobile dating app will use cheek swabs to analyze users’ pheromones, which research suggests could predict who is attracted to whom. According to Wikipedia, a pheromone is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species …that affect behavior or physiology. The word was first proposed in 1959 with researchers reporting the identification of the first pheromone in silk moths.


Dating apps are big business these days. According to eHarmony.com, 53 percent of people lie on dating profiles. See above.


They have been best friends for 60 years…since sixth grade; diving, and playing first-string HS football together. In Hawaii, two men have just discovered that they have the same biological mother, so they are not only best friends, but brothers. Both are retired, plan to do some traveling together and said it was the best Christmas present ever. Thanks, Ancestry.com.


Learn to park with manners, I’m not a sardine.


In Moscow, a 65-year-old woman was blown off a 4th floor balcony in heavy winds, broke her arm and three ribs landing in a snowdrift, was then taken to the hospital in the bucket of a construction truck because the ambulance couldn’t reach her in the snow. I like to close my eyes sometimes and picture these stories I tell you. This one made me laugh.


In Rome, police arrested a topless protestor after she tried to remove the baby Jesus from the Vatican’s nativity scene…with the statue of the mother of Jesus looking on, in what I picture would be silent amazement. My eyes are closed on this one too. Oh, my.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Mouseketeer Tommy Cole is 76. He is an Emmy winning makeup artist as well as former actor. Musician Walter “Wolfman” Washington is 74. Singer Jimmy Buffett is 71. Country singer Barbara Mandrell is 69. Actress Sissy Spacek is 68. Carrie. Academy award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter. And she has been married to the same guy since 1974. Singer Annie Lennox is 63. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is 46. News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 74. Humorist David Sedrais is 61. Rock musician Lars Ulrich is 54. Metallica. Actor Jared Leto is 46. Actor Kit Harington is 31. Game of Thrones.

Actress Susan Lucci is 71. All My Children. Rock singer Eddie Vedder is 53. Pearl Jam. Actor Mike Lookinland is 57. He was the youngest brother Bobby Brady on The Brady Bunch. Actress Jennifer Beals is 54. Flashdance. Model Tyson Beckford is 47. He was named the greatest male model of all time by Vogue Magazine in 2014. Host John Walsh is 72. Criminal investigator, human rights & victim rights advocate, and host/creator, of America’s Most Wanted. Walsh is known for his anti-crime activism, with which he became involved following the murder of his son, Adam, in 1981; in 2008, the late serial killer Ottis Toole was named as the killer of Walsh’s son.

Author Mary Higgins Clark is 90. I love her books. Considered to be The Queen of Suspense. Designer Kate Spade is 55. Singer Ricky Martin is 46. Author Stephenie Meyer is 44. Twilight. Best-selling author of 2008 (29 million) and 2009 (26.5 million.) That’s a lot of vampires. Actor-director Woody Allen is 82. Actress-singer Bette Midler is 72. Actor Treat Williams is 66. Hair. Musician-actor John Densmore is 73. The Doors.


Bruce McCandless, the first NASA astronaut to float untethered in space, died at 80. He said, “I wanted to say something similar to Neil Armstrong when he landed on the moon, so I said, ‘It may have been a small step for Neil, but it’s a heck of a big leap for me.’ That loosened the tension a bit.” He logged more than 312 hours in space.


January is a very special “moon” month. This month’s first full Moon, the full Wolf Moon, was rising on January 1. What a great way to start the year. A second full Moon, the Blue Moon rises on the 31st and brings the year’s only eclipse for North America just before dawn. Its total phase can be seen from west of the Mississippi and in western Canada. Both of January’s full Moons are Super Moons.


Moon Folklore: A bright first Moon promises rain and a bountiful harvest; a red-tinted Moon means a dry year. A growing Moon and a flowing tide are lucky times to marry. A halo around the Moon predicts wet or stormy weather


At the end of the day faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. It’s like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And it’s not so important, happy ever after, just that its happy right now. See, once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you and once in a while people may even take your breath away. – Meredith Grey


According to BabyCenter, the most popular baby girl names of 2017 were: #1 Sophia aka Sofia, Olivia, Emma, Ava, Isabella, Mia, Aria, Riley, Zoe, Amelia, Layla, Charlotte, Aubrey, Lily, Chloe, Harper, Evelyn, Adalyn, Emily and #20, Abigail. And the most popular baby boy names of 2017 were: #1 Jackson aka Jaxon, Liam, Noah, Aiden, Lucas, Caden, Grayson, Mason, Elijah, Logan, Oliver, Ethan, Jayden, Muhammad, Carter, Michael, Sebastian, Alexander, Jacob and #20 Benjamin.


What happens in the Artic doesn’t stay in the Artic, it affects the rest of the planet. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, permafrost in the Artic is thawing faster than ever, water is warming, and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace seen in 1,500 years. Because of the many buildings, roads and pipelines that are built on frozen land, thawing could make them vulnerable when the ground melts and shifts.


Per-ma-frost (noun) 1. A thick subsurface layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year, occurring mainly in polar regions.


Iceland’s parliament has presented a bill that would require public and private businesses with 25 or more employees to prove through audits and certification that equal pay for men and women is provided or they will face fines, in what will be the first such requirement in the world.


The oldest tree on the White House lawn is a magnolia that is now too old and badly damaged to remain in place. According to specialists from the National Arboretum, a large portion of the tree was removed last week. According to folklore, Andrew Jackson brought the seedling to Washington because a magnolia was a favorite tree of his wife who died just days after he was elected. Hoover held Cabinet meetings there, Roosevelt spoke to Winston Churchill in its shade, Nixon walked past the tree as he left the White House for the last time and for decades, the magnolia was featured on the back of the $20 bill. Wood from the magnolia will be preserved and hopefully, a seedling will be available for replanting in the same area.


Think Prince, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Jan Gaston (my best friend in HS who had a purple car and a purple bedroom) and Connie Rhodes (the sweet smiling face that you meet when you walk in the front door of The Source Weekly.) What do they all have in common? They love the color, purple. Pantone just announced its 2018 Color of the Year is Pantone 18-3838, also known at Ultra Violet.


We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.Stephen Hawking


As an iPhone owner, I wasn’t happy to find out that Apple issued software updates that deliberately “slowed down older-model phones so aging batteries lasted longer.” Huh? I don’t believe the aging part.  But, I dropped my phone so many times, it turned black and blue so there was no real need for a new battery. If you have a slow problem, install Battery Life, a free app that tells you how much capacity your battery still has or for more detail, try Lirum Info app (free or $2.99.)


The Paris-Texas Bakery on 288-B is quite a treat.  Anne-Elisabeth and I met there for breakfast this morning. On my first visit I had feasted on the avocado toast and a chocolate-almond croissant. Both were big winners. Today, we both ordered the sausage & cheddar quiche (it’s a huge slice with the most delicious smoke flavor) and the almond croissant (no chocolate.) There was nothing left on our plates. We drank our coffee and watched them roll out and cut cinnamon rolls, all while making the most of the Christmas break. Life is good.


A stay-at-home mother of five boys, opened her electric bill to find she was being charged over $284-billion. That’s dollars. She knew that her outside Christmas lights or Christmas tree wouldn’t have made that much difference. As it turned out, it was just a mistake from the electric company.


A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other – Anonymous


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Dec. 28, 2017

What I Heard This Week December 28, 2017

My list of New Year’s resolutions. Here’s the first: (1) Stop procrastinating so much. I’ll post the rest tomorrow or maybe the day after.


House for Sale that once belonged to Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon. 7,271-square-feet for $595,000, includes four-bedrooms, six full baths, two half baths (can you imagine cleaning eight toilets), pool & spa, waterfall, outdoor kitchen, gym, office, wine cellar, game room, media room and small basketball court. I would have said, YES, immediately, but the teeny-tiny basketball court just won’t work for me and the wine room isn’t even stocked. Sigh. Former next-door neighbor was “Mattress Mack.


My New Year’s resolution is to simply remember to write 2018 instead of 2017 as the date.


The kids and I have Broadway Series tickets. It was their joint birthday gifts this past year, so we could secure tickets for Hamilton and because we really like Broadway shows. So, we have seen some shows that we likely would not have purchased tickets for if we hadn’t had the package. Last month it was Escape to Margaritaville, a musical of Jimmy Buffett. We were like, um, not excited but willing to take a chance. I should have known it was going to be a great evening when I found myself sitting in an Adirondack chair next to a giant beach ball, drinking a Hendricks and tonic with extra lime while looking at a strange mix of theatre people dressed in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. I was definitely overdressed. The Jimmy Buffett lead was played by Paul Alexander Nolan who we had seen in Jesus Christ Superstar in New York, an unbelievably talented guy who did a remarkable job on the Buffett songs. It was an outstanding show and at the end, Jimmy Buffet, in the flesh, came out and sang for us. They released a slew of beach balls and confetti cannons were shot. We stood in line at the stage door for autographs and I realized then, that Jimmy Buffett is short.  Gage and I are now newly converted Parrot Heads. This was a trial run show so in the spring, they head straight to Broadway.


New Year’s Eve, where ‘auld acquaintance be forgot,” unless, of course, those tests come back positive.” Jay Leno


It’s incomprehensible that someone could do this to a child. A mother has been ordered to undergo intensive psychotherapy for the next five years because she lied about her young son having cancer and sought unnecessary treatment for him including powerful pain drugs like Oxycodone and methadone. She raised money through a GoFundMe, shaved his head, eyebrows and told people that he had a brain tumor and that “some of the best oncologists” were treating the child.  She convinced her husband (what the heck!), doctors (come on, how long did they go to school) and family members that she, herself, was a doctor. Because she is aware of her deceptions, she is not considered to be mentally ill. Arghhh. We are creating a society of selfie-taking, egotistical, self-centered, human beings. She was given a five-year probation sentence (not even close to enough), the maximum under the law and if she violates probation, she faces three years in prison. (Maybe she will violate probation.)


Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.” Bill Vaughan


A former top Volkswagen official in the US, Oliver Schmidt, was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the automaker’s cheating on diesel emissions tests. This has cost VW more than $20-billion in fines and settlements.


My New Year’s resolution is to stop hanging out with people who ask me about my New Year’s resolutions.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rapper Jay-Z is 48.  Actress Diane Ladd is 82. Director Joel Coen is 63. Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? Comedian Howie Mandel is 62. Actor Andrew McCarthy is 55. St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Weekend at Bernie’s and was a member of the Brat Pack in the 80’s. Actress Liv Ullmann is 79. CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl is 76. Rocker Billy Gibbons is 68. Rocker Keith Richards is 74. Director Steven Spielberg is 71. Actor Brad Pitt is 54. Actress Katie Holmes is 39.

Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 92. He’s the best. Singer Ted Nugent is 69. Actor Steve Buscemi is 60. He always seems to play the evil guy in the movies, but he is also the voice of Randall Boggs in Monsters. Inc. Actor Jamie Foxx is 50. Singer Taylor Swift is 28. Pope Francis is 81. Rock singer-musician Art Neville is 80. Actor Christopher Plummer is 88. Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music and he recently replaced the scandal-plagued Kevin Spacey who was playing J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World,” and has since received a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor for this role.


Last Saturday, I took my daughter and her friend to downtown Alvin for a rockets class Christmas party, so while she was socializing, I visited Froberg’s Farm. First, I hit the fried pies for a pumpkin, a strawberry (that turned out to be apricot) and a pecan. They were hot, so I forced myself to eat the pecan pie before I even started shopping. I had to. Then I bagged loads of huge green onions, radishes, mustard greens (99 cents a bunch – cooked them with bacon), curly kale (99 cents a bunch – cooked them with orange juice), and turnips, red beets & cabbage that I roasted with olive oil and lemon pepper. A feast. Wait, let’s get back to Froberg’s. Then, I hauled my two-vegetable laden recycled bags over to Greak’s Smokehouse next door and added stuffed bell peppers and a package of pork chops thick enough for stuffing, along with (pay attention here) a bacon-wrapped, cream cheese stuffed, pork loin that was just perfect. There is no way to describe how yummy it was. It was quite a nice hour at Froberg’s. Don’t forget to check out the Peach Street Farmers Market Saturday mornings in Angleton.


New Year’s Resolution I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to exercise every day. I’m going to go on a diet and stick to it…Is that cake?


An unexpected surge of donations recently has allowed the Houston Firefighters Foundation to donate $52,000, enough for two additional swift water rescue boats for The Houston Fire Department. As we all know they struggled along with thousands of other volunteers to rescue stranded residents during Harvey.


Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey


Cardinal Bernard Law, disgraced former archbishop, died at 86. Although never accused of abuse himself, he covered up years of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Boston by transferring sexually abusive priests to other parishes to protect them and the status of the church. The movie “Spotlight” was based on this story. He resigned in 2002 to take a job with the church in Rome.


My daughter and I watched “The Keepers,” last week on Netflix. It is a true-crime tale that was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Documentary Series 2017. Great show. Sister Cathy Cesnik was 26 and a beloved teacher at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough HS when she was murdered in 1969. Fifty years later, students explain what was really happening at the school. There were seven shockingly brutal episodes.


Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin           Happy New Year’s my friends…Lisa


– Lisa

Much Ado About Nothing – Resolutions

Much Ado About Nothing December 28, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

If you’re scrambling at the last minute to get your New Year’s resolution lined up and are considering just falling back on a trusted standard like kicking that two 12-pack a day Mountain Dew habit, just stop. It’s a new year, it’s time for new resolutions. Forget the “lose weight,” “eat vegetables,” and “be a better human” choices. We all know no one is going to do any of those and, if they do, no one wants to hear about it. Let’s be more creative.

This year give up using plastic bags you don’t need. Shocking, I know, but it’s time to eliminate the urban tumbleweeds already. I honestly believe you can muscle two bananas and a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to the car without a plastic bag. Give it a try. If you need additional assistance, get someone to help you out to your car, but skip the bag.

If you want a real challenge this year, something that will push you beyond where you think you can go, resolve to use your turn signal. Not just when there’s a state trooper behind you, but all the time. Changing lanes? Use your signal. Turning left? Use your signal. Right turn? You got it: signal. This is an advanced resolution, so keep the plastic bag thing as an option if you think this is too much. Most people do.

You can resolve to return your shopping cart to the cart corral. Don’t just leave it in a parking space or on the stripes next to the handicapped spot. Putting it in front of another parked car is not cool. Neither is hooking the wheels over the curb of the grass around the light poles. You pushed the cart all over the store, surely you can push it another 30 feet and put it in the corral. You can do it. I believe in you.

If these are overly daunting, go for the guaranteed win. Resolve to not talk on your phone in public bathrooms. Don’t wear pajama pants outside the house. Stand up against unnecessary use of cilantro (by the way, all cilantro is unnecessary). Smile more than you snarl. And what the heck, eat more vegetables and be a better human.

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

Much Ado About Nothing – Blood Donor

Much Ado About Nothing December 21, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Christmas shopping recently quickly reminded me that this is truly the season to be bled dry. From your MasterCard, checking, savings, 401K, and your children’s college funds should all be liquidated, right? But until you’ve really opened a vein, you haven’t been bled for Christmas. This Christmas give the real gift: The Gift of Life. This is the time of year to resolve to stop being a baby and be a blood donor!

Trust me, there’s no bigger needle-phobic than me. I’d rather be dipped in honey and rolled in fire ants than be stuck with a needle for any reason. But when you consider that surviving a tiny stick in the arm may be the difference in someone just surviving, it’s kind of hard to be a conscientious objector to donating blood. So suck it up, Sunshine, and roll up your sleeve already.

Sure, there are those who have the “Get Out of Donating Free” card. If you take certain medications, have Mad Cow disease, recently tattooed the name of your favorite elementary school teacher anywhere on your body and punctuated it with random piercings, or partaken in a short list of activities that don’t need to be discussed here, then you’re off the hook. The rest of you need to be the next in line at the donor coach.

If just doing the right thing to save the life of someone in need of blood isn’t enough, consider this: they give you free stuff in exchange for a bag o’ blood. A significant portion of my weekend wardrobe is made up of free donor t-shirts. Plus, you get cookies! And I’m almost sure but don’t Google it or anything, I think that all the calories in the cookies you eat after donating blood are null and void. Calories consumed while performing any type of life-saving activity just don’t count. It’s only fair and reasonable, right?

The holidays are a tough time for the Red Cross to keep the blood available for those who need it. People get caught up in finding just the right Chia Pet for the office gift exchange and forget to donate or they’re sick or out of town or whatever. So this season we all have to do our part. What better gift can you give than the gift of life?

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

What! Dec. 21, 2017

What I Heard This Week December 21, 2017

Another human foot has washed ashore in Canada. That makes thirteen (13) feet attached to sports shoes, that have been found in this area since 2007. This most recent one was a tibia and fibula attached to a left human foot with a white ankle sock in a black running shoe. These feet have their own Wikipedia page and a map showing where all the feet were found. eww. One theory is shoe technology. More and more sports shoes are using air pockets or light foam which make them much more buoyant. One article said, “Notice there are no feet washing ashore in stiletto heels or flip flops.”


Onomatopoeia: is a word that imitates a natural sound. Boo, chomp, crunch, eek, huh, sniff, eek, giggle…just to name a few.


This was on Facebook. I found it to be very true especially with the recent cold weather. Why I prefer Summer over Winter. “When you get in a hot car, the a/c begins to work immediately. When you get in a cold car, the heat doesn’t start working until you get where you need to go.” Yep.


Ocean’s Eleven starred George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Elliot Gould, Bernie Mac, Matt Damon, Carl Reiner, Casey Affleck and was a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film starring Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop. It is one of my favorite movies. Then came Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen. I love them all. Now, there’s going to be Ocean’s Eight, starring Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina and Sarah Paulson.  (What a group, but what happened to Julia Roberts?) Sandra Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean, the ex-con sister of Danny Ocean (Clooney & Sinatra). The heist goes down at the annual Met Gala. Is it called Ocean’s Eight because it will take only 8 women to ‘kick the same patootie’ it took 11 guys? Release date is June 8, 2018. I’m ready.


Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at University of Houston has been suspended until 2023 because of abusing pledges during a three-day ritual last year that left one with a lacerated spleen. The indictment says that one pledge was forced to roll in vomit, spit and feces and had to go without food, drink and sleep during the three-day period. He was tackled in the dark by fraternity members and was later hospitalized. Sorry, folks, but five years is not enough time. Hazing is unacceptable just as bad behavior is unacceptable.


He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” Roy L. Smith


To keep up with Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will change their legal name to Walmart Inc. in February. Walmart wants to be your ‘everything’ just like Amazon and I bet if they take the dash out, this will work. Right. You know, keeping up with the Jones…the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s.


Which reminds me. Remember the show in the 70’s called Alias Smith and Jones. Their outlaw names were Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, two of the most wanted and most successful outlaws in the history of the West, good-looking (and I mean, REALLY good-looking), popular with everyone except the trains and bankers, and with all their robbing and stealing, they had never shot anyone. The two of them decided that they wanted out of the bank and train robbing business, so as the show evolved, it was the story of the two of them trying to stay out of trouble until the Governor felt that they had earned and deserved amnesty. Sally Field played Clementine Hale and Susan Saint James was Miss Porter.


Daily Specials. Did you know that on Whiskey Wednesday at The Fill Station (new Brian’s BBQ) in downtown LJ you can get ½ price whiskey flights? And at Happy Hour (3-6pm) you can get a beer and chopped beef sandwich for $7.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor-comedian Tim Conway is 84. Just thinking of him makes me smile. Actor Don Johnson is 68. Miami Vice and white suits. Singer Lulu is 69. Think of “To Sir with Love.” Comedian-actress Rosanne Barr is 65. Actress Kate Capshaw is 64. She met her husband, Steven Spielberg, working on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 69. Actress Daryl Hannah is 57.  ‘Splash.’ Actress Julianne Moore is 57. Impressionist Rich Little is 79. “The man of a thousand voices.” Singer Tina Turner is 78. What’s Love Got to Do With It, We Don’t Need Another Hero, Proud Mary, Private Dancer…

Pop musician John McVie is 72. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac.  Actress Kathryn Crosby Is 84. The daughter of a West Columbia, Texas schoolteacher and politician, she went to Hollywood as a beauty contest winner and onetime queen of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Actor economist Ben Stein is 73. Footwear designer Manolo Blahnik is 75. TV Host Bill Nye is 62. Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Actress Cathy Lee Crosby is 73. Wonder Woman in 1974. Broadcast journalist Stone Phillips is 63. He was born in Texas City. Pop singer Britney Spears is 36.  Actor Jeff Bridges is 68. Actress Patricia Wettig is 66. Thirtysomething.


Several months back when I was trying to assist us (you & me), on our journey to become way cooler people than we really are, I explained the Danish term ‘hygge’ (hue-ugh) which translates to ‘coziness’ in English, but recently the word has been used more to describe a sought-after lifestyle. So, today your new hip, trendy word is ‘lagom’ which is Swedish and is defined as not too little, not too much, just right. You know, like Goldilocks. This too, is a lifestyle or way of living, with suggestions of reducing your environmental impact on the world…making life easier, more enjoyable and less expensive by being frugal, fair and creating balance. Pay attention because you are going to hear this word again. Lagom. It will be named on shampoo bottles, candles, sandwich meat and paint colors as everyone jumps on this fad. OK, maybe not sandwich meat but you know what I’m saying.


Good news for many…Pfizer, maker of the little blue ($65 a single pill) Viagra, will now have a little competition when Teva Pharmaceuticals launches their own little white impotence pill. No word on what the cost is but Pfizer has decided to make its own generic version of Viagra and sell it for half the price. Good grief.


A Saudi prince was the mystery buyer of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Salvator Mundi” which brought $450.3-million at auction last month. Hmmm. Where will it end up.


A LAW WENT INTO EFFECT in Texas on September 1, 2017, that allows estate executors, guardians and trustees to gain access to the digital assets of those who die. It could include photos, digital music library, emails and credit card loyalty points. It could be a domain name (toys.com just sold for $5-million) but you will need to leave written instructions in a will or trust. So, if you have any embarrassing information with your “digital assets” you better make provisions quick.


This one is sick. A Wisconsin man was sentenced to federal prison after he was caught in a Houston undercover sting where he believed he was meeting a Houston mother at a hotel to have sex with her four-year-old child. I’m not telling you ‘all’ the ugly, just enough to gently remind you that there are some people in this world that we need to protect our kids from. Sigh.


Which is worse? Pitching a hissy fit or pitching a conniption fit? I guess it just depends on what part of Texas you are from.


The Houston Zoo welcomed Hasani, a three-year-old African lion that came from the Oregon Zoo. Since the zoo carnivores eat more than 36,000 pounds of meat annually, they would love it if you would help them with an end-of-year ‘Gift of Grub’ contribution. In fact, they have quite a few new mouths to feed with so many new baby animals…two baby Masai giraffes, a baby California sea lion, a baby Asian elephant, two baby Red River hogs, and two baby jaguars.


Personal story: First, I’m going to set this up by telling you that I’m allergic to cats. My daughter and I, along with a few employees, were up at The Source Weekly office one day during the catastrophic Harvey weeks. As we came in through the back door, Anne-Elisabeth heard a very faint meow. I ignored her plea of, “Mom. Please. Kittens. Listen,” and went to work. An hour or so later, in the rain, 7 of us ended up rescuing 3, three-week old kittens that were surrounded by water underneath our deck. Kay’s husband had to come up with his electric drill to help us remove boards from the deck to get those babies out. They were so very tiny, cold, dehydrated, wet and almost dead. We dried them off, kept them warm, then an hour later as we left, we saw (gasp) two more babies underneath the generator behind State Farm. OMG. Five kittens. We took them to the Gaspard’s house (which is kitty city,) drained Orren and Margaret of information, bottles and all sorts of kitty things. That evening, the SPCA kindly provided milk and droppers. They were fed every 2 hours. We lost 3 of the kittens over the next 24 hours which was pure agony that I can never forget, so we were very determined that the last two males were going to live. And my, how they have lived. We now have Winnie who was Winston until the vet found girl parts.  She has the most beautiful eyes and has the looks of a Blue Russian, is a very healthy eater, moves so gracefully and is full of love. You only have to say her name and her motor just rumbles in utter contentment. Then there is Sully (Sullivan) who was also supposed to be a male but, alas, wasn’t. Sully has a mild case of gender identity disorder (what would you do if everyone told you that you were a boy for the first 6 weeks of your life then decided you were a girl – talk about confusion), she is believed to be the runt of the litter, has soft little white stripes on her belly, might have selective hearing, can jump to the top of the shower door and is the sweetest most affectionate little ball of fur that you have ever seen. We don’t think she knows how to meow because instead, she chirps like a bird. They know yum-yum (food), nite-nite (they run to their sleeping box) and treats (self-explanatory.) Oh, and Mr. Strawberry, their favorite toy. My son, Gage, who is also allergic to cats, says that our house has an unbelievable amount of love in it now. What I am trying to tell you is that there are a ton of the cutest, sweetest puppies and kittens just looking for new parents at the SPCA. It breaks my heart to go over there and see animals just begging to have you touch them. If you had asked me 6-months ago if I was going to have two cats… absolutely, NOT.  There was no way.  But it sure has been fun. Expensive, yes. But who needs to be able to send their kids to college!


CVS Health, the second-largest US drugstore chain announced plans to buy Aetna, the third-largest health insurer, in a $69-billion deal. This merger could change the health care by lowering prescription costs. Something’s got to give. We can’t keep on like it is.


Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St. Luke’s Health System and Dignity Health said they agreed to merge operations, creating what could become one of the largest not-for-profit US hospital systems. The new system would have 139 hospitals in 28 states and employ 159,000 people.


A Utah man fled from police, then hid from them in a church’s boiler room, only to have to call 911 six hours later to be rescued because he had accidently locked himself in and couldn’t get out.


Merry CHRISTmas, my friends. Remember that when you quit believing in Santa, you get underwear.


– Lisa

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  • Much Ado About Nothing - Crabbiness

    by on January 4, 2018 - 0 Comments

    If you have a verifiable emergency, call 9-1-1. Indicators that you might have an emergency are the presence of more blood than can be contained in an average sized Band-aide; firearms being used inside a building that isn’t a gun range; and fire where fire shouldn’t be. All those things constitute a call to 9-1-1. […]

  • What I Heard This Week! Dec. 28, 2017

    by on December 28, 2017 - 0 Comments

    My list of New Year’s resolutions. Here’s the first: (1) Stop procrastinating so much. I’ll post the rest tomorrow or maybe the day after. House for Sale that once belonged to Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon. 7,271-square-feet for $595,000, includes four-bedrooms, six full baths, two half baths (can you imagine cleaning eight toilets), pool & spa, waterfall, […]

  • What I Heard This Week! Jan. 4, 2018

    by on January 4, 2018 - 0 Comments

    They ordered their pizza 5 minutes before the New Year and when it arrived they firmly stated, “Wait, we ordered this pizza a year ago.” 😊 Reliable, smart, compassionate Hoda Kobt has officially replaced Matt Lauer on “Today” and the former (fired) newsman sent her a congratulations text. Whoopee. I don’t know why it would […]

  • Much Ado About Nothing - Blood Donor

    by on December 21, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Christmas shopping recently quickly reminded me that this is truly the season to be bled dry. From your MasterCard, checking, savings, 401K, and your children’s college funds should all be liquidated, right? But until you’ve really opened a vein, you haven’t been bled for Christmas. This Christmas give the real gift: The Gift of Life. […]

  • Starving Student

    by on December 7, 2017 - 0 Comments

    College. It’s the place where you pay big bucks to learn big things. My youngest son is currently close to finishing up his first semester at college and is learning some really big things. Like how not to starve to death. Last August, we settled him into his new dorm room with clean sheets, a […]

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