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Author of Suspense Thrillers talks writing & stuff

A GOLFER’S CHRISTMAS

Thank you Thee Rivers Golf Association for the guest blog. (trgagolf.com)

A Golfer’s Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the green

Not a golfer was stirring, not even one seen.

The golf gloves were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that a tee time soon would be theirs.

Little duffers were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of birdies danced in their heads.

My friend in her visor, and I in my cap,

Had just stored our clubs for a long winter’s nap.

With the course frozen over and no one about,

I was walking alone when I heard someone shout.

Away down the tenth fairway I ran in a flash,

but I slipped on some ice and oh, what a crash.

The ice on the hill showed off such a glow

Right down to the half frozen hazard below.

It was a disaster, or so it appeared,

Until I was saved by a guy and reindeer.

With one hand on his cart and one raising a glass,

I knew in a moment this golfer had class.

His game was amazing, hotter than hot

And he whistled, and shouted, and called every shot!

“Now draw it! Now, fade it! Now onto the green!

Like Tiger! Like Arnie! Like Hogan and Snead!

Right down the middle! The ball, it flew far!

Now chip in! Now pitch in! Better than par!”

I was still falling fast, nearly into the burn

When the man and his cart had just made the turn.

Down on my butt with my back nearly broke,

This man scooped me up without missing a stroke.

With a sigh of relief I gave him a nod

And saw that his reindeer was naught but a dog.

They were out chasing geese and getting some practice,

I thought for a moment it might be Jack Nicklaus.

He was dressed all in Nike, from his head to his toes,

His clothes were all high tech, he was dressed like the pros.

A bag full of golf clubs he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a winner, not just some hack.

His eyes – they were focused! his demeanor – most serious!

He had on his game face, you just knew he meant business!

Still I couldn’t believe when I peeked at his card,

On the front nine the man had shot nine under par!

The stump of a cigar held tight in his teeth,

Whenever he putted he never would peek.

He had a smooth stroke straight to the cup,

Then he’d look up and smile when he heard it go “plop.”

He was steady and straight, boy, could he stroke it,

I thought, with some practice, I too could smoke it!

I’m quite sure that no one could get in his head,

Quite simply, I’d bet many tourneys he’d lead.

He spoke not a word, but went right on playing,

That this was a great round goes without saying.

Six birdies, three eagles and soon he was done.

When he’d finished eighteen, he’d shot fifty one!

He turned in his cart, put the dog in his car,

And faster than lightning bellied up to the bar.

Then I heard him exclaim, “sure this was nifty,

but think, if I’d dropped one, it could have been fifty!”

GOOD GOLFING TO ALL AND TO ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Check out www.patlawrence.net/today-s-blog for some gift ideas for the golfer on your list!

CANINE CHRISTMAS

(Thanks to  www.dezert-rose.com  for this wonderful guest blog)

A DOG’S RULES FOR CHRISTMAS

1. Be especially patient with your humans during this time. They may appear to be more stressed-out than usual and they will appreciate long comforting dog leans.

2. They may come home with large bags of things they call gifts. Do not assume that all the gifts are yours.

3. Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you. They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of seeing how you look with fake antlers.

4. They may bring a large tree into the house and set it up in a prominent place and cover it with lights and decorations. Bizarre as this may seem to you, it is an important ritual for your humans, so there are some things you need to know: – Don’t pee on the tree – Don’t drink water in the container that holds the tree – Mind your tail when you are near the tree – If there are packages under the tree, even ones that smell interesting or that have your name on them, don’t rip them open – Don’t chew on the cord that runs from the funny-looking hole in the wall to the tree

5. Your humans may occasionally invite lots of strangers to come visit during this season. These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on your part: – Not all strangers appreciate kisses and leans – Don’t eat off the buffet table – Beg for goodies subtly – Be pleasant, even if unknowing strangers sit on your sofa – Don’t drink out of glasses that are left within your reach

6. Likewise, your humans may take you visiting. Here your manners will also be important: – Observe all the rules in #4 for trees that may be in other people’s houses. (4a is particularly important) – Respect the territory of other animals that may live in the house – Tolerate children – Turn on your charm big time

7. A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night. DON’T BITE HIM!!

THE NIGHT BEFORE GOLFING

Welcome today’s guest blogger, Jeremy Adsit of Calif.  Jeremy is an actor, photographer, and, apparently, a poet!

Thanks, Jeremy, for a great post.

The Night Before Golfing

By Jeremy Adsit

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

 

‘Twas the night before golfing I was lying in bed,

With thoughts of my round playing out in my head!

My clubs were all snuggled in my golf bag with care,

And visions of great shots flying high thru the air.

I’d stocked up on tees and golf balls alike,

When I suddenly realized my shoes need new spikes!

I sprang from my bed and ran out the door,

I knew if I hurried I could get to the store.

I was in such a rush that I tripped on a hose,

Tore a hole in my crotch and may have broken my nose.

By the time I arrived it was already too late.

They had shut off the lights and brought down the gate.

As mad as I was, I knew I was to blame,

But couldn’t resist it and called them some names.

You bastards, you pikers, you closed way too soon.

Now I’ll never get spikes and tomorrow is ruined!

Now here with no spikes and feeling depressed,

If I play well tomorrow I’ll tell you the rest!

CHRISTMAS CHUCKLES

 

Thank you Dr. Steve at humormatters.com for this guest blog.

Entering Heaven

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

“In honor of this holy season,” Saint Peter said, “You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.”

The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. “It represents a candle,” he said. “You may pass through the pearly gates,” Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, “They’re bells.” Saint Peter said, “You may pass through the pearly gates.”

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women’s glasses.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, “And just what do those symbolize?”

The man replied, “They’re Carol’s.”

You Better Be Good

Sarah and her thirteen-year-old sister had been fighting a lot this year. This happens when you combine a headstrong two-year-old, who is sure she is always right, with a young adolescent.

Sarah’s parents, trying to take advantage of her newfound interest in Santa Claus, reminded the two-year-old that Santa was watching and doesn’t like it when children fight. This had little impact.

“I’ll just have to tell Santa about your misbehavior,” the mother said as she picked up the phone and dialed. Sarah’s eyes grew big as her mother asked “Mrs. Claus” (really Sarah’s aunt; Santa’s real line was busy) if she could put Santa on the line. Sarah’s mouth dropped open as Mom described to Santa (Sarah’s uncle) how the two-year-old was acting. But, when Mom said that Santa wanted to talk to her, she reluctantly took the phone.

Santa, in a deepened voice, explained to her how there would be no presents Christmas morning to children who fought with their sisters. He would be watching, and he expected things to be better from now on.

Sarah, now even more wide eyed, solemnly nodded to each of Santa’s remarks and silently hung the phone up when he was done. After a long moment, Mom (holding in her chuckles at being so clever) asked, “What did Santa say to you, dear?”

In almost a whisper, Sarah sadly but matter-of-factly stated, “Santa said he won’t be bringing toys to my sister this year.”

A Christmas Gift

A guy bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas.

After hearing about this extravagant gift, a friend of his said, “I thought she wanted one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles.”

“She did,” he replied. “But where was I going to find a fake Jeep?”

A Sign of the Times

As a little girl climbed onto Santa’s lap, Santa asked the usual, “And what would you like for Christmas?”
The child stared at him open mouthed and horrified for a minute, then gasped: “Didn’t you get my E-mail?”

Do You Know Santa’s True Profession???
Submitted by K. Smith

Consider the following:

1. You never actually see Santa, only his “assistants.”
2. Santa keeps his job until he decides to retire.
3. Santa doesn’t really do the work; he directs a bunch of helpers
to do all his work for him, but he’s the one who everybody credits
with the work.
4. Santa doesn’t work anywhere near a 40 hour week.
5. Santa travels a lot.

Santa is obviously a senior faculty member with tenure!

THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING

Thanks to our good friend, Judy M, in California for this wonderful, hilarious and timely blog.

TWAS THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING,
BUT I JUST COULDN’T  SLEEP.
I TRIED COUNTING BACKWARDS,
I TRIED COUNTING SHEEP.

THE  LEFTOVERS BECKONED –
THE DARK MEAT AND WHITE,
BUT I FOUGHT THE  TEMPTATION
WITH ALL OF MY MIGHT.

TOSSING AND TURNING WITH  ANTICIPATION,
THE THOUGHT OF A SNACK BECAME INFATUATION.
SO, I RACED TO  THE KITCHEN, FLUNG OPEN THE DOOR,
AND GAZED AT THE FRIDGE, FULL OF GOODIES  GALORE.
GOBBLED UP TURKEY AND BUTTERED POTATOES,
PICKLES AND CARROTS,  BEANS AND TOMATOES.

I FELT MYSELF SWELLING SO PLUMP AND SO ROUND,
‘TIL  ALL OF A SUDDEN, I ROSE OFF THE GROUND.
I CRASHED THROUGH THE CEILING,  FLOATING INTO THE SKY,
WITH A MOUTHFUL OF PUDDING AND A HANDFUL OF  PIE.
BUT, I MANAGED TO YELL AS I SOARED PAST THE TREES….
HAPPY EATING TO  ALL – PASS THE CRANBERRIES, PLEASE.

MAY YOUR STUFFING BE  TASTY,
MAY YOUR TURKEY BE PLUMP.
MAY YOUR POTATOES ‘N GRAVY HAVE NARY A  LUMP.
MAY YOUR YAMS BE DELICIOUS.
MAY YOUR PIES TAKE THE PRIZE,
MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING DINNER STAY OFF OF YOUR THIGHS!!

HAPPY  THANKSGIVING!

IS LIFE REALLY LIKE A ROLL OF TOILET PAPER?

Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” Well, maybe it’s not really an old saying, just something I saw on a T-shirt or a bumper sticker a long time ago. Regardless of the origin, it certainly is a truism. Time is such an insidious thief. It does not discriminate. It cannot be controlled. It is also a phenomenon that received a little attention from Albert Einstein in his theory of relativity. (And he was a pretty smart guy!)

For example, when I was twelve years old, I couldn’t wait for that magic birthday number sixteen! Suddenly, my baby fat would disappear, boys would be flocking around me and, most importantly, I would get my driver’s license. Time seemed to move at a snail’s pace. It could not move quickly enough! At sixteen, the baby fat was still there (as a matter of fact, it still is!) and the boys were not exactly beating a path to my front door. But at least now I had wheels to speed through two more years until the next magic birthday, number eighteen. At eighteen, I could barely stand the tortoise pace of time until birthday number twenty-one and legal independence! And so on.

Now, fast forward to 2012 – and I do mean FAST! Somewhere along the line that roll of toilet paper has begun to whirl out of control. Minutes, days, months, years speed by as if propelled by rocket fuel! How did I get so old so quickly? When did all this grey hair creep in? Where did all these wrinkles come from? How did my babies become adults without my noticing? “Slow down!” I say. But no, time will not slow down and society, along with technology, will not allow it to even if it could. Once again, I am reminded of the relativity between time and speed. And at no time is it more evident than at this time of year as we approach the holiday season with breakneck speed. Loretta LaRoche described it so well in her latest “Get A Life” blog: (http://lorettalaroche.wordpress.com/)

life seems to whoosh by with each passing year. It seems that I just had Thanksgiving dinner and now it’s here again. How did that happen? And Christmas is just around the corner. Of course it’s not easy to forget either holiday since the media relentlessly feeds us their ads to buy, buy, buy starting in late August.  Christmas decorations are already up and we haven’t even cleared the Thanksgiving dinner. Black Friday is closing in on us, but now there are some stores that will be open at 9Pm Thanksgiving night in case you have an obsessive need to go to a store and leave your guests in the living room. Forget hanging out and reflecting on the day’s gathering. It’s much better to think about what you’ll be going to purchase while you’re chewing on a drumstick. We have turned life into a constant need to access the future without living in the present. This shift in how our culture lives their lives creates a great deal of stress. My mother and her generation seemed to savor each holiday without feeling obligated to discuss the one coming. I have talked to many people about this phenomenon and it may be time to reflect on spending more time honoring the moments we’re in rather than anticipating or dreading the ones that are coming. This is not an easy practice in a society that has come to value “doing” rather than “being”.

Yes, Loretta, I now embrace the present. The future will just have to take care of itself. Until I come to the end of my roll, I promise to strive to be a human being, not a human doing. How about you? 

THANKSGIVING MEANING

Thank you Julia Shaw for this guest blog found at heritage.org

Next Thursday, millions of families will celebrate Thanksgiving with roasted turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, and (with only a slight amount of guilt) another piece of pumpkin pie. But in early America, days of Thanksgiving weren’t always about food.

Reflecting American religious practice, Presidents and Congresses from the beginning of the republic have from time to time designated days of fasting and thanksgiving (the Thanksgiving holiday we continue to celebrate on the third Thursday of November was established by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War).

Following a resolution of Congress, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” In setting aside a day for Thanksgiving, Washington established a non-sectarian tone for these devotions and stressed political, moral, and intellectual blessings that make self-government possible, in addition to personal and national repentance.

Although the First Amendment prevents Congress from establishing a religion or prohibiting its free exercise, Presidents, as well as Congress, have always recognized the American regard for sacred practices and beliefs. Thus, throughout American history, Presidents have offered non-sectarian prayers for the victory of the military and in the wake of catastrophes. Transcending passionate quarrels over the proper role of religion in politics, the Thanksgiving Proclamation reminds us how natural their relationship has been. While church and state are separate, religion and politics, in their American refinement, prop each other up.

Therefore this Thursday, in the words of Washington, let us:

[T]hen unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

WHY DO YOU LOVE NOVEMBER? HERE’S WHY

NOVEMBER   QUOTE

November   woods are bare and still;November days are clear and bright;
Each noon burns up the morning’s chill,
The morning’s snow is gone by night..

Source: Helen Hunt Jackson – Taken from World Book Millennium   2000

IMPORTANT NOVEMBER EVENTS

  • Crawford W. Long, physician who first used ether as an anesthetic in surgery, born      November 1, 1815.
  • Daniel Boone, American frontiersman, born November 2, 1734.
    Daniel Boone’s Birthplace
  • Marie Antoinette, French queen, born November 2, 1755.
  • A      Spanish expedition led by Gaspar de Portola reached San Francisco Bay, November 2, 1769.
  • James K. Polk, 11th President of the United States, born near      Pineville, N.C., November 2, 1795.
  • Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, born near      Blooming Grove, Ohio, November 2, 1865.
  • North      Dakota became the 39th state, November 2, 1889.
  • South      Dakota became the 40th state, November 2, 1889.
  • Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, proposed settlement of      Jewish people in Palestine, November 2, 1917.
  • First      regular radio broadcasts began, over station KDKA in Pittsburgh, November 2, 1920.
  • Stephen Austin, colonizer of Texas, born November 3, 1793.
  • Canadian      explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson born November 3, 1879.
  • Erie Canal formally opened at New York, November 4, 1825.
  • Will Rogers, American humorist, born November 4, 1879.
  • Iranian      revolutionaries took over the U.S. Embassy in Teheran and seized a group      of U.S. citizens as hostages, November 4, 1979.
  • Gunpowder      Plot to blow up the English Houses of Parliament failed, November 5, 1605.      England celebrates this day as Guy Fawkes Day.
  • Eugene V. Debs, American socialist and labor leader, born November 5,      1855.
  • Will Durant, American historian, philosopher, and educator, born      November 5, 1885.
  • John Philip Sousa,      American bandmaster, born November 6, 1854.
  • Ignace Jan Paderewski, Polish pianist, composer, and statesman, born      November 6, 1860.
  • First      intercollegiate football game in United States, Rutgers v. Princeton, at      Rutgers, November 6, 1869.
  • Gen. William Henry Harrison defeated Indians in Battle of Tippecanoe, November 7, 1811.
  • Marie Curie, French physicist, born November 7, 1867.
  • Last      spike driven in Canadian Pacific Railway (now CP Rail), November 7, 1885.
  • French   author Albert Camus born November 7, 1913.
  • Edmond Halley, British astronomer, born November 8, 1656.
  • Mount Holyoke Seminary (today Mount Holyoke College) opened for women,      November 8, 1837.
  • Montana      became the 41st state, November 8, 1889.
  • Ivan Turgenev, Russian novelist, born November 9, 1818.
  • Edward VII of England born November 9, 1841.

Thank you Barbara’s Entourage at entourages.com for this guest blog.

LOST OR MISPLACED?

DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS

MISPLACED – Put in the wrong place or position; put in an unaccustomed or forgotten place

LOST – No longer in your possession or control; unable to be found or recovered • Incapable of being recovered or regained

MY DEFINITIONS

MISPLACED = temporary, hopeful, possibly a case for intervention by St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost (or, rather, misplaced) objects.

LOST = permanent, hopeless, the situation may be better delegated to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless cases.

We have an ongoing controversy in our household. Whenever something has mysteriously disappeared from its usual place – or in the case of some items, places – I say it has been “misplaced.” My partner, on the other hand, insists that the missing object is “lost.” Perhaps I am splitting hairs on this disagreement, but I don’t think so. It’s more about attitude and stress, not semantics. It is the line of demarcation between an optimist and a pessimist. Like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Nurse Nellie, I am definitely a “Cockeyed Optimist.” My partner is probably better described in Billy Reeve’s indie-rock song, “A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed.”

For example, several weeks ago one of my two favorite paring knives vanished. Poof! Gone with the wind. Somewhere between knife stand, cutting board and dishwasher the little devil had disappeared. Yes, I bought two identical knives for situations like this. And no, that does not mean I’m a closet pessimist, just practical. After all, who wants to slice a sweet, juicy pineapple with the same knife that has just plunged into the layers of a pungent onion?

But I digress. Days of searching for the lost/misplaced knife produced no results. It was maddening!  “Forget about it,” said the pessimist, “it’s lost and that’s all there is to it!” “No!” retorted the eternal optimist. “It’s here somewhere, it has to be. It didn’t just cut its way out of here, and I don’t think either Diesel or Emmett could have carried it off without any bloodshed!” On day seven came the optimist’s inevitable last resort, a plea to St. Anthony. And, believe it or not, within minutes the perfect parer revealed itself to me. There it was, in the front of the regular silverware drawer – where it is never kept, by the way – staring back at me, it’s blade twinkling with reflected light as if to chide, “How could you not have seen me all this time?” I was vindicated!

But then there was the case of our safe deposit box keys that were, I had stolidly insisted, merely misplaced. This time the defeat was mine. Five years and countless repeated prayers to my great Saint Anthony produced no results. They were forever hopelessly lost. I wish I had been right on this one. It would have been much cheaper to replace the knife than to pay for the new safe deposit lock. But I could have sworn I had put them into a very safe place and just forgot where that safe place was.

Maybe I’m losing my mind…or is it simply misplaced?

BLACK CATS

The Truth About Black Cats

Posted by: Alice Verity // October 20, 2012 // Courtesy of www.petfooddirect.com

It’s that time of year: ghosts, goblins and black cats pop up everywhere and our thoughts turn to scary tales and long forgotten myths. For instance, black cats have long been the subject of superstitions that consider them to be bad luck. However, those of us who love our ebony felines also know how loveable these magical balls of fur truly are.

 BLACK CATS IN THE MIDDLE AGES

As we know from Halloween folklore black cats are commonly associated with witches and in many parts of Europe were often portrayed as partners in black magic.  In fact, this relationship was made official in the 13th century by the Roman Catholic Church and the devil became associated with all black cats.  Many cats died untimely deaths thanks to that questionable status.  During the Middle Ages, black cats were thrown on bonfires, hurled off castle walls or killed upon sight in order to ward off the evil spirits they supposedly embodied.

 THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS

Sadly these suspicious religious beliefs were brought to the New World by the Pilgrims and eventually in that grand conspiracy called the Salem Witch Trials many cats lost their lives, burned at the stake along with their mistresses.  A demonic familiar or simply a close companion to a lonely old woman?  You be the judge. 

BLACK CAT CROSSING 

In some cultures a black cat crossing your path or walking away from you is a sure sign of bad luck approaching.  Since there is no known scientific study of this phenomenon, might this superstition merely be a warning of that lovely trick cats have of weaving themselves around our feet? Especially when we are going down the stairs or are carrying a heavy load? Tripping over your beloved cat is certainly bad luck. Maybe there is some truth to this myth. 

PIRATES AND BLACK CATS 

Luckily not all cultures demonize black cats and instead think they bestow good luck and happiness to their owners.  In England owning a black cat is said to ensure good luck and pirates of long ago hoped to have a black cat on board their ship to bring rich rewards.  Petting a black cat three times is said to bring good luck as is plucking the white hair of an otherwise all black cat. Of course the ancient Egyptians were the supreme cat lovers and protected them in life and honored them in death by mummifying them. Sounds like good sense.

 LUCKY BLACK CATS 

While most know the bad luck black cats supposedly bring, there are also many cultures that view a black cat as bringing luck. For instance, in Great Britain and Ireland black cats are symbols of good luck and the Scottish believe a black cat in the household will bring prosperity. Additionally, it is also thought that a woman who owns a black cat will have many suitors.

 A SAD FACT 

Sadly there is one very true, very tragic fact which is no myth.  Black cats are routinely overlooked in animal shelters in favor of their more colorful cousins.  These are perfectly sweet, affectionate cats and embody everything anyone would want from a pet, but due to their color are all too often ignored.   Pro-active shelters who know the value of these cats often hold special adoption days for the black ones, with low fees or two for one special.  Seems like a bargain when you consider the fascinating and sometimes unsettling role the black cat has played throughout history.

 BLACK CATS – WHAT ABOUT BLACK DOGS?

Although its origin is lost in time the enduring myth of the Black Dog brings shivers of terror to those willing to believe this malevolent spirit still haunts the moors and crossroads of the British Isles. This evil apparition appears in many guises but is universally associated with death and the devil and is often referred to as a Hell Hound. Of course we are more likely to see a Black Dog on a pub sign now instead of stalking the moors, but perhaps it’s wise to still take precautions on a foggy night.

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