Human Day

Just a little color

I was going to write about marketing today. I love to pick on marketers, or perhaps that should be marketeers. I always have to acknowledge that our daughter is a marketer, but she’s a good one. Like my friend Paul is a good lawyer. Instead, I decided to write about why I didn’t write about Earth Day.

It’s not because I’m anti-Earth Day.

If ever there was something we should think about every day, it’s Earth, but not as if it’s a noble challenge we’re taking up to “save the planet.” If you think about it, “Earth Day” is backwards. It should be Human Day. If we mess up the planet, we’re the ones who are screwed. Earth will get over it. Earth will shrug its mountainous shoulders, sigh a sigh of relief and mutter a great big: “I thought they would never leave.”

I’m pretty sure that if we find a new planet, a Planet-B as some people are saying, Earth won’t be giving us back our damage-deposit and probably won’t give us a good reference.

Lots of you wrote around the Earth Day theme. I enjoyed your posts. I was particularly touched by a statement that Cheryl made in her beautiful post:

Yeah! Today is Earth Day, you know, a day set aside to make a real effort to remember where our gifts come from and to honor the agreement we made with the Creator to be stewards of this blue and green miracle.”

Boy, did we mess that up. Let’s hope He doesn’t send us back as garbage eating bacteria.

Wonder where these are today?

When I searched on Earth Day I saw an ad from 2007 when Home Depot gave away a million Compact Florescent Lamps (CFLs) on Earth Day. I thought: “marketing…sigh” – yeah, it’s hard to get me off my train of thought. I wonder if they collected the 5 milligrams (times a million, or about 11 pounds) of mercury and properly disposed of it. If you Google: “are cfls good for the environment” you’ll find stuff all over the map. Was giving away a million CFLs good for Home Depot’s bottom line? Only they know. They aren’t giving CFLs away this year, and they aren’t giving away LEDs.

I can avoid Home Depot, but some people bring the conflict to my front door.

I’ve dealt with earth-friendly and earth-unfriendly people, ever since I bought a house. The River Keeper folks used to come around asking me to give them money and sign petitions. They wanted to close a local manufacturing plant because it was only compliant with clean water regulations when they felt the company could do better. Well, they were compliant, and they were employing a bunch of people, so get off my lawn.

Speaking of my lawn, I routinely turn down the folks who want me to pay them to slather it in chemicals to make it uniformly green and bug free. I.E. no “weeds” and no bugs. And yes, bees are bugs, as far as they’re concerned. My lawn would be pretty for the guests I never invite, but I couldn’t let Maddie walk on it.

That’s what I’m talking about – when humans are gone, lawns will revert to wildflowers and weeds, and bees and butterflies (if there are any left) will once again flourish. Human Day, people, not Earth Day.

The gallery contains some of the little miracles I noticed while walking with Maddie this weekend.

Posted in Current Events, Opinion, Perspective | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

And Then There Were Three

Ellen understands perfectly

Were it not for Word and my lovely editor, you would all know that I can’t spell. Neither can I grammar nor punctuate. You have no idea how I fret over the previous sentence. You also have no idea if it’s the sentence I wrote, ‘cuz editor. I tried two free grammar-checking websites before I gave to the Mrs., but I still worry. Now, according to Ellen, I have even more to worry about.

Not more things, but more tasks at which I can fail.

According to a tidbit contained in Ellen’s latest post.

Note: There’s nothing going on between Ellen and me. I know, I tend to mention her often, but it’s just an interesting coincidence. See the thing is that I tend to read Ellen’s blog just before the #SoCS prompt is released, when the SoCS prompt is released early. I like to read a few blogs at lunch, and when Linda publishes the #SoCS prompt around that same time, the gears start turning and the voices in my head start yapping, and it’s all downhill from there.

Speaking of “downhill,” you should do some research on Ellen’s blog to learn about all the things people in England like to roll down hills., like cheese and things that are on fire.

Anyway, according to Ellen’s blog, punctuation is a whole ‘nother thing from grammar.

You know, it was bad enough when I was bad at spelling and grammar, but at least I was only bad at two things. I mean, I’m good at math. I math real well. And, I’m good at science. Now I have to add “and I’m good at computer stuff” to offset this new breakout category of punctuation as a third domain where I often fail. It’s OK, my editor punctuates well, and she usually catches most of my errors. If she misses one, David will let me know.

I think David likes catching an error that the Mrs. misses even more than he delights in finding my errors. My errors are only worth one point. Catching the editor in an error must be worth 10 points. Catching Ellen in an error – she used to be a copy editor – is worth 25 points. If there are any errors in this post, you can be sure those two will point them out.

Now I’m worried that the stress will be too much for my editor. She might abandon me to my own devices on this one.

Since I math well, I’m trying to apply set theory to this trifecta of error I find myself in.

I’m guessing I lost a few readers. I know, it’s Saturday. Some of you read this with your first cup of coffee. Some of you don’t like math. I’m not naming names, Joey, Mary, but I know you’re out there.

So, we have three sets: Spelling, Grammar, and now, Punctuation. The Union of these sets, that is the stuff that falls into any of them, would be the English-language-challenged writer that is Dan. It’s the Intersection of these sets that is giving me trouble. For example:

“…his interest was peaked when…”

That’s a mistake I actually made in a long-ago post. The proper word is ‘piqued’. My editor might have known that, but sometimes I edit my post after she gives it the ‘all clear’ signal. The question is, is that a grammatical error or a spelling error? I would guess, which is pretty much what I’m always doing with these three things, that word-choice falls under grammar. Peaked vs. piqued = grammar. Picued vs. piqued = spelling. Picue vs. peak = the intersection of grammar and spelling, i.e. it falls into both sets.

I know, I know. It’s too early for Venn Diagrams.

I hear the complaints. I’ll stop.

Before leaving, I want to point out two classes of errors with which I should not be charged: One is typing induced errors. For example, earlier I typed “thrid” instead of “third.” That’s bad, and Word caught that one. I often type “form” instead of “from.” Word misses that but the Mrs. doesn’t.

The second case is technology induced errors. When I wrote “the Mrs. misses…” Word capitalized the ‘m’ in misses. I won’t even talk about the horrible things my cell phone does.

I’m curious as to whether I could make an error that is in the intersection of grammar, spelling AND punctuation. I’ll let you know if I find one.

Ooooh, I got one: He said, “I just wanted to look in thier”, as he peeked into the room.

“Thier” vs. “their” = spelling
“Their” vs. there = grammar
Comma outside the quote = punctuation

I could make those mistakes, easy peasy.


This post has been part of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday challenge. And, I think I have some bonus points coming.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “spell.” Use the word “spell” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use it in the first sentence. Enjoy!”

Posted in Humor, SoCS | Tagged , , , , , , | 89 Comments

A Little Utility

I wasn’t going to mention this, but since I wanted to add it to my menu, to make life easier for me, I thought I’d explain.

Actually, the explanation is on the “Page” that I added. I guess I don’t really understand how pages work in WordPress, but I’m learning.

Anyway, click on the “Conversion Util” link on the menu (bottom of banner image), or click here.

Posted in Blogging, DIY, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Thursday Doors – Farms and Barns

You can’t go wrong with white.

A few weeks ago, I shared some pictures with a One-Liner Wednesday post that were taken while my brother and I were rapidly making our way from Ames, Iowa to the Minneapolis Airport (MSP). I mentioned that I had some photos of doors-at-a-distance, but that I would save them for a later date.

Today is that date, and that’s really good news for you. For the third time this week, I will do very little writing (beware, Saturday is coming). I could share the story about why we were heading to MSP, but you can read that for yourself. I’m just going to load a bunch of photos into the gallery, do my best to explain them in the captions and hope that you enjoy this post.

Thursday Doors, for the uninitiated, is a weekly blogfest for door freaks aficionados, orchestrated by none other than Norm Frampton. Norm opens the festivities early each Thursday morning and keeps the doors (get it?) open until noon, Saturday. Enter through Norm’s door, look around, maybe add a comment, and look for the blue frog. Click that little guy to enter a gallery of doors from around the world, literally. If you have a door to share, you will find everything you need to make that task dirt-simple

Posted in Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 74 Comments

A One and Three Twofer

Slow Joe Crow wanted to join us today

It’s One-Liner Wednesday, the series brought to us by Linda G. Hill, and many of you will be surprised by how close to one line I am going to come. That’s because I am joined today by Teagan R. Geneviene who will soon release her 1920’s novel. If you’re not familiar with Teagan and her three-things stories, you’re in for a treat. If you are familiar with Teagan’s work, you know exactly what kind of treat you’re in for.

My one-liner is all about a treat too. A few weeks ago, when I woke up in Florida with the task making, changing and cancelling flights on a day the airlines were struggling with a blizzard in the Northeast, I wasn’t eager to get out of bed. I talked myself into action with the following thought:

When you know you’re going to have a bad day, make it better by starting with pancakes.”

Teagan told me that Pip could have some fun with pancakes, so let me get out of the way (after a few pictures for the foodies).

Now, while I finish my breakfast, please enjoy Teagan’s story. Try to imagine my best Ed McMahon voice, as I say:

Heeeeeer’s Teagan!

Hi, everyone! I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, from the blog, Teagan’s Books. A big thank you to Dan, for agreeing to collaborate on a post with me. I told him to pick any of his themes because they’re all terrific. As I get ready for the takeoff of my next 1920s novel, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, I’m doing some collaborative posts with other bloggers. I’m delighted to be here at No Facilities.

This vignette is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip. (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story click here.) Pip’s father and grandmother decided to “settle her down” by having her live with Granny for awhile. That’s where this tidbit picks up. Also, as you guessed, the prompt Dan gave me for this tale was pancakes. I hope you enjoy it.

Pip and Pancakes

1925 La Vie Parisienne woman pancake cooking

La Vie Parisienne, February 1925

Horsefeathers! I think I sprained my wrist,” I complained as the iron skillet plopped back onto the stove with a loud clang.

Outside a crow made a cawing sound that might as well have been the bird’s laughter.

“Paisley Idelle Peabody, you will mind your language while you’re in my kitchen,” Granny Phanny warned me.

My grandmother hefted the heavy skillet with a quick motion. A perfectly round pancake sailed high into the air. It landed majestically, golden side up, in the pan. I heard the crow again. If it had a human voice, I was sure it would be saying “Ha! Let’s see you do that.”

Granny must have biceps made of steel under her shirtsleeves. She handled that heavy skillet like it weighed nothing.

The clear blue sky beyond the kitchen window distracted me. I imagined being back in Florida with my friends, watching the boats on Santa Rosa Sound. However, I was in Granny’s kitchen in Savannah, Georgia. Pops had not appreciated the fact that I was a modern woman, a flapper. It was an appalling sentence to be given, and it pos-i-lutely did not fit my transgression. Why it was just a little yachting adventure. Nonetheless, Pops and Granny contrived for me to stay with her and learn to cook!

Pillsbury Home Journal Pancake flour ad September 1920

Pillsbury ad, Home Journal, September 1920

Of course the crow chose that moment to caw some more. It really did seem to be laughing at my predicament. Or at least at the idea of me cooking. I was ready to stick my tongue out at the bird.

Honestly, I only looked away for a moment. Maybe it was my sigh that told Granny my attention had wandered. Her lips curled in, which meant she was impatient. I grimaced, knowing I wouldn’t get any sympathy there. However, Granny gave a sigh of her own, and moved the skillet away from the burner.

“Pip, do you already miss your friends? You’ve just gotten here. This was supposed to be something fun for us to do together,” my grandmother told me.

I blinked in surprise. Granny wanted to do something fun? Applesauce! If I had known it was meant to be fun, I might have put some effort into enjoying it. I cringed when I realized I had said as much out loud.

Granny Phanny gave a snort. “Maybe I’m not as old as I thought, because that actually made sense to me.”

“In that case, let me try again,” I told her with a grin.

I tried to imitate Granny’s motion and give the pancake a flip. It only came halfway out of the pan and landed in a folded messy lump. My grandmother gingerly picked up the half-cooked goo and set it to rights. She told me to try again and give it some body English.

A tight-lipped grimace settled on my face as I picked up the iron skillet. I heaved it just so. The sloppy remains of the pancake lifted into the air. It sailed up and flipped, and then flew even higher. It made a wet thwack when it hit the ceiling… and there it stayed.

With a gulp, I looked at Granny, wondering how mad she would be. Her expression was blank as she stared upward. She cast an evaluative gaze on me, making me wonder if she thought I’d done it on purpose.

“Pip… Well, that was right impressive,” she said, with the riotous squawking of the crow in the background.

Bye Bye Black Bird sheet music 1920s

Hurriedly I stirred the batter and poured a puddle of it into the skillet. I didn’t want to give her time to consider in what way a pancake on the previously spotless kitchen ceiling was impressive.

In my haste I had the heat too high, and the hotcake began to smoke. Granny moved toward the window. She told me to just get the spatula and turn it before it burned. I was more than simply nervous by then. I don’t know what possessed me, but I tried to do a combination, turn and toss, with the spatula in one hand and the skillet in the other.

Just then Granny shrieked. The crow cawed even louder. I whirled around. The bird was right outside the window.

My onehanded grip on the iron skillet was too loose. When I moved so suddenly, the skillet flew from my fingers. The shining black pan could have been the cousin to the cawing crow, the way it soared across the room.

I gazed in amazement at the flying frying pan. It spun as it sailed cleanly through the open window. The skillet crashed into the lilac bush just outside.

The crow’s clamorous cawing abruptly choked. I might have chuckled to have gotten the last word on the bird, even if by accident. However, the sound of Granny’s scream was still in my ears, so I didn’t savor that victory.

I spun back toward Granny Phanny to see what was wrong. She stood stock still. Her hands were in fists at her side. My magnificently tossed pancake no longer littered the ceiling. It draped and dripped over Granny’s forehead.

What’s that they say about the better part of valor? On pretext of retrieving the skillet, I ran from the kitchen. The crow alighted on the lilac bush and looked at me accusingly. It fluttered to the windowsill.

“You won’t go in there if you know what’s good for you,” I told the bird.

Granny appeared on the porch, picking batter from her hair. She gave me a look that I couldn’t define. The crow made a brazen cackle. After a moment Granny burst out laughing.

“Pip, go inside and let’s get cleaned up. You haven’t been to the Georgian Tea Room. I’ll treat us to brunch there. If we stay here we might be eating crow — literally,” she said with a meaningful glare at the bird.

With a last disgruntled caw, the crow flapped away.

Georgian Tea Room in The Olde Pink House 1929

The Georgian Tea Room in the Olde Pink House; Savannah, GA circa 1929


The end.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

Posted in food, Friends, One Line Wed | Tagged , , , , , , | 93 Comments

Ham Sandwiches Peanut Butter Eggs & Maddie

“Are you coming?”

While you might be expecting an intricately woven story of a holiday weekend…I got nothing. That’s not entirely true, but it’s Sunday. It’s Easter. And, due to the distractions mentioned in the title, I don’t have time to write my way around the pictures I was planning to share.

Don’t all sigh in relief at the same time.

I hope the captions can tell the story of a spring season that was late to arrive, but seems to be firmly underway. Enjoy the second half of April.

By the way, something very special is coming on Wednesday, I can’t tell you yet, but you’re in for a treat.

Posted in Family, New England Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 70 Comments

Happy Easter

The flowers are silk, but they are her favorites

Happy Easter to all who celebrate today!

Posted in Uncategorized | 34 Comments