Sunday, April 26, 2009

Confessions of a Neighbor Namer

I like to think of them as pet names. It isn’t something that everyone has or deserves. Pet names are saved for those neighbors and co-workers who have at one time, or more likely many times, sunk to the level of absolute idiocy, far past the “give-em-a-break” line of demarcation, on one or more of the characteristic of personality scales by which levels of humanity are rated.

Most pet names evolve over time. They change based on the latest stupidity witnessed. Frankly, I try really hard to NOT notice what my neighbors are doing. But even with great effort, the dumb just seeps through the fence and all the “ignoring them” resolutions. It usually happens after a loud bang. Even though I know, it’s just another neighbor proving that the missing-link is alive and well, I can’t help myself from looking. I’m compelled to go see what made that noise. I’m caught in the Gladys Kravitz syndrome again, looking through the window and seeing things I wish I hadn’t seen.

I stood stunned, as I watched a near 50 year old, 5’6” wanna-be-scumbag-biker with his new Harley, in his new jacket, with his new bandana, yelling at his wife to help him pick up the motorcycle that just fell over in the drive-way.

I stood aghast, at the fist-fight on my front lawn, which was actually, just friends of my neighbor. That was our introduction… I’ve seen this one, misjudge the location of the edge of his deck, the intension was to through the contents of the B-B-Q on to the ground below, but he missed and the red hot coals rolled all over on the deck at his feet. Currently, we’re watching his cooler collection grow. Apparently, every time he goes on a picnic, fishing or camping trip of sorts, he forgets t bring his cooler and buys another one to add to the stack behind his house, where he can’t see them, but I can. There are four and we’re just a few weeks into summer. How many will be there by September? One wonders… the anticipation is intense, isn’t it?

The transformation of a pet name brings with it the history we as neighbors share. At the beginning, before they reveal their truly stupid self, I use their names. If a neighbor is destined for a pet name, it doesn’t take very long before… Doug becomes Duh-oug, Duh-oug the Goof, Goofy Doug, Doofy. Sad but true, each revision is a reflection of one or more episodes of usually drunken (we hope) stupidity witnessed by neighbors who a) couldn’t care less and b) are trying to avoid knowing anything else about these people.

The only trouble with using pet names exclusively when referring to neighbors is that it preempts ever calling them by their given names again… once you name them, it’s just better not to talk to them anymore. Talk about them, yes. To them, No. Because they’ll never understand what you mean when you forget yourself for a moment and say, “See ya later, Doofy.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Go Green...Air

Essential for life, it’s the air we breathe.

Typically indoor air quality rates two to five times as polluted as outdoor air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Much of what we use to keep the inside of our homes and buildings clean is the leading component of toxic chemicals in the air. EPA reports that measured VOCs Volatile Organic Compounds) of indoor air can be as high as 1,000 times greater than outdoor air.

Since World War II, over 80,000 chemicals have been developed for use as cleaners, pesticides, personal care products, and plastics. Many of these chemicals contain neurotoxins. Neurotoxins suppress the nervous system and overload kidneys and liver impairing the body’s ability to rid itself of waste.

Symptoms of breathing chemical toxins or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are headaches, allergies, nose bleeds, fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, shortness of breath and memory loss. Continued exposure can lead to chronic or acute health problems, immune system disorders or cancer.

Chemical toxins or VOCs are highly present in oven cleaners, dishwasher detergents, toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, antibacterial cleaners, perfumes, carpet shampoos. Empty containers should be taken to the hazardous waste site.

Many perfumes and aftershaves have petroleum or gasoline as a scent preservative. These types of products can deaden the sense of smell as well as contribute to allergies and breathing problems.


To promote good air quality switch to environmentally friendly products such as Earth Friendly or Seventh Generation Cleaning Products. To promote good personal air quality switch to non-toxic natural perfumes, aftershaves, bath & hair care products.

Homemade Glass Cleaner:
1/8 cup vinegar
1 cup water
Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake and apply. Wipe Clean.

Recycling Centers & Info:

Go Green Info:

Non-toxic Cleaning Products:

Learn how to make Non-toxic Household Cleaners, download the free recipe book:

Monday, April 6, 2009


Excellent song

Book Review: Lady Elizabeth

The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel by Alison Weir

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I prefer reading history to novels but this novel was very well presented. Liked it. Some of the more shocking scenes are completely fiction, still I understand why it was done, for all those novel readers. :)

It goes back to the library shelves.

View all my reviews.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Greatest Sacrifice

It was the Greatest Sacrifice: the innocent taking freely the burden of sin, so we would not have to suffer what we so honestly deserve. It was the Greatest Gift we could receive. Jesus’ triumph over the wages of sin, over death, for us.

“It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His Spirit.”
John 19:30

And on the third day…

As the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb…
Matthew 28:1

Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Salome brought spices that they might come and anoint Him…
Mark 16:1

But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb…
Luke 24:2

Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb…she turned around and saw Jesus standing there… Jesus said, “Mary!” She said to Him, “Rabboni”
John 20:11,16

Mary told the disciples what she had seen. When the disciples assembled and were in fear, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
John 20:19-22

Holy Week, the last week of Lent, commemorates the time Jesus carried the burden of sin for us. This was the week he suffered betrayal by his closest disciples.

This was the week of the Last Supper.

This was the week He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This was the week the Sanhedrin tried Him.

This was the week the Jews tried Him again in front of Caiaphas.

This was the week He was turned over to Pilate.

This was the week Pilate tried Him twice.

This was the week that He suffered.

This was the week that the crowd called for Barabbas.

This was the week He was crucified.

This was the week He died.

This was the week He was buried.

This was the week the tomb was opened.

This was the week Christ appeared to the women on the Road to Emmaus.

Let us travel a personal Road to Emmaus. Let us meet Jesus on the Road. When He calls our names, let us answer as Mary answered, “Teacher!” May we come to know the breath of the Holy Spirit and receive the Greatest Gift He Gave, Peace Be With You.

(Beautiful picutre of Jesus courtesy of "free painting Jesus"