CONVERSATION WITH…A Sunshine Blogging Award

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, a blogging award started following me. I wondered what it wanted.

blogger_award

Excuse me, Sunshine Blogging Award, can I help you?

BLOG AWARD: Actually, I can help YOU. RudyMariee from the blog: http://www.visionsandgiggles.com/  has nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Omg! That’s so flattering and such an honor!  Especially coming from RudyMariee. She’s an amazing writer. Every one of her posts is so genuine. She writes from her heart, is funny, and I always relate to the way she looks at life and her family. So, I’ll take the award.

BLOG AWARD: Hold your horses. You haven’t won yet. First you have to do a few things.

Like what?

BLOG AWARD: Start by linking your blog back to http://www.visionsandgiggles.com Actually, I just did that for you.

Thanks. Now I’ll take my award.

BLOG AWARD: Nope. Now you need to answer eleven questions about yourself that RudyMariee created below.

Okay, here I go.  Here are the answers to RudyMariee’s questions:

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to reside permanently Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.

  1. If you could change one thing about the current world, what would it be?

Revise gun control laws in the United States.

  1. Why did you start blogging?

Throughout my career, I’ve been a writer. I’ve always compromised with those who have hired me in order to “get the job done.” My blog is just my own writing voice. No revisions. No rewrites. For better or for worse.  🙂

  1. What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Follow your heart. You’ll reach those who will “get you” and they will follow you.

  1. What is the most interesting or most unusual thing about you?

I wrote for Sesame Street for twenty years, so I spent a lot of time with the Cookie Monster and the Snuffleupagus.

  1. What would be your idea of a perfect day?

Being left alone. I’m really a cat disguised as human.

  1. What are you most passionate about?

My family, writing, eating.

  1. What are you planning to do differently in 2018 in regards to your blog?

In April, I have a book coming out which is based on my blog. It’s called, “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.” It has a story that I might incorporate into my posts.

  1. Have you found anything particularly difficult about your blogging journey?

Making enough time to read all the amazing blogs I follow.

  1. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Biographies and autobiographies about artists.

  1. If you could be anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?

        Albert Brooks. He makes me laugh the hardest.

BLOG AWARD: Nice job.

Fine. I’ll take my award now.

BLOG AWARD:  Nope. Now you have to nominate eleven new bloggers.

Are you kidding me? That’s almost impossible. I read so many different kinds of blogs written by so many different, talented people. I cherish the exchanges I have with each and every one of them. How can I possibly choose eleven?

BLOG AWARD:  Just do it, or you won’t get your award.

Okay, how about this? I read blogs written by people who express themselves through words, art, photographs, humor, food, poetry, fashion, spirituality, health and pets. I’ll nominate one or two bloggers from each category, and they’ll represent all the awesome blogs I read on all those topics.

BLOG AWARD:  Works for me.

So, to represent all the blogs I follow, I nominate these eleven talented bloggers for the Sunshine Blogging Award. They help look at the world differently every day:

https://www.shallowreflections.com/

https://3cstyle.com/2018/01/21/the-nature-of-change-and-the-nature-of-fashion/

https://deepasthoughts.wordpress.com/

https://grapegravy.com/2018/02/01/spicy-green-salsa/

https://sevencatsandcounting.wordpress.com/author/sevencatsandcounting/

https://claudiamcgillart.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/scrutinized-people/

https://roseelaineblog.com/2018/02/15/five-little-angels-10/

https://rabbitpatchdiary.com/

https://muddlingthroughmymiddleage.com/

https://mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/guest-in-jest-30-over-the-hill-on-the-yellow-brick-road/

https://soulgifts.com.au/author/soulgifts2012/

Now can I have my award?

BLOG AWARD:   Nope.  One more thing.  Write eleven new questions your blogger nominees must answer.  HERE ARE THE RULES: To be winners, your nominees will:

Thank you and link back to your blog.

Answer eleven new questions you will ask them below.

Nominate eleven new bloggers and write them eleven new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Logo.

Okay. Here are the eleven new questions for my blogger nominees:

  1. From where do you draw inspiration for your blog?
  2. What’s the title of your favorite post and why do you like it best?
  3. If you could have a second home anywhere in the world or universe, where would it be?
  4. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  5. Who is your favorite fairy tale character?
  6. What’s your favorite food?
  7. If you could be a flower or a tree, what kind would you be?
  8. Where do you go if you want to have a quiet, spiritual moment?
  9. If you could live one part of your life over again, what part would it be?
  10. Who is your favorite artist?
  11. What’s an adventure in your life you’d still like to have?

NOW? Now can I please have my award?

BLOG AWARD:  It’s yours.

Yaaay! Finally!  And, thanks again to RudyMariee  at:  http://www.visionsandgiggles.com/

I’m exhausted!  🙂

 

 

 

 

CONVERSATION WITH…The Old Woman in the Shoe…Holding Onto Her Sensuality

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, around Valentine’s Day, I started thinking about ways I might continue to rekindle my sensual feelings as I grow older. I decided to discuss it with The Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe, from the Nursery Rhyme. She had so many kids she didn’t know what to do. I figured she might have a lot to say on the subject. I’d met her once before, and at that time she mentioned she was an empty nester. So when I stopped by her shoe to chat a second time, we got right into our conversation…

#1 woman in shoe

So, Woman in the Shoe, I’ll be frank. After giving birth to 3,103 children with your various husbands and partners, I imagine you’ve had an incredible variety of intimate and romantic experiences.

WOMAN IN SHOE:  To say the least.

But now that all your kids are adults and you’re growing older, what’s happened to your sensuality?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  It’s still there.

But is it harder to find that part of yourself?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  No, because I’m bringing it out in a different way. I’m drawing on my repressed teenage years.

What do you mean?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  Well, back when I was a teenager, my parents were ridiculously strict when it came to boys and dating.

How?

WOMAN IN SHOE: When I was fifteen, I was over-the-top excited because a boy asked me on a date.

I remember how that felt! 

WOMAN IN SHOE: But my batshit crazy parents wouldn’t let me go. They said I couldn’t date until I was less “boy crazy.”

Are you serious?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  It gets worse. When I was seventeen and finally had a boyfriend, my parents made it clear if I went to the park with a boy, I’d get pregnant. Pregnancy was also very likely if I went to the mall with a boy,  a restaurant, hiking, the library, a football game, or bowling.  In fact, if I looked at a boy, there was a good chance I’d conceive.

I’m speechless.

WOMAN IN SHOE: So then! When I turned eighteen and escaped from my parent’s loony bin, I went to town! I went anywhere and everywhere with boys from all over the world. Any kind of romantic or intimate moment you can imagine, I had. For years and years and years.

So that’s how you ended up with all those kids.

WOMAN IN SHOE: Exactly.

Okay, but how about NOW? Your kids are adults and you’re getting older. How do you rekindle those sensual moments at this point in your life?

WOMAN IN SHOE: I’m still filling  in the gaps after living in my parent’s prison. When I was a teenager, my parents didn’t allow me to go steady. So, my current husband just gave me his ID bracelet.  For the first time in my life, I’m going steady.

Aaaah.

WOMAN IN SHOE:  I highly recommend it in older age. I mean, my wedding ring represents a warm and familiar stability. But my ID bracelet is kinda hot.

When I was a teenager, my parents wouldn’t allow me to pierce my ears. Maybe after all these years, I’ll do it and buy myself a pair of elegant, dangling earrings.

WOMAN IN SHOE: I’ll take a pair too.

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018

How do you hold onto your sensuality?

CONVERSATION WITH…An older door

As I travel Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I have to remind myself to look upward every once in a while.  I never know if a house will fall from the sky and crash on top of me. Today, an actual school building fell from the heavens. Thankfully, it landed along the side of the road.  Believe it or not, it was the building where my two children went to preschool!  I rushed inside and found their old classroom!  Though the room had been turned into a library, the old door was still there.  We chatted…

IMG_2159

Hey door?  Do you remember when I used to drop my kids off in your room a million years ago?

OLD DOOR:  Of course. I remember everyone who comes in and out of this place. I don’t have a lot else to do. I remember your son cried a lot when you dropped him off here at preschool.

Yeah. I remember leaving the room and then peeking through the window at the top of you to see how he was doing.

DOOR:  If memory serves, he was so upset he actually had to drop out and come back the next year.  He missed you terribly.

I know. Back then, I thought he would have fun in the classroom with the other kids as soon as I left. I also needed a little space for myself to live my own life.  So, I played with my son in the classroom for a while…and when I thought he’d be fine without me, I’d whisper, “I have to go now.”

DOOR:  And he’d wail.

Looking back, I guess he didn’t understand. It probably made no sense to him.  He was probably very hurt. But eventually he dried his tears and moved on.

DOOR: On the other hand…I remember your daughter didn’t mind being dropped off here at preschool.

I know!  Before I could finish saying, “I have to go now,” she was bopping over to the other kids. 

DOOR:  So you left, closed me behind you, and scrunched your nose up against my little window to see how your daughter was doing.

She was always having a good time. That made me very happy because I needed a little space for myself.  I needed to live my own life.

DOOR:  But! Your daughter always insisted on coming home for lunch.  She only wanted to stay in preschool for a few hours. That was her limit.

I remember sometimes she had to stay longer because I had to work. She cried.  She probably didn’t understand.  I probably hurt her feelings.

DOOR: But eventually she dried her tears and moved on.

And now the tables have turned.  My kids are young adults. When my daughter travels from the other side of the country for a visit, I always want her to stay longer and spend more time with me.  But, at a certain point, she says, “I have to go now.” 

DOOR: And your son?

He lives about an hour away. When he comes home for a visit, I soooo enjoy his company!  But at a certain point, he gets up and says, “I have to go now.” 

DOOR: That must be hard.

 I don’t always understand.  Sometimes it hurts my feelings. I miss my children terribly.

DOOR: But you dry your tears and move on.

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018

 

CONVERSATION WITH…MY OLDEST DOLL…Because I Still Love to Play

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I couldn’t believe it!  My oldest childhood doll, Chatty Cathy, was waddling toward me!  I rushed over and gave her the biggest hug!

IMG_2124

Chatty Cathy!  What are you doing here?

CHATTY CATHY DOLL:  I heard you were visiting these parts and I had to see you!

OMG!  You look great!

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Well, I’d look better if you hadn’t given me a bad haircut back when you were a little girl. I still don’t appreciate the bald spot in the back of my head.

IMG_2128

I’m so sorry.  My sister and I were playing barber.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: I guess you felt you had to wash my hair with Ajax, too?

It probably didn’t help the texture.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: But I loved you anyway!  You were the best little girl!  We had the silliest imaginary tea parties!  And the craziest times playing house!  And I loved when you shoved me on the make believe school bus with all the rest of the dolls and your sister pushed us all around the room in a giant chair.

Yeah, you just went around and around and around the room and never made it to school.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Good times!

Yes, they were. And I’ll let you in on a secret.  I’m still a little girl.  I still love to play and play and play and play.  It’s just harder to find someone to play with as I get older.

CHATTY CATHY: I’ll  play with you!

You will??  I would love that!  What should we play?  I mean, I’m not into having an imaginary tea party or playing house anymore. How can we play with each other now that we’re both older?  What can we play?

CHATTY CATHY: Hmmm…I’m not sure.  I should tell you the “talking ring” on the back of my neck doesn’t work anymore.  When you pull it out, the spring is broken so it just snaps back.

It doesn’t matter, I don’t work as well as I used to either. I guess if we’re going to play, we should play about something that matters in our lives right now. 

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Like what?

I know! 

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Uh oh.

Hear me out. I’ve been thinking about adding a little pink or purple in my hair for the past few years. But, I don’t want to bleach my hair to do it. Also, I’m wondering if I’m too old to walk around with that look.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: So, what made you think of it now?

I just noticed L’Oreal came out with a new one-day color spray product.  You can spray pink or purple in your hair and it will wash out after one shampoo!  So if you don’t like it or feel foolish, one hair wash and it’s gone.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL:  So do it!

Well, I’m still kind of afraid, so…

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: You want me to do it.

Pleeeease????

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Actually, I could use a change.

I’ll tell you what.  I’ll just do your bangs.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Deal.

Here I go…

IMG_2132

Wow!!!! You look amazing!!!!

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Thanks. You know what?  I love it!  This is really uplifting and fun!

It was fun for me to spray you, too!  Like when we used to play barber, but better. Because this time you actually look good.

Did you notice you got some on my dress?

Oh. I’m sorry.  I’ll wash it.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Now spray some pink in YOUR hair.

Um…I’m still afraid. I don’t know…Should I do it???

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018

_______________________________________________________

Who still plays with their old toys?  Come on.  You can say it.

CONVERSATION WITH…An Elderly Shark…Reflecting on the shark inside her

On a hot day Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I decided to go for a swim in the ocean.  Suddenly, a shark swam over!   Aaaah!!!!!

shark

Shark! Don’t eat me!  I’m older!  But I’m too young to die!

SHARK:  Calm down. I have no intention of eating you.

I thought sharks ate people.

SHARK: If you confuse us, we’ll take a nibble.  Otherwise, we prefer other delicacies.  Just don’t confuse me.

 I won’t confuse you.

SHARK: But I should tell you, I do have one other eating related issue. Many years ago, I ate another shark.  I mean, some sharks do eat other sharks, but that doesn’t make it right.  I feel bad knowing I have a shark inside me.  I still have nightmares about it.

If it makes you feel better, I have a shark inside me, too.

SHARK:  Should I be swimming away from you?

No. Not that kind of shark.  It’s a metaphor for a really aggressive side of myself. But it’s strange.  I’ve noticed as I grow older, I don’t feel the shark inside me as much as I used to.  I don’t know what’s happening to me.  Am I settling for less?  Am I depressed?

SHARK:  I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

Well, when I was younger, if there was a job opportunity I was passionate about, or I had a creative goal that meant the world to me, I felt a “shark” inside me that drove me toward what I wanted with incredible force. 

SHARK: Ooooh.

And when that “shark” inside me took over, I didn’t hurt anyone physically, but I might have hurt others emotionally along the way without realizing it.  I was so focused on what I was going for, I’m not sure I was completely aware of my behavior.

SHARK: Ugh. What about now?

Now I feel more like a tuna fish. When I’m passionate about something I want to do, I meander steadily toward it, but I look from side to side and take in what’s around me.  If something doesn’t feel quite right or off balance, I stop, think about it, and make changes till I’m in sync with the universe.

SHARK:  If you don’t mind that I’m adding my two cents, it sounds like what you’re doing now might make you feel more grounded. And when you get where you’re going, you’ll arrive with perspective and wisdom.

Is it possible this is actually a good thing about growing older?

SHARK: Who knew?

Oh wow!  Thank you so much for your help!

SHARK: Hold it! What about me?  I still feel bad about eating that shark years ago. Any words of wisdom to help me through it?

Well…on one hand, I guess you shouldn’t have done that. On the other hand, lots of sharks have eaten other sharks, so it probably felt like a natural thing to do.  On the other hand, at that time, there were probably other things to eat in the ocean, so choosing that shark was a bad idea. On the other hand, sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes.  On the other hand–

SHARK:  Aaaah!  You’re confusing me!  I told you not to confuse me!

 I’m outa here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018

___________________________________________________________________

Do you have a shark?  How’s it doing?

CONVERSATION WITH…A NOSE…FEARING LIFE WITHOUT BEING BLESSED

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed an elderly nose limping along with a suitcase.  I caught up with her and started a conversation.

IMG_2078

Hey nose, where are you going?

NOSE: I’m outa here. I’m leaving Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road. I need to move on. I don’t know what else is out there for me, but I need to find it. If not now, when?  But…I’m scared.

Scared about what?

NOSE:  About not being blessed.

Huh?

NOSE: Here’s the thing. I’ve always been around others who know me. They bless me every time I sneeze.  I’ve had so much emotional support in my life Every time I sneeze, someone says “Bless you!” And when I’m stuffed, I hear, “Bless you! Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!” Constantly! I’ve become dependent on it.

I can see how that could happen.

NOSE: But! You know when NO ONE blesses me?  When I’m in a place where I don’t know anybody!  Like, let’s say I’m on a random bus or train, or in an elevator. If I sneeze, no one blesses me because they don’t know me! Or…if I sneeze and people do say “bless you,” they mumble it awkwardly, like they’re not sure if they should have said it in the first place.  I know that’s gonna happen again and again and again if I’m not with others I know!  I won’t be blessed!

Maybe you should trust the silence. And trust your instincts even if you’re not feeling supported or blessed. 

NOSE: What makes you so sure about all this stuff?

Because I’m going through the same thing, but I’m one step ahead of you.  As I’m growing older, when I want to try something new, I’m finding I don’t care as much if other people don’t “bless” what I’m doing or approve of it. Maybe it’s just something that happens with age.

NOSE: You think so?

Maybe. I mean, these days, if someone doesn’t like something I’ve written, or painted, or what I’m wearing, I listen to what that person has to say. But then, I think to myself, “Maybe there’s no right or wrong answer here. Maybe we’re just two different people in two different ‘places’ in the universe at the moment. Our perspectives are different, but there’s room for both in the world.”

NOSE:  I see your point.

If I feel centered in what I’m doing, I’m not as afraid.

NOSE: You must be in therapy.

You know? Maybe you and I are blessed in a different way.

NOSE: How?

Maybe we’re blessed that we have the freedom, time and health to go out in the world and experience it differently.  It’s a privilege.  It’s a different kind of blessing.

NOSE: I can get into that.  Thanks for the suggestion.

You’re very welcome.

NOSE: Haaa-chooooo!

Should I say it?

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

____________________________________________________________________________________________

How are you blessed?

CONVERSATION WITH…A TARNISHED EMMY AWARD…WONDERING IF TWO DREAMS CAN COME TRUE IN A LIFETIME

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I passed an abandoned house.  In the attic window, I noticed a tarnished Emmy Award.  Since the house was empty, I wandered upstairs and had a conversation with that poor, neglected award.

Emmy

Emmy Award, what are you doing up here all alone?

EMMY AWARD:  I’m tarnished.

Yeah. I’m surprised you’re not made of real gold.

EMMY AWARD: That’s my million dollar secret.  And since I’ve been sitting here in the window for years, the sun has faded me to silver.

Wow. On a positive note, your upper arms look amazing! I mean, holding up that ball for years has given you great upper body strength.

EMMY AWARD: Thanks.

Your arms are so sleek and toned.  Mine are so flabby I bet if I moved them up and down fast enough I’d fly away.

EMMY AWARD: That’s enough about my arms. Here’s the bottom line. There was a time when I stood for someone’s dream come true.  I stood for that happy time. It was amazing, but that ship has sailed.  I represented a dream, but I don’t think it’s possible for two dreams to come true in a lifetime.

I don’t agree. I think no matter how old we get, our creativity can carry us to new places if we let it.  More than one dream can come true.

EMMY AWARD: Not for me. I’m pretty much forgotten forever.  I’m not seeing myself standing for anything important anymore.

 Actually, I have an idea. I write a blog. Other bloggers read it, make comments, or let me know they “liked” a post. At this time of year, I’d love to let them know how much I appreciate them. They add so much to my life.  I’m most grateful.

EMMY AWARD: So what does that have to do with me?

Everyone who reads my blog is most deserving of an award.  So I’d like you to become the official Blogger Emmy Award.  I’ll call you the “Blemmy.”

EMMY AWARD: The Blemmy.  I like that.  Has a nice rhythm to it.  I’m in.

Great!  Okay…so……dearest Blogger friends who are followers, commenters, or who have tapped the “like” button on “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road,” I am presenting this Blemmy Award to YOU.   IF YOU ARE READING THIS POST, YOU ARE A BLEMMY WINNER. Your category?  Best Blogger in a Supporting Role. Thank you thank you thank you for supporting my creativity.

And! Since you’re on the Red Carpet, if you’re up for writing your acceptance speech, I’d LOVE to see it in the Comment Box!

Your acceptance speech can include thanks to other bloggers who have helped you become the blogger you are today (please include their links). LOL.

Happy Holidays to you all, and may all your dreams and wishes come true. 

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

CONVERSATION WITH…An Aging Ambulance…About What’s Exciting  vs. What’s Frenetic

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I passed an aging ambulance in front of a deli.  It was lunchtime, so the driver was inside getting a hot pastrami sandwich.  I started a conversation with the ambulance.

ambulance

You know, I’ve always wanted to talk to an ambulance. This is an honor.

AGING AMBULANCE: Thank you. But…why?

Well…I have a dream I don’t share with many people.  I’ve always wished I could have an ambulance of my very own.

AGING AMBULANCE: You’re kidding.

Nope.  I started dreaming about it when my children were in elementary school and had playdates in my house.  I worried what would happen if someone got hurt.  It would have been so calming if I knew an ambulance was parked in my driveway at all times.

AGING AMBULANCE: I’m touched.

And now that my kids are young adults and my husband and I are older, having our own ambulance would totally calm our nerves.

AGING AMBULANCE: Hmmm…

I mean, for example, last week my husband had bad stomach cramps and chest pains late at night.  It turned out to be a stomach virus. But since he’s a bit older, when he was in pain, we were concerned it might have been something more serious.  Having an ambulance in our driveway would have been a dream come true.

AGING AMBULANCE: Hmmm…

Plus I’m a hypochondriac.

AGING AMBULANCE: Well then, I’ll let you in on something that embarrasses me. As I get older, my exciting, dramatic life as an ambulance doesn’t feel exciting anymore.  It feels frenetic. The sound of my siren is just overwhelming noise and gives me a headache.

I can relate.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but large cities feel that way to me these days.  I used to find all the sounds and crowds of people stimulating.  Now I’d rather be in a quiet place.  I’m changing.

AGING AMBULANCE: Me too. When I have to speed down a highway to get to a fire, I just want to go home.  Or when I have to weave through traffic to get to an emergency, it’s not exhilarating anymore.  I’m changing.

I understand.

AGING AMBULANCE: But…I still want to be helpful.  Somehow. Somewhere.

Well then, dare I ask? Would you consider a permanent job sitting at the end of my driveway?

AGING AMBULANCE: What would your neighbors say?

Nothing. They know me.

AGING AMBULANCE: Okay then!  I’m in!

This is wonderful! I guess you just never know when a dream will come true.

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

CONVERSATION WITH…A Gallery of Art by Bloggers

Today I arrived at the “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road Art Gallery.”  It gave me an idea…

gallery
Hey Gallery, is there a manager I can speak to?

ART GALLERY:  I’m the manager.  As long as my walls don’t crumble and my plumbing works, I’ll keep running this place no matter how old I get.

Yeah—you must be really proud of all that you hold on your walls.

ART GALLERY:  It means the world to me.  I carry thoughts, dreams, visions, statements.  I carry the hearts of so many gifted people.

Totally. In that case, would you mind if I set up an exhibit here?  There are five bloggers who have invited me to guest post or have shared my blog on theirs.  Their art, photos and writing is so beautiful.  As a way to say a heartfelt thank you and let the world know about their work, can I set up an exhibit of links to some of their best creations?

ART GALLERY:  Absolutely.   I’ll keep it here forever.

Okay bloggers reading this post!  Click on each link, and you’ll definitely smile:

1.Linda has invited me to post as a “Guest in Jest” on her site on February 2. Her blog is about “crazy stuff that happens and things that amuse me.” I’m in love with Linda’s skunk photos. Click and scroll up to them here:

https://mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/black-white-vs-color-challenge/#comment-5668

2. Da Al invited me to share my post about a kitten I found Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.  She posts on arts/cooking/dancing/joy/writing/tales and tails.  I have a special place in my heart for a piece she calls “silk hand and eye.” Click and scroll down to it here:

https://happinessbetweentails.com/2016/09/05/art-love/

3.Raili was inspired by one of my posts and shared it on her blog. She’s always “creating magic with words” through poetry, stories, and thoughts about health and well-being. I can’t stop staring at her purple tree photos:

https://soulgifts.com.au/2017/11/24/echoes-of-purple/

4.Elaine did a very kind shout-out to my blog. Elaine paints and writes while “living and following the light.” I especially love her fantasy work. Here’s her display of amazing paintings.

https://elainespaintings.com/

5.Barbara shares every single one of my posts on Facebook. She does incredible paintings and photographs.  The expression in the eyes of every animal she paints blows me away:

https://www.facebook.com/RosenbergMuseumOfArt/

That’s all for now!  Hope you enjoyed the art show!

CONVERSATION WITH…An Older Vampire Overwhelmed By Too Many Choices

In a mall Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I heard a strange moaning sound.  I realized the sound was coming from an older vampire bat flying beside me.  I figured I’d try to help.

revised older vampire

Uh–Vampire?  Got a problem?

OLDER VAMPIRE:  Obviously yes!  I’m in pain! I’m too old to rest in my coffin box!  It’s killing my back!  I need a mattress!

I can understand that. I used to be able to sleep on anything.  But now, my back hurts in the morning if I sleep on a mattress that’s too hard or too flimsy—

OLDER VAMPIRE: Well that’s the whole ridiculous problem. I came here to the mall to buy a mattress to put in my coffin. But there are too many kinds!  I don’t know which one to get!  Why can’t there just be one mattress?

I went through the same thing last year.  I wanted to buy a mattress.  It used to be there were soft, medium and hard mattresses. That was all.

OLDER VAMPIRE. Yes, like with The Three Bears.

Right. Those were the only choices. But now we have—

OLDER VAMPIRE: Mattresses with memory foam! A little foam!  Or a lot of foam!  Or they lift your back up and down with a remote!  Or they have extra coils!  Or no coils!  Or they’re thick!  Or they’re thin!  Or they’re attached to a sofa bed! Aaaaah!  I can’t take it anymore!

I admire you for getting angry about it. 

OLDER VAMPIRE:  The truth is…my anger actually covers up my fear.  What’s happening to me? Is there more to understand in the world?  Or am I just not able to understand as well as I used to?

Maybe it’s a combination.  Sometimes the whole thing embarrasses me.  I’m self conscious about it.  So to cope,  I focus on exactly what I want and reject the other choices, even if a different choice might save me money. That’s one way to deal with it. At least I don’t go insane.

OLDER VAMPIRE: I don’t get out a lot during the day. Is this sort of problem just happening with mattresses?

No, it’s everywhere. Like, I had a new window put in my house recently.  But you can’t just buy a window.  There are types that have extra panes, or picture windows that don’t open, or there are windows that open if you tilt them at a certain angle, there’s another kind of window that opens if you pull it up and down and–

OLDER VAMPIRE: No wonder I’ve been having so much trouble flying into bedrooms.

It doesn’t end there! When I go to the supermarket, there’s low fat yogurt, no fat, 2%, 4%, no sugar, less sugar, Greek, regular–

OLDER VAMPIRE: Alright already! Shut up!  You’re giving me a headache!

Sorry.

OLDER VAMPIRE: So, what should I do about the mattress?  How did you resolve your problem with it?

Well, instead of asking a million questions and trying to understand how every mattress works…I went to a store that offered a special deal.  You can buy a mattress that seems comfortable, but after a month if you don’t like it, you can exchange it for a different mattress in the store.

OLDER VAMPIRE: I like that! I’d like to go with your mattress deal if you don’t mind directing me to that store.

I’d be happy to. Just keep in mind, if you’re thinking of returning the mattress, don’t drip blood on it. They won’t take it back with stains.

OLDER VAMPIRE:  I don’t know if I can pull that off.

Well then, just buy a mattress protector. They sell lots of them in Bed Bath and Beyond.

OLDER VAMPIRE: What do you mean by “lots of them?”

You can buy a simple plastic type—

OLDER VAMPIRE: That’s for me!

But… in your case, you might want to pay extra for one that protects against stains and odors, and you might want the kind that zips all the way around the mattress so it won’t fall off easily, and you might want the kind that…

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017