Rib cracked, windshield intact

File this one under the Am-I-the-Only-One-This-Stuff-Happens-To department.

Nope, it wasn’t a moving violation. But it hurt. (Don’t laugh. Ouch. I bet you just did.)

I had just returned from a dusty road trip to a horse expo, driving through woodsy areas and plenty of mud. The windshield displayed more bugs than a science fair presentation on entomology.

Trust me. It was gross.

Coming home to an unseasonably warm spring day, I decided to unpack and then wash my car in the driveway.

I dragged the garden hose out. I soaked and soaped and scrubbed and rinsed. The entire car sparkled – except the insect-spattered windshield.

So I grabbed the picnic cooler (which was still full of weekend refreshments) and slid it over next to the car. I picked up a spray bottle of window cleaner and a couple of rags. I climbed on the cooler and started working on that windshield.

And I slipped.

The hood of the car broke my fall … and cracked a rib. I knew it right away. I’ve broken ribs before, and there is nothing like it.

Gasp! Sputter! Groan!

It only hurts when I lift heavy stuff … or laugh … or breathe too deeply … or try to sit up straight … or roll over in the night … or …

The scorecard now reads:  Windshield 1, Rib 0

Now I’m off to buy a lightweight stepladder - and maybe come up with a better (or cooler?) story to go along with the rib injury.

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including public domain artwork

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Happy Easter! Who wants to try the ‘Daddy-Is-a-Dentist Cake’?

Easter is one of our favorite holidays. In fact, it might be my own personal top pick.

First, the actual meaning of this Resurrection Day celebration is why I live. Second, I love how Easter seems to usher in the actual coming of spring, regardless of when the calendar says the solstice actually takes place.

And finally, Easter baskets filled with tasty treats are always a fun surprise, even if they mark the end of the Halloween / Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Year’s / Valentine’s Day / St. Patrick’s Day food orgy.

But is it possible to take the sweets craze a little too far? (Don’t answer that.)

Put down the Easter Marshmallow Bunny Peeps for a moment, and take a peep at this thing.

Now, ‘fess up. Who’s rushing to the store to buy Easter Marshmallow Chicks Peeps and M&M's Chocolate Candies Bunny Mix and make this candy cake? And who’s trying to grab a late spring appointment with the dentist?

Happy Easter! Who wants to try the ‘Daddy-Is-a-Dentist Cake’?
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Parents: Would you make a Facebook profile for your new baby or little kid?

Scores of parents are apparently creating Facebook profiles for their new babies, their toddlers, or their young children. 

Moms and Dads: Would you do this? Why or why not?

Parents interviewed by CBS CBS Pittsburgh, for example, described how they enjoy uploading photos of their children to the youngsters’ own Facebook profiles – in many cases, even before the kids are old enough to operate a computer.

“It’s easier than emailing,” one parent said.

Most often, these parent-originated Facebook pages are set for high privacy, sharing items only with family and perhaps a select group of close friends. But the stuff is still out there.

Lots of folks tag their little kids in photos on their own or loved ones’ profiles too.

Not sure this is delightful at all, but something certainly seems amiss.

Besides the simple fact of violating Facebook regulations (Currently, Facebook has a minimum age requirement of 13 years.), this practice seems to raise serious questions about personal privacy for minor children, personal security, and parental responsibility.

Anyone else find this alarming?

Maybe we should ask a few of those kids in about 10 years. Gotta wonder how a growing kid might feel about having his or her baby pictures posted on Facebook, when that youngster takes over the profile. Sure, photos and posts can be deleted, but caches and screenshots can still exist.

What about voyeurs and creepy porn producers, who prowl the internet and lift photos of children for all sorts of icky purposes?

Parents: Would you make a Facebook profile for your new baby or little kid?
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Sorry, Apple. Arctic temps did not overheat my iPhone

I just stepped indoors after spending a few hours doing some outdoor projects. The mercury never went above 20 degrees (F). And the windchill apparently has made the day feel like a sub-zero day.

After shrugging off my winter coat, I reached into my jeans pocket for my smart phone, which doesn’t seem to be so smart, after all.

Here’s what my iPhone screen said:

iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it.

Really, iPhone?

Somebody better get Siri on the line – stat! Something ain’t right here. My iPhone definitely does not need to cool down.

And I just have to chuckle. Why is the iPhone suddenly bilingual? Oh, wait. It’s more than that, as multilingual emergency-only messages are now cycling across the screen.

Photo by Linda Ann Nickerson – Nickers and Ink Creative Communications
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Death by Sorority

"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

I agree wholeheartedly with Mark Twain, who said that first. Many years ago, as an undergraduate student, I was officially certified as dead, but I am really quite alive, thank you!

Sorority life nearly killed me, at least on paper! A national Greek fraternity signed my death notice.

Yes, it’s true.

It all started with a happy beginning. Or so it seemed at the time.

As a college freshman, I enthusiastically participated in the sorority rush. My friends and I enjoyed being courted by all the right Greek houses. We were duly impressed by the tales of philanthropic programs, charitable donations, and volunteer efforts. Mostly, we probably hoped we might gain advantageous social connections by linking up with the right people.

Finally, on Pledge Night, we hovered in our dorm rooms and waited for the candlelight processionals to arrive.

One by one, each sorority came calling, announcing the names of the girls they would invite to join. When my favorite group called my name, I could hardly stand it. I was so excited! I flew into a sea of happy hugs.

Moments later, blindfolded and bound by the wrists to 20 other naïve freshmen, I was led through a muddy field to an unknown location. The hazing had begun.

The wake-up call came all too soon.

Caught up in tradition, our entire pledge class banded together and endured humiliating rituals, beer showers, raw egg shampoos, and worse.

Finally, our initiation day arrived. Veiled in secrecy, we promised lifelong loyalty to the sisterhood.

The following weekend, I strolled into my boyfriend’s fraternity house and found one of my sorority sisters trying to seduce him.

So much for sisterhood!

Then my sorority sisters killed me. So they say.

Final exams came and went, and summer arrived. Reaching my home, along with my sanity, I decided to resign from the sorority. That fall, as soon as the term began, I typed a letter to the chapter president.

My resignation was accepted, on the condition that I pay the fall membership dues. I refused to do this, of course.

A few months later, when I arrived home for the winter break, an official-looking letter awaited me on the desk in my room. Stamped as registered mail, it bore familiar Greek lettering over the return address. The letter was from the national office of the sorority.

Puzzled, I sliced the envelope open with one finger. What was inside? It was a death notice with my own name embossed on it!

Was this a threat, or simply wishful thinking?

Many years have passed since then, and I am very much alive. And I have never doubted my decision to withdraw from the supposedly select sisterhood that falsely declared me dead.

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