Tag Archives: humor

Notable birthdays of May 29th.

I frequently look in on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, but rarely do I find every item from his column interesting, as I did today. Today is a reprint of what was in the column in 2017. Of course, it being the birthday of G.K. Chesterton, I wanted to read what Keillor might say about that favorite writer of mine. But Bob Hope and Oswald Spengler were also born on the 29th of May. Spengler studied the history of civilizations, and published the book The Decline of the West in 1918.

A quote from Christopher Hitchens is included in this piece, which I found quite a contrast to the legacies of the other three men; it made me feel sorry for him.

Keillor leads off with the poem, “A Dream of the Future,” by Joyce Sutphen, which I think ties in nicely with the subject of Spengler’s thesis about the “blossoming and withering” of cultures over time.

If any of this piques your interest, check out The Writer’s Almanac.

I forgot that story already.

If only I were better at writing funny stories – I’ve had such good material for them the last couple of weeks! When the “funny” things are happening — i.e., the crazy days when I lose my keys, forget my phone, break a crown on my tooth, spend half the day on a cooking project that turns out barely edible, spend the other half driving back and forth to appointments or making fruitless business calls, and at the end of it all get stood up by my computer guy — my writer’s mind tries weakly to do its usual thing of organizing chaos into sentences, but only in synaptic spasms. And what exactly is humorous about this, anyway…? The exhaustion is total, and I only want to go to bed early.

The next day, if it is a recovery day — and I definitely haven’t had enough of those lately — I often do realize the hilarity of life, in retrospect. But I’m not a comedian, and when I start to relate my wonderment at how many things can go wrong, or I should say, how inconvenient adventures can be, it just sounds like a complaint. And if I did write my funny story, where would I put my beautiful flower pictures?

I thought of this once more after Columbus Day, which was fairly long and involved with things not going as planned. And I was feeling the deadline I was under, to leave town, and to get all my affairs in a good state so I could be away and not worry. When the problems were solved and I was all alone again, I found rest in writing about how a poem and my garden worked together to give me the needed R&R. I guess trying to write a funny story would be too challenging, a chore I don’t know how to tackle. My garden is easy, and writing (anything but humor) is my favorite kind of work.

I soon forget the germs of those funny stories, because they are so quickly superseded by compelling tales of birdsong and burst milkweed pods, babies dropped fresh from Heaven, and bread dough rising.


Oh, but I have to tell you why I am going to be away from home! I am right now flying to Colorado with that new Baby Clara herself. Don’t worry, her mother and her brothers are with us. Clara’s father will meet us at the airport, and I will stay to help them out in their new town for a while. More stories are on the way.

Web gleanings for the interested.

Over the last several weeks I’ve collected some good Internet finds into this draft which I haven’t yet managed to finesse into a very cohesive offering. Even so, I think I better post it, before it gets even larger.

What does it take for you women to “feel good about yourself”? This blog post, What’s Your Excuse? spins off a provocative photo and discusses our life’s purpose and calling. It’s true we all make excuses for failings, but maybe some of us are focusing on the wrong goals in the first place.

How we live out and demonstrate our priorities has a huge effect on our children. Lisa writes about training our children and about praying for them, in The Prayers of Parents. It reminds icon suffer the little childrenme of a book I read when my own children were small, by Andrew Murray, Raising Your Children for Christ. From the blurb on the paperback cover I expected lots of practical advice such as methods of discipline and teaching, but 90% of the book was a month’s worth of devotionals emphasizing the parents’ faith and prayer. Of course, that is very practical – definitely not theoretical! And so is Lisa’s admonition.

From the cultivation of the spiritual life, I will segue into the cultivation of the earth, and a very surprising thesis of this article on the unsustainability of organic farming. Why would this be? I am only beginning to process the complexities of what the writer is saying. I know that the natural and best ways of doing many things are often not the most “efficient,” and that is one reason I am not a big believer in efficiency. But unsustainable? That’s taking it to a new level of disturbing.


People trying to promote natural healing of the earth is one aspect of this article on Mossy’s blog  telling about seed bombs. Has any of my readers done this “guerrilla gardening”? Mossy tells you how to make your own at home, but if you search the term you quickly find that you can buy the clay balls ready-made.

I appreciated another blogger‘s treating the subject in more depth and bringing up some issues, such as vendors selling “bombs” that contain seeds of plants that are invasive and undesirable for the part of the country they are marketed to. For example, some people are concerned about sweet alyssum, which I have certainly tulips w alyssumfound to be invasive, but controllable in my own home garden.

I’m happy to tell you that hundreds of hardworking bees are flying around my garden these days. They make me so happy. My husband and I like to sit in the sun in the afternoons watching them buzz all over the lavender nearby. I hope you will go see Kelly’s picture of a honeybee — she caught him in a secret magnolia-blossom cave. I love looking at photos of bees on flowers — they are so hard to get. If any of you have one on your own blog I’d think it the sweetest thing if you sent me the link.

If you haven’t already acquired the habit of reading Fr. Stephen Freeman’s blog, here’s another prod: We Will Not Make the World a Better Place. He discusses “The Modern Project,” modern because, “You will search in vain for the notion of making a better world prior to the 16th century.” Fabian Socialists, the Treaty of Versailles, and the Armenian genocide all figure in his remarks on political theory and history. And a quote: “Stanley Hauerwas has famously noted that whenever Christians agree to take charge of the outcome of history, they have agreed to do violence.”

Last, and important, humor: One of the funniest things I came across this week was on Language Log, a place to read linguists’ comments on many everyday happenings in languages, English and others. From time to time one of their many contributors writes about how Chinese signs get translated inchinese - JustTheQueen1 odd and amusing ways. Some are written to forbid urination in various places and the English versions of the warnings can come out saying, “Urination is inhuman,” or “It is forbidden to urinate here. The penalty is bang.”

My pal Chesterton said that there are no uninteresting subjects, only uninterested people. I hope at least one topic here has been interesting to you!