A man, determined to find the meaning of life, sets out to climb one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. He has heard that atop that peak, living in a cave, lives the wisest man in the world, the one who knows the truth of all things and the meaning of life.

After a long and nearly fatal climb, the exhausted man reaches the top of the mountain. He finds the cave and presents himself to the elderly gentleman residing within.

What life is not.

“Oh Great Wise One,” says the climber, “I have come to hear your words of wisdom. Enlighten me. Tell me the meaning of life.”

“Life,” says the Wise One without hesitation, “Is a bowl of cherries.”

The man is outraged by this facetious answer. “Bowl of cherries!!” he shouts, “What kind of answer is that?”

“You mean,” says the Wise One, ” … it’s not a bowl of cherries?”

They say when the going gets tough, the tough get going. I am not that tough. When life starts to overwhelm me with questions for which I have no answers, I tuck the problem on a mental shelf. I buy a pink plastic flamingo and name him Fred. I take some pictures. Or I write something.

None of this solves the problem, but every so often, if I procrastinate long enough, the problem goes away. Sometimes.

When you don’t have any other brilliant ideas, denial and delay are always worth a shot.


Two years ago, I order 30 pairs of socks in all different colors and patterns. I realized, finally, that I was down to a bare two or three pairs and I wasn’t even sure they were real pairs, but they were at least more or less the same color. Around the same time, I also bought a lot of underwear on the theory that we wouldn’t have to do laundry nearly as often if I didn’t run out of underwear. Oh, and I refilled Garry’s sock and underwear collection too.

socks without partners cartoon

Yesterday, Garry did laundry. My 30 pairs of socks have shrunk to about half a dozen pairs. I swear to you not only am I really careful about keeping pairs together, but Garry is passionate about matching them up and keeping them clean. Which isn’t always easy because I wear them as slippers and have been known to go outside in socks … not really a good thing to do.


Nonetheless, I realized no matter how much I didn’t want to face the crisis, I had to buy more socks. I found socks on Amazon — 12 pairs for $14.00 and they are all exactly the same. Because I know. We all know. Socks vanish. No matter how careful you are. No matter how hard you try to keep track of them, over time, attrition will chew at the edges until you have no more than a few days worth of socks in your drawer. You will search that drawer.


“Who took my socks?” you cry, but no answer will come to you. They are gone through the black hole in the universe (via your clothes dryer) into which all the single socks are eventually drawn. The mythical land or planet where a single sock can live forever. They are looking down on us and laughing. Because we persist in looking for them. Foolish humans.

Garry, despite my assurances that there is nothing more he can do, that socks will go missing regardless, is sure I’m accusing him of sock-napping. He does not yet understand. There is nothing anyone can do. There are greater forces at work here than mere humans can control.

Socks-come-backSo this time, I’m ordering 12 identical pairs. As each sock disappears, I can wear it with another lonely sock. Variety is not the spice of life when discussing socks.


Mundane Monday Challenge #58

I have been trying to keep up with all the challenges and totally failing. Miserably failing.


It hasn’t been a prolific period for me, photographically speaking. I have not felt inspired and I haven’t felt good for much or this so-called spring. But you know? This is one challenge I can do because I can do it right here. No problem.


So thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate without having to find someplace with a beautiful view.


My kitchen. The heart of the house … if you don’t count the living room with the dogs and the television and the computer. And the comfy furniture.


I recently stayed with my daughter, Sarah, in Los Angeles. I was struck by the interesting design and decor elements I saw in homes I visited.

Sarah is 31. She lives in North Hollywood with a roommate. They have some wonderfully funky things on their walls that gives their house a happy, creative, fun feeling. For example, as an inexpensive way to treat a large wall behind the TV, they strung LP records together and created a decorative statement piece.

Sarahs house

To give drama, color and interest to the opposite large wall in their living room, they came up with something unique, to say the least. Budget friendly, too. Sarah’s roommate found a large model of an airplane in the trash. It had been made for a studio to use for exterior shots of airplanes in movies. They hung it, nose down, and dotted it with colored paper ‘flames’. To complete the vignette, they have a Barbie doll parachuting to safety from the wreck. Not for everyone, but I love it!

Sarahs plane

I also visited an old friend who recently moved from Westchester, New York to LA. His name is Gary Kiffel and he just retired after 22 years as the sound effects man for David Letterman. He decorates his home with some of his cool collectibles, like vintage radios, microphones and phonographs. Unfortunately his giant , fully working antique pinball machine didn’t make the move out west.

The microphone that says “WRR” is an RCA that dates from 1946-1954. When Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, he used the exact same mike.

garys mikes

The smaller phonograph is an Edison Standard Model A from 1899-1901 and played Edison cylinder recordings. The larger one with the beautiful blue horn is a Columbia Phonograph from 1905 or 1906. It played 78 and 80 RPM records. Both phonographs still work and Gary has a collection of discs and records to play on each of them!

garys phonograhs

Maybe I just have creative friends and family. But these two styles, although transplanted from the New York area, seem to epitomize the relaxed, unconventional, do your own thing vibe of LA.


The ants have returned. It’s an annual event all over New England. They usually don’t show up in April. Typically, they wait for May or even June. This year, they’re here. In force. Everywhere.

Being as I don’t feel inclined to kill the birds, the dogs, and us, I have to find solutions that aren’t going to do serious damage. I also have to be careful since the water table is high and we have a well. Not poisoning our own well is always a good thing.

poison eco-smart

I bought two big spray bottles of Scott’s Eco-Smart Home Pest Control Spray for Crawling Insects (it works as well as the horribly lethal stuff) and a 10-lb bag of Scott’s Eco-Smart poison pellets for the yard. Because not only are the ants back, but so are the ticks. I can’t prevent them entirely, but maybe I can reduce their presence.

All of this reminds me of …

Have a great day!


If there’s one universal truth about life on earth, it’s that all that lives — plant or animal — eats. From the birds in the sky and the Christmas cacti in the dining room, to the ants who annually invade my kitchen — it’s dinnertime.

Biscuit time - All dogs

Ask the dogs. Gibbs has been with us just a month, but before he had been here two days, he knew the sound of the biscuit box being opened. It would bring him hot-footing it from the farthest edge of the yard to the kitchen, dancing with glee at the chance to get a piece of dry, hard, tasteless dog biscuit.


Of all the dining venues the U.S. has to offer, nothing is as uniquely American as the diner. George’s Coney Island in Worcester, Massachusetts is old. Serving hot dogs and other quick foods since 1918, its retro look is not feigned.

It’s still pretty much in its original form, from the dark wood booths to the huge, mustard dripping hot dog neon sign.


What’s your preference? If you are peckish, really hungry or just looking for a toothsome nibble, what do you crave?

If you’re not sure, try the diner. They’ve got everything!

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

DINNERTIME – The Daily Post WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge