Had Iris Pushed Up The Daisies?

As one who’s been “deeply rooted” in my boyhood home for five+ decades, I’m fully aware of my home turf (inclusive of my late mother’s flowerbeds). Even after a few random, squirrel engineered transplants, most of her perennials’ bulbs, to this very day, remain right where she had left them fifteen Aprils ago… on the mild, sunshiny, spring morn she had passed on.

Towards the end of my 22 hour deathbed vigil, I could virtually envision Mom finishing her final leg of the human race and passing off the baton to me… such a handoff not only a gesture of her undying hopes that my life would continue to go onward, but that I’d also maintain my reverence for family traditions.

No small part of these conventions was/is our mutual respect for Mother Nature… my Mom’s flower gardens offering up a living testimonial… the natural outgrowth of such shared sentiments inspiring my solemn vow…

For as long as I’m alive, Mom’s flowers and my memory of her will live on, too.

However… and most regrettably… there had been one baton dropping instance. While busily tending to other areas of my life, I had forgotten how the ol’ family homestead’s roof overhang oft prevented rainwater from reaching her prized, purple Irises. And, due to my neglect, Iris’ blooms and foliage had all but vanished off the face of the earth.

Iris’ untimely death went far more than bulb deep, too. You see, Mom had transplanted her bulbs from our previous residence… a wondrous locale where I had spent the first seven years of my life… where just one aspect of our entire world opening up to my wide-eyed, younger self, had caused me to pause, marvel and mull over the intricate, grand design of Iris’ surreally shaped and multihued blooms.

Fast-forwarding to many years later… mid-April 2017… it was while tending to Mom’s daffodils that my peripheral vision detected a totally unexpected, slight glimmer of green. It required my doing a double take and then stooping down to confirm the “impossible”. A single, solitary, barely 2.5cm, fragile Iris leaf was poking through the soil… desperately ISO the warmth of the early spring sunshine and a cool drink of water.

Not unlike my boyhood response to first discovering Iris’s blooms, I found myself in wide-eyed wonderment. In less time than it took to express my “OH WOW” disbelief, I had redirected my sprinkling can’s nozzle… my subsequent regular watering causing her to sport a profusion of lush, healthy green foliage by the time Jack Frost had paid his first visit last fall. And, naturally, as soon as 2018’s spring had sprung, I immediately resumed my labor of love.

Just this past Monday… May 21st… Iris, having stored up sufficient energy, flowered for the very first time in many years. Just this morning, she’s proudly displaying three of her wide open, purple and yellow hued blooms for all to behold and adore.

Iris’ death defying attitude has been enlightening and jaw dropping inspirational. She not only exemplifies the preciousness and persistence of life but also reminds us not to give up too quickly… not even when all is seemingly hopeless.

 

 

This blog expands on my 06/05/17 post titled “Dormant Seeds? Unpromising Soil?” and features a blend of quoted / paraphrased old passages interwoven within my new content.

 

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How Would You Read These Signs?

 

It’s been a little over a month since Earth Day, but since environmental concerns should be addressed all year long, check this out…

As a lifelong Michigander (6+ decades), I’ve grown accustomed to an occasionally odd, illogical meteorological mix… in some instances unseasonal extremes spanning a 24 hour (or less) cycle.

This spring, my region has been experiencing the fifth wettest May since meteorological record keeping began. Even so, based on my observations, I don’t believe that precipitation, alone, is responsible for such a weird phenomenon.

In short, both professional and amateur groundskeepers have been finding it quite difficult to keep up with a botanical growth spurt.

To e.g. this… my next-door neighbor (who does over fertilize his weed free lawn) used to be on a mow once every 7 days schedule… but now? In spite his allowing only 2 days to elapse, today, his normally kickass power mower still found it difficult to deal with his lush lawn… it kept sputtering and, a few times, nearly stalled out.

To further e.g. this… yesterday, my own weekly, groundskeeping didn’t go much better. Naturally, I don’t use any of those nasty, toxic, carcinogenic lawn chemicals, so my own battlefield had involved heavy duty, grotesquely overgrown dandelions. Hmmm… might my weedy “lawn” act as the “control” to this field experiment?

And since I’ve noticed both above lawn types citywide, I do know that these problems are not unique to my neighborhood.

One final e.g… in spite of my electric trimmer’s best efforts, yesterday, I still spent over an hour sculpting my three car length hedge… a weekly task that… once upon a time… only required half an hour to complete. It’s almost as if these elm shrubs have been goaded into some sort of competition with America’s West Coast, 3,000 year old redwoods… and are doing their utmost to win the race in far less time. BTW, even under normal conditions, elm hedges have been known to grow into 60 foot tall trees.

Naturally, I’m curious as to whether this growth spurt is localized or widespread. Considering how WordPress is a global platform, I now ask anyone reading this post…

Has anyone else observed any signs of wildly accelerated plant growth in their “neck of the woods”? Might the goading factor be an increase of atmospheric CO2? If not, what do you believe is the driving force?

The comment box awaits your responses.

 

 

In the Eye of the Storm(y)? (One Quick Limerick #043)

 

Did porn star Stormy, “prez” Don, both disrobe?
Is the fake prez a for real germ-o-phobe?
He says he fears all infection?
She says he wore no protection?
Were both exposed to brain rotting microbe?

 

This alleged roll in the hay went down approximately one dozen years ago… which would be more than enough time for some undiscovered, untreated, end stage STD to reprogram his alleged mind with chaos, churlishness and capriciousness. Or was he just born that way?

If any of you readers out there have any other diagnoses, type them out in the comment box below.

 

FYI… you can access archived limericks, poems, and lyrical parodies by clicking onto my poetry category.

If you’ve found this post worthy, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment… click onto this blog’s headline to access the “Like” and “ReBlog” buttons and “Comment Box”.

 

 

Could #MeToo Have Called Out JFK Too?

 

#MeToo’s exposure of predatory males has been providing society a long overdue, much needed and invaluable wakeup call. For raising our awareness, we must extend our commendation, compassion and recognition to all the victims… as well as remind anyone, who has yet to speak up, to never suffer in silence.

While the high profile predators, typically, have been grabbing much of the media headlines, we must never forget that underreported, lesser knowns also employ the the exact, same sexual harassment, abuse and assault MO… indeed, such deplorable conduct spans and spoils workplace environments everywhere.

While it’s been disconcerting… at times painful… to witness once-upon-a-time respectable men being stripped of their sheep’s clothing veneer… see their lives and livelihoods in crash and burn mode… we must NEVER FORGET they have no one to blame but themselves… and they fully deserve society’s justifiable wrath. The #MeToo movement is absolutely correct to demand that blame be affixed where it truly belongs… upon the guilty predators and NEVER upon their totally innocent prey.

Of course, if we ever hope to cure society of such ills, our work has only begun. Parents must learn to raise their daughters to never take any predatory crap from anyone! Parents must learn to raise their sons to behave more respectfully and sensitively… not only within our workplaces but everywhere else, too.

More to the point, males must become fully aware of what a vile hormone testosterone can be… how… left unchecked… it can prod the weak-willed to go on a totally unacceptable and uncivilized biochemical rampage.

Let’s now expose the H-Word… Hypocrisy.

In my past posts… I’ve mentioned two males we / I used to admire… accused actor George Takei and the now convicted comedian / actor Bill Cosby. What makes such blogging especially difficult and distressing is how both talented guys used to be positive role models. Of course, big and small screen celebrity must never act as a smokescreen defense for inexcusable behavior. Moreover, even when they do wind up uttering their regrets this should be met with our skepticism. Are they truly sorry or merely sorry about having been caught?

Deconstructing this further, historically speaking, it’s already been a tough enough task to convince the narrow-minded not to judge entire demographics based solely upon the behavior of few bad actors. But, now that the malignancy of Takei and Cosby has tarnished the images of countless others, respectively, the vast majority of benevolent LGBTQs and racial minorities, the task of enlightening homophobes / xenophobes has become doubly (if not more) difficult. Doubtlessly, such predatory conduct can only (unjustifiably) perpetuate, their flimsy, eons old, negative stereotypes.

To avoid the stench of hypocrisy in all of my posts… I cannot continue to call out sexually predatory conduct (in general) and (more specifically) the present-day, so-called prez’s self-admitted misogyny and alleged infidelity until I turn my back on a past president who I’ve idolized since I was a young boy… one John F. Kennedy.

Misogynistic society has oft employed euphemistic terminology… e.g., dalliances and womanizing… to describe / downplay / romanticize JFK’s conduct. Romanticize? YIKES!!! Even had the sex been fully consensual, how could anyone ever deem it acceptable? One must never rationalize / dismiss the emotional abuse, pain and distress he must’ve inflicted upon his wife, Jacqueline. Even if an on-the-rocks marriage had been no fault of his own, a considerate man would’ve patiently awaited the official divorce decree.

To reemphasize and expand upon my earlier statement… celebrity… even martyrdom… cannot and must NEVER excuse caddish behavior.

Furthermore, were we to ever scrutinize / dig deeper into JFK’s life, times and untimely death… how could we ever say, with any certainty, that his surviving family members hadn’t used the considerable Kennedy wealth to commission and handsomely pay off some ugly history revisionists? For all we know, the Warren Commission, investigating the events of Friday, November 22, 1963, had gotten it all completely wrong.

Perhaps, the so-called, lone gunman in Dallas, Texas, in reality, had been the pissed off husband / boyfriend of one of JFK’s conquests?

Considering the testosterone poisoning, which fuels the typical satyr’s MO, perhaps the conspiracy theorists have, all along, been spot on with their contention that the lone gunman had plenty of armed company… i.e., plenty of other PO’d husbands / boyfriends had been figuratively and literally gunning for JFK?

 

 

A Mother’s Day To Remember!

 

My Mom and Dad had lived out their first 35 years residing in northern Minnesota… Iron Range country. Following their nuptials in the waning days of August 1948, their honeymoon route to their Michigan destination had spanned approximately 1288km (800mi). However, their long drive wasn’t entirely romantic, it involved an economically time sensitive issue, too. You see, at their journey’s end, the public school bells would soon be ringing… and a newly opened, teaching position already awaited Dad.

Both of my folks had wound up waving good-bye to parents, siblings, dear friends and old haunts. I do believe Dad had made the emotional adjustment far easier… or perhaps he had just been too overworked and under-appreciated by his new superintendent / boss to notice the social vacuum? As for Mom? Basing my observations upon my own first hand experiences, I can wholeheartedly attest to the fact that the mindlessness and drudgery associated with domestic duties usually leaves one far too many opportunities to ruminate and regret.

The sad situation… was (still is) how… from time immemorial… society has devalued teachers. Even when, prior to her first pregnancy, Mom had briefly taught in the same school system as her husband, their combined incomes still meant too little money to pay for what they deemed to be life’s “luxuries”. For example, they simply could not justify the cost of attending far away, family reunions. Hell, they even considered placing a long distance phone call to be living high off the hog. That fully explains why Mom and her family got in the habit of mailing letters to each other at least twice per month… with postage being only 4 cents it was the best way of staying in touch.

Sadder yet… is how such lifelong, monetary woes do tend to chronically persist… even in death. My folks’ need to economize had established a whole new meaning to the wedding vow, “till death do us part”. My Mom and Dad wound up interred in two separate, many miles apart, Minnesota family plots.

The saddest part of all… Since my three decades long retail “career” (sales / management) never had drawn the big bucks… at present… I, too, have experienced, first hand, the need for a barebones, belt tightening budget. To e.g. this further…

It’s now been 30 years since Dad passed on and 15 years since Mom died. And throughout this entire time, I’ve yet to justify taking on the added expense of traveling to pay my gravesite respects.

Of course, I’ve tried to be philosophical about it all. My consolation? Well…

The the light years immensity of our intergalactic universe, in comparison to the insignificance of that interstate distance of 1288km, will likely go unnoticed whenever I’m paying my respects to my folks from afar. To add a bit more spin, should not such remembrances prioritize the warm, qualitative feelings over the cold, quantitative statistics?

And… speaking of qualitative…

Because the very first Mother’s Day following my Mom’s passing on had occurred on Sunday, May 11, 2003, I was feeling strongly motivated on Friday, May 11, 2018 to pay my long distance respects. So, I opted to extend my morning constitutional… to power walk towards the very finest parkland my lifelong hometown has to offer… and I kid you not… it’s located right next-door to the cemetery.

For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with my past posts, to give you some sense of the splendor of this nature reserve, let me offer up this brief illustrative passage as it appeared in my April 18, 2016 blog, titled: A Sliver of Sunlight…

Though my words won’t do it full justice… we’re talking about 50 acres of rolling terrain, wetlands, nature trails and the calming “white noise” generated by a long winding river. This is the home turf for a diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna… this serenity beckoning all free spirits to… wander beneath towering pines, elms, oaks and maples… traipse through fields of clover… behold a vast variety of wild flowers and groundskeeper planted perennials… hear the buzz of bees… the honks of geese and quacks of ducks… the birdcalls of sparrows, robins and countless other feathered species… eyewitness the occasional visiting deer, foxes and waddling woodchucks.

While some of you might call me spiritual… others could easily dismiss me as delusional. But, as far as I’m concerned, this park is akin to a mystical land where, on several occasions, I’ve experienced some of life’s “Oh Wow” moments.

I even interpret such events to have been my late Mother’s way of communing with me. It’s not just that these events DO occur, it’s how they all require such perfect astronomical and meteorological alignment and timing. These phenomena cannot possibly be mere happenstance. Allow me to relate my most recent experience…

My arrival had occurred twenty minutes into this past Friday’s sixth hour. Since the overnight overcast skies had persisted into the dawn, with no dew on the ground, I had found the conditions favorable for wandering throughout the park-grounds. Shortly before 7 a.m., just as I sat down on my favorite bench and had begun communing with Mom… just as I was facing northward and overlooking the river’s small waterfall… out of the corner of my left eye, all the sudden, I had noticed the pervasive, dismal, grey funk suddenly lightening and brightening up. I glanced westward and upward at precisely the right moment to behold a few stray sunbeams… notice how they had penetrated a very slender break in the cloud deck and woven just enough of their gleaming light to illuminate the treetops… just the treetops. And then?

Within sixty seconds of this light show’s onset, it had ended. Pivoting to quickly face the eastern skies, the thick grey clouded curtains had already closed, which confirmed no encore would be forthcoming. But… at the risk of repeating myself I now remind…

Should not such remembrances prioritize the warm, qualitative feelings over the cold, quantitative statistics?

And, I certainly could feel the warmth of my Mom’s love, everlasting, interwoven within those sunbeams. Most assuredly, this had been a Mother’s Day to remember!

 

 

What If Robert Mueller Believed In “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”?

 

It’s a matter of public and journalistic record… a nefarious, sociopathic, despotic, alleged world leader (who shall remain nameless) recently, rabidly, savagely bleated out…

“Torture works. Ok, folks? You know, I have these guys – ‘Torture doesn’t work!’ – believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.”

NO… IT’S NOT OK, FOLKS!!! Needless to say, no civilized person would ever agree with one syllable of that above quotation’s BS. Doubtlessly, as a proponent of what has been euphemistically referred to as “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”, he’ll gleefully, (likely someday soon) use them to abuse / torture the ever-growing list of enemies of his own making.

Let’s now accurately refute that BS. From a psychological perspective, a torture victim will say whatever his tormentor wants him to say… even fess up to crimes he did not commit. Why? In hopes such admissions might put an end to the agony.

Hmmm… might that alleged world leader feel compelled to change his alleged mind if (someday soon) he winds up facing down Robert Mueller… only to discover his interrogator is a similar proponent?

To flesh that out… just how would he feel if Mueller’s inquest site is nothing less than a fully equipped, medieval dungeon… a dark, dank torture chamber where Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” rule… where the methods to all of the madness will be inclusive of…

“…beating, binding in contorted stress positions, hooding, subjection to deafening noise, sleep disruption, sleep deprivation to the point of hallucination, deprivation of food, drink, and withholding medical care for wounds, as well as waterboarding, walling, sexual humiliation, subjection to extreme heat or extreme cold, confinement in small coffin-like boxes, and repeated slapping.”

No intelligent, honorable, humane human being would ever be a proponent of inflicting any of those evil, medieval tactics. Most assuredly, NOT Robert Mueller… NOT yours truly…and hopefully NOT any of you… my readers.

Moreover, if the featured nefarious, sociopathic, despotic, alleged world leader in question were to ever fully, honestly and compassionately question / rethink his own barbaric stance… neither would he.

Alas… neither thinking / rethinking nor honesty nor compassion are among his strong suits.

 

 

May BlogCast ~ Spring Thoughts Of Love

 

Welcome to my monthly BlogCast.

To say the very least… back in the 19th Century, Great Britain’s poet laureate Alfred Tennyson observed…

“In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”

To say much more… to modernize that passage with some much needed inclusiveness… such an emotional state certainly does span the vast spectrum of gender identities and seasons.

On this fine May Day, there’s a smile on my face and feelings of renewal throughout my body. TMI? Well… uh… not really. Let me explain. You see, my Michigan compatriots and I have been freezing our butts off for the past, SIX LONG WEEKS (ever since the alleged vernal equinox). But now? WOW! With today’s temps predicted to soar into the 80° Fahrenheit / 27° Celsius range, at last, it’s safe to say that spring has sprung… even the trees and shrubs have finally started to leaf out.

But enough about meteorology. Instead, how about a merger of psychology with musicology? In other words… let’s blend our love of love into the musical mix.

My three featured selections, when segued in the presented order, below, do work out well on a multitude of levels.

Beyond the fact that all are Sixties era love songs, we find that, within the Temptations’ lead track, My Girl, songsmiths Smokey Robinson and Ronald White actually have given a lyrical nod to the “month of May”. Additionally, their musical arrangement calls for a concluding, key signature shift… in this instance… from C to D major… which means everything plays out with plenty of chords in common with Mercy’s Love Can Make You Happy and the Troggs’ Love Is All Around.

You’ll also discover that, while the Beats Per Minute do slow down after the lead track, there’s still a similar percussive style… most noticeable being the Troggs’ tick-tock quality.

Hmmm… having just said, “tick-tock”, that does remind me that it’s time to allow the music to speak for itself. So… start clicking onto those playback buttons and enjoy. Even if your weather may not be springlike wherever you may reside in our world, lest you’ve forgotten that apt Robinson / White lyric…

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.”

 

The Temptations ~ My Girl

Song Facts and Chords

 

Mercy ~ Love Can Make You Happy

Song Facts and Chords

 

Troggs ~ Love Is All Around

Song Facts and Chords

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to click back here for my next monthly BlogCast, which typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into a variety of appealing themes. My next program is slated to hit the www during the first week of June 2018.

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

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