The Shoe Carnival

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Just like the changing leaves, football, and kids returning to school, the change of season signals a change in fashion and time to go to the Shoe Carnival.

How did all those winter shoes get so scuffed up just sitting in the closet for the summer while I was wearing sandals? It might be possible to ignore the scuffed heel on the right shoe made by driving. Man, I must really live life in the fast lane – the left shoe is practically like new.

Even if I could ignore that ugly scuff which, after all, is on the back where I can’t see it, sooner or later I have to look down and see those pointy toes. Pointy toes? A definite sign that these are shoes that fashion has left behind. Square toes, big fat heels, that’s the new fashion. That’s what I’m wishing for! No doubt about it — time for a trip to the Shoe Carnival.

The Shoe Carnival is a self-serve shoe store like no other. Somehow they seem to think that creating a carnival atmosphere is the way to sell shoes. The DJ occupies a stand in the middle of the store and barks out all the sales and wonderful deals that are going on. When he is not on the mic, loud — I said LOUD — music blares. It is always 50’s music or some other equally awful tune.

So, why go there, you may wonder? The deals! The shoes! The bargains! This week, “Buy one pair and get the other at half price!” What self-respecting bargain hunter could pass that by? Especially when she looks down and sees those pointy toes grinning up at her. Why did she ever think those toes looked good?

Finding the first pair is easy. Instantly I spot exactly what I’m looking for. Maroon. Perfect fit. Look great. Now for the second pair. I’ve gotta have a second pair to get ‘em for half price. Trying on pair after pair: too large, too tight, or too ugly. Panic sets in. Black – that’s it. I can always use a pair of black shoes.

Finally, the perfect pair is rescued from behind a display of pointy toes, obviously held-over-for-another-season due-to-popular-demand. Square toes, big fat stacked heels. Ah, fashion. Then the DJ, evil man, barks out a deal on Reebok Princess’, the kind I like, at half price – and I don’t even have to buy another pair. It’s more than I can stand.

Barely able to see over the pile of boxes in my arms, I happily hand over the plastic card and check out. Another successful trip to the Shoe Carnival. If you can just stand the awful music long enough, you can always get deal.

Heck, that was fun! Wonder if they have anything in red? If I ever get over this headache, I might come back and shop here again.

©1998 Sheila Moss

Author’s Note: I am not an employee of Shoe Carnival and was not compensated in any way for writing this article. 

Posted in Fashion, Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How to Spoil a Grandchild and Alienate a Daughter-In-Law in One Easy Lesson

baby

Dear Daughter-in-Law,

I am very upset about your latest email, and I really don’t understand your negative attitude.  I have made every effort to be helpful and offer suggestions about my grandchild that I think will be useful.  I’m very sorry about the misunderstanding when I criticized your breastfeeding techniques.  I know it isn’t your fault, but, really dear, don’t you believe you could try a bit harder?  After all, it is only natural and mothers all over the world do it without any trouble so why can’t you?

I’m also sorry about the remark I made about using disposable diapers instead of the old fashioned kind. But they do remind me of Kleenex and the cloth ones were always good enough for my kids.  Parents nowadays are really just too lazy to have children.

I’m sorry that you didn’t like the little t-shirts and burping pads that I gave you as shower gift. I know you wanted the layette with the angels, but, dear, we do need to be practical. I also don’t understand why you are so mad about the nice gifts I gave my grandchild.  The fact that they were better than what you could afford and made you feel cheap is not my fault.

I hope by now you have gotten rid of the filthy dog so the baby does not catch any dog germs from it. Also, that cat needs to go. It will jump in the baby’s bed and smother it. Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to have a cat around a baby? I don’t know why you want pets anyhow. You have a child, that’s enough.

I hope you are using the nursery monitor I gave you and have installed the electrical outlet guards, and the safety locks. You just can’t be too careful these days, and we wouldn’t want anything bad to happen because you are not being careful, would we? Also, be sure to keep that syrup of ipecac in the bathroom in case of accidental poisoning. It always pays to keep some on hand – believe me, I know. If you would rub the baby’s chest with menthol salve, like I told you to, he wouldn’t be sick all the time. If you want my opinion, I think you should take the baby to my doctor for a good check-up instead of that fancy pediatrician your obgytrician referred you to.

I don’t know why you want me to quit buying clothes for my grandchild.  I know you like to pick out the baby’s clothes, but the ones I pick out are much nicer than anything you can afford.  Also, I’ve found some fabulous thrift stores with baby things for next to nothing. Why waste your money? I know the bicycle, baseball glove and computer I got may be a bit too advanced for a newborn, but the child will grow faster than you think.  Grandparents need to be able to indulge just a bit for their first grandchild.

I hope you liked the baby and childcare books that I bought and also the subscription to the parenting magazine.  They have all kinds of useful information for inexperienced parents.  I still can’t understand why you refuse to go to parenting classes.

Are you still upset about me coming over during the baby’s naptime and waking him up the other day?  I just wanted to see him and I did hold him and rock him the whole time I was there to keep him from fussing. Probably the reason he is so fussy is that he is teething.  Did you try whiskey on the gums like I told you?

I’m sorry I couldn’t baby-sit the other day while you went to the doctor, but you were so upset when I rearranged the furniture to make the house childproof that I just didn’t feel up to coming back for a while. I’m thinking of making a nursery at my place in the spare room, then you can just bring him over here where he will be taken care of properly while you are out running around.

Are you remembering to change the baby’s diaper and give him a bath every day?  You don’t mind me asking, do you? It isn’t that you are not a good mother, dear, it is just that I don’t want the baby to get rashes or diseases from being dirty.

I’ve been thinking that perhaps you just have more than you can do.  I’ve decided to  move in with you and take over to help out.  No need to thank me, dear.

Love,
Mom

Posted in Family, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Clockorcism

clockradio

My alarm clock hates me! It has an evil plan to do me in. Like most people, I do not like waking up in the morning. But if I must be awakened, let it be by music. So, I bought a clock radio. It was cute, white and feminine, with a built in nightlight and many cute buttons for me to push.

It worked fine for a while, but at about the same time the warranty ended, it began to push MY buttons. First, the radio function died and turned into screeching static. Well, I thought, at least the alarm function still works. Yes, it worked, beeping at the top of its voice every morning – beeping loudly, just like a trash truck backing up. Now, I wake up every morning to the music of a garbage truck backing over me.

The worse part, however, is that the clock refuses to die. After being turned off, the alarm waits ten minutes and comes back on. Snooze alarm? No, even when the OFF button is hit, the stupid clock comes back on in ten minutes, shrieking and beeping obscenely. Even after two or three times of being turned off, the clock continues to come back on and beep.

As if the beeping alone is not enough, the night-light comes on when the alarm goes off. It flashes like a neon sign, as the beeping truck sound becomes louder and louder. It practically jumps up and down on the night table screaming at me to wake up. How I hate that clock!

In another diabolical twist, the little red PM light and the little red alarm light are one and the same, making it remarkably easy to set the alarm time wrong by 12 hours. And I thought all those buttons were so cute! Somehow, I just know that it is part of the evil plan and the clock enjoys it when I set the alarm wrong and oversleep.

The demon-possessed clock must go. One of these days I will snatch it up, beeping, blinking and spouting static like a disco club. Laughing hysterically, I will throw it in the trash can, smashing it to smithereens. That is my secret plan. But first, I must have a new alarm clock, maybe one with dual alarms, big numbers, and NO nightlight. One that has never heard of garbage trucks!

But it’s too late to go shopping now. Could someone give me a wakeup call? It will be bedtime soon, and the demon clock is waiting.

Copyright 2000 Sheila Moss

 

Posted in Humor, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Gas NON Crisis

“An oil pipeline break and shutdown in Alabama could create a gas shortage in Middle Tennessee,” media reported. Everyone was urged to maintain normal driving and fuel purchases to prevent unavailability.

PANIC!

Immediately phones started ringing, people started calling other people and posting about the shortage on social media. Everyone jumped in their car and sped to the gas station – just in case there might be a shortage.

PANIC!

Lines grew; other people saw the lines and figured something must be going on.  So, they got in the line too.  After all, if there was going to be a gas shortage, they wanted to be sure their tank was full.

PANIC!

People who didn’t actually need gas decided to top off their tanks.  Rednecks cleaned out all the gas cans in their garages and filled them up with gas.

PANIC!

Sure enough, gas stations started running out of gas.  What a surprise!

PANIC!

People who actually needed gas couldn’t get gas.  Gas pumps were covered with plastic bags at station after station. You can tell which stations are sold out because they are the ones that don’t have a line.

PANIC!

People start calling gas stations looking for gas. Gas stations ordered gas, but couldn’t get it delivered fast enough.  If a tanker was spotted on the highway, motorists followed it and flocked like flies to the station getting gas.  Lines backed up on roadways and tempers flared as traffic was blocked.

PANIC!

More gas was used driving around looking for gas and sitting in line waiting for gas than for actually driving. When regular gas ran out, people went to premium, so it was quickly drained too.

People bought extra cans of gas and carried them around in the trunk of their cars.  Gasoline is like dynamite that could go off in a confined area if vapors ignite. Catastrophe was riding around the city waiting to happen.

So far, no fireballs have been reported.

Entrepreneurs filled gas cans and sold gas at an inflated price to people who didn’t have any. For $5, extra they told them where they got it.

Price gouging at gas stations was widely reported, and a hotline set up to report it, but nothing was done about violators as far as anyone can tell.

AAA reported that the crisis would be over by next weekend.  Why ask AAA?  They give maps, directions and make reservations. They are a travel agency, not experts on economics or the marketplace.

They also are not experts on human behavior.

We were running on fumes before we found gas and then paid an inflated price per gallon.  At first I thought the station was sold out since there was no line. When I saw the prices, however, I knew why they didn’t have a line.

Eventually stations will begin to get gas deliveries and lines will become shorter. Most everyone will have filled up already by then– not to mention the stockpiles of gasoline in rusty gas cans all over the city.  This city could go off like the Fourth of July.

The media is trying to calm the panic by reporting that there is plenty of gasoline if people will not panic and run to gas stations like a bunch of lemmings just because every one else does.

Telling people not to panic is a sure way to create panic. Watch out! They could stampede for the gas pumps at any minute.

©2008-2016 Sheila Moss
Updated
Posted in Automotive, Humor, News & Current Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Want to go to Hershey

Coaster

I want to go to Hershey. Do you know where it is? If you can’t find it, just follow your nose. The whole town smells like chocolate and even the street lights look like chocolate kisses. 

What I really want, is to win a FREE trip to Hershey Park. I’ve already entered a contest. I want to ride the wooden racing coaster, the only one in the world! It’s coming soon and I need to check it out.

I know I’m too old to be riding roller coasters — but, I LOVE them! You see, all of my life I’ve been afraid. I rode rides with the children when they were growing up, but I was afraid. I promised at Space Mountain that if I got off that thing alive, I would never ride another roller coaster again as long as I lived. You wouldn’t expect me to keep a promise made under duress, would you?

Besides, I never knew how much fun a roller coaster could be until I rode a wooden one.  They are just different. It must be the wood. It rumbles when you ride. It gives and sways and has a different feel than the metal coasters. The wooden ones won’t turn you upside down either. 

By the way, I’m really sorry I used profanity when I was on “The Hangman” – but you’ll forgive me for something I said while I was upside down, won’t you?

I’ve been to Hershey before, but I could go again if the trip was FREE. Last time I was in total awe when I saw that wooden coaster at Hershey Park. It was a giant maze of wood, an engineering marvel. I was so nervous waiting in line that I felt like I was going to barf. My teeth were chattering when we started that first climb. I knew there was no escape. I prayed for a break down, a power failure, anything to make it stop — but God didn’t answer my prayer. (Think he was mad about those ugly words I said on the Hangman?)

As soon as we went over the top, and started down the big drop, the rush came, and I knew I was gonna be okay. I was screaming, but I couldn’t hear my own voice because the wind was rushing by my ears so fast. I was holding on for dear life.

Then for some reason (I don’t know why.) I put my hands up in the air and didn’t hold any more. I found I didn’t need to hold on, just ride and scream and feel the wind. It was magic – like flying!

I rode over and over and over that day, just as fast as I could get off and get back in line. I lost count of exactly how many times I rode after a while. Something about my life changed that day too. I wasn’t afraid anymore. I learned that I could face my fear and conquer it.

I know there are lots of contests and places that I might win a trip to that are more… well, “age appropriate.” But, I want to go to Hershey. 

I want to ride the racing coaster. It’s really TWO coasters, you see. They race with each other and go through waterfalls and head toward each other in near misses. Sure, there are “racing coasters” in other parks, but what makes this one special is that it’s WOOD.

Do you think someone would put in a good word for me, or help my number get picked, or pray for a small miracle of some type to be sure I win?  I guess you think that would be cheating, huh? I guess you are right. But you can’t blame me for trying.

Otherwise, how am I ever gonna get back to Hershey?

© 2000-2016 Sheila Moss
Revised

Posted in Humor, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Ery Ya Ready fer Sum Football?

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Night Settles on LP Field – Casey Fleser (Flickr) CC-BY-2.0 2009

Many years ago, Nashville opened a new football stadium and became a major league city with a REAL football team and a REAL stadium. My son, gave his pre-purchased ticket to me saying that a pre-season game wasn’t worth worrying about, and he’d rather go to St. Louis and watch the Cardinals play baseball.

So, I attended the opening game and it was certainly like nothing I had ever seen – more like a country music video production than a sporting event – but then, this IS Nashville, and it isn’t as if we’ve never seen show biz before.

It was definitely big time entertainment stuff. Four hundred media people there, and 65,700 fans. Even ESPN showed up. E-S-P-N -that’s another word for Every Screaming Person in Nashville. The stadium holds 67,700 and it was a sellout. I kept worrying about where the other 2000 were. “Ya’ll hurry up – somebody’s gonna get your seat! Don’t ya’ll care?” Probably stuck in the traffic outside or still waiting for the shuttle parade to get thru.

If you read my column very often, you know what kind of sports fan I am and probably wonder what I was doing there. I’m not sure myself except, like I said, the ticket was free – my favorite word. Since I worked downtown anyhow then, it was just a short walk across the Cumberland River bridge to the coliseum.

There were droves of people walking; seems planners forgot about building a parking garage and were running shuttles to remote cow pastures all over Tennessee. They do things like that here. Probably still people circling out there looking for a parking place. What I hadn’t figured on was those stadium ramps. Climbed for what seemed like an hour, passing mountain goats and weather balloons, till I finally made it to my budget-priced seat in the lower stratosphere.

I came prepared to hate the game – but turns out it was really just a flashy, well-staged show. Football was kind of the extra added attraction. There were fantastic scoreboards at each end of the field with slick video productions, rock music, and a light screen that told the crowd when to do the wave – football fans not being smart enough to figure it out on their own.

There were giant inflated football figure balloons, sexy cheerleaders, a raccoon mascot, video close-ups of fans being fans, and all of it was flashed on the big screen. Faith Hill, a country music star, sang the national anthem and a genuine bald eagle from a Tennessee wildlife refuge was released and soared over the crowd. (Even our wildlife is show biz.) Country music stars were flashed on the video screen to endorse and cheer the team, and Hank Williams, Jr. screamed, “Ere ya ready fer sum football?”

Fireworks erupted after every point scored. The crowd was wild, especially by the fourth quarter when the beer hit ‘em good. One fan took off his shirt and decided to lead the crowd in cheering, waving and yelling, “Roo, roo, never give up!” Excuse me, sir…but the Titans are winning. He must have been a student from Vanderbilt, not use to ever actually winning one.

And the game? Well, the Oil…. er…. Titans… (blush) did play hard. Wanted to win for the opening crowd, I guess. Scored early in the game and Atlanta was never able to catch ‘em. Nashville, cosmopolitan city with a rural flavor, has another entertainment extravaganza.

Course, they have already played many seasons and many games since all this happened, won some and lost others. The name of the stadium has changed names many times also. People from around here are football crazy, even about college sports. The University of Tennessee will be opening their football season soon, and many people have blood that runs bright orange and will always consider UT the REAL football team from Tennessee.

Roo, roo, never give up.

©1999-2016 Sheila Moss
Updated
Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Invasion of the Dandelions

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Once again it is time for chemical warfare. The dandelions arrived in my lawn and are joyfully celebrating with a spurt of growth ecstasy. I don’t know what it is about a dandelion that freezes my blood and turns me into a crazed executioner. Somehow whenever I see their little yellow heads, I begin to plot murder and know that these weeds must be done away with.

My pitiful flowerbeds seem to become more infested every year. I used to actually enjoyed gardening. I still like flowers, but the gardening part is getting more and more questionable and the easy solution of a mulch ground cover is becoming more and more attractive with each passing season.

Normal women, of course, take care of the home on the inside and leave the yard work to obliging or, at worse, disgruntled husbands. Liberated women buy condos. Stupid women have partners who grew up in the city and think dandelions are wildflowers that should be left alone. “Who am I to question their right to exist,” says my honey. Argh! Everything is a philosophical debate – even weeds! It is simpler to do the deed myself than to justify the existential need for it.

As any gardener knows, dandelions are one of the most sinister of weeds to deal with. I develop an insidious plan of death, carefully calculating my premeditated murder. Dandelions are born survivors. These innocent looking yellow wildflowers will turn into raging savages overnight, sending up hideous growths of ugly seeds that scatter in the wind and spread their demon offspring. They have deep roots like carrots that are brittle and really cannot be pulled up without breaking. Leave one tiny root and the weed will soon recover and reappear reincarnated and ready for a second life. This means they practically have to be dug out of the ground, a job I detest.

A little place of my own with land, fresh air and breathing space, a yard for the kids and pets, life in suburbia – the American dream. I hate it! For the lawn, I finally had to resort to calling in professional help. One day in the throes of a guerilla assault from foot-high dandelions with roots that spoke Chinese, I realized that my defenses were too weak. I was being overrun and I had to have reinforcements… quickly.

The lawn service came to the rescue and treated the yard. It only costs me an arm and a leg – small price for dandelion control, they said. Plus they threw in control of other weeds for no extra charge. However, unless I sign up for the full service for which I must take a second mortgage on my home, sign a contract in blood, and mention them for an inheritance in my will, they won’t come back for follow-ups. I decided to save money and take care of the follow-up part myself. This means that the yellow-headed monsters reappear quickly along driveways and sidewalks where the grass is scarce. It is maddening! How do you get rid of these things? Land mines?

I went to the local hardware store where there is a giant arsenal of weed weapons geared to the different militant needs of gardeners. You can kill weeds without killing grass, kill selected weeds, or just kill everything at random. I usually opt for the “kill weeds only” spray unless it is for a place where absolutely nothing needs to grow, like the cracks of the sidewalk.

There were no automatic assault weapons available for defensive dandelion warfare. What a shame! The ammunition comes in “ready mix,” but the condensed type that is not pre-mixed is far more practical. The smell of the stuff is indescribable, sort of like rotten eggs, boiled cabbage and paint thinner. I respect chemicals – who wouldn’t with a smell like that? It probably could gas the weeds to death without touching them.

Even after messing, mixing and spraying, the weeds shrivel and cough for weeks before they finally succumb. The dose of death seems to actually stimulate them and they rush to mature and seed before they depart the world. In their last hurrah, their yellow hair turns gray and the seeds are blown to the wind to create another season of torment.

I wish I could adopt a “live and let live” attitude towards weeds. I try to ignore them, but sooner or later, I always relent. The longer I wait to attack, the worse it is, of course. I made my first round the other day, a sniper with a premixed hand-pump knocking off a few selected victims: a squirt here, a spray from behind a tree there, an around the corner maneuver. My neighbors didn’t even blink when they saw my combat boots.

I think I will call the professional mercenary weed killers again and see exactly how many rounds I have to agree to before they will do a follow-up assault. A few of the stubborn renegades always seem to escape, lay low for a while, and then counterattack as soon as my defenses are down. I am sure the dandelions will dig in, as usual, and the war will continue through spring and summer.

I didn’t know life in suburbia would be so complicated. Nobody told me about these annual dandelion skirmishes. I may have to concrete the lawn and paint it green. Now I know why cities developed. It had nothing to do with population density. It was a means of self-defense against invading dandelions.

©Sheila Moss 2000
Posted in Humor, Plants/Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

New Girl at the Office

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There’s a new girl at the office. Her name is Janet Simons. Seems the boss hired her from a resume she sent out on the Internet. The boss really liked her assertiveness and thought she would be a great asset to the office, but the rest of us think she is a bit on the wild side.

Janet spends a lot of time hanging out with the computer folks. She seems to think she can teach them a thing or two about programming. Nobody knows Janet’s background or where she came from exactly. The personnel office is still checking her out, the boss told us. She did mention that we might know a distant cousin of hers named Melissa. We couldn’t place the name.

Janet’s main skill seems to be her ability to send email. That gal can get a message out to every address in an entire mailbox before you can blink an eye. While the rest of the office is hanging around the coffee pot waking up from the holiday weekend or attending a meeting, as usual, trying to figure out what to do about the latest virus, Janet is busy working on the system files and upgrading them to be sure that they meet her standards. She is quite efficient at it too.

Janet will probably not last long around here. I’ve already heard some mumblings from the computer security folks about wanting to get rid of her. Guess she is making them look bad, a new kid like her who seems to be able to worm her way right in. Heck, the way things go around here, she will probably be in charge before we know it, though. That’s the way it seems to go; bring somebody in off the sidewalk and the next thing you know they are running the place. She definitely does have the sort of take-charge disposition that managers are always looking for.

Janet has a great personality, of course. Wouldn’t ya know it? Brains and personality too. She networks with all the right people and seems to be able to gain their trust. She is able to introduce herself in a way that causes people to open right up to her even when they don’t know a thing about her. She seems to be a real “go getter” too.

Some of us are getting a bit suspicious of her. There is something that is not exactly right that we can’t quite figure out. The boss thinks we are jealous and has directed us to be friendly, however, and to help her learn her way around the system. He has a lot on his mind these days, of course. There seems to be a major problem with our information system and nobody can figure out exactly what it is.

Janet is probably going to move on to another job soon. Some of my friends told me that she had been sending out more resumes by email. I’m not sure how it is that all my friends seem to know so much about her. Guess she is looking for something bigger and better than this place. Can’t say that I blame her. She is the ambitious type, that’s for sure. I knew she would not be satisfied for long just hanging around here.

Seems our office computer system is infected with a major virus, so I guess I better shut down now before it spreads. Funny, as soon as a new anti-virus software upgrade was mentioned, Janet gave notice that she would be leaving. She hasn’t been around here very long, so she probably found employment elsewhere that is better suited to her qualifications. We are going to miss Janet when she is gone. I have a feeling it will be a long time before she is forgotten, though.

©2000 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Technology, Work Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rocks Create a Tiny Art Movement

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Just when you thought it was safe to venture out of your house without being run down by the herds of Pokemon chasers, along comes a new fad. You will be relieved to know that this one does not involve technology. This activity involves rocks, plain old “from the wild” rocks, the kind you find outside. In case that doesn’t sound too exciting, hear me out. The rocks are painted with designs and then “hidden” around town for people to find. It is an art movement billed as “Free Art.” The trend is spreading all over the U.S. via social media.

The movement started locally when someone got the idea from a Facebook friend in Tacoma, Washington, who got the idea from who-knows-where. A Facebook group was created and the movement started. The idea is not to paint rocks for personal gain, in fact, advertisements or promotions are strongly discouraged. Free art is intended only to give joy and perhaps a smile to the finder, who may hide the rock again, or keep it if unable to give it up.

Studies have found that the act of creating art improves mental health, creates a positive effect and reduces negative emotions. It provides a distraction that reduces stress levels, much like the recent coloring books trend. In spite of all these psychological benefits, however, most people seem to do it primarily for the fun.

“Most people don’t think of themselves as ‘artists,’ but everyone has a little art in them.” says Monica Etschman Ash, founder of a group in Tennessee. The level of excellence is not important. It is the act of creation that matters. Pictures of art rocks on social media show crudely rendered paintings, but a few are true works of art, signed and worthy of a place on your desk or living room coffee table. People can paint rocks as a solitary creative practice, as meditation, in a group, or with kids. The Art Rocks movement provides a social network with other “rock artists” as pictures of rocks that are found are posted to the Facebook group.

The rocks are painted with craft paints found in discount or craft stores, or you can use whatever supplies you have on hand. Paint pens or sharpies are great for drawing. Even fingernail polish works. Participants say that the best stones are smooth, rounded ones such as those found at creeks or streams, but any old rock will do. Designs are limited only by your imagination. If you need ideas to start the creative juices flowing, you can search online for “painted rocks” in social groups such as Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram for examples.

After rocks are painted and sprayed with acrylic sealer to protect the paint, then what? “Then you go out for a walk and hide your created rocks in plain sight in areas where people frequent, so folks can find them. You can put them in any public spaces,” says Monica. “The placing of the rocks is almost as fun as creating them. It gives you a little exercise too!” Rocks have been found at places like libraries, public squares, festivals, parks and landmarks. The mystery of why a rock is painted is solved when, sooner or later, someone finds it and looks at the back of the rock where the creator has written the URL of the sponsoring Facebook group.

Why should other people have all the fun? If you want to get people excited about art and are interested in starting a Tiny Art Movement for your community, go to Facebook and create a group. Name the group (Your City)ROCKS, post the instructions for painting and hiding, and get to painting.

©2016 Sheila Moss
Posted in Crafts/Hobbies, Entertainment, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In Tribute – 9/11

After the tragic events in New York & Washington on 9/11/2001, my regular humor column was moved to the archives and replaced by this non-humor tribute written during the day of terror.

flagIn Tribute

The world changed today. In a city far away planes crashed into buildings and exploded, and people died… so far away – and yet so close. Our society, our freedom, so taken for granted is forever changed. Innocence crumbled in the dust today. The horror of it all fills our hearts with grief.

We take our lifestyle for granted. We live without terror. Our openness makes us vulnerable. Like war, like a surreal movie, events progress in slow motion. Our minds struggle to comprehend what our hearts understand instinctively.

We wonder where our loved ones are. This is another day that will be remembered forever. “Where were you the day the World Trade Center towers fell?” We want to reach out to those we love and hold them close, to feel the life in them.

Inside we are numb. The shock is overwhelming. Tears will not come. We turn to media, television, radio. Tell us what is happening! Tell us why! Cells phones cease to function; the internet freezes. A sense of hopelessness fills us with numbness. What can we do?

We are afraid and we want to be near to those we care about. We want to hug the ones we love. The human instinct is alive. We pray for answers; we plead to understand.

Bomb threats. Buildings evacuated. Chaos brings out the craziness in people. Planes cease to fly. Phones cease to ring as everyone watches the news.

Life goes on, but nothing is the same. Something has changed, changed, horribly changed. We are violated… and we wonder if we will ever feel safe again.

Flags fly at half mast. Tears finally flow. There is no laughter – not today.

Sheila Moss
September 11, 2001

Do you remember where you were that day and how you felt?

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