Tag Archives: friends

The Velveteen Rabbit… On Getting Older and Becoming Real

I find I am growing old and hope more than anything that I have made a difference in the lives of those with whom I have lived and loved.

I had a professor once who said, “When you choose to invest your life in others, it will screw up your life… but, at least your life will be interesting.”

I believe my life has been interesting.

Here is an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit (by Margery Williams), a wonderful children’s book about becoming real (long before Toy Story 1, 2, or 3).  I like to think that as I’m getting older, I’m becoming real:

HERE was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen. On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy’s stocking, with a sprig of holly between his paws, the effect was charming.

There were other things in the stocking, nuts and oranges and a toy engine, and chocolate almonds and a clockwork mouse, but the Rabbit was quite the best of all. For at least two hours the Boy loved him, and then Aunts and Uncles came to dinner, and there was a great rustling of tissue paper and unwrapping of parcels, and in the excitement of looking at all the new presents the Velveteen Rabbit was forgotten.

For a long time he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor, and no one thought very much about him. He was naturally shy, and being only made of velveteen, some of the more expensive toys quite snubbed him. The mechanical toys were very superior, and looked down upon every one else; they were full of modern ideas, and pretended they were real. The model boat, who had lived through two seasons and lost most of his paint, caught the tone from them and never missed an opportunity of referring to his rigging in technical terms. The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles. Even Timothy, the jointed wooden lion, who was made by the disabled soldiers, and should have had broader views, put on airs and pretended he was connected with Government. Between them all the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him…

For full text and illustrations go here to Digital Library


I’m Thankful, How About You?

This is the time of year when Americans pause and give thanks.  I’m thankful for many things, including the new friends I’ve made (since July) when I started blogging. 

Thanksgiving began in the Plymouth Colony in 1621 with the English Pilgrims feasting with members of the Wampanoag Indians who brought food as goodwill gifts.  The thanksgiving custom grew in some of the colonies as a way to celebrate the harvest. Over 150 years later (1777), a national day of Thanksgiving (a single event) was proclaimed by the continental congress after an American Revolution victory at the Battle of Saratoga.  Twelve years later George Washington declared another national day of thanksgiving in honor of the ratification of the Constitution, requesting that the congress make it an annual event (they declined).  Nearly 100 years later (1863) President Abraham Lincoln , as an attempt to bolster morale, proclaimed the last Thursday in November of each year to be a “Thanksgiving” holiday.

What makes you thankful?

Here’s my modification of a similar list I found:

  • I’m thankful for my kids who are not doing dishes but are watching TV, because that means they are at home and not on the streets;
  • I’m thankful for the taxes I pay, because it means that I’m employed;
  • I’m thankful for the mess to clean after a party, because it means that I’ve been surrounded by friends;
  • I’m thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat;
  • I’m thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home;
  • I’m thankful for all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech;
  • I’m thankful for the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear;
  • I’m thankful for the alarm that goes off early in the morning , because it means that I’m alive;
  • and (here is the big one in light of some of my recent posts) I’m thankful for too much email, because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.

On another note, the cartoon below made me think of the Lemonade cartoon I found a few weeks ago.  Ben Franklin thought the Turkey a noble bird and wanted it to be the American symbol.  This seems to provide evidence:


This Email Forward Really Works! – Sure…

I recently posted an email decision flow chart, then found this.  You can ignore the decision chart this one time. 

You might want to copy this and send it to anyone who sends you one of those “chain” type emails:


Email Decision Chart

I seem to be focused on flowcharts lately.  This one is a “must see!” 

I thought about sending it to my email address book, but it seemed that it would defeat the purpose.  What do you think?


Flying Together – Our Conversations in October

We are deep into November and I am just finding time to thank those of you who made comments in October.  Here are some of my favorites from among your deep comments on my shallow thoughts:

Flying Together

Flying Together

I knew someone who knew someone who had one [tape worm] and didn’t know it until one particularly violent sneeze and, look, there’s a worm coming out of your nose.Lucid Lunatic (on Eat All You Want and Never Gain Weight) [my favorite comment of the month]

You are a cornball. Amber (on Oh! The Places You’ll Go…)

OMG quite literally I think I just pulled a toe muscle from laughing so hard, dang the likeness is um shhhh please don’t tell no one!Sanity Found (on Cookie Monster Slayer) [I promise not to tell anyone]

I know its sappy, but I liked the post.Mondain (on 26 Reasons Why I Love my Wife)

Almost Painful

Almost Painful

Normal is strange. I would not want to be normal. I like being me.Brit in La (on Y B Normal)

Being normal is overrated!Scream Riot (on Y B Normal)

That’s great! I totally have those days, and the good start makes the bad ending that much worse. – Rebecca (on How’s Your Day Going?)

Those poor lemons need a lucky rabbit’s foot. – mssc54 (on Making Lemonade)

I love to lollygag. I like to bum around even more. Yeah, I’d say I have a bit of “procrastination” in me!Tanya[would you start a blog already?] (on A Day in the Life of a Procrastinator)

I really need to stop being so ordered in my responses (a preview of one of my quirks).Unfinished Person (now Unfinished Rambler) (on Quirks and Addictions)

Comments are amazingly addictive. I almost feel guilty turning friends on to blogging. I kind of feel like a drug pusher.Trish (on Quirks and Addictions)

Living Well

Living Well

Thanks! I just found out I’m going to live to 102. Of course, they told me to lose weight, but really, why? So I can live to 105? I think I’ll continue to eat my cheesecake thank you very much!Stacybuckeye (on Fifty Web Tools that Will Predict Your Future)

I only had time to complete one quiz before my boss came in!Leaving Evangeline (on Fifty Web Tools that Will Predict Your Future)

Apparently I’ll make it into the hundreds. No thank you. I want to die before I stop being able to wipe my own butt… Lindsey (on Fifty Web Tools that Will Predict Your Future)

Watch out!


My pumpkin does not look like Einstein… It looks more like Frank-Einstein.Daniel’s Critical Corner (on Carve Out Some Time for These Pumpkins)

Eww! That’s gross! He (?) is holding entrails in one hand.Leaving Evangeline (on Angry Pumpkin Man)

…this takes the cake for “How you can use vegetables to Scare Kids.Chirax (on Alien (Predator) Pumpkin)

Umm…people might wanna be careful handing out sugar-free treats. Most of them are made with a sugar substitute that acts as a laxative.Leaving Evangeline (on Top Trick or Treat… Treats)

Just for Daisyfae

Just for Daisyfae

 I tend to write off the musical 70’s because of disco, but Neil Young’s best stuff was buried in there – not to mention Bruce and Blondie!Daisyfae (on Bye, Bye to the 70’s…)

Breaking Sound Barriers

Breaking Sound Barriers

The person or persons who compiled this did not grow up in the 80s. I’d wager that they are dead.Literate Housewife (on What’s the 80’s Got to Do with It?)

Wow, what a truly bleak decade that was for the music industry.The Word of Jeff (on Smells Like the 90’s);

I had a stuffed Rocky doll when I was a kid. That’s all I have to say. (God, I’m pathetic). Chartroose (on Sarah and Bullwinkle are At It Again)

I was just telling my mom that I can’t bear to listen to Palin because she sounds like a kindergarten teacher.Softdrink (on What if the Candidates were Phones?)

I am writing my choice in for that office…which is…Mighty Mouse, at least he was truthful with his motto: Here to save the day.Lizziegram (on What if the Candidates were Phones?)



…inspirational that is, a yoda reading and all, maybe i should pick up a book, like if yoda reads and all… Beaverboosh (on Yoda Reads!)

Lovely bones made this list?? Geeezzz And above The Joy Luck Club? I despair! Truly… Gosh, who ever made up this list isn’t terribly well read. I just went through this list carefully. I think whoever wrote it subscribes to the Oprah Winfrey book club. YUCK!Amber (on The Top 100 Books of the Last 25 Years)

I’m going to have to see if I can find out what criteria Entertainment Weekly set for determining this list. But, from a literary sense, I find it lacking unless the list is based on some kind of pop culture standard.The Word of Jeff (on The Top 100 Books of the Last 25 Years)

Ritin' Real Good


Hey, I duz the bestest I can with whut I learnt.mssc54 (on Rules for Writing Wicked Good Papers)

Thank’s for them, tips I will have used them all day long or not.Staceybuckeye (on Rules for Writing Wicked Good Papers)

Make certain all sentences are full and complete. If possible.Hayden (on Rules for Writing Wicked Good Papers)

I don’t never use no triple negatives, and I always eschew hyperverbosity and prolixity ’cause I jest ain’t smart enuf to use dem highfalutin’ werds!Chartroose (on Rules for Writing Wicked Good Papers)

I read and rite godder these days.Chirax (on Writing to Intimidate)

Thanks for stopping by...

Thanks for stopping by...

Thanks again!

Y B Normal?

After all the noise and overstimulation that comes with a sugar high and Halloween, I thought this appropriate for my friends and me (don’t try to tell me this doesn’t include any of you):


Coffee LOL – for Amber (and Whomever Else Might be Interested)

Amber Moon posted about the smiley face on her coffee (actually Latte) the other day, I thought the rest of us would want to see what it looked like (well… not exactly, but close):

Amber's Coffee



Cookie Monster Slayer

Could this be Sanity Found?  It’s just possible she is Sanity, The Cookie Monster Slayer:

Sanity, The Cookie Monster Slayer

Sanity, The Cookie Monster Slayer

Be afraid… be very afraid.

Shotgun – The Rules that Decide Who Gets the Front Passenger Seat

Have you ever gone on a trip with your friends/family or just ridden around town with your fraternity/sorority/work/shiftless friends?  Has one or more of these friends (or maybe you) ever called shotgun, then proceeded to try to explain the rules of why they should be allowed to ride in the front passenger seat?  My son does this all the time – and he’s the only one in our family who’s ever called it. 

Well, now you can whip out a list of shotgun rules and put those friends/family in their place (the back seat or trunk).  My son asked me to print two copies and put one in each of our vehicles – again, he’s the only one in our family who has ever actually called shotgun.  My habit is to yell, “Last one to the car has to drive” – Hey, it works for me!

Here are The Shotgun Rules:

(These are found at TDY Shotgun Rules, compiled by the Airborne Early Warning Association on their Library Page)

version 1.1

The rules listed below apply to the calling of Shotgun (the front passenger seat) in an automobile. These rules are definitive and binding.

Section I – The Basic Rules

  1. In order to call Shotgun, the caller must pronounce the word “Shotgun” in a clear voice. This call must be heard and acknowledged by the driver. The other occupants of the vehicle need not hear the call as long as the driver verifies the call.
  2. Shotgun may only be called if all occupants of the vehicle are outside and on the way to said vehicle.
  3. Early calls are strictly prohibited. Shotgun may only be called while walking toward the vehicle and only applies to the drive immediately forthcoming. Shotgun can never be called while inside a vehicle or still technically on the way to the first location. For example, one can not get out of a vehicle and call Shotgun for the return journey.
  4. The driver has final say in all ties and disputes. The driver has the right to suspend or remove all shotgun privileges from one or more persons.

Section II – Special Cases
These special exceptions to the rules above should be considered in the order presented; the case listed first will take precedence over any of the cases beneath it, when applicable:

  1. In the instance that the normal driver of a vehicle is drunk or otherwise unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun.
  2. If the instance that the person who actually owns the vehicle is not driving, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.
  3. In the instance the the driver’s spouse, lover, partner, or date for the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.
  4. In the instance that one of the passengers may become so ill during the course of the journey that the other occupants feel he/she will toss their cookies, then the ill person should be given Shotgun to make appropriate use of the window.
  5. In the instance that only one person knows how to get to a given location and this person is not the driver, then as the designated navigator for the group they automatically get Shotgun, unless they decline.
  6. In the instance that one of the occupants is too wide or tall to fit comfortably in the back seat, then the driver may show mercy and award Shotgun to the genetic misfit. Alternatively, the driver and other passengers may continually taunt the poor fellow as they make a three hour trip with him crammed in the back.

Section III – The Survival of the Fittest Rule

  1. If the driver so wishes, he/she may institute the Survival of the Fittest Rule on the process of calling Shotgun. In this case all rules, excepting Section I – #4, are suspended and the passenger seat is occupied by whoever can take it by force.
  2. The driver must announce the institution of the Survival of the Fittest Rule with reasonable warning to all passengers. This clause reduces the amount of blood lost by passengers and the damage done to the vehicle.

Please follow the above rules to the best of your ability. If there are any arguments or exceptions not covered in these rules, please refer to rule Section I – #4.


This might be Daisyfae - http://daisyfae.wordpress.com/


Some Picks from Our September Conversations

I’m a little slow getting this published…

September was a busy month.  There was a post on Don’stuff nearly every day.  Many of you were kind enough to read and comment. 

The month started with books (Alex Award Winning Books for Mature Teenagers, then Teen Books that Adults will Love) and ended with chocolate (Ten Things You Should Know about Chocolate).

You liked reading about Sarah Palin (The Times story about her kill on Bullwinkle was the top read of the month), stories about her comprised five of the top fifteen you read.

Since it was such a busy month, and since summarizing would virtually recreate all the posts, I’ll instead present a few picks:

Top Picks of September 2008

Top Picks of September 2008

 The picks begin with the Most Comments during the month, Leaving Evangeline:

Most Comments during September 2008

Most Comments during September 2008

 Move on to the Most Unique Comment (“drop dead droolable phew”) by Sanity Found:

Most Unique Comment - Sanity Found "...drop dead, droolable phew."

Most Unique Comment - "Drop dead droolable phew."

Slide over to Leisure Guy, who provided the Most Helpful Tip about Marianne’s Ice Cream Parlor at 1020 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, CA.

Most Helpful Tip

Most Helpful Tip - "Marianne’s makes their own and have some terrific flavors."

 Dig into the Most Kind Comment by Amber:

Most Kind Comment - Amber

Most Kind Comment - "...great post Don! One of my favorites!"

Knuckle up to New Friends: Chirax , Mssc54, Jeff, and Unfinished Person who seem to think like I do (frightening):

The Keystone Kops

The Keystone Kops





I was double knuckled to Heart ur Club: I was picked by Literate Housewife for I Love Your Blog and by Chartroose as a honorary member of the Kool Kidz Klub:

Big Pickers: Chartroose and Literate Housewife

The most frequently visited and Most Commented On Post: Sarah Kills Bullwinkle.  Concerned Citizens included: Leaving Evangeline, lizzygram, Mssc54, JT Hartman, Matthew E, Burt Parks, Rock Golf, Left Right and Centered, Virgomonkey, joannemarie, ilegirl, Jimmythegreek, Blue Dog, Shawnbarr, jointefforthost, steadycat, Mark Gibson, WordPress Hawt Post, Alaskan For Palin, Ken, and Keith Pitts.

Post with the Most Comments - Sarah must be one of the friends.

My pick for Favorite Post: Deja Vu with a Twist of Sons

Dredged up as Best Suggestion for a Post : Beaverboosh suggested Spinal Tap

The nugget as Best Suggestion for a Post (Part Deux): Lucid Lunatic and Literate Housewife suggested Golden Earring

Snot unkind is Stacy at Stacy’s Bookblog who is kind enough to allow me to play guess who games and win books:

Almost Finally, thank you to David and Tonya for playing along – even though they don’t have a blog.  They are the only people I communicate with on this blog that I actually see (we live about a half a mile apart).

Thank you to all of you for joining in on the fun.

Finally, this is for Sanity Found (the original Cookie Gangsta), Amber, Lindsey, and all others who comment regularly on cookies: