Life 101

Last week, on Sarah’s blog, I found an interesting list – a meme, really – of ‘life experiences’.

According to this list, I must be a stick-in-the-mud homebody, as I haven’t been inside the Great Pyramid, visited Paris, backpacked in Europe, visited more foreign countries than U.S. states, gone on an African photo safari, taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country, gone to Thailand, ridden a gondola in Venice, visited the Great Wall of China, visited Japan, walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa, visited Ireland, danced with a stranger in a foreign country, or visited all 7 continents.

So much for foreign travel.

How about swimming with wild dolphins, whale watching, cuddling a tarantula, visiting all 50 states, rafting the Snake River, taking a trip in a hot air balloon or going rock climbing? Have I climbed a mountain, taken a Ferrari for a test drive, taken a candlelit bath with someone, bungee jumped, touched an iceberg, bet on a winning horse, asked out a stranger, or held a lamb?

Huh. I haven’t done any of those, either. The closest I’ve come to any of them is rounding up an escaped ewe that was well past her lamb days.


Well, have I danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking? Adopted an accent for an entire day? Stolen a sign, gone sky diving, pretended to be a superhero, sung karaoke, gone scuba diving, started a business, taken a martial arts class, been in a movie, crashed a party, gotten divorced, won first prize in a costume contest, gotten a tattoo, been on a television news program as an ‘expert,’ been to Las Vegas, or eaten shark?

Nope. Haven’t done any of these either.

So, what else have I missed? Well, I haven’t performed in Rocky Horror, followed my favorite band/singer on tour, written articles for a large publication, lost over 100 pounds, held someone while they were having a flashback, piloted an airplane, touched a stingray, won money on a T.V. game show, had a facial part pierced other than my ears, had a snake as a pet, hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days, eaten kangaroo meat, gone back to school, parasailed, selected one “important” author who I missed in school, and read their works, been elected to public office, written my own computer language, thought to yourself that I’m living my dream, had to put someone I love into hospice care, sold my own artwork to someone who didn’t know me, had a booth at a street fair, dyed my hair, been a DJ, shaved my head or caused a car accident.

While I’m at it, I haven’t been heartbroken longer than I was actually in love, had two hard drives for my computer, gone without food for 5 days, been on a cruise ship, survived an accident that I shouldn’t have survived, had plastic surgery, picked up and moved to another city to just start over, walked the Golden Gate Bridge, killed and prepared an animal for eating or skipped all my school reunions and I’ve never hit a home run. Oh, and I’ve never bought everyone in a bar a round of drinks, which isn’t surprising as I haven’t been in a bar in decades, and frequented them rarely even in my university days.

Okaaaaaaay.. so just what have I done, given that my life’s experiences to date include none of the aforementioned (I’ve always wanted to find a use for that word!) items from that dratted list?

I’ve had a food fight. Hasn’t everyone who has tried to convince a toddler to try new vegetables?

I’ve said, “I love you,” and meant it (well, duh!).

Have I hugged a tree? Indeed I have, back in my college years, after imbibing more Yukon Jack than was wise and following that indiscretion with an unfortunate chaser of greasy fries. Since those days, I’ve discovered that grease and alcohol are not part of any recommended food group. Who would have thought?

I’ve watched many a glorious lighting storm, stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise, and have seen the magnificent display of the Northern Lights several times.

Have I gone to a huge sports game? Absolutely! Can we say ‘Lambeau Field’ and ‘Green Bay Packers?’ Go Pack! I’ve also been to Milwaukee Brewers’ games and Detroit Tigers’ games. I’ve gone to many a college sports event, too, including football games at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin. I’ve even screeched like a bloodthirsty idiot at Badger hockey games, once I figured out what was going on.

Is there anything else on this list I can claim as part of my history?

*Deep breath*


I’ve grown and eaten my own vegetables (yum), slept under the stars (isn’t that called camping?), changed a baby’s diaper (more times than I care to count), watched a meteor shower (love doing that!), looked up at the night sky through a telescope (not surprising, as I worked during my undergraduate years for the department of astronomy and astrophysics at a Big Ten university), had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (oh my, yes, and been glared at by the astounded Bishop for said event), had a snowball fight (Whap! Gottcha!), seen a total eclipse (sun and moon both), ridden a roller coaster (Wahooo!), actually felt happy about myself, taken care of someone who was drunk, had (and have) amazing friends, taken a road-trip, gone on a midnight walk on the beach, sat at a stranger’s table in a restaurant and had a meal with them, milked a cow, alphabetized my CDs (only briefly), lounged around in bed all day (you’ve got to be kidding – there is someone who hasn’t?), played touch football, kissed in the rain, played in the mud and in the rain, gone to a drive-in theater, toured ancient sites (including the archeological dig more commonly known as ‘my desk’), played D&D for more than 6 hours straight, gotten married, made cookies from scratch (yummmmm!), gotten flowers for no reason, performed on stage, recorded music, bought a house, buried one of my parents, passed out cold (no, it wasn’t from drinking – it was from a whack on the head), sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop even when I knew someone was looking, and helped an animal give birth.

Need a breather? Me too!

OK. Now, what else have I managed to experience over the years?

Well, I’ve broken a bone (several, actually), fired a rifle, shotgun, and a pistol, eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild, ridden a horse (many, actually, and owned a lovely Morgan mare who was a member of our family until her death at age 29), had major surgery, slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours, eaten sushi, had my picture in the newspaper, touched a cockroach (now that takes me back to our second apartment at the University’s married housing, which was absolutely infested with the little critters), read The Iliad and the Odyssey, communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (doesn’t everyone who drives a car in a big city discover that they have this skill, regardless of their native language or ethnicity?), and I’ve built my own PC from parts.


So… how about you, Oh Best Beloved? What have — or haven’t — you done?

One Year!

What better way to celebrate an anniversary than with a candle that's a mouse?

This week marks Butter Side Down’s first anniversary.

Since last December, over 20,000 folks have stopped by to visit, meet Stewart and the rest of the bunnies, walk through the gardens, listen to the owls and read my nattering.

It’s an honor to share this little corner of cyberspace space with you, Oh Best Beloved.

May the coming year be filled with good times, good friends and of course…

Tiny baby bunny - that wee baby rabbit once again!

Baby bunnies!

(mouse candle photo courtesy of Wikipedia commons)

2007 Christmas Meme

Since Kris tagged me for a Christmas meme that is identical to one I posted last year, I thought I’d entertain myself and write a new meme.

Here ’tis.

Q: How come no one calls Mrs. Claus fat? Or says that about The Man himself?

A: I’m guessing the answer is coal – lots o’ coal – for insulting the Jolly One’s wife.

Q: Do you decorate the outside of your home for Christmas?

A: A tad – just a wreath this year, so far. It’s probably good that I can’t get out there and do any decorating, or I’d be hiring a cherry picker to help me string a few thousands watts around the property. I love seeing outdoor Christmas decorations, and the more lights, the better. Dolly Parton, the queen of tasteful excess, is my hero in this philosophy; remember – more is better!

Q: Have you ever gone Christmas caroling?

A: Oh, definitely! Started the habit in high school, when my German teacher, Frau Tangert, organized a caroling eve every year, complete with caroling through some neighborhoods and a party at her home afterwards, with all the home-baked cookies and German pastries you could eat. Yum!

Q: What do you think about the impropriety of the city of Green Bay allowing a nativity scene at a government office?

A: And what impropriety would that be? They’re encouraging residents to provide representations of all holidays celebrated this time of year. When did it become essential to exclude in order to be inclusive? Sheesh. The US Postal Service has a Kwanzaa stamp, and one with a menorah, as well as a Madonna and Child stamp. I haven’t heard that the stamp drawers in local post offices are spontaneously combusting because of some sort of violent energy generated by the three stamps co-existing in the same physical space within a U.S. government office. Works for me.

Q: What do you think of reindeer?

A: I think they’re delicious (just kidding… )

Q: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

A: Aha! A trick question! I was waiting for one of these… of course it’s a Christmas movie! Who could watch that movie, and not think Christmas?

Q: What’s your favorite Christmas song?

A. Hard to say, as I love most of ‘em, from Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer to the Christmas-y parts of Handel’s Messiah. The old Harry Simone Choir versions of The Little Drummer Boy and Do You Hear What I Hear are my sentimental favorites, as they come from the first record album I ever owned.

Q: What do you think of Christmas memes?

A: Why, I love ‘em! Really. I do… wait, what’s that? Santa? Oh NO! What are you doing? … You’re stuffing my stocking full of coal??? STOP! Noooooooooooo!!!


Oh, well. I have to look at the bright side. At least we’ll be warm this Christmas!


Sorry, Oh Best Beloved, about the dearth in posting lately. I have much to post about, but we’ve been besieged with unexpected events that have kept me away.

Such as? asks you.

Such as Michael getting whacked in the head and suffering a concussion.


He’s recovering quickly and nicely, thank you very much, but those kinds of injuries are nasty and scary both.

For all who have asked (especially Kris!): Stewart has made the transition to a winter bunny quite successfully. He has hopped about our yard so much since our last snowfall that the snow looks in places as if it has been trampled down by an entire herd of rabbits.

Oh, yes – the owls are still about, but they’ve moved on from perching above our yard, to the relief of numerous songbirds (and, of course, Stewart!).

More tomorrow!