A Little Can

I cannot let today go by without mentioning what national day it is.

It is National Beer Can Appreciation Day!

Before 1935 you couldn’t get your beer in cans. Then manufacturing processes made it possible to use sturdy enough materials to form cans. The first ones were made of heavy gauge steel, which could withstand the pressure of carbonation and pasteurization.

The taste of the beer also had to be considered. The American Can Company developed a way of “keg-lining”, which was lining the inside of a small can the way that the inside of a regular keg is lined. This was with something called Vinylite that the company Union Carbide had developed. (My father worked for Union Carbide many, many moons ago.) That way the metal would not alter the taste of the beer.

Having beer in cans was great, but how do you open one of those flat topped cylindrical things made of a heavy gauge steel? In 1933 American Can Company’s Dewitt Sampson and John Hothersall received a patent for an opener they called a church key which would puncture the top of the can, leaving a triangular shape. Even after the availability of pop top cans you may have used one of these to open a can of tomato juice or good old Hawaiian Punch before the advent of the plastic bottle.

I found a very interesting website that has the illustrated history of the American Beer Can. You can click here to visit it.

I don’t drink now, due to the medications I have to take to remain functioning, but beer is still near and dear to my heart. My wonderful friend Mark owns his own brewery. It is Chattanooga Brewing Company. If you clicked on the link, he is the one in the middle of the cover photo. He toiled for years in corporate America and when he saw the opportunity to follow his dream and take his home brewed recipes to the masses he took it. Last year they moved from the small space where the business started to a brand spanking new building and added a restaurant. I am so proud of him.

And they are at a point where they are now going to go into canning the beer. It is still a little ways off, but they will as soon as they are able.

This was not a solo endeavor for him. He has partners and brewers and staff. They are all fantastic people.

So you see why I was compelled to expound on the joy that is the vessel that makes many tailgates and parties so much fun to attend. Or, you can enjoy your beer in your own living room.

And, if you are in Chattanooga, TN, try some of Mark’s on tap (soon to be in cans).

The New Year

First, I apologize for not having posted in the last month.

The month of December is hard for me. I want to get everything right for everybody. This Christmas I was crocheting many things for friends and family and that took a lot of time. I loved it.

As I write this, my tree is still up. I will be taking it down this weekend and stowing all the decorations for another year.

I have been cleaning my house each week and that is a good thing. On Mondays I will cue up Breaking Bad on the Netflix and have it on while I do housework. Then, when I am done, I stop the show and watch regular TV.

I have to be very careful this time of year.

This time last year I was not functioning quite so well.

This time last year I put Breaking Bad on and didn’t get out of bed, just kept watching the entire series over and over. For a month. An entire month.

My little dog Max barely got exercised. My house plants all died. My bedroom became overrun with dirty dishes and other garbage. I didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go anywhere. I occasionally got online, but only for short periods of time.

I found no joy in anything but the knowledge that I knew what they were going to say next in the TV show. It comforted me.

But this year? This year has been great. My doctor says so, my case worker says so. He came to check on me, remembering what had happened last year and wanting to nip it in the bud if it was happening again.

Now you know why it is so important to me that I can turn Breaking Bad off at the end of a day of cleaning. I can use it as a reward, not a crutch.

You may say, well, why not leave the TV show out of it entirely, just don’t put it on. I had to, I just had to prove to myself that I was capable of not giving in to giving up.

I am making comfort foods like chili and cornbread in a nice, clean kitchen and the cold, dark winter is kept at bay. I am not eating the junk food I so enjoy when I am down.

I enjoy the cold much more than the heat at this point in my life and going outdoors in the daytime is a treat.

I am hoping that the new year is finding you in great spirits and that everything is going well for you.

Black Friday Tale

This is a story of how Black Friday can be humorous.

All through most of her life my father was on my sister about her weight. She takes after my mom and was just a little heavy. I felt really bad for her. Now the tables have turned and he is on me about my weight.

My sister had started yet another diet, bless her heart, and was doing very well on it. Especially for it being around the holidays.

Now, my sister and her good friend since childhood used to go out every Black Friday. They would go at 4:00 in the morning and wait in the long lines together. I never went, but it sounded like they had such great fun.

One year the Target store was their first stop. They waited in line in the dark, bitter cold. But the store was doing something nice for the shoppers. They had free coffee and doughnuts for the first people through the door.

My sister and her friend got in, were handed the doughnuts and coffee, and proceeded to get their buggies.

Just then, my sister found herself on TV. The local channel’s news department had sent a camera crew to cover the big event.

Later in the day, everyone in the family saw the news footage.

My sister, on her diet, with a doughnut in her mouth.

I don’t think my dad has ever let her forget it. We all still find it so funny. Her doughnut diet.

Now she is just as beautiful but she is thin. I am the fat one.

She is in a great relationship with a marvelous man, her fiance.

Oh, wait. I don’t know if he knows this story. I have some sharing to do!

Happy Fibonacci Day

It is the day of the year that follows the beginning of the Fibonacci number sequence. 1, 1, 2, 3, and so on. Each subsequent number is the total of the two previous.

Though it originally appeared in Indian mathematics, in Sanskrit, Leonardo of Pisa (known  as Fibonacci) wrote about it in his book Liber Abaci in 1202.


The graphic above shows the sequence. It is used in computer programs and has many other applications.

But the one thing that draws me to Fibonacci is the way you can find it in nature. You can see the sequence in everything from flower petals to fruits and vegetables and my favorite, the shell of the Nautilus.

I usually stink at math but in this case I find it to be quite beautiful. Poetic, even.

If you want to learn more about Fibonacci numbers and their applications here is a great website that explains it all.

I hope you enjoy your Fibonacci Day!

World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day. I think every day should be Kindness Day, but what do I know.

From the time we are young we should be taught kindness. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” teaches Aesop in his fable about The Lion And The Mouse. If the lion had not shown a bit of compassion when he first caught the mouse then he would have been doomed when he found himself stuck by a thorn in his paw.

You don’t have to go big when performing a compassionate act. Random Acts of Kindness.Org has pages of kindness ideas. You can even narrow the field by category, money, or time involved. The ideas range from something as simple as holding a door for someone to something more elaborate like buying someone a vacation. Bottom line is that there are a lot of good ideas.

You never can know what someone is going through and that smile you show to the harried cashier may just make her day. Complimenting the blouse of the woman by you in line may make her a bit happier the next time she wears it. Tell that customer service representative who is helping you on the phone that you really appreciate his help, it may be the only kind thing he hears his entire shift.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The things I have mentioned cost nothing but a few moments of your time. Yet, by doing any one of them, you can deeply affect someone’s view of the world. Isn’t that a grand idea?

“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.”   Gautama Buddha  The Dhammapada

So please, if you can, show a little kindness. Especially on this, World Kindness Day.


Yay #HintingSeason

There is a promotion by Best Buy on Twitter. You use #HintingSeason in order to hint for something that you would like for Christmas.

I have just started using Twitter. One of my first tweets was to hint for a new laptop and a year of Geek Squad protection.

Well, emails were sent back and forth.

Today I received via FedEx a gift card to Best Buy for $100.00!!!

That is enough for a year of Geek Squad help!

I am so very grateful to Best Buy for noticing my hint and, of course, for the generous gift card. I never win anything.

In other news, I am still very sick. I apologize to NaBloPoMo. I couldn’t post yesterday due to feeling so cruddy. But tomorrow I see the doctor because my symptoms seem to be getting worse instead of better.

No Delivery

Sorry. The delivery didn’t happen today. Hopefully I will know something tomorrow.

But in the good news department I did have some very nice friends today. One chatted with me all morning via Facebook and one texted me and even came over and sat with me for a couple of hours. So I do have some nice friends.

Unfortunately, though, I think that I have caught a friend’s cold. I knew I was risking it when I took her to get her medicine on Sunday. Waking up with razor blades in your throat is not fun. And my nose won’t blow, but it’ll run. Go figure. I’m sucking on zinc lozenges like they are going out of style.

So I have felt anxious and excited and spacy and like crap all day. And then the people don’t come. It has been a disappointing day, to say the least.

These are my tissues of choice – Puffs Plus Lotion. They are good ones, worth the extra cost.

Hopefully I will find out something tomorrow and all will be good.

In the meantime, I have eaten my soup, blown my nose, sucked on my last zinc lozenge for the night, and I am going to go to bed.

See you tomorrow.

When Help Is Needed

I am pooped. I have been cleaning all day in anticipation of guests tomorrow.

I may have won something in a contest. All I was told was to be ready for a delivery tomorrow. I will certainly let you know what it is in a blog post.

I’m very, very excited because I never win anything.

Because I have been hurting so bad lately I asked my neighbors if they would help me by doing the dishes and taking out the garbage. These are the things that cause the most pain. I paid them in advance because they had some errands to run first. Well, at 7:20 tonight they knocked on my door and asked if they can come over tomorrow morning and help me. I said yes, what choice did I have?

I am so nervous about them coming in the morning that I have set my alarm for very early and will start on these things when I get up. Surely they will come in the morning, though.

Everything else is dusted and vacuumed and mopped and made to smell fresh and clean. It feels better in here, makes me feel better. But there are times that I just can’t do anything. It is then that I have to ask for help.

It took a long time for me to think that it was okay to ask for help. I didn’t want to bother people. But then I made a few friends that were happy to help me. For free. And there are some people who will do it but you have to pay them. My dear friend who would help is very sick right now with a cold and bronchitis. Otherwise she would have been here for me days ago.

I am thinking that asking for help for any reason is hard for some people. I am very up front and quick to ask for help from my doctors when my mental health is concerning me. But my physical needs are another matter. I often kid myself that I will surely feel better tomorrow, so I ‘ll put off doing the task.

So, if you think you need help, mentally or physically, ask for it. Don’t do like I do and wait until the last moment. There are people who will help. You just have to find them.

The Paper Situation

I struggle with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety. When I don’t sleep, my anxiety goes through the roof and it starts me on a downward spiral into depression.

I have new meds now, and I can fall asleep. But I have another problem.

I started getting the local newspaper. Since I live in an apartment building, the carrier leaves it propped against my door. There has never been a problem, until now.

One of my little pleasures is sitting down with the Sunday paper and a cup of coffee and spending a couple of hours reading it all, going through the sale circulars and everything.

Well, I noticed that my Sunday paper had been read already. The sections were folded and crinkled and the whole thing was just stacked up, not one inside the other like a new paper. My coupons weren’t in there.

Someone was stealing my paper then putting it back after having read it.

My psychiatrist told me to call and ask that the carrier knock when they dropped off my paper. I did that.

The very next Sunday I got up when the carrier knocked and opened my door to see my neighbor across the hall reaching for my paper.

I have repeatedly gone to her door to ask her not to steal my paper anymore, but she will not answer my knocks.

Today a friend suggested that I offer to let her read the paper when I am done with it. That way I could let go of this stressful situation and go back to sleeping through the night (hopefully). But when I knocked on her door to offer this solution, she didn’t answer. Of course, today she could have been at church. She goes to church every Sunday, dressed in her finest. After stealing my paper.

So for now I will continue to be awakened at 4:00 so that I can foil a thief. My stress level will remain high and my health will suffer.

I think, though, that I will take my social worker up on his offer to go to the office for me. There are cameras in all the halls, so the theft would be recorded. She will be given a written warning. I will see how I feel after one more week.

Sorry to be a downer today. I have just had enough.

What would you do in my situation?

Punsters Day

Today, November 8th, is Abet and Aid Punsters Day. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

To help us celebrate, I found this list of 15 of History’s Greatest Puns. My favorite on the list is Winston Churchill’s “If you are going through hell, keep going”.

For the hardcore pun lover, there is the website Pun of the Day. It has puns submitted by people from all over the globe and you can vote for the one you think is best.

My very favorite pun of all, though, is one I made up with my youngest son, J.

We were sitting around one day, enjoying some delicious string cheese. I removed a few strips from mine, tied them, then asked him what it was. He said that it was string cheese. I replied, “No, it’s knot cheese”. That just struck us as hilarious and we laughed about it the rest of the weekend.

Laughing with your kids gives you a fabulous feeling. Even if it is about silly things.

So Happy Abet and Aid Punsters Day.

What is your favorite pun?