, , , , , , ,

I began writing this blog last week — before the horrible events in London. Since Gill was in London during the attacks and was, in fact, out and about–possibly in the affected area- I worried. She was, wait for it, reading parts of her book as an opener for her friend’s band! I’ve heard of stand-up comics ‘warming up’ the audience for bands, but I never thought I’d see Gill doing it. I worried and tried very hard not to go into panic mode.

After an hour, waiting for a return email, I called Crazy D who then got through to her by phone and was assured that she and her friends were okay. But that was a time of fear for us– times that more of us around the world are experiencing with increasing frequency.With that in mind and in an attempt to lift my spirits (and hopefully yours, Dear Readers, I decided to continue sharing some silly, humorous, and delightful things that I noticed this week.

First up was a stunning performance on America’s Got Talent, the Simon Cowell summer fill-in ‘reality’ show.In my defense, I will say that I was not actually watching the show — I was merely clicking through the channels to see if there was anything with watching. My general consensus was that, no, there wasn’t. It would have been more productive of me to sort my underwear drawer but, where’s the fun in that? So during my clicking, I happened by an act that stopped me (and grumpy Simon) dead in my tracks (or clicks). A chicken was playing the piano! She took (to Simon’s frustration) a few seconds for her to get over what was probably stage fright and the glare of the hot lights, but she began to peck out her song (with nary a feather ruffled) and turned the audience, Simon, and me around. There was thunderous applause, the delighted hen was cuddled by her ‘coach’, and she was voted through to the next round!

I couldn’t resist telling Gill since her fascination with chickens knows no bounds. Some of you may recall that, a few weeks ago, I went with Crazy D’s girlfriend and L’il Sis to the Toronto Hot Docs festival to see a movie about the Christchurch N.Z. Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Show (the fowl equivalent to the Westminster Dog Show.) Gill has been agitating for years for me to put a coop in my backyard and each year at Christmas I cringe at the prospect that she might actually present me with a purloined chicken–direct from Heathrow.

And then there was the happy news that Ellen DeGeneres, one of my favorite comediennes and a genuinely lovely person, has a line of dog products that has replaced those of Martha Stewart at the local Petsmart. Go, Ellen! My antagonism towards Martha comes not from the fact that she was a jailbird (she handled that experience quite graciously), but from the fact that she makes the rest of us — normal housekeepers and struggling moms– look bad! Try as I might (and it has to be said I don’t try that hard), I will never win her approval of my entertaining, decorating, or cooking skills. But do I care? Yes, actually I probably do… but that ship has sailed. I will learn to accept and be happy in my mediocrity in all things domestic. And I will buy Groucho, L’il Sis’s rescue pooch, a little somethin’ somethin’ from Ellen’s collection.Take that, Martha!

I went with The Man In My Life to a fancy event this week and, after several glasses of wine, one of the others guests and I (a woman I have known, not well, but chat with at such occasions) had a scintillating conversation about bunions and other ‘joys’ of aging. This chat was preceded a few days earlier with a comment made during lunch with a longtime friend. Again, we were discussing aging and the hits our body image keeps taking. She said:”I know everything is sagging, but I truly felt old when I looked in the mirror and noticed that my cheek dimples have sagged too! Is there nothing sacred?”

And I couldn’t let my happy thoughts for the week go without noting a few bits of nature. The front page of the local paper featured a picture of a professional dog walker, seven pooches in a line on their leashes, enjoying a stroll through the park.All I can say is that she’s a stronger woman than I. I can barely manage one chocolate lab puppy without being dragged through underbrush, through wooded ares in search of fast-moving squirrels. I did, however, laugh at the same lab and her friend, a labradoodle, chase each other around my yard yesterday. I didn’t care that they were running through what is laughingly called ‘my garden’…it was pure joy to watch them. The lone duck huddled at the edge of the yard may not have been so thrilled, of course.

And speaking of the lone duck, I suspect he was the one sitting on the top of my roof the other evening at dusk, seemingly contemplating the beautiful sunset.

So there is joy and laughter to be found…it’s just that sometimes we have to look harder to find it.