All posts by Barbara Varian

Is their utility in a Pot belly?

About 6 months ago a Pot Belly showed it’s self just above my hips. How did I notice it? It was brought to my attention when I bent over to tie my shoes, I noticed my toes were missing. Bending further they finally showed themselves. I’m really kidding, you and I both know it’s been about a year or more that my favorite belt buckle that “once upon a time” spent the day with its head held high, now spends the day holding up my pants while all the time it’s looking at my shoes.

         It’s 1/6/17 and we that have a flaw or two are going through our annual drill of making New Years resolutions to erase said flaws. I’m sad to say that many have already “fallen off the wagon” and the experts tell me that by the end of 2017 the other 98% will have followed leaving an empty wagon except for all the “good intentions” that are still firmly seated waiting for the class of 2018 to see if they can beat the odds. Proof will come by showing that their old cloths that have spent the last eon on cloths hangers or in bottom drawers now once again fit.

            I have a curiosity though. What if I find myself in the 98% that fail? Well here it is, it’s mid-October and I would have to say that I’m still among the ranks of that 98% that are failing the course on ‘Self Improvement’ as my toes are still hidden most of the time. But I think the time has come to turn failure into a good thing. I’ve got it! Yes, by gollies I’m sure I’ve got it! I’m going to look under my belt for those hidden advantages that can make a Pot belly something to be proud of and I found one today. On my most everyday hike which I’m sad to say doesn’t make “Pot bellies” disappear I had an aha moment

In our fall months here in Parkfield the temperature can rise and fall pretty fast. The other day I started my hike with coat on and finished with coat tied around my waist. What I did learn after tying my coat around my waist several times where my waist used to be but gravity kept pulling it down around my knees it struck me that if I tied my coat above my belly gravity didn’t have a chance. That’s it folks it’s the only useful reason to have a Pot Belly. Oh, and yes, you’ll need one if you ever want to play Santa Claus.

                             See Ya

                              Jack

Toilet Paper needs love too

Each winter my son John remodels a room in the Parkfield Inn. This year he chose the room we call The Tool Room, whose theme is of a blacksmith’s shop. While re-doing the bathroom it struck me that far and away the most important object in the bathroom is not soap, nor is it a nice soft absorbent bath towel, or hot water, which if push came to shove would all have to take a back seat to a roll of toilet paper. What other thing in a bathroom gives so much satisfaction when cleaning out different orifices of the body; can double as a Band Aid for a man that cuts himself shaving, or can be made into ear plugs to drown out music that sounds like finger nails on a chalkboard? T.P. really shows its absolute supremacy over all other objects in a bathroom when a person is perched upon the porcelain throne and when done looks for the T.P. Lo and behold, if the dispenser is empty, in the blink of an eye terror strikes this helpless person with “What do I do now?!” In the case of no soap or no towel, they’re just inconveniences, but no toilet paper, now that has to rate right up there with a heart attack.
“How do we treat this indispensable part of our lives? We simply send spent paper down the toilet with not so much as a thank you for a job well done, or a bon voyage. No, we just walk away indifferent to the plight of that paper as it journeys off to some sewer farm never to be heard from again. But because toilet paper came from a tree, just like paper that makes its way to the easel of an artist where brush strokes can make it valuable, or to a pad where something scribbled can lead to world changing events, our poor T.P., with just bad luck, got shunted into a pulp barrel labeled for toilet paper, where it will give its all with no reward.
Well I plan to change this injustice by building a proper monument to display this indispensable part of our lives in the newly remodeled bathroom of the Tool Room. It will be made of recycled parts, each having escaped the plight of my T.P. friend to be reborn again as a proud holder of body wipes. So if you would like to pay homage to our universal friend, come visit us in Parkfield, CA, Earthquake Capital Of The World, population 18, and the place where a ground swell of gratitude is gathering steam to make toilet paper ‘Top of The Heap’, ‘King of the Hill.’
See ya, Jack

crown jewel of any bathroom

I’ve just got to get out of this place: A Memoir

Have you ever wondered what life before the day of your birth was like?
Well I experienced it once and it’s all coming back to me now. My beginning started in a cave and I was cared for by my mother who was very attentive to my every need and what comes to mind was how safe and secure I felt. My new apartment was located in my mother’s womb and at first it was very spacious except that I was tethered to her by a piece of rope which was rather annoying, as any self respecting cowboy to be knows it should have been tied around my neck with a Bowline knot. That way you can’t choke but my mother had other plans and she stuck the dammed thing to my belly which was quite humiliating for a cowboy to be. My tie rope was pretty long and from time to time I would get tangled up but with a few twists and turns I learned that I could free myself quite easily so it was a solvable problem. My real issue was fast becoming wiggle room and as each week came and went my once spacious digs got more uncomfortable and it became self evident that I would soon have to find new quarters. I was growing like a weed and by the ninth month I had used up every last inch of space and I was beginning to feel a bit claustrophobic (it’s probably why I don’t like to ride in elevators today). I told my mother that I had had enough and I was getting out of this overcrowded dump. I started kicking and that’s when I felt something break which started a lifetime of “dam it you broke my favorite vase”, “how could you be so careless you broke my 2nd favorite vase”, “you’re like a bull in a china closet” and “now you’ve really done it, my third favorite vase is gone”.  My mother sure had a lot of vases. Anyway back to that breaking noise I heard, well at the same time there appeared before me a tunnel. I didn’t see any exit sign on it and the opening looked awfully small but I was desperate to get out of this place and much to my surprise, I felt my first case of rejection as my mother told my father that she wanted me out of her house, the sooner the better. Well the next hour was pretty scary as my father was trying to go as fast on the land as the airplanes he flew in the sky. I was bumping around inside my cage like a cork on white water when my mother started to yell four letter words which I didn’t expect to come from a proper English lady. Well we made it to the San Luis Obispo, California General Hospital in time to hurry up and wait. I had grown up to be a big walloper over nine pounds and at seeing the opening in front of me I thought, “This is not possible”! But mom was determined. She wanted me out of her nest right now. So she started pushing and shoving and it seemed to me the polite thing to do was to help out. Well it was slicker than Goose Grease in here and there was no place that I could get traction so I wasn’t much help.
About that time a new guy arrived on the scene and he started yelling “push!” and my mother would push then would yell out new four letter words and I would scoot a little farther up the tunnel. Then it happened. There appeared a light from above. When I was just beginning to see the light, that fellow that kept yelling push, well he grabbed me by the head and started tugging and out I came goose grease and all.
Now that’s not the end of this story. He then proceeds to grab me by the ankles and hang me upside-down and give me a whack across my back, made me cry, well he still wasn’t satisfied that I had made him get up in the middle of night so he asked a big lady standing next to him if she had any scissors and sure enough she did. Well this guy grabs those scissors and in the blink of an eye he cut off my tie rope and then he had the nerve to doll up my dinger and didn’t even ask my permission which I thought was real rude of him. By now I was getting real tired but we still had paperwork to do. First they tagged me then they foot printed me, then more paperwork which humans can’t seem to live without. But out of it all I got a certificate that said I entered this world on September 7,1935. This is how I remember it so don’t confuse me with facts.
See Ya
Jack
P.S.
I’m back and I can’t blame my iPad for my blog site going blank. But several months ago I came down with a case of “The Best of Intentions” because my “resolve” kept getting mired in a mud puddle of laziness. Well I’ve washed off the laziness and I am now committed with a new SPIRIT to start blogging again about anything and everything. I guess what ever happens to bubble to the surface of the old brain!