I have wanted to participate in the daily challenge of the one-word prompt for months.  In fact I would say 8 months.  I vaguely remember New Year’s Eve, as probably 88.8% of the rest of the population.  The thing with New Year’s Eve is that I don’t do New Year’s resolutions no matter how much I need them.  Just for an example, if I would resolve on New Year’s Ever to start eating a healthy breakfast of fruit, granola, and yogurt by 8:00 am New Years Day I will have already eaten 2 chocolate chip pancakes with a can of Redi-Whip.  So even though I officially don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I sort of consider some in my own mind.  In my own mind I will tell myself I am going to use my Pedi Perfect electronic foot  file religiously every day until the heels of my feet are as soft as New Year’s baby’s behind. By January 10th the bottoms of my feet have such a dried thick layer of impermeable skin that I could walk across the Sahara desert barefoot at high noon.  So since January 1st I have been unofficially dedicated to attempting to write a blog based on the one word prompt.  To be honest this is something I really thought I go do.  I always loved writing assignments in school that included a challenge of some kind.  I remember in 2nd grade we were to write a sentence using as many of our spelling words as possible.  To this day I still remember the sentence.  The rat hit the hat off the fat cat that sat on a mat with a bat. I remember the sentence so well because 88.8% of the other students wrote the very same sentence.  Sadly 8 months have gone by and I have not written a single blog from the one word prompt challenge.  However, I have faithfully checked every day for the word prompt.  For the first couple of weeks I operated on the mindset that obviously not every word is going to speak to me and I had to be patient and give the challenge a chance.  After 3 months of unsuccessfully prompted by one word, I realized the whole challenge wasn’t clicking for me.  Daily I would read the word and my mind would go completely blank.  When I say completely blank I mean that my mind would experience a black hole of complete nothingness.  It makes me wonder how I would do on a personality profile test when you are asked to say the first word that comes to your mind when they say a single work to you.  I shudder to think where I would be right now if someone knew that after 245 different words my best response is a blank stare and a slow blink.  Until today!   Today’s one word prompt is “Sidewalk.”  Considering the fact that the name of my blog is ‘Sidewalk” Thoughts I got this one.   On July 23, 2006 I decided to start taking walks every day before I had to go back to school as the High School Librarian.  When I returned home from my very first walk I realized that while I was walking I was thinking of all sorts of random thoughts.   For some reason I decided to write down what I thought about on my walks. So for the next 28 days I kept what I called a walking journal.   Just for clarification I didn’t take the journal with me on my walks.  I would write my thoughts down after the walk in a notebook.   After school was in session for a couple of months I found my walking journal and re-read it.  I thought some of the things I wrote down were funny.  I thought that if I thought some things were funny, maybe other people would think they were too.   So I typed up my journal and submitted it to Publish America for their consideration to publish the journal.  I choose Publish America because it cost me absolutely nothing to have the book published.  Basically I had nothing to lose when hit send.  That was what I liked most about the whole process.  Publish America accepted my journal and agreed to publish my walking journal.   However, they informed me that I needed to come up with a different title as “The Walking Journal” was already being used or was too similar to another book with that title.   I renamed my book “Sidewalk Thoughts”.   The sole purpose of the book is to the same as the purpose of my blog.  I strongly feel that everyone could use more laughter in their lives.  The next summer I wanted to repeat the walking/writing process but I found out that I really loved to rollerblade.  As a result I didn’t keep a rolling journal because I realized that the only thoughts I had in my head were about not falling down and breaking something.   Since my book Sidewalk Thoughts is 28 daily journal entries it is much like my blog.  With many thanks to Word Press I am able to post my Sidewalk Thoughts in blog form.  Every once in a while someone will ask if I have written another book yet.  After my divorce, I thought about a sequel title, “Life in the Gutter” but so far the blogosphere seems to best suit my needs.

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OK, Fine!

OK, Fine!

Our special on fines, “You bring the roll, we’ll pay the toll” is in full swing at the Public Library. We thought this was a neat and easy way to excuse fines for our patrons. We also thought we were very specific as to explaining how the event worked and what we could accept as payment. I think we need to think again. My first experience was with a thirty-something guy.   He came up to the circulation desk carrying roll of gift wrapping paper.

He laid the roll of purple and yellow paper with pink and red hearts on the counter and said: Here, I would like to pay my $5.00 fine.

Me: Could I have your library card so I can look up your information on the computer?

Guy: I didn’t bring my library card.

Me: Of course you didn’t, nobody does when they come to the library. Then could I have your driver’s license for identification?

Guy: Really? I don’t think I even have to show my drivers’ license to vote.

A couple of replies to that statement came to mind, but I didn’t say them out loud. The guy pulled out his wallet and found his driver’s license behind “you know what.” Thankfully he set it on the desk close enough so I could see his information without me having to actually touch his license.  I typed in his name. After the computer took what seemed like forever to find his information the guy started to tap the roll of wrapping paper on the circulation desk. A couple of thoughts came to mind as to what he could do with the roll of wrapping paper but I didn’t say them out loud either. Finally his library card information came up on the screen.

Me: Yes sir, you do have a $5.00 fine.

Guy: Yeah, I know. I was late with some DVDs because I got called out to the oil rig in the middle of the night and had to sleep the whole next day and didn’t get them back on time. My girlfriend was going to drop them off for me but she had morning sickness really bad. So here is my roll of paper for my fine.

Me: Sir, you need to bring a roll of a paper product for each dollar you owe.

Guy: This roll is the length of 5 rolls of toilet paper. I measured.

Me: It doesn’t work that way. Besides the roll of paper has to be in its original wrapping.

Guy: What do you mean? This is wrapping paper.

Me: No, I mean the roll should still be sealed in the original plastic wrap and unopened.

Guy: So, I used just a little bit of it to wrap my girlfriend’s Valentine’s day gift last year. So what is the big deal? Most of the paper is still on the roll.

Me: Well, we have to make some restriction or people would just bring us partially used rolls of toilet paper or paper towel.

Guy: Really? People would do that?

Me: Believe it or not, people would do that.

Guy: So are you saying I can’t pay my fine with this roll of wrapping paper?

Me: I am sorry; sir, but we cannot accept one roll of opened wrapping paper for your $5.00 fine. For example, you could bring in an unwrapped 4 pack of toilet paper and 1 unwrapped roll of paper towel.

Guy: I only buy paper towel in two packs. If I brought in a two pack would I get a dollar in change?

Me:   Well, no. We would hope you would just be willing to donate the extra roll to the homeless shelter.

Guy: And really, who would buy 1 roll of toilet paper? Does toilet paper even come in single rolls?  With all the Mexican restaurants in town I doubt there is one person in this whole town that buys toilet paper one roll at a time.

The guy picked up his roll of wrapping paper, tapped it quite forcibly on the circulation desk, pointed it into my face and said: I’ll be back.

I hoped I would be at lunch if he did come back. But before I could leave for lunch a young mother with two little boys came up to the desk with an unwrapped 9 pack of toilet paper.

Mother: I would like to pay the fines on my son’s cards.

I scanned their library cards and there was a $4.50 fee on each of the little boys’ cards.

As I begin to open my mouth to explain the $1 per roll concept and that there was no 50 cent deals, the older brother pulled a book off the New Books shelf and hit his little brother on the head. The little brother let out a blood curdling yell. The older brother dropped the book on the floor and kicked it. The mother tried to grab a boy with each of her hands, but they took running in opposite directions.

I grabbed the package of toilet paper and said: “Ok, fine. And have a nice day.”

After my lunch break, the thirty- something guy came back carrying a Walmart bag. I was silently praising myself for successfully getting the point across to him. The praise was premature.

He took out two rolls of toilet paper wrapped in the Valentines wrapping paper and said: Here

I started to open my mouth, but before I could say anything he said:” Before you say anything. These are Charmin double rolls so that is $4.00. I figure the fact that I wrapped each roll with curly ribbon is worth another dollar. Ribbon is technically paper, it is rolled, it counts.

Me: Ok, fine!





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Take Notice

Take Notice

For those of you that know me [or for those of you through no fault of their own are related to me] you know that I work at the Public Library.   Actually I work at the same library while I attended college. My littlest sister, Jodi, was two years old at the time.

She told everyone that I worked at the “puppy lick” library. puppyLittle did she know how close she was to the truth.    Our awesome children’s librarian, Lane, set up a program where a therapy dog comes to the library. The children have the opportunity to cuddle up with the pooch and read a book.   Now that I think about it, some of the children are very young, so now I don’t remember if they read a book to the dog or the dog reads the book to them. [After all, there is a Dog with a Blog!] Whichever is the case, it is a terrific program and I have no doubts that puppy licks are part of the program.

In spite of Nooks, Kindles, MP3 players, computers, i-pods, i-pads and smart phones, libraries still do exist. I have had many people tell me that they still prefer to hold a book in their hand a turn real pages.   That being said, collecting fines remains a huge problem for libraries. People are always shocked when we tell them they have a fine. It doesn’t matter if the fine is 15 cents or 15 dollars, they can’t possibly have a fine and there must be a mistake. The other day a teenager came up to the desk to check out a book and her card had a $5.00 fine on it. When I informed her of this fine, I got the usual response.

Patron: That must be a mistake. I don’t remember returning any books late. What was it for?

Me: The book, “Breaking Dawn’” by Stephenie Meyer.

Patron: I returned that a long time ago.

Me: Yes, the book was returned, however it was returned late. It was actually due on September 17th and you returned the book a couple months late. The total fine for returning the book late is $5.00.

Patron: Did anyone ever call and tell me that the book was due?

Me: No, we send out overdue notices in the mail.

Patron: I didn’t get any notices.

Me: Of course you didn’t. Nobody does. We print out overdue notices every single day and faithfully mail them out. From what we can tell the Post Office has a vendetta against us.

Patron: What is a vendetta?

Me:  Well, the post office just wants to make our lives miserable so they refuse to delivery any overdue notices that we mail out. Instead once a month they have a huge bonfire and burn them all. We tried to sue the Post Office but the government doesn’t have any money and all the evidence was burned.

The patron looked at me for a few seconds, blinked and said: See, I told you I never got any notices. So can you just delete my fine?

Me: No, all the information on the computer is accurate and you owe us $5.00.

Patron: Well, the computer is wrong. Besides why would I check that book out when I can watch the movies?

Me: I am sorry, this is the information we have and you are responsible for the $5.00 fine.

Patron: This place bites.

Me (trying to be helpful):   Wait, next week we are having a special on fines.

Patron: You mean like a coupon or something?

Me: No, We are having a special two week event called “Bring a roll, we pay the toll.”

Patron: I don’t get it.

Me: Let me explain. All you have to do is bring in a roll of a paper product like toilet paper or paper towel. For each roll you bring in we subtract a dollar off your fine. So if you brought us a 4 pack of toilet paper, your fine would be reduced by 4 dollars and you would only have to pay us 1 dollar.

Patron: I don’t get it. Are you guys short on toilet paper or something?   Like, to work here you have to bring your own toilet paper. Geez, that would suck.

Me: No. We are collecting the paper products for the homeless.

Patron: If they are homeless where do they keep their toilet paper?

Me: I meant to say the homeless shelter and yes the shelter needs toilet paper.

The patron was more or less talking to herself as she was trying to come up with a way to bring a roll and pay her toll. I heard her mumble something about her mom would notice five rolls of toilet paper missing. She started to walk away and then turned back to me to ask a question.

Patron: Hey can I bring in hemp papers?

My turn to ask a question: What are hemp papers?

Patron: You know those cigarette papers that you use to roll your joints. My boyfriend has tons in his car. He wouldn’t miss a pack. Besides there are like, 30 papers in each pack so that should more than cover the fine.

Me: No, that would not be appropriate.

Patron: Why not? You said bring in a roll of a paper product. They are paper and you roll them.

Me: Yes, but…..

Patron:   This place bites.

And she stomped away.


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Confessions of a Blogging U Dropout

It all started when I tried to put the Blogging University icon on my blog page. I can’t remember how I even tried to do it.   All I know is that on my blog page the icon didn’t fit. Part of the icon was cut off and I was too embarrassed to go the Commons and ask another blogger how to fix it. I think it was another sign from the blogging gods that I should accept the fact I am in over my head.   Now a week later I have to admit defeat and dropout of Blogging 101. I failed because I am too old to keep up with the technology and the strange terminology. I would like to confess that I don’t understand “link back.” On Day Twelve our assignment was to increase our commenting. I was so excited for this assignment because I love to get comments (positive ones anyway).  I was so ready to leave comments until the assignment directed me to “link back” to the original post. I don’t even know what “link back” means. I can barely link forward. My first posting for Blogging 101 I didn’t share the correct linking address. A fellow classmate was kind enough to point this out to me. My wrong link, linked to nowhere. How embarrassing is that? I guess it could have been worse. It could have linked to a Persian kitty porn site.   I did manage to eventually get the right linking address to my blog. So now when I post a link I test the link so many times my computer crashes. On Day Fourteen the assignment was to extend the Blog’s Brand with a custom site icon or a custom image widget.   I am clueless and I am sorry but the definitions didn’t help me at all. What is an “avator?” I thought that was a gaming system. What is a “widget?” I thought that was a hoop you shot the croquet ball through. Whatever widgets are, mine came with wings. One innocent little click and the widget flies to a different place on my page or flies off the page completely. I confess that I am afraid to monkey around with PicMonkey. This is coming from someone who has never been on Shutterfly or Snapfish. My son, Nik, is really very patient with me when it comes to answering tech questions, except in the case of Adobe Photoshop.   I think I called him once and asked what “shrink to fit”  means.  He started to explain about size and space but I wasn’t understanding one word of the explanation. Being as patient as possible he threw in an analogy. He said it was like when you buy a pair of new jeans and after you wash them the first time you put them in the dryer to shrink so they fit better. I snapped back, “You aren’t helping. I haven’t had to shrink jeans since I was 12.” The next time he came home to visit he locked me out of Photoshop and threatened to disable WordArt.

I guess you just can’t teach “an old dog new tricks”. My best explanation of this is getting gas at the gas station. When I was “just born” I remember that my mom would drive into a gas station, drive over a hose on purpose and roll down the window as a guy approached the vehicle.   Dangerously, strange behavior, right? Let me explain. [Some of my blog friends will understand the explanation, but I am telling you don’t admit it.] When my mom drove over the rubber hose you would hear a clinging bell sound. This sound would alert the person working on a car in the garage of the gas station to come out to the vehicle that just pulled up to the pumps. My mom rolled the window down to say to the helpful gas station attendant “filler up and check the oil and water.”  And he did!!!!   Believe it or not my mom could stay in the car while the guy unscrewed the gas cap, wrestled the nozzle into the gas tank and then popped the hood of the car to check the oil. He kept an old rag in his back pocket so that he could wipe off the dipstick and get an accurate measure if the car needed a quart of oil or not.   All this time my mom could leisurely sit in the car and yell at us kids and the six neighbor kids to sit still and stop hitting each other.   They guy collected the money through the window. My mom drove off with completely clean hands, a full tank of gas and no oil level worries. I was actually thinking of all this yesterday when I had to get gas in my car because for some reason I never remember to look at the pump number where I am filling up the tank. NEVER   So once again this is the conversation I have with the clerk inside the store after I dripped gasoline on my shoes and got grease all over my hands.

Clerk: What pump are you on?

Me: The one right out there.

Clerk: Lady, all our pumps are right out there. What number are you on?

Me: I forgot to look at the number.

Clerk: OK then what make or model is your car?

Me: It’s grey

Clerk: How much was the total gas amount?

Me: About as half as much as it was last year at this time.


Eventually we get it figured out. I pay and then ask if he could please punch my gas refill card. He looks me straight in the eye, grabs the hole puncher, and clenches his jaws. He is just dying to say, “Lady I would love to give you a punch.” Sad, but true, I can guarantee you that the next time I get gas I will NOT remember to look at the pump number.

Now if you will excuse me, this old dog is going to try and bark up some brands, wag up some widgets, and growl at some gravatars.






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Our Sister’s Call

This weekend my sister, Sargent Major Jodi R. Renner, begins her 12 month tour of duty so this is my special posting for her from the family.

Our Sister’s Call

You have taken an oath to serve our country

And to take up your post of command

You have been assigned to protect our freedoms

Our values, our citizens, our land

You will give everything you possibly can

And never ask for anything back

I know I can’t go with you

But will you let me help you pack?


Take all the courage you know that you have

And then find some and take even more

For where there is no courage there is fear

And cowardly fear never wins the war


Stand firm on respecting the rights that

Our founding fathers deemed as most important

For there are many who demand respect with

Powerful guns and a meaningless rant


Believe in your country, your commander

Your comrades, our nation as one

For it is our faith in each other

That provides the greatest protection


Fill your heart with love for family, friends, coworkers

And all those whose lives depend on you

For what better defense against the enemy that

Hates all the good that you will do


You will have too much of it when you are lonely and sad

At other times endless responsibilities will fill your day

You may not have time to think, to eat or to sleep

But not matter your schedule always take time to pray


Give it and demand it because strength comes

From unified cooperation and discipline

A weak and easy enemy is one that operates on

Chaos from within


Commit yourself to all those who will look up

to you for guidance and purpose

So they will understand what their dedication

Means to all of us


Our country will remain great if it stands together

For our freedoms, our morals and for what is right

Our enemies will look closely for any division

Or uncertainty that will enhance their fight


Not for the enemy; but for your fellow

Soldiers who also took the oath to serve

Promise them that you will look out for them and

The life we all deserve


As your family, we know you will face challenges every day of your tour

We know you will face fears that you must have the strength to endure

We fervently pray that God guides you and keeps you safe in everything you must do

And with His unrelenting help you come home as a better version of you

Jodi, as you answer your CALL TO DUTY

We are so very proud of you

We are missing everything about you

We are sending all our love with you

Ted and Marie Renner (parents)

David & Jill Renner and Family

Mickey Renner, Nik and Emily Butz

Kathy Renner and Family

Mike & Collette Renner and Family

Ted & Kim Renner and Family

Luis and Mary Mercado and Family

Jayme & Michele Renner and Junebug

Note: The mechanics of this poem was to “pack” something that started with the letters to spell out CALL TO DUTY.  I am not so sure that is visible in the post.

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Care to Comment?

For my blog followers that know me personally you will be horrified (as I am) to know that I did not complete my last two Bogging 101 assignments to the level of satisfaction that I have set for myself in the past. True disclosure: I got two days behind on the assignments. I tried to catch-up but failed to follow the directions of the assignment and then just didn’t do them. This is radical coming from me, a former teacher.   Especially since, I was one of those math teachers that took off points if you didn’t show all your work. “But I got the right answer” fell on deaf ears and if I didn’t see every single step towards the solution I subtracted points in bright red ink.   Knowing this about myself and knowing I didn’t successfully complete the last two assignments I am left in a quandary. In order to bring order to this moral malady I have come up with a self imposed compromise.

Dear Blogging 101 Instructor: @michelleweber

I apologize for skipping assignments 8 and 9 on the Comment segment of the curriculum. Pleas accept this essay on Comments as a substitute for the two lacking assignments. I am not submitting this essay for course credit but please consider the possibility of awarding me participation points.   Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully yours,



The Consciousness of Comments

One of the unintended consequences of our hi-tech society is that Commenting has become a credible structure of consciousness. There is no where you can surf to on the Internet where you won’t be encouraged to rate your experience, rank your purchase, or write a review. Social Media thrives on our posts, tweets, likes, and comments. Such expansion into the consciousness of Comments calls for some intellectual consideration.  First though, I would like to make a clarification. For the purpose of this essay I will be addressing positive and respectful comments as there seems to be a voice inside my head telling me, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

At this point I would like to present three Insights to Leaving a Comment on a WordPress Blog

Insight #1: Comments are Invaluable

Comments are invaluable to everyone. If you leave a comment for the writer you validate for the blogger that someone actually did read your blog posting and that the words you chose to write down touched someone’s life in a way the writer probably did not ever imagine. For you, the commentator, leaving a comment is valuable to you for its intrinsic values. Leaving a positive complimentary comment just may leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Leaving a comment that enhances the blog post or raises a question is an intellectual accomplishment with innumerable responses. Your comment just may educate, inspire or entertain someone beyond any limits you may have ever imagined.


Insight #2: Comments are Instantaneous

Ok, maybe instantaneous is too strong of a word. The point I am trying to make is that if you read a blog and an idea for a comment come almost immediately, then that comment was meant to be shared. In other words, you should not have to dig deep inside your brain for just the right comment. You needn’t force a comment. If the blog really speaks to you the comment will surface fairly quickly without much effort. That, I believe is how leaving a comment actually works. I don’t feel like I am explain this very well, so let me try another way that may be easier to comprehend.

Let talk facebook. Let’s say one of your facebook friends posts 253 pictures from their Christmas trip to Disney World. If you did not win the 1.4 billion dollar lottery on Wednesday you maybe have a job and need to make a living. I say you probably can look through 253 pictures fairly quickly and you may even have time to actually do that. As you swipe through the pictures one here or there may catch your eye. If you pause to take a closer look the picture may remind you of something, somewhere or somebody. That picture you can easily make a comment on. Here are the results: you had fun making a comment, the facebook friend had fun reading your comment, and other creepers had fun trying to figure out what the comment actually meant.  It is a Win-Win-Win situation. I think this view of leaving a comment simplifies the whole overwhelming concept on commenting. Just be in-to-it. If you are still struggling with my attempt to clarify this 2nd Insight, let me try a visual.


I ask you, how hard is it to come up with a comment for this picture?


Insight #3: Comments are Intricate

Comments provide the opportunity to make an infinite number of intricate connections. The obvious connections are the links that are posted and gives us access to another site, which leads to another site, which directs us to another link to another site and so on. They don’t call it the World Wide Web for no reason. It is another type of interconnectedness that I find intriguing. For example on my Blog Post: Identify your Audience a high school friend and classmate left me a comment. The comment was very clever, made me laugh, and made me think about people and events I hadn’t thought about in a long time.   That one witty comment created for me a complex cyber connection that crossed over time and space. For that moment, at least, I was interconnected with my entire graduating class listening to our Valedictorian speaker. I have no way of knowing, but maybe other members of my class had the same thoughts at the same time. If they did, that would have been some intricate synchronicity which invites me to believe that Leaving a Comment is infinitely meaningful.



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Don’t Be a Drip

Day Six Assignment: Make an Irresistible “About” Page

No can do. I am going to have to use my “One Free Assignment Pass” that I got when I did extra credit for my Identify My Audience Assignment.

I am incapable of compiling a “About Me’” page. I wish I could say it was because I am a complex; multi-layered brainiac.  Actually quite the opposite is true. I have absolutely no common sense what so ever. I am indeed multi-layered but in all the wrong places and “maniac” would be the better word.   I do believe that synapsing is taking place among the neurons of my brain. However they are in a more of a pulsating Snipp, Snapp and Snurr pattern. What happens is that I only remember snippets of very important information, like the address of where I work.  At other times a perfectly good train of thought snaps into pieces and I have no clue what I was just thinking about. Then there are the times when just a random thought will settle in my hippocampus and I am stirred to think about it.   Many times this stray though is a single word.

I have a question for my classmates.   Sometimes when I am writing and the TV is on, I will realize that the word just spoken on the TV is exactly the next word I am going to write down.   Does this ever happen to you?  I am asking this in all seriousness. I think it is some sort of celestial consciousness or lunar enlightenment. But whatever it actually is, it really does happen to me at times.   At other times I will hear the very same uncommon word three or 4 times in the span of 15 minutes. When my part of the brain known as the inferior temporal gyrus reaches the number “ 3 “ it sends a message to my neurons to take note of this meaningless word that happens to be haunting me.   This happened to me on Friday when after two weeks of coughing, sneezing, and nose blowing I finally decided to go to the walk-in clinic.   While waiting in the waiting room the TV was announcing that the Dow Jones dropped another 168 points. Then a commercial came on and a lady was bragging how she dropped 30 pounds in just 3 weeks by walking. [Don’t believe it. I tried this and I didn’t lose an ounce.   I think my mistake was that I walked to the Dairy Queen and got a medium French Silk Blizzard.] When I saw the doctor, she said that she would write me a prescription for ear drops. There is was. The word drop was creeping  into my cerebral cortex.   As I was waiting for my prescription to be filled I came to realize that the word “drop” is indeed a multifarious and interesting word. The stock market dropping, dropping the ball or dropping dead are all negative events. Whereas dropping pounds on a diet, dropping the price on a real estate offer, or dropping the charges against you are all very positive events.   If you think about it there are countless examples were the word drop can entice completely opposite feelings or emotions. Here is another interesting concept about the word drop. If you add drop to another word it can be a thing of beauty or something very ugly depending on each person’s individual range of experiences. For me, one of the most beautiful sights in nature is the sun reflecting off a dewdrop on a spider web.[ Provided the spider is nowhere to be seen.] There are times when a raindrop is a thing of sparkling beauty and other times when it is a disaster in the making. How about a teardrop?   Happy tears are gleaming with joy yet sad tears burn red streaks down your cheeks. Mouse droppings in your bread box are bad news and horse droppings are stinky and disgusting.   On the other hand, Unicorn droppings could be colorful and smell like cotton candy.

Then my named was dropped that my prescription was ready.   As the lab technician handed over my tiny bag containing the ear drops she said my total was $59.77. I had to inform her that I had prescription drug insurance. She had to inform me, that she knew that and my co- pay was still $59.77.   My jaw dropped.   I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of ear drops these were. At over $195 total cost they must be liquid gold.   It turned out that the ear drops were actually evil. The directions were to put 4 drops in each ear two times each day. First of all, the bottle was so small I question if there were even 8 drops in the bottle. Second, how does one put 4 drops into one’s own ear much less both ears?   After missing my ear twice and having $50 worth of ear drops slide down my right check I successfully got one drop into my ear. The one drop in my ear felt like I poured half the ocean into my ear. There would be absolutely no way to tell if I successfully dropped another drop in my ear or not.  And now what was I suppose to do? I had 1 drop in my right ear. I couldn’t turn my head to put any drops in the other ear without the only successful ear drop draining out of my right ear completely. I impatiently waited for a half hour to give the drop the chance to drain further into my ear. It never happened. After 2 episodes of Murder She Wrote I put a piece of cotton in my right ear and repeated the whole stupid attempt to get a drop in my left ear. After 3 hours I could hear nothing, I felt like my whole head was underwater, and I was so dizzy I couldn’t drive up to the Dairy Queen to get a medium French Silk Pie Blizzard. I ended up going back to the walk-in clinic.   This doctor said to me, “Drop the ear drops. How good are you at spraying stuff up your nose?” I just dropped my head in shame.



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I Choose You

Day Four: Identify Your Audience

Hint: We often create posts hoping that someone in particular will see (and appreciate) our work.

This is so TRUE! I made a whole list of audiences I would like to reach. Does that give me extra credit?

1.) I want my Mom and Dad [Ted and Marie Renner] to read it and say:

“Our dearest daughter, that was so genuinely funny we are re-writing our will and telling all your brothers and sisters that they are adopted.”

2.)  I want my son [Dr. Nikolaus Butz] to read it and say:

“Mom, that was so brilliantly sick, I promise I will apply to the University of Hawaii and you can come and live with me and my wife.”

3.) I want all of my brothers, [David Renner, Mike Renner, Ted Renner, Jayme Renner] to read it and say:

“Hey Mick, that was so good and funny, we all apologize for all the times we were so bad when you were babysitting for us.”

4.) I want all my sisters [Kathy Renner, Mary Mercado, Jodi Renner] to read it and say:

“Hey Sis, that was so hugely funny that we have agreed we will each gain 15 pounds to that you won’t be the fattest sister anymore.”

5.) I want my ex-husband [Rolf Butz] to read it and say:

“Mick, that was so worthy of a laugh, please let me up your Alimony.”

6.) I want all my nieces and nephews to read it and say:

“Favorite Aunty Mickey, that was so comical we will name our first born child after you.”

7.) I want my parents friends [Erv and Marilyn Kessel] to read it and after church on Saturday say to me,

“Mickey, we read your blog and that was such a divine comedy, we will say extra prayers that God knocks off a few days in Purgatory for you.”

8.) I want my BFF [Brenda] to read it and say:

“Hey Bestie, that was so cleverly funny that I will always be your friend even if your relationship advice is stupid.”

9.) I want my first and forever friend [Deb] to read it and say:

“Hey my oldest friend, that was so unbelievably  funny I will keep telling everyone we know how much younger you are than me.”

10.) I want all my classmates of Dickinson High School Graduating Class of 19?? to read it and say:

“Man, that was so validly funny that we should have chosen you so be the Valedictorian Graduation speaker instead of Clay Jenkinson.”

11.) I want the entire morning drive up crew at MacDonalds to read it and say:

“Car number 55 that was so deliciously funny that we made the car in front of you pay for your diet coke and cinnamon melts.”

12.) I want the City Administrator to read it and say:

“My dear employee, that was so outrageously funny I want to give you and all your coworkers at the library a $2.00 per hour raise and police protection.”

13.) I want Bill O’Rielly to read it and say:

“Mickey Renner, that was so bold and fresh, I want you to come on tour with me and Dennis Miller.”

14.) I want Michelle W., the WordPress teacher for Blogging 101 to read it and say:

“mickeyrenner, that was such a resourceful funny blog let me upgrade your WordPres  Account to Premium Status for free.”


Just Kidding!!!  emoticon1

I actually identified my audience in the first assignment. As confused and chaotic this world is, it is crystal clear to me that we all could use more humor in our lives. When I write and post a blog I sincerely just want to bring some happiness, smiles or laughter to someone or anyone. I am extremely thankful to anyone and everyone who does read my blog. I am indebted to each and every one of my readers who leaves me a comment. I really want to identify my audience as HAPPY!


or in the best case scenario:


Right Nik?




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Who Am I and Why I’m Here

Who I Am and Why I’m Here

polarbearBear with me my “blends.” [blog friends] if you are still out there. At one time I think there were 50 of you. Those of you that have been my faithful followers know that in the past I have sworn off statistics. I may have to take back my swear and revisit those damn statistics.

And here is why:

I am going back to school.   Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have just thrown that out there. Some of you are thinking “OMG, she is really going to do it. She is selling her house in Dickinson, North Dakota (where it is currently 19 degrees Fahrenheit) and going to go to the University of Hawaii and get her degree in “Advanced Sun Tanning.”   [I would have to get the Advanced degree since my skin age is, well let’s just say over 50] To clarify my new education adventure; I am going back to school for Blogging. WordPress offers a free on-line course called Blogging 101. I am so excited!   I need something to kick start my Blog writing at this time. The “teacher” in me says. “If you get an assignment, you must do it.” The “old” in me says, “if you get a writing idea, you must first take a nap and think about it.”

Here is my first assignment: “Who I am and why I’m here”

With these two assignment questions in mind, I again ask my “blends” to bear with me. They already know who I am and why I write. So my dear friends, throughout the course of this course if any of the structured assignments result in boring, tedious, repetitive reading , please stop reading. Otherwise, feel free to read on. Blogging 101 is my own personal journal journey but you are welcome to come along for the ride.


Question One: Who I am

This is actually not a simple question.   I am assuming that at this time it is acceptable classroom etiquette to ask the teacher a question.   My question to this question is “Does anybody really know who they are?” I am Mickey Renner. Actually legally I am not Mickey Renner. Mickey Renner is the name I write under. It isn’t technically a pseudonym either because both of these names really do belong to me. When I was born my mother gave me a perfectly beautiful, feminine first name: Michelle.  .  My grandfather nicknamed me Mickey.  Nobody seems to have asked my grandfather why he gave me this nickname. I have a couple of my own theories.  Maybe my grandfather wanted another grandson even though he had lots already, so when I was born he nicknamed me Mickey. Or when I was born I looked like such a drowned rat he named me after the most famous Mouse ever. [Unfortunately I still have a few of those drowned rat features] Anyway,  the nickname stuck and I never was called Michelle.  Wait, I was called Michelle when I went to Catholic School and not having a saint name was sacrilegious.  After Vatican II, even the nuns conceded to my nickname. I know that my grandfather (God rest his soul) never considered that with this nickname I was doomed to receive countless numbers of “performance enhancing drug” offers in my e-mail each and every day. Some of these e-mails get past my junk mail filter. I am assuming that at this time it is acceptable classroom etiquette to ask my classmates a question. Here is my question: Should I take it as a bad sign if my first assignment e-mail ended up in the junk e-mail box?” I am somewhat superstitious . ( I got this from the same Grandfather) I got the first “kick off” email that introduced me to the Commons Community and the directives that the introduction directions and the first assignment would be appearing in a couple of hours.   Many, many hours later after not receiving either e-mail it finally occurred to me to check my junk email box. When I found the very important emails “junked” I thought that maybe this was a sign from the blogging gods that I should not be doing this. But here I am anyway.   I guess if smoke starts to pour out of my computer I will take the sign more seriously and “clog the blog” and become the first blogger dropout.


Question Two: Why am I here?
This question is easy.   I want to write. However, my self-discipline and self-motivation skills suck. I have 3 sisters and 4 brothers who can attest to this fact.   But I am also here for one other reason. I seriously want to brighten another person’s day by hopefully providing them with the opportunity to smile.  If my writing makes just one person smile or even laugh my heart is filled with happiness. My personal observation is that there is not one person on this planet that couldn’t use more humor or more happiness in the their life.

Thank you Word press for this opportunity to be a part of Blogging 101.

I hope my first assignment is Write on!

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Father’s Day 2015

Dear Dad:

On this Father’s Day I want to thank you for teaching me the rules to drive a car

And then by your example showing me the important life lessons they really are

Rule 1: Think to fasten your seat belt even if the distance you are traveling is short

Lesson: Think of the seat belt as angel wings wrapped around you for support

Rule 2: Choose the right key for the ignition, turn the key and listen for the engine to start

Lesson: Choose the key things in your life that ignite your purpose and bring joy to your heart

Rule 3: Check the dashboard lights for anything that my need attention

Lesson: Check in on your loved ones often, even the ones that cause you tension

Rule 4: Adjust the mirrors so that everything you need to see is in plain sight

Lesson: Adjust your attitude so that your life mirrors what is good and right

Rule 5: Note the gas gauge and if it indicates that you have enough fuel to get to your destination

Lesson: Note your gratitude gauge and never miss a chance to show your appreciation

Rule 6: Put the car gear in “D”rive, press slowly on the gas pedal and turn carefully onto the street

Lesson: Put drive into your life’s goals and don’t be afraid of any dips, bumps, or detours you might meet

There are many more ways you have taught me to navigate through life that I did not mention

And I bet you anything; you thought I wasn’t paying attention

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

Best Dad Ever [Thank you Jodi, for the perfect caption]

Best Dad Ever
[Thank you Jodi, for the perfect caption]

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