So, kudos to Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal Constitution for using the word “assiduously” in a sports column. As in, “Soroka worked assiduously over the past eight months so he’d be full-go for spring training.” It means with great care and persistence. On the other hand, is there really such a word as “full-go”? A quick search of the web reveals no such phrase listed in numerous word-finding sites. I found “Full of Go” which means lively or energetic. Interestingly, I found “full go” both with and without a hyphen in many articles published in sports pages around the country. It seems to mean entirely ready, without concern or reservation. Hats off to the sports writing world for introducing a phrase/word which will no doubt wind up in the official English lexicon. But as Judy says, “all words are made up.”

And speaking of people in the news, there has been a lot of ink and airtime taken up by R. Kelly. Mike’s main question was, “Who is R. Kelly?” Also after an idiotic stunt, Jussie Smollett has been getting an enormous amount of attention. Mike’s main question was, “Who is Jussie Smollett?” My main question is “Who is clueless?”

So, Purim is almost upon us. It is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rescue of the Jews from a plot to have them all killed. The heroes of the story are Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordecai. It is celebrated by community  gatherings that include games for children, eating, and of course, drinking. It’s kind of a Jewish Mardi Gras, but not quite so unrestrained. The story is found in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Esther. I am offering a prize, to be specified later, to the first person who can tell me how many times God is mentioned in the Book of Esther. Just put your answer in the comment section at the end of this notice.

And speaking of celebrations, March is Mike’s birthday month. He is getting up there, about 15 in cat years. He says he is beginning to understand why a frequent topic of conversation among older adults is their bowel movements. Enough said about that. Anyway, happy birthday Mike, and to all you other March birthday celebrators.

It was cold again this week, but getting warmer, in general. The Japanese magnolia in front of our house was covered in glorious pink blossoms until a couple of nights ago when we had a hard freeze. Now it looks like there about 1000 dead butterflies hanging down from it. Our other flowering trees and shrubs are not so sensitive, thankfully.

The weather this winter has been so rotten that I have not strayed too far from the house. But a few days ago I went back to visit the Donkles. Richard let me in through the sliding patio door, as usual; and also just as usual, he had a little treat of cream for me. Yum! I wandered down to the laundry room where they keep Priscilla’s bowl of kibble and her litter box. Ludmila was in there doing the bed linens. She gave me the dirtiest of dirty looks, and I smiled back at her sweetly. I went to the Donkle’s master bedroom where Priscilla, also as usual, was hiding under the comforter on the bed. The lump appeared to be larger than I had remembered. I jumped up on the bed and started batting at the lump, which responded with a hiss. I persisted until she crawled out and ran out of the room. Or maybe not so much ran out as waddled out, her abdomen scraping along the floor as she attempted to make haste to get away from her tormentor, me. She is well on her way to diabetes and a premature demise, unfortunately. Without someone to impose a strict diet and a kitty treadmill on her she is doomed. I can’t see anyone sufficiently invested in her to take the trouble. The best Richard can seem to do is to call her Obesa. All this does is irritate Bianca and make her feel guilty. Pricilla could care less. By the way, why do Priscilla could care less and Priscilla couldn’t care less mean exactly the same thing? Or am I mistaken?

And, speaking of being mistaken, I may have been wrong about thinking that the current socio-political climate being a temporary aberration. I figured that after 4 years of insanity and chaos, order would be restored in our society. It might be that the groups on the fringes are getting larger and angrier, and the middle-of-the-roaders are diminishing in numbers. The most disturbing sign of the deterioration of our society this week is the craze of throwing processed cheese slices at babies, videotaping their reactions, and putting the videos on the web. Millions of babies have been subjected to this stupid humiliation. What is most concerning is that there are so many households where one can find processed cheese slices. Or, did millions of idiots rush out to the supermarkets and buy up all the processed sliced cheese, like the folks around here do with the milk, bread, and beer when there is a hint of snow in the weather forecast. Also disturbing in terms of where our society is going is the number of people who would watch a baby struggle with a piece of sliced cheese stuck to its face, guffaw, and then share the video with their idiot friends.  Or maybe, this is just what some people do so they don’t have to think about their world going to hell in a handbasket.

I can see that I am letting it get to me, whatever it is. I have just used the word idiot or idiotic at least 3 times referring to people doing things I think are at best, ill-advised. (Hint: This is at least 3 times as many times that God is mentioned in the Book of Esther.)

And, speaking of cheese slices, one of Mike’s deep, dark secrets is that when he was a little boy he used to bite processed cheese slices into the shapes of American states. To this day he couldn’t begin to tell you why. And, he would prefer that you not bring it up. He never got very good at it. There are some easy states, like Colorado and Utah; but he never got the hang of some others, like West Virginia or Michigan. Remarkably, Judy’s niece, Ashley, found a video quite a few years ago of some weird little kid doing the same thing, and she played it at a family gathering where almost everyone howled with laughter.

So, time marches on in Happy Meadows and the surrounding world. Be well, be safe, and when more interesting things happen, I will be sure to let you know. Au revoir, y’all!