Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the category “humor”

No Fooling: Flying Penguins


Because we know how trustworthy BBC documentaries are…

Happy April First!

Worm Moon Musings


Look up! It’s a full moon! It’s the Worm Moon! Worm Moon? Yes. It’s the Worm Moon.

As over the moon I am about full moons I am not familiar with tonight’s Worm Moon. I’m not squeamish about worms but naming a full moon after these little earth burrowers simply goes against logic and romantic notions. The moon is the silver lady in the sky or the beaming gentleman among the stars (no bias). Attaching “worm” to the full moon status is perplexing.

Good old Farmer’s Almanac helped me out on this one. The March 7th full moon is the Worm Moon because (ready for the drumroll…) winter has passed and the ground is warming up signaling spring is near and the worms are waking up to surface to feed the incoming birds.

Replay that. Winter has passed? Spring is near? Robins and etc are landing to snack on the worms?

Winter has not passed. Spring? HAHAHA This guy is not a worm snacker. Haven’t seen a robin for a long, long time.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the year’s moons. Join me wherever you are and we will gaze up at the night sky in shared appreciation. Worm Moon, indeed…

  • April 6: Pink moon 
  • May 5: Flower moon 
  • June 3: Strawberry moon 
  • July 3: Buck moon 
  • August 1: Sturgeon moon 
  • August 30: Blue moon 
  • September 29: Harvest moon 
  • October 28: Hunter’s moon 
  • November 27: Beaver moon 
  • December 26: Cold moon

Year in Books: Good Reads and Then Some


A reader’s best friend

I’m ever so glad I found Goodreads. Not only does it help in discovering books to read, it more importantly keeps track of the books I have read. Lately I am reading books I have read previously. Goodreads confirms this. I’m contemplating the implications of this reading overlap.

Never mind deep contemplations on my reading habits. Here are the brass facts: according to Goodreads I read 155 books by December 30th. I don’t log books that are DNF (did not finish), which are more than I want to acknowledge this year. Apparently I am becoming more discerning in my book selections.

Instead of the usual how many pages, most popular, least popular factums I thought I would give 746 books activity a try. Using this year’s book list I answered posed suppositions:

  • In high school I was Here and Now and Then (Mike Chen)
  • People might be surprised by The Ethan I Was Before (Ali Standish)
  • I will never be Maisie Dobbs (Jacqueline Winspear)
  • My life post-lockdown was Little Broken Things (Nicole Baart)
  • My fantasy job is The Finder of Forgotten Things (Sarah Loudin Thomas)
  • At the end of a long day I need The Maid (Nita Prose)
  • I hate being The Accused (John Grisham)
  • Wish I had The Cat Who Saved Books (Sosuke Natsukawa)
  • My family reunions are To Disguise the Truth (Jen Turano)
  • At a party you’d find me with Birds of a Feather (Jacqueline Winspear)
  • I’ve never been to The Last Bookshop in London (Madeline Martin)
  • A happy day includes The Ingredients of Love (Nicolas Barresu)
  • Motto I live by: The Art of Holding On and Letting Go (Kristin Lenz)
  • On my bucket list is The Island (Gary Paulsen)
  • Next year I want to have What the Fireflies Knew (Kai Harris)

That was fun and enlightening. Maybe my book choices reveal more about myself than I am aware of. Hope your year of books was enjoyable and here is to next year!

Winter Wonderland Once Again


As stated earlier, the travel bug has not bit us. We hunker down in winter and practice wishful thinking for warmer climates.

All in all, winter is for the birds. Really. That’s what we are doing for entertainment. We have enticed juncos, nuthatches, chickadees, sparrows, finches, a part time dove, and an infrequent flicker to our front yard with seed and such and sit back and enjoy the show.

Took Rocket J. Squirrel a few attempts to reach the feeder

We have a very basic feeder and try to keep it filled; however when it’s 19 degrees, with a brisky wind, finding alternative methods of feeding our feathered friends, like tossing food out the window for them onto the snow is the solution.

The seed buffet has garnered the attention of other critters: squirrels and deer. The squirrels are comical in how they try to avoid going through the snow to get to the food. They traverse on the branches above and tail twitch in frustration that they can’t quite reach the feeder. We spent a good hour observing how one squirrel finally took the plunge and dove into the snow, tunneling a track to feeder’s base to glean dropped seeds.

All you can eat seed buffet

The deer easily amble over to the feeder and lick seeds off the tray. They are not perturbed by our presence at the window.

We think this little guy looks like a burro so we have dubbed it Burrito

The most entertaining morning session was when the squirrel and deer arrived at the same time. The deer held their ground and would not acknowledge the squirrel’s attempts to mosey up to the seed feed. Old Rocket would inch up, tail twitching in anxiety and then Burrito would level a look that translated as “Excuse me?” and Rocket would hightail up the tree and pace the limb waiting, waiting, waiting for his turn.

Showdown at OK Feed and Seed

As for the birds—their territorial flutterings are reminiscent of playground squabbling. There is one white-crowned sparrow who is pro at fluffing up his feathers and chasing off the smaller birds from the seed buffet.

Like little kids playground squabbling

For most, the chosen winter sport is skiing, for us staying warm, while we watch from our chair side seats the front yard antics, suffices. Although, truthfully, after the third snow dump (and it’s still early December) I might just look into those Costco travel brochures that we pass by when we load up on birdseed. I imagine there are birds I can watch from a beachside balcony.

Winter Wonderland Solution


If life gives you snow, make a snowman.

Today is Waffle Day!


Waffles are wonderful

I follow the National Day Calendar and while I don’t relate to all the celebrated days (National Leathercraft Day did not do a thing for me, not even a summer camp memory of failed wristbands and key fobs), there are some like August 24th being National Waffle Day.

There are two breakfast camps: pancakes vs waffles. I could extol the wonders of waffles, how their warm and crunchy square golden perfection makes any dull morning sparkle, but then I might offend those who are satisfied with the blobs of dough identified as pancakes resting on their plates getting soggier by the nanosecond.

Clearly, waffles are winners in the breakfast arena of menu offerings.

My earliest memories of becoming a waffle connoisseur start when I am still in the finicky years of childhood, say sixish. My babysitter, a gem of an older woman known as Nettie, had such amazing patience. She had a waffle maker that was oblong, not the usual round variety, and it would produce four square delights of crispy dents that I would slather with butter and maple syrup. They had to be crispy, browned, not dark. Oh, I was demanding then.

Growing up I remember waffles more than pancakes, although there was a crepe phase for awhile. It takes many a crepe to make a decent filled effect. Pretty, yet not terribly satisfying. Waffles provide a square meal. Indeed they do.

Marriage and subsequent family days included a waffle maker. I can make a decent, even an exemplary pancake, but waffles are still the choice. When my sons had sleepovers their friends clamored for “Pamcakes” in the morning.

These days, in our empty nest era, waffles and pancakes are rare treats for we acknowledge the calories attached. By now, after 40 years of marriage, it would be ideal if my husband would acquire a taste for waffles, but he remains a pancake man through and through.

They do say opposites attract.

But we both agree that a waffle cone is the cone of choice for ice cream. Compromise will see us through to another 40 years.

Cowabunga! It’s July 12th and Cow Appreciation Day!


Cows are beyond cool. They are bovine.

One moovelous animal

I admit to being a cow aficionado. I grew up mucking about on our neighbor’s farm. Later in life I lived across from a dairy farm for twelve years. I udderly came to appreciate the wonder of this animal. To chew green grass and deliver creamy milk is marvelous.

The close proximity of cows inspired me to create a book that celebrates the cow with over 100 cow jokes with some stuff and nonsense thrown in. No publishers yet are interested. I remain hopeful that they will eventually realize my book, while not Pulitzer Prize material, is outstanding in its field.

To celebrate the cow here are some riddles to help you appreciate the cow:

1.What’s green and black and white all over?

A field with cows.

  1. What did Old MacDonald say when the cow stepped on his foot?

“Ee-ii-ee-ii-ouch.”

  1. What did Old MacDonald say when the cows began to stampede?

“Aaugh, I’m having a herd attack!”

  1. What did he say after the stampede?

“Cows should be seen and not herd.”

  1. How did the farmer divide up his herd of cows? 

He decided between the calves and the calve-nots.

  1. What did the farmer say to the old cow?

“It’s time you retired. You’re pasture your prime.”

7. Why do you call a pregnant cow?

Calfenaited.

8. What do you call a cow that isn’t pregnant?

Decaf.

9. Why did the cow jump over the moon?

The farmer had cold hands.

10. Why did the farmer install bee hives in his pasture?

He wanted to live in the land of milk and honey.

Celebrate the cow today. If a hug isn’t possible, then an ice cream cone is acceptable.

Have you thanked a cow lately?

Ya Dah!


Monday marked the closure of my teaching career. A rounded off twenty years of teaching: 19 in the classroom with 1 year as the credit recovery coordinator.

Our school holds a retirement breakfast and each principal or supervisor says a few words about their retiring staff member before handing over a handsome plaque. My principal did say a few nice words then stumped me with an obscure Shakespeare quote. With a reputation as the resident Bardinator he must have thought I would be able to quote what play it hailed from. If I had known there was going to be a pop quiz I would have studied the night before.

WHEREOF WHAT’S PAST IS PROLOGUE; WHAT TO COME, IN YOURS AND MY DISCHARGE. —The Tempest, 2.1 (missed this one, so distracted by Ariel and Caliban)

Our vice-principal, who handles most of the disciplinary issues, decided a mild roasting was in order. He declared me the most prolific behavior referral writer among the staff, keeping him busy (isn’t this called job security?) and handed me “Webb’s Greatest Hits”—a thirteen page document of all my discipline referrals over my classroom tenure. (Isn’t this just doing my job with dedicated zeal for behavior modification?)

Post breakfast meant turning in my phone, keys, and final farewells. Being homeless, since another teacher was moving into room with gusto, I left. Basically my teaching career ended before 10 am. That’s a ponderful thought: you can take away a teacher’s room but there is always room for teachers.

I spent the rest of the day reading, napping, finding a place to put away my accumulation of classroom stuff acquired over 20 years. That’s a very different post.

Over the past week people kept asking how it felt to be retiring. I had a different reply depending on the day. After all, it wasn’t over until my grades and keys were turned in. On this last day, the reality of leaving the career I inadvertently was herded into washed over me when a former student, now our study hall supervisor found me after the breakfast and said, “I’m sad you’re leaving. I’m happy for your retirement, but sad you’re leaving.” Yes, that’s exactly how I feel as well.

As how to spend the first day of retirement? It’s my birthday—so I’ll do whatever I want. It’s Flag Day to boot!

Happy retirement! Happy Birthday! Happy Flag Day!

This is an extra special birthday
Happy Flag Day!

Word Nerd: Places


Oh, the places you’ll go or at least get to know with this batch of terms.

firth: a long, narrow indentation of the seacoast.

wynd: a narrow street or alley.

Wind your way down a wynd

peregrinate: to walk or travel by foot; journey.

saltigrade: move by leaping.

Nothing like saltigrade by the sea

natant: swimming.

wampish: to wave about or flop to and fro.

estivate: to spend the summer, as at a specific place or in a certain activity.

Natant, wampish, estivate: water wonderful words

The Boston Yawps


Wasn’t it Albert Finney who started the trend of yelling out loud when oh so tired of it all? Seems like it was the movie Network. An outright yell he did—good old-fashioned stress relief. He was mad about non-Covid stuff, but a good yelling out loud seemed to work in that movie.

Well, Albert didn’t inspire me. Uncle Walt did. Walt. As in Walt Whitman from The Dead Poets Society featuring Robin Williams as a prep school English teacher. He introduces the word and concept of *YAWP*

YAWP yawp/yôp/noun: a harsh or hoarse cry or yelp.

Robin helped Todd to not only find his YAWP, he also helped him find his muse.

I’m fine with my muse, but the stress of Covid Coping has me finding my own stress relief: I YAWP in my car. Windows rolled up and I wait until no other cars are about before committing. There is a dandy stretch of back road that has become my YAWP zone.

The key to a proper YAWP is to take a deep breath, filling up the diaphragm, and then releasing that oh so satisfying belly yell. Screaming from the belly releases tension. Screaming from the throat releases neighborly calls to the sheriff.

So this belly yell, this need to scream because it just can’t be taken anymore, this Covid Coping strategy of just letting it go is a thing in Boston where a group of mothers scream, with some prompting and organization (traffic wands as cues, no less). I call them The Boston Yawps; however, their screaming is not very melodious. It is rather disturbing, actually. They need a coach prompting them to belly yell not a Jamie Curtis Scream Queen throat ripper.

No matter. They feel better. Maybe Yawping will catch on. I will continue to YAWP in the privacy of my car. I’m not ready for Friday Night Lights organized yelling.

Have you tried a YAWP lately? Or perhaps you have a better form of Covid Coping. Yes? Do share.

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