Friday, May 26, 2006


I guess in some respects ‘generic’ products are a good thing. These are the products that deal with the reality of individuals with depressed incomes. Individuals that find brand name medicines and foods too costly. So, in that respect, generic products are good.

But more and more society is using generic products for emotional matters. And although generic products might be a bargain when it comes to medicine or food, they are a shoddy substitute when it comes to relationships. Affection has to be real. Mimicry won’t do.

So I am so discouraged when I see a growing dependence on generic affection. When I see the philosophy of generics sneaking up on us so silently, so stealthily, so insidiously, that we don’t even know it is happening. And then, before we realize it, this attitude of economizing begins to overlap where it doesn’t belong. And soon, whether as self-protectionism, or whether out of ignorance, we stroll through life economizing emotional participation in our personal relationships. Reducing direct involvement until all we give to one another is a generic substitute for the real thing.

Now I am retired, and not well-heeled, so I oft find myself examining those cheaper yellow-label products. But I tend to shy away from them. From experience, I know that brand-name chicken broth is made from that which a chicken was dipped in, and generic chicken broth is made from the foot-wash of a crow. Real cheese is made from real milk, but I suspect that generic cheese is made from plastic, water, unpronounceable chemicals, and perhaps a bit of whey. And generic whipped cream offers the texture of raw-egg meringue and a soapy aftertaste rather than the sweet, decadent, ecstasy of real whipped cream. So like I so often say to Hub, “If the cost is prohibitive, I’ll eat less, but I want my food to be real.”

And so, when it comes to emotional stuff, my philosophy is similar. Don’t pander to me if that pandering is not the real thing. If what you feel for me is not genuine affection, then leave off treating me like a queen with a generic affectation that is meant to do the job, but doesn’t really come from the soul.

So now lets explore these thoughts a bit more. We all know that affection comes in various forms – empathy, understanding, generosity, nurturing. And so it probably won’t do us any harm to analyze the generic representations of these forms compared to the genuine thing starting with ‘empathy’.

‘Empathy’, when genuine, side-steps our own needs in order to find a ‘hit’ on what another is feeling. In moments of conflict it forbids the burying of our hearts and minds in a fury over what the other should be doing or isn’t doing. Empathy doesn’t require equalization payments. No careful auditing of who does more and who does less. Instead, genuine empathy, instead of pointing the finger, demands that we ask ourselves a really tough question. “What can I do to make things better?”

Next is ‘understanding’. Genuine understanding is a time-consuming bit of business. It takes patience and a whole lot of undivided attention to milk other’s thoughts about the things that are troubling them, particularly if the problems are intimate or shameful. Generic understanding is so much quicker. It compacts stuff into a two-minute interchange summed up in one short sentence, “I was once young/sick/anxious/stressed/broken-hearted, etc. so I know how you feel.” And just to make generic understanding more palatable, we might offer a material healer to the distressed party. Perhaps a new outfit, a trip, a spa-treatment, or some other gratuity. And why not? Generic and genuine closely mimic one another. So by offering yellow-labeled understanding, one doesn’t have to engage in the hard work and patience needed to get to the root of the matter.

Now we come to ‘generosity’. Genuine generosity is pretty straightforward. It is gifts from the heart rather than gifts from the wallet. Reverse this sentence and you have generic generosity. But when reversed, we find the two are not as closely related as we might like to believe.

And finally, there is ‘nurturing’. This is the category that bothers me the most. I have a big problem with society’s interpretation of nurturing when it comes to children, young people, wives or husbands, elders, and the sick and infirm. Genuine nurturing is much more than food, a bed, a roof, and well-laid-out plans for the future. And for children, even with the addition of the latest gizmos, games, educational toys, and extra-curricular activities, it is still generic. And for significant others, even with the addition of roses, dinners out, and exotic vacations, it is still generic. And with respect to the elderly, all that concern about euthanasia or quality of life just makes it more generic. Surprisingly, all that attention to detail doesn’t come close to genuine nurturing, because genuine nurturing is so much more than that.

Genuine nurturing is something probably considered impractical by a practical society. It is a cool cloth on a fevered brow, a comforting touch, a hug when it is needed most, a pleasant thought and the presence of another at a bedside, albeit in silent communion. It is a forgiving act, a gift of time, or a spontaneous expression of appreciation.

So go ahead. Stock the kitchen or medicine cabinet with Generic Products as much as you feel compelled to. But, for heaven’s sake, don’t let this kind of economizing touch the essence of your affection for those whose love and care you are entrusted with.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


A couple of posts back I outlined a New Meme and issued a silly challenge. The challenge being that I would write a blog about the most common search phrase on other’s blogs. (you know, just to keep traffic moving). And I said I would do this even if the search phrase was as ridiculous as ‘cats and salamandars’. But it’s so much worse then that – the phrase I am stuck with, the post that I must write to live up to that which I promised, is – “pictures of naked men!”

What do I know about pictures of naked men? I certainly didn’t know anything about such pictures when I was a kid. Modesty was my Mother’s middle name and she censored anything on paper that came in the door. I think she even maintained an ongoing suspicion about the ‘Free Press’ although you and I know there was no risk of pictures of naked men in that paper.

And, as kids, we couldn’t even use the catalogue as an oblique point of reference when it came to almost-naked men. My Mother eliminated that risk by tearing out all the pages of men’s underwear before we were allowed to look at it. So you can’t blame me if I gazed long and hard at the first picture I saw of a naked man in a book at school. A picture of statue, a Greek God no doubt, with no clothes on.

I thought it was an ugly business and decided then and there that the rule for exposure should be a Unisex rule. (Of course the term ‘Unisex’ had not yet been coined, but I use it here for the sake of brevity). I think most men, young or old, prefer women to follow the rule of mystery through modest cover-up. Women dictate women’s fashions, but I think, if the truth be known, men probably prefer to see a woman dressed in an elegant flowing gown with one shoulder bared or a bit of cleavage and the rest left to imagination. I’m not sure they appreciate bare midriffs. Or rear saddlebags exposed by ladies who artfully carve out the rear-end of a pair of shorts. Or even, over exposure of other parts of the body.

And similarly, this is how I prefer to see men depicted in real life. Fully clothed with sleeves rolled up and just a sexy bit of bicep or chest-hair showing (if they haven’t exfoliated it), and the rest left to my imagination.

Monday, May 22, 2006


When spring comes I become a hopelessly-romantic fool. It’s all part of the greater effect of warm sunny days, blossoming sweet-scented trees, croaking frogs, greening grass, and the twittering song of so many birds.

Now I’m not a bird watcher, bird identifier, and I am as deficient in bird-culture facts as I am deficient in the knowledge of gizmos and small motor repair. But I still love having birdies around.

This year there are many and they are just a-singin’. I noticed the sudden increase in bird song a couple of weeks ago when I was working outside. And because it was such a grand chorus, with so many sweet clear notes that I had not heard over the winter, I listened and tried to sort them out.

Some sang songs of sheer ecstasy about a new love. Some sang excited and welcoming words to old friends recently arrived from their winter holiday in the south. Some sang just to hear themselves sing. And others chattered and twittered with consummate joy over a new nest, a new home, and the expectation of a new family.

It is early yet and few, if any, of the smaller birds have hatched but I remember other years hearing Mom birds tutoring their new babes at eventide in the rhythm, sequence, and pitch of their theme song. This is one seminar that is such fun to listen to and you can easily identify the seminar from the sounds. What I heard was first a clear twee-twee-twitter-twit-twee that was immediately followed by an echo with four syllables instead of five. And then I would hear the master voice again. And again I would hear that small echo that now had a misplaced twee. And so the lesson would go on. I laughed. It was such a funny and endearing sound.

But some bird sounds are less endearing. While walking in the woods earlier this year, thoughtfully absorbing sounds, I heard agonizing squawks coming from what I took to be a large bird hidden up high in a giant spruce tree. Now I have been told and I expect it is true that larger birds nest earlier than the smaller birds. The larger owls nest very early. I guess this is just another example of the perfection of the laws of nature. It makes perfect sense that the nesting habits of birds should be paced and spaced to equalize food resources. Also it provides for a bit of air traffic control in peak season when large birds could be a mortal hazard to tiny birds if they were all criss-crossing the airways at the same time.

Nevertheless, because this was the sound of a large bird, I expected it was nested somewhere in the top of the spruce tree. And the squawking sound I heard immediately put me in mind of the noise I used to hear chickens make mid-morning when I was a kid on the farm. Their egg-laying always involved raucous squawks of protest. Usually a short repetition of loud curses culminating in one great long expletive. So on hearing repeated squawks of obvious discomfort from that big bird, I smiled to myself and concluded that this was probably an early nester.

And the sound? A birthing sound. Probably of a new Mom giving birth to an egg in a breech position. That would be so not nice.

P.S. This is just a wee rant to encourage the shutting down of artificial sounds and the return for a brief moment to nature’s sounds of romance, humor, and occasional agony.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Memes explore the contents of various things. Could be desks, bathroom cabinets, or anyplace for that matter. So with today's Meme, we are going to explore the search phrases that bring visitors to my site.

The most popular one is “girly calendar”. Every other day I get a hit from someone searching for “a girly calendar”. That makes me chuckle. I expect the searchers are deviants of one kind or another looking for some high definition bare breasts or bottoms to ogle over. And although they’ll find none here, they won’t have to leave empty handed. Because that particular post provides implicit instructions on how to create with absolute ease and simplicity a “girly calendar”.

Anyway, for interest’s sake, these are some of the other searches listed in order of their popularity.

Girly Calendar
Sound of angels singing
Harley Boys
Penmanship research
Putting Pantyhose on Cabbage Plants
When your boss disciplines you
Two sheets to the Wind

So how about using this Meme as a way to divert a wee bit of blog traffic. I want you to tell me what your most popular searches are (without topics like George Bush, or the Iraq war, or the New Conservatism). Just simple everyday stuff that we can all relate to in some common way. And from that list, if your most popular search phrase is “cats and salamanders”, let’s all write something about that (without plagiarism, of course).

So if you wish to participate in this challenge, come join the discussion and let's get started.

For those wanting to take part, Assignment One is a creative, thoughtful post about “girly calendars”.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Today I planted my garden.
Tomorrow I want it to rain because I have…

Bread to bake
Perogies to make
A block of cheese to grate

(I buy big blocks of quality cheese and grate it for the freezer rather than buy it ready grated. That way I am less likely to get a blend of cheese and filler that is only one ingredient away from plastic.)


And speaking of the garden, I need to tell you that in Hub’s enthusiasm to get the garden underway, he cultivated it when it was too wet. Now it is nothing but lumps. He’s done that before. I have pleaded with him numerous times not to do it but he ignored my pleas. He evidently has that farmer thing in his blood that loves the look of freshly turned soil – whether it be wet or dry.

But this year I got great backup for my side of the argument. While in town, Hub and I were stopped on the street by the town’s most notable chatterbox. During a reluctant exchange, I mentioned how lumpy my garden was. Ms Chatterbox took that minor comment and ran with it.

“You know what that’s from? That’s from cultivating the garden when it’s too wet. And it gets so lumpy that nothing can be done. My Dad ploughed my garden one year when it was too wet and it remained lumpy for three whole years afterwards.”

On and on she went, then without skipping a beat, she turned to Hub and said, “Who are you? The Lumpy Farmer?”

It was only a casual conversation but Hub bowed his head with shame. I was really pleased. Thanks to Ms Chatterbox, the Lumpy Farmer was finally humbled and I’m quite certain he will never do that again.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

# 148 A 'RAPTURE' - Devoid of Da Vinci's Code

This has not been a good year. Last week I lost another friend unexpectedly. Cancer took her so quickly, with little warning. But despite the shock, I am in amazingly good spirits. Comforted by those things that I know about her determinations of the meaning of life and death.

This friend was so unique. She was witty, clever, down-to-earth, funny, and yes, silly as well. But we loved her because of it or in spite of it. If you were pretentious, she would pick at you relentlessly until you were forced to be real. She absolutely refused, stubbornly, and willfully to play those games that the rest of us all play in our efforts to become more accepted and more respected. And no matter what the social conscious was in a stir about, she still gave priority to the inner dictates of her own heart and closed her ears to society’s latest roar.

Now I know it is odd to say, but if you had ever spoke with my friend, you would have known, as I did, in some mystical way from the dynamics of that discourse that here was a person who carved out her own path. You would have known here was someone who sought her own wisdom through experience and only ingested knowledge that would invariably be an asset to her sense of self. She was a ‘real’ person with a purity of character that is quite impossible for me to adequately define. Suffice it to say that my friend never got annoyed when other’s views were in opposition to her own. Because she expected that to be the case. After all, her wisdom was created in her soul. It was something that came out of a mix of past experience and primeval intuition. A mix devoid of social pressure, recorded history, or researched fact.

Now most of us would frown on that kind of bull-headedness. But we only think that way because we have adopted current society’s determination that life has only one mandate – to learn everything about everything that there is to know. We are so entrenched in this common thinking that none of us ever consider that we are being force-fed so much knowledge that the facts are killing the essence of our inner souls. Facts, like dragons, have a hot breath that dries up the fluids that lube the machinery of our conscience and spirituality.

So we live in a world where there are very few independent-minded individuals that have the ability to shed outside influences the way a well-oiled cloth sheds water. But my friend did that. She simply refused to tune in to social dictates. To her Society’s Chorus was a song of silence. And because of that she was unencumbered by the common held beliefs most of us have about life, death, and purpose. But that does not mean that she didn’t seek understanding. She did seek understanding and came to a very simple conclusion that left me rather awe-struck.

She concluded that what we observe in nature is how we are. That our lives mimic the life-cycle of ground-crawlers that climb trees and swath themselves in mummy-wraps where they dwell until they eventually morph into air-borne things of stunning beauty. My friend determined that our human-life ‘rapture’ (if you want to call it that), is simply a duplication of the ‘rapture’ of insects, like butterflies and dragonflies, that morph from earth creatures to creatures of the air. And so she described her body as only a cocoon – a temporary dwelling place. And her theory was that a ‘Day of Rapture’ would come when she would burst from that cocoon and take flight. With angel wings or butterfly wings? I really don’t know. Either way, it really doesn’t matter. I still think it was a wondrous thought.

And I can’t help but think that no matter if the creator is the traditional God of most Christian religions, or a less traditional God, there is still honor and reverence in her interpretation. In fact, I think he/she/it will probably find more worth in my friend’s interpretation than the interpretations of pious experts who study with such zeal every incomprehensible bit of writ they can glean from Bibles, ancient scrolls, inspired words, missing Biblical accounts, Opus Deys (sp?), or Da Vinci Codes.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


There are categories of fiction. First there is the unexpected exposure to fiction that happens to all of us at one time or another. You know how it is. Those all too frequent conversations with someone who promises to reveal ‘exactly how it happened’. And although the facts are told with conviction, you know what you’re hearing isn’t accurate.

So how should one react? I guess that depends on one’s assessment whether the creator of this fiction truly believes what they are telling you. If I am convinced that they sincerely believe what they are telling me, I can be pretty congenial about the crap I’m hearing. I can let it go. It’s relatively easy to forgive someone who doesn’t know any better.

But then there is that other kind of fiction. Those other half-truths told deliberately and knowingly. The stories that start out small, straight forward, and believable. But all it takes is one word to acknowledge that I am listening, and the story becomes an orgy of fact and fiction copulating and procreating at the speed of light. Beneath the rumble of the conversation I can hear a monster growing, stressing at the seams, expanding with hot air.

This kind of discussion is quite different from the fiction of the truth-challenged individual that doesn’t know any better. This is not so easy to disregard. In fact, I get truly annoyed. These are discussions offensive to my intelligence. Annoying enough, but meantime, my panties are in a bunch due to my frustrating efforts to remember my manners – the rule about listening when someone is talking. And what is even worse, by being mannerly, by continuing to listen, I find I am encouraging more of the same. So now the story teller is rambunctiously searching their fantasy world for more fictional additions.

So how do you handle this kind of exchange? More often than not I want to hold up my hand and yell “Rubber Boot!” and sometimes I do. But that is not always appropriate. Can one react like this when it is a Member of Parliament, Doctor, Church Minister, your boss, or a relative that you know for a certainty will become overly ballistic or burst into tears if you call them on their BS? The bursting into tears is the worst. Then what do you say, “I’m sorry you are such a liar.” So regardless of what I do, or don’t do, it is truly a dilemma. A dilemma because fact and fiction cannot be juggled around as if they were one and the same. It doesn’t work anymore than casting a moon in a daytime sky for sunbathing and a sun in a nighttime sky for sleeping. Each has a fixed place, a fixed function, and it is important that this is understood.

And so, in concluding this rant, I think I might have a solution. Maybe we just need to modernize and update our etiquette guidelines. Why not do society (and me) a grand favor by adding a new rule? A rule that at any given moment in time, it is acceptable to hold up the hand with all grace and decorum and yell loudly, “RUBBER BOOT!!” Accepting that as social etiquette would certainly condense the circular discussions in political circles, town hall meetings, school meetings, and in our private lives as well without damaging reputations of dignity.

So now it’s your turn. Any other solutions? How do you handle it when you are nailed down as a captive audience needing accurate information and finding that all you’re getting is a bunch of crap?

Sunday, May 07, 2006


This week, the artificially induced pregnancy of a 63-year-old woman in Britain has society debating if such a situation should be allowed? If parents at that age can do the job? The debate has me thinking that in order to explore the questions, maybe all I have to do is explore my own history.

Now I realize I’m not a poster child for this particular situation but with my mother being three months past her 50th birthday when I was born, there may be some similar applications. After all, depending on an individual’s particular state of health, there are OLD 70-year-olds and there are YOUNG 70-year-olds. The difference being that the former are frail sickly individuals, the latter active and healthy. And in light of this, the truth is that my parents were older than their years. My dad, because he had stomach ulcers and crippled legs. My mother, because she was a diabetic whose health rapidly declined due to a saturated diet of affordable starches. Bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta.

Now the paramount thing I need to tell you is that my parents, though old, were kind, loving, and unbelievably patient. My parents had a gaggle of kids. I am the youngest. So a large part of their patience had to do with how worn they were from struggling to get the older ones to do chores. So worn out that they eliminated chores from my list. The outcome of that decision was that decreased expectations radically increased tolerance and patience. But from my own standpoint, as easy as I had it then, today I am guilt-ridden and red-faced-ashamed at how little I did to help. Mom, my dear old Mom, made my bed and washed and ironed my clothes until I moved out. I could probably count on two hands how often I swept a rug, mopped a floor, or dried a dish.

And so, in my youth, there was no big push for me to do the many chores the older ones had to do. But at the same time, home-life before I was born was quite different. It was a busy lifestyle. There were farm animals to care for, fields to plant and harvest, endless household chores of cleaning, baking, canning, etc. All things critical to sustaining life in the midst of abject poverty. The motto back then was mandatory. If you don’t work, you don’t eat!

But in my years all that is a blurred memory. Probably ended when I was around 10 years old. Now life became existence in a kind of barren wasteland. Older siblings had moved out. There were now no farm animals, no field-work, and little social interaction. With older parents in forced retirement due to failing health, there was little physical activity. More often than not, there were just two old people at the kitchen table drinking tea and reading scripture to prepare for the next stage of life. Meanwhile my friends’ parents were out and about. Taking their children to the city, to card games, sports events, Bingo games, even dances. All wondrous amusements that had no context in my life.

So by the time I was born life was a calm quietude. And although the older kids said when they were young my Mom and Dad had loud and long arguments that once or twice came mighty close to the disastrous brink of separation, I saw no such thing. The testiest situation I remember is the insensitivity of my Dad as he snapped at tea time, “Woman, can’t you just leave the water long enough to come to a boil before you make tea?”

And my Mother would respond with an equal lack of diplomacy by whistling merrily, ‘I’m a Little Teapot’, and sometimes doing the actions to match. But nothing changed. Next pot of tea was also made with lukewarm water. She was just too tired to argue, too tired to care, too tired to wait for the water to boil. And so, for me, as a child, there was an ongoing embarrassment that my parents were too old, the house was too cluttered, and the tea was lukewarm. An embarrassment that I am mighty ashamed of now.

But what most impacted on my life because of the age separation was the affliction of my Mother’s fashion sense that was so separate from mine. My mother was rooted in Victorian-Principled modesty. Long-sleeves, dark colors, well-below-the-knee hem lines and close collars. And I, on the other hand, was rooted in ‘Victoria Principal’ fashions – short skirts, pointy bras, plunging necklines, etc. Surprisingly, this was one of my biggest difficulties that left me so scarred that even now clothes are far more important to me than they should be.

But at the same time, the rules that younger parents normally prioritize about chores, personal care and responsibility fell by the wayside. My parents having passed the competitive stage of life were now in the reflective stage. And so for them practical and material stuff were unimportant. More important – the soul-saving stuff.

And so that meant that instead of cleaning my room, doing dishes, washing floors, I was dogged about going to church and not wearing slacks, make-up, or earrings. I couldn’t go to dances, shave my legs or armpits, or even cut my hair. Of course, I still did a lot of these things in secret. I even managed, with the help of the minister’s wife, to break down the rule of ‘no slacks’. Unfortunately, what my parents didn’t realize, was that regardless of all their endeavors, one fact remains. ‘Kids will do what kids will do’, so the encumbrance of their spiritual rigidity led me (or should I say ‘forced me’) to tell more lies than I preferred to tell or would have told in a more tolerant clime.

And so the downside of their parenting philosophy was the lies, the limited socializing and lukewarm tea. I still find no easy comfort in crowds. And although there was encouragement to do my schoolwork, there was no discussion of where these efforts would lead me. No discussion about after-grad plans, money-making careers or money-making anything. The be-all and end-all was to sustain a strong core of spirituality and the rest was just supposed to magically happen by chance or through God’s blessing with no planning on my part. I guess with my parents fast approaching their sunset years, life was in the present day, the present time, with a real possibility that tomorrow might not come. And that adage was solidly passed on to me. Even now, ‘Plan’ remains a dirty four-letter-word that I never use.

But now I come to the upside. The pride I have in that which my elderly parents bequeathed to me. In retrospect, it is surprising that even without envisioning the future in a practical sense, they had a bigger global picture than most. One that encompassed, albeit by default, not only earth life, but all life. And for that I am grateful because it works far more efficiently than anything else I know of to surmount insurmountable obstacles and to encourage rather harsh auditing of self-serving determinations.

So despite the flaws, I credit my parents for some hidden thing in my subconscious mind that has always made me think that Hub and I could make it even when we were as separate in our thinking as the Arctic is from the Antarctic. And I credit them with giving me a deeper level of contemplation that goes beyond what society terms “success”. I credit them for my imagination. I credit my Mother, despite her biased way of thinking, with my ability to question other’s views enough to understand them and find acceptance in them. I even credit her with giving me the ability to give up long held beliefs (after all, she did eventually grant me permission to wear slacks).

And to those that would ask, “Can elderly parents be there for a child when he/she needs them?” Yes, they can. Mine were not there to drive me to extra-curricular activities when I was in school. I had to figure out a way to do that myself. But I never once came home from school to an empty house – ever! And always I had more than my share of emotional support. The sad part of it is that my own children were too young when my parents passed away to know them or remember them.

So in conclusion, let me assure you that this rant is not to suggest that children of younger parents are not fully encouraged to be humble, modest, and spiritual. But at the same time, we know that each life has a fixed portion of earth time. And the more of that earth time that is dedicated to scrambling to the top of the ant pile, competing, making money, finding ‘success’, material comforts, the less of that fixed time is dedicated to modesty, humility, and spiritual reflection. It’s not a foregone conclusion. It’s just something elusive that comes from serving lukewarm tea.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


This post is about a favorite game of mine that amused me for hours when I was between 6-10 years of age. I liked to play it alone as much as with an opponent. But since then, I have never heard of anyone playing it. What a shame. So I’m going to share it with you. We called the game ‘Seven-Up’.

Now I don’t do sketches or photos here so I’m simply going to describe the moves. But first the equipment. Nothing needed except a smooth shed wall (the ridges in regular house siding will make the game almost impossible) or windowless garage wall, and a 2” or 3” diameter soft bouncy rubber ball. The ground in front of the chosen spot should be level, free from debris, and firm. It could probably be played in a shop or garage as well as long as the ceiling is not too low.

The goal is to complete all the moves in sequence without error. A dropped ball, a flawed move, and back you go to start all over again. And as easy as the game seems, for a youngster it can be difficult.

These are the moves.

Seven-seys: Throw the ball against the wall 7 times and catch it.
Six-seys: Throw the ball against the ball, allow it to come back and bounce on the ground once, then catch it. (6 times)
Five-seys: Bounce the ball on the ground five times and catch it.
Four-seys: Throw the ball against the wall when it comes back, divert it with the palm of your hand, and without catching it, bounce it twice on the ground, then divert it with the palm to bounce off the wall, then catch it. (4 times)
Three-seys: Bounce the ball on the ground once then divert it with the palm of your hand against the wall and when it bounces back catch it. (3 times)
Two-seys: Throw the ball under one leg against the wall and when it bounces back, catch it. (2 times)
One-seys: Throw the ball against the wall, then spin around quickly, and catch it without letting it hit the ground. (once).

I had to write this post because I think this game was precariously close to passing into extinction. So then I have to ask, "Did you ever play this game? What games did you play as a youngster that might also be in danger of extinction?"

And by the way, burning bee’s nests with a flaming rag on a long stick and then running as fast as you can doesn't count (like where are you going to find a flammable rag?).