Thursday, April 30, 2009

And They're...Off!!

It's Kentucky Derby time
and it reminds me of my
days on horseback.

One day, to be exact.

One single day of
my entire life that I'll never forget.

You see, horses aren't my thing.
They are too big,
too unpredictable,
too uncomfortable.

But several years ago
on a family vacation to
my husband and kids
decided what fun it would be
to go horseback riding.

Well, if you have ever been the
odd man out,
you know how painful it is
to be the only team member
opposing an apparent
barrel of fun.

When I turned up my nose
at the idea,
I got those awful
"Oh, Mom!" groans
and they ganged up on me
like mice on Velveeta.

Pulling into the horse farm
way up on the misty mountain top
made me wish I had gotten
around to writing my will
before I had left home-
or had at least scrubbed the
toilet good for a final time.

It was as though I was
about to meet my fate.
And he looked very similar
to the Grim Reaper.

The owner tried very hard
to pair me up with the
gentlest horse he had,
but of course, I was also
very worried about what
steed the kids had chosen.

Erin wanted the pretty one,
Bec wanted the fast one,
and Jake wanted the best one.
My husband got the biggest one.

Well, I got the old one.

So old that I wondered if we
were both ready to meet
identical fates.

His name was Bones.

Once they finally got me up
into the saddle,
I looked like one of those
Old Navy mannequins
because I was deathly afraid to move.

We all lined up and set off onto
a wooded mountain trail.

"What's that noise? my husband asked,
following up the rear
on his giant stallion.

"I hear it, too", Jake said.

Then they all heard it.
It was my horse.

It was groaning.

It groaned every time
we climbed a hill
or descended back down.
And each time
Bones let out a
"I'm gonna die" groan,
the kids thought it was hilarious.

I suffered through the ride-
even the part where Becca tried
to get her horse to gallop fast.

And when the trail leader
said the horse up ahead
had been spooked by a snake.

I vaguely remember kissing the ground
when I got off my horse-
the old mare groaning
a sweet goodbye to me
before obviously heading off
to the big glue factory in the sky.

It is sad that the store lost
all our photos from that day.
Because sometimes
my story-
and their story
of the horseback ride
seem so totally different.

Yet, I feel good
that I caved in and gave
my family what they wanted-
a beautiful horseback ride
through the foggy mountain top
of Tennessee-
and Mom on a groaning horse
to laugh about for
the rest of their lives.

Today the smell of manure
and horse breath
and summer dust
and saddle leather
can still give me goose bumps.

And I never watch the Kentucky Derby
without shedding a little tear
for Bones.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Culinary Cowardice

Last week an old friend invited me
to a Pampered Chef party that
she was having in her new home.

Some women love that stuff.

It's like buying jewelry-
or shoes.

But other than the slight thought
of helping her meet her discount quota,
I had no desire whatsoever to attend.

Being surrounded by foreign
chopping, cutting, mixing
and blending objects
just seemed a little too much
like a torture chamber.

My choice of tools in the kitchen
is a spoon.
Once in awhile- a dull knife.
For a gourmet meal,
sometimes I'll dust off the mixer.

But it takes a major life event
for me to dig way back into
the junk drawer for
my spatulas, choppers,
carving knives and pastry bags.

(Of course, the blender
is kept plugged in at all times
in case I feel a margarita coming on).

Call me simple.

But buying these cool kitchen gadgets
would be like going into a sporting goods
store and buying a bunch of
exercise equipment.

First off, I wouldn't know how to use them.
Second, they would take up valuable room.
Third, they would soon be forgotten about.
Fourthly- (is that a word?)-
I might actually hurt myself with them.

Time for psychoanalysis here:

I had a dream when I was about ten
that some freak was going around
killing innocent people with a
potato peeler.
I think that for the next few nights
I slept with the covers over my face
and the closet light on.

Could that explain my aversion
to kitchen gadgets?
Could that be the root of
my indifference towards
culinary devices-
my negativity for kitchen
and contraptions?

More power to the woman
who is an artist in the kitchen.
I envy her in some sick way.

But, you know-
I've got my spoon.

And that's good enough for me.


After that kitchen story,
I hope you're not eating
because this post to yesterday's blog
might cause you to throw up
in your mouth a little:

Guess what some people
are buying now?

Reusable Sanitary Pads!

All I can say to that is:
Those people need to go
save their OWN planet-
wherever it may be!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Green, Green, It's Green They Say

When it comes to "going green"
I always seem to see red.

I can't quite wrap my mind
around the fact that some of
these "save the planet" ideas
are really going to make a difference.

And if you are an
environmental nut-
just skip this blog today
because you won't like my opinion.

Like I've said before-
I'm all for cleaning up waste
and waterways.
I think it's great they can
take a aluminum can
and recycle it-
or paper products, too.

But the other day
I read a magazine article
about other little ways
that we can save the Earth.

First of all, they say to never buy
another paper towel.
That they are wasteful.
The experts recommend
using dish cloths and sponges.

That is so opposite of what we've
been taught for years-
that rags and sponges breed
germs and bacteria.
Are we to sacrifice our own
family's health in order
to feel good about going green?

I was in front of a woman
at Goodwill the other day
that was buying a king sized flannel sheet.
She told the cashier that
her daughter was having a baby
and she was making "baby wipes"for her.

She raved about the
money-saving advantages
and also about the favorable
environmental impact.

She said she cuts the soft sheet
material into wipe-sized pieces
and soaks them in a solution of
baby oil and shampoo
(and whatever else)-
and zips them into baggies.

She smiled proudly when she
announced they can be washed
and soaked
and used
again and again.

What I wanted to ask her is
where they store those
urine soaked poopy pads
until laundry day!

I think that's going a little overboard.
Don't you?

I read also
that we should all
save the wax paper liners
in our cereal boxes
and wrap sandwiches in them.


If I sent my husband a sandwich
in his lunch
wrapped in a cereal bag
he would have me committed.

What kind of goony can you be
to resort to such extremes?
And you are mistaken
if you think you're making
a difference on the planet-
when twenty of your closest
neighbors are popping out the
Ziplocs and conveniently
preserving their ham and cheese.

Why not save your cardboard
toilet paper roll
and use it as a cell phone cover?

How about using dryer lint
to knit a jacket?

But, I must tell you this-
the magazine article I read
had some excellent, excellent advise.

It said that if you always
have a stack of magazines
on your coffee table-
save some trees!
Get off the mailing list
and subscription list
and limit your catalogs.

And that
is exactly what I'm gonna do.

For a publication that thought
they were so smart about going green-
they just shot their self
in the head.

Monday, April 27, 2009

One Step Forward- Two Steps Back

My husband and I took advantage
of the beautiful weekend
to do some much needed chores
and clean up around the house.

Why is it
that this morning
my house is in utter shambles?

Let me backtrack and see...

I had been after my husband
for months to buy and install
a new kitchen faucet for me.
Mine was double-handled,
made scary noises
and went out with bell-bottoms.

I was elated when we made a
quick trip to town for a
single handled modern faucet
and I couldn't wait to get
it installed.

"What tools do you need
besides a beer?", I asked my hubby,
trying to jump start our first project.

Just when I thought I
got it all together,
he informs me that
"all the crap"
under the sink needed moved, too.

Out it went onto the kitchen floor.

In I went under the kitchen sink.

It seems he decided to instruct me
on the fine art of plumbing.
Lucky I was too weak to twist the nuts
or I'd still be under there
cracking away with a crescent wrench.

So, eventually my new faucet
was shiny and operative-
but I had to leave all my cleaning
products on the floor
because we quickly moved on
to the next assignment.

We replaced the storm doors with
screens and wouldn't you know
that they were hidden behind
layers of stuff in the front closet.
I had to pull out all the winter
coats and jackets and
umbrellas and hats
and boxes of books
and photos
and seasonal decor
and lamps
and wall art
and toys-
to get to the screens.

It's great to have
a nice breeze through the
doors this morning,
but my front room
looks like a rummage sale,

it was on to cleaning
out the car trunk.
There we found a pile
of dirty work clothes
and they were thrown straight
onto the floor of
the laundry room.

There are grass clippings
needing swept,
an oil leak from the lawnmower
on the garage floor,
muddy shoes
from our plowed garden spot,
an old faucet to trash-
and some cardboard boxes
to burn.

we got a lot done this weekend.
But somehow...

it just don't feel right!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And They Called It Macaroni

It's so refreshing to be able
to write about something today
that I absolutely love.


Tomorrow just happens to be
International Macaroni Day.

Otherwise known as pasta,
this versatile, multi-shaped
wheat product makes a
delicious entree,
side dish,
or snack.

Macaroni can be topped,
and sinfully smothered
with an assortment
of sauces, cheeses
and herbs-
it can be stuffed,
baked and buttered.

It can be served hot or cold
any time of day
and any day of the week.

Adults and children alike
enjoy macaroni-
and Kraft made
Macaroni and Cheese
a household name-
marketing the first
box in 1937.

I love spaghetti
and chili mac
and pasta salad
and just about every kind
of macaroni and
every kind of topping for it.

In the two decades from 1975 to 1995,
Americans increased their
pasta consumption by 90 percent.
However, a shift toward
low-carbohydrate diets
in the late 1990s began to
cause a drop in pasta sales.

Approximately fifty companies
produce virtually all the pasta made
in the United States through
266 establishments.

On average,
each American consumes
about 19 pounds of pasta a year.


Wait a minute.

On closer observation,
I realize that my calendar
doesn't say macaroni.

It says Marconi.
You know-
the Italian inventor
who developed the
wireless telegraph.

As Rosanne Rosanna Danna
would say-

Never mind!

Imaginary Friends

A few months ago, while I was
flipping channels,
I ran across the old black and white
version of the movie "Harvey".

It's the story of Elwood P. Dowd
and his imaginary friend Harvey-
who happened to be giant white rabbit.

Although Harvey seemed to
constantly get Elwood into
sticky predicaments,
there was a bond of sweetness
and trust between them.

This reminded me of my girls
when they were little-
of a time when they both
adopted imaginary friends.

Yet, their invisible companions
were not giant rabbits-
but other little girls
that were elfish and ornery
in character
and became the scapegoat
for every bad thing that
was ever done in our household.

After cleaning house one morning,
I was angry to find all the
couch cushions piled up in
the middle of the floor.

"Okay, guys- who did this?
I'm trying to clean!"

Becca replied, "D.B."
Erin said, "Beckle."

And so, for months,
D.B. and Beckle took full
responsibility for spilled milk,
muddy shoes,
and outrageous misbehavior.

Luckily, D.B. and Beckle
were short-lived-
and one day they simply
ceased to exist.

Studies have shown that
65% of children have had
an imaginary friend by
the age of 7.

Twenty-seven percent of
the children studied
described an imaginary friend
that their parents did not know about.

Fifty-seven percent of the imaginary
companions of school-age
youngsters were humans
and 41 percent were animals.

One little girl had inherited her
imaginary friend from her older brother.
When the boy had started school,
he told his mother about a
little girl named "Margarine"
who had helped him get through
the scary first day of preschool.

He talked so convincingly
and with such vivid description,
that the mother thought Margarine
was a real little girl -
until she tried to
contact her parents to thank them.

Margarine became part of
the family stories and lore-
so much, that she eventually followed
the younger sister to school.

Most children lose their imaginary friends
by the age of twelve and experts
feel that it is not unhealthy
unless it exists into adulthood.

Invisible friends that
continue into adulthood may
signal a serious psychological disorder.

(Ya' think?)

One such adult tried to
sell his imaginary friend on eBay.
This guy's imaginary friend was
named Jon Malipieman.
The image above is a picture of
this imaginary friend.
The man that sold Jon lived in the UK
and said that he was selling Jon
because he felt like he had grown out of him.

In the listings for the product the seller
stated the following:
“My imaginary friend Jon Malipieman
is getting too old for me now.
I am now 27 and I feel I am
growing out of him.
He is very friendly.
Along with him, I will send you
what he likes and dislikes along
with his favorite things to do and
his personal self portrait.”

His self portrait is the picture
you see above.
Amazingly Jon Malipieman got 31 bids
and ended up selling for over $3,000 dollars.

If you ask me,
that's pretty good money
for a lot of nothing.

that got me to thinking...
I wonder what D.B and Beckle
would sell for!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Luck- Or Faith?

Although my kids tease me
about my old-lady eyesight,
I always astound them
with my gift
of finding four leaf clovers.

In a sea of three-leaf look-alikes,
my eye seems to find the mutant,
the rebel,
the not-so-ordinary.

In a matter of minutes,
I can have a virtual
bouquet of four-leaf wonders.

When I was a little girl,
an elderly neighbor lady,
Mrs. Alden, taught me
to search closely-
to try and see each plant
individually and not
as a whole bed of clover.

"Look for the "Squares"
and not the "Triangles",
she'd tell me.

Perhaps that is why I still
see things differently-
why the uniqueness of
objects attract me.

I usually press my finds into a book,
but sometimes they are forgotten
and shrivel up
into crunchy green dust.
I regret it later-
that I didn't take the time
to preserve my lucky charms.

I had to mow the lawn the other day
and decided I would do a quick
scan of the clover bed
beneath the picnic table.

There was my first
four-leaf clover of the year!

I thought to myself-
too bad it's really not magic-
too bad it's not like a genie
and can grant me wishes.

But then-
as I began my mowing chores-
I had time to think more about it.

I am a lucky gal.

I am so blessed
with the family, husband,
children, and home
that I have.

My life is good,
and most times easy-
and I feel very loved.

I may not have
all the things I want.
But I have more than
I really need.

Call it luck, fate
or God's plan,
but however I have come
to experience these joys,
I feel thankful.

And I realize that God
does not see us as
an entire bed of clover,
but he sees us
as individuals.

That we are unique in his eyes
and he can see us amid
an ocean of pain
and uncertainty-
and can hear our prayers.

I just wanted to say
"Thanks, Lord"
for all your gifts.
For blessing me
with such "luck".

For seeing me
as the little square
that I am!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Do You See What I See?

I've been trying to decide lately
if I want to have a yard sale
or simply haul my un-wanteds
to the Goodwill.

It seems only fair that
I give back to them
as much as I buy there.

If you haven't been
to your local Goodwill lately,
you ought to pop in
on a bright Saturday morning
and take your time browsing.

Sometimes you just
have to have "an eye"
for the stuff there.

I bought a really nice picture
an obscure western type
painting with great colors.
Most people would pass it up.

But I saw what it could be.

With a nice dark frame
and a brown mat,
I can see this as having
a prominent place
on one of my walls.

(See above photo.
I still have the $2.50
price sticker on it.)

A lot of things
can be salvaged with
a little paint.
Or- in some cases-
leave the aged look
for a nice effect.

I bought a white,
table-top plant stand
last week for a dollar.
It's going to look
great on my deck
full of petunias.

And I love keeping
an eagle eye out for
party ideas and accessories.

My big 70's Disco party
is slated for June
and so far I've discovered
wonderful cheap stuff
at the Goodwill
that I know I can incorporate
into the festivities.

(I'm still trying to find
an afro doll wig for
my flamingo)!

And even though Halloween
is way off-
I'm picking up a few
orange and black items already
to gear up for that party.

I rarely buy clothes
(other than costumes),
but yesterday I
found a great pair
of Ralph Lauren jeans
for five bucks
and some tops for
my granddaughter Chloe.
Aeropostle, Abercrombie,
and Mary Kate and Ashley
tees were only $2 each.
Beats full price any day.
And they were in like-new

I guess I got off track
about the yard sale thing.

On second thought-
maybe I'll just keep all my junk.

I'm sure I can find some use for it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Is There An App For THAT?

While visiting my sister
the other day,
I couldn't help but notice
my nephew Austin's
cool iPhone.

Although I'm a true
tech dummy,
lately I've been trying
to expand my knowledge
of the huge variety
of computer savvy
wonders now available
to us all.

Austin showed me a few
of the applications
that his iPhone has,
(Also known as "Apps"),
and I was blown away
by the utter
"neatness" of the
whole thing.
Also, the weirdness.

He could blow softly into
the microphone outlet
and it would transfer into
a flute sound on the phone.
Then he could listen to someone
on the Earth that
was also "playing the flute"
at that very moment.

if he hummed a song into it,
the phone would
tell him what song it was
and the artist.

Austin also had a keyboard App
where he could play piano.
He even had an App to
measure your mood.
Too cool!

I did some investigating
when I got home later,
and was totally amazed
all the number of Apps
and fantastic devices
that are available.

You can keep track of your
bank balance,
keep a grocery list,
tune into a personal trainer App,
and watch your calories.
You can calculate
fast food nutrition info,
read the Bible or
Stephen King,
and even take an IQ test.

There are hundreds of things
you can do on a simple
little phone.

It got me to thinking about
what kind of Apps
I would need if I ever
own an iPhone.

I've made up seven of my own.

1. NSF Advisor:
This cool App will buzz loudly
and actually shock you with
a live electric current when your
bank account slips dangerously
near overdraft.

2. TP Alert:
This technically outrageous App
will not only tell you that you are
out of toilet paper at home,
but it will also tear off the empty
cardboard roll and replace it.

3. Foot Fun:
This health-inspired App
turns your phone into
a foot massage. Simply
activiate the App, slip on the
handy disposable germ guard,
and rub your soles for
a relaxing break at work.

4. Tubby Tooter:
This miracle App sends out
a high decibel honk
whenever you cross the
fat line into obesity.
(According to regulations
set by the FDA, AMA,
and Hostess.)

5. B.O. Boss:
Running late and forgot
to slap on your deodorant?
No worries.
With this App, your choice
of under arm care is dispensed
through the microphone.
This state of the art App
will save you from tortuous
social embarrassment.

6. Breathalyzer Buddy:
Not only does this App
detect garlic, onion,
and other unattractive halitosis,
but a simple puff of breath
on the phone screen
will tell you whether you
are under the legal alcohol limit
for your state.

7. Sorry!
This indispensable App
is a virtual novel of excuses.
Want to get out of going
to your cousin's baby shower?
To tired to cook dinner?
Forgot to pick up the dry cleaning?
Well, just type your problem
into the phone and it will
offer a hundred legitimate excuses
for every situation.
Guaranteed to work.
Never be caught off guard again!

Yes, I'm getting more and more
tech smart everyday...

Someday, I might even learn
to keep my cell phone charged.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Love Beyond Measure

My first granddaughter turns
nine on Monday and her big
party is tomorrow.

It seems like only yesterday
that she was born.

Here's a little poem
that I wrote about her
a month before she came
into the world.

It's titled:

In A Little While

I went out to take a walk today
And saw some friends along the way-
Everyone I ran into
Was asking about YOU.

First I met a baby bee-
She came flying up to me-
All excited and barely humming-
"When is Baby Cady coming?"

"When is Cady coming?"
sang the sparrow-
"Today, tonight,
or to-morrow?"
Then a butterfly
came drifting by-
"When will Baby Cady be born?
Night or day or early morn?"

I shook my head,
"I cannot say
what time or hour
or even the day-
But I am anxious as all
the world to see-
Caydence smiling up at me."

Then I passed a baby deer-
"When will Cady Rae be here?"

"When is Cady coming?"
(They ask me still).

"I'll let you know-
I certainly will-
I'll announce it from
the highest hill!"

"When will Baby Cady come?"
Again they ask before I'm done)...

And I just answer
with a smile-

"In a little while..."

Caydence is my little light.
She shines the stars for me
and makes me laugh.
I love her beyond imagining.

Happy Birthday, Cady!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Can't You Read The Signs?

I think that most people,
especially women,
tend to deny the fact
that they are aging.

It seems a though
the signs creep up on us,
like a grim reaper's shadow-
and we attempt to
ignore it's presence.

Sure, make-up will
hide the wrinkles
and age spots.
Exercise will help the
joints and circulation.
Diet will aid in agility
and heart health.

there are some things
that come with aging
that are more difficult
to handle.

I guess I'm here now
to tell you all
that I had a wake up call
the other day,
and I feel like it's my
female-born duty
to tell this story,
although it practically
labels me as senile.

I was making my
normal WalMart trek-
trudging through the aisles
with the loudest cart
known to man-
with a squeaky wheel
that merged right
when I wanted to go left-
and the essense of
old onions
permeating from it's
chrome basket.

(See, here's an example of aging.
If my sight and smell
were better,
I would have instantly known
NOT to pick that cart-
my senses would have been tuned-
instead of finally realizing
my shopping cart needed to
be taken out and shot
when I was already half-way
across the store.)

I was browsing like usual,
and of course, came upon
the big red CLEARANCE sign,
where I slowed to a crawl.

I was positive that
there was something there
that I needed.
Some great bargain
that I could go back home
and brag about.

I was proud of myself
that I remembered my
daughter saying that
she needed shampoo
and conditioner.
(See- I haven't lost
my memory completely!)

I spied an attractive
coral-colored group of
bottles with even
more-attractive clearance
Regularly $6.99-
these hair products
were now only $3.00!

Wow! Not only would I
save money, but I
would really look good
in my daughter's eyes-
(A dear, sweet mom
that remembers things
and lets loose of
actual cash
in order to obtain
her daughter's favor).

Returning home-
(after telling the WalMart cashier
to take that horrid cart
to the Supermarket Scrap Yard),
I unpacked my things
and rounded up the
shampoo and conditioner.
I placed them in plain
sight in my daughter's bathroom,
posing them just perfectly
on the vanity
so that she would see them
and say, "Aww, Mom-
didn't have to do that! How sweet."

And then she would thank me
and kiss me on the head
and I would smile-
feeling suddenly
younger and brighter
and in tune with the world.

She arrived home from work
and immediately went into the
I waited in the kitchen
in anticipation,
wiping down the same place
on the counter several times,
until I heard her say.

My face spread with a secret smile-
(You could have fed me
a banana sideways!)-
and I went to see the appreciation
on her face.

"Is this for me?" she asked,
not sounding quite as enthusiastic
as I had hoped.

"Yes", I replied firmly,
feeling empowered.

"Well, thanks," she said,
"but do you realize that
this is Afro-Sheen?"

AGE creeps up on us all...

Of course, at that particular
moment, it tackled me
to the ground
and beat the hell out of me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just Say "Cheeeeese Ball!'

After posting the blog about
my sister Jewel's winning
chili recipe,
I've had a request for
Jewel's cheese ball recipe
MA Fat Woman.
(For a great laugh, read her blog at

Here goes:

Jewel’s Veggie Cheese Ball
Ingredients:2 Large pkgs. Cream Cheese (Softened)   
1 pkg. Smoked Beef (Ham, Beef )

1/2 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix (Dry)

1 Tbsp. Worchester Sauce

1 tsp. Tabasco Sauce (Optional)

Small pkg. of Pecan Crumbs

1 Box Ritz or other party crackers.

Method: Chop Meat very fine (can put in food processor)
Add to soften cream cheese, along with all
remaining ingredients except
Mix together and put on saran wrap.
Pull saran wrap around cheese and form
into ball.
Roll in pecan crumbs.
Serve with crackers.

I have found it very easy to put
2 or 3 packages of Knorr Vegetable Soup
mix in
the blender and grind up to a course powder.
I put it in a zip lock
bag and can use it
any time I need to make a cheese ball or
add to some home
made soup. If you use
the powdered soup, just add 3 tablespoons
to the
cream cheese mix in place of the
½ package. It makes a creamer cheese

ball but with the same great flavor.

Sounds so yummy right now!
Now here's one of my best recipes:

Rae's Best Deep Dish Pizza

First, put Pizza Hut on speed dial.

Nest: Find weekly coupon or
Two for Tuesday deal.

Call and place order.

Get in car.

Drive to Pizza Hut, or better yet,
take advantage of free delivery.

Come home,
get out the good china
and chow down!

Now, that's what I call

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To a Special Sister

Today is my sister Linda's
birthday, so I wanted to
take today's blog as an opportunity
to say "Happy Birthday" to her.

Here's a little ditty
about Linda!


L- is for the Laughter she shares-
even if sometimes we aren't
just laughing with her-
but at her.

I- is for her Ingenious ideas.
Like the time we were out of
lemons, so she suggested having
banana wedges with our tequila shots.
(Not her best idea).

N- is for Never ceasing to amaze.
She once ate an earth worm
(for a $10 bet)
and a locust-skeleton
dipped in chocolate syrup.

(Did I mention she
was crazy?)

N is for Nap.

D- is for her favorite word,
We like it too, Linda-
especially when you say it.

A- is for Always being ready
for new ideas,
projects or parties.

And for Always being a
shoulder to cry on-
a buddy to laugh with-
and a friend to grow old with.

(And for Always commenting
so eloquently on my blog.)


She never thinks I'm crazy-
because she's crazier.
And she never thinks I'm old-
cause she's older! ha!

Linda, may all your wishes come true.
Even the fantastic one about
being stranded on a
quiet, peaceful,
desert island
with only Wayne-
and a giant jug
of margaritas.

I love you so much.
May happiness be your shadow
in sunshine and in rain.

Happy Birthday!
Happy Year!
Happy Life!

You're the best!


Monday, April 13, 2009

The Greatest Show On Earth

One of my great passions in life
is writing.

But one of my greater passions
is having money.

Blogging everyday
doesn't put money in the bank-
(and most times doesn't get
my house cleaned, either).

I've looked in the classifieds
and even logged onto
Monster Jobs
searching for something
appropriate for my age.
But, I don't have a
truck drivers license,
a nursing degree,
my hands are too weak to stuff
envelopes all day-
and my tongue is getting
too old to lick them all closed.

Aside from digging an early grave
and simply becoming a WalMart greeter,
I run into a brick wall when it comes
to finding a job.

But perhaps there is hope.

This morning I found out that
one industry is actually
looking for new talent.

Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey
Circus is actively seeking auditions
for clowns.

After some thought, I realized
that it could be the perfect choice.
It encompasses every thing
that people look for in a job.

You get to travel.
So what if you're closed up in a hot
canvas tent all day
and constantly step in elephant dookie?
Not everyone gets a chance
to be roommates
with a bearded lady or
a fire eater.
And you never grow tired
of the scenery-
the caravan never stays in
one town too long.
See the beach-
the mountains-
the Mayberry's
and Orange Counties, too!

You can hide your wrinkles.
Nothing can make aging lines
disappear faster than layers
of cake makeup
or solve the thinning hair
problem than with the aid of
assorted wigs.
And, hey- if you're in
a crappy mood-
just paint on a great big frown,
a giant tear drop,
and feel sorry for yourself
the whole live-long day!

Nose too big?
Well, a red ball will cover
any size "schnoz"
and any evidence
of you sipping from
the whiskey flask.

Your faults are assets.
Have problems with balance,
or an unattractive body type?
No one will notice if you trip or
stutter in the circus!
And those giant parachute
clown suits can hide a multitude
of fat rolls
and saggy boobs.

Sources say that some
circus trainers make 200,000
dollars a year.
Most clowns make around
15 thousand, but get an additional
10-15 for living expenses.

I mean, what could a good
air mattress,
and cell phone cost anyway?
You wouldn't have to buy clothes,
spend money on gasoline,
or vacations.


So, if you look here one day
and I've suddenly stopped Blogging,
chances are-
I've gone to join the circus!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I'm Not Egg-Aggerating!

I don't ever remember
my mother letting us kids
dye Easter eggs.

Probably because she wasn't

What parent in their right mind
would gather up vinegar
and dye
and fresh boiled eggs
and glitter
and stickers
and crayons
and markers
and water-
and then their kids go wild?

Well, apparently,
I've personally had
some psychological problems
in the past,
because I used to dye eggs
with my kids
and my grand kids.

Martha Stewart makes it look
so beautifully simple.
The charming rosy-cheeked
children sit patiently by
while the eggs are divided
and the dye cups are filled.

Then they politely dip their eggs
and gently wait for them to dry-
adding a sweet hint of glitter
or a bunny sticker.
Then the adorable eggs are
displayed as a centerpiece
at the dinner table on Easter.

First of all,
my boiled eggs
usually come out of the pan
with globs of white brain-looking-matter
squeezing out of the cracks.

Out of two dozen boiled eggs,
I might get lucky and have
six or eight to give the kids.

Even then- they fight over
who gets what color of dye first-
and they joust angrily
with their wire dippers
until the other one gives up
and goes off to another dye cup
in defeat.

Eggs roll
and crack
and bust
and end up on the floor
and walls
and everywhere but
the allotted craft area.

There is glitter on the ceiling-
stickers on the TV,
and dye on the curtains.
I've utilized a double roll
of Bounty
and filled my Dirt Devil.

There are even jelly beans
stuck to the dog.

And after six rainbow colors
to choose from,
all the eggs turn out
a grayish-brown
with chunks of shell missing.

I can still see it now.
I shudder at the memory.

Insanity is not a pretty picture.

So, my lesson?
Plastic is the way to go.

Cheap, clean, and
very, very clever.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And The Winner Is.....

My mom never really taught
any of us kids to cook.

We gathered what little skills we have
by simply watching over her shoulder
as she fried pork chops to a crisp,
stirred lumpy flour gravy,
or guarded the pressure cooker
so that the stew
wouldn't blow up.

That's why today-
with great pleasure-
I introduce my sister Jewel
as the new reigning
Elks Chili Cook Off Champion!



Jewel must have watched mom
better than the rest of us.

Of course, that's hard to believe
because Jewel was always
teasing her hair in front of the mirror-
layering on the White Rain
with inches of clear cement protection-
or singing to herself as she
slid on bobby socks
and A-line skirts.

She spent a lot of her down time
chasing us from the house
or ignoring us so completely
that we thought we were actually

I remember watching her
polish her canvas tennis shoes white
and spending twenty minutes
getting her stretchy headband
to fit in front of the ratted lump
on her bullet proof hair.

She never had much use for
little sisters then.

But, I've got to say-
she's totally made up for it
since we've all grown up.

Jewel makes everyone feel special.

She goes the extra mile
and volunteers her time
and talent wherever it is needed.

And chili is not her only winning dish!
She's known for her fantastic
cheese balls,
hamburger soup,
and casseroles.

In comparison,
I am known for my
frozen pizza?

You gotta give her credit
for fine tuning those skills
and becoming Chili Queen.

Can't wait to get a taste of
her delicious recipe!

Congratulations, Sis!
Love you.
When's dinner?

Makin' Memories

I took a few days off to take care
of my hubby who was suffering
from a spring flu bug.
But he's all better now
thanks to some good 'ol chicken soup,
warm slippers, Alka-Seltzer Plus,
and being treated like a god for
two days!

Honestly, I didn't get much
time with him
because it's spring break
for my grand kids
and it was my turn to watch them
on Monday and Tuesday.

"Watch" is a very vague term.
With my grand kids, it is
more appropriate to say
"entertain", "referee", "listen",
and "be amazed".

I remember when my children
were little.
A good cartoon and some
tater tots was all it took
to keep them satisfied
for an entire afternoon.

With my grand kids,
I felt like I had to prepare the
night before like a teacher does.
What will they do?
What will they eat?
What will they watch?
What will they play?

Luckily, they both love art projects,
and it was even luckier
that I just happen to have a
craft room.
(Well, it's really a hunting room,
extra bedroom, party supply, gourd
carving, odds and ends room.)
But, I managed to find markers
and glue and scissors and glitter
and paper of all colors.

We sat around the dining room table
and ended up making pipe cleaner
people with tissue paper clothes
and they colored a rejected gourd
that I started and never finished.

Then, with the mess still spread out
on the table,
the fun flowed into the living room
where every pillow, throw,
and footstool
was constructed into tents.
Inside they held the dog prisoner
and ate their yogurt crush cups.

To extend their attention span,
I rounded up a couple of glow sticks
that I hadn't used at Halloween
and I pulled all the blinds and curtains.
They got a good hour of pretend
camp-out from of those 89 cent
neon wands.

After that, crackers and cheese
made a great snack,
but also made a great mess
in the kitchen.
You would think for an
and a five year old
that they would find their mouths
fairly easily.
How come most of the crackers
ended up on the floor,
the Kool-aid on the table cloth,
and the cheese in the dog dish?

My house hadn't been so messy
since the year we remodeled.
I stood back and looked
at the path of destruction
and almost wanted to cry.

But, later,
when the dust had settled
and they wound down into little angels,
my granddaughter hugged me
and said,
"Nana- I'm glad you're not a neat-freak."

And, you know what?
I'm glad I'm not either.

Because they'll always remember
the fun they had on their spring break-
when Nana let them
destroy her house-
but made some wonderful memories
in return.

It was worth every cracker crumb.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wall Street Meets Sesame Street

Wall Street met Sesame Street last week
when it was reported that the popular
public television show was cutting jobs
due to the strained economy.

The following is a personal interview
that I conducted behind the scenes
concerning this disappointing announcement...


It is a hot day on Sesame Street, USA,
but I can feel a chill run up my spine
as, one by one, some of TV's best loved characters
gather around the popular street light
to voice their outrage over the cutbacks.

I asked them all how they were
handling the news.

"Me sad", says Cookie Monster,
"Me not know
if me can
find work someplace else.
This my
This my life.
This my home.

Me already can't afford cookies.
How me be Cookie Monster without

Grover gently hugs Cookie Monster in a tearful
display of deep friendship and sympathy.

"I've been waiter- I've been Super Grover-
I live with Mommy-
but I worry, too", he says in his
graveled tone.

It is evident that even Big Bird
feels the stress of possible unemployment
by the unseasonal molting of his once-thick
yellow feathers.
Instead of his usual perky attitude, Big Bird
stays in the back of the group,
occasionally reassuring his teddy bear Radar
that everything will be OK.

"Kermit The Frog here", the long-legged
amphibian speaks up.
"I'll do well, I'm sure.
Everyone is going green nowadays,
so it's easier being green than, let's say,
back in the '70's-

and plus-I now have more time
to look for my Rainbow Connection.

And he breaks out in song:
"Someday we'll find it-
the Rainbow Connection-
The lovers, the dreamers,
and meeeee."

And then:

"I've alvedy put my vesume in at
local accounting firm." the Count suddenly
says in his choppy accent.
" I've ven vith Sesame Street for one year,
two year, three year, four year, five year..."

Count Von Count's voice trails off
as Oscar the Grouch pops from his
garbage can, in his typical surly mood,
adding his thoughts to the group.

"No problem." Oscar says, waving a
furry green hand,
" I didn't like it here anyway.
Sesame Street sucks!
Me and
my pet worm Slimy
are gonna hit the road."

The group shuffles uncomfortably, as a
familiar accent continues to break the
odd silence:
" twenty-two year, twenty-three year ,
year ...."

Ernie and Bert look at one another
in despair and encourage the team to
gather for a final Sesame Street song.

"Gloomy day... Can't sweep these clouds away-
On our way
to where we'll face defeat...
Can you tell me what to do- what to do-
after Sesame Street?
What to do after Sesame Street?"

Tears well up in their
furry and feathery eyes
as the counting continues:
"twenty-seven year, twenty-eight year...

The lights go dark on 123 Sesame Street.
The music grows silent.
It's a sad day for us all.

Sesame Street, USA.
Just another victim of America's
grim economy.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chillin' With My Peeps

When you want to buy your favorite person
a special Easter gift-
and can't afford the gourmet chocolates,
expensive stuffed toys,
or a variety of DVD's and books,
it's time to seek out some Peeps.

Beautifully colored,
but dirt cheap,
these sugary marshmallow treats
grace the shelves of every store in town.
Chick shaped, bunny shaped,
and even the new tulip shaped
always seem to bring a smile
to the recipients face.

Fun to look at.

Weird to eat.

To me they are like
biting into a crunchy Nerf ball.

But being so pretty and so cheap
got me to thinking that surely
there are other uses for these
little sweet animals
besides edible consumption.

Here are a few ideas:

Peeps are great substitutions
for badminton birdies.
Light-weight and versatile,
these marshmallow treats
light up the net area like rainbows
in flight.
Once their eyes begin to be
annihilated by the racket, however,
it's time to replace them with a fresh Peep.

Peeps make great packing material for
those fragile articles that you must ship.
Not only do they make a fantastic artistic
display in place of bubble wrap,
they will not harm the environment, either.

Thread a few Peeps on a string
and they instantly become
a retro-style necklace,
an Easter tree ornament,
or a innovative cat toy.

Peeps make a great antenna topper for your car.
So much classier than a Jack in The Box head,
more colorful than a Nascar miniature,
and more durable than a stupid smiley face.

I found out that they make great
art projects by gluing and pasting them
to old picture frames,
wooden boxes
and tin cans.
Just a thick coat of polyurethane
will protect your Peep masterpieces
from rodents and insects.
With a little extra TLC,
they will last forever.

Peeps can be the poor person's
action-figure doll.
Miniature clothing and a few select props,
and you've got a day's worth of fun!

So, you won't find me eating my Peeps.
Instead, I'm dreaming of new ways
to introduce them to society.

You'll find us...
just chillin'.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easy Rider

It's almost time in my part of the country
to start cutting the grass.
It's time to tune up the lawnmowers
and rig up the weed eaters
and be prepared for a yard that
will never stop growing
until October.

I like to mow.

There is something quite empowering
about calmly sitting back
on a moving machine
that has deadly blades swirling
beneath it.

There's a sense of adventure-
of being out in the air and sunshine.

It's an opportunity for artistic expression-
of whether you will keep the
rows straight
or divert them into
a maze of emerald wonder.

My yard takes about two hours
to mow and trim.
That gives me two hours
of empty brain time
that I can fill with anything I want.

The only distraction is
the hum of the engine-
and sometimes the
as I speed over a pile
of sweetgum balls and they
propel like bullets from
the grass chute.

I sing.
I recite quotes.
I plan supper.
I pray.

But mostly sing.
It always sounds good
because you can't really hear it.

There is no other time on earth
like the time spent on a lawnmower.

I will admit I have had my share
of mower mishaps.
No matter how safe I try to be,
I nearly always slice the
roots of the maple tree out front.
Their thick gnarly roots
must be taken in slow motion,
at a delicate speed,
with careful, attentive
lawnmower love.

Don't tell my husband,
but I've hit the house before.
I mean- nothing major-
just scraped the front tires
across the foundation,
leaving a black scuff of rubber
on the gray block.

There are several occasions
that I was sure I'd slide into the pond-
mowing at an angle only
meant for mountain goats.

I've been slapped by branches
and stabbed by limbs
and attacked by more insects
than a rain forest.
I've been sunburned,
and butt-numbed.

But yet- I go back.

Each week I climb up
on that big red grass-chewing monster
and rule the yard.

And for two hours,
I am Queen.
I am invincible.
I am in charge.
I am an American Idol.

"Like a true nature's child I was born,
born to be wild

I can mow so high-
It's nev-er gon-na diiiiiie..."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lifestyles Of The Poor and Panicky

It is difficult for me to imagine
what it would be like to be rich.

Really rich.

I grew up sharing a house
with eight siblings
and wore hand me downs till they
were thread bare.

It didn't bother me then.

It's before I became aware
of how other people lived.
In nice ranch homes
with a station wagon
and a den-
taking vacations to see
national forests and
sandy beaches-
wearing clothes from
a store that
didn't sell popcorn
while you shopped.

Today's rich people go all out
when planning their homes.
Gone is the groovy den
and taking its place is
the chic media room that
can hold 50 or more people.
A personal cinema.

Then there are bowling alleys,
tennis courts,
saunas, exercise rooms,
putting greens
and heated driveways.

Some rich women even have
"wrapping rooms" where they
just wrap presents.
With rows and rows of ribbon
and wrap and tape
and colorful bows.
And a giant table with
where they can lay out the
cut crystal vases
and flat screen TV's to
tie up into presents for their

Or something.

One luxurious home in Lake Tahoe
has a wine cellar that holds
3500 bottles of wine.
And I can almost guarantee
it is not Boone's Farm!

Yes, they certainly know how to live...

I'm not sure if I'd really want all that.

But one room that I would like to
incorporate into my home
would be the Panic Room.

Not exactly because I'm afraid
of terrorists
or evil intruders, mind you.

But so I could go hide inside
my personal panic room-
(whenever panic sets in)
like, daily, maybe-
and no one could bother me
and I'd have enough food
and entertainment for a few days.

If I was lucky,
maybe somebody
would take out the trash.
Or do laundry.
Or buy groceries.
Or scrub the toilet.
Or bathe the dog.
Or set the mouse traps.
Or mow the lawn.

And then-
maybe I might win the
lottery, too.

Yeah, right.