Friday, May 29, 2009

A "Meating" Of The Minds

While piling pork steaks on the grill
over the holiday weekend-
it took me back to a time
of my young married life
when my husband was a

I wasn't really sure
why he was a vegetarian-
and being young and in love-
I never bothered to ask.

All I really knew for sure
is that my dreams of whipping
up fantastic hearty meals in the kitchen
were basically screwed.
No breaded pork chops
or double cheese burgers
or steaks as thick as my ankles.
No fried chicken or sugar ham
or fresh lunchmeat sandwiches.

Life was beans.
And tuna.
And salads out of the kazoo.

But, I did have a stash of bologna
that was all mine.
After living in a household with
eight siblings-
having that pound of
Blue Bell bologna all to myself
was like having a pot of gold.

I think my husband kinda
blames me for his
sudden and startling
fall from the wagon.

But how many freakin' ways
can you make a bean burger,
a tuna sandwich
or a garden salad?

He blamed it on the fact that
he was virtually starving because
of my lack of cooking skills-
NOT the fact that he started
working for a meat company.

But in my opinion,
it was the giant slabs of bacon,
the buckets of pork tenderloins
and the rolls of savory sausage
that he handled every day
that turned him back
into a meat eating carnivore.

In fact, he was crowned
Sausage King two years in a row!

Of course,
going from a high fiber,
fresh fruit and vegetable diet-
to a smorgasbord of
greasy meat products-
can pile on the weight.

After 33 years,
he's never really forgiven me
for not throwing out my bologna
and joining him
in his effort to wipe out
the entire United States lettuce crop.

he's kinda forgotten.

Tonight we'll throw
a couple of rib eyes on the grill
and I'll secretly think about the days
when he was Sausage King
and I was Bologna Queen
and nothing else really mattered.

And when he asks me to pass him
the baked beans,
I'll just smile...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Dreams

The fireflies twinkle out over the damp fields
and the smell of freshly mowed grass
permeates the air.

There is a perfume here
that smells of childhood.

Of humid nights playing shadow tag-
moonlit evenings of primitive camp outs-
of lonely whippoorwills and
distant trains...
and eyes that saw the world with
innocence and amazement.

Sometimes I like to pretend
that I'm a little girl again.
That I could really climb that tree
and wade that creek
and catch those lightning bugs
by the dozen.

I like to think the moon is watching me
like a giant angel in the sky-
that the sun follows me like
a magnificent umbrella-
and that the stars
contain wishes
that are yet to come true.

I like to think
that I'm not completely grown up.
That God still molds me to his will
and sees promise where
sometimes I cannot.
I like to think I am still
changing, improving, learning.

But I also like to think that
no matter how old I get-
I will always admire nature.
That little frogs
and wild flowers
and the smell of hay
will always fascinate me.
That a sunburned nose
and muddy feet
and wind tossed hair
will always be welcomed.

I like to think that these days
are truly lived-
that not a precious moment is wasted.
That not a single memory
is taken for granted.

That I will never forget
the little girl I once was.
Or the woman that
God has made of me.

I still delight in
butterflies and dandelions-
smooth river rocks
and giant oaks-
tiny fish
and shiny bugs
and timid yellow birds.
I still love
the smell of lilacs,
the feel of a rain storm,
the night dew on my toes.

I hope I never lose the gift
of pretending.

I hope I always remember to
breathe deeply-
love strongly...

And every once in awhile take the time-
to be a little girl again....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time Keeps On Slippin'

While cleaning house yesterday,
it suddenly occurred to me
that I have a hang-up about clocks.

I have five clocks in my kitchen alone.
I counted.

One on the stove,
the microwave,
the coffee maker,
and two other clocks
on opposite walls.

I had never really thought about it,
but I really felt as though
the guys in the white coats
might be coming to fit me
for a jacket.

Especially after I counted
three clocks in the family room.
And two clocks in the bedroom.
Two in my bathroom,
and one in the living room
and even one in the laundry room.
And then there's one over the computer,
on the computer,
and one hanging in the hallway.

There's even one blinking
on the VCR in the front room.

I have one in the garage.
And one in the barn.

I have one in the car-
and the truck!
And one on my cell phone!

When I visit my kids,
they all have a simple kitchen clock-
always hung somewhere in the clouds-
above the sink-
and it drives me crazy!

If I want to know what time it is-
I don't want to have to go searching
for a clock.
I want one (or two) within sight...

I guess just so I'll know
that time is still ticking for me.

I guess they are a reminder
that days are short
so have fun...
Time is fleeting
so make good memories.

My clocks are all around me
just to warn me that that
the years fly by-

so suck out the goodie!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Treasures, Trash, Panti-Liners, and Pedicures

Good Morning!
It's so good to be back!
(I hope you like the new look-
I get so bored with the same backgrounds!)

Well, you would think with all these days off
I would really be writing a clever blog today-
but, no.
Actually, my "working brain" was completely
out of commission for two weeks
and only my "playing brain" reigned supreme!
But I had fun.

Sister Weekend 2009
was a mixture of emotions-
teetering on disgust and weariness-
all the way to complete elation and relaxation.

First off, let me warn everybody out there
that has to stay overnight in Kennett, Mo.-
Don't lodge at the Super 8.
Taking my freedom of speech into effect-
I can honestly say the place was just downright filthy.

Luckily, the beds seemed fresh,
so we made the best of it.
However, I did compare the pillows
to sleeping on a Kotex pad-
thin and small and definitely uncomfortable.
Sister Linda said hers was more like a panty liner!
(So, see folks- this is where we mix
the laughter with the disgust
and enjoy ourselves no matter what happens!)

Our much anticipated 100 Mile Yard Sale trek
ended up being 80 miles
of dusty flea market "crap"
and 20 miles of hit and miss good stuff
that no one else in their right mind wanted.

My personal treasures consisted of:
A black rotary telephone,
some glow in the dark -bug embedded key chains,
four pairs of shoes,
a stop-light type flashing party light,
a giant primitive snowman,
some golf gear for my son,
a couple of nice hoodies,
an 8-track tape carousel -complete with tapes
(for my upcoming disco party),
some bath rugs,
and other odds and ends that I can't recall.

And like sister Linda said-
"just a bunch of crap".

(Insert laughter here).

But, it wasn't the treasures we found at the sales
that was the goal of the weekend-
but the company that we shared.

Jewel and Tina had never seen so many
lightning bugs at once since we lived
on County Farm Road.
Staying Friday night at Linda's house-
we enjoyed a good old-fashioned sit
on the porch in her rockers
and watched the
fireflies light up the night sky.
The entire scene was perfect....
(except for Linda's outfit)-
which I can't begin to describe here.

(More laughter).

We all did pedicures on ourselves
which was extremely needed-
filling up a PedEgg with enough
skin flakes to form a small baby.

We all gained a few pounds
and a great appreciation for
our beautiful state of Illinois.

And we learned a valuable lesson.

Just because the yard sale is 100
miles long- that doesn't mean it's
100 miles good.

Next year we will definitely move on
to another area if we decide
to do the yard sale stuff.

Plus, we'll take on own pillows-

AND buy Linda some
new pajamas!


See you all tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taking A Short Break

Since I am having a case of
writer's block lately,
I've decided that's this is
as good a time as any to take a
break from blogging.

The yard needs attention-
as do my closets
and drawers-
and these darn dust bunnies
are hopping out of control.

When I start writing each morning-
I always seem to get drawn
into this giant computer world
and nothing outside this
desk gets done.

Hopefully I'll be back on May 25th.
That gives me plenty of time
to refresh this week-
and the following week is
my real go-away-from-home
vacation with my three sisters.
I am so excited about that!
I'm sure that road trip will
make for some good blogs!

I love you all-
for visiting me everyday.

You help keep me sane
and laughing through the rain.

Please come back
and see me soon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

PO'ed at TP

Every time I go to the store lately.
I seem to spend more and more money.
It seems the consumer has gotten
the brunt of this economic downfall.

I try to convince myself that it's
okay to pay $8 a pound for deli ham-
or $13 a pound for good steak.
I rationalize it all by comparing
my store bought, home made meal
with the cost of a similar
restaurant meal.

But folks-
One thing that I cannot rationalize
(or accept)-
is the cost of toilet paper!

At least a piece of meat
will provide me with vitamins,
satisfaction for my stomach,
and dinner conversation.

Toilet paper seems
like such a waste.

Yet, without it-
we are hygienically disabled.

Before toilet tissue was invented
there were a great variety
of things that were used -
wool, hemp, lace, leaves,
grass, hay, stones,
sand, moss, water,
snow, ferns, seashells
and corn cobs.

Then along came Joseph Gayetty.
In 1857, he marketed the first
commercially available toilet paper.
It was named Gayetty's Medicated Paper
and consisted of pre-moistened flat sheets
that were medicated with aloe.

It wasn't until 1880 that they
came out with the rolled and perforated
tissue we know today.

Now we have too many choices.
One ply, two ply, three ply.
Double roll, single roll, triple roll.
Organic, all natural,
basic, and recycled.
Aloe, perfumed, unscented
and lotioned.
Quilted, textured,
and cottony soft.

In a sea of toilet tissue options,
I usually find myself
going for the bargain.

It's just a shame that the bargain brand
always seems to have bits
of wood pulp exposed
and is more uncomfortable than
wiping with sand paper.

The average American uses
about 24 rolls a year.


How come when I buy a 24 pack
for a family of three-
it's gone in month!?

I guess I should be thankful
for the modern conveniences
even if it means paying a
premium price.

And if you are willing to pay
$8.95 for a single roll,
you can enjoy this in your

Gives a whole new meaning to
kiss my......
well- you know.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Snail Shopping

I'm here today to tell you this:
I made a horrible, horrible
mistake yesterday.

It was frightening,
to say the least,
- a nightmare that
haunted me throughout the day
and far into the night.

A mistake that shadows me
even as I write.

I can barely say it.
But here goes-

Oh, My Good Grief!!!
I have never seen so many
blue hairs in one place- ever!
And I bet there wasn't one single
dark haired man in the
entire store!

I should have suspected the worst
when I tried to find a parking place.
All the cars had handicap stickers
or were parked cockeyed
and crooked.

All the mobile /wheelchair carts
were missing from the lineup-
and there was a faint smell of
mothballs and Metamucil.

When those big, double
automatic doors slid open,
I thought that someone had
placed me in slow-motion mode.

Carts moved by the millimeter,
hands reached for potatoes
with anti-gravity fingers-
and the deli line
was ten wide and three thick
because there was a huge sale
on pressed ham.

I was caught in a maze
of slow carts
and fragile human dinosaurs.

It took hours to even get close
to the dairy products.

I was a roadrunner in
a snail town.

Don't get me wrong-
I'm not insensitive to the elderly.
(In fact, in two years
I can get my AARP card).

And it was TOTALLY my fault
that I got trapped in their party.
BUT, I am still suffering the blow
to my system.
I still feel as though I spent
an entire day like a lab rat
on depressants.

I got my calendar out this morning
and took a red marker and
wrote across every Wednesday
for the whole year-

They say you learn from
your mistakes,
but I'm beginning to think
I might need professional help
to get past this one.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

As you all know,
Sunday is Mother's Day.

And for all of you who are out there
dreading the weekend of
Mom's pot roast again,
hate the trouble of picking out a card,
and cringe at the expense of buying a gift-
Shame on you!

I would give anything in the world
to have to buy a Mother's Day card.

My mom died in 1988
and all these years I've been
passing up the Mother's Day cards
with a lump in my throat.

But I still celebrate my mother.
I celebrate her life-
her lessons-
and her love.

Mom was never selfish,
vain, competitive,
or needy.
She made the best with what she had,
kept a smile on her face,
and steered all of us kids
in the right direction.

I laugh now at some things she did.

She had a Hot-Line to Hollywood-
always sharing with us bits
of information from soap operas
and gossip TV-
just to keep us in the know.

She loved yard sales
and was always the first one out of the car-
rambling through garages
and rummage to get the best deals.

But if you admired a junkyard treasure
that she searched high and low for-
stood in line twenty minutes to pay for-
and found a special place on a shelf for-
she would give it to you in a second!

That's just how Mom was.

I remember her Calvin Klein jeans
and Polo shirts,
her fuzzy slippers
and navy blue jacket...
Her love of dolls
and little trinkets
and small kitchen appliances...
Her being buried with her
Pearl Pitiful Pearl Doll...

But after all these years,
I can't remember her voice,
her smell,
her touch,
her face.
Things fade with time.

But never the loss.

Never the love that she gave.

I know she's watching.
And waiting.

I love you, Mom.
I still need you everyday of my life.

Steer me with your wings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Timeworn Tradition

My husband got a postcard
in yesterday's mail-
urging him to attend his
high school reunion.

It got me to thinking about
the whole idea of hosting
a giant party of people
you haven't seen in years-
and never really liked anyway.

To me, there are only two reasons
to go to your high school reunion:

1. For people to see you-
In other words, to show off.
If you've aged gracefully, lost weight,
gotten rich, or been successful,
a high school reunion is the best
place to rub it in.
All those classmates you competed against
(or even the losers you dated)
are sure to go slack-jawed
and grow a bit self-conscious-
or even jealous
at the sight of you.

2. For you to see other people
Curiosity, basically.
You might attend your high school reunion
just to see how you compare to
everyone else.
Have their hairlines receded?
Their chins doubled?
Their temporary job flipping
hamburgers now progressed to full time?
Are those slim cheerleaders
now chubby?
The class president on parole?
Your lab partner a multi-millionaire?

I would think that with email,
Facebook, MySpace,
Texting, and blogging-
that nowadays people pretty much
keep in touch
with friends that really matter.

Their pictures are posted
for you to check them out-
you know where they work,
live, play, and how many
kids they have.

And honestly-
a person can't really compare
themselves anymore.

Have they actually aged gracefully
or had a tummy tuck, Botox
and hair implants?
Are those old classmates
Fake or For Real?

I predict that high school reunions
will soon be a thing of the past.
No one really wants to
realize how old they are getting.
And no one wants to see their
favorite "hot" teacher
with gray hair and a walker.

Don't get me wrong-
there are lots of old friends
and classmates I would
like to see-

I just don't want them to see me!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Looking Back

Lately, I've been thinking a lot
about my younger years.

Back when I was a new bride
and my husband and I were
a hippie-hillbilly-mother-earth-
adventurous-wildly-cautious couple.

Back then most newlyweds
didn't start out with the
(Now days everyone has a household
full of stuff and their own cars.)

We began our married life
with a blue '69 Datsun
that came complete with
a hundred record albums and
a German Shepherd named Abe.

We rented a little house in the country
and had dreams of self-sufficiency
and early retirement
and peace, love
and rock 'n roll forever.

It was fate, I guess,
that the old house
already had a chicken coop-
and with some fence repair
and a good cleaning,
the place was ready for
some egg-layers.

I had a picture in my mind
of beautiful white chickens
pecking around in the spring grass-
me in my peasant blouse
gathering eggs
as my husband played guitar
on the porch-
and we'd smile at one another
as though we knew the
secret to happiness.

I really don't know how it happened,
but we ended up with forty chickens.
All colors and sizes and shapes-
with some roosters for breeding
and neat little feeding tins
and watering troughs.

We placed fresh straw in the hen house,
furnished tight wooden cubicles
for the nesting mothers,
and bought giant bags of
laying mash from the feed store.

First off, no one told me
that these chickens liked to peck.
Gathering eggs was like
going through a mine field.
Trying to slip a hand into
a nest was taking the chance
of losing a finger to a mad beak-
or worse-
a hungry snake.

in my daydreams, I didn't
take into consideration
the smell.

Chicken poop is a smell
that is hard to get out of your nose,
even long after you've closed the gate
and taken a bubble bath.

And after a good rain,
those pretty white chickens
were yellowed and brown-
their gnarly feet clawing
into puddles of fresh mud.

One afternoon my husband
and I left for the day
and came back to find
forty dead chickens.

-All laid out in the chicken yard
like mounds of little
white grocery bags-
still warm and obviously
the victims of a wild animal
such as a fox or coyote.

There went those pristine,
foggy, perfect dreams again.

I was out there in my peasant top
helping my husband stuff dead chickens
into thirty gallon trash bags.

There was no guitar music playing,
no halo of peace and serenity
and absolutely no question that
happiness had avoided us that day.

There were too many chickens to bury
(unless you owned a backhoe)-
so we bagged them for the landfill-
Lining the driveway with three bags
of fowl-smelling feathered carcasses
that shattered every daydream
of Utopian country life.

it just happened to be a
holiday weekend,
so the landfill was closed for
three more days.

The summer sun became hot.

Those black trash bags sat like
mutant monsters in the driveway
and we watched in horror
as they swelled in size
with toxic gasses
and decaying chickens.

We even had to go out and
double bag them when
the maggots appeared like
fat, fingerling larvae
to attack our pitiful deceased pets.

I honestly don't know what
happened to them after that.
I was probably inside trying
to hose out my nose
or wash the chicken crap
from my leather sandals.

All I know for certain is,
that that chicken coop
actually looked better empty.
That sitting on the porch
as my husband played guitar
was the ultimate in
our cool aura of

Every once in awhile,
he'd look over at me and smile,
and we suddenly knew
the secret of happiness was--
an empty chicken coop!

I am still happy today
and very much in love
and enjoying my life.

But- you know what?
I'd go back in a minute.

Back to his '69 Datsun
and dead chickens
and guitar solos
and summer days
and snugly winter nights
and the dreams
of a young bride.

Of young sweet days
and young gentle nights-
and Peace, Love,
and Rock 'N Roll...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dolly Dearest

While surfing the net
for possible job openings,
I ran across a profession that
to me seems like
the perfect job.

How about becoming a
member of the DDA?

The Doll Doctors of America.

For $15 a year, your dues
pay for a membership card,
the Doll RX newsletter,
and access to all the other
Twice a year they all meet
to discuss their "patients"
and to obtain new parts.

You could own your own business!

What could be so hard
about operating on a doll?

No blood,
personal attachments.

Recovery time
would be instant,
bed space would be minimal,
and you wouldn't have
to have a cafeteria
in your doll hospital.

I figure the only employee
you might have to hire
is a doll nurse
to hold the glue
or to clean the special saw blade
used for plastics,
or to keep you from playing
house when you should be
operating or diagnosing.

Inventory wouldn't be much.
An assortment of eyeballs,
and appendages.
shoe replacements,
and little lipstick.

What a virtual money maker!
Every doll gets a broken arm,
or fried hair,
or ink markings
in its lifetime.

Every doll has had its share
of bumps, bruises,
toxic tea parties
and torture.

And what a comfort it would be
to know that you have brought
these little fake people to life again!
That your dedication and
artistic endeavor
would be appreciated
by doll and owner alike.

If you are really good
you could even specialize-
Be a Barbie Doctor,
A G.I.Joe Surgeon,
or a Teddy Bear Physician.
The possibilities are endless!

Believe it or not,
there are Doll Doctors
that specialize in
cosmetic surgery
and virtual makeovers.

Some Doll Doctors not only
fix your doll, but they
also provide a variety of
shoes and outfits for
your purchasing pleasure.

The only downside
to this whole wonderful idea
is that on average,
a Doll Doctor earns less
than $25,000 a year.

One Doll Doctor I found
does the following:

Services provided at Childhood Doll Repair and Restoration include:

  • Re-stringing

  • Cleaning of hard plastic dolls, bisque dolls, composition dolls & cloth dolls

  • Repair or replace and sculpt missing fingers, toes, etc

  • Styling of mussed up wigs

  • Spot repair or whole body repair if needed

  • Wig repair, and replacement

  • Setting of eyes, readjusting eyes or replacement of eyes

  • Eyelash replacement

  • Repair of cracks /lifting in composition dolls

  • Custom made outfits for your doll

  • Doll clothes laundry care

I wonder if I could make
an appointment for myself!