Monday, November 2, 2009

Fax it Again, Sam

Someone at our Florida office was having trouble with her fax machine. She called our office and asked me to send her a test fax. Here is the fax I sent her.

This is a test of the emergency “does my fax work?” system.

This is ONLY a test.

Do not evacuate the building.

If this had been a real emergency you’d be dead by now.

Testing…. Testing…. 1 2 3

Test. Test.

Can you hear me now?!

That reminds me of another funny story. One day a customer called and asked us to fax another copy of the document we just sent her. We asked if the copy didn’t come through or if it wasn’t readable and she said, “Oh, yes, it was clear, but I need another copy and I don’t want to walk across the room to the copier!”

“Oh, Kay!”

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Singing in the Cube Farm

The coworker sitting across from me must have been a jukebox in another life. He hums, whistles, and sings non-stop. His tunes range from "Danny Boy" to "Can’t You See What That Woman’s Been Doing to Me." I hear enough of that song at home. No matter how many people have complained about the distraction, our one-man-Muzak will not stop. “Please, Mister, PLEASE don’t play B17!” we plead, but the broken record keeps going, and going, and going.

A few weeks ago I decided that if I couldn’t beat him, I’d join him. Except for when he chooses Italian opera selections or Christmas songs in August, I sing, hum, or whistle along with him. Other coworkers have joined our choir and we have quite a background harmony section. We’re taking requests. You may dial us at 800- HUM-DING.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mid-life Crisis? Which One?

I had a spiritual reading when I was on vacation. The psychic said that I would be on this planet until I was over one hundred years old. Great! That means the midlife crisis I had when I turned forty was all in vain even though I do have a tattoo and divorce papers to document the non-occasion, and this means I can justify another midlife crisis in about ten years. I greatly appreciate the insight this information brings. As I see it, I have another sixty years to lose the rest of the twenty-five pounds I’m trying to shed. And if you’re driving behind me, just chill out or go around me. I’ve got time to spare and I’m going to slow down and enjoy it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Java Takes Herself for a Walk

The animal hospital called me at work to say that they had found our chocolate lab, Java, wandering around outside the clinic. I was puzzled as to how she got out of her pen AND the fenced-in backyard. I mentioned to the nurse that Java’s ears had been bothering her, and that perhaps she had taken herself to the doctor for a checkup. They agreed to check her ears while she waited until I could get home from work to pick her up. In the meanwhile Frankie, whom I didn’t know was home, realized Java had left the gate open when he was cutting grass. He went into the house to get his car keys and was about to drive around the block searching for her when he noticed the answering machine had a message. It was the vet saying that Java was ready for pickup. Perfect timing.

Hey, by the way, the murals we all painted on the walls of our garage are groovy. Thanks to everyone who helped. All our neighbors joined us impromptu that evening when curiosity got them best of them. Each person who came by to investigate was required to at least sign his or her name on a concrete block. It was a memorable “block” party. It’s been three weeks and we still have strangers coming to our door asking to see the garage they heard about!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OCD and Religion

From 2002, we still have memories and stories to share:

Hey you, Emailians,

I got an email today that gave the findings of a study that had been done regarding religion and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Since many of you are the ones I’ve gone to church with all these years, we may need to be on the lookout for these symptoms. The gist of the study is this:

While researchers have not proven that religious devotion early in life causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the finding adds weight to the theory that a strict religious upbringing may make people more prone to the psychological problem. The study found that religious people with a strict upbringing are more likely to show symptoms of OCD because they may be anxious about right and wrong, black or white. For instance, sufferers often become obsessed with the notion that they are sinful or contaminated with germs, leading to hour upon hour of washing. Don’t laugh, I’m reminded of woman I knew who changed her bed sheets, shaved her legs, and took 2 baths every day! The study says that OCD can become so bad that it prevents people from leading a normal life. No kidding? It took this woman until 1:00 to get dressed for the day. I shouldn’t condemn her. I’m sitting here in my pajamas.

The study also said that genes, head injuries (does brain-washing count?), and emotional trauma (first marriages, children, traffic jams, etc.) have all been implicated in cases of OCD - understandably so. If you begin to clean house, wash your hands, or brush your hair more than usual, you may want to have your head examined. As for me, I quit religion, and as you can tell, I’m normal again.

DATE: June 26, 2002 10:59 AM
SUBJECT: RE: COD and Religion

Re: Religion. Trauma. isn’t that one in the same? And OCD? Well, I've never been a religious person, but I have had quite a few emotionally traumatic events in my life. I'd hate to think I was doomed to spending my days repeatedly washing my hands, counting floor tiles, or changing my underwear. It hasn't happened so far, but I was a compulsive drug user for quite a few years. Does that count? I managed to find help for that, so I guess the last compulsive area of my life is relationships. I guess for now I will just continue to blame the emotionally traumatic events in my life for it. It's better than being labeled crazy, right????

DATE: June 26, 2002 11:08 AM
SUBJECT: RE: COD and Religion

I’ve been to Crazy. Crazy is a good place to be. In fact, I have real estate and stock investments there.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Throwing Pottery with the Hippies

Frankie and I drove to Uncle Dane’s in Missouri this past weekend. Uncle Dane is not a relative, and I still don’t know his last name, but he is a long time friend of Frankie’s. Uncle Dane is an artist who lives on 40 acres in the beautiful and serene Ozark Mountains. I felt the Spirit’s love when I first set foot on his property. I met a lot of new people there. Most of them are hippies. Uncle Dane has a studio in his basement with several pottery wheels, and lots of clay. I glued myself to the stool for two days and enjoyed spinning the fresh earth between my fingers. The pieces I worked will have to dry before they can be fired so I had to leave them for now. I met other rock hounds. We went on walks and gathered some of the most unusual and colorful stones for our collections. We nearly got arrested for trespassing when we were caught on someone else’s property. The owner said we should have known that we were on his property by the purple paint that was sprayed on the trees when we entered. Oh, that’s a universal sign, for sure. He had the best rocks too! The men who were in our group calmed the man down, and after listening to him rant for about 45 minutes regarding hippies and derelicts, he let us go. He doesn’t know we stole his rocks! Later that night everyone pulled out an instrument and played 60’s and 70’s Rock and Roll songs until the morning light topped the trees.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Garage Party

This garage party happened on the fourth of July 2002, but our garage could use a cleaning. If you are so inclined, come on over.

This is probably going to sound like a strange thing to ask of you, but you probably expect it of Frankie and me by now. We want to decorate the inside of our garage in a funky and eclectic manner to express our artistic and creative abilities. After discussing the cost and surveying the amount of work this will require we have decided to invite our friends and family to participate.

So, on Thursday, July 4th, we want you to bring your paints, paintbrushes, stencils, or anything you choose to decorate the walls of our garage. Each person may select a section(s) to paint and express their wildest ideas. We plan to paint the ceiling and floor too, perhaps a cloud scene, angels, rockets, stars, sun, moon, or outer space on the ceiling and a checkerboard, grass, insects, snakes, etc. on the floor! Be thinking about what you want to create. IDEAS: cartoon characters, dragons, fairies, abstract art, geometric shapes, jungle animals, underwater seascapes, beach scenes, peoples faces, or trompe l’oeil (murals that looks like you can walk into the scene), you name it. You can even paint yourself! A self-portrait, that is!

We’ll get the garage swept cleaned, and everything moved out of the way so you can begin designing immediately upon arrival. We’ll work on it all day so come when you get ready, stay as long as you want. We’ll provide the food and drinks (things that come in sixes are great). Bring a friend, bring snacks, bring paint, but mainly bring your unique creativity. This is going to be a ton of fun! Please let me know you are coming.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tired Tiles

From the year 2002...

I am in need of massage and physical therapy this morning! Husband #2 decided at 8:00 p.m. last Thursday evening to see what he could do to stop the squeaking in the kitchen floor. After about 2-dozen screws, it still squeaked so he pulled up a portion of the vinyl flooring to see where the floor joist was located. Two hours later the entire kitchen floor was bared to the sub-flooring and was sporting a nice assortment of screws, still squeaking. The vinyl needed replacing but I hadn't planned on doing it this weekend since it was my daughter-in-law's birthday. I had promised to give her a party and to watch the baby on Sunday afternoon. After going under the house and finally getting the squeaking stopped, we installed 12-inch square stick-on tiles that had to be sized and cut to fit the corners around the door frames and cabinets. When the guests arrived I was on my way to pick up a cake that I had not ordered, hoping that Food Lion would have a chocolate one. The party was successful in spite of my lack of planning and organization.

After everyone left, Frankie and I decided to finish the few tiles we had left to install. Our 12-month-old grandson was toddling about, and in to everything that was not screwed down (which didn’t leave a lot!) Sammy was curious and wanted to help. After taking the marker, then the scissors from him, Frankie gave him a scrap of tile to keep him busy. That little guy managed to get the paper backing off, stick it on the floor and come back for another piece! He is barely walking and he's already laying tile! I safely confined him to his high chair and gave him a box of Cheerios, while we finished.

The floor looks nice and it doesn’t squeak, but this morning I am so stove-up (southern for stiff) I could heat the house. I almost called in to work to request a holiday. Then I thought better of it. If I stayed home, I'd end up painting and installing the quarter-round molding. I decided to go to work so I could rest!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Where’s the Beef?

This happened in 2002. Aren't you glad we have recovered since then?

All week long I have been looking for a package of books with two tickets to a seminar my girlfriends and I plan to attend next week. Mary got hers; Kara got hers. I should have received mine, and the one I ordered for Donna by now. I called the bookstore to make sure they had sent them. They promised that they had, and gave me a tracking I.D and phone number to call. I called UPS and was told that they delivered the package to my front porch on January 3rd at 4:04 p.m. That was over a week ago and I still had not seen the books. I called Steve at home to have him check the front porch. He reported there was nothing there, and that he had not seen a package. A day later I called the bookstore again to have them put a tracer on the package. When I arrived home from work Friday the UPS driver was knocking at my door. I signed a voucher stating that I had not received the package so the sender could be reimbursed.

I put my things down on the dining room table and noticed a padded yellow envelope in the corner of the room beneath the high chair. I picked it up and opened it. It was from Malaprop’s bookstore containing two books and two tickets. “STEVE, what can you tell me about this package?”

“It came last week sometime.”

“Do you mean on January 3rd at 4:04 p.m.?”

“I dunno. Why?”

“Because this is the package I’ve been looking for all week! That is why UPS was knocking on our door just now.”


“Steve, why did you put it in such a remote and illogical place?”

“So Java wouldn’t get it.”

“Why would the dog want my package when she’s got dog balls in her bowl?” I asked, “Besides she could still reach it on the floor behind the high chair!”

“She was bothering it when I put it on the floor over here,” he said pointing to a place near the door.

“What about on the table? Next time could you put it on the table or in my room?”

I let it go when I noticed he was taking something out of the oven. He was making beef jerky. “Where did you get meat?” I asked. I knew there wasn’t much in the house in the way of groceries.

“I found a steak in the refrigerator.” No telling how long it had been in there, so I prayed a silent blessing over it as he took a bite and tried to offer some to me. “No, thanks,” I said graciously.

When Frankie got home from work, he and I went to the store to get food so the boy wouldn’t have to eat left olders. We brought home a nice chuck roast for Steve. His eyes lit up when I handed it to him, and he immediately went to work slicing and spicing. I had a terrible head cold so I went to lie down, while the boys made dinner.

The next day Steve got up and pulled out his chuck roast and started to work again. He said that since that I missed dinner last evening, I needed a makeup dinner. He said I could use a lesson on how to cook steaks and make jerky, so I watched as he taught me what I needed to know. While he was grilling the steaks, I pulled out some cabbage, celery, mushrooms, and onion to start a soup. Steve was curious about what I was making. “I like cabbage,” he said.

“I’ll share with you,” I replied as I caught a glimpse of his dad shaking his head, “NO!” while waving his hand under his nose. I gave him a puzzled look. Steve saw me and turned to see what dad was doing. Frankie explained that I might not like the effects cabbage would have on his boy later. The meal was nothing less than gourmet, and I enjoyed sharing the kitchen with my stepson. Afterward, Frankie took Steve with him on an errand, and I was left in charge of the jerky left baking on a sheet of foil in the oven.

The two returned in about an hour, and started working on the computer while I was reading a book in my room. Kathryn, Steve’s girlfriend arrived about the time Frankie went to the kitchen and opened a box of jalapeno poppers. When he put them in the oven, it reminded me of the jerky. I looked in the oven and didn’t see the jerky, only the poppers. “Where did you put the jerky when you put the poppers in the oven?” I asked Frankie.

“They were not in the oven.” That brought Steve and Kathryn to the kitchen.

“What did you do with my jerky?” asked Steve.

“What did YOU do with your jerky?” asked Frankie.
They both looked at me. “I didn’t move the jerky. I checked on it while you were gone but I didn’t take it out of the oven.”



“No.” I answered. “I told you I didn’t move it. Maybe Java ate it! She probably thought it was a book or a package in the mail.”

“She can’t open the oven!” Steve reminded us.

“Then who took the jerky?” Dad was really puzzled.

“Yeah, WHERE’S the beef?” I retorted.

We searched all over the kitchen for the hidden delicacy trying to discover who might be the one playing a practical joke. We even thought Kathryn might have moved it, or perhaps someone came in the backdoor and stole it, or maybe we had a ghost who likes jerky. We gave up after a while still wondering why no one was coming forward to claim the award for the best practical joke.

Kat and Steve were leaving when I smelled something burning. I opened the oven door to check on the poppers and noticed the edge of the foil under the baking sheet the poppers were on. “FRANKIE, you put the poppers on top of the jerky!”

“I did?”

“Yes, and it’s burning!”

He ran out the door to let Steve know the mystery had been solved. Steve came back in the house, grabbed his crunchy charred jerky, and left before anyone could hide it again. Is it gender or genetics that causes these two guys to hide things from themselves and others?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Addition to the Family

Steve had been really distant and belligerent concerning his schoolwork. We knew that something was bothering him but he wouldn’t talk about it. I thought it was because he was frustrated with Frankie’s constant lecturing about getting the assignments done. Steve called me at work today to tell me that his girlfriend is pregnant! He’s 16 and she’s 17, and both are still in high school. Steve wants me to help him break the news to his dad. That should be fun – especially after all the talks they’ve had about safe or no sex. To help relieve some of the tension, I am taking an active role in Steve’s schooling. I will be doing the English and History portion with him. I’m sure it will all work out fine - God help us all.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Not to be Alarmed

We were sent an email at work this morning telling us not to be shocked should the fire alarm go off. Someone had accidentally tripped it. Three hours later the whole building resounded with sirens as big as Texas that sent my heart pounding into my throat. No one panicked or moved toward the door. We had all passed out from the shock we were told NOT to experience. Then we were told to ignore the man behind the curtain. What did they mean by that? We have blinds on the windows.

Frankie decided that it was his responsibility to home school his son and that I shouldn’t be burdened with the job of teaching while I’m trying to go to college. However, I’m afraid that Steve and Frankie are going to end up killing one another during class. Frankie thinks that only A’s are acceptable. Steve thinks that anything over 65 is an accomplishment. Steve is working a part-time job, which is interfering with him getting his assignments done on time, plus he has a girlfriend that he wants to spend time with. Frankie and Steve argue like yard dogs over dinner scraps, and I’ve been locking myself in my bedroom or going to a friend’s house to escape the war zone. Cheese and crackers, those two are driving me nuts.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm Done With Organized Religion

I’m finished with the mind games of organized religious systems. There are folks that actually believe that they have to tithe and attend church in order to avoid God’s wrath. The church we were attending gave a seminar on supporting the local church with tithes and offerings. Yes, I’m a cheerful giver - it truly makes me happy to avoid being struck by lightning! Fear and punishment is NOT what God is about. Power, love, might, goodness, light, freedom, energy are intangible attributes that reside within all of nature, within all humans. No one is separate from the Creator. They may think and act as if they are. The darkness of the ego may hide our god-like attributes, but they are still there regardless of what is seen or done on the outside. Fear is the opposite of love and anything done out of fear is of the ego (some call it the devil, but I don’t believe in him anymore).

After doing more research on the origin of the church, we have stopped attending. No one will miss the angry drunk couple that got married without permission anyway. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. This kind of stuff has happened to me for the last time. I could care less if anyone likes me or not, I’m not playing the game anymore. I’m not going back to church, and that’s final.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Frankie’s Party

This occurred in 2001. Frankie is much older now.

Saturday was Frankie’s 48th birthday and we celebrated by throwing a huge party for him. I invited family and folks from our work place, church, and the girls from my "get-over-it-already" support group. About 25 people came to eat burgers and wieners and to meet our new puppy, Java. I bought a 9-week-old chocolate lab from someone selling them on the side of the road in Antioch. She’s a sweetheart and we already love her like a member of the family.

Steve has decided that he wants to be home schooled, and has asked us to check into it. There wasn’t much checking to do – I’ve already done the home school thing with My Daughter and I hated it. It is a ton of work for the teacher/parent, and it can ruin a perfectly un-normal relationship with your offspring. At any rate, we are getting the books and curriculum this week, and I’m checking into my insurance benefits for reduced rates at the local mental hospital for myself.

I am starting college this fall. I can’t have my kids getting smarter than I am! The assignments are all taught online through the Internet. It will take well more than two years for me to get my degree, but at least I’ll be making progress toward my dream of having a career in which I can utilize my love for writing. Perhaps Steve, My Daughter and I can do some group study together! I may need their help!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Redneck Family

My newly acquired stepson is going to Atlanta with me tonight. My brother has a truck for sale that Steve wants to take a look at, possibly to buy. Steve fears that the Toyota may be a Bubba truck and wants to take a look. I think he really wants to go so he can see for himself what my side of the family is like. It’s a good weekend for him to meet the clan since the family is throwing a birthday bash for my grandmother (Nanny J) who is the 85 year-old matriarch of this socially elite group.

There are about 60 people in my extended family (give or take a few ex-in-laws that we may still be related to). The family is comprised of good ol’ Southern country folk that will expect you to eat a large portion of everything that’s put on the table regardless of whether or not you're hungry, but the ones you have to watch are the ones I call semi-rednecks. That means they still have most of their teeth but otherwise fit the criteria i.e.: drive big trucks, own a couple of yard dogs, use some form of tobacco, and are racially prejudiced. Some of them have taken the Global Positioning Systems out of their bass boats and installed them in their vehicles to help them locate the nearest Wal-mart and yard sales. The language spoken by the clan would give an English teacher grammatical nightmares. Then there’s my sister-in-law who is radioactive! We have to stay away from her cause she’s having her thyroid killed today. She’s been having hot flashes and my brother can’t handle it. She’s the same one who shot their bad-assed dog with a 12-gauge shotgun when it bit one of her boys. She loaded the dog's carcass on the pick up truck and launched it into her dad's chicken pit (a deep hole with a 100 pounds of Red-Devil lye at the bottom). She also raises goats. Need I say more? One ex-in-law who decided she couldn’t get all the demons out us, ran off with a religious cult back in the late 70’s. No one went looking for her.

I’m not trying to project a bad picture of my dysfunctional family. They really are nice folks. They simply don’t qualify for the cover of Family Circle Magazine except for my cousin who thinks she’s Martha Stewart. I’ll try to update you when I return from my trip. Hopefully, no one will fall into the lake while trying to feed my dad’s pet carp this time.

My uncle is not doing too well. I wonder how long someone can survive on a wing and a prayer?

SENT: July 10, 2001, 10:59 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Redneck Family

Ya'll’s real nice folk. I met up with a bunch of ‘em, and they’re right looksome!

SENT: July 11, 2001, 7:59 PM
SUBJECT: RE: Redneck Family

Ok, so the burning question in my mind is WHICH cousin thinks she's Martha Stewart? Inquiring minds want to know. After all, y'all are part of my dysfunctional family too!! :O)

Good luck to you, Steve, this should be an interesting experience for you. Enjoy your Bubba truck. I know where you can get a nice rack of antlers for the grill.

SENT: July 12, 2001 9:30 AM
SUBJECT: Redneck Family

Well, if you have to ask WHICH cousin………

SENT: July 13, 2001, 10:59 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Redneck Family

You think that is bad, well you should meet my extended family from Alabama. I went to my family reunion about two years ago, at my grandmother's urging, and could not believe this was my family!! My grandmother talked my mom into flying down for the weekend to attend the reunion. Let me just say that my immediate family members are Yankees. My dad is from New York City and we have lived in the North pretty much our entire life. Well, at the reunion there were people with no teeth, really big bubba trucks, overalls, and the strongest country (not southern) accent that you can image. My mom and I stuck out like a sore thumb. We just looked at each other in amazement and thought, “This is our family?!”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The New Kid in Town

Whew! It has taken me a while to get around to writing this email update. I’ve been super-busy while watching my life take yet another surprising turn of events. Frankie and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary July 7th and decided the best way to celebrate would be to have a child! No, I’m not pregnant! No, we didn’t get a pet. We got a teenaged boy! Frankie’s 16-year-old son finally decided he didn’t like living with his mom and step-dad so he accepted our invitation to come live with us! Over the past 6 months, Steve’s mom would call us in a rage and demand that we come get Steve, but before we could pack and get on the road, she would call to say she changed her mind. We were frustrated and feeling like a yo-yo; getting our hopes up only to have them dashed again. Ultimately, our prayer was that the decision to come here would be Steve’s choice and that he not be coerced. Frankie drove to South Carolina a few weeks ago, loaded all Steve’s belongings on the truck and fetched his boy home.

We’ve finally finished re-decorating the house. The spare bedroom we were reserving for Steve has been decked to his own liking. He painted the walls silvery-black like gunmetal or graphite. Complete with zebra striped linens, black curtains, and a lava lamp, the room has a nice, purple glow in the black light! He got his Tennessee driver’s license last week and loves to run errands for us. He got a job the first week he was here and started saving money to buy a truck from my brother. Steve is low-maintenance. In fact, he keeps his room and belongings much neater than I do! He enjoys cooking and helping with household projects. He made dinner for me while his dad was out of town for his grandmother’s funeral. He helped his dad rebuild the deck while I was away on a weekend trip with my girlfriends. Between us, Frankie and I have five children, and four grandkids. Steve’s older sister, Elsie, and her family live about 45 minutes from us so when the whole clan gets together, we have a Brady Bunch rerun! I didn’t realize how much I missed the family thing.

My Daughter graduated high school in May and plans to start college this fall. She’s looking for a waitress job she can work in the evening hours so she can go to classes in the daytime. She has a lot of decisions to make right now and she leans on me for support like never before. My Daughter will be eighteen on August 1st and is moving into her own apartment August fifth. She asked her step-dad and stepbrother to help her move. I think she is accepting the changes in our lives.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vacationing in the Swamp

I went to Satellite Beach, Florida with my family and we had a blast. I went to the museum and the zoo. My mom and I went kayaking with a nature tour guide to watch manatees. A storm came up suddenly while we were in the river. There was no shore upon which to safely escape. We were instructed to get out of the kayak and stand in the water while it poured rain on top of our heads. The guides said that we were less likely to be struck by lightning while in the water that if we were on top of the water. Regardless, my mom was petrified of the lightning, but I thought it was pretty cool to watch nature perform like that! The storm passed after about half an hour, and we got back in the kayak. Several manatees came right up to us and let us get a closer look. I loved being that close to such a loving, friendly water mammal.

There’s one water animal I’m not too fond of and that is alligators. Mom wanted to take an airboat ride in the swamp to see the wildlife. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but they pulled the van into the parking lot of a dirty old fishing camp and everyone got out. There were some shady looking characters hanging around the premises, and I wasn’t about to stay on shore with them. The next thing I knew, I was seated in a plastic boat chair that was bolted to a metal platform with terraces that stepped up like a sports stadium. The guide seated us according to height and weight so I ended up with a front row seat. A very loud airplane motor that looked like a huge fan was attached to the rear of the boat. By the time we were all loaded a huge, dark cloud was looming overhead. I was surprised that mom wanted to be on the water with a storm coming, but I guess she figured if she survived one storm, she was good for a second round. The storm wasn’t what was bothering me. The fact that I was on the lowest level of the makeshift craft, nearest the swamp critters had me concerned. We took off with a roar, and hadn’t gone 500 yards before it started raining. The boat was moving at high speed and the rain was smacking my face and stinging my body. I was shivering from the cool rain and wind. Around us on all sides were gators as thick as ants on a piece of candy. Some of them would swim away from the boat, others laid there as we rode right over the top of them. The guide slowed down to let us get a look at the birds on the shore. That’s when I noticed that one of those huge ugly swamp monsters was five feet from the boat facing me with his mouth open! I about messed my pants! I screamed and jumped up so fast that I lost my balance, and landed in my nephews lap. He pushed me off of him and I nearly fell into the water. I jumped over the seat and into the second row of seats praying that I wasn’t about to tip the boat. My heart was pounding, but my family was laughing hysterically at me. The guide thought that was extremely funny, and from then on he looked for opportunities to slow the boat anytime he saw a big gator. It was the longest 45 minutes of the entire vacation.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hey, God! Back in the Box, Right Now!

Frankie and I are still working on our book about what we really believe about God, but our entire belief system has changed and continues to do so. We’ve have done hours of research, and I’m not doing any more until I digest what we’ve found thus far.

We were required to go through a course of study at church in order to be allowed to take any part in leadership. It ended up being a doctrine class on what we are supposed to believe in order to be in leadership. I call it Jumping through the Hoops 101. Unless we are willing to perform a certain way, and ascribe to the Sunday School mentality that says, “We have God in our box, and we’re the only ones going to heaven” you will not be allowed to be on the worship team, to teach a class, or lead a small home group. I hate this controlling exclusivity. I don't know what my god will look like when I'm finished creating him or her, but I seriously doubt I'm going to be able to put her or him in a box. And, if I did, I would probably crank the handle and sing until something popped out to scare the hell out of me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Baby Arrives

For our newbies and slow learners, the story below did not happen recently. The baby is eight years old and just now got around to posting the story of his birth. Well, we're all busy having our moments, you know? Besides, he was born in February. That will really mess your mind up seeing that this is posted in late August.

Anna’s labor was induced this morning at Southern Ills Hospital. At 4:30 this afternoon my first grandson, Sammy was born. My Daughter and I heard the baby’s first cry and I swear he sounded just like My Son when he was a baby. When I saw Sammy for the first time, it was like zooming backward twenty years and seeing My Son for the first time! They look so much alike. My ex-husband arrived at the hospital at about 5 PM and it was all I could do to keep from crying. We were supposed to have celebrated the birth of our grandchildren together. Frankie reminded me that we did celebrate it together, only that we aren’t married to one another anymore. He’s so upbeat, and always sees the positive side of life. I am thankful, truly thankful to be where I am, who I am, in this moment. Happy Birthday, Sammy! Welcome to the world and our dysfunctional family.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our First Christmas Together

Now, remember all this stuff happened in the year 2000, so don't go getting all emotional on me. And, don't notice that this is posted in August and that the story is about Christmas. We can have crises any time of the year.

Frankie and I bought a live white pine Christmas tree (the kind with a root ball), and put it in a huge red bucket in the living room. This was a first for me. In my first marriage we always had a plastic tree or a cut tree that shed needles all over the living room, but never one that I had to feed a tray of ice everyday!

After going through the bedraggled box of ornaments leftover from our other marriages, we bought some ornaments of our own to personalize and decorate the tree. Frankie loves Christmas and I, well.... you know my take on holiday hoopla. It seems different this year even though there are no children living with us who are curiously snooping under the tree wondering what Santa brought them. Frankie’s 15-year-old son, Steve, is the youngest of all our children. He is here visiting to celebrate Christmas with us. We’ll have a dinner here with the blended family and pretend that we are the Brady Bunch.

My Son and Anna moved into an apartment last week. My ex-husband gave them the old plastic Christmas tree that we’d used for years when we were pretending to be a family. You know the one that kept falling over? How generous of him. Somehow the stand didn’t make it to the apartment. I brought over the stand that Frankie had used during his years with cut trees. Mom, Anna, and I tried to get it to stand up, but the metal screws in the stand had nothing to grip on the slick skinny pole of the fake tree. We propped the tree in the corner and threw some leftover ornaments on it. Merry Christmas! Anna took it down last week after it fell over for the fifth time.

Frankie’s car finally died. The engine locked up and was leaking yellowish brown stuff from underneath. We’ll check into a rebuild after the holidays. Elsie, Frankie’s oldest daughter, gave birth to a son on the 21st. His name is Jackie. They are planning to move here after the first of the year. I am looking forward to spending more time with the grandkids.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Marriage

My Son and Anna eloped today. I never heard of anyone getting married on Halloween, but I guess it’s as good a day as any other. Hopefully Frankie and I have set a trend for our children to follow in eloping. It sure is cheaper than a formal church wedding, and we have two daughters yet to marry. It only cost us $35 for our marriage certificate and $95 for the minister. We wrote our own vows so there would be none of that “wife obeys the husband” crap to swear to.

Anyway, My Son and Anna’s baby is due in February and I’m looking forward to being a grandmother. I wonder if they need to apologize for getting married or bringing new life into the world. Religion is stupid enough to make anybody crazy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Apologize for Getting Married

An Apology?

Frankie and I are still trying to get past the ordeal with the church. He’s trying to forgive the roommate and the leadership that cut him off, but I can tell he’s still hurt. He arranged a meeting with the senior pastor who suggested that Frankie and I come before the church and give an apology for excluding them in our marriage plans by eloping without their blessing. You’ve gotta be kidding! How old am I? Who is my father? Do I need someone to tell me when, where and who I can marry?! The whole thing sounds stupidly manipulating to me. But, then again my brain is still wet from 20 years of religious washing.

Why do we need anyone’s permission to get married? I’m ready to get the hell out of organized religion but Frankie still feels a sense of calling to be there. He and I are writing a book about what we truly believe about God, the Bible, church and life in general. I have a feeling it’s not what we originally thought.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tag Office

I completed my fifth visit to the tag office today. On the other occasions I tried to change the title on my car:

The clerk's office was closed.
The line was too long to wait during my lunch hour.
I learned that I had to have my car's emissions inspected first.
I learned that I was required to have the original copy of my divorce agreement to prove that I was actually allowed to register the vehicle in my name.

The guy at the information booth started waving to me by the 4th visit. He must have thought I worked there. Sixty-seven dollars and a pound of patience later, I got a tag with the letters E-V-Q. Sounds like a medication. Have you tried EVQ? It’s great for warts, farts and having to deal with the government. If you say EVQ several times real fast it sounds like a diesel engine at a traffic light. What is your tag number?

I put the tie-dye sheets on our bed when we got home from the tie-dye party. When I awoke this morning among the green and purple swirls, I had been dreaming that I was in the spin cycle in the washing machine.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


My daughter spent the night at my house this weekend. She parked behind Frankie’s black 1994 Grand Am. When he got ready to leave for golfing this morning, he was blocked in. Rather than wake my daughter for the keys to her car, Frankie and I decided to swap cars with one another for the day. Later My Daughter asked me to go with her to check out some apartments about an hour’s drive from my house near one of the colleges she is prospecting to attend once she graduates high school. There was no need to take two cars and since her Blazer wasn’t running well we decided to take Frankie’s car.

We got almost to the little town when she remembered that she had left the Apartment Blue Book in her car. We stopped by Amoco to pick up another one. That’s when I noticed the heat gauge on Frankie’s car was indicating 280 degrees. That’s past the red zone! Even tea kettles boil over at that temperature. It was obvious that we weren’t going to be traveling anywhere anytime soon so we ate a bag of chips while we waited for the engine to cool enough to add coolant. After about 30 minutes and a half-gallon of water, the needle was still at 280 and the radiator was dripping green water. I needed expert help so I called Frankie. He wasn’t home. I called my son, the mechanic. He wasn’t at work or home. The attendant at the Amoco was very helpful. She recommended that we call a towing service that would tow us for $40 and give a free estimate. It was an offer too good to refuse. “Send them on.” I told her.

My Daughter and I were hungry, but I couldn’t leave the station to walk up the street to the Waffle House, which was the only eating establishment in sight. Surely there would be a McDonald’s within walking distance once we got the car to the garage. Gray’s Wrecker Service came for us about 45 minutes after phoning them. Frankie’s car was pulled onto the bed of a big red tow-truck. The driver took us down several winding roads into the countryside. With every turn I was getting more lost, more worried, and farther away from town. When we turned into a you-pull-it salvage yard, my heart sank. There would be no McDonalds near here, and I wasn’t sure the junkyard dog heading toward us was going to be friendly. Never mind the dog, take note of the five toothless mechanics who were now peering into the hood of the Grand Am as if it were fresh meat! Does the movie “Breakdown” mean anything to you? Oh, my God! What have I gotten myself into? I broke Frankie’s car, and now I’m in the junkyard on the backside of nowhere with my teenage daughter. We were the only females there. I was not too sure what kind of “payment” would be expected before we could leave here. I was trying not to panic or let My Daughter know that I was afraid, so we took a walk around the wrecked cars. We were told the story about one demolished car we saw: a lady hit a cow head on. The cow came through the windshield. The impact of the cow’s weight killed the driver. Death by cow!! What a sad story. I'll wait while you get a mental picture of that.

We both had to pee, so we headed toward the lean-to that served as the office. We climbed the concrete block steps onto the creaky old wooden porch. There were two antique drink machines under the shelter. There was a woman in the office, much to my relief. She directed us down the hall to the restroom. While I was washing my hands in the dilapidated restroom, I noticed a sign that read: IF YOU HAVE GREASE ON YOUR HANDS, DON’T EVEN TOUCH THIS SINK. IF YOU PEE IN THE FLOOR, MOP IT UP! I kid you not. I checked for dribbles and hurried out. I noticed an old snack machine in the hall and thought we were in luck with some animal crackers. When I tried to put a coin in, the coin slot had been drilled out. I tried turning the handle, but nothing happened. No telling how long since the stock had been rotated.

The tiny office trailer had five different types of carpet and linoleum. There were two very old chairs so we took a seat to wait. Surely it wouldn’t be long. My Daughter chose the orange plaid chair with the stuffing falling out the arm. I took the swivel desk chair, which nearly turned over backwards when I sat down. My Daughter started laughing so hard she went back outside to keep from embarrassing herself. I called Frankie to let him know the progress of our dilemma.

After about an hour we walked to the garage to check on the car. Diagnosis: the clip that was holding the radiator to the frame had broken and allowed the radiator to fall onto the fan. The fan had put 12 holes in the core. The mechanic was pounding the hell out of the radiator with a screwdriver. He then informed us that he did not know how to do radiator repairs. Fine time to tell us! He called the radiator man but couldn’t get him at home. He set out to find him.

It was raining by then so we went back into the dingy office to wait. I was sitting very gingerly in the swivel chair behind the desk when a customer walked in. He asked me about a part for a Chevy Impala. I explained to him that I did not work there, nor did I want to be there. Just then the owner walked in wearing an old Indiana Jones hat. I don’t know how people found this place in the middle of nowhere, but more customers kept coming in to ask me questions, and I decided it was time to move to another seat.

We went back outside when it stopped raining. There was a black man staring at us. He was holding a braided whip. He would occasionally strike the ground with it, look at us, and grin widely. Several times during the day a child would appear from nowhere. I don’t know where they were keeping the kids - perhaps they were ghosts, but they would appear at random. I was beginning to wonder what kind of place this was. I felt uncomfortable, but there was nowhere to go. I felt like I was in a bad dream. I was hoping I would wake up soon.

Still hungry, I pulled out a leftover bag of pork rinds. Talk about appearing out of nowhere, now there were two dogs and they both wanted my food! My Daughter was ready to bail on me. She had missed her 2:00 shift at work by now. She called a friend who agreed to come and pick her up. Only problem was that we didn’t know how to give her directions to get to us. We were so far in the boonies that I was sure I couldn’t get back to civilization without a map. We had to ask Indiana Jones to take the phone and tell Michele how to get there. I listened carefully in case we got a chance to escape. It appeared that the car was not going to be fixed today so I planned to leave it overnight. Michele was on her way to get My Daughter and I was going with her. I called Frankie to have him meet me at My Daughter’s work to pick me up. After about 30 minutes, Michele called and said she was not going to be able to make it. My Daughter and I nearly cried. Frankie was already on his way, and I had no way to tell him that I wasn’t going to be able to leave Alcatraz today. My Daughter begged, whined, threatened and reminded Michele of every favor she had ever done for her. Michele called back in ten minutes to tell us that she was indeed coming to rescue us.

It took an hour to find the radiator man but he was sobering up by the time he got there. It took him 15 minutes to do his magic and 30 minutes to get the radiator back in the car. Since the car was nearly ready, I let My Daughter leave me there and go to the city with her friend. I was alone in the garage with Whip Man, Radiator Man, the mechanic, and a cat that had recently appeared on the hood of a nearby car. I got in the Grand Am and locked my doors! Frankie called my cell phone to find out where I was since I had not met him. I told him I had been abducted by aliens and was having too much fun to leave yet.

I left Weirdsville about 5:45 having only to pay $105 for the experience of a lifetime. I was never so glad to see home, Frankie, and pizza, as I was when I walked into the house.

I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone all day. I may need therapy to get over this.

SENT: September 4, 2000 8:39 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Breakdown

I just have to ask. Are these real stories?

SENT: September 4, 2000 8:39 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Breakdown

No, I’m living vicariously through someone else.

SENT: September 7, 2000 7:48 PM
SUBJECT: RE: Breakdown

I have three letters for you ........... A A A

SENT: September 8, 2000 8:30 PM
SUBJECT: RE: Breakdown
AAA? Is that an Associate’s in Automotive Antics? Perhaps it’s a 3-year degree at the local U-PULL-IT.

SENT: September 8, 2000 9:09 PM
SUBJECT: RE: Breakdown

This would be a great movie “Lost in Weirdsville.” Thank goodness I don't have any Weirdsville stories to share!

SENT: September 8, 2000 9:27 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Breakdown

Well, here is the latest adventure of a senile old granny. I told some of you that I have been having major car problems with the Taurus Wagon, well, my little Escort sprung a leak in the gas tank. No big deal, huh. Well, I found out the cost for a new Escort gas tank is $462! I could not believe that. I thought there has to been a cheaper one somewhere! My landlord has a friend in Texarkana who owns a “you pull it auto parts” place. James and I headed out to Texarkana with toolbox in hand. We got to the car graveyard and they had five Escorts to choose from. We picked out a 1995 model that wasn't crunched in the rear, crawled under and sure enough, the gas tank wasn't hurt. We got all our tools out, crawled under and started undoing nuts and bolts trying to get the “guard” off the tank. Now one thing you need to know is that they keep this place really clear of grass by having loads of rock dumped where the junked cars are parked on the dirt. So, we were lying on these rocks while twisting and turning to reach up over our head to get the tank off. I was holding the tank up while James worked to get the seven-year-old rusty bolts off. It was about 95 degrees and at least 195 under that car. After an hour and forty-five minutes, we finally got the tank free, but it had to drop down and slide out from under the car. The only problem was they had the car sitting on tires and the tires were in the way for the tank to slide out. James said he thought we could “squeeze” the tank past the tire. We were half under the car, kicking the tank to get it free and past the rubber tire. Suddenly, a Mexican kid was bending down looking under the car staring right in my face. (I guess we were a sight to see, and really making a heck of a lot of noise). He suddenly started hollering “Grand Mamacita! You get seeek! Get up, Get up! you get seeek!” and he started dragging me from under the car. James crawled out to see what was going on. This kid (a teenager) made me sit down and took off his shirt and starting fanning me! I do get really red in the face when out in the sun and heat plus we were soaking wet from sweat and dirty from the rocky ground. He kept saying “Grand Mamacita get seeek! Grand Mamacita get seeek!” (I realized he meant sick!) His parents could not speak English but after they jabbered awhile, the boy told James his dad would help. So the dad got under the car with James and while they pulled and kicked, the boy and his mom kept fanning me and jabbering in Mexican! With the man's help, James finally got the tank free from the car. Only then did this kid get out of my face. I tried to give them some money for helping but they would not take it. He told James, “Get Grand Mamacita some water so she not get seeek.” Poor James, he was the one who needed water after two hours of hard work! We dragged our “prize tank” to the truck, paid for it and started the 48-mile drive back home. We did take some water with us and as we drank it, we rolled down the windows, let the air blow us away and laughed and laughed. I guess that kid had never seen an old gray hair granny under a car kicking and sweating bullets. All in all, the tank cost less than $50 so it was worth all the effort. I did pay someone to have it put on. I would not put James through getting the leaking tank off my Escort. We were both so sore the next day we could hardly walk. I don't know if it was from the rocks or the kicking! You really haven't “bonded” with family members until you have been under a car robbing parts! Expressy, here's another true chapter for your “red neck family” book!

Love to all!
Aunt, The Sunflower Suzy

DATE: September 8, 2000 12:56 PM
SUBJECT: RE: Breakdown

Dang, Aunt Suzy. That sounds like something I’d do. I wonder if this is an untreated family condition!?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Moving right along

We moved our stuff into the house this weekend and put the bed together, then left the boxes sitting there and went to the 10th annual tie-dye party. The party originated with some friends of Frankie’s from college. When Frankie lived on 5 acres near Ashland City, the party was held there several times. People would come from all around and pitch their tent on his property and tie-dye articles of clothing with professional dye. It has grown so much over the years that a larger place has to be rented.

We got home on Sunday and laundered the tie-dye. We got some really cool looking patterns on the sheet set we dyed. I woke up dreaming that I was in a cyclone!

Of course, things are topsy-turvy in the house right now, but I did find my toothbrush and something to wear to work this morning. I am happy with my new life. Never in my life did I plan to re-marry, and certainly not so quickly!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What Really Counts

Starbucks, eat your heart out! We now have a gourmet coffee machine at work. I've had Columbian, Hazelnut and Arabian so far. That's just in the past hour. I'm having Human Resources check to see if they can install a toilet in my cubicle. This stuff goes right through me.

Kim got a new diet book this weekend. We're holding one another ac'count'able. She's counting fat grams. I'm counting carbohydrates. I'd be winning if it weren't for the fact that dieting is like golf, the less the number, the better you score. Anyway, she brought our lunch from home today and a book that charts fat grams, calories, carbs, and proteins; all the things that make food taste so good. In my opinion, the higher the number, the better it tastes. I think they take a poll to see what people like the best and rate it with the highest count. I nearly cried when I found out my Taco Bell salad had 850 calories! Kim and I were standing outside the building after we crunched our dietary numbers and drank our coffee. She was policing each employee as they came back from lunch and giving citations for high calorie and fat gram numbers. The survey was called off when she got hit in the head by a fat lady.

Well, I've got to go for now. My coffee is getting cold.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stalled Feet

I’m a people watcher. I like to look at the feet of the person in the stall next to me in public restrooms. This is especially entertaining in the summer months when women wear open-toed shoes and sandals. I find it a game to see if I can guess things about the person to whom the pair belongs. Is she young or old? Married or single? Confident or insecure? You can tell, you know? Red or bright colors express confidence. Well-groomed suggests she's single or fashionable. Rough, cracked, dry skin means she's so old she doesn't give a damn about glamour. I learned this from those personality tests I take online. A particular set of tootsies I saw last week took the prize. I thought they must be the feet of a very busy, out-dated, older woman. Her nail polish was applied in the late 1970's and the nails hadn't been clipped since then. Boy, was I surprised when I peeked through the crack of the door jam while she was washing her hands. She was a rather pretty young woman who probably wasn't even born in the 1970's. Blew my foot fashion theory to hell.

DATE: 8/17/2000 5:03:36 PM
SUBJECT: RE: Stalled Feet

At least she washes her hands! Apparently she doesn't extend that same courtesy to her feet. Perhaps you need to add cleanliness to the list of things you can tell about a person by looking at their feet!!

DATE: 8/18/2000 9:13:39 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Stalled Feet

Boy, am I glad I painted my toenails yesterday! After living on the boat for 10 days my nail polish was almost non-existent. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was from the 70's era. I'm more like the 50's and 60's!

DATE: August 18, 2000 10:15:30 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Stalled Feet

You really need to put your mind (what's left of it) to something more constructive.

DATE: August 18, 2000 10:22:58 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Stalled Feet

I like this one. I am going to try that game the next time I am in a stall. It sounds like fun!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Death by Diet

Kim and I tried to commit suicide at lunch today. We ate at an elegant buffet called Karendales. We did really well with our grazing until the waitress brought out a dessert sampler on a silver tray to the guy across the room from us. We looked at one another and began surveying the temptation. Finally, we made a dash for the waitress. We had her bring one of those platters with an assortment of high-caloried fudge, cheesecake, carrot cake, ice cream, strawberries and chocolates covered with raspberry and caramel sauce. We savored every bite. To say the least, we both blew a huge hole in our low-fat, no-sugar diet. As we waddled back to the car, I was feeling so bloated and guilty. This is only the second time in six months I've had sweets. If I had Syrup of Ipecac handy I'd drink it and puke so I could breathe again. I can't even button my pants and I NEED a nap. I weighed myself on the shipping scales before lunch. I had gained two pounds after our escapade; and that was after my first “run” to the porcelain parlor. WHY did I DO this to myself? SOMEBODY slap me - Just DON'T touch my belly.

Gotta go! Literally!

SENT: Wednesday, July 26, 2000 11:24 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Death by Diet

Mah Dearest Spressy,

I truly enjoyed your Death by Diet story. I reread it again today. I just have to share a story about our small town. Our town is really small but we do have a local Chief of Po-leece Chief Bodine (pronounced Bow-dene) is a true Cajun. No one messes with Bodine! He tours around town two or three times a day, usually between coffee stops at one of the two area stores. Now Bodine has a deputy. He's not really a true deputy but works with Bodine and is a “wanna-be-deputy'. His name is Barney, really, that is his name and he is a small “Barney Fife” type character. As I said, this is a small town with a small budget. The story goes that Barney doesn't have a real Po-leece car with a real siren. Instead, he drives his Geo and has a toggle switch with an outside speaker. When in hot pursuit, he hits the toggle switch and it plays a tape of a siren screaming, just like the Sheriff's car. Barney has never actually got to pursue anyone so he only plays the tape in front of the city hall to see if it is working. Well... one day while Bodine and Barney were sitting in the local store enjoying their third cup of coffee, one of the “good old boys'“ pickup truck went streaking through town running our only stop sign. Bodine said “This is your chance Barney, go get 'em.” Barney jumped in his Geo and took off in hot pursuit and flipped the toggle switch to blast out his siren tape. However, seems someone swapped the tape and replaced it with the William Tell Overture. So off goes Barney down the street with his tape blaring “Titty-rump, Titty-rump, titty rump, rump, rump! Poor Barney, he will never live this down. Do take care now, you hear?

Your Aunt, Suzy Sunflower

Monday, July 20, 2009

Guess What?!

Hi-Ya People,

Here's the latest news from the Valiant, Victorious, non-Vacillating, Expressy. I've been through the wilderness of “What-the Hell-Happened?!” over the last few months but alas, a wind-blown, More-than-Conqueror warrior, surfaces from the dust. It’s the stuff movies are made of.

You may have noticed that I've changed my last name since you last heard from me. It's true that I got un-married, but I didn’t have a chance to go back to my maiden name. that's because I eloped on July 7th with a wonderful guy named Frankie.

So many of you were concerned about my six month absence from church while I grieved the literal falling apart of my life. No sooner did I get back into church than I met Husband #2 who had been praying for a Godly wife. I seemed to fit the criteria for which he had prayed and since he didn't ask for my references, here I am married to a man that I've known only since Easter (resurrection) Sunday; a total of ten weeks. I call that taking a giant, risk-taking, leap of least on his part! Wait until he finds out I'm not exactly the candidate he bargained for. hee hee!

That's not all. Frankie and I are in the process of buying a house. I went on an outing with the realtor, looked at four houses and put a contract on one that is perfect for us. We await loan approval. The Divine has provided everything we needed to move forward and even took the stress out of the whole thing. We have exactly what we asked for.

Frankie is a musician. We enjoy singing, playing and writing songs together. We like being outdoors, going camping, hiking, and doing other recreational sports such as laying on a blanket while watching fluffy clouds pass over. Frankie has an acute sense of humor, so much so that my daughter says I have met my match and that the two of us deserve one another – whatever that means! There's never a dull moment!

Speaking of my daughter, she is speaking to me again. We see each other just about every week and I talk to her often. She has matured into a beautiful young lady. She is working full-time for a vision care center as the receptionist and patient care assistant to a group of optometrists and ophthalmologists. She is finishing her senior year of high school in her spare time. She had a 3.7 GPA last semester. We're shopping for her senior ring and photos. Even though she is home schooled, she wants to have her old high school engraved on her ring. She says that's the only high school she went to that she really liked. She has saved enough money to make a down payment on a car and has been going to dealerships giving them hell trying to make a deal that she feels is worth taking. She's got more spunk than a skunk! hahaha!

More about my new husband: I could not have asked for a better match in a mate especially since I wasn't asking. Frankie has three children and two grandchildren and another on the way. Frankie took me to meet his family. They will never be the same.

We bought a vacation package for a cruise to the Bahamas. It was an offer that came via the fax machine at work. Since I’ve only been at this job for three months, I don’t have enough vacation time to take the cruise this year. We’ll take it next year. I hope this offer is legitimate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


DATE: June 6, 2000 10:44 AM

You may be new to my mailing list. Consider it as you would a sweepstakes letter. You won't win anything but you'll never get your name off the list. I've been writing email episodes for about two years and sometimes they are actually entertaining. Sometimes they are unbelievable. They are always true with very little fabrication added. So, you can change your email address now or continue to read on and endure!

I had three job offers this week for a full-time permanent position with benefits. The job I chose has a great environment, wonderful people, and excellent benefits. So far, I have been able to utilize the skills I picked up while temping and I am challenged to learn and grow without being overly stressed. Thank God!

I've become known as the Nut lady at work because I have a jar on my desk that's usually filled with cashews, sunflower kernels or Spanish peanuts. It's empty today due to the pit stops made by my co-workers. Today at 10 o'clock break, I had so much food on my desk that I couldn't find my work. I've spoiled my co-workers by sharing my treats everyday for the last few weeks. I had no choice. Every time I opened my drawer, two or three heads would pop over the edge of my cubicle to see what low carb delicacy I was delving out. Today one of the salesmen came by to ask a question about a letter I had sent. I had a huge chaw of beef jerky tucked in one cheek and a hand full of pork rinds waiting on the runway. Of course the phone rang before I could finish chewing. I shifted the wad of jerky and with some difficulty swallowed the extra juice so I could speak to the caller. A guy we call Cornbread caught the humor of the moment and offered me a spit cup and asked for a slab of 'dat jerk meat'. My co-workers and I really get into snack time. Maybe I should say the snacks get into us. When I went to the restroom, I noticed I had pork rind lint (crumbs) on my face and in my hair. Frankie, you would have had a nit picking fit!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Help! I'm Dating!


I can’t tell just anyone about this, but I think I’m already dating this guy I met last week. He asked me out after the meeting Friday night, and I heard the word “yes” jump out of my mouth before I knew I wanted to say it. This is a mystery, but I already feel like I know this man from somewhere. I can tell what he’s thinking, and he is falling for me as much as I am for him. We sat together in church last Sunday, and my heart beat wildly just being near him. We went out to eat with a group of people from church and he bought my dinner – I guess that makes it a date. Frankie and I took a ride to the lake after dinner, and as we sat on the bench I got this premonition that I am going to marry him. I think I was lead to the church in the office park to meet him for this purpose. HELP! I’m not ready for a relationship, but my poor heart knows no fear; she is willing to jump right into this situation while I’m still mulling over all the reasons why I shouldn’t.

Anyway, he asked me to go hiking with him next Saturday at Carter Mountain in Suwannee, and I said yes. And like I promised you, I’ll stay vertical. Besides you know I never sleep with anyone before I know his credit card number.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This man I Met

Surely you've noticed by now (if you have been keeping up with this blog) that the post dates do not coincide with the dates of the original emails. That happens when telling things in past tense.

DATE: April 15, 2000 7:31 PM
SUBJECT: This man I Met

For someone who didn’t want to get back in church I sure surprised myself when I went to a prayer meeting at a lady’s house Saturday night. There was a guy there named Frankie that I absolutely could not keep my eyes off of. This sounds dumb even saying it, but I think we’re supposed to be together. I’m on the rebound and I’m too vulnerable for a relationship. I’m not over the pain of my first marriage, and I don’t want to date. My self-esteem and confidence is zilch right now. Besides that, my divorce is not final. What am I thinking?

I went again today and I cried most of the service because the songs inspired so many memories. Frankie must be attracted to me - he intentionally sat behind me in church this morning. His sweet voice lulled me and stirred all kinds of emotions. I heard at the prayer meeting that he is leading a prayer group on Friday night. I already plan to attend. It’s like I’m watching myself make decisions and it’s not me making them. A current that is stronger than me is pulling me along.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Church in the Office park

I finally gave in. I woke up Sunday morning knowing that I needed to go to that church in the office park, but I bargained with God that I would only go to hear the music then I’d leave before the preaching began. I refuse to be a captive audience to a man who thinks he has a special deal with God to order other people around. I called to see what time the services started and was told 10:00 a.m. When I got there at 9:55 everyone was milling about, and some were leaving. I thought I was off the hook and was about to leave when I discovered that they were only taking a break. The second half was about to begin - you guessed it - the preaching. I had not set my clock back for Daylight Saving Time and I missed the music. I wanted to bolt, but a nice woman approached me and asked me to sit with her so I complied. I met a lot of nice people. I don’t remember their names. It felt okay to be in that place, but I still don’t feel like I belong in a church.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Checking it out

Curiosity finally got to me and I took a turn down the road to the office park I mentioned. A lot of businesses there, but nothing I felt drawn to until I neared the back of the office park and saw a warehouse that was being used as a meeting place for a church. “No, not church!” I whined when I saw it. “You know I hate organized religion, Lord. I’ve been hurt too many times by religious people, and I don’t want to go to any church, much less one in a warehouse.”

I’m not going to see any peace until I visit this place. What’s going on here?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Deck Project Update

We have steps on the deck now. I tried to show the blind dog where the new steps are located, but she refused to walk on the new deck. Instead she crouched down and dragged herself across the fresh lumber until she got to me, then she stopped and would not budge. She came back up the steps by herself, and walked right into the gas grill. I re-routed her toward the door, which was now farther from the steps than before. She thought she was jumping over the threshold of the house when she took a nosedive into a pot of geraniums. I couldn’t help but laugh at that poor dog!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dog “Gone” Annie

Fellow Dog Lovers,

My eyes were swollen when I woke up this morning. I cried all the way home from Tullahoma. I’m not sure if it was tears of relief or grief, but we gave Annie away this weekend to a breeder. The man said we could get one of her puppies some day. I don’t think so! At least I didn’t have to pay him to take her.

Annie had chewed on most all of our furniture. We had a yard sale and sold what we could of it. We managed to sell the sofa and side chair, dining room table and chairs, a python snake, and a piccolo. I’ll have enough to replace the carpet Annie destroyed.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ah, Grasshoppa!


My Daughter is at church camp this week. I hope she gets the ‘room cleaning’ anointing. She turned 16 while riding the bus to Mississippi. That reminds me of the day she was born.

While I was pregnant with this promised child, My Husband bought a black 1950 Chevy pickup truck that we named Big Black. It was my primary source of transportation. It had a three-speed shift on the column, with reverse IF you could find it. I was so large in my waist I had to push the seat back to allow all of me and the baby belly to fit. With the seat in that position, I could hardly reach the steering wheel, which measured 2 feet across and had a lot of play. No airbag (except me), no anti-lock or power brakes, no power steering, no radio, no power windows or locks. In fact the doors wouldn’t lock, and it had no A/C; but it had a damn good heater year round because it wouldn’t turn off. Well, the shocks and suspension on those older vehicles are nothing like the ones on the newer cars so if you hit a pothole, your head would probably hit the roof of the cab. There I was nine and a half months pregnant, having contractions five minutes apart, and I’m taking my sweet time about getting dressed to go to the hospital. We packed all the gear in the family car only to find that it wouldn’t start. Plan B: My Husband drove me to the hospital in Big Black. It took twice as long to get there because we had to creep over every bump in the road. When we got to the railroad tracks, a major contraction hit me, and we had to stop until it subsided. I threatened to walk the rest of the way not because I was a sissy about the bumpy roads, but because I thought it would be faster on foot. I could have made it too. I was in great condition. I had plowed, planted, and picked a one-third acre garden with my grandmother that summer. She and I had picked and put up 2 bushels of green beans the day before I went into labor. It wasn’t a surprise to anyone when I delivered a 9 pound-1 ounce trophy with no painkiller. I must have been crazy back then. Maybe I still am.

My Daughter and I made the grasshopper cake before she left for camp. The recipe was difficult even though it had step-by-step instructions including pictures showing Betty Crocker beating egg whites, fluffing and folding egg yolks, cooling but not chilling, heating but not boiling. We never did figure out how to fold an egg yolk. I beat the whipping cream too long and it turned to butter. We successfully divided the layers horizontally with a string of sewing thread, but the icing was truly a disaster! The crème de menthe and crème de cacao had to be mixed with the whipping cream and Knox gelatin and cooled for 15 minutes. Then there was the trip to Pep Boys that took longer than expected. When we returned with a solenoid for My Son’s car, the green liquor Jello had gelled and the whipping cream was flat. We were too embarrassed to go back to the Piggly Wiggly for a fourth time so we decided to use the gelled mess anyway. When I got the third level of icing on the stack of ½ inch cake layers the whole thing started slithering off the plate. 

“Come back, grasshoppa!” I gasped. I grabbed the toothpick box and stabbed the layers together, and then slapped on the last stage of the too thin icing. The icing slid off the sides and over the edge and looked pitiful. I had some Ready-Whip in the fridge that we squirted on the empty places. I went out to the herb garden to get some fresh mint. When we came back inside the Ready-Whip had joined the rest of the icing and was in a puddle on the kitchen counter. We put on the mint, and placed it on a crystal cake stand. It was ugly, but it tasted fine. The whole ordeal took two hours and three trips to Piggly Wiggly to complete.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Now that I know Ruby Tuesdays is open on Thursdays, I’m going to try TGI Friday’s on Monday.

My Husband and I worked all weekend on the deck in triple digit weather. It was so hot that I melted, and had to be scooped up, and carried inside to the freezer to re-solidify. We still have no railing or steps, but at least the floor is on. We hammered half of a 25-pound box of nails into the flooring, and my neck and back is killing me. Indy, the blind dog is terribly confused. The steps are gone, and so is the edge of the world, as she knew it. In fact she walked right over to where the steps used to be, and fell off without her Super-dog cape. I heard a thud, which had to have knocked the breath out of her. I ran to the edge and stopped abruptly realizing I had no way to get down there to see if she was all right. She was walking around in circles as I ran from through the dining room and out the front door, and around the house. Talk about scaring the poop out her; she had already assumed the drop-a-load position when I got to her. I can’t believe she wasn’t injured.

I watered the flowers at the mailbox today. I was looking down and was in deep thought when I turned and started walking toward the house. Whatever I was thinking about was knocked out of my head when I walked straight into the Bradford Pear tree and got my head stuck between the branches. I’m not kidding. I couldn’t get my head out without tearing my earrings off my ears. I stood there with a bug on my nose and a bee buzzing around my eyes while I tried to figure out which branches I needed to move in order to free my head. My hands were scratched and jammed into the lower branches, which explains the blood on my shorts. I stood there singing “George, George, George of the Jungle” and laughed so hard that I forgot I had someone coming any minute to look at the dining room table we are selling. I got the leaves out of my hair and walked to the house as she drove up the driveway. I do hope my neighbors are satisfied with the free entertainment I provide them.

I really didn’t want to sell the table so cheaply, but the lady had a string of tattered children with her. She said she was 42, and it looked like she had earned those numbers. It was probably a set up, but I practically gave the table and chairs to her.

I’m going to see Ben Gay. I need a rub.

Spressy, the Great!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Time Warp 1999

I feel like I’m living in a time warp or in suspended animation. My yard is tore up, the garage is a mess, cars parts are decorating our dead lawn, the house is being redecorated, I have a dog with no brain, and my daughter NEEDS her eyebrow pierced. I would like to schedule my nervous breakdown now.

The garage is so messy; it’s starting to look like the upstairs. My Son took the engine and transmission out of the Blazer. There’s grease, oil and colored fluids on the floor so naturally the carpet and walls upstairs have been decorated with a variety of hand and footprints. The Blazer is in a thousand pieces in the garage, and My Son is spending his time doing bodywork on his Camaro. He’s in no hurry to finish since he bought a $400 Ford Festiva to drive while he works on the other cars. I called to make sure our homeowner’s policy covers injuries related to tripping over car parts.

The blind dog has an earache, probably due to where Annie bit her. My Daughter got up puking this morning, but she went on to work. I told her that if she stayed home, she’d have to clean her room. If she doesn’t clean it soon, the Better Homes and Garages Police could arrest us. There are things growing in the kid’s rooms that can’t be talked about online. Nothing is growing outside though. We had a salad lawn, but we put weed killer on it. Now that the dandelions, wild onions, and poke salad died, we don’t have a lawn. It wouldn’t matter anyway, since tractor man rearranged it. Which reminds me; our subdivision is having a yard sale. I doubt anyone would want to buy my yard, but I’d like to sell my neighbor and my dog! Annie has torn up almost everything, so I do have a lot of junk in the house that I need to get rid of. On second thought, perhaps I should keep the old furniture; it matches the messed up carpet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Dog Came Back

We’re Back

Dear Fruit and Serial Lovers (as in series or cereal) Get it? All puns intended.

When we got Annie back from the kennel she was so well behaved that we thought we had the wrong dog for the first 24 hours. Then she ate the corner of the windowsill, slobbered on the daughter’s tennis shoes, drank from the toilet, and tore out the wastebaskets. Things are back to normal.

Indy got a buzz job (a haircut, for Pete’s sake!), and she’s not half the dog she used to be. There was enough hair in that pile to make another dog.

I’m sore in my back and have shin splints from being dragged down the street when I took Annie for a walk yesterday. I pulled with all my might to keep her from running. I was zigzagging from one side of the street to the other, jumping over drainage grates and tripping over curbs yelling, “Whoa, Annie, whoa!” It’s a wonder we didn’t both get run over by a car.

Speaking of Annie, she just unrolled the toilet paper and ran with it down the hall. I thought this was over when my kids were potty trained.

Many of you may not know (or care) that the Weimaraner is a German bred dog sometimes called the gray ghost, or in Annie’s case, the gray goat. I am awaiting AKC papers to find out which side of the family the Billy goat was on. I call her Aaaannnnnie but she doesn’t pay attention to me. She’s a chewer all right. She ate a plug-in air freshener off the wall. She shredded the Sunday edition of the Tennessean newspaper in 30 seconds flat. All the doorstops in the house are missing their tips. Perhaps she is called a gray ghost because she follows me around the house like a shadow, but that is a good thing since she needs constant attention. She also chewed the corner of the coffee table while I was watching. It happened so fast; I couldn’t get to her before her teeth made marks. I locked her in the bathroom with me so I could get dressed. While I was applying mascara she reached the sink counter and stole the towel I was using.

Annie and Indy have had quite a few quarrels. Indy may be blind, but she will not tolerate Annie sneaking up from behind her and biting her on the butt. However, no matter how many times Indy growls or snaps at Annie, she will not stop pestering her. The two girls just walked by looking like a choo-choo train. Annie’s nose was connected to Indy’s butt again.

Pass Pets made us sign a contract stating that we could not return the puppy once we left the store with her. I thought that was a stupid thing to even think of at the time. I could imagine a customer walking into the pet store and saying, “I’d like to return this puppy, it’s the wrong color, or I already have one like it.” The store clerk would say, “Sorry sir, but we can’t accept used dogs!” Customer, “I’ll pay you to take her back!”

I’ve got to get the phone cord out of Annie’s mouth. I’ll write later.

Love and puddles,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Vacation Explanation


Hey Folks,

You’ll never believe what happened while we were on vacation, but I’ll tell you anyway. First of all our teenaged son didn’t go with us. He was supposed to be housesitting. Instead, he had gone to Ohio and back – twice. That’s why we couldn’t get him on the phone when we called from Florida to check on him. When we drove into the driveway we noticed that something had torn up our lawn. Figuring there was some logical explanation, we went inside with the first load of luggage.

Imagine our shock as we discovered that our son had leased the house to some of his friends while we were away. Nothing like a little entrepreneurship, huh? The windows were sweating and so were we when we first walked in. Our sweat quickly froze, and so did our blood. We gasped in horror at the mess. Someone had been partying, but forgot to clean up. They were probably Eskimos since the A/C was turned as low as it would go, and it was 50° on the indoor thermometer. We opened the doors to let the house warm up. That’s when we noticed the trash on the back porch. The partiers had left bags and bags of garbage, and the neighbor’s dogs had torn it out all over the deck.

That’s not all….
There were spots all over the living room carpet and we still can’t figure out what produced them. I felt like mama of the Three Bears when I said, “Somebody’s been using my shower. And somebody’s been sleeping in my bed, and somebody’s left their shoes.” Later we found out that one of our son’s friends, who was dating a married woman, had got into a fight with her husband (probably at our house). My Son brought him to our house to recuperate after taking him to the hospital for stitches.

That’s not all…
Sometime during our week away, our next-door neighbor went nuts. He cranked up a bulldozer about midnight one night and crashed through his own fence, taking his kids swing set with him. He proceeded to tear up our lawn as he drove through the neighborhood creating mud dunes and pushing over trees. The next day he tried to run over the Town Hall employees who came out to issue a cease and desist order. The poor guy ended up in a mental institution and was reported as having said, “None of this would have happened if Expressy had been here!” What the hell did he mean by that? I hardly knew the guy!

Well about our vacation: my sister-in-law instructed her children not to touch the emergency pull chain in the bathroom at the condo because the police would be there in a flash. She said that a lot of elderly people stayed there, and the chain was to help anyone who had fallen in the tub get medical assistance. I bet the kids were wondering how an injured, naked old woman would get up and pull the chain, then lie down again to wait for help to arrive. Well, I hung my wet swimsuit on the emergency cord the next day. It made a nice retractable clothes line. Never a dull moment!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Annie’s Collar

Dear Email Folks,

We bought a new harness collar so we could take Annie for long walks to spend some of her energy. The collar was too big, so I made new holes in the strap. It took three people five minutes to get it on her - one to hold her down, one to hold her mouth closed, and one to strap it around her while she was laying on it. When I came home from work today she had managed to get it off and she gnawed the strap in half. It is irreparable. No harness, no walks.

I let Annie out of jail at 6:00 this morning, and she immediately bolted toward the bedroom. My husband was asleep in bed when Annie body slammed him and landed her wet, muddy feet on his stomach. I heard my husband “UMPH!” as the breath was knocked out of him. She was biting his head before he recovered. Annie was in trouble with the law again. Back to jail she went where she whined for an hour. She doesn't understand why no one wants to play and bite so early in the morning.

I've gotta go for now. Annie just fell out of the bathtub when she got tangled up in the shower curtain.


Annie’s Collar

Hi Spressy!! :O)

Have you ever considered using a net? Or maybe letting her out to chase the garbage men at 4 a.m. By the time she wanders home you'll just be getting up, and Annie will have had her fill of biting and playing. I'm not sure how the garbage guys will take it, but tell them if they can get the harness on her, you'll take her for a real walk. Keep trying!!
Kurlikew :O)

SENT: July 29, 1999 4:28 PM
SUBJECT: RE: Annie’s Collar

That Annie is a troublemaker! But I don't understand why the 6:00 in the morning play is a problem. Doesn't everyone like to play with a wet, muddy dog in the wee hours of the morning?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Writing While Intoxicated

A freelance writer uses the five Ws and good humor to show how a little alcohol can enhance your writing and creativity

WWI. No, I’m not referring to World War I. WWI means Writing While Intoxicated.

Why not write while you’re enjoying a little buzz? People say some of the funniest things when they are drunk. Some of the greatest philosophies were born in a Manhattan stupor. Me? Well, I have attempted to solve all the world’s problems after drinking a few imported beers. So, I figure an inebriated state of being might as well be put to good use.

There should be some parameters regarding this undertaking, I suppose. Let’s begin with a preparatory paragraph and go with the five W’s of any great article: who, what, when, where and why. And, just to show you a good example of a well-organized paper, I’ll make sure I give a clear opening, informative body and strong summary to close.


Once intoxicated, you will probably feel inspired so make sure you have pen and paper handy before you pop the top of your favorite beverage. Otherwise, you will be writing your sex sermon on the beach on whatever scraps of paper you can scrounge up—a menu, a napkin, an envelope, or the back of a grocery receipt (probably the one from the market where you bought your “WWI supplies”). I’ve even written on a chewing gum wrapper when a moment of creativity arose without warning. If you are writing while intoxicated at your computer, you may find your fingers are quite clumsy and that remembering your passwords is difficult when you try to lager on. Still, this option may work well for those who shouldn’t be handling sharp objects like a pencil or a Screwdriver.

Who to Drink with While You Write

Who you drink and write with is important. You want someone you can trust, who will not divulge the secrets of your screenplay or plagiarize your novel once the two of you are sober. Since you probably won’t remember what you said while intoxicated, writing while drinking can be useful the next day when your best friend says you listed all your past lovers after a couple rounds of Jello shots. A written record is good, but make sure that whatever you write ends up in your pocket when the evening ends.

What to Drink While You Write

Despite the fact that each of us has a favorite drink, it is important to know how you are personally affected by certain types of alcohol. Tequila makes me silly. Rum makes me angry. Beer makes me have to pee. Wine makes me sleepy. If Whiskey makes you sour, stay away from it. If a martini makes you feel dirty, write romance or soft porn. If a cola makes you hyper, stick with that and forego the morning-after headache. Choose your beverage according to the task at hand.

When to Drink and Write

It doesn’t matter whether you plan to WWI in the day or at night. It is always five o’clock somewhere in Margaritaville. However, preparation is necessary, especially in Tennessee where the liquor stores are closed all day on Sunday and the grocery stores can’t sell beer until after the clock strikes noon on the Western-modified Sabbath. The distillery that makes Jack Daniels is located in a dry county. Therefore, you will need to get the ingredients for your cocktail ahead of time. It’s no comfort, Southern or otherwise, to be caught without proper equipment.

Where to Drink and Write

Do you want to be drunk in public or in private? I always opt for private encounters with my drunken muse. Oh, yes. The muse gets drunk when you do. You don’t want to be doing the backseat boogie with a stranger in a cab on the way home. I certainly do not suggest you attempt to drive soon after you’ve been drinking and writing. I don’t advise you to write and drive either. I’ve seen people to do this. You can get pulled over for driving while writing on a used tissue.

Why to Drink and Write

A glass or two of wine can blur the edges of reality allowing you to color outside the proverbial lines without being anal about doing it wrong. Or, in our case as writers, we can write outside the margins and completely off the page when we are less inhibited.

Creativity emerges when we’re not worried about editing or being edited.

A limitation on libation should be enforced if you want writing that is legible. Too many shooters and you’ll be up the creek without a Maiden’s Prayer. Although writing while drinking is a great tonic for keeping your gin up, you should drink responsibly and write responsively.

If you liked this article, please share it on, StumbleUpon or Digg. I’d appreciate it.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Annie’s Bath

Dear Email Episodians,

There’s nothing quite like trying to bathe two dogs at a time. It was Indy's turn to go first but Annie cut her off and jumped in the bathtub ahead of her as the water was running. The water was a little warm, which is just the way the little Shitzhu, likes it. Annie started dancing the Cha-cha-cha trying to keep her paws cool. He didn’t have a clue what was causing her discomfort.

I got little old Indy wet and lathered, and Annie (the big Weimaraner) helped by licking the shampoo from Indy's head. I finally got both dogs bathed, and I wanted to blow dry Indy. She loves to get up on the bathroom counter to be groomed. It's her spa treatment or therapy. Annie, the big galoof, wanted to be on the countertop with her. Annie is afraid of the blow dryer, and kept biting at it while I was drying Indy. Annie did get up on the counter in spite of my efforts to shoo her away with the blow dryer. Her tail knocked stuff off the counter while she tried to bite the sink stopper out of the drain.

I made the mistake of letting the dogs, one partly dry and the other very wet, out of the bathroom at the same time. Indy started toward the kitchen for her doggie treat. Annie raced past her and body-slammed the sofa chair. The chair came up off its front feet and nearly tipped over backwards. Annie didn’t even touch the floor before she leaped on the sofa. She hit it so hard the wall behind it shook. Without slowing down she jumped over the coffee table, and started chasing Indy, who took cover under the piano stool. Annie, not realizing she wouldn’t fit under it, made a beeline for the stool. She carried the stool on her back for three steps before it turned over spilling sheet music everywhere. This dog is a wild woman! Anyone want a Weimaraner?


SENT: July 26, 1999 11:22 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Annie’s Bath

I think I'll stick to my cats. At least when they body slam the furniture it doesn't rock the house, AND they bathe themselves :O)

SENT: July 27, 1999 9:34 AM
SUBJECT: RE: Annie’s Bath

Oh, how I can relate!! My crazy beagle puppy also body slams the furniture after his bath causing a mini-puddle right in the middle of the sofa.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Free Download of a Humorous Book

I went on vacation
to California
in the summer
in the heat
of the desert.

I was out of my head
while out of my office
and away from my PC
with only a laptop...and olives.

I wore high hells (I mean heels)
on the city street
going to a restaurant
to eat dinner
with my husband
who got me into this mess.

That's a lot of prepositional phrases, but you'll understand when you download the PDF of my free humorous e-book about Yvonne's trip to California.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

New Cookbook

This happened in another life time, another era, another decade--another century, even.

Chefs, Bakers, and Patty Cakers,

I got a new cookbook for $5.00 at the store last week. What a deal! So far it has cost me an additional $94 in groceries and a trip to the liquor store, and we still don’t have a loaf of bread in the house. Fancy cooking requires fancy ingredients. My Daughter’s birthday is next week and she wants me to make the grasshopper cake for her. She and I went to 3 groceries stores looking for white crème de cacao and green crème de menthe. One person at Kroger told us we could buy it at Dairy Queen. I may be naïve but even I knew better than that! Finally someone told us that you have to buy the crèmes at the liquor store. What kind of state is this? You can buy wine in the grocery store in others states. Tennessee has the buckle of the Bible belt strapped a little too tight. I’d never been in a liquor store in my life, but I managed to find a tiny bottle of green stuff that looks like mouthwash and a bottle of clear elixir rated at 60-proof, each costing 7 bucks! We’ll see how it turns out. We may end up drunk in the process. Being drunk sounds like a positive escape for the weary would-be-chefs.

Well, on top of all the other projects we have going on around the house, My Husband decided we needed to tear out the old deck and enlarge it. Yes, it was pretty dilapidated, but the last thing I needed right now was to have the first step out the back door become a 10-foot drop off into the rose bushes. We have the structure framed out, but we’ll have to wait for the next paycheck to put a floor on it. Meanwhile, I pulled the dining room chairs in front of the door, so I wouldn’t get up in the night and drop the blind dog off a cliff.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Poopy puppy

This is from 1999, but it's still funny.

Dear Animal Lovers,

Okay, I admit it. A new puppy was NOT a good idea. We called the place we bought her last night to see what we are doing wrong. They are convinced that Weimaraners are smart animals, and can learn if you discipline them. My house is still a mess, and we have worn out the Sunday paper whacking that dog for chewing on Indy and the furniture. She thinks it’s a game. We must be dumb parents. I failed the Human Parenting 101 class at church one time, why should I expect to pass Dog Parenting 202? She’s a fun dog, but she consumes a lot of time and energy that I don’t have to give.

I took both dogs to the vet today. I strapped Annie’s harness to the seatbelt in the back and put the old, blind dog (Indy) in the front with me. Indy peed in her seat and wanted to sit in my lap while I was driving. I guess she didn’t want to get her butt wet. It took two vet assistants to get both dogs out of the car and into the building. Waiting in that small treatment room was a trip without luggage. Indy gets nervous at the vet because she can’t see what’s going on. She likes to be held while she shakes. Annie was jealous and kept biting at her. Blind dog got mad and snapped at Annie. She missed and almost bit ME. Annie got her puppy booster shot today. The vet gave her a pawdicure. Perhaps trimming her nails will be less damaging for our possessions. They also cleaned her ears. Maybe her inability to obey was because she couldn’t hear. I asked them for a prescription to help her stop gnawing the furniture. They said there was nothing they could do. She’s simply hard of minding. She has chewed the corner of the coffee table, and torn a hole in the skirt of the side chair. The antique end table she chewed is now on top of her kennel. Trying to write a check was a Candid Camera event. It felt like my pen was in a Spirograph. The dogs were going around and around my legs, and I kept turning in circles trying to unwrap myself. Can dogs be put on Ritalin?

I saw photos of the Oklahoma bombing on TV. It reminded me of our living room after Annie has been out of her cage for 10 minutes. Our Weimaraner puppy is 16 weeks old today. Life is a game. She keeps landing on “go directly to jail, do not pass go, and do not collect $200.” Yep, her avenue is parked in her jail cell (kennel), right this moment and she’s barking for the warden. Perhaps she can be paroled after supper if she promises not to jump and hump on Indy.

Last night Annie decided to give herself a bath. I heard her lapping water and thought she was drinking from the toilet again. I walked into the bathroom and found Annie with her head and both front feet in the tub, and her rear hanging out. I had left about an inch of water in the bathtub. When she saw me, she got all the way into the tub. I watched to see what she would do. She pawed at the drain hole, splashing water on her belly. She didn’t realize she was wetting herself, and turned around to see who was doing that to her. Seeing no one, she returned to pawing the drain more frantically, wetting her belly even more. Again she turned to see who was wetting her. I drained the water, but she wouldn’t get out so I reached over and turned on the shower. She bolted out of the tub and I thought I had a good hold on her, but she jumped right back into the tub, shower and all. That is ironic, since she hates going out in the rain. Go figure! I got it on videotape to watch later. Well, what can I say? It’s cheap entertainment.

Annie got into a stack of clothes hangers yesterday. She tore the paper covers into bits and chewed the cardboard sticks off the pants hangers. That was enough mess, but when I found her she was trying to pierce her tongue with a coated metal wire. It’s bad enough trying to deter my teenager from having her eyebrow pierced, without the dog having to join forces against me.
The house is in such a mess that my teenaged daughter is telling me I need to clean it. I ignored her just like she does me when I tell her to clean her room. She had a friend over yesterday while I was at work. She cleaned the house to keep from being embarrassed. I was going to get around to it, but I couldn’t find the mop. When I asked the other house residents about it, I found out that My Husband had taken it to the dump with the trash because it stank so badly. I guess I have put it through the wringer lately cleaning up after Annie.