Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Best Christmas Moment

Our family Christmas celebration was held at Jason’s house. After all the presents had been handed out, there was one left. It was a folded sheet of notebook paper with Noah’s handwriting: “To Mom and Dad from Noah and Owen.” Inside the paper was a sweet “Merry Christmas” message and a dollar bill.

Of course, Jason and DIL had taken the boys shopping for presents for Mom and Dad, but I think Noah wanted to give them something of his own. He even included Owen as a gift-giver. He has to be one of the sweetest, most caring little boys I have ever known.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Molly's Big Adventure

Jason and family went last Wednesday for their Christmas celebration with DIL’s father and his family in Florida. They left their pets, Molly, a Sheltie, and Potter, the cat, in the care of their neighbors, Jeff and Michelle. The neighbors are very nice people who have several pets. They have a key to Jason’s house to see to Potter’s needs, and Molly stays in the neighbors’ home.

Their cleaning lady doesn’t like dogs. Jeff told Michele to take Molly home and put her in the kennel until they came home from work. Molly doesn’t mind staying in the kennel; it’s the usual practice. Michelle felt bad about leaving her caged all day so she decided to let her stay at her house. When the housekeeper arrived Molly made her mad dash for freedom. Many of the neighbors joined in the search, but, crafty little pup that she is, she eluded them. (They have such good neighbors.)

Jason called me from Florida and asked that I go over to help in the search and to find out what exactly was going on. Jeff came home from work early to join the search parties. He walked the neighborhood several times and saw her once heading into another subdivision. I searched for her in the car. The search continued until dark. Jeff was very upset because he thought Michele should have taken Molly home and put her in the kennel.

There were numerous phone calls between Jason and I and Jason and Jeff. When Jason said he was thinking of coming home, I told him there was nothing he could do. After dark I suggested that Jeff stop his search. I thought she would come home when she was cold and hungry. This dog has never been cold or hungry in her life. She leads a life of ease.

Michelle came home from work about 6:30 pm and starting looking for Molly. About 8:00 pm she spotted her. She went home to get a flashlight. As she was getting back into her car, Molly comes running up to her. I bet that Molly has been safely ensconced in her kennel during the day.

There was one scary moment. As Jeff was wandering through backyards, and I, safely on the side on the road, heard a gunshot. It scared the you-know-what out of me. I thought sure someone took a potshot at the person prowling his yard. Jeff took the hint and returned to his car.By the time we arrived back home, Molly was safely in his house.

When I called Jason to tell him that Molly was safe, they were an hour and a half outside Jacksonville heading for home. They turned around to continue their celebration with DIL’s father and his family.

I wonder now that Molly has had her little adventure and several hours of freedom if she will try it again. They may have to leash her for a while every time she goes out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tears of Frustration and Cayenne

Last evening when Mr. Fixit came home from work, the first words out of my mouth were not “Hi! Sweetheart, I’m so glad you’re home” or “You must be tired. Dinner is ready.” Instead the first words out of my mouth were “You made me cry this afternoon!” He wasn’t even here!

I decided that since our weather has taken a more seasonal turn that chili would be perfect for a cold, rainy day. As I browned the meat, I looked in the cupboard for the little seasoning packet that I had purchased a few days before. I couldn’t find it. Then I remembered where I had last seen it. When I brought in the groceries I was distracted and put the bag with the packet and one more item on the couch. (Yes, where all groceries bags should be left.) I also remember picking up the bag with the intention of putting the items away. My memory after that was a complete blank.

Being the armchair detective I am, I deduced that perhaps the little bag must have been mixed in with the Christmas present bags that Mr. Fixit had placed in the little used downstairs bathroom. The grandchildren were here for a little while Sunday so he stuffed all the unwrapped presents in the shower and closed the curtain. I went through all the bags. No seasoning packet.

I searched the storeroom thinking I must have put in on the shelf there. Nope!

Then I remembered that I had been to the craft store and deduced that perhaps I had brought it upstairs with the little bags of floss and needles. I went through every bag with floss, yarn, and notions. Again, no seasoning packet.

All this time I was becoming more and more frustrated. I went through everything again with the same result. In the meantime, the meat was browned, the tomatoes had been pureed, the extra seasonings were on the counter, but I couldn’t take the next step of putting it all together. The last time I made chili was a disaster because I didn’t have that little packet and used taco seasoning instead. It was not a culinary success.

I was beginning to think I had absolutely lost my mind because I couldn’t remember where I put that darned bag. I was sure that I was in the middle stages of senile dementia. I was literally in tears. It had been a trying day even before the chili problem.

I started the search again and walked to the far end of the living room. I just stood there looking around. There! I spied a small white grocery bag between the end table and the wall and inside was the missing packet. Mr. Fixit, for some reason, put it there. He tried to tell me that I must have put it there and forgotten. Yeah, just like Ingrid Bergman in “Gaslight.”

By the end of dinner, Mr. Fixit had a few tears in his eyes, too, but it may have been because I added a “little” extra cayenne pepper to the delicious chili!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


A couple of weeks ago, I lost my DSL service. According to my modem (all the little lights were on), my connection was fine. I patiently waited for an hour and checked to see if service had been restored; it hadn’t. I went through the troubleshooting steps, and it was suggested that I contact tech support. I called the 800 number and was told by the computer that I should call again because all of their people were busy. I tried again, but there was a busy signal; I couldn’t even reach the computer. I knew then that something major had happened. My service finally came back on a few hours later. I found out the next morning that I, along with thousands of others in the southeast, had been affected.

Last week I received a letter from the head honcho of AT&T apologizing for the outage and for any inconvenience I suffered. What a shock! That’s the first time I have ever received a letter of that type. In this day of nasty customer reps and the general “screw you” attitude of most businesses, it was most refreshing that any company would pay for postage and associated expenses to send the letters to their customers.

Thanks! AT&T.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Silly Old Codgers (That's Us!)

Today was a very busy day for us. Mr. Fixit had to work until 1:45 pm. I attended Bella’s kindergarten Christmas program. I planned to pick him up for lunch after her program since he works in the same town were Bella goes to school. His truck was left in the parking lot where he works. We planned to do a little shopping, and I had to be at Jason’s at 3:15 to watch the Noah and Owen for a little while.

We stopped at a fast food emporium, and I parked on the opposite side of the building from where I usually park. When we finished, we walked out the usual door only to remember that we had parked on the other side of the building. We traipsed backed through the lobby to get to the car. I wondered if anyone noticed the two old codgers wandering around giggling.

We didn’t have time for shopping; we headed to Jason’s. After leaving his house we did a little shopping for PlayStation games in the town where Mr. Fixit works. They only had one of the games that we wanted so we decided to go to our local Wal-Mart on our way home. Sixteen miles down the road, a black truck with a silver toolbox in the back passed me. “Gadzooks!” I said. (I really didn’t say “gadzooks”; I actually said a more socially unacceptable word.) “We forgot your truck!”

Since we were so close to our local Wal-Mart, we went in to check to see if they had the other game that we wanted. As we looking at the myriad of games, a young man about 9 years old must have seen our befuddlement. He explained the store’s system of displaying the games. (I felt as stupid then as I felt when earlier I had to ask Noah how to use their remote control.) It was then that we realized that we had purchased the wrong game and paid $20.00 more than we should have. We did find the second game and bought the correct version of the first game that was $20.00 cheaper.

S-o-o-o, we left and started the 16 mile return trip to pick up the truck and return the game that we had bought in the other town. Then we made the 16 mile trip home. We drove 96 miles on that stretch of highway when we should have driven only 64.

They say when you get old the second thing to go is your memory; the third thing to go is your monthly gasoline budget.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This and That

The last post on my first blog was July 16, 2007. It’s surprising how many hits it gets. I think the referrals are very interesting. The most popular search subject is sinus drainage (3/15/05). Another popular search topic is paper towels (10/20/06), and divinity candy (10/31/2005) gets a few hits. People with household repair jobs generate a few hits with the search term, “Mr. Fixit”.


When my phone rang the caller id indicated that the call originated in state, and the name was a private party. I thought it was probably a wrong number, so I answered. Imagine my surprise when a gentleman said, “I am offering you a free cell phone.” Telemarketer! I declined telemarketing calls when I signed up on the Do Not Call list. When I asked what company he represented, he replied, “Sprint.” I politely told him no thank you and hung up. Even if I had ever considered Sprint service, it blew its chance for my business by cheating.

Sprint! I declined telemarketing calls for a reason. DO NOT CALL! I don’t like people who try to get around the system!


I spilled about a cup of dry cat food on the carpet. I brought out the hand vac to clean it up. It seemed to be working just fine. Then I picked up the vac and saw that the brush was simply brushing the kibble backward. I then removed the hose to stop the brush spinning and used the hose to pick up the mess. I thought the job had been completed satisfactorily. Then I took the bag off to empty it; there was no cat food mixed in with the dust. I shook the vac; no rattling kibble. I knew that it was sucked up by the hose; I watched it go in. I tried to take the vac apart; I could only get the handle off. I did discover that there is no way for the kibble to go anywhere but into the bag. One of life’s little mysteries.


A person representing Mr. Obama called asking that I keep his candidate in mind when voting in the upcoming primary. He asked about specific concerns I have. I said I would like to hear of a workable plan to bring our troops home, a workable and equitable plan regarding immigration, and a good health care plan for every citizen. I forgot the most important concern for me; I would like to see an honorable, ethical administration that would enhance our position in the world. I wish he would call me again.


Baking Hint of the Day

It surprises me that I would actually be able to suggest a cooking tip because I’m not a very good cook.

When I was baking bread the other day (of course, I was using a bread machine), I put a package of Good Seasons Italian Dressing dry mix, into the dough. That turned out so well that I tried the garlic and herb dry mix. It ‘s tasty, too!


The outdoor temperature is now 78 degrees. It’s not very seasonal.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Price and Pavarotti vs Air Supply

I am watching “Aida” on Ovation TV with Dame Margaret Price and Pavarotti. It’s a bit disconcerting to be listening to and watching this production when every five minutes, it seems, they break interrupt the performance with commercials for Time-Life soft rock from the 80’s.

Note: Simon Estes, as Amonsaro, is absolutely wonderful.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Mr. Fixit and I have been Christmas shopping for the grandchildren. I was absolutely astounded by the variety of Monopoly games available. The versions include Spiderman,
Spongebob, electronic banking (no money involved), pink (perhaps Barbie?), Pixar cartoons, superduper (I made that up; I can’t remember the exact name but it meant superduper), today’s real estate prices, and the list goes on. There must be at least twenty different versions.

We saw the electronic banking version this past Wednesday in our local Wal-Mart. When we went yesterday to pick up one for the children to take on camping trips, there were no EB versions at the store. We checked two different “Toys R Us” stores, plus every Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target within a 50 mile radius. When we arrived at home last night about 10:00 pm, I checked on line. There were simply none available. I didn’t check Ebay though; I’m sure there must be some there. It must be the “in” game this year.

When I was a kid, our monopoly set cost about $4.00. It had wooden tokens. My older brother always chose the tall red skinny one; I was always the short fat purple one. When we played, he always won. He cheated! He changed the rules as he went along. He always had hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk. He was 4 years older than I so it took me years to figure out that he was cheating. He didn’t admit it to me until we were both adults.

Even though he cheated, I still enjoyed playing with him. We were as different was day and night. He was the extrovert, the captain of the football team, and BMOC. He had to beat the girls off with a stick. He made better than average grades without trying.

I was the shy introvert. I wasn’t in the “popular” crowd. I was happy being at home with a book or watching television. I made better grades than he did, but I had to study my tush off.
The last game I remember playing with him was when I was a sophomore in high school and he came from college on a break. Even though I knew he cheated and I would lose, I agreed to play because it made me feel wonderful that he would take the time to play a game with me even though he must have had better things to do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Good News, Bad News - Part 2

(See Post of 11/30/07)

Good News
I may have discovered my niche in life and a way to make a few extra dollars. A sign in our front yard could read, “Madame Lucy – Prognosticator par excellence!”

Bad News

A leak has developed in the upstairs bathroom sink.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Bit of Humor

Today on the Fox Movie Channel was "Monster Day." One of their features was "The Lost World" with Michael Rennie, David Hedison, and Jill St. John. This is the synopsis of the plot on Directv.

"A British professor, a playboy, and a rich woman in pink pants see lava and dinosaurs in the

It plain to see who made the biggest impression on the author of the blurb--Miss St. John who did, indeed, wear pink pants.


Who Knew? Pat Boone made a horror movie. I'm not sorry I missed it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Tradition Continues

Good News
Jason came to help Mr. Fixit uninstall (I’ve been at this computer too long.) the starter on my car. They took it to the local auto parts store to have it checked on their starter checking machine (a technical term).

Bad News
The person in the store didn’t know how to use the machine and declared that the starter was bad. Price of new starter--$179.

Good News
Took the starter to another auto parts store to have it checked again. Starter declared to be in working order.

Bad News
On the way home the truck had a blowout. Truck tires weigh a ton.

Good News
Mr. Fixit finally found the jack and changed the tire on a busy two-lane road. He didn’t have a heart attack as I feared.

Bad News
The spare was almost flat.

Good News
We made it to a repair shop where the very kind gentleman brought out his air compressor and filled the spare with air at no charge. We made it home.

Good News
Mr. Fixit re-installed starter with my excellent help. Can you picture my chubby body lying under the truck holding the light? I’m a great light holder.

Bad News
When the car was started to take it for a test drive, an ominous sound issued from the starter. Car remained parked in driveway.

Good News
Went to buy new tires for the truck.

Bad News
Tires for a big ole Dodge Ram are EXPENSIVE.

Good News:
Mr. Fixit put the new tires on the truck.

Bad News
We still need a spare without a slow leak.

Good News:
Mr. Fixit found the source of the ominous sound issuing from my car and fixed it.

Bad News:
When I took it for a test drive, the car barely made it up the hill.

Good News
Mr. Fixit found a bad spark plug wire and fixed it.

Wonderful News
I am now mobile again!

Bad News
There is still enough time before Christmas for a major plumbing problem or for the water heater to expire or for the heating system to malfunction.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On My Soap Box Again

I am not a big fan of tattooing even though Mr. Fixit has a rather tasteful parachute tattoo as a remembrance of being a member of the 101st Airborne Division, and my younger son and his wife have a little body art. Hers is on her shoulder blade; his is on his upper arm. The ones I really hate are the “homemade” ones and the ones on ladies my age who are not aging gracefully. The other day I saw an older woman with a dream catcher tattooed just above her wrist with the dangly feathers reaching to the back of her hand. It must have hurt like heck. She had to be my age at least. While I wouldn’t have a tattoo myself, I would defend anyone’s right to have one even if I think it’s tacky.

A news story in The Greenville News described the new restrictions in the City of Easley regarding tattoo parlors. The City Council voted to adopt regulations that require tattoo parlors to be restricted to areas zoned as industrial (not commercial) districts. The businesses can’t be within 1,000 feet of churches or religious institutions, schools, playgrounds or recreational facilities, medical facilities, other tattoo parlors, or residentially zone lots or apartments. According to the ordinance, no back-lighted awnings, exposed neon, building graphics, outdoor seating, fluorescent and metallic paints, window displays or signs other than open/closed signs and business hours signs will be allowed.

The State Legislature recently enacted laws that made tattooing legal here in South Carolina.

It appears to me that the Council is trying to “zone” these businesses right out of business because of their personal tastes. This is America. We have the right to have bad taste and tattoos if we want. It seems to me that tattoo parlors cause much less harm than establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. I’ve never heard of anyone who blamed his/her tattoo for the causing an automobile accident. I’ve never heard the man who beats his wife or child saying, “This tattoo made me do it.” I’ve never heard that tattooing causes cancer. (I’m aware of the danger of AIDS and hepatitis, but if proper procedures are followed, the risk is greatly lowered.) How long has it been since I’ve read of a shooting or a stabbing in the parking lot of a tattoo parlor? Hmm, let’s see. The last one I heard about was. . . No, I’m wrong. The incident I’m thinking about was in the parking lot of a beer joint with a load of neon flashing less than 1,000 feet from a doctor’s office and a big ole hand painted sign saying “Bubba’s Place.”

Are they trying to legislate good taste? What’s next--an ordinance banning gangsta rap, low-riding jeans, country music, and little old ladies in visors, fanny packs, clam diggers, ankle bracelets, and metallic ballet slippers? Just because I think these things are tacky doesn’t mean that I should be able to dictate to others who do like these things.

I wonder if there is a lawsuit in the future. There should be.

Monday, November 26, 2007

And the Hits Keep on Comin'!

To add a little more stress to the season--Mr. Fixit's big television went out this morning. Just freakin' perfect.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Peculiar Christmas Tradition

There is one Christmas tradition at our house that I could do without. Every year one of our vehicles breaks down. This began only a couple of years after we married. One year a brand new car broke down after we attended the Boston Pops Christmas concert. The car must have only been a couple of months old, if that.

This year it’s my car. The “check engine” light came on. I suggested that Mr. Fixit check the gas cap (I learned something watching all those DIY programs when I was sick). Sure enough, the cap was completely off, rattling around the little fueling port. Alas, the light wouldn’t go off even though the cap had been replaced. Mr. Fixit disconnected the battery hoping to reset the computer. No, that didn’t work either. Then while we were trying to figure out how the cap came off in the first place, he started the car and the starter made a horrible grinding noise.

It looks like we will have to take it to the dealer for repairs that will probably be more than I had planned to spend on Christmas gifts. Mr. Fixit could replace the starter with no problem except that in new cars it is extremely difficult to get to the parts that need to be replaced. Just changing the spark plugs is a major undertaking on my car.

If I were a paranoid person, I might wonder if perhaps the gas cap had something in common with our huge water bill from a year or so ago. I have been complaining to Mr. Fixit for two months now that my gas mileage has been terrible. Time to get a locking gas cap I think. Is my paranoia showing?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for:

My great family

Last night’s sprinkle of rain

Cheesecake mix, chocolate cream pie mix, and coconut cream pie mix

My DIL and Jason for hosting today’s dinner (They deserves a medal. There will be 20 or 21 people there.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Owen and Grasshoppers

Jason and Owen were looking at a photo of hungry baby birds in their nest. Owen said,
“They are screaming.”

Jason explained, “They’re hungry and waiting for Mother Bird to feed them. Do you know how mother birds feed their babies?”


“The mother bird eats grasshoppers and bugs; then she throws up in the baby birds’ mouths,” Jason explained. “ Isn’t that gross? How would you like it if Mommy fed you like that?”

Owen said, “I wouldn’t like that. I don’t like grasshoppers.”

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Weather Report

There has been no significant rainfall—just a few sprinkles. The temperature has dropped; it’s beginning to feel a little more seasonal.

This picture was taken from our front steps. I suppose this is a Carolina blue sky. It’s been this way for weeks—not a cloud in sight. It’s pretty, but right now I would love to see a few rain clouds. Two days before this photo, the limbs on the right were covered in leaves. The next day was blustery and all the leaves dropped within a couple of hours.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mr. Fixit, Genius at Work

Having male cats in our home (and a cat door which allows them unfettered entry into the house) made it necessary to create a barrier that would keep the little darlings from all areas of the house except the dining room and kitchen. Everything in those two rooms is washable unlike the couch and loveseat and the carpeting throughout the house. Even though they have been neutered, they, unfortunately, spray.

Mr. Fixit decided drastic steps should be taken. At first the barrier consisted of a piece of plywood, the screen insert for the front storm door, a barstool, and a large container of bottled water. A very ungainly and unsightly solution. After several accidents with the screen insert hitting Mr. Fixit in the head when he was trying to get to the kitchen, he decided to improve the barrier. Some of my temper tantrums may have contributed to his decision. Also the white cat discovered a way of sliding the plywood aside to gain entrance to the living room and the rest of the house. We thought a door would do the trick, but discovered that the door, when opened, would hit the china cabinet. Then he thought of installing a pocket door that slides into the wall. That wouldn’t work either.

This is his solution. With the handle and the little casters on the bottom of the barrier, we can easily slide the door aside for ingress and egress. It’s so heavy that the smart cat can’t move it. I wonder if the design people at DIY could suggest something that would make it more esthetically pleasing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Who's to Blame?

My problem began when my new doctor doubled the dosage of one of my meds. It caused an unpleasant side effect. After living with the side effect for three months, I asked him at my next scheduled appointment if he could suggest anything to alleviate the problem. He gave me a new prescription that seemed to solve the problem. The next month when I called to have it refilled, the computer said that the prescription wasn’t refillable. I checked the label on the container and, sure enough, there it was in black and white, “No Refills.”

I went to the pharmacy to check to see if they had made an error since I will be on this medicine, or one like it, until I croak. They suggested that I use the old prescription that was the same dosage, just taken differently. I said okay. Of course, the side effect returned. When I went this month, I asked the pharmacist if she could give the prescription as prescribed in the previous one since it was the same product and the same dosage. She said she would. When I checked the refill, I discovered that she had given me a form of the medicine that is dangerous for me to take. I need the time release, not the quick acting version. She said she couldn’t give me the time release version. I walked out of Wal-Mart with no meds.

I stopped by the doctor’s office and explained the problem. The young lady there said she would ask the doctor to leave a new prescription at the reception desk that I could pick up today. When I called the office this morning, there was no prescription. I talked to her again and she said that the doctor said that the prescription he had given me was correct—the time release version. I said, “But they won‘t give it to me!” I went through the whole sequence of events with her again, and she said that she would call in a new scrip. Would anyone like to make a bet on whether I get my medicine tomorrow with the appropriate number of refills, in the correct dosage, and in the correct version? I wouldn’t bet on it myself.

I should take some of the blame. When the doctor gives me a prescription, I don’t look at it. I simply take it to the pharmacy. When I get the meds, I simply read the instructions without looking at the number of refills. I don't even know the names of the other meds I am taking or the dosages. From now on, I am going to scan each new prescription and save it on the computer and note why I was prescribed the meds, when I begin taking it, etc. I have been too trusting of both my doctor and the pharmacy. If I had kept a copy of the new prescription at least I would know whom to blame for making me CRAZY!

Monday, November 12, 2007

In Other Words

For the last two weeks (or is it three?), I haven’t been feeling well. It’s my annual winter cold that lasts from October to May. My summer cold usually begins in June and ends in September. This one has knocked me for a loop. What does one do when one is not sick enough to go to bed all day but not well enough to do anything productive?

I tried to work on Levi’s big boy Christmas stocking, but it seemed like too much of an effort. I never thought I’d say this but I haven’t felt much like reading either. I had begun a re-read of Jonathan Kellerman’s books, but I only made it through four or five of them. That leaves watching television; not that much effort is required to click the remote.

The problem with daytime television is content. I had my choice of re-runs of bad major network comedies, bad movies on the movies channels, DIY , HGTV, or the cooking channel. Watching the food channel didn’t help my nausea, so I settled for DIY and HGTV. DIY has lots of programs instructing viewers in the art of scrapbooking, knitting, and various other crafty arts. I have no desire to scrapbook; I put all the cards I receive in a box in my closet. I hate to say this but the knitting show projects are just simply ugly. I have no need to make my own handbags, recycle ugly vintage clothing into ugly “chic” attire, and I don’t think Mr. Fixit would appreciate lampshades with buttons, tissue paper, or film strips on them.

I settled for HGTV which broadcasts a remarkable number of house re-do shows. I’m embarrassed to admit that I became addicted to them. They come so fast and furious that I would become engrossed in shows and I just couldn’t change the channel without seeing the finished product.

A number of these shows have “professionals” come in and insult the homeowners and their homes. What has become of civility and good manners? Isn’t there a kinder way of saying “Your house is a mess” without saying “Your house is a mess”? Don’t these “professionals” realize that not everyone is rich and taste is highly individualistic? Who made these people arbiters of good taste?

I feel so bad for the people trying to sell their houses who have these pros come into their homes who don’t seem to realize that most people have to live in those homes while waiting for the sale. Not only the “professionals” are rude; the people who are looking at the houses are even worse. They don’t seem to be able to see past the clutter of family living or the color of the walls. They never comment on anything except the décor of the houses they are viewing, and the comments are always negative to the max.

It makes me wonder why anyone would allow the shows to film in their homes. Is it that 15 minutes of fame? Is that 15 minutes worth enduring the caustic, mean spirited comments? As I have lamented before, civility is sadly lacking in our society. The really sad part is that some people seem to invite the meanness, and many of us get a real charge out of watching people squirm.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

He's Smart and Funny, Too!

Monday, Noah’s school had a teachers’ workday, so he visited with us. As we drove into MacDonald’s (grammies get to take their grandchildren to Mickey Dee’s whenever said grandchild requests regardless of the lack in nutritional value), he read the sign—91 million served. I said, “That’s 91 billion” which led to a discussion of large numbers. I explained that one million has six zeroes, one billion has nine zeroes, and one trillion has 12 zeroes. “What comes after trillions?” he asked. I went as far as I could, then said, “I don’t know of anything you have to count that goes beyond quintillion unless you were asked to count the separate grains of sand on the beach.” (I didn’t mention the national debt.) We discussed it a bit further when he said, “Do you know what we are doing?” “No, what are we doing?” I replied. He said, “We are hypothesizing.” He is 7 years old, a second grader, and is hypothesizing! When I was in the second grade, I was trying to color inside the lines with the appropriate colors.

We went to the library and he picked out two books in the Magic Tree House series. He read one about DaVinci previously and now knows more about the artist than I do.

After lunch he asked if I would play War (the card game) with him. Truthfully, War is not my favorite game so I decided to teach him to play Rummy. We played one hand and I explained the rules. Prior to the next hand, he said, “Can I play by myself this time? I think I get it.” With only a little help with strategy from Mr. Fixit, he beat me! He was delighted. (We need to have a little discussion about being a gracious winner though. He wanted to take the score sheet home to show his dad.) He even kept score with only a little help with “carrying” in addition. After all, he is only in second grade.

When checking out the toy that was in his Happy Meal, I observed that it was “lame.” He asked me what “lame” meant. I explained that it meant this new toy wasn’t as good as last week’s talking toy; the new one only vibrates. He said, “Can I ask you a question that might make you mad?” “Sure,” I said courageously, “Go ahead.” He said with a wicked little smile, “If I said you are a “lame” card player, would that be right?”

We’ll just see who’s a lame card player. The next time he’s here, I’m going to teach him how to play Canasta. I should be able to beat him at that one; his hand is too small to hold all those cards!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

There has been no relief from our drought even though it rained several days this past week. During the three days it rained, we only had two downpours that lasted for about 10 minutes each. Mainly we had very light rain that didn’t even require an umbrella. It was just hot and humid.

Officials have said that the reservoirs have less that 100 days’ supply of water. Many areas are under mandatory conservation measures. The Georgia governor has even suggested that eating from paper plates would help. Sounds like a plan to me.

The leaves have just begun to turn in the last week or so. We haven’t been “leafing” yet. The weatherman said that the colors won’t be as bright this year due to the lack of water.

Fall Ball is almost over. Noah had his last game last night. He did so well. Owen had a game at the same time. I spent half the time at Owen’s game and the other half at Noah’s.
Noah has a tournament next weekend. Cole has one more tournament, I think. What will I do with my weekends now? I know! Dare I say it? Christmas Shopping! Aarrgghh! I love giving presents, but I hate the shopping.

Noah and Owen are spending the night with us. This is Jason’s and his wife’s anniversary. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I have no idea how long they’ve been married; maybe 11 years. I don’t keep up with things like that.

Noah and his Game Ball

lolcat - nice bwinker jurkface
This is one of my favorites from lolcats. I can relate.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Help Me Understand

Strange things run through my mind at 4:00 am when I am unable to sleep. This morning’s subject was Senator Clinton.

A truly astounding thing has happened in our area. The head of Bob Jones University, an ultra-conservative, church supported school, has endorsed Mr. Romney in his run for President. Mr. Jones has often had unpleasant thing to say about Mormons and the Mormon religion. Mr. Jones said he was endorsing Mr. Romney because he (Mr. Jones) thinks that Mr. Romney is the only candidate who was defeat Senator Clinton.

Something has puzzled me for a long time. Why do so many people passionately hate Senator Clinton? It seems that this hatred is personal and mean, not simple disagreement with her political views. Some of her detractors seem to be rabid and malicious. Why?

Is the because of the Whitewater scandal? Mr. Starr’s expensive investigation came to naught.

Was it her involvement in the White House Travel Office controversy? Cronyism and patronage have been around since George Washington held office, so surely that can’t be it.

Is it because when serving as First Lady she tried to do something positive and constructive about providing affordable insurance for everyone? How can anyone be against that?

Perhaps some people blame her because her husband is a womanizer. To me, that’s like blaming crime on victims. I should think conservatives would be applauding her for holding her family together through what must have been emotional Hell for her. She must have strong family values. (I have to admit that she may have had other reasons for staying the course, but it is not my place to question any woman’s motives who is in a similar situation.)

Is she hated because she wants to stop the killing in Iraq? She supported the war before it became clear that there were no WMD. Maybe she’s hated because she doesn’t continue to support the Great Untruth.

Is it because she has unattractive ankles? That can’t be; millions of women with unattractive ankles are loved and respected all over the world.

Could it be that she is hated because she is an intelligent, ambitious woman who has the unmitigated gall and arrogance to believe that she, a mere woman, can be President of the United States of America? I hope not.

Will I vote for Senator Clinton? I don’t know. I try to stay away from the debates and the speeches this early in the campaign so I don’t know her stances on the issues. I will vote for the candidate who will bring our military home. I will vote for the candidate who will tackle the problems with the economy, crime, education, health care, and Social Security. I will vote for the candidate who has an equitable solution to the illegal immigrant problem. I will vote for the candidate who will show the world that our government is one of honor and can be trusted.

Back to my point—My question is a serious one. If someone who reads this hates Senator Clinton, please explain it to me. I just want to understand. I’m not talking about disagreement with her political views; that I can understand and respect. I’m talking about the animosity for the woman, not the candidate.

Now I’m going to think about something more pleasant. I going to have lunch with my granddaughter at school today. There’s nothing more pleasant than that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Nice Shade of Green

Most of the blogs I read regularly are written by young mothers. Their posts are funny and well-written. There are only one or two I have found that are written by people in my own age range. Yesterday I noticed on one of those sites an add-on that said “Proud Elderblogger.” Hmm, elder blogger, that’s me! I did a search to see if I could find out if Elderblog is a network or what. While I didn’t find that out, I did find several blogs written by older people.

After reading a few posts by different authors, I was most impressed. These people had things to say and said them very well. As I continued to read, my feelings took an unexpected turn. Suddenly, I was feeling. . .inadequate and envious. All of these people are leading productive lives. They are traveling; they are making life-changing decisions; they write so well. I’m a stay-at-home wife. I lead a dull life. We never travel. When I write, it’s not really writing; this is me talking.

As I began to sink into a funk, I thought to myself, “Wait a minute, Self! So you life is dull; you like dull. You know that you hate to travel. You are the happiest at home. You miss your cats, your sat tv, your computer, and your own bathroom when you have to travel. The only places you would even considering traveling to are the Grand Canyon and the UK. You visit some part of the UK at least once a week in the company of Miss Marple, Inspector Morse, Hamish McBeth, or other clever characters. You can visit the Grand Canyon any time you want just by browsing through The Weather Bug photo albums. Your life isn’t that dull. You attend baseball games and school band concerts. You dine at some of the finest establishments in the country (MacDonald’s and Chuck E. Cheeze). You have a fine, funny husband; your children are the absolute best that anyone could wish for. All of your grandchildren are healthy, smart, and beautiful. So you think you don’t have anything to say? That never stopped you. So what if most of what you say is drivel. At least you know how to vent. What the hell is your problem?!”

I talked myself right out of that funk, but I’m still feeling a bit of Envy of their talent for writing. I wish I could write half as well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Cure for Testiness

Yesterday I was testy. Someone may have hinted that I was down right grumpy, nasty, and angry. I prefer testy.

It began with a problem with refilling one of my scrips; the pharmacy wouldn’t refill it! Mind you, this is a new prescription that I received last month, and one that I will have to take for the rest of my life unless there are great strides in research of this condition I have.

I called the doctor’s office to remedy (that’s a bad pun) the situation. Of course, I was only able to talk to a machine, not a real, honest-to-goodness person. Then I went to the pharmacy to try to straighten out the problem. After I explained the problem “several” times to several different people, they finally understood what I was saying. They said agreed to give me the refill. Later in the afternoon when I picked up the medicine, they handed me two packages of the same medicine. Again I had to explain the problem. My blood pressure probably reached a dangerous level if the steam coming out of my ears was any indication.

In the midst of my testiness, Mr. Fixit asked me if I wanted to accompany him to a tool store. Oh yeah, visiting a tool store is one of my most favorite things to do—NOT! But being a good and obedient wife (Ahem), I agreed.

On the drive, I crabbed about the problem with my meds, including questioning the mental acuity of my new doctor and the intellect of the people at the pharmacy. I also went on a tirade about the chicken processing plant in Georgia who had to fire 600 people who did not have proper immigration papers and now has to employ ex-convicts which is costing the state about $l,000,000 a year; thereby costing the Georgia taxpayers a bundle. The processing plant couldn’t find American workers for these terrible jobs. The little rant went on for about 15 miles. Mr. Fixit was sitting quietly in the passenger seat agreeing with everything I said. I thought I noticed a small eye-roll, but I’m sure I was wrong. He was probably wondering why I was so upset about a situation in Georgia when we live in South Carolina.

Next a bad driver drew my ire. As I approached a traffic light, I came to a stop for the amber light. One driver going in the opposite direction turned left on the amber, no problem. Then the next car turned left, too, but the light was clearly red. Running a red light is bad enough, but she had several small children with her. She risked her children’s lives because she didn’t want to wait 30 seconds for the light to change. What was she thinking?! Mr. Fixit offered no opinion and slouched in the seat and stared out the side window.

When Mr. Fixit came out of the tool store, I offered my opinion of an elderly motorcycle rider with a stuffed animal fastened to the passenger seat on the cycle; I believe I mentioned something about going through a second childhood. He then said, “Stop at the new ‘Dunkin’ Donuts’ to see if they have Boston crèmes like we used to get in Connecticut.” I said, “You just want to get donuts because you think it will put me in a better mood.” He said, “Well, it’s worth a try.”

It worked! I felt so much better after sampling a plain donut. (I also checked my glucose levels after the treat and was delighted to see that it was only 96. That’s outstanding!)


Happy Birthday, Mr. Fixit! Thank you for putting up with me for so many years!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Catching Up

The last few weeks have been very busy. It seems that every morning there is somewhere I must go. It feels as if I spend more time in the car than in the house. I wish I could get my life organized.

Fall Ball is ongoing. All the grandsons (except Levi, of course) are involved. It’s a lot of fun. Owen has games on Friday nights (most of the time), Noah plays on Saturday mornings, and Cole has tournaments every other weekend. These tournaments cover the whole weekend with two games a day. Last weekend, we attended a game on Friday night, one on Saturday morning, one on Saturday afternoon, and two games on Sunday. Cole’s team won the tournament. Yesterday Noah was presented with the game ball for his excellent play. He’s remarkable if I do say so myself. Owen is in his first year. They are so cute. Friday evening one of the players on the other team forgot his bat when he walked up to home plate for his turn.

Yesterday was Owen’s birthday party. His birthday is the 15th, but weekend parties are easier than weekday parties. My DIL’s father, who lives in Florida, and her brother and his wife, who are from Alabama, came for the festivities. It’s seems impossible that Owen is almost five years old.

My birthday was Friday. I don’t want to go there so I won’t. Mr. Fixit’s birthday is the 16th.

Speaking of Mr. Fixit, he finally went to the doctor about his back problem and was told that he has a “collapsed” disc that could require surgery. Needless to say, I am quite concerned about that. The doctor put him on medication and painkillers and said that if he doesn’t see any improvement, he will send him to a neurologist for his recommendation.

I think our weather has finally taken a turn for the better. It’s been cool for the past few days. However, the lack of rain is horrible. The grass crunches when you walk on it, and the lake levels are far below normal. They say we are 11 inches short of our needed rainfall. And there is no precipitation in sight.

If you’re feeling a little down, here’s a site that may lift your spirits a tad. I go there frequently lately.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pink with Embarrassment

Mr. Fixit was having problems with his cell phone. It was several years old and would no longer hold a charge. Even though mine was a couple of years newer, I, too, was experiencing problems with mine holding a charge. We went to the phone store to see if we could get new batteries or to buy new phones.

Their tech guy took one look at Mr. Fixit’s scratched, battered phone and said that batteries for that phone were no longer available. I wonder if he saw the little “adjustment” that Mr. Fixit had made to it. There is a button on the side of the phone that changes the ring to vibrate. He would accidentally hit that button and miss phone calls. His solution to the problem was to put a glob of super glue on the button. He’s so clever. The tech said that the battery for my phone costs $37.00; he suggested it might be cheaper to purchase 2 new phones with a buy-one-get-one-free offer. I was a little p.o.’ed because I knew purchasing new phones would require us to sign a new contract. What a rip-off! We have been using the same company for years and years, and it seems unfair that we must be obligated for two years just because the phones have be to replaced. If one of us croaks during the contract period, the survivor is stuck with paying for two cell phones. At our age, that is a possibility. Changing providers isn’t possible since our family uses the same one, and there is unlimited minutes for cell-to-cell phones.

When the perky sales rep asked what kind of phones we wanted, I told her that we wanted basic phones. I explained that we didn’t need a phone that takes photos, connects to the internet, and is capable of downloading music and TV programs.

When we left the office, we were the proud owners of phones that take pictures, connect to the internet, and can download music and TV programs. The bottom line was that with the buy-one-get-one-free offer the two Razr phones were cheaper than buying two basic phones. Of course, there will be few pictures made, and I will never connect to the internet to download music because I don’t need to and I don’t want to.

The truth is I was seduced by the cute little pink phone I was shown. I am so embarrassed!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Case of the Missing Underwear

After several years of marriage, Mr. Fixit and I arrived at an equitable arrangement for the available drawer space. He has three drawers in the chest of drawers; the fourth drawer is mine for stuff that I don’t want to throw away but never use. I have the three drawers in the dresser for my things. I might add that it has been years since I looked in my drawer in the chest. We have also come to a satisfactory arrangement regarding the packing of suitcases. He packs his and I pack mine.

The summer of 2006 I was literally living out of a suitcase from April to August when my brother was dying. I would make the trip and stay in a motel while there. I would only come home when circumstances demanded or when I had to get away from the horror of watching my brother suffer. I made all the trips alone except the last one when Mr. Fixit went with me.

On that last day, we checked out of the motel before the funeral. Needless to say, I was very upset, and our clothes and other belongings were thrown carelessly into suitcases and even a few Wal-Mart plastic bags. We left immediately after the funeral. The next day we unpacked, and I did laundry.

Shortly after I thought I was short a few items—underwear, to be specific. I mentioned the fact to Mr. Fixit and asked him it he had come across the items when he was unpacking. He said that he would check his luggage again to see if it had been left packed. It wasn’t mentioned again for a couple of months when I told him that I had to buy new underwear because I couldn’t find the lost items and that meant I had to do laundry more often. He hinted that since I am advancing in years and my memory isn’t what it used to be that I was merely mistaken in the number of pairs of underwear I had. He almost had me convinced that I was nuts, but I distinctly remembered a pink pair and a beige pair that were nowhere to be found.

After applying for SS benefits, I was told that they needed my birth certificate and our marriage certificate. I never had my birth certificate, and I couldn't find the marriage certificate. After instituting a top-to-bottom search of the house for the missing marriage certificate, I opened the third drawer in the chest with some of my old things. There to my surprise I found the missing underwear.

“There’s my missing underwear! I knew I wasn’t crazy. You put them in there!” I accused.

“I don’t think so,” he replied. “You just don’t remember that you put it in there.”

“I may forget where I put the marriage certificate; I may forget where I put the car keys; I may forget to take my meds; I may forget to change my shoes, but I have never forgotten where I put my underwear!”

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Non-Blogger

This morning after leaving Wal-Mart, I was testier than usual. They could use my expertise to run their business more efficiently, but that’s a subject for another post.

I called Mr. Fixit and asked him if he wanted to go to a nearby town with me to purchase the item Wal-Mart didn’t have. My testiness only increased as I ranted about having to drive 20 miles to make my purchase and the heavy traffic only made it worse.

At a red light I pulled up behind a small pickup truck. The driver pulled away and was driving 45 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. Everyone was passing. Since I was the first car behind him I couldn’t move to the other lane because of the congestion. My usual fantasy of blowing crappy drivers off the road began. As I finally took my turn to pass, I pulled my .357 (my hand), pointed at the offending driver, and yelled pow! pow! pow! as I passed. (The driver couldn’t see it because I kept my hand low. I can be discrete when necessary.)

Mr. Fixit said, “You should be glad I don’t have a blog. If I did, I would write about this.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's Official!

I’m OLD! Today we started the application process for my collecting Social Security benefits. My birthday is next month, but we didn’t think of applying until yesterday. It will be several months before the benefits actually begin. There is a hold-up. I can’t find my birth certificate or our marriage certificate. I’ve applied by mail for the certified copies of the documents. Kentucky, where I was born, says that it will take at least 30 days to process my request, and Connecticut, where we were married, says there is a large backlog of requests to be processed. Who knows how long it will take, but, at least I’ve started the ball rolling.

It is really strange how I feel emotionally. I know that I will soon be 62 years old; I know I have gray hair; I sometimes feel old physically. Mentally, I don’t feel old, but applying for Social Security makes it all too real. I don’t like this feeling!

I know that this is more that anyone really wants to know, but there is a point to the following story.

The only other time I felt old was when I was 36. The doctor told me that I should go off the pill for a while because I had been taking it for over 10 years. Mr. Fixit and I decided that we didn’t want any more children so I opted for spaying (I think the more PC terms is sterilization, but I’ve always thought of it as spaying.).

When I came home after the out-patient procedure, I was surprised at my feelings. I thought I would be happy, but as I was lying on the couch, I found myself becoming a bit depressed. More than a bit actually. I was pleased that I wouldn’t have to keep taking the pill, and I was pleased that I wouldn’t have to worry about pregnancy again. But I felt OLD! I can’t explain why I felt that way, but not being able to have children made me feel old. It took me a couple of weeks to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to have children any more.

Today when we came out of the SS office, I had the same feeling. Perhaps when I have received that first check, my depression will lift a little.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Levi - 19 months
He looks so grown up.

Little guys need a nap after doing
those handy-man chores,
but he's ready to resume as soon
as he wakes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Recommended Reading

My son, Ben, has a new blog.

It should be very interesting. He and his wife recently bought a trailer park. There have been a couple of funny encounters in the few weeks he has owned it. He said he felt like he was on an episode of "Cops."

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Yesterday at a Little League game a young woman was sitting in front of us. She appeared to be grading tests by elementary students. (The handwriting on the tests appeared to be of younger students.) I assume she is a teacher. In answer to someone’s question, she said, “He don’t like that.”

When we first moved here, our younger son brought home a note from the teacher. She wrote, “It is alright. . .” “Alright” is not a word.

Most of the teachers with whom I dealt while my sons were in school were competent, and I know that teaching is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, but it seems to be that some need refresher courses in grammar and word usage.

Some kids who be in school don’t talk good!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Sunday after services, Mr. Fixit’s church held a fund raiser. As he and the rest of the family were leaving, one of their friends offered them 3 large pizzas for $5.00 each. Mr. Fixit said he would buy one, and Ben said he would buy the other two. I guess in the process of leaving, Ben’s wife managed to keep all three pizzas. After Mr. Fixit arrived home, Ben called to tell him that since they were coming our way they would bring his pizza.

I was lying on the couch when the doorbell rang. Jason and his wife came in without the children. The first thing I asked was “Where are my grandchildren?” They said that Noah was visiting a friend and Owen was with Ben and they had come to pick him up. Okay, that sounded reasonable. A couple of minutes later, Ben stuck his head in the door and told his dad to come help bring in the pizzas; he said I should come to. I said, “Do you need help to bring in a pizza?” He said, “Just come on out.” I asked him as we walked out the door if he had bought a new car. He said, “Why did you ask that?” I replied, “I don’t think it takes all these people to bring in a pizza.”

As I rounded the house, I saw Ben’s wife with the video camera. I stopped dead in my tracks and took stock of the situation. There was the Blue Bomb, my car, Jason’s wife’s yellow X-Terra, Ben’s Excursion, and a strange shiny, black pick up in the driveway. I couldn’t locate the kids. I thought Ben had indeed bought a new vehicle. Then I noticed the big red bow on the hood of the truck. I was struck dumb! Mr. Fixit noticed the truck but didn’t say anything. Then the children all jumped up from the bed of the pickup. I think they were supposed to yell "Suprise!", but they forgot.

They bought us a new truck! It’s not actually new, but it’s new to us. Mr. Fixit broke down in tears.

They bought a truck from DIL’s stepfather and had it painted. It looks brand new, but it old enough that the property taxes won’t kill us. It’s perfect! The AC works, the gauges all work, and the headliner isn’t drooping. The windows don’t rattle, and it has an automatic transmission that won’t hurt my knees to drive it. Mr. Fixit particularly likes the power windows so that he doesn't have to listen to my smart remarks about the windows in the Blue Bomb. And it’s BIG!

They got a charge out of my posts of September 2 describing my adventures in the Blue Bomb while Mr. Fixit was away. They had already bought the truck for us.

We transferred the Blue Bomb back to the boys today. We had purchased it from Ben about 120,000 miles ago. Every family needs an old pickup truck to haul mulch, bricks, landscaping stone, lumber, etc. They can share.

Do we have great kids or what?

Thank you so much, family! You can’t know how grateful we are.

Friday, September 7, 2007

3:10 to Yuma, etc.

Today’s Houston Chronicle had several articles on the remake of “3:10 to Yuma.” For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would think they could improve on a classic. Hubris? Maybe the new one is terrific; I haven’t seen it. However, I know that the Glen Ford/Van Heflin version is one of the best movies of any genre that I have ever seen.

Included in the series of articles was a list of someone’s 10 favorites western. No credit was given to the list maker. They were:

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”
“High Noon”
“True Grit”
“Pale Rider”
“Dances with Wolves”
“Lonesome Dove”
“Maverick” – the Mel Gibson Version

I agree with “Tombstone.” I have seen this several times. “Shane” and “High Noon” were snoozers for me. For some reason, I have never seen Butch and Sundance. “True Grit” doesn’t measure up to “The Cowboys” or “The Shootist.” While I like “Pale Rider,” I like “Hang’em High” and “Unforgiven” more. “Dances with Wolves” was far too long. I haven’t seen “Lonesome Dove” either. It was a mini-series, and I have watched very few mini-series. While I’ve tried to watch Mel Gibson as Maverick, I just can’t get into it.

My Favorites:


“3:10 to Yuma” – This is more a psychological drama than Western. The relationships are very interesting.

“The Magnificent Seven” – Wonderful cast and good plot

“The Cowboys” – Great story, John Wayne at his best, and Bruce Dern is the best at being the worst.

“Against a Crooked Sky” – I am probably the only person to remember this movie except the people who made it. Wonderful scenery and photography and good plot

“The White Buffalo” – This may not be a true Western, but more of a psuedo-historical piece

“Bad Girls” – Okay, I know that is a stretch for being anyone’s favorite. It’s very entertaining for me to see the ladies kick a little butt.

“The Missing” – Tommy Lee Jones at his craggiest best

“Broken Trail” – A Made for TV movie with Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. I love this movie!

“Hang’em High”- An Eastwood classic

Honorable Mention:

"The Outlaw Josey Wales" and “Invitation to a Gunfighter” (Yul Brynner, George Segal, and Janice Rule.)

Perhaps I shouldn’t mention the movie I’m watching now. It’s not exactly a classic – “The Alligator People” (1959, Beverly Garland and George MacReady).

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Plan Ahead

Driving to Wal-Mart in the truck was no problem. When I started out of the parking lot, I noticed the exit with the traffic light is slightly inclined. Since I am not that comfortable with the clutch on the truck, I was afraid I would let the truck roll backward and possibly hit the car behind me. I decided discretion is the better part of valor. I sat in the parking lot to plan my trip home. I finally thought of a way to get home without an incline at a stop sign or traffic light. I only had to drive about 7 miles out of my way.

He's Gone Again

Mr. Fixit is in Connecticut. He left yesterday morning at 7:00 am and arrived at 9:45 pm. He made very good time. Once again, Jason let him borrow the GPS. He was lost once, but the gadget put him back on track immediately. I don’t know how long he’ll stay.

He has quite a few family members there. His aunt, the family matriarch, is getting along in years and her husband died a couple of years ago. I think she is a bit depressed and lonely. She can’t get around very well, and I think she misses her independence. She lives with her daughter, but I would think it’s not the same as living in your own home. They built a separate suite on their house for her. She needs to have someone with her, but I know how she must feel. Getting old is hell!

He just called and said that it was cold there. Of course, if the temperature falls below 70 degrees, he thinks it’s cold. I forgot to remind him to take a jacket.

He drove the Buick and left me with the truck. Yesterday I had to go grocery shopping. As I left the driveway, I noticed that the needle on the gas gauge was below the “E”. I almost panicked until I remembered that it doesn’t work. When he called from the road, the first thing I asked him was how much gas was in the tank. He uses the trip odometer to tell him when to fill up. Then I turned on the AC; after a blast of hot air, I remembered the AC doesn’t work either. The clutch is weird, too, and it hurts my knee to use it. I told him I sprained my wrist cranking down the window. I tease him about not having power windows in the blue bomb. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to go out again until he gets home, but I need to go to the pharmacy. I shouldn’t complain; at least I have some sort of transportation.

I wasn’t very productive yesterday, and I don’t plan to be today although I should load the dishwasher. I read a book and a half yesterday, played on-line games, and watched old movies. Monday is soon enough to get back to housework.

Our heat wave seems to have ended, thank goodness! The temperature is below 80 now, with a high in the upper 80’s forecast for later in the day. It’s better than the l00’s we have had for the last month. Now all we need is a steady rain for a few days.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Mr. Fixit and I recently stopped at a nationally known burger franchise to eat before heading home. (I hesitate to mention the name, but it is one of my favorite places for burgers.) Seated at one of their outdoor tables was a young couple with a very young puppy. The puppy was on the table.

"I hope that puppy doesn't tinkle on the table," I said.

A few minutes later a manager-type came out and spoke to the young lady. Mr. Fixit said, "I bet he told her to take the puppy off the table."

No, the young lady was a carhop and it appeared he told her to come back to work. She went inside and immediately began bringing orders to the patrons.

"I wonder if she washed her hands?" I said. Mr. Fixit said that he didn't think so because she didn't have time. "I hope she doesn't bring out order," he said.

Another carhop brought our order. However, a few minutes later the one who had waited on us went over and petted the puppy. She then went back inside to resume taking food to customers. She didn't have time to wash her hands either.

Before we left a young man came of the place and sat at one of the outdoor tables. I assume that he was a burger flipper because he had on a uniform and I hadn't seen him waiting on customers. He had a baseball cap in his hand that I also assume he wore while cooking to cover his longish hair. However, he had an unkempt, scruffy beard. I resisted the urge to flip through the layers of my burger to check for beard hair, but I didn't finish the burger.

My kitchen wouldn't pass a health inspection, but I wash my hands many times during the days because of interaction with my cats. I keep the Bounty paper towel people in business.

I'm sure that we won't go back to that particular franchise again, which is a disappointment to me. I love their burgers!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Am What I Read

For the last fortnight or so, the weather has been unbearably hot; thus I have dared not venture forth, even to the library. Darn! It’s happening again! I’ll start over.

During this heat wave, I haven’t been to the library. I have had to hit my own bookshelves for reading material. This week I chose Anne Perry’s Victorian mysteries featuring Inspector Pitt and his wife, Charlotte. Ms. Perry gives us a view of Victorian London that spans the squalor of the rookeries to the hypocrisy, glitter, and moral squalor of the upper echelons of society. I find the role of women of the era appalling, but interesting. Besides, Ms. Perry’s plots are entertaining.

Last night I realized that perhaps reading six books in three days may constitute an OD of sorts.

Mr. Fixit was at Jason’s to help him replace the backyard fence. I glanced up at the clock noting the time, 9:45 pm. These thoughts went through my mind. “I should call Mr. Fixit. I fear that he may have met with some unfortunate accident.” What? “I fear. . .?” I was thinking in Victorian English.

I have to admit similar things have happened before. A few weeks ago I watched a “Thin Man” marathon. Suddenly, I felt the urge for martinis for breakfast; I almost referred to Mr. Fixit as Mr. Fixit Darling, and considered giving the white cat a name—Asta would have been perfect. My language could be described as snappy repartee for a few days.

If I decide to read Edgar Derr Biggers and watch a few Charlie Chan DVD’s, will I start quoting the wisdom of my ancient ancestors and referring to my children as Number One Son and Number Son?

After reading “The Whistle Stop Café” by Fannie Flagg last week, the phrases, “Isn’t that just precious?” and “Bless her heart” crossed my mind several times.

If I read Mickey Spillane or Hammett or watch a few Bogart DVD’s, will I think of men as “mugs” or refer to women as “dames, skirts, dolls, or babes?”

If I elevate my taste in literature to say, Shakespeare, will I be hark-ing, forsooth-ing, and gadzook-ing all over the place? When doing the laundry will I suddenly shout “Out! Out damned spot!” When Mr. Fixit is late, will I think “Mr. Fixit, Mr. Fixit! Wherefore art thou, Mr. Fixit?”


Since I posted the above, the punctuation of the last paragraph has been driving me nuts! Where are the punctuation police when you need them?

Oh, and lest you think (here we go again) my knowledge of Mr. Shakespeare and his work is sadly lacking, I know that it is highly improbable that he ever used the term “Gadzooks.” It might have been fun if Petruchio had said to Kate, “Gadzooks, Woman! You are a royal pain in the arse!”

I find it a wonderful word. Perhaps I’ll start using it instead that rather earthy four-letter word that sometimes flows trippingly over my tongue and lips in times of stress or anger. “Gadzooks, I burned the cornbread again!”

Friday, August 24, 2007

Lucy of the Mountains - Part 2

Continuation of July 16, ’07 post:

My teacher at Sulfur Springs School was Miss Wilma. It’s funny I remember her name, because I usually have trouble calling my grandchildren by the right name. I remember her because of her looks. She was very blonde and wore one memorable pair of shoes that I adored. They were like Roman sandals with pastel colored laces that she twined around her legs to just below her knees. I think that was the beginning my fascination with shoes. I found out later that Miss Wilma was only about 19 years old and that she had only completed two years of college. I guess back in the 50’s in a country school, degrees weren’t necessary to become a teacher.

Even though her duties included teaching 3 grades simultaneously, I think my education didn’t suffer much. I learn to read and spell quite well, but my math skills were sadly lacking. She would write the numbers from one to one hundred on the blackboard and tell us to copy them. I would lose my place and never got beyond 40. She never checked to see if we had completed our work. My dad had to teach me to add and subtract because she never explained the concepts so that I could understand them. She taught us to add and subtract on our fingers.

I was a good speller though. In spelling books (at least back then) each lesson was supposed to cover a week. There were exercises to be completed before the final test on Fridays. Miss Wilma didn’t quite follow the lesson plan. The first day, she read the word list to us; that night we had to write each word fifteen times. The next day we would have a trial test, and that evening we had to write each words we had misspelled ten times. The next day was the “big” test. She never fooled around with the exercises, but I turned out to be a whiz at spelling.

In truth, I think my dad taught me more than Miss Wilma did.

We had three breaks during the day; morning recess, lunch, and afternoon recess. There was no playground equipment. For the girls, the school did furnish two lengths of clothesline for jump rope. Most of the time we played hide and seek, but once in a while Miss Wilma would come out with us and play a rousing game of Drop the Handkerchief.

I didn’t learn to color properly. We never colored. At the next school I went attended, I think the teacher was surprised that I couldn’t stay in the lines and my choices of color were not always appropriate. All the other kids had their coloring displayed, but mine never made it to the wall. I was always so embarrassed.

I was taught one other important skill that helped me in later life. One day we were all gathered in the lunchroom that was seldom used for eating for lessons in table manners There was a place setting for each of us. We were taught to put our napkins in our laps, elbows off the table, one hand in the lap unless two were needed, how to break our bread and butter it properly, how to eat soup (tip the bowl away from you when trying to get that last bite), and how to cut meat properly. There was no food; we pretended there was. I wonder if these basic rules stuck with the other kids as they did with me.

I attended school there for the first grade (there was no kindergarten) and twelve weeks of the second grade. The next school I attended had one room for each grade, a working cafeteria, and playground equipment. I was thrilled except for that coloring thing.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

News from My Little Corner of the World

It’s still extremely hot, and we have had no rain. I noticed this morning as I was driving that the leaves have begun to turn and fall, and the soybean fields look as if the crop is in big trouble. Even the kudzu is dying. My crepe myrtle bush does not have one flower on it. For the last three weeks, we have had 100+ degree weather every day.

Clemson students are back. Several of the houses in our neighborhood have been rented to students. They are usually quiet; I hope the new crop will be the same. The only bad part is the number of people they have in each house. With five of six cars, they park in the yards, killing the grass. You can tell the houses with students just by looking at the grass.

Our older son has a contract on the house he bought to flip. He invested quite a bit in it, but he should make a nice profit.

Our younger son’s pool is finished. They are now working on the landscaping. The contractor made such a mess of his yard. They have had to put sod in the almost the whole backyard and part of the side yard. Right now they are trying to fix the fence that was ruined by the contractor. BEWARE of pool contactors! The pool itself is gorgeous. When the landscaping is finished, it will be even better. The boys love it!

School has started. Noah is in the 2nd grade; Bella is in kindergarten. They were both very excited to begin. Cole had his 12th birthday this month, and his baseball tournaments have begun after being off for a month or two. I hope the weather cools a bit so I can attend the games.

Did I mention that it’s hot? Sitting here in the air-conditioned house with the ceiling fans running 24 hours a day, it still makes me miserable. Thinking about the electric bill next month doesn’t improve my mood either. It will be a whopper!

I need to go grocery shopping, but I think I’ll wait until tomorrow morning when it’s a bit cooler. Planning today’s menu should be interesting. I wonder if Mr. Fixit will like peanut butter and crackers for dinner. He’s not a peanut butter kind of guy. It’s either that or catsup soup.


As Mr. Fixit and I were having lunch, a commercial (I don't know the product being advertised. I don't pay much attention to commercials.) came on. There was a young woman on a treadmill and next to her was the sun (or a sunbeam). I suppose they discuss their product, and then the sun says, " I think I'll go work on my abs."

Mr Fixit said, "I can't believe they used that word in a commercial."

"What word?" I asked.

He replied, "The sun said he was going to work on his ass."

Time to get his hearing checked!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

That's Entertainment?

“Saving Grace” is a new program on TNT. Grace, played by Holly Hunter, is a hard-living police detective in Oklahoma City. She drinks too much, she swears, and she seems to have indiscriminate sex with every male in the show, except for her brother, the priest, and Earl.

Earl, her last-chance angel, is trying to convince Grace to change her life. Earl, played by Leon Rippy, is not one’s usual idea of an angel. He doesn’t portray many angelic qualities. He carries a soft drink bottle, which he uses to spit in. Apparently, he either dips snuff or chews tobacco.

Earl has another soul in his charge; Leon Cooley, played by Bokeem Woodbine, is an inmate on death row. He and Grace seem to be sharing dreams, if indeed they are dreams.

In the first episode, there was a sex scene that didn’t bother me too much until her partner says, “Grace, we can’t keep doing this.” She replies, “Hey, you’re the one who’s married, not me.” The nudity was restrained so it wasn’t that offensive, but her remark did bother me. The use of four letter words surprised me a bit. I wasn’t offended, but this show comes on at 10:00 pm when I suppose some children could be watching.

The thrust of the series is Grace’s path to redemption, but there is always a criminal investigation as a sub-plot. The sub-plots leave a bit to be desired. Now that three episodes have been aired, the language has been toned down a bit perhaps showing that Grace is changing. What if the show is renewed a few times? Will Grace become a nun?

I have to hand it to the director though. Through most of the show, Grace looks like nine miles of bad road. She has a hard, stringy look. She’s very, very thin, and her hair is long and disheveled with messy braids that are just all over the place. However, when Grace is interacting with children, her whole look changes. She looks softer somehow. A tender spot for her numerous nephews and nieces is her one “saving grace,” which the director shows with her softened image.

I can’t decide if I want to continue watching this show. It’s disturbing to me somehow. It is the same way I felt about “The Shield.” At first, I thought, “What an interesting program.” Then it made me uncomfortable seeing a whole squad of police officers who were corrupt and had few qualms about murdering one of their own. I stopped watching that one after the third episode.

On a Related Subject:

I see that there is yet another re-make of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The first re-make was in 1978 with Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams; the second was in 1993 starring I don’t know who. I just couldn’t watch it. The new one will be released August 17 starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Why do they keep re-making this classic? There will never be a better version than the 1956 film with Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. It’s one of the best sci-fi movies ever made.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

Yesterday at 11:00 am the outdoor thermometer registered 110 degrees in the morning sun. It’s the same this morning. At 3:30 pm with the thermometer in the shade, it indicated 107. By 7:00 pm it was down to 102. At 11:00 pm, the temp had dropped to
96. The temperature for today is supposed to be 107, the hottest day yet in this heat wave.

My cats are not the smartest of creatures. They stay outside all day long. Yesterday afternoon the white one did come in and stretched out on the cool dining room floor for a couple of hours. I guess he just couldn’t take it any more. When I went out on the deck to check their water, it was the temperature of a warm bath.

It’s too hot to…

Go out
Do laundry

It’s not too hot to…

Drink iced drinks
Play on-line games
Watch old movies on TV (Yesterday there was a marathon of “Thin Man” movies. I watched them all.)

According to forecasters, there is supposed to be an improvement tomorrow. The highs will be only in the high 90’s. Big Whoop! Hot weather makes me testy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hot! Hot! Hot!

If Satan came to visit Upstate South Carolina, he would leave ASAP to get back to Hell where it is probably cooler than it is here.

Yesterday at 4:30 pm it was 104 degrees on the east side (out of the sun) of our house. It is now nearing 11:00 am and the temperature on the thermometer in the morning sun is 108 degrees.


Monday, August 6, 2007

The Dog House

Mr. Fixit and I have been married for 41 years. It hasn’t all been champagne and chocolate truffles. Sometimes it more like grape Nehi and Moon Pies. He has his virtues. He’s generous, hardworking, and funny. Give the man a roll of duct tape and $15,000 worth of power tools, and he can fix anything. (Well, he does have a little problem with plumbing.)

He has his shortcomings, too. It irritates me when he says, “You didn’t tell me that” when I know that I did tell him. It drives me nuts when I have to preface every conversation with, “Are you listening?” He’s also a little neurotic when it comes to being on time. For example, he has a dental appointment at 3:45 pm today. He left he house at 3:15. We live approximately 8 minutes in the worst of traffic from the dental office. We live 25 minutes away from his work. He leaves one hour before he’s scheduled to work. I have been close to causing him great bodily harm when he tries to tell me how to drive, but I have resisted the urge to slap him, so far.

At the present time, we are in one of those Moon Pie phases (at least, I am). Did I mention that I don’t particularly care for Moon Pies?

A little over a year ago, I decided the bathroom needed to be “freshened up.” I found the perfect light fixture, perfect drawer pulls, perfect shower curtain, the perfect yellow towels, etc. I love my yellow towels! They not too bright; they’re plush and absorbent. The “refreshed” bathroom looks so nice.

When Mr. Fixit went to the beach a couple of weeks ago, instead of taking the old pink towels that no longer match the décor, he took one of my lovely yellow towels. When he came home, he piled all the damp towels and clothing in a pile in front of the washing machine. I picked up the whole pile and threw it into the machine, not noticing a new towel and the underwear mixed in with the beach towels and my yellow bath towel. When putting the items into the dryer, I first noticed strange towel. It was sort of salmon colored. Then I found Pepto-Bismol-colored Haynes underwear. Where was my lovely yellow towel? Then it hit me. My LYT was now salmon colored. The culprit was the cheap, ugly towel he purchased at the beach.

I don’t think ruining towels is legally a cause for divorce, but I thought about it. Of course, I admit that it was partially my fault since I didn’t pay attention to the stuff I threw in the washer. Maybe since I was partially responsible for the debacle (yes, it was a debacle), I may keep him a while longer.


Don’t buy cheap, ugly towels at the beach, and don’t take your wife’s lovely yellow towels camping.

These were the same color.

More than you needed to see? It's interesting

that the elastic remained white.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Clerks with ATTITUDE

When dealing with people in retail establishments, I try to be polite. I say “Please” and “Thank you.” I ask rather than demand; I do my business and get out of the way. I certainly don’t talk on my cell phone while checking out. If I feel that I have been treated with disrespect, usually I just don’t return to the store.

Yesterday I went to Wal-Mart to pick up my meds. I had called the day before for the refills. I arrived after the time designated to be sure that I wasn’t rushing anyone. I was the only person at the pick-up desk. A young woman moseyed (moseyed is the perfect word to describe her pace) and didn’t speak to me; she just gave me a “look.” I asked if my order was ready and gave her the pertinent information. Again, complete silence on her part. She brought my items to the desk and said, “Sign for your insurance.” That was the first time she had deigned to speak to me. I signed. She told me the price and started to ring up the purchase. I told her I would be using my debit card. I swiped my card, punched in all the correct numbers, answered all the questions, and declined “Cash Back.” After “Authorizing” appeared on the screen, I opened my purse and put away the card. Before I closed the purse, I heard, “I’m waiting for you” said with ATTITUDE. I said, “Oh, I’m sorry” and checked to see what further steps had to be taken. I said, “It’s still displaying ‘authorizing’.” I asked if I should do it again. She gave me a mini eye roll but said nothing. After about 30 seconds of staring at me as if the delay were my fault, she said, “Swipe the card again.” I complied and went through the process again. She handed me the bag, I said “Thank you” and received no response from her at all.

In this case, I don’t have the option of changing pharmacies because of one person with a bad attitude. The prices are within our means, it’s convenient, and usually the people are helpful and polite.

I never know what to do in situations like this. Mr. Fixit said I should have asked to see the manager, but I really don’t want to cause problems even for rude young people at work. And I HATE confrontations. I must confess that I briefly considered telling her that she was acting like a snotty little @#$%*, but I decided against it immediately. It would have brought me down to her level.

After incidents like this (which seem to happen too often) I have old codgerly thoughts.
“What is it with young people today?” “Don’t these stores train people how to interact with customers?” “Didn’t this person’s parents teach them good manners?” Why weren’t they taught the most important lesson of all, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?”

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Deck Staining TimeTable

Four years ago Mr. Fixit and our son built a two level deck for me. They were advised not to stain it until a year had passed. Three years ago Mr. Fixit purchased stain to apply to the deck. The following is our timetable for completing the job:

Year One:
Bought stain
Tested stain on deck.
House to remodel
Winter Arrives

Year Two:
House to remodel
Winter Arrives

Year Three
Day One: Pressure washed
Day Two: Rain
Day Three: Rain
Day Four: Rain
Day Five thru seven: work

Last Week:
Day One thru four: Camping at Beach
Day Five thru Seven: Work

This Week:
Day One: Sanding rough spots where pressure washing nozzle was held a little too close to the wood.
Day Two: Staining begins
Day Three: Staining continues
Day Four: Staining Completed!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wally, This One's for You

I haven’t been able to comment on most of the blogs I read. When I start the comment process, a security alert box pops up asking if I want the unsecured items displayed. When I answer “yes,” the box pops up time after time, not allowing me to comment. I suspect it’s because of the many security updates that Mr. Microsoft sees fit to install on my computer. I don’t know how to fix it so here’s my comment to your yesterday’s post:

I would have paid money to see your little “dance” on the roof.

Only those of us of a certain age know of St. Vitus (whatever the spelling) dance. My granddad had a friend who was afflicted with a condition that my grandmother called St. Vitus dance. I suspect now that he actually suffered from Parkinson’s disease. When he came to visit Granddad, he was always dressed to nines, but the poor man shook uncontrollably, and he had trouble communicating. Granddad understood him, but as a 4-year-old, I couldn’t understand a word he said.

Mr. Fixit's Coming Home!

When I post a “Lucy and Ricky” moment, I always ask Mr. Fixit if he would rather I didn’t. He is such a sweetheart; he almost always okays it. In fact, sometimes, he says, “You can put that in your bloggle” without my asking.

He called this morning to say that he would be starting home in a little while. I said,
“Be careful.”

He said, “No problem. I’ll be using Jason’s ESP thing.”

I was laughing so hard I couldn’t talk for several minutes. He kept saying, “What? What did I say?”

Finally after several minutes of guffawing that settled down to sniggering, I said, “It might be better to use the GPS instead of relying on your extra-sensory perception.”

He said, “Okay, I’ll let you go so that you can get a Kleenex to wipe the tears running down your cheeks.”

Can’t help lovin’ that man of mine!

I Don't Need No Stinking Iron!

When our sons reached the age when they were showering and changing clothes more than twice day (coincides with noticing girls), I showed them how to do their own laundry. To keep from having to iron, they would throw clean, but wrinkled clothes into the dryer. I can’t tell you how many times I explained the reason for having an iron.

This morning as I prepared to throw in load of laundry, I discovered that I had left a load in the dryer. I decided to emulate my boys and run them through a short cycle. I noticed that there is a marking on the timing thing that says “Tumble Press.” I guess a lot people use this and eschew ironing.

I might add that I pride myself for being observant. (Mr. Fixit says I’m just nosy.) I’ve had that dryer for four or five years and never noticed “Tumble Press.” I guess I’m not Jessica Fletcher after all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How Did This Happen?

Phone call from Mr. Fixit at the beach:

Me: You didn’t go into the ocean, did you?
He: Yeah.
Me: I told you not to go into the ocean!
He: How is your blood sugar?
Me: I haven’t checked it.
He: Are you taking you medicine?
Me: Yeah, yeah, yeah (mumbled)
He: That means you didn’t, right?

When did we become parents to each other?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mr. Fixit's Vacation

This morning Mr. Fixit left to spend four days with Ben’s family while they are camping at Myrtle Beach. It’s about a 5½ drive. Before he left I gave my usual admonition to drive safely. This time I added one: Don’t swim in the ocean; swim only in the pool.

I received a phone call from Jason this morning telling me that he had phoned his dad on the road and advised him not to swim in the ocean. Mr. Fixit said, “You mom told me the same thing.”

Mr. Fixit’s sense of direction is sadly lacking. I was relieved when Jason let him use his GPS for the trip. He said he stopped once at a fast food place. When he came out, he couldn’t remember how to get back to the highway. As soon as he started the car, the GPS unit told him to turn right and got him out of the parking lot and back to the highway. Having that thingy in the car must be like having me sitting beside him without the eye-rolling and sharp intakes of breath. I’m going to hit my piggy bank and get him a GPS for Christmas.

Ben, (I hope the campsite has internet) DON’T LET DAD SWIM IN THE OCEAN!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mr. Fixit, the Swimmer

Mr. Fixit, Ben, and Jason after removing the deck.
The Big Hole
The almost finished product
Jason’s pool is almost finished. There is still some work to done on the surround and some grading and landscaping to be done. It is going to be beautiful. The children love it!
I can’t wait to see it at night with the underwater lights.

Mr. Fixit’s 70th birthday is soon, but he is still as active and healthy as he ever was. He works part-time, he has helped remodel four houses in the last four years, and he is constantly working around the house when he is home. He was a paratrooper when he was in the military. That takes a lot of guts! One thing he never accomplished in his life was learning to swim. He is (or I should say, was) deathly afraid of the water. He never even takes baths; he showers. At the beach, he would only venture into knee deep water.

Today we went over to see the pool. I was a bit indisposed so I took a quick look and headed for home. He stayed. He had taken his swimsuit with him. As I was leaving, I asked him if he was going in; he said he might. A couple of hours later, I called.

“Did you go in the water?” I asked.

“I can swim!” He sounded as excited as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.

Jason told him what to do and he did it! I think I am more proud of him than he is of himself.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Today I received an email from my DIL asking some questions about my “Lucy of the Mountains” post.

She wanted to know if my father ever talked about being in the war. No, he didn’t. I remember asking him about his medals which were kept in box in my mother’s dresser. He only told me about purple hearts being awarded to him because he had been wounded. He didn’t say any more about the purple hearts or what the rest of the metals were for. Years later when he was in the hospital after having his first heart attack, I saw a horrendous looking scar around that reached from his knee and more than half way down his leg and from the front of his leg to the back. When I asked him about it, he said that he messed up his knee while going under a barbed wire fence. I think the scar was much to big for his explanation. He said he was also wounded in the hip when a bullet ricocheted off a concrete wall. I found out later that he had told my older brother a completely different story about that one. When I asked what his job was in the army, all he would say was that he was a scout for his platoon. The only thing he would discuss at all was being in Paris. I’m sad to say that I don’t know what happened to that box of metals. I think my older brother’s daughters probably did something with it after he died. I doubt if they knew, or even cared, what it was.

She also wanted to know how we bathed with no bathroom. The house was rented to us furnished. I think the only things we brought with us were dishes and kitchen utensils, clothes, and the wringer type washing machine. A wringer type washing machine required a metal washtub. My older brother and I were bathed in the washtub in the kitchen. I suppose Mother and Dad did the same. The house did have hot and cold running water so Mother would fill the tub using a big pot. I thought it was fun! I bet she didn't.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Not-So-Cute Aspect of Cats

I haven’t been feeling all that well for the last few weeks. First I still have that lingering summer cold, and the new medication is causing a bit of queasiness.

As I was loading the dishwasher, the white cat hit the cat door at full speed. As he raced to the dining room, I noticed he had something in his mouth. It looked like a young squirrel. I was screaming at him at the top of my lungs, so he dropped it. I chased him out the door.

It was another one of those “What to do? What to do?” moments. Mr. Fixit is at work and he won’t be home until 12:30. I asked myself, “Do you really want a dead animal in your dining room until 12:30?” No, definitely not. I got the broom, dustpan, and plastic bag. I quickly, I must stress quickly, swept up the remains, dumped it in the plastic bag and deposited the bag in the garbage can. Thank heaven tomorrow is garbage pickup day.

As I walked back into the house, the nausea hit. How do I put this delicately? I heaved my guts out. My hands are still shaking.

I always thought that man was the only animal to kill for pleasure, but there is no reason for this cat to “hunt.” He is well fed twice a day, and there is always dry food available to him to nibble throughout the day. It couldn’t be self defense. The worst a juvenile squirrel can do to him is to drop pinecones on his head. Call me a liberal, but I don’t think assault with a pinecone should be punishable by death. I realize that hunting is instinctual, but I wish he wouldn’t bring his trophies into the house.

My cat phobia may be returning.