Thursday, December 20, 2012

Watch D.O.G.S.

Jason, our younger son, was asked to participate in a program at Owen’s school  called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). The program seeks “ to provide male role models for students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important,” and to reduce bullying.

Jason is very involved in baseball for the children and is very supportive of both boys in all their endeavors and talents.

I am so proud of him. In fact, I am very proud of both of our sons for being great dads.

Jason & Owen at Watch D.O.G.S. meeting

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crazy, Crazier, Craziest

According to The Associated Press, the Tea Party in Asheville, NC is having a fund-raising raffle. The prizes are two guns—one is similar to the one used in the Connecticut school massacre.

The shooter is not the only one who was crazier than a bedbug.

Lawmakers in several states are advocating the arming of teachers while in the classroom. This doesn’t seem to me to be the best way to keep children safe. But then, maybe I’m the crazy one.

Monday, December 10, 2012

They Should Ask Me

Do you ever get the feeling you are getting shafted? I have that feeling now. With the cliff looming, it appears that our President is about to throw us seniors off that cliff. It seems that instead of standing firm on Social Security and Medicare, he selling us out for higher taxes on the richest of the rich. When you stop to think about it, how much do the super rich pay in income taxes? Not much, according to news reports. So if you raise their taxes, you know they will find away around it. The net gain in taxes will probably be about $1.38 per billionaire, per year.

We were notified that we are going to get a cost of living adjustment this year, but with the rise in the cost of Medicare supplement insurance the raise will be about that same $1.38 a month for the average senior. (These are my figures, not based on any governmental calculations.)

I keep hearing the term entitlements in regard to Medicare and Social Security. They’re darned right, we are entitled! We have paid into the Social Security program for years and years. And we are now paying for part of our Medicare. Mr. Fixit and I pay more than $200.00 a month plus all the co-pays which, incidentally are being raised, and all the other expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover, and we all know that there are many expenses not covered.

Not only are we being shafted by those in power, the drug companies have brought shafting to an art. They are making money hand over fist. For example, the last time I went to the doctor for a check-up, he asked me if I had any problems. I told him I thought I have a sinus infection because of the terrible headaches (actually my face hurts around one of my eyes) I’ve been having. He said that it was probably allergies, and he prescribed a nose spray to alleviate the pressure. I paid $9.00. When I received an accounting from the insurance company, I saw that a normal size bottle of spray costs $90.00. That’s not a typo—that’s Ninety Dollars. What is wrong with the medical community? How could the doctor prescribe something like nose spray that costs $90.oo? How could the drug company get by with charging $90.00 for nose spray? And why would my pharmacy refill the prescription without asking me? I had no idea how expensive that stuff was until several days after I picked up the refill. Why doesn’t the insurance company raise hell about paying $81.00 for nose spray? And to add insult to injury, the crap doesn’t work. I’m still living on Tylenol.

The drug companies have a lawsuit pending. They want to be able to pay the makers of generic drugs NOT to sell to the public; thereby, continuing to charge $90.00 for nose spray. That must be illegal; it sounds not only illegal, but immoral. But, of course, it is the drug industry.

The solutions to some are these problems seem simple to me. First, you leave SS and Medicare alone. We are not living like millionaires. In fact, we are right at the poverty level I think. We paid and now we expect to be treated as we were promised. A contract is a contract.

Secondly, raise taxes for those who can most afford it and pass laws and rules and regulations that will close the loopholes. Take note of tax shelters and the money that is being secreted in foreign banks.

There should be tighter oversight of drug companies and their pricing policies with steep penalties for  dishonesty and manipulation of the system.

There should be harsh penalties, both fines, prison terms, and loss of licenses, for the billlions of dollars stolen from Medicare by the medical establishment. That alone could save Social Security.
What is wrong with these people in Government? Are they so far out of touch with the real world that they cannot see the damage being done to this country? I think it’s time for them to pull their heads out of the butts and do something sensible and fair for the majority of us.

Please, Mr. President and members of Congress, all we are asking is that we be treated as we were promised instead of using us as pawns in a game of “Power, Power Who’s Got the Power.” It seems that both parties are in that male bodily function contest. Frankly, I don’t give a hoot about your prejudices, your egos or your bodily function range. For once, just do the right thing.

Oops! I fell off my soapbox. If nose spray costs $90.00, can you imagine how much it will cost if I've injured my ankle in the fall?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Not So Gentle Reminder

Earlier this week I received word from a high school friend that one of our classmates has died. I think he may be the first of us to go, but I’m not sure. I know that the girl I sat next to in home room died, but I don’t think she actually graduated with us.

I didn’t know Johnny that well. He went to another school in the county and came to our school his senior year. He was more than handsome. He was beautiful! He had black hair and long,thick black eyelashes that were the envy of all us girls. It was a pleasure just to look at him.

When I read the news, my first thought was, “What a shame he died so young!” Then I realized that he was my age. My own mortality had just tapped me on the shoulder and spit in my eye when I read of Johnny’s death. Sixty-seven is not too young to die.

I haven’t seen him since high school, so, to me, Johnny is still that beautiful young man I knew in 1963.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Successful Partnership

Keeping with the latest trend at our house of everything wearing out and breaking down, the PC that I use most of the time has been getting progressively worse. It reached the point this week, that I couldn’t print or scan, Explorer would “stop working” several times a day, and the same window would open until there were so many, I would get a caution about high CPU (?) usage . Programs had completely disappeared. The only thing I could do was navigate the web, but with problems, and use the email program.

I had been thinking about taking it to a professional, but that entailed a lot of problems. I would have had to back up a ton of files, uninstall some programs, and I thought that clearing my favorites list would have been a good idea. Clearing and saving the email would have been a huge job. And I was worried about the cost so near to Christmas.  The thought was daunting to say the least.

I began to toy with the idea of using the recovery disks to return the computer to it’s original state. That was scary to me, too. We don’t know that much about that sort of thing. We found the manual. When I looked the process of recovery, I was ready to give up and take the darned computer to the recycling center. We put our heads together and decided that Mr. Fixit would read the the manual, and I would would do the “clicking.” I was tense and nervous. When we decide on a project there are usually a few harsh words, frustrated silences, and a little swearing in Spanish and English. I was not looking forward to it at all.

After backing up a lot of files that I didn’t want to lose, we decided we would try the recovery this morning. Surprisingly, it went quite well. It didn’t take as long I thought it would. The upshot was that I lost all the programs that I had installed during the almost four years we’ve had this computer, plus the email program, programs like Adobe Reader, and our virus protection. I had to reinstall the printer which took forever, but I can now scan and print without too much of a problem.  I also reinstalled Windows Live Writer to make blogging is a little easier. I still have to reinstall several programs, including those necessary for my e-readers and a DVD editing program.

I just discovered that the CD burner is now working properly. That’s really strange. I could burn DVD’s, and play both CD’s and DVD’s but I couldn’t burn CD’s. My son, my computer guy, said when I told him of that problem it could be that the CB burner was broken, and recovery probably wouldn’t work. It’s a nice surprise to have it working again.

After a successful fix with a minimum of yelling and swearing, it was my pleasure as the Computer Wizard to confer the title of Junior Wizard on Mr. Fixit. We are so proud of ourselves, and I am so happy to have my favorite computer working again.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lessons Learned

Thanks to my younger son and our DIL we spent a very nice Thanksgiving at their home. They hosted a houseful. Our family includes six adults and five children. DIL’s  mother,  her sister and her two girls, and her brother and his two girls attended.  DIL’s mother’s huband could not attend because of health problems. We hope he feels better soon. The food was great, the company was better. Our son and his wife are great hosts who always make visitors feel welcome.

I do believe this Thanksgiving has taught me two lessons. You would think that after having cooked more than 40 Thanksgiving meals I would have learned by now. I simply cannot make pies. Every year I try. I can make a passable pecan pie if you ignore the crust that always burns gets too brown. Pies seem to be beyond me. I decided to try one more time with fruit pies this year—one cherry, one apple. I thought that if I bought canned pie filling and ready-made crusts nothing could go wrong. The results were that the cherry pie didn’t even make it to the car and the apple remained in the trunk. Next year there will be no pies except for cheese cake that I make from a mix.

This is the most important lesson—make sure you have enough dishwasher detergent. Even with the small contribution I made to the meal, I think I used every utensil in the kitchen. I spent more time hand washing dishes than cooking.

Friday, November 9, 2012

In the News

This story appeared this morning in one of our local papers. It made me think about my own reactions to certain situations as I age. A number of years ago, I would have been appalled. This morning I found it to be hilarious. Of course, I would be outraged if this nut was observed by children.

Yahoo!/ABC News reported that FEMA centers, sources of food, water, and other supplies in struggling New York, were closed "due to weather." The decision to close the centers was made by FEMA's head honcho, Craig Fugate. Where in the world do they find these people for this particular position? It's a puzzle.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Governors Say the Darnedest Things

The powers that be in South Carolina recently divulged to the public that the State Department of Revenue computers were hacked and 3.6 million Social Security numbers have been exposed. As an aside, the population of the whole state is 4.2 million. Apparently 387,000 credit card and debit card numbers were also exposed.

Our governor, when asked why the SSN’s were not encrypted, replied that there was no need for encryption. Excuse me! I think that if the security was so lax that the systems were hacked, it speaks loudly and plainly that the need for encryption is there.

News reports say that the vulnerability has been closed, but it doesn’t state that encryption will be SOP from now on.

The state now has to pay a credit monitoring company for a year for 3.6 million people to ameliorate the damage that could be done.

Our governor was proud to say during her election that she supported, and was supported by, the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party. That explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Secret Obsession

Some time ago I decided to simplify my life by decluttering the house. I gathered things like printers, scanners, odd electronic equipment, baby things, knick-knacks,  old cell phones and books to stock a yard sale. The mess inventory is still in our garage. We haven’t had time or the inclination to take on the yard sale. There are games to attend, it’s either too hot or too cold, or Mr. Fixit says, “Let’s go somewhere.” With my junk valuable items and Mr. Fixit seemingly unable to put away his car repair items, his tools, his plumbing and painting crap supplies, it has become almost impossible to walk from the garage door to the door leading into the house. I decided to do something about it. I decided to offer my books for sale on Craig’s List.

I had pulled all the trashy romance novels  women’s fiction from the shelves and boxed them for the yard sale. I thought there were six or seven boxes. I knew that I had to organize them so I took my handy-dandy laptop to the garage to create a data base. I found not seven boxes, but thirteen. Today I finished the data base and found that there are 1,046 books. The next thing I have to do is to sort them so I know where to look for any particular book. Just finding the space to sort over 1,000 books is daunting. It’s also daunting to think about moving them up to the living room to begin the process.

Interesting observations: It seems as though Catherine (or an alternative spelling) is the favorite name of women’s fiction writers. The titles alone are enough to make me  cringe—Temptation’s Kiss, Long Time Coming, Temperatures Rising, Passion’s Bold Caress, etc. “Surrender,”  “Conqueror,” and “Temptation” are favored words in titles.

It’s a little embarrassing to admit it, but I loved reading almost every one. They are like video games—you can quickly become addicted.

After I get rid of some of these, my mysteries will go up for sale; there are even more of those. That will really hurt.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


These are some pictures I found on my camera. I’ve neglected some of them since the summer.

I’m going to rush out right now to take advantage of these bargains. These advertisements were outside a convenience store near several lakeside communities.oct.9-12 001oct.9-12 002

Every football player needs a little assistance getting ready for the game. Levi played his last game Thursday evening. The field is 80 yards long. On his team’s first offensive play of the game, he began about a yard into the end zone and ran the length of the field for a touchdown.oct.9-12 004

Touchdown run:  Don’t miss the bump!

Saturday was a wonderful day for baseball; Noah’s rec league team (as opposed to his travel team) played. I found a new friend who stayed with me through the last three innings of the game.oct.9-12 008oct.9-12 013oct.9-12 010

At Levi’s football game Thursday night, a big flock of geese flew over our heads in formation. It was quite impressive. Mr. Fixit was recording the game with the video camera but had turned it off during a lull. He didn’t get the camera rebooted to take a picture so Levi’s other grandmother took this one on her camera. I love it!


(Click on each picture enlarge)

Monday, October 1, 2012


I’m no fan of the adaptions of some of my favorite thrillers when they are presented on television. It seems that they (whoever “they” are) believe that intelligent, brave, and honorable women have to the dumbed down to silly, shallow women—like Kathy Reichs’ character, Temperance Brennan, and Tess Gerritsen’s characters, Rizzole and Isles. They have nothing in common with the characters in the novels. I watch them sometimes, but I accept them for what they are. 

I was prepared to hate the CBS  “Elementary.” When I heard that Lucy Liu was portraying Dr. Watson, I was appalled. Dr. Watson is either Nigel Bruce or David Burke. I reserved judgment on Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes.

Over the years, there have been several acceptable Holmes (what is the plural of Holmes?). William Gillette set the standard in the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s. I probably would have loved him. He appeared on stage over 1300 times as Sherlock. Of course, Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, and Jeremy Brett ARE Holmes. I even liked Rupert Everett in the role. I didn’t like Nicol Williams, Robert Downey, Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Caine, or Matt Frewer as Holmes.

When the pilot program came on last week, I have to admit that I was playing a word game on the computer and didn’t pay too much attention to it. I wasn’t even following the plot line. Today, I watched it on the computer prepared to be unimpressed.

Okay, it wasn’t great. Holmes was far to manic. I prefer a more laid back version. Maybe they’ll tame him a bit for future episodes.

Lucy Liu was terrific! She carried the show for me—a treat to watch and the writers didn’t resort to dumbing down the character. I’m looking forward to Thursday night for the second episode.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


P. D. James was one of my favorite writers until Children of Men; I didn’t care for it at all so it’s been a while since I’ve read her work. I checked out The Private Patient recently. It wasn’t one of her best, but it was certainly better than CofM.

Ms. James usually serves up a plot that brings out the puzzle solver in me, and I am in awe of her vocabulary. I know reading her books requires me to have a dictionary handy.

In The Private Patient, I found “solipsistic,” “similitude,”, “propitiate,” and “minatory”—all new to me except for “propitiate.” I know the word, “propitous” but had never seen the –iate suffix.

While the solution of the mystery was a little iffy, the vocabulary was terrific.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A First Time for Everything

Cole's baseball game was scheduled to begin at 6:15 pm. It was a beautiful afternoon--hardly a cloud in the sky.

The first inning finished with no runs for either side. The teams came out to begin the second inning. Suddenly a little meeting between the coaches and the umpires took place. Then the umpires left the field and the teams returned to their dugouts.

There had been a delay of game called because of . . . SUN!

Perhaps I should add that the batter, catcher, and homeplate umpire were facing the setting sun and couldn't see the ball. The delay last about 20 minutes until the sun dropped behind the trees.

We really don't have to discuss the final score, do we?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Continuing. . .

Last night as we drove into town after attending Cole's game, what appeared behind us but those dreaded blue flashing lights. Yep, I suppose that with all the annoying stuff that's been happening to us lately, a traffic stop was inevitable. This one wasn't too bad; it was just a warning for a burned out headlight. With a few dollars spent the problem was corrected.

There was one little hiccup. The officer checked our license number. He came back to the car and asked to see the registration. He said that the number was reported to be the license for a Jeep. My first thought was someone had switched our plate for some nefarious reason which would cause us all kinds of problems. When he saw the registration, he said someone probably missed a keystroke. Whew! Thank heaven for typos!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

$eeing Red and Feeling Blue

Today about 12:30 p.m. Mr. Fixit came in from outside and told me that our white cat was in distress. When I saw the poor thing, his sides were heaving as if he were having breathing problems. He didn’t look well at all.

I rushed into the house to call our vet, but his answering service said that the office closed at noon on Thursdays. I was in a bit of distress myself and didn’t remember Thursday is their off day. I asked the service for a referral for emergency treatment and she gave me a name.

I called, explained the situation, and ask if I could bring him in for treatment. The person on the phone said I could bring him any time since they had no other appointments for the rest of the day.

She then said, “You will have to pay $88.00 as soon as you come into the office. Any other examinations or procedures are in addition to that $88.00.”

I said (with some attitude, I’ll admit), “I’ll be glad to pay the money up front if you can help my cat.” Perhaps she heard that I was upset and said, “I have to say that.”

Altruism with a price tag attached. I wonder if they ever turn away animals in pain because some poor person doesn’t have the $88.00 up front. I also wonder if they do any pro bono work at the local pound and shelters.

Note: We tried to catch him, but he was still able to run away as soon as he saw the carrier. He ran into the muscadine vines to hide. His breathing seems to be easing a little. I’ve been checking on him about every ten minutes. If we can catch him, we will take him to this place even though they sound like money-grubbing jerks. I hate the thought of losing him, but I hate the thought that he may be suffering even more.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tip of the Day


This is a product I use when making cornbread and sometimes biscuits. I find that if I buy liquid buttermilk the expiration date comes long before I have used the quart container. With only two of us eating, I only make half of the recipe amounts. The instructions on the container of powder milk says, “Refrigerate after opening.” The only problem is that the product has a tendency to clump.

Tip of the Day:

When shaking container to declump, be sure the top is secure. If not, you could find buttermilk powder in your hair, covering your face, in your blouse, all over your kitchen floor, and, if you’re standing in front of your open refrigerator, coating every single container in the door storage area. As soon as the powder hits the humid air, it gets sticky and not a lot of fun to clean up.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Enough Already!

Saturday Mr. Fixit went to one of the grandchildren’s baseball tournament that was played in a town about 40 miles away. It was so hot and muggy I decided to stay home. Two games were scheduled. He decided to drive his truck and leave the car for me. I don’t like to drive the truck because the AC isn’t working. I didn’t have anything important to do anyway so it wouldn’t have mattered if he took the car.

On the way home from the game the front wheel of the truck came off. It didn’t go rolling down the highway, but the only things holding it on were some connections to some stuff under the truck (technical talk). He discovered later the ball joint broke. It’s a wonder he didn’t have a wreck. He was on a major highway with a speed limit in the area of 55 but was able to move from the center lane to the side of the highway without incident. The tire was ripped and the rim is ruined.

Luckily, he was ahead of our son and his family so they stopped to help him out. They arranged for a wrecker to bring the truck home.

He is having problems finding some help with it. The repair involves getting a machine shop to do some work. We are waiting now to hear from one telling us whether he will be able to help. In the meantime, Mr. Fixit is impatient and grumpy.

One more little problem to contend with. I’m getting a little grumpy myself.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Have you ever had a period of time when everything seems to wear out, break down, or poop out? It seems that here in the Fixit household every day brings a new "crisis."

Over the last few months, we have had to have VERY expensive maintenance service on the car, the kitchen stove burners very seldom work at the same time, the sat tv has been iffy at best even during clear weather, the toaster oven toasted its last bread, the plumbing has had problems plumbing, the vacuum cleaner suddenly didn't suck, and over the past month and a half, both the PC and my laptop have been acting up.

When things go wrong I get very tense and worry about the expense of repair. Mr. Fixit gets frustrated and mumbles swear words in Spanish. To be factual,  he acts like a butt. I can't tell you how many times he as moved the sat dish. We have several round concrete patches in the yard where he has tried new locations. After each move of the dish, the signal starts strong and then weakens until the picture begins breaking up. I think it's going to be okay (if he leaves it alone) this time.

Yesterday when I logged on the internet, I received a "bulletin" from my virus protection program telling me that my computer was at risk and that I needed to download another facet of protection. When I tried download the program, everything went to hell in that proverbial hand basket. I lost the original virus protection program and it wouldn't re-install. I lost Explorer completely.

I decided to try a system restore. Things went from bad to worse. I no longer can use Microsoft Works (word processing, data base, an generic Excel) and several programs for which I don't have the installation CD's. Most of these programs were on the computer when we bought it. I spent yesterday un-installing some of those programs that I never use and saving everything from My Documents (copies of bills and other documents) on CD's. I also saved all pictures and videos on DVD in case I have to take the computer to a professional for repair. That took most of the day.

I finally was able to re-install the virus program and suddenly Explorer appeared again after one of many re-boots during the day. The programs are still messed up.

I'm going to install the free Open Office program to take the place of Microsoft Works. If I lose Explorer again, I suppose I can make-do with another browser. Right now I have Chrome that I use for Blogger. And there is always Fire Fox.

I really don't want to spend the money on taking it to a professional. I don't know how to use the Recovery disks to return the hard drive to the way it was from the factory. I also don't want to ask Ben; he is so busy. He works a full time job, he works on his rental properties every free minute it seems, and the boys are both involved in sports and Bella will be beginning volley ball soon. I don't think he ever has a minute to himself. He did get the laptop straightened out for me and I can't ask for help  again. Mr. Fixit said yesterday (when I was acting like a butt) that if I couldn't fix it, we would buy a new one. Yep, thinking about the expense is enough to push me over the edge.

As far as everything else, we bought a new toaster oven, Mr. Fixit has worked on the stove, the plumbing seems to be operating properly (except for a particularly stubborn slow running drain in the bathroom sink), the vacuum is once again sucking as it should (after $40.00 in new filters and bags), and the signal strength on the sat tv is high and the picture only breaks up occasionally.

As for the computers, I'll think about them another day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Football Hero

Yesterday was Levi's first full contact football game in the Peanut League--six and under age group.

                                                                       Before the Game

The game didn't start that well. The opposing team scored first--touchdown with the two point conversion.

Levi entered the game as quarterback. He was phenomenal! And that's not just grandmother prejudice. His little short legs carried him over the goal line TWICE for two touchdowns! He ran like the wind! The final score was 22 to 14, our favor.

                                                                  After the Game

Last year he played flag football. Being only five, he seemed lost when on the field. Most of the other children, too. The quarterback was the only one who knew exactly what he was supposed to do. This year Levi seems to have a natural talent for football. He's going to be a well-rounded athlete because he also seems to have that natural talent for baseball.

It was a bit hard for me when on one play he was at the bottom of the pile.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

For the Love of the Game

Cole’s baseball season with his showcase team is over, and he won’t be playing for the high school team until the spring. He has begun to play in a league for adults (or near adults like him). The players on his team range in age from 17 (him) to 45 or so.

Last night they played a team for over-35 players. Some of those guys looked to be in their 60’s. My particular favorite looked remarkably like Santa with a round tummy hanging over his belt, white hair, and a white beard. He bunted very well, and this 60+ athlete ran like a gazelle. Most of them were good hitters and runners even with expanded middles. I noticed one player who could have been in his late 30’s, but most appeared to be in the 45 to 55 range with a couple of over-60’s.

I said that if they weren’t playing Cole’s team I would be rooting for them.

I hesitate to mention this but I will. They won!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Over the Pail—Beyond the Pale?

There was an article about the legimate rape remark made by a politician, and VP hopeful Ryan’s stance on the subject. The article was authored by Jake Tapper of ABC News (White House correspondent?) and appeared on my Yahoo! homepage.  A sentence in the article reads:

“Ryan said that Akin’s  ‘statements were outrageous, over the pail.’ ”

“Over the pail?” I wonder if he meant beyond the pale which is defined in my dictionary as “outside the limits of what is considered to be accepted.”

I don’t know whether Ryan was quoted correctly or if if news reporter made the error. Then again, perhaps I am wrong and “over the pail” was the actual phrase they wanted to use.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is This Legal?

This morning Mr. Fixit had a final appointment after his cataract surgery earlier this year. He forgot his hearing aids. I sat down while he was signing in. The receptionist asked him if his insurance had changed since his last visit, and then she said, “What is your race, Mr. Fixit?” He turned to look at me as if he hadn’t heard her question. I understood it completely and was on my feet immediately. He turned to her and asked, “My race?”  She said, “Are you East Indian or what?” I gave a look and a bit of attitude and said, “White.” She said, “ It’s something I have to ask, and we ask everyone. It’s a matter of demographics.”  Yeah, right.

Several people came in after us and she asked no one else their race.

Granted Mr. Fixit is tanned. We’ve spent the summer at baseball games, but he is lighter than a lot  people who  spend time outdoors in the summer. In the winter he is not much darker than I am, and I am very fair. My first thought was to ask her if he looks like he non-white, but I held my tongue.When we were discussing it in the car, he said maybe it’s because of our last name. I think it’s more a matter of his accent.

Regardless of the reason for her question, it seemed that  she was asking more about national origin than she was about ethnicity. It smacked of ugliness, profiling, and bigotry.

If I ever have a problem that requires an eye surgeon, it won’t be him. Not only for the inappropriate (IMO) question but for his hobby. Throughout his office are pictures of him in Africa posing with his trophies (dead animals in plain language.) There is at least large photo in every examining room that we have been in. Today was the proverbial straw for me. Right over the head of the receptionist was the stuffed head of a beautiful antelope with a long graceful neck and very long horns. It was probably an impala or a springbok—I’m not up on my African mammals. I would have enjoyed more seeing a picture of a live animal racing across the grasslands instead of a dead one on the wall.

Also showing on the wide screen HD TV was a nature program featuring animals in the wild. I looked up from my book once and saw a bird of prey ripping the head off a smaller bird. I know the rules of nature, but that doesn’t mean I like watching it HD TV.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

This weekend Owen had a baseball tournament, two games on Saturday and two on Sunday. Mr. Fixit and I went to have lunch at a fast food place between the Sunday games.

We were second in line and had a bit of a wait. In the other line the young lady taking orders was apparently new. She had someone with her explaining each step so it was taking her longer to get the order of a woman and a little girl about 6 years old. The little girl became bored I suppose so she was leaning forward and catching herself on the counter. My first thought was, "I hope her hands don't slip." If she had fallen she would have hit her face on the counter. The woman (I later found out that she was the grandmother) told the girl to stop. The girl proceeded to do again. Again the grandmother told her not to do it again. Finally, she did it one more time and the grandmother said, "I told you more than once to stop" and she smacked the child on the arm. The child didn't cry, and I saw no mark on her arm.

Someone behind me invaded my personal space to say into my ear, "If she hits that child one more time, I'm calling the police." I didn't acknowledge her except to take a step forward. She then said to the everyone and the grandmother, "That's child abuse and I'm going to call the police if you (the grandmother) do that again."

The grandmother said, "Please don't tell me how to discipline my child."

The complaining woman offered that she was a guardian ad litem and she knew child abuse when she saw it and once again threatened to call the police. The grandmother said, "You have no right to butt in, but I'll call the police if you want me to. Please don't speak to me again." She finally received her order and headed to the play area with her happy-looking granddaughter.

The "guardian ad litem" continued to carry on loudly that she was a guardian ad litem and that child abuse offends her.

I held my tongue, but I was wondering how she would have felt if the little girl had fallen and hurt herself. She would probably have harangued the woman for not watching the child. My only other thought was that if she thought that a little smack on the arm was child abuse, she has never seen child abuse. In my opinion, she overreacted and was enjoying making a scene. I think I remember something about power corrupting. . .

Thursday, August 9, 2012


When Google insisted that I download Chrome so I could use all the bells and whistles on Blogger, I did. It worked well for a while. Now something has gone kaflooey. Some web pages won't load at all, and others load so slowly that it's not worth it for me to wait five minutes or more.

Even though I have been having a little problem with Explorer, it's working 100 times better than Chrome.

So, Mr. Google, I will only use your browser when I post to Blogger. If you're going to make a product practically mandatory, maybe you should make sure it works properly all the time.

Note: I checked to see if the problem was my computer. We have three  computers, and they are all have the same problem with Google. I wonder if it could be our network, hmmm? Maybe this afternoon Wizard, Jr. (Mr. Fixit) will help THE WIZARD (me) check out the network. We'll see. . .maybe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Scaredey Cat!

Our white cat, unnamed and he's been around for about seven years, has developed a new phobia. Every time he sees or hears the metallic crackle of aluminum foil, he runs like the devil himself is chasing him. This morning I very quietly removed the box for the cabinet drawer, and he ran even before I removed a piece. He recognized the box! Smart but a little faint-hearted.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cat Out of the Bag?

Headline Yahoo! News:

"Obama approves secret support for Syria rebels"

They sure know how to keep a secret in D. C.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eat Mor Chikin

A controversy has arisen since the Mr. Fil-A said that he believes marriage was only for people of the opposite sex. Celebrities (The Muppets and Roseanne Barr. Yep, I pay lots of attention to puppets and D list, crude comediennes.) and politicians have made much of the gentleman’s opinion. Some factions have called for boycotts, and a mayor of a major American city has said that the franchise is not welcome in his city. Some are eating at the franchise to voice their opposition to gay marriage. I say that they should be supporting the right to free speech, not just their opposition to a lifestyle that is really no one’s business except the adult individuals involved.

While I support the human rights of all individuals, as an American, I defend Mr. Fil-A’s right to hold whatever view he wants as long as he doesn’t trample on the rights of others. In fact, I think he may be stepping on a few toes with his employment conditions which seem to be discriminatory. I wonder how many non-Christians he employs. I do feel, however, that he can voice any opinion as long as it isn’t seditious, treasonous, or incites to riot. As I read his statement, it appears that it is his personal opinion, not the corporate position.

This is America, folks. We are (or should be) the example for the world. We were founded by people who said that as citizens we have the right to express our own opinions.

By the same token, we have always been a nation of protestors—The Boston Tea Party, the civil rights marches, and gay rights parades, for example. If you want to boycott Chick Fil-A, you have that right. Do it if it makes you feel better, but, remember, no matter how unpopular an opinion may be, it is also your right and anyone’s right to state that opinion. While not agreeing on some issues, we must agree that we are a nation of diverse people and opinions and we ALL have the right to express our opinions.

This is a little off the subject of the post, but I’m not a big fan of Chick Fil-A. Their chicken  has a curiously sweet taste (my grandmother never put sugar in her chicken dredging mix) and their so-called french fries are simply not acceptable for me. I like their side salad very much, and the walnut brownies were one of my guilty pleasures. They now have frosted brownies without nuts, but while I treat myself sometimes, it’s not a major effort on my part to refuse them.  My solution to that problem (this is embarrassing to tell) is to go to Chick Fil-A to buy the side salad and dessert, then to scamper to McDonald’s  or KFC for their chicken strips, and on to Dunkin’ Donuts for their UNSWEET iced tea. Thank goodness, most towns have “Fast Food Mile” where all the purveyors of that unhealthy, but tasty, food are in close proximity.

So in summary, Eat Mor  Chickin or not; just don’t abridge freedom of speech.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Odds & Ends

After waiting a few hours to see if the problem with the AC would resolve itself (fat chance!), I called our AC guy. It has been years since he installed a new unit for us so I know that when I told the office that I needed a repair man, they didn’t know that I was an old customer. She told me that she would try to have someone stop by in the afternoon. I was not holding my breath, but we did stay home and wait just in case someone showed up. I thought same day service was too much to ask for. I had given up hope of being able to sleep. At 6:30 pm, the doorbell rings and the most welcome sight of the technician was there. I could have danced a jig. He tinkered around with it and, voila! cool air. He said it needed a new thermostat but this one would last until fall. He said they would bill us for this service call when they installed the thermostat.

It must be great to have a job doing something that makes people so happy to see you.

Years ago PBS featured Bob Ross, a painter. I was amazed by him. He may not have been a great artist, but I watched his show regularly and marveled at his talent. The following link is a tribute to Mr. Ross:

I have been reading Steven F. Havill’s series of Undersheriff Bill Gastner books. The setting is New Mexico, current time period. If you enjoy C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett series, or Craig Johnson’s, Sheriff Longmire series, or P. T. Deuterman’s Cam Richter series, or William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor
series, you may like this series. I couldn’t find them at any of the three county libraries I access in any form, but they are available on Amazon, Kindle department. I found two free ones and the others are reasonably priced.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm Mel-l-l-ting!

The outdoor temperature is +l00 degrees. The AC is not working.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Complain, Complain, Complain


A large portion of the country is suffering through an early heat wave. Here in SC, we have high temps, high humidity and strong thunderstorms every afternoon or evening.

Our grandsons have been playing in baseball tournaments and I can say sitting in 100+ degree weather has taken the starch out of me. Noah’s team went to the State Championships which was four hours away. We didn’t make that one. Cole was in a huge tournament with about 200 teams from all the over the US in Marietta, GA. We went to three of his games because the trip was only 2 1/2 hours one way. I can’t seem to get cool enough. Even sitting in the car with the AC blowing directly on me, my skin feels cold, but the core of me is still hot.

This morning when I walked to the mailbox, there was a slightly unpleasant smell in the air. I realized that it was the smell that I imagine when James Lee Burke describes the odors of the bayous--the dampness and the decay of vegetation and animal life. While it was not overpowering as I imagine it must be in the swamp, it wasn’t a pleasant way to start the day.

There is a break predicted for Saturday—from the weatherman’s lips to God’s ear.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Iced Tea–Un or No?

Iced tea in the South is a year-round drink. We drink it if the temperature is below zero or above. Having been born in Western Kentucky, then living in several locations in Tennessee and then returning to Kentucky, I think I may consider myself a Southerner. My several years in Connecticut erased my drawl and I say “you guys” just like a New Englander; however, I’m still a year-round iced tea drinker.

Growing up, our iced tea was served without sugar in tall glasses, or, in some cases, Mason jars. The place setting at the dining table included long handled spoons for those of us who liked our tea on the sweet side. There were also little dishes of sliced lemons for those who liked a little tartness. When I started “fixin” my own, I discovered I found the plain tea more refreshing than the sweetened, and I liked the fact that the plain tea didn’t interfere with the flavor of whatever I was eating.

I might add that wherever I ate, the tea was unsugared and iced tea spoons were available—at homes or in restaurants, Kentucky or Tennessee. Perhaps now their iced tea is just like South Carolina’s.

I think I mentioned the incident when I first had lunch with the girls in the office in Connecticut. I ordered iced tea even though it was cold enough to freeze your…well, anyway, it was cold and there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. The waitress informed me that they didn’t have iced tea in the winter. I asked her if she had hot tea. She said yes. I asked her to bring me a cup of hot tea and a glass with ice. Everyone looked at me as if I were nuts.

When we moved here to South Carolina, I discovered that iced tea is sickly sweet as a matter of course. Apparently, there is a recipe for iced tea that involves dissolving lots of sugar in hot water and then steeping the tea in it. You can’t just add sugar to your cold tea. If you want no sugar, you have to specify. My problem is, I say, “Iced tea, no sugar, please.” This seems to cause every server a problem. At first, there is a look of bafflement and then you see from the expressions on their faces, their befuddlement passes. “You mean ‘unsweet tea?” This doesn’t happen 25% of the time or even 50% of the time—it happens every time I order.

I know that I could solve the problem if I could just say “unsweet" but there is something about the word that just seems wrong to me. (When I type “unsweet” spellcheck tells me there is an error, so I guess I could be a little bit right.)

I suppose it’s a cultural difference, and when in Rome. . . I should try to order “unsweet” tea, but it’s hard to change after 65 years of tea drinking and talking. I just don’t get why it is so hard to understand “iced tea, no sugar.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In the News - Tacky, Tacky, Tacky

When I read of  "drive thru" viewing of deceased persons at a funeral home, it seemed to me to be the height of tackiness. I thought the glow-in-the-dark figures in cemeteries were running a close second to the "drive thru's." Today I read in the news that a local funeral home is adding a Starbuck's Coffee to their establishment for the "comfort" of the bereaved. They are planning to serve coffee and Starbucks food. I think this has the "drive thru" topped for the tacky ideas. Anything to make a buck, I suppose.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Audio Books

Some years ago when I was first diagnosed with the my first serious sign of aging (I’m not talking about wrinkles or grey hair), the doctor suggested that I start walking.

I found out that walking can be deadly dull when you are walking the same route every day. It was either walk the same route or trying to walk up a tremendous hill out of our neighborhood. I purchased a tape player to listen to music. Somehow that just didn’t do it for me, so I tried audio books. They worked out great. The end result was that I was walking even longer than was necessary. When I’m reading, I find it hard to put the book down, and the cassette player seemed to urge me on to another chapter, and then another chapter.

That lasted quite a while until the weather turned much warmer and my knees and hip joints began to complain loudly. Walking fell by the wayside. I tried to use the dreaded treadmill, but the aches and pains made walking quite uncomfortable.

In the last few weeks, I have been using the audio books available from the public libraries that I can access on line. My insomnia is getting worse and worse, and I thought I would try the audio books. For a long time I downloaded old time radio shows to listen to at night and I would fall asleep quickly. They seemed to be a good solution for my sleep problems. I soon had listened to every Sam Spade, Richard Diamond, and Casey, Crime Photographer available.

The books don’t work as well for me. The problem is I become engrossed in the story and have to continue for one more chapter staying awake. That doesn’t help my sleeplessness much.

There is another little problem with the audio books that is a little distracting for me. When the readers (narrators?) act the parts of the characters, they changed their voices. I’ve noticed that sometimes they forget which voice goes with which character. It seems that Sheriff Longmire’s voice changes from chapter to chapter. And the voice range of Judge Deborah Knott changes—one chapter it’s a normal female voice, then it’s deeper, and then it goes to soprano. As I said, it’s a little distracting. I think it might be better for the reader just to read instead of “playing” the parts.

There is one more drawback. Mr. Fixit gets a little put out seeing me with the earbuds in my ears for most of the day. It’s such fun, though, listening to a good book while doing laundry, dishes, and cooking.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

If He Pulls It Off, He'll Deserve an Oscar

Lee Child is the author of a series of books featuring Jack Reacher, an ex-MP who is 6'6" tall and weighs either 230 or 260 pounds. Either way, this is one big guy. His size plays an important part of the character's persona. One of Mr. Child's books has been made into a movie that is scheduled for release this coming December.

Tom Cruise has the role of Reacher, all 5'7" of him. Some may think of him as a gifted actor, but I think he's going to have to be a GREAT actor to make me believe he is 6'6".

Monday, July 2, 2012

Goofy Headline of the Day

Source: Yahoo!/ABC News

"Sarah Palin: 'Nancy Pelosi Is a Dingbat'

(My childish response: "It takes one to know one" or "That's the pot calling the kettle black"

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Heat Is On

This was one of those days that if  Satan visited South Carolina, he would have left quickly to get back to Hell where it was cooler. "It's hot" doesn't quite describe the conditions of the last few days.

Noah and Owen are in their All-Star Tournaments in this heat. I missed Noah's game last night because at 6:00 pm it was 103 degrees. (Owen's team lost two in a row so they are out of the competition and Noah's team has won two games and plays tomorrow evening.)

Cole also had a three-day tournament in Lexington, SC, where it was even hotter than it was here. It was 108 there the first day and didn't get much better the next two days. We attended today. The opposing team had played at 9:00 am and then had to play our team at 11:30 am. Both their pitcher and catcher had to be replaced because of the heat. We were ahead in the fifth inning, and the other team's coach ceded the game. His guys were just too hot and tired to continue.

I don't deal well with the heat. I was completely miserable through the whole game even though I was under a canopy and had a battery-operated fan. The five hours on the road didn't help much either. I should have stayed home, but I get very worried about Mr. Fixit on road trips alone to new places even with his GPS unit. He is--how do I put this--directionally challenged. I also worry because he watches the GPS instead of the road.

When we came home, we both went to bed. I took a nap, but he's still there and it's 9:00 pm. He doesn't like to admit how tired he gets.

It's supposed to cool a bit tomorrow. The high temperature is predicted to be 97.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Landlord Tales

Our older son has some “interesting” tenants in his trailer mobile home park.

He recently had a person move out owing him money. When the park manager inspected the property, he found a large (6 ft.) reptile in a tank. It was either a python or a boa constrictor. Animal Control was called and picked up the snake.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Goofy Headline of the Day

Source: Local Television News Page

"Man arrested for throwing honey bun at clerk"

Monday, June 25, 2012

It’s a Different World

Sunday morning as Mr. Fixit was getting ready for church, the subject of our son and his wife working in the nursery with the children came up. I asked them exactly what they did. I thought they taught Sunday school.

He explained that they work at a computer and print name tags for each child. He further explained that no one could take a child out except for a parent—even if, for example, a grandparent or other family member known to the security people asks to pick up the child.

“Wait, a second. Did you say security people?” I asked.

“Yes, there are always two people working security around the nursery.”

It’s a sad state of affairs that children require “security” even at church. But it does seem that every week, you read that a pastor, music minister, or youth minister has been arrested for inappropriate actions with young people.

What have we become when children aren’t safe in church? 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What’s Happening

We’ve had a busy spring. Most of our time was spent at baseball games and volley ball. All the grandchildren did really well.

Cole attended his first prom. He and his girlfriend looked so beautiful. I would post pictures, but I don’t like posting photos unless I have permission. I always check with the parents to see if it’s okay, but Cole is old enough now to make that decision.

School is out, and summer sports have begun. Cole’s team travels long distances for their tournaments. This past week we travelled three times to Columbia, SC, which is a five hour round trip. The week before that it was several trips to Rock Hill and York, SC. Both are very pretty towns. Those were also 5 hour round trips. The weather hasn’t been too hot yet; I’m thankful. The price of gasoline is down, too, thank goodness. (It’s down to $2.96 a gallon at a few places.)

Both Noah and Owen are on travel teams. Owen has had one tournament, and Noah’s will began after his All-star game in a few weeks (I think).

Levi is signing up for football—not flag football, but full contact. It’s enough to make this grandmother tremble.

Mr. Fixit has seen his new cardiologist. I hope this guy works out. He said that after reviewing the records from Dr. Doofus it seems that Mr. Fixit is doing great! From his lips to God’s ear. He (Mr. Fixit just came it and said he needs to see the eye doctor again. He’s been having a problem with one of his eyes since the cataract surgery. Crap!

Noah, our soon-to-be seventh grader, suggested that I read The Hunger Games. I’m about half way through. It’s not bad.

We had our primary elections last Tuesday. There was a little problem statewide. It seems that many candidates failed to file correctly and the court decided that weren’t eligible and were kicked off the ballot. Some counties tried to cancel the whole process. Only a very small percentage of voters chose to participate. It’s always something. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I gave in and downloaded Google Chrome. I'm not pleased with it, but some supernatural forces must have been at work here. My Explorer has been going a little screwy, and I get these little error messages telling me that my browser had stopped working. This was happening several times a day. I haven't had it happen since I began using Chrome. But, as I said before, I'm not crazy about it.

Anyway, this morning I clicked on "Tools" to get to my bookmarks and noticed something I had paid not attention to before. Listed on the menu was "New Incognito Window." I thought maybe it would allow me to disguise myself with Groucho glasses complete with mustache. It seems that it actually allows you to "hide" any site you may visit on the internet. It must be a godsend to very handy if you are a cheating spouse who has signed up for a dating service or if you spend time with Debbie of Dallas fame. You could also use it for a lot of serious creepiness that you wouldn't want your family to see. No more "Oops!" Wifey found your favorite porn site or little Johnny received his first sex education class in living color.

I can't for the life of me think of one legitimate reason for offering this service. I may be naive, but this takes creepy to a whole new level.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm Here

When I called for final reporting-for-jury-duty instructions, I was told that I had been excused due to random chance to decrease the jury pool.

Regardless of the reason, I did my little Happy Dance and may have even squealed a joyful girly squeal.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tomorrow Is the Day

Tomorrow I must report for jury duty in Federal Court. I DON'T WANT TO GO!

Crazy things are worrying me. I can't take my cell phone into the court house. I'll have to park in a parking garage. What if the garage is full and I can't find a parking place--I'll be late! I'll have to drive more than 50 miles a day. The instructions I received declared flip flops more than undesirable. I hope they won't find me in contempt if I wear normal sandals. They are the only comfortable summer shoes I have. Where will I have lunch? The court house is downtown that has only trendy, expensive restaurants--not a Mickey D's in sight. They don't pay for meals unless you are sequestered.

It seems to me that I have done my civic duty in the last few years serving on several juries without whining. I'm almost 67 years old--too old for this inconvenience. Yeah, I know it's the price to pay for enjoying what makes America America, but, have mercy, I've done my share!

I have to call this evening after 6:30 pm for last minute information. Please, please, excuse me from duty!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Politicians–Always Good for a Laugh

In a neighboring county, the race to choose a candidate to run in the next election for sheriff has begun. A rather strange incident allegedly occurred. It seems that a retired judge issued some sort of order (an injunction or a restraining order) against one of the sheriff-hopefuls saying that he is not eligible to run for the office. The hopeful is a an ex-Secret Service agent.

The incumbent sheriff who is not seeking re-election, received a tip that the ex-agent tried to hire someone to kidnap the retired judge and take him out of town until the legal matter is  decided.  The sheriff didn’t want to handle this hot potato so he called in  SLED (the South Carolina state equivalent of the FBI). SLED says that there is a tape of the ex-agent trying to hire a Bubba a man for the job. SLED immediately arrested the candidate. This law enforcement agency is the same one who takes years to make arrests in any investigation that it undertakes.

But those fun politicians have a way of bringing our State into the nation’s attention. The situation hit the national news today. Do I need to tell you the political party involved? I’ll give you a hint—it’s not the party of the former presidential candidate who narrowly missed being found guilty today in a criminal trial. It just so happens he was born in this same county.

Republicans or Democrats—they’re all cut from the same stained cloth, but they do sometimes give me a chuckle.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Who Knew?

Changing physicians is no easy feat. Mr. Fixit is scheduled in a few weeks for a six months check-up, and he finally made the decision to leave the practice of Dr. Doofus, his cardiologist. I was not looking forward to the process because I simply didn't want to face the prospect of walking into Doofus's office and requesting Mr. Fixit's medical records. Cowardly, aren't I? They put a bit of pressure on us to stay when we had the problem last year when Mr. Fixit had to be admitted to a hospital, and Doofus forgot he was there. I didn't want another confrontation.

Things to be taken into consideration is the insurance accepted by any prospective doctor. We can't go to anyone; he must be in "network" or we pay through the nose. Next is location. While we have two large hospital systems and three smaller systems within 25 miles, we still have to take into consideration the travel time and the facility itself. For instance the three smaller systems do not perform the surgery for the placement of  heart stents.

Most doctors in this area are part of group practices owned by the hospital systems. Since we don't have a large group of friends who might recommend someone, he simply went to the website and picked a name at random. Luckily, the doctor  in "network" is still accepting patients. And they will contact Dr. Doofus to request the medical records. I don't have to do anything.

Another thing to be consider is the timing of the change. You have to be cognizant of the date when your prescriptions expire so that you are not left with no meds in the interim.

Now we are just waiting for the initial paperwork to arrive by mail. Thank goodness, the process is almost over. It's a good thing because Mr. Fixit was driving me nuts about it. He becomes obsessive sometimes about things and doesn't understand why we must wait for others to respond. He wants what he wants NOW! While I am trying to listen to  details on the phone, he is listening to only my side of the conversation, and he starts instructing me as to what to say and then I can't hear what is being explained to me. Aargh!

Yesterday I had to see the doctor for the results of blood work that was necessary for a new medication that he prescribed two months ago. When he asked me if I were feeling better, I truthfully said I'd noticed no difference. I explained that my insomnia might be the culprit. He suggested a sleep aid. I demurred. He suggested strongly  that I try it. I agreed. (I figured I would get the medication once and then not have it refilled. It's not necessary for my health.) We went to the pharmacy about 6:00 pm to see if it was ready and were told that no prescription had been called in. Even though I don't care whether it was or not, it does make me wonder if I have another Dr. Doofus in the making. Dang!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Another Unusual Sighting at Wal-Mart in Dixie

Before I get into the subject of this post, bear in my that we live in a small southern town with a population of about 2,200 people. I don’t think this number includes the many university students that live here when school is in session. The political climate leans heavily toward extreme conservative right wing views and most people attend Protestant churches. If you want to win an election here, you mention “family values” and you’re a shoo-in.

While the university does provide a more liberal view, there are some things that might raised eyebrows among the intellectual and the liberal arts factions. I like to think of myself as broad-minded. I make no judgments as to the alternative lifestyles of others as long as no one is hurt. I can understand gay marriage, transgender individuals, and cross-dressers. What people do in the privacy of their homes and bedrooms is none of my business.

Today, however, I saw something that I have never seen in the almost 30 years we have lived here. As we leaving Wal-Mart, I noticed an individual in a small car who was quite large. Her head was touching the ceiling of the car. Then I noticed her extremely wide shoulders. Her hair was collar length styled conservatively. Then it hit it me! The person I saw was a man. I called Mr. Fixit’s attention to the person, not because I have any moral reservations, but because I have never seen a cross-dresser or a transsexual going into the little Wal-Mart in our Sarah-Palin-lovin’ corner of the world. I was surprised!

When he stepped out of the car, however, I was ready to call the fashion police. He could have been arrested for a felony ugly outfit. He was no Ru Paul, but, hey, I’m no beauty myself. He could certainly use a little constructive criticism of his fashion choices.  He had on a red blouse with a short (a little above mid-thigh) skirt. He appeared to be wearing a padded bra which was not all that generous, but it appeared that it had those 1960’s pointed cups. Not a nice look. His legs were not made for wearing short skirts. Under the skirt he was wearing black shorts. I didn’t quite get that at all. I think he might have been having a little problem with the shorts since he appears to be correcting a wedgy as he strolled across the parking lot.

The biggest fashion faux pas that I noticed though was his choice of footwear. He wore a tasteful pump with a small heel (1 1/2 inches). It was something I might wear. The problem was—the shoes were brown! Everyone knows that you don’t wear brown shoes with a black shirt. What was he thinking?

Even though I think his outfit could have used a little help, I can’t help but admire the courage it took to be different in this world.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Cat Tale

We have all read news stories of the brave pet who has saved it’s master from dire circumstances. Family pets (dogs, usually) warn families of the middle-of-night fires, shepherd young children away from busy streets, and save Timmy from the well. This is not one of those stories.

We have been having quite a bit of rain here in South Carolina for the past few days. With the rain comes those horrid five inch four inch three (okay, truthfully) one and one-half inch flying cockroaches called (I think) palmetto bugs. They are big, ugly, and have wings. One always manages to come into the house after every heavy rain causing disgust and some rather earthy language by me.

I was lying on the bed reading and Little Girl was keeping me company. All of a sudden she jumped up and looked at the wall by the dresser. I didn’t see anything. She then jumped off the bed and gingerly crept up to the side of the dresser. I crept up behind her. One of those ugly five inch one and a half inch bugs came running across the wall. Little Girl, the coward, left the room posthaste and I beat a retreat to the middle of the bed.

After determining that I could exit the room without fear of the BUFC (big ugly flying cockroach) buzzing my head or running across my bare foot, I went in search of bug spray. Little Girl was in the computer room peeking at me from around the corner.

Being a good citizen of the world, I bring my own shopping bags to the store and buy eco-friendly (friendly to all except BUFC’s and other assorted insects) bug spray. The only problem is that in order to dispatch any bug larger than an ant, you have to spritz the nasty buggers about 20 times. I had to chase it all over the room. BUFC’s run very fast even after being hit several times with the eco-friendly spray.

In the meantime, Little Girl was watching from the safety of the computer room. I think she was smirking her cat smirk at me.

My other cats loved playing with bugs, not Miss Scaredy-Cat. No-o-o! She simply watched my battle from a safe distance. She wouldn’t come back into the room for a while. I now realize that if I fall into a well, she will be sitting at the top smirking at me, not running for help. On second thought, perhaps she would if it were almost dinner time.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Super Moon?

Our super moon doesn’t seem that much different than our usual full moon. The harvest moon seems much bigger to me. I don't seem to have much luck with viewing celestial events.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This Looks Familiar

Yesterday morning we decided to take a drive. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. We droved to Flat Rock, N. C. and Hendersonville, N. C. Both are touristy towns that feature many art galleries and pottery stores, and Flat Rock boasts a famous playhouse.

We then traveled on a few more miles to Asheville, N.C. I really like this part of the country. I wouldn’t mind living there.

Downtown is busy, busy, busy! There are offices, restaurants, art galleries, and tourists taking in the sights. Traffic was quite heavy. There has been a lot of renewal going on, and it’s quite nice.

We were a little turned around so we stopped to program Ms. TomTom for a little help getting  back on the interstate. Ms. TomTom took us through a neighborhood that we had visited once before—Hookerville  (See Post of Nov. 13, 2010). There it was—the abandoned gas station where the ladies plied their trade in front of God and everybody. Thankfully, it seems they start working later than 11:00 am on weekdays.

I don’t quite understand how we managed to end up there again. We didn’t start out anywhere near where we had been the first time Ms. TomTom calculated our route to the interstate. H-m-m. It’s a puzzle.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Consequences of Citizenship

Once again I have been summoned for jury duty. I have been called to service several times in our city court which handles mostly traffic infractions and the occasional misdemeanor. I have also served as a juror in the university court. They handle infractions that happen on campus--drinking, disturbing the peace, etc. I have served in the county court in a civil matter. There is only one other juror list that I’m aware of and that’s the summons I received Friday. I have an invitation to appear in Federal District Court in June.

At first I thought, before reading the summons, that I was expected to serve in Columbia, SC. That’s a 2 1/2 drive from our house. I was beside myself thinking of all the problems that would cause. When I finally had a chance to read the entire packet, I saw that I’m being asked to appear in Greenville which is only 25 miles away. Still it’s not something I really want to do.

I have never tried to duck this civic responsibility. I’ve found it interesting. Something tells me that in Federal Court whether the case being heard is civil or criminal, it could be deadly dull. I wouldn’t be too interested in listening to a financial fraud case or insider trading.

In the local courts you may asked to be excused if you are over 65 years old. In Federal Court, you have to be 70 to request to be excused. Darn!

As I began to fill out the questionnaire to begin the process, I was wondering how I could answer the questions without lying but perhaps leading to my exclusion.

Question: “Describe the condition of your health:” 

Answer: “"Fair”

Question: “Medical Problems”

Answer: “Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, aching knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, ankles, faulty memory and various other minor afflictions attendant upon persons of my age.”

Question: “Are you a member of MADD, CAVE, or any organization that supports the rights of victims?”

Answer: “No, but I could change my party affiliation to the Republican party if that would get me out of jury duty.”

Question: (This is a real question asked.) “Have you displayed any bumper stickers on your automobile in the last 12 months?”

Answer: “Vote for Santorum,” “Vote for Obama,” “Green Peace,” “Women’s Rights,” “ACLU Sucks.” Okay, this would be a lie, but it might make them think I’m nuts.

The one question and answer that may insure my disqualification is: “Have you or anyone in your family ever worked for a lawyer or law firm?”

Answer: “Yes. I was so employed.”

Of course, I gave factual answers to all the questions instead of the answers I wanted to use. It’s possible that I will be learning more about financial skullduggery or medical malfeasance than I ever wanted to know. I can only hope for an interesting bank robbery case.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Decisions To Be Made

Well, it worked. (See previous post.) The only problem is that I can’t edit the post after it appears on the blog. I suppose that in order to post directly with Blogger or to edit a post, I must use “Chrome.”

Somehow that rankles. I was forced to have a gmail account when Google took over a few years ago. I didn’t want a gmail account. I don’t care for how it works, and I only use it for crap stuff.  I don’t like the idea of Google encroaching on my life any more that it already has. I very seldom use Google for anything other than Blogger and Google maps. I seldom use it as a search engine.

Now I have to decide if I want to be blackmailed into installing their browser or to shut down my blog. I tried to get out of the blogging “business” a few months ago. I feel as if I don’t really have anything worthy of sharing. Sometimes I wonder why anyone would read my musings.

One thing I do know is that I will continue to read all  the people I follow. I can’t just let that go. It’s my tenuous thread to the outside world.

Now I have to think. Google or not to Google.

Will It Work or Not?

A few minutes ago when I opened Blogger dashboard, I saw the “new, improved” page. At the top of the page was the warning that my browser is no longer compatible with Blogger. It suggests that I use Google Chrome.

It seems that I can read blogs on my reading list, but I can’t post or edit. Right now I am using Windows Writer. I shall see if it works momentarily when I click on “Publish.”

Here goes!

Friday, April 6, 2012

It’s a Miracle!

When I told Jason that Mac, the crab, has passed on, I asked him what I should do with the deceased. He said to just leave him in his container, and he would take care of him when he picked up the rat gerbil Friday morning. He said he could keep the shell that Mac called home if Owen wanted to replace Mac with a new pet. Incidentally, Mac is a hermit crab, not a fiddler crab as I posted earlier. Hermit crabs live in shells that have been used by other crustaceans.

Jason opened the container and picked up the seashell. Lo and behold, something inside the shell moved! You should have seen Jason’s face. What we thought was the body of Mac turned out to be his exoskeleton, and Mac was safely inside his borrowed shell. How was I to know? I know little of biology or crab-ology. Finding him alive was such a relief. I was so happy! Owen would no longer have to think of me as his homicidal grammie. Jason’s wife said she was glad we didn’t have a funeral and inter him.

Jason had a terrible thought. He was wondering if when Mac’s friend, Cheese, died, he (Jason) was mistaken and perhaps there had been a “Premature Burial.”

It seemed to be totally appropriate for him to be “resurrected” in this, the Easter season. There were some vaguely sacrilegious jokes, but we all were thankful that Mac is alive and well.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Since Noah and Owen decided to spend this week with their other grandfather, Jason and his wife made arrangements to have a hardwood floor installed in their living room and to have the hardwood in the kitchen and dining room refinished. They are staying in a hotel while the work is being done.

That left the problem of the animals. They have a dog, a cat, a fiddler crab, and a rat gerbil. The dog is staying with neighbors, the cat was taken to a kitty kennel, and the crab and the rat gerbil are visiting here.

Tragedy struck yesterday. Mac, the crab, croaked passed on. We weren’t sure, but he came out of his shell and we saw no further movement. When I called Jason this morning, he said Mac was very old, and it wasn’t unexpected. “But why did he have to do it here?” I moaned.

Mac belonged to Owen. I hope he won’t blame me for this unfortunate fatality. Every time he sees me, will he associate me with death of his friend? Damn, damn, double damn!

RIP Mac. (Mac’s friend, Cheese, passed a while ago.)


Owen’s arm isn’t broken. He will be able to continue his baseball and Hip Hop classes.

Monday, April 2, 2012


This morning I had a terrible dream which featured Jason at two years old (he’s now 40-something). In the dream we were at some public event when an illness broke out in the crowd. Jason was ill.  When the health professionals examined him they suggested that he be hospitalized.

Unfortunately, there was some mix-up and when Mr. Fixit and I arrived at the hospital, they claimed that he was never admitted. They lost my child! I was livid, scared, and all those emotions that a parent could have upon learning that her child was missing. A young woman was sent to placate us, and in the midst of her CYA speech, she made of the mistake was laughing at my fears. When she bent her head to hide her laughter, I grabbed her by hair and proceeded to slap her silly. I awoke.

These are the actual events that lead to my dream. Noah and Owen went to visit their other grandfather Saturday for their spring break. He lives a few hours away. After our daughter-in-law returned home, she received a telephone call from her father telling her that Owen was in the hospital with a possible broken arm. (Yes, again with a broken arm.) It turned out that it may not be broken, but they put him I a splint to await an exam by an orthopedist. Granddad R suggested that Jason and his wife not come and let him take care of the problem since Owen appeared to be in no pain.

The last two nights I have been reading a thriller about the abductions of children. Before I went back to sleep about 5:00 am, I was thinking about the character who had to inform the parents of the missing children that their children had been found murdered. I was contemplating the awfulness and stress on the officials who had this terrible duty. It must be one of the hardest things in this world to do.

I assume that these two real-life events somehow merged in my subconscious to appear in my dream. While resorting to violence in my dream is disturbing, I have to admit that it felt GOOD!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Silence of the Bunnies

Last night when we came home from a baseball game, I opened the back door to say hello to the cats. Mother Cat was there to greet me, but Big Boy, the white one, didn’t show. I began to get worried when chicken time came and he didn’t appear. He never misses his nightly chicken snack.

I called, I used the “come-and-get-it” signal, and I walked around the house with a flashlight. I was afraid he had met with foul play.

Then I heard a rustling under the deck. The light revealed the blood-thirsty feline with a baby bunny in his mouth. Since the weather has been warmer, he has been sleeping outside. It appears that his hunting instinct is alive and well despite the fact that he is well fed. He has brought two field mice and left them at the back door for me. I realize cats are predators, but it doesn’t endear him to me. It also reminds me why I was cat-phobic for so many years.

The poor little bunny was was screaming; then there was silence.

As he moves up the food chain, who’s next, Bambi?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Making My Ears Bleed

When I was taking Chantix to stop smoking, I developed an intolerance to loud, high-pitched noise. I can’t say for sure the Chantix caused it; I’ve never heard of anyone else suffering from that particular side effect. I know that it began during that scary time in my life. I’m still very uncomfortable in noisy situations.

Imagine this—nine third and fourth grade girls all squealing as loud as possible every few minutes, and a volleyball official blowing her whistle so hard that I’m surprised that she didn’t pop a blood vessel. I think the decibel level would rival that of a rock concert.

Every time one of our girls served (it didn’t matter if it was a good serve or a bad serve) they would all gang up on the court squealing, high-fiving, and sharing hugs. It’s really nice they are so supportive of one another, and I’m willing to risk burst eardrums to watch them play.

I do hope, however, that someone steals the pea out of the referee’s whistle before the next game.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Frozen Assets by Lee Shultz

Several times a month I check Amazon’s Free Kindle list. Experience has shown that some are passable and some are simply dreadful. There was a some that I have enjoyed.

I found Frozen Assets by Lee Shultz most enjoyable. It had it’s faults, but the leading character made up for the deficiencies in the books. She is a 60-ish woman who began law school when she was 39 and the sole support for her three young children. She became a very successful attorney, but an attack by a knife-wielding assailant caused her to re-assess her life. She chucked the whole lawyer thing, and for two years wandered the country in an RV with her dog.

She chose the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the back of beyond, to live  in an isolated cabin with her pets, some wonderful friends, and a friend with benefits. She works as an ambulance driver as well as taking as occasional appointment as defense attorney. She chops her wood, she hikes, she knits, revels in her isolation, and is very independent. She is an admirable character. In fact, half through the book, she made me feel quite inadequate.

While the mystery plot wasn’t the best and I found the writing  would have benefitted a bit more editing, the characterizations were fun. Sometimes it was as if I were listening to a real person telling me their story. I look forward to Ms. Shultz’s next book. I hope she writes quickly.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Catching Up

The last few weeks (months?) have been busy. I hardly have a minute to myself. When I do, I have my a book in my hand. I have acquired another library card from another adjoining county which brings my count to three cards. I like the idea of being able to check out books on-line at any time, but I still go to the library for “real” books. It’s sort of like reading the news on-line. It’s just not the same as having that newspaper in my hand.

Mr. Fixit has now had both eyes repaired. He goes back in three weeks for a follow-up and to have his eyes checked for new glasses. There are still drops to be used for a few more weeks. He can’t do it himself; it makes it a bit difficult sometimes. He has been working for our son in a town 16 miles away. That means I have to make at least 3 round trips a day to help him with the drops. Yesterday it was four trips.

He also isn’t happy that he can’t drive yet. In fact, he is more than “not happy.” He’s being a bit of a butt about it, in fact. I just hope that with better vision that he won’t scare me so badly when he does drive.

The grandchildren’s spring sports have begun. When we received the schedules, we saw that there are several days when there are as many as four events scheduled for the same time. What’s a grandparent to do?

Bella had a volleyball game last night. She scored four points. The most important thing is that she is much more confident than she was.

Cole is playing varsity baseball. His team is undefeated in regular season play. It’s a source a wonderment to see him as a tall, handsome, smart young man instead of the two year old who loved Blue’s Clues.

The other three grandsons’ games begin a week from Saturday. I can hardly wait for Levi’s games. The little guys are such fun to watch. Noah and Owen are practicing now.

The Birds—For several days the vireos were in an absolute frenzy. (Perhaps they had spring fever.) I don’t think any more of them hit the dining room window, but I did see a small feather on the screen on the kitchen window. I didn’t see a fatality though. The screen isn’t as unforgiving as glass. The window in the dining room has those crank-out windows with the screens inside.

With all the crazies out there in the world of politics, I fear for our future. Sometimes I want to turn off the television and the internet and live in my own little world. What scares me most is not not the individuals running for office, but the people who support the sexism, bigotry, etc. espoused by these candidates and some so-called media pundits. It’s a scary old world out there, folks.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Birds

Yesterday I heard a thump at the dining room window. I noticed a feather sticking to the window. When I checked the ground below, I saw a poor little vireo still moving a bit. He was dead by the time I got outside. I put the window covering down thinking it would keep another bird from flying into the window.

This morning the same thing happened. Another thump, another dead bird. The strange thing was it was the same kind of bird.

Later in the afternoon, I was upstairs  and I heard another single thump. This time there were two birds down. They appeared to be alive. When I went out, I walked very close to both of them. They were still breathing, but they were so stunned, my presence didn’t disturb them. I waited for an hour or so, making sure the cats didn’t hurt the poor little things.

When I checked a bit later, they were both gone. I suppose they regained their senses, they flew away.

This isn’t the first time, birds have smashed into the window, but it is the first time that they were the same kind. It’s a little weird.

I have to think of a way to stop this from happening. It certainly isn’t because the windows are so clean and transparent. I thought lowering the shade would help, but it didn’t. I don’t know what to do next.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Eyes Have It

When Mr. Fixit when to eye guy, he told us that there were cataracts in both eyes. We had told that it was only one eye. It was decided that he should have both taken care of now.

Yesterday we went to the pre-op consultation. He will have one eye done next Monday and the other done the following Monday. If all goes as expected, he will still need glasses for reading, but his vision should improve greatly and he won’t have to wear his glasses all the time. I wonder about that. He has been wearing glasses for about 35 years. It seems to me that his vision would be corrected to what it was before the cataracts developed. It was 4 years ago when the doctor said that she saw a cataract in its beginning stage. He is going to be disappointed if his vision isn’t improved so much that he won’t have to wear glasses all the time.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's Been a Long, Long Time. .

Today is our 46th anniversary.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

$uch Aggravation

Not only did Directv raise their monthly fees, they discontinued the channel, “Cloo” in our package. It began some time ago as “Sleuth.” That means I’ll only be able to watch  “NCIS’ two or three times a day. I am p.o.ed!

When our local county library system began their ebook service, I was so happy. It did save me a lot of money. I didn’t spend as much as I did before, but I set aside a little money to buy books Kindle books. An adjoining county has a reciprocal arrangement with our county allowing non-residents to obtain cards at no cost to non-residents. I obtained a card so that I could use their ebook collection; it is much larger than our county’s. Today when I wanted to browse the neighboring county’s selection. I couldn’t access the service. There was a notice stating that that the reciprocal agreement would not apply to ebooks. I will now have to pay $30.00 (yearly? one time fee? I don’t know.) Another neighboring county only charges $25.00, but their selection is smaller since their population is smaller. I know, it’s still a bargain, but I feel they changed the rules in the middle of the game.

Macmillan Publishing, Simon & Shuster, Penguin Group, Brilliance Audio, and Hachette Book Group have refused to sell or license ebooks to libraries. I think I read in the news that there are still negotiations ongoing. Even if it’s cutting off my nose to spite my face, I think I’ll boycott these publishers if an agreement isn’t reached to allow libraries to offer their books. I’m sure my personal boycott will make someone sit up and take notice.

Has anyone else noticed that the price of ebooks has risen since Christmas? Before Christmas, popular best sellers were $12.99, now they are $14.99. The publishers are getting greedy, and I bet the authors aren’t reaping the benefits of the price hike in proportion to the publishers. Ebooks should have slashed their overhead costs for heavens’ sake. Still I suppose $14.99 is better than $28.00 retail. I just won’t be buying them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

“. . .Has Left the Building”

For many years, beginning when our boys were young, I have attended soccer games, baseball games, karate competitions. Cole was 5 when he started playing baseball. He also played soccer for one season and basketball for a couple of seasons. Owen and Levi have both played touch football. Bella just started volley ball. We have seen our share of kid sports.

Today Noah had a basketball game. I have mentioned before that I don’t really enjoy watching my grandsons play basketball. The sport is rough, the coaches are too critical and too competitive. They seem to coach with a mindset of win at all costs. The parents are overly invested in the game and  winning. Some of the parents put the mothers of little beauty queens to shame.

In today’s game, an event happened that I’ve never seen in any young people’s sporting event. In the first period, which was 8 minutes long, the refs called 18 fouls on our team and probably a like number for the other team, and one referee yelled at the opposing coach for some reason. From his remarks I gathered that he thought the coach was being disrespectful to him. We were sitting near the coach, and I didn’t hear him raise his voice. I suppose he could have made a remark that we didn’t hear though. Both officials were being quite unpleasant to the players. Most of the time the referees try to teach the children. When they commit an infraction, they explain it them. Today these guys were just snotty.

When the period ended, both coaches tried to talk to the refs, explaining that these young players were 12 years old and under, not pros. One ref began yelling and told our coach to sit down. Our coach was being polite and never raised his voice. He didn’t impugn the man’s integrity or tell him where to go or make any suggestions that are anatomically impossible. He just looked him in the eye and kept standing. The ref was ready to throw him out of the building.

At that point, the vice president of the league who was running the clock jumped up out of his seat and tried to calm the troubled waters. The idiot referee was having none of it. As a result, the VP tossed the referees out of the building telling the players and the parents that those officials would never be used again. Everyone applauded when they left the building.

The coaches decided to continue to play the game as a scrimmage and reschedule the game, if possible, later in the season.

I have seen players ejected from games, coaches ejected from games, and parents ejected from games. I have never seen officials ejected from games. That was a first for almost everyone at the game, I think.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Growing Younger Every Day

Stephen King’s 1991 mini-series, “Golden Years,” tells the story of an older man who stops aging and grows younger. Interesting premise. Where would it end? In the womb? Or would he simply cease to exist when he reached the moment of conception. It’s sort of like the incredible shrinking man. How small could he become? Did he shrink into nothingness or did he still exist in the cosmos the size of atomic particles?

Mr. Fixit and I were married when I was 20 and he was 28. At the time, the gap between us seemed to be large. In fact, some people thought it was too big a gap. When I was 32 and he was 40, it seemed still to be quite a difference. Even when he retired at 66, the gap seemed to be wide because of the length of time I had to wait to collect my SS benefits. Then after my SS kicked in, it seemed the gap disappeared.

Now as the character in King’s series, Mr. Fixit seems to be getting younger than I. In the last few years, he has had his heart fixed twice; it’s now almost as good as it ever was according to Dr. Doofus. He had his hernia fixed again. He now has help with his hearing, but that doesn’t count. It’s funny about those hearing aids; he can hear everyone except me. He’s had a colonoscopy; everything there is fine. Now he has an appointment next week to fix his eyes. If they decide to remove the cataract, he will be able to see much better.

As I see it, he’s getting younger with every doctor visit. Soon he will be the spring chicken and I will be the doddering old lady. Medical science is wonderful!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Also in the News

Headline on Yahoo! News

Attribution: ABC New/Good Morning America

“Paula Deen Caught Eating a Cheeseburger”

It seems that Ms. Deen, television chef, caused a furor in the last week or so when she “admitted” that she has type 2 diabetes and is now a paid spokesperson for a medicine to treat the condition.

I can see how some might think she brought it on herself after seeing some of her recipes. One they showed several times was a burger with all the fixin’s on a donut. Okay, that was over the top, but who in their right mind would eat something like that? Is it possible she was just pokin’ a little fun at ya’ll?

I have a news flash for the writer of the cheeseburger story. Unless that cheeseburger had barbecue sauce or some other condiment with sugar, the cheeseburger is okay for a diabetic to eat. It’s not the calories that are so important—it’s the carbs we have to watch. Of course, overweight is a factor when dealing with the condition, but even if you are overweight you can control the blood sugar levels by avoiding the carbs.

Let’s break it down. A cheeseburger usually consists of a hamburger patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, onion, pickle, and a bun. Some people may choose to include catsup or mustard. Meat and cheese (proteins) have little or no carbs; lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion less than 5 unless you use a whole tomato on one burger; mayo, no carbs. Now we come to the bun. Depending on the size and ingredients, a bun can be as little as 20 carbs for a “lite” bun to as much as 55 for a huge burger at a fast food emporium. Even if it were on a big bun, 60 grams of carbs is low for a meal. The calorie count may be high, but the carb count is low. Some people need to get their facts straight before taking others to task for something which, apparently, they know nothing about.

(So often I have heard people say when talking about over-weight low-income people, “They sure don’t look like they’ve missed many meals.” They are overweight because beans, pasta, potatoes, bologna, biscuits, gravy, and cornbread are a heck of lot cheaper that  meat, vegetables [cauliflower was $4.00 a head last week locally, as an example], and fruit.)

Then were is nurture vs. nature. Some of us have a predisposition for diabetes. It not exactly described as hereditary but it does run in families. In my family, it goes back to my great grandmother. But, of course, some of it does go to nurturing. My mother who over-weight has a great cure for depression. Not drugs, but “eat something, you’ll feel better.” Needless to say, it became my cure, too. I must have been really depressed. There is also the way my family cooked. My grandmother was from Alabama. Everything vegetable she cooked was seasoned with bacon drippings or fatback. Chicken was fried, and the ice cream was home-made in the hand-cranked machine.

Ms. Deen has been criticized for her southern cooking, with some implying that it was her diet that was directly responsible for her condition. They are also blaming her for putting others in harm’s way by touting her recipes to the general public.

There are several contributors to developing diabetes, but I certainly don’t blame my family for my predisposition to it or for the way my family cooked, or my mother’s choice for handling depression. At some point, I made the decision to continue overeating. It was ME, not my family, not some cook on television. I should have made better decisions and then I perhaps I wouldn’t be shunning all the White Stuff that I love to eat. I wouldn’t be worried about losing body parts, kidney function, and sight.

And Paula Deen  shouldn’t be blamed for obesity and diabetes. And if she wants to have a burger, it’s not really such a bad choice. (But we all know that we should watch those calories, too, dammit!)