Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Old age is middle school with walkers.

The last of the holiday teas was at 1pm today and I feel certain I can speak for everyone in the catering department when I say THANK YOU JESUS! I think 13 yr old girls were put on this earth to torture their parents with their eye rolling, smart remarks and funky wardrobe choices but I have met that 13 yr old girls match and she is riding a bus with her Medicare Card carrying gang. There is always one little old dried up man traveling with at least 40 widowed women and for that three day bus trip he is living the life of Hugh Hefner. His every need is anticipated by his harem as they elbow each other out of the way for the seat of honor...right next to Hef. To you and I, Hef bears a striking resemblance to an apple head doll I had when I was six years old but maybe dentures and humps are an aphrodisiac when combined with diesel fumes. Oh well, I am fast approaching that age so I guess I will get back with ya on that one.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh man, another haircut.

Well, actually all I needed was a trim. Not even a trim just thinned. You will be happy to know that I do not look like a lesbian golfer but on the other hand I'm not sure I wanted my head to look like a button mushroom either. This is not rocket science folks and I promise you I'm not difficult when it comes to haircuts but there is something about my head, hair texture or the diminishing ozone layer that screams to anyone with a pair of scissors in their hand that this woman NEEDS TO BE AN OBJECT OF RIDICULE.

Monday, December 29, 2008

NO MORE EGGNOG or why I hate to see the holidays end.

I have given my Keurig coffee maker a real workout this fall and winter but my favorite has to be eggnog lattes. I warm the eggnog in the microwave while the Keurig is working its magic with the little k-cup and ta da! I have an eggnog latte in less than 2 minutes. Of course if eggnog happened to be available year round my rear end would require it's own zip code.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Miss Avery And The Two Wise Men...FORE!

When Avery was 4 she and her friend Lilly were helping Eddie decorate for Christmas. Eddie was putting out the candles, centerpieces and all the little special things that make a house a home during the holidays. Avery and Lilly helped until they found the manger scene and this is what we learned:

Avery: Look Lilly...there is Baby Jesus.
Lilly: Who is that next to Jesus?
Avery: Oh, that's Jesus's Daddy. His name is Joseph.
Lilly: I bet that is Jesus's Mama, Mary.
Avery: Yes, that is Mary.
Lilly: Who are those guys over in the corner?
Avery: I don't know who the two short ones are but the tall brown one is Tiger Woods.

And all this time we thought Tiger Woods was just a golfer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dare I say the word??? R-E-C-E-S-S-I-O-N

For most of my life I have been merrily skipping down the candy cane lined path in Jannyland where the sun always shines, blue birds fly overhead and money magically appears in my checking account. Not so much anymore as I am afraid the R word has invaded the peaceful happy valley of Jannyland...and it's tickin' me off. After watching my 401k and stock account rapidly dwindle from happy days are here again to oh my God if I retire I will have to live in a Westinghouse box under the overpass I finally decided to become more proactive. So far this month I have canceled the daily paper, had the house phone removed and dropped the premium cable channels.Those three little changes amount to well over $100 a month and have been relatively painless since I read the paper online, work pays for my cell phone and basic cable is included in the monthly HOA fees. I have done the easy ones so now it's time to start looking at the more painful changes that need to be made and I need your help. Tell me what you are doing and if you say nothing don't be surprised if some old fat woman shows up on your doorstep and pinches your head right off our shoulders.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Company Christmas Party...or how to end your career in less than three hours.

It's always fun to spend an evening with a group of folks who plan meetings and parties for a living as it never takes very long for the horror stories to start rolling. First of all you need to know that only one of these stories happened where I work and I'm not going to tell you which one because....well, because I have no desire to move.

The president of the company was trying to be cost conscious and eliminated the hors d' oeuvres during cocktails. Not necessarily a bad thing since they only had 30 minutes of open bar before they were having a lovely four course dinner. However, it became a problem when one of their VP's was held up at the airport and they decided to extend cocktails until the VP arrived. About halfway through the second hour of cocktails with no food the very drunk wife of the company president threw up in the punch bowl.

You would think it's usually the young inexperienced folks who find themselves in trouble at company parties but that is sooo not true. This company arranged for valet parking, a coat check room, a piano bar during cocktails and a six piece band with two vocalists for dancing after dinner. The age 60+ wife of one of the board of directors decided she didn't like what the band was playing and instead of requesting a different selection she took a swing at the sax player, split his lip and started a minor brawl ending with her screaming and swearing at her husband and the band walking out three hours early.

This group had a very formal evening planned with a harpist playing in the background and an amazing menu with several different wines for each course. About halfway through the marathon dinner one of the wives became very intoxicated, passed out face first into her plate and somehow managed to set her hairpiece on fire with the candle in the centerpiece.

My friends these stories are my Christmas gift to you. No matter what you do at your company party there is an excellent chance it won't be as embarassing as throwing up in the punch bowl, starting a brawl or my personal favorite...setting yourself on fire.

Thursday, December 11, 2008's me, the big whiner.

This post is going to make a few of you want to reach out in cyperspace and pinch my head right off my shoulders and I completely understand. I used to live in the land of blowing snow, cold feet and no sign of spring for months so I understand your frustration. Really, I do but hear me out. When we moved South over 10 years ago I was all excited to be away from frozen pipes and high heat bills but it only took a year to two for me to figure out that all I had done was trade high heat bills for HIGHER air conditioning bills and blisters when you touch a black steering wheel in July. I have never claimed to be bright and give me some credit because like I said...I did eventually figure it out. So here it is, the middle of December and I had to turn the AC on this evening. The temperature was only in the mid 70's but good gracious almighty the humidity had to be at least 1,000%. Poor Morty was on his belly, splayed out on the tile floor and BEGGING me to turn on the air. His eyes were saying, "Good Lord ya see this fur coat I'm wearin' here??? TURN ON THE AC!" Don't get me wrong as I know if I were still living in the frozen North I would be complaining about that too and I guess the old saying really is true. It does get mighty warm in these parts but at least you don't have to shovel heat.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Battered and bent but not (yet) broken.

Morty loves the Christmas tree on the screened porch and I think he probably marks the days off his little kitty calendar until it's time to put up the tree each year. There aren't any ornaments (just lights) and Morty uses that tree as his super secret spy spot to keep a better eye on the squirrels and egrets. As I drove in last night I noticed the lit tree was laying on it's side over in a corner instead of standing centered on the porch as it was when I left for work. Hmmm. I unlocked the front door and saw Morty sitting on his favorite couch cushion trying desperately to look nonchalant. If a cat could whistle he would have been whistling and maybe filing his nails. Apparently the Mortman has put on a few extra pounds this year and when ole Thunder Thighs flew up the tree and perched on his favorite top branch it was more than the little spindly tree could take and it topped over. The base of the tree is now weighted, the bent branches are somewhat straightened and if you see Morty please don't mention this as he is very sensitive about his recent expansion. I feel your pain Mort and you are welcome to shop with me in the jumbo petite department.

Monday, December 8, 2008

All I did was get out the stepladder.

I live in a condo which is not large and I don't do nearly the holiday decorating that I used to do when we were in the home where the children grew up but I'm no slouch either. I usually have a tree inside and one on the screened porch, a Christmas village on the buffet, mistletoe, stockings and lots of candles.The only outside lights I put up are on the screened porch and since it was almost 70 today I decided today was the day to get that done. So here is a brief synopsis of why it took me over 5 hrs to hang three strands of lights and plugin one pre-lit 6 ft pop up tree. After I drug the 6 ft ladder from the storage closet to the screened porch I noticed the porch needed to be cleaned and the windows washed so what the heck, it's a nice day and I will have time to get that out of the way. Now porch is all nice and clean, the windows almost sparkle but the ceiling fan is just plain nasty. So I climbed back off the ladder and got the Windex and paper towels out to clean the fan. The porch fan is clean, I have the Windex and paper towels in hand and I bet the other 4 ceiling fans are dirty too. So I drag my ladder, Windex and paper towel to the bedrooms and cleaned fans...much better. Well, guess what...the crown molding could use a little attention too so I drag the ladder back to the porch, get out the long handled duster and tackle the crown molding. Molding looks much better but good grief woman when was the last time you washed the fingerprints off the doors and switch plates?? FINE...but I need more paper towels. Did you know cat hair sticks to plantation blinds? Well, apparently it does so I drug the ladder back to the bedrooms and removed cat hair and dust from the blinds. Blinds are now all clean but the bedroom windows need attention.....bad. OK, porch is scrubbed, ALL the windows are now washed inside and out. Ceiling fans, doors, switch plates and crown molding are all clean. However, it is now almost dark and it was 5 hrs ago when I took the ladder out of the storage closet to put up three strings of Christmas lights and one dumb tree. Ho Ho Ho

Monday, November 24, 2008

General Obersations

Guess I should clarify a statement I made in my last post about having fun with the grandchildren in spite of their mothers. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE the mothers...they are my daughters and I can't think of two people who I enjoy more except they sometimes put a crimp in the fun factor. It used to be me who was the "joy stealer" but that wand has been passed down to them and man oh man, when they say it's time to brush your teeth your butt best be in the bathroom puttin'the Crest on the toothbrush. Let's just say Grandma is a little loosey goosey with the rules when the moms aren't around.
Teeth brushing reminds me of the time when Polly asked 11 year old Sarah (who was 4 at the time) if she had brushed her teeth. Sarah replied, "Ummm......are you going to check?" I am not a bettin' woman but I am willing to bet my last dollar that yes, her mama did check.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Three of the six grandchildren (and their mothers, bummer) were here last week and I learned several things. First of all I did not know my condo was infested with bears with the emphasis on was. Matthew loves all things that seem to fascinate five year old boys like the TV show Worlds Dirtiest Jobs, bugs, power tools and hunting. Especially hunting. We had dinner at The Dixie Stampede and of course on the way out you have to exit through the gift shop which meant we HAD to buy a new gun because apparently umpteen toy guns are just not enough. I got up the next morning (translation:I stumbled from the bedroom to the kitchen) and just as I started to set my cup of coffee on the coffee table Matthew bellowed from the next room, "Grandma! Be careful...there's a dead bear on that table and I just put another one in the dining room." My fearless bear hunter stands all of 3 ft tall and was wearing teeny tiny boxer shorts, cowboy hat, boots and of course his trusty six shooters. To my credit I hardly flinched and put my coffee on the end table instead of the "dead bear repository". We had a great visit (in spite of their mothers) and I can safely say, thanks to Matthew , I am absolutely 100% positive that there is not one single bear in my condo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Smert Children

Our family is so proud! After generations of under achievers we finally have a child in the talented and gifted program. It might have been a scoring fluke but we don't care...we're in baby! I was telling Eddie how proud I am of Avery, what a bright child she is, how well she reads and how Cameron is coming up right behind her. I went on and on (grandmas are allowed) about how smart Cameron is, how well he is doing in kindergarten and he will probably be in the talented and gifted program too when Eddie jerked me back to reality with, "MOM...give it up. Cameron is adorable and I love him but he eats paper." That's OK Cameron, hold your head may be one of us but your sister managed to overcome that handicap and that means there is a chance for you too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

5 Stupid Things I do In The Kitchen

My friend Tenn at tagged me for this post and I suspect my children put her up to this because my kitchen blunders are not exactly secrets. Make sure you take the time to go read Tenn's blog as her recipes are excellent and she is a wonderful writer. Oh Lord...I have to limit this to 5?? OK, here goes nothin'.

1. Forget to serve a dish. I have lost count of the times I have forgotten to serve a dish that I prepared ahead of time for a big meal. Sometimes it's deviled eggs or slaw and one memorable dinner it was the rolls but the blare of the smoke detector served as a good reminder for that one. Oh the rolls were not edible but at least the family knew I made the effort. Sort of like that one Christmas present I always forget I have hidden on the top shelf of the closet that gets recycled to a birthday which is pretty sucky if the gift is a sweater and your birthday is in July.

2. Saving gravy and vegetables for soup. Great plan..right? Sure is if you remember to take them out of the freezer and actually put them in the soup. It would probably be better for all concerned if I would just throw the leftovers out to begin with and save myself the aggravation of finding all those little baggies with three peas and a tablespoon of gravy when I clean out the freezer.

3. Not completely closing the silverware drawer. Let's just say I probably have the CLEANEST silverware drawer in the Southeast due to washing everything in there including the tray on a regular basis because some idiot (did I mention that I live alone?) left the drawer partly open and spilled flour, sugar or one very memorable entire Diet Cherry Coke.

4. Salad Dressings. How long do you keep salad dressing? I swear I have a bottle of Russian dressing that I bought when Carter was president. It still smells like the day I bought it and since I don't like Russian dressing and think it tastes like horse sweat when it's do you know when it's bad??

5. Lost potatoes. I keep potatoes in a lower cabinet and invariably one will fall out of the bag and roll out of sight until it becomes painfully obvious to anyone within 5 miles that there is something very very wrong in that cabinet.

Tagbacks to:
Susie- Notes From The Prairie.
Sammy- Grammy Sammy.
Almostgotit-How to (almost) get the job.
and of course anyone else who would like to play along!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Early Morning TV

Sometimes I wake up at 4 AM and it's too early to get up and I can't go back to sleep so I pick up the trusty TV remote. There is an exercise show that comes on at that time and the lady on there just cracks me up. She is in her late 50's early 60's and is so thin her leotard actually bags in the seat. OK, that is funny enough but she sounds just like Elmer Fudd and says things like, "Dood morning friends today we are going to wift our wegs rilly rilly high." I may have to start setting my alarm for 4 AM. Naaaaa, but I can record her and I bet she's just as funny at 7 PM as she is at 4 AM. Heck, I may even exercise with her... just as soon as I find a leotard that bags in the seat.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The other side of the coin.

For someone who is sporting such a short haircut I sure have spent a lot of time thinking about hair the last few days. Fortunately I have thick hair that grows fast so I do recover quickly but those first couple of weeks can be brutal. How long do you keep your hairbrushes? I don't know if this is admirable or just plain sick but I have had my round yellow hair brush which is my favorite brush EVER since 1984. Nope, that is not a hairbrush is 24 years old and YES it has been washed. Once in the 90's. Oh that's not true I wash it a couple of times a month. Right after I brush the cat. Oh that's not true either. Well, the washing part is but not the cat part. Am I the only person who develops weird attachments to their possessions?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I don't get it.

Would somebody please explain to me what it is about my head that seems to scream lesbian golfer to any hairdresser who cuts my hair?? Number one..I am not a golfer. Wait a minute, I guess number one should be I'm not a lesbian but I'm also not a golfer. I have gone to the $50 a cut places (it pained me but I did it) as well as the $10 chop shops and there is no difference in the end result. Every single time I come out looking like I'm on the way to a big torunament with three of my closest girl friends.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sign of the times.

Over the past few years our HOA has managed to accumulate the usual assortment of maintenance items that could be a fire hazard and can't be kept in our storage area so we decided to have a small shed built next to the trash compactor. We are talking about something the size of a nice walk-in closet, a few unfinished shelves...nothing major. It was raining as I left for work yesterday morning and as I drove past the compactor I saw six men working on our storage shed. At first I chuckled and then realized the reason there were six men working was because the gentleman we hired was sharing this small job with five friends. Two years ago those same men were earning upwards of $30 an hour with more overtime then they wanted but in todays economy those jobs are gone. Five families will eat tonight thanks to the generosity of a friend who easily could have done the job alone.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bunk Bed 1 Grandma 0

It has been a lot of years since I changed the sheets on a bunk bed and Cameron you better be taking a bath every night before bed because it will be a looooog time before Grandma changes the sheets on a bunk bed again. Let's put it this you like camping? You do! Well, sleeping in a sleeping bag in your own bed is just like camping...I PROMISE, really it is, honest. After breakfast I decided it couldn't be put off any longer and I faced the dragon...CHANGING THE BUNK BED SHEETS. Taking the sheets off wasn't too bad except for the two times I managed to smack my head on the top bunk. Yes, TWO times. Apparently I am a slow learner and if I wasn't before than I definitely am now after my head injury. So about an hour later I march back up the stairs with the clean sheets and discover why only very young people should have children. Not only am I winded from my upteenth trip up the stairs but my tail is now 6 ft off the floor while I try to get that darn fitted sheet on the top bed. Tug Swear Pull Swear Pant Swear Yes! Sheet is on. All is good, right? Well, first I have to get down from the top bunk without smacking into the ceiling or getting my foot caught in the light fixture. Ladder...don't fail me now. Finally, feet are back on the floor and light fixture is intact. Bottom bunk is a piece of cake, right? WRONG! The bottom bunk is a double size bed so I slither like a lizard up under the top bunk and pop the fitted sheet on the corners and the sheet seems a little wide but oh well and combat crawl back to the end of the bed but not before I smack my forehead on the side rail. OK, tug on the sheet and DANG it's on sideways soooo I belly crawl back up to the top of the bed to correct my mistake and manage to pinch my finger between the bed frame and the mattress but at least the sheet fits this time. I crawl back out, wipe the sweat off my face and finish putting on the fitted sheet. Whew, worst part is over. Now the flat sheet, comforter, pillow shams...hey, looks good. Just as I walk out of the room I notice that I have gotten the dust ruffle tucked halfway up under the mattress and decide dust ruffles are for sissies and it deserves to stay tucked. Cameron, I'm tellin' ya sleeping bags are the bomb.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

She looks good in black & blue.

Several friends have asked me if I think Eddie will be down very long. She is making progress but oh my goodness, she is so sore and and something as basic as a shampoo and shower are major ordeals involving trash bags, duct tape and consume most of the morning. It it isn't broken, it's skinned. If it isn't skinned or broken then it hurts. Thank goodness she is young and healthy as I am sure that will help in her recovery. If that had been me (yes, I know that I haven't ridden a bicycle in 30 yrs) all you would have had to to is put a headstone up right there on the sidewalk because there is no way I would have ever gotten up again. My Eddie is doing better and thank you all for asking.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I do not have my head in the oven nor am I hanging from the shower rod.

Well...after that cheerful little entry I guess I need to fill you in on what has been going on and why I haven't written. Youngest daughter Eddie is a real physical fitness nut who works out everyday, eats right, swims and all those other annoying things that keep you healthy. After completing her daily three mile run (don't you just want to pinch her little head right off her shoulders?) she returned to the house to get her bike and go to the gym for her daily workout. OK, if I just ran three miles the only way you could get me to the gym would be if they were serving FREE pizza and beer. Eddie grabbed her bike, put on her helmet and headed for the gym. Just as she came around a corner she saw that a piece of the sidewalk was missing , slammed on her brakes, flew over the handlebars and did a face plant onto the concrete. End result was a broken arm, black eye from hairline to lip to ear, split lip, skinned knees, road rash and bruises the size of a dessert plate. She had surgery on Saturday to put a steel plate in her arm and is recovering well so I plan to stay a few more days until Eddie is feeling better and then I'll head for home. Mike and Eddie have a wonderful church family who have been furnishing dinner every evening and the offers of help continue to stream in all day. What would be do without our family and friends?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saint Polly

My younger daughter, Eddie, and I have decided that Polly is a Saint or not very bright...we haven't decided which title is the correct label. Polly has spent the last few months painting every room in their house, making new curtains, purchasing a few pieces of new furniture and doing a general spruce up on their home. After umpteen trial pints of paint the correct shade of barely yellow was finally found for the family room. The new furniture was delivered, pictures hung on the wall and everything looked GREAT. Then it happened. Polly turned into their driveway just in time to see husband Tony unloading a piece of furniture. It was a recliner. A ugly recliner with heat, massage and a built in cooler. Here is the real kicker... the fabric is camouflage. Uh oh. Polly said something along the lines of, "May I ASSUME that is going to the office?" Nooooo....Tony looked all pitiful and the chair now has a place of honor in the newly decorated family room. What do you think...Saint? Or not real bright?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fine Cusine

I was looking through old cookbooks the other day and laughed when I came across a recipe I made ONE time about 30 years ago. All you moms know how hard it is to come up with a dish that pleases everyone and I was sure I had a winner. My entire family likes German potato salad and what kid doesn’t like hot dogs. After following the directions for the German potato salad I put it in a round baking dish, split the hot dogs lengthwise and stood them up around the outside edge of the bowl and put the dish in the oven to brown the hot dogs. It was supposed to look like a standing rib roast and it sorta did in an Oscar Mayer kinda way. SO…..I made a salad, hot bread, a nice dessert and called everyone to the table for dinner. There were the five of us staring at this “faux standing rib roast” in the middle of the table with all those hot dogs standing at attention and after a few minutes I turned to Dave and said, “WHAT….you don’t like German potato salad and hot dogs?!?” His response was, “No, I like hot dogs and German potato salad. I was just trying to remember the last time I was served a main course that looked like it needed to be circumcised.” I miss Dave.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Operation Baking Gals

This will be the second time I am taking part in this effort and I think it's positively AMAZING how much a group of women can accomplish in a short amount of time. This project has nothing to do with our personal feelings about the war or politics, it's all about sending a piece of home to our soldiers one cookie at a time. The first box I sent was filled with cookies, a paperback book, a ball cap, gum, sun block, Skittles and individual Crystal Light packs. What you choose to send is entirely up to you but there is an extensive list of items on the OPERATION BAKING GALS site that our guys and girls like to receive as well as items that are not allowed to be mailed. There are also detailed instructions on what size containers work best, how to pack the cookies with the least amount of breakage and even how to fill out the paperwork. Don't panic, it is very simple....hey, I did it on the first try. Other than cookies I'm not sure what I will put in this next shipment but I was amazed at how quickly I managed to fill that box! This time I think I will choose a female soldier because I have a ton of girly type things that I can tuck in with the cookies. This is a perfect project to share with your children or grandchildren so please take a minute and go visit with my friend Susan at and tell her Jan from Myrtle Beach sent you!

Monday, September 8, 2008


A good buddy of mine and I hosted a baby shower for a mutual friend of ours last weekend and since the new mom to be is a vegetarian the majority of the guests were also vegetarian or vegan. The menu needed to be a little different from the usual shrimp on a stick feminine lunch fare and if I do say so myself...we done good. I volunteered to make a brown rice, black bean and vegetable dish that is served cold with a raspberry dressing. I like this recipe because it is tasty as well as pretty on the table. There were about 20 attendees and after we finished with the mandatory mind numbing games and endless present opening it was time for the real reason we were all there... THE FOOD. Everyone oohed and ahhed over all the different vegetarian selections we had prepared and several people asked me for recipe for the brown rice/vegetable dish I had made. So, I'm sitting there all smug that this dedicated carnivore had managed to make a vegetarian dish that everyone really enjoyed. The recipe is hardly complicated and I rattled off the ingredients...diced onion, chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh or frozen corn, black beans (rinsed) and avocado chunks stirred into brown rice that has cooled to room temperature. Stir together and add raspberry vinaigrette to your taste. Then it happened. A voice from the back of the room (I could tell she was a vegetarian too because she was so skinny I could have snapped her like a twig) said, "Jan, this rice is delicious..why is your rice so much better than mine?" I smiled, tried not to look like I was bragging and said, "Well, I always cook my rice in homemade chicken broth." Dang, and I came so close.


Several years ago TLC made (it might have been on HBO originally but I saw the show on TLC) a documentary about childrens beauty pageants titled PAINTED BABIES. If I remember correctly it was filmed in 1995. The documentary followed four little girls from the pageant world that were pros or were just getting started with pageants. Not only did I watch the show but I called a friend of mine and we stayed on the phone discussing what was unfolding on the screen and laughing our proverbial tails off. Well, TLC has made a sequel to PAINTED BABIES and it aired this past Sunday night. If you have the opportunity and I am sure you will because the cable channels get their hands on a new show and they tend to play it every 28 minutes or until we can recite the dialog right along with the participants. The sequel is every bit as entertaining as the original but when I say entertaining I mean as in driving by a train wreck can't look away type of entertainment. I do have to admit the two girls featured in Sunday nights show did not turn out nearly as obnoxious as I was expecting but their mothers and grandmothers…Lawz A. Mercy. In real life they are probably perfectly delightful people but thanks to editing and the bizarre world of pageantry they come across as total nut cases. Hang onto your hats but our family had a brief encounter with pageants. If you happen to be a friend or relative of ours I know you are laughing hysterically because Eddie, Polly and I are about as non-pageant as anyone you will ever meet. Here is an example...the hem came out of my favorite pants last week and I fixed it with duct tape. Then I washed the pants and instead of fixing the hem I applied new duct tape. Eddie and I still don’t know what possessed Polly to do this but when Tory was 3 and Katy was 18 months old Polly entered them in a pageant. I thought she had lost her mind and in retrospect I think she must have. She was pregnant with Sarah at the time so we will blame this on "I have two toddlers" insanity plus raging pregnancy hormones. Polly found two beautiful pageant dresses that were second hand but still cost more than my first wedding. Not more than my wedding dress...more than the whole wedding. Getting ready for this pageant was a PRODUCTION. I am willing to bet Princess Diana spent less time getting ready for her wedding to Prince Charles than it took us to curl hair (one child barely had hair and the other child has enough hair for 3 people), put on makeup and you have never lived until you try to put mascara on a 18 month old baby. Katy is almost 13 now and the vision only recently returned to her left eye. OH...I'm kidding I didn't really blind her but I was scared to death that was going to happen. Then you have the ruffled socks, ruffled panties, fancy shoes and hair bows. My hand to was the longest day of my life but the REALLY good news is Polly came to her senses and figured out that we just aren't pageant people.

Kindergarten Logic

I love the way Cameron thinks and while his actions might not always be appropriate they are to the point and usually accomplish the desired result. He is having “issues” with a little boy in his class but I am 99% sure those “issues” have been resolved. Cameron’s parents have made an effort not to get involved in this dispute but Cameron was very upset when he arrived home on Friday. Eddie asked a few questions and Cameron told her he lost his good behavior button because he had deliberately knocked this little boy down on the playground. When Eddie asked him why he had knocked the little boy down Cameron blinked back his tears, gave her a “how dumb are you look” and said, “MOM…he deserved it!” How do you argue with that? Heck, maybe we should have all of our governmental foreign relations under the direction of five year old boys. Quite frankly I think it could be a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reincarnation Radio

Well, I did it again. I promise that I really didn't mean to make the girl behind the bank counter feel bad. I stopped by Wal-Mart (or as it is known in the South...Wal-Marts) to stock my shelves for Hurricane Hannah and since my bank has a branch inside the store I stopped there first to deposit a check that I had been carrying around forever. Did I have a deposit slip? Of course not but the little girl (probably all of 18) behind the counter said, "Oh that is no problem, all I need is your social security number." I spouted off the number and she frowned and said she must have entered it incorrectly and could I give it to her again so I did and it still didn't work. It was about then that I had a revelation and said, "OH, I am so sorry that was my husbands social security number." I then gave her mine which of course worked." There was a stack of weather radios on the counter (even the bank is getting ready for Hurricane Hannah) and I'm checking them out when the little bank clerk says, "If you bring your husband by this week and add him to your checking account he will receive one of these radios as a gift." Without missing a beat I said, "Thank you but if I bring my husband by this week he will be very disappointed if all he gets is a free weather radio. He has been dead for 6 years and I feel certain that he would expect AT LEAST a 52 inch plasma TV." Note to self: Must remember that not everyone has the same twisted sense of humor that you have.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My daughter... the chicken whisperer.

Polly's family live so far out in the sticks that it is a 45 minute drive (ONE WAY) to take the children to school. I know this for a fact because my friend Barb and I stayed with the children for a month one week while their parents were on a business trip and when you are trying to get three kids fed, teeth brushed, school uniforms on, lunches packed and hair braided Barb and I discovered (out of necessity) that with a slight adjustment to the speed limit it is possible to knock several minutes off of that 45. Barb and I refuse to say exactly how many minutes because we might want to be invited back sometime. All of that has absolutely nothing to do with chickens but I wanted to give you an idea how far out in the sticks my daughter lives and now back to the chicken whisperer. When Matthew turned 5 in March all he wanted for his birthday was a baby chicken. Well, you can't have just one baby chicken so of course he received six tiny yellow puff balls....and they all survived. If you had any idea of the abysmal survival rate for ducks, chickens and bunnies at their house you would be as amazed as I am that they all lived long enough to become big dumb, dirty chickens. Well, five of them are big, dumb, dirty chickens but little Suzanne was different from the very beginning. The other chickens won't have anything to do with Suzanne and that is fine with her because she would rather be with Polly. If Polly sits in the swing then Suzanne is in her lap. If Polly goes to the barn Suzanne is right behind her and Suzanne never misses a walk to the mailbox. Polly has no problem with these outdoor bonding sessions and even looks forward to seeing Suzanne waiting for her by the backdoor. However, on Wednesday Suzanne crossed the line. When Polly came downstairs she was greeted by the sight of 11 year old Sarah in her jammies, sitting at the kitchen table and eating a bowl of Wheaties. Regular morning ritual, right? Yeah...right up until Polly noticed that Sarah was sharing her Wheaties with Suzanne who happened to be sitting in Sarah's lap and resting her little chicken chin right smack on the kitchen table. Folks, now THAT is country.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I stared the dragon straight in the eye and I won...YES I DID! I am soo proud! I packed up the cable boxes, cords, remotes and loaded them in the car. I swear in the background I could hear the theme from Star Wars. I marched straight into the Time Warner office, plunked my cable boxes, cords and remotes right smack on the counter (after waiting in line for 15 minutes it was more of a plop than a plunk)and said, "I want to reduce my service to basic cable." OK, my chin trembled just a little bit when I said it and there might have been one little tear in the corner of my left eye but I didn't back down. The two previous times I had lugged those darn cable boxes back to Time Warner a little twit behind the counter not only talked me out of going back to basic cable but convinced me to upgrade my service. Oh yes, she was gooood. So this time I was a little smarter and went to a different office and marched in there like my name is Mrs. T. Warner, Jr. I was eloquent, I was charming AND I stared the dragon DOWN! Wow...look out Sunny Day Dry Cleaners you are next and I'm on a roll.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Please tell me you do these things too.

Ya'll already know I'm the ole widow lady with two cats so not only am I dealing with that cliche I have a few ('s my blog and if I choose to say a FEW then it is a FEW) quirks that I hope we have in common.

1. When I run the vacuum and it won't suck up a piece of popcorn, lint, thread or whatever I will pick up the "nonsuckable" object, look at it and then throw it back on the floor to give the vacuum another chance. I have no clue why I don't just throw the "unsuckable" stuff in the trash while I have it in my hand. If the vacuum still won't suck that stuff up I have been known to kick the unsuckable object under the coffee table.

2. M & M's have to be eaten in even numbers. Two, four, six = good. One, three, five = work of the devil. However, it is perfectly acceptable to mix the colors in any way you choose. Hey...I have rules but I am not unreasonable.

3. When I shave my legs the left one is always first, same for armpits. Fortunately I only have to deal with this one May through August as the path to hell is lined with people who shave their legs during the months that contain R's. I have been told that this habit may have something to do with why I don't date but I really don't see the connection.

4. When I play Freecell (of course not at work, I would NEVER do that) my stacks HAVE to be in the correct order. Hearts, spades, diamonds then clubs. If they aren't in the right order then the win DOES NOT count. Sorry, if you have been playing this game incorrectly but that's just the way it has to be if you want to win the right way. Yes, as a matter of fact I am absolutely positive MY way is the RIGHT way. Good Lord, it's not like I made the rule up!

5. OH...I don't think this is weird, I think it's logical BUT my spices are alphabetical, my canned goods are in order and all face the front with the duplicates behind the "lead" can and yes I really do call it the "lead" can.

OK...these are a few of my quirks, what have you got to bring to the table?? Don't you dare TRY to tell me you don't have any as I know better. You wouldn't be interested in anything I have to say if you were normal.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Whenever I stop by our snack bar to fill up my Diet Cherry Coke (necter from the Gods) I always take a couple of minutes to "spiff" up the counters and tables a bit especially during the busy summer months when everybody and their brother seem to decide at the same moment they can't live another minute without a big ole box of chicken nuggets or a jumbo hot dog. So this afternoon I'm wiping up the ketchup spills and getting ready to walk back to my office when this family of heathens appear and in less than 45 seconds absolutely demolish the entire condiment counter and the surrounding area. There was ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion and relish flying in every direction. I am standing there holding my Diet Cherry Coke with my mouth open in shock when I notice the MOTHER is up to her elbows scooping the lettuce with her BARE hands! I said "Mam, Mam, MAM...we have tongs!" She looked me square in the eye, both hands still in the lettuce and said, "Thanks, but I don't needm'." Well yeah...guess she didn't.

Monday, August 18, 2008

One broken toilet, one broken lamp and two cats hiding under the bed.

OH...that could only mean the grandchildren have been visiting! Here are five things we learned on this visit.

1. If you are jumping on the couch in the toy room and lose your balance the floor lamp will break your fall but the lampshade will be doomed to hang at a 90 degree angle for the rest of its natural life.

2. Ginglebelle does not like to wear a baby bonnet or a baby dress. Ginglebelle does not have claws but she does have teeth...and an attitude.

3. Morty does not like anyone to pull him out of the litterbox by his back leg. This is just a guess but I don't think Morty would like anyone to pull him out of the litterbox by his front leg either. Morty has claws, teeth...and an attitude.

4. Toilets are not happy when we think they haven't flushed and we put all of our weight (even if we only weigh 30 lbs)on the little silver handle. Grandma is not happy when you hand her a little silver handle. Grandma's also have attitudes but their teeth sit in a jar on the nightstand .

5. Grandma's love us no matter what we break, are never ready for us to go home and Dew's Hardware Store has cases and cases of little silver toilet handles and one less lampshade.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

G-spots, unicorns and customer service...ALL myths.

If you really thought I am going to write about your g-spot you are sadly mistaken and as Prissy (Gone With The Wind) sorta said, "I don't know nutthin' bout unicorns." So I guess that leaves customer service or as I like to call it...customer noservice. I understand corporations consider voice mail a time saver but I have to wonder if that is really true. After I have been asked to press 1 for English I'm already ticked because I live in an English speaking country so I expect my business to be conducted in English. If I lived in Spain or Mexico I would expect to be doing business in Spanish...but hey, what do I know. Maybe you have to press 1 in Spain and Mexico to do business in Spanish. My point is by the time I have pressed a button for at least 5 voice prompts and STILL have not gotten a human being I ain't happy and I guarantee you the simple question I am calling about has turned into a 10 minute tirade directed at some poor peon who has no authority to do away with the voice mail system. Have you tried to deal with your local cable or phone company lately? Oh Mama Mia...good luck. I tried to reach a real person at the phone company for THREE DAYS and never did get to talk to anybody. I finally gave up and wrote them an email...guess what? Haven't had a response from the email either. Guess they figured out I was no longer a customer when the cable company contacted them with the notice that I was switching to digital phone service.I really shouldn't have included our cable company in the not responding department because they do respond and I do mean respond. I am not home much and it really doesn't make sense for me to have all these premium channels because I am just as happy with a Seinfeld rerun as I am with their movie selections. However, every time I stop by the cable office to turn in my cable boxes they have these smooth talking sales people who not only talk me out of turning in the cable boxes but before I get out the door they have me signed up for some other high priced option that is free for the next six months. The six months free trial is great but then look out because I will have to decide if I want groceries or cable. I plan to take another shot at returning my cable boxes this week...hmmmm, maybe I should pretend I don't speak English OR Spanish.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Five...well, TODAY I'm six.

Eddie and I should have known better. We are not dumb people, maybe a little naive sometimes (OK, a lot naive) but I promise you we aren't dumb. Avery and Cameron had a reservation to Swim With The Stingrays this afternoon and the program is designed for ages six and up. Cameron will be six in a few months but truth be told he is five. In our defense...I know, I know the rules say six BUT Cameron is a very good swimmer, goes off the high board and all kinds of things his Grandma isn't brave enough to do. So, last night Eddie sat down with Cameron and explained that if anyone asked how old he is that he was to say six. She then explained about the rules and why the rules say you should be six years old and what we were doing was not right but we were confident in his swimming ability. whole family is nothing but a bunch of truth stretchers. Soooo...before heading to the aquarium we decided to stop at Build a Bear. Cameron had picked out his stuffed animal and the lady was talking to him while she was helping him stuff his bear. They chatted for a few minutes and then she asked him how old he is and it was right about here when Eddie had a full blown hiney cringe. Cameron said, "Usually I'm five but just for today I am six." "I have to be six today because five is too young to Swim With the Stingrays so JUST FOR TODAY I am six...but really I'm five" WELL...the lady almost fell off of her chair laughing and I think I can safely say our family has finally spawned a complete truth teller.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Would it be wrong...

if I look people right square in the eye and say..HUH?? I'm just askin' because some people seem to leave their common sense at home. Let me give you a for instance. We have a dive show scheduled every hour on the hour and I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked, by very normal looking people who are holding a PRINTED DIVE SHOW SCHEDULE IN THEIR HAND,"What time is the 10 o'clock dive show?" Well let's see....just for fun we moved the 10'clock dive show to 11:15. No reason, just for our own amusement. OH...I like this one too. "Are the sharks teeth real?" Of course not. Each of our sharks are fitted with dentures before they are placed in the tanks. Or here is another favorite. "You can't fool me...those fish aren't real, they are battery operated!" WOW! You are very observant as all of our fish are battery operated which is why Duracell is one of our major sponsors. The common sense people make you chuckle but the lady below makes you want to snatch her bald my grandma used to say.
One of our managers was walking behind a mother and baby when the mother deliberately dropped a diaper on the floor instead of walking 5 feet further to a trashcan. Our employee picked up the diaper and carried it to the trashcan but muttered under his breath, "I wonder how she would like it if I rang her doorbell, handed her $20 and left a giant dump in her living room." Oh yeah....fall is right around the corner.

Friday, August 8, 2008


There has been some pretty weird stuff happenings with the airlines the past few years. I have always played along with their little game of putting my seat back in the upright position although I find it very hard to believe that 1/4 inch has any bearing on a safe landing, takeoff or evacuation. However, I do think the lady sitting next to me with the ginormous handbag and a carry-on bag larger than the bag I checked could be a bit of a problem and what is the deal with charging for checked baggage??'s the carry-on baggage that slows everything down! If you want to charge for baggage, charge for the carry-ons and maybe next time I fly to California I won't have to travel with Mrs. Nasty McRude's leopard print bag lopped over on top of my feet for 6 flippin' hours. I am sure you have read about the current court case that has everybody chuckling but in case you are just returning from a 6 year trip to the Burmese Jungle here is a brief synopsis. Apparently the wife of a televangelist (traveling first class) threw a blue butt monkey fit over a fifty cent size spot on her seat. Not her tushy seat but her chair seat. The flight attendant contacted a member of the cleaning crew but apparently the cleaning crew were not responding as quickly as Mrs. Televangelist was expecting and at some point Mrs. Televangelist body slammed the flight attendant into the lavatory door and then tried to force her way into the cockpit. I don't know why she tried to force her way into the cockpit...heck maybe she read someplace that is where all the cleaning supplies are kept. Of course security was called and Mr. & Mrs. Televangelist were escorted from the plane. OK..that's funny enough but here is where it gets REALLY funny. The flight attendant is suing Mrs. Televangelist for of all things giving her hemorrhoids. OK..televangelists have been accused of a lot of things (adultery and stealing come to mind) but far as I know hemorrhoids is a first. Wish ya'll had been with my friend Anny and I when we were flying to MT to visit my daughter and TSA found a meat grinder in Anny's luggage. Ah yes, another story for another day.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Got any WD 40?

I have a sneaking suspicion that we are going to need some at work this weekend. The contract clearly states maxiumum of 100 but the final count is 175 people. TommyB turned the most amazing shade of purple and our Chef mumbled something that sounded like, "Did I think he could pull chickens out of his..." I couldn't quite make out the last word but I don't think it was very nice.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Some friends are silver and some are sporks.

I am more of a "spork" kinda gal. Silver has to be polished, you can't put silver in the dishwasher and if you don't give silver constant attention it will tarnish. On the other hand a spork is low maintenance, very resilient and is flexible since it is a spoon OR a fork. So based on that information I have decided that I have silver friends and spork friends and while I enjoy all of my friends the sporks are definitely easier and probably more fun. The silver friends keep track of who called who last, who owes who dinner...that kind of thing. Now the sporks are a whole different story. They could care less who called who last and are much more interested in spending time together than where or when we have dinner. Sporks also don't have to be talked to all the time so if you are at the beach or pool you can read and sporks aren't offended. Sporks are content to just, be. So...are you silver or are you a spork?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Crazy Days

I know it's August, I know it's supposed to be hot but Good Gawd almighty does it have to be so hot that I blister my hand when I touch the steering wheel??? I'm still scratching my head trying to decide why I decided to invest my 401k in the meat market when during the hot months all I want to eat are tomato sandwiches, Silver Queen corn and watermelon. I love tomato sandwiches but I am particular about the bread..I know big shock. The bread has to be white, VERY fresh and I use a round cookie cutter to cut the center out of the bread so it just fits the tomato slice. I lay the tomato slices on paper towels so they aren't so drippy and while the tomato is becoming "non-drippy" I put a smear of Mayonnaise on both pieces of bread. It has to be Mayonnaise (Duke's or Hellman's but I like Hellman's the best) not Miracle Whip and if I have to explain the difference then you obviously do not live in the South. After I have lightly salted the tomato slices I put my sandwich together and honey...slice a hunk of watermelon, butter an ear of corn and you got yourself a goood summer supper.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Meat, meat and MORE meat.

If you looked in my freezer this evening you would think I am expecting to feed a family of 12 three times a day for at least a month. What can I say, I am tired of eating out (hurry up and come home Rosemary) so I stopped at Costco on the way home and stocked up. Rosemary is TommyB's mother and I have been known to drop in around 6 PM on occasion. Oh OK, maybe it's more like four or five times a week but Rosemary won't be back until October and TommyB's idea of dinner is scotch and pretzels so I figured I better get some groceries in the house. Well honey...if I had a diagram I have enough beef in the freezer to build my own cow. What is it about shopping at Sam's and Costco's that makes it impossible to buy a reasonable amount of ANYTHING? Come on, do I REALLY need three eye of round roasts AND three pork loins AND five pounds of catfish AND five pounds of pork chops AND ten pounds of hamburger?? In my defense I use the hamburger for my homemade vegetable soup or as my friends call it....barf in a bag. It really does not look very good when I pull that bag out for lunch but put a piece of cornbread with that vegetable soup and you have got yourself a lunch! So while I unpacked the meat and rewrapped it all in individual servings I was also browning the ten pounds of hamburger with five onions. The hamburger is also in the freezer in one pound bags ready to be added to the vegetable soup or spaghetti sauce and I have no excuse for not fixing dinner. Dang it, what was I thinking???

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Shot in Billings

Polly and Tory were talking about the high school group from Tory's school who are going to Mexico to help build a church this month. OK, they aren't going to Mexico but I can't spell the country where they are really going so get over it and if you want accuracy write your own blog. Tory was telling Polly about all the paperwork and preparations the kids had to finish before they could leave. You know, all the fun stuff like permission forms, Passports and shots. Tory asked her Mom what kinds of shots they had to have and Polly told her about the vaccines she had to get before she went to the Philippines in the early 90's. Polly then mentions that school is going to be here before they know it (just what every 14 yr old wants to hear) and mentions that she thought it would be a good idea if the family goes to Billings for a long weekend, end of the summer, last hurrah. Five year old Matthew has been quietly coloring at the kitchen table during this discussion and Polly says, "Matthew, how about a trip to Billings before school starts?" Matthew replies, "Umm, maybe. How many shots do I have to get to go to Billings?"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wow, where do I start.

Umm, this is a true story and I hardly know where to begin so here goes nothing. You have probably figured out I'm a pretty conservative person from politics to tradition to well, just about anything. The son of one of my best friends and his partner are expecting their first baby this fall. They are doing a home birth with a midwife which scares me a little but they also live within minutes of two very good hospitals so that is reassuring, Here is the part I just don't get, they are doing a Lotus Birth. Yeah, I had never heard of it either and I suggest you "give it a Google" but first put your sandwich down (I pray it's not pot roast) because I guarantee you won't want it anymore. A Lotus Birth means after the baby is born the cord is not cut and the placenta is placed in what appears to be my grandma's potato salad bowl to dry naturally which will take two to ten days depending on the humidity. It is traditional for the aunts, sisters, cousins and grandmothers to prepare a ceremonial cloth to line "the bowl" prior to the birth. This certainly wouldn't be my cup of tea (so to speak) but holy moly Martha think of the inconvenience. Everytime you pick-up, diaper, rock or move the baby you will be dragging 4-6 pounds of placenta, which is still attached to your baby by the umbilical cord AND a big ole potato salad bowl. I seem to remember being pretty sleep deprived those first few days (who am I kidding...YEARS) and I can envision a freshly diapered placenta in the bassinet and a new baby in the potato salad bowl. Since we bypassed gross several sentences ago let's get to the part we are all thinking about but haven't mentioned yet. The article clearly states, "Depending on the humidity level the placenta may become malodorous during the drying process." Ya think?? It is suggested the new parents keep fresh lavender on hand during this time. Fresh lavender...yeah right, good luck and let me know how that works for ya. OH...did I forget to mention they also have a dog? My oldest daughter said it best. "They have never spent any time on a farm have they?"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Phoenix...OR where ecru was invented.

Ever been to Phoenix? It's a great place but never in my life have I seen so many shades of beige. I have a question, when all the houses in the neighborhood are the same color and do you know you are home? Do you count houses from the corner? Make one of the kids stand by the mailbox until you return? Truth be told (yeah, I know you weren't expecting that from me) not all the houses are beige. Some are ecru, some are tan and a few rebels have chosen off white but let's just say beige is the predominant color. Heck, even the people are beige. If you want to give your system a real shock spend a few blissful days in San Francisco where the daily temperature topped out at 68 degrees and then hop on a plane to Phoenix where the temperature hovers slightly above broil. The natives love to say, "Yes, it's hot but it's a dry heat." My oven is a dry heat too but I don't plan to sit in there.

Friday, July 18, 2008

San Francisco

When my plane landed this afternoon the temperature was 65 degrees. Lord, I seriously thought about stretching out nekid on the cool concrete but figured that was a little much for my first day here so I'll save that for Sunday. My hotel is right on the trolley line so I hear ding ding every few minutes and of course the next thing that goes through my mind is, "Riceroni..the San Francisco treat." Could be a long week. I attended both cocktail parties, met some fun people and was greatly relieved to discover that I was not the oldest person in the room. The windows actually open in my hotel room and the street musicians are playing this evening. The drummer I could do without and there is one saxophonist who has played the theme from The Godfather for the past hour but I even enjoy him. It's been a long day and all this cool non humid air is making me positively giddy so I'm calling it a day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sleep...what's that?

Apparently my body has decided sleep is highly overrated. Sunday night I went to bed a total of four times and never did fall asleep but is my bathroom ever clean! About 3 AM I had had enough of popping in and out of bed like a high priced call girl at a Shriner convention so I cleaned my bathroom and did two loads of laundry. I also vacuumed my bedroom and dusted the furniture. I know, I was as shocked as you are. When I got home from work Monday evening I thought I would be really tired but noooooo....I went to bed about 10 PM, woke up at 2 AM and never did go back to sleep. What the heck? I don't like this one bit and sleeping used to be my hobby...well, paaahaaa guess it's not anymore. If this not sleeping thing is just one more joy of getting older then I ain't happy. Remember when you were 25 and had a new baby who was awake 28 hours a day and all you wanted to do was sleep? But noooo, social services frowns on Mom sleeping in her nice warm bed with a screaming baby in the carport. Well..duh, of course the baby would be in the carport. If he was in the house Mom wouldn't be able to sleep. Now my screaming babies have screaming babies of their own and I still can't sleep. Maybe I'm bionic.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Plumbing Woes

I must have been raised by Keebler Elves or maybe some strange cult of dogooders as people never fail to amaze me. You have probably figured out that I am a pretty trusting person and if you tell me you are going to do something then I truly believe you will follow through. So far three plumbers have returned my messages and all three told me they would be here on a specific day. Unfortunately those days were weeks ago and I have yet to see a plumber. I know, I know and yes it was hard to cram that much naive into 5' 5". I have a simple repair that needs to be done and I won't bore you with the details. I can do most basic repairs but plumbin' just ain't my thang. Oh it's not that I haven't tried because I have and that brings up bad memories of what the neighbors still refer to as "THE GREAT CRAPPER FLAPPER INCIDENT". Let's just say it was ugly...and wet. In my defense the directions were not exactly clear and yes I did have to mop. Upstairs and downstairs. Plus fix a ceiling. I also had to paint...and apologize, a lot.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I love working in the tourism industry and sometimes feel guilty about charging people admission when in reality they are much more entertaining than anything we have to offer. An example would be a lady who was here the other night for a formal event and since I am a shoe person I always peek at shoes mostly to make sure someone doesn't have a pair that I don't already own which is very unlikely but I look anyway. A lady about my age came in all decked out and wait until I tell you about the shoes. They were acrylic slides, the heel was about 3 inches high and 3 inches around but here is the kicker. Each heel was filled with water and contained a live fish. I have GOT to get a pair of those shoes! Then we have the people who apparently have no clue that they have gained 75 pounds since high school and think they can wear low cut jeans with a little tank top. Well honey, I know for a FACT that when you have gained 75 lbs you ain't wearing nothin' little and that muffin top you got goin' on IS NOT something anybody wants to see....but the shoes with the fish, oh yeah. I'm so getting a pair of those shoes. OH....I don't plan to wear them but they would look so cool on my desk right next to my drum sticks and plastic dog doo.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

OH...THAT was a compliment!

Polly, Katy, Matthew and I stopped at the local Claire's store because...well, because Polly has three daughters and it is required by law that we go to a Claire's store at least once a week to make sure we aren't running low on bling. After making a few selections (anything remotely related to Hannah Montana) we make the trek to the register to pay for our purchases. The young lady who was ringing up our merchandise overheard Polly call me Mom. Now, you have to read this with a southern accent to get the full effect. "Hey...she not be yer Mamma!?!" Polly assured her that yes I was her Mama. The clerk said, "Well, I ain't believing dat..dat woman don't got no wrinkles and anybody old enough to be your Mamma usually looks lak a pure hot mess." Hmmm, I'm not sure Polly came out as well as I did in this discussion but it sure gave us a good laugh.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Sometimes I am forgetful but nothing like my friend Sherry. I have forgotten to pay a traffic ticket, jury duty (ONE time!), meetings or a birthday now and then but when I talked to Sherry last night she told me she was dizzy and not feeling well. I showed the proper concern, asked what was wrong and her response blew me away. Sherry was dizzy because she had FORGOTTEN TO EAT. OK..I have forgotten to pay an electric or cable bill and one time (Polly, I am so sorry) I forgot to pickup one of the children from basketball practice. In my defense it was Gail's turn to pickup the girls and I had forgotten that we had traded days. But forget to eat??? Pffffftb......I don't think so.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Full Moon??

My goodness...what is going on in my world? Normally I enjoy my job and sometimes (oh dear God, can't believe I'm saying this) I actually look forward to going to work. Well, this past week is about to cure that feeling. Everyone is on edge, TommyB is turning purple three or four times a day instead of his normal once or twice and we are all jumping down each others throats for no real reason. Stevens pants were unzipped most of the morning and did any of us discretely let him know?? OH HECK NO....not only did we not tell him but we were secretly chuckling and wondering what his reaction would be when he finally discovered that while he was trying to carry on a serious conversation Mr. Winky was ALMOST out the door. That is mean...just plain mean....and we didn't care! The whole week has been like this and I think it's probably a good thing most of the office will be out for a long weekend or it could turn really ugly back in the admin area.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back To Bald Head Island

I still say possession is 9/10's of the law but I did the right thing and put Sarah on the ferry so she can spend a few days with her cousins on Bald Head Island. However, that doesn't mean I didn't do a big pout. While we were at the ferry landing there was a nice breeze and the extra bonus were the dolphins swimming around the deck area. Bald Head is such a neat place and she loves being with her cousins so I know Sarah will have a great time but I wasn't ready to let her go. It was a lonely drive back to Myrtle Beach but I needed to get back for the last banquet of the weekend and honey, after the group was seated I came home and took a nap of epic proportions. Hopefully, after a good nights sleep I will be almost human again by morning. Well, let's not set our goals too high.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Loaves and Fishes

It was a beautiful morning so Sarah and I talked TommyB into going with us to the beach and while grandma spent a couple of hours in her chair playing lifeguard while the two "kids" looked for sharks teeth and rode boogie boards. TommyB found several sharks teeth for Sarah to take home but Sarah and I decided the only way we would ever find one would be if the tooth were large enough to trip over. Maybe our forte is diamond hunting. After much needed showers we boiled shrimp and played Password until time to go work. The plan was (notice the WAS) to leave work around 7 PM, make a return trip to the Mirror Maze and top the evening off with a walk on the beach and collect more shells. Yeah, right. This group showed up with 25 more people than they gave a final count for sooooo from that point forward controlled chaos was the theme of the evening. Poor Sarah was put to work counting people, seating people, rolling silverware and listening to grandma gripe. We were finally able to walk out the door at 10 PM and decided we really really needed some dinner before bed. Well...paha! There was a bad accident on the entrance ramp to Hwy 17 and we sat in traffic for almost 45 minutes. We finally inched our way into California Dreaming's parking lot at 10:45 PM (they close at 11 so you know they were thrilled to see us) and begged to be fed. Ah yes, it was a night of fine cuisine as Sarah dined on a hot dog and french fries while I had the house salad which comes with one of their to die for homemade croissant rolls. I gave Sarah my roll and she decided they were so good we really really needed to bring two home for breakfast. Not exactly what we had planned for Sarah's last night in Myrtle Beach but guess what...we had fun anyway.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Sarah and I left work early this afternoon and went to Ocean Boulevard to check out the Mirror Maze, Motion Master and Haunted Adventure. Sarah loved the Mirror Maze and Motion Master...the Haunted Adventure, not so much. We met our friend Kim who went with us and thank goodness she did because I have a sneaking suspicion Sarah and I would still be stuck in the Haunted Adventure as about halfway through Sarah was done with that place, not taking another was OVER. Kim is the manager of the Boulevard properties and very kindly showed us a way out. We didn't even care that the employees call it the CHICKEN EXIT as by that time our pride was long gone. We came home put on our bathing suits, picked up TommyB and headed to the beach to look for sharks teeth. There was a beautiful sunset, nice breeze, warm water but I swear that beach was smooth as velvet. Not a sharks tooth to be found and very few shells. It dawned on us this afternoon that Sarah has been here for several days and we have not been to Krispy Kream yet...say it isn't so??!! TommyB, Sarah and I decided we NEEDED doughnuts so on the way home we went through the drive through (yep, the HOT light was on, duh) and got a dozen for TommyB and a dozen for us. Sarah was in the backseat holding both boxes and the oddest thing happened. When we arrived home our dozen was intact but that darned Krispy Kream shorted TommyB as he only had 11 doughnuts in his box! It is so hard to get good employees these days and we plan to call the company first thing tomorrow morning.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beach Renourishment

I would like to offer a public apology to citizens of the great state of South Carolina concerning the sudden desperate need for beach renourishment. The good news is the sand isn't really missing and can be retrieved from the floorboard of my car, entry hall and bathroom floors. While we are on the subject of beach renourishment I need to vent. I don't understand why we allow building houses, condos or hotels right smack dab on the beach. We can continue hauling sand till the cows come home but guess good storm and you are right back where you started except a lot poorer and Mother Nature wins every single time. We lived oceanfront for several years and while I appreciated the rest of the state contributing to the care and upkeep of my back yard I still thought it was a total waste of tax money as the shoreline is constantly changing. Bet you can guess how popular I was with the neighbors. Ya'll have a great day, Miss Sarah and I are going to the beach and then (drum roll please) out for LOBSTER and CRAB LEGS!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's a GIRL!

Shhhh....Polly doesn't know this yet but I am keeping Sarah. Not only is Sarah a delightful child BUT she does chores! We spent the afternoon at the beach and managed not to get sunburned which was a first for one of Polly's children. Polly we love you, really we do but when you have children who spend 10 months of the year in the great frozen north you have to e-a-s-e them into the 90+ temps and bright sunshine rather than spray them down with Pam and flip them over hourly. After showers and cool drinks Sarah and Morty played with the doll house the rest of the afternoon or maybe I should say Sarah TRIED to play with the doll house while Morty was determined to be IN the doll house, knocking over furniture, laying on the little people and generally being a pain. About 6PM we decided it was time for dinner and wouldn't you know that was the same time 100,000 tourists decided they were ready to eat too. After a brief discussion of favorites we headed to Planet Hollywood. The hostess told us there was a 90 minute wait sooooo I asked if my friend Debbie was on property. Even though Debbie had left for the day we were seated immediately... which I am sure pleased the people who were still waiting to no end. Thank you Debbie...I owe ya one! After dinner Sarah and I went back to the beach, waded in the surf, talked nonstop and watched the pink sunset reflected on the water. Perfect end to a perfect day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A great lady was laid to rest today.

My children will vouch for my ability to hang onto favorite clothes items way past their prime. There was a kelly green sweatshirt, a particular pair of kakhi pants and white sail cloth pants all come to mind and I'm sure there were others that I have forgotten about. Well, today was a particularly sad day as Bloomie bit the dust. Yes, it's true...Bloomie is no longer with us. Bloomie was 20 years old, incredibly soft and hot pink with BLOOMINGDALES in rainbow colors blazed across my bosom. Bloomie was purchased in NYC by a former boyfriend of Eddie's and she served me well over the years. I knew Bloomie's days were numbered when I pulled her out of the washer last week and she had developed a slight hole under her left arm and yes, I did shed a tear. However, this week the "slight hole" was larger than the neck opening and that was when I knew it was finally over for Bloomie. Rest well my friend, you served me well and you will be missed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rainy Day

When I woke up at 6 this morning (and why why why don't I reserve that for work days??) I heard rolling thunder. My first thought was some poor tourist is listening to this too and wondering what the heck they are going to do with four kids who have been counting the days until they get to go to the beach. Then I thought...well, it sucks to be them but I LOVE rainy mornings, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I'm not a rainbow shooting out my butt, roses and sunshine 24/7 kinda gal but I do try to focus on the positive. It has been brought to my attention that because of this trait I must live in a mythical place called Jannyland. I don't know...maybe that is true but I do know Jannyland is a very happy place and you are welcome to come visit anytime. Just be nice or I will pinch your little head right off at the shoulders.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I've never been a big coffee drinker until recently when I bought the best, most perfect, nearer my God to thee coffee maker. I'm not being paid to endorse this product...heck the Keurig folks don't even know I exist but honey let me tell ya, I love Love LOVE their coffee maker! I never liked making coffee at home because I usually ended up throwing most of it out and then you have the grounds to deal with and I would usually forget about the grounds until the next morning...yuk. I bought the smallest version of the Keurig which works great for me. It uses the little plastic k-cups filled with real coffee grounds so you have real brewed coffee and all you have to do is drop the k-cup in the trash and you are DONE. The Keurig makes one outstanding cup at a time, no coffee grounds or mess to deal with and I have to say it's pretty darn close to perfect. The French Roast is wonderful in the morning but I do enjoy the flavored ones in the evening. My favorites are French Vanilla, Swiss Almond Chocolate and of course Hazelnut. With all this caffine you would think I would get some work done but naaaaaaa.'s coffee not a magic wand.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Grandma's in Round Rock!

Every family speaks shorthand and one of our shorthand phrases is GRANDMA'S IN ROUND ROCK which is our family's way of saying, "Holy Crap...this house is a pig sty and company is on the way!" That particular saying started when we lived in Austin, TX and my parents were driving down from IN to spend a week with us. I don't know how you clean house but it seems as if I can't really really clean without making a much bigger mess first. I had planned to tackle the refrigerator and mop the kitchen floor that morning and pronounce the kitchen DONE but once I got started it was a clear case of "we need to burn this room off and build a new one or Buford bring me the bleach". The kids were working on their rooms which translates to throwing junk in the closet and shoving clean clothes in the hamper because that is easier than putting them away...DUH! So I put on my big girl panties, stopped whining and started on the kitchen. The curtains were in the washer, the silverware drawer was clean and straight and don't even try to tell me you don't get those little crusty, crumby, boogery things in your silverware drawer because I know better. The refrigerator was next on the list but first I completely emptied every cabinet with the idea that I would have no choice but to wash the cabinets and reorganize. What the hey...the parental units were not arriving for at least another 24 hrs and I had all the time in the world. It was right about then our phone rang. Eddie answered and I heard her say, "Grandma you are almost here...just turn right when you get to Round Rock." And that my friends is how our families saying of GRANDMA'S IN ROUND ROCK so get up off your butt and start cleaning something, anything NOW phrase was born and continues to this day.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I have very fair skin and am very close to being translucent. For years I had a real love affair going with the sun and I do think fat definitely looks better brown than white. The liver spots on my hands....ummm, not so much. So for the past few years I've stayed out of the sun but have tried several self tanning products with varying degrees of success and much entertainment. When you live by yourself how the heck to you get your back? I've tried several techniques which have all failed miserably and I hate to think I have to get married just to have a tan back. Then I tried a salon spray tan which was very much like taking a 1965 Buick to Maaco or Earl Scheib for a new paint job. Nothing humbles an old fat lady quite like standing almost nekid (I was wearing nothing but ragged underwear and a shower cap) in front of a 20 yr old potential centerfold while she sprayed me down with brown goo from what appeared to be an old weed killer spray pump can. After that process I was directed to another room with fans and had to stand with my feet apart and arms over my head (still wearing the shower cap) to allow the "product" to dry properly. Geesh...I finally collected what little dignity I had left and ran screaming to my car. That was several years ago and I understand they now have private booths with nozzles so I may give the spray tan another try but probably not. Just plan to wear sunglasses this summer so the glare from my white legs won't make you snow blind.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Time Travel

Do you believe in time travel? I do as anytime I smell burning leaves I am right back in the 8th grade and the sky is that impossible deep blue that you only see in the fall. Anny and I are raking leaves which will be followed by a big night of Monopoly, Chef Boy R Dee pizza and the drink of choice is RC Cola. Oh yeah, big time Saturday night in Kingman, IN circa 1963. Of course burning leaves is not exactly PC these days and while I really do sympathize with people who have allergies and I know it's not good for the environment BUT... I miss the smell of leaf smoke. Weenie roasts and kids get to do that anymore? We always used apple wood for the fire and I still love the smell of a wood fire but I'm starting to sound like a bit of a pyromaniac. There are other smells (not fire related, I promise!) that take me back too... bacon and coffee remind me of my Grandma as well as Pledge. I swear that woman Pledged anything that stood still. Time travel? Oh yeah, I am a believer.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I'm sitting here minding my own business, paying a few bills, ignoring a few bills and have TV Land on in the background just for the company. In a court of law I would swear June Cleaver just said, "Thank you Ward, now I have to go pee on the hard boiled eggs." However, based on my past history with June I feel certain she actually said, "Thank you Ward, now I have to go PEEL the hard boiled eggs." The point I am trying to make is, how many other things am I hearing wrong. This has been happening to me for years. Remember Creedance Clearwater Revival? One of my favorite songs is Bad Moon Rising and I thought the lyrics were THERE'S A BATHROOM ON THE RIGHT when the actual words are THERE'S A BAD MOON ON THE RISE. It never occurred to me that my words made no sense, well actually my words do make sense but it never occurred to me that my words were wrong. OH...and it took me years to figure out that Abba wasn't singing IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND (Jackie Chan) I'M THE FIRST IN LINE (Jackie Chan). Well, actually they were singing MOST of those words except where I was singing Jackie Chan Abba was singing TAKE A CHANCE. I have a doctors appointment next week and I hope he speaks loudly and clearly when he says, "I want to listen to your heart." Otherwise he could be in for a real surprise.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex And The City

I'm never the first one to do anything but today Debi and I snuck (sneaked? snucked? ) out the back door at work to see the first showing Sex And The City...and it was good. Not Acadamy Award Citizen Kane Gone With The Wind great but very good and well worth seeing. I almost didn't go because the review in our local paper was so bad but when I read to the bottom of the page the reviewer mentioned he had never seen the TV show. Well good Lord, why in he world would the paper have a MAN review a "chick flick" and especially a man who has never seen the show on HBO. The movie is very well done and of course the scenery and wardrobe will just blow you away. I wish I would have counted how many wardrobe changes there were for Sarah Jessica Parker, can't even begin to guess. There aren't a lot of surprises but for me this movie was like running into old friends whom you haven't seen in years and that certainly beats working on a Friday afternoon... PLUS there was popcorn!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just when you think you've seen it all...

By the time you've raised three children you feel like you've pretty much seen it all. One child took the lid off of the back of the toilet (ALL I said was jiggle the handle) and managed to drop the lid through the tank and flood the entire downstairs. We had another child who loved to lay on their bed, talk on the phone and throw dirty socks in the ceiling fan which would result in the dirty socks being slung across the hall into her brothers room and start a fight of epic proportions. OH...and my personal favorite was when the youngest child gave the cat a ride in the dryer. That was a real fun morning but Estelle emerged from the dryer all fluffy and April Fresh. get the picture, not easy to surprise a Mom. The youngest child left home for college 20 years ago so there haven't been many surprises around here lately...until this morning. OK...I woke up at my regular time, listened to the local news, made a cup of coffee, brought the paper in and climbed back into bed to enjoy my coffee and the paper before getting ready for work. leg touched something verrry strange toward the foot of the bed. I carefully lifted up the comforter and Morty jumped up on the bed all huffy, gave me a dirty look and dove under the comforter. He proudly emerged with a partially eaten CHICKEN BREAST! YEEEWWW! I had stopped at Bojangles last night and brought home a chicken breast for dinner and since I didn't finish it Morty apparently decided to have a little Midnight snack. Yuk...a new low, sleeping with garbage.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Salesman Repellant

Why is it when I go shopping I either have a sales clerk following me around like they think I'm trying to stuff a DVD player down my pants, sorry...but that space happens to already be occupied by my ample rear end and believe me, there tain't anymore room. Or the other end of the spectrum is sometimes I really need a sales clerk and I could do a tap dance on the cash register and still nobody shows up to help. Anyway, my friend Sharon and I have found the cure for the overbearing sales clerk that is guaranteed to work at any TV or appliance store. All you have to do is walk in with a Consumer Reports tucked under your arm and you will be all alone for HOURS. Apparently there is a secret signal that goes off anytime two women come through the front door of an appliance store carrying a Consumer Reports and every salesman suddenly is called to the back room...sort of like a signal from the bat cave. When we first walked in the door of Appliance World there must have been 6 salesmen scattered around the store in various stages of relaxation. They were talking and laughing while leaning on stoves, kicked back in office chairs watching a game on TV and of course the eager (eager = works on straight commission) ones who greet you at the door. My hand to God...all I did was lay the Consumer Report on a counter, open the magazine to the item I was interested in and every salesman evaporated into thin air never to be seen or heard from again. However, I did learn something very important. Not only can you shop online for a new TV (in your jammies or even nekid if you want to) the delivery man even hooks up your cable if you can manage to look helpless enough. Not a problem for this old gal...I am becoming more helpless each day.

Monday, May 26, 2008


For someone who is the only child of an only child I certainly have a butt load of pictures. I am trying to get things better organized (when you are pregnant it's called nesting when you are my age it's called impending death or the big dirt nap) and the only MAJOR project I have left are all these darn pictures. I've been reading articles with suggestions for sorting and organizing pictures but everything I have read seems to be directed to the type of person who has two snapshots in their jewelry box and a shoebox of photos on the top shelf of their closet. Honey, I have 6 (SIX!!) 36 gallon Rubbermaid totes of photos, letters, swimming awards, report cards, letters from WW II and well you get the picture...har har I just punned. The most recent article I read suggested keeping your box of photos next to your favorite chair and organizing while you watch TV. OK...first of all I don't need a new refrigerator and that is the only size box that would come close to holding all my photographs and I have to tell you I don't think I would like climbing in and out of that box a gazillion times while I'm trying to watch My Big Redneck Wedding. I have come to the conclusion that THE GREAT PICTURE PROJECT (yes, I do feel the need to capitalize AND bold) is going to be like trying to eat an elephant. So, if any of you have any suggestions, encouragement or even sympathy....I could use some HELP!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I don't have anything against motorcycles...really I don't but three straight weekends of motorcycle rallies can stretch a persons patience. The past two weekends have been the Spring Harley Rally. The Harley's are noisy, they drink a lot of beer and they like to have a good time BUT 99% of the Harley owners are my age or older so they are ready to go to bed by midnight. This weekend is Atlantic Beach Bike Festival and these folks are just getting ready to party at midnight. Most of them are young (remember when we were invincible?) so they take crazy chances on the roads and a good number of them forgot to pack their clothes. You have never seen so much nekid booty on a motorcycle in your life. Apparently these girls did not have grandma's like mine. My grandma always said, "If it ain't purty then don't put it on the front porch." plan is not to go out my front door until I have to leave for work on Monday morning and yes I have to work on Monday. HELLOOOO??? I work in tourism, holidays are just another day in the week to us but at least I'm not bitter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Some people remain calm (at least on the exterior) during a crisis and some folks can't. For some reason God decided I am one of the calm exterior folks and last Friday that was put to the test. First a little background, oh come knew there would be a story! My good buddy, Debi, put her retired husband, Sid, to work at the aquarium and that was because while Deb was at work, attending meetings, dealing with idiots and all that good stuff Sid was sunning himself on the beach, going to the gym, golfing and well, you get the picture. Well Deb did what any good wife would do and she put a stop that that nonsense and put his butt back to work. Let me rephrase that...we were in need of a new mascot person so as it is known in the tourism industry, she slapped his butt into a puppet suit. So ole Sid was back to work...not full time but at least enough to keep Debi from smacking him upside the head everytime she saw his tan lines. WELL...our Director of Operations found out Sid is a retired electrician and he jerked Sid's butt out of the puppet suit and put him back to work as a "PART TIME" electrician. I don't know what part time hours are in other parts of the country but here in SC apparently they can hit 40 hours. All together now...POOR SID but the important factor here is Sid's tan lines were fading so Debi was much happier. Well, last Friday Sid was on a ladder working on a wiring project and met Mr. Electricity. Debi came running back up to our office and was trying to tell me Sid was hurt and the ambulance was about to take him to the hospital. The problem with that last sentence is Debi is not a "calm exterior" person and was hyperventilating so it was like listening to Lassie telling Grandpa that Timmy fell down an old mine shaft just past the Old Apple Orchard Road. This is how it went, "" Can you picture Lassie dancing around your feet and barking? Yep, that was exactly what it was like. was quickly determined that I was driving (that happened when I snatched the car keys out of her hand) and we headed to the hospital. The ambulance arrived with sirens blaring and Sid was quickly evaluated, treated and is recovering from multiple painful injuries. Sid, it's been a long time since I have been that frightened. You have no idea how thankful your friends are that you are on the mend and by the way...the puppet suit is all cleaned, pressed and laid out for your next appearance. Your ginormous shoes have even been polished.
Now for the question of the day...are you a "calm exterior" or are you a "Lassie?"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Furminator!

Holy cow, I have found an Epilady for cats! I love my kitties but I am more than a little weary of crankin' up the Dyson once a day to suck up the cat hair and this time of year...Lord a mercy, it's a full time job. I saw an ad for the Furminator and thought yeah right but I decided to invest in one and give it a try. OH GOOD less than two minutes I had a plastic bag full of hair from just Morty. Gingles will let you brush her for hours but Morty, not so much. He tolerates brushing for a few minutes and then he is DONE. This tool is incredible and I could tell they both felt so much better after being...Furminated? Is that a new word? After I had a respectable pile of cat hair I did what anybody with a sick sense of humor would do..I took pictures with my cell phone and sent them to my friends. Now that I have a Furminator I need to find the ole Flowbee and go into the haircut business. Yes...I really did have a Flowbee and YES I did cut my kids hair. Don't laugh, between the Flowbee haircuts and the plaid polyester outfits I dressed them in it's a wonder they didn't get beat up everytime they left the house.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The price of economy.

Do you remember Jimmy Carter and 22% interest rates? Oh yeah...good times. Probably the only time in my life when it made sense to buy a house on a credit card. I seem to remember it was during Carter's term when gas was inching up toward $1.25 and everybody was in a panic and could NOT believe gas was over a dollar. At that time we were driving a full size van which drank gas like a good Southerner gulps sweet tea. Dave finally managed to convince me to at least consider trading in the van and look for a smaller car. Convince = dragging me kicking and screaming to the car dealership to GIVE AWAY my beloved PAID FOR van and look at deathtraps that were so small all three kids had to be sprayed with WD 40 to squeeze them into the tiny interior. We won't even discuss book bags, friends and Irish Setters. Have you picked up on the tone of this fun filled family excursion? I was not happy and the kids were not happy because they were spending Saturday afternoon at a car dealership with their parents and it finally dawned on them that if all five of us were in this circus clown car reject at the same time only three of us would have both butt cheeks on the seat. The other two occupants would be sitting on one cheek while the other cheek lopped over onto the lap of the person sitting next to them. Dave LOVED trading cars so he was in his element while the rest of us were shuffling along behind him in various stages of depression. One of the reasons Dave was so happy was because he had this GREAT van with low mileage and since he was trading this great vehicle for a tin can with a steering wheel I think he had visions of leaving the dealership with a new car and a very small payment book. Yeah right, gotta love a man with a dream. Every car we looked at was smaller than the one before. We finally found one that didn't make me cry and got great mileage. It was less than half the size of the van, didn't have the great sound system and no sun roof but it did get good mileage. SIGH...fine, let's get the numbers. So while the kids and I stood around our beloved van preparing to tell it goodbye we looked up just in time to see Dave stomping out of the dealership, purple face, veins popping and FURIOUS. I have never claimed to be a genius but I pretty much guessed the financial part didn't go as well as David had hoped. As we scrambled to get in the van the salesman came running out to the drivers side motioning for Dave to stop. The salesman said, "Mr. Connell...I am sorry you are upset but if you want economy YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT!" That was all it took...Dave and I looked at each other, burst out laughing AND I got to keep my van.