Friday, September 30, 2005


Niks and I are both sick, so I won't be posting anything until at least Monday. No big deal. This is not a cry for sympathy, so truly, you don't need to leave a comment. Just sayin' you don't need to check back here for a few days. As if.

You probably weren't planning to anyway.

'Course, I'll lurk and maybe comment on your blog. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Stupid Chatter

I visited a site recently where the writer had posted about how we Americans don’t use proper English. ‘Course, she was right about that. But now I’m real self-conscious of how I write. Okay, so I should have written really in that last sentence. Like that. It’s makin’ it kinda hard to write anything. Ya know?

So like, I know that it behooves a writer to eschew archaic expressions, and like that. So I won’t be doin’ that.

And mixed metaphors are a pain in the neck and they oughta be thrown out the window. So I’ll watch that, too. Guess I’ll be avoiding clich├ęs like the plague on top of it all.

I know better than to use hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it effectively. Plus you shouldn’t be redundant; don't repeat yourself or say what you've said before.

Am I getting smart with you? How would you know? You guys.

Dang! Can’t write much more anyway. This computer is messin’ with me again. Something about “backing up my hard drive.” Heck, how do I put it in reverse?

You know, whom computers would destroy, they must first drive insane. No smart jokes out there about what a short walk that would be for me.

Now the thing is saying, “Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.” Wait, now it’s flashing, “Press any key to continue, or any other key to quit.”

Oh, boy, now it’s claiming “New mail not found. Start whine/pout sequence? (Y/N)” Well, duh, Yes of course.

Once, when my speakers where still speaking to me, it actually said out loud, “As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing.” I had to disconnect the speakers then. The voices in my head are quite enough thank you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

terrific Tuesday

Walking at 6:30 AM means that this time of the year I get to see the sunrise. I absolutely love that. It’s always beautiful. Never gets old. I love it again every single day.

The park I walk in with my friend Irene is big and lovely and elevated. You get a good view of the land and an unobstructed view of the sunrise. You can see the ridge of blue mountains in the distance too. The sky was a splendid blue today. We had Rita rain yesterday afternoon, and everything was especially clean and crisp this morning.

There is also a nice breeze today. Everything is still full and green, so the trees catch the wind and bow and twist every now and then. Strong breeze. But nice. Really nice.

It’s a terrific Tuesday. Hope you have a splendid day wherever you are.

Monday, September 26, 2005

calling in sick

I get up at 5:30 AM, sometimes 5:00, so I can rest before going walking at 6:30 AM. I’ve always had to rest in the morning. Can’t jump outta bed and just start. Not made that way.

I have coffee and something to eat, and work on the New York Times Crossword puzzle. If you do the puzzle you know that Monday’s puzzle is too easy. You just fly right through it. Then you’re disappointed that you don’t have the puzzle to do.

The puzzle gets progressively more difficult each day. Tuesday is still very easy. Wednesday can go either way. Some are easy. Some are more difficult. Like that.

Thursday usually will make you think and keep you busy for a little while. Friday can be a bear. Saturday can be too. I always solve the darn thing, but sometimes I work at it off and on all day. Little at a time. Of course, some folks just tear right through them like they were easy every day. Some people.

Maybe I could do that if I could spell. Can’t spell worth a lick. Can’t read up and down either. Strange huh? Never even realized that about myself until I started doing crosswords. I guess when I read signs on businesses which are vertical I spell them out in my head real quick and then know what they say. But on crossword puzzles, I have to have a blank paper to write out the “down” answers so that I can see what the word is going to be.

Like if the clue is “Enters abruptly,” and the answer is 8 letters, and I have blank, “a” then “r”, blank, then “e”, then blank but I can guess it’s probably an “s”,blank, blank. I can’t see what the answer will be. But if I write it out like this: _ar_es__ , I will guess right away, Bargesin. Two words, barges in. They don’t tell you how many words it will be.

Good thing I have Niks to help some days. Like I don’t know who wrote “A Tract on Monetary Reform” which was in a recent puzzle. I had some of the letters, but he didn’t need to hear them. I asked him, “Who wrote A Tract on Monetary Reform?” and he answered Keynes, immediately. No hesitation at all. Doesn’t have a clue where his glasses are, or if he took his medicine, but he knows a lot of other stuff.

I don’t like to ask him clues. I just do it if I’m stumped or in a hurry. He likes for me to ask though. Makes him feel good. That guy.

I’m good at guessing the “cute” answers, like I knew right away that the answer to the clue “not stiff?” was “tip.” (Where is the heck is Jevanking the waiter anyway? He needs to start blogging again. He’s not going to be a waiter anymore anyway. But I will always think of him when I decide what to tip at a restaurant.)

But I didn’t start out to talk about crossword puzzles. I got off the track. That rarely happens to me. I just get right to the point usually. Don’t know what happened there.

I was gonna say that I e-mailed my friend Irene and told her I was taking today off. Using a “Personal Day.” She e-mailed back, and said she didn’t feeling like walking either, said she called in “Sick” to the park where we walk and we’re going to let the other folks who walk there take care of the place today. That Irene. She’s a joker.

Household chores are knockin’ at my door, but we all know I can ignore unwanted types at the door. So, I’m going to have more coffee, and read the rest of the paper.

Have a good day.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Doris, me and Elvis

I'm missing my sister Doris today. I miss her everyday. She would have been 70 years old this particular day, but she died almost two years ago.

She was six years older than I. We had a sister Mary who was four years older than Doris, and of course Bonnie who was four years younger than Doris, but Doris and I were the buddies. We were just always close, even though we each had another sister who was closer in age to us.

Doris joined the army when she was 17, straight out of high school. She was sent to Germany for three years. I wrote to her every single day. I didn't have anything to say of course, but like now, that didn't stop me.

I'd open up the dictionary and find big words and work them into the "conversation." Like just now I opened up the dictionary and saw polemical. If I were writing to Doris, I might have written, "At school today Karen made a polemical attack on what the math teacher was saying about fractions." (Actually right this minute I'm being really impressed by the fact that my spell-check recognizes polemical.)

I'd do stuff like that everyday. She told me years later that her barracks mates would gather around with their dictionaries and all read my letters together. They would say things like, "Your little sister is so smart!" She laughed when I told her the truth. Smartass is more like it.

While she was in Heidelberg, Elvis Presley came on the scene nationally. She wrote me and asked, "Who is this Elvis Presley guy?"

We grew up in Memphis and I had seen him several times at this point. He performed at my school on what we called Chapel Programs. Couldn't get away with "chapel" in a public school nowadays.

Anyway, Elvis had made a little money by this time, and had bought his Mama a new house. No, not Graceland. Before Graceland he bought a modest house in East Memphis which wasn't all that far from my neck of the woods. He didn't yet know that he was going to be too rich for that area. He never was all that smart. Ya know?

So after a ballgame one night, a bunch of my gang and I decided to go over and get grass out of Elvis' yard and send it to Doris. The fence around the yard was a decorative one. I coulda gone right into the yard, but I didn't. Respectful. Like that.

The fence was iron and brick and had these openings in it, and I reached in through one of the openings and grabbed a handful of grass. Stuck. Couldn't get my arm back through. It's cold and I'm all bent over and all, stuck in this darn fence. There's a lot of traffic up and down the street. It's not normally a busy street, but kids from the game are comin' over and being nosey and noisy.

There I am stuck. Butt a little in the air. I'm causin' a bit of a scene. Teenagers.

Policeman gets through the traffic. Stops. Comes over to me. Looks at me, kinda sad like.

"Little girl," he says, "Did you ever think to take your arm outta your coat sleeve?"

Well, no officer, I never thought of that. 'Course I didn't say anything at all. Just pulled my arm out of my coat. Sad to say, that also meant that I had to open my fist and drop the grass. Darnitall.

So, Doris never got the grass. She did get the full account of it in a letter however.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My guy Niks

Niks is a hell of a guy. Sweet, loyal, a good husband, good father, good grandfather. An all-round good guy. Thursday, September 22, is his 77th birthday. I've had him a long time, and I hope to have him a long time to come.

I was going to have a big birthday cake for him and have 77 candles on it. But I checked with our insurance company, and the firm of Grump and Crotchety says that fire or smoke damage from birthday cakes is not covered by our policy. So, I'm gonna see about gettin' that covered for next year. Maybe wait until his 80th. That would make an impressive light.

He's a cutie too. But, hell, if I were any cuter myself, I'd have to find a cuter guy. But I think we're probably matched bookends that way. Works out nicely.

He's a bit of an absent-minded professor. In fact for a while he actually was a professor of Philosophy. His students loved him. But totally unlike myself, I got off the absent-minded track there. Back to his absent-mindedness.

Once he was out in the yard mowing the grass. Aral was a youngster. She and I got into the car which was parked in the garage, backed out and started down the street. Less than half-way down our block we heard a funny sorta scraping noise. We both said, "what?" but we figured it was a branch scratching the top of the car. We got groceries, came back home, and there in the middle of our street were Niks' glasses. He had taken them off to mow the yard, and put them on top of the car. He saw us get into the car, but had forgotten the glasses were on it. But they were fine. This street block doesn't go anywhere. Just the one block by itself, so it actually doesn't get that much traffic.

The glasses are a theme with him. Once he left home in the morning, drove to work, immediately called home and asked me to go out and look for his glasses on the side street. He had put them on top of the car to do something or other, forgotten them, and driven to work. He figured they probably fell off pretty quickly and that I might find them. I didn't. Find them that is. I did go look.

When he was in Washington on a business trip, someone stole his glasses right out of the car. Those guys. You believe him don't you? He didn't put them on top of the car, you think? Those crooks were clever. Didn't break the window or anything. Hafta wonder why they wanted his glasses though.

One day Niks arrived home from work after a big snow storm. Before he even got home, a man called me to say that he had found a briefcase in the parking lot next to a parking slot where a car had obviously been. He opened it and found Niks' business card and called. I asked him to leave the briefcase with the receptionist in the office building, which he did. Niks had put the briefcase down, cleared the windows, got into the car, and drove off. Minus briefcase.

Then there was the time....well, no point going on. You get the picture.

When Acton Bell was about five, she showed an interest in classical music. Niks got tickets to a big concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A., and just the two of them went. We couldn't really afford those tickets then, but he wanted her to experience the music. He was that kind of dad.

He researched colleges for our oldest, Dddragon, and took her on visits to them. He made me believe that we could put our four kids through college, and he made it happen.

Once when Aral was a freshman at Cornell her book bag with all her books and notes was taken from the bookstore, accidentally. A young man who had funked out of school and whose parents had picked him up and driven him home to Indiana took her book bag and left his own instead. Aral was distraught. Her physics mid-term was happening in days and she was missing her stuff. She called us in the afternoon, crying. We were having a terrible snowstorm. Niks didn't think twice. He got in the car and drove the five-hour trip in the snow. Only it took eight hours because the snow was so bad and it was dark. He did it to comfort her. Just to be there for her. He couldn't produce the books or the notes. That guy. He's the best.

Then there was the time…..well, I won't go on. You get the true picture.

He has been a wonderful Poppa to the grandtwins. He loves us all so much. Just a wonderful guy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Anybody out there listen to country music? I caught the top 20 songs this morning on the radio. Here they are:

1. It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chewed Your Ass Out All Day Long. Sounds true enough. Don't like those brown stains myself.

2. If I Can't Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You. Maybe this is a touch childish behavior. Dunno.

3. If The Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me. Well, duh. Anytime the phone don't ring, it's probably me not calling.

4. How Can I Say I Miss You When I Cain't GetchaTa Leave? Definitely true.

5. I Liked You Better Before I Got to Know You So Well. I feel your pain.

6. I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better. Oldie but a goodie.

7. I Wouldn't Take Her To A Dog Fight 'Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win. S'pose it would suit you better if she lost?

8. I'll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let's Honeymoon Tonight. Don't believe him!

9. I'm So Miserable Without You, It's Like You're Still Here.

10. If I Had Shot You When I First Wanted To, I'd Be Out Of Prison By Now. There's a lesson here.

11. I Thought I Had Tourette's, But I Just Like Talkin' Dirty To You. Me 'n everybody else.

12. She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger. S**t happens.

13. You're The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly. Rude. Just rude.

14. Her Teeth Was Stained But Her Heart Was Pure.

15. She's Looking Better After Every Beer. Another DUH!

16. I Ain't Never Gone To Bed With an Ugly Woman, but I've Sure Woke Up With A Few. Honey, the woman on the other side of the bed feels the same way.

17. My sweetie said he needed more space, so I locked him outside. Smooth move.

18. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. Another oldie.

19. In the book of life, the answers ain't in the back.

20. How Come I Feel like the Mornin' After When I Wasn't Nowhere the Night Before? Walking in your sleep?

And a runner up was: Tearstains on My Pillow Are the Only Wet Spots in My Bed.

Now, I'm not going to post that last one 'cause it's kinda not so PG13, maybe. On the other hand, who the heck is still reading this thing? So, guess I'll just be lazy and not bother erasing it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Idle chatter

Saturday before last, husband Niks and I went to a surprise birthday party for a woman who is turning 70. There were some young people there, but they were her children and their children. The friends in attendance were all over age sixty. A lot of us have a long history together.

We don't seem that old. To each other. But we got to talking about how old we are, and are gettin’ to be, and thinking about what it all means. Not one of us has figured life out yet.

We decided that there are some pretty good things about getting to our age, like our supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size. And the clothes we put away until they come back in style... have come back in style.

Plus there's nothing left to learn the hard way. We don't bother trying to hold in our stomachs, no matter who walks into the room. We all agree that "Happy Hour" now means getting a nap in. And "getting lucky" means you find your car in the parking lot. We can share our secrets with each other because none of us will remember any of them anyway.

It's true that when people call at 9 PM they ask, "Did I wake you?" And the answer is, "Hell yes, and since you know that, why did you call?" But really, most of us don't have any enemies. Well, there's gravity. I have come to the conclusion that my worst enemy is gravity. Gravity never quits.

Most of the men have ears which are hairier than their heads. And their idea of weight lifting is standing up. Now when they talk about "good grass" they're referring to their lawn. Some even talk about the options on their new easy chair the way they used to talk about the options on their new cars.

Half of these folks got cable for the weather channel. Old Folks MTV! But almost all of us have PC's and e-mail. Except the birthday girl. She's a hold-out.

But oh, we remember fondly things like sitting on the curb at night under a streetlight just talking; hide-and-seek; Simon Says; going home for lunch; hopscotch; skates with keys; jacks; wax lips; saddle shoes; coke bottles with the names of cities on the bottom; bobby pins; Mickey Mouse Club; Rocky and Bullwinkle; American black and white. Your mother made you turn off the TV when there was a thunderstorm.

Remember the Stroll? Sock hops? My very first date was to a sock hop. Yes, we danced in our socks. Because our street shoes would have ruined the gym floor. Sneakers were for gym class, not for dancing.

We even talked fondly about things that were a nuisance at the time. Like it used to take at least five minutes for the TV to "warm up." Like that. And when we wore nylons that were two pieces.

We remember lying on our backs on the grass with friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a (fill in the blank.)"

We remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals, because no one could imagine trying to poison a perfect stranger. Or an imperfect one for that matter.

Now some in our group have to ask the pharmacy to package their medicines in containers that aren't childproof, because they have arthritis. It's either that or get a small child to come open it for you. Kids can usually get'em open with no problem.

You'll be happy to know that I'm going to quit this. I feel all melancholy now.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Catalog number please

Owen married a beauty queen I'll call Lola Bell, both to protect her and because she's a southern belle. Besides, I like the sound of it. I'll just shorten that to Belle. Just 'cause.

Belle and Owen were students at a small college where Owen's dad had been the president until his untimely demise. He was highly regarded by all. The dad that is. Not Owen. Owen was kicked out of school there. Probably it took a long time to decide to kick him out because of the family name and all. Owen was given to drinkin' and gamblin'. Like that. His womanizing was okay because he was single.

Anyway, Owen was attracted to Belle's beauty and she was attracted to what she perceived as his potential. And to give the devil his due, he was tall and handsome. Owen went north and finished college and they got married. It was not a marriage made in heaven. Beauty fades and potential is not always realized. But they stayed married and had four children.

I'm not going to tell you the worst thing Owen ever did, which in my opinion was the night that their fourth child was born. That night Owen was staying with Belle's family in their huge house. He got out of his own bed, went into Belle's older sister's room, and got into her bed. Boys will be boys.

In case you're thinking that this is just the sister's story, it is not. Owen told Niks and me this himself. The sister got out of the bed and told him he was welcome to the BED, but she was not going to be in it. She went to another room. Probably locked the door. Either Owen didn't try that door, or he left that out of the story.

Good sister doesn't have the heart to tell Belle, which I think is natural and kind. The woman was in the hospital with her fourth baby for gosh sakes.

I'm not going to tell this part because I'm not so sure we have ever told our daughters about it. So, nobody tell it. Okay?

Okay. No need to go into any more stuff on both sides of this marriage.
I talk too darn much. Fast forward.

Owen has for many years been plotting leaving Belle. But then she has cancer and a mastectomy and he says he's leaving her. Now. Period. Niks and I say, "NO! You cannot do that NOW." Of course he does leave. Many things come out during the divorce hearing. Many ugly things about Owen and other women. The four grown children are in court and hear these things. Owen is literally so embarrassed that he leaves the court room. That guy. So sensitive... Remember, we get our information from Owen himself, so it could be worse. Probably was worse.

Couple of years later, his four children are not speaking to him. So he does what any man would do. Decides to have more children.

Enter catalog. Yep. Mail order bride from the Philippines.

I'll call her Sweetie, to protect the innocent and because she's sweet. Sweetie has given Owen three more children. All beautiful. None of this is her fault. I'm nice to her and her kids. Owen has noticed the difference in how I act when she's down here with him.

Sweetie is younger than his first four children, and my oldest child. Owen has grandchildren older than his second family of children.

I should just get over it, and if he weren't sitting in my kitchen right now talking on and on about this woman or that woman who had the nerve to get old, or get fat, or get wrinkles, and so on, maybe I could get over it.

Owen is 19 years older than I am. When I was young he actually made passes at me, which was disgusting. But now I'd be too old for him. Safe at last.

I'm wondering: did I ever mention that I don't like Owen? I don't want to go on and on about it.

So, if I've said before that I don't like him. Stop me. And I'll quit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Welcome Mat

A coupla three of you have wondered about my brother-in-law, Owen. Some seem to think that I may have cut him up into little pieces and stowed him in a closet. Something like that. Please, try to be serious. I'm not gonna stink up my closets like that! Somethin' like that would probably stink up the whole house. Pretty fast. 'Course if I crank up the AC, it might take longer....just a thought. But no. No. That would just be wrong. Not going to do something like that.

Anyway, I don't want Owen dead. Just gone. Gone from my house. Gone from my life would be okay too.
Seriously, I don't hate him. I merely dislike him. A lot. A whole, whole lot. He's been a bit of a thorn in my side forever, but when he left his wife of about 35 years right after she had a mastectomy because of cancer, he kinda sorta got on my permanent shit-list. Like forever. And a day. Maybe add one more day. Like that.

So, when I learned that he was coming to visit us, I put on a smile and said to the husband, "that's fine." It's possible that it appeared that I was actually clenching my teeth and saying, "that's fine," the way teenagers say it when they really mean, "bite me." But that would be wrong. I'm not like that. Under normal circumstances.

Anyway, get to the point here TLP.

The day that Owen is to arrive, I am busy. I walk at 6:30 AM, go to Acton Bell's place to feed and love the cat, go home, clean house, put clean sheets on the bed in a guest room, make room for Owen in the closet....for his clothes and stuff...not his body. So now I need a shower (badly) and then I need to take off for an appointment, grab a bite to eat, and go person-sit (something like baby-sit only with a grown person) with dddragon's ailing mother-in-law.

My husband, Owen's baby brother, is just sitting around. Drinking coffee, reading the paper. Like that. I have written before that Niks, the husband, always manages to be out of the house a lot when Owen is around. He won't admit that he's not fond of Owen, but he just somehow, sorta not-on-purpose, has things to do that keep him out, and me stuck with Owen.

So, true to form, Niks calls upstairs to me, "I have to go see Dave now." WTF?

"Owen is coming at around 1:00 PM," I yell back.

"I'll be back by one!" Oh, yeah. Like there is any chance of that!

So he leaves. I get into the shower. Just the very minute I step out of the shower, the doorbell rings. DAMN. I am NOT going to run downstairs in a towel and let Owen in. Dirty old man is just one of his more-endearing traits.

So as I am drying off, it just came to me: I am not going to go down and open the door. Period. Just not going to do it. No discussion. No one to talk me out of it. I'm just going to pretend that no one is home.

Problem: I gotta get outta here to my appointment and more importantly, I can't be late to go person-sit. Now, I have waited too long to go to the door. It would look very strange if I suddenly go open the door now. He's stopped ringing the bell.

What to do? I hit upon a plan. I'll put all my stuff into my car so's I'm all ready to go. Then I'll start the car before I open the garage door using the remote opener from the car. I'm ready. I can see Owen's car parked in the driveway, but it's to the side which will not block my car coming out. I don't see Owen, which I hope means he can't see ME.

If he sees me, I'll say, "Oh, Owen! You're here." So clever. Like he doesn't know he's here.
"I left the front door unlocked in case you got here before Niks returned." This will be true, since I slithered to the front door on my belly, in case he was looking through the long window in the door and would see me, and reached up and unlocked it just before starting in on my escape.

So, I'm in the car. Start the car. Open the garage door. Slowly back out. I'll be late for my duties if I run over Owen. He can't move very fast.

Don't see Owen. Musta gone for a walk down the street. Okay! I'm getting away. Oh! wait! There he is. He's lying down. On the grass under the pine trees in the side yard. His back is to me. His face is turned away. He's facing the side street. (We live on a corner.) He hasn't heard me. Hasn't seen me. I could call out to him. Woulda been the nice thing to do. Coulda yelled, "Hey Owen! The door is unlocked."

But NOOooooooooo. I continue backing out. I'm to the street now. I swing around. Start forward. Still could have turned right at the corner, caught his attention and told him the door was open. But NO. I turn left. I'm outta there! In my rearview mirror I can see him sleeping on the grass. Looks like a drunk lying in the yard there. Cops might see him and stop. Motorists might have a wreck just seein' him there. Maybe think he's dead or something like that. But I'm gone.

I really did have a tinge of guilt over this. But Friends! Friends are so wonderful. My friend Crys heard my confession. Laughed at the deed. Laughed at the idea that it was so bad.

So I really need to think of something else to do to Owen if I want to be evil. Which I don't. I'm good with the way things are. I'm pious and all that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Not so evil

I met my friend Crys for coffee and conversation last night. I told her about the possibility of someone, somewhere, doing something that might be sorta a little tiny bit evil.

She seemed to think that it might be me, for some reason, but of course, that might not be the case. Might not be me at all. Could be someone else. Someone else in a different state for gosh sakes. Anyways.

She asked what the transgression might be, and I told her. She said that it wasn't evil at all. Not even the tiniest bit twisted. She said if I, or whoever this could possibly be, told this thing, that folks would just plain laugh. They would think, boy, is that the best you can do? I, or whoever this person is, would be a laughing stock for even thinking that I, or whoever this person is, had done something bad.

Whoa. That's a relief. I mean, whoever this person is, she sure is relieved.

My friend Crys was raised a good Catholic, went to Catholic schools and everything. So she should know about evil, and guilt, and confession and stuff. Right? Being excommunicated doesn't mean anything does it? I mean, she still knows the shit about confession and what's evil and all. So apparently, I'm good to go. I mean whoever it is that might have done some tiny little thing, it wasn't nothin' apparently. And I know that this not-evil person does not want to be laughed at or something like that. So that's it then.

Everything is good. If I had more time and space I'd tell you guys about Owen's arrival. But my blogs get just too long. Don'tchathink?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Evil. Just Plain Evil.

A blog is a diary. Right? So, should one confess one's deeds on one's blog?

One's evil deeds?

Not sayin' who. Could be anybody. Really.

Not sayin' what. Could be anything. Really.

Doesn't have to be about anybody's brother-in-law. Really!

Just askin' for opinions. Anybody's. Really.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sunday, Sunday

We had a great service at church today. Yes, fellow bloggers, ol’ non-believing Lucy goes to church. Every Sunday. I’m even a Sunday school teacher. Believe it or not.

Anyways as I was sayin’, or writing actually, the service today was wonderful. Stirring. It was back-to-church Sunday, like that. Start of the new church year.

We ended by singing Lean on Me. Of course, you need to remember that we are Unitarians. Unitarians can sing whatever they want to in church. We don’t even have to go to church. God trusts us. Some people need to attend church regularly so that they can be told to shape up, and that God is watching them, and stuff like that. Maybe threatened, and so on. I’m an atheist so I don’t need the promise of heaven, or the threat of hell. I just try to be a good person for the hell of it. Works for me, and of course everyone else does what works for them, and that’s what you call a Good Thing.

Anyway, I’m all in a good mood now because of the service and also because of this song. Lean On Me

“Sometime in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow
But if we are wise we know that there’s always tomorrow.

Lean on me when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend,
I’ll help you carry on,
For it won’t be long ‘til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”

‘Course there’s more to the song, and if you remember the tune to this one, you could sing along. But I know from my last post and the comments on it, that most of you are NOT singing along. Too bad. I was gonna put out a CD called the “Singing Bloggers.”
But Noooooooo.
So little cooperation.
It was kinda pitiful that way. Just pitiful.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sing along

On my perfectly beautiful, obligation-free day today I drove to Hershey to the outlet stores there. The stores are right in sight of the theme park, called amazingly enough, Hershey Park. It's a regular amusement park with all kinds of roller coasters and water rides and like that. It's in the middle of a gorgeous countryside. And the town of Hershey is itself a lovely place. I drive a Honda Civic Hybrid so I have no guilt about using the gas.

Well, of course, I'd have no guilt anyway. After all I don't leave the water running while I brush my teeth, so I've earned ecology-brownie points that way. I turn out lights too. So I'm going to heaven-for-ecology-people in case there is one. There's probably not one, but I'm just sayin'. If there is one. In case. Just to be double sure, I recycle regularly too. To be sure of going to heaven-for-ecology-people that is. Our daughter AP3 is a recycling Nazi, so I'm puttin' that in so she will be nice to me when I'm old and stuff.

On the drive out, which takes about 20 or 25 minutes I guess, I had an earworm going on in my head: Alice's Restaurant. You know, "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. Just walk right in, it's around the back, just a half-mile from the railroad track. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."

It's sung by Arlo Guthrie on the recordings and by coincidence, he sings it in my head too. Convenient. He composed it too. So as any fool can see, it all just works out perfectly. I sees.

Because of this song-going-on-in-my-head thing, the first thing I did when I got to the outlet stores was to go to a music store called, “Music 4 Less.” See how clever they are? They save two spaces by using the number 4 instead of writing out the word "for." That's so smart, don'tcha think? Those guys. So smart.

I bought Arlo's CD of Alice's Restaurant of course, and then picked up The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, The Best of the Moody Blues, and Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits. Don't worry, I didn't just pick'em up. I actually paid for them. Please notice that I got the very best, the best, and the greatest, so you know I have taste. Then I bought Casey Kasem's America's Hits: The Folk Years, just so's you don't think I'm too hi-fi-lootin'. What with buyin' all the best and all.
It's got stuff like "Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers and "I Dig Rock and Roll Music" by Peter, Paul and Mary. Like that.

I originally decided to go to Hershey to see a store called Christmas Tree Hill. Some people (okay, women-people) were talking about that store at a Labor Day party we went to and I had never heard of it. Sounded interesting. I'm a shopping junky. Sometimes.

I was apparently in a spending mood. How unusual. I mean without a daughter or granddaughter along to buy for. I like to buy for other folks. Then you don't have to find room for it in your own closet or on your own shelves. Now there is absolutely nothing in Christmas Tree Hill that a person needs. So I spent only about a hundred dollars there. They have no idea what they missed.

But I want credit for all the stores I passed up too. I didn't go into "Big Dog Sportswear", skipped "Vitamin World", and snubbed "Black and Decker Tools." There are supposedly 55 stores there, so I must have gone into 52 of them. Didn't seem like that many to me. Musta missed some others.

I walked right by the "Bible Factory Outlet." Then turned around and walked back and went in. Good thing I did. Did you know that October 9 is "Clergy Appreciation Day?" Well, it is. See? If I hadn't gone into that store, you'd be in the dark about that.

They carry a hardback journal called, "Presidential Prayer Team." It's not a big seller I guess, 'cause it was marked down to just one dollar and they had lots of them left. Imagine. Just a dollar. Can't get much for one dollar these days. This journal has a place for you to write in the names of the Cabinet members and other Important Folks. Every day you think about these big important people, and you pray for them. Especially the Great Leader and President.

They have tee shirts and signs that look like the old Coca-Cola signs in red and white, but they have Jesus Christ written on them instead of Coca-Cola, and then "Eternally Refreshing. John 4:14." Cute.

Lots of other books in there too. Then when I saw one titled, "The Gay Agenda," I figured I'd had enough of this particular store and I started out the door. But the guy at the counter just had to ask me if I'd found what I was looking for. Mr. Too-Dumb-to-Breathe is what I'd call a guy who messes with me when I'm pissed off. Guess the look on my face wasn't as mean as I was feelin'. I will spare you the details, but I told him off about carrying that book. They probably don't get a whole lot of excitement in that store. I might have to go back. Help'em out in that regard. I'm all heart sometimes. They're probably still praying for me in there.

That put a little cloud over my shopping fun, but I went bravely on and into a men's store and found some shirts for my husband that he doesn't need, and then on to other stores and found some clothes I don't need for myself. I heard that the economy might be in trouble what with Katrina and all, and I want to help.

On the way home I popped "Alice's Restaurant" into the CD player and got all in a good mood again.

You sing along this time. With feeling."You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant. You can get anything you want (exceptin' Alice) at Alice's Restaurant. Just walk right in, it's around the back, just a half-mile from the railroad track. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff, you have to sing LOUD

Okay, when it comes around again on the git-tar, try again. Only this time Loud, and in Four-Part Harmony and with Feelin'. That's what we're waiting on now, for it to come around again. Okay, here it comes....

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Your personal perfect day

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. Perfect. Today was terrific again.

Blue sky, low humidity, just-right temperature. Just one tiny touch of autumn in the air. Ah, so perfect.

So, if you had this perfect day, and you had no obligations to fulfill on this perfect day, what would you do with the day?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


A friend of mine has been victimized big time.

Now, most of you have read the scare-mail about the person whose kidneys were stolen while that person was passed out drunk. 'Course that was one of those urban legends. But my friend's story is true.

Her thighs were stolen from her during the night a few years ago. It was just that quick. She went to sleep in her body and woke up with someone else's thighs. The new ones had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Who would have done such a cruel thing to this person? Those legs had been hers for years.

Whose thighs were these that she now has and what happened to the ones she used to have? Inquiring minds want to know. Need to know.

She spent the entire summer looking for her thighs. Finally, hurt and angry, she resigned herself to living out her life in jeans and Sheer Energy pantyhose.

Then, when her guard was down, the thief or thieves struck again.
Her butt was next. She knew it was the same gang because they took pains to match the new rear end (although badly attached at least three inches lower than her original butt) to the thighs they stuck her with earlier. Now, her rear complemented her legs, lump for lump. Frantic, she prayed that long skirts would come into fashion. Like that. Or big flare pants.

Then about two years ago she realized her arms had been switched. Those guys!
One morning she was fixing her hair, and she watched horrified but fascinated as the flesh of her upper arms swung to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. Folks, this is really scary.

Her body was being replaced one section at a time.
How clever and fiendish.

Age? No. Age had nothing to do with it. Age is supposed to creep up, unnoticed, something like maturity. You know. NOPE, she was being attacked repeatedly and without warning. In despair, she gave up T-shirts. Heck, her poor neck disappeared faster than the Thanksgiving turkey it now resembles.

That's why I decided to tell her story. She can't take on the medical profession by herself. We all have to help. That really isn't plastic that those surgeons are using. You KNOW where they are getting those replacement parts, don't you?

The next time you suspect someone has had a face "lifted," look again. Was it lifted from you?

BTW,my friend thinks she may have finally found her thighs... and she hopes that Cindy Crawford paid a really good price for them!

This is not a hoax. This is happening to women in every town every night. WARN YOUR FRIENDS.

P.S. I must say that last year I thought someone had stolen my breasts. I was lying in bed and they were gone! But when I jumped out of bed I was relieved to see that they had just been hiding in my armpits as I slept. Now I keep them hidden in my waistband.

I know that anyone who reads my blog knows that this is a serious issue. Have I ever lied to you? Or even exaggerated?

Monday, September 05, 2005


Happy Labor Day folks. Hope none of you have to toil today. But I imagine that it's a big honey-do day for many. Everyday is a honey-do day for me. Don't work for a living, but I have a husband, Niks, who is thirteen years older than I, so I need to do a bunch of stuff for him. Help him with his socks and shoes, button any small buttons, like that.

None of that is a problem because I love him, and because I've been married to him for all my adult life, and of course for most of my actual life. So I got The Good Years. The More-Work years don't bother me very much.

However, I'm not that crazy about his one remaining brother, who I will call Owen. 'Cause that's what everyone calls Owen. Everyone calls him Owen. I've never seen his birth certificate. That probably says Owen too. Well, doesn't say anything, you'd have to read it.

Owen is six years older than Niks. So he's now 83. I didn't like him much when he was a whole lot younger, and it's just gotten worse.

He's coming from Alaska to visit us next week. Of course we don't know exactly when. He likes to surprise folks. Once when the kids were little, Nivek came bursting into our bedroom early in the morning, all excited, "There's someone sleeping in our front yard!" he informed us.

"Probably Owen," I said. Yep. I looked down from our upstairs bedroom window, and there was a figure in a mummy-type sleeping bag on the front lawn. It was Owen. He lived in North Carolina at that time, and we live in PA. He came up on his motorcycle that time. Just droppin' in. No notice. Naturally I don't mind. You believe that, no?

He used to have his own airplane. He'd show up unannounced that way sometimes. It was always a surprise to the airport too. No flight plan. No working radio in the plane. Once he had to land in a cornfield because he had some sort of engine trouble. That guy.

I don't like to be a complaining wife. But I can play that role, and I do. Niks somehow did a lot of working late whenever Owen visited. So I got to entertain him. Fun.

Owen talks about the stock market. A lot. A WHOLE lot. Knows everything about the stock market. Except how to make money. Even when everyone else was getting rich in the market, Owen was not. Don't know how he managed that. But, still. He knows it all when it comes to the stock market. And lots of other things.

When he's here he'll be on my PC a lot, checking out the market. Hogging it up. Ah, so, some of you smart ones are saying. She's having so much trouble with her PC, but she hasn't replaced it.

Whenever Owen visits, my PC gets messed up. I don't know what he does to it, but he sure does something. So, I will not be replacing my PC until after he has come and gone again. Nope. Wouldn't be prudent. Besides, I'm that kinda girl. Just a liiiiiiittle bit spiteful.

Since daughter Acton Bell and her husband will be in Mexico during Owen's visit, I'll try to hang out at her house as much as I can. Naturally I don't know the exact day that the brother-in-law will arrive. He changes his plans on a whim. I do believe that he will arrive, sooner or later. There are some things even the great and wonderful Oz doesn't know. One of them being what Owen will do, or when he will do it.

But I do know that I'm laying my plans not to be the one stuck entertaining him all the time. Heh, heh, heh.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Road map

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

When I retired three and a half years ago, husband Niks and I set off together on trips across the country. We've toured so many wonderful places and as you can see we have been everywhere except North Dakota. (We've been everywhere that is RED on the map above.) I couldn't think of anything to see in N.D., and I didn't want to go there just to say I had "been there." But after we came back from Mt. Rushmore, etc., friends told us that we should have gone to N.D. to see the birthplace of Lawrence Welk. Oh, gee, I am SO SORRY to have missed that!

It's a beautiful place, our country. We had wonderful adventures, and met nice people in every state. I mean that. People are nice. Everywhere. Friendly, and just plain nice.

I'm glad, selfishly, that I have seen New Orleans, for example, 'cause it's not there anymore. We met a man in the French Quarter there who told Niks, "I bet I can tell you where you got your shoes. If I can tell you where you got your shoes, will you give me $5?" Niks laughed, knowing that this street person couldn't possibly know where he purchased his shoes.

"Okay," Niks said. "But I know you can't know where I bought my shoes."

"I can tell you where you got your shoes. You got them on your feet!" We're suckers. Rubes. I think it's spray-painted on our foreheads. So this guy got a little money from us. It's a good memory for us anyway.

Thanks to Hoss for the site, World 66, and to dddragon for reminding me a little of the road trips we took when gas was cheap, station wagons were big, and the kids were little.

I've had some good luck in my life.

Friday, September 02, 2005

PC woes

I'm still having major issues with my PC connections.

AOL sent a guy out to check out the problem, and he pronounced my one-month-old modem "fried." So he gave me a new one. At least I can get my e-mail, and I can lurk on blogs consistently. However, if a site has the word verification feature, I can rarely get through it to post a comment. Then again, once in a while, I can slip through.

It's sort of like talking to someone who is hard of hearing. I'll write a long comment. Try to publish it. Like that. Nope, it won't take. Then I'll try to remember what-the-heck-it-was-that-I-thought-was-worth-saying, and I type that and try to publish it. NO. Hrmpf SSOOOooooo, I type one line, and try again. SH*T no. Then I give up. Too dumb to give up sooner.

If you've ever had a relative who was hard of hearing, it's the same way. You tell them something fairly complicated. They say, "I didn't hear that." Or more likely just, "huh?" Then you tell them again, with less detail. And they still don't hear you. So you keep whittling it down until you are not really telling them anything much, like, "It's gone now!" Maybe you were originally telling them to come look at the elephant walking down your street, pulling a houseboat with a monkey and a baboon wearing a purple hat and a red tuxedo and blowing soap bubbles on the roof of the house part. But all the hard-of-hearing person gets is, "Never mind."

But, you know, that's okay. I can READ everyone's blog, and that's the good part. You guys.