****Enjoy this classic post from 2009****
I've mentioned before that my mom lives way up a holler, halfway up the side of a mountain. It's kinda out in the boonies, if you know what I mean. Anyhow, the men in my family have always had chickens and Mom has hated every one of them. She likes having fresh eggs but not the messes that they leave behind. Invariably, one always seems to get out of the hen house, scratch around in her perfectly manicured flower beds, and leave her a present on the front porch which she always steps in.
Over the past few years all of the chickens have died or disappeared. Or, maybe, they just flew the coop. Mom no longer has any chickens, and she's glad.
One morning the next door neighbor who shares part of a driveway with her, came over for a chat and mentioned his Grandma who lived up the next holler had too many chickens, and he was going to take a few and start him up an egg business. Dad always shared his eggs with the neighbors, and this fellow missed eating fresh eggs for breakfast.
Before you knew it, those chickens had multiplied faster than ants at a summer picnic.
All of this would have been fine if he had built a chicken coop to keep those birds locked up, but he didn't. They were everywhere. In Mom's flower beds, leaving messes on both the front and back porches, crowing and clucking at all hours of the day and night. There's nothing worse than chickens that work on the third shift--up all night and sleep all day.
One evening the neighbor came screaming up to her house. "Fire, Fire! My house is on fire. Call 911..."
And before you even had a chance to go outside and make the comment, "Now, that's a fire," his house had burnt down plumb to the ground. About the only thing left was an old washing tub that had belonged to this fellow's grandma.
Anyhow, I'm not sure why the neighbor never rebuilt his house. Maybe, he didn't get enough from the insurance company. But, he put up a for sale sign and took off, and left his chickens behind.
Before you knew it, they had taken up residence in Mom's recently vacated chicken house and she wasn't happy about it. "More mouths to feed," she said, "more mouths to feed."
I guess there were about 12 new chickens in the family, and over the last two years, between nesting hens, red-tailed hawks and neighborhood dogs, the numbers have fluctuated from a high of 34 chickens to the current number of 4. There was four hens and one rooster left, but, somehow, the rooster ran afoul of the local chicken hawk and ended up dead.
But, that's not where the story ends...
My brother has almost recovered from his fight with a flesh-eating virus that nearly took his leg, and his life, last fall and has been staying with Mom while he recuperates.
He's gotten a little bored and decided he wants to get in the egg business. Only one thing was missing: A rooster!
After scouring the local farms and the local paper, Brother decided on a Dominique (Dominikers) rooster who was gray and black, and just over eight-weeks-old. He shelled out five bucks for the prized cock and was now in the egg business.
Or so he thought.
That rooster is afraid of his own shadow. The first time Brother introduced him to the four hens, he freaked out. He started flapping his wings and making the most awful sound imaginable. Mom was looking out the back door watching the romancing of the hens, and before she could shut the screen door, that mini Foghorn Leghorn ran straight into the house, followed closely by Shadow the Cat, Brother, Betty the hen, who thinks she's a rooster, and Mom screaming "I'm gonna kill that bird..."
"KEVIN, GET THAT CHICKEN OUT OF THIS HOUSE NOW," yelled Mom. "You weren't raised in a barn."
After some careful maneuvering, and a little coaxing, Brother finally cornered the erratic bird perched on the side of Mom's recliner.
Of course, the rooster left Mom a black smelly present when Brother snatched him up by the legs and carried him outside, squawking the whole way. (Nasty chickens!) While I was trying to calm Mom down and clean up the chicken shit, I glanced out the door to see what Brother and the rooster were doing. Somehow, I wasn't surprised to see the chicken riding on the mower with him as he headed down to the garden to calm his nerves a bit. (You know men, they have to stick together!)
With each passing day, the new rooster began to settle in and become less afraid of himself and the hens. According to Brother, the hens were already beginning to lay eggs, and he had several orders lined up from the neighbors. (Now, if only he could get those hens to lay a golden egg or two.)
A few days ago when I went to help Mom with her yard sale, I noticed one of the rooster's feathers floating around outside. I didn't think much of it until I asked Brother where the rooster was? It's hard to describe the disappointment that flashed across his face.
"Damn chicken hawk got him, I guess. When he first got here, he was scared of everything, but he had gotten so tame, he probably thought it was a new friend or something," said my brother.
I nodded in agreement and we both shook our heads.
"That rooster was really nice, and he wasn't bothering anybody. Mom even started petting him, and now he's dead. You can't have nothin'," said my brother.
My thoughts exactly.
The nice guy usually finishes last.
Even if it is just a rooster.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Posted by Gianetta at 2:23 PM
Monday, April 16, 2018
I've missed all of you!
Most of all, I've missed the enjoyment I had writing humorous essays.
I can't remember the last time I wrote something funny?
I just got back from a visit to the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop where I was made an ERMA Ambassador this year! (I KNOW!) Fancy.
Anyhow, the workshop always has a writing competition that I submit to, so I thought I would share my losing entry here:
Clean, White Underwear
The best advice I’ve ever received is “make sure you have on clean underwear.” My mother uttered those words daily to her busy family whenever we left the house. Travelling to ball games, church functions and social activities, the mantra became so entrenched that I often preempted her farewell with a nod and a “got it” as I left the house. One afternoon before a basketball game, I’d been instructed to wear my dark uniform, but at the last moment, was directed to wear white. Moms were called and everyone’s uniform made it to tip-off, including mine, with only one small problem: I had on clean underwear, but it was bright and colorful, and glowed as bright as the midday sun.
It was eighth grade. I was embarrassed. And mortified. But it was before cell phones existed, so no evidence exists other than that now two-fold advice: “make sure you have on clean, white underwear.”
Truth be told, it is advice that I continue to carry into my fifth decade. I take pride knowing that my clean, white underwear accompanies me everywhere. I flirted with Victoria Secret when I was younger. Who doesn’t want to look sexy? On occasion. But I’ve always been more about comfort and coverage than wedges and strings.
Mom, now 80, continues to be vibrant and full of life. We travel together, share dining experiences and watch Britcoms on PBS. One day, she overheard me offer a friend, her well-worn suggestion.
“That’s good advice,” she remarked.
It is good advice, but as can happen over time, could stand to be improved upon. We were enjoying a weekend together at my place, when I went brought a load of laundry in the living room to fold. “Let me help,” said Mom.
“Sure,” I said. “Dig in.”
“You sure have a lot of drawers,” Mom said holding up the last pair of underwear. “I guess you did take my advice.”
“Sure did,” I said.
“Why so many?”
“For the last two years, every time I sneeze, laugh or cough, I leak. Now, in addition to the clean, white underwear I’m always wearing, I pack an extra pair for just such occasions.”
Silent for a moment before motioning me close. “You know they make products for when that happens,” she whispered. “But I really like your idea better.”
We spent the rest of the day laughing until time to say goodbye. “Here,” I said handing her a package.
She opened it and laughed. “Thanks!”
It was a pair of clean, white underwear in her size. “There’s one to get you started,” I said as she walked past.
“Got it,” she nodded.
I'm happy to have this first post out after a year away!
Thanks for reading!
Posted by Gianetta at 11:23 AM
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Change is good.
Change is inevitable.
For me, change occurs in glacier-like increments, inching its way along many paths searching for the path of least resistance (The only thing I like to change is my plate at the buffet line.). But once I make up my mind to do something, the resistance stops and the change occurs.
I've had a lot on my mind, recently--other than just a mop of unruly hair that is in that stage of "Should I grow it out?" or "Should I just cut the shit off again?" I've been thinking a lot about this blog and where I want it to go.
Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman started one afternoon after I returned from a routine doctor visit. I'd gained weight. A lot of it.
In case you missed it, here's the original post and the bad writing that went along with it:
May 19, 2008 was the day that I achieved something that I hoped would never apply to me. Something that in my more athletic youth that I would have harrumped and guffawed at that was totally impossible. Are you kidding me? I can imagine myself once again as a freshman in college with the world at my feet (At that I could actually see my feet with my own eyes without having to use a full-length mirror). Everything was shiny, happy people as R.E.M would say. I was full of it. Full of promise. Full of potential. Full of everything. What did I achieve?
As you can tell from the name of my blog, certain issues have crept into my life that I am having difficulty in accepting. I won't go into anymore details at this time but I hope over the course of this adventure that I can inspire you, make you laugh, and even shed a tear or two as I begin to accept my life as a middle-aged fat woman.
Since turning 50 several weeks ago, the reality of being middle-aged has sunk in--there's an almost zero chance of me living to 100 unless I have an identical, healthy twin in some other universe. Reaching 85 is my goal and if time goes as swiftly as the last ten years of writing in this blog has then I better get moving because it seems like just last week.
I want to be known as someone else. Maybe, just Gianetta Palmer!
And then there's the rest of the title: fat woman. I've always poked fun at myself and most of the people that I have come into contact with either laugh nervously about the title and say "Yep, that's me!" or "That's hysterical!" and a few that whisper and say "You shouldn't pick on yourself like that."
I always thought "It's my blog and I'll call it what I want to."
It's fine, really. Or is it?
Last summer, I stopped and started several medications and by my birthday had gained 35 pounds. THAT wasn't fine. In fact, it bothered the shit out of me. Suddenly, I was tired of being a middle-aged fat woman and I've made up my mind to do something about it and not talk about it.
That's where Friend comes in. She's always picked out interesting gifts for me: one year I got a water hose and another year I got an ice cream maker. This year she asked if I wanted a subscription to join Weight Watchers and I said yes. (Practical gifts are always the best in my book.)
I started my journey 12 days ago. I want to lose a 100 pounds and I intend to write about it. Just not here. I'm going to start writing regularly at my other website: www.gianettapalmer.com.
Here's where the moving on part begins: I'll no longer be writing at this website. This will be the last post. My books will still be available and I'm not deleting this blog because I'm proud of the words I've written and the topics we've discussed.
It's been fun and I want to thank each of you that have dropped by for a laugh and kept coming back for more. I really, really appreciate it. It's been an incredible journey.
One last thing before I go: Even though the MAFW is stepping aside, her humor isn't and neither is her love of writing.
Thanks, again and keep on laughing!
P.S. Mom says bye and to be sure and check us out at the new site....
Posted by Gianetta at 9:56 PM
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Sunday, April 2, 2017
One of the first friends that I made when I started blogging was Joe, otherwise known as Crotchety Old Man Yells At Cars. Back in the day, circa 2008, blogging was a relatively new thing, and humor blogs were extremely hard to find. After an Internet search one day, I stumbled across a website called Humorblogs.com and if you wrote humor this was the site you wanted to be a part of.
It took me a few weeks of reading the various other blogs before I left a comment on Crotchety's "Caption This" contest. It was usually an odd picture of some kind and whomever left the best caption won a few Entrecard credits (that used to be the big thing) and the coveted zucchini award (which was very stylish). It was all in good fun.
Crotchety Old Man had another blog, too, and that was Diabetes Destroys. I think that was one of the reasons that we connected so well and that was our shared opinion on Diabetes. It does destroy and it had wrecked havoc on Joe for many years. At one point he spent almost an entire year in the hospital and still tried to keep up his blog. When he felt well, his posts were frequent and you always knew when he wasn't feeling up to par because it could be weeks or months before he would post again. But he always came back.
Joe stopped blogging a few years ago but we stayed in touch. We spoke on the phone a few times a year and I always called him on his birthday which is April Fool's Day. I thought he was joking with me when he told me that the first time but he wasn't.
I had lost his phone number and did a search online hoping to come across it but I found something that I wasn't prepared for: his obituary. He had passed away in October 2014.
I hadn't known and it was very upsetting to me.
A phone number was listed but I didn't know what to do so I called it anyway. I thought it might be disconnected. A female voice answered and I asked for Joe. She asked who was calling and I told her and she told me the terrible news.
Nicole, if you ever read this, I just want you to know that your father was a very funny guy and loved by many in the blogging world. I know he went through a lot but he was always positive and I'm glad I got to be friends and share a few laughs with him along the way.
He will not be forgotten.
Lastly, and this is for you, Joe: I really believe the Yankees are going to win it all this year. Go Yanks!
Saturday, April 1, 2017
"I don't know that woman, and I am not running some sort of scam. Why do you let people walk away without paying for their stuff? You better call security. Where did she go? She's gonna get away with it if we don't go find her. Come on, let's see if she is still in the parking lot."
At that moment, the cashier, the security guard, the manager and myself went running outside to see if the lady was still in the parking lot. As we looked over the parking lot the Walmart employees began to look at me suspiciously. They thought I was a part of this lady's scam. All I had been doing was being nice--lending a sympathetic ear. I had been taught to be polite to my elders, and now, I might end up in jail.
I really didn't want to go to jail. I know they provide three hots and a cot but I got this thing about confined places. They make me a little edgy. I was surveying the parking lot and there putting the last of her bags into the trunk of her 2013 Cadillac SRX was that nice old lady that was trying to stick me with her grocery bill. The nerve of that woman--telling me such a sob story about her finances, her handicapped son and paying a thousand dollar a month for insurance premiums.
I pointed to her car and all of us went running over to where she was parked. "Lady, what are you doing? What are you trying to pull? You almost got me arrested for shoplifting. I've never seen you before today. I didn't want you to think I was being rude, so, I listened while you went on and on about all of your troubles, and here you are driving a Cadillac. Would you kindly tell me and the others here what kind of scam you are trying to pull?"
At that, the lady took one look at the cashier, the manager and the security guard and her shoulders just slumped in surrender. She looked past them and began to shuffle her feet as she fought for the words to explain this situation. "I bet you're wondering what this is all about," she said.
We all nodded our heads in unison and waited patiently for the answer. "All of that stuff I told you in the store...about my finances, raising my kids, losing everything I had because of those high insurance rates...Well, I was just pulling your leg just like I'm pulling yours now.
I told this story last year and I liked it so much, I told it again, with a few updates!
Happy April's Fool Day!
Thursday, March 30, 2017
I had to go to Walmart the other day to pick up a few things I needed and took my cart over to the checkout lanes when I finished. Of course, all of the lines were extremely long so I just settled into line behind a little old lady that closely resembled my late Granny.
"Oh, my goodness!" she exclaimed. "I don't know how these people can get away with charging three dollars for a loaf of bread. I'm just a little old lady on a fixed income and I can't afford these prices. I stayed at home my whole life caring for my husband and my children only to be left nearly penniless by some fat cat insurance company in New York. Health Care reform, I think that's what they are calling it. A thousand dollars a month for health insurance, who would pay that? I was hoping to have an easier time in my Golden Years and now I can barely afford food for me and my handicapped son. I had to leave him out in the car because I upset him when I get to complaining about these prices. I don't mean to, but I'm doing the best I can."
"I'm sorry to hear that," I said. I felt sorry for the lady, I really did. Times are tough all over. I knew exactly how that lady felt about those astronomical premiums, I've been paying them myself.
It was finally her turn to begin placing her items up on the register belt and she began talking to the cashier and pointing to me in a friendly manner. I wasn't really paying attention to what they were talking about. I had just discovered a copy of The Global Wacko News that had Tim Ruse on the cover saying that he was the reincarnation of Lon R Cupboard and was trying to convert the world into his new class of Cosmetology that would be opening new centers worldwide whenever he had another hit movie and earned enough money to do so. (Good luck with that.)
The little old lady kept gesturing and smiling at me. I didn't want to be rude so I gave a little half-smile and nodded in agreement to whatever they were so animated about. You know what I'm talking about. When somebody tells a joke and you laugh along anyway even though you don't get it.
By now, there was enough space on the belt for me to begin placing my purchases alongside the lady's items. My first item was a huge 16-roll pack of toilet paper that was on sale and it separated my things from hers. It also separated me from her as she gave another wave and headed out the door.
"That was awfully nice of you," said the cashier. "Your Great Aunt said you was going to pay for her groceries. That will be $88.32."