Monday, February 11, 2019

Got Pickles?...Part One

****Author's note****

This is a new story! I can't believe it, either. It's been ages since I've written here, but I felt this is one story that needs to be told and not shared in a Facebook post. It's a multi-parter, so be sure to check back for part two.

Here's the essay:

Do you have an iron stomach? Is your intestinal fortitude stronger than Fort Knox? How about expiration dates? Do they mean anything to you? In my family, we have a running argument about dates, and most of the time it's 3-1 against me.

I was hanging out at Mom's house (she says hi in case you don't remember her since it's been so long since I've written on this blog) for the weekend when she pulled out the daughter-do-list. It was a short list because neither of us likes to do chores any more than necessary.

The main task on the list was to remove the canned goods from the top shelf in the pantry, which is located under the stairs while standing on the second step of the stepstool. Mom produced the stepladder and placed it right in the way of where I was going to be standing.

Me: "I don't need the stepstool."

Mom: "Why not?"

Me: "Because I can reach the top shelf."

Mom: "Yes, you do. I can't reach the top shelf without the stepstool."

Me: "That's fine, but I'm taller than you and it's just in the way."

Mom: "You don't need the ladder?"

Me: "Can you just move it out of the way, please?"

Mom: "Watch it! Don't you get smart with me?"

Mom moved the stepstool out of the way and I walked into the pantry and started handing her the canned goods, which were covered in dust and marked with dates from the last millennium.

"This is from 1998," I said handing her a pint jar filled with amber-colored mystery matter.

"Oh, let me see," she said. "Those are cinnamon pickles I canned from your Dad's garden. Wow! I didn't know they were still up there."

After my father passed away in 2002, Mom decided to remodel most of her five-room house. Over the next few years, she enclosed the carport, gained an upstairs, a bathroom, and a new kitchen. The highlight: the carport is now a greatroom the length of the house and has 18-feet ceilings.

Somehow, the long-forgotten canned goods had made the trip into the next century to be forgotten again, only to be discovered again and then be disposed of so the jars could be put back into the canning rotation. Or something like that.

"I bet these are still good," Mom said....

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

It's My Lucky Day...Year XI

****It's the eleventh time around for the post. Can you believe it? How will I top anything I've done in the past?

That's easy: I'm writing something on this blog! It's a start, isn't it? I thought I would be posting more regularly, but I haven't. I don't know why---maybe, this is the beginning of a new cycle? It could happen, right? What better way to get started than to start something on my lucky day!

****It's the ninth time around for this post! Can you believe it? I don't know how I am going to top last year's concert to see Joan Jett, but I'm sure I will think of something. Maybe, a big bowl of mashed potatoes and some scratch-off lottery tickets will be just what I need. You can't go wrong with mashed potatoes and I just know that it is my destiny to find the winning one million dollar ticket. I am absolutely sure this is going to be my luckiest day ever!

****It's the eighth time around for this post! Can you believe it? What's really fun is that I am going to see Joan Jett & the Blackhearts at Harrah's Casino. I just know those slot machines will be spinning in my favor.

****It's the seventh 7! time around for this post. LUCKY NUMBER 7! This is it! This is the year I've been waiting for. Seven will be my lucky number. I think I'll buy a bunch of lottery tickets that all have the number seven on them. I just know that this will be my luckiest day ever.

****It's the sixth time around for this post. It's hard to believe I have been blogging for this long. I am absolutely positive that this is going to be my luckiest day ever. I sure have changed a lot in the last year. I'm not really a middle-aged fat woman any more. I'm still middle-aged but not nearly as big as I once was. (I'll wait while you tell me Congratulations!) Anyhow, I'll let you know how it all turns out.

****It's the fifth time around for this post. I'm incredibly excited about the whole month of August this year, not just my lucky day. Super things are happening for me right now so I just know this will be my luckiest day ever!

****It's the fourth time around for this post. I don't even remember what happened last year but I just know that today is my lucky day and the Pythagoreans believed that four was a perfect number. A perfect number for a perfect day!

****It's the third time around for this post. I just know that this will be the luckiest day of the year...Third time's a charm, right?

****This was what I posted last year on my lucky day. It didn't turn out as lucky as I would have wanted. So, I'm giving it another whirl. Maybe, better luck this year...year two!

Today, August 22, is the luckiest day of the year for me. If something exciting is supposed to happen, it usually happens on this day. I can't remember the specific events (okay, maybe I can, but a girl has to have some secrets) but I do know that it was on this date. I do remember that I got my wisdom teeth pulled on this date in 1989. I know that wasn't lucky but I did get to eat mashed potatoes for every meal for a few days. And luckily, my favorite food is mashed potatoes.

I think I am going to try my lucky numbers on the lottery this evening. The problem is that I have to pick five numbers and I only have two: Eight for August and twenty-two for the twenty-second. That means that I will only get two out of five numbers and you don't win anything with just two correct. But, since it is my lucky day, I might get the other three numbers as well. I'm a winner and I didn't even know it.

Now, what am I going to do with all that cash?

Thursday, May 3, 2018


****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.

Damn chickens!

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.

Instant chickens!

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.

Monday, April 16, 2018

I'm Back...And I'm Wearing Clean, White Underwear


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.”

Lesson learned.

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.

Lesson learned.

I'm happy to have this first post out after a year away!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Moving On

Dear friends:

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:

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!


Gianetta Palmer

P.S. Mom says bye and to be sure and check us out at the new site....

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's My Birthday!

It's my birthday!

Don't forget to send me a card!
Buy my book!

Or you can leave a comment!
Why not do all three?

Anyhow, I'll have an extra slice of cake, just for you!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Crotchety Old Man Yells At Cars...We Remember You...Year III

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 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!


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