Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End Closeouts

I thought I would closeout the year on a positive note and reflect on some of the things that I accomplished this year.


*****Please listen to the Jeopardy theme music playing while I rack my brain trying to remember something, anything!


Okay, I guess my 30 seconds are up.


What is...?


Oh well, I didn't have any money left from Christmas to wager anyhows. But hey, there's always next year.

Lastly, thanks for reading about the MA Fat Woman! The cat was tired of hearing all of my stories and said I needed a new audience...at least I don't have to rub your belly to get you to listen :) :) :0)

MA Fat Woman

Friday, December 26, 2008

Temporarily Away

The MA Fat Woman has taken some time off to spend with her family. I do know that she had to return most of the gifts that she didn't pick out for herself. She should be back sooner, not later or whenever her family gets tired of being around her.

Signed,
MA Fat Woman's Mom

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Traditions

Some of my fondest memories around the holidays occurred on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t the actual event that was so much fun but the preparations up to that special day.

My Dad would always help in the decorating of the living room. There are certain decorations that had to go in a specific spot each year. We always had red and green crepe paper chains that ran across the ceiling of the living room. We would take branches from the bottom of the Christmas tree and place them on the mantel above the fireplace. We had a fabulously colored gold and shiny tinsel looking thing that hung from one of the doorways.

My job on Christmas Eve was to always set out the different food-laden bowls in the living room. We always had a bowl with various nuts, mainly walnuts. We had a specific bowl for the fruit, mainly navel oranges that we ordered from the FFA each year. And you can’t forget about the cheese plate. (Which was my favorite)

Both sets of my grandparents would come to my house each year for Christmas Eve dinner. My dad’s mom and my step-grandfather, both affectionately known as Mamaw and Papaw, as well as my mom’s mother and her brother, also known affectionately as Granny and Uncle Tommy. You needed to make sure you called Mamaw “mamaw” and Granny “granny”, or they’d let you know about it.

We would have a very big meal and then get to open our presents from our grandparents. I always knew what I was getting. Mamaw gave up buying us presents when we were really young. Instead, we were given money to go buy ourselves a present, which you had to wrap and then open in front of Mamaw.

Granny had so many grandchildren that all she could afford was usually a dollar bill and a pair of socks. I didn’t mind because I always knew that I would get a new pair of dress socks for Christmas.

Christmas Eve also meant something else too. That night the furnace got turned up to almost 80. Both grandparents were extremely cold-natured and we would have the fireplace going full blast and the furnace wide open. I loved it! I swear that was the coldest house I have ever lived in. The furnace had two vents—one into the living room and the other into mom and dad’s bedroom. There was an exhaust pipe that ran up through the ceiling and on out to the outside. The pipe was right beside my bed and I would hug it (it was warm) before I burrowed into my bed covered with about 15 quilts and blankets.

It seemed we were in bed relatively early and we tried to stay awake so we could monitor the comings and goings of the busy bees downstairs as they readied the living room for Christmas morning. I’m not sure what time they got to bed but everything was always perfect.
Our Christmas Eve dinners were always a lot of fun and something that we looked forward to. Sadly, several of the key players are no longer with us and they are deeply missed. We have a new tradition for Christmas Eve that we started after we lost Dad. I’m not sure why, but now we always go out for Chinese food.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rudd Christmas Farm

A holiday tradition that many people in southern Ohio enjoyed throughout the years was a visit to see the lights. Actually, it was called Rudd Christmas Farm and it featured almost a million lights by the time it closed in 1999. The light display was nestled in the hills of southern Ohio near the Shawnee National Forest in a town called Blue Creek.

I knew Blue Creek because that's where my Granny and Uncle Tommy lived. Each year after Thanksgiving Mr. Rudd would flip the switch and the twinkling lights would fill the nighttime sky with a dazzling display of electric sunshine. If you were looking for plastic Santa Clauses or mechanized Frosty the Snowmans then this light display wasn't for you. Rudd Christmas Farm celebrated the true meaning of Christmas, which was the birth of Jesus. Some years he would have live animals on display and a manger scene was usually set up in the barn.

We usually went to see the lights on Christmas night. We had spent the day at Granny's house--eating and running down all of the batteries in our new toys. As darkness began to close in it was time to load up in her truck and drive over to see this year's display. I don't know how we managed but we always seemed to fit 23 people in Granny's truck, plus a wheelchair.

The drive to see the lights was an adventure by itself. It was a couple miles back a curvy road with a large stream on one side and a big drop off down into a gully on the other. Throw in some icy weather and a couple tour buses and you got yourself a happening situation.

Once we unloaded and made our way through the display it was time to meet Mr. Rudd. Both Mr Rudd and my Granny had had large families. He didn't know who you specifically belonged to, but he knew you were one of Margaret's kids' kids. Greetings were exchanged and Christmas carols were sang with full-bellied gusto. It was a good time.

I guess the event that stands out the most about my visits to Rudd Christmas Farm was the year he did something special for my family. Due to horrible weather and a death in the family we were unable to view the lights on Christmas night. We had several family members that didn't make it to Granny's house until well up into January. Granny placed a phone call and asked if Mr Rudd might turn on the lights for a few minutes so we could witness the majesty of his display. Not a problem, he told my grandmother, come on over. Now, that's the true meaning of Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Conversations

Since Thanksgiving was so late this year my family and many others, I'm sure, have been playing catch up for the past several weeks. The following is actual dialogue between my family members on various subjects.

MA Fat Woman: "You got your tree yet"?
Mom: "No, it's too early yet".
MA Fat Woman: "It's December 21. How much later are you going to wait?"
Mom: "It's been raining. I can't very well get a tree in the rain, can I? Besides, I called a guy and he said he would deliver it to me".
MAFW: "I didn't know that Christmas tree farms delivered?"
Mom: "Listen here young lady! Don't you get smart with me".

Sister: "What did you get Mom for Christmas?"
MAFW: "Nothing yet. She already has everything she could possibly want or need. What did you get her?"

Brother: "What does Mom want for Christmas?"
Sister: "I don't know. MAFW was supposed to do some hinting around and find out".

MAFW: "What would you like for Christmas this year?"
Mom: "Well, I've been through so many Christmases that I already have everything that I could possibly need".

Brother: "Did you find out what Mom wanted for Christmas?"
MAFW: "She said she had been through so many Christmases that she had everything that she could possibly want or need".
Brother: "That's helpful"!
Sister: "Ask her again".

MAFW: "Have you bought the turkey yet"?
Mom: "I don't think I want turkey this year. I might want to get a ham".
MAFW: "Why do you want ham?"
Mom: "I just want to try something a little different this year".

MAFW: "Mom wants to have ham for Christmas this year. She wants to try something different".
Brother & Sister: "Is she sick? What's going on? You're supposed to find out what she wants for Christmas and now you tell us she wants ham instead of turkey. Do we need to come earlier than expected?"

MAFW: Mom, Brother & Sister want to know if they need to come sooner for Christmas"?
Mom: "Lord, heavens what for"?
MAFW: "To see if you need any help getting the tree and buying the ham".
Mom: "You kids need to worry about your own problems, not mine. I've already got the tree up and decorated and I bought a turkey and a ham. See you on Christmas Eve"!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Minor Details

Sometimes with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays small things can get over looked. I misplaced my electric bill under a pile of miscellaneous scraps of wrapping paper and had to pay a 30 dollar late fee. (No holiday spirit there)

I have been overlooking the fact that I have gained about 10 pounds since Thanksgiving.

Another minor detail that I seem to have overlooked is my credit card limit. Every time I go shopping and swipe the card it comes back approved. (I guess I'll deal with that in January)

I'm a little disappointed with the amount of Christmas cards that I have received this year. Only six so far.

I went to the mailbox and was excited that I had received a card from Mom. Good ole' mom--you can always count on your mom to keep those holiday traditions alive. I ripped the envelope open and pulled out the beautiful card inside. It was lovely...a wonderful holiday scene with carolers and horse-driven sleighs. As I turned it around several times looking to see what personal message she had written on the inside I became a little confused. There wasn't any message at all; in fact, she hadn't even signed the card.

Needless to say, I called her right away to point out the fact of the unsigned card. Her response: You knew who it was from, didn't you? What's it matter if I signed it or not. I've been busy baking and stuff, so, I forgot a minor detail. Be thankful you got a card at all, what with the price of stamps and all. I don't know why they keep raising the price of stamps...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sleigh Riding On Cherry Fork Road

One of the activities that I miss the most since I grew up and moved south is going sleigh riding. I’ve mentioned before that I grew up on a farm in southern Ohio. We had two driveways, one that led up to the house of course, and the other that led up to the barn. Our house and barn were located on the top of a small hill with a gradual incline down to the road. Whether going to the left or to the right out of the driveways you immediately had to start going uphill. I think you get the picture.

Anyhow, when we were younger, nothing gave my siblings and me more countless hours of enjoyment than an old boring piece of plastic. The neighborhood kids would always come to our house because we lived on top of a hill. Plus, our parents were usually at work. Riding the piece of plastic down the hill was especially dangerous. There was a fence at the bottom that separated the field from the creek. But, there was a couple of bumps near the bottom of the hill that if you hit them just right you could go flying over the fence and into the creek. This amazing feat happened to the MA Fat Woman on more than one occasion and was always accompanied by shouts of “AIRBORNE” from the barnyard animals and visiting neighborhood children. Most times though, we just plowed into the fence at the bottom and hoped the barbed wire wouldn’t cut us as we disengaged ourselves from the fence. Honestly, I shredded my fair share of mittens to say the least and I do have a couple of faint scars from barbed wire puncture wounds.

As I grew older, the allure of Cherry Fork Road began to call. For Christmas that year, I had gotten a real sled, the kind on metal gliders that could be steered by hand. Oh, my goodness, it was a beauty. The directions told me to use wax and rub the blades until you could see your reflection in them. The better the blades were waxed, the faster the sled would go. That’s what the instructions said anyway. Now, all I needed was some snow.

It finally snowed enough sometime late in January to give the new sled a test run. There are several ways to ride the classic flyer sled. You can sit down on it and have others give you a push. If you are a little adventuresome, you can lie down and have others help you out by giving you a shove. But, the best way to get going is to get a running start, jump on it and then hold on for dear life. On more than one occasion, I landed with a thud as the sled darted out from under me or I ran into the ditch because I couldn’t steer it properly.

Everyone was having loads of fun with the new sled until the day we almost got run over by the snow plow. After that, no more riding on the road. We tried to ride down the hill in the field but the blades always got stuck in the high grass. One day, my little friend, who was considerably younger and smaller than me was complaining because we couldn’t ride the sled any longer. Suddenly, I had an idea. I would lie down on the sled first and then my friend would get on my back facing the opposite direction to watch for cars. It was brilliant! Dad didn’t think so. He thought we were just being annoying. No riding the sled on the road; it was too dangerous. After huddling for a few days, we came up with a slightly better version of our plan. We would do everything just the same, except for the time of day. We were going to go sleigh riding at night. We took the new plan to Dad who thought we were both nuts. He approved it and we made plans for the next evening.

It was a clear cold night. The waxing moon gave us just enough light to see where we were going. I got on the sled first and then my friend piled on top facing the opposite direction. We checked for cars and then shoved off. The sled took off and down we went screaming and laughing the whole way. We made it halfway up the next hill and we both jumped up and ran the rest of the way up the hill. I don’t know how long we rode the sled that night on Cherry Fork Road but mom had to come out and get us. I do remember it being a lot of fun and we rode the sled that way for several years.

Riding a sled, in the dark, on Cherry Fork Road is one of my favorite memories from life on the farm. With the recent weather the north is having, it might just be the time to find that old flyer and soap up the blades. It’s been 30 years since I have been on a sled; I bet I could teach my niece a thing or two.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Caught Off Guard

I was out an about on one of my undercover assignments today. During the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season many folks tend to get a little grumpy and irritable. Not me! Have you been stopped at a light before or just travelling down the road and you notice someone in another car singing or dancing? Well, that someone is me.

I don't really understand why I am in such a good mood. Must be the fact that I know I am getting some decent things for Christmas; seeing as how I picked them out.

I was riding along today and spent so much time rubbernecking at something that I almost ran off the road. It was a lightly wooded pasture filled with llamas and goats. I was somewhere between Deck the Halls and Jingle Bell Rock when I saw the first group of goats. This isn't unusual, but, I saw another bunch with a taller animal, then a third and I couldn't figure out what it was until I read the sign: Alexander's Llamas and Billie Goats. I don't know why that tickled me so much. I must have laughed for half an hour or so.

Something else happened that caught me totally off guard. I had stopped at the grocery store on the way home and was loading my groceries in the trunk of the car and was getting ready to return my cart. A guy walking past with his empty cart grabbed mine and said he'd take care of it for me. I was too stunned to object. I mumbled a "thanks" and continued shaking my head as I got into the car. Somebody had done something nice for someone without wanting anything in return. (Like my number) And he didn't ask for a tip.

Llamas, Billie Goats and a nice gesture. All great ways to be caught off guard!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Day Of Wrapping

I spent seven hours, twenty-six minutes and thirteen seconds wrapping Christmas presents today.

I wrapped 58 gifts.

I had bought myself a couple of items and I wrapped them up too. I'll take them over to my mom's house to open up Christmas morning. She's always amazed at the things she gets me; I always seem to like certain presents more than others.

I was pleased that I got everything wrapped in one day. My sister, was on day 7 of wrapping. She has to have a stool to keep herself propped up so she doesn't pass out on the wrapping table.

My seen from the recliner has improved significantly. I do have the lights strung up and one or two ornaments. The cat has eaten all of the pine needles that his little tummy can handle. I've got more presents on one side of the tree to hold it down. It's leaning a little to the right.

I've spent a day wrapping presents and that can only mean one thing: I am through with my Christmas shopping!

Now, it's time to start baking.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rediscovering Potholes

I am happy to say that I am off the roads from my recent visit back up north. I love visiting, I really do; but, it's that pesky return drive that always gets me. I'll tell you something else that almost got me. Potholes. I had forgotten how big and bad the potholes are up there.

My sister was shopping like she normally does and dragged me along with her. I guess there was a sale going on at a particular store and you had to be the sixteenth person in line at approximately 9:30 AM on a particular day to get 3% off your fourth item purchased. We were running a bit late and she decided to take a back road behind the south corner of the old strip mall close to her house.

I'm not even sure if it was a road or not. We hit every pothole that we could and couldn't see. We hit one hole and the coffee in my cup bounced up and I was able to catch it on the bounce back up from the next pothole. By the time we made it to the store I had a burn on my neck from the seatbelt holding me in place and a very sore tongue that I had bitten somewhere back amongst the potholes.

I was a little grumpy by this time. I'm not much of a shopper. My sister just rolled her eyes at me as I started explaining the virtues of living somewhere where potholes are hard to find. As we stood in line waiting for the store to open I asked what item she had been in such a hurry to get that we had to travel through all of those potholes.

"Your Christmas present", she said.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Concerts

I've taken a few days off to travel north into the frigid wastelands of southern Ohio to watch my niece perform in her Christmas school concerts.

At least I thought it was supposed to be a Christmas concert?

I watched the junior high chorus perform several selections, none of which I have ever heard before.

Next, the junior high orchestra performed several melodious tunes that had my sister and I tapping our toes and clapping our hands in unison. You're right, we had never heard of any of those "holiday" selections.

When I was in the band and the chorus we played Christmas songs at the Christmas Concert. We played Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, and of course, ended the program with all singing together We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

When the conductor had the orchestra take its final bows I stood up ready to sing my favorite Christmas carol. I was the only one standing and my niece turned to look at me with a look of pure terror on her face as I began the opening verse of We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Everyone turned to look at me and then my sister joined in as we headed into the main chorus. Before you knew it, the whole auditorium joined in and we sang ourselves out of the room. I heard many saying what a good way to end the program. My niece spent the next fifteen minutes explaining that the crazy lady that started the Christmas carol was her Aunt MA Fat Woman from Georgia and that's how they do things in the south.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Seen From The Recliner

I’ve done some remodeling around the house lately. It’s not really remodeling, but a moving of stuff from one junk room to the other. As you know I got my Christmas tree recently and it needed to have its own corner of the living room. I was tired of not being able to see my tree from my recliner so I moved my computer desk and all of its associated printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, photo printer and ipod docking station into a storage unit for the Christmas Holiday Season. Why do I have all of that junk anyway? I don’t use most of it anyway. I guess I have been keeping up with to many Joneses.

Anyhow, after much exertion, and rolling up of cables and cords I got everything packed away. I now had a nice empty corner nook for my sparkling new tree. I had to cut the base of the tree as well as several surrounding lower branches off to get it to fit into the Christmas tree stand. My friend helped me to wrestle it upright and we both stepped backed to see if it was crooked or not. Over it went. It was crooked and lopsided. We pushed and pulled, turned it this way, then turned it around and finally decided to just take it inside and set it up. I had plenty of fishing line to tie it to the nail on the wall to ensure that it was perfectly straight.

And there it sets. It’s about 8 feet high and there are no branches below 2 feet. This helps to keep the cat from getting to the tree. The cat likes to eat pine needles and has thrown up six times. Whilst maneuvering the tree into the house I threw my back out and haven’t moved from my recliner since. There are no decorations on it—they’re upstairs in the attic. It needs to be watered. (The cat tried to pee on it, but, I don’t think that counts.) I keep hearing noises coming from the tree. Might be a bird? Could be a squirrel? No, I know what it is. It’s that little boy and his family that I didn’t let have the tree mocking me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

O' Christmas Tree

I’ve been going to the same Christmas tree farm for the last fifty years. We're not related but I’ve been such a regular customer that the proprietor of said farm lets me drive the John Deere tractor and wagon to haul my tree in after I have made my selection. For all of you city dwellers that think a Christmas tree farm is something set up on a vacant lot somewhere with a string of lights and overpriced Charlie Brown cedar bushes you’re wrong.

An authentic tree farm is where the trees are still in the ground and you take an axe and cut down the tree of your choice. Now, before the tree-huggers start pelting me with bits of holiday fruitcake about the damage that I am causing the environment by chopping down a tree, let it be said that I recycle my tree every year. I take my used tree and drop it in my friend’s lake to give the fish some added protective habitat. I’m been doing that for about five years and I haven’t caught a fish out of that lake since. I usually lose my line several times, probably on one of those dang trees.

When I went to get my tree this year I thought I was at the mall. The owner of the farm saw me pull in and waved me over to the John Deere. “Can’t talk now,” he said. “This place is jumping.”

He was right. I counted at least 4 pickups, 3 minivans, 2 SUVs, and a brightly colored red mustang.

I get the same kind of tree every year. My favorite has always been a white pine. There are several rules when choosing a tree. You have to walk through the entire field, up and down the rows, checking out each tree. I never choose one in the middle. It’s either all the way down at the other end of the field or it’s the very first one I see. In years past, I would take the handsaw and cut it down myself. Something has happened over the years, if I get down on the ground I can’t get back up. No problem, the owner will cut it for me, load it into the wagon, and then let me drive it back to the car.

The field was crowded with folks searching for just the perfect tree. A lot of people had already been there; the selection of white pines wasn’t as good as in past years. I had narrowed my choice down to 3 different trees and was trying to decide. I was on the opposite side of the field when an older lady and gentleman sidled up to one of the trees that I was considering. Before I could take one step in that direction, that old man had dropped to his knees and started cutting down my tree. I turned to look toward the other tree that I had been considering and it was gone too. I guess I was going to take the one closest to my car, the very first tree that I had looked at. I started to walk away from my chosen one when I heard something from behind me. It was a little boy that was standing excitedly beside my tree exclaiming that that was the tree he wanted.

He didn’t get it. I caught the eye of the owner of the farm and he walked over and asked if I had made my selection. I pointed to my Christmas tree and he chopped it down. The little boy was standing there as his parents walked up to a freshly cut tree stump. They looked at me and I looked at them and then we all looked at the owner of the Christmas tree farm who said this: “Sorry folks, you’re too late; my niece has been watching this tree grow for the past five years.”

He looked at me, gave me a wink, and proceeded to carry my new Christmas tree over to my car. Sometimes, it helps to know the owner.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Early Appointments

I went back to the doctor this week. I was only two months past my already past due appointment by about four months. We've already been over the routine that I go through in a past article; but for the newbies, check out July, I think that's where it is. Anyhow, I was back to see the particular doctor that was probably a teacher in a past life because she hands out gold stars if you’ve been doing what you’re supposed to do. I got a gold star which is a good thing.

I like to schedule my appointments early in the day. Not the very first appointment, because at 8:00 AM, I’m not really functioning that well. I like to be awake before the poking and prodding begins. Also, the doctors seem to be a little sluggish at that time. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be wearing that paper gown and hear or see somebody yawn. It might hurt my feelings. After all, you’re sitting there with your business out for everyone to see and people are yawning at you. It might not be that impressive but it ain’t that bad either. I’ve ‘bout worked myself into a fit just thinking about it.

Another important fact about early appointments is that you usually get to spend more time with the doctor than the later scheduled ones. The closer to noon or quitting time usually results in visits of ten minutes or less. Of course, that could be a good thing if you don’t like to go to the doctor.

I don’t particularly like going to the doctor, but it’s a necessary evil. Where else can you do what you are supposed to be doing and get a gold star?

Now, if she would only start awarding monetary prizes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ready Made Excuses

Awhile back I mentioned that I don't like to deal with credit card companies over the phone because it's never easy to get them off the phone. Mainly, if you have to call to activate a new card, you always get transferred to a customer service representative halfway across the world that tries to add some sort of protection against fraud or rude sales clerks. (Which might come in handy)

Anyhow, several years ago I received one of those satellite radios for my birthday and a one year subscription was included. That first year ended and I have been paying for it by the year ever since. It was interesting and has a lot of good music on it but my system is kind of bulky and I don't really have any space available for it to be utilized on a daily basis. In fact, I haven't listened to it in about six months. I wanted to cancel the subscription sooner but I couldn't find my paperwork. Plus, I hate dealing with those people on the phone.

Yesterday, I received an email from the company and it had my account number and a phone number to call for customer care. (Bingo!) They were just letting me know that my credit card was going to be billed in a few weeks and thanks for being a subscriber. (Not anymore)

I've cancelled several services and subscriptions over the years and have come up with a ready made excuse that stops the person on the other end of the phone in their tracks. What is it? The MA Fat Woman tells them that she's getting married. By my calculations, I've been married about 12 times.

Of course, the person from the company will tell you that you can take your service with you when you get married. I got an answer for that too! Tell them that your new spouse already has the service and you don't need two. So, the next time you have to cancel something try that excuse, it works for me every time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

It was relatively warm yesterday but the weatherman said that a massive cold front was approaching and might bring some wintry precipitation to my locality.

Have they all gone nuts?

Schools were closed.

My trip to the grocery store almost resulted in WW III. I had to wrestle a crotchety old man for the last loaf of bread and pry a gallon of milk loose from the grip of a screaming mother with 4-year old triplets.

I had to visit my doctor today(Which is another story)and was sitting in one of those small waiting areas when the lady beside me struck up a conversation. As most idle conversations tend to do the topic of the weather was mentioned. That little old lady said she almost didn't come out because of all the snow she had at her house. It turns out she lives about six blocks from me and she had about two inches of snow. I think I might have seen, maybe, two snowflakes. It's all in the eyes of the beholder, I guess.

Anyhow, that's what we do in the South. One snowflake can add up to one foot if you talk to the right person. The news crews will come up from Atlanta and put any moron they can find on TV and let them cuss and discuss the potential danger they could face while driving on ice.

Well, duh.

When we do get any real wintry weather it's usually ice and it has normally melted by the next day.

The funny part of all of this is that I have become used to this tradition of running to the store for bread and milk. I watch the Weather Channel for the special weather advisories and I watch the morons on the local news looking to see if I know any of them.

Winter weather doesn't happen very often in the south but when it does it is here today and gone tomorrow.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Holiday Check In

It's a few hours before the meal and I'm already stuffed. No, I'm not the turkey. I almost had a major meltdown earlier over the deviled eggs. You wouldn't think that it would be that hard to boil eggs and then peel the shells but somewhere there was a major breakdown in this process. The shells would not come off the eggs and I had to take a butter knife and chip the shells off. This process resulted in four different opinions as to why the shells would not come off more easily.

Mom says that the eggs were too fresh and that was the reason the shells were difficult to remove.

Sister says the eggs needed to be at room temperature before they were boiled.

Niece says the eggs probably came from the chickens outside and have been buried out behind the outhouse for the last few years.

The MA Fat Woman didn't say anything but just kept swearing under her breath.

Brother says the eggs weren't boiled long enough and the shells needed to be removed promptly after boiling.

After this discussion which took almost an hour it was time to make the deviled egg mixture. Again, an hour to discuss how to make the mixture and four differing opinions.

If we're having this much trouble with the eggs I can hardly wait until it's time to mash the potatoes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Anniversary Of Sorts

Two years ago on this date I stopped smoking. I'm not going to tell you that it was easy, because it wasn't. I did use the drug called Chantix that you hear so much about. It gave me unusual dreams and highly successful bowel movements when I was taking it.

I probably wouldn't have stopped smoking if it hadn't been for one particular doctor that told me straight up if I didn't stop smoking I would be carrying around an oxygen tank with me for the rest of my life. I've already got enough baggage to lug around so I quit.

I'm not going to tell you that I didn't gain weight. I gained a lot of weight, some of which I have lost, and am trying to get back to my pre-smoking weight. Don't worry, I'll still be able to qualify as the MA Fat Woman.

I have become the ex-smoker from hell. I can't stand the sight or smell of cigarette smoke any longer. If I get a whiff of a cigarette it makes me want to either throw up or go smack the person that is smoking it.

I figure in two years I have saved at 4 bucks a pack roughly 3000 dollars.

I stopped smoking the day after Thanksgiving two years ago. I sort of went cold turkey. Try it, you just might succeed too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Couch Strkes Back

It seems my family has a thing for couches. Awhile back I told you about the ugliest couch in the world and how my mom had gotten a new couch. She didn’t pick it out, my sister did, thus requiring removal of the old couch and so this is where the story begins.

Different state, different house, different couch…same story.

My mom was beginning to get panicky because Thanksgiving was getting closer by the day and she needed to get things spiffed up around the house. She mentioned that she wanted to get rid of the old couch and I volunteered to help. She thought we might get it loaded up onto Dad’s old temperamental Chevy pickup and haul it off to the dump. I had my doubts.

I had asked one of my friends to come along just in case we needed an extra hand. You see that couch is really heavy and Mom only has one arm and my sick family member is hooked up to a machine that has to go wherever he goes and he’s still pretty weak from spending a month in the hospital.

When we got to my mom’s house she mentioned that there had been a slight change in plans. She now wanted to take the couch to the local thrift store because someone might need it and she wanted to load it onto my brother’s 15 foot trailer that was parked in the yard in front of the pickup loaded with landscaping equipment. And while we were here could we put the camper top back on the back of Dad’s truck.

At this point I pretty much through a fit. Why did everything have to be soooo complicated? We had four different supervisors offering four different ways to do the exact same thing and no workers to pull it off. My friend and I decided to just get the couch outside to begin with. We slid it over to the French doors, picked it up and stepped outside. We made it about ten feet before my arms gave out; it was way heavier than I thought.

Since we were going to use the trailer now instead of the truck Mom decided to move the old truck which is a good thing because she is the only one that can start it. My friend and I were trying to hook her truck up to the trailer so we could maneuver it closer to the couch. We couldn’t get it attached right so here comes my family member with his machine to see if he could get it to connect properly. Meanwhile, my mom who was tired of waiting on us decided to back the truck up closer to the couch. Did I mention it was up a hill and the grass was wet?

Periodically, between muffled curse words and shouted expletives as we struggled with the hook on the trailer we would hear mom in the truck and the ever present sound of spinning tires. After several attempts she gave up and we all stepped back to analyze the situation. We struggled back in the house with my sick family member throwing up the whole way; the hitch wasn’t going to work on my friend’s truck.

We rested awhile and then decided to use my brother’s truck to haul the trailer and the danged couch. We unloaded the lawnmowers and weed eaters and other garden tools and somehow wrestled that beast up onto the trailer. By this time I had worn mom down enough that she agreed that we would take the couch to the dump instead of the thrift store.

The dump, which has the best view in town, is only about three miles from her house so we were there rather quickly. We pulled up to the pay window and the lady inside was just beside herself with the fact that we were throwing away such a perfectly good couch. Little did she know that when you sit on the couch it goes to the floor because all of the springs are broken and it didn’t have any legs?

It was going to cost 8 bucks to dump the couch and I saw the woman digging around in her purse for something. The lady looked at my mom and said she would give her the eight dollars if we would take the couch over to her truck and load it up for her. I looked at my friend and my friend looked at me and we both looked at my mom. Mom looked at me and then turned to the lady and said this: “No way, that thing’s going into the dumpster”.

Hurry up mom said, before I change my mind. We had that couch offloaded in a single flip and sent it spiraling down into the dumpster fifteen feet below.

Finally, the couch was gone!

I had to go into town later that evening on my way home and stopped at a local convenience store to get a Diet Coke when a pickup truck pulled in to the gas pumps. In the back of the truck was a sofa that looked vaguely like the couch that had tormented us for three hours earlier in the day. Out jumped the same woman from the dump and we saw each other at the same time. Before I knew it she was heading my way and walked up to me and handed me something. Give this to your mom, she said.

Yep, it was the eight dollars.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twice As Nice

I had to go back to the airport on consecutive days recently for a couple of undercover assignments. I can’t tell what I do or who I work for but rest assured the MA Fat Woman is there watching you when you least expect it.

Anyhow, going through security at the airport these days is a snap if you know what you’re doing. I don’t understand the people that try to keep their shoes on. Do they have foot odor? Are they embarrassed by their ugly toes? Bunions? Webbed Feet? What about six toes? How about only four toes?

I had made it through the first checkpoint where they highlight your boarding pass and look at your photo id and was standing in line to go through the metal detectors when the lady in line behind me asked where I was headed. I couldn’t believe it; somebody spoke to me, I was shocked. I turned around and gave her the up down look trying to ascertain what she meant. She looked normal. She wasn’t green and didn’t have a horn growing out of her head.

I told her I wasn’t going anywhere and that I was undercover and on official business. Well, wouldn’t you know it, but she then gave me the up down look trying to see if I was normal or not.

There was a gentleman a little of me in line that had a laptop, a book bag, a briefcase, a man bag and was wearing three layers of jackets. Off everything went and into six plastic bins. During this process his boarding pass fell out and onto the floor and he didn’t realize it.

Nobody moved or said anything until I picked it up and handed it back to him. I had moved past one guy and apologized for jumping line. He told me that was an awfully nice thing that I had done.

The lady behind me was really giving me the eye now. I’m sure she thought I was really something other than I actually was but she said the same thing too. She then added something else: “Are you sure you work at the airport? You seem too nice.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For Whom The Bell Tolls

I’ve been hiding lately. I’ve been doing a lot of running around tending to errands, going to the grocery stores, going Christmas shopping, and eating out. All of those things that you do this time of year. Everywhere I go it seems the bell follows me.

I know times are tough everywhere and I give as much as I can. But, I have put money in the fireman’s boot. I have given to the men in the funny hats. I have taken an ornament off the tree at the library. I sent a check to the children’s hospital. I gave at the office.

Enough already!

Do you feel guilty when you walk past the bell ringer and don’t put anything in the bucket? Do you slide your eyes that way to see if they are watching you. What if you have to keep going out to your car and then going back inside? Do you think they counted how many times you walked past the bucket?

In my town they are set up on every corner and doing errands on Saturday morning can cause an anxiety attack. One way takes you to the post office. The other way takes you to the bank, and, still another takes you to the grocery store. Different corners and they are all collecting for something.

I dumped my change at the last corner.

Why did the lady at this corner look at me and hold out her bucket? I shook my head no and she gave me a shrug and moved on to the next car.

Not very friendly—just remember if I don’t put something in your bucket, it doesn’t mean I’m cheap…you just might not be on the right corner.

A Matter Of Timing

The cat and I can't seem to get on the same wave length. He is an inside only cat except when he likes to hang out on the porch or take me for a walk. Since the weather has turned cooler that doesn't happen very often.

One of the joys that come with having an indoor cat is the litter box. Whether you use the clumping litter and then scoop it out each time he goes or you have one of those new-fangled machines that does it all for you it is never a fun chore.

I'm not a big fan of changing the cat box; it kinda makes me gag. I think I may be allergic to the cat litter. Most cats will cover their business upon completion; not my baby. He leaves it out for the world to see and smell. His girlfriend who was a very fastidious little creature used to come running from wherever she was and cover it up for him. (Sounds like a man, doesn't it?) Unfortunately, she has been gone for a few years.

Now, if I'm home, it's a matter of how fast I can get outta my recliner and into the bathroom to scoop it out into the commode. What mostly gags me is when I have been gone for several hours and then open the door and am met with a "YOWZA". You look for the guilty party and he's just sitting there purring, happy to see you.

At my Pre-Thanksgiving party last weekend guests got to enjoy an additional smell or two to go along with the turkey.

I suppose the situation that really causes me a little frustration is the clean litter box. Recently, I had cleaned, dusted, mopped, aersoled, touched up and basically had the place looking pretty good. His Majesty had done both of his jobs, he had a sparkling clean new box and had settled in for a nap. I had to go to town and when I got back and opened the door I almost passed out.

Clean box. Clean house. And an odor that you can plausibly scrape off your teeth.

I'm going back to town.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nicknames

I have an unusual first name. I’m not going to tell you what it is because you can do a little research and find that out for yourself. My not so close cousins have always called me by a nickname that was taken from my middle name which is also unusual. That nickname was MyMy which I never really liked. My immediate family and closer cousins call me by my middle name and my friends just call me a letter of the alphabet.

Confused, me too. I never know what name to answer to when being called. If someone calls, “Hey you,” I usually will look up. I’ve had other nicknames as well.

For purposes of torment and torture my brother has called me many things over the years including but not limited to: Shorty Luther, The German Midget, Aggie Haggie and Froggy.

My father always called me Gopher which is pretty much self-explanatory. Go for this and go for that. And he would sometimes call me by my real name which would stop everyone in their tracks upon hearing it.

My mom will also throw out my real name periodically just to see if I'm paying attention.

Everyone has always had a problem saying my name correctly. I don’t know why, it’s pronounced just like it is spelled. At my high school graduation, they pronounced my middle name wrong and my sister corrected the speaker in front of 400 people.

At my college graduation, I had to repeat my name twice to the lady that was reading the names but she said it correctly.

The next time you’re in a crowd of people and you shout for someone and somebody turns around that you weren’t expecting. It might just be me…just don’t call me Shorty Luther.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dress Rehearsal

I’ve been stalking the local grocery store the last few weeks because it has been running a special program to allow you to get a free turkey for Thanksgiving. Of course, you have to spend a certain amount of dough on specific items to accumulate enough points to get a free 12-14 lb Butterball Frozen Turkey. I had done everything I was supposed to do and after a few attempts by the clerk to get the transaction right I had my shiny new turkey in hand. Evidently, I was the only person so far that had jumped through the correct hoops and collected the right stamps to earn the free Tom. The MA Fat Woman doesn’t mess around when it comes to food and coupons.

I went off visiting my mom and sick family member and mentioned that I was going to cook a turkey over the next few days. Well, eyes lit up and mouths started to water; my mom wanted to know what day and what time because they were coming to eat. It seems that the list is growing of people that are going to her house to eat for Thanksgiving and she said it would be a dress rehearsal for the actual dinner planned for that day. Somehow, that made sense to me.

The turkey was frozen solid and I had to put it in the dryer for a 30 minute spin cycle on tumble dry low. It took forever for it to defrost. I began the process of taking off the various layers of netting and plastic; I pulled the neck out of the body cavity and then stuck my hand in there looking for the gross stuff. I rooted around in there for several moments and didn’t find anything. I pulled out my hand, held the opening up to the light and stuck my head down there to see if I could spy the innards. I couldn’t find anything so I stuffed the bird and shoved it into the oven.

After a spectacular Sunday Pre-Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings it was time to begin the clean up. One of my friends was taking the meat off the bones when she stumbled upon a little plastic bag oozing juice and other substances. You guessed it; it was the bag with the innards. They had been cooked right along with the turkey, in their little plastic bag. I had looked for them, just not in the right hole.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Are You A Creeper?

I’ve been particularly bothered about something for a long time and I don’t know why.
I was out running the roads today on one of my usual errands when I got stuck at every stop light in town. It happens every day, no big deal.

What bothers me is when I get stopped behind a group of vehicles that continuously moves when stopped at a light, one inch at a time. I don’t know who is responsible for this creeping. Is it the very first vehicle that doesn’t pull up all the way? Or, is it a combination of everybody not pulling up to the proper spot.

Today, in every turn lane, I was involved in the creep. If I tried to stay in one spot, the car behind me would creep so close behind me that I thought they were trying to hit me. So, I would have to creep forward too.

Sometimes, the change between lights is so long that the entire wait is one big long inchworm. I think everyone should practice on their spacing and give up the creeping. It’s bad for your brakes and it gets on my nerves.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Miss Them All

I come from a really large family on my mom’s side. Granny begat eleven children who begat thirty plus first cousins who begat fifty plus second cousins who begat I have no idea how many third cousins.

And, to me, that’s a bad thing. I miss my family.

Luckily, I was around my cousins when I was growing up. We had lots of adventures over the years and made a lot of memories.

We like to joke in our family that the kids grew up and the parents moved away. My mom moved to Georgia the day after I graduated from high school and dad came about three months later. They really didn’t have a choice; both had lost their jobs because the factories had closed. Mom was a supervisor and was offered a transfer to another company facility. Now you know how the MA Fat Woman got to Georgia.

Over the years others have migrated to the land of little or no snowfall. I gotta tell ya, I don’t miss the cold weather one bit. One of mom’s sisters moved down here so family gatherings, especially Thanksgiving, have become quite fun. A few years ago we had close to 25 people, last year, only three.

I know it’s hard for everyone to get together because the cousins now have kids and grandkids and they have their own family rituals. Shoot, these days, if you can get more than ten of us together at one time it’s because someone is really sick or we’re going to a funeral.

I’m not one to talk; I haven’t been to the family reunion in over twenty years.

Thanksgiving will be along before you know it and you’re all invited.

We eat at Noon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How 'Bout Them Gas Prices

Two months ago I was spending over fifty bucks a pop putting petrol in the old mustang. Today, I spent roughly less than twenty-five dollars.

I went to the grocery store and paid almost five bucks for a gallon of milk.

I went to another grocery store and thought about paying 4.99 for a twelve pack of Diet Coke.

I wanted to go through a drive thru of my favorite restaurant but they don’t seem to have the .99 cent items that I like anymore.

My family member that recently enjoyed a ride in an ambulance down to Atlanta got the bill only to learn that he was charged an additional 25.00 for gas.

I mailed a package via someone other than the USPS and I was charged a fuel surcharge.

My sister bought her airline tickets to fly down for Christmas and was charged a fuel surcharge.

I got a new load of propane for the old gas tank and there was a fuel surcharge for delivery tacked onto it.

My friend got pulled over for speeding again and there was an added charge for fuel expenditures.

I ordered a pizza, and, you guessed it: A 2.50 delivery fee.

I don’t know about you, but with some basic figurin’ and computatin’ I was able to surmise that if gas only costs about two bucks a gallon now, instead of four, shouldn’t everything else cost half as much too?

But hey! How ‘bout them gas prices!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Couch Up On Books

I am in the process of shopping around for a new couch. My recliner has seen its better days and I want to spruce up my living room. I got to talking to my mom about this and she is the expert right now because she just got a new couch. Actually, my sister bought it for her and it looks really snazzy. I must be suffering from couch envy or something.

Anyhow, we got to talking about the couch that we had in the house over on Cherry Fork Road. It had to be the ugliest, most grotesque looking couch that was ever made. The base color was green and it had large floral prints and patterns that swirled all over it. If you looked at it too long you would get dizzy and throw up everywhere. It had high arms that were very uncomfortable. It was straight out of 1978.

Every time you walked into the living room the couch screamed "Welcome to the jungle."

It was hideous!

You didn't have a whole lot of choices back then. It was either go to the city and get something from Sears or JCPenny or buy from the local department store. I'm not sure exactly where we got it. We didn't have it very long when the legs started to come off, one at a time. Before you knew it, the couch that we had spent $249.00 on was setting up on hardback Reader's Digest Condensed Books.

As the youngest child in the house I had a difficult time accepting the couch and its new precarious position. You see, I was a runner and a jumper. I would run as fast as I could and jump into the couch. Since it was now a couch up on books I would knock the couch off the books and send everything flying. After doing this trick for several days I was admonished to stop running in the house.

I'm not sure what happened to the jungle couch. I remember mom trying to give it to the Salvation Army but they turned her down. I can't really blame them, why make another family wonder why in the world they picked that couch.

Was it on sale?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fire On Cherry Fork Road

I’ve been contemplating for several days about what this particular post should be about; after all, it is a special occasion. According to the blogosphere, when you reach your 100th post you are supposed to reveal one hundred things about yourself. Never one to follow the rules, I shan’t bore you with those minor pesky details, and instead, tell you the story about the fire on Cherry Fork Road.

Growing up on a farm in southern Ohio was a lot of fun. We had all sorts of adventures, many, which I am sad to say, have escaped my memory. We had a building next to our house that we called the shed. It had a chicken house on one side and an outhouse on the other side. In the middle was where we kept our two freezers full of beef and vegetables. Yes, we grew our own veggies and slaughtered our farm animals for food.

Anyhow, the roof was in such bad shape that my dad decided a new roof was in order. So, he called my cousin Kenny, who helped us with all of those tasks, and my brother and dad got together one weekend and put new shingles on the roof of the shed. The old shingles were dispatched to what we called the ditch which was a place where things ended up to be dealt with at a later time. It wasn’t really a dump, because it always got cleaned up eventually, more like a holding station.

I’m not sure what time of year it was; but, it had to be in the fall sometime because it was cool and dry and we were in school. My sister and I were in Cherry Fork having been transferred from our respective schools waiting to begin the ride back home on our regular bus. We rode Bus 7 and our driver’s name was Don. Suddenly, a message came over the emergency radio that he carried that there was a fire at the Palmer house on Cherry Fork Road.

Quiet, absolute quiet! No one said a word. My sister and I ran to the front of the bus and he took off. We were usually about the 6th or 7th stop on the way home but he didn’t stop to let anyone off the bus. I don’t know how fast he was going but when we hit the bottom of the big hill everyone and everything went flying.

My sister and I were hanging on for dear life and when we approached the house you couldn’t see anything but smoke and fire trucks. We saw my brother’s truck but didn’t know where he was. Everyone on the bus had their noses pressed up to the glass trying to see the blaze. All we wanted to do was get off the bus and find our brother. Don told everyone on the bus to stay put while he went and talked to the firemen.

After a few tense moments he came back to the bus and said we could get off the bus. Everything was under control. We were walking up the driveway when we saw my brother being treated by the paramedics. It seemed that he had taken in a little smoke while trying to protect the house with a garden hose.

My brother had decided that that particular day was a good day to begin to clean up the shingles and other material down in the ditch. He had started a fire and was going to let it burn itself out. It seemed like a good idea until the wind picked up and shifted directions. The wind was picking up the shingles and was blowing them directly towards the house. In a matter of minutes the fire had leapt from the ditch and the entire field was ablaze and heading for the house.

Luckily, a neighbor had spotted the fire and called the fire department. When they arrived, my brother was covered with scratches and black soot from the fire and was guarding the house with the trusty water hose. The fireman yelled for him to drop the hose and back away from the fire but he wasn’t moving.

Fortunately, the wind shifted again and the fire changed directions. The firemen were able to apply several tankers full of water to the blaze and all that was left was a blackened field and a few remaining smoldering shingles.

My brother looked at us and then looked at the field and said this: “Do you think Mom and Dad are going to be mad? I saved the house."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Trapped By The Funeral

I've been spending a lot of time on the roads lately. The mustang is hoping for the weekend off, but, I got things to do this weekend as well.

In the past few weeks I have been in three different states and several small towns. Yeah, I get around. Anyhow, as I am driving around looking for a particular place I always seem to get caught up in a funeral procession. This has happened at least five times in the last month.

Now, I took driver's education about twenty-five years ago and I know the rules of the road. You are supposed to pull over for emergency vehicles. The lead hearse was following behind a police cruiser that had it's emergency lights on. One would think that you were supposed to pull over, right?

In each occasion there was always at least two or three vehicles that did not pull over. Can I make a citizen's arrest?

Actually, I was glad that I had to pull over because it gave me time to calm down. I had been lost each time that I got delayed by the funeral procession.

My hope is that the violators will straighten up and fly right as my dad used to say. Because sooner than they think, someone or maybe even themselves are going to take that ride and I'm sure they would want others to pull over out of respect for them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

It's the big day. The politicians have had a second job for the last twenty months in the Presidential race; if it were me I'd probably just want lo lie down somewhere and take a nap. Oh wait, I bet McCain already sneaks in a few naps from time to time. And if you're Obama, no matter what your promise was to your wife, you'd love to step out back and have a smoke.

No matter what your choice is, please exercise your right to vote. And remember this day is more important than you know; it's exactly five months until my birthday!

Vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Approve This Message

It’s the eve before the biggest election in a lifetime or that’s what people are saying anyway. I don’t know about you but I’m glad it’s over. If I never see another political advertisement it’ll be too soon.

Give me back my regular commercials.

The highlight of my weekend was seeing a holiday commercial advertising one of those priceless moments from VISA. It’s the one where the guy gets his wife a big fancy car, a box of tissues and a bag to blow in when she hyperventilates. It almost brought a tear to my eye.

Of course, the next commercial was a political ad for a local candidate. The local politicians' ads can be particularly vicious. I ran for office once, in the fifth grade. I was running for class president and didn’t win, so, that pretty much soured me on ever running for office again.

I hope all of the races are won by enough votes so there aren’t any runoff races. I think it’s plain to see that a lot of folks are just fed up with the whole blasted thing.

It’s the Holidays! I want to see that commercial with the skiing or sledding bears. It’s either Norelco or Gillette. I also love the polar bears in the Coke advertisements.

I don’t care that someone voted against something twenty years ago and now they have changed their mind about it. This is the USA, right? Aren’t we allowed to change our minds?

I think it was said that a billion dollars was raised for the political candidates during this election. A billion dollars. That amount of money could sure put a lot of kids through college or feed a lot of homeless Americans. All I know is that I’m glad I won’t have to watch or read or listen to those pesky political advertisements any longer. I’m the MA Fat Woman and I approve this message.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Insane Haunted Barn Of Terror...Part II

The scariest part of the Insane Haunted Barn of Terror was the actual trip getting to the barn. Victims would arrive at our church parking lot and pay their fees and then wait to be transported in the church vans back a long gravel road until they reached the haunted barn.

We had blackened the windows of the vans so people couldn't have a look outside to see where they were going. The drivers of the vans were decked out in scary costumes and were forbidden to speak to anyone. Once they got out of town and back on the gravel road they turned the lights off and rode with just their parking lights. It was pitch black.

Upon arriving at the barn victims were given the usual instructions about not hitting anyone and attempting to run away screaming somewhere in the woods. They were then taken through the Insane Haunted Barn of Terror where all sorts of bad and unusual things fell upon them.

I had fun running the chainsaw and making the little kids scream. Shoot, my mom even came through the barn and I scared her too. I'm not sure how much money we raised for the needy family. I guess the best part about the whole experience is the memory itself. Whenever I go back to my hometown for a reunion conversation always tends to lean towards the Insane Haunted Barn of Terror and how much fun we had.

If you need someone to run the chainsaw, just look me up.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Insane Haunted Barn Of Terror...Part I

One year a few weeks before Halloween my church youth group decided that we were going to put on a haunted house to try and raise money for a needy family. After several failed attempts at locating a structure where we could pursue our aforementioned tasks, it was decided that the only suitable place was inside a barn.

This wasn’t one of those small buildings like they have around where I live that they like to call a barn. This was a real barn with a corn crib, stables, hay mounds, a stripping room and a place big enough that you park your combine on the inside if you wanted too.

Every night after basketball practice, my friends, Barbie and Anita, and I would go over to the barn and help with the decorating. We would try to help anyway; actually, we didn’t really do a lot of anything. We couldn’t move. Our young muscles were so sore from going through basketball drills and conditioning that the rest of the group let us do as little as possible.

We had a section that you had to crawl through and a section with a chain saw running. We had slimy things that you had to walk through. You had to be careful there, after all, we were in a barn and you never knew what you might step in.

I played two parts in the barn. I ran the chain saw on one side and then I would run around to the other side and do my wicked witch scream. I scared lots of people but that wasn’t the scariest part…

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Seens From The Recliner

The recent downward turn on the old thermometer has changed one of my daily routines. I've mentioned before that I like to sit out on the porch with the cat and watch things happen. Well, it has been about 30 degrees the past few mornings so I decided to move my viewing to the indoors.

I have my recliner situated in just the right spot to see out the window that overlooks out onto the porch and then on out to my little garden with the dead flowers.

I was watching the Jerry Springer show on television and listening to Howard Stern on the satellite radio while I was checking voice mails on my cell and emails on my laptop when I saw something out of the corner of my eye.

I looked up in time to see a herd of deer go bouncing across the back yard of the vacant house next door. There must have been at least a dozen of them and I was glad that they made it across the busy road out front without getting whacked. I'm sure you've seen it; very messy.

This sighting was very rare; after all, I live very close to the center of town. However, I have had sightings of a single doe grazing in the back yard of the banker that lives on the other side of me.

I have also seen foxes, raccoons, lots of opossums, nasty squirrels and an occasional UARP which means unidentifiable animal running past while enjoying the peace and quietness of my favorite activity. Occasionally, I'll even get dive bombed by an angry blue jay.

But, a herd of deer, that's a new one for me. It's a true story, I seen it while sitting in my own recliner.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Scare Mare

I always enjoyed going to haunted houses and Halloween carnivals. Shoot, I wouldn't mind going trick-or-treating if they wouldn't think I needed to be committed or something. This time of year brings back an especially fond memory of visiting my first haunted house when I was in about the seventh grade.

Of course, back in the day, the only way we were allowed to go anywhere like that was with the church youth group. I had just become old enough to go with my brother and sister to all of the fun activities and this visit to the Scare Mare in southern Ohio was my first chance to prove that I was all grown up.

Church was all about getting everyone involved, so, I invited all of my neighbors to go along. There were several kids that were my age and we were having a really good time. We were standing in line behind my sister and her friends, and, I'm sure she would say that we were pestering her to death.

I remember it being very cold and waiting for what seemed like hours before we were close to the door.

Somehow, my sister got separated from her group and was forced into going in her kid
sister's group. And we were glad she did.

What sticks out more in my mind than anything was The Zebra Room. It was painted in black and white stripes and had a pulsating strobe light that made it nearly impossible to see. Nothing happened until this Merlin-looking character suddenly appeared from the wall and had blood drooling down the side of his face. He was headed straight for me; I screamed and jumped on my sister's back. Unfortunately, so did everyone else and my sister now had three or four screaming and crying adolescents on her back.

Thankfully, we moved onto the next areas and had people jumping out at us and folks pretending to chop up body parts. It was a little gory and gross. Our dispositions were improving some until it came to the slide. You couldn't go back and there wasn't any stairs; you had to slide down about thirty feet into total darkness. Every one of us balked at going down that slide.

My sister was tired of waiting and down she went into the blackness. I heard a muffled scream and a thump and that was it. People behind us were beginning to bunch up and we were getting a little upset. I went down the slide and was met with strong hands helping me up. Nobody was tying to scare you at that point; but, my friends didn't know that. All of them eventually slid down the slide and all behaved except the very last one. My young friend came down that slide kicking, screaming and slugging at anything he could reach.

He landed a punch on the guy that was helping him up and ran straight to my sister and hid under her coat. He was scared to death and was crying like a new born baby. Thankfully, the slide was at the end of the haunted tour and we were back outside in just a few moments.

My friend finally recovered enough to peek out from under my sister's coat and looked around at all of us somewhat embarrassed. Nobody said anything because we had all been scared at one point or another.

My sister got caught up with her friends who remarked about her going through The Scare Mare with a bunch of kids. They were all in the tenth grade and hadn't been scared at all. My sister looked over at her friends and said this: I was surprised, my sister and her friends weren't scared at all. We had a really good time.

Isn't that the truth? After all, that's what sisters do!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Scared Silly

Due to a scheduling conflict I missed a visit with my sister and my niece. I had already made plans to go away for the weekend with one of my friends and check out the fall festivals in the area. By the time I got to the cabin that we had rented for the weekend my nerves were a little shot. It seems that the owners of the cabin neglected to mention that a four-wheel drive was recommended to get to the top of the mountain where the rental was located. I'll have to say that I'm mighty proud of that mustang because she went places that no mustang should have to even think about going.

Anyhow, once we explored everything and got settled into to the cabin my friend looked over at me and said "I'm bored". I was too, so, we decided to venture back down the mountain and see if we couldn't find a haunted house or something.

We were driving around when we noticed a sign for a haunted corn maze. Cool! You can get lost and scared at the same time. We paid our entrance fee and strode over to get into line with the others waiting to go through the maze.

I think it must have been drop your eighth grader off at the haunted maze night or something. They were everywhere. They were giggling, texting, yelling, running, hollering, screaming, squirming, talking, and boasting about anything and everything.

The workers at the entrance would let a few people go about every two minutes into the haunted maze. You could hear a loud horn blast, people screaming in terror, a chainsaw running and the yelped cries of dozens of teenagers as they navigated the haunted corn maze.

The group of kids directly in front of us were extremely animated. They were excited and having a good time. My friend was a little nervous and apprehensive about what was going on but I remained calm. I worked in a haunted house once so I knew alot of the tricks.

It was finally our turn to go through the maze and after a walk down a dark road beside a creek we turned into the maze. We had to wade through the entrance because it was very muddy from the previous night's rain. In fact, we sunk so much that the mud went over the tops of our tennis shoes; not a good start.

As I stopped to examine the bottom of my shoes I heard a loud "Boo". My friend jumped about three feet in the air and landed somewhere on my back. Down we went, straight back into the mud. We were covered in mud. The goblin helped us up and told us to get moving; more ghoulish delights were waiting ahead.

We ventured ahead in our muddy wet jeans and mud caked tennis shoes and were having a really good time. We rounded a curve and were met by about four teenagers frozen in complete and utter fear. "Grownups", they yelled. "Can we go with you? I'm so scared I think I peed my pants," one said. "I don't think I can go any farther without an adult", another said.

For the next twenty minutes I was grabbed, stepped on, pulled at, surrounded by and totally engulfed by four terrified teenagers and one trembling adult. I was battered and bruised and was having the time of my life. I was covered in mud and had wet muddy socks.

We made our way back out to the waiting area where the remnants of a bonfire once raged. My friend and I decided that we would stop and get a hot dog before leaving and had just sat down when a large group of teenagers walked past describing how they had found a couple of adults to go through the maze with. They noticed us sitting there, gave us a wave and as they were walking away said this: I hope I'm that much fun when I get to be that old.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

All Dried Up

I really dislike this time of year. All of the leaves are almost off the trees and everything looks dried up and dead.

That’s how the skin on my leg looks anyway.

It’s usually about the last week of October when the first cold front of the season will push its way into the Deep South. (The front gave me a serious sinus headache) I have an electric heater that I plug in that will knock the chill off in my living room and I have been using that the last few days. I have a furnace that I try not to turn on until it is absolutely necessary. It is powered by propane and I have a 450 gallon tank. For those of you in the city that means that I don’t have gas lines running into my house from a local gas provider. If you want propane you order it in 100 gallon increments. At $2.75 a gallon it can be quite expensive. As my dad used to say, “Put on a sweater and don’t touch the thermostat.”

Anyhow, another strange thing happens this time of year. Whenever I turn on the furnace all of the moisture in my skin goes straight out the window. It gets very dry and flaky and becomes very painful. It itches too.

I decided that the next time that I went to the doctor I would ask about getting a prescription to help clear up this problem. I had an appointment to get my flu shot (which I recommend everyone gets) and asked the doc about my problem.

Her response: Put some cream on it and don’t touch the thermostat. If you get cold, put on a sweater or something. Get yourself a humidifier.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Trip To The Airport

I was very excited that I got to make a trip to the airport the other day. I don’t live near one of those smaller type airports that lets you park right beside the front door. You wave at the security guard standing outside because their child rides to soccer practice every Wednesday with your youngest child; you know each other. You walk into the terminal and it takes you fifteen minutes to reach the ticket counter because you’ve run into about half of the people that you graduated with. The security guard outside the metal detectors gives you a high five and asks how your folks are doing. I think you get the picture.

My airport is nothing like that. My airport is bigger than your town. There are six concourses and they are 300M apart according to the posted signs. If you are feeling energetic you might want to walk to your destination.

I had to go to the farthest concourse which according to the posted signs was over a mile away. If you add in the half mile walk from the economy parking garage and the walk through the terminal it all adds up to quite a distance.

I was taking the train.

Or, maybe not.

I was getting ready to board the train that had just dropped off a bunch of passengers when an announcement came over the loudspeaker that the train was having technical difficulties; it was going to take at least thirty minutes to fix the problem. Suddenly, there was a loud groan and several muffled curse words as the entire hoard of passengers made a left face and started walking towards the next concourse. It was like the parting of the Red Sea; individuals who were walking towards the baggage claim area were quickly swallowed up by this mass of humanity snaking its way through the underbelly of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

I had somewhere to be, so, after a slight hesitation I started walking too. I fell into step along side an elderly woman who I thought I might be able to keep pace with. She looked over at me and asked where I was headed. I told her I was going to Concourse E and she said me too.

Every thing was going smoothly until I saw her glance down at her watch. I heard her mumbling to herself and then she looked over at me and this is what she said. “According to the sign it’s going to be over a mile by the time we get there. I walk a 12 minute mile every morning; this should be a piece of cake. Let’s go!!

Uhh, I think I need to use the ladies room, don’t wait on me; I’ll catch up to you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In The Tank

I’m a little under the weather right now. There’s a high pressure situated over the Deep South and the local meteorologists say that it might be causing some of us to have sinus headaches.

Ya think!

I have never suffered from migraines and I really never knew that I had sinus problems either. Basically, I have had a headache in both temples for the past two days.

Tried Tylenol—didn’t work.

Tried Sudafed—didn’t work.

Tried sleeping, a lot—it worked while I was sleeping. Shoot, even the cat is keeping his distance right now.

I did manage to go outside and get the mail. I was intrigued to find letters from my 401K, not one but two.

The first letter was my account statement. I wasn’t really surprised to learn that I had lost over 3000 bucks in the last quarter. After all, that’s all they have been talking about on the news lately.

The next letter simply stated that I shouldn’t panic and try to move my money elsewhere; the economy was beginning to stabilize. On the last page of the letter was an updated account statement. It seems that I have already lost 1800 bucks in the first three weeks of October.

Good thing I already had a headache.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nose Rings

I was out doing errands the other day and needed to go to a drug store to pick up a few essentials. I walked by the Halloween section and decided to peruse the candy. I like to have a piece of chocolate every now and then. Anyway, in the section were two teenage girls deep in conversation about the prospect of getting matching nose rings.

Now, these girls weren't virgins in the the realm of piercings and tattoos. They both already had more things pierced than I ever dreamed imaginable. In the MA Fat Woman's family you had to be 16 before you could get your ears pierced. I remember going to school the first day after getting mine done and the popular kids were making a really big deal about it almost to the point of making fun of me. My standard answer became, "Yes, I got my ears pierced, twice."

"Twice?" they would question.

"Yep, once on each side." That would usually shut them up for a while. But, nose rings are not going in my nose. I have too many problems keeping stuff out of my nose I could only imagine having something permanently affixed there.

At that point in the discussion a young man walked over to the section to check out the costumes. Let me say that this fellow didn't need a costume; he was pierced, tattooed, decked out in black with his face painted white, black fingernails and a mohawk that stood about two feet high. He was stylin'.

The girls were a little in awe of this fellow; he was someone that they wanted to emulate. One of the girls reached up timidly to tap him on the shoulder and asked him about getting his nose pierced.

"No way," he said. He had too many problems keeping stuff out of his nose. Besides, his mom said that he wasn't allowed to anyway.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Forgive Me Father...It Just Slipped Out

I’ve been spending a lot of the time at the hospital lately visiting with a sick relative. It sure does wear you out; not only is the patient irritable most days but the family gets that way too. Just when you think the doctors, nurses, housekeepers, and business office people have decided to stop coming into the room for a few moments someone else will drop in to ask a question or take your temperature.

It wears me out so I know it wears out my family member.

My relative looked at me the other day and said he had just about had it with everybody bothering him all the time. He wanted to know how he was supposed to get any better when he couldn’t get any rest.

I really didn’t know what to say because his condition has warranted very close observation.

I went back to the hospital a few days later and was met with a happy and somewhat well rested looking fellow motioning excitedly to me when I walked in the door.

“Come in and close the door, I’ve got something to show you,” he said.

“Well, what is it?” I asked.

“Just wait and watch,” he said again.

We were engrossed in a very exciting program on Animal Planet when I heard the door open. My relative reached under the side of the bed and pulled out a nearly inflated whoopee cushion. He held it between his big meaty hands and gave it a nice long squeeze. Out came the most horrendous sounding noise that I have ever heard.

From the door I heard someone say, “Whoops, I’ll come back later.”

We looked at each other and giggled like school kids. Before I could ask where he got it, he said one of his buddies had dropped by with one of his kids and the child had left it behind. For the next three hours every time the door would open the whoopee cushion would come out and the visitor would turn on a dime and walk back out.

We were having fun and we both managed to take a short nap. Of course, the door opened once again and out came the noisemaker but before he could squeeze it a head peeked around the corner.

“Aha, I know that you have been flatulent all day but I had hoped the staff would have cleared that up by now,” said the visitor. “I see it wasn’t gas after all.”

I was mortified and my relative just shrugged it off. “It keeps people away,” he said.
“I can understand that, my son. But, the Lord is with you all the time. No flatulence, real or not was going to keep me from stopping to see how you were,” said the Chaplain.

With that my relative rolled slightly to the left and let the biggest fart imaginable. No whoopee cushion here, it was the real thing.

The three of us looked at each other and started laughing until we were blue in the face. I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. We had just started to calm down when the door opened again and my relative tooted once more. That person said I’ll be back later turned around and went back out.

The patient looked up at the Chaplain and said this, “Forgive me Father, that one just slipped out.”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Signs O' The Times

Everyone has been talking about the economy lately. The stock market is like a rollercoaster going up and down so much that it makes you want to throw up. I’m sure you have seen pictures of the stockbrokers on Wall Street holding their heads in their hands or trying to pull their own hair out. It’s not just the folks invested in the stock market; people are getting laid off from their jobs. It’s bad everywhere.

Recently, a new restaurant was opening on the south side of Atlanta and it invited folks to fill out an application for employment.

Happens every day, right!

Almost five hundred people showed up and they were only hiring thirty new employees. People with Master’s Degrees, Bank Tellers, Administrative Assistants and even a former worker in the Sex Industry all applied for one of these positions. You know things are bad when someone who used to call herself a “hostess” actually wants to become a legitimate hostess in the local restaurant.

I can see the newly hired hostess at her job and things are going great until a former john shows up with his wife. The husband is all nervous and acting weird and decides to give the now legitimate hostess a wink on the sly.

She sidles up to him and says, “Sorry, I don’t do that anymore,” and walks away. Let’s see the man try to explain that one.

You know it’s a sign o’ the times when even ladies of the evening can’t keep their day job.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You Want Coke With That?

I have been trying to save money just like a lot of people around the country. I clip coupons and I try not to eat out too often. I had to take the cat to the vet this morning which he wasn’t very pleased about and decided that I would go to McDonalds and get something for breakfast.

Simple enough plan, right!

After the visit to the vet we were on our way over to Mickey D’s. I got in line at the drive thru window and waited my turn. It is a new drive thru where they have two lanes open; I don’t really like them because someone is always trying to cut in front of me. Or, you get a person who is unsure whether it’s their turn or not and then you have a standoff and then you both go at the same time. Then you hit the brakes and look at each other and stop and go and stop and go and then somebody will wave the other through and so on and so forth. Sometimes, your nerves are shot before you even get to the window.

The car ahead of me had asked for about ten extra items at the window such as ketchup, extra napkins, butter, jelly and stock options and after having successfully navigating the drive thru lane it was finally my turn at the window. I had ordered a bacon and egg biscuit combo with a Diet Coke to drink.

I was hungry and thirsty.

I reached out the window to receive my order and watched in absolute wonder as the lid (which wasn’t secured properly) on the top of my drink came off and the lady at the window dropped my drink and it fell precisely into my lap. I looked at her and she looked at me; we both turned and looked at the cat that was now standing up right in the passenger seat with every hair on his back all puffed up.

Her eyes were wide and her lower lip began to tremble. I think I heard an “I’m sorry” somewhere. “It’s my first day,” she said, “and I’m very nervous.”

I didn’t really say anything as she handed me another drink and I pulled away from the window. How could I be mad? The same exact thing had happened to me when I was in college and was beginning a new job as a waitress. I spilled a drink all over a man’s lap on my very first day too!

But, here’s the kicker. I waited tables for over five years and I never did spill anything else; hopefully, the same will happen for her too.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sleeping In The Car

I mentioned awhile back about my late night trip to an Atlanta hospital to be with a sick family member. It took several hours of being transferred from one department to another department and filling out a lot of paperwork before things began to calm down a bit. It was 2:45 in the morning and we were very tired.

You really don’t have a lot of options at that time in the morning. We were in the party section of Atlanta and most of the hotels were probably already filled up with drunks, one-night stands or Georgia Tech fans.

Even if we would’ve found a hotel we would have had to check out by 11:00 AM. This in itself isn’t a bad thing but when you check in at 4:00 AM, it seems like a waste of money.

Unfortunately, my family knows its way around hospitals. There are certain waiting rooms that have reclining chairs and somewhat comfortable couches. You can also get blankets and pillows which can make your visit a little more comfortable. But, there’s a catch. These prime positions in the waiting rooms fill up very fast. You need to have claimed your spot by 6:00 PM at the latest or you can expect to spend the night in a chair with hard wooden sides or a loveseat that has one too many soft drink stains.

This was the predicament that my mom and I found ourselves in; try and find a hotel for six hours or sleep in the waiting room on the leftover torture chairs. We didn’t like either option so we decided to sleep in the car.

It wasn’t very comfortable; in fact, it was terrible. I have a Mustang and the seats don’t recline very far back. I sat in the driver’s seat and I don’t have a removable steering wheel. I couldn’t cross my legs or even stretch them out. I couldn’t turn to one side because the steering wheel was always in the way.

I don’t know how mom did it but the next thing I knew she was snoring over there in the passenger seat. She slept for about three hours.

I dozed from 2:47 until 3:18. The parking area was a very noisy place and was very well lit. I had my sunglasses on trying to keep out the lights. I had cracked the windows to let the air flow through but it eventually got hot. I had drunk to many soft drinks, and, of course, I need to use the facilities.

I held it as long as I could I didn’t want to wake up mom by getting out of the car. I think it was about 6:00 o’clock when mom opened her eyes and saw me grimacing. I had to go I told her and I hadn’t wanted to wake her up.

Wake her up she said, she hadn’t been asleep at all; she was just resting her eyes.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Deer On Board...Observations From The Road

I was on my way home from the hospital visiting a sick relative the other day when I saw something that caught my eye.

I was driving north on Interstate 75 out of Atlanta in eights lanes of stop-n-go traffic just minding my own business and avoiding getting run over by a tractor trailer. In between two semis I happened to glimpse a pickup truck with some kind of cage in the back.

It wasn't a dog kennel; it seemed to be very large and looked rather old, I wasn't quite sure what it was.

I became a rubber-necker. I was craning my head this way and I was trying to speed up but I had this 1982 Chevette in front of me that was barely making five mph.

This went on for several miles and traffic finally broke free. The truck was on my right side and I was about to pass it; I wanted to see what was in the cage.

What was it? It was big and looked like it had grayish brown hair. I just saw the side of it. Too big for a dog and too small for a cow. I was stumped.

Suddenly, I had to apply the brakes again and the truck passed me. I was getting ready to look in the cage again when I noticed a neon sign in the back window.

What did it say?

Deer on Board!

You remember those signs from the early 90s that read Baby on Board doncha'. I guess the drivers of the truck were tired of all the oddball looks they had been getting for driving around with an unusual looking animal in the back.

Deer on Board...problem solved.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Before Or After

I was getting ready to take a shower the other day (Yes, the MA Fat Woman likes to bathe) and I observed something that got me to thinking about something.

I get in the tub first and then I turn on the water and set it to the proper temperature. I get in a position where my backside is almost facing the faucet and reach down to pull up the thingy to turn on the shower. I do this as quickly as I can and then jump to the farthest point away from the showerhead and wait for the water to get hot.

There’s always an ice cold blast of water for about three seconds before it gets hot. I cringe and shrink as much as I can but it always makes me shiver.

I’m not sure why I do it this way.

My mom and I had a conversation about this and she turns on the shower before she gets in; she isn’t sure why she does it that way.

I’m sure there is a government agency somewhere that has or is planning to do a research study and waste millions of dollars on this subject.

So, save the government a little money and the next time you get ready to take a shower, stop and ask yourself this question: Do you turn the shower on before or after you get in the tub? And why do you do it that way.

Leave me a comment and tell me why!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pootability 101

I mentioned in the past about my cat that likes to join me out on the porch to view the different seens. He has a black and white coat and always looks like he’s wearing a tuxedo. All dressed up and nowhere to go.

He showed up outside my house about fourteen years ago and was begging to come inside.

I decided to take him in and for fourteen years he has wanted to go back out.

We’ll sit a spell out on the porch and every once in a while we’ll take a walk down to the old chicken house to see what’s prowling around.

He leads a very complicated life.

He eats the same exact brand of cat food and has for the past fourteen years.

He doesn’t like change but he does like to pee in the woods.

I prefer cats over dogs, that’s just who I am.

I had a dog that was an inside dog once; that dog could drop bombs or biscuits at the drop of a hat. Phewww!! That dog could clear a room with a simple poot.

Luckily, I have never had that problem with my cat.

When we’re not out on the porch I am kicked back in the recliner tapping away on the laptop which is on the left side of my lap and the cat is on the other side.

I got a lapful.

For the past few months I had been noticing that something just didn’t smell right. I thought I must have really bad breath. Mom was over visiting one evening and I breathed on her to see if it was me or not. It wasn’t. Every time I smelled that awful smell the cat was sitting on my lap.

It had to be him because I wasn’t going to admit to anything. You know the sayings: Smellers-the fellers, whoever smelt it, dealt it.

It took my cat fourteen years to discover his pootability. Maybe, I’ll let him back outside.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Picture Retake Day

I was driving around town tending to a few errands the other day when I drove past the local elementary school. There wasn’t anything unusual about that, but what caught my attention was the sign reminding all of the students and all of the passersby that Picture Retake Day was coming up in a few days.

This simple statement reminded me of a story from my childhood and absolutely tickled me silly.

Picture Retake Day!

The year was 1974 and I was in the second grade. I remember that year exceptionally well because something major happened to me.

After getting tested at school it was determined that I needed to get glasses. This event happens to thousands of people every day and isn’t normally a big deal. But, when you’re only seven years old getting glasses is really a big deal. All of your fellow classmates know all of the cruel nicknames such as four eyes, pop bottle head, and, my favorite, fish eyes.

Children can be so receptive and cruel at that age.

The glasses that I chose were gold wire rimmed frames with egg-shaped lenses. Hey, it was 1974.

I hated them almost immediately. After the novelty of them wore off, I found that they gave me a terrible headache. I took them to school but they were seldom worn.

It came time for me to have my picture taken at school that year and I remember walking up on the stage where the photographer was situated. I was holding my glasses in my hand unsure where to put them while I had my picture taken. The photographer told me to put them on; after all, they belonged on my face he said.

Six weeks later when the pictures came back I got the shock of my life. My pictures were terrible, absolutely awful—I looked just like all of those things that my friends had teased me about.

I cried.

I wouldn’t trade photos with any of my friends.

My mom didn’t think that it was a bad picture. Of course, she wouldn’t because she’s my mom you know. I begged and pleaded with her to let me get my picture retaken on Picture Retake Day. She reluctantly agreed and I began to plan out what I was going to wear and certainly remember to leave those blasted spectacles at home.

Picture Retake Day was scheduled for the middle of January. Now, living in southern Ohio in the middle of January can present several problems, namely, snow. Wouldn’t you know it, a major snowstorm dumped over a foot of snow on the farm and we were out of school for three days.

The Picture Retake Day couldn’t be rescheduled because the photographer was booked for the rest of the school year.

I was left with the worst school picture ever, and possibly the worst picture that I have ever posed for, sober anyway.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What I Walked Into

One happened to me the other day has probably happened to almost everyone who might find themselves reading this story. However, there are exceptions to every rule. The exceptions are those of you that are afraid to use public restrooms, water closets, loos, or whatever else they might be called around the world. Luckily, I don’t have this problem.

I had been visiting a sick friend at the hospital and was on my way out of the building when I decided to pay a visit to the ladies room.

I spied those helpful signs pointing me to the correct door and I walked right in.

Oh my Goodness!

Oh my Goodness!

I had walked into the most disgusting, awful smelling, eye watering stench that I had ever smelled. It made my knees weak.

I had broken my cardinal rule: I never use a bathroom that has only one stall. The stench can get stuck in there for days.

I don’t know who the culprit was; I guess I shouldn’t say that, because it is a bathroom after all. All I know is I hate to do that to other people that’s why I carry one of those miniature Lysol sprays around with me. It’s common courtesy—strike a match---spray some perfume—do anything. Just don’t leave it hanging there for someone, namely me, to walk into.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Friday Night In Atlanta

It seems that my mother and me have been spending an awful lot of time together lately which is a good thing I guess. After our two consecutive weekend attempts of yard selling together we thought we would each do our own thing this weekend.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I haven't been around much lately because I've been tending to a sick family member. Things were going as smoothly as could be expected when hospital staff decided that a transfer to a bigger hospital was needed, in Atlanta, which is 75 miles away, on a Friday night.

I used to go out in Atlanta years ago before I became the MA Fat Woman. I used to be known as the twenty-something chunky gal heretofore known as Thunder Thighs. I used to love going to night clubs and all of that jazz then I realized it was a waste of money. I could buy a six pack, turn up my radio real loud, smoke a pack of cigarettes in 3 hours and get the same effect at home without worrying how I was going to get home from the club.

That being said, I don't come to Atlanta very often. It's usually just passing through on my way to Florida. It's not a bad place, the traffic is horrendous and there is always a traffic jam somewhere, day or night. I usually get in the far left lane and go as fast as possible to get the hell out of there.

Anyhow, after several hours of negotiating construction sites, Friday night party goers and reversible traffic lanes, we finally made it to the hospital at 1:00 AM. My mom was riding in the ambulance and I was following in the little red Mustang.

You know, I almost outran that ambulance. I kept having to put on my brakes, and waiting on them to catch up. I think they saw me pass them one time because all of a sudden, they took off like a shot and I had to floor it to keep up. I was following the ambulance with my hazard lights flashing, we passed 3 cops and not one of them looked our way and we were going 85 in a 55.

I guess I have found another way to get through Atlanta traffic--find an ambulance and follow it.

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