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.

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