Saturday, December 31, 2011

And Still Another Year End Closeout

Is it just me or does it seem that 2011 was a really long year?

Winter, here in the south was horrible--lots of snow, ice and unseasonably cold temperatures. Most days, I wore more layers than an eight-layer fruit salad. I looked like the kid brother from the Christmas movie A Christmas Story after his mom had dressed him up for school. Remember that scene?

Also, didn't it seem that there was a lot of natural disasters last year? From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to extreme flooding in Asia, it was hard for me to watch the news some days.

Then came the middle of April when huge thunderstorms triggered violent tornadoes in the southeast where I live. Luckily, my property received no damage except for some broken tree limbs and a few frayed nerves belonging to one MA Fat Woman and one stressed out Ralphie (my new cat).

Early summer brought a new job for me (yay) of which I have now been laid off from (not so yay). I also began toying with the idea of putting a book together and getting it published (yay). After months of research, editing, more research, conversations with Sister, still more research, more conversations with Jenn of Cabbages and Kings who was pursuing the same goals and a weeklong kick of reading English Grammar Books about capitalization and semi colons, it was done. My first manuscript! Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman is now available for purchase in paperback and ebook forms. (BIG YAY!)

Also, during the late summer, we welcomed the newest cat to the family, Wally, who is quite a character and fits right in with this wacky family of mine.

In fall, Mom and I took a drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway and had a wonderful time. We visited Grandfather Mountain and Mount Mitchell, which is the highest point east of the Mississippi. We ate good and made lots of memories.

Health wise, I'm still on this side of the dirt and that's all that matters. I did lose 20 pounds which is good but I still need to lose more so I can become the Middle-Aged not so Fat Woman. I hope to maintain a fitness program that lasts longer than six weeks; I'm sure that would help with the weight loss.

I can't really remember what else I was supposed to be working on this year. My memory seems to be forgetting what it is supposed to do. Oh well, I'm sure it will come around and I'll think of something!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011






Goodreads Book Giveaway







Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman by Gianetta M. Palmer






Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman




by Gianetta M. Palmer





Giveaway ends January 10, 2012.



See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.





Enter to win

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We Have A Winner

Actually, we have several winners! I'm going to send everyone that took the time to leave a comment a signed copy of my new book.




So, Drama Queen, Mrs. Gray, a Melissa that went to school with me and Ruby don't take your love to town, watch your mail, because the middle-aged fat woman is on the way.

I'll be contacting each of you personally to get your address!

I'm also going to be giving away more signed copies on Goodreads.

And if you didn't win this go round, don't fret, because the book is available for purchase on Amazon, B&N, Kindle, iTunes and about everywhere, I guess.

Like one of my childhood friends said, "My son thinks it's cool that I know someone with a book for sale on Amazon."

You know what?

I do too!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rudd's Christmas Farm


***Enjoy this classic holiday post***

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's 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.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Gianetta

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Rituals

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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Book Giveaway...Contest Ends Soon




There's still time to get your comment in!

I'm having a contest and giving away a couple of my books signed personally by me, the MAFW! How cool is that? Very cool, I'd say. HEY! You can laugh all you want to but I'll have you know that I am very serious when it comes to signing my name. In fact, I have been practicing my autograph since 4th grade.

It's changed a bit--I've had to ad the MAFW part to it, but I've had the old Jane Handcock perfected for a very long time. It goes something like this:

Oh, wait! The only way you can get it is to order a book from me or wait to win one. Either way, you'll come out a winner!

Anyhow, all you have to do to enter the contest is to leave a comment about why you want an autographed copy. That's it! Quick and easy. I'll pick the winner Christmas Eve and announce it on the December 26th. (I can't announce it on Christmas because I have a special post for that day.)

Again, just leave a comment about why you want an autographed copy of Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman the book and I'll pick two lucky winners to receive their very own signed copy.

(Also available in Kindle and other eBook formats.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Thing About Birthdays So Close To The Holidays

I was doing some holiday shopping recently and got behind a group of people that included a grandma, daughter and several grandkids. The mall was so packed it was hard to get past them as they paused to window shop so I just fell along behind them as they lingered near several stores that catered toward a younger clientele. The stores that seemed to capture their attention the most was the Disney Store and the Build-a-Bear Workshop.

When the family stopped first at the Disney Store the children went absolutely bananas. "Oh, Granny, can we get a princess dress? Oh, Mommy, can we get a movie? Pleasssseee. It's almost my birthday. Pleeeeeeazzzze."

The daughter looked toward her mother who just shook her head and gave her an 'I don't know' look. "No, honey. Not today. It's almost Christmas and you're going to get lots of presents from Santa and your Aunt Susan and Aunt Alice."

I watched the children frown slightly as they processed this information so they stopped looking and continued on through the mall. What was surprising was that the kids accepted what their mother had told them and hadn't pitched a royal fit.

When we arrived at the Build-a-Bear Workshop the excitement started all over again. "Granny! Mommy! Can we make a bear? I just love teddy bears, don't you?
Oh, please! Cam we make one, please? My birthday is in TWO days. Pleeeaaase."

Mother and daughter exchanged another look and this time the grandmother said, "Sweety, you're gonna get lots of presents for Christmas."

"I know, but they won't be for my birthday," one said with a pronounced frown.

At that moment, an older gentleman walked up and everybody just squealed, "Grandpa!"

"What's going on?" Grandpa asked.

Granny and daughter informed him about the shopping they had done and wondered where he had been. "I've been sitting on that bench over there with all the other old guys," he said with a chuckle. "I saw ya'll over at the bear shop and wandered what you was fussing about?"

"Well, the kids were wanting some things for their birthday," said the daughter.

"What's wrong with that?" he asked.

"Dad, they are going to get tons of presents for Christmas. They do every year and we have this same conversation every year."

"That's a load of crap. It seems to me that it isn't the kids' faults that they were born so close to Christmas. Go ahead, get 'em what they want and I'll pay for it."

My thoughts exactly!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Get Your Free Copy Today





Wow! I'm finally glad the twelve days of dieting are over. Nothing ruins the holiday spirit more than trying to watch what you're eating this time of the year. I did lose three pounds though, which is pretty good. I've had a ton of stuff going on and it's been crazy to say the least.

But, what I have been waiting to do is have a contest and give away a couple of my books signed personally by me, the MAFW! How cool is that? Very cool, I'd say. HEY! You can laugh all you want to but I'll have you know that I am very serious when it comes to signing my name. In fact, I have been practicing my autograph since 4th grade.

It's changed a bit--I've had to ad the MAFW part to it, but I've had the old Jane Handcock perfected for a very long time. It goes something like this:

Oh, wait! The only way you can get it is to order a book from me or wait to win one. Either way, you'll come out a winner!

Anyhow, all you have to do to enter the contest is to leave a comment about why you want an autographed copy. That's it! Quick and easy. I'll pick the winner Christmas Eve and announce it on the December 26th. (I can't announce it on Christmas because I have a special post for that day.)

Again, just leave a comment about why you want an autographed copy of Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman the book and I'll pick two lucky winners to receive their very own signed copy.

(Also available in Kindle and other eBook formats.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Giveaway...I'm Giving Away Two Signed Copies





Wow! I'm finally glad the twelve days of dieting are over. Nothing ruins the holiday spirit more than trying to watch what you're eating this time of the year. I did lose three pounds though, which is pretty good. I've had a ton of stuff going on and it's been crazy to say the least.

But, what I have been waiting to do is have a contest and give away a couple of my books signed personally by me, the MAFW! How cool is that? Very cool, I'd say. HEY! You can laugh all you want to but I'll have you know that I am very serious when it comes to signing my name. In fact, I have been practicing my autograph since 4th grade.

It's changed a bit--I've had to ad the MAFW part to it, but I've had the old Jane Handcock perfected for a very long time. It goes something like this:

Oh, wait! The only way you can get it is to order a book from me or wait to win one. Either way, you'll come out a winner!

Anyhow, all you have to do to enter the contest is to leave a comment about why you want an autographed copy. That's it! Quick and easy. I'll pick the winner Christmas Eve and announce it on the December 26th. (I can't announce it on Christmas because I have a special post for that day.)

Again, just leave a comment about why you want an autographed copy of Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman the book and I'll pick two lucky winners to receive their very own signed copy

Monday, December 12, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 12


On my twelfth day of dieting my body said to me:

12 disappointing weigh-ins

11 times the MA Fat Woman has told me to pick up her new book

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated (ate at Olive Garden)

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Thank goodness, that's over! There's always next year! Now, let's eat!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 11



On my eleventh day of dieting my body said to me:

11 times I've been told to buy the MA Fat Woman's new book

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated (ate at Olive Garden)

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 10



Hey! It's the MA Fat Woman here. Have you picked up my book yet? If you have, then I say, "way to go." If not, I say, "What are you waiting for?"


On my tenth day of dieting my body said to me:

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 9



Don't forget to pick up my new book for yourself or somebody special.


On my ninth day of dieting my body said to me:

9 times I've cheated (ate at Olive Garden)

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 8



Have you picked up a copy of my new book yet? It makes a great gift!

On my eighth day of dieting my body said to me:

8 glasses of water

7 slimey salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 7



My book is now available for sale on Amazon in paperback and in ebook form on the Kindle.

On my seventh day of dieting my body said to me:

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 6


On my sixth day of dieting my body said to me:

6 sugar-free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

HEY! It's Christmastime! Don't you need an extra gift for Uncle Fred or "the take the present and pass it game?" Give a copy of my new book; it makes an excellent gift.

PLUS! It's now out on the Amazon Kindle!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 5



Looking for that perfect gift? Check out my new book; it makes an excellent gift and a great stocking stuffer.
On my fifth day of dieting my body said to me:

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 4



Have you ordered my new book yet? It makes a great gift for yourself or somebody you love!

On my fourth day of dieting my body said to me:

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 3


My crazy neighbor, Miss Merlethem Shatz, caught me outside today as I was putting up my Christmas lights. She said she had been watching me through the window and I looked like I could use a snack. Now, I'm always up for a snack, but she brought me one of those yucky tasting low-carb bars that usually results in a mad dash to the bathroom upon consumption.

I'm nothing if not neighborly, so I ate it and...well...it works great in my song.

Don't forget to buy a copy of my new book. It makes a great gift!


On my third day of dieting my body said to me:

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year III...Day 2


I did really well on my first day of dieting. I finished off the no-bake cookies. (Now, I won't have any temptations!) Now on to day 2...

Don't forget to pick up new book; it makes a great gift!

On the second day of dieting my body said to me:


2 hunger pains...

...and

You're gonna do great! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Twelve Days OF Dieting...Year III...Day 1


I had so much fun last year doing the Twelve Days of Dieting and since I'm nowhere near where I want to be I'm going to do it again! I know it's hard to diet during this time of year (Tell me about it. I just baked no-bake cookies.) but I figure if I try to be on a diet, I won't eat as much.

Okay, I'm not fooling anyone, but I have lost 20 pounds since March. That has to count for something, right?


Please join me as I continue my quest to become the MA not so Fat Woman. I'm sure you've heard the holiday classic The Twelve days of Christmas. Well, my version is The Twelve Days of Dieting.

Check back for added days and don't hesitate to sing along!

Don't forget to pick up my new book; it makes a great gift

On my first day of dieting my body said to me, "You can do it, just think how much better you'll feel..."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Thing About Handicapped Parking


If you've been a follower of this fascinating weblog then you know that the MAFW is an observer of many situations and problems that would otherwise go unnoticed. One such problem is handicapped parking.

Everyone knows that handicapped parking is a good idea and helps millions of folks patronize businesses that they normally wouldn't. The handicapped parking spot is great because it allows the disabled to get as close as possible to a business without actually driving inside.

But, here's the problem: Once they have finished their shopping and returned to their vehicles there isn't any place for them to return the shopping cart. I'm talking about large parking lots. Most cart returns begin at least six parking spaces down from the handicapped spots. The person is forced to choose between a spot close to the door and a spot close to the cart return.

Ever wonder why there are so many shopping carts at the beginning of a row and not in the return area? That might be the reason.

Wouldn't it be more helpful if they built a cart return area before the handicapped spaces?

Anyhow, the next time you're out in one of those large parking lots, check it out and see how close the cart return area is to the disabled parking spots. And if you notice someone trying to decide which way to go with the cart, offer to take it inside for them. You'll make their day and probably yours, too!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cold Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

Five years ago today I smoked my last cigarette. At the time, I never dreamt that I would be able to do it, and on the first try. I did cheat twice: I smoked two cigarettes on day four because I thought I was stressed. The next and last time was at the holiday party at work which was day 11. I inhaled about two puffs before I gagged and almost threw up. All of my fellow coworkers got a kick out of that.

That was it; I was done with it.

I did use the drug Chantix for about a month and did have some wacky dreams, but it was only temporary.

One thing that hasn't been so temporary was the weight gain. Wanna know how I became a middle-aged fat woman? I stopped smoking and gained almost a hundred pounds.

Holy crap! is right. I've heard all of the fat jokes, and it's why a lot people won't quit smoking. However, to all of you smokers out there, I may be overweight but I can outrun, outlast and out breathe most of you.

Think about this: You can buy larger clothes but you can't buy new lungs!

It's been five years for me and I have lost nearly half of the weight I gained. (I know, high fives for me.)

I went cold turkey the day after turkey day. I did it and so can you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Looking For That Perfect Bathroom Reader






Wow!

It's the perfect reader to keep you laughing while you're ...um...you know!

Show 'em how much you care: It's the Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman book.

Just click on any of the links and it will take you straight to the Amazon ordering page!

It's just the perfect size to slip into your purse or carry along in your man bag or backpack! It makes the perfect gift!

The Holidays are here, the MAFW's new book is the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy for person in your life. This is the book for them!

Need a gag gift for the office party? Is there a better way to show someone how much fun you like to have by giving a book titled Reflections On a Middle-Aged Fat Woman?

Show mom she's not the only middle-aged fat woman in the world and it is OKAY to laugh about it by presenting her with this funny book.

Makes a great stocking stuffer!


Hurry, get your copy today!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seens From The New Restaurant In Town...Part II

...Somewhere between "oompa loompa doompadee doo" and an encore of "Swingin'" the waitress brought out our order. I had ordered an entree-size Cheddar and BBQ overstuffed baked potato and Friend had the Fettuccine Alfredo. The waitress gave me another look and said, "Are you related to Don that works at the bank?" she asked.

"Nope, but I know who he is," I replied. "Man, you sure look familiar!"

"Well, the only other place you might know me is from Weight Watchers. I gave it up about three years ago when my kids started growing. Can't you tell? My ass is bigger than the buffet over at the Chinese place across town."

That comment left me slightly rattled and the only thing I could think of was how many points did my super stuffed potato have. (I was a Weight Watcher dropout too) "How many points do you think this potato has?" I asked.

"All of 'em, I'd say. But it doesn't matter because no one is watching. You enjoy your meal."

After a few minutes of silence (the DVD player stopped working and the country singer had ended his gig) we had eaten most of our food when we heard another round of music coming from elsewhere in the restaurant. Suddenly, I heard a banjo, then a fiddle. Next, was a bass and then something like a mandolin and before you knew it they took off on the "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." It was Bluegrass music and they were good, really good.

I sat through that song but when they broke out another fiddle and started playing "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" I couldn't stay in my seat any longer; I wanted to see them. It was a young, family group and they each took turns playing the different instruments and singing the lead and harmonizing.

I had a hard time not busting a move when they played "Cotton-Eyed Joe;" I didn't think the whole restaurant wanted to see me clog. However, it did cross my mind that if I clogged, I could gain a few activity points. (Weight Watcher lingo)

I walked back to the table, sat down and looked at Friend, who was crying. "What's wrong with you? Bite your tongue?"

"No," she sniffed.

"Well, what's wrong?"

"It's the music, Bluegrass music makes me cry..."

"Why?"

"I don't know, it just does. Parades, too!"

"What about parades?"

"They make me cry, too."

"Good heavens! (Oompa Loompa Doompadee Doo, if you are wise...) "You ready? I don't think I can take anymore."

Somehow, when we stood up to leave, the party of seven were ready to go too. They had remained pretty quiet after the first musician had left and didn't seem interested in the Bluegrass. As we followed them outside somebody's phone rang.

Guess what the ring tone was?

Yep, it was "Swingin'!"

And off they went again. Singing "Swingin'" as loud as they could...

Next thing I knew, the whole bunch started clogging. Well, slap my knee and yell yeehaw, this damn place is nuts I thought to myself as I got in the truck. The next thing you knew, there goes Friend, a stomp here and a shuffle there; she was clogging.

Friend, who is normally quite reserved, now red-faced and flushed from her short outburst jumped into the truck and before I could say anything, said "I don't know. I just felt like it. I'm having an off-beat kinda day."

Me, too!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seens From The New Restaurant In Town...Part I

I was having an off-beat kinda day when Friend called and suggested we try out the new restaurant in town. Never one to turn down an invitation to dinner, or anything that involves food for that matter, I gladly accepted. The new place was actually a new family restaurant in a building that has housed several previous establishments, none of which lasted very long. I hoped this one would be different because I had heard folks say they had good food.

They say you can tell a lot about a place when you first walk in the door. Holy crap! I opened the door to the new restaurant and closed it just as quickly. They had live entertainment and they were set up right beside the door and had the amps maxed out; it was way too loud for my dining pleasure. I like live music but not at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon.

Friend had the same annoyed look that I had and we both suggested other options. That conversation took about two seconds because in my podunk town it's either fast food, Mexican, if its a Wednesday, Chinese or Fatz restaurant. That's it! No Red Lobster, no Ryan's, no nothing. With a mutual shrug of the shoulders, we opened the door, clasped our hands to our ears as we walked past the speaker and were led to a table around the corner and away from the music.

Thankfully, it was a bit quieter until the table of seven that we were seated behind started singing along as the musician belted out the classic John Anderson tune "Swingin'." "There is a little girl in our neighborhood, her name is Charlotte Johnson and she's really looking good. I had to go and see her, so I called her on the phone, I walked over to her house and this was going on"...and on...and on. They knew all of the words to the song. Luckily, their food arrived and they stopped singing.

The next thing that seemed strange was the waitress; she kept staring at me and I stared right back. I knew I had seen that lady somewhere and vice versa. While perusing the menus, another family that consisted of a mom, dad, female child and a portable DVD player were seated two tables behind us. Yep, they brought the player inside the restaurant and guess what the movie of choice was: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Hooray! More music...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Searching For That Perfect Gift?






Wow!

Show 'em how much you care: It's the Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman book.

Just click on any of the links and it will take you straight to the Amazon ordering page!

It's just the perfect size to slip into your purse or carry along in your man bag or backpack! It makes the perfect gift!

The Holidays are here, the MAFW's new book is the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy for person in your life. This is the book for them!

Need a gag gift for the office party? Is there a better way to show someone how much fun you like to have by giving a book titled Reflections On a Middle-Aged Fat Woman?

Show mom she's not the only middle-aged fat woman in the world and it is OKAY to laugh about it by presenting her with this funny book.

Makes a great stocking stuffer!


Hurry, get your copy today!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Case You Missed It

I've been enjoying a little break from the blog; been working on promoting my new book and all. But, I couldn't let this issue pass by without a comment or two from the MA Fat Woman.

The headline screamed: Some Kotex Tampons Recalled Due To Infection Risk.

The Kimberly-Clark Corp. says it has ordered a limited recall of 1,400 cases of tampons contaminated with a bacterium that could cause serious infections and, according to the FDA, could be life threatening.

"We have so far recovered 98% of the product -- Kotex Natural Balance Security Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency," Kimberly-Clark spokesman Bob Brand tells WebMD. "We are looking for about 300 boxes, each containing 36 tampons."


All I can say is that I hope none of the MAFW's peeps is in possession of one of these recalled tampons. Really.

I mean, really.

Just the thought of it makes me want to throw up. Could you imagine the conversation: "MAFW? This is Jon Dough calling from the USDA. It has come to our attention, that you are in possession of a box of tainted tampons. These items have been recalled and you must surrender any remaining product whether unused or in use. Please forward to the proper authorities."

Like I said before, really! We're usually already stressed out enough during this time of the month, now we have to worry about tainted feminine products....Really!

Don't forget to get my new book!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

May I Have Your Attention Please?...Again






Wow!

After three and a half years, it's finally here: It's the Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman book.

Just click on any of the links and it will take you straight to the Amazon ordering page!

It's just the perfect size to slip into your purse or carry along in your man bag or backpack! It makes the perfect gift!

The Holidays are here, the MAFW's new book is the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy for person in your life. This is the book for them!

Need a gag gift for the office party? Is there a better way to show someone how much fun you like to have by giving a book titled Reflections On a Middle-Aged Fat Woman?

Show mom she's not the only middle-aged fat woman in the world and it is OKAY to laugh about it by presenting her with this funny book.

Makes a great stocking stuffer!


Hurry, get your copy today!


Makes a great gift!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Up On Grandfather Mountain

Recently, Mom and I were able to get away for a few days and headed up into North Carolina on the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you are unfamiliar with the road, construction began in 1935 during the FDR administration and wasn't completed until the Reagan years in 1987. I know, that's what I was thinking, "Just exactly how long is that road?"

Well, it is 456 miles to be exact and travels through North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia through the Blue Ridge Mountains which are a part of the Appalachian Mountains. It's a two-lane road, mostly, that has a posted speed limit of 45 mph, numerous places to pull over and check out the views and different tourist attractions along the way.

One such attraction was Grandfather Mountain. The mountain features wildlife habitats, walking and hiking trails, picturesque views from the top of the mountain, and something I was particularly interested in, the mile-high swinging bridge. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip:


Wind swept tree up on the mountain


Nice view from the top


Warning sign for the bear sanctuary


Flower, the bear, held us captive for several moments as we watched her clown around.


My first closeup look at the swinging bridge.

Mom and I saying cheese and smiling broadly at the entrance to the bridge. Notice my windswept hairdo and mom's chattering teeth; it was cold.

My first step onto the bridge. No problems here. Never mind that the wind was gusting over 50 mph and I have a slight fear of heights. No worries at all....until I made it about halfway across and got nailed by a wind gust that was so big and loud that it took my scream away. I started to gasp, my head started spinning and then I started to hyperventilate. I took one look down and then I started to RUN. I made it across...barely.

Mom, who was slightly out of breath when I finally noticed her standing beside me, took one look at me and said, "Are you sick? You look green. Maybe, you need to sit down."

I agreed with her and sat down on a rock to get my senses back. The only thing I could thing of was how in the world was I ever going to get back across the mile-high swinging bridge. You'll notice there are no snapshots of either one of us midway across the bridge. I was surprised by my reaction. I'm not sure if it was the wind, the altitude or my Spam sandwich, but something about this experience wasn't agreeing with me.

After a few minutes I started to calm down. "I didn't think the height would bother me so bad," I told mom.

"I don't know about the height, but that wind gust 'bout blew me over the side. Did you take any pictures coming across?"

"No, I had my eyes closed for most of the way. That's what I'm going to do on the way back across, too, or they're going to have to take me outta here by helicopter."



This is the last picture that I took up on Grandfather Mountain. It was located halfway across the swinging bridge. Not too bad for having my eyes closed, huh?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

BOO!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Scare Mare...Revisited

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!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whistling Chinese While Boxing The Cat

Any idea what that means? I had one of those fanciful, rip-roaring dreams the other night where there was so much activity that I woke up just plain tired.

I was a ballerina in the Russian version of the Nutcracker that was making her debut at the National Opera House in Sydney, Australia in 1846. I was of Asian descent and was supposed to be of small stature but it seems I was a bit too, too much to fit into my tutu.

I'm not sure if I had too many shrimp on the barbie or not but I kept walking around my dressing room with a Siamese cat following me and nagging that I needed to get into shape or I would be the laughing stock of the Seaman Fall Festival. (Seaman is the town where my high school is located.)

Not sure how or why I was having cross-Atlantic and cross-Centuries dreams but I can assure you that the fall festival and the opera house are about as far apart as two worlds could possibly be.

Or, so I thought!

The last thing I remembered before I woke up was that I was a contestant in the amateur talent shows at both the fall festival and at the opera house.

What was my talent? Whistling Chinese while boxing the cat...all in full tutu, of course!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sayings For The First Cold Snap Of The Season

In honor of the first major cold snap to hit my neck of the woods this year, here are a few of my favorite sayings. Feel free to leave your own cold/colder comments in the comments section.

It's so cold that my Jack O'Lantern almost froze to death.

It's so cold that my runny nose is now a small icicle.

It's so cold that even Mother Nature has been asking for another blanket.

I wonder if I got any gas left in the tank from last year?

I don't. Can I borrow $500?

And my personal favorite, although I don't know why...It's colder than a witch's titty

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...Everyone Wants To Be A Clown




Flower the bear having fun at Grandfather Mountain!

Friday, October 14, 2011

No Female Holidays

Have you ever wondered why we have no National Holidays in honor or memory of a famous woman?



Me too...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Losing My Estrogen

Please sing along if you remember the words to REM's Losing my Religion now affectionately known as Losing my Estrogen.

There are many benefits of being a middle-aged fat woman, or so I'm told; personally, I've yet to discover any.

There are so many changes going on with my body right now that I swear if I wasn't somewhat educated I would think that I wasn't a human being at all. Everything seems to be happening in reverse; Benjamin Button ain't got nothing on me. Let me provide you with a few examples:

Why is it that every hair on my body is turning a darker shade of gray with each passing year except...wait for it...the hair on my upper lip.

Have I mentioned the forgetfulness?

I am now an official member of the older society of women in my family. What is so special about this extraordinary group of women: You are now allowed to carry around your own personal Lady Bic Shaver for the purpose of extinguishing those pesky dark hairs without fear of being made fun of or laughed at.

We've all tried the tweezers, but that's too painful.

Some of us might have tried the waxing technique but ever since that scene in the movie Basic Instinct with Sharon Stone...hot wax and I haven't quite been on speaking terms.

Have I mentioned the forgetfulness?

Another thing that I can't seem to control these days are my emotions. I'll be crying tears of joy one second and the next I go almost completely bats*it crazy with rage. Thank goodness for Midol and Pamprin; they've become my best friends.

And don't even get me started on the acne problems. When I was a teenager I expected to have a pimple here and there. You woke up in the morning, stared at the small white bump, popped it and moved on; it healed within three days.

My menopausal acne doesn't behave this way. When I get one of those whoppers they stay around for three weeks or longer and bug the crap out of me because they're never in a convenient place..i.e..like my forehead or the tip of my nose. One little kid pointed at me one day and asked her mommy if that lady had diseases on her face. (No, honey, just monster pimples.) Nice.

Have I mentioned the forgetfulness?

I've mentioned to mom the changes that I've been going through and she just laughed, "Get you some hormones and give it about ten years. You'll be just fine. I made it through okay, didn't I?"

That quote took me down memory lane about twenty years ago, back to a time when mom was losing her estrogen too. You would have thought she was losing her mind; crying all the time, ornery as hell and it took 15 minutes for her to figure out which child you were. "I guess you did. You were a bit gruff sometimes, though, I think."

"Gruff? I wouldn't talk if I was you, you've just been plain grouchy. Go get some of them pep pills. I gotta go, my favorite song just came on the radio." In the background, I wasn't too surprised to hear the opening chorus of my new favorite song...so I chimed right in...Losing my Estrogen.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Seens From Mount Mitchell

Here are a few photos from Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River, (elevation 6871 feet) that Mom and I visited over the last week.

Mom on a bench



Mom looking out over the valley


Mom at the lookout





I love this picture of mom with the old man statue. Doesn't it just scream, "Howdy, partner?"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Looking For Leaves

Mom and I are off on an adventure for the next few days. We decided to head up in to the mountains of Western North Carolina to look at the leaves in their full autumnal splendor. It snowed there this past weekend. One place we are going is Grandfather Mountain where they have a mile high swinging bridge.




Of course, you know there is always a catch with us and this time is no exception. Mom is scared of heights and I get altitude sickness.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm Real Egg-cited About This

I like to watch infomercials. I've never bought anything but I like to see the new things that people have invented. I really like the kitchen gadgets. I have always wanted to try something cooked in a NuWave oven. As much as those gadgets cost, I'd really like to try it before I buy it.

Anyhow, I was flipping channels the other night and chanced upon a new gadget that got me really excited. I love deviled eggs but I hate to peel them. I wanted this gadget!



After a few days of being bombarded with this commercial, I decided I would bite the bullet and make the purchase. Of course, I couldn't remember the name of the product, so I had to Google it. Up jumped the website about Eggies, but before I clicked through to it, I saw another link to a "Try it, before you buy it" site sponsored by a television station in Maryland.

Well, I thought to myself, How smart is that? I visited that station's site and watched as they demonstrated the product. And I'm glad I did, too, because the results were less than egg-citing.

I'm a little disappointed, but that's okay, at least I won't be suffering any eggspensive charges on my next credit card statement.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It Ain't A Turkey, That's Fer Sure...Part IV

..."I've seen wild turkeys before and these birds are definitely not turkeys. They don't have those things under their necks, combs or something?"

"Hmm, I thought combs were only found on chickens?"

"I don't know," I said. "Well, I gotta go, someone is knocking at the door."

"I hope it ain't Merlethem, he he," mom said.

I hoped it wasn't my crazy neighbor, either. However, I wasn't too surprised to see her standing there on my porch, shotgun in hand. "I'm thinking about going after those turkeys, you wanna have a go with old Winston, here?"

"Well, I'm not sure. Why do you call it Winston?"

"Oh, heehehehe, you silly girl, after Winston Churchill, of course. He's saved me arse on more than one occasion."

"Who? Winston Churchill? I didn't think you were in the war?" I asked. As many times as it has happened in the past, I should have known better than to ask Merlethem any questions.

"Well, back in '44, I was just a wee lass and we had just come through the roughest winter. It seems we spent every other hour down in the bomb shelters hiding from those blimey Germans. Whenever we ran into the shelters, we were always told to bring any form of weaponry we had. And this is how old Winston ended up in the Shatz family. Watch this!"

When Merlethem said that, I stepped back and watched in complete disbelief as she raised old Winston to her shoulder and got off two rounds from the double-barrelled beast. "Holy Crap! What in the hell are you shooting at?" I yelled.

"Look there. Look down there." I followed her gaze down to the old chicken house and saw the birds again. Or what was left of them.

"Well, I think you killed 'em," I said. As we walked down the hill to inspect the damage (two birds were dead) we were surprised when the last remaining bird flew over our shoulders and landed near his friends. "Well, Merlethem, it ain't a turkey, that's for sure."

"I guess not. Wretch! Thy God hath lent thee--by these angels, he had sent thee..."

"Huh? You're tripping again. You killed these birds, I hope you're gonna dispose of them." I said and started to walk away when I heard something behind me.

"Nevermore," said the last remaining bird to his friends. Then he turned to us and said, "I'm a turkey buzzard, you nitwits! Now, leave me alone. It's time for my dinner." he said.

And then he dug in...

Monday, September 26, 2011

It Ain't A Turkey, That's Fer Sure...Part III

...As my mind tends to do these days, I soon forgot about Merlethem and her crazy words until one evening. I happened to look out my front window and was startled to see three large black birds staring at me along with one crazy old bat.

OH. MY. GOODNESS.

I was reaching for my camera when I caught Merlethem's eye or something because she took off running for her house next door. (Because of an earlier situation or two, her kids had put up a fence around her house that she was not supposed to leave from.) She was too fast for me but I was able to snap a few pictures of Huey and Duey, but as you can see, they definitely aren't ducks!




At that moment, my phone rang. It was my mom calling to see if I wanted to go with her to her belly dancing lesson and then out for a bite to eat. I explained the situation about Merlethem and the birds, and the early morning encounter and the sputtering of crazy words. "She ain't crazy," Mom said. "It sounds like she was quoting "The Raven" or maybe parts of it. Why don't you go ask her?"

"Heavens, no!" I said. "I don't want to encourage her at all. You know what happens when you get too friendly with her."

"You're right! You had to stay with me for two weeks the last time because she kept calling you and knocking on your doors at all times of the day and night. If I remember correctly, you 'bout ate me out of house and home too. I thought her kids fenced her in?"

"They did. She must have climbed over it or something."

"Ha, maybe she flew over. You always call her an old bat..."

"Mom? I do not!"

"Are you sure them birds ain't tom turkeys or something?..."

Friday, September 23, 2011

It Ain't No Turkey, That's Fer Sure...Part II

...Anyhow, the next few weeks passed uneventfully without any sightings of the birds or my wacky neighbor until one early morning. It was barely daylight and I was outside packing up the car to head out to the flea market when I heard an eerie moan and the following from somewhere near my neighbor's house.

"Whhhooo, prithy, once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore. While I nodded, nearly napping, SUDDENLY there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door..."

"Merlethem, is that you?" I asked. "Who are you talking to? You scared me a little bit." At that point, in the early morning light, I heard a whoosh and a flapping of wings as something very large took flight just over my head. "What the hell is it? Are those buzzards back?" I yelled.

Melethem, whom without my noticing was now standing directly behind me. "Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; 'Tis the wind and nothing more."

"What are you talking about..."

"Open here, I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter..."

"Flirts and flutter, are you drinking again? Man, I gotta go. I'm going to the flea market."

"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing..."

"I know one thing, you're making me wonder," I said as I got in my car. As I was pulling out of my driveway I glanced up at my rear view mirror and there was just enough daylight to see Merlethem standing there, watching me leave, alongside a very strange looking black object that I hadn't seen before.

What was that, I wondered to myself as I drove away...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It Ain't No Turkey, That's Fer Sure...Part I

A month or so ago, I was walking past one of the windows in my house when something caught my eye. It was big, black and stood about two feet tall. Before I could get closer to the window for a better view, that THING took flight. Holy Crap! I ain't never been that close to a buzzard, raven, vulture, turkey or whatever it was before.

Since nature was calling I didn't have time to go outside and check it out right then and my short term memory seems to be fading as fast as my hairline so within a few minutes I had totally forgotten about my new visitor.

A few days later I was awakened by a pounding on my front door. "Hey! MA Fat Lady! Get out here! I wanna show you something."

Oh, no. It was my crazy elderly neighbor, Ms. Merlethem Shatz. I rolled out of bed and made it to the door, "What is it?"

"Look! Look there!" I followed her outstretched arm with my gaze and saw three (3) of those big, black birds standing in my backyard down by the old chicken house staring back at me and Merlethem. "What are they?"




"I don't know. They're kind of freaking me out. Maybe we should throw a rock at them."

"Rock, me arse. (She's British.) I'm gonna get my gun."

"I don't think you can fire a gun off this close to town," I said.

"BOLLOCKS! I thought this was a free country." At that outburst the large birds took flight nearly buzzing our heads as they flew off in the distance. My neighbor spun on her heels and talked to herself the whole way as she made her way back to her house. "Bollocks!" she yelled one last time as she went inside.

I had to agree with her. I didn't like the idea of these big birds hanging out at my house. I'm not superstitious (maybe, a little) or anything but isn't having three (3) large black Edgar Allen Poe type birds as neighbors an omen of some kind...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When You See Me Walk By

I'm sort of a pack rat, I guess. I've mentioned before that I like to go to the flea market and go to yard sales where I pick up all sorts of crap.

One thing that I will normally not purchase used are clothes. I'm not sure why, maybe it stems from childhood when mom was a frequent visitor to neighborhood yard sales where she tried to find clothing for her ever growing kids at a cheap price.

I'm not proud or anything (maybe, a little) but the thought of wearing the neighbors' used clothing really gives me the Eeewwwwwws. None of my neighbors on Cherry Fork Road had the cooties or anything but I'm sure Missy really didn't want to see me walking around in one of her 'Alexander' shirts.

All of this brings me to present day. During a recent surge of physical activity (not sure where it came from) I decided to root around through some old boxes and see if I couldn't get rid of a few things. The first box that I opened contained a varied assortment of green and yellow colored shirts in different sizes with different monikers on the front and back. What I had found was the box that contained all of my old t-shirts and jerseys from when I was a child.

As I looked through the box and read the names on the backs of the shirts I was transported back to my childhood. At one point in time I had been called the following names: G.G., 1st grade; Strawberry, 5th grade basketball; G-whiz, Tom Downing called me that; MyMy, junior high; Mia, still called that; G, still called that; Palmer, never liked being called by my last name and lastly, Gianetta. I had shirts monogrammed with all of these names.

It's been 35 years, do I really need to keep these mementos?

After a few moments of thought and reflection, I decided it was time to let the old shirts go; they were in good shape so I thought I would donate them to the local thrift store.

A few weeks later I had stopped at the park by my house to go for a walk when I noticed a group of small children playing on the jungle gym wearing a familiar looking color. When I approached closer, I was surprised to see four little kids wearing four of the t-shirts that I had donated. I struck up a conversation with the mom and discovered she was just overjoyed to have found these shirts. She home-schooled her kids, ages 8-11, and when they went to the park she liked to dress them in similar colors.

Everyone seemed to be having a good time except one little boy who was upset and kept trying to read the back of his shirt. Intrigued by his actions, I approached him with this question, "What's wrong? Don't you like your new shirt?"

"It's okay, I guess. Except my name isn't Palmer, it's Alexander!"

Monday, September 12, 2011

May I Have Your Attention Please!

Coming soon...





It's the Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman book! Coming soon...


...to a retail outlet near you!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Silent Reminder


In memory of those who lost their lives on that tragic day and for the family and friends that continue to grieve for you, I silence my laughter on this day and fill my heart and soul instead with the prayers and songs of those who remember.

You will never be forgotten and we will never forget.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...The Newest Cat



The newest addition to the family. Notice the untouched scratching pad...his big brother taught him that.

Monday, September 5, 2011

September Storms...Is It A Diversion?

I spent Labor Day waiting on the rains from Tropical Storm Lee to make their way up from the Gulf of Mexico. I also enjoyed the cooler weather. I know people get tired of me complaining about the heat and all but I've been sweating steadily for the last six months and I've been listening to that noisy air conditioner in the kitchen so much that my head seems to vibrate all the time.

I felt like cooking and had just settled down to a nice meal of beef and potatoes slow cooked in the crock pot when I got a text message from Mom. TORNADO WARNING was all it said. I didn't know if it was for her or me so I flipped on the television and sure enough, my county was under a tornado warning. Nice. I thought we'd already been through this for the year.

Within a few minutes I felt the rains get heavier, my lights flickered, and I was in the dark.

What's up with all of this wacky weather?

Hurricanes.

Typhoons.

Earthquakes in the Northeast of all places.

It makes me wonder if somebody isn't trying to create a diversion of some kind. After all, when is the last time you saw a report on the wars, the health care debate or the dismal housing sector.

And don't even get me started on the upcoming National election.

I only had an hour or so to ponder my diversion theory before the power came back on and the television started blasting out the latest damage reports. Luckily, my area was okay, but there was no mention of those topics that I mentioned above; gives you something to think about...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Changing Buses...A Cherry Fork Road Memory


Growing up on Cherry Fork Road provided me with many memorable experiences. One memory that stands out today is when the school system decided to change the bus routes. This wasn't necessarily a good thing. I had ridden the same bus, Number 7, and had the same driver, Don Vogler, for at least eight years. I knew what I could get away with and also knew when to shut up and get back in my seat.

Bus Number 7 and I had been through several harrowing bus rides together. It was on that bus that Sister and I had clung together while Don rushed us home to see if Brother had burnt the house down. You can check out that story here.

It was also the bus that sent me flying in the air and off to the hospital which was a really scary and cool thing when you're in the sixth grade. (I haven't shared that remembrance yet.) I liked riding that bus; I knew everybody and everybody knew where to sit.

The bus that I was now assigned to was Number 23, driven by John Smiley, or Smiley as we called him. He was an older gentleman, kind of gruff and silent. He didn't seem to be too excited about getting a new route either.

The first day on my new bus I was nervous. I was in ninth grade, a lowly freshman and I now got on the bus midway through the route instead of being one of the first kids on like I was on Bus Number 7. That meant that most of the empty seats were taken and I had to sit with the kid that nobody wanted to sit with.

Not to be mean or anything but every bus had a kid like that: the nose-picker, the one that smelled like poop, the bed-wetter that hadn't bathed, the kid that always seemed to have shaved areas on their head because of frequent bouts of head lice, the fat kid, or worst of all, the empty seat where someone had just thrown up and now reeked of leftover puke and sawdust.

I knew it was going to be a long year if I had to ride in the puke seat every day...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Should Your Hairdresser Really Be Eating Mexican Food...Part IV

...As I sat slouching in the barber chair totally inundated with the toxic, but not quite deadly combinations of refried beans and coal-tar petroleum hair dye I heard another volley fired off near the vicinity of where I had last seen P. Papappapow. Snap. "Ooooh!" Pedro exclaimed. "Perdone! Excuszi! My Gawd, P, what have you been eating?" he chuckled to himself.

I sat in stunned silence. What should I say? What could I say? Should I laugh it off? Should I ignore it? Pedro walked over with the coloring mixture, grabbed another bite of the burrito and began the task of wrapping my hair in foil and applying the goop. When in doubt, do nothing is a motto that had helped me in the past and that is what I did now; absolutely nothing. As Herr Shultz would say: I see NOTHING! I know NOTHING!

Soon my new hairdresser settled into a routine. While humming the Hispanic version of We Are The World to himself complete with dead-on impressions of the different voices...i.e...Bob Dylan, The Boss and Michael Jackson I soon found myself join in. "Oh, Chiquita, can you sing the girly voices for me? I didn't wear the tight pants I need to go high."

"Weeeeellllll, well, well, there's a choice we're making. We're saving our own lives." I sang in my best Cyndi Lauper voice while P chimed in with a silky falsetto that would have made Barry Gibb proud. PPPPPaaaappapp. Snap "Holy Crap, P! You're killing me with the gas!"

For a few moments as the green cloud spawned from P's flatulence floated around and fell down upon me I soon realized that what I had been smelling was the end result of my hairdresser's Mexican food binge. I mean, really, should a hairdresser really be eating Mexican food? No wonder there wasn't anyone here today.

Before too long, P had finished wrapping and applying the color mixture and announced, "we wait", set the timer and said, "I'll be right back" and walked outside. I began to wonder if I might have made him mad because he seemed a bit subdued. As I worked my way through an out of date hair style magazine I was surprised to see Pedro walk back into the salon with an overflowing bag of what turned out to be more Mexican burritos. "Wednesday is all-you-can-eat burrito day," he said to my surprised look. "Would you like one?"

Oh, really! Now, everything made sense. No wonder nobody came on Wednesdays. Who could stand the stench? For the next hour or so as P finished up my new hairdo (which turned out great) we continued to chat and munch on our burritos and it wasn't too long before I felt a rumbling in my gut. Poot!

"Awwww, Chiquita! I like you a lot. There is nothing wrong with the passing of the gas. It is a natural thing. I told you, P lets everything hang out. I have something special for you. Do you want to see my snake?"

"Uhhh!" And just like that, Pedro whipped off his shirt and showed me the coiled cobra that adorned the full-length of his back. Now, I'm not really into snakes or tattoos but I knew when something needed to be said to acknowledge such a fine piece of work. "Cool beans!" is all I could muster.

"Oh, Bebe, thank you! There is no better honor than a 'cool beans'. Most people scream and hide their eyes when I offer to show them my snake. For you, half price on today's treatment and I'll schedule you for another Wednesday in three months for a touch up and more burritos."

"Uh, thanks!" (Hey, you can't turn down 50% off, especially in this economy.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Should Your Hairdresser Really Be Eating Mexican Food...Recap

I've mentioned a few times in the past about my difficulties getting a decent haircut. I've lived in Georgia for 25 years and I've never had a regular stylist--one who knew what I wanted without me--a complete idiot when it comes to such things--having to explain it all. Yes, I DO want my hair stylist to read my mind.

Anyhow, I've become friendly with the nice lady that works the drive-thru where I do my banking and I noticed that she had a sassy new haircut. "Who does your hair?" I asked.

"Well, he's a new guy at that Hollywood place right beside the Mexican restaurant. He's from California or somewhere, I have no idea how he made it all the way to North Georgia but he sure has my hair lookin' good, don't you think?"

"Yep, sure does. That's why I asked. I can't seem to get a good haircut in this town."

"Me either. Did you ever get that Edward Scissorshand lady up at that quick-cutting place?"

"Holy Crap! She 'bout took my ear off one day. I stopped going there after they scalped me on my birthday. I had to go to Savannah looking like a fresh-faced recruit headed for eight weeks of boot camp. A different lady cut it that time and she even admitted she cut it too short. I was so mad I made myself cry; I hate it when I do that."

"You poor thing. Well, check him out, just Wed....nes...day." I didn't hear the first part of what she said because another car had pulled up behind me so I drove off with a jovial wave of my hand...

...A few days later after another unsuccessful attempt at fixing my hair I decided to go to the Hollywood place and check out the guy from California. I was worried about having an appointment or having to wait a long time; I guess that's why I don't have a regular stylist because I don't like to do those things.

I walked into the salon, the music was pumping and the place was decked out with faux head models wearing every flavor and size of wig, hair extension and several headpieces that involved various fruits and feathers. MA Fat Woman--you ain't in North Georgia no more, I thought to myself. As I stood with mouth agape staring at one particular headpiece that seemed to sway with the rhythm of the music a snappily-dressed Hispanic man munching on tortilla chips came out from the back. "Hola', you like hair sculptures?" he said with a sweep of his hand.

"Uh, sure. That one seems to be moving, though," I said.

"Oh, yes, si! That is new design; very nice. You want? Good price!"

"You mean somebody's gonna pay to have you put that on their head? How much?"

"For you, cheap price. Only 75. Today is good day, too. We not so busy on Wednesday," he continued in his broken accent.

"You mean for $75, you'll attach a basket of fruit to my head and somehow get it to dance. It sounds like fun, but I was just looking for a haircut."

"Hehehehheh, oooohh, Chiquita, you make me laugh, not $75! It's $7500!

"Oh. Not to hurt your feelings or nothin', but I don't think ya'll is going to sell many of those in this town."

"What is ya'll? There is no one else, only me. I am Chucko Pedro Santa Rosa Hose Munoz from California."

"That's some name..."

"Gracias, but people call me..."

"Wait! I bet they call you Pedro?"

"No, Chica. But you are close. They call me 'P'."

"Well, that's some coincidence. I'm called 'G' and I'm from Ohio."

"Ah, Ha! High in the middle and round on both ends. You like Bengals? Carson Palmer was one of my first customers."

"What's that smell?" I asked...

...As Pedro launched into a full-blown Telenovela about the time he spent in California and the one that got away (a former Bengals quarterback) he escorted me over to his salon chair and offered me a seat. "You are lucky today, Chiquita. P normally has a three month waiting list. I am always free on Wednesday, but nobody ever wants to come in on that day."

"What's that smell?" I asked again.

P ignored my question, threw the smock over me, then twirled me a round with a flourish. "Hmmmm, what are we going to do with you?" he said more to himself than me. "You sure you don't want hair sculpture. I can make you look like Snooki"

"I'm a little too tall to be confused with Snooki, don't you think?"

"Oh, is she short? I was talking about her boobies. Bebe, you got the big D's like she does. You got the nice body, why you hide it under big t-shirts? Don't be afraid to let it all hang out? You wanna see my snake?"

Pedro continued to tilt my head from side to side murmuring to himself in Spanish. I was still in shock from the snake suggestion and my nose kept twitching from some smell that I couldn't quite identify. "Do you smell something?" I asked.

This question was asked to no one because P had slipped away into the back room and after a few minutes came out with a burrito in one hand and a roll of aluminum foil in the other. "We color!" he said as he took a large bite of the burrito and placed it on the stand.

As P continued to get the coloring equipment set up, the smell of the food started drifting toward me. It smelled just like the horrible stench that I had been smelling since I entered the salon. Could the smell from the burritos be drifting all the way from the back?

BBBBBBrrrrppppp, rip, ripp, pow "Perdone," I heard from the back...

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's My Lucky Day...Year IV

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



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



****This was what I posted last year on my lucky day. It didn't turn out as lucky as I would have wanted. So, I'm giving it another whirl. Maybe, better luck this year...year 2!


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

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Should Your Hairdresser Really Be Eating Mexican Food?...Part III

...As Pedro launched into a full-blown Telenovela about the time he spent in California and the one that got away (a former Bengals quarterback) he escorted me over to his salon chair and offered me a seat. "You are lucky today, Chiquita. P normally has a three month waiting list. I am always free on Wednesday, but nobody ever wants to come in on that day."

"What's that smell?" I asked again.

P ignored my question, threw the smock over me, then twirled me a round with a flourish. "Hmmmm, what are we going to do with you?" he said more to himself than me. "You sure you don't want hair sculpture. I can make you look like Snooki"

"I'm a little too tall to be confused with Snooki, don't you think?"

"Oh, is she short? I was talking about her boobies. Bebe, you got the big D's like she does. You got the nice body, why you hide it under big t-shirts? Don't be afraid to let it all hang out? You wanna see my snake?"

Pedro continued to tilt my head from side to side murmuring to himself in Spanish. I was still in shock from the snake suggestion and my nose kept twitching from some smell that I couldn't quite identify. "Do you smell something?" I asked.

This question was asked to no one because P had slipped away into the back room and after a few minutes came out with a burrito in one hand and a roll of aluminum foil in the other. "We color!" he said as he took a large bite of the burrito and placed it on the stand.

As P continued to get the coloring equipment set up, the smell of the food started drifting toward me. It smelled just like the horrible stench that I had been smelling since I entered the salon. Could the smell from the burritos be drifting all the way from the back?

BBBBBBrrrrppppp, rip, ripp, pow "Perdone," I heard from the back...

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