Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tough Times...Part I...Year 2

I had to go to Walmart the other day to pick up a few things I needed and took my cart over to the checkout lanes when I finished. Of course, all of the lines were extremely long so I just settled into line behind a little old lady that closely resembled my late Granny.

"Oh, my goodness!" she exclaimed. "I don't know how these people can get away with charging 3 dollars for a loaf of bread. I'm just a little old lady on a fixed income and I can't afford these prices. I stayed at home my whole life caring for my husband and my children only to be left nearly penniless by some fat cat insurance company in New York. Health Care reform, I think that's what they are calling it. A thousand dollars a month for health insurance, who would pay that? I was hoping to have an easier time in my Golden Years and now I can barely afford food for me and my handicapped son. I had to leave him out in the car because I upset him when I get to complaining about these prices. I don't mean to, but I'm doing the best I can."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said. I felt sorry for the lady, I really did. Times are tough all over. I knew exactly how that lady felt about those astronomical premiums, I've been paying them myself.

It was finally her turn to begin placing her items up on the register belt and she began talking to the cashier and pointing to me in a friendly manner. I wasn't really paying attention to what they were talking about. I had just discovered a copy of The Global Wacko News that had Tim Ruse on the cover saying that he was the reincarnation of Lon R Cupboard and was trying to convert the world into his new class of Cosmetology that would be opening new centers worldwide whenever he had another hit movie and earned enough money to do so. (Good luck with that.)

The little old lady kept gesturing and smiling at me. I didn't want to be rude so I gave a little half-smile and nodded in agreement to whatever they were so animated about. You know what I'm talking about. When somebody tells a joke and you laugh along anyway even though you don't get it.

By now, there was enough space on the belt for me to begin placing my purchases alongside the lady's items. My first item was a huge 16-roll pack of toilet paper that was on sale and it separated my things from hers. It also separated me from her as she gave another wave and headed out the door.

"That was awfully nice of you," said the cashier. "Your Great Aunt said you was going to pay for her groceries. That will be $88.32."

"Excuse me..."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Plans For My Birthday


I bet some of you might have forgotten that my birthday is fast approaching. In case you have, it's April 4, and by the way, there's still time to get my present in the mail. If you're having trouble deciding what a great gift might be for me, money is always nice.

Anyhow, starting out things in true, typical MAFW fashion, I started out the week with a bad haircut and car trouble. I thought I had learned my lesson regarding getting my hair cut at a particular place but I actually got a decent cut there last time, but alas, it was not meant to be. I like short hair, but this time the lady scalped me.

I left the salon rubbing my head, wondering where my hair had went and hopped into the Mustang hoping to get the hell out of there before I threw a fit. (I'm not vain by any means, but I do like to have a nice hairdo.) Well, somebody forgot to tell Sally that I was ready to go because she wouldn't even turn over, let alone crank.

Great.

Nice.

What else? I popped the hood and stared in wonder at all of the things that I knew nothing about. At that point, the lady that had just chopped my hair up stepped out of the salon for a smoke. "Car trouble?" she asked. (Here's your sign!) I basically ignored her but she continued to look in my direction. "You know, your hair is really short. I guess I did cut it too short. Oh, well, it will grow back."

I started to flip her off, but decided not to; that's not very ladylike. I'll think long and hard before I go back there. Anyhow, not sure what's wrong with the car. It could be the battery, starter or alternator. I'll worry about that when I get back from my trip.

I'm going to Savannah for a long weekend. I'm especially looking forward to the ghost tour that I'm taking. I hope to eat at Paula Deen's restaurant again and have a pint in the Irish Pub down on River Street. If you're in town and you see a MAFW with a really bad hairdo, don't be afraid to say hi.

Cheers!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear Aunt Phyllis,



Hey!

Hi!

Remember me?

I was really new to the family when you met me at Thanksgiving last year. I was kinda quiet, sorta nervous around all you new people.

Not anymore...I'm really LOUD! In fact, Mamma Mia says I never shut up. I just don't want you to be alarmed and nervous when I get excited about something; which is pretty much everything. Did I say really LOUD? And you can't shush me either.

There's nothing wrong, I just like to be heard. I still get a little nervous about the opossums, chickens and other cats that are outside. That's why I'm strictly an indoorsy kind of guy. Don't let me outside even if I ask you really LOUDLY, one of those other critters might get me.

I like half a can of Fancy Feast in the morning and then the other half in the evening. I like treats a few times a day. And a small piece of lunch meat too, if there is any...

If you can't find me, I like to sleep under the stairs sometimes. I may try to sit on your lap or sleep on your head too. And I'll probably say 'hi' really LOUDLY in the middle of the night just when you're about to fall into a deep sleep.

But really, I'm no trouble at all. Of course, Mamma Mia likes to call me trouble sometimes; I'm not sure why.

Anyhow, I'm glad you're coming to stay with me. Make sure you notice Mom's backsplash! Oh, and I think she said something about sheetrock...whatever that is?


See ya soon,

Ralph (Ralphie) Malph
(The new cat)

P.S. You are still coming, right?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tips For Pumping Gas




These handy tips were forwarded to me in an email and I thought I would share. In this day and age of high gas prices, every little bit helps.

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in Georgia we are paying up to $3.40 to $3.99
per gallon. So here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the
early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that
all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The
colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer
gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your
gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific
gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel,
ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for
this business. But the service stations do not have temperature
compensation at the pumps.

When you're filling up do not squeeze the
trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the
trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be
pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created
while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you
are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank
becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the
underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up
when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you
have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline
evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an
internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the
gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service
stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature
compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck
pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up;
most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being
delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles
on the bottom.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mom's Birthday...Year III

It's birthday time once again in the MA Fat Woman's family. Today is my Mom's birthday. Of course, I can't tell you how old she is because that wouldn't be daughterly. She is older than me but hasn't reached that age where she goes around telling everybody how old she is.

For example: One might ask, "It sure is beautiful weather we're having."

"I'm 87," might be the response.

I'm really lucky to be her daughter. Mom always has a unique and mostly upbeat attitude about things which is very helpful during stressful times. Her calming manner has defused many a situation at home and at work. She's mostly retired now, and enjoys her dance lessons and Travel Club meetings.

She's a fun person to be around and I'm glad she's my mom.

Here's to you Mom!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh, Just Any Old Account Will Do

In my family we like to have more than one bank account. I'm not sure why but I think it started with my Mamaw, who was my father's mother. Her name was Mary Lou Leonard Palmer Pitzer and she had money in every bank within a three county radius.

I never knew this until later, after she had passed away. I may have accompanied her to the bank once or twice when I was little but I can't say for sure. What I can say for sure is that I knew where Mamaw kept her spending money: in her bra. I wonder why she did that? She always carried a large pocketbook, full of all kinds of junk, but she kept her money close to her heart.

I've thought about doing that sometimes too, but I really don't have any extra room in there other than what is supposed to be in there. (If you know what I mean.) Over the last couple of years, more than one bank that I am affiliated with has gone belly up. The next thing you know the old signs have either been removed or covered up by a new bank's banner from somewhere that I've never heard of. Then you get new cards, checks and all sorts of other junk from the new bank and you're supposed to chuck the rest.

Sometimes, I don't do that.

A few days ago, I had to visit different locations to handle several different transactions. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. But someone forgot to tell me that. As I waited in the drive thru line mentally checking off items on my to do list, I realized that the lady at the bank was trying to get my attention.

"Ma'am?"

"Ma'am? Excuse me?"

"Ma'am? Hello? Earth to lady in the red Mustang..."

"Yes?" I replied.

"What account do you want this to go into? And while I've got your attention, are you sure you're at the right bank?"

"What do you mean, what account? Of course, I'm at the right bank." This lady had my attention now.

"Well, ma'am, you've given me a bank deposit slip from a bank that was shut down five years ago and you didn't write down the account number."

"Oh?"

"Oh, goodness! Can't you just look it up by my name?" I asked.

"Sure. I just need some identification."

"Okay." I began looking frantically for my license but it was soon apparent that I had forgotten it somewhere. I must have left it at the previous bank. I told the lady that I would be right back and drove back to the other bank.

The nice lady there saw me approach, waved my license in the air and offered these sage words of advice: "You know, you ought to keep that thing in your bra. My Granny taught me to do that after I left mine once. Yes sir, I keep it tucked right here, up close and personal. You have a good day now!"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day




Enjoy the day!

And I hope you get pinched even if you do wear green!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are You Stopping To Smell The Roses?


The following was sent to me in an email from my friend, Stella. After reading it, I thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy!

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because
they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't
know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who
passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut
back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't
suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed?
Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while
you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about
going to lunch in a half hour?'

She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes to fold. My
hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast,
It looks like rain' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died
a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because we cram so much into our lives, we tend to schedule our
headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves
when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve
toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room
carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out
of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older.

The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets
longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives
is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things
are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to
adventure and available for trips.

She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is
contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to
trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator
for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's
just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a
spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped
the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on
the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not
something on your SHOULD DO list.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Benefits Of Traveling Alone


On my recent trip to Florida to fetch Mom I was delighted to find myself traveling alone. Just me, the Mustang and the open road....Ahhh--I can still feel the wind whipping around through the open windows of the car as I cruise along at a steady 80 MPH.

Can you hear the stereo blasting out my favorites hits from the 80s? The Outfield. REO Speedwagon. Journey. Air Supply. (Yes, I totally love Air Supply) Joan Jett. AC DC. Hall & Oates.

Did you see a MA Fat Woman in a sporty red car, "Just Dancing" her bootay off and singing along and as loud as she could to Lady Gaga? While at the same time doing the Humpty, the Humpty Dance while wearing apple bottomed jeans and boots with the fur....Yes, my friends, that was me!

At one point during my drive I was on such a roll of hearing back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back good songs that I could totally get into that I was totally oblivious to a cop that had been following me for several miles. Luckily, during a commercial intervention, I was able to calm down long enough to see him and maintain a more dignified persona has he drove past and gave me a look.

Of course, never one to be unfriendly, I gave him a smile and a wave and cranked the radio back up--I had to-- Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer had just started.

I was able to stop and eat at the first place that I saw that looked appetizing. I filled up with gas. Plus, I had a potty break...All in one stop! That never happens when I'm riding with someone.

Nobody in my family likes to ride with the windows down. (Except, Dad.)

I was able to listen to whatever music I liked, as loud as I could stand it and sing along blissfully off key without a care in the world.


...Another benefit of traveling alone.

Uh, oh! What's that smell?

Smeller is the feller...

...and whomever smelt it, dealt it!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Conversations Of The Unemployed


***The following is an ongoing conversation that I have been having with myself for almost two years.***

Loser.

You're kidding me? You still haven't found a job yet? Aren't you supposed to be one of the smartest people around? Why don't you go work at McDonald's or something? As Brother said, if you're hungry enough you'll do about anything.

Well, you know I have applied to every restaurant and retail facility in town. I stood in line for 4 hours to be interviewed for a part time position at a pizza joint and 500 other people showed up too--all for a shot at 25 part time opportunities.

What about the new Walmart?

I applied there too. Didn't even get called for an interview. Loser.

I thought you had years of customer service experience. Plus, a degree in Management and a Real Estate License and you didn't even get an interview. Maybe, you're doing something wrong.

Like what? I'm looking for input....Input!...Me, Johnny 5!

Can it with the impressions! Nobody probably remembers Short Circuit, anyway. Have you tried the Department of Labor?

Labor! HAH! That place should be called the Department of Rest. The only jobs listed there are for farm workers in the Deep South. I know I used to work on a farm but I wouldn't even last two hours out in the field trying to keep up with those folks.

What about Craigslist?

Been there. Done that. I've tried all of the online job sites: Career Builder, Monster, Indeed, Simply Hired, the local papers. Nothing.

Loser.

You can Can it with the Loser remarks too!

Sorry. Are you sorry you left the Post Office now? All your family wants to talk about when you get together is how you left the perfect job and you've done nothing since. Why haven't you told them that your position was going to be eliminated and how sick you were? What about applying for Disability?

Well, family is family and nobody wants to hear your problems; everyone has their own to muddle through. I guess being a professional mystery shopper, a reseller at the flea market and a full time blogger don't amount to much in some folk's eyes.

That sounds like a full time job to me. Mystery shopper, huh? I always thought they were scams. Can you tell me about it? I'd like to earn some extra money...

Nope! I'm not allowed to talk about it. It's classified!

Classified, huh? Maybe you aren't such a loser after all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dear Dana...Contest Winner

Dana of Dazzling Dana...You were the contest winner of the gift-card guessing contest that I held last month.

You correctly guessed which gift cards that I received for Christmas. As a result, you will recieve the beautiful hand-crafted burlap tote bag shown below.





Please email your address to gianettapalmer@gmail.com so I can send your bag to you.

Thanks to everyone that participated.

MA Fat Woman

Monday, March 7, 2011

Stop, Drop and Roll

I've learned I'm really stupid around fire. I don't know if you call what I do "panicking" or not when I get around an unexpected fire.

If you count running around in circles looking at the fire, remembering frantically where I put the fire extinguisher, yelling, "What should we do? Should we pour water on it? Should I blow on it?" and "Can I hold anything for you?"--then, yes, I guess it is panicking.

It all started a few weeks ago. I had a baked potato explode in the oven and it created a royal mess; spuds everywhere. The exploded potato landed on the heater coils and smoked and smoldered so much that I had to open all of the doors and windows (the stove doesn't have an exhaust) during the latest cold snap. For several hours, one couldn't tell the difference from being inside the house or out.

I wanted to make a banana bread recipe that I found online but either didn't have the right ingredients nor the time to accomplish the task. Until today. The recipe called for a loaf pan that measured 9x5x3, I had a pan that measured 9x5x2.25, so I figured it was close enough and used that. The mixture fit nicely into the pan with ample room at the top for expansion--or so I thought.

The bread was going to take at least an hour to bake at 325, but within a few minutes, the oven began to smoke, and smoke, and smoke. I was occupied elsewhere and hadn't noticed how bad the smoke was getting until Friend asked if something was burning. I opened the oven door and more smoke billowed out; the banana bread had boiled over and was now smoldering on the floor of the oven. (I know, I should have placed a pan under it.)

Since I had been through this recently, I wasn't that worried. After a few more minutes and a lot more smoke--smoke that was coming up through one of the burners, I opened the door again and was met with a wall of smoke and a ball of fire. Holy crap! The oven was on fire.

"It's on fire!" I yelled.

Friend jumped up off the couch and rushed into the kitchen. "It's on fire! Get me something. Get me something!"

"What should I get? You want the fire extinguisher? Where the hell is it?

"I don't know. Don't you know where it is? Can you work it?" she asked as I pulled the extinguisher from the closet. "Get me some water?

"Should I blow on it?"

"No! Don't let the oxygen get to it. Get the racks out of there."

I was going in circles trying not to panic. I had found the fire extinguisher but I didn't know how to work it. I wanted to blow on the fire or possibly even find something like a dish towel to try and beat the flames down, and now, Friend, wanted a pan of water. "Are you going to throw that water on it?"

"No, I don't know what kind of fire it is. It could have grease in it. I'm going to take the bits of burning batter with these tongs and drop them in the pan of water. Now, hold the pan!"

Friend, so calm, so cool, so collected, even while I'm running around in circles, thinking the only thing I really remember about fire training is to Stop! Drop! And Roll!

BTW, we got the fire out and nothing was damaged. Except, maybe, the bread, it came out well done!

Friday, March 4, 2011

One L Or Two


One thing I've been wondering about lately is the correct spelling of the word canceled. Or is it cancelled?

I've seen the word everywhere. Every time you watch television lately, schools have been canceled, plane flights have been cancelled and I have even seen it spelled canculled.

I did a search on Google and canceled is American English and cancelled is British or Canadian English. Either spelling is deemed correct.

I spell the word with two L's. I'm certainly not British or Canadian, although I have been to both countries.

Another word that gives me the same problem is traveled. Or is it travelled? According to the same source that gave me the info on canculled; one L is American and two L's is British or Canadian.

I spell that word with one L.

So, what does that make me?

Well, I surely know my ABC's. I guess I'm an American-British-Canadian!

Go figure!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

When Laptops Attack

My new laptop and I have been having a lover's spat, if you will---it really tries to do what it is supposed to do and I keep telling it it isn't good enough and it's basically a piece of *hit! What is really frustrating for both of us is that the relationship is only 7 months old.

What could we possibly have to fuss about?

Plenty!

My complaints on my laptop whom I affectionately call Shiba, short for Toshiba are: You're only a few months old and you've been to the Geek Squad 3 times.

You had to have your adapter replaced because something got stuck somewhere. (Whoever heard of that happening?)

UPS has lost you in transit twice and you ended up in Hope, Arkansas. (Watch out for that Clinton guy; he likes young things.)

After being repaired twice, you started beeping and making odd noises and then didn't want to work at all.

And my top complaint is that you needed your hard drive replaced and I lost all of those fabulously funny blog posts that I spent months working on.

"What do you think about that, Shiba?"

"Uh, I asked you if you wanted to back up your files several times. And you really shouldn't bang on me every time you make a typo. And you probably shouldn't have dropped me on my head either..."

Oh, shut up!

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