Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

It's 2013.

When I was a kid I thought 2000 seemed liked a lifetime away. Now, the years go faster and faster and another holiday season has up and gone.

Anyway, such is life!

As a wise old lady once said, it's better to be on this side of the dirt; good advice to live by.

Happy New Year to you and yours!



MA Fat Woman

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

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

Monday, December 24, 2012

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 19, 2012

More Lights!

video
 
 
Here is a better view of my Christmas lights
 
Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Got Lights?

video



From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...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 book

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

Thank goodness, that's over! There's always next year! (Hopefully, unless you believe the Mayan calendar) Now, let's eat!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...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.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...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.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

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




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.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...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.

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...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.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...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!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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




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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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



Have you ordered my 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.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...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 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.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...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.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year IV...Day 1


It's December once again and you know what that means: It's time for the Twelve Days of Dieting!

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 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..."

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hi, Remember Me?

Whoopty do and Kalamazoo, I'm back!

You'll have to bear with me as I feel my way through a regular blog post. As you remember, I was participating in NaNoWriMo this month and had to totally change the style of my writing. In a blog post you need to have the beginning, the middle and the ending of the story in roughly 500 words or less.

When writing a novel, I found that it takes 500 (or more) words just to describe the tip of a shoelace (aglet). How did I do? Well, I started off with a bang, got lost somewhere in the middle, saw a table laden with the bounty of Thanksgiving and ate like there is no tomorrow. (Which according to the Mayan calendar, there might not be.) I spent a week hanging out with Sister up north of the sweet tea line (Mom is out of the country right now; more on that later.), went even further up north (almost to Michigan) (I didn't go in Michigan, because, well, you know I'm a Buckeye, right?) and have spent more time at the doctor (I met my deductible) than I really want to. I got about halfway finished or about 25000 words, which I think is a really good start.

Mom deserted us this Thanksgiving and took another of her two-week long trips. This time she flew to Amsterdam (I know, she said she would miss turkey but would be touring the Red Light District on Thanksgiving Day. I told her to watch out because she might find more than a turkey if she wasn't careful.), then was taking a 10-night cruise down the Rhine River and flying back from Paris. She'll be home in a few days and I expect my Christmas present will be accompanying her. (No gift from Walmart this year!)

Friend helped put up the Christmas lights this year and if I do say so they are quite spectacular. I purchased a storage unit (just like on Storage Wars)last March and it was completely filled with outside Christmas decorations. I sold some of the decorations at my yard sale but I kept the best for my own personal use. The best find was a trio of musical Christmas trees that change colors with the beat of the music. I hope to videotape the display and put it on the blog.

I did get to see Brother on Thanksgiving Day. He is almost recovered from his incident of a few years ago and has started farming again up near where we grew up in southern Ohio. He said he's a Snowbird now and will move with the changing farming seasons.

Wally and Ralph (the new cat and the newer cat) keep life interesting, that's for sure. Ralph still speaks his mind quite often and the only thing I see of Wally is the spot on his back as he goes running by or when he brings me the Frisbee ( a Pringles lid) for a game of toss. He fetches better than a lot of dogs.

Anyhow, I had several funny things I was going to tell you but as seems to happen a lot lately, I can't remember what they were. Oh, well, I'm sure I'll remember as soon as I walk into the next room.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Month Long Celebration

Can you believe it's been a year since my book, Reflections On a Middle-Aged Fat Woman was published?

 


It's still very exciting to me!

In honor of my one-year anniversary I am offering the electronic version of my book for $.99 for the entire month of November. I am very thankful to those that have already  purchased it and thrilled by the terrific responses from those that have read it.

Here are the links to take advantage of this great deal:

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

SMASHWORDS


Again, thanks for hanging with the MA Fat Woman and I hope you'll take advantage of the discounted price to pick up a copy if you haven't already done so.

P.S.  I'm participating in NaNoWriMo so I won't be here for a few weeks. (I'm going to try and write a novel in a month.)

P.P.S. I wanted to leave you with something funny. The following conversation took place this morning at my doctor's office:

Lady at Dr's office: "When was the last time you were on a bike?"
MAFW: "Not long enough."
Lady: (laughs) "I need you to get on the exercise bike."
MAFW: "I don't think so. I thought my test was walking on a treadmill?"
Lady: "No, are you going to get on the bike?"
MAFW: "I don't think so."
Lady: "Why?"
MAFW: "Last time I was on a bike I nearly killed myself."
Lady: "On an exercise bike?"
MAFW: "No, a real bike. I was really lucky. They kinda make me nervous now."
Lady: "Okay, well this one isn't moving. Go ahead and hop on."
MAFW: "Nope...I don't think so."
Lady: "Well, if you don't get on the bike, we're gonna have to reschedule and charge you a fee for the cancellation and then another fee for this and another fee for that."
MAFW: *Sigh. "Okay, doesn't mean I have to like it."
Lady: "Are you crying?"
MAFW: "Just start the damn test..."


See you right back here on December 1 when we start the Twelve Days of Dieting just in time for the Christmas Season.


Keep laughing,
Gianetta



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

BOO!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Saving The Best For Last ...Part II

...Yard sales are a lot of work. The problem I always have is that I never have enough tables. I usually end up using cinder blocks and long boards to make tables that are only about a foot off the ground. One guy in the past commented that if I was going to have a yard sale that I ought to rent some tables or something; put a little money into it, he said. I was ticked at first but as I started moving containers from the basement, the attic, the upstairs and two storage units it was becoming obvious that I needed more tables.

The weather forecast was promising for the upcoming weekend so I found a place (the only place) in town that rented tables. I got four 8-foot tables for $32. I thought that was a pretty good deal and I could return the tables the following Monday.

I spent the better part of Thursday designing the layout of the yard sale. You wouldn't think it was that difficult, right? Put up some tables and throw out the junk. Not at my house--it's all about the flow. I live at the bottom of a hill, my yard is filled with holes and there's a big anthill right smack in the middle of the yard. Table placement is everything.

Mom called late afternoon and wanted to know if there was room for her to bring some stuff to sell. The more the merrier I told her and she didn't even have to bring her own table.

"What'cha mean, I don't need to bring my own table? I've always had to in the past," she said.

"I know, but I rented tables this year."

"Holy crap! I knew I raised a smart kid. I'll be there at 7:00 a.m."

"No, you won't. It's still dark at that time, come about nine and bring me a biscuit."

"Okay," she agreed. (My mom is the greatest!)

The next day stated off with a bang. We had the usual early birds, men that were looking for scrap metal and old lawn mowers (that they would take off my hands for free) and the same lady that comes to all of my yard sales and wants me to donate a bunch of stuff to her church.

Mom showed up right on time as usual biscuit in hand and was very impressed with the layout of the yard sale. "Looks good, you've got everything laid out perfectly. All of the Christmas items are in one spot and you've got the fake trees all set up. You're gonna do good, that's for sure."

Over the next three days we had a lot of fun meeting people and getting rid of a lot of stuff. We had sold a bunch of the Christmas decorations but not any of the fake trees.  It was late Sunday afternoon when I said to Mom, "I'm beginning to wonder if we're gonna sell the artificial trees or not. It sure is getting late."

"You never know who is gonna show up," she said.

"I know." 

A few minutes later a car pulled down the driveway and a lady jumped out. "Oh, good, you're still open. I've been wanting to stop but I had to work all weekend, " she said as she walked straight up to the artificial trees. "This is incredible, just incredible," she gushed as looked over the two artificial trees and the other decorations.

"You looking for a fake tree?" I asked.

"Yes, I am. What are you asking?"

What happened in the next ten minutes was almost to good to be true. That lady bought every Christmas decoration I had except for one small box of items and one of the artificial trees. It was a yard sellers dream come true. The very last customer had spent the most money and took at least an hours worth of work off my hands.

Mom was right,  you never know who is gonna show up. Sometimes, you just need to have a little patience.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saving The Best For Last...Part I


I 've become addicted to the new television show Storage Wars. It's not that I haven't been aware of storage auctions (I have) but I like the characters and the treasures they find. Furthermore, I like that the stars of the shows are able to have their items appraised and know what they are worth without spending hours of time on the Internet doing research.

I've been a treasure hunter for a long time. I've been going to yard sales and flea markets for years looking for just the perfect troll to add to my collection. I've also started doing a little bit of selling on eBay so I am always looking for something that I might buy and then resell. Right now, I'm into different kinds of sports' jerseys. (Looking for a particular jersey for your favorite team? Just drop me a line and I can probably get it for you.)

Anyhow, I mentioned in the last post that I was having a yard sale and would let you know how it turned out. Well, I must say that months of hard work paid off. Last March, I purchased my first storage unit at a storage auction. Luckily, the contents weren't desirable to some folks so I got it for a couple hundred bucks; practically a steal.

Do you know what was inside? Christmas decorations! Yep, a whole storage unit filled mostly with large boxes and 45-gallon tubs of Christmas decorations. Artificial trees and dancing reindeer; a big, huge animated Christmas tree outside light display and a whole tub of brand new extension cords--that tub alone almost paid for the unit. I was in heaven! (For all of you new folks, I decorate outside for Christmas and it gets bigger every year.)

Also inside the unit was one of those bullet-shaped luggage racks that I sold on Craigslist in just a few weeks and that paid for most of the unit. Everything else I sold was going to be pure profit.

I planned on keeping some of the decorations for myself and selling the rest. The problem was that nobody wanted to buy Christmas decorations in March so I then had to store the decorations myself. Luckily, I had just cleaned out the basement and had lots of room.

Fast forward to October and that's where the yard sale comes in...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yard Sale Adventures

****We're having a yard sale this weekend in between the showers and unexpected thunderstorms. Enjoy this classic post from a previous attempt!****


So, I was crazy enough to have another yard sale before winter set in, by myself. I asked mom if she wanted to come help but she thought I was nuts for trying to have a sale this late in the year and she wasn't participating. (I guess it didn't matter that I was selling some of her stuff)

Anyhow, midway between my umpteenth visit to the basement, attic, and storage building, my back gave out. I backed into the metal part on my utility trailer and gave myself a six inch long bruise and then I sprained my ankle when I doubled over in pain from bumping the trailer.

Needless to say, it was after 10:30 AM this morning before I had put my signs up by the road, and by yard sale standards, that was extremely late if I hoped to make any money.

Since I live at the bottom of a hill I get a lot of folks that slow down and then realize that I am at the bottom of a hill and keep on going. Fine! If you're too lazy to get out and look then you probably want to complain about the prices of everything and want me to sell you a twenty-five dollar item for twenty-five cents. Keep going, I don't want your business anyway.

The first guy that pulled up wanted to by my utility trailer.

The second guy that pulled up wanted to buy my utility trailer.

The third guy that pulled up wanted to buy my utility trailer.

The fourth guy that pulled up wanted to know if I had any mowers I wanted to get rid of. Now, that's a loaded question. I've discussed before about my piece of crap mower and what you don't know is that the danged thing broke down again earlier this year. I took the guy to the basement and showed him the mower and he started asking if my tools, my fishing poles, and my Christmas decorations were for sale. He made me a tad nervous so I hightailed it back up front.

Weirdo.

Later, someone wanted to buy my leaf rake. Another wanted to by a bistro table (which I don't have) and someone else wanted to buy a microwave.

Mom called early afternoon and asked how things were going. I was bellyaching about my bruised butt (which was the part that ran into the trailer), my ankle that I had wrapped in an ace bandage that was horribly swollen and how everyone wanted to buy everything, especially my trailer, that wasn't for sale. Mom's response: "I didn't know you was selling your trailer. How much you want for it?"

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Something To Warm Up With...A Cherry Fork Memory...Mac & Cheese


In my family, homemade macaroni and cheese has a place of honor. It all started with my Mamaw, my dad's mother, and has continued on through the family, at least with my sister and me.

Mamaw's macaroni and cheese was to die for. I only got to eat it one or two times a year, usually Christmas or Thanksgiving, but the weeks leading up to those festive occasions never went fast enough for me. I couldn't wait for the holiday season to begin on Cherry Fork Road. We hosted a dinner party every Christmas and Mamaw's macaroni & cheese was always on the menu. We ate it until we were as stuffed as the holiday bird.

Once we moved to Georgia and began to go our separate ways the macaroni and cheese seemed to be forgotten. Mamaw had passed away, Sister was always working, I was in college and Mom made a version of mac & cheese that none of us liked. I'm not sure what she put in it but I think onions and some kind of topping were included and that was nowhere close to Mamaw's recipe. I was disappointed to say the least.

Over the next few years Sister changed jobs and had a bit more time around the Holidays. We usually got together for about 48 hours when she would fly to Atlanta on Christmas Eve and then Mom would drive her back to Ohio to spend a few days. This was a happy time because Sister had mastered (if not bettered) Mamaw's recipe and we would eat enough to keep us going until the next year.

Somewhere along the line I grew tired of waiting for the annual macaroni and cheese dinner. I worked for the Post Office for almost ten years through the holiday season and was often, so tired, during our visit that I forgot to get seconds on the mac & cheese and Brother would eat it all. I didn't like that. I didn't like that at all.

So I did what any mac & cheese loving individual would do; I learned to make it for myself. As you can see from the photo, it does look mouth-watering:




For some reason the first weekend of October is usually the first cool weekend we have in North Georgia and nothing says warm me up better than a big pot of mac & cheese. By the way, if you're wondering what is so special about our family's recipe, just be sure and ask the next time I have you over for dinner. Until then...I'm warm and cozy...and I'm keeping it all to myself.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fire On Cherry Fork Road...Reissued

The following story was featured in my book and is one of my favorites. If you missed it the first time around it's worth a second look.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...Run For Your Lives

Run for your lives....it's the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and it's attacking me!




Or...

When self-portraits go bad.

Monday, September 24, 2012

No Purse Required

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!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...Cincy-style Chili In The South




Can you believe it? Not as good as the real thing, but it beats driving 400 miles to get it...

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm On Vacation

Hi!

I'm on vacation at the Outer Banks for the next week or so. I'll eat some seafood for you and wet a hook or two.





You can keep the sand fleas...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Distractions At The Drive-thru


If folks in America weren't distracted enough, along comes the new requirements for restaurants that have more than 20 locations. Thanks to the new health care law these restaurants now have to list caloric content on all food products.

Even at the drive-thru.

Holy Crap!

You can say that, again.

Holy Crap!

So there I was just a sittin' and awaitin' my turn in the drive-thru lane just salivating over the thought of a large chocolate milkshake from my favorite fast food joint, McDonalds. It seemed to be taking a bit longer than normal to get through the line but I wasn't complaining; I had the radio cranked and I was singing along.

After what seemed like an eternity I finally reached the ordering speaker and glanced up at the menuboard. Then I took another glance. And then another. By the fourth time I was no longer glancing, I was gawking. There it was in print big enough for even those that forget to travel with their reading glasses to read: How many calories each food choice has.

Huh?

What?

When did this happen?

As I sat there in stunned silence through as least three attempts by the cashier to take my order the only thing I could manage was, "Hold on, I'm trying to read."

"Oh," said the cashier. "It must be your first time through since we made the changes."

"Uh, huh," I replied. "Holy crap! FRENCH FRIES HAVE THAT MANY CALORIES? I don't think I'll order that."

"Was there anything in particular you wanted to know about? I have a cheat sheet here with everything listed."

"I wanted to get a large chocolate shake but I can't find it listed anywhere. I must be over looking it."

"Hmm, chocolate shake, large, let me see. Here it is. A large chocolate shake has 870 calories."

Silence.

"Did you want to order that?"

More silence.

"Hello? Are you still there?"

"870 calories?"

"Yes."

"You're joking?"

"No, ma'am," she said. "Did you still want to get it?"

"Um, I don't think so. I think I've got some milk, cool whip and Hershey's syrup at home. It'll taste just like a chocolate milkshake."

"Okay, you have a good day." As I was pulling away, I overheard the cashier talking to someone in the restaurant. "Yep, we lost another one. This keeps up too long, we're gonna be outta business."

"I know that's right," she said. "You still gonna get your usual, the large fries for lunch?"

"Hell no. You know how many calories those things have? I brought a salad..."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Crumbly Biscuits


I'm a pretty easy going kinda girl but there are a few things that get on my nerves. One thing that I seem to be having difficulty with lately are biscuits. Not just any biscuits, but crumbly biscuits.

I'm not talking about the kind of biscuits that you make at home. You know, you smack the can against the counter or stick a knife into the can and wait on edge until it pops. Those biscuits aren't crumbly; they have too many artificial ingredients in them to fall apart.

I'm talking about fast food biscuits.

Most of the time, I eat fast food biscuits in the car. And no matter how many different ways I try holding it or arranging the wrapper or adding an extra napkin a large chunk of biscuit falls off, usually into my lap. I then end up doing the brush off or picking up tiny crumbs constantly looking down to find any leftovers and swerving all over the road.

What's really bad is if I am going to work and then I end up with a big grease spot. At least I know it's a grease spot. I've gotten looks before and I knew what they were thinking: That I somehow had gotten one of those wet-looking spots that men get when they hadn't utilized the old shake or tap method. Nasty!

One of the first things I need to do when getting out of the car is check myself for biscuit crumbs. The problem is that by the time I get to where I'm going I have forgotten all about it. I was made well aware of this fact not to long ago when I met mom for a shopping trip. As we were walking back to the car she commented, "You know ya got a big 'ol biscuit crumb sticking to your butt."

"Dang it! I hate crumbly biscuits. They get everywhere."

"I know," she said. "I've switched to wraps. They aren't crumbly, but I have a hard time keeping the egg from falling out. I still end up with a grease spot sometimes; make me look like I didn't do the old wave and shake, ha ha. You'd think they would be able to fix that problem?"

"Maybe no one ever complained about it?" I said.

"Yep, you're probably right. I wonder who we could call?"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And Now Introducing.....

Me!




Since making my first official public appearance as a published author at the Decatur Book Festival I thought I would provide a few snapshots of the festive occasion.


Cooling off before the book signing.



Check out my name; third from the bottom on the left.







A good crowd checking out all the books.



Looking out from the Emerging Authors tent.



Meeting fellow authors.



Someone checking out my book.



A break in the crowd.



Talking with an avid book reader.



More people waiting to have their book signed. How cool is that?



Mom and I trying to figure out which way to go.



How did that picture get in here?



A great way to end the day.


We had a great time. I hope to have many more...the cake was good too!





Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Got Plans For This Weekend?


Got plans for this weekend?

AJC Decatur Book Festival | August 31-September 2, 2012 | Authors | Gianetta Palmer

The Decatur Book Festival is going on this weekend in Decatur, Georgia. It is a suburb on the southeast side of Atlanta and is going to be an awesome way to spend the Labor Day weekend.

The main reason that I am so excited about it is that I will be having my first public book signing. I will be in the Emerging Writer's Pavilion (WOW!) on Saturday, September 1, at exactly 1:15 p.m. Because of the large number of writers involved in the festival, I'll only be there a short time. So, if you're in the area and want to meet the MA Fat Woman in person and get a signed copy of the book then you'd better get there early or at least be on time.

Pedro, my hairdresser, has got me looking all sparkly and fabulous or about as sparkly and fabulous as I can look and I even got a new pair of shoes: New Balance 609 tennis shoes if you're wondering. I still haven't decided on an outfit but I know it will be something cool and comfortable and not a dress. After all, it is still summertime in the south and that means hot and muggy.

Mom and Friend are coming along for the ride so it should be really fun.

Again, if you're in the area, Saturday, September 1, at 1:15 p.m., stop by and say Hey!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Granny...Part II...A Cherry Fork Road Memory

..."Mom?"

"What did you say," Granny asked with a questioning look.

"Did Diddy (my dad) ever tell you about the world's longest fart?"

Without even hearing a word of the story, granny's shoulders started to shake, a grin spread across her face, and looking toward my dad, "No, I don't think he did."

"A few weeks ago, in through there, we had went over to John's and I had got my usual, the Rainbow trout. Lora, didn't you get the Ribeye? Well, the lady said they had a new cook and instead of having, in through there, the usual green bean almondine with the trout, in through there, they was trying to make things healthier and cooked broccoli with it. It was all right, in through there, and I also had some of the new chili. Lora, did you get some of the chili?"

"Yes, I had the Ribeye and tried the soup too. I think that was the problem."

"Right. It wasn't too long and I started to get the belly ache. You know I got that trick stomach, in through there, and I told mom I wasn't feelin' too good."

"He wasn't feeling too good," mom said in agreement. "I wasn't feelin too good, myself. Tell her what happened."

Dad, never needing any sort of encouragement to tell a story continued. "I told Lora here to pay the bill and I needed to get home. Fast. I made it outside, in through there, and I passed gas the entire walk to the truck; must've been almost twenty steps."

At that last comment, Granny lost it. She snorted, tears were rolling down her cheeks, her small body was shaking and she started gasping for breath. She was tickled. "Oh, my goodness," she gasped. "Stop it. You're slaying me."

"Mom wasn't far behind me and she walked right through it. It stunk bad, too. She walked right through it and I don't know if it was from my stink, in through there, or the chili, because she threw up all over the side of the truck."

Granny squealed with laughter and started slapping her knee, "Oh, my goodness, you didn't throw up, too, did you?"

"How'd you know? I got one whiff of that and up come the trout. Made me madder than hell, too. Pay good money for food and then throw it all up."

"I don't think we'll be going to John's for a while."

"Unless they fire that guy and bring back the other one," Dad said. "We must've got the food poisoning or something. I don't know, but that sure was some fart."

And with that statement, we all started laughing again, led by Granny, all 4'10" of her leading the way.

Rest in peace. You are deeply missed.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Granny...Part I...A Cherry Fork Road Memory

Margaret Jane Shutt Keiber Stephenson was born in northwestern Ohio, around Wapakoneta, on December 22, 1908. She was my maternal grandmother and one of the most spiritual women I have ever known. To many people she was known as Margaret, but to me and my large group of cousins, she was simply known as Granny.

Granny was small in stature but big in heart. For years, when her kids (seven girls and four boys) would come to visit they would always be surprised by how little she had. Questions of "Mom, what happened to your coat?" and "Why don't you have any groceries?" were common.

She would just smile in her own way and with a soft voice reply, "Well, I think the good Lord told me that somebody else needed it more than Tommy and me. My uncle, Tommy, was physically challenged and lived with my grandmother until she was well up into her eighties.

Even though Granny was a highly spiritual woman, she had a wicked sense of humor. In her case, the more gross and disgusting a situation, the harder she laughed. If you could ever imagine a 4'10" white-haired bespectacled lady laughing so hard at the sight of someone slipping on a cow patty or throwing up after they had eaten a mountain oyster before discovering what it was until she nearly wet her pants? Well,--that would be my grandmother.

Come evening time, after dinner and after Tommy had been to the bathroom (another story at another time) Granny would settle in the living room under the family portraits of her children and grandchildren which covered an entire wall. She would settle into a small, comfortable brown-cushioned easy chair and prop her feet up on a padded stool made from old juice cans that she herself had made. The conversation would flow around her but before too long her head would begin to bob up and down as she struggled to stay awake. We would tell stories of days gone by and what had happened earlier in the day, usually with a laugh or two thrown in.

One evening, after mom and dad had moved to Georgia and I was still living in Ohio, we had been at Granny's house visiting for the day. Everyone had settled into their respective chairs in the living room, a wrestling tape was in the VCR (Granny and Tom both loved wrestling)and Granny was snoozing in her chair. "Hey, mom, did Diddy tell you about the world's longest fart?" my mom asked...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's My Lucky Day...Year V

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



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



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



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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Decatur Book Festival Appearance


Yippee!

Hooray!

Cool Beans!

Can you believe it?

Yep, I'll be at the Decatur Book Festival hanging out with a bunch of other literary people (snort). I think I'm going more for the festival food than the literary side of things.

Nope, not true at all! I'll be into the food but I AM VERY EXCITED TO BE PARTICIPATING in the literary side of things too!

If you are new to the blog and didn't know I had a book just click the book icon on the left side of the blog and it will take you straight to Amazon to give you all of the details.

Lord, I'm gonna have to go my hairdresser, P, so he can get my hair under control again. At age 45, I have discovered head bands and I haven't fixed my hair since the Erma Bombeck Workshop.

I'm already stressed about what to wear...

Click on the link and check me out.

Hope to see you there!


AJC Decatur Book Festival | August 31-September 2, 2012 | Authors | Gianetta Palmer

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Day The Music Died


Like a lot of people older than I remembered what they were doing when President Kennedy was shot, I can remember what I was doing when Elvis died.

It was summertime, I was ten years old and Mom and I were in Winchester, Ohio, just getting out of the car to go into the drug store when a flash came across the radio. Mom stopped dead in her tracks, tilted her head closer to the radio and listened intently as the announcer broadcast the awful news. Mom shook her head in sadness, gave me a weak smile and shut off the car. "Come on, we better go inside," she said.

We were outside on the sidewalk when someone we knew stopped for a quick chat and was totally surprised to hear a 10-year-old blurt, "Did you hear? We just heard it on the radio; Elvis died. The King of Rock-and-Roll is dead. That's what the announcer said anyway."

Complete shock! The lady's eyes widened, her mouth dropped open and she clutched her hand to her throat. "NO! That can't be true! Are you sure? We're the same age. NO!"

"I know, it's just awful," said Mom.

"Are you sure?" asked the lady.

We walked back to the car and flipped on the dial. WLW, 700 on your AM dial was broadcasting the same report that we had just heard. The lady stood there in complete shock listening to every word. At some point she began to sniffle and then weep silently. "I'm so sad. Tom and I saw Elvis down in Biloxi before he shipped off overseas. Since then he has always called me his teddy bear. I've gotta go home and tell him; this shopping can wait."

"Mom, why was that lady so sad?"

"Well, sweety, Elvis Presley was loved by a lot of people. You know how you love to run around the house yelling, "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog, cryin' all the time?"

"Yeah."

"Well, Elvis sings that song."

"He does? I didn't know that. But why does Mr. Tom call her teddy bear?" I asked.

Mom gave me the classic over-the-glasses-look as only she can and said, "We'll talk about that later, we got to get home so I can tell your father. He saw Elvis in Germany, you know?"

"He did......"

Sunday, August 12, 2012

WOW!

Yippee!

Hooray!

Cool Beans!

Can you believe it?

Yep, I'll be at the Decatur Book Festival hanging out with a bunch of other literary people (snort). I think I'm going more for the festival food than the literary side of things.

No, probably not! I'll be into the food but I AM VERY EXCITED TO BE PARTICIPATING in the literary side of things too!

Lord, I'm gonna have to go my hairdresser, P, so he can get my hair under control again. At age 45, I have discovered head bands and I haven't fixed my hair since the Erma Bombeck Workshop.

I'm already stressed about what to wear...

Click on the link and check me out.

Hope to see you there!


AJC Decatur Book Festival | August 31-September 2, 2012 | Authors | Gianetta Palmer

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Friend's Birthday...Year IV

Birthday wishes go out to the Friend that I mention in my posts. Friend has experienced several of the MA Fat Woman's mishaps and can always be counted on for a good laugh, a no nonsense quote, or a story that will upstage mine every time.

Which reminds me of a story about Friend. Friend had a big time job and several underlings at her disposal for years. When birthdays and holidays floated around they always celebrated big. Everyone got cakes, presents, and usually taken out to dinner or the such. Well, Friend was really excited when it was time to celebrate her birthday. She had heard them planning and plotting the details of the party and was very excited.

It didn't turn out that way. It seems the person that had done the planning had an emergency and all of the plans fell through. On the day of the birthday, there was nothing.

No dinner!

No presents!

And no cake!

Somebody realized what had happened and ran to Walmart to get an emergency cake. The day was a Friday and the office was scarcely staffed. After about 3 or 4 people sang Happy Birthday, each grabbed a slice of cake and scattered back to their respective offices.

When it was time to go home that evening Friend went into the break room to get the cake to take home...

...it wasn't there!

"Where's the cake?" she asked.

"Oh, so-and-so took it with her. She said nobody had chipped in, so she was taking it home!"

I know! Stuff like that happens all the time to her.

Happy Birthday, Friend!

I hope you get a cake that is all yours...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Olympic Burnout


I'm a huge sports fan. I like sports of all sorts and will watch basically any sport on television. Back in the day, on Sundays, Dad and I would watch ABC's Wide World of Sports. That's where I learned to float like a butterfly, a` la Muhammad Ali, and do a running commentary, a` la Howard Cosell, of our boxing match which usually occurred in the living room and ended with me getting knocked in the head by my brother, with me trash-talking, "THIS IS HOWWORD COSELL, LIVE FROM the living room. WHAP! Down goes Palmer, down goes Palmer."

"You kids better stop that," mom would always say with the over-the-glasses look. "Somebody is going to get hurt."

I always liked to watch winter sports on television. My favorite sport was the ski jump and it was always exciting waiting to see if anyone was going to crash on landing. I tried to imitate those jumpers out back on the big hill but landed straight in the creek on more than one occasion.

I have been watching a lot of NBC's coverage of the XXX Olympiad. I have really enjoyed watching Michael Phelps becoming the best swimmer in the world and the young female swimmer, Missy Franklin, only 17, accomplishing things that most teenagers can only dream about. I would never have made it as a swimmer, though, because I never learned how to dive. The only thing I could ever master was a hard-hitting belly flop that left red marks on my torso and more water out of the pool than in.

One Olympic sport that I seem to be smothered with lately is beach volleyball. Don't get me wrong, I like volleyball, more inside volleyball than beach volleyball, but every time I turn on the television women's beach volleyball is on. I have practically memorized the patterns of the funky athletic tape that all of the athletes tend to sport these days.

I'm actually quite sick of it! How about some table tennis? What about boxing? What about fencing? I've yet to see any of these sports on my regular NBC station. Maybe in this age of reality television, the producers at NBC think that we must want to watch scantily clad women jumping around bare-booted in a pit of trucked in sand from God knows where.

Okay, maybe some people do. But, hello, it's Great Britain, it's 55° and rains everyday. I bet the players are really having a ball when conditions are like that.

So, NBC, why not have a contingency plan for when it rains? Why not ditch the beach volleyball for something less revealing, say, I don't know....men's diving?

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Longest Yard Sale...Revisited

****In honor of the World's Longest Yard Sale that I will be attending this weekend I give you this classic post****

As a frequent visitor to many yard sales in my area I jumped at the chance to go to the World's Longest Yard Sale that stretches through five states over a four day period every August. The yard sale winds for 654 miles from West Unity, Ohio to Gadsden, Alabama. And trust me when I say that a lot of people participate in this yearly adventure. If you are looking for a particular item to complete a collection or looking for an unusual gift for someone, then you have found the perfect place. There is only one problem: Where do you start?

Since I live relatively close to Alabama, my mom decided that we should head over that way. We started out early (about 9:00) and were on our way. As we left town, it seemed that every other house was having a yard sale. (Hhhmmmm) Houston, I think we have a problem?

Mom looked over at me and asked, "Do you want to stop at any of those?"

"No! I want to go to Alabama, let's keep going."

We kept going, and in the first twenty miles we probably passed over 20 yard sales. (I noticed Mom glancing over at me and frowning as we passed by each one.) We were over 100 miles from the official longest yard sale; I guess everyone wanted to get on the bandwagon.

After driving for 1.5 hours we reached a town that was "officially" a part of the 654 mile shopper's paradise, Summerville, Georgia. Mom looked over at me and asked the same question once again. "Don't you want to stop at any of these sales?"

Quite unexpectedly, I made a sharp right hand turn into a church parking lot that was crammed full of would be shoppers. I almost threw mom into the backseat and was rewarded with a look that used to send shivers of fear down my spine when I was a child: The over-the-glasses look. When you saw that look, you knew you were in trouble.

I was out of the car in a flash and was making my way to a local park that was packed with sellers of all kinds. Mom, who was a little out of breath when she caught me wanted to know why I was in such a hurry.

"Trolls," I said.

"Oh dear," she replied. "We're never getting out of here."

To the uneducated and uninformed, troll collecting is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. People have been known to spend their life savings on just the perfect troll. Trolls come in many shapes and sizes, colors and styles, and each collector has his or her own particular reason for collecting them. I have a reason but I keep it to myself.

I walked right over to the troll vendor and began to peruse her wares. I looked up one table and down the next. (Nothing) I moved down to the next table and there it sat. Troll perfection!! It was a 1935 green-haired, orange-eyed beauty manufactured by the Alexander Family of southern Ohio. It stood slightly over 12 inches tall and was made of corn husks. It was a gold medal find in an unlikely place. It was the troll that I needed, longed for, and just had to have to complete my collection. Twenty years of collecting was boiling down to the next few minutes.

The owner of the troll table sidled over to me and looked to be as old as the troll that I now held in my hand. "I see you're interested in old Tallulah?" she asked.

"Not really," I said. (I was getting ready to do some negotiating; I didn't want to give myself away.)

"Who you think you're kidding?" she said. "I've been waiting on someone like you for about 10 years since I decided that I was getting too dang old to collect these trolls anymore. I don't have family to pass 'em on to, and I sure as hell don't want the government to get 'em. I know how much the blasted thing is worth, so don't try to wear me down. How much you give me for it?"

"Uh?"

"I'll tell you what, I like the looks of you, you seem like nice folks, being here with your mom and all, I'll sell Tallulah to ya'll for 1 dollar. That's my final and only offer."

As I looked over at mom and asked to borrow a dollar (I had brought only hundreds to purchase the troll) I tried to keep my composure. By this time the old lady was wrapping up my purchase and cackling to herself. I murmured a thanks and was about to walk away when suddenly I turned around and gave that woman the biggest hug I had ever given anybody. As she pulled away from the embrace she gave me one last look and said, "You take care of Tallulah for me." (Yes, ma'am)

That's the story of my participation in this year's longest yard sale. We walked around the park and sampled a few food vendors and then were ready to go. I didn't make it to Alabama; in fact, I only made it to one town. And that was fine for me. There's always next year!! (I have a collection of kazoos that I'm working on.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Twenty Years

Reflections, longevity, a time to look back
Back to a time of innocence where we held the world in our hands
And our hopes from the heart
Sprang forth like a rushing mountain stream

Many others have come and gone
While it has remained to carry on
A short time to some
A life time as one

Laughter, a blessing, never without
Stories retold, was there ever a doubt
That kindness and honor from those before
Would carry to the young, no matter how poor

One always steady, another pursuing the dream
Stumbles within darkness
Beaten
For we are that team

First to join was the littlest thing
Spitfire, vocal, oh how it sang
Sadly, the loss affecting their will
First love, first lost, it lingers still

A day to remember just before the cold
The black, the white, a sight to behold
The calmness, the gentle of one so small
Enduring the stick that affects us all

Walks to the green
Rides through the mist
Settlement is there
By the first, still quite the pair

More time together
Looking for the one
The only dream
Yet, it's still undone

Golden and white
So strong is their bond
Transferring to it
To now and beyond

More time to see
Being lost in the blue
The uniqueness, the beauty
That is totally you

Twenty years is
Twenty years are
Twenty years were
Twenty years…Done

Monday, July 30, 2012

National Chili Dog Day


In honor of National Chili Dog Day I give you the perfect plate!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another Mother, Daughter Conversation

I haven't written about any conversations with my mom lately but this one really takes the cake. The following is a conversation that took place a few evenings ago:

I called mom.

Mom: "Hello?"

Me: "Hey?" Silence... "Mom?"

Mom: "Yep?"

Me: "What are you doing?"

Mom: "It's 7:15 p.m. What'cha think I'm doing?"

Me: "Watching Wheel of Fortune?"

Mom: "Yep. Eating too! HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT?"

Me: "Huh?"

Mom: "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."

Me: "Are you listening to Pat Benetar? I didn't know you were a fan. I just got through eating too."

Mom: "No, I answered the puzzle on TV. What did you eat for dinner? No, don't tell me; let me guess. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, biscuits, sweet tea and chocolate cake, am I close?"

Me: "Uh, not really."

Mom: "Okay. Pizza, hot wings and real Coke, I know that's one of your favorites."

Me: "Nope. I made Asian stir fry. It had boneless, skinless chicken, sugar snap peas, red peppers, soy sauce and I topped it off with an egg. I also had slices of fresh tomatoes from my garden and sauteed asparagus. It was incredible!"

Silence.

Me: "Hello?"

More silence.

Me: "Mom?"

Mom: "Since when have you started eating like that? I don't think you've ever eaten a pepper or a pea pod?"

Me: "I told you I was trying to eat better. I'm eating all sorts of new things."

Mom: "Good for you. Does that mean we can't go to Dairy Queen when you come up tomorrow?"

Me: "We can go, but I'm gonna watch you eat. I'm serious this time."

Mom: "I guess you must be serious. CHANGING YOUR WAYS? You never turn down ice cream."

Me: "What?"

Mom: "Changing your ways--that was the last puzzle on the show. I guess it must be a sign. Well, I'm rootin' for ya. Gotta go! Click!"

A sign? Maybe? Check back in a few months. I'll let you know how it's going...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Press Two For English


Over the last few decades the United States has seen a large increase in the Hispanic population. So much so that certain cities and municipalities have put forth legislation that establishes their governed area as an "English Only" locale.

All official forms and documents will be in English only. Just because you come here doesn't mean that we're going to talk to you. If you want to talk to us, then by golly you had better speak the damn language. Comprender?

Some companies have already made the switch to include the Hispanic population. Every time I have to call an 800-number I am always asked the same question: Press one for English or press two for Spanish.

I always press one.

Sometimes I get annoyed that I can't press two. I am an English only speaking person. (I did have two years of French in high school but French is never an option.)

All of which got me to thinking: In other countries, where English is learned as a second language, when they call an 800-number, do they have to press one for their language and press two for English?

If so, do they get annoyed that they have to press one?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meet Big Red

Doesn't this look just scream, "Why are you taking my picture?"






Oh, and that's mom wearing her titty pink shirt!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy Birthday! To My Niece

Happy Birthday to my niece who turns 18 today!







I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hanging With The Big Dogs...Part II

***Author's note: You can read Part I of this story by clicking here.***


...It wasn't quite the 1909 Wagner card, but any Mickey Mantle card would be a great addition to my collection.

When I scanned the crowd at the memorabilia auction I knew I might be out of my league. This wasn't the usual "Let's go to the auction because there isn't anything else to do in this town on a Saturday night" crowd. I noticed most of them (older men and their grandsons) were wearing Rolexes, Polo shirts, Duckhead shorts and Top-sider shoes. One kid wanted a soda and his grandpa pulled out a wad of bills and shook his head because he didn't have anything smaller than a hundred. Another guy, upon further inspection, was wearing sunglasses that had dollar signs as logos and so many rings and gold chains that Mr T would have been envious. Another guy kept walking around looking at everything while talking on his cell phone. Maybe, I was out of my league.

The auction continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon. I had purchased a few Civil War relics at what I thought were very reasonable prices. The auctioneer would divide his time between the ball cards, war relics, vintage train parts and other signed pieces; this auction had a bit of everything.

I heard a voice beside me say, "Are you gonna bid on anything here?" It was one of the guys that worked at the other auction that I normally attend. "These prices are way to high!"

"I'm about to bid on something right now," I said. It was time for the Mantle card to be auctioned and I was ready. I had my set price in my head and my bid card in hand. The opening bid was $400, I was out of contention before I even got to bid. The card ended up going for $1200.

The man and I smiled at each other, shrugged our shoulders in a resigned fashion and watched the auction continue on. After a few moments, he turned and said, "I'll see you next Saturday night."

You might think the story ends here, but it doesn't. Another fellow I know who owns a pawn shop was at the auction too. He purchased a few signed pieces and some of the Civil War artifacts. He is also an expert on military items. One of the items purchased by me was a Bowie knife reportedly used during the Civil War. It had all of the markings to make it seem like I had found another Holy Grail and would be one of those people on Antiques Roadshow that goes, "How much?" However, the auctioneer had tested the knife and it was of that era but not the one that would make me a millionaire.

I took the knife to the pawn shop the next week just to show it to the man; he had arrived after I had purchased it. His eyes lit up when I showed him the knife and I related everything I knew about it. "Let me have a friend look at it," he said. "Come back in a few days."

I returned to the pawn shop and noticed several of the pieces that I had seen at the auction a few days before. "Looks like you have a good collection started, "I said.

"Yeah. I bought a couple just to put here in the store. I'm glad I didn't buy anything else; those signatures are all fake. Another guy came in here wanting to pawn a Mickey Mantle signed card that he purchased at the auction and I told him it was a fake. He reminded me of Mr T for some reason."

"Wow! I bet he wasn't very happy."

"Nope. Anyway, you've got a good piece here. It's not the Holy Grail, but you should get a couple hundred for it. How much you give for it"

"Only $35," I said.

"You got a good deal. Good thing you're into knives and not baseball cards. That fella told me he paid $1200 for that Mantle card."

I guess I wasn't out of my league after all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hanging With The Big Dogs...Part I

Long before the latest craze in Reality TV I was a lover of yard sales, auctions and flea markets. I like to collect things. I also like to have an idea of what something is worth; no sense paying $50 for something when $5 will do. Antiques Roadshow, Storage Wars, American Pickers and Pawn Stars are the shows I like the best. I keep hoping that one day while I am out looking for new junk to add to my old junk that I will stumble across the Holy Grail of what I collect; a 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card.

Yes. I'm a girl.

Yes. I collect baseball cards.

And yes. I'm very serious about it.

Baseball card collecting has taken a real nose dive over the last few years due to over production. Many hobby shops have closed down and collectors have watched the book value of their top cards go from the Stratosphere to Middle Earth in about a ten-year span. Luckily, I hadn't invested too much money in the newer cards.

I've always had an appreciation for the older cards; ones that you could put in the spokes of your bicycle tires, packs that were torn open to reveal a stick of chalk-like bubble gum or to flip over and see that Hank Aaron hit 39 HR in 1967. Call it nostalgia, call it being stuck in the past, but the newer game-worn, holographic and whatever else you can think of to put on a baseball card just doesn't do it for me.

Recently, a baseball memorabilia auction was being held in my small town in North Georgia. I usually go to another auction that is held a few times a month to see if I can pick up something for myself, my family or possibly to resell on eBay. The prices at this auction are relatively cheap and it's a fun way to spend a Saturday night.

While browsing the catalog for the memorabilia auction I was soon to discover that there wasn't going to be anything cheap there; no card listed for sale was produced after 1980. It was card after card of HOF greats with names like Gehrig, Cobb, Dimaggio, Koufax and many others. And then I found it:



It was the closest thing to the Holy Grail that I was ever going to find.

And I had to have it...

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin