Monday, December 30, 2013

It Could Only Happen To Me

As a writer, it should come as no surprise to many of you that I have been known to embellish here and there to give a story a more satisfying punch.

Sometimes, it's the beginning of the story.

It could be somewhere in the middle that needs a little spicing up.

Or, it could need just a bit of a twist at the end to either make me the hero...

...or the goat. It just depends on what kind of mood I'm in that day.

But, sometimes, mind you, on extremely rare occasions, everything falls perfectly into place and no changes to the plot are necessary.

Yes, what I am about to share really happened and this time, I have witnesses.

My sister was visiting Georgia for the Christmas Holidays and after a fun and festive day we decided to hit the stores the day after Christmas and take advantage of the sales and discounts that were in many stores.

Now, I'm not much of a shopper like my sister is but I do like to tag along. We had been to several stores and it was later in the day. My feet were beginning to hurt and I was getting grouchy. My sister noticed  that I wasn't keeping up any longer (I mean, how many signs that say 50% off do I have to look at? I get it, prices are marked down but I've run out of people to shop for.) and said she was almost ready to go. (Thank you!)

We were at the far side of the store which happened to be Target in the last wide aisle in the very back. I was leaning on the cart for support trying not to let my eyes glaze over with boredom when I noticed something walking toward me. My distance vision isn't that good but I thought it appeared to be a very large dog leading a very small man.

As the pair continued to walk toward me, my initial thought had been correct; it was a very large dog, a Rottweiler to be precise. Now, this may come as no surprise to many of you, but I didn't know that a Rottweiler could be used as a service animal. I know there isn't any reason that they couldn't be but I had never seen one before.

At least I thought it was a service animal. Most stores, other than Petsmart, don't allow you to bring your pets with you. The dog and the man he was leading (who turned out to be a big man) were now almost directly in front of me and I looked at the dog (thought about reaching to pet him, but thought better of it) and then smiled at the man.

What happened next was like something you see on television when everything is in slow motion. As the pair started to walk past me, I took a step forward, and nearly lost my balance when I noticed something on the floor and did a quick side step to avoid what was there. The man pulled on the dog's harness and yelled something and I watched in amazement as the dog continued to poop.

And this wasn't poodle poop either; it was BIG dog poop.

As I scooted to the end of a display to hide behind, I began to take stock of the situation. I counted at least four piles and the man had whipped out plastic bags to clean up the mess. My sister had appeared from somewhere and watched as the man began to clean up the area. "At least I'm prepared," he said holding up a fistful of plastic bags. It wasn't enough though, and my sister found a few extra napkins in her pocket  that she offered to the man. He finished cleaning up the mess and went off on his way.

I stayed behind the display, still not quite sure that what I thought had happened had actually happened. Had a very large dog, a Rottweiler, just pooped on the floor beside me? At Target? What are the odds of that? A Rottweiler being used as a service animal? Wouldn't they be house broken?

As my sister and I continued on our way out of the store, she said, "I never thought I would see that. Did you?"

"I know, me either," I replied.

"I didn't know Rottweilers were used as service animals."

Me either.

And there you have it, a story for the ages--one that could only happen to me.

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Photo Bombing...It's What I Do

Not many people can claim what I have become quite good at and that's photo bombing my own pictures. As you can tell from the photos below, I have shown up in many places totally changing the look of a memorable landmark.


At Cape Hatteras Lighthouse



At a musical venue in Vienna, Austria



Another view



Somewhere in Germany



Somewhere on the Danube River



I'd like to blame it on the camera but three different devices were used in the making of these photo bombs. I'm not sure but maybe it's the operator?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Traditions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It seemed we were in bed relatively early and we tried to stay awake so we could monitor the comings and goings of the busy bees downstairs as they readied the living room for Christmas morning. I’m not sure what time they got to bed but everything was always perfect.

Our Christmas Eve dinners were always a lot of fun and something that we looked forward to. Sadly, several of the key players are no longer with us and they are deeply missed. We have a new tradition for Christmas Eve that we started after we lost Dad. I’m not sure why, but now we always go out for Chinese food.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

video



From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!

Enjoy!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bon Voyage

Mom and I are off on a trip of a lifetime. We will be touring the Christmas Markets along the Danube River in Germany. Some of the highlights will be visiting Nuremburg where the war trials were held after WWII. We'll be going to Passau which is a delightful Germanic town, touring the Melk Abbey which is a very old and historic place.

We're going to take a day trip to Salzburg where they filmed The Sound of Music so I really will get to find out if the hills are alive with the sound of music. (I might have to sing a few bars to test out that theory.)

We're also going to spend some time in Vienna, Austria. I hope we get to hear some music there too.

I'm sending all of my Christmas cards from there this year, so if you get a card with a strange postmark it'll be from me.

I'll be sure and think of you when I'm looking out into space trying not to pinch myself that I am actually here and not watching a movie.

As they say over there,
Happy Christmas

Gianetta

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving


Here's wishing you a wonderful and blessed day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Last Minute Details

It's almost here.

Six months ago I made a decision that would totally change my life. Hopefully, for the better.

Mom was planning on taking another of her trips of a lifetime and asked if I wanted to go. (Of course, I wanted to go. But, as the middle-aged fat woman, flying hasn't been on my radar in a long time.)

At the time, I was reluctant to take a chance. Six months wasn't that far away and I really needed to lose some weight if I wanted to go on a trip of that magnitude.

I was being wishy washy about it until one day Mom said, "You know, I ain't a spring chicken anymore. If you want to go, now is the time."

She was right. (She usually is.) I needed to get on with my life and quit hiding behind a layer of fat and what better way was there than to take a trip halfway around the world. "Yes," I said. "I'm going."

For the past six months I have eaten better, walked nearly every day (until I fell in a sink hole out back) until a few weeks ago. I've saved my money, purchased some new clothes (all of last year's winter clothes are too big), and bought myself a new camera.

My goal was to make my posterior smaller than eighteen inches when in a sitting position. (Most airplane seats are that size or smaller.) At my last measuring, I had almost reached my goal.

 We are sitting side by side and here's hoping Mom lays off the desserts for a while. Don't tell her I said so but it looks like she has put on a few pounds lately. She hasn't been taking her square dancing lessons lately because of a bum knee.

I'm already packed and ready to go.  I have been studying the German language and know a few key phrases that are important to me such as "Where is the toilet?" And "Are there any onions in that dish?"

I've packed an extra box of Zantac and a box of Pepto Bismol tablets.  I intend to try ALL of the German sausages or as many as my innards will allow.

We leave at 5:00 p.m. the Saturday after Thanksgiving from the Atlanta Airport and will arrive early the next morning. I'm not sure if I'll be able to sleep on the plane or not. It's been over 28 years since I first crossed the pond; I was sick for most of that flight. It was the first time I had ever flown and my ears didn't pop for three days. I hope that doesn't happen this time around.

I won't be doing the Twelve Days of Dieting this year during the month of December on the blog. I've been dieting for six months and I intend to enjoy myself. Bring on the beer and brats!

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas season.  I'll be sure and post a few pics when we get back.

(And one other thing. My new book, SCRUNCHIE-FRIED, is almost ready for release.)

Until we talk again,

Auf Wiedersehen

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Placement is Everything


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

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

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

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

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

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

You'll make their day and probably yours, too!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What Language Do You Speak?


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?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

BOO!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's National Cat Day

In honor of this felinetastically day, here are some photos of the special cats in my life:


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The good thing about them is that they not only like me but like each other too.
 
 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Small Town Letdown...Part II

Usually...

I met up with Mom in the parking area for the festival and the first thing out of her mouth was, "I can't wait to get a roasted corn and one of those potato thingys."

(Like mother, like daughter; great minds think alike.)

"I know exactly what you mean," I said. "Let's go!"

I knew exactly where to go. The vendor that offers the roasted corn and ribbon-fried potatoes always sets up in the same place. You have to walk across the bridge, round the curve and head to the other side of the music shed. You could always tell you were getting close by looking for the line of people. We walked directly to where they had always set up but found nothing.

No roasted corn.

No ribbon-fried potatoes.

No chicken-on-a-stick and nowhere even to purchase a funnel cake if we had wanted one.

"Maybe, we missed it," Mom said.

"Maybe," I said. We retraced our steps but didn't find the roasted corn vendor. "At least the Boy Scouts are here," I said motioning to an area covered up with small fires and heavy cast iron pots.

"I think the Fire Department was selling hotdogs," Mom said.

"I see a sign for BBQ over there," I said. "I'll meet you at the picnic tables."

"Okay," she said.

We shared a table with a few other festival goers and weren't the only ones that were disappointed about the absence of the roasted corn guys. "That's the main reason I come to these festivals is to eat," said one lady.

"Me too!" I replied. "Make sure you get the cobbler from the Boy Scouts over there," I said pointing to them. "It's awesome!"

"Okay," they said as they walked away.

Mom and I decided that it was time to go so we headed over to the Boy Scout tent. "What flavor are you going to get?" I asked Mom. "Apple or peach?"

"Both!" she said.

"Me too!" We placed our orders with the young scout and watched him go about the task of removing the lids and spooning out the cobblers. "I'm glad you guys were here," I said to a lady supervising the scouts. "I always get a roasted corn and ribbon-fried potato."

"I know," she said. "I was disappointed, too. I heard they set up at one of the bigger festivals. But, hey, at least you got your cobbler, right?"

"Right!" we said in unison.

A small town letdown, maybe; but a day spent with Mom: Priceless!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Small Town Letdown...Part I

During the month of October, every small town in the North Georgia Mountains has some kind of festival during the weekend. Along Highway 575 which becomes Highway 515 and then turns to Highway 2 and then Highway 76 you'll find several of these small festivals.

 Jasper kicks the month off with the Marble Festival. In an area not much bigger than a football field, festival goers are herded through a small gate and must pay a $5 entrance fee. In addition, another fee (if you want to park close) is charged for parking. I know local groups use this as an opportunity to make money for their programs but the smallness and intimacy of the festival can sometimes lead visitors feeling a bit disappointed and under-whelmed. "Was that it?" I heard on more than one occasion. Or "I feel like I paid to shop and eat," has also been tossed around.

The next two weekends of the month feature the Apple Festival in Ellijay. It, too, has an area that you have to pay to access but it is much bigger than the festival in Jasper. They also have areas throughout the town that offer visitors a chance to wander around without paying an entrance fee.

Another festival in North Georgia is Gold Rush Days held in Dahlonega. A lot of people don't know this but Dahlonega was home to the first gold rush in the United States. It's also home to one of my Alma maters, North Georgia College, or as it is now known, The University of North Georgia. (I'm not sure why but the Administration of the college has changed the name of the school several times. It was North Georgia College, then North Georgia College and State University and now the University of North Georgia.) Gold Rush is a very large festival and they shout down the main road that runs through town so there is plenty of room to accommodate the crowds.

Farther up into the mountains you'll find the Moonshine Festival and the Sorghum Festival in the towns of Dawsonville and Blairsville. There's always something to look at, music to listen to and of course, food to eat.

Over the years, I have tried many different types of fair food but I always come back to the same two things:  deep-fried ribbon potatoes and roasted corn. I like the chicken-on-a-stick, too and sometimes go for a corn dog. Funnel cake doesn't really excite me but the peach cobbler that the local Boy Scouts cook in Dutch ovens over a campfire make me squeal with delight.

I've been to all of these festivals, and I'll have to admit that the main reason I go is to eat. I've learned that I don't have to go to the large festivals that charge an entry fee, I can go to the small festival right up the road in Talking Rock. The festival is called Heritage Days and takes place the third weekend of October every year. Talking Rock is a very small-town, about 60 people and a few antique shops; a Post Office and convenience store are located up near Highway 515. They have a small creek that runs through town and a very nice park.

The festival is small, has the prerequisite things for people to look at and music to listen to and has just the right amount of my favorite food vendors.

Usually...


Friday, October 18, 2013

The Trip Of A Lifetime...This Time, I'm Going

Several months ago Mom and I were working on a project at her house. "I think I'm going to take another cruise at Christmas this year," she said.

"You are. You're not going to be gone on Thanksgiving this year, are you?" I asked.

"Nope. It leaves the day after Thanksgiving this time."

"Is it the same trip"?

"Nope. It's on a different river. It's on the Danube River and leaves from Nuremberg, Germany. You know that's where they had the Nazi trials after WWII. After that we float for ten days and end up in Vienna, Austria. We're going to be stopping and checking out all of the Christmas markets. It's another one of those trips of a lifetime you tease me about. You wanna go?"

"Where?"

"On the riverboat ride?"

"With you?"

"Yes!"

"You've never asked me before," I said. "I've always wanted to go somewhere for Christmas..."

"I thought it would be fun if one of you kids went. We had a blast when we went to Vegas."

I was silent for a minute because I knew there was a huge white elephant in the room. "I don't know," I said.

"Why not? Money?" she asked.

"No," I said quietly. "I don't know if I'll be able to fit into the seat."

"Well, you been saying you need to lose that weight. What better way to find motivation then taking a trip of a lifetime with your mom. I never got to do that with my mom, you know?"

"I'll think about it," I said. After a few weeks and many conversations with all of the different personalities that I carry  around with me at any given time (You know: doubt, fear, self-loathing, more doubt...etc), I had made a decision. I went over to Mom's house and announced my decision, "I've decided to go with you. You were right, What  better way to get myself motivated and get this weight off than to go on a trip with you."

So, this was back in May, I wanted to write this post sooner but decided it wasn't time. Our trip is only six weeks away or so and I've lost close to 50 pounds. The biggest change in my life is that I have started walking 30 minutes every day along with eating better.

I'm so excited. I can hardly stand myself.

Yep, my mom is going on another trip of a lifetime, and this time, I'm going, too!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sunset At The Beach


I'm enjoying a few relaxing days at the beach. One of my favorite things at the beach is sunset. (I like the sunrise too, but I can't seem to get up early enough to enjoy it.)

In case you haven't watched a sunset at the beach lately, check out this video of the sun going down over Pamlico Sound off the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Enjoy!

video




Hope you make it to the beach sometime soon!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Recipes From My New Cookbook...Again






I like unusual cookbooks and I picked this gem up at a yard sale a few weeks back. Glancing at the title before I bought it I didn't know if it had real recipes or was just a joke. I also wanted to find out if any of the foods that I liked to cook were inside. There's nothing quite like finding out you're white trash by the foods that you like to cook, and that somebody actually took the time to write it all down.

I've included a recipe from different sections of the cookbook:

Vegetables 'n Meats


Nobody's Corn Topper Casserole
1 pound can cut green beans, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pound can cream-style corn
4 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cups cubed cooked ham
3/4 cup Bisquick

Place beans in a 2-quart greased casserole, reserving a few for garnish. Sprinkle onion on top; spread with soup. Top with a layer of ham. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Combine, corn and biscuit mix. Spoon mixture on top of casserole. Bake for 20 minutes longer. Garnish with rest of beans.


Fish, Cooter 'n Shrimp

Clara Jane Vickar's Creamed Tuna Lunch
Brown 2 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of butter or oleo in a skillet. Add the tuna (big can is best) chunk style and 1 small container half-and-half or 2 cups of milk. Cook over low heat til thickened. Salt, pepper, and serve with toast or rice. Carnation evaporated milk is good in this, too.


Sandwiches 'n Eggs

Oozie's Okra Omelet
1 cup of fresh okra, cut in rounds
1/2 cup chopped scallions
6-7 eggs
1/3 cup of milk

Fry okra and onions in 2 tablespoons of bacon and grease or oil til onions are clear and okra is bright green. Remove okra and onions. Stir eggs into the skillet til they start thickening; then add okra and onions and work til done. 5-9 minutes. Serves 4 to 5. Best with cornbread.

Candies, Cakes, Cobbler 'n Cookies

Post Office Cookies
1 1/3 sticks oleo
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup flour (measure before sifting)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon McCormick's vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten together

Cream oleo and sugar; add eggs and flour, vanilla and nuts. Cook in biscuit pan in a slow oven (250 degrees) about 40 minutes. When cold, cut in small pieces and roll in confectioner's powdered sugar.

Sweet Pones, Puddins 'n Pies

Sweet Tater Surprise
2 cups warm mashed sweet taters
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 whole egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes

Combine warm taters with beaten egg, sugar, and salt. Form into balls with peanut butter inside each one. Roll in crushed cornflakes. Brown in oven at 375 degrees. Marshmallows can be used inside the balls with the peanut butter for a little extra treat.

Cornpones, Cornbreads, Biscuits 'n Rolls

Spoon Bread
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons Calumet baking powder
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups of scalded milk

Mix cornmeal and salt. Add hot milk, and cook in double-boiler until thick and smooth, stirring it once in a while. Take it off the stove and cool it. Pour in well-beaten egg yolks, and fold in stiffly-beaten egg whites. Place in greased casserole, which has also had one tablespoon of melted fat. Bake in moderate oven, 375 degrees, for 35 minutes, or until firm and the crust is brown.

You should be able to serve a complete meal from the recipes above. Let me know how it turns out.

Are you white trash?

Or do you just cook like it!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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 9, 2013

Another Chance To Get Your Copy

In anticipation of the next installment of Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman, I'm giving you the opportunity to get a copy of the first book in the series by ordering
here.

 
 
If you would like a signed copy, because I know you do, you can order directly from this blog by clicking the left side of the screen where it says 'Purchase Book Via Amazon'.
 
Also, look for a new look for the blog. Blogger has finally fixed the bugs that have prevented making any changes so I intend to make up for lost time. Change is always good, right?
 
Don't miss your chance to get a copy of my book!
 
Order today!
 
 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Song Of The Moment

I'm sure this has happened to you on more than one occasion. I was getting out of the shower the other day and was suddenly hit with an overwhelming urge to sing.

Sing?

Yes, sing. What was more surprising was the choice of songs. In my head for a second and out of my mouth the next: Thump, thump, thump, another one bites the dust. Hey, hey, another one bites the dust. And another one's gone, and another one's gone. Hey, we're gonna get you through; another one bites the dust. Thump, thump, thump...chicachicachica.

When I awakened from my trance I found myself playing air guitar with the towel and both of the cats puffed up and hiding in the corner.  I guess they don't like Queen. Or maybe it's my singing.

That got me to thinking about where had that song come from. I don't have any Queen records. Or cassettes. Or CDs. Or even on my iPod. Since I no longer commute on a daily basis, I seldom listen to the radio. Where had I picked up this song?

As the day continued on, I found myself randomly singing, "Thump, thump, thump, another one bites the dust." Was I trying to kill somebody and not know it?

The days wore on and I was almost worn out. I was SICK of the thumps and I didn't care who bit the dust. This song had definitely worn out its welcome; time to move on. Take a bow, Queen; the song is over!

A few more weeks passed, and finally, the thumps began to subside.  I was visiting with mom at her house and the television was going full-blast in the background. There's something about her television that's not quite right.  You can barely hear someone speaking during a show but when the commercial comes on, it almost blasts you into outer space.

Mom was in the laundry room folding some clothes when I overheard her singing, "Thinking about working up an appetite, looking forward to a little afternoon delight. Sky rockets in sight, afternoon delight." Afternoon Delight? That was almost as bad as my Queen song.

A few moments later, mom was walking back into the room when I heard the all to familiar thump, thump, thumps; they were loud but they weren't coming from me. It was coming from the television; it was a Target commercial. Light bulbs went off in my head--so, that's where the song had come from. "Wow! What's that noise?" mom asked.

"It's a commercial," I yelled back.

"I know that. But, what's the song?"

"It's Another One Bites The Dust by the group Queen," I replied.

"Oh, I like it. It's got a good beat to it," she said.  "Thump, thump, thump; another one bites the dust," she sang as she walked away.

I just shook my head. Good--now, maybe I'll stop singing it all the time.

Later, back at home, I was getting out of the shower, when out of nowhere I bellowed, "Sky rockets in flight; Afternoon delight."

Oh, crap! I've traded in the thumps for a little afternoon delight.

I wonder what's next?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's My Lucky Day...Year VI

****It's the sixth time around for this post. It's hard to believe I have been blogging for this long. I am absolutely positive that this is going to be my luckiest day ever. I sure have changed a lot in the last year. I'm not really a middle-aged fat woman any more. I'm still middle-aged but not nearly as big as I once was. (I'll wait while you tell me Congratulations!) Anyhow, I'll let you know how it all turns out.


****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?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's National Relaxation Day

Today, August 15, 2013, is National Relaxation Day.

Are you relaxing?

So, in honor of this special day I bring to you the Top Ten Things To Do On National Relaxation Day:


10. Do nothing.

9.   Do nothing, it's National Relaxation Day.

8.   Do absolutely nothing.

7.   Write a top ten list about doing nothing.

6.    Relax after doing absolutely nothing.

5.    Well, that's all I can manage. I'm not supposed to be doing anything, remember? And when I think about it, writing a  list about doing nothing is actually doing something...


I'm gonna go take a nap...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friend's Birthday...Year V

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...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Do They Still Develop Pictures?



Since Polaroid up and stopped manufacturing instant Polaroid film a few years ago, my picture taking has taken a beating. I loved using it and can still hear the click and swooshing noise it made when  ejecting the photo. Also, standing around and waving it through the air waiting on it to develop. I still take quite a few photos but these days since a cell phone is a necessary evil when leaving the house it has become my camera, too.

I'm not big on handbags, in fact, I down right detest them, but the older I get, the more stuff I have to carry with me. The small purse (I was nearly 40 before I started carrying  one.) is actually a bag used to carry cigarettes in. Since I no longer smoke, it became the perfect holder for my cell phone. Also, other needed items as opposed to my younger days include aspirin, something for heart burn, something for gas, something for low sugar and if there's room--chap stick and a small tube of hand sanitizer. All of those items fit compactly into the compartment that used to hold a pack of smokes and a Bic lighter.

My, how times have changed.

Ever since I started using my phone as my camera, I have stopped carrying a camera with me unless it was for actually being on vacation. I don't really mind that much but it doesn't take very good pictures; they always seem to be a bit dull and slightly fuzzy. (Could be my picture taking ability, too?)

Another thing that has changed, too, is that I have hundreds of pictures on my computer. Mom was browsing through some photos of our latest trip and said she wanted a copy of one. Mom isn't as technically savvy as I am or so I thought. She is certainly more advanced  than me when it comes to the development of digital photos. In a flash, as I stood there totally bemoaning the fact that I hadn't developed a digital photo in about, oh, I don't know, ever, she had punched a few buttons, grabbed the flash drive and declared we were going to the Walgreens right up the road

I guess she really wanted a copy of that photo!

That situation has encouraged me to develop a few of my past digital photos and that is how I came across this picture of Wally and Ralph. In fact, as I looked around the house, I realized that I had no photos of them or of no one for that matter. That's something I intend to change and this photo turned out okay.

I'll see you later. I'm off to Walgreens...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Slept Right Through It

I've been blessed for the past week or so with a tremendous sinus infection. I've been back home to southern Ohio two times in the past three months and have returned each time with a sinus infection. In fact, every time I visit my childhood home, I return with the nasty crud.

My days have consisted of sleeping for 12-plus hours, having a small bowl of soup, taking a 3-hour afternoon nap, having another small bowl of soup, and then staring at the bottle of NyQuil to see if I have enough to get me through the night and the next day.

This has been my routine for the last seven days.

The bad part is that I am now out of NyQuil and have to go to town.

The good part is that I have lost ten pounds. (Yay for me!)

We've had an unusually large amount of rainfall this year.  In fact, the North Georgia area is over two feet ahead of its rainfall total for a year.  The creeks and lakes are full and the grass and woods are lush.

I awoke this morning to a blaring telephone that wouldn't stop ringing.  Somewhere, in my NyQuil-induced slumber I remembered hearing the rain falling and a blast or two of thunder.  It was Mom on the line, "Are you okay? I've been calling all morning.  We made the news, both in Atlanta and Chattanooga; mudslides on Burnt Mountain; Blackberry Mountain flooded away. They even called for a mandatory evacuation of the Coosawattee River. Can you believe it?"

"Huh?" was all I could manage.

"Huh? Is that all you got to say? You still feelin' poorly?"

"Yes, I slept right through it."

"Oh, I see, well you better lay off that NyQuil. I don't want you to go floating away..."

I think she's right.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Wore It Better

Have you ever watched an awards show and wondered why no two dresses are the same?

Me either, but that didn't stop me from doing a small bit of research on the subject.

In seems in fashion circles, that it is an unspoken rule that no two starlets should ever wear the same outfit. In fact, for those that are in the upper echelons of the A-list, the designer dresses are brought to them just a few hours before the big event where a decision is made on what the celebrity will wear thus ensuring that no one else will be wearing the same dress.

In the grand scheme of things should it really matter if two celebrities wear the same dress?

I mean, is the world going to stop rotating because Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez wore the same outfit to the Grammys thus causing the entire world's population to fall off?

Let's hope not!

Until recently, this situation had never occurred in my life. First, although I know it's hard to believe, I'm not an A-list celebrity or a B-lister for that matter.

I don't think I'm on any list except that pesky telemarketer that has been calling me for ten years. "No! I don't want to take a Disney dream vacation!" I've told him no so many times, now, I think he calls just to see if I'm still alive. (I use my old lady voice on him.)

Friend and I wanted to try a new restaurant at  Amicalola Lodge which is located in the Amicalola Falls State Park in the North Georgia Mountains. Check out the link, it's a really nice place to visit.

On Sunday mornings, they offer a Sunday Brunch.  It's a bit pricey, but the view is spectacular.  Some days you just luck onto things and this was one of those days. Not only did we enjoy a fabulous meal and a fantastic view, there was also a Craft Show going on.

We were finishing up our meal when the unthinkable happened. In walked a party of three, two elderly ladies and a gentleman.  The ladies were wearing the same shirt.

The EXACT same shirt that I was wearing.  Oh, crap, this was going to be awkward.

I pointed out the similarity to Friend who started to laugh. "I told you to wear the white shirt," she said.

I didn't want to wear a white shirt, because white shirts pick up stains easier than a dark shirt.  After all, I was eating at a buffet; there was a good chance that a small food particle might end up on my chest. No sooner had I thought that last statement then the exact white shirt I had also been considering walked by in another party.

What are the odds? Not only, if noticed, would I have to endure the unpleasant conversation of "Oh, we have on the same outfit," but that I also shop at Walmart. (Please, don't judge me, I live 40 miles from a mall.)

I was ready to go so we checked out the Craft Show.  Happily, we never ran into the similarly clothed duo and stopped at a table laden with fancy soaps. The lady working there gave me an odd look before saying, "I'm sorry, but I can't do any better on the price of the gift basket,"

"What gift basket?" I asked, slightly puzzled.

"This one right here," she said pointing to a beautifully arranged gift basket. "Twenty-five dollars is the best I can do."

"I'll take it," I said.

"You will? But you were so adamant just a few minutes ago. And where is your mother?" she asked. "We had the loveliest conversation about your matching tops."

Now, I began to put it all together. She was confusing me with the other party.  "You must be talking about the other folks that are wearing the same shirt that I am. I saw them upstairs in the restaurant."

"Oh, I beg your pardon. I am terribly sorry." Giving me the once over, she continued, "it was the shirt that confused me. You look several years younger than her and certainly wear it better." Leaning in close, she whispered, "She really needed a better bra, boobs hanging down low like that. I should know, because I have the same exact shirt and one of my friends pointed it out to me. We girls must always care about our appearance," she said standing up straight. 

"Sure do," I said standing up a little straighter.

"I'll tell you what, I'll let you have the basket for half-price, just for being a good sport."

"Done," I said smiling in return.

Yes, I may shop at Walmart, but sometimes it pays off.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We're Havin' A Heat Wave

Here are the top ten things to do during a heat wave:

10. Complain to all your friends on Facebook about how hot it is?

9. Step outside to get a closer look at the thermometer to be sure it actually says 102 degrees at 11:00 AM---in the shade.

8. Confirm that it actually is 102 degrees in the shade with 75% humidity and begin the day with another nasty case of swamp ass. (Sweating of the loins.)

7. Stay indoors! (Nope, can't do that. It's hotter inside than it is outside.)

6. Plan a road trip to audition for a television game show. (I'll let you know how that turns out.)

5. Change clothes for the 5th time because it's too hot to do anything inside either; those chores will just have to wait.

4. Stare at window air conditioning units and wonder just how high the power bill is going to be this summer.

3. Sit and sweat as you look at the window air conditioning units that are now turned off since the power bill was over $300.

2. Have some ice cream while typing out a top ten list about things to do during the first heat wave of the season.

1. Move to your mother's house for a few days; she has central air!
Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Worless Wednesday...Got Toys?



Nothing stands between Ralphie and his toys!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Holiday Parades

I missed the Fourth of July parade again this year, but just barely. I wanted to go, but I have this thing about parades. They scare me a little and usually make me cry.

I was in the marching band in high school so I got to march in several parades a year. I don't think they bothered me then because I was in the parade and didn't have to watch. From the tenth grade on I marched in the very front row on the left-hand side. I played a large brass instrument and it was a lot of fun. Maybe, it was from watching all of those Thanksgiving parades on TV that made me nervous around parades. All of those large inflated creatures that if there was just one wrong misstep could send their handlers floating off somewhere over the rainbow.

As I drove into town yesterday, tractor pulled floats with balloons flapping in the breeze, pickup trucks with 'Vote-for-so-and-so' and gleaming red fire trucks passed me coming the other way. When I reached the center of town it looked like someone had set a bomb off (wonder if they had a permit?). Trash everywhere.

Families were still milling around town clinging to their children's hands to keep them from running into the street to salvage any leftover thrown candy. I saw one child dart out into traffic, hit a pile of manure (EEWWW) left by a horse in the parade, pick up a piece of candy and slide across the road into the waiting arms of a very shocked parent. One parade judge was receiving medical attention because one of the parade participants had thrown an exceptionally large piece of hard candy at him and boinked him on the head.(I think they got last place.) I heard a little girl sobbing inconsolably because she hadn't gotten any of the candy thrown in her direction.(See a pattern here?)

As I was waiting to make a left-hand turn in the center of town, I was startled when I heard something beside me go bleep, bleep. I looked at all of my mirrors and couldn't see a thing. Bleep, Bleep, BBBLLLLEEEEEEPP!! All of a sudden, six very large clowns(I'm scared of clowns too!) jumped up out of the smallest motorized vehicle that I have ever seen and yelled, "Chinese Fire Drill".

The light turned green but I stayed put. Clowns were running beside me, around me, one even tried to open my door (good thing I had it locked) all jumping up and waving, one tripped over his feet, one pulled a flower from his sleeve, one honked his nose at me and one handed me a balloon in the shape of a wiener dog. As the light turned back to red, they hopped back into that car, made a right-turn and sped off.

I waited for the light to turn green and was shocked to hear a bleep, bleep once again. I looked up and saw that little car heading my way again and thought, "I don't think so." I didn't care what color the light was, I slammed that Mustang down into first gear, hit that pile of manure, hit the emergency brake, squalled the tires, and laid down a piece of rubber that would've made Old Number 3 right proud. I left those clowns choking and gasping in my dust.

I needed to stop and get gas before I left town and was a little uneasy when a guy in a clown suit pulled up at the next pump. He smiled at me and I just kind of looked away. I heard his cell phone ring and he began to talk to someone. I had finished pumping my gas and looked backed over at the clown. (He wasn't there.) As I did so, I heard a 'honk', I jumped out of my skin, turned back around and there stood the clown. "My friends just called and said you really made their day with that maneuver back at the light," he said. "They want to know if you want to go to the next town and be in the parade with them?" (Sign me up!)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day

The scene--Any small town in a state that doesn't allow fireworks, namely Georgia.

A guy walks into his local courthouse and asks where he can get a permit. The guard sends him down to the permit office. There is a really long line and only one window open. He admits to himself that this permit thing must be a pretty good idea, 'cause everyone here seems to be getting one. After all, on July 4th, he always hears fireworks going off all over town, so, they must have a permit, right?

The man finally reaches the counter after one lunch break, and two smoke breaks and asks the lady about applying for a permit. She pulls out the forms and said that the fee was going to be $500.00. He scratches his head and thought that that sounded like a lot of money. "Ma'am, why does it cost so much to get a permit to let off fireworks," he asked?

"Let off fireworks," she said. "Don't you know that is illegal in this state?"

The man scratched his head once again and then asked, "What are all of these people here for?"

"Sir, this is the tag office," she said.

The man, quite confused by this time, looks up and asks, "Where does the city get its permit to let off fireworks for the community each year?"

The lady, quite at a loss for words looks up and says, "Wait right here, I'm gonna go get my supervisor."

Enjoy your 4th of July wherever you are and remember this: Let the professionals shoot off the fireworks, because they have a permit. Just don't ask to see it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What Not To Bake For Holiday Picnics

It took me a few years to learn to appreciate this delicacy served at picnics, potlucks, and funerals. Church socials, family reunions and basically any other gathering that served food always seemed to have several different kinds of potato salad. Potato salad or tater salad as we call it in my family is a gathering requirement. Someone usually asks who's bringing the tater salad and the resulting answer is met with extreme caution. You see in the middle-aged fat woman's family there are four (4) different recipes for tater salad. And none of us really like the others' recipes.

Mom's recipe is a classic tater salad laced with eggs, onions, (I'm allergic) pickles, (I don't like) relish, (Yuck) and celery seed.

Brother's recipe is stocked with onions, (I'm allergic) paprika, and every dressing and sauce in the fridge which total (at last count) 43.

Sister's recipe is spiked with onions, Ohio style chili, and caffeine free Diet Pepsi. (No comment for that one)

Middle-aged fat woman's recipe is a meat-and-potatoes kind of dish. It only has a few ingredients, none of which are listed above, except eggs.

I subscribe to several upscale magazines and had seen a new recipe for Summer Potato Salad. Well, I thought la-dee-da, I'll just have to give this new tater salad a shot. The new recipe called for fancy bleu cheese crumbles, 3 tablespoons of coarse salt, red wine vinegar and freshly chopped chives.

What a disaster.

Of course, all of the stores were closed for the holiday, so, I had to stop at a convenience store to pick up those unusual ingredients, none of which they had.

I got to Mom's house and began to assemble the Summer Potato Salad. (She had already cooked the potatoes) We poured 3 tablespoons of Morton salt into the bowl. We added wild onion stems pulled directly from the front yard. Lastly, we poured blue cheese salad dressing into some cottage cheese to get the crumble effect. We had all of the other ingredients so we added them in as well.

Mom looked at me and I looked at her, "You ready to taste it?"

In went the spoons, out came a gag and a bleccckkk, she spit hers out and my eyes teared up. It was awful. Just awful. Brother came in and gave it a taste, "That tastes like @%X*^!#," he said, then threw down his spoon in disgust and stomped out of the kitchen. Sister wasn't in town for this holiday, but her daughter was. I looked over at her with spoon in hand and she said, "I'm allergic to tater salad." (Smart kid)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Men And Their Chainsaws...Part IV...A Father's Day Memory

...and he took the chainsaw with him.

Dad never really used the saw that much in his first couple of years in Georgia; there really hadn't been a need for it. That is, until the late winter blizzard hit in 1988. It was like a northern snowstorm, almost 21 inches of snow fell in North Georgia. And to make matters worse, it started to thaw quickly and then froze again, and then everything was covered in a sheet of ice.

That's when limbs started cracking, and branches started snapping, and before you knew it, any tree that was within 15 feet of a power line toppled to the ground. No lights. No furnace. No stove. No nothing.

It didn't take long once things had settled down before the locals started to work on all of those fallen trees. Dad had gotten the old yellow chainsaw out of the storage building and it cranked on the first try. Dad was able to cut his way down the driveway and cut the limbs away from the power lines so the electric company could begin to restore the power to the area. The saw was now over 14 years old and it worked like a top.

After that, I'm not really sure what happened to the saw, it just faded from memory. Until a few weeks ago. Mom had been having a yard sale and was cleaning out the shed when she came across a familiar object. It was the old saw and it seemed in pretty good condition, so she put it in the yard sale to sell.

It was late on Saturday evening and we had begun to put the things away that hadn't sold. An older gentleman in a beat up Chevy pickup pulled up in the driveway and asked if he could look around. We said sure and stopped what we were doing and watched the old guy browse what we still had left out. I didn't think he was interested in anything until he noticed the yellow chainsaw. My goodness...his eyes lit up, he picked up the saw, turned it this way and turned it that way. "What'cha want for this old saw?" he asked. "I had one just like it for over 35 years and it just cut out on me recently. It was the best dang saw I ever had."

I looked over at Mom not exactly sure what she was going to say. "My husband loved that saw, we got that for him on Father's Day back in '74. I'll tell you what, since it's so close to Father's Day, I'll let you have it for free on one condition."

"What's that?" he asked.

"Use it," Mom said.

"Yes, Ma'am," he said. And with that he pulled his hat down low over his eyes, lit himself a cigarette, and gave that cord a yank...


Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Men And Their Chainsaws...Part III...A Father's Day Memory

And so it began.

The neighbor nodded at Dad and hopped up onto one end of the big Oak. He pulled once, twice, three times, and finally, the damn thing belched to life. The neighbor lined his saw up at the widest part of the fallen tree and began to slowly eat his way through the massive trunk. He kept looking at Dad, waiting on him to get started. As he reached the deepest part of the log his arms began to strain from the exertion of pushing the saw through. Sweat started to stain his overalls and beads of perspiration began to drip off the brim of his cap. The chainsaw began to whine, to sputter, to spit, until at last, it just stopped.

Dad chuckled to himself, hopped up to where the neighbor had been sawing, pulled the string, and that new chainsaw roared to life. Dad pulled the brim of his hat low, chucked his cigarette towards the swollen creek, set himself and started to saw.

Dad finished the cut that the neighbor had started and began to work his way up the log. From time to time you could see him glance at the neighbor who was struggling mightily to restart his saw which didn't seem to be cooperating. Finally, in exasperation, he threw up his hands in defeat and asked my father if he wanted to take a break.

"Nah, that's all right," he said, "I'm just getting warmed up."

As I look back on this memory with amusement, it was amazing just how prophetic Dad's statement was. Once he started to use that chainsaw, he never stopped. He cut everything. He trimmed all the limbs on the trees that surrounded the house. All of the wood from the Oak tree was sawed in perfectly measured lengths so they would fit precisely in the wood stove.

Within a year's time, he had run out of things to saw, and the chainsaw was laid to rest. It was no longer needed, almost forgotten; in fact, Dad never used the saw again, until he moved to Georgia...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Men And Their Chainsaws...Part II...A Father's Day Memory

...trees across the road, trees down in the yard. It was like a tornado had come through. It wasn't that long after the storm had passed when you could hear the roar and the whine of the chainsaws as neighbors up and down the road got to work clearing a path.

Dad wasn't one to be outdone by the Dotson's so he grabbed up Brother, the chainsaw, and a couple of axes and headed towards the road. Never one to be left behind, I decided to tag along.

The destruction that this storm had caused was amazing. Big, bold, and majestic trees had fallen victim to Mother Nature. I'm not talking about the Scrub Pines that are so prevalent where I live now; I'm talking about Maples, Poplars, Elms, and sadly, the big Oak tree in front of the barn. Strong, sturdy trees that were toppled like matchsticks.

I started to follow Dad onto the road when I was quickly told to get my butt back up in the yard. This was no place for a kid and I was just going to be in the way. The road had begun to fill with the volunteers from the local fire department checking to make sure everyone was okay. Some power lines had fallen across one part of the road and traffic was being diverted around it.

The major concern was the big Oak tree; there was no way to go around it. You would end up in the ditch if you went one way or in the creek (which was flooded) if you went the other way.

Gentlemen, start your chainsaws!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Men And Their Chainsaws...Part I...A Father's Day Memory

Growing up on the farm on Cherry Fork Road was a lot of fun. I've mentioned before that we raised tobacco, had a HUGE garden, dabbled in the hog business and had a few cows and chickens. We had a tractor, a wagon, and a manure spreader as well as various lawn mowers, rototillers and chainsaws.

Give a man a chainsaw and it's like giving candy to a fat kid. They don't know when to stop.

My dad loved his chainsaw. I don't remember what the name brand was but it was yellow and matched his pickup truck. Throw in a Kool cigarette dangling out of his mouth and a John Deere hat perched on his hat and he was ready to do some sawin'.

One of the stories he used to tell was how he cut fence posts with his brother for about 30 cents a day. They didn't have a chainsaw back then, they used an eight foot blade saw with a brother on each end.

When it came time to do smaller logs, they would switch from saw to axe. My dad could swing a mean axe, his brother, not so much. In fact, the story goes that my uncle was swinging the axe and the blade flew off and cut my dad's little finger off. I'm not sure which pinkie it was because he had both of them cut off at different times. But that's a different story.

Anyhow, I remember the year my father got his new chainsaw. It was Father's Day, 1974, and let me tell you, that saw was needed. A late spring thunderstorm had blown through and there were trees everywhere...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blogaversary...Year V



It's hard to believe that's it been five years since I started Reflections on a Middle-Aged Fat Woman. Over the past five years Reflections has grown from a one paragraph post about my visit to the doctor into stories of my farm life as a girl, my continuing search for the perfect job, tales of hospital visits, unfortunate mishaps at the drive through and the silly things that can happen in everyday life.

One of my readers once told me that the main reason they like coming to visit the MA Fat Woman is they never quite know what to expect and usually, get a laugh in return. Personally, I still think that is the highest compliment that can be paid to a writer, and for that, I'm grateful.

Of all of the stories that I've written about my favorites are those that involve my family, especially my mom.  I've been very lucky to be able to experience trips to the mall, trips around the southeast and even a cross-country trip to Vegas with my mom and we always have a great time.  We're working on something that is totally top secret for now but it just might be the most exciting thing we've ever done. You'll have to keep checking back.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again real soon. As you've probably figured out by now, you never know what I'm gonna be talking about!


Gianetta

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hello Mountain View, California

Hello Mountain View, California!

It's nice  to meet you!

But who are you?

Can you believe it's approaching the fifth year anniversary of this blog? I know, very hard to believe. I'm thinking about coming up with another top ten list of my favorites from the past six years.  Also, by the end of the year (if I keep writing at the same speed), the blog will achieve it's 1000th post. I don't care who you are, that's pretty dang good!

I know there are people all over the world that like to drop in on the middle-aged fat woman and I really enjoy it. There is a tracking system that I use called Feedjit that tracks the somewhat precise location of where a visitor is from. I say somewhat precise because it says I'm from the next town which is twenty miles away.

It lists the city and state and in lots of cases the country, too.  I'm always intrigued when a new country pops up--last week someone from Kazakhstan visited.  I can assure you that I have never been there but it might be a fun place to check out.  I'm sure mom would like to go!

One of the regular city/state combinations that pops up is Mountain View, California.  In my travels out west I've yet to grace California's doorstep; in fact, I've come about 17 miles short on more than one occasion. I don't think I have any relatives that live there, either, so the visitor must be totally interested in sharing a laugh with me.

How cool is that?

So, whomever you are, thank you for visiting and if you'd like to send me an email at gianettapalmer@gmail.com to introduce yourself, I'd be tickled pink.

Thanks for stopping by.


P.S. Mom says hi!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's National Hamburger Day



Yeah, it's officially summer!

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer season with a long three-day weekend. I'm sure many of you prepared, participated or partook in a meal that had summer written all over it.

I know I did. I fired up the old grill and threw on some burgers and a few hot dogs. Honestly, doesn't everything taste better when it is grilled?

Imagine my surprise when I found out that today was National Hamburger Day. Who knew? I knew burgers were special but I didn't know they had their own day.

Can you imagine the excitement in the meat department?

Oscar Meyer: "Yo, Chuck. Today's your big day; how ya feelin'?"

Chuck: "A little lean, man, a little lean."

Oscar: "Glad to hear it. I bet you'll get picked first. Everyone likes patties over dogs these days."

Chuck: "I don't know. It is summer. Lots of fun, kids and picnics. Maybe, we'll get picked by the same family?"

Oscar: "That would be great! I could help you celebrate your day. Oh, wait, here they come--a whole family of them.  Yeah, I made it. We're both in the same basket. I love these guys already."

Chuck: "I know! It doesn't happen very often.  I've gotta get ready. I'll see ya at the picnic, okay."

Oscar: "Okay, but don't let them do too much to you--you're a lot better the less they mess with you. It is your day after all."

Chuck: "Yep. Well, let's go chill before we grill..."

Oscar: "Ha ha, good one!"

So enjoy National Hamburger Day, but if you hear an extra sizzle coming from the grill, don't be worried. It's just the boys celebrating in their own way...

Monday, May 20, 2013

My New Ride




I haven't deserted the blog.

Or my Mustang.

I've just been doing other things.

We went camping all the time when I was a kid. Never in a camper, though. We always had Dad's pickup truck with a shell on top and a mattress thrown in the back. (That's where Mom and Dad slept.) When I was younger, my brother and sister and I shared a tent with a thousand metal poles that always needed to be assembled, usually in the dark, usually when it was raining and that nobody could put together but Mom. It was a canvas tent and you never touched the sides for fear of having a leak. (And by touching the side that would somehow let the leak in.) There was always a leak because it always rained when we camped.

Always.

One year, Brother had his own tent which was a small two-man pup tent. He chose his own area in the campsite to pitch the tent which turned out to be a bad idea because he ended up nearly being washed away after a massive night time thunderstorm. I don't remember much about it except we all three ended up in the cab of the truck because the old canvas tent had way too many leaks. (I do remember looking up through the window of the tent trying to touch all of the stars that seemed just within my reach.)

I've camped a few times as an adult but it has been almost 15 years since I last camped. (Something about my snoring that seems to keep the whole campground awake or something like that.)

So for the past few years I have been thinking about getting out into nature once again.

In style. And in comfort.

In case you're wondering, it's a 24-ft 1998 Ford Jayco Class C Motorhome. I think I got a really good deal.

I did have a tire blowout on the drive bringing it home. (That's another story!)

And there are some minor issues that the mechanic is working on.

I was able to get it to a local campground this past weekend to get the sewage system cleaned out and to clean the inside.

Of course, it rained the entire time but I didn't touch the sides--no sense taking a chance if you ask me.

Monday, May 13, 2013

In Through There

I talk a lot about my family and the adventures that we have. I've mentioned several times about growing up on a small farm on Cherry Fork Road and the struggles that Mom and Dad had to keep us clothed and fed. I can't say that I remember every little detail because I can't. Sometimes, at family gatherings, one of us will mention a story that we had long forgotten, bringing us to tears and cracking us up at the same time.

Our family likes to tell stories. Nobody could tell a story better than Dad. And every time he told a story each important part would be punctuated with the saying "in through there". I don't know why he said that. He probably didn't realize he was saying it. Maybe, it was how he collected and ciphered through all of those tall tales in his head. One such story might go like this:


Back when I was a kid, in '43 or in through there, there was a boy lived up the holler that we scared so bad, that he lit up a tree and didn't come down for three days. Damn, chicken shit, what he was. See, one night we was coming home from coon hunting and he got distracted, in through there and got left behind. Us fellows decided to teach him a lesson and hid behind a rock down there on Island Creek. You 'member where that is, don't you? Shit, he come around the corner, in through there, and we all just jumped out at him and he jumped back, screamed and took off a running, straight up the holler and up that big old oak tree, pissing his pants and carrying on like a girl. That was the funniest damn thing I ever seen.


I've heard this story many times and I still get a laugh out of it. Besides being a great story teller, here are some other things, in through there, about Dad.

He got drafted into the Army in the 50s and saw Elvis over in Germany.

He was scared of heights.

His nickname was Diddy.

Both of his pinky fingers had been cut off due to accidents as a child.

He liked Hudepohl beer.

He was a pattern marker for the Hercules Trouser Company in Manchester, Ohio, for 25 years.

He could out run anybody in the neighborhood, including Sheldon, the boy from Hawaii.

He loved his family, deeply.

Lastly, he left us 11 years ago today, on this date.

Wherever you are, in through there, we miss you very much.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Mother's Day Memory

****Enjoy this classic Mother's Day post****



So Brother and I took Mom out to eat for Mother's Day. It wasn't just some local place either; it was the Dillard House in Clayton, Georgia. It's about as far north as you can get in Georgia without falling off the edge of the state. It was a two hour drive and by the time we got there we were famished, and ready to eat. I'm not sure if it was fair to make Mom drive or not but the Mustang ain't really made for transporting folks; maybe two, but definitely not three.

We got there at the same time that all of the local churches let out and it was certainly a race to get your name on the waiting list. Mom pulled a stunt that I am known for but I've never seen her do it. It's where you stop the car at the front of the restaurant and have somebody hop out to get your name on the waiting list. Anyhow, I was the lucky soul that hopped rolled out of the backseat of Mom's car. (Her backseat wasn't much bigger than mine.)

We enjoyed a half hour wait sitting out on the front porch, stomachs growling, rocking in comfortable high back rocking chairs, straining to hear what numbers they were calling over the loudspeaker. With each number called I was met with questioning glances from Mom and Brother both wondering what our number was and if it had just been called.



We were finally led to our table and had to go through the main dining room, out the back door, cross the yard and enter into a whole other building. We were all surprised by this unexpected detour and joked that you usually have to wash dishes after the meal, not before.

We were now in an old converted farmhouse and were elbow to elbow with our fellow diners. I was sticking out like a sore thumb. Mom and Brother were seated against the wall and I was seated on the outside of the table which was the main only walkway from the kitchen to the dining area. There was also a loose board or something near my chair because every time someone walked past I got a jolt, a goose and a lift up from my chair.

There were three bowls already on the table containing apple butter, relish, and a third bowl that we all sniffed and couldn't identify until Brother tasted it. It was horseradish sauce. I think we were waiting for menus or something and were totally blown away when three waiters arrived with three heavy laden trays of every country food dish imaginable. You don't have to order at this place, they bring you everything , and I mean everything on the menu.

The three of us quickly loosened our pants and dug in. I was immediately drawn to the lima beans and Au gratin potatoes. Brother was enjoying the Prime Rib, biscuits and cucumber and onion mixture. Mom, well, she was enjoying the creamed onions.

Creamed onions!

Sometimes, I wonder how we can be possibly be related. I think it's well known that the MA Fat Woman doesn't do onions, creamed or not.

All in all, we had a fun trip and were all in agreement that Dad and Sister would have enjoyed the meal too.

I'm not sure about the creamed onions, though.




That's something only a mother could love.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Overly Enthusiastic Wave

I almost had a wreck the other day.

Why? You might ask?

I was startled by an overly enthusiastic wave.

Yep, I almost ran off the road because someone waved at me. I'm not such an ogre that I don't get the occasional wave or even my favorite, the extended forefinger aimed in my direction. But this wave was different.

This wave involved at least two individuals in a silver soccer mom van. I couldn't tell what they looked like--I only saw long dark hair on one of them. The person driving the van laid on the horn with one hand and had the other hand waving as fast as she could. The passenger had everything she could possibly find waving in my direction.

As I became somewhat distracted by all of these shenanigans, I felt my eyes widen as our vehicles became dangerously close to one another. The wavers' eyes widened as well but it didn't deter the waving; only increased it, I think.

I gave the perfunctory wave as I passed them, silently glad that they hadn't run me off the road. Later that day, I recounted  the story to my mom:

Me: "Two ladies 'bout ran me off the road today."

Mom: "They did? Were you going too fast?"

Me: "Nope. They were waving and beeping so much at me that we almost ran into each other."

Mom: "Huh?" Did you know 'em?"

Me: "I haven't the foggiest idea..."

Mom: "Maybe they was just messing with you.  I do that all the time--wave at people real big and act like I know them. Makes people smile....

Me:  "Do you run them off the road?"

Mom: "Only if they don't wave back!"

Saturday, April 27, 2013

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 choke  up
and stutter 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.

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