Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Moving On

Dear friends:

Change is good.

Change is inevitable.

For me, change occurs in glacier-like increments, inching its way along many paths searching for the path of least resistance (The only thing I like to change is my plate at the buffet line.). But once I make up my mind to do something, the resistance stops and the change occurs.

I've had a lot on my mind, recently--other than just a mop of unruly hair that is in that stage of  "Should I grow it out?" or "Should I just cut the shit off again?" I've been thinking a lot about this blog and where I want it to go.

Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman started one afternoon after I returned from a routine doctor visit. I'd gained weight. A lot of it.

In case you missed it, here's the original post and the bad writing that went along with it:

May 19, 2008 was the day that I achieved something that I hoped would never apply to me. Something that in my more athletic youth that I would have harrumped and guffawed at that was totally impossible. Are you kidding me? I can imagine myself once again as a freshman in college with the world at my feet (At that I could actually see my feet with my own eyes without having to use a full-length mirror). Everything was shiny, happy people as R.E.M would say. I was full of it. Full of promise. Full of potential. Full of everything. What did I achieve?

As you can tell from the name of my blog, certain issues have crept into my life that I am having difficulty in accepting. I won't go into anymore details at this time but I hope over the course of this adventure that I can inspire you, make you laugh, and even shed a tear or two as I begin to accept my life as a middle-aged fat woman.


Since turning 50 several weeks ago, the reality of being middle-aged has sunk in--there's an almost zero chance of me living to 100 unless I have an identical, healthy twin in some other universe. Reaching 85 is my goal and if time goes as swiftly as the last ten years of writing in this blog has then I better get moving because it seems like just last week.


I want to be known as someone else. Maybe, just Gianetta Palmer!


And then there's the rest of the title: fat woman. I've always poked fun at myself and most of the people that I have come into contact with either laugh nervously about the title and say "Yep, that's me!" or "That's hysterical!" and a few that whisper and say "You shouldn't pick on yourself like that." 


I always thought "It's my blog and I'll call it what I want to."


It's fine, really. Or is it?


Last summer, I stopped and started several medications and by my birthday had gained 35 pounds. THAT wasn't fine. In fact, it bothered the shit out of me. Suddenly, I was tired of being a middle-aged fat woman and I've made up my mind to do something about it and not talk about it.


That's where Friend comes in. She's always picked out interesting gifts for me: one year I got a water hose and another year I got an ice cream maker. This year she asked if I wanted a subscription to join Weight Watchers and I said yes. (Practical gifts are always the best in my book.)


I started my journey 12 days ago. I want to lose a 100 pounds and I intend to write about it. Just not here. I'm going to start writing regularly at my other website: www.gianettapalmer.com


Here's where the moving on part begins: I'll no longer be writing at this website. This will be the last post. My books will still be available and I'm not deleting this blog because I'm proud of the words I've written and the topics we've discussed. 


It's been fun and I want to thank each of you that have dropped by for a laugh and kept coming back for more. I really, really appreciate it. It's been an incredible journey.


One last thing before I go: Even though the MAFW is stepping aside, her humor isn't and neither is her love of writing.


Thanks, again and keep on laughing!


xxxx,

Gianetta Palmer

P.S. Mom says bye and to be sure and check us out at the new site....


www.gianettapalmer.com












Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's My Birthday!






It's my birthday!

Don't forget to send me a card!
Buy my book!

Or you can leave a comment!
Why not do all three?


Anyhow, I'll have an extra slice of cake, just for you!


Gianetta

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Crotchety Old Man Yells At Cars...We Remember You...Year III




One of the first friends that I made when I started blogging was Joe, otherwise known as Crotchety Old Man Yells At Cars. Back in the day, circa 2008, blogging was a relatively new thing, and humor blogs were extremely hard to find. After an Internet search one day, I stumbled across a website called Humorblogs.com and if you wrote humor this was the site you wanted to be a part of.

It took me a few weeks of reading the various other blogs before I left a comment on Crotchety's "Caption This" contest. It was usually an odd picture of some kind and whomever left the best caption won a few Entrecard credits (that used to be the big thing) and the coveted zucchini award (which was very stylish). It was all in good fun.

Crotchety Old Man had another blog, too, and that was Diabetes Destroys. I think that was one of the reasons that we connected so well and that was our shared opinion on Diabetes. It does destroy and it had wrecked havoc on Joe for many years. At one point he spent almost an entire year in the hospital and still tried to keep up his blog. When he felt well, his posts were frequent and you always knew when he wasn't feeling up to par because it could be weeks or months before he would post again. But he always came back.

Joe stopped blogging a few years ago but we stayed in touch. We spoke on the phone a few times a year and I always called him on his birthday which is April Fool's Day. I thought he was joking with me when he told me that the first time but he wasn't.

I had lost his phone number and did a search online hoping to come across it but I found something that I wasn't prepared for: his obituary. He had passed away in October 2014.

I hadn't known and it was very upsetting to me.

A phone number was listed but I didn't know what to do so I called it anyway. I thought it might be disconnected. A female voice answered and I asked for Joe. She asked who was calling and I told her and she told me the terrible news.

Nicole, if you ever read this, I just want you to know that your father was a very funny guy and loved by many in the blogging world. I know he went through a lot but he was always positive and I'm glad I got to be friends and share a few laughs with him along the way.

He will not be forgotten.

Lastly, and this is for you, Joe: I really believe the Yankees are going to win it all this year. Go Yanks!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tough Times...Part II...Year VIII

"I don't know that woman, and I am not running some sort of scam. Why do you let people walk away without paying for their stuff? You better call security. Where did she go? She's gonna get away with it if we don't go find her. Come on, let's see if she is still in the parking lot."

At that moment, the cashier, the security guard, the manager and myself went running outside to see if the lady was still in the parking lot. As we looked over the parking lot the Walmart employees began to look at me suspiciously. They thought I was a part of this lady's scam. All I had been doing was being nice--lending a sympathetic ear. I had been taught to be polite to my elders, and now, I might end up in jail.

I really didn't want to go to jail. I know they provide three hots and a cot but I got this thing about confined places. They make me a little edgy. I was surveying the parking lot and there putting the last of her bags into the trunk of her 2013 Cadillac SRX was that nice old lady that was trying to stick me with her grocery bill. The nerve of that woman--telling me such a sob story about her finances, her handicapped son and paying a thousand dollar a month for insurance premiums.

I pointed to her car and all of us went running over to where she was parked. "Lady, what are you doing? What are you trying to pull? You almost got me arrested for shoplifting. I've never seen you before today. I didn't want you to think I was being rude, so, I listened while you went on and on about all of your troubles, and here you are driving a Cadillac. Would you kindly tell me and the others here what kind of scam you are trying to pull?"

At that, the lady took one look at the cashier, the manager and the security guard and her shoulders just slumped in surrender. She looked past them and began to shuffle her feet as she fought for the words to explain this situation. "I bet you're wondering what this is all about," she said.

We all nodded our heads in unison and waited patiently for the answer. "All of that stuff I told you in the store...about my finances, raising my kids, losing everything I had because of those high insurance rates...Well, I was just pulling your leg just like I'm pulling yours now.

Gotcha!

I told this story last year and I liked it so much, I told it again, with a few updates!

Happy April's Fool Day!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tough Times...Part I...Year VIII

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Excuse me..."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It's Mom's Birthday...She Gets A New Post This Year


It's Mom's birthday!

The year 1956 was a big year for Lora Keiber. She graduated and was the prom queen at Jefferson Township High School in Blue Creek, Ohio. She had 19 in her class which was about the same amount that lived in the city of Blue Creek. And most of whom were in her family. Granny had 11 children.

The picture is Mom's engagement photo and I saw it for the first time just a few days ago. It's my new favorite.

We'll probably celebrate like we do most things in my family and that's by going out to eat. Even better because Sister is flying in to help celebrate Mom's big day. Mom, just like Dad, likes a good steak. But sometimes, we'll change things up and go to Olive Garden or Red Lobster--just depends on what coupon we have.

Happy Birthday Mom! I know I speak for the rest of those that know you: "You're the best and we love you very much!"

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

I have no idea. I just thought it was a good title.

But in this case, the chicken crossed the road or was placed by someone in my neighbor's fenced yard for no other reason to drive me crazy on a Sunday afternoon.

I have no idea where the rooster came from. I have the windows open because it's too hot, too soon and I'm too cheap to turn on the air conditioner this early in the year. It's still winter, for heaven's sake.

The rooster crowed for over an hour before I realized it wasn't coming from the television. I've stopped watching a lot of network television--however, I am hooked on Homeland on Showtime--I only have about three weeks of the free stuff left on my new customer special with Dish so I am binge-watching it to get caught up.

Imagine my surprise, after the umpteenth cock-a-doodle-do that I realized the television wasn't on. I live in the country but none of my neighbors have any chickens.

I heard the rooster sound off again and decided this was cause for an investigation so I put on my slippers and ventured outside. Mom called right when I saw the chicken for the first time.




Mom: "What are you doing?"

 Me: "Spying on a chicken."

 Mom: "Is it fried?"

 Me: "Nope, it's still running around the yard. Don't know where it came from?"

 Mom: "Okay, but you're not keeping it."

 Me: "Why not?"


 Mom: "Cause I already ate..."

I wasn't the only one interested in the chicken. Wally and Ralphie spent the whole afternoon searching for the bird making all that racket.



Later in the afternoon, after a Sunday meal of fried chicken (I know) Mom called and wanted an update on the situation.


Me: "Guess what?"

 Mom: "You caught the chicken?"

 Me: "Nope. Friend tried to get a pic of it."

 Mom: "Did she get it?"

 Me: "Nope. She stepped on a snake..."

 Mom: "Oh. I thought I heard yelling..."


 Me: "There was LOTS of yelling and cursing and I beat her inside the house...."


Now, I know why the chicken crossed the road. To get the hell away from that snake.



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Ralphie Boy



As dawn broke over the mountain and lit the way just enough for me to make my way to the coffee pot I spied something shiny in its reflection. At the same time a rooster crowed across the Chattahooche River, I heard the same noise that had tried to penetrate my dreams the night before and my bare foot slid when it touched down upon something foreign to it. 

Belech! Belech!

I'm not sure which cat it is from but from past experience I knew it would be my big boy, Ralphie. He's a thrower-upper, a puker, a master of the upchuck and it's always in the most obvious place waiting for my foot to join with it. It could be worse, I guess, it could be on the computer or in the center of my bed. That's the one thing about my boy: he's considerate of his Momma G.

We are not at home right now but it might turn out to be our new home in the next few months. We like it here: There's a screened porch for sitting; a swing for swinging and best of all, rivers for floating and fly fishing. The screened porch offers both of us the chance to be outside to watch the birds, the bees, the deer, and the occasional bear to wander by. It's isolated and private and Ralphie really likes it here.

Belech! Belech!

I follow the sound with my freshly poured cup of coffee in hand and spy my Ralphie sitting under a chair on the screened porch. My other foot lands in a slimy puddle and now I, at least, have a matching pair. Where did I put those slippers?

"Hey, buddy, you got an upset stomach?" I ask him. He responds in one of his more lyrical voices. It's hard to describe Ralphie's vocal sounds. They range from a howl, to a full-throated serenade and when he's really in great voice to a "Shut UP, RALPH!" (I'm not kidding!) Yes, sometimes he has to be scolded. I don't call him Ralph Malph for nothing.

He comes out from under the chair and jumps up on my lap as I sit down to enjoy the morning air. The porch is soon colored in morning sunlight and I can see several more piles of vomit on the floor. "Looks like we're going to have to go back to the vet," I tell him. No response from him other than a quick turn of the head as a bird lands on the railing outside the screen and sings a morning greeting.

"Oh, God," I hear from from inside. "Who's been throwing up? Is it Ralphie?"

"Yes, I think so,"  I reply. "He's gotta go back to the vet."

"Crap."

Crap indeed. For the vet is 75-miles away and the only way to get there is on mountain and curvy winding roads. Did I mention that Ralphie isn't a very good traveler? He's a puker, a thrower-upper and a multiple user of the litter box on any journey near or far.

Belech! Belech!

Three hours and many upchucks later, we have settled back in at home and Ralphie has been to the vet. He has an over-active thyroid and will have his medication increased. He also received a shot to settle his stomach.

A few hours later, Ralphie no longer looks green and is back in his favorite resting place: the clothes hamper. I'm suddenly not feeling so well and feel the dry mouth and pangs in my stomach at the same time.

Belech! Belech!

I make it to the bathroom just in time to lose my lunch (bad Chinese?) and hear a voice from the other room. "Oh crap, not you too?"

Crap indeed. It is me but I'm too unwell to answer back. I hear a noise and then feel the soft brush of my Ralphie Boy as he rubs against me. In a matter of a few hours our roles have changed. "Meow," he says in a half purring tone.

"Thanks, buddy," I said. "Let's go take a nap. I'm wore out."

"Meow," is his reply.

Even though he communicates in a different way, at that moment, we understood each other. He's my Ralphie Boy and I'm his Momma G. We belong to each other.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mishaps At The Salon


***I had a request to list the whole story in one post. So, here ya go!***



Recently, I went back to my new hairdresser, P, to get a touch up on my newly fabulous hairdo that I've been sporting.  I learned my lesson about going on Wednesday, thus avoiding the fumes that arose from the all-you-can-eat   extrema burrito fiesta.

I believe it was on a Tuesday afternoon and the salon was hopping. It turned out that P had started teaching a class at the local community college and on that particular day he was teaching the new students in his salon. When he saw me at the front counter, he threw up a hand in greeting and squealed, "GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG, Hola`, chica. My goodness, what has happened to your coif? P did such a fabulous job on you last time."

"Hola`, right back at ya'll. That's why I'm here; the gray is coming back fast."

"Oh, chica, what is ya'll? It is just me, P. Anyway, you have come on good day. I am showing these P wannabes how to become a stud in the world of beauty and salon. Come sit here."

And with that I was led to the first chair and then immediately surrounded by a gaggle of cackling old bitties, three young wide-eyed teenagers and one young ex-Marine with a "I love doing hair" tattoo on his left bicep that greeted me with a wide grin and a strong nod. "Howdy, ma'am!" he said.

Over the next few minutes or so I listened somewhat stoically as my favorite hairdresser launched into the story of our first meeting and of our mutual agreement that my hair was a complete disaster. I was a perfect example of what not to do if you wanted to do your own hair or were too cheap (or broke) to go to a professional salon. "Come closer," he said to the class as he whipped out an iPhone from his fanny pack. "This is chica before and this is chica after P has finished with her. See the difference of what a professional can do?" he said.

"Hey, I didn't know you had taken my picture," I said.

"Oh, bambino, you were too worried about my burritos and my snake. You wanna see it again?"

"Wait a minute," one old bitty said. "I don't wanna see ya 'all's snake. What kind of place you runnin' here? Honey, have you seen his snake before?" she said as she edged closer to the chair and nudged me slightly.

"Uh?"

"Whaddya' sayin?" she said and nudged me again.

I wasn't sure what I was nudged with the first time, but I became acutely aware of what it was the second: her boob. They were big and large and were laying straight out, almost in an upward direction. At least she had on a good bra I thought to myself...


...Yeah, she must have a really good bra on to keep those things up like that, I thought to myself. I was thinking about asking her where she did her undergarment shopping when I got nudged again. Stop touching me!

Now, I'm really a patient person and fairly easy-going but there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas and that is being touched by someone's body part when it is not supposed to be there, if you know what I mean. For that matter, I really don't like being touched at all unless I know its coming.

I've been that way my whole life. I can remember battles with Sister over control over the best end of the couch and rides in the backseat of the family car, stuck in the middle between Brother and Sister riding on the hump, hoping that neither would reach over and pinch, touch or even acknowledge that I was there. "Mom, Sister touched me," I would moan or "Mom, Brother keeps calling me Froggy," which would then result in either a headlock and a noogie or a flick of my ear.

I'm not sure which hurt worse.

Pedro gathered all of his students around him as he prepared the coloring mixture for my hair. "You must be very careful when mixing chemicals. You don't want to turn your client's hair green or blow somebody up. Hee Hee. All measurements must be exact and precise."

The group watched in fascination as P measured this and mixed up that, and finally finished with a flourish. "Bueno! It is finished. Come. Now, let us turn, chica, into a beauty once more."

The crowd gathered around me in anticipation, with Miss Triple Ds in the back row trying to see around the ex-Marine and a tall blond with even taller hair. "Mr. P, I can't see nothing from back here. Can I move up front?" she asked.

"Oh, yes. Make way for Dolly up front," he said.

"My name's not Dolly," she said.

"Oh, I am sorry, chica. You are all so new and P has not had time to learn your names, but it is because you look like Dolly, that I call you Dolly," he explained.

As she moved from the front to the back, nudging me in the process, she took her place behind the teacher and waited for him to begin. P turned around with chemical in hand and ran smack into the large, upturned chest that had been repositioned behind him. "Mos Dios! Aye, yigh, yigh!" he exclaimed as the mixture sailed out of his hand and onto the plastic cape that was draped over me. "Oh, chica, P is terribly sorry. Dolly, where did those boobies come from?" he asked.

"Oh, my goodness. What a hot mess this is. I am so sorry, bebe, but I have the super duty heavy plastic cape and it shouldn't leak through it. Even if it does, that shirt you have on does not suit you anyway."

I was too surprised to say or do anything except look in the direction of where the mixture had been tossed from. Somehow, I wasn't too surprised when I felt a now all too familiar nudge as the large-breasted lady busied herself with trying to clean up the hot mess that was splashed across my chest.

Nudge. Stop it!

I continued to sit in silence as Dolly and P now took turns dabbing at the spill on my chest. Dolly had grabbed the towel that was wrapped around my neck under the plastic cape and P had whipped out a few moist towelettes from his fanny pack. Meanwhile, Sgt. Hair had worked his way through the crowd of stunned onlookers and now stood off to my right side, almost out of my vision. "Mister P," he said in a heavy southern accent. "I've got some more towels here, if you need 'em? All ya'll look like you done a fine job of cleaning her up, if you ask me."

Pedro looked at the ex-soldier and smiled broadly. "Thank you, Sarge, but I think we have it all cleaned up now."

My hairdresser removed the soiled cape from me and began searching for a new getup to replace it. "Does anyone have a clean towel for chica's pretty neck?" he said with an extra ounce of sauciness.

"I do," said Sgt. Hair.

"Oh, good! Come and I will let you be the first student to place the cape and towel."

I smiled up at the ex-Marine with the cool tattoo and strong jawline and caught his smile as he leaned over my body to place the towel around my neck. Nudge. Holy Crap! Here we go again.

"Nice job!" said P. "Now for the cape. Make sure you do it with a flourish. It is all part of the experience, you see."

P handed over the new plastic cape to Sgt. Hair who now had moved in around behind me. I felt another nudge and then a whoosh as the cape sailed up and over and settled perfectly upon me. "Terrific!" said Pedro. "Class, don't you think Sarge did an excellent job?"

The crowd murmured in agreement with "Yes, great job" and "Awesome" and "I wanna try". Sarge remained standing behind me soaking up all the attention, while edging closer and even still closer to the back of my chair. Nudge.

Nudge. "Great job!" said Dolly.

"Will ya'll stop touching me?" I said in exasperation.

"What is wrong, chica? Who is touching you?"

"Well, Dolly there has been beating the hell out of me with her boobs, nudging me every time she comes within three feet. And Sarge here has proven that he's carrying more than a loaded weapon and might just be happy to see me."

"Thanks, ma'am," said Sarge with a flip of his hair and a tug of his groin. "I am enjoying being amongst ya'll and I do apologize if 'Lil Sarge offended you in any way."

I was trying to recover from the 'Lil Sarge comment when I heard sniffling beside me. "Oh my, I am so sorry, being large-breasted has hurt me my whole life," said Dolly. "I thought I could do hair without 'em being in the way, but I was wrong," she said with a sad sigh.

"Oh, Dolly, it is okay," said my hairdresser. "We have just gotten starting in our training. I was so excited when I saw G walk in today that I forgot a first basic step in hairdressing, and that is where to place your junk. In my case, it is where to place my snake without offending the customer; that is why I wear a fanny pack. See, watch? I can nudge chica all I want and it will not bother her," said P as he nudged my chair with his fanny pack.

"But what about me? I don't have a snake and I think I would need a burlap sack to cover up my girls," said Dolly.

"Hmm, yes, you are a challenge but I think I have the answer. Your girls are very pretty and are standing upright, but I think we must get back to nature. You must free them and let them hang the way God wanted them to be."

With that, my hairdresser walked into the back part of the salon and came out with an armload of new smocks for the girls and a leather fanny pack for Sarge. "Here you go everyone. Please put on your new accessories and let's practice not touching our client. You don't mind, do you, chica? I give you half price."

"Go right ahead. For half price, you can touch me all you want," I said. Soon, I settled into a half-sleep state as I tuned out the activity around me. I received a few nudges, one more visit from 'Lil Sarge and then there was nothing. I sensed the activity around me and felt the hands in my hair but I was no longer being knocked around by the various out of control body parts that had tortured me earlier.

"Very good, Dolly!" I heard P say as I became more alert. "You have done a fabulous job."

Dolly handed me the mirror nervously and I glanced at my reflection. My hair looked fabulous. "It looks great, Dolly!" I said. "And I didn't feel a nudge or anything. I think you found your calling."

Dolly had done a good job and other than the sight of seeing her braless chest as she removed her smock, I was quite pleased with the way everything had turned out. I finished settling my bill and exchanging pleasantries with P when I noticed Sarge giving Dolly the eye. "I love the way you did her hair, Dolly," he said as he continued looking at her chest. "You wanna go get a latte?"

Her answer was a wide smile and a nod of her head and I heard P giggling behind me. "Oh, chica, I think I let Dolly's girls go and they have captured Sarge's heart. Such is life at the hair salon. You be good and I will see you in six weeks!"

Monday, February 27, 2017

Learning To Say Yes



Have you ever wondered how many times we say, "No, thanks" on a daily basis? Well, I surprised myself recently by saying "yes" to things that I normally say "no" to.

It all started a few weeks ago when Mom's car was in the shop and I was volunteered to give her a ride for the next days. She was starting a new dog sitting assignment and I was going to drive her out to her client's house. Well, midway through the trek it became apparent that this house was a bit off the beaten path. The road went from nicely paved, up hill and down, to thickly graveled, to lightly traveled and into dirt; we crossed one creek and on into deeply rutted and no-chance-in-hell is my Mustang coming back out here land.

When we finally arrived at the cabin, it was sitting on the side of the mountain and had four cars crammed into three parking spots.  I was less than pleased, I had just put new brakes on the car and the brake pedal was going to the floor. How it the world did they get turned around? Mom must have heard me talking to myself because she asked the same thing: "I wonder how they turn around?"

At that point, an older gentleman came out of the house and greeted Mom with a big hello. "Nice looking car you got there. Want me to turn her around for you?"

Now, I've only let three people drive my car, but something about this situation: the location, the brake pedal and the fact that my nerves were already shot from the drive up the hill and the genuine offer of help from this old guy made me slowly nod my head with acceptance. "Watch the brake pedal," I said. "I just got new brakes and it's going to the floor."

I guess his years of driving experience were a big payoff because within a few minutes he had turned my car around. "That was fun!" he said. "I'm glad you said 'yes' because the last two folks didn't and  backed off the side of the mountain. We had to call in the wreckers and everything. It was a hot mess!"

I'm learning to say "yes" to lots of things:

Wanna help me out with my groceries? Sure!

Can I hold the door for you? Yes, thank you!

Did you want a to-go cup? Definitely!

Would you like to try this sample? Okay!

Would you like to try our 30-day free trial.....? (No, thanks) I still can't say "yes" to telemarketers.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Just Singing Along



I had the radio blasting the other day and was just singing along to one great song after another. Some days the radio people get it right and they seem to play all of my favorite songs.

I really don't like the sound of my own voice. I can carry a tune in a bucket, mind you, but I like to impersonate the voices that I hear. Whether I can sing high or not usually depends on the weather. If it is low humidity and no rain I can scream with the best of 'em. (i.e. Axl Rose, Aretha, Janis and Garth Brooks to name a few)

All of this got me thinking one day as I was midway through Kenny Roger's The Gambler: Do artists sing along to their own songs or do they turn the station? Do they critique themselves? Do they like the sound of their own voice?

I don't really know any famous singers personally, but there might be one reading the blog. Maybe one of the readers knows somebody. Either way, if you'd like to leave us a comment and let us know if you sing along, that would be awesome!

Until then, "It seems like we'll be cruising just as fast as we can now..."

(Sorry, gotta go. The Beach Boys just came on.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Craving Cupcakes

I feel like Homer Simpson. Let me explain...

I'm on a low carb diet. Is there anything worse for a meat and potatoes girl like me? For my whole life, it's been about the white stuff.

Flour.

Potatoes.

Pasta.

Sugar.

Bread.

Did I mention potatoes? Mashed potatoes are my favorite food and I usually eat some form of potato every day. (Must be the Irish in me.) After nearly two months on this plan I've yet to find a suitable substitute for my Mr. Potato Head fetish.


One new food that I have discovered is flax seed, mainly flax seed flour. Yep, I said flour. It has a different kind of taste and texture to it. I've made flax seed bread that looks like Focaccia flat bread. I've made banana and raisin bread and apple flax seed muffins. I substituted Splenda for the sugar, and of course, flax seed flour for the regular white flour. The banana and raisin bread is really good.

I've already cut most of the sugar out of my diet, I'm pretty sweet without it anyway, at least that's what I've been told. But every once in a while, I get a serious craving for a cupcake. I was watching one of those cooking shows on PBS and they made homemade chocolate cupcakes complete with the white squiggly icing on top.



Talk about drooling...


They look good, don't they?

It might just be easier to go buy a single cupcake at a bakery somewhere instead of making a batch from scratch. The idea of flax seed chocolate cupcakes doesn't really sound appealing to me at all.

Sigh.

If only that picture of the cupcakes was scratch-n-sniff...my cravings might just go away!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Skunky Valentine's Day



I was looking through Valentine's Day cards the other day trying to find just the perfect ones to give to family and friends when I became totally disgusted at how expensive they were--five bucks for a card--I don't think so. Anyhow, being the somewhat intelligent and extremely clever person that I am, I remembered getting valentines when I was in school for everyone in my class and they all came in one box.

Voila!

What a great idea! They each came with their own envelope and were generally large enough to be sent through the mail. The sayings might be seen as childish, but others might think they were cute and I could always insert a heartfelt hand written note inside. Plus, there were usually thirty cards in a box and they came relatively cheap. It sounded like a good idea...

...but?

...but?

I didn't know it would be so damn hard to find a box of ordinary old-timey valentines. Geesh! Here I was at Wallyworld and the only thing I could find was Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers and iCarly, and they weren't even regular valentines; they were stickers and activity sets. No, thanks. You can keep them! I left there and went to another store, then another and finally ended up at Dollar General, where I struck gold, or, so I thought.

They had boxes of valentines but the cards didn't come with any envelopes. Crap. I reached further down into the display where the cards were and I pulled out the very last box of valentines that had envelops. I was excited that something had finally gone my way, made my purchase and tore into the box of valentines as soon as I got into the car. It wasn't too long before my excitement began to fade as I realized that all of the cards had the same picture on them: A skunk.

Have you ever received a skunky valentine?

If I remember correctly, the skunk valentine was given to someone that you didn't like and for some reason I received quite a few. What does that mean?.

Do my family and friends really want to receive a Valentine's Day card that says "I love you...and...you're a stinker too?"

Happy Valentine's Day!


...Stinky!

Monday, February 6, 2017

What Do You Do With Childhood Trophies?

I've lost track of the trophies that I've won over the years. I do remember that they were from a variety of events and not just one particular specialty.

There were the numerous sports trophies, with wins in basketball, softball and track.

I played baritone in the band and have a trophy or two for that.

I won the ping pong tournament at school one year and got another shiny piece of metal.

I won a tennis tournament at church camp (Not sure how I managed that one; the other player must have been really bad because I could barely hit the ball over the net more than one time in a row.) and received a small trophy for that.

One fall, at one of the local town festivals I entered the greased pig contest. And won! And yes, I received a handsome trophy with a shiny silver pig on the top. (Dad was especially proud of that one.)

I was also in 4-H and had the Grand Champion fair rabbit my senior year of high school. Rainbow was a French-lopped rabbit with the biggest ears and feet you've ever seen; he was big and had a great personality. I received another shiny trophy with a rabbit on the top. (I think that was my favorite of all of them.)

I know I won a few more, several for academic accomplishments and I think even one for bowling.

In a lot of situations, the kids grow up and move out of the house. Their childhood room remains pretty much the way they left it, filled with mementoes and memories until they are well into adulthood.

This wasn't the case for me. I graduated from high school and my mother moved out the next day. She had lost her job, but still managed to get her youngest child through school before heading off into the sunset. Dad moved to Georgia a few months later and left us three kids, plus a new sister-in-law alone in the old house on Cherry Fork Road.

The first thing my new sister-in-law tried to do was redecorate the house in a style that fitted her tastes. And the first thing she decided to decorate was the mantle in the living room. Guess what was sitting on the mantle in the living room?

My trophies.

Now instead of my trophies filling up the room with all of my glorious accomplishments, there were candles and knick knacks. Bric a brac, whatnots and plain old crap--not a trophy in sight. "Where are my trophies?" I asked.

"I wanted to redecorate," she said.

"I don't care what you change, but the trophies aren't going anywhere," I said and proceeded to remove all of the junk. "The trophies are staying," I said again. "Where are they?"

"I put them in a box," my sister-in-law of four months said.

It wasn't a very smooth beginning to our relationship.

Over the next two years, the mantle started to overflow as I continued to achieve successes in various events. When it came time for me to move south to further my education, I remember being saddened as I now packed my trophies into a box to move south. This part of my life was now over--the part of coming home with a new trophy, showing it to mom and dad, and having mom place it on the mantle.

We didn't have a mantle in the house in Georgia. For a few months after I moved south, things were so busy getting me off to school, plus all of us working lots of overtime hours, the trophies continued to sit in the box in which they were moved. One weekend, when I came from college, Mom took me in the spare bedroom and showed me a wonderful surprise. She had built two shelves along one side of the room and they were filled with all of my old trophies. I was delighted. Elated, to be more precise.

Over the years, the trophies remained there as I went to college and then off into the work force. I never really lived with my parents in the new house--mainly through college breaks and sometimes in the summer.

It was a small house, only two bedrooms, and when my brother (minus his wife) moved to Georgia, he took up residence in the other bedroom. I'm not sure how long the trophies remained there but I know it was probably a dozen years or more. One day I came to visit and they weren't there any longer. "I'm thinking about doing some remodeling," mom said. "I put your trophies in a box. I hope you don't mind."

"I don't mind. Maybe, I'll take them and put them up in my house," I said.

More time passed and eventually the trophies became forgotten. Mom and I were sorting through some old boxes and came upon the old box filled with my childhood accomplishments. "I thought you took these with you," she said.

"I forgot all about them," I said. We looked through the box and reminisced about Rainbow, the rabbit, playing in the band and wrestling a greased pig. "What should I do with these old trophies?" I asked.

Mom thought for a moment, "Well, you can take them if you want too, but they aren't hurting anything by sitting in this box. I'll just clean them up and put them back away. It's too bad you kids didn't get to stay around where you grew up. It would have fun been keeping your rooms the way they were. We did it backward, didn't we?" she asked.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, you kids grew up and me and your dad moved away," she replied.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Remembering Dad




Today would have been my Dad’s 82th birthday.

My dad liked nothing better than having a steak for his birthday. Mom likes a Ribeye, but not Dad, he liked a T-Bone; the bigger the better. In recent years, the local steakhouse closed down, reopened, closed again, reopened as a church, closed again and has now reopened as a Mexican restaurant.

Confused? Me too!

So in keeping with the family tradition, we’re going out for T-bones at the new Longhorn that has opened near where the old steakhouse once stood.

I’m sad you can’t be with us but we know you’ll be watching. I don’t know if you ever got to eat at Longhorn or not but I hear they cook a really mean steak.

We miss you.
Gopher

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Brother's Birthday...Year VIX



Now, it's time for another birthday. My big brother is celebrating his birthday today. His nickname is Boy, sometimes called Big Boy.

Boy is a fan of WW II and can give you all the information ever needed if you are building a house since he has a background in construction.

He taught me how to play football, throw a baseball for a perfect strike (complete with a full wind up) and how to play chess.

He also taught me how to chew tobacco, scratch my butt, cuss a blue streak, burp the alphabet, throw cow patties, use the tractor and manure spreader to drive to town for hot dogs and Sour Cream Doritos when Mom and Dad were working, castrate a hog and spit and catch loogies.

Most of these tricks I have since out grown! (Most)

However, it is good knowledge to have. You never know when you might need to do some castrating.

So here's to you! Happy Birthday!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sister's Birthday...Year VIX





Today is my sister's birthday.  In case anyone wants to know, her nickname is Big Red.  Yep, she's got red hair and a fierceness to go along with it.

She resides in the frigid north where it snows all the time.  Yuck!

I won't tell you how old she is (29) because that wouldn't be sisterly.  She is older than me though.

Happy Birthday!  May you have many more and continue to do things that make me laugh.



P.S. Your present is still on my counter waiting to be mailed.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year






Happy New Year from all of us at Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman!

We hope you have a safe and prosperous year!

Do something kind for yourself and others and take the time to have a laugh!


Cheers!

Gianetta

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