Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tough Times...Part I...Year 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Excuse me..."

Not A Winner!

Well, I didn't win the Mega Million jackpot, so I guess it's back to blogging. Oh, well, I have fun doing this too!

BTW, my birthday is on April 4; there's still time to get me a gift or send me a card!

Not sure what to get me? You could always purchase one of my books, in whatever form you prefer. Paperback. Ebook...etc...that would really make my day!

In the next few weeks, I'm going to be participating in something really HUGE! It's the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop in Dayton, Ohio. I know, I know, I gotta go north of the Sweet Tea line to get there. But, it's a road trip, and those are always fun. I'll be telling you more about it very soon!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Moving To Cherry Fork Road

Cherry Fork Road was the name of the road that I was raised on. We moved from a rented house in 1971 to the farm that Mom and Dad had purchased in the middle of winter. I was very young, only four years old at the time, but I remember parts of moving day. It was cold and snowy.

I don't remember who I was riding with--probably my mom; but, we were riding behind my papaw who was helping us move, and he was driving a big red truck.

His big red truck was what he hauled the school lunch food in; I don't know how he got that job, but sometimes we would get extra goodies if the lunch ladies counted the inventory wrong. My school lunches growing up were really good so I didn't mind eating school lunch food at home. It sure beat eating deer meat.

Anyhow, we had stuffed a lot of our belongings on the back of this truck and lying across the top of everything was a big rolled up rug that went in the living room. You probably know what kind of rug I am talking about. I believe it's called a corded circular rug--everyone had one back in the day.

I remember going down a hill on the way to Cherry Fork Road and our new lives down on the farm when the rug, which wasn't secured properly, came off the back of the truck. Papaw, who was probably lighting a cigar or talking at the time, didn't notice that his load had become considerably lighter and kept on going. The rug hit the road and bounced up and landed on the hood of mom's car and made us slide over into the ditch.

And there we sat. There weren’t any cell phones in 1971 so we had to wait until Papaw realized that we weren't behind him any longer. I can't remember how long we were stranded because I fell asleep in the backseat. The next thing I remember was waking up in my bed, in a new house, on Cherry Fork Road.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mom's Birthday...Year IV

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

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

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

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

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

Here's to you Mom!

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Officially Spring!

It's officially spring, at least that's what the calendar says. I don't know if I agree with that or not because it's been over 80° for at least ten days in a row.

I saw a graphic that the jet stream has permanently moved north to Canada; I thought that was supposed to be the other way around. Hello, snowbirds!

So, even though it is the official first day of spring, I disagree, and think that spring has sprung and summer has begun.

Anyhow, I know it's really early in the year to be saying this, but it needs to be said. Stay cool!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Conversations Of The Digestive System...Namely Mine

"Holy Crap! What was that?"

"Hey, Biggy, (large intestine) you push anything out yet?"

"Yo, Smalls, (small intestine) it hasn't even made it here yet!"

"Hey, Mack, (stomach) what's going on up there?"

"Fish and chips without the chips.

Ribeye steak without the tater.

Fried chicken with no mashed potatoes.


"Fresh cole slaw made from scratch. Hey MAFW? Are you trying to kill us down here?" said Mack. "I ain't recognized anything you've been putting in me. Where's the tater chips?"

"Yeah! Hey, Lady? We ain't had a biscuit down here in about three months. Ya trying to starve us or somethin'?" said Smalls.

"Hey, Lady? Smalls is right. Are you paying attention to us? I ain't seen any greasy cheeseburgers in a long time. My walls are even starting to come clean from all that ruffage crap you been feeding us. Ruffage; now, that's funny!" said Biggy. "Hey, Mack! She's been eating R-U-F-F-A-G-E."

"Ruffage! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! Oh my! You've never eaten ruffage before. The next thing you know you'll be eating beets and rutabagas. Hey, fellas? The MAFW is gonna start eating beets and parsnips...lololol"

"Beets? Yuck!" said Smalls. "I hope she stays away from the onions; those things stink!"

"Yo, anyone seen Chubs (fat) lately?" asked Biggy.

"Fellas, you don't have to worry about the onions; I'm allergic, remember? But, I am trying to get healthy, so ya'll better shape up. As for Chubs, he's down about 30 pounds and has learned to keep his mouth shut. Now, where'd I put that recipe for pickled beets....."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

National Potato Chip Day

Today, March 14, is National Potato Chip Day. In honor of that, I give you Herr's Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips, the best tasting chip in the world. At least in my opinion!

If you get the chance, give them a try!

I have to order mine on the Internet because they aren't in the area where I currently live. You can order yourself a bag or two at Herr's and see for yourself. I wish I had a bag right now...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Where Have All The Famous People Gone?

Have you noticed the absence of famous people on television? With the latest announcement of the new cast of Dancing With The Stars and its not so famous list of stars it got me thinking about where have all the famous people gone.

I think it's because of reality television and the recession that all of the famous people have gone bye bye. Of course, I could be wrong.

Let's start with one of the local channels in my viewing (Atlanta) area. The network broadcasts local news from 4:30 a.m. - 7:00 a.m., an hour from 12-1, three more hours from 4-7 and then 11-11:30 p.m.; that's seven hours of just local news.

And then you have 7-9 a.m. of national news, then 6:30-7:00 p.m. and then Nightline from 11:30-12:00. There may be even more news on in the middle of night; not sure, I can't seem to stay up that long. Grand total- 10 hours of news.

Don't even get me started of reality television.

What does this mean? It's a lot easier to add another hour of news than to add another talk show to replace Oprah. At least that's what the network did in my area.

No problem, said Oprah. I'll just start my OWN Network. And that's the problem. I have basic cable and her new network is not included in the basic plan; you have to upgrade to the digital package to blah, blah, blah.

What a load of crap! I guess I'll just watch the extra hour of news. But, you never know, from what I heard about the ratings on her new network and that of the national networks, a reunion might be in the making.

Until then, well, I can always catch Conan on the Tonight Show...Oh, wait! Didn't he go ....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Peyton And Me

The last time I had a dream about Peyton Manning was about six years ago. I'm a big sports fan and the Indianapolis Colts were one of my favorite teams so it wasn't that surprising that I would dream of the future HOF quarterback; however, in my 40-plus years of living I can't remember dreaming of a professional athlete.

What spawned the dream at that time, I believe, was a three week regimen of the stop smoking drug Chantix. I'm sure if you know of anyone that has tried to stop smoking they have tried this drug, and whether successful or not, have probably had some wacky dreams associated with its use.

My dream six years ago was that I was Peyton and Eli's long lost sister. I had shown up at their quarterback camp that they have every year, DNA proof of relation document in hand, and was immediately asked how much money I wanted. In the dream, I didn't want any money; I just wanted to play catch with Peyton.

I know, kinda strange, right? Who in their right mind wouldn't have asked for a fat one million dollar check right on the spot? But, I don't think I was in my right mind; I had the chemical effects of the drug messing with the old thinking cap, I think. (In case you're wondering, I did stop smoking during that time and it has been almost six years since I smoked.)

The dream I had recently was a bit different. I was visiting a tropical destination wanting to spend time with mom who had recently moved there. In an earlier conversation with her in another dream she had mentioned knowing a guy with the name Manning back in the 50s. Hmm--I wonder if that is where the DNA match came from.

Mom's new digs included two separate living areas. One area was the main living area consisting of a kitchen, living room, etc... The other living area was the master suite that opened to the public pool area and bar. I guess this was the complex that Peyton also had a condo in and that's where we met, right by the bar at the pool.

I was getting ready for bed and then reconsidered because, I mean, hello, there IS a pool and a bar just outside your door; how about a nightcap?

I slid open the door and there sat Peyton, apparently not as surprised as me because he smiled broadly, patted the seat beside him and said, "Hey, Sis? What are you doing here?"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bathroom Brawls At The Cracker Barrel

Recently, Sister and her family came to town for a visit. When Sister takes a road trip, one stop is always a requirement and that is a visit to the local Cracker Barrel. Now, I don't know about other parts of the country, but every Cracker Barrel restaurant that I have ever visited has been standing room only...even in the bathroom.

I have strategies whenever I visit a busy restaurant. First, I go at odd times of the day, like before noon for lunch or around 4:00 p.m. for dinner; that way you beat the crowds most days.

Next, if there is a school bus within eye shot of the parking area, I'm going somewhere else; too many pimples and hormones for me. The same goes for tour or charter buses; I try to avoid these as well.

Also, if I arrive in the parking lot at the same time as another patron, I always try to beat them to the door. Nothing personal, but beating them might be the difference between a seat by the window or a seat back by the open kitchen door, or worse, right in front of the bathroom. Sitting there gives a whole new meaning to "What's that smell?"

Those are all good strategies but they don't work at Cracker Barrel. I think the company knows that too. Why else would they have all of those comfy rocking chairs out front and a gift shop that I always get lost in because I can't seem to stay away from the hard stick candy if they didn't know that waiting was part of the allure?

Anyhow, upon arrival at the restaurant, sure enough, there was a tour bus parked out front. It was later in the afternoon, so maybe they had already eaten and were browsing the gift shop was a thought that passed through my head.

As we hurried in the door trying to beat the minivan full of people that had parked near us, it was soon apparent that my thought was correct: They had finished eating and were browsing the gift shop. It was packed!

I needed to use the facilities immediately upon arrival so I headed through the crowd and tried to enter the bathroom. I made it just inside the door when I fully grasped the situation at hand. In front of me, filling every available empty space was a senior citizen. They were washing their hands and fluffing their blue hair; one had her false teeth out and was applying an extra layer of Poli Grip.

One thing I found quite astonishing was that here was a line for the handicapped stall. Three lovely old ladies and their walkers on wheels waiting patiently to get the stall big enough to turn around in as one of them said.

I don't know how many ladies there was in the ladies room, I do know that I smiled politely and moved out of the way for this one and moved over there for that one. I opened the door twice and I pulled off paper towels for another; all the while getting a little bit nervous because I needed to go myself.

Somehow, at the exact same time, every old lady left in the bathroom wanted to get out at the same time. Some were skipping the hand washing, others had finished with their hair and teeth and every one of them made straight for the door, heading right to me. I had backed as far back in the corner as I could and one lady with a walker said, "Honey, you're gonna have to move, so I can get this thing out the door."

I was trying to move. But the other ladies weren't being cooperative. Instead of backing up against one of the stalls, they were all converging towards the door where I was. Another made a comment about them trying to get out, and then another.

It was a standoff! Finally, after some polite laughter and a loud gurgle from my stomach, I said, "Sorry, I'm bigger than all of ya'll put together and you need to move."

And they did. The lady with the walker maneuvered to the right, another backed into an empty stall and two others backed up against the sinks. "Here ya go, honey. Why don't you use the handicapped stall? It's got an extra roll of paper in it!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Inadvertent Touching...The Whole Story

***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.


"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!"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's Free! It's Free!

I'm very excited about this! Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman wil be offerred as a free ebook download promotion to Kindle Select members on March 3-4. If you don't have a Kindle, there are actually free apps so you can read Kindle books on a Mac, PC and even a smartphone. The book is also now available in the Kindle Lending Library. Please feel free to share with your friends! Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman eBook: Gianetta Palmer: Kindle Store


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