Monday, December 29, 2014

The Next 1000

A funny thing happened during my time writing this blog: I wrote a 1000 posts.

I mentioned it a time or two last year. I think. I think I might have even been excited about it at one time. I remember being really close to 1000, I think it was 992 or something and the next time I looked was today and now we are all the way up to 1018.

How did that happen?

Like a lot of other things in my life lately, I simply forgot. I don't know if it is age-related, a deficiency of some kind or simply that I have no clue what I am doing or what I am supposed to be doing. Or it could be a combination of all three? Who knows, or for that matter, who can remember what I was just referring to? Time to move on--I'm sure I'll remember it at some point.

Over the last couple of years, many of the bloggers that I knew have left the blogging world for one reason or another. Life can sometimes get in the way. People decide they want to do different things. And still others get bored with it--the routine of finding something interesting to write about.

For me, the process of publishing two books has taken a lot of the fun away from writing on this blog. Also, since I spend a lot of time on Facebook, it's easier to write three or four lines about something funny and get immediate feedback such as "likes" or comments than it is to write a 400-500 word blog post that you have no idea whether someone will ever actually read. Plus, I'm still trying to figure out what kind of writing I want to do.

A writer friend of mine you may have heard of, Gina Barreca, PhD, told me that it doesn't matter what you write as long as you write something. Every day if you can. Another friend of mine told me to stop worrying about writing the next bestseller and just write the best book that you can. Both are excellent suggestions and I hope to do just that.

I have found that I really missed posting regular updates on my blog. Mom and I have had all sorts of adventures and I continue to see the humor in the most unexpected places. Having said that, in 2015, my goal is to have three new blog posts a week while I continue working on my 4-part novel series. I believe by doing so that I will be able to keep you, the reader engaged, while keeping myself engaged as well. One of my shortcomings is I like to be a "one hit wonder"; write it once and move on to the next thing. I'm not a big fan of editing or rewriting. By writing fresh material for this blog, I will be able to do just that: keep it short, light and funny. (Not much editing to do there.) I can then focus on the more intricate and complicated plot lines that are occurring within my novels and really feel like I'm getting something accomplished.

It's really good to have a plan and I think this is a good start. For those of you that have read my blog since 2008, I offer a BIG THANK YOU and for those that have just stumbled across this site by accident, I say "thanks" to you as well.

Happy New Year!

And here's to the next 1000...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Rudd's Christmas Farm...A Southern Ohio Christmas Memory

***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's 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's 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 extremely 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!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

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.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 12

On my twelfth day of dieting my body said to me:

12 disappointing weigh-ins

11 times the kitties have told me to pick up her book

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar-free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Thank goodness, that's over! There's always next year!

Now, let's eat!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 11

On my eleventh day of dieting my body said to me:

11 times the kitties have told you to buy the book

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimey salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 10

Hey! This thing is almost over.  Have you picked up my book yet? If you have, then I say, "way to go." If not, I say, "What are you waiting for?"

On my tenth day of dieting my body said to me:

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

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

On my ninth day of dieting my body said to me:

9 times I've cheated (ate at Red Lobster)

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 8

Have you picked up a copy of my book yet? It makes a great gift!

On my eighth day of dieting my body said to me:

8 glasses of water

7 slimey salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 7

It's less than three weeks until Christmas and the goodies are everywhere. But stay strong, you're over halfway there.

On my seventh day of dieting my body said to me:

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 6

On my sixth day of dieting my body said to me:

6 sugar-free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

HEY! It's Christmastime! Don't you need an extra gift for Uncle Fred or "the take the present and pass it game?" Give a copy of my latest book.  It makes a great gift.

Friday, December 5, 2014

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

On my fifth day of dieting my body said to me:

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

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

Looking for a unique gift? Check out my latest book. You'll be laughing for days!

On my fourth day of dieting my body said to me:

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 3

My crazy neighbor, Miss Merlethem Shatz, caught me outside today as I was putting up my Christmas lights. She said she had been watching me through the window and I looked like I could use a snack. Now, I'm always up for a snack, but she brought me one of those yucky tasting low-carb bars that usually results in a mad dash to the bathroom upon consumption.

I'm nothing if not neighborly, so I ate it works great in my song.

Don't forget to buy a copy of my book. It makes a great gift!

On my third day of dieting my body said to me:

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 2

I did really well on my first day of dieting. I finished off the no-bake cookies. Now on to day 2...

Don't forget to pick up my latest book. It makes a great gift!

On the second day of dieting my body said to me:

2 hunger pains...


You're gonna do great! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Monday, December 1, 2014

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

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

Please join me as I continue my quest to become the MA not so Fat Woman. I'm sure you've heard the holiday classic The Twelve days of Christmas. Well, my version is The Twelve Days of Dieting.

Check back for added days and don't hesitate to sing along!

Don't forget to pick up my book; it makes a great gift.

On my first day of dieting my body said to me, "You can do it, just think how much better you'll feel..."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

It's a few hours before the meal and I'm already stuffed. No, I'm not the turkey.

I almost had a major meltdown earlier over the deviled eggs.

You wouldn't think that it would be that hard to boil eggs and then peel the shells but somewhere there was a major breakdown in this process. The shells would not come off the eggs and I had to take a butter knife and chip the shells off. This process resulted in four different opinions as to why the shells would not come off more easily.

Mom says that the eggs were too fresh and that was the reason the shells were difficult to remove.

Sister says the eggs needed to be at room temperature before they were boiled.

Niece says the eggs probably came from the chickens outside and have been buried out behind the outhouse for the last few years.

The MA Fat Woman didn't say anything but just kept swearing under her breath.

Brother says the eggs weren't boiled long enough and the shells needed to be removed promptly after boiling.

After this discussion which took almost an hour it was time to make the deviled egg mixture. Again, an hour to discuss how to make the mixture and four differing opinions.

If we're having this much trouble with the eggs I can hardly wait until it's time to mash the potatoes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Signs That Say "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

In advance of the near apocalyptic record setting cold temperatures here are the top ten signs that say, "Baby, it's cold outside!"

10. The fire in the fireplace has frozen solid.
 9.  The ground cracks with every step you take.
 8.  You've tuned Tokyo in so close that you're starting to speak the language.
 7.  Runny noses are no longer running. They're frozen snot.
 6.  The surfer dudes are like "Dude, where's my shirt?"
 5.  No bare chested, bare breasted or butt cracks in sight.
 4.  The weather people are like, "Told ya so."
 3.  I haven't even raked my leaves yet.
 2.  Snow Day? Before Thanksgiving? Really?
 1.  Bite me, Mother Nature! This ain't funny no more.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Need A Unique Christmas Gift?

Need a unique Christmas gift for that hard to buy for person in your life?

Why not get them a book.?

Not just any book mind you, but a humor book from the Middle-Aged Fat Woman. Yes, this gift will be sure to add hours of "being tickled pink" and "shaking their head with laughter" to anyone that receives it.

What about some new material for the bathroom? Both of my books are filled with short stories to keep you entertained while you are having "your alone time". Your family won't worry about the maniacal laughter being heard from the throne room because they'll know you're enjoying one of these fresh and witty tales.


Need a signed copy? That's no problem. Just contact me directly at my website for the details and I'll be sure to sign them with a flourish.

                  Order Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman by clicking here.

 Order Scrunchie-Fried by clicking on this link.

Finally, in this new era of publishing, it's really hard to get noticed unless you are somehow lucky enough to end up on Oprah's Book Club List or the FBI's Most Wanted List. Either way, that still doesn't mean that you can make somebody laugh. 

As a humor writer, that is what I attempt to do and you can help me out by spreading the word about Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman and Scrunchie-Fried with your friends and family.

Give a gift that they will enjoy forever. (Or at least a few minutes at a time.) The gift of laughter!

(And buy my book.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Palmer's Macaroni & Cheese...A Cherry Fork Memory

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

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

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

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

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

So I did what any macaroni & cheese loving individual would do; I learned to make it for myself. As you can see from the photo, I did a good job.

I have even learned to make an extra pan for myself and freeze it so I can enjoy it several more times.

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

Until then...I'm warm and cozy...and I'm keeping it all to myself.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

I grew the larger pumpkin in my garden this year.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

You Keep It Where

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

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

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

Sometimes, I don't do that.

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


"Ma'am? Excuse me?"

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

"Yes?" I replied.

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

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

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



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

"Sure. I just need some identification."

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

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

"You too," I said as I tucked my wallet inside my bra and pulled away. Hey, it worked for my Mamaw. It should work for me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm Still Losing My Estrogen

Please sing along if you remember the words to REM's Losing my Religion now affectionately known as Losing my Estrogen.

There are many benefits of being a middle-aged fat woman, or so I'm told. Personally, I've yet to discover any.

There are so many changes going on with my body right now that I swear if I wasn't somewhat educated I would think that I wasn't a human being at all. Everything seems to be happening in reverse; Benjamin Button ain't got nothing on me. Let me provide you with a few examples:

Why is it that every hair on my body is turning a darker shade of gray with each passing year except...wait for it...the hair on my upper lip.

Have I mentioned the forgetfulness?

I am now an official member of the older society of women in my family. What is so special about this extraordinary group of women: You are now allowed to carry around your own personal Lady Bic Shaver for the purpose of extinguishing those pesky dark hairs without fear of being made fun of or laughed at.

We've all tried the tweezers, but that's too painful.

Some of us might have tried the waxing technique but ever since that scene in the movie Basic Instinct with Sharon wax and I haven't quite been on speaking terms.

Have I mentioned the forgetfulness?

Another thing that I can't seem to control these days are my emotions. I'll be crying tears of joy one second and the next I go almost completely bats*it crazy with rage. Thank goodness for Midol and Pamprin; they've become my best friends.

And don't even get me started on the acne problems. When I was a teenager I expected to have a pimple here and there. You woke up in the morning, stared at the small white bump, popped it and moved on; it healed within three days.

My menopausal acne doesn't behave this way. When I get one of those whoppers they stay around for three weeks or longer and bug the crap out of me because they're never in a convenient my forehead or the tip of my nose. One little kid pointed at me one day and asked her mommy if that lady had diseases on her face. (No, honey, just monster pimples.) Nice.

Have I mentioned the forgetfulness?

I've mentioned to mom the changes that I've been going through and she just laughed, "Get you some hormones and give it about ten years. You'll be just fine. I made it through okay, didn't I?"

That quote took me down memory lane about twenty years ago, back to a time when mom was losing her estrogen too. You would have thought she was losing her mind; crying all the time, ornery as hell and it took 15 minutes for her to figure out which child you were. "I guess you did. You were a bit gruff sometimes, though, I think."

"Gruff? I wouldn't talk if I was you, you've just been plain grouchy. Go get some of them pep pills. I gotta go, my favorite song just came on the radio." In the background, I wasn't too surprised to hear the opening chorus of my new favorite I chimed right in...Losing my Estrogen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...A Day At The Grand Canyon


Watch where you sit!

Monday, October 13, 2014

How About A Female Holiday

Have you ever wondered why we have no National Holidays in honor or memory of a famous woman?

Me too...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Do You Want Fries With That?

I have been trying to save money just like a lot of people around the country. I clip coupons and I try not to eat out too often. I had to take the cat to the vet this morning which he wasn’t very pleased about and decided that I would go to McDonalds and get something for breakfast.

Simple enough plan, right!

After the visit to the vet we were on our way over to Mickey D’s. I got in line at the drive thru window and waited my turn. It is a new drive thru where they have two lanes open. I don’t really like them because someone is always trying to cut in front of me. Or you get a person who is unsure whether it’s their turn or not and then you have a standoff and then you both go at the same time. Then you hit the brakes and look at each other and stop and go and stop and go and then somebody will wave the other through and so on and so forth. Sometimes, your nerves are shot before you even get to the window.

The car ahead of me had asked for about ten extra items at the window such as ketchup, extra napkins, butter, jelly and stock options and after having successfully navigating the drive thru lane it was finally my turn at the window. I had ordered a bacon and egg biscuit combo with a Diet Coke to drink.

I was hungry and thirsty.

I reached out the window to receive my order and watched in absolute wonder as the lid (which wasn’t secured properly) on the top of my drink came off and the lady at the window dropped my drink and it fell precisely into my lap. I looked at her and she looked at me; we both turned and looked at the cat that was now standing up right in the passenger seat with every hair on his back all puffed up.

Her eyes were wide and her lower lip began to tremble. I think I heard an “I’m sorry” somewhere. “It’s my first day,” she said, “and I’m very nervous.”

I didn’t really say anything as she handed me another drink and I pulled away from the window. How could I be mad? The same exact thing had happened to me when I was in college and was beginning a new job as a waitress. I spilled a drink all over a man’s lap on my very first day too!

But, here’s the kicker. I waited tables for over five years and I never did spill anything else; hopefully, the same will happen for her too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Top Ten Signs You Are Home From Vacation

I just returned from my cross country bus ride with my mother and am trying to get back in the swing of things. We had a lovely time--ate lots of new food and met lots of new friends. We sat in the back of the bus...and let me tell you...the crowd back there had way more fun than the front of the bus.

But, before I tell you all about it, I give you the top ten signs you are home from vacation:

10. There is not a single piece of edible food in the house.

9.   Your pets won't acknowledge you at all.

8.    Your stomach growls and you realize that you might have to actually cook again. (Once you go to the store.)

7.    You've got mail!

6.    That smell you noticed right before you left has turned into a green ooze underneath the edge of the stove.

5.    There isn't a clean stitch of underwear...anywhere to be you're out of laundry detergent, too.

4.    The first credit card statement has already arrived and you are totally shocked at how much you spent on a handful of t-shirts for the folks back home.

3.   There's no money to pay for anything until payday which is a week away.

2.   No more standing in line to use the ladie's room.

1.   You just had the best night's sleep in a month because you're sleeping in your own bed!

There you have it, I'll be back later...after I take care of everything I mentioned above.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Grand Canyon Or Bust

Not to brag or anything but I'm going on vacation. Yep, my mother and I are travelling across the country in a big bus where our final destination will be the Grand Canyon. The picture to the right is when I went 4-wheeling in the canyon a few years ago.

We're travelling with the some of the same folks that we went to Germany with last year.

I'm very excited because I haven't been to Las Vegas since 2006. I wonder if it has changed much? Probably not--bright lights, tourists everywhere and an energy that can only be found in Sin City. It's one of my favorite places!

We're making stops along the way in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. I'll be posting updates along the way on my Facebook page so you can check that out if you want.

Mom has been practicing her poker face because she wants to play Texas Hold'em and I've been brushing up on my dice throwing for the Craps table. I LOVE Craps!

We'll be gone for almost two weeks and will get back in time for the beginning of all the fall festivals. As Mom said in an earlier post, "I'm a fall person!" Me too and I know we are going to have a great time.

If you have the time, please send out positive thoughts to Sister, she's been feeling a bit under the weather. And don't worry, you are definitely getting the biggest and best souvenir.

See you on the road!


Monday, September 22, 2014

The Poopmobile

****Author's note**** 

The following story is from my latest book Scrunchie-Fried and tells the story of my family car, the Poopmobile, and the fun we had in it. I hope you enjoy it.

 Growing up in southern Ohio during the 70s and 80s was a lot of fun. We lived on a small farm in rural Ohio about forty miles from Cincinnati in Adams County. I lived midway between two towns, Winchester and Cherry Fork, where about the only exciting thing happening was chasing the neighbor's cows when they got out or riding my Shetland pony, Silver, which was not for the faint of heart. That pony could buck anyone off (except Dad), usually in a matter of seconds.

In 1978, after several discussions, Mom and Dad decided it was time to purchase a new car.  There were only two choices to pick from and that was a Ford or a Chevy. My parents decided on a Ford and that's how we became the proud owners of a new, silver Ford LTD.  Mom would be driving the car to work and it also became the family car. The one early memory of the car that I have is that the payment was going to be $206 a month.  Back in the day, that was a huge amount, and mom had it taken out of her credit union so they wouldn't have to face the daunting task of writing a check for that amount every month.

By the time of my sophomore year when it was time to get my driver's license it had become obvious that I wasn't going to have my own car. Dad had lost his job at the pants factory in Manchester where he was a pattern marker for the Hercules Trouser Company and was unemployed.  Mom was still holding onto her job as a supervisor at the Robertshaw Controls Company in Hillsboro but every product line she managed seemed to get shipped off to a foreign country, namely Haiti. Jobs were hard to come by and money was tight. The idea of a 16-year-old girl finding a job and making enough money to purchase a car seemed totally out of reach at the time, so the LTD would have to do. It would become my ride and ferry me and my friends up one side of the street and down the other.  After all, it was 1983, and cruising was the name of the game.

The LTD was a large car, not quite the land yacht of the day like a Caddy or Lincoln Continental, but large enough to hold the starting five on the boy's basketball team and my friend, Barbie and me. Barbara Thomas Downing, named after her father, Tom, was two years younger than me, lived about a half mile or an easy bike ride away and had the only paved driveway with a basketball hoop in the area.  We went to church together but didn't really start hanging out until she reached high school.  That fall, we started riding to basketball practice together, and before too long, became fast friends.

My house was at the top of a hill and surrounded by trees. Parking was outside, on the gravel driveway or in the yard; we never had a garage.  Come to think of it, the only people that had a garage were Barbie and her family; no wonder everyone always hung out there.  One side effect of living in a rural area surrounded by trees is birds.  Birds were everywhere. And for some reason, all of those birds were attracted to my mom's silver LTD. 

I don't know if it was because of the color or maybe the birds could see their reflection or thought it was another bird. I'm not sure, but for whatever reason, the birds pooped, messed, pooped some more and even splattered on the windows at a breath-taking pace.  The LTD, or Poopmobile, as it was to become known as was more decorated than any city statue of a long forgotten war hero and was certainly as well covered as the Plaza Piazza in Venice, Italy.

I'm not sure who came up with the name Poopmobile but I think it might have been Nancy Doorneweerd, who was in the same grade as me. As a teenager you would have thought that I would have been totally embarrassed by it; I mean riding around in a vehicle with bird crap all over it ain't exactly the best way to attract a date if you know what I mean.  But, if I wanted to get out of the house, it was the only way to go. A typical night consisted of putting $3 worth of gas in it, always checking the oil because that car used a lot of it and hitting the road.

 We usually rode up to old Doc Salamon's office, back down through town and made a right on Highway 770 and went around Sam (Sam's) McClellan's Frostee Freeze. We usually ended back at Sam's sometime during the evening (if you could find a place to park) to grab a pizza burger and a chocolate ice cream cone. After turning around at Sam's we would go back into town and make a right on Highway 247 and then go up and turn around at the car wash owned by the Hall family and head back to Doc Salamon's office.
The amount of time that it took to complete this loop invariably depended on who else was cruising that night. Depending on the time of year and what crops were being planted or harvested usually dictated who was out and about. It was farm country and there was always lots of work to be done. I should know, because we raised tobacco and it was some of the hardest and nastiest work that I have ever done. But, it didn't matter because it put food on the table and usually provided us with our Christmas presents each year.

I guess the story I remember the best about my time spent with the Poopmobile was a Sunday night in December that we all decided to skip church and travel to Blue Creek to check out Rudd's Christmas Farm. Every year, Mr. Rudd decorated entire hillsides with Christmas lights. Over the years, people came from all over the world to view the "Lights" as we locals called it.  At least three carloads of teenagers set off from Winchester to travel the twenty some miles to Blue Creek. Along the way we made a pit stop in Blue Creek where I showed my friends where my Granny lived. (We didn't actually cross the water bridge to go see her because the creek was too high and she wouldn't have approved that we had skipped church to go.)

In the car with me as I remember it was me, Barbie, maybe Anita and most of the starting five from the high school boys' basketball team. Roger, Tim, Bill, Jason and possibly David were crammed in as tight as a can of sardines.  Following along behind us with another van full of kids was Tammy and another car behind her was stuffed too. Sometime during the trip we had to make a pit stop because the lid of the trunk popped open. The Poopmobile had suffered two serious incidents in a relatively short period of time. Mom had hit a deer in the front of the car and my brother, Kevin, had been rear-ended during a winter storm. Neither of these accidents had taken the Poopmobile off the road; it just wasn't particularly pleasant to look at.

After repeated attempts to close the trunk it became apparent that it was going to have to be tied down. There were four boys in the car but none of them had on a belt. Luckily, the gold, stretchy metal belts that were so popular back then was around my waist and it worked perfectly. We tied down the trunk and continued on our way. We laughed the whole way and when we reached the "Lights" and started spilling out of the car, folks were amazed at how many kids it would hold. It was a super fun night and one I'll always remember.

The Poopmobile was a fun part of my high school years. Its legend will be forever immortalized in our Class of '85 yearbook.  In my class will, I dedicated my car, the Poopmobile, to others so that they could continue to make their curfews on time and have as much fun as possible.

Yes, it was covered in bird crap, but in the big scheme of things, isn't it what's on the inside that matters most? And the inside of this car was always filled with a lot of laughs, and, most importantly, lots of love.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Top Ten Signs You Are Going On Vacation Very Soon

It's time for another trip of a lifetime. And, yep, I'm going too. Somehow, I talked my mother into going on a bus ride across the country to see the Grand Canyon.

Plus, we're staying a couple of nights in Las Vegas too.

We're very excited!

So here are the top ten signs that you are going on vacation very soon:

10. Your Facebook page is full of the places you are going to visit.

9. You're worrying because you haven't counted to see if you have enough clean underwear.

8. All work related emergencies are not your top priority.

7. You're broke!

6. You're the only happy person in the room when the boss says everyone has to work overtime the day you go on vacation.

5. No one likes you because they've already used up all of their vacation time.

4. The cats won't get out of the suitcase so you can pack.

3. Every piece of clothing you own has been tried on repeatedly and you are now convinced that the bright purple shirt goes with the too tight red pants and lime green flip flops.

2. You've concluded that there isn't enough time to lose that last ten pounds, said *uck it and have just eaten a box of donuts.

1. The car breaks down and you are presented with an estimate that costs twice the price of your vacation.

Be sure and check back again, I'll be doing updates from the road.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Things Joan Rivers Would Have Said At Her Own Funeral

A part of me died recently with the passing of Joan Rivers. From the first moment that I heard one of her jokes I was hooked.

She was brash, bold and funny.

Very funny.

Her jokes ran the gambit from popular culture to political satire and everything in between. No one was off limits from her razor sharp wit.

Including herself.

Self depreciation was a large part of the schlick, and why not, from the plastic surgeries to the only girl in the men's club, she was an easy target.

She made people squirm.

And offended.

And pissed off.

I wanted to be like that.

But most of all, she made you forget what was bothering you and that life was meant to be enjoyed. She entertained us in the best possible way by not only laughing at us but with us.

So, out of respect for my favorite comedian, I give you the top ten things Joan Rivers would have said at her own funeral:

10.  Oh my God. How much am I making for this gig? I haven't seen this many accountants in  one     place since NBC fired Jay Leno from the Tonight Show. And hired Conan O'Brien. And fired Conan O'Brien. And hired Jay Leno. And fired Jay Leno. Really? You could have had me for nothing.

9.    Howard Stern? You tall schmuck. Your private parts really gross me out. And that hair? It's 2014, get a stylist, for Christ's sake. Try a relaxer or something.

8.    Can we talk? Can we talk? No, we can't fucking talk. Those fucking bagpipes are way too loud.

7.    Hollywood, people. I said I wanted Hollywood. Not the B list. Kathy Griffin? Sarah Jessica Parker? Matthew Broderick? Who the hell are they?

6.    Damn it, I'm not ready, yet. I'm scheduled to do Trump Plaza in December. (Oh, wait, that check will probably bounce.)

5.    The makeup artists did a good job, didn't they? I look more lifelike now than I have in years.

4.    Who am I wearing?

3.     Stop crying! Quick, some one tell a joke...

2.     My vagina is so dry

1.     How dry is it?

Thanks for asking, but it's time for me to go.

You've been a great crowd!


Rest in peace, Joan Rivers, wait--- scratch that---I'm sure there's quite a crowd wherever you are and they could probably use a laugh.

Knock'em dead!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mountain View, California? Who Are You?

Hello Mountain View, California!

It's nice  to meet you!

But who are you?

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 another  town which is sixty 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 Malawi 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?

(Author's note: I'm still waiting for my friend from Mountain View, California to introduce themselves to me. Also, I'm heading out west at the end of the month and I just might make it to California this time.  I hope so, anyway!)

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. Mom says hi!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Just Because Day

Who knew?

I didn't, that's for sure.

I was going through my email---deleting most before I even open them when something caught my eye. It was from a flower company wanting me to send someone a bouquet "just because." It seems that August 27, is Just Because Day.

What rock have I been hiding under that I have never heard of this special day. Certainly, no one that I know has heard of it because I know for sure that I would have received a bouquet before now. Don't you think so?

As I tend to do from time to time my mind started to wonder about that last thought. In fact, I started stressing, debating, critiquing, fantasizing, bribing, bargaining and any other descriptive word you could think of to try and ascertain why I have never participated in Just Because Day.

First of all, I have never heard of it. I did a little research and discovered that Just Because Day was founded in 2005 to do something good for someone without rhyme or reason.

Well, I like the idea of it, but isn't that just being nice.

Or thoughtful.

Can you imagine if we were only nice to one another on only one day of the year? I don't think this world would be big enough to hold the 10 billion people that didn't want to be around another person for 364 days a year just because is wasn't Just Because Day.

What if everyone you spoke to, came in contact with or even looked at gave you the finger, told you to *uck off or just plain ignored you for every day but one?

Your BFF: "Screw you!"

Your spouse: "Up yours!"

Your mother: "Bite me! Why won't you grow up and move away?"

I know that is certainly somewhere that I don't want to live.

So, I will be the first person that I know to participate in Just Because Day. One of you will receive something unexpected and I will direct you to this post to understand why.

For the rest of you, I'll just say hi and that you're doing a great job for no other reason than just because.

Now, you all know. Pass it on.

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's My Lucky Day...Year VII

****It's the seventh 7! time around for this post. LUCKY NUMBER 7! This is it! This is the year I've been waiting for. Seven will be my lucky number. I think I'll buy a bunch of lottery tickets that all have the number seven on them. I just know that this will be my luckiest day ever.

****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 two!

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?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dollar Days

The dog days of summer are here.

Kids are heading back to school and college and that means one thing: money, money and more money.

Many folks are spending money as fast as it can be printed.

Not only are their houses now empty but their wallets are too.

Now that you actually have the time to sit down and read a book you might not have the spare cash to do it.

Well, drum roll please..........................

................I have the perfect solution: Dollar Days.

Dollar Days, you might ask?

Yep. Dollar Days!

I have reduced the price of both of my books to just a dollar.

Order my first book by clicking here.

Get my second book by clicking here.

So enjoy the last dog days of summer by picking up both of my books for only a buck each.

As with any great offer, this one won't be around for long.

Get your copy today!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Friend's Birthday...Year VI

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... 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...

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Visit To The World's Longest Yard Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Trolls," I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Changing Bus Routes...A Cherry Fork Road Memory

Growing up on Cherry Fork Road provided me with many memorable experiences. One memory that stands out today is when the school system decided to change the bus routes. This wasn't necessarily a good thing. I had ridden the same bus, number 7, and had the same driver, Don Vogler, for at least eight years. I knew what I could get away with and also knew when to shut up and get back in my seat.

Bus number 7 and I had been through several harrowing bus rides together. It was on that bus that Sister and I had clung together while Don rushed us home to see if Brother had burnt the house down.

You can check out that story here.

It was also the bus that sent me flying in the air and off to the hospital which was a really scary and cool thing when you're in the sixth grade. (I haven't shared that remembrance yet.) I liked riding that bus; I knew everybody and everybody knew where to sit.

The bus that I was now assigned to was number 23, driven by John Smiley, or Smiley as we called him. He was an older gentleman, kind of gruff and silent. He didn't seem to be too excited about getting a new route either.

The first day on my new bus I was nervous. I was in ninth grade, a lowly freshman and I now got on the bus midway through the route instead of being one of the first kids on like I was on bus number 7. That meant that most of the empty seats were taken and I had to sit with the kid that nobody wanted to sit with.

Not to be mean or anything but every bus had a kid like that: the nose-picker, the one that smelled like poop, the bed-wetter that hadn't bathed, the kid that always seemed to have shaved areas on their head because of frequent bouts of head lice, the fat kid, or worst of all, the empty seat where someone had just thrown up and now reeked of leftover puke and sawdust.

I knew it was going to be a long year if I had to ride in the puke seat every day. Luckily for me, a new rule came down that everyone had assigned seats and I had to sit with my sister. Unlucky for both of us, the seats all around us were assigned to the nose-picker and the kid that smelled. Midway through the year somebody moved and the fat kid now sat directly across the aisle from us and was all to happy to share his horde of candy and gum.

I only rode that bus for one year because sometime during the summer all of the new routes were changed back to the original old routes. So much for saving any money which was the sole purpose of the new routes.

I guess someone's child didn't want to sit beside me either...

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Didn't Need To See That

Sometimes life gets in the way of your good intention. One can get distracted by a trip to the store, a visit with family or even a reality show that you really shouldn't give the time of day.

But there you are--glued to the television with the laptop sitting on a table beside you...looking at you...whispering to you.  "Are you ever going to write another blog post?" it says.

During a commercial break after just watching a fairly attractive grown woman throw a tantrum and proceed to hurl  a prosthetic limb at her companions has left you shaking your head and wondering, "I really didn't need to see that."

It might have been entertaining if Carol Burnett or Lucille Ball had tossed it, but a real housewife from nowhere...not so much.

Isn't there a better way to spend my time?

Looking at my neglected laptop, I thought back to my visit to the doctor earlier in the day. Hadn't I seen something that I really didn't need to see there, too? Why not tell the world and do a bit of writing? Remember that? It was something that you used to do on a regular basis.

A lady was patiently waiting on her husband to return from his fourth visit to a room somewhere in the back. Blood tests, x-rays  and a trip to the lavatory had all required a visit to a different room at a different time. The man hadn't even sat down before his wife picked up her over-sized bag and rummaged through it producing something that looked like a Swiss Army Knife on steroids. Turning one blade this way and opening another blade that way she soon pointed a mini pair of scissors at her husband.  "I'm tired of looking at that," she said.

"No, you're not," he said. "Get away from me."

"No!" she exclaimed. "Now hold still."

Now, I'm not sure where this was going but I knew it couldn't be good for any of us...the husband or the other waiting patients.

I was right.

The lady had had enough of looking at her husband's overgrown bushy eyebrows and she attacked them with an Edward Scissorhands type gusto.

I squirmed.

He squirmed.

We all squirmed to be the next patient called back.

"There," she said, after what seemed an eternity. "I don't have to look at that anymore."

"But, honey," he protested. "Here?"

"Palmer? Ms. Palmer. the doctor will see you now."

Thank goodness. I know grooming is an important part of daily life, but there is a time and place for everything. And this was neither the time or place.

Prosthetic limb tossing and public personal grooming--two things that I didn't really need to see.

But, hey, at least it grossed me out enough to open the laptop and share it with you...

Stay tuned...there's more to come!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More Brawls At The Cracker Barrel

Recently, my sister and her family came to town for a visit. When she 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!"


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