Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm Pooped

As Madeline Kahn sings in Blazing Saddles.
I'm tired, Tired of playing the game. Ain't it a crying shameI'm so tired,
Gosh, Darnit I'm exhausted!

Why am I so tired. Well, let’s recap the last three days, keeping in mind that I am a major slack ass and as a usual rule I do absolutely nothing but loll about and drool like a bulldog staring through a butcher shop window. First I got up early Friday morning and was forced to get beautified enough to be seen in public. This means make-up, taming the wild mane that is my hair with a blow dryer a ton of product and a curling iron to straighten it. Yeah, I don’t get that either, I straighten my frizzy hair with a curling iron isn’t that against the laws of nature or something? Kahuna and I got to the airport where we are given our annual hernia exam and mammograms respectively. We then board a small vessel full of 40 people that I am sure to have the black plague or something nearly as bad from the sound of their coughs. Next, we fly in the complete opposite direction of our intended destination deplane and then sit for 4 hours in another airport so that we can again board a different vessel that contains 100 people with a whole new epidemic inducing disease to fly back the other direction. We arrive at our destination late Friday evening and drive another hour and a half to home. Since traveling is always exciting and our adrenaline is high we stay up and chat with our daughter into the wee hours of Saturday morning. Sleep finally overtakes us but not for long.
We rise early Saturday morning approximately 3 hours after the Sandman had finally loaded our lids. Kahuna along with our Techman and Nature Boy (I’ll explain later) drive another hour to move some furniture for Kahuna’s parents. Falulah and I go grocery shopping. We did our big box store shopping and then head to the grocery for the little items. We complete this task sometime before noon and take a break for lunch. Then the fun started. I spent all Saturday afternoon until late in the evening cooking, baking, cutting, chopping, mixing, seasoning, rubbing and sautéing. I made two casseroles prepared a barbeque rub and then applied it to 4 racks of ribs, two trip tips, and one chicken. I also made three pounds each of candied walnuts, almonds, and pecans as well as a huge green salad, a grapefruit salad and dough for rolls. Kahuna and the boys returned about the time I finished building my cheese tray. Again we stayed up chatting until late Saturday night.
This morning I was up before the roosters, heck I was up before the coyotes. I got the coffee ground and brewed, the potatoes peeled and boiled and the rolls started rising and made a blueberry cobbler. Then it was time to start cooking everything I prepared yesterday. We were having a family lunch. Yes, I did all this for my family and I loved every single minute of it.
It always amazes me how we can spend so much time in preparation, presentation, and planning and it all be annihilated within minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love that my family loves my cooking and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I guess I’m just saying that is a lot of work for a slack ass. I just hope I don’t get my slack ass license revoked.
Now that the weekend has come to a close I will go back to working on my Ph.D. in slack ass and loll on the bed with the television remote in my hand and wallow until I get bed sores.

Oh and if you have never seen Blazing Saddles I just have one question for you. What cave have you been hiding in? I love Mel Brooks. I totally get his humor and would love to see more of his work. So go rent Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Space Balls and every other movie ever touched by Mr. Brooks and wallow on your bed, you’ve earned it.
Go on…I’ll be right here waiting. I’ll leave the light on for you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Iron Skillet Search

All I wanted was an iron skillet. I just wanted one lousy iron skillet well that and a Kitchen Aid Mixer. (!83D9B59407F3C62F!844.entry)
I didn’t bring one to Montana with me and the Condo doesn’t have one. I use my iron skillet for so many things. I cook pies in it. I bake bread. I make pancakes. I grill cheese sandwiches. I sauté with it. I brown with it. I fry with it. Yes all of these things are done in my iron skillet. This is the same iron skillet that my mother lovingly handed me before I got married and explained to me that not only was it a cooking device it was also a weapon. This is the same skillet that my first husband put in my dishwasher like an idiot and I made him build me a big fire in the barbeque grill so I could re-season it. I left my beloved skillet back at home and have yet to find one here.

I know I could go to a camping store or to Squalmart and get one. I don’t want a new one. I want an old one. I want one that has been through the whole breaking in period. I don’t care if it’s rusty. Rustiness is easy to cure; it is the newness that takes forever. I instead ventured out into the cold rainy Saturday with Kahuna leading the way on my search for an iron skillet.

The first place we hit was the Salvation Army store. I have found some of my favorite kitchen gadgets or replacement pieces at the Salvation Army store. This store was very well done and very large in fact I think the building used to house a Squalmart. This particular store had an enormous section of really hideous Christmas sweaters. It had snow skis and bindings. It had camp stoves and gold mining pans. It had racks of hats and purses and miles of shoes and boots. It had furniture, books, vinyl records and eight track tapes along with the players with which to play them. It had some great old china and some pretty unusual glass ware. It even had some hideous looking pottery. It did not have any iron skillets. It didn’t have any skillets or frying pans or griddles of any kind. It was a skilletless thrift store. I was terribly disappointed but not entirely discouraged.

Kahuna knew of another thrift store so we headed through town until we parked in front of what used to be a sporting goods store. I have to admit of all the thrift stores in which I’ve ever foraged for bargains this was by far the nicest. It was all organized and neat. The only complaint I had was that it smelled like Pine-sol and dry cleaning fluid. It made me sneeze but then again everything makes me sneeze. I used to make fun of my mother for having wadded up Kleenex balls in the pockets of every jacket she ever wore. I now have wadded up Kleenex balls in the pockets of every jacket I wear and most pants pockets and purses oh and I sometimes put them in Kahuna’s pockets. I am a giver that way.

This thrift store also had a huge rack of truly hideous Christmas sweaters. No I mean really bad over the top sweaters. I honestly thought about buying a couple of dozen of them and sending them out as Christmas cards but even I’m not that demented. I found the kitchen department and again they had all kinds of dishware and glassware but no iron skillets or again skillets of any kind.

This got me to pondering. Now I’ve lived on both coasts and several points in between. I have visited thrift stores in all of those places and in those thrift stores there were always iron skillets. I totally understand why. I mean do you keep this skillet that you have to season and hand wash or the one you scrape the left over food out of and stick in the dishwasher. I guarantee that 95% of people out there toss out the iron skillet. Yeah they stick those suckers in the thrift box and send it on its way; except the people up here don’t seem to get rid of theirs.

I started wondering why? Is it because this is more rugged and rustic? I picture hardy frontier women standing in their kitchens with an iron skillet full of biscuits sliding into their wood fueled stove while they hand pump water for the coffee. Could this be the answer? I don’t think so. You see I have come up with a completely plausible and believable reason. I told you they can be used as a weapon. They can also be used as a shield. Think about it. We are up here in BIG SKY country. Where do meteors come from? The SKY. Do you see where I’m going with this? They keep their skillets to wear on their heads to protect themselves from an errant meteor.

If you happen to be on a flight from California to Montana and you see a woman carrying an iron skillet and a Kitchen Aide Mixer on the plane. Take a moment and say hello.

Friday, November 28, 2008

2 x 4 to the Haid or #4 in the Trooper Bob Chronicles

I am on my way out the door to board the vessel of germs to fly 5000 miles to get somewhere only 1700 miles away. Yes I am flying to California through New Guinea. I have a couple of disclaimers about this post. First I swore I was going to do Trooper Bob on Thursdays but yesterday was a holiday so I’m doing it on Friday. Second, the events of this story occurred years ago before there were “warning labels” so don’t get your panties in a wad. Third, I did not proof read this story very closely so if there are typos or grammatical errors, well just put your big girl panties on and deal with it. Now I have to go pack my 43 pairs of big girl panties and my 83 books to read and go and get strip searched to get on the vessel of germs. With out further blabber from me, here is #4 in the Trooper Bob Chronicles.

My Daddy and his partner Ray were often called out on dangerous assignments. No really they were it wasn’t all teasing poor Yankees. They often had to go after hardened criminals. One of their duties was to serve warrants and to pick up probation or parole violators.

They had received a warrant to pick up a young man who had violated his probation. Let’s just call him Joe the Criminal. Joe was no small fry either. He was a big old boy known to be just a little bit of a fighter and more violent than not. They had been trying to get him for about a month but every time they would go to his house he would hear or see them coming up the road and bail. The two troopers decided that a new tactic was needed. They decided to wait until they changed from day shift to the night shift and would try their luck at rounding up the hoodlum after dark.

They waited until about two in the morning then they parked the patrol car up the road from the house and went in on foot. Now you can imagine this is Texas in the summer with crickets and mosquitoes not to mention the fact that the guy probably had a dozen old hound dogs. It also didn’t help that the two troopers weren’t the quietest trackers going in. Somehow they managed not to trip, swat or even wake up the gazillion hound dogs and they snuck up to the house. The plan was that Ray would go up to the front door and knock and daddy would go around to the back door and wait for the nefarious Joe to make his predictable exit.

Ray knocked on the door and immediately the 47,000 hound dogs start barking and howling and yipping at the door. Then from the front of the house the sound of boots on the wooden floor boards started echoing running towards the back door. Daddy was standing next to the back door wondering short of shooting the guy how was he going to take him out. Then he spied a 2 X 4 on the ground next to the stairs. He reached down and picked up the board and then he had an epiphany. He knew how to stop the guy in his tracks, no bullets involved. He decided he will hold the 2X4 just high enough that when the criminal exited the back door he would trip over the board fall to the ground at which time daddy could hold him down and cuff him. That would be that and they could take him in and still have time for breakfast before shift change.

We all know how life never works out exactly the way we plan. We also know that sometimes things work out for the better and sometimes for the worse. This time it was some where in between. Sure enough just as the troopers predicted Joe Criminal headed for the back door unaware that a 2x4 was waiting to trip him up. He swung the back door open and plodded down the stairs only the 2x4 wasn’t at ankle height or even knee height. My daddy was actually positioned a little bit higher up on the yard than he thought and the 2x4 hit Joe Criminal right between the eyes. Then like David slaying Goliath the big man fell to the ground. Out cold.

Daddy yelled out to Ray “Got him!” and with that Ray ran around to the back of the house. Ray thought that daddy would need help with Joe since he was such a fighter. Ray stopped short when he saw the big man on the ground with little stars and birds flying in a circle over his head like an old Warner Brothers cartoon. He looked at my daddy with that “what have you done now?” look. My daddy just shrugged his shoulders and said “I guess he tripped when he came down the stairs.” Ray shot him a look and then the corners of his mouth went up and he said “Thank God because if you would have hit him with that there 2X4 we would have had a whole slew of paperwork to do.” With that they cuffed Joe and hauled him back to the car.

To read more of Trooper Bob go here:!83D9B59407F3C62F!1005.entry and here!83D9B59407F3C62F!996.entry

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Pilgrims Feast

When I was in Texas recently it was told to me that I am a descendent of John and Pricilla Alden on my daddy’s side. Yes that would be the same one who was on the Mayflower. What does that mean? I haven’t a clue other than it may or may not entitle me to make application to the D.A.R. or it means that I come from a long line of turkey eaters. Maybe it means both. I would love to regale you with the whole story but the truth is I haven’t a clue. I mean I know that my daddy’s grandmother’s, grandmother’s, grandmother was a direct descendent of John Alden. That little ditty and $400.00 will get you a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks.

Like my pilgrim ancestors I am a turkey eater. I love turkey. I like it fried, roasted, smoked and broasted. This year though I will not be cooking turkey. I am sad. I am forlorn. I am bereft. Like my daddy always told me this too shall pass like a bad case of diarrhea, it is just shitty til it does; which brings me to my story. Yeah I know it’s a holiday but you’re not getting a break.

Many moons ago when I was still a young pilgrim my friends and I decided that we wanted to cook a Thanksgiving feast. We planned and schemed and finagled ourselves a menu, a date and a guest list. I was not a novice to cooking turkey as I had slaved over a hot stove and even hotter oven with my mother cooking turkey ever since I was big enough to toddle to the kitchen. We decided on a real Pilgrim’s feast of turkey and dressing, corn, mustard greens, sweet potato casserole, fresh wheat bread and an assortment of pies. My cohorts in this endeavor were of various skill sets and it was to one with less than average culinary skills that the preparation of the bird was assigned. There were five us working out of our own kitchens as well as the one central kitchen in preparation for our big feast. It was my friend Katherine’s kitchen that our efforts were dispatched from because she was the one in charge of the turkey.

We lived on a military base and we were all within spitting distance of one another. I could holler out my back door and Katherine or Suzanna or any of a number of others could hear my call. I was baking bread when I heard the faint call of my name. The call got louder and more urgent. I ran to the back door and standing across the snow covered yard separating our house was Katherine looking frantic. I yelled back and she asked if I could come over right away. I put my burners on low and grabbed a jacket and shuffled across the snow in my pink bunny slippers. I was welcomed by the smell of the bird slowly roasting in the oven and what I suspected to be giblet gravy in a pot on the stove. Katherine looked at me and said “I followed the instructions for making gravy but I’m not sure I understood. I mean look at this lumpy mess.” She jerked the lid off the pot and I peered down at a pot full of creamy looking soup with something white sticking up in the middle of it. I grabbed a spoon and scooped the alien white plastic sack that the giblets had been packaged in and dropped it on a plate. “Katherine” I sighed “you’re supposed to take the giblets out of the bag before you make the gravy.” She whined “do I need to start my gravy over?” Another sigh escaped from my lips as I answered “Yes Kate, I really think you should.”

I helped her get her gravy started and ran back to my own warm kitchen where I would hopefully find my dough on the rise. Only a few hours before we were to serve dinner I again hear my name being called. I look out the kitchen window to once again see Katherine at her back door calling my name. Only this time she wasn’t alone; Suzanna was with her. I grabbed my sweater and headed out to see what had befallen our Pilgrims fare. Both women were visibly upset with Katherine nearly in tears. I spied what appeared to be the cooked turkey sitting on the counter wrapped in foil. Suzanna looked at me with a mixed look of pity and disgust. “Gladys” she hisses “Katherine cooked the turkey, but it was still frozen when she put it in the oven.” I looked at her then at Kate not quite understanding the point of Suzanna’s irritation. Suz evidently could see my confusion and then half whispered “It ain’t done yet. It looks good on the outside but it is still raw on the inside.” “Oh, I see” I said.

We all pulled together. We got out our cook books and started reading to see if there was anyway to speed up the cooking process. This was before the butterball hotline and the internet and none of us wanted to call our mom’s and admit we didn’t know what we were doing. The best we could come out with was to baste the bird cover it with foil and put it back in the oven to cook a little longer. We all went back to our respective kitchens to put the finishing touches on our casseroles, pies and bread.

The appointed time for dinner came around and we all carried our dishes, confections and casseroles to Suzanna’s house for dinner. We sat the table with a hodge podge of a collection of our china, silver and crystal. We opened wine and made cocktails the only guest that hadn’t appeared yet was Tom the Turkey. We nibbled on hors d’oeuvre and made small talk all the while anxiously awaiting the arrival of the bird. Finally Katherine came flying in the door carrying a roasting pan. The three of us converged on the kitchen and started plating the turkey. The first thing I noticed was there was a strange yellow coating on the turkey. I figured it was something that Kate had used to baste the turkey. Next the meat was still a slight bit pink and as I cut closer to the bone it was real pink and almost red. I asked Suzanna what she thought and she said “Well that thang has been cookin for nearly 5 hours. I reckon all the bacteria should be cooked out.” That sounded reasonable to me so we proceeded.

We had a lovely dinner. Everyone ate heartily and went back for second and third helpings. We finished with coffee and pie and then sent our guests on their way. The three of us started cleaning the kitchen when the first wave of nausea hit me. I swallowed my way through it and wrote it off to eating way too much. Then I noticed Suz wasn’t in the kitchen helping with the dishes. I checked the living room but she wasn’t there either. I called her name but she didn’t answer. I opened the back door to see if she had gone to take out the trash and there she was leaned over the garbage pail. Her sweated beaded face turned toward me and she croaked “food poisoning”. I ran in to get her a wash cloth and met Kate sitting on the floor with a trash pail. She too had gone round the bend.

Unfortunately none of us who were in attendance at the dinner was immune. We all ended up in the emergency room at one time or the other Thanksgiving night. I know I was terribly thankful. I said my porcelain thanks all night. You know the one I’m talking about. Thank you toilet bowl for being so cool against my forehead. Thank you for receiving my gifts. Like my daddy says this too passed and we were much better within a couple of days. Needless to say we did not have turkey sandwiches or turkey salad. Nor did we dine on turkey soup or turkey pot pie. We instead had pepto bismal and club soda.

While I don’t wish this ordeal on anyone I do hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal. I hope you take time to tell the ones you love how thankful you are they are in your life. I hope you share some joy with those less fortunate. Most of all I hope you thawed your turkey before you cooked it. My sister sent me this Thanksgiving Prayer and I’m sharing it with you.

May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is my daddy’s birthday. He is 9 going on well let’s just say more than 9. You can already tell I love my daddy very much. He has this warped sense of humor and a totally different way of looking at things. He was always larger than life to me and you know I guess he still is.

When I was little and he was a trooper I used to see him in his uniform and just swell with pride. That was back in the days when law enforcement officers weren’t paid very much at all not that things have changed much. We didn’t have a lot of extra money and my daddy wanted a pick up truck. He found an old dodge pick-up that wasn’t in the best of shape but it was the right price. He traded and finagled and finally come up with a way to purchase the old Dodge. He brought it home and the restoration began. I was thrilled because I saw rides in the back of the truck with my hair blowing. I also reasoned in my 6 year old mind that since we now had a pick-up there was nothing to stop my parents from buying me a pony.

Daddy spent hours, days, and weeks under the hood of the pick-up. I learned at an early age that in order to fix something you had to cuss at it. Every hour that my daddy was under the hood of that truck I was right there beside him. I would sit on the ground next to his tool box and he would say “Bebe, hand me that 7/8 wranch. No the 7/8 wranch. No that’s not a wranch that’s a ratchet. Now hand me that left handed screw driver.” I would paw through the tool box looking for a left handed screw driver; I would eventually give up and say “Daddy, I can’t find a left handed screw driver will this red one work?” He would chuckle and put his hand out and go right on working. Then one day he got in the cab of the truck and turned the key. The old truck sputtered and bucked then farted a big plumb of blue smoke then started purring. I ran around the other side of the truck, jumped up on the running board and climbed in the passenger seat. Daddy and I went for a test drive. I was the happiest little girl on the block sitting in that mangy old Dodge truck with my daddy.

I have millions of memories of my daddy like this. I have memories of him reading the encyclopedia to us trying to give us some little known facts knowledge. I think it’s because of him that I grew up to be a virtual vault of useless knowledge, but I do pretty well at Trivial Pursuit. I have memories of daddy taking us fishing and spending all of his time helping us with our lines and poles and getting very little fishing in himself. I have memories of my daddy trying to teach us how to drive without screaming or jumping out of the moving vehicle. I remember going bird hunting with him and him teaching us how to use a gun and how to respect it. I have not so fond memories of his Frito-pie but that’s a story for another time.

I grew older but my admiration and my pride in my daddy never waivered. I was never ashamed or embarrassed by my daddy. He has always been one of my biggest heroes. He is my mentor and my muse. I still love to crawl up in the cab of his pick-up truck and take a ride with him. I love his stories and his sense of humor.

Happy Birthday Daddy. I love you!
So does Miss Priss!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

6 Random Things

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

I got this from Coffee Bean over at

Let's see.
1. Since it's close to the Holidays, I am drinking coffee with eggnog in it. I like eggnog by itself, with a little bit of rum or whiskey. One Christmas when our kids were little, my siblings and I were all at my mom's. We were up very late putting toys together and drinking egg nog. My brother who does not drink drank two glasses of rum spiked egg nog before my mother told him there was alcohol in it. He just looked at her and said "No wonder I put the Barbie House together upside down".

2. I'm allergic to all pork products. Gives me a ferocious migraine. I can eat something that was cooked on the same grill as pork and will have a headache. It is very inconvenient when I go out to eat. I have to ask "Was that cooked with pork? Did it touch pork? Did you even open bacon around it?" When I was in Europe I had to keep making piggy sounds and shaking my head No. I'm sure the Germans and French thought I was out of my mind. "Hey don't give the crazy pig lady any more wine."

3. I was sang Happy Birthday by Reba McIntyre. I was 25 years old and she was in concert in my home town. A friend of mine was working security for her. He invited me backstage before her concert and introduced me to her. She was so cute and nice. Then she broke out in song and sang to me. I was thrilled, she even wished me happy birthday during her concert.

4. I'm not cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. The first in many, many years. I am however cooking bbq after Thanksgiving. Kahuna and I will be alone for Thanksgiving this year up in the frozen tundra. We will be going back home for a couple of days after Thanksgiving so we will get most of our offspring together and have a dinner then. I'm making BBQ brisket, ribs, tater salad, grapefruit salad, corn and wild rice casserole, a big mixed salad and Falulah and Lulu, my two younger girls are making one of their scrumptious cheesecakes.

5. I recently had an epiphany. I decided that I didn't have to always be right. That sometimes it was ok to just not know the answer to something. I spent most of my life struggling to be right even when I was wrong. It was exhausting. This is much easier. I can look at the person who is trying to convince me of something or is asking me something and I can just shrug my shoulders and say "Beats me. I really don't know."

6. I used to love all types of horror movies, books and shows. Now, not so much. I would rather watch a suspense movie or read a mystery. I will however make an exception for well written or well filmed horror type movies. I also was a huge Sci Fi geek. I watched Star Trek religiously and waited in line for hours upon hours to see Star Wars.

Now then you know me so who do I tag? I tag YOU. Those of you with a blog leave me a comment with you blog site on it and link back here. I will go read yours. This is what Coffee Bean did and I thought it was a great idea. Those with no blog, leave yours here on the comment page. I'll be waiting for you. Now go write. I'll leave the light on for you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Quirky Cuzin Rodeo

I think I mentioned before my quirky country cousins. They were and still are great. They had/have these huge imaginations. Yeah I have one too but mine is all about the really weird horrible outlandish things that could happen. They have these great artistic and useful imaginations. PLUS they are really great people and a heck of a lot of fun to be around.

They had the type of imagination that was fun. Like one time when I was about six years old they got the great idea to dress me up like Marylyn Monroe. No it wasn’t Halloween; they just thought it would be funny. So they put false eyelashes on me and dug an old peignoir out of the rag bag and fluffed it up and made adjustments then they drew a mole on my face and put a load of jewels on me. They thought this was great fun and honestly so did I. I loved being their doll to dress up and made to go out and put on a show for the grown-ups.

When I was a little girl it was always our big treat to go stay at our cousin’s ranch for a couple of weeks every summer. Now what I didn’t know was they really would have rather come to the city but they put up with us coming to the country. They had so many great things to do in the country and the city was just well, boring. Now there was an upside to this for my aunt and uncle instead of having 3 ranch hands they got to have 4 ½ ranch hands. You see I was too little and my brother had asthma so we weren’t of much use. My uncle didn’t let us get off that light I mean my brother still had to go ride fence with them and well I got to sit around and look cute. See I got an early start on being a slackass.

One summer my cousins decided we needed to have our own rodeo. Without a second thought there was an all out production in motion. First it was mine and my Cousin Wendy’s job to make the ribbons. You know the ribbons that you win for competing. Next Yob and “B” put together pens and animals for the different competition. My brother and sister were also enlisted in getting the “arena” ready. It was all of our jobs to set up the grandstand and talk my Uncle J.C. into officiating for us.

Finally after much preparation and promotion it was time for the rodeo. There was the goat riding contest. That was where my sister and I because we were the two youngest had to ride goats like you would a bull and see who could stay on the longest. There was the calf race where they tied a ribbon on the calf’s tail and we had to chase it all over the arena until you grabbed the ribbon off the tail and run it back to the judge’s box. Then there was the team barrel race where the older cousin actually steered the horse and it was our job to sit behind hang on and not fall off. Then there was the rescue race, this entailed one of us balancing on the barrel, the horse and rider would come out of the gate as fast as possible round the barrel slowing down long enough for us to jump off the barrel onto the back of the already hyped up horse and then race back to the gate as quickly as possible. All the while we, the rescue-ee, had to hang on for dear life while the rescurer spurred the horse as hard and as fast as they could. Needless to say we often had to be rescued from the rescuer.

Oh the rodeo wasn’t my cousin’s only production. Oh no! Remember the old Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland movies where something would come up and they would look at each other and say “Let’s put on a show!” and the next thing you know there would be a full blown Busby Berkley musical show? Yeah that is what it was like around my cousins. Only one of them constantly engaged in some sort of art project, the other some type of agricultural project and another in some type of sewing project. We had our own little production company.

They also had something called the “Mountain” which in reality was a hill but to us it was huge. On top of the “Mountain” was a tank. No not the military type, the type from which livestock drink. On really hot days my oldest cousin would fire up the old Willis Jeep load all of us in it and tear off for the tank. We would have our swimsuits, our towels and our floaties and off we would go. The road up the “Mountain” was not a gradual climb nor was it full of switchbacks it was pretty much straight up and in order for the old Willy to make it up the hill “B” would get going as fast as she could coming across the field and as soon as she hit the incline would double clutch it downshift and give it all it had. There were a couple of times we didn’t make it and would roll back down the hill but usually she would maneuver the “mountain”. I swear I don’t think there is a machine in this world that “B” couldn’t operate. Once we reached the top and made it to the tank we would pile out literally jump from the jeep into the water. Now that I’m older I think about the ook factor of that. What’s the ook factor? The fact that the tank was full of snakes, snapping turtles and cow patties today would ook me out. We were kids and it was an adventure snakes, turtles and poo be damned.

Now you see why I’m a little warped and why I have the sense of humor I have. I was raised that way. It is a shame we didn’t have digital cameras and digital movies way back then because I’m sure it would be a hoot to watch them. I do however have some pretty awesome memories.

Oh and my quirky cousins are still quirky and I love each and every one of them. They all grew up to be artist and philosophers in their own rights. They are truly “good” people.
I love you guys! Thank you for all the great memories.

Thong Song

Thong Song
A long time ago when I was very thin, stop laughing I was thin. I was so thin people used to tease me about being thin and I would actually be offended. Can you imagine being offended because someone called you Skinny-Minnie or Toothpick Tillie? Honestly I have tried to pay people to call me skinny for old time’s sake and they just laugh and walk away. Again, I digress.

I was thin, we’ve established that and thin people can wear clothing that fluffier people like me now can not or better said should not. I was in need of some new undergarments. I was still young in doggy years so I went to the local Victoria Secret Store and began my quest for new unmentionables. There was all the normal styles high rise, boy cut, bikini cut, string bikini and a new style called a thong. Now growing up a thong was something you wore on your foot and it made a thong, thong, thong noise when you walked. You bought them at the 5 and Dime two pair for a dollar and invariably when you least expected it you would have a blow out in them. The middle strap between your toes would come out of its place, the little button holding it together would either wear off or pop out and there was no way to keep the shoe on past that point. My mother would save the good one in hopes that the next one to blow-out would be the opposite foot and you would again have a complete set. It never worked out that way.

Now they call them flip-flops.

I was intrigued by this thong and the sales girl heralded their virtues. She explained that they were all the rage in the big cities and with the hip younger women. Just think, she gushed, no panty lines under your slacks. Look she continued pointing to her own bum and saying “I have one on and you can’t tell can you?” I looked and then she said “No really feel my butt there is nothing between me and the slacks” I thanked her but no thanked her and told her I would take her word for it. I thought what the heck I’ll try a pair. (Why do they call it a pair of panties when technically it is only one piece of clothing?) I made my purchase feeling very continental and fashion hip.

The following Monday I got up early, three o’clock in the morning, for my usual 60 mile commute to work. I got dressed wearing of course my new purchase, the thong. It was a bit uncomfortable and really didn’t give very much coverage in the necessary places but I thought it was something to which I would adjust. The most obvious difference in the thong and regular panties was that this one was supposed to go between your butt cheeks where regular panties usually just worked their way there. I spent the next hour and a half in my car fidgeting this way and that way trying to get used to the new garment. I arrived at work in some discomfort but continued through out my morning walking around as if I had a self-inflicted wedgies.

About halfway through the day I was in misery. What type of torture device was that Victoria selling I wondered? Why would a woman with such a prim and proper name want to torture her fellow gender so? Who, other than me, would subject themselves to the constant state of discomfort? Not wanting my fellow female co-workers to suffer the agony that was the thong panty I started a campaign. I told them “Do not let that evil Victoria impel her secrets upon your bum.” They looked at me quizzically and wanted more information. I told them about this new torture device and explained how it was worn. They all commiserated with me.

When the day was over I drove the 90 minutes home again in agony. It seemed when I sat it was worse than when I walked. I could not for the life of me figure out why or how anyone would wear these evil devices of torture. I mean I am a woman and I am not above wearing painfully high-heels to lift my bum in the air in an attempt at beauty. I will and have worn torturous garments that stuffed and lifted and tucked and pulled all in the name of fashion. This was just a little too much, panty lines or not, I could not understand these little strings of harrowing elastic and satin. It was just too uncomfortable even for the fashion diva I thought I was.

I literally raced to the door and to my bedroom where I ripped my clothing off in order to get rid of the menacing piece of material that had been my bane all day. As I removed the offending item of clothing I realized something. I went to my dresser and took out the sister thong to the one I was wearing and started to really examine it. I noted the tag was not where I thought it should be. Then the light bulb went on over my head and I realized what was wrong. Yes, you guessed it. I had been wearing them not backwards but sideways all day. Yes, I said Sideways! Is there any other piece of clothing that you can wear sideways? I don’t think so. No, hats don’t count.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Perfect Excuse

Have you ever had a meeting, appointment or an engagement you just don’t have to time to attend? Have you ever had something you would rather do than something else so you make up a lame excuse to one so you can do the other? Well I promise I have the best, most original, undisputable excuse for you. Now before I tell you what it is I will tell you how it came to be.

I have mentioned on here before that a long time ago I was the owner in residence of a 100 year old house.
(You can read about it here:!83D9B59407F3C62F!897.entry
With that dubious honor also came the dubious pitfalls of owning and maintaining the money pit. I have come to believe in the years since I left the haunted mansion that it was also bequeathed with a curse. A curse that was much more frightening than the ghost who haunted it. The curse though is fodder for another story. The money pit is where and how I learned of the most perfect excuse.

When I first decided to purchase the money pit, I eyed the ragged but salvageable golden oak wood floors and decided that before I moved in those would be refinished. I called all the flooring contractors I could find before I settled on one who came highly recommended by my painter. My painter was a great guy and stuck with me through some pretty incredible episodes and events in both his life and mine. Remember Eldon from the old “Murphy Brown” shows? He came to paint for Murphy and ended up practically living there? Yeah that is what my Eldon did. He came and stayed for years. Anyway Eldon recommended this floor guy, Leon, and told me he did excellent work. He was reasonable in his price in fact he was quite a bit cheaper than everyone else. I would find out why later.

Leon came early one morning got out his strippers and sanders and got to work. He completely stripped all the old wax, stain and polyurethane off of my floors. He pulled up thresholds and trim. It looked like he was going to do a thorough job. I was thrilled. I mean how often do you find a contractor who was so precise and he cleaned up after himself too. It was great. While Leon was getting busy on the floors, Eldon and his crew were busy on the outside of the house. My mother and I had cut and pulled down the English ivy that threatened to break the bricks and the house with them so that Eldon and his crew could get busy. I was getting to know my new house by having furniture and personal items moved into rooms where mass destruction was not taking place. The crew of guys I had hired to help move the heavier furniture pieces had just finished moving the items into the garden room and to do so had to pass through the living room. This made Leon very upset and he decided he would pack up for the day.

Leon loaded up his green trailer and left. The movers finished trekking across the newly sanded living room floor and Eldon and his crew continued working. I had to go back to my real job before my boss fired me. I had been at my desk for less than thirty minutes when my cell phone rang. It was Eldon and he was just a bit shaken up. He informed me I needed to come to the house right away. He would not tell me why and he would not tell me what was going on.
I of course panicked and immediately thought an errant meteor had come hurtling to earth in an attempt to squish me into radio active mush only I, thank goodness, had left too early. I arrived at my house with all of Eldon’s crew running to greet me. They all were wide eyed and frantic. Eldon walked over to me and said “I want you to take a deep breath, count to ten, and the exhale.” Oh NO! I thought this isn’t going to be good! I did as I was told, inhaled counted to ten then blew out every ounce of breath I had. Eldon then told me what had happened. He said “Ms. Gladys, me and da boys were up chere on dis here scawfoldin when we hurd an awful thunderin. Then there was a wush and big ole bang and lots of smoke and dust. We all jumped off of da scawfoldin and ran around the house then we seen it. Look right there in the leevin room.”

I again did as I was told, because well like I’ve said before I always do as I’m told. I peered through the French doors that lead to the living room. At first I didn’t understand what I saw. What I should have seen was my sanded living room floor; instead what I saw was dirt and concrete. I was both intrigued and horrified. I ran around to the front door with Eldon on my heels chattering away. I stopped short of the entrance into the living room. I turned to Eldon and said “Where is Leon?” Eldon scuffed his foot and said “Ms. Gladys, Leon done left for de day. I don’t spect he’ll be back til tomorrow.” I sighed a huge sigh of relief and said “Well, Thank God for that!” Then Eldon and I entered the damaged room. There on the newly stripped, sanded and prepped golden oak wood floor sat in shattered hunks the opposing ceiling. My entire living room one hundred year old plaster and lathe ceiling had fallen, corner to corner into my floor. It had come crashing down in one huge pile of rubble on my prepped unfinished floor. I wanted to cry but Eldon wouldn’t let me. Eldon grabbed my hand pulled me down on my knees and started praying. He prayed his thanks to God for no one being harmed, he prayed for a quick and easy repair to my living room and he prayed that whatever had caused the ceiling to fall would be the only problem I had in my house. All but one of his prayers was fulfilled.

I went outside to catch my breath, call my insurance agent and let Leon know not to come the next day. I did all those things and then my cell phone rang. It was my secretary’s husband informing me that my nineteen year old assistant was dead. She had died of an overdose. That was it. I was done. I wanted to curl into a ball and suck my thumb. I wanted my mommy. I was overwhelmed. Eldon had been sitting next to me when the call had come in and he again took my hand and started praying. I was grateful that Eldon was there. Once again it proved that my problems were small compared to others.

The clean up took several weeks. I was given the green light and I instructed Leon that the floors would be accessible to him the upcoming Monday. Monday came and went and no Leon. Five Mondays came and went and still no Leon. I called and he did not answer. I left messages that went ignored. I wrote him a letter that was returned. I was livid. I was rabid. I had the red ass so bad it had ran down my leg and given me the red foot. One of the things that upset me so was that I was at a loss as to how to proceed. I went to Eldon with my problem. Eldon picked up his cell phone and dialed Leon's number. He looked pensive as he was listened to Leon’s voice mail instructions. Eldon said “Ms. Gladys donchew worry bout a thang. I’ll go and find that sapsucker and have him chere tomorrow.” I had complete faith in Eldon. Unfortunately, even he was unable to track down the elusive Leon.

Then one day as I was driving up “McMansion Row” I spotted the familiar green trailer parked in front of one of the stately old mansion houses. I made a u-turn and sped back to the spot under a huge Magnolia tree I had seen the distinctive green trailer. AHA! I had found the evasive floor finisher. I jumped out of my vehicle and stomped up the walk. Just as I reached the front door and the bell that would bring my unfinished floor finisher back to my house the door opened. Leon bolted out of the door and grabbed my arm as if to walk me back to my car. I was having none of it. I wanted him to finish my floors, I wanted an explanation as to where he had been and I wanted it now.

I turned on Leon and spat out my questions and accusations of job abandonment. I stopped and looked at him waiting for some type of an explanation or excuse. That is when I heard the very best excuse ever. Are you ready? Leon looked at me as sincere as any politician and said “Ms. Gladys, I am shur sorry I didn come back to your howse. You see I done got sick and then I ranned a real high fever. Then my brain done swole up and I jest flat out forgot about chur howse.” My jaw dropped to the ground, my eyes rolled in the back of my head and I all but shouted “Do WHAT? Your brain swelled and you suffered temporary amnesia? You expect me to believe this cock and bull story? Do you think I’m stupid?” Leon looked at me with these big old hound dog eyes and said “Eets da truf. I may drank, and I may gamble, but I don’t lie.”

Now you have your perfect excuse to get you out of whatever may come your way. Forgot to do your homework? Just answer “My brain done swole up.” Didn’t make it to the parent teacher conference? Just answer “My brain done swole up.” Hey it works for either side. What you didn’t go to work or call in sick? Just say it. You see it works for any occasion.

Divorce Court or # 1 in the Trooper Bob Chronicls

November 07
Divorce or #1 in the Daddy Chronicles
I’m going to start a new segment called “Daddy Chronicles” because that is what they are. My whole life growing up I heard the stories of my Daddy’s life. He is an accomplished story teller and would wind us through the allies and paths of his life, work, friends and adventures. Sometimes they would be stories of his childhood other times they would be of what happened as a young patrol officer and often they were what happened yesterday. Some of these stories may only be of interest to my family and some those who wonder upon my writings will enjoy. You see in our family the art of the story is huge and my daddy can paint a picture like Monet or Renoir. Here is my first installment of the Daddy Chronicles.

My daddy in one of his early careers and the one that he had during most of my growing up years was a Texas Department of Public Safety Officer. In other words Cheese it boys, it’s the cops. Here in Texas they are called troopers or DPS officers. He was stationed in south of San Antonio in a small little burg and was teamed up with an older more seasoned officer named Homer. Now Homer didn’t get real upset or excited about much and was a perfect match for my low keyed daddy. They became great friends and great partners.

Back in those days the officers were respected and revered. They had complete say-so over almost every issue. The public that they were sworn to protect were often uneducated or back-woods or better said country folk. The other thing is that back then an officer and his partner may be assigned to a whole county and in Texas that could mean over a thousand square miles. They had to cover a whole lot of territory. While the people in their district knew who they were they may only see them once or twice a month and in some of the more remote areas once or twice a year.

After only being on the job a month or so Trooper Homer and Trooper Bob, my daddy, were called out on a domestic disturbance. They arrived at a small house out in the country to find a husband and a wife fighting. The wife had thrown the husbands things out in the yard and had banished him to sleep in the barn. Their fight was probably about the fact they had 8 kids and he wanted to get frisky again, but whatever the reason they were about to kill one another. Elmer, the irate husband, runs out to the car as the two officer drive up the drive and says “Mr. Homer, she has done gone plum crazy. She’s crazier than my mule and that is pretty damn crazy. I want to deevorce her! Will you deevorce us so I can have some peace?” About that time Bernice, the incensed wife yielding a two by four, runs out to the car and says “Mr. Homer you better deevorce us or Ima gonna kill that son of a biscuit eater!”

Homer slowly exits the car spits a chew of tobacco out and in his hometown Texas drawl says “Now you two calm down, let me get my deevorcin book out of the trunk and we’ll take care of this. Bernice you don’t need to be a killin anybody who would take care of dem kids? And Elmer, you need to jest calm down. I don’t know what you did to get Bernice all riled up but you need to knock it off. Now I’m gonna get my book out and I’m gonna deevorce you but you had better realize jest how serious this is. If I deevorce you I don’t want to have to come back out here to pick up a daid body nor nuthin. You got me?” With that Homer went around to the back of the car and my daddy went around with him. He looked at his partner a little worried and whispered “Homer, we don’t have the authority to divorce those two. They need to go to a lawyer and to court. I never heard of a divorce book.” Homer smiled a knowing smile put his hand on daddy’s shoulder and said “Son, out here we ARE the law to these people which is all encompassing. I’ll get the manual out say a few words make them put their X on a piece of paper and that will be that. Trust me they will want to be back together again before we get back to the station.”

Homer got his book out walked around to the front of the car and did just what he said. He said a few words, made them understand that they were to go nowhere near one another and with an X on an old ticket book they were divorced. Happy as clams, Bernice went back in the house to tend to her brood and Elmer went to the barn to take care of his crazy mule. Daddy and Homer went on to other adventures.

A couple of weeks passed with more adventures and excitement Homer and my daddy forgot about the couple. They arrived at the station one morning to find Elmer and Bernice all loved up waiting out front. Homer got out of the car and greeted the couple and asked what he could do for them. Elmer spoke first and said “Well, we got so lonely without each other and we talked it over and decided we don’t want to be deevorced no more. We want you to undeevorce us.”

Homer smiled and agreed and told them to come into the office. He instructed my daddy to retrieve the old ticket book out of the trunk. Once inside Homer took the deevorce paper out of the book and held it up and said “Now y’all sure you want me to do this? You’re not gonna be callin us in a couple of days to come undo this?” Bernice and Elmer excited bobbed their head up and down in agreement that this is what they wanted. Homer took the paper and tore it up in little pieces and said “Alright now your un-deevorced. You go home and take care of one another and don’t be callin us again.” They thanked Homer and my daddy and ran out of the office to live a happy life together. Well not really because Homer then told my daddy they did this once or twice a year.

That’s how my daddy learned to deevorce and undeevorce people. Can you imagine that happening today?

Freezing HOT

Are you ready for another installment of the Trooper Bob Chronicles? We have already established that he was a DPS officer back in the day. He was a trooper and my mother was a nurse. Let me ask you, do you think there was anything we as kids could get away with without them knowing about it? You bet there wasn’t. They knew everything sometimes before we knew ourselves. But this isn’t about me it’s about my daddy and his partner.

Being a trooper back in the day meant that you changed assignments about every eighteen months to two years. In other words you were stationed somewhere then eighteen months later you were loading up all your belongings, your family and saying good by to friends and moving 800 miles away. Which is exactly what happened to my family in the early 1960’s my dad was transferred from South Texas to as far west Texas as possible. He was assigned to El Paso. With this new assignment came a new partner and this one was a young man about my daddy’s age with about the same sense of humor and wit in other words a very dangerous combination.

El Paso is located in the Texas off shoot of the Rocky Mountains or better known as the Franklin Mountains. They aren’t huge but in Texas they are considered Mountains. El Paso is also a high desert area which means very high temperatures in the summer range from the high 90’s to well over 110 degrees. It also can get frigid in the winter with snow, ice and below freezing temperatures. This story however takes place in the height of summer when the temperatures even at night were well above the 90 degree mark.

My dad and his new partner, Trooper Ray, had just received their new winter uniforms from the area dispatch office. They issued parkas complete with fur lining and fur trim, winter wool long sleeve shirts; winter felt hats and beanie hats. Yes is it was scorching hot outside but being like boy scouts the DPS wanted to be prepared. Ray and daddy had these in the back seat of their vehicle. They were working the evening shift and had planned on taking them home after their time was up. They were working the stretch of highway that was then between downtown El Paso and Anthony. It was desolate in those days and it was late with little to no traffic.

Then they saw it. It was like a gift from God for two bored troopers. It was a little ray of sunshine in a dark cloudless night. It was a station wagon full of a family on their vacation from New York. A smile crossed daddy’s lips and as if they were one mind Ray knew exactly what would happen next. The cherry light on the top of their vehicle was lit, the squalling of the siren began and they could see the nervousness of the driver of the wagon in his rearview mirror. The driver cautiously slowed his vehicle and pulled to the right of the road. Daddy followed suite and pulled the patrol car, red lights flashing behind the wagon. He then looked at Ray and they both reached into the back seat and grabbed parka, beanies, gloves and donned them while still in the vehicle. They slid galoshes over their boots and pulled their hoods up. They both exited the patrol car and ambled up to the wagon doing their best not to completely melt in the heat wearing their entire winter garb. The family, right down to the little boy in the backwards facing seat, looked at the troopers incredulously. My daddy approached the driver’s side of the wagon with ticket book in hand. He kept rubbing his hands together as if he had just entered the North Pole. The driver rolled his window down a bit but daddy informed him he should keep it just cracked that it was much to cold to roll it all the way down. The man confused and nervous did as he was told. Ray walked around the car looking at the tires and waving to the bazillion little kids in the back rubbing his arms and hands putting on his best “it’s freezing out here act”. My daddy asked the driver if he had his snow chains with him. The man totally confused said no that he didn’t believe he would need them out here in the desert. He asked why he would need them. Then my daddy and Ray explained to the confused northerner that down here in Texas we have these storms called a Blue Northern. They told him he would never be able to make it through the pass without his chains. They asked if the family had thought to pack coats and warm clothing for the children. The driver by this time was upset that they had come to stay a couple of weeks in the warmth of the desert only to find it was going to be freezing and the kids were upset because they would not be able to swim. This exchange went on for several minutes when the man stuck his hand outside the vehicle and said “Hey it’s not cold out there, it’s really hot. Are you sure it’s going to come one of those storms?”

This did not deter my daddy or Ray one bit. They told him he must be getting sick because it was really cold in fact it was so cold they were going to let the man go and find some chains to fit his car and get back into the warmth of their heater. Finally the man asked the two troopers what the temperature was to which they both answered in unison, well it’s about 95 degrees. The man totally confused at this point says “You think that’s cold?” The troopers looked at him and answered “Hell, yeah, anything under a hundred degrees is freezing.”

The family from New York drove off down the road totally and completely in disgust at the two Texas troopers who considered 95 degrees freezing. They had a great story to tell of the event when they got back to New York. My daddy and Ray got a great laugh out of the whole event, not to mention they lost about 50 pounds sweating in those parkas.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Dreams May Come

You all have gotten to know me a little bit over the last several months. I mean you know that I have an irrational fear of an errant meteor hurdling from space targeting me and only me. You know that I have a wonderful husband named Kahuna and a daddy that I not only worship but have been known to emulate. You know that I have a grandchild that I would slither through a hot bed of snakes to be with and I am deathly afraid of snakes. You know I have a daughter who not only looks like me but she acts like me too. I also have a son who is a talented photographer, a daughter who is wonderful with animals and for that matter people and my youngest who hasn't quite figured out if she wants to be a brain surgeon or a soda jerk. Although they try to stay out of the limelight they can’t because I pick on everyone, but this isn’t about them. This is about ME.

I have a very active imagination. Oh shut up, I can’t help it. The thing is my imagination does not shut down when I’m asleep. I have the most vivid active dreams in Technicolor. Remember “Technicolor”. Remember when you used to go to the movie and you knew the colors were going to be extremely vibrant because it was in “Technicolor”? Well that is what my dreams are they are “Technicolor Dreams”.

The problem is unfortunately sometimes my dreams are too real. I don’t mean that they come true although that has actually happened more than a couple of times. I mean that they are so real and vivid they will actually spill over into my real life. Like last night I had a dream that my daughter was married to Owen Wilson. No big deal right? I mean here we were with my bother-in-law and his wife and my daughter and Owen and me with Kahuna. I woke up this morning and I had to convince myself that I was not camping with Owen, Kahuna and the gang.

The one that tops the cake is the one I had recently about me and Kahuna. Let’s just call it the Pissed off dream. I had a dream that Kahuna and I were on a trip. He had a present with which he kept taunting me. He would show me the box, a jewelry box at that, and then he would take it away. He was extremely irritating in that respect. Now in real life Kahuna is never irritating, he is kind and generous and just a peach of a guy. He was however none of those things in my dream. He then told me the box was not for me at all but for, gasp, another woman. This drove me over the edge and in my dream we had a huge fight. We argued and fought and I spit venomous accusations and he was non-repentant and very obnoxious about it all. I forced myself out of this horrid dream.

I was awake but my heart was still pounding and my adrenaline was still running on overdrive. I jumped out of the bed trying to get away from Kahuna as quickly as possible. I was pissed and I wanted nothing to do with such an ass-hat. He opened one eye and looked at me groggily and said “What’s the matter? You okay? You don’t look very good.” I narrowed my eyes and spit back “I’m fine asshole, leave me alone!” I stomped off into the other room to try to calm myself down. I heard the bed creak and his footfalls coming my way. There was nowhere else to go. We were living in a three room condo. My only options were to lock myself in the bathroom or go out into the below freezing night air. I chose neither; instead chose to stand my ground.

Kahuna entered the room cautiously because honestly we have never spoken to each other that way and he knew something was wrong. He came over to the couch and sat down next to me again making sure to give me some space. He looked at me with concern and his voice was soft and calm as he asked “What happened?” I looked at him and then the mad, sad tears began to flow. “You bought a sob, sob, then you snuffle, and then I sniff, but you didn’t sob, (suck in air and snot) and then I said..” Then it happened he began to chuckle. The chuckle turned into a snort. The snort turned into a guffaw.
This of course infuriated me even more! How dare he laugh at my pain, my ire, my, my, my dream! I was even more livid than before. He patted my head and shuffled back to bed. I was not sleepy and decided I would stay up and read.

Morning came and Kahuna got up innocent and sweet as normal. He came to the couch and asked if I would like a cup of coffee. I was still so angry that I couldn’t even look at him. We went through most of the day with me mad as a wet hen. I just couldn’t shake being angry. Finally by mid-afternoon I was able to let go of my anger. It was ridiculous that I was so angry because of my imagination. I couldn’t convince myself of that and stayed angry all day.

It took me some time but eventually I asked myself. What are you really angry about? Then I went for the throat. Are those thoughts true? Then I asked the really tough question. Who would I be without those thoughts? What next you ask well according to Byron Katie in her book “Loving What Is” it is turning that thought around. I am angry at myself because of… or I am angry because I was giving something to someone else. Then I understood it. I WAS the other woman in my dream. Kahuna wasn’t giving it to someone else he was giving something to ME. He was giving it to me who would appreciate and love it. I know that is all very deep, but how else do you decipher a stupid dream and the anger behind it?

The day ended with me and Kahuna curled up on the couch watching some mindless show on television. That was the jewel in the box. He was the jewel in the box.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Hunting We Will Go

Excerpts from the Mountain Woman's Files

Feeling more than a little spry this morning I decided to strap on my pack, grab my gear and go out for a day in the woods. I thought I would get in a little hunting. You know bag a few deer to stock up the freezer for the winter.

Long before dawn I had gotten up on the back side of the ridge and had hunkered in next to a tree. I had my weapon of choice a warm thermos of coffee. I had sprayed myself with doe urine because that's what turns the big bucks on and I sat waiting, watching ever vigilant.

I sat under the tree watching the chipmunks play and the rabbits frolic. I watched the sun rise and grow larger in the sky. It was a gorgeous day, temperatures in the upper thirties, the sky that unreal color of blue it gets in the autumn with just a smattering of high clouds. You could smell the snow that would be moving in later in the day but for now it was just right. The ridge had that uniform brown coloring of dead huckleberry bushes and wild sage, perfect camouflage for our four legged friends.
Then I heard the slightest of sounds. The sounds of branches breaking, something or someone moving closer to me through the brush. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw it there in the distance. I sat perfectly still and waited for it to get into the center of my scope. I squeezed the trigger ever so slightly, but he must have heard me for he turned to run. Just as he turned his back I clicked off the safety and taking a deep breath I squeezed the trigger.

It was too late, he was on the run. I must track him like the seasoned scout I am. I grab my gear and slowly ease from my crouched position. I silently made my way though the bush stalking my prey.
I got close enough to get a shot off and then he turned.

Too late I realized it was rutting season. He put his head down and started my direction. I was brave, I was strong, I stood my ground.

He rushed me, I raised my weapon and ran like hell!

Ok, Ok, It's all a lie. I am not a hunter, I did not get out of bed at the butt crack of dawn douse myself in deer pee and go traipsing out in the woods. The honest to God truth is I was kissing Kahuna goodbye after lunch and low and behold there was this big old buck in our yard. Me being me ran in and got the camera and being the big scaredie-cat I am stood at least 100 ft from the animal and started taking pictures only this guy came up behind me. Yeah that's why it's fuzzy because he startled me or I should say Kahuna did when he yelled "Look out behind you."
This guy went walking right behind me.

These guys hang out in the yard around here. Pretty cool isn't it?

Dressing Room Can-Can Episode 3 in the Bob Chronicles

It's Thursday and time for another installment of the Trooper Bob chronicles. So without further ado- I give you the Adventures of Trooper Bob
(for previous installments go here:

First let me tell you a little something about my mother to get to a story about my daddy. My mother was never wrong. You see even when she was wrong she was right and you did not contradict her that just made you that much more wrong. Also things had to be her way, always. It was just easier not to argue or fuss. It was easier just to do what she wanted when she wanted it done then she would leave you alone to do what you wanted to do.

My mother made plans for her and my daddy to go out somewhere. I don’t remember if it was to a wedding or a bar mitzvah, oh wait we didn’t even know what that was. I think it may have been a party but who knows it was an event and they had to get dressed up. Dressed up in my family was not wearing overall’s, jeans, cut off shorts or polyester pant suits including but not inclusive of leisure suits. She insisted that nothing in his closet was suitable for such an auspicious occasion as the “event”. She made my daddy against his will go shopping with her. They went to the only department store in my home town that was affordable to us, C.R. Anthony’s. I am sure there are some of you out there who not being from my neck of the mesquites doesn’t know what that is so let’s just say it wasn’t as classy as Wal-Mart.

My daddy had just gotten off his shift and was still dressed in full trooper uniform. He had his trooper hat, his trooper grey uniform with the red and blue stripe down the leg and his trooper Sam Brown Belt on complete with his trooper pistol and ammunition, and he even had on his trooper black Tony Lama Cowboy boots on. Now for those of you who have never put on any of this garb his total uniform weighed about forty pounds and was a pain to put on and take off at least that’s what daddy said. So there he was in Anthony’s dee-part-mint store shopping with my mother in her white nurse’s uniform and her bee-hive hair-do for dressed up clothes. My mother picked out some trousers for my daddy and told him “Bob, you go in there and try these pants on.” Now my daddy was really good at pissing my momma off by not doing what she wants but he wanted to go home so he did what she said.

He grabbed the pants and stomped off to the dressing room grumbling something about damn event and damn dress up clothes. The dressing room was just a cubicle with a curtain on the side of the men’s department. It was not down a hallway. It was not in a separate little alcove or niche. It was right there in the main aisle way of the store. He got in the dressing room and hung his hat on the peg, unstrapped his Sam Brown and started to take off his boots. Then in typical man fashion he thought this is bullshit! I’m not taking my boots off! Since this was the beginning of the bell bottom era the pants legs looked more than large enough to put on over his boots. What he didn’t think about was the pants he had on weren’t exactly large enough to get over his boots. He dropped his trousers and started to step out of them but he lost his balance. Then in a whirl of curtain and a couple of hops he was standing in the middle of C.R. Anthony’s with his pants around his ankles doing the Dressing Room Can-Can in his boxer shorts. Just about the time he danced out of the dressing room a woman was walking towards him. He landed ass on the ground Tony Lama’s in the air with a thud. The woman stopped and sucked all the air out of the room then huffily declared “Well, I NEVER!” My daddy not missing a beat looked up at her and said “Lady, Maybe you should! You’ll never forget it.” Then stood up and shuffled pants around his ankles back in the dressing room as my mother and the sales clerk laughed themselves silly in the corner.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Come on In Have A Seat

Hello Lovelies,

If you are here that means you either followed me from my “old” blog,, or you were looking for your Great Aunt Gladys and found me instead. Either way, Welcome! Pull up a chair settle in and enjoy the ride.

I started blogging this summer. I have always written little “ditties” to my family about this and that. They kept telling me “Gladys, you need to write a book.” I would love to write a book but I’m not sure how to go about that so I thought I would practice by writing a blog. It took me awhile to acclimate myself to the blogosphere. I’m still not sure I understand it all. I have read some tremendous writings in blogs and I’ve read some real stinkers. I’ll try to keep mine entertaining and less of a stinker.

So I started writing and came up with a name “The Accidental Housewife”. Now being new to the blogging world I didn’t really bother checking it out to see if I was going to be offending anyone or stealing anyone’s name. Well let me tell you, there is someone out there by that name. Guess what. She wrote a book. She wrote a book and it’s called “The Accidental Housewife” by Julia Edelman. Well I’m not near as cute or as young as she is so I figured I had better get a new name. Then my readers all (3) of them told me that it was difficult to comment on my old blog. They said that my post didn’t always appear when they went looking for them. Well, GOD forbid that someone (my Daddy) would have to go a day without being able to read me. So I decided to go to the liquor store get some Jim Beam, um I mean some boxes, pack up and move.

The first thing I had to do was come up with a new name because well no one wants to find a couple of big ugly guys on their front porch with baseball bats in their hands. Well not unless you play baseball and I don’t. So not wanting to get my knee caps crushed, I decided it was time to change the name. Gladys Tells All? Why that name? Why not something more appropriate like “Found Under a Rock” or “Living Here and There”? It could even be something really ethereal like “Writings From Within”. I never thought of those. It actually comes from a joke that my best friend sent me several years ago. About a woman in the nursing home named Gladys. I decided I was Gladys and she, my best friend, had to be Myrtle. Since I can’t keep my mouth shut, well the Tells All just seemed to fit.

Here it is the new name, the new look and of course the new space. Now then dear do you take cream or sugar or both in your coffee? How bout a piece of my chocolate pie, oh wait, I already ate that. I think I may have some peanut butter cookies in the cookie jar. Let me get some.

The Haunted Money Pit

I was reading one of my favorite author’s blogs Deanna Raybourn at also known as Blog-a-Go-Go. She was talking today about the ghost that inhabit her house. She lives in an old house that has some well let’s just say has some strange inhabitants. This made me think of the money-pit the old mansion house in which I used to reside. Now in the spirit of the season I will share my story with you.

I purchased a house that was built in 1917. It was labeled a “mansion” house by the real estate flyer but in reality it was just a large old house. It was located in an old part of town in a hot and muggy southern city. I was combining 4 houses into one and at that time in my life was not willing to part with “things”. I had to find something with enough room to accommodate my family, all their toys, clothes and animals. This house was perfect. Everyone could have their own rooms; it had a large living area, a study, a game room, a kitchen that had potential and just enough yard for the dogs but not enough to require a riding lawn mower. So I stepped up to the plate plopped down my money and decided to call it home. (Yes this is the same house that ended up having the Godzilla Rat).

The first week we lived in the money-pit house I was in the study alone putting things away when I heard music coming from upstairs. I thought that the neighbor must have their stereo turned up loud and went about my work without another thought. Then I got a very cold sensation, unusual since the house was not air conditioned and it was May in Louisiana, which meant it was about 90 degrees. The cold lasted only briefly then it was gone but the smell of lilacs lingered. Several days later my daughter who was in high school at the time said something about noises coming from her closet. I asked her if she thought it was mice and she said not unless mice sing Ring Around the Rosie. This was our introduction to the constant inhabitants of the house.

We lived with the usual bumps and groans that happen in old houses and knew that was just the house talking to us. We also lived with the smell of pipe tobacco, no one in the house smoked, and the sound of opera coming from the attic. Maybe the Godzilla Rat was singing opera I mean he was the size of Pavarotti, but I don’t think so since the singing went on long after Godzilla was captured. We just accepted them, the opera singing lady, the pipe smoking man, the little girl in my daughter’s closet without ever actually seeing anything.

Then one night after an especially trying day I was in bed sound a sleep when the door from my bedroom to the sleeping porch opened and shut causing me to sit up in bed. An unnatural cold came into the room and lingered for a few minutes then in the time it would take to walk from my bed to the door leading into the hallway it wafted away. Then the door to the hallway opened and closed and the smell of tobacco and cold was gone. I sat there in my bed confused and a bit frightened. I thought to myself “Someone just walked through my bedroom. Then it dawned on me, it wasn’t somebody, well at least not a living somebody.” A couple of nights later again the door from the sleeping porch opened then closed and the room became clammy and cold. I sat up and at the end of my bed I saw a man dressed in a white shirt and khaki trousers smoking a pipe. He smiled then he was gone, gone as in poof gone. He was gone but the smell of tobacco lingered. I sat there not believing what I saw a little frightened and a little confused then the door to the hallway opened up and closed again. I doubted what I saw but trying to be open minded and brave decided to not say anything to anyone.

A few days later as I was driving my daughter to school she said “Momma, I’m going to tell you something a little weird, don’t think I’m crazy or anything ok?” She proceeded to tell me that she had seen the little girl in her closet. She said was about eight years old and she opened the door of the closet and looked out and smiled at my daughter while she was doing her homework. Now I would have totally freaked out if a ghost had smiled at me doing my homework when I was her age, but Tadpole being the wise person she is just told the little girl she wasn’t there to harm her and finished her book report.

I knew some of our neighbors had lived in their houses since the time the original owners had lived there. I asked my oldest neighbor for any information about the original owner of the house. He told me that the man had been in the oil business, just a regular guy who made a bundle in the Elysian Fields and Lake Caddo oil fields. He built the house for his wife, a soprano and founder of the local opera company. They moved from the house after their young daughter died of influenza. Now I did not prompt him on any of these items, it was just his story. I asked him to describe Mr. Snead, the original owner and builder of the house, and he described him as always being in work boots and khaki pants smoking a pipe.

One night while asleep I was awakened by the man sitting on the end of my bed. Startled I sat up in bed and looked at him and then through him. It unnerved me so I could not go back to sleep. About thirty minutes later I heard a commotion at the front door. My daughter also heard it and we met in the hallway and went down the back stairs. Sure enough someone was trying to get in through the front door. Our alarm was on and we knew if they breached the door it would sound but we also called the police. I believe that Mr. Snead, the ghost, woke me up to make sure I saw the intruder before he saw me. There were several other times when Mr. Snead had protected us from harm. Once he kept opening the upstairs bedroom window. I would shut it, he would open it. This went on all night. The next morning I realized I smelled natural gas. I called the gas company and sure enough we had a gas leak in a wall heater in the bathroom.

We had many encounters with our fellow housemates. Over the years we lived there we shared our stories with some of our family and a few of our friends who would always pooh-pooh it or come up with some explanation for our sightings. We would just nod and smile knowing what we knew. We had no doubt that we were living in a genuine haunted house.

Then years later life changed as it does and it was time to move on. My mother was house sitting both the house and the moving company while I was out making some final arrangements. I need to tell you that my mother had always been one of the major nay sayers when we spoke of our spectral house-mates. She was there with Killer, the 4 pound man eater, and the two moving men. They were all downstairs in the dining room packing and wrapping up the bazillions of dishes that I had accumulated, when they heard foot steps coming from upstairs. The two moving men looked at one another then at my mother and said “Who is upstairs?” My mother the, bravest of the three, replied that no one was upstairs that she knew of at which point Killer began to growl lowly and slowly. This frightened the moving men enough to cause them to ask my mother to go upstairs and check. My mother with Killer in tow went up the back stairs to the second floor. She opened every door to every room and walked through each one opening closets, checking under beds and behind shower curtains to find it was empty. Then as she was leaving my bedroom the door to the sleeping porch opened and closed, the room got clammy and cold and she could smell the strong distinct smell of tobacco. Killer began wagging his stump of a tail and then the bedroom door to the hallway which was open slammed shut.

My mother beat feet down the stairs and into the dining room where the moving men were standing eyes the size of pie plates and pale as vanilla ice cream. Now these men were not small men, they were what one pictures when the label “moving men” is mentioned. They both were sorely and visibly frightened. Now whether they saw our ghostly room-mate is a question that will never be answered because they left as swiftly as their four feet would carry them out the front door. They had to be coaxed by my mother to come back into the house. They would not speak to her of it and finished packing my things in record time.

I never got to spend another night in the house and am a little saddened by this. I would have liked to explain to my illusory friend when and why we were leaving. I think he was miffed that we had decided to move in such haste. I also would have liked to thank them for watching over us during our time in the house. I hope whoever is living in that house now has made friends with our specters and that they appreciate their watchful eye.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Visitors

Once upon a time there was a lovely deeply insane woman who purchased a big decrepit beautiful old house. She was thrilled that she had finally found somewhere to call home and with just millions of dollars of a few repairs it would be her dream home.

The deeply insane woman was terrified of rodents. Oh I don’t mean those cute little chip monks on the cartoons who are always saying “After you.” “Oh, NO! After you” and not the cute little mouse that gets chased by that mean old cat. I am talking about those nasty stinky dirty rodents known as rats and mice. Never fear, for the deeply insane lady had three very brave and also deeply insane Yorkshire Terriers who were bred to find and chase the rodents out of the castles. The only problem was the trio of demented terriers were kept in a kennel while the deeply disturbed lady was toiling away to pay for the millions of dollars of repairs.

The deranged lady came home from work one day and walked into the crumbling laundry room and saw what she thought were the three maniacal terriers running out of the room. Yet when she looked in the kennel she saw her rabid sweet little puppies trying to gnaw their way out of the kennel waiting patiently to be let out. The demented woman thought to herself “If my three little shit heads sweet puppies are in the kennel then what just ran through the laundry room?” Then it dawned on me her that it was those dirty stinky disease ridden rodents. She quickly opened the door to the kennel to let her berserk sweet little doggies out to get the intruders. Only they were unable to reach them before the wily rodents escaped. This took place several days in a row with the cagey rodents would outsmart the frenzied little terriers.

Then my the lady’s father suggested she get some rat poison and place it high up on the furniture so the sweet little puppies couldn’t get it but the rodents could. This particular poison caused the rodents to become very dehydrated and search out water. The very wise father explained to the woman that they would go outside and find a source of water and there they would die. Not being a cruel person she just wanted the rodents to die a slow and painful death go away, but felt she had no other options. So she put out the poison and went to bed with her three little sweet bed-hog terriers.

This very beautiful money-pit house had a downstairs bathroom that was just off of the study and that is where the old crone of a beautiful lady would slather on apply her make-up. Early the next morning at the crack of noon she and the three rabid sweet puppies went downstairs to complete their morning routine. The puppies did their sniffing and snorting outside and came in to pile up on the couch and sleep watch in awe and wonder as the haggard beautiful woman piled lightly applied her make-up. Just as she went to apply her lip gloss she heard a sound coming from the toilet. She looked past the sink and into the open toilet to see a huge rodent, a rodent the size of a Saint Bernard doing the one arm breast stroke in her toilet. The completely crazed calm woman quickly and quietly slammed shut the toilet lid and ran screaming gracefully walked from the room. I the lady then called the exterminator and shrieked incoherently into the phone asked them to come immediately as soon as they had time.

About five minutes later that day the door bell rang. The lady opened the door to find THE exTERMINATOR at the door. Hand to God he said “Ma’am you called for a hired killer?” To which the lady answered “OHMYGAWDWHATTOOKYOUSOLONG??? THERE IS A MONSTER RAT IN MY TOILET KILL IT! KILL IT NOW. Why, yes kind sir. I have a slight rodent problem and if you check my downstairs toilet you will find the first of many I’m afraid”.
The exTerminator went all through the house up and down even under and set out traps. He put them high and low and said that he would come and check them every morning and every afternoon and remove any “kills”.

Late that night the beautiful woman was asleep in her bed when she heard a horrible rustle and tussle up in the attic. Her sweet vigilant sleeping terriers did nothing but sleep
kept a vigil. The commotion went on for sometime in the attic but the woman knew that the ex Terminator would be back in the morning to take care of whatever had caused the noise.

The next morning while the haggard beautiful woman had her morning coffee the exTerminator returned to collect his kill. He ascended the attic stairs and then there was a stream of expletives and stomping around. He descended the attic with an empty trap and a bunch of glue pads stuck all over himself. He looked at me and said “Lady, I don’t know what is in that attic but it’s a monster! It took the bait and tore itself off the glue traps.” Then with an unnatural gleam in his eye he turned to look at me and said “I’ll be back”. Then in a poof he was gone.

He returned some time later with a larger trap and enough peanut butter to feed a small third world country. He baited the trap and reset the glue boards and assured me that he would get the varmint. Again he was gone. When I the crazed woman returned from work to let her little demented terriers out of their kennel she again saw the giant rabid blood sucking rodents (ok maybe they weren’t blood sucking).

The now the exasperated insane woman was beside herself. She had hired a killer and she still had giant rodents. So she called the head exTerminator and asked him to come look at the problem. When he showed up he looked the money pit house over and said he had just the thing. He brought in a large animal trap with jaws like you think of when someone says bear trap. Then he smiled and patted the insane woman on the shoulder and assured her all would be well. He advised her if she heard a loud commotion to call him immediately day or night and handed her a card with his emergency number on it.

The crazed woman went to bed hoping to sleep without being attacked by giant rodents and/or stray meteors. She woke with a start to a horrible catterwailing and commotion above her head. It was as if a thousand screaming screeching banshees had congregated in her attic space just above her head. She jumped up and grabbed the phone and dialed the exTerminator. He sleepily answered the phone but promised he would be right there.

The exTerminator arrived wearing his black jumpsuit and his combat boots with black smudges under his eyes (I really don’t think he had been sleeping well. Maybe he had banshees in his attic too). He took the stairs to the attic two at a time. From her bedroom the crazy woman could hear what sounded like a full fledge battle. There was banging and clanging and even some screaming, but mostly from the woman. Then she heard the exTerminator coming down the stairs and she ran out to meet him. There he stood with the granddaddy of all rats in the bear trap still squirming and twitching. The exTerminator looked at the crazy lady and said “He put up a real good fight. Would you like to have him stuffed?”