Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Am I Blue, Yes I'm Blue

It is Thursday. I know it is Thursday because it is time for Theme Thursday. I have been a bad theme Thursday participant lately. I have been drive-by posting and not really reading what other people have written. Last week I had an excuse. It wasn’t a doctor’s excuse but it was an excuse because the Linky thingy was down and I didn’t get to click on the links on the Theme Thursday page and get magically transformed into Lettuce land or VE’s nonsensical world. I couldn’t read Willow nor nuthin. This week I promise to do better. This week’s theme is Blue. Well being from West Texas I automatically thought of what all West Texans think of when you say blue. Oh well just read on then go over to Theme Thursday and look at everyone else’s’ colorful take on blue.

The wind whistled through the mesquite trees as Matilda and Gladys the rootin, tootin cowgirls rode their stick horses round the range. They had chased down the cattle rustlers and Matilda was getting ready to hog tie them when she lifted her face to the now darkening sky. “Gladys, we better get in the house it looks like it’s blowing up a good one” she yelled as she grabbed her little sister by the arm. Gladys looked up and saw the big white puffy clouds turning an ominous blue.

Gladys felt the chill sweep right through her thin cotton romper. It had been stifling hot just ten minutes earlier. They had to stop their pursuit of the rustlers twice and take deep drinks from the garden hose next to the tomato plants. She had wanted to run through the sprinklers but Nurse Meme had told the girls not to get their newly teased and sprayed hair wet. “Matilda look at that cloud! It is as blue as your eyes” Gladys mused as she was being drug up the hill towards the safety of the house.
This would be a picture of Matilda.  As I was found under a rock and have
no pictures of me as a child.  It was too dark under that rock.

“Gladys come on! Move it! I don’t like the looks of that cloud. If it starts dumpin rain and we get our hair wet Momma is gonna kill us.” The girls scurried up the hill and ran toward the house and the wind got stronger and colder. It couldn’t have been more than a 50 yard spread from where they had dropped their broomstick horses to the back porch. The temperature had dropped a degree for each yard they had traveled. Gladys whined “I’m cold! Why is it so cold?” Matilda rolled her eyes and strengthened her grip on her little sister.

Finally they made it to the screened porch goose pimples peppering their little bodies like ostrich quills. They made it through the door as the rain let loose. Gladys looked at the temperature gauge on the wall. “Matilda!” Gladys screamed as she pointed at the wall “it says it’s 33 degrees out here. It was 90 degrees not 30 minutes ago at lunch.” Matilda walked over and thumped the mercury filled tube “yep it looks like it’s right” then pulled her quivering little sister into the house. Gladys ran into the kitchen and started yanking tins out of the cabinet and grabbed a pot “want some hot chocolate?” Matilda ran toward the bedroom and yelled “yep. I’ll get us some sweaters.”

Just as Gladys was pouring the chocolate into the big blue mugs Trooper Bob walked in the door.

 “What are you girls up to?” he asked as he unfastened his gun belt.  Gladys chirpped “I’m making some hot chocolate.” Trooper Bob shook his head and said “don’t you know it’s summer time? You should drinking Fizzies.” Gladys stepped off the stool and declared “but it’s cold out there. The themommeter said it was 33 dee-grease.” Trooper Bob smiled “yeah, we had a blue norther blow through. It will be gone in no time.”

Gladys tilted her head to the side “what’s a blue northerner?” Trooper Bob laughed “not northerner but I guess if he got caught in a blue norther then he would be a blue northerner. It’s when cold air comes rushing out of the north. The sky gets grey then the clouds turn blue. That’s what we call a blue norther. Heck we used to have them so bad when I was a youngin that the ponds would all freeze.”

Gladys sat a cup of cocoa in front of her daddy and urged him for more stories. “My Uncle tells the story of the time that he was fishin over on the clear fork of the Brazos river. He said it was a beautiful day. There was a gaggle of Canadian Geese that landed on the river takin a respite from their flight to warmer territory when all of a sudden there came a terrible wind and the temperature dropped 80 degrees in a matter of minutes. It dropped so fast that those geese didn’t have time to take flight.”

Gladys’ eyes went wide “what happened to them geese daddy?” Trooper Bob took a long pause and a deep draw from his cocoa. He wiped his mouth and said “well baby, they all started beatin their wings and they took off in flight still frozen in that water. They flew as hard and fast as they could toward Mexico where they knew it would be warmer. As they flew that water started melting and watered all them farms down there in the valley. That’s why they got so many good crops down there.” Gladys snorted “un-uh. That’s not why. Is that story true?” Trooper Bob took another sip of his drink and looked intently out into the yard and said “how many times have we ever driven over the Brazos River when there was any water in it? See they took all the water in the river with them.” That cinched it. Gladys bought it hook line and sinker. She always looked for water under that bridge and there never was any. That explained it all.

Gladys was older now and much more mature. She and her new boyfriend, Buford, were traveling from the little town where she lived to the big city and the amusement park. They drove and talked and laughed telling each other little tid-bits of information. “See that old building over there? My great granddaddy built all the cabinets in it” Gladys offered. “Really? My great granddaddy dug the well for that building. See that over there? It used to be a coal mine” Buford replied. Then she saw it front of her. “Do you know why there ain’t never no water in the clear fork of the Brazos?” Buford looked at her for just a moment and said “yeah, cause them Canadian geese done flew away with it all.” Gladys shook her head in agreement and said “Dadgum blue northerners!”

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lawrence Of Suburbia Part IV

This is the next installment of Lawrence of Suburbia.  I guess that is stating the obvious since it isn't the last installment.  Once again we peak in on the niave college girl alone in the not so big town.  Now if you are just joining us, too bad, I'm not telling you what is going on.  You have to go back here and read this and then this, then this.    So lets go back to those thrilling days of yesteryear and the adventures of....

Part IV – Life Lessons

Gladys enjoyed her time with Omar. She would meet him for dinner or accompany him on drives through the countryside. He was always a gentleman and never made suggestions that were untoward. He would visit Gladys at her job or they would meet at the Ice House Bar.

She loved working her afternoons at the department store and picked up extra hours by working in the office. Mr. Bean, the store manager, treated her as if she were one of his own children. He would ask if she had eaten, gotten her oil changed and made it to all her classes. He was a jovial and fatherly type who always had a kind word and peppermints in his pocket. “Gladys would you mind terribly running this deposit to the bank?” he asked one afternoon. She was thrilled with this new task and proud that he had that much faith and trust in her. She took the locked bank bag, swung her blue jean purse over her shoulder and walked to her car.

Gladys walked into the First National Bank building and made her way to the teller line marked “commercial”. She felt so grown up and important standing there with her fellow business people. An elderly man with a blue suit and brown cowboy boots stood in front of her. All around her were important people conducting business. They were applying for loans and depositing their day’s earnings and there she was in the middle of it all, feeling just as important. The teller motioned her forward with a smile. “Hi! How are ya today?” the pretty red haired girl asked. Gladys liked this woman working in this big bright beautiful building that had the aroma of money wafting through its rafters. They chatted as the red haired girl named Eunice tallied up the deposit and stamped the slip. Eunice smiled as she handed the bag through the slot “you come back to my window and we’ll chat some more. Ok?” Gladys promised she would and almost skipped back to her car. She loved being independent and grown up. She could make friends and take on new responsibilities and didn’t have to worry about how late she stayed out or wonder what her mother would say.

Gladys was in General Psychology class. Dr. Thornton was droning on and on about narcissistic behavior. His class was in a large auditorium type class room that was once again packed. She looked to her left and saw one of her study partners signaling. Dave, a city policeman, kept mouthing something. Gladys tilted her head to the side and made a questioning gesture. Dave pointed toward the door, then at his watch then back at the door. Finally she figured out he was asking to meet him after class. Gladys figured it was something about the upcoming observation project on which they were partnering. She slapped her forehead then smiled and nodded yes and went back to taking as many notes as possible.

“So, what have you been up to” Dave asked over coffee. Gladys smiled and told him about the guy she had been seeing. He listened intently, but his demeanor changed when she told him that he owned the most popular salon in town. He leaned in toward her and asked “so how close are you to this guy?” Gladys smiled wistfully and said “well, I kind of think of him as a big brother or fairy god-father.” Dave looked her in the eyes with concern and said “well be careful.” She passed it off to the fact that Dave was a cop; he was suspicious and protective by nature. Gladys also had a gleaming of an idea that it had to do with the fact that Omar was 20 years her senior.

“Where is my little one?” Gladys heard him ask as she was packing up the store’s deposit. “Omar! What are you doing here” she asked as she came through the office door. He grabbed her shoulders and kissed each cheek “I came to see if my little one had eaten today.” Gladys blushed and looked to see if her co-workers had witnessed the exchange “nope, don’t have time. I’m on my way to the bank.” Omar looked at the bag and then up at Gladys “what bank?” Gladys held the bank bag up and said “First National! I met the nicest teller there. Hey why don’t you go with me?” Omar’s eyes narrowed and he coughed “oh, no your boss would not like that. I must get back to the shop. I will see you later.” He turned and left without another word. Gladys stood looking out the front window as he drove off.

She did not see Omar for several weeks after this exchange. She wanted to call him and ask if she had done something wrong, if she had angered him. She wanted to call him and tell him she missed their walks and talks. She wanted to speak to him but she was brought up not to call boys or in this case men. She was taught that they were to call you. The truth was she couldn’t call him, because she didn’t have his phone number. She didn’t have a clue where he lived and the girls at the salon always said he was out when she just happened to be in the neighborhood. She was crushed, heartbroken, forlorn and in emotional angst.

She stood in line at the bank waiting for Eunice to finish with the man with the turned up cowboy boots. She stood there trying to sort out what had happened, what she might have said or done. “Gladys get on over here! Where is your mind” Eunice asked. Gladys looked up to see that she was the next and only person in line. She realized she had tears running down her face when she got to the window. “Hun, you okay? You need a tissue or something” Eunice looked through the bars reaching through the tray to pat Gladys on the hand. “I’m fine. Just trying to figure out something that’s all” she replied. The woman behind the window quipped “Sugar, it’s a man isn’t it? I can tell. I get off here in an hour, what time do you get off?” Gladys wiped her eyes, blew her nose and squeaked out “I just have to drop off this bag at the store then I’m off.” Eunice zipped up the bag wrote an address on a piece of paper and slid it through the window “hun, this is my address. You come on over to my house. I’ll make up some margaritas and you can tell me all about it. Now go powder your nose, fluff up your hair and put on some lipstick. You’ll be better in no time.”

Gladys took the paper and smiled at her friend “Okay. I’ll stop and get a bucket of chicken and some ice cream too.” She left the bank feeling a little better. Maybe Eunice could tell her what she had done wrong.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Triangle of Love

It is here! The day of the week that comes way too soon. Theme Thursday is upon us. Every week I wonder where time has gone. How come when I was in third grade it seemed to take forever for lunch time to arrive yet these days it seems as if I just had breakfast and it’s already bedtime? This week’s theme is triangle. I have to tell you that I am probably one of the most musically untalented people you will ever meet. When I was in elementary school music class they took every musical instrument away from me because of my lack of talent, including the triangle. Yes I could not even get banging a metal rod on another bent metal rod right. That didn’t stop me though, I eventually was given a pair of castanets and stuck in the back of the room to try and keep time with the rest of the semi and truly talented kids. I digress. This weeks theme being triangle made my mind go in many directions and then it hit me. I knew just where to place my coordinates. I knew I must talk about the love triangle in my past.

She looked at him lovingly and longingly. The tension in the air was palpable. He knew Bonnie was taken. Her lover, Butch, sat next to her but she longed for him, Clyde. His shiny black hair and big brown eyes made her lick her lips as she watched him move across the floor.

He took a drink and looked at her again this time not guarding his stare. He admired her golden blond hair hanging long and silky over her petite frame. He could smell her sweet perfume which drove him crazy. He wanted her so bad he was shaking. His heart raced and his mind became muddled. He had to do it. He had to challenge Butch for the woman he loved.

Butch felt the tension. He saw the way Clyde lusted after his woman. The stares between the two did not go unnoticed. He was determined to protect his position. He would not let this inferior male come between him and his beloved Bonnie. He would fight to the death if he must but he would not give her up. He positioned himself between Bonnie and Clyde. He made a deep guttural sound alerting them that he was in control and not to be trifled with.

Clyde had enough. His adrenaline was flowing like a river overflowing its banks. He could restrain himself no more and he made his attack. It was brutal and bloody. He went right for Butch’s vulnerable side. He grabbed hold of the bigger stronger male’s neck and would not let go.

Bonnie screamed and ran in search of safety. She sat cowering watching the brutal display by these two men who allured her so. She could not take her eyes from the scene which played out in front of her. She knew they would not stop until one was disabled or dead. She sat frozen feeling helpless yet a little enthralled.

Clyde threw Butch on the ground and was going for the kill just as Gladys walked in the room and caught them. She grabbed the little black Yorkie-poo, Clyde, off of Butch, the Yorkshire Terrier, and scolded them both as she stuffed them in their kennels. She lifted the skirt from the couch and pulled the shaking Bonnie, the tea cup Yorkie, into her arms. She kissed the little dog on her head and asked “aren’t you ashamed of yourself for becoming involved in this ugly love triangle?” Bonnie blinked her big brown eyes, sniffed and stared longingly at both of her men. “Come on little girl. Time to go get you fixed” Gladys declared as she carried the little dog to the car for her ride to the vet.

That is how this guy got the name KILLER.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just The Facts for the Week Ending 6-22-2010

It has been a while since I’ve done the local police report so I thought I would share it with you.

There are a million stories in the city.


"The story you are about to hear is true; only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.")

The Flathead Beacon:

Police Blotter for the week ending 6-22-2010

A sampling of crime briefs from the Kalispell Police and Flathead County Sheriff’s reports…by Erin Cole (comments by Gladys)  Good job Erin!

Wednesday, 6/9/2010
6:40 a.m. Sometime during the night, a thief made off with some booty after a homeowner on Treasure Island Way in Kalispell noticed a purse and some other belongings were missing.
What did they expect? Living on Treasure Island and all.  I think I saw this guy making off with the booty.
Hey he can make off with my booty any time.
12:56 p.m. After missing several business appointments in the area, a Colorado man was reported missing. He was eventually located in a jail cell, where he landed after too much drinking and fishing resulted in a DUI.
Okay I understand how too much drinking can land you in jail; but too much fishing??
4:11 p.m. A person on North Foys Lake Road called and said he had heard “bullets zinging past” his head. The report turned out to be unfounded.
This came from
Those weren’t bullets they were mosquitoes the size of 747’s.

Thursday 6/10/2010

7:40 a.m. A Columbia Falls woman reported that her neighbor hurled a dead chicken at her pigs.
A dead chicken? Maybe it was a life chicken until it hit Porky right between the eyes. Are you sure it wasn’t some sort of barn yard hazing ritual?  Or maybe she was part of some strange South American cult.

10:44 a.m. The Trade Commission called a Bigfork woman and told her that her husband had won $750,000 but needed to pay a $2,100 insurance fee for the check’s safe delivery. The woman wisely saw through the scam and contacted authorities.
Before or after she sent them the $2100?

4:45 p.m. A forensic anthropologist determined that bones found on Conrad Drive in Kalispell were those of an animal and not of a human.
What was the first clue? The fact it had four legs and paws or that it had an elongated head and claws?
go look at other oddities at

11:38 p.m. During a cell phone conversation with his daughter, a parent overheard her and her boyfriend moving furniture out of the family’s Whitefish home. As the parent had not asked for any furniture to be moved, he contacted the authorities.
Man I want a bionic ear too.   You know the one they advertise on T.V. where the nosey old neighbor listens in to everything the two friends say about her? 

yeah the one you didn't need to hear Billy Mayes and not the one being advertised by Lee Majors.  LEE MAJORS PEOPLE!  The Bionic Man, who could outrun a train and jump over really high things and hear a crime being commited 6 miles away is now advertising hearing aides.  OH MY GAWD I AM OLD!!

1:52 a.m. A couple camping at Glacier Campground awoke to discover a bear prowling near their tent. The couple decided to spend the night in their vehicle, armed with bear spray and guns.

Now see I would have spent the night in my car too. Two states away.  Remind me to tell you about me and the bear sometime.

5:44 p.m. In Columbia Falls, someone used an axe to destroy another person’s lawn mower.
See Harold! I told you not to mow the grass at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

6:38 p.m. Two medium-sized bears, one black, the other sporting cinnamon-colored fur, were spotted on Many Lakes Drive. The bears allegedly display an overly-friendly disposition to people.

Was it Yogi and Booboo?
9:17 p.m. In Kalispell, a man was “running around outside and acting crazy” and looking under his trailer and boat for law enforcement officials. Suspecting an overdose, authorities had the man transferred to the hospital.
Maybe he was running from the bears.

Friday 6/11/2010
4:12 p.m. A dead skunk was left in a mailbox on White Birch Lane in Kalispell.
Geeze does the madness never end? A couple of months ago someone left a beaver in a mailbox. This redneck mafia is way out of hand.  "Hey Bubba, I want chew to make dis guy an offer he can't refuse..."

8:26 p.m. Suspicious circumstances, of an unknown nature, were reported happening behind the Rainbow Bar. An investigation is ongoing.
Maybe it was just a bunch of drunk leprachans hiding their pots of gold.

Monday 6/14/2010

2:15 p.m. An intoxicated adult male passed out in a Kalispell gas station bathroom. When authorities found him, he was clutching a beer.
Hum I wonder why he passed out?  Did someone draw a mustach on him too?

12:49 a.m. A car, with its lights turned off, repeatedly drove up and down Sleepy Hollow Road. Deputies cannot confirm if Ichabod Crane was in the neighborhood at the time.

Thanks Erin, I don’t have to say a word on this one.

Tuesday 6/15/2010

3:19 p.m. When a Whitefish woman woke up from an afternoon siesta, she discovered her vehicle missing. Authorities discovered it parked four streets away.

Was she clutching a beer in her hand?
10:56 p.m. A family disturbance was reported on Peaceful Drive in Bigfork.
Guess it wasn't very peaceful was it?

Wednesday 6/16/2010

11:41 a.m. Kalispell’s own sporadic nudist made an appearance at a local park. Deputies failed to locate him.
He would be the naked guy on the merry-go-round clutching his beer.

8:40 p.m. Unsurprisingly, loud music was heard on College Avenue.
6:07 a.m. When asked by a Martin City resident why they were driving around at such an early hour, two males replied that they were siphoning gas.
Well at least they are honest thieves.
Monday 6/21/2010
1:39 a.m. An intoxicated woman took refuge behind a Columbia Falls bar as she was “afraid of the bears.” Deputies assisted her home.

Why were they trying to hide her car and take her beer?

Joe Friday quote for the week:
Friday: "All right, tunnel-mouth, let's all save time! Last April a police officer was shot. We think you and this shotgun did it."

No go on and be careful out there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's A SALE!

I guess this weekend was yard sale weekend. I won’t call it a garage sale because well to be honest my garage was not for sale. Come to think of it neither was the yard. Let’s discuss this whole concept of yard/garage or if you are in the middle rummage sales.

First of all I have junk I don’t want. I spent six weeks talking about how I needed to have a garage sale, oh come on let’s just call it what it really is, a junk sale. Okay, so I’ve talked this event up for six weeks. I even recruited the girl’s to the task. We settled on a date. We talked strategies. We discussed attack and defense tactics. We exhausted ourselves fretting over what items we no longer desire to keep and those which are irreplaceable and priceless.

Thanks to for this picture because I totally forgot to take pictures.

The location had been located. The date drew nigh. Our anticipation was high. The ads had been placed. Craig’s list had been notified. It was the 7th hour and I looked around only to realize I had done nothing to prepare the merchandise for the sale. Now if you are a fan of Clean House and follow Neecie Nash then you know that presentation of your junk is what it is all about. It may be junk to you but to someone else it might just be treasure.

Let me take an aside and tell you about one of Trooper Bob’s cohorts. This man, we will call him Fred Sanford, loves rummage sales. He in fact does nothing but visits them and buys merchandise. If you are in need of a henway, Fred has one. The problem is he doesn’t just have one he has 500 of them. He stores them in an old house and has only a small donkey path to weave your way through his millions of purchases to find the toilet and you can only hope you find the one that is actually working and not one he purchased at a yard sale. Who do you think purchases used toilets at yard sales? I digress. When you ask Fred why he buys all that stuff he only answers “I might need it some day.” Really? You might need 700 headless Barbies or 250 naked Cabbage Patch dolls? Yes I’m sure those 4000 golf clubs might come in handy with which to hit those 40,000 golf balls. To Fred everyone’s junk is his treasure. I don’t understand this at all.
Look Bob there is that left handed wrench you needed right there next to the henways.

It was 8 p.m. on Friday; the sale was to start at 8 a.m. Saturday. I had twelve hours to sort through 5000 pieces of clothing. Iron and fold and price every thing that had been stored in bins since we cleaned out our house. Panicked I sent Kahuna after signs to post with arrows point toward re-sale haven. The girls had to work, they patted my head lovingly and said “we would LOVE to help but we must go work.” I nodded knowingly that had I a job I would have begged to be scheduled both Friday and Saturday. Yet I trudged on. Kahuna set up tables, he made dinner, he watched as I sorted, ironed, priced and arranged. It was ready for presentation. Exhausted I fell into bed. I slept a fitful and restless sleep. I wondered if I should really get rid of the red and white skirt I hadn’t worn since I was in high school well over 30 years ago. I fretted over the glass pitcher that had sat in the cupboard for 5 years whose origin I knew not. I tossed and turned afraid that there would be no buyers and I would have to keep all of the aforementioned items.

The alarm chimed at 6 a.m. I sprang from my bed and readied myself for the day. I opened the blinds and peered out into the fog. There waiting in front of our humble abode sat a line of cars. Wait! People are camping out to buy my junk? Really? They got there two hours early to buy a broken night stand or were they there to purchase the broken pineapple clock?

I procured a cup of coffee and uncovered my wares. They crowded in and overwhelmed me all at once. The girls quickly came to my aid and I heard “If it’s marked a dollar then it’s a dollar” and can I have this gold rolex for 50 cents? Wait there was a gold Rolex? Where did that come from? I made change and rearranged items to make it look like there was more where there wasn’t. That is when I realized that I have a totally warped perspective. If my junk is so exciting that people will line up before 6 a.m. just to look at it why am I not charging them just for the honor of being near me? That is when I looked up the street and saw 6 other yard sells in progress only to realize that my junk wasn’t that special but at least it is now someone else’s junk.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Say Cheese!

Here it is Thursday and you know what that means? It is time for Theme Thursday. Sometimes it sneaks up on you or sometimes it just hits you between the eyes, BOOM, it’s Thursday. There used to be a little bar and grill that I frequented named Fat Boy Roy’s that would host Thirsty Thursday but that usually involved a whole lot of liquor before the stories began. Here at Theme Thursday there isn’t much liquor but there are plenty of stories. This week’s theme is camera. Yes, as in, smile your on candid camera; or look into the camera and say cheese.

We had all kinds of different cameras when I was growing up. We had the Polaroid Land Camera and the Kodak Instamatic.

My first camera though was a Brownie.

It was a box that you looked through a glass in the top. There was no zoom, there was no focus and there was no digital picture. You looked through the glass and then told your subject to move forward or backward or sideways in order to crop them into the frame. Yes it was terribly low-tech but I still struggled with it. My story actually begins not with my faithful Brownie but with a high-tech Pentax 35mm camera. Read my snapshot of memory of my camera and then go visit all the other talented writers at Theme Thursday.

Gladys was so excited. Her husband, Eb, had obtained a brand new 35 millimeter Pentax camera. She had taken pictures with her faithful old Brownie but wanted to learn to take more artistic pictures. She wanted to be able to focus and bokah and double expose. She squirmed in her seat as they cruised through the countryside. She would shout out “EB! Stop here! Look at that barn!” Eb would continue down the road as if Gladys had not spoke. She would see an interesting looking tree “EB! STOP! I want to take a picture of the tree!” Eb would look at her dubiously and continue in his trek. Gladys was getting antsy and wanted to snap pictures. She wanted to create and craft stories from these wonderful scenes she had witnessed. “Gladys, don’t get your drawers in a wad. That there camera is not a toy. It is a serious piece of equipment and you can’t just be snappin pictures of barns and branches. You got to find a serious subject and then compose your frame. You have to be patient and wait for just the right light” Eb turned on his blinker and exited onto a dirt road.

Gladys’ fingers tingled, her breath came quick as she held tight to the camera case. “Are we stopping here” she asked as they pulled in next to the water. “Are we going to take pictures of water? Can I take the first ones? Where is the film? I want to load the camera.” Eb pried the camera case from Glady’s clinch and got out of the car “come on, I’m gonna show you how this thing works.” Gladys looked at Eb in awe. How did he know so much about picture taking and camera loading? She knew it had something to do with his top secret job he had in the military. He had been in Vietnam and was in something he called re-con. Now Gladys always wondered if that meant he was an ex-convict and the military made him do more bad stuff and that made him a re-con. It would explain all the secrecy behind his job. He seemed to be a good guy now or at least he was most of the time, when he wasn’t yelling at her for burning the cookies or pushing her face in hot spaghetti because she spilled it.

“GIT OVER HERE” Eb yelled as Gladys maneuvered her big pregnant belly from the little car. She waddled over to the dock where Eb stood waiting. “You put the film in here” he said as he fed the black shiny ribbon onto a spool in the back of the camera “then you insert it into this slot.” He continued to instruct but Gladys’ mind was elsewhere. She was taking in the area and composing shots in her mind. “You’re not listening to me. You know what happens when you don’t listen to me. You have accidents” Eb said as he jerked Gladys back to his instructions. “I was just looking around wondering what to take pictures of” she explained feeling a little sick and scared. “Well, you have to learn how to load the camera first. Then you need to understand what a f-stop is and your film speed” once again Eb went on explaining talking a language that might as well have been Swahili. Gladys continued to stare at the camera and nod her head as if she understood.

“Okay, now you stand here and I’ll go over there on the dock and take a picture of you. That way I can make sure it’s loaded right and then you can take a shot or two” and with that Eb strolled out over the ice cold lake the heels of his cowboy boots beating a rhythm. Gladys stood next to the little Oldsmobile and waited. The West Texas wind was blowing out of the north making the November day seem colder than it should have been. Her hand was resting on her belly as she looked out over the glistening water. She saw black and whites of this exact scene framed in black frames with white mats hanging in her living room. She would point to them when asked and say “I took them. I was out at the lake and it was as pretty as a picture, so I took one.” People would oooh and awe and want her to make pictures for them. They would insist that the local gallery give her show. She would be a star.

“HEY! I AM TALKING TO YOU!” Gladys jumped out of her daydream and looked just as Eb stepped toward the end of the pier. Gladys started to yell “EB!” Eb’s face drew in and he yelled “SHUT UP! I didn’t tell you to talk. Just listen to me. I want you to…” It was too late he had taken one too many steps. “you are going to fall off” Gladys whispered as she watched Eb, camera and all sink into the muddy water.

That was the end of Gladys’ one and only photography lesson and the last time Eb and Gladys owned a camera.
You see I didn't let that stop me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I've Gone To Pot

I haven’t been writing regularly and you know what that makes me? Irregular. I wonder if they make Metamucil for your brain. I feel backed-up. I feel a little woozy and wonky. I’m irritable and my breath may even stink. These are all the signs that I may need some mental milk of magnesia. I sit down to write, not just my blog, but anything and my head hurts, my eyes itch, my legs shake and I begin to get hives.

What has happened? Where did the river of rich ramblings go? Where they dammed up somewhere between my left brain and my right brain? Will it burst and there I’ll be standing in line at the big box store ready to pay for my 47000 pack of toilet paper and my 55 gallon drum of mustard pouring forth a profusion of dribble? Unsuspecting patrons will try desperately to get away from me but I will accost them with stories from my childhood or remembrances of long lost loves?

Sometimes it is just a matter of life getting in the way. You know like the garden needs weeding or the laundry folded. Sometimes it is a major meltdown which causes one to experience a blip in life. Sometimes it is that your brain takes a detour.

I recently saw the movie “Up”.

I love that movie with a passion. Yes I know it’s a kid’s movie. It is animated. I don’t care. I loved that the dogs could talk. I totally identified when all the dogs are standing there ready to attack and all of a sudden one of them yells “squirrel!” They all completely forget what they were doing and become obsessed with the squirrel. That is me. I do this all the time. One minute I’m diligently working on a project like spray painting some pots when I look down and see my toes. I think, I wonder what my toe nails would look like in bronze Krylon. The next thing you know I’m trying to invent spray paint for your toenails. ADD much?

I swear I haven’t always been like this. I mean I used to get up and go to work every morning at 6 a.m. I was like the army. I got more done before 7 a.m. than most people got done all day. Now I float from one task to another trying not to become too distracted. I will start one task only to be drawn to something completely unrelated. Oh don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining oh no! I am making excuses.

Yep, I am telling you my dog ate my homework. My brain swelled and I forgot to come to work. That is why I’ve been absent, because I have become absent minded. Well that and life has gotten in the way. This is the season of graduations, summer vacations, yard work and life. I will take a big old dose of castor oil, which leads me to ask what is a castor and why is it oily. There I go again, digressing. I will unblock my brain and be more diligent in my thoughts or at least in writing them down however coherent they may or may not be.

Now here are some reasons why I have been sidetracked

I've gone to pot.

Went to see the Gipper

Followed Matilda through the Oval Office

Only my family can go to the Reagan Library and be fascinated with vines

and hedges...

Hey LOOK Jelly Beans.  Um just a note here...they are to look at and you will be wrestled to the ground by federal marshalls. They will chase you as you try to pick out all the black ones and stuff them in your mouth as you run through the oval office and past Air Force One.  They really don't like it when you make them chase you across the south lawn and right over the Ronald Reagan Memorial.  I think it is considered bad decorum or something, not that I would do that.

Hey Ronnie!  Get UP!  I'm here to visit you and um, do you mind if I have a few jelly beans?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lawrence of Suburbia - Part III The Set Up

I started printing this story a couple of weeks ago.  This is the third installment.  The first can be found here and the second here.   Like I said before this is like an old time serial you would see at the movies.  I hope it leaves you wondering "what is going to happen next?"  Will King of the Texas Rangers save the beautiful girl?  Will Shera rescue the safari from the tiger?  Will Tarzan swing from the trees and loose his loin cloth?  Come back next week and you might find out.
Part III- The Set-UP

Months went on and Omar and Gladys became fast friends. He would take her shopping or to the movies. He would call her and ask if she would like to go with him to run his dog. Gladys would happily accept. She loved the big goofy Irish Setter Omar loaded into his Range Rover and brought with him when he picked up Gladys. They would venture out on cool autumn Sunday mornings with a wicker basket and a wool blanket to spread while Hawkeye, the dog, would run and chase birds and splash in the waters of the river.  Hawkeye smelled special.  Gladys believed he must have been bathed every day in Omar's special strawberry and shampoo.  What Gladys would give to have hair just like Hawkeye.

Omar would regal Gladys with stories of how he came to be so successful in his salon. “Little one, it is all about letting the hair be itself. You should never force it to do what it does not do naturally. You cut, you coax a bit and then you are done. Hair is much like the woman, it wants to be made love to not force into complying. Otherwise you end up with what did you call it? The tidy bowl hair.” Gladys enjoyed her Sunday mornings with Omar and Hawkeye. She enjoyed the exotic cheeses and the Champagne he poured into the real crystal champagne flutes he had packed into the basket. Gladys felt as exotic and special as the kumquats that were wrapped individually in tissue paper.

Omar was ever the gentleman always keeping his space but always being just close enough. He always spoke in a semi-whisper in order to force you to really listen to what he was saying. He always praised and spoke lovingly to Gladys. He never failed to tell her how beautiful she was or how she looked lovely in that shade of green. He would open her car door and always gave her a hand to help her up or down. He was in Gladys’ mind a perfect gentleman.

One Sunday as they were sipping champagne and eating chocolate dipped strawberries Omar leaned close and whispered in her ear “Little One, I have a favor to ask of you.” Gladys blushed thinking this was it. He wanted to teach her the ways of love. She wasn’t ready. She knew nothing of being physical with a man. Oh she had her share of make-out sessions but to be truly intimate with another human being scared the living daylights out of her. The hair on the back of her neck stood up, her breath came fast and she blushed deeply “um, I, um…” Omar looked into her eyes and then smiled and let out a deep belly laugh “oh, no! No, no, no you are much too young for that Little One. No that is not what I am requesting. No that would be much too big a favor.” Gladys sighed in relief and tried to take a deep breath to clear away her flush “what is it?” Omar traced a finger up her arm causing her once again to blush and her heart to skip a beat “you are going home to your parents next weekend?” Gladys nodded her head and he continued “would you deliver a package to a colleague of mine while you are there?” Gladys a little disappointed tilted her head to one side “a package to a friend?” Omar smiled “yes, to Filipe. Do you know of him? He has a salon there and would like to try some of my special shampoo.”

Gladys was relieved it was not another woman nor was it anything bad just shampoo to the most popular stylist in her home town. The salon where she always wanted to have her done but could never afford. Now she was in the inner circle. Felipe would know her she would know him and know that she and Omar were friends. “Of course I’ll do it for you. So do you want me to swing by the salon on my way out of town and pick it up?” Omar patted her on the hand and whispered “no, I don’t want to share my few moments with you. I will meet you here and give it to you before you leave. Let’s say three o’clock in the afternoon on Friday?” Gladys would have met him at three o’clock in the morning if he had asked her. She wanted so badly to please him. She wanted him to approve of her and more. She wanted him to love her like she was falling in love with him.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gladys has Pitchman Random Thoughts

It is Friday again and time for Mrs. 4444 to present her Friday Fragments. Go on go over read her fragments, link yours and have a big old fragmented party. Then go on over to Ann Again and Again for your weekly Virtual Girls Night Out. Ann is having body image issues. a drink, even if it’s just water, read some stories and partake in her game. Also link your Friday to her Friday.


Why do designers keep insisting women need to wear jumpsuits? Honestly NO ONE looks good in a jumpsuit. Especially not her:

Also and too why is it when you think you have enough time to do something the clock seems to spin out of control and what was an hour in actuality was only 60 seconds?


Have you ever noticed that people who wear spandex in public are people who should not wear spandex anywhere?


Lately it seems like my funny bone is broken. I wonder what kind of a doctor do you go to for a broken funny bone?
Dr. Milton Bradley?


Have you ever ventured over to the AS SEEN ON TV website? They have volumes of those products that the late great Billy Mays yelled at you about. I’m telling you it is a virtual vault of useless stuff. Like really do I need a talking toilet paper roller? No really don’t I need one?


Finally but not lastly it is also Happy Hour Friday over at the RX Bambi. She hosts Happy Hour Friday so go on over and tell us what makes you happy.  Here are some things that make me happy.
Being seranaded while

drinking a really good German Beer

with this guy and

watching some guy get his butt spanked for drinking shots.

Be the love you wish to see in the world.

Now go on and be good to one another and remember thoughts become things, think good ones.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

White Ribbons of Remembrance

It is Thursday which of course means it is Theme Thursday. I know it is Thursday because every Friday I refill my old lady grandma pill holder and I only have one day left of pills. You know that thing that has the days of the week on it and you put the 45,000 pills you have to take every morning in it so you can keep up with what day it is. Really that is why I take all those pills, not because I’m sick or don’t absorb calcium but because if I didn’t I wouldn’t know what day of the week it was.

Oh and let me tell you something else the last time I went to see Dr. Wonderful I got a whole new passel of medications that I have to take at night. So now not only do I have one of those pill dispensers for my morning ritual I now have one for nighttime. I sit in bed watching the 10 o’clock news squinting at my dispensary trying to figure out if it says a.m. or p.m. on it. I digress.

This week’s theme is White. White is a difficult thing to write about because really what is it? It is the absence of color. I am a colorful person. I love color but mother loved white. It represented cleanliness and health. Oh you could find her in a chartreuse jacket or magenta pants but it was always paired with white. She wore white every day to work and every day in her off duty life. Read Nurse Meme’s interaction with white and then go on over to Theme Thursday and read what my cohorts have written. Now I’m off to refill my pill dispenser with little white pills. “One pill makes you Barney, the other makes you Fred…go ask Wilma, what Dino said…..”

The box sat on the table along with some hand picked dandelions in an old jelly jar. It was her birthday. Nurse Meme didn’t celebrate birthdays as a child. She had no one with whom to celebrate. It was different now that she had a family. She had a husband and three little kids who were excited to celebrate her birthday. She knew money was tight. She knew that both she and Trooper Bob were picking up extra shifts just to make ends meet. Yet here sat a box wrapped in last Sunday’s funny papers. She didn’t quite know what to say.

Meme had just gotten off of a double shift at the local hospital. It was her third double that week and her feet were aching, her back was paining and her brain was mush. She was exhausted and didn’t want to think about the hospital, sick people or ironing uniforms. She just wanted one day to relax and maybe if she was lucky, sleep. She looked at the eager faces of her children and knew that today would not be that day.

They had made her cinnamon toast and oatmeal, Gladys’ specialty. Matilda had poured a cup of coffee and added just the right amount of cream. Buck drew the picture for the hand made card and had risked an asthma attack arranging the bright yellow weeds in the jar. It was a birthday breakfast fit for a queen. Nurse Meme sat at the table and nibbled on burned toast and clumpy oatmeal. “What have you kids done? This looks really interesting” she said between bites. The three children gleamed with pride as they urged her to read her card.

Nurse Meme opened the envelope and took out the folded construction paper. She read the misspelled words and the picture of the hand drawn dinosaur. “Oh this is wonderful she cried.” Trooper Bob sat across the table sipping his coffee and watching the goings on “Go on open your present” he urged. She pulled the box closer to her and began carefully pulling the tape off Dagwood and Beatle Bailey. She slowly and precisely folded each piece of paper and put it to the side while her kids wiggled and squirmed wanting to shred the paper to get to the box. “What did we get you Momma” they cried.

She lifted the lid from the box and pushed back a wad of tissue paper. She looked in the box and a tear came to her eye. She sighed heavily and announced in a defeated voice “oh look! You guys got me a new white uniform for work! Thank YOU!” Then she hugged each of her children and sat the box to the side. Trooper Bob proudly got up and retrieved another box, wrapped in shiny white paper with a big white bow and announced “that’s not all. We got you this too.” Nurse Meme’s eyes lit up as she took the box from her husband. “Oh you shouldn’t have” she cried as she again painstakingly tore each piece of tape from the waxy paper and folded, ribbon, paper and tape in a neat little pile. She once again lifted the lid from the container and looked inside. “Oh, gee, YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T HAVE” she exclaimed as she lifted a brand new Proctor Silex steam iron from the box.

Once again she gave hugs and kisses all around. She stood up and carefully placed her new possessions in their rightful places and slowly drug her exhausted and disappointed body to bed.

Years passed and birthdays came and went. Nurse Meme was ailing and in the final days of her life. She was lying under the cool white sheets in a sparkling clean white room with tubes and wires protruding from all parts of her body. She had a white turban wrapped around her hairless head and was fighting to pull enough oxygen into her body to get through another minute. Gladys sat on her bed chattering away. “Momma, remember when I was 13 and it was my birthday? It was on Friday the 13th? Remember how upset I was? Remember how I thought it was going to be a horrible awful day and you kept telling me to get over myself? Then I came home from school and you had bought me that really cool 10 speed bike that I wanted? Yeah that was one of my best birthdays ever.” Nurse Meme smiled and then whispered “remember the year you guys gave me a new uniform and an iron?” Gladys thought back and was a little ashamed. Her mother had always made sure she had great presents. “Yes, and Momma I’m sorry about that.” Nurse Meme drew in as much breath as possible and said “I’m not. That was one of the greatest birthdays I had. We were all together. We were all healthy and we were happy. What I remember most was how beautiful that iron was wrapped in that shiny white paper.”

Nurse Meme once again reminded Gladys it’s not about the material gift but about the heart and soul behind it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Am Hutterite - Not me it's A Book Review

I'm not Hutterite, not that there is anything wrong with that, but that is the name of the book. Now I don't think I could live as a Hutterite what with the loose dresses and polka-dotted kerchiefs. Although after reading this book it makes me want to join them at the essenstuben to eat some schenken and schmond wacken while wearing my fittig and holding my korb.

Having lived around the Hutterite colonies in Montana I had no idea what comprised their doctrine or history. Mary-Ann Kirkby did a wonderful job of taking me into the Hutterite world seen through her eyes as a child. Her book I Am Hutterite, was sent to me by Thomas Nelson Press to review.

She gives enough history and background into the community and beliefs that as her own story progresses you can actually place yourself in her shoes. She pulls the reader into the anguish of being torn from the only life she had known and then thrust into the world of the English. You see first hand that the utopian concept isn’t that at all but the same politics and egocentric struggles as all communities.

Even though her family left the community when she was a child she still struggles with the comfort and familiarity of commune life. She writes in such a way that you can empathize with her longing for the comfort of the routine and the need to fit into the outside world.

I have to be honest here; I had a tough time getting through this book. It did not take hold of me and spit me out at the last page. No, instead it was much like a thorn which would pain me when I saw the book lying on the table. I would feel the need to pick it up and read another chapter.

I don’t know that I would recommend this as beach or pool-side reading but if you are looking for some insight into the Hutterite communities this is an excellent choice.

I had the opportunity to not only visit a community but to also interact with the Hutterites in Montana. They were friendly, inquisitive and raise some damn fine chickens and turkeys.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”