More life in the 50s and beyond

Okay, so you know I have been around a while, and I would like to think that I amassed a little wisdom. The truth would probably prove that I still make more mistakes than brilliant decisions.  If you have more “Ah, Ha!” moments than Oh S#$% moments, I applaud you, and if you are plodding along in my wake, I am sorry!

Where were we on our last adventure in looking back or revisionist history on a small scale? Remember we moved from city living to country living! It was wonderful having my own place to run and hide and scream.  I told you we bought the farm, well not like that!  A 15-acre field that included a 100-year-old house. The house was connected to the barn by a two-story structure. The chicken house was not connected to anything but was close to the barn.  By the way, hidden on the top floor of the connecting structure was a trove of old magazines.  I had a “Poor Richard’s Almanac” authenticated; it was a copy but fairly valuable. The house burned and was replaced with a Mobil Home later after we children were grown up and gone.  We found a Surry with a Fringe on top in the barn,” unfortunately,  we did not own a horse.  All this wonderment was situated between three lakes or ponds, depending on your definition. They were just waiting for us to explore the woods; fish in summer and the winter. 

It wasn’t all work and no play!  When the haying, weeding, and harvesting were done, we had massive cook-outs in the summer.  Roasting corn on the corn in the fire, huge bowls of potato salad, big patties of home-grown beef on homemade buns.  We worked hard, but we ate well.

Our Little House on the Prairie was located 8 miles from Dexter, our former hometown, and 8 miles from our new hometown, Corinna. It was a one-mile trek to the main road where we caught the bus, taking us to Corinna Center to our own charming little two-room schoolhouse.  Each large room housing four classes. On my side were grades 5 through 8.  It is a wonder that we survived getting to school.  We walked down a hill to the flat area and up another hill to the main road. A couple of feet of water flooded the road every spring; we ferried across in a small rowboat or crossed the frozen lake. There were times when the ice had started to melt and did not reach the shores; we would put a plank across to the ice, walk across; carry the plank across to the other side, and use it for the return trip.  If Mom knew this, she would not be pleased with our resourcefulness!  Come to think of it, she did find out and put a stop to the plank business!

I am in the second row, 5th from the front.

I used to stop at the house at the end of the road for a cup of hot chocolate on cold days, and on hot days the lady had lemonade for me.  She loaned me books from her library, and we discussed them.  She was a former school teacher.  Books were my friend, most of the time, my only friends.

I didn’t have many friends coming to visit because of the distance between farms.  My Friend Frannie visited once in her Father’s Jeep.  We decided to target practice with an automatic 22 rifle I had borrowed from a neighbor.  My Dad had set up a target for us.  After proving that we were both sharp-shooters, Frannie had a miss-fire, so she jacked the shell out.  I took the rifle for my turn.  When I fired the gun, it exploded!  It looked just like in the movies; evidently, the slug went partway down the barrel and stuck until hit by the other slug. I was instantly deaf; fortunately, it wasn’t permanent! We were grateful that we didn’t get into trouble; it was deemed an accident. The story doesn’t end well because, on the way home, Frannie burned the emergency brake out of her Dad’s Jeep.  My Dad replaced the barrel of the gun and never said anything to me.  He did tell me that the person that replaced the barrel said that I was very lucky because it could have blown my head off! 

Across a neighbor’s field, through the woods to our favorite “Swimmin’ hole,” was our regular Saturday thing, and every night after a day of haying.  Many people do not know this, but most lakes in Maine have a delightful thing called Blood Suckers!  Just thinking of them gives me the shivers. My Dad spread bags of Rock Salt along the shore of the lake, discouraging them.  It worked most of the time! If one attached itself to you, it was hard to pull them off.

I have swum the width of that lake once.  My brothers used the boat as a safety net to swim across.  I watched them and figured I could do that too!  I started across as they got to the shore.  They told Mom what I was doing.  She sent them after me telling them to make me swim back. 

Had enough?  I have got more, but it will have to wait for the next installment.

Life in the 40s and a lot further

Last time we talked about Rex and his care for us kids and that the merchants he visited sent him home with bone. One day Rex crawled home after he was hit by a car.  The vet came to the house and said he could not fix his injuries.  Dad told us that the vet would give Rex a shot and go to sleep forever.  I wanted to have his head on my lap, but I was sent away.  I didn’t go far and hid by the railroad tracks behind our house and cried until Rex was taken away. I cannot listen to “Old Shep” without bawling.  I am not sure I could get through singing it at Karaoke, but someday I may try.  

Okay! How about something funny, not a lot funnier, but such is life as a child of the 40s!  My mother told me, “Never get into the car with a stranger!”  When my mother said anything, you really should listen! Girls were not allowed to “Hitchhike!” 

Remember, I told you about going swimming at Lake Wassokeag? We were allowed to ride our bikes to the lake.  Most of us had to walk our bikes up the fairly steep hill, and many times we rode like the wind coming down.  We were pretty good, and we only got a few scrapes and bruises from spills.  One day I gave a friend a ride, and contrary to good sense, I rode barefoot.  We were just heading down a slight grade hill when my foot slipped off the pedal.  I ended up on the bottom of the pile with my friend on top of the bike.  Unfortunately, my ankle was badly cut from the sprocket.  She was trying to get the bike off me when over the hill came a car and swerved just in time to miss me.

The nice gentleman stopped and took the bike off me and, seeing my bleeding foot, tried to get me into his car to take me home.  You guessed it! Mamma’s words rang in my ear, and I fought the poor thing tooth and nail.  He managed to get my address from my friend and bodily put me in his car and took me home.  After seeing the poor man covered in my blood and his car not in much better shape, she let him take us to the Doctor’s office.  Dr. Taylor put four stitches in my ankle; I still have the scar.  I was supposed to stay out of the lake for the summer to prevent infection and I had to walk on crutches. 

Dexter, Maine, is still a small town, and it was tiny in those days.  I never heeded any of the Doctors advice!  I fell in the lake every time I was near it, and I hobbled around without crutches.  On the 4th of July, the Doctor caught me without my crutches, and I lied to him and said I laid them down and would go get them. 

We bought a 15-acre farm with a 100-year-old house, a chicken house, and a barn on the property.  It was heavenly!  We had chickens, which meant we had eggs; we raised one cow for milk and had a steer for meat. Mom had a one-acre garden, and everything was canned! We had a root cellar where all the canned food was stored along with a huge jug of cider.  I grew so much that first year; I had stretch marks! 

Our farm was in Corinna next to Dexter and about 8 miles or so away.  It was in the middle of the year, so The school bus would pick me up at the city line, and I walked the rest of the way home and to the bus in the morning for several weeks until we could move into our house.  Of course, my brothers could hitchhike, but I had to walk the whole dang way.  One time a guy in the milk truck tried to get me to let him give me a ride, but I said no.  He tried to convince me he was an uncle, but I didn’t recognize him, so I refused. Later I learned he really was an uncle. Double dang!

The house wasn’t much to look at., but it was home!  It had a living room, kitchen, pantry, a bedroom and a half down, and one bedroom upstairs.  There was a line strung over the big wood kitchen cookstove to dry wet clothes.  We had a large slate sink in the pantry and a pump to conveniently supply water until the well ran dry every summer.  Then we hauled water in big metal milk cans.

We lived in close proximity to three lakes, and they were all good fishing lakes in summer and winter.  We worked hard, but we also played hard. The property across the street had a stand of Maple trees, and we were given permission to tap them for sap.  Mom cooked the sap to made syrup.  We were rich and didn’t even know it. We were warm in the winter, had all the fresh food we needed, went swimming in the summer, and had 15 acres to play on.

That should hold you for a week until I do the next blog about school.

Life in the 40s and beyond continued

Life in the 40s and beyond continued.

TV, Radio, talking box, Saturday morning, Big John and Sparkle, Howdy Doody, attic, trampoline, metal springs, swimming, Big ugly dog,  Wonder Woman, lake, rocky point, beach, Rex, dawg,

We were so creative compared to kids today!  There were no electronic things to entertain us.  As a matter of fact, we didn’t even have a TV, they hadn’t been invented, and even if they had, we wouldn’t have owned one.  I was glued to the “talking box” Saturday morning to listen to Big John and Sparkle, Howdy Doody, and more that I can’t remember. 

Remember I talked about that big house we lived in on Middlesex Ave?  I remembered one more thing about it that you will love.  We played in the huge vacant attic, and it is a wonder that we didn’t fall to our demise because that was no door to prevent us from falling to the floor below.  We got the brilliant idea of placing an old bed frame with the metal springs still mostly attached across the opening and using it for a Trampoline.  It was a blast until Mom heard the racket and ended our fun.  Parents are so weird!  Oh, well, back to the drawing board.

We had some new people move into the apartment next to us, they were not the cleanest of people, and we weren’t supposed to play with them because Mom was sure they had lice.  One of the kids kept coming over to our side, wanting to play with us.  My brother told him to bug off, or he would “Unscrew his belly button and let his legs drop off!  The kid looked up at him and said, “Ya ain’t got no screwdriver!” We did get several outbreaks of lice, but not sure where we got them.

I remember when “Wonder Woman came out in the theaters!  I ran around all summer in a bathing suit with a towel tied around my neck!  I got a job cleaning toilets at the theater for free tickets to the movies.  I worked up until my appendectomy sidelined my work. That wasn’t big pay because, for 25 cents, you could get in and have popcorn and a drink.  The guys at the Gazette used to save their quart bottle from their pop for me to return to get 5 cents refund.

We were allowed to walk to Wassokeag lake to go swimming.  My brothers were supposed to “watch” me. They did!  They taught me to swim.  They used the tried and true method, throw me in the water and holler, “Sink or Swim!”  They loved to go swimming at Rocky Point, a rock ledge with deep water, so they could jump or dive in and swim back to climb up.  I couldn’t swim and wanted to go to the beach area to play in the shallow water.  Nope!  So I just sat on the ledge and bawled.  They finally got tired of listening to me and threw me as far out as they could.  I drank a lot of water and screamed when I surfaced; I saw them laughing their ass off!  I’d like to think they would have pulled me out, eventually, but I am not sure.  When I was getting tired and about ready to give up, my dog Rex jumped in and swam out to me, I grabbed his tail, and he pulled me to the ledge.  NO, I never told on them. 

My dog Rex was what my Dad called a “Dawg,” that is, he was from a litter of unwanted pups that someone was giving away.  Dad always paid the owner a dollar because he believed that it would be a “good dawg!”  With Rex, he got his money’s worth.  Everyone loved our huge lovable, gentle dog, and he had friends in all the stores; he frequently came home with a huge bone from one of the merchants.  He was so tall that he could not walk under our table; that is, Mom let him in the house on the very few days. I don’t know what she was worried about; it wasn’t like we lived in a mansion!  Until my Dad moved in, we suffered from the “Pot and Window” syndrome; think about it, and it will come to you.

Rex took on the responsibility of babysitter and protector for all three of us kids.  We were free as the birds from June to September.  We used to walk or ride our bicycles to the lake to go swimming.  One day, we walked up the hill to go to the beach; about halfway up the hill, there was a boat rental.  The man who owned it had a big nasty dog that always came running out barking, looking like he would take a bite out of us.  We were scared of him, and he knew it. We usually avoided him by running as fast as possible by the business and nearly to the top of the hill.  Most of the time, we avoided a confrontation. This day, Rex happened to be with us, and we didn’t pay attention to where we were until we heard the barking and, looking up, saw the head of the dog snarling!  Before he could get close to us, Rex attacked him and didn’t stop until he was in his own yard.  He was pretty proud of himself!

There were lots of hugs and kisses for Rex that day.  He got his own ice cream cone.

Enough of our adventures for today, but stay tuned; more to come.

Life in the 40s and beyond!

If they are mine, my first memories were of sitting on the lawn and playing with toys in a washtub of water.  We always had a garden, and we were free to wander and pick strawberries, string beans, and peas.  We were allowed to pick and pop them in our mouths without thinking of washing them.  In those days, we believed it was nice clean dirt! Occasionally we ate a bug, probably a lot of bugs!

In Maine, the winters are cold; I remember 30 below and up to six feet of snow. The frost line is also six feet!  The house I was born in would properly be classified as a shack without insulation. Wind whipped through the windows and the walls depositing snow on the floor.  I can recall Mom sweeping snow out the door after a storm.  I remember raw wood on the inside and a worn-out linoleum covering the floor.  One wood stove provided heat for the entire house. Good thing it wasn’t very large, and I can remember being mighty cold the first thing in the morning before the stove was started.  Farmers thoughtfully delivered cut wood to our house.

We were uptown with an uncovered porch of raw and wood steps with no railing.  I remember those steps vividly because I fell off the side, and a jagged piece of wood ripped my back open.  Running me to the Doctor’s office was not an option.  Mom did not own a car, and I was bleeding profusely. I remember being laid face down across the old rocking chair as Mom pulled the edges together with adhesive tape.  I remember the pain, but I was lucky, no infection. However, I still have a wide six-inch-long scar on my back.

When I was 8 years old (1948), I had my ruptured appendix removed; I missed half a year of school; that scar came in handy.  Kids will be kids!  I told all the kids in the neighborhood, the Doctor’s knife slipped when he cut me open and went right through me.  I proved it by showing both scars!  There are a lot of parents that did not see the humor in that stunt.  I spent most of my time playing in the snow.  That got boring because I wasn’t supposed to slide on my stomach. I hooked the sled rope onto Rex’s collar, and with a little coaxing, he pulled me around the yard, only dumping me a couple times.

By the yard, I mean the wide road behind the stores.  We lived in a huge old house set against the hill just under the railroad tracks.  The dirt road used by trucks to supply the stores was named, and I am not kidding Middlesex Ave.  This house had two apartments, each consisting of half of the house. I can’t remember how many bedrooms it had, but I think in the old days it was a mansion. Tomatoes had to be picked early because of the danger of freezing; they were placed on newspaper in one of the bedroom floors until ripened.  We had the whole upstairs to play in as the boys slept in one room, and all the others were empty.  The house was equipped with running water at the one sink in the kitchen.  In the attached shed was the outhouse.  It was equipped with the latest Sears catalog; we didn’t have toilet paper if it existed. Outhouses were smelly all year round, but summer was more odorous.  In the winter at 30 below, no one tarried over the newspaper or a book.

It was a great life! Anything that was thrown out by the stores to be hauled away was fair game to us. We made houses, stores, and jails from refrigerator boxes.  The local river ran under the main road, and we played in the trickle of water all the time.  We were lucky they never released water from the dam while we were playing.

The vacant mill situated between our nearest neighbor and our mansion was also fair game.  We confiscated wood to construct our fairs and carnivals all summer. There aren’t any poisonous snakes in Maine, but we always captured several of the largest garter snakes and caged them.  The tight rope walker Richard (I remember him as Poor Richard) was sometimes successful in making it across the rope strung between the mill and a tree.  Maybe if the tight rope was tighter, he would have succeeded more often.  I often wonder if he fathered any children. 

We made tons of games of chance using chalk we found behind stores and from the woolen mill close by. We also made tents from those same wool scraps.  We hunted bottles to turn into cash to buy prizes for the games.  The only downtime was when an inebriated man decided to visit our Carnaval in the middle of the night and peacefully slept on one of our games until the next morning.

We had a high jumper act!  It consisted of an old back seat cushion from a car hidden under a grass pile that the brave soul would jump into from a tree branch.  It went pretty well until we had a disagreement with our jumper and removed the cushion!  He lived.

We once found a large scrap of wool in the pile of scraps by the back of the Woolen Mill, and Richard used it to make a Parachute which we encouraged him to climb three stories and jump!  It was amazing that he didn’t break any bones; it was a miracle that we only came away from our antics with scrapes and bruises. 

Another time we made a wagon to roll down the hill by the Woolen Mill.  It consisted of an old table with two sets of wheels on an axle from something we scrounged, and had no tools to attach it properly, we tied it on the table. It rolled down the hill several times, loaded with kids.  The front wheels disappeared the last time, and when the front of the table hit the street, all the kids tumbled out headfirst.

Halloween!  We were excited, and our plans were to hit as many homes as possible in the hours we would be unchaperoned.  Our group met at our house, and the whole town was our target! Those were the days when you were supposed to book for home when the street lights came on, but this night we were free to roam until late at night!  Those were the days when we could travel the entire town safely.  No one had to x-ray our candy; we could eat it with only our parents to oversee our fun.  Mothers baked cookies, doughnuts, whole candy bars were given out.  By the way, the size of the candy bars was twice as they are now and cost a nickel.  We didn’t have any fancy bags, just a pillowcase or a paper bag; plastic bags did not exist.  Our big town was 3500 people and one red light. We might have waxed a few windows of some scrooges.  Some of the bigger kids did things like moving the outhouse or just tipping them over.

Stay tuned for the 50s and 60s! 

Dear Former President

man in an astronaut costume going up a ladder
Photo by Tom Leishman on Pexels.com

I will never forgive you for stealing four years of my life!  You created 4 years of misery, caused many people guilty of nothing more than being born poor!  They did nothing wrong, but you didn’t care about the millions that were unlucky enough not to be born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

We did not ask, nor did we want charity or more than we deserve.  We only want the chance to make our lives better than our parents.

How could you be so small-minded as to hate that other President for nothing more than being black, brilliant, and a moral man?  I understand being jealous of someone that had an easy road to success, but he worked hard to succeed.  We have all felt that green-eyed monster setting on our shoulders.  We have heard the screaming vile invectives in our ears!  “How it is fair for that person to have everything, and I have nothing.”

Did you enjoy being adored by shallow wealthy, greedy old white men?  Did you really think that those uber-wealthy individuals needed more money? Did you think they would be grateful to you forever for the massive tax break? Well, I am here to tell you they won’t!  They will throw you in the trash just like yesterday’s newspaper when they don’t need you anymore. 

You may very well “get even” with all those that hurt your little feelings, but in the end, your generosity to the “chosen few” will be rewarded with contempt!  Not one of them will reach down when you are lying in the gutter and give you a hand.  They will walk over and on you to get to the next person that will flatter their ego and pad their pocket! 

They didn’t love you then, and they won’t love you when you are yesterday’s news! They will make fun of you, just like you made fun of your idea of the “Lesser human’s!” All those that fawned over your golden image will drop you like a hot potato the minute you cannot help them step up the ladder or fly to the moon!

And the rest of us will feel somewhat sorry for you, but not much!  My mother used to say, “You reap what you sow!”  You should listen to her; she would have boxed your ears! 

I read somewhere that you should be nice to the people you meet climbing the ladder of success because you may have to kiss their ass on the fall back down.  So “Pucker up, buttercup!”

selective focus photography of yellow flowers
Photo by Charles Pragnell on Pexels.com

The Rainbow Bridge

I was sleeping soundly when someone tapped me on the shoulder, startling me awake.  I slowly looked over my shoulder to see my Stepdad Lloyd smiling, his blue eyes twinkling.

“Is it my time?” I asked him.

“It could be if you want it to be, Brenie.” “OMG, this is real; Lloyd is the only one that calls me Brenie!”

I looked over at my sweet husband, still sleeping soundly, and said, “I don’t know if I am ready to go now.  What will it be like? Where am I going?  Will it be more like the weather here in Arizona or hotter?”

He laughed and said, “Do you think you deserve hotter?”

“I don’t know.  Where is Mamma?”

“She is doing what she loves: fishing.”

“That’s good. Is she still in the wheelchair?  Can she talk?”

“Would you like to go see her for yourself?”

“If I do, can I come back to my bed and my hubby?  I mean, is it a one-way trip?” 

“Only if you want it to be.”

“You are the one person that I can trust. I never understood why us kids never called you Daddy.  You were our Father in all the ways it mattered.  I am so sorry if that hurt you.”

“You never had to worry about that, I knew.  In my heart, you were mine.”

“Okay, let’s get on with that trip.  It would be fun to try a cast or two.  Maybe I can snag a Black Bass or a Pickerel.  Mom will probably get a bigger one than me.”

I was surprised that I woke up so easily, and when I looked down, I was dressed in jeans, a plaid shirt, and my usual dirty sneakers.  We were no longer in my bedroom.  We were walking down the road to the pond in front of our house, back in Maine.  Looking out on the lake, I could see Mom rowing toward us. I wondered why she didn’t start the motor. Maybe she was showing off being able to use both arms. 

As she got closed, I could see a big smile on her face and a cigarette hanging from her mouth.  I guess you can have some bad habits.  Maybe I can have a glass or three of wine when I want to.  Wonder if it will have the same effect on me here as home. 

Mom pulled up to the bridge on the road, and we climbed in. The pond was just like I remembered, but of course, it would be. 

She handed me the oars, and I rowed us out of the narrow inlet onto the pond.  She directed me where to go, and I managed to get us to a spot where all three of us could cast our line out and land it close, but not in the tall cattails and reeds. Mom, of course, got a strike immediately; she struggled a magnificent Pickerel into the boat.  Lloyd was next, and then I pulled in a huge Black Bass.

“Is our farm still there?  Yes, we can go look at it if you would like to.”

“I have so many questions!  Can you answer them, or do I have to wait until I am ready to cross over the rainbow bridge?”

“Is that what they call it now?”  Mom laughed, and Lloyd smiled. 

“Yes, it is mostly for animals that pass on, but I kinda like the idea.”

“Sorry, Brenie, we have given you all the answers we can now unless you are ready to walk over the bridge and do more fishing,” Lloyd said with a sad smile. 

“I don’t think I am ready, although I loved the fishing and seeing our old farm. My hubby and I will celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary. The kids will be disappointed if they can’t do something special for us. So our fishing will have to wait a while.”

I hugged and kissed both of them; then, I was waking up in bed, and my sweet hubby had snuck out to let me sleep in. 

Another job we loved to hate!

This is a little long, but I have been on vacation having fun visiting with relatives.  This is about one of our Workamper jobs, which was fun but ended badly.

Congratulations and Best Wishes to the New Managers, Sandy, and Greg.  As “hands-on” managers, you plan on “hitting the ground running” with your new policies. This Park will surely mirror all the Theme Parks across this great country. As former Activity Directors, we have observed up close and personal how you will transform our laid-back hardworking, friendly atmosphere we managed to create.  It will become the preferred rigid structured entertainment environment that appears to be the standard for other up-scale theme parks. 

One can clearly see the high regard you hold for the workampers.  How much you appreciate their co-operation during this two-month time of turmoil.  You are determined to completely re-organize the park.  You will surely elevate it to the proper standards that workampers and guests have come to expect of other well-oiled corporate enterprises.   

If you didn’t catch the sarcasm above, read on.

In July of 2013, we were hired as Activity Directors with a specified salary of $2500.00 a month. However, you had to work a full year to receive that amount as the pay was calculated by the new math, i.e., 2500 X 12 months divided by 26 pay periods. We appreciated that after a discussion with the owner of the park, our pay was adjusted 

We were asked to arrive in February of 2014, a month early, to help organize and become familiar with the camp and the department. We drove 1000 miles (we figure .50 cents a mile for travel between jobs) at the cost of approx. $500.00.  We arrived to find everyone we talked to was depressed and negative and found the department (and I use that term loosely), and the park was in chaos!  

We had a contract stating that we were on the salary. The interim manager said we would have to work 8 hours a week to pay for the site until the beginning of the next month. After looking at the condition of the department, we decided to start work immediately. We had a contract, so all would be taken care of.  Wrong!  We never got paid for that week of work.

When we asked for help and information on what was expected as activities, we were told to “make it up as you go along”! Thanks a lot!  

Two of the big sellers for the park were the painting of teeShirts and little ceramic figurines. There was no inventory of the ceramics and tee shirts!  The teeshirts were thrown in boxes and plastic bins, not sealed, and most had mice droppings in them. We inventoried everything and prepared a spreadsheet on our computers as the “office” no computers were set up for us. The files were jumbled together in one two-drawer file cabinet and several boxes. Our office was a bare room with a trench down the middle. Internet reception was only available by the back door in the rec room.

We also had no help hired.  We were it!!  We begged to have a couple that was promised management of the store and were waiting for work anywhere.  Fran and Paula came to work for us and were wonderfully hard-working workampers.  They helped us organize the paint for the ceramics, which was stored in a closet with no light. None of the cans were labeled as to the color.  We (all four of us) hand shook each of the gallon cans and marked them properly.  We organized the equipment and ordered small plastic containers to pour small amounts on palates. 

We met the Regional Manager, and he showed us the huge new addition added to the existing structure. We were told that our job was to move everything from the old rec center into the new addition. We set up tables for breakfast and lunches in the old room. Not a small task!  But we did it in plenty of time for the first guests to arrive. He informed us that we could just stack the t-shirts on the shelves under the desk. We tried to tell him that it would be impossible to keep them separate once the season started. Thankfully he left to do bigger and better things.

By this time, our patience had worn so thin that we tendered our resignation.  We hated to leave but killing ourselves for people that did not appreciate us was not on our list of “wants!” However, the new manager convinced us to stay on, and we agreed after meeting with the owner.  The conditions were that we get computers, internet, the trench in our office would be filled, and for heaven’s sake, our credit cards.  And to their credit, it was done, albeit at a snail’s pace.

We only had two days off, and that was when we quit again and regrettably came back.  It seems like every week, there were new “responsibilities” added to our duties.  They added on the following, we were responsible for cleaning the building and taking the trash to the dumpster in our Golf Cart that was issued to us, which by the way, made a terrible noise. We later found out that one of the back wheels was installed backward and was never fixed.  We also had to change the sign at the parks opening every week to the new weekly theme.  Oh, and the real deal-killer came when they informed us that we were responsible for mowing our sites, and we told them that “it ain’t happening, baby!” And it didn’t! The day we finally left, the foot-tall clover was rather pretty. 

All the White tables and chairs were scrubbed, and all the ugly stained black plastic was replaced with semi-clear plastic. The floors, walls, and kitchen were scrubbed and organized, and the dining area was set with colorful table cloths. Fran and Paula had owned a park before, volunteered to organize the kitchen, and did a bang-up job!  They had Ice Cream and cookies every week.  They cooked hotdogs, hamburgers, and fries. Weekly they gave us a list of what they needed to keep the kitchen running. 

Another thing that we were responsible for was keeping the theme animals (men inside pretending they were animals. It was hot and muggy; we made sure the ice packs stayed frozen so they did not collapse from heatstroke.  Someone had to ferry them around in the squeaky golf cart. We must have taken a million pictures of people standing next to them. There was a short storytime, where one of them would read to children. 

We were given several dozen stuffed huge bear claw pillows that didn’t sell and told to use them any way we wanted to. So we got the kids to put one in each hand and have races with a friend holding their feet by their waists and walking on the bear claws. It was a huge hit!  Parents took hundreds of pictures of the races. 

Our biggest hit was the Train Robbery! There was an adorable colorful Theme train with a real steam engine; we had a Captain that drove it around the park. We bought cowboy hats, toy guns, and bandanas for all the kids and staged a train robbery. 

When we finally got our Credit Cards, we haunted every Walmart in the area and purchased resin shelves to store the tee shirts under the shelf. This kept them clean and easier to find, labeled as to size and design.

We purchased resin containers with drawers for our office to store the ceramic statues on the new resin shelving.  This saved the worker from running upstairs to get new stock.

We were close to opening day, and we didn’t have hardly any tee-shirts or ceramics.  The owner came in, and we talked to him; he asked what we needed to be ready for opening day. I told him my little Credit Card would not even be a drop in the bucket to cover the cost of ceramics and teeshirts. He told me to call my orders in and tell them to contact him, and he would give them his Credit Card, so I did.  The interim manager had a shit-fit when the big semi came in with our order.  But we were ready for the Opening, and it was a rousing success!

We had a visit from the National Supervisors after the manager quit and an Interim Manager arrived.  All sounded well as the Interim Manager seemed to “be happy with our efforts to get things done.  He told us that new managers were coming and that they were “hands-on.”

Then the other shoe dropped!! 

The new Managers showed up!  Hands-on was an understatement!  We were told that we were being “demoted” to Lead Activities. And we would no longer be able to wear the Polo shirts we were issued but would wear tee shirts with a name tag placed on the opposite side of the Company logo. In addition, we were required to wear khaki slacks & white tennis shoes. No big issue there, but there was no compensation for purchasing them. The grumbling from employees got louder every day.

But the “you know what hit the fan” moment came when they told us that we would shut down the Activity Center from Monday to Friday until the end of May.  The work we did on the website has to be changed to the “accepted standard” wording; in other words, “no creativity needed.”  All the workers would be reduced to work for site or other work “might be” found in other departments.  

The “hands-on” new managers could not see all the hard work we accomplished and had many demands for change.  They set up interviews with every employee. The day they “interviewed” us, they found fault with everything we had done. So we decided to tender our resignation.  I was always disappointed that I never heard from the owner; he had our numbers. Welcome to corporate America! We, and our two hard-working workamper, more than earned our pay, and I still have a hard time accepting the attitude of the new Managers.

Rant-a-day

person holding black remote control
Photo by Nothing Ahead on Pexels.com

Lately, we have opted for programs without commercials, which means we pay for much of our viewing. 

Yes, we do watch the NEW news, but we are not happy with it or the commercials!  We do not need you to tell us what President Biden said; if you stop talking while he is behind you moving his mouth, we could listen to him and SURPRISE we can understand what he is saying!  The NEWS is exactly that!  Not what your station interprets for us poor, uneducated mortals because we couldn’t possibly understand. 

I did indeed graduate from the school of hard knocks at the top of my class, and I can read and understand what I hear. I would love to hear the news delivered more like on  Dragnet with Jack Webb, “Just the facts.”

Going on to bigger and better things, let’s talk about commercials!  I know you think SEX sells! And I am afraid it does!  But it only goes so far!  It might convince someone to buy creams to make their face look young and beautiful to a certain extent. Still, they really know it will only make their skin softer and smoother in the final analysis. If you want to convince me that a beauty cream will make me look younger, show me a woman my age that uses it and looks years younger, not some nubile 20 years old.

Want to talk about automobiles?  Do we really need a car that drives itself?  Isn’t that our job?  I learned to drive a truck with a stick shift. Driving was a full-time job!  See, with a stick shift, you have to pay attention to driving, not looking in the back or side seat to talk to passengers. Why do you need to drive while eating a four-course meal, singing Karaoke, and talking about baseball, football, or basketball with your passengers?

And why do we need a car that goes from 0 to 60 in 10 seconds?  Are you planning on entering the Indianapolis 500? In case you haven’t noticed, the highest speed limit on most roads is 75.  Hell, at the rate y’all are “losing control and hitting trees and each other, you can’t control cars at ANY speed!

Now, if we had cars, like the flying cars in my Young Adult series (Ruby & Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space), you could do all those things safely.  Their flying cars are solar-powered and controlled by AI!  When arriving home, the cars park themselves.  Now I could get behind that!

The commercial I saw the other day about most municipalities recommend you take your car to a car wash because they reuse the water. It takes less water than you would use at home.  Of course, in the background was a bumbling fool, falling all over himself and his car covered with foam.  When was the last time you fell over your bucket of water while washing your car?  How much is a car wash? $10?  $20?  In Arizona, the dust in the air makes that a weekly affair. 

I am a DIY kind of gal!  There are some things that I can’t do.  Mechanical work on my Car and Motorhome.  Those I leave to the experts.  And my toes!  I have a professional pedicure because I can’t reach my feet easily at my advanced age.  Let me leave you with this sage advice, “gettin’ old ain’t for sissies!”

persons feet on gray textile
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Customer Service

delighted black female barista serving coffee in cup in cafe
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Definition: Live people that serve customers.  Do you remember when you could pick up the phone and call Amazon? Your Doctor’s assistant? Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, almost all the stores?  Those were the good old days, but they ain’t comin’ back anytime soon!

Have you tried reaching any company by phone lately? Yeah, me too!  There is no good excuse for not being able to speak to real live people.  The corporations got a massive government tax cut, which they used to line their pockets, and did not pay workers one extra dime.   In fact: they “furloughed” many workers and replaced them with “no one.” Go ahead and try to get a product replaced because you did not like it or work as advertised.  I have been successful several times but have sustained substantial hair loss!  On Amazon, in the first 30 days, you can usually have the returned item picked up.  Of course, after you have, it un-assembled and packed up again.  You will get credit for it as soon as it is picked up usually.  Small items you may have to drop off at one of their sites.  BTW, make sure you wrap it in the same size box it came in because it might not fit in the slot designated for it.

I am an author and format and upload my books to Amazon. I used to call Amazon and get referred to customer service at KDP to resolve a problem.  Not anymore!  Now I either figure it out myself, read through millions of help pages or Google, and watch YouTube videos! If you don’t mind waiting for millennia or two, there is a number, and be told first that the answer is in the help pages.  

There is no guarantee that after the Pandemic, life will resume, and corporations will hire many of those people back.  The corporate bottom line is bigger because it is easier to let us flail in the wind, attempting to converse with Artificial Intelligence or bots.  By the way, they don’t care if you yell at them, and you can swear, and they won’t get offended and hang up on you yet!    

The Pandemic caused many “essential” workers to lose their jobs.  Many continued to work because they had to, and many got sick.  It was great that some workers eligible for unemployment got that extra $300 a week added. I am so proud that the GOP voted to take it away from them to “make” them get back to work because they were getting so rich and lazy!  I certainly hope many people remember this at election time.

 Many at-risk people did not leave home unless it was absolutely necessary.  And some people had a hard time navigating the internet system to get an appointment.  Now there are lotteries, and people can win $1million for getting the shot.   Does anyone else think, “Where were the lotteries when I waited in my car for hours?” 

Many were lucky and were allowed to “work from home.”  They noticed a big reduction in gas usage.  Then the Oil companies were crying because they weren’t making enough money.  I felt so bad. 

During the pandemic, we masked up, wore gloves, wiped down everything, and would let no one into our home.  I used to do sewing and repairs for my neighbors, and during the last year, I would not allow even my neighbors to bring items for repair.  Since both my husband and I have had both shots now, I am resuming the sewing work.

The jobs I’ve loved and hated!

In my long young life, I am only 80!  Will turn 81 in a few weeks.  I have fond memories of many positions and of the bosses.

My first job was picking potatoes.  I was only allowed to pick on Saturday and Sunday as Mom wanted one of her kids to graduate from High School; she picked me.  The reason always escaped me, because she believed that education for women was a waste. After all, they would just get married and have babies.  That was okay with me; I would have fought to attend school.  I loved reading and learning.  My two brothers were way too smart to go to school.  

The Potato field was huge, and the sections were measured casually off by units that would fill a barrel if picked properly.  The barrels were set after the potatoes were plowed to the surface.  Each picker had a heavy-duty bushel basket with a sturdy handle.  The pay was peanuts: $.20 a barrel, which holds about 3 bushels.  A “section” was about long enough to fill the one-bushel basket with potatoes.  By the way, the fastest way to pick was to bend at the waist and pick them one by one using both hands, tossing them in the basket.  To say it was back-breaking work is an understatement.

In my hey-day, I could pick about 20 or 30 barrels a day.  My Mother put me to shame by picking 100 barrels a day.  She was an amazing woman!  

One of the pickers had obviously had drunk his lunch and wasn’t too bright because he put his arm around my Mother to get a little kiss.  That was his second mistake! She brought her fist up from her waist and smacked him on the jaw; laid him out, cold!  No one ever bothered her again. 

We didn’t know we were poor.  There was no time to bake bread in the middle of picking season, and we often ate canned Franco-American Spaghetti cold from the can for lunch.

We also picked beans, and it was harder than potatoes; no more money, and it takes a lot more beans to fill a bushel basket than potatoes.  I couldn’t pick any more beans than potatoes.

My first real paying job was waitressing in a small diner!  I was green and naive, and the owner had a cracked sense of humor but was a really nice guy. He told me that the Crullers (long round donuts) were called “Male Donuts.”  I called them that until someone took pity on me and explained it to me.  I got many tips because even though I was not a great waitress, I could laugh at myself along with them.

Another fun job was selling shoes at a new Shoe Store in town.  My boss told me all about this new shoe that was called “a pound a pair.”  I was fascinated with them and soaked up all the best-selling points.  One day a guy walked in, and I started telling him about them.  I had a pair on his feet before he introduced himself as the owner of the store.  My boss was laughing so hard she nearly wet her pants.  He was impressed, though; unfortunately, I didn’t get a raise.

I once worked as a waitress at Howard Johnson’s in South Carolina.  We were supposed to carry everything on a tray, even if it was a pat of butter!  Illogical!  One day everyone was all in a  twitter because the big guy himself was coming in for lunch.  Nobody wanted the honors of waiting on him.  I volunteered, and everyone said empathically NO!  I was told to hide in the storeroom and not to come out under any circumstances!  That job didn’t last long as I was responsible for more broken dishes than the money I earned.  Oh well!  I wasn’t thrilled with the job or the uniforms!

Now the uniform of the next job was right up my alley!  A t-shirt and a pair of little red shorts (I was a lot smaller then) and a pair of roller skates!  I was a Car Hop at a drive-in.  Girls my age (18) weren’t supposed to serve alcohol, so when beer was ordered, it was served in milk-shake containers.  I got tons of tips!   A couple of “good old boys” that just happened to be Cops offered to take me out on their boat for an ocean cruise.  I was naïve, but not stupid!  Out on a boat on the ocean, miles from land with a couple guys, and no way to walk home?  I let them tip me real big, but no cruises.

I dated one guy for a couple of weeks. He seemed really nice until two Men in Black Suits with guns under their jackets and nice gold badges asked me many questions about the guy.  I spilled my guts!  And the next week, I packed up and left town.  My Mother didn’t raise no fools!  Well, I did have two brothers.

I moved to Hartford, Conn, and went to work at Hartford Fire Insurance as a Keypunch Operator.  What a fun job, setting all day punching holes in cards that the guys across the file cabinets destroyed.  These huge sorting machines were the beginning of computers.  When I was assigned to re-punch the mangled cards that often happened, my boss told me, “A change is as good as a rest,” as she pushed another box of mangled cards on my desk.  This great piece of advice was from a woman that drank her lunch every day. 

We were all up for a raise and were admonished not to say a word to the “big boss” when we were interviewed.  Evidently, my mouth is bigger than my brain because I spoke up, telling him I had several perfect batches and deserved the raise.  If you guessed that none of us got a raise then or ever, you would be right. An exercise in futility!

I lived with two roommates, and one of them was such a ditz that the other girl and I helped and encouraged her to get married as fast we could.  The other girl was nice, but evidently, Mom took such good care of her that she could not take care of herself!  I slaved every Saturday, washing all my clothes by hand and hanging them out to dry on the attached clothesline on our porch. Her clothes always were neatly starched and clean for work.  I made the mistake of borrowing one of her blouses and discovered that they were never washed. When most of her clothes were dirty, she mailed them to her mamma, who washed, starched, ironed them, and mailed them back.  She also failed to get up and get ready for work so many times, and we had to pay for a taxi that I left her to pay it by herself.

Working in the Shoe Shop in Dexter, Maine, was an experience that everyone should have! My job was to zig-zag the backs of Ice Skates, Bowling Shoes, and Golf shoes on an industrial sewing machine.  I did 30 pairs at a time and cut them apart.  I was and am still very fast with my hands, and I am ambidextrous.  I asked for a raise from 1 cent a pair to 2 or 3 cents a pair.  The boss (not the sharpest tool in the shed) came by with his stopwatch (supposedly without me noticing).  I did a lot of movements and not much work until he left.  I never got the raise! As a matter of fact, I was escorted to the door and told that they didn’t need me anymore. 

There were three very good reasons.  1. I talked up Unions.  2. One of the supervisors yelled at me, “get back to work!”  I told him never to call me out of the bathroom again as I picked him up by the front of his shirt and put him up against the wall with his feet dangling  3. A Supervisor thought we should date and dogged my tracks every weekend. I dodged him on the weekend, but when he started getting too friendly at work. The last straw was when seeing him put his arms around the girl next to me and fondle her boobs.   I told him never to touch me!  He didn’t listen, and I attempted to give him a vasectomy without an anesthetic. If he had been a little was slower with his hand, I might have accomplished the deed.  By the way, I still have the guilty scissors!  I was an angry young woman.

When I explained why I was fired to the interviewer from the unemployment department, I was granted full unemployment benefits. That wasn’t the last job I had, and it was a different world than it is now.  There was no lifeline for women in the workplace in the ’50s. Your only alternative was; take the abuse or leave. 

Roadblocks on the road of life

I understand and agree that the roads in our lives will not always be smooth and paved, but you would think there would be a few smooth stretches once in a while! It seems as though we struggle over one hump, and another one pops up right behind.

It would be nice to just roll along on a smoothly paved road, enjoying a warm breeze and sunlight?  I wouldn’t mind coasting for a day or two, or even a week occasionally. 

Microsoft Word and Grammarly were my most recent roadblocks!  They were sitting there with menacing spikes looking forward to punching my tires the minute I move ahead.

Microsoft 2019 Office Pro had a nervous breakdown and was acting funky and sometimes not working at all! I emailed my seller, Indigo Software, and received an immediate reply with specific instructions. I like that in a company!

After following the instructions to the letter uninstalling and re-installing successfully, I discovered this program is a completely different animal!  I have to learn how to use the new word program.

To make matters more complicated, Grammarly was missing in action! I asked for help by email and was promptly supplied with a URL.  Nice!  Unfortunately, the site had no place to install the program!  This was not good. 

I searched in my download file, and lo and behold, it was staring back at me.  It would not install on my machine. HELP!  Spelling is not my long suit, and grammar follows close behind.  Now, a little hot under the collar, I again emailed for instructions.  This time I was instructed to download Grammarly from a new URL, but it was still a no-go!  I finally figured out how to install the program!

We are so looking forward to our daughter coming down for a visit.  It just happened to be during my birthday.  This will be the first time in way over a year that our immediate family will be together.  Many hugs will be exchanged; everyone has had their shots, so we are good to go!

We are cleaning Miranda, our Motor Home; our daughter will have her own “apartment” while she is here.  You grin; I know what you are thinking, “How hard could cleaning a less than 300 sq. ft. room?”  If it was a big room, it would be a piece of cake.  There are more nooks and crannies waiting to skin your knuckles, knees, and elbows than you can imagine. 

Setting Miranda up is a whole lot more than just backing it onto the lot and plugging her in. She is a good girl and loves to travel.  I hope she won’t be disappointed at only driving from the storage yard to the spot near our house.  We promised her we would take her out for a spin as soon as they get the light rail construction finished.  

Happy Mother’s Day

You say today isn’t Mother’s Day?   I know that!  But I think that every day should be an honor to your mother, and you should try to remember all the things she taught you, and overlook the things that are age-telling. 

So she doesn’t move as fast as she used to, but she still gets the job done.  She doesn’t remember everything with the clarity that she did in your youth. Still, she remembers many things you choose to forget, like when you put the cat in the dryer because he was wet!  Or the time you were pissed at her and packed your things in a box and ran away.

She clapped the loudest at your class play when you played a flower and screamed the loudest when you smacked the ball into the outfield the first time.  She sewed your Halloween costume into the night and was up the next morning with pancakes ready for you and your friends.

Maybe wanting you to have everything she didn’t have was not the best thing she did, but it must be up there in the top 10 things that earned her a pat on the back. 

Packages in pretty paper with flowers and the glittery ribbon isn’t what her heart desires; it’s the hugs and the heartfelt thank you’s.  Sitting holding her hand and listening to the stories over and over again will make her happy.  Didn’t she listen to your stories?  Over and over?

My mother had a stroke that put her in the Nursing Home, with only three words in her vocabulary; what they were, isn’t important.  I called her every month and talked for several minutes, pre-cell phone.  You had to pay every minute for those calls.  I could hear the happiness in her voice.  And the plus; I could tell her all my problems, and she just said, “ayah!”

I am the luckiest mother in the world because I have all that love and caring from our kids.  It is hard accepting that I earned it, but it is wonderful.

There may come a time when she won’t be able to listen or talk to you, so make the most of the time you have with your biggest fan! The one person in the world that will love you, no matter what you do or what heights in business you achieve.  

Decisions

I am unabashedly promoting my latest YA book. It would be a good idea to read the first 6 books, before this one, but it could be a stand alone.

I started the books as a Christmas Present for two young people in Seattle and kinda show balled into a series.

The Weller family gave me permission to fling them into space to settle an “Uninhabited” planet. Since they arrived, they have met the Dragon Clan, the Others, and the Merpeople! the Dragons, are not the firebreathing scaley beasts of earth fantasy stories but intelligent beings.  Rainbow and Sunset’s son, Donzereli, is best friends with Ruby and Nolan.

The Others are a race of people that only look like fierce “Yeti’s” wearing their white fur-suits in the frigid south climate.  No explanation is needed for the Merpeople. As a result of the last adventure, Ruby and Nolan are now Merpeople, permanently! Nolan is thrilled that he can’t drown, but Ruby not so much.  What young woman wants gills on her neck?

Remember, in the last book, our adventurers settled down to accept their punishment for deciding to “visit” Bri and Tig’s home under the sea.  This time we will focus on the adult problems a little, but we won’t forget that teens will be teens.

Things are heating up between the Consortium and the New Earth. The dreaded Mr. Hendricks is his usual combatant self and front and center of the group of visitors arriving to preview the colonists’ accomplishments.  Hopefully, before it reaches the boiling point, all parties can come to an understanding before the Dragons close the wormhole forever!

Just what will happen is up in the air. Pun intended!

 The youngsters are ignoring the adult problems.  Donzereli asks permission to explore the continent across the ocean as a summer project.  He had the support of Councilor Klethand, who was enthusiastic one day and the next, saying, “It’s too dangerous!” 

Donzereli is not going to let anything stop him from a fun summer!  He plans the trip and invites all the youngsters to go with him.  Donzereli’s perfect plan goes off without a hitch.  Hang on, this could be a bumpy ride!

This book and the entire series of 7 books are available on Amazon in eBook and in paperback. These are classified as YA, but many of my adult friends like them too!

Wrinkle me this?

You sneak upon me, in the dead of night

When I’m not looking, you give me such a fright

when in the mirror I peak,

you are winking at me, I think

And you continue to sneak

as I scrub and cream

I am losing the battle,

OMG is that a wattle?

my face, and my neck,

My arms, what the heck!

People say I don’t look my age

Are they lying? Can I take it as sage,

Yeah I choose to take as sage.

What do they mean about my age?

A snarky friend once said that

I look good because the fat

Is hiding what lurks beneath the skin

Waiting to pounce and add a double chin

Will it fall to my chest?

And I can’t contest

So ahead I will forge

With wrinkles deep as a gorge,

Will show upon my face,

And I will lose the race,

youth and beauty will escape

And I will join the age race

Until such time I become so wise

I am loved for my sage advise

I looked for a wrinkled face but decided I would use my own. I will admit this one is a “few” years old, so I have acquired a few new wrinkles, but who’s counting?

Have a good day and stay safe!

I owe my Mother!

This is a picture of my Mother probably in her thirties and me about 6 years old.

 1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
       “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
       “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

  3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
       “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of  next week!”

   4.My mother taught me LOGIC.
       ” Because I said so, that’s why.”

   5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
       “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

   6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
       “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

    7. My mother taught me IRONY.
       “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

    8 My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
       “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

    9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
       “Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

    10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
       “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you all have a wonderful day with your Mom’s! My Mother is gone now but I have many happy, sad, and funny memories of her! She was one of a kind and the most unique woman I have every known.

Have a good day and stay safe!

Please forgive my absence

Miranda, our faithful Motorhome has requested that we get on with cleaning her and get her ready for more adventures with Dolly Part-on and Sir Fit the White Knight!

Today I shampooed the carpets and washed the kitchen floor, while my partner filled the fresh water tank with water and bleach. He will empty it next week and re-fill it again to rinse it, and then fill it with fresh water after we set up the two filters.

We still need to wash the outside on Miranda and wax her. She likes to be clean and shiny when she pulls into a Resort. Sir Fit and Dolly like it too! They have asked to please go north where it is cooler for a day or two. We are in favor of that idea, too!

I will be back in a day or two posting interesting things after a day or two of rest. Thank you for your consideration. I am pleased with several new followers, and I am following several new people too.

Well, have to take Miranda back to her resting place until we get together for some more primping. She might be tired after all the effort, I know I am.

Have a good day and stay safe.

Sit on the lid and Laugh!

antique box chest close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Build for yourself a strong box
Fashion each part with care
When its as strong as your hand can make it
Put all your troubles there.

Hide there all thought of your failures
And each bitter cup that you quaff
Lock all your heartaches within it
Then sit on the lid and laugh.

Tell no one else its contents
Never its secrets tell
When you’ve dropped in your care and worry
Keep them forever there.

Hide them from sight so completely
That the world will never dream half;
Fasten the strongbox securely
Then sit on the lid and laugh

This is so old that I do not know where or who wrote it. My Husband’s father used to recite it when his kids were down. So if you are down or just feeling sad, try it, and let me know how it works for you.

laughing man laying on hammock
Photo by Djordje Petrovic on Pexels.com

This picture of a person laughing what you should be doing after you fill your box and slam the lid shut and lock it.

Have a great day, and stay safe!

Just Once

Just once I would love to ask the Happiness Engineers a simple question and get a straightforward answer in simple to understand terms.

Today it only took about an hour to get my simple answer to my question about how to publish a previous post again. Honestly, I tried to pose the question in the most “Computerese” possible. I got three URLs of places to look and none addressed my question. When I asked in plain English, I got the right answer. I have to admit I was tempted to answer in my Mother’s language.

We used to have a term, “Easy enough for a 10-year-old to understand.” Well now, referring to anything digital, we need to say, “Easy enough for an 80-year-old to understand.” The 10-year-old’s can program the dang things!

Does anyone else watch commercials and ask oneself, “What the heck were they selling?” You can guarantee there will be a beautiful excruciatingly thin person showing us how to get the cleanest laundry, the shiniest car on the block, and service people arrive in clean white uniforms. Right!

Don’t you love the one where the plumber not only has replaced everything in the house, but cooks dinner and teaches the kids. I would hate to see the bill for that family. They can’t be that bright.

Let’s talk about beautiful young people selling wrinkle cream! If you are in your 20s and 30s, you don’t need wrinkle cream. Unless you lived a much harder life the rest of us mortals! Put a woman in her 60s or 70s on the screen with minimal wrinkles and I am sold on your product. Wrinkles come with living to a rip old age! Products that will clean and moisturize your skin is your best bet.

Here is a standard joke: I bought some new Wrinkle Cream, and it works wonderfully, I have tons on new wrinkles!

I love all the new “additives” to the laundry. You can now have clothes that are softer, smell cleaner forever, resist wrinkles, and dog and cat hair won’t stick! When we were traveling and using laundromats, we never had to add fabric softener, there was so much residual inside the dryers, it wasn’t necessary. I don’t use softeners at home either. How hard can your clothes be? If you hung your towels out to dry, maybe, but apartments and HOAs don’t allow that anymore.

Let’s talk about cars! Do we really need a car that can compete on the Indianapolis 500 to drive to work and back? Do we need to go from 0 to 60 in 25 seconds? Pretty soon it will not be necessary to have a driver’s license or take a driver’s test! The cars won’t need humans to control them. They can drive themselves, and parallel park, I have to admit I like that. There will be a huge scream when a governor is built into the cars to keep them below the speed limit. The backup cameras are nice, we have one on our Motorhome.

From the number of accidents, it appears a driver’s license maybe should be replaced with a basic intelligence test. You should not be behind the wheel if you can’t handle a big gulp, a burger, fries, and text your friends, too!

We have to stop wrong-way drivers from getting on the freeway. Ideas are to spend lots of $$$ on signs, and public awareness on TV is not working! I have a thought; how about a tack strip for entrance? You know the ones that you can only drive one way, the other way puts holes in your tires? Another calmer way is to have the wrong way entrance with that surface that rattles your car and scrambles your brains if you speed over them. BTW, not a short strip either, make it the entire entrance, to get their attention.

And the last thing, the little old couple that wash their 6 dishes every night in the dishwasher, because it takes less water than washing them by hand. That’s right up there with a used car salesman giving you a good deal! I recently talked to a RV dealer and was told, “We buy your RV for the wholesale price and sell you a new one at wholesale price.” I could feel the swamp lapping at my front door!

Well, guys, and gals, it has been fun. You need to laugh, even if you have to laugh at yourself! Have a good day, and stay safe!

Guess what?

My latest book has been uploaded, but hold the presses, it will take a few days for Kindle to review. I am not totally happy with the justification, and will probably work on it and reload it. Most readers will not notice the difference, but I will.

This is the sequel to Murder on Lake Haverly. The premise of this book comes from a transaction that I actually did put together that took 2 years to close. I can’t tell you the original story, but there was the FBI, Sheriff’s Deputy, AZ Attorney General, and several other people involved. Of course, all the names were changed and most of the story is total fiction. It was the hardest and the most fun transaction ever!

Maye is up to her ears in trouble, which is not unusual. Her best friend with benefits, Frank is up to his neck with trying to keep Maye safe and get her to say yes to a trial marriage. He wants the real thing, but she is gun shy and likes their life.

Maye writes a Lease-Option to help Nate Harris into his dream home with his wife and baby girl Amanda. No one took the threat from the seller’s ex-husband languishing in Florence Prison seriously. But, they should have! He has long arms that are reaching out from Prison. The only people that know where the ex is hiding is Maye’s escrow agent Viv, Max her lawyer, and Nate.

Everything is hunky-dory until the ex-wife disappears. The bodies start piling up and Maye’s pain in the ass best friend, Lavonne is kidnapped! She is seeing red, and that is not good!

Going back to school

be brilliant neon light
Photo by Timothy Paule II on Pexels.com
turned off laptop computer
Photo by Ken Tomita on Pexels.com

I just discovered that Kindle is doing a whole new thing! Out with the old and in with the new!

We used to type our manuscript and format it for an ebook and again for a Paperback book.

I read about the new way until my eyes were so tired I put a cold cloth over them. Hopefully, within the next few days I will have crammed enough into my poor little head that I can make head-way and get up to speed.

Please think kind thoughts for my success. If any of you have already become experts with the “new world” of self-publishing books, I am up to do collaborating.

Have a good day and stay safe.

Good Morning!

Poor Miranda has been put out to pasture for three years and she is tired of doing nothing. She talked to us and demanded that we clean her up!

We were planning on having our Dawta sleep in her while she is visiting us. She gently told us she needs a bath and some deep cleaning inside before she would let anyone stay in her bedrrom. We listened to her because she is bigger than us!

Today we are cleaning the inside and outside of the cabinets and in the living room. We have cleaned the bedroom, enough that she smiled at us and said, “Good Job!”

Well, gotta go, she is calling us to come to bring her down for more sprucing up. If you see her, tell her how much prettier she looks.

The picture of her and us is the day we signed papers to adopt her as our best friend.

Have a good day, and stay safe!

Take what you need!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just pick one of these whenever we needed it? And as soon as one is picked, it is replaced with another one just like it.

Yeah, I know, some people will grab them all, but it doesn’t matter if they are replaced as often as they are taken.

Can you see a couple that you want or need right now? Go ahead and pick several. It’s okay, they will be replaced.

Have a good day and stay safe.

Life Goes On

Has the last year of social isolation made you appreciate the freedom that we used to have? Yes, I know many of you went on as if there was no pandemic, and many of you got away with your foolish actions without a hitch. But others were not so lucky, over a half-million total, and the total can go up again.

If the Covid 19 virus mutates and the people in the know are saying it will, we could be in trouble again. On the other hand, the current administration is listening to the scientific experts and making the best decisions possible to keep us safe.

There are several things that we can do to protect ourselves. Until there is true herd immunity, and or everyone in the world has had the vaccine that can have it, we can do several simple things. Wear a mask, even if it is just a cloth mask. BTW, letting it fall down and expose your nose makes wearing it useless. Social distancing, 6 feet would be best. Take your temperature often and if you run a fever, get a test. If it is positive, self isolate and see a Doctor.

My hubby and I are in the high-risk category; we started social distancing over a year ago. The Company that Shirl works with sent him home, and he worked remotely, so we were okay money-wise. We shopped once a week, and I made cloth bags, so we didn’t have to handle plastic bags. We wore masks and gloves while in the grocery store, washed all the produce, and wiped every other item. I also wiped all packages delivered from stores. I hated wearing the mask and still do. It is hard when you are asthmatic, but I did it for myself and for other people. I stopped taking sewing jobs for my neighbors in my community. We did not allow anyone to come inside our house. I am now accepting sewing jobs.  

Yesterday, my best friend stopped by to drop off a gift for us. She cannot have the vaccine for medical reasons, so we wore masks, and she didn’t come into my house. We met outside, keeping 6 feet apart, and both of us masked. It was the hardest thing for us to not hug.

Today a friend is coming over for lunch. We are eating outside, 6 feet apart, even though we are both vaccinated and presumed safe. We each bring our lunch and do not share. I know it is probably not necessary, but we both got used to the process. I am so looking forward to meeting people for lunch at Olive Garden for Soup and Salad.

Today I am making a Chocolate cake with Chocolate Fudge frosting for my son’s birthday party tonight.  Want me to save you a piece?

 

“How may I help You”?

Do you remember the “good old days” when if you had a question you could pick up the phone and in minutes get a real live person on the phone to answer your questions?

Our children and grandchildren will remember our good old days when you NEVER could get a real person on the phone, unless you count a “bot” or “AI” as a person.

This morning I got a call from a “real person” informing me that I needed to call the Doctor and get consent for me to decline training that was billed at $24.00. I suggested that they “do their job” and fax the necessary paper to the Doctor for him to agree that since my husband had been using the INR monitor for over 8 years, he could train me. I further suggested that they attach a cover letter giving specific instructions for the Doctor to follow.

This is the second time this Company demanded I do their job for them, and the second time I told them how to do their job and demanded they do it.

In case you haven’t encountered the changes in Insurance, let me be the first one to give you a heads-up! I was excited when the Insurance companies instituted along with the Doctors the practice of Tele-Doctor phone calls, we could even see each other. I met my new Doctor that way, and found it very convenient.

Now some of the Vendors, like the company that provides the monitor and equipment for us to test out INR in-home are jumping on the bandwagon and charging us for the difference in what Insurance pays. I get it! It is only $24.00. But in case you haven’t thought this through, every time you add a small co-pay for one more thing, it adds up. And contrary to popular opinion, Medicare recipients DO pay for their insurance! It is subtracted from our monthly check. And in my case, it is nearly 1/4 of my stipend.

The Cardiology Office decided in October that they should get paid for having one of their workers call us to inform us whether to take more or less Wafarin depending on the results of our tests. We filed a grievance with the Insurance Co. because I assumed that a contract was for the whole year, not as long as they felt like fulfilling it. We won that battle but lost the war. This year if we allow them to call us, we will have to pay.

I am not done but, understand, if you aren’t paying attention, it could cost you the money you should not have to pay. My Doctor is trying his best to help me find a way to get the help I need without breaking the bank. I love the Honor health internet program that allows me to leave a message for the Doctor and get an appointment online. Getting our vaccines was a breeze. Honor called us and set the appointment and we drove in got our shot and in 20 minutes drove home.

I wish Customer service was not a thing on the past. I miss getting the service that I feel that I am paying for, but instead getting the run around. I know you love the internet-only customer service, but have you noticed on the news the number of people that spent hours online trying to get an appointment for their vaccine? I hope you weren’t shocked at people driving to another county to sneak in line. Can you blame them for wanting to live?

Do not annoy the little woman

 

My husband and I were still newlyweds when he was “invited” or “commanded” to attend a cocktail party at his Regional Managers prestigious home just outside of Boston Massachusets

We were excited, of course, to see how the upper class lived.  When we arrived were offered a drink, I, of course, accepted a glass of white wine, and Shirl accepted a ginger ale.  We mingled with the other guests and were having a good time.

The Regional Manager  (I will call him Fred, not his real name) got close to me and said in a conspirital tone, “Mrs. Colbath, I noticed your husband did not have a cocktail or wine.”

“Yes, that is true; he does not drink.  As a matter of fact, he has never had a drink in his life.”

“That is interesting because I personally reviewed his AVA test, and it shows he does not have an addictive personality.  So he could have a drink without any harmful effects.  Why don’t we slip him a drink and see what happens; what do you think?”

By this time, I was a little annoyed; okay, I was a little pissed that anyone would consider slipping my husband a mickey when they knew he chose not to drink.

“Okay, Fred, let’s do it!  It will be fun to see him let loose.  He hasn’t had a drink in forever; he is an alcoholic, you know, but it will be fun to watch!  I might suggest you move that vase and those lovely ceramic busts.  The last time he got drunk, he broke every stick of furniture in the house.  This will be a hoot!”  I enthusiastically said.

Fred immediately left me standing in the corner and sashayed over to Shirl, hooking his arm in his.  For the remainder of the evening, he stayed by his side, telling everyone that, “Shirl doesn’t drink!”  He watched him like a hawk.

I, on the other hand, watching this performance, was trying not to laugh out loud.  I enjoyed the evening more than Fred will ever know.

We finally left the party, and on the way home, I confessed what I had done.  I was a little afraid Shirl might be a little mad at me for pulling a stunt like that.  He said, “I wondered why he was staying so close to me all evening.”   We have laughed more about that in the following years

It is amazing how many people have tried to slip him a drink over the years.  People that you would assume loved him and cared for him.  He is not an alcoholic; he is just honoring his Mother’s wishes.

The picture at the top of the page is our wedding picture.

 

Bigger, Stronger, and Smarter, but not necessarily in that order!

unrecognizable person sleeping under blanket
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

My philosophy of raising children is simple.  You need patience, lots of patience!  And you need to talk to them.

Discipline is okay, but those little people are incredibly smart, and they can reason. They remember everything, and later in life, your actions to and for them will bite you in the ass.

You, right now, are shaping the next generation!

You are not their friend; you are their parents! They will be a carbon copy of you.  Make sure it is an improvement of yourself. 

My husband and I love to play games.  Our favorite is Cribbage.  My co-worker expressed an interest in learning the game, so I invited her and her husband to our apartment to play cards. She seemed a lot of fun at work and was sure we would have a fun night.

The mother said, “We would love to, but our daughter just will not go to bed; we have tried that before, and she would stand right at our shoulder and annoy the hell out of us.”

I told her, “Don’t worry, just have her in her pajamas, and I guarantee that she not only will not fight to go to bed but will also ask me to let her go to bed!”

She said, “Okay, I have to see this!” I cautioned her to go along with anything I said.

The evening arrived!  Before their arrival, I prepared our bedroom.  I turned down the bed and sprinkled my “Magic Powder” on our bed and made it up again.

When the couple arrived, they introduced us to their daughter.  I took her aside and asked her to come with me to see the surprise I prepared just for her.  I led her to our bedroom.  As I turned down the bed a little, I said to her, “I just wanted to show you where you will sleep when you are ready.”

She looked at the bed but said nothing.    

I continued, “but of course not now, as a matter of fact, you should not get too close to the bed, because I put “Magic Powder” in the bed.  This is a powerful Magic Powder,  and if you smell it now,  you will fall instantly asleep!”  

I kept between her and the bed and continued, “When you are ready to go to sleep, just tell me that you want to smell the “Magic Powder,” and we will come in, and you can get into bed. The minute you smell the Magic Powder, you will fall instantly asleep and have wonderful dreams!”

I could tell she really wanted to smell my Magic Powder but was didn’t want to go to sleep, so she allowed me to lead her to the living room. She couldn’t wait to tell her parents, and they played along. 

She was dying of curiosity and wanted to smell the magic powder.  But of course, I cautioned her no go near the bed.  I played it up real big.  I told her to only tell me when she wants to smell the Magic Powder.

She watched us play cards for a while, and finally, her curiosity got the better of her. and she asked me to let her go in the bedroom and smell the Magic Powder.  The look on her parent’s faces was priceless.

I did it up big again, and led her into the bedroom, and asked again if she was sure she was ready to go to sleep because she would fall asleep in just a few minutes.

She got into the bed and smelled the “Magic Powder,” and we talked for a few minutes.  In just a few minutes, her eyes got heavy, and she dropped off.

We had a nice time playing cards and later her parents had to carry her out to their car.

I still can’t believe this, but the next day her mother called me and asked, “Where can I get some of that “Magic Powder?”  I need some; I can’t get her to go to sleep without it!”

Will Rogers

Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash with Wylie Post in 1935, was probably the greatest political sage this country has ever known.  Enjoy the following:

“Ten men in our country could buy the whole world and ten million can’t buy enough to eat.” – Will Rogers

“It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.” – Will Rogers

“An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh.” – Will Rogers

“You know horses are smarter than people. You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people.” – Will Rogers

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” – Will Rogers

“The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” – Will Rogers

“I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat.” – Will Rogers

“If you feel the urge, don’t be afraid to go on a wild goose chase. What do you think wild geese are for anyway?” – Will Rogers

“The problem ain’t what people know. It’s what people know that ain’t so that’s the problem.” – Will Rogers

“Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re actually paying for.” – Will Rogers

“Buy land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff.” – Will Rogers

“There are men running governments who shouldn’t be allowed to play with matches.” – Will Rogers

“What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.” – Will Rogers

“There is no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.” – Will Rogers

“The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.” – Will Rogers

“Lord, the money we do spend on Government and it’s not one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money twenty years ago.”- Will Rogers

“It is better for someone to think you’re a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” – Will Rogers

I hope these thoughts made you laugh. We all need a laugh now and then. We also need to laugh at ourselves, might as well, or someone will do it for you.

Have a little fun today, and stay safe!

Koyaanisqatsi

There are those that see the handwriting on the wall! One tribe doesn’t care because they have an exit strategy, and the other wants to fight to preserve. It is a toss-up who wins.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Homemade Ice Magic

Now you are talking! Love it! We used to make ice cream at home and vanilla cookies for invitation-only “Ice Cream Social!”

Mt. Kenya: The Abode of the Gikuyu God.

It is too bad that when we encounter a new name we do not take the time to lead the proper pronunciation. If I sounded it out right it has a better sound, although Kenya is okay. It is beautiful with the mist and snow.

Faith Quote By Pope John Paul Ii: “Faith and Reason…”

I am not a religious person but I believe there should be a lot more reason used in faith!

Why Every African Should Be Rich: Lessons From an African Childhood

Making your own toys is no confined to African children. Growing up as poor as dirt we made many of our own games and played them with the same gusto. Many skinned knees, scraped elbows, and more. The great story grabbed me and held me, would love to read more.

Portuguese Folktales. Thirteen Posts in One!

I started following you recently and look forward to more of your stories and maybe re-visit some I have missed.

Temple of the Moon Treehouse Lodge, Seattle, Washington

This is wonderful. I will have to make it a point to see it when I get back to Seattle.

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