Ruby & Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space book 4 The “Others”

This is the continuing story of the adventures and misadventures of our two adolescent kids growing up on a supposedly uninhabited planet in another galaxy!

They were responsible for uniting the humans and the dragon community to work together to stop the Consortium from trying to extract payment for “settling” the planet with humans.

The dragons are not the fire-breathing dragons you are familiar with! These dragons are artisans and more advanced technologically than their human friends.

In this book, they will introduce new people to the human/dragon mix! And the kids are the catalyst, again!   

All they wanted to do was go deep sea fishing! Nolan catches a huge fish, and just as he is having his picture taken with his trophy, they are kidnapped! A net snatches the whole group, and they go up, up, and away to meet the “Others!”

Thanks for looking at my 4th book in this series. Amazon kindle allows you to read a few pages of any book. Clip on the picture below, and you will be taken to Amazon, where you can own this book or the whole series. Be kind, leave me a review, and follow me to be notified of newly released books.

Ruby & Nolans Great Adventures in Space Book 3 “The Keep”

     Ruby, Nolan, Bonnie, and Shamus tell their parents they are going on a picnic. They plan to meet Donzereli and his dragon friends for an exciting dragon flight. Dr. Allen bribes an invitation for the dragon ride! They discover that he is just a big kid!   

     The kid’s unease starts when arriving at the Dragons Mountain Keep. They are greeted by Donzereli’s parents, who do not look pleased. The group’s unease grows when they discover the dragons are prepared with rooms and clothes in their sizes. 

They are thrilled with the Sky Mall and solar-powered flying cars that park themselves in the garage. A formal dinner with the adult Dragons, not so much! The thrill ends when the kids learn their parents are arriving to take them home for punishment.

Donzereli borrows a flying car without permission and arranges an exciting adventure. Dr. Allen was invited to come along on a deep-sea fishing trip!  

What could go wrong with a fishing trip?

Time to meet “The Others!”

Ruby & Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space Book 2 Dragon Flight

Imagine telling your parents your secret science project resulted in helping hatch a DRAGON! They named him Donzereli after Uncle Dawnzella, their mom’s best friend. Ty and Robin met the baby dragon and were okay with it. Meeting Sunset and Rainbow, his parents, standing over 10 feet tall, was another matter.

Think about that for a minute!

Ruby and Nolan survived with justifiable punishment for keeping their science project a secret! A complete written essay with pictures of their project. Ty and Robin hoped to use it to introduce Donzereli to the colony.

Donzereli helped introduce the colony to the Dragons! There was an uneasy peace that was broken by the youngsters, again!

Telling their parents they were going on a picnic, our adventurous kids and their best friends Bonnie and Shamus met Donzerli and friends in a field. They planned to fly to Donzereli’s keep in the northern mountains.

Just as they mounted their dragons, Dr. Rodney Allen stepped out of the woods and said, “I ride with you, or I tell your parents!” You will discover he is a big kid.  

Click on the picture to be taken to Amazon, available in eBook and paperback. Don’t forget to leave a review. And follow for notification of new books.

My first book, Ruby and Nolan’s Great Adventure in Space

What would it be like to travel to another planet? In another galaxy? Would you expect the inhabitants to be friendly and look like you? How would you feel if many were not humanoid?

Come along with Ruby and Nolan as they meet the inhabitants of their new world. Live their adventures on their new world!

This book series takes Ruby and Nolan from childhood to near adulthood. Cheer them on as they get in and out of misadventures on a new world.

In Book 1, their secret Science Project goes awry, and they might have difficulty explaining why they kept it a secret from their parents!

What could go wrong? They found a beautiful rock that is warm to the touch and vibrates. When Ruby realizes it is not a rock but an egg, she feels no danger because it will be a baby when the egg hatches. It couldn’t be harmful, could it?

Stick around and meet Donzereli! He hatches from their egg and seems friendly, but what happens when his parents fly down to fetch him home?

The interesting word is; Fly!

I WANNA BE IN MOVIES!

I have been approached by Film Hatch Media with a contract offer to produce my book “Ruby and Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space” as a movie. I will not have to give up my Copyright and all rights to my series of 8 books.

Film Hatch Media Production is a global network of independent film production and film concept agency that serves mainstream film production companies and aspiring movie writers. They guarantee to do the following: 1. Screenplay Creation with treatment and logline 2. US Copyright Registration 3. Book Teaser Creation ( 15-Second Video Length) 4. Press release Submission and Distribution to 5,000 National and International Media Outlets 5. Hollywood Database Submission 6. Screenplay Registration and Submission for 2022 Film Festivals 7. Social Media Advertising (Back Linking: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram” 8. Establish and Distribute Movie Materials to – Indie Filmmakers, Producers, Directors, Editors, and Top Streaming Platforms.

They have an evaluation by Stephen Stone as their reviewer, who says about my book; The story moves quickly and efficiently. The setting is drawn so realistically, and scientific facts are handled so deftly that it’s hard to ignore the story of Ruby and Nolan’s great adventure into the big screen. The assessment shows that this material is currently in demand by movie industries and producers. Please discuss Project Movie Deal. 

The content was well projected, with good story build=up. Pacing and movement were patterned properly. A science fiction story that is something new for audiences. Excellent story for the whole family. Ruby and Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space is an excellent book. It is well written, well delivered, and well thought out. Particularly effective is the way that Colbath encourages the reader.

I am extremely flattered at the evaluation and thrilled at the idea of my book series being made into a movie or series of movies. It is every writer’s dream.

Happiness Engineers

My last foray into the world of blogging, hosting, and frustration! Was a case of me trying to explain in words of one syllable and getting back an explanation of the engineer’s understanding of what I said. The best explanation would be black and white.

I explained that when my site was hosted with GoDaddy everything was wonderful until GoDaddy decided they were only interested in the big bucks. So we moved to host to HostGator and left our domain with GoDaddy with the plans to move it to either WordPress or HostGator.

That was when my emails stopped from y’all when I blogged and you commented on my post. I won’t go into the miserable mess I was and still am in, but let’s say it is smelly!

Yesterday, I discovered that emails were not enabled, so I enabled them and the Happiness Engineer was thrilled that I discovered the fly in the ointment. Right!

So this is a test; will I live in the cyber “Never, Never Land or will the clouds finally be lifted and I will hear your likes to my post?

Only God and little green apples will tell! Normally I get around 200 emails a day from my 450 or so followers. I am so sorry that I haven’t answered or at least “liked” your responses, but alas, I never received your posts back to me.

We will see, time will tell. If I do receive emails Great! If I don’t guess it is another foray with Happiness Engineers and HostGator pointing fingers at each other or at GoDaddy, and saying, “Ain’t my job, it’s their fault!”

Single & Retired Partners: Alert

Forgive me for the unabashed commercial, but Miranda wants to be adopted by new people! We will miss her, but wish her happiness and fun traveling.

Hi, my name is Miranda, and when I was young, I was a 6-person RV! After Shirl and Brenda adopted me, I became a two-person RV, and I rewarded them with better gas mileage and room to stretch out and relax. They loved the extra room. They were happier with two lounge chairs and a table and chairs instead of the uncomfortable couch and hard to get into and out of the dinette set.

If you are ready to “get on the road to adventure,” come and visit me at OPS (Other People’s Stuff) at 8833 N. Black Canyon Hwy. Phoenix, AZ Call 602-909-9000 between 9:00 and 5:00 Monday through Saturday to visit me, kick my tires, and take a drive.

Shirl and Brenda will tell you everything about me so you can make an informed decision. We loved traveling together for 6 ½ years and seeing wonderful sights in the USA. They loved taking the time to enjoy the trip! When food was on their mind, they stopped and cooked. They had a soft bed when a nap was needed, not the Boards R Us in many hotels.

When people say, “But gas is almost $5.00 a gallon!” here is my answer; How much does it cost to fly? Have you checked out the price of hotel rooms? Meals in a restaurant ???

Vacation with me “You have a huge picture window to see the beautiful scenery and wildlife along the way.”  We enjoyed stopping to allow wild turkeys or deer to cross the road and take pictures of a herd of Elk! We also got up close and personal to some Buffalo!

  • New Gas Fuel Pump ($1800.00)
  • New Generator Fuel Pump and Carburator (Onan) ($1,000)
  • New Electrical Inverter and New Dual Air Conditioner Switch ($3600.)
  • Plus, these are some of my best features:
  • Dually rear wheels with extended air stems
  • Heavy Duty Mud Guard
  • Rear View Camera
  • Radio surround sound with USB slot
  • Slide-out Kitchen & Living Room
  • ¾ bath (featuring water closet)
  • Slide-out pantry with a lock when traveling
  • Refrigerator 4 years old
  • 4” foam Queen Mattress
  • 5” storage under bed
  • 22” screen TV in the cabinet over Dash with Articulating Bracket for viewing
  • Attachment to by-pass RV Propane tank– use an external tank for Barbeque or to run gas features
  • Onan Generator
  • Dual Air Conditioners
  • New shower head
  • Spice Rack over the stove (holds large containers)
  • Shoe storage shelves between shower and sink
  • Storage box on a rack over the rear bumper

I am still here!

I am having fun trying to figure out the why, how, and what else is next!

It is a long and ugly explanation, but the short of it is: We had to get away from GoDaddy because it became too expensive for a little guy to have them as my go to company for email, etc!

I decided to go with HostGator, mostly because there were real people to talk to on the phone. Be careful what you wish for!

We signed up, and then the fun ensued! So far, I AM NOT GETTING ANY EMAILS FROM MY WORDPRESS ACCOUNT! None at all!

GoDaddy says it is Hostgator’s fault, and Hostgator says it is GoDaddy’s fault!

When I signed up I told Hostgator, “I am not a techie!” And of course, they want me to do the technical stuff and insist on me using the “Proper” terms for things that I have no clue about!

Guys, I am a writer! I have engaged my Sun in trying to fix everything, and hopefully, he can solve the problem. But Godaddy, we are moving our domain asap! I am glad all of us “Little people” were able to help you grow so big you don’t need us anymore.

More dating in the 60s

I’ve got the right era now, and working in the Dexter Shoe Shop was a lively place. It was not a place for Ladies to work. Women with grit made it okay. The men/managers were so sweet to us. Not! You do understand in the 60s, we women workers were not on the same level as real live Male human beings. We were tolerated, ridiculed, the brunt of jokes, and generally mistreated as much as the law would allow. 

I was a lot different from some of the other girls that grew up protected. I fought back and took no bullshit and could sling it nearly as well as they could! Thanks, Mom! She brought me up to never back down from a fight and, if I lost the fight, to make sure that I “got a lunch while they got a meal!”

Most of us “girls” smoked in the bathroom, on our breaks, and it was tolerated, not liked, but tolerated! One day the supervisor called me out of the bathroom to tell me to go back to work. I told him I was on my break and would go back when it was over. If he hadn’t tried so hard to be a dick, I might have just ignored him, like the other girls. But, he was screaming at me, and I took exception to his language and grabbed two fist-fulls of his shirt, picked him up off the floor, and put him against the wall. It must have been a funny sight to see him with his feet, dangling a foot off the floor! Of course, no one saw him. I can’t remember exactly what I said to him, but he looked shocked and a little scared. Because when I dropped him on the floor, he ran like the devil was chasing him. I was never called out again. Lesson learned.

When Mom and I went for lunch at the lake, she laughed her ass off! I am surprised that I didn’t get fired right then. It might have been that he didn’t want anyone to know what I did. He was a little pip-squeak and wanted to be the big man. I think his pride wouldn’t let him admit what I did. After all, I was a mere woman.  

I will tell you about the one that did get me fired later.   

The summer that I spent double dating with Joe and Shirl and whatever new chick he dated was the best summer of my life. I needed that freedom and fun so much more than I can ever describe. Joe was an interesting guy! He walked across the Canada/Maine border with just the clothes on his back. With his younger brother’s ID! When he arrived in Dexter, he got a job in the Shoe Shop and lived in an apartment above a restaurant. He learned to speak English watching TV, and it gave him good lessons, but his sentence structure was a little funny. For instance, he would say, “I feel to eat!” The way he pronounced Italian was a hoot. He loved Italian sandwiches! There was a Deli in town that made the best! I never have had one as good.

He talked one of the car dealerships into selling him a car with no downpayment, and to my knowledge, he never made a payment on it. It was a 57 Bonneville Chevy, and it was fast! Shirl bragged that they had it up to the limit on the speedometer! I think that was 120 MPH! They didn’t drive that fast when the other girls and I were with them. Joe just couldn’t keep his speed down, and he was stopped by Police Chief Harold Knox for speeding. He was supposed to appear to answer for the speeding ticket. On Friday night, Joe (not his real name, remember it was his brother’s ID) said his goodbye to everyone except Harold Knox. I have it on good authority that a very good friend drove him to the border Saturday morning. That same good friend drove the car back to Dexter and parked it where it would be spotted. Before Joe walked across the border, he told Shirl, “Take good care of Brenda!” And he has for the last 60 years!

I will race back again and tell you more tales of my life. Just for the fun of it, I am posting a picture of Chocolate Boy.

Isn’t he Beautiful?

Chocolate Boy and more dating in the 60s

Too old and too late, smart! I have referred to dating in the 80s in other blogs; I was already married and had 2 kids by then; the only dating I did was in the 60s or earlier.

I always wanted a horse when living on the farm, but that was an expensive animal, so it stayed a dream. But as a grown-up, I decided that I wanted to make it a reality. I saved money, and when I heard about a Children’s Summer Camp that was selling one of their horses, I jumped at the chance to lay a claim to my very own horse. 

I named him Chocolate Boy because he was Chocolate Brown all over except for a white star on his face. Since I had never owned a horse, there were some learning curves. The first thing I had to learn was that I was not the boss; he was! Coming from a summer camp taught him that he was supposed to stay in his camp. He acquainted our 15-acre farm as his new “Summer Camp” and would not leave it no matter how much you begged or whipped! I didn’t have the heart to whip him, so he stayed happily on the farm, and I stayed with him. I didn’t want to leave, anyway. 

Shirl, my Dad, and Joe volunteered to bring Chocolate Boy home. I wasn’t worried until he drove in the yard, with poor Chocolate Boy tied up on the back of a pulp truck with no sides! Joe and my Dad were standing on each side, trying to keep him calm. I suspect Shirl drove slow, and it must have been a show for everyone along the way.

I don’t remember how they got him down from the truck, but probably, since horses can jump and usually remain steady on their feet, he jumped down. Now that I think about it, I wonder how they got him up on the truck body.

I had not yet got a bridle, saddle, or boots, but the urge to ride my magnificent prize was too strong. So I hopped on Chocolate Boys back. Horses can be controlled with a bridle if they are gentle, and as I said, he was used to having children ride him.

Joe wanted to ride with me and, over my objections, jumped up on Chocolate Boys back from the rear end of the horse. He made it up on Chocolate Boys’ back and immediately was kicked off on his butt. Lloyd and Shirl doubled over with laughter seeing the horse’s feet straight out behind as he kicked and Joe flying in the air. Only Joe’s pride was hurt.

I stayed on his back, and Lloyd calmed him down; we got treats for Chocolate Boy and put him in his pen. Gave him a fork full of hay and some feed.

Chocolate Boy would allow a baby or small child to walk all around under his feet, tickle his belly and pretty much do anything to him, and would not flinch or move a muscle. You could let a small child get on his back, and he would only walk slowly around his enclosure. I watched the kids hitting him with the reins to trot, and he would not obey them.

However, if an adult climbed in the saddle, he would run like the wind. If you mistreated him as an adult, he might sideswipe his fence, and you’d better move your leg or pay the price.

I tried to ride him down the road to my old bus stop when I first got him. He refused to walk over the small bridge. I tried to ride towards town, and as soon as we got to our neighbor’s house, the huge trees with branches and leaves making noise in the wind scared the bejesus out of him. I brought him home and figured I would get him used to both of them later, a little at a time.

As time went on, I got used to riding him in the safety of our field, and he became a friend and confidant.

I will ride back and tell you more of my adventures; don’t go away!

Work, Chocolate Boy, and more dating in the 60s

I was welcomed into the Dexter Shoe Shop like any woman was greeted in the 60s! The interview process was not intensive, there was no internet to speak of, and real people interviewed you in a room. I was “trained” to run an industrial overlock machine. This was not rocket science; the training consisted of showing me the machine. And the racks of Ice Skates, Bowling Shoes, Golf Shoes, and various other “shoes” needed the backs sewn together. I had been sewing since I was 8, so it was not an alien attempt.

The racks were about 7 feet tall, with enough shelves to hold a case of 32 pairs of shoes. I would start at the bottom, take a row if possible, and put them on the right side of my machine. I would stitch down the back of the first pair, run the overlock thread out about 2 or three inches, add the next pair, stitch them together. This continued until I had the entire case sewed.

I would then move the case rack out of the way and bring another rack to my bench. This continued every day, 5 days a week. I think I mentioned that I “repaired” the machine to keep the “Mechanics” from wasting my time waiting for them to get to my machine. All they had to do was loosen a screw, put a new wire on, and tighten it. This consistently took 30 minutes. Once I talked them out of a dozen wires, it was done in 5 minutes. 

I worked on piecework, so time was important to me. I might have mentioned that I am ambidextrous and very fast with my hands. I was asking for more money, but guess what? They didn’t was a mere woman to make money, so it was met with resistance. The foreman they sent to check my time was not the sharpest tool in the shed. He stood behind me and clocked my speed. While he was standing behind me, I did a lot of moving, but not a lot of backs got sewed until he left, and I sped up.

I was battling anemia and did nothing but work and sleep for the first year home. When I felt better, I started hankering for a horse. And eventually found one.

I was constantly asked out by a guy from Canada, and I constantly said no. You gotta give him credit for grit. One day I was walking down the main street, and who should be standing on the side next to a parking meter, but Joe. Standing next to him was this guy! He was about 6 ft tall, slim with blue eyes and nearly blonde hair. 

Joe asked me out again, and I said yes, but you have to come down to the farm and meet my parents. I’ll be darned if they both came, and the funny thing is, my mother knew Shirley’s parents. They lived near each other. And Shirley used to deliver the newspaper to our house. 

The best summer of my life started with that short meeting! We double-dated Joe and I and Shirl (he shortened Shirley to Shirl) with one of his many girlfriends. We did a lot of sightseeing during the daytime and were at the Bar-L nearly every Saturday night.

The Bar-L was an old barn converted into a Dance Hall! No alcohol was served inside; it was consumed outside! Shirl did not drink then and has never had a drink; however, Joe drank when he was not with Shirl. 

Joe was a little jealous of any of Shirl’s attention to me. One time Shirl got stung by a bee on his lip. I was just joking, I kissed his bee sting, and Joe and the girl Shirl was dating were pissed at both of us. Later that day, we cemented the dislike.

We were just relaxing parked by a stream when the girl had a brilliant idea. We each picked a Maple leaf from a nearby tree, and we all four dropped them in the stream. The leaves that Joe and Judy’s leaves went a little way and stopped on opposite edges of the stream. Shirl’s and my leaf met in the middle, hooked together, and traveled down the stream out of sight!

Stay tuned; I will be back with more adventures in dating in the 60s.

James

This is the first chapter of the sequel to “The Spirited One,” the first book in this series, hated the ending, and you never know; they might love or hate the ending of this one. I haven’t written the end so let me know what you want.

Chapter 1 Jack brings James to work.

James sulked around the house for days after the funeral. The daily visits from Jammie and Jack did little to alter his foul mood.  He only had two moods: anger and grief! Jack tolerated his grief until he stepped over the line. 

He and Jammie were sitting quietly with him. Jammie tried to get him to talk about Jena a little, hoping it would help. James exploded! 

He vaulted to his feet, leaning over Jammie, yelling at her. “What do you know about how I feel? I have nothing, and I will always have nothing! I don’t fucking want to feel this pain again, ever!” 

Jack jumped up, forcibly getting between James and Jammie. He didn’t want to fight James, but dammit, he would if he hurt Jammie. Suddenly James was confronted by a snarling bear! At least, Jack looked like a bear with his 6-foot frame and his longish black hair flying around his pock-marked angry face.

Jack remembered the anger, grief, and pain he felt when his wife and baby daughter were killed by a drunk driver many years ago! Jack wanted to kill that driver! But, dammit, the driver survived, and so did he! James has a right to be angry, but I will not let him hurt Jammie!

“Back off, James!” Jack yelled, pushing him away from Jammie! “You know what? I am fucking sick and tired of you acting like you are the only person in the whole God-damned world that has ever had anything bad happen to them. We are going to settle this once and for all!”

Jack grabbed James by the collar and hauled him out the door. The 20 pounds or more James had shed and the physical inactivity put him at a disadvantage! James looked like a kid being taken to the woodshed. Jack moved so fast James’ feet barely touched the floor. Before Jammie recovered from the shock and could protest, they were out the door. Jack slammed James into the passenger seat of his car!  Jumping in, he threw it into gear, and sped out of the driveway, throwing rocks and grass in the air. Jammie ran out just in time to see dust and dirt flying.

“Damn, I hope Jack doesn’t hurt him! James can use an attitude adjustment, but Jack is madder than hell!”

“James, buckle up your God-damned seat belt! We are taking a little trip; you need to have some sense knocked into that thick skull of yours!”

Jack looked mad as hell, and James tried to open the door, but Jack had it locked. James feared he was in for a beat down, and Jack was just the guy to do it.  He thought, “Shit, that son of a bitch looks mad enough to beat me to a pulp! Where the hell is my Spirited One when I need it?”

There was no response!

But Jack wasn’t planning on beating James; he had a better idea. He pulled in and slammed on the breaks at the entrance to the Tolleson Cemetry.  James was thrown ahead as far as his seatbelt would allow and slammed back against the seatback. He unhooked his seatbelt, nearly breaking the door handle, trying to get out. The second Jack released the door lock, James threw open the door, jumped out, and ran in a dead heat away from Jack! He was no match for Jack’s anger and was tackled before getting more than a few yards from the car. 

James ate dirt when his face hit the ground. Picking him up, spinning him around, grabbing two fists full of his shirt, he pulled him close, face to face. “Look, you sorry piece of shit, we have all been pussyfooting around you because you lost your true love! Well, pity party time is over; you are alive! Jena would be so God damn ashamed of you she would kick your ass for being such a coward.” 

“I don’t want to live without her!” James said, blubbering like a kid sagging, but Jack wouldn’t let him fall to his knees. 

“Big fucking deal! You can fix that; eat your God Damned Gun! But first, I want to show you someone that had real courage!” Grabbing James by the back of his shirt, pulling his sagging body to his feet. With a fistful of James’ shirt, Jack started off for the furthest corner of the Cemetary. James could barely stay on his feet, but Jack didn’t slow down!

When he reached two graves side by side, he stopped. Tuning to James, he shouted, “Now, here are two real-life God-Dammed heroes. When Tom knew he could never win against four football giants and faced certain death, do you know what he did?  He didn’t lay down and die; he fought hard to save the woman he loved. Jena had more courage in her little finger than you, you miserable coward, have in your whole God-damned body! She fought every day of her young life to become whole from the worst possible thing that happens to a woman! Now get down on your God-Dammed knees and beg her forgiveness!” And he let go of James’ collar and let him fall.

James’ knees hit the ground, wincing as he looked up to see the names inscribed on the twin headstones. Tom Adams beloved son of Fredrick and Gina Adams 1997-2015. Jena Andrews, beloved daughter of John and Mary Andrews 1999-2020. He bowed his head in shame, saying nothing for a long time.

James finally looked up at Jack and said, “Jack, I know I don’t deserve it, but will you trust me to have a few minutes to really say goodbye?”

“Yes, I will be by the car, but don’t make me come after you!”

“I promise, I just need to beg forgiveness from two people that are finally reunited.”

Waiting by the car, Jack calmed down enough to call Jammie and tell her he didn’t hurt James, and everything was okay. He confessed what he did and asked her forgiveness. 

“Jack, it was not what I would have recommended, but it worked.  Sometimes a person has to be shocked after their loss and realize they must live. And I suspect you shocked James pretty much. He needed it for no other reason than to honor the wishes of Jena. I am a little surprised that the Spirited One let you be so rough with James. You know it could have hurt you, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I took a calculated risk that it would do the same thing if it were possible, and I think the Spirited One may have used me to shake up James before he destroyed himself. I haven’t been that angry in a long time.”

“I hope I never see you that angry again. I will wait for you to come back.”

James sat staring at the two stones for several minutes before he could speak. “Tom, please forgive me for being such an ass! I was so in love with Jena; all I could think of was how happy we would have been together. But Tom, I now know that she had already given her heart to you. It will take me time to accept the fact that you two belong together and be happy that you are now.” 

He allowed tears to fall, not for his loss, but for the joy of knowing that now Jena is happy with her true love. He gently kissed Jena’s headstone, and fist touched Tom’s. “Jena, I am okay now, and I am happy that you two are finally together.”

He brushed off his pants and jogged back to Jack, and hugged him. 

“Cut that mushy shit out and get in the car!” Jack said, pushing him toward the passenger side.

“Please, take me home.  I need a shower, shave, change clothes.  I’ve been loafing around long enough; we’ve got a killer to catch and a Senator to put in jail!”

What else is new?

Today I am listening to a worker cutting a larger hole in my cabinet to put a new countertop range in. It will replace the original stovetop range. You remember! The ones with the plug-in thingys! I am wondering if I will be able to learn how to cook with all four burners working? My old one had two working burners most of the time. Okay, onward to bigger and better things!

About a month ago, we were informed that GoDaddy was making changes and we would be on a WebMail system or pay big bucks. We contacted HostGator and decided to transfer our domain for emails. Sounds nice and easy, right? In the ensuing battle, it was a call to GoDaddy, and a long wait, then a call to HostGator, not a long wait, and both were saying, “No, not our fault we did everything right!” 

Eventually, we got everything on each of the sites that needed to be posted, and guess what?

Still no email from my WordPress blogs! For the last month, I have received one or two from you; the rest went into cyberspace, I think. 

The last time I spoke to HostGator, they sent me sites to get the domain set up to get your emails. None of them made any sense to my non-techie brain. I stated clearly when I was contracting for this new site that “I AM NOT A TECHIE! My next call will be to tell them, “You have my money; now it is time for YOU to either fix it or give me my money back. 

So far in this battle, we now own two Microsoft 365 programs. I expect to have a fun time getting money back on either one. I have a site that pops up and wants me to sign in to Outlook Assistant, for which I do not have a password.

And, did I say I still am not getting your emails?

That cabin in the woods is sounding a whole lot better every day! 

Friends?

This is all in fun, and no aspersions are meant to anyone’s beliefs! This came to me in a dream, and I couldn’t resist sharing it just for laughs!

Knock, Knock, “Hey, hello buddy, long time no see, come on in and sit awhile! Thanks! Jesus, I am sorry it has been so long between visits; things have been hectic down in my  world!”

“Tell me about it! We’ve been so busy, we can’t see straight up here! That pandemic is raising hell with our business; we are busier than one-armed paper hangers!”

“Hey, watch the language; someone might be listening, and catch you with your pants down!” The two old friends both shook with laughter as they hugged. “You’ve got that right! We have been inundated with people dropping in and begging for admission. Everyone is dying to have a good time! Whatcha got good to drink?”

Opening the refrigerator door and seeing only milk, shaking his head, bending down, and reaching way into the back, finds a couple of bottles of red wine. Filling two beautifully decorated crystal wine glasses to the top, he hands one to his friend and takes a big drink.

“Hey, business isn’t that bad, is it? Take it easy; maybe you should save some of that wine for communions!”

“No need, it is delivered by the truckload! We are full and overflowing every Sunday.” He said as he emptied his glass and filled it again. “I sure hope you are having fun down there. Everyone up here is miserable! The message doesn’t stick more than a day or two?”

“Did you ever think that they like being themselves! No more goody two shoes on Sunday and then freedom. With me, they can be their true selves ALL THE TIME,” he said as he gulped down the last of his wine and held his glass out for a re-fill. They continued drinking and refilling for the better part of two hours.

“Damn, that’s the last of the wine; hang on while I see if there is more hidden in the back.”  He lumbered over to the fridge and, scanning the contents, saw no more wine. He turned around to find a beautiful woman with shiny bright red skin and nothing else on her spectacular body. She was standing uncomfortably close to him with a bottle in each hand, cradling two of the most majestic breasts. Taking the bottles, he watched her slink seductively over to his friend, straddling his lap, smothered him with kisses. They snuggled so close it was hard to see where her red body ended, and his friend’s body began.  

He yanked the bottle open so hard he almost broke the neck and poured three glasses, thinking, “Damn, I wonder if I picked the wrong side of the street? Things have been pretty dry lately! Doesn’t seem fair that a bunch of old farts smokin’ hashish decided these stupid rules. Whatever made them think a lifetime of being celibacy was a good idea or could be done? Just because they couldn’t get it up doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t!”

The three finished the two bottles, and magically two more appeared to take their place. As the evening progressed, more bottles appeared as soon as one was thrown empty to the floor. 

The guest noticed that his heavenly host had removed his heavy garments one at a time until he was naked as a jaybird. He wove a drunkard, sexy dance with his beautiful companion. It had been so long since he had felt this horny he wasn’t sure what to do, but his lusty dance partner certainly did! She led him to the next room and, closing the door, the things she did, made him lose his heavenly mind. 

When they finally re-appeared, he was grinning from ear to ear and needed sustance, and his good friend supplied a banquet fit for a King! They ate until they could eat no more! They sat back, rubbing their bellies, just looking at each other.

Finally, they all broke out in laughter! 

“God, I thought I’d never see you ever let your hair down, but tonight you sure did!”

“The Devil with you! You two trapped me! I have kept myself pure for thousands of years, except for that one time. But that was necessary to save the God-damned world. I needed to beget my only son. ”

“Jesus, what exactly did we do to you?”

“Don’t call me that; you know that is my Son’s name!” He said, sounding angry.

“Yeah, we all know that, but let’s get a little truth some here, and tell the God’s honest truth! You desired that innocent little virgin, and you had her, didn’t you? And it was in the flesh! Admit it! You got her preggers and palmed her off on poor Joseph. Do you really believe they lived as brother and sister? If they did, wouldn’t that have been incest! And, do you want me to believe you didn’t “visit” her in the flesh from time to time?”

“Well, I had to make sure she was doing okay; after all, she was carrying my child.” He said, trying to look fatherly, but failing.

“Yeah, really! It’s a wonder that she didn’t have quintuplets!”  He said, laughing so hard tears ran down his face.

And his friend tried but failed to look chagrinned.

Finally, he realized he was “outed,” and he said, “She was a sweet loving Christian woman and obeyed her heavenly father’s commands with enthusiasm. Too bad Joseph never got a chance to taste the honey from that fair maiden.” He said, thinking back with a big smile on his face.

“And, what makes you think he didn’t keep her happy? You know, you can’t be everywhere all the time.”

“Of course, I can!”

“Sweetheart, show our friend your real self!”

 And with a flourish, all the bright red skin vanished, and she wore the habit befitting the time of her youth.” 

“Oh my God! Mary? You chose this guy? Over me? You could have sat on the throne beside me, forever!”

“And be put on that pedestal with all the other virgins? No, thank you! I want to have fun, and I am having a wonderful time.” She said as she moved close and pressed her luscious body to him, which now desired more of her amazing lovemaking. He grabbed her clothing, removed it with a flourish, picked her up, carried her to the next room, kicking the door shut with his foot. 

When they finally emerged from the room, he was chagrined and satisfied, and she again dressed in her “Mary” costume. His friend was sleeping in the arms of another even more beautiful woman.

He sat up suddenly, nearly dumping his goddess off his lap! “God, I figured out what we should do! Let’s change places, and I will rule your kingdom; you can rule mine for a few hundred years! Whatcha think?” 

“Don’t you think someone would notice if we changed places?”

“Hell, no one ever sees us in the flesh, so to speak, how would they know?”

“Alright, but I take my little virgin with me!”

Did you notice the switch? I sure as hell didn’t!

Do we want to go back to the good old days?

In the good old days, you had an idea of the work you wanted to do, and you worked hard to build your business from the ground up with your hands.

Buying and selling new widgets. Repairing them from your garage gradually morphed into a store and putting signage in the huge window.  You rented or bought a cash register, bought a truckload of widgets on consignment, including repair parts.

You never dreamed of becoming a conglomerate and owning hundreds of stores and/or factories.  You wanted to “make a living” for your family.  Many times several of your family worked with you, and life was good!

When the Internet burst on the horizon and became cost-effective enough, many households owned one or more.  It became necessary for your company to upgrade to computers and credit card purchases.  Soon it became normal business practice.  Advertising on the Internet brought more customers to your store, and some bought online, and you shipped to them. You never borrowed money; you invested your savings. 

Then the world turned upside down!  A brilliant entrepreneur realized that you could bring customers INTO your store via the Internet.  You could SELL widgets to them online and ship products without ever seeing or meeting them in person! Customers liked the convenience of having their packages delivered right to their front door.  But, they wanted to purchase from people they knew and trusted!  They remembered meeting face to face and liked getting to know you via the pictures and videos of your business. 

 At least once during this time, you probably said, “Hell, I don’t want to know my customers; I just want to sell to them!” But that is just what the Internet was designed to accomplish between you and your customers. 

Your customers could see pictures of you, your employees, and your business. You started selling many other things in addition to Widgets; your internet site had hundreds and sometimes thousands of items. New start-up companies started competing for your business.  Entrepreneurs created sites where Mom and Pop could put goods online, along with people that just wanted to get rid of unwanted stuff. And it was good.

Eventually, the “Big Auction Companies” realized that they didn’t need Mom and Pop resale items; they could sell direct from the factory to a purchaser, making bigger profits, so Mom and Pop were cut out of the deal!  Big Box Stores were happy to have their products online.  Fulfillment centers were born to expedite the time to get packages from A to B.  Everyone with a computer jumped on the bandwagon and created a storefront.  Most failed because putting up a storefront didn’t cut it; you had to bring the customer to your site.

The Big Box Stores saw their stores were more often empty, while “discount” stores were thriving. Many invested early and heavily in the Internet and sophisticated computer systems, discovering where to have bulk inventory shipped by learning how many times someone bought that item at what store.  This took the money, lots of money!  Everyone hated the discount store except the consumers!

We now have big discount and luxury stores in the same growing metropolis, built via Credit but still profitable.  Mom and Pop stores started becoming almost extinct. I know it is sad, but the customer demanded, and corporations listened; some think they listened too well.  That’s for you to decide, but they are here to stay.  Sorry, folks, but you can’t put the Genie back in the bottle.

I loved the old way too, but you must adapt to survive. I would love to live long enough to see what is “the next big thing!” 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just for today, let’s not discuss the bad things happening in the News! Let’s go
“Over the river and through the woods” to Grandmother’s house and stuff ourselves with turkey and all the goodies!

Only this year, let’s get there early enough to help her chop, peel, and stuff instead of plopping down on her worn couch and stare at her old TV in anticipation of the great game. Let’s help her so set the table and let’s try to carefully do it just the way she likes it. Let’s listen to her Oohing and Ahhing over the new, babies, and her favorite flowers we arranged in her favorite vase.

This time after dinner, let’s put her in a comfortable chair in the living room and do all her “cleaning up” for her. And insist that she stay there while we toil. Put on her favorite music and sit and listen attentively to all her tales of past times. Let’s not correct her when she doesn’t remember it just right. Let’s laugh it off when she remembers our embarrassing blunders. Let’s allow other members of our family to enjoy their time with her, also.

Let’s hug and kiss her and thank her many times for the wonderful dinner and silently vow to visit more often. She gave us so much and demanded so little.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

More Dating past the 80s

When I arrived home to the farm, I was exhausted, disappointed, frustrated, and pissed at the world and how it treats women, mainly me!  I walked around the farm, depressed and feeling sorry for myself for several months.  I was also fighting anemia to the degree that I was taking vitamin B shots weekly. I was so tired that I slept more than I was awake.  Mom allowed me to wallow in my depression until it reached the point of no return, and she finally said, “You have laid around enough; now go get a job.” 

I gotta tell you there aren’t a lot of jobs in a town of about 3500 and one red light. I was left with the one available: Dexter Shoe.  Remember, I had worked there and left to sashay off to South Carolina with my Aunt Betty.  So, with my tail between my legs, I went begging to come back.  They didn’t even miss me or care; I was hired immediately.

On an industrial sewing machine, my job was to zig-zag the backs of Ice-skates, Roller-skates, Bowling-shoes, and Golf-shoes.  I pushed them through the machine leaving a chain of thread between each one, which I snipped with my handy scissors.  After I sewed a case, which consisted of 30 pairs, I then put them back on the racks on rollers.  When one “rack” was completed, another one was rolled in behind me. I worked piece work, and since I am ambidextrous, I did a lot of shoes a day.  I think they were impressed with my speed.

One big problem was I heated the machine up so much the little metal rod that allowed the thread chain to connect the shoes kept breaking. I would waste time waiting for the mechanics to saunter over to fix it.  They had to loosen one screw and insert a new rod.  It finally irked me so much I made them give me a screwdriver and a handful of the little metal rods.  I fixed it myself and kept on working. The mechanics were happy, and so was I.  I doubt that the mechanics told management that I could do their work and still sew; everyone knows women aren’t capable of  doing “men’s work.”

The immediate supervisor wanted to date me, and I was indifferent to him.  Every week he asked me if I was going rollerskating, and I would tell him where I was going and then go to a different rink.  This went on for weeks, and he didn’t seem to tumble.  If he had come to the rink where I was, he would have been disappointed.  I didn’t like him at work, and I would have not liked him any better at the rink.  When he was assigned to find out how many cases I could do an hour, it was a hoot.  He stood behind me with a stopwatch timing me.  Uh! I could hear it start and stop, even with the noise in the shop.  I would make a lot of hand movements and would hardly get one case done in an hour.  As soon as he gave up, I resumed my usual speed.  I did get a small increase per case, but not enough to elevate me out of slave wages, but a little better.  Score 1 for me, Zero for the shop! 

The good thing about working in the shop was that my Mom also worked there and had the same hours.  We got lunch at the diner by the lake and would sit in the car and eat together.  It was some of the best times with my Mother.  We did not always have the usual Mother-Daughter close relationship.  I have discovered since that is not so unusual.

By this time, I met the man I would later marry! He was working cutting pulp and hauling it to the sawmill.  His father had just passed away about a week before we met.  It is a shame I could not have met Donald Colbath as an adult.  I knew Donald as a young child.  He was the “Ice Man” in town and delivered ice to our house, which he would put in our “Ice Box.”  When his truck came into the neighborhood, all the kids ran to the truck to get pieces of ice to cool us off in the summer. He never gave us any chips from the floor but would chip nice clean ice off one of the blocks.  I always said, my husband is a nice man, and his Daddy was a nice man, too! Shirl always said his Dad would have loved me.  I know I would have loved him; after all, he was my hubby’s Dad, and one of the good guys.

One day he was taking ice into our house to place it into the Ice-box, and he saw me playing with my kitty.  I had the poor thing dressed up in clothes from head to foot.  He told me, “You know that kitty doesn’t really like to have clothes on; he might run away!”  I told him that my kitty liked to wear clothes.  A short time later, the cat did, in fact, run away.  I need to add a short note here about Donald Colbath! As a child, he got hit in one eye and lost the eye, which was replaced with a glass eye.  His good eye was blue, but he could never match it well, and he went through life with one green eye and one blue eye.  Well, my kitty just happened to also have one green eye and one blue eye.  Can you guess where I was going? I put two and two together and reasoned that he had taken my kitty. 

Are you ready for this?  I knew where he lived and took myself up to his house to get my kitty back!  I am not sure what I said when his wife came to the door, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a good laugh.  I probably asked if they had my kitty and that it had one green eye and one blue eye.

I remember another thing about Donald Colbath!  An angry man was whipping his poor horse unmercifully in front of our house.  And right in from on our gang of horrified kids!  Donald stepped up to him, took his whip away, and explained the error of his ways in no uncertain words.  He mentioned that if he heard about him whipping the horse again, he would whip him, too! It would have been easy too. Donald was not very tall but used to put one of those Icebox’s on his back and carry them upstairs to the second floor of an apartment.  He used to sell them and later refrigerators, in addition to cutting and hauling pulp.

I will circle back again and tell you how I met my husband and introduce you to Chocolate Boy! And more about Dexter Shoe Shop.

Ruby & Nolan’s Great Adventure in Space

Book 2: Dragon Flight

How to ride a Dragon

  1. Ask Permission
  2. Mount on back
  3. Hang on
  4. Don’t look down

There are seven books in this series I wrote for some young friends as Christmas presents. They gave me permission to share them with you. Click on the picture above and you will be taken to Amazon.com to go on another adventure with Ruby & Nolan.

Below is the first chapter of Dragon Flight.

Chapter 1  The Morning after

Mornings at the Weller household is family time and includes a healthy breakfast and a discussion of the day’s plans.  Today was like any other day with the added attraction of preparing to meet Donzereli’s parents.  They would arrive soon to take him home with them.  The arriving adult Dragons agreed to stay cloaked until they were inside the hideout fence.  It would not do to scare the community before Ty and Robin had a chance to introduce not only one family of Dragons; but a whole community of them. 

This is gonna be fun!  

Ruby and Nolan were bursting with excitement and anticipation at seeing Donzereli again this morning.  They had been daydreaming about how much fun they were going to have.  After all how many kids have a real live dragon as a friend? 

Ty and Robin were thinking of, how they were going to make everyone in their settlement and on earth believe that the Dragons are peaceful and not fire-breathing monsters. 

“Let’s get one thing straight, you are not going to spend all your time with Donzereli.  He is not to come down visiting you until we have introduced the Dragon clan to our people.  You have chores to do and your studies.  And by the way, those will be increased enough to keep you busy so you won’t have time to get into any more trouble.”  Ty admonished.     

The kids knew that they were in for a stern lecture, and were prepared with the proper  “Yes Sir, we promise” answers. 

What they weren’t prepared for was the next part of their punishment.  “You will both work together to put your journal with all its information into an essay form.  We need that to introduce Donzereli’s family and the whole clan of Dragons living up north to the community.  You will start on your project today as soon as Donzereli’s parents take him home.”  Ty said.

“And since you obviously are capable, I will be increasing your academic levels of study to make sure you are not bored,” Robin added, received sighs, slumped shoulders, and sad eyes, but not a word or any whining. 

Nolan looked up at Ty and said, “Dad, Donzereli’s parents just landed inside the fence of our hideout, and they are waiting to meet us.” 

“How do you know that?  Of course, that telepathic thing.  I am not entirely comfortable with you having private conversations with Donzereli.  You will keep us informed when you talk to him, understand?”  

“Yes, Dad, we promise, can we go down to meet them now?  Please!

Yes, I guess we should not keep them waiting.  No running ahead, we all go as a family.  I hope they stayed cloaked until they were inside the gate of the hideout,” Breathed a nervous Ty.

Seeing a baby Dragon is a whole different thing than seeing a full grown adult Dragon.  There was no way to prepare yourself to meet not one adult dragon, but two.  Ty and Robin tried and failed.

More dating in the 80s and beyond

Pat and I got along quite well until we allowed another girl to room with us until she found other accommodations or got married, whichever came first.  She was a little strange, well, a lot strange, and a large framed blonde, blue-eyed woman and meticulous about her appearance.  We had only 2 bedrooms, and I think she slept on the couch and was with us for several looong months. 

One of her many strange habits was her choice of girdles!  They looked like rubber, and one was drying on the bathtub all the time.  I think her idea of washing was more like rinsing, if you get my drift.  Our bathroom smelled like sweat most of the time.  If I wanted a bath, I had to remove them, which meant I had to touch them.  Help, mama, come get your baby girl!

We had no choice but to marry her off!  Every weekend, we made dinners for her and her boyfriend and left them alone to let nature take its course.  And sure enough, she got pregnant, and they got married.  Yay! I know what you are thinking, and you would be right, but we had to hold our noses when we had to go in the bathroom.  Besides, she was happy and so were we! 

I started dating a nice guy that worked on the other side of the file cabinets.  He was a sweet guy and incredibly thin.  We were going to the beach one day, and he begged me not to laugh when he came out with his bathing suit on.  I have to admit, it took all my strength, not to at least giggle.

I may have told of “hazing” of all 8th graders entering High School; repeating the story will make the next paragraph make more sense. The hazing ceremony took place in the Town Hall in front of nearly everyone in town.  We each were given some silly thing to do.  I had just had all my front teeth pulled and bone surgery to eliminate an overbite.  I was given a song to sing.  “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!” I was scared out of my mind but hammed it up.  My partial plate, now 4 years old, caused sores; my dentist recommended pulling the rest of my teeth and making a full set of dentures.  I had to allow my mouth to heal before I could have dentures made.  For several months I didn’t talk much at work or anyplace else. Remember, I had a steady boyfriend!  He was invited to a wedding and, of course, so was I!  I bought a large-brimmed hat and just smiled at everyone and didn’t talk. 

Now here is the revenge part with the nasty city girls! My Boss was impressed that I showed up every day.  One day one of the city girls showed up with an ulcerated tooth and wanted several days off because she looked like a chipmunk with her huge swollen cheek.  Nope! The boss said if I could go several months without any teeth, a few days with a swollen face wouldn’t hurt her.  The poor girl was miserable, and I think the boss enjoyed making her stay at work.

We damned near got fired when we decided to go home for Christmas. It was a culture shock when we learned you don’t just get time off when you want it.  I think we called in sick and took off for Maine.  I guess we didn’t think anyone would figure out that roommates calling in sick the same days would not be a red flag.   Of course, we didn’t answer the phones. Remember, cell phones hadn’t been invented. Fortunately, they only docked our pay.  We didn’t care; we got home for Christmas! Another culture shock was when we realized we didn’t get the summer off, either!  How come nobody told us about these things?

The time came when Pat and her guy were planning to tie the knot.  I would lose my roommate, and I couldn’t afford the rent alone.  I didn’t want to break in a new one, and I could see the handwriting on the wall; the job wasn’t going anywhere.  All the “girls” were called in for a talk from the Big Boss.  I was nervous, but my Mom said to picture him in his underwear.  He talked a lot, then said that our work was not “up to snuff,” we weren’t going to get a raise, but to keep up the good work! I nearly laughed out loud, picturing that balding man with a big belly in his boxers with his skinny legs standing there in his black socks and black shoes.   I raised my hand and said, “But Mrs. Bill has said I had a lot of Perfect batches, and I think I deserve a raise.” That went over like a lead balloon.  The other girls said the company did the same thing to everyone.  No one EVER got a raise, and no one ever said anything to the old fart, either.  Bet the “men” on the other side of the file cabinets got a nice one.  The 80s wasn’t a good time to be female.  

I had planned to be part of Pat’s wedding, but it wasn’t possible because I didn’t convert to Catholicism; I was left out. It was funny that most of my relatives ignored me until they thought I might convert!  I heard from everyone about how it would be a sin for me to convert.  Hell, I wasn’t going to convert; I just wanted to know what it was all about, but it was good to find out I had relatives. Besides, the priest was a hot young man and great eye candy.

I forgot to mention that the apartment was almost across the street from the Catholic Church and the Mohican Market, which was the store my husband managed until he was drafted.  I used to shop in that market; of course, we missed each other by a couple of years.  That probably is a good thing because he was married to someone else.

I decided to move on; I packed my bag and headed to my Aunt Irene’s house outside of Boston to stay until I found a roommate and a small apartment.  She helped me get a job at Raytheon as a mail-girl.  Not a big stepping stone up the ladder of success, but a paycheck.  My immediate boss was a dick, but I had a blast delivering mail to the various buildings.  I loved delivering mail to one of the labs where they were testing rocket engines.  I had a bunch of mail for that building, and as soon as I set it down, one of the guys said, “Quick, come with me, I will show you something terrific!” He was about 6 ft 6 and had bright red messy hair with big blue eyes and was skinny as a rail.  I think he wanted to date me but was too shy.  I watched them firing the prototype of the rocket NASA would use in the space ships.  It was the coolest thing ever!  I watched it several times.  He never did ask me out.  Too bad, because I would have loved to listen to him talk about rockets.

I never found that wonderful job that I could envision a career and eventually decided to go back home. 

I will circle around in a few days, and we will tell you more about the job that was more satisfying than all the others!  If you are looking for something to read, try my book, “Immortal Enemies.”  Aliens are living among us!  This is a “who is fooling who” book with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy.  Click on the cover to learn more about it.

Click on the cover and you will be taken to Amazon where you can read a chapter by clicking on the upper right corner of the book. You can purchase it as an eBook or a Paperback. Please leave a review.

BTW you should come back to this page by exiting Amazon.

Thank you!

When is an egg not an egg?

It could be when it is on another planet, in another galaxy! And how is it possible for an egg to grow? How will Ruby and Nolan explain this to their parents?

Click on the picture to read more about this YA book that is a fun easy read, and check out the rest of the series of 7 books.

More dating in the 80s (continued)

The last thing we talked about was “Paying homage to the Porcelain God,” and in case some of you do not know or remember who that was… It was any toilet handy!  I have some not so fond memories of the prayers I said to it!

Speaking of toilets!  Remember last time I told you in great detail about my hospital visit and forgot to tell you the operation’s name: Mastoid!  My stay was a little longer than usual because of my physical condition.  I was placed in a wing for the blind as well as deaf.  There were handholds on the wall the entire length of the corridors.  I was supposed to be escorted to the bathroom and escorted back until I was totally clear of the anesthetic.  Right!  On my first visit, I decided I could make it on my own, the handholds were helpful, but I crawled most of the way back to my room.  You can imagine the surprise of the Nurse finding me in my bed! I was watched closely from then on.   

I borrowed a pretty blouse from Pat.  She always looked great and seemed to have a large supply of clothes.  It was starched and looked great!  I was horrified that it had dark stains around the collar.  I just washed and starched it and gave it back to her, saying nothing.  I watched her pack a big box with most of her clothes, including panties.  She mailed them to her Mother, and in a few days, they came back all freshly washed and ironed.  I never borrowed again!  She would go through the apartment, and it looked great when she was done.  But nothing was cleaned. I didn’t care; we were friends; we took care of each other and had a blast.

This is not from CBS, we didn’t take any pictures, but they were this big.

Pat met her husband-to-be, and so her dates were spending time with him.  I, on the other hand, had a lot of fun.  When the guys found out I was a hick from the sticks and had never had any of the wonderful food available, they couldn’t wait to show me what I had missed.  One of the first places I was taken was CBS!  Not the TV station; College Bake Shop!  They made the most wonderful Pizza in the world!  I had never had Pizza before, and that blew their minds.  The tables were just big enough for the Pizzas. The restaurant was a favorite hang-out for the young people, and I loved it.

My next foray into the delicacies of Hartford was spaghetti!  I thought I was having Macaroni and tomatoes like we had at home.  You can imagine my surprise at a huge plate of that long stringy stuff with a Marinara Sauce with huge Meatballs sitting in front of me.  I looked at it for several long minutes before admitting I didn’t have a clue about how to eat it. My date took great pleasure showing me.  I still love it and make it often.  There was a Greek Restaurant in downtown Hartford that was family-owned. Two of the young men took a liking to Pat and me. We always made it a point to go to their restaurant often, especially after shopping, with all our bags of bargains.  The guys couldn’t stand knowing we would walk or take a bus carrying all those packages; they would drive us home.  They were sweet and very nice guys that never tried to take advantage of us.

When I walked alone, I was never worried about being accosted.  I had a large purse on an over-the-shoulder strap.  I put a weight in the bottom for protection. Several guys started harassing me as I was walking downtown one day.  I held the purse by the long handle and started swinging it in a circle, and as they moved aside, I walked through them.  I never acted like a victim; besides, I was young and immortal!

I dated a guy who had just gotten out of the Marines; I think his name was Sam, and his service stories were hysterical.  Many of us young people got together at one of the apartments and just hung out and drank beer and ate food.  There was no delivery of food; it had to be picked up.  One time Sam decided to do a white glove inspection of our apartment.  Pat and I were not amused.  When he showed up in his dress blues, we let him in, and he ran his white-gloved hand around our wainscoting and tsk’ed a lot.  We followed him around, and when he got to the front door, we pushed him out and locked it.  We told him, “Come back when you aren’t a Marine, and we will party!”  He took it okay and came back with beer and goodies to eat. 

One night Sammy and I parked, and during our make-out session (which is much tamer than now), we professed our undying love for each other and declared we would get married.  I think there was a lot of beer involved because the next morning, I was scared to death as I told Pat over breakfast.  “Oh, my God, I don’t want to marry anyone.  What am I going to do?” Pat suggested, not saying anything unless Sam brings it up.  When Sam showed up, we both pretended not to remember much about our conversation and just let it go.  Sammy had a Red convertible, and we, of course, had the radio going full blast all the time.  When he stopped at a stoplight, we would jump out of the car and dance until it changed.  We got some strange looks from other drivers and a few honks!  Fortunately, no cops showed up.  They don’t have a sense of humor.

This wasn’t Sammy’s but close.

Okay, that’s enough for today; I will swing back around and talk more about my adventures of being single in the 80s in Hartford, Conn. 

Speaking of Adventures, check out my Young Adult series of 7 books on Amazon.  They are called Ruby & Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space.  Want to learn how to ride on a Dragon’s back? I have created a map of their new world and will be inserting it in new books. Thanks, and have a great day.

Time Traveler signing out!

More dating in the 80s

I arrived at the Hartford bus station and took a taxi to the apartment.  I had one suitcase and a small carry-on bag, the nice driver carried the bag to the door, and I only paid the fare to my discredit.  I didn’t know you should tip. It was kind of fun living in the house.  We each had a bedroom and kitchen privileges.  The family usually prepared a meal and ate together.

I got to meet my father as he was living in Connecticut with his wife.  He seemed quite happy to see me and helped me get a keypunch operator job at Hartford Fire Insurance Company.  It was thrilling at first working in a great big city in a big company.  The computers situated on the other side of the file cabinets needed the cards that us “girls” created by punching holes in them depending on the use.  My great big pay was $1.58 an hour, unlike the two or three times the pay of the “Men” who were privileged to work on the other side. No girls were ever hired for that job.

It was fun in the beginning anyway.  I met Pat at work, and we decided to become roomies.  Our apartment was a 2 bedroom, one bath with a kitchen and living room on each end.  It was referred to as a “Railroad apartment,” but we didn’t care; it was all ours, and we split the $125.00 a month rent. I discovered that our ideas for cleaning were quite different.  On Saturday, when it was my cleaning day, I washed floors, cleaned the bathroom, and washed my clothes by hand in the large sink.  I hung them on the clothesline on the porch next to the kitchen.  We survived because we rarely ate out and took lunches to work; we had plenty of dates that bought dinner.  I did have to train Pat to get up in the morning!  She frequently slept late and just had to have her makeup perfect!  I left her “getting ready” and caught the bus, leaving her to pay the full taxi fare. 

We became friends more than roomies when Pat had a Pionital Cyst on the end of her spine.  I dressed that for weeks until it healed.  And as soon as that ordeal was over, I came down with an awful earache.  We didn’t yet have insurance coverage, so I went to the ER (in those days, you would be treated even if you were broke.  I was about 20 cents short of broke. 

I had to wait until they could fit me in for surgery by an Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor. The hospital sent me home with a prescription for enough Morphine to take down a Rhino.  When they finally okay’d me for surgery, I was skin and bones because all I remember was sleeping and taking pills. The good thing is I had the best ENT in Hartford, Conn., to do the surgery. He even forgave the co-pay from my Ins. It is a good thing I do not have an addictive personality because I would have been hooked. It was my first job, and I went under not knowing if my Insurance would cover the cost.  When I woke up, I swear I was looking up a long black tunnel, and at the other end was Pat shouting, “You are covered!” Great, I would not owe thousands of dollars. 

I finally came home with nearly half of my head shaved, but Pat did some magic with scissors, and I looked reasonably human. The Doctor did a great job! Now I had no more pain, and I could hear my watch tick.

The city girls didn’t like us “Maniacs” and did everything they could to make us miserable.  It didn’t work!  We come from strong stock.  They called us “Hicks from the sticks,” and we just laughed at them. We worked up a routine that killed them!  We played the hick thing up well in a kind of skit.  We exclaimed how wonderful it was to have that great appliance in the bathroom to wash our hair.  You lathered it up real good and then put your head down in the bowl and just push down the handle, and voila, you get more clean water. When they gagged and tried to explain it in words of one syllable that it was a toilet and not meant to be used for hair washing.  We said we knew that, but it could do our hair real good too! I think everyone knew we were putting them on, but they weren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.

This is what a hick from the sticks looks like. Those are empty milk cans. Mom and Dad are priming the pump.

I never looked my age, and I found it strange that when a few girls were over for drinks, they sent me down to the liquor store under our apartment to buy beer.  They rehearsed me how to act and what to say.  I went into the store and stumbled over my words until the guy said, “You girls want some beer, right?” I mumbled “Yes” and handed him all our money.  He gave me back some of it and handed me a box of beer.  I turned and ran for my life.  My friends were as surprised as I was that we had a beer. That was when I learned what the meaning of “Paying Homage to the porcelain God” meant.  Unfortunately, I prayed more times than I cared to remember during that time. 

In case you didn’t know what a porcelain god was here is a picture!

Dating was a lot more innocent during that time, or we were a lot more innocent. Remember that I grew up on a farm, and the guys I met were amazed at my lack of knowledge of the perks of city life.  I’ll tell you more about that next time.

Dating in the 60s

Let’s start in 1958, the year I graduated from High School!  I started working in Dexter Shoe, sewing the backs of shoes together on an industrial machine. That was an experience by itself.  I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years.  Working gave me enough money ($300.00) to pay for having a well drilled at my folks home.  It would be good that the well wouldn’t go dry every summer, and we would haul water.  It was kind of interesting to haul water.  My Dad used metal milk cans, and we filled them from an artesian well in the wood beside the same road we walked to school.  Every year we caught a small fish and put it in the well; as long as it swam, we dipped water.  If we found it belly up, we replaced it and checked to see if the new one lived.

Things went along smoothly until my Aunt Betty came home to Maine for a visit.  One day we were talking, and she said, “I am heading home tomorrow. Do you want to go back to South Carolina with me?” She didn’t have to beg; I quit my job, packed a bag, and jumped into her car; and away we went.  When we got to South Carolina, I sent a postcard to my boyfriend that said, “Having a wonderful time, glad you aren’t here!”  The next time I saw him, he was not amused, which pleased me.

Betty was fun and sooo good to, and for me! I would like to think that I was good for her too!  She wasn’t much older than me and had two young children, Lori and Julie, and as a single mother, she worked hard, but we had fun, and maybe that was worth having me around. 

One thing I learned about the beach was there were sand fleas!  And they loved me.  I used a lot of lotion, but being young, I didn’t care. I loved the beach, and by the end of summer, I had a glorious tan.  Working as a carhop was a blast!  I wore a uniform of; a white shirt and little red shorts. (I was l lot smaller then) I wasn’t allowed to serve liquor, so it was delivered in milkshake bottles with a straw.  I was invited to go out on the Ocean for the weekend by the men I served “Milkshakes.”  Being naive but not stupid, I pleaded, “busy” every weekend! I was smart enough to know if you are on the ocean miles from land; getting out and walking home was not an option if you didn’t want to party!

this isn’t a picture of the carnival, it was much bigger but in those days I didn’t have a camera or a cell phone.

Betty and I had a blast seeing the sparks flying from our feet when we ran on the beach one night during an electrical storm.  And no Betty, I won’t talk about the Ferris Wheel!  My favorite place was a little diner that we visited often.  Frankie, the owner, introduced us to what became our favorite meal, “Fried egg sandwich!”  They were heavenly. I still love them to this day, and my hubby and I cook them when we are in the mood. 

I dated a very nice young man, and we had a great time until I was visited by two “Men in black” inquiring about him.  I, of course, asked, “What did he do?” I didn’t believe them when they said he was wanted for stealing hubcaps!  Really? Maybe that was a big crime back then, but I don’t think so!  I am chicken; I spilled my guts and told them everything! I can’t think of anything as intimidating as answering the door and seeing two tall men dressed in black.  I observed the bulge in their jackets. That was about the time that I decided to go back North.  My brother and his wife invited me to stay with them, so I packed again and got a bus ticket North. They had several rooms in a house and shared the kitchen.  It was a different living situation but fun.  Remember, I was young.

These were not my Men in Black, but I didn’t think they would like me to take a picture if I had a camera.

My introduction to the Segregated South was interesting!  I was told that if a Black man spoke to me to holler “Rape,” which I thought was stupid.  I was appalled by the “White only“ places of business.  Being from a tiny town in Maine, I felt I had been transported to another planet! 

My next shock was when I got on the bus, walked to the back, and sat next to a nice Black lady.  The bus driver told me I was supposed to sit in front of the bus.  He was a big guy, and he looked determined, so I moved.  Once we crossed the Mason/Dixon line,  I asked her to come up next to me, and we had a lovely conversation. 

You already know I am a badass, right?  So when my dimwit Uncle asked me if it was really segregated in the south, I replied, “Hell yes, they don’t even put Black and White cows in the same pasture!”  

Stay tuned for more dating in the 60s, when I found out I lived minutes from my husband, but we didn’t meet.

WTF

To all the people out there who have sworn many naughty words and thrown bottles against the wall in frustration.  Have you yearned to get your hands on the person or persons that decided that it would be a fun idea to poison other nice people?  They put poison in a bottle of what they needed to live and re-sealing it again?  Come on, you know you have had some not-so-nice thoughts of what you would like to do the poisoners! 

Okay, maybe not really!  When was the last time you tried to open a bottle using a knife to cut the very well stuck on label?  And another plastic lid before you could put some honey on your pancakes, or get the lid off some salsa for your chips?

How about those vitamin jars?  Merchandisers, what do you think about a stuck-on lid with a long enough tab that my old fingers can get ahold of it and manage to pull it off? 

Another gripe, now that I have got your attention let’s discuss Child-Proof caps on medicine bottles!  Many of them are so difficult that the only way to open them is to find a Child to do the job.  Kids as young as 4 years old can get them off in a heartbeat while you and I read the directions and pull and twist till we are red in the face and ready to scream.  Yeah! Me too! And just when you finally get the hang of them, the manufacturers change the style, and you have a new puzzle to solve before you can get on with life.

I love the new deal that is happening, and we aren’t supposed to notice.  The bottle, box, or bag size got smaller, but the price stayed the same or went up!   Of course, most of us do not pay attention to the size unless it is substantial!  The manufacturers count on us being so busy we do not notice.

Another thing I griped about this morning was manufacturers that send directions on installing new devices on a computer.  The directions are written in hieroglyphics by a little old Egyptian having a big belly laugh picturing us screaming and pulling our hair out while trying to follow them.  Of course, there is another big laugh when we try to find the “help” button.  And after spending time typing our problem in great detail, we are told to send a screenshot of the problem.

Today to get someone to call me back to help me, via an in-person call, I gave them enough information to build an android of me. I hope they make her slim and younger!  Tell me what you think!

DNC, this is why you are still waiting for me to donate!

I guess you forgot why there was an overwhelming voter turnout to elect Democrats all down the line.  What we wanted from you we are still waiting for!  When is ANYTHING going to happen? Admittingly, you did well with the Covid shots!  But why are we still working under the rule of 1806?  I am talking about Filibuster.  I don’t know about other people, but I was hoping we could walk into the 21st  Century and go back to the majority rule.   The Filibuster needs to go.  And fire the Postmaster General and get someone that knows that we need the USPS!  

You promised, if elected, you would do wonders!  You promised great changes when you had a majority!  So far, all you have done is cozy up to the Republicans and try to be nice, and compromise with their agenda!  We did not elect you to be nice!  When the Republicans were in charge, were they nice to you or us?  I distinctly remember; they were not! 

In case you are not aware of it, your constituents are hurting and need your help!  Many are losing their homes because they cannot find work that pays enough to pay for childcare and decent housing.  They are not lazy and are willing to work, but working three or four jobs a week to cover basic necessities is nothing short of slave labor.

It is time for you to stand up and be counted! 

We want you to do the right thing!  The tax burden sits square on the shoulders of the working person and is not shared at all by the wealthy conglomerates!  We are not demanding that they pay more than their share, but just their fair share.  They use the roads, are protected by the Police Force, and if their house catches on fire, the Fire Department will rush to help them.  Shouldn’t they pay for some of it????

In other words,  we do not want you to be nice; we want you to be effective!!!!!

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

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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!”

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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

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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!”

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Customer Service

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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.

 

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