Saturday, August 30, 2008


It's T-minus three weeks and counting before we blast off to Colorado, so Big Bore and I started our packing list this morning. I've vacationed through 47 states so consider myself an expert on the best and worse places to experience in the United States. Here are some I never wish to see again:

1. White Sands, New Mexico (aka: Hell Hole, New Mexico)--This is a military base/missile range. It is hot, ugly desert with some hills in the background. Don't ask me why I was there. The story is too long, just like the weekend I spent there. White Sands is even worse than Lake Havasu City, Arizona, which is also a hell hole, but at least it has a lake. Or was that just a mirage?

2. Coastal Georgia/Florida--This whole area smells like I don't-know-what...sweet insecticide? After inhaling it for hours (I was on the back of a motorcycle), I became light-headed and about fell onto the pavement.

3. Louisiana bayou country--If you've seen one alligator, you've seen them all, plus there are these big rat-looking critters called nutria scattering about. Our Cajun tour guide fed the 'gators doughnuts and taunted them with his ugly bare feet. I kept rooting for the reptiles. Also, it didn't help that we had a dear pregnant woman on our boat who repeatedly had to make barf stops. Of course, she may have just been expressing her opinion of Louisiana, in which case, my sentiments exactly.

4. Houston, Texas--Too hot, too humid, too much crime. When a TV newscaster reported a jogger had been found dead in a park, minus hands and feet, I called off my 3-mile run and decided it was time to move on down the road.

5. Los Angeles--The traffic is absolutely nuts. You couldn't drag me back. At Disneyland I saw an atrraction called, "It's a Small World After All." It should be re-named: "It's a Smoggy, Over-Populated, Maniac World in Southern California and I want to go back to Kansas!"

Trust me. If you ever have the above places on your travel itinerary, turn back immediately! My suggestion is: rip up your map and GET LOST!

Friday, August 29, 2008


About six years ago, when I first developed my gawd-awful tinnitus, I decided that perhaps I needed a relaxing hobby to keep me calmer during my spazzy attacks. I'd always admired the handiwork of others so decided upon quilting. I found a fine church quilting group that was patient with beginners, purchased the required supplies, and was ready to embark upon a new pasttime that would surely help to de-stress my brain/ear disorder.

Well, I couldn't cut it. Because I was so inept at making stitches, the ear problem just got worse. Even threading a needle became an ordeal. I kept at it for a few months, thinking I'd improve-- made some pillow tops, a pot holder, and a few small wall hangings, but I was miserably slow at it. Not owning a sewing maching was a handicap/excuse; I finally tossed in the material and raised the white flag.

About the only sewing I do now is to "re-plant" a stray button or close busted seams. Mama Bore has offered to give me her sewing machine, but I told her it would just take up space and gather dust. I fear trying to thread the damned thing would be too much of a battle.

I continue to admire the needlework experts who create masterpieces, but I've accepted the fact that I will never be among those crazy quilters. To me, sewing is about as relaxing as having a mammogram and PAP smear done on the same day. Yikes! Why did I even have to say that? I've got to go do some deep breathing and calm down. Sew long for now.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I've been having trouble lately getting on and off my 33-year-old Schwinn 3-speed, Ol' Red. What's going on here? Has Big Bore raised the seat on me? Have I shrunk? Am I losing my "umph" now that I'm pushing 60? (and I'm talking miles per hour!) Every mount and dismount has been a struggle. Red and I feel like we're gonna tumble into a big pile of twisted flesh, metal, and rubber. It doesn't help matters that it's a boy's bike, with a bar that threatens to rip into my girly regions every time I decide to go for a ride.

So, today I finally asked BB, who also likes to hop on Red, "Have you raised the seat on the bike?"

"No. Why?"

"It seems too high. I'm afraid I'm gonna crash land every time I get on and off."

"You're shrinking." :)

He walked into the garage, got out a wrench, and had the seat lowered to my specifications in no time flat. He's also putting on new brake pads today, since the front one has crapped out. I think he's weary of holding my hand at the emergency room and doesn't want me taking any more thrill rides in an ambulance.

Now, if he can just repair all the %$#@! bumps in the %$#@! streets around here, Red and I will stop our %$#@! whining.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Okay, arrest me. I am a cheater. I'm so ashamed of myself. Last week I started reading Stephen King's latest tome, Duma Key, 600+ pages long, and after I got halfway through I sneaked onto the Internet, found a super synoposis, and "innocently" read ahead. When I was teaching, I always chastised students who did this, and now I'm guilty of the same crime.

Of course, I have a legitimate reason/excuse for being a reading miscreant. The last time I participated in a King marathon (The Cell--a story about cell phone zombies) I got all ticked off because the last 200 pages or so were such a confusing letdown. I didn't want to waste my precious time on Duma Key, only to experience a repeat performance.

Well, after finding out what happens, I returned to the book, forged ahead, and finished it last night. I guess I feared retribution if I didn't consume all 607 pages. It's not safe to get on King Stephen's bad side. I'll take Duma Key back to the Library Lady later today, make my confession to her, and ask for absoultion. But you know what? After the spot on page 445 where something freaky happened in the story, and I was so absorbed in the book that I didn't know Big Bore was home, and he walked into the living room announcing he was back, and I jumped outta my seat, and screeched, and about wet my pants, well, it was a confusing letdown.

Monday, August 25, 2008


After two exhausting weeks, the Summer Olympics is finally over!! NBC can bring back "Deal or No Deal" and sports announcer Bob Costas can get some sleep. For the most part, I enjoyed watching the Olympics, although I must admit to turning off the TV when ping pong and boxing came on the screen. Trying to follow the little white ball made me dizzy, and I'm just not a boxing buff. I was surprised how much I enjoyed watching the synchronized swim teams, but the rhythmic gymnastics didn't thrill me. Heck, I was jumping around with a hula hoop fifty years ago.

I became so inspired by those bouncy balance beamers that I decided to try out a few moves myself on the imaginary beam on our living room floor. I did a few pirouettes, half turns, jumps, and lots of artistic hand gesturing, which Big Bore said reflected my many years of training in Russia. Alas, no cartwheels. Those aren't attempted at the Flaming Bore Gymnastics School, especially when the competitors are wearing flip-flops.

My old school pal Maggie had a great description of the women's beach volleyball gold medal contest, and I quote: "Nothing like four skinny women frolicking in the sand, in the rain, ass-slapping and grabbing each other every 30 seconds. A real man's dream come true." Might I add, wet dream? The white "team uniform" of the US women's tandem was skimpier than anything I've ever worn to bed.

How do the platform divers keep their heads from exploding when they enter the water? I know their taped-up hands are breaking the entry, but it still has to hurt like hell and it sounds even worse. I kept thinking all that force on impact was going to blow their tiny trucks right off of them. At least that's what I was hoping. Real women can dream, too, you know!

I saw in the newspaper yesterday that Michael Phelps's agent has apparently been reading my blog because he ran right out and got MP a deal with Pizza Hut. Free pizza and pasta for a year for him and his teammates. That's it? Hmmm. I think he'd better re-negotiate.

See you in London in 2012!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Thursday I went to Mama Bore's home to do some yard work. She advised me to bring my heavy-duty, big-ass, extendable loppers, a gardening tool that looks like it could also be used to remove the teeth from great white sharks. I salivate whenever she asks me to bring the loppers because this usually means some serious work.

Well, she basically only wanted me to cut a pathway behind her front yard cedars so the gas guy could reach her meter without becoming trapped in overgrowth, but that was not enough for me. No, no. I had to tackle all the bind weed and then cut down a tree growing in the middle of her rose of Sharon. I've had my loppers ready for that eyesore since last year, just waiting for Mama Bore to give me the green light. Finally, the go ahead. Timber!! It was such a rush. I should have been a lumberjack...except I can't stand heights.

I ended the afternoon by cutting out undergrowth from some pine trees, something else that wasn't on the job list; I just felt the urge to get into a wrestling match with the weeds and vines...until clearing the way to the second pine, which was wrapped by a suspicious looking vine with three broad leaves. Hmmm. Could that be? Yes, it was....poison ivy! Back off, Jack. Time to retreat.

I woke up the next morning scratching....first, my left wrist, then the left thigh, right under-boob, right butt cheek. Chigger bites. No poison ivy rash. Hooray! Today I've been working in my own yard, no loppers needed, just scissors. After laboring in Mama Bore's dangerous yard, I'm cutting myself slack.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm going to take the mood down a few notches today and write about the most tear-jerking movie I've ever seen, Simon Birch.

Simon, probably 12 years old or so, was born with a form of dwarfism. In spite of his handicap, he's high-spirited and ornery and he has the best giggle....a very endearing, inspiring person. He's always telling his best pal that God has a plan and purpose for him in life. So, when he dies at the end of the movie, becoming a hero after saving a busload of children sinking in icy waters, well, I just totally lost it. Fortunately, I was home alone watching this on TV, not having to subject a theatre full of folks to my hysteria, but then the phone rang. It was Big Bore.

(sniffle) "Hello."

"What's the matter with you? Did someone die?"

(choke, spit) "Y-y-yes. Simon (blubber) Birch."

"Who's Simon Birch?"

(big slobber) "He's this little boy in the movie I've been watching. (breakdown cry) It's so sad."

Well, BB knew better than to make light of my emotions. After all, he was the one who had misty eyes at the end of....The Wedding Crashers. Yes, you read that right.

Other movies that have turned on my waterworks in lesser degrees:

My Dog Skip--Now I'm not a dog person, but when Skip vanishes on his master's bed at the end...."Hanky, please!"

Castaway--Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt reunite after he survives many years on a deserted island following a plane crash. He has dreamed of this moment for so long. It's what's kept him alive. Oops. She married someone else, thinking Tom was in the bottom of the sea. They embrace in a rainstorm, but it's hopeless. "Oh, just cry me a roaring river."

Splendor in the Grass--Another story of broken love, reunited too late. The faces of Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty are simply heartbreaking when they meet again. "Hey! I need another hanky!!"

The Wizard of Oz--No, I don't boo-hoo when Elvira Gulch sweeps off with Toto, but the ending always gets to me. "Oh, Auntie Em! There's no place like home!"

Terms of Endearment--Debra Winger is dying of cancer and has a final visit with her two little boys. The younger one is inconsolable, and she's trying to keep her emotions together. "Forget the hanky and just being me the whole damned box of Kleenex! A large one!"

Well, that's enough for today. My eyes are so watery that it's difficult to see the computer screen, and the lump in my throat is choking me. I think I need to go take a big dose of Animal House.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008



Have you seen the Summer Olympics competitors in the women's volleyball and track? These lean gals look like Victoria's Secret models in their form-fitting, two-piece Lycra sports bras and low-cut shorts. When they run and jump, there's no belly hangover or cellulite jelly quaking going on, like what greets me in the full-length mirror every morning. I think every one of these smokin' "babe-a-letes" should be given a medal just for showing up in such great shape.

Why do the male gymnasts all look like green-less short versions of The Incredible Hulk? Their muscles are way too muscle-y (Is that a word? I think not.) for my taste. On the other hand, most of the female gymnasts look like waifs who haven't eaten since the last Olympics four years ago. The minimum age to compete is supposedly 16, but some of the "women" don't look like they've yet spent a day in junior high. In fact, the other night when one of them smiled after receiving a medal, I swear it looked like her two front teeth were still coming in.

Why are the men's and women's floor exercise so different? The women have background music, and in between their tumbling sets they gyrate all over the mat like cats in heat. I'd love to see those macho men do the same. Wouldn't that be fun?

What's the name of that event where the rotund men wear a big white diaper that has a padded waist band? The competitors try to belly bump each other out of a ring. Sumo wrestling, I think. Is that an Olympics event? For women, too? I hope so. Finally, some bodies I can relate to. (Yes, Literary Diva, I know a sentence should not end with a preposition, but "to which I can relate" just sounds too formal for blog-speak.)

Watching all these fit bodies on display has inspired me to get out my exercise mat and think about doing a leg lift or two. Maybe. I'd better get out my jar of peanut butter and big spoon and think a while longer, though, before making such a big commitment. Unlike those track stars, I don't want to get into a big hurry over something that's so important.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Well, since I dissed that cute litte Michael Phelps yesterday with the evil swimming cat, I am going to be nice to him today and talk about his diet. I can dig your regimen, MP! Iwould love to consume 12,000 calories a day, as is reported by the Phelps Phanatics, and have practically zero body fat.

According to articles I've seen, Phelps's typical training breakfast is: three fried egg sandwiches with cheese, fried onions, and mayonnaise, followed by a five-egg omelet, bowl of grits, three slices of French toast covered with powdered sugar, three chocolate chip pancakes, and, of course, the required two cups of coffee. (Are you feeling full yet?) Lunch is a pound of pasta, two or three grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, with mayo, topped off with a 1,000-calorie energy drink. Dinner is another pound of pasta and a whole pizza (be still, my heart!) and more energy drinks.

Now, I am worried about Michael Phelps, but not for cholesterol or triglyceride reasons. I'm sure he's burning off those mega calories in his mega workouts and races, and he will cut back in the off season. Here's why I'm concerned: he's totally blowing his chances to become the next darling on the front of a Wheaties box!!! General Mills is not going to be happy to hear he is not downing a few hundred boxes of the Breakfast of Champions each morning. He either needs to reform his eating habits ASAP or hope his business manager works out some lucrative deals for him with Pizza Hut, Farm Fresh Eggs, and Aunt Jemima.

French toast and pancakes for breakfast? A whole pizza for dinner? And still skinny? Ahhhhh! Michael Phelps, all gold medals aside, you are my dietary hero. I apologize for tossing a cat at you yesterday. You can jump safely back into the pool now. But first...pass me the syrup.

Monday, August 18, 2008



Saturday, August 16, 2008


Last month I decided I wanted to grow my own pumpkins for Halloween, so I planted five seeds in a new garden near Big Bore's turnips, watered, sat back, and waited. Well, I've created a monster of tangling vines but that's about it so far. There are beautiful yellowy-orange flower blossoms peeping up from the vines each morning, but nothing more. From what I've read about the scientific art of pumpkin growing, bees are supposed to take pollen from a male blossom, deposit it into a female bloosom, and voila! Baby pumpkins!

Well, either the bees are on summer vacation or they can't find any females. I've studied pictures of the male and female blossoms, compared them to what's in my garden, and I've come to the alarming conclusion that (brace yourself) I have a homosexual pumpkin patch! Seriously. Big Bore has told me to be patient--that the males typically come before the females--well, ain't that the truth. But if I don't see results soon, I'm going to check into artificial pollenation, if there is such a thing. Either that or head to the grocery store come October, buy a bunch of pumpkins, toss them in the patch, and act surprised.

The Great Pumpkin says, "To be continued...."

Friday, August 15, 2008


It wouldn't be summertime without a blog about the drive-in theatre. I was going to research and write about the history of the drive-in but decided I didn't want my blog to get the reputation of being educational, so, instead, I shall tell you about ten fun things to do at the Fredonia drive-in back in the 1960s:

1. Wearing out the playground equipment in front of the screen at dusk before the movies grade schoolers only. Once we hit 7th grade, this became taboo kid stuff.

2. Going to the concession stand, in the south door, standing in a single-file line, ordering a pot load of swell-smelling dogs, fries, popcorn, colas, and hauling it out the north door in a crammed cardboard carrier, trying not to spill it all before stumbling back to the car in the dark. "Oops! I forgot where the car is parked!"

3. Sitting in the metal chairs in front of the concession stand...pretty much a junior high thing before we had cars and we were just lowly walk-in customers. At least we were close to the restrooms and the food and could socialize with everyone who walked by.

4. Spreading blankets in front of the car and talking.

5. Sitting on top of car hoods and talking.

6. Car hopping (talking).

7. Dashing off to the restroom with talk.

8. Parking next to the lovebird couples who would steam up their car windows, grossing us out. Yuck!

9. Jumping in the back seat and trying out a few of those yucky moves ourselves.

10. Stuffing as many people into a car as we could on Buck-A-Car Night, or stashing boys into the car trunk when it wasn't Buck-A-Car Night, sneak-sneak.

Oh, I was a drive-in groupie, all right. Sure wish I could recall some of the movies I saw.

Thursday, August 14, 2008



#1 Diving--I only specialize in belly busters. When I was a kid and took diving lessons, I lasted one day. I swallowed half the water in the pool after my first attempt, and the instructor ended up throwing me a plastic cushion to keep me from (spit, cough) drowning. After that, I think I transferred to the lifesaving own!

#2 Gymnastics, any event--Can't do a cartwheel. Can't do the splits. Did a somersault, so-so, 40 years ago. Back flips? Hand stands? Forget about it. If I even attempted to crawl on the balance beam, a call would need to be made to 9-1-1.

#3 Butterfly--Have you ever watched this event from the underwater camera? I never knew the human body was capable of being so contorted. Only the Little Mermaid or Aqua Man should be able to swim like this.

#4 Shot put, Discus, Hammer, Javelin--the throwing events in track and field. My scrawny arms have always been disproportionate to the rest of my body. All I've ever been able to do is throw my weight around, throw my back out of whack, and throw up.

#5 Weight lifting--Nowadays, my excuse is back surgery, but when I was a kid, and Mama Bore's chore list will vouch for this, I couldn't lift a finger!

See you at the losers' platform!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I hate flying! When I was in my 20's, I made a list of fears that I needed to overcome and flying was right up there at number I bravely purchased a round-trip ticket from Wichita to Denver and back to visit with my sister's family who lived in Colorado at the time. I would conquer this phobia!

Well, I pretty much had to force myself to board the jet; the same Continental flight number had crashed landed in Wichita a few days earlier, so I was feeling even less confident. The stewardess who greeted me had a bruise on her face, but if she was ready to hop back on, surely I could survive a one-hour flight.

Other than a bit of turbulence, the trip went okay, but I was so mentally fraught over my first flight that I made myself ill, which ruined our family venture into the mountains. I couldn't get 50 feet from the cabin without having to dash to the bathroom with a not-so-charming case of Montezuma's Revenge, knowing that in a few days I'd have to get right back on that blasted airplane.

But--if at first you don't fare well, keep trying. Right? I was bound and determined to whip this fear, so when the opportunity arose to fly again, I was game...mainly because I'd be hooking up in Las Vegas with Dr. Maureen (pre-doctor days) and two hormone-infused guy pals who shall remain anonymous because neither one of us gals wants to be reminded about our poor taste in men. She arranged for me to get some Valium this time around. I fell asleep in the concourse area, almost missed the flight, and dozed off like a baby all the way to Vegas. So far, so good.

I'll skip how much fun (?) Vegas was. Remember, what happens in Vegas has to stay there, fortunately. Maureen and I flew back to Kansas City together, without the guys, and this time no Valium was needed. Somehow we were seated in first class, and we just kept drinking vodka screwdrivers as fast as the stewardess could serve them. It seemed that everything blurting out of our mouths was fall-down hilarious. Why, if the pilot had gotten on the intercom and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have lost all engine power so prepare yourselves for crashing into the Rocky Mountains. Thank-you for flying Continental. It's been nice knowing you"--we would have laughed ourselves all the way into oblivion.

That was 32 years ago. I haven't flown since. I decided that if I can't get on a plane without having deadly diarrhea, being conked out by drugs, or becoming totally blotto from alcohol, then I have no business being in the air. Flying is, indeed, strictly for the birds!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


On my way home from Pittsburg yesterday, I decided to take an out-of-the-way side trip to Lake Fegan to pick up some more rocks for our backyard. When I've gone to Fegan by myself, I've always taken the west entry/exit off Highway 105, but this time I decided to leave from the north. Big Bore usually takes this way, as it hooks up with Highway 54. It's not a straight shot, but I thought I could figure out where to make the correct turns, "thought" being the operative word here.

Obviously, I haven't been paying any attention when he drives. Somewhere along the way, I made a wrong turn or two or three. Since the sun was hiding behind thick clouds, I was directionless. The cows weren't any help, so I just kept meandering along, figuring I'd eventually get off the dirt roads and back to civilization. And, of course, I did or I wouldn't be blogging today, but I had to laugh at how far I'd traveled off the beaten path. I was about five miles south of the west entry/exit back on Highway 105. What the heck had happened to going north? What should have been a three-mile exit to Highway 54 had gone about 10 miles the wrong way.

Next time Big Bore takes me to Fegan via the northern route, I'm taking notes. Extremely copious notes. Either that, or I'm investing in a compass.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today, my friend Niner sent me one of those Trip-Down-Memory-Lane e-mailings, complete with pictures. You've received these before, if you're 55 and over, where your childhood flashes before your eyes with visions of milk sold in glass bottles, Beany and Cecil, and grocery stores giving away S & H Green Stamps. Included in this most recent e-mail was an old Sunday night favorite of mine, "Lassie."

I can remember when Lassie's first boy master was Jeff, played by Tommy Rettig, which goes WAY back, but the little boy in this e-mail was his second master, blonde-haired Timmy, Jon Provost. He was just totally adorable with his big blue eyes...well, we had a black-and-white TV, but I always assumed they were blue. You had to use your imagination, something most kids don't have these days. The basic plot of every show was much like the one I wrote in an earlier blog about the Saturday morning horse dramas (see April 10th)...Timmy mucks up or someone else mucks up, and Lassie risks her tail saving the day. Timmy goes from being all sad and scared to happy, happy, happy. Hooray! "I love you, Lassie. Sit, girl. Lift your paw and wave good-bye to everyone out there in television land. Good dog." The end.

Now, I was still young enough to really dig the premise, but older brother Beans wouldn't bite. He found the show childish and would make fun of every miracle Lassie performed. And what really irked me was what he did at the beginning and ending of each show. When the word, "Lassie" came upon the TV screen, superimposed over the dog and little Timmy, Beans would put a hand over the "L" and start laughing. I would be furious.

"Mom, make him stop!!" I'd holler. There was no point in me trying to physically stop him because he'd just pulverize me. "Mom! He's making 'assie' on the screen!" Even if she did enter the room for an intervention and make him behave, it would always be too late. He already stirred me up, unloading his evil grin of satisfaction. You've seen it before, too, if you grew up with an older brother: the eyes twinkle maniacally, the nose scrunches, and the lips tightly turn upward..."gotcha again!"

Yet, it was still good to see Timmy and Lassie on Niner's e-mail and re-live those childhood memories, good or bad. And, doggone it, if I ever become the owner of a super collie in my old age, I'll train it to lift a leg and use Beans as a fire hydrant. "Sic 'im, girl! Good dog." We bitches gotta stick together.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I'm not sure I have much to say about accordions. I just love the above clip art and wanted to use it somewhere in my web log.

Mama Bore learned to play the accordion back in her high school hey days, and I once tried to play her old "squeeze box" but could never get the hang of it. The keys were easy enough, but all the little buttons were a bitch to figure out, and I struggled at pushing and pulling the sides to get the proper air flow. Painful noise was about all I ever got out of it. I don't know whatever happened to Mom's accordion. I'll have to ask her if it's still buried in her bedroom closet in its ratty black case.

I'm a big fan of accordions in polka bands. Back in college, there was a joint outside town called Freckles Melody Inn and another called Danny's Tavern, and both periodically had little polka bands that just raised the roofs. "Beer Barrel Polka," "Just Because," and "Too Fat Polka" were my favorites. Dancing the polka was fun and easy, just a skip step, and it could be done without a partner, which was great for those of us in the crowd who were usually date-less. Of course, having a few pitchers of brewski nearby enhanced the experience.

When Dr. Maureen and I were struggling TV-radio reporters during our lost year in Joplin, we attended something called Ernte Fest at a podunky place in southwest Missouri, dragging along our pal Walter. This was a German harvest festival full of beer, bratwurst, and, best of all, A POLKA BAND!! Now, Maureen and Walter were not the best polka dancers there, but they were definitely the most enthusiastic. I always thought only in movies would you find people parting the dance floor to feature a single couple, but at the Ernte Fest my two pals were the polka queen and king. Of course, giving them the spotlight may just have been a defensive maneuver on the spectators' minds because Walter was tossing and twirling Maureen all over the place. I can still picture them polka-ing in overdrive and can hear her laughing hysterically. Astaire and Rogers, move over!

So, now we all know why I picked out this clip art of the jolly accordion player. He reminds me of some rollicking good times. Roll out the barrel and watch out, honey. I'm feeling some "Coffee Pot Polka" and am ready to get this day moving!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


When recently speaking with my chiropractor, Dr. Sarah, a former student and all-around good person, I told her that I have lousy computer desk posture. Sometimes after getting up from an intense Internet session, my back and ribs feel like they’re caving in, and I know it’s because I hunch over the desk. Dr. Sarah said her husband overcame this problem by sitting on an exercise ball. I couldn’t find one in my little burg, no surprise there, so she ordered me one. It arrived in a box on Monday…thus began my quest for better posture and fewer aches and pains.

Well, first of all, I was too stupid to figure out how to blow up my new blue ball, so I had to wait until Big Bore got home from work to make sense of the instructions. He is good to have around for such purposes since I do not have a logical, mechanical brain that can put anything together without it being a major production/failure. And, I have to tell you, this task wasn’t exactly a breeze for him, either. The job required more than two hands, so I was recruited, reluctantly, to help out.

The body ball blowing kit had a plastic air pump that sounded like it was having a wheezing asthma attack. I was the appointed pumper person. I pumped and I pumped and I pumped…switching hands, going to my feet…it was a good isometric workout just getting the exercise ball blown up. We finally got it to the designated size, after we confusingly converted centimeters to inches and diameter to circumference, and I was ready to try it out…and I LOVE IT! It sort of forces me into slumping less, and I like bouncing on it. We’re not talking bouncing across the room like a kangaroo--just feet to the floor and bouncing in place.

My new “computer chair” comes with a chart full of exercises, complete with pictures, for stretching, muscle strength, and conditioning. I haven’t tried any of them yet. They look too scary and difficult and I’m afraid I might roll off the ball and never roll back up. If I ever get the nerve to attempt these positions, Big Bore will have to be around to “spot” me. I’m not sure he can keep from laughing, but that’s okay. My big blue ball and I have strong shoulders, and his teasing will just bounce right off!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


As I was walking home yesterday in the middle of the afternoon, it occurred to me that I hadn’t written a blog quiz since St. Patrick’s Day. It’s time for another one, and I have the perfect topic. Every answer contains the word HOT. Good luck and stay cool.

1. The chicks wore these in the 1970s to show off their legs:
2. Donna Summers had a hit with this song:
3. A show off, or a frank:
4. A jalapeno is one of these:
5. An automobile built for street speed, typically in the 1940s-50s:
6. Someone angry/upset is said to be ____ ____ the ____
7. Used to pick up a dish out of the oven:
8. Super passionate (think alliteration): _____and _____
9. A beautician uses this to style hair:
10. Resort city in Arkansas:
11. A Mexican food and a candy:
12. Third base is sometimes called this:
13. Practical joke using a match and someone’s shoe:
14. Another name for the electric chair, or being put in an uncomfortable situation:
15. Aunt Jemima makes these:
16. Dorothy missed being able to go home in this:
17. Tennessee Williams wrote this drama; Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman were in the movie version:
18. Vaudeville performer Sophie Tucker was known as this: Last of the ___ ___ ___
19. McIlhenny’s makes the Tabasco version of this:
20. Menopausal warmth:

First one to answer all 20 correctly is today’s Hot Blogger!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Shocking news out of Pittsburg during my stop there Sunday. My great niece Maddie, age almost 5, has dumped Dora the Explorer and is now going steady with Strawberry Short Cake!! I don’t know what provoked this switch of allegiance, but Maddie is so smitten with that sweet red-haired cutie that she talked her dad into getting a Strawberry Short Cake birthday cake for our family get-together…and NO ONE WAS HAVING A BIRTHDAY! It was a yummy chunk of sugar, although her cousin Luke, 8, wasn’t sure he wanted any of the pink frosting…“too girlish” for his taste buds, he said, although his appetite finally relented.

On the drive back west, Mama Bore told me that Maddie’s little brother Boomer has to be tinkle trained before going back to daycare when school starts and their parents return to work. Apparently Boomer’s mommy was going to try a technique she’d heard is successful for boys ---dropping Cheerios in the toilet bowl and having those little "peties" take aim. What a great idea! I got an email from his grandma Monday and, by golly, she’d just gotten off the telephone with Boomer and he’d reported his first successful big boy pee. Remember that old commercial? “He’s got go power! There he goes! He’s feeling his Cheerios!” Now we know why “HE” was used in that jingle, rather than SHE.

As Big Bore and I were de-flating the big air mattress that great nephew Bo used during his visit here last week, we discovered he didn’t get back home with as much as he’d brought. We counted one necklace, one t-shirt, two pairs of shorts, one pair of underwear, one towel, and one sock. ---Alas, no money! Rats!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Last week my bloggerette sisterhood had a challenge to list 100 things our readership may not know about each other. The gals were all blasting out their lists in no time. Me…after five days of thinking, I finally made it to 50, and I didn’t really like my list. I set it aside. Then, at 3:30 Sunday morning, as I was taking my middle-of-the-night bathroom break, my problem with the challenge became clear to me. I needed a theme. And I suddenly knew just the topic to choose. You’ll figure it out in no time:

1. I love to eat but I’m sort of a picky eater
2. I much prefer a dry bowl of cereal to a juicy steak.
3. I can count the number of times I’ve eaten steak on one hand.
4. I’ve never even cooked a steak.
5. I think I’ve fried chicken once.
6. Chicken fried steak? You can keep it. Especially the gravy on top.
7. Meat loaf…I’d rather not.
8. I once cooked a meal for my high school boyfriend, and he ended up eating the corn chowder Mama Bore had made for the rest of the family.
9. If I had to survive on only one of the basic good groups for the rest of my life, I’d choose cereal grains.
10. I’m hooked on Quaker Oatmeal Bars.

11. Dark, pumpernickel rye is my favorite bread.
12. There’s nothing like a good ol’ grilled cheese sandwich dipped in vegetable soup on a cold day. 13. There’s this doughnut franchise that everybody raves about…I can’t think of the name of
it, but you know the one I mean. I can’t stand those doughnuts!
14. When I was in my 20’s, I had the dream of marrying a Winchell’s Doughnut’s owner. Now, those were doughnuts! Whatever happened to Winchell’s?
15. My favorite cake is angel food.
16. I’m not much of a pie eater, but if I had to eat a slice, it would be apple.
17. I once made an apple pie but forgot one of the ingredients.
18 I learned that apple pie without sugar tastes like, well, there’s no way of saying it nicely…vomit. May I offer you a piece of my apple vomit pie?
19. I absolutely can’t stand cherry pie.
20. I’d just as soon have sugar-free peach Jello for dessert over anything else.

21. Coffee or tea? I’ll have coffee.
22. Will I have sugar or cream with that? No, just black and not too strong, thank-you.
23. The best brand of peanut butter is Peter Pan. I especially like the honey roasted.
24. When Peter Pan had to take its products off the market a year or so ago due to a contamination problem, I refused to buy any other brand and went peanut butter-less until PP came back on the shelves
25. I eat peanut butter straight out of the jar and nobody cares
26. Thick and chewy or thin and crispy? I want my pizza flat.
27. I once ordered a cheese pizza from Papa John’s, and it was so greasy that I’ve not been back for seconds.
28. I could eat an entire box of Cheez-Its in one sitting if it wouldn’t make me feel so guilty.
29. I never eat biscuits and gravy…well, I’ll eat the biscuit with honey but the meat and gravy mixture reminds me too much of doggy upchuck.
30. Onions and Flaming Bore do not mix.

31. I prefer skim milk to whole milk.
32. Grapes, yes. Raisins, no.
33. Plums, yes. Prunes, no. Double-no on that one!
34. Too many oranges and the citric acid gives my mouth canker sores.
35. But I love oranges!
36. I’ve tried the apple a day keeps the doctor away theory.
37. It doesn’t work.
38. I’m keen on strawberries…fresh off the vine.
39. French toast, pancakes, or waffles for breakfast? I’ll take all three! Pass the syrup.
40. About the only dish I ever fix for Thanksgiving is a green bean casserole

41. Baked potato, yes. Sweet potato, no
42. My favorite Mexican food---sopapillas with honey.
43. Thumbs down to burritos and tacos and most anything else at the Mexican restaurants.
44. Italian is my favorite ethnic choice, just go easy on the meat and heavy on the pesto.
45. I could live on Italian breadsticks alone, especially with garlic and butter. Fazoli’s breadsticks are magnifico!
46. I’ve never eaten a funnel cake.
47. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla.
48. Root beer gags me.
49. Same with licorice.
50. If I’m going to junk out with a hot dog, it better have mustard and catsup on it

51. How do I want my eggs cooked? Scrambled, please.
52. I cannot eat a sunny side up fried egg. Yuck!
53. At Subway, I always order the 6-inch turkey on Italian bread.
54. Add bell pepper, banana pepper, dill pickles, and black olives to that sandwich, please.
55. Some honey mustard, too.
56. But I’d rather have an Arby’s turkey sandwich.
57. Sugar Pops are tops! But I usually have Honey Oats Toasty-O’s (cheaper brand version of Cheerios.)
58. I like to mix my breakfast cereal with low-fat yogurt rather than putting milk on it.
59. A banana might be thrown into the mixture, too.
60. I’ll pass on the beets.

61. And the rhubarb.
62. And the turnips (even though Big Bore has a mess of them planted in the garden.)
63. And the spinach.
64. And the brussel sprouts.
65. The only pork I care to eat is bacon once in a blue moon.
66. My favorite seafood is pealed shrimp on ice with cocktail sauce.
67. Shark and filet of sole are good.
68. Tuna and salmon are fine, too.
69. Everything else from the sea, lake, river, whatever, is not on my menu except for whatever that fish is at Long John Silver’s.
70. You will NEVER get me to eat sushi.

71. I once tried caviar and couldn’t swallow it.
72. I will eat mountain oysters as long as they are drenched in barbecue sauce and are made at the Nut Hut in Altoona. Add bun and pickles.
73. I like Fritos.
74. Original, chili, or barbecue….any ol’ Frito will do.
75. My favorite snack recipes from Mama Bore are goopies (Cheerios sautéed in butter) and caramel popcorn.
76. My big sis whips up some great Chex Party Mix, too.
77. Just say no to bratwurst--too much fat.
78. Anything with a cinnamon sugar flavor gets my approval.
79. Cheesecake…love it but a little goes a long way.
80. Best dessert of all time---a blondie from Applebee’s.

81. Favorite candy--smooth and melty mints…the small ones.
82. There’s totally nothing on a Spangle’s menu that I really like.
83. Freddy’s Frozen Custard joint is even worse.
84. Butterscotch Dilly Bars are my favorite Dairy Queen selection, but the DQ in El Dorado isn’t selling them anymore, so I’m sad about that.
85. I like to mix cottage cheese and pork and beans together
86. Any kind of Oriental food, Chinese, Cantonese, whatever…no likey
87. Pepsi or Coke? Pepsi. Diet. But not often.
88. First choice of beverage: peach water from Dollar General.
89. There’s a water by one of the fancier bottlers that I like, too--Dasani Citrus Blend.
90. I actually know how to make a great quiche.

91. I like yogurt, but not plain.
92. Pork rinds…no way!
93. I don’t go for cheeseburgers. What’s wrong with me?
94. French fries are okay as long as they are seasoned.
95. I think avocados are tasteless.
96. I always check a menu for grilled chicken breast.
97. Carrots shredded in orange Jello-yummy! As long as Mama Bore makes it.
98. Cantaloupe, yes. Musk melon, no.
99. Would I like salt on my watermelon? Nope. And the fewer seeds, the better
100. The last time I cooked a meal for Big Bore was in November, 2006. No surprise there.

This concludes my list of 100 things you may not have know about me. I’ve enjoyed dishing them out!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Great Aunt Nancy isn’t so great any more. After fishing with Big Bore and Face Booking on the computer yesterday, Bo ran into my neighbor kid at the grocery store and it turns out they know each other from being at the Shrine Bowl band camp last week. Within hours, Bo was asking to go over to Ian’s house, which was fine with me. Soon he was back seeking permission to go riding around in Ian’s classic red Buick Riviera. It’s a cool car. Even I would like to go cruising around in it.

For a split second, I thought, “What would his mother say?” I knew the resounding answer to that one. But Ian is a good kid, 17, and my guess is that Bo has never gone riding around with anyone before, let alone an older teen with such stokin’ wheels. The more friends he can make, the better. So…“Only if you stay in town and wear your seat belt.” I hoped I wouldn’t come to regret my decision later.

Well, around supper time, I walked on over to Ian’s house. The guys were outside, next to the Buick, talking to another boy from the ‘hood. It was nice to see Bo shooting the breeze, but it was time to get home for supper. Later, he asked if there would be time today to go back over to Ian’s house, but we are taking off soon for Hutchinson and Wichita and won’t be back until almost midnight. But, I’m glad he asked, and I’m glad he has some friends here. Kids need to make pals and not stick with old fuddy duddy aunties all the time. I hope that during next summer’s visit he’ll see even less of me.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Last night great nephew Bo and I joined millions of other cinema fans, plunked down eight bucks apiece, and saw the new, much-hyped Batman movie, The Dark Knight. I was sure glad I had a teenager to tag along with so he could explain what the heck was going on. I was clueless half the time. “Who is that guy in court?” “Why are people wanting to impersonate Batman when most of Gotham is pissed off at him?” “What are all those computer screens about?” My questions went on and on.

Of course, it didn’t help matters that, due to my auditory problem, I had to wear ear plugs since half the movie was nothing but loud, ominous music and explosions. When there was dialogue, I’d remove the left plug, but even then I had difficulty figuring out what Batman/Bruce was saying. He sounded like one of those people who smokes a carton of cigarettes in five minutes--low and raspy.

The worst thing about The Dark Knight, though, was the fact that it lasted 2 hours and 30 minutes. We all know that any woman my age cannot manage to go without peeing for that long, so halfway through the movie I was flying off to the bathroom. By the time I returned to my seat, I was totally lost with the plot. Then I dozed off a bit until another explosion roused me.

Needless to say, I much prefer the mindless, old Batman TV series. It was campy, with clever dialogue, like: “Holy metronome, Batman! What a fate--punched into piano player rolls!” Oh, how I loved that cute little sidekick, Robin. And, gee, this new movie doesn’t even have a Robin! Which means it also doesn’t have an Aunt Harriet, the housekeeper! Is nothing sacred? Those old Batman shows were fun. The “Zap” and “Pow” fighting was genuine fakiness and I never had to have anyone explain to me what was going on. And the best part about this TV show? It’s length. Thirty minutes. "Holy Charmin tissue, Batman! No bathroom breaks required!"