Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Our vacation cabin, also known as Cozy Cottage and The Hobbitt House, is located among the aspen and pine trees on the side of a mountain about four miles from Cripple Creek, Colorado. The bottom floor has eight sides, and there is a bedroom loft. The best amenity it offers is: HOT TUB!!! It's at the bottom left of this picture, off the deck.

This shot was taken from the loft, down into the living room. The two stained glass panels look like dancing athletes to me. There were two more sections of library shelves in this room. Big Bore enjoyed reading all the aviation books available. I brought along my own reading material--Stephen King's The Shining, which is the perfect creepy book for holing up in Colorado.

The living room opens into the kitchen. Big Bore was sous chef, while I washed dishes at a sink that's in an alcove left of the refrigerator, not in view. That black spot next to the stove is a dishwasher, but I've never used one before (true!!) and was afraid I'd muck it up.

Ahhh! Here's the sunset, as seen from the hot tub. Does life get any better than this?

Tomorrow: Aspen Gold

Monday, September 29, 2008


The Flaming Bore has returned from Colorado and will be posting vacation pictures this week. At the top of Pike's Peak, the temperature was 26 degrees, wind chill 17 degrees. We rode the cog rail train to the summit--none of this "driving the car up and biting nails at every switchback business" for the Bores. (Do you notice what's wrong with me in this picture? First person to correctly guess wins a Popsicle stick.)

Here is a picture taken from a window of the cog rail train on the way up to the summit:

Here is what the world looks like from 14,000+ feet:

Here's Big Bore and me looking oxygen deprived. Suck up that thin air and smile!

Tomorrow: our cabin

Sunday, September 21, 2008



Saturday, September 20, 2008


Every once in a while, if I’m still conscious after the late night news, I’ll watch a spicy little show called "Chelsea Lately" on E Channel. Chelsea is a stand-up comedienne who basically spends 30 minutes being naughty. Sometimes she’s annoying; other times she’s hilarious. Last night she was rambling on and on about a new personal hygiene product called “Subtle Butt.” It’s supposedly like a panty liner that filters out the embarrassing odor of (and how do I say this nicely?) flatulence--also known as THE DREADED FARTS.

Now at first I figured this was just another one of Chelsea’s gags, but she insisted this was a bare fact. So, I got on the ol’ Internet to do some scientific research and, lo and behold, Subtle Butt is a new product on the market, brought to you by the geniuses at Garment Guard. For $9.95, buyers can get five “disposable gas neutralizers.” According to the website, “Simply stick it in the right place and you’re ready for a chili cook-off.” Each 3-inch pad, complete with adhesive strips, is filled with activated carbon, which traps bad odors. No longer do you have to worry about entering a crowded elevator and offending the noses of those sharing your air space.

Well, I’m sure not going to rush out to my neighborhood Walgreen’s to be the first one on the block to stick a Subtle Butt down my drawers. In fact, I’m pretty upset about the whole concept. Quite frankly, it stinks! Why didn’t I think of it myself??!! It’s probably going to sell like hotcakes and make a millionaire out of some gassy goofball. I could just kick myself in the…butt.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Sorry if I misled anyone with the picture in today's SPIDERS BUG ME blog. It was just one I got off some spidery website. Above is the actual Garden Spider that belongs to The Flaming Bore. Now, aren't we all glad for the clarification??


Yesterday when I was removing dead morning glory leaves from their trellis by the garage, I came “this close”--inches--from having a not-so-friendly encounter with what’s pictured above. Now, my resident biology teacher, Prof. Big Bore, calls it a wonderful Garden Spider. I call it: an ugly, fat, hairy-ass spider that scares the beejeezins out of me.

You’ve seen them. Every year they show up under eaves at the first sign of cooler weather. And every year I invariably walk into one of their webs as I stumble down the porch steps, half awake, to fetch the morning paper. Then, I proceed to scream and thrash around like I’m on fire, certain that an ugly, fat, hairy-ass spider has landed down my nightgown or in my hair. You gals have been there before. Haven’t you? It’s called Little Miss Muffet Syndrome.

Well, when I saw this creepy crawler yesterday, I was sooooooo tempted to go into extermination mode, but I knew the professor would not be happy with his student.

“Garden Spiders are a gardener’s best friend,” Big Bore preaches. Sacred.

It’s okay to squash a squash bug, bag a bagworm, and slug a slug, but don’t kill Garden Spiders! He says they control the evil insect population in the garden. Well, if that’s the case, then why are there so many %#$@ grasshoppers spazzing around? Got an answer for that one, Science Guy?

Still, I left the creature alone. When BB returned home from work, I told him of my near-death experience.

“Where is it? Show me!”

Now Big Bore usually moves at a snail’s pace, but this time he eagerly followed me to Spider Central. He was like some proud father observing his first-born child. And then, ---oh, no! He snatched a sweet little moth innocently fluttering around the bell peppers and tossed it into the web.

“Here’s supper.”

That friendly, hospitable, ravenous Garden Spider zipped down to grasp its prey faster than I could say, “Yuck” and look the other way in disgust. So much for the Welcome Wagon.

Now, logically I know that Big Bore is right and that it is simply peachy to have Garden Spiders hanging around controlling the insect population, but I don’t intend to serve its meals on a silver platter. It can do its own food collecting.

In the meantime, I’m turning on my internal Garden Spider radar. It’s a scary world out there. Watch your step. Danger lurks under every eave. And when you accidentally walk into an icky sticky ol’ spider web this fall, as I know you will, remember that The Flaming Bore warned you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Our vacation cat sitter came over to Casa de la Flaming Bore yesterday to meet the “kids” and learn the ropes. I gave them a stern "be on your best behavior" lecture before she arrived. “No pissy-hissy fits or barf attacks!! And, Muffin, remember that your poop goes in the litter box...not on the floor!” I didn't want to scare away our employee before she ever got started.

The cat caretaker is a teen-aged girl I know who lives a few blocks away. She is a nice kid, responsible, and, best of all, she loves cats! She has a few herself and she’s quite familiar with litter boxes. Bam! She’s qualified. The meeting went well. No fights, no bites, no upchucks at her feet. One less thing to worry about.

Today I will get the mail and newspaper cancelled for the week. The laundry is all done and the clothes are ready to go. Big Bore said he even found seven pairs of socks to take. Imagine that.

The food is another story. The package of hot dogs Big Bore bought on sale last week and popped in the freezer has mysteriously been broken into and four of the dogs are missing. Hmmm. Wonder how that happened. BB pled guilty, so he went to the grocery store to re-stock the dogs. He also came back with all sorts of crap (aka: snack crackers) I specifically said not to get since I’m trying to drop some poundage.

“I told you not to buy any Cheez-its,” I said, exasperated.

“But we might get hungry along the way and need a little snack,” he rationalized.

Open up a box of Cheez-Its in my presence and it’s empty within minutes. This will be a challenge. Especially since he bought two boxes. I’m even worse with Fritos. Some people have a sweet tooth…I have a salty one. BUT, and I’m putting this in writing for all the world to see…I will not eat a single cracker from those two boxes. And that’s a promise.

I plan to make my own little trip to the grocery store this afternoon to find my own little travel snacks. And you can bet your sweet calorie counter that this purchase won’t include crackers and a package of hot dogs!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Big Bore has today off work so we have started packing for the vacation to Colorado. T-minus 5 days and counting. He thinks we can get all our clothes in his duffle bag, but I’m insisting on taking my own suitcase. I’d rather have more than enough than not enough. One never knows what the weather is going to be like in the mountains, and I start shivering whenever the temperature “plunges” under 80 degrees.

“How big is it?”

“How big is what?”

“Your suitcase”

“You’ve seen it. It’s that one on rollers.” I know he is afraid there is not going to be enough room for the grocery store he plans to put in the car trunk.

As we started folding clothes into the bag/suitcase, we began challenging each other’s packing choices.

“Aren’t you taking any long underwear?” I asked. “You remember how cold it was at Bear Lake two years ago.”

“Sweats will be fine. I don’t turn into an iceberg at 70 degrees like some people. --You’re taking seven pairs of socks?” he quizzed me. “I don’t even own seven pairs of socks!”

“You do, too. --Don’t forget to pack a swim suit,” I suggested.

“What for?”

“The hot tub.”

“You think I’m going to wear anything in that hot tub?”

“Well, not really. But what if it’s a requirement?”

“A requirement for what?” he asked.

“To wear a swimsuit in the hot tub,” I said.

“You’re nuts.”

“I suppose so.”

“Are you taking all those shirts you have hanging on the closet door?” he asked, just a touch of shock in his tone of voice.

“Well, that’s what I’m choosing from,” I answered.

Something grumbly, mumbly came out of his mouth.

“What?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he said.

“You said something. What was it?” I prodded.

“I know when to quit when I’m ahead,” he sighed and walked out of the room.

Big Bore is such a smart guy. This packing is going to be soooooo easy.

“Are you really taking seven pairs of socks?” he asked again later.

Never mind the easiness. T-minus 5 days, 1 headache, and counting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Last week Big Bore and I read about how gasoline-powered lawn mowers are bad for the environment. I can’t exactly remember the horrifying stats, but it was something like: mowing the lawn belches out as much crap as an SUV traveling 5,000 miles!!! So we dashed right over to Home Depot and bought a push mower...the kind we had “back in the old days” before lawn care became gasoline-generated.

We have the smallest yard in town, plus now that we’ve converted so much of our lawn into the patio and gardens, we have very little left to mow, so the human-powered mower made sense. In fact, we’d been contemplating getting an old-fashioned mower before we read the article last week. It does require more manpower, for sure, but I’m enjoying all the stares from passersby…and it’s not because I’m wearing a skimpy little mowing outfit like the one in the clip art above, which would likely result in a citizen’s arrest. (Don’t you love the chic mowing high heels?) I think people are just shocked that anyone would want to return to the Dark Ages method to cut the grass.

If I ever decide that this new purchase of an old idea is no longer feasible, I promise I will never go back to the air polluting gas-operated lawn mower. No way. I’m getting a goat!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Back in the late 1960s, there was a semi-famous family group named the Cowsills, sort of Partridge Family wannabes, that hit it big with a song called “Hair.” (“….Give me a head with hair. Long, beautiful hair….”) I loved this song because, at the time, I had long, chestnut hair that was about my only claim to sex appeal. Other than those flowing locks, I was, and still am, rather nondescript. Plain Jane.

In order to achieve the glam straight-ish look to my hair, though, I had to roll it up in giant pink plastic rollers that were hell to sleep on, but back then I would willingly endure discomfort for beauty. Once I got married, though, the hair started to get shorter…and shorter. Good looks was no longer a priority. I had my man. Yeah, right. Short hair was easier to deal with than the long. I could just wash it and go.

Well, when I decided to retire, going on three years ago, I also decided to let my hair grow long again just to see if I could. But this time around, I’d be damned if I was ever going to sleep on can-sized pink rollers again. The results haven’t been too successful. My hair is naturally one big, wavy mess of fuzz. Most days I just end up putting it in a pony tail to keep it out of my face.

The other day I walked into a beauty shop and asked, “Anyone here just dying to work with long, thick, tangled, frizzy hair?” I want an inch or two trimmed and a hot iron used to straighten and tame my mop before going on vacation. (Now, I have my own hot iron, but I don’t have the patience or know-how to use it.)

A gal who wasn’t working at the shop this particular day was volunteered by the rest of the staff. When she sees me walk in on Saturday, well, I expect a pained expression on her face--at which point I will burst out into the Cowsill’s big hairy hit song and hope for the best. “….There ain’t no words for the beauty, the splendor, the wonder of my hair!”

Saturday, September 13, 2008


As one who is interested in photography, I’ve often wondered at what point in time subjects started smiling at the camera. Obviously, it wasn’t 1903 when this picture was taken of my great uncle Raymond, great aunt Ethel, and great uncle Chester. They are as sober looking as can be. Even the baby appears pissed off. All the pictures I have of them as children have similar expressions. Was someone standing in front of them saying, “Frown for the camera.”?

I’ve read various theories as to why vintage photography was usually smile-less. One idea is that having a picture taken was then considered a serious, important occasion. Nothing funny about it. Another is that exposure and camera shutter speeds were slow, forcing subjects to stay extremely still. It was easier to hold a frown than a smile. If you know of any other reasons, I’d be happy to hear them.

“Say cheese” and have a picturesque weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2008



*OMG!!! There was a blurb in America On Line yesterday about a 59-year-old woman who’d given birth to triplets in Paris, thanks to the aid of a fertility clinic. This woman is MY AGE!!!!

*Our Diva Cat Muffin has been displaying a serious behavior problem in recent days…depositing her poop balls in places other than the litter box…like on the bathroom floor and next to the back door. What’s the deal here, Muffin?

*There’s a new comedy out that I can’t wait to see, Hamlet 2. The title is intriguing/ironic since any character of significance died in the Shakespearean tragedy. Who would have thought there could be anything left for a sequel?

*I am upset about high school band shrinkage. The band here probably has under 30 kids in it. I recall one year when there weren’t any trumpet players and the poor director got pressed into service. No trumpet players? What's the world coming to?

*Okay, ladies, what do you think of the Republican vice presidential candidate? There, I said it.

*When’s the last time you participated in a Chinese fire drill?

*Have you ever walked by a store front and purposefully glanced at your image to assess yourself? But you didn’t want anyone to think you’re being deliberate about it? How about looking directly down at a hand mirror? Is that scary, or what? The first time I did that, I thought, “What the hell is that?”

*Well, I finally dragged out my “Yoga for Beginners” tape that I bought five years ago. I watched it for the very first time, and during rewind mode the $#&%* machine ate up the tape!

*Big Bore has started working on his vacation packing list. So far, he’s planning to pack four times as much food as clothing.

*Man, I have some bitchin’ canker sores in my mouth right now. Been eating too many tomatoes from the garden. Guess I'll have to go back on a diet of Little Debbie Cakes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Yesterday when I went home to visit Mama Bore, she had a new project for me. It’s Clean-Up Week in her burg, a great time to start unearthing what’s in her garage! Music to my ears. Bring out the garbage bags and let’s get with it!

She had already scoped out a maze of garden hose she wanted me to pitch but after that things got complicated.

“What’s in this bag?” she asked.

“Old sponges,” I said.

“Don’t throw those away. I might need them,” said Mama Bore decisively.

Oooooookay. I won’t question that one. After all, she was game about tossing out the next bag, filled with the always-important plastic lids to butter containers.

"Why in the world was I saving those?" she laughed.

My eyes moved on to an item I was sure would get the ol’ heave-ho…a rusted basketball hoop with tattered net.

“How about this?” I pointed to the metal piece of junk.

“Oh, no,” she answered. “That’s got sentimental value. It was your little brother’s.”

Now, my younger brother was no Michael Jordan growing up. He never played high school hoops, having made his swan song in 8th grade when he came off the bench to commit five fouls in less than two minutes so he could be put out of his misery and sit back down. There was no sentiment lost here. But the basketball museum piece stayed.

I had more success getting rid of a heavy lawn edger contraption.

“Yes, that can go. Your father bought that 53 years ago. He never did get it to work.”

Yep, I’d say it’s time to toss it. A busted pair of hedge shears, a good 30+ years old, was not chosen to join the edger at the dumping grounds, though.

“Somebody might be able to repair it,” she speculated.

Uh-huh. She also thought my big sister’s husband could paint something crafty on an old rolling pin and a rusted saw. And the rotten card table that’s top is peeling…perhaps it could be painted, too. I returned to it several times, but, no, she was adamant on keeping it.

Well, this game went on for about an hour and then Mama Bore was ready to stop for “Jeopardy.” I offered to return later for some more excavating on my own, but she didn’t have that much trust in my ability to separate trash from treasure. And I didn’t argue. After all, a small copper pot she tossed out was rescued and has been transformed into yard art at Casa de la Flaming Bore. I can’t wait to go back to that garage to see what else I need.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The neighbor across the street has recently chopped down a tree in his yard and has been cutting it up for fire wood. Big Bore says that word in the 'hood is: the man of the house got tired of his wife hitting the tree when she was backing the car out of the driveway, so he just decided to get rid of the problem....which I think is a noble solution.

You see, I, also, am a challenged "backer-outer" and the garage and car have the scars to prove it. BB keeps pleading at me to "use the side mirrors," but I have bad depth perception and don't trust them. No, I would rather crank my head around to the right, also causing me to crank the steering wheel to the right, and then weave out the driveway. Invariably, I have to stop and go forward to make a correction before I hit the wrought iron railing on the porch steps.

Mama Bore lets me drive her car, but usually not until she backs it out. I once took out one her yard ornaments...flattened a wooden tulip, and she hasn't trusted me since. Big Bore and she have compared horror stories, to which my smiling response was, "But you still love me!"

I can back out of parking spaces just fine, but there is something about a long, ominous driveway that just steers me in the wrong direction.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


One of the newspaper articles that caught my eye last week was about an annual pilgrimage some women made to Graceland, the home of rock king Elvis Presley. I once tried to tour Elvis’s home in Memphis, many years ago, but the two guys I was with refused to go along and threatened to leave me, so I had to be satisfied with taking pictures at the driveway gate, a wrought iron maze of musical notes and two gyrating EP’s.

The guys did concede to go inside a few of the tourist trap shops located across the street. I was amazed at what was being sold in the name of our Lord Elvis…not just T-shirts, shot glasses, and records but games, jewelry (lots and lots of TCB bling), blue suede shoes, velvet wall hangings, and huge bolts of material. Just what I wanted…an ensemble made out of “Jail House Rock.” When I started chuckling over the crass merchandising, one of the guys with me, a Memphis resident at the time, got “All Shook Up” and hushed me. Pronto. “This is sacred territory. You’ll get people riled.” (Likely the same reaction I got years later at Branson, Mo. when I chuckled at an Elvis impersonator performing inside a Wendy’s---“Yikes! Elvis is in the building and singing for quarter pounders!”)

If Elvis Presley hadn’t abused his body and was still alive, he would be 73 years old now. Sadly, he is arguably worth more money dead than he was when he was alive. I recently checked the Graceland website and adult tickets for the tour of the home range from $27 to $68. Between 500,000-600,000 people visit each year. Forbes magazine says his estate rakes in about $50 million a year. That’s a whole lot of “Love Me Tender” in my estimation.

Growing up, I wasn’t a rabid Elvis fan. When he hit the music scene, I was more interested in roller skating and playing jacks. My only Elvis possessions are a Teen Idol Special Edition Elvis doll, the early Elvis, that Beans gave me many years ago, and an In Search of Elvis book from the Library Lady. It’s based on the Where’s Waldo books. Scads of chubby Elvii (that's my own plural form for Elvis), dressed in the trademark white jumpsuit, are scattered about ten different settings once actually graced by EP…a Memphis burger joint, Las Vegas casino, Hawaiian beach…places like that. But, alas, oddly, no Graceland. There may be a good reason for such a glaring omission, though. I suspect the home-sweet-home Graceland royalty rights were just too high. Elvis isn’t called The King for nothing, you know!

Monday, September 8, 2008


The other day one of my blogging former students was pondering her pimples. I can certainly relate to that. I’d grown up thinking that zits were a malady only to be suffered during the teen years. You can imagine my shock when I turned 20 and the damned red bumps were still cropping up on my face. And then I turned 30, and 40, and 50.…woe is me. They never go away!

As I’ve gotten older, more and more skin problems have appeared. When I started jogging in my ‘30s, sweat-induced splotches developed on my back and chest. I can’t remember the name of these ugly marks, I think it was maybe tinea versicolor, but I still get them from time to time in the summer. The doctor said to treat them with Tinactin…a JOG ITCH and ATHLETE’S FOOT medication!! On my chest!

A few years back, when I was checking myself for evil moles, I discovered a new skin condition. “Doctor, what are these blobs on my back?”

“Oh, that’s just senile keratosis."

“But I’m not senile! ...Yet.”

“They’re found in older people. It’s usually caused by sun damage,” he explained.

Well, welcome to senility and curse me for hopelessly trying to get a tan when I was a teen-ager.

The latest skin condition I have is really embarrassing. I have little whiskers sprouting out from my chin! Now, I’m turning into a man! I’m constantly checking for them and as soon as I feel one I dash for the tweezers and pluck those suckers away. Before long, I’ll have hair flying out of my nose and ears. What’s next? Will I wake up one morning with a chest full of hair?

So, all you young bloggers out there should learn to embrace your pimples and be glad that’s all that is invading your skin. It could be worse. I’m telling you, your time is coming. The clock is ticking. Let’s face it…somewhere inside you a bump or splotch or stray hair is just hanging around, waiting to suddenly burst onto the scene, making its ugly appearance and putting both you and your mirror into a state of shock. I hope you will be ready to pick and choose your battles wisely.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Ahhhh...Sunday morning on the patio. Digging my surroundings, reading the newspaper, slurping from a cup of hot coffee, and Big Bore bringing me out a plate of pancakes. And, yes, I dripped syrup all over my sweatshirt with the very first bite!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


When I was semi-ready to finally leave college back in 1972, I took off for Dallas, Texas, with my polar opposite, known to those who loved her as Sexy Sandy, although she was born as Mary Sandra. How we ever became friends in the first place, let alone apartment mates, is beyond me. We both worked on the college newspaper staff. Sandy was a sorority cutie with big brown eyes framed by long brown lashes. She had wavy brown hair and a twisty little walk that basically said, “Yep, I’m sexy!” Whenever there was a campus queen contest, which was often, Sandy was always nominated. Me, I was the nondescript hippie chick on the sidelines taking pictures.

In spite of our impossible differences, though, we took off for Dallas in my ‘68 VW, grabbed the first furnished apartment and first jobs we could land, little Kansas girls in the big city. Sandy was determined to live large, however. Her employer had a credit union, so she immediately bought a slick ‘72 Olds Cutlass Supreme…in spite of the fact that we were rummaging through the Dallas Morning News each week looking for store grand openings that offered free food so we could save on our grocery bill.

Anyone who knows me knows I have always been low maintenance. Wherever it is I’m going, even a wedding, I can be ready in 10 minutes, 15 minutes if I can’t find a decent pair of panty hose. Sandy, on the other hand, would take a good hour just to get ready to dash out to the neighborhood market for a loaf of bread. She had this suitcase full of eye shadow, lipsticks, and nail polish that she had to match up with whatever she was wearing. I’d sit nearby, her captive audience, admiring how she could handle a mascara wand and cigarette at the same time. I was in awe of her.

In spite of our poverty, we joined a fitness club, Fabulous Figure (aka: “Flabulous Figure” for those of us who were hopeless cases), and Sandy insisted upon wearing high heels with her passionate purple leotard outfit (mine was basic black) when we went to this strip mall where it was located. You never knew who we might see outside in the parking lot, and Sandy wanted to accentuate her calves…just in case. Now I will give her some slack, though. She took off the heels once she got inside to exercise. After each session, we would laugh about how fabulous we looked…although we rarely broke a sweat.

Well, I only lasted a year in Dallas before I came running back to smaller pastures. Sandy remained behind, eventually marrying an up-and-coming Texas political aide/lawyer. After the birth of her first child, we eventually lost contact with each other. That sometimes happens when two friends move apart and become busy, especially in the days before PCs and emailing. Life happens.

Probably 15 years after I’d last had contact with Sandy, I decided to try to re-locate her when I noticed in a college alumni book that her name was not listed. I found an address, however, for her younger brother, wrote to him, and before long received a shocking response. Sandy, the vibrant beauty, had died of pneumonia at age 41. She left behind five little girls, including a set of twins. She would be 60 now. What a tragedy that she missed out on all the fun of raising her children…the school activities, parties, boyfriends, make-up sessions (oh, what a blast she would have had with those) graduation, marriages, grandchildren. She would have embraced it all in typical, fabulous Sandy style.

Do angels wear purple and get to strut their stuff in heaven? I can only hope so.

Friday, September 5, 2008


When Mama Bore called me last night, the conversation eventually turned to (blow your horn and toss the confetti) the Republican National Convention.

“Are you going to watch the Convention tonight?” she asked.

“Nah. I haven’t been watching any of it."

“Why not?"

"I finally know who I’m voting for and I’d rather go for a walk. I didn’t watch the Democrats, either. So, what do you think of McCain’s vice presidential choice?” (I love to dangle bait at her to get her riled.)

“I can’t stand her! I had five kids, too, and raised them all by myself and do you think that qualifies me to run the country?”

“Well, you did have to deal with conflicts and disaster.”

“And, (what’s more) she has this baby she’s dragging around to the convention hall and forcing it to have to be around all that noise. She just passes the poor little thing around. They need to leave it home with a babysitter! It’s child abuse!”

Now, Mama Bore has a point there. Subjecting a baby to all that hoopla can’t be any fun for those tender little ears. “Is the baby crying?”

“No, it doesn’t move. They say it has Down’s Syndrome, but that doesn’t make any difference. They shouldn’t be bringing that baby to that convention. I think she’s just doing it for sympathy.”

“Sympathy for what?”

“That she’s a mother!!”

“Well, you’re a mother of five. Don’t you sympathize with her?”

“Hell no! I wouldn’t have missed out on a minute of it.”

“So, who are you voting for?”

“You know I’m a Democrat. Who do you think I’m voting for?”

“Well, Obama had his daughters at the Democrat convention.”

“They aren’t babies. They were old enough. And don’t you just love his wife? Michelle. She is so pretty.”

“McCain’s wife is pretty, too.”

“He just married her for her money. I hear she’s loaded.”

(Sigh.) Will the first Tuesday in November ever get here?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Last week when I was at Mama Bore’s house, I uncapped a bottle of white-grape water I’d just purchased at Dollar General, and it erupted everywhere…I thought mainly on my t-shirt and the newspaper I was reading, but Mom also discovered the kitchen floor was a sticky victim. She dragged out a mop, filled a bucket with soapy water and proceeded to clean up after me, cheerfully refusing my assistance, which I think she feared would just create more problems.

Later, when she was relating my "mess-capade" to my big sis, they got a nice laugh at how I hadn’t changed over the years. Old habits die hard. Growing up, I was the slob child. My sister was a neat freak, forever cleaning the room she was forced to share with me, and Beans was meticulous about his appearance. He refused to wear the same outfit twice in a row unless it’d been laundered in between wearings. Me…my clothes either got “hung” on the door knob or stuffed under the bed for another day or two or three.

Having neat-niks for siblings was a big disadvantage because yours truly was always getting the blame, rightly, for disasters left behind. This was often in the form of a sticky refrigerator door handle or lids only halfway replaced on food cartons, an accident waiting to happen for the next person who happened to have the misfortune to follow me. “Oops! Sorry.”

Just now, Big Bore gently informed me that I forgot to screw on the cap to my peach water bottle. He bumped into it and the kitchen cabinet top took a soaking. "Oops! Sorry." seems to have become my mantra. I think it’s safe to say that the Clean Gene must have skipped right over me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So far, Big Bore and I have three pumpkin babies that have started to grow. There have also been a number of failed attempts…fertilized mamas that just didn’t develop beyond a cherry-sized “pump-kid” and pooped out. We’ve had an invasion from squash beetles, so BB has waged chemical warfare against them. They are nasty little varmints that hide on the underside of the leaves. I squish those squiggly scalawags every chance I get.

We’ve found some pretty surprises that we didn’t plant that are now growing in the yard. There's some coleus scattered under the zebra grass, morning glory among the green beans, and a lone purple petunia in the pumpkin patch. All three are annuals, so we have no clue how they managed to pop up. We have other varieties/colors of the three elsewhere in the yard but nowhere near where these have bloomed. Nature’s little gift to us.


What is your earliest memory? One of my nieces claims she remembers the trauma of being born and squeezing out her mother’s birth canal. Hard to top that.

I’ve settled on age 3 when I had my earliest memory. I had measles, felt like hell, and Mama Bore was rocking me in a red vinyl chair in the dining room. I had a pencil in my right hand and was poking holes in the vinyl. Why that stands out in my mind is beyond me, but she has confirmed it. It’s so insignificant. I also have other early memories of throwing up at Christmastime and losing my two front, lower teeth, at age five, by biting my father’s hand. I recall crying at kindergarten class after a boy pulled my hair and then sitting in the large lap of the teacher, Auntie Hazel, with another cry baby, who is now the president of one of the banks back home.

My memory becomes much more vivid and positive in nature when I was in first grade, which I loved a lot more than the three days I lasted in kindergarten. I sat at a table between two 6-year-old hotties, J. L. and Monty, neither of whom pulled my pony tail, so I adored them. Now, I don’t remember what costume I had for Halloween, but Monty was a tiger. These guys became such good friends, I’d sometimes go to their homes to play after school. The light switch in J.L.’s bedroom was a clown’s nose. What an oddball memory to have.

What stays with the brain over the years confounds me. Some piddly events are permanently imprinted. Others are fleeting thoughts that fade, never to return. I can understand why we might easily recollect significant occasions in our lives, but why the minor ones? Why can I still watch myself chewing on Big Chief tablet paper, listening to Mrs. Hull, my 3rd grade teacher, read from Little House on the Prairie after lunch recess? Why can I recall going through my teen-aged big sister’s scarf box and falling in love with the blue scarf that had silverish keys on it? It makes no sense to have all these old, useless pieces of information on my mind when I should be shoving new, important facts into my head.

I think I may need to have my brain washed!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Today is Labor Day. Time for me to write about my worst job ever--cleaning the house of Mr. and Mrs. Superintendent of Schools once a week when I was 15 years old. Have you ever had a job for which you were just not well-suited? Well, housekeeping was certainly not my forte. About all Mama Bore ever made me do of a domestic nature, besides babysit with the younger sibs, was take out the trash and put away the clean dishes and laundry after she’d done the washing. I was ill-prepared, but I’d try anything for a few bucks.

The good news was: the Supers' children had flown the coop into adulthood. The bad news: it was a two-story house, with five upstairs bedrooms connected by a long hallway, all hardwood flooring that I had to attack with the dust mop, PLUS I had to take a dust cloth to ALL the baseboards. Downstairs I dusted furniture and the staircase. Maybe vacuumed.

There were also miscellaneous jobs, like polishing the silverware (at the Bore household, we were “stainless steel only”). I once had to do the Super laundry but couldn’t figure out how to get the damned washing machine turned on. I should have called the Mrs. at work to ask for instructions, but I feared her wrath and ridicule so much that I washed everything by hand. What a blockhead!

The absolute worst task assigned, however, was ironing…not so much the idea of ironing but what I had to iron that was the real turn-off here…Mr. Super’s boxer shorts! Hell, my brothers wore briefs and those went straight from the dryer to the dresser drawer. I’d never touched boxers before, let along ironed them. Why would they need to be ironed in the first place? Who was going to see them anyway? What a waste of my precious energy! And, I was certain that if Mr. Super knew a teeny bopper was ironing his undies, he would flip. After that day, I could never look him straight in the face…all I could do was stare at his crotch and envision those goofy checked boxers!

I can’t recall how long I lasted with this job. I think maybe I forced Mama Bore to call Mrs. Super and tell her I was needed at home…to count clothespins or something else of equal importance. I am happy to report that I have never since polished silverware, washed clothes out by hand, or, praise God, ironed boxer shorts. In fact, boxer shorts are not even allowed in the Flaming Bore household. There are no ifs, ands, or butts about it!