Monday, June 29, 2009


The Sunflower People are attending a convention next to the driveway at Casa de la Flaming Bore this afternoon. They are dressed the same but come in all sizes. I'm not sure what they do or where they go when the sun goes down and the moon comes up. Perhaps they go out dancing. Only the lightning bugs know.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Let the countdown begin! The final five days of my 50s are here. On Friday I will turn 60. Now 59 doesn't sound so old. But 60? How in the heck did this slip up on me?

The worst bit about this age change is that I will qualify for a discount at the neighborhood grocery store, so I will have to take over shopping duties from Big Bore. Hitting up the supermarket is not my cup of tea--or gallon of milk, for that matter. Give me the blasted list, get me in, check me out, pronto. With BB, it's a joyful, leisurely field trip. He comes home all excited, showing off bargains, and lovingly putting everything away.

To get myself into a better mood about my impending old age, I've created my own Top Ten List Why I'm Happy to be 60. Here it is:

10. Another year closer to receiving Social Security benefits

9. I don't have to worry about losing my job in these tough economic times because I don't even have a job. And I'm not looking for one, either!

8. Younger friends feel obligated to lie and say, "You don't look sixty."

7. Sixty is easier to spell than fifty-nine

6. More senior citizen discounts kick in

5. My cougar status gets elevated a notch

4. Good excuse for being bitchy

3. Good excuse for jogging so slowly around the track

2. When I deliberately don't want to do something, I can just say, "I forgot," and no one is the wiser

1. Sixty sort of sounds like sexy!

T-minus five days and it's BLAST OFF!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Yesterday was a Robert Burns kind of day. The long-deceased Bobby was a Scottish poet, and he titled one of his works, which was the theme for my day, "To a Louse." In this ditty, a sophisticated woman attends church services dressed in her Sunday best, looking high dollar, but all Burns can focus on, as he sits behind her, is the filthy louse that is crawling on her bonnet. I can't remember the exact translated words, but the gist of the message is that it would be nice to have the power to see ourselves as others see us.

Which brings me to my Robert Burns day, filled with a morning's worth of errands: the pharmacy, grocery store, Dollar General, bank, post office, and library. When I returned home around noon, Big Bore said from another room, "Come here," an inquisitive look on his face.

"What's the matter?" I asked, and came closer to him.

"Turn around."

I obeyed.

"Did you know you have a big rip in your shorts?"

"Oh, crap!!" It suddenly dawned on me that at the end of last summer my butt had busted through the seam of these purple shorts, and I had forgotten to patch them. I'd just washed them, put them back into the dresser, and spaced out the 6-inch long gaping hole. Now, nine months later, I had put them back on and was displaying my gray Haines all over town!

"No one said a word to me," I told BB. "Do you suppose my T-shirt covered the rip?"

"Well, I noticed it from 15 feet away."


Thursday, June 25, 2009


"Are you going for a new record?" Big Bore asked me last night as I headed to the library to yank weeds in the garden areas there, after having spent a good four hours tending my own turf. I knew exactly what he was talking about: chigger bites.

You see, I forgot to spray on the Cutter when we were doing yard work at Mama Bore's house on Tuesday--even though there was a bottle of it in my car--and the end result was about three dozen chigger bites around my trunk, from boobs to pubes. I am a human scratching post! I dotted on some Caladryl last night before going to bed and looked like a pink leopard.

Adding to the agony in the household is that fleas have invaded the cats. They must be immune to the expensive Frontline crap I keep putting on them. Little Bit escaped outside one evening earlier this month, and he obviosuly attracted every damned flea in the neighborhood. Watching the cats scratch makes me want to scratch. It's making Big Bore nuttier than usual being around us.

I've decided to put up some sort of warning sign at the front door to heed off potential visitors--sort of like the red cross used in Europe during the black plague centuries ago. It's going to be a long summer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The past two mornings, Big Bore and I have put our sweat glands into overdrive. Yesterday we re-painted the tree markers at Woodson Cove Trail at Cross Timbers State Park, part of our Adopt-a-Trail volunteer project, and today we did yard work at Mama Bore's home in Fredonia. Just because she no longer lives there doesn't mean the gardens have to look a wreck. By noon both days, we were worn out by the heat and ready to retreat to the comfort of A/C at Casa de la Flaming Bore. ---I have this theory that sweating is good for the body, provided it's not overdone and water is consumed at frequent intervals. Big Bore is not quite as gung-ho about the soaring temps. He's had heat stroke before. No fun. The only after effects of my two mornings of labor are achy arms, a little patch of poison ivy itch on an ankle, and blue fingernails from the paint job. For a while I looked like a Smurf, but most of the blue scrubbed away in the tub, fortunately. ---I just sent BB to the grocery store to purchase the best part about hot summer days: a gallon of raspberry sherbet and a bottle of ginger ale. Add it all to ice in the blender and I'll be slurping on a Smoothie in no time. No sweat!

Monday, June 22, 2009


G4 Network aired a "Ninja Warrior" marathon over the weekend, which meant, I'm rather ashamed to say, that Big Bore and I spent waaaaaaay too much time parked in front of the TV the past two days. This show is one of our guilty viewing pleasures. If you haven't seen it, here's the lowdown:

Ninja wannabes are challenged by four levels of obstacle courses that are ridiculously difficult. There are 100 contestants to start with, mostly Japanese and mostly men, and maybe only six or seven make it past the timed Level One. Everyone else crash lands in a water pit. Perhaps three or four will get past Level Two, and only a few, if any, will survive Level Three. Getting to the final level is rare, and only two competitors in 12 years have actually completed it to become (ooooooh, aaaaaah) Ninja Warrior!!!! A Japanese sportscaster narrates the action, and there are subtitles provided so the American viewer can follow along.

Why Big Bore is nutty for Ninja is beyond me, but my interest in it goes back to my childhood, when I'd create obstacle courses in our yard. The Ninth Street version of Ninja Warriors consisted of two side-by-side courses that began in the front yard and ended close to the alley out back. The obstacles were whatever I could drag out of the garage: lawn chairs, bikes, buckets, wagons, water hose, etc. Two competitors would run simultaneously over their barriers, to the finish--leaping airborn at the sandpile, grabbing the swingset crossbar, and making a pendulum move to the other side. But, watch out for the clothesline!!!

My big bare feet took on every boy in the neighborhood. I didn't always win, but all good sports know that the victory comes from within. And, anyway, a true Ninja Warrior does not whine, cry, or kick sand in the face of her competitor. There will always be another day to put one's skill to the test. See you at the starting line.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I drove to Pittsburg yesterday to visit with Mama Bore, take her to a doctor appointment, etc. Although it's a bit of a trek, I always enjoy going to The Burg, the site of my crazed college days, 1967-72. Forty years ago seems like last week.

My best memories from college, of course, centered around hanging out with friends, going back and forth to our favorite watering holes--The Pizza Palace and The Basement. The Palace was conveniently located across the street from the campus. The pizza was thin--none of this thick and chewy, hand-tossed, stuffed crust business--and the beer was cheap. Most of my time there wasn't spent eating and drinking, however. I could usually be found playing the pinball machines--specifically "Misso"--with my pal Kathy Mac. We'd spend hours perched on bar stools, each of us in charge of a flipper, racking up game after game and chattering away at ol' "Misso" like it possessed some human element, which I'm sure it did.

"Time to hit up The Basement!!" Friends would load up in my '68 VW Beetle and we'd Drag the Gut (Broadway Street) downtown where this bar was located--in a basement! It had two rooms--one with the bar and loads of tables, and the other one with pool tables and overflow seating. Playing cards was my activity of choice at The Basement--spades or pitch--choose your game, grab three other people, and the night was on. One of my cohorts on the college newspaper staff, a frat guy named Crossan, would bring his typewriter to The Basement to write all his assignments while socializing. Getting quotes, albeit alcohol-infused ones, was a cinch.

There were a bunch of other bars in P-Burg that I hopped around to: The Leather Ball (it burned down), Danny's Tavern (my pick for polka dancing), The Alley ( friendly, but don't tell anyone), Sammy's Club (sadly, Saddle-Head Sam died in a car wreck one night after work), Freckles Melody Inn, and The Idle Hour--home of the one-man polka band. The latter joint is still idling away in Frontenac, but The Pizza Palace and The Basement are long gone, replaced by newer, hipper establishments. Their once-jumping buildings are empty now, gathering dust and cobwebs, but my, oh, my, if their walls could talk!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Well, wouldn't you know it. Right when I'm ready to settle down last night for a trashy two hours of "The Bachelorette," a thunderstorm raged about 100 miles from here, and the network television stations broke in on the regular programming for a blow-by-blow account of what was going on in the sky. Humbug.

At one point, the local tornado sirens even started blaring, so Critter and I zipped down to the basement, while big Bore stayed by the TV to report that there was nothing for us to worry about. According to Super Duper Dandy Doppler Radar, the twirly stuff was 25 miles away and headed north of us.

Actually, the weathermen didn't have much exciting to report. "We have some damage to a Bradford pear tree" was about it. They finally returned to the regularly scheduled programming around 9:15-ish, at which time all hell brooke loose in our little town and our satellite dish went dead. So, it didn't make any difference if the weathermen were back on the tube screaming for us to take cover.

I decided my best course of action was to take the covers off Big Bore, by now fast asleep, and make him entertain me in order to get my mind off the lightning, thunder, and wind that were crashing outside the windows. We rode out the storm singing hits from the Mamas and the Papas and The Beatles--once again butchering the words and providing our own screeching orchestral accompaniment. We were so infernally bad that we drowned out the noises of the storm and were soon in dreamland.

From the looks of our wiped-out ornamental corn this morning, the wind outside must have been mighty fierce last night. Not as scary, however, as the two blowhards inside the house ripping out tunes.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I’m not quite how to say this delicately, but some sort of kinky sex is going on with the plant world in our yard. First off, a big ol’ pumpkin vine has been running rampant in our asparagus plot--nowhere near where we planted our pumpkin seeds. When we saw it popping up, we decided to let it grow, just to see what would happen, and now the crazy thing is pregnant!! Yes, we have a little punkin’ baby developing.

Those of you who have gardens no doubt know what I mean about such surprises. You can plant and nurture and pffft--nothing happens, and then something else you didn’t plant just appears on its own and thrives. Go figure. Right now we have wayward morning glory, zinnias, and donkey tail coming up where they weren’t intended. And we have two mimosa trees in back that we’ve allowed to stay around for a while.

The birds “planted” some of the seeds Big Bore fed them over the winter, and we now have about 60 sunflowers in various stages of growth. They are a pain to mow around, but we try to keep most of them going. Here are the results of some unplanned plants from our yard.
1. Smaller of two mimosas

2. Morning glory

3. Zinnia under peonies

4. Sunflowers

5. Violet in the grass

Have a merry Monday and may your life be filled with beautiful surprises!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Well, Aunt Nancy’s Boot Camp ended on a sour note. There was an insurrection and refusal to go on further hikes, so Big Bore and I went out into the wilds alone Wednesday while Bo vegged out on Facebook and relaxed in the hammock. We doubt he’ll have such distractions when he goes on his church campout in New Mexico this coming week. Plus, he’ll have some peer pressure to get moving!

The first of our pile of sunflowers is blooming!

Critter has been bothered with some sort of urinary tract problem the past month or so. After two vet appointments and $160.00 in tests, special food, and meds, we are happy to report she seems to be improving. Once Dr. Maureen told us a trick to giving meds (blowing in the cat’s face), Critter was a breeze to treat and now she reminds me when to give her the special food in her special area three times a day.

Big Bore got his summer buzz cut yesterday. He has to start working on his redneck look!

Happy weekend to all!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Since Aunt Nancy's Boot Camp offered R & R yesterday, I decided to treat my great nephew Bo to a movie in a neighboring city. We had our choice of six flicks: Star Trek (PG-13), Terminator Salvation (PG-13), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (PG), Up (PG), and The Hangover (R). I'll give you one guess what Bo's selection was. The Hangover, of course, because the R stands for Raunchy. He's 16-years-old. Was there ever any doubt?

Actually, it sort of had an interesting plot and it wasn't as gross as I figured it'd be, until the very end when still pictures were shown of why these four guys at a bachelor party ended up with hangovers in the first place. I didn't fall asleep, so that's the sign of a stellar production!

I have a tradition of taking my nephews, great and otherwise, to movies that their mothers would possibly frown upon. When my neph Brandon was 13 (he's 38 now), I took him to see Zapped!, which I thought would be fairly tame since it starred two TV heart throbs of the 1980s, Scott Baio (Chachi on Happy Days) and Willie Aames (Eight is Enough). Turned out that the zapping was a magical power one of the boys had to pop open girls' blouses and bras. Brandon salivated throughout the show, bug-eyed, while I prepared an apology speech to Big Sis. I was afraid the only thing that was going to be zapped when I got him home was my sorry ass!!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Today, Aunt Nancy's Boot Camp took us to Cross Timbers State Park, formerly Toronto Lake State Park, where Big Bore, Bo, and I helped clear up two of the trails with some of the real workers. Ever since the state closed the Honor Camp there, cheap labor is no longer available, so The Flaming Bore signed us up for a morning of volunteerism. Escapees from the Onery Camp.

Bo was the stud who moved logs, BB cut low tree branches, and I was Gasoline Girl and sweeper. We worked a little over three hours and did a wonderful job, if I do say so myself. When we got home, we did tick check and cleaned up--then Bo went rampant on Facebook and I fell asleep. He's out fishing tonight with a neighbor kid. Another tick exam may be in order.

Tomorrow may be an off day for Boot Camp. Bo's ankles are bruised from his new hiking boots, and I'm starting to feel guilty. Rest and recuperation may be in order. Maybe. Perhaps. We'll see.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Aunt Nancy’s Boot Camp has begun. Yesterday morning I took Bo to Elk City State Park, in spite of his protesting: “Do we have to go hiking?” We had a good time--as long as he took rest stops along the way. I have to whip him into shape for his church camp trip to New Mexico later this month. The hiking there will be at a much higher altitude--bummer. Today we're off to Fall River State Park and tomorrow it's Cross Timbers near Toronto. I'm ready to lace up and go, but we can't leave until Bo finishes watching Saw IV, some horror flick that sounds to be gore-iffic. I'm not watching and have been out watering and weeding. Big Bore and Bo have both proclaimed, "You have too much energy!!" and want me to back off, but at 1300 hours boot camp is back is session!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


“Easy sticker! Easy sticker! Swing, batter, swing!”

Ah, summer softball is back, and once again little kids are learning all about the agony of defeat and poor sportsmanship. At least that’s pretty much what I remember about the sport when I suited up in my formative years.

Back then, softball was played at a not-so-groomed diamond at the corner of 12th and Quincy in Fredonia. I was never star material, but I was reliable at the plate for a single or double, provided I hit the ball to someone who had a case of the butter fingers. The position I usually played was outfield, not because I was good at catching the ball but because I was a fast runner. I could chase after anything I missed and usually prevent a homerun, provided the ball wasn’t smacked all the way to 11th Street by some 6th grade girl on steroids.

My older brother Beans also played softball, but he was a lost cause. He was sort of chunky and slow, and he wore glasses, and I think he was afraid of getting hit in the face. Mom still has his ball glove enshrined in some cobwebby corner of the garage. The thumb is chewed off, a sad sign of his fear playing in right field. “Please, God, don’t make the ball come my way!”

I wish all this summer’s little leaguers an enjoyable and successful season. May no one make fun of you when you flub up, which you will, and may all your swings connect, which they won’t. And, when your team loses, a million to nothing, just forlornly slump back to the dugout and think of ol' Beans slurping on his wet ball glove 50 years ago, thinking, “This game bites!”
P.S. The Flaming Bore is off to Pittsburg and Noel, Mo. and will be out of service for the next three days.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


First slugs! Now birds! My strawberry patch is being eaten before my own sorry eyes! The beer traps have worked wonders in keeping the slugs at bay, but now the birds are dive bombing the patch and nibbling away. Big Bore suggested I buy some plastic snakes from the toy department at the local ALCO to scare them off, so that’s what I’ve done.

These just aren’t any old run-of-the-mill plastic snakes, though. These are the deluxe “Magic Grow Super Snakes” that have “authentic details,” and grow to over 48 inches when submerged in water over the course of several days. “Just place it in water and watch it grow, grOW, GROW!!” Well, I’ve been watching for 30 minutes, but nothing has happened yet. By morning, I expect to have the Loch Ness Monster in that pink pail.

If these fake reptiles don’t work, I’m waving the white flag and giving up. My patience is SHRINKING, SHRINKing, shrinking.

(P.S. Does anyone know why this picture kept coming up sideways? It's a horizontal shot.)

Monday, June 1, 2009


Big Bore is pleased to announce that he has gone five months without smoking a nasty cigarette. We won’t discuss his weight gain during the same time period.

I never smoked a cigarette until I was in college, and, even then, I was a member of the Bill Clinton “I Did Not Inhale” Club. I mainly sucked on ‘em to look cool while I was working on the school newspaper staff. A whirl of smoke around one’s head was the sign of a smart aleck writer who thought she was being sophisticated. Gasp, choke.

I could just never get the hang of it. Swallow smoke? No way. Heck, I even had to learn how to blow smoke rings from my little sister, who was 12 years old at the time of my instruction. When I finally figured out that there was a health warning on cigarette packs for a very good reason, I decided to save my hard-earned money and try to find some other way to look cool that didn‘t involved possibly clogging my lungs. Like wearing hot pants. Except I didn’t exactly have the body to carry it off, but that didn’t stop me. Mama Bore’s sewing machine went into overdrive making me one-piece jumpsuit hot pants. My favorite outfit was leopard print corduroy. Grrrr.

Now, how in the world could the flighty Flaming Bore start out writing about BB’s cig cessation and somehow end up discussing a pathetic attempt to look sexy 40 years ago, you ask? The answer is simple. He was smokin’ and I was trying to be. Enough said.