Wednesday, March 31, 2010


When I was out walking the other night, zoned out to the world, I heard the high-pitched words, “Give me a hug!” Startled to my senses, I looked to where the voice was coming from--and then I got even more startled. A little boy, probably 3’ish, was headed across the street, arms open, “Give me a hug! Give me a hug!”

I had no clue who this kid was. I quickly told him not to cross the street and looked to see if any traffic was coming our way, which, fortunately it wasn’t, because he just kept on rushing toward me, an accident ready to happen. “Give me a hug!”

I gave him a half-hearted hug because I was really pissed off at his mother, who was still in the yard watching what was taking place, maybe 50 feet behind him---talking on her damned cell phone!!! Now, you’d think if she wasn’t going to physically keep him under control she’d at least holler at him to stay out of the street. But, no. The phone conversation was obviously much more important than the little boy. I, a total stranger, was the one who told him to get back to the safety of his yard.

I’m not the type to get confrontational, especially about raising children, since I never had any, but it sure chaps my butt when common sense flies out the door. Geesh! What’s wrong with people? Don’t they teach their kids about the dangers of running into the street asking for attention from oddballs? If I’d had the nerve, here’s what I would have told that parent the other night: “Get off your stupid cell phone and go hug your kid before he gets run over!”

There, I’ve said it. But I don’t feel any better. --There’s an old African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.” But I sure wish the village idiots would get their priorities straight.

(P.S. I’m going to spare you Big Bore’s version of what he says he would have told that parent to do, because it’s not humanly possible. Well, I suppose it’s possible but it might mess up the cell phone reception!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


We were watching some Sam Spade detective flicks starring Humphrey Bogart last week when Big Bore took notice of something strange. What’s with all the cigarette smoking in these old movies? Every time the going got tough, Sam/Humphrey lit up. And if he was commiserating with some chick, he lit her up, too, and they sexily puffed away together, blowing smoke in each other's faces.

Since his lungs have been smoke-free for fifteen months now, BB has become hyper aware of how disgusting his old habit is to those who don’t participate. He can sniff out cigarettes from offenders in passing vehicles. Or, we can be at the grocery store and he’ll smell smoke on the clothing of a nearby shopper. “God, that stinks!” he’ll piously say. “How could you stand me? It reeks! It makes me sick!” There’s no one more vocal than a reformed smoker.

I never got much into smoking in my younger days, although I tried for the sake of looking cool. Winstons just never tasted “good, like a cigarette should.” Chocolate chip cookies were ever-so-much better, so I basically got hooked on sugar. For quite some time, my main goal in life was to marry a franchise owner of a Winchell’s Donut joint just so I could have my daily “fix” of free bear claws and apple fritters.

So, I understand where Bogart and the rest of the smokers are coming from. Nicotine, food, alcohol, gambling, computer games, biting fingernails, sex, whatever. Nobody’s perfect. We all have our addictions. Some are harmless; some are fattening; some expensive; some lethal. So, here’s my piece of monumental advice for today: just do the best you can.

Now, put that in your pipe and smoke it--and pass me the Sugar Pops, please.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Big Bore and I went on a Sunday afternoon drive yesterday, in lieu of cleaning up the house, which is totally no fun. Periodically, we’d stop the truck to explore our surroundings. We’ve had our eagle eyes on the huge nest above for several months, but this was the first time we’d actually seen ol’ Baldy at home. It was busily tending to whatever was inside the nest, so, unfortunately, we never could get it to look up and smile for the camera.

I was looking for rocks at the edge of Mossy Ford when I came across these cute little raccoon paw prints. They almost look like human baby handprints, don’t they? I like raccoons--provided they aren’t living in my garage like one did a few years back.

The scariest animal I encountered on the outing was in some trees and brush along the Fall River. I don't know what it was, but it was sure big and hairy

Friday, March 26, 2010


There’s a game show on GSN that I love to hate, and it’s called “Chain Reaction.” I’m not quite sure how to describe it in ten words or less, but it starts off with two words, top and bottom, and in between are mystery words that two teams of three people try to figure out, one letter at a time, to form a chain.

Now, what drives me absolutely bonkers about this game is that sometimes the contestants are totally clueless. Once the top word was PICK-UP and the word linked below it began with TR. The mystery word is obviously TRUCK, right, but the dingbat contestant says TRIP!! Pick-up Trip. Duh. This kind of goofy response happens ALL the time on this show, which makes me crazy.

Then, in the final round, the winning trio has to guess words a different way. Two players give one-word clue chains, back and forth in question form, and the third player has to guess the key word. Get five key words correct in 60 seconds, and they get an additional 5 thousand dollars. Here’s a simplified example of what I’m trying to describe:

Player 1-Who
Player 2-married
Player 1-Eve?
Player 3 answer-Adam

Now, here’s an actual example of how stupid the winning team was today:

Player 1-What
Player 2-animal
Player 1-has
Player 2-spots?
Player 3 answer-Zebra

“Zebra? ZEBRA? Oh, my god!” I choked on my lunch. How dumb can she be? Where do they dig up these people? Even a kindergarten reject would know the answer is: Leopard. My reaction to “Chain Reaction” is: Tie a chain around these dumbos, lock 'em up, and throw away the key! That'll get a BIG reaction.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


My pal Maggie sent me this old picture yesterday showing our Sunday School class, grades 4th, 5th, 6th. Instant memories from hell came flowing out of my mind bank. No wonder we met in the church basement (note the pipes?) This Sunday School class was the pits!! Now, there aren’t many boys pictured here but there are four of them, all older than the Flaming Bore, who made Sundays miserable because they were so totally obnoxious. I can still well remember how they made birthdays so very un-special by singing our birthday song with altered lyrics:

“Nancy has a birthday, we’re so SAD (instead of GLAD)
We hope it is the WORST one she has had (instead of BEST)
As we count her pennies (that went into the birthday bank lighthouse)
They will tell….
Yes, the pennies say she’s ten SECONDS old!!”

If God was trying to teach humiliation, He did a thorough job at the Methodist Church Sunday School back in 1959. The mortified birthday “honoree” had to stand before the group during the entire song while these giggly guys butchered the words and the egos of little girls. I kept trying to think of a way to practice my own version of The Golden Rule and do “unto” those four “others” what they had done to me, but, sadly, I could never come up with anything devious enough. Being a benevolent person and practicing forgiveness is such a pain in the ass. But, obviously, all has not been forgotten.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The other night I was feeling mildly guilty about leaving dirty dishes in the sink, when I tuned into “Hoarding: Buried Alive” on The Learning Channel. Instant mood switch. The people on this show are such junk addicts that they make me look like the Queen of Clean.

How do people manage to gather so much clutter? We’re talking mountains of “stuff” that must be climbed over in order to get to the next room. One slip and the hoarder could never be seen again until the bloodhounds arrive. Thus the “Buried Alive” title.

One guy, a dapper dresser with a fine income, had a 3-bedroom townhouse that was jam-packed with stacks of crap heaped up over six feet high. When he finally got the nerve to take his lovely lady friend to see the mess, she gamely went along for the tour. He had told her he was a hoarder, but she had NEVER imagined he was this bad. The place practically exploded as he opened the door! After taking a few precarious steps into the place, the gal proclaimed him sick beyond repair and quickly tossed him out of her life.

After seeing this show, I have a whole new outlook on housekeeping. I’m no longer going to feel like a failure when a few articles of clothing linger on the bedroom floor or when kitty dust balls gather behind the furniture. As long as I can get to the bathroom without having to maneuver an obstacle course, I’m going to be happy. With “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” the Learning Channel is NOT really trying to educate us about mega slobs; it’s teaching the rest of world to chill out and not be so concerned about the supper dishes getting washed before the food has been digested. My self-esteem has never been better!

(P.S. The above picture was NOT taken on location at Casa de la Flaming Bore!!!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I have some comforters that need spring cleaning, but they’re too bulky for my washing machine, so recently I headed down to our town’s one and only laundramat to see if it might be in better condition than it was the last time I was there. That was in July--when I ended up at the local health department reporting the unsanitary conditions. Talk about a mess. I should have known I was walking into a toxic waste dump when I was greeted by a dirty diaper at the front door. It got worse from there, and I’ll spare the details of writing about it so I don’t get sick all over the computer keyboard. Suffice to say, my complaint was not the first and the laundramat was closed down by the health department until the manager cleaned up his/her own act.

Well, I was pleased to find that the place was no longer a pig sty when I walked in last week, BUT, here’s the kicker, not a single one of the front loading, heavy duty machines was working. All five of them had “Out of Order” notes stuck to them!! Geesh. What’s a girl gotta do around here to lead a stain-free life???? Big Bore suggests I just load up my comforters and Tide and go down to the river. Sadly, that's about the best that little jerkwater towns have to offer.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Seems like a 52-year-old gardener has people in Boulder, Colorado all in a twit because her yard work ensemble consists only of a yellow thong and pink gloves. Yep, that’s it. Not only are her neighbors upset, but the fine folks who run the K-12 school across the street from Lady Godiva aren’t exactly thrilled, either. Recess is being disrupted with anatomy lessons while she’s romping around her front yard, aging boobies flopping about the bushes. Last year she caused a similar disturbance when gardening in her pasties.

Now, the bare fact is: I, too, like to get down and dirty when I’m doing my gardening. I wear an ancient pair of baggy, stained, gray, holey sweat pants--plus any old shirt will do. I do not want weeds flying into my crotch and cleavage crevices, thank-you very much. However, I don’t bother with gloves, pink or otherwise, preferring to get up close and personal with the soil and getting it thickly caked under my fingernails. That’s the only way to go. Anyone who drives by our yard recognizes me as a true piece of grime in action and not some garden “hoe.”

I suspect the laws of decency, fortunately, are a bit more stringent in Eureka, Kansas than they are in Boulder, Colorado, where boulder holders and blouses are apparently not required. According to the article in the newspaper, police said the back to nature gal wasn’t breaking any laws, so she’s free to expose her body parts, for better or for worse, to the neighborhood. Personally, until she moves to a nudist colony, I think the cops should just hose her down and plant her thread-bare ass in some clothes. She needs to grow some common sense.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


So much for looking forward to the first damn day of Spring....

Thursday, March 18, 2010


In the spirit of March Madness, multi-talented Dr. Maureen, ace basketball authority and KU Medical School graduate now making a living in enemy territory (North Carolina), has crafted some Jayhawk bandanas for cats. Critter is modeling one made especially for her. She thinks it looks Meow-tstanding!!! She also wants to assure Dr. M. that the “M” on her forehead does not stand for Missouri (aka: Evil Mizzou, Dr. M’s nemesis). I think Critter looks quite fetching in her new fashion accessory, and you can be sure she will be wearing it at tonight’s televised KU-Lehigh game. In the words of all ‘Hawk fans everywhere, human and feline, “Rock Chalk!”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


While I was getting a new pair of eyeglasses at the mall yesterday, Big Bore parked himself on a bench outside Lenscrafters and watched people go by. He is an astute observer. Among those noted were a man wearing kilts who was also sitting down, a robust brunette strolling by in hot pants and knee-high boots, and two Mennonite teen girls trying on wigs at a hair joint.

“Did you strike up a conversation with the guy and ask him why he was wearing a skirt?”


“What about the hot pants babe?”

“I just stared at her.”

“Why? Was she attractive?”

“No! I couldn’t believe anyone would be dressed like that since it’s so cold out. She was just a wannabe.

“Wannabe what?”

“Wannabe ho, I guess.”

“How did you know the girls trying on the wigs were Mennonites?”

“They had the little caps on their heads. They were having a blast trying on these long black wigs.”

Well, that’s something you don’t see every day in Eureka.

When we got home, Big Bore pointed out that he had managed to spend an entire afternoon in big city traffic without saying a swear word.

“That’s right. The closest you came was, ‘Holy moly’ in the Dillon’s parking lot when the lady talking on her cell phone almost hit us with her SUV. Bravo for you.”

One must always be alert in the big city--whether watching carefully on the road or in the mall.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


When Carly Simon wrote “Anticipation” way back in the “good ol’ days,” she was fantasizing about being back in the arms of a lover. Anticipation is consuming my mind this week, too, but in different ways, of course. There’s no chance in hell that Sweet Baby James (Taylor) will ever show up in my bed….

Check your calendars, all you grumpy despisers (like me) of winter and everything that is c-c-c-cold. Spring is officially only five days away!!!! I’ve been getting a head start this week, cleaning up my flower beds, pondering seed packets, digging up early weeds, and welcoming tulips and daffodils that are starting to poke through the ground. I gave Big Bore a yard tour yesterday, excitedly showing him where I was going to plant what. I left out the part about the heavy bags of rock and mulch that some big, strong guy is going to have to haul in for me. Hmmm.

Saint Paddy’s Day is tomorrow, so today I’ll be busy scrounging up a lovely green ensemble from the bowels of the closet. There’s only one item that I definitely know where to find: green flip flops under the bed!!! The rest will be a search and destroy mission. Especially the lovely plastic shamrock earrings. Where in the world are they?

KU and K-State play their opening rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament Thursday. Since I don’t have enough KU garb to satisfy my Jayhawk addiction, I plan to go to the big city tomorrow to track down a Big 12 Champions shirt--athough BB thinks we’re just going to have the car tires rotated and go to Lenscrafters. Little does he know what he’s in for.

Muffin is entering the sixth day of her hunger strike since her stone removal surgery. We’ve had her back to the clinic twice for hydration and blood tests. Everything indicates no problem. We’ve laid all sorts of food in front of her nose, and she just walks away from it in disdain, “keeping me waiting” so I can anticipate a huge vet bill. I wonder if Carly Simon ever owned a cat.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Just in case you haven’t heard, KU won the Big 12 basketball tournament tonight in spite of the fact that I didn’t utter a single swear word the entire game, hard as that may be to believe, --but I did take extra medication to keep my inner ear muscle from spazzing out too much. Next stop, the NCAA tournament. I’m rock chalking on to March Madness!!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Not to be overshadowed by my famous kidney stone removal of two years ago, Miss Muffin Puffin Stuffin’ decided to have her own “kitty stone” extricated yesterday at the vet clinic. She didn’t whine and bitch and moan around as much as I did before the surgery, --nothing dramatic in the emergency room,-- but her post-surgical behavior is exactly like mine: “Get the the f*** out of here and leave me alone!” She’s been hiding in her carrier, sequestered in the laundry room, and refuses to eat or drink or even get hissy-pissy with the other cats. Poor baby. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope she’ll soon be back to her darling diva ways.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Big Sis and I were laughing the other day about the time we walked home from Sunday School and pretended I was blind and she was my guide. We pretty much narrowed this down to when I was in grade school and she was in junior high, because once she got in high school I had evolved into a mini terrorist and she refused to be seen with me. I’m not sure whose idea it was for me to be “blind,” but Mama Bore says it was such a ridiculous idea that it HAD to be mine.

Well, anyway, Sis and I collectively agreed that she would lead me through the five blocks of hazards between the First Methodist Church and our house--maneuvering curbs, cracks in the sidewalks, turns, and street crossings.

About halfway into our experiment, we met up with Miss Sybil Robison, a spinster school teacher who was also walking home. She didn’t know us, but we knew who she was because she taught at a grade school across town. Being a kid-friendly person, she struck up a conversation with us, but we were not about to stop the little “game” we had started. Sis continued to lead me while talking with Miss R., and I continued my sightless journey.

Finally, her curiosity got the better of her and Miss Robison asked Sis, “What’s wrong with the little girl?”

“Oh, she’s blind,” Sis said, matter-of-factly, not even pausing to think that God might strike her dead for fibbing so soon after leaving Sunday School.

Miss Robison was heartbroken. “The poor child,” she said.

Now, I felt a smidgeon of guilt since she expressed such sorrow for me, but who was I to say the jig was up and admit that we were just play acting? I just kept hanging on to Sis with my eyes closed, going along with the ruse. Miss Robison bade us her pitied goodbye when she got to her home, and Sis safely steered me two more blocks to our house. We were both rather triumphant that we had pulled off the stunt so well that we had fooled an adult--an educated one, too.

Looking back on it, Sis sure could have spared herself a lot of future grief by just shoving me blindly into the traffic on the state highway we had to cross after we parted ways with Miss Robison. Her perfect opportunity--missed. Damn. Sis spent many a year after that suffering from the messes I made in the bedroom we shared.

"Hang up your clothes!" " You’re such a slob!" "Mom, she's been in my scarf box again!"

If only she would have just closed her eyes…..

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I've been on an extended visit to Pittsburg doing a family gig, one activity being the celebration of my great nephew Boomer's 4th birthday. After digging in to his cool Spiderman cake, he received a few lessons from the old folks on how to hold up four fingers and, darn it, this task wasn't as simple as it sounded. He counts aloud quite well, but getting those fingers to cooperate was something else.

He started confidently enough, with his hand wide open. "Now, put your thumb behind your fingers," his mom instructed. A cinch. Well, you can see the results.

Eventually, he hid the thumb with his other hand in order to get the correct result. It's not so easy being four years old.

Friday, March 5, 2010


5:30 AM conversation

Big Bore: What was your favorite outfit on Project Runway last night?

Flaming Bore: The sandpaper dress. I liked the bodice, but it couldn’t have been very comfortable. What was your favorite?

Big Bore: The garbage bag pants and top with the masking tape stripes.

FB: That was my runner-up. What was your runner-up?

BB: The sandpaper dress. The black and white paint tray outfit was my 3rd place.

FB: Mine, too, Well, I guess we’re on the same fashion page. I’m surprised none of the contestants picked plastic drop-cloth or mop heads to work with.

BB: Mop heads wouldn’t wash up well. They’d expand.

FB: Like ANY of those clothes would ever be washed and worn again. I don’t think so. Wear and throw out is more like it.

BB: I’m going back to sleep.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Critter Kitty spent part of her morning gazing out a living room window at this unsuspecting Golden Finch that was having breakfast at one of our bird feeders.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


WARNING: Do not read this blog if you have a queasy stomach

March 10 is Friends of the Library Recipe Tasting Day, and I have been giving serious thought about what I should contribute to the cause. Anyone who knows me well also knows that I suffer from a lack of skill, putting it mildly, when it comes to the kitchen; therefore, I must be extremely careful about subjecting the public to my cooking.

Just about every culinary masterpiece I’ve ever attempted has bombed. I once made an apple pie from scratch but forgot to add sugar. I re-named it Sour Vomit Pie before grinding it down the garbage disposal. Everything I ever attempted to cook in jr. high home ec. was a full-blown disaster, so my teammates in our kitchen pod finally relegated me to the pantry room. I’d give them the ingredients they requested and then stay in there nibbling on brown sugar and chocolate chips the rest of the hour. “Whatever you do, don’t come near the stove!”

So, I’ve been having quite a time coming up with something safe for this upcoming Recipe Tasting Day. Just when I was about to settle on Dr. Maureen’s Olive Cheese Balls, Big Bore came up with a stunning idea. “Why don’t you fix your famous Norovirus Quiche?”

We both groaned. I once, quite surprisingly, made a fabulous sausage/spinach quiche that Big Bore eagerly snarfed down, not knowing that he’d been exposed to norovirus at the local nursing home, which was quarantined the day after his visit. This nasty virus hits quickly and with ferocity. Every orifice in Big Bore's body violently erupted about eight hours after we’d had supper. The experience was so disgusting and frightening that he swore off quiche for life, as well as his after-life and any other life after that.

The virus hit me three days later--on Thanksgiving night, 2006. Now, the last time I'd had a barf attack was in 1971 after a college graduation celebration when I'd made the mistake of combining beer and wine with Wild Turkey bourbon whiskey. The episode with norovirus more than made up for the 35-year dry spell. I still have difficulty looking at cranberry jello salad square in the eye, and I suspect you know why.

Hmmmm. I think I’ll play it safe for everyone at Recipe Tasting Day and just bring plastic plates and napkins. I've suddenly lost my appetite.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


When I visited Dr. Maureen and her husband Scott a few years ago, I became smitten with their bottle tree. I’d never seen one before. Maybe it’s a Southern thing. It was a straight wooden post, over six feet tall, I’d reckon, and had holes drilled up and down its four smooth sides to be used for bottle placement.

S and M (as in Scott and Maureen, of course) are wine tasting groupies, so they have their nifty bottle tree filled with empty wine bottles of all colors. Lovely. So lovely that I wanted one for MY yard, too, except I’m too much of a cheapskate to buy one. Plus, I can’t drink alcoholic beverages of any kind and Big Bore only drinks an occasional red beer, which is no doubt hard to believe if you’re one of his relatives reading this. But, alas, it's true. No pretty wine bottles, empty or otherwise, at the Flaming Bore household.

Then, one day a year or so ago, BB came home with a big ol’ tree limb from an Osage Orange, “planted” it, and da-dum! There was my bottle tree! Now, I just had to scrounge up some bottles. I got most of them by rummaging through the glass barrels at the local recycle center. One came from a median strip in Wichita, likely deposited there by someone trying to avoid a DUI charge. Another once held fizzy grape juice that BB’s brother and sister-in-law gave us for Christmas.

And then, last week, I came home from shopping in the city and found a cobalt blue bottle standing next to the front porch. I figured Big Bore stumbled up on it, but I later found out he hadn’t. Hmmmm. Who was the donor? Why, the Good Bottle Fairy must have been at our house and left it!!!

A few days later BB and I were outside doing yard work when a nice lady who lives a few blocks away strolled by, as she often does in good weather, and she stopped to chat.

“Did you find the bottle I left you the other day?”

“You’re the Bottle Fairy?!” I exclaimed and ran over to give her a big hug. We learned that she’d brought the bottle, which once contained fancy water, all the way from Kansas City, and she bought it just to add to our “tree.” The mystery was solved--as mysteries usually are in small towns.

I’d previously thought our homemade hillbilly bottle tree is likely a source of ridicule in our neighborhood. It’s rather primitive looking, and that’s being kind, but at least one other person in town appreciates “fine art” when she sees it. Cheers to The Bottle Fairy!! Bottoms up!

Monday, March 1, 2010


Hey there, all you cat lovers out in Blog-land! Every day, often twice a day, I have the displeasure of doing cat litter pan duty at Casa de la Flaming Bore. There are three extra super-duper, heavy duty oval pans on the back porch and one small rectangle pan. Diva Muffin has her own place to piddle in the laundry room since the other cats piss her off--literally.

I wouldn’t mind this chore so much if the pee part didn’t clump like concrete. I dig and scrape and chop, and little chunks of urine fly all over the place. By the time I’m done, the litter disposal bag weighs a ton and I can barely lift it out the door. I’m exhausted!! Big Bore has no sympathy. He says all I need to do is to exchange my little plastic pooper-scooper shovel for a backhoe and I’d have those pans cleaned out in no time.

We buy litter by the bulk over at some pet store in the big city. We take our own 40-pound containers and fill 'em up ourselves. A real self-service litter station. If I didn’t have Big Bore as my co-conspirator in living with cats, I’d have to bring bunches of smaller containers, but he does all my heavy lifting. --His back is stronger. That’s all I really want in a man. Someone to haul around 80 pounds of cat litter.

Big Bore, however, is semi-adverse to doing the actual litter box duty, so that task is left for me to do while the cats stand around and supervise.

“It’s about time.” “Where have you been?” "Can't you work any faster?" "You're slacking off." Their stares say it all. And as soon as my work is done, they’re jumping right back in to dirty up the clean pans with their fresh deposits. My self-inflicted labor starts up again.

Now, you might say, “Quit being such a bitch and be happy they aren’t doing their doo-ty in every corner.” Well, that’s a whole other blog topic I’ll spare you for today, other than to say that I’d like to get the hardwood floors re-finished around here, but what’s the point?