Saturday, December 31, 2011


I've spent the past few days in Pittsburg with family, and yesterday a new member was "adopted." Great niece Maddie had a kitten on her Christmas list--she even saved up nine dollars to contribute to the cause--and I had the privilege of tagging along with her to the humane society, along with her daddy and brother Boomer.

The same tabby kitty she fell in love with a month ago was still there, friendly as can be, so we asked to visit with "Wendy" and soon gave ol' dad the thumbs up. This one was IT. No sooner did we get out the door when Boomer expressed concern that Wendy's cage mate was sure going to be lonely. "When it wakes up, he's going to miss her," he said forlornly. Ah, what a tender heart.

At home, though, was the biggest softie of all--2 year-old William greeted his sister's new pet with such enthusiasm that he just couldn't wait to hold it. Maddie wasn't quite yet ready to turn the kitten over to him, though, which brought on the tears. Finally, with their mother's suggestion and supervision, Maddie let her baby brother hold Wendy, whose new name became Stripes. He was like a proud father cuddling his newborn--instant love.

But Maddie could only take so much sharing. After about five minutes, she asked for it back. Their mother told William it was Maddie's turn, and the kitten returned to her--at which point William went into major pissed-off mode. He screamed! He cried! He begged! "I want the kitty cat!!!" over and over again, big tears rolling down his reddened cheeks.

Fortunately, I was on a tight time frame and had to leave. "You've created a monster," I told their sweet mama. "The only answer is to get another kitten," I smiled and slipped out the door, William still carrying on.

I stopped by their home today before I left town, to see if the kitten survived the night, and all was back to normal. Maddie was still loving her baby, and the boys were using her bed for a trampoline, no longer interested in the adorable furball. And that's how it should be. Welcome to the funny farm, Stripes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I should have done dusting duties around the house yesterday but, no, I had to piddle on the computer. You know you have way too much idle time on your hands when you start creating South Park characters out of yourself and your friends. I stumbled onto a free website called, which some German gal developed, and designed the above likeness of myself (no pony tails were available in the hair options--rats), Big Bore, and Dr. Maureen. Given a few more lazy days, I should soon be ready to start up my own Comedy Central show.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Watching CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and EARTH VERSUS THE FLYING SAUCERS (spinning pie pans was more like it) blasted my brain into recall mode last night. I once thought I saw an alien spacecraft late one night many years ago when returning home from a university class.

I was traveling across the Flint Hills when I noticed a low, slow-flying light to my northeast and it was moving southwest in my direction. "This can't be an airplane," I thought, because the light was too low and the "object" was moving too slowly. I kept watching the light and then finally pulled over, as it was certain that this dark aircraft was going to cross right over me. Ooooh! Was I ever excited! I was gonna see a genuine UFO!

I got out of the car, ready for action. All was quiet, but I could still see the shadow of the craft headed my way. "Here it comes!" --And underneath one of the wings I could distinctly read, "USAF." Well, son-of-a-letdown!

But what in the world was a low-flying air force vehicle of some sort doing in the Flint Hills at midnight and hardly making a sound? This baby was barely humming. I later found out it was a stealth plane on maneuvers from McConnell Air Force Base in nearby Wichita. Damn. So much for my close encounter.

I still think it would be totally cool to see an actual unidentified flying object. I wasn't afraid of what I thought might be one in the Flint Hills--just excited. I wouldn't actually want to join up with aliens like Richard Dreyfus did in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS..., nor would I want to experience an alien attack like the nonsense in EARTH VERSUS... or WAR OF THE WORLDS, although I must admit that Tom Cruise's acting in the latter movie was creepier than any alien could ever hope to be.

Well, that's all for now. Big Bore is beaming me out of here so we can go run errands. If I see any strange objects floating around in the sky, you'll be the first to know.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Last week when I was trying to find coloring sheets to print off the Internet for the neighbor kids, I came across the coolest website called Not only can you print off scads of pictures, but you can color online, too, which is amazing fun because you don't have to worry about scribbling outside the lines. All you have to do is click on one of 100 colors, then click on an area in the picture. Voila! The above comes from the categories: Cats and Girls in Funky Clothing. Where the heck was this funky website when I was a kid struggling for Crayola perfection?

Monday, December 26, 2011


Our neighborhood has received a group Christmas present. The Farmer next door has purchased the rat hole across the street and is having it torn down before it falls down. Hooray! This means no more yappy stray dogs to contend with, no more property line wars, and no more trashy trash for the occupants of the five surrounding homes to glare at. What are we going to have to bitch about now?

The previous owners have left town, and those of us who remain didn't even have to help pack their bags, so all is calm in the 'hood this day after Christmas. Today is a time to rejoice!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


1. "My kid brother looked like a tick ready to pop."

2. "You'll put your eye out!"

3. ""Fra-gee-lay. This must be Italian."

4. "I triple dog dare you!"

5. "Oh, fudge!"

6. "Those icicles have been known to kill people!"

7. "You look like a deranged Easter Bunny."

8. "Be sure to eat your Ovaltine."

9. "Oh, I hate the smell of tapioca."

10. "Deck the harrs with boughs of horry. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra."

Long live Ralphie and childhood memories of Christmas past.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


The latest from my The World Has Gone Mad Department comes right out of the big city to the west: "Frenzy for shoes leads to three arrests at Towne East."

Seems that fans of the new Air Jordan XI Retro Concord basketball shoes started lining up outside the mall after midnight yesterday (and who doesn't like to hang around a mall all night long when it's 20 degrees outside?). When someone discovered a service door inadvertantly left open around 6:30 AM, the stampede was on. Security was called to round up all the interlopers and send them back outside, but three elusive shoppers were arrested and several people were injured "including a small child who was run over and got a bloody nose." Now, you tell me..what kind of parent drags a small child into this kind of nutball scenario?

Apparently Kansas wasn't the only state that experienced Air Jordan mania. Police in Seattle had to calm down an unruly crowd with pepper spray, folks in Atlanta broke down a door to get inside a mall, and one woman left her two toddlers in a car so she could go shopping for her Air Jordan's.

And what's even crazier: these "gotta have 'em" shoes cost $193.00!! The news media keeps saying our country is in a recession, but obviously no one is paying attention. If I was going to pay that much for a pair of basketball shoes, they'd better come with a guarantee that I'd automatically be signed to a lifetime NBA contract. Otherwise, a $10.00 pair of PF Flyers will be just fine, thank-you.

Friday, December 23, 2011


When I woke up yesterday, I was all gung-ho to get lots accomplished around Casa de la Flaming Bore since it looks like a flaming mess. I started out the day by getting the washing machine in business, and then all my good intentions blew away with the blasted snow that was swirling down outside.

First off, Sweet Neighbor Girl came over to yippety yap ("I caught a snowflake on my tongue on the way over here!"), work a puzzle, color Christmas scenes, apply a hand softener treatment she gave me (is that a hint?), and comb Critter, who was in sheer kitty joy rolling all over the sofa on her back. That pretty much took up all morning. Then I spent the entire afternoon with my nose in a novel.

At some point along the line, I put the clothes in the dryer--where they remain because I spent all evening watching television. Finally, at 10 PM, I got my butt in gear and pedalled the recumbent bike--during time-outs and halftime of the KU basketball game. That was pretty much it for Dec. 22.

At 3:15 this morning, I was awakened by Big Bore getting into the medicine cabinet.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I feel like I'm coming down with norovirus."

Well, hearing that great news immediately made my own stomach twirl. If his feeling was correct, past experience told me that he'd be barfing within 60 seconds. Well, he went on back to sleep and then my ear went spazzy and I was wide awake. So, here I sit at the computer two hours later, Critter purring on my lap, contemplating what I will accomplish today that I should have done yesterday. The first thing on my list is: go back to sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The latest pop culture fad has become Tebowing. Named for Denver Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow, a devout Christian, Tebowing is defined as the following: "(verb) to get down on one knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something else." This according to the new website,

Now, when Tim Tebow first started sideline praying during a close football game, some detractors chided him for doing so. After winning six games in a row, though, Tebow shut up a lot of the naysayers. In fact, he has unintentionally turned his moment of silent prayer into the latest "in" thing to do. We can all stand some help from a higher power, you know. features pictures from around the world submitted to various categories, like toddlers, global, and patriotic, each one showing someone in his or her favorite Tebowing pose. Some proud parents-to-be have actually submitted an ultrasound picture with their expected baby in a pre-natal Tebowing pose. The website sells Tebowing merchandise, like T-shirts and hats, with a percentage of proceeds going to Denver-area charities.

So, Tim Tebow gets the last laugh at all those who criticized him. He gets some inspiration, his team wins some football games, he thanks his Holy Father, and some money is raised for needy folks in Colorado. Somewhere in the heavens, God is shouting, "Hallelujah! You go, Tebow!" Amen to that.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Hooray!!! A big shout out today to the Pittsburg State Gorillas football team for winning the NCAA-II championship yesterday. I've been Going Ape since my freshman year at Pitt in 1967. This will be a good excuse to purchase another Gorillas T-shirt that will get lost in my closet, don't you think? If I'm lucky, maybe a kind relative in Pittsburg will decide this would make a great Christmas gift.

The NCAA-I bowl games started yesterday, also. All 23 bajillion of them. Personally, I'd rather be watching KU basketball or the fiercest competition of them all--"Toddlers and Tiaras." When it comes to blood, sweat, and tears, I'm afraid the Gorillas wouldn't stand a chance against those ferocious little girls and their manic mamas.

May your Sunday be a winner!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Not to be outdone by her little brother, Sweet Neighbor Girl also came over with a Christmas gift yesterday, but she didn't insist that it be opened immediately. She's already given us one other gift that I haven't opened but I know what it is since she was crafting presents this past summer-- little bird house chimes. She asked me then which one I wanted for Christmas.

This "new" gift, though, was and still is a mystery. A clue is written on the name tag she made: "To Nancy and Jeff -P.S. This present to you was mine but I let you have it. You have not seen it."

With any luck, it'll be the rest of the Smurf family. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Today was the final school day before the holiday break in our fair 'burg. After jumping from the bus, Trouble One made an instant beeline to Casa de la Flaming Bore to give us a Christmas present.

"Open it now!" he ordered.

Don't you think we should wait until Christmas Day?" I asked.

"No. Open it now!"

I tried to make a guessing game of the tiny, kid-wrapped gift. "Is it a kitten?" I asked.

"No!" he laughed. "It's blue!"

"Hmmm. Can we eat it?"

"No!" he laughed some more.

So, I got it opened and it was certainly something unique. In all my 62 years, I'd never received one.

"Oh, wow! A Smurf! With a shovel and a red bird! What a great present for gardeners! Where shall we put it?"

We debated over some indoor and outdoor spots and finally settled for under the stick cactus for the winter and then we'll move him outside when it gets warmer. I got on the Internet to check out its identity. It is the Farmer Smurf, complete with green overalls. Perfect for the neighborhood Turnip Farmer (Big Bore) and his assistant.

Then came the 5-year-old's funniest comment--and you know how brutally honest kids can be. "It was for Mama but she didn't want it."

"Well, we just love it. Thank-you so much."

This may be the beginning of a brand new collection.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


(WARNING: Do not read the following if you think Newt Gingrich is the next best thing since sliced bologna.)

Political blow-hard Newt Gingrich called me yesterday. I normally hang up immediately on taped campaign spiels, but I decided to listen to this one so I'd have something ridiculous to blog about today. I let Newt blabber on and on about his political experience, his genius 21st Century Contract of America, and his superior debating skills. Blah, blah, blah.

Big Bore, who was in the kitchen nearby, became curious why I was on the phone for so long, not saying a word. "Who's on the line?" he asked.

"Oh, it's Newt Gingrich."

"Who's he? Oh, the president of Dollar General?" he continued asking.

"No," I laughed. "He's that bag of wind running for President." BB lost interest and went back to his baking.

When Newt finally ran out of breath and his speech wound down, he asked if I'd stay on the line to speak with one of his assistants. Well, heck yes I would! How often do I get the opportunity to bitch about canned phone calls that interrupt my afternoon? Bring 'em on!!

So I hung on....and hung on....and hung on the line some more. I even read a chapter of a John Grisham novel while hanging on. Big Bore kept track of the time. "Twenty-five minutes!" And not once during that precious time did a Newt Gingrich assistant come on the line. Nor did a recording come on to even thank me for continuing to wait or to please continue to hold. Finally, I got bored and hung up the receiver. Rats!!

But that is not the end of the story. Oh, no. I wasn't going to let the matter drop. I went directly to my computer, found the Newt Gingrich for President in 2012 website, and looked around for a "contact" link. I thought I'd be helpful and let Newt know that his able assistant never came on the line to speak with me. I found the link, ironically, right below a blurb that said (and I am not making this up), "Newt: Just Like (Ronald) Reagan, I Will Tell the Truth."

Well, I beg your pardon, Newt Gingrich, but you just lied to me on the telephone no more than thirty minutes ago when you promised that an assistant would be on the line to talk to me if I held on forever.

So, I clicked on "contact" and wrote Newt an email taking him to task for leading me on AND annoying me with his phone call in the first place. Plus, I politely told him that I would not be voting for him. So sorry. After I sent the email, an auotmated message came on the screen thanking me for the contact and telling me that a response would be forthcoming. Well, that's been about 18 hours ago and I'm still waiting.

If Newt Gingrich would run our country anything like his stupid telephone campaign, then we're in big trouble.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


My great neph Garik recently met Santa Claus, and the photo session didn't exactly go too well. I told his grandma, brother Beans's wife, that if Santa pictures had been taken back in 1947 that this is EXACTLY what Beans would have looked like. Forget the candy canes. Throw that kid a life preserver and drag him away!!!! (Nice looking Santa, though.)

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Sweet Neighbor Girl and I have been on the countdown for a month now, and finally the big day has arrived. She's 9 years old today! Yesterday morning she was in such a ball of excitement that she just came on over in her flannel jammies. Luckily for her, Big Bore was baking her favorite: chocolate chip cookies! Oh, so good--straight out of the oven and dipped in cold milk! We played Match Game and plotted out what we'd be wearing to her Hawaiian-theme party today.

She was back over in her jammies again this morning for more cookies and some Family Feud. Her most profound proclamation was: "One more year and I'm in double digits!" Which got me to thinking that I'd be happy to donate some digits to her any time--a few decades worth, at least.

The party was chaos, of course. What can you expect with a dozen kids? Her mom deserves a war medal for valor. I stayed for a little over an hour and then said, "Aloha." I'm sure SNG will be over later with some leftover cake crumbs and a report on all her birthday presents. Till then, I'm going to take off my hula gear and get some R and R.

Friday, December 9, 2011


There is a garden at Botanica lit up with all sorts of huge butterflies during the holiday season. Here's a picture of one that I took when we were there last week. I'm not sure of its name, but I think it might be an electrifia gigantis fakkus. You be the judge.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Sweet Neighbor Girl was so excited to see Big Bore's reaction to the missing Jelly Bellys (see Dec. 7 blog) that as soon as she got off the school bus yesterday she dashed over to Casa de la Flaming Bore to see if he'd blown a gasket. And do you know what? He actually thought it was funny and laughed at us for being such piggy girls while he was gone. So, we spilled the (jelly) beans and gave him the cup of watermelon and cantaloupe Jelly Bellys we'd saved aside for him before finishing off the rest of the ones we liked. I guess the joke was on us.

Next, we ALL went outside to decorate the trunk of our dearly departed spruce tree that kicked the bucket in the heat this past summer. This is the yard art "project" I alluded to in Monday's blog. There's nothing like ornaments hanging from branch stubs to add beauty to the block. Sweet Neighbor Girl's job was to unwind the garland, hand me ornaments, and keep me from falling off the ladder. Big Bore fashioned hangers out of a roll of wire and I did the royal hanging. It's not quite done--we developed a case of frozen fingers and stopped for the day--but I think this picture will give you an idea of of what a masterpiece we have in the making!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Last week during our closet cleaning excavation, Big Bore discovered something I hadn't used in years--my Jelly Belly bean dispenser. He cleaned it up, and when we were in Wichita the next day we purchased a pound of various flavors at Candyopolis--a combined half pound of strawberry jam, buttered popcorn, peach, and caramel popcorn, then a half pound of Big Bore's favorites--watermelon and cantaloupe.

Friday he put all the beans in the dispenser, put out a little glass filled with pennies, and we were in business. Then he left town for five days of male bonding, cutting and hauling wood in the next county. While he's been gone, Sweet Neighbbor Girl and I have been madly inserting pennies like there's no tomorrow! When Big Bore gets home this afternoon and has a bean craving, is he ever going to be surprised to find a near-empty dispenser! What in the world happened to all those Jelly Bellys???

What he won't know, initially anyway, is that neither Sweet Neighbor Girl nor I have eaten a single watermelon or cantaloupe bean. We don't like them. Whenever those two flavors have popped out of the dispenser, which is often, we've put them in a cup, saving them for Big Bore. But I'm going to hide the cup for a little while just to see what kind of reaction he has. I might even keep it hidden until SNG gets home from school so she can be in on the joke. Won't that be great?

I can't wait for him to get home--just so I can pull this off! The highlight of my day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I have moaned in this blog more than once about how difficult it is to take the perfect group holiday shot of my four great nephs and one great niece. They never cooperate. Eyes closed, frowns, wayward body parts---something is always wrong. But after coming across this picture in my old family photo album this morning, I'm going to stop complaining. This one is a disaster beyond explanation, other than Mama Bore says I was crying because my baby doll had just lost her blonde wig, compliments of Beans--who looks guilty as charged. And why in the world is he wearing boxing trunks? Poor Big Sis, once again, is trying to make the peace. Lord, it's a wonder we weren't all tossed in an orphanage!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Since cats and Christmas trees don't mix, we just throw--and I DO mean throw--lights into some house plants to make Casa de la Flaming Bore look festive for the holiday season. I'm baffled why they don't photograph as sparkly as they appear in person, but you can sort of get the drift here.

All the wreaths and snow globes and other Christmas decor are in place and out of cats' way. And the outdoor lights have long been glowing--mainly because we had such a calamity putting them up a few years back that we just decided to heck with it. They are permanently in place. It's too cold and we're too old to be schlepping up and down a ladder every December. So to keep from becoming humbugs, we just decided, "They're staying up all year 'round."

I have one more Christmas decorating "project" to do, but it requires Big Bore's help so I shall wait until he gets back home to provide technical assistance. He doesn't know about it yet and he's just gonna LOVE it! I won't elaborate today but it involves yard art at its, well, ugliest? I can't wait to get started!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Yesterday was Game Day at Casa de la Flaming Bore. Thankfully, Big Bore is away on a male bonding venture this weekend and wasn't around to harass me with the remote.

The late morning football game between K-State and Iowa State was rain-delayed, which made for some tricky viewing since it ended up starting around the same time as the Pitt State-Northwest Missouri game. Fortunately, the latter was on a webcam feed with, so I just went back and forth from the computer to the TV to watch both games simultaneously--which would have driven BB totally bonkers but made me happy, happy! Especially when both the home teams won!

Then it was on to the Kansas-South Florida basketball in the late afternoon. KU started out slowly but finally got it together in the second half for a 28-point win. Hey, we were 3 for 3!

The final game on my agenda, OU vs. OSU football, took up the evening viewing but it turned out to be a runaway snoozer--mainly because I fell asleep watching it during the second half. I think OSU ended up winning 40-something to 10.

Today I'm on another marathon but not of the sports kind. I'll be reading most of the day, starting off with the big city newspaper. I must find out about all the sporting events I watched yesterday, of course, and then puzzle over the puzzles for a few hours. After that, it's on to the book I'm reading--John Hart's latest novel, THE IRON HOUSE. A few years back, Dr. Maureen turned me on to him and I have subsequently passed on the favor to other reading friends.

It is sooooooo nice to be retired so I don't have to spend my weekends grading papers anymore. I can just kick back and veg out on sports and reading material all day long. Ahhhhhh! Here's wishing you an equally lazy day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Today's crack literature lesson comes from William Shakespeare, Act III of HAMLET.

The evil King Claudius is watching a "dumb show" (dumb, as in silent) put on by The Players, a travelling group of actors who have stopped in Elsinore to perform a gig at the castle. What Claudius, the nasty clod, doesn't know is that his sly nephew Prince Hamlet has directed The Players to slip in a knavish scene, wherein a king is poisoned by a dastardly deed-doer who wants to be with his queen and take over the throne. What a revolting development THAT is!

Well, it just so happens that this scenario is EXACTLY the way in which Claudius, himself, became king! He poisoned his poor brother, King Hamlet, then wooed Queen Gertrude, the silly goose, and married her. "Frailty, thy name is woman" for sure! And this all happened so quickly that the leftover food from the funeral dinner was still fresh enough to be recycled at the wedding. Double revolting! "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark," indeed! And it's not the food!

Now, how did Prince Hamlet know what to tell The Players to act out? Get this. The ghost of his daddy, the king, had told him the circumstances of his murder and directed his son to get "revenge, most sweet." Since the young man wasn't sure if the apparition was real or just a figment of his crazed imagination, he created the special scene that he then had The Players perform--and did it EVER "catch the conscience of the king." As Claudius sits on his throne watching the royal murder being acted out, he starts to sweat bullets and grows faint. He rises and staggers through the audience shouting, "GIVE ME SOME LIGHT!!!

Ah-hah! Prince Hamlet has his evidence! The rest of the story, my friends, is bloody literary history, with a bit more poison poured in for good measure. The Bard of Avon at his longest and best. To read or not to read? I say: read, but you can easily skip the parts about Fortinbras of Norway and not miss a step. And skip most of the HAMLET movie starring Mel Gibson while you're at it. --That's about all the light I care to shed on this subject. Go forth, have a great weekend, and remember to stay away from all royalty bearing poisonous swords.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Yesterday the Bores greeted December by taking a trip to the big city to shop, eat, drink, and be merry.

We have a scientific system for shopping together that works without arguments. First off, we make a list. Then, if we're at one of MY stores, like Hobby Lobby or Barnes and Noble, Big Bore stays in the car and takes a catnap. If we're at one of HIS stores, like Napa or Radio Shack, I take my turn in the car and read a book. No one wastes time and lolly-gaggles in said store. It's in the door, get what you want/need, and back out. The longest wait time either of us had yesterday was 23 minutes, and that was just because the check-out lines at Hobby Lobby were crazy-long, even for a Thursday afternoon. The dreadful things a girl won't do just to purchase a few packs of beads.
We had a late lunch/early supper at Doc's Steak House, but not for steak. Our "usual" is Doc's out-of-this-world garlic salad--a single scoop for me and a triple for Big Bore--and an order of french fries dipped in catsup and A-1 sauce. Oh, so delicious! Nutrious? Not so much.

In between all this, we went to a watercolor show at an arts center, where we pretended to be stiff, stuffy critics, and to my friend Maggie's house to pick up some gently-used books for our library. Next stop, we braved the wind chill to see the Botanica Christmas lights show, where the fuzzy pictures with this blog were taken. Lots of oohs and aahs and brrrrrrs! Definitely worth risking hypothermia.

We ended the day/night at Cabaret Old Town to attend the musical comedy "Amazing Christmas," which was, of course, simply amazing. Two of my favorite Cabaret performers, Kyle and Monty, did a hilarious duet of their favorite SAD Christmas songs--"I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas," "I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You," "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," etc. Kyle hosted a talk show, starring as The Gingerbread Man, and Monty hosted a game show about Christmas carols in the guise of a Chinese goofball who was congenial one second, angry the next. There was even a "Dancing with the Stars" dance-off, which included a few "lucky" audience members and had nothing to do with Christmas but was lots of fun, anyway. --Oh, and did I mention that we drank mucho strawberry and pina coladas (virgin) and had chips and zesty salsa and cheesecake in between the laughs?

Today, it's back to small-town life as usual. As much fun as we had yesterday, I will not miss the frantic traffic and long check-out lines of the city. Peace and quiet and a cuddly cat sitting on my lap. All is calm; all is bright. TGIF.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It's official. I am no longer a teenager. Justin Bieber sang Christmas carols on "The Today Show" one morning last week and I came very close to upchucking my breakfast. Now, I don't mind him performing his little hip-hop songs to his droves of fans, but puh-leaze! Leave "The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....") alone! That cherished melody is not meant to be jiggied up and butchered with off-key notes by someone whose pants are practically falling off! If there had actually been an open fire on that outdoor stage, the only nuts being roasted would have been---oh, never mind. You can figure it out yourself.

Big Bore was even more repulsed than I. "Pull up your $#!@ pants!" he moaned to the television. "How in the world does he keep them on?" he asked me. Being baffled myself, I Googled "droopy pants" on the Internet. I got a few hits but in spite of reading them several times over, I still don't understand the physics of it all. It's a mystery to me.

"The Today Show" gave equal time to us old folks this morning and had Neil Diamond at the studio. He wasn't outside being bombarded by thousands of screaming pubescent females, but he did get one ol' gal's toes-a-tapping (mine) with "Forever in Blue Jeans." Applause, applause. He looked pretty good for 70, although I suspect he's had some hair enhancement along the way. His singing is still rich and deep--and in tune, which is always a big plus. But the best thing about Neil Diamond's performance today was the fact that his own blue jeans weren't a saggy-baggy disaster. Justin Bieber, you little butt-dragging teen sensation, pay attention!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Last Thursday night, while still digesting our Thanksgiving turkey, 18-year-old great neph Bo announced to his grandparents, Big Bore, and me that he was headed out to that notorious discount store...the one that begins with a "W" and ends with an "art"--we'll just call it "Wart" for wait in line to purchase a laptop computer.

"You already have a perfectly fine laptop computer!" the grands protested.

"I've had it since I was a freshman!" he protested back. Plus it was his own money he'd be spending. And you know those old adages: "A penny saved is...impossible" and "A teenager and his money are soon parted." Off he went to wait four hours to purchase the deal of the century.

Ninety minutes later, the phone rings. It's Bo. Seems he locked the keys in his SUV in his haste and excitement to be first in line. Oops! Could someone come out to the Wart store with the spare keys? And, while we're at it, would we bring his ear phones so he could while away the hours listening to music? Big Sis and Gramps went ballistic. Big Bore rolled his eyes. I started laughing. This was soooooo typical teen. Been there, done that, so I offered to do the dirty deed and take the keys out to him. No, Gramps would do it. He was sure I'd never find the SUV in the parking lot. So I rode shotgun.

Bo had given the general vicinity where the SUV was located so, in spite of the packed lot, we quickly found it. Gramps opened it with the spare key, grabbed Bo's key, and off we ventured into the store to find him. Here is where the REAL fun began. Now, you'd think he'd be standing in line at the electronics department, right? But noooooooo! Here's what we soon learned the Wart store had plotted out for the big midnight rush:

There was a different line for each electronics item on sale. And each line was strategically located throughout the store. There was a line in cosmetics, a line in sporting goods, a line in crafts, etc. Bo had told Gramps his line was somewhere close to the automotives department, but that turned out to be wrong. Where the heck was he? He's 6 feet 2 inches tall. He should be easy to find. Like rats lost in a maze, we searched the aisles and lines of waiting faces..and finally found him in the lighting department sitting on the floor. Good grief! At least help us out a little!

Key deposit made, we retreated from the Wart store well before the midnight hour of madness. Bo returned home at 12:17 AM with his purchase in hand and went happily, directly to bed. No word yet on whether or not he's had to go back to stand in the Returns line.

So, with all this said, what's the key to surviving Black Friday? Either just stay home and don't go shopping at all OR make sure you can rely on another old saying: "When the going gets tough, the Grandpa."

Monday, November 28, 2011


Now that the weather has turned cold, my Sundays are definite days of rest. Read the newspaper, fret over the Sunday puzzles, read a good mystery, and catch up with "The Amazing Race" on TV at night. That's about it. Then, I awaken early on Mondays and make a list of everything that needs to be done since I was such a slug the day before. This is gonna be another Manic Monday, for sure.

Highest on my list is to clean out the bedroom closet...not to be confused with the walk-in closet that is guarded by the large poster of Brad Pitt before he ever got reeled in by Angelina Jolie and I still had a chance. No, the bedroom closet is much smaller, which is why it recently exploded and the double-folding doors cannot be shut. Big Bore made the clean-up suggestion yesterday when I asked him if he'd seen my green boom box. "It's probably somewhere in the closet--if you can shovel your way into it." I can take the hint. Today I will remove everything on the closet floor, search for the boom box, then re-stack the mess into some semblance of order--at least to the point where I can shut the doors.

Next on the list is to go to the libary to decorate two Christmas trees--one big, one little--with my Friends of the Library companions. If I find the aforementioned boom box, I will take it along and play Christmas carols while we work. If not, I'll be performing all the songs from the Fredonia Christmas Pageant, which might, unfortunately, result in me decorating the trees all by myself. Hmmm. I'd better find that blasted boom box.

After the tree decorating, it's off to the grocery store for Banana Day. Once upon a time, bananas were on special for 19-cents a pound on Mondays. Then, the price went up to 19-cents. Then 29-cents. And now the price is up to 39-cents a pound. But I once had to have liquid potassium pumped into my veins, which is no fun and costs even more, so I will purchase my weekly supply of bananas without complaint and pick up 10 tubs of yogurt that are also on sale while I'm at it. Mission accomplished. Most of my grocery shopping will be done tomorrow since Tuesday is Geezer Day at the store and, for those 62 and over, most non-sale items are slashed a whopping 5-percent--which doesn't even cover the tax. Humbug!

Next it's to the bank to see if I can get the four Presidential dollar coins issued for 2011. I started collecting them when the first ones became available in 2007 and have an "official folder" to put them in. If I'm lucky today, A. Johnson, Grant, Hayes, and Garfield will be joining the 16 presidents before them who already have their special coins in my folder. I'm not sure I'll be such an eager collector once the tricky Richard Nixon coin becomes available, but I have until 2016 to get used to the idea.

And this is ALL before noon! It's going to be a great day!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

62, GOING ON 5?

I have a sweet high school pal in the city up north who teaches kindergarteners. Every time I see her, I ask, "Where do you get the energy to keep up with them?" She probably averages 20 of the 5-year-olds each school year and some can barely speak English. Even with a para professional assistant she must have her hands full, but she acts like it's a joy to be with them. In fact, JOY is her favorite word.

Now, I was with ONE kindergartener on Thanksgiving night, my great neph Boomer, and I barely survived an hour. We had chicken fights. We did see-saw sit-ups. We told knock-knock jokes. The kind that adults groan at--but cause kids to have giggle fits. We even got serious for a while and played an alphabet game. I'd say a letter and he'd create it in the air with an imaginary sword, a la Zorro, and a "Swish, swish, swish!" By the time he went home, I was ready for an energy transfusion. How my friend manages a whole class full of Boomers for seven hours a day, five days a week is beyond me.

I figured I'd wake up the next morning with a lower back so out of whack that I'd need to be put in traction. When's the last time I did a sit-up? But I cranked myself out of bed just fine. Maybe I'm not a hopeless case, after all. Still, I'm leaving the kindergarten teaching to my friend and others like her, god love them, who have the courage and the stamina to get those adorable faces ready for first grade. They can't be thanked enough. And if all those 5-year-olds are as cute and eager to learn as Boomer appears to be in his first-ever school picture above, then it's no wonder my friend considers teaching kindergarten to be such a joy.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I only had two "takers" yesterday when I asked who wanted to join me in a post-Thanksgiving dinner walk--Big Bore and my 11-year-old great neph Luke, who said there was a new trail in his town that he wanted to try out. So off we went. It turned out to be a steep, up and down bike path next to a strip pit and a railroad track. I didn't particularly care for it because the trail never flattened out. We'd just run down a hill and then we'd have so much momentum that we'd almost be back up to the top in a flash. Hell on the knees.

All was going relatively fine, however, until we got to the strip pit. "Don't go down to the water," I ordered Luke. "It looks mucky down there." Which was his cue, of course, to head straight down to the water. The next time Big Bore and I saw him, he was carrying his filthy shoes and walking bare-footed.

"I got stuck." And it wasn't just in mud. It looked like tar.

"Put your shoes back on," Big Bore told him. "You might cut up your feet. This time Luke did as he was told, muck and all.

"Do you think I can make myself look like a warrior?" he asked.

"Sure. Go ahead." He was already filthy from the knees down. Why not go for the gusto.

He slopped globs of the tarry stuff below his eyes. Lovely.

We finally got tired of the ups and downs and decided to go to a city park and throw some horseshoes, Luke and I against Big Bore. Luke had never thrown regulation shoes before, and once we got him convinced not to toss them overhanded, he became a bit safer to be around--until he ripped his pants. And we're not talking just a little tear. Oh, no. This was a full-scale blow-out from the waist band to the crotch. Fortunately, he was wearing his Fruit of the Looms and a baggy shirt, so we continued playing--Big Bore being victorious.

Next came the really hard part. Taking Luke home. He was not the same child we'd started out with. He looked like he'd was returning from the battlefield--most of his clothing ruined and his legs and face sticky with this nasty, black goo. The answer: drop him off at the curb and drive off in a hurry. "Good luck!"

Today his mom called her mom, my Big Sis, for their usual morning chit chat. I was prepared for the worst but all she reported was that "Luke had a blast" with his dear great auntie and unc. The shoes and pants apparently were old--no big deal, and the gunk got washed off. For that we are all most thankful.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The pecan pies are made, the bags are packed, and Fluffy says she's ready to head out to Pittsburg for some turkey! We are thankful to have such a swell kitty!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Big Bore has made a special request that I post his favorite privy from the Elk Falls Outhouse Festival competition, so here it is: "Gone to the Dogs." This is sort of a repeat version from last year's entry, but it's new to him since he didn't attend the austere affair in 2010. No bones about it, though, the idea is cute (see the fire hydrant inside?) According to the posted notice on the privy, Officer Cujo conducts Pee Patrol duties and makes sure all dogs in town have a private, comfortable place to do their own doo-ties. I think next year the cats of Elk Falls need to demand equal billing with some sort of litter-infested cat house.

Library Lady and I have already started a human movement to enter our own privy, titled "Wipe Out Illiteracy!" I've spoken with the privy festival head honcho, and he's going to try to get us a little shack to decorate. It's going to have to be a two-holer, for Volume #1 and Volume #2. I have appointed LL to be the prop person, so she has a whole year now to come up with "Objets d' Art." I'm thinking lots of toilet paper and books and one of those framed "Quite, Please!" signs. A year from now, we're going to be famous!! Take a bite out of THAT, Officer Cujo!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Yesterday's "Eek" blog reminded me that I once had another closer encounter of the mouse kind--this time when I was teaching. I was standing in front of the class talking when a number of the kids interrupted me, shouting, "Miss Evans! A mouse just ran behind you!"

Now, I just figured they'd gotten together before class and planned this as a ruse--a "let's fool the teacher"-kind of prank, pretending to see a mouse. But if this was a joke, they were pretty good at convincing me because some of the girls looked visibly shaken.

"Oh, you're just teasing," I initially responded.

"No! No! We're not! There really WAS a mouse that went across the floor behind you!" they insisted.

"Well, where is it now?" I asked.

"It went under your work table."

Okay, I'd play along with it. The work table was in the corner next to my desk. I had some books and papers stacked under it, but if there was a mouse there, I'd see it. --So, I walked over to the table, bent down to take a look, and--"Oh, my god! There really IS a mouse!"

I squealed and leaped atop a desk seat, then made the mistake of saying, "Extra credit to the first person who gets rid of it. Go down to the janitor's office and get a broom and something to catch it in." I figured we could sweep it in a box, maybe.

Well, to heck with the broom. Some cra-a-a-a-zy guy just rushed up to the table, dived under it, and, with his first attempt, caught the mouse with his bare hands!

"Get it out of here!" I ordered. "Take it outside and release it! Then go wash your hands!" God forbid if I'm responsible for spreading the bubonic plague to the whole school.

I wish I could remember which brave goofball came to my rescue that day. Some farm kid, I think. I'd like to thank him for saving my life and be a personal reference for him if he ever applies for an animal control job. Quite an impressive performance, I must say. And, of course, my own dramatic reaction was the main topic of hallway conversation the rest of the day. Academy Award material.

Another fringe benefit of retirement is no longer having a large audience around to witness my conniption fits.

Monday, November 21, 2011


"Scratch. Scratch, scratch."

What was that? Is Fluffy giving herself a manicure on the bookcase? Is there a squirrel in the attic? Or, worse yet, is there a mouse in the house??!!

Late one night last week, I was watching TV and kept hearing this scratchy sound. "Fluffy, is that you?" Nope. She came prancing into the living room to issue a denial. So, I turned the TV remote on mute to get a better listen. Maybe I was just hearing things. And then, there it was!!! A $#@! mouse skittered across the floor between Fluffy and me!

"Yikes!" I pulled my feet up on the recliner. Fluffy leaped into the air...all fours. I then dashed to the bedroom where Big Bore had been fast asleep for several hours.

"Jeff-reeeee!! Wake up!! There's a mouse in the house!!"

He rolled over. "So what, he grumbled. "The cats will take care of it."

"No they won't" I argued. "Fluffy's scared, too, and Critter is asleep on the sofa. They're too domesticated to catch a mouse."

"Well, what do you want me to do about it?" Okay, so he had a point there. It was after midnight and we didn't have any mouse-catching supplies on hand. No stores would be open for hours.

"I want you to protect me!!" I shuddered.

"From a little old mouse?"

"Yes! I HATE mice!!"

"Am I really awake having this conversation or is this a nightmare?" he asked. "Go to sleep." So I settled down and then he started making little mousy scratches all over my body to creep me out. Some savior he is.

Later that day, once the stores opened, I hustled out for some D-Con. I can't cope with those wooden traps that you put cheese on because one time, when I was a kid, Mama Bore caught a mouse that way but it wasn't dead yet and--oh, forget it. I get all squeamish even thinking about it. Anyway, the D-Con poisonous condos have been strategically placed about. I haven't heard any further scratching, but every little funky sound I hear makes me think that there's a nasty little mouse lurking about ready to attack my toes.

--Meanwhile, I think I'm going to have to send Fluffy and Critter to some sort of rodent combat training camp so they can do a better job patrolling the place. This is just one more reason why I detest cold weather. Those blasted mice think they can invade Casa de la Flaming Bore and make it their winter vacation destination. Well, I don't think so! Consider this a declaration of war!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Big Bore and I whizzed down south to the neighboring county yesterday to check out the annual Elk Falls Outhouse Festival. What a relief it was to see that the Go Green entry was back once again. The Flaming Bore loves asparagus ferns AND bottle trees, plus the French door picture windows appeal to the exhibitionist in all of us. Oui, oui!

My Number One vote this year, however, went to Starbuttz Privy, a delightful three-holer that had the look of metropolitan authenticity. I liked the fact that the porta-potties resembled beverage cups from the real Starbucks, and even the toilet paper was upscale looking with the company logo. Very chi-chi creative. And who can resist a Peppermint Mocha? There was even patio furniture outside for those who wanted an extended break. Nice touch. It wouldn't surprise me if this idea caught fire and a new franchise hit the streets--for those hurried coffee aficianados who prefer to drink and run at the same time! Cheers!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Big Bore and I are avid "Jeopardy" fans, shouting out answers--sometimes triumphantly right, sometimes way off the mark. Earlier this week the Final Jeopardy poser was something like: "This author's allegorical fable won a retrospective Hugo Award 50 years after its publication." Before Alex Trebek had a chance to finish speaking, I waved my hands and shouted, "I know this! I taught the book for 15 years! George Orwell! Animal Farm!" What a revolting smarty pants.

"What's an allegorical fable?" Big Bore asked.

"A story that has animals representing real people and a lesson is taught."

Now, I just should have left it at that. But, nooooooo. I had to go over to the book shelf, pull out my special 50th anniversary edition of ANIMAL FARM, and wave it in front of Big Bore's eyes.

"It's such an interesting book! Really different!" I bubbled over. "You gotta read it!"

A frown consumed his face. "You sound just like one of my old teachers trying to force me to read something at school that I didn't want to read," he grumbled.

I backed off. "Well, I didn't mean to sound like you HAVE to read it, but is IS good, and it's not very long, and, look, it has really cool pictures. I think you'd like it. It has a really good message about how leaders mistreat the followers."

I should have put the book back on its shelf, but I placed it next to him on the sofa thinking that maybe, just maybe, he'd crack it open, give it a try, fall in love with it, and then profusely thank me for turning him on to such an insightful book. Well, it's remained on the sofa all week, unopened. In fact, right now it's lost beneath a stack of newspapers.

Since he moved into Casa de la Flaming Bore over five years ago, I've only known Big Bore to read a single novel--FLY BOYS. He couldn't keep his nose out of it and he's recommended it to others, so I've hoped he might venture into reading a bit more and would share my love of books like he shares my love of gardening and hiking. But he doesn't. Newspapers and magazines, yes. Books, no.

So.......let me tell you a little about ANIMAL FARM since Big Bore doesn't want to hear me out. It's quite thought provoking. There's a character named Boxer, a horse, who is illiterate--and he goes to his death because he can't read the words printed on the slaughterhouse van in which he's being transported. All the dumb animals are mistreated because they don't have the intelligence to stand up for themselves. The piggy ol' pigs, who can read and write, get all the perks around the farm.

You see, there is power in words, my friends, as well as the pure joy of reading. I hope that some day Big Bore will discover what he's been missing out on. Until then, ANIMAL FARM will be lurking in the living room, waiting to be opened. "All animals are equal! But some are more equal than others!"

Friday, November 18, 2011


A long, long time ago--62 years to be exact--Mama Bore instilled upon me the importance of reading. Now, I don't pretend to know the name of the book she's sharing in the above picture, but I suspect it was THE NEW BABY, a precious Little Golden Book we had that I think was intended to teach older siblings to adore the newcomer to the family. Beans and Big Sis were more inclined to torch my hair and slam my fingers in doors, but at least Mom tried and one of us kids DID end up loving to read.

Louise Rankin, my first grade teacher, taught me to read via the Up, Up and Away series, starring those three madcap siblings Dick, Jane, Sally and their pets, Spot and Puff. "Look, Dick, look! See Spot run!" And that damned Spot would be chasing poor Puff up a tree. Later came Cowboy Sam and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. In third grade we graduated to autobiographies, with the Little House on the Prairie Series. Then along came Honey Bunch and Nancy Drew and Henry Reed. They became close, personal friends of mine--all of them.

I looked forward to Fridays not because it was the last day of the school week but because it was Weekly Reader day! Hooray! It was a newspaper for kids, with human interest stories, current events, a few pictures, and some word games. On the back page was a reading comprehension test, and God forbid if I ruined my whole week and missed a question.

My funniest reading episode took place when I was in high school and accepted a dare to purchase the XXX-rated, scandalous novel CANDY during a shopping trip to Independence. It was supposedly so tantalizing and "adult" and smutty that I had to pretend I was 18 and ask for it at a drug store counter since it was stashed away and not on display. Well, it was absolute trash--but I milked the most out of my wild ways and passed it around to classmates, mainly because Mama Bore would have popped a vein if she'd found it in my possession. It was so gross that the pages practically dripped. Let someone else's parents flip out.

To be continued.......

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Deep from the 1950's photo album comes this black and white shot that proves two historical facts: The Flaming Bore has long been a cat lover AND a fashion maven.

Here I am, age 7, trying to feed Pik-Nik shoestring potatoes to my first of many cats, ol' Tom. He was strictly an outdoors variety and the only one we kids owned who had a normal name. The rest were totally far out there: Clorox, Purex, Clorox 2, Yahootie, Sherman (who was allowed inside after losing a leg), and, well, the rest escape me this morning--but there were lots of 'em.

The outfit I can recall better, however. Red deck shoes, white socks, capri pants with a light blue background and red and white polka dots, light blue blouse, and lord knows what that thing is on my head. Back in the '50s, no female was allowed outside on a windy day without a headscarf. It was some sort of Russian Baboushka Conspiracy.

I can hear Mama Bore screeching right now: "Nancy Beth, get a headscarf on before you go out that door, young lady!" I'm not sure if it was to prevent earaches or preserve the fancy ponytail-do that she'd just fixed for me. She usually spent a good 30 minutes each morning untangling my thick hair with Suave and settling down the "fly-aways" with Helene-Curtis Wave Set, a thick green toxic slop she bought in the beauty section of Bennett's Variety Store. I have to admit, though, that wave set WAS better than when she just patted my hair in place with her saliva-licked fingers. Oh, the torture I had to go through to look presentable!

So much for the history lesson. Tom and I wish everyone a good morning and we leave you with this weather warning: It's gonna be windy today so, for gosh sakes, put on your head scarf before you go outside!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This just in from the Go With the Flow Department!! Seems as though a Japanese comedienne came up with a brilliant idea that is sure to make her millions: designer sanitary napkins. Wow! What a genuis! Proctor & Gamble has started marketing them in Japan with two designs: Stars, which I assume is for the ambitious, upscale gal; and Camouflage, no doubt made for the tough-minded woman who wants to attack her periods like a kamikaze.

Inventor Naomi Matsushima says she wants women to be able to "pass their periods more happily." Yeah, like designer sanitary napkins are simply gonna wipe away the body bloat and those gut-stabbing cramps! Doesn't she know that part of the "fun" about menstruation is having the god-given right to bitch and moan for five days out of every month?

I'm not one to discourage a young entrepreneur like Ms. Matsushima, however, and if she wants to decorate sanitary napkins then she shouldn't just stop with stars and camo. I think she should add some bling to them--sequins and glitter for the discriminating lady who really wants to make a good impression. And why not branch into designer tampons while she's at it? She could open her own Pads and Plugs Boutique and make a small fortune. Right?

Just another sign that the civilized world has gone mad.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Over the weekend some movie channel on TV aired a Golden Anniversary tribute to the movie WEST SIDE STORY. Amazing!!! No, not the movie--but the fact that it's been 50 years since I was a 6th grader sitting in a crummy seat at the Kansan Theater in Fredonia watching the "Romeo and Juliet in New York City" tale for the first time.

Big Sis, a high school senior, was so mesmerized by WEST SIDE STORY that she immediately busted into her babysitting money to purchase the sheet music book that went along with the soundtrack. We performed endless living room duets, she on the piano and I singing, much to our Brother Beans' dismay. "I feel pretty! I feel pretty! I feel pretty and witty and bright! And I pity any girl who isn't me to-night!" (Beans' standard reply: "You're going to pity yourself if you don't shut up!!) I even threw in some wild choreography from time to time until Mama Bore yelled, "You better stop that before you crash through the floor into the basement!" What a spoilsport.

Which brings me to a few years ago when I was perusing through the VCR tapes and DVDs at the local library and came upon, you guessed it, the Academy Award-winning WEST SIDE STORY. Of course, I checked it out and rushed home to watch this "...most lauded movie musical ever made!"

---only to be totally disappointed. The movie now seemed dated and not cutting edge at all. The finger-snapping posing of the Jets and Sharks was cheesey; Natalie Wood, who I normally like, had a lame Latino accent (plus I now knew that all her singing had been dubbed, as well as most of the other top performers), and much of the acting was over-the-top REE-DICK-YOU-LUZ, as Rita Moreno (Anita in the movie) might say. Maybe the movie just didn't translate well to the small screen, I don't know.

When I returned WEST SIDE STORY, I told the librarian, "How this movie ever won 10 Academy Awards is beyond me." I can think of a bunch of other movie musicals, with zero awards, I'd much rather see again--starting with FOOTLOOSE, DIRTY DANCING, and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, which were all just as cornball as can be but had some fun music and sexy guys in pants that were beyond tight.

I also think that after 5o years it's about time a re-make was done of WEST SIDE STORY. Let's have Kevin Bacon and John Travolta in the starring roles, throw in some Bee Gees tunes and a disco ball, and we'll be ready to start production. Brilliant!! Right?? Damn! I am feeling so witty and bright this morning!! Pretty? Not so much. But remember who had the idea first.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I judged a high school quiz tournament today and was relieved to find out that those nerdy techno-wizard teen brainiacs are just as stupid as I was when I was in high school. Maybe even MORE stupid, if that's possible. Here's proof: Q. Who was President of the United States when the Social Security Administration went into effect? The first kid who buzzed in said, "Richard Nixon." The next one guessed Eisenhower.

Then there was a math story question whose answer I correctly computed in my head in about five seconds. These kids were scribbling down numbers like crazy for 30 seconds and STILL had the wrong answer.

But these quiz team whizzes were not anywhere as dense as the people playing "Family Feud" on GSN tonight. Question: "Name an astronaut." The first two people answered with Neil Armstrong and John to a good start. But then...Bruce Willis and Neil Young? I don't think so.

The next time some eye-rolling, smarty pants youngster laughs at me for not knowing how to text message, I'm not going to feel an ounce of inferiority. I know who was president when the Social Security Administration came into being. In fact, I RECEIVE a monthly Social Security check and I don't need to spend a single penny of it on purchasing a calculator so I can do simple math. So there. Blast off. And say hello to Bruce and Neil for me while you're at it.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I made the mistake this morning of placing the big city newspaper's Holiday Recipes insert on Big Bore's easy chair for his reading pleasure. He's been zinging me with cooking ideas ever since.

"Now here is something we're definitely going to have to try," he started out. "Sausage and Sauerkraut Balls."

"No!!!" I gagged.

"Why not?" he asked.

"I hate sauerkraut!"

"But it says here they don't taste like sauerkraut."

"Yeah. Right."

"How about Lamb and Sausage Tarts?"


"Layered Hummus Dip?"


"I thought you liked hummus."


"Here's one for Red-Hot Jello. You like Jello."

"Not with red hots in it."

"Grilled Salmon Fabuloso?"

"No!!" Couldn't he tell that I was not really into hearing about all these recipes he just HAD to try?

"Okay. Here's one that sounds just like you." I braced myself for the worst. "White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake."

Bingo! He knows I'm a sucker, make that a big fat sucker, for cheesecake. And white chocolate. And raspberries.

"I'll have two slices. Stat!"

He just took off to the grocery store a little while ago. I don't know what was on his shopping list, but if he comes back with sauerkraut and sausage, I'm going to be hot. Red hot.