Monday, January 31, 2011



Name: The Flaming Bore

Member since: Well, I'm not actually a member. I'm just pretending. My two Visa cards are probably more than I should be allowed to have.

Obsessed with: cleaning out the cat litter boxes, cleaning out the cats' ears, eradicating fleas on the cats, cleaning up cat hairballs; just any crazy thing cat-related

Favorite instrument: jews harp, juice harp, jus harp...however it's spelled. Can't play it but love that twangy twang

Orchestra seating or balcony? a seat in the ladies restroom, with no waiting line, will be sufficient, thank-you

Perfect concession snack: a super-sized tub of hot buttered popcorn and a Butterfinger for dipping in a Diet Coke, please

Secret talent: able to leap small buildings with a single bound

Ideal show: live performance of "Pageant" at Cabaret Oldtown. Nothing beats a man in drag playing the accordion while roller skating.

Fondest memory: racing orange juice can stilts with bro Beans

My card: expired

I'm in.....CHARGE!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I have totally frittered away this cold, lazy day--mainly by rummaging through the Sunday newspaper. I always grab for the sports section first, while Big Bore reads all the important news and the editorial page. He's also the Official Coupon Clipper-Outer at our house.

After reading about my beloved Jayhawks (who just happened to have whupped up all over K-State last night), I started attacking the puzzles--two crosswords, word jumble, cryptoquip, and something numerically maddening called Hidato. I usually begin with the latter, but it is soooooo darned difficult today that I'm going to have to start over and then use a pencil--a sure sign of being a puzzle wuss. Usually I use a pen and then gloat over my success. Not today. Hidato has chewed me up and spit me out.

In between having fits with the puzzles, I've been reading a who-done-it. Mystery books are sort of like doing puzzles--I'm always trying to figure out the guilty party and the motive. I'm rarely on the mark early on, but it's always fun to make guesses--right or wrong.

It is now time to quit avoiding the inevitable and hop on the exercise bike. If I don't do it now, then bedtime will soon be here and I will have spent the entire day on brain work. Now, don't get me wrong. Exercising the brain is important, but it doesn't burn calories--as far as I know. I've tried reading and doing puzzles while riding the bike, but I get all goofy-eyed and give up. I do, however, hop on the bike during basketball time-outs and at halftime, so I can expend some nervous energy, although last night's game was a swear-less walk in the park. Enough of the rambling and delaying what needs to be done. The next 30 minutes will be puzzle-free. I have a date with the pedals.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Mother Nature played a grand trick on us yesterday and blessed us with a temperature that flirted with a balmy 70 degrees. As soon as I finished a Garden Club activity at the grade school and helped Big Bore take our trash to the recycle center, I was ready to soak in the warm rays all afternoon. "It may not be this nice again for two months," I told BB.

First off was the maiden ride for my brand new Townie Electra 3-speed, complete with rear basket! In my former bike-riding life, I used to put my carry-all items in a plastic bag and then hope to God I didn't lose control of the steering. Now, I am just like evil Miss Gulch in The Wizard of Oz. I am even thinking of putting my Toto stuffed dog in the basket, just for a special effect. Big Bore went with me on the bike ride, since we got Old Red overhauled. We went about five miles before pooping out. Not exactly Bike-Across-Kansas material, but maybe we'll extend our endurance and build up some butt callouses over time.

Next, lunch on the patio. Then piddling in the yard. Then reading on the front porch, with the afternoon sun shining onto the pages. We brought Bits and Critter outside for a while, too, but strictly with lap supervision. Then more yard piddling. Aaaaahhhhh! What a lovely day! Just enough to make one think that spring is waiting around the corner, but we're not betting money on it--so the long underwear isn't getting cached away any time soon. In a few days snow will be falling again, and the coats will get dragged back out of the closet.

January is almost over. Thank-you, Mother Nature for the sneak preview of Spring.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I have no clue who this kind lady is, but I have some questions for her. How in the world did you get those tight little jeans on, and how did you apply your mascara without poking out your eyes? How do you drive? Without going into great detail, how do you take care of your needs and necessities in the bathroom? How do you type on a computer? How do you cook? How do you eat? How can you do ANYTHING? What kind of job do you have? The only possibility I can think of is professional back scratcher deluxe, and I’m not too sure those are much in demand. Maybe a human rake?

Give it your best guess.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


The other night Big Bore and I watched “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” on Animal Planet and, believe me, this sweet dingbat lady who got lost in the Grand Canyon should definitely NOT be alive. I hiked to the GC’s bottom in 1985 and took this picture on the way down (see my hiking companion?), so I consider myself somewhat of an “authority” on the place. Unlike some dimwits on “I Shouldn’t Be Alive,” I didn’t get lost--although I wasn’t too keen about navigating around mule pit stops along the Bright Angel Trail and eating Spam and crackers for two days. Here’s what she did wrong, even though she miraculously lived on her stupidity for 20 days in that Arizona hell hole before being rescued:

1. Hiking alone, well, almost alone. She had her clueless dog, CoCo, along for the escapade. Where is Lassie when you need her?

2. Not telling anyone her hiking route. No compass. No trail map. No common sense.

3. Leaving behind her backpack after she got lost because, gosh darn it, it was heavy and slowing her down. It ONLY contained her food, water, and a sleeping bag. Duh!!

4. Not stacking rocks pointing back to her abandoned backpack. Guess who couldn’t find it at the end of the day when she was hungry and cold? …or the next day and the next, etc.

5. Not heading down, down, down to the river. Any “Survivor Man” fan knows this is mandatory. So is drinking your urine when water is scarce.

Well, the list just goes on and on but somehow, with the grace of God, she managed to survive three weeks with no food and a piddling of water before a pack of Indians found her. They could have used her for kindling--she was that dry--but they did the right thing and saved the day, even reuniting her with CoCo, who was living high on the hog at the Havasupai reservation while his mistress was withering away. Good dog, CoCo.

Next time this direction-challenged gal decides to go for a hike, here’s my advice: whip out a map and take a walk around the block.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I don’t know if this handsome, hungry man-cardinal is smiling because he likes sunflower seeds, or because he has these two big-breasted gals waiting for him nearby. They were all hanging out in our backyard Wednesday afternoon, and I took pictures of them through the porch window. The Flaming Bore prefers to stay warm while taking frigid winter pictures because in January the Great Outdoors is for the birds!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Being ones for compromise, Big Bore and I have come to an agreement of monumental importance. In view of the fact that I agreed NOT to cause him grief and boredom by insisting upon watching “The Bachelor 15” and “The Biggest Loser” this winter (he simply cannot tolerate the drama), he gave me his blessings last night to tune in to the new “American Idol.” Hooray!!

He can still call it “American Idiot,” but at least I get to watch the show without his moaning and groaning in the background--although sometimes his whining is easier on the ears than what’s auditioning on TV. I believe that if everyone shared our spirit of goodwill and could settle their differences in television programming as easily as we do, there would be world peace in no time.

It helps to hide the remote.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Three weeks ago today Big Bore and I started long-overdue diets. So far, so good. I’m minus 8 pounds, with 17 to go. I don’t know what he’s lost, but he’s been good about not eating sugar and reducing carbs. He gets frustrated at times because the weight isn't slip-sliding away quickly enough but I keep telling him: “Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

He’s on the Atkins Diet. I tried it for two days, after which my usual disdain for beef and pork kicked in and I couldn’t take it anymore. Just thinking about a hamburger caused waves of nausea. I’m just cutting back on calories. No bread, no cookies, no ice cream, no crackers, no fun. My beloved Cheez-Its are off limits until I hit my goal. Woe is me.

I have pulled out some size 10 and size 8 jeans from the cobwebs of the closet and hung them in the hallway to keep me motivated. It will be sooooo nice to be able to wear them again AND breathe at the same time. Until then, it's back to the elastic-waist slacks and sweatpants.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Last night while I was clap-happy in front of the TV watching KU defeat Baylor, Big Bore was taking a trip around the world. I recently turned him on to Google Earth, and now he knows 10 times more about how it works than I ever showed him and he's been having a blast-off on his many travels.

BB likes to set his pilot's instruments on 3-D and pretend he is flying. "Wow!" "This is freaking awesome!" "You gotta see this!" came from the next room while I was pretty much making the same remarks about the basketball game. After he left Rocky Mountain National Park and the Continental Divide, he went to Jerusalem and scoped out Mount Zion. "This is where Jesus prayed to his Father the night before he was crucified." Well, I couldn't top that one, so I just shut up and triumphantly watched the rest of the game in silence.

I'm not sure what's on his traveling itinerary today, but I have some honey-do's for him to get done before he takes flight once again. Hopefully he can squeeze me into his schedule.

Monday, January 17, 2011


The "4th Annual Fredonia High School Class of 1967 Martin Luther King Weekend Saturday Luncheon at the Nut Hut" (or whatever else you want to call it) was another love fest of old friendships. Among those of the 22 or so present were five of my 1st grade classmates, my first college roomie, and both my prom dates. Yes, they are ALL still speaking to me. Amazing. That's me in the background in the red KU sweatshirt pontificating about something of worldwide the score of the KU-Nebraska game, which was way too close for any sort of comfort level, but I enjoyed myself, anyway.

Probably the most exciting news of the day is that I just MIGHT have found two co-conspirators in creating an entry for next fall's Elk Falls Outhouse Tour. These guys are fans of the affair and might just have the know-how to build a privy for Library Lady and me to decorate. I'm going to keep bugging them periodically until they either decide to do the job or flush me out of their lives. I won't go down without a struggle, though. You can count on that!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Big Sis called last night to yap and told me that Mama Bore had a recent close encounter with Elvis, which apparently got her All Shook Up. Seems a Presley impersonator was performing at the assisted living home, and Mom thought he was trying to Love Me Tender more than he should have been. She told Sis he kept on touching the women and thrusting the ol’ Elvis Pelvis into her comfort zone, so she walked out. Hooray for her! I can’t wait to hear about the whole sordid affair from Mom’s mouth when I get to Pittsburg later today. She is the queen of embellishment, acquired from a family genetic mutation that was mysteriously passed on to moi, so I’m sure her story will be gut-busting.

The Flaming Bore will be silent for a few days, but there’s gonna be A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On when I get back.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


When Big Bore moved into Casa de la Flaming Bore four+ years ago, one of his first self-appointed projects was to build the cats window shelves in the back porch. Critter has claimed the northeast corner as her own, and lately this has been the perfect spot for her to go bird watching. This morning she was waiting for them to show up, but it was still too cold and early. Maybe the cardinals, purple finches, nut hatches, and chickadees will be visiting later in the day, and that friendly little cat tail will start to twitch.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The snow has stopped and the sun is shining--but it's bitterly cold and windy, so I only went outside twice today: once to fetch the newspaper on the porch and then to make the rounds about town. Didn't see any snowmen builders, school was cancelled for the day, but did spot a few hardy kids bouncing on a backyard trampoline, without coats.

"That used to be me when I was a kid," I told Big Bore. "Crazy."

Now I am content to while away the wintery hours reading a good book, curled under a blanket, dozing off now and then, in semi-hibernation. A few years will do that to a person.

Monday, January 10, 2011


This time of year we usually have a herd of birds in the yard because Big Bore likes to feed his feathered friends. Late this afternoon a party of cardinals showed up, and I took this picture out a bedroom window. There are actually 10 of them in this picture, but some of the females are difficult to spot so you may need to blow up the picture. Happy hunting!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


The Flaming Bore doesn't often get serious with this blog, nor political; however, events of yesterday have me boiling politically serious. Some nutcase gunned down 20 people at an Arizona state representative's town meeting, killing six people including a 9-year-old girl, and I'm charging Alaska's trigger-happy Sarah Palin as being a co-conspirator.

Palin's ridiculous rhetoric in the past year about "aiming for" Democrats, accompanied by a United States map that has rifle cross-hair targets where she wants to "eliminate" them from public office, is just the type of fodder that unstable people thrive upon. She can stand on the podium looking all sweet and innocent while she encourages "revolution" and "never retreat--reload" (her words, not mine), but Palin is morally guilty of being irresponsible with her freedom of speech.

Lady Macbeth, you, and those like you, have blood on your hands.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Prince William and Kate Middleton aren't the only famously hot twosome to recently announce their engagement. On Christmas Eve, while watching The Little Mermaid, perennial playboy Hugh Hefner, 84, proposed to his live-in bunny, Crystal Harris, who is a mere 60 years younger than Hef. Comedian Jay Leno has accused the bride-to-be of "bed panning for gold," but maybe Crystal truly has a preference for great-grandpa types and just likes really older men. It's hard for me to picture myself happily married to a 121-year-old, regardless of the money, but everyone is different. I say, go for it.

When it comes to men, I have the opposite preference. I haven't dated an older man since I was in college, and that was only a two-year age differential. Since I am immature, sophomoric, and socially under-developed, I tend to go for the younger guys. My feeling, right or wrong, is that someone older would expect from me a certain amount of sophistication, of which I have none, so it's just been easier to hang with the fellas who aren't as old and demanding. Mama Bore says I have a Peter Pan Complex and will never grow up. I suppose she is right. My aching body may tell me I'm over 60, but my mind is still wandering around somewhere in the 20s. Sometimes I glance into the mirror and think, "Who the hell is that old lady?"

Hugh Hefner lives every man's dream. He obviously prefers nubile flesh and, luckily for him, he has been uber-successful in attracting much younger women to his bunny hutch. Any blood-pumping man who accuses him of robbing cradles is just jealous and would trade places with him in a heartbeat. And anyone who thinks Crystal Harris is just in this relationship for the fame and fortune and would love old Hef even if he was a nobody who struggled to make ends meet every month with a paltry Social Security check is, well, ...probably right.

Friday, January 7, 2011


A true hillbilly at heart, Big Bore added his own "piece de resistance" to our classy backyard art when he rescued most of an antique wood stove from the town dump a few years ago. It had no functional purpose--the bottom and the stove pipe were missing, but we both agreed it was kinda cute in a rustic sort of way--emphasis on the rust--so we kept it.

Fast forward to last Tuesday when we were in the city and eyeballing some cool chimeneas that we thought would look mighty fine on the patio; however, BB decided it might be more fun trying to rig up the old Hardwick No. 25 to see if it would actually work. Out came the tools of the trade and soon Dr. Frankenstein was creating his monster. He fashioned an oval-to-circular adapter for the "pipe," made from coffee cans, and formed a bottom out of sheet metal. He also made the circular air flow do-dad at the front.

Next, we fetched some fallen wood out by the low water bridge, and before evening the Hardwick was ablaze. We're not taking bets on how long it will last--it has a few little holes that are bound to get larger as the rust takes it toll, but for now that ol' stove has been resurrected from the dead and has brought special meaning to Casa de la Flaming Bore.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


These cold winter mornings should be a good reason to do housework since I'm not outside gardening, but no-no-no. I must search around for something FUN to do--even if it is inside. After hitting up Hobby Lobby a few days ago, I've been plotting how to throw together a cat wreath. It's not done, but I've gotten this far (above). A work in progress. It shall be ready by spring for its formal public unveiling on the front porch.

We did all our running around this morning, too--ending with recycling. I hit a mini-jackpot and found three little cobalt blue bottles in the glass bin that I can use for our bottle tree. You know the old saying about one man's trash being someone else's treasure. I placed them at the top of the bottle tree this afternoon. Our step ladder isn't tall enough, so I just rigged up my own contraption for elevation--a galvanized wash tub and our trash bin--and, voila! It's a wonder I didn't lose my balance and become a customer for 9-1-1, but I ordered Big Bore to stand by and pick up the pieces, which, luckily, he didn't have to do.

The Flaming Bore loves promoting "fine" arts.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Oh, my! Poor Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger sure had her work cut out for her last night on Bravo. She was trying to find a soulmate for Robin, a well-to-do public relations rep who is unsuccessful at love--mainly because she's looking for a Jewish Matthew McConaughey god-type clone, whereas she is not exactly goddess material.

Money and looks aside, and maybe underneath the thick layers of black eye shadow and redder-than-red lipstick, there is a beauty, Robin has the kind of personality that would be hard to match up to any sane man. Her house is all pink and frou-frou, she wants a Hello Kitty-themed marriage, and she clings to her two pet dogs, Paris Hilton (who receives regular Botox treatments) and Bruiser. Even worse, she has a laugh that rivals fingernails ripping across a blackboard.

During the selection meeting, Robin constantly sucks her wine through a straw, flips her hair around, and tells the men she's looking for a hunk. No substance at all. Most of them seem startled, so Patti pulls her aside and tells her she's never going to get a cock hard (yes, Patti tells it like is) if she keeps yammering about herself.

Finally, Robin chooses cutie Luke the Plumber, in spite of the fact that he makes it clear he hates dogs and is strictly interested in her for her money--especially after she offers to buy him a Maserati and support his up and coming business. He plans the date, which turns out to be biking through Central Park. Robin shows up in a gauzy, low-cut dress and heels, and Luke does his best to "accidentally" pedal into her. Hysterical.

Next, Robin takes Luke on a cruise around Manhattan, where she makes the moves on him, gushing, "I love your muscles." "You're so hot!" "I love a-holes." She proposes to go under the dinner table to molest him, but viewers were spared that experience. Even Patti has her limits. At the end Patti does her usual rant, telling Robin she's hopeless. I could have told her that in the very beginning of the program, but then I'm not paid the big bucks to belch out advice. I just dish it out for free. Robin, honey, you need a therapist--not a matchmaker. Set up an appointment, stat.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


When we were in the city today, I asked Big Bore to head to a bike shop so I could gander at the women's 3-speeds. After riding Ol' Red since 1975, I am weary of having a men's bike. The bar gets trickier to maneuver with each advancing year. I want something easier to mount. And newer.

Voila! I am now the proud owner of the Electra Townie! It looks exactly like this one pictured. The seat is broad and cushy and I won't have to hunch over to reach the handlebars. Good for the back and neck. Exactly what I wanted, so I HAD to buy it now, while it was a whopping $25.00 off!

We left the bike there-- it's not exactly bicycling weather, so here is the plan: the next time we're over in the city, we're bringing Ol' Red with us to leave it at the bike shop and have it fixed up for Big Bore. Then, we'll take home the Townie--provided we can stuff it in the car trunk. Where there's a will, there's a way. By spring, we shall be ready to pedal our big butts all around town. I can't wait!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Man, do I ever have a decision of monumental importance to make by 7 o'clock tonight! It's Round 15 of "The Bachelor" and I'm not so sure I want to tune in for the AMAZING drama this time around, like I have stupidly done for the previous 14 rounds.

You see, the brilliant producers of ABC have brought back Round 11's biggest loser, Brad Womack, who turned down all 25 gals from his first time around. He's no prize, himself. Just average looking, with the personality of a wet dish rag--one that's been sitting in the sink for a few weeks and smells stale. Plus, he's from Texas. That's an automatic red flag right from the start. Why do I want to torture myself and watch him again?

Well, ABC thinks we doubters will tune in because the network has been showing "teases" the past week or so that have one of the girls slapping ol' Brad's face upon their introduction and others berating him for being such a louse during his first appearance on the show. Surely all the once-spurned gals out in TV Land will want to see him get his comeuppance. Right? Haven't we all wanted to put down some jerk who once jerked us around? Of course, we have!

To his defense, Brad has said he's really ready to commit this time. He's been in years of therapy since his last hurrah and has been cured of being an ass. He really wants to get married. Good for him. But do I want to spend the next three months or whatever watching him feed his ego? Big Bore doesn't think so. He thinks Brad should go on "Survivor" and see how long it takes before he wimps out there.

I'm checking out the TV Guide, hoping to find something that is more worthwhile to do tonight than watch ol' Brad try to convince us that he's not just in this for more publicity. Right now, "American Chopper" and "Dogs 101" are looking mighty promising. One thing for sure: doing housework is out of the question. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


The men of this house stick together. The last four years, Little Bit's heart has belonged to Big Bore, who has a cushy, warm lap and the tendency to scratch cat ears in all the right spots. BB also is the one who feeds him, so it's no wonder they have bonded. The picture above pretty much sums up their relationship.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year!! I didn't quite make it to midnight, but I saw the televised New Year's celebrations in Dubai (wherever the heck that is!), London, and New York City, so I sort of felt like I was in on the excitement in a party pooper-ish sort of way.

I've lived through 60+ New Years, and the only one I can even slightly recall was 1980. I was in Kansas City with Dr. Maureen, her mannequin Sheila (wearing only a black fur jacket and a man's hat), and we were at someone's home near The Plaza. I was drinking way too many glasses of champagne with Gary the Colorado Writer, with whom I was somewhat smitten at the time.

But it was the solo drive back to M's house after the party that was the most memorable because it was the first and last time I ever drove under the influence of alcohol. The route winded down through the Plaza and up Ward Parkway, and I became goofier and goofier with every curve. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. Part of me wanted to stop, but the other light-headed part said I should just keep going. Some little guardian angel must have taken over the driving because my handling of the steering wheel seemed non-existent. My head felt like I was riding in a Tilt-A-Whirl and not a car.

When I somehow arrived at M's place, all in one piece, I swore, "Never again!" And I haven't. It was one New Year's Resolution that I have forever kept--and probably the most important.
So, now that I have told on myself--confession is good for the soul, you know, Happy 2011! May all your travels be safe ones.