Tuesday, August 30, 2011


About once a month or so I have a dream about running in a race. Now, for almost 30 years I entered fun runs ranging from 3 to 10 miles, some triumphantly and others not so hot, but these dream runs are always absolute struggles where I'm crawling to the finish line or going over hellacious barriers.

Last night's run dream was a slight variation of the usual. This time I was in a college cross country race on a golf course, where I was running in second place, but then all the sudden I lost sight of the gal in the lead. The constant white stripe indicating the course also faded away. Uh-oh. The third place gal followed me and soon we were running inside tall buildings, pulling ourselves in and out of windows, up cliffs, the works. We just keep puffing and panting until our coaches finally found us and took us back to the finish line. All the other runners had long since finished the race and were on their cool-downs, and they laughed when they saw the two biggest losers who strayed off the course.

In non-dream life I probably ran in well over 100 fun runs during my heyday, and I never got lost in a single one of them. Why have this goofy dream? I consulted my live-in psychotherapist, and he told me the dream was prompted by the hiking trip we're planning to take to Colorado in October.

"How do you figure that?" I asked.

"Because you're always getting off the trails," he said.

Well, he's right about that one. If he wasn't around to steer me out of trouble, I'd STILL be roaming around the Rocky Mountains, or the Ozark Mountains, or the San Juan Mountains, or even Woodson Cove at Toronto Lake. I tend to walk and gawk at the same time, taking pictures and daydreaming. Next thing I know, Big Bore is yelling at me, "Where are you going?" and then he'll reel me in to where I'm supposed to be. We've given serious thought about putting me on a leash.

And I think after having another one of these running nightmares, perhaps I should also invest in a bedroom Global Positioning System (GPS) for my lost-in-space dream world travels.


For the past month I've been trying to get a decent picture of the hummingbirds on the front porch, but this shot is about as good as I've taken so far. They don't exactly like to pose. Actually, we prefer to call them "bumblebirds" because they sort of sound like a swarm of bees when they dive bomb around the feeder. "Watch out for the killer bumblebirds!!"

We have noticed that our hummingbirds are extremely territorial and don't like to share. Sometimes it appears as though a World War II aerial dogfight is taking place. I had a vistor a few afternoons ago, and I swear she was more interested in watching the air show than in talking to me.

I did a bit of research to find out what gives with the hummers being so antagonistic towards each other. Seems once a male claims a feeder early in the season, he gets royally ticked off when another male flies in for a sip, and Numero Uno doesn't want to share. He's the same way with the females up until he's mated with them. After the lady "bumbler" complies to having a little bit of bird sex, then she's "in" and she can have free access to the feeder without being harassed. Just like a man. Right?

So much for your lesson in sex education for today. I'm going back to the camera.

Monday, August 29, 2011


There was a picture in the newspaper yesterday that made me roll my eyes. It showed a woman struggling to walk on a North Carolina beach during Hurricane Irene, her stuck white van abandoned on the shore behind her. The caption: ".....wades through floodwaters after abandoning her van in Frisco, N.C. on Saturday. She had driven to see how the Frisco pier was holding up."

Duh. Hello. Where is your thought process, lady? Now let's see. There's a hurricane pummelling your community with 100 mph winds. And you decide it's a good time to check on the pier? What's wrong with you? Do you have some sort of death wish? Or are you just dumb, dumb, dumb?

So many people seem to have this "chase the fire engine" mentality. I don't get it. Get out of harm's way. If you have some official reason to be in the middle of chaos, then okay. But, otherwise, let it be. I speak from experience, learning my lesson when car-chasing a thunderstorm last year and about peeing my pants in the middle of a lightning strike. Don't mess with Mother Nature or fire engines and ambulances. Seek shelter and stay there, whatever the catastrophe may be.

The Flaming Bore has some parting words of wisdom to start out this week: Hey, you silly North Carolinans, stay off the damned beach!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Whenever the doorbell rings and I don't spot an adult human on the front porch, I know the fun is about to begin.

"I have something to show you," the neighborhood four-year-old said. He held out a wiggling critter.

"What in the world is that?" I asked, feigning horror.

"It's a locust," he said proudly.

"Is it alive?"

"Yes. Watch. It tickles my face." He held the bug up to one of his cheeks to demonstrate. "You want it to tickle your face?"

"Sure. Go ahead." He eagerly complied. "That doesn't tickle!" I said. "That feels like I'm being clawed to death!"

His big sis, the third grader, soon joined us. "Whatcha doing?" I asked her.

"I'm bored. So I came over here so I wouldn't be bored anymore." She had some sort of noisemaker in her mouth that made duck sounds, and she proceeded to hum "Jingle Bells."

And, like magic, who should arrive but the mail carrier with (drum roll, please) the first Christmas catalogue of the season. Oh, boy!!!! We sat down on the front steps and started looking through it, immediately finding worthless stuff we just HAD to have.

"I want that! Wow! Look at this! Turn back...I gotta see that. Isn't that cute?" Even the locust was excited.

When we made the first run-through of the catalogue and my stomach started crying out for lunch, I decided to make a big sacrifice.

"You kids can have this catalogue. Take it home and be sure to show your mom and dad what all you like." They happily toodled off, ready to start on their Christmas lists.

"Their parents are going to kill you," Big Bore, an innocent bystander, commented.

"Oh, I'm just being neighborly. And Christmas is ONLY four months away."

But I have a feeling that catalogue is going to be shoved back into my mailbox long before then, if Mom and Dad have any say-so in the matter.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


In the continuing saga of "The Flaming Bore versus The Cicada Killers," round one went to those pesky insects digging the sand out from underneath my patio pavers. In response to all the insecticide Big Bore shot into their holes, they just dug out a NEW doorway to their palace--right in between the pavers this time!

Now, some readers may wonder why I am being so hysterical about these visitors moving underneath the patio. It's because when I retired five years ago I dug up the entire backyard, by myself, hauled three tons of sand from the driveway into the backyard, by myself, to make the 130 sqaure-foot patio by myself. Did I mention that I did this all by myself? With the help of a plastic level tool? To have these buggy bugs remove so much sand from underneath the south row of pavers that they have now sunk and separated from the next row is really ticking me off!

Big Bore has given all the holes another shot of liquid Sevin, and since this latest hole is away from the barberry bushes I've decided to give it an extra dose of another killing agent---maybe ammonia or some of my cooking, whichever is the most lethal. It's still early in the day, so I'll have to give it a little more thought.

In the meantime, I'm trying to decide what to do with the 25-year-old blue spruce that has bitten the dust due to a heat-related fungus. We've tossed around the idea of turning it into another bottle tree, but I'm also thinking about sticking a cat weather vane on top, if such things are made, and then just nailing in "stuff" on the trunk to make it a work of art, also known as a junk tree. Time will tell, and Big Bore says time will also eventually get the Cicada Killers. Apparently they typically start dying off on their own in September. I can't wait to dig up and re-set that south row of pavers to give them their last rites.

Friday, August 26, 2011


One of the big city newspaper columnists wrote yesterday about a reality TV show I've failed to watch--"Outrageous Kid Parties." Specifically, she told about parents who spent $32,000 on their precious 6-year-old's Princess Party, complete with horse-drawn carriage, nine-tiered cake, and 200 guests. Actors and dancers were hired to perform; 2,000 flowers were purchased to add to the ambience. Obscene. Think about how much might have been spent if this country wasn't in a recession.

My one and only kid birthday party was for my #7. The evening event was in our backyard. We had grilled hamburgers, Kool-Aid, and cupcakes, which had little plastic flags attached to toothpicks stuck in each one. Ten friends showed up. I'm the one in the picture below with the big mouth full of crooked teeth. In spite of not coming from the royal class, I think we all look like a million bucks in our summer threads. Why, a few of the girls actually accessorized with plastic pop beads, a new fad in 1956.

I don't know if the Princess from the outrageous show had any more fun at her birthday celebration than I had at mine. I do know that this was the only kid party I ever had. Younger siblings came along the following summer and summer after that, and priorities changed. And that was okay. I wonder, however, how the little Princess is going to feel if, next year, Mom and Dad don't have an extra $30,000+ laying around to blow on her birthday. Personally, I think their money would be better used on some good ol' family therapy. By the time that little girl is 16, they're going to need it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The other night I decided to take the scissors to Fluffy's right hip area to cut out some small tangles in her fur because I am obsessive about her being knot-free. When I rescued her from the clutches of Pet Smart five years ago, she was one giant hairball and it took hours to get the problem resolved. Since I recently purchased a fancy set of clippers especially made for trimming hair, Fluffy scheduled an appointment with me and I got to work.

I should have known better. I once butchered Big Bore's hair so badly that he had to make an emergency run to a beauty shop for a mercy repair job. What made me think I could do any better with a cat?

Needless to say, I did a lousy job trimming on Fluffy. By the time I was done, she looked like a chain saw had gotten hold of her.

"What happened to Fluffy?" Big Bore asked, surveying the damage I'd done. "She looks lop-sided."

So, what did I do to remedy the situation? Well, when she later fell asleep, I went over to her exposed left hip--the one without hairballs, and snip, snip, snip, gave her the same lousy cut on the other side. At least there is now a touch of symmetry to my madness. I also did some trimming of her hairy chest, which didn't turn out half bad. Wads of fur no longer stick to her tongue when she's grooming.

Big Bore thinks we should take Fluffy to the vet clinic, ask for a buzz job, and just start over--but if we do that, then she won't be fluffy anymore, and I don't want to be responsible for spinning her into an identity crisis. The moral of this story is: Next time she's all tangled up, Fluffy is cutting her own hair.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


"It's time for chemical warfare!!" Big Bore anounced last night around 9:30. Earlier in the day I'd taken some white, plastic garden stakes and marked out the four holes I'd spotted next to the patio where the Cicada Killers are coming and going and doing their sand excavating (see August 22nd blogs). At the same time, BB mixed up a concoction of liquid Sevin, as per our county agent's direction. We had to wait until night time to forge ahead with our plan of attack to make sure the CKs would be lounging around in their underground penthouse.

I eagerly grabbed a flashlight--the super-sized one that Dr. Maureen and Scott gave us for important occasions. Besides providing illumination, it was going to double as a bug beater-upper just in case the Cicada Killers decided to come out of hiding and fight to the death. Big Bore pumped up the big spray bottle, stuck the wand in each hole, and "ready, aim, fire!!!" Now, we're in wait and see mode.

I haven't been outside yet this morning to make an official inspection of the battleground, but I'm all for making a repeat performance tonight. I don't think I'm quite ready to dig up and re-set the south row of patio pavers, though. That's going to have to wait for decomposition time and cooler weather. The Flaming Bore can only stomach so much disgusting fun at one time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Extra!! Extra!! Read all about it!! This is the final week that the big city newspaper will be delivered daily at Casa de la Flaming Bore. Seems the new editor has decided that our burg isn't generating enough $$$ to make the effort worthwhile. The Sunday paper will continue to be delivered and those of us thirsty for news the other six days of the week have been told that we can go to the website to read the daily e-news.

Stop the presses!!! I've tried reading the paper via computer and I hate it!!! I'm slave enough to this blasted computer as it is. I don't want to sit in my desk chair and click this link and click that link and have to use what's left of my brain to muddle my way through an e-newspaper. It will take me all day!!

I want to slouch on the sofa, get my hands on the paper, rip it apart section by section, scan, skim, work the puzzles, drink my coffee or tea, eat my cereal, drip milk all over my shirt...just like I've done for the past 30 or so years that I've been a loyal subscriber. Doesn't this new editor know that we old folks DO NOT LIKE CHANGE???

Fortunately, some enterprising folks in a nearby town are going to deliver the paper as private providers, but we've decided just to get it on Fridays and Saturdays, along with the regular Sunday issue. I figure I'm at the library practically every weekday, anyway, so I just as well read it there on the other four days it won't be on our porch. Of course, I don't think Library Lady will allow me inside with my usual morning newspaper-reading attire...nor will she let me pull apart the paper and then leave it scattered all over the floor. One must make concessions and adjustments when making public appearances. Rats. But I think she might allow a caffeinated beverage in the reading room if I promise to wear a bib and clean up after myself.

I guess I'd better check with Library Lady to see if the library is even going to continue with daily delivery from the private provider. And if she tells me, "Read the e-edition on your computer," well, that's gonna be some really, really bad news.

Monday, August 22, 2011


My hit man has told me that this bug I saw (see previous blog earlier today) is a Cicada Killer, so I looked it up on the Internet and here it is!!!! An official declaration of war has been made!!! The Internet site I checked over said these varmints drag their locust victims into their condos for a big party during July and August, so if I dig up the patio pavers to re-set them it's hard telling what I'm going to find. I may need another piece of cake.


It's been bad enough that our blue spruce tree is a goner and the fescue is going to have to be resuscitated after this dry, hot summer---but now we have another problem. Some sort of humongous bug is digging out the sand from underneath the patio and depositing it underneath the barberry bushes, which have also been suffering from the heat. I was watering them at their bases yesterday and noticed all the sand hills.

"What in the world is causing that?" I said aloud. At which time I saw the biggest bug I've ever seen in my life burrow quickly down into a hole next to one of the sandpiles.

I'd been wondering why the brick pavers have been separating on the south end of the patio. Now, I know. There's a bug condominum being constructed below!!! Sonuva.....!

I haven't yet figured out what my plan of attack is going to be. I'm afraid an insecticide may damage the barberry bushes even more, so now I'm thinking maybe of hiring a hit man, as in Big Bore. As large as this bug is, a b-b gun assault may be the only weapon that will take it out. That and a nuclear bomb.

In the meantime, I'm having a big piece of angel food cake and thinking this over.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Last night I channel surfed onto some TLC program called "Four Weddings," at which time I learned why our nation has landed in a financial garbage dump. It's because people are spending $40,000 on stupid weddings!!!!

The gist of the show was to see which of four weddings was tops in venue, food, decorations, gown, and overall experience. The winner received a trip to some 3rd-world island.

Now, if The Learning Channel ever comes up with a show about cheap weddings, The Flaming Bore is going to be in hot contention. When I tied the noose back in 1980, my guess is the budget was well under $100.00, including the marriage license:

Venue: Sedgwick County Courthouse and Wichita Thunder Ice Rink

Food: Sara Lee cake and hotdogs at the ice hockey game

Decorations: none, other than the dead something that Dr. Maureen picked from the courthouse entryway

Gown: jeans and flannel shirt, old but clean

Overall Experience: good for a few laughs

I think more money was spent on the divorce.

Friday, August 19, 2011


When I was outside this morning watering the thirsty "kids" in the front and side yards, I was trying to think of 10 ways in which our summer heatwave and drought have been beneficial. Hmmm. This was going to take some hard brainwork, but I think maybe I came close:

1. Less lawn mowing to do. In fact, I think Big Bore and I have just done it one time apiece. The fescue has taken a beating. Of course, this means re-seeding to do in the fall, so I'm not really sure this is much of a benefit.

2. Mosquitoes and chiggers are practically non-existent--at least in our yard. I can roll around in the grass--what we have left of it--and be itch-free.

3. My Vitamin D level shouldn't be quite so low since I've been getting plenty of sunshine.

4. Slugs aren't lounging around in my pink garden like they usually are.

5. We're getting lots of exercise watering. With a few exceptions, we've been at it every day, sometimes twice a day on the south side. Lots of bending and stretching with the garden hose, for sure.

6. I read somewhere that sweating is beneficial to the body in some way--like leaching out all the impurities. If that's the case, I'm as pure as a virgin stuck butt-deep in a snowbank.

7. Brings one closer to the neighbors, as we're all outside watering our gardens and praying for rain.

8. Not quite so many weeds to have to yank up--maybe.

Hmmmmmm. I give up. I can't think of anymore benefits. My brain is overheated and a bit hungry. And, oh, by the way, the pic above is of our caladium, which have no complaints since they are in the shade most of the day and suck up their water treat with gusto. I'll spare you a picture of the old blue spruce tree that is receiving its last rites. : (

Thursday, August 18, 2011


There was a blurb on the Today Show this morning about little girls wearing make-up at younger and younger ages, which prompted the following question from Big Bore:

"Did you ever put on you mom's make-up and play dress-up when you were a kid?"

"Good lord, no!" I answered. "I was always outside playing with the boys and the other tomboys on the block."

"Not even once?"

"If I did, I sure don't remember it. Check with Mom. I can't imagine her ever letting me get into her stuff even if I wanted to."

I've never worn much make-up, not even when I was a teenager falling all over the guys. Oh, a little mascara and lip gloss--that's about it. I've never been able to justify the expense of trying to turn a hopeless case into a hopeless case wearing make-up. Why bother?

When I lived with Sexy Sandy in Dallas 40 years ago (see Sept. 6, 2008 blog) I once tried out false eyelashes and green eye shadow and looked like a street corner reject. Sandy had a suitcase filled with every shade of make-up ever manufactured since the beginning of time, and I think she was hoping to convert me into a girly-girl, but her efforts didn't stick and she finally gave up on me.

About the only make-up I've added to my "beauty regimen" since then is Maybelline Cover Stick in beige. It's specifically for the dark circles under my eyes, the sun-damaged blob under my left eye, and to attempt to conceal the freckle on the bridge of my nose that looks like a blasted blackhead. And Cover Stick is only used for special occasions, like going to a wedding or a club meeting. Otherwise, forget it. I've had the same tube of Cover Stick in my make-up bag for about 25 years or so. That's how often a special occasion pops up in my life.

What you see is what you get. Honestly. I'm not making up any of this! And that includes my face!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


In spite of all the horrendous heat and drought we've had this summer, the Garden Club garden downtown continues to thrive. Our members have diligently watered and dead-headed and watered some more. Numerous people have stopped by when I've been there working, asking: "How come this looks so beautiful?" I, too, am amazed the place isn't a shriveled up dead zone.

The group effort of about 20 retired gals in town has really made the difference. Too many hands have not spoiled the broth, in this case. The more, the merrier. Sometimes we may seem to be muddling along, and lord knows I've stumbled over the hose and dodged bumblebees and cut myself more than once, but I know that the above hosta and impatiens appreciate being cared for by our merry band of gardeners--especially during the long, hot summer of 2011.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


For probably over a year, Dr. Maureen has been encouraging me to view her favorite football movie of all time, The Replacements, which I think is on TV every other night but I never seem to get around to watching it. Finally, she just sent me the DVD so I'd no longer have any excuses, and over the weekend Big Bore, Great Neph Bo, and I sat down together long enough for a little lights, camera, action.

This movie, which came out in 2000, stars Keanu Reeves as a washed-up football player who returns to the NFL when the regular players go on strike. Academy Award winner Gene Hackman is his coach, and a bunch of lesser known actors fill out the team roster. And where there is football, of course, there are cheerleaders...and here is where the story REALLY went south...for me and obviously me only.

The head cheer gal, who just happens to develop the hots for Keanu, gets her own replacement recruits from a strip joint. Where else? And do these gals ever have all the right moves in their play book. Their repertoire mainly consists of "dance positions" that drive the opposing teams to distraction...as in blown calls and penalties. Now, Big Bore and Bo thought all the gyrations were just laugh-out-loud hilarious, but The Flaming Bore kept rolling her eyes.

"You would never see something like that at a real professional football game," I groaned.

"That's why it's called a movie, Aunt Nancy!" Bo bounced back. "Lighten up."

Well, maybe a couple of scenes of the cheer gals would have been okay, but as the movie went on the number of shots panned to them increased. It seemed that every down ended with a response shot of the strippers prancing around. Give me a break! I just wanted to watch the football games and not all the bumping and grinding on the sidelines.

When the movie was over, I asked the guys for their opinion so I could report back to Dr. Maureen.

"On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the pits and 10 being tops, what would you give it?" I asked.

"A 9," said Big Bore. "It had lots of action (yep, it sure did) and it didn't last long and was right to the point."

"It was over two hours long," I challenged.

"Well, it didn't seem like it, and that's good," he finished.

"I give it a Purple," Bo joined in.

"Purple isn't an option," I said.

"Well, a Purple is a top ribbon and that's what I'm giving it. I can make up my own system."

"Okay. I'm giving it a 5. I liked the action and the comedy with the football players, but the cheerleaders just ruined it for me."

Both the guys agreed that I was just jealous and a prude and where was my sense of humor, anyway? Next time they watch The Replacements, they're going to have to replace me with a substitution. I've been kicked off the team.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Ever since I picked up my great neph Bo last Friday, he's been practicing his backseat driving skills:

"You drive too slowly, Aunt Nancy. You don't have to go 55 when the limit is 70."

"I'm not going 55. I'm going 58."

"But it's too slow. Look at all the people who are passing you."

This same old tune has played on and on, over and over again, whenever we're out on the highway.

"You're going 15 miles under the limit. You're making me nervous."

"You're slowing down again."

"All those trucks are trying to get around you."

So, it was quite a surprise Saturday afternoon when I got stopped by a cop for....driving too fast????!!!!

We'd left Hutchinson and were headed to Wichita on a 55 mph county road. Except, apparently the speed limit changed to 30 mph when the road entered an area where there was a church and a small school building that were apparently used by people who drive horse and buggies instead of motorized vehicles. And I was talking with Bo and not watching the signs and....ooops! Good grief! Could it really be that slowpoke Aunt Nancy was going to get a blasted speeding ticket?

"You were clocked at 48 miles per hour," the officer informed me.

"Geesh. And here I thought I was driving under the speed limit," I told him, nicely, of course. I handed over my driver's license and proof of insurance. He returned to say he'd just give me a warning this time but that I needed to slow it down.

"You know the irony of all this is that my great nephew here has been complaining the past few days that I drive too slowly."

"Everybody passes her and about blows us off the road," Bo added.

Well, after we dodged the speeding ticket bullet, I drove about another quarter of a mile, got on a state highway with a 65 mph limit, and we went on our pokey way. Believe me, I'm staying away from horse and buggy roads from now on. And the next time Bo tells me to speed up, I'm going to make a citizen's arrest and tell him to zip it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


You wouldn't believe all the school supplies my 2nd grader great niece Maddie has to round up this week. Big Sis shared the list with me, and I was mortified.

Ready or not, here we go: 2 boxes of zip lock bags, 1 quart and 1 gallon sizes; 2 erasers, 24 #2 pencils, box of washable markers, 4 glue sticks, 1 bottle of glue, 24 crayons, 1 pair of scissors, sharp; 4 folders with pockets, 2 notebooks, 1 big pack notebook paper, 1 package of baby wipes, 1 package of disinfectant wipes, 4 boxes of facial tissue, school box, and backpack w/o wheels.

Now back in MY day, before most of this crap was ever "invented," we got by with TWO pencils for the whole school year. We sharpened and re-sharpened them until they were down to 1-inch stubs by May. None of this box of 24 business. The number of crayons we brought to school was directly related to one's socio-economic standing. Eight was okay if that's all one could afford. I dreamed for the day I would take ownership of a Burnt Sienna and Flesh.

I'm totally clueless why Maddie and her pals need 4 boxes of facial tissue and all the wipes, other than the school district must have stock in the Kleenex industry. When I was a kid, no one brought boxes of tissue to school. We brought a handkerchief--and it was stuffed in a pocket or purse until it was so petrified with dried snot that there wasn't a single clean, usable square inch left, at which point it was taken home and washed--maybe.

A school box and book bag? Heck no. Not necessary. I'd just throw my school supplies and homework in a paper sack. Poor Maddie. On the first day of school, she's going to need a U-Haul! Ah, if only she could return to a simpler time--when two pencils, an eraser, a few crayons, and a Big Chief tablet was pretty much all a kid needed to get by. Oh, and a handkerchief--new or used--whatever. Speaking from personal experience, a shirt sleeve worked just as well.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I'm heading out today to pick up my great neph Bo in Pittsburg and bring him back to Casa de la Flaming Bore for a few days. We've made his visit a summer tradition ever since he was a middle school'er (age 12 in this pic at the Cosmosphere). Now that he's 18 and a hotshot high school senior, I doubt he looks forward to the visit like he used to but at least he's game. We usually hit up the big city for a day, go to the melodrama, catch a movie, bowl or drag go-carts, just sort of play it by ear. In recent years he's wanted to hit up the mall. We don't shop together because that definitely would NOT be cool, plus I'm not that keen about strolling the aisles of Spencer's Gifts.

I don't even try to compete when it comes to providing him a thrill-a-minute vacation. Good grief, already this summer the kid has been to Disneyland, Six Flags Over Something, and Shrine Bowl Band Camp. There's nothing around here that's going to top any of that, but I'm sure we'll manage. Big Bore is excited to have him around for a few days so he can cook for an appreciative army instead of for me. He's already working on a spaghetti dinner for tomorrow night. Bring on the garlic bread, baby!! Ciao!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


When I got home from the library yesterday afternoon, Big Bore announced he had a surprise for me in the refrigerator.

"What is it?"

"Guess," he said.

"Asiago cheese? Something from the deli?"

"No. It's something from our garden."

"Tomatoes? Oh, never mind. We didn't even grow tomatoes this year. (Then sudden realization.) The cantaloupe? I thought they weren't ripe yet." This is the first year the Bores have tried growing cantaloupe and we weren't quite sure if they were ready for consumption.

Before he could say, "Go for it," I'd rushed to the kitchen, pulled open the refrigerator door, and grabbed out a big tub of 'loupe he'd sliced up. OMG!!! How can I describe what it tasted like? Just the sweetest, juiciest cantaloupe ever! Heaven to my taste buds!

"This is absolutely, totally the best cantaloupe I've ever eaten!" Oh, I raved on and on.

Too bad it took three months to grow what we ate in about three minutes. And it's also too bad we didn't set out very many plants in the spring since we didn't know what to expect. Next year, believe me, we are going to turn Big Bore's garden into a cantaloupe factory.


Sweet Neighbor Girl came over yesterday morning to try to rid herself of boredom. You know a kid is desperate when she has no one to hang out with but the 62-year-old Flaming Bore.

She had an "official" Spalding NBA basketball with her, so I challenged her to a few dribbling tricks--around the world, under the leg, etc., and then I about knocked her out, twice, with my superior passing techniques. Oops! Fortunately, she didn't run home crying to tattle on me.

We decided playing on the front porch might be safer. She turned her basketball into a legless cheerleader wannabe named Lucinda. Lucinda could do superior sommersaults and spins, but doing the splits and high kicks were impossible for her, so "she" mainly sat on a chair and watched as Sweet Neighbor Girl showed us various cheers. I admire her imagination. It's pretty much equal to my own bizarro behavior when I was her age, although I've gotta admit that none of my make-believe friends ever took the form of a basketball. Kudos to her for that one.

She is also much more adept than I ever was at real human being cheerleading.

"I'm going to be a cheerleader when I get older," she informed me.

"Well, you'd be a good one. You're very coordinated and you know how to do a cartwheel.

"Plus, I have a great smile," she added.

"That's right. Smiles are important."

"Were you ever a cheerleader?" she asked.

"Oh, no. I wasn't good enough. But I was in Pep Club, so I knew all the cheers and I had a loud mouth. Being able to yell is important, too." I taught her an old chant I recalled and she put her own little movements to it.

"I'm going to teach this to the girls when school starts next week," she said, pleased with herself.

Ah, next week. A week from today, in fact, school reconvenes in our little burg. Back to the books. What a bummer. No more lazy summer morning visits from Sweet Neighbor Girl to entertain me. It sure is going to be boring around here.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Earlier this year I made up a stupid song called "Fluffy, the Magic Kitty Cat." Fluffy absolutely adores it; Big Bore, well, not so much. The words are never the same, other than: "Fluffy, Fluffy, she's a magic kitty," and sometimes the tune isn't consistent, but Fluffy always comes running when she hears me singing it, usually jumping into my lap, kneading her appreciation with her well-trimmed paws. At first, Big Bore thought our routine was cute and funny, but he's changed his mind as the song gets sung more often and dragged out longer and louder, which typically correlates with an increase of sour notes.

"I've had about all of 'Fluffy the Magic Kitty' that I can take for one day," he recently said, nicely.

I didn't blame him or take offense. I had sort of run it into the ground for one night. This morning when Fluffy came into the living room to help me read the newspaper, I managed to quietly sing her favorite song so the old grumpy pie in the next room wouldn't start out his day miserably. He's a touch hard of hearing and didn't even know I was singing. From now on Fluffy and I have decided we will be performing pianissimo...the fancy musical term for very softly. Pianissimo--that's the word of the day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Good grief! Yesterday was comedienne Lucille Ball's 100th birthday, had she lived that long. I hadn't realized she was in her 40s when "I Love Lucy" was in its hey-day. She had the energy of someone much younger.

I'm a Lucy Lover. Her humor is goofball clean, and I always liked how she tried to keep her clueless husband out of the loop of her loopiness. My favorite Lucy of all time is not from her TV show, where there are some true classics, but from an old movie called The Long, Long Trailer. Lucy and Desi are on their honeymoon at Glacier National Park, hauling a huge mobile home with their convertible. Like moi, she is a rock lover and she keeps picking up rock after rock after rock as souvenirs until the car can barely pull the trailer---especially up the hairpin curves. Desi finally orders her to throw out the rocks but, instead, she just hides them in various closets and crannies. And, of course, they don't stay hidden for long on the downhill portion of the ride. Oh, you just have to see the movie.

Thanks, Lucy, for all the laughs. Happy 100, you funny girl.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


It's been so blasted hot here that I have been neglecting my duties as self-appointed weed warrior at the local library. Today started out cooler, however--no sun and a light mist--so after breakfast I headed downtown on my trusty bike.

"You're gonna get wet!" Big Bore said as I took off.

"I don't care if it pours!" I shouted back. "It'll feel great and be fine with me!"

Well, the moisture didn't last for long, but the sun stayed behind the clouds and I yanked away at the bad guys for a good 90 minutes or so. Let me tell you, this drought we've been having hasn't slowed down the weeds one bit! Some of them had gotten so big that it's a wonder they didn't try to sign up for a library card and check out some books.

After my back played out, I went to the downtown Garden Club garden to dead-head. Mostly standing up. I'll get to my own yard as soon as I finish the ice treatment on my back. Hopefully before the sun returns.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I don't know what this big guy is called in botanical terms, but there are a gazillion of them hanging around the flowers of Quigley Castle in northwest Arkansas (see blog entry dated August 3rd) and they love to have their picture taken. My own butterfly bush here in Kansas has seen a number of visitors this summer, but none quite like this one.

Casa de la Flaming Bore has also had a number of drop-ins from evil grasshoppers--some which are so huge that I've been forced to tangle with them and fight them to the death. I especially like to grab them, wrestle them to the ground, whack them silly with one of my flip-flops--all the while lecturing them. "Bad grasshopper! Stay away from my garden!!" No mercy for grasshoppers. That's my motto. One does not need insecticide when The Flaming Bore is in action.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I think the heat is finally getting to my brain. Yesterday afternoon, when I returned home from doing my morning activities downtown, Big Bore asked me, "Do you know you're wearing your top inside-out?"

"I'm what?!" I looked down at my red and blue, tie-dyed, sleeveless T-shirt. Egad!!! "I've been all over town, talking to people, looking like this? They must have thought I've lost my mind!" (Especially when I left the Herald office asking for my newspaper and it was already underneath my armpit.)

"Yep. The tag is on the outside. But at least you didn't have the shirt on backwards," Big Bore said. A lot of consolation that was.

From now on, I'm double-checking...make that triple checking...in the mirror before I leave the house to make sure my clothes are put on correctly. It's one thing to act like a dimwit--but to dress like one, too, is simply not acceptable.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I'm goofy for rocks, so when I recently passed through Eureka Springs, Ark., I simply HAD to stop by to see what is touted as "The Ozarks Strangest Dwelling." Quigley Castle is not really a castle, but it is certainly strange. Rocks are EVERYWHERE!! And 14 bottle trees are in the yard!! Here is a little sampling:

The Quigley's mailbox: for Albert, Elise, and their five children

The old man's easy chair.

A lovely planter.

Animal pen.

Gotta love these bottle trees!

A small piece of yard art.

I told Big Bore I came home from Arkansas with lots of crafty projects for him to make for me, but he's not so keen on the idea for some reason.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Back in the summer of 1956, I was 7 years old and ready to take over a "new" hand-me-down, Big Sis's blue bicycle. Good lord, it's as big as I was and about ready to swallow me up and spit me out on the street. When it came to wheels, though, I was always game--even in spiffy, white party shoes.

I visited with Mama Bore over the weekend, and she recalled when I learned how to ride my first two-wheeler bike--a loaner, of course, boy's bike, in our backyard. "You must have fallen off a hundred times," she laughed. At least. I quite clearly remember tumble after slam after head-on crash into trees. But, by god, I was going to learn how to ride that little red bike. And I did. Two years later, I graduated on to the gargantuan one above. Did I really pedal it up and down the street faster than lightning, like it seemed at the time? Hmmmm. Probably.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Back on May 23, I blogged about the Joplin, Missouri tornado, mentioning my hope that two former favorite haunts, Frank's Lounge and Denney's, had survived the storm. During my trip to Arkansas last week, curiosity got the better of me and I made a drive through Joplin to check on the businesses. Denney's is alive and well, located over a mile south of the line of fire, but, alas, Frank's Lounge is no more. The above picture shows what is pretty much left of Frank's. Say it isn't so. Had its address been just one block to the north, it would still be standing.

When I saw what wasn't left of Frank's, my immediate thought went to the lounge's customer supreme, Mr. Phillips, a Channel 12 co-worker of mine (and Dr. Maureen's) almost 40 years ago, and a man well-scholared in brew. He died last year, and it's probably for good reason. He would have suffered too much if he'd seen his beloved Frank's reduced to a pile of bricks. The place was his home away from home. He was a man of drama. God spared him the grief.

So, here's to old taverns blown to smithereens. Frank's we loved you and hope you'll soon be back in business. And here's to our ol' fuss-budgety buddy Mr. Phillips relaxing on his big bar stool in the sky. No tornado watching required.

Celebrating my 28th birthday at Frank's Lounge, 1977. That's Mr. Phillips in front and Dr. Maureen and me in the back of our favorite corner table.