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.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Periodically I go into jags when I want to make bracelets. I'm sort of a bracelet-a-holic, if the truth be known. There. I admit it.

When we were in Colorado last month, a nice saleslady threw in a complimentary bracelet with a clothing purchase--and I was immediately smitten. Hmmmm. I need to find some shell beads like these and make my own. And as soon as I got within smelling distance of a craft shop when we got back home, I scoped out similar looking beads, grabbed some stretchy thread, and prepared to string myself some masterpieces.

Except there was one small problem. A really small problem, actually. For some reason, the beads had extra tiny holes in them and the stretchy thread was too big to pass through. What's a bracelet-making gal gonna do? Make the holes bigger, of course. And, believe me, it hasn't been easy. Short of using dynamite, I've tried just about every kind of "boring tool" I can find in my junk drawer--needles, a mini screwdriver, paper clips, and a seam ripper--to ream out the @#!*! holes. And, of course, sometimes--no, make that often--I've slipped and said tools have jammed into my skin since I'm stupid and don't wear iron-clad gloves during the procedure.

So far, I've managed to make six bracelets, but I'd venture to say that each has taken at least an hour and a 1/2 pint of blood to fashion. Hopefully, by the time I finish, I'll have an arm left to wear them.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


When I got back from Pittsburg late yesterday afternoon, there were some surprises awaiting me. The first one I could smell....butterscotch haystacks! Hooray! I haven't had those crazy looking sweet treats in over a year. Yum-eeee! The next surprise I saw immediately when I stepped into the kitchen. The floor had been washed and waxed. It looked brand spanking new. I love it.

Big Bore had to direct me to the final surprise. "Go look at the refrigerator." We have a whole bunch of word magnets on it, and he'd changed some of them around to create two new poems--free verse--one about me and one about the cats. "Gee. I didn't know you were such a word master." I'm going to make an A+ English student out of him yet. And a lyric poet, at that.

There was one final surprise that he had nothing to do with: over two inches of rain!!! Hallelujah! That's the most we've had in one day this entire year. Maybe all the dry ponds out in the country will look happier now. Then I can eating butterscotch haystacks all day long!

Here's to you, Tuesday!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Last night I saw an Ipad for the first time, compliments of my great nephews, ages 2 and 5. I can see where a little kid, or even an older kid, would go goo-goo over such a device--Boomer enjoyed playing an air hockey game ("You're cheating, Aunt Nancy!!") and taking pictures of his mom and me, then skewing them. William liked scribbling.

Would I want one? Nah. Not really. But I'm not going to begrudge anyone who wants to shell out the bucks and harmlessly pass by the time with one. I'll just stick with my personal computer and let the rest of technology pass me by. No cell phone, no Ipad, or Ipod, or pea pod, or Blackberry, Strawberry, whatever. Old dogs can only learn a limited amount of new tricks. I'm at my quota.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Late last night after we suffered through the ending of the K-State-OSU football game, Big Bore asked, "Did you just feel the house shaking?"

"Yeah, I did."

"The plants were shaking, too," he added.

"Must have been some aftershock from the earthquake they had down in Oklahoma this morning. I'll get on the computer and check."

I decided to check Facebook before any news website, because everyone knows that if you want to know what's happening in the world, check your social network. Right? And, immediately, there was a post from my neighbor two blocks down: "Hey, I just felt my house shake!" And similar comments quickly came in from friends in other cities and nearby states. Seems there was a 5.6 earthquake in central Oklahoma, following up the one that morning.

Now, I don't want to sound all alarmist and make my readers think that we just survived a close call. Frankly, our house shakes more when the washing machine is running through its spin cycle. In fact, it shook more last night when I was doing ridiculous K-State cheers in the living room during the football game. Still, it was an earthquake nonetheless, and, as singer Carole King would say, "I feel the earth...move...under my feet."

We were over a hundred miles from the epicenter and, frankly, that's about as close as I care to get.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Today is Cattleman's Day in our little burg! I've wiggled into my nicest overalls and will soon saddle up Ol' Blue and mosey on downtown for the festivities. Here's what's on the agenda:

1. All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Feed. I'd gain 10 pounds just sitting at the table. Forget it. The overalls can't stand the strain. I'll eat my cereal and banana in peace at home, listen to the TV, and read the newspaper before I head out.

2. No Bull Run (not be confused with the famous Running of the Bulls). There was a time in my not-too-distant-past when I'd be the first one at the starting line (and last to the finish line). But my aging, achy-breaky body says, "No thanks." I'm happy just to be able to walk.

3. Trick Roper Show. Nah. But I might go if he roped and juggled at the same time. Now THAT'D be a show!

4. King of the Prairie Contest. I don't know what the heck this is. If it's anything like Chippendale's, those hunky studs in their skivvies, then save me a front row seat!

5. Children's Ranch Games. I'll pass.

6. Art Show. Definitely.

7. Museum. If I'm not too tuckered out from the Art Show.

8. Parade. NO, NO, NO!!! Even with ear plugs, I'd be wacked out.

9. Cattleman's Banquet and Ball. Now, in my 36 years of living here, I've never been to this astute affair. I've always figured I'd get kicked out of the Banquet when I'd ask the food server to exchange my beef entree for chicken. And as for the Ball, I think this might just be a euphemism for something a little bit too boozy for my tastes. Plus, three hours of country music would be enough to do me in.

So, my day is all planned. A 10-minute walk-through at the art show. Happy Cattleman's Day to everyone!!! May your beef always be tender.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Here's to our sweet ol' Little Bit. We'll sure miss you, Boo.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011



Just when we finally thought it was safe to answer the doorbell, who should show up last night on our front porch but the Abominable Hairy Golfing Skeleton!!!--formerly Zombie Boy from next door. After I satisfied the little monster with the obligatory screaming and carrying on, he removed the mask, laughing, "It's just me, Nancy!"

Whew! That was a close call! One of these days the doorbell will ring and I'm going to be shocked to find a normal looking adult human being on my front porch for a change. Now THAT'S a scary thought!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Well, fortunately all the Snickers bars got removed from the candy bowl by our trick-or-treaters last night, but a dozen Skittles packets remain. I promised the zombie next door that he and his big sister, Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, could have any leftovers. I hope they get over here fast because I have a sneaky suspicion that Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum are going to have a hard time keeping our sugar-hungry hands away from those Skittles.