Wednesday, August 29, 2012


At long last!  Blast off for our trip to Glacier National Park is just four days away.  Big Bore, Mr. Organization, has had his bags packed for several days now. I'm just getting started--with under clothes. Earlier today I put out an APB for my favorite sports bra, missing in action.  Where in the heck can a bra get lost in this little house? I wasn't going to pack anything else until I found it.  

I poked around in every drawer, looked behind the washer and dryer, even dug into the black hole of the bedroom closet. Nothing. Big Bore suggested I look underneath the bed and inside the washer, which is almost filled to the gills with dirty clothes.  Good ideas, but I still came up empty.

Then it dawned on me to check all the door knobs, because when I was a kid I was notorious for slinging just about every piece of clothing I owned onto my bedroom doorknob.  It became sort of a contest to see how much crap I could balance on the knob before my roommate, Big Sis, went totally ballistic:  "Mother!!!  Make her hang up her clothes!!!"

And that's where I found my favorite sports bra--behind the French door to the walk-in closet, wrapped around the knob.  Hooray!  Now I can proceed with the rest of my packing.  Hopefully nothing else on my mental list will elude me and I'll be able to get my suitcase zipped. Packing for a trip is half the fun.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Being the great investigative reporter that I am (and just ask Dr. Maureen about the ace undercover work I did exposing the downtown Joplin "mole" back in '73), I took it upon myself last night to watch "E News," "Access Hollywood," and every other celebrity news show on TV in order to get the bare facts about Prince Harry's recent naked romp in Las Vegas.  And when none of the programs actually showed the royal family jewels in the flesh to their titillated audiences, I, of course, had to go straight to the Internet to get the full-frontal story. After all, that's what true journalists do. In-depth research.

So I got on the TMZ website to feast my eyes on his royal hiney and, boy, what a disappointment. In one picture he's standing with some other nude body and has a hand securely placed over his little tallywhacker. In the other pic, you just see his blurry bare bum folded over someone else, still standing, but like he's rushing to get away. There's nothing the least bit erotic about either picture. He just looks like an embarrassed little boy caught with his pants down.

A childish prank?  Sure. Conduct unbecoming?  Well, I suppose so--but it's certainly not as bad as that idiot Missouri politician who claimed last week that "the female body" can block an unwanted pregnancy when involved in what he calls a "legitimate rape."  Now there's a REAL ass for you.

The Flaming Bore has spoken.

(DISCLAIMER:  The above picture is NOT actually Prince Harry but is a close resemblance and is printed for the benefit of those readers who have too much class to check out the real deal on TMZ.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Sweet Neighbor Girl had a bundle of homework yesterday, so she came over after school and while I read a William Inge play on the hammock, she did her math and vocabulary assignments on the front porch. I checked them over when she was done, gave her the stamp of approval, and then it was time to read.  She's one of those rare kids who loves to read aloud--with expression.  LOTS of expression.  High voices, low voices, whispers, shouts, emotions, accents, sound effects--the whole show.

So, I set aside the Inge book and listened to her read....and read....and read, chapter after chapter. At first she stood for her performance, but after four chapters she shoved me over on the hammock and we took turns reading alternate pages. It was a Magic Tree House fantasy about siblings Jack and Annie trying to keep Venice, Italy from certain doom. With the help of a golden flying lion ("ROAR!!!!"), the two saved the day. Hooray!  

We finally made it to chapter eight and called it to a halt around 7:30.  I went inside to round up some supper.

"What in the world was going on out on the porch?" Big Bore asked.  

"Oh, we were just reading."

"Well, you two were screaming and laughing, and the hammock was shaking all over the place," he said. "I never thought reading was that much fun." 

"She started using a hillbilly accent and it was hilarious."  

I have no idea if she'll pass the Accelerated Reader computerized reading comprehension test for this particular book, but her oral reading skills are off the chart--loud and clear.  Of course, computers and our state standards don't care about enthusiasm, which is too bad.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I learned something about myself yesterday that I never knew before. According to the "urgent" letters I received from Mitt Romney and the Republican National Convention, I, The Flaming Bore, am one of the Republican Party's "top supporters." Good lord.  When did that happen?  

Not only that, but due to my "active political involvement and steadfast commitment to the Republican Party," I was chosen to participate in a 2012 Presidential Issues Survey and my answers are "vital."  Why, I do believe the entire future of the free world as we know it depends on ME!!

Now, truth be known, I lean more towards being a Democrat, but I am a registered Republican so I can join the fray in the primary elections. No one around here who is serious about winning dares to register as a Democrat, so anyone who wants to have much of a say in matters AND who doesn't mind being bombarded with taped phone calls and political flyers in the mail does what I do and pretends to be a Republican.  

So, with that in mind, I was more than amused to find out yesterday that I am such an astute party member "who has a finger on the pulse of your community."  Here are some of the "Presidential Issues" that were on this earth-shattering survey:

1.  Are you more enthusiastic or less enthusiastic about voting in the upcoming election in November than you were four years ago?  

3.  How interested are you in learning more about how to volunteer your time to defeat President Obama?

6.  How likely is it that you would recommend a friend to vote for Mitt Romey in the November election?

7.  Do you use social media like Facebook to communicate with friends and relatives?

And then we get to the REAL point of this survey, the biggest "issue" of all--question number ten, boxed and in bold print and labeled "critical."  Would I, The Flaming Bore, like to make a donation to the Republican National Committee?  I can start at $25.00 or just shoot my wad and go straight for the max at $30,800.  

Well, I filled out the 2012 Presidential Issues Survey and then added my own little comments, like:  "What's it to you?"  "So what?" "This is a Presidential issue?"  and "You must be kidding!"  I am an official political activist, you know, and my opinions are important!!!

I've been given special directions to "send this survey back within the next five days."  Mitt's in a RUSH to get his hands on my hard-earned retirement check, according to the mailing enveloped enclosed.  I have a feeling the poor minion who opens it is going to rush my survey (bereft of a donation, hefty or otherwise)...right to the waste basket.  

Monday, August 20, 2012


After Sweet Neighbor Girl finished up with my hair yesterday, she came up with another fab idea:  "Let's do your nails!"

Now, in my glam days I used to have long, well-manicured fingernails that I kept polished, but that's been a few decades ago--more than a few decades, actually.  Nowadays I could care less, as long as they are kept short.  I've never gotten used to wearing gardening gloves, so my fingernails tend to be grimy and uneven--just the way I want them. But for SNG, I would put on my game face and humor her.

We went to the bathroom medicine chest, where I pointed out the three bottles of nail polish still in my possession--clear, silvery pink, and honeymoon red, the latter being something akin to French whorehouse red, to give you a better picture of what it looks like. I selected the clear, knowing full well what the reaction would be.

"Oooooh," SNG whined.  "That's boring!"  (This from a kid who boasts well over 50 bottles of colored nail polish that come in a special, heavy-duty carrier.)

Of course, she grabbed for the garish red. I took a deep breath. Here goes nothing. I dared not watch what she was doing to my fingers, as she kept saying, "Ooops!" and wiping away her mistakes with all the skill of a mad manicurist. She gave it a clear topcoat, took the blow dryer to her creation, and voila!  My hands now look like they belong to an aging French hooker!  Hooray!

Fortunately, the medicine chest also contains a bottle of good ol' American nail polish remover, which I suspect I'll be putting to use before the end of the week.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fluffy's Makeover

Today I was piddling with the Picture Monkey website, experimenting with the clone tool, and I performed eye surgery on Fluffy.  Here's what she would look like if some $#@!% hadn't abused her.  Don't tell Fluffy, but it seems weird seeing her with two normal eyes.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Trouble #1 came over after school today and immediately made a beeline to the computer.

"Nancy, will you get me on the map so I can see my house?"

He's talking about Google Earth. I've taken him to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. We've gone to New York City to scope out airplanes at JFK International, and we've crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Today we hit up south central Kansas for awhile and then came this request:

"Can we go to the North Pole to see where Santa Claus lives?"

"Well, I don't think there's a way we can see it because it's so icy up there," I said, trying to think fast.  "Do you have another place you'd like to see?  

"I want to see where the Titanic went down in the ocean."  Good grief!  Give me a break, kid. Where does he come up with these ideas?

Google Earth didn't seem to have the exact spot has was asking for, so I came up with something better.  

"Let's get on YouTube and we can take a trip down to the bottom of the ocean and actually see what the Titanic looks like today."

"Oh, yeah!!"

So for the next 30 minutes or more, we weaved our way in and out of the Titanic. He was mesmerized.  And, truth be known, even though I'd seen it all before on TV, it was interesting to watch once again--especially with a five-year-old kid who has an active imagination.

"Look, Nancy! There's a skeleton!"  

"Look, Nancy! There's some spirits floating around!"

"Look, Nancy!"  --Every turn of the underwater camera, there was something cool to see--chandeliers, shoes, plates, all sorts of treasures, thanks to a little sea-bot camera.

We finally finished our dive, but he was still interested in more adventure, so we stayed on YouTube and I linked us up to some virtual amusement park rides. I got dizzy after three or four roller coasters, but he was still eager to "ride" so I left him on his own.  His attention span eventually maxed out, and he finally decided it was time to get home for supper. 

"See ya later, alligator."

"After while, crocodile."

If his kindergarten teacher conducts "Show and Tell" tomorrow, he's going to have quite a story.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


The big city newspaper's gardening section had a blurb last weekend asking readers what is thriving in their gardens in spite of the incessant heat/drought this summer. I didn't send in a response, but if I had I would have bragged about three of my best bloomers.

Starting with...vinca! They take a while to get going because they don't like the cooler spring weather, but once July kicks in these babies take off.  Not only are they colorful, but they don't need to be deadheaded!  These on the north side of our driveway get full sun all day long.  The Mexican feather grass in the background is left over from last year. It's typically an annual in Kansas, but since last winter was so mild it didn't totally die off, so we just left it.

Next up is the morning glory.  We have it in various places around Casa de la Flaming Bore, but this bunch is growing up the bottle tree. The leaves are getting pretty chewed up and they roll up in the afternoon, but the morning burst of blue is most glorious!

The zinnias are also looking fine. These are the shorter variety that sort of bush out.

The marigold and petunias seem to be doing fine in the heat, as well. Once again, the impatiens and begonias are struggling. Why do I even bother with them? The knockout rose bush is also barely hanging in there. It has a grand total of two blooms right now. You win some and you lose some when scorching is the norm. Accept your losses and celebrate your victories.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Yesterday was one of those banner days around Casa de la Flaming Bore. It started out with a breezy 68 degrees for watering the garden and sitting out on the porch slurping coffee.  Then Sweet Neighbor Girl came over for some cat chat, deadheading, and a discussion of what we were going to do on her last day of freedom (school starts today!)  She decided we should go to the library, not to put away books and videos this time, but to hang out in the magazine lounge.  We took our own beverage of choice, hot chocolate and vanilla chai tea, a box of good ol' honey buns, and chilled out with some fave magazines.  In my case, it was the ones about gardening, while she chose Seventeen so she could have a fashion fantasy. I think she is determined to make the library tres chic.

While we were doing our girl thing, Big Bore took off for Climax to visit his big bro and sis-in-law, which  he enjoyed. From what he reported, they talked about their gardens, bird houses, and then took a drive out in the country to inspect what is called The Bottoms, which has to do, I believe, with the Fall River and not the derrieres of Climaxians. But then, what do I know?  (Question to Bill and Janet:  Are people who live in Climax called Climaxians, Climaxers, Climaxites, or just plain lucky?)

In the evening I went to the Open House at the high school in order to touch base with some former teaching co-horts.  I wanted to wish them well for the upcoming academic year, but I think they thought I was there to rub in my freedom from lesson plans and curriculum alignment.  It's funny, but the older teachers seemed more enthusiastic and ready to roll than the younger ones.  Maybe that's because they know they are one year closer to retirement.

After that, I pedaled my bike on up to the library again for the monthly meeting of our Friends of the Library group.  After the business part, we had a lively discussion about our book of the month, One Thousand White Women.  A big thumbs up. --By the time I got home, BB was in bed and I was ready for a late supper--a bowl of Sugar Pops, along with cottage cheese and homegrown tomatoes. Mmmmm good.

We are receiving a misty rain this morning, so I plan to crash out on the front porch hammock and read. As the title of this blog says, this is.......

supper of Sugar Pops.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I've periodically been watching snippets of the 2012 Summer Olympics the past few weeks and have come up with the two events I would be LEAST likely to enter--especially since I'm a 63-year-old graduate of one back surgery and at least a few dozen hopeless diets. 

The first sport is BMX bike racing. Big Bore and I watched this event a few nights back and we were moaning and grimacing the entire time.  I even spewed forth with various expletives. Loud ones. The course is nothing but a giant, curvy washboard of spine-jarring bumps, propelling the bikers into orbit half the time. And the eight bikers per race are not staggered; they start out at the same time in a fury of speed. I didn't know bike pedals could be pedaled so fast. One little tire wiggle and--BAM!  They crash and burn like a bunch of human dominoes on wheels. During one race we watched, only one contestant finished. The rest were splayed out on the course in one big heap of BMX. 

The second event in which I would never compete is womens' beach volleyball, mainly because I would never subject the viewing public to seeing me in the so-called uniform--which is mainly two strips of Spandex. Any gal with a hint of breasts and a belly bulge need not apply. "How do they keep those briefs on?" I asked Big Bore. "They spend more time pulling them out of their butt cracks than they do hitting the volleyball."  One of the competitors was soaking her feet in hot water during time-outs because, the announcer said, she was so cold.  Well, duh! Put on some clothes, girlfriend, and maybe you'd warm up!  

Give me a pair of sweats and a relay baton and I'll see you at the starting line.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


School starts in just six days in our little burg, and Sweet Neighbor Girl has made sure that we old folks at Casa de la Flaming Bore get to have viewing privileges of all her finest back-to-school purchases.  This includes a stylin' pink, black, and gray checked book bag, jammed with nine pounds of required supplies ("I don't know what the heck this box of plastic bags is for.") and the "Ten for $10.00" special at Claire's Boutique. The dangling peacock feather earrings and matching necklace are faves.

Yesterday's bit of show and tell was a set of fake fingernails...French-tip manicure, of course. Hopefully they will stay on at least through the first recess.  ("I have a back-up set, just in case.")  --We haven't yet seen the sneak preview of the ensemble SNG will be wearing on the first day of school, but I'm sure a Project Runway fashion show will be on the agenda before long.  She is a quick-change artist of the highest degree.  (Big Bore to SNG:  "That's the fourth outfit you've had on today!!")

I'm glad I'm not a mama with school-aged kids. My checkbook and patience would never survive.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Election Day is here at last! Thank the political gods for small favors. Perhaps the telephone won't be ringing quite so often at inconvenient times--after today.  "Hello. Don't hang up!! My name is Joe Schmo and I'm running for....." Click.

I'm also getting weary of having my mailbox stuffed with slick campaign messages. The mail carriers must be having nightmares.  And it will be nice to have the local newspaper getting back to printing just news, although I'm sure the editor has made a windfall from all the paid political ads, which is nice. We have 16 people running for two county commission seats.  You figure up the math.

I suppose I'm one of the few people who actually reads these ads. Last week I about gagged on my breakfast when reading one in support of our state representative who is now running for state senator. His name shall go unwritten in this blog, but you all know who I mean. The ad was sort of like an open letter from, guess who, his dear wife and the mother of his 13 children and the grandmother to one grandchild who, she states, attends public school. The letter starts like this:

"My favorite way to describe (name I won't print) is to say that he is a lot like Jesus."  Oh, really. Is that so? Now, granted, she didn't follow up that little eye-opener with how well he walks on water, but she did let us  know that he's the only elected official in Kansas who "works tirelessly" at the capitol building in Topeka "till near midnight."  When she asks him if anyone else is there with him, "...His reply, 'Just the security guards and me.'" Oh, and by the way, did you know that she's been told by his peers, "If your husband would get to introduce ALL of the bills, we'd all understand them better...."  Jesus, (and I'm talking to the candidate here) give me a break.

To make me even more cynical, later on the same day when I was choking on my breakfast reading this crock, there was a knock on the door. And who was standing there with a clipboard and a stack of political flyers--but one of the 13 children of our lord and savior, er, I mean the dude (name I won't print) who is running for senate.  The poor kid was probably an 8th or 9th grader, except he's home-schooled so who knows, and he was practically shaking in his shoes.  

He said something like, "My father is running for state senate and I'd like to know if you're going to vote for him."  I could see names and addresses and little check boxes on the clipboard. Now, I wasn't about to make the kid feel lousy about his father, so I just took his flyer and told him I was undecided. I suspect he felt lousy enough just having to schlep door-to-door, all dressed up, on the hottest day of the year. I bid him a friendly goodbye and sent him on his way.

"Who was at the door?" Big Bore asked from the kitchen.

"The son of (name I won't print) asking us to vote for his dad," I yelled back.

Big Bore has no idea who this politician/religious icon is, but he grumbled, "He shouldn't be making his son do his own work."  

Then....another knock on the door. It was the kid again.

"I forgot to ask if I could put a campaign sign in your yard."

Now, there's already one sign in our yard...for a friend who is running for one of the aforementioned county commission I spit out a quick response. "Oh, I don't want more than one sign in my yard.  Thanks anyway."  End of discussion. Although as I watched him walk dejectedly off the porch, a little part of me wanted to invite him in for an icy lemonade and ask him how much fun he was having traipsing around in the heat with his flyers and clipboard asking strangers to vote for his dad. Poor kid.

So, anyway, that's why I'm celebrating today and heading down to Election Central pretty soon to cast my ballot.  That's also why I won't be voting for (name I won't print).  

Sunday, August 5, 2012


We went to Pittsburg today to celebrate great neph William's 3rd birthday, even though he insists he's 5.  It finally dawned on us big folks that he has come to this conclusion since his birthday is on the 5th of the month. Big Bore and I gave him what every little wild child needs....a gift card to Chuck E. Cheese.  

After the cake and ice cream, 6-year-old Boomer got on the lap top computer and presented some sort of virtual travel escapade of their recent family trip to Disney World.  Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, we did it all, raising our hands and pretending we were riding roller coasters and log flumes.  "Welcome aboard!  You MAY get wet!" Boomer warned me.  His dad said he could have saved a whole heckva lot of money if they'd just stayed home and gotten on YouTube.
After the ice cream and cake had time to settle, we jumped in the pool. Maddie and Boomer did crazy leaps from the diving board; he scared the liver out of me the first time he did a forward flip.  The kid is fearless,while Will stayed on the deck and was content to walk through his new Sponge Bob Square Pants sprinkler.  I spent most of my water time lollygaggling on a noodle float and trying to avoid Maddie pouring ice cold water on top of my head....again and again.

By the time we got out of the pool, I felt like a nice, long nap was in order...but we had to boogie on home.  Thankfully, Big Bore handled the driving duties because I was all partied out.  Maddie has the next birthday...but it's not until October, so I should be rested up by then.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012


A rainless cool front moved in overnight, evidenced by my hammock pillow that had blown off onto the porch floor, a turned-over plastic pot of coleus by the driveway, and (scream! gasp! cower!) the invasion of the pod people in the backyard! Oh, no!!!!

I love flowering trees...but there is a big drawback to having them.  PODS!  The golden rain tree has been shedding them like crazy for a month or so. They are about the size of a ping pong ball, a little smaller, and they have a single seed inside.  The mimosa pods are long and slender, like a flat pea pod.  They are not as plentiful as the golden rain tree pods, for which I am most grateful. 

So,  this morning when I went to the backyard to water our flowers, I was greeted with a procession of pods all over the lawn and patio. Now, I suppose some people just turn a blind eye to a pod proliferation, but not The Flaming Bore.  No, no.  Every pod must be picked up and disposed of immediately. It's company policy. I try to make a game of it and pretend that I am ridding the world of the evil pod people. Remember them?  These deadly imposters were in the classic thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers...early version starring Kevin McCarthy; later version with Donald Sutherland before he became overshadowed by his snot-nosed acting son, Keifer.  In this movie, creatures from outer space hatch earthling duplicates in life-size pods. Oh, the horror!!

I disposed of my own pods in between moving the hose around the barberry bushes, using the raking and hands-on-knees procedure. They almost filled the designated pod bucket, which will get dumped later today.

Meantime, I plan to recuperate from my pod picking with a big bowl of cereal before returning for round two:  deadheading!!!!! --I betcha Donald Sutherland doesn't have the courage to work in his yard and he just hires a gardener.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I'm proud to announce that I have created a gardening monster.

This morning as Sweet Neighbor Girl and I were walking into the public library, I bent over to pick out a weed I'd spotted near the sidewalk, and that got her going.

"Oh, that reminds me," she started.  "The other day I was at the pool, and there are some pink flowers growing there, and they really needed deadheading badly, and it was just driving me crazy, so I decided to go over and start deadheading them because I couldn't keep my hands off them, and my friend asked me, 'What are you doing?' and I said, 'I'm deadheading. What do you think I'm doing?'  (Time out to take a breath.) It seems like wherever I go, if I see flowers that need deadheaded, I want to go over and do it right then and there."

I didn't bother explaining to her that it's a some obsessive/compulsive disorder. I go through the deadheading motions every day, sometimes several times a day, during the growing season and then suffer from withdrawal symptoms over the winter.

I haven't yet told SNG about the joys of collecting seeds from some of the deadheads, but tonight I "harvested" some hardy hibiscus pods and hollyhock pods and next time she comes over and asks, "Whatcha wanna do?", we're going to do some serious seed picking.