Thursday, May 31, 2012


Ever since our beautiful blue spruce tree succumbed to the heat and a fungus last summer, I've had the idea that our bottle tree needs a companion piece of folk art--and now we have it!  I am proud to unveil my latest ridiculous project, showing some of our favorite places to visit. It's a one-of-a-kind piece of work, for sure!

This masterpiece was a joint creation.  Big Bore sawed up the boards from recycled scraps.  I slapped on the paint.  And Sweet Neighbor Girl assisted with the final construction, handing BB signs and screws while I stood back and directed placement.  

"Oh, it's just as I envisioned!" I proudly announced. 

Now, all it needs is some weathering so it will go from looking crappy to REALLY crappy!  A stuffed crow might also look nice on the top sign.  If you have any great ideas, send them my way.

Viva la art!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This morning's local newspaper got me ALL excited because within its pages was the first clue to the annual Eureka Days Medallion Hunt.  It's based on the scavenger hunt principle: the clue in the newspaper would lead to the first stop, where another clue would be found, and so forth.  The person who found the special medallion would win $100.00.  Bring it on, baby!

The first clue was easy if you've lived around here long enough.  It described the "Eureka, I Have Found It" monument at what is not-so-lovingly known as Turd Creek, close to downtown.  I told Big Bore I'd check it out after I tended to the Garden Club's Main Street Garden.  I wanted to get in some serious deadheading first, for some reason. 

So, I walked downtown and here's where it all gets interesting.  When I was checking on my precious babies at the garden, what do I spot but one of the Medallion Hunt clues printed on a brick that was placed amid the sedum and hibiscus. How crazy is that?  I wouldn't even have to go to the starting point. And depending on where this garden clue stood in the configuration of things, maybe I'd be lucky enough to skip over some other scavenger hunt clues.

This clue was no problem.  Something about a mound that is "Poplar" with ants and worms.  Well, that had to be the city dirt pile on Poplar Street next to a creek. I walked home, jumped in the car, and voila!  There was the brick. Easy as pie. The clue here said:  "I once served you in duty, but now I only serve on special occasions."  Ah! This must be the veterans' monument downtown. This is the scene of the local Veterans Day observation each November.  

I just knew the clue would be here, but, alas, no brick. I probably spent a good 10 minutes looking around...even on hands and knees. Nothing. I drove to the VFW building. Members served in the military and now serve as the color guard at parades. It's not really city property, but maybe the clue would be by the curb. Zip. Do we have a war memorial at the cemetery?  I don't think so, but I'll go check. Nothing promising there. Rats. I had hit the dreaded scavenger hunt wall.  

So, I decided to go home and get lunch and think about it and get some ideas from the resident master of logic.  Big Bore tossed out a few possibilities that I instantly rejected.  "It's gotta have something to do with war veterans," I insisted.  

After lunch I started working on a craft project, still perplexed with where to head next with the clue. I was totally without any ideas.  BB was nearby, piddling with some herbs, and continuing to think, as well.

"What about the old racetrack building or the Matt Samuels building?" he suggested.

Ding-ding-ding.  "That's it!" I shouted.  "It's nothing about the military!  Matt Samuels served as sheriff and the building named after him is used for special events!  You're a genius!"

I dashed off to the car once again.  When I arrived, two other people were there, one with a metal with a dog.  The metal man said two gals had been there earlier and gave up, but I was not to be deterred.  I walked around the building.  No brick there, so I decided to stroll down the parking lot and look around the Matt Samuels sign.  There, inside the metal fixtures, I saw something gold but I couldn't budge it. I tried one more time and out it popped...the winning medallion!!  Hooray!!

I got home, dashed out of the car, ran up to my inspiration, and said, "Would you like to split $100.00?"  Does a pig roll in slop?  Of course, he would.  

So, that's how I managed to pick up a semi-quick C-note today...and I didn't even have to deal with all the clues, thanks to my decision to work at the downtown garden before going to Turd Creek. Thank-you, God, Big Bore, and the the lucky garden.  Who would have thought deadheading could be so fortuitous?

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I enjoy receiving family pictures like this one of great nephs Boomer and William and their big sis Maddie getting ready to make mud pies yesterday because it gives me faith that they are carrying on my tradition of being a 3rd degree sloppy mess.

Mama Bore will tell you--of her five kids, I was the #1 slob.  I was the one fishing for tadpoles out in the ditch south of our house--with my hands, or constructing dams by the street curbs after a delicious rainfall, or riding my bike at full speed through puddles.  She once refused to buy me some coveted white jeans because "'ll get them dirty just looking at them."  No argument there.

Whoever coined the phrase, "Cleanliness is next to godliness" may have had a spiffy wardrobe--but sure missed out on a lot of fun. I'm glad Boomer, Maddie, and Will's parents are willing to go with the flow--of mud-- and let the good ol' dirty times roll.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


School may be out but, God bless 'em, the local driver education teachers are out in full force--trying to make safe drivers out of teens who are foaming at the bit to get the car keys. Yesterday one Student Driver was "stuck" at an intersection in the next block, trying to make a turn. I know the feeling well, so I didn't investigate the matter in my own car and just headed in a different direction.  No sense joining the fray and adding to the tension, humiliation, and danger.

I've been reading a biography about the post-Presidential years of Dwight Eisenhower, written by his grandson David.  When Ike left the White House in 1961 and returned to public life, he discovered that he suddenly was in need of a driver's license. For the previous twenty years, as an Army general and U.S. President, he'd relied on chauffeurs and had no need to drive himself. Now, he found that his key to independence in private life would be to get his driver's license.

"He approached the study of traffic safety brochures with the same grim determination he had used" studying war tactics.  The written test was a snap, but the family was concerned about his actual road test.  Of course, the state of Pennsylvania wasn't going to deny him a license, no matter how poorly he executed turns and parallel parking.  This was the former President and a 5-Star General, for gosh sake. But young David made certain to avoid being his passenger unless the speed limit was 25 miles per hour or under.

"It was a moment of terror" for the Eisenhower family when Ike got his license, according to David.  "Granddad took corners sharply, and the squeal of rubber against concrete and gravel roads never ceased to surprise him or unsettle me....every lurch elicited a faint 'damnation,' and every other driver on the road was evaluated" according to the former President's standards.

Alas, when it comes to driving a car, we're all in the same boat.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I attended my great nephew Bo's high school graduation at Pittsburg yesterday.  He was one of 159 tasseled Purple Dragons, ready to take on the world.  Plus, I might brag, he also earned a nurse's aid certification (CNA) in his spare time this past spring.

What was most interesting at his school's commencement ceremony was who/what got the biggest round of applause. It was not the Alum of the Year. Not the class president or class speakers. Not any of the sports teams with winning records. Nope. It was the glee club. Oh, be still my Gleek-ing heart!

The singers (called Encore--every glee club has to have a special name, you know) performed a Negro spiritual called "Ain't Got Time to Die" that was, well, to die for.  It was like something out of the movie O, Brother, Where Art Thou?, and the soloist--some short, chunk of a black kid named Rico--had the voice of an angel. These kids made American Idol sound like a rank amateur show by comparison.  By the time they finished singing, a spontaneous standing ovation filled the gym--and I bet I wasn't the only person in the audience who wiped away some tears. And who got the biggest round of applause upon picking up his diploma?  Rico, of course.  

Chalk up one for all the nerds who make "a joyful noise unto the world."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Heard during our bike ride last night:

"Let's take the streets east.  They aren't as bumpy."

"That catalpa tree smells great!  Let's stop and inhale."

"Sure lots of wildflowers in bloom."

"I want to stop at Dollar General and get some Peanut Butter Capt. Crunch."  (Big Bore usually has some ulterior motive on bike rides that either involve food or horseshoes.)

As soon as we got home from the ride, the doorbell rang and a forlorn Sweet Neighbor Girl was there wearing her "begging face."

"Would you like to play some catch?" she asked, glove and ball in her hands.  I could tell by her facial expression that she had been trying to find someone under 62 to play with her but hadn't had any luck.

"Sure...based on two conditions.  I have a 30-minute time limit and you don't laugh at my white, hairy legs.  Deal?"


We made a game out of seeing how many times we could exchange the ball before one of us dropped it, then we started over again.  I used her big sister's George Brett glove and wondered if she even knows who George Brett is.  I spared her all the Kansas City Royals sagas I experienced with Dr. Maureen back when we were baseball groupies a lifetime ago.

"Curfew time!" Big Bore announced when my half-hour was up. Not a moment too soon. I had a very important date scheduled:  "Glee."

The show ran for two hours since it was the grand nationals.  Oh, I was so gleeful---especially since the kids sang selections by Meatloaf and Queen!  By the end of the show, Big Bore and I had tears streaming down our faces.  Nothing like a few tunes to stir the emotional beast within us.  

What was left of the night was spent reading and riding the exercise bike. Ho-hum. Midnight approaches.

No glass slippers to worry about around here.  The few fancy clothes I own have long since been packed away.   

Monday, May 14, 2012


There was a blurb on TV this morning about the current most popular baby names, which got me to thinking that NO ONE names little girls my name, Nancy, anymore. Alas, it is a name of the past.  A has-been. Trite. Gone with the wind. Vanishing. Extinct.

So, in order to continue avoiding housework, I got on a computer website to research my name and to find out its history of popularity.  

Nancy first appeared on the Top 20 list in 1931, landing at #17.  It broke into the Top 10 just three years later and remained there until 1956, when it slipped back to #11.  By 1963, it wasn't even in the Top 20.  "Cuter" names took over, like Lisa and Jennifer.  Nowadays, it's rare to find any breathing Nancy under age 50.  We're an ancient breed.  

But I still like my name, and I especially like my middle name, Elizabeth.  Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth Taylor.  What royal company.  Nancy Elizabeth the First.

I checked another website to learn that there are 1,049,024 Nancys in the United States today, 99.9 percent of them females. That leaves a few male Nancys out there who are either being mercilessly teased or who are transgender.  Who knows.

I've decided that the rest of today I am going to go forth and embrace my "inner Nancy."  No housework allowed.   

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Leave it to my dear 88-year-old mother to be on the cutting edge of current events.  Here's what was on her mind when I called her tonight to wish her an early Happy Mother's Day:

"What do you think of that woman on the cover of TIME magazine who was nursing her kid who's almost 4-years old?" she asked me.

In spite of having macular degeneration and being half blind, Mama Bore has selective eyesight. If it's something big in the news or on "Dancing with the Stars," she can see it 10 times over.

"Well, since I've never had kids I'm not really qualified to comment of the breastfeeding issue, but I did think the photographer sensationalized the photo content," I said.  (I feel I can air on opinion on this aspect since I once taught photography.)  "What do you think?  You breastfed five kids."

"Yes, and I COULDN'T WAIT to wean every single one of you!" she said.  "I nursed from 6 to 9 months with you kids.  Who would want to do it for four years?  She's crazy!"

"To each her own," I said, "but I kinda feel sorry for the kid because later in life when he's in school he's going to get teased big time about that cover picture...unless he's home-schooled, of course."

"Well, I saw them on 'The Today Show' and he was clinging on to his mother.  I sure didn't want you kids clinging on to me."

"Yeah, like we just raised ourselves."  Although I have to admit, one of my favorite smart-ass remarks when growing up was:  "I can do it MYSELF!"

I'm not going to get in a big snit about the TIME magazine cover gal and her left boob.  She says she'll let her son decide when he's ready to be weaned.  I just hope she doesn't use that same theory with every aspect of child rearing and allows him to make ALL his decisions. I've seen three-year-old pedaling maniacs who think they are ready to race their Hot Wheels out in the street, but that doesn't mean they should.

Friday, May 11, 2012


On most Fridays Big Bore and I make our rounds taking trash to the local recycle center and garden clippings to the designated dump.  And on most Fridays I go ballistic because people either can't read, or are too lazy to read, or just think they are above and beyond the rules.

The recycle bins are clearly marked as to what goes LARGE print. What don't some people understand? Cans do not go in the bin that's designated for clear plastic, folks. Neither do dog food sacks. Clear bottles don't belong in the colored bottle container. And boxes....see the signs that say "Please break down boxes"???  Do it, already, and quit just tossing them in their boxy form.  Yes, it does take a few of your precious extra seconds.  Are you so important that you can't do as requested? 

Then it's on to the dumping grounds for grass and tree limbs disposal. Signs specifically state NOT to dump trash along with your yard refuse.  But oh, no, some dimwits just push out all their paper and plastic with their lawn clippings.  Let someone else deal with the mess.

These disrespectful rule breakers totally hack me off, and if I ever catch one of them in action you can bet that I will kindly advise the Neanderthal to READ THE SIGNS while I silently add STUPID to my request. 

There, I said it.  I feel ever so much better.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012


 Just when I thought pop star Christina Aguilera was finally using some common fashion sense on "The Voice" and covering up her bulging  breasticles on the show's grand finale, she stands up...and yikes!  "Get a mirror and sit back down behind your desk!  Those sparkly hot pants don't look so hot on you!"

"Gee! What's happened to Christina?  She's not petite anymore," commented Big Bore, who hasn't been petite, himself, since the day he was born.

"You're remembering her from the 'Lady Marmalade' days.  That's been over 10 years and one pregnancy ago.  She's over 30.  Spread happens," I explain.

And when gravity starts ravaging our aging bodies, most of us decide to start covering up a little bit more.  But not Christina.  She is embracing her fallen butt cheeks and making a point to display them all over our television sets in prime time.  So, instead of viewers focusing on the new Voice champion--what are we forced to see but Christina's saggy hiney.  Ewwww!

Girlfriend, you need to fire your stylist and hire a brain.  This show is supposed to be about finding the next singing sensation, not about you making an ass of yourself.  Show more class and less flesh, please and thank-you.

The end.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Last night during the prom episode of "Glee," once again the doorbell rang and this time there were three, count 'em, three giggling visitors--Trouble #1, Sweet Neighbor Girl, and Hannah #1, not to be confused with the older Hannah #2, aka:  Cat Girl.

The kids were here for Show and Tell--with the most novel of all novelties, a whoopie cushion.  And since Big Bore was in the kitchen washing dishes, they had time to plant said cushion under the throw blanket on his easy chair and watch the fun when he sat down.  Oh, boy!  Was this going to be great!

"Come on back to the living room when you get finished, Jeff.  The kids have something to show you," I said to the Chief Bottle Washer.  They were about ready to pop a vein or two with the anticipation.

Well, he finally joined us, but he immediately knew something was up--since the kids' facial expressions gave them away.  Plus they were quiet for a change.  He checked his chair and knew what was going to happen, but he played along and sat down anyway and---nothing!  What a disappointment!

So the kids grabbed the whoopie cushion and made sure it worked, and worked, and worked again--everything from little pippy squeaks to room-shaking blow-outs.  And I have to admit, it was hilarious. Laughter is, indeed, contagious.

But one can only take so much of a whoopie cushion and the "Glee" prom was reaching full steam on TV, so I showed the kids the exit.

"Time for you little stinkers to go make whoopie somewhere else!"  More giggling and out they went.

Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was never like this one.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012



Trouble #1 is at the door.

"Hey, what's going on?" I ask.

"Nancy, may I borrow your markers?"

"What do you say?"


"Okay, come on in.  You know where they are."

He goes into the computer/exercise/book room and takes the box of markers off the desk top.

"What are you coloring?" I ask.

"Well, it's sort of like a tablecloth.  Bye."

A table cloth?  Usually it's dinosaurs or super hero coloring pages.

"What do you say?" I ask as he walks on past me and out the door.


"See you later, alligator."

"After while, crocodile," he says as he toodles on down the steps.

I can only hope that the "tablecloth" that got all marked up was just some artsy-craftsy placemat set to give to his mom on Mother's Day and wasn't some fine Irish linen from the family heirloom department.  I don't even want to know.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Until this afternoon I probably hadn't shoved on a softball glove for a few decades, but Sweet Neighbor Girl was desperate for a catching partner so I got the nod.  She had her first practice of the season scheduled later in the day, and she didn't want to look like a total loser.  So, on went the glove.  Ah...just like riding a bike. You never lose the touch.

"Don't throw me any grounders," I instructed my partner.  "If I have to bend down, I may never make it back up."  

Actually, the aching back managed to endure the workout pretty well, and my long-lost catching and throwing skills weren't too far off the mark.

"Gee, Nancy, you're good!" Sweet Neighbor Girl said, surprised that I could snag one of her errant throws. "Did you play ball when you were a kid?"

"Yeah.  I was a catcher and an outfielder."  I spared her the bloody details of breaking a tooth when I interfered with the swing of a bat during one fateful recess at Mound School.  That accident pretty much ended the catcher assignment, and thus began a long and not-so-illustrious career chasing balls in the outfield.  

Anyway, we threw and threw and threw this afternoon until we both sweat off about five pounds and then hit the showers. Hopefully Sweet Neighbor Girl did a stellar job at her team practice and didn't have to say, "Oops!" too many times.  

 Do you get the impression that I will do just about anything to avoid housework?  

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Make up your own caption.......

Friday, May 4, 2012


Okay, so it's a dive bar and one can't expect the bathrooms to be perfection.  It had indoor plumbing, so in that regard I was happy.  

When nature did a big shout-out to me Wednesday night (see previous blog), I had no trouble finding the ladies restroom even though there was no sign marking its location--mainly because women kept coming and going like flies to this one particular door in the back room where our group was seated at the Senior Citizens' Table, away from the younger, hipper crowd.  Up two steps and in.  I was only drinking water and could handle it.

But once I was inside, I couldn't find a light switch.  Where the heck was it?  I groped around on the wall and grimey door frame.  Suddenly the lights came on magically all by themselves.  How'd that happen? Automatic.  How impressively amazing for such an amazingly unimpressive joint.  

Next challenge, locking the door.  Press in the knob?  No.  Latch?  None.  Automatic?  I don't think so.  Since the room wasn't exactly palatial-sized, I could use my left hand to keep the door shut and use my right hand to hold my pants out of the line of fire because there was NO WAY I was actually going to be so bold as to sit down on the toilet rim from hell. "Careful now. You're miles from home and didn't bring a change of clothes."  If someone broke through my hold on the door, those left at the Senior Citizens' Table were going to view a moon shot like none other.  Could the guys handle that?  Probably not.

Lucky for me there was toilet paper nearby and the toilet flushed without overflowing. Had I dribbled on my capri pants? I don't think so. Mission accomplished! When I got back to the Senior Citizens' Table, I kept my mouth shut about the facilities--people were still eating--until my pal Mary later went to the restroom and came back to the table laughing.  "Well, that was an experience!" 

Of course, I knew what she was talking about, but the guys didn't, so they made a point to check out the men's restroom to see if it was any bigger and better.  The verdict:  this was an equal opportunity bar.  Next time, if there IS a next time, this old gal is just going to wear Depends.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Last night I enjoyed a fun little get together with three longtime pals, Conlee, Mary, and Eldon--FHS Class of 1967.  Two still live in the old hometown, and the other was back from Michigan for a few days.  We ended up at a dive bar near the town was a western wear store when we were kids.  My how time changes the town's commercial scene.    

Like all reunions of this sort, large or small, conversation encompasses a little bit of everything--childhood paper routes, school pranks, college days, all the way up to the present time and who is doing what. There were bundles of laughs all around (including my impersonations of a certain girls phys. ed teacher) until one of the guys broke the levity by saying, "Did you hear that Larry's in a coma?"

Larry is Eldon's cousin and also a classmate.  He's a doctor who lives in Washington.

Mary and I gasped.  "Larry's in a coma?!" I repeated.  "When did that happen?  What caused it?"

"No!" Eldon laughed.  "I said Larry's in Tacoma!  The city!" 

"Oh, thank god!  I thought you said he was in a coma!" Mary chimed in that she'd heard the same as I had.  

So, of course, the guys thought our mistaken hearing was hilarious, and the rest of the night was one big coma joke after the next.  At one point Conlee's wife Roxi called from Michigan, and he told her, "If you get an email from Nancy telling you that I'm in a coma, don't believe a word she says."  

Mary and I contend that we are NOT hard of hearing.  It was just noisy in the joint, and our jumbling of the  message was understandable---well, mis-understandable, actually.  

Tomorrow:  adventures of going to the bar restroom  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Opening up AOL this morning, what pops up but this scary picture!  Yikes!  This is what a 40-year-old fake baker addict looks like!  She was arrested for allegedly endangering her five-year-old daughter by taking her to a tanning salon.  This roasted piece of shoe leather is beyond help, but hopefully her child can remain a paleface until she's old enough to make an informed decision.  

When I was a nubile teenager, I had the misconception that I needed to have the bronze look that only Coppertone could give.  Except the tanning cream didn't work for my pale skin, so I joined the bandwagon with my girlfriends and rubbed in liquid Crisco.  What were we thinking?  That looking like Southern fried chicken would be appealing? 

Fortunately, that fad didn't last long--but I've ended up with freckles and speckles that I'd just as soon not have in my old age, all because I worshiped the sun without protection.  Come to think of it, I doubt we even HAD sunscreen products back when I was a teen. --Nor, thankfully, did we have tanning salons.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Our little burg is getting SO with it.  Not only did I attend a Fashion Show/Salad Luncheon benefit over the weekend, but last night was the BEST of all:  a May Basket-making party at the greenhouse!!! Oh, be still my excited heart!

Sweet Neighbor Girl and I had been foaming at the bit about this astute occasion for several days, already having colored our Part A templates I'd picked up last week at the greenhouse.  And when Trouble #1 heard all about it, he wanted to go, too, so I whipped him up a template, he colored it, got permission to join the fray, and away we went.

Everyone manning the work stations happened to be former students of mine, so that was fun and I tried to be the most needy May Basket maker ever. This design is not my usual May Basket, but I liked it.  The only thing I will do differently next time is NOT to select green for my paper tissue flower. This one looks like a lime head of lettuce!  

After we got our May Baskets made, we had cookies and punch, Sweet Neighbor Girl and I picked out a REAL basket with REAL petunias to take home to her mom, while Trouble #1 talked with the greenhouse parrot and picked out what he wants for his birthday. Excitement for all.  Today I'll be distributing the type of May Basket I learned how to make in first grade...filled with candy, not heads of lettuce.

May every May 1st be filled with May Baskets!!!