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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Meet my Twin F***ing Sister



Pat (left), Pam (right), 6 years old, 1961

This is the story of adorable little twin girls, born many moons ago, on October 11th. One was named Patricia Ann (moi), and one was named Pamela Jean. In fact, we were born on our brother, Bob's birthday. He's been mad at us every since. He was only 2 years old at the time. Imagine how he felt receiving a baby sister as a birthday gift? Scratch that. TWO baby sisters? And you know how the new baby gets all that attention. Could you imagine the attention that twins drew? Especially over 50 years ago? My, my, we were almost like a circus attraction.

I don't have our baby picture to show you. It is packed away. But I must have always been the one on the left (as you look at the photo). In the baby picture, I am grinning like an idiot, and Pam's eyes are as wide as saucers. As my mother described it, we were both crying and the photographer started making goofy faces. I adored him, being that he was a man, and Pam had the expression on her face as if to say, "WTF?" Nothing has changed folks, nothing has changed.

By the time Pam and I were born, my mom had had 4 live births. Ann 12, Mickey, 8, Linda, 3 1/2, and Bobby 2. When my mother was pregnant with us, she knew she was having twins. She was experienced enough! She told the doctor that she was carrying twins. She said that she felt two heads (oh no - a monster!), two butts (whew!), and many limbs. The doctor only heard one strong heart beat. There was only one conclusion - my mother was wrong, and we were one big, healthy boy. You see, our heartbeats were synchronized. But to satisfy my mother, the doctor ordered x-rays. Yes, you read that right. They didn't have ultra-sounds back in the day. So now you know why I am a little lu-lu. Because my parents didn't have a phone, my Dad had to walk to the corner drugstore to call the doctor and get the results. Bingo! Two babies in dat der womb!

I came out head first, weighing in at a little over 6 pounds. Pam was breech, but luckily I opened up the way for her, so there wasn't any complications. The way I look at it, she owes me big time. But as you read on, you'll see that she's been saving my lily white ass all my life.

Pam weighed a little over 5 pounds, but lost a few ounces to drop her under the hospital's regulation weight for bringing a baby home. So Pam had to stay in the hospital for a few days in the incubator (like a baby chick) till she gained the weight. Mom brought me home alone. It was a hard day for her.

For awhile my sister and I slept in the same crib, and drew comfort from each other. As we grew, my mother had to get another crib. My mom told me that I usually did things first, like crawling and walking. Pam would watch me, and then within a few days she would follow suit. Feeding times were interesting. We'd both cry, but Mom would feed Pam first because, according to Mom, I would wait patiently. This truly fits our personality. Pam is full of piss and vinegar. I'm more complacent.

Mom said that Pam and I had our own language. We'd talk amongst ourselves and nobody else could understand us.

Pam was always skinny growing up and I was always regular. I would absolutely HATE when people would say to me, "Are you eating your sister's food?" I never had a weight problem growing up. In fact, I had a pretty good shape.



Pat (left), Pam (right), 5 years old, 1960


Although Pam was small in size, she was a tiger. I remember one time, maybe we were in 6th grade, we went to a nearby park. A heavy set girl wanted to beat the crap out of me because her boyfriend had whistled at me when I had walked down the block. Now, I had not flaunted anything, believe me. I was wearing a red/white checkered button down shirt and white shorts. Why do I remember what I was wearing? Because the bully girl made fun of my shirt! I was pretty scared because I was, and still am, a wuss. But there was my skinny twin sister, who jumped off the swing, and was in the fat girl's face yelling at her and telling her to leave me alone! I was in awe! I guess half the battle is not showing you are scared! The girl left the park, and we went home. I didn't leave the house for two weeks because I feared she'd find me and beat me up if Pam wasn't around to protect me!

FAST FORWARD ABOUT 15 YEARS

Pam and I were out and about and she needed cigarettes. She told me to pull into the nearby gas station. I was driving a sporty Camero, and it was a beautiful summer day. We had the windows rolled all the way down. Pam ran in, bought her cigarettes, and jumped back into the car. I pulled to the edge of the driveway and looked both ways on the busy street. I saw a car coming on my left in the distance, but I figured that if I pulled out slow, and stayed in my lane, that it would be okay. So that's what I did. Well, I must have scared the bejesus out of the older gentleman who was driving in the left lane. He swerved his car way over into the other lane. It TOTALLY wasn't necessary, but hey, what can I say? The old guy started swearing at me, calling me every name in the book.

I said, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

Here's my twin sister: "FUCK YOU! She stayed in her lane! FUCK YOU!"

And there, my friends, is the difference between my twin and me!

BUT, she had my back, didn't she?

A FEW YEARS LATER

My first marriage ended messily with husband cheating on me with whore young chicky babe. My twin went to said whore's house, to confront her, and possible beat some sense into her, if needed. (Although at that time my sister probably really felt that I was the one that needed the sense beaten into me for considering WANTING my cheating husband back!)Luckily for young chicky babe - she wasn't home. Either that or she was hiding behind the curtain shaking like a leaf, refusing to answer the door. Smart cookie. A slut, but smart.

PRESENT DAY

Pam's tamed down quite a bit. I mean, she hasn't beaten anybody up or anything. Her words are pretty powerful, and you wouldn't want to get on her bad side. But she is loyal till the end, love's her family, and will defend them ferociosly. And I should know. She's had my back since we were in the womb together.


Another quirk of hers is her tendency to put the "f" word inbetween words or syllables like "Happy F***ing Birthday", or La-dee-F**ing-dah, or absof**ckingtootly. You get the idea. She just cracks me up.

Pam has a heart of gold and has been known to give her last couple of bucks in her pocket to beggars on the street. The rest of us in the family will say, "Pam - you don't have any money for the rest of the week! Why did you give it away?" and she'd reply, "Oh - they looked like they needed it more than me."

One time while pulling up to the drive through window at KFC, a homeless person came up to her car window and asked if she'd buy him something to eat. She thought, "Oh, what the heck!" and ordered him some food. How many of us would do that?

So without further ado, here's my twin f**ing sister! Mwaah! Love you Pami!





We switched it up a bit. Pam's on the left, Pat's on the right, 54 years old, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Traditions


photo courtesy of Food Network

Happy Thanksgiving to one an all! It's a wonderful time to gather with family and friends, eat good food, and be thankful for everything we have surrounding us.

I was feeling a little melancholy last night as I stirred my 5 minute fudge. It has been our family tradition for as long as I can remember - that I bring the fudge. I always made two batches - one with nuts - and one plain. The trick is to actually cook it less than 5 minutes. Somewhere between 4 minutes and 4 1/2 minutes. Then the fudge comes out smooth and you can just pour it into a pan. Other times it comes out thick and you have to scoop it into the pan. In either case, it still tastes delicious. I don't know where this recipe originated from, but I know we've been making it in our family for years and years. One year I brought it up to Minnesota with us for the holidays. I told my sister-in-law about the fudge. She said, "Get real, Pat! It's on the back of the Marshmallow Fluff jar!" I was heart broken! But then I compared the recipes and I saw that there were slight variations so I didn't feel so bad.

So I made the fudge, because it is tradition, but I won't be spending the holiday with my family. Usually Jim and I are on the road for Thanksgiving, making our way down to AZ for the winter. So it would be just the two of us for the holiday. I'd cook a couple of Cornish hens for dinner, or roast a chicken. But this year we came to AZ early, and there is a large group of us (almost 30) celebrating the holiday together. They aren't my family by blood, but they are a good group of friends and that's the next best thing.

Another tradition we had at home was S-O-S cookies. That's what we called them. My mom made them in shapes of S's and O's. They are an Italian cookie with icing on them. Out of us six kids, three liked the O's, and three liked the S's. Then it was 4-2 in favor of the O's. Why such a big deal when they are the same cookie? The secret is in the center of the "O" - it's nice and soft because it doesn't get exposed to the heat like all the sides of the "S's". The year before my mother died, my sister's and I gathered at my other sister's house. I call her Linda Martha Stewart. She knows everything from cooking to fixing things - and she can do it all. Anyway, we were all going to make the SOS cookies. My mom was rolling the dough flipping the O's into the air and putting them on the cookie sheet like an expert. My twin sister and I felt like we were in kindergarten. Our O's were large and misshapen. It took us so long to fill one cookie sheet TOGETHER; meanwhile my mom was starting her second sheet in no time! We had such a great time, and made over 200 cookies! Although Mom is gone, Linda carries on the tradition and makes the SOS cookies, albeit only the O's, for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This traveling life that Jim and I are living is great, but there are some things that are sorely missed. I don't have any Christmas decorations with us because a) there is absolutely NO room to store them and b) we always fly home for Christmas. But I miss my Christmas decorations. Does that sound crazy? I have wooden mittens and a Santa sleigh that my Dad made for me (he died in 1995). Dad also cut out little pieces of wood and wrapped each piece up with Christmas wrap so they look like little presents and filled the sleigh. He did this for all six kids. Yeah. He loved Christmas. Every year he took a picture of his Christmas tree and nativity set. Every year it looked the same (the tree was artificial), but he did it just the same.

I bought ornaments for my kids each year that would represent something of that year, like if they played a sport, or when my daughter was in girl scouts, etc. Each year when I decorated the tree, I'd bawl my eyes out when I'd hang the ornaments. "Oh look, baby's first Christmas!" Sob! When we decided to hit the road, I separated the ornaments - wrapped up all of my daughter's and put them in a box, then wrapped up all my son's and put his in a box. It broke my heart but I handed them over to each of them. I figured they should have them on THEIR tree now, instead of being in storage. Besides, they are all grown up. The first year my daughter got the ornaments, she called me up and said, "Okay, Mom, I'm hanging the "Baby's First Christmas" ornament right now," so I could cry!

During my first marriage we had a flood in our basement and it ruined a lot of our Christmas decorations. I had to throw so many of them out. My mom gave me some old ornaments that they had - they were those really large red glass balls, still in the original cardboard box, with a sticker on the side with the price of .19! Every year I'd hang these large balls on the tree with love, thinking in my head how my parents hung these on their first Christmas tree, had these in their first house, had these before they even had kids. For YEARS I played these images over in my mind. Then one year I mentioned to my mother, "So, Mom, remember those big, red, ball ornaments you gave to me when my basement flooded and I didn't have much money to buy anything new?"

She vaguely remembered.

"So, you had these in your first house? These were from your first Christmas tree?" I asked, all excited.

"Are you kidding? Those were from Aunt Sue! I HATED those things! I thought they were too gaudy. We never used them!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Watery Wednesday




We were staying in an RV park in Carlsbad, NM last year and visited this beautiful park along the Lower Tonsill Lake. These ducks or geese, I don't know exactly which they are, were swimming around all over. I can not identify them. Does anyone know what kind of water fowl they are?





For more Watery Wednesday photos click here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pitiful Patio Sale

PATIO SALE!
7:30 am to 1 pm
Great prices!
9:30 am 25% Sale!
11:00 am 1/2 OFF EVERYTHING!
12:30 pm EVERYTHING MUST GO! MAKE US A DEAL!!!q
1:00 pm WE’LL PAY YOU TO TAKE IT!




The morning of the patio sales, Jim and I rolled out of bed at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m. We showered, shoved cereal down, and were outside before the sun was fully up. There was something wrong with that picture. Although Arizona is quite warm during the winter months, the early mornings and evenings get quite cool because of the desert. So it was chilly, to say the least, in the pre-dawn hours while we moved our precious MUST SELL! items outside. I tried to display the items so as to entice the buyers. The shoes were polished up and splayed out in a circular pattern on the round table (which was also for sale).

The books were displayed so that the titles could be easily read.

This was the first year that the park provided a map with the addresses of all the sites that were having a sale. It was announced at the Thursday morning coffee/donuts to remember to sign up for the sales. Thursday afternoon I went to the activities office to sign up, and it was too late. What the heck? I wasn't even AT the Thursday morning meeting - I was at water aerobics. I guess if you signed up, you were given a balloon and ribbon to hang out to indicate that you were having a sale. Well, me and a gentleman standing next to me, were too late. The guy asked, "Well, can we AT LEAST have a balloon?"

The lady replied, "Oh, I don't know."

Seriously? She had to ask another person if it was okay to give out the freakin' balloons. Gimme a break. She got the go ahead, and we got our precious balloons. And guess what? The morning of the sale when Jim tried to blow up our teeny tiny balloon? It had a damn leak! He had to run out and get a couple of helium filled balloons.

Since my patio sale wasn't listed on the "treasure" map, I was afraid I wouldn't get many people. Luckily there was a sale at the end of the block, so the people visiting that sale walked down to mine.

We had a portable hammock in-a-bag for sale, that we had paid about $60. It's pretty cool. It was on display, and one man was interested in it. He tried it out and really liked it. He asked how much we wanted for it, and I said, "Oh, how about $10?"

He said, "Great! I'll take it!"

Jim showed him how to take it apart and fold it up. After they stored it in the bag and the guy handed me the money he said, "I would have easily paid $20 for this!"

#$#$#%#$##$#!!!

Bottom line - I made $35.47. Why the odd amount? Some old woman couldn't come up with .50 for a book - said she only had .47, .27 being Canadian! I know! I am a sucker! I bagged up the shoes, purses, and a few odds and ends to bring to Goodwill. The books will be donated to the library. But that coffee table is looking good for outside...... and the round table that my friend wanted to sell - we could use outside too........
And so begins the new collection of junk.

By the way, I did go look at the other sales, but only down two streets. I spent $8 of my profit - $5 on a NEW coffee table, about 2/3's the size of the last one, and $3 on a book. I KNOW, I KNOW, I'm supposed to be getting RID of books. But hey - if I got rid of 50 I think I can buy 1 book. That seems fair to me. Besides, I was going to sneak it in the trailer without Jim seeing it.

I wanted to pop the helium balloons and throw them out, but Jim said we should just release them. Before releasing them, I wanted to write on them with marker, "You missed a great sale at site #193!"

Jim cut the balloons loose, and we stood with our arms around each other, watching them take off in the sky.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Free Picture of a Yard Sale. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart Guide.com


I have been busy all day going through our junk to find things to sell at the "patio sales" tomorrow. Since we don't have garages, they are called "Patio" sales.

Our trailer is too cluttered. I told Jim that I want to get rid of the crap that holds our crap. This way we'll have no place to PUT our crap. At least that's the plan. So first I had to sort through a catch-all basket full of papers, cards and what not, before I could put a price tag on said basket. That basket was sitting on a nice wooden magazine rack. I had to sort through all that stuff, before pricing that rack. And so on.

I must have at least 20 pairs of shoes, and I'm not even a shoe fanatic. I'm easily influenced when I go shopping with my friends. The problem is a) I end up wearing the same couple of pairs over and over and b) I have bad feet/ankles so it's really hard to find a pair of shoes that agree with me. I culled through my closet and came up with seven pairs of shoes that I've only worn a couple of times or not at all. One pair I gave to a friend, another pair I decided to keep, and the other five I am going to sell. The majority look brand new.

Next up? My purses. Again, I had a lot of them. Again I wondered why. I am not a purse fanatic, either. Last spring I went shopping with a friend to Goodwill and came back with FOUR purses! I usually carry the same purse through all the seasons. Yeah. I'm not too fashionable! So, I gathered together four purses and a wallet to sell.

When we first hit the road, I brought along AT LEAST 100 paperbacks. But when we are in Arizona, we can use the library, and when we are in Northwestern Illinois I use my friend's library card. So there isn't many months that we are without a library. Why am I carrying all these books around? Well, besides the fact that I absolutely LOVE books. So, I went through all the books, and only kept the ones I really, TRULY, wanted. I bet I have 50 books to sell.

Along with a couple of tables, and other miscellaneous items, I hope everything sells.
We recycle furniture here in the park. One couple bought a new kitchen set and put their old set outside for awhile. Then they decided to buy a new patio set and gave their old kitchen set to another couple. THAT couple had it outside of their house for two years. Now THEY bought a new patio set and just passed that old kitchen set to us to use outside. We have no place to store it, and when we leave here we'll either donate it to Goodwill or someone else can have it. But at least we now have a table to sit at outside.

I hope Jim will sit at our patio sale so I can ride around on my bike and check out the other sales. You know what they say - "One man's junk is another man's treasures." Besides, I have a lot of room now to put some new junk.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do Blonds REALLY Have More Fun?

It is great to be a blond. With low expectations it's very easy to surprise people.
Pamela Anderson (Canadian Model and Actress)


A few months ago I decided to dye my hair blond. I wanted to see if it's true that blonds really DO have more fun. One thing I've noticed. I've become stupider. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone out there. I'm just saying what's happened to ME. Maybe it's the peroxide. Maybe it's because I'm getting older. Or maybe it's just ME. But I'm living up to a LOT of the DUMB BLOND jokes. And I'm not proud of it. No sir, I'm not.

For instance, today I was blow-drying my hair. I noticed that my bangs were doing some funky number and were bent kind of funny. I thought I'd continue drying my hair with one hand, and STICK MY OTHER HAND UNDER RUNNING WATER so I could wet my bangs and start over. I was just about to turn the water on when my guardian angel, who sounded an awful lot like Cher, I might add, yelled, "SNAP OUT OF IT!!" Uh, hello? Water and electricity DO NOT MIX. Oh, yeah, right. I might have looked something like this. If I was lucky.



They say that variety is the spice of life - so I just keep dying my hair a different color. Throughout my marriage I've been a brunette, a redhead, and now a blond. I remember one time coming home after having my hair streaked with blond highlights. My daughter was probably about 10 at the time. When I walked through the front door she took one look at me and said, "Mom! What did you do to your hair!" Then she ran into the family room and yelled, "Dad! Wait till you see how OLD Mom looks!" I wanted to turn right back around and have the hairdresser dye my hair back to brown!

I truthfully don't think Jim really ever notices WHAT I do to my hair. But other people sure do. So many people have commented on my blond hair. "Hello, Blondie!" They'll call out to me. Or, "Well, look who's blond now!" At that point, I'll turn around and say "Who?" See. I'm telling ya. Blond.

You know how I kid around that I'm Jim's trophy wife? But not the "classic" trophy wife. I'm 11 years younger, but not the "Barbie-doll" shaped wife. So I always tell Jim that I'm his trophy wife, but it's too bad that he won fifth place. It came up in conversation the other day that I have moved up a spot BECAUSE I'M BLOND NOW. Who knew it could be so easy? I could sing "Happy Birthday" to Jim in a breathy Marilyn Monroe way, too, and I bet if I wore that same kind of dress standing over an air vent, I'd move up another notch. Then again, showing my granny panties, maybe not.





Here is my all time favorite blond joke:

A blond gets stopped by a blond cop for speeding. The blond cop approaches the car and says, "License and registration, please."

The blond driver is all befuddled. "Officer," she says, looking through her purse, "I don't know what my license looks like."

The officer says, "It's about this big (gesturing with her hands) and has a picture of yourself on it."

The blond driver continues to search through her purse. She pulls out a mirror and sees herself in it. "Oh, here it is!" She exclaims and hands it over to the blond cop.

The blond cop takes the mirror and looks at it and says, "Why didn't you say you were a cop? I wouldn't have stopped you!"



the new me

Monday, November 16, 2009

Now THAT'S Italian!


Italian men playing Bocce in San Giorgio a Cremano, Naples, Italy.Wikipedia

The resort where we are staying for the winter made two new additions to the park this year. One is a pickle ball court (a sport that resembles badminton and tennis. It is played with a hard paddle and a wiffle ball.) The other is a bocce ball court. Since bocce ball originated from ancient games in the Roman Empire, I thought it would be fun to throw an Italian-themed party centered around playing bocce ball.

First, the menu. Hmmmm...Well since we'd be outside, I didn't want to deal with something real messy. So I decided to go with Italian sausage on buns topped off with peppers and onions fried up in olive oil.

My family has always eaten this tomato salad, and I thought that it would be a nice compliment to the meal. It's a combination of cut up tomatoes and onions, add olive oil, salt, and Italian seasoning. Stir. Also, as a nice touch, you could add fresh mozzarella cheese cut up into small pieces.

I asked each of my friends to bring something to make up the antipasto platter: 1/2 lb. of hard salami, 1 lb provolone cheese, I contributed prosciutto and another type of cheese, and I asked another friend to bring olives. I stopped by her place and said, "Okay, I'd like you to buy a small container of gourmet olives. No olives in a jar please. Just go to Safeway and they have a display right in front of the deli where they have all different kinds of olives. Just grab one kind, Italian, preferably, and that's it. Okay?"

You would have thought I asked for the moon by the look on their faces! I saw them later in the day and asked, "Did you get the olives?"

"Did I get the olives?" Larry repeated. "I bought four kinds of frickin' olives! I didn't even know they HAD gourmet olives!"

We had a good laugh over that.

The day of the party arrived. I had already picked up two sets of bocce balls from the activity office. I was a little worried about "claiming" our space. I wasn't worried about the lanes - there were plenty of them - 6 in all. It was the beautiful bar that I wanted. It was first come, first serve. I had heard some grumblings that there was going to be another party that day, but I didn't know the time. Jim and I loaded up the truck with what looked like everything but the kitchen sink and trekked over to the courts, a few short blocks away (still within our resort.)

I was relieved to see that no one was there when we arrived. Yes! We quickly unloaded the truck and I spread our stuff all over the bar. I had brought my IPOD and docking station and turned the music to Andrea Bocelli. The ambiance had arrived!





I skipped the step of making Bruschetta from scratch and just bought the large jar of it from Sam's Club. Have you ever had it from there? It is delicious. I served it on the hard Italian toast that they also sell called Nonni's. That was a huge hit.

Jim and I had played bocce ball once before; everyone else had never played. Jim brushed up on the rules before the party. The women were still chit-chatting, so the men started their own game. Then we wanted to play so Jim gave us a lesson before we started. It sure was a lot of fun. In between we'd go over to the bar and nibble on some hors d'oeuvres.







When the games were finished we filled our plates with the Italian sausage, tomato salad, and anything else left over from the hors d'oeuvres. We sat around the fire pit and talked and laughed.





I brought out the homemade Tiramisu and Smirnoff's Tuscan Lemonade (made with a limoncello) for an after dinner drink. The sun lowered in the sky, turning it to orange, then purple, then black. The stars came out one by one. Finally, we gathered up our chairs,and loaded up all the rest of the things I had brought. The evening ended with me kissing each friend on both cheeks and saying, "Ciao", and calling out "Arrivederci!"

Another great party with my "Arizona" family.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rude Awakening













So you all may or may not know that Jim and I have been on the road and living in this trailer for 4 1/2 years now. Hard to believe, I know. What's even MORE hard to believe, is that our marriage has survived AND that I haven't killed him. YET. But that's another post altogether.

Today I want to talk about pink jobs and blue jobs. No NOT "blow jobs". Get your mind out of the gutter, folks, although, if you think about it, that WOULD be a "pink" job. Anyway, a few years ago we met a couple while camping in the Seattle suburbs. We had just pulled into the site; then Jim was doing his thing putting chocks between the wheels, disconnecting the truck, etc. I stood there next to the trailer waiting for Jim to finish before I could go in and set things up inside. I made some comment to our "neighbor", and the woman said, "Oh, I call those 'pink' jobs and 'blue' jobs. Everything on the outside is a 'blue' job and my husband takes care of that, and I take care of the inside, or 'pink' jobs."

So, ever since then, we've referred to things as "pink" or "blue" jobs. Or I should say, I like to say, "blue" job. Like when it's time to drain the gray water from the shower because the water is up to my ankles. Or the shitty job of emptying the black water tank (you know - the human waste - yuk!) Maybe that should be called the "brown" job.

When things need fixing around the trailer? BLUE job.

Check tires for air? BLUE job.

Change flat tire on trailer? BLUE job.

Wash/wax big honking trailer? BLUE job.

Okay, now before you all start thinking that my husband is working REALLY hard, you've got to realize that those items listed above don't happen too often, except for the emptying of the tanks. So basically, the blue jobs don't occur too often.

Now PINK jobs, on the other hand, are a DAILY occurrence. You know, things like fixing the bed, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, vacuuming, dusting, etc. It's true that Jim helps me with the pink jobs ONCE IN AWHILE. You may recall what I thought about him doing the dishes.

While I believe that there are men out there that are good at house/trailer cleaning, Jim's motto seems to be, "That'll do." I was fixing the bed the other day, and Jim decided to help me. I know he wonders why I even FIX the bed. So, I pull the sheets and blanket tight and straight on my side of the bed, tuck them all under the mattress, and pull the top quilt up to my pillow. Flatten it with my hand, fluff my pillow, stand it on its edge, leaning up against the second pillow that we don't sleep on but use for decoration. I'm hoping Jim will follow my movements. Hah! He makes a stab at straightening the blankest and sheets and then basically just grabs the top quilt, and pulls it up over the mess. He doesn't tuck his covers in. This wouldn't bother me so much except that that whole side of the bed is reflected in the closet mirrors. So you can see the bed sheets hanging any which way from under the quilt.

I said to Jim, "Wait a minute. You were in the service. I thought you guys were supposed to make up your beds so tight that you could bounce a quarter off of it."

Jim said, "I was in the Navy. We slept in bunks. We didn't have to make our beds like this."

Oh. Never mind.

So basically, it's understood between Jim and me that he handles repairs and outside work on the trailer - thus "blue" jobs, and I handle daily care and inside work on the trailer - thus "pink" jobs.

Life was good. Then I met my neighbor.

I've been meaning to go over and introduce myself. I've been wanting to ask her where she bought her patio table. It must be foldable since she has a 5th wheel too. She was sitting outside yesterday when we pulled up from grocery shopping. I hopped out of the truck and told Jim that I was going over there to say hello.

It was a RUDE AWAKENING.

We had a real nice chat. She seems like a wonderful person. Really. But then we got to talking about trailers, etc. She hauls her trailer. It's 40 ft. just like ours. I was pretty impressed. (I drive our truck, but not with the trailer attached.) She went on to say that she does ALL the repairs on the trailer. SAY WHAT?

"Oh, yes. I've repaired the air conditioner. I've climbed underneath this baby and had to work on one of the holding tanks. I've had to......"

I pretty much stopped listening. She had me at "I haul the trailer". I was in awe. I quickly looked over my shoulder to see if Jim was outside and by chance could overhear the conversation. I do NOT want to let this secret out!

She must have seen the look of surprise on my face. I don't know if I actually blurted out, "Why doesn't your husband DO ANYTHING?" or if it was just written on my face.

She said, "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade."

She is woman, hear her roar.

This woman ALSO work camps. Meaning, she works wherever they camp so they either get paid or get their camping for free.

I stood there a moment, then put my arms out in front of me, bent from waist, and said, "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy."

I came back to our trailer and Jim asked, "So, what did our neighbor have to say?"

"Oh, not much."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Idiots Guide to Aging

I ain’t what I used to be, but who the hell is?

Dizzy Dean
1910 — 1974



There should be a book out there for people explaining the things that happen to your body as you grow older. It could be called, "Growing Old for Dummies" or "Idiots Guide to Aging". But in small print on the cover it include the disclaimer, "DANGER. DON'T READ UNLESS YOU ARE OVER 50 YEARS OF AGE." This way, it won't scare our younger generation into possibly NOT WANTING TO TURN OLD.

So, the other day I was applying mascara to my skimpy eyelashes. I do this by holding a mirror below my face, and applying the mascara with the other hand. This is not a pretty angle to view my face. But it's easier to put mascara on. I also get to look right up into my nostrils. Not that I WANT to, mind you, but the view is there for the taking. And guess what I noticed? THREE gray hairs. In the left nostril. Not one. Not two. But three. All of a sudden. Boom. Three. Now what? Do I cut them out? Plucking would be absolute pain. I really don't think anyone else can see the gray hairs unless they stuck their face under my nose. But seriously. Gray nose hair?

And my eyebrows. When did I start losing them? I still grow sparse hairs here and there that need to be plucked, but the general nice arch of hairs? Gone. My brows look more like a forest of trees that a fire when through. What is up with that? So I have to take out the dreaded eyebrow pencil and kind of "shade" where there should be hair. Don't worry, it doesn't look anything like this:



Or this:



And I didn't break down and shave them off and get tattoos like this:



So, yeah, as you get older, you start to lose hair, like on your head, and your eyebrows. But then that valuable hair shows up on other parts of your body where it has no business being. Like in the middle of my forehead. Yeah. I have one gray hair that likes to grow straight out of my forehead like a friggin' unicorn.



Luckily, you can't see it unless the light hits it just so, but when that happens, look out. That hair starts to sparkle like a unicorn horn with magic! Sometimes it goes unnoticed for weeks and then I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror and it's an inch and a half long! Yikes!

Then there's the chin hair. Yes. I've gotten used to it. In fact, the other day I caught myself stroking my chin hair, deep in thought. Some of those hairs are soft and blond, and VERY hard to see. Again, I have to wait until the light is just right and then, horror of horrors, I see my resemblance to a werewolf in the mirror, let out a scream, and grab the tweezers.



Other hairs are those tough, black ones that just spring out of nowhere and suddenly are an inch long. Thank God my ears aren't pointy or I'd really lose it.

I guess I wouldn't be happy unless I was a Mexican hairless chihuahua.




Growing older also means fighting the law of gravity. Everyday. I never knew that's what that song meant when it said, "I fought the law - and the law won." No shit. Everything is going south on me. My arches have fallen, my eyelids are drooping, and can we talk about my boobs? I just heard two jokes that could apply to anyone over the age of 50:

What is the average bra size at a nursing home? 36 LONG


Why can't older women wear mini skirts? Because their nipples would hang out the bottom of the skirt!


I think I've even gotten shorter. Great. Now I'm even MORE overweight.



But you know what Garfield says - "I'm not OVERWEIGHT, I'm just UNDERTALL."





I guess I shouldn't complain about getting older. It's better than the alternative.



Or this one:



That is truly frightening. I guess I'll just learn to grow old gracefully and accept the odd hairs here and there, the sagging boobs, fallen arches, bad eyes, sore hips, etc. I'm grateful that I still have my own teeth. I figure I'm ahead of the game.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Watery Wednesday



Welcome to another installment of Watery Wednesday. This is a small pond that is across from a campsite that we stayed at in Illinois. I named it Tranquility Pond. Funny how just a little bit of water can bring so much peace to a person. I would sit outside my trailer and watch the geese gather at the pond. A great blue heron would grace us with his presence every once in awhile, along with an american bittern. The bullfrogs sang us to sleep with their loud calls for lovers.




Sometimes the sunsets would be spectacular and here's one I captured reflected in the pond.



For more Watery Wednesday shots click here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This just in......News of the Weird

In case you were wondering......the world's largest RUBBER BAND BALL was bought by Ripley's Believe It or Not from Joel Waul and is being moved from his Lauderhill, FLA driveway to a "far-off museum yet-to-be-determined". The 6-foot, 7-inch tall, 9,032-pound rubber ball had to be hauled away using a crane, and set on a large flatbed truck. It was not disclosed how much Waul was paid for his big ball. Start saving your rubber band, folks. What recession? I'm growing me a rubber band ball!





In Jacksonville Beach, Florida, a homeless man, Rodney Bolton, shoplifted a ferret in a pet store, by placing said ferret IN HIS PANTS. When confronted in the parking lot by a 17-year-old witness, Rodney shoved the ferret in the teen's face, and thus, the ferret bit the teen. The confrontation makes the ferret a "special weapon" under Florida law. Okay. Let's just pause here so you can let this all sink in. First of all, what does a homeless man want with a ferret to begin with, unless he's going to EAT it? And if that's the case, why not stick to squirrels or road kill? Secondly, is he nucking futs to put a ferret down his pants? I've heard of gerbils in that general area, but ferrets? And thirdly, ferret's are considered a "special weapon" in Florida? You have GOT to be kidding me. You think somebody's going to walk into a bank holding up a ferret and say, "Ok everybody, hands up. Gimme all yer money!" As if!

A weapon of mass destruction?





Four teens were cited for disorderly conduct in Salt Lake City for rapping in a McDonald's drive through. The teens were imitating a video like this one found on YouTube:



The teens were told that they were holding up the line. Okay,now. Do we think we're carrying this a bit too far? Calling the police in and ticketing the kids for disorderly conduct? If they were that much of a nuisance, I would just tell them I wouldn't wait on them. I don't know. Maybe I'm crazy. I think if they were told that the police were being called, they would have skedaddled.

Can't you all remember that little McDonald's ditty back in 1975:

two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun




You can't tell me that at least ONE person didn't try to sing that while ordering a Big Mac back then. I'm sure THEY didn't get arrested.




Here is a perfect example of life imitating art. Picture a man, James P. Miller, to be exact, driving around on Halloween night wearing his costume. He is dressed like a Breathalyzer test. It probably looks something like this:



I'm sure old Jimmy boy was a big hit at a party and was feeling pretty good. Bet that all changed when the cops stopped him while still wearing the breathalyzer costume. Yeah. Awkward. He "allegedly" (how can it be allegedly when they saw it happen?) drove down a one way street the wrong way (but officer, I was only GOING one way), with no lights on. Police found beer both in his front seat and in the trunk. Poor Jimmy had to blow in a REAL breathalyzer, and it came up almost double the legal blood-alcohol limit. Oops! Yep. Life imitating art.



If you require surgery in the not-too-distant future, let me give you a heads up. Do NOT have it done at the Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, RI. Doctors there had recently finished the 5th wrong-sided surgery since 2007. That bears repeating. Doctors there had recently finished the 5th wrong-sided surgery since 2007. The most recent surgery involved operating on the wrong finger. That's not so bad, you say. Yeah? Three of the surgeries involved brain surgeons. Uh, hello?



After hundreds of thousands of dollars, and at least 14 years of schooling, and it all boils down to this. Robert Fulghum WAS right. He said, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten." These doctors must have been sick the day they learned left from right.




Pee-hew! Does your kid own a pair of shoes that are ready for the garbage? Wait! Don't throw them out! Enter them in the Vermont's Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest and get a chance to win $200! All for your kid being a sweat hog! Contestants must be between the ages of 6 and 15 and have a pair of sneakers that smell really bad. Along with the moola, the winner also gets a basket of Odor Eater products AND the right to represent the state of Vermont in the National Event, which will be held on March 23 in Montpelier, VT. So - don't bathe those little piggies, shove them in those sneakers, and let them run around wild for awhile to earn you some money towards their college fund!





How stupid can someone be? Well, see if you can top this. Twenty-one year old Calvin Hoover, of Salem, Oregon, called police and told the dispatchers that somebody had broken into his truck and took his cash and a small amount of pot he had stashed in there while he was inside the bar. The problem was - the dispatcher couldn't understand him because he was vomiting in the road while he was talking to her. He then redialed 911 to complain that the deputies had not arrived. He was charged with a DUI when the police arrived. I can't make this up.

Remember this anti-drug video from the 80's?



In this kid's case, the eggs should have been scrambled.


Stay tuned for more NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Messy Marvin

Do you remember the "Messy Marvin" commercials from the 1980's? Anything the kid touched, he'd make a mess. Here's a clip to refresh your memory.




Do you ever wondered what happened to Messy Marvin? I married him. No matter what Jim touches, he leaves a mess. He will deny this if you ask him, so don't bother trying. For example, if he decides to get a snack out of the cabinet, 9 times out of 10, he'll leave the cabinet door open. I'll come into the kitchen in the morning and see the cabinet gaping open and think, "Now why didn't he just shut that?" I ESPECIALLY like when he finishes the box of whatever, granola bars, crackers, etc., and leaves the empty box on the kitchen table AND the cabinet open. This frustrates me to no end. Why can't he throw away the empty box? Okay, at this point he would probably say that he left it on the table so that I would see that he finished said item, and that we'd need to put it on the grocery list. And I could EASILY come back with the remark, "Well, get out a piece of paper and pen, and START said grocery list."

When Jim makes his coffee in the morning, it's a whole big fiasco. Jim prides himself on being a coffee aficionado, and he grinds the coffee beans ONE CUP AT A TIME. (He uses an Aero Press, and makes his coffee one cup at a time.) He used to have a different coffee grinder that spewed the grounds all over the counter, sink, and floor, and made me want to cry daily. He has since replaced it with a different one - it was cheaper than filing for divorce.

Here's a photo of what the old grinder used to leave behind:






Do you feel my pain? I know Jim tried his best, but it was inevitable that those coffee grounds would end up on the floor, among other places.

Believe me, I am certainly not the type of person who is a neat freak. I just like things in their places and try to keep things fairly clean. But when my husband goes up into the bedroom/bathroom area, he leaves evidence that he was there by the rug:




Or any drawers he might have been in:



So the other day I'm sitting on the pot - "bare" with me here, folks, and I hear/feel Jim come up into the bedroom. Living in a trailer, you know when people are moving around, especially if they are over 200+ pounds. Now, our bathroom is QUITESMALL, about 2' x 3' if we're lucky. For some reason, it always seems that Jim likes to move around while I'm sitting on the pot. I feel like I'm on one of those enclosed rides at Disneyland where your seat moves up and down while your watching a scene. I'm not watching a movie, but I'm trying to read! I get sick easily. Anyway, I hear clomp, clomp, clomp, as Jim comes up the two stairs into the bedroom, trounces around for something, and then leaves. I finish my business, turn to open the door, and can only open the door about 6 inches. What the heck? See the blanket that's on the edge of our bed?



Somehow, some way, it is now lying on the floor in a pile right in front of the bathroom door. So the blanket stopped the door from opening further. I was able to pull it out of the way with my outstretched arm (thankfully, because Jim would NEVER hear me calling for help with the TV blasting). I shook the blanket out, refolded it, and put it back on the bed. Then I went into the living room and said to Jim, "Why was the blanket from the bed on the floor by the bathroom door?"

Jim's head came up, and it took a moment for his eyes to focus on me. "Huh?" was his response.

I repeated my question.

His reply? "I have no idea."

Messy Marvin strikes again.


(By the way, you may have recognized the Messy Marvin in the commercial. That is Peter Billingsley. He went on to become famous in the movie, "A Christmas Story".)