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Monday, January 31, 2011

World's Largest or Almost

Traveling around the United States,we sure get to see some big things.

I mean really big things.

Like "World's Largest".

Take, for instance, this World's Largest Frying Pan, in Long Beach, Washington.




Which would go well with the World's Largest Fork, found outside of an office building in Springfield, Missouri.


We stopped in Carefree, Arizona to see the World's Largest Sundial. And believe me, they get a LOT of sun in Arizona!


Another interesting site was the crater a meteor left after crashing to the earth 50,000 years ago outside of Winslow, Arizona. I don't know if it's the World's Largest or not, but it's pretty whopping big!

This is looking down into the crater.


To give you perspective of exactly how LARGE the hole is, I zoomed in on that small white area at the bottom of the hole. There is a picture of a 6 ft tall astronaut attached to the fence next to an American flag.


Driving through Lincoln, Illinois we found the World's Largest Covered Wagon.



You've seen me post this cross before, located in Groom, Texas. It's actually the second largest in the United States, the first being in Effingham, IL.


Fountain Hills, Arizona boasts the World's Tallest Fountain, at 560 ft. (Although now East St. Louis, IL claims to have one that shoots up to 630 ft!)


The following photos aren't the World's Largest anything, but just huge displays of something!

This cow could be seen far down the highway. Now that's a lotta beef! Those are similar to street lights next to the cow!



One time we exited the highway to get some gas. This was in the open field across from the gas station.


Quite a sight to see. Here's a different perspective. Like you're sitting on the park bench in the middle of nowhere, possible waiting for a bus to come along, when what should happen to appear but a couple of dinosaurs!


I'm sure I've missed some of the World's Largest that we have seen. These were just off the top of my head. I'm sure there will be a future installment!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Okay, Now I'm Getting Mad!

Some things have been pissing me off lately, and I just wanted to vent.

My 2 year contract was up on my cell phone, so I could upgrade to a newer phone if I wanted to.

I wanted.

So Jim and I went to an electronics store so I could pick out a new phone.

According to Jim, some restrictions applied. I had to choose a phone that:

a) didn't include a data plan,
b) didn't cost any additional money, and
c) wasn't an i-Phone. (Even though that's what I wanted, but the monthly cost was high, as was the additional cost.)

So my options were limited to about 5 phones. When the phones aren't in operational mode, it's hard to chose one, you know? But I finally picked one out, and after some time we were on our way.

Three weeks into using the phone and I've bee experiencing some problems. People tell me that I sound like I'm calling from a tunnel, that my voice sounds "tinney", and that I'm far away. Well, although I live in an aluminum trailer/"candominium", and outside of Phoenix, Arizona, I don't think this constitutes being far away from my family in IL and causing the "tin" sound to my voice.

So we took the phone back.

Stood in line for a few minutes. Got to the register and stood there for a little bit. Explained the problem and returned the phone. Got somebody from the phone department to help us. His name was Sean. Helpful, nerdy, almost crossing the line to being a dork. But nice.

Sean explained that this particular phone that I had purchased had been reported to having the same problems I experienced.

Huh. Imagine that.

So I hemmed and hawed and meeny-miney-moed and finally picked another phone.

Sean called the phone company to make sure there were no hidden monthly charges - NO - and we were good to go.

We stood at the register while Sean tried to kid around with his fellow co-workers - AWKWARD - and ring up our phone.

Uh-oh.

When Sean scanned the phone, a $20 monthly "texting" fee came up.

Say what?

So good ole Sean called back the phone rep and told him that he was WRONG. That indeed there WAS an extra monthly charge on this particular phone.

Crap.

So back to the drawing board. We said "forget-about-it" and walked back to the line of phones.

By this time I was pretty glassy-eyed because we had been in the store about 1 1/2 hours! All the phones were looking alike.

Sean called the phone rep again and found out this interesting tidbit. It seems that AT&T is now charging a $20 monthly texting fee on 99% of their phones, WHETHER YOU TEXT OR NOT, to "help" out the customer.

This REALLY pisses me off.

Yeah, I understand if a person texts a lot, this can save them money.

But what about someone like me, who texts maybe  4 times a YEAR? $240/year for texting that you DON'T do?

Wouldn't YOU be mad?

Why not let the customer decide if they want that option?

So here's what Sean suggested.

Because I got my original phone BEFORE this new policy went into effect, he told me to get my old tinney sounding phone back. Hold it for the 30 days, then bring it back to an AT & T store. Since this phone had problems of this nature before, AT&T will handle it. They may give me a temporary phone and send my phone out to be repaired.

I just want a phone that works. That I don't have to pay unfair monthly fees. Is that asking too much?

I guess so.

Anyway, Jim and I went back to the Return section, got back my phone, and walked out of the store 2 wasted hours later.

I hope this plan works because my phone is my lifeline, like my right arm.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Have you noticed in the last few years when you go to buy things that they come in smaller packages but the price is still the same?


The latest scam is pop, soda, whatever you call it in your neck of the woods.

It used to come in a case of 24 cans.

Now?

20 cans.

For the same price.





photo courtesy of http://www.graphicdesignhero.com/blog


The nerve!

This REALLY pisses me off!

I love Diet Dr. Pepper. I've been trying to wean myself off of it and drink more ice tea and water, but it sure tastes good!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Say What?

The snowy weather in Spokane caused the crossing lights to malfunction. City spokesperson Marlene Feist said personnel from the street department believed snow may be wedged in the electronic sign, hiding all but the palm and raised middle finger. She also said that it was clearly 'unintentional'. That may be, but it sure was funny!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Up Close and Personal with a Seal

My friend sent this to me in an email and it was so unbelievable and spectacular that I wanted to share it with all of you. Please watch the complete video.

This video called "Snuggling on the Beach", is of a tourist who sat on the beach to watch the seals and penguins on Gold Harbor,  South Georgia.  Unexpectedly, one of the seals is apparently attracted to her and slowly works his way over to her.  He seems to 'falls in love' and snuggles and flirts with her.  It is quite an unusual and interesting scene.  The seals are huge (6,000 lbs), yet she never seemed afraid . . . more amused . . .. while someone shot the video of this incident.

Gold Harbor, South Georgia, is located off the southern tip of South America. (sub arctic)  It is a small bay five miles SSW of Cape Charlotte, with Bertrab Glacier at its head, along the east end of Georgia.  The west end of the beach where a glacial stream flows is a breeding ground for various types of penguins and large seals.  It is not a frequent destination for tourists.




 This warmed my heart immensely. What about yours?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fun at the Big 5



Last weekend my friend Judy and her husband, Bob, were running up to the Big 5 Sporting Goods store to pick up something they had ordered. My other friend Kathy and I went along for the ride.

As soon as we entered into the store, Judy and Bob went off on their own, and Kathy and I wandered around. We marveled at all the snow equipment on display such as sleds, skis, jackets, etc., since the nearest snow was at LEAST 2 1/2 hours away in Flagstaff.

A little further in the store I stumbled upon this.


Have you ever seen one before? I had just happened to see a commercial for one of these that morning. I thought, "Huh, how hard can this be?" So I hopped right on that puppy.

Apparently it's pretty hard.

'Cause I didn't even MOVE.


Both Kathy and I were splitting a gut, and I have to admit, I almost wet myself.

"Okay, YOU try it!" I said to Kathy.

So she assumed the position on the machine and....didn't move either.

Well, that just set us off into another round of laughter. I decided to give her a "shove" to get her started. I shoved her to the right and she went up a little and came back down (gravity was working for her). As I was shoving her a few more times, a man walked by, saw us and busted out laughing.

He said, "Yeah, that's the way to do it! Then you both get a work out!"

We soon tired of that machine and continued on.

We browsed through the shoes on clearance and understood why they were marked down.

Then we came across this HUGE camping chair. It had 6 drink holders; 3 on each arm. I don't think this picture does it justice because it's a little blurry; Kathy was trying to figure out how to take a picture with my phone. I had just gotten my phone so I was not much help to her.


I felt like Lily Tomlin when she played "Edith Ann" on Laugh-in.


After a few more giggles and snorts, we moved on to another section with all kinds of weird things like this for instance.


Here's a close up of the small print at the bottom of the box.

"When you finally get serious". About what? Giving "wedgies"? What the heck IS this device anyway?

This is a weighted vest. I suppose it could add to a person's workout.

But I'm thinking that one of my distant relatives probably used it for a completely different reason and slipped it on a "rat", along with some nice looking cement shoes, dumped him in the river somewhere and said, "Forget-about-it!"

Kathy shows off a new way we can carry our margaritas to the pool!



We finally caught up with Judy and told her all the fun we had been having. She wanted to get in on the action so we brought her back to the ab machine and she took a whirl on it. At least she was able to move the dang thing!


Nearby was a display of hula-hoops. Judy just couldn't resist those....she HAD to try one!






But we were appalled at the price! $19.95 each! Remember growing up how cheap they were?


Who knew it could be so much fun at a sporting goods store?

Right before we left, I spotted a sign hanging in the back that read, "Video Taping in Process".

Uh-oh.

Boy were THEY going to have a good laugh that night reviewing those tapes watching three old ladies acting like a bunch of goofs in their store!

C'est la vie!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crockpot Party and Trashy Women

In celebration of my new crockpot, I decided to have an "I'm-happy-I-have-a-crockpot-party" for my crackpot crazy friends.

Aw, let's face it, we don't need a REASON to party down here in Arizona!

But what the heck! I liked the name of it, although it was a real tongue twister when I told my friends what kind of a party I was throwing.

Say what?

Of course, they just focused in on the word "party" and they were all "count me in"!

They were to bring appetizers and their own booze (a person could go broke if they provided the booze for these folks!), and I decided to make pulled pork sandwiches.

I found this very easy recipe on Allrecipes.com:

Sarge's EZ Pulled Pork BBQ

Ingredients

  • 1 (5 pound) pork butt roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee

Directions

  1. Cut roast in half. Rub each half with salt and pepper, and place in the slow cooker. Pour broth and coffee over the meat.
  2. Turn the slow cooker to Low, and cover. Cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until the roast is fork tender.
  3. Carefully remove the roast to a cutting board. Pull the meat off the bone with a fork. You may also chop it with a cleaver afterwards, if you like it really finely cut. 
  4. Add your favorite barbecue sauce and eat!

Repeat. You need:


plus this:


and this (although this can is only a little over 10 ounces; I had to add 4 more ounces of broth),


and this

and before you know it, dinner is served. Of course, there's a little work involved in shredding the meat, and I added our favorite bbq sauce to it.



So the morning of the party, I threw everything in the crockpot minus the barbecue sauce, turned that bad boy on, and went about my day.

My day, of course, consisted of going to"Music in the Courtyard", to hear one of our favorite bands, the "Fall River Band."

(l to r) Will on lead guitar, Eddie on drums, Carl on bass, Kathy on tamborine

Maybe you need a close up of Will....he's a cutie patootie. You know that saying, "I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers?" Well, I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating, well, ANYTHING!


I don't remember how this all began, but when the band would sing the song, "Trashy Women" by the Confederate Railroad, all of us women said it was "our song"! Here are the lyrics:

Well, I was raised in a sophisticated kind of style.
Yeah, my taste in music and women drove my folks half wild.
Mom and Dad had a plan for me,
It was debutantes and er-symphonies,
But I like my music hot and like my women wild.

Yeah, an' I like my women just a little on the trashy side,

When they wear their clothes too tight and their hair is dyed.
Too much lipstick an' er too much rouge,
Gets me excited, leaves me feeling confused.
An' I like my women just a little on the trashy side.

You should've seen the looks on the faces of my Dad and Mom,

When I showed up at the door with a date for the senior prom.
They said: "Well, pardon us, son, she ain't no kid.
That's a cocktail waitress in a Dolly Parton wig."
I said: "I know it, dad. Ain't she cool, That's the kind I dig."

Yeah, an' I like my women just a little on the trashy side,

When they wear their clothes too tight and their hair is dyed.
Too much lipstick an' er too much rouge,
Gets me excited, leaves me feeling confused.
An' I like my women just a little on the trashy side.

Instrumental break.


I like 'em sweet, I like 'em with a heart of gold.

Yeah an' I like 'em brassy, I like 'em brazen and bold.
Well, they say that opposites attract, well, I don't agree
I want a woman just as tacky as me.
Yeah, I like my women just a little on the trashy side.

Yeah, an' I like my women just a little on the trashy side,

When they wear their clothes too tight and their hair is dyed.
Too much lipstick an' er too much rouge,
Gets me excited, leaves me feeling confused.
An' I like my women just a little on the trashy side.

Yeah, I like my women an' I like 'em on the trashy side.
I'd ruffle my "dyed" hair, we'd clap and cheer throughout the song, and basically, make spectacles of ourselves.

Then we got the bright idea to buy some bras and/or panties, and add a little "spice" to the  next show.

Three of us went to Goodwill over the weekend. We made our way to the lingerie aisle. There were a few other women in the aisle shopping, but when they caught sight of us giggling, snorting and carrying on they either left, or, as one lady did, stood there and watched the show unfold. The bras were $5.00 but since it was the 50% off Saturday, that would make it $2.50 each. We STILL thought that was too expensive for a joke, so we moved on down to the underwear, which were a STEAL at .50 each! We picked out the tiniest,brightest thongs that we could find. We tried not to think of that tiny string flossing someone else's butt crack. Although we weren't ACTUALLY going to WEAR these, we still wanted them to be clean. (One of the women took them home to wash.) We picked out 6 of them, for only a total of THREE BUCKS! My friend Kathy walked around the store with them. When it came time to pay, I was embarrassed FOR her. She had to unhook each delicate lacy pair from the hangar and set it on the counter. I was in line behind her, giggling. I took one look at the old guy behind ME and blushed. I wanted to shield Kathy from his stares by piling up my cushions that I found, but she didn't care. She said, "He's probably thinking 'If that lady thinks she can fit into any those - she's nuts!'"

We passed out the garments before the Music in the Courtyard. One of our friends, Rachel, had gone to Goodwill on her own and purchased a black bra. We shoved our goodies in our pockets and planned our strategy. Every time the band said the word "trashy", we would all stand up, swing our naughty underwear and swivel our hips.




We were a big hit. Watch the video. Here are some helpful hints. 1) Norma is the one in the cowboy hat. She's having a GREAT time. She loses her panties in the first go around. 2) You don't see me too much, tee-hee; because I'm in FRONT of the table, wearing a purple shirt. 3) At around the 2:15 time mark, some man comes by and flashes US! We didn't notice it till we watched the video. 4) At the time mark, Camille, (dressed in all black) the activities director from the park, comes over to our table because some man went to the office and told them that there were strippers in the courtyard! Then you see that she joins us!





Not caught on video: when I shot my thong at the band and Eddie, the drummer, caught it with his drumstick!

Eddie and thong wearing Carl
After the music, everybody came over for the "I'm-happy-I-have-a-crockpot-party".









So, in the "end", a good time was had by all!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bargains and "Bellibuttons"

There was another "patio" sale here at the park Saturday morning. They are called "patio sales" versus "garage sales" since nobody has garages. Makes sense I guess.

Anyway, you know how seniors like a sale.

Gets them out in droves.

The sales started at 7:30 am.

I rolled out of bed at 7:45 am, got dressed, brushed my teeth and my hair, robbed Jim of any money he had, and hopped on my bike.

I was on a hunt for two things: cushions for my patio chairs and a crock pot.

I got a GREAT deal on a patio set at the last sale - TEN BUCKS for a table and four chairs!





But the chairs needed some kind of a cushion so your butt didn't ooze through the vinyl straps, you know?

And as far as a crock pot? Well, let me tell you the crock pot story.

You got a minute?

I had an old crock pot. In fact, I think it was a present from my FIRST wedding, 27 years ago! But it worked, nonetheless.

Anywho, the park was having a Chili Cook-off here last week. Jim wanted to enter. (He was still in the cooking mode from having to cook the two weeks I was gone.)

He wanted my chili recipe but he was going to "doctor" it up and make it hotter.

I told him to get his own damn recipe.

So he did.

He found some kind of Texas no bean chili. He went out, bought all the groceries he needed, came home, sliced and diced, etc., and threw everything into the crock pot. The smell of jalapeno punched the air.  The chili cooked all night. The next day he added another bottle of beer.

I had to admit, it smelled pretty damn good.

I tasted it.

Holy Macaroni! I thought my lips were going to burn off!

But then again, I don't eat spicy foods. But my lips were numb for about 10 minutes AFTER I tasted the chili.

Anyway, Jim was proud as could be when he carried the crock pot full of his homemade chili to the ballroom to enter it into the contest.

I was next door at my friend, Judy's, place.

Jim came back a few minutes later, went to our trailer, then came out, and stopped by Judy's. I thought he had forgotten something.

He came in, sat down, then said, "Well, we're going to have to buy a new crock pot."

"What? Why?" I said, thinking what an awful time for it to stop working!

"I dropped it and it broke."

"WHAT?"

"Well, the door to the ballroom was slightly ajar, and I tried to open it with my elbow while carrying the crock pot. The whole thing slipped out of my hand and crashed to the floor and broke! The chili splashed down my leg, I ran to the bathroom because it was burning me. By the time I came back, Camille (the Activities Director), was gathering up the pieces of the crock pot and trying to clean up the mess."

Okay, call me cruel, but I DID laugh first.

Judy was nice enough to ask if Jim was okay.

Luckily he didn't burn himself, but he did get cut in a couple of places. Not bad, but he DID need a band-aid.

The Chili Cook-off went on without him.

He could have been a contender!

They had to put a rug down on top of the "accident" to cover up the mess. We lifted it up when we left and saw all the meat sticking to the rug and had a good laugh. Jim was a good sport about it.

And THAT'S why I needed a new crock pot!

Because Arizona is a desert, it's quite brisk in the morning and you have to bundle up, and by 11 or 12, you're stripping off your clothes. It's crazy. Then by 5:00 you're putting them back on. But between the hours of 11 to say 4:30ish, it's great! So it was in the 40's when I started riding around on my quest.

I struck gold on the next block and found a crock pot that looked brand new - one of those large oval ones for $10. I didn't bother to try and dicker with the price. I was happy I didn't have to pay full price for one. The problem was, it was so large that it didn't fit in my bike basket, so I quick walked home with it, then walked back and hopped on my bike and continued on.

I ran into a few friends along the way.

One was looking for stackable plastic chairs.

I hadn't seen any but I told her that I'd keep my eyes out for them.

I told her that I was looking for chair cushions. She hadn't seen any of those, either.

I dawned on me later, as I was pedaling around the park, passing people on their bikes, or just walking, that we should all hold up signs that say what we are looking for. Wouldn't that be easier?

A person could shout out, "Hey - I saw cushions for sale over on 5th street!"

Or - "There are chairs for sale on 7th!"

How cool would that be?



I didn't find any cushions at the patio sale, but I DID find something else.

It certainly wasn't on my list of things to buy. But as I was talking to the woman who was having the sale, this little box caught my eye.


I just HAD to see what it was all about.


The woman figured that this was left over from the 60's. I can't imagine her carrying it around in her fifth-wheel all these years, but she did have a lot of junk for sale.

You could attach different sayings to this "button", then GLUE it in your belly button, FDA APPROVED, of course.

Then wear your hip huggers and midriff shirt, and, well, show people your message.

Does ANYONE remember these?

This is what the kit included:

Stickers, button, glue (all hardened, now) and "handbook".

Here are the different messages that you could stick on the button:



The title of the pamphlet? "A Handbook of High Etiquette and Correct Usage of the Bellibutton".
The first section is called, "Mystique and Power of the Bellibutton Through the Ages" and humorously rewrites historical stories to include the "bellibutton".

Here's an example:

"Contrary to popular belief, it was not a stone that young David killed the giant Goliath with. The latest translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls relates the story as it really happened. David, with no stones for ammunition, found himself facing Goliath in the middle of the desert. David, thinking quickly, plucked his Bellibutton, loaded his sling and fired it, killing the giant in a blink of an eye. You shouldn't have blinked, Goliath!"
The rest of the pamphlet tells you the wheres and the whens to wear your "bellibutton". It really is quite cute.

What a bargain for a quarter! I wonder what I could get for it on e-Bay?

NOTE: You may have noticed cushions on the patio chairs above. Here's a close up.

 Later on that same day I went to Goodwill and found these cushions at the bargain price of $2 each! (It was 50% off day!) 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I am NOW sweating like a fat girl!

Did you make New Year's Resolutions this year?

Have you already broken them?

Don't feel bad. Most people do.

I resolved NOT to make any resolutions this year!

I'm doing great at keeping that resolution, by the way!

But I DID decide this is the year I'm going to get healthier.

Yeah, I know, I wasn't happy about it either. I was downright cranky about it. But hey, I sure enjoyed putting the weight on, you know?

While we are in AZ, I usually go to my water aerobics class. It's a nice, "easy" class. Mostly stretching. I do get my heart rate up, but only for a few minutes. It's still better than nothing, and the gossip session at the end of the class makes it all worth while.

We have a pretty good gym here in the park, which I have avoided for years. Jim goes there M-F.

You might have wondered what happened to the Zumba DVD I bought or the one class I attended. Humph.

Parts of me were shaking that haven't shook in years.

And they hurt.

My bones couldn't take all that jumping.

I probably have to wait until I'm down about 50 pounds. Then I'll try it again.

But I spoke to a woman from the Zumba class, Gloria, who I also know from the park. She talked to me about joining the gym. She told me that she had hired a trainer (available through the park) to teach her about the different equipment in the gym and to make up a fitness plan for her. Gloria's husband told her that HE could show her how to work everything in the gym. Her reply? "I didn't want HIM telling me what to do!"

Exactly! Because Jim had offered the same thing! Last year he showed me a few things; I worked on some of the weights and he put too much weight on one of the machines! I was so sore the next day!

SO, a couple of weeks ago there was a program called, "Get to know your gym" (NOT: Get to know your JIM *wink, wink*), and a friend of mine, Viv, and I attended, along with like a gazillion other people (who's New Year's Resolutions I'm sure was to lose weight!)

It was so crowded that we couldn't see all of the demonstrations. So Viv and I decided to hire the trainer for one hour (I felt like a movie star - I have a personal trainer!) She designed a program for each of us; mine varied a little from Viv's because of some issues I have with my joints.

This looks like me. Only I'm older, fatter, I have shorter hair, and it's blond. But otherwise it looks EXACTLY like me!




This is what I have learned so far:

  1. That saying, "You sweat like a fat girl"? Now I know what that means! I didn't sweat until I started working out. Huh.
  2. The industry must be against fat girls working out because I can't find an exercise bra in my size. And believe me, fat girls NEED exercise bras. It's downright DANGEROUS to be bopping around with my girls flopping around. I mean, seriously, I could get a coupla' black eyes!
  3. I'm embarrassed to exercise, but if I wear earphones and blast my music, I won't hear any snickers like "Look at that fool!"
  4. When they say that you feel so much better and have so much energy after exercising? Yeah, I'm waiting for that to happen. Right now I'm pretty exhausted. 
  5. I have no sense of balance. Some of our workout routine is on the yoga balls. First we sit on the ball and then lift one foot up and then put it down, then switch to the other foot and do the same, like we are marching. Easy peasy, right? Wrong. Or try doing upper crunches by sitting on the ball, then leaning back, WITHOUT MOVING THE BALL BACK, then move forward again. I almost fell off the ball. I looked over at Viv and she was going back and forth like there was no tomorrow. WTF? I obviously wasn't clenching my buttocks as firmly as she was, because I was saying, "Whoa!" and the trainer had to "spot" me. Seriously. How embarrassing is that?

My second week of working out is done. I'm alternating doing my water aerobics and working out 3x a week. Something's gotta give, right? Now if only I can stop my partying and drinking......


This looks like me when I'm done exercising. Only I'm not green. Oh yeah, and I'm not a FROG. But otherwise it looks EXACTLY like me!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Get Out Those Pens!



Did you know that January 9-16 is National Letter Writing Week?

No?

Well, now you KNOW!

Sadly, writing letters seems to be a lost art.

(Except for those fans of Justin Bieber.  The USPS processes an average of 6,761 pieces of mail PER SECOND for Justin Bieber alone. Real Simple Jan 2011.)

Instead of writing letters, people send texts and e-mails.

Can you think back to the last time you received a letter in the mail? And I'm not talking the "copied" Holiday Family Letter. I'm talking about the letter written specifically to YOU. A nice, newsy letter, that makes you want to sit down with a cup of coffee or tea before you anxiously open it up to read.

Remember when it was popular to have pen pals? When I was in grade school I had 17 of them! I wrote to people, well, girls, all across the country! I still remember one of their names, Elizabeth Moran, from New Jersey. That's ALL I can remember about her, but, hey, Elizabeth, if you're out there, how ya doing?

I would get so excited to receive a letter from a pen pal. Especially from another state. We didn't do much as a family because we didn't have a lot of money. So it was almost exotic to get a letter from another state! I remember Elizabeth's return label saying New Jersey - the garden state. Boy that left a lot to the imagination!

Our mailbox consisted of a slot in our front hall closet. It always seemed like an adventure to get the mail. First of all, our closet was ALWAYS cold, and it was stuffed with winter coats so I'd have to shove them aside, then drop down the little wooden door to the mail box, and our mail would be sitting there. But I'd also have to make sure there wasn't any mail stuck at the top of the slot. I'd have to reach my arm in the hole all the way up the cold drop box and feel for the top. My heart would beat faster if I found some more mail there! I'd try and tug it down through the slot, but sometimes it would be stuffed so much that I'd have to go outdoors and pull the mail out that way!

My father had been dead five years before my mother passed away. They had lived in the same home for 45 years! All of us kids had the task of cleaning out the house and getting rid of everything so we could sell the house. My sisters and I spent hours in my parent's bedroom, shredding documents and old canceled checks. Imagine our surprise and delight when we stumbled across two love letters that my mother had written to my father. One was before they were married and one was when my father was away in the service. My mother wrote that she had been saving up for their wedding and she already had something like $2.25 socked away! What was so interesting was to see my parents in a different light - to see them as young lovers - and also to read my mother's sense of humor. My sisters and I laughed and cried while reading the letters aloud to each other and it helped ease the pain of losing our Mom.

How about when you see people save their old love letters, tied up lovingly with ribbon then stashed away in a shoebox and stored on a closet shelf? It doesn't seem the same to print out a bunch of emails and staple them together, does it?

So in honor of National Letter Writing Week, why not write a quick letter to SOMEONE, ANYONE? Write a letter as a secret admirer, or a thank you note, or to tell someone they are doing a good job, a love note, a forgiveness note, a this-is-why-I'm-NOT-forgiving-you letter, write your Congressman/woman, write the President, heck you can even write a fan letter to Justin Bieber if you want. Knock your socks off.



If you are interested in writing to a soldier, click the link here for more info.

Who doesn't like the possibilities of a fresh sheet of paper and the sound of a great flowing pen as it scratches along the paper?

So get busy and write! And to give you inspiration, here are some songs that sing about the subject of "letters".

I just LOVE the gravelly voice of this lead singer. And he's trying to look oh so cool while he's singing!


"The Letter" by the Box Tops



How nice that this guy wants to hit on his secretary the day after he finds out his wife is cheating on him!

"Take a Letter, Maria" by R. B. Greaves




Even if you are NOT an Elvis fan, you can NOT help falling in love with him after watching this video!

"Return to Sender" by Elvis Presley



I like this version of this song by the Carpenters.

"Please Mr. Postman" by the Carpenters




Can you think of any more to add to the list?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Embarrassing Moments

It's that time again, when I share with you some of my recent embarrassing moments.

Did I tell you about the pool incident?

No?

About a month ago I had purchased a new bathing suit and was anxious to wear it to the pool. Not to show off my figure, mind you, but to finally be in a NEW bathing suit compared to the old rag I had be wearing for months.

It got pretty hot just lying in the sun, so I decided to go in for a dip in the pool. I grabbed my "noodle" (a flotation device) and walked into the pool.

I felt a pulling in my crotch.

I ignored it at first.

It hurt more than just a suit-up-the-butt-pain. The was a definite tug on my hair.

WTF?

I quick reached my hand INTO my bathing suit and pulled out the PANTY LINER that I forgot to remove after buying the suit! I could have discreetly thrown it away, but no, not me. I held it up in the air and said, "So THAT'S what's hurting my crotch! I forgot to remove the panty liner!"

Luckily there were only women around me in the pool and we all had a good laugh!

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When I was home for the holidays, I met up with a friend of mine for dinner. We went to a local Mexican restaurant. While we were there, I saw this young man sitting at the next table who looked an awful lot like my son's friend Ryan.

My eyes kept straying to him throughout the evening. He was sitting with a young woman who I assumed was his wife, 3 young girls, and possibly his parents.

I mentioned to my friend that I thought this guy was my son's friend, Ryan Day.

"That could very well be," she said, "because I heard that lady call him 'Ryan'."

Aha! Granted he looked just a smidge different from what I remembered, but it had been at LEAST 6-7 years since I had last seen him.

Finally Ryan got up to leave and I said to my friend, "I've just GOT to say something to him."

Ryan passed my table and I called out, "Ryan Day?"

"Yes?" He said.

"How ARE you?"

"Fine," he answered, a little hesitantly.

"I'm Pat ________, Jason's Mom?"

"Oh!"He said.

We hugged each other, and I asked how his kids were doing.

"Fine," he replied.

"Are these your little girls?"

"No, that's my sister and those are her kids."

"Oh. Well do you have pictures of your kids?"

"Yeah, yeah I do," he said, scrambling for his wallet. He pulled out a picture and said, "Here's my son, Garrett."

Now it was MY turn to be puzzled. "Don't you have a daughter named Brooklyn?"

"No."

"Well, who has a daughter named Brooklyn?" I KNOW one of my son's friends named their daughter Brooklyn, who was born around the time my great niece of the same name was born.

"I have no idea."

"Wait a minute," I said, the light bulb finally going on. "Who ARE you? Are you Ryan DAY?"

"No, I'm Ryan PETERSON!"

WTF! He must not of heard me say "DAY".

So bottom line - neither of us knew each other. We had a good laugh, I apologized profusely, he said it was fine, and we went our separate ways. 

Ooopsie, my bad.

Can you say "AWKWARD"?


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Anything you care to admit to make me feel better?

Monday, January 10, 2011

How Rude!




Here's a question for you.

Why do people have to be RUDE?

Does it make them feel better, I wonder?

The other day Jim and I went to library. The branch that we normally go to was closed due to a burst water pipe, so we went to the main library. We were unsure of where items such as the new fiction, mysteries, science fiction were placed. We split up and wandered around, then met back up before checking our items out. I found the section for new Sci-Fi books and wanted to show Jim, so I said, "Here, Hon, I found the Science Fiction books," and stepped over to the bookcase. Unbeknown to me, a woman was standing about 5 feet away from that bookcase and looking at the books.

Which means I stepped right in front of her.

This pissed her right off.

"HOW RUDE!" She exclaimed.

I whipped around and said, "Oh, I'm sorry!" and quickly stepped back out of the way.

She didn't leave it at that.

"WELL I WAS STANDING RIGHT HERE!" She bellowed.

I said, "I'm SORRY! I didn't SEE you!"

Geez, Louise, I didn't know if this woman wanted me to kiss her feet or what, but I thought my first apology was enough.

Now if I were looking at some books, and someone stepped in front of me, first of all, I'd probably not say ANYTHING and just move over a bit, but IF, just IF I got up enough nerve to say SOMETHING, I MIGHT squeak out a little "excuse me".

This lady wanted an all out battle. And which one of us was rude?


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Our resort park has numerous activities throughout the month; some are free, but the majority we have to purchase tickets in advance. The Saturday night dance tickets are hot commodities. Tickets go on sale the first Monday of each month at 8:00 am. We get in line at 5:00 AM!

Can you believe it?

And it's not like we're seeing the Rolling Stones or anything!

But, actually, the time goes by fast, and it's kind of fun to sit there with the other crazy people. This year they put a limit on how many tickets each site could buy: 4. (Last year we could buy 10 tickets, or a whole table.) So this means more of us have to get up early to buy the tickets for our gang.

Four of us met at 5:00 am in front of the locked building. We were first in line! Yes!

At 5:15 more people joined us. One man asked if we had asked the security guard to open up the doors. No one had. So he volunteered to walk down and do that. He returned and said that the guard would open the doors at 5:30 a.m.

At 5:20, an older woman, Phyllis, joined us. But before coming to the front of the building, she tried the side entrance and got in the building! We had been standing out in the cold for 20 minutes! We didn't think to try the side door since the front doors were locked and the lights were off.

We all rushed in and took our seats along the hallway. (The Activities Center is used to the line-up so they have folding  chairs set up for the crowd.)

At 5:30 the security guard came rushing in with his nose bent all out of shape.

"How did you get in here?" He yelled.

"The door was unlocked," Phyllis replied.

"That's BULL!" He yelled, stomping towards the doors, "I locked them myself last night!" He fiddled with the door and said, "They're STILL locked!"

Phyllis was trying to tell him that she got in the other door, not the one he was touching, but he wouldn't listen.

I thought he was going to frisk us all or something.

One could only hope.

I mean, seriously, we're a bunch of old people sitting on chairs. What the heck are we going to do?

HOW RUDE!

Fast forward a couple of hours.

We're still waiting for the office to open.

Most of us are still sitting in chairs. Other people are coming and going in the large ballroom behind us and setting up for the Country Store, which opens at 9:00 a.m.

My friend was standing in the hallway talking to someone.

This lady comes barreling down the hallway, she passes my friend up and yells, "GET OUT OF MY WAY!"

Excuse me?

There was room to get around my friend. This woman was just RUDE!

I sat there with my mouth hanging open.

Another woman standing near me said, "Did you hear that?"

I shook my head "yes".

She said, "I wonder who shit in HER cornflakes this morning!"

Then she followed her into the ballroom and confronted her! Yikes!

"Were you talking to ME like that?" She challenged.

"No - the other woman standing in the hallway."

So - she meant my friend.

Old people sure are grumpy.

Remind me not to get old.

Wait, aren't I already?

There is NO NEED for RUDENESS, people. Let's share a little love, okay?