Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy August. Heartfelt Thanks.

Gracias, Merci, D'akujem, Tack, Grazie,
Go raibh maith agat, Thank you!

To Jennifer, who lives life as a wild woman, but took the time to follow along. Be nice to her, she's pulling my plug if the time comes, and not the blog plug, we're talking THE BIG PLUG!

To Braja, my first follower from far, far away. Her site, Lost and Found in India, is a festival of sight, sound & inspiration. Find her at

To Kat in Kentucky who brought her warm fuzzies. Yeah Kat. Look for her at

To Sour Milk who's delightful humor is on display at

To Crystal, at, who's emergency shopping sprees include red flamenco dresses. Yup, go see, and while you're there, follow along!

To Irish, GPS pondering Joan, let her provoke your thoughts at

To wine sippin, boat floatin, Margaret, Peggy or Peg, whose wacky tales take place at

To Jess at whose adventures lean toward tulle. Congrats Ember!

To Lacey, who tagged in at number twelve. My heartfelt thanks.  

I also have a soft spot for danneromero at whose lovely comments inspire me, and whose lovely blog will inspire you.

And to Marlia!  Don't forget to visit the happiest site down under,  marlia'   :)

To my new friend over at  Love your dress. Mom shopped the JCPenney catalog store and my back to school outfit was a deep green, drop waisted number. Good times.  Welcome!

And don't forget to visit Amy over at where she's whipping up ginger margaritas. Honey child, the last time I had a margarita was at the church taco feed, just before I  put my mother in time out!

Thank you Ladies for making my first month in blogger heaven a joy!


Friday, August 26, 2011

"Git Momma"

A woman in her fifties should not suffer ice cubes in her shower. This is a rule.

Hubbie forgot to read the playbook, and as I'm shaving my legs, a frigid wave of water hits my back. I jerk, check for nicks and then howl for blood.

"Dammit Rob, I'm too fat to have a sense of humor."

Quicker than snot, he shoots back, "You're too fat not to," and then the dog slides under the shower curtain and tries to catch my ankle. I go down laughing, but I'll get even. Maybe I'll turn the water off at the source the next time he suds his hair.

Have I told you Rob taught the dog to bite me on command?

Now before you twist your knickers defending me, you need to know, our dog is more mop than wolf. More lively than disobedient, and absolutely as untrainable as my husband.

As the deadly duo streak from the bathroom, I snag a towel and step from the shower. They leave me in peace for all of five minutes, but the moment I shove a toothbrush in my mouth I hear a shout.

"Git momma."

Simon's front paws hit the back of my knees, my legs buckle and I smack the bathroom cabinets. "Dammit Rob." White foam dribbles from my chin.

Rob is laughing, the dog is wheeling in delighted circles and I know with absolute certainty that Mom was right. By the time you get man or beast trained, they go senile.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Directionally Challenged

“So,” I ignore the squabbling in the back seat and try again, “right or left?”

“Straight.” Says the The Brat

“Straight.” Echoes Mom

I give them a baffled look, but sis is draped, ass up, over the passenger seat and mom doesn't look in my direction. For a moment, I ignore the chattering duo to concentrate on the view.

Reno is caught in the midst of a heatwave and the campus parking lot shimmers in the late afternoon sun. Clouds drift by. A hawk soars high above the gorge. If I wait long enough, one of them will notice the car hasn't moved.

When they don't, I thunk my forehead against the steering wheel and mutter. “Right or left?”

“Straight.” They shout.

Through clenched teeth, I try again. “Right. Or. Left.”

The Brat swivels in her seat, gives me the stink eye and stabs her finger at the windshield. “Straight,” she demands, “and I need to be there before noon.”

“Yup.” I drawl, as Mom gets ready to defend her baby. “I understand you wish to go straight, but, the road only goes right or left.”

“Kelly …” Splutters Mom.

“Huh.” Says Brat.

After a minute, I roll my eyes, engage the gears and pull away from the curb. “I should have stayed home.”

Brat stares down her nose. “You could have asked  for directions.”

“I did.” Her fine brows arch into her hairline. I shake my head and repeat myself. “Right or left?”

“Straight.” They shout and dissolve into giggles.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Amy Ciraolo
Yesterday my baby sister sat vigil in the cold confines of an intensive care unit.

She went to offer comfort to a friend who lingered in the twilight sleep of coma. She brought the warmth of her spirit and came away with a final squeeze of Helen's fingertips. The gift of her love.

Now, I didn't know Helen well, but my family adored her and admired her courage, and I admire them.

They love big, they love strong, and they aren't afraid of life's tough choices. In fact they'd tell you, when  love's involved, there is no choice. So, to the youngest, who had the opportunity to be with her friend, I love you.

To Jynx., who was busy nursing the ills of the world, I imagine that Helen's spirit can't help but fly over the beauty of the high Sierra's. She will be the breeze that ruffles your hair when you ski those slopes she loved so much. I love you too.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Suburban Housewife Uncovers Spy Ring

"Does your husband really need to keep a security camera in our bedroom?"

"Um," Struggling to keep a straight face, I wipe my hands on a dish towel and then give Mom my full attention. "What are you talking about?"

Exasperated, she points at the ceiling. "Your husband installed a security camera in our bedroom."

Okay, I can't help it, I grin.

She glares.

"So, Mom, what makes you think you saw a camera?" This is one of our better conversations and I'm eager to hear more.

"The blinking light." Her eyes narrow. "You know, the blinking light on the ceiling."

Um, and then I get it. "Oh, the smoke detector."

Mom plants her hands on her hips. "No ..."

Her voice trails off as I head down the hall. After a moment, she follows and then we're standing next to her bed, looking at the ceiling. Side by side, we pause, look at each other and then up again.

"So," say's Mom, "let's go to lunch."

True story.

Now my Mother is highly intelligent, but from time to time the brain takes a walk on the dark side, and being the supportive family members that we are, we laugh. Of course that same brain-mouth disconnect has spread to her offspring. We call it MomSpeak.

And no one does MomSpeak as well as her clone, The Brat, at two in the morning ...

"Yeah?" I mumble, sorry I've answered the phone

"I've been drinking, I need a ride."

After a moment of angry silence, I ask. "Where are you?"

"I'm here." Click.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Occupant threatens Resident and shoots Messenger

"Hey, Cookie Jar, git yurself back here."

I sigh and turn around. The pavement is cracked and dusty and the temperature has soared into the upper reaches of heat stroke. I'm two steps past a bad attitude.

Several houses back, a middle aged man is waving a letter in the air. I set the mail pouch on the ground and crack open a bottle of water. Tired of retracing my steps, I wait.

After a moment, he gives up and lumbers over. "Mr Post Office General, Sir."

I'm wearing a skirt, culottes actually, but what the hell?

"Listen here little girl," his lower lip curls around a pinch of snuff, "you got to stop bringin me the wrong mail. These people don't live at my house."

Recognizing the letter clutched in his fist, I fight a smile and clear my throat. "Um, Resident?"

"Yep, that's right." He thrusts the letter under my nose. "And don't be bringin any more for that other fella, occu, occu ..."


"Yeah, now you just do your job and don't be sassin the people who pay your salary."

Grinning, I pluck the letter from his fingers. "Yes sir, I'll do my best."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Um ... A coke?

"What would you like to drink?" I ask, parking the beverage cart between seat 12c and 12d.

When I look up, startled eyes meet mine. I wait a moment and then hand over a napkin. Take a hint buddy.


I try again. "Something. To. Drink?"

"Oh, yeah." The passenger looks around as if seeking inspiration, then looks back at me. "What have you got?"

"An attitude," I raise a brow, "what would you like?"

"Oh," he utters, "Um, a coke?"

"You sure?" I grin. "I don't mind going through the list."

"No, no, I alway's get a coke."

So, we're having this conversation, because ...

Generational Madness

People's exibit one

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Easter Bunny Blues

"If you want to live at home, you will go to school or get a job."

I squinted against the light, flooding through the open door, and rolled over to examine the clock. Huh? It wasn't even noon. "Mom?"

Shoulders rigid, she lowered her chin and gave me the stinkeye. "Get dressed and then we'll talk about your future."

The door snicked shut and I flopped onto my back. Great, now what? It wasn't like I skipped school on purpose. I'd drive the family station wagon to the community campus, run over a few curbs, park, and  have every intention of attending class. Then, the shy gene would kick in and I'd find myself at the cinema watching back to back showings of Herbie the Love Bug.

If only she'd send me off to University in another state, where I didn't know anyone, where they didn't know me ...

The phone rang. "Yeah." I listened, getting happier by the second. "Yeah, Okay, tomorrow?"

Six seconds later I was dressed and struting into the kitchen. "Mom," I snatched the car keys off the hook. "I have a job."

"Doing?" Her voice was careful, clipped, close to the edge.

"I'm the Easter Bunny at the mall." I ignored the muscle spasm beneath her left eye and sailed out the door. Even I knew I'd won by default, but damned if I didn't grin right up to the time I donned that smelly, moth-eaten costume. Sorry Mom.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Split Personality

Beamer slunk into my room and watched me from the corner of her eye. Shoving her hands into the pockets of her jeans, she leans her hip against the wall and balances on the balls of her feet.

Ignoring her, I roll over and continue to read. Beamer, nicknamed for her sunny personality, harbors a dark side.

The Orcs are after the Hobbits when my sister throws herself against the bedroom wall. The paneling reverberates against her skinny back and I lose my concentration.

Glaring, I snap my book shut and sit up on the bed.

A sly smile crosses her face. "Stop it," She screams, throwing her shoulder against the door, "you're killing me."

Jaw dropping, I gape.

"Ow. Stop punching. That hurts." Beamer is grinning and tossing a one sister fit. She flops across the bed. "Owww..."

Dad bursts through the door, grabs my collar in both fists and I rise through the air. Nose to nose, his dark brows knit in anger, he looks from my startled face to Beamer's.

She giggles and siddles to the door, then sprints down the stairs.

He sighs and sets me on my feet.

After a moment I flop back to the bed and open my book. At thirteen, I'd rather hang out with Trollocks

Favorite Headline: Strange Children Cry Rocks.

Never leak your plans to the youngest Sib. This is cardinal rule number one. A rule I violated when I gave the kid an advance peek at my first post.

"Oh," She said, "That's hysterical, but you can't post THAT on the web. "

Well crap. I sighed, dropped my mini masterpiece into the draft column and thought what next. Then I had a vision of wild dandelion hair and glittering blue eyes.

"Stop chasing your sister."

Chase her? I was going to kill her. Sliding a furtive look at Mom, I thundered after the brat, whose chubby legs were pumping up and down as she made her escape. She was naked.

She was always naked.

So I wasn't alarmed when she sat on the small of my back to watch Boris and Natasha outsmart Bullwinkle. Still in my swim suit, I sprawled on the carpet, chin in my hands and ignored her.

Then a warm trickle hit the small of my back. Slid down my side.

What? And then it hit me, I howled and lept to my feet. 

Already on the run, she shot past my mother with a feral grin.

In the hallway, I almost caught her, but theres not much to grab on a naked toddler. My fingers were inches from her hair when Dad stepped out of his office. She slammed into his legs, clinging and crying now that she had a sympathetic audience.

"Kelly Louise, go to your room."

My mouth fell open. Didn't he understand. "But, she ... she ..."

"She's a baby." He patted her back and gave me a long patient look. "You're a fifth grader. She looks up to you."

Outraged, I heaved a sigh. "But ..."

Dad's brows rose. Safe in his arms, my sister smirked.

Narrowing my eyes, I stomped to my room and slammed the door against the frame.

"Kelly Louise ..."