Y'all come on in!

Y'all come on in!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Give a Southern Woman a Glue Gun!

My daughter's good friend is going to the Kentucky Derby. What comes to mind when you think of that? Yep, all those fancy hats.

So we decided to make her a hat, more as a joke than something that she would wear. We started with a glue gun and an old straw hat and pretended we were milliners from back when women wore BIG hats decorated with all kinds of shhh...stuff!

Flowers first and birds and butterflies and bling and ribbon and a cardinal on the top. The little red bird is motion activated and sings just like the real thing when anyone walks by or even wiggles the hat. It's truly a masterpiece and I'm sure if we could enter it in a contest we would win the prize for the ugliest hat to ever go to the Derby.

Yes, ma'am, give a southern woman a bunch of silk flowers and a glue gun and it's amazing the damage she can do. And here are the pictures to prove it!


The back of our masterpiece with the bow and although you can't see the trailing ribbons they are definitely there! After all what's a hat without ribbons blowing in the wind.
The front with our cardinal sitting and singing proudly in his next of leaves and shiny bling. The blue butterfly over to the left of center seemed to like the pink roses.

And this is my Ginny modeling the hat. I can't wait to see her friend's expression (Ginny is going to take a picture for me when her friend first sees it). The poor lady is probably going to faint dead away because Ginny won't tell her at first that she doesn't really have to wear it!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SURVIVOR!!


How many of y’all watch survivor? I never have but some of my addicted friends talk about it. And I know there’s a lot of money involved for the winner and most of the time it involves danger, water, sweat and sometimes wild animals.

In my humble opinion, the whole thing needs to be reevaluated now that there’s been those who’ve proven they can survive the elements. That’s all well and good. I wouldn’t want to attempt living on coconuts and canned beans. Or living in a hut made of native grass and weeds. No doubt about it, I’d find some nice poison ivy to roof my hut with and my first million bucks would be spent on anti-itch creams.

I have an idea that would guarantee gold results for the television rating folks. It’s a series in which only men can apply and the reward is not a million dollars at the end of the series.

It goes like this:

On day one, six men will be dropped on a desert island at the first of the school year. They will each have a van and four kids assigned to them for the next six weeks.

Each child will be required to go to school every day and also to play two sports at a minimum, take music and/or dance classes. The man will be responsible for getting them to and from school, practice and lessons. He must juggle the schedules so that no one is late at any time.

There is no access to fast food on the island. There are no frozen pizzas or TV dinners in the refrigerator. The groceries are already in the house and include fresh fruits and vegetables which must be cleaned as well as cooked. Spaghetti is acceptable. The recipe for sauce made from scratch is on page 48 of the new survivor cookbook.

Each man must take care of his four kids, keep his assigned house spotless, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook and do the laundry.

The man will have access to television when the kids are asleep and all his chores are done. There is only one television allowed in each house and no remote control. He will maintain his perfect composure when there is a four way war over whether to watch Sponge Bob or MTV. He will not pull his hair out, wail or grind his teeth.

All of the men must shave their legs, underarms, and wear panty hose and makeup daily ... which they must apply themselves either while driving or while making four lunches in the morning. At no time are they allowed to monopolize the only bathroom in the house by using the mirror to put on their makeup.

They must attend weekly PTA meetings and are not allowed to snore in the back row. Each of the six men will serve on a PTA committee which will involve at least one fund raiser.

They must clean up after their sick children at 3 a.m., and still have oatmeal and toast cut from a loaf of bread made from scratch on the table at 6 a.m. The recipe for the bread is on page 22 of the survivor cookbook. Directions for making oatmeal is on the back of the box.

They must be able to make an Indian tent model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker for the Boy Scout in their family. They must go on the Boy Scout weekend backyard campout and take the other three children with them, because there are no baby-sitters on the island.

There will be one final test at the end of the six week segment. It will be which of the two surviving men can persuade their six month old baby to eat a whole jar of pureed green peas. They must not gag at any time.

And the winner is ... the last sane contestant.

And the winner wins ... the right to go back to his regular job!

 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring Time in Oklahoma!

We don't always have spring in southern Oklahoma. The calendar says that we do but it was made in China and doesn't really know about Oklahoma weather. Most years we have winter. That's when we use the heater part of the thermostat. Then one day winter is gone and summer is here. That's when we switch to air conditioning. And that is that!

But this year we have spring. We haven't cleaned up the back yard yet or got the vinca under control but we will when it stops raining. There are still some fall leaves on the patios but we'll take care of those later. However, I'm so excited that we actually have spring and my roses get to bloom instead of fry on the bushes, that I'm going to post pictures of my back yard today!

Here's hoping y'all are enjoying a beautiful spring in your part of the world as well!











Monday, April 27, 2015

Allergies and that crucial seventh year of marriage!


April is almost gone. May will speed by like a bumble bee on its way to a bed of clover. And then it’s June! Traditional month for long white dresses, tuxedoes, wedding cakes and all that surrounds a bride and her wedding day. But, alas, in amongst the plans there’s still allergies to deal with during that time. So the bride best be taking her antihistamine pills before the big day or she’ll be using her granny’s special lace edged hanky for more than wrapping around her bouquet.

Saying “I do” doesn’t negate the allergy symptoms. If it did there’d be a longer line in front of the court house than there is down at the Snow Cone place on the first day it opens. All brides do need to be aware of the changes that will come about during the course of the first seven years they are married, especially when it comes to dealing with allergies.

During the first year when they sniffle or sneeze, dutiful new husband will be there with a whole box of those new improved tissues with lotion in them. He’ll cook her supper, put on her favorite music, rub her feet and call the boss to let him know she won’t be at work the next day. “Now sweetheart, if you sniffle one more time or if you develop even the faintest sign of a cough I’m taking you to the emergency room. I’ll sleep right here on the floor beside the bed. No, honey, I’m not going to sleep in the bed. I might wiggle and keep you awake. I’ll be perfectly all right beside the bed in a sleeping bag. I’ll set the alarm to go off every hour so I can touch your forehead and be sure you don’t have fever. Now take this little pill and I’ll go squeeze some more fresh orange juice.”

The second year they’re married when the Cottonwoods are throwing off that white fluff and she begins to sneeze, he is still concerned. He says he’ll send out for pizza and he puts on her favorite music, but he’s got a poker game with the boys so there’s no foot rub. “You will be able to work tomorrow, won’t you? You know if you take a vacation day it cuts into our vacation time and the first day I’m scheduled to play golf on that new course in Texas. But don’t you worry your pretty head about it. Just call the doctor and get some higher powered antihistamines. I’ll be home at midnight. Wish me luck.”

The third year when the pollen begins to fly and she comes home from work with a stuffy nose, fever and red eyes, he looks up from his sports magazine and says, “Oh, no, not allergies again. Go ahead and lay down on the sofa. I’ll fix you some canned soup. The boys are coming for poker in thirty minutes. I guess this means you aren’t up to making a chocolate cake for us to snack on at midnight?”

The fourth year when the weatherman says it’s the first official day of spring she comes dragging in with bloodshot eyes and coughing louder than thunder. He takes one look at her and says, “Honey, be sensible. You know you’ve got allergies and they aren’t going to disappear. So you’ll have to learn to deal with them. When you’ve mopped the floor, done the dishes and fixed supper, please rest for a little while. Oh, I when I picked the baby up at the sitters I noticed he was out of diapers, so you’d better run to the store and buy some before you lay down.”

Fifth year? “Why don’t you take a couple of aspirin?”

Sixth year? “If you’d just gargle instead of hacking like a coyote with tonsillitis, things would sure be a lot more pleasant around here. You aren’t coming in the dining room where me and the boys are playing cards tonight are you? All that sneezing and carrying on will ruin our game.”
They say the seventh year is the first real test of whether a marriage will stand or fall. I’ve figured out why. The wife comes home with fever, a cough, sneezing, red eyes and a whole shopping bag full of tissues. She remembers those first days when Husband was so wonderful and hopes he’ll understand her problem. And what does he say?

“For Pete’s sake, can’t you stop coughing. What are you trying to do, ruin my television show? I can't hear a word they're saying about this show with you sounding like a fog horn every five seconds. What's for dinner?”

She throws the shopping bag at him, shoves him out the door and calls a divorce lawyer.

Year seven.

The first crucial year in a marriage.

It’s because of allergies.

 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

KIDNEY BEAN SOUP


Since we were out on a cruise on Easter and could not have our family gathering, we’ve reset Easter on our calendars to the day before Mother’s Day. The kids will be here, the grandkids will be here and the great grandkids will be here. It’s going to be “Soup Day” which means that we’ll make five or six huge pots of soup, various breads and desserts and after the noon meal (in our world that is dinner and the evening one is supper), we’ll have an Easter egg hunt in the back yard. And yes, we bought lots of plastic eggs and candy for the day on sale! I'm considering having our Easter late every year now that I've figured this out.

We usually have loaded baked potato soup and broccoli cheese soup and the others vary according to what the kids want. This year they want chicken and dumplings and kidney bean soup. Thought I’d share the kidney bean soup recipe with you for Recipe Sunday. It’s a hearty soup and we serve it with sliced cheddar cheese and hunks of Italian bread.

 

Kidney Bean Soup
2 lbs of hamburger
½ onion, chopped
Cover with water and boil until the meat is done
Add 4 cans (16 ounce) of dark red kidney beans
¾ cup of ketchup
2 cans of tomato sauce
¼ cup Worchestershire
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Simmer an hour, stirring often. Refrigerate leftovers if there is any and it's even better reheated on day two and three! And it freezes well for later use.

 

 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

THE OFB


There is an ancient box of curry on my kitchen shelf, leftovers from the day when I decided to enrich my children’s dietary experiences. The recipe was called something-something-chicken curry. It went over like Sunday morning hymns in Hades so I’ve forgotten the official name. The children gagged at the smell. Husband asked for hot dogs and he hates hot dogs. I poured it out in the back yard for the homeless animals. The stray skunks and possums wouldn’t eat it. The tom cats turned up their noses. The bushes nearest to it died and the grass hasn’t grown back even yet. That was 20 years ago.

So I went back to the Oklahoma Five Basics (OFB): salt, pepper, ketchup, Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. The children think I’m the best cook in the state. Husband utters a sigh of relief when he walks through the door and doesn’t smell curry. The cats don’t cut a wide swath around my house to get home after a night of heavy tom cattin’. The bushes and grass probably won’t ever grow back, but that’s my reminder to leave alone that which does not fall in the OFB.

The OFB is really just using our God-given good common sense in the kitchen. Salt is salt. It’s not Your New Improved Salt, Classic Salt, or any of those things. It’s cheap, reliable and makes everything taste better. Ever tried to get down a batch of good old fried potatoes without the salt shaker? Or how about a fresh picked garden ripe tomato? I rest my case!

Pepper is the same. Cream gravy without pepper?

Now the other three can render up a debate in a hurry. Some folks will stand on their soap boxes and spout advertisement for a certain brand of ketchup until the judgment day arrives. Same with Ranch dressing. It can cause a family feud at a reunion if Great Aunt Rosie puts the wrong kind of Ranch on her Better-Than-Thou-Green Salad.

But the real culprit is the BBQ sauce. Now that’s as personal as naming your first born. Folks have BBQ cook-offs and put their recipes in the safe deposit box down at their local bank. They carry an insurance policy on their BBQ recipes. Great Aunt Rosie has been known to spit on her knuckles, draw a line across the front yard and just dare anyone to challenge her Self-Righteous Barbecued Baby Back Ribs. If she can’t whoop a body into shape, then Uncle Moe might be forced to join in the battle since he helps brew the sauce once a year when the garden tomatoes get ripe.

Uncle Moe has a few warnings to anyone crossing the line over into Murray County, Oklahoma. One has to do with his barbecue but the rest are just as important.

1. Don’t refer to us as a bunch of hillbillies. We know our heritage and we’re proud of it. We don’t care if you think we are dumb. We know you can’t make decent BBQ sauce.

2. Don’t fake an Okie accent to get him to give you the recipe. That will cause a riot and Great Aunt Gert will be spitting on her knuckles again. She’s a real feisty one even at ninety two years old. Uncle Moe says she can spot a fake Okie accent quicker than a cob web on the ceiling of her good sittin’ room.

3. Don’t walk into the drug store and order a pop or a soda. It’s all called Coke. We don’t care if it’s Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up or Big Red. It’s still Coke and that’s what you order when you pull up a stool in front of the fountain at the local drug store ... at least when Uncle Moe is having his morning cup of coffee in the back booth. Great Aunt Rosie never could make a decent cup of coffee and she’s meaner than a grizzly bear with a sore tooth before mid morning. So Uncle Moe takes his coffee uptown.

4. Don’t be ordering wheat toast at Murray County restaurant. Eat your biscuits like the Almighty intended with gravy on the top.

5. Don’t laugh at southern people’s names (i.e., Merleen, Bodie, Luther Ray, Tammy Ann, Darla Inez, Gertrude Daisy, Moe, Billy Joe, Bubba, Sissy or Andy Bob). It’s disrespectful and Uncle Moe gets real upset at poor manners.

6. Last but not least, DO NOT, come down here telling him what to put in his BBQ. That will get you in more trouble than you can crawl out of in a lifetime. Question his BBQ by telling him he needs to add cilantro or peppers or even chocolate bars and you won’t ever be permitted to come cross the Oklahoma border at all, and forget about visiting Murray County. It ain’t about to happen.

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

KINDLE DAILY DEAL!!

Today only, April 24...
the Kindle Daily Deal offers
How to Marry a Cowboy
and
The Cowboy's Mail Order Bride
for only $1.99 each!!!

Reviews for The Cowboy's Mail Order Bride
" While the romance is hot, there is an old-world feel to it that will bring out the romantic in every reader, leaving them swooning and wishing they had their very own cowboy. 4 Stars" - RT Book Reviews

"Brown's love for all things cowboy shines." - Publishers Weekly

"As always, Carolyn Brown has given the readers a wonderful story. One that is overflowing with romance, laughter and real characters. I enjoyed it so much." - Night Owl Reviews

"Heartwarming, funny, and sexy, Brown's new take on an old trope is thoroughly satisfying." - Booklist

"Full of down home country charm, authentic Texas dialect and witty banter. " - Book Reviews by Kathy and More

"I enjoyed this little romance. It's one of those books that should come with a caution label stating 'once you start you can't put it down'. " - The Royal Reviews

"Another scrumptious, heartwarming story by author extraordinaire Carolyn Brown. " - Romance Junkies

"What a fun, clever twist on a mail order bride... This read is nothing short of perfection!" - My Book Addiction Reviews

"This series just gets cuter and more heartwarming as it goes... The homey tones, the laughter, the playful plots and the passionate romances are like sinfully delicious forbidden dessert." - Delighted Reader

"A sweet and funny love story that I enjoyed very much." - For the Love of Bookends
 

Reviews for How to Marry a Cowboy

"Brown continues her streak of satisfying contemporary western romances with the final Cowboys & Brides novel." - Booklist

""This book will have you laughing so much that you want to make sure that you
are not eating or drinking while you are reading for fear of choking from laughter.
CAROLYN BROWN is truly the Queen of Romantic Comedy.I give HOW TO
MARRY A COWBOY 5/5 stars. If I could give more I would, it was that good. I
recommend this book to everyone."" - Book Junkiez

"In Her Cowboys and Brides Series ending, Carolyn Brown once again delights us. Each book has been slightly silly, slightly crazy and all the way fun. Filled with unique characters that we can't help but fall in love with." - Bodice Rippers

"Carolyn Brown definitely knows how to write cowboy romance. Her story has so much passion and romance that it makes a perfect read." - Abigail's Book Addiction

"You have passion, romance, ranch life, fun times, and if you have read Brown then you know you are in for a good ride." - Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

"Brimming with heart, humor, heat and loads of love, this is a story you do not want to miss! Whenever I see the name Carolyn Brown on a book, I know I am guaranteed an excellent read and this book is no exception." - Romance Junkies

"This book was incredible on so many levels for me. I felt this story from the first page deep in my heart. Mason and Annie Rose's gave my heart the biggest hug it has had in a long time when reading a book. The book was so sweet I was covered in their love. This is probably one of my favorite books of the year so far." - Red's Hot Reads, 5 Stars

"What I really liked and what saved the book was the characters...especially Lily and Gabby in all their 9 year old mischievous glory." - Floating Leaves

"A solid entry in the series by Brown. Best enjoyed on a lazy afternoon when you want something feel good and light." - Backchatting Books

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Important Facts to Remember as You Grow Older!

I'm in the writing cave today working on the last couple of chapters of the WIP and trying to ignore this head cold. The writing is coming along amazingly well; the head cold and cough, not so much. My cough sounds like it's erupting from a full grown hippo that is rasping out it's last death rattle so that's pretty hard to ignore. The 911 folks called once to see if I needed an ambulance. The animal control folks showed up with a search warrant to be sure I wasn't harboring an endangered species.

Before I go back into my cave with a cup of hot tea I thought I'd pass on some useful information a friend shared with me today. It made me smile, not giggle. When I laugh, the coughing gets worse! But it did put my temporary bronchitis/cold into perspective!

IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER AS YOU GROW OLDER:

Death is the number 1 killer in the world.

Life is sexually transmitted.

Good health is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months, maybe even years.

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

In the 60’s people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last that long.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Feed a cold, starve a fever!

I looked it up to be sure that's what it really says. So I'm supposed to feed this head cold, right? The Internet says so and it never lies. And be hanged, if it's the only time in my entire life I can remember that I'm not hungry. I even passed up chocolate, ice cream with pecans on top and smoked chicken from the Rib Crib. When I refused a maple donut I knew I was in trouble.

With that said, I'll see all y'all in a couple of days when I quit sneezing, coughing and blowing my nose every ten seconds. Do not stand too close to the computer screen! One never knows how these things are spread.

I'm thinking of buying the contraption to the right...tissues are getting almighty expensive.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Housework Should be a Dirty Word!


Housework should be listed amongst the one hundred dirtiest words to ever come out of a person’s mouth. It should never be said out loud but whispered behind the hand and with the eyes shifting around the room, making sure no one has heard such foul language. If you’ll notice even those thick romance books that have hot and heavy scenes in them that would fry the brain never use such a word. Women would ban the book, burn it in the middle of the town square and gather in groves to march upon the White House if a self-respecting romance author used that word in her books. It’s so bad even censors wouldn’t think of giving it a movie rating. It’s just plain not acceptable to mention it.

Since it is a questionable word, I do declare that it should be unlawful to utter. And furthermore, seeing as how it is a controversial activity we should avoid it if at all possible. Not wanting to bring down the wrath upon my head for sinning, I’ve adopted a writ of proclamation to each and every one who enters my front door.

Be it hereby understood that:

The sofa is early attic. The chair is redneck garage sale and that chest in the corner is a Goodwill reject. They are as comfortable as they are mismatched and dusty. Rest assured Martha Stewart never ever lived in this house.

My house was clean last week. I’m so sorry you missed it. You see, I clean house every other day. Today is the other day. Tomorrow may be the other day also. Yesterday was. And please know that it is alright to touch the dust on the shelves. Feel free to express yourself artistically anyway you so desire. However, if you date it, you will be ushered to the front door promptly. You may go on down the street to the house with the cute little lattice work arbor. They read all those fancy magazines about decorating and cooking and then they apply the knowledge. I read them in the doctor's office but just thinking of dusting all that "stuff" gives me hives.
 
So this isn’t Home Sweet Home ... adjust!  It doesn’t matter if your friend’s grandma makes cookies every day and you can see your cute little snaggled toothed smile in the fresh waxed kitchen floor. You have a creative grandmother. You can’t expect me to be neat and keep up with everything else I do, like listening to the birds in the morning while I have my coffee. If you do, then perhaps it’s time to visit your little friend. Be careful on the fresh waxed floor at that house. You might fall and knock out another tooth. And tell the grandma to please give M. Stewart my best if she ever meets her.

If you don’t like my standards of cooking, then lower your standards. I will have dinner on the table as soon as I find the can opener. That’s a promise. Besides a clean kitchen is a sign of a wasted life and I do not intend to waste my life. I say that a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen. My oven and refrigerator are downright delirious.

You will not be docked points on judgement day if you help me keep this kitchen clean by eating out. If you are broke and cannot afford half price hamburgers at the local greasy spoon, remember that countless people have eaten in this kitchen and gone on to live quite normal lives. Drop down on your knees and give up thanks that there is a kitchen from which flows some kind of etible vittles, because when I remodel this room it will only have vending machines. And no, I do not intend to put silk flower swags on the soda pop machine.

Ring the bell on the foyer table for maid service. If no one answers, please feel free to ring again. If after the third ring, no one answers, do it yourself! Chances are the maid has ear plugs in and is outside getting her fingernails dirty in the flower beds or else is listening to country music while she writes one more chapter. Towels are probably in the dryer. Coffee mugs in the dishwasher. I do turn it on just before bedtime each night so yes, they are clean. Don’t ask me where the lid to the toothpaste is or how to put the toilet paper on the roller. When it is time to read my will you will find explicit directions on how to start the clothes dryer, the dishwasher and most important, how to replace toothpaste lids and how to master the art of putting paper on the roller.

From this day forth we will not utter or even think the H-word in this house. When we do decide to clean the house we pull the shades down so we don’t loose our reputation in the neighborhood.

 

Monday, April 20, 2015

PROM WEEKEND!!!

This past weekend was busy in our world. Granddaughter had prom in Sulphur, Oklahoma on Friday night...grandson had prom in Ryan, Oklahoma on Saturday night. Got to admit grandson's prom was a bit less hectic since he ran a comb through his hair, put on his suit and was ready to go. Not so with granddaughter but then beauty does come at a price...called pink sponge rollers, make up and the right color finger nail polish but in both places it produced lovely results! So without further ado, as the cliché old saying goes, here's pictures of both prom kids!!
Miss Graycyn Rose and her boyfriend, Lucky!!!
 
 

Mr. Kurtis Ray and his girlfriend, Mercedes!
 

 



 
 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

LIVE TO BE A HUNDRED...EXERCISE!!


Everything I read about folks who are prone to heart problems keeps harping on and on and on about exercise. Well, there’s nothing to exercising. Just hop out there and walk a couple of miles and it’s done. I hopped out there. I nearly died walking a couple of miles. Surely there was something a little more tailored to my fat cells.

I moaned and groaned. I said unkind words about the gene pool I’ve been swimming in since birth. My daughter finally got tired of the tirade and gave me her fitness machine. It’s supposed to give a person a total cardio-vascular workout with low impact. My fat cells liked the idea of low impact. They thought it meant something easy.

The little machine didn’t look so formidable. Somewhat like a bicycle with a big handle bar. Couldn’t be all that difficult to master.

The machine sat there for several days before I realized that I had to use it before it would help me. I’d hoped that just owning it and having it out for all the world to see might be enough. But it wasn’t.

I got on it for a trial run, grabbed the front bars, put my feet on the pedals and pushed and pulled just like I was supposed to. Well, that was easy enough. Actually there was nothing to it. I could easily fall in instant love with low impact exercising if that’s all there was to it. I could exercise right beside the air conditioner vent once a day and my heart would last forever.

On Monday morning ... all programs having to do with diet or exericing must begin on Monday morning or they never work ... I put on some good music and began my twenty minutes of cardio-vascular low impact working out. After two minutes my heart was beating fast enough to tell me that I sure didn’t want to attempt anything with a high impact. At the three minute mark my shins began to complain. The old heart and shin bones could fuss until they put up a snow cone stand in Hades. I was determined to stay with it.

At six minutes all the moisture had been low-impacted out of my body. My mouth felt like it had been swabbed out with cotton. If I would have had to spit to get into the Pearly Gates I would have been in big trouble. At ten minutes I decided half a workout of low impact was good enough to start with. I drank a gallon of water before I was able to answer Husband’s questions about the machinery.

“It’s a piece of cake,” I said. “Low impact. Nothing to it. You try it.”

Evidently he didn’t believe me. He hasn’t grabbed those bars like a long lost brother and started to give his heart a total cardio work out yet.

Through the weeks I’ve discovered just how much I hate that machine, sitting there in all it’s self-righteous, mocking glory. I’m up to twenty minutes but my knees still feel like jelly when I’m finished. I’ve found out, too, that I have to exercise early in the morning or my brain will figure out what I’m doing and find a dozen other more pleasant things to do. Like cleaning the toilet or washing down woodwork or going to the dentist.

I read an article last week about exercising. It stated that for every mile you run, or twenty minutes that you do a low-impact cardiovascular glider you add one minute to your life. Not much compensation for worrying about whether or not I’ll have enough spit in my mouth to answer the questions to get me through the Pearly Gates or not. But then when I added up the minutes, it was kind of impressive how many years I could extend my life by just twenty minutes of fighting with the machine every day.

By faithful exercise I could live to be 100 years old. That means that I can spend an additional five to six years in a nursing home at the rate of $5000 dollars per month. Yep, they can haul my low impact machine to the nursing home and set it up in my room. By then I will have a close friendship with the thing. I may not know my children or my grandchildren but I’ll demand twenty minutes on my machine every day. When I die they can bury me with a water bottle ... just in case.

 

Friday, April 17, 2015

JUSTIFIED!

The final episode has played.
 




 I am in mourning. With maple donuts and coffee and a two liter bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper, I might come out of my cave tomorrow!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Honeymoon Car!

Yesterday I posted a picture of our first car on FB and asked folks to tell me about their first car. This is a 1963 Oldsmobile F-85 and Mr. B and I bought it together just weeks before we got married. It was the first car for either of us and we were so proud of it.

That got me to thinking about the honeymoon we took in that car!

We hadn't had it but a couple of weeks and it had been a really good car right up until we said, "I do," and I promised to love, respect and honor Mr. B, to cook his meals, iron his shirts and make sure that house was clean when his mother came to visit. He promised to love, respect and honor me, to take out the trash, eat my food even when it was burned and never let his mother open the closet doors.

But the moment we said those vows that crazy little blue car started acting like it was possessed. Maybe it was the fact the neighbors saw me in that cute little white linen dress with a short veil on my head and came rushing over with their canister of rice to throw at us as we drove away. Or maybe it was the cans rattling along the alley as we left that embarrassed the poor little thing. The previous owner, a little old lady, who kept it in the garage and only drove it to the grocery store once a week and the beauty shop twice a week never tied cans to its tail pipe.

We made it to the first motel without too much trouble. It only died at a couple of traffic lights but hey, it had just had to climb two mountains so maybe it was a little bit tired. The next morning we got into Washington D. C. and the car went downright crazy. It had a full tank of gas. The oil had been changed when we bought it two weeks before. It only had twenty thousand miles on it and the tires would brand new.

But it stopped graveyard dead at every single stop light or stop sign that we rolled up to. Do you know how many traffic lights there are in D. C. Only three less than eight million. By noon I was ready to trade the thing in on Poppa's wagon and set of cantankerous mules back home. They might be slow but they were dependable.

We did some sight seeing, hit another motel that evening, and figured we'd bought a lemon. The car that was supposed to last at least until Mr. B got through college was on its way to that junkyard in the sky as soon as we got back to our apartment. I didn't care if it was a pretty shade of blue and the seats were comfortable.

We'd gotten used to the stop, try to start the engine, cuss and rant, kick the doors, try to start the engine, cuss some more and finally, right before we pulled it off to the side of the road and hitch hike home, try one more time. Give a sigh when the engine finally turned over, pat the dashboard, pray for green lights, slide through stop signs and promise to never buy another blue Oldsmobile in our entire lives.

When we got home, the family asked how the honeymoon went and we told them that we were going to shove the new car into the river as soon as we could get it there. And that's when we learned that Mr. B's brothers thought it would be a real cute trick to pull a wire of some kind under the hood. It was supposed to stop after about a block and refuse to start. Then we'd have to walk back to the in-law's house for help. Only they loosened the wire just enough to kill the engine any time we stopped.

Ten minutes later the wire was fixed and the car got Mr. B through college and his first years of teaching. We brought all three of our children home from the hospital in it and lived in three states before it finally went to that great junk yard in the sky.

I did not commit justifiable homicide the day we returned from our short honeymoon which was saying a lot for a short, loud mouthed Rebel. I don't hold grudges more than 40 years but I do not forget and I do get even so his two brothers still walk a wide swath around me!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Whole New Outlook on Make Overs!


Folks are always talking about winning a “make over.” That can involve any and everything from getting your eyebrows waxed to someone looking like Miss Piggy checking into an expensive spa and coming out six weeks later looking like Miss Crawford. The thought of anyone ripping away half my eyebrows causes words to erupt from my mouth that border on severe sinning. The idea of turning my Miss Piggy body into one like Cindy Crawford’s in a mere six weeks is straight-jacket goofy.

Since a physical make over is as probable as my gray hair turning black of its own volition, I’ve got a request to make. Could we forego the magical experience of turning my body into something tantalizing and instead could I please win a garage make over?

Last week I peeped into the garage. It reminded me of a movie ... Nightmare on Sixth Street! If an item has lived in my house in the past thirty plus years and is no longer living in my house it is now living in the garage. Husband is a renowned pack rat. Matter of fact, he may be in the Guinness Book of World Records. If you look under “pack rat” I’m sure there he would sit in the middle of his garage, surrounding by enough stuff to validate his entry.

Seemed like a really nice thing to want to win for him, and then behold if I didn’t see an article on the internet that said, “Win a Garage Make Over!” I was flabbergasted beyond words. Talk about someone being certifiably straight-jacket goofy. Had they never looked inside our garage?

I moved my little mouse around to click on the directions to put in my application. First name, last name, address, e-mail address, why did I want to have my garage made over?

The first four weren’t so hard to answer. I’ve known my first and last name a good many years. And after more than thirty years of looking at this address on the top of my checks, I’ve pretty well gotten it memorized. Husband made the e-mail address simple enough I don’t get too confused. But that last question was the stinger. I could say in 25 words or less why I wanted to have my garage made over, but they’d disqualify my entry for sure if I told them how tough a job they were facing.

Let’s see: My garage is organizationally challenged and would benefit from your expertise greatly. Pack rat Husband will be gone two days in August. Bring bull dozer.

That one sounded pretty honest but it didn’t say I couldn’t fill out more than one application to win this wonderful prize. Just to be sure I went out to the garage and took one more look. Yep, I’d better enter at least one more time. Fifty times wouldn’t hurt. So I closed the site down, pulled it right back up and started all over again.

Second attempt: Two boxes of every size wood scraps imaginable offered free to garage make over folks. Bring back hoe. Have sleeping pills for Husband.

Twenty first try: Bring camera for before and after pictures. Without living proof no one would ever believe how much magic you can work. Guaranteed to create business!

Thirty fourth: Promise to spray for spiders and scorpions. Lack of oxygen killed the rats. Door sticks. Bring WD-40. Can’t find mine. It’s in the garage somewhere.

Forty second: Taking Husband to Pennsylvania for two weeks. Please have job finished when I get home. Burn the trunk in the corner and all the contents.

Fiftieth and last attempt: Find it? Throw it out. Keep it. Sell it. Give it to your grandmother for Christmas. No questions asked. Pressing my black suit for divorce court.

All I ask if I win is to let me know which application they pulled out of cyberspace so I know what to do with Husband while they are out there yanking their hair out by the roots. When it’s over he’ll be so excited to have all his tools put on cute little bright yellow shelves; all his screws, bolts and nails organized into those clear plastic boxes; and the dried up paint thrown away. Why, he can sit out there in the middle of it all and cry like a baby

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Theory of the Disappearing Sock!


The sixty four thousand dollar question is not how to achieve world peace or who really is going to come out ahead on Justified on the last episode next week. But the big question is what happens to one of every pair of socks that gets brought through the front door.

 Can the “other sock” phenomenon be blamed upon the drier which must have a voracious appetite for socks?

Maybe so.

But it does seem strange that it only eats one at a time, and never, ever the same kind twice in a row.

Is it possible that we have a one legged ghost in our house? I haven’t heard a peg legged pirate stomping around at night but then maybe he’s a real quiet ghost.

Or does one of them crawl out of the dirty clothes basket to run away from home since it doesn’t want to be an identical twin? Maybe the poor thing feels bad about living the life of a sock looking exactly like the one of the other foot. Or maybe it depresses the poor thing because it’s been a left foot sock when it knows it was born to be a right foot sock its whole life?

Actually, I think the manufacturers make one sock out of that stuff that will outlast the Rock of Gibraltar. It will endure crime, grime and athlete’s foot. It will be around for the great grandchildren to inherit and we can rest in peace that something from our generation will be passed on from generation to generation.

However, the other sock is made of a secret fiber that is way above my classification to understand. It looks like the other one. It is attached to the other one with the same little plastic gizmo that would take an act of congress to detach. It’s been really close to the bionic sock of the century since the day it was created. It’s impossible to tell it from the one that our great grandson will inherit in the future.

However when it is time to wash the socks, presto! The bionic sock withstands the detergent, agitation and water all at the same time. But this new secret fiber disappears in the washer!

What we need to do is have a swap meet? We can take the “good” socks that survive the test of washing and drying to the swap meet to trade with other folks that might have one like it.

That way we will get a pair that will last through eighteen lifetimes and half of eternity.

When they dig up the remains of this age, the socks will be the only thing left of the whole civilization.

So I’ll trade one white tube sock with purple rings around the top for one white tube sock with no color around the top. I’ll trade a black crew sock with green stitching on the toe for a brown crew sock with a four and a half inch top.

And we’ll all go home happy with socks that will never, ever disappear again!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Your Brain!!


I saw an advertisement the other day in a magazine, complete with color pictures, that showed me what two brains looked like. One was, “This is your brain.” Looked a good bit like a handful of curdled cheese to me. The one right beside it said, “This is your brain on drugs.” Dear hearts, that poor little curdled cheese brain looked like it had been dropped into hot bacon drippings and fried crisp. I threw out all the aspirin in my medicine cabinet and read the labels on all the canned food to make sure there were no drugs listed. Even the peanut butter went into the trash.

If they can take pictures of a brain like that, it caused me to wonder just what other brains look like. Evidently all brains, be they owned by rocket scientist or a common old ditch digger, look somewhat alike until they are faced with various tests and trials.



This is your brain on puberty. It would have pictures of rock music stars tattooed upon the frontal lobes. The back side would have an array of Techni-color impressions of wild hair, tongue rings and baggy britches with no belts. If they use advanced technology and take a picture of the inside of a puberty afflicted brain, it would show an enormous hole. Somewhat like that black hole in space. There’s has to be room for all the things they need to learn when they find out just how little they do know.


This is your brain before a diet. It puffed up with a nice big smiley face on the top. This is your brain on the first day of a diet. The smiley face is frowning. This is your brain on the thirtieth day of a diet. The smiley face is gone and there’s only half as much brain as before. It can’t make rational decisions and rattles around in the skull like an old maid in a two story house. This is your brain on the second day in which you fell off the diet wagon. The smiley face is back and it’s puffing up real nice.

This is your brain after spending the day with a two year old. The frontal lobe is pierced, somewhat like that metal art they do with a nail and a hammer. It has the letters W-H-Y drilled into it so deeply, they probably wouldn’t disappear even with a healthy chunk of chocolate swirl cheesecake to help puff it back up. The side lobe is purple and green. That’s a bruise where the little darlin’s sippy cup hit you sixteen times when you were trying to take it away from him. The other side is swiveled up like a piece of cheese that’s been left in the refrigerator for six months. That’s the side that dealt with chasing him all day. There’s a possibility it will never rebuild itself.

This is your brain after thirty years of marriage. It’s compartmentalized into color coded areas. The red one knows where Husband hides his dirty socks and all the tools he can’t find laying out in plain view in the garage. The blue one knows that he hates frozen Brussels sprouts, loves chocolate almond ice cream and tolerates fudge sickles. The orange one knows all his family’s birthdays, their names down to the third cousins once removed and fifth cousins by marriage.

This is your brain after a shopping trip. There’s little lightning bolts sending messages to your feet to get off them because they ache so bad. There’s a calculator in the frontal lobe adding up all the money you spent. There’s a file cabinet in the back lobe full of excuses as to why you needed a pair of red sequined high heeled shoes. A special form is provided in the right side that lets you fill out a request for a short termed loan at the local bank. Yes, you may use your puberty stricken daughter for collateral. Just don’t expect the loan to exceed the double digit figures.

This is your brain after your mother-in-law has spent a week with you. It resembles a little rounded piece of curdled cheese that someone hacked to pieces with a meat cleaver. It knows it’s supposed to be all in a piece, but like the kitchen drawers, the linen closet and the closets after she leaves, it can’t find where it’s supposed to go.

I figured the brain on drugs would look rather tame in comparison to those brains. I dug the aspirin and the peanut butter out of the trash, ate two aspirin and made myself a PB&J sandwich.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Luscious Lemon Delight

It is Recipe Sunday!!!

And I LOVE lemon anything...that's lemon tea, lemon pie, lemon cheesecake, even lemon bundt cake! This recipe looked so good I had to share it even though I haven't made it yet. When I was a little girl, my step-sister used to work at the Murray State College cafeteria and sometimes she would bring us leftover lemon chiffon pie. This recipe reminds me of that and I do intend to make it at our next family gathering! Would love to get some feedback on anyone who makes it before I do!!


Luscious Lemon Delight

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, divided
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 (3.4-ounce) packages lemon instant pudding mix

2 2/3 cups milk

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375F.

Combine flour, 1/2 cup pecans and butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Press onto the bottom of an 11 x 8-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let stand to cool.

Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at medium speed until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.


Add 1 cup whipped topping to cream cheese mixture and fold in gently. Spread over cooled crust.

Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl. Beat until thickened. Spread on top of cream cheese layer. Top with the remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Chill, covered, for 1 hour. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Self-Control & Reading!


It amazes me that some folks have the self control to read a few pages of a good book, then lay it aside to wash dishes, water the roses or even go to bed for a whole night’s sleep.

There must be a special place in heaven reserved for folks with that kind of control…right up there beside mothers of more than one son or two daughters. They probably even get special crowns and get to sleep late on extra fluffy white clouds.

From the time I open the front cover of a book to scan the fly sheet…be it a number one New York Times best seller or poorly written trash…until I’ve sighed over the last words I’m as addicted to that book as Poppa was to Garrett snuff and Old Log Cabin whiskey.

I’m still not sure that Poppa didn’t meet Mama in the first level of eternity with a scowl on his face because she didn’t tuck that little metal can full of snuff in his front overall pocket before they buried him.

That’s every bit how addicted I am to reading. I do mean total and absolute addiction. Not to the point where I carry the book around with me while I vaccum, dust or talk on the phone. Forget that nonsense. I unplug the phones, turn off the cell phones, ignore the dust, forget what a vacuum cleaner is and curl up in my favorite recliner to read.

It’s the only time the grandkids can paint he walls orange and red with markers and do a mural of Old McDonald’s farm in ketchup and mustard on the ceiling. Just don’t interrupt me while I’m trying to get Skink out of trouble out there in the swamp land.

The house goes to the pits. By the time the last page is finished, the last giggle has ended and the last tear dried, the house looks like someone invited a few folks over for a party…like about fifty and they stayed a week.

By then I feel as guilty as warmed over sin on Sunday morning and I swear I’ll never read a whole trilogy at one sitting again. My eyes feel like 80 grit sandpaper and there’s a migraine trying to set up an abode in the back of my head.

This spring has been a mad house so I haven’t had time to indulge in binge reading.

Like a food-o-holic who has a chocolate cake in the house and not even tasted the icing with a thumb nail, I got it in my mind that I had conquered the terrible “reading illness.”

There are hundreds of hard bound books on the bookcase and dozens of paperbacks waiting to be read in my TBR pile. And I had that self control issue cured so I could take a couple of hours and start a book one evening about two hours before bed time.

But how did one ever stop at the end of chapter four. Good lord! I couldn’t leave the heroine in that state of mind. Just one more chapter and I would put the book down. I was in control. I hadn’t even unplugged the phones.

Then it was midnight and the heroine was locked in a dungeon with snakes and spiders and the alpha heroes were still an hour away. It was raining and the thunder was so loud that she could hardly hear the pounding of her heart.

I promised myself I would put the book down at one o’clock. After all I had a deadline to meet the next day with my own writing. But then the alpha heroes arrived and I had to read on to find out which one she was going to fall for.

The sun was coming up over the horizon when I finished the last page. So much for self control!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bathtubs and Telephones!


I read a quotation that there were 25 years between the time that the bathtub was invented and the telephone came about. Talk about a heavenly time. Just think about sitting for hours and hours in a tub of hot, steamy water topped off with a foot of bubbles, reading your favorite romance book ... and the telephone does not ring.

I’m sure there were even a few years past that first quarter of a century when women folks could bathe without the phone ringing. Then the bathtub engineers joined up with the bubble bath, water company and laundry soap folks and came up with an ingenious idea. Put a pressure gizmo on the bottom of the bathtub that sends a signal to the telephone company to put forth all calls to your number immediately.

That way the person in the tub has to crawl out, wrap a towel around her body and answer the phone. While she’s gone the water gets cold, the bubbles go flat and the towel she wrapped up in is soaked. Consequently, the water must be drained and new run, another six ounces of bubble bath used and a new towel drug out when the second attempt is done.

Sounds like a conspiracy to me!!

A couple of weeks ago it happened just that way. Supper was over so all the telemarketers had gone home. I had a new book to read and bubble bath I’d gotten for Christmas and still hadn’t had time to use.

I’d just settled down to read at least half the book when the telephone rang. My first thought was to let it ring or let the answering machine pick up. But what if it was an emergency?

I hurried to find a towel, slid across the hardwood floor and grabbed the phone just in time to hear a click and the dial tone. Righteous indignation is the ability to be mad without using swear words. My indignation was slightly tarnished.

Back to the tub. At least the water was still warm and the bubbles still floated on top like froth on hot chocolate. That thought almost made me hungry enough to abandon the tub and go to the kitchen, but I fought down the urge and crawled back in. The minute my weight hit the bottom of the tub the phone rang. With murmurings far from having a halo I grabbed the soggy towel and hurried to the phone.

“Hello!” I said grumpily.

“Hello, Mrs. Brown, this is Minnie with Neiman Marcus and our books show that your account has exceeded the five thousand dollar limit. Could you please send us a check for two thousand five hundred and fifty dollars and thirteen cents by tomorrow afternoon?”

“Hey, I do my shopping at the Goodwill stores and garage sales,” I stammered.

“This is Mrs. Rudolph Hugh Brinson Brown the fifth of Oklahoma City, isn’t it?” She said tersely.

“No, ma’am. This is Mrs. Charlie Brown the one and only of Davis, America,” I informed her just as tersely. “And she’s standing here in a frayed, soggy towel while her bath water gets cold and she does not owe Neiman Marcus a single dime, darlin’.”

“Yeah, right, and I’m Minnie Mouse. When are you going to pay this bill?” she said. Icicles dripped from her voice. But I didn’t really care. They were dripping from the ends of my towel.

“Just as soon as Miss Piggy pays me for cleaning her house and when I can talk Donald Duck into providing an answering service for folks who can’t get the right number. Have a good day, Minnie Mouse.”

By the time I got back to the tub the bubbles were flat and the water was cold. I opted for a two minute shower and some hot chocolate to sip while I read the book snuggled up on the couch. The phone did not ring again all evening. I wonder if I can pay the bathtub folks to unhook the gizmo in the bottom of the tub.

 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

French Fries and Babies!



When I was a child I overheard my mother and grandmother visiting about several women in our little town expecting a baby the same month. Granny said it was the result of that new drinking fountain in the church foyer. There was something contagious in that water.

For weeks I watched folks drink out of that fountain and worried about them. There were some really old women and some giggly young girls drinking from that fountain. It just plain scared me to death to think of any of them with a brand new baby.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why the pastor was so adamant about putting installing the water fountain if it was going to cause a population explosion. Then one Sunday he preached about God telling Noah to go forth and multiply. It began to make a little bit of sense to me then. It all had to do with water.

I hadn’t thought about that in years until my granddaughter, Issy, decided she was having a baby brother. It has always been difficult for Isabella to grasp that simple word -- the one that begins with N and ends with O, even as a child and she is now a college student. She still doesn’t have a firm handle on the word, especially when the professors tell her she can’t do something.

So as “Ma” in Golden Girls used to say, “Picture this…Davis, Oklahoma, sixteen years ago..."
 
 Granddaughter Issy was only four years old and wanted a baby brother.

Our daughter, Amy, had to think up a plausible excuse that a four year old could understand so Issy was promptly informed that a baby brother was an impossibility since Amy was too old to have children.

The next week Issy picked out a book at the library for Amy to read to her. It was about two sisters, one in middle school and one in third grade, and there was going to be another baby in the house. Huh-oh! My daughter’s excuse fell by the wayside. There was no way she was too old to produce Issy a baby brother, since neither Issy nor her big sister were in middle school yet. So Issy commenced to debating with her mother about that word, no.

Then one of their family friends, who was the same age as Issy’s mother, stopped by to tell Amy that she expecting a baby. Issy took one look at the lady, who was only a couple of months away from her due date and began to think about the whole thing. If Cindy’s kids could have a baby in their house, then it stood to reason, Issy could have one in her house. She just had to find out what she needed to do to make her mother look like Cindy.

That very night they had grilled hamburgers and French fries for supper ... about the same time my daughter decided to start a new diet.,

“Momma, why aren’t you eating French fries?” Issy refused to eat her fries because if her mother was passing them up then it was a sure fire thing that something was wrong with them.

“Because they’ll make me fat,” Amy said.

“Really, French fries will really make you fat?” Issy’s little blue eyes glittered.

“Yes, they will,” Amy said.

Issy had the rest of the equation. Two plus two, multiplied by ten French fries equals one baby brother. Her mother wasn’t too old because the mother in the book could still have a baby when she her daughter was in the third grade and Issy was just in pre-kindergarten. Her mother’s friend was pretty round so evidently a lady had to get fat to get a baby. And French fries did the trick.

The next time they went out to the restaurant, Issy ordered a hamburger and French fries. “Momma, eat these French fries,” she tried to poke them down Amy’s throat.

“I told you I’m not eating those things,” Amy declared. “They’re so fattening it’s terrible.”

“Even more than a chocolate malt or cookies or cake?” Issy asked.

“Yes, they are,” Amy answered.

Issy had her answer carved in stone forever amen. It was French fries. If she could just get her mother to eat ten ... who knows where she got that number ... then she would get fat and Issy would get a baby brother out of the deal.

“Well, then I want you to eat them,” Issy said. “Eat all of mine. I want you to get really fat.”

“Isabella Ruth, I’m not eating your fries. Why do you want me to get fat anyway?” Amy’s brain kicked into overtime and smelled a rat.

Issy rolled her eyes and said in a nice loud voice so everyone in the whole establishment could hear, “Because if you eat 10 French fries, then you’ll get fat. And if you get fat then you can have me a baby brother, so just eat the French fries and I can have a baby brother.”

Times had changed. When I was her age little girls got siblings when their mothers drank from water coolers in the church foyer. In Issy’s day French fries produced the same results. I’m wondering what new fangled idea this new generation of pre-schoolers can come up with to produce baby brothers.

Now for the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say: Issy wound up getting two baby sisters, one when she was seven, another when she was twelve so maybe French fries make baby girls instead of brothers!!