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Remember When…

  • Remember when news was news…neither, fake, exaggerated, or distorted? Neither do I.

  • Remember when the U.S. Postal Service deliveredUSPS mail promptly and actually offered SERVICE, not two-hours of line waiting?

  • Just who is afraid of Virginia Wolff? And Why?

  • NFLRemember when the NFL did not own football? QBs were not prima donnas, and tackles actually tackled.

  • Remember when $20 bought more groceries than you could carry from the car to the house in one trip?

  • Remember when everything did not have to be looked up online? Movies actually listed movie times in the newspaper.

  • Just what is up Doc?

  • PC hunterRemember when everything and everyone did not have to politically correct?

  • Gone are the days when a telephone book was useful.

  • Do you wonder who framed Roger Rabbit?

  • What has replace the ultimate send off…”Here’s a dime, go call someone who cares.”

  • Where was I when the response to “Thank you” became “No problem”? What happened to “You’re welcome?”

  • Remember when food was food, not fat-free, food labelcholesterol-free, gluten-free, high-fiber, and lo-cal? And a food label was not the length of a novel?

  • Who shot Liberty Valance?

  • Remember when pickup trucks cost less than a year’s salary?

  • Remember when cable TV had no ads? Now there are ad channels: QVC to name one.

  • Remember when life had less stress? Technology demands we be someplace or do something every waking hour or we are missing out on life.

  • O brother, where art thou?

    Remember answering the phone and being surprised at who had called you?

  • When did being a good Samaritan morph into road rage?

  • And, whatever happened to Baby Jane?baby jane

 

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Rosemary Becomes a Real Woman

Sixty-six years ago, Rosemary,(pronounced Rose-ah-Mary) a good catholic, Sicilian girl was still childless. Despite being married for some time, she was not “a real woman.” To prove she was a real woman, per her Sicilian family, she needed a child. Fruit of her womb. A child, male or female.

NOLA city busIn the winter of 1952, per family lore, she was hit by a New Orleans City bus and drug down the street.  (Their words,not mine.) A few months later, Rosemary was in the family way. “Shook something loose,” said her family.

What she shook loose was born in September of that year, my Sicilian. And several years later, without the bus incident, she produced another son.

Today is the Sicilian’s natal day. Hard to buy him a gift when he has everything . . . me, Spot the Wonder Dog, and his own room for watching TV. But, I succeeded in giving him a surprise, a small fridge for his room which I filled with adult beverages. This morning Spot presented him with a snack basket full of the Sicilian’s favorite treats,(jerky, Junior Mints, Whoppers, M&Ms, red ballpopcorn and Lay’s Dressed Chips). Nestled among the food items was a new red, rubber ball.

Spot subscribes to the motto . . .  “Give unto others what you would like to receive.” I’m sure in her little brain she thinks, “He’s always throwing things for me to catch, so I should give him a new ball.”

The ball was a great hit. Spot immediately engage the Sicilian in her favorite sport, fetch. In the house no less which gives Spot a chance to slide scratches across our hardwood floors and shed another zillion hairs. I swear that dog should be bald with the amount of hair she loses daily.

FrogDespite writing comical incidents about what the Sicilian and I do, he is more than fodder for my blog. He is the best man in the world for me. I know this because I kissed a number of warty frogs before I found my handsome prince. He tolerates my perfectionism with only minor grumbling, and tells me all publishers and agents are idiots when I receive another rejection. So, today, dear Sicilian, I want the world to know I love you. Happy Birthday! And I wish you many many more.

happy birthday

Solar Totality: A Total Bust

For almost a year I planned to attend the Total Eclipse of the sun in Nebraska where I have family. My first mistake was booking our tickets for the wrong dates. I expected the airline to take a bite of my bank account to change the tickets, but due to a glitch in their computer system, they had no record of my purchase, even though I had a confirmation number and my credit card had been charged. Hmmm.

AfSolar-telescopeter I received a credit on my charge card, I re-booked our flight. The Sicilian and I were ready. Him, not so much since Spot the Wonder dog had to be boarded for 10 days.

Meanwhile my son, an amateur astronomer, was spending hours and hundreds of dollars to make his telescope set up portable. Not a small feat as you can see, but he was ready long before August 21.

My girl friend and I, who love to have theme parities, were planning the Great Eclipse Party. solar cookiesOur selected spot for the venue was a family farm 35 miles south of Lincoln, NE. Between us we had created unique party favors, made eclipse sandwiches and cookies, bought champagne, Sun Chips and Moon Pies. We were ready.

Two days before the event, every weather forecast from South Africa to Nova Scotia said eastern Nebraska would be covered in clouds. I lived in Nebraska for years. Clouds in August are as common as tornadoes at the north pole, and yet were forecast.

My son located a second private spot for our party 100 miles west of Lincoln where better viewing might be possible. We waited until 7 a.m. on Aug 21 to decide where to set up for the big event. The weather reports indicated clouds in both locations, so we opted for the 35 mile drive.

My son had brought guns to shoot in this remote location to pass the time.  And the Sicilian found ditch weed while we waited for the event to start.

At 11, the clouds parted. Cheers and solar glasses were donned. Champagne was poured. The Sicilian broke into a spontaneous dance. My son took an excellent picture of the moon starting to cover the sun, and then the damn weatherman was right. Clouds

Twenty minutes before totality, 8 of us zoomed off in different directions hoping to get a glimpse of totality. Nada, zip, zilch, zero. We stopped along a country road at 1:02 p.m. Darkness, crickets, but no view of the sun. Less than ½ mile away we heard a huge crowd in a park away gasp as they saw totality.

My disappointment was huge and compounded by the fact that people at the viewing site 100 miles west of us had a great view. For once I should have believed those lousy weathermen. Bummed, totally.

Solar Totality: A Total Bust

For almost a year I planned to attend the Total Eclipse of the sun in Nebraska where I have family. My first mistake was booking our tickets for the wrong dates. I expected the airline to take a bite of my bank account to change the tickets, but due to a glitch in their computer system, they had no record of my purchase, even though I had a confirmation number and my credit card had been charged. Hmmm.

AfSolar-telescopeter I received a credit on my charge card, I re-booked our flight. The Sicilian and I were ready. Him, not so much since Spot the Wonder dog had to be boarded for 10 days.

Meanwhile my son, an amateur astronomer, was spending hours and hundreds of dollars to make his telescope set up portable. Not a small feat as you can see, but he was ready long before August 21.

My girl friend and I, who love to have theme parities, were planning the Great Eclipse Party. solar cookiesOur selected spot for the venue was a family farm 35 miles south of Lincoln, NE. Between us we had created unique party favors, made eclipse sandwiches and cookies, bought champagne, Sun Chips and Moon Pies. We were ready.

Two days before the event, every weather forecast from South Africa to Nova Scotia said eastern Nebraska would be covered in clouds. I lived in Nebraska for years. Clouds in August are as common as tornadoes at the north pole, and yet were forecast.

My son located a second private spot for our party 100 miles west of Lincoln where better viewing might be possible. We waited until 7 a.m. on Aug 21 to decide where to set up for the big event. The weather reports indicated clouds in both locations, so we opted for the 35 mile drive.

My son had brought guns to shoot in this remote location to pass the time.  And the Sicilian found ditch weed while we waited for the event to start.

At 11, the clouds parted. Cheers and solar glasses were donned. Champagne was poured. The Sicilian broke into a spontaneous dance. My son took an excellent picture of the moon starting to cover the sun, and then the damn weatherman was right. Clouds

Twenty minutes before totality, 8 of us zoomed off in different directions hoping to get a glimpse of totality. Nada, zip, zilch, zero. We stopped along a country road at 1:02 p.m. Darkness, crickets, but no view of the sun. Less than ½ mile away we heard a huge crowd in a park away gasp as they saw totality.

My disappointment was huge and compounded by the fact that people at the viewing site 100 miles west of us had a great view. For once I should have believed those lousy weathermen. Bummed, totally.

Life Without AC

hot sunSummer in the deep south is hot, very hot, and humid. You’ve heard it said, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”  Phooey.  It is the HEAT and the HUMIDITY. From Mid-May to Mid-October in south Louisiana every day is  hot and humid with a chance of a pop-up shower in the afternoon.

Murphy’s law struck our AC last week. If you are not familiar with Murphy, you can read about it here.  Murphy’s  main law is: “If anything can go wrong it will.” And I add, “Generally things go wrong at the worst possible time.”

Case in point. My best friend, Cindy was our  house guest last week. Thursday night the hot 82 degreesSicilian went to bed at 9:30. My friend and I retired at 10 p.m. As I passed the thermostat I noticed the reading: 82 degrees. Not good.

The Sicilian falls asleep 37 seconds after his head hits the pillow, which irks me, but that is another blog. I wake him. He’s confused, disoriented, and then disgusted.

“What do you mean the AC is not working?” He mumbles.

“It’s 82. Should be 77,” I reply. “The house will be a sauna by morning. We have to put our window AC unit in here.” (Like most folks in the hurricane zone, we have a generator and room AC unit to use if power goes out during a storm.)

“What about, Cindy? We can’t let her cook in the guest room,” he said.

“I’ll bring the futon in our room. We can all sleep in here.” Then it dawns on me, we have another AC unit in the Sicilian’s manly Escape Room above the garage. I rouse Cindy and tell her she will be sleeping in another room tonight.

So begins the wrestling of two cumbersome AC units. The window unit will not fit in our room because of plantation shutters, so we lug it to Cindy’s new guest room. Meanwhile the Sicilian has gone outside with the flash light to check the central AC unit which is humming like a large bee. I shut it off before it ignites.

He shoves the window unit toward Cindy and me. Our window sills are not flat, the unit lehot window acans precariously outside. The vents to drip humidity are mostly outside the room. We shut the window.  Before the unit  can be turned on, gravity takes over and the unit  is hanging by it’s cord outside the window.

“Quick,” I say to Cindy. We have to get it back in the window before the Sicilian sees this.”

Cindy and I pull  the AC  back through the window, lean it inward and turn it on. It works, but humidity is dripping on the window sill. Dishtowels fix that.

There is a gaping hole around the AC unit letting hot air into the room because the side expansion units won’t fit.  “I’ll get a cookie sheet.” Too small, it fell right through the window. At last a plastic cutting board and lots of duct tape plug the window. Cindy is busy putting sheets on the futon bed, while I turn on the over head fan and install a floor fan. At 11 p.m. she is relaxing in her cool bedroom.

As for the Sicilian and me, we must now bring the floor AC unit  downstairs. This is hot AC floor unit 2similar to lugging  a Volkswagen with a 10 foot cumbersome exhaust system down a flight of stairs. Thankfully it installs easier than the window unit.

Ever the gentleman, the Sicilian says he will sleep on my side of the bed where the AC will be blasting, because ” I know you don’t like fans blowing on you.”

“You don’t have a lamp on your side. How can I read?” I ask.

“It’s late. Go to sleep,” he says. And he does.

hot reading by flashlightIf only, I think. I read by flashlight, not an easy trick, but at least the room was cool.

NOTE: As for the AC repair, we were given an appoint 4 days hence. But, thankfully my post on FaceBook rewarded me with a commercial AC man who lives in the neighborhood. We were up and running a day later. Woo hoo. Or should I say COOL man, cool?

Lawn Marshall

neighborhoodThe Sicilian, aka my husband for those who are new to this blog, has appointed himself the Lawn Marshall for our subdivision. For someone who detests authority, abhorred his time in the military, and was forced  into management for the last three years of his career,  I find it odd he has given himself this position of power. Actually it is a position of no power, as the neighbors are unaware that he is maintaining a mental score card of their behavior.

If you want  the Sicilian to make notations on your Permanent Record,  do one of the following:

  • Leave a  garbage can on the street for more than a day before the designated pick up day or more than a day after the garbage is removed.
  • Put up holiday decorations more than a month before any given holiday.
  • Fail to remove holiday decorations  by two weeks after the holiday has passed.

FOR THE RECORD, one house at the front of the subdivision is on permanent report. Their Mardi Gras decorations are still up, and Mardi Gras was February 27.

spiderAnother  home owner left Halloween pumpkins in their front garden for  a year. (I  noticed them and told the Sicilian. Yes I like to needle him about his idiosyncrasies.) Now they too have a black mark on their  permanent record.

While long-term holiday decorations upset the Sicilian, they don’t bother me. One house sported a huge spider for Halloween that covered the front of the two-story house.. It  remained there for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not your usual fall or Christmas decoration, but perhaps they were celebrating the year of the arachnid.

  • Dogs running at large irk the Sicilian, especially if they bother Spot the Wonder Dogdog running wild who is  leashed or confined to her yard. I agree, these people should have a tick mark on their permanent record.
  • If the grass is knee-high, mowing is needed, ASAP.

Every neighborhood, despite the cost of the homes, has one person who is a pain in the arse. trashy yard Ours is the Squire. He sets a high standard for blight in our neighborhood.  His dogs roam at will, cars, trailers, trucks, and miscellaneous items are strewn on his lawn and driveway.  There is not a Permanent Record large enough to record his misdeeds

horses arse 1 If you do not see a pain in the arse in your neighborhood, check your yard and look in the mirror. It could be YOU. If code enforcement, the sheriff, or animal control visit you on a regular basis, watch out. Someone has recorded this on your permanent record.

Is this YOU?s arse 2

Goodness Gracious, Snakes Alive!

cypress kneesI’ve lived in the muggy, buggy swamps of south Louisiana for seventeen years. I’ve had more than my fair share of encounters with fire ants, stinging caterpillars, mosquitoes the size of small drones, and wasps, but mercifully I’ve been spared snakes until this year.

One encounter is more than enough for me, and any more than that means we have an epidemic of  Biblical proportions. This year the seven plagues Pharaoh suffered is nothing compared to my snake encounters.

My first snake encounter occurred about three weeks ago. I was enjoying a leisurely swim in our pool, alone, because the Sicilian does not enter the water until it reaches bathtub heat of 90 degrees. He and Spot the Wonder Dog were on the patio playing chase the ball. (Spot chasing, the Sician throwing.)

Suddenly the Sicilian stands and yells, “Come here, Spot. Come here right now.” Heimg_1689 opened the back door. “Get in the house.”

Spot runs into the house and just before the Sicilian entered I yelled,  “Why are you going inside? It’s nice out here.”

“There is big black snake here. I don’t want Spot to fool with it.”

The door snapped shut. My response  was spoken to the wind, “What about your wife? You’re leaving me out here alone when a snake is rampaging through our yard?” I was not a happy camper having been left to fend for myself.

The following week I left for Nebraska where it was so cold snakes were still hibernating. On a late night phone call to the Sicilian, he told me, “Tyler (a thirteen year old neighbor boy) came over this afternoon and said his mother needed me. I followed him across the street. When I asked him what his mother wanted, Tyler said, ‘There’s a big black snake on our patio and my dad won’t be home for two hours, You have to get rid of it.’”

“So what did you do?” I asked.

“Tyler checked snakes on his phone,” the Sicilian said, “and we identified the beast as a rat snake, not poisonous. His mom wanted me to kill it, but I just chased it off their patio with a broom into the creek.”

“So, you helped her, but abandoned your wife to deal with the snake in our back yard?”  I think he sensed the venom in my voice 1200 miles away.

snake by house 2And then…  a week later I opened the front door to walk to our curbside mail box and was greeted by  a huge snake less than three feet from the door. My scream broke the sound barrier. Spot had run past the snake toward the mailbox; I yelled for her to return inside, which she did. If she hadn’t obeyed, she would have been on her own. I love the little mutt, but when it comes to snakes, it is every man and dog for themselves.

The Sicilian rose from the couch to check out the commotion. We cautiously went outside. I was poised to run. We watched the snake quickly slither past a flowerpot and disappear. The Sicilian moved the pot, no snake.

“Where is it?”

“Not to worry,” says the Sicilian, it’s harmless rat snake.

“Harmless? To who? My heart has been stressed to the max, my throat is sore from thesnake by house screaming, and I’m a nervous wreck.”  Seconds later I discovered the three-foot snake curled up looking mean and evil ten feet from where I was standing.

The Sicilian said, “It won’t hurt you,” as he beat feet into the house and shut the door. So much for my visions of the Sicilian being my snake charmer.

I am now on high alert.

(By the way, the 3 dead snakes I have seen on my daily walk with Spot are the only good snakes I have seen this year.)