Rosemary Becomes a Real Woman

Especially for my Sicilian.

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


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.)

30 Second Memory

brain-fullDuring our life, the Sicilian and I  have allowed many useless facts to claim brain cells that we now could put to better use. Much of this worthless information should have been put in short term storage, just long enough to pass a required college course, i.e. Asian Politics, freshman English, or Lacrosse rules, but sadly it is permanently  rooted into our limited brain cells, cells  we both need now.
The latest example of our short term memory shortage took place on Wednesday when we took Spot to a nearby pet store to have her img_1689nails groomed. Spot likes a car ride, but has never liked the pet store ever since she almost failed puppy obedience class. Spot marches to the beat of a different drummer, and “leave it,” “Come,” and heeling are not on her to do list. She trotted into the store’s grooming area and crouched under a chair, frightened. During her 10 minutes of nail grinding, we picked up a new toy for her to destroy.  She seemed more stressed that usual when we snapped on her leash to take her to the car.
poo-pooNot wanting to upset my gentle readers, I’ll sum up the ride home as briefly as possible. Spot deposited an odiferous gift for us on the back seat. Our usual 5 minute trip home took 15 minutes as all the traffic  lights were red and slow drivers were everywhere.  Like dogs, the Sicilian and I hung our heads out the window to breathe fresh air.
Once home, I removed the custom rug from the back seat of the car and cleaned it.  We left my car on the drive with the windows open. The Sicilian put the cleaned rug on the trunk of his car which was in the garage.car-mats-3
I thought, I must remind him to put the carpet back in my car when he puts my car in the garage.
“I’m putting your car in the garage,” the Sicilian said.
Thank you,” I replied, but since 30 seconds had passed, I’d forgotten about the rug.
Thursday morning I planned to remind the Sicilian about the rug before he left for jury duty, but 30 seconds passed from when I thought about the rug until he told me goodbye.
garbage-can-2Friday morning  we were walking Spot. About ½ mile from our house I notice a garbage can curbside for pickup that had a neatly rolled up rug on top.
“Looks like a car rug,” I said. “It is one!” I said as we neared the garbage can. “It looks like mine. It is mine!”
Yep, you guessed it. The Sicilian zipped off for jury duty with the  rug on his trunk. It blew off ½ mile from home. Sheesh. The memory is a terrible think to lose.
The Sicilian just called to me  from the den, “Wait  a second, I’m writing something. I don’t want to lose my train of thought.”  When I finished I asked, “What did you want?”
30 seconds had passed.  “I forgot,” he said.einstein
A word to the young: Be like Einstein. He did not even know his telephone number. He said, “Do not memorize or clutter your brain with anything that can be looked up.”  Smart man.   If I had done  this 40 years ago, I might have enough brain cells left to remember what I’m suppose to do this afternoon.

TSA: Totally Stupid Actions to make you feel safe…or not.

The Sicilian and I will be traveling soon. I wish I could put him in my checked luggage for several reasons.
1. He despises flying.
reclined-seat2. He is always seated behind a passenger who thinks he is having a tooth extracted and reclines his seat so it is impossible for the people behind him to move, ( even if you have paid for extra leg room)
3. And worst of all, there is the TSA BS.
To spare my nerves, the Sicilian and I usually go through a different TSA lines.
On a previous trip we were bringing back rocks from suitcase-with-rocksColorado which appear as dark blobs on the TSA x-ray machine.
A TSA drone said, “What do you have in your suitcase?”
The Sicilian responds, “You have the X-ray machine. You tell me.”  This baffles the TSA. After a lengthy pause the Sicilian said, “Rocks.”
“Oh, Okay.” The TSA drone waves the Sicilian though with no further inspection. Yes, that made me feel  safe.
pocket-knifeAnd why to I call these hard-working government employees drones? Because Spot the Wonder Dog can sniff out treats better than these clowns can observe dangerous objects in your luggage via their X-ray machine. Case in point: Numerous times I have unintentionally carried a pocket knife on an airplane in my purse and never was questioned. But the same pocket knife set off bells and whistles like a winning slot machine when I tried to enter the local courthouse with it in my purse. ( For faithful readers you know about the bullet incident.)
Whatever you do when flying, don’t refuse to go through their body scanner. If you do, they send a pervert to check out your junk and other body parts. I’ve have pelvic exams that were not as invasive as the body check I had from a TSA person.
jar-of-figsMy final comments on the “we make you feel-safe TSA drones” is this: If that pint jar of commercially prepared figs I was bringing to friends was so dangerous I could not carry it on the airplane, how were you able to toss it in a nearby container and stand by these figs  for the rest of your work shift? Did you fear for your life?  And what about all the other passengers? Why should they be forced to pass by a container full of water bottles, canned food, and dangerous figs?
For a price, I understand  it is now possible to receive a  “TSA Get of Jail Free Card”get-out-of-jail that allows you to by-pass all this folderol and just board the plane. But, who is to say these jail-free types  have not  changed their political agenda, developed a personal grudge against the world, or are convinced aliens will beam the airplane to another realm against their wishes.
SEA&SEA 1200HDAll this is food for thought before you fly. And it certainly is better food than what you will be served in flight. Bone Appetit, as Spot would say.

Baptism by Oops

stupid-signSheesh, my Daddy used to say when a situation defied normal expressions of surprise. That word, and that word alone sums up my past week.  After reading this, some of you may say clumsy, inattention, stupidity, and feebleness might be a better word, but I’m sticking with Sheesh.
Tuesday, walking on flat concrete, in full daylight, I managed to make a swan dive onto the concrete. My right hip took a blow, and my fist landed under me bruising my “right airbag.” The Sicilian not wanting to embarrass mebruised-breast referred to my breast as an airbag when relating my fall to his golf partner.. Suffice it to say my burlesque career is over. If this had been Fat Tuesday, AKA. Mardi Gras, my purple green and gold breast would have been in style, but in Mid-September it is just painful.
After this tumble, which thankfully was witnessed by no one, I decided to be more careful.  Needing to touch up the mural on our fence, I put on my New Balance shoes for two reasons, (1) to give me stable footing on our uneven yard, and(2) to protect me from the fire ants that hide in the plants near the mural.  I put on my swimming suit, as the day was hot and I planned to swim afterwards, a fish-designed shirt which was ancient, but one of my favorites, and of course my solar shield sunglasses over my regular glasses. Add a ball cap as a visor and you can  visual me as a wanna-be-da Vinci.
I poured green paint in a plastic cup and touched up leaves on the fence. I returned to the paint cans and mixed brown paint to refurbish the trees in the mural. Intent on my spot-by-holeproject, I walked with determination toward the mural, happy that I had been spared fire ant bites. Focused on my destination I forgot about the hole Spot the Wonder dog and made by digging in when she runs around the pool.
Yep, I stepped into it. Twisted my ankle that I had spent several thousand dollars and six-weeks in a cast having repaired years ago, and fell to the ground.  I can attest to the fact that the ground is a better landing zone than concrete, but that is about all. And the paint, ypaint-covered-headep, you guess it. I baptized the ground, my hat, head, hair, and glasses with paint, which momentarily blinded me. I tossed the paint covered items into the pool, picked myself off the ground, and limped toward the pool steps. Sheesh!
I do not recommend removing paint in a swimming pool, but this was a dire situation. Thankfully again, no one witnessed my fall.  In some respects that is sad, because a video might have garnered me $10,000 on Americans Funniest Videos, but then again, who needs that kind of fame?
I have no idea what I will do for an encore.  I hope there won’t be one.