If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Too good not to share

I KNOW. It's past Christmas. Time to put away the carrolls. But this one is just too good NOT to share. It's fun. I need some fun right now. This helped a lot!

Thanks to Michelle over at "Sont les mots qui vont très bien ensemble" for pointing this out. Now click on over and enjoy:

Peace, Blessings and Giggles to all!

Monday, December 24, 2007


TEE HEE HEE! Hi peoples!

While the crazy lady is off playin' with her kids I thought I'd just sneak in here and have some fun! She's gonna be sooo surprised when she gets back! Hope she likes my Christmas present. See how I fixed up her header up there and made this place more classylike?? Pretty clever, huh! That old stuff was just too boring!

Now for my Christmas Wish. This here's a special message from me and all my buddies. Thanks to
Junsuitora over there at YouTube for puttin' this together.

Now you know more about us, maybe we can all just get along!

Hope y'all have a great Christmas. I'll spend it with most of the friends and family you saw in the video. Then the Skunkles are comin' over tomorrow afternoon for some desserts an' such. Took 'em a while, but they finally forgave me for that amonia prank. Called us even-steven on everything. But I'm still gonna make 'em taste anything they bring before I put it in my mouth! I may be a squirrel, but I ain't nuts!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

MY Christmas wish is coming true.

Bug and Lady N come in on Sunday, 12/23. My home is ready. My heart is ready. My jitteries are as ready as they will ever be.

10 hours from now I WILL BE HUGGIN' A BUG! And I couldn't be more excited! The only thing that could make it better would be if Twig and Daughter and Lady T could be home, too. And one very special, very missed lost lamb, too. But I believe she'll find her way home some day. So many have already come wandering back over the last couple of months that my faith is stronger than ever that she will come home again some day. Until then, this is for my Angel girl, wherever she might be.

OK - no tears. no fears. I'm going to go enjoy today and let God take care of tomorrow, and all my babies - wherever they may be.

Since Bug and Lady N will be here, I'll be limited on the amount of time I have to spend in here. So, I wanted to jump in and say:

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and My fondest wishes for Peace, Blessings, and LOTS more Fulfilled Christmas Wishes.

Friday, December 21, 2007


This is for my friend, Lisa D. I'd never heard of this song before she told me about it when we worked together a few years ago. Now, every year I look forward to hearing it at least once a season. I've been so sad this year because I haven't heard it yet, so I took the hippo by the tail and found it to share with y'all.

Peace, Blessings and HIPPO HUGS!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How Damama Killed Christmas

My friend Ed is a very warped man with a wicked sense of humor... and that's only PART of what I love about him.

This is the Christmas card he sent me:

Thanks, Ed. I love you, too!

Legal stuff: Don't know where it came from before Ed got his goofy hands on it. If you do, please let me know so I can say, "wow, nice work _______."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Little Girl's First Christmas - a True Story

Christmas! Wow! With a Christmas tree and presents and lights and everything! The little girl stood staring in amazement at decorations as if she’d never seen anything like them before in her life. And in truth, she hadn’t. At 7 years old, this would be her first real Christmas. Her mommy had left her at the welfare office just a few months ago. This kind of beauty and warmth were very different from the cold, empty, dirty apartments and hotel rooms she had always lived in before. This was something she had only ever seen in books. Oh, she’d heard about it, but she thought the other kids at school were just making it up as one more way of teasing her.

From the kitchen she smelled ham roasting, pies baking, and vegetables she didn’t even know the names of stewing on the stove. Her foster mother, Mrs. Williams, had sent her out because she was underfoot and kept getting in the way of the dinner preparations. At this house, Mrs. Williams said, they had Christmas Eve dinner so that Christmas day would be a day of rest and fun. She was expecting family and friends to arrive any time and didn’t have time to fool with such a nosy little mess as the newest foster kid. She'd only been there for 2 days and didn’t want to risk making her new “mother” angry, so the little girl had gone into the living room and tried, as she always did in new foster homes, to make herself very small and unnoticed. It was safer that way.

This was her third foster home in as many months. Because she didn’t know how to be with people, she made enemies much faster than friends, so the case worker kept moving her around trying to find a foster family that could help her “come out of her shell,” whatever that meant. All she knew was that if you let people get too close, they could hurt both your feelings and your body. She wasn’t letting anybody hurt her ever again. But there was something special in the air. She could just feel it and wanted to be a part of whatever it was.

The other kids in the family were all gathered around the tree talking about what Santa Claus was going to bring them. The little girl was pretty sure there was no such person because she’d never gotten any Christmas presents. When she said as much she had to laugh at the look of shock on their faces. “You mean Santa has never brought you anything you put in your letter?” Tammy, one of the older girls, asked. But the little girl was confused. She’d never written a letter to Santa. She didn’t know she was supposed to. Tammy very kindly took the little girl by the hand and explained that all she had to do was write the letter and Santa would bring her what she asked for. Tammy led her to where the paper and pencils were kept and helped her write her very first letter to Santa. Then Tammy took it and put it in the mailbox so Santa’s elves could pick it up later. That night, for the first time in her life, the little girl couldn’t sleep out of excitement instead of the fear she’d always known in the dark.

Christmas morning dawned bright and beautiful. All the kids were talking and scurrying around getting dressed. They were not allowed out of their rooms in the morning until they were fully dressed and the rooms were put in order. Christmas morning was no exception. The little girl hurriedly tidied up her bed and put away her pajamas and then ran downstairs almost tripping over the slower kids in her way. When she rounded the corner into the living room she stopped dead in her tracks. THERE WERE PRESENTS EVERYWHERE! Bicycles, truck, dolls, and so many other toys she couldn’t count them were stacked all around the Christmas tree. The bicycle leaning against the wall next to her had a big red tag on it that read, “From Santa.” The little girl couldn’t believe her eyes! Santa had come. He was real!!

Mrs. Williams walked into the room and clapped three times to get everyone’s attention. The children were instructed to take a seat and then she would pass out the presents. No one was to open any wrapped gifts or play with anything from Santa until they were all passed out. There was a collective sigh from seven disappointed little faces that could be heard all the way to the front yard, but not a one was willing to argue and risk being sent back upstairs. The little girl joined the others on the floor, but sat near the back so she could watch everyone without being watched herself.

In what seemed to the children like deliberate slow motion, Mrs. Williams began picking up presents and calling out names and then smiling as the recipients squealed with delight over each new treasure. With each name read, the little girl got more and more excited. The next one just had to be hers. So she waited and watched and clapped for glee as each child received just what he or she had asked for. But her name was never called.

As the last present was handed out Mrs. Williams exclaimed, “That’s all! MERRY CHRISTMAS and remember to play nice!” Nobody noticed the little girl sitting quietly in the back crying silent tears that rolled down her cheeks and dripped off her nose. Nobody noticed when she silently turned and crept back up the stairs to hide in her room. Nobody came for her when it was time for breakfast or lunch. Nobody remembered that she sat alone and lonely, forgotten by everyone. Even Santa Claus.

A few days later the case worker came and apologized for forgetting to bring her a Christmas gift. She brought a baby doll that cried, “maaamaaa” when the little girl squeezed its belly and closed its eyes when she laid it down. But it wasn’t what the little girl had asked Santa for in her letter. She didn’t know it then, but the new home she’d asked for would not come for 3 more years. But that’s a story for another time.

For now, just remember, as you go about your shopping and planning, singing and playing, that somewhere out there is another little girl who will go without a Christmas present to open on Christmas morning. Somewhere there is a child suffering and hungry and in need of just one touch of kindness to know that they are not alone and forgotten. You can help by donating presents or money to your local children’s protective agency, children’s charity, or any one of dozens of organizations that reach out to help children not just at Christmas, but all year long. If you want to help on a more personal level, “adopt” a child to play Santa for. The gift you give may be the one that opens the child’s eyes to the true meaning of this most precious of celebrations.

As the song says, Bless the Beasts and Children.

Wishing you peace, blessings, love, and the true spirit of the season.

Don't Worry! A Christmas Card for my Friends

My friend Dee Ann sent me this! I'm not much into that, "forward this to a gazillion people or you're a dork" kind of thing, but I thought it was cute and I love the thought of having each of you nabbed and bagged for my Christmas morning surprise!

If a fat guy grabs you and puts you
in a bag, don't worry,

Plus – here’s a really cool site with some neat Christmas stuff. CHRISTMAS LEGENDS AND ODDITIES

Have to get back to work before Hubby catches me slackin! I'll get a real post up as soon as he faints from exhaustion! OH yeah, like THAT'S gonna happen anytime soon! The energizer bunny better watch out - he's got some serious competition here!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dedicated men - may we all have at least one!

I am always impressed with men who are dedicated to a job well done.

WARNING: This is a grown-up kind of cute and cuddly story. Watching it with your kids in the room may spur questions that are very difficult to explain. Thanks, Brandi, for the reminder. I tend to forget that there are still households with wee ones peeking over shoulders!

And how much better if he's an animal lover, too!!

Peace, Blessings and Such dedication in your man!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I am soooo frustrated! Why is it that there are so many times that when we try to do something good, the Universe finds a way to turn the good deed around and bite us in the butt??

Yesterday I was at the store picking up groceries for the weekend and, as I always do, checked out the clearance table. They had a lot of cute Fall and Thanksgiving decorations priced way low for quick sale. I found the cutest set of candleholders. I was so excited! They were perfect for the idea I have of decorating my Christmas table while Bug and Lady N are here. I felt so lucky to have snagged the last pair! Little did I know, as I smugly laid them in my basket, that the Universe had picked just then to show me that I’m still at its mercy.

As I walked down the spice aisle, there was a sweet little lady wheeling along in her motorized buggy. We both stopped at the same time in front of the spices. I’d found my chili powder and had started to move on when she asked me to help her reach the saffron on the top shelf. Always mindful of the fact that some day it may be ME in that chair, I never refuse to help where possible. I gladly turned my basket around to retrieve her jar of gold. (Have you ever bought saffron?? I was amazed to see this tiny speck of stuff in the bottom of a jar with a price tag of $7.94 for .025 ounce! That makes it about $300 AN OUNCE!!! I looked it up online and this is the best description and price I could find. No, I didn’t look that hard. It’s not like I was shopping for chocolate or something!)

I handed the grateful little lady her prize and we talked briefly about the rice dish she was making with it. I swear, the whole exchange didn’t take more than 30 seconds - 1 minute tops! But when I turned back to my basket to continue shopping, MY CANDLEHOLDERS WERE GONE! I’d very carefully nestled them into a little bed I’d made for them with my sweater on top of my purse (which I always zip up and latch into the child seatbelts and cover with my sweater to be sure nobody walks off with it! THANK GOD!!). But now there was just an empty nest! SOMEBODY STOLE MY CANDLEHOLDERS!! RIGHT OUT OF MY BASKET! WITH ME STANDING NOT 2 FEET AWAY!

If this isn’t a classic case of “no good deed goes unpunished” then there’ll never be one! It got me to thinking about all the other times I’ve tried to do something nice and ended up shaking my head when I was left holding the very short end of the cosmic stick. And I KNOW I’m not alone in this! I bet everyone who reads this will have some story to tell.

SO HERE’S MY ANSWER TO THE UNIVERSE’S SICK SENSE OF HUMOR: I’ve started a spin-off blog where you can go and enter your story in the comments. It’s a bloggers open bitch-o-rama session where, as long as you don’t name names, defame anybody specifically, or use foul language you can whine to your heart’s content!

So, go visit my new spin-off blog, NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED and leave us your story. I’ve already posted another whine. It starts off like this…

I have this major aversion to killing bugs. Close your mouth and stop rolling your eyes at me! I try my best to always put them outside instead of just squishing their tiny guts all over my domicile. Most of them are very grateful –

If you want to hear the rest you’re gonna have to go over to the new blog

Oh - and if you happen to live in Texas and have dinner at a home where they have decorated the table with pretty, new candleholders that are orange, green, and gold entertwined leaves, that they got the last pair of at the grocery store's clearance sale, please give them a message for me:

I'll get you, and you're little dog, too!!

Peace, Blessings, and Cathartic Relief to all!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cranky people don’t sleep well, sooooo…

I just realized something... I’m just a weeeeee bit cranky tonight! Posting a comment over at Lucille’s kind of convinced me of that. So, rather than going to bed having left everyone else cranky, too, I thought I’d tell you one of my favorite Christmas jokes. It’s not mine. I don’t know who originally wrote it, and it may be totally weird, but here goes…

Once upon a time about 10 years ago it was decreed that the State of Texas capital building in Austin and the Governor’s residence always be decked to the high heavens with the most beautiful lights and decorations. Each year the Governor hosted a media tour of the grounds applauding the donator and explaining the meaning of each piece of decoration. One year, when they got to the last decoration, a manger scene, the Governor proudly said that he had personally donated that item. It was beautifully painted and detailed in splendid colors. There was suddenly, though, a murmur of confusion and a lot of hemming and hawing around when the Governor asked if there were any questions. Finally, one brave reporter spoke up asking, “MMMM, Sir, can you please explain why the three wise men are depicted wearing those bright red firemen’s hats?” The Governor shook his head, put his arm around the young reporter, and said, “Why, son, that’s bucauz ever school child knows that them boys come from a far!”
OK – so you have to speak Texan to get it… but at least I’m laughing again now!

And if you aren’t, I DARE you to try not to laugh after this:

NOW we can all have Peace, Blessings, and baby giggly sweet dreams!

Regret vs. Guilt – Caution: Rant Storm Ahead

I received several emails about my admission of having emotional problems – most supportive, some questioning, some borderline rude. One in particular, however, was a very, mmmm... pointed note from someone whose mother was mentally ill (“a wacked out bi###”) and, therefore, entirely to blame for this now 40+-year-old woman’s life of drug addiction and criminal activity. She said that she is now in recovery but will never forgive her mother for not being emotionally there for her when she was a teenager. If she can’t overcome her “illness” and become a “whole person” it will be all her mother’s fault.

She also stated that I should be ashamed for not taking responsibility for my children’s problems because they were most likely my fault just like her problems are her mother’s fault. She said that her mother’s traumatic childhood, abusive marriage, and ensuing emotional problems were not her kid’s problem and that she should have just sucked it up and done what was “right by us kids.” I admit, I don't know the whole story, but I'm betting it's long and involved one.

My first thought was to delete the email, dismissing it as the rantings of a woman who desperately needs to grow up and quit blaming the world for her own refusal to take responsibility for her life and her future. Then the thought crossed my mind that if she was brave (brazen?) enough to actually put it in writing, how many others are there who are thinking it but are too polite to speak the “truth” as they see it?

So, this post is a public service to all the other imperfect parents of kids who are using them as an excuse to screw up their lives.

First, I never said Hubby and I were to be idolized as perfect parents. I said that we did the best we could at the time with the tools we had. Before Cheryl, unfortunately, my tool belt was woefully empty. I’d done fine until they became pre-teens – little ones are pretty easy to manage with love and diligence alone. But once their pre-pubescent attitudes started working overtime, without knowing it, I was seriously in over my head. I didn’t understand how to discipline without anger. I didn’t understand how to set limits without smothering. I didn’t understand the importance of listening more than, or at least as much as, you talk. And worst of all, my emotional problems probably contributed to my son’s drug addiction. All of this I REGRET. However, I never intentionally set out to mess him up, so I don’t feel GUILTY.

I know it’s hard to understand the subtle difference. Let me try to help some:

The Free Dictionary defines them as follows:

1. To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about.
2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn.
1. A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone.
2. A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different.

guilt n.
1. The fact of being responsible for the commission of an offense.
2. Law Culpability for a crime or lesser breach of regulations that carries a legal penalty.
3. a. Remorseful awareness of having done something wrong.
b. Self-reproach for supposed inadequacy or wrongdoing.
4. Guilty conduct; sin.

Some examples of regret vs. guilt are:

- Doctors who, today, can save countless lives that would have been routinely lost 10 years ago. They regret that the cures weren’t found sooner, but they do not feel guilt over not having had the tools back then.
- Firemen who respond to homes with burglar bars blocking quick access, preventing them from saving the residents trapped inside, feel regret that they could not save the people, but they are not guilty of having killed anyone.
- Parents who were not parented themselves, or have mental/emotional problems, or physical disabilities, or financial troubles, or, or, or… but who still love their children and try, to the very best of their ability, to keep them safe and provide for their physical needs; to teach them right from wrong; to instill in them a sense of self-worth and self-pride; to hold them accountable for their actions. Parents who expect their children to go to school and get reasonably good grades, and to abide by the laws of civility and the courts. Parents who stay involved and continue to try, and care, and be there when their children falter in any of these – even when the child is pushing them away with every ounce of their being. Parents who recognize their shortcomings and acknowledge them and apologize for them and try to improve them. These parents have every right to regret some of the things they did not do because they were either unable to do them or didn’t know they should have done it differently. These parents are not, however, guilty of any sin or deliberate omission or malicious misconduct toward their children. They were just doing the best they could with what they had to work with at the time!

Understand, I am not defending myself here. I have done nothing to be defended for. What I am doing is telling all the whiney babies out there who want to keep blaming your parents, teachers, preachers, doctors, friends, neighbors, siblings, etc., etc., etc., for your problems, to GROW THE HECK UP, FIND A COUNSELOR, LEARN SOME NEW SKILLS, AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FUTURE.

And I am telling all the parents out there who are paralyzed by guilt and fear to CUT IT OUT, GET A GRIP, FIND A COUNSELOR AND GET HELP! You only have something to feel guilty about if you don’t continually try to find new tools to use in the building of your child’s future. As long as you keep trying, loving, teaching, and supporting the little miscreants, it’s THEIR fault if they choose not to take the gifts you offer.

OK – stepping off my soap box now. Thanks for listening and I will miss those of you who now refuse to ever visit here again…. But I’ll sleep really well tonight.

Peace, Blessings, and Sweet Dreams to you, too!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Anniversary and Thank You, Cheryl.

Edited 2-12-08 to replace Life is a Highway video.

In 1994, 10 years after my mother's death, I had what I call my functional nervous breakdown – I could still do my job, but that was about it. My marriage was in trouble. Twig was in the beginning of his drug addiction, but I had no idea what was so wrong with him that he would act the way he did. Bug had withdrawn into his world of books and RPGs. I was unable to handle even the smallest of tasks without melting down or blowing up.

The day I sat in the car for over an hour, screaming, crying and banging on the wheel I knew I needed to get some help… or end the pain once and for all. I chose to try getting help first… operative word here being “first”. I had no expectation that there was anything that could be done to help me. Lots of counselors had tried before with only temporary success.

Being the stubborn individual that I am, I continued to try and do it on my own for several weeks. When Hubby told me that he wanted to leave I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. I begged him to stay and give me another chance. Because he is who he is, he didn't give up on me. I started looking for a new counselor by calling those on a list provided by the insurance company. Cheryl was the first who had an appointment available. I took it fully expecting to go there, hear the same things I’d heard a dozen times before, leave and then… I didn’t know what “then”. But God knew.

A few nights before my appointment I’d had a dream about a woman who seemed to be an angel, but I knew she wasn’t. I saw her face clearly and it lingered in my mind long after I awoke. When Cheryl opened the door, I was staring at the woman from my dream. I knew then that I’d finally found someone who could help me make my world work again.

Four years, one month, and fifteen days later, on December 9, 1998, I graduated from what was typically a 2-year trauma resolution therapy group. It was not easy work. It involved a lot of painful self examination and the re-evaluation of most of my beliefs. It involved the use of medications to help me cope with everything. It involved learning to give and accept forgiveness for myself as well as others.

There were many times when I wanted to just give up. But Cheryl and I had an agreement that if I truly wanted to quit I could – after coming to 2 more sessions. If I still wanted to quit then, we would close things up and part as friends. I wanted to quit at least a dozen times, but when I came back for my “final” session, things never seemed as bad as they were the week before, so I stayed. And stayed. And stayed. And, thank God, stayed.

Today is my 9th year of Cheryl-assisted sanity. The woman you see reflected in these pages is only here because of that kind, loving, caring, and very wonderful professional. All together I spent 6 years with Cheryl trying to overcome a horribly traumatic childhood. She, literally and figuratively saved my life. This post is my very public display of extreme gratitude and love.

Throughout our time together, Cheryl was often “treated” to my life analogies as portrayed in songs. For me, music speaks more than mere words can ever convey. When it comes to explaining my time with Cheryl, this first song says it all, telling the story of our journey together in a way that I could never hope to express so beautifully. She truly gave me wings and made me fly. I will be forever in her debt for standing by me until I could stand tall on my own.

Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion

Cheryl, if you ever read this, know that this next song is where I am today. Because you loved me, I am now able to ride life’s highway with all its bumps, twists, and turns, and I know that I will reach my destination safe, sane, and secure. Your Littlest Angel is riding high on the highway of life and loving every minute of the life you helped save.

Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts

For anyone else reading this, if you are hurting there IS help out there. Please don’t give up on yourself – keep looking and you, too, will find a Cheryl. From the bottom of my heart, I promise, it will be worth it because YOU are worth it. So please, just STAND!

Peace, Blessings, Gratitude and Much, Much Love.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Wish

For the past few days I’ve found myself becoming more and more anxious about this Christmas season. I’m at once excited and terrified about the impending visit from my son and daughter-in-law. Daughter-in-law. That still sounds so strange to my ears. He’s not old enough to be married – in my heart he’s still my Bug. My, quizzical, delightful, insightful little boy. One of my best friends. The one person on this earth in whom I can confide my strangest dreams, oddest fears, and weirdest experiences, and know that I won’t be ridiculed or mocked. I know; he’s 28. He’s not a baby anymore. But he’s still my baby.

Lady N, Bug’s wife (another phrase that still sounds odd), is so much like him that it’s almost as if they were separated at birth. I am truly looking forward to getting to know her better. But it’s hard to get to know people when they live 1000 miles away. I’ve called to speak specifically to her on several occasions, but I always feel like I’m interrupting something much more important than a mere conversation with her mother-in-law. NO – it’s not anything she does or says. I know that it’s ALL ME. I have this irrational fear of becoming “that woman” in her life.

Uncharacteristically, I find myself weighing each word that comes out of my mouth. Then I spend a stupidly agonizing amount of time after hanging up doing a post-mortem on the conversation. Was I too intrusive, bossy, or insensitive? Did my tone convey caring or manipulation? Did I cut off the conversation so quickly that she might think I didn’t want to talk to her? Did I talk too long instilling a dread of future calls? In my old age is she going to look back on this conversation and use it as the basis for my nursing home selection?? Like I said – irrationality to the nth degree!

So now they are coming for a week. They will be here from the 23rd to the 29th. During that time they plan on visiting some of Bug’s friends and seeing some sights. I know I won’t be included in the friend visits. There’s only one I’d like to go on, anyway. But how about the sightseeing? I’d love to go with them, but at the same time I don’t want to get in the way of their fun time together on their vacation. I remember what it was like to be young and in love and want to share new experiences only with my husband. I wouldn’t have wanted my mother, let alone my mother-in-law, trekking along all the time. But now I’M the mother. And I want to spend time with my son. I’m being selfish. Am I allowed??

I found the following while I was flipping through some YouTube videos as I sat here pondering these thoughts this morning. I’ve always loved Amy Grant. I was a fan of hers when we were both kids – me in my normal teen world, her in her phenomenal entrée into music stardom. Her song, My Grownup Christmas Wish, has always been a favorite. But I never heard it like I saw it today.

Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite form of cold caffeine and a box of tissues and settle in for the next 5 minutes. I promise it will not be wasted time. Now hit play. Go ahead. I’ll wait for you.

Kassandra’s Christmas Wish

Have you dried your eyes yet? It took me a while.

This was a major and much needed reality check for me. Suddenly my concerns about a visit from a son who loves me and the woman who loves him seem so glaringly insignificant and I am ready to get back to the business of making my home ready to welcome them.

I close wishing us all the Peace of relief from irrational fears and the Blessing of a family who loves us -- warts and all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

SQUIRRELLY THIS AND THAT – The Conclusion of a VERY Strange day.

Sorry it took so long to get this up. I actually forgot that I was supposed to finish it. Thank you, Lucille, for the kick in the mmmmm… reminder. I’m thinking I had a mental block caused by post-traumatic stress?!?!? LOL! OK – here goes.

Part III – Hey baby, can I buy you a drink?

Every Tuesday I put a minimum of 160 miles on my car. I drive 36 miles to pick up Daughter at the County Juvenile Residential Center (CJRC) to drive 45 miles to her counselor’s office for her weekly appointment. Then back to CJRC and back home. I have fibromyalgia. All of this driving has a tendency to make my muscles, joints, bones, (and some days even my hair) hurt. After each leg of the drive it is important that I stand up and stretch to loosen everything back up. Today, after finally making it back to my end of the world, I had to stop at Lowe’s before going home. As usual, I got out of the car and stretched. First, sitting in the car with my legs out on the pavement, I stretch my thigh and calf muscles, and twirl my feet to loosen up my ankles. Then I stand up, stretch to the four corners, twist my shoulders left and right, and arch my back.

I typically park pretty far out so that I get some exercise walking from the car to the store. Today, however, I lazied out and parked closer. I didn’t think about the fact that lots of people park closer. I also didn’t think about the fact that I would be putting on a show.

When I wheeled into my parking spot I noticed that an old, beat-up, rust bucket of a truck pulled into a spot two spaces down in front of me. I noticed only because the thought went through my mind that Jed Clampett would have been embarrassed to drive that heap! Imagine how amused I was, then, when Jed’s older, uglier cousin (we’ll call him Old Guy With No Front Teeth or “Oggy” for short) emerged grinning like an old jack donkey on a 3-day bender. We briefly made eye contact as I put the car in park and took off my seatbelt. He nodded almost imperceptibly, his face never changing expression. I didn’t really think anything else about it and so went about my normal business of relieving the tension in my muscles.

I extended my legs, twisted my shoulders, and elongated my neck muscles, then stood up to stretch my back. I was so absorbed in my actions that it was not until I was in mid-back-arch that I realized that Oggy had stopped and was WATCHING ME! Well, he wasn’t actually watching ALL of me! He was only eyeing my frontal protrusions! Now, I’m kind of use to having people stare at my breasts. Heck, I’d stare at them, too, if I wasn’t the one wearing them around all the time!!! You see, I’m one of those girls you normal chicks made fun of in the locker room in 6th grade and then hated in high school. I developed very early and, sadly, have not seen my feet without great effort since I was about 13. Add a cup size for each pregnancy (mine NEVER went back down!) and some weight gain (eg: Hubby use to tell people I was built like a brick outhouse; I tell people I still am, now I’m just a double-wide, two-holer!), and I could now get filthy rich if they ever perfected breast transplants because I could easily supply enough tissue for at least half of the women in the state of Rhode Island. Oggy, I figured, was just like a lot of breast men I’ve known: curious but harmless. But he kept standing there. Staring. With that drunk snaggletoothed donkey grin on his face.

After a second or two, I became very uncomfortable with his attention and moved to get into the store as quickly as possible. Once inside I’d lose him – or so I thought. About every third time I looked up, Oggy was there, trying very hard to be inconspicuous as he side-eyed my every move. I found myself trying, unsuccessfully, to minimize the motion of my frontal ocean because the way Oggy kept ogling me I was afraid that he might develop his own frontal protrusion if I jiggled too much! Thank the Saints of Hardware that I have practically lived in Lowe’s since June, so I knew exactly where to go to find the stuff I needed and avoided those items that would require bending over or, God forbid, reaching up to snag them.

Finally, every(safe)thing in hand, I hurriedly headed to the checkout. But not fast enough! Oggy had grabbed a can of WD40 at our last stop and so innocently, accidentally ended up in line behind me. (At this point I was wishing I’d jiggled a little more so he maybe wouldn’t have been able to keep up with me quite so easily!) With one lady in front of me, I began anxiously looking around for a familiar face, and God bless his pea pickin’ little soul, my favorite little cashier supervisor popped out of the office just as I got to the register.

I was just reaching into my basket for the last of my stuff when Oggy finally got up the nerve to speak to me. He offered to help me pick up the big, heavy, plug and light switch covers, and a can of black spray paint. Awwww, sooo sweeet… His actions. NOT his breath. OH. MY. STARS! I was praying I wouldn’t get pulled over by the cops on the way home because I’d have failed a breathalyzer test just by having breathed his air!!! And then he asked me if I’d like to go somewhere for a drink. GO. SOMEWHERE. WITH HIM. FOR A DRINK. My mind screamed… OH HEEEELLLLLLLL NOOOOOOO!!!

I was proud of myself. I didn’t panic. Instead, I immediately (read: frantically) called out the supervisor’s name with what I hoped sounded like great delight and exaggerated enthusiasm, pulled him into a great big bear hug and whispered in his ear, “I’ll explain later. Please DO NOT let this guy follow me out of here!” With a very puzzled look on his face, he nodded, squeezed me back, and sent the cashier on an “errand.”

The last I saw of Oggy, he was rushing madly out the door of the store looking frantically from left to right, bobbing up and down, craning his neck for all he was worth trying to figure out where I went. Fortunately, my view of him was from the rearview mirror as I was pulling out of the parking lot. But, just in case he might have seen me, I took the very long, scenic route home.

Today, instead of my usual 160 miles, I drove about 175. It was worth just it to be sure there wasn’t an old, beat-up, rust bucket of a truck pulling in the driveway behind me with a jug of moonshine and a snaggletoothed donkey grin waggin’ out the window.

Wishing you Peace, Blessings, and at least good looking perverts!

Lost Lambs Update

I have heard from 2 of my lost lambs in the past two days! Thank you all for the prayers. THEY ARE WORKING! KEEP IT UP!


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