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Monday, May 30, 2016

Word Travels Fast

Word Travels Fast around this small mountain community.

Did you hear that? It is gossip traveling on the mountain.

Go ahead a read this to Dem Bones song:

Someone gossiped dem mountain bones,
Someone gossiped den mountain bones,
Someone gossiped dem mountain bones,
Now hear how the word travels fast!

The story got told on the lift bone,
Then word traveled down to the ticket booth bone,
The ticket booth bone connected it to the shuttle bus bone,
Moving it over to the Pinnacle bone.

Some one told some one else at the Pinnacle pool bone,
Helping it travel out to the Fred's breakfast bone.
Someone put their paper down to hear it correctly,
Taking it out and over to the dump bone.

Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around,
Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around.
Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around,
Now hear how word travels fast!

Dat word traveled out of the dump bone,
Moving quickly down to the Bullwinkles bone.
Passed with a pizza at the Alpen bone,
Stopping by Eddies for a hot dog passing the bone.

The bone left Eddies moving down to the pool bone,
Where someone asked if it was really true.
No answer was given so it traveled over to the Fitness Center bone,
Making a quick stop at the Pickleball court bone.
Dat bone then traveled back up to Alpen again,
Then casually mentioned at Buckeye bone.

Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around,
Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around.
Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around,
Now hear how word travels fast!

Finally, the word started down the mountain,
But didn't make it past the Jackalopes bone,
Word does travel fast
But it usually doesn't leave pass the first switchback

Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around,
Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around.
Dat gossip, dat gossip gonna walk around,
Now hear how word travels fast!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WTF - Summer on the Mountain

Being a mile high, summer sometimes takes its sweet time paying a visit. We've all learned the hard way to be patient waiting until June or so before planting or putting out plants or even finally retiring the thermal underwear.

Hey, two weeks ago we got two inches of SNOW!

But now you can tell summer is inching me by:

Most of the establishments move into full time summer hours, meaning there's more to do on the mountain!

Beech Alpen starts is Sunday summertime music series, concerts every Sunday at 6p mountain time (meaning or so) this is the local place for local summer. entertainment.  Sit on the lawn, drink a pitcher of beer, enjoy the 20 or so deer, the 2 bears and listen to music. Food and pizza from Bullwinkles are also available.

The smell of pee - there is a plant up here that smells like pee, no shit, I mean no pee it really does. Research tells me it is a boxwood, but I am not sure. I just know we've hit summertime when I'm on a hike and stop and wonder, "Damn, did I just pee myself?"

The Dog - now that the snow has melted and the grass is growing, all the dead animals from winter are out for the picking. My dog loves bringing trophies home for me, a deer foot, some unrecognizable limb, all smelling worse than the plant that smells like pee.

Butterflies - the are many species of butterflies on the mountain. Some say that a butterfly in your path means a departed loved one is thinking of you.  So can they please not pass in front of my car while I'm driving and go splat on my windshield. Did I just kill a loved one's memory?

Bird feeder Stealers - the animals have all woken from their winter slumber and first thing on their mind is, "Where are the bird feeders?" My favorite story was the raccoon that decided it would just camp on my deck each day then take off with the feeder each night. A friend asked if I wanted him to get rid of it, I asked how? watching him pick it up and pitch it off the deck. Well, that's one way to get rid of a raccoon.

Mowing Beech Mountain Style - my kids are now old enough to mow the lawn, so I am paying them to do this chore. Of course mowing at our house entails 2 hours with a weed wacker because there's no way a lawn mower is going up and down the hills. I think they'll keep their limbs better with a weed wacker than a mower anyway.

The errant nudist. Now that the weather is warmer, many locals used to thermals, ski pants, goggles, hats, etc come out of the winter slumber, peeling off the layers exposing that vampire flesh that hasn't seen the sunlight in over nine months. The first two weeks of the pool opening are the most blinding weeks of the season. I take care of this sunbathing naked on the deck, it also helps scare the squirrels away from the bird feeders.

Mountain Rush Hour - Yes the Florida tourists are back, but they don't cause these, it's the deer and the turkeys crossing the road, and don't forget the groundhog hanging out in the middle of the road looking at you like, "What?"

Carpooling Mountain Style - the line of cars riding either up or down the mountain is long and there is a Florida license plated car at the front of the line. Or worst yet, you smell brakes burning as you travel down that line of cars with the Florida License plate in the front.

More Carpooling - you get stuck in a long line of cars traveling up the mountain and this time it is not a Florida tourist, but a bicyclist looking like they are having a heart attack pedaling UP Beech Mountain.

The best part of warmer weather is watching everything come alive, remember if you are stuck in that line traveling up and down the mountain be grateful, it gives you time for the beautiful views!

How do you know warmer weather has hit where you are?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beech Mountain Metric

This is my second year of Sweep Car for the Beech Mountain Metric a 43 mile or Metric Century Bicycle Ride starting in Banner Elk and ending with a climb from Valle Crucis to the top of Beech Mountain!  Yes, you have that right, not only do cyclists sign waivers for the race but they are get their commitment papers at the end for the insane asylum!

Last year I was "Volunteered" for the sweep car by some good "friends." Because I have a hard time saying "no," I talked another friend into it thinking, "If I'm going to be miserable then we're in this together!"

Sweep is the truck with the trailer following the very last cyclist in the race, we start the race with everyone else, then slowly make our way through the course with the last cyclist. We take bets on who we'll be following this year,

"I think pink socks will be with us for a while."
"Yeah but tree trunk legs has already had 2 flats."
"I thought we'd be following Rainbow Shirt dude, did you see him take off on that downhill?"

What happens in the Sweep car, stays in the Sweep car. I understood this when we got bored and decided on taking the "How Sexy Is your Bicycle" online quiz.  My bike came in last.

We read through the worst jokes on the internet.

We read through all the celebrity news, contemplating if Blake and Gwen would stay together.

We ate our breakfast bars.

We organized the tire pumps, the spare tires, spare tubes, water, Gatorade, Fig Newtons and bananas.

That was the first 20 minutes of sweep.

Why do I choose to volunteer Sweep?

Traveling the course at 15 miles per hour you actually

see the scenery.  This course covers some areas I was unfamiliar with and the beauty of Spring was awesome.

Luckily we choose our Sweep mates, because spending all day in a car with two other people mean you have to REALLY LIKE them. REALLY REALLY like them.

We have great conversations along the way picking up the signs as the last cyclist passes them.

We help those in trouble, fixing flats, checking chains, providing moral support when they just need a hand on the shoulder.

We hang with all the great volunteers closing up the aid stations as the last cyclist passes.

We hug and cry with those cyclists that know they cannot go any further, their ride ending for the day. Some are due to exhaustion, others due to wrecks, some due to bikes not cooperating. These people ride with us to drop off spots, we get to know them, including why they are crazy enough to attempt this race.

It is a long day but at the very end it becomes worth it. This year it was a guy, Herman on a recumbent bike, a three wheeler with a chair. We followed Herman in the beginning of the race for a while, losing him as we fixed flats, etc. At the very last aid station in Valle Crucis, I spotted the recumbent bike turning to my mates, "Looks like we're with Herman for the end of this ride."

They both looked over, "Do you think he can make it?"

"I think so, he looks tired, but not complaining, just getting the show back on the road," I answer.

We start up the two biggest hills of this course and after over 60 miles already, Herman is preparing his climb up the mountain. We follow him up and out of Valle Crucis, slowly but surely, knowing his weight is different that a regular bicycle, he's pulling it up the mountain. Coming into Banner Elk we watch him stop, and start talking in the car.

"Oh man, he's stopping, do you think he's quitting?"

"How can he quit now, he's almost there."

"We'll support him if he quits."

I run over to him, not making him get up if he doesn't want to, knowing after pedaling that long, getting up could signal disaster as things start cramping up.

"You OK?" I ask not giving him the option of quitting.

"My flag broke off my bike," he says, not getting up from the bike.

"Here I'll take it, the only way you get it back is at the top of Beech Mountain, deal?" I say.

He smiles wide, I think I see determination in his eyes, "Deal. Don't sell it, it may take me a while to get up there." He says laughing.

"We're right behind you," I say, running back to the car.

Everyone in the car start whooping as I say it was just a flag malfunction and Herman is on his way. We all look at the clock at the bottom of Beech Mountain taking bets, I'm at 35 minutes to the top others are saying 40 to 45 minutes.

The last 3K up the mountain are why we race, why we volunteer. We watch someone do something they think is impossible.

Herman keeps moving up the mountain, us and a row of cars behind him. Other volunteers along the way including our resident "loco" volunteer in superman underwear with an American flag.  Herman keeps pedaling knocking out each turn and each grade, moving up the mountain. Half way through he goes around a turn and moves to the side.

"God, he can't stop now, he could walk the last part of it."

"Is he really stopping?"

"If he is, then we'll get him."

Herman is kind enough to pull to the side letting all the cars stuck behind him move past on up the mountain. He makes that final push, I'm hanging out the top of the car waving his flag yelling, "I've still got your flag!" Others are taking pictures, and cheering him on as he crests the top of Beech Mountain rolling into the finish line. I can't describe the feeling as he finished, almost as if we finished with him, hell we rode the entire way with him, but in a car.

I walk over, giving Herman his flag, making sure his finish time is recorded. Sure they are cleaning up from all the other cyclists passing through a good two to three hours earlier, but Herman is treated like a king as the last rider, eating and drinking and congratulating himself.

Sweep this year was 6 hours and 44 minutes of bonding time between good friends.

The fastest ascent up Beech Mountain was 18 minutes, Herman's time was 45 minutes.

The fastest rider on the Metric Century (65 miles) was 3 hours 24 minutes, Herman's time was 6 hours 44 minutes.

I think it makes us all winners in my book.

See you next year!

Friday, May 20, 2016

WTF - What Happens At The Dump Stays at the Dump

I love our small town Dump, in case you didn't read other posts about the friendly services of our Utilities personnel, click here for:

Operation Possum Soup

Scoring With Dumpster Diving

These awesome employees let my children look around for hidden treasures, take notes on what we are looking for, as well as make sure reusable goods get into the hands of people who need them.

Today I went over with my recycling, a few trash bags and extra time to chew the fat with the employees.

Of course, I arrive as there is excitement at the dump.

Someone has found an old briefcase!

We all look at the corner of the briefcase peeking out from under a bunch of trash in one of the dumpsters.

"What do you think? Should we go for it?" Someone asks.

"Of course, what if there is something in it?" I say, "Look it has an old Eastern Airlines baggage tag on the handle, that really dates it. What if someone took it off an airplane, threw it in their basement for years, then finally took it here without looking in it!"

"Could have money in it," someone says.

"From Duggie Howser," Someone added.

"That's the doctor kid on TV, are you talking about D.B. Cooper?" I ask.

"Howser, Cooper they sound alike," he says.

"Maybe a treasure map,"someone else says.

"Or stocks and bonds," another adds.

"We're splitting it, right? Not finders keepers?" I ask thinking of all the books I'd buy with my part of the "treasure."

"Of course," he says, I'm waiting for him to add, "We's all family on the mountain."

We fish the briefcase out, everyone excited because it is LOCKED! Surely that means there is SOMETHING in it!  I haven't had this much excitement in the dump since finding my outdoor furniture there!

"Sometimes things are locked for a reason," Someone says as excitement builds.

We all stand around while one person gets a screw driver, forcing open one lock.

"Wow, remind me not to buy this kind of briefcase, I'd be robbed in no time," I say as the other lock is quickly broken.

"Here goes nothing," he says opening the briefcase.


It is empty!

"Oh well, at least it gives me a story," I say as he throws the briefcase back in the dumpster.

Don't worry, there's still treasure waiting in our tiny dump, you just have to look for it!

Like the wine bottle/glasses holder I found made from pallets!

One man's treasure can be another man's treasure!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

WTF - What the Dog Saw.....

Thank goodness animals can't talk, because we'd all be in trouble.

Every wonder what a dog thinks, well here's a stab.

"Boy I am comfortable, I can hear the squirrels outside hanging on the bird feeder but I don't feel like getting up just yet. My humans are sleeping to, could be a lazy morning.

Oh, they are up, they are talking about something.

Why did she throw her shirt on me?

I hate it when the bed moves like this it makes me sea sick.  Better check out what's going on.

Sniff sniff.

Oh look, she's waving good morning to me. She wants to pet me, I must get closer.

Sniff sniff

She waving harder at me, I'll just lick her hand.

Sniff sniff

Look he's waving at me now, I'll just lick his hand also!

Hey!  Why did he push me off the bed, I sleep here. I'll jump back up and move to the pillow above their head.

What? He is picking me up and tossing me out the door? I was only licking his hand.

They closed the bedroom door on me!

Let me go ahead and start scratching and whining at the door. Obviously they forgot me outside the door.

Why won't they open the door?

I guess I'll just go downstairs and pee, that will teach them to not let me outside.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

WTF - New or Seasoned Mom?

New Mom only feeds home cooked organic oatmeal to her children for breakfast.
Seasoned Mom says no to the chocolate bar for breakfast then pours a big bowl of Captain Crunch.

New Mom watching child on the playground and says, "Be careful" with LOVE.
Seasoned Mom watching child and says "Be Careful" because she doesn't have time that afternoon for a trip to the ER, and said child is wearing white, no one ever gets blood out of white.

New Mom still say, "Why did you do that?"
Seasoned Moms know that is the most useless question out there along with, "Are you busy?"

New Moms have a 5 second rule.
Seasoned Moms have the "just blow the ants off of it, it's good," Rule.

New Moms keep a beach full of mismatched socks in case they find socks.
Seasoned Moms point to the bag saying, "That IS all of your socks."

New Moms think they can act asleep and the child will go on their merry way.
Seasoned Moms have learned the art of slowing their pulse into "death mode" in an attempt to get an extra 15 minutes on a Saturday morning.

New Moms always check expirations on food for their children.
Seasoned Moms have the "I sniffed it and didn't pass out, it's good" test on food.

New Moms have the kids and themselves dressed and out the door in time for school.
Seasoned Moms are late to school and have to walk their child wearing, "I wasn't planning on getting out of the car" style they love.

New Moms get the shit scared out of them at 330 in the morning when a child quietly walks to their bedside waiting for them to wake up.
Seasoned Moms feel the presence and go back to sleep figuring if its a serial killer there's not a whole lot they can do at 330 in the morning.

New Moms gladly eat the fried skin of the chicken on their plate so the child can eat all the good stuff.
Seasoned Moms tell their kids the food on their plate is extremely spicy enjoying all the goodness for themselves.

New Moms keep a child home from school because they "don't feel well."
Seasoned Moms take all the lightbulbs out of the room so the child cannot put the thermometer on a hot bulb warming it up to "hell is on fire" temperature.

New Moms take the lunch back to school when it is forgotten.
Seasoned Moms figure the "I forgot to put money on your school lunch account so it is prison lunch for you," will teach them a lesson.

New Moms think a "beautiful well day" would be great, let me keep the kids home and enjoy them.
Seasoned Moms remember how well the last "well day"went and will never do that again.

New Moms give the kid being an ass in public a smile saying, "It's just one of those days."
Seasoned Moms give that child a look that says, "Remember there's only you and me when we get home.  Soon, my friend, soon."

New Moms lay out their clothes the night before.
Seasoned Moms tell them they are on their own picking up their clothes from the floor sniffing them to see if they are clean.

New Moms look at that mess thinking, "Oh well, at least he's being creative."
Seasoned Moms look at that mess thinking, "You'd better be cleaning something or fleeing in the next ten seconds."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

WTF - Who's First?

There's sibling rivalry, then there's a whole new dose of it when it comes to being first.

First to the car in the morning for the front seat.

First into the bathroom to poop in the morning.

First to push the elevator button, this one, my friends was the worst.

We'd go to the doctor's office and the fight started over who gets to push the wheelchair button to automatically open the door.

Then I'd stare down the long grey carpeted hallway to the elevator at the end.
Just like the movies, the hallway would grow longer as I prepared for it.

Both boys would look at each other with a,

"Oh, it's ON buddy."

And when I say ON, I mean bigger and better than any Black Friday opening at a Walmart with only 3 TV's at a discount.

Both would start in a full run, the youngest tripping the oldest halfway down the hallway then resembling a running back jumping over him to get to the elevator first.

The oldest would jump up, pulling the youngest down by his shirt. Two people walking down the poor hallway would jump out of the way.

Both would crash into the elevator at the same time,

one with a millisecond advantage, pushing the elevator button first. The other screaming in frustration.

The other simply pushing the wrong button for the rush he missed in the showdown.

Then we move to who gets to push the button for our floor first.

So many people would say, "Oh, you go ahead, we'll take the stairs."

Now we move to who gets the front seat of the car on my carpool days. The boys have decided whoever calls "Shotgun" first gets the seat.

It started when they were sitting at breakfast, one looking to the other with a big smile saying, "Shot gun."

The the other got smart, opening the door to the bathroom pouring cold water on his brother saying, "Shot gun."

The youngest set his alarm 5 minutes earlier than his brother, getting out of bed walking to his room saying, "Shot gun."

Finally the oldest woke up in the middle of the night, called his brother's cell phone, leaving a message with a time stamp simply saying, "Shot gun."

I had to put a stop to it because we never made it out the door on time with all the arguing, even days the oldest gets it, odd days the youngest.

They are still arguing about it.

Oh the joys of childhood, arguing with your siblings,  wait, I still do that with my sisters,

It's over the last glass of wine in the bottle though.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

WTF - Did my phone just ring?

I'm sitting and relaxing, editing some work and all of a sudden I hear a strange noise.

What is that? I've never heard it before? Oh wait, it is vaguely familiar.

It's my phone ringing.

My first thought is, "Who in the world is calling me? Don't they know it is 2016 and people don't CALL each other anymore?"

Do Smart Phones receive phone calls?

Of course I recognize who it is, it's that person proclaiming they'll give up their Flip Phone when they pry it out of their cold dead hands.

I should answer it. I mean, it is the first phone call I've gotten this month.

I mean, I don't even answer my phone for phone sex.

But, feeling guilty I let the call go to Voicemail.

The person actually leaves a Voicemail message.

A VOICEMAIL! a 3 minute 27 second voicemail, are they telling me their life story?

Who listens to voicemails?

Where is voicemail on my phone?  I think there is one from my husband from 2013 sitting somewhere in there.

Then I feel guilty.

I know!

I'll just sent them a text message.

Then they'll know I had my phone, they'll know I ignored their call.

I could send an email, nobody ever reads emails.

No, I'll wait 15 minutes then send a text message, saying I can't get their voicemail because really, I can't find my voicemail.

I mean, I can't call them back, who makes phone calls these days?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Schmother's Day - Use The Card!

I started all sappy and stuff but, well, that's just not my jam.  So listen, here's the facts I know....

If you have children, you are a mother.
If you have fur babies, you are a mother.
You don't have to give birth to be called mother.
If you have feather babies, you are a mother.
If you love someone unconditionally, you are a mother.
If you have scale babies, you are a mother.
If you are the voice of reason for your friends, you are a mother.
If you have babies here on earth or in heaven, or in your heart, you are a mother.
You accepted a child into your heart, a friend of your child or a child in need, you are a mother.
If you listened, offered advice, or simply hugs to a mother, you are a mother.

OK, I'm done with all the sappy stuff,

Pull out the Mother's Day Card! Finally!

Remember all those jobs you keep asking your kids to do and they conveniently forget?  Pull out the Mother's Day card.

"Boys, remember I asked you boys to pickup the trash and the sticks from the backyard."

"But it's 36 degrees outside and snowing!"

"Well, it is Mother's Day."


 This could also be called the Official Sit On Your Butt day. You don't have to get a thing!

"Honey see that Kleenex box across the room?"


"Can you get it?"


"But it is Mother's Day."


Then wait for them to sit down, "Oh, can you get some sugar for my coffee?"

Then wait again for them to sit down, "My feet are cold, can you get me a pair of socks?"

You can pull the card anytime you want.

"Hey, let's watch Jaws together as a family."

"What, I thought we were going to watch The Human Centipede."

"But, it's Mother's Day."


This is the let them do the cooking day, lay back and watch or better yet, film the chaos in the kitchen. I'll never forget my one Mother's Day where the boys brought me toast and a PBR for breakfast in bed.

The best is the end of the day, getting every inch out of the Mother's Day card until I have to put it away for another year.

"Boys, the dog ran off down the street after a skunk."


"You need to go find her."

"She'll come back."

"But it's Mother's Day."

I think I heard one of them say, "Man, this is a long Mother's Day."

I've accomplished my mission. They get a taste of my daily life.

Sure, it's supposed to be sappy and sweet and all that sugary stuff. But when you are mother lover like me, I'd rather keep things real especially when I make them give me hugs and kisses (yes, even at their age) before they go to bed. I take those any day over chocolate or flowers.

Oh, and boys I'm waiting on all the "I love my Mom" Snapchats and Instagrams pictures!

Friday, May 6, 2016

WTF - Sex Scene It Is!

WTF - How to write a sex scene

So a possible editor sent back one of romance manuscripts telling me I need a few "steamy" scenes.

Enter how to pull off the sex scene.

Read a bunch of porn, no I'm just kidding. My imagination is much better than that.

Sit in the living room, working on the scene, figuring out what three items should be included.

The big deal?

Then figure out how they are going to do it, not the Fifty Shades of Grey do it, but a normal, "romantic" sex scene do it.

Why can't they fade to black like most of the movies? Why is she asking me for details?

Oh FiFty Shades of Grey you ruined it for everyone.

So I start writing the scene, and soon get lost in the moment. Stopping periodically looking around the room.

It is surreal.

Here I am writing a sex scene and both of my boys are sitting and doing their homework. The Great Food Truck Race is playing on the TV, the dog is snoring on her bed. Everything so ordinary, then why am I sweating so much.

I plow into it, wondering,

"Seriously, does that ever really happen?" (Gazing into her luminous eyes, his breath caught at her beauty, gag gag!)

Then I move to, "Wait, I forgot the part where they stripped, how did they end up there from getting out of the car?

Finally, rereading thinking, "Is most of that humanly possible?"
I look up again and my perfectly normal household is continuing on, no one noticing my face is flushed and I am sweating.

Then I go back again over it again, please, not for the pleasure of it, because it is not right.

"Started a story as old as time?" Oh god, that sounds horrible.
"Pausing, he asked, Are you Sure?" Hell, they are already there, have to remove this line.
Crap, she had a white T-shirt in the beginning and now is putting on a black one, is she a quick change artist?

Finally, I get it the way I want it, going in the kitchen for a cool drink of water.

"Mom, are you OK?"

"Sure honey, just working on a few things."

"Why is your face so red? Are you having a hot flash?"

"Yes honey, it is a hot flash."

Then it hits me, they want this because it is good exercise for us women. Reading what I written, made my heartbeat rise, I used my arm muscles fanning my face, several muscles tensed (kegels anyone?) 

That's why we have to include these scenes in our novels, it is for the good of society.

It keeps everyone in shape.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How to be a Cool Aunt

Everyone has that one aunt, the crazy one.  Well, I thought being the crazy one, I'd share some tidbits of information to all my nieces and nephews.

Being cool is over rated. Being real is more important. So you know what, do that dance you have in your mind, even if it doesn't come out the way you pictured it.

Spoiling is the best form of bribing. Those of you with younger siblings know this because you've been using bribing to get out of trouble for years now. When they promise to not tell your sister about setting the house on fine and their parent find the new shirt you bought them, "I'm just spoiling him," you say.

poiling is a great way of getting back at your brother/sister.  "Here ya go Erma, just take one sip of my espresso and did you see the giant chocolate bar I got for you? Oh look Mom and Dad are ready to go home, here take the chocolate bar with you."

Children are the best excuses, you can use them to leave a party early. You can use them to take a nap when they are little. You can use them to explain why your hair looks the way it does. One of the benefits of having children is the ready made excuse they create for you. Use it.

Sibling's children are great ways of getting out of work at the family party. When someone needs help with the dishes, grab the nearest baby, see, your hands are full.  Don't want to play Twister, well someone has to hold the baby.

Always be willing to share, the green beans off of your plate, Aunt Mildred's Lime Jello/carrot/celery mold, that beautiful orange/green/white velour jogging suit from Grandma.

Don't worry about getting old, like me, you know 35 years old. Being older has its privileges, we can tell you what to do and you have to do it because we are older.

Don't forget to delete your browser history, especially if you are having friends over. If someone starts typing, Google will automatically fill in the rest for you, like my history that says, "Ways to kill using a wooden spoon."

Finally, just be yourself, some will say everyone else is taken, others say you are the only you you got be yourself because being really real is groovy, honestly it is.

What other great advice would you give as the "cool" aunt?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

WTF - Operation Possum Soup

For those new here, we live in a very small town. You can open your front door, yell out a secret and it's on the front page of the town paper the next day.

Yes, word travels fast.

And it travels efficiently.

Our home is considered a vacation paradise, meaning around 350 people live here full time, the rest own vacation homes. Some open only for escaping the heat of summer, while others simply for the local ski resort for winter. Then there's us, we love it all!!

Needless to say, there are vacant homes around us, some for sale, some just sitting there, for years!

One such house is my neighbor, whom I'll call the Vacant/IsItForSale house.

I was on my daily run as I pass the Vacant/IsItForSale house I noticed a smell that brought me to my knees.

My years of watching CSI kicked into gear, am I finally going to be that jogger finding a dead body?

Do I want to find a dead body so close to my house?

Where are my kids? They were fighting when I left.

This smell was not a freshly dead body, so my kids were safe. This smell was the grab you by the collar of your shirt smack you in the face till you cry kind of smell.

The stuff nightmares are made of.  And you know I had to investigate.

First clue, "Wow! Look at that huge cloud of black flies in VacantHouse/IsItForSale's garbage, could it be there?


I walk a little closer, listening to the hum of the flies, putting my hand over my nose, my own sweat smells better than this smell.

I take a little peak over the edge of a trash can.  Oh.

Poor Peter Possum must have looked in this garbage can say maybe 3-4 weeks ago for something tasty and fell in. I remember someone at the house fixing something, did they put the lid on it?

Well the lid is off and there is a nice brown Possum soup in the trash can the flies are feasting on.

I can't take the trash can anywhere, my car is too small and the smell, oh, that smell.

So I do what a good neighbor does, I call the city, disguising my voice so I sound like Pee Wee Herman, "Herro, there is a terrible smelling dead animal in the vacation house at 1030 FoulSmelling Lane. I'm not the neighbor, I'm just a concerned citizen reporting this."

I thought my acting debut was perfect, then wonder how long will it sit there? Didn't I read a story about a memorial in Canada to a dead raccoon the city wouldn't come pick up for 30DAYS? (Hilarious story, if you want to read it click Here) I'm thinking we could have an outdoor service (can't do indoor, the smell) then a dedication to Possum Soup trash can.

To my amazement, my utility dollars are well spent, the city trash truck comes around the bend the next day, a day ahead normal trash pickup stoping at Vacant/IsItForSale house.

I feel bad calling it in, hiding behind the railing of my deck watching three men get out of the truck. Yes, it will take three men to figure out what to do, the smell is that bad.

They get to the trash can and I swear I see one almost go to his knees (like me) while the other two step away from the black cloud of flies having a party, their hands on their noses (maybe they didn't believe PeeWee Herman, I mean me when I called it in)

I'm sure they are having a serious discussion on who gets the pleasure of touching the trash can, until it looks like one of them seems to say "F*ck it" grabbing the trash can and throwing it in the garbage truck.  Bye Bye Peter. I hear the truck churn and churn for a good ten minutes, hoping that maybe they picked up a bunch of laundry sheets helping Peter get his proper burial.

They pull the can back out and toss it in the trash bid. I'm sure all the flies are buzzing around going, "What? What happened? Where's the buffet?"

Thank you, Thank you my heroes, the utility workers, you braved something I couldn't handle and came out with your heads held high and no possum juice on your hands!

By the way, I'll be stopping by with pizza tomorrow as a thank you because you see, I run that road almost every single day.

OK, back to looking for my dead body.

Monday, May 2, 2016

WTF - Operation Clothing Rack Camouflage

My husband and I love shopping together, I think.

We ended today with him saying, "What happened to you? Where did you go?"

But, let me back up to:

Operation Clothing Rack Camouflage.

My version of what happened: 

I am the rabbit of shopping, I can scan and pick through a clearance bin within ten seconds knowing exactly what I want.  My husband is the turtle, looking at each piece, checking quality, reading laundry instructions AND determining best price.

I get bored waiting while he ponders 200 different ties, so I say, "Love of my life, I'm going to walk through the women's department."

It doesn't take me long to find the perfect shirt.

I try it on, it fits perfectly and is on SALE! It only took me fifteen minutes.

I go back to the ties, where did he go?

Walking around the department store I finally find him wandering like a zombie in the perfume second.

Why is he giving me the stink eye?

"Hey sweetie, look what I found on sale! Did you find anything?"

"No," he says.

"Really? But you had plenty of time?"

His Version:

He is looking for the best bargain in the clearance rack of ties.

I sabotage his search when he turns and I'm gone.

Where did I go?

He starts walking through the department store looking for me.

Was that me ducking behind an underwear clad mannequin cackling wildly?

Maybe I put on some of the department store clothes, camouflaging myself in a clothing rack?

Maybe I'm sitting in the middle of a circular clothing rack watching him walk by?

Could I be taking a nap in the ladies dressing room?

Where did I go?

Finally after all morning looking for me, he finds me walking to him without a care in the world holding a shirt.

Will she apologize for hiding from me?

"Where have you been?" she asks.

"Looking for you. Let's go."

"Did you find anything?" She asks.

"No," he says.

"Really? You had plenty of time?"

He thinks I'm keeping a few price tags in my pocket so I can attach them to my shirt and act like a mannequin hiding from him the next time around.

My evil plan for domination is WORKING!