Need A Hug?

Of all the statistics being tossed around from the Presidential election, the one that perhaps surprised me most was that 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump. Not that they should have voted for Hillary Clinton because she was a woman, but because they voted for a man who demeaned women publicly and privately.

(He also bullied and ridiculed the weak, put down minorities, and reviled immigrants.  I’m guessing that, unlike those white women,  they expressed their disapproval of his behavior with their votes.)

This election spawned a support group called Pantsuit Nation on Facebook, giving women of all ages the opportunity to interact and talk of their passions and frustrations with others who felt just as strongly.  But the bravest group of all, I thought, called themselves Republican Women for HILLARY.  At a time when even the most assertive members of Congress fear being even slightly out of step with their party line, for these women to publicly proclaim their intentions was, to me, amazing.

Within my own family, some of us were crushed by the election results intellectually and viscerally.  When my devastated older daughter went for a walk Wednesday, she came upon this house and, on impulse, felt compelled to ring the doorbell.


She could do little but introduce herself to the woman who answered the door before bursting into tears.  The woman, a complete stranger to my daughter, reacted in the same manner.  They hugged and sobbed on the stoop before my daughter continued her walk.

Shortly afterwards, the woman changed her sign to this:


To his credit, Donald Trump has been inclusive and gracious in his post-election comments.  It would be wise for members of Congress to behave in a similar manner, for most of us are sick of the terms Democrats and Republicans.  I for one, would like to simply be American now.

Be honorable when no one is watching.  Compromise.  That doesn’t mean “it’s MY turn now.”  It means working together: mutual concession, respecting each other’s differences.  We should be able to manage that.   We call ourselves, after all, the United States of America.

Let the hugging begin.







Early fall is training time here for precinct workers, to ready them for the  November election.  The classes are mandatory, even if one has worked at the same job for 20 years.  Every year, something changes.  My class this year was, as always,  a roomful of Republicans and Democrats working together in good faith to make sure this election is carried out as seamlessly as possible.

The room was packed.  I’ve mentioned before that the location I select is a windowless room in a county office building that was previously used as the overflow morgue.   Although there are training locations all over the city, this one is nearest my house.  I sign up for daytime classes.  If I see a shadow, I want it to be my own.  Others must feel the same way.

I took one of the few seats available, next to a pleasant-looking older woman who has snagged an aisle seat.  (Okay, it’s possible that this “older woman” could have been about my age.) As we exchanged pleasantries, I realized that I was not looking her in the eye,  mesmerized as I was by a significant hair growing under her chin.  No peach fuzz. . .  this one was a doozie,  so long it had a slight curl to it.  Upwards of an inch, at least.

As she talked on, I wrestled with myself about what to do.  Should I avert my eyes and ignore it?  Surely, she didn’t know it was there!

Recently I read that a friend is someone who tells you that you have lipstick on your teeth.  Isn’t a long chin hair in that same category?  It is hard to know exactly where to draw the line in these matters.

Once I attended a morning brunch and encountered a similar incident.  One woman I didn’t know very well shouldn’t have been there because she had a terrible cold.  (Her husband was a doctor.  You’d think he’d have told her.)  As we chatted, she wiped her nose with a tissue.  Unfortunately, she dislodged. . . um. . .  mucus (can I say wet booger here?) which smeared across whatever that space is called between nose and upper lip.  I quickly did a motion across that space on my own face and told her to wipe again.  It was either that or start gagging.

So back to the whisker lady.  I rationalized that she must not have any friends or they’d have told her she needed to tweeze.

“You have a long chin hair right there,” I said, squeezing my index finger and thumb under my own chin in a pulling motion in order to designate the location.

She answered, “I know.  It won’t come out.  I tried to pull it out and my friend tried, too.  It won’t come out.”

I was stunned into silence.  My fingers were itching to reach over and yank.

I could have had that sucker out of there in five seconds with my bare hands, even if the other end was rooted in her nostril.  Furthermore, , I not only carry a small Swiss Army Knife, but tweezers, clippers, and scissors as well.

Errant hairs, beware former Girl Scout leaders..

Heck, if the woman’s whisker truly required something of industrial strength, maybe the morgue folks left something behind.  I’d have been willing to search on her behalf.

“I’m so sorry,” I told her, then buried my face in my elections manual to forestall any further conversation.

Today I went to lunch with some of my precinct friends (Democrats and Republicans) and told them the story.  They were horrified, but laughed  hysterically that I had been so rash and bold.

So now, unless that woman has a second friend with stronger fingers, she is going to work the entire Election Day with people staring at that eye-catching chin hair.  Oh, the embarrassment!  By Election Day, it may have grown enough that she can tie her name badge to it.  Give that bad boy a purpose.

You may rest assured that I will definitely be checking myself in a magnifying mirror for stray eyebrows and facial hair before I show up to work on Election Day.

And let this be a warning to my fellow precinct friends:  if you notice lipstick on my teeth and don’t tell me, I’m going to do some hair pulling myself.   Yours.







Fooling Around

I read somewhere that it takes 15 or 20 minutes for coffee to get someone started in the morning.  Since we make ours with half-decaf, half-regular,  it doesn’t seem unreasonable for me to take 30 to 50 minutes to vacate the twilight zone.

Sunday morning, before the coffee even finished brewing, Dearly Beloved looked out the sunroom window and casually announced:  Look.  There are two squirrels copulating on that oak limb.”  

He continued his narration without any encouragement from me.  “Now he’s run  off and she’s up there cleaning herself.”  

TMIBC.  Too much information before coffee.

A similar scene took place in plain sight later that afternoon.  DB figured it was the male practicing free love.  It made me curious, so I looked up some information on the mating habits of grey squirrels and learned that it was the same female probably, different male.  What a bunch of bastards those tree rats are.   Sheesh!

The female is fertile for less than a day, however, she puts out a scent that calls male squirrels in the neighborhood, thus filling her dance card all day.

We may as well forget Groundhog Day.  It doesn’t matter how much more winter weather we have because my plantings will be screwed right along with those squirrel hussies.  Let’s see. . . the gestation period is about 45 days, and it takes mommas about seven to 10 weeks to wean them.  Yup. That means the little bastards will hit the ground to start digging and chewing about the same time all my warm weather plants are starting to really look good.

Furthermore, the females will be about ready to put out the word, er. . . scent again.  The obnoxious little bastards mate twice a year.   Wonder what we can do to counteract that sex scent next time, assuming we can’t lock all the fertile ones under the house for the day.

For awhile, I thought I had the solution.  Remember smudge pots?   There are to be zillions of them sitting in road construction warehouses everywhere, a dime a dozen, right?

Wrong.  The smelly old kerosene ones might work, but they’re pricey.  The new ones burn lamp or citronella oil.  Not enough stink.

Speaking of stink, I admire the Kentucky legislator who’s raising one in her state. Have you read about Rep. Mary Lou Marzian?  After the KY legislature passed another pro-birth measure, this one making any woman seeking an abortion to have counseling 24 hours prior, Rep. Marzian came up with legislation which could help prevent unwanted pregnancies and unwelcome sexual advances.  Her bill, HB396,  would require men seeking erectile dysfunction-type drugs to have at least two visits with their doctors as well as a permission slip from their wives.   Only married men would be able to obtain the drug and they would have to swear on a Bible to use it only with their wives.

Rep. Marzian is a medical professional and knows that the drugs cause risks for men and she wants to protect them from themselves.  Headaches, runny nose, body aches, vision problems, dizziness. . . .  If her bill passes, those pill users would have their permission slip-signing wives right there to nurse them back to health.  It would reduce medical costs, something any legislator should embrace, right?

As for the problems in our garden,  if Monsanto and Dupont and all those GMO-loving companies want to produce a corn containing birth control for tree rats,  I’ll see to it that ours are the best fed critters on the block.









Apolitical? Uh Oh.

One of the shopping centers in our area is getting an extensive facelift.  Since the parking lot is being redesigned, too, detours make driving to certain stores a real challenge.

As each store exterior is being refaced, construction workers fence off areas when as necessary so that customers won’t get bopped by falling construction materials or errant hammers on their way in or out.

The hardware store is being renovated right now.  That means that the usual loading zone in front of the store has become a no-entry, no-man’s land.

The folks there certainly have a sense of humor about the situation.

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A fool and his money are soon elected.
Will Rogers

Time To Get Tough

With all the conversations about birth control on the news lately, please do yourself a favor and watch.  It’s men doing most of the talking and they’re coming up with cavemen proclamations like, Viagra – covered by insurance.  Birth Control – meh….

In situations like this, the question arises… What would Betty Say?  Lo and behold, the answer came in today’s e-mail:

Hoping To Get My Lord A’ Leaping

Our cocker spaniel Miss Piggy and I have been engaged in a battle of wits during the pre-dawn hours and even at winner-take-all, it won’t be much of a prize.

For some time now, she has scratched urgently at my side of the bed around 4 AM, telling me she needed to go outside.  Why does she not scratch on Dearly Beloved’s side of the bed as she’s always done before?   Because no one is home there.  He has already outsmarted both of us by moseying into the guest room and closing the door well before 4, probably having been awakened by some crashing noise like the thundering of an eyelash as it falls onto the pillow.

DB’s suggestion to move the dog bed out of the bedroom and shut her out would put the living room rug into jeopardy because I think the old girl really does have to potty.  Maybe it’s simply habit now.  I say that with some authority as she is training MY bladder to the same routine because I usually head for the bathroom myself, since I’m up anyway.

If she would simply GO and come back quickly, it would be less obnoxious, but noooooooooo, Fatso gets a case of the munchies and wanders around the yard for an hour.  For pete’s sake, what can she find out there at that hour?  Owl turds?

Now deaf as a post, Miss P wouldn’t hear my whistling to get her back inside even if I knew how to whistle.  I have tried turning on the floodlights to get her attention, but she looks up and sees me waving wildly from the deck, then continues her sniff-fest.  Oddly enough, she has no interest in this during the daylight hours.  It is strictly a nocturnal adventure.

I’ve explained before that our lot slants downhill enough that the main level is second story height on the back side.   Half-asleep, it’s easiest for me to open the bedroom door onto the screened porch, then out to the deck.  The downside is that when she ignores me, I’d have to go down a flight of stairs in the dark, plod through the wet grass to the back of the yard–her preferred territory–pick up 32 pounds of damp, stinky cocker spaniel, then retrace my steps to get her back inside.

No way, Jose.

We would swear that the dog was mute were it not for the piercing barks she lets out if I don’t open the back door as soon as she is ready to come back inside. Therefore, leaving her out there isn’t an option.  My sleep deprivation level rises as I lie there, waiting for the that bark.  It’s sharp and screechy enough to wake the neighbors.

When Miss Piggy decides to come back inside, does she go back to sleep?

Certainly not!  First, there’s her race to the laundry room to see if the food fairy left goodies  (no chance in hell that’s going to happen before 7 AM)  and then she returns to the bedroom to contort her chubby body into pretzel shape while she snorts and grunts through her groin cleaning ablutions.   After that comes a noisy pedicure.  All that time, I am lying in bed, checking off the noises on my mental list.

By the time she is ready to nap, I have long since kissed sleep goodbye and have turned to considering my options, most too diabolical to mention here.

For the past several mornings I have donned shoes and a sweater over my PJs to take her out the front door where the yard is smaller.  She does her business and is back inside in three minutes or so.

The first time I tried the frontal assault, she scratched on the bed covers afterwards every 30 minutes in the hope that I’d reconsider and let her out back.  Since I’d seen with my own eyes that she’d already used the front yard facilities, I was able to ignore her with a clear conscience.  I couldn’t sleep with all that scratching, but my satisfaction level soared.

It may be working.  This morning she didn’t wake me until 5 AM.  I still couldn’t go back to sleep, but at least I didn’t miss half a night’s rest.  The food fairy delivered at the usual hour of 7 AM.  I’m hoping she’ll get that connection through her floppy ears.

Believe it or not, while I was standing on the sidewalk at that early hour, five… count ’em… FIVE fit, ponytailed young women jogged by.  I was appalled by all that fresh-faced energy.

The spot where Miss Piggy chose to go was in the pine needles beneath the guest bedroom window and sure enough, when Dearly Beloved got up a couple of hours later, he told me that he’d heard her out there.  Hmmm.  If he’s going to wake up anyhow, what am I doing up?

Here’s my pitch:

Five spandexed women out for early jogging… three minutes waiting… two newspapers arriving… while Miss Piggy does her morning pee.

How can he resist?

Confusion, USA

That, my friends, is the state in which I live.

When I wrote about Dearly Beloved’s class reunion, I consulted a couple of online dictionaries to see whether to spell that flap of under-chin skin, wattle or waddle., even though I was pretty certain that it was wattle. agreed: wattle.  Definitely wattle.

The Urban Dictionary made it a whole different ball game.  If you’re not familiar with this source, get ready to enter an alternative universe.  Wear boots.

For a few days ago, the Word of the Day on was OBSCURANTISM, meaning “opposition to the spread of knowledge… evasion of clarity.”  I think it might be a good idea to dust that one off and use it frequently, since it has become a political platform.

Also last week, a Word of the Day on Urban Dictionary was “Cough and Call.”  That’s not even a word, it’s a phrase, but it does have an interesting meaning.Cough and Call means to call in sick, unable to go to work. Is that useful or what?!

Which will you use first?

Today’s Words of the Day on the two sites are “junket” and “farting at a fan.”   You can probably guess which was found where.

Back to wattle and waddle.  The Urban Dictionary says that waddle is “the part of skin that is sometimes flabby, underneath one’s chin.”  Wattle, they report, is “the red skin hanging from a turkey’s neck.”

See why there’s reason to be waffle-y about waddle and wattle?

Don’t think I’m promoting the Urban Dictionary, although it, as well as the Slang Dictionary, does have some clever entries.  It’s written by readers, so all the crazies who love to spread doodoo on the walls of any site which allows anonymous comments have left their smears here.

As to whether it’s wattle or waddle, choose one.

  • I COULDN’T care less.
  • I COULD care less.

Sorry!  I couldn’t resist.

WAFFLE, anyone?