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.

Image 1 - Version 2

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?

Heat Waving!

I knit, but don’t think myself a knitter… like I write, but don’t call myself a writer.  The enjoyment is there; the expertise?  Not so much.  I enjoy pursuing both pastimes, but I’ve done neither of late.   My apologies for not showing up lately.

I’m blaming the heat and Congress.  I’m weary of both.   Remember the days when people sat on porches during the day and children played outside, barefooted?  Yes, Virginia, there is global warming.  In fact, I have bad news for you, Honey.  At this rate, Santa and the elves may be drowning in a sea of melted snow by Christmas.

It’s a strange world.  God’s approval rating has dropped to 52%.  Still, that’s twice Sarah Palin’s these days.  On the other hand, Bank of America, the 19th most hated company in America, has a 68% approval rating.  Go figure.

All of that is beside the point, completely off topic.  You can tell that the heat is taking a toll on my ability to focus.  This is meant to be… TA DAH…! a post about knitting.  You don’t see me writing many of these and there’s a good reason, but stick with me.  I’ll try to make it a good yarn.

I am terrorized by those thin, fine yarns which make such lovely lacy projects. (See Exhibit A.)

Exhibit A.

While I can handle the chunkier yarns more easily, the larger needles needed for those projects feel clunky and awkward, not to mention that they hurt my fingers.  I’m hoping that my skill level will improve with both.

It didn’t take me long to realize  that I should just knit for myself since my gifts, like this blue scarf, may not be worn by the intended recipient. (Exhibit B.)

Exhibit B.
  My stash of patterns and yarns might seem excessive to some– a husband, for instance…  but since I know knitting fiends friends with a worse addiction, I don’t think I’m a candidate for Hoarders yet.  For instance, I do not have to seek off-site storage and my dining room chandelier is still yarn-free. (Exhibit C.)
Exhibit C.
(To the friends who might be blushing now… not to worry.  I’ll never tell.) I love knitting blogs.  I wander through my favorites then onto their blog roll favorites.  I love to see their FO’sFinished Objects, (she said wistfully.)  One that I discovered, Mommy’s Monster, sometimes has product reviews and giveaways.  A couple of months ago, the blog had a review and giveaway of a most interesting yarn–YOSPUN by Matney Paine.  Watch this video at your own risk. 
I was one of the winners and Matney sent two skeins of the luscious stuff! 
I’m still trying to decide what I want to do with them.  I’m in no hurry to finish… not in this weather.  It feels so incredibly soft, though, I can’t keep my hands off it.  Especially when Dearly Beloved models it.
Wolf in sheep's clothing.

DNC Coming to NC? We’ll See.

Last week, Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee announcing the four finalist cities for hosting the 2012 Democratic Convention:  Charlotte, NC,  Cleveland, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.

Charlotte officials always get their undies in a wad when “NC” is tacked on to the name, so I’m sure they were mortified, but Kaine is from Virginia and he probably didn’t want any confusion with Charlottesville, VA.

I studied the list and believe it was simply a case of incorrect placement of the “NC,” since THREE of the towns are actually in North Carolina.  The announcement should have read:  NC– Charlotte, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.

East of Charlotte is Cleveland, NC, a town of about 800 in Rowan County which proudly promotes itself as having evolved from indian trails and buffalo wallows.  It contains only 1.5 sq. land miles,  none of which happens to hold lodging accommodations, but the Motel 6 up the road in Statesville leaves the light on.

I don’t want to assume too much, for there is the famous Cleveland,  Georgia, where Cabbage Patch dolls are grown and nurtured until adoption.

There is also a Cleveland in Texas and another in Ohio.

Minneapolis?  Yep, it’s in the mountains of North Carolina not very far from the Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the Eastern U.S., at 6,684  feet.  I reckon that would make it easy enough to find.  Minneapolis used to have a railroad until it was moved to go through Cranberry and Montezuma instead, because of their iron and coal mines.  Minneapolis townfolk removed the rails and used the bed as the base of the Old Toe River Road.  They get points for ingenuity, but not so much for road naming.

I know, I know… there’s another Minneapolis up in Tim Pawlenty/Michelle Bachmann country, across the Mississippi River from St. Paul, where the Republican convention launched Sarah Palin and the delegates shouted  Drill, Baby, Drill.  ‘Nuff said?

Don’t, Democrats, Don’t!

St. Louis is the fourth city in the running.  Would that be the one in Missouri or Illinois? 

You may not know that the first verified gold find in the US was in Charlotte.  It happened when a 12-year-old boy found a 17-lb. rock and toted it home to use as a doorstop.  The rock turned out to be gold.

Since the NRA held their last national convention recently in Charlotte,  the city could use a left-leaning event to get itself upright again.   Vote for Charlotte, DNC.

You can take home any rocks you find.

When Flushing Isn’t An Option

Living on a street with huge old trees has introduced me to some new terms, like “clean-out valve.”  This valve is sort of a reverse periscope into the innards of our sewer pipe, required because sometimes the tree roots grow into and clog the old sewer pipes.  The process is this:

  • The shower drain burps or the toilet threatens to overflow.
  • We go outside and remove the cover to see if there is, um… something in there.
  • If there is, we call the city to come ream out the pipe.  If there isn’t, we call the plumber.

Today was one of those days, only the toilet overflowed this time and I was the flusher, standing there with wet flip-flops and an unenviable mopping job.

Dearly Beloved, lunch will be a little late!

Perhaps the experience has influenced this post:

North Carolina has a primary runoff coming up in June and The Daily Show writers must be salivating.

The choice between two Republican candidates for the US House of Representatives in District 8 is testosterone heavy:  a sports guy and a gun/God guy.  Jon Stewart could just send a film crew.  Either guy is good to go.

Harold Johnson is well known from his years as an area television sportscaster.   “The Big Guy” was one of the early weather/sports reporters to inject his no-Off-switch personality into his reporting.  “Sports with personality,” the station called it.   Remember Ted Knight on The Mary Tyler Moore Show?  There’s even a physical resemblance.  Here’s Harold in his own words.

Since name recognition is his main qualification, it’s hard to know where he stands on issues, other than the usual “cut taxes and red tape.” 

Let the big dog eat!

Currently, he doesn’t  live in the District where he’s running–something of a problem, one might think–but he says he’ll fix it by moving there if he wins.

While Harold may be a little short on vision, the other candidate, who says that Johnson is “but a grasshopper” in his eyes, is right out of Visions R Us.

He’s been tackling the name recognition challenge with huge billboards along the highways in the District and  began TV ads against “liberal-leftist God-hater” Obama and other Democrats in 2008, thus putting his money and his mouth on the same path.  So far, he’s given his campaign over $1,050,000 of his own money.

When Tim D’Annunzio held his political rallies here, folks were invited to “A Machine Gun Social and Fundraiser from 6 PM until the ammo runs out.” MP-5’s and M-16’s were available for $25 a magazine and one could register for an AR-15 giveaway.  Let Tim tell you about it.   Watch this.

It’s hard to get more social than that, huh?  Wait.  It gets better.  Or worse, depending on your point of view.

D’Annunzio’s blog, Christ’s War,  mixes in his own thoughts among quotations from the Old Testament and Revelation.  I didn’t link to his blog;  it’s simple to find.  That’s where voters can get their information, since he grants few interviews to the media, or, as he calls it, “the beast.”

Those who speak of his “past sins” are satisfying “their own lust” and are “condemning themselves.”  That would not include me because I didn’t want to read far enough to know about his past sins, even though some of them are public record.

I have gathered from reading his website and various news stories that he wants to abolish the Departments of  Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, and Home Land Security.  Medicare and  Social Security would be turned over to the states.  Oh–that taxing 16th amendment would have to go.

His energy plan, not surprisingly, is to reduce restrictions and turn the private sector loose to drill, baby, drill.

Wondering how this Pennsylvania transplant made his money?  A loan from the SBA enabled him to start a company making body armor for the Defense Department.  Oh, the irony. . . !

A slate of six candidates was narrowed down to these two in May.  I’m not in that District, so I don’t know about the other four candidates.

One of these guys will be the Republican candidate in November, running against Democratic incumbent (2008) Larry Kissell, who increased his own name recognition when he chose not to vote for the health care bill.

Name recognition?  That’s how we choose candidates?   Kids put more study into their list to Santa!

Don’t we have some responsibility to look into what they hope to accomplish?  Shouldn’t the “vote out the incumbent” theory have an implied goal of putting in someone better?

This isn’t the only runoff in our state, nor is ours the only one having a runoff.    The turnout will probably be even less than the 14% statewide total we had for the primary election in May.

What are people thinking?  Their votes don’t matter?   The difference between these two candidates was about 1,000 votes, with D’Annunzio getting the most–37%.   .

Personally,  I’d prefer to send representatives to Congress to represent our interests instead of wanting to channel the holy spirit.  I’d like for them to be intelligent and forward thinking.  I’d like for them to stop telling us what the American people want and  listening to us instead.  All of the American people.  Not just the shouters.

That’s not likely to happen, if only 14% want to be heard.