The Mixed Messages Manual, Please

Medical science has me backed into a corner and I’m afraid to come out without a manual. Honestly, trying to stay healthy shouldn’t be this complicated.  I feel like I’m stepping on eggs, which I may as well, since we aren’t supposed to be eating them now.

Or are eggs okay again?

See what I mean?

Estrogen was good before it was bad.

Calcium supplements? We must have 1200-1500 mg. per day, depending on whether we live in the US or Canada.  Gee, if crossing the border changes one’s calcium requirement, wonder what the International Date Line does.   Don’t worry–that’s a joke. Once we find the right calcium pill– meaning one that doesn’t cause constipation, gas, kidney stones, and weight gain– we’re set, unless we’ve listened to the mutterings about the increase in heart attacks in women and something about pseudogout and arthritis.

A glass of wine? Yes, but only one.  Last week, a study said that three glasses were  better for us.  It was a very good week. Men get to have more alcohol than women, but I question whether medical science or man science is making that rule.

Fish? Very important to a healthy diet… if one doesn’t mind mercury poisoning.  Highly recommended: sardines or salmon with bones.  All that good seafood and this is what they recommend… fish bones???

Jogging? Good?  No, BAD! Better to walk.

Vegetarian diets? Hmm. Okay, but only if  it’s organic and one takes B-12.  Vegans need Vitamin D, so go out in the sun, Veganites.  WAIT, come back!!!   The sun may be good for Vitamin D, but very bad for the skin.  Wear sunscreen to prevent skin cancer.  Well yes, now that you ask, it does block Vitamin D absorption.

Chocolate?  Nuts? Used to be bad, but now it’s good.  Dark chocolate and nuts.  To quote the eloquent Cookie Monster,  “Om Nom Nom Nom Nom.” Pass the Goobers.

Uh oh.  Sugar, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners are no-no’s.  Unless you like your dark chocolate bitter and unsweetened,  you’re out of luck.

*Coffee?  Tea? They’re on the good list now, except for the parties.  Check the manual for the recommended tea color and what the official number of allowed cups of coffee might be.

Coconut oil? Not sure. I think it’s good for you,  just not in movie popcorn, where it’s best.

It wasn’t the Food Do’s and Don’ts which sent me into fetal position this week, but a news teaser we heard  as we were driving back from the beach… something about puzzles and word games speeding up dementia.

“Uh oh,” Dearly Beloved said, cutting his eyes toward the Queen of Jumbles, Sudoku, Cryptograms, and Crosswords.

I couldn’t believe it!   As our contractor used to say, “That just ain’t right!”

We missed hearing the actual news story, so I’ve tried to find it online.  The study results were that doing the brain stuff staves off dementia longer (or perhaps it makes it harder to tell with one’s nose in a puzzle book) BUT, once one begins to show symptoms of dementia, there is a more rapid decline.

Get it?  Do you prefer being nibbled to death by ducks or eaten by a shark?

Alzheimer’s? If you’ve been working puzzles to prevent Alzheimer’s, don’t bother. That was SO 2003!  The latest evidence about doing anything to prevent Alzheimer’s is that there isn’t anything.

So go ahead, use antiperspirant again.  Please.

Water, good.  Plastic bottles of water, not good.

Breathe, but only quality air, of course.

Oh, the anxiety of all this uncertainty! Pseudogout…!  Who knew?!?!

Let me check the manual:  Anxiety:  see chocolate.

Hold the Sudoku and pass the M&M’s.  Dark chocolate, of course.

*Politically incorrect content ahead.













Nasal Passages

This isn’t something I care to get on my high horse over, but I don’t understand Sunday Blue Laws.

This morning I ran to the grocery store to get Light Cream for our morning coffee and some fresh produce for dinner.  I would have bought wine, but there can be no wine sales until after 12 PM.

It crossed my mind to wonder what happened if the church across the street from the store ran out of communion wine.

I don’t have any problem with late night prohibitions.  Those have some logic to them.  Is there a market for 4 AM beer buyers besides fraternity boys who shouldn’t be?

Hunting is not allowed in some states (like Connecticut and North Carolina) on Sundays. Not that I’m a hunter, but I don’t get that either.  If it’s wrong on Sunday, why is it okay on other days?

No commercial clamming in New Jersey on Sundays.

The South Carolina law mandating that any car race on Sunday has to be 250 miles long?  Chew on that one awhile.

The laws are a holdover from Colonial times, back when church attendance was required and the militia was empowered to go after the slackers who slept late.  They were called Blue Laws because they were written as an accommodation to the Christian Sabbath by the strict moralist Pilgrims, referred to as Blue Noses.

Why Blue Noses?  Possibly because it was cold in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Downright frigid. They believed it was their way or the highway, even though it was only a rutted road back then.  They had a host of Sunday No No’s: no wearing of lace, no travel, no shaving, no cooking, no kissing.

Intercourse, of course, was definitely out.  How would they know, you wonder?  The Puritans believed that babies were born the same day of the week on which they had been conceived.  Thus, any Sunday births put the parents in deep doodoo for supposedly diddling on a Sunday nine months earlier.

Can’t you imagine the Blue Noses twittering about that one?  Wouldn’t they have loved Tweeting!

Up until now, folks who advocated repeal of the Blue Laws haven’t met with much success beyond loosening things like mandatory church attendance and the bonking brigade.  The closing laws have been embraced over the years, keeping Sunday free for Christian business owners without allowing non-Christian competition to have an edge.*  A little brown-nosing in play?

(Too bad,  Jews, Muslims, and other sects who worship on Saturday… and that goes for you too,  godless heathens who don’t worship any day.)

Politicians may be ready for a change, as they have recently heard a message more stirring than those of the non-Christians and the whining heathens.  The message?

M-O-N-E-Y.

Tax coffers rendered anemic by the recession might be enhanced with Sunday sales– reason enough to revisit those long-standing Blue Laws.  For instance, some states prohibit car dealerships from being open on Sundays.  Unleashing the car salesmen on all those folks wandering through car lots on Sunday afternoons could bring on a stimulus to make the most ardent blue-nosed Tea Partyer’s head spin with conflicting values.  Ca-CHING!

Any lace-wearing boozers could have an early morning nip, slip into a church pew to seek forgiveness for their red noses, and still be home in time for a Sunday afternoon romp in the hay.

WELL-KNOWN BLUE NOSES

*Blue Laws by David J. Hanson, Ph. D. in Alcohol Problems and Solutions.

An Apple a Day Saves the Tomatoes

When my neighbor asked me to water her tomato plants while they were away on vacation,  she mentioned that the damnsquirrels do not bother her tomatoes.  Surely it was not a matter of taste, although I had planted heirlooms, while hers were ordinary cherry tomatoes.   No way was I going to give the little bastards credit for being pink Brandywine gourmands.

More likely, it was that her dog chases the squirrels while Miss Piggy watches them through the deck railing and waves cheerily.

Also, Neighbor planted hers in a waist-high brick planter very near her air conditioning unit.  Maybe a nice 50″ fan or two in my bed might deter them from our plants next year.  I’ll have to calculate the CPT–cost per tomato.  A BB gun is probably more cost-effective, even if more labor intensive.  How much are BB gun shooting lessons?

Early one morning I climbed over the back fence in my pajamas so that I could water her unscathed tomatoes without having to go via the front (don’t ask) and that put me behind her garage where they have a large apple tree.  All around the tree was a plethora of half-eaten apples.   Hmmmm.

Later that morning I glanced over at her garage roof and saw a strange weather vane.

Sittin' on top of the world

A few minutes later, he took a flying leap into the apple tree.  The tree isn’t as close to the garage as it looks in the picture.   Wouldn’t any creature that isn’t a lunatic take the easy way up and climb the tree instead of the garage?

Back when I planted our tomatoes, I stuck out one basil plant to enjoy with my tomato crop, but the purist damnsquirrels preferred to steal them without herbal embellishment, so the basil is now chest high.

I wonder if I could hide tomato plants behind a basil wall next year.  In the meantime,  we’ve eaten so much basil we’re considering it a green vegetable.

Basil Rathbone-sized basil.

The recently installed baffle is still keeping the little bastards from the main feeder, but The Damnsquirrel Gang hangs around the thistle pole now, because even a failed jump shakes some seeds onto the ground.  Eventually, one of the little bastards makes a successful leap.

This morning, when Beelzebub finally latched onto the feeder for a thistle seed high, Dearly Beloved ran out hollering indignantly.   He seemed strangely energized when he came back into the house.  The broom he’d tossed missed only by inches, he said.

I volunteered a disposable pizza pan as a baffle, but he thinks he has perfected his throwing calculations to make contact next time.

Since they haven’t returned yet, he’s wondering whether he spooked them or they’re off having a powwow to discuss their next move.

Spook those sumbitches?  Not even if he rides that flying broom.

The Squirrel Chronicles – the end?

The baffler has baffled the damnsquirrel!

Not that he’s giving up.  At this very moment he is sitting sulkily on the bluebird house, pondering the situation.

When Huckleberry Crusoe (aka Dearly Beloved) returned from the beach yesterday, he was horrified at how disrespectful the damnsquirrels had become in his absence.   He was right.  The little sumbitches knew they were winning the war.  And have no doubt, it has definitely been war.

Yesterday, when Miss Piggy and I went for a walk, there were nine–count ’em–NINE squirrels in the yard across the street.  They pointed and snickered when we passed.  NAH, nah, nah, NAH, nah.

Little bastards.

I have been so humiliated I couldn’t bring myself to write about my failures.  After the baffle didn’t keep them away from the feeder, I pulled out the only artillery left in my arsenal:  my stash of plastic jugs I have been collecting to use for watering my plants when I’m going to be gone for several days.  (I can punch a small hole in one and set it near my plant to do a slow drip.)

Picture a row of milk jugs lined up on the porch rail, filled with just enough water to give them throwing heft.  If I had been able to bean a few, it might have made a difference, but my aim was so poor, the damnsquirrels didn’t even bother to run when I let ’em fly.

I can’t throw worth a damn.

Only when I ran outside, shrieking and waving another jug, would I get any notice.  The damnsquirrel would shrug and reluctantly shimmy down the pole.  Even then, he would swagger over to lean against the basketball goalpost while I threw my hissy fit.  Finally, he would climb the oak tree, smirking just out of reach, while I banged against the tree with my milk jug.

I’m lucky that no one called the police about the pajama-clad woman standing in her driveway, looking wild-eyed and hysterical as she yelled threats and beat on a giant oak with a milk jug.

Dearly Beloved kept abreast of my efforts–and my failures–while he was away and had hinted that perhaps I was over-reacting.  However, he hadn’t been back home 20 minutes before he was out there hollering and tossing a broom, javelin-style, at one of the little varmints.  (He says he missed by only a squirrel hair and they now run when they see him.)

This morning we were having coffee and standing together, looking out the sunroom window when we got lucky and saw the damnsquirrel’s sneaky route.

The scene of the crime.

The little turd went up the back feeder pole that holds the thistle seed he doesn’t like and JUMPED from the top of that post over onto the suet feeder hanging on the destination post.  From there, it was easy for him to climb up and over to start draining the feeder.  I’ll have to admit that it was an impressive leap.  The little bastard gets points for ingenuity.

DB took that to mean that the baffle had confounded them, since they were finding new routes to circumvent it by coming up and over with an aerial attack.  SO, he has now moved the thistle feeder far enough away that even if a caped Supersquirrel is out there, he can’t make that leap.

Thus, the sulky stance on the bluebird house.

Dearly Beloved and I are giddy with success (actually, he says I may be giddy, but he’s cocky) but we aren’t taking anything for granted.  I wouldn’t be surprised to look out and see nine squirrels, totem-pole style, with Beelzebub on top, shaking seeds out of the feeder.

DB says they’re way beyond that.

He claims he saw a crew of them working with a slide rule and Stadiametric rangefinder.

Bring it on,  you little bastards.

Hey, There’s A BEVERAGE Here!

Here at the beach house-not-on-the-beach this week, I have tried to give my nerves a rest from worrying about the damnsquirrels at home.  I’m sure they emptied the bird feeders and chalked nasty notes on the driveway as soon as I drove away.  They’re probably digging up my flower beds and eating all my bulbs, but I won’t think about that.  Deep breaths….

Not that we’re squirrel-free here, but since they had already stripped the peach tree, the fig tree, and our lone tomato plant before I arrived, there was nothing left for them to do to cause further aggravation.   I dismissed them from my thoughts. Breathe in…breathe out….

There was one incident.  Just close your eyes, Girl.  Keep breathing.

Dearly Beloved was reading a book and enjoying a glass of wine on the patio this weekend, a shady spot under the hickory tree.  The poor guy had to hold his hand over the glass to keep the Hickory nuts from “falling” into his wine.

Falling, my ass!   I heard one squirrel yell, “10 points!” And we’re breathing, and we’re breathing….

For those of you who keep insisting that they’re “cute,” I offer one more piece of evidence.  Take a look at this picture that my Indianapolis daughter sent this morning.  Note the half-eaten tomato.

You say toMAHto, I say SUMBITCH!!!

I rest my case.  Pass the wine.

On the Verge of a Purge

Here’s another one for the rule book:  Never try to find a new doctor on a Monday.

Not that it would be any easier on a Thursday, of course, but Mondays usually come with baggage.

Don’t even bother asking anyone for recommendations.  The recommended ones aren’t taking new patients.  Or they’re not taking your kind of insurance.  Or they’re younger than your kids.

Technically, I wasn’t even trying to find a new doctor– just my somewhat new one, whom I’ve seen a couple of times before, but now she’s moved to a different practice.  She used to be five minutes away, now she’s 25.

Such is life.

The times I’ve seen her have been for routine physicals and each time, one of her first questions has been, “When is the last time you had a colonoscopy?”

That’s not in one of the “save the date” slots of my brain.  They should have just tattooed it on my butt, like they do with cars after an oil change.

It’s physical time again this week and I need to give her a concrete answer.

I called my former doctor at the beach, the one who sent me for my original test.  The automated voice goes through that infernal,  You have reached blahblahblah… if you are a physican, dial blahblahblah… if you know your party’s extension, blahblahblah. When I press my way to humanity, she can’t find the test results in my chart, but sees the date when they sent me:  2003.

Uh oh.

The imaging center where I had the procedure has the same blahblahblah answering device.  The human I found by pressing 0 searches for my records, but eventually tells me I was purged. 

Yes, I remember that part quite vividly.

The report is in storage, but she will call down and retrieve it, she assures me.

I suppose it’s logical that a colonoscopy report be stowed in the bowels of the building.

She will send it to my new doctor if I will supply a FAX number.

Noooooooooooo problem-o, right?  Just call the somewhat new doctor’s new office and get a FAX number.

First the phone book:

Our phone company didn’t even send us White Pages this year, telling us that folks don’t use them any more. (Why? No one has friends?)  Instead, they sent us two sets of The Real Yellow Pages, one that’s readable and a second, miniature version for elves, fairies, or beady-eyed people.

Finding my doctor–excuse me–Physician— in The Yellow Book or The Real Yellow Pages is an exercise in insanity.  If I had a Sorta Yellow Pages, I’d look there, too.

She isn’t listed in those faux white pages that are printed in front of The Real Yellow Pages, so I turn to Physicians & Surgeons. There, things really get complicated.

It isn’t enough to know she’s a doctor… is she Family Medicine, General Practice, Internal Medicine, or one of the 67 other specialties listed?

None of the above.  I don’t see her name anywhere.

Then she must be listed by the name of the new group she’s in, right?  If only I knew what that is.  I call a number I think might be it, but they are not familiar with her.  The human at 0, which I pressed this time after the first blahblah, kindly says she’ll look in the medical directory.

It still shows my doctor’s old address.

I put away the phone book and move to the computer and  411.com. First, I look by People and find her name, age, home address, and husband… but not her business address.  I try again via the Business listings, looking under “Doctors.

The list is organized by how close the doctors are to me in distance. When I change the setting to get an alphabetical listing, it does so… by first name.

I don’t know her first name.  I know it isn’t Ann or Sue, but something multi-syllabic and mysterious, which actually helps in my search.  I scroll until I locate a mysterious name.  I click on it:  old office address.

For gawd’s sakes, has the woman gone into Witness Protection?

Finally!  After another blahblahblah, a receptionist in another office is able to tell me the doctor’s new location.  I go through another calling cycle to the somewhat new doctor to get her FAX number and then do a repeat to the people who purged me.

I’m on the home stretch now… IF the colonoscopy Purged Files clerk locates my file and FAXes it to my somewhat new doctor’s new nurse at her direct, secret FAX number at the new practice, that’s it! By Thursday, please.

What are the odds?  I have no idea.  Can’t think about that now.  The whole experience has given me a migraine.

Would that be Physicians & Surgeons – Neurology, Physicians & Surgeons – Pain Management, or should I go directly to Physicians & Surgeons – Psychiatry?

Sure It’s not BATGIRL?

So you’ve watched the TV news this week and found it all “phews,” so batshit-crazy that you sent your television to Bristol and Levi as an engagement present…?

And your ears are starting to bleed because you’ve heard more of Mel Gibson’s foul rants than the Ex- has…?

Is that why you’re moaning, Mona?

And you’re thanking Mother Nature because Bristol and Levi’s outdoor wedding in Alaska must at least be over quickly?   And the sure-to-be-shown photos of Daddy Levi and  Baby Tripp in their matching camo wedding duds will replace the Blurry -Naked -Levi Playgirl one that hurts your eyes… is that your hankering, Hannah?

And you’ve seen Lindsay Lohan’s painted-for-da-judge middle  F*ck you fingernail so often you’ve built that bird a nest?  And hope her new attorney, Robert Shapiro, will say she should shove it…  in a glove?   Is that what you’re going for, Gladys?

Will anyone watch Aaron Sorkin’s movie based on Andrew Young’s book about Rielle, Johnny, the sex tapes, and the lawsuit unless assured that doing so could somehow halt Global Warming?  Is that what you’re wondering, Wanda?

It’s been quite a week with the nuts and the creeps, so if those nitbrains have gotten you down, Dawn…

Here, thanks to my dear husband who found this, is news* to make you smile.

*See comments.

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.

Stunned

Alcohol… drugs…  gambling… wild women (yawn) have never been issues in our marriage.  No one has a stronger moral compass than Dearly Beloved.  He is kind to animals, delightful with children, and friendly to adults.  He is non-violent and has never owned a gun.

HOWEVER,  let that sonofagun get his hands on a pair of loppers or large pruning shears and Freddy Krueger is a mild-mannered manicurist by comparison. Neighbors run inside and lock their doors with when DB, armed and wild-eyed, approaches.  If it’s something  gas or electric-powered,  the skies darken as birds flee, some carrying their nests on their little backs.

Nothing is safe when the unsupervised Mad Pruner is on the prowl.

A couple of years ago, he neatened our prize Japanese maple by cutting off the graceful, drooping branches and turning it into a Tootsie Pop.   We agreed that, to save the marriage, he would not prune without supervision.

Daughter Boo and I share plants, so I have been e-mailing photos to show her the wood poppies, hostas, ferns, and trilliums which came from her garden and now brighten mine.   As a joke, I snapped this picture of the 50-year-old camellias on one side of our house.

Dad's pruning job

That’s how I labeled it and when I sent it to her,  I also e-mailed a copy to DB.   My bad.  My bad, bad, bad!!

This is how the shrubs looked in March:

Blooming camellias

Tuesday I went over to have lunch with a friend and see her large, lovely rose garden.  I was gone about three hours.   DB was in the sunroom at his computer when I returned.  Without even looking up, he said, “I did that pruning  job while you were gone.”

My blood ran cold.  DANGER!!!  DANGER!!!!

I think I know how Bambi’s mother must have felt when she smelled smoke.  I rushed outside, almost bumping into our neighbor as I rounded the house.   He was looking at the side of our house.   When he saw me, he held up his hands in surrender and started to back away.

HOLY SHIT!!!!

The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.   The neighbor, whether shell-shocked at my language or the carnage before him, solemnly intoned, “Dearly Beloved is in deep doodoo, isn’t he?”

The city collects “yard waste” on Fridays, so here is the scene at our curb this morning:

Better call for big truck backup, Guys!

Now, as I hum TAPS softly and if carnage and  mutilation do not make you ill, take a look at this picture of the victims, if you dare.

The scene of the crime.

I love this man and want to save our marriage,  but something has to be done.

Will I need a permit for a stun gun?

Which Kind of Crazy?

Sunrise on the Outer Banks ©JW 2010

My brother often takes incredible nature pictures of the Outer Banks area where he lives, and sends them to me.   Nothing would get him away from that part of North Carolina.  He knows every creek and back road around there.   Last week he sent me a picture of an owl with a critter in claw (yikes!) and he tells me he’ll be sending his pictures of mating water moccasins soon.  Not that I’ve asked, I hasten to add.

This incredible sunrise on the Outer Banks struck me, not only because it’s so beautiful, but because NC politicians have softened their “no off-shore drilling” stance and that is such a fragile area.  There is a remote possibility that even the BP oil rig explosion off the Louisiana Gulf coast could reach our state.  A wide swath of southern gulf coastline, from the Mississippi Delta to Pensacola, Florida, is expected to be affected by Monday.

Today I read that BP considered the possibility of a spill so unlikely that they didn’t have a plan to address such a disaster.  That would indicate a brain spill sometime ago.  Good grief!   Who are all these corporate executives making decisions that leave oil slicks from Wall Street to the Gulf of Mexico?   When did brains and common sense become passé ?

Dearly Beloved and I don’t expect our commode to overflow either, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a toilet plunger at the ready.

Speaking of toilet talk, metaphorically, I mean… you know how local TV stations hype their news stories during the prime time shows?  Last night one of our stations was titillating and teasing us about an interview with Joslyn James, who is here doing whatever she does at an “adult entertainment” club.    Her appearance has been advertised for days in the sports section of the newspaper.  Just in case you’ve escaped having that name stuck in your brain like gum on a shoe, she’s one of Tiger Woods’ former mistresses.   While he’s here playing– not very well– at the Quail Hollow Golf Tournament, she’s a few miles up the road,  pole dancing.

Only a coinkydink, of course.

There’s an election Tuesday and I’ll bet half the county has no idea, but faux-news?  We’re on it!

Speaking of opportunistic mistresses and cheating, lying husbands, Oprah’s interview with Rielle Hunter was aired this week.  The object of Rielle’s affection,  John Edwards,  is about to be combing his hair for a court appearance in Raleigh in a week or so.  I forget whether this hearing is in regard to the sex tape,  or the one about whether he used campaign funds to pay for all that fun.

And to think that his momma gave him her pecan pie recipe to send out as a Thank You for campaign donations!   She probably wishes she’d chosen something without nuts.

To top off the news in North Carolina,  some guy named Shirley robbed Thelma Lou in Mt. Airy this week.  Barney’s ex-girlfriend is 83 now, and had moved to faux-Mayberry for safety after being robbed in Los Angeles a couple of times.  There she was, right outside Lowe’s, waiting for a taxi, when Shirley strong-armed her.  I read that Betty Lou Lynn appeared as Deputy Fife’s girlfriend, Thelma Lou,  in 26 episodes.  I’d have guessed at least three times that.  Catching a cab in Mount Airy can’t be easy, but maybe driving at 83 in Mount Airy isn’t either.

(83?!  Holy moly!  Surely we’re not aging that fast!)

I don’t usually send folks off to read other blogs, but if you haven’t yet become a fan of Mature Landscaping, start with this one about a coming “event” in Myrtle Beach.

Way beyond crazy-funny, which has been in short supply lately, crazy comes in a variety of undesirable flavors :  crazy-sad, crazy-disgusting, crazy-ignorant, crazy-mean, crazy-scary, and crazy-fanatical.   It sounds like Myrtle Beach is about to get a big dose of crazy nobody should have to experience.