Friday, March 30, 2012


My sister left this fine earth.

True to my word, I would continue my brother-in-law's wish to promote Breast Cancer Awareness.

So Ladies Please, for your loved ones, if not yourselves.

After her husband left, my sister's best friend called to say she felt as if the nightmare were over, they were together for Eternity, and told me to listen to the following song that had been released.  For it was their story. And it is.

Thank You all For Bearing With Me.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The weather took a turn back on the dial to ABSOLUTE COLD, and what is better than to be surrounded by good reading next to the fireplace, so off the daughter and I headed to the BOOK BARN  ( ) .  Course the visit wouldn't be complete without a spin around all the out-buildings, and saying "hey" to one of the rescue goats.

We are seriously addicted to Chai Tea (with cream) so a trip to Mystic Village before heading home was on the agenda.   We stood patiently in line at the little store that sells specialty coffees from all sorts of exotic places.   We were patient because the elderly gent in front of us was asking where each coffee was grown and had to smell a sample of each, before he ended up walking out sans fresh coffee beans. 

Chai Tea in hand we headed back out the winding walkway toward the car, when we were overtaken by a miniature person in pink.  She was about two feet tall, maybe three years old with a pink parka, pink dress, pink tights, and pink hat.  My daughter looked at her Chai Tea cup and was mumbling something about pink elephants when the little girl stopped short in front of us turned, saw her parents closing in fast and took off again ( that is one child that will need some serious monster-movie-therapy  before her brain turns pink). In the meantime my daughter found the bear, sitting alone begging for someone to sit and take his picture, so of course the kid (my ADULT kid...) runs over to pose.  Just as I was taking her picture the young couple walked behind me with their pink child.   The young mother said, "Oh gosh I hope our little girl is as much fun as you guys when she gets older, your sister is too funny."       ahem, yuh.     They were clear to the parking lot after my turn with the bear before my daughter had finished mulling over what the young mother had said.  I had taken it as a compliment, thinking, "Hey, do I really look young enough to be my kid's sister?"

My daughter was highly insulted thinking, "Oh cripe, do I really look old enough to be her sister?"

Which led me to some serious thoughts on perception. Was it my age that made me think of this quote?  “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”     Oscar Wilde

While I had to wait until I got home to look up a compairable quote to describe my daughters veiw of the incident. 

“Life is 10 percent what you make it
and 90 percent how you take it.”
― Irving Berlin


Monday, March 26, 2012


We went to this one. Clearly the kid and I have way too much time on our hands...

Three houses, fully involved.  By the time we got there the first two were nothing but charred beams and a porch on the verge of crashing onto the sidewalk, with the third in the rear still blazing.

OK, I'll admit to it, it was sort of hilarious when whomever was on the tower in the back aimed the hose wrong and it sort of blasted the guys in the bucket on the right.

Quite a turnout for 2 AM.

Keeping in mind the flames are from the third house to the rear...  eek.

A successful atttempt at keeping a fourth from falling victim.

Apparently we were not the only kooks attending.  This one got out of bed and did not forget her kitty hat...

Thank You to firefighters who are not afraid of heights.

That rickety at best porch just kept clinging no matter how many gallons of water smashed into it.
It would appear my phone takes better photos at night than the camera.  Life is just not fair...

Um, Hullo, someone gonna need these for their Scott Pack.....

Photo Credit --  UNK -- feel free to come forward as this picture is so much better than mine!



And just because....
A window and a street sign I pass by everytime I go downtown to the grocery store ...     :}


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The Daughter had come over with plans for a shopping trip.   This is what  I saw.  'Bout a million of them.

Scattered everywhere throughout the interior of the car.  Reminded me of the scene in Grumpy Old Men with the rotten fish in the truck trick.   "What are all these for?"   "Oh, yah know,' she begins, " I think I have a dead mouse under the hood because I have been smelling an awful dead mouse smell every time I turn on the heat.  I just have to get under there and search one of these days."   Um, OK, off we went.  
We stopped at the grocery store first.  "I'll wait in the car," she says.  "OK, I'll be right out."   I exited the store about fifteen minutes later to the tune of whining wailing emergency sirens and thanked my lucky stars we were parked and in a parking lot.  We just love the non-paid volunteers but God help anyone on the skinny roads when they come plowing through to get to a fire or accident...


This is what I saw when I got to the car.

All I could think of to say was, "Julie, did you call the fire department?"
"Um,  yuh." she began, as I noticed her hair was beginning to stand on end and floof out as it usually does when she is feeling a bit harried.
They must have been in a hurry and left the doors open.

"I thought since I had a few minutes I would look under the hood to see if I could easily see the dead mouse 'cause the smell was worse than it usually is." she continued.  "But when I opened the hood the battery was on fire."  

Good thing Mom was there with the charge card as after the fire department removed the battery, we had to call for this truck.

The Culprit.

The Newby.


She had a rough day....

And the moral of the story is.....  If you smell a dead mouse, look for a burning battery. 


Sunday, March 18, 2012


As the moon rose slowly ...

So would I sink...

Into the drunkin' Irish roots from which I came.

Not so inebriated I would fail to notice an extremely old man in green suspenders, green golfing hat and green socks taking a picture of a willing waitress decked out in plastic St. Patrick's Day necklaces . Apparently the whole St. Patricks Day Legend is entirely false, though St. Patrick himself was not a figment, but hey, by the time the legend was born the Irish really needed a reason to drink, which in no way accounts for my intolerance.  I had two green drinks and needed a guide dog to get out of the place.  Jeese, thought it was in the DNA.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Without original photos, nor video - much to The Son's chagrin - it's difficult to adequately do justice to  THE ATTACK.    But hey,  I'm getting way ahead of myself.  Starting out with causation is the most likely place to begin...

I babysat that day.  For the HUMAN HAZ-MAT.    Shortly after his mother picked him up I felt an irresistible urge to flee the scene, after the fact.   There was still a slightly tinged green cloud hanging about.

So I called my daughter and asked her if she would like to try to find the nearby farm.  The field across the street is part of said farm that raises dairy cows.   I love cows.  Fortunately the apple didn't fall far from the tree, and my daughter said she would come right over. 

I thought it would be a short drive, sort of one of those  'just around the next bend'  deals.  Took us about twenty minutes to get there, evidently that corn field across the street, with its attached stand of trees, is slightly larger by a few hundred acres than I thought.   

When we could see post and rail fencing in the distance we knew we were, at last, near.  From the road we first spotted row upon row of white boxes within a fenced area.  Reaching the area the boxes details materialized into large fiberglass crates.

The son did not step on the gas, but parked right there.

We passed slowly by the crates all lined up with the babies used for veal, our stomachs tightening while attempting to look away from the babies not allowed more than a foot of rope to wander, chanting,  "Oh don't look, don't look, oh no,  one is trying to come out of the crate, don't look, don't look."  Somehow DEATH ROW for calves is way too heart wrenching and I stepped on the gas.

 We made it past the first sheltered enclosure, arriving at the teenagers portion of outdoor pens.   Close to seventy-five of them all poking heads through a space in the fence enclosure just large enough for them to reach the feed trough.  They look a bit funky with those huge yellow tags stapled into each ear indicating month of birth and lineage, as well as other numbers we didn't care to inquire about.  

Hammin' it up....

I parked the car and meandered over to a large bulldozer driven by a middle aged guy in a heavy flannel shirt.   Well sure enough I must be in the country again, as instead of aiming the machine in my direction and flooring it when he spotted me in his peripheral vision he stopped the machine, locked the bucket, turned the machine off, flipped off his noise canceling headphones and flashed a smile while asking what it was he could do for 'the ladies.'  

Well I've been called a lot of things in my lifetime but lady hasn't been one of them.  Sort of took me off guard until I noticed my daughter sashaying over to the huge machine and its rough, but good-lookin' operator.        "Well,'  she began,  'we'd like to visit with the cows and were wondering if it would be alright."  Then she flashed that dazzling smile.    Handsome said, "Sure, lots of people stop by.  My grandfather owns the place. Have fun," and he started up the machine he was master of to finish his work.

We wandered past all the teenagers...

making it to the full grown group of milkers in the back.  As usual, we were having an ordinary adventure that was about to go south fast.

Having been away from any sort of large cow since way before Uncle Joe ran away with his maid  (,  it never occurred to me that my daughter was about to have a "Oh what was I thinkin"  moment simply because she had decided to throw on her red sweatsuit  that day.

Things started to get a tad creepy as we were walking to the milkers.  I noticed a distinct shifting of the population within the pen.   My daughter said, "They don't look happy, lets go to the other end of the pen."    
OK.  It was that big bush on the right that did us in, for as we were rounding the other side of the bush I spotted a cat off to our right.  I heard my daughter say, "Oh, kitty," while she veared toward it.  I noticed Kitty staring intently at three or four chickens that were in a bush.  We didn't see the full picture that day, having been so intent on the details.

This is what we saw.

This is what we missed.  The hen house alllll the way to the right, just past the bush with the chickens, and of course, Kitty.

My daughter was heading towards Kitty, when I noticed a large red chicken coming out from around the side of the bush.  "Oh look'   el-stupeedo here says, ' that one is coming to see you."   It was then the world stopped spinning at its right and normal speed, when things start to happen in the slo-mo of films, yet in reality time is speeding past.  

I focused on the red chicken, as did my daughter, when suddenly I noticed it was no longer meandering toward my daughter.  It was picking up speed.   My daughter too, noticed, and just as I heard the highly audible "Oh, oh,"  from her, I realized this was no ordinary chicken.  In fact, it wasn't a chicken at all, it was a Rhode Island Red rooster  hell bent on attacking the monster in red that was approaching his flock.  

Took me about two seconds to figure out he was not after me   say "don't run."  Then I proceeded to collapse , giving in to the oncoming hysterics, that would become worse as I watched my daughter attempt The Great Escape.

She turned on her heels just as I told her not to run.  She would relate to her brother after the fact, that all she could think of was Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, and getting her eyes pecked out while her mother was on the ground laughing and telling her not to run.     

As I watched, the rooster sped up.  My daughter turned on her heels, and tried those really fast little baby-steps that kids will do when told not to run in the hallway.  Those hallways are usually smooth, tiled, level flooring.  So as she was speed-baby-stepping up the rocky driveway she hit a rock and was about to fall.  It was the "ARRRGGGHHHHH   oh no."  noises she made that brought the tears to my eyes and I missed the close call her face nearly had with the dirt.  I did hear frantic scrambling noises before I could collect myself enough to get up off the lawn.  There was just something so precious about her frantic baby-steps and furtive over the shoulder glancing....

The next second I looked and she was rounding the front of the car, her red sweatsuit camouflaged, while the rooster stood in the exact spot she had nearly met DEATH BY ROOSTER.  I saw her head watching me over the top of the car while the rooster was turning to look straight at me.  "Hahahaha," I heard from the other side of the car.    Well, luckily I was wearing black and white.  Probably looked like one of the cows, albeit a bit smaller.     He spread his wings full out, let out a classic cock-a-doodle-doo, and proceeded to march straight back to his flock. 

Only then did I get up and try for the car.  Hey its every man for himself when it comes to getting the ole eyes pecked out.....

When we arrived home my daughter had plenty of time to tell her brother the story while I was having another bout of hysterics in the car.    She was ever so slightly miffed that her brother was more concerned with us not getting a video of the whole thing when she was nearly blinded for life.   It really did not help one bit when her brother told her everyone knows yah don't wear red on a farm...... 

The Son and I have been trying to get her back over here in her red sweatsuit for a true re-enactment but she's not falling for it.  Not in the least.

Hence the son driving me over today for the non-re-enactment photos.   On the way home he spotted a For Sale sign on a lot he wanted to look at. 

But once we rounded the bend on the makeshift road leading down to the lot cleared for a new home, I noticed it really seemed like we were headed in at an exceptionally steep angle.   Fearing the worst, knowing that most times my daughter and I are involved in our misadventures it does not involve heavy machinery -  like motor vehicles - I told the kid to stop and let me out, as I gazed at a near vertical drop in front of the car.     Well, boys will be boys even when they are grown men, and the kid took this as a challenge for the poor aging Chrysler.  Off he went.

 I truned on my heels and began the walk up the gravel road, waiting for the crash, which thankfully never came.  What I heard instead were the front wheels scrambling back up the road.  Lot tougher coming out then going in.

And soooooo, as my sister used to say, we all ended up OK, my daughter still has both eyes, my son still has an intact car, and I have more stories to tell the grandson....