Sunday, April 30, 2023

Z is for Zoo


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Z

The Kansas City Zoological Gardens was proposed in 1907 and built in 1909 in Swope Park. It opened with four lions, three monkeys, a wolf, a fox, a coyote, a badger, a lynx, an eagle, and other birds. It is now a 200 acre nature sanctuary called the Kansas City Zoo, home to over 1,700 animals representing more than 200 species, and their mission is to connect people to each other and the natural world to promote understanding, appreciation and conservation. 

I grew up going there with my family, and in first grade, we went to the zoo on a field trip. Any trip to the zoo (and this was in the 1960s) included taking a bag of large marshmallows to feed to the animals.

For real.

Giraffes especially loved them, and it was fun watching them reach their purple tongues out to take them from your hand.

Somewhere along the way, the zoo keepers or veterinarians decided (and rightly so) that human food is not healthy for the animals. Each animal has specific nutritional needs, and marshmallows are not one of those needs.

I'll bet the animals were sad when the "Don't Feed The Animals" rule went into effect, but I'll also bet they lived longer and had better teeth because of it.

Y is for You’d Think


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Y

My niece Maggie is getting married today. I have known about this for quite a few months, and more importantly, I’ve known about it since I signed up for the A to Z Challenge just over a month ago. You would think, then, that I had my post for today already written and ready to go, wouldn’t you? 

Yeah, I don’t. 

I’m writing this on my phone while I take a quick break from tying ribbon on each of the bridal party bouquets. The tables are decorated. The girls are finishing up hair and make up and will be getting into their dresses soon. The guys are just hanging out and will spend five minutes throwing on their suits and be ready to roll.

So nothing here except best wishes to Maggie and Ryan for a beautiful life together!

Z you real soon!

Friday, April 28, 2023

X is for Extremely Wrong About THAT


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter X

I spent my freshman year in college car-less. It wasn't much of a problem, since I lived on campus and could ride home for a weekend and back with any number of friends I knew from my home town, and there wasn't an extra car in our family for me to have anyway.

The summer after my freshman year, I chose to move into an apartment with my friend Lagena instead of moving home. I was definitely going to need a car to get to school and to my job, and it so happened my parents had a drastic life change that included my dad getting a new vehicle to drive, so I inherited his 1970 Chevrolet Nova. (I wrote about learning to drive its stick shift here if you would like to read it.) It was 9 years old at this time and had seen things, but I was comfortable with it and it got me where I needed to go, except the day it didn't.

Because it was 9 years old, parts had begun to go south on it, and on one of my visits home, my dad said he thought the fuel pump might be going out, whatever THAT meant. I really never gave it another thought, or at least not for months.

One very cold and rainy November morning, I was driving from my apartment to school for an 8:00 a.m. class. There were not only students heading to campus but people just headed to work, and the rain was causing traffic congestion, especially at the always busy intersection of Cherry and National, just a few blocks from campus. I inched forward with everyone else, hoping to make the next light so I wouldn't be late to class, when my car died. It's pretty easy to accidentally kill a car engine with a manual transmission; I know, because I did it often. But when I tried to start the car, the engine just sputtered and refused to turn over. In the meantime, the light had turned green, and there I sat, blocking traffic with a dead car. This is it, I thought to myself. The fuel pump has finally bitten the dust.

A man in a car behind me either took pity on me or really needed to get to work, and he approached my car and asked what the trouble was.

"It's the fuel pump," I replied. 

"Are you sure?" he asked, looking at the dashboard of my car. "Your fuel gauge is showing it's below empty. Sure you're not just out of gas?"

"No," I said sadly, "It goes way below empty all the time. I'm sure it's the fuel pump. My dad said it was going out."

"I'm going to push your car through the intersection to get it out of the way," he said, and he did, and when I was safely pulled over on the side of the street, the man said, "I'm going to go get a little gas and just see if that might help."

"It won't," I thought to myself, but I sat there and waited for him (not that I had any other choice; I had already missed my 8:00 class and it was still raining). He was back within ten minutes with a gallon of gas which he poured into my tank.

"Try it now," he said, and I turned the key and the car started immediately.

"Guess it wasn't the fuel pump," I said to the man, grinning sheepishly.

"Not this time," he said. "Don't let your tank get so empty again and be careful!" 

With that, he was gone.

And did I learn my lesson about letting the tank get below empty?

Sadly, I did not.

Not my car, but close. Harvest gold. Can you dig it?

Thursday, April 27, 2023

W is for Wienermobile


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter W

Back in January 2019, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw that one of the local television stations posted a story saying Oscar Mayer was looking for applicants to be a Hotdogger (I'm not kidding) and drive the Wienermobile for a one-year, full-time, paid assignment. 

How cool would that be?!

I went to their website and checked the requirements: outgoing, creative, friendly, enthusiastic, appetite for adventure, willing to drive around the country in the Wienermobile as a brand ambassador of Oscar Mayer through radio, television, newspaper, and personal appearances. 

I could do that!

BA or BS, preferably in marketing, public relations, journalism, advertising, or communications, but applicants not limited to these degrees. 

Perfect, because while I don't have one of those degrees that I am not limited to, but I DO have a BS in Elementary Education!

Traveling to big cities and small towns for special events all over the country.

I LOVE to drive and visit new places!

Organize promotions, coordinate with media, handle public relations.

Pssshhh! In previous jobs, I coordinated photo shoots and recording sessions for country music artists AND I have wrangled children as a teacher for over 20 years. Piece of cake!

I sent them a cover letter that was sure to get me hired:

I would love to be your next hotdogger! I realize there is a lot of competition for this job, particularly since the announcement went viral over social media, but I believe I am just what you need.

Here is what I can bring to the job as an Oscar Mayer Hotdogger:

  • I love to drive. Our family vacations are driving vacations, with the trip being just as important as the destination.
  • I have a clean driving record. I don't speed, and I know when to use my turn signals.
  • I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I don't do drugs.
  • I'm used to working with children, plus I know how to pose them for pictures.
  • I have a Bachelor's degree, and although it is not in a business field, I believe my eclectic work experience makes up for that.
  • I have appeared on local television morning shows to speak about community events in which I was involved, as well as been interviewed by the local newspaper.

My kids are away at college, and my husband has said he would be fine if I got the job. This is, in part, because he doesn't think I have a real chance to get it, but I believe he is wrong.

And I waited. And waited. And waited. 

And they never got back to me.


Yes, I'm still bitter.

I went to the Oscar Mayer Wiener Tour Site as I was writing this post, and when I could tell they had revamped the job description, adding wording like "contributing to brand social content". But they changed something ELSE that wasn't there when I applied, and that is adding the words, "graduating college seniors" to the job requirements.

My husband has theorized that they added the part about graduating college seniors because they got an application and resume from a crazy middle-aged woman when they expected this to appeal to a younger crowd. Their loss.

You missed out, Oscar Mayer. I would have been the best Hotdogger you ever had!

This. Should have. Been. Me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

V is for Vanderpump This


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter V

My husband loves reality tv shows. I don't. Below Deck. Married At First Sight (American and Australian versions). Love Is Blind. The Bachelor (I swear he isn't a college girl). He claims he watches them because they're so ridiculous, but he seems awfully invested for someone who's just getting a hoot out of them.

He started watching Vanderpump Rules a few weeks ago because there was some scandal about a couple of the characters (characters? players? cast members?). The show is in Season 10. I suggested if he's so interested in the show that he start with Season 1, as he has missed TEN YEARS of character development. His answer to that was to watch Season 9 and then continue to watch the new episodes of Season 10 as they are released. 

I can't explain why this irritates the crap out of me, but it does.

We are in the same room when he is Vanderpumping, so I see bits and pieces of the show, but if I ask him a question about a character, he doesn't know the answer. Why? BECAUSE HE WON'T GO BACK AND WATCH FROM THE BEGINNING.

Guess what I've been doing?

Secretly watching Vanderpump Rules from the very beginning. It's my new guilty pleasure. And now I know things he doesn't. 


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

U is for Up On The Roof


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter U

My favorite place I ever lived was in a loft apartment on Music Row in Nashville. It was once a one-story brick house with a cellar (CELLAR, not basement - there's a difference and if you don't know what it is, you've never been in a cellar) and a large attic. The bottom floor of the house had been turned into a studio and an office space (that was leased to a jingle writer), the attic became a loft apartment, and the cellar was still a cellar. The house to the south was an old two-story home that was turned into a studio. Across the street were houses that had been turned into studios and publishing offices and artist management companies, and to the north was Studio 19 (built to be a studio and not a refurbished house). The owner of Studio 19 was (and still is) my friend Larry, and he also owned the house/studio with the loft apartment.

Front of the house. Not terribly relevant, since I
lived above the house and the entrance was in
the back, but I can't find any of my photos of it

Larry usually leased the apartment to one of his recording engineers from Studio 19 as part of their salary. I got the apartment because the engineer that was currently living there needed a bigger place and was moving out, and the other engineer in line for it decided he'd rather have the money than the apartment so he could buy a car (I also bribed him a little with the promise of baking him cookies once a week, which I fulfilled until he started gaining too much weight and said no more cookies). It was an awesome space! Vaulted ceilings, big windows in the front room that looked onto a deck (and across the alley to a high rise apartment building that largely housed Vanderbilt Law School students). There was a skylight above my living room couch, one just inside the bedroom (which was separated from the living room and kitchen by a partition), one in the bathroom above the bathtub, and one in the far back of the apartment above where my bed was placed. The ceilings slanted (attic, remember?) and I did whack my head on them a lot over the years I lived there, not going to lie. 

My brother with my cat Christopher. The door is
behind the cat and the only windows in the place
look out onto the deck.

Helen liked to climb from trash can to microwave
to fridge to cabinets to partition between bedroom
and living area

The day I moved in, the previous tenant handed me the key to the front door as he took the last of his stuff out of the apartment and warned me the key was for the deadbolt only and never to lock the doorknob when I left the apartment, or I wouldn't be able to get back in, as there was no key anywhere that anyone knew about for that lock.

I was living my best life there, working at a record company, living on Music Row within walking distance to restaurants and such, and hanging out with Terri. I was never scared (it's not necessarily the safest place to be at night), because there was nearly always someone in at least one of the studios next door or below me.

Then late one Saturday night (I think it definitely qualified as early Sunday morning), after Terri and I had been out and I had dropped her off at HER apartment, I got home, did a quick visual survey for sketchy people, then went up the stairs to my apartment, but when I turned the key in the deadbolt, the door didn't open because THE KNOB DIDN'T TURN. I was locked out. I couldn't figure out how this could possibly happen, because I was SO VERY CAREFUL about never locking that doorknob, but locked it was, and I had to get in or sleep on my porch swing,

I drove back to Terri's for help, woke her up, and ended up spending the night with her instead of on the porch swing, and early the next morning, she and I went back to my place to figure out how to get in. 

"I'll just climb up on the roof and go in through the skylight!" Terri said, and she stepped onto the roof, crawled a few feet to where she was between the skylight and the porch, and announced, "I'm scared of heights!" and was now frozen in place.

So now I'm locked out of my apartment with my best friend stuck on the roof.

Fortunately, I had a friend whose husband was a law student at Vanderbilt and they lived in that apartment building behind me (which is how I knew it housed a lot of law students). I left Terri on the roof, ran across the alley to my friend's apartment, and woke them up. They came, her husband armed with some tools, and he first got Terri off the roof without either of them falling off, then popped the skylight open and dropped onto my couch (much to the surprise of my cat), unlocked the door knob, and I was in!

It was later that week when I had popped in to Studio 19 to visit with my landlord that he said, "I went out to dinner with some friends the other night and took them in to show them your apartment!" 

"Uhh, was this Saturday night, by chance?" I asked.

"Yes! They thought it was really cute."

"You locked me out."


"You locked the doorknob when you left and you locked me out. I had to spend the night at Terri's and she got stuck on the roof trying to get in and I had to get a neighbor to get her down and go in through the skylight."

He felt really, really bad, but Terri stuck on the roof was kind of worth it, and all's well that ends well, right?

My favorite picture ever of the two of us.

Side note: the house with the loft apartment, Studio 19, and all the other houses and businesses on the block have been torn down and huge, expensive apartment buildings have been built on what was once a quiet, tree-lined street, and it makes me sad when I think about it. And then I remember Terri stuck up there on the roof, and I smile.

Monday, April 24, 2023

T is for Turtle


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter T

Once upon a time ago, my brother had two pet turtles. I was preschool age, and I think one of them was supposed to be "mine", but they lived in a plastic bowl in his bedroom and he fed them, so I guess they were way more his. 

The turtles were named Sam and Charlie, and maybe this is a coincidence and maybe it isn't, but I think that was also the names of the two barbers in the barber shop my dad used. They were probably purchased at Woolworth's or Kresge's and were red eared sliders, a turtle you can find anywhere in our area living in ponds, lakes, and streams. 

They had teeny, tiny triangular tails and scratchy little feet, and I was pretty fascinated with our little turtle friends and the way they ducked into their shells when they saw me coming. 

Turtles with a shell smaller than 4" were banned as pets in the US in 1975 when it was discovered they transmitted salmonella. The FDA claims this ban saved 100,000 children per year from contracting salmonella, and this may be true, but ours didn't have a chance to give us anything and here's why:

I used to follow my mom all over the house while she did her housework, talking incessantly, and she didn't always pay that much attention to what I was saying until the day I said, "I can make Sam and Charlie come out of their shells!"

My mom stopped in her tracks. "Show me," she said, and we went to my brother's bedroom and stood before the little orange table with the turtle bowl on top of it.

"Like this!" I said and firmly pushed my finger down in the middle of a turtle shell, and sure enough, the turtle's arms, legs, and head popped right out of the shell.

It's probably unnecessary to tell you that Sam and Charlie went to turtle heaven not long after that, may they rest in peace, and even though I've been labeled Turtle Killer ever since,  I surely saved us from contracting salmonella, 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

No Alterations Needed On These Thankfuls (I Hope)

Sunday evening already? I need another day (or three).
Ready or not, it's time for my Ten Things of Thankful post.

1. I'm keeping up with the A to Z Challenge, which is pretty magical considering I neither pre-planned nor pre-wrote ANYTHING. I'm behind in reading other entries and answering comments on mine, but my head is still (barely) above water.

2. My niece is getting married this coming weekend!

3. My niece is getting married and I found a dress to wear almost two months ago AND it was on sale!

4. The dress needed a little alteration in the upstairs area or everyone would see my upstairs. Did I mention I bought it two months ago? And that I fully knew it needed to be altered before I could wear it? And that the wedding is this coming weekend? My friend Ceason got me an appointment at a local alteration shop, and in spite of all the prom and wedding dresses they were in the process of altering, the VERY KIND woman agreed to alter mine in time for the wedding. I think she felt sorry for me that I was such an idiot. 

5. The alteration was completed early, and I picked the dress up yesterday! Now to figure out how to get the hideous silver buckle-like thing off of it.

6. I didn't want to wear shoes to the wedding that would hurt my feet, so I found some Rocket Dog sneakers to wear that were on sale for $11.

7. My husband and I cleaned out two kitchen cabinets of superfluous kitchenware this weekend and filled a couple of large boxes with items to donate. Personally, I could have gotten rid of enough to fill two more boxes, but someone else has trouble letting go of stuff....

8. With all the shelves emptied out, I saw how vile the shelf liner was after being there for 24 years (who knew? - it was always covered with dishes and stuff). I cleaned all of it, then went ahead and purchased new shelf liner. It took me all afternoon (the house is almost 100 years old, so the cabinets are not the roomy ones of newer homes), but I got the hardest cabinet re-linered. Baby steps.

9. It was terribly windy this week, but the temperatures were spring-like, so since we were talking about kites and wind at preschool this week, I took them out to the big field behind the building and we flew our own kites. Or should I say "kites"? They were Walmart sacks with the handles tied together with a long piece of yarn, but did they ever fly! 

10. Remember when I said I was thankful Peep season was over? Don't tell anyone, but they were 75% off at Walmart last week, and I have about 15 boxes of them hidden away for when I need some emergency Peeps!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, April 22, 2023

S is for Scenic Route


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter S

When my husband and I got married, my husband planned the entire honeymoon. We were living In Los Angeles, but we got married in my hometown in southwest Missouri, so we started our honeymoon by spending a couple of days in Kansas City before flying back to LA.

Once we got to our home in Ventura, we loaded my husband's Jeep Cherokee (and it's important you know that it was NOT the kind with 4-wheel drive) with our suitcases, hung our bicycles on the bike rack on the back, and headed north.

My husband's plan was to drive as far as San Luis Obispo for the first night, then drive on up Highway 1 through Big Sur before arriving at our destination in Carmel, where we would visit the Mission, stay in an inn, eat wonderful food, drive on 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach, and bike ride around Monterey. I was very impressed with all the work he had done to plan the trip (note this 30 years ago and pre-internet).

As we were driving, my husband told me that Jay Oliver, one of the clients at the artist management company where he worked (you can Google him), had stopped by the office a few weeks earlier and told him about this wonderful scenic drive we should take as we get to Big Sur. "It's called Old Coast Road, and it's very secluded and you will be surrounded by redwood trees!" he told my husband, so I agreed that it would be fun to see the redwoods and we should try it.

Our night at the Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo was delightful; our room had a fireplace and the food in the restaurant was delicious. I was the trip navigator, and as we neared Big Sur, with its breathtaking views of the ocean coupled with a terrifying feeling you're going to plunge off the road and into it, I watched for the sign for Old Coast Road, and when we came to it, my husband turned off Highway 1 and onto the HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY JAY OLIVER scenic route.

The first .2 miles of the road was great, and the view was terrific, and then we were on the rest of the 10 miles, and I truly thought we were going to die.

First, it isn't paved. Jay didn't mention this. Nor did he mention that it was one lane wide, had hairpin turns WITH NO GUARDRAILS, was rutted, and if you don't have 4-wheel drive, WHICH WE DIDN'T, your car might (DID) slide on those hairpin turns. 

My husband was white-knuckled as we went down, down, down into a valley, then up, up, up again. We stopped briefly at the top of the mountain because he insisted we needed a picture, and, no lie, I began to wonder if his plan was actually to off me and throw my body off the road into a ravine, never to be found, but he was as petrified as I was, We went down, down, down again, sliding on the hairpin turns, never seeing another car, which was good, given the road was only one lane but bad if something happened to the car LIKE IT FELL OFF THE ROAD AND PLUNGED US TO OUR DEATHS. We did drive through redwood trees, but I thought redwoods meant sequoias, so I was disappointed to find they were just really big pine trees. After two hours of terror, we came to the intersection of Highway 1 and had pavement and a center line again. We survived.

The rest of our honeymoon was uneventful, and that's a GOOD thing. We stayed in a quaint inn in the heart of Carmel. We did visit the Mission and ride our bikes and walk to the beach and eat delicious food and wander through art galleries and see Pebble Beach, and it was so very normal and NOT life threatening and perfectly perfect.

We did not take Old Coast Road on the way back home again. I never want to SEE Old Coast Road again, and luckily for Jay Oliver, I never saw HIM after the trip, either, although the next time he stopped in my husband's office, he did ask how we liked the drive. My husband's response? 

"You probably should stay away from my wife. She wants to kill you." 

And you know how you look back at an event and say, oh, it wasn't that bad; we were overreacting? 

Not. This. Time.

Some fun (and not so fun) facts about Old Coast Road, courtesy of Wikipedia:

It's a public road through private land.

It was originally a trail created by Native Americans. The first improvements on it (and apparently, the last from what I could tell) were made in 1853, and it became a public road in 1855.

The road was 26 miles long, and it took a wagon pulled by 4 horses 13 hours to make the trip.

In 1921, construction was begun on what became Highway 1.

The road is sometimes known as Coast Ridge Trail. TRAIL. NOT EVEN A REAL ROAD.

Clutching a souvenir teddy bear and
trying not to vomit or pass out from fear.

He's acting cool but was actually just
as scared as I was.

At the Carmel Mission Basilica. It was not our choice
to dress up; the guide made us do it

Friday, April 21, 2023

R is for Rock Candy


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter R

One of the things my brother and I always looked forward to on our annual family vacation to Branson, Missouri, was buying candy at a souvenir store. 

We liked the little cloth bags of gum that was supposed to look like gold nuggets.

We liked flat taffy wrapped in wax paper that we called bacon taffy, because it looked like, well, bacon to us.

But I think our favorite candy to enjoy on vacation was rock candy, probably because it lasted a really long time (that "rock" thing isn't far off). If you've never had it before, rock candy is made by boiling sugar and water until it makes a syrup, then it is poured into a jar with a stick or a string suspended into it. As the mixture cools, it forms crystals that adhere to the stick or string and continue to form and grow. After about a week, you have rock candy.

This is what rock candy looks like if you were to buy it now:

Fancy. Pretty colors on a stick.

Back in the late 1960s and the 1970s, rock candy looked like THIS:

Old school. No food coloring and on a string.

Fast forward about 10-15 years. My brother and I are both back home, and we begin reminiscing with our mom about our family vacations and the traditions that were a big part of them, like swimming in the pool, feeding ducks, going to Silver Dollar City, and buying candy at the souvenir store. My brother and I were in agreement that we loved buying and eating the rock candy probably the best.

"Except for the string," one of us said.

"Yeah, eating the string was the only bad part," said the other. "It was always hard to get down."

My mom, who had been happily strolling down Memory Lane with us, said, "WHAT?!"

"The string was hard to eat."


"Weren't you supposed to eat the string?"

"NO, YOU NINNIES! Why would you eat the string? It was only there for the crystals to grow on!"

My brother and I just looked at each other and shrugged.

Think how much more we would have enjoyed that rock candy if we only knew!

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Q is for Quapaw


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Q

One of the many ugly chapters in the history of America was the U.S. government's Indian Removal process that began is the early 1800s when the government began pushing the Native Americans westward. After the Louisiana Purchase, explorers deemed the part of the country east of the Mississippi to be fertile and habitable and the country west of the Mississippi to be desert and uninhabitable by white people. 

Many tribes fled westward as white settlement advanced toward and across the Mississippi River. Some tribes voluntarily relocated and many more were forced out. In less than 50 years, more than 60 tribes were willingly or forcibly relocated to what was then called Indian Territory, and in 1907, it was admitted into the Union as the state of Oklahoma. Currently, one in 12 residents of Oklahoma are Native American.

According to oral tradition, a large group known as Dhegiha Sioux lived east of the Mississippi near the confluence of the Ohio River (and one of my favorite stops along the way when I travel to Nashville). The group split into two smaller groups. One group moved north and consisted of the Omaha, Kansa, Ponca, and Osage tribes. The other group, the Quapaw Tribe, moved south.

Tribal history tells that the Dhegiha people were moving westward and came upon the Mississippi River. There was a dense fog, so the people created a rope by braiding grapevines together, but while they were using it to cross the river, the vine broke. The Omaha people continued to travel against the current, which is what the word "Omaha" means. The Quapaw Tribe was said to float downstream after the vine broke. Their name was derived from the word "Ogahpah" which meant "downstream," and they traveled on down the Mississippi to its confluence with the Arkansas River. 

The Quapaw lived in the Lower Mississippi Valley region until their removal by the U.S. government after the Louisiana Purchase. Their relocation to northern Louisiana is now referred to as the Quapaw Trail of Tears. In 1834, they were relocated again, this time to the northeastern corner of Indian Territory.

The last Quapaw hereditary chief, known as Tallchief, died in 1918 with no male successor. His daughter continued as a spiritual leader until her death in 1972. Since the 1950s, they have been governed by a business committee. There are currently approximately 2,000 members of the Quapaw Tribe, with 25% of them living within 30 miles of their national headquarters in Quapaw, Oklahoma. The Tribe assists members with such things as childcare, education, healthcare, housing, mental health services, and family support services. They host Powwows and other cultural events, and they are generous with their financial donations and grants to not-for-profit groups in the surrounding area.

And yes, before you ask, they DO have a casino, along with a resort hotel, event center, restaurants, and a spa, and you can stand in three different states (Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri) at the same time on the grounds of the resort. The name they chose now makes perfect sense to me: Downstream Resort Casino.

If you would like to read about another ugly chapter in the story of the Native Americans in northeastern Oklahoma, please read this post I made for the 2014 A to Z Challenge: P is for Picher.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

P is for Previous Post That Was Never Posted


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter P

Every year when I make my decision to participate in the A to Z Challenge, I vow to plan ahead.

Every year, I don't do that.

As I was desperately searching for inspiration for today's post, I found a draft of a blog post that never made it to publication (mostly because it was never a completed post and also because it didn't have a beginning or an end or a real purpose). 

May I present a list of quotations from my husband, ca. 2013, but really, they are timeless

Imparting wisdom:

Old school is just another word for old.

Assassination changes everything.

Saying something with confidence doesn't make it right.

Whoever lives the longest gets to tell the story

Don't make up shit. That's called creative writing.

About work (can't we all relate?):

For what they pay me, they should be happy I wear pants to work.

Those bastards really meant I had to do some work from home. (7 years pre-covid - if only he knew!)

Directed at me:

Everything you eat has a bar code. That's the proper way to say you eat a lot of processed food.

You don't eat like a 14 year old boy. You eat like a 17 year old girl. Except you don't eat ramen.

That's what you get for eating like a campground raccoon.

The end.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

O is for Owl


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter O

My husband and I met cute through work when I lived in Nashville and he lived in LA. One of his co-workers and I had become friends, and she put us on the phone together one day, telling him we had a lot in common, because we were both from Missouri. She was right, and I flew to LA a few weeks later to meet him, we hit it off a little bit, dated long distance for a year, and got married 13 months after we first met. We are coming up on our 30th anniversary this August. I tell you all this so you know how close we came to a deal breaker about a month into dating.

He had recently moved to Ventura from LA, and I was visiting. The house was two blocks from the beach and the weather was nearly always delightful (except during June Gloom or the Santa Ana winds, a/k/a fire season). The windows were open, a light breeze gently stirring the curtains, and the sound of birds twittering and singing floated into the room. 

When the soulful sound of a mourning dove drifted through the window, I looked up and said, "I love that sound!"

The dove called again, and my husband stated confidently, "Oh, yeah, that's a California owl."

I looked at him to see if he were kidding.

"A what?" I asked.

"A California owl!" he repeated, totally not kidding. "I hear them all the time."

It''s... a DOVE," I replied.

"It is?! I just thought it was some kind of California owl."

"Not, NOT a California owl. Or any kind of owl."

"How do you know?" he asked, and I shared that my mother had been a member of the Junior Audubon Society, and by golly, I knew my birds.

Funny, the thing that made ME wonder if this guy was a complete and utter idiot and it was the end of a short but good run together was one of the things that made HIM want to marry me: I knew birds and he did not.

And you know what I say whenever we hear a mourning dove cooing?

"Hey, it's a California owl!"

Monday, April 17, 2023

N is for Never Have I Ever....


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter N

Never have I ever....

Drank even a sip of coffee

Eaten sushi

Mowed a lawn

Gotten a speeding ticket

Taken a cruise

Learned to swim

Owned a dog

Changed a tire

Ridden a motorcycle

Eaten a corndog

Shot a gun

Seen Star Wars

Been on a sports team

Gone skiing

Been arrested

Gotten drunk

Set off a firework

Watched the birth of a baby in person

Held a snake

What are your never have I evers? Share any of mine? Got any doozies of your own? Spill the tea in the comments!