Monday, June 27, 2016


I was in the middle of a tiling project when my daughter Kate wandered by.  "You look just like a villain from Batman," she commented.  I pondered that.  

Although I'm not a Batman fan, I am crazy-in-love with the beautiful Anne Hathaway, who bears a startling resemblance to my own gorgeous and adorable daughter-in-law Susan.  So, of course, the only woman I thought of was Catwoman.  I was flattered, but why would anyone compare me to a young, tall, slim brunette?  I do totally love her sleek outfit and she is kinda busty. It's a stretch almost beyond imagination, but I was flattered and I'm all about graciously receiving compliments, however ludicrous they are.   "Thanks," I said then turned back to my job, still considering how great I would look in Anne's costume.  

I'm thinking all kinds of happy thoughts. I just adore over-the-elbow gloves and the mask is cool, too.  The hip-hugger belt would probably hide some tummy.... 

"No, Mom. You really do." Kate asserted.   "Let me show you a picture."  In seconds, she's turning her cell phone around for me to see. "His name is Bane."

So, my daughter thinks I look like a creepy looking bald guy wearing a muzzle. Hmmm....
It's a huge blow to my ego, but I can sorta see what she means.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Judge Not, Lest Ye be Judged

I was standing at a crosswalk waiting for the light to change. Across from me was a family. Dad, mom in the middle, daughter.  As I looked at them, I realized that the lady in the center was short.  Quite short.  Exceedingly short. Painfully short. 

While I was pondering this, the light changed and I began to walk towards her. As we passed, I said, "4-11. And you? "  She walked by, then turned around and smiled.  "5-1," she replied. 
Even shorter than I realized. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Down the Lazy River

Last week I had the pleasure of accompanying Jerry on a business trip to Amelia Island, Florida.  The area is gorgeous and April was the perfect time of year to see it.  With the Atlantic Ocean right outside our window, the sunrises would be spectacular.

There was an opportunity to join a kayaking excursion one afternoon, but since we have our own kayaks it seemed silly to pay for the privilege. Jer hoisted ours atop the car and we drove south. The wind gusted into the kayaks and it sounded like we were riding inside the cab of a semi. Ambiance! Steering seemed difficult and we stopped often for readjustments but weathered the adventure without incident.

The day prior to our privately scheduled "fun on the water," I started to get antsy.  I remembered this is alligator country.  Visions of alligator death rolls filled the movie screen in my mind.

The spouses went on a cruise along the coast that morning and I learned all kinds of fun facts which upped the fear factor exponentially.  "There is a convergence of three rivers here," said the captain, "and one of those is the Okefenokee Swamp.  Every time there's a storm," he said, "snakes get washed in.  There are more rattlesnakes on Tiger Island than anywhere else in the U.S."  It doesn't even matter if he was telling the truth.  That there might be a possibility is enough for me.  Now, my mind movie features alligators AND snakes.  Nice. 

The final nail in the coffin was when I read a local newspaper headline entitled, "Counting Great White Sharks off the Coast of Amelia Island." Kayaking here is clearly a dumb idea. I'm amazed I consented to it! Although I'm questioning my intelligence, peer pressure being what it is, I'm keeping quiet about my misgivings. And, if you believe that, you don't know me. At all.  No, I'm telling everyone, even strangers we pass, what a dumb idea kayaking here is. Jer had to drag me kicking and screaming out to the parking lot.  I was not a happy camper and he knew it.

When we arrived at the boat ramp into the ocean, there were white caps on gigantic waves crashing onto the shore. No way am I entering the ocean - not here with the sharks lurking nearby - especially when I know the rattlesnake holiday destination is just a rock-skip away.

Jerry, undeterred by my protests, could also see that conditions were not right for ocean kayaking.  He was disappointed.  After all, he had struggled  with these kayaks many hours and, dang it, intended to use them.  We got back in the car.  I heaved a sigh of relief because I thought I was home free, but then we drove over what appeared to be a creek. He pulled into a bait shop parking lot.  "We'll put in here," he said.  

Honestly, there were little white caps on this river too and the current seemed fast, but my protests fell on deaf ears and in we went.  I requested -- no demanded -- that we paddle upstream because I wasn't sure I'd have the strength to fight the current on the way back.  Jerry agreed. 

My husband, who weighs more than I do, was sailing smoothly ahead while I was way behind, paddling like a maniac, getting nowhere.  As I inched forward, the wind turned me sideways.  Try as I might to avoid hitting the gigantic sailboats that were lining the waterway, my kayak was now perpendicular to the current. Never have I capsized while paddling in my own kayak and I was determined that today wasn't gonna be that day either.  

Occasionally, Jerry would yell, "We can turn back whenever you want to."  I wanted to turn back before I got in, but I kept struggling because that's what wives do.  Then he shouted back, "I just want to get to that opening ahead."  That was when I had the horrifying realization that the "opening ahead" was the ocean and directly in front of us was Tiger Island!  

The wind became my best friend about now because it began blowing with gusto and even Jerry started having problems paddling.  It was a losing battle; we turned back.  Jerry made up the distance between us in a heartbeat. "Don't paddle," he hollered.  "The current is so strong I'm afraid we'll miss the boat launch and I don't know how we'll get back if we do."  He has a knack for knowing exactly what words to say to reassure me.

We struggled into the boat launch but the tide had gone out.  I didn't even know that was possible in creeks, but obviously it is.  The water was at least a foot lower than when we got in. What that meant to me was I had to drag the kayak up a slick incline and I'd have to get out of the boat to do it.  When I did, I sank up to my knees in muck.  Smelly muck.  Think "sewage" smelly.  The kayaks were covered in muck too and when we hoisted them onto the car top, the stuff flew everywhere. It was even in our hair. How attractive.

A half hour later, just as we were turning into the hotel parking lot, my sweet husband announced, "The bus we need to catch for our supper destination is leaving in fifteen minutes.  I don't think there's time to shower."

That just goes to show you how wrong a man can be.  Given a choice between going to a fancy dinner smelling like sewage and taking a shower in under fifteen minutes, most women can probably rise to the occasion.  

I did.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Girlfriend

"Grammy, can I have a dark cookie?" said Grayson.

"Of course, Dear," said I.  (That's what Grammys say.)

"A girlfriend brought these,"  he replied.

"What's her name?"  

A dark cloud passed across my grandson's face as he pondered this.  Finally he answered.  

"I don't know.  A girlfriend came to the door and Mommy bought us a box of cookies."

Sure she did.  Who can resist a Girlfriend Cookie?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's Winter!

Yesterday evening a frigid north wind blew ice and snow into our Carolina world. We welcome you, winter weather!

Trust me, there are sledders in this picture.
Today rosy-cheeked children are sledding on snow covered grass while Jerry is chipping ice off our driveway. Meanwhile the sun is shining brightly. Water is dripping onto our deck off petite icicles hanging from the eaves.
They say tomorrow will be 50°. The winter season is mercifully short here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ugly Words

I read an interesting article on Facebook about Lee Marvin, Captain Kangaroo, and Mr. Rogers. Interesting, but not true. Lies! Lies! All lies! Still, I give its authors an A+ for creative writing. According to Snopes it's pure fabrication, but it makes for a great urban legend.

While doing that research, I stumbled across this picture. It got me thinking. While a picture may be worth 1000 words, sometimes what you see is not really what you get.

Picture from
Mr. Rogers was not gleefully flipping off his preschool audience here. What he was actually doing was a lot more in line with his character. He was singing that classic children's favorite, “Where is Thumbkin?”

Here's another photo that's open to misinterpretation. This is not my grandson dancing to that Motown classic, “Stop in the Name of Love.” It's not even Grayson volunteering that his brother is five years old now. 

In this case, a picture is not worth 1000 words. It's worth four. “No more pictures, Grammy.”

There's about as much chance of that happening as there was that Mr. Rogers was a Navy seal.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

All's Well that Ends Well

Yesterday Jerry The Superhero rescued a damsel in distress yet again.  That damsel was ME.

It all started in 2015 when I decided to learn to back down my driveway, a feat that sounds easier than it is, especially if you don't understand we live in a house that's dramatically perched halfway down the side of a steep hill.

Not even ten people have braved our driveway in the five years we've lived here.  One of them, our 18 year-old-niece Maggie, yelled "We're going to die!" the entire time she was driving down. Her mother - my baby sister - DID back Maggie's car back up the driveway, so clearly she has nerves of steel. I'm proud to call them both family.

Fact is, without a backup camera I wouldn't have been courageous enough to attempt this insanity myself. With the camera, it is possible.  Painful, but possible.  Or so I thought.  Until yesterday.

Yesterday my positioning was off just a hair and when I got to the tricky part where there are trees on one side and a sharp turn on the other, my front tire ended up off the pavement.

Unfortunately it's been rainy here and the ground is saturated.  In my efforts to straighten the car out, a back tire ended up in the mud as well.  Of course this spot is on the steepest incline and when I tried to go forward I ended up sliding into the clutches of an evil gardenia bush.

This not being my first rodeo, I put the car in park, engaged the emergency brake, crawled over the seat and left the vehicle from the passenger's side.  Why get muddy?

I enlisted a friend to help me.  He dug mud out from under the front tire and added gravel.  Nope.  Next he wedged in a piece of board.  No go.  He shoved the car sideways while I put the car in drive.  Nothing. All that was happening was the rut was getting deeper.

"If it were my car," he said, "I'd back over the bush.  But there's a chance that your [brand new] car will end up at the bottom of the gully and I do not want to be responsible for that."

I respected his candor and was grateful for his efforts, especially because I knew if he couldn't get my car out, I certainly couldn't. I went inside and ate lunch.

When Jerry got home that evening, all he said was, "I need to move your car before it gets dark."  Three minutes later, he was backing the car into the garage.

The best thing about the experience was not that Jerry wasn't angry with me.  I knew he knew I didn't do it on purpose. The best part was that he didn't tease me.

That's the mark of a true superhero.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Too Good to be True

I was feeling mighty proud of myself for having the presence of mind to check out the "Mark Zuckerberg is giving away millions to Facebook users" post on SNOPES.  It is, as most now know, an urban legend.  

Fresh from that victory, you might think I would have been more suspicious when my friend sent me the video of the two ladies selling laundry magnets for $69.95 that "clean your clothes without detergent."  But no, not me. I got excited.

Forgetting that I make my own laundry detergent that costs approximately two cents a load, I began thinking about how much money I could save. Then I forwarded the video to Jerry.  Immediately I began receiving (many) scientific looking pages refuting these claims.  Ensnared in the web of my own gullibility, I finally cried "Uncle!"  He was right and I was wrong - another great idea bites the dust.  Why is it so always so easy for me to believe something that's 'too good to be true?'

Later I stumbled across a video on Pinterest where a guy took an overripe banana, put it in a baggie of rice (like you do when your cell phone goes for an accidental swim in the toilet), waited several hours, then used his blow drier on it.  VoilĂ ! The dark-skinned banana magically turned yellow right before my eyes.

That I somehow convinced my skeptical husband and open-minded daughter to try this still surprises me, but I did.  We buried the overripe banana into the rice and then went out to have lunch and shop.  Hours later, we pulled the banana out of the rice and plugged in the blow dryer.  With great enthusiasm, we all watched as the skin turned ... even darker.   

Banana bread anyone?