And They Say Nothing Exciting Happens in Mayberry

The day ended like every other day in our quaint little town I often refer to as Mayberry.  All of the girls decided to grab a drink after work at the only bar in town.

Hey, I wonder, did Mayberry have a bar or did you have to go to Mount Pilot for a little drinkiepoo. Come to think of it Mayberry was a dry county….I think. How did Otis find his happy juice? WAIT, I am doing it again.

One of the girls that writes for our monthly paper, was telling us about a story she wrote.  Apparently, a letter was sent to her desk from a man who was thinking about moving here.   She thought it would make a good public relations article since he wanted to know about the village’s off-season and what there was to do up here. He asked about the weather and snow averages. He was curious about the crime level and job situation. The letter also mentions he is a florist and a damn good one. You could name any rose in the world and he could find it. She tells us the letter was a bit long so she condensed it.  She puts her hand in her pocket and pulls out the original letter.   She told us he is a widower and asked what the female population was like up here.

WHA? That is a strange question. 

He also wanted to know if she thought any of the women up here would consider going out on a date with a nice widower.

??? What the heck??? Is this his version of  Is this his way of GoFish?  Okay, by now I am thinking there is something really wrong here.

The friend that was with me said that it sounded like he was just lonely and she felt sorry for him losing his wife.   Okay, well growing up in a big city will make a person a little distrustful when things don’t sound right. I guess you can take the girl out of the city but you will never get the city out of the girl..

About the same time as my cocktail was being served, (cocktail sounds so much better than my  booze) another friend came in the door and announced she got a letter from this same guy. Except he was a Chocolate-tier not a florist as claimed in the letter that was published. Then another one comes in waving papers. Same guy but this time he is a professional Photographer. Then another and another and another….so far there have been 8 letters sent to the women of this town. All with pretty much the same content but a different profession each time.

As I sat on the stool, I got to looking at the writing. It did not look like a man’s writing but that means nothing.  Now comes the good part. I turn the letter over and notice the envelope. It is from Plainview and not only it is from TX it is from the prison there. PRISON!?  It was then I realized, Houston, we DO have a problem. While the girls were pondering this mystery of all the letters and what it could mean, I grabbed my iPhone and did a search on his name.  Lo and behold, his name pops up with a picture and a request for a prison pen pal. Oh yeah, he is a prisoner not a guard. I know this cause I Googled  the prison records. There he was, doing time for embezzlement and fraud charges. It also said he is up for release on 7/7/12.  Now the whole town is in on this and waiting to see if more women to come forward with their letters from the Mayberry stalker. Truly a mystery that is yet to be played out.

Later that night I got to thinking about the women he sent letters to.  These women were business owner, social butterflies, women in various positions and or popular ladies in the village.  Then I thought HEY, wait just a minute…Where is my stinking letter?

To be continued…..maybe…I hope…or do I?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple


What The Heck Is This Pony Tail Doing Here? or I’ll Get You And Your Little Dog Too!

Warning: this post may not appropriate for young viewers or men or women with weak stomach or anyone with a fear of Chaetophobia and or Gerontophobia. It contains grossness, in a gross way… also as in repel, revolt, freakness and or disgust.  You don’t want to read this.  Okay, you have been warned.  This courtesy warning was brought to you by Legs,,,, long, long, legs.  I found out quickly that gross types of post need to carry some type of rating system.

Yesterday while I was driving down the mountain, I started sorting out the evils of the day, when all of a sudden I felt a tickle.  I gave it a swipe and forgot about it. On the way back home I had to crank up the heater fan to warm these old bones and that is when I felt it again. I flipped down the mirror but saw nothing. For 40 miles I worried with this occasional flutter.

That night I was walking to the bathroom to do my night time routine and I felt it again. Earlier in the day, I had looked in the rear view mirror several times to find the source of this irritant but it was not to be.  Then I thought, maybe I am having a stroke.  I don’t have time for a stroke!    Nope it had to be a hair or a spider web.   I was bound and determined to find the source of this annoyance. So I started feeling all over my face. I finally  found it. It felt like a string attached to my cheek…maybe with syrup. Hey, it could happen!  As my fingers fondled this string, I noticed it was about a mile long. Well, that is what it felt like but in reality it was only about 3 inches long (that is around 7 cm for the rest of the planet).  How in the world did a 3 inch string get stuck on my cheek with syrup and managed to evade my searching eyes?   I ran to the bathroom mirror to get a better look.  I quickly found out it was not a string at all it was a hair, however, this was no ordinary hair. NO! Oh no, it turns out it was a cluster of little locks. ON MY CHEEK!  And there was not a hint of syrup anywhere.  This mane was attached with FOLLICLES.  I had a sinking feeling this was going to be one of those, your getting way old, moments so I locked the door and stared at the reflection before me. How in the world could a CLUSTER of hairs be growing on my cheek at a measurement of three inches with out somebody, anybody noticing.  I am not talking where the cheek meets the hair line. I am talking right in the middle of my cheek!

Wait, maybe someone did notice but was afraid to tell. OMG.

The shame of it all.

I began contemplating how to handle this. To shave, would open Pandora’s box. You remember don’t you? Mom always said if you start shaving your hair will grow back twice as dark, twice as fast, and twice as much. Twice as much?  That would be 6 inches!  No way was I going to shave it. After what seemed like hours of agonizing scenarios,  I decided to wrap, yes that is what I said, wrap it around my finger and yank that frigin’ pony tail right off my face.

And I did.

Remove the pony tail.

Hurt like no bodies business.

Son of a Bisquick eater!


To add insult to injury, literally, I was really surprised to see that it was not blonde. It was not even dirty blonde.  It was a painter’s palette of several shades of  gray strands;  some were so gray they were white, others were shimmering in the bathroom light and still the others were just plain old gray with a bit of character to them.  By character I mean, kinky little wiry hairs some stiff as a board others just waving in the wind.  It was a pony tail,  I tell ya, of mixed origins !

That is me third one from the end

I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I did not have a Papa Smurf beard.  And after further inspection I did not find any sign of a fu manchu, goatee, mutton chops, soul patch (okay my mind just went somewhere it should not have gone), or any other volume of hair worthy of the Y chromosome.  I did notice a bit of a ‘stache on the upper lip.  I’m going to have to keep an eye on that.

In conclusion: I am finding out that growing old comes with a few perks but it also carries with it a few surprises. So check out your face daily.  Take it from me, no one is going to want to tell you about that full-on pony tail you got growing on the side of your jowl.

Move over Wicked Witch of the West there is a new gal in town. (insert wicked laugh here)

You Want Thighs With That?

Back in 2010, I went to Memphis for a couple of months. My son had just been diagnosed with cancer and my mom was dying. I went to help take care of them both and keep my grandbabies for the summer. One day while visiting mom…..


“Honey could you go get me some chicken livers? I have had a craving for them for the last three days.” mom said while drinking her coffee.

” Do I have to cook them or is there a special restaurant you buy them at?” I asked with reluctance in my voice. I hated using her stove.

“Down at the market is where I usually buy them. Back in the deli.” she says.

Cool, I didn’t have to monkey around with that stove from the 1800’s. I hated cooking on her stove and frying liver was the worst. I love to eat them I just hate to cook them. As I was heading to the deli, she adds to her order.

“Could you get some toilet paper, soap, milk and have them add some taters on that liver order.”

“Sure mom.” I call out as I race to the door. I knew my mom. If I hung around I would have a list a mile long and be going all over Memphis picking up this and that. Things not really needed but she felt compelled to get.

With grands in tow I headed to the deli. I get to the counter and a 20 something, beautiful blonde, blue eyed, gorgeous smile, little girl asked me,”May I help you?” with that familiar southern drawl I grew up with.

I asked if they had chicken livers today. She pointed at the food in the hot deli case between us and says

google image

“Why, yea-us we do.” and points to the livers in the corner. The case was full of southern fried goodies from fish to twinkies. She informed me that I could get chicken livers and two thighs for $3.99. I said okay thinking that I might have one for lunch. After second thought, I changed my mind and ask to change my order back to just livers and to skip the thighs. She looked at me with a confused faced and asked, “Where did you get thighs from?”

“From you.” I said. Now she is extremely perplexed and at a loss for words. I repeated her words back to her verbatim. “You can get chicken livers and two thighs for $3.99?” She started to laugh so hard she almost dropped the prongs.

Then she says, “No, s-i-d-e-s.” which she spelled slowly, “sides” she repeated in her southern drawl. Of course, that made sense. I mean that is a huge meal for $3.99.

“That will be fine.” I say looking around sheepishly to see who, if any one, was watching this interaction. Lucky for me only about a dozen people were in hearing range. I quickly move down to the veggies. As I was peering in to the food case for the “SIDES”, I found the potatoes and something else that caught my eye. It was a strange type of pea brownish red in color with snap beans surrounded by little tom tom tomatoes. I looked up to her cheerful face and asked her, “What is that?”

“That is what I was talking about the sssiiidddeeesss.” she said with a long and drawn out pronunciation of the word, as if I were deaf or from a foreign planet.

I said, “No what is it?”

Again she says, ” A SIDE” this time with a much sharper tone in her voice.

At this point, I am laughing so hard I can’t talk. I finally get out the words, “What kind of vegetable is it?”

“Oh that is just peas, honey.” she says.

As I drove back to mom’s, I came to the conclusion that even though I have one of the thickest southern accents in the little village I call home, I apparently have lost my ability to decipher the southern dialect. O mama.

Rest in peace mama. Your laughter was the greatest gift you ever gave me.  February 18, 1936 – September 7, 2010

Until next time,


I have taken on another job.  I will be posting but  it will only be on Mondays until I can rearrange my life’s schedule again. I will for sure be reading your post.  You guys are one of the few things that brightens my days.  You may only see a -like– icon but know that I am either laughing, crying or saying hmmmm while reading you.  Wish me luck on this adventure.   I can never turn down an opportunity even if it is down a long and unknown road.

To Theme the Impossible Theme

Okay I am back and ready for the New Year.  Wow, it is funny how work can get in the way of life.

I thought I would start out the new year with a new front…new front blogging home page that is.  I spent all morning looking and trying on different looks.  It was agonizing.  I am a no-nonsense type of person.  When I go shopping, I get in and out with record speed.  Well, maybe not the grocery store or the bakery or the local pastry shop. Okay when it comes to food – eating – buying – or cooking it, I involve all my senses and that takes time.  Wait, I am getting off topic.  I was saying that this theme shopping was killing me.  I started at 6:30 in the morning and finally decided on this one at 12:47  in the afternoon.  That is a whopping six hours and 17 minutes.  Like I said, agonizing.

Being a no-nonsense person, one would think a minimalist look would be perfect for me.  Grid Focus or Clean Home were indeed sensible and clean but I discovered I desired color for my life in words.  I found it with Matala and Sweet Blossoms but they did not let me transfer some of the customizing I spent hours working on in the beginning of my blogging life.  I even tried on the ones in the middle, only to find the fit was not right.  Some of the themes were too busy, some were too tight, others were too dark, and some required magnifying glasses.  This was turning into an impossible task.   Why has no one thought to design a free theme that is visually impaired friendly?   I mean, someone thought to make that phone for us AARP people.  You know the one with giant numbers.  My mom had that phone and I loved it.  Anywho,  I was getting no where until I started thinking about the blogs I love to visit.  I began looking in my own back yard and fell in love with the Bouquet layout.

Now that I have a new beginning, I decided to do something I had been wanting to do for a long time.  I may be committing bloggers suicide but I feel compelled to follow my heart.  I have decided to change the way I refer to Hubs.  Mr. Moody or Mr. M is far more fitting.  You just have no idea how much this describes him.   I played with Chief  or Chief Yells-Alot to give recognition to his military background but it made him seem hateful.  Mr. Moody covers his many ups and downs which can occur between seconds, not the usual days that most people experience.  He is a hot mess but I love him….hills and all.

Daughter was next on the agenda for a name change.  The one thing that stands out above all else regarding her is she never sleeps unless the sun is up.  She uses the quietness of the night to do all her art, reading and studying.   The first site of light sends her running to the bed.  Her sleeping is all messed up, at least it is to me.  This put me in the mind of a vampire but a vampire she is not.  Then I thought of a bat.  She loves bats and does sort of live like one.  ( dark green and burgundy room, loft style bed and different sleeping habits) This lead me to the children’s book Stella Luna.  It was her favorite book when she was little and somehow it fits her now.  So, Stella it is.

I also changed the header to include my dogs.  I think it is only right since the name of my blog was inspired by them.  Plus they are just so darn cute.

I wanted to say thank you to Tony again.  I hope you all enjoyed reading him.  I just fell in love with the letters and I wanted to share with you, the people that enrich my life so much,  what I thought was very special.

I think I had better wait for any other changes to implement.  I know how frustrating it can be to go shopping for the ice cream only to find it has been replaced with diapers and the dad-burn ice-cream is clear across on the other side of the store.  Change is good but I prefer it in small doses.

Later yall,


Yeah Right! Opposites Fight!

As promised the last little tid bit from “Letters to my Children”.  I can’t tell you how much I have loved and appreciated having Tony in my life and on my blog.  He and his family is so special to me and I pray often that the book deal comes through soon.  I can’t wait to  look on the shelves of Hastings to find him at arm’s length.  Thank you Tony for making me apart of this venture and for sending me this letter when I thought all love was lost. You gave me the hope I needed.   I have enjoyed this road of friendship we have shared and I look forward to many more mile markers..

Yeah Right!  Opposites fight!

by: Tony Oliver

Don’t get me wrong…I like my hands; they are surprisingly coordinated and strong, but they are just hands.  I got the utility model.  Still, they kind of define for me what hands should look like…until I see your mom’s hands.  We have been married for 30 years now and I still think her hands are just beautiful.  They are dainty and feminine, without being fragile. They are like a painting by one of the great masters.

I’m told the reason they are so appealing to me is that they are so different than my own.  Opposites attract.  They are just one of the many things that made me crazy about her during our teens.  I couldn’t get enough of her; all of her, her mannerisms, her features, even her way of seeing things.  The very things that attracted us to each other initially were our differences.

I’ve gone through some periods where I spent a lot of time being angry and pessimistic, but my personality always veers back toward optimism.  In that too, your mom couldn’t be more opposite.  She makes Eeyore look like a motivational speaker.  Her favorite saying is “Everything’s futile & life sucks when you’re us”.  To her, each new day is just one more chance for some butt-head to come along and screw up our life.  She asserts that any thinking individual should be able to look around and see all of the reasons why they should be depressed.

We couldn’t be more different.

As the newness of marriage begins to wear off, the differences that were once wonderful are no longer celebrated.  In fact, they can become an irritant and even a source of condemnation.  We begin to expect that the other will “mature” or “come around” and start to do and see things the same way we do.  After years of waiting, when it doesn’t happen, we are tempted to conclude that the other is defective and resentment sets in.

Then, love suffers.

I could judge your mother’s cyclical incursions into the depths of despair as a foolish endeavor that never accomplishes anything and she could see my optimism as evidence that her Dad was right and that I am not getting smarter with age.  But, she isn’t an office friend.  She isn’t a sibling.  She isn’t a boss.  She is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.  She is my best friend.  She is the love of my life.  I have come to realize that she isn’t defective because she doesn’t see things as I see them, so I shouldn’t feel the need to try to fix her.  I need to love her for who she is…the person I fell in love with.

When I accept that she is different – not defective – I am not tempted to ridicule or scold her when she is down. I make it my job to be there for her; to pick her up, to bring her back from the edge; to bring a little bit of sunshine into her life—not to criticize her for being there in the first place.

When we don’t see the other as defective, even though we are significantly different, we can get back to the most simple kind of relationship; one without so many complications and irritations.

Even after all these years, we still choose each other.  I’ve made the remark before, that even if we got a divorce we would probably still live together, because we truly are best friends.  We would just have separate bedrooms.  As bad as life might seem at times, we know it would be even worse if we had to go through life without the other.  We haven’t always allowed the other to be themselves, but we are getting better about it.  And, we are beginning to enjoy the differences again.  We are getting beyond the age where we feel the need to change the other.  We are beginning to not just accept each other, as we are, we are learning to once again find the appeal in those differences.

In your adult relationships, you will sometimes experience times that you wonder “Just what in the hell did I see in that person!”  Followed shortly thereafter by “What was I thinking!”  That is a sure sign that you have allowed harmful expectations to creep in; the kind of expectations that kill relationships.

When you find yourself in this position, go back and think about your love when your relationship was young.  Go back and find those things that drew you together initially, those differences that you now consider defects, and re-evaluate them.  Think about what you celebrated about the other.  Then, to find the appeal once again…you have to stop viewing the other as defective and once again appreciate the other for their unique characteristics.  If you will celebrate their strengths as well as embrace their differences, you can get your relationship back.

When your mother is complaining about crowded stores, the price of food and the utterly useless help carrying groceries, I no longer feel the need to insist that she “count her blessings”.  And, for her part, she no longer feels the need to hold up one of those beautiful little digits and proclaim, “You’re lucky I’ve got two arms full of groceries