Q-Tip Quip

May 31, 2009


“Mr. Consumer” (Hubby): “Hey, instead of just putting a few Q-tips in the jar at a time like you usually do, why don’t you start stuffing in as many as you possibly can so that it takes a crowbar to get them out?  Oh, wait a minute, you already thought of that!”

The “Stocking Clerk” (me!): “Thank you, sir, for your comments regarding our new overstocking policy.  We always appreciate your input.  By the way, have you thought about leaving a tip?” 

Sheeesh.  All I did was use up the “last few” in the Q-tip box so that I could throw it away.  So, sue me! 

Humor makes life so much easier and more fun! 

May your Sunday be blessed with shared humor.

Happy to be a Rent-a-Friend!

May 28, 2009


Me, Phoebe Ann and Linda 002x   The Hoffelt’s granddaughter, Linda, in the middle with their dog, Taffy and her “rent-a-friends” … Phoebe Ann on the right and me on the left.

When I was little, our second-door neighbors were the Hoffelts.  When I look back now at what I considered the very old Mr. and Mrs. Hoffelt, I would guess they were in their late 50’s.  Sigh.

Anyway, Mrs. Hoffelt didn’t work and her husband was a pharmacist who worked long hours at his drug store so she had alot of free time.  Mrs. Hoffelt did enjoy tending the flowers in her yard, but she always found a little time almost every day for her other favorite “hobby” — sitting in the porch swing on her wonderful big awning-covered front porch for an hour or two,  just watching the world go by … and talking to us little kids in the neighborhood when we would stop by.  Sometimes she would give us kool-aid and cookies, so she was definitely a popular stop with us, and besides, when you’re a little kid, it’s just fun to have an adult actually carry on a conversation with you.  (Mama did tell me years later that she always had a little fear that the reason Mrs. Hoffelt enjoyed talking to at least me so much was because I probably told her everything I heard and that happened at our house!  I always was a “talker”.)

Mr. and Mrs. Hoffelt only had one child, an adult daughter.  Their daughter and her husband, the Fletcher’s, were both professors at the University of Missouri.  And they only had one daughter too — the much adored, only child, only grandchild, Linda.  (I’m telling you these names because wouldn’t it be fun if I heard from Linda or Phoebe Ann?)

In the summer, Linda would come to spend a week with Mr. and Mrs. Hoffelt, and as soon as they knew which week it would be, Mrs. Hoffelt would be sure to tell the mothers in the neighborhood when Linda would be there.  I suppose that was so that the mamas could clear their daughters’ “social calendars” because Linda would need playmates — and we were them!

When I call us “rent-a-friends” I, of course, don’t mean we were paid.  But, we did get alot of perks.  For that week, we were treated much like we were Mrs. Hoffelt’s granddaughters too!  So, believe me, I never complained and, in fact, looked forward to Linda’s yearly visits. 

Because Linda only came for a week-long stay once a year and because, when she was there, Mrs. Hoffelt made sure that we got to do lots of things, it was a fun time.  There were other kids in the neighborhood who played with us too, but much of the time it was Linda, Phoebe Ann and me.  I think that was probably because Phoebe Ann and I were the two who lived the closest.

Me, Phoebe Ann and Linda 001xx     At the kiddie pool.  I remember begging Mama to buy me a two-piece bathing suit so that I could be just like the other two.  You can see how much success I had, but apparently had fun anyway.

Cowgirl Wanna-bees zoom

Cowgirls Feet zoom   And, I think the picture of us in high heels with our cowgirl outfits probably illustrates how quickly we must have moved from one play activity to another — “Does this feather boa make me look fat?”  to “Round ‘um up, cowgirl!” in the blink of an eye!

  Me and Lindax    Roller skating.   Notice my bare feet?  I guess when you go barefooted most of the summer, you wouldn’t hesitate to strap roller skates on your bare feet, but it seems like that would hurt!  

Me, Phoebe Ann and Linda 005x   One time we actually went to a for-real roller skating rink.

Another time either Linda or Mrs. H came up with the idea of the two of us sleeping in a tent in the Hoffelt’s back yard.  By the way, this was the only night in my whole life that I remember “camping”  in a tent, and, just my guess here, real campers would probably say that “camping” in a backyard with a grandma holding your hand most of the night is still not camping! 

Camping out at Mrs Hoffelts   In our PJ’s.  Notice the sun is still shining brightly?  We probably put them on about noon!  Mrs. Hoffelt served us supper on this little table in the tent.  (See her watching protectively from the door of the tent?)

The tent was just big enough for a cot on either side of the door, with (luckily) a chair-width space between.  I don’t really remember exactly how that night went, but Linda and I must have been afraid after we had been left alone in the tent and it actually got dark!  The reason I’m pretty sure of that is because I DO remember Mrs. Hoffelt bringing a chair out sometime during the night and spending the rest of the night sitting between our two cots so that we wouldn’t be afraid (and would maybe stop crying?) and would get some sleep.  I’m sure that night wasn’t much fun for her, and I’m also pretty sure that’s the reason it is the only time I remember us “camping out” in her back yard.

    Me and Linda 001x   Since this picture had the year 1955 on the back of it, and my family moved to Indiana in January of ’56, this was probably taken the last time Linda and I spent time together.

I don’t like to think that my friendship has ever been “for rent”, and I like to think that Linda and I would have been friends if we had met in any case.  But, I have to say it was awfully easy to be her “rent-a-friend” for a week each year, when Mrs. Hoffelt made it so much fun!

Excuse Me, Will You Be Long?

May 27, 2009


Line at the Litter Box When DD was in law school and she and two cats shared a tiny apartment.  Two cats, one litter box … it was inevitable.  Sometimes there was a line.

A Clever Old Porch

May 26, 2009


Climbing Rose at Farm 2

When we moved to the farm, we did alot of renovating.  And one of the things that really needed renovating was this little porch that had a door into the dining room.  We never used that door, in fact, we put the Christmas tree in that corner of the dining room each year.  The door was treated as just another window inside the house. 

Climbing Rose at Farm ZoomBut, from the outside, it was obvious that this porch was in very bad repair, and really should be replaced.

But, apparently, you don’t get to the age of this old porch, without having developed some survival skills.  So, the porch had very cleverly cloaked itself in this beautiful climbing rose.  So, whenever we talked about tearing off the porch and building a new, prettier version of it, the debate would always eventually turn to the climbing rose that we enjoyed so much.  And, each time, we would come to the conclusion that there was no way that the rose would survive the upheaval of having its buddy the porch torn down. 

So, each spring we looked forward to seeing the beautiful climbing rose, and we put up with its friend, the old porch, the rest of the year.

Proud to be an American

May 25, 2009



And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

I never fail to be stirred by the song Lee Greenwood wrote about being proud to be an American.

I once had the opportunity to meet Mr. Greenwood and, just by chance, to sit next to him at dinner.  What a humble, generous, patriotic man.  As we were eating, Tom, an acquaintance of Hubby’s and mine, stopped by our table to say hello.  I introduced him to Mr. Greenwood and added that Tom was a Viet Nam veteran.  Without a moment’s hesitation, Mr. Greenwood pushed back his chair, stood up, shook Tom’s hand, and thanked him for his service to our country.  When I write that it somehow sounds “showy”, but, believe me, he did it in such a way that it seemed very unrehearsed … it seemed like just a very natural reaction by someone who appreciates what our military does.  Tom was visibly touched by the gesture.

At that same dinner, one of the speakers told about being in the audience when Lee Greenwood sang the song for the very first time in a concert in Las Vegas.  The man said that half-way through the song members of the audience started standing up and by the end of the song, the whole audience was standing and cheering, many with tears in their eyes!  I can absolutely imagine that reaction, because that’s the way I feel when I hear it too.

I am proud to be an American, and I know that my freedom isn’t free.  God bless those who have paid the ultimate price for my freedom.

I Am Writing a Gospel …

May 24, 2009


… whether I know it or not, by my words and actions.


You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day

By deeds that you do, by words that you say.

Men “read” what you “write”, whether faithless or true.

Say, what is the gospel, according to you?

— Anonymous


I came across this little reminder in an old church cookbook.  May we all remember that others are “reading” what we believe by how we speak and behave.

May you have a blessed Sunday.

What Is “Over-Paid”?

May 23, 2009


At one time, I was a fairly low-paid secretary to an insurance company Senior VP  who had very little for me to do.  So, some might say, “What a great job!  Not big pay, but not alot of work either.  Perfect!”  But, I have never been more unhappy in a job, even though it was a lovely work environment and the boss was a great guy (who was on the road for the company alot).  “Bored to tears” is an apt description of how I felt in that job.  In the six months I was there, I ended up re-typing an insurance manual, just to give myself something to do.

I left that boring but outwardly lovely job for much better pay at the major truck manufacturer in town.  There I was a humble entry-level clerk typist who had so much work to do I could barely get it all done in an eight hour day.  And, in this case, some might say, “Hey, you’re making good money, but, wow, you work hard.  Is it worth it?”

In which job was I “overpaid”?

If I make low wages, but have nothing meaningful to do, no way to contribute to the success of the company, no way to show my value as an employee, I would contend I am “overpaid”.

May you always do work that makes you feel that you are a contributor … the best feeling and the best “wages” in the world!