Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When the Mailman Wanted Ice Cream

Terry was waving at the ice cream truck to stop
while standing at mailboxes putting in the mail.
But the ice cream guy kept going.
His old customer in his electric wheelchair scooter
asked him what he was doing and he told him he wanted ice cream.
The old guy said he did too but didn't have cash.
Terry said, "I'll buy if you'll fly."
The old guy went drag racing through Maywood hills
chasing down the ice cream truck.
He returned in his rascal empty-handed and said,
"That guy was fast! I couldn't catch him."
Terry said, "The weather will be nice all week."
The old guy said, "We'll get him tomorrow!"

Friday, June 24, 2016

"I Scared a Bear"

I sat with my feet up in my little green
mama bear recliner waiting for Terry to finish
his shower and come upstairs to tell me about his trip.
While I didn't like him backpacking solo,
I kept my pie hole shut cause it
was none of my beeswax.
He creaked up the old stairs and plunked down
in his giant gold Daddy Chair.
I smiled and said, "So how was your trip?"
He looked at me and said, "I scared a bear."
I said, "WHAT?!"
He smiled and said, "I was sleeping in my tent
and my food was on the tree-rope and I could hear the
bear trying to get it so I jumped out of my tent
and roared at it like this."
I watched as he stood up and splayed his long legs wide
and long arms even wider and started a windmill motion
while making snarling sounds and shaking his head.
Well, he does look scarey, like a crazy person,
even to me, so I didn't blame the bear
for running away.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Side Effects of Shopping

Shopping has many health benefits
but there are known side effects.
Side effects may include:
Depression caused by seeing
yourself in full-length mirrors,
Loss of appetite from trying
on too-tight pants in your size.
Suicidal thoughts caused by your
husband saying you're taking too long.

Monday, June 13, 2016

"Run Terry Run!" (Mama Bear in B.C.)

We pulled into the wooded campsite and sat at
our picnic table. We'd been all around Tofino
and nearly drowned in the canoe the previous day.
Seemed like a good day to relax.
Terry said, "I can't believe how high the campsites
are here in B.C. Sixteen dollars! It's only ten
back home. I'll go pay the ranger and be back for lunch."
I kept making sandwiches until he said,
"I lost my wallet!" I was filled with dread and
said. "All we have to do is retrace our steps."
I thought about all the places we had gone in
the morning with the last stop being the dump.
We had sat on the hood of my old truck and
watched the bears eating garbage for an hour.
"Let's start at the dump. I'll drive."
I hopped in my ancient white Ford 150 Supercab
and drove through the pristine forest to the dump.
We got out and started looking around but I
got a bad feeling. "Honey, I'm tired.
Can I rest on the truck while you look?"
He nodded with his eyes glued to the ground.
I sat on the hood of the truck enjoying the view
when I saw the bear cubs ambling out from
behind a rusty old van. I saw Terry lean down
and pick up his wallet and that was when he
noticed to two cubs. He froze for a second
and then the mother bear walked out from behind the van.
He started sprinting from about five blocks
away. "Run Terry Run!" I yelled from the truck.
For a big guy he can really move fast. He probably
burned off a whole box of Pop Tarts with that sprint.
He flew up to the hood of my truck and sat down panting.
My blood pressure was still so high I was slightly dizzy.
He held up his wallet and said,
"Now I can pay for the campsite."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Cat Who Was Scared Shitless

The sun was shining as we sat on the raised edge of the boardwalk trail.
My sister Pam and I were cooking cornmeal mush for lunch & enjoying
the little meadow surrounded by trees before the last ridge
and descent to Cape Alava. It had been fun to hitch-hike to
Shi Shi beach and at fifteen and seventeen we were six feet
tall and bulllet-proof. The only minor setback was the
Hoh River had been too high to forge & the tide had come
in and trapped us on a dirt ledge for six hours.
We were back in the saddle of our summer adventure
as we waited for lunch. A cheerful looking young hippie couple
emerged from the forest we had just left and asked
to sit with us while they had lunch. The man said,
"Whew, that was a close one man. We saw the ranger and
thought we'd get busted for bringing our pet into the park."
Pam and I looked all around for a dog but didn't see one.
Then we noticed the side of one of the backpacks was
moving around and we heard a muffled howling noise.
The young lady squatted down and opened the pack
and a cat came flying out along with the most hideous odor
EVER. Pam looked over at me and said,
"That cat was scared shitless!"

Sunday, June 5, 2016

You Don't Have to Try to Kill Me to Break Up With Me! (Lake Serene 1986)

I was hot and cranky after hiking straight up
the face of a root covered cliff for two hours.
Just image climbing straight up a ladder for
1,500 feet which has been coated with WD 40.
I looked down at the rock-slide surrounded lake
and was not impressed. The jagged rock-slide look
has never been my favorite.
What was that noise? A helicopter rose from the
edge of the lake below the narrow cliff-side trail
and my mouth dropped opened as I saw the body-basket
dangling beneath it.
I sat on on the sharp rocks and dangled my feet off
the trail and put my arms out for my tiny black
skipperkey dog Susie. Terry handed her over and
I cuddled her and said good-bye to her.
I knew I would not survive the waterfall-mist
slick root ladder backwards descending to the trail head.
Miraculously we made it down at sunset and I stomped
ahead of Terry along the logging road.
Smoke poured out of my ears I was so angry.
He caught up to me and said, "I'm sorry Gretel,
please speak to me. I didn't know it would be so dangerous."
I just glared at he until my rage boiled over
and I shouted, "You don't have to try to kill me
to break up with me!"
I didn't speak to him for two months.
When I finally forgave him because I got hungry
and he coaxed me into going to Ming Palace
he kept apologizing.
A few weeks later he came to my tiny cinder-block
apartment with his hiking book and was looking for
our next hike. As he sat on the couch with the book
he said, "Listen to this: 'Lake Serene hike was closed
after several deaths and is schedule to reopen in the future."

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Acronym Overload

My cousin Elizabeth forbid me from talking
to her in acronyms yesterday.
My sister Charlotte said it gave her,
"Acronym Overload."
My MMC went through the USCG and that credential replaced
the old MMD and MML, but I was still required to get my TWIC.
I found it very fascinating to read about the ISO and the SOLAS!
But when I saw the SOLAS was in response
to the Titanic, I stopped printing.
I saw that movie.
The LAST thing I need in my little brain
is the idea of a sinking ship!
I got the e-mail yesterday from the Coast Guard.
I feel so special! Imagine an old lady like me
of fifty-five passing those five levels of fitness requirements.
I can't wait to be a YC on the POA for NCL!!!

Don't Touch the Washing Machine!

I am so fed up with Terry
I can't WAIT to go to work on the ship.
Six months ago the dial on my old, rusty Maytag
began to act up.
I had to manually advance it through each cycle.
Sounds easy right?
It was for the first three months.
Then the dial and machine
had a fight and weren't talking to each other.
It was like playing roulette to rinse the clothes.
Then I'd pray to find a working spin cycle.
So two months ago, Terry decides to "FIX"
my washing machine. He snaked out the drain.
The drain wasn't broken!
But he managed to prevent the machine from draining at all.
Well, you know I am a bad wife.
I decided not to get it repaired before I fly out to work.
I have been manually wringing out the wash for two months.
I could probably beat Cassius Clay at arm-wrestling
Last week I was in my room and I could hear Terry
spinning the dial on the washing machine.
I yelled through the wall, "Don't touch the washing machine!"
I told him I had to add fabric softener.
Like I have bothered with that in twenty-five years of marriage.
When he drops me off at Sea Tac Saturday,
I just KNOW he'll get all excited to be Mr. Mom.
And then...
He will try to wash clothes. I am evil.
People are always so surprised
to find out how evil I can be.
Terry has nagged me about not having a job
just one too many times.
And now I have one.

Terry's Bad Haircut

Not the mullet! Noooo, I thought as I smilled at Terry.
The mullet was the worst-looking haircut ever.
We were supposed to go out of town for the
week for a second honeymoon at the ocean.
I was all excited too.
Then I didn't even want to go.
That's how bad it was.
Remember the mullet? In 1975?
Well, that was what he came home with.
Yes, it is a cute style for a boy in his teens
or early twenties,
but at fifty
it was an eyesore.
He turns fifty-one the week of our twentieth anniversary
and maybe he thought it would make him look younger.
It was awful and he didn't have to look at it
I did.
I just bring a paper bag to put over his head
for romance time.

My Son the Sign Flipper

I cruised over the hills of Canyon Park
with the scent of McDonald's
filling my mini-van.
Double cheeseburgers, french fries, hot cocoa.
All the treats that a teenager loves.
It was March and bitter cold
and the snow had started coming down
in giant, icy flakes.
As I came over the rise and climbed
the next hill, I was excited to see my
first-born child at his job.
My son, the sign-flipper.
At sixteen, this was his first job outside
of yard work and house work.
So him having a real job was a big deal in our family.
I reflected on the years of fun family life
as I drove along.
Holidays, family camping trips and vacations.
Picnics in the swamp, making pies together.
At eleven, he began that natural pulling away
that a son starts with his mother.
At fourteen, I couldn't stand being in the same room
with him most of the time and
at fifteen he was worse.
At sixteen, I could feel him come back to me
occasionally like we were pulling some familial
rubber band. Short glimpses into the future.
But I knew I would never be the rock star again.
The days of being stuck together like glue
were long gone.
As I pulled up to where Troy was twirling his sign
I could see his expression of consternation with me.
I just wanted to give him hot food and drinks
while he stood in a inch of snow.
I wanted to be his rock star one last time.
I lowered the window and he came over to accept
my maternal offerings of food and love.
"Hurry up mom! There have been hot chicks
driving by waving at me!"
No thanks, no gratitude, no manners.
Hot chicks?!
I drove off hurt but full of pride as I looked
in my rear view mirror
at my son
the sign flipper.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Old Ladies Catching Ducks

I looked out the window of my little trailer house
and saw my friend Ruthie's small blue car.
I dashed down my steps and into my carport
and gathered up our gear: Life-jackets,
paddles, duck bread, huge salmon net and
a pillowcase to put the duck in.
I greeted Ruthie and as we walked to the
river I asked her if she had ever been
canoeing before. "When I was a kid like you."
She replied and I pondered if I was thirty
she must be seventy. We got to the small
marina and I loaded our gear into my canoe
and I climbed in and held my end steady so
she could get in. Apparently Ruthie had forgotten
about getting into a canoe straight down
while holding the dock. I looked at her
with horror as her one leg went in the boat
and the other stayed on the dock and the
boat decided to go straight out in the water!
Just as I thought her brown polyester slacks
would split and she'd go in the drink,
she managed to flip herself into the canoe.
We paddled out into the Sammamish river
and I asked, "What kind of duck do you want?"
Ruthie looked at the dozens of ducks surrounding
us as we tossed out the bread and said,
"My female that died was brown and I'd like
that one right there. My male duck is so
heartbroken and he needs a new mate."
I slowly lowered the huge salmon net into the
water while Ruthie tossed loads of bread over it.
The pretty all-brown female was engrossed
with the bread and I carefully positioned the
net under her. BAM! I flipped the net and
hauled her in and managed to transfer
her to the pillow case without flipping us over.
We paddled hard to the dock and I told
Ruthie she needed to open her trunk right
away and go home with that duck.
Later that night the phone rang and it
was Ruthie. I asked her how her duck was
and she said, "Brownie is happy as a clam
and my old male is even happier."
Ducks in love...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Face Broth

I snuggled down into my folded electric blanket
and opened my latest historical romance novel
by Lisa Kleypas. The heat from the blanket
on "H" above and below me relaxed me instantly.
I couldn't see the words. Was I going blind?!
I removed my reading glasses and held them to the light
and realized I had a thick oil slick going on.
Oops. After five tries of making homemade,
chemical free beauty cream I had finally gotten it right. Almost.
(Never try to moisturize and read the same night)
My sister is starting a lotion/potion business
and had given me her recipe. Only snag was that I
have never followed a recipe in my entire life.
Just don't have the patience for details.
I ordered the shea butter and coconut butter online
then told Brenda what I was doing. She added many
suggestions until I had added glycerin, rose hip seed oil,
aloe vera, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
My only addition was almond extract.
(Maybe needed almond oil but bought what
Kookmore Safeway had to offer.)
On my first try I used my sister's recipe
and watched the DIY (Do It Yourself) video on Youtube.
Seemed easy enough and I was very excited in the
morning to slather some on my face.
I opened the jar and stuck my finger in and
was confronted by a rock hard combination of ingredients
that DID NOT stay whipped together.
I poked harder and the top crust broke and
my finger was covered in blue goo.
I poured some of that in my hand and slopped it on
my face and arms and legs thinking I'd probably
look sixteen after it soaked in.
Instead I felt sticky.
The phone rang and I told Brenda I had accidentally
made face broth and for some reason I was turning blue
and very sticky. She asked if I had read the labels
knowing darn well I hadn't.
I went upstairs and found some clean glasses and read,
"Hyaluronic acid dietary supplement in pure blueberry juice."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Pee Tree

Patty smiled as she looked at my lattice
and my small Nelly Moser clematis climbing it.
"You and Brenda did a good job on the lattice but you
really need to give these little hedge trees
some Miracle Gro Gretchen. Look, this whole side is
dying and it looks awful."
I looked at the little cone-shaped tree with
only one green branch on the bottom.
The brown Charlie Brown tree is six feet high.
I'm partial to dead branches so I had planted
a few more white and pink Nelly's to climb it.
I grimaced and said, "That's the Pee Tree."
"When Owen and I went to plug up the
Norwegian Tunnel Rat holes we smelled something.
Turns out Terry had been peeing
on my trees for five years.
I pointed to a beauty bark lined hole and said,
"See, look, I dug him a pee hole and he promised
to use it so I think there is hope for the
Pee Tree."