Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pammy was a stray

Among the stranger gifts that I have with animals is my ability to find a lost pet. Out of over 100 that I have had to look for (for myself and others) I have only not been able to find 2 dogs. Cats are a little harder because tomcats don't want to be found usually. Anyway I went by my brother's house one day and Lisa told me that she had seen the sweetest dog in town and she wished that she had brought it home. She told me that she was tempted to have me go get it for her. I had been campaigning for years to get my niece and nephew a pet, and I told her that if she really wanted that dog all she had to do was ask. She said she did and bet me that I couldn't find it anyway.

She said it was a little cocker spaniel looking dog with reddish fur. She thought it was weird that it also had a blue tongue. Not a problem I told her, so I drove to Logan to get the dog. I went to the part of town where she had seen the dog and I didn't see her, so I expanded my search. I had been driving about 1/2 an hour when I saw a woman and a dog in their front yard. I knew immediately it was the dog, but I almost went on by because the dog was obviously so loveable. (It was lying on its back while the lady petted it with her foot.)

I thought to myself, "What the hell, it can't hurt to ask." (I was happy that my niece and nephew were going to get a dog if things worked out.) I rolled down the window and I asked the woman if that was her dog. She said no. She told me that the dog had been hanging around for 3 or 4 days and she didn't have the heart to call the pound. I told her that the dog wasn't mine, but that I had a very good home for it if she would let me take her. She agreed.

I took the dog back to my brother's house and he answered the door. Lisa was not home. I told him I had his dog. He said, "What dog? You can't leave one of your strays here, Lisa will kill you." I pointed out to him that I had had plenty of chances to drop a stray on them and that this was indeed a dog that Lisa wanted. That she had sent me for the dog. He knew then that I wasn't lying.

The smile that broke out on his face was like sunshine. He said, "You mean she said we could really have a dog?" "Yep", I said , "she's yours." He went in the house and got some bologna and started to throw her slices of it. (a tradition from our own childhood years)

He said, "I'm gonna name her Pammy."

I said, "Pammy, what for?"

He said, "Aw, she's a good dog, she's just fallen on some hard times, but I know she's going to be alright."

And She Was.

He got even with me

When we were in grade school the kids on the school bus substituted a whole box of "feen-a-mints" (laxitive product for those of you too young to know) for a whole box of "Chicklets" (gum - again for those of you too young to know). They gave the whole box to my little brother. He promptly gobbled the whole box down.

HE DIDN'T MAKE IT OFF THE SCHOOL BUS BEFORE THE EFFECTS OF THE ENTIRE BOX HIT HIM - AND HIT HIM HARD! We were all rolling deliriously in the aisles. My poor brother (and the bus seat unfortunately) were an awful mess.

Of course I have the good sense now to feel guilty about it. I didn't know then that we could have killed him doing such a thing. In my defense the idea was not mine although by the time the "chicklet" box made it to him, I did know about it.

YEARS LATER MY BROTHER GOT EVEN WITH ME! One day out of the goodness of his heart (we were in junior high then). He brought me some scrambled eggs. Such kindness should have immediately been suspect but I graciously accepted the eggs and ate them. WHAT A MISTAKE! Within 5 minutes I was running to the bathroom. I didn't quite make it. He never would tell me what he put in those eggs!

NOT the Way to Go!

Ever hear the old joke about having a heart attack during sex and the punchline is "What a way to go!"

I can tell you from experience that it is not the way to go. A heart attack completely ruins your afterglow.

Easter Memories

I used to look forward to the Easter Egg Hunt every year. The anticipation would build as we colored the eggs with my mom and decided which would be the "lucky egg". We always picked the ugliest one. You know the one that you didn't think was taking the dye so you would dip it it a bunch of different colors and it would end up looking like it came out of the sewer or something.

Anyway my dad would help the Easter Bunny hide the eggs. (The bunny was only there for the first round because he had to visit all the children of the world - just like Santa Claus you know.) Then we would kill each other running out the door to see who could get the most eggs. I never did find the most eggs or the lucky egg for that matter. Even my little sister would find more eggs than me. I was just not a good egg hunter, but I kept plugging along year after year thinking this will be my year and I will win! We would hunt eggs all day long. They would be cracked and peeling and grass would be sticking to them but it didn't matter because it was what you did for Easter.

Our grandparents would go every year and pick out a colored chicken for us. Sometimes we would get ducks. We even got rabbits for a few years. They always died.

Of course we would tear apart out Easter Baskets first thing in the morning. We always tried to talk our mom into buying the pail and shovel baskets so we could use them at the beach. Of course going to the beach was only a dream but we still thought we needed the bucket and shovel.

By the time we would get ready to go to church in our brand new Easter Outfits (the only day of the year that we regularly went to church by the way) we would be sick from all the chocolate and candy. We would leave the house afraid to move lest we mess up our Easter Finery before we made it to one of the grandma's churches. There would be an egg hunt after church which was great.

After church we would go back to a proper Easter Feast prepared by Granny. There would be ham and turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and corn and half runners and 2 or 3 cakes and more pie and rolls and just generally so much food that it wouldn't fit on the table. The cousins would be running and playing with us. In my case the aunts and uncles would be playing too because they were not much older than we were. It was a great day!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Holiday Aromas

When I was a kid this would be the weekend that my mom would be baking. She would be making prune cake and pumpkin bread, zuchini bread and dutch apple pie (my personal favorite). There would be homemade rolls and she would make homemade fruitcake (which my entire family except for me seemed to adore). The fruitcake would not be ready to eat until Christmas though because it has to sit for 5 or 6 weeks steeped in brandy or whiskey.

The smells of these delicacies would go all through the house. It was absolutely wonderful. We didn't need scented candles in those days. There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked pumpkin pie to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Our house would look like a bakery there would be so much dessert sitting around - some waiting for Thanksgiving - others to be devoured on the spot! It was an absolutely delectable time of year.

Monday, March 16, 2009

He Got Stitches

This is my brother, Billy. This is about the age he was when I pushed him off the tricycle in the backyard. He hit his head on a manhole cover. I was begging him not to tell on me until I noticed he was covered with blood and then I ran screaming to MOMMY! He got stitches.

A few weeks later my mom was in the kitchen. She looked up just in time to see Billy running toward the house. She thought, "surely he'll stop." He didn't stop. He ran straight through the storm door (glass) and landed at her feet. He got stitches.

Soon after getting those stitches out we were running and playing in the house. Billy ran into the corner of the bed. He got stitches.

A few years later Billy was coming home from the store carrying a carton of Pepsi. (glass bottles) He dropped them. They broke. He got stitches.

A Trip to the Zoo

That is me and my brother and my mom in the picture. My sister wasn't born yet. When I was a kid I could remember that trip to the zoo. I don't really remember it now.
I know there is a picture somewhere of me feeding a giraffe and one of me and Billy riding in the little rowboats that go round and round too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I tried to join the Navy

When I was 19 I went into the recruiters office and I took the necessary admission tests. After the tests were over the recruiter called me over to his desk and told me that I had the highest admission scores that he had ever seen. I thought this was unusual because even though I always had scored very high in academic tests, I had also always scored low in the nonverbal tests which is what mostly comprised these tests.

He talked to me for awhile about the benefits of joining the Navy and all of a sudden out of nowhere this old coot comes at me with his lips puckered and his arms outstretched. All I could see was grey hair and wrinkles coming at me! I was completely surprised by this and dove out the door like a scared rabbit! I could not believe that such a thing had happenned. (I was a very innocent 19)

I went home and told my mom and she promptly called the recruiter's office and reported him. The next day his commanding officer called me and told me that the recruiter had been removed from his duties, that he had been demoted one full rank with a corresponding reduction in pay and that he had been required to tell his wife what happenned. (I don't know how they could do that last one though.) He hoped that the officers behaviour would not deter me from joining the Navy. I did not join, but the reason that I did not join is that back in those days they wouldn't let a woman fly jets. So sexism was still the reason that I did not join!

I have heard of various scandals involving the military and sexual harrassment. I have to say that in my case it was handled swiftly and severely

Happy Childhood Memories

Today was a beautiful day. It was the kind of day where we would run out excited because we could fly a kite. We would all meet in the back yard with our brand new kites and we each had our own techniques for getting our kites up. The kids who ran with them never did figure out that they could run all day and the kite was not going to stay up once they ran out of running room.

Once somebody did manage to get their kite up. Everybody would crowd around begging for a turn to fly the kite. When we were lucky the kite would get high enough to need another roll of string or two. We always shared. That was the rules. The greatest day ever was the time we got a kite up 10 rolls of string high. It was so high it looked like a dot in the sky and we were sure that the planes overhead were going to hit it.(impossible of course)

We all had to pool our change to go buy more string several times. (the store was next door) When we ran out of money we had to hit the ditch beside the store to collect bottles to return. If our parents would have caught us we would have been dead because the ditch was nothing but a mess of broken glass and trash. We didn't care because we knew that all the pop bottles were not broken and on good day there would be enough bottles to pay for string or pop or candy or whatever the emergency of the day was.

Anyway we flew that kite until it was so dark that we couldn't see it any more and we had to pull it down. We often tried to duplicate our success but we never did even come close again. By the way Rusty was the one flying the kite that day.

Pat C Rendevous

I had the privilege to be involved with the training of Pat C Rendevous. She broke the world record for the greatest number of wins in a row by a greyhound. This record had been held in the Guinness Book of Records for 20 years when she broke it. She raced at the Palm Beach Kennel Club which is a track for good dogs but not the best. Unfortunately another greyhound came along a year later and broke her record, but he raced at a very cheap track.

She won 37 consecutive races in a row. By far the best race was number 32. It was the finals of a Stake's Race which was held so that all the best dogs in the country could be brought in to race against her. That way she would be the undisputed champion. She came around the far turn about 5 lengths behind "She Drops Bombs" the lead dog. It looked like there was no way that she could win. With one step to go to the finish line it looked like she shot a rocket out of her ass. With one stride she made up the whole length and crossed the finish line winning by a nose. It was the most incredible race that I had seen in my 13 years of greyhound racing and I guarantee you the will never be another finish like it.

I was not working in the kennel at the time of the stakes races. I worked there when she ran her first 3/8ths. race. I was picking up at the track that day. She ran 4th. When Johnny(the trainer) heard how she finished he lamented the fact that he had thought she would be a great 3/8ths. racer and he was going to pull her out. I stopped him. The reason she ran fourth was because she was confused when she went by the finish line the first time and she pulled up. This is common with dogs in their first 3/8ths. race because they are used to stopping at this point. When all the other dogs kept going, she took off after them and caught them one by one and passed them. She went from last to 4th. and ran an incredible race for any greyhound. She never made that mistake again and went on to be a champion.

They were offerred $100,000 the night she broke the record. They did not take it.

I just remembered that Rhonda was impossible to walk. The girl that picked her up after races before me used to just throw her in the truck because she didn't want to fool with her. Rhonda was as stubborn as a mule. I forced her to walk after she ran because there are a whole host of problems that can happen if you don't. I was not mean to her. I walked her by pulling the lead and singing "Help Me Rhonda" to her while I did it. She resisted the whole way but slowly but surely we built up to where she was at least walking a minimum distance that was good for her after the race.

Hen Parties

On those rare occasions when my dad and brother would be gone my mom used to have what she called "hen parties". We would have tv dinners(remember when they were in a foil tray with an aluminum foil top and you had to cook them in the oven for 30 minutes) and leave the dishes in the sink afterwards. Leaving dishes in the sink was a big deal to my mom.

Then we would pop popcorn and watch tv. Knowing my mom we probably did our hair and nails and stuff like that but I really don't remember that part. That kind of thing was always important to her and it still is. My sister and I are kind of dumpy. I know on my part it was because I swore to myself that it was absolutely retarded to take 3 hours to get ready to go somewhere - no matter how many times a day you needed to go. To this day I am more of a wash and wear kind of girl.

We lived about 50 yards from the store. No matter how many times a day we went to the store we would ask for a nickel for "goin' to the store". This was our candy money. I know on my part I was never able to use enough willpower to save the money for something good. I would spend it every time I went to the store.

Back then the whole family would go to the local drive-in theatre. I remember seeing "Jeremy" with Robby Benson and "Bonnie and Clyde" with Faye Dunaway. I thought I was so cool because when Jeremy and his girlfriend (Glynnis O'Connell - I thought she was beautiful) were making out my mom made my brother and sister hide behind the back seat and I was allowed to watch. We saw lots of movies but those were the 2 I remember. Between movies there would be Mr. Magoo cartoons and a countdown clock reminding you to go get popcorn and stuff at the concession stand. We didn't do that though because my mom would pop popcorn at home and we would stop and buy 10 hotdogs for a dollar on the way.

It Was A Different Time

I always find it interesting that people try to attach today's values to my childhood posts. Back in the seventies things were done differently. People gave their kids "whippins" and that is just the way it was. There was no trying to reason with a child who was misbehaving, mom or dad just busted their ass. When kids lost a game there was nobody there telling them "hey, you are all winners in your own way". We were told "well if you want to win, you have to practice harder." And you know what? Practicing harder worked alot of the time.

We knew if we went in a store and threw a "screaming candy fit" that there would be severe repercussions when we got back to the car. We sure didn't get a piece of candy for doing it. If mom and dad decided to order the family a pizza they didn't order "just cheese or pepperoni" because "Johnny" didn't like anything else. "Johnny" was told to "pick the onions off!" Parents sure didn't drive from drive thru to drive thru (there was no such thing back then!) for each member of the family. We all went to the same restaurant and ordered whatever was on the menu. Actually parents ordered whatever they wanted and you ordered the "child appropriate" foods that were cheaper. If we would have tried to order the most expensive stuff on the menu that I have watched so many kids do "just to see if they could mostly" we would have just been told "NO."

It was a different time with different ways of doing things. You can't apply today's values to yesterday's memories. I'm not saying everything was right, it wasn't. But things weren't done to be deliberately mean they were done to teach you how children should behave and because "that is how MY mom and dad did it". Of course as kids we all swore that when we grew up things would be different. And in alot of cases they are.

I remember talking to my niece once about being paddled in school. She said, "You mean they actually physically laid their hands on you!" Hell yeah they did, and if my mom would find out about it we would be whipped again when we got home. It wasn't just my mom and dad either. It was that was with everbody's mom and dad. So if I post a childhood memory that includes a "whippin" I am not looking for sympathy, I am just remembering things how they were.

It Matters To Me

When I was around 20 years old I went to the gynecologists office for my yearly exam. I was surprised and embarrassed to learn that the new secretary was the secretary from my junior high school. I of course played it cool, not wanting her to know that I was embarrassed to see her in my gynecologist's office.

She was asking me the standard questions that they ask you in a dr's office when she asked me, "what form of birth control do you use?" I told her that I was married and that my husband had a vasectomy and that I did not need birth control.

She said, "Well honey,that doesn't matter, that's him. You still need something to protect yourself." I was mortified that she could insinuate that I would sleep with someone besides my husband. All I could say to her was, "well it matters to me and I don't need anything else."

I can honestly say I never slept with anyone but my husband for the entire 16 years of our marriage. That includes the 3 year period after I left him and gave him a chance to clean up his act so that we could get back together.



I did once when I was a little kid. It ran about 50 feet with blood spurting about 6 or 8 inches out of it's neck! Then it fell over and flapped it's wings with one last giant convulsion.I don't think I was supposed to be around to see it-but I did.

Here's another one for you city folk:

NEVER pick up a dead snake close to it's head. Sometimes it's nerves will cause it to BITE YOU! Not good - especially if it's poisonous!

A birthday to remember

On my 12th. birthday I remember being in the family room with both of my Grannies. It was the only family event in my life that I remember both of them being at our house at the same time. (usually we went to their houses)

They were trying to outdo each other and show off for me. These two 55 year old women were doing splits and cartwheels and dancing the Charleston in their house dresses and their very high updo's. We were laughing and having a most excellent time.

I don't remember anything else about that birthday. I probably remember that because they went out of their way to tell me


and it didn't.


We had moved onto a small farm in the middle of Loxahatchee, Fla. which is nothing but swamp. We had to rebuild the trailer from the floor up. Bobby had just finished installing the bathroom and I was christening the toilet. I looked over and saw the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life! It was bigger than my hand! It was brown and spindly. I immediately stopped in mid pee. I didn't think until that moment that such a thing was even physically possible, but it was instinctive and it is!

I started to call for Bobby in the loudest gasp of a whisper that I could get to come out of my body. I couldn't move. Fortunately he was in the next room and heard me. Even he let out a yelp when he saw it. After he killed it it was still huge and you know how a spider shrivels up when you kill it!

The spiders in that swamp are brown recluse spiders. They are poisonous and they are very aggressive. If you go to kill one and you miss - IT WILL ATTACK YOU! The place was infested with them and I still have a severe case of arachnophobia after living there! I can't even handle seeing toy spiders at halloween

That Mean Little Man

When I was a kid and we would get sick, my mom would ask us where it hurt. She would ask us if that mean little man was doing a tap dance in our belly or bouncing a ball in our head or running around all over our bodies just making everything hurt. Then she would do something to make that "mean little man" pay for what he was doing to us.

Sometimes she would tickle us to make us feel better, sometimes she would make us a little soup and crackers and get us some 7-up and if we were lucky she would give us some baby aspirin! (Does anybody else remember sneaking and climbing up the cabinets to get some baby aspirin We are lucky we didn't overdose or something. We loved the stuff!) Anyway all we had to do was go to our mom and tell her that that "mean little man" was doing something and she would make it better.

Staying home from school was always good. We were allowed to sleep in her bed and watch tv all day long. I remember watching Dinah Shore and the Mike Douglas Show. I remember when Chuck Woolery did Wheel of Fortune and when the Price is Right started. When I got a little older I loved to watch the Phil Donahue Show. Early morning was the time for Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Greenjeans. Sesame Street started when I was in the 3rd. grade and the Electric Company started soon after. One of my great disappointments was that the teacher on romper room never did see me in that mirror! Also I dreamed of getting romper stompers one day but I never did.

My 7th. Grade Science Teacher Was a Pervert

I didn't know it at the time. I actually figured it out in the last couple of years or so. He used to take me out and paddle me 3 or 4 times a week. I didn't have to be doing anything. Sometimes I would just be sitting there quietly doing my work and I would hear, "Pam, out in the hall!" Then I would just dutifully march out there and bend over and get a swat on my bottom with his precious glass paddle.

It happenned so much that I did start to cause trouble in the class sometimes because I knew I was going to be paddled anyway. There would be a group of kids on the other side of the classroom acting up and he would start naming names and he would throw in my name for good measure. I was actually a bookworm though and other than his class I never (hardly) got in any trouble. In fact I was paddled more in one week in his class than I was in my entire 12 years of school.

One time to punish the class he gave us 10 minutes to memorize a paragraph and then he went down the line and when the offending student couldn't recite it he would swat their hand with that paddle. When he got to me I recited the entire paragraph perfectly (the only one to do so) but because I didn't want to be the "smart girl" I substituted the word "crap" for the very last noun in the paragraph. This really set him off and not only did I not get my hand "slapped" with the paddle. He took me out in the hallway everday for a week for that one infraction.

I mentioned this to my mom once and she asked me why I didn't tell her. I pointed out to her that not only would she not have defended me but she would have whipped me again when I got home, so the last person on earth I would have said anything to was her.

The Great Golf Cart Incident





I was in jr. high. I was frying a piece of fish. The pan caught on fire. I calmly picked up the pan and walked with it to the sink. I put the pan in the sink. I turned on the faucet.


I squealed for my "Mommy". She dropped the vacuum cleaner and came running. I know that she put out the fire. I don't remember that part. She was not mad. She was glad that I was alive.

I Call him Little Foot

I was driving over Blair Mountain early one morning. I had just topped the mountain and was going around the first curve. It could be that I fell asleep, but I really don't think so. On the other side of the guardrail, stepping down the mountain(much too steep for any human to walk down!) was what I can only call a "foxman" or a "little bigfoot".

It was the size of an average man but he was covered with reddish hair and his ears stuck up like a fox. I only saw him from the back as he took two steps down the mountain and then he was gone. He was gone partly because he dropped out of sight and partly because my headlights passed on by him. It scared me so bad that I have never crossed over Blair Mountain at night to this day.

I used to go to this website called "Shadowlands". They have a section of hauntings state by state. In the West Virginia section in a town called "Iaeger" there is an entry about a "dog-like" creature that walks on its back legs. Iaeger is about 30 miles from Blair Mountain as the crow flies and it is connected by trails as well as roads. I have never heard of this creature from anybody at home - just at this website. (I saw it before I saw the website) Anyway it is creepy to think that the two could possibly be related.

dooh dooh dooh dooh---dooh dooh dooh dooh

This one backfired

THIS SCARE SERIOUSLY BACKFIRED ON ME! I was a ghost at a friends Halloween party for her daughter. There were at least 50 kids there from infant to 12 years old. I spent the night running around the outside of the house appearing at windows and doorways and hiding before the kids could find me. (I was a very effective ghost!)

At the end of the evening I decided to go upstairs and run through the crowd and scare the living daylights out of them before I went home. I sneaked in the front door and up the stairs and burst into the room screaming and running through those lovely children. The next thing I knew this mob of screaming, clawing, biting, hitting, kicking children started whaling on me unmercifully!!! There were no adults up there to help me or take control of the situation.

If I had not had years of experience breaking up greyhound fights without hurting them, I would have been forced to hurt those kids just to break free! When I finally extricated myself from the mob I took off running. The only part of my costume that was left on me was a piece around my neck and a piece around my waist. Just when I got to the top of the stairs one of the little bastards clotheslined me! I was dangling down the stairs and the only thing holding me up was a piece of material around my neck that was strangling me!

I managed to twist my neck so that I broke free and promptly went thumping down the stairs to land at Sis' feet who was running to see what all the commotion was. At this point I thought the whole thing was hilarious and recounted the story of the kids trying to kill the ghost. We all had a good laugh. I wasn't laughing the next morning.

I went to get out of bed and I couldn't. I mean I was physically unable to raise up and what little bit I did move put me in excruciating backstabbing pain. It took me about 20 minutes to roll out of bed. I had to crawl to a phone to call for help. When I told my boss I couldn't walk, he thought I had a sprained ankle or something. I had to explain to him that my legs were paralyzed and I had dragged myself in pain to the phone. He said he would be right over.

I managed to stand and get myself to the car before he got there. I drove myself to the hospital and when I went to get out of the car I couldn't stand up again. I pulled myself up by sheer strength of will and my arms only and was supporting myself between the door and the roof of the car when a man found me. He was kind enough to go into the hospital and get me a wheelchair and wheel me in.

Anyway it took 6 months of therapy and 2 years to get myself right again. The moral is "DON'T SCARE THE FUCK OUT OF LITTLE KIDS WITHOUT PROTECTION!!!"

this was funny

I bought a $400 piece of junk truck from my brother once. He told me over and over not to buy it, saying it wasn't worth the trouble, but I just had to have it. It of course immediately started to give me trouble. A few days after I bought it I parked it at the top of the hill at my house so I could kick start it if I had to because I had been having trouble starting it. I got out and walked about 10 steps when I heard a loud pop! I hear banging and clanging behind me and I turned around just in time to jump out of the way before I was run over. The truck careened down the hill and plowed into a bank! The front wheels were in a drainage ditch that was nothing but mud. I had started laughing when I jumped out the the way but when I saw where the truck was stuck I started to cuss because I just knew that I wouldn't be able to get it out of that ditch! I walked over and got in the truck. It started right up and I backed it out! It was the easiest time I had starting it since I had bought it. I just shook my head and went in the house.

The next day I was driving down a mountain in the middle of a kiss my ass turn(that is a turn so sharp that you are kissing your own ass while you make it!). I go to apply the brake and nothing! If you want to feel your heart sink and genuinely panic then just drive down a mountain in rural West Virginia with no brakes! I careened down the mountain pumping the brakes and there wasn't the least bit of tension in them. I was trying to downshift with no success and using every inch of road to make it down the hill. Thank God nobody was coming in the other direction because we both would have been dead.

When I got to the foot of the mountain the brake decided it would work. I pulled off on the side of the road and promptly had a good cry. I took the truck back to my brother and he had a good time saying "I TOLD YOU SO!"

They Got Me

have generally made it a policy to avoid graveyards especially at night. The only time I have ever been in a graveyard at night was with 2 friends. We were walking a trail and got caught out after dark and passed through a very old cemetery on our way out of the woods. We were walking single file because the trail was narrow and I was in front.

All of a sudden I hear a thundering coming down the mountain right at me. I screamed and took off running absolutely terrorized out of my mind. I heard Oscar and James cackling uproariously and I knew they had got me. James had taken a large rock and thrown it up the mountain so that it would roll down right at me. His aim was perfect. I couldn't have been more scared if someone had risen from the dead (which is what I thought had happenned)!
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I Love a Good Scare

One time when I was about 15 my parents left after we had gone to bed. I was lying in bed just dozing off when my closet door flung open and slammed against the wall! My brother jumped up and screamed at me in the doorway! I screamed what was probably the most terrorized scream of my life. It was a deep gutteral scream that came from the depths of my soul. I sincerely thought that Frankenstein (my brother was about 6 foot tall) was coming to get me.

I never slept with my bedroom door open ever again.

A Close Call

My Aunt Mary and I used to drive cars to car auctions for my dad. One snowy, icy morning we took off for Columbus when nobody in the world had any business being on the highway. I was creeping along at a snail's pace because of the road conditions and she was in the passenger seat. On a particularly curvy patch of road about a 2 miles from my house all of a sudden a woman in an oncoming vehicle swerved into my lane.

I remember seeing the fear in her eyes as I am sure that she could see the same fear in mine. She was coming straight at me and my only options were to hit her headon or to swerve over the side of the mountain into the freezing river about 200 feet below. I opted to drive straight on and I just shut my eyes waiting for the impending crash. Of course this all seemed to take forever but it was over in seconds.

I remember thinking "where's the crash?" I openned my eyes and there was nothing but ice-covered, curvy road ahead of me. Somehow in the last second her car must have swerved back into her lane. Of course both Mary and I were almost reduced to tears. It was the closest thing to a head on collision that I have ever had. We were so close to that car that I still don't understand to this day how we managed to miss each other (and my aunt feels the same way).

I credit my mom for saving my life that day. For my second driving lesson she took me to a back road and we practiced all kinds of scenarios that could happen on the highway. While I was driving that day soft-hearted me swerved to miss a butterfly fluttering across the road and we almost went into a ditch. She told me " NEVER SWERVE TO MISS ANYTHING!" She said if you swerve off the road you are definitely going to hit something or worse yet go over the side of a mountain (We live in West Virginia you know). And she was so right. If I had swerved to miss that woman we would have ended up in the freezing river that day and more than likely been killed. If we would have hit each other; we were going so slow that even if we would have collided the injuries would have more than likely would have been minor and the biggest damage is that we would have banged up a couple of vehicles. NO BIG DEAL.


Pure Blind Terror

In West Virginia for a few years haunted trails were a big thing to do at halloween. One year I met my sister-in-law with my niese and nephew for a walk on a haunted trail. It was full of pretty standard halloween monsters and gore which my obnoxious neice (she was 13 at the time) pretty much spoiled for the rest of the group with her teenage mouth. The absolute biggest scare (and the only surprise) came at the very end of the trail. We came upon an accident scene complete with wrecked cars and strewn bodies everywhere.

As we were standing there looking at the carnage all of the sudden at the exact same time all of dead bodies leaped up and starting running toward us and chasing anybody that ran. It even scared my loud mouthed niece! My poor nephew (8 years old) started running. The problem was when he turned to run, he ran straight into me. He was not aware that he ran into me. I could feel his little arms pumping as he continued to run not realizing that he wasn't going anywhere. He was just running into me. It was a good thing the it was me because if I had been a tree he would have probably been knocked out he hit me so hard. I had to pick him up and carry him a little bit because he was in a mindless state of pure blind terror. It was hilarious.

i cringe

when somebody cracks their fingers or toes.

I fly into a rage if I see an adult do it to a child (even while clowning around).

When I was a kid my Papa Brennan would hold us down and bite us and pinch us and crack our fingers and toes (not to mention doing a few other unmentionable things). He would be laughing crazily (he was an alcoholic) while he held us down and tortured us. I can't count the times we would leave the house in tears because he wouldn't stop. He was not playing either. He was just deliberately inflicting pain.

I can remember him holding me down and covering my nose and mouth with his mouth and breathing his foul smelling beer breath down my throat until I passed out. He was an awful man. That is until I got older.

When I was 19 I got into trouble with the law. He was the only member of the family that was civil to me at the time. (he and my Aunt Mary) Everybody else was too upset about me spoiling the family reputation. When I thought my world would end, he assurred me that everything was going to be OK. He told me that I was a good kid that just messed up(that was true) and he would give me a few bucks when he saw me and take me to dinner and just generally act like a papa should.

See there is a happy ending.

Reoccurring Childhood Nightmare

I had this nightmare over and over when I was a kid. It was how I learned to lucid dream. (I didn't know there was a word for it then) It always started out in my Pepaw Brennan's house.

My whole family would be leaving from visiting my grandparents and aunts and uncles. We were in a car gong down the mountain when we reached a fork in the road. My dad would decide to turn around by backing into a garage in the forks of the road. Once he backed in there a concrete door would slam down and trap us in the garage. It was pitch black.

We would be in there until my whole family starved to death. Usually around this point I would wake up. If I stayed asleep I would find a door in the back corner of the garage but I couldn't get it to open. This was another point that would wake me up. I would open the door and start to go down some creepy concrete cobwebby stairs that were barely lit up. The stairs were steep and there was another door at the bottom. I would wake up at that door too. Finally I got the nerve to open that door and there was a room full of vampires and witches and mummys and werewolves and all the other scary creatures of my childhood. I woke up at this point for years.

When I gathered the courage to race through that throng of screaming, grabbing monsters I finally made it to the front door and ran out of our green house. There, sitting by the road was a police car with it's lights flashing. I never had the dream again.

My parents spent many sleepless nights because I would sleepwalk. One night my dad caught me when I raced out of the house right before I ran into the road! I have often wondered if that is the dream that I was having when that happenned. I don't remember because I was sleepwalking. Although I have on occasion been sleepwalking and remembered it. It is fun to lucid dream (dreaming while being aware you are in a dream), but lucid sleepwalking is a whole new level.

The Foot

I live in terror to this day of disembodied body parts.

One of my earliest nightmares was about a foot. It followed me all over the house everywhere I went. I was climbing over furniture and runing from room to room to find my parents but I couldn't get away from that awful foot. I can still hear my heart beating in my ears as it inexorably came closer and closer until I was finally cornered in my bed and I didn't have anywhere else to go. Never mind that it followed me at that same slow, steady pace (like the mummy in the old horror movies). It was just there stomping with each step as it came to get me.

I was only around 3 or so when I had that dream. Strange how it can bother me even today.

The Perils of Long Hair

When I was in junior high school we were in the Smokey Mountains for a family vacation. We were at a go-cart track in Pigeon Forge which is a tourist town at the base of the hills. My Brother, Billy, and my sister, Rhonda, and I were having a ball driving around the go-cart track at full speed like we did everything when we were kids. We didn't know what slow meant on anything!

I had used up my time and was sitting in the van with my mom and dad watching Billy and Rhonda go around the track when my sister wrecked. I remember seeing the whole thing and sitting there frozen in place even though I wanted to help her. One second she was flying around the track and the next she was spinning in circles (not rolling thank God!). and she was lying on her back on the go-cart. When it finished spinning she did not get up. My parents raced out of the van to her and I sat there frozen - just watching people keep driving around the track and thinking someone was going to hit her.

The employees at the track finally got everybody to stop while people rushed to help my sister. She still did not get up - she couldn't. Her waist length, long brown hair had tangled around the driveshaft of the engine. Her hair had been blowing in the wind (this was in the 70's and nobody wore helmets) and caught in the engine. It had wrapped completely around the driveshaft up to her scalp and she was wedged against the hot engine and it was burning her scalp. It took less than a second for this to happen. One second full speed, next second stopped.

People were hollering for scissors to cut her hair to free her but nobody had scissors. To free her a mechanic had to take the whole engine apart to get to the driveshaft to untangle her hair. It seemed to take forever.The whole time Rhonda was laying there screaming for them not to cut her hair. They offerred to call an ambulance for Rhonda but my dad rushed her to the hospital. For some reason when he was carrying her into the emergency room (she was 12 years old) I remember thinking, "He really does love her afterall."

Rhonda had whiplash from the wreck (something my parents said didn't exist), she had headaches and neckaches for years after that. The force of her hair pulling into the engine had caused her scalp to rip in several places. She had stitches. Worse of all for her they had to cut a big patch of hair out of the back of her head. (We both had long hair all of our lives and couldn't imagine having short hair) For months she wore a scarf or bandana to cover the bald spot which made it appear that she had hair to her butt like she always did.

When we got back home she was the first girl drafted into Little League in our county. (Probably the whole state for all I know) I remember sitting in the bleachers hearing people at her first game asking if that was a girl out there - like they couldn't tell with her waistlength hair. Even with her baseball cap she still had to wear that bandana to cover the bald spot. My parents didn't even think about not letting her play because she was light years better than any girl around - and most of the boys for that matter.

The Last Time I Saw My Dad

My dad died 11/3/04. A few days after he died I was sleeping and I heard him call my name. I took off running to his bedroom just as I had a 100 times when I was taking care of him. Of course he wasn't there. I had heard him in my sleep many times and sometimes he was really calling me and sometimes I was just dreaming and he would be asleep or watching tv and he would just tell me to go back to bed. Still this particular time I felt that I had missed a chance to see him.

About a month after he died I was having one of those days when the tears would just not stop coming and I called in sick to work because I was grieving so bad. Once again I was sleeping. This time I heard my dad say, "If you want to see me one last time, turn and look now." I turned and there he was smiling at me. Then he turned away (in his wheelchair) and rolled away. I just stood there watching him as long as I could, until he faded away. I woke up. I have been fine ever since.

The Most Scary Experience of my Life

On Thong Bikinis

When I lived in West Palm they were having a big debate about making thong bikinis illegal. This was when the hotdog girls were selling hotdogs on the corner wearing nothing but thongs and pasties. (they may still be doing it, I have been gone for years now!)

Anyway I told my friend Carolyn that we could settle the debate in 5 minutes. "Let's go out and put on a thong and walk down the block! Thongs will be illegal before we get to the end of the Block!

Of course we didn't do it and they are still legal!

Tribute to my Aunt Robin

I used to idolize my Aunt Robin. She is my youngest aunt and she is only a year older than me. I wanted to be just like her. I was always thrilled when I was allowed to spend the night at her house. (My Granny Brennan's house) She was the youngest of my dad's brothers and sisters. As such she received all the tortures of the youngest child which she would promptly execute on me. I received so many whippings trying to do the same stuff to my brother and sister that the torture usually ended with me. She told the greatest scary stories of anybody that I ever met. Some of her jokes are still with me too.
note to Robin: remember the abortion song! I do.
The best times were spent on the flat. The flat was up the mountain behind the house and my aunts and uncles had spent alot of time organizing different areas for different things. There was a picnic area with a table and chairs made out of flat stones that resembled something out of the Flintstones. There was a separate area for pounding nuts. There was a jail (seems like I was in jail alot for some reason.) The best thing about the flat was the log.
The log was a giant fallen tree. We would play games on the log all day long, swinging from vines and climbing the smaller trees around it. When necessary the girls would use the bathroom at one end and the boys would use the other end. (It was a kid thing) We played school there and the greatest picnics in the world were held on that log. It was great fun.
My aunt was not pleased with her tribute. She says she hopes she wasn't such a horrible aunt. Why can't people accept that most of us weren't angels when we were young - myself included

Arnie the Tomcat

We had a tomcat named Arnie when we were growing up. He was named after my dad. When he was just a kitten we started putting him in a baby carriage on his back (just like a baby) and covering him up to his chin and putting a pacifier in his mouth. He would lay there for hours sucking on the pacifier.

As he got older he would still lay there and suck the pacifier but he didn't want us to touch his baby carriage anymore. He used to love to tease him by touching his bed and he would slash us with his claws whenever we did this. We would try to get out of his way but he was too fast for us. Consequently all 3 of us had scratches on our hands and forearms from Arnie.

We had put the baby carriage up at some point and one day I found it in the garage. I set it up and found Arnie and you should have seen his eyes when he saw his baby carriage again. INSTANT RECOGNITION! He crawled in and I covered him up and put the pacifier in his mouth. He laid there all day long. He was happy.

"Here Comes the Skipper"

I guess I got my disdain for authority figures from my dad. He used to serve on the USS Oriskany. He loved to tell this story.

His best friends name was Lipscomb. One day my dad strode on deck and blew the whistle and stood at full attention and announced, "Attention on deck, here comes the skipper." At which time everyone on deck came to attention.

Then along comes Lipscomb skipping across the deck!

Daddy said he got some kind of demotion because of this little prank. He always laughed whenever he told the story. He thought it was hilarious.

July 1981 (part 1)

One day I was playing chess with my brother and I beat him. This was a once in a lifetime occurrance and since he was a chessmaster, he was furious. So furious, in fact, that he threatened to kill me. This was not the usual brother, sister kind of threat. I could see in his eyes and hear in his voice that he was serious. I went to my mom.

My mom went to my dad. He exploded. He said I was only trying to cause trouble in the house and he kicked me out! It was one of the ugliest situations that I have ever been in during my life and I am not going into detail about it. Needless to say my life changed overnight.

I went from being a princess to supporting myself with a job at Burger Chef (I had worked there for a summer before college). I got an apartment and I was doing fine. I went to sign up for college and I found out that I couldn't get financial aid because my parents made too much money - even though I didn't live with them anymore. I was going to have to live on my own for a year before I could get the financial aid I needed.

A Barrel On Four Legs

I have found homes for alot of greyhounds. I always told people if they had any problem to call me and some of them have. You never know what will happen in someones life and they may not be able to keep a dog any longer. (i.e. people move or get sick or have a kid that is allergic) So I would just go get the dog and find it another home.

One day I got a phone call from a lady and she told me that something was wrong with Rachael. Rachael was a greyhound that I had given her. I asked her what was going on and she told me that Rachael was not eating. I asked how long this had been going on and she told me about a month.

I almost had a heart attack! A greyhound that hasn't eaten in 3 days is ready to go to the vet for an IV. I had a picture in my mind of an enormously emaciated creature on the verge of death. I raced to her house without asking any more questions.

When I walk into her backyard I see absolutely the fattest greyhound I have ever see. She was so fat that she looked like a barrel sitting on stilts! She was running around the yard playing with her friend the plotthound. (a plot hound looks like a giant greyhound sized beagle) I ask the woman what did she mean when she said that the dog was not eating. If anything the dog was getting fed entirely too much. I asked her to describe exactly what the dog's routine was.

She said that the dog would go to the food bowl and nibble a few bites and leave, but she did this continuously all day long. Every time the dog would leave the bowl the woman would refill the bowl to the brim thinking this would entice the dog to come back and eat some more. This went on all day long. I started to laugh (mostly with relief). I assurred her that the dog was indeed healthy. I told her to take a few days and only refill the bowl of food once a day, that way we would know exactly how much the dog was eating.

I petted Rachael and left and I called the woman a few days later. It turns out that Rachael was eating 1 1/2 to 2 bowls of food a day. (It was a large bowl too) Everything was fine.

No Hunting

When I had my 100 acres, I didn't allow hunting except for a select few people. It was actually an animal paradise and I wanted to keep it that way. One day I had the priviledge of watching a 16 point and an 18 point buck do battle in my front yard for about 45 minutes over a doe that was grazing nearby. As she meandered along, just grazing here and there they followed her with their horns locked practically the whole way. I learned after living there for awhile that they were actually buddies that hung out together. You know how it is though once a woman becomes involved.

The hunters would tear down my "no hunting "signs, so I started to stencil "no hunting" on the trees and telephone poles. I also went deep into the woods and I spray painted big blotches of orange paint on the trees so that a hunter would have to investigate before he could take a shot. (my theory was that he would have to look twice to make sure that a hunter wasn't in the way of his shot) I also tore the steps out of tree stands so that hunters couldn't climb to their vantage points. My favorite thing to do and the most effective is that I would go out right at daybreak and I would race all over the 100 acres blowing my car horn and blinking my lights. I saw whole herds of deer run away when I did this. I also saw more than one hunter cussing me in my rearview mirror!

For every respectful hunter there is an asshole that just wants to go out and get drunk and shoot anything that moves. My biggest fear is that someone would mistake one of my greyhounds for a deer and shoot it. (they do look similiar afterall) Once I found a dead deer and the only thing the hunter bothered to take with him was one hind leg. What a waste! If you are going to go to the trouble of killing it - at least eat it! My neighbor complained to me once that someone had actually shot into the side of his house. I told him the only thing that I could tell him to do was to call the police because nobody had permission to hunt there anyway. We all know what good that would do.

Anyway I adored my 100 acres and I wish I was still there.

I am the most powerful woman on earth

I am Mrs. Claus

Remember, if Mrs. Claus ain't happy

ain't nobody goin' to be happy!

When I first moved to West Palm Beach

we lived in one of those apartment complexes with a pool and laundry facilities and a million kids running around. The only way to tell if it is Christmas in Florida is to decorate, so for the first time in my life I put a tree up on Thanksgiving Day. Apparently that was quite a novelty because soon after I put it up, all the kids in the neighborhood started knocking on my door a hundred times a day wanting to see my tree.

I soon tired of this, especially since in my line of work afternoon naps were a necessity. So I made a deal with them. I told them that if they would all come at the same time everyday (5 o'clock) then I would let them in. To make it extra special I put candy canes on the tree everyday and let each of them have one.

This worked. Every day at 5 0'clock on the dot there would be a knock on my door. A perfect line of children would come in my house and ooohhh and aaahhh over the tree. They would each take a candy cane and then they would go home. This went on until Christmas.

It was fun.

Psycho Kitty

Psycho Kitty was the coolest cat I ever had! When I lived on my hundred acres he followed me around like a dog. It didn't matter where I was he was behind me. One thing he liked to do was ride down the hill on top of my car. When I would get to the bottom of the hill, I would stop and he would jump off. One day he wouldn't jump off.

I finally got out of my car and put him down and I got back into the car and took off. When I got to the first curve in the road which was very sharp I heard a scratching noise on the roof! I knew immediately what it was. Psycho Kitty had jumped back on top of the car when I wasn't looking! I veered off the road and as soon as I stopped Psycho Kitty took off into the woods.

I stood there calling "Psycho Kitty, come back to momma! Psycho Kitty Please!" As soon as he heard my voice he came flying back to me and jumped into my arms. I was so relieved to see that he wasn't hurt. He was scared out of his mind though. I took him back home. Never again did Psycho Kitty ride on top of my car.

IN Honor Of Ellie

We had a 6 month old St. Bernard once for 3 days. At the same time we had a dalmation that had a litter of puppies and another dalmation that we rescued that had a litter of puppies. In all we had 13 dalmations. They looked pretty special running around.

Anyway the St. Bernards name was Ellie.(short for elliephant!). My dad gave her away because everybody in the neighborhood was scared of her. Poor Wimpy pulled a knife on her. (he was really old!) I took her for a walk and she got away from me and ran through the store next door knocking stuff off the shelves all over the place. The last straw was when she decided to lay down in the middle of the road stopping traffic in both directions. This cause someone to hit one of our puppies with a car and since my dad was the 3rd. car in line he loaded her up (in spite of our tears) and gave her away to a man that owed a gasstation (he said)

It was 3 days of fun for us kids that none of us ever forgot

There is only grief

My brother has finally been found guilty of the murder of my sister-in-law. I have never pretended that he was innocent from the second that I heard about it. In fact I had waited on him to kill somebody from the time that I was nineteen. I know that this ordeal is not over. He will use every appeal known to man. More than likely he will not receive life and when he comes out of prison he will have years of wanting revenge against those who did not support him during the trial stored up inside him.

There is no joy with the verdict. I am not happy for my brother, me, my niece or nephew or even Lisa's family. An old wound is hurting and it probably has alot to do with my ill health of the past few weeks. Most of my hospitilizations seem to coincide with his trial dates. My family doesn't understand this effect on me. Even those who try to be compassionate come across as merely wanting to gossip. They just treat me as being stubborn for not wanting to discuss the situation with them.

I don't want to hear from those who think that this is a victory. I don't want to hear from those who think this is a travesty of justice. I just want to be left alone to deal with this in my own way.

the Year I ruined Christmas

When I was eleven years old I was a master at sneaking downstairs and opening presents and putting them back so no one would ever know they had been touched. I caught my mom gone shopping one day and openned every present that I had under the tree. I knew there would be more on Christmas day so it was no big deal.

Christmas day came and we went downstairs and I looked around the room and the only presents were the ones under the tree. They weren't scattered around the room like they usually were on Christmas morning. I did not have even one surprise. Even worse I had to open my gifts in front of my parents and feign surprise with each one.

Don't get me wrong. I had plenty of presents that day. I had a very good Christmas, it was just that I already knew everything that I had already. It was a lesson that I never forgot and I have never tried to find out early what a present was even to this day!


Why was Santa so mean to Rudolph anyway?

I love a good scareIV

I lived in a haunted house once. In fact I often wonder if it caused my divorce. I was happily married until the day I left. That is when my ex went bonkers and spent 3 days trying to kill me. This all started on Friday the 13th. which until that day I had never given any particular significance to.

Soon after moving into this house I started to have strange, violent dreams about a baby being slammed into the bedroom wall. I would also wake up thinking that someone was in the room with me and even be too scared to look. Sometimes I would look up and see a shadowy, filmy presence in the doorway. I would hear strange pounding music at night. One time it became so loud that I shouted for it to pipe down - and it did. The strangest thing I saw was a remote control car we had would start up and drive down the hall by itself. It would even turn the corner and not wreck when it did it. I took the batteries out of it and it still did it.

I had moved into this house after a friend of mine had moved out of it. About 2 weeks after I moved in she came to visit and I asked her why she didn't tell me the house was haunted. Her reaction told me that she knew exactly what I was talking about even before she answered me. We compared notes and we had experienced exactly the same things. She also told me that she had talked to the woman who had lived there before her and she had the same stuff happen to her. In all three cases the men of the house did not notice anything going on.

We each had a different circle of friends. When we checked the history of the house here is what we found out. At the turn of the century there was a church there. It was not a traditional church. It was a combination of christianity and some sort of Seminole Indian religion. (I'm sorry the name of it escapes me right now). Also there was a man who lived there in the 30's. He was a mean alcoholic and very abusive to his wife and many children.

I had to leave my husband after 12 years of a very happy, prosperous marriage because he freaked out one night and started to beat and try to kill me. I ended up having to call the police. I left the house the next morning and I tried to talk to him several times over the next couple of days but he kept trying to kill me. (Strangle, knife, gun, beatings) I was dealing with a man whom I had never seen before. I ended up leaving for good because I couldn't trust him again.

I never had those dreams or experiences before or after leaving that house.

I love a good scareV

I have tried to recreate my Ouija board experience from my childhood several times with no success. The closest I ever came was I was with my 2 stepdaughters one time and we were doing the Ouija board. I started to ask for proof of the spirits existence and the board said that it would give us a sign in 10 minutes.

My stepdaughters and I sat there for 10 minutes wondering what would happen. Exactly when the second hand of the clock passed the 10 minute mark we heard a key in the door. This of course scared us silly. The front door openned and in walked their dad. He was home one hour early from work! None of us had any idea that he was coming home early. He wanted to suprise us. WELL HE SURE DID!


I adore Scrooge. If there is a version that I haven't watched or read, it is because I don't know that it exists. I guess it is the thought that anybody can find the Christmas spirit of giving which is what I love and adore about Christmas. The first year that I was married Bobby ruined my Christmas. He complained so much about all my preparations (which were mostly for his twin daughters) that by the time the big day came I was completely fed up! Ironically on the big day he had such a good time enjoying the wonderful Christmas which I had painstakingly planned that I postively hated him that day! I emphatically told him at the end of the day that if he ever ruined another Christmas for me that I would divorce him on the spot - and believe me he had no doubt that I meant it.

After that I can honestly say that he came to enjoy the Holiday as much as I and we shared many wonderful Christmases together. It became a running joke between us that I would call him Scrooge. I think it was our third Christmas together that I was in the mall one day and I went by one of those booths that print your name on Santa hats and such. I had one made for him that said "bah humbug". He wore it proudly every year after that and we many good times over many holidays. I miss those times, but I still seem to have a good Christmas every year.

I get so tired of people complaining and belly aching about the holiday. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I always have an excellent holiday and since my divorce I have definitely been at the lower end of the economic scale. It doesn't take money to have a good holiday. It doesn't take getting good gifts to have a good holiday. All it takes to have a good holiday is a good attitude and the ability to bask in all the glories of the season! There are wonderful things going on all around you, if you just take the time to look. (many of them are free too) Make up with somebody that you have had problems with, give your child an extra hug or go to a homeless shelter and help serve dinner. It will give you a whole new perspective.

Dunbar Critter Dinner

I decided to celebrate President's Day by doing something that I have wanted to do for years. I went to the Dunbar Critter Dinner. It is an annual dinner hosted by the nearby town of Dunbar. They had as assortment of exotic meats. I tried everything but the mountain oysters. (for those of you who don't know they are cow's balls or something like that!) Anyway I had ostrich, kangaroo, bear, bear chili, buffalo, bear barbeque(it was the best thing they had). I had some reindeer sausage (I felt a little guilty about that one) and even a frog leg. I passed on the various deer meats and alligator because I have had plenty of that in my life. The rabbit was good too. I didn't see any squirrel which was a disappointment. Also I expected to see quail and rattlesnake meat which they didn't have either.

It was fun and it was nice to do because I got to cross it off my list of things that I would like to do but never have. I have a lovely hunter's orange t-shirt to commemorate the day. I will wear it to work tonight. That is what sucks about today. I will be suffering before the night is over but I really wanted to go to that stupid dinner and I'll be glad that I did when I look back on it.

I can guarantee you

that nobody in my family tree ever died in the ice age!

We store fat as easily as a fish swims through water










Happy Birthday Dwayne... Where Ever You Are

I used to take care of a little boy named Dwayne. He was my nephew on my husband's side of the family. He was a pitiful little boy with a mother whom he should have been taken away from but the state kept trying to "save" the family. Dwayne was molested by just about every boyfriend that his mommy ever had. The first time that I met him he sat in my lap and immediately started rubbing himself against me. I was 19 at the time and I thought "Oh no, that wasn't what I thought it was." Unfortunately it was.

Once Bobby and I were married we started to keep Dwayne. At first it would just be for the night but it quickly turned into most of the month (until he started school). We kept him so much that Jeannie was giving us half her foodstamps. We took them because if we didn't she would just sell them for beer and they wouldn't have any food for the last week of the month. The child would actually starve for a week if we hadn't made sure that there were groceries in the house for him! We also bought his clothes, toys and other necessities and made sure that he went to the doctor and such.

I remember being at the flea market with him one time. He had fallen in love with a teddy bear which I was just pretending that I wasn't going to let him have. After looking through a few booths I gave him a quarter so that he could buy it with his own money. He scampered back to the teddy bear and bought it and he bragged for years that he bought it himself. He loved that bear. His mom didn't buy him alot even for his birthday or Christmas - he was lucky to get a coloring book and crayons from her. She was never without beer or cigarettes though!

Dwayne was on medication for being hyperactive. His mom would even give him extra doses when he was irritating her (which was any time he wasn't sitting on the couch). When he was with us he didn't need it. We took him to the park and played with him all the time. One time we were taking him on a trail after giving him an icecream. (I had to tire him out because I was taking him home that day). Usually he enjoyed going on those trails and he would race ahead of us. On this particular day we were about 100 yards up the trail and the ice cream hadn't "kicked in" yet. He stopped and looked at me and asked "How many more miles are we going to walk anyway!". So we rested for awhile until he started running and whooping and hollering all over the mountain.

I couldn't contact Bobby's family after the divorce and I lost touch with Dwayne. The last I heard he was on his way to prison for robbing the store next to his house. There was no surprise in that news unfortunately. He spent his teen years in and out of juvenile detention facilities. I tried to make a difference in his life but in the end the negative influences in his life were just too much. It's sad.

Anyway Dwayne's birthday is groundhog's day. So Happy Birthday Dwayne.

Diagnosis: Amputation

As I was lying in the ER the other night, I kept hearing the woman in the cubicle next to me talk about her husband. She had pneumonia because he wouldn't turn the heat on. He wouldn't let her buy the food she needed to eat and she was a diabetic. The list went on and on.

I didn't know if I wanted to smack her or him more. Him for treating her that way or her for allowing it. I wanted to get up and scream at her (he did not come with her to the emergency room) and tell her "We don't live in Medievel times anymore!"

When they took her to run some tests the nurse came in my cubicle. I told her that the woman next to me had a bad case of "assholeitis". She got a shocked look for a second. I told her that "The best thing the doctors could do for her was to amputate her husband!" She started laughing and she said that she had been listening to the woman talk about her husband also. She said " It's hard to believe that women still live like that in this day and time." I heartily agreed!

We've Come A Long Way Baby, But Not Nearly Far Enough!

Fun in the Park

When I was driving around the park yesterday I went up to the pond. Do you remember when the pond was drained and I took you guys up there and we played in the bottom of the pond. When you look at it now there is about 5 foot of the tower sticking up. Unless you have seen it when it is drained, you wouldn't know that the tower was about 40 feet tall. That means that the pond is about 30 to 35 foot deep. I had alot of fun that day and I think you guys did too.

I wanted to go on a trail yesterday, but of course I can't do that anymore. I had alot of good times on those trails. Bobby and I would cook out in the park at least 4 days a week when we first got married. Usually we would go on one of the trails before we left. I have been on every trail in the park (mostly the ones around the pond). I don't see where they have put anymore of them in since then.

One of the greatest days ever was when Mommy took us and dropped us off in the park one morning. You could do that kind of thing back then. We played in every inch of every creek in the park. (a couple of miles worth) I duplicated this with you guys when you were 7 or 8 and Arny was little. I didn't leave you guys though. Unfortunately the world is a different place now.

Thumbsuckers Unite

I would like to send out a message to all you thumbsuckers out there. Unfortunately most of you can't read yet. Anyway I remember the rage I used to feel when somebody would walk by and tell me to quit sucking my thumb or worse yet have the nerve to grab my hand and jerk my thumb out of my mouth! It made me more determined to suck away!

By the time I went into the first grade I could stick my tongue out while clenching my teeth together. A skill all my friends thought was really cool. (they didn't know I sucked my thumb because of course I didn't do it at school). Then of course my baby teeth fell out and all my permanent teeth came in beautifully. I never wore braces!

So to all you rude people stressing because your children are sucking their thumbs and trying all kinds of silly methods to stop it (like putting bad tasting stuff on the thumb - it doesn't work because it sucks off in a matter of minutes!). Don't worry about it. At least if they quit before their permanent teeth come in they should be fine. Actually I sucked my thumb in my sleep until I was around 10 years old.

My mom tells me that she asked me when I turned 5 when I was going to quit sucking my thumb. I told her when I started school. She left me alone. I stopped.

Mrs. Claus is exhausted

Here is how my Christmas went

1. I started selling Christmas Trees the day after Thanksgiving. I was doing OK (if you don't count my time - and I don't) until about 2 weeks before Christmas. It poured the rain everytime I had a day where I could sell trees and guess what - people don't buy trees in the rain. I ended up breaking even which is OK. I gave away a couple of trees when it became obvious that I wasn't going to sell them all. The people couldn't afford them and they were grateful. That made me happy. I also got a couple of good meals out of it, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I don't count my time because I would have been sitting at home watching tv and working sudoku puzzles if I hadn't been selling christmas trees. Instead I sat in my truck and listened to christmas carols and worked sudoku puzzles all day. Not too much difference really.

2. My neighbor's german shepherd bit me on the knee. It's the first time I have ever been bit out of meanness. My feelings were hurt more than anything else. To add insult to injury I was giving them a Christmas tree when he bit me!

3. I finally got the phone call! One week before Christmas the housing people called. I have my new apartment. I have been moving (including Christmas day). Somehow I knew it would be timed this way - such is my life. I'll be better off in the long run though.

4. I went to see my mom the Sunday before Christmas. She bought hot dogs from my favorite restaurant (my request) Delicious! She seemed irritated that I wasn't coming for christmas but I knew I was going to have to be moving that day. I have to be out by the 1st.

5. I went to my Uncle Gerald's and Aunt Patty's house for Christmas Dinner. (they live 15 minutes away as opposed to over an hour to my mom's house) Dinner was delectable. (My cousin Tim is a chef - every morsel of food that he cooks is like putting a bite of heaven in your mouth!) They sent me home with plenty of leftovers and probably a months supply of venison yummy!

6. My friend Kelly spent yesterday moving my heavy stuff. I helped as much as possible. By the end of the day I truely thought I was going to die.I am still very tired today but I have to go to work for a few hours this evening. Then I am off until Wednesday. That will give me time to clean my old apartment and get the last few bags and boxes of odds and ends out of there.

7. I did not have to pay a pet deposit. Dr. Harrah wrote me a prescription saying that my Fatty Catty was a companion animal. That saved me $300!


Florida in the Winter

The first year that I lived in Florida I make sure that I went swimming on all those days that you couldn't growing up in West Virginia. Days like Christmas and New Years and maybe February 3rd. just because it was February 3rd. and I could. It didn't matter how cold it was - usually not very! In fact living in West Palm during the winter is like living in West Virginia in May.

You wouldn't believe how many people send their kids to the pool without supervision. Bobby and I saved a total of 3 kids while we lived at one place with a pool. One little girl in particular was not even 2 years old. I just happenned to be getting out of the pool (walking up the steps) when I looked down and saw her floating face up about 2 inches under water. She was so little that she didn't even know she was drowning. She was just floating there looking up. I got her out of the pool and started working on her (she was gasping for air) when her mother started hollering at her from the other end of the pool with her friends to leave me alone an get down there. I had to inform her that her daughter had almost drowned and that she needed to come to us.

Another time I was lying in the sun and I wasn't even aware that anybody had even gotten in the pool. I heard a gurgle. Then I heard another gurgleing sound. When I heard the 3rd. gurgle I realized that somebody was drowning and I dove in and pulled a girl out who was around 10 years old in the deep end. She was drowning!

One time I went to the beach and I found a work boot that had floated on shore while I was there. It had the toe bitten out of it! There were alot of boat people floating in from Cuba at that time. I left because I figured that a shark had eaten somebody and I didn't want to see what else floated up.

The funniest thing that ever happenned at the beach was my 12 year old nephew had come down from West Virginia and we took him to the beach for the first time. He was so scared that he wouldn't even let the foam from the waves touch his toes. Anyway a fat old man wearing a thong walked by and believe me he had no business wearing such a thing! Dwayne laid down in the sand laughing so hard he was hysterical and pointing at the man. I desperately tried to no avail to stop him from such a public display of mirth because I was afraid the man would hurt us (even though he deserved the laughter). Anyway the man walked past us at first but then he turned around and started back toward us. It was obvious that he was pissed! I desperately tried to shut Dwayne up (the child had never seen anything like it). I was gratedful when the man got about 15 feet from us and I guess he had to see how desperately I was trying to control the situation because he turned around! I was relieved beyond words.


I did not have an eventful year. I guess my favorite thing is the improvement in my health. A couple of weeks ago I cut my medicine in half. I went to the dr. the other day and I am awaiting blood test results to see if he agrees with my decision. I am proud to say that my cholesterol is now 187. That is well below the minimum acceptable level of 200.

I also improved enough to get an apartment by myself. I quit renting rooms from people. That was a rollercoaster ride in itself. I am waiting approval from HUD about getting rental assistance for my apartment. Social Security gave me a raise at the first of the year. I get $741 an month now. After I pay my rent, car payment and insurance that leaves me $9 to live on each month.

I am thankful for my job at Fruth. Most places would have fired me for the way I work but they give me every concession that I need. Actually that silly little job keeps me alive. If it weren't for that job I would probably be dead. It gives me a reason to get out of bed (so does this blog for that matter).

I like my routine. If I don't work (3 evenings a week usually) then I go to the library or swimming in the summer. I can't wait for summer.

I fed a deer a hotdog

I fed a deer a hotdog today. Actually I fed her 2 hotdogs - one with chili and one with chili and slaw. Of course I hesitated before I did it because:

1. I was afraid that it would hurt her

2. deer don't eat meat (WRONG !)

3. they were my last 2 hotdogs from Mecca and I won't be going back to Logan for awhile.

I went to the park because it was my last tank of free gas and I have a lifetime of happy memories at that park. I was driving around when I saw the deer and I went by because I didn't want to disturb her. As I was driving past her again I decided to pull over because I know alot of the deer in Chief Logan State Park are quite tame. It was obvious that me pulling over did not bother her in the least, so I rolled down my window.

She started sniffing the air immediately and made her way to my car. I looked around for something to feed her but the only thing I had were my last 2 Mecca hotdogs. It was obvious that she wanted something to eat so I pinched off the end of one of the buns and reached out to her. She took it right out of my hand. I unwrapped the rest of the hotdog, held it out; she grabbed it and wolfed it down. I figured the damage was done so I gave her the last slaw dog. It was quite comical to see her scarf it down like some man inhaling his food after the big game.She wanted more but that's all I had, so I sat and watched her graze for awhile and I left for home.

I Am Mrs. Claus

I have been playing the role of Mrs. Claus for several years at work now. I have several Santa hats and I always wear Christmasy colors. This year I even have a pink santa hat that goes with all of my pink clothes! To top it off my name tag even says "Mrs. Claus" (thanks to Shane by the way who designed a beautiful name tag for me this year)

Several times this year I have looked up to see small children beaming at me. They are usually around 4 or 5 years old and they do not know me. I just happen to look up and I see a little face with eyes glowing and a smile beaming at me. Last night a little girl walked up while I was helping a customer and proceeded to tell me what she wanted for Christmas and about her early birthday presents (turns out her birthday is on the 22nd.) Happily the customer I was helping waited until this little girl was finished talking to me to get what she needed.

It is a pretty special feeling when strange children look at you this way. A few come up and ask me if I am really Mrs. Claus. I always point out to them that it is illegal for me to wear a name tag that has someone else's name one it. This seals the deal for them. I ask them if they want me to deliver a message to Santa for them, and they always do.

My friend Gletta is one of those people who don't believe in telling kids there is a Santa Claus. Last year her little granddaughter was in the store and started to make fun of me and yelling that there was "no such thing as Santa Claus". I of course objected. Gletta actually told her granddaughter that if there was anybody in the world who really believed in Santa Claus then it was me.


The Best Fruitcake ever

one year my mom made homemade fruitcakes. a proper fruitcake recipe calls for the cake to be soaked in rum or whiskey for about 6 weeks. she took the cakes and gave them to my grannies on christmas eve. they bragged on them profusely.

the next day my granny brennan calls and chews my mom's ass out because she was a christian woman and did not drink. of course my mom apologized. it was a legitimate mistake and she just didn't think about it.

mommy then called her mom and apologized for the fruitcake. granny told her that it was alright and she understood. she also confessed that it was the best fruitcake she ever ate!

Me and my Big Ideas

Me and My big ideas! On this the last day of my vacation I had to go get more free gas. So I get the gas and decide that this will be my last chance to get some Mecca hotdogs. While waiting on my hotdogs I decide to go up to the Blair Mountain firetower. My truck made it up the hill without too much problem and I was glad because there was nowhere to turn around and I sure didn't want to back down the mountain on a barely passable road in the ice and snow on top of very lose dirt with plenty of ditches to slide into.

I found the turnoff to the firetower and it was too steep to take my truck up so I parked. I grabbed my video camera and started walking. Walking very slowly because I am not supposed to go hiking up mountain trails with my heart. It was only about 100 yards and it was not very steep. I had to take breaks every 20 feet or so, but I made it to where the firetower used to be. I had been told it was gone a couple of years ago but I still wanted to see for myself. The cabins had been razed and there was no sign of the firetower. Even the picnic tables were gone from the picnic area as was the sign marking the area as one of historical significance. (The Battle of Blair Mountain was fought here.)

If I could have gone to the top of the firetower I could have videotaped the damage done by mountain top mining in the area. Which is why the tower was taken down by the way. When they take out the top of the mountain they are very careful to make sure everything looks as normal as possible from the road. Actually they take the whole mountain - not just the top. I have videotape from the late nineties from the firetower. I took it when I was looking for a comet ( I think it was Kouhoutek, but I'm not sure). I wanted to compare the two videos. I could see some damage but it was nothing outrageous. I am sure that it would have been another world if the firetower had been there.

I was up there a couple of hours enjoying the scenery and remembering good times that I had there in the past. The last time I was up there they found a woman who had been murdered a few days before. Her body was probably there when I was there. That is why I never went back. Also my health made it impossible for a couple of years too. I am proud of myself even though I had to take frequent breaks to walk to the top of the mountain. It makes me proud of myself that I even did it!

I Miss Fruitcake

i used to get irritated every year in my christmas frenzy because i would have to find fruitcake for my dad. (he loved it)

now i see fruitcake in the store and i wish i had a reason to buy it.

i miss fruitcake.

That Cat!

One year I had a cat that knocked down the Christmas Tree 3 times. The third time I did not redecorate it! I just stood it up and left it that way until the day after Christmas.

Other than that it was an excellent Christmas! That was the year that my foot was run over by a truck and I spent 9 months in bed. My husband had to do all the major holidays for us while I just laid back and watched. He did a very good job and that is the year that I learned that he actually enjoyed the holidays. I had finally rubbed off on "Scroogie".

I called him "Scroogie" because the first year we were married he complained so much about my preparations for Christmas that the next year I threatened to divorce him(and I meant it) if he ruined another Christmas for me. I even had a Santa hat made for him that said "Baa Humbug" on it which he proudly wore!
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The Wreath






I Won! I Won!

I won! I won! I won 15 gallons of gas for 4 weeks in the month of January!

Yesterday I was watching the early morning news and they announced that a gas station in my home town was having a drawing for free gas (I thought for a year!) at 5:45 that evening. I immediately just knew that if I could get to Logan (I live in Charleston) that I would win! So I called a friend of mine who had been wanting to see Logan and invited her to come along with me. This time of year is especially beautiful down there because people go all out with their Christmas lights and Christmas in the Park is one of the best displays in the state. So we load up about 2 o'clock and take off to Logan yakking the whole way. We got to Chapmanville in plenty of time to register and they said we didn't have to be present to win.

So we took off on our grand tour of Logan including Mecca Drive - which is one of those restaurants that you pull up to and they come out to take your order and serve you. You know a throw back from the 50's that you don't see anymore. (There are even some cobwebs there from the 50's probably). We ordered some good ole Logan County hotdogs which were 6 for $4.49 with chili, slaw and the works! Kathy agreed she had never had a hotdog so good.

After that it was just getting dark and we started toward the park tuning in the radio along the way. The announcer came on and said "Now it's time to announce the winner of the free gas giveaway from Town & Country Market. The winner is Pam Jeffrey from Logan, W.V. " We both screamed at the same time and started laughing like crazy! Kathy said, " I can't believe it, I put my name in right next to yours! You lucky dog, you always win!" (This makes the 4th. radio contest that I have won in my life). I immediately whipped the car around and drove to my mom's house, because I had put my name and used her address and phone number since I actually live in Charleston and I don't have a phone.

I get to my mom's and knock on the door and go in chattering excitedly, telling her that I had won and I needed to call Town and Country to claim my prize. While I was looking for the number in the phone book, they called me and informed me that I had won 15 gallons of gas a week for 4 weeks in January and of course "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!"

In the Midst of all that Cheer

actually went:

1. I had a heart test called a TEE. They take a camera and shove it down your throat without benefit of anesthesia. I will never have it again and I fully intend to fire my doctor for such a barbaric procedure (I was told I would be under anesthesia). Anyway the right side of my heart is getting bigger which accounts for the fact that I am getting weaker.

2. My nephew stood me up for the Christmas Evening that I had planned for us, and then callously told me it was my fault (while begging me not to be mad)

3. The gossip about my Niece leaving her child to be raised by her significant other's mother is true. The good thing is that she acknowledges that Kendall is better off and so does the evidence otherwise.

4. On the day that I won the gasoline. I was accosted by a man when I was going from my car to my house. I was loud enough and forceful enough that thankfully a male neighbor heard what was going on and interceded. I was about one decibil from bloodcurdling screams and I was ready to jerk a wiseman out of the ground and start wailing on the man's head when my hero intervened. I was not harmed but it scared me terribly. (maybe that is why I have been on so much oxygen this week!)

5. 80% of the time when you wish someone a "Merry Christmas" you get a speech about how you aren't supposed to wish anybody a "Merry Christmas" anymore. The people who like it rant the most making it a highly unpleasant experience. I had to take a break several times from my well intentioned wishes!

6. I spent Christmas Day with my Mom. She was in a bad mood from the time I hit the door and did not miss a chance to criticize me.

On the plus side I will remember this Christmas as the one that I won free gas and I spent it with family. I discovered the movie "Life is Beautiful". It reminds me of my life with my ex right up until they leave for the concentration camp. I fully intend to buy a copy!

I can't wait to do it again next year.

Not Again

I went back in the hospital again last week. This may be the closest I have come to dying since the first time I went in. I was in A-Fib (I am still researching exactly what that means). On the one hand they kept telling me that it wasn't serious, but on the other hand they took an awful lot of life saving measures with me and they wouldn't let me out of sight of a nurse even when I had to go take tests. ( They usually just let an orderly take you down)

Actually I was feeling quite well (I thought) by about 9:30 in the morning. I went in around 7:30 a.m. (which tells you how fast they went to work on me). Then they gave me some new medicine and it caused my blood pressure to bottom out and there were about 5 people hanging out working on me. I can't remember what they were doing though. When I woke up around 3p.m. they told me that they would be keeping me. So I stayed overnight.

The next evening a new doctor came in to see me. We were both very surprised to see each other because I wait on him at Fruth all the time. He wanted to keep me but I told him that he has seen me much worse at Fruth than I felt then and I was working to boot. He knew this was true because he has seen me on some really bad days at work. So he agreed to let me go home.

I recovered quickly this time. Unfortunately I am on 2 more new medicines now plus all the old ones. Usually it takes me about 3 days of lying in bed to feel better after one of these episodes. Maybe this new medicine is doing the trick and maybe since the doctor knows me personally he will try to get to the bottom of things instead of letting me twist in the wind.

They took my crutch

My doctor has decided to take my daytime oxygen away. Actually he hasn't decided to do it the medicare system has. I have to admit that I rarely use it anymore, but I do know that when I need it, I need it NOW! I can think of several times that I would have ended up in the hospital in the last 6 months if I didn't have my oxygen with me.

I have no choice but to find out now if I can do without it. I hope so.

2 and a 1/2 years ago I wouldn't have given a snowball's chance in hell for me to be alive right now. Although my doctors didn't quite put it in those words I knew they felt the same way. My mother was extremely vocal (and cruel) about my chances of living. (she knows no other way to express her love than to do it in a tough love kind of way). I have made a lot of changes in my life and I need to make a lot more of them. I have lost 11 pounds since the first of the year which is good. 100 more would be good progress but I will take them one pound at a time.

I have been on disability for the past 2 years. It has saved my life. All of my friends agree with me about that. I am in a program to work and hopefully go back to work full time. Everytime I do too much though it takes me about a month to recover. I applied for rehabilitation training but they refused because they said it is a waste of time with my heart condition.

I am just now recovering from my move at the first of the year. Monday they gave me a test to see if I could go without my oxygen. I did it. Unfortunately it has taken me the last 2 days to recover from the test. At least the painful part is over. Hopefully I will be weak for only a couple of weeks and then I will be able to pretend that I am normal again.

I like to pretend that I am normal. Just being able to do that is an improvement. The other day in the elevator while making small talk with a young man, he was kind enough to tell me I did not look 45 years old. A couple of years ago I looked like walking death and he would have averted his eyes when he saw me instead of being friendly like he was. So I am better. I just hope I am well enough to go without my oxygen.

I guess I should note that I will still have my machine at home. I will always be on oxygen at night they tell me. I just won't have portable tanks to take with me everywhere I go. I think this has gone on long enough. Bye

I Got Pulled Over

I was pulled over the other day. Nothing about it made sense. I was completely surprised when I saw the lights in my rearview mirror. I pulled over immediately and was cussing myself the whole time the officer was walking to my truck. He stayed so far back that I could barely see his face and he asked for my license and registration. I asked him what in the world had I done and he told me that I had run a stop sign. That a stop sign meant stop, not just barrel through it like it wasn't there. I told him I had not seen a stop sign and it was the first time that I had driven on that street. ( Which was the truth by the way)

I handed him my registration and he asked where I lived. I told him the street but I couldn't remember my address because I was pannicked. By this time there was another police car there. I have never been stopped with 2 cars before. After making sure about my address he told me that I could go. I said "huh". He said again that it was OK for me to go. I was completely relieved but I didn't understand because he didn't look at my license or insurance or run a computer check and I didn't even have my seatbelt on!

I apologized profusely for running a stop sign and I thanked God that I didn't get a ticket. Still the whole stop did not make sense - until I watched the news that night. There was a story about an old woman getting attacked in the Kroger Parking Lot and fighting off the assailant. The people in the partking lot started to blow their car horns which also helped to scare off the attacker. The attacker was a woman with long blonde hair. I have blonde hair that I was wearing in a ponytail and I was on my way back from Foodland with the back of my truck full of groceries. I guess he knew it wasn't me because I am disabled and my registration says so and I had an oxygen tank up front with me as well as 3 more in the back of my truck.

I had to go home and rest because any time that I get stressed like that my heart acts up and I get weak and sick and nauseous. Even if I don't think the stress is that bad it happens. Who knows one of these days a simple traffic stop might just kill me.