Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Hunger Prevention Project

One time while swimming with my nephew and his friend, Tyler, Sis hollered for us to come to lunch. I informed her that I would love to come and participate in her hunger prevention project. The boys thought this was hilarious.

That night when Tyler went home and his dad called him for dinner, Tyler told his dad he would "love" to participate in his "hunger PRESERVATION project". His dad, of course, wanted to know who in the world he had been talking to to say such a thing. (he was not surprised when Tyler told him it was me by the way)

When Tyler told me about it the next day, I informed him that there is a huge difference between a "hunger prevention project" and a "hunger preservation project."

I told him that nobody on earth wants to participate in a "hunger preservation project."

The Hills are Calling

I have never cared much about music - especially bluegrass and the nasal sounding Appalachian hymns that you used to always hear in church and the local radio stations around here. However when I moved to West Palm Beach I was usually so homesick that if I would even get a whiff of bluegrass in the air my eyes would lift to the hills automatically looking for home. Now that I have moved back home, I still have an appreciation for both forms of music. It means "home" to me.

One time I was getting in my truck at the local Winn Dixie when I was living in West Palm. Just as I was closing the door a man came running and screaming at me. (scaring me to death I might add) I was ready to to screeching out of the parking lot when I heard what he was yelling. "What part of West Virginia are you from?" "What part of West Virginia are you from!" I saw the desperately friendly smile on his face so I rolled my window down. (I recognized that smile as one of my own)

I told him I was from Logan and he proceeded to chatter on about where he was from. He told me he was sorry to scare me but he wanted to stop me before I pulled out when he saw the license plate on my truck. We had a wonderful conversation about being homesick and he told me he was living in Stuart. (just north of West Palm) He said, "there's lots of us down here, you know. We have a West Virginia reunion every year in Stuart and you just gotta come." I told him indeed I would come and I planned to be there but I never heard from him again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Last Time I Went to Bat...

... was a couple of years ago and I had not held a ball bat in years. "Of course that doesn't matter", I thought to myself. Boy was I wrong. I stood there waiting for the pitch. I swung my best powerhouse swing. I missed the ball. I kept spinning all the way around and I ended up on my ass on the ground. My brother could not contain his shouts of glee. I was however properly embarrassed!

It reminds me of the time in high school I decided to show my brother how high I could kick. I kicked so high that I flipped over backwards and landed flat on my back on the basement floor. He threw that one in my face for years as well.

"Who Spilled Chocolate in the Refrigerator?"

That is what brought on the worst whippin' of both my and my sister's childhood, unfortunately I can't say it was the worst whippin' of my brother's life! Somebody spilled some Hershey's chocolate syrup in the refrigerator. It was just a few drops, it wasn't even like it was a major oil spill or something, and they didn't clean it up.

I was in the sixth grade. That means my brother was in the 4th. grade and Rhonda was in the 3rd. grade. Mommy lined us up for the interrogation with no results. Then she told us she was going to give us one lick each (with a belt) and if that didn't work, then it would be two licks, three licks.....

This started the process. After each round she would ask us again, "who spilled chocolate in the refrigerator?" Each time we swore through our tears that we didn't do it. The whippin's went on and on until we were on the 14th round when my dad came home. Our screams were so loud that the neighbors down the road and even at the store asked us what in the world was going on at our house that night. The next day at school I made the mistake of wearing shorts. The teacher asked me about the bruises down to my knees, but I told her I wrecked on my bicycle. She dropped it.

Daddy took over after round 14. He said he would get the truth out of us, so he did rounds 15, 16, 17 and 18. Around round 16 I started to think I wasn't going to live through it. By round 17, I realized that if I didn't think I was going to live then my little brother and sister were surely going to die. So I confessed.

My parents apologized to Billy and Rhonda for whipping them for no reason and I had to endure round 18. Then I was sent to my room. I laid there crying that I hadn't done it and my dad heard me. So he went and got my mom and they decided that my brother had actually done it. So then he got another round.

I counted the licks. Rhonda got 153. Billy and I got 171. It turned out a few days later that my uncle stopped by and my parents were telling him about the whippin'. He told them he did it. He wasn't just saying it, he really did it. It turns out that none of us spilled the chocolate in the refrigerator. At least my mom has the good sense to be embarrassed about that whippin' now - she blames it entirely on my dad who wasn't even home for the first 14 rounds. That however does not excuse him for finishing the job.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This Weeks Dumb "Pam" Moment

A couple of days ago my oxygen dropped to dangerously low levels and I had to go to bed for the day. When this happens I know I should stay in bed but I start thinking about things I need to do and I do them - and then I seriously screw them up! (that is my "mad at myself face")

Here is my latest screw up

I needed to send a movie back to netflix. Eddie came by to check on me and I asked him to drop the movie in the mail for me. I gave him the wrong movie. I gave him a movie that was supposed to be returned to the library. I didn't realize it until the next day when I went to take the movie to the library and there was "Crazy Heart". (netflix movie)

I called netflix. She said they would try to return it but they hadn't received it. She told me they had copies of the movie and they would just send me a copy to return to the library. I told her that sounded great to me and I would check with the library. Unfortunately the librarian did not think it sounded so great. She did not want a Netflix movie because she said they didn't know how many times it had been watched. Only the libraries original copy would do. So I schlepped back to netflix (by phone). The woman told me she would try to get it back but perhaps they could just credit my account with $9.99 and I could use the money to offset the libraries replacement cost of $24.95.

By the way, the movie is "Lenny". The 1974 version of the Lenny Bruce Story. I wouldn't buy it in the discount bin for $2.00. I am currently waiting to see what Netflix will do - they are being most helpful.

It is a sucky prediciament of my own making and I am disgusted. I should have just kept the movie another day because I know when I am in that kind of shape that 9 times out of 10 I will screw up any thing I touch. Of course being resonable is NOT one of the symtoms of low O2 - quite the opposite in fact.

My Mom's "Grandma"

Today I went to visit my mom. Here is what she told me about her childhood.

She was raised on a farm in Sarah Ann, West Virginia. I already knew that. Here's what I didn't know. She mentioned her grandma, Betty Hatfield. I asked her who's mom it was because she has always told me that she didn't know who her grandparents were. It turns out that Betty Hatfield was not her actual grandmother. Betty Hatfield was a little, old, neighbor lady who lived on the farm next door.

She was too old to be left alone so that on Saturdays when her daughter Ocie Browning needed to go to the store she would call my Granny and ask if my mom (she was between 10 and 14 years old at the time) could come over and stay with her mom, Betty. Mommy loved Betty and would run the whole way to her house so they could spend the afternoon together. When Betty asked her, "Who's your grandma?" Mommy told her she didn't have a grandma. Betty told her, "Yes, you do. I'm your grandma."

Betty Hatfield was Devil Anse Hatfield's daughter. Devil Anse Hatfield was the leader of the Hatfield clan in the Hatfield and McCoy feud. Betty would tell mommy, " You musn't ever let anybody say anything bad about my daddy." (meaning Devil Anse) One day a show came on the television about the feud and Betty made her turn it off until the show was over. She wasn't mean about it, she just didn't want to hear anybody say anything bad about her daddy - which is understandable.

So that is the story of my mommy's grandma.

I am convinced...

...that I am alive today because whenever I hear a strange noise outside, I DO NOT GO OUTSIDE TO CHECK ON IT!

That's how everybody dies in horror movies, you know! What am I going to do if I find something? I don't particularly want to kill anything or anybody. So, I just don't check.

I'm not dead so it must be working.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010




When We Were Kids...

We used to ask for a nickle everytime we went to the store. A nickel would buy you some good candy back then. You could get 5 pieces of bubble gum or 5 pieces of penny candy. It would also buy you smaller candy bars like a Reese Cup or Mallo Cup and the greatest candy of all ... those Jolly Rancher sticks! I loved those things. Then they came out with Dippers (the candy stick you dip in Kool-Aid). Also I loved to compose entries for the Razzle's contest although I never sent one off because my mom said the 6 cent stamp was too much to waste.

We ran to the store a lot. I never walked anywhere in those days. Our green house (the one we lived in from the 1st. to the 5th. grade) was about a city block away from the store. Then we moved into our house (my parents built it in 1972). It was only 2 doors down from the store. The only thing between us and candy was the 7th. Day Adventist Church next door.

We made several trips a day to the store. A couple times to get my dad's Lucky Strikes (oh yes, kids could buy cigarettes back then - surely you wouldn't expect an adult to go all the way to the store just for a pack of cigs!) and then the endless trips to get whatever we needed from the store for my mom. If we would have been smart (and we weren't) we could have saved a lot of money up and got good stuff, but I preferred instant gratification back then just the same as I do now.

We waited for the school bus at that store, playing chase everyday until the bus came. One time I remember running full speed over the side of the embankment trying to get away from Ricky Irving. I landed solidly on my head that day. The signal for the game to end would be the lights from the school bus coming over the hill. The last one to base would be "it" the next morning.

We hunted for pop bottles in the ditch next to the store so we could get the nickel for turning them in. We thought nothing of wading barefooted through that sea of broken glass with the bees buzzing everywhere to get one filthy pop bottle! It was worth it for that nickle! One of the greatest days ever was the day we collected enough money for each of us to get one of those new 2 liter pops just for ourselves. (I think they were 29 cents or something like that) That was when the government was telling us that they were going to phase in the metric system whether we wanted it or not because that was what the rest of the world was doing. (sounds like now, huh?)

I got my first job at that store. I was 14. I would get up at 6 a.m. twice a week and sweep all the trash and gravel off the parking lot. I would get 2 or 3 dollars for the 2 hours it took me to do it. If I missed even a few gravels I would have to do it again or I wouldn't get paid.

Then, of course, later on - I robbed it. But that's another story.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Epitome of Stupidity


that was the insult that my sister, Rhonda, inadvertently hurled at my brother one day when they were fighting. He was around 10 and she was around 8.

We all hit the ground laughing, full of glee, and didn't let her live it down for years - maybe that's why she doesn't speak - she still has issues.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Here's the only review I pay attention to!!"

I was working at the worst job that I ever had - Pizza Hut! I was the only waitress and we were in the middle of a god awful lunch rush. In walks the "mystery man" from corporate to do my review. (of course I knew who he was!) I was trying to keep whole families happy and not screw up any orders and this ya - hew wants me to give him impeccable service! "NOT!"

I got to him when I could and I ignored him as much as humanly possible while still giving the paying customers the best possible service that I could give them. I basically slopped him his order and left him his check and went on my merry way. That night when I was ready to leave the manager called me into his office. "You have gotten me the worst review of my career! I know you do better work than this. What in the hell was wrong with you today?"

I smiled at him and I reached over and grabbed my tip card. I was the highest tip earner of the day by about double what anybody else had. (I made sure to report every penny that day. Usually I just made sure I came in second every day) I looked him in the eye and I said, "This is the only review that I pay attention to. I knew who that guy was from corporate and as far as I'm concerned I was so busy that he should have gotten off his lazy ass and started to help me with that lunch rush! Now do whatever you want to do to me!" Then I walked out. He never said another word to me about it.

Between a Rock and a Hardplace

One time I was doing a home visit for my job. I pulled up to a house and it looked like no one was home even though I had an appointment to be there. I went to the door and I knocked and waited. It was as I had thought, no one was there. I turned around to walk back down the stairs off the porch and a rather large hound dog appeared. He was growling and obviously not pleased that I was visiting his home.

I stopped dead in my tracks!

Just about the same time I froze in place, I heard another growl. This one was off to my left on the porch. I looked sideways (without turning my head) and there was another hound dog. He was just as upset with my presence as the first one. I now had 2 growling dogs on each side of me.

I was in a pickle!

As I stood there contemplating my course of action, the 2 dogs continued to growl. I slowly positioned myself so that I did not have my back to either one and decided to stare at the ground. I gathered my courage and started to ease down the stairs, one by one, never looking up at the dogs. I was sure at any second one of them was going to launch himself at my throat and then they both would proceed to maul me.

Fortunately this did not happen.

I kept my back to the bannister on the stairs as long as I could and then I slowly started to back myself to my car. When I finally made it to my car, I said a prayer of thanks to God. In all my years of working with dogs, that is the closest I ever came to being attacked!

I never went back to that house.