Dump Day with Mary Grace

We still drive our trash to the dump. Yeah, we could pay to have it picked up, but where’s the fun in that?

Dump day is always a big adventure for our Boxer, Mary Grace. The funniest thing is watching her get so excited.

She starts doing her wiggly dance, running back and forth between the door and the place where her collar and leash hang on the wall when she knows she’s going. She can hardly stand still long enough to put the halter on.

I wish the mundane was that exciting to me. Maybe I’m missing something here.

Do you get up and schlump through the day when there’s nothing particularly exciting going on, like I tend to do some days? (this sounds like an ad for fiber pills)

Mary Grace thinks everything every day is exciting. I should be more like her.

Maybe that’s why the Lord gave us dogs – to help us learn how to enjoy the little things in life. There’s proof they help lower your blood pressure. (I read that somewhere)

So, I’m going to take a tip from my dog and find fun in everything! No, I’m not going to ride down the road with my head hanging out of the window.

I may just get a little more excited about dump day, though.




The Brown Mountain Adventure

We went in search of the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights of North Carolina.

I say “we” because I convinced my friend and trusty sidekick, Shaylah, to go on this adventure with me. She even drove. It’s good to have a friend who will do whacky things with you when your husband won’t go.

I read about the Brown Mountain Lights several years ago and, since then, I’ve wanted to go see what all the excitement was about.

This past weekend we made the trek up to the North Carolina high country, turned onto Hwy. 181 and soon found Jonas Ridge and the Brown Mountain overlook. There, we also found the Brown Mountain Lights research and reconnaissance team (not their official name). The group had planned the outing, posted FB announcements and videos of reported sightings, and we responded to the call.

People were there with anemometers,  cameras with night vision and instruments that looked to me Geiger counters. They were also wrapped up in big quilts and heavy coats. All of us should have our heads examined for being up on top of a mountain ridge in the night, with cold wind gusts strong enough to blow you over the mountain. But we’re always up for a good mystery so there we were, right in the midst of the excitement.

Shaylah and I decided to do our investigative watching from inside the car.

In the spirit of the event, I made some investigative notes during our stakeout:

  • 7:04pm – the mountain remains dark
  • 40 mph wind gusts are blowing against our car, almost sending us over the mountainside – are we crazy?
  • Still we wait – the lights are elusive
  • Others are gathered outside, wrapped in blankets, braving the cold and wind – they must be crazy too
  • We see one light appear and disappear over the mountain that we can’t explain – who knows what it really was..
  • Hunger overtakes our curiosity about the lights – time to head down to find food – our mission is over

We never saw what we thought was really a Brown Mountain Light. The one lone, unexplained light we saw seemed to come from nowhere and  disappeared about as quickly as it appeared.

All in all, it was a fun time and we got to see a view that I never get tired of – the Blue Ridge Mountain range.


Paul Revere on Facebook

What if Paul Revere had been able to use the internet to warn people about the British?

Picture it – Facebook live video at midnight .. it could have saved Paul and his horse a lot of work.

I was online recently with people in different towns meeting through a web based program and it made me think about all that’s been done without the conveniences we have now.  Sometimes I’m still baffled at the technology at our fingertips. Pretty cool.

Look at all our forefathers accomplished and what they might have done if they’d had these electronic marvels. (well, sure, they would have needed electricity)

Bring our historical heroes into present day and imagine the scene, and the stories. George Washington crosses the Delaware with ease and an outboard motor. I know that’s not electronic — but it would have helped. Twitter could serve him well too.

Betsy Ross did a great job on the flag, with what she had to work with. But a computerized Singer would have helped make the job go faster. She could have added a line of drapes and placemats to match, and then gone into business with a little shop on the corner in Boston — maybe called it “The American Flag Company” or something like that.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on the nightly news –  interesting. Imagine the news guys trying to give their opinion on what they thought he actually said. Abe didn’t need help conveying what he meant.

I don’t mean to make light of the struggles people have experienced throughout our history. Our country has been through a lot. I’m honored to be an American descendent living in the greatest country there is and I’m thankful that they persevered through everything to build this nation.

Let’s band together and see that it continues to be great. I say we all come together through a nationwide online pow-wow, put aside all our differences and talk. We can bond over smores and hot chocolate, or anything else anybody wants to share. I think we could actually do it if we wanted to.

Social media being used for good – imagine that.

Hmmmm…I wonder if Paul Revere would have accepted my friend request.




White Lightening May Strike Twice

It never ceases to amaze me. They put anything (and everything) on tv and we will watch it.

We will watch people eat couch stuffing on a show about weird obsessions. We will watch people who weigh so much they have to live on a bed. I still have nightmares about the 1000 pound man.

I admit it – I also spend time watching Moonshiners, a show about people illegally making and selling … you guessed it – moonshine. Well, I have to get blog material somehow…

Let me say that again – it’s a show about people who illegally make and sell moonshine. And we watch it. Maybe the rest of us live vicariously through people daring enough to do something like that. A production team follows these people into the back woods in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Louisiana to film their victories when they make a good batch of moonshine and the failures when one of the stills explodes or somebody takes the shine and runs.

I have a few questions about this whole thing. First of all, how did they find the people to be on the show? Did they put an ad in the paper for any moonshiners who might want to come out of hiding and advertise that they make moonshine? If I made illegal moonshine, I don’t think being on tv would be high on my agenda. How do they not get arrested? The doublewide husband has tried to explain it and I still don’t fully understand.

They’re constantly watching their rearview mirrors for signs of revenuers tailing them. It’s definitely not a boring line of work.

Most of the moonshiners use the buddy system. One of them mixes up the moonshine and the other one does the heavy lifting and the bootlegging. I guess there’s an art to making moonshine and following your recipe to the last detail. I don’t think Betty Crocker knows about this. Part of it evidently involves wearing overalls with no shirt. If I ever decide to try moonshine, I’d rather have some made by a guy wearing a shirt.

Not all of the moonshiners are men, though. There are a couple of women involved in making the white lightening. One makes shine with her dad — what a way to bond.  The family that makes shine together stays together, I guess. The same goes for the married couple they somehow talked into being part of the series.

They’re innovative too, the moonshiners. They come up with all kinds of different flavors to put in their cauldrons. I’m sure apples and strawberries mixed in the mash somehow makes it kind of healthy.

Now some of the moonshiners are going legal — their names and pictured are plastered all around the distilleries that have cropped up all over tourist joints like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Another success story. Entrepreneurship is on the move.

I don’t know if all the other moonshiners will go legal. Maybe they’re  having too much fun running from the law. That doesn’t seem like a very good way to live, but each to his own.

I think I’ll stick to writing blogs. As far as I know, that’s still legal.







You Gotta Laugh

In one of the Andy Griffith episodes, Andy and Opie are talking about Opie’s friend, Johnny Paul Jason’s “lergics” and how he wasn’t allowed to breathe between April and May. Andy says, “He has to breath to live.” It’s the same with laughing.

You gotta laugh.

Find something to laugh about every day – several times a day. The Bible says “a merry heart does good like a medicine”. So skip the pills and laugh. (I’m not a doctor, so don’t not take your medicine just because I said so)

If God says laughing is important, then it’s IMPORTANT. That’s the main reason I started this blog (not just this one you’re reading right now — the whole idea). While everybody else is doling out info about other important things in life like mental health, finances, Biblical wisdom and all, I’m over here just trying to help people laugh more (and dole out a little wisdom in the process).

Maybe you’ve forgotten how to laugh — life with its ups and downs has stolen your giggle box. It’s not hard to track down and recover. Don’t leave it sitting on some evidence room shelf — take back your laugh.

Nothing makes you feel any better than a good, hearty laugh. I find the “funny” in just about everything. If you see me laughing and there’s no one else around, don’t call the guys in the white coats, I’ve probably heard or read something that struck me as hilarious. Laughing is ok.

Yeah, old tv, like the Andy Griffith Show, is the way to go if you want a good laugh. That was some of the best writing ever and those shows were hilarious. The characters were funny just being themselves. I dare you to watch one episode of the “Fun Girls” or one with Goober and Gomer and not laugh. And Barney – Don Knotts could make you hee haw just singing good old 14A.

The world needs to laugh more. Heck, our own country needs to learn to laugh more. So, I”m fulfilling my mission right here, every week (well, most weeks). If you need help finding your way to Laughville USA, tune in regularly and I’ll see what I can to help point you in the right direction.



Doughnuts Cause Crime

If I ever go bad and swich over to the dark side of life… the doughnuts did it. In the kitchen — with a spatula.

I know I said once that boots could do it, but I need to add in doughnuts. Both of those things.

While driving home the other day I passed a Krispy Kreme store and there sat a bunch of KK trucks with pictures of big, lovely doughnuts displayed on the side. It was almost more than I could stand. I wondered, for a minute, if I could get in one of those trucks and drive off without being detected. First I would have to steal doughnuts to fill the back of it. I might get caught, but I would be happy.

How bad can doughnut jail be?

My aim is to not knowingly commit crimes – I want to be a good, law abiding citizen. But there’s them dang doughnuts.

I seriously think all the doughnut stores should let me be their spokesperson and pay me in doughnuts. That’s me — the perfect doughnut representative. I’m real and believable. I couldn’t advertise pickles or shrimp, but I could so talk about those sweet, lovely confections that make even the strongest dieter jelly-legged.

I feel a poem coming on, a soliloquy, if you will: an ode to those light, fluffy puffs of heaven on earth in the form of dough and sugar. Oh my….

I may have to go into business for myself and open up a corner doughnut cafe. The big question : what should my cafe sign say — is it doughnut or donut??

My Life in Food

I don’t know if it’s a “Southern Thang” or not, but my life has been one big foodfest.

I think back on the years leading up to now and I see a lot of food. Food in my family has always been connected with fun events. Well, except maybe funerals. Then again, we always manage to laugh and eat our way through the sad times, too.

My memories are flooded with church dinners, family holiday get-togethers, Uncle Dempsey’s butternut cakes, Aunt Bobbie’s mashed potatoes (the absolute best), family picnics and Pal’s hamburgers. When I get to heaven, I want a big bowl of those mashed potatoes waiting on me. (I don’t want them now — just save me some for later)

It seems like we were always eating or planning what to eat next.

Pal’s was a little hotdog and hamburger joint in the town where I grew up and it was about the only restaurant my mom would go to. Back in the day, they gave kids a hamburger for every “A” at report card time.  I don’t know if schools even give report cards now, but that’s another subject. I walked past there on my way home from school every day, and one particular report card time I got a whole bag of hamburgers. You can imagine who the big hero was that day as I carried my loot in and gave it to my mom. We had a hamburger supper that night. I’m sure we had a big ol pan of fried potatoes to go with them. (Pal’s has since grown into a chain of stores across the area, but I don’t think they give out free hamburgers any more)

Pizza came to town at a little bakery located on the other side of the highway from where I walked home. I remember the sign that announced their new offering and not knowing what the heck “pizza” was. (I had a time learning to pronounce the word) If it didn’t come from a garden or the Pal’s window, we didn’t eat it. Eventually we tried the new concoction and we liked it. Our friends, the Adinolfi’s, introduced us to authentic Italian food and the rest of that story is history too.

Young people today are missing out on so much — what are they gonna blog about when they get older?

I’m glad that I have all the memories to laugh about now. I’m not even concerned about telling my age through talking about all the “firsts” we experienced, from color tv to private line phones. I hope everybody’s memories are as fun as mine are. Every day wasn’t a walk on the funny farm, but I think the good far outweighed the bad.

It’s a good thing I married into a family that likes to eat as much as I do. Now, when’s the next get together?

I could sure go for a Pal’s hotdog right now.