The Wild Wild West

I’m fascinated by the old West.

I think it all started with Bonanza and Gunsmoke and just grew from there. I wanted to hang out at the Ponderosa, drink root beer in Miss Kitty’s saloon and eat beans from a big iron pot out on the prairie.

Two of my favorite movies of all time are Young Guns and Tombstone — so it’s no wonder that I got caught up in searching out details about Johnny Ringo when I saw a FB book friend’s post of photos from her tour of Tombstone, Arizona. That would have been a wild time to be alive.

As much as I love reading about the old West and watching movies about it, I don’t know that I actually wish I could have lived back then…

It was a hard life. If you so much as looked crosseyed at somebody, they might have gunned you down, blown the smoke off their gun and kept on going.

Then as my imagination runs away, I wondered what life was like for the preachers back then. How did they get people to come to church — especially the outlaws? I mean, if anybody needed to be in church hearing the Word, it was them!

How would an outlaw have reacted to somebody handing them a tract and inviting them to a church social — hmmmm… I can imagine the conversation.

“I said I don’t want no church. Now I’m gonna give you to the count ‘a two ta git outta here.”

Yep, inviting outlaws to church could have been hazardous to your health.

The other things I like about the Old West are the cowboy boots and that the main mode of transportation was horsepower.

Life seemed simpler back then- sort of. I think they had their own issues to face. It just seems better to us because there were no tv’s or social media and everybody didn’t know what everybody else was having for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I plan to tour the Old West one of these old days. When I do, I’ll be sure to share pics.

For now, I’m going to practice drinking root beer and see what beans taste like from a can.


Shelter In Place

The first day of classes on the main campus at the university where I work saw a little excitement – and not the good kind.

An emergency announcement went out to shelter in place because an assault had happened on campus and there was a man with a weapon on the loose. Even though we weren’t on the main campus, we got the notice too and stayed inside like we were instructed to do. We finally got more information through text and email alerts.

While sitting there in the library basement in a small room with several students who were studying, I thought about the situation and the whole thing irritated me.

I wasn’t mad at the police or the university – they did a great job of keeping us all safe. I had a bone to pick with the nut who was causing the whole thing. It made me downright mad that one person was controlling the situation and disrupting everything.

We didn’t have all the details at first, so we didn’t know how big the threat was. Everything turned out ok and within about an hour the police had the suspect in custody, and they gave us the “all clear”. I’m glad it wasn’t any worse than it was and, as far as I heard, nobody was hurt in the assault that started the whole mess or after the assault when the guy with the weapon ran.

Something else I decided – and I know this is a very controversial subject – I want to learn how to defend myself and get a carry permit and a handgun. I’m not speaking for anybody but myself here. I didn’t like the feeling of sitting there with virtually no way to defend myself.

I work on a federal campus so we’re not allowed to have a weapon at work, but I could carry it other places. Incidents like that don’t just happen on college campuses.

Like I said, I’m telling my side of the gun/no gun issue. If there’s somebody with a gun out there running around intending to hurt me, I want to have a fair chance to defend myself if I need to.

But here’s the thing – I don’t want to merely get a good score shooting at a target and then get my little card that says I can carry. I want to know how to handle said gun. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it could get you or somebody else hurt.

I may get hate mail for this one, but that’s ok. I’m giving my opinion and I’m open to hearing what others have to say. Just keep it clean.

Off to Work I Go!

I don’t work on an auto assembly line. Thank you, Jesus.

I’m being thankful for the little things as I get ready for work. Also, Monday is behind me.

Working on an auto assembly line is not necessarily a bad thing — in fact, it’s a nobel occupation. Think of where we’d be without the auto workers! Yay for the auto workers!

That kind of work just isn’t for me. I couldn’t handle it. Staying in one place all day, not being able to talk to other people. I’m a social person. I have to have my visiting time. You know … when I’m not hard at work (just in case my boss reads this).

I dont think I could handle having a little buzzer telling me when I can go to the bathroom, or when I can go to lunch, either. I would definitely have words with that dang buzzer.

I actually worked in similar sutuation once. Oh my goodness – – worse situation ever, for me anyway. This wasn’t an assembly line – it was an attorney’s office…

This is turning into, “Jobs I Probably Shouldn’t Try – Part Two”!

I once worked in the front office for a physicians group. That was actually ok. I handled it, but it wasn’t ideal. And, bless their hearts – I worked with a bunch of women… side by side … every single day. ‘Nuff said.

I’m more of a free-style creative, think it through kind of person. Give me a project to work on and I’m off devising a plan to get it done. I’ve gotten good at herding people. Give me a group and I’ll figure out where to put them. And I can deal with a little whining too. I don’t like it, but I can deal with it.

I’m really good at coming up with Plan B in short order, too. You know, when you have a plan and you’re working that plan, and you think every detail is covered. Then somebody throws a wrench in things, or you realize at the last minute that you’ve forgotten something. Plan B to the rescue!

I think the theme I’m seeing here is that I have learned to be flexible and anticipate that I might need an alternate plan at the drop of a hat. It also helps if you’re creative. I may just be the McGyver of creative planning and the “work smarter, not harder” idea.

It sure cuts down on stress and I’m not running around like my hair’s on fire.

The moral here – think ahead and be willing to be flexible.

It doesn’t hurt to have a Plan B in your hip pocket, either.

Lend Me Your Ear

Ear candling can bring families together.

It’s true – my mom and I bonded over ear candling just the other day. I think it was due to the fact that I didn’t burn her hair up in the process.

She thought she had a bug in her ear and wanted me to see if I could get it out. We don’t go to the doctor for such things; we candle!

Timeout – before I get hate mail for using an alternative method for bug removal – I had an experience with a bug in my ear many years ago. It was no fun. I went to the ER and laid on a table while they dug down in my ear canal for a moth that felt like it was the size of a seagull. I’ll never again walk near an outside light at night without something covering my ears.

So, I read the instructions on the ear candle box, googled “ear candling for dummies” and got started.

I collected the necessary tools – damp towel, bowl of water, metal pie plate, candle…check.

By the time we got everything set up, it looked like she was trying to tune in life from some distant galaxy.

Mom got in place in her chair, I put the candle in her ear (yes, I got the correct end in the ear) and had her hold it while I struck the match.

I don’t like fiddling around with matches so this was a little scary, but I did it.

I lit the big end and away we went. As it burned down, I followed the instructions and kept my fingers on the candle about four inches from her head so it wouldn’t burn down too far. I knew it was time to extinguish the flame when my fingernails started to get warm.

The bowl of water, in case you were wondering, was there to plunge the candle into when we were done. I took the candle out and managed to drop it on the table – ear candles can put off quite a flame, let me tell you.

All was well though – I grabbed the flame-throwing candle off the table and dunked the burning end into the bowl. No one was harmed and mom felt that it was a success.

I can report that ear candling really works! She didn’t find a bug, but it did pull some gunk out of her ear.

She felt better and I may add “ear candling” to my resume.

The moral to this story is – don’t be afraid to try new things. Also, ear candling works as long as you’re careful and follow the directions, and keep a bowl of water handy.

Weight a Minute

I’ve never really been one to follow diets or weight loss gimmicks – so I’m a little surprised at myself. I’m trying something new in previously uncharted Doublewide territory.

I’m allowing an electronic gizmo on my phone – an app – to tell me what to do.

This magical little receptor is helping me get healthy, or so they say. It receives information that I feed it, calculates all my points, calories, fat, binomials, monomials, pie charts and the like, and then fusses at me if I veer off course. I mean, who’s the boss here? With one flick of my thumb I could obliterate this little fitness fiend.

I hold up a jelly donut in defiance.

“You’ve exceeded your fat grams today” it tells me. “What’s that in your hand?”

“It’s a donut and I’m not sorry!” I sass back. I feel like I’m getting ready to duel this thing to the death.

I haven’t lived with my mother in years, but I find myself hiding from my phone like a kid who’s about to get into big trouble. I peek out from my spot behind the ‘fridge.

My husband bemoans something he ate in a weak moment and I say, “it’ll be ok – just don’t tell the app.”

A lot of help I am.

My little fitness pal does give me break once in awhile. It calculates my steps and grants me more calories as my exercise increases. It’s kinda like getting an E for effort.

Bacon, oh how I miss you. I see a cheat day on my horizon. (I’m not telling the app)

It’s really ok to have a cheat meal once in awhile when you’re dieting. You just don’t want to make it a habit. I’m certainly not an expert, but I think you have to treat yourself sometimes to keep the motivation up.

Just don’t go overboard with it – you don’t want to undo all you’ve achieved in the first week. I started doing all this healthy stuff to support my husband who’s trying to lower his cholesterol and it’s really not all that bad. I recommend the buddy system- it can help make the journey almost fun.😊

I’m not sure the app would approve of the buddy system, though. Its M-O is more like “divide and conquer”… or duel to the death.

Jobs I Probably Shouldn’t Try


In this life, we all take different paths. Everybody has their own things they’re good at.

I’ve come to realize there are jobs I’m just not cut out for.

Do you ever hear about a job and think, “I bet that would be fun.” Me too – all the time. One of my long-time goals has been to work in a Krispy Kreme donut factory. I’ve always thought it would be a great little post-retirement gig (whenever I retire).

I think I could handle the donut thing, but there are plenty of jobs I know I wouldn’t be good at.

First up – law enforcement officer.

I admire and appreciate our police and sheriff’s deputies, but it’s not something I think I’m cut out for. I’d probably be more like Barney Fife than Matt Dillon.  Here’s me dealing with a criminal: “I know you really didn’t mean to break into that bank. Now, if you promise to do better next time…”

I probably wouldn’t be good as an EMS worker, firefighter, nurse, doctor or anything like that. I can’t do much for you when you get sick, except run out for juice and medicine. If you throw up, I will throw up right along with you. Now, if your house caught on fire I’d do my best to help. I just don’t do well in emergency situations. I saw a wreck happen one day and couldn’t even find my phone in the seat beside me to call 9-1-1. I get too emotionally involved in things.

Another job I probably shouldn’t sign up for is anything military. I like green, just not drab green. I’m grateful and thankful for all of our military, though- sa-lute!

So, maybe I should stick to jobs and hobbies that I do pretty well. I like to sing and they still let me be part of the music team at church. I like to write – especially where funny is concerned. And I do pretty well on my day job. My evaluations are always good, anyway.

I think I’ll just stick to doing what I do. That might be best for all of us.




Buyer Beware

“Mattresses Cheap!”

Should I buy a mattress advertised on a little sign on metal legs stuck in the ground by the side of the road? Are these used mattresses? Are they defective? How can they be so cheap?

There are all kinds of little metal signs along the road advertising everything from low cost wifi to real estate classes. I’m all for the little man, but I have to question something like bedding being sold on a tiny sign along the road.

Pizza, I get. Store closings, I get. I understand politicians putting up “vote for me” campaign signs that litter every four-way stop in town at election time. I don’t mind those — I just wish they’d clean up the mess after it’s all over.

What other kinds of things do we buy that are “cheap”, that maybe, just maybe we should think twice about ….. like steaks at the dollar store. Can filet mignon for a dollar really be good for you? Picture it – date night at your neighbor’s house – “I thought we’d stay in tonight. I got this great deal on steak at the Only $1 store and they had movies too. Won’t it be fun reading the subtitles?!”

I like a bargain like anybody else, but I don’t know about some of this stuff. Where does it come from? This goes right along with those trucks that drive around neighborhoods trying to sell meat out of the back. (my in-laws actually bought some of that meat one time – can  you say “tough as whit leather”)

Sometimes it’s just not worth the cheapo price when it makes you sick (beware dollar store pizzas, too. I know this from firsthand experience…) or you have to keep replacing said item. Now, dollar buys are not all bad. I love their holiday cards, bags and candy!

Just remember, boys and girls, a bargain may not always be a bargain. Especially if you fall for the ‘ol “let’s make it look exactly like the name brand item” only to get home and find out your Post Toasties aren’t Post at all, they’re Past Toasties. Check the label, people – check the label.