rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Christmas, 1948

Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

For eighty years, I have been celebrating Christmas. At my age, don’t expect me to remember all of them, but one I especially remember is Christmas, 1948. I was nine years old and we were living in tough times, not that I knew anything about that. It was said that Santa Claus was not likely to visit our house that year. Because of the divorce of my adoptive parents and the illness of my grandfather, my mother and I lived with my grandparents.

My grandfather, Papa, was suffering with cancer and many believed would not live until Christmas. My mother told me he had a disease that was infectious. That was to keep me from bothering him. I wasn’t allowed to go in his room; but I did stand at the door and talk to him. I remember Papa smiling at me between his coughing and wheezing. I always thought he would get well. Once, during that Christmas time, I sneaked into his bedroom, even though it was off-limits to me, and I told him Merry Christmas. He motioned for me to lean over closely, so I could hear him better. He told me that better times were coming, both for him and for me. I wasn’t sure what he meant, after all, I was only nine.

Now, in hindsight, I know that Christmas 1948 was a memorable one for me. I’m sure you have an unforgettable Christmas in your memory.  Christmases are supposed to be a joyous time, a time for family to come together and share the joys, to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to remember the good things. Sometimes it doesn’t quite turn out that way, but then again…

You See… I Remember…

My folks didn’t want to celebrate Christmas… in nineteen forty-eight.
We had no money…, and my  Papa, was so sick… he didn’t even know the date.
My Granny Mama wasn’t feeling well…, seems like Christmas might have to wait.
And if old Santa even came at all…, he’d probably show up late.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

No one much wanted … to decorate that year
Wasn’t going be like Christmas… wasn’t much Christmas cheer.
Then my Mama set about… to proudly trim a little tree
Thankful for the neighbor who cut and gave it to us free.

Mama wrapped her little tree… with gold and silver rope.
placed her special angel on the top!… she said, “to give us hope”,
like the angel from the Bible announcing Jesus’ birth
telling all the shepherds of Good News that’s come to earth.

I remember helping Mama… decorate our little Christmas tree.
And I remember especially…, all those joys it brought to me.
It had loads of shiny lights… that glimmered all around.
And Papa’s homemade ornaments… that almost touched the ground.

Our decorated Christmas tree… stood in its usual place.
Over by the window…‘cause we didn’t have much space
We had no chimney in our home… that Santa could come down
So I hung my cotton stocking by the door… just in case he came around.

But Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before

I remember Mama… made her breakfast Mac and cheese
It was her specialty… we all were very pleased
I remember Papa peeking out his bedroom door
And saying maybe… Maybe Christmas might be like before

But, No, this Christmas wasn’t meant to be… like all our Christmases before

I remember Mickey Mouse… and the watch I got that year
And my cotton stocking… packed with Christmas cheer,
crammed with apples and oranges and walnuts and stuff
And good hard ribbon candy, plenty sticky… sure enough.

It must have been old Santa… who left those gifts for me,
‘cause no one had no money… and stuff like that’s not free.
But sometimes… like at Christmas… miracles do take place
And seems like miracles always put a smile on a little boy’s face.

But Christmas ‘forty-eight wasn’t like all our Christmases before.

So many years have passed since that Christmas ‘forty eight
But Miracles still happen…and that’s cause to celebrate
I remember Mama… telling… the wonder of Jesus’ birth
And Papa listening closely, his last few days on earth.

Ahhh.. Christmas ‘Forty-Eight…it came and went so quick
And Papa kept us laughing just like he wasn’t sick
Then February nineteen forty-nine, his cancer staked its claim
Christmases… ever after… would never be the same.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

Just a side note, one Christmas when our family celebrated together, I bought some cotton stockings like my Granny Mama used to wear, and I fixed each grandchild a stocking with the same fruits and nuts and stuff I got when I was a child. They thought it was funny… I smiled at the memory.
You see… I Remember… Christmas ‘forty-eight…

christmas-card-sayings-remember-when

I’m pretty sure I know what my Papa meant when he said better times are coming.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of my thoughts with you.
From me and all my family,
I hope you have a very miraculously, and memorable Christmas.

Christmas Dream

Hopefully, it isn’t too late for you to take this last minute effort to set things straight.

Santa laughing

 

I had this weird and crazy dream again,
about an old grey-headed mirthful man.
he had a hoary look upon his placid face
yet not one… whisker… twisted out of place.

In my dream, he called my name,
Curious to know who was to blame?
He said my name was on his naughty list
This Christmas, he’s sure my house he’ll miss.

Santa and computer

In my dream I wonder, “Just who is this guy?”
I’m pretty all-fired sure we don’t see eye to eye
There’s no naughty stuff to which I will confess
And if my name is on your list you need to reassess.

In my dream, this stout and rotund chap
has caused a bit of anguish and somewhat of a flap.
These so-called naughty things he has inside his file?
nothing but lies and frankly…, it makes me smile.

It’s time to put this stupid dream on pause
What’s your name? I ask, He said…, “it’s Clause.
First name’s Santa, just to be exact;
Your numbers up, your Christmas bag’s not packed”.

In my dream, I wonder can I fix this matter?
Maybe leave some treats on a silver platter?
Perhaps a glass of golden chardonnay
will make this awkward crisis fade away.

But wine’s not guaranteed to fix your sordid case
You’re naughtier than me, he’s not coming to your place.
‘Cause in my dream, I see the lengthy “naughty” list.
My name’s erased, but your name still exists.

So, here’s a plan that might not seem too weird
go sit in Santa’s lap and smoooooth… his bushy beard
Check out the gleaming in his sparkling eyes
And if that doesn’t work, then improvise.

Santas lap

I won’t be describing all the intricate details.
I can tell by observation, your tactics did prevail
I don’t know the tricks in your repertoire.
But your name’s erased, and that was no small chore.

So, it looks to be a Merry Christmas after all.
with Christmas trees decked out in shiny Christmas balls.
Be sure to leave him cookies, we’ll surely wear a smile
since he wiped our names from his lengthy file.

Merry Christmas

P.S.

Glad we made it through this year and so we bid adieu
but Old Man Santa’s list will soon begin anew
I’m starting out from scratch to mend my naughty stuff
I hope you do as well, and hope that it’s enough.

                                                                                                            Pete Robertson
© 2013

 

Thanks, for Giving

Thanksgiving!

 

Today we  celebrate Thanksgiving. It seems that the early focus on commercial Christmas has removed  the true meaning of Thanksgiving. but look around you, there is someone who would appreciate a word of thanks. The grocery clerk, the construction worker, the bank teller, the pastor; there are many individuals you may consider in your world. Seeing a smile on another person’s face will bring a smile to your own. Do we really understand the significance of this word? Breaking it down, we know what the word, “Thanks”, means.  “A word of appreciation for something received or for an act of kindness”. It is an expression of gratitude. But, does it come with sincerity or is it just another word in our vocabulary?

The word, “Giving”, means to make a gift of material value or perform an act of kindness. So “Thanks” and “Giving” are combined to form not just a word, but also, an act of expression.  However, it seems to me to be more fitting to say, “Thanks, for Giving.” In the true sense of poetry, a list can be a poem. So too, can the alphabet. Here is my list of the ABC’s:   

The Alphabet of Thanks

Thanks, for giving…

Apples, I love apple pies,

Babies, for the twinkling in their eyes,

Car horns, to sound a warning noise,

Dogs, for fetching sticks and squeaky toys.

Elbows to bend and wash my face,

Fathers, for showing children grace

Golf, a senseless sport that doth confound,

Hamsters, for making little wheels go round.

Thanks, for giving…

Ice cream, the special homemade kind,

Jello, a spineless gel that quivers the mind,

Kindergarten, for learning all I ever need,

Limousines, and drivers who don’t know how to speed.

Maple Syrup, a tonic for the tooth,

Noses that grow considerably after youth,

Onions, a noxious kind of root,

Pajamas, not your usual, business suit.

Thanks, for giving…

Quilts, pieced together with spirited devotion,

Romance, passionate love set in motion,

Salt, crystallized preservative to suit the taste,

Texas, homeland, native born and God placed.

Ukuleles, a miniature of tuneful sound,

Valleys, and the mountains that surround,

Waltzes, my favorite kind of dance,

Xylophones, instruments of chance,

Yankees even, but I’m thankful still,

And lastly,

Zenith, the high point in God’s perfect will.

 

These words have no special or significant meaning. Your words may be different, write your own alphabet of thanks. Start with the Gift of God, His only begotten Son, Jesus. I am thankful He thought about me. I hope you are as well.

My Flag is Still Flying

Memories can evoke a wide variety of thoughts. They have a way of inducing our mind back to a time when life was simpler, or so we believe. A statement by an old friend or an old photo can stir emotions and reverberate up and down your spine, from the bottom to the top, eventually reaching the frontal lobe. It is this part of the brain that suggests we look back on our life and of those who made it possible. Thus, it is very appropriate on this Veteran’s Day that we remind ourselves of those events of years past and of those who still serve.

None could have made it more possible than the veterans of military service. I think of my father, J.C. Morrison, who did not enter military service in WWII, but served in a civilian capacity at Dow Chemical in Freeport, Texas. I think of my Father-in-Law, Lucious Maddux, serving in a construction battalion in the South Pacific, better known as SeaBees. I think of my uncle Homer Morrison, who served in the U.S. Army in the European forces. He served throughout the war effort without a scratch only to be killed in a tornado six months after the war’s end. These three individuals served in different parts of the world yet with the same goals in mind. Freedom! There are countless numbers of veterans who served and many lost their lives. You know someone who did. I pay tribute to your friends, acquaintances, family members and to you for that service.

And I think of those from my home town who served and those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. From Palestine, Tx:

1LT JAMES CHRISTOPHER BECKER, CAPT TONIE LEE ENGLAND Jr., PFC JAMES AUBREY HULSEY, PFC DONALD RAY JOHNSON, PFC EARL DAWSON LAWRENCE, PO3 AMON FRANKLIN MOORE Jr., CWO TERRELL LEE RAWLINSON, 2LT JAMES TUCKER STOVALL, LCPL ROGER ALLEN THOMPSON, SP4 THOMAS DARRELL WILLIAMSON.

“Young men, most around my age or younger, who fought for our freedoms and as I have said in “My Flag is Flying, is Yours?” took my place. Had I been born only a few years later, I would have been in Vietnam. With each news report of casualties, I hurt. I lost shipmates, classmates and family members. My country was at war.

Today, I feel humbled each time I see or hear of any veteran who passes from this life. Yet, Vietnam holds a special place in my heart, not because I served, but because someone else did and I know that person took my place.”

Take a moment today and remind yourselves of the heroic actions of our military men and women. They deserve the honor and respect. And to those who are serving today, my hat’s off to you. God Bless and thank you.

Born on the 15th of July

Your birthday is special. However, it is not yours alone. It is not uncommon to share your birthday with others. Do you ever wonder how many people share your birthday? Research tells me that 1/365 in any population (approximately 0.274%) share your birthdate. Research also tells me that percentage equates to over 19 million people around the world.

I happen to share my birthday with a few celebrity individuals. For example, Clement Moore was born on July 15, 1779. Obviously, we do not share the same year. You are, of course, familiar with him. He wrote “Twas The Night Before Christmas. Here in Texas we have our own version:               

‘Twas the night before Christmas, in Texas, you know.
Way out on the prairie, without any snow.
Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue,
A dreamin’ of Christmas, like me and you.

  Then there is Linda Ronstadt, also born on July 15, 1946. She sang “Don’t Know Much”.

“I don’t know much
But I know, I love you
And that may be
All I need to know,

Then there are numerous events that took place on July 15 in history. Did you know that Paul McCartney once was fined on July 15th, 17 pounds (that’s British for dollars) in 1963 for speeding? Apologies to Paul, it wasn’t “Band on the Run” it was “Man on the Run!”

Man on the run, Man on the run.
And the jailer man and sailor Sam
Were searching every one
For the Man on the run,
Man on the run
Man on the run,
Man on the run”.

And just for all you “soap opera” fans, “One Life to Live” debuted in 1968, lasting some 45 years. There is talk about it possibly returning to the airways. I won’t hold my breath (wasn’t planning on that either). When I was in the prime of my construction career, my employees were called, “All My Children” or was it “As the World Turns”? Just sayin’! These are but a few examples of persons or events concerning July 15.  You could say that I am only a little fish in a giant pond.

And if you are into astrology, (not to be confused with astronomy) then this sort of thing may appeal to you. According to that stream of thought, we Cancerians are influenced by the planetary position of the Moon. That position of the Moon rules the Zodiacal group of Cancer and Venus and together they determine the features and differences of July 15 natives from others. I hope that makes sense to you, doesn’t do much for me, though. I can, however, associate with “the Crab”. As Crabs, our strengths are described as a strong sixth sense, subjective, gentle, swift, imaginative, careful, dedicated, perseverant, kind, caring. This is considered Western Astrology. Some prefer Eastern Astrology. You know Dogs and pigs and rabbits, etc. Here in Texas I practice Doris Day astrology.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be, will be,
The future’s not ours, to see, yeah
Que Sera, Que Sera, Que Sera

So if you were born on July 15, it is a special day. Having a birthday alone is great but sharing one’s birthday is an awesome feeling. And my day is even more special for I share it with the “Rancherette”. When we were first getting acquainted in the early days, I once asked her the date of her birthday. She replied, July 15. I said, no, that is my birthday, when is yours? And again she replied, July 15. So we share the same birthday. From that moment on, it was fate. There is one thing I am reluctant to share and that would be the year we were born. That is classified and only on a need to know basis. Suffice it to say we both qualify for the senior discount at most restaurants, hotels, grocery chains, etc. I did get asked for my ID once when I purchased a can of spray paint. The cashier was confusing me with a teenager. I told her that dirt and I are approximately the same age.

Not only do the “Rancherette” and I share the same birthday; we share a great love with each other. We have an amazing intuition and insight about our lives together. We share a mutual love for animals also. It is not uncommon for our thoughts and minds to come together about most any subject. She qualifies it by saying “great minds think alike”. We have our pet phrases and qualities. We sometimes say the same thing at the same time. Intuition! She is very creative; I like to build. She is so very good at crafting and I like to put in my two cents worth. There so many ways in which we are alike, yet we each have our own personalities. Having a birthday alone is great but sharing one’s birthday is an awesome feeling. I can think of no other way to express Happy Birthday than to share it with my soul mate. And I love you more!

Buddy Poppy

 

BuddyPoppy_COB_Rotated

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

That poem reminds me of my youth. Growing up in East Texas, we observed most all things patriotic. I had many small town “little boy” jobs. Mowing lawns (with a boy-powered push mower), selling newspapers, you name it, I did it. One job I remember was selling Buddy Poppies, the paper replica flowers that the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell to raise money for disabled veterans. These were to honor our fallen soldiers. And at that time the focus was on WWII men and women.

Somehow I cannot visualize myself being in a war. I did spend a few years in the U.S. Navy; however, it was not during a period of American involvement in conflict. Honorably discharged in 1960, I spent the bulk of my military service aboard the USS Oriskany and the USS Hornet, both aircraft carriers. I married in 1959 and made the transition to civilian life upon my discharge. A few years later, America became involved in the Vietnam War.

But raising a family was my first concern and while my allegiance was to my family, I have always been conflicted about not serving during that period of time. Even today, I feel a deep regret for not stepping up to the plate. I feel sorrow for those who had the unpopular task in the Vietnam era.

My father-in-law was a combat veteran during WWII, serving in the SeaBees and among the first to venture onto the islands of the South Pacific, fighting battles and building airstrips. He was very private about his time in the service, but was among the many who received accolades for his time in the military, unlike the Vietnam veterans. I suppose this is one reason I feel a kinship with those who did.

Many returned home to an unpopular welcome. Derided and made to feel ashamed of their service. No other service to our country has ever been placed in that reasoning. Over 58,000 American men and women lost their lives during that conflict, and at the time those who survived were made to feel ashamed. That was a disgrace then and now.

Monday, May 27th is the day we observe Memorial Day this year. It is a day of remembering and honoring persons who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The burden is upon you, the America citizen, to remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country. Don’t disappoint me. Remember and respect all who did so. They served with distinction. And to the Vietnam veterans, I especially thank you for your service. I apologize for you taking my place.

Maybe I can find a Buddy Poppy to wear this Memorial Day. I do remember.

Pushing Carts

I’m confident that most if not all of my readers have shopped at least once in the “giant ‘big box’, has everything, supercenter store”. If there should be one who hasn’t had that experience, I urge you to venture into that dominion. That should be on your “bucket list”. But be prepared for the consequence.

Yesterday, I accompanied the “Rancherette” on our weekly outing to the friendly supercenter for much needed supplies.  We do everything together. We work together, play together, eat together, so it makes sense that we shop together.

Most of our journey into the realm of our supercenter shopping schedule takes place in the grocery section. “You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU

Our path is pre-ordained. We enter the store, proceed to the pharmacy, (at my age there is usually a prescription to be picked up), then on to the Health & Beauty section. The “Rancherette” does not need anything from here, but I do. At last visit,  they did not have any such beauty aids that would be of assistance to me, but I spend a lot of time in the Health Department.

.blood pressure machine

Since the beauty section is on the opposite end from the grocery section, we must then travel through the various departments including the fashion department, and usually with a stopover in each with a detour for a pit stop along the way. (Think health needs).Occasionally, we slide through the craft department, for the “Rancherette” is very crafty.

See the source image.

As we make our way through the store to the foods the travel gets perilous. Pushing a cart through the supercenter is risky to say the least. I have a couple of ideas that might make it a little safer, or not.

First, a pushing cart license should be required before entering the store. They could set up a kiosk at the entry and charge a fee, either for a one trip or annual permit.  Instruction booklets could be found in the Home & Office department. A short one week course with field training could be utilized during nights and weekends when traffic is lightest if there is such a time.

Believe me; many people are in need of a degree of instruction.  See the source image

For example, some use the British model, you know, pushing on the “wrong” side of the aisle, while others use the American model, pushing on the “correct” side of the aisle. Still others use no model at all. Some use the haphazard model. It is very confusing.

driving on wrong side

And there are the “wrong way” pushers. They are oblivious of anyone around them. One can be pushing the correct direction, either British or American and out of nowhere comes a cart from the wrong direction and stacked so high the “pusher” cannot see over the mound of stuff, usually with soft drink bottles hanging off the side. You know, “East is east and West is west, and never the twain shall meet.”(Except in the “Big Box Supercenter”.) As you see, in the photo above, one can find anything in a “Big Box” Supercenter.

And with the “medians” in the middle of the wider aisles one never knows which side to move. The narrow aisles do not have these obstructions, so this is where the motorized shoppers meet to discuss current events.  In fact, the “big box” supercenter could set aside a section like a park, where these individuals could meet. The supercenter could then charge admission. All this could be corrected with “pushing licenses” instruction.

One solution would be to make the aisles a one way direction.  It might not solve every problem but it might solve a few. See diagram below. Notice in the diagram, there is only one check out location. This is controlled chaos. All the stores use this method to keep order.

As we proceed down the aisles we pass all the well known “impulse” items, usually not on our list but placed exactly at eye level. The managerial staff knows when I am coming. Being the sucker I am, I load the basket. But we must also locate the items on our list.  Bottom shelves are not knee friendly nor is the fiber cereal on the top shelf. This is an area where the supercenter needs a bit of instruction. If they would call me, I would tell them where to put stuff. They do not understand such logic. I do.

Eventually, we make our way through the checkout. As we leave the store, we converse about how exciting it is to see the many exhibits (exhibitionists)  throughout the store. Kind of makes your venture worthwhile. Since this is a family friendly site, I will not describe all the varying displays throughout the supercenter. Let just say,  one can see things in there that are not available even in the zoos of the world. Children under 16 years of age should not be admitted, many are simply unsuitable for young adolescents.

But hey, we gathered our groceries, now you gather your courage and get out there and go “pushing”.

See the source image

Have a happy day.

Update to “The Ice Cream Scoop” and other stuff

Update to “Ice Cream Scoop”. The “Rancherette” went above and beyond the call of duty in loading the dish drainer yesterday and she took a picture of it. Obviously, this is not censored in any way since she shared the photo with me.

Drainer

And while the drainer was piled about as high as usual, she did make a special effort to place the “scoop” in a favorable location. But observe the height restriction of the overhead cabinet; I suppose I could remove the overhead cabinet to give her more stacking room. As I said in “The Ice Cream Scoop”, the Rancherette is an expert at loading a dish drainer. Notice how her little round ball scoop is positioned conspicuously in the flatware compartment. I wasn’t fooled even a little bit. I didn’t take the bait.

Notice also how the “cereal bowl and the ice cream bowl” are partially hidden. She’s still got me. Once again I must at least unload some of the dishes in order to retrieve my bowls. Evidently, this task will require a bit more training.

In “The Ice Cream Scoop” I mentioned that I have an affinity for a particular scoop and bowl. Do you not also have a likeness for something odd or something someone else would describe as quirky  or a “peculiarity of behavior”?

Quirkiness: A peculiarity of behavior; an idiosyncrasy. So says “The Free Dictionary”. To borrow a line from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem, “How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways” of quirkiness. In my situation, I will admit to being guilty of these examples  but I am not admitting to being “quirky”.

First, there are the aforementioned articles, i.e. “scoop and bowl”. But there are others. For example; Identical Bread Slices!

bread slices

When I make a sandwich, the bread slices must be exactly alike. You then place them side by side in such a fashion that they match each other. This is called a symmetrical arrangement, exactly similar parts facing each other. In other words balanced. The ingredients are perfectly aligned. Therefore when the sandwich is made it is balanced. This, of course is not quirky in my opinion, however, “some people” consider it quirky. In a perfect world, everything would be balanced. At my age, balance is important. Fortunately, the dish drainer is not involved in this example. No utensils are required (except for a spoon.) Come to think about it, I may have to unload the flatware compartment to get to a spoon.

Crumbled Crackers in milk is another example of what “some” consider as quirky.           You take an antique beer goblet, hopefully from the cabinet and not in the drainer, crumble saltine crackers in the glass, pour milk over the crackers until covered, retrieve spoon from flatware drawer, (if empty check dish drainer flatware compartment) stir concoction and enjoy. Occasionally when I have had a big meal for lunch I resort to this for my dinner in the evening.

 

.3-bartlett-collins-thumbprint-clear-glass-stem-beer-goblets-16-oz-3-737040a841efb91bd085d02206830e48crackers

So there you have a few examples of what “some people” consider quirky.

If you ask the “Rancherette” I am confident she could list several more “quirky” examples, (in her opinion),  but since this is my blog I reserve the right to choose the items that grace these pages. Besides, she has her hands full with loading the dish drainer.

AND since this is New Year’s Day, I wish all my family, friends and readers a very happy start to 2019.

Ice Cream Scoop

Being a creature of habit, I went into the kitchen, cut me a piece of delicious Apple pie made lovingly by the “Rancherette” , got the Blue Bell from the fridge, looked in the drawer where we keep such specialty items as my special ice cream scoop, and it wasn’t there.  My scoop is not your regular scoop, it is more like a miniature shovel. It removes the ice cream from the carton in a shovel fashion, unlike other scoops that make little balls. It was a free gift from Gulf Gas many years ago.

IMG_7144

The “Rancherette” and I bought this old farm house in 2009. With her design skills and my building skills, we spent about four years remodeling and changing things up a bit. When we got to the small kitchen, it was either give up counter space and cabinets to put in a dishwasher or keep counter space and cabinets and give up a dishwasher. The “Rancherette” decided to give up the dishwasher in favor of the cabinets. Since there was a lack of cabinet space she made a wise decision.

However, this meant a dish drainer would be necessary. As I have learned since the remodel, the “Rancherette” is an expert at putting dishes in a dish drainer. She knows so very well what will fit where. She also knows how high to stack the dishes and the little compartment on the side that holds the flatware until it will not hold the flatware. In that case the overflow will fit under a plate or pan somewhere else in the drainer. She is teaching me the skill. As I said, an expert. You see, everything in our farmhouse kitchen has a specified place.

With that being said, the only problem I have is: “Where is my ice cream scoop?”  I’m sure we all have our little peculiarities. For me, it is my ice cream scoop. Well, I also need my “dog food bowl”. For those of you who do not understand, my “dog food” bowl is a small yellow Tupperware cereal bowl. Many years ago it was placed in a bag of dog food as a gift from the manufacturer when you purchased their brand of dog food. I have several from that time period. My cereal  would not taste the same from any other bowl nor my ice cream from any other scoop.

. IMG_7149

So, I have my bowl, I have cut my pie and taken the ice cream from the fridge. But where is my scoop?  There is no sign of my ice cream scoop. Then I remembered. Look in the drainer. But all the other dishes are piled high in the drainer. It isn’t in the specialty drawer, it isn’t in the flatware container in the drainer and it isn’t in the sink dirty. My ice cream is beginning to melt and I have no scoop. Heaven forbid that I must use the little round ball technique. I asked the “Rancherette” if she had any idea where my ice cream shovel was located. She said look in the drainer. I said, “I did, it isn’t there.” And she said, “Look deeper!” But the drainer is stacked almost to the ceiling. So I have three choices, unload the drainer, use a different scoop or forego the ice cream.

So I began unloading the drainer. I work my way carefully, piece by piece, in case I spot the ice cream scoop before unloading the entire drainer. But to no avail. And my ice cream is melting.

Finally, the drainer is empty and there it is, my scoop, on the bottom. I suspect a ploy here. When the dishes in the sink are washed, my ice cream scoop is washed first. It can then be placed on the bottom with all the other dishes expertly arranged on top. What better way to get the drainer unloaded? I told you the “Rancherette” is an expert.

Under the Kitchen Sink

I am such a creature of habit. The news comes on around here at 4 P.M., Monday through Friday. It airs for two and a half hours. There are four local news channels in my area and I switch back and forth so I don’t miss a thing.

They all have the usual assortment of local, national and international news. I don’t know, some of it may be “fake news”, I watch the stories anyway. Let me preface this post by saying,  do not take this personally. I know this may upset some of my friends, but it is not meant to be troubling to you, and may even appear sensitive for some, but it is merely my take of news in general.

Some of the programs touch me in such a way that I have dreams about them. Sometimes the dreams could be described as “nightmares”.  I’m not saying this particular dream was a nightmare, although it could be for some. My question to you, the reader, is, “Do you ever have thoughts or musings about such?

Our news sources regularly report on the happenings of the President. He is a big fan of social media, in case you haven’t noticed. There are many subjects he covers on an hourly basis, or so it seems. He sometimes embellishes his tweets and is generally called out for those comments. Now, I am not judging any of these situations, only commenting my view point.

One story, in particular, caught my attention. The other night, Mr. Trump, our current resident of the White House, stated that he was going to ban bump stocks, an attachment to a semi-automatic rifle that creates a type of machine gun. I do not own a machine gun or any type of semi-automatic rifle. My little .22 caliber rifle is used primarily around here for protection from varmints, predators and slimy snakes. I do not like snakes. My .22 is a bolt action rifle and has a six cartridge magazine  It would not be capable of mounting a bump stock. Machine guns have been illegal in this country for quite some time. I have never seen a machine gun except on the TV series , “The Untouchables” shown in 1959. I’m pretty sure they were only props. Guess that dates me quite well.

I used my trusty .22 some time back to dispose of a skunk. Skunks are persona non gratis around the Fuzzy Chicken Farm. Once he was no longer kicking, the remains had to be disposed of. That was a problem. The smell of a skunk really lingers for a long time. And the location of said animal was very close to the back door. “Doo, doo, doo, Looking out my back door”, my apologies to J.C. Fogerty of Credence Clearwater”.                                      You know, I kinda like that song, and listening to the words very carefully it reminds me of the current situation in Washington, D.C. Just had to throw that in.

So, I watched the news that particular evening, and “bump stocks” stuck in my mind. Like an ear worm. (Note the song above) As luck or fate would have it, or whatever you call it, I fell asleep wondering about my “workload”  the coming day.

Then a knock at the front door and the doorbell rang. The dog began barking. Dogs do not like big brown trucks, or garbage trucks, or doorbells. I jumped from my bed and raced to the door, with the dog getting there first. I restrained him and peered through the blinds to see who it was. It was Mr. Trump. I opened the door and asked if I could be of any assistance, thinking he was probably lost. Now I live in the country and to come to my house one must be on a mission. No one gets lost at my house. It is not a destination location. One must have a reason to come this far out.

So, I asked Mr. Trump what his reason was for visiting my house in the middle of the night. He replied, ”I’m here for your bump stock”. “I don’t have a bump stock,” I said. He said, “it is a crime to lie to a Federal authority.” By this time, I am getting nervous. I timidly asked, “Do you have a warrant?” He replied, “no, I don’t need one but I do need your bump stock, so hand it over.”  “You can search my house if you want to but I don’t have a bump stock”, I said. I must have convinced him. The next thing I knew, he was gone. I looked under the kitchen sink and there was a bump stock I did not know I had. Moments later, my bladder called. Whew, what a relief! (in more ways than one)

I think I will start watching Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy, well, maybe not Jeopardy. Just gonna restrict my news watching habits a bit. Or maybe listen to some more Credence Clearwater. Becareful watching the news.

This isn’t a Christmas Piece, however, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

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