Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

This is not my only Halloween post. Please be sure to scroll down to the second post after this one. Hope no one is offended by a couple of these cartoons, but they were so funny, I had to share them!

A trip to the Mausoleum in the Middle of the Night

Back when I was in college, my roommate, Joy, and I came home for a weekend. At the time I was dating a guy from my hometown, and went home from campus most weekends to see him.

On this particular weekend, we had planned a double date; he had lined up one of his friends so the four of us could do something fun. He promised that he would plan something special. When he called, he said we might want to dress warm; that seemed weird to me at the time, because we were having a pretty mild autumn.

The guys picked us up and first we went to play mini-golf, which was fun, but didn't seem like the "special" date he had promised. Boyfriend and his buddy kept checking their watches, but I didn't thnk about it much at the time. When the mini-golf game ended, we went back to bf''s car, and drove around for a while. Finally, we ended up on a back road somewhere out in the country--I had no idea where we were. He pulled the car off the road, and said, "Come on. This is going to be fun!"

Joy and I and her blind date piled out of the car and followed bf into the woods. After a few minutes walking through the trees, he took my hand and said, "This way." I followed him and begain to notice tombstones...we were in a graveyard, at night, in total darkness! I began to get a bad feeling about things; graveyards can be peaceful places in daylight, but at night--not so much.

"Lets go back to the car," I begged, my skin crawling from the images going through my mind. I had seen all the creepy movies, and nothing good ever happened to the actors in a graveyard at night!

"We're almost there," bf said, squeezing my hand tightly. I'll give Joy credit...she was following right along, not nearly as uncomfortable as I. Finally we arrived at a mausoleum.
(Picture something like the building above, in the dark of night, with fog creeping in here and there.)

"Look--the door's open a little!" Bf took out a flashlight and cast the beam on the door. It was rusty-looking and emitted a painful creak as he pushed it further open. "Come on," he said, excitedly, as he pulled me toward the entrance.

"I'm not going in there!" I protested.

"Oh, don't be such a wimp!" bf said as he pulled me into the black, creepy entrance. I followed him, reluctantly, palms sweating, and the hair on the back of my neck standing on end. He flashed the beam of his flashlight along the floor of the building. Suddenly we heard a moan. . .quickly he turned the light's beam toward the sound.

We saw a cement bier with a whitish body partially covered by a cloth or sheet. The body was rising, moaning, it's arms extended toward us! I screamed and ran out the door. Luckily, Joy's blind date quickly grabbed my arm and stopped me, else I'd probably still be running!

Would you believe, one of bf's friends had been lying on the bier under the sheet, having "powdered" his bare upper half with flour, waiting for us?? That was the reason bf and Joy's blind date kept checking their watches. They planned to arrive at the mausoleum at the time he would be there. Joy, good sport that she was, laughed about the whole incident; I was not such a good sport. I was furious at bf for doing that to us! He thought it was a pretty good Halloween prank. I told him he could have given us heart attacks! I did forgive him eventually, but not until long after my heart rate had returned to normal, and the goosebumps were gone from my body!

Hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Caution: This Post Contains Info Which May Be Offensive to Some

The Penis Study

In 1997, Harvard funded a study to discover why the head of a penis is larger than the rest of it. After 1 year and $150,000, they concluded that the reason the head was larger than the shaft was to give the man more pleasure during sex.

After the study was published, U.C.L.A. decided to do their own study. After 3 years of study and $350,000, they concluded that the reason the head was larger than the shaft was to give the woman more pleasure during sex.

Unsatisfied with these findings, Congress decided to conduct their own study; after 2 weeks and a cost of $75.46, they concluded that it was to keep a man's hand from flying off and hitting him in the forehead.

(Many thanks to my good friend Carol for sharing this information with us!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Throwback Thursday! Siblings

This is Hubby and his sister Tina at Number One son's wedding ten years ago. Hubby was having a difficult time with his suspenders. They were not long enough and at one point, while he was eating, they popped off, came flying over his head, and landed on the table in front of him! Of course, we all thought it was great fun.

It was a terrific day; Hubby even danced with the groom--his stepson. I held my breath, praying that the suspenders would hold and he wouldn't lose his pants out there on the dance floor. There's nothing like a big family get-together to create wonderful memories.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Frost is on the Pumpkin!

Well, it's getting chilly here in Maine. Time to get the electric blanket plugged in, the snuggies out of the bottom drawer, and the furry slippers out of the closet. 'Bout the time we finish eating the leftover Trick or Treat Candy, we'll be seeing snowflakes.

I have a whole different attitude about winter this year: I'm retired, and if it's nasty out, I don't even have to get out of bed, if I don't want to! You have to understand that last year at this time my job had me driving all over creation in all kinds of weather. Getting up before 7:00 a.m. so that you can get the snow brushed off your car and the windshield defrosted is not my idea of fun. Then driving 2 1/2 hours through blizzard like conditions (it happened more than once!) to arrive at a customer's home to have them say, "I've changed my mind. I bought from the guy down the street," was such a delight.

Of course, if it was really storming when I got up in the morning, I could reschedule my appointments for another day. But in New England, the weather conditions can be very different two hours away from where you are, or even where you are standing, two hours later!

On one occasion, I got stuck in a snowbank in my customer's driveway, and prayed that the poor old guy wouldn't have a heart attack while shoveling me out! More than once I managed to get my car back in control after performing a reluctant 180 degree maneuver on an icy road.

Nope, not this winter. When the snow blows, when the freezing rain falls, you'll find me safe and warm in my home, maybe in my snuggies and furry slippers, sipping hot toddy, and thanking the good Lord that I'm retired and don't have to venture out there. I'll watch Ellen and Dr.Phil and snuggle up with my blanket in my recliner! (And I might not even bother to wear that bra!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Memories of a Haunting Celebration

Several years ago I worked in banking. I was a customer service representative, and later a financial services representative. The bank branch I worked at employed about 15 people including tellers, customer service reps and managers. We were a pretty close knit group, so when one of our tellers was turning 50, we couldn't let her birthday go by unnoticed. We plotted and planned a major surprise party for her.

On the big day, we had the branch all decorated with black crepe paper and black balloons. We made a poster for her teller station with her picture and the words, "Welcome to AARP" on it. There was a basket of "gifts" for her, all wrapped in black paper: Denture cream, Preparation H, Geritol, Depends, and a gift certificate for one free night at a local nursing home. (Our branch manager at the time owned a small assisted living facility and his wife had printed up on their computer a very fancy certificate that promised a comfortable bed, a rousing game of checkers, "one free enema--only one!" , 3 easy to swallow meals, and an afternoon nap.

We had a tombstone birthday cake, memorializing the passage of her youth. We served cake and coffee to all the customers that day, and they all extended their "sympathy" and birthday wishes.

We also had made the above sign with a picture of the Grim Reaper saying,"I'm not here for the cake!" Needless to say, Anne, the birthday girl was floored. As it turned out, when she was growing up, her family had never celebrated birthdays, so it was her first birthday party, ever! She laughed and cried in appreciation, and it was one of the best birthday celebrations I've ever had the privilege to attend.

Anne later moved to Seattle, and I had met her for lunch while I was on the west coast recently. Of course, as part of our reminiscing, the party came up, and I warned her that I would blog about it when I got back. Still love ya', Anne!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting the Right Getup for Halloween

I've been giving a lot of thought to a Halloween costume. I've been a witch, an Arab, a ghost, a hobo, and any number of other ordinary characters. This year I really wanted to go for a different look.

I came across this Cher costume at a local costume shop and wondered, Is it too over the top? I mean, is it the real me?

I wanted something very cool, but maybe this is a little draftier than I had in mind. And breathing in this thing is no easy task for me. It took me an hour to squeeze into it! I had to add the big necklace to weigh down my boobs and keep them from popping out of that top. I think it may be a couple of sizes too small.

I'd have to make sure I stay really healthy from now until the weekend. If I catch a cold, a sneeze while wearing this might be a disaster that could result in my getting arrested. Plus, I just don't know how long I could hold my breath.I'm just not sure if this is the right outfit for me; maybe it's a little too scary.

The boots are nice, though. I may want to keep them for the winter...we can get some pretty deep snowstorms here in Maine!

Silent Sunday: A Slide Show for the Young & Young at Heart

This is a slide show of the photos I took of Lego Land at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. All the creatures, characters, and vehicles are constructed entirely of Legos. videoIf you have kids, they may enjoy this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Message on Growing Older

Today I have a beautiful message for you all about growing older. . .. .
Oh, shit. I forgot what it was!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It is time to break out the bubbly and celebrate the awards that my fellow bloggers have been so kind as to bestow upon me. I appreciate the recognition immensely, and given time, I'm going to find a way to display all the awards together, but for now:

Two awards were given to me yesterday by The Redheaded Riter. She has a fun blog that I enjoy reading and know you will, too. Pay her a visit soon! The first is the Dragon's Loyalty Award which is to be passed on to my dedicated followers. You know who you are....I can't begin to list all 132 of you here. I hope each of you will snatch this award and post it on your blog as a reminder of how much I appreciate your being a follower!
The second award is the Daffy Comments Award, from her also. I am supposed to pass this award on to those whose comments are outstanding. I feel I must pass this award on to Messina, at and then there was me , since she always has good thoughts to offer, and I also love her blog. I also need to pass this award on to The Vegetable Assassin, because her salty sense of humor cracks me up! If you haven't paid her a visit, you seriously need to!

I was pleased to be presented with the One Lovely Blog Award by more than one blogger. Some time has passed since this award was given to me, but when I was on the road, it was often difficult to find the time and the internet access to be able to do more than my post, so I'm acknowledging this award with gratitude now. Steven at No Excuse, No Explanation gave me this award, and I can't say enough about his blog. It's sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and always entertaining. This award also came to me from Kablooey
whose blog is another I enjoy immensely. Check out her daughter's owner of a dead, disected cow Halloween costume! I also received this award from Ekan an interesting blogger from India. He's multi-talented, writes and sings and has several blogs. If you haven't been to his blog, it's a must see!

Again, many thanks to those who felt I was deserving of these awards; the mean a lot.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Throwback Thursday! Circa 1947 0r 1948

This was probably my first "naked on the beach" photo. It should have been a clue to where the future would lead me. . .If you remember reading the post about my secret career this will make sense to you. (If it's not making sense to you, click on the red words above!)

I remember my senior year of high school I bought a 2 piece bathing suit--something no other female in my family had ever possessed or thought of wearing! This was way pre-bikini; it consisted of a pair of blue and white checked shorts and matching halter top, which covered way more than the average bra. My Mom did not approve. The first time she saw me laying on my stomach on a blanket on the back lawn with the halter undone, in an attempt to avoid tan lines on my back, that suit disappeared and was never seen again!

But I was undaunted. I later acquired a love of skinny dipping when I had my own backyard pool, and occasionally did the same at a public beach in the dead of night. I no longer have a backyard pool, or I'd still be skinny-dipping today. Unfortunately, the activity is frowned on at the YMCA pool--those lifeguards have no sense of humor. Curiously, my neighbors were not thrilled when I went for a dunk in their kiddie pool, either!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vacation Withdrawal

I have been home for five days; it has been a traumatic experience. Not once has anyone come in and changed my sheets, made my bed, or brought me freshly laundered towels. Not once have I awakened to a free continental breakfast. Not once, people, in five days! This is very upsetting. I had grown to love those little shampoo and body lotion bottles...none of those have shown up, either. This must be that dreaded condition called, "vacation withdrawal!"

I remember I suffered from this once before several years ago when we had taken a ten day vacation in Aruba. I was totally traumatized when I returned to work and not once was I offered frozen fruit on a stick; not one pina colada was delivered to my desk; and not once did a handsome pool boy come by and offer to spritz me! I tell you, it was not a pretty predicament.

I really thought it was a plague that only attacked those who worked for a living. Being retired, I never expected to suffer this infection again! But here I am: pathetically wishing for my Priority Pack with the bottled water, sun chips, granola bar, and apple from the Holiday Inn Express; pining for pretty towel animals placed on the sink by creative, caring maids, and wondering where those sausages, waffles, and cinnamon danish went?

On the bright side, I haven't once exited the elevator on the wrong floor, lost sleep because of the freight train humming past hourly, or struggled with wretched wi/fi.

Count your blessings, count your blessing--the glass is half full, girl!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Purloined Panties

I don't know what it is with me and my undergarments. I just can't seem to hang on to them. Some of you may remember reading about the Dropped Draws incident that I wrote about some time ago; then there was the panty raid incident. Both involved supposed out- of -control undies.

While we were in Las Vegas (I know, what happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas--but I'll make an exception!) you may recall we attended a dinner theater presentation "Marriage is Murder." During that show, Mimi, the hostess/star, came over to our table and placed the above pictured panties on my placemat. She then announced to the entire room that she was returning them after I had tossed them to Tom Jones during his concert the previous evening! (So much for "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!')

Of course, I was happy to have them returned, but not necessarily so publicly! Let that be a lesson to you, the next time you decide to throw caution to the wind in Vegas! Keep in mind that Mimi may be somewhere in the wings, watching and waiting.

Monday, October 19, 2009

If this is Monday, we must be on the Third Floor.

Ah, the joys of hotel living....... One of the problems with a long trip like I just finished, is that after a while, the days all tend to blend together, and you're no longer sure where you are. I knew it was getting to be time for us to come home when one morning at our hotel, we left our room and boarded the elevator to take advantage of the "free" continental breakfast. The doors closed, the elevator moved, then the doors opened. A couple stood there in the hallway waiting to board. Hubby started to exit, when I grabbed his arm, pointed to the light above the door and said, "This is the second floor. We want the first floor." The couple joined us in the elevator, the doors closed, again the contraption moved, and again the doors opened. This time we were definitely on the first floor, so we exited and went to the breakfast area.
We had breakfast, and Hubby decided to have a second cup of coffee. I said, "You go ahead and enjoy your coffee, I'll go back to our room and finish packing up our stuff." I went back to the elevator, pressed the number 3, and that wonderful gadget whipped me right up to the 3rd floor in no time. I walked down the hall to my room, and inserted the key: No green light, no click, the door wouldn't open. I reinserted my key and tried again, at least four times. Then I pulled out the envelope my key came in; it listed my room number as 119. The door I was working so hard to open was 319! I went back to the elevator and returned to the first floor, just in time to intercept Hubby about to go back to the third floor.

I grabbed his arm and said, "Come with me."

"Where are we going?" he asked.

I steered him down the hall to room 119, inserted my key and the door opened. It was then that we realized we had left our first floor room which was practically around the corner from the continental breakfast area and taken the elevator. Obviously, the couple we had encountered on the second floor had pressed the elevator button for it to come up to them, and we two "traveling drunks" thought we had come down from the 3rd floor instead of up from the second. That couple probably were fully aware that the elevator had just come up from the first floor and thought we were a couple of looney toons riding the elevator up and down for the sheer thrill of it all! We had a good laugh and realized that either Alzheimers was setting in, or we had been on the road WAY too long!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Silent Sunday

Autumn in Maine: Spectacular!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Road Trip Day 30: the finale!

On Friday morning, 10/16, we were delighted to find the snow had stopped, and we were ready to make the final leg of our trek...Home! We left the Holiday Inn Express in Waterbury around 9:00 a.m.One of the first things we saw was this beautiful old church, just down the street from our hotel.
The roads were clear, and the traffic minimal, as the "morning rush" had already taken place. The hints of autumn were abundant.
I was so tired, that I slept through much of the trip; I did manage to catch a little of Worcester, Massachusetts' skyline . . .

And the tower on another beautiful old church! I love the ones made of stone.

As we came closer to Maine, the leaves were more colorful. Sorry...I slept through the "Welcome to New Hampshire" sign!

We stopped for a break where there was a sign that is near and dear to Hubby's heart! Dunkin' Donuts! We hadn't seen one since we left New England.
He was craving the coffee. As it says on the cup: America runs on Dunkin'." Of course, he had to have a couple of doughnuts, too.

Soon, the Piscataqua River Bridge which connects New Hampshire to Maine came in sight.
It stands proudly spanning the Piscataqua River.

And then, the sign that we were close to home!

The sign says, "Welcome to Maine: the way life should be." I guess I have to agree. I experienced many beautiful places and great food, and friendly people on our trip, but Maine is special to me. We live about 40 minutes from the border, and were back home by 1:30 p.m. I have mixed feelings about our return. I missed my family, but I loved having clean sheets and towels daily without ever having to do laundry; I loved having great meals, without having to cook or wash dishes; I loved seeing new sights everyday.

Just a few details about our trip, for those who've asked: We traveled 7,384 miles, we passed through 28 states (including Maine) and one Canadian province. ( Some states we passed through twice, on our way out and on our way back, but I only counted them once!)

We stayed at 2 Country Inn & Suites, 5 Holiday Inns Express, 5 Comfort Inns, 2 Hampton Inns, 1 Econolodge, 1 Howard Johnson, 1 Best Western, 1 LaQuinta, 1 Ramada Inn and The Stratosphere. The most costly stay was $132.00 and the most economical was $43.00. The most we paid for gas was $3.39 per gallon in California, and the least we paid was $2.17 in Oklahoma. Our best gas mileage was 34.2 mpg at 61 mph; our worst was 28.4 mpg at 44 mph (much of that worse mileage was driving through the Rockies.)

Would I do it again? In a New York Second--after I've had a week or so to recover, and if I could afford it. Hubby, not so much; but he did 80 per cent of the driving. What's our next trip? If we can afford it, in a year or two we would like to drive down to the Florida Keys., but that will only be a 2-week trip, I'd guess. And Hubby says it would be done in the winter time--a chance to get away from the snow and cold of Maine winter!

Again, many thanks to those of you who came along on this trip with us. I know many of you commented that you were enjoying it, and that brought me pleasure. Over the next few days or so, I know I'll have more stories from this trip to share with you; most nights I was just too tired to share more than I did at the time. But there were a few humorous things I'll relate soon! And I finally caught up on all the blogs I follow that I hadn't had time to read!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Throwback Thursday: An Adjustment at Mt. Rushmore

Well, day 29 of the road trip sucked! It was the first bad day of the trip. We were greeted again by the Stimulus Dollars at work. . .Construction slowing traffic to a crawl in pouring rain.
Due to the construction, the weather and the traffic, I missed the welcome to New Jersey and Connecticut signs. (although I did publish a NY sign earlier in my travels.) Above is the Tappenzee Bridge as we was snowing by the time we got there.

Traffic was bumber to bumper, the snow kept coming down, and the temperature was hovering around 33 degrees! WTF? This is October 15th, not December 15th! I was unable to get good pictures, which is unfortunate, because in some areas the foliage was beautiful. We decided to pull off the road for the night in Waterbury, Connecticut, even though we are probably only 4 and a half hours from home. Hopefully, the weather will improve in the morning.

In the meantime, I thought I'd do a Throwback Thursday meme with a photo I just received of Mt. Rushmore. It's a 'throwback' in that we were at Mt. Rushmore weeks ago.

I don't usually get into politics on my blog, but for this occasion, I had to make an exception. I voted for President Obama. I know, many people did. But I guess my vote was special. I can't think of any other reason for the above adjustment to the sculptures on Mt. Rushmore since our visit. Or maybe the people at the park were happy for the exposure I gave them on my blog. I just know I received this picture today. I can't believe they even managed to include my glasses! And the place of honor beside George Washington,. . . I'm touched!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Road Trip Day 28: The First Real Rain of the Trip

The first thing that happened this morning--we crossed into Virginia. Armed with new batteries in my camera, I was able to photograph the bright red cardinal that is Virginia's state bird.

This was the first day in our so far 28-day trip when we have actually had rain. It's pretty amazing when you think about it..twenty-seven days with nothing more than a couple of sprinkles. Most days were sunny and pleasant. Good Karma, I guess; either that or my late Mom is pulling strings up there for me with the big Guy.

Most of the morning I was unable to get much in the way of pictures, as the rain just made everthing gray and dreary. The clouds seemed to be hanging low, and there was a bit of fog obscuring things, too.

When it was time for lunch, we stopped at Five Guys in Staunton, Virginia. (Yep, that's my white Chevy in the picture above.) I don't know if you remember, but Five Guys in Washington, D. C., is one of The Obama family's favorite places for burgers. And with good reason! The burgers are awesome. The fries are fresh cut; nothing served at Five Guys is frozen.

Our first visit to a Five Guys Restaurant was in Fairfax, Virginia, a few years ago when we visited our son there. He's the same one who now lives in the Seattle area, and yes, he took us to Five Guys there as well. We were hooked from the first visit!

The best part of it all is that the quality is consistent. The burgers in Fairfax, Seattle, and Staunton were all excellent; the fries are consistently delicious as well. The chain is expanding, and if there isn't a store near you now, there may be soon. It's important that I mention that I am not being compensated in any way for my comments about Five Guys. I'm just a believer in spreading the word about an excellent product!
Today's lunch at Five Guys was definitely the high point of this gloomy day. The manager was very friendly and spent several minutes talking to us about his restaurant and the fact that the Five Guys philosophy is to only use the best ingredients, and serve a limited menu, but do it in the finest way. I would have to say, they are achieving their goal. I hope Five Guys comes to Maine, soon.

The part of Virginia we drove through was very rural. Lots of trees, fields, and farms.

We saw more leaves changing color.. I only wish the sun had been shining so the colors would be brighter.
The rain was intermittent in the afternoon. Sometimes we thought the sky was clearing, and then the clouds would darken, and the rain would return.
The countryside was quite scenic.

Then we crossed into West Virginia;

Again, more trees, more colors!
Then just a few minutes in Maryland....

You can see, the rain was still hitting the windshield as I tried to photograph this tree with the very red leaves!
Then into Pennsylvania! We are spending the night in Chmbersburg.

In the middle of farm country. We've passed lots of cows and sheep. I don't think I'll need to count them to sleep tonight! I'm really beat. This may be our last night on the road...depends on how things go tomorrow.

videoThis video shows you most of what we saw today! Thanks for coming along. Night all!