Thursday, August 30, 2012

One Liners - 8/30

Auron- "Ignore ze smell and come closer, my leetle buttercup."

As always, y`all are encouraged to play along! Just put your one liners for the above image in the comments section below. Have fun gang!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Two Goatherders VS A Bee

This tale falls into the ‘Acorn doesn`t fall far from the tree’ category. Mister has been heard to say that Miss Yodeling and I are like twins, and yeah, I`ll admit we do have some very similar traits. Dry crust removal from bread being just one of many quirks my daughter and I share. This episode though really drove home how alike we are….

It was a lovely late summer morning. Miss was in the passenger seat and I was driving. We were headed to her boyfriend`s house, who lives about twenty-five minutes away. (Nothing or no-one is close here in the hills of Pennsylvania.) We were doodling along our dirt road, the windows open and my classic rock station playing on the radio. Suddenly my daughter jerks violently. I glance over at her and see her searching the floor with wide eyes. The dialog went like this-

Miss-“Okay THAT was a bee.”

Me-“Are you sure?”

Miss-“Yes, I`m sure. I looked down at my arm and saw a bee on it.”

Me-“Did it go back out the window?”

Miss-“No, it`s in here somewhere.”

At this point of the journey, I pulled over. It is easier and safer to pull over and locate the bee then try to drive with said bee in car. Both Miss and I are terrified of bees. Yes, I know, she inherited that phobia from me just as I picked it up from my mother. My mother was a crazed killer when it came to any bug with a stinger. Bees found her enticing and quite alluring. I think it had to do with the amount of hair spray and lacquer she wore in her hair back in the day. Or, maybe they were impressed with the massive blonde beehive atop her head and wished to call it home. Whatever the cause, bees and all their cousins adored my mother. She held no warm, fuzzy feelings for them though.

Mom had a fly swatter that could knock a water buffalo into unconsciousness, I kid you not. It was two swatters taped together with black tape. I swear the thing weighed a solid pound. Heaven help any stinging insect that ventured into her home unsuspectingly. How my dad and Mister have put up with the shrieks, flapping, and general bedlam that a wasp produces I honestly don`t know. Sorry, I`m digressing again.

There we sit alongside the road and her car door is now open.

Miss-“I found him! He`s down in the crack between the door and the car.”

Me-“Kill him.”

Miss-“With what?!”

Me-“Step on him.”

Miss-“I`m not stepping on it!!”

Me-“Look in the back, Dad must have something to swat a bug with.”

She pawed about blindly; her eyes locked to the bee and came up with a package of weed eater string. With a nod from me she then proceeded to beat the bee into a smudge. Or so I assumed. Once sanity had returned we began our trek to the boyfriend`s house without further incident or insect invasion.

On the way home I was singing once more, only more loudly this time because I was alone, when I happened to look to the right and what to my wandering eye did appear? Uh-huh. The bee Miss had supposedly obliterated. I think he was quite disgruntled about being whipped with a package of weed eater string. He looked mad to me anyway. His antenna was crossed with ire, and his compound eyes held a glint of malice. The car came to another fast, dusty stop alongside the road. I exited the vehicle after grabbing the package of weed eater string from the floor of the backseat.

It wasn`t pretty but after a few minutes of the old swat and chase, the bee took off for flower stamens unknown and I leaped back into my car the victor. Mister, of course, merely shook his head when I relayed the story. He then asked how much damage was done to the car. There was not a scratch upon the car I`m pleased to tell him.

I bet the folks along our road are wondering what the hell is wrong with his wife and child, though.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What Lurks in the Woods?

There were some odd things happening on the hillside farm this morning….

Let me go back to five this morning and relate what occurred. I stumbled out, missing a slipper, aimed myself at the coffee pot and poured a mug full. Mister had left for work already. Miss is spending a few days with her boyfriend before school starts so it`s just me here with the critters until Mister comes home this afternoon.

I got a few sips of zombie cure into me and shuffled over to let the dogs out. I removed my lost slipper from Trinity`s mouth and opened the door. Three dogs and a yellow cat raced out into the dark. I cursed. Lucius isn`t supposed to go outside until the sun is up. Owls are known to snack upon cats, or so Mister tells me. I don`t know if owls really eat cats or not but I`ve seen what they do to rabbits. It`s not pretty.

I yelled at the dogs to keep an eye on that rassafrassin` bad cat and go back to drinking coffee. One by one the dogs returned. Tinker the beagle is last, but that`s not unusual. He tends to get easily distracted. I handed out dog biscuits to the trio. Then Tinker began to act very oddly. Generally all three dogs go back to sleep after coming in. Tinker will either crash on our bed after digging Mister`s pillow into a mound (Why just his pillow I haven`t a clue) or he`ll curl up with Miss.

This morning he paced from window to window anxiously. I peeked out and saw nothing. The sun was just coming up by this time. The cow barn chickens were awake and pecking about casually. The geese, which had thrown a hissy fit and refused to go into their coop last night, were meandering across the driveway with cool, goosy nonchalance.

Not wishing to appear to be some Mary-Jane, I shrugged the dogs actions off, got a shower and then went out the back door with my black lab to do chores. Trinity at my side erased any lingering qualms I may have had about Tinker`s weird behavior. I scooped up my corn and headed up the hill, a hundred pound Lab at my side with the corn bucket in her mouth. Big dogs do give us a sense of protection no doubt.

Halfway up the hill the dog paused. A low growl began to rumble from her. I stopped dead. I looked around the backyard and peered into the state woods that hug our property. I saw nothing. Trinity was still growling deeply in her chest. We moved up the hill slowly, my fingers on her head. There was not a rustle in the tall weeds that border where Mister mows the grass. I took the bucket of corn from the dog when I got to the first coop. Trinity slinked off with her tail down and then shoved her head into a thick patch of weeds beside the green coop. I watched through the fence as I was scooping up turkey pellets. Her hackles rose. Her growl deepened. I could not see a thing in the weeds under the pines.

Not knowing what was nearby, if anything, I called her back. She came, but it was with multiple looks over her shoulder. By this time I was pretty sure Tinker had not been playing games earlier. What I was concerned about now was if the bear was still close or not. Trinity and I got the chores done in record time rest assured. Going down the hill to the house she once more stopped, empty corn bucket handle in mouth, and issued another warning growl at the weeds. Lucius then raced across the yard, his tail like a bottle brush and dashed to the back door.

I`m not sure what lurks in the woods but Mister is going to go up and shut up birds tonight!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One Liners - 8/22

Lu-Lu - "I could have sworn I saw her stash the cat treats in here."

As always, y`all are encouraged to play along. Just put your one liner for the above image in the comments section. Have fun!

A big yodel of welcome to Tashi and Jack. Welcome to the hillside farm from all the goofy critters and goatherders that reside upon it!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Muse Upon Fitted Sheets

I`ve never been a huge fan of fitted sheets. Lately it seems the darn things are working to make my life even harder. That has not raised my appreciation of them any. Don`t get me wrong, I like sleeping on something other than then the mattress pad. It`s just that over the past few years fitted sheets and me have had a few….encounters, shall we say, that have left me rather disgruntled with those elastic-edged flaps of material.

For example, and I may be dating myself here, but I`m on a roll so why worry over people knowing how old I am, right? Back in the day, fitted sheets used to have elastic on the corners. That was it. Not all the way around. Just on the corners. I rather liked that. Granted, they did tend to pull off if something physical was going on in the bed *Wink-Wink* or if hubby was a tosser-and-turner, but overall those loose corners could be held in place with what I called ‘sheet garters’. If you remember or have ever used these you win a no-prize!

My life as a wife and official stripper and remaker of the bed was pretty sanguine. Then one Christmas, not too long ago, Santa brought me new sheets. As soon as I opened the package I knew I was in for trouble. There was elastic around the whole danged fitted sheet! What kind of madness was this? How in the name of Gomez Addams` cigar would I EVER figure out how this went on the bed??

Needless to say, after a washing and drying of the new sheets from Hell, the tussle broke out. I will admit to not being the quickest on the draw when it comes to new things. My daughter, one of those tech savvy teenagers, will attest to this fact readily. You`d laugh yourself silly if you heard the conversations between her and I about how to use her cell phone-

Me-“There`s no dial tone.”

Miss-“You have to turn it on first, mother!”

Me-“Oh….how do you turn it on?”

It goes downhill from there and I end up using smoke signals to send my message. But I digress.

So after a large kerfuffle and many expletives, I finally got the fitted sheet on the bed. The struggles between me and the bottom sheets have not gotten better over the years. To this day (And I mean this very day because I just changed the sheets on our bed which led to this irate post) I always put the wrong corner on the mattress. Even after a good couple of shakings, long moments studying the situation, and then removing a cat from under the parachute sheet, I cannot get the right corner of the sheet on the right corner of the mattress. I always have the long side of the sheet placed on the short end of the mattress. It`s quite galling being outfoxed by a sheet. But never fear, good friends, I get my revenge. That`s right. I`ve stopped folding the bottom sheets.

Who`s the winner now you balled-up, wrinkled, over-elasticized bolt of cotton?!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One-Liners - 8/16

Tinker - "Wabbits! Wabbits! Wabbits!"

As always, y`all are encouraged to play along. Just put your one-liner for the above image in the comments section. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Life With Ares

More life with Ares

By Libby Simons


    So we`ve established that living with a Greek god is a hoot, right? The cold cabbage rolls episode should have given you a slight idea of what I deal with on a daily basis. We won`t even get into the choking your chicken comment he made a day after arriving. Suffice it to say I still snicker when I think about it. Not all of our encounters are played out for the citizens of Pride County, Pennsylvania to witness though, thank the gods.

   Some are innocent statements, made in the quiet relaxation of our home in the Laurel Highlands. Many revolve around television, a new and wondrous discovery that keeps Ares riveted. I`m beginning to hate ESPN with a passion, because if there is one thing a god of war and battle-lust craves, it`s physical pursuits, and yes, I`m waggling a naughty brow. Take last night for example…

    We were curled up on the couch after a long day of barn cleaning. Those of you with farm animals know how exhausting pitching manure with pitchforks is. Those of you who don`t live the rural dream, well, you`ll just have to take my word about how demanding a job mucking a barn is.

   After a quick dinner of cold ham, potato pancakes, and some chocolate cupcakes for dessert, the behemoth and I showered and dropped like bags of Arkansas rocks to the sofa in our pajamas. Ares was in a pair of cut-off fleece pants, and I was wearing a tiny green camisole top and matching shorts. I had curled up under Ares` heavy arm. He had the remote. Yes, that affliction affects immortal as well as mortal males. He was flipping channels, another malady of those who carry the Y gene.

   “Look, Bunting, there is a replay of a football game from the year nineteen and seventy-four,” my man drooled, stalling on that damned ESPN again. “I enjoy this game greatly, do you not?” he asked and stared at the screen.

   “Not really,” I confessed with a yawn, “Can`t we find something both of us want to watch?”

    He peeked down at me all comfy cozy against his side. “What is there not to like about football? Men run, leap, crash into each other at high velocity, and at times, even fall into physical altercations. Although I am confused about why they fondle each other’s rumps….”

    “Yeah, that confuses me too. Why don`t we watch something old tonight?” I suggested. He chewed it over then with a theatric sigh, flipped higher. My beagle, Hermione, slid behind my legs. The air had cooled off and was moving through the windows, carrying the scent of lavender from the flower beds outside. Cricket song filled the night. I nudged Ares to turn off the lamp on the end table. Cuddling by the light of the TV is very nice. I recommend it highly.

   “Wait! Go back,” I said when he rushed past something promising. His huge chest rose and fell dramatically as he flipped backwards. I smiled at the film just coming on. “You`ll really get a kick out of this,” I smiled then rested my damp curls on his pectoral. After the movie ended, the man shuffled around restlessly while making grunting sounds, like his finely made ass had gone numb. “What`s the problem? Didn`t you like ‘The Wizard of Oz’?”

   “It was…peculiar,” he admitted, still holding the remote in his right hand as if it were a lover. “Why are there oddly dressed dwarves singing? And simians that fly? Monkeys do not have wings. That was nonsensical.”

   “Said by the man that knows people with three torsos sprouting out of one waist,” I countered. He harrumphed in reply. “Didn`t you even like the songs? They`re quite catchy I think.”

   “I do not understand your infatuation with song in films. I do not break into song during the day. It is foolishness. Men do not vocalize their emotions.”

   “Apollo does,” I snuck in.

   “Aye and that makes my point.”

   “Ouch,” I chuckled at the slam. “Women like poetry and song, you know. Maybe you should send a saw-whet gram to the sun god and ask him to give you a poem to read to me. Something lyrical and romantic, filled with glowing mentions of my limpid pools, my rosy lips, my satiny skin or my….”

   “Did inhaling the aroma of dirty barn addle your mind, Libby?”

  I shrugged and sighed with great flair. “Okay, fine. I suppose I`m not worth one rhyming line about how pretty I am or how much you admire my heaving bosom.”

   “Your bosom is not large enough to heave,” the ox said.

   “You know, this couch will hold your bulk for a few nights!” I countered sharply and jerked upright. Ares is much faster than most would think given how massive he is. He had me on my back faster than a greased pig in a clinch. Hermione wriggled free as he pushed a thick thigh between my legs while pinning my wrists above my head.

   “Bunting,” he purred beside my ear. My synapses sparked. My lungs wondered why someone had parked a seed planter on my chest. “Surely you do not wish me to sleep on this chaise, do you?”

   “Maybe,” I huffed. Actually, it was a wheeze, but huffing sounds better, don`t you think? I rolled my head slightly to gaze up at his rugged face. He buried his crooked nose in my neck. His tongue lapped at my jugular. “It wouldn`t kill you to say something romantic to me once in….”

   “Awed by her splendor, stars near the lovely moon cover their own bright faces, when she is roundest and lights the earth with her splendor,” he whispered Sappho`s poem beside my ear, each word a hot exhalation that made fire erupt under my flesh. “Such is how I feel by you, my tiny fiery bunting…awed by your splendor.”

Needless to say, Ares didn`t sleep on the couch that night.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Word of Mouth - Outlander

I have a confession to make. I`ve started reading books that are highly touted with reservation. I try not to be so wary, honestly I do. After hearing such great praise about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and being sucked into reading it by my curious nature I have learned not to accept the gushing of others. So, when I overheard fans of this series cooing and sighing over the leading man, I forced my wandering eyebrow back down my brow and bought the first book of the ‘Outlander’ novels by Diana Gabaldon.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Over the past few months I`ve found myself bored with the Romance/Para Rom genres. The market is glutted and it seems as if every plotline and leading man has been done over and over and over. There are a few exceptions, of course. My beloved JR Ward and the delightful Jeaniene Frost who pens the Night Huntress series pop to mind.

This book *Waves copy of Outlander in the air* is not one of those! It is glorious! It is superb! It has renewed my faith in the genre that I love so dearly. I hope I can persuade just one person who adores romance as much as I do to buy this book. If I do, my heart will be happy.

The story begins in 1945. It revolves around Claire Randall, a former combat nurse who is taking a second honeymoon with her husband after the end of World War Two. Claire and Frank make a lovely couple who are deeply in love and reconnecting after years of seeing each other sporadically. You can feel the soft devotion each has for the other.

The author handles the time travel aspect of the story brilliantly. With just a touch of one of the many stone circles that pepper the British Isles, Claire is transported back in time to 1743. Our sassy, sensual ‘Sassenach’ finds herself smack dab in the middle of war-torn Scotland. Claire then crosses paths with James Fraser, a young Highland warrior. You know the kind of man that every man wants to be and every woman desires? That is Jamie and yet there is SO much more to him.

Ms. Gabaldon takes historical romance (a genre I can find rather dry at times) and breathes new life into it. Yes, her research is meticulous and her attention to detail is flawless but there is heart in this book along with laughter and tears, danger and suspense, anguish and joy, religion and revelations about the human condition that will leave you hungering for more.

I was swept away with the book. It took me to places that I didn`t know existed within myself. I could not put it down until I got to that last page and then I was overcome with sadness to see it end. I remedied that by rushing to my local Indie bookstore to grab the second book.

I plan to return to the Highlands as soon as I wrap up two books I am committed to read and review. Until I can return I will imagine Claire and Jaime waiting for me, their hands wrapped around each others as the wind rolls through the heather. I can almost see his tartan shuffling in the chilly air as his beloved lifts her defiant chin into the zephyr daring it to try to take her man from her.

I think I feel a swoon coming on….

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One Liners - 8/8

"What a pair of melons!!"


As always, y`all are encouraged to play along. Just put your one liner for the above image down in the comment section. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I`ve Just Seen a Simile

Yes, I have seen that famous lead balloon, or, if you`re an old rocker like me, a lead zeppelin sounds so much cooler. If only this sighting would have had Robert Plant sashaying around my living-room in those too tight jeans he wore. Or Jimmy Page sitting on my couch, playing lead guitar as only Mr. Page could. Sadly, it wasn`t quite as rocking and rolling as it could have been, but it was still something to see.

I bet you all are barely able to remain in your seats, you`re so full of anticipation. ‘How can I see a lead zeppelin too, Vicki?’ ‘I want to see a simile as well, Vicki!’ I wager you`re saying. Well, I`ll share the trick with you, my blogging buddies. If you too wish to see this sight, simply start talking to your teenage child (male or female works, I don`t think this is gender specific) about that most dreaded of words – responsibility.

The sub-topic can be varied, no worries. It can be about being responsible about their job, their chores, the amount of time spent with their boyfriend/girlfriend in relation to their work/time at home, or their school work. It won`t really matter, just as long as you sprinkle the word ‘responsible’ into the conversation. You can use different words if you wish. Accountable will work as will dependable, conscientious, mature, trustworthy, sensible, and reliable.

It is truly magic. Honestly, I would not lie to you. Try it and see. Just take your teenager, sit them down, and try to share your years of life and how it works to them. You may think you`re not getting through, what with all the eye rolls and attitude directed at your words of wisdom, but the magical dirigible will appear.

Just utter any of the above mentioned words within a fifty foot circle of a human aged twelve to twenty. You will be awed and amazed, when before your eyes, the discussion you and your child are engaged in transforms into a heavy floating airship!

Once the zeppelin crashes and burns on your kitchen table you will then feel a need to find the nearest wall and thump your forehead to it - numerous times – while your teen will huff back to their room. This is a normal reaction to the occurrence and nothing to fear. As the adult, you may also be spurred to go listen to heavy rock from the late sixties/early seventies as you try to understand how the magic happened to you. This is also perfectly normal behavior. Now that I`ve shared the wonder of how to make a lead zeppelin appear, I must be off.

I have a crushing need to listen to ‘Immigrant Song’ while I scrub the burn marks off the kitchen table.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Mystery of the Eternally Empty Dog Dish

There is a mystery in our house.

I`m thinking of calling in Sherlock Holmes to investigate but for some odd reason I suspect if Robert Downey Jr. walked into my house, I wouldn`t be talking to him about dog water dishes. More than likely I`d stand there, in my pink and yellow scruffy striped slippers because those are SO damned sexy, and babble incoherently whilst trying to place a finger on him in some unseen manner. So, for the sake of not making a fool of myself or having a restraining order slapped on me, I`ll skip calling RDJ and see if we can work out this confounding mystery ourselves.

It`s been going on for some time now. Years actually, yet this dastardly hot summer seems to have made the mystery grow exponentially. Even odder is that I seem to be the only person that notices or comments on the matter. My two other family members are oblivious to this ambiguity. It`s very perplexing. Let me explain and perhaps we can all use our skills at deduction to solve this.

First off, let me say that I have checked all the necessary things that need checked. The dog water dish does not possess a hole, crack, fissure, puncture, or perforation of any kind. I have held the dish up to the sunlight. Not one aperture could I find that would leak water.

Secondly, there is no indication that water has escaped in large amounts from said bowel. There are no huge puddles that require mopping. No large amounts of liquid seeping under the cabinet or being tracked through by twelve dog paws.

Thirdly, I have asked those that reside in my abode about their eyesight. They both assure me that they can, in fact, see perfectly well. I have checked their glasses and contacts and they seem to be in good repair and used daily.

So, now that I have laid the entire list above out for scrutiny, can anyone offer some ideas as to why the dog water dish is always empty? Also, while we`re ruminating on the apparent amazing amount of evaporation that occurs from said dog water dish, why is it that I am the only human in this dwelling that can see that the water dish is drier than the Sahara?

Perhaps it`s not a question of eyesight but hearing loss that plauges my family? Maybe they simply do not hear the dogs running their tongues over a bone-dry dish? It could be that the blare of the TV and the sounds of the X-Box combined with music from YouTube drown out the rasping tones of tongue on arid plastic. Maybe I should take Mister and Miss to an audiologist for a hearing evaluation?

I`m not sure as to what is occurring with the dog water dish, but, alas it is empty yet again and a dog is standing beside it, staring into the vast nothingness with their tongue hanging out.

While I go to fill the dish, I`ll leave all you clever bloggers to work on the clues.

A big yodel of welcome to The Island Cats! Welcome to the hillside farm.