Esther's Memoirs
(Background Music:  Get It On!)


WHIRLPOOL - When I was a child my parents used to take float trips down the Missouri River from Washington. One time we were just drifting lazily along with the current when we spied a big whirlpool up ahead.  As daddy was trying to get the outboard motor started our boat kept drifting closer & closer to the whirlpool. Daddy finally gave up on the outboard as mom had me to put a life jacket on. Daddy grabbed the oars, put them quickly in their holders & started rowing like hell! He got us away from the whirlpool & we finished our float trip safely. But it was a scary experience. And life jackets wouldn't have done us any good at all if we would have gotten sucked down into that whirling hole!


SHOP LIFTING:  This is in reply to a Facebook post about shop lifting at the Chesterfield Mall -I worked at the Chesterfield Mall at Sears for 2 years back in the 70's. Shop lifting is nothing new. That crap goes on all the time at that place. One time a woman went into the fitting room normal & came out looking 9 months pregnant. Stuffed clothing under her blouse. Call security! Sometimes they go into the fitting room thin & come out fat. Wearing several layers of clothing. Call security! They have all kinds of tricks that they use. lol  One time there were some reports of a flasher down at the other end of the Mall.  On my lunch hour I got some pop corn & walked down there.  Sat around for awhile waiting to see some action but nothing happened.  lol


DOG PILE:  When we had our dog Sandy we came home one time & she had a mountain of stuff piled up in the living room. Seems she entertained herself by going through the house & gathering up every newspaper & magazine she could find & piled them up. Then she started collecting clothing. There was a shoe, a sock & a pair of Gene's underwear on the pile too!


LEAVING FIND-A-GRAVE:  This is a letter that I sent to Find-A-Grave on 2 March 2014:  " Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know I am very disgusted with Find-A-Grave Ė so much so that I will not post anymore pictures on this site.  Certain people have either stolen my pictures & posted them under their name or have tampered with my pictures or have demanded that I delete some of them.  One of these persons is an administrator for Find-A-Grave so there is no way for me to fight back & I shouldnít have to fight for my pictures anyway.  He deleted a couple of my pictures recently for no legitimate reason other than to get back at me for reporting him some time ago for posting many of my pictures under his name & not crediting me as the photographer.  Iím just too old for all of this BS Ė donít need it Ė donít want it & am not going to put up with it anymore. And Iíve had other researchers tell me that they gave up on Find-A-Grave & left for some of the same reasons.  I have my own web site & Iím going to go back to posting on it"  - - -  I hate that things turned out this way but they've been giving me a hard time for over a year now & at my age with my health problems I just don't need the stress anymore.  They've taken all the fun & pleasure our of research & there comes a time when a person has to say enough is enough & put your own well being first.


FIRE!! We had some excitement here a little while ago. Gene was burning some trash & came inside the house to rest. He was only in the house maybe 10 minutes but the wind started in & when he went to go back out the yard was on fire! It was getting close to our garage & camper & into the edge of the woods with dry leaves so I called the fire department while Gene went out & did what he could to contain the fire. I told them the brush buggy could probably handle it but they sent the brush buggy & a pumper too just in case. There were about a half dozen firemen & they all dove right in & got it under control in no time. Gene wanted to help them but with his heart trouble, high blood pressure & emphazema he couldn't do much. We are really greatful that they got it taken care of. 27 Feb. 2014 - For pics click here.


WHEW!!! WHAT A NIGHT!!! 31 Jan. 2014 - First of all don't go anywhere if you don't have to - it's nasty out there.Ice everywhere. We just got back from the WashCoMo ER. Gene has had a headache for several days & he doesnt usually have headaches so when he started getting nauseaus I took him to the ER. This was about 6:30 p.m. this evening. The roads werent' too terribly bad yet although an ambulance passed us on the way to the ER with some people from an accident. Anyway we were there quite awhile - they did a cat scan blood work etc. Gave him some medicine to bring his blood pressure down. So when they said they were going to send him home I went outside to start the truck & warm it up. At that time the roads had gotten bad & the ER waiting room was about half full. There had been another car wreck & while I was sitting in the truck waiting for Gene some people walked into the ER waiting room. The man was very upset when they wouldn't take them into the ER immediately before everyone else & left the hospital yelling & cussing with his 2 or 3 year old child in tow. Out on the parking lot he started screaming & cussing at someone else & I got scared & went back inside the hospital. Not long after that a couple of Potosi police officers arrived. They had words with the people in the waiting room who had been with the pissed off man & went outside looking for him but I guess he had left already. Gene finally got discharged & I had to drive him home since he had been given pain medicine & a muscle relaxer. I really don't like to drive at night but this time it was necessary. Put the truck in 4 wheel drive & creeped home at only 20 to 30 miles an hour. Did pretty good till I went to turn into our driveway & then thought I was going to slide into our neighbors front yard. lol But got in the driveway ok. Was really proud of my self till I got out of the truck slipped on the ice & fell on my butt! Didn't hurt much though - just hurt my pride more than anything. Nothing like when I fell & hit my head on the dresser a few months ago. So now, after 4 1/2 hours at the ER, we are home, inside where we are warm & safe. Going to go eat something & go to bed.


February 13, 2009   Gene woke me up at daylight this morning. Seems I was talking in my sleep & calling someone a "stupid, ignorant butthead!" & he wanted to know if I was referring to him.  I said, "No but after waking me up at daylight it's not a bad idea!" ggggrrrr.....


Too Much Time On The Computer - Wed Apr 25, 2001
I think I've been spending too much time on the computer. I laid down & took a nap this afternoon & dreamt that I couldn't go to sleep because I had put myself in sleep mode & forgot to click send.


THE NIGHT MR. RICKARD DIED:  Back in the 1950's or early 60's a call came over the fire phone & since my father was a volunteer he went on the call.  Our neighbor Mr. Rickard died.  I went with daddy to Mr. Rickard's house & other neighbors were standing around outside while some ambulance people were inside.  After awhile they brought Mr. Rickard out on a stretcher & daddy quickly grabbed me & turned me around so I couldn't see Mr. Rickard dead.  Mr. Rickard & his wife were very nice elderly people who loved all the neighborhood kids.  When anyone asked him how old he was he would tell us kids that he was old enough to remember when Indians lived in that (Chesterfield) area.  lol


Fatal Fire
When I was maybe about 12 years old & still living in St. Louis county with my parents a neighborís trailer burned with their daughter in it. They lived just across the road from our horse pasture. I was not close friends with the girl but had been to their trailer once or twice to visit. The way I remember the incident being told Ė the mother was in the kitchen & the daughter went to her room to take a nap. The heating stove blew up. The mother ran out of the trailer in a panic then remembered her daughter. So she ran back in & tried to get to her daughter but the door to the daughterís room was locked. So she screamed & beat on the door but got no response. She finally had to give up & leave. My house was back in the woods so we couldnít see anything. My mother & I heard the fire trucks go by (the FD was still volunteer at that time) so we took the trail through our woods to the horse pasture. There we stood & watched. It wasnít long before we learned that the daughter had perished in the fire. Even though this happened about 40 years ago I can still clearly remember seeing them carry her body out wrapped in a white sheet. They laid her on the ground in the yard. My mother has commented since then that she can still remember the smell of the smoke Ė smoke smells different when a human body has been burned. For some reason I canít remember that & I canít remember the girls first name but I can vividly see her laying on the ground wrapped in the sheet.  She was buried in our neighborhood cemetery & her family moved away.  The cemetery adjoined our drive way & her grave was in the row closest to our driveway. There was only a row of trees between the cemetery & our driveway. So we went past her grave anytime we left or came home.  I visited her grave a few times over the next several years & wondered how something so horrible could happen. How could a person sleep so sound? Why didnít she hear the explosion? Why didnít she hear her mother screaming & beating on the door? Why did she have to die? Since then Iíve learned better than to ask ďwhyĒ cause I never get any answers.


ABDUCTION ATTEMPT: What is with all of the attempted child abductions lately? Now they are talking on tv about a group of men trying to kidnapp a girl walking her dog in broad daylight! Reminded me of an incident that I had when I was an early teenager that I had almost forgotten about. My mother, myself & a cousin were almost attacked by a pick-up truck full of men. We were on our way home one night from my uncle Jim Martin's house. He lived in Westridge Acres in Ballwin & we lived on Wild Horse Creek Rd., Chesterfield, so we frequently used Khers Mill Rd. to go back & forth between our house & his. We had been visiting him & his daughter Pearl Martin was coming home with us for awhile. We were going up the very steep hill on Khers Mill Rd. behind a pick-up truck with some men in the back as well as the cab. Due to their race we assumed the were from the near by neighborhood which locals referred to as "Little Africa". They slowed down about half way up the hill which no one ever did because the hill was so steep one usually had to get a run for it to make it up the hill. When they slowed down we had to slow down too. We didn't know what was going on at first until the men in the back of the truck jumped out & were running for our car. Mom told Pearl & I to roll the windows up & lock the doors which we quickly did. Mom put the gears into reverse & started backing up as fast as she could. When they saw that we were getting away they ran back to the truck & jumped back in it then the truck went on up over the hill & disappeared. Mom stopped the car & we just sat there for a minute or two trying to decide what to do. About that time here came that truck over the top of the hill coming back our way. Mom threw the car in gear & we went up that hill as fast as we could! When that truck passed us & they knew we had gotten away for sure this time & they screamed & yelled at us, waved their arms & shook their fists at us. I think one of them was even waving a stick. We headed for home as fast as we could & called the police (cell phones hadn't been invented yet) but never heard if those guys were ever caught or not. After that we never went over Khers Mill road again at night time!!


CEMETERY BOMB -  Back in the 60's, the boyfriend that I had before Gene, had a cherry bomb that he wanted to set off.  He had had it for years buying it when they were still legal.  Some time after he purchased it they became illegal.  So we hatched up a mischievous plan.  He brought it over to the house one night & he & I sneaked into the cemetery that was right by my parents yard.  We found a large tombstone to hide behind.  Since the cherry bomb was old we didn't know if it would even explode.  It did!  He lit it & gave it a toss & it made an earth shaking BOOM!!  The neighbors across the street yanked their front door open to see what happened but he & I were hiding behind that large tombstone trying to keep from giggling too loud.  The neighbors finally slammed their door shut but no one in the neighborhood ever said anything about it.


LIVE CHRISTMAS TREES:  My father didn't like cutting down live trees so he would always buy a live tree from a nursery & when we took it down after Christmas he would plant it along our property line. Had a fence made of beautiful trees that grew to a huge size.


KITTY CAPERS: I have a small red dot laser flash light that I play with the cats with. I was using it earlier. Smokey quickly got tired of chasing the uncatchable red dot & came over & tried to slap the laser light out of my hand! lol - 3 Dec. 2013

NEVER GIVE UP:  It was because of that my big genealogy breakthrough occurred. My step-father, Sgt. Cecil J. Cash, was KIA in WWII. My mother never knew any details of his death other than it occurred somewhere in Belgium. I had tried to get military records on him from the Personnel Records Center in St. Louis but they said all of his records were lost in the big fire there of 1973. So I gave up & thought it would always remain a mystery. Then last year (2012) a retired military officer saw my family tree on Ancestry & contacted me telling me that there was a book recently published that gave some of the details of my step-father's death. I bought the book & this new information enabled me to do a lot of research. It turns out there was information on my step-father in various other repositories due to him being a victim in a war crime - one of the worst atrocities committed against American soldiers in WWII. So now I know the details of his death. My mother, however, passed away back in 2007 & never knew. Maybe its just as well as it is a very, very sad story.
NO RESPECT: Some time ago I was at a gas station when a woman came over to my car & asked if I had any jumper cables as the battery in her car had died. I rooted around in my trunk & found some jumper cables & took them over to her car but neither of us knew how to use them. In the meantime a couple of red neck good ole boys had pulled in & were filling their gas tank. She asked them if they c...ould help so they pulled their truck up closer, hooked up the cables & got her car started. When they handed the cables back to her she dropped them on the ground then turned to the good ole boys & asked them if she could buy them a beer for their trouble but they declined. They all then got in their vehicles & left. I picked up my jumper cables & went back to my car. I was really pissed as she could have thanked me & handed the cables back to me instead of dropping them on the ground. Also she could've offered to buy me a beer for the use of my cables. I would have declined too as I don't drink beer but I think the gesture of appreciation would have been nice. Maybe I just expect too much from people????
CRAZY KITTY CAPERS: Started smelling a dead mouse in the house yesterday but can't find the stinky thing. Today I was sitting at the dining room table getting ready to eat something & decided to light a scented candle to camoflage the aroma of the dead mouse while I was eating. Anyway, the candle is in the middle of the table & we have never had any problem with this before. But this time our long-haired cat, Calico, came over & was standing between me & the candle while I was watching Y&R on TV. Out of the corner of my eye something didn't seem quite right so I looked at Cali with her tail only inches from the candle & then realized the tip of her tail was on fire! I hollered "OMG!!" & make a grab for her. Well than freaked her out & she jumped down & ran off down the hallway with flames coming off the end of her tail. I ran after her & finally caught her in the Kitty Quarters. By this time the fire had gone out, thank goodness, & I was able to clean the singed hair off of her tail. I don't think she ever even knew it was on fire as her hair is so long it never reached her skin. She seems to be ok but I still have a dead mouse to find. lol
KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD!  Back in 1991 we were staying at a KOA campground in Baltimore. There was this mocking bird that would start in at daylight every morning. Not only would he sing & make all of his different sounds he would also jump up & down on the tv antennas on all the different campers. And he seemed to take a particular liking to ours. lol I think that was the first time I ever actually got the urge to kill something. lol

STOP THAT SNORING!!  When my father was in the hospital back in 1976 at St. John's family members slept on the sofas in the waiting room. There were these two sofas placed back to back & Gene was sleeping on one & my father's sister who was 75 was sleeping on the other. Gene had a very bad snoring problem back then & Aunt Lil finally got tired of his snoring, raised up, reached over the back of the couch & whacked him!! It was so funny!!
CARDINAL'S BASEBALL - I can remember when the Cardinals won the penant back in 67 or 68. I was working in downtown St. Louis in the Art & Copy department at the time for the Pet Milk Co. in the Arcade building at 8th & Olive. When the announcement came that the Cards had won everyone in St. Louis was throwing paper & shredded papers out of all the buildings. Myself & some girls that I worked with went down to the street. People were going crazy in the streets & the paper was almost knee deep even on the sidewalks. You couldn't tell where the curb was & I accidently stepped off of it & sprained my ankle. Some business men in suits were throwing paper through the sunroof of a little volkswagen & completely filled that car with paper. Then a bunch of them got ahold of it, picked it up & put it on the sidewalk. It was mass hysteria for an hour or more. I don't think there was anymore work done in any office in St. Louis that day! lol
I FOUND IT!!!!! I finally found Jerry's (cat) stash. He likes to steal receipts & stuff from the desk & hide them. Then later on he'll take & put them in his water bowl. I was cleaning underneath the bed & found a small pile of receipts along with a wash cloth & a sock. lol

FISH STORY: Anyone that knows me very well knows I don't like to fish.  But I do have a fish story.  This story involves my cousin Brent (now deceased). It was years ago when mom & & my step-father Rudy were having an auction at the house next to where Rudy lived. I'm not too big on auctions so I decided to go next door to Rudy's pond & kick back awhile & watch Brent fishing. He had about 4 or 5 poles in the water & when I got there he handed me a pole & told me to hold it while he went to check his other poles.  His sister Stacy was there too. She was little then. I sat there for awhile holding that pole praying that I wouldn't catch a fish. I finally lifted it out of the water & there was no bait on the hook. So I put it back in the water & didn't say anything breathing a sigh of relief as I knew I wouldn't catch anything. Well after maybe a half hour or so Brent came by to check on the pole I was holding. I told him there was no bait on it. Well, he yanked that empty hook up out of the water & then grumbled at me ," Well, why didn't you put some bait on it!!" I answered with,"You just told me to hold it. You didn't tell me to put bait on it." Oh, he got so mad at me! lol Grabbed that pole away from me & went stomping off to the bait box grumbling & cussing. Stacy I just looked at each other & grinned. :-)


ANOTHER FISH STORY:  I learned that cat fish like ice cream cones. Yes, you read right. lol We were over at Sunnen Lake one day having dinner. I always save a biscuit or dinner roll to take down on the dock & feed the fish after dinner. So we were down there & I was feeding the fish when some other people came along. This little boy, maybe 5 or 6 years old was working on a half eaten ice cream cone. When he saw all the fish that had come to the surface to eat he threw in what was left of his ice cream cone. Well up out of the depths came this HUGE cat fish which chomped down on the ice cream cone, turned around & quickly disappeared back down in the deep water again with part of that ice cream cone sticking out of his mouth! Sure wish I could've got that on a video camera!


TAKIN' CARE OF BUSINESS - I was playing the song "Takin' Care Of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive on the computer.  I was bobbing my head & arms up & down in time with the music while sitting in my computer chair.  My dog Jenny walked up & looked at me. I turned to her & said "Lets dance!" & she started doing it too! Bobbing her head up & down & bouncing on her front paws in time with the music! :-)

TORNADO - I remember one time years ago that there were tornado warnings out for our (Washington) county. I stepped out on the deck to look at the dark sky & could see the upper half of what appeared to be a funnel out towards the north west. The tree tops obscured the lower half. Then a really strong gust of wind came up the hill & when it hit me it almost knocked me down.  So I ran into the house.And silly me, I turned around & quickly locked the door behind me as if that would keep the tornado out. lol About five minutes later I heard over the scanner that a funnel had gone through the Richwoods area.

KITTY CAPERS: I put all the other cats in their rooms & let "the whoopass gang" out in the house for awhile. A couple hours later I went into the bedroom & when I opened the door my cat Sugar darted out into the hallway. I asked her if she really wanted to do that as "the whoopass gang" was loose. She then quickly stopped & peered into the living room where "the whoopass gang" was watching & waiting for her. She twitched her tail a couple of times then turned around & made a bee line back into the bedroom! lol

UFO - Gene & I experienced something unusual back in the 80's. This light came over our house moving toward the south west. It looked like an extra large star low in the sky. When we would look at it with binoculars you could see multicolored lights inside the white light. We watched it for a good 20 minutes. There was no sound. When it got over the mountain across the valley it went back & forth a few times & up & down a few times then slowly went down & disappeared behind the mountain. Don't know what it was but it didn't act like any kind of aircraft that we knew of.


BOO!!  I grew up behind the Antioch Baptist Church cemetery in Chesterfield , St. Louis County. I could see tombstones out my bedroom window. Would always cut through the cemetery to visit my best friend who lived the other side of the church. Was never afraid of the cemetery during the day. But one time when my uncle Bill was spending the weekend with us he talked me into walking out to the road after dark to get the mail which no one had gotten that day. As I walked up the drive-way which went through the dark woods at the end of the cemetery I knew he was up to something. I got the mail & started back for the house. Came back down the drive-way through the woods & past the cemetery. Nothing happened. As I got closer & closer to the house I thought maybe he wasn't going to do anything afterall cause he would've done it in the spookiest section of the drive-way. When I was almost to the house & walking past our car & relaxed now that nothing had happened my uncle jumped out from in front of our car & hollered "BOO!" Scared me so bad I almost peed myself. lol I didn't think I was ever gonna quit screaming or that he was ever gonna quit laughing. I sure miss him.


BUSCH MANSION - One time years ago when we were still living in St. Louis county Gene was delivering flowers for Deutchman Florist on his days off from the fire department. One day he was making a delivery at the Busch mansion. Mrs. Busch saw him &, thinking he was one of their employees, told Gene to carry some bicycles up from the basement. So he did. After he was done the butler took him in the kitchen & gave him a free beer for his trouble.


Flat River Theatre - 28 Nov. 2010
I remember one time when we went there there were 3 teenage couples on a date that sat behind us. Somebody in the group noticed a black spot on the ceiling. The boys were teasing the girls that it was a cockroach. Well, one of the girls ...freaked out & was afraid the "cockroach" was going to fall off the ceiling onto her. So someone else in the group went & got the manager, brought him back there & told him there was a roach on the ceiling. He shined a flashlight up there & determined it was NOT a roach. Don't know what it was but it wasn't a roach. But they really had a hard time convincing the girl of that. lol

Another time we went there to see the movie "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". Sitting next to us were several boys from maybe 8 to 12 years old. They kept talking a lot & a man sitting behind us kept complaing to the management about it & t...he manager got onto the boys for talking. Afte the manager left the one boy who was sitting next to me leaned over & asked me if Gene & I minded if they talked. I told him "No, we don't mind." He replied with, " OH you're kool!" I leaned over & told Gene, " Did you hear that - we're kool" Then after the movie was over some kid, maybe 6 or 8 years old, that had been sitting in the very front row was so excited over the movie that he jumped up out of his seat, threw his arms in the air & ran screaming up the aisle yelling at the top of his lungs "TURTLE POWER!!!!" I enjoyed watching the kids more than I did the movie. lol



after i graduated high school back in 1966 my mother & i took a trip out west. one of the places we visited was yellowstone national park.  when we got there we carried our luggage into the cabin we had rented. the first thing we noticed was that the windows were small & were up close to the ceiling. and while we were wondering about that we noticed when we closed the door you had to bolt it with a 2x4.  during the night we were awakened by something big & heavy bumping & rubbing against the door.  we sat up in terror for maybe 15 minutes wondering what the hell is that?!  it finally stopped & everything was quiet for the remainder of the night.


the next day when mom went outside there was a medium sized black bear raiding the trash cans next to the cabins.  we were told that he did this everyday after breakfast, after lunch & after dinner.  he wasn't agressive but he wasn't afraid of people either.  one day while we were out walking we rounded the corner of a cabin & i ran right into this black bear. mom told me not to move.  hell, i couldn't even breathe!  lol i just stood there frozen while this bear sniffed me up one side & down the other paying special attention to my pockets where i often carried chewing gum.  he was finally satisfied that i didn't have anything edible on me & meandered on his merry way.  it still took me a few minutes before i could breathe normal again.   lol   later we saw that bear standing on his hind feet scratching at a tree & he was at least six feet tall.  so that is why the window of the cabins were up high & the doors bolted with 2x4's.


there was another incident concerning this black bear.  we were out walking again & when we came to the main drive we heard a commotion.  all of a sudden that bear went streaking by with several small dogs chasing & barking at him.  behind the dogs came maybe a half dozen kids all trying to call their dogs back.  not far behind the kids came a bunch of mothers screaming at their kids to come back.  and not far behind the mothers came several fathers hollering "what's going on???!!"  it was sooooo funny!  kind of like something you would see in a movie.


another day my mother & i were driving around the park.  it was a long drive so we took a picnic lunch along & had it in the back seat.  we finally came to a row of cars stopped in the road watching a tan grizzly bear walking down the shoulder of the road.  he stopped at the car in front of us which was several car lengths away & was looking through the passenger side window at them.  being a naive teenager i thought i could roll the window down, stick my head out & snap a picture of the grizzly, & roll my window back up.  well, i got the window rolled down.  I stuck my head out & snapped the picture.  as soon as the camera went "click" & before i could get the window rolled back up that grizzly, in about three quick, easy strides, was at our car & was sticking his head in through the open window with his front paws holding the door!  at an exceedingly high rate of speed I scramled as close as i could get to the drivers side yelling at mom to "git goin!, git goin!, git goin!"   in all the excitement she put the car in the wrong gear & all it would do was lurch.  the bear then bit the seat cover right where my right shoulder usually touches when i'm sitting normally on the passenger's side.  he was trying to reach our lunch in the back seat. finally mom got the car in the right gear & we tried to leave but the bears strong paws on the door held us back.  she gave it some more gas & we finally pulled away & continued on down the road.  he left a muddy paw print on the winshield & deep teeth marks in the seat cover.  it was really a close call.  we were told later by a park ranger that bears can smell food over a mile away so as soon as i had rolled the window down he got a whif of our lunch & that is what brought him so quickly back to our car.  he was a LOT bigger than the black bear we had encountered.  he may have stood ten feet tall if he would have stood upright.  it was quite an adventure - but one that i wouldn't want to experience again.  :-)



SWAT - April 2010
The swat team was at our house today & there was a killing spree out on the pussy porch.  Gene & I armed ourselves with fly swatters & must have killed a couple dozen wasps & yellow jackets.  I think we got them all at least for this time.  And for those of you who don't know what the pussy porch is - it is a screened in porch where we can let our *cats* outside & they can still stay safe.


Of All The Nerve!  - 17 March 2009
I inherited a really cute little log bird house from my mother. I didn't put it up last year because I just couldn't decide where I wanted to put it. Well I finally decided today to hang it up over our sliding glass doors so we could see from the dining room the birds flying in & out of it. I was sooooo happy that I finally decided on a really good place to put it. So I get out there & hang it & no sooner had I let go of it this big fat wasp flies up & lands on it right next to the little round door as if to say "MINE!" gggggggggrrrrrrrrrr


Comical Critter Capers - 2009
When I went to the Kitty Quarters this morning it looked like they had a wild party in there last night. Two food bowls were dumped over & food was scattered all over the place. And Cali, Matt & Smokey were all trying to give me this innocent look, "It wasn't us. We didn't do anything." Then when I went to Dillon's room I didn't think I was going to be able to get into the room. The cats in that room, Dillon & Miss Kitty, Tom & Jerry, had the door barricaded! They had pushed two cardboard boxes up against the door & one of the cardboard boxes had an upside-down cat mat in it plus Dillon was sitting in the box too. I had to really push to get the door open! lol Then I went to the kitchen to start breakfast. I opened a package of bacon & I always cut it in half to make it fit into my skillet easier. I started some bacon frying & then went to put birdseed out for the wild birds. Well, Jenny, our biggest dog took advantage of my absence & got the bacon off the kitchen counter. When I came back in from putting out birdseed she had half the bacon in the living room rolling it around on the carpet & chewing on the bacon. Angel was in the kitchen eating the other half of the bacon on the floor & our 16 year old cat Candy was licking the empty bacon package! Also yesterday I set a bucket of walnuts out on the bird feeding table which was nearly empty this morning (actually more around noon) & the bucket was pushed precariously close to the edge of the table. A couple more pushes & it would go crashing to the deck floor. So I had to rescue the bucket. Of course they all know they can get away with nearly anything. The worst that will happen is they get a verbal scolding. They know we're not going to throw them out in the cold for misbehaving. They seem to know that around our house "critters rule!"

The Case of the Missing Scanner ~ 2009
Wanted to listen to my scanner one day to see if anything exciting was going on in scanner land. But I couldn't find it. It wasn't in the place where I usually keep it which is on the nightstand by the bed. Searched through the whole house & couldn't find it. I asked Big Willie if he knew where it was & said he last saw it on the dining room table. But I remembered picking it up from there though & taking it to the bedroom. So I went back to search the bedroom again - no scanner. The only place I hadn't looked was under the bed. Then I remembered that the tiger twins, a.k.a. Tom & Jerry, spent most of the afternoon & evening in the bedroom. And given the way they like to push, tote, & drag things around I decided to look under the bed. Yep, there it was - waaaay back under there. I really had to stretch to get it out. They must have knocked it off of the nightstand then dragged it by the antennae back under the bed. Ornery little rascals! lol

What A Day!!~7 Nov. 2008

It's another one of those days. Phone rang several times this morning & woke me up early but I couldn't wake up enough to answer it. Also got a call on the cell phone where someone left a voice message but have been unable to access it so far cause can't get phone to work properly.  Then I was trying to fix breakfast still in my nightie. I have those burner covers on my stove & sometimes I forget to take the burner cover off of the burner when I turn it on & end up burning the burner cover. That's sort of what happened. I intended to use the back burner & took the burner cover off that burner but accidently turned on the front burner which was still covered. I realized what I had done when the front burner cover began to sizzle. I used the spatula to flip the burner cover off the burner & it ended up flinging the burner cover clear to other side of the stove with a loud bang & I ended up dropping the spatula in the floor. That wasn't the worst part though. When I put the skillet on the back burner I noticed something in the skillet. I wanted to make sure that it wasn't a lady bug (since they are all over the place right now). So I pushed my bi-focals up higher on my nose & leaned over the stove to get a closer look at the skillet & accidently touched my right boob to the front burner that was still hot. OUCH!!!!   Then a little while ago we got a phone call from Fraud Detector about a charge on our credit card that went through today. Neither of us have used the credit card today since we are still housebound from having no wheels from the wreck last Saturday night so when we called about it they said our account had been compromised & cancelled our credit card & told us to cut up our cards. They will open a new account & send us new cards & investigate the fraudulent charge. We can't figure out how someone managed to do that. We've only had this happen once before years ago. It was a credit account that we hadn't used in 10 or 20 years & didn't even have the cards anymore. One day we got a bill in the mail for a charge that had been put on that account so we cancelled the account but never did find out who or how it was done.  Sooooooooooo maybe its a good thing we don't have any wheels to go anywhere - I'd be afraid to with the way things are going!

Big Willie & I have canoed the Big River & the Huzzah. We paddled across Sunnen Lake & back one time too. When we did the Big River there was a big blue heron that escorted us & when we did Sunnen Lake a family of swans escorted us back across the lake. It was the mama & daddy swan & their baby. Wish I'd took the camera with me but was afraid if we flipped the canoe I'd lose it. Anyway we are too old & fat to go canoeing now.

Feb 7, 2006  Big Willie & I were on our way to Farmington this afternoon & while driving on 8 east I saw this black thing laying on the side of the road. I told him it looked like a dead cat.  He said it was a piece of a tire. I said no it looks like a cat to me. He said there are always pieces of tire along the road & it was a piece of a tire. I said not unless the tire has 4 legs!! I said lets settle it & turn around go back & look. Well he just kept on driving to Farmington. He said we would look for it on the way home. Well, we were both tired & didn't think of it till we were almost home. So the argument is still unsettled & we will never know if it was a tire or a cat.

Haunted Stories ~ May 12, 2006
Well, I read all of this spooky stuff last night & then went to bed. I hadn't been in bed long when I felt like I should open my eyes. I thought I saw something white over by the edge of the bed. Naw, must be dreaming. I closed my eyes for a few seconds & then opened them again. OMG - I could see it even clearer now. There was definitely something white there. I fumbled around trying to turn the lamp on not knowing what I might see. Finally got the lamp turned on & looked over.................. It was my cat Dillon sitting there. I was seeing his white throat, chest & abdomen. The rest of him is black so it didn't show up in the dark. Whew!!!! Don't think I should read anymore spooky stuff right before bedtime. lol

Critter Capers: Roll Call ~ Aug 19, 2006
Every morning when I get up I go back to the Kitty Quarters where the Dodge City Gang lives & say good morning to them. They line up at their feeding spot & I go down the row & pet each one & say good morning to them. Well, Smokey has learned a way to get extra petting. He is usually first in line so I pet him & say, ď Good morning, Smokey.Ē Then I go to Matt & pet him & say good morning. By this time Smokey has moved to the other side of Matt so he is next in line to be petted again. He does this down through the whole row so my good morning pettings & greetings goes like this, ďGood morning Smokey; Good morning Matt; Good morning Smokey; Good morning Dillon; Good morning Smokey; Good morning Calico; Good morning Smokey; Good morning Miss Kitty; Good morning Smokey.Ē Now is that smart or what? Lol


What's The World Coming To? 2001
Sometimes I wonder what this world is coming to. Things are changing so much & not all for the good.  After 9/11  I had nightmares that our country was invaded & myself & other people were being kept in a dirty prison camp. I also had nightmares that I was out in an open plowed field planting corn & enemy planes came along & started shooting at me trying to kill me. The nightmares eventually stopped but I still worry what could happen to our country.


New Years Kitty Capers - Mon Jan 1,2001
While I was out partying last night our cats, Candy & Brandy, caught a mouse. They took it to their room (yes they have their own room) as I found itís deceased body there when I got home. So as usual I praised them & told them what good kitties they are & what good mousers they are etc.  When I woke up around noon today & dragged my body out of bed I discovered I had been sleeping on a mouse turd!!!! Eeeeeeeeewwwwwwww!!!!!!! Those cats had that mouse in my bed!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeewwwwww, eeeeeeeeewwwwwww, eeeeeeeeeewwwwwww!!!!!!! But at least I wasnít in the bed too this time. One time they caught a mouse & turned it loose in my bed while I was still sleeping.! Needless to say I woke up veeeeeeeerrrrrryyyy quickly!!!!


The Dreaded Dungeon
Sat Jan 27, 2001

Going into the basement Ė if Iím not back in 30 minutes send out a search party. Down the steps I go Ė what Iíll find nobody knows. Start rooting through Big Willyís stuff. Hmmmmmm tools, more tools. Shop vac, push that out of the way Ė whatís over here? Tires, boxes, hose, more tools, trash, bags of nails, screws, nuts & bolts. Still havenít found what Iím looking for. Letís look under the work bench. Uh oh, whatís this? Ewwwwww!!!!!!! Iím not sure what it WAS but looks like something Booger would like. Ahhhhh whatís that I see over there in the corner? Yes, thatís it! Picking up sledge hammer. Coming back up the steps. Setting sledge hammer down next to computer & telling computer ďDo right or DIE!!!!!!!!!Ē


Holy Gopher Parts Batman!
Tue Feb 6, 2001

Big Willy waged war on gophers awhile back. Got tired of shooting at them so first he put a hose on the exhaust pipe of the truck & then run it down the gopher hole but that didn't work. Then he turned on the garden hose for a few hours trying to drown them but that didn't work. Tried gopher traps but they would just go around them. So one day in desperation he poured gasoline down the gopher holes & then stuck a match to it. Heard a big, loud "whoom" & nearly blew up the back yard! Well, that got rid of them - for awhile. Now they're back again. Like Snot & Booger - they just won't give up!

The Big One - Feb 22 2001
Before Gene retired & was still working at the fire house - he was a very light sleeper at work. When that fire alarm went off he was usually the first one into his turnout gear & was out in the engine room revving up the firetruck while some of the others were still scrambling around getting their shit together. But - - here at home it's a different story. I think a bomb could go off next to the house & he wouldn't know it. Sometimes I almost have to beat him to get him to wake up. When the "big one" happens (New Madrid earthquake) he'll probably sleep through it!


Sat Mar 3, 2001
Before Gene retired from his 30 years with the FD they got an annual clothing allowance with which he had to purchase complete uniforms: pants, shirts, hat, badge, fd emblem patches, shoes, collar pins, etc. The clothing allowance was usually not enough & he bought more uniforms out of his own pocket. Dress blues were even more expensive than regular uniforms. They had to be dry cleaned (at our expense) & after 30 years of my washing Gene's uniforms I was so sick of those things I packed them all away when he retired & haven't looked at them since! lol


Angel Balls - March 9, 2001
Our dog Angel learned how to do something new yesterday.  She learned that if she takes her tennis ball into a room where there is no carpeting & drops it it will bounce.  So all afternoon yesterday & half of the night last night she was bouncing her tennis ball - in the foyer, in the computer room, in the dining room.  Even after I went to bed last night & clear up till midnight I could her bouncing that tennis ball - thump, thump, thump, thump..............thump, thump, thump, thump...............thump, thump, thump, thump..............

KIDNEY STONE:  March 12, 2001
I woke up Monday morning doubled over with what I thought was severe gas pains in my abdomen. Gene called the ambulance to take me to Washington County Hospital as I was in such pain didnít think I could make it to Farmington.  At the emergency room I spent most of the day curled up in agony on a stretcher except for the times I was humped over a barf tray trying to heave my guts out.  I made it through the hundreds of x-rays they took Ė regular x-rays, x-rays where they inject you with iodine, & then a 45 minute cat scan.  They also put me on an IV.  The emergency room doc finally said that it looked like I had a polycystic kidney which was swollen & non-functioning.  But he wasnít sure & since Washington County Hospital did not have a radiologist that day he sent all the x-rays to Parkland Health Center in Farmington to be read by the radiologist there.  When the radiologist finally called he stated that I had a kidney stone lodged in the ureta (sp.?) at the junction of the bladder (?).  Anyway the emergency room doc called the ambulance back & had me transferred to Parkland in Farmington.  That evening I saw my regular doctor & he prescribed a good stiff shot of morphine & some composine (sp?) for my stomach.  30 minutes later I was wolfing down some supper & stretching out, yes, stretching out & going to sleep for a little while. 
Tuesday I woke up feeling better.  They did surgery at around 10:00 a.m. but the urologist, Dr. Fernandez, couldnít find the kidney stone.  He did install a stint though to take some of the pressure off of my ureta. (?)  I was kinda fuzzy when they told me this stuff so I may not have all of the terminology right.  I canít really tell any difference with the stint in there except that it makes me feel like I have to pee all the time.  But with all the fluid they want me to have Iím pretty much peeing all the time anyway!  Lol   They had the IV cranked up on high to try & flush the stone out so I spent most of my time at the hospital dragging my IV pole back & forth to the bathroom all night - no easy task when you've also been given a sleeping pill.   Wednesday I was doing better & my regular doc, Dr. Grix, said I could go home.  He said Iíve either passed the stone & didnít know it or it dislodged & is still floating around in there somewhere.   So still have to drink lots of liquids, collect & strain urine & take a bunch of pills.  Oh what fun!  Have to go back to urologist in about 10 days to have the stint removed. 

Ste. Genevieve visit - Apr 29, 2001
Want to go back on a nice, not-to-hot day & get some pics of Pickle Springs. Think I may have gotten too old to hike the two mile trail though. We hiked it some years ago & it is a very beautiful trail. It was very hot the day we went - 111 degrees!!! We knew it was hot but didn't think it was quite that hot! I was throwing myself into every creek we came to. By the time we got to the waterfall we were both so hot & tired we just stood under the waterfall for about 20 minutes. Some other hikers went by (yes, we weren't the only stupid/stoopid/stewpid ones out hiking in that heat) who were just starting out at that end of the trail & they looked at us like we were crazy. Wait till they get to the other end in a few hours then they'll know - they won't have a nice cool water fall to stand under like we did.  It was kind of eerie sometimes though when hiking that trail. Sometime before we went (several months or maybe a year) a man had taken his wife & four children to the trail & killed (shot) them all at various places along the trail. The spots where they found the bodies were not marked but we couldn't help but wonder periodically where they had been, about the violence & fear that took place along this beautiful, scenic, peaceful trail & WHY someone could/would kill their entire family. I think he even killed the dog but don't remember for sure.


Gold Finches & Dandelions
One spring I went to sit out on the back sundeck. I didn't have my glasses on. As I was sitting there looking the yard over I noticed there were a LOT of dandelions growing underneath the bird feeder. I remember thinking "Damn, we're going to have to do something about that." Looked the yard over again then came back to the bird feeder. Then I noticed those dandelions were moving. I jumped up,came in the house & put my glasses on then came back out & took another look. Those "dandelions" were goldfinches!


Feline Revenge
I have a pizza sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for the oven to preheat. Candy cat comes over & starts licking on the pizza while we are sitting in the dining room. My husband yells at her several times but she contiues eating the pizza. So I got "the gun" & shot her. Twice. Well she didn't like that one single bit. So she jumped down & started running for the computer room where she leaped up on & skidded along the desk knocking half of my research papers in the floor! Then while I'm busy picking them up she sneaks back into the kitchen & tries to eat more pizza. I finally just put her in her room. Now we will be able to eat in peace when the pizza finally gets in the oven & cooked. lol


Crowing Computer
When we get email our computer is programed to crow like a rooster. I have a life size (banty) rooster statue on the shelf above the computer & the speaker is right next to him so it sounds like he is really crowing.   A few minutes ago I was getting out of the shower & heard a rooster crow several times in sucession off in the distance. My first thought was "Wow! We're getting a lot of email all of a sudden!" Then I realized the bathroom window was open & I was hearing the neighbors roosters having a crowing contest. Ha!



I remember one winter, 1994 I think, when it was 3 degrees & my mother needed firewood brought from the shed & stacked on the porch.  Gene & I got it stacked in record time then went in the house & huddled up by the wood stove.   Took us longer to thaw out than it did to stack the wood!

Angel Poop - 2000
Well, we've had Angel almost 2 months now & she had her first accident in the house yesterday. And she would have to pick that particular day to do it. Yesterday my cousin that I hadn't seen in maybe 12 years came to visit. Shortly before she arrived I thought the living room smelled like somebody had farted in it but was in a hurry to straighten up in the kitchen & didn't pay much attention to the living room. When my cousin arrived we went into the living room to visit  & almost stepped in dog poop! Now I wonder why she Angel would pick that day of all days to do that? lol

GREASED LIGHTNING:  (Mouse Story)11 Feb. 2000
I am not a morning person, never have been, never will be.  However there are always exceptions to the rule.  Like this morning when my cat Brandy caught a mouse & turned it loose in my bed.  I was stretched out sleeping soooooooo good & I went from a dead sleep to ricocheting off the wall in .02 seconds!!!!!  I did not know I was capable of moving as fast as greased lightning at any hour much less at 6:00 a.m.!!!!

Owl Alert - 6 April 2000
Gene & I left Farmington this afternoon about 1:45 & were driving north bound on Hwy.67 when I saw an unusual sight - a Great Horned Owl was perched on one of the roadsigns next to the highway near Busenbark's.  Owls are usually nocturnal but he was sitting there in broad daylight watching the highway like he was waiting for a roadkill so he could have some lunch.

Scaredy Cat - 10 April 2000
This morning I looked out the window & saw my nieghbor ct pooping in y flowerbed.  So I banged on the window with my hand & that cat took off across the yard like a rocket!  I swear his feet only touched the ground twice before he disappeared into the woods.

COON CAPERS - April 26, 2000
I was awakened at 4:00 this morning by a loud clunking sound.  I got up to investigate but found nothing out of place in the house.  So thinking that maybe the noise had come from outside I turned the back porch light on.  Something had been tampering with the bird bath on the sun deck.  The pedestal of the bath was still upright but the saucer part was lying flat on the deck as if it had been lifted down & set there.  But there was water splashed all over the place & a trail of wet raccoon paw prints went across the deck & down the steps.  Apparently he had climbed over from the railing into the birdbath & his weight toppled the saucer section.  Must have scared the dickens out of the poor thing!  Bet he thinks twice before he does that again!

Sinus Problems
Well, the verdict is in - my ENT decided it's finally time for surgery. I've been having problems with a nasty sinus infection for about seven months - since about November of last year. During this time I've clocked about a dozen office visits with 5 different doctors, one weekend trip to the emergency room, sinus x-rays, several sinus cat scans, and about six different anti-biotics which did no good. In fact some of them made me sicker by giving me nausea & diahrea. I have been taking anti-biotics for the better part of three months now & even though I am feeling somewhat better the cat scans show that there has been no change in my condition.  The surgery will be done as outpatient at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. It will not be under general anesthetic but will involve heavy sedation. The doctor said I will either not be aware of what is happening or I will know what is happening & not care. LOL He is going to make two holes in the sinus pocket that is blocked & drain it. Should take about 45 minutes. The surgery is scheduled for June 13 - the day before our 31st wedding anniversary! I guess that's my anniversary present - two more holes in my head!! LOL But I'll get to come home the same day & it will take 6 to 8 weeks for complete recovery.

Well I finally had my sinus surgery June 13, 2000.  Everything went OK. They gave me a sedative by way of IV & then sprayed a local anesthetic up my nose. I was semi-conscious during the surgery & could hear the doctor & his assistants talking & could feel the doctor working inside of my nose & head. It didn't hurt at first but towards the latter part of the operation the anesthetic & sedative were wearing off & it started getting somewhat painful. The doctor wasn't concerned but finally a sympathetic nurse insisted on giving me another dose of sedative which helped make the pain a little more tolerable for the remainder of the procedure.  As soon as it was over they were sitting me up putting me in a mobile recliner & wheeling me back to a recovery room. There I was given a pain pill of Tylenol/codeine. They sure don't give you too much time to recover - as soon as the patients would start getting their wits back about them they are bringing our clothes & sending us home. I didn't feel up to making that long two hour drive so Gene & I checked into a nearby Red Roof Inn where we spent most of the afternoon napping. When we woke up around 5:00 p.m. I was feeling better & was getting homesick so we decided to come on home instead of spending the night as we had intended.  It sure was nice to get back home to the country! Smelling that nice fresh country air with the scent of cedars, foliage & flowers. Seeing our rabbits & squirrels frolicking in the yard, hearing the birds singing & our bullfrogs gaaruming in the pond. And to crawl into my own nice comfortable bed with the fan on & my kitties cuddled up to me. Aaaahhh - heaven!

Cat Security
On Tuesday June 13 (2000) Gene & I left for St.Louis at 3:30 a.m. to be at Barnes Hospital at 5:30 a.m. for my sinus surgery which was scheduled at 7:30 a.m. Normally at night the "kids" (our cats Candy & Brandy) are in their room sleeping. But since we were going to be in St. Louis for awhile we let them out in the house before we left for the "big city."  When we came home Tuesday evening Gene found where they had wrecked the kitchen. They had knocked some dishes out of the dish wrack & a large roasting pan was in the kitchen floor. We surmised that they had been after the mouse that had recently taken up residence under the kitchen stove. They had been "stalking" him for days just waiting for him to come out so they could make mouse burgers of him.  Since we have a security system with sound sensors we figured that the kitchen commotion probably set off our burglar alarm. A quick phone call to our security company & the local sheriff's department confirmed that the burglar alarm was set off at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. We figure that the mouse assumed that the cats were still in their room sleeping (since no one in our household ever gets up before 9:00 a.m. since Gene retired) & he thought it was safe to make a run for it. We don't know if they got him or not but it sure looked like they had fun trying!!

Dog Security
In 1986 after a few thefts in the neighborhood Gene & I had a bugler alarm installed in our home.  It has entry sensors on all of the doors & windows & glass breakage detectors at several locations throughout the house.  Glass breakage detectors are sensitive to sound & loud noises such as thunder etc. can also set them off.  Our large dog Sandy (now deceased) was usually a quiet dog but if she looked out the window saw another dog going through "her" yard she would bark viciously at it which occasionally would set off the burglar alarm if we were not at home.  The first time this happened shortly after the system was installed it really gave one of the sheriff's deputy's a fright.  Our refrigerator that we had had for 17 years had finally "died" & we had just bought a new one.  Gene had taken the old one outside & had it loaded in the truck to haul off to the junkyard.  We had gone shopping in our car & while we were gone Sandy accidentally set off the burglar alarm for the first time.  The deputy (I can't remember which one anymore) came with lights & siren out to our house.  As he wheeled in our driveway & saw the truck sitting there with the ice box  in it he said "Oh, Christ!  They done got the refrigerator loaded up already!" thinking it was burglars cleaning us out!  But after checking everything out he determined that the house was secure & the truck & icebox belonged to us.  A few months after this incident another false alarm happened.  This time we had just installed a new hot water heater & the old one was sitting outside by the end of the house by the driveway waiting to be loaded up & hauled off to the junk yard.  We were gone somewhere & Sandy accidentally set of the burglar alarm again.  This time we did not have an opportunity to speak to the responding deputy afterwards but we could just picture it as he wheeled into our driveway, "Oh, Christ!  This time they're after the hot water heater!"

Baby Raccoons - July 2000
This week we have had a mother raccoon coming around with her three little babies. They are soooooo adorable. We put birdseed out on a table on our sundeck for the birds during the day & at night the raccoons have been coming & eating what's left. It is so cute to see them scampering all over the sundeck. The other night two of them got to playing in my flower box of petunias. I kept thinking "Oh, no. Not my flowers!" But didn't have the heart to scold them. The mother raccoon sometimes lays down & stretches out while waiting for her babies to eat & play. She is right at home like she owns the place.

Close Encounter Of The "Bat" Kind- 2000
The other night when I went with Angel out into the front yard for her 3:00 a.m. business trip I had a close encounter with a bat. Angel & I had walked over to the end of the yard by one of the oak trees when all of a sudden out from under one of the tree brances came a bat. He was flying straight for my face. He was so close it made me feel cross-eyed looking at him. It all happened so fast that I didn't even have time to duck. Thank goodness they have radar & he veered upward at the last split second & avoided smacking into me. He flew so close over my head though that I could hear the faint "whoosh" of his wings.  I don't think he was trying to deliberatly attack me. I believe I just happened to step into his flight-path. Our dusk-to-dawn light is on the other side of the oak tree & bats fly around that area a lot catching insects. I just wish they would take up residence in the bat house we put up for them by the pond. It's been there for years & so far no tenants.

Throw Those Cigs Away! - Sept. 2000
I used to smoke when I was a teenager (and yes I did inhale) because I thought it was "cool" and made me look like an adult. One year I went to the doctor for my annual check-up and at that time they still did routine chest x-rays. My x-ray showed a spot on my lung. It scared me so bad that the doctor didn't need to advise me to quit. I threw the cigs away and I've never lit up since and that has been over 30 years ago. The next year's x-ray showed that the spot was gone. I truly believe that if I had continued to smoke I would not be alive now.

Window Report
Tue Dec 19, 2000
Our hawk was back again this morning. He swooped past the birdfeeder again but this time there were 4 crows on the ground beneath the feeder. They really got ticked off & went after the hawk. One of the crows started dive bombing him & pecking at him. The last time I saw them they were all still flying after him chasing him down through the valley.

Pleated Pecker
Fri Dec 22, 2000
Was sitting in the dining room eating breakfast this morning (at 11:30 a.m.) & saw something BIG fly through the back yard & lit in a tree. Leaned over the table to get a closer look & saw that it was a Pileated Woodpecker!!!! In the 20 years that we've lived here that is the first time I have seen one in our yard. Gene saw one a few years ago but I missed it. But I knew we had them in Washington County 'cause I've seen them elsewhere in the county. He perched in the tree for a few minutes the swooped back across the yard, past the birdfeeder & lit in the pine tree. Perched there for a minute or two then flew over the house & disappeared into the wild blue yonder. Hope it's not another 20 years before I see him again. Wish I could've got a picture of him!

Dumb & Dumber
Well, we went to visit another cousin of mine yesterday in Bollinger County , Missouri.  What a day Ė good & bad.  We took Angel with us & she got car sick & threw up in the truck.  Fortunately we had a blanket covering the seat.  We finally found my cousinís house Ė it was the first time we had been there.  What a menagerie they have!!  Cattle,  some of which are Texas Longhornes, one mule, three horses, 19 goats, 8 or more cats & equal amount of dogs.  They took us to see an old log cabin a couple of miles back in the woods that was built in the 1800ís.  Then we went with them to run some errands in the town of Advance & Dexter.  Then went to a large antique store.  There were a LOT of very nice antiques with some very nice prices too I might add.  Made us wish we had about a million dollars & a mac truck to haul them all home.  Dream on Ė we didnít buy anything.  Then we went back to their house & had supper which was home-made beef stew.  Then Gene & I and Angel decided we better start for home.  When we were getting ready to leave my cousin, Pat, discovered that one of her cats had died.  It was alive when we left to run errands & must have died while we were gone. But the cat was 20 years old & I guess God decided it was just time for it to go.  Even still it was very upsetting.  And Iím sure after we left Pat probably cried the rest of the evening. Now here comes the Dumb & Dumber part - We wanted to come back home by way of Greenville & Hwy. 67 hoping that the straighter roads would not make Angel car sick.  So her husband, Doug, gave us directions how to get to Greenville & we would know how to find our way home from there.  Well we wound around those back country roads for more than an hour & then next thing we knew we were back in Andvance just a few miles down the road from their house!!!!!  We had made a wrong turn somewhere & had driven around in a big dumb-ass circle.  DUH!   We rooted around in the truck & finally found a Missouri road map & found a route that took us up to Hwy. 72.  That took us to Fredericktown & we know our way home from there.  When we saw on the road map how close we had been to Greenville when we made our wrong turn we invented some new four letter words!  Anyway we finally made it home even if it did take us twice as long as it should have.  By the way Ė donít ask us which one is Dumb & which one is Dumber Ė Gene & I like to share everything so we take turns at it!!!!!  Oh, I just remembered a funny story my cousin told me about the mule.   Everyone knows that mules have a reputation for being stubborn & bullheaded.  Well,  when they got the mule it was already named Dorothy.  And it just so happens that my cousinís motherís name is also Dorothy.  When she found out that the muleís name was Dorothy she got really pissed off because she thought they named the mule after her.  hehehe


Eagle Nesting
One year I found a nest of baby birds up in the bumper of my car.  I had driven to St. Louis several times & all around Potosi without knowing the nest was there.  One day after returning home as I was getting out of the car I heard baby birds peeping frantically.  At first I thought they were in a nearby tree so I began to investigate.  But they weren't in the tree & the sound sounded as though it was coming from my car.  So I began walking all around the car checking this & checking that.  Finally I found a bird nest in either the front or back bumper (can't remember for sure which anymore) with three fuzzy baby birds in it!!  They eventually quieted down & I sat in a lawn chair in the yard some distance from the car & waited.  Before long a little wren flew down by the car, hopped underneath & then up into the bumper.  The babies began peeping contentedly now that their mommy was back.  Well that car didn't go anywhere else for the next several weeks.  Now get this - it was an EAGLE station wagon.  I had a lot of fun telling people that my Eagle was nesting & hatched out three baby birds.  At first they would look at me like I was crazy but after I explained the whole story they would always laugh!

Eeeeewwwwww Worm Milk
I have a gross story to tell ya about milk. When I was a kid still at home with my parents I was frequently sick with colds, flu, etc. One time when I was running a fever I had a weird dream while taking a nap. I dreamt that for a far as I could see the ground was covered two to three inches deep with white grub worms. When I would walk I had to step on them and as my feet would squish down into these worms white juice would come out of them that looked just like milk. It was disgusting! When I woke up I felt really nauseous. Then my mother brought my lunch on a tray along with - yes, you guessed it - a large glass of milk. I looked at it & thought I would throw up. I could not drink it & I have hated milk ever since. I can eat ice cream, pudding etc. but to this day I avoid milk like the plague!

Fish Story - Catfish Ice Cream
Whenever Gene & I have dinner over at Trout Lodge on Sunnen Lake during the summer I always take an extra dinner roll & save it.  After dinner we go down on the dock & I break off bits of dinner roll & feed the fish & turtles. By the dock the water is clear enough that one can see several feet down into the water & it is nice to watch the fish & turtles eating.  One year a little boy with an ice cream cone saw me doing this & he decided to feed his ice cream cone to the fish.  Only he didn't break it into pieces, he just threw the entire cone with vanilla ice cream into the water.  Everyone on the deck was speachless when up out of the murky depths came this huge catfish.  He swam directly to the ice cream cone & politely closed his large gaping mouth around it with only the point of the cone sticking out of one corner of his mouth.  He then turned & swam back down into "the deep".  None of the other fish even got so much as a taste as they all gave a wide berth to this monster catfish!  This was the kind of "big one" that fishermen like to brag about "that got away".

Furnace Fire
Years ago while we were living in Franklin County Ė we had only been living in our new home for about 2 months. We were awakened one morning by a loud grating noise that sounded like a spoon caught in the garbage disposal. I went to investigate & found flames shooting about 2 feet high out of our new electric furnace. I hollered for Gene & while he was contending with that I got on the phone & called the fire department. Gene had the fire out before they got there but we still had to use their smoke ejector to get rid of the foul smelling haze that had collected in the house. It caused quite a bit of excitement in the neighborhood! After it was all over I went looking for our cat, Boots, & finally found her clear at the other end of the house in a closet hiding behind some luggage. Poor thing was terrified & wouldnít come out for a long time. If the fire would have gotten out of control & we would have had to evacuate the house I donít think we ever would have found her in time. Iím really glad we were home when this happened. If we wouldnít have been we would have lost everything including our cat.  Now we have a security system in our house with smoke detectors & a heat detector near the furnace. If a fire should break out while we are not home it will automatically be called in to the monitoring center & they will in turn call the fire department. Still no guarantee that anything will be saved but at least thereís a better chance than we had before.  A few years ago one of our neighbors' home caught on fire when they werenít there. By the time someone saw it who was driving down the road it was pretty well involved. By the time the FD was notified & arrived on the scene they werenít able to save anything. We didn't even know thei trailer was on fire as there is a heavily wooded space of several hundred feet between their home & ours. When I saw the fire truck go by & heard it stop just past our place & went & looked out the window facing the direction of our neighbors. That's when I saw the orange glow above the tree tops. Gene & I took off over there through the woods but there was nothing anyone could do - everything was in flames. All the FD could do was put it out - nothing could be saved.  With Gene being a fireman I've been to a few house fires but when there is a fire in your own house or when you watch your next door neighbors home burn to the ground it just seems to affect a person more. And ever since our furnace fire I just worry more about things like that. But I'm not afraid of fire itself - still love going on a picnic & roasting hot dogs & marshmallows over a camp fire! Yum!


GENE SHOT MY CAT! (I posted this on a local forum.  I've also included the comments it got)
Oct 16, 2000
Yes you read it right. Gene shot my cat Candy. She has this habit of chewing the loose threads on one of our throw rugs. She is not supposed to do this but defiantly does it anyway. Gene was having a bad day & was tired & irritable. Candy started chewing on the throw rug right in front of him. He ordered her to stop it. She gave him a look as if to say, " Make me!" That was the last straw. Gene lost control & went & got the gun & shot her! And it is one of those special issue H2O automatics. They keep firing as long as you can pull the trigger & can be really messy sometimes. Poor Candy.

Re: Candy
Mon Oct 16 20:06:52 2000
H2o is water. Gene would probably die before he would hurt an animal. He used a water gun, still laughing

Mon Oct 16 20:15:12 2000
you can be such a little snotbox sometimes...
i can just imagine that poor cat tho when the horrible H2O hit it !!!

Mon Oct 16 19:55:37 2000
My gosh Esther how is Candy?!!!!!! Is she OK?

Mon Oct 16 13:56:55 2000
LMAO..........I think we know Gene better than think he would hurt his babies................Did she stop chewing?

I JUST read about poor Candy getting shot, BUT the bad part is that i THOUGHT you REALLY meant he shot the cat!!!!! And WORSE than that, I thought you were OK with this!!!! GEEZE!! It took me a minute or two to REALIZE you meant WITH a water gun...............You pretty near gave me a heart attack!!!! LOL Well that is ENOUGH excitement for ME for one night. LOL That was a GOOD ONE tho. Talk to ya later. Glad to know it was ONLY a water gun. Lisa

Re: Esther...
Tue Oct 17 08:31:31 2000
I can't take all the credit. Gene helped plan the joke too. We laughed all the way home from Farmington yesterday plotting & scheming. Guess we can call him big Snotbox. lol

Tue Oct 17 08:07:26 2000
Yes, you're right. Gene would die before he would hurt any of his babies. Special issue H2O automatic is fancy talk for "water pistol". lol We haven't used it on the cats for a looooooooong time. When they were kittens they used to get in trouble a LOT. A water pistol was the only way we could stop them from being naughty. it finally got to where when they would do something they weren't supposed to do like climb the drapes I would just holler at them, "Daddys going to get the gun!!" and they would quit.
candy is just fine. And she did quit chewing on the rug - for now. but she will probably do it again. She always does!

LOL Well, I started to post something REALLY awful about Gene shooting the cat and I read the other post that was there at the time sayign they knew better than to think Gene would shoot a cat. LOL So, I never did post,,,,,,,,,nope I thought you deserved an E-Mail for that one!!! LOL It really was a good one adn I can just IMAGINE you two laughing all the way home about it. ROTFLMAO IT doesn't take MUCH to fool me. Hey do you think you and Gene might come to our Christmas get together???? I am thinking it will either be at Lomax's, Hardees, or at my house. Nothing fancy, just some coffee, soda, and cookies if it is at my house. Just because you didn't get in on the name drawing, doesnt' mean you can't come to the get together. We would really LOVE for you to come to it. I dont' know the EXACT date it will be yet, because it will have to get closer to the time so I will know when I am off work, so I will let you know and if you can come you are both more than welcome. :) Well, gotta go. Talk to you two later. Maybe the NEXT post you make, I will read a LITTLE bit slower and pay attention before I have my heart attack. LOL Love, Devil Girl


What i saw was in Washington county back in the 80's or 90's. can't remember the exact year. it was a round white light that came over my house slowly moving westward. at first i thought it was just a bright star but it was way too low in the sky for a star. i watched it for about 20 minutes. it hovered over a mountain for awhile. then it slowly went up & down a few times then back & forth a few times. then it slowly went down behind the mountian & out of sight. when i looked at it with binoculars i could see multi-colors inside the white light. red, green, blue, orange. it made absolutely no sound. another person witnessed this event with me. we also saw it a second time a few nights later.

A Typical Day With The Carroll Critters 
Kathunk!!  Scratch, thump, thump, scratch, thump.  We usually awaken to the sound of squirrels jumping from the tree to the roof of our house.  Then scampering across the roof to the awning over the sundeck & down to the feeding table on the deck.
Get up - Take Angel dog out.  Bring Angel dog in.
Frogs are sitting in pond & staring at each other. 
Breakfast - Give Candy & Brandy their breakfast treats & their daily glass of ice water.  (Yes, they love to drink water out of a glass with ice cubes in it.)  Put squirrel food/bird food  out on feeding table on sundeck.  Candy cat darts out back door & down steps to yard.  Mommy hollers & chases Candy.  Catches Candy & brings her back in house.  Later Candy runs through house with slice of bacon stolen off of mommy's or daddy's plate.  Brandy sits on table & watches us eat.  After breakfast Candy helps clean kitchen by licking grease off kitchen stove.
Take Angel dog out.  Bring Angel dog in.
Frogs are sitting in pond & staring at each other. 
Squirrel comes to back door & begs for peanuts.  Put out peanuts.  Squirrel returns later & commences to bury peanuts in flower box on sundeck digging up three petunia plants in the process.  Pound on door & scold squirrel.  Before squirrel runs off he looks at me like, "What's your problem lady?!"
Frogs are sitting in pond & staring at each other.  
Chipmunk comes along & carries off peanuts the squirrel didn't bury.  The chipmunk carries them off three at a time - one peanut in left pouch, one peanut in right pouch & one peanut in mouth.  Chipmunk can barely hold head off ground because of heavy peanuts.  Trips on chin several times while scurrying across yard.
Frogs are still sitting in pond staring at each other. 
Candy & Brandy chase each other through house.  Have spit hissy fight in mommy & daddy's bedroom then cuddle up together for a nap on bed................
Frogs are sitting in pond & staring at each other.  


Was a small beige or pinkish colored mouse that I bought at a pet store. He usually spent his days eating & sleeping. He spent most of his nights re-arranging his nest & cedar shavings. But his absolute favorite activity at night was running in his wheel! I don't know how he could keep this up for hours without getting tired! Pinkie died of old age in the 1970's at approximately 3 years.

My favorite Sambo's Restaurant was in Biloxi, Mississippi. Sitting by the front window & watching the ocean while eating breakfast. Another time we sat by the back window & there was a small flower garden outside made out of rail road ties. This little green cameleon comes up out of the foliage & climbed onto one of the rr ties. He huffs & puffs a couple of times then changed to bright orange then light brown. He kept getting darker & darker brown till he was the same color as the rr tie. It was really neat watching him do that.

I don't have any complaints against truckers. A trucker helped us out one time when were were in Mississippi back in the 90's. When we left Memphis the gas gage showed that we had plenty of gas but unbeknownst to us the gas gage stuck. North of Jackson Mississippi we ran out of gas (even though the gage showed we had a 1/4 tank) on the open highway miles from nowhere. So we set out walking. We hadn't gotten but a few hundred yards from our car when an 18 wheeler came along & gave us a ride to the next station. Then he spoke with some other truckers & got Big willie a ride back to the car with another trucker & a gas can full of gas. He was real nice. Don't know what we would have done if he hadn't helped us. That was before cell phones were available.


Hospital Evacuation
One time when I was in the hospital back in the 1970's in Ellisville someone called in a bomb threat around 9 or 10 at night. We had to evacuate the hospital to some nearby vacant homes that the hospital was using for storage. All the patients had already been given their sleeping pills & sedatives for the night. Those of us who could ambulate help those that were in wheel chairs or on stretchers. It was kind of rough going across the grass. When we got into the buildings some people curled up on the floor or on boxes & went to sleep. The rest of us stayed awake waiting to hear the big boom. We all got kind of silly & were telling funny jokes & stories that we almost hated to go back when they gave the all clear sometime after midnight.


St. Louis Co. Indian Mounds
When I lived in Chesterfield, St. Louis Co. - on Wild Horse Creek Rd. - there was an Indian mound in the field on the south side of the rd. at Long Rd.  Also when I lived across the street from Chesterfield Elementry School the mounds were flatened by this time but when the farmer John Wilmas plowed his fields I would walk through the fields looking for artifacts.  I found many spearheads which I still have.  I also found a scraper & an arrowhead on my parents property when we lived near the intersection of Wild Horse Creek Rd. & Hwy. C & Eatherton Rd.  The artifacts I found on my parents property were fromt the Archaic period (3,000 b.c.)  The artifacts I found on the Wilmas property were from two different periods - the Woodland period (1,000 b.c. - 900 a.d.) & the Hidden Valley Stemmed Archaic Period (3,000 b.c.)  When I took a class in identifying Indian artifacts at M.A.C. (Mineral Area College) I was told that it is unusual to find two different periods in the same location.  The instructor asked if there had been any earthquakes in the area which there had been which probably brought the older artifact up with the newer ones.  Finding two different periods in the same location indicates a long standing settlement there.  At one time I believe Washington University did some research on these places until Mr. Wilmas put a stop to it when he got tired of having his property over run with people all the time.  Wild Horse Creek Rd. ran along a "bluff" of sorts & there used to be many Indian settlements along this bluff prior to the white mans arrival.  Back then the Missouri River would have been much wider than it is now & would have been closer to the "bluff" or maybe even at the base of the bluff at one time.  Artifacts have also been found in the Gumbo Bottoms (now called Chesterfield Valley) along the base of the bluff especially along Olive St. Rd. in the vicinity of either Creve Coeur Mill Rd. or Hog Hollow Rd. - I can't remember which.  When I was a teenager I remember reading about some construction going on in this area & it had to be halted when the artifacts were found until the site could be excavated & documented. 


Spirit Air Show
When I was a kid growing up in Chesterfield "on the bluff" above "Gumbo Bottoms". When they would have the air show at Spirt of St. Louis Air Port in Gumbo Bottoms (I belive it is now called Chesterfield Valley) I would walk up to the top of the hill & sit on a fence post & watch. They had the Blue Angels & one year one of the planes flew so low & close I could actually see the pilot in the cockpit. I waved at him but he didn't see me cause he was too busy flying.

Murderous Chicken
I used to have chickens when we lived across from Chesterfield Elementary School back in the 70's. A white leghorn rooster & about a half dozen white leghorn hens. Then a banty rooster & some banty hens. Well, the two rooster didn't get along & were always fighting & it was always the banty that would win. That was one smart little rooster. He would hide behind a tree or bush & when the leghorn strolled near by that little banty would dart out from his hiding place & jump on top of that big rooster & flog him. As soon as the big rooster got over his shock & surprise & could pick himself up off the ground he took off running. Then that little banty would strut around for an hour. Sometimes when they were grazing in the front yard that clever little banty would charge at the leghorn rooster & just like he was a sheepdog would herd that rooster out into the road. But the only times he did it was when there was a car coming. The first couple of times it happened I shrugged it off as coincedence. But after it kept happening I realized that the banty was trying to get the other rooster killed! Now who would think a chicken would be capable of making a plan like that???????


Was a stray dog that we kept when we lived in Chesterfield across from the school.  She used to steal all of the neighbors newspapers out of their driveways & pile them up in our driveway! Neighbors could not leave their garage doors open as she would go in & steal something & bring it home. Neighbors could not leave anything outside for the same reason. One time one of my neighbors called & said that Dixie just stole her husband's good shoes from her open garage & took off with it.  She said she was late for work & didn't have time to look for it so I needed to go rescue the shoe.  I found where Dixie had dropped in in another back yard on her way home.  So I took the shoe back to the neighbor's garage & set both shoes up on something high where Dixie couldn't reach them.  Some of the things she brought home from who-knows-where:   a laundry basket, a plastic waste can, numerous basket balls & softballs from the school yard across the street, shoes, newspapers. Dixie was hit by car in 1969 age unknown.

TRIXIE DOG- I found Trixie as a small puppy out in the middle of a field. After what happened to Dixie we kept Trixie penned up or tried to. Trixie's favorite thing to do was DIG, DIG, DIG!! She was always digging her way out under the fence so Gene buried railroad ties under the fence & she would still tunnel her way out! She would also dig a hole & bury anything she was given - toys, chewies, sticks, cookies, etc. When we moved to Washington County in 1981 we thought we lived far enough out in the country to safely let her run loose & enjoy her freedom. A few months later some jerk hunter shot & killed her. She was age 11. After this incident we no longer allow any pets to roam & keep them indoors or in a fenced in yard.


Rock & Roll Reminiscences
I have been to a lot of concerts in my life but there are three favorites that stand out in my memories.  The first one was in the late 60's or early 70's at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis.  While sitting on the curb waiting for the Kiel doors to open the Hare Krishnas came along peddling their incense & booklets which gave me something to read while waiting.  Inside before the show started everyone was entertained by people in the audience tossing frisbees around.  When one man nearly fell over a railing trying to catch one the ushers were ordered to catch & confiscate all frisbees.  This was even more fun as people started tossing the frisbees to other people who were near but not too close to an usher in a deliberate attempt to tease the ushers to run & try & catch the frisbee.  Anytime an usher missed the frisbee the audience would cheer.  If they caught one & kept it some people booed.  When the concert finally began BO DIDDLEY followed by CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL gave really great performances!  The speakers were turned up so loud in the auditorium that I was deaf for two days after the concert - but it was worth it!  Another best concert was STARBUCK at Six-Flags in Eureka, Missouri.  At this time Gene & I lived within a 10 or 15 minute drive of Six-Flags and we had season passes so we managed to get there early & got a seat real close to the stage in the second row left of center.  The Starbuck group was dressed in white tuxedos & looked more like a group who would play classical music.  But, to borrow Kimmi's favorite phrase, they "really rocked"!!!  During one song the music kept building in momentum more & more.  As it did the lights on the stage throbbed & simulated smoke started collecting on the stage.  Then when the music reached it's peak there was the sound of an explosion, a huge bright white light flashed & everything went dark & silent.  Stupid me thought everything on the stage blew up & I was blinded by the flash.  I remember thinking, "Shit, the first time ever that we get great seats up front & close to the stage something like this has to happen & I'm blinded!"  After a few seconds the lights came back on & the band began playing again & I realized that it was all just a staged stunt!!  The next favorite concert was the BEACH BOYS at Six-Flags.  By this time Gene & I were living in Washington County & with the long drive we got there late & had to park at the far end of the parking lot.  As we & about 20 or so other people were walking toward the back entrance we could hear a band playing at the amphitheater & thought it was the Beach Boys already in concert.  About that time several helicopters flew over the parking lot & and a nearby security guard commented, "Here come the Beach Boys!"  When I told him that I thought that was them already playing he informed everyone that the Beach Boys were running late too.  The helicopters landed & within minutes a couple of limos drove right by just a few feet away from us with the Beach Boys in them!  I got a real good look at one of them as he waved directly at me.  Gene & I along with everyone else were in such a state of awestruck surprise that no one even thought to snap any pictures of the Beach Boys while they were soooooo close even though we were all toting cameras.  DUH!  Then we had to stand in line for hours
waiting to get a seat in the amphitheatre.  When our part of the line was getting close to the entrance a group of young men (teenagers or early 20"s) started lining up next to our line & trying to butt in.  While the rest of us stood in line for hours to hold our places these guys had been having fun all over the park then thought they could just walk right up & butt in near the front of the line & get good seats in the amphitheatre.  A man a little ways ahead of us told them to go to the end of the line which was waaaaay back.  One of the young men blurted out a profane, snotty response.  There were a few tense moments when it looked as though a free-for-all might break out.  In a way I was kinda disappointed that it didn't as I was clutching a large, heavy purse that I would have loved to clobbered the smart alecks with!  Everyone in our line crowded up close to one another & wouldn't give them an inch of space.  I don't think they ever did manage to butt in line at least not in front of us anyway.  After all those hours of standing it sure felt good to sit down, relax & enjoy a great concert.


Brief Bartending Days
One time in the 70's I worked briefly as a waitress at the Seven Kitchens at West County Center. They told me never to throw leftover bread, dinner rolls away as they recycled them into pie crust. One of their kitchen employee's smelled sooooo bad that I could smell her five feet away when I had to go to the kitchen. Also one time there was a large pan of chow mein on a cart that was sitting out in the middle of the kitchen which was always so hot in there it was like a sauna. This chow mein was not refrigerated & sat there for several days.  I also tended bar since the day that I was working I was the only waitress there over 21 that could serve liquor.  So the manager started teaching me how to mix & serve a drink.  I only made one & it was kind of fun.  Would rather have done that than waiting tables.  Used to have a friend that told me one time that when he was younger he worked for one of the well known hamburger joints. Don't remember which one it was anymore. but they had large one gallon pickle jars of hamburger dills and he said that sometimes they would pee in the pickle jars and then go ahead and put the pickles on the burgers and think it was funny. After he got older he didn't think it was funny anymore and wished he would have never done it.

My First, Last & Only Deer Hunting Trip
I remember the first time Big Willie went deer hunting. We lived in St. Louis County at the time & hadn't been married very long & he came down here (Washington County, Missouri) to go hunting with my uncle. Well, I decided to tag along just to make sure they were hunting the 4 legged deers & not 2 legged since I'd heard so many stories about deer hunters using it as an excuse to get away from home to "party".  Anyway we had to leave up there at about 2 in the morning to be down here by 4 a.m. Then we left my uncles house to be somewhere at Acrcadia before day light. Another uncle went along & his wife did too.  We took 2 trucks & wound around the back roads in the dark until we got near the hunting spot. Couldn't cross the creek though as it had been raining & the creek was up too high. So we parked the trucks next to the creek to wait for it to go down. The men decided to get in one truck & discuss their hunting strategy while my aunt & I stayed in the other truck to try to get some sleep. Just about the time we were snoozing real good one of my uncles came banging on the door jumped in the truck & started trying to start it. While my aunt was cussing him for waking us up he was yelling that he had to move the truck real quick because the creek was coming up real fast in a flash flood. But the truck wouldn't start. He kept trying & trying. Then when the water level was just a few feet from the truck & we were about ready to jump out & make a run for it the truck started & he was able to get us all to safety.  Then we all had to wait till about 2 or 3 hours after daylight till we could cross the creek. Then we all separated & went to individual hunting spots. I stayed with Big Willie. We found a spot out in the woods & sat down. And sat there. And sat there. And sat there some more. I asked him when he was going to start hunting. He told me he was doing it now. I said, "but you're just sitting here." He told me that that's what we are supposed to do - wait for a deer to come by. "You're kidding." "Nope" By now I had a headache & was getting nauseaous from the salami sandwich I had eaten for breakfast while waiting for the creek to go down. And it was still drizzling rain. And it was cold. And I didn't want him to kill a deer. And he wasn't hunting the 2 legged kind. And I wanted to go home but was waaaaay out in the middle of nowhere. Big Willie had brought a big rain coat along so I put it on laid down & curled up in it & went to sleep. Every once in awhile I woke up & asked him if he had seen a deer yet. Nope. Shutup & go back to sleep. He finally told me that I would know if he saw a deer cause he would fire his big 30-30 deer rifle. I just moaned & went back to sleep. He finally woke me up & said it was time to head back. We met up with my aunt & 2 uncles somewhere along the trail & went back to the trucks.  I'm thinking how nice it would be that soon we would be back at my uncle's house where it was warm & comfortable. By now I had a migraine. So we all loaded up & left. Wasn't so easy getting home though as we had had to cross some low-water bridges when coming in to the hunting area & they were now flooded. My uncle who was driving the truck that we were in tried a different route. It was flooded out too. God help me I feel like I'm going to die. He tried another route. Yep, you guessed it it was flooded too. He said there was one more route left & if it was flooded we were trapped till all the creeks went down. My head was throbbing & I was soooooooo nauseous that I thought if we are trapped here I'm going to die. In my mind I was cussing myself right & left for coming on this stupid trip. Thank goodness that last route wasn't flooded but we did have to stop because a herd of cows was blocking the road. schitt!!! And double schitt! So we all had to get out & help the people herd their cows back into the pasture so we could go home. Finally got back to my uncle's house. Got warmed up & headed for our home. I kept telling Big Willie all the way home, "I ain't NEVER doing this again!!!!!" Got home, went to bed & stayed there several days. And I've never been deer hunting since. You couldn't pay me enough money to do that again!


Nice Wolf 
Some years ago when we lived in St. Louis/Franklin Counties we often visited Rockwoods Reservation.  They maintain a small wildlife zoo there.  One of the residents was an old wolf.  He had been in captivity so long that he was quite tame & docile & he loved to be scratched.  He would lean up against the chainlink fencing of his pen & I would scratch him through the fence.  He would slowly slide along until I had scratched him from his shoulders to his tail.  There was also a coyote & a coy dog who resided there.  Sometimes we took our dog, Trixie, with us & with a little coaxing the wolf, coyote, coy dog, & our dog would all get into a howling contest.  What a racket!!!!  I wish now we would have taken a tape recorder along.

Newspaper Reporter
Back in 1968/69 I worked for a community newspaper (The Community Press) in St. Louis County.  In the small office my desk was directly across from the reporter's desk. (Lynn Weatherman)  This guy just loved it when something really exciting happened.  One day he got a call that the police were involved in a vehicle pursuit.  The criminal had abandoned his car by a nearby country club & was fleeing by foot across the golf course.  Incidents like this were very rare in the area at that time so this reporter nearly lost his mind with excitement!  He jumped up from his desk knocking over his chair that landed with a noisy crash on the floor.  After yelling to everyone that he was off to get the story he ran out of the room at full speed, down the hallway, out the side door to the parking lot.  (Now this was a big guy, over six feet tall & more than 200 pounds so you did not want to get in his way!)  He jumped in his car, peeled out of the parking lot spraying gravel on the windows & laying rubber as he shifted gears heading for the country club.  A few minutes went by as everything quieted down.  Then the reporter's car came racing back down the road wheeling into the parking lot almost on two wheels.  Even before he came to a skidding halt the drivers door flew open & out jumped the reporter.  He came at a dead run back into the building hollering, "I forgot my camera!!!!!"  Back in the office he grabbed his camera & all of it's equipment, turned to run back out, tripped fell flat on the floor, jumped back up ran back out to his car & went peeling off down the road again.

Revolucion! Revolucion!
When I was a teenager back in the 60ís & still living at home with my parents we would spend the Christmas holidays every year in Acapulco, Mexico. I loved it there & the times spent in Acapulco were the happiest times of my childhood.  One year in the early 60ís we were on our way back home & on New Years Eve stopped to spend the night at Piedras Negras on the Mexican side of the border. Since it was late, 9 or 10 oíclock, we thought we would wait till the next day to cross the border into Eagle Pass, Texas. We checked into a room on the second floor of a hotel that had 2 windows overlooking the street. While we were getting settled in our room an awful commotion started. There were people running through the streets yelling & screaming & chattering frantically in Spanish & lots of banging noises that sounded like gun shots. So we hit the floor for fear of bullets whizing through the windows. We could not speak very much Spanish but we did understand one word that they kept shouting over & over, ďRevolucion! Revolucion!Ē Since there had been some political problems in Mexico that year which had resulted in some violence this just about scared the you-know-what out of us! My mother & I stayed on the floor while my father went down to the first floor desk to make inquiries as to what was happening. After about 10 minutes I finally got nerve enough to crawl army-style over to the window & very carefully & cautiously peek out. I could see people in the streets chattering excitedly & there were still what sounded like gunshots occasionally but I was unable to determine what was happening. My father was gone for quite awhile & my mother & I were beginning to get worried that maybe the revolutionaries or policia had taken him prisoner. He finally returned to the room & said that the hotel people had made inquiries & all it was was some young people running through the streets & setting off firecrackers for New Years & yelling ďRevolucion!Ē to scare people. And they very much succeeded!!!!!  We were sooooooo relieved to learn that we werenít going to be caught in the middle of a war. Now it seems like kind of an exciting adventure especially since everything turned out all right.


Volunteer Fire Dept.
I remember a humorous incident involving the Volunteer Fire Department when I was maybe 14 years old & living in St. Louis county.  I had a crush on one of the neighborhood boys who was about 5 years older than me & was a volunteer fireman (and in case you're wondering - no it was not Gene).  My father was also a volunteer fireman & we all lived near the firehouse.  Whenever possible I started going with my father on calls in hopes of getting to see my "boyfriend"  Late one summer night a call came in for a brush & woods fire - I think it may have been on Shephard Rd. which was waaaaay the heck out in the middle of nowhere.  My father & I arrived at the edge of the field where other volunteers were waiting for a tractor & wagon to transport everyone to the fire which was waaaaaay on the other side of the field.  I don't think 4 wheel drives had been invented yet & if they had been nobody had one.  Finally the farmer arrived with the tractor & hay wagon.  We all piled on & he hauled us to the other side of the field where the fire was burning in the edge of the woods.  Everyone started fighting the fire & I wanted to help too so someone handed me a leaf rake.  It took about 30 to 40 minutes to bring the fire under control.  Now here comes the funny part - no one had thought to bring flashlights & when the fire was out it was so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of your face!!  Everyone was stumbling around & walking into trees trying to make their way back to the edge of the field.  Finally someone made it clear but had to stand & holler for maybe ten minutes for the tractor to come back for us.  The farmer had gone back to the gate in case any other volunteers showed up.  When the tractor finally arrived back at our side of the field the farmer shined his headlight into the woods & the rest of us found our way out without too much difficulty.  Everyone was tired & kind of embarrassed, but we still couldn't help but laugh at the situation!

I used to get frequent episodes of tonsillitis really bad & had to have them removed when about 10 or 11 years old. Would get it soooo bad - yellow ulcerated blisters on them. Hurt like HELL to swallow. The Docs always gave me antibiotics but it would still take sometime two weeks to clear up. One year though when we were in Acapulco, Mexico I came down with tonsillitis. My parents managed to locate a Mexican doctor. We couldn't speak much Spanish & he couldn't speak English but one look at my throat & no words were needed. He didn't give me any pills but gave me some kind of an injection. The next day I was completely well & out frolicking on the beach. To this day I have no idea what kind of medicine he gave me but I sure wish the American doctors had it.

Racial Prejudice
I am old enough to remember some racial predjudice.  When I was a small child back in the 50's I was with my parents in St. Louis.  We had gone into a White Castle restaurant for some delicious burgers.  While sitting at a booth a colored man came in, walked over to the counter & sat down to wait for his take-out order which he had called in earlier.  Some young adult white men took offense at this as it was customary at the time for colored people to be required to sit in the back of the restaurant.  These white men made some remarks & in a few minutes voices were raised & it appeared the manager, the black man & these other men were about to get into  a physical fight.  My parents were very concerned that the incident would escalate out of control.  It was unnerving & rather frightening.  The situation was saved when the black man was given his order & left.  I was very small at the time but I can still remember this incident.  I could not understand why people got so upset just because the colored man sat at the front counter like everyone else.  I also remember traveling the south when a child & seeing segregated restrooms.  Couldn't understand that either.  I remember hearing about the "Mississippi Burning" incident in the news back in the 60's when those three civil rights workers were missing & later found murdered. I was in high school then.  I have done a lot of traveling in the south & Mississippi is my favorite southern state.  Love the spanish moss hanging from the trees & all the beautiful magnolias & palmettos.  If I were ever going to live anywhere other than Missouri, Mississippi is where I would want to go.  I especially like the Biloxi (pronounced Bi-luck-see down there) & the Gulfport areas.  Just love the ocean!

Store Candy
When I was a small child (3 or 4 years old) in Shrewsbury (St. Louis) I wandered off to our local store one day. I told the store clerk what candy I wanted but he wouldn't let me have it because I didn't have any money. I didn't know you had to PAY for it. I thought a person just went to the store & got what they wanted!



The day that my father died (11 Sept. 1976) I had an out-of-body experience. My mother & I were at St. John's hospital out in the garden area getting some fresh air. We had been at the hospital for about 6 days. I laid down on a park bench in the nice warm September sunshine & dozed slightly. The next thing I knew I was floating maybe 30 feet or so above myself. I could look down & see myself laying on the park bench. I wasn't afraid as it all felt so peaceful. Then I heard my mother's voice telling me we better go back inside. I opened my eyes & was back in my body again. We went into the hospital & when we walked past the nurses station on the way to my father's room the nurse stopped us. She said that they had been trying to locate us & had been calling our home phone & looking around the hospital to let us know that my father was dying. I forgot about the experience for sometime thinking it must have been a weird dream until one day I read an article in a magazine about out-of-body experiences. I immediately though of my experience & thought OMG! That article totally described what I had! Until then I had never even heard of out-of-body experiences.



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