NEVER GIVE UP: It was because of Ancestry.com that my big genealogy breakthrough occurred. My step-father, Sgt. Cecil J. Cash, was KIA in WWII. My mother never knew any details of this 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
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
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
February 13, 2009 Big Willie 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.....
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 ~
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
Roll Call ~
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, “ Good morning, Smokey.” 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, “Good 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.” Now is that smart or what? Lol
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 it’s 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 wasn’t 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 – if I’m not back in 30 minutes send out a search party. Down the steps I go – what I’ll find nobody knows. Start rooting through Big Willy’s stuff. Hmmmmmm tools, more tools. Shop vac, push that out of the way – what’s over here? Tires, boxes, hose, more tools, trash, bags of nails, screws, nuts & bolts. Still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Let’s look under the work bench. Uh oh, what’s this? Ewwwwww!!!!!!! I’m not sure what it WAS but looks like something Booger would like. Ahhhhh what’s that I see over there in the corner? Yes, that’s it! Picking up sledge hammer. Coming back up the steps. Setting sledge hammer down next to computer & telling computer “Do right or DIE!!!!!!!!!”
Holy Gopher Parts
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 didn’t 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 – 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 wasn’t 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, couldn’t 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 can’t 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 I’m 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 I’ve either passed the stone & didn’t 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.
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.
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 &
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!
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
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
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!
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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 – 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 cousin’s house – 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 1800’s. 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 – we didn’t 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 I’m 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 – don’t ask us which one is Dumb & which one is Dumber – 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 cousin’s mother’s name is also Dorothy. When she found out that the mule’s name was Dorothy she got really pissed off because she thought they named the mule after her. hehehe
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".
Years ago while we were living in Franklin County – 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 & wouldn’t come out for a long time. If the fire would have gotten out of control & we would have had to evacuate the house I don’t think we ever would have found her in time. I’m really glad we were home when this happened. If we wouldn’t 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 there’s a better chance than we had before. A few years ago one of our neighbors' home caught on fire when they weren’t 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 weren’t 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.
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?
Re: GENE SHOT MY CAT!
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
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
Re: GENE SHOT MY CAT!
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
When I was a teenager back in the 60’s & 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 60’s 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 o’clock, 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, “Revolucion! Revolucion!” 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 “Revolucion!” to scare people. And they very much succeeded!!!!! We were sooooooo relieved to learn that we weren’t 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.
When I was maybe 12 years old or younger I went with my father on an ambulance call the night one of our neighbors died, Mr. Rickart. He was very old, maybe in his 90's, & was one of the oldest citizens in the neighborhood of Chesterfield. All the neighborhood children loved him including me. When my father & I got there the ambulance was already there. People were standing around outside the front door & talking. Everyone was very solemn & sad. After a little while the ambulance people brought him out on a stretcher. I caught a glimpse of him but my father quickly grabbed me & turned me around so I couldn't see him. Then we went home. Mr. Rickart was a very kind person & was always telling the kids stories & tall tales. When asked how old he was he would reply that he was old enough to remember when Indians lived here. lol
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!
When I was maybe about 12 years old & still living in St. Louis county with my parents a neighbor’s 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 – 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 daughter’s 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 couldn’t 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 wasn’t 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 – smoke smells different when a human body has been burned. For some reason I can’t remember that & I can’t 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 didn’t she hear the explosion? Why didn’t she hear her mother screaming & beating on the door? Why did she have to die? Since then I’ve learned better than to ask “why” cause I never get any answers.
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.
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!
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!