Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Laughter Thy Name is Heart

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.


The Joy of Laughter. Especially when you weren't the cause. It just seems funnier when it happens to someone else and there is another person to witness it with you. Such was the case one summer while on a camping trip. 

In my home state of Texas, there are a lot of beautiful places to go camping. None of them more so than along the banks of the Blanco river. I used to do a lot of camping. The real deal camping. Using tents and sleeping bags and taking baths in streams or rivers. I was nuts. But when I was a kid it was fun. I know better now. I camp at the Hilton or on board a cruise ship or have even been known to rent a condo now and then but tent camping went the way of childhood. A distant but fond memory full of laughs but not willing to be revisited anytime soon. 

During this particular camping trip, we had purchased one of those pop-up camp trailers for use as we were all getting a little older and as such happens with age a little wiser as well. 

The thing about Texas is depending on the time of year it can get hot here. And we have our fair share of droughts. This year was exceptional in the fact that it was hot and we were in a drought. Kind of a double whammy for any camping trip, but brave soldiers that we were we tried our best to catch a fish. We were mostly fishing for catfish but any fish would have been better than the none that we were catching. 

We tried our luck all over that river and still nothing. Oh, did I mention my Mother was with us? Yep, my Mom. We took her with us a lot when we went camping. She loved to fish, she loved Tom and she loved to camp. 

It seemed that every one of our camping trips had something funny happen but this one was hilarious. 

We finally found a shady pull out under some huge trees right next to the river. Now keep in mind the river was down because of the drought so there wasn't really any current to speak of, so when you cast your bait out. It just sunk where it landed and you hoped for the best. After about 2 hours of hoping for the best, I decided my best would be back at the trailer in the air conditioning taking a nap. So I asked Mom if she was ready to head back to camp and she said sure let's go. We walked on over to tell Tom we were leaving and see if he was ready to go. 

"No, I think I'll stay here a bit longer. I've got a heart on."  

What can I say? I turned around and raced as far as I could away from my Mom and Tom so that I could scream with laughter. Little did I know my Mom was right behind me. I looked at her, and the two of us just exploded. To this day it was one of the best memories I have of fishing and to this day Tom still has no idea that he said anything other than what he said. But to my Mom and I what we heard was not what he said. I have never been able to fish with chicken livers again and seeing a heart within the bucket makes it all come back. Sometimes you just got to laugh even if it's with your Mom about your husband having a "heart" on. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

                 The Mamogram and the Boob

  I'll bet you're thinking all kinds of things because of this title. Well think again it's not what you think. Yes there was a mammogram and yes there was a boob, actually a couple of them, but not in the way you might think.

   It was time for my annual mammogram so I called and scheduled an appointment. On the day of the mammogram I took a shower and got ready to go. I always take a damp washcloth with me to clean myself a bit before the test since you aren't allowed to wear deodorant on the day of. I also take a book with me and with the advent of e-readers, I had one of those with me.

  It appeared the hospital had gotten some new gowns for us to wear. They were shirts that split up the front and tied at the sides. Very modest and cute. Lots better than the full frontal that we used to have to wear. So I changed into my new "shirt" and went out and sat in the waiting area to be called for my test.

  I was reading away and waiting for my name to be called when the person in the waiting room with me asked me what book I was reading. We got into a long discussion about the book and had a few laughs. This was her first mammogram and she was nervous. She  was also in her 60's. I didn't ask her why this was her first but her physician had sent her because he felt a lump. I wished her well and was called out for my mammogram. I gathered my kindle and purse and headed down the hall with my tech. We passed 2 other techs and another woman who had been tested already and was ready to leave.

   We got into our room and my tech asked me how I liked the new gowns the hospital had provided us to wear. "I really like them, they are so comfortable." She laughed and said she thought I looked pretty comfortable.

  I happened to look down and there it was, my right boob had been hanging out the entire time because I had only tied the one tie. Yep, there was my girl hanging out in all her glory. I looked up at the tech and said "I thought I'd start a fashion trend by letting one hang out. It appears the men all want to show off their butts with their pants down to their ankles why not start a revolution and let a boob hang out?"

  I tried but it never caught on, and Lance wasn't really down with the idea either.

til next time


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Three Little Pigs


                                      Three Little Pigs

The really wonderful thing about friends is some of the funny stories they tell you. Yes, these are true stories about life on a farm. If you live on a farm you can probably relate to them.  If you're a city dweller like me, well are you in for a laugh. 

Honey and Michael lived on a farm, E I E I O, and on this farm, they had some pigs, one of whom was named Oatmeal. He was a brown and white spotted pig and looked like oatmeal with raisins. (No I'm not going to sing you,Old McDonald, today, their last name isn't McDonald)

It just so happened that Honey's mother was living with them at the time and she made life even better. These are her stories as told to me by Honey. 

When you live on a farm you buy day old bread from the day old store by the truckload and feed it to your pigs. They had been to the store and bought the bread that day. They had a bunch of those 55 gallon, metal garbage cans that they stored the bread in until they were ready to feed it to the pigs. One of the pigs, Oatmeal, decided that he wanted some of the bread before it was ready to be fed to him. He managed to climb up on the steps of the house to get into the cans and pry one of the lids off. 

He ate his way down inside of that trash can until all you could see was his back legs and tail. Honey's mother looked out the window and said, "Look canned ham!" 

That pig was so stuck in that can they had to cut the can off of him to get him out. He had literally eaten half the bread in the can and would have eaten more if he hadn't gotten stuck. 

Another time the family was having company over for  dinner and Honey's son Mitchell came up with this jewel. 

"Mama's making oatmeal for dinner." One of the guests looked puzzled and said, "I thought I smelled Ham cooking." 
Mitchell said, "You do, that's Oatmeal." 
Dinner was a somber affair and no the guests did not eat Oatmeal. 

I can relate to that one. My ex, decided we were going to go into the hog raising business and butcher one and sell the other so he bought 2 piglets and some feed. He dropped them off at a friends farm, who also bought pigs, to raise. He thought it would be a good idea for me to go see the piglets that he had named Bacon and Sausage. I was not amused nor did I want to go see them. He insisted. I went. Needless to say we didn't consume either Bacon or Sausage. I advised him that I did not want to be personally aquainted with my dinner. 

Back to Mitchell. Or out of the mouths of kids. Mitchell was outside with his Grandmother when 2 of the pigs were doing what pigs do when they want to have kids. 
Grandma told him, "Oh look there Mitchell, the pigs are dancing!" 
Mitchell looked at his Grandmother and said, "They aren't dancing, they're making baby pigs." Nothing got through that kid. 

Mitchell decided it would be great fun to bring an Angora goat into the house and into his bed. His mom had told him not to but he snuck the goat in anyway. Well the next day there was goat poop in the bed.
 Honey said, "See, I told you not to bring the goat in the house. Now your bed is full of poop." 
He advised her, "No it isn't, these are M&M's." He then ate one of them. 

Spread a laugh, share this with someone. I just did. 

Have a joy filled day,


Friday, June 24, 2016

Living Life with Joy: How Quickly Time Passes

Living Life with Joy: How Quickly Time Passes: Time. It runs at different times depending on where in your life you are at any given moment. When you're a baby you can't wait to...

How Quickly Time Passes

Time. It runs at different times depending on where in your life you are at any given moment. When you're a baby you can't wait to get up and walk on your own two feet. From then on it's all just waiting for that next turn of the clock. How soon can I go to school, when can I stay up later than my current bedtime. When is summer going to get here? I can't wait for Christmas. It seems like we spend our entire lives waiting for the next chapter. But what happens when your chapters are at an end.

Eventually, time runs out and life as you know it changes. It usually happens subtly. Somewhat like someone whispering in your ear. You wake up one day and see the first wrinkle or the first gray hair. I found both of mine at the same time. I had been in a physically abusive relationship before the idea of safe houses existed. I had a safe house to go to but it was only by chance that the abuser had no way of finding me.

It took me many years before I was ready to face the fact that I was indeed getting old. My hair was more gray than blonde, more gone than not, and I decided that I was going to dye this hot mess into something unique. I bought the brightest red hair dye I could find and colored my hair with it. My husband came home and nearly fainted.

Of course, it wasn't my first dye job nor will it be my last but it was the first experiment with an odd color.

When my friends, Honey, and Michael, came to see me this summer, they thought it was "really red". I didn't care it was fun.

When Honey and Michael were on they're way home, Honey, who is addicted to Starbuck's stopped at one in Albuquerque and tripped on a rug going out the door. She managed to break her left hip and leg in the process. Since they live in California and she was in New Mexico at the time, Michael had to leave her behind at the hospital and continue on home.

Honey called me in a panic a few days after she'd been in the hospital and told me, "I'm being held hostage in a small room. They won't let me get up and they have me strapped down." She also told me she had a guard. I told her to let me speak to the "guard". Her "guard" who in real life is a nurses aide, told me that Honey was under some very heavy pain killers and was trying to stand up and take her out as well as her various tubes and hoses. Since one was a catheter, I for one am glad she wasn't able to pull them out. Lance and I left that morning for Albuquerque.

Six hours later we got to the hospital. Honey was so glad to see us and had to tell me all about the fairy's that planted flowers in the hallway that turned out to be weeds and that she and I needed to go pick them. There were other moments of nonsense but that one is the one I remember. It's a memory I'll treasure. Much like all of the other memories I have of our time together.

Time is running at a gallop for Honey. While she was in the hospital, she was diagnosed with renal cell bone marrow cancer. She had one of her kidney's removed a few months ago. It had a ten pound encapsulated tumor encased in it. Her doctor assured her that he got it all but doctors are after all human and they like all of us make mistakes.

They kept her in Albuquerque until it was safe for her to fly home alone. Honey has stage four cancer. There is no cure, chemotherapy will only give her a little more time. But when a little time is all you have left go ahead and do everything and anything you want. Honey wanted to show me that she too could be a little bit wild. She went right home, cut her hair short and colored it green with jello and aluminum foil.

I was impressed. I'm now looking at new ways to shock my poor husband into next week. Maybe I'll try some of that blue jello.......

Have a joy filled day, and if you find some time maybe say a prayer for my friend Honey.

Til next time,


Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Review

A Review: 

A Review of:  If the Bed Falls In, by Paul Casselle, author extraordinaire

   As I sit here in my balcony stateroom on board the beautiful Carnival Liberty, am I enjoying the beauty of the Carribean Sea? No. I am stumbling around like a drunk on a two-day bender suffering from some kind of illness passed on to me by one of the various forms of little people, germ magnets really, that reach no higher than my hipbone, who somehow manage to propel themselves into me every time the ship lists. The waning and waxing motion leaves some ill in their beds with the dreaded sea sickness. Alas not me, I have been brought to my knees by a child who in their innocence left me with bronchitis and a 3-ton elephant sitting on my chest.

  So here I am in my balcony stateroom, not enjoying the crisp sea air or the gentle rocking of the ship as we make our way to Grand Cayman, a lovely island I have had the pleasure of visiting many times. The water there is like glass. Absolutely beautiful. But I digress. Since I am effectively stuck in my balcony stateroom, I decided it was time to keep a promise.

  First of all, let me give you a little background. I first “met” the subject of this missive when he sent me a message on Facebook. “I see you are a fellow author, my name is Paul Casselle and I would like to offer you the opportunity to read my novel, Conversations with Eric, for an honest review and in exchange, I will offer the same to you for one of your books.”   I was slightly taken aback by the request because Paul writes thrillers and I write children’s books for ages 2-5. I promptly agreed but felt I had to inform him that it would be a very lopsided arrangement. He understood but still wanted my opinion. 

  I loved Conversations with Eric. For the same reasons that I have loved every one of Paul’s books. They are an honest look into the mind of a master storyteller. Something that no matter how long a time, I live, or what I endeavor to write, mine will never come close to being as stellar as the missives that Paul writes.

  From that time forward a wonderful friendship blossomed. I use the word friendship in the same way that Amazon, my favorite place in the world for shopping, uses the word friendship. It seems that if we are “friends” on Facebook, then we must, therefore, be using our “friends” to write reviews for us. And as such our reviews are denied as we are "friends". So I am using this alternate method to introduce you to some outstanding authors that I have became "friends" with over the last few years. This is the first. 

   As “friends” on Facebook, we share in the grief of the loss of a beloved friend, Eric. (Paul, I was devastated to learn of his passing, my heart broke that day as I too lost a beloved friend), or the passing of my daughter, Bobbie Ann.  We laugh at shared stories and encourage one another to be the very best we can be. We rejoice over a new release, If the Bed Falls In, by Paul or ABC’s Fun Fact About Animals, by yours truly. The highs of taking a relationship to the next level, or the lows of losing a parent to dementia. So here’s my answer to you dear Paul, to a question you recently asked me.  “Deb’s I know you said you loved, If the Bed Falls In, but why did you love it? Here my friend is my response:

  Dearest Paul, What a vexing question you had the audacity to ask me! You might as well have asked me, why do you love sunrises or sunsets? The way ice cream tastes as it melts upon your tongue. Or even the way the first taste of a summer peach or a winter orange make you dance with joy. Or even the most obscure one of all, why do you love all aspects of nature with pure abandon. Even scary spiders that if they make their presence known and stay out of my hair, it’s live and let live.

  So here dear Paul is your answer, I loved it because. It was the first taste of a grape bursting on your palette, or the brush of an artist's hand to a blank canvas.  It was well written. It made me laugh, it was intriguing and this grammar nazi couldn’t find one thing to complain about other than the fact that some British spellings are different than the Americanized versions.  Defence is transformed to defense and if not for that I would have nothing to write about. It was quite simply, stunning. The characters were so real that they jumped off the pages of my kindle to act out the scenes in front of me while I applauded the performance.  You, dear Paul, are an artist and I am so flattered that you chose me to be one of your readers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to allow me to share in Tom/Joseph and the adorable Cyril, whom I am tickled to say, is a reflection of myself if I were in the same situation. Bravo for making me laugh and for allowing me to be your friend.


til next time, 

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Absolute Joy of Bowling with Dogs

                                            The Absolute Joy of Bowling with Dogs

   Maybe I'd better rephrase that before the local SPCA knocks on my door and tries to take my babies. My dogs were in no way harmed in the telling of this story. The year was 1982, and sadly the dogs in this story have gone to the rainbow bridge along with others I've loved since.

    I guess I'd better start at the beginning with this one. Some parts of this story, aren't so joyful. But oh my goodness the ending was priceless. And trust me, there weren't many joyful times in my life right then.

    I've always loved to fish. I've been fishing since I was old enough to hold my pole. I'm not good at getting then off the hook or baiting the hook or even putting a hook on the line. Okay, so I kind of suck at fishing but I still like to catch them.

   If you've read my bio you know I've been in a physically abusive relationship. Let me assure you now, I will never be in another one. I don't have a lot of happy memories of that time in my life, but this is one of them.

     Since I never let on to, let's just put it out there, The Abuser, hereafter known as TA, (which is kinder than what I normally say about him), that I loved to fish, I got to do quite a bit of it. Now that's either a good thing or a bad thing. Catching fish, good thing, no fish, bad thing. But that's not the point of this story.

   At that time, I lived somewhere in Arkansas. For only living there for four years, I have a lot of funny stories about it. I guess it comes from seeing the beauty around you regardless of the situation you find yourself trapped in.

    TA decided we needed to scope out a new fishing hole. So we loaded up the dogs and took off. By dogs, I mean my dog, Freckles a Queensland Heeler / Border Collie mix that was meaner than any snake I have ever encountered. She had one job in this life. To protect me. Always, against anyone. Including, TA. And the funny thing is, he never crossed her. I know now it was because he was a bully and had I known then what I know now, I could have brought him down myself.*

   But that's old news. Back to finding new fishing grounds, It's not hard in Arkansas or, at least, it wasn't back then. Water was everywhere. So were fish...and other things. But today was all about the fish. TA soon found what he thought would be a great new fishing hole. Yeah, not so much.
    Did I mention we were in Arkansas, well it rains in Arkansas. It rains in Arkansas a lot. It had been raining for a couple of days. Rain + Dirt = MUD therefore, MUD = LOL.

     TA found what he knew was a great fishing hole. And look, you could even see the fish swimming in it. He kept trying to get me to get out of the car and come look at the fish in this hole. Okay I finally got out of the car to go look at the "fish" he'd found and of course, the dogs jumped out with me.
     TA got so excited about the "fish" in the pond that he just had to get a better look. He slipped slid his way down the bank to the very edge of the pond with Rags right on his heels. They both stood at the edge of that pond looking at the "fish". All I saw was a long skinny thing that resembled a short, skinny funny looking snake. I know now that the things I was looking at were indeed a species of fish called an Alligator Gar.

      Well, it seems Freckles wanted to get a closer look too, so she got close to the edge and slid right down that bank and pushed both of them into the water right along with those ugly fish. She never swerved toward the gutter or slowed down, she hit them right straight on. TA couldn't get out of the water fast enough, and he couldn't even blame Freckles for pushing him in because he was the fool that wanted to get a closer look in the first place.

   Yep, Karma does, in fact, come around and sometimes you even get to watch.

til next time,


*TA had a sweet little boy named Rags that I loved beyond measure. He died of heartworms before we were even aware there was such a thing. Years later I was able to save my rescue Beau from them when he came to me instead of being taken to the pound. Sometimes life's lessons are hard. Karma also lets us make up for past mistakes, even if they were inadvertent.