I was telling my kids a story about my own childhood the other day, and it had my husband in stitches.  I’m not sure why, but for what it’s worth, here’s the story.

When I was a kid, I was a pretty picky eater.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I still AM a picky eater!  Although I’m not nearly as bad as I was as a kid.  Anyway, in addition to my being a picky eater, my mother was a horrible cook.  She did criminal things to food, I kid you not.  How much of her bad cooking contributed to me being a picky eater, one will never know.

One time, I must have been around 10 or 11, she made something for my dinner that – best as I can recall, was either mushrooms or Brussels sprouts.  It was round and slimy, I remember that, and I would not eat it.  It looked weird, it smelled awful, and it was slimy.  No way.  Would. Not. Eat.

I can be a stubborn girl when I have a mind to.

My mother yelled at me, threatened me, all kinds of things she told me would happen if I didn’t eat the science experiment reject in front of me.  Eventually she picked up a piece of whatever it was off my plate and tried to shove it in my mouth.

Oh no, we are so not going there!  I clasped my hand over my mouth as an extra barrier of protection.  This was a battle of epic proportions!

My mother, in her rage and frustration, leaned over and bit my hand, the hand covering my mouth.  She bit me!  I remember screaming, and I had a set of lungs on me too, it’s a wonder the neighbors on the other side of the wall didn’t call the police. 

At this point in the story, Darc busted up laughing.  I mean to tell you, he almost had tears running down his face, and that’s quite a feat of accomplishment for me!  Usually I’m the one splitting a gut at his stories.

“Why are you laughing?” I asked him.  “My knuckles were bloody and had teeth marks and everything!”

I try to remember that my beloved is a writer of horror fiction so things often strike him in a way they don’t other people. 

“Oh my gosh,” he replied, “‘Eat or be eaten!’  That’s just priceless.”

I guess it does have sort of a vampire quality to it.  Eat or be eaten.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll make it into one of his stories yet!  Smile

Preview: Vampire Bestiary

[Preview: Vampire Bestiary « Eternity Publishing]


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imageBoy, this picture brought back a memory!  I actually had a dog say this to me once.

For various reasons, one day many years ago I found myself at the animal shelter, looking for a dog.  There were several to choose from, but most seemed to have some issue or other, whether it was being too noisy or too big, whatever. 

Near the end of the row, sat a quiet canine.  He wasn’t too big and he wasn’t too small.  He was black and brown and looked sort of like a Rottweiler, but he was not as big as one so I knew he was a mix of things.  He just sat there, looking at me, not barking, just quiet.  I walked over to his cage and he stood up and came to the door and we stood looking at each other in the “aisle” there at the shelter.  He seemed like a calm dog, not given to being the sort that jumps on or nips at people. 

I decided to bring him home. 

On the way, he sat in the front seat, just looking out the window.

When we got to the house, he got out of the car and came in with me, and then he proceeded to investigate every nook and cranny in the place.  It took him maybe 20 minutes or so, but I just stood waiting for him in the living room. 

Eventually he came back to me, sat down by my feet and said, “Okay lady, I’ll keep you.”  Smile

The vet said he looked to be half Rottweiler and half Beagle.  He almost never left my side for nearly 5 years and he was one of the best dogs I ever had.  He’s up in puppy Heaven now or wherever dogs go, and I’m pretty sure he’s keeping my couch cushion warm up there too.  Smile

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090811164257I was thinking about my bed the other night, as I was trying to fall asleep.  It’s funny how the mind wanders from one thing to another.  Thinking about my bed brought me to some memories of when I was younger. 

See, I was thinking how silly I feel having to climb into my bed like a kid, how beds seem so much taller now than when I was younger.  Taller up top, but not as much room beneath.  I remembered how I used to jump out of my bed when I had a nightmare because I was convinced there was a monster or murderer hiding underneath, just waiting for me to put my foot on the floor.  Jumping to the middle of the room and making a run for it seemed safest.  Something – or someone! – could be hiding under there!

Then I remembered something that happened when I was in high school. 

I used to walk a few blocks out of my way sometimes to meet up at my friend’s house to catch the bus.  One day, I knocked on her door and found out that she was staying home from school because she was sick.  Her mother had already gone to work for the day so it was nothing for me to simply decide to stay home with her.  We had fun playing hooky, until close to lunch time when my friend told me her mother would be home soon and I should probably go.  Only, where was I going to go?  My mother was home from work that day herself so I couldn’t go there.  Quick thinker that I was (oh shut up!) I decided to hide under her bed. 

We waited until the last possible minute, as her mother pulled into the driveway, before I wiggled under her bed.  I laid there, stifling giggles, for an hour, while she ate some lunch and puttered around, asking her daughter how she felt, if she’d gotten started on homework, that kind of stuff.  After she left, I crawled back out and we continued our day of hooky until it was safe for me to go home.

I had some room under that bed.  I mean, not like I could do jumping jacks, but it wasn’t an impossible fit, I could turn my head and had some movement if I had an itch or something.

Not like today – my kids couldn’t fit under the beds we have now.  And not just because I still keep tons of stuff under it either.  For, uh, storage purposes, you know.  

On the one hand, I’m glad bed manufacturers have made it pretty much impossible for anyone to hide under beds anymore.  On the other hand, I wish I didn’t feel like I was 4 years old every night at bedtime.

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We’ve loved Star Trek a long time.  Lately, thanks to the wonders of Netflix, we’ve been able to watch episodes of it in the evenings.  We’ve actually turned our kids onto it!  Initially, we started watching old episodes of The Next Generation (TNG) but Darc and I have seen them so many times that we could practically recite the episodes based on the vague little episode descriptions that Netflix posted.  On a whim one evening, Darc decided to hop over to Star Trek Voyager.  Neither of us actually watched the series while it was on – probably due to whatever was going on in our personal lives at the time before we met.  So for us, the series seems fresh and new.  The kids love it too and even make up little Star Trek stories.  We’ve initiated a whole new generation into the Trek world.  Smile

As I watched my daughter mimic Captain Janeway, it made me think of when I first fell in love with Star Trek.  I was about her age, a bit younger, just barely 5.  Star Trek TOS (The Original Series) must have just gone into syndication or something because it was on in the late afternoon.  I remember that because I remember fighting with my sister over the TV.  She, in her mature teen fashion, insisted on watching Star Trek and refused, REFUSED to give over control of the TV to her little sister, who was desperate to watch Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood.  I remember her standing in front of the TV and blocking me from being able to change the channel.  Yes, this was long before remote control days!  We were yelling at each other until finally my mother intervened.  That’s how I know I was 5, because by the time I was 6 my mother and I were no longer living there. 

My sister won the battle.  I remember crying.  I loved Mr Rogers!  He was my friend!  How could I go a whole day without watching him?  Five-year-old little girls love their fits.

The episode of Star Trek that was on that afternoon was the one with the Abraham Lincoln character.  I knew who that was!  I learned about him in school and he was on money!  Oh, I was mesmerized!  They made him look alive again!  He was almost real, this greatest of all presidents!  (Until Reagan, of course!  Winking smile )  Captain Kirk and the guy with the pointy ears were amazing to me, able to defeat the hated rock monster, and I became a fan for life.  Heroes!  I loved heroes!  They had cool gadget stuff and traveled through space in a ship that was sort of like a submarine, but much more amazing.  They were out there, where the astronauts had recently been, to the moon and beyond (I watched that too!).  How could I not love it? 

Sure, I still loved Mr Rogers.  Always did!  The world is a sadder place without him in it.  But I found room in my heart that day for the Star Trek neighborhood too, and it’s so cool to be able to share that with my kids now. 

Live long and prosper!

You knew I’d get it in somehow!  Winking smile

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When Darc and I met and married, he had a little bit of fluff generally thought of as a dog.  She didn’t think of herself that way, and I suspect Darc didn’t either.  She was his baby, and that’s all there was to it. 

I say little bit of fluff, and that’s what she was, smaller even than my babies when they were born, she weighed maybe 7 lbs, soaking wet.

Darc had a step he built for her to get up on the bed, and she loved the bed!  Oh my, she loved to snuggle down under the blankets where it was nice and warm and she’d press herself up against one of us, usually him because he’s warmer than I am.  If we moved a little to accommodate her, she’d scooch in again, until, as Darc once put it, “I’m sleeping on the nightstand here!”  How such a tiny dog took up so much room on the bed is one of those mysteries I will never figure out.

When I was expecting the KnytLite, my body temp soared, so I became the “snuggle” of choice.  Only, with the baby pressing on the inside, I really wasn’t able to handle her pressing on the outside, and leaving me just a sliver of space.  My nightstand just couldn’t handle pregnant me.  So, I had Darc take her step away to keep her from hopping up on the bed anymore. 

It was a sad day.  After that, there was a baby often in the bed with us and just not enough room for the little bit of fluff anymore.  She’s been on my mind since we got the new bed, because we practically need steps ourselves just to get into it, and I can’t help but think we’d have had to make a 2 stair step for her, maybe even a 3.  It’s funny the way your mind works sometimes.  She’s been gone a while now, and I still find myself thinking of little things, like her bed-step.

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funny pictures - He woulda preferred "yield"

I’ve actually used this line.  Smile  The “stop” part, that is. 

One time, when I was much younger, this guy kept hitting on me and wouldn’t take no for an answer.  He was pretty creepy.  He just kept pressuring and pushing me and I was getting kind of scared.  He never threatened me or anything like that, but with some guys you just never know.

Finally, after like the 50th time he asked for my phone number, I gave in and gave him the number …

To the local funeral home. 

Open-mouthed smile

Sometimes, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.


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Going out for coffee was the thing to do when I was a young woman.  Whether out on a date, or out with friends, it was, “Where can we go for coffee?”  Coffee was safe – no one had to be 21 to get into a restaurant.  Back then, one of the places to go for coffee was a place called Poppin Fresh Pies.  They had good coffee and amazing pies.  Amazing!  Poppin Fresh got bought out in the early 80s and became Baker’s Square – fortunately they retained the pie recipes, however the prices on their food went up, but that’s another story. 

Poppin Fresh was just the place to go, that pie was too good to pass up when you had the chance.

Poppin Fresh TV commercial.

One late evening, I ended up at a Poppin Fresh with a date.  We sat there drinking coffee, eating pie, and talking – might have been after a movie or something, I can’t even recall that part anymore.

But the screaming waitress has stuck in my memory.


There weren’t a lot of people in the place at that time of night.  A dozen, 20 tops.  It was relatively quiet, people carrying on conversations without shouting, no loud music played from the sound system.  There were a couple of people sitting at the counter by themselves, minding their own business. 

So when one of the waitresses screamed, well it pretty much reverberated throughout the entire place and we all looked up.  She was in the middle of making a fresh pot of coffee when she let loose, and threw the used grounds on the floor.


No one said a word but we ALL took one look at the coffee cups in front of us and – as a group – pushed them away. 

I heard another waitress hiss, “Will you shut up!  You don’t scream things like that out loud!”  My date and I were near the wait station so we heard everything. 

“I’m sorry!  I couldn’t help it!  It was a spider!  In the grounds!”

“Yeah but you don’t advertise that in a restaurant, get it?  Besides, the spider’s dead anyway, it’s not like he can hurt you.  And now look at this mess you’ve made!  You’re cleaning that up, by the way!”

I had to wonder, what else doesn’t get “advertised” in a restaurant?

One of the guys at the counter deadpanned, “I assume you’ll be making a fresh pot?” 

I have no idea how a spider could have made his way into the coffee grounds and proceeded to get himself brewed.  He must have been in the fresh grounds and got scooped up without being noticed before meeting his boily fate.  I never noticed a difference in the taste of my coffee, but then, my friends always teased me that I just had a little coffee with my cream and sugar. 

To this day though, I still check the grounds before I set the coffee to brew.

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