Archive for August, 2012

There was an article in USA Today about how “distracted walking” is taking a toll on teenagers as pedestrian injuries soar among 16-19-year-olds. The cause for distracted walking is due to electronics and handheld devices. Just about everybody walks with their head down, oblivious to their surroundings.

Today’s parents have electronics to contend with when teaching their child how to cross a street. In the past a parent taught their kid to look both ways before crossing a street. Today’s parent instructs little Timmy to: 1) stand at the curb 2) pause your conversation with grandma and put her on hold 3) take a break from texting or tweeting 4) look both ways to check for traffic 5) cross when the coast is clear 6) if you witness an accident, do not stop in the middle of the street to take a picture 7) when you have successfully crossed to the other side you may resume your texting, tweeting and talking to grandma.

For me electronics don’t make walking dangerous, my husband does. My husband is a lot taller than me and to keep up with him I need to take two steps for one of his. Should his pace be brisk then I take four steps to match his stride. It’s not a problem unless we cross a busy street. When it comes to crossing a busy street by our house, my husband plays it loose and easy – with my life. Standing at the corner he’ll yell at me, “Come on.” forgetting I need more steps than he. He’ll make it to the other side and glare at me for holding him up while I’m in the middle of the road, dodging speeding, honking cars. He’s more of a danger to me than any device could be. Why, at least if I had my cell with me, I could use it to call an ambulance after I got struck, running across the street.

Breaking news; this just in. I was watching the news the other night when it was interrupted by urgent news. They cut from the usual anchor to a different one with urgency in his voice. I wonder what would have happened if more breaking news occurred while the reporter was relaying the news that just bumped the regular news? Isn’t all news, new? It is, unless, of course, you’re my husband and have a stack of newspapers so old that it’s already been recorded in history books. Why, just the other day, he asked if I heard of this fellow, Ross Perot.

My local morning news show changed things up and now the anchors stand while doing the news. I hate it. I don’t know why they changed it. I feel antsy watching it. Then again, I feel antsy watching most television lately. Between pop ups, scrolls and countdowns bombarding the screen, watching television is not the relaxing experience it used to be.

I mean do we really need scrolls alerting us to special reports coming up on the nightly news? Besides the news will most likely be interrupted by more urgent news. It’s hard to relax when every ten seconds you’re subjected to pop ups of shows to follow. What really gets me is the pop up telling you what show you’re watching? How stupid are you?

And who can relax when a countdown to the next show is taking up the bottom right of your screen? It starts at the top of the hour. I have 59 minutes till the next show. I have 30 minutes till the next show. When it gets to ten seconds, I break out the party hats and noise makers. I countdown to zero and yell, “Happy New Year,” only nobody kisses me.

When we first got a crock pot, I would walk by it and announce, “Seven hours till dinner, four hours till dinner,” and so it went till dinner. I kept eyeballing it every time I walked by. It made me anxious seeing time just slip away right before my very eyes. Finally, it got to the point that the countdown of time didn’t bother me. One day it beeped, and I let it sit on warm as I was busy watching breaking news, on the nightly news.


I miss the days when going to the store was quick and easy. You’d give the cashier money and they’d give you change. Today, buying a quart of milk could take up to one hour. The cashier first asks, “Do you have a rewards card?” When you tell him you left it at home, he requests your phone number so he can bring it up on the computer.

The next question is, “Do you have e-mail?” “Yes.” The follow-up is, “Can I have your e-mail address?” “No.”  Shock registers on his face. “No? Why not?” “Because I don’t want to give it to you, that’s why.” That leads to the next question which is, “Do you have a Face Book account?” “Yes.” “Good. Then you can like us on Face Book and receive coupons and sales alerts.” “I don’t think I’ll like you on Face Book.” “It’s easy to like us on Face Book.” “The more you keep pestering me to like you, the less I like you, Walter.” Annoyance.

He moves on. “In that case, do you tweet?” “Why?” “If you tweeted you could follow us on twitter.” “What makes you think if I don’t like you on Face Book I’d want to follow you on twitter?” Rejection. “In that case can I have your address?” “Why?” “So, we can send you coupons.” “Just send the coupons the same place you send the bill we get every month.” Defiance. “Well, there’s no address coming up on my screen.” “And yet, every month we get a bill.” Resignation. “Today with your purchase you get a coupon for 10 % off your next purchase. It’s good till the end of the month.” “The end of the month? Today is the 29th. The end of the month is tomorrow. I have less than twenty-four hours to use a coupon? What if I was to return all this stuff now and come back tomorrow?” “To make a return I’ll need to see some form of valid identification and you’ll need to fill out this form here, here and here.”

I walk out of the store (relief on both our faces) with milk that expired while on line, a soon to be expired coupon and expired patience.

My husband has a cap filled with dirty tissues sitting on the dining room table; why exactly, I don’t know. What’s he gonna use it for – a centerpiece?

My mother was and still is a woman who always has a tissue. At family dinners if she sneezed she would reach up her long-sleeved blouse and whip out a Kleenex. Now that I think of it, I never saw the woman in short sleeves. How else would she carry her tissues?  One sleeve was her private stash; the other sleeve was extra to give out.

I’d be sitting at the dinner table, next to her and next thing I know she’d place a tissue beside my plate and command me to, “Wipe.” I knew better than to argue and tell her, “I didn’t sneeze,” as it was at the end of a long day and being weary from carrying the weight of a box of tissues in her sleeves, she just wanted to get rid of them. So, we wiped, we all wiped.

Although, she was good to have around when you just opened a box of Kleenex and didn’t want the hassle that comes with pulling the first tissue from the box. Instead of cramming tissues like sardines, why don’t they package them like potato chips, lots of bag and air; lots of extra room at the top. I hate when you reach for a tissue and the whole box comes with you. When you replace them, are you the type to shove them in the box, or do you fold each one individually and then put it back? And have you ever wondered why some tissues are two ply and some three? I hate getting a three ply because I know that there’s a lonely one ply somewhere in the box. A one ply does nothing. It’s worthless. You may as well sneeze on your hand or into your cap. If my husband sneezed into his cap there would be an empty cap on the table, instead of one filled with discarded tissues. My mother would never treat her tissues with such disregard.

My husband takes no time at all to make a sandwich. He cuts open his roll, spreads mustard or mayo over it, slaps some meat and cheese on it and he’s done. He’s the sort of customer a sandwich shop loves as he’s a quick and easy customer. I’m a different story. I switch things up so the kid taking my order reaches retirement age by the time I’m done.

“Give me onions with that and make them hot. No lettuce, extra tomato instead. Can I have provolone cheese instead of American? Since I want it the way I want it, ordering a sandwich can take awhile.

Recently, we went to Which Wich, a place where you create your own sandwich. Here’s how it works. The menu boards are on the wall. First you pick your meat, say pastrami and then you get the bag with the number for pastrami. Then you take a marker to begin the process. On the bag are the menu options with boxes next to them. Next you choose your roll – white or wheat, and check the appropriate box on the bag. The rolls available are sub, not round.Bologna is on the menu, but I wouldn’t dare order it as I eat bologna only with a round roll, keeping with the whole round theme. Then I check for my roll to be toasted – twice (I love a crispy roll.) Next is the cheese selection. Feta is available, but I would never choose it as it would make for a lumpy, sloppy sandwich. When I make a bologna and cheese sandwich on a round roll I fold over the cheese corners that hang over and place it back inside the roll. I hate when my cheese hangs out.

Then you choose and mark off which spread, sauce, mustard or mayo you want. Mustard is ok with a meat sandwich, but not mayo – it’s not kosher. Some people are very particular about how they spread their condiment. Some people spread generous amounts of mayo on both sides of the roll and some spread a thin layer of mayo on one side. I believe in leaving enough room at the border for expansion which happens when you bite down.

Next you pick and mark the box for caramelized onions, red onions or crispy strings. I order caramelized knowing they’ll be hot.

Then you check which veggies you want, which is everything from tomato, lettuce and peppers, to avocado (extra.) I hate when you bite into a sandwich and all the tomatoes fall out. In this case if you’re eating a round roll your tomato should be sliced round and if you’re eating a sub roll the tomato should be sliced in strip, matching the shape of the roll. Never should the tomato be chopped.

Next, you mark off the oils and spices you want. Salt is available, although, aren’t you getting more than the recommended daily allowance just by ordering ham, salami and turkey?

Last, you write your name in the box provided at the bottom of the bag. The cashier takes your bag and money and passes the bag to the chef. When your order is up they call your name. The best part is the bag your sandwich comes doubles as a takeout bag. This is a great system. And if you forget what you had for lunch just check the bag that’s on the floor of your car. This system is great for a person like me who usually gets a side of chips and death threats from customers behind me in line. Creating the perfect sandwich takes time.

On August 15th Cindy had a book signing/reading at the Hemphill library inGreensboro,NC. She entertained the audience with her stories and her works from Chicken Soup for the Soul, ‘Married Life,’ and Deal with Life’s Stress with ‘A Little Humor.’

Cindy gained recognition as 4th place winner in a “America’s Funniest Humor” Writing contest. To read her story click ‘Living on a Budget’.

I couldn’t help staring. They were enormous and they were right in front of my face – the cashiers’ breasts. I was getting a double dose of breasts – those I was buying and those staring me in the face. I wondered if she knew they were on display. Didn’t her to tight blouse make her uncomfortable? I was uncomfortable looking at her. Her neckline was down to her belly button. If a neckline is that low, is it still a neckline; a belt, maybe, but not a neckline.

It’s only natural that some women like to display what nature bestowed on them. What’s not natural is when your cashier at Costco is wearing a see through blouse, which is cut so low you get a view of the ‘big valley.’

The question is – when does cleavage become too much cleavage? Just a hunch – but I don’t think there could ever be too much cleavage for men. They appreciate seeing whatever’s out there.

From a young age flat-chested girls will do anything and everything to give the appearance they’re a D cup rather than an A. they’ll stuff their bra with tissues and get implants. And whether it’s real or not some will abide the saying, ‘If you got it, flaunt it.’

Sometimes as a lady ages she finds in order to flaunt it, she must first pick it up off the ground. Personally, I think there should be a cut off date for flaunting it, like when your cleavage starts to resemble crepe paper and people think your turkey neck has been extended. When people start buying you turtlenecks to wear in July, it’s time to cover the girls up. Having to look at wrinkled cleavage across a dinner table is enough to kill anyone’s appetite. So, please, forget the peep show and cancel all performances. The girls must go into retirement.

Today we continue our search for the perfect rug. The store on the agenda for today is Carpet One By Henry. We pull out of the driveway and I announce, “O Henry, here we come.”

“It’s not O Henry, just Henry,” corrects my husband.

“You’re right; although O Henry was a great writer – born William Sydney Porter, right here inNorth Carolina. The first story I read by him was the ‘Gift of the Magi.’ It was a true love story. Would you ever sell, say, your bowling ball to buy me a comb for my hair?”

“Why would I buy a comb for you’re your hair, your hair’s to short to put anything in it.”

“That’s not the point. The point is if you loved me enough, you’d give up something you loved to buy something for me.”

“No, that’s not the point. The point is it would be foolish for me to but you a comb you couldn’t use. Why waste good money? But, who knows, maybe, Henry, the carpet guy, will sell his ball and buy you a comb.”

“I wonder if they’re related, if O Henry dropped the O in his name and now his great grandson is carrying on the business.”

You think O Henry had a rug business on the side?”

“It’s possible.”

“So, he was a writer/rug salesman? That’s sweet. If that’s the case then it’s also possible I’m gonna sell my bowling ball to buy you a comb you won’t ever use.”

“Oh, shut up.”

We arrive at the store and are greeted at the door by Harry. Harry? Henry? Oh well.

We begin scanning the hundreds of carpets.

As Harry walks with us through the showroom I find out two things: Harry’s not related to O Henry and, he would not sell his bowling ball to buy his wife a comb, because he doesn’t have a ball or a wife. Even though I’m disappointed my whole O Henry theory didn’t pan out, I’m excited because I found the perfect rug. It will provide comfort and warmth to my feet and if I let my imagination run wild, inspiration for my writing.

The point was we found the perfect rug.


Finished with the dining-room floor, we start looking for area rugs. I don’t anticipate any problems. We go to a carpet place and are helped by a lady with so many questions: What color are you looking for? What shape do you want? What size do you need? Do you want the chair to be on or off the rug when pulled out? Questions, questions, questions; all she had were questions. Once we answered her questions we looked at rugs.

She showed oriental rugs. I don’t like oriental. She showed rugs with a western theme. The closest I ever got to western was John Wayne. Finally, I found what I thought was the perfect rug. My husband, eager to get out of there agreed when I told him, “This is the perfect rug.” We were allowed to bring the rug home, because as the sales lady said, “It’ll look different in your house.” I paid her no mind because I believed this rug would look perfect in my house.

When we got home and put the rug on the dining-room floor, I realized I was wrong. It was not the perfect rug. In fact, it was awful. Now we had a problem.

The next day we take the rug back and move on to store number two. This time a man works with us and when he ask the questions: how long do you need it to be, and how long would you like it to be, I felt like he had bedroom issues with his wife. We look at hundreds of samples and I finally pick out two candidates. Again, we are allowed to bring them home even though I’m convinced this time I have found the perfect rug. We place them in the dining-room and one by one I eliminate both of them. Damn! Things aren’t going as planned.  My husband thinks the rug is perfect as it’s big enough to roll up a person, who’s 5 foot, 2 inches. I ignore his pleas for me to lie down on it so he can show me just how perfect it is and do some research to obtain a list of stores.

Join me tomorrow as we return the samples and continue our search for the perfect rug.

Finished with the living-room, we get the floor for the dining-room. We bring it home and let it sit. Only, with this wood I sense that it’s heard about us from its relatives in the other two rooms. I mean, what else would explain a box of wood trying to walk out the front door. This was a problem. I did my best to give it meaningful pep talks. I explained we were really nice people, once you got to know us. Sitting on top of it (to keep it from leaving) I assured it we were fun loving people. And once I bolted it to the floor (it was still twitching) I assured it that like its relatives before, it was a matter of time till it became family. That’s when I think I heard it – sobbing… coming from the floor. Can a hardwood floor cry? Despite its objections, we began work on the floor.

Once again carpet was ripped up, dust was swept and a new floor replaced the old one. This was the quickest of all the floors. There was no dust storm, character scratches or fighting; although my husband kept asking me who was sobbing.

When it was done, we looked at it and in unison agreed, “It needs an area rug.” I couldn’t believe it – We replaced the rug with hardwood flooring and now we want to buy a rug to cover what we just put down. It doesn’t make sense – especially the fact that our dining-room floor is still sobbing. I try squelching its sobs with my feet, but nothing works. Maybe an area rug will stifle the sobs.

Join me tomorrow as we go rug shopping. I don’t anticipate any problems.