About Me

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Bookkeeper, tax preparer, cat lady, blogger, organizer, mystery writer.


I've finally decided that I am a writer - all the other things I do just pay the bills. Someone eloquent once said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Well, let's just see about that.

RIP Aggie

RIP Aggie
Aggie was my fifteen-year-old cairn terrier - or maybe I should say I was her 55-year-old person! She was my faithful companion, spoiled rotten and I am still trying to figure out what to do without her.

Peter the Cat...

Peter the Cat...
This is Peter the gingersnap tabby! He's seven years old and has just been promoted to Peter the Very, Very Good. He is working his way up to Peter the Great...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...
Bee is Peter's buddy. He's eight years old and has made himself right at home. I guess cats really do come in pairs or sets of three!

And Jasper makes three!

And Jasper makes three!
Jasper is our new guy - the Cat From Another Place. He's four years old and we think he likes it here - so far, so good!

Buzz about...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween...

Instead of answering the door for trick-or-treaters - of which there were none (knocks or trick-or-treaters), Aggie, Peter and I watched the pilot and first two episodes of Warehouse 13, a series from the Syfy channel.  I saw it in Netflix and it sounded good, so it went into my queue.  Since I don't have cable, I wasn't even aware that the show is still being broadcast.  Apparently it is now in season two - so I will have to catch up before season 3 starts.  I wonder if you can watch it online...  Anyhow - it was cute.  Sort of like X-Files meets the Librarian, both of which I loved.  It also has Saul Rubinek as the caretaker of the Warehouse - so that's a great reason to watch it right there.  I loved him on the Nero Wolfe mysteries with Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin.  If you've never seen Warehouse 13 and you like light science fiction with a bit of mystery and humor mixed in - and can suspend disbelief, as Ambrose Bierce would say, my furry associates and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

End of an era...

and it appears that I have really been out of the loop.  As I have previously admitted, I am powerless over the rabbit poop ice at Sonic.  There's just something about it - and I'm not the only one who craves its icy goodness.  Since I've been working from home, I don't get out much, and I have only occasionally had a Route44 drink from Sonic since the first of July.  I was out doing my Saturday errands this morning and my planned route took me near the Sonic.  I wasn't hungry but I was really looking forward to the ice.  I ordered a drink, asked for extra ice and reminded them that I had a window sticker.  You know the one: 99 cents for a Route44 drink.  "The window stickers expired about three weeks ago," I was not very politely informed.  "Do you still want the drink?"  I said that I did indeed still want the drink, as well as the extra ice.  Well, how do you like that?  No warning, no nothing.  See, I'm officially out of the loop.  I wonder how much those rabbit poop ice machines cost...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Now here's a trained cat...

named Quidditch.  My friend Carolyn and her husband, Larry, belong to him.  They live near Atlanta.  Isn't he the cutest thing?  She says that he sits on his stool and patiently waits for his portion at every meal.  Apparently, he is a very polite and well-mannered boy.  Aggie could take a lesson - or two.  We had catfish for supper tonight and Miss Thing and her partner in crime were concerned that I would not give them their fair share.
Like just when did that ever happen?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cat box wars...

Peter has come a long way.  He has gone from a scared kitten I found in the street to a skittish cat who steered clear of the dogs at home.  He refused to move to Pennsylvania with the other cats and spent a couple of days in our empty house until Tim could catch him and transport him to the office.  There he made himself scarce and only came out when he thought the coast was clear.  Petey gallantly suffered the indignity of being neutered and moved home with me & Aggie - and they have become good friends.  Almost too good, I sometimes think.  You see, Peter is an enabler.  What? you ask.  Well, like most dogs, Aggie loves to eat cat poop.  That's just gross, but it's true.  Unfortunately for me, Peter is a nocturnal pooper and my two housemates seem to have a system all worked out to inflict the maximum sleep interruption on me.  Little varmints!  Just when we have all settled down for the night and Aggie is dozing nicely, Pete heads to the litter box where he makes his deposit and then digs.  And digs and digs and digs.  This is that noisy Tidy Cat Breeze pellet litter, mind you, and the racket is absolutely thunderous in a quiet apartment.  If the exaggerated digging fails to get Aggie's attention, Peter marches out of the bathroom meowing at the top of his lungs to alert his sister to the presence of a fresh tootsie roll treat.  Off Aggie trots to the box to attempt to make her nightly withdrawal - where she is most often thwarted by an thoroughly irritated and sleep-deprived person with a poop scoop in hand.  And I wondered why I was having trouble getting to sleep - or sleeping for more than an hour at a time.  It's not insomnia - it's furry creatures with nasty nocturnal habits.
Tonight I am going to try and wait them out - wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gotta love Etsy...

where you can browse through thousands of interesting handmade and vintage items until you find just the thing you didn't even know you were looking for.  The very thing, as my grandmother used to say.  As I have admitted on previous occasions, I am a lover of all things holiday - Valentine's, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Christmas - and I love holiday-themed shirts, sweaters and jewelry.  I have been wearing my old faithful Halloween shirts and while browsing on Etsy one evening when I couldn't sleep, I realized that I didn't have any really suitable autumn earrings.  Like anyone really sees me on a daily basis, or that I even needed any, but nevertheless - I had apparently found the very thing.  The best part is that you can get adorable handmade earrings with glass pumpkin beads for under $10 - a steal!  While I was at it, I bought a pair of cute, cute, cute art glass pumpkin earrings for my pumpkin-obsessed friend, Marie.  With free shipping!  I haven't spent much money frivolously over the past year, but finding these two great bargains - pumpkin earrings! - just made my day.  If you have never checked Etsy out, you should take a few minutes and have a look.  It's like eBay only less commercial - wonderful hand-crafted things!  In fact, I'm going to be listing some of my sewing projects on Etsy soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An annual tradition...

is back - and Aggie & I just had a free Angus Bacon Cheeseburger for dinner.  She was more impressed than I was, but hey - it was free!  Growing up, McDonald's was always considered a big treat at our house.  We very seldom went out to eat and when we did, my sister and I begged for McDonald's.  My dad tried to avoid it except on road trips because he loved the convenience of driving through and eating in the car.  We would sit in the back seat and chant, "Ronnnnn-ald," until he would stop at the next exit.  I suspect that Daddy secretly liked McDonald's too - after all, he was an early computer geek whose job often entailed installing point-of-sale systems at various fast food restaurants.  The year Tim and I got married, we took a short honeymoon road trip a couple of months later and the McDonald's Monopoly game was going on.  I think we ate at every McDonald's between here and Savannah.  Well, maybe not - but it sure seemed like we did.  Every year thereafter, we made a point of visiting the Golden Arches at least once during the game.  The most either of us ever won was a free order of fries or a sandwich until a couple of years ago when I actually won some computer game downloads.  One was Yahtzee and I think there were two others - possibly a Monopoly game.  I'm back to my comparative losing streak this year, but I did get a free cheeseburger and some Coke rewards points.  I still love their fries in my old age, so it was worth the trip.

Monday, October 25, 2010

ME Monday...

I am Queen of the Kitchen - or this one at least.  Just a quick stop on yesterday's brief kitchen tour.  Check out more ME stuff over at Cherry Chick.
Have a great Monday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

No one's in the kitchen...

so it's finally time I gave the kitchen tour - I think it's the last room I have to blog about.  The laundry closet doesn't count...  As you can see, it's small but infinitely larger than the kitchen in the first apartment.  Both kitchens have been an adjustment after having had an enormous kitchen in my house - 28 cupboards, a huge pantry, two sinks and a double wall oven.  But, downsizing is good.  I'm down to one set of dishes and only one cupboard full of baking dishes and pans - and other assorted items.
I wasn't kidding about the baking dishes and pans.
Or the one set of dishes.  Mary Engelbreit, of course!
This kitchen has more counter space than the last one, which I have managed to fill up rather quickly with all sorts of treasures and other junk...
And I have a spot for the tea kettle and tea.
It also has a much larger pantry which has come in handy for all sorts of storage.
And, last but not least, room for an actual garbage can.  When I first moved in, I was using a basket with a liner bag, but two pets who shall remain nameless kept knocking it over to investigate the contents.  This can not only closes, but it opens automatically!  I'm in love with the trash receptacle!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The ultimate comfort food...

that isn't macaroni and cheese?  You guessed it: tuna noodle casserole.  Around here, we call it Tuna Nooda.  I have no idea why.  But it can really cheer you up when you're feeling down - and it makes you feel better when your throat is sore and you feel like crap.  Either way - it's good to eat and not too bad for you.  Here's our foolproof recipe:

You will need:

1 pound of pasta - any kind will do
1 large can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken - you pick)
1 small bag of frozen peas
2 tbsp butter (everything needs a little butter!)
2 cans of albacore tuna packed in water (drain and give the juice to your kitty)

Cook the pasta al dente.  Drain and add the butter.  Stir and add the tuna.  Did you give the tuna juice to your kitty?  You'd better.  Add the mushroom soup and mix well.  You can stop now and serve it just like it is - or if you want to be fancy, spoon it into a baking dish and top with bread crumbs or mashed up potato chips and a sprinkle of grated cheese.  Put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts.  Makes four people very happy at one meal or it can make one person who will eat leftovers happy four times.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Catching up...

this week - or so it would appear.  Breakfast with my high school friend, Beth, yesterday and my college roommate, Anne Estelle, called me today.  I'm sure she hates the whole Anne Estelle thing, but I think it's cool that her name is the same as Mary Engelbreit's alter ego.  We had a lovely chat - and reminisced about a lot of good times.  Anne and I met in the fall of 1976 when we were assigned as freshman roommates at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Her hometown is Columbia, Maryland; mine, a little further south.  Both away from home for the first time, and a little timid about everything, we got along like two peas in a pod - unfortunately, Calvin was enjoying its largest freshman class ever that year and we were blessed with a third roommate - a smoking drinker from Massachusetts.  We had both requested a non-smoking roommate and neither of us could stand it, but you try to do the best you can with what you've got.  Anne and I both had early classes and so were inclined to bathe at night to save time in the morning - that and the fact that it took all night for Anne's beautiful, waist-length hair to dry.  Our roomie, a smoldering night owl, would drag in from the bar at two smelling like the inside of an ashtray and proceed to lock herself in the bathroom between the two bedrooms in our suite and have one last drag before turning in for the night. It was a complete nightmare and we would lie awake in our beds plotting revenge.  Anne would say, "I am so fizzed - my hair is going to stink again tomorrow."  I'd chime in, "All my sweaters stink.  People think I smoke.  I could just puke."  Night after night, we would gag and complain to one another until one fateful night...  I'd been pondering what to do for days and after the first good freeze, daydreaming in chemistry class, I'd come up with a foolproof plan.  Anne was too nice to plot revenge, but not nice enough to stop me - we made a good team.  I should also mention that this nicotine-head was completely opposed to fresh air.  We'd open the window; she'd close it.  The smoke stench was bad enough, but she also had a serious addiction to Final Net.  Honestly, the girl wore so much hairspray I worried that one evening in a drunken stupor she'd light her hair instead of her cigarette.  After dinner, we bade The Smoker adieu and set about hopefully ridding ourselves of this extra person once and for all.  The facts were these:  Anne and I both had electric blankets on our beds.  Cozy and warm, even on the coldest night - or on a merely freezing night in a room with the window open.  At about ten o'clock, after we had performed our nightly ablutions and Anne had semi-dried her hair with the blow-dryer so as to avoid any potential pneumonia threat, we flung the sliding window wide open and filled the track with ice water.  We climbed under our electric blankets into toasty warm beds and tried to nap a bit before the inevitable fireworks.  We dreamed happily of clothes that did not smell like stale smoke and not being awakened at two in the morning with the careless slam of the door and the glare of the lights, to say nothing of the stench of smoking wafting from under the bathroom door.  Finally - the moment of truth had arrived.  We heard her voice in the hallway.  I could practically see Anne's hands clench the blankets in her bunk above me.  The door flew open and slammed shut.  "#%***&_#( it's cold in here," the third wheel muttered and headed into the bathroom.  I sat up, waiting.  It must have really been cold because she didn't spend too long puffing away in the powder room.  Suddenly the door opened and she appeared in her nightgown - and turned to check to see if the window was closed.  She uttered another expletive and tried to close the window.  It wouldn't budge.  I stifled a triumphant giggle.  I heard Anne moan, "Here it comes."  We didn't have to wait long.  "You )(*^#&*%&% people!  I don't (&^%^%(^ believe this!"  She grabbed the quilt off her bed and stormed out the room.  I am not sure whose room she slept in, but I was relieved that she wasn't around to see our frantic ice-chipping and blow-drying the window track in the morning when it was time to get up and get ready for class.  She moved out the end of the week.  And Anne and I roomed together happily ever after, firm believers in the eternal truth that where there's a will, there's a way.

PS Stay tuned for more adventures of Anne Estelle and Dawn...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Old friends...

are truly a blessing.  And it's good to see them now and again - even after over twenty years!  I had the pleasure of meeting my best friend from high school. Beth, for breakfast at First Watch this morning.  We hadn't really seen each other since our ten year class reunion way back in 1986 - and we really didn't get much of a chance to visit then because it was a sort of awkward, carry-in dinner at the school with our old principal.  Beth missed our twenty year class reunion; in fact, Scott and I and our respective spouses were the only class members who showed up for that - but we had a nice visit and a nice dinner anyway.  And yes, we went to a small private high school - there were eleven people in our graduating class!  Anyhow, life gets in the way of the things we have good intentions of doing and well, we have at least kept in touch over the years at the holidays.  Enter Facebook - and the week of my birthday, Beth invited me to breakfast.  Unfortunately, I didn't read the message until some time later - I have no excuse other than stupidity when it comes to Facebook - and we ended up meeting for a lovely meal this morning.  It's true what they say about real friends - you can not see each other for eons and when you do finally get together, there is no awkwardness and you fall right back into talking and sharing as though you had seen one another last week.  We're both basically still the same - just older and perhaps a little wiser - and it was so good to catch up.  In addition to filling each other in on our families and mutual friends, we finally shared things that we were both going through in high school.  We are both oldest daughters and we both have a tendency to keep things bottled up inside - nothing major - but things that had we been taught to keep to ourselves, stuff about our families and things that happened at home.  I wish I'd known then that I really did have a kindred spirit to commiserate with!  I'm sure it would have made both of our teenage years a lot easier to deal with, knowing that everyone's family is dysfunctional to some degree. I giggling to myself now at the things we used to talk about: which boy our classmate Dru would date next, what our friend Scott's next bizarre theory would be or if Beth's boyfriend would finally work up the nerve to kiss her good night.  Our lives took different paths: I went away to college (what a relief!) and Beth chose to go to school in town.  Her boyfriend, Mark, now her husband of 31 years, finally did work up the nerve to kiss her good night and they have two lovely children, aged 19 and 25.  Beth and Mark are the hardworking and successful owners of several health food stores, proof that good things do happen to good people.  I am blessed to have such a wonderful friend all these years and I have promised myself not to let such a long while go by before I make time to get together with Beth again.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


is a marvelous thing.  It's easy to make, fills you up and is bland enough to eat when you have an upset stomach.  And it didn't come from WalMart.
Just saying.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Does WalMart ever make you sick?

No, I don't mean the sheer commercialism and the fact that they have all their Christmas stuff out and it's not even Halloween yet.  I mean literally.  Nausea and vomiting sick.  Dizzy and unable to keep anything down sick.  Okay, I may be slightly crazy (who isn't?) but I am not a hypochondriac.  Every time I go to WalMart, I am sick the following day.  Yesterday, I went there to buy two reams of printer paper, a box of envelopes and a package of labels to print address labels.  Everyone knows they have the best prices on this stuff.  While I was there I bought two bagels: one whole wheat (which I ate for breakfast) and one everything bagel, which I ate for lunch.  That's all I ate all day long.  By ten last night, I was sick.  Sick, sick, sick and wanting to curl up and die.  I can't blame this on the Chinese food because that was long gone by then.  All I ate all day long was those two bagels - and I didn't even put anything on them - no butter, no schmear.  I don't know if it's something in the air at WalMart, all of the sick people infecting the air while they wait for their $4 prescriptions or all the stuff that's made in China.  I mean, it could be a Communist plot.  Or a Socialist plot, at the very least.  See, I'm still slightly delirious.

Monday, October 18, 2010

ME Monday...

Isn't this hatbox divine?  It was one of the goodies from the giveaway I won at Sweet Bee Cottage.  A whole box of Mary Engelbreit goodies - it was a glorious day!  I'll be sharing them over the next few ME Mondays.  Of course, I haven't decided what to put in it yet...  Aggie suggested that it would make a great place to store her extensive wardrobe of holiday collars.  She's such a diva.
For more ME Monday, check out Cherry Chick's blog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

At the risk of sounding political...

or offending anyone - but then who really reads my blog anyway - I cannot for the life of me imagine why people are so up in arms about the fact that Christine O'Donnell, Republican Senate candidate for the minute state of Delaware, has no job and no experience and yet has the - gasp! - audacity to run for public office.  Well, people, the facts are these:
Stupid people (also from Delaware) and
seemingly stupid people run for office all the time.
Some get elected as second banana but fortunately people realize the error of their ways when said candidate seeks even higher office.  And finally,
individuals with no job and no experience, to speak of, actually do get elected.  I'm still not sure why.
And that is all I have to say about that - I have put my soapbox away.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Holy headache, Batman!

I've been craving Chinese take-out since Thursday when Al & Tom were telling me about their weekly foray to the New China Garden by the Publix where they shop.  Of course, I was convinced it was Friday and that Aggie and I didn't need to cook.  Al reminded me that it was only Thursday.  Thanks a lot.  And so we didn't get take-out on Thursday - or Friday either, for that matter.  Tonight I couldn't stand it any longer.  We ordered steamed dumplings, crab rangoon and an order of sweet & sour chicken to share.  No egg foo yong - I'm getting adventurous in my old age.  Everything was excellent, as usual, and after having listened to her fortune and consumed her cookie, Aggie promptly went and stashed a piece of chicken she had been hiding between her paws in the sofa pillows for later.  She doesn't know that I know.  Silly dog.  I put the leftovers away, sat down to watch the latest episode of CSI:NY online and bam! - a suddenly stuffy head and a serious MSG headache.  That's the only thing it can be - I've already self-medicated with ibuprofen and Zyrtec this afternoon.  What is it with oriental chefs and MSG?  I don't use a lot of spices when I cook and I hardly ever use salt on anything - but when there is MSG on anything, it hits me like a mack truck.  I think the FDA should ban the stuff - it can't be good for you.  This from the woman who is pickled in artificial sweeteners from years of Diet Coke consumption - but at least it doesn't give me a killer headache.  On the upside, I probably won't need to be embalmed when I die.  So there.  And if this post seems slightly incoherent, well - it's the MSG.

Friday, October 15, 2010

One of the advantages of insomnia...

is getting to see the funny headlines before anyone else.
Here's two hilarious ones from my little corner of the world:

Man Arrested But Thanks Deputies for Finding Long Lost Bong
Maybe this guy is my sister's Canadian pothead friend!

Tampa Knife Fight Leads to Gunfire, Arrest
I guess nobody ever told this guy that you don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

If only I still had my Kitchen-Aid mixer...

I would make these wonderful Hoot Owl Cookies...
Instead, I'll share the recipe that the lady who first made them for me was kind enough to share with me.  Apparently these neat fall cookies were created by a young girl who was the youngest winner ever of the Pillsbury Bake-Off.
How cool is that?

Hoot Owl Cookies 

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
chocolate chips for eyes
cashews for beaks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add baking powder and salt. Beat well. Add flour and mix until blended. Remove 2/3 of dough. Roll or pat dough out to form two 10 x 4 inch rectangles.  Add cocoa to remaining 1/3 of dough. Mix until blended. Shape half of chocolate dough into a 10 inch long roll. Place on rectangle and roll plain dough to cover chocolate dough completely, not including ends. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours. Repeat with other half of dough.  Cut dough into 1/8 inch slices with a sharp knife. Place two slices side by side on a cookie sheet to resemble an owl's face. Pinch upper "corners" to resemble ears. Put chocolate chips in each dark circle for eyes and a cashew in the center for the beak . Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.  Makes 2 dozen incredibly cool cookies.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's not that pukey chartreuse color...

it's acid green.  I've discovered that acid green is the polite-sounding, fashion friendly name for the color I love.  And it's finally time to get out my two favorite fall shirts - one is purple and then there's this acid green one.  They're exactly alike, except for the color, and I am amazed that the one I'm wearing is actually a bit looser than last year.  They are covered with line drawings of acorns, owls, cats, pumpkins, leaves and stars.  Too cute!  They're Liz & Me from Catherine's and I've about worn them to death but they have held up so well.  I think I got them at least five or six years ago, back when their clothes were really cute and not so old-lady looking.  Uh-oh - I'm sounding like some sort of shopaholic fashionista, which I am not, but I do have a thing for holiday-ish clothes.  I also love holiday sweaters - a holdover from college winters in the frozen north - and I live for the days I can wear them in the south.  At this point, it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to wear the pumpkin sweater for Halloween, but there is still hope for Thanksgiving!  Speaking of silver linings, I was forced to get a newer pair of jeans out of the closet this morning when I unearthed my Halloween shirts.  It was a sad, sad day on Monday when I had to throw away my favorite pair of soft, comfortable, well-washed pair of jeans.  They were really too big anyway, so when the waistband, which was the only thing holding them up, actually came off, well - I didn't want to be known around here as the fat lady whose pants fell off on the way to her car.  The jeans I got out this morning are a size smaller, and actually fit, which is a change because I am inordinately fond of very loose clothing.  These pants are even the right length, which is a switch because clothing companies, for some unknown reason, think that that if you're fat, you're also tall and most pants are all too dang long.  I hate to hem jeans - but I have discovered that flood pants, as they are known, are just the right length for me.  And that is today's lesson on color, fashion, style and fit.  Thank you for tuning in and have a wonderful day!  Hee hee!

PS I hope I didn't offend anyone (Canadians or potheads) with yesterday's post.  What people do is their own business - I don't drink, have never smoked pot - heck, I've never even smoked a cigarette - but I don't judge.  I'm crazy enough on my own without chemical additives.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mama and the Canadian Pothead...

Aggie & Don't-Call-Me-Grandma!
I know I’m a day late for the actual celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada, but yesterday did remind me of my mother and her quest to mark smoking pot off her bucket list… When my sister was in college, she had some interesting friends – one of which was a pothead from Ontario whose name was Ryan or Reed or something like that.  Anyhow, for one reason or another, she would regale us with tales of his adventures with smoking weed.  I didn’t care and to this day I don’t know why Mama was so interested.  My friend Kathy and I once took my mother to a Hall & Oates concert where the air had a decidedly sweet smell and all Mama did was shout “What is that smell?” over the music.  Kathy finally told her to just shut up, inhale and enjoy it.  Which might just be the reason why she was so interested in the unlawful exploits of my sister’s friend from north of the border…  Anyhow, one fall my mother embarked on a vacation to Michigan to visit my sister who was living off-campus at the time.  All Mama could talk about was meeting the pothead and “smoking a marijuana cigarette,” she’d say.  “I think they call it a joint, Mama,” I’d remind her.  My sister planned an evening get-together and Mama was beside herself with excitement.  “Well, have fun,” I encouraged her reluctantly.  I had horrifying visions of my mother’s mugshot and the headline “Hash-smoking Housewife Handcuffed” on the front page of the Grand Rapids Press.  I made sure I had enough money for bail.  About eleven the night of the big soiree, the phone rang.  It was my sister.  “Well?” I asked.  Apparently the evening went fairly well – or as well as a college party could go with Mama in its midst, constantly asking when they were all going to smoke pot.  I guess the Canadian finally got tired of her badgering and produced his stash.  “Not in my apartment!” my sister decreed and showed the bad influence and the would-be pothead to the laundry room in the basement.  My sister said the moment of truth had finally arrived when Mama made a face and said, “I’m not smoking that wet, nasty cigarette after you – that’s disgusting!  I want my own!”  I guess the pothead was not as well-connected as he had implied to his friends and he only had the one with him.  And so I don’t think Mama ever marked that particular item off her list of things to do before she died, but we always enjoyed retelling the story, laughing and teasing her over trying.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, Canada.