It’s Not All Gravy

Musings on Life and Writing

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Love Overcomes All Obstacles

Posted by mcm0704 on February 21, 2018 |

Slim Randles is my guest today with another installment in the on-going romance between Dewey, the Fertilizer King, and Emily, his marketing guru. They are just two of the endearing characters in the series of Home Country columns Slim shares with readers across the country in newspapers and blogs. I was first introduced to Slim when he offered to let me run his columns in WinnsboroToday.com, an online magazine where I was Managing Editor. When that magazine ceased publication, Slim generously agreed that I could continue to share his stories here on my blog.

He provides this content for no charge, and if you like what you read here on a regular basis, you can thank Slim on his Facebook Page and find out more about him, his books, and the many awards he has won.

It is freezing here in East Texas, so I am hunkered down with some hot chocolate.

Dewey picked up Emily’s yellow dress at the cleaners and drove it back to her here in the valley. They had managed to get most of the wine stains out. But what Dewey hadn’t managed to get out that fateful evening at the Italian restaurant was his vow of eternal love for Emily and a suggestion that they become mister and missus Decker.

Oh well, he might give it another try tonight. But this darn clumsiness of his always seemed to get in the way.

Emily looked lovely when he picked her up that evening. They held hands and walked around in town, staying on the sidewalks to avoid any more tripping disasters for our local fertilizer king.

 

“Dewey,” she said, stopping to look at him. “The other night, just before the wine episode, you said you wanted to ask me something, but you didn’t, because of the spill, I guess.”

“That’s right,” he said, making sure his feet were planted and he didn’t move. “I had something to say, but I was hoping for a more … romantic setting. I wanted everything to be just right, you know? Something we’d remember.”

He’d been slowly backing up all this time as Emily played with his shirt collar. That was probably why he didn’t notice Mrs. Miller’s yellow cat, Pretty Girl, walking behind him.

When his foot came down on P.G.’s tail, the yowl made him jump on Emily. The cat flew up in the air, and Emily and Dewey piled up on top of each other behind someone’s garbage can.

She was so close he could feel her breathe, and he couldn’t help kissing her.

She smiled. “Don’t move, Dewey Decker. Just stay still. I think we ought to get married, don’t you?”

He grinned. “You bet.”

“One more kiss,” Emily said, “and then I’d like to finish walking. With my fiance’.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How to catch a world-record snapping turtle on a fly in Oklahoma. Read The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press.
If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

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No More School Shootings

Posted by mcm0704 on February 19, 2018 |

My heart is weighed down with sadness over the horrible loss of lives in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday.  So many – too many – young people had their futures taken away in the flash of gunfire by a disturbed gunman who obtained an assault weapon much too easily.

I found this picture on Pinterest, and it aptly conveys my feelings.

I heard on The Daily Podcast Friday morning that it is easier to buy an AR 15 than to buy a regular handgun. There is no waiting period for the assault weapon, and it can be purchased by eighteen-year-olds, while you have to be 21 to buy a handgun. That does not make sense on so many levels. Who needs a military-style weapon except the military?

Nobody I can think of.

There is no doubt that we need stricter gun regulations, and maybe if we stop using the term “gun control” and substitute “regulations,” more people would be receptive to the idea. We automatically cringe at the idea of being controlled while having some things regulated for the safety of ourselves and others is easier to accept.

Still, the problem of violence in our society is fed by more than the proliferation of guns, and regulations can’t address all of those.

When I did the research for my book on gun violence in schools, I found that the factors that contribute to violent behaviors are many, so there isn’t going to be one simple way to ensure student safety. One thing that we can do as a society, however, is to take a stand against media and entertainment that glorifies violence and makes it appear harmless.

It is anything but harmless. A professor of criminology that I interviewed for my book twenty years ago said, “How many times can we watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre without it giving us a subconscious message that killing and maiming people is okay?”

He also said that once we as a society had no lines that we would not cross, we would be a society out of control.

Think about it. Where are the boundaries today?

While I am dismayed that we had yet another school shooting, I am buoyed by the actions that students and teachers are taking to force state and federal governments to take action instead of throwing words at the problem of gun violence. Student and teacher walkouts are planned for March, as well as meetings with State legislators in Tallahassee. The rallying cry is, “We will be the last school shooting,” and I so desperately hope we can make that come true.

I have been so impressed by the young people who started speaking out immediately – Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzales and others -and you can hear what else they are saying HERE

We could all probably use something to make us smile after focusing on the tragedy, so here is a picture of one of my cats. I found this while browsing through my older pictures of pets and had forgotten I’d taken it. This is John. As a kitten, he was named Little John, but then he grew up to be Big John, and we started simply calling him John. He was well loved, and loved us well.

Finding his picture made me smile. Hopefully seeing it will bring a smile to your face.

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CJ Golden is my Guest

Posted by mcm0704 on February 15, 2018 |

Saturday, February 17th is National Caregivers Day, and I am pleased to have a special guest post from CJ Golden that is so helpful for anyone in a caregiving role. And I think her assessment of being strong applies to many other life situations that challenge us. 

I am also pleased that I am settling into my new house and I do now have a little more time to spend in my office writing. That feels so good, and I am ready to celebrate. Join me in a cup of coffee and some chocolate. 

And now I’ll turn the blog over to CJ.

Being Strong

“Be strong,” I was told. Often. Ad infinitum. Almost ad nauseam.

The advice sounded fine and intelligent, but in light of the particular circumstances, just what exactly did it mean? I was not entering a weight-lifting competition, although the burdens recently placed upon my shoulders often seemed impossibly overwhelming. And I was most certainly not going into the business of moving concert grand pianos, albeit much heavy lifting was to be accomplished.

I was embarking upon the most difficult challenge I’d faced to date: that of being caregiver to my husband, Joe, after his cancer-induced strokes rendered him physically, mentally and emotionally incapable of caring for himself.

Does being strong refer to not crying? If that is the case, I most certainly was not consistently strong this past year.

Does being strong mean you have to do it all on your own: not reach out to others for help, advice, comfort, compassion? I certainly tried that and ultimately deteriorated into a useless mess, not only ineffective at being Joe’s caregiver, but also quite incapable of taking proper care of myself.

To be sure, telling a friend to be strong is a fine suggestion but only if the proper clarification follows those two words. Many well-meaning people share the platitude with folks who are going through a difficult life situation. Not enough of them can articulate—in my estimation— just what it takes to “be strong.”

So, it became my personal assignment to figure it out. I had to grasp how to be strong in the face of the adversity Joe and I faced since his strokes last year, and still deal with, to some degree, today.

Recently I found a wonderful quote that pretty much sums it up: “A strong person is not the one who doesn’t cry. A strong person is the one who is quiet and sheds tears for a moment, and then picks up the sword and fights again.”

Where were these wise words when I needed them?

Every time I had broken down into a sobbing puddle, I assumed I wasn’t being strong enough and chastised myself for failing. Each episode of overt anger made me feel that I’d broken an unwritten law—the one that said I had to remain tough or I wasn’t being an effective caregiver.

Yet, reflecting upon the past twelve months I now recognize that friends, medical personnel and family members were not berating me for breaking down into angry episodes or crying jags. Quite contrary to that, they had helped bolster me up until I found the reserve within myself to continue on the mission of caring for Joe. Those were the people who understood what “being strong” truly means, and they were sharing the wisdom of that quote with me. I just didn’t “get it”.

Without recognizing it, I was the one who did not grasp what those words meant. I was the one forcing myself to be stoic, assuming that was what defined a strong person.

As caregivers we are required to do so very much; learn medical jargon we never thought we’d need, interact with professionals in their chosen fields of therapy, share that which we absorbed with our loved ones as we continue to retain our lives, the ones we lived before the upheaval.

It’s a lot to put on one’s plate and hold steady. Sometimes, it may spill. Perhaps even crash and break.

But we are not the plate. And when we crash or fall apart, we can pick ourselves up and put ourselves back together and move forward.

That, my friends, is what “being strong” is. It has been a difficult lesson to learn – it is for all of us as we work our ways through previously personal uncharted territory. But it is one we must understand and realize lest our best intentions (and we) end up in a puddle on the floor, not capable of completing our tasks as caregiver to our loved ones. Or to ourselves.

ABOUT CJ

CJ Golden may be a sweet, 70-something grandma-type; however, she is anything but typical. Golden’s voice is one of a kind that imparts wisdom while staying completely accessible to her audiences; like a spunky fairy-godmother with the occasionally red or green tipped hair. She is a shoulder to lean on and a ‘rock on’ motivator all in one. Her upcoming book, One Pedal at a Time: A Novice Caregiver and her Cyclist Husband Face their new Normal with Courage, Tenacity, and Abundant Love, follows the year-long journey of a long distance cyclist during and after cancer-induced strokes.

Find out more about CJ and her book at PR by the Book. There you will find all her social media links.

BOOK BLURB:

Presented in three parts, CJ Golden shares her accessible and honest experience – a balanced mix of somber reflections and light moments that highlight a very real passage in the lives of a husband and wife who love each other unequivocally. As caregiver, Golden holds nothing back because she wants others who are unexpectedly thrown into the role of caregiver to know they are not alone.

Visit CJ’s website for information on ordering signed copies of the book, and it is also available via Amazon.

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted by mcm0704 on February 12, 2018 |

Very cold here in East Texas. The cats are looking for every bit of warm sunlight.

Starting my third week with no Internet service, thanks to Cable One who lost my initial order that was placed January 29th. The service was supposed to be installed within a few days, but that didn’t happen, so I called back the following Monday. This time I was told that they could not find a record of the previous call, so we repeated the order information.

Again, the order was to be fulfilled in the next few days.

By Thursday, there was still no service, so I called again. The young lady I spoke to found the order information, but service had not been scheduled. Apparently the person I spoke to on Monday did not complete the order, and it would now take almost another week. I am supposed to have service by Wednesday. 

Unfortunately, my choices here are limited, which is why I didn’t just cancel and go with someone else. My options are Direct TV or Dish or HughesNet, all of which my son advised against, so I am relying on the hotspot on my phone to get this post up and to check e-mail, all of which is painfully slow.

Wednesday will not get here soon enough.

To lighten my mood, and start the week off on a better note, I’ll share an excerpt from my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant and A Paycheck. Still unpublished, but hope spring eternal.

They, whoever ‘they’ are, say that life is a series of passages. We pass into this life and out of this life with significant moments in between. Some people measure the passages according to certain years, starting in childhood. For instance, a baby is no longer considered a baby by the time he or she is two. That’s when they become a toddler. And that’s often when bliss turns into bleh.

There are lots of horror stories about the “terrible twos,” and when our first child approached that tender age, our friends warned me about the little monster our daughter was about to become. There were comments like:

“The screaming. The tantrums… you just can’t imagine.”

“If you need emotional support, we’re here for you.”

“Ah, you poor dear. You’ll survive, but just barely.”

“I’d rather wrestle alligators.”

“I don’t think I could live through it again.”

So, I armed myself with as much patience as I could find lying around and faced the dragon on the run. But Anjanette wasn’t that bad. In fact, she wasn’t bad at all. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that our two-year-old didn’t act like my friends led me to believe she would.

Patting myself on the back for my superior parenting skills, I decided the rest of this child-raising business would be a snap.

By the time Anjanette was nearing three, however, I began to have second thoughts about breezing through this whole parenting gig. That sweet, darling child who had been such a delight just the other day suddenly become a source of unlimited frustration. If I had been bragging that she never ripped up magazines or destroyed houseplants, she would promptly demolish every magazine within reach. She could talk, but I discovered that she could no longer listen. Anything I said like, “Drink your milk. It isn’t going to hurt to try the potty. Go to sleep,” seemed to be above her comprehension.

I could have faced this setback with the courage that I’d mustered for her the previous year, but this monster had crept up on my blind side and caught me unarmed. So, I spent a few months walking around in total confusion until she turned four.

As suddenly and mysteriously as the terrible three’s appeared, they vanished, until our second child turned three. Then it was instant insanity again.

It was the same for our third child, and I lived in mortal fear of what it would be like when the twins turned three. I kept trying to convince myself that since they had been terrible two-year-olds, perhaps they wouldn’t be so bad at three; but I also realized that I spent a lot of time kidding myself about a lot of things. So, I decided the best plan of attack would be to take an extended leave-of-absence from parenthood until the twins turned twenty-five.

My husband thought that was a great idea, but only if he could go with me.

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Unrequited Love

Posted by mcm0704 on February 8, 2018 |

Looking ahead to Valentine’s Day next week, Slim Randles is here as my guest today, sharing a story of undying love. Dewey, one of the guys from the Mule Barn Truck Stop has long pined for Emily, despite wondering how she could ever love a man who shoveled manure for a living. Yet, hope prevails.

It is still so incredibly cold in many parts of the country, even here in Texas, so hot chocolate is a perfect drink of choice today. Enjoy…

Dewey reached up to straighten his tie and stuck a finger up a nostril by mistake. Here he was, on the most momentous evening of his life and he couldn’t do one little thing right. Tie a tie. Every 9-year-old boy getting ready for church could do it, but not Dewey.

He cussed his awkwardness and inability to do anything short of causing a disaster. How many guys are there who could actually put a black baldy cow in a treetop? Just him. No … Dewey, our pharaoh of fertilizer because he could shovel it into a pickup without killing himself, was uniquely qualified in the clumsy department.

But he smiled as he thought of how he and Emily first shared a kiss because Dewey had tripped on a tree root and fell on her, and how they had been fastened together on the ground by a fishing fly Marvin had tied for him to aid in his pursuit of the lady with the lovely cheekbones. Stonefly nymph on a number six.

Dewey had taken two showers this evening to expunge any lingering “product” and had a corsage all ready. Tonight’s the night. Yes, tonight he was going to pop the question. Tonight. Over dinner at the Italian place, where they’d had their first date.

Emily was radiantly beautiful in her yellow dress, which set off her outstanding cheekbones better than a Hollywood camera. They took a small table off to one side and ordered a bottle of wine.

“Emily,” he said, “I have to ask you something.”

“Yes, Honey?”

“Will you …”

As he leaned forward, so did his glass of wine, and her glass of wine, and the table.

He helped her up and saw the damage to her dress, and she asked to go home and change.

What right would he have to ask her to stomach a lifetime of his little fatalities?

He’d have to think about that.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For great fly fishing in Kentucky, go to Indiana. See why in The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List, available at LPDPress.com

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press. If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

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Monday Morning Musing

Posted by mcm0704 on February 5, 2018 |

Did you watch the Superbowl last night? I did not, as I don’t have television reception here in my new house. I don’t even have Internet service yet, so all my online business is happening with the help of the hotspot on my iPhone. My computer has built in wi-fi, so once my office was set up yesterday, I could start using my PC, with the iPhone hotspot, which is making all this so much easier with my big-screen monitor and regular keyboard.

Here is a picture of my desk, complete with cat decoration. You will notice how clean the surface of the desk is, except for the cat of course. In a week or so papers will be everywhere as writing commences.

While I have not missed watching football recently, I did miss the great Superbowl ads. They have always been my favorite part of Superbowl Sunday, well, that and the pizza and beer, so I had to wait until today to see the ads online. Here is a look at the top five, as determined by Tim Nudd at Adweek. Saatchi & Saatchi in New York created the very clever Tide commercials, but I think the humor was dimmed by the fifth spot. The surprise of the first longer ad was lost by the fifth time, and we all knew what the punchline was going to be. But then, that is just my opinion.

Do you like the ads? Do you look forward to seeing them every year? Which ones were your favorites this year?

There was so much fire and fury about the Nunes memo in the media, and from both political parties, that we were led to believe it contained some explosive information. As it turns out, now that the memo has been made public, it was a lot of noise for practically nothing. Aaron Blake at The Washington Post wrote an article today that highlights the main parts of the memo, adding clarifications of key points and countering arguments from some Republicans. In case you are interested in reading the full memo, Blake wrote an article on Feb 2 that included it.

My take-away from all this is that our elected officials, including the author of the memo, Davin Nunes (R-Calif), need to stop putting all that time and energy into attacking each other and direct it toward the job they are supposed to be doing. They are so far off track that we are once again facing a possible government shut down on Thursday. Like Rachel Martin and David Greene at NPR’s UpFirst, it is deja vu all over again.

Now for some fun to start the week. This was sent to me by a friend, who found it in one of her old files. There was no attribution, sorry to say, but it is very cute. Anyone with a dog or cat could have written it. Well, almost anyone.

The following was found posted very low on the refrigerator door.

Dear Cats and dogs: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find it aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up into a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know, that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to
maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years–canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt. I cannot stress this enough…….

One more thing, staring at me while I eat to try to direct my mind to give you my food will not work (usually). I am too old and too tired. Go stare at the kids. They are younger and more susceptible to mind control. If you don’t believe me, notice how they dress alike so they can be individuals.

The paragraph about the bed resonated with me big time. I am sleeping on a double bed with four cats. Sometimes there is not enough room for the human.

That’s all for me for today. Have a wonderful week.

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Tricking a Trickster

Posted by mcm0704 on February 1, 2018 |

Packing up one house to move to another is only half the battle. Now I am in my new house surrounded by boxes. Thank goodness, my kids have been able to come and help with the settling in, and a couple of rooms are almost completely set up, most importantly the kitchen and the bedroom. Still waiting to get my office finished, and get Internet service, so I am working with my little Chrome Book and a hot-spot on my phone. Not optimum writing conditions. As soon as I get my PC set up and connected to Internet service, I’ll share pictures of my new house.

Slim Randles is my guest today, continuing the story from last week about Doc and his squirrel. Grab a biscuit warm from the oven and enjoy….

 

When Steve and Dud got up to go get a paper, it left just Doc and Bert sitting at the philosophy counter of the Mule Barn truck stop. Bert turned his head and smirked a little, being careful not to let Doc see him. Doc also didn’t see Dud outside, punching in a number on his cell phone while Steve stood by as a cheerleader.

“Doc,” said Loretta, filling the coffee cups, “phone call for you, Hon.”

“Here? Okay…” Doc walked over to the cash register and picked up the phone.

“This here Doc?” said the caller. “The Doc what lost his squirrel?”

“Uh …” Doc looked around for help. There was none. “Yes. Yes it is.”

“Found your dang squirrel here, Doc. That reward thing still good?”

“Well … yes.”

“Five dollars and a quarter, right? Now is that cash or check? I don’t take no checks.”

Doc is looking all around and looks wilderness-type lost. “Cash I guess.”

“Only thing is, Doc. Need to be sure this is your squirrel, right? So can you describe him for me?”

“He’s … gray.”

“All gray squirrels are gray, now, ain’t that right? How about any distinguishing marks? Tattoos?”

“No tattoos.”

“So far so good. Now you said in the ad his name is Chipper. Well, I called him Chipper and the son of a gun bit me.”

“He did?”

“What I mean to ask here, Doc, is … did you and your squirrel get along? No squirrel problems? He looks like he needs a square meal to me. You feed him good?”

“What?”

“You know … like Squirrel Chow Free Choice, or did you put him on a nut ration? I mean, he ate like there was no tomorrow. Dang near ate up the whole five dollars and a quarter reward money in squirrel food.”

Steve and Dud walked back into the café, then, with the cell phone still at Dud’s ear, and the laughing began.

“You were right all along, Doc,” said Bert. “In winter, everyone can use a good hoax.”

Doc bought the coffee.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Stories, laughs and great classic country music. Tune in to Home Country with Slim Randles. Check your local stations for the times.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press. If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

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2

Wintertime Fun

Posted by mcm0704 on January 24, 2018 |

Crazy week here at Grandma’s Ranch as we try to wind down everything for the move. Please welcome Slim Randles as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. He has a fun story about Doc and a squirrel and the sometimes silly things we do in the dead of winter just for fun. Enjoy, and help yourself to a donut to go with your morning drink of choice.

It might have been the winter doldrums that did it. You can never be sure of these things. It’s just that … well, Doc is one of those guys who can’t stand to see anyone bored. He claims it’s bad for their inner chemistry, and since he has more initials after his name than anyone else in town, we tend to listen to him.

When it happened, we in the inner circle of the World Dilemma Think Tank down at the Mule Barn truck stop thought back on what Doc had said a year ago when the temperature dropped, along with everyone’s spirits.

“In weather like this,” Doc pronounced, stirring sugar into his cup, “a real American would come up with a great hoax.”

Those of us sitting at the philosophy counter that morning just nodded, even though we didn’t have a clue. No one wanted to admit it, you see.

When the Valley Weekly Miracle hit the street yesterday, we bought one to see how much the editor dared to print, as always, but there in the classifieds was this:

“LOST – One gray squirrel, fluffy tail, two years old. Answers to “Chipper.” $5.25 reward. Call Doc.”

Look! Here I am.

The paper was passed down the counter and we all looked at Doc after we read it. He was smirking as only Doc can smirk.

“Doc,” Steve said, tentatively, “would this be the same imaginary squirrel that was kidnapped and held for ransom last year?”

“The very same,” Doc said. “I named him Chipper.”

“But he’s imaginary, right?”

“The very best kind.”

“Why?”

“Imaginary squirrels don’t bite, don’t have to be fed, and you never have to clean up after them,” he said. “And a real squirrel will eat the leg off a coffee table.”

He grinned. “Besides, I’ve always wanted an imaginary squirrel.”

After we laughed, Dud said, “And what if someone finds a squirrel and brings him to you?”

“Dudley,” he said, “I figure it’s worth $5.25 to get a squirrel, which would be hibernating this time of year, of course, and then to turn it loose. Besides, I’ll make more money than that just stitching up the squirrel catcher’s hand.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Brought to you by the weekend radio show Home Country with Slim Randles. Drop by and listen and we’ll have some fun. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press. If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

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1

Monday Morning Mess…uh, Musings

Posted by mcm0704 on January 22, 2018 |

Mmmmm…Mmmmm…Mmmmm

I do encourage a few deep Yoga breaths to calm anxieties and relieve stress before moving on to my comments about the dysfunctional government that blithely goes on their way in Washington while average Americans pay the price.

At midnight Friday, the government shut down because an agreement could not be made on the proposed 2018 budget. The main problem was not with the budget, but with the Immigration Reform issues that were tacked on to the overall proposal.

Shame on the president and shame on Congress for putting politics before people. 

I blame everyone involved in this fiasco. Trump for backing down from his Tuesday endorsement of the bi-partisan plan that had been presented and Congress for not stripping Immigration Reform from the budget bill and passing a one-issue bill on Friday.

Could have been done.

The latest talks on Friday included a bipartisan proposal from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would offer legal status (and eventual citizenship) to young unauthorized immigrants who meet certain criteria, whether they currently have DACA or not. It would also allow their parents to apply for three-year renewable work permits. To satisfy Trump’s requests, the proposal would provide about a year’s worth of funding for the border wall and change the current visa lottery.

Despite those concessions to Trump’s immigration agenda, shortly after the meeting, Democrats received a call from White House staff backtracking on everything that was discussed.

So whose fault is it?

Both political parties and our president.

Democrats walked away from a spending bill that reflected their interests because of an unrelated policy issue. And Republicans, led by Trump, have shown no willingness to reach a compromise — let alone clarify the terms of negotiation.

Now For Some Fun

I borrowed the following from The Laugh Factory, which is a great place to get your daily dose of laughter. You do know how good that is for overall health, don’t you?

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance — particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0, and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I’ve tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed, Desperate

Dear Desperate,

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System.

Please enter the command “! http: I Thought You Loved Me.html” and try to download Tears 6.2 and don’t forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program.

These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend! Food 3.0 and HotLingerie 7.7.

Good Luck, Tech Support

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Did you like the tech support joke? After many fruitless attempts to get help from tech support, I thought this one was quite clever.

What are your plans for the next week? Believe it or not, I am still trying to get moved from my current home to my new one. The closing is supposed to happen today or tomorrow, then the move on Friday. The move has been rescheduled several times, so I hope this one sticks.

Come back on Wednesday for a new post from Slim Randles, then there won’t be updates to the blog for a week or so. Play nicely without me.

 

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6

Bittersweet Moments

Posted by mcm0704 on January 17, 2018 |

Help me welcome Slim Randles as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. 

Today he is sharing kind of a sad essay, but it also a very thoughtful piece. I know that feeling of being able to face the day much better after a bit of fresh air and contemplation of the beauty in the world. That can chase the melancholy away in a heartbeat. Try it sometime.

A recent sunrise at Grandma’s Ranch.

 

   It was strange, Doc thought. All these years. All these people.

It still hurts.

Old Tom had died around midnight, and Doc didn’t get more than an hour’s sleep since then. Just before he went, Tom reached out and gripped Doc’s hand and thanked him for everything. He was smiling when he went.

Somehow that made it worse for Doc than just having death bring a pleasant new start for someone in pain and agony.  Doc hadn’t been able to patch him up this time. When someone Tom’s age has his organs shut down, there just isn’t much a doctor can do but make him comfortable and say goodbye.

The percolator finished, and Doc knew he should go get a cup and start the day, but something made him leave the coffee behind and walk into the back yard.

He would come out here later, too, he knew. He wasn’t in the mood for coffee with the boys at the Mule Barn today.

This will be a day where Doc, quietly and alone, will raise his coffee cup to Tom. And after 9:30, he’ll be able to hear the little girls screaming happily on the playground at the school, three blocks away.

Yes, he thinks that’s the way to start this day, listening to the happiness of children and watching the life around him. And sipping coffee in the back yard.

Just Doc and Old Tom.

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Listen to Home Country come to life on the radio. Check your local classic country station for the times. Doesn’t cost them a thing, either.

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Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press.
If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

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