It’s Not All Gravy

Musings on Life and Writing


Where is the Humanity?

Posted by mcm0704 on December 17, 2018 |

December 8, seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, from Guatemala, died while in custody of Border Patrol Agents, provoking an instant backlash in the news and online about the way migrants are treated at the border. The latest new story from NBC News says that it’s likely she died of sepsis, but a full autopsy report is not out yet.

What is known is that the girl and her father, Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz, arrived at a remote part of the New Mexico desert and were picked up by U.S. authorities with a group of other migrants on Dec. 6. Hours later, after being put on a bus to a Border Patrol station, the girl began vomiting and died at a hospital in El Paso, Texas.

Around 5 a.m. on Dec. 7, Caal told Border Patrol agents that his daughter had become ill and was vomiting. Agents arranged for an ambulance to meet the family’s bus at the border patrol station in Lordsburg about 90 miles away.

Border Patrol agents clearly are not equipped to handle medical situations like what was happening to Jakelin. She had a fever of 105 and was vomiting, so she should never have been put on a bus to travel two more hours before receiving medical attention. Perhaps if she had been taken immediately to the nearest hospital, the outcome would have been different.

Who knows.

A January 2018 story in The Washington Post, revealed that Border Patrol Agents were destroying supplies left in the desert for migrants so they wouldn’t die out there without water. A video was released by Tucson-based aid group, No More Deaths along with a report on what was happening to the humanitarian aid being given to the migrants.

The footage, taken between 2010 and 2017, showed Border Patrol agents kicking over water jugs that had been left in the desert. In one clip, a male agent sneers at the person filming him, demanding to know whom the water is for, as he empties a gallon bottle of water onto the ground.

No matter what your opinions are about this volatile issue of migration into the United States, you would have to have a heart of stone not to have empathy for the people who suffer and die trying to seek refuge from the dangers in their own countries. They are not all criminals and animals as many people are calling them.

Too many of them are children.

On a more positive note, I want to share another excerpt from my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant & A Paycheck, picking up from where I left off last Friday, revealing the Christmas Scramble that is part of my life every year. This segment is a little more thoughtful and is all about the most important part of giving and receiving gifts.

One year, I was able to take one thing off my To-Do list of holiday preparations—shopping. It was the year that necessity put me in the position of making a lot of our gifts. At first, I was disappointed that our checkbook couldn’t be as generous as our hearts, but, as I decided what to make for each person and started working on the projects, that gave me a new perspective. The time I spent on each gift made me feel closer to the person I was making it for. It was like time spent with them, thinking of all the things that make them special to me, and I realized the extra benefit of a handmade gift.

A benefit I didn’t always appreciate in quite the same way.

After my husband and I moved to Texas, we rarely made it back to Michigan for holidays, and my mother always sent handmade gifts for Christmas. Necessity has ruled her entire life, and we became accustomed to not expecting gifts of any great monetary value. Even so, the arrival of her annual box always sparked an eagerness in me that I never fully understood. The gifts were either handmade or just a small trinket, and sometimes there were even gifts for we-don’t-know-who. Sometimes we didn’t even know what the gift was or what it was for; usually something she knitted or crocheted that could be a small afghan or a very thin rug or a large lap blanket.

When the kids were young, they never understood my excitement over mother’s box, either, but I couldn’t fault them for that. It’s easy for a simple gift to be diminished when stacked up next to one larger and more expensive, and like the kids, I often saw my mother’s efforts as a mere gesture.

But the year that necessity forced me to make gifts, was the year that I finally understood what a gift really is, whether handmade or purchased.

A gift is not just a thing. It’s a connection between the person giving and the person receiving that says something special about the relationship between the two. And a gift should never be rushed. The longer you think about it, plan it, and work on it, the stronger the connection.

That’s the special, intangible ingredient my mother wrapped up and sent to us for all those years.

That something special is in my short story, The Gift. I hope you will consider giving it a read. 

That’s all for me for today, folks. I hope your weekend starts off great. Be happy. Be safe.

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#Friday Reads: A Dead Tomato Plant And A Paycheck

Posted by mcm0704 on December 14, 2018 |

We have just under two weeks before Christmas, and I have spent the major part of this past week down with a cold. That means that I am behind in almost all my preparations, but then what’s new? I have always done the Christmas Scramble to get everything done before the fat man comes down the chimney, as evidenced by this excerpt from my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant & A Paycheck. 

Have a bit of nog to enjoy as you read along. These glasses have no spirits in them, but you can add according to your tastes. 

The Christmas Season was always a source of great excitement at our house. It was also a time of great panic. Every year I found The Day closing in fast with me panting to cross the finish line before Santa Claus.

To try to stay ahead, I’d start working non-stop for three weeks to get everything done. There were gifts to send out of state, and cards to mail. Since I didn’t start early enough on that task, I had to decide if I would write one letter and copy it for all our friends, or try to find the time to write individual letters. This was before the birth of The Holiday Letter, which has now become a standard way for friends to stay in touch. Some people don’t like them, but, you know, if the alternative means not keeping up with friends, I’m all for it.

Maybe instead of getting angry at the stores that were putting out their Christmas stuff before Halloween, I should have taken their reminder seriously. Then I wouldn’t have let Thanksgiving slip by without a thought of the next holiday.

My basic problem was, and still is, the fact that I don’t get in the Christmas spirit until a couple of weeks before The Day, and then the frantic juggling act begins. If I could just bring myself to think about Christmas in October I wouldn’t be faced with the necessity of regimenting my time down to the last second to get everything done—structure and discipline being the closest things to medieval torture I can think of.

However, I knew that I had to have some structure, so sometimes I made a calendar with Things to Do. Monday was slotted for shopping. No giving in to the urge to sing carols with the kids or start making decorations. Friday was slotted for singing, and decorating would start the following week. Tuesday was the day to finish the Christmas cards. No fair claiming writer’s cramp as an excuse to quit for a while and play with the dog.

Wednesday of that week started out easy. That was the day to write my column, and I didn’t have to stress over what I would write about as I had all this great material to work from. But the strangest thing happened as I wrote about all the things I hadn’t done yet. I had to fight the urge to quit working and dash out to the store when I thought of the perfect gift to get Uncle Barney. Not to mention all the other things I’d forgotten on Monday.

While fighting down that urge, another distraction popped up. The Girl Scout caroling party. I still hadn’t called the leader to tell her what songs I’d planned for the girls.

Then I remembered someone else I should have mailed a card to.

Then I remembered I was supposed to get pop for a neighborhood holiday party.
I don’t even remember the rest of that week.

Which reminds me. I have cards to make out and shopping to do and…

A Dead Tomato Plant & A Paycheck would make a nice gift for a family or a mother to be. It is available in paperback and e-book editions. Check it out. 

How are your preparations going? I hope not as chaotic as mine. Regardless, enjoy this special time of the year as much as you can.

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Down a Slippery Slope

Posted by mcm0704 on December 12, 2018 |

Slim Randles is here today with a story from Marvin’s point of view. Marvin is one of the guys from the gang at the Mule Barn Truck Stop who we don’t hear about as much as the others, but when Marvin speaks, it’s always with a depth of wisdom, touched with sardonic wit.  

Since we’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, have a little holiday cheer by sampling these chocolate tree cookies. 

These cookies are easy to make and you can get the recipe here:

Marvin Pincus understands that times change. He sure has. He’s a lot older now, of course, and it gives him more time to consider things, like snowboarding. There he was, the other day up on Parker’s Ridge, our local ski slope, resting his arms on the antique wooden ski poles he’s used since the Hoover Administration.

And down the hill came young people, swooping and swooshing on snowboards and it got ol’ Marvin shaking his head.

“Back when I was young,” he said, “we had to work at this. You had to have skiing lessons, of course. Then you had to buy the right equipment and the right wax.

“Oh yes, the wax.

“You had to know just what kind of wax to use for the current temperature and what kind of snow you had. Then you practiced learning to stop and turn. For some strange reason, we thought it was important to be able to turn on skis, and to stop.

“But now we have these snowboards. Near as I can tell, all you need to get started in that sport is an idiot and a six pack.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Brought to you by “The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List,” with the top places to fish in every state. Available at

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at, and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books and is host of two podcasts and a television program. 

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Monday Morning Musing

Posted by mcm0704 on December 10, 2018 |

Finally, after a number of years, I’m back in the mood to decorate for Christmas, and it has been fun the past couple of weeks to pull out the decorations and remember why they are all so special.

One of my favorite things to set up each year is this pair of dolls my mother made for me a long time ago. So long, that I don’t even remember the year. But I have always enjoyed letting Mrs. Claus and Santa have my rocking chair for a few weeks.

Since this is such a busy time, and I have been blessed with a cold on top of the busyness, I’m going to share a post from the past. This aired on December 9, 2006, and while it mentions absurdities of that time, it made me think that nothing much changes, especially in politics.  

Because we’re getting so close to Christmas – only two more weeks for those of you like me who have barely started preparing – I was going to write something sweet and nostalgic for the Holiday. With all I have left to do, I may not get to blog again before December 25. But I just couldn’t let the absurdities in recent news pass without comment.

First there’s the New York law to ban trans fat in all restaurants. I suppose it’s commendable that the legislators care that much for the health of their constituents, but do we really want government to be telling us what to eat? My husband commented that pretty soon fat people will get arrested. And if you’re really obese, you get a life sentence. A joke? Maybe not.

Then there’s the flap over the Minnesota Democrat, Keith Ellison, who was elected to Congress. The flap isn’t over him being elected. Or even the fact that he’s the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress. It’s because he would like to take his oath of office on the Koran instead of the Christian Bible. Dennis Prager, a conservative talk-show host in California said, “American is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress.”

Um, excuse me, Mr. Prager, but I am an American and I totally support Mr. Ellison’s desire to use the holy book that has the most meaning for him. And I don’t think I am one voice crying alone in the wilderness on this topic.

Mr. Prager also needs to study his history. He said having a Bible present at every installation of a public official is an unbroken tradition since George Washington.

Oops, in 1825, John Quincy Adams took the oath on a law book.

Another absurdity that probably has less social impact, to me falls into the category of superfluous. Sherry Jacobson, a Dallas Morning News columnist nominated Tony Romo for Texan of the year. The annual contest run by the News was established to honor someone who has made a significant contribution to the state and humanity.

I’m sorry, Tony. While it has been fun to watch you play and bring the Cowboys to so many recent wins, I really don’t think that puts you in the league with State District Court Judge Carole Clark of Tyler, who is trying to develop a new child welfare program for Texas that will not let so many kids fall through cracks.

And finally, there was a little blurb in the Dallas Morning News about Governor Rick Perry speaking out against the proposal to build a wall along the border between Texas and Mexico.

Was that the same Rick Perry who had that political ad a couple of months ago? The one that talked about how tough he was going to be on illegal immigration and how he supports the plan to beef up border protection by erecting a wall?

Most politicians who are going to renege on their campaign promises at least wait long enough for the general public to forget what they said.

That’s all for me for today, folks. I’m off to take some cold medicine and find a place to nap. If I can kick my cats off my blankie. 

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Pearl Harbor Day 2018

Posted by mcm0704 on December 7, 2018 |

Today, we pause a moment to remember what happened one December day when early in the morning Japanese war planes made a stealth attack on Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor Day

We mourn those who lost their lives that day, as well as the thousands others who died in battle for four years after the attack, until the Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945.

On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked the naval station in Honolulu, killing 2,403 American servicemen and civilians, and injuring 1,178 others. The attack sank four U.S. Navy battleships and damaged four others. It also damaged three cruisers, and three destroyers. One hundred eighty-eight planes were destroyed and 159 damaged.

Most people reading this blog were not alive on that day. Neither was I. But those who were, were profoundly affected by this horrendous attack. My parents certainly were, and here is an account of their reaction, taken from my book about my mother, Evelyn Evolving. This scene is based loosely on a memory that my mother shared with me a long time ago, supplemented by research of the facts of what people heard on the radio.

Later, sitting at the table with Russell, Juanita in a high chair between them, Evelyn played some more with the fantasy, creating a mental picture of what her family might look like ten years from now. Juanita would be a young lady, and maybe there would be other children. They would live in a red brick—

“Listen.” The outburst shattered the peacefulness of that daydream.

There was an unmistakable urgency in Russell’s voice, but Evelyn had no idea why.

What?” she asked.

“On the radio.”

She had been only half aware of the radio playing in the living room, and the fact that the music had stopped had not penetrated her musings. “What’s happening?”

“A news bulletin. I think a man said there was an attack. On an American naval base.”

“What? Where?”

Russell held up his hand to quiet her, and they both heard, “The naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese planes early this morning.”

“Oh my God,” Evelyn said. “That can’t be true.”

“Wait.” Russell got up from the table and went into the living room to turn up the volume on the radio.

“Details are sketchy,” the reporter said. “Stay tuned to World News Today for updates. I repeat this news bulletin just in. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor today, sinking several ships and killing hundreds of people.”

Evelyn walked over to stand beside Russell. “Do you suppose this could be a hoax? Like that one a few years ago. When that actor tricked us about an invasion from Mars?”

Russell shrugged. “Nobody should joke about something like this.”

Evelyn thought nobody should have joked about an alien invasion, either, but she didn’t voice that opinion.

After a few moments of static and garbled transmission, the reporter came back on air. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have the first eyewitness account of the horror that is happening in Hawaii. This comes from an NBC Blue Network reporter who climbed to the roof of a building in downtown Honolulu, microphone in hand. He said, ‘This battle has been going on for nearly three hours… It’s no joke, it’s a real war.'”

“Oh no.” Evelyn sank into a nearby chair. “That’s terrible.”

They listened to the report for a few more minutes as the announcer said that their country needed all able-bodied men to join up to fight the Japanese.

Russell stood. It was as if he needed to do that for this declaration. “First thing tomorrow, I’m going to enlist.”

“Enlist?” She looked at him, aghast. “You could get killed.”

“Don’t think that way.”

“How should I think?”

“That I will do my duty and make it out alive.”

“But what about me. The baby. The house?”

“That can wait.”

“You would just leave me and maybe never come back?”

Russell grabbed her gently by the shoulders. “Evelyn. Don’t you understand what has just happened? Our country has been attacked. We have to defend ourselves.”

“Why can’t single men with no families do the defending?”

Russell dropped his hands and shook his head. “This is not open for discussion.”

The peaceful afternoon Evelyn had anticipated was shattered by the news on the radio, and Russell’s declaration. She was so stunned she couldn’t let her mind even consider the possibility that he would go off to fight in this war and perhaps never come back.

As it turned out, my father was not able to serve. He was colorblind, and the Army rejected him, which was a relief to my mother, and maybe a little bit of a relief to him. I don’t know. We never talked about it. But while my father was a loyalist and a patriot, called to action like so many other men and women, he was a pacifist at heart.

That’s all for me folks. Have a great weekend and happy times preparing for the upcoming holidays. And Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. May your blessings abound a thousand fold. 

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Windy’s Gonna be Rich

Posted by mcm0704 on December 5, 2018 |

Slim Randles is today’s Wednesday’s guest with the latest from Windy, who has never found a word he didn’t like to mangle. Still, the guys at the Mule Bar Truck Stop like to keep him around. It’s always good to have some comic relief.

It is pretty cold here in Texas today, and it was really bitter when I went out to walk my dog this morning. When I lived out in the country, I’d just let the dog I had at the time out, and she could run the five acres herself for exercise. I stayed inside and maybe exercised.

Here in the city, I have to walk Dusty, which is a good thing for both of us, but I really have to bundle up. And when I got home this morning, it was time for hot chocolate. I have some to share, so grab a cup and enjoy…


Ever since ol’ Windy began a career in radio, which is unusual for an old hunting guide, cowboy, and camp cook, he’s been spending more time thinking about things to say. His radio segment, called Windy’s Words of Wisdom, has given him new purpose.

Down at the sale barn the other day, he meandered around until he had several of the guys semi-cornered. You see, the only thing in life Windy Wilson can’t live without is an audience.

“Now Doc,” Windy said, “you watch teevee, right?”

“Of course.”

“So do I, and that’s why I’ve decided to spread out my opportunistics and go into teevee. Promote the eddiflication, you know.”

We looked at this pot-bellied bowlegged leprechaun of the valley, covering our grins with a well-placed hand.

“Yessir. I think the fantaculous world of teevee has been suffragetting from a paucity in true … stuff. So I think I’ll do ‘er.”

“What … I mean, what would you do on teevee, Windy?” Doc asked.

“Commercials. Yessir. Do you know them guys who make commercialize get money ever dang time one of them thingies is on teevee? Ever time. That’s where the dinero is. Sellin’ stuff.”

“So what would you sell?”

“Been givin’ that some thought. Think I might sell tuxeders.”


“You betcha. Ya see, how I figger it, I’ll go on teevee first dressed like this, then I’ll change into the tuxeder and show them folks at home what a difference them fancy clothes make on a real cowboy and philosophater.”

“Windy, one thing I’ll have to give you,” Doc said, “Nobody would dare miss one of those commercials of yours.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Brought to you by the perfect stocking stuffer for that youngster, A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at, and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books and is host of two podcasts and a television program. 

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Does Anyone Tell the Truth Anymore?

Posted by mcm0704 on December 3, 2018 |

The other day this lovely card came in the mail from former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. I felt quite honored, even though I knew the same card had probably been sent to hundreds of other people, with the same message.

Yes, of course, the card came with a request to donate to the Carter Center, and that was a request I couldn’t pass up. I don’t have much extra money for charitable giving, so I pick the charities carefully, trying my best to make sure the dollars are truly going to a worthy cause.

Money given to the Carter Center does.

Here in the States we are mourning the loss of President George H.W. Bush, who died last Friday. While he is remembered for accomplishing many good things during his years of service, as well as his devotion and loyalty to family, his reign as president was not without blemish. As Mehdi Hasan points out in this article in The Intercept, we often tend to focus only on the good, the positives, when someone of such high note dies, but we shouldn’t let a revisionist account of history stand.

One thing I do admire the Bush family for is their love for and loyalty to each other. Time and time again we have seen moments where Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. shared in that love as an example to other fathers and sons. And those moments are remembered in this from the Today Show. The bond and commitment that George H.W. shared with his wife, Barbara, and with their children, has always been very clear, and whatever else is said about him, he was a good family man. And I have the highest respect for a good family man.

Anymore it seems like everybody lies. Michael Cohen lied. Paul Manafort lied. Trump continues to lie. Kareem Hunt lied. He’s the running back from the Kansas City Chiefs who was recently let go after video of him assaulting a woman was released, revealing that lie.

Maybe it’s just because I’m old and a curmudgeon but I do remember a time when there was a lot more trust between individuals. Between us and our government. Between workers and their bosses. And in so many other arenas where it seems like honesty has gone the way of the dodo bird.

This makes me incredibly sad.

When I was growing up, one of the tenants that my father drummed into my head was the importance of being honest: The importance of telling the truth even when the truth was going to get you into heaps of trouble. For instance, there was the time I peeled an orange and threw the peelings all over the floor in the laundry room at his house.

My parents were divorced, and I visited my father often on weekends. At that stage of my life, I was also horribly afraid of getting into trouble, so I would try to weasel my way out of admitting to anything I did. Mainly because my mother beat me when I did something wrong, and I was forever concerned about getting caught and being on the receiving end of anybody’s wrath.

Which brings me to the day that I made the mess at my dad’s house.

When he asked me if I threw the orange peels on the floor in the laundry room, I immediately said no. I said that my brother, Michael, did. Daddy went off to confront Michael, but a little while later came back to me. “Did you tell me the truth about the orange peels?” he asked. “I am not upset about the mess on the floor, but I am upset about the possibility that you lied, and I’m very disappointed in you.”

That last part of my father’s statement reduced me to tears, and after a strained silence, I falteringly admitted that I had wrongfully blamed my brother.

My father didn’t spank me, or beat me. He just gave me a long, sad look, then told me I had to go tell my brother what I had done and tell him I was sorry. Then my father again said how disappointed he was in my behavior.

Maybe more people needed to learn something from my father.

That’s it for me for today folks. What do you have on your agenda for this week? Now that December is officially here, I’m getting in the Holiday mood and will be working on some presents I’m making. I might even decorate my new house for Christmas. First decorations to go up in four years. 

I’m getting there. 

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Are We Ready For Change in Washington?

Posted by mcm0704 on November 30, 2018 |

Before getting into the heart of today’s blog, I want to remind folks that this is the last day to enter the thriller giveaway at Book Hub  for a chance to win a bundle of books and an Amazon Gift Card. Go ahead, hop on over to enter, I’ll wait…

I’m one of the sponsoring authors, so you could get a copy of One Small Victory, as well as several other thrillers. Have you read any of these?  I’ve read High Crimes, which is quite good, and I’m intrigued by several others, so I may be doing some shopping soon.

With all the recent news about Michael Cohen lying to the Special Counsel, Trumps on again off again plans to meet with Putin, and talk of a split among Dems on supporting Nancy Polosi for Speaker of the House, I am wondering what happened to the recent excitement over the results of the mid-term election. Sure, not enough Senate seats were turned over to fresh new voices, but plenty of House seats were.

But is is just back to business as usual? Those in power still hold the power and are the fresh voices going to be heard?

I sure hope so, because the fresh voices have fresh ideas that just might work.

Even though he didn’t win the Senate seat in Texas, Congressman Beto O’Rourke is still very much involved in current affairs, and he sends out letters to his constituents with his views on what is happening. His most recent letter addressed the issue of immigrants at the Texas/Mexico border as hundreds of refugees attempt to enter the United States for sanctuary. Here is just part of that letter:

It should tell us something about her home country that a mother is willing to travel 2,000 miles with her 4-month-old son to come here. Should tell us something about our country that we only respond to this desperate need once she is at our border. So far, in this administration, that response has included taking kids from their parents, locking them up in cages, and now tear gassing them at the border.

People are leaving violent countries where they fear for their lives. Without money, they are subsisting on hope for their kids, for themselves, that they can get to safety. After being denied the ability to lawfully petition for asylum for the last 10 days, they are desperate.

We choose how to respond to this challenge.

New York Congresswoman-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on the topic with this on Twitter:

What if instead of sending 5k troops to the border, we had sent 5k caseworkers to review + process visa applications? In addition to averting moral crisis, it also would‘ve saved enormous amt of resources. But we don’t talk about the financial recklessness of GOP admins, do we?

There are so many opportunities now to push against the establishment, and established ways, in Washington, and we need to act on that.

A long time ago, so long ago I can’t find the blog post, I wrote that if a woman was a leader in Washington, things would change. And now we have a lot of women in Congress who are those fresh voices with fresh ideas. Can they affect change?

I sure hope so, because Washington needs a cleanup.


Four men are in the hospital waiting room because their wives are having babies. A nurse approaches the first guy and says, “Congratulations! You’re the father of twins.”

“What an odd coincidence,” the man says. “I work for the Minnesota Twins.”

A few minutes later another nurse tells the second man, “Congratulations. You’re the father of triplets.”

“That’s weird,” the second man says. “I work for the 3M company!”

A nurse goes up to the third man saying, “Congratulations! You’re the father of quadruplets.”

“How odd,” the man says. “I work for the Four Seasons hotel!”

The last man begins groaning and banging his head against the wall. “What’s wrong?” the others ask.

“I work for 7 Up!”

Neither my husband nor I worked for the Minnesota Twins, but we were more than a bit giddy when we found out we were having twins many years ago. Twins don’t run in either of our families, so this was quite a surprise. The doctor explained it by saying, “Well, someone has to start the genetic tendency.” 

Funny how I remember the exact words after so long.  🙂

That’s it for me folks. Have a great weekend. Be safe. Be happy 

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Fun With Windy

Posted by mcm0704 on November 28, 2018 |

Before moving on to Slim’s story about Windy, I want to share this picture. It’s the first grandchild coloring to grace the front of my refrigerator in my new home, and it was done by my granddaughter Becky who is in college, which proves you can color at any age.

BTW, I hate to admit publicly how dense I can be at times, but I don’t get the joke in this post from Slim. Usually, I do get his subtle humor, but no matter how many ways I looked at it, I just didn’t get “glue vine.” If you can help an old lady out, I’d appreciate it. Let me know in the comments, and then I can slap my forehead for missing it. 

“I’m jest ‘bout new-aged up,” said Windy Wilson, sitting down and flipping his coffee cup to the upright and fillable position. Mavis filled it.

The other members sipping caffeine at the philosophy counter at the Mule Barn truck stop looked over at Windy. No one wanted to ask, so by the process of mind reading and silent linguistics, they managed to hold their tongues. They all knew Windy would never be content to leave it like that, and they were anxious to see how the feed-store philosopher would introduce the subject.

Windy sipped and looked around. He had their attention, all right, but no one asked.

“It’s like this here, fellas,” Windy finally said. “You know the widow, right? You know, the one that eats raw stuff? That new-age stuff?”

Still no one said anything.

“Name’s Mamie Dilworth,” Windy said. “The artistical one? The one that tried to get me to eat bait?”

Heads nodded, but were silent otherwise. Everyone waited to hear the latest attempt to drag the old cowboy and camp cook into modern times. They all knew Mamie gave it her best shot.

“T’other day it was,” Windy continued. “I sluiced over to Mame’s house to see if she had a cup of that five-dollar coffee, you know? But she smiled up at me and said, ‘Why Windy, haven’t you noticed how cold it’s been?’

“Wellsir, I ‘llowed as I had, and then she said she was goin’ ta give me a glue vine.
I had to scoot on outa there, guys. First thing you know, she’d a-had me wrapped up in sticky ol’ ivy or honeystickle or somethin’ and you know I didn’t want that there stuff getting’ on my good shirt.”

Windy was wondering why his friends were laughing and choking on their coffees.

Strange guys, you know?
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Brought to you by Strange Tales of Alaska by Slim Randles. Available at

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There are only three more days to enter the thriller giveaway at  Book Hub  for a chance to win a bundle of books and an Amazon Gift Card. The contest ends November 30. I’m one of the sponsoring authors, so you could get a copy of One Small Victory, as well as several other thrillers. Have you read any of these?  I’ve read High Crimes, which is quite good, and I’m intrigued by several others, so I may be doing some shopping soon.

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted by mcm0704 on November 26, 2018 |

My Thanksgiving week was pretty terrific. My son, Mike, and his family came up from Austin for a few days, so I got to spend some good times with them. Then on Thanksgiving day, another son joined us for the day and we ate a great meal that my daughter-in-law prepared. Yeah Corina.

The next day, instead of Black Friday shopping, we went hiking. Apparently, that is one of the traditions of my son’s family, and that suited me just fine. I have never participated in Black Friday shopping, so that was no great loss to me.

It was a lovely warm day here in East Texas, so we went to a state park to enjoy the great outdoors. One of my daughters and her husband joined us for the day, and we all had a grand time.

Some daring folks even took the hiking to another level by climbing up rock beds.

No way were they going to get me to go up that rocky incline.

Three brave souls.

Two of my sons and my daughter-in-law. They were looking for a way down to the water. The rest of us stayed up on the trail. 🙂

I found out that my youngest son, Paul, likes to go rock climbing and spelunking. Didn’t know that about him before this. He tried several times to go down a rocky incline, but gave up, thank goodness, because he didn’t have any rock climbing equipment, or the right shoes.

Actually none of us had hiking shoes, and the trail was a bit challenging at times with mud, large rocks, and tree roots to trip us up. Luckily, none of us fell victim to the obstacles.

After walking the trail for about a mile, we stopped by a picnic table where there was a lovely view of the lake and just sat, enjoying the company and the warm breeze. The Fall colors were just coming out on some of the trees.

This was part of the view from where we rested at the picnic table.

From Wednesday on through the weekend, I was disconnected for the most part from news and social media, and that felt pretty good. I think it’s a good idea to disconnect sometimes. What do you think?

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There are still a few more days to enter the thriller giveaway at  Book Hub  for a chance to win a bundle of books and an Amazon Gift Card. The contest ends November 30. I’m one of the sponsoring authors, so you could get a copy of One Small Victory, as well as several other thrillers. Have you read any of these?  I’ve read High Crimes, which is quite good, and I’m intrigued by several others, so I may be doing some shopping soon.

That’s it for me, folks. My son, David, who missed the Thanksgiving dinner because he and his wife were at the Dallas Cowboys game, is coming for lunch so I need to get ready. David will help me finish off the turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie.

Have a great week.

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