Friday, March 23, 2012


The Governor of Virginia should go back to Regent University, Pat  Robertson's haven of zealous fundamentalists, and learn how to deal with the "outside world"  That goody-two shoes, holier than thou veneer usually covers an individual who is among the first to be found face-down in the soft pelt of a lost soul at a brothel, a la "Elmer Gantry," Sinclair Lewis's velcro-souled preacher.  (Shirley Jones was awesome in the movie.)  This is all conjecture on my part, which usually precedes history, but I believe in reading signs.

   From the files of The Daily Press
The Face of Fundamentalism, Governor Bob McDonnell
(who evidently believes all women should have all offspring they conceive through their original sin)

We ladies have our weaknesses too.  I freely admit to sacrificing my potential (whatever it was) on the altar of matrimony.  Attending church, I realized my reward every Mother's Day, when I was recognized along with every other adult woman in the congregation, by standing.   Sort of a reverse "Red Letter A" tribute to doing God's will, it always felt like I was an anti- "Hester Prynne," Nathaniel Hawthorne's tramp-stamped protagonist of old.  Though I haven't been to church for years, I'm certain they all get their stand-up exaltation on their designated national holiday.

I hope I don't sound surrendered to the poisonous venom of a disappointed life, but I guess I maybe, kind of, am.  Being called out of the water at water's edge, this swimmer resents never leaving the inner tube of security for a free swim; and now to see the tide ebbing for women, nationwide, evaporates my conviction that America, sanctuary for people seeking freedom, equality, and opportunity, is anything but a stag party.

From "Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us"
The First Eviction:  Somebody's Going to Get Blamed.

The remedy for hopelessness is effort.  Do something.  Speak up.  Reason diffuses anger, if anger doesn't annihilate it first.  Vote for a man, which is your only choice usually, who might possibly protect your equality as a human being, and I sincerely hope you can find one.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Soo-ey, Sewerage, Soo-Soo, or some other slanderous version of Susan was Baby Sis's handle around our home, thanks to the ever-creative older sisters who (knowing her short fuse) loved seeing their youngest sibling (or Cybil like the multi-personality protagonist of the book/movie of the same name) levitate off the ground with her head spinning in white-hot anger.  They knew how to push her buttons and have her self-destruct.

CB Older Sis, CB Middle Sis, and Baby Sis
Can you pick the non-conformist?  The Artist?  The Nudist?

Morning at our house was always hectic, with three school-age girls vying for the bathroom mirror and railing against ear cleaning, parent-imposed hair grooming, and the ever popular mandatory nostril inspection.  Having cleared all those hurdles one morning and hearing Big Sis start the VW bus, I sighed relief  and believed them all on their way to whatever tumultuous  experiences they could inflict on their teachers that day.  My heart sank as the engine stopped, and one sister stomped up the stair from the garage, followed by a second set of stomps and then a third.  Baby Sis appeared crying with the shocking news that..."Big Sis hit me for NO reason."  The second stomper stood glowering at her and pontificated, "Inform your daughter that I am NOT a faggot!"  Middle Sis was non-committal but seemed to concur that there were incorrect assertions.  Knowing all this had not occurred in a vacuum, I addressed the bad choice of a word, which is a tad too archaic to have been picked up in the 'hood.  I then reminded them to visit me at least once a month at the insane asylum, where they were sure to send me.

Can you pick out the responsible older sis?  The middle sis?
The cat that ate the canary?

Baby Sis, thin-skinned to insults, always seemed to be engaged in scuffles at school, especially with bullies.  She championed shy children, whom she felt obligated to speak for and protect.  One of the first children she brought home to spend the night was so shy her mother feared she might have to come and get her before night.  She had a very notable speech impediment which other children found amusing, but not Baby Sis.  When Big and Middle Sis laughed at her friend, Baby Sis was incensed and gave them a heated lecture about the golden rule.  Needless to say, the little overnight guest never wanted to leave.  The mother was shocked when she cried at having to go home!!

Can you pick the difficult to manage horse?  

For all her conflicts with siblings, Baby Sis was popular with friends as well as a bad influence it seems.  Her efforts to build a strong band of sisters almost resulted in getting the Japanese exchange student deported, no small feat.  While on a shoplifting venture, which I neither instructed or inspired, Baby Sis and her unskilled pilferers were apprehended and that created my first opportunity to stand proudly and receive an ear-blasting from a local judge.  Oh, the places you will go.

Baby Sis in High School

We learn from our experiences and are better for them.  Baby Sis has never done hard time and can still vote!  She is beautiful, funny, talented, and a real sweetheart.  She still has a soft spot for downtrodden people and animals and we would not change a thing about her.

Baby Sis Today 

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Thankfully, Husband, seeing my over-involvement with the credible UFO tales on H2 channel, has downgraded our DTV package to save money and steer me toward more constructive pursuits, such as dish washing, floor sweeping, toilet scouring, etc. - all the things I dreamed of doing when I was a young girl.

Husband Pulls me in the Garden Trailer to Clear My Head

Perhaps he has a watchful eye on my fragile sanity as well.  One probably never realizes the intermediary between "sane" and "off to the home."  That transition may well be like going bald, getting gray hair, or becoming an adult. Contrived of nebulous stages that alter so slowly until one seamless reality emerges with gongs and sirens and screams of "Oh no!  I can't believe this happened:  where is my precious yesterday."

 Along with the expected deterioration are the persuasive documentaries of unidentified aircraft appearing world-wide and no explanations of their seeming abilities.  Most of these are undoubtedly explainable.  Some just aren't.  It is the latter which stimulates my imagination most.

A UFO Over my Garden (Really) 

Columbus is reputed to have journaled a UFO.  He was freaked; so we should respect that.  Flying vehicles are cited in the Bible, in art, in cave drawings, etc.  While this is all human interpretation of phenomena, still it is there.

Not long ago, the Pope issued some planning-ahead acceptance of the possibility of alien life. What are they doing here?   My own guess is gardening.  Since my head is in the cabbage patch anyway, why not?  Perhaps the creation story is not that far off.  Creating an environment on a good candidate planet would be feasible, and seeding that environment would require TLC over eons, hence the many sightings over time.

Earth's Daffodil Garden (Mrs. Backhouse Variety)

Or the lizard creatures from the planet Faroff are here to exterminate humans and make earth their retirement planet.  Steven Hawking (the famous theoretical physicist) thinks aliens would not be friendly, and chances are he's right, if they are anything like us.

Did I mention Baby Sis and I both dreamed a flying saucer landed in the back yard, ON THE SAME NIGHT!!?  Top that.  We were not abducted, though we are open to that only if no transvaginal probes are involved.

Baby Sis Picks Daffodils with Her Grandfather
(About the time of her strange dream)

My advice:  If you come upon a UFO on the ground and not in your dreams, don't touch it.  Just run and get the geiger counter to see if it is radioactive.  I am lucky to have one in the attic from WWII.  I can't say for certain that it works, it would likely need batteries or possibly jumper cables; however, it pays to be prepared.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


There was an author on TV promoting her book on inspiring people who lived in destitution, one supporting a family of eleven by selling refuse of the rich.  It jostled my memories to similar experiences, though less challenging, and to similar people who took their seemingly deprived lives and spun a cloth of determined well-being and expected good fortune through their own toil.

My mother and I used to visit on foot a nearby trash site for the purpose of "seeing what people will throw away," in her words.  She occasionally found a useful item, a small stool, a lamp shade, etc., and congratulated herself on finding something in the midst of nothing.  We also walked to cemeteries to visit old friends now gone and conclude how the most luckless of the living can at least hope for more fun and opportunity than our deceased acquaintances.

My Mother at Twenty Something Visiting a Mathews Beach

My Mother and CB Woman, CB Baby Sis, and CB Middle Sis

My grandfather's sister, Great Aunt Maggie, seemed to attract misfortune through none of her own doing.  Her first husband, the father of her two young boys, drowned at sea.  When her second husband died from a heart attack, she survived by visiting relatives on a rotating basis.  She was religious, hardworking, and indefatigable in her optimism.

Aunt Maggie on One of Her Outings

She came to visit with her sewing machine and sewed furiously until everyone in the house had their wardrobe outfitted or repaired.  One visit to our house, she covered our living room sofa and chair; on another, she made my May Day dress and two school dresses.  Imaging having a traveling seamstress in the family today.  The last quote I got for covering a wing chair was in the $900.00 range.  How I miss Aunt Maggie.  She always bought the material on sale, and sewed for free.  And it was all beautiful!  She took me on walks to find wild muscadines which she made into the most wonderful jelly.  She was one who did without.

My grandfather worked in his shop for eight hours a day and then chopped firewood to cook and heat his house; he tended a beautiful garden, which provided canned tomatoes, white and sweet potatoes, onions, apples for applesauce.  Everything they subsisted on in winter.  The hen house provided eggs and a neighbor lady gave Grandfather and his wife, Inez, milk, to churn into butter, in return for eggs.  That butter was divinely delicious on Inez's homemade biscuits.  The fish man came to your door daily in season and weighed out fresh fish for pennies a pound.  I don't recall them spending much at the grocery store.  They did without.

My Grandfather in Later Years with Grandkids, Middle Sis, CBW, and Baby Sis

Happier is the person who does without and works toward the coming of good things, than one who has everything and still needs more.

A Testimony to Doing Without
Grandfather, CBW, Baby Sis and Middle Sis
All Happy