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New Addition to Son’s Room says OINK

Posted: 07-16-2014
Blog Articles

I had a serious talk with my just-returned-home adult son to remind him that his room is equipped with dresser drawers and a closet. This advice has gone unheeded for three weeks. Perhaps a piglet would find happiness in his room.

In the meantime, we have a critter arriving at night to raid our farm cat’s food and scare poor Cleo into the hosta bushes. The live trap caught Cleo the first night, a skunk the second night and a weasel or some such varmint on night three.

Nick room pig

Adult Son Returns Home; Rug Disappears

Posted: 06-27-2014
Blog Articles

Adult son left his job teaching English in Chile and returned home to the United States.  I prepared a room for him, collecting errant stink bugs, dusting and vacuuming the rug.  Here is the finished product.   Nick room   It took less than  24 hours for the rug to disappear beneath his belongings. I will post this same shot again in a week and see if more of the rug is visible. Nick room after

The Magic Portal

Posted: 06-12-2014
Blog Articles

I consider our kitchen door a magic portal.

 The Magic Portal

When my adult children come to visit, they walk through the kitchen door and immediately assume their teenage persona. This is not good. The teen years involved lots of loving reminders from me such as I AM NOT YOUR SERVANT SO PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF and PLEASE PUT YOUR DIRTY DISHES IN THE DISHWASHER and IS IT ASKING TOO MUCH TO CARRY YOUR SHOES UPSTAIRS?

My adult daughter now has her own house. During my first visit, she chastised me for not rinsing out my dirty coffee cup. “Is this yours?” she asked menacingly when I dropped my coat on a chair instead of hanging it up.

Somehow this attention to neatness disappears when adult daughter visits home. I can only surmise it is because our kitchen door magically transports her to days of yore when she felt quite comfortable leaving everything from hair encrusted pony tail holders to soccer cleats in the living room.
Next visit, my children use the front door.

Mothman: West Virginia’s Creature of the Night

Posted: 06-11-2014
Blog Articles, West Virginia Travel

When I was a youngster, my parents trusted my older brother to babysit me. Hank decided I would enjoy watching a horror movie with him. I sat mesmerized as grasshoppers munched grasses fertilized by radioactive waste. They immediately grew as high as Godzilla’s eye. Roaming freely in cities and town, they ate anything that moved, developing a particular fondness for human flesh. The menacing sound of their legs and antennae rubbing together signaled their arrival.

Ron transformed into mothman

I spent the next two weeks panicked by any sound resembling the call of the Grasshopper Leader to “get the humans.”   My brother spent the next two weeks grounded in his bedroom.

I overcame my lingering fear of unnatural creatures to attend the 2013 Mothman Festival in Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia. This took a great deal of courage on my part because unlike those giant grasshoppers of my youth, MOTHMAN ACTUALLY EXISTS!!!!!!

Mothman made his debut in November, 1966 at a defunct munitions factory in Pt. Pleasant. The giant creature‘s signature features are blazing, ruby red eyes and wings that measure 10’ across when open. He can achieve speeds of 100 mph. The two couples who saw him signed lengthy depositions swearing they barely escaped his wrath. Soon after this incident, dogs started disappearing and mutilated cattle started appearing.  Over 100 sightings were reported and some folks swore they heard Mothman land on their roofs.

The biggest catastrophe attributed to Mothman is the collapse of the Silver Bridge in December 1967. Engineering reports attribute the disaster to a single rusted eyebar. When it cracked, the suspension bridge cables snapped, sending the bridge and dozens of cars into the Ohio River. More than 40 people died.

A witness camped near the bridge who enjoyed drinking his dinner from a brown paper bag, swore he saw Mothman right before the collapse. Certified UFOlogist John Keel said he received a call warning him to stay away from the bridge and thinks it may have been Mothman. Good thing Mr. Keel did not mistake Mothman for a telemarketing operator.

The Mothman Festival features speakers on Mothman and other spooky phenomena. Apparently, West Virginia is a hotbed of weird, cosmic events. According to one speaker, the former lunatic asylum in Weston is the largest haunted area in North America. Seneca Rocks and the former penitentiary in Moundsville also host spirits.

While imbibing Mothman margaritas (a god-awful concoction of green liquor with cherries embedded in lemon slices for eyes), my husband and I realized we had visited most of our state’s cosmic hotspots. We even spent an evening in the Moundsville penitentiary with lots of ghost hunters who were holding machines to record interdimensional shifts. Ron and I only had flashlights, as we were more worried about tripping over something in the pitch black building and ending up in the afterlife ourselves. We were accompanied by my friend Carol who considers herself something of a ghost hunter as she has seen all the episodes of “Ghost Whisperer.”

There have not been any sightings of Mothman recently but no matter. He has become a reason to visit Pt. Pleasant. The town is enduring rough times; about 1/3 of the downtown buildings are vacant. The Mothman festival attracts people from all over the United States. We met folks from Michigan, Connecticut and Ohio. Hundreds of people attended the lectures.

Mothman may be in hiding but he might come out if the local chamber of commerce honors him as businessman of the year.

An Ode to Cords

Posted: 06-09-2014
Blog Articles

Back in the day, you never went wrong
With a long brown extension cord (with more than one prong).

An appliance or lamp too far from an outlet?
One extension cord and problem solved, without a doubtlet.

Now many different cords are needed for various devices,
Which cord goes where? Take your best guess, it’s like rolling the dices.

My iPad and iPhone each have a cord
One in the car lets mapquest talk us forward.

I thought I misplaced the cord for my Kindle,
It reappeared after I paid $19.99 for a new one (cords cost a bindle!)

Add my Sony walkman to the mix,
And the number of cords is now up to 6.


The portable hard drive I ordered to keep my files from disappearin’
Comes with its own USB cord : now we’re up to 7.

I thought I was finished with cords until I made the questionable decision
To show power point presentations by putting my iPad into commission.

I made multiple visits to Staples and Best Buy
To figure out terms like VGA and HDMI.

After scouring the net and talking to people under 30,
I developed a plan and followed it with certainty.

I bought a projector, more modern than my 1970’s Carousel,
Featuring an HDMI port and instructions only barely intelligible.

I paid $30.00 for an HDMI cord to connect my iPad to the projector
(No wonder Apple makes so much money in the technology sector!)

Additional cords complete the projector’s circuitry,
Including one labeled “6501HL1BCVB”

My home office now features cords of every length and description,
To tell you they’re organized would be outright fiction.

In Greek Mythology, Medusa’s head is ringed with snakes writhing in hoards,
I am a modern Medusa. Just replace the snakes with cords.