Once Upon a Renaissance


Once upon a time in a land far away… well, actually, it is just a few miles down the road. There was a magical kingdom called the Renaissance Faire. These festivals apparently take place all over the country as a celebration of something or another – I’m not exactly sure what.

Basically, the participants try to go back in time to days of yore, i.e., medieval times, chivalry, and 16th century life. While these are not exactly the merry old days they are cracked up to be, what with all the duels, wars, and beheadings attributed to this period, there still seems to be a sort of story-book romance attached to this period – the stuff that fairy tales are made of.

At a Renaissance Festival, folks dress up in medieval costumes and run around in the woods in a recreation of a former lifestyle. For purposes of entertainment, not to mention filling their purses with gold, various loosely related entertainment acts and activities are also brought in. People come from places far and wide to see them, paying a high shilling for the privilege.

There are magicians, jugglers, comedians, fortunetellers, belly dancers, singing mistrals and other exotic sorts of entertainment scattered throughout the faire grounds. These are intermingled with food booths and medieval crafts, and all are tangled together in a festival of merry-making. It is rather fun in a “once-upon-a-time” kind of way.

We sit on crude wooden benches and watch the sword fights and musicians along with the rest of the audience. Some of the onlookers join in the spirit of the day by wearing costumes themselves, many of which are not exactly in keeping with the medieval theme, but more like Halloween leftovers or old prom dresses. But, oh well, it’s the thought that counts, I suppose.

Some of the more elaborate costumes are authentic and specially created and worn by the “royal court.” They preside over the festival and also participate in a live chess match for the amusement of the crowd. Most of the characters are ordinary people who do this as a hobby and are not professionals. There are also knights who wear authentic looking suits of armor and joust on real horses, an interesting, if somewhat violent, spectacle as they attempt to knock each other off galloping horses with lances and sometimes succeed.

It is necessary to join into the spirit of the event to enjoy it. So, we clap and cheer the various performers along with everyone else. I spend time prowling through the craft booths looking at renaissance costumes and eating fish and chips. I even have my palm read by a seer, who is about 50/50 correct in her observations. I’m still looking for the angels she saw in the palm of my hand and sneaking peeks at the long wrinkle in my palm that represents intellect. Who would have thought?

My mind is jumbled with sword fighting, fire-eaters and dulcimer players. My purse is much lighter, having been relieved of it’s monetary content to buy cheap jewelry and other trinkets. My grandson, who has no frame of reference for such an event, is delighted and takes it all in stride, especially the trained birds and falcons.

Like most fantasy, Camelot has been overly romanticized and the reality, or even the recreation of reality, cannot measure up. In spite of the element of mystique, the days of chivalry where not quite as chivalrous as they are supposed to be. But for an escapade in time and recreation of a literary reality, it is an adventure that will leave you wishing for a castle with a drawbridge. It is a step into a fairytale world where knights are bold, maidens fair, and where everyone with admission price lives happily ever after.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Entertainment, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

To Computer Support


Last weekend started out well. Nothing to do, just a whole weekend to relax and unwind. It would be a good time to do some updates on my computer. My sound system has not been working right, so I figured I’d reload it and fix it.

I fixed it all right. I should have known. I loaded the program and restarted. Nothing, no Windows, no nothing, just a black screen staring back at me.

The computer wheezed and the cursor winked at me. “Good grief! What have I done?”

I turned the evil monster off and tried to restart again. When something doesn’t work, you can nearly always fix it that way, can’t you? I got the black screen of death and a recovery menu. Oh, my God! My computer has crashed. It’s possessed!

On the next try the computer said, “We are restarting in safe mode so you can fix the problem.” Fix the problem? The problem is that my computer is possessed by a demon named Safe Mode.

I really hate calling computer support, but I knew I couldn’t fix this. “How old?” asked the technician. “Well… You get lifetime support.” Then he took me through all usual steps, including going back to previous versions in the registry. Nothing worked.

After an hour, he said, “It is probably a virus or spyware. We can’t fix it. You have to call Microsoft.” I don’t think so. I had just updated my virus definitions and had run the spyware program the night before.

I’ve never, ever called Microsoft. They charge for support. I began to calculate how much a new computer was going to cost vs. the cost of paying for help. The demons were filled with glee. They now own my computer, lock, stock, and registry.

So, I called Microsoft. What else could I do? What I felt like doing was throwing the evil thing out the window. “I’ll cut off its electricity and see how it likes that!”

What happened next can only be described as an exorcism. We unloaded and removed the sound program then proceeded through a two hour ritual. The computer levitated and seemed to spin in mid-air, or was it my imagination?

“There is nothing more we can do.”

“You can’t fix it? But, you are MICROSOFT! You created it! You mean there is no computer God? No Bill Gates?”

“Well, there is one more thing to try.” The phone went dead. I know he would say it was an accident, but I knew what it really was. The cursor eye winked.

I called back. I was assigned to another tech that led me through two more hours of checking, rechecking, starting, and restarting, using trial and error to find what was wrong.

I was beaten and driven into the ground, the demons jumped up and down,
stomping on me with the evil cursor eye blinking. My head spun, my stomach
churned, I felt sick.

Finally, Windows magically loaded and clouds floated across my screen. I thanked the Microsoft angel at the other end of the support line. Harp music swelled and all was well.

I loved my computer, I loved the world, I even loved Microsoft.

But the demon had one card left. I couldn’t connect to the Internet. I called my fourth tech of the day. We went through the list again, finally after an hour, the tech confessed. “I don’t know what’s wrong.”

“You mean I can’t connect to the Internet EVER?”

“Well.” He put me on hold. That’s when I noticed that my firewall was active. I disabled the firewall. My browser opened and my desk shook violently.”

It took the computer company, Microsoft, my service provider and six hours of exorcism, but I’m up and running. Next time I have nothing to do, please keep me away from the computer. I know those computer demons are out there somewhere — waiting.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sweet Home Alabam’r

signs I was busy reading my email, ignoring the TV, as usual, when a story came on the 6 o’clock news that caused me to drop my computer mouse on the floor. They were putting up Alabama road signs in Massachusetts.

I couldn’t believe it either, but apparently a contractor was hired to put up highway signs with shape of the state on them, as well as the highway number. He used the wrong shape.

Since Yankees have always been so fond of making fun of our good ol’ boys from the South, I figured that it is our turn now. Even a redneck wouldn’t mistake Alabama for Massachusetts. Believe me, they are nothing alike – except to a Yankee that is smart enough to work on roads, but not smart enough to study geography.

Okay, maybe I’m being a little hard on them. The contractor tried to pass the buck, saying that he hired another company to make the signs. But he did put them up without noticing that they had used the wrong state. Not only was the sign wrong, but no one else noticed the mistake until much later. Maybe we could send some Alabama road maps to Boston so they will know what Alabama looks like?

Maybe they wanted folks to think they were in Alabama instead of Massachusetts, as an article from the Associated Press seemed to suggest. Maybe those northerners took a good, long look and decided the South with its mild winters was such a fine place to live that they just couldn’t measure up.

Maybe they were just so envious of all the redneck jokes that they wanted to try and get in on the act. Do you supposed they realized that accent of a New Englander, with its hard “r”, is much more humorous than the soft, velvet tones of southern voices?

Really, the two states have very little in common at all when you think about it. Those northern folks would need to import some hot weather, have a fish fry, and learn to two-step to even slightly resemble our southern culture.

I think they are envious of the South and the truth has finally come out. They are so jealous that they want to be the Alabama of the North, eating pinto beans instead of those baked ones, and topping it off with some southern coconut cream pie, much better that that cream pie from Boston.

Well, let it not be said that the South is not generous and understanding to our deprived neighbors north of “the line.” If they want to pretend to be like us, let ’em. That’s a whole bunch better than having them move down here. Let’s just let them stay up there and pretend they are “down home” in God’s county.

We know it must be tough to be from the North and that not everyone could be born southern, so we won’t hold it against them, like they have us. If they want to drink sweet tea at their next tea party, drive pickup trucks instead of running marathons, or even borrow Jeff Foxworthy for a day or two, we will understand.

We might even send them a care package of Kudzu seeds to help them get started out in the right direction. Or we could send a mason jar of those cute little critters known as fire ants. A few chiggers would be a nice gesture, just to show them our true generosity.

There’s only one thing that we would like to ask in return. Plant that Alabama road sign down here where it belongs in some good red southern dirt.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Southern Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dear Gaylord Texan

Gaylord Texan 021

I would like to thank you for making my recent trip to Dallas-Ft. Worth to the Newspaper Columnists’ convention so pleasant. I must confess that, although I had heard that things in Texas are big, I really had no idea exactly what to expect. Your hotel is so large that it took me the entire first day just to find my room in spite of the map that the desk clerk gave me. May I suggest that in the future you also issue compasses and horses.

I was especially impressed by the atrium in the center of the hotel, which would rival any botanical garden. The last I heard, we still had at least one columnist who was lost in the jungle and unaccounted for. We sent out several search parties; however, they always came back unsuccessful. We suspect that this is partly due to the fact that they were side-tracked at one of the watering holes and spent more time hanging out in the hospitality suite than actually searching.

In case there are any towels, coffeepots, hair dryers, TVs, irons, ironing boards or other items missing from my room, I would like to say in advance that you surely must be mistaken. Most likely those items were never there in the first place or were packed in my luggage totally by accident. Also, the safe for valuables that you placed in each room was a nice touch and security was very responsive to the request to come crack the safe open when I forgot the combination.

It sure is hot in Texas! I am recovering nicely from the hypothermia due to the air conditioning in the hotel. I thawed out completely during the sweltering walking tour of the town of Grapevine where the temperature soared to the high ninety’s. Please extend my thanks to the Grapevine Tourism Bureau for making us so welcome! I also enjoyed the nice wine reception that they gave on the first night of the convention, and still managed to make it to the convention’s breakfast the next morning in spite of my migraine headache.

I enjoyed all the writing workshops that I attended and appreciate the storage rooms behind the kitchen that you managed to free up for us to use. We are not at all angry with the eye doctors who were also there for a convention and who hogged up all the good meeting rooms that you had. The rumor that any columnists took passive revenge by wandering the hotel with popping eyeball glasses is totally false and without substance. By the way, if you found a pair of these eyeball glasses in the Yellow Rose Ballroom near the mechanical bull, please just throw them away as they do not belong to me.

I was impressed with just how big Texas really is and was especially in awe of the rush hour traffic in Dallas. I didn’t see any cowboys, oil wells, long-horn steers or other things usually associated with Texas; however, I did see plenty of wide open spaces, just like in the movies. I wore my convention-issued cowboy hat and pretended to be a cowgirl on the bus tour of Dallas. However, I suspect that I might have looked more like a stupid tourist than a real Texas woman — especially since a real cowgirl doesn’t usually have camera hanging around her neck.

I realize that we had a choice and am glad that you appreciate the fact that we chose your hotel for our convention. I know that there are Gaylord facilities in three other locations and will be happy to honor your request to not even think about ever staying at any of them after this. And in case you are wondering, the sheriff accompanied me all the way to the border and made certain that I got out of Texas before sunset!

Sincerely yours,

Sheila Moss
Humor Columnist

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Road Trip


We decided to drive to Texas instead of flying. Besides saving money, we could see the countryside. Thing is, there isn’t anything to see between here and Texas except trees. It was pretty much like driving through a green tunnel for 12 hours except for the cities, which all, without fail, had construction. Even trees seemed interesting compared to concrete barriers and orange barrels.

I didn’t know it was so far to Texas. There are a lot of rest stops between here and there. I lost count of how many times we stopped. I thought women were the ones that wanted to stop all the time, but my honey stopped so many times I thought we would never get to Texas. Of course, when I wanted to stop it was a different story. We had always just passed a rest stop, and the next one was another 33 miles.

Occasionally, there was the announcement, “I have only 100 miles of gas left – start looking for a station.” This was usually in the middle of a major city on a six-lane road in the middle of a construction zone. In addition, the gas had to be the right flavor. The car apparently only runs on one brand. By the time we found a station that was suitable, the car was coughing and running on fumes.

One interesting part of a road trip, however, is that you have to stop and eat. I like to look for local restaurants, which provide a chance to sample local cuisine. At our first restaurant, the waitress had big hair just like Flo from TV. She brought sweet tea while we visited the food bar. “What’s that yellow stuff?” asked my honey. It was hominy. The green stuff was turnip greens; Flo said so. We knew then that we were somewhere deep in the South.

We attended a conference in Texas and after that was over, we hit the road for the return trip. Why is it that the very same road always seems longer in the reverse direction? There was still nothing to see. Nothing, not even many pine trees until you are almost to Arkansas. The hardest part of driving through Texas is staying awake, aside from finding a gas station with the right flavor of gas, of course.

Did you know there are no restaurants in Hope, Arkansas? We stopped to eat there and drove up and down the street looking but finding nothing but fast food. Finally, we settled on a local catfish place. “What’s this gravy?” my honey asked, looking at a small cup of brown liquid that came with his meal. “That isn’t gravy, its pinto beans!” Guess he forgot we were still in the deep South.

After nearly running out of gas again and coasting into a gas station, we decided we might as well eat again for one last time before home. “Pick a place,” says honey. Of course, with a full tank he drove so fast that by the time I saw anything we were past the exit. Finally, I saw a billboard with a local restaurant that sounded good. “We can stop there, exit 80A, 28 miles.” But the restaurant again couldn’t be found. What is it with finding restaurants?

With stomachs growling, we drove up the street and down the street. Finally, we gave up and went to a different restaurant which turned out to be a fortunate choice. It had more fried chicken than I’ve ever seen in my life. I gained two pounds on the trip, and I’m sure that the fried chicken and peach cobbler are the reason why.

I’m still happy about all the money we saved by driving instead of flying. We probably saved enough to pay for another trip. Of course . . . we will have to drive again..

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Automotive, Humor, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Dream Car

black car Age 16 – I wanted a sports car. I had my driver’s license and all teens want wheels. I sat on the steps and watched a friend drive by with a low, sleek, sports car. That was my dream! Instead, I had to drive my dad’s old black clunker, and that was only when I could beg hard enough to get his car keys.

Age 21 – A car, any car, I didn’t care what kind of a car. I just wanted transportation. And that was pretty much what I got. My first car was a well-used, two-tone, pink and brown car. The word ugly is really describing it too kindly. You couldn’t get much for $800 even in those days. But – it was a car.

Age 25 – Married, two salaries instead of one. Why are we driving that old bag of bolts that only starts on cold mornings if you keep a light bulb on the engine all night? We decided to get a better car. Okay, I’ll admit it was a blue cracker box on wheels. But it was ours, if you didn’t count the monthly payment book, and best of all, it was NEW.

Age 30 – Kids came along. I needed a station wagon. Didn’t matter what I wanted. I had to have something that could hold a family, the dog, and sometimes most of the little league ball team. The station wagon was brown, not very sharp. Can you believe I liked station wagons so well I upgraded and got another one?

Age 35 – A pickup truck seemed like a good idea, a practical vehicle, something to haul things in. But after the 12 bags of mulch were home, we realized that we really didn’t have anything else much to haul. We got to sit up higher and look down on everyone else, though. And in the unlikely event we ever did need to haul anything else . . . well, we were ready.

Age 40 – The “in” thing was an SUV, four-wheel drive, wouldn’t get stuck in the snow or mud! Never mind that we drove mostly in the city and didn’t really encounter mud on paved streets. You never know out there. We were mean in our monster machine – except at the gas station, where we were broke from filling it up.

Age 45 – we wanted something nice, a luxury car. We traded for sleek, silver boat of a car, complete with soft leather seats, and stereo tape player. A big car was a sign of success, and we wanted to show the world that we were making it, whether we could find a parking place for it or not.

Age 50 – Life is going by fast. I never did get that sports car I dreamed about when I was a kid. Life was half over, no family to worry about. Mid-life crisis attack! I could afford a sports car now, the one I’d always secretly wanted. So, full speed ahead!

Life has come full circle now, and I don’t know what will be next. I’m looking over my shoulder, though, hoping that black clunker isn’t somewhere just around a corner, grinning and waiting.

Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss
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Tips on Doing Housework


Ever since the beginning of history, it has been the woman’s job to sweep the cave, and dust the stalagmites. While men have come a long way in recent times, statistics say that housework is still mainly the domain of the women. To enlighten you on how this is best accomplished, I’ve developed a list of tips:

1. Start in the kitchen and do wet cleaning first. Wipe counter tops with warm water and cleaner with a small amount of grease solvent. Wipe out microwave oven. Look in refrigerator. Ugh! Wipe off front of shelves and leave refrigerator for next time. Ditto on oven.

2. Now that kitchen is spotless, mop the kitchen floor. Lemon ammonia is nice and does not leave a soap film. I meant, put a small amount of ammonia the in mop water. Cough! Open a door or window and let fumes out! Be careful, as wet floors are slickkkkkkk…

3. While you are wet anyhow, clean the tile floors in the bathroom. Use bathroom cleaner to clean fixtures and any tile. The bathroom is the worst part of cleaning. Get it over with. Leave shower till later. Replace dirty towels and it will make a world of difference.

4. Let’s do the living area or den next. All we need to do is dust with a soft, treated cloth or duster. Kerchoo! Remember to dust lampshades, tops of doors, and accessories. Kerchoo! We do not need to polish furniture often as it causes wax build up. It takes about an hour for the dust to settle after cleaning. Kerchoo!

5. Remove sheets from beds and put in washer. Hang up clothes and put away shoes. Don’t worry about closets. Out of sight, out of mind. Also, try not to look under bed. If you see dust bunnies, it could become a major project.

6. Use a laundry basket to pick up scattered toys or other items that are out of place throughout the house, and then return the items to the appropriate room. We will hide them for now, however, and do this later since we are starting to become tired.

7. Run vacuum before you collapse entirely. Yes, you are tired, but you have to run the vacuum! How can you clean a house unless you vacuum? Next time we will do that first. But see how much better things look afterwards?

8. Put sheets and towels in dryer and take a break. You deserve it after all you’ve done. Fix a cold drink or a cup of coffee. Relax. Look out the window. Read a newspaper. Do not get on the computer!

9. I told you not to get on the computer! Now, look what time it is and you are not half done! Get sheets out of dryer and make up beds. Hurry up! Resist the temptation to take a nap. You can’t be that tired! All you did all day was a little housework!

10. Use window cleaner to wipe mirrors, TV screens, glass shower doors, and other glass surfaces. Forget windows till another time. You shouldn’t have wasted so much time on the computer.

11. We forgot to vacuum under the furniture cushions. Maybe no one will notice. Who goes around looking under cushions anyhow? We are just doing a go-over, not heavy-duty stuff. Don’t get obsessive-compulsive on me.

12. Empty trash and put away cleaning supplies. Use air spray or potpourri so house will smell fresh. Now take a shower and put on fresh clothes. Uh, oh, sound asleep sitting at the computer. You didn’t even take a shower!

In addition to the modern women, this method works equally well for modern men who are bachelors or men who want to prove that they are no longer Neanderthals. What works even better is hiring a cleaning service and going out for lunch.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

When Harry Marries Meghan


Here it is the week before the royal wedding and I’m still waiting for my royal invitation which undoubtedly was lost in the royal mail. It doesn’t really matter, though, I don’t have a hat big enough or ugly enough to wear anyhow.

On second thought, maybe I do. My sister and I found a hat box with some hats from the fifties that are pretty bad. They might rival those monstrosities on the heads of the English ladies. Oh, well, too late now. We will have to save them for the next royal wedding or a luncheon of the ladies’ Red Hat Society.

Will you get up early to watch the nuptials on TV? Me neither. I am really shocked at the number of people who said they will, though. For some reason, people are still fascinated by a “Once upon a time” wedding, complete with royal carriage only recently changed from a pumpkin into a vehicle by a Fairy Godmother lurking behind a bush somewhere.

I must admit, they will make a lovely couple. He will wear his military jacket with gold braid, she a white gown and veil, possibly with diamond tiara borrowed from Princess Diana’s collection. It will be a fairy-tale wedding in spite of the fact that she is an American model and divorcee. Is that called a fairy tale or a Hollywood gossip column?

The fashion critics are foaming at the mouth to see the wedding gown. It will probably look pretty much like any other wedding gown, yards and yards of lace and flowing white material, with a train so long someone has to help carry it so the bride can walk. Even as vows are exchanged, fashion designers will go into overdrive creating fabulous knock-offs, arriving soon in a bridal shop near you.

And what about the queen’s outfit? I guess queens don’t wear crowns anymore, or at least not to grandson’s weddings. No crown, no cape, no nothing. At William and Kate’s wedding, she just looked like everyone else, or maybe a bit like a royal canary in a yellow outfit complete with the mandatory yellow hat. How could anyone not think of Big Bird?

When my grandchildren play with Barbie dolls later, they surely will have material for hours of re-enactment of the Prince Harry of Wales and Megan Markel wedding. Somehow, they still seem to prefer Prince Charming and Cinderella. Real life princes and princesses just don’t get the respect they once did.

There is always talk of doing away with royalty in Britain because of the cost to the British taxpayers of maintaining them. Somehow the Brits never get around to it. They simply adore all the pageantry that surrounds the royalty and the spectacle of the filthy rich flaunting their wealth.

This is the first wedding extravaganza since Kate and William were married. The couple is flaunting tradition and acceptance of their romance is considered a progressive step for the modern era. Megan’s unfortunate father has already “decided not to attend” due to negative publicity from his staged photo ops. The big speculation is: “Who will walk her down the aisle?”

After the “intimate wedding” in Winsor Castle with only 600 guests attending and 2040 invited to watch from the grounds, the couple will live happily ever after in a 21 room “apartment” at Kensington Palace. The British will have a new royal couple to give birth to a new generation of princes and princes to be chased by the paparazzi.

So, I suppose I might as well give up on my over-due wedding invitation and just watch the wedding re-runs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, or BBC America like the rest of the common people.

Copyright 2011-2018 Sheila Moss
Full Disclosure: Does this article seem familiar? It is a revised edition of “The Kate and William Show,” updated for the latest wedding with only names and some other minor details changed. Funny how little things have changed.
Posted in Fashion, Humor, News & Current Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Visit with Mom


As an adult, I used to delay visiting mom as long as possible. Mom made me feel like a child, regardless of my actual age or even the fact that I was also a mom.

Mom’s house was a cluttered arrangement of mementos. Every gift that everyone ever gave her was appropriately displayed, along with pictures of the children,  grandchildren, and every high school graduation or wedding that had ever taken place in the family. One look around the room and your entire life flashed before your eyes.

Mom was always cold so the house was always hot. As beads of sweat pop out, you dared not inquire as to what the temperature might be. “It seems a bit cold in here, only 78 degrees.” Even the houseplants had wilted from lack of air.

Meals at mom’s house were always a smorgasbord. Mom had been cooking for at least a week prior to your visit in spite of the fact that you were overweight and trying to diet. Of course, you had to eat so her work didn’t go to waste. And when you felt as if another bite would make you explode, she said, “I made your favorite dessert, coconut cream pie.”

Sleeping at mom’s house was a real challenge. Mom still had the same mattress on the extra bed in the spare room that had always been there. It must have been at least 50 years old. Even the lumps had mellowed. When you would lay down, you would sink about 8 inches into the mattress, like a waterbed without water.

Of course, just finding the bed was a formidable task. First you must dig through layers of cushions and ruffled bedspreads without tripping over a footstool or knocking over an antique lamp. Chances are that mom had already turned the bed back for you, though.

Mom was very neat. In the morning she made up the bed while you were in the shower. When you left a room, she turned out the light. She put anything
you left out of place beside your suitcase, “So you will be sure not to forget it.” She poured your coffee and put a coaster under your cup. You were not allowed to help with dishes as she could do it faster herself, without a dishwasher.

The principle item in mom’s living room was the television set, and everything focused on the tube, like leaves turning toward the sun. Dad held the remote control. Just as you begin to get interested in a program, he changed the channel. If there was nothing he wanted to watch, he turned it off.

Mom was happier when the TV was turned off because “It makes too much noise
anyhow,” and she could not talk. Mom told the same stories over and over. Sometimes they varied a bit from telling to telling, but mostly they were always the same. She talked from the moment you walked in the door until you left. You knew every doctor she had, every pill she took, every operation and illness, and every friend that had died and who came to the funeral.

If you went somewhere, mom pointed out all the interesting sites along the way: the local nursing home, her lawyer’s office, the school where your sister used to teach, the church that her brother helped to build, the street where houses used to be before the mill tore them down, and other local sites of immense interest.

So, you ate till you ached, you listened till your ears hurt, and you were glad that mom was still able to tell her stories. You loved her in spite of it all.  Now that mom is gone, you realize that what used to be a minor annoyance was simply mom saying “I love you.”

Now you secretly wonder if you will ever become just like her? You are already telling stories.

(c) 2004 Sheila Moss
Edited to Update
Posted in Family, Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Born Yesterday


I was born yesterday, fell off a turnip truck, and am not playing with a full deck. I don’t have a spam filter or know how to block an email address. I read all my email, especially the ones offering drugs, sex, and online poker. I believe every word I read. They couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true!

I use my real name on social media and register online with my actual date of birth. I shop online and don’t worry about insecure servers or someone stealing my credit card number. I don’t bother checking my credit card bill either. I just pay the minimum payment and don’t worry about it.

I read all the letters I receive online from people whose husbands were tragically killed, leaving them the sole heir to a large sum of money of which they will give me half — if I help them get it out of Nigeria. I’m sitting here just waiting for my share when they deposit the money in my checking account using my bank account number and PIN that I sent them.

I always fill in subscription forms and give my email address for online mailing lists. If I don’t like their newsletters, I can always unsubscribe. You never know, I might miss out on something I really like otherwise… like daily newsletters on bungee jumping, knitting doorknob covers, and cooking with garlic.

I can’t understand why PayPal thinks that someone else is attempting to use my account. But I clicked the link they sent, and gave them my correct ID and password to verify that it was really me, so that should take care of that problem. Funny how I seem to be getting the same notice from my bank and even from banks I’ve never heard of.

I order from any seller on the net that has something I like. I’m not really concerned about verified sellers. I can’t possibly check the history of every single one of them. I’m still trying to figure out how to return the size 14 shoes I received, but the company seems to have moved their website and my email always bounces.

I don’t worry about computer viruses and open all my attachments. I’m not really too worried about some unknown virus. I run virus protection and a pop-up blocker and clean the spyware off my system every once in a while if I happened to think about it. You must be mistaken. I’m sure it isn’t my computer that sent you that virus the other day.

Yes, I was born yesterday, fell off a turnip truck, and am a few cards short of a full deck. I am running on empty, out to lunch, and dancing out of step. I have bugs in my belfry, a loose wire, and forgot to punch the time clock. There’s a sucker born every minute, so I must have a lot of company out there, at least that’s the way it seems.

A thousand emails a month can’t be wrong. And if you believe a word of what I’ve said here, you must have been born yesterday as well. It’s tough work but somebody has to be stupid enough to believe this stuff and keep the spammers, scammers, spoofers, and phishers in business. Welcome to the club!

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
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