Waltz of the Flowers

A number of years ago I took my grandkids to see The Nutcracker Ballet at a local community theater. It is, of course, a classic, performed mostly at Christmas. I have seen it many times before, in fact, when I was child I was a dancing flower in a local performance.

Did you know there were words to the music of “Waltz of the Flowers”? I can never quite remember the lyrics and get them all mixed up. There are numerous versions.  The one I was taught, was the one by Fred Waring, a popular television band leader in former times.

I’m not sure what kind of flower I was supposed to be, a morning glory, I guess. My costume was blue and green. I hated it. The green was supposed represent the stem. My tutu was blue. I wanted to be a pink flower, like a rose. Actually, I wanted to be a white snowflake like my little friend Johnnie who was in the “Dance of the Snowflakes.” But here I was an ugly blue wall flower.

I did not, of course, actually know how to dance. I merely whirled, swirled, and pranced with the other kids in some sort of choreography worked out by adults who supposedly were wise in the ways of dance. We didn’t know this and thought we were actually dancing, in spite of the ugly costumes.

I’m surprised that I like flowers and didn’t grow up warped from the ballet version. Nowadays, I plant flowers, and some of them succeed and some don’t. I seldom plant annuals any more as the perennials have taken over the flower beds. It is probably just as well as digging in dirt does not appeal to me any more than a morning glory costume.

I once had climbing roses all around my back yard. Roses are a lot of work. You have to fertilize, spray, trim and mulch. Even then, they will die back in winter and go wild. So the roses of the world may be more beautiful, but they are no better in the end than the morning glories.

I decided that morning glories might be easier to grow than roses. They are. The first year the blue morning glories were beautiful and greeted me at the back door each day in glorious bloom. The next year wild ones sprang from the seed and I fought morning glory vines in the garden for years afterwards.

I now have several other aggressive flowers that remind me of the wild nature of flowers. Black-eyed Susan’s are bright, yellow flowers from the daisy family. They would happily take over my entire backyard. However, they have to fight for it with the pink primrose, another pretty, but highly invasive flower that has jumped the garden wall and gone wild. So, my flowers are not exactly waltzing these days. It is more like the catfight of flowers.

This morning I woke up and came in the kitchen to find it filled with large poinsettias. I rubbed my eyes. It seems my son went to the hardware store and ran into a special on poinsettia plants. They were so cheap he could not resist buying a half-dozen. I have placed them all over the house. So far, they are well behaved and have remained in the foil-wrapped pots where they belong. I hope they can be trusted.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

Posted in Holidays, Humor, Plants/Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Kitchen Tree

People are beginning to post pictures of Christmas trees on Facebook. A few early birds even posted trees before Thanksgiving. I do not have a tree and am procrastinating the task, as usual. However, I am beginning to feel guilty about my lack of Christmas spirit. What’s wrong with me anyhow?

I used to blame a lack of Christmas spirit on being forced to do Christmas shopping with the crowds and all the stress involved. Now, I do not shop anymore, or at least not in regular stores.  Granny Gift Card is my middle name and Cyber-shopping Mamma is my nickname.

My name should be PayPal Grandma. Since my grandkids found out about iTunes, they do not care about gifts or even gift cards. Now they only want money for their PayPal account. Did you know online game sites will accept only a real Visa card, not a Visa gift card? Ask a teenager if you don’t believe me. At least PayPal is easy.

You may think it would be a relief not to have to shop, but shopping has become so much a part of the American Christmas celebration that it is difficult to get in the spirit without it. After all, it is the stores that decorate for Christmas in October and play non-stop Christmas carols. Commercialism is the subliminal voice of Christmas.

I finally had my son bring down part of the decorations from the attic, the box with my Santa figurines. I have dozens of antique Santas. Don’t worry; I didn’t rob the bank to pay for my collection. I found 99 percent of them at thrift shops. I have a hard time passing one by, but I’ve had to become a bit more selective lately. After all, there is only so much room on the mantel. My hobby is already starting to overflow into the rest of the house.

After looking at the box for several days, I finally opened it and took out the figures. Seeing them made me feel a bit more motivated. Maybe I will put up a tree after all. My granddaughter will help me decorate it. The cats will help me undecorated it, but I’ll try not to think about that part… at least for a while.

The main problem is figuring out where to put the tree. Some people have nice big windows where they always put the tree. I am not one of those people. In today’s smaller homes, a place for a tree can be hard to find, even a small tree. I usually squeeze it into the living room, but it really does make the house seem crowded.

Where can it go? A bedroom? No one would see it in a bedroom. The bathroom? Don’t be ridiculous. Where would it go, in the shower? The garage? I thought I said don’t be ridiculous. The kitchen? That’s it. I’ll try the kitchen this year. Seems like a good idea since I will not have a lot of gifts to put under it anyhow. This will be a first. I don’t think I’ve ever had a kitchen tree before. I’m starting to get excited.

So, Christmas will be a little less than traditional this year, but rules were made to be broken. I didn’t cook a large dinner at Thanksgiving this year, so I can roast a turkey. A tree in the kitchen should be perfect.

Who knows, maybe I’ll start a new trend.

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss    

Posted in Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gourmet Junk Mail

At this time of the year, my mailbox begins to sprout gourmet food gift catalogs. It seems that everyone with your address and a mail order business wants to sell you their goods. I don’t know how they all get my name as I have never ordered anything from most of them. I suppose businesses exchange lists of potential mail-order customers.

The gift catalogs start arriving at the beginning of October. At first it is only a trickle. Before Christmas it becomes an avalanche of sausage and cheese, gourmet popcorn, decorated cookies, gourmet popcorn, spiral hams, gourmet popcorn, fruit baskets, gourmet popcorn, chocolate candy and gourmet popcorn.

I blame my sister for the popcorn. One year she sent me a can of fancy popcorn from The Popcorn Factory. I’m sure it was supposed to be a one-time transaction, not a life-long friendship. They flood you with catalogs not only at Christmas, but all year long. I got even with my sister for giving them my address, though. The next year I sent popcorn to her.

I think these places must have a pretty good idea of what happens to the catalogs shortly after they hit the door. Otherwise, why would they send another one a week later? Maybe they think you will eventually break down and order. Or maybe they think your trash can is full of catalogs sent by the people they gave your address to and there isn’t room for another.

And what do you do with all the fancy tin cans that this stuff comes in anyhow? They are too pretty to throw away, but you really can’t use a decorative tin Christmas can for much … except popcorn. So, I put them in the attic.

When I finally decided to clear the attic out one year, there were dozens of empty cans, too pretty to throw away. I gave them to charity. I don’t know what the charities do with them. Probably sell them back to gourmet gift catalog stores.

This year I got a catalog from a new place called Cheryl’s. Cheryl makes decorated cookies. She really thinks highly of her product. You can get a “free” sample of 6 cookies for $6.99 shipping. That comes out to over dollar a cookie in my book. I had the ridiculous idea that the cost of free stuff was nothing.

We all know that the postal employees play soccer with packages at Christmas, especially when they are marked fragile. With my luck, my friend would end up with a box of gourmet cookie crumbs. I guess they overcharge for stuff to pay for the cost of printing up the glossy color catalogs.

I just bought a tray of decorated cookies at Walmart for $6 and got a couple dozen. Walmart doesn’t pack them in fancy cans and mail them for you, though. Or maybe they do. They just didn’t have my address to send me a catalog.

One year I thought I would save all the catalogs that came and see how many I got in one season. I had to end up throwing them away. By the middle of December, the coffee table collapsed.

After that, I began to have reoccurring nightmares that the gourmet gift catalogs stacked up so high they fell over and buried me. It was awful. What was even more awful was when I checked the mailbox and found my dream coming true.

My sister says she loves to order thing. by mail. By the time the package finally arrives, she has forgotten what she ordered, and it is almost like getting a gift in the mail.

I just thought of a use for the leftover cans. I can use them to hold all the catalogs.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Home Alone

Day 1 – I come home and find the garage door partly open. “What’s going on?” I wonder. I go inside to check and find a strange dog in the garage. Whose dog is that? “Get! Go away! Shoo!”

I guess I will just leave the garage door open until it decides to leave. I’ve seen him around here before, but I’m not sure whose dog he is.

Day 2 – My daughter informs me that the black lab belongs to the neighbors. “They are gone for the week. Something could happen to him”

Yeah, like he could get reported to animal control. But, she makes him a bed in our garage and closes the garage door so he will not get cold.

“Okay, he can stay in the garage until they get back, but he absolutely cannot come in the house. He is not our dog.”

Day 3 – I walk into the kitchen and the dog is sleeping on the rug by the door. “What is that dog doing inside? “Smokey was cold outside.” Smokey? Now it has a name. “He is too afraid to get off the rug. See him shaking?”

Probably afraid the dogcatcher will get him. “Okay, he can sleep on the rug in the kitchen, poor thing, but he absolutely cannot go in the rest of the house. He is not our dog”

Day 4 – My daughter says, “I checked the neighbor’s yard. Smokey’s leash is broken; he chewed though it.

“He has food and water and a warm doghouse to sleep in. But you are not going to make him go outside in the cold rain, are you? They don’t ever let him run loose.”

Meanwhile, the dog is in the garage scratching on the kitchen door. Next thing I know, he will want to bring 20 canine friends inside with him.

“Okay, he can sleep here until they get back, but he has to stay outside except at night. He is not our dog.”

Day 5 – The door to my grandson’s bedroom is closed. I knock on the door and the dog answers, “Woof”

“What is that dog doing in the bedroom? He is supposed to stay in the kitchen! He is not our dog.”

“He is sleeping on the floor, grandma! He likes it in here better than in the kitchen. He is lonesome.”

Am I the only one that suspects a conspiracy? “Okay, he can sleep here, but just on the floor, and just until the neighbors get home! He is not our dog.”

Day 6 – The dog is in my grandson’s bed, stretched out on the bedspread, snoring.

“What is that mutt doing in the bed? Lonesome? How can he be lonesome? Why isn’t he outside? No, you can’t keep him! He is somebody else’s dog!”

Day 7 – The neighbors are home! Yippee! I see their car in the driveway. I immediately give the dog his walking papers and put him out the back door without any luggage or spending money.

The dog walks through the wet grass, slowly drags himself to the neighbor’s house and scratches the door. No doubt he is pretending that he was locked out the whole time, was cold and hungry, and was chased by wild cats. He had to chew through his collar to escape and is lucky to be alive.

I have not seen the dog since they came back. I’m sure they have no idea that their mongrel was sleeping in the neighbor’s bed, dining on the neighbor’s dog food, being petted by the neighbor’s daughter and spoiled by the neighbor’s grandson.

They are probably so happy to have their dog come home unharmed that they will lavish him with affection and promise never to leave him home alone again.

Actually, there is no point in leaving him home alone. The next time they go somewhere, they might as well leave him with us. We wouldn’t want him to be lonesome.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

Posted in Humor | 1 Comment

Scarecrow Interview

Here I am, standing out in the middle of a muddy cornfield trying to interview a scarecrow. Pumpkins are more popular at this time of the year, but, unfortunately, the Great Pumpkin was not available due to a previous commitment.

Thank you for agreeing to speak with me tonight, Mr. Scarecrow. People don’t really know a lot about scarecrows. Maybe you can enlighten us about what it is exactly that you do.

You work really hard at your occupation, keeping the corn crop safe from harmful crows so they don’t destroy it, don’t you?

No, not really, I just sort of hang around. The crows supposedly think I am an actual human, get scared, fly away and don’t eat up the corn before it can be harvested.

What do you mean “supposedly?”

Crows are not as dumb as people seem to think. They know the difference between clothes stuffed with straw and a real person. They fly around my head laughing, even land on my shoulders at times. You should see some of the corn roasts and bonfires out here at night.

Isn’t it your job to scare the crows? Why don’t you bust them?

I’m just a straw man. Do I look like a cop in this straw hat? I shoo them away; they come right back. It’s like a game with them.

Maybe you could use a shotgun! They wouldn’t laugh then!

Farmers always want to shoot them, but straw men have no brains. You can’t give a gun to someone without a brain, contrary to what some people seem to believe. Anyhow, I don’t believe in violence. Live and let live I say.

You sound pretty smart to me.

Thanks, I will take that as a compliment.

Do you ever get to spend any time outside the cornfield?

Believe it or not, I am an actor. I have had some excellent parts. Remember “The Wizard of Oz?” and “The Wiz?” The great Nathanial Hawthorn wrote about an ancestor being brought to life by a witch. I’ve worked for Disney, in comics with Batman, and am featured in many other books and films. You might say that I am outstanding in my field. Pardon the pun.

Do you try to keep a positive attitude? It must be hard working most of the time on a menial job that doesn’t utilize your potential.

It has its benefits. The crows are pesky, but kids love to visit me and run through my corn mazes. I love spending time entertaining the kids. I don’t mind the long hours and enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air.

So, actually you are a guy with a soft heart and a good nature?

Yes, I’m stuffed with straw, so I how can I be anything but soft? I may not be handsome, but there is nothing wrong with being comfortable in jeans and old plaid shirt. The straw hat I don’t really need, but it is sort of a trademark in the scarecrow profession.

Well, thanks again for your time, Mr. Scarecrow. I had no idea there was so much to know about scarecrows.

So. that’s it from the cornfield, folks.

Kerchoo! Kerchoo! Drat my hay fever is acting up — just an occupational hazard of my profession when interviewing a scarecrow.

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Seventy Year Old Car

Clackity, clackity, clackity. “What is that noise?” I wondered. No, the left-turn signal was not on this time. I could not tell where the sound was coming from. When the car stopped, the noise stopped too. “It will probably go away,” I thought. “It’s nothing.”

But like cavities in your teeth, funny car noises do not heal themselves. I am mechanically impaired, but I did have a car once that had clattering valves. Could it be valve clatter?

I asked my daughter to listen to it. “I don’t hear anything,” she said. That proves it. It’s nothing.

Later I found some green oily-looking stuff on the floor of the garage. “It looks fresh, but it is probably old. The car is running and none of the gages show anything. It is okay,” I told myself. “There is nothing seriously wrong.”

Okay, so my car is 70 years old in car years. Supposedly, if you divide the mileage by the year, you can find out how old a car is in human years. But I take really good care of it. I give it only premium gas, I change its oil every time I am supposed to. I have it serviced at a dealership. So, why is it leaking oil and making a noise? It has only been driven by a little old lady at 35 mph.

“The car is making that noise again. I heard it today,” my daughter informed me. We could not both be imagining the same noise, could we? Face it, the car is a senior citizen.

I have things to do and places to go. I don’t have time for the car to have a senior moment. But I don’t have time to get stranded on the road either, or have the noise get worse and tear up the entire motor.

Suddenly, fixing the car became an emergency.

I called Cindy at the auto shop and made an appointment. “It is making a clackity sound,” I told Cindy. “It only does it when the car is moving.” I didn’t tell her what I thought it was. No use suggesting something expensive. They have diagnostic equipment and expert mechanics.

Cindy called me later. “It is the serpentine belt,” she said. I didn’t know what that was, but I was happy when she told me they could replace it. “We are not sure about the leak,” she said. “I want the transmission guy to look at it and he is out of town this week. Can you bring it back?”

Transmission? My heart stopped as I watched hundred-dollar bills sprout wings and fly out of my purse. “Okay, I will bring it back.” I was sure it was going to have a spasm and drop the entire transmission on the Interstate somewhere on the way home.

Nothing is worse than having a car that is over the hill and not dependable. Finally, the next week came and I took it back, knowing the car was senile and the diagnosis could be chronic.

I called Cindy later to check on it. “Oh, Joe is working on another job,” she said. “I’ll have to tell him to check it.” In a while she called back. “It is the transmission oil pan.” She said. I didn’t know what that was either, but it sounded better than a fried transmission. “We will have to service the transmission, but he should have it ready today before we close.”

What a relief. It will not be pushing up daisies for a while yet. Seventy is the new 50. Maybe I will fill up the gas tank and take it to the car wash, just to let it know I am not ready to put it out to pasture.

I only wish cars had Medicar.

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss

Posted in Automotive, Humor | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Eater

Autumn has arrived, time for falling leaves, apple cider, and especially for those orange orbs that seem to invade all aspects of life at this time of year… pumpkins. I think pumpkins are great as a fall decoration and make a lovely jack-o-lantern. But pumpkins are not content to remain where they belong. They have jumped the garden wall.

Case in point: We went out for pancakes for breakfast last week. What was the breakfast menu special? Pumpkin pancakes, what else. I don’t think so. I tried them once, and I really am not so fond of pumpkin that I want it in my pancakes, or my cereal, my muffin, or in pumpkin spice cream cheese on a bagel.

Peter in the children’s nursery rhyme was a pumpkin eater, at least according to legend. He may have been fond of pumpkin, but between us, I don’t even like pumpkin pie, especially not with pumpkin whipped cream on it.

Pumpkin has even assaulted the coffee menu at Starbucks with a pumpkin spice latte. It has been recently revealed that this coffee has no actual pumpkin; it is only pumpkin flavoring that makes it taste as if it has pumpkin. In a way that is even worse. Artificial pumpkin is like a plastic jack-o-lantern.

Pumpkin is baked into almost anything you can think of now, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and cookies. There is even a pumpkin-flavored peanut butter. For some unfathomable reason, fall just isn’t festive without pumpkin in almost any food you can think of.

Google your favorite food and add pumpkin. There is almost nothing you can find that is not available in some sort of pumpkin version. I searched for pumpkin spaghetti and found all kinds of pumpkin pasta and casseroles. I suppose it is not that big a leap from vegetable spaghetti if you think about it.

Pumpkin dessert pizza comes complete with a jack-o-lantern face; pumpkin ice-cream is only available in the fall. How about a pumpkin veggie-burger slider drizzled with honey? Do you want fries with that — pumpkin fries, that is. Well, they make fries from sweet potatoes, don’t they? What did you expect?

Not only has pumpkin overrun every aspect of the human culinary world, it is even found in pet food. It is good for an animal’s digestion the label says. I have a feeling it is also good for the pocketbooks of pumpkin farmers. My dog will eat about anything if it thinks it is a treat, or if it is buried deep enough in something that is meat flavored.

Not only have pumpkin people taken over the kitchen, they have also invaded the world of health and beauty. You can bath with pumpkin scented soap, wash your hair with pumpkin shampoo, soften your skin with pumpkin lotion, give yourself a pumpkin and sugar facial, squirt a bit of pumpkin cologne behind your ear, dab on a bit of orange pumpkin lipstick and finish your beauty routine with pumpkin-scented feminine hygiene products.

If it can be scented, it can be made to smell like a pumpkin. Scent the air with a pumpkin-spice air freshener or light a pumpkin scented candle for a romantic evening. It’s enough to drive you to drink — if it wasn’t for pumpkin-flavored cocktails.

Somehow this lowly fruit has taken over our common sense. I am content to confine pumpkins to fall decorations for the front porch. I do not want pumpkins in my kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or anywhere else in my house. I do not want to roast pumpkin-flavored marshmallows, make turkey pumpkin chili, or smell like I’m married to a pumpkin pie.

Get thee back to the pumpkin patch, orange gourd! Fall has been commercialized to the point of ad nauseam. Enough pumpkin is enough, even for Peter, pumpkin eater.

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss

Posted in Food, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Get Out of Dodge

Usually I try ti stick to humor, but once in a while, I have to have my say. Agree or disagree if you want. I know there are many who think otherwise, but for Pete’s sake, people, it’s time to use a little common sense.

Sometimes I have to wonder about people and why they make the choices that they do. Oklahoma is not only in tornado alley, it is the bull’s eye for storms. For some reason people continue to choose to live there and dodge tornadoes like bullets, hoping that Mother Nature will be a bad shot. They are “used to tornadoes.” How can you get “used” to a tornado?

I don’t get it.

“We know other people who have been hit, and this time it was our turn,” says one woman, with resolve, as if there is no opportunity to do anything else but sit in harm’s way with your fingers crossed and hope statistics don’t catch up with you. Some people are hit not only in one devastating tornado, but are hit again later. I think I would give up on the laws of probability and take matters into my own hands.

Most people say they don’t know how they survived. “I hid in the closet, in the bathtub, or in the hall under a mattress. I was lucky. God must have winked and let me survive.” So, what if God doesn’t wink next time? Should people continue to depend on God winking, or does God expect people to take some responsibility for their own safety?

I don’t get it.

Oklahoma people are resilient, they say on the news. In a year it will all be rebuilt. People in Oklahoma come from hardy stock. They are cowboys, oil workers, people whose ancestors claimed the land in land races. It will all be rebuilt with the help of the taxpayers and the insurance companies. It will rise from the debris in plenty of time for the next big one.

A few more people will build storm cellars or concrete bunkers to hide from the storms. Regular wood, plywood, and particle board cannot possibly stand up against 200 mph winds with the force of a mega bomb. Houses can be reinforced with steel and made somewhat more resistant, but they are still only wood.

The only thing that can withstand a force like that is a home built like a bomb shelter with reinforced concrete walls and roof. Not very attractive or practical and probably very expensive, but maybe it is time to consider something other than conventional wood homes if people must live where it is only a matter of time.

People do not like to relocate. They are tied to a geographical area by jobs, friends, family, and community. Is Oklahoma really that great, or just what is familiar? It seems to me when everything familiar is gone would be the best time to throw in the towel and go elsewhere.

Most tornadoes happen in what is called “tornado alley,” the plains between the Rockies and the Appalachians, where the land is flat and where moist air from the Gulf and cold air from the north meet. The two fronts collide and begin to spin as hot air rises. Then the spin becomes vertical and a tornado is born.

Granted, no place is totally immune from natural disasters, whether it is tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires or floods. But it seems better to play Russian roulette where there are fewer bullets in the chamber.

The changes of being hit are greater than ever. Most tornadoes are small, not the large super-cell type. Only a few usually achieve that status. However, we know that storms are becoming bigger and more frequent due to global warming.

I don’t get it. I will never get it.

All I can say is it is time to get out of Dodge while Mother Nature is still blowing the smoke out of her pistol.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss
Updated 2022

Posted in Rants, Weather | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Giant-Sized Pumpkin

My granddaughter was visiting and, as usual, moping around that she had nothing to do. Since computers came along, kids have the idea that they should be entertained 24/7, but even computer games become boring after a while.

Kids need activities to keep them occupied. “Why don’t you ask your dad to take you to the pumpkin farm?” The pumpkin farm is not too far from where I live and has all sorts of things for kids to do, like a petting zoo, a corn maze, hayrides and, of course, all sizes of pumpkins.

Apparently, she took me up on the suggestion as I later noticed a giant-size pumpkin on the patio. The rule when I took my kids to get pumpkins was that they must be able to pick up and carry the pumpkin to the car. This was a handy rule as I had three kids and two hands. It also kept the size of the pumpkins under control. The rule has obviously passed into oblivion as this gourd was so large I don’t know how my son got it into his truck without a ramp.

The pumpkin sat on the patio for about a week undisturbed. I wasn’t sure what the plan was, so I ignored the large orange orb and waited. When my granddaughter came the following weekend, I asked her what she planned to do with the pumpkin. “Dad and I are going to make a jack-o’-lantern,” she proclaimed.

I later noticed a bowl of pumpkin seeds on the kitchen counter. Then I discovered the pumpkin in the garage, minus the insides. I guess they ran out of steam before they finished and so the half-carved jack-o’-lantern spent the night on the garage floor.

The next day I spied my grandchild carrying the over-sized pumpkin across the patio. Now it had a face. I don’t know how she was able to lift it. Maybe it was lighter without the messy stuff inside or maybe where there is a will there is a way.

The large fruit was very fanciful, much more so than the ones I used to make with triangles for eyes and nose.  Granddaughter said she picked out the design on the internet and the pumpkin was exactly like the picture.  My son carved the entire thing by hand, which must have been difficult as the bigger the pumpkin, the tougher its skin.

I saw an article on the internet that said the easy way to carve a pumpkin is with an electric jigsaw. You can also use a drill to make holes and create fanciful designs. However, I didn’t get a chance to pass this information along. Doing it the old-fashioned way is probably more fun anyhow.

After the child left, I brought the pumpkin inside and dipped it in bleach water, which is supposed to help prevent mold and fungus and make it last longer. I found that little tip in the same article where I found out about using power tools.

I decided to keep the jack-o’-lantern in the house where it is cooler until she comes back to visit again. After all the work, I would hate for it to rot before she has a chance to enjoy it. So, the orange sculpture is on my kitchen table grinning away. It has a small orange light inside. I guess putting candles in them also went out of fashion while I was not watching, just like triangle-shaped eyes.

The next weekend there were two pumpkins on the patio, the second remarkably similar to the first, obviously copied from the same picture.

“Where did the new pumpkin come from?”

“My other grandmother’s house!” 

I may soon have an entire pumpkin farm on my patio. That’s okay, though, since my grandchild is smiling too, just like the pumpkin.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

Posted in Crafts/Hobbies, Family, Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Cancelled Flight

Out of the thousands of airplane flights each day, most go right but a few go wrong. We seldom praise an airline for doing what they are supposed to do, but we never forget to complain when the flight goes wrong. Almost everyone who flies sooner or later has a story to tell. Here’s mine.


We arrive at the airport, boarding passes in hand, only to find our flight has been cancelled. We had been on vacation in New England and were ready to go home. Not to worry, United Air changed us to Delta. I hate Delta’s self-service kiosks and small, crowded planes without enough room for luggage. I try to avoid them.

The ticket agent had booked us for the last two seats available. How lucky can you get? Not very, as Delta somehow ticketed us to Las Vegas instead of Nashville. Thank goodness, we noticed the tickets were wrong and returned to the Delta service counter.

While the baggage handler made a mad dash to retrieve our checked luggage before it took a trip to Las Vegas without us, we tried to get tickets to the right place. As luck would have it, the final two seats were now gone and there were no more flights to Nashville until tomorrow.

I’ve seen this movie, people spending the night in the airport sleeping on suitcases. No, thanks.

“If you can get to Boston,” says the Delta manager who magically appeared from somewhere to straighten out the mess, “We can get you on a flight from there.”

Boston? Might as well be the moon. We do not know the area, will have to rent a car, figure out our way there during rush hour, all before our flight leaves. It isn’t happening. I’d rather spend the night in the airport than be lost on the freeway looking for Boston.

Clicking her computer, the manager said we could fly to Boston for a mere $40 each on a connector flight. I didn’t want to spend the money, but at least we would not be lost in Boston in the fog and rain. Did I forget to mention it was raining?

“Okay, let’s do it!” I said.

However, there were apparently no seats available on the commuter flight either. By now I am sitting on the baggage counter with my luggage, watching other customers check in and rush off to the security gate. I wondered if they were all going to Las Vegas.

I hate Delta.

“I think they have forgotten us,” I murmur, as computer keys click, and airport staff ignore us.

Eventually, the magic fairy god-manager returns. “This is not policy,” she says, “but I’ve made arrangements to get you to Boston by ground transport. Take this voucher and go to the taxi stand.

I knew it! She has turned a pumpkin into a taxi! I hope this isn’t their way of getting rid of us, I think, as we pull luggage around in the rain and look for a pumpkin.

The taxi driver found us. “Are you the couple I’m taking to Boston?” he asks. So, we are chauffeured in a courtesy car for the hour-long drive to Boston.

I love Delta.

The driver droped us at the door of Logan International Airport. At the ticket counter, they figured out an itinerary and fretted because we were somehow double charged for luggage, probably due to the Las Vegas fiasco. They decide to write off luggage charges.

I love Delta.

Going through security, I got a pat down when I set off the security alarm. The body scanner was on the blink, and they were doing things the old-fashioned way. I guess they thought I was a terrorist instead of an old lady with knee impants. Where was my fairy god-manager when I needed her to turn some security officers into mice?

However, we had plenty of time. The plane was late, delayed by weather and circling the airport for the third time. We were flying through Detroit to get a flight to Nashville. If we missed the Detroit connection, we would be stranded again. Maybe we should have gone to Vegas.

Detroit Metro was a bland, no-nonsense sort of airport. We barely made our connection and finally flew home to Nashville.

Did I mention… I love Delta!

Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss
Previously titled “Airport”

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