Out of the Starting Gate

What am I doing here? I’m from the era of wooden pencils, so let me get my footing before expecting too much of me. I reserve the right to share typos without apology; bore you to tears (or Rocky Road ice cream, that’s better); ramble; and amuse myself far more than I could a reader. So, Dear Reader, Brave Reader, read on. I think that is enough for the first day. I believe I’ll have that Rocky Road ice cream now.


Christmas Shopping Has Begun!

Today I went Christmas shopping with my dear friend, Shel. We live in a somewhat rural area, the closest large city is about 45 miles to the north of our cow-pies, so we usually don’t go up yonder without taking someone along. Today I took her. Too boring to drive alone. What a wonderful way to spend the day (and a sackful of $$).

Where to begin? Okay, we arrived at Fresno (yes, THAT Fresno) at about 10:00 this morning. Our first stop was Burlington Coat Factory. I wish they wouldn’t call it that. I feel like I must buy a coat when I go there, and I usually do. Today I walked out with three bomber jackets and a Spider-Man hoody, for cryin’ out-loud. If I didn’t have to buy all those coats, I could have really stocked up on some very nicely priced high fashion costume jewelry. I brought home a bag of the jewelry anyway, but I could have gotten so much more. Sigh.

After cleaning out Burligton’s, we headed back down Blackstone Avenue to a little Mexican smorgy (do they still call them that?) called Ole Frijole! Ohmigosh! That place brings back so many memories. There used to be one down here in our part of the world, but it shut down years ago. We can’t figure out why, because it was always packed with the hungry masses hereabouts. Be that is it were, our local eatery went by way of the Dodo, and Sundays-after-church have never been the same.

After eating as much as we possibly could, our minds zeroed in on our next spot for spending our hard-earned cash. The next place we went was a discount store called Tuesday Morning. It also used to live in our area, but became extinct just last year. What IS wrong with us? We keep losing all the affordable places to shop and/or eat. Anyway, there we were in the best place for toys! They had two different sets of old-time wooden ABC blocks! I was in Grandma heaven. One set came with a little wooden wagon to carry them around in. So cute. $12.99! I have seen these kind in other stores for $36.00. Amazing. I bought both sets. I can’t say much more on the loot we came off with, because I don’t want to give away Christmas surprises, but Shel and I both found most of Christmas right in that store. I love that place, even if I have to make a day of it to shop there.

Did I tell you about my friend, Shel? I really enjoy spending time with her,because I don’t have to listen to a bunch of gossip or pick through what she says to try to take something positive out of it. She is a good listener when I spout off, and she is a good secret-keeper. Today she asked me about a mutual friend whom we have’t heard much from in a long time. I loved how she brought up what she was curious about without saying anything bad about the person, just how is she and why has she backed off from her friendship and evidently mine? Neither of us could answer that last bit, and so we didn’t speculate. Just let it drop. I appreciate not having to listen to complaints about someone else. Or hearing a list of she did this and she said that. That’s why I love my friend, Shel. If she treats other people like that, I know that’s how she treats me when I’m not there. Pretty special, I say. That Shel.

Anyway, home we came. We found an easy way to her house from the 99 freeway, and I dropped her off, and came home, car loaded with goodies, feeling like Santa in his sleigh.

When I got here Alex told me he and my daughter, Nikki, found PiWockett, and had a funeral for her. She was in a safe place, and hadn’t been disturbed. I was so concerned that something awful had happened to her, but she passed peacefully and was found resting in the neighbor’s wood pile. They buried her under our huge (I’m sure  you can see it from space) mulberry tree. RIP PiWockett. Thank you for the turkey bone.


It appears that our puddy-tat of nearly eighteen years had made her way to the extreme far north, aka cat heaven. She has been ailing lately. Yesterday I made turkey soup, and I gave her the bones and skin (she needed the calories). I put it out by the front sidewalk for her as she had spent the day in my flower box on the front porch. She was so weak and wobbly, but I thought that would give her some strength. Later in the day I went out the front door for something, and she had dragged the biggest bone up on the door mat as a means of saying, “Thank you!” She has has given me similar gifts over the years in the very same spot. It really touched me that she used her strength to pull that heavy bone up two steps for me. It really did.

Very early this morning as I was waking (Like I do about three times during the night!), I heard her voice meow one time. It sounded like she was on my bed. I got up and looked around. I knew she wasn’t in the house, but thought maybe Alex let her in after I went to bed. No. Later, when I got up, I went looking for her. Alex went, too. We couldn’t find her anywhere. But honestly I knew she was gone. I just wanted to find her. We looked and looked. It’s 5:49 PM right now, and she hasn’t come home.

I believe somehow she got to say good-bye to me. Maybe I’m crazy, but it makes me feel better.