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Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Bow Beau Season! Or What Really Happened to the Mayans?


By Jody Worsham, co-author “Kin We’re Not Related To”

All rights reserved for Dictionary of Homonyms and Jerky

“Tomorrow is opening day for bow season,” yells the nine-year old.

“I don’t care.  I already have a beau,” comes from the just-learned-a-new-word-and-turning-obnoxious thirteen-year-old.

“Great!  We can go shoot’em.”

“M-a-a-a-a-m-a-a-a-a-. “

In the past, the opening of bow season was a time of peace and quiet.  At 4a.m. on opening day, Dr. Hubby would grab his compound bow, a thermos of coffee and head out for the deer stand.  If he got a deer, he would bring it home, dress it, and later, over breakfast, he would tell me all about it.  The children would awaken an hour later and after hearing the story from the original Deer Slayer, would offer comments like “That’s nice.  Can we go play?”

Today preparation for Deer Season Opening Day for Bows (sounds like a red neck concerto doesn’t it?) began with me making yet another trip to Wal-Mart.  This time for hot chocolate, in case the temperature was below 80, Dr. Peppers in case the temperature was above 80, Honey Buns in case somebody got hungry, and an extra charger so the  I-pod could be fully charged in case the deer were late showing up and somebody got restless. 

The inner-layer being taken care of, it was time to start on the outer layer.  The outer layer actually began during the summer with an extension added on to the deer stand to accommodate a cot, an additional window, and carpet.

 Now it was time for the clothing.  Camouflaged shirt, camo  pants, camo socks, camo underwear (don’t ask), camo jackets, camo boots and camo bows were located. 

 Three alarms were set for 4a.m., as if the nine-year-old would actually go to sleep.  Both old and young checked the deer cameras that had been previously set.  They checked the weather forecast again and the feeding table for deer.  (Aren’t deer always hungry?).  They were ready.

In the meantime preparations for Beau Season were underway with the thirteen-year-old.  It was time for the “Big Harvest Costume Dance”.    Being competitive and a theatre arts teacher, I was all for creating the winning costume.  She was all about creating the “right look”. 

“How about these jeans and this top?” I suggested.

“Noooo.  Those jeans make me look fat.”

“They didn’t make you look fat two days ago.”

“Maaaaaaama…..”

“Sorry.  What about the top?”

“No, that won’t look good if it is a fast song.”

“There’s a special wardrobe for fast dances?” I foolishly asked.

“My   arms    will   show   if   it   is  a   fast  dance” she said patiently and slowly  as if speaking to a hearing challenged teen-fashion alien, which I guess I am.

After going through her entire wardrobe, she settled on a batman shirt and the same jeans that an hour ago had made her look fat.    

Then it was on to the false eyelashes, her one concession to a costume look.  No matter how she attached the lashes, she ended up looking like a deranged spider.  Even I agreed she looked more like Spider Woman than Batman’s wife.   She ditched the lashes.   Once she got the adhesive removed, she looked normal.  Ok, maybe a little red around the eyes, but I kept my mouth shut.

I dropped her off at school for the dance, then came back home to help load the truck for the Bambi Safari.  The nine-year-old decided to sleep in all his camo clothes.  “It will save time in the morning.  I can just wake up and shoot a deer.”  I hope he gets out of the house first.

I picked up the scowling thirteen-year-old from the dance.  On the not so silent ride home, I learned that Beau #1 had turned into a real jerk.  Great!  Tomorrow with my luck I will spend the day dealing with beau jerky and deer jerky. 

As I was hanging up the car keys, I noticed the souvenir Mayan calendar on the wall.  Youth Bow Season and the beginning of Thirteen-year-old Obnoxious Beau Days had occurred on the same date.  Now I know what really happened to the Mayans.

Happy Bow Beau Day!  Oh deer, oh dear!

 

 

 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Canned Quilt


By Jody Worsham, co author "Kin We're Not Related To:

All rights reserved for Cream of Quilt Soup

I entered my chicken scratch quilt in our Piney Woods County Fair Craft Show.   Now what is a chicken scratch quilt, you may ask, and rightly so. 
 

Chicken scratch is a sewing technique whereby you fill in the squares of gingham print by sewing double X’s over the white squares,  then sewing single X’s and connecting them in a circle using embroidery thread.

 And what is gingham print you ask as if you understood exactly what I just wrote?   Gingham is woven checked material. 

 The quilt is going to be auctioned to the highest bidder at our school’s Fall Festival Fund Raiser in late October, so I thought this would be a good way to get the quilt seen and to advertise the festival.

 I did not expect to place.  I did not expect to win.  I did not expect the unexpected. 

I shall explain.

There are age divisions within the craft show as well as categories.  There was no age division for “Jesus was my next door neighbor” so I just entered as an adult.  “Kin We’re Not Related To” has just been published so if they have not read the book, then my “adult” status would not be challenged.  Category was a different matter.

There was no quilt category so I had a choice of:  A) Cross-stitch, B) Miscellaneous, or C) Specialty Sewing, French Hand Sewing.   I had to register my project before 6p.m.  I waited for all of the other entries to come in before submitting mine, trying to gauge the competition in each category and working up the courage to enter at all.  There were already a bunch of cross-stitch pieces entered and miscellaneous would have me competing with popsicle ash trays and scrapbooks.  That left category C.  

The ladies at the registration table were scrutinizing each entry.  I decided my best bet was to go for Specialty Sewing, French Hand Sewing.  To be on the safe side, I threw in a little French accent.

“Si vous plait.  Pleaze, e vish to enter theeze quilt with zee special cross-stitch in how you say Specialty Sewing for the French.”

They looked at me, at the quilt, and back at me. They huddled together discussing the various aspects of the quilt and my ancestry.  I heard

“It’s a quilt.” 

“No, look at the cross-stitching. It’s cross-stitching.

Yes, but it is a specialty cross-stitching.”

 “Y’all, I don’t think she’s Southern.” 

Then they looked over at me.   I was afraid one of them was going to say “I remember you.  You taught me in high school as well as my daughter and her daughter and my great-great-grandniece,” but they didn’t.  Finally one of the ladies handed me a Category C: Specialty Sewing, French Hand Sewing registration form.  I was in.

The next day while my children were competing in the broiler show, I checked back to see if my quilt had been placed in a good position for advertising the Fall Festival. 

There in the corner of the display room was my quilt with a huge purple ribbon with “SWEEPSTAKES WINNER” written in fake gold letters.  I checked around.  Nobody else had a fake gold lettered purple ribbon.  Then I saw it.  Overshadowed by the loops of the big purple bow was the coveted blue ribbon.



FIRST PLACE   CANNING.

 Maybe they thought, since I was French, I wouldn’t notice.  Or maybe they ran out of FIRST PLACE  CRAFT ribbons.  Or maybe they read my book.

Anyone want to bid on a First Place Blue Ribbon Sweepstakes winning canned chicken scratch quilt?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hawaii Five-Go! How to Sell Your Book


By Jody Worsham, co-author "Kin We're Not Related to"

All rights reserved for Author’s “Birth of a Salesman”

After giving birth to a new book, I am like those first time parents who greet you at the door and shove their new baby in your face with "Look what I made”… only I add “Here, take it home with you.  It’s free.”


Wanda Argersinger, my co-author, keeps telling me I have to SELL the book, not give it away, but I view it as spreading the laughter about.  If I give it away, they will laugh and maybe tell their neighbors "No you can't borrow my book, buy one of your own."  So far I have spread the laughter to Boston, Louisiana, Dallas, Blooming Grove, to my dentist,  family members and one to a total stranger.

I am afraid I am not a salesperson.   I don’t think I could sell life rafts on the Titanic.

 I don’t mind driving around with “Kin We’re Not Related To” letters stuck to the rear window of my suburban.  I can wear a t-shirt with the cover of our book splattered on the back.  I can even convert a normal white blazer into a “book jacket” with pockets for the paperback books.  I can create a miniature cardboard outhouse and stack the books inside for a table display.  I can drill a hole in the book and tie it to the outhouse door and advertise it as a “clean humor.”  I can drop the tailgate on the truck and sit in the Wal-Mart parking lot, where people hawk puppies, with a big sign saying “Funny Book for Sale”.  I can dress up in a white wig, cat eye glasses, purple polyester pant suit, and make a you-tube book trailer with no problem.

 It seems I have a knack for creative marketing and no fear of stupidity; just don’t ask me to come up to people and say “Buy my book.”

At the rate I am going, I cannot afford to write a second book without taking a second mortgage on the farm.  So far I am my own biggest customer at Create Space Books.  If my loan goes through, I may single handedly  move “Kin We’re Not Related To” from 1,543,908 to #1 on Amazon’s Best Seller List.  If everyone in your town has our book, it is probably because I flew over in a helicopter dropping books out by the box full.

I really need to overcome my aversion to self-horn-tooting and selling if for no other reason than so my children can go out in public without a bag over their head.   There is only one thing to do:  hire a salesman named Daniel. 

Then I can say “Book’em, Dan-o.”

Friday, September 19, 2014

Smart Cars are Too...


By Jody Worsham, co author "Kin We're Not Related To"

All rights reserved for “Driving for Dummies”  

“Tower, this is Medicare Mom Six-Niner, ready for takeoff.”

“I read you loud and clear Medicare Mom.  I have you on GPS and a visual. Rear camera is alive. Dogs, bicycles, and fences are out of range.  You are cleared for takeoff. Start your engine.

“Engine START.”

“Medicare Mom this is the tower; voice recognition is not available on this model.  Use the key."

“Roger that Tower.  Inserting the key, ignition ignited, now adjusting seat elevation.”

“Roger that; you are doing fine.”

“Tower, the running lights are malfunctioning.”

 “That’s because you activated the rear windshield wiper."

“Turning off the windshield wiper….now.”

“That’s the alarm.”

“Disengaging the alarm…now.”

“On Star how may I help you?”

“Disengaging On Star….now.”

“That’s the radio.”

 
“On Star, do you need assistance?"

“Re-disengaging On Star…now."

“Medicare Mom, this is the Tower.   Just hit menu”.

“Oh, good, can I order McDonald’s now?”

 “No.  That is the menu for selecting which screen you want.”

“I knew that.  Tower, would you check the thermal readings.  It seems a bit warm.”

“Thermal readings are within normal range.  You have activated the driver’s seat seat warmer.   Locate the thermal seat actuator, located to your right below Screen A, disengage by tapping not swiping.”

“Tower, Medicare Mom here, could you repeat that. The windows are fogging up."

“Medicare Mom , below Screen A.”

“Tower, searching for Screen A, is that for the air conditioner?  Is it that a red button”

“No.  Do not touch the red button.  I repeat, do not touch the red button."

 “Tower, if the red button is for air conditioner, I’m touching it.”

“Medicare Mom, the red button is SOS.  It is a special button to be used only in emergencies.  Do you copy?”

“Tower, I copy.  The red button, SOS, Stamp Out Stupidity. Must be used in D.C. a lot.  Tower it is HOT in here."

“Tell you what we are going to do, Medicare Mom.  Look to your right… that’s your left...right RIGHT.  Now look for the picture of a chair with wavy lines coming off of it. That is the car seat seat warmer.  Push that little BLACK square with your finger.”

“Pushing BLACK square ...now.  Thanks, Tower.  Temperature is dropping.”

“So am I, dropping off duty that is.  Medicare Mom, I’m turning you over to Supervisor Bitt. He will take it from here.”

“Medicare Mom Six-Niner, this is Ray.  Let’s take this one step at a time.”

“Roger, Ray Bitt.”
 

 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

GMC, Chrysler, Chevy Listen Up, Down, and Over


By Jody Worsham, co author "Kin We're Not Related To"

All rights reserved for automatic covered wagon

Recently I have been watching car commercials, the ones where the car automatically stops before your foot hits the brake or stops when you are about to back into something.  There was even one where the car automatically signaled that a car was in your blind spot. Considering that yesterday I took out the picket fence… for the second time, but not in the same day, I am considering getting one of those.

I already have a car that has a backup camera that beeps at me when I get too close to a curb, bush, basket, or anything within range but it only shows what is directly behind me. It can tell me how to get from A to B, if I have an address, where the nearest gas station is or McDonald’s which is equally important.  If I am running low on gas, my car will beep at me.  It ding-dings if I forget my seat belt.  It dongs and flashes if I leave the turn signal on too long.  I can even speak to it and have it call someone.  The control panel resembles that of a 747 airplane.  Want to know air pressure in any of the tires?  Push a button. What that means, I don’t know. Want to adjust the temperature for passengers to the left or in the back seat, push a button.  Pretty smart car.

However, I figure if I wait just a bit, I can purchase the ultimate car of the future.  First, and most importantly, this car is going to have a trash compactor for McDonalds cups, wrappers, and straws, old homework papers, newspapers, flyers, notes from school, plastic bags  and other assorted debris that will then be converted into fuel.

Next it is going to have a computer program that allows me to log in all the times for the kids’ karate lessons, ballet lessons, games, practices, orthodontist appointments, and school holidays, then I won’t leave one sitting at the ballet studio for 30 minutes like I did on Wednesday.  When I turn on the key, the car will ask “Do you have both children?  Today is pizza day, no need for lunch kits. School starts at 8:05 you are ten minutes behind schedule take FM213 and proceed at 67 miles per hour."

It will have an automatic locking accelerator and doors that will activate when it senses I am turning into Wal-Mart for the third time that day.  That alone will save me enough money to pay for the device.

One of the best features it will have is the automatic full length Plexiglas backseat divider that will rise from the seat the minute any anatomical part of either passenger’s anatomy crosses the DMZ.  It will also have a noise activated front seat sound-proof barrier that will drop whenever sound from the back seat reaches 3.9 decibels.

It will also have cameras on both sides of the vehicle as well as behind and in front of each wheel that can detect bicycles, trash cans, backpacks, skates, dogs, frogs, balls, and chickens.  Upon detection a mechanical voice will sound “Warning! Warning! Danger! Will Robinson,” like in "Lost in Space" or in my case “Warning, picket fence and all objects within 100 yards, Warning.”

The best safety feature will be the chauffer device.  At the end of the day, when my rear-end is touching the axil and the sun is sinking below the horizon, I will put the car on “Chauffer” simply say “Home, Jeems.”

American car makers, take note!  My husband has cash.
Tip: Hook a Wal-Mart sack around any knob in your car for disposable litter bag. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Kee Kee Koo Koo! Kee Kee Koo Koo!


By Jody Worsham, co author, FINALLY, to "Kin We're Not Related To"

All rights reserved for an agent or mid-wife

I guess it is fitting that the book is being born on Labor Day.   But having no previous experience with giving birth to anything, I was not prepared.

As most of you know I have eight adopted children.  God knew what He was doing when He sent me six children already house broken, walking, and eating solid food before He sent me a one day old baby.  But nothing has prepared me for giving birth to a book.

The gestation period for human babies is nine months.  James Patterson may be able to pop out a book in 53 days like my Shih Tzu pops out puppies in that same amount of time, but I think I am more between the Asiatic elephant and the Alpine Salamander.  The elephant’s gestation period is one year and ten months while the viviparous amphibian, The Alpine Salamander is pregnant for three years and two months. I have been carrying  this book around for two years and three months.

It took a year to write it, a year to re-write it so it made sense, then 92 days to figure out the business end.

Here it is Labor Day and the book is born.  Now what?

When I announced the birth to my Christian Writers’ Group, one member asked “How do you feel?  Are you excited?”

How do I feel?  I didn’t know.  Numb?  Depressed?  I said “I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout birthin’ no book but from what other mothers/authors have said, I think I’m suffering from postpartum depression.  I’ve wagged this thing around for almost two and half years and all of a sudden, here it is—out in the open for all to see. And it’s little and it doesn’t do anything.  It just lays there.”

 Since I am not a normal mother, maybe I am not a normal writer.  I don’t think I am a normal writer.  What if people don’t buy the book?  What if they do and don’t laugh?  I didn’t laugh.  I mean I grinned a few times but is that worth $8.53 cents plus shipping?  But then I am always surprised when people do laugh.

So what should I do?  I can’t take it back.  It’s too late.  It’s out there.  People know!  Besides, I am not the only author.  Even if I could delete my half, then Wanda Argersinger’s half would not make any sense.

This is all Wanda’s fault anyway.  She’s had children.  She's even published books before.  She should have warned me about PPP, Post Partum Panic.  It was all fun and games when she said “Let’s write a book” and dumb me, not knowing what was ahead, said "Ok."  I may never speak to her again!

Of course now that I look more closely at it, it does look kind of cute with its little red cover.  It may have been Wanda’s art work, but it was my idea.  And the stories are laughable.  And later, years later, when I see it on a table at Barns and Noble I will think "Wanda and I created this little book of laughs." It took both of us to make this book.  Ok, maybe I will talk to her…tomorrow.

So maybe I will buy 30 copies myself and give them to my family.  Families always think your baby is darling and cute even if it is ugly and not so funny.

But what if they recognize some of the characters in the book?  What if they talk to each other?  What if they compare stories? They won't know it is all made up based on facts.  If they see themselves in the book, my family tree will look like it has been pruned down to a nub.  I will be family-less.  Cut from the will.  Chopped off the tree.  Excommunicated.  A literary orphan.  A…A... uh oh! I feel another attack of PPP coming on.  Kee kee koo koo! Kee kee koo koo!
Tip:  Read this book, then pass it on as a gift.

“Kin We're Not Related To” by Wanda Argersinger and Jody Worsham is available at Amazon.com and Create Space Books in both paperback and e-book form in English unless Jody hit the wrong button. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Where was Moses When the Lights Went Out?


By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for New England LED Lantern

Where was Moses when the lights went out?  If you said Wal-Mart you are right.  Well, Moses, Bobbie, Sharon, Jerry, Steve, me and about 200 other people.  We were all in Wal-Mart the other day when the store lost power.

Now losing electricity is a common occurrence when you live behind the Pine Cone Curtain.  Tall pine trees, shallow root system, soaked earth, and a gentle breeze will almost guarantee falling pines and downed power lines. And when you are at home it can be an inconvenience for an hour or two or eight but when you are in Wal-Mart, well that is a black-out of another color.

I was on my second visit of the day to Wal-Mart.  Hey, some social media folks hound Facebook hourly; I choose to wander the aisles of Wal-Mart two or three times a day.  My face appears on their video tapes so much that the employees call me by name.  As I went up and down the aisles noting which brands had moved up to eye level on the shelves and which ones had dropped to the bottom shelf, I heard the thunder.  A few minutes later the lights flickered, then went out. As I looked all the way down action alley I could see the rain pounding the pavement.  Might as well see if Pedigree had been bumped to the bottom shelf by Beniful.

“Jody, lease make your way to the front of the store” came from a silver haired lady wearing a blue vest. 

“I can do that, Madge.”

I moved toward the front of the store thankful for the skylights and noted the bakery and frozen food area had full lights.   A generator no doubt.  Donuts and TV dinners rule!

As I arrived at the front of the store, I glanced behind me.  It looked like the Spanish Armada of shopping carts was descending on the unmanned check out stations. Ten minutes passed, fifteen, twenty.  Pools of melting ice cream spread between ships of the Spanish Armada.  Previously frozen pizzas took on the shape of bottles and boxes beneath them in the carts.   Blue vests, maroon vests huddled with long sleeved-white-shirts-and-tie types. At one point a blue vest went from aisle shouting that it would be at least an hour possible more  before power could be restored and the cash registers would be up and running.  At that point it was as if someone had shouted:

                                                     ABANDON CARTS!

Wal-Mart emptied faster than a Baptist church on game day with a 12:10 kick-off.  The abandoned Spanish Armada was left becalmed on a sticky sea.  I hesitated wondering what to do about the half consumed Coke in my basket and the opened package of M&M’s beside it.  Hey, I got thirsty and hungry waiting for the lights to come on.  Being basically honest, I asked a Blue Vest what to do.  “Just forget about it.”  So I did.

Not knowing what the Wal-Mart policy was on semi-melted food, I was a little wary of any Wal-Mart “Specials” the next day.   However, I did notice Moses stocking up on ice cream and misshaped pizzas.

 
Tip:  Eat a full meal before you go grocery shopping.  You will save money and avoid spilled cookies, chips, crackers, and pretzels on the way to the check-out counter.