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Thursday, January 22, 2015

I, Eye, Aye

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for DIY Surgery

I recently joined the 21st century with the purchase of a smart phone but I did not understand why they called it an I phone if it is a smart phone.   Wouldn’t it be called an S-Phone ?  Maybe the I stands for intelligent.  When I told my mother about my I-phone, she could not understand why I wanted a phone that you had to hold up to your eye.  That got me to thinking about homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have differently meanings) and my son’s doctor.   I shall explain.

My middle aged son has a prosthetic eye so when he gets an eye infection, I take it quite seriously.   When I saw the swollen tissue around his eye socket, I went into “Mama Over-Drive.”  I called our local VA clinic only to discover they were “in between” ophthalmologists.  No surprise there.  She advised me to take him to the Houston VA three hours away in heavy traffic.  “Nope, we will go to Shreveport. It’s closer, smaller, less traffic, and I know my way around.”  Civilian Mama’s can say that.

When dealing with government agencies, you go directly to where the power is and that would be a secretary or receptionist.  If you can find a person that is both, you are gold.  I called the Eye Clinic and hit pay dirt with James, receptionist and secretary.  I explained the situation and that we were already in the system.  He told me that if I asked for a referral from home, it could take two to three weeks so go directly to the Emergency Room.   “A nurse will look at him and say ‘Hummm’ and refer him to a P.A. who will look at him and say ‘Hummm’ and refer him to a doctor who will look at him and say ‘Hummm, send him to the eye clinic’  and I will get you in to see an eye specialist.”

The next morning we left at 6a.m.  My plan was to arrive in time to get a parking space within a mile of the emergency room, after the early morning heart attacks had been treated, and before the 8a.m. shift changes to avoid being lost in the switch over.  We lucked out in that we did get a parking spot a few yards from the ER entrance and before the shift change.

 I had removed my son’s fake eye and had it in a zip lock bag with water.  I contemplated having him carry that in his hand with his eye socket uncovered achieving a sort of a zombie look in hopes we would gross everybody out and get faster service but it was before breakfast and the only person getting queasy was me.

Just as predicted at 9a.m. the nurse said “Hummm.”  At 10 a.m. the P.A. said “Hummm” and at 11 a.m. the doctor said “Hummm.  Send him over to the eye clinic.”

At 11 a.m. James got us registered and an appointment with the eye specialist.  Now I have learned over the years to be prepared for long waits.  I had my I-Pad and I-Phone fully charged.  I had my tote bag with water, diet Coke, Snickers, two skeins of yarn, crochet needle, scissors, a couple of “Kin We’re Not Related To” books to sell or read, the eyeball, and a list of all medications.

At 3 p.m. I had eaten the Snickers, drank the diet Coke, and crocheted three sweaters, an afghan, four scarves and a hat.  I had advanced eight levels on Candy Crush and texted everybody I knew on my now dead I-phone and I-pad.

Finally we got in to see the doctor who asked:

“Why did you take the eye out?”

“It was hurting him.”

“You took it out because it was hurting him?”




“You took it out yesterday, yourself, the eye?”

“That’s what I said.”

Finally my son said “A doctor took it out after a car crash fifteen years ago.”

The relief on the doctor’s face caused the color to return. 

 Fake eye, real eye.  Same word, same spelling, different meaning.

When the doctor could breathe again, he wrote a prescription and asked that we return the following week to re-evaluate the situation and to see if a new prosthetic eye is needed.

 I resisted the urge to say “AYE,  AYE Captain.  I will return with my son and the EYE as requested.” 

Ok, cut me some slack. I didn’t say it….out loud.  Both my brain and my butt were numb. I had been seated in a car or waiting room for 11 ½ hours.   Ayiii-ya-ya Ayiii







Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Where Have All the Turkeys Gone?

By Jody Worsham, yes co-author “Kin We’re Not Related To” in case you forgot

All rights reserved for handicapped ramps

From early November to late December the supermarkets abound with turkeys:  fresh, frozen, buttered, injected, smoked, fried, Cajun, Mrs. Smiths.  The turkey hotlines are staffed 24/7 to answer all of your turkey needs.  Magazines feature perfectly bronzed turkeys complete with drumstick booties deliciously displayed on platters with cranberry garnishes.  Google hits are in the millions for recipes for leftover turkey. 

And now it is January.  Where have all the turkeys gone?  They no longer fill the endcaps at the supermarkets.  So what has happened to the big birds?

Have the unsold birds been sent to the North Pole for low cost storage until next November?  Has the market been so over saturated that the mere mention of a turkey sandwich sends would-be-eaters racing for Taco Bell?  Has the turkey hotlines finally answered all turkey questions and has switched to automated calls only? Has the Google million hits counter now centered on diets and New Year’s resolutions?

But my next question is even more disturbing.  With the whole birds gone from the stores, where are those turkey legs coming from?  Do we have a lot of paraplegic turkeys wheeling around on skateboards?   And if all there is in the market place from January to late October is turkey legs and ground turkey, are the remaining whole turkeys in hiding?  Is there an underground turkey railroad moving the birds from carnivorous states to California, a known vegetarian state?  And is our ground turkey coming from those birds that did not make it to a vegan state?   

But most importantly, if all we have are paraplegic turkeys and “free” birds, where are next year’s whole turkeys coming from?  I can only hope there is a cashe of artificially inseminated turkey eggs somewhere waiting to be hatched. Otherwise Black Friday will become Black Thursday with no turkeys. 

Pulling a fish bone is just not the same as pulling a wishbone.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Strangers in the Night, Slot Buddies

by Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for oddities

            There is something about being confined with strangers for a lengthy period of time that makes you lifelong buddies, even if you never learned their names.  People trapped in elevators for a few hours might end up exchanging Christmas cards the next year.  It happens to people waiting in line for three hours at Wal-Mart on Gray Thursday.  And if you happen to run into those people several weeks later you might, as I was, be greeted with “I appreciate your teenager entertaining my two-year-old in the freezer line.”  But nothing bonds people together faster than a few drinks on New Year’s Eve in a casino around a bank of slot machines with a common “enemy”.

            Over the past few months at our favorite casino donation center, we have repeatedly encountered two people we have dubbed “The Odd Couple.”   The Odd Couple seems to have staked an imaginary claim to four of everyone’s favorite slot machines and no one else should ever play them.  If you do, they will stare at you, point at you, and frown if you win any of “their” money.  The maximum donation is $1 if you hope to ever hit the jackpot.  However, the Odd Couple will only play their system which involves keeping a thick notebook, using several player cards, allowing the machine to periodically rest,  having their spouse sit on the opposite machine so no one else can play it, and change up their bet ranging from 1 cent (yes I said 1 cent) to 20 cents and rarely $1.00. 

            Other people have come to recognize the Odd Couple as well, knowing them by various other names, of course.  I am not sure how it happened, but Carol and Sandra (we learned their names several hours later) and Dr. Hubby and I managed to occupy their four favorite machines at the same time much to the chagrin of the Odd Couple. 

As we were being entertained by the spinning slot wheels, the Odd Couple began to circle.  They pointed.  They stared.  They whispered.  We kept playing.  Dr. Hubby’s system involves “talking” to the machines so when Carol would go to the bonus round, Dr. Hubby would begin calling for more doubles, or bonuses, rather loudly.  When Carol got them, we all shouted. People gravitated to the excitement expecting to see a great win only to be disappointed at all the excitement over a $1.32 cent Jackpot.

 It seems, I am ashamed to say, the more the Odd Couple frowned, the louder we got.  To keep my playing money from running out too quickly, I would take frequent potty breaks.  The longer we held onto the machines, the odder the Odd Couple became.  Sandra said “I’ll play a penny at a time before I let them have my machine.”  After a couple of trips to the ATM machine, Carol vowed “I’ll outlast them even if I have to mortgage the farm.”  We learned later that she didn’t have a farm.   

As it got closer to midnight, the champagne began to flow even as the Odd Couple continued to circle.  Sandra wanted to go to her room and put on her warm pajamas and come back, but she was afraid one of the Odd Couple would grab her machine.  After a few glasses of champagne, referred to as “this kerosene stuff” by our new friends, one leaned over to me and said “If I was a drinking woman (I didn’t count the number of empty glasses) I might go over there and whip her butt.”  By this time my butt was numb and Dr. Hubby was hoarse from talking to the machines.  Somehow this had turned into an endurance battle, us four against the Odd Couple.  There was a sign on the wall with a 1-800 number to call if you had a gambling problem.  I think we had an Odd Couple problem.

At exactly midnight, 2015 arrived and 2014 left as did our Odd Couple. We won!  We were broke, but we had won. “Thank goodness.  I was about to run out of money,” said Carol.  “Now I can go to bed.  I have been wanting to for the past two hours,” came from a very tired Sandra.  Heady with our victory, we all smiled, wished each other a Happy New Year, exchanged addresses and I think secretly promised to meet back next year.  Strangers in the night no more.

 Odd, isn’t it?

Monday, December 22, 2014

T'Was a Few Days Before Christmas

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for steel gift boxes
T'was a few days before Christmas

And all through the halls

Christmas decorations covered everything, every  wall

Gifts were wrapped in early NovemberI

Problem was I could not remember.

Was this a toaster or blender for Aunt Sue?

And this odd shaped box all wrapped in blue

With no tag how do I know to whom it was to?

Oh Black Friday  saved me lots of cash, of that I  am clear

But forgotten contents leads me to tears.

With no list and no time to re-wrap, what was I to do with this pile of…..stuff.

There was only one thing for me to do in this quandry

Call in the Christmas snoopers and forget the laundry.

Two little elves who live here year round

Came when I whistled and appeared in one bound.

They spoke not a word but went right to the task

As if to say, “We knew this day would come at last.”

Their skills for snooping and identifying by touch, led to no surprises on past Christmas Days for this bunch.

“Our skills are unsurpassed.  We can save this holiday disaster.

This is a tackle box for Uncle Lassiter.”

And in a twinkling the job was completed.

They gave me the list and no name had been deleted.

I knew at a glance what had been given to whom.

And I heard them exclaim as they raced to their room,

“Merry Christmas dear Mama, the gift you got us is nifty.

We promise to look surprised when we open the X-Box 360.”

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Recap to Fill in the Gap or Pumpkin is a vegetable, right?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Haz Mat Suites

First I would like to thank all of you for waiting for my death notice to appear on Facebook before calling to check as to the reason for my absence from the blogging scene.  It is so hard to find my phone or my I-Pad amidst the Mount Everest of Kleenx.  

So, a recap.  I guess all this began with the decision as to when the Thanksgiving meal should take place.  Should I call my eleven guests and inform them we were having Thanksgiving Breakfast or Thanksgiving Brunch?  With the start times for Black Friday shopping now beginning on Blue Thursday afternoon, it was imperative that the teen-ager and I be in line by 2p.m. for the Wal-Mart Six Hour Price Guarantee for the 643-inch-indoor-drive-in-movie TV.

“Hi, sorry to be calling so early this morning, but we will be having Thanksgiving Brunch at our house this year instead of Thanksgiving dinner.  As per the sales flyers, we must be finished with brunch and in line by 2p.m.  Thank you so much.  Look forward to visiting with you shortly.”

Black Friday/Blue Thursday shopping is all about logistics and communication.  While the turkey and bacon were frying, I charged the phones and cross referenced the start times for all the bargains.    To save time, I had the dessert on the buffet table rather than at a separate table .  Ok, technically pumpkin is a vegetable, so what if it is served as a pie?

In keeping with the holiday spirit, the teenager gave the succinct prayer. “God? Thanks.” By the time the last person cleared the buffet line, I was loading the dishwasher, squishing in my Dr. Scholes gellin’ insoles, and thanking everyone for coming.  It was “Show Time!”

Ever since the infamous sheet “incident” at Wal-Mart last year resulting in a 9-1-1- call,  a fight,, and everyone being three sheets to the wind, the nine-year-old has begged to be part of the shopping scene.  I told him BF/BT was rated PG-13 for violence and he was too young.

By 2p.m. the teen-ager was entrenched in the line for the compact freezer sale which would begin at 6p.m. and I was sixth in line for the Drive-in-Movie size TV which began in the frozen food section of Wal-Mart. 

Normally I make some life-long friends during the four hour wait but this must have been the year for I-HOB, International Hallway of Bargains.  I had an Oriental couple to my left and a Latin American family to my right.  During the four-hour wait, I did a lot of smiling, nodding my head, and making non-committal sounds as I could not break through the accent barrier.  At one point I wasn’t sure if the Oriental lady was speaking English or Chinese to her husband.  It all sounded the same to my ears.   When we got tired of standing, we perched on the edge of the frozen food bins until our buns were as frozen as the rump roast on sale there.

True to their word, at exactly 6p.m. Wal-Mart issued a certificate to those of us who could be pried from the frozen food bin, for a big screen TV that we could pay for right then.  The certificate also entitled us to get in line by 8 p.m. to receive the actual TV.  The next hour and a half wait was more comfortable as I was able to pass the time by reading every label on every detergent carried by Wal-Mart. 

True to their word, as exactly 8p.m., the line began to move.  I showed the clerk my receipt for the TV, and she said “Yes, you will definitely get your TV today” and gave me a pass number so I could get my truck in line for the Large Item Pick-up in Automotive. 

At some point during the previous six hour wait, the teen-ager phoned from the pharmacy to say a pillow fight had broken out next to the small freezer line where she was.  “Are you ok?  Was anyone hurt?”  “Mom, it was a pillow fight, a fight for pillows.  No police. What’s with these people and their linens anyway?”  Ah, a question for another time.  “Anyway, I have the certificate so you can pay for the freezer and a pass code so you can get the truck in line…”  “I know, automotive, Large Item Pick Up.”

By 10:00 p.m. we were home with our pick-up truck loaded with a freezer and a giant screen   TV.  My throat was scratchy and I was hungry.  Both situations were solved with a big slice of vegetable pie, pumpkin, of course.

Next Week….Replicate, Duplicate, and Cloning

Monday, November 17, 2014

Heard Around the House

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for an Invisible Woman Costume

There is a phenomenon known to all teachers and parents.  You can be in the same room with students and children and as long as you don’t make eye-contact or ask them a question, you are pretty much invisible.  This has enabled me to learn much this holiday season.  Here are comments and  conversations overhead by the Invisible Woman.

“You guys leave your Christmas tree up all year huh?”


“So how many presents have you found in Mama’s  secrete hiding place in  the attic?”


“Why does he have more presents than me?”

“Well, the things you want are much more expensive than his.”

“Yeah, you should want cheap stuff like me.”

“Well I don’t think wrapping each Ugg boot separately should count as two separate gifts.”


“Do you think if I say “Call To Duty” would help my social studies grade, Mama would buy it?”

“The game or the con?”


“Why are we eating dinner in the dining room?”

“Mama cooked.”

“Real food?”


“If the temperature drops below 32, Mama takes us to school in the truck and you can sit on the heated seat.  But if the temperature is in the teens, we go in the car and I get to use the remote to start the car from inside the house.”

Yeah, because Mama doesn’t have a hot seat.”


“I know what Mama wants for Christmas.  Medicaid.”

“Merry Maids,  MERRY MAIDS! you idiot.”


The way this is going I will end up with a maid on Medicare, searching the attic for the left Ugg boot present, and dusting my Christmas tree in August.

Maybe if I wore a bell around my neck….  



Monday, November 10, 2014

When Did This Happen?

by Jody Worsham, co-author....wait for it....wait for it...."Kin We're Not Related To"
All rights reserved for  What Not to Wear Now

When did the clothes in my closet become costumes to be raided for Halloween and Red Ribbon Week?

Today was Dress Like a Decade.  The kids found a poodle skirt I had made for one of the first bunch of kids in the closet. 

"Let's dress up like they did in the fifties" said the thirteen-year-old.

“How do we know what that looks like" asked the nine-year-old.

"Easy, we'll ask Mama. She was there.  She probably has some of the same clothes she wore then still in her closet."

How dare that little twerp imply that I am old and I think I did save a couple of those 500 yard petticoats up in the attic.

Rigging up the boy's costume for the fifties was easy.  Roll up the cuffs of his Levi jeans, slap on a pair of white socks, hunt up a pair of tennis shoes, snatch the dog tags off the dog, bleach out a white tee shirt, roll a box of crayons up in the sleeve (fake pack of cigarettes) a little cooking oil on his hair and you have a an instant nine-year-old Fonze!

Now the thirteen-year-old was different mainly because I actually wore clothes from the 50's every the fifties.  She would be totally accurate. 

I know; you want to know if there is a costume prize, certificate, recognition etc.  Well, not this time, at least not that I know of but there will be pictures in the annual of the best costumes...which we will have.

The skirt that she found was originally for one of the girls from our first family and judging from the size of the skirt, I had not realized we had, at one time a short, round fat midget of a girl.

Fortunately, I had a bolt of gray felt that a sorority in town had used for something and was throwing away, but I beat the trash truck to their street.  We folded the felt and laid it out on the floor.  Using a yard stick and chalk we marked out a semi-circle.  The good thing about felt is that you don't have to hem it. We salvaged the felt pink poodle from the other skirt and attached it at just the right spot to show at all times. The entire skirt was finished in less than an hour.

We tossed the two 500 yard petticoats into the dryer to fluff them even more.  She found a white blouse that I starched heavily so the collar would stand up in back. I cut my long pink silky scarf so she could have a tie around her neck and a longer piece for her pony tail.

"Put the pony tail up higher.  It has to show slightly above the crown of your head," I said.

"And you think I am particular about how I wear my messy bun!"

With her pony tail at just the right height, 1,000  yards of net petticoat beneath the gray poodle skirt, white Keds, cuffed white socks, starched collar turned up, and my, yes, my 1958 letter sweater, she looked like she had just stepped off the pages of my year book.

"Hey, this is pretty cool."

Pretty cool!  High praise and definitely deserving of several pictures in this year's annual.

No therapy required this time, well not for her,… maybe for me.