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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top 10 Resolutions We Can All Keep

At this time of year we all set ourselves up for failure by making resolutions we know will be broken before the printer stops humming (if they even make it that far.)

This year I am making resolutions that ensure success.  Feel free to copy these for yourself.

Be it resolved that in 2013 I will:

1)  Think about the number of calories in that hunk of fudge (you may substitute any other fattening noun) as I stuff it in my mouth.
2)  Mentally  do12 jumping jacks as I pass by the gym.
3)  Place a bowl of plastic fruit on the dinning table to remind me I should eat healthy.
4)  Do more walking by making my shopping list in random order rather than organized by the lay out of Wal-Mart . (I heard really efficient shoppers can get in and out of Wal-Mart in less than 3 hours).
5) Increase my reading speed by grabbing a copy of National Enquirer in the check-out line and see how far I can read before the cashier is finished.
6) Carry 5 bags of groceries at a time from the car to the kitchen to increase arm strength.
7)  Spray Aqua Net on all mirrors to erase facial wrinkles.
8)  Tear out all the size tags in my clothes.  Ignorance is bliss.
9)  Eat whatever someone else is willing to cook for me.

and finally
10)  Laugh out loud every day, even if it is at the guy in the next lane.

With these resolutions I am sure 2013 will be a wonderful year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Going to the Dogs, The Real Scoop

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Christmas Past

It was time to take the seven-year-old and the tween ager to do their annual Christmas shopping or I guess now it would be called Christmas gifting.  The difference this year is that they have their own money as a result of some very hard working chickens and one lazy rooster.  They have mastered the income part but haven’t quite got a handle on overhead expenses which ain’t exactly chicken feed.  Well it is but the price of chicken feed makes for some very expensive eggs.

My job was to be chauffer and gifting consultant as needed.  When we arrived at…wait for it…Wal-Mart…they immediately headed for the toy aisle.  As they calculated their combined income to see how much they would have left for themselves once all others had been “gifted” I perused the array of toys.

Besides the usual array of baby dolls, Candy Land, checkers, and bikes, there seemed to be other toys that would have given me nightmares had Santa dropped them down my chimney.  There was a game where you arranged realistic spongy brains into some kind of skull.  There was a kit for making totally ghoulish edible intestines, livers, and other assorted body parts guaranteed to make you 
scream in sour delight.  G.I. Joe was tucked in the corner of the aisle completely surrounded and overwhelmed with alien beings spouting several heads, spikes, and assorted eyes.  Bey Blades, which I mistakenly called Gay Blades, are the new spinning tops.  These, however, were battling tops complete with pistol launchers and glorified expensive plastic dishpans that serve as combat arenas. 

From the next aisle over, I heard squeals of delight. “Here it is!”  “Just like on TV”.  The object of their excitement was the Doggie Doo toy.  Evidently you feed this plastic wiener dog colored food, and then pull its leash thus “walking” it until the inner mechanisms maneuver the food from one end of the dog to the other where it comes out as poop.  Color coded shovels were included to scoop the color coded poop.  Now these are the same two kids who will only walk their real life dog under threat of total electronic shut down.  And forget about scooping anything! 

 Now granted, my older children had a Baby Alive when they were young.  You could feed the baby special baby food that came with it and over time,  gravity and two size C batteries not included would create a poopy diaper for the little mommy to clean up.  I should have known this was going to be a forerunner of the Doggie Doo toy when, as they got older, they diluted the baby food and created life like throw-up and diarrhea.

The Doggie Doo toy reminded them to rush to the Pet Aisle in search of a gift for Tia Mia, also known as Miss Buffington, Kiwi, and other assorted names depending on who has to walk her. They spent a good hour there searching for just the right toy for her amusement and the right Christmas outfit for her to wear when somebody else is walking her.

“What about the people on your list?  I mean the people besides yourselves, like parents.” 

“Well, you’ve got everything at Wal-Mart already. “

 Ok, that’s semi-true.  “But what about sharing?”

“I know.  You can play Doggie Doo with us.  You can even have the red scoop and all the red poop.”

“That is very thoughtful.  I’ll meet you at the check-out counter. I have to stop by the CD area for another present.” 

 I’m sure the children will enjoy “Barking Jingle Bells” It’s such a canine hit

                                  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The TALK, Part One, the Female

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved to purchase a Man Cave.

There comes a time in every family when the adult sits down with the child to have “The Talk.”  The parent will stall as long as possible, seeking advice from books, fellow parents, and Dr. Phil, but eventually the parent and child must have “The Talk”.  In our home it began with Dad and the age appropriate child.  It went something like this.

Dad:  Son, you may have noticed that Mom is different from us.  She is a female.  Females are different from males.  We are not the same.   We have different priorities, needs.

For example, I need the pile of papers on my desk to remain just that, a pile of papers on my desk.  For a long time when you would drop your winter coat by the door in December,   it would magically get hung back up by Mom, forcing you to ask her where your coat is. Twice a year, spring and early fall, you have seen Mom go into a cleaning frenzy, screaming and threatening to hold all clothing, toys, games, electronics, and piles of paper  hostage for the rest of your life if left scattered about .  Now that you are of that age, my advice to you is to just lay low.  It will blow over in a couple of weeks.

Females think differently from men.  Females are long range planners and they can see far, far, far into the future.  Remember when you came home with a C in Beginning Play Dough?  I said “Humph” and continued watching the football game.  Your Mom, on the other hand said “C, a C?  You made a C? Well, no more Sesame Street for you.  This is just awful.  What’s next?  C’s in Legos? Do you think second grade is going to be easy?  Do you think Harvard takes C students? I can see it all now. You will end up in community college and then what?  Transfer to an online university?   You will be taking remedial courses because you failed to challenge yourself in Beginning Play Dough and you’ll meet another remedial Play Dough person and you will get married, have children right away and never finish your degree.  You will become a stocker at Wal-Mart and they will schedule you to work every Black Friday and your wife and children will weep and wring their hands for fear you will be mobbed guarding the four available My Little Kitchens from rabid early shoppers!    A C, a C!  My brilliant child made a C in Beginning Play Dough.” 

For a female, food equals calories.  When the female goes on a diet, everybody goes on a diet. Start stock piling chips, dip, hot dogs and chocolate now before spring and the ads for bathing suits appear.  And never ever answer the question “Does this make me look fat?”  There is no correct answer.  Pretend to be deaf, change the subject, ask if you can do the dishes; anything to throw her off. 

I am printing out this talk for you.  Before you decide to bring one home to keep, read this again.  Mom is a female, whom I love, but she is different from us.  Remember that.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Shopper Who Came in to the Cold!

By Jody Worsham

I have renamed Black Friday.  I am now calling it Blue Thursday.  Why, you may ask, as I am sure you are, so I shall tell you.  I’ll tell you even if you did not ask.

This was the year I introduced the Tween-Ager to the Thanksgiving shopping frenzy known as Black Friday only this year it started on Thursday.  We had finished our Thanksgiving dinner and it was truly a thanksgiving because I did not cook.   We prepared for battle:  store floor plans for location of all sale items, cell phones charged and ready, snack crackers, gum and water bottle in large purse, store flyers with high priority items circled, and final trip to the bathroom.  I explained that when it comes to Black Friday shopping, it’s every man, woman, and child for himself.  She must plant her feet, stand firm and under no circumstances relinquish her hold on any wanted item.   We were ready.

We said good-by to our loved ones and left for Wal-Mart, our first stop. We were able to secure a good parking place close to the door as we were two and a half hours early for the first event.  This also enabled us to canvas the store and locate the TV and trampoline lines and to sneak a peek under the black plastic wrapped crates for the “good stuff”.  At six-thirty the tween-ager took up her position in the TV line located next to the refrigerated beer and wine.  She was number eight in line for the sale that would start at 10 p.m.  I took up my position in the trampoline line which began between the frozen meet aisle and the frozen corny dog bins.   After the first hour, I realized we had made a serious tactical error in our battle preparations.  No jackets.  My “event” would begin at 8 p.m.  I promised to relieve the tween-ager as soon as I got the trampoline but she was not to leave her position.

By 7:45 p.m. I was freezing from having stood next to the frozen chickens for so long.  The tween-ager called to say she was also freezing, could I get her some hot chocolate.  At 7:48 my heretofore dormant teacher “fight’s about to start” antenna started to vibrate.  The noise rose and the first fight began on aisle three.  I left my position to make sure the tween-ager was not in harm’s way.  I explained it was just a fight over 700 thread count sheets.  “Sheets!  They’re fighting over sheets?  I want to go see.”  “No, maintain your position” and I sneezed and returned to the freezer line.

At eight o’clock I got the trampoline certificate, and then went to relieve the tween-ager.  Over the course of the next two hours we became friendly with the other people in line; some were friendlier than others due to the dwindling supply of Bud-Lite that had previously been in the refrigerator section when the line first formed.  We got reports from other shoppers of people shoving, pushing, elbowing their way to snatch an X-box and that was just the senior citizens.  I did notice that there weren’t any of the motorized shopping carts for the handicapped.  I guess Wal-Mart feared hit and runs.

Shivering and sneezing we left Wal-Mart at eleven o’clock with our TV, trampoline, and a buggy full of things we didn’t know we had to have.  

“This is great,” said the Tween-ager, “what are we going to do before the next store opens at mid-night?” 

“Get warm!” 

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Bird on the Desk is Worth....?

By Jody Worsham ,  grinsandgroans ( at)

All rights reserved for Big Bird

During the course of my half century married to biologist turned kineseologist Dr. Hubby, I have come to expect unexpected guests in our home, backyard, and even the bathtub.  One of his undergraduate projects included trapping a nutria, rendering him dead, and plopping him in my freezer until it was ready for skinning.  A note on the refrigerator would have prevented an early morning warning scream that sent the neighbors into their storm cellars.

Then there was the time he returned home late from calling a basketball game in a nearby town.  Two chickens had fallen off the Pilgrim’s Pride truck that was hauling them to the chicken processing plant.  The hens were wandering along the side of the road in the rain. He rescued them and brought them home.  With no readily available chicken coop, he put them in out bathtub.  Again no note to alert me to the fact that we had guests in the bathtub.  He did very thoughtfully, however, hypnotized the chickens (he can really do this) so that they would be still and quiet so as not to awaken me during the night.  The next morning the neighbors again headed for their storm cellars as the early warning signal sounded. 

Our next guest came from Lake Sam Rayburn.  Dr. Hubby’s day fishing trip had lasted longer than expected so I was already asleep when he got home.   Not wanting to return home empty handed without a string of bass or perch, he brought home what he had caught.. live… and put it in the kitchen sink.  I now know grinnels are about as close to a prehistoric fish as you can find in North America.   Again no note.  In the morning when I went into the kitchen to make coffee, I activated the early warning scream.  This time the neighbors called before heading for their storm cellars.

So I was not surprised when the Tween-ager and the seven-year-old came to the house from the Trump Chicken Condos carrying our next house guest.  It seems that one of the recently added twenty-four chicks was being picked on by the other chicks.  She was literally the butt of their beaks.  Since she was missing several tail feathers, nothing would do but separate her from the other birds.  So our next guest found herself in a cardboard box on the desk in the playroom.

My writing lamp was whisked off my desk to provide warmth for the chick.  My ceramic ramekins became the perfect sized feeder and water bowl for this bird.  Today’s newspaper, still unread, became lining for the box.  The shi tzu was not a hospitable hostess and let everyone know it.  She upset the chick so much that it decided to check out early.  Dr. Hubby caught her in mid-flight just as he came in the door.  He didn’t look surprised to see a baby chicken in a box on a desk in the playroom with my reading lamp.

All he said was “What? No note?”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

If the Shoe Fits...

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Dr. Scholl, podiatrists, chiropractors, and bunion pads for my friend Wanda at

I say if the shoe fits, buy it.  If it feels sooo comfortable, buy two pairs.  If there is enough room for your little piggies to do the Happy Dance, buy six pairs.  If you feel like you are walking on clouds, buy a dozen.  If they happen to be stylish…. what the heck, buy one more pair.

You will note that I put stylish at the end of my list.  I know there are those who suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous pointed toes and platform soles for the sake of fashion like my friend Wanda in “The Land of” but I am not one of those.  My philosophy is “No pain, Good Thang”. 

The latest fashion to assault women’s feet are those super high heels with one to two inch or more platform soles.  These shoes are playing havoc with the world as we know it.  The driver’s license bureau is thinking of amending the height portion to read “Height without platforms.”  Insurance companies are hearing as an excuse for accidents “I thought I was pressing the brakes.  If felt like the brakes.”  Instead of digging in their purses for cellphones, they could be answering their shoe like Maxwell Smart.    No need for carry-on luggage; just pack your platforms.  I suspect the chiropractors, podiatrists, and bunion pad makers will see an increase in business over the next several months.  

 Given our current trends in government, you can also expect new government regulations concerning footwear.  Manufactures may have to include warning labels on the shoe boxes: “ Warning: Wearing platform shoes may be hazardous to your health.  Wear at your own risk.”  People wearing the shoes may be required to wear a sign stating “Beware of possible falling body due to shoes.  Maintain at least six foot radius at all times.” 

 With all the inherent dangers, you might expect them to be banned in California, but not so. Rhode Island, maybe.  Hollywood, no.

Ballerinas know the value of a good fitting pair of toe shoes.  Since no two pair ever fit the same, when a good fit is found, they will wear them till they are in shreds and the bare toe box is showing and then weep when they have to replace them. 

I know how they feel.  I once had a pair of Nike shoes that enabled me to walk fifteen New York long blocks with no problem.  They were my shoe of choice whenever taking students to New York.  They became so worn I had to wrap duct tape around them.  I am sure I am the one responsible for the decorative duct tape and trend in teenagers today to decorate everything with duct tape.  However, my students were appalled at their sponsor turned Broadway Bag Lady until we made the trek from the Plaza Hotel to Macy’s Department Store.  By the time we got to Macy’s, they all headed for the shoe department.

I wish I had bought sixty pairs of those shoes.  They stopped making them but I learned my lesson.  Now if I ever find a shoe that is close to being as comfortable as those Nikes, that’s all you will ever see on my feet…at weddings, funerals, church, the ball park, Wal-Mart, presidential inaugural balls...  So be careful if you send me an invitation to something.

 Remember:  Beauty is in the sole of happy Feet,  so if the shoe fits buy several pairs.

 Oh, and Wanda, your platform shoes are definitely stylish and you do look good, , but my Nike clad feet can’t be beat!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Can a No-cook Cook Teach Two Cooks to Cook, if the No-cook Cook can't Cook?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved in order to be adopted by Betty Crocker

Over the past several years, we have all determined that I can’t cook.  There are numerous fire reports, hospital visits, and petrified casseroles posing as yard art to attest to that fact. 

Now the big question is (see title of this piece) can cooking be taught or is it hereditary?  It is the old nature versus nurture, heredity versus environment debate.  I hold to the theory that good cooking is hereditary.  My mother cannot cook, my grandmother could not cook, and neither can I…hereditary. 

To further support my theory, I offer proof from the adopted seven-year-old and tween-ager.  Both children entered the Spoon and Fork Cooking Contest at our local library.  Why, you say, enter children in a cooking contest when the only reference point they have for good food is school cafeteria food?  To support my theory.

The children each entered the appetizer and salad category for their age group.  The seven-year-old entered Hot Wheels, a cream cheese, picante sauce, pecan, jalapeno mixture rolled up in a flour tortilla, cut into chunks, and an olive stuck in the center, run through with a toothpick.  It’s more of an assembly thing than a cooking thing, but this was his first time out.

The Tween-ager found a recipe for Sunflower Salad made with ramen noodles (cooked), tomatoes, onion, cabbage, sunflower seeds, bacon bits, with a dressing of sunflower oil, sugar, bacon bits, and vinegar.  Assemble, toss, refrigerate.

Ok, I was smart enough to buy two of everything in case, you know, I helped her, whom I did, and we had to do it again, which she did.  In all fairness, it was an honest mistake anybody could have made.  I store my sugar and salt in separate clear plastic canisters and maybe storing them side by side isn’t a good thing and probably those who know how to cook would never do that, and yes, labeling might have been a good idea, but I didn’t.  So the first salad, I like to call it the “practice salad”, was a bit off and a whole lot saltier than it was supposed to be.  In my defense, salt and sugar are both granulated, white, and ok, I was in a hurry and gave her the wrong canister.

As a result, I was banished from the kitchen.  The tween-ager finished the second salad on her own using sugar and without me handing her anything.

I was limited to setting “the stage” for their dishes, something I can do. For the Hot Wheels appetizer, I cut out a racing track from black poster board and hot glued it around the rim of the black serving platter.  Then I hot glued two Hot Wheel racing cars to the track.  I typed the recipe onto card stock and glued two plastic racing flags on to that. Hot Wheels was ready for competition.

The Sunflower Salad needed a silk sunflower in a recycled Starbuck’s mocha frappe bottle.  Her recipe was mounted onto green, yellow, and red plaid wrapping paper backed by card stock and leaned against the silk flower arrangement.  A sunflower cutout was used as a placemat for the salad bowl.  I found a flower looking plastic bowl at Dollar Tree.  I added water to that and froze it.  The salad was placed in a taller bowl and set inside the plastic bowl.  Her salad was supposed to be kept cold.

If the children were influenced by environment, then I felt the judges would need something attractive and interesting to look at while waiting for the paramedics to arrive.  Fortunately my theory held.  My adopted children, because they are adopted, could not inherit my bad cooking gene and no paramedics were summoned to the contest.

Oh, and yes, both children took first place!  Somewhere in their family tree is a branch for Julia Childs, Paula Deen, and Emeril Lagasse.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Concerto for Can and Shoe Box

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for ear plugs

My husband was soon to celebrate his 72nd  birthday.  The children were huddled up assembling the carrot birthday cake they had decided to make for his birthday. The topic then turned to birthday presents.  The seven-year-old declared presents weren’t necessary, “Because love is the best present… and that doesn’t cost anything.”  If he had just left off that last part, I could have basked in the glow of superb parenting.  The tween-ager, thinking more of her upcoming birthday I’m sure, declared presents were an absolute must, but since  I’m sure she was also thinking of her limited cash flow from the Trump Chicken Condo business venture, she was thinking I would have to provide the money for any gifts.  From the office where Dr. Hubby was wading through pages of credit card charges, I could hear rumblings and then very clearly   “No presents.  I can’t afford presents.”

“Well, you can’t have a birthday party without some kind of present,” declared the Tween-ager.  I have always been a proponent of giving something of yourself, something that cannot be bought or given by anyone else.  With this in mind, the seven-year-old declared, “We will give him a concert.”  Some of you may recall from past blogs the Summer Concert for Plastic Barrel and Galvanized Pipe that lasted three hours and caused dogs to howl and hearing aids to squeal.  Since this did not require the Tween-ager to delve into her egg money, she agreed.  “A concert is the perfect gift.”

Immediately they abandoned the carrot cake, leaving me to finish up.  Since I had been paying for violin lessons for three years and started the seven-year-old on guitar lessons this summer, I foolishly assumed the concert would involve, you know, actual musical instruments….and maybe a recognizable song or two.  Ha!

 “Where is an empty shoe box?”

“I can’t find the rubber bands.”

“I need two pencils that have not been sharpened.”

“Are you going to use these empty cans for anything?

“What are you guys up to? “

“Recycling! Who needs real drums when you have cans?”

“Multi-tasking.  I’m checking out the science project on sound and vibrations while making a shoe-box guitar.”

“We need coke bottles filled with different levels of water.  Not chemical bottles because you are going to have to blow on them.”

While I watched the cake and washed out coke bottles, rubber bands were stretched over the shoe box and various sized cans became the Tween-ager’s version of steel drums.  Soon the “rehearsals” began.  The seven-year-old strummed his “guitar”, the Tween-ager kept the tin can beat going, and I blew till I was light headed.

A few deafening minutes later, Dr. Hubby slipped me the credit card.

Happy Birthday, Honey!  Hope you like your presents.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Minus Quarter Pounder X 30 = Negative 8

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for MIT School of Weight s, Measures, and Economics

No I have not had a brain transplant, although that might not be a bad idea.  And I haven’t been struck by lightning that suddenly made it possible for me to do quantum physics, calculus, or sixth grade math, but there has definitely been a change in our lives.  Let me explain.

For the past seven years I have made the twice daily trip from our semi-thirty-five-acre-mini-plantation into town delivering and picking up kids and passing Wal-Mart and McDonald’s a minimum of four times a day with frequent stops at both places.  Over this period of time, the clearance aisles at Wal-Mart have slowly made their way to our barn, the shop, and every closet in the house.   Ballet, gymnastics, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, violin lessons, church activities and a tight schedule resulted in fast food becoming a necessity as it was too far to go home and eat and get back in town in time for the next activity.  Those quarter pounders, happy meals, and caffeine/calorie loaded mocha frappes have found their way to my backside resulting in double digit stretch jeans.  Our credit card statement required extra postage.

At the beginning of the school year our children enrolled in a new school.  It is the same distance from our semi-plantation as their old school, but in the opposite direction.  In fact, there is nothing between our house and the new school except pine trees and speed limit signs; no gas stations, no McDonald’s, no Wal-Mart…not even a Dollar Tree. 

Now, because I no longer pass by and stop at  Wal-Mart’s two or three times a day, the clearance items are now more equally available to people who only come to Wal-Mart once or twice a week and our clearance aisle inventory is dwindling.  Since time, distance, cost of speeding tickets and gasoline have increased, we have dropped gymnastics, Girl Scouts, and one set of ballet lessons. 

The biggest change has come in the form of meals.  McDonald’s does not deliver so we have had to rely on my cooking.   Since I am not the World’s Best Cook (I am, however, in the running for Worst Cook Title) we have resorted to more natural foods….bread, peanut butter, honey, apples, bananas…natural foods that require no ovens or forgotten pots on the stove.  Also, because there are no longer four pages of credit card charges to McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, our credit card statement covers only two pages and one stamp.

And that, in a convoluted manner, leads us to the title of this week’s post.  During the first six weeks of school minus Happy Meals, quarter pounders, and mocha frappes, I have lost eight pounds.  The credit card people did call and asked if I had been ill or kidnapped.

I said, “Nope, just going in a different direction.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

There's No Business like No-Business

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for non-writing lessons

The tween-ager seems to have grasped the fundamentals of current 21st century American economics.  If she continues developing such business acumen, I can just imagine the conversation we will have when she is a teenager.

“Mom, I have a new idea for a business: The No Fish Fish Farm.”

“But dear, starting a fish farm requires financial backing.”

“That’s ok.  Because I am under age 30 and female, I can qualify for a low cost business loan to get started.  Also, because my heritage cannot be established, due to sealed court records, I might be part American Indian, in which case I can qualify for all sorts of student grants to attend school to learn about underwater no fish fish farming.”

“Yes, but you are still a tween-ager.”

“No problem.  Age discrimination is a federal offense. "

“Yes, but fish farming is such an unstable market.  What if your fish go belly-up?  Need I remind you of the gold fish incident of a few years ago?”

“No need to worry.  I have studied my history.   Remember that program Cash for Clunkers?  I figure there will be another one like Cash for Crustaceans or Funding for Fish Flops or Credit for Crappie.

“Yes, but…”

“And because I might be part Inuit, my ancestors could have been denied their fishing rights due to great White Sharks so I would be getting more money from the government.   Plus, don’t forget I am adopted.   During the adoption process in court, I was a ward of the state for approximately twenty seconds so that should be good for more entitlements as I am sure I suffered physical stress”

“You were a baby.”

“But I could have had a wet diaper and the State failed to change me in a timely manner.

“For twenty seconds?”

And I’m not forgetting about you.  You could help me a lot.”

“I could?”

“Yes.  You are way over 60, you were a teacher so that puts  you just above the  poverty line,  you are living on a fixed income with  two children under the age of 18, and you started working before Title IX went into effect.”

Thinking I would get her to slip up, I asked “So how much would you pay me to be a non-worker in your no-fish fish farm?”

“That depends on whether or not you left Louisiana because of political persecution.  If you did, then the federal government will give me money to hire and train political refugees to work in my non-business. You did spend a lot of time in Shreveport at the boats… I mean on a boat…right?   And they were definitely against you, right?”

“I, uh, well…yes.”

“Perfect.  I just need you to do one thing for me.”

“Would you do my homework?  I don’t have time.  You know how the government is.   I have a ton of paperwork to do for my No Fish Fish Farm. “

I used to worry about how she would manage as an adult, but she will be fine. It’s America I’m worried about now.   Is there such a thing as a Non Country?

Friday, October 5, 2012


It isn’t a Faberge, but it could be!

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved to explain the national debt

This all started with a business our tween-ager got for her birthday; actually it was the promise of a business.  Really it was to be a hands-on business opportunity to explain how economics works and to provide her spending money.  Together we would build a chicken pen, purchase some chickens, sell the eggs and make a fortune.

Our first mistake was purchasing 12 chickens on the Clearance Aisle at the local feed store.  They were labeled as black and white speckled domineckers, the kind that is featured on country style dish towels and wallpaper.  After a month of living in the barn and losing their cute yellow fuzz, none of them were black and white. They appeared to be the illegitimate chicks of some Rhode Island Red and “a visiting rooster”.    

Our second mistake was in underestimating the amount of space they would need.  As they grew, so did the plans for the Trump Chicken Condos (see previous blog).  Finally the TCC was ready for chickens.

All 12 chickens were transferred to Trump Condos.  The tween-ager bought a clip board, calculator, pens, and a ledger to keep track of expenses.

April 2…..  12 chickens @ $3 each                                                                              $36

April 3….. l sack of chick starter                                                                                                 $ 7

April 17    2nd sack of chick starter $8.50                                                                  $8.50

May 1      50 feet of chicken wire, rafters, 24 2x4, tin, screws                        $489

May 2      3rd sack of chick feed $9.00                                                                        $9.00

May 14    Expanded Trump Chicken Condos, chain link, mortar, doors,      $598

May  20   Additional feeder and waterer                                                                               $25

June 1      Covered antique brick porch, rafters, tin                                           $289

June 2     4 bags chicken feed @ $10                                                                         $40

June  16  4 bags chicken feed @ $12 each                                                              $48

July 6     `5 bags chicken feed @ $13 each                                                               $53

July 30  Discovers one chicken is a rooster (don’t ask)  

Aug. 1 Adjusts projected income based on a dozen eggs a day to 11 eggs a day.

Aug. 2 Applies for Federal Disaster Relief based on loss of 365 eggs per year.

Aug. 3 Turned down as rooster is considered an asset capable of producing more chickens

Aug. 4 Reapplies for projected Federal Disaster Relief as future baby chicks could also be roosters.

Aug. 5  Turned down as Federal Government does not discriminate based on sex, same or opposite

Aug. 6  Advertises Rooster on E-bay.

Aug-Sept.  10 bags of laying mash @$13 each                         $l30

Sept.  11  The first egg laid at a cost of                                     $1,740.50

Oct 24, 2077   Projected date when business will show a profit

Sept. 12 Files for Chapter 11

Sept. 13 Federal Government authorizes a bail-out of $2,984.00 based on number of persons who would be unemployed if her business failed.

Sept. 14 Files suite against chicken hatchery for mis-sexed birds

Oct. 1  Punitive damages of $3,894.22 awarded, lawyer takes half

Oct. 5  GOP pays $1,740.50 NOT to raise chickens in the future.

Oct. 6    Throws big party serving  Sunny Delight, deviled eggs, and FRIED CHICKEN!

And that, my dear, is why America is in debt and no you can’t start a gold fish farm!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Which Came First...the Chicken or the Egg?

Which Came First…The Chicken or the Egg?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved to work for chicken feed

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis have come to expect a certain amount of intellectual wisdom gained through years of repeating the same mistakes over and over.  Some even look forward to the broad picture as seen through the declining eyesight of a near septuagenarian.  Today I shall combine philosophy with architecture as a visual means to enlighten those who can’t find their reading glasses.

First to address the age old question:  which came first the chicken or the egg?  The answer is not complex at all. The first to come would be the chicken pen for without the chicken pen there would be no chickens or eggs due to marauding critters.  Just as civilizations are judged by the architecture that is left behind, so can our civilization be judged by the architecture of the chicken pen which, as I said before, had to come first.  Even city dwellers have begun to have backyard chicken pens, also known as coops.  Cages have been designed for apartment dwellers.  Following the philosophy that free range chicken eggs are best, apartment dwellers have been encouraged to turn their patio birds out to roam freely on the balcony for a few hours each day.

The ultimate evidence that bird architecture has been taken to new heights is the Trump Chicken Condos also known as the TCC on the Worsham 35 acre semi-plantation in lovely downtown East Texas.  The plan started out as a simple roof structure enclosed with chicken wire over an existing concrete slab.  Security questions came into play and chain link fencing was added on top of the chicken wire.  Recycled French doors to provide light along the north wall and added a certain classic charm. Turned sideways, the doors were  raised to provide protection from the wind and rain.  The coop would need to be wired for electricity so that a ceiling fan could be installed to provide coolness in the summer and of course the pre-requisite radio to provide laying music.

 The coop plan was then expanded to include a covered outdoor area with a natural grassy space for that free-range element.  To live up to Trump standards, a covered antique brick inlayed porch would allow for Gator parking while unloading feed and lawn chairs for bird watching.  Silver painted laying nests attached to a wall with a private entrance for each chicken would give that chic loft living feel.  A large porthole would provide easy access for the chicken and allow her to observe the rest of the community while laying her egg in cedar and hickory scented sawdust.

If any of you are interested in investing in a  Trump Chicken Condos or our lease-to-own chickens , you may contact me at  There are a few condos still available but they are going fast.  Next week Egg-onomics or the Faberge Knockoffs.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

When A Good Culture Goes Bad

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved to pay for Culinary Insurance

 Recently I was following an actual recipe that called for sour cream.  I was in luck.  I had some in the refrigerator.  I know because two months ago when I was cleaning out the refrigerator, I saw some.  Now at the insistence of my friends, my insurance company, and the hospital staff at “Good Lord, She’s Cooking Again”, I have learned to consult expiration dates on anything currently in my refrigerator that I, the family, or any seemingly healthy wild animal might consume.

But here’s the thing.  When does Sour Cream go bad?  I mean the very name is a contradiction …Sour…Cream.   The carton bore no expiration date, only a Sell by Date.  Is there an assumption that if the sour cream is not bought by a certain date then it will what? Go sour? Or will it remain freshly sour indefinitely?   Do they assume that if you buy it say after six months of being on the shelf, then you will use it before the thing sits in your refrigerator for the next six months?  Well, they don’t know me.  Still…how do you know if it is safe to use? 

Well, I e-mail my friends and they reply, quickly.  One suggested that if the dog refuses to eat or bury it, it is probably bad.  Another thought that fuzzy green/black stuff growing on the top would be a good indication to toss it.  Still another loudly admonished me “IT’S SOUR.  IT’S SUPPOSED TO SMELL BAD.”  My southern friends hold to the belief that if you are going to cook with it, there is no statute of limitations on sour cream.  A more intellectual friend gave me a long discourse on milk cultures, bacteria, the making of cheese, sour cream, and the very cultured Elsie the Cow at the opera.  I don’t think my Sour Cream is cultured.  I caught it watching WW Wrestling while sitting on my counter.

Still, I didn’t want my insurance premiums going up again, so I decided to substitute something else for the sour cream.  I went to the freezer.  I figured the electricity hadn’t been off that long during our last storm to cause any real damage…or growths.  I found a box of Creamed Spinach.  Ok, that’s cream and if the electricity had been off a little longer than I had thought, that might make it sour cream.  I continued reading the label, you know, just in case there was this limitation on thawed creamed spinach.  As I read on I discovered that it was made with artificial cream with a long list of totally unpronounceable additives and other assorted chemicals.

 Problem solved.

 I continued following my recipe substituting the artificial and chemically preserved creamed spinach for the questionable sour cream.  You can’t go wrong with USDA approved preservatives and fake, possibly sour, cream.

 After all, we are still eating those left over Twinkies from my 1962 graduation party, but don’t tell Blue Cross.

Friday, September 14, 2012

And I Couldn't Wait for School to Start!

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Geritol and orthopedic roller skates
The start of school must be like childbirth (or so I've heard.) When you have a strong desire for another child, you forget the morning sickness, mood swings, and the 96 hours of labor during which time you questioned the legitimacy of your husband's birth.  How quickly we forget; and how quickly we remember.  

3:30 a.m.  I’m awake.  Might as well get up; it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.  Hey, it’s quiet.  Time to write, after I put on a load of laundry.

6:00 Make lunches and breakfast, in that order

6:30 Get kids up, fed, dressed

7:20 Leave for school

8:05 Return home.  Now what?  Oh, cleaning, cooking, reset smoke detector, cooking again, Wal-Mart, laundry, errands.

1:00  Walk the I’ll –take-care-of-it-you-won’t-ever-have –to-do-anything-for-it-please-please-Dog. Eat lunch; look on blogs for a much needed laugh.

2:00 Pack snacks for after school

2:40  Leave to pick up kids

3-3:30   A blur of snatched snacks, “Sign this”, “Here’s a note.  It wasn’t my fault.” “Look. I got one right!” “This is the (worst, best, coolest, yukkiest) day of my life”.

3:31  Arrive home, throw out uneaten portions of lunches, kids eat “hold me till supper, supper.”

3:36 Start on second grade homework with second grader

3:37 Call second grade teacher for explanation of math assignment.

4:35  Finish with second grader, start on sixth grader.

4:36  Call sixth grade math teacher for help.

6:30  Send starving sixth grader to kitchen for supper while I Google algebra, composite numbers and

7:31 Sixth grader informs you she needs map colors for map assignment due at 8a.m.

7:32 Leave for Wal-Mart to purchase map colors.

8:15 Arrive home, make peanut butter and jelly sandwich for starving second grader’s second supper, give map colors to sixth grader.

8:17 Send second grader to the showers, throw his favorite-must-wear-tomorrow shirt and shorts in the washer.  Rewash 3:30a.m. now dried and semi-sour laundry.

8:23 Call out spelling words to second grader while he is in the shower.

8:30 Sixth grader starts on solar system cut and paste project.

8:31 Google recipe for homemade paste.

8:50 Hold the solar system up in the air to dry as wet naked second grader runs through the house looking for a clean towel.

8:51  Dr. Hubby asks “Need any help?”

8:52   Shotgun located, now searching for shells.

8:59 Give up on locating shells, throw pajamas on now air dried second grader and send him to bed.

9:10  Hand near dry revolving solar system to sixth grader with instructions to pack backpack and go to bed.

9:20 Eat five chocolate cupcakes with a Chocolate Tru-Moo milk chaser.

9:30  Make more chocolate cupcakes

9:45 Reset smoke detector.

10:00 Breathing near normal, blood pressure  278/167 down 89 points.

10:15 Shower, brush teeth, tell Dr. Hubby it is safe to remove flak jacket.

11:00 Sleep

11:45  Jump up and put the favorite-must –wear-tomorrow shirt and shorts in the dryer along with twice washed 3:30 a.m. load

12:00 Sleep

3:30 a.m.  REPEAT with few variations.

I can do this.  I can do this.  Only 175 school days until summer!  It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It Was a Four Cupcake Night

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Math-a-Diabetic Counseling

The biggest challenge in raising a prepubescent tweenager is not the hormonal fluctuations that at times can register a 12 on the Richter Scale or dealing with the tragedy of having to wear jeans that do not have slits and slashes in them or even keeping track of all the BF’s (that’s text talk for Best Friend) that can change hourly.  It isn’t even raising a child when there is a 57 year age difference.  No, the real challenge is helping with sixth grade homework.

And it isn’t even helping with all homework.  Cutting and pasting the solar system on construction paper, I can handle that.  I can outline Texas on the map so she can color it with map colors for social studies.  Heck, I even know the shape of Rhode Island.  When it comes to sentence structure, I can definitely help with simple subject and predicate.  But what sends me to the chocolate cupcakes faster than a Jenny Craig drop-out is math.

Granted, it’s been 40 years since I was in a math class, but you’d think 2 +2 still equals 4 but today’s
sixth graders are way beyond dealing with just  plain numbers.  They have PRIME numbers and COMPOSITE numbers and evidently numbers that aren’t even real.

After an hour of screaming and crying and shouting “When will this ever be used?” the tween-ager sought help from a much calmer Dr. Hubby while I got chocolate cupcake number one and tried to breathe normally.  Five minutes later Dr. Hubby said he would assume the supervision of the second grader’s homework AND buy me a condo on Maui, IF I would continue helping with the sixth grade homework.  Cupcake number two!

Math and a right brained person do not mix.  They are not simpatico. They do not speak the same language, not on the same page, different worlds.  Problem:  8 divided by 2 X (3-2) to the second power minus 4 = ?????  To the math teacher’s credit, she did provide a mnemonic device to help with tonight’s homework and this right brained elderly parent.  This is good.  I can deal with mnemonics; after all, I learned to read music with F-A-C-E and Every Good Boy Does Find, at least the treble cleft part.

To help in solving the problem, she gave us “Pass the Potatoes My Dear Aunt Sally” which stood for the order of the steps you follow to solve the problem:  Parenthesis, Power, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract. “ Ok, get rid of the parenthesis first so that’s 3-2, which is 1 then exponents ok that’s still one, so on to potatoes…no that’s Dear… Abby … no wait….” After the second hour my neurotic device was “Panicked Parent Malfunctioning During Arithmetic Session.” We needed a break.  Chocolate cupcake number three.

Now with an additional 1500 calories under my stretch pants and chocolate endorphins coursing through my brain, I was sure we could finish the assignment before morning… or I had to bake more cupcakes.   I was mumbling “Now that’s 8 divided by 2 cups of flour on the harmonica times 1500 calories to the tenth power…” when I heard the tweenager say  “Never mind, I got it.  While you were licking the icing off your cupcake, I called my teacher and my study partner.  You were doing it all wrong, but thanks anyway.”

And that’s when I ate chocolate cupcake number four!