I’ve been racing against the clock since the first of March trying to get all my flower beds weeded and covered with new mulch before Memorial Day. After that date, it is too hot to work out in the yard and I become an air-conditioning fanatic.

Heat in the upper 90’s is bad enough but down here in the South, we get this additional ingredient called humidity. That stuff makes you sweat buckets. Next thing you know, your Misery Index is up there in the stratosphere.

I’ve thought about this a lot and I’ve come to the conclusion that I might be able to garden past Memorial Day if I could give up wearing clothes. If everyone gave up clothes in the summer, my nakedness would be no big deal. Besides, wasn’t there an Emperor who wore no clothes? Under the law of What’s Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander, the rest of us should also be allowed to wear no clothes.

Additionally, everyone could see what everyone else had and decide whether or not they wanted to fool with it. It would be the ultimate in honesty. After all, clothes hide all manner of saggy parts. Here are my saggy parts:

Can I get an Amen on this?


My dishwasher was having issues. It’s twelve. The internet, where I take all my problems except mental health, decided I needed a part.  Off I went to the appliance parts store. I walked in to see three women behind the counter, one of them with green hair. I knew immediately I had fallen off the crooked moon into the Twilight Zone. I couldn’t make a run for it, either, because Green Hair was looking at me expectantly.

The two younger women were talking among themselves leaving Green Hair as my only option despite her appearance sending my Uh-oh Meter into the Disaster Zone. She looked my age or older and I tried to convince myself that she might have a clue what she was doing. The green hair gave me doubts. What if that green dye had seeped into her brain and eaten away all the good parts?

I presented my Owner’s Manual and explained that I wanted a water valve. Green Hair wasn’t having it. Said my Owner’s Manual was useless to her. She wanted the Model Number off the inside door of the dishwasher. Who knew? How many times have I looked at that sticker and never paid any attention to it?

The water inlet valve was going to set me back $55. Not being a wealthy woman, I mentally eased away from the counter. What were the odds of the two teenagers or the green haired crone having any real knowledge about broken down dishwashers? Spending the $55 was not high on my list so I threw it out there. I told Green Hair that the bottom of the dishwasher had filled up with water only once and did not fill up again after draining it (Press the Cancel button. Mine is marked “Cancel drains automatically”).

Front panel of dishwasher
Not a sharp photo but you get the idea.

I also admitted that the dishwasher had begun to “smell.” Green Hair was clueless and whipped around to consult the teenagers.

Immediately, the arrow on my Uh-oh Meter beat frantically against the Disaster Zone as if it trying to say “No. No. No.”  Those kids couldn’t know anything! They hadn’t been on the planet long enough. I felt bad about myself, though, when The Kid started to talk like she knew what she was talking about. She was way ahead of me. In comparison, it’s a wonder I knew which button to push to make the dishwasher run.

According to The Kid, my water line was likely clogged up. She suggested I run the dishwasher with bleach in the little soap thingies and Green Hair declared, “Let’s hold off on ordering your part.”

I went home and ran the dishwasher with bleach. I kept an eye on it in case it started spewing water all over the kitchen. Ran like a charm, the smell went away and it did not fill up with water.

The next morning, it still had not filled up with water. I called to thank the Amazing All Woman Crew for their help.

The point of this missive is simple. If you go to the internet to solve your problem and your problem is not exactly like the one you find, then you need to keep looking or ask questions before you spend money on a solution that may not work for you. May your dishwasher serve you well.




The mental floss for the mind started with Zorro. He was outside in the cold trying to prove he was a Big Boy like Whiskey although Whiskey was not around to witness his heroism. When I opened the front door for the third time at 3 a.m., he dashed inside and ran for my bed.

I was unable to go back to sleep because he was purring like an outboard motor with a bad set of spark plugs. Staring into the dark, I dumpster dived through all the mental flotsam and jetsam that floats through our heads.

Thinking about Whiskey, I wondered how domesticated stray cats look for a new household. Big Foot watched me from across the property for a long time before he ventured up to the porch for my food offering. The food coaxed Whiskey from the bushes in front of my house. I looked at him in amazement and asked, “Where did you come from?”



I couldn’t help but wonder how two stray cats showed up at MY door when the houses of Poppie and Country Boy, both cat people, were 80 feet away.  Did I have a special cat people smell? Did I have an invisible antenna sending out cat radar?

The internet doesn’t seem to know how we get chosen unless I was looking in all the wrong places. If you find out, please enlighten me.



These are my crockpots


How many of you are afraid to turn on a slowcooker or crockpot and leave the house? I was always afraid the crockpot might burn my house to the ground while I was at work because stuff happens to me. I don’t volunteer for stuff; it jumps on me with glee.

Once I left the 9-to-5 life, I had time to monitor bad crockpot behavior and searched the back of my pantry for a one-quart crockpot I had purchased many years before. It must have been many, many years ago because the metal body had rotted away to nothing while I wasn’t looking. On the bad crockpot behavior list, such action should be right behind torching my house. A crockpot sitting on a dry pantry shelf should not rot away. Even if it sits there for 30 years. I was going to use it someday!

This freak rust incident prompted the purchase of an oval-shaped crockpot by Hamilton Beach. I have cooked all manner of meals in this crockpot although I can’t recommend Crockpot Lasagna.

After a while, I was overcome with the desire for a programmable crockpot. I purchased a 6-quart, shiny stainless steel slow cooker by Crockpot. I can’t remember using it more than once or twice but I’ve got it if I need to feed the village.

Several years passed before temptation placed a third crockpot before me. It was a 2-quart crockpot for less than nine dollars. A bargain! I envisioned using it for side dishes. I could see black-eyed peas in my future.

The 2-quart crockpot went home with me. Rather than open the box, I went to my computer to look for recipes specific to a 2-quart crockpot. I was amazed. There were several websites but Pinterest had the most recipes.

The next day, problems with the new crockpot came to mind.

  • I had nowhere to store it.
  • I had a buzzing in my brain that there might be something wrong with me. Three crockpots? How was I ever going to explain this to Miss Priss on our weekly telephone chat? From time to time, her end of the telephone line goes silent after I have spoken. What if a third crockpot brought on the silent treatment? What if Priss began to think I was making too many Crooked Moon orbits (this is defined at Chicken News)?

In the end, I lost the courage to keep the 2-quart crockpot and returned it to the store. Do any of you have more than two crockpots? It’s time for you to confess.


Buying a used car is tricky business. We worry about the previous owner’s maintenance of the vehicle. We worry it was banged up in a wreck. We worry the car might be a lemon.

Seldom do we worry that a car was an accessory to crime (see Myrtle It’s A Haint) because it doesn’t occur to us that a car would do such a thing. Even if we select a car without suspicious stains or obvious bullet holes, it could have learned bad habits from the previous owner.

Like donuts.  I don’t have a problem with donuts. Honest. My car, though, harbors a serious addiction to them. I learned this when Krispy Kreme moved into a neighborhood shopping center.

Krispy-Kreme-on-103rd-Street -0276
The first time I pulled into the opposite side of the parking lot, the car went bonkers. It was bouncing on its chassis like all four shocks had simultaneously exploded as it lunged in the direction of the Krispy Kreme.  You should try driving a  car  that is rising up on its back tires hollering “YEEHAWWW!”  It’s an experience. I promise.

As addictions go, this one doesn’t cost a whole lot. Two donuts at Krispy Kreme run about $2.18. The problem, as I see it, is the car’s insistence that I eat the two donuts. This is doing nothing for my middle-aged figure. If I could lift the hood and throw donuts at the engine, then the car, instead of me, could figure out how to slip into that little black dress.

I recently mentioned this problem to a friend of mine. She confessed that her last used car had done the same thing whenever she tried to drive past Krispy Kreme. It got so that the Krispy Kreme clerks knew her order by heart. At the point when the car tires were starting to bulge, she made the decision to cut back on her donut order. It didn’t go well. The clerk looked out the window, recognized her, and said, “Ooops, I’ve got your order wrong. Let me get your usual dozen.” When she yelled “Nooooooo, my car is on a diet,” the clerk ignored her. She got her usual dozen donuts. Free.

I offer this to you as a gentle warning. Yes, a new car loses a pile of money the minute you wheel it off the lot but the used car? You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.

Note: I had to make an emergency trip to the vacuum cleaner store on July 23rd. With a death grip on the steering wheel, I managed to drive past the Krispy Kreme two doors down from the vacuum cleaner store. The car threw a fit when I tried to drive past the second Krispy Kreme. I was given a senior citizen discount I did not know about and did not request. Worse yet, the clerk managed to ascertain my old age from behind the building and around a corner. I should have purchased a dozen donuts and stuffed that car’s mouth with them!