Memorial Day (in the USA)

Remember.

Thank you.

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Get that order right . . . maybe

Last night we were rushing to get home with the groceries before Hubby arrived with the news about his workplace transfer. Did it go through, or was there a hitch? (Tie up that horse and go on.) Mama needed a kiddie burger. I pulled up to the Mickey D’s window.

“Welcome to Calories Central. Would you like to try our frozen Strawberry Lemonade?”

Would I ever. But . . . no.

“I just need a double cheeseburger with no meat.”

. . .

A screech from the sidecar. “No CHEESE, I said!” Laughter.

“I meant . . . yeah, no CHEESE. You know, a double HAMburger.”

Good thing the clerk’s first language wasn’t English or she’d have been laughing as I pulled around. She probably just thought about the crazy customers who should be going to the Have It Yer Own Way store.

Then I floored it for WallyWorld, where I could get some cold cuts from the deli so Hubs can make his own lunches for the next couple of weeks. Well, I was smart: I went to the deli and placed an order first (“be right back for that”), then ran through the rest of the store for a few odds and ends. Then I zipped to the self-checkout, scanned it all (“Unexpected item in bagging area” was my purse), and zoomed outside where the van was still idling (with doors locked and crew listening to crazy radio pundit–don’t get me started on his take on certain issues!) We were halfway home when Mama said in a disappointed voice, “We didn’t get any ham.”

*dang* How long had it been since we left? I pulled a U and got into snarled traffic. Was I even going the right way to the store? That’s what low blood sugar will do to a person. I hurried back inside and the deli clerk said, “I wondered what happened to you.”

Again with the self-checkout. When I was three or four, I remember expressing the desire to become a checkout clerk to the Henke-Pilot clerk because you got to use that conveyor belt thingie. (It was in the days before the price scanner; you actually had to punch in the sticky tag number and make the taxes calc yourself. Wow! What we did at Dairy Queen in the seventies was ignore the ones-place digit and divide by two, which gave a close enough approx of the 5% sales tax at the time. It HAS gone up.) Anyway, now that I get to check out my own groceries, the charm is gone. I feel as if I have to work at the store as well as shop there! No more riding on the conveyor belt like Maggie Simpson.

One quick stop at Dollar General and we’d be finished. “There’s a coupon for those chips,” chirped the clerk. She ran over to get one. The register didn’t recognize it. She ran back for the manager. A long line began to form. . . .

Coupon never did go through. Mutiny in aisle 9.

We got home to discover that his transfer was approved. Now comes the “proving yourself” phase all over again. And moving to a different cubicle! But he’s happy. He thinks.

(The phone is ringing. Oops–he’s at the doctor’s office and needs a check because they don’t take plastic. Off to the rescue with check #3405!)

Terrible storms have paused

Our area has been in the storm system that’s battered Missouri and Oklahoma. We’ve had mostly rain and wind (and a lot of thunder and lightning, Donner and Blitzen), but our sirens did go off last night because of the large hail across town. No damage close by, though.

I thought I’d post about it because the Channel 8 News last night was making it sound as if Richardson were blowing away, and we got phone calls from my sister-in-law, my mother’s cousin, and a friend who lives across the country. They were worried because of the reports of damage so close to us. But we’re fine. I am concerned about some areas that did have lots of trees down.

Joplin, Missouri, is GONE. My friend George Willard used to live in Carl Junction, but I think everyone in his family has left that area. Our prayers go out to everyone there who will be starting over. How is our government going to pay disaster relief . . . and how are the insurance companies going to pay off on all the claims? Not just in Missouri, but also in all the other places where entire towns were wiped off the map. They flooded part of Louisiana to save other parts of Louisiana. What happens to the people who were flooded out? There just isn’t enough charity to go around. It’s worrisome.

The wildflowers enjoyed the rain.

Now THAT’S class . . . recommending an agent

Third time’s the charm, I suppose. I got my third and final query rejection from a somewhat new agent, but she has been so classy in rejecting my work (LOVE IS THE BRIDGE, CAMILLE’S TRAVELS, and LITTLE RITUALS) that I want to recommend her to you. You could do a lot worse than send her a query–that is, if you have something that fits her needs and wants.

I’m disappointed that we didn’t connect, but anyway, she put it very kindly.

“I’m so sorry to be saying no to you again, but I’m going to pass on
LITTLE RITUALS. I actually rather liked your query, but the sample
you included didn’t captivate me. Since we’ve struck out three times, perhaps it would be best if you tried another agent. I’d be open to hearing from you again in the future, but it seems like we’re just not meshing at this particular moment in time.”

Story of my life. But anyhow, that was class. She made me feel as if she’d actually read the work. If some of the agents out there who are far less compassionate would follow her example, the world would be a nicer place.

Study up on her before you query, though. She’s Jessica Alvarez, new to BookEnds. Check those guidelines first.

As Scarlett always said, “Tomorrow’s another day . . . unless it isn’t.”

Dodged the horsemen

Well, we dodged the horsemen . . . so far. I feel a sense of relief somehow. Although I do know that we should always remember that tomorrow isn’t a promise. Live for today–in a sense–and enjoy the moment!

I puttered all day and the family couldn’t decide what it wanted to eat (everything sounded cruddy and I need to shop–and they all have diabetes and are on diets, including me, so they are tough to serve), so I finally called Chili’s about 5:45 PM local time and we zoomed over to pick up some burgers and one order of chicken club tacos. I got inside around 6:05 and found the restaurant PACKED. In fact, the traffic was terrible on the way there, and every parking lot was full of cars. People were definitely out in numbers.

“I suppose all those people are out celebrating the world not ending?” I said, to tease the counter lady.

“Yes!” she said. “Around 5 they started pouring into the bar. At 5:45 they started a countdown. I tell you what . . . people were worried this time. At six-oh-one there was an outgo of breath fit to blow the place down, and a cheer.” She shook her head. “I think people prayed it away, if it was going to happen. Remember how God changed His mind a couple of times, ‘the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much?’ Well, a lot of people have been praying in public and in private. I’m glad we got another chance.”

I couldn’t disagree with the sentiment.

Let’s all try harder out there (especially me).

(The burger, sans bun, was great. I ate the pickle slices and so far haven’t had an acid reaction. I’m losing weight so slowly that it can’t really be termed “losing” but perhaps “misplacing.” My hip has finally quit seizing up, though, so I can go back to the stationary bicycle tomorrow. The dog is mystified by that thing; he can’t understand why Mommy goes so fast for such a long time and doesn’t get anywhere. It’s sort of a metaphor for my writing career.)

(About which . . . more later.)

Repent, just in case

So . . . as the Channel 8 News here in D/FW was going off, they showed a shot of our gorgeous sunset. The newscasters quipped, “It was magnificent. And if it looks different tomorrow at this time . . . it was nice knowin’ y’all.” “See you on the other side,” from GHOSTBUSTERS, came to mind.

I know people are being silly about it. But just think . . . here’s the scoop.

1) Yes, it was stated that no one knows the date of the end of the world–but this means you should be prepared ANYTIME, so it doesn’t hurt to take stock and repent now and then, and do something you really want to do, at least. Be ready anytime.

2) It says the day will come like a thief in the night. What better time to actually do the end of the world than a time when everyone is making fun of it and NOT expecting it, perversely? This is just the kind of thing that the Universe would find amusing, I fear.

3) I played the lottery tonight because I figured I would win because the world would be ending and I’d never get down to Austin to claim my $$. I did win $12 (which I haven’t redeemed yet–I’d better hurry.)

Anyway. Y’all go do something you really want to do tomorrow. The Wildflower Music Festival is going on here in Richardson (despite the thundershowers that show up every few hours) and I can hear the bass and a muffled vocal from my front yard. There are some good groups playing this year. Mama wanted to go, but by the time she’d make it all the way from the parking lot to the fest pushing that walker, she’d have to lie down and rest. We really need some kind of parking sticker or hangtag, but the doctor is Mean and will not give it. *sulk* I wrote a song for the festival a few years ago, and I still like the song, but I never have gotten it recorded in any kind of decent way. Maybe next year.

If there is one, of course.

In either case, I’ll see you here or there.

Go be serene for a while. It’ll drive your enemies crazy.

Must have answers!

Okay, I’m going great guns again on a manuscript. But!

1) I said a singer was as good as Susan Boyle. I am told she has had her fifteen minutes of fame, and to use someone else. But not to use Streisand or another classic singer. I already said she was better than Britney . . . I need today’s Judy Garland or Aretha Franklin. Celine Dion? Too out-of-date? Anyone? Bueller?

2) Who is a currently dishy guy that everyone knows? I don’t know a single “new” actor. I am hopelessly outdated in saying people look like Keanu Reeves or Cary Grant or even a young John Wayne.

3) Who is a famous Peace Corps-type person? Someone who has gone out into foreign countries and made a difference in ministering to the poor. How about Bono? Mother Teresa seems too religious. Florence Nightingale was too medical. I’m thinking of some celeb who goes out to “feed the poor in the third world” the way Sally Struthers used to before she got fatte and was accused of eating the third world people. *grin* I need some missionary-type person to refer to.

(These pop culture references are KILLER when my pop culture is stranded firmly in the 1960s/70s/80s and even in the 1800s.)

And most vexing:

4) My heroines are teen sisters who have gone to rescue their cousin from an evil crew of sorcerers. Their parents are Yuppie types that are preoccupied with their own lives to the point where they don’t watch the girls TOO closely, but the girls are homeschooled (ha). So! When they leave and don’t come home for dinner, this is going to scare most parents. The mother will start calling their cell phones. They don’t want her to turn them in as runaways or interfere. So . . . would it make sense for them to leave a note saying they are reminding Mom that today is the first day of some kind of camp or activity they supposedly signed up for long ago (and thus Mom has forgotten) and that they’ll see her in a few days . . . and as a backup, they’re going to have a friend of theirs back home check in now and then with the parents to reassure them that he has seen the group they’re with (he is doing a day camp version of this, let’s say)? Okay, then. What kind of camp could it be? A math camp, a horse camp, Girl Scouts, what? I need to come up with something so that the mom can call the girls on the cell and be “reassured” that they are on a trail hike, or about to hit the swimming hole, or whatever. (When they are actually rescuing their cousin by means of magic.)

Anyone with any ideas, please comment! This all needs to make sense. . . .