Monday, October 31, 2011

Local Man Beats Wife

(© 2000 by Laurie Kay Olson)

Well, Erma Rose an’ I had been feudin’ ever the years
An’ we finally decided that it was time to have it out once an’ for all.
Bubba an’ Loretta Sue wouldn’t take sides to help settle this,
So we figured that the only thing we could do was to take it public.
We both signed up for the annual Succotash County Chili Cook-Off
To benefit the victims of the latest disaster to hit the trailer park.
I think this year it was an infestation of hamsters
After someone there decided to raise money by breedin’ ‘em.
The whole thing got a little outta hand when Dixie June Belle’s cat, Smoochums,
The one she uses sometimes in her strippin’ act over to the Kit Katt Club,
Took offense to someone makin’ a pussy joke an’ went on a tear.
Didn’t hurt any of the hamsters, just tore through the screen door
At ol’ Walt Jones’ place an’ knocked over all o’ the cages.
Well, Smoochums was so terrified by the noise he made
That he went shootin’ out the back door an’ up that ol’ cottonwood tree by the creek.
Hamsters were everywhere. Took two months to get ‘em all caught.
An’ then Walt couldn’t sell them an’ had to just give ‘em away.
But I die-gress.
Erma Rose has been braggin’ on her Tantalizin’ Texas Two-Step Chili for years.
An’ I been sayin’ it ain’t nothin’ compared to my chili.
It’ll make your eyes an’ mouth water like a rusty bucket.
They hold the contest in a big ol’ tent over to the county fairgrounds now –
Ever since the fumes made the paint peel off the walls
Of the American Legion Hall back about three years ago.
So there we was cookin’ with the best cooks in the county.
Sheriff Harlan Tuttle was stirrin’ up his Rio Grand-ee Riot Chili –
That’s his extra special recipe that won first prize last year.
Says he’s got somethin’ new in it that will make it a sure fire repeat.
I’m guessin’ it’s sure fire gonna repeat on ya all right.
Camilla Marie Boyd was mixin’ up her secret California Crimson Chili.
The competition was almost as hot as the spices we was usin’.
Billy Bob Henderson had come over from the drugstore
With a whole case o’ Rolaids he was donatin’ to the judges.
Two years ago he was outta town an’ they had to break into his store to get some relief.
All the neighbors had showed up to watch the judges decide.
An’ little Jimmy Walker said he just come to watch ‘em turn funny colors
An’ start chokin’ when the heat got to be too much for ‘em.
I was getting’ so nervous that I sweat right through my Arid Extra Dry.
Them judges were lookin’ so serious an’ solemn as they tested an’ tasted
That you’d never believe they are the rowdiest bowlin’ team
Ever to loft a ball at the Bowl-O-Rama over to Taylor Holler.
Last Halloween, after a couple o’ beers, they tried bowlin’ with pumpkins.
Made a turrible mess o’ everything. Fortunately they had borrowed the pins
An’ pulled that stunt in the parkin’ lot after closin’ time
Or they’d ‘a’ spent November as a guest of Harlan’s over to the jail.
As it was it took ‘em several hours to wash of the pins an’ clean up the parkin’ lot.
Again I die-gress, I’d just figured out that they was gonna go an’ say
That Erma Rose’s chili was a far sight better ‘n’ mine
When all o’ the sudden they up an’ hand me this fancy blue ribbon.
It made me feel kinda bad for Erma Rose for a moment,
But then they handed her the second place ribbon
An’ tellin’ her that it had been a real tough call to make,
You know, kinda like a first down in a blizzard.
Harlan was hoppin’ mad that he didn’t win first place again this year,
Or even make it to a distant second. I thought he was gonna throw third in the trash.
Then he thought better of it. Probably because he didn’t want nobody thinkin’
That he hadn’t got nothin’ but an honorable mention.
That man shore is into havin’ folks think a lot of him.
He’s gonna be difficult to live with for the next couple o’ weeks.
Good thing he ain’t married or that woman’d have hell to pay.
Erma Rose an’ me just hugged an’ made up right quick.
Then we posed for pictures with our ribbons an’ our bowls o’ chili.
Loretta Sue said she took a picture so that next time we’re a feudin’
She can remind us that we’re both the best chili cooks in the county.
I told her that her momma an’ I could accept that right enough
But just until the sour dough bread bake-off at the county fair.
That’s when Erma Rose’s Peanut Butter an’ Pickle Pumpernickel
Is gonna go heat to head with my Ragin’ Cajun Rye.

Friday, October 28, 2011


2 lbs. ground beef or ground chuck
1 jar spaghetti sauce (check label for no sugars)
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 sm. zucchini, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2-4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 sm. can sliced black olives, drained
1 tsp. all-purpose Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. crushed or chopped garlic
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese

In large skillet brown the ground beef. Add all veggies and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Add sauce and seasonings and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve in a bowl, top with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6 heartily.

Variations: add broccoli or cauliflower florets, chopped eggplant, chopped fresh spinach leaves or sliced carrots.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Snow May Fall

Okay, the first snow of the season started to fall last night. Certainly not out of the question for late October, but this year very little of the tree canopy had fallen first. The carnage in my yard was incredible. I kept getting woken up in the night as limbs broke and fell. I had to move several large limbs just to get out to my car so that I could make it to work. By lunchtime more branches had come down and my clothesline it a total loss. It sounds like a small thing, but clotheslines are no longer allowed where I live and this one was grandfathered about 30 years ago so that I was allowed to have it. I have yet to check on the roof, but I am not overly concerned since I already had a roofer called to come and check out the roof anyway.

The cat thinks I have lost my mind for ordering such a big cold storm all of a sudden. She still thinks that I am the responsible party for absolutely everything. After all, if I can make food appear in the dish, and poop disappear from the litter box I must possess all other omnipotent powers.

By Saturday the temperatures will be back around 70. These trees have a habit of dropping their leaves all at once, like a Charlie Brown cartoon. People don't believe me when I say this until they witness it for themselves. I will be spending a major amount of the weekend hauling branches and raking leaves. Stand by for sarcasm - It sounds like soooooo much fun. I can hardly wait. **sigh**

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You Might be a Boulderite if. . .

(c) 2011 by Laurie Kay Olson. Original version (c) 1996 by the Colorado Daily Newspaper

Boulder is unique, to say the least. Since most people who live here have come from somewhere else, how do you know when you’ve attained true Boulderite status?

As an observant Boulder native, and therefore also innately eccentric, I have a list of criteria to help you identify when you have really arrived. If you are truly a Boulderite you probably:
  • Have experienced wind damage when a sudden gust of wind blew your kayak, skis, or snowboard off the roof of your late model four-wheel-drive vehicle (for natives this would be from the roof of your aging used car that cost less than the kayak, skis, or snowboard).
  • Have one excuse for everything from minor fatigue to Republicans: “It’s the altitude.”
  • Have a better-than-average chance of if identifying food such as daikon, kohlrabi, ginger root, and shitake mushrooms at the supermarket, and know what to do with them when you get home.
  • Think that wind is only a light, refreshing breeze until gusts exceed 90 mph, or blow your dog across the lawn, whichever comes first.
  • Have had at least one self-righteous argument about the smoking ban or gay rights.
  •  If Republican, find yourself having errant liberal thought accompanied by the occasional urge to hug a tree.
  •  If Democrat, find yourself in a liberal paradise.
  •  Have taken sides on the skier vs. boarder issue and can argue it with a certain amount of eloquence, even if you do neither.
  • Own at least one crystal, fossil, or really cool-looking rock.
  • Have the ability to commute to work via auto, bus, cycle, fax, email, or telepathy.
  • Are surprised to meet someone who was actually born in Boulder (we do exist; honestly, it’s not just a myth).
  • Have had an encounter with a wild animal larger than a squirrel within a short distance of your domicile (if not closer).
  • Believe that living here is a result of your karma.
  • Have nearly knocked off a bicycle breaking traffic laws, or been a bicyclist who has nearly been knocked off by a motorist breaking traffic laws.
  • Now complain about the humidity while newcomers are desperately trying to fin their moisturizer.
  • Are addicted to at least one trendy outdoor activity – skiing, boarding, rafting, kayaking, sailing, hiking, mountain biking, etc.
  • Suffer severe guilt pangs about throwing something away, even if you know it is not reusable or recyclable.
Now some tips on how to identify Boulder natives. They are able to pronounce Colorado backwards, sing the Panthers’ or Knights’ fight songs, begin sentences with “I remember when. . .” and actually remember when the letters CU were painted on the Flatirons.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Local Woman Survives Plane Crash

Erma Rose Parker Recovering from Minor Injuries

(© 2000 by Laurie Kay Olson)

Well, it all started when my Earl decided to get some things done around the house.
You could have knocked me over with a pin feather when he actually started.
He’s always Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to the farm chores,
But when it comes to things that need doin’ around the house
It’s like he keeps a-hopin’ that if he ignores it long enough it will fix itself.
Eny-who, he gets around to workin’ on the back door –
The one that’s been stickin’ for the last two years.
Ever since my boy Bubba let the bathtub upstairs overflow
Whilst he was a-tryin’ to teach the cat to swim.
You never seen a critter angrier or sadder lookin’ in your life.
Who knew that a good two-thirds of a cat is dry fur?
The poor thing hid out in the barn for two weeks
‘Til he was sure Bubba wasn’t goin’ to try it agin.
Ever since the door got soaked it had been givin’ us grief at ev’ry turn.
Eny-who, Earl takes the door offa it’s hinges and set it up on his ol’ saw horses
On the lawn not far from where I was pullin’ dandy-lions outta the side garden.
It was real pleasant for awhile, ‘cept for the fact
That Earl was swearin’ now and agin when things was goin’ slow.
He was workin’ away planin’ down the bottom o’ the door all careful like,
When all of a sudden he hit a tough bit and went at it extra hard with the elbow grease
An’ that plane took off outta his hands like it had a couple o’ jet engines on fire.
Afore I could duck that thing came flyin’ across and hit me square in the head.
I let out one whale of a yell as that thing bounced offa my skull
An’ crashed into those ol’ pink flamingos that Earl insists on keepin’.
He thinks they make the lawn look dressy, poor addled man.
Sometimes I need to take him to get his eyes checked.
Those things could only dress up our lawn if we lived down to the trailer park
With one o’ those yards where they cain’t grow nuthin’ but rocks, an’ even then. . .
My language even made ol’ Earl, a real ol’ cuss, start a-blushin’.
Either that or he was terrified that he had gone and kilt me off before I made dinner.
There was little bits of pink plastic bird all over the yard an’ just those skinny legs stickin’ up.
I felt like both my eyes had gone an’ got stuck together in the same socket.
Earl got me up into the truck an’ took me over to see Doc Hanson,
Apologizing up one side an’ down the t’other all the way.
Doc checked me over an’ said I wasn’t much worse for the wear
Though I’d probably have a crease in my forehead for a couple o’ weeks.
He wrote me out two prescriptions then. One for the pain and the t’other for a proper handyman.
One good thing sure did come outta this. Those flamingoes are dead an’ gone for good.
Now maybe we can get somethin’ really classy to put in there –
Like a couple o’ those big see-ment frogs they have over to the garden center in El Dorado.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Local Woman Named Succotash County Mother of the Year

© 2003 by Laurie Kay Olson

(Here is a little taste of what is going on in my book. Let me know what you think!)

When I got the call from the committee sayin’ that I’d won
You coulda knocked me over with a pin feather.
Who’d a guessed that my Loretta Sue could write so nice?
Though I wisht she hadn’t mentioned that time last year
When I accidentally shut the cat in the clothes dryer
An’ it took so long to figure out what that thumpin’ noise was
That the poor thing had a terrible case o’ static cling for two weeks
An’ kept walkin’ round the house covered in socks an’ lint.
Eny-who, Earl an’ me had been startin’ to think that Loretta Sue
Wasn’t gonna have no God-given talent at all from the looks o’ things,
Ever since we had to take her out of Miz Patsy’s tap dancing class
‘Cause her foot kept missin’ the floor an’ she’d fall over.
Now we’re jist as proud as can be over her –
Mebbe she’ll grow up to be a famous book writer.
Although I’d hate for her to go tellin’ our family secrets
Like the time ol’ Grandpa Parker broke wind somethin’ fierce
At the Founder’s Day Picnic over to the county fairgrounds.
Right in the middle of his speech introducin’ Miz Succotash County 1992.
An’ right in front o’ the mayor an’ the entire Pea Pod Junction City Council.
It was the most embarrassin’ thing that’s happened to our family
Since Bubba was a little baby an’ threw up his strained beets
All over Governor Clinton when he was runnin’ for President.
Eny who, Earl an’ me would be real thankful if we could jist find
Somethin’ Bubba was good at besides gettin’ into trouble
An’ havin’ burpin’ contests with his daddy durin’ football games.
Eny-who, they give me this award at a big chicken dinner
Over to the American Legion Hall in Bixby Corners.
They had it done up so nice I hardly knew the place.
Not at all like the time they had ol’ Emmett Crowley’s funeral there
An’ forgot they’d already scheduled the volunteer fireman’s
Monthly chug-a-lug contest an nickel-ante poker night.
It made for the strangest funeral ever seen in these parts
What with Emmett lookin’ so nice all laid out in his Sunday best
An’ all the mourners playin’ poker with the firemen.
Earl won seventeen fifty on a straight flush that day.
Said it was the best luck he ever had playin’ poker.
Eny-who, my Loretta Sue read her composition out loud
Jist like there was no one at all watchin’ her standin’ there.
She didn’t even miss a piece when Bubba threw a spit-wad at er.
She jist ducked an’ kept on readin’ like she did that ev’ryday.
 Earl quick whupped Bubba up-side the head so he wouldn’t do it agin.
I’ve been named mother o’ the year but I got alotta help gittin’ there.
I mean I couldn’t be mother o’ the year if Earl hadn’t got me in the family way
Right there on our honeymoon to Graceland an’ the Grand Ole Opry.
Oh, no I probably shouldn’t have said that, but there it is.
I only hope that I can serve as a role model for generations
Of Succotash County women to come.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Have Blog Lag

While I am not completely inept when it comes to computers, I am beginning to suspect that I am not quite as "ept" as I may have thought I was. Setting up this blog was much harder that I thought it would be. I found it a bit harder than trying to set up a simple Drupal website. But that is most likely because I was blessed with a whole staff of Drupal experts then and am sitting here alone now. I do have a coworker who will likely help me some, but she is still a novice as well, so it will probably be the blind leading the blond.

At the same time I am attempting to not ignore my main task: To write. That book isn't going to finish itself. If it was it would have done so by now. 
At any rate, I have the blogger's blues from trying to get this all set up and understand what they mean by "page" and "label" and reconcile it with what my expectation of those terms are. :-P to the world at the moment (present readership excluded). Please add the raspberry sound yourself, it's much too hard to type. I promise that something actually worth reading really is coming, I just have to finish wrestling between the halves of my brain a little longer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Welcome to My World!

I thought I'd invite you all along on this journey called life while I struggle with working full-time while writing a book, running my home, dealing with my garden in an obsessive-compulsive way, care for the psycho-cat who lives with me, and deal with the thoughts that will take up residence in my head. I shall endeavor to avoid run-on sentences like the previous one and make you laugh.

Your money cheerfully refunded if I fail to make you laugh at some point.

I took the title of my blog from a column I used to write for the Colorado Daily Newspaper many years ago. There are days when I may just post repeats of my column when I am feeling too lazy or tired to create fresh verbiage for you.

A few words of warning about me: typically, I am funny, irreverent, candid, sometimes caustic, sometimes loveable, sometimes as hugable as a cactus, an admitted bleeding-heart liberal, and have a strong spiritual bent. I am a spinster with a cat, but I rarely fit the mold. I am a recovering hoarder and an old sci fi geek. If you try to label me you will run out of labels.

So welcome to my world. I'm glad you stopped by.