Sunday, February 28, 2010

Boy Bait

I hated selling Girl Scout cookies. I still hold the record for selling the fewest boxes – six – for Troop 114/Racine County, WI, set during the 1969 cookie season. The troop leader chewed me out. I never got over it…

So whenever I see pimply, fattish, greasy-haired, pasty-faced, bespectacled, saturnine, truculent little Girl Scouts such as I was out in front of the Sav-A-Lot or the Wal-Mart, I buy their cookies. The above photo was taken on top of my car because I keep them locked in the trunk. In the house the Peanut Butter Patties would not last four hours. I don’t care for Thin Mints, but everyone else loves them. Ladies, these are major Boy Bait. Give it to the right Midwestern man and he will chase you around the table, if he’s a spry one, or just propose marriage if he’s lazy.

Girl Scouts camping experience gave me my love for the woods and country and rocks and birds and brooks, and that is why I now live in my dream home that has all these marvels and delights on its 100 acres.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Black and White

Black and white rule the country right now -- especially because sunshine here has been rare -- so the pink nose and elegant toes of this young lady caught my eye as she feasted on fallen birdseed and cracked corn. (Thought it would attract turkeys! Not yet!) Unusual to see an opossum in daylight. But free food, early in the evening, changes everything. Beautiful fur! She's a marsupial, and I wonder if she's looking for a boyfriend right now.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thresher Memorial, Eureka, MO

One of the few memorials to the nuclear submarine Thresher, which sank and imploded 200 miles off Cape Cod in 1963, killing all 129 men aboard. This tragedy has haunted me ever since it was featured in the June 1964 National Geographic. So confident was the Navy in this new kind of boat that it had neglected to establish rescue procedures. Stone is at the base of the flagpole in the Eureka, MO post office parking lot, on Thresher Drive. What this memorial is doing so far from any oceangoing activity isn’t clear – probably the street was created and named when the tragedy was news. YouTube has footage of Thresher in the water and at its christening ceremony.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Very Superstitious

Propane tanks have gauges that go from 0 to 100. Higher means fuller. Lower means it's running out.

But rather like the belief that broken cookies have no calories -- I believed that IF I DIDN'T LOOK AT THE GAUGE the gas level would not change. Because life is a matter of faith and belief.

In October I filled the tank, expecting 8 to 11 months of heat as always. And was carefree. Then a friend called yesterday and said, "Checked your propane tank?"

I said, I don't need to, there's plenty. He said, Check it anyway, please, the weather's going to be cold. I said, I know what I'm doing, and Why are you trying to make me anxious?

Back and forth for a while until I said, Okay okay, just to shut you up. So I go out and check it and guess what? The needle was on the ZERO!

Oh, I had to eat serious, major crow -- raw! -- and phone the propane company at once and pay their squeeze-the-turnip winter rate of $2.84/gallon. But their delivery truck didn't come today. Maybe because it's too cold.

I shut off my furnace so it won't suck air, and now I'm sittin in my parka, stocking cap, leg warmers, etc. in my 49 degree house, believing the truck will come tomorrow.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Behold, I was outside cuttin weeds and sawing and clearing winter's fallen branches, and I rake some leaves away and see this. Spring is coming.