Saturday, July 30, 2016


Recently, one of my friends confessed to me that she was having trouble adjusting to her husband’s retirement.

“Don’t get me wrong,” she said, “I really love the man. But being with him 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is…well, driving me crazy!”

I had to chuckle, mainly because her words made me think back to 2006, when my husband first retired.

That day, my life, as I’d known it, changed dramatically. 

Back in the good old days, when my husband still worked, I’d roll out of bed around 11 a.m., grab a bowl of cereal and watch deep, meaningful TV shows like soap operas or “The Price is Right.”

But my husband’s retirement changed all of that. 

Instead of watching Erica Kane marrying her 23rd husband on “All my Children,” I had to suffer through such gems as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part II” and at least six Steven Seagal movies where everyone was beaten up, karate-chopped or shot within the first 10 minutes, and 112 cars ended up crashing into everything from fire hydrants to hot-dog stands.

When my husband wasn’t watching TV, he was napping. In the first two days of his retirement, he took 11 naps.  I’d never had to be quiet for so long in my life.  I didn’t dare vacuum because it would wake him.  I didn’t dare play with the dogs because it would wake him.  I even got stomach pains while stifling belches because I was afraid they might wake him. It was torture.  Every hour or so, I had to dash out back into the woods and make noise, just to get it out of my system.

When my husband still was working, he went to bed at 11 o’clock sharp every night.  I, being a night owl, would then have my private time to write on my novel, answer my email, write in my journal or enjoy my favorite late-night TV.

But because my husband was taking so many naps during the day, he was wide awake at 11 o’clock.  So he would sit up with me…and talk.  And then he would talk some more.  And when he wasn’t talking, he was singing…or humming…or shaking his prescription bottles (full of pills) as if they were maracas…to accompany himself while he was singing or humming.

Needless to say, the only creative thing I managed to write when he sat up with me every night was, “Note to self:  Hide prescription bottles!”

It was nice when, before my husband retired, he was interested in hobbies.  When we first were married, he collected coins.  He would sit for hours, a magnifying glass in hand, checking the dates and mint marks on coins and then listing their conditions.  All I had to do was hand him a coffee can full of loose change and tell him I thought I’d seen an Indian-head penny in there, and he’d be quiet for hours.

Then he decided he wanted to build furniture, so he set up a woodworking shop out back in the shed.  Except for the distant noise of saws buzzing and occasional hammering (and occasional cursing when he accidentally hammered a body part), I never knew he was around.

Unfortunately, he built a coffee table with one leg shorter than the others and kept hacking off the legs to make them even…until he ended up with a lap tray. That’s when his interest in building furniture abruptly ended.

He then developed an interest in model trains. Even though we had no place to set them up, he bought enough trains, buildings, fake trees and rocks, vehicles and accessories to fill a storage unit the size of an airplane hangar. He never even took them out of their boxes.

“Now that you’re retired,” I said to him after he’d been retired for about a month, “you finally can make all of those models for your train layouts.  In fact, I think the first one you should tackle is that roller-coaster kit I bought for you.”

The reason why I suggested that particular kit was because it contained about 18 million pieces of wood-like plastic that had to be assembled. The end result was supposed to be an actual working roller coaster that looked similar to the old coaster at Canobie Lake Park. As far as I could figure, it would take him about three years to finish it.

His heavy sigh told me he wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about my suggestion. “Where am I supposed to build it?” he asked. “The only space I have is on the kitchen table, and where will we eat if I have a half-built roller coaster sitting on it?  I can just see it all now.  I’ll ask you pass the ketchup and you’ll accidentally hit the coaster and turn it into a pile of kindling.”

“Then pick something smaller,” I said. “How about that little trailer-park kit?”

Again, he sighed. “What I really need is a finished basement or a hobby room where I can make the stuff and leave it there without worrying about it being disturbed.  No, I’m not going to touch any of my train kits till I have a good place to work on them.”

So three years later, when we built our current house, I made sure there was a big hobby room for him, where he not only could build the models for his trains, but also could set them up in a complete train layout.

When we finally moved in, however, I noticed he barely paid attention to his new, much-anticipated hobby room.

“Aren’t you going to go use your room?” I asked him one night, as he sat whistling “It’s a Small World” of Disney fame, for the 75th time, while I was trying to compose an email to a book editor.

“Nah,” he said. “I’m really not interested in trains any more. I think I’ll sell all of them on eBay, and maybe take up playing the trumpet again. I used to play one when I was a kid, you know.”

Believe me, I really can empathize with my friend.

But I also want to tell her that even though she may not believe it now, no matter how crazy her husband currently is driving her, after he’s gone, she’ll really miss him and all of those little things he did that annoyed her.

And I’m speaking from experience.

                                                       #   #   #

Historical Romance Trilogy set in 1600s New England. Download the first book for free!
Click here:

Sunday, July 24, 2016


I was in Shaw’s Supermarket the other day and saw, in their discounted items section at the back of the store, the most gigantic boxes of chocolates I’ve ever seen. Without exaggeration, they were the size of coffee tables.

Not realizing I was talking out loud, I said, “Who on earth could ever eat that many chocolates?”

A customer standing near me said, “Someone who’s addicted to chocolates!”

Her words made me think back to a time when I was addicted to a certain type of candy. In fact, I ate so much of it, a month’s worth easily could have filled three boxes the size of the ones those chocolates came in.

I’m talking about jelly beans.  From the moment I was old enough to grow teeth, I loved jelly beans. Back then they mainly were made by Brach’s and came in basic fruit flavors like lemon, lime and orange. There also were black licorice ones, which I wasn’t crazy about. But my mother loved them, so I always picked all of those out of the bag the minute I opened it, and gave them to her..

But during my adult years, I discovered an entirely new world of jelly beans…Jelly Bellies. Granted, they were barely half the size of Brach’s jelly beans, but they came in a huge variety of decadent flavors – everything from peanut butter or strawberry cheesecake to popcorn and caramel apple. I instantly became hooked. I couldn’t get enough of them.

I spent so many years munching on Jelly Bellies, I managed to single-handedly fund several tropical cruises for my dentist.  Still, having a mouthful of teeth with more holes in them than a golf course didn’t dampen my enthusiasm one bit for the chewy little morsels.

I remained a fan of Jelly Bellies until my friend Laurie, who lived in the Seattle area at the time, sent me a huge bag of jelly beans one Christmas. I’d never heard of the brand, and was hesitant to try them, certain they wouldn’t come close to tasting even half as good as my beloved Jelly Bellies. But to my surprise, they were even better. Their flavors were more intense, and they were much softer (and kinder) on my teeth and fillings. I immediately called Laurie to see where she’d found them.

“Oh, I get them at my wholesale club,” she said. “You must have them there, too.”

I wasn’t a member of any wholesale clubs, but I was determined to find out if any clubs in my area carried that brand of jelly beans. If they did, I vowed to join the club on the spot, even if the membership fee was $150.

“Don’t be silly,” Laurie said. “Why waste all of that money on a membership when I can keep you supplied with as many bags of the jelly beans as you want?”

And she made certain to keep me well-supplied. Every Christmas and birthday she sent me a 5-lb. bag as a gift. And when those ran out, I’d just zip off a check to her and she’d immediately replenish my supply.

Every Christmas, I always opened Laurie’s gift first, because I knew it contained my “fix” of jelly beans. That way, I could munch on them the entire time I was unwrapping my gifts. I figured the cantaloupe, banana, maple syrup and strawberry-jam flavors qualified as breakfast food.

But one Christmas, something happened that finally extinguished my craving for jelly beans. I tore right into my gift from Laurie, as I always did, then picked out five of my favorite flavors and stuffed them into my mouth.

“What’s with the expression on your face?” my husband, who’d just walked into the room, asked. “You look like you just caught a whiff of the septic tank.” 

“These jelly beans taste terrible,” I said, spitting them into my hand. “They’re like a combination of mildew and kerosene.”

He grabbed the bag and sniffed the contents. “They smell like leather.”

“They’re supposed to smell like grapes and cotton candy…and oranges!”  I said in a childlike whine.

Desperate, I tried four more jelly beans, hoping they would taste better. They didn’t. In fact, the mildew taste seemed even stronger. Even worse, the usually soft candies were so rock-hard, I could feel my fillings leaping out of my teeth in an effort to save themselves.  I checked the expiration date on the bag, expecting it to be, considering the hardness of the candy, June of 1985.   I was surprised to see a date that was still a year in the future..

That night, my stomach “talked” to me all night…mostly in four-letter words.  I blamed it on the jelly beans.

When I got up the next morning, I longingly eyed the bag of jelly beans, which still was sitting on the kitchen counter.  That’s when I noticed a “guarantee of satisfaction” printed on the bag, along with an e-mail address.  I rushed over to my computer and sent an e-mail to the company, telling them about their mildewed, leather-smelling, tooth-cracking jelly beans. I also suggested that just in case my candy wasn’t an isolated incident, they probably should check the entire batch under that code number, just to be safe.  After all, I didn’t want anyone else to have to suffer from the lingering taste of mildew.

The company contacted me almost immediately.  Their representative wanted details.  Where were the jelly beans purchased?  Did they make me ill?  How many did I eat?  Was the bag still factory sealed when it arrived?  Were there any holes or tears in it?  Any signs of tampering?

I then was instructed to go to a particular branch of their wholesale club, where they said product inspectors would be waiting for me and the jelly beans. I wasted no time heading over to the store.

When I plunked the bag down on the service desk, I got the distinct impression the employee hadn’t yet been informed of my impending arrival with the jelly beans. I’d half-expected to be greeted by men in dark suits and dark glasses who would whisk me off into some back room with only a bare lightbulb for light, and then interrogate me.

I explained everything to the girl at the service desk.  She did a lot of nodding, then asked for the membership number of the person who’d bought the candy.  I had no clue what Laurie’s number was, so she asked for her full name and state of residence.

The computer showed over 300 name matches, which popped up on the screen only one at a time, and in random order.  The employee stood there and read each and every one of them, one by one.

“This one’s in Florida,” she said, sighing as she stared at the computer screen.  “And here’s one in Pennsylvania.  Nope, nothing in Washington yet!”

Fifteen minutes later, there still was no sign of a Laurie in Washington.

I didn’t have my phone with me, so I didn’t have Laurie’s phone number, otherwise I just would have phoned her and said, “What the heck is your membership number?”

Five minutes later, I could tell, from all of the muttering and heavy sighing going on behind me, the people in line were becoming just slightly annoyed. I told the clerk to help them, that I had no problem waiting, but she said she would have to close the computer program before she could ring up anything for them, and she didn’t want to have to start all over again with the search for Laurie’s membership number. So the slow-but-steady search continued.

The woman behind me, who was returning a blouse that looked about four sizes too small for her, finally snapped at me, “I have NEVER had to wait this long in a service-desk line before! Are you telling me that all of this hassle is just for that one lousy bag of jelly beans?”

I momentarily toyed with the idea of offering her a handful of them, but decided against it.

Finally, Laurie’s address and membership number were located on the computer, and her purchase of the jelly beans was verified. The bag of mildewed candy then was wrapped, tagged and attached to a bunch of official-looking paperwork.  I actually felt a lump in my throat as I watched the little chocolate, blueberry, lemon, cherry and vanilla morsels being carted off to their impending doom.

“We’d like to give you something for all of your trouble,” the employee said to me. She then handed me a $10 gift card. I was tempted to head straight for the candy aisle and buy another bag of the jelly beans, but the fear that a new bag would be just as bad – or even worse – made me hesitate.

So I used the card to buy something else…a giant box of English toffee.

I heard that not long after that, my dentist bought a yacht.

#   #   #


Saturday, July 23, 2016


Many of you probably aren’t aware that the reason why I started this blog a few years ago was because my weekly newspaper column, “My Life,” which I began writing for Neighborhood News back in August of 1994, never was included in the paper’s online edition. I wanted people who didn’t live in the area, or those who spent the winter months in Florida, to still be able to access my column and continue to follow my adventures.

Well, a few days ago, I received an email from my editor that said, “It has been decided that after the July 21st paper, we will no longer be running your column in the Neighborhood News papers.”

With that one brief email, my entire life changed.

First of all, I never saw it coming. I had planned to continue writing my column until I was too old and feeble to string two words together to form a coherent sentence. But obviously the paper had other ideas. I guess what hurt more than being “discontinued” (which made me feel like and old, outdated item on a closeout sale at Wal-Mart), was the method in which I was informed – a brief email. Even a quick phone call would have been better. Sure, it still would have hurt, but not quite as much.

So the dilemma I’m now facing is, if I no longer have a weekly newspaper column to write, then that means I’ll have nothing to post on this blog. I mean, “My Life” has been put to rest by the newspaper, so should I also put this blog to rest and give them both a decent burial?

The good thing about writing for the newspaper was the ever-present deadline. I had to write a column every week – rain or shine, good mood or bad, and even when I was running a fever or battling the stomach flu. But I always met my deadline. The other good thing about writing for the paper was I got paid to do it, which was an added incentive. This blog, unfortunately, doesn’t earn anything…and I really need money to keep my dogs supplied with Dog Chow, especially since one of my friends (and I use the term loosely) said to me,  “Gee, you live so far out in the country, if you were to drop dead, nobody would even know it. And by the time anyone found you, your dogs probably would already have eaten your body.”

Since she said that, I have made it my top priority to keep my dogs VERY well fed at all times.

So after thinking long and hard about my current situation, I’m sorry to have to inform you, my much-cherished readers, that I have come to a very difficult decision…I’ve decided that you’re still going to be stuck with me for a while! Yep! I’m going to continue to write this blog. I’m just not happy unless I’m writing, so if I were to quit, I’m positive I would suffer from severe symptoms of withdrawal.

I guess that means I’d better go write my next column to post on here!  I must confess, I haven’t been much in the mood for writing humor since I was dismissed by the paper, but I’m feeling more positive every day. So I promise to post something new within the next few days. And I’m also going to try to continue to post a new column every Friday. There are no guarantees, however, because I no longer have an editor to remind me of my deadline. But I’ll give it my best effort. I promise.

I’ll be back shortly!



Saturday, July 16, 2016


Last weekend, I was awakened in the dead of night by a sound that made me sit upright in bed…“Arrrrrrrr!  Arrrrrrrr!”

It was so loud, I was afraid it also would wake up my nearest neighbor, who lives about  a half-mile down the road.

I began to think my house was being invaded by a gang of cutthroat pirates…or someone had decided to make a sequel to the film, “The Exorcist,” out in my living room.

 I frantically searched for a weapon and grabbed the manicure scissors from the drawer of my nightstand. Then cautiously, one step at a time, I tiptoed out of the bedroom to investigate. The scissors had rounded tips, so I figured I wouldn’t be able to stab anyone with them – but I probably could give the intruder’s fingernails a really nice trim.

The sound turned out to be coming from my dog, Eden, who looked as if she might be choking. Panicking, I rushed to her side. Then without thinking, I stuck my hand into her mouth, hoping I might be able to feel an old sock or a chunk of the sofa stuck in her throat and yank it out. I found nothing. Fortunately, my hand emerged with all of my fingers still attached. Unfortunately, Eden continued to make the sound.

I remembered someone once telling me that if a dog was choking, especially on something like a chicken bone, to feed it some bread to cushion the object and help make it move downward, out of the throat. I had no clue where Eden might have found a chicken bone while I was sleeping, especially since I buy only boneless breast of chicken, but just to be safe, I reached for the bread.

Eden ate two slices…and then started coughing again. By then, my other dog, Willow, had emerged from her dog bed in the laundry room and came out to stare at Eden’s neck as if to say, “What the heck have you got in there? A live goose?”

It’s a known fact that when something is going to break, flood or fail, or when a person is going to get a bad toothache, or a dog is going to be sick, it’s going to happen on a weekend – because that’s when the people who run businesses that take care of such problems cackle wickedly and say, “Ha!  We’re going to quadruple our rates because we really hate being disturbed on weekends, and you’re so desperate, you’ll pay anything to get someone to help you!”

Past experience painfully had taught me that the difference between going to the after-hours emergency vet or waiting to see my dogs’ regular vet was about $100. So I decided that since Eden had swallowed the bread without any obvious difficulty, she wasn’t choking. Therefore, I probably could wait until morning and call her regular vet.

Neither the two dogs nor I, however, got a wink of sleep – not with the Pirates of the Caribbean “Arrrrrrrring!” in my living room all night.

Eden has an extreme fear of vets, which often results in her snapping at them if they try to touch her, so just to be safe, I always muzzle her whenever I take her for check-ups.  As I searched for her muzzle, I thought, “How is the vet going to hear the noise Eden’s making if I muzzle her and she can’t open her mouth?”

So I grabbed my tiny cassette recorder and taped the chorus of sounds coming out of her for evidence.

When I called the vet for an appointment bright and early the next morning and described Eden’s symptoms, I was advised to enter through the back door of the clinic, away from any other dogs in the waiting room, just in case Eden was contagious.

Contagious? I hadn’t even considered the fact Eden might have something catchy! I wondered what the vet thought it might be. And even worse, if it was something I also could catch!  Just the thought of having to live with myself while making such terrible sounds made me feel like swan-diving into a vat of Lysol.

The vet and the assistant walked into the examining room and asked me to explain in detail what was going on with Eden.

“I have a tape!” I said, pulling the recorder out of my purse. The minute I pushed the “play” button and the first “Arrrrrrrr!” filled the small room, both the vet and the assistant turned to look at each other and said in unison, “Kennel cough!”

I just stared blankly at them.

“But Eden hasn’t even been near a kennel!” I finally said.

“How about a dog park? Doggie daycare?” the vet asked. “Anywhere where there are groups of dogs together in one place?”

I shook my head. “She never even leaves the yard, other than when I walk her, leashed, around the block.”

“Are there other dogs on your block that greet Eden?” the vet asked. “Maybe they’ve been to a dog park, doggie daycare or a kennel, and they’re carriers.”

Eden did meet and greet several dogs per week during our walks, but it never concerned me because I’d faithfully paid good money every year to have both her and Willow vaccinated against kennel cough.

“The kennel cough vaccination is like the human flu shot,” the vet explained. “It’s not 100-percent effective because there are so many different strains. And I hate to say it, but because kennel cough is very contagious, Willow probably will get it now, too.”

I envisioned myself having to listen to endless choruses of “Arrrrrrrrs!” in stereo every night, and it made me suppress the urge to immediately go stock up on earplugs…and a bottle of strong whiskey.

I was given antibiotics and some cough-suppressant pills for Eden, which I had to sign for because they were considered a controlled substance. I figured they probably either would knock her out or make her too loopy to cough.  

Which reminded me of an old joke I’d once heard about a man who had a terrible cough and went to the pharmacy to get something for it. The pharmacist handed him a strong laxative.

“A laxative?” the man snapped, puzzled. “A laxative won’t cure my cough!”

The pharmacist smiled and said, “No, but after you take it, you’ll be too afraid to cough!”

I’m happy to report that the medication ended Eden’s cough within two days, although she still has to continue to take the antibiotics, just to be safe. And Willow hasn’t caught anything from her – at least not yet, knock on wood.

But when Eden no longer is contagious and I can take her for walks again, I’ll be staring suspiciously at every dog that comes near us and thinking, “Is this one the canine version of Typhoid Mary – the clueless germ-carrier who gave the kennel cough to Eden?”

If Eden does end up coughing again and I find out where she caught it, I’m going to bring her, along with her overnight bag, over to that dog owner’s house and let her stay there, so she personally can serenade him with an entire night of “Arrrrrrrr!  Arrrrrrrr!” 

I’m sure he’ll appreciate it just as much as I do.


                                                                 #  #  #


Historical Romance Trilogy set in 1600's New England. Download the first book free!
Click here:





Friday, July 8, 2016



I still can remember the summer day when a man who lived a few streets over from the house where I used to live was walking by and stopped to tell me that my lawn was the nicest in the whole neighborhood.  He then asked me how I kept it looking so lush and green.

The truth was, I didn’t do a darned thing to it.  I didn’t water it, didn’t feed it and never bothered to yank out any weeds. Yet it looked as if people should be playing golf on it.

Back then, however, I didn’t have any dogs.

Fast forward to 40 years later.  Because of the recent dry spell and the fact my dogs are single-handedly trying to tunnel their way to the earth’s core, my current lawn (in back of the house) looks as if it’s been used for grenade practice.  In the center of it is a completely bald, all-dirt area about the size of my living room.  And dotting the outer edges are yellow patches of dead grass, also courtesy of my dogs.

So a few weeks ago I sent away for some miracle grass-seed I’d seen advertised on TV.  The ad showed a guy spreading the seeds on a concrete block, watering them and then, in only a few days, producing a lush green, grass-covered block that resembled a giant Chia Pet.

“Our grass will grow on anything and is virtually indestructible!” the guy boasted.

I figured if the grass could grow on something as hard and dry as concrete, then my yard (a.k.a. the clay pit) just might stand a chance.  So I sent for a double order of the stuff, which was by no means cheap.

The grass seed arrived in what looked like a gallon milk-jug.  I frowned at it.  For what I’d paid for it, I’d expected it to be delivered in a tanker truck.

The instructions said to carefully spread out the seeds in a single layer on the ground and try not to pile any on top of each other.  Then “gently” water them, preferably with a light mist, so they wouldn’t move out of position.

I grabbed the container of miracle seeds and went outside.  That’s when I discovered I’d probably need about five more containers to cover all of the bald spots in my yard.  So I concentrated only on the king of the bald spots, the big one in the center, and spread the seeds all over it.

The seeds were coated with some kind of powdered green stuff that turned into dust when I touched it.  As a result, just about everything I was wearing ended up green.  My hands also were coated with it, which slipped my mind when I wiped the sweat off my face.

When I came inside and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I wasn’t as concerned about looking like a Martian as I was about all of that green powdered gunk clinging to my skin and being absorbed into my pores.  For all I knew, I’d wake up in the morning and have to mow my face. 

The next morning, there was a brief downpour, which I thought might be a good thing for my future grass. The seeds clumped into little islands and floated around in the giant mud puddle that formed in the center of the yard.

When the clumps of seeds finally sprouted about a week later, they looked like puffy green polka-dots in a sea of brown dirt.  And my dogs went outside and promptly squatted on them.

“I think I should get a refund!” I complained to one of my friends. “That miracle grass looks more like ‘malnourished’ grass, not thick and green like on the TV ads!”

“Maybe it only grows on concrete blocks,” she said.

The other day, I finally got so fed up with my bald yard and not being able to grow any grass in it, I did something really impulsive.  I went to a department store and bought bags of grass seed of all kinds:  quick-grow grass, Kentucky bluegrass, grass for shady areas, grass for sunny areas, contractor’s grass and even heavy-traffic grass.  I figured one of them was bound to grow.

I opened the bags and mixed all of the seeds together in buckets, then went outside and wildly flung them all over my yard.  There wasn’t even one seed left in any of the bags by the time I was done.  And as if on cue, a shower blew in about an hour later and soaked the yard.

That night, my dogs came inside covered with wet grass-seed stuck all over their fur.

So now I’m eagerly waiting to see what, if anything pops up…either in the yard… or on my dogs.

                                                  #  #  #

Historical romance trilogy set in 1600s New England. Download the first book free! Click below:

Sunday, July 3, 2016



I’m feeling pretty proud of myself at the moment. Why? Because I single-handedly killed four hornets in my kitchen during the past month.

I know that may not sound like much of an accomplishment to most people, but when you consider I’ve been terrified of hornets most of my life, then the fact I actually allowed myself to come within 10 feet of one was a major accomplishment.

I can remember back when I first got married and came face to face with two hornets flying around in the bathroom one day. I screamed, ran out of the bathroom and made a beeline (pun intended) for the back yard. I then refused to go back inside (where I was certain the hornets were just waiting to viciously attack me) until my husband got home from work. If I had been thinking more clearly, I’d have realized there were more hornets outside than there were in my house, so I probably wasn’t any safer standing out in the yard.

My first reaction when seeing a hornet flying toward me has always been to run. I swear I could complete the Boston marathon in record time if a couple hornets were flying behind me.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, it seemed as if every day there was a hornet flying around in my kitchen. I couldn’t figure out how they were getting inside. There weren’t any windows or doors open, and my house is pretty airtight.

The mystery was solved the next day…in a painful manner.

I reached into my newspaper tube, as I do every morning, and felt a sharp pain on the back of my hand. I quickly yanked it out…along with a hornet that looked pretty ticked off at me. That’s when I discovered that hornets were building a nest way in the back of my newspaper tube. It then dawned on me how they probably were getting into my kitchen…they were hiding in my rolled-up newspaper and hitching a ride inside with me.

So that night, I returned to the tube and unloaded half a can of flying-insect killer into it, basically transforming it into a toxic-waste site. Still, I didn’t feel entirely safe. So every day since then, whenever I remove my newspaper from the tube, I toss it down onto the road and then brutally stomp on it, just to make certain no hornets are lurking in the pages.

I can just imagine what someone driving by might be thinking.

“Hey, George! Look at that crazy woman stomping on her newspaper!”

“Hmmm. I guess the headlines must have really upset her.”

Anyway, because I just about turn my newspapers into pulp before I bring them inside now, I’m not sure how the hornet I killed just last night got into the house, which really disturbs me. I mean, did it come in on one of the dogs? Fly up through the furnace vents? Land in my hair when I took a walk? Or even worse, did it purposely follow me inside because it was seeking revenge for the savage destruction of its family’s condo in my newspaper tube?

When I first spotted the winged trespasser, I was doing the dinner dishes. The sink faces a window that offers a view of the back yard. And on that window, right about nose level, sat the hornet.  I jumped back, getting suds all over the floor. My first instinct was to do the usual and bolt away from it. But I controlled that urge and decided to be brave and stay to do battle.

Actually, I wasn’t really brave…I just figured if I ran out of the house, the hornet could fly anywhere inside, even into my bedroom, and go into hiding again. Then it would seek its revenge as I slept. Visions of waking up with my face covered with lumps the size of golf balls motivated me to take action.

I grabbed a can of hairspray and a flyswatter. Hairspray, for those who aren’t aware, works on all flying insects, by sticking their wings together. I sprayed the hornet and within seconds, it did a nose-dive into the sink, where I immediately gave it a bath in 140-degree water.

“Hope you enjoy your hot tub!” I fiendishly cackled as I then used the sink’s spray-hose to blast it and send it down the drain to its final resting place in the septic tank.

But I can’t relax, mainly because I’m still not certain how that particular hornet got into my kitchen. And I keep thinking that if he got in, then what will prevent another 100 of his buddies from gaining access the same way?

I guess I’ll just have to be fully prepared for battle and stock up on a case of hairspray, something I haven’t bought much of since back in the early 1960s when “beehive” hairstyles were popular.

How ironic.

                                                                     #   #   #