Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A QUICKIE: Posts That Are Short And Sweet

FARM ALERT: Just saw three boys racing by, followed by three running goats. Not sure if the boys think that they're goats or the goats think that they are boys.

It's Mrs. Tramp. First name Eleven.

Friday, March 3, 2017


Reports of my imagined death are false—also incorrect. I’m not dead.

To recap: I am not dead. I’m just concentrating really hard.

Several years ago, my husband couldn’t instantly get a hold of me via my cell phone, because it was dead, the cell phone. NOT ME. When he couldn’t immediately contact me from Kuala Lumpur or Detroit or Walmart or wherever to let me know he’d forgotten to take out the garbage or something equally informative, he panicked.

So he called our daughter, Heather.

Who called our daughter, Maren.

Who told her friends at school that I’m a hermit and a nut.

Who called my husband, her father.

Who called our daughter, Heather, again.

Who called each other, over and over, whipping each other into a frenzy.

Heather finally broke the cycle of hysteria by calling her friend, Maria, and saying, “I’m at work. Could you drive out to my parent’s house and check on my AGED mother?”

Maria! Marie who lives in a whole other village, Marie, who got in her car, drove to our country home (also our city home) and finding all the doors, window, and portholes open assumed that I had been eaten by cats—also raccoons.

I was in my office—working.

Proving that what we’ve got here is a hefty case of the jitters.

While it is true that I live alone a great deal of time, I am not a complete idiot. I try to wait for when my husband is home to clean the chimney, re-organize the hayloft, chop down trees, or check the crawlspace for expired squirrels.

And as far as being murdered in my sleep by criminal types, I believe that most criminal types are stupid people, the kind of people that get stuck in chimneys. And if I can’t outsmart some nimrod stuck in my chimney then shame on me.

That’s why I sleep with the cat. Plan A is that I will throw the cat at the stupid intruder and make my escape out of the bathroom window. At which point I will run to the ditch out front and hide behind the enormous stump that the county hasn’t carted away from storm damage. It’s the main reason I haven’t called the county about the eyesore stump by the road. That stump is part of my master plan. I have a detailed schematic drawn up.

Please note: That stump has been hauled off since I first reported on the above foolishness, thus changing plan A to plan B.

Unfortunately, plan B has me hiding in my neighbor’s barn in my *scanties. So sometimes I sleep in my bathrobe with my cell phone in the pocket, except that my cell phone is quite often “dead,” thus kicking off jittery meltdowns in the first place. Go figure.

Linda (Chimney Sweep) Zern

*Scanties is a southern word for clothing you don’t want to be caught wearing while hiding in a ditch.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Poo-Poo Poppy

Griffin Henry (age 2) related his personal opinion of me. “YaYa mean!” 

I sighed.

“Don’t fall in the fire pit, little boy with the fluffly white hair and polyester shirt.” That was it; that’s what I had said to earn my grandson’s disdain. For that I was called names. 

I’m the YaYa. I’m the mean one. My husband (the Poppy) is the family celebrity. Of course, he’s the guy with endless supplies of Twix and Pepsi, the guy who lets the grandchildren run wild through our lives.

I walked into the office to find a phalanx of children taping away at an endless line of computers. They were playing something called “Animal Jam” or “AJ” in the vernacular. Poppy sat in the middle of the tapping frenzy, tossing chocolate kisses to grandchildren like a walrus trainer at Sea World. Shoulders had started hunch, spines to curve.

I shouted, “Okay, that’s it. Everybody outside. Get some vitamin D. Attempt to straighten your backbones. Go. Go.”

“Poo-poo, YaYa!” Griffin Henry said. Poo-poo. It’s the worst word he knows—so far.

Later, I discover the lot of them at the sand hill. They’d dug a giant hole, run a garden hose to it, and filled it to the brim with water. It was like a massive open strip mine. Kids blasted each other with water and mud. I estimated the cleanup would require two hours and a Shop Vac.

“Who said you could turn that water on?”

“Poppy!” they chorused. 

“Poo-poo, Poppy,” I muttered to myself.

My husband is the celebrity. He never says no, agrees with every wild scheme, finances every whim, and bribes with goodies. He’s the president cutting the fool on Buzz Feed. Me? I’m the libertarian saying, “Sure. Sure. You refused to wear your shoes, stepped on stinging thistles that you were warned about, and now what are YOU going to do about that?”

“YaYa mean!”

Recently, our fourteen grandchildren came pouring into our house saying, “Hi. Where’s Poppy?”

Sighing, I pointed and said, “In the office. Throw away your candy wrappers.” They stampeded. 

I went to find the Shop Vac.

Linda (Mean as a Snake) Zern

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