“Honey, life’s a 4-Ticket Ride”


My friend Esther told me this story Tuesday when I was sitting in her chair for my regular pedicure at Eli’s (which I thoroughly recommend for anyone who needs a good manicure or pedicure plus entertainment while you’re at it). She swears the story is true.

She was sitting in a doctor’s waiting area that was empty except for her and a petite elderly lady who had been in the room when she arrived. They waited and waited together, but Esther decided to break the awkward silence by asking the little old lady how she was doing that day.

“Honey, life’s a 4-ticket ride,” the woman said with a smile.

I almost fell out of Esther’s chair laughing at what the older woman had said. The remark was particularly appropriate since the State Fair is in town for the week with the amusement park rides going strong.

For anyone of my friends in cyberspace who might not  know what a 4-ticket ride is, please ask me in the comment section.

The quote “Honey, life’s a 4-ticket ride” has now made it to my own memorable quotes collection which reminds me:

Peace and Kindness Quote Contest

Deadline: Midnight Friday, October 27

3rd place Granny Selma Award for Trying  – $25

2nd place Old Woman Slow Award for Close But No Cigar –   $50

1st place Daddy Glenn L. Morris Award for Quote Mastery –  $75

Keep those quote coming in, and be sure to stay tuned.

 

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged | 8 Comments

Pretty’s Antique Empire Expands


Pretty’s antique empire continues to grow with the grand opening of her second booth at the Little Mountain Antique Mall and Café on 1528 Main Street in Little Mountain, South Carolina 29075. Check out the Little Mountain Unlimited facebook page and take a close look at these photos taken today.

teal leather chair with loads of treasures keeping it company

(downstairs booth next to the café that has yummy food, too)

furniture plus smalls galore and of course tons of books and art

Ta-Dah! New Booth on the entrance level at Little Mountain!

Look for Pretty’s booths (she is dealer #221) and the other 60 dealers who happily join her in the nearly 15,000 square feet of floor space there. Follow Little Mountain on facebook for special music events at the café, super sales and just plain fun for all antique lovers. Then take a day trip to the midlands of South Carolina and plan to spend several hours wandering through an antique mecca with the added attraction of southern cooking comfort food when you need to take a break.

Don’t forget to visit her booth (dealer # 221) at Three Rivers Antiques, 615 Meeting Street, West Columbia, South Carolina 29169 if you’re in the Columbia area looking for a place to indulge your antique addiction.

local artist Bill Davis’s Divas always popular pieces

(Bill Davis popular with us way back before the Divas)

Spike, Charly and I are very proud of Pretty – she and her sidekick Shelley work way too hard every day, but their booths look awesome. They always have something you can’t live without!

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Life, Personal, Slice of Life | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

the inconvenience of truth


Wildfires are raging out of control along the west coast bordering the Pacific Ocean in California as hurricanes formed in the Atlantic dumped unwanted, unprecedented amounts of rain on the Gulf Coast and east coast over the past few months. People in all parts of the country struggle to salvage and rebuild their broken lives from natural disasters that have created damages in the gazillions of dollars while they mourn the loss of loved ones unable to get out of harm’s way during the catastrophic events. American citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands beg for food, water, shelter and electricity as they experience the total destruction of their infrastructures and homes.

A mad man in Las Vegas waged his own personal war against demons we may never identify, but what we do know is that he killed almost 60 people and wounded 500 more in a bloodbath executed from his hotel windows overlooking 22,000 persons at a country music concert on a Sunday night.

Today I heard a story about two of the victims of the wildfires in California: a hundred year old man and his 99-year-old wife who died in their home yesterday. They had recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Imagine.

Meanwhile, the headlines involve a Hollywood movie mega mogul who has been fired for decades of sexual harassment against women and a president (who openly admits to sexual harassment) lunching with his secretary of state who called the president a “moron” last week. They are reportedly comparing IQs for lunch table talk.

Other headlines involve the arguments between the president’s third wife a/k/a the first lady and his first wife a/k/a the new author regarding who is the more influential in the president’s life which moves our nation from reality TV directly to soap opera within the blink of a book promotion.

Our nuclear treaty with Iran hangs in the balance this week with rumors it will not be renewed. Our relationship with the unstable leader of North Korea is tenuous at best. Nuclear missiles here, there, everywhere…

America burns within itself as debates over climate change, racial and transgender discrimination, wealth disparity, patriotism, kneeling at football games, nuclear deals, the perception of the presidency, health care, tax reform, Russian election interference, building a wall, immigration, gun control – these are a few of the hot button issues that divide us; and our differences become a  deep, dark wedge  of despair in our democratic process.

It is imperative that people of good will speak truth – even if it is inconvenient because the fabric of our society is in danger of being torn apart. There is no “little” moment of truth.

We must speak truth during coffee breaks at work with our co-workers, standing in the grocery store lines, at family gatherings, at Sunday School and church, in our seats at concerts and sporting events,  at PTA and business meetings, with our next door neighbors – and especially in our homes where we must wage peace as we teach kindness and respect for others to our children.

Our individual responsibility is to commit outrageous acts of everyday rebellions whenever we are confronted with our own moments of truth. The answers we seek  to the problems we have as a country lie within ourselves. Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their nation.

Amen.

 

 

 

Posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | 19 Comments

Call for Submissions: Fourth Annual Cyberspace Memorable Quotes Contest


Yes, it’s that time of the year again when the trees begin to think about dropping the leaves they’ve held on their branches since spring so they can take a nap during winter. The crickets and frogs have vanished along with their chirping and “uhguh” grunting sounds at night. When we let the dogs out for their final walkabout, we hear only the pool noises – the three jets pushing the water rhythmically across the surface…reminding me of rushing mountain streams.

Gamecock football games in Columbia, the South Carolina State Fair setting up next to the Williams Brice football stadium, Halloween candy in the grocery store, Pretty getting out her Pumpkin decorations for her antique empire – clearly signs of the beginning of the countdown to Christmas and the New Year. I am astonished at the warp speed with which we have added another year in the life.

But what year is complete without the Cyberspace Memorable Quotes Contest which celebrates its 4th anniversary this year!

My passion for quotes rivals Pretty’s passion for antiques, and that is really saying something. More to come on Pretty’s new adventures in the antique world very soon (with pictures, too).

I’m doing something a little different for this year’s contest. Hurricane horrors in Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have dominated the headlines in recent months, and this week we have had a horror of another kind in our country involving a disturbed man firing into a concert crowd in Las Vegas creating the largest mass murder in our history. Unbelievable tragedy. Meanwhile, we have a president in the White House who makes a flippant warning that our nation is living in a “calm before the storm” without a hint of what that might mean which seems more suitable for a TV cliffhanger than real life. Seriously?

With that in mind, here’s the deal for this year’s contest. We have a theme, and the theme is Peace and Kindness. Please select your favorite quotes that address the theme in any creative fashion that you think will appeal to the judge of the contest which, of course, is moi.

Endowments have been made for the winners this year. Third place will receive the Granny Selma Award for Trying and a prize of $25. Second place will be given the Old Woman Slow Award for Close but no Cigar and a prize of $50. First place will receive the Daddy Glenn L. Morris Award for Quote Mastery and a prize of $75. Today is Daddy’s birthday, and I’m reminded he always won when we played the Quotes game on car trips from Richards to Houston or whenever he felt like random quoting.

Now then, boys and girls in cyberspace, get busy and send your quotes to me at my secret email address of smortex@aol.com. Be sure and leave your real name on them so that the judge can weigh in on favoritism. Just kidding.

The top ten winners will be published on my blog. The deadline for entries is midnight of Friday, October 27th.

Remember: Peace and Kindness is the theme and oh, btw, please make them a priority in your own lives every day.

Have a great weekend and stay tuned.

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , | 6 Comments

i’ve got nothing…


…except shame and sorrow.

Posted in Personal | Tagged | 8 Comments

horn tootin’


The great philosopher Glenn L. Morris a/k/a Daddy to me once said this:

“Whosoever tooteth not his own horn, the same shall not be tooteth.”

Today I am tootin’ my horn on the seventh anniversary of my blogging on WordPress and sending a huge cyberspace hug to my readers who have followed me through three blogs and almost 1,100 posts. Whoa Nellie – that’s a lot of writing and reading.

For those of you other bloggers who keep score on these stats, I have had exactly 1,094 posts on those three blogs with 112, 852 hits.

As I looked at these numbers, I was amazed to find an overall average of 100 of you have read my words over the past seven years. I know all of you don’t read every post, but the number remains consistent enough for me to call you my cyberspace followers and friends.

I wanted to say Thank You so much for your loyalty and would like to give each of you a hug…seriously.

Instead, I will give you The Red Man’s Paw Snaps and Twirls Award for exceptional endurance in the reading arena. I appreciate every one of you and ask you to Toot your own Horn whenever you have a chance for following WordPress bloggers who try very hard to encourage you to think while you are, hopefully, being entertained.

Celebrate yourself today and every day!

Have a great weekend, and stay tuned.

Posted in Lesbian Literary, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

pledging allegiance – then and now


I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I was six years old standing beside my worn wooden school desk with my hand over my heart, my eyes directed to the American flag at the front of the room next to the blackboard when my teacher, Mrs. Lucille Lee, taught me and the other 18 children in the first and second grade classes who shared a very small classroom in the red brick building that housed the Richards Public School –  taught us the pledge of allegiance.

I’m sure I had little understanding of the meaning of those words in 1954 but I was very proud that I had memorized and could recite them for my parents and grandparents who were equally pleased for me to know all the words that reassured their heightened post World War II patriotism. My father and three uncles had all returned home safely from that war, and my family echoed the allegiance the pledge affirmed.

The Pledge of Allegiance had been officially adopted in 1945 at the end of WWII but changed slightly in 1954 with the addition of the words “under God” so that was the only version I ever knew. I repeated those words at the beginning of school every day for the first eight years of my public school life. The older I became, the more I began to understand the significance of the words “allegiance…indivisible…with liberty and justice for all.” I just loved the liberty and justice for all part.

Each night during those early years of my life in the 1950s the three television channels played the Star Spangled Banner to signify the end of their day’s programming. If I were lucky enough to be allowed to stay up and watch The Late Show, I could listen to the music while the only image on the screen was the American flag. No words, no singing – just the American flag and the band music.

The child sitting in the dark in the living room in the front of the tv by herself couldn’t have realized – had no way of knowing then – that the symbols she internalized had a rich history. The American flag had been adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, modified 26 times since then until President William Howard Taft finally signed an executive order with instructions for what the flag should look like in 1912.

The flag was to have seven red stripes, six white stripes to represent the original thirteen colonies who fought for their freedom from Britain. White stars on a blue field stood for each state that was a part of the indivisible Republic. Nicknames for the flag included Old Glory, Star Spangled Banner, the Stars and Stripes (not to be confused with the American military newspaper of the same name).

The American flag speaks good will to me. Whenever I’ve seen the flag raised at football games, basketball games, the Olympics, whenever I return home from traveling outside the United States, whenever I’ve seen the flag flying at half-staff to honor fallen heroes – I have felt a sense of pride in what I believe my country stands for. Although no one asks me to recite the Pledge of Allegiance any longer, the sight of the flag, the sound of our national anthem performed by someone who sings off-key or on, or a band playing it or a choir singing it continues to give me goose bumps as I stand quietly or sometimes sing along.

Imperfect, yes – justice and equality haven’t been wrapped neatly in a one-size-fits-all package for me. My adult years brought a higher level of consciousness of these inequalities in my country and along with the consciousness came a lifetime of fighting for social justice issues; but somehow, through it all, the flag seemed to symbolize the potential for hope and possibilities for fulfillment of the promises made in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Today my consciousness has again been raised to understand that not everyone shares my feelings about the American flag and our national anthem because they have had different life experiences. Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who was disturbed by the inhumane treatment of blacks and other people of color in America, chose to kneel rather than stand for the national anthem before a preseason football game in 2016 and had this to say initially as an explanation for the act that has since ignited a national firestorm of bitterness and divisiveness.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The great 19th. century African-American orator Frederick Douglass once said “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”

The agitation begun by a single NFL quarterback who dared to kneel for what he believed has now become a national debate that divides  football players, political parties, television commentators, families and friends – particularly the anonymous voices on social media. Somehow, the support of a man to freely express his frustration over unfair conditions in our country is seen as unpatriotic by a large group of citizens including the President of the United States who makes inflammatory remarks that stoke fires of hatred if given the slightest chance to speak or tweet.

The political has become personal for the little girl who grew up loving the American flag and the Star Spangled Banner, the little girl who lived long enough to see those symbols through the eyes of another beholder…someone who loves his country and respects those who have served it but who also believes the flag no longer represents what our nation has become.

The constant barrage of arguments and disrespectful discourse has forced me to look at the flag I see every day in my own office in a different manner. My eyes now see Mrs. Lee’s classroom which had only white students and that the underlying racism of segregation meant black students in Richards, Texas who were my age attended a separate public school that probably wasn’t equal. I wonder if those students had a teacher who taught them the Pledge of Allegiance. I’ll never know what they experienced at the “colored school.”

What I do know in my heart is my father who served his country in WWII and whose flag was given to my mother as a symbol of a nation’s appreciation for his service believed he volunteered to make sure the world would be a better place – that our democracy would serve as an example of standing for those who might one day want to kneel.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Silver Threads and Golden Needles


Source: Silver Threads and Golden Needles

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Laver Cup transcends traditional tennis


The finals of the US Open tennis tournament in New York City earlier this month were bittersweet matches for me. Sweet because my all-time favorite tennis player Rafael Nadal from Spain won his second major tournament in 2017 on the men’s tour when he added the US Open title to his 10th. French Open title at Roland Garros earlier this year, but bitter because the end of tennis on Arthur Ashe court at the Billie Jean King tennis center in Flushing Meadows meant the end of my television tennis season. Bummer.

Not so fast, my friend.

Enter the Laver Cup in Prague this weekend – three days of competition between six of the best European men players against six of the rest of the world’s best male players in a team format designed for speedy matches and awesome entertainment. Tennis Channel commentator Paul Annacone remarked that this team tennis concept transcended traditional tennis and could create a new model for future events.

Gosh, I hope so. I watched all three days of the matches live which meant I got up for my jet lag time zone of 6:00 a.m. start times while Pretty snoozed. Pretty loves to watch tennis, too, but she’s happy to watch the DVR recordings at a more appropriate time, i.e. anytime after 9 o’clock in the morning.

The World team members included John Isner, Sam Querry and Jack Sock from the USA, Denis Shapovalov from Canada, Nick Kyrios from Australia; they were coached by the always unpredictable, highly excitable tennis legend John McEnroe who brought along his younger brother Patrick as his assistant. Patrick’s major task presumably was to try to keep John out of trouble, but he had about as much success with that as General Kelly has with keeping DT out of trouble. Patrick probably had a lot more fun, though.

The European team included the aforementioned Nadal, Alexander Zverev from Germany, Dominic Thiem from Austria, Marin Cilic from Croatia, Tomas Berdyche from the Czech Republic and one of the event’s organizers, Roger Federer, from Switzerland. Their team was coached by another living tennis great Bjorn Borg whose calm restrained presence coaching Team Europe was the perfect antidote for the fiery outbursts of World Captain McEnroe –  Borg doubtless remembered Mac’s tirades only too well from the days when they played singles against each other almost 40 years ago.

Interestingly, the players on each team mirrored the character of their coaches – the World Team players on the bench were full of energy, pranks, visual antics and obviously having great fun when they watched their teammates competing. Team Europe was equally enthusiastic on the court, but their court-side behavior was much more suited for the Golf Channel. Golf claps galore.

The Tennis Channel made the mistake of putting a hot mike on Coach McEnroe on Day 2 of the matches but had to reel it back in when Johnny Mac could be heard clearly advising one of his players  to “go out there and knock his dick off” at a particularly heated teachable moment in one of his coaching opportunities. Alrighty then. Mike drop.

The highlight of the matches for Pretty and me, however, was a doubles match that featured our two favorite guys respectively, Federer and Nadal, playing together on the same side of the net for the European team, against Sam Querry and Jack Sox  representing the World team. For us plus every other Roger and Rafa fan everywhere, this was the tennis version of a Dream Team in action.

Nadal shares a doubles strategy with Roger

Not everything went as planned 

that was funny, right?

The point scoring for the matches changed daily so that regardless of overall matches won by each team, the drama continued into Sunday and the Laver Cup came down to a singles match between Nick Kyrios and who else? Roger Federer. Federer won in a third-set tiebreak that had as much entertainment value for me as a Wimbledon final – well, maybe not quite that much – but more than I would have thought possible when it started on Friday.

Inaugural Laver Cup goes to Team Europe

Original Rocket Man Rod Laver presented the first trophy to the European team. Laver is the only person to possess all 4 major titles in a calendar year (the calendar slam), and he accomplished this remarkable feat two times…once as an amateur and once as a professional tennis player. The organizers of the Laver Cup established this tournament to celebrate his achievements and his legacy and can take a bow for its initial success in Prague.

Next year’s Laver Cup moves to Chicago in the USA. Hopefully tennis fans will be treated to another brilliant weekend of creative play with the World Team holding more of a home court advantage. Do not curb your enthusiasm!

Roger popped the champagne cork as Rafa watched

Too much fun. Stay tuned.

Posted in Humor, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

to pill or not to pill – that is the question


Today I count pills to fill two small brightly colored plastic containers that are compartmentalized by the days of the week with the hope they will continue to help me manage the health of my life and not stealthily contribute to its demise. Such a fine line exists between “to pill or not to pill.” Pretty maintains – and has maintained for the past ten years – that the little pills will be my downfall. I argue I would probably not be here today without them. As a compromise, I’ve added a few vitamins she is okay with. At 71 years of age, I can almost say I told you so, but I’m not quite ready for the implications surrounding that declaration.

Last week our tall slender pine trees shook while the rains came down ferociously to announce the arrival of a hurricane named Irma that had already left a path of disaster in the Caribbean islands and the states of Florida and Georgia. We received part of her last inland hurrah and although it was relatively mild, it was unsettling enough. We were afraid some of our pine trees would fall on our heads. Luckily, that didn’t happen. The lights stayed on, and we will try not to complain about our modest outside cleanup. Our refrigerator kept our cans of soft drinks cold, and we had an adequate supply of potato chips which was our entire inventory of “unperishables” in the event of a disaster.

Thank goodness for the chilled ginger ale…the taste of ginger ale always reminds me of the little girl growing up in rural southeast Texas where the piney woods became a national forest at the boundary line between Grimes and Montgomery County, the little girl who saved nickels in the summertime to purchase a large bottle of ginger ale to pretend she was drinking champagne like Myrna Loy in The Thin Man movies. Sitting under a chinaberry tree, the only child offered a glass to her black doll named James Marion after her uncle who was not black. When James Marion declined, she drank the bottle by herself – making toast after toast for imaginary weddings, high school graduations, basketball games, the circus, rodeos, any special occasion she could imagine except for baptisms at the First Baptist Church. No one at that church ever drank champagne for any occasion. My mother told me abstinence from adult beverages was necessary because of the potential for causing the ruination of a hapless sinner who saw you have a sip of any kind of alcohol and thereafter was not able to resist temptation but rather succumbed to drink and debauchery.

That same line of reasoning also applied to dancing and using inappropriate slang words that so wanted to slip out while sipping champagne. My mother was a stickler for avoiding the drinking and cussing, but she strayed occasionally during American Bandstand in the afternoons after school when the rock and roll music made her feet betray her convictions. It was one weakness, and I smile now at the memory of her trying to do the Twist when Chubby Checker was a guest on the show. As for fornication, well, that wasn’t even on the table for discussion which was very suspicious given her predilection for walking nude around the house in my teenage years. My prim elementary school teacher mother, my mother who played the piano for the Baptist Church, thought nothing of shedding her clothes in the privacy of her own home when Daddy was there. Go figure…and she had a good one at the time.

I’ve just finished counting the last of the pills for the week. Every pill is in its proper place so that each day they are easily accessible first thing in the morning. I’m not sure how or why I digressed into the story about my mother except that’s how I ramble on in my mind lately. I’m so glad to have the funny memories of her again – I’ve carried the more recent memories of her when she was not in her right mind for too long. She was a mess.

I prefer these memories to the headlines of the day with its hurricanes, natural disasters, bombs from North Korea, throwing acid on American tourists in France, the president addressing the United Nations, and the young Georgia Tech lgbtq student activist shot to death. My mother’s predilection for nudity and my preoccupation with pills pale in comparison to the news of the day and provide a kind of relief from the constant bombardment of the ongoing shattering of our families and communities. At least they do for me.

Stay tuned.

 

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | 16 Comments