"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Friday, August 31, 2007



enough money within her control to move outand rent a place of her own,even if she never wants to or needs to...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...something perfect to wear if the employer,or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..a youth she's content to leave behind....

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,and a recipe for a meal,that will make her guests feel honored...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...a feeling of control over her destiny...EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...how to fall in love without losing herself...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...how to quit a job,break up with a lover,and confront a friend without;ruining the friendship...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...that she can't change the length of her calves,the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..whom she can trust,whom she can't,and why she shouldn't take it personally...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...where to go...be it to her best friend's kitchen table...or a charming inn in the woods...when her soul needs soothing...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...what she can and can't accomplish in a day...a month...and a year...

Monday, August 27, 2007

There Oughtta Be A Law

So there I am at the Walgreen's checkout counter, and the clerk says, "Hey, I've got some free samples of some great face cream that I know you'll love...it really clears up acne...and leaves your skin feeling really soft."
At the same time, as she rings up my purchases (which includes a box of Super Duper Giant Overnight Maxi Pads With Jumbo Wings), the cash register cranks out a receipt that informs (lucky) me that I've won a free AARP membership...
Now wait a cotton' pickin' minute...

I'f I'm AARP eligible (which, damn it, I am...actually I'll be 51 in but a few months), how is it that I am STILL fighting acne and STILL having to buy flippin' Kotex?
(Of course, it's perimenopausal sebacious cysts combined with ingrown and infected chin whiskers so coarse you could sweep a kitchen floor, not pubescent pimples, that plague me...but I digress...)

It's just not fair.
Heavy sigh...

And they said zits disappear at 30...


There oughtta be a law...

Friday, August 24, 2007



I think I may have dated such a guy back in the day...

And I do love Brad Pitt...

Just some fun food for thought this glorious Friday!

Have a good one!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Haaaaapy 27th Anniversary to Us!

(From the cartoon "The Flintstones"
To the music of the William Tell Overture
or The Lone Ranger's Theme)

Happy anniversary!
Happy anniversary!
Happy anniversary!
Haaaaapy anniversary!

Happy happy happy happy
Happy anniversary!
Happy happy happy happy
Happy anniversary!

Happy anniversary!
Happy anniversary!
Happy anniversary!
Haaaaapy anniversary!

Monday, August 20, 2007


So this Thursday my husband and I will observe/celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary.

Twenty-seven blissful, peaceful, stress-free, nary-a-cross word-spoken years of wildly romantic wedded harmony.


(And they said I couldn't write fiction...)

Funny, isn't it... they make you promise before God and everyone else to love and cherish each other through thick and thin, for richer,for poorer, in good times and bad, yada, yada, yada, when all along anyone sitting out there in the pews (or garden, or chapel, or whatever) who's been married for more than seven years (or fewer, depending on the couple) knows full well that such a heady commitment is so much easier said than done.

Of course, when you are young and in love and the hormones are flowing, you can't be bothered by the seemingly inconsequential details of thick/thin/sickness/health/richer/poorer -- you just wanna tie the knot.

I mean, of course you take your vows seriously, but you really don't have a flipping clue what you are agreeing to when you say "for better, for worse."

Experience says, however, that THAT might be a good time to politely interrupt the vows and say to the minister, priest, justice of the peace or Elvis impersonator, "Define 'worse'."

You see, sometimes, "worse" in marriage doesn't always mean big, bad stuff. No, what I have discovered is that it's often the little, picky stuff that truly gets in the way of matrimonial bliss.

He NEVER picks up his socks.
She NEVER refills the empty toilet paper roll.
He snores too loud.
She smacks her lips when she chews her food.

And so forth and so on.

Sounds horribly petty, I know. But after more than 10 years, trust me, little annoying idiosyncracies like that can morph The Happy Couple into The Bickersons in a nano second.

Yes, growing old together, while it can be comforting, also serves up a whole plate of splendiferous marital issues you never dreamed were possible back in the day when you were standing wistfully and blissfully ignorant at the altar saying "I do."

For example, both John and I are losing our hearing -- John more so than me -- but nevertheless, we have made a pact that we must never try to talk to each other if one of us is in the other room. I mean, we're not exactly to the point of having to read each other's lips, but it creeps closer every day.

So, in an attempt to be romantic this a.m., I sauntered up to him and, directly into what I thought was his good ear, cooed, "This is the week of our anniversary!"

To which, with great puzzlement, he replied:

"We should delete our anniversary?"


Oh, well.

With any luck, matching earhorns are cheaper than hearing aids.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


One risk I never take...


by Eric Rosenbloom
(copyright 2002)

The season’s maturity is summer’s wane,
A mellowing of early exuberance
Yet grandeur of a calm confidence,
The small sweet fruit on the raspberry cane.

The crickets save their energy for love calls,
And modestly brilliant flowers shine
Atop the rich-leaved patient stalks that line
The edges of fields and fences and old stalls.

The rodents never forget that summers end
And now in the shade of the august haze
They rest a while these satisfied yet anxious days
To wonder how this winter each will fend.

Settled in our cushions while gazing at the stars,
My hand in yours,
the crickets’ hum is ours.



The heat wave is over! Over,I tell ya! At least for this a.m.

The windows are open! There's actually a breeze! A breeze!

I can breathe, I can blink, without sweating to death!

Just breathe! Breathe in the fresh, cool air!

I will survive!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Daniel's on-line film debut...

Most kids played baseball...my son made movies...

He usually makes World War II dramas...this is a little lighter fare...

Sometimes boys just wanna have fun, too...unstructured, creative, non-sports fun...

Best viewed with high speed...

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Just when I thought life was teetering on the edge of utter boredom in Groceryville...

This rather heavy set gal waltzes up to me at the cash register, pulls her shirt up a bit and says, smiling, "Wanna rub my belly for good luck? People like to rub my belly for good luck."

WHAT? What does she think she is, a flippin' genie?

"Um, gee, no...no,I really don't want to. But th-th-thanks just the same," I replied.

Get me outta here.



The manicured fingernails are always the last to go.

Broke a nail this a.m. -- so of course I had to get rid of the other nine -- the last remnants of my Cinci manicure. The last evidence of living in Pamperdom for a week. And I don't mean the disposable diapers...although I am sure Depends are just around the corner...

The tan started to fade immediately, of course, and I just can't quite justify going back to the tanning bed when fall is -- I hope -- just around the corner.

And, besides, who needs a tan if one is no longer required to don a bathing suit for lounging by a pool for four or five hours a day?

Vacation seems like a lifetime ago...

Did I mention the dog destroyed John's good shoes? And Daniel's cell phone charger? And my rather pricey and sassy smart-girl glasses?

And the beat goes on...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The name is boring, the plot sounds contrived.

TV is just not what it used to be...

I miss The Wonder Years...


You know it's a dark day in our country when Polly, Barbie and Batman get yanked off the toy shelves...

Is anything safe anymore?

(Yeah...that's our girl Polly, right, during a happier, safer, more innocent time in her doll career.)


So I'm stocking the candy/gum shelves and I happen to glance at pack of Wrigley's Orbit White sugarfree gum...

"Proven to Remove Stains and Whiten Teeth...Removes 40% of Stains..."


A closer look at the fine print on the back of the pack tells you the REAL story, however...

"Chewing 2 pieces of Orbit White after eating and drinking helps: Remove stains and whiten teeth; Remove over 40% of stains in testing based on an 8-week clinical test."

Let's see...

Two pieces of Orbit White x 3 meals a day and say, 2 snacks w/beverage x 8 weeks = 10 pieces of gum a day x 7 days a week= 70 pieces of gum a week x 8 = 560 pieces of gum.

If there are 12 pieces of gum per pack, and it takes 560 pieces of gum to make a difference...560 divided by 12 = 46.66 packs of gum -- let's call it 47...

Figure 47 packs of gum at $1.05 each = $49.35...

My God, man, you could spend about the same amount of hard-earned cash for name-brand whitening strips and have whiter, brighter teeth in less than half the time...

Conclusion: Obviously, I have too much time on my hands at work if I have time to figure out this drivel...

Monday, August 13, 2007


And it was real fun...and a lot of time-consuming, hard, make-your-eyeballs bleed work.

But we did it because we felt it was the right -- and journalistically moral and necessary -- thing to do at the time.

We couldn't just sit back and let the BS continue to fly without, um, throwing our two cents worth of perspective in. So we gave it our best blogospheric shot.

People loved us. People hated us.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

It was The Independent Eye.

One year ago today, Suz.

A moment of remembrance, please...:)

Sunday, August 12, 2007


It's a gloomy Sunday evening...

We're under some sort of severe weather watch/warning...

Think I'll throw on the pjs and cozy up to a good, old, classic movie...Annie Hall.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie:

Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) at the end of the movie, summing up relationships, after seeing Annie (Diane Keaton) one last time:

"After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I... I realized what a terrific person she was, and... and how much fun it was just knowing her; and I... I, I thought of that old joke, y'know, the, this... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y'know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... but, uh, I guess we keep goin' through it because, uh, most of us... need the eggs."

Saturday, August 11, 2007


School supply shopping...is there anything more frustrating?

Well, of course, in reality, there is.

But over the years, I have found that school supply shopping is not for the easily stressed and strained.

I know what you're thinking..."But Ann, they give you a list. How tough can it be?" Well, since you asked...

Example (from School Year Past):

Notebook (single subject, college rule, at least 70 pages)
2 Red
2 Green
1 Yellow
1 Blue
1 Black

Seemingly simple enough. Until it comes down to actually FINDING a yellow single-subject, college-ruled 70-page notebook.

I found purple. Lots of purple. But no yellow. Or I found yellow, but it was wide-margined.

I searched Wal-Mart. I searched KMart.

"Oh, I found lots of yellow notebooks at Target,"I recall another mom telling me, inferring, I suppose, that a blind monkey could easily find a yellow spiral notebook, so why couldn't I...

Well, how nice. Except Target is in Des Moines. I was 70-plus miles from Des Moines, and school started in, oh, 15 minutes.

OK, so I am exaggerating just a skosh.

School was actually starting in 2o minutes.


But let's face it...school supply shopping -- successful, stress-free school supply shopping-- takes excellent planning and organizational skills, and patience...three attributes that aren't readily at my fingertips.

Especially patience.

Another flash from School Year Past:

"But I want the 36 -crayon box, Mom."

"But Daniel, it says you only need 24."

"But Mom..."

"But nothing, young man! Put the 24 box in the dang cart or you're grounded for life! Or until second grade."

And what about those colored pencils? Ya got erasable, gel, metallic-colored, multicultural, twistable, pastel...the list, of course, is extremely vague-- just says colored pencils -- and while Junior is clamoring for twistable gel, you're thinkin' Teach proobably just wants traditional (and possibly erasable)...if you could just get into the teacher's psyche for but a minute...)

"Just get the traditional 24-pack colored pencils, dear."

"But Mom, I want the 36 metallic-colored..."

"Put the 24-pack traditional colored pencils in the dang cart or you're grounded for life. Or until graduation."

So this year, as Daniel enters his first year of high school, I says to myself, I says, "Annie girl, this year, you're doin' it right. You're going to plan. You're going to be organized. You're going to have patience. It's ONLY school supply shopping.

Three weeks -- count 'em -- THREE weeks before school starts, I ask the high school principal (he's a long-time neighbor of mine) for a freshman school supply list.

"There isn't one," he says, oh-so-matter-of-factly.

"Pardon me," I sputter incredulously. "What did you just say?"

"There isn't a freshman school supply list," he says.


"So, what? We just figure out what they need by flippin' telepathy?" I snarl.

"Oh, you pretty much figure a spiral notebook for each class, some pens, pencils and a binder...the partciulars will come later from each teacher..." he says.

"Wait a minute, pal," I says, teeth clenched, eyes narrowed. "We are slaves to your insanely detailed yet horrendously vague school supply lists since pre-school, and now, suddenly, 11 school years into it, you're tellin' me there's no list?"


"You can't do this, man," I cried. "I'm hooked! I finally had it all planned! I was ready this year. I was counting on a list!"

Hi. My name is Annie. I'm a school supply list-a-holic. I'm about to go school supply shopping without a list for the first time in over a decade...

Hi, Annie!

Oh, well.

One notebook at a time.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Do you remember JFK?

I certainly do.

And the blog, "I Remember JFK" is an excellent place for Baby Boomers to visit and reminisce about all things Baby Boomerish from our childhoods...

If you've never visited , click here and check it out...Or click on the link on my links list.

Today's post is about, of all things, those grisly Charles Manson murders back in August of 1969...but I do remember them...they happened around the same time as my big outdoor slumber party...some of you reading this blog may remember it...

We slept in the backyard, and held "seances" and spun ourselves around to make ourselves dizzy...had to go inside in the morning because it started raining...turned out to be a day of tornados in Cincy...was that the tornado that wrecked the Bingo tent at the St. Gertie's festival that summer? I think we went on a scavenger hunt that night, organized by noneother than my big sister, otherwise known by most as Sissy.


It's Friday and I am pulling shelves, which is a nice switch from schlepping groceries up front... I don't have to be perky (although I am feeling rather OK today) and I find straightening the shelves therapeutic.

Hey, it's cheaper than Prozac.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Merry Christmas to me and the fam!

My dear friend Beth not only sent me a taste o'Skyline and Frisch's Tartar Sauce, but threw in some Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce and and some LaRosa's sauce as well...and some ADORABLE toys and treats for Mimi, our rather emotionally-charged rat terrier!

It's ribs, tonight!

Love you, Beth!

I am so blessed...


So I'm standin' at the cash register, doin' my Thursday morning grocery schleppin' thing, and my friend, Geri, the postal carrier, comes burstin' thru the door laughin' and grinnin' and sayin', "Girl, you've got two big packages from Ohio waitin' for you at the post office...maybe it's the chili and the tartar sauce...or your missing underwear!"

(It's a small town...everybody knows about the missing tartar sauce, chili, and underwear.)


Could it be? From whom? Which one of my adoring friends sent me replacement tartar sauce and chili? (I dare say the underwear is a moot point.)

Geri says there's no return address...they're just from Ohio...

Ironically, just last night, I heated up a pan of Skyline chili (one of three out of the original five cans that DID make it through the US mail) and had me three yummy Skyline Cheese Coneys...

I only wept for an hour...

Nah. Just joshin'...

Actually, I am SO over my Cincy Vacation Lag...

Geri says she'll drop the boxes off at the store...

I feel like a kid at Christmas!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Because they taste funny.

(Thanks, Natalie Ann, I needed a good laugh!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


At last!
Some good news this a.m. from our friends the French researchers...

Click here to read all about how caffeine is our buddy...

Monday, August 06, 2007


One of the exciting aspects of my life as a grocery schlepper is that I get to check in the magazines every Monday morning...

Yes, I start off my week with all the dish on all the Hollywood stars at my fingertips -- The National Inquirier and The Globe (both magazine journalism icons, I know), and I speed read all the helpful how-to stuff in all the women's magazines -- Woman's Day, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour -- as I check them off on the sheet.

Lately, while perusing the headlines, it has come to my attention that women's magazine publishers/editors apparently believe there are only three things that women really care about: sex, clutter and weight loss.

And not necessarily in that order.

I think, actually, that it all has to do with the age group a magazine is marketed toward.

I mean, let's be honest...Cosmo and Glamour are not geared toward women 50 and over. Probably more like women 18-25. And those are the mags, filled with pics of bone-thin temptresses in little or no garb, inviting you to read up on all the advice you will ever need need to sexually satisfy your man.

(I usually stick those mags on the back shelf...I mean, this IS a family grocery store...)

I think the mag publishers and editors figure that women from 25 to 35 are busy putting all that sex advice to work, seducing men willy nilly, and don't have time to read. Until they get married, that is. And a few kids come along. And the varicose veins start popping up, and they develop those little belly pouches.

And suddenly, or so it is presumed, women aged 35 and over don't really care if Mr. Studley is satisfied sexually. The mag publishers and editors then apparently figure that these women look and feel frumpy and would rather putz around the house in a shift, clean, and read women's mags while wolfing down bon-bons. They figure these women need a little encouragement.

Check out this month's Woman's Day:

"Get Rid of Clutter For Good"

"Trim That Tummy in Just 3 Weeks"

"How To Look 5,10, 15 Years Younger!"

Last month's Woman's Day issue?

"Walk Off Weight! New 4-Week Plan!"

"38 Super-Speedy Ways To Clean!"

"Dress 10 Pounds Thinner!"

"One Minute Health Busters"

Or check out this month's Family Circle:

"Get Slim Fast!"

"Clear The Clutter! Quick And Easy Organizing!"

And do you know what I bet most of that "clutter" is?

Why, back issues of Cosmo and Glamour, of course.

Well, gotta get back to work.

I'll have to wait for my lunch break to read about Lindsay Lohan's secret affair that destroyed her life...


Sunday, August 05, 2007


So we finally got some rain...not much, but at least it was something.

And, thankfully, this afternoon is overcast....muggy, but at least the sun isn't out so I don't have to feel guilty that I don't feel sunny.

Of course, it wigs the fam out just a hair when ol' Normally Perky Pollyanna Mom is curled up in the fetal position, sobbing, and watching Thelma and Louise for too long...

I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon...or just plain snap.

Next vacation, I've decided, I'm going to some Third World country where I have no emotional ties and life is treacherous and stark so that when I return home, I'll be chomping at the bit to get back to my reality.

Cincinnati Vacation Lag is not for the weak of heart. However, it's nothing a little time, distance and a daily IV of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey Ice Cream won't eventually quell...

Oh, well. This, too, shall pass.

Nevertheless...Somalia, here I come.

I'll send postcards.

God, I wish it was fall...

Maestro, a little something to sulk by, please...

Bring OnThe Rain
by Jo Dee Messina

Another day has almost come and gone
Can't imagine what else could go wrong
Sometimes I'd like to hide away somewhere and lock the door...
A single battle lost but not the war.

'Cause, tomorrow's another day
And I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
It's almost like the hard times circle 'round
A couple drops and they all start coming down
Yeah, I might feel defeated, I might hang my head
I might be barely breathing - but I'm not dead, no

'Cause tomorrow's another day
And I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
I'm not gonna let it get me down
I'm not gonna cry
And I'm not gonna lose any sleep tonight

Cause tomorrow's another day
And I am not afraid
So bring on the rain

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Somewhere out in that vast black hole I call the U.S. Postal Service Lost Items Dept., are two jars of Frisch's Tartar Sauce, two cans of Skyline Chili, a sack of my new, albeit needs-to-be-laundered, underwear and one tennis shoe...and a pair of sandals. Oh, and one plush dog.

Likewise, there is a woman somewhere out there,Size 22, who is missing a rather ugly denim haltar top she apparently just bought from JC Penney, a ripped sun dress, and a very small, tattered red sweater... I know this because those items were in MY package that was supposed to contain the above mentioned tartar sauce, dirty laundry, etc.

Yes, the U.S. Mail strikes again.

Somewhere in the shipping and handling process, the box I had mailed (containing items I couldn't fit in my suitcases on my return trip) from Cincy split open, and by the looks of the contents that did make it here, the whole kit-and-kaboodle was run over several times by the greasy tires of a mail truck.


Nothing says, "Hey, girl, your vacation is over, done, kaput" quite like opening a box that you think holds precious vacation memories-- not to mention your underwear and other clothes -- only to find several said "valuables" missing and those remaining, ruined.

And what the hell am I to do with a Size 22 sun dress and an ugly denim haltar top from JC Penney? And the tattered red sweater? I do think it is small enough to fit my rat terrier, Mimi, however.

And to think that someone may be gleefully slathering MY tartar sauce on THEIR burgers...I shudder to think about the fate of my underwear...

Oh, well.

One must get smacked back into reality somehow. Not that I haven't had my share of reality "smacks" this week...but I digress.

What's a little missing tartar sauce in the big scheme of things? Besides, the tartar sauce never tastes as good on MY burgers as it does on a Frisch's Big Boy, with French fries, while actually sitting at a Frisch's restaurant in Cincy.

It's just not the same.

In fact, enjoying and then finishing a jar of Frisch's tartar sauce back here in Iowa only makes me yearn for more. It has even, on occasion, caused bouts of homesickness and mild depression.

Some things are just better left as vacation memories.

Bottom line is, vacation isn't reality and reality is no vacation.

Hence, the following lesson learned (finally, after all these years):

Sometimes, a taste of Frisch's tartar sauce, like a "taste" of vacation, is worse than none at all.