The Biopsy

I had my first biopsy last week.  It was an interesting new experience.  My GP has been ‘watching and waiting’ some thyroid nodules for a few years.  On this year’s ultrasound one of the nodules had reached the size that should be investigated.  With some trepidation I set off for the hospital and found a parking space straight away – that was miraculous!

Going for a procedure in the USA is full of ridiculous bureaucracy but curiously there was no payment requested.  More trepidation…  It’s possible I have used my deductible (about $5000), if not they will send me a bill, post haste.  After almost 2 decades living here, I don’t even bother to look at what I am signing.  Eventually I got to another desk where I filled in even more documents about my current health.  They took me to a small unit with single bedrooms for the procedures.

The very nice lady asked even more questions. “What is your name, date of birth and why are you here?”  Then she presented even more documents.  I may have sold my soul because I signed everything including the one that alluded to their hand slipping, slitting my artery and me needed lots of blood transfusions full of monkey pox or whatever glamorous name the CDC are going to call it.

While all this was going on, I could hear a man in the next room talking relentlessly.  Was anyone responding to him or was he on his cell phone?  There is a strange lady in our street who goes for a walk around the ‘hood’ and talks the whole time.  She has an ear piece in but I think she might be talking to herself or the voices in her head?  The nurse took pity on me and found a remote so I could watch the one channel working on the TV.  Thank the Lord it wasn’t Fox News…  I tried to focus on Law and Order but the fella next door just kept talking.  I regretted not taking my Xanax.

Then the door was wedged open so I could see other patients in various states of undress.  One man across the way was preparing to strip not realizing I could see him.  His nurse ruined everything by closing his door – dang it.  Suddenly the ‘talk the hind legs off a donkey’ man appeared in my doorway.  He looked like he was reversing into my room and I had an excellent view of his underpants because his gown wasn’t fastened at the back.  I wondered about laughing or crying but then it struck me that he was a poor old soul, likely suffering with a dementia.  He made it to the bathroom, talking all the way.  The nurses retrieved him and took him back to his room, not mine.

My team arrived in a flurry.  There was an ultrasound technician to locate the little blighter, the nurse practitioner who was going to do the biopsy and the assistant who was doing all the sterile stuff.  They injected lidocaine (numbing agent) around the area at the base of my neck, using the tumescent technique which I knew all about because I am addicted to Dr. Pimple Popper.  Yet again they asked me “Who are you, when were you born and why are you here”.  After that was confirmed, she said, “The lidocaine will really sting but you shouldn’t feel the biopsy needle”.  Not exactly reassuring but correct.  It is very strange having a numbing sensation in your throat instead of your teeth.

During the fairly short procedure, I could hear the talker next door loudly objecting to signing all the papers. “Why would I need a blood transfusion?” The nurse responded, also very loudly, “Well, Mr. Talker, you are having a lung biopsy, so it’s just in case something happens”.  She had the patience of a saint and was very kind to him.  I really wanted to chuckle but I had to stay still.  After it was completed, they told me that it was possible that the results would be inconclusive because it was a watery cyst.  That’s a good sign although there is a very small chance of cancerous cells floating in the liquid.  My gut feeling is that it’s yet another of my odd yet benign cysts that lurk throughout my body.  What should I name her – ‘Nora Nodule’ perhaps?  The one in my chest cavity is called ‘Pumpkin’ because she was discovered at Halloween.  Still to name the one in my bile duct – he feels a bit creepy.  What a place for a cyst to hide!

They left me in the room to rest for a bit with an icepack on the puncture.  I felt perfectly fine so just got dressed and went out to get my discharge papers.  On the way home I popped into the Purgatorial Post Office which I usually avoid at all costs.  The staff are snotty and there is always a queue.  The assistant who served me was entirely silent during our transaction.  I hoped he was unnerved by my mask, the Band-Aid on my neck and the two patient wristbands (one was bright red for the Monkey Pox transfusion).  Why are they so difficult to cut off?

Still waiting for results but there was no bruise, little swelling and just a little discomfort.  Compared to life during the Pandemic I would class this as a fun day out!

Forest Tails

As I write this, the ‘Eeeeee’ of Baby Hawk is preventing me from feeding all my other ‘tails’, although all their baths and bowls are freshly filled.

Baby Hawk

Our red-tailed hawks have had baby #2022.  We had our first small shower of rain after two months of drought and all the forest babies wondered what the wet stuff was falling from the sky.  Baby Hawk sobbed…  It was heartbreaking and funny.  Mother Hawk was wheeling above enjoying a refreshing shower. 

The Tail Family

All our squirrels have funky tails this year.  We have ‘Tail’ who is at least a year old – her tail was fractured but healed well.  The fur came in with strange chevron markings and a much darker gray than usual.  Then there is ‘half’, ‘three quarters’ and ‘pipe cleaner’.  ‘Half’ is extra cute and will come running for a peanut or chopped up apple – she is also a wee bruiser, using Jujitsu on her kin, perhaps that’s why she has half a tail? I am guessing that the ‘Tail’ family all have a genetic weakness with their tails or the clumsy gene.  ‘Nut Mom’ (aka me) also has the clumsy gene and break as many items as my mother did.  One day in the garden, the hawk suddenly appeared and the squirrels were blissfully sitting in the trees.  I ran out, shouted ‘lie down’ and they did!

Baby Blues

We have twin baby blue jays.  When they are first fledged, their iridescent blue feathers have not fully grown in and they have fluffy gray tummies.  The parents have a distinctive black necklace which the babies don’t have until maturity.  My friend across the cul-de-sac thought the nest was in the trees by her garden because she rescued a newly fledged blue jay from one of her dogs.  From my friend’s rose colored perspective, her ‘black lab mix’, Gertie, was just going to nuzzle the baby…  Gertie, who looks like a Rottweiler, has nearly pulled me off my feet when I took her for walkies in past years.  Then she was desperately trying to ‘nuzzle’ ducks at the pond.  Methinks she saw feathered snacks.

The baby blue jays have been so fun to watch – they have tried every voice in their repertoire.  Gentle beeping, the rusty wheel, the annoying squawk and their imitation of the red-tailed hawk.  That gets me racing to the door to check if it is a raptor.  Their mimic is pretty good but if you listen carefully, it doesn’t have the mournful lament of real hawk.  Their monogamous blue jay parents are very attentive, gently showing them how to drink from the bird bath and feed themselves.  They seem to know our garden is a safe kindergarten.

The Cardinals

The cardinals often accompany the blue jays who provide a Minder service for the smaller birds – early warning of predators.  One of the silly baby blue jays tried to sit in a tiny bush with a baby cardinal.  The father cardinal lay on the deck, with a ‘broken wing’, pretending to be injured to lure him away.  Baby blue didn’t know his own size and meant no harm.  Two American Robins, a type of thrush, have arrived from the north.  It seemed as though they had traveled through our airport system because they were exhausted and filthy!  They didn’t quite understand this garden of plenty but feasted and washed.  They have settled in the oak tree in the front.

The Laurel

Alas, not everything survived our drought.  In the early spring our Texas Mountain Laurel was glorious, covered in blossoms but by early summer she suddenly died.  We have raised her for about 8 years so we are sad.  Your swan song was glorious.

On a lighter final note, Wanja Joseph, commented on my post Dolphins are Jerks

“I am having a hard time describing or thinking of those sea kittens as naughty or crafty. My innocence is gone! Beautiful shots”

Henceforth our squirrels are known as tree kittens…

Sweet Dreams, Little Ones

Just thinking about these little headstones brings a tear to my eye. On our tour of the painted churches in Texas we stopped at St Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Dubina. The church was temporarily closed so we wandered through the large cemetery. The original settlers were from Moravia, part of what was Czechoslovakia. In the past, stillborn babies or those who lived just a few days, were usually placed in unmarked graves. Sometimes they were added to the grave of the most recently buried stranger or put in a mass grave for stillborn babies. The congregation of this church have created beautiful little headstones for their ancestor’s babies.

The hand-painted church is small but so pretty. When I gazed at the celestial scene above the altar, I thought that the stars represented all the little souls above. Rest in peace, Otilia, Joseph, Valentine, Carolina, Anton, Felix, Dominic and Wilomena. Sweet dreams to all those little ones who visited earth so briefly.

St Cyril and Methodius Church, Dubina, Texas

Catfishing

Oxford dictionary definition of Catfishing – the process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona.

I chose WordPress as a gentle and safe forum to write on the Internet.  For the most part, I have been really happy with WordPress and my host service.  Like most of you, the Spam filter catches the most ridiculously fake ‘Bloggers’.  Last week, I had a short comment on my post and I responded, “thank you’.  Then there was a message asking if we could be friends…  I went back to his website which I quickly realized was full of other people’s posts.  Then I looked at his profile and that’s when the alarm bells rang.  He was a 9 (out of 10); graying hair, big brown eyes in his mid-50s, I would guess.  Jeffery hailed from North Carolina, a single Dad of two sons and a marine engineer.

I don’t believe in false modesty – I am reasonably attractive lady for my age.  Especially at twilight with a glass of wine…  Over the years on WordPress, I have had some suitors, for want of a better word.  Usually, it’s just harmless flirting and I am happy to indulge.  My favorite was an older gentleman from a remote Pacific Island whose wife had died and he had 10 children.  I gently let him down but noted that he was handsome and I don’t have any children!  Jeffery provoked my curiosity and I searched for him on LinkedIn with no success.  Then I checked out his URL.  What a surprise – it was from Africa.

On that note, I have to share my dirty little secret – I am addicted to terrible reality shows where you marry someone inappropriate from overseas.  Inevitably, it very rarely works out with some surprising exceptions.  I think my obsession started in Africa when we lived in Cairo.  Every so often we had to go to a terrifying, massive government building called the Mugamma.  The staff reminded me of the Department of Motor Vehicles, in the US.  Teddy’s company paid for someone, fluent in Arabic, to accompany us and navigate the stressful world of visas.  Despite this, I always needed to see my psychologist after the dreaded trip.

There were lines of refugees from every part of Africa, often wearing national dress, and my heart went out to them.  I always felt that Cairo was very generous to refugees and guests, since it is not a rich country.  Then there was the line for anyone getting married.  My friend from Ukraine married her  beau from New Zealand while we were there.  I was 42 when we moved there and I was fascinated by women in their late 50’s desperately pleading with the soulless staff to be allowed to marry a much younger Egyptian man.  Did they really think they were in love with them?

I knew quite a few European women who married Egyptian men and some were genuine love matches.  Very few survived the challenge of a completely different culture.  There was one older Scottish lady who married a younger man who then took all her money out of her control.  She was left with very few options; putting up with the situation or returning to Scotland penniless, living on welfare.  I am not even sure that there was any malice involved – it was normal for a husband to have full control of the family finances.

Back to my Catfisher – was it male or female?  It was a pretty complicated scam and fraudulent.  After their request to be friends, I responded, “Of course!  I would be happy for you to join my group of WordPress friends.”  The lack of response spoke volumes and I blocked him. Life is really hard right now, especially in third world countries, so it didn’t surprise me that someone would want to strip me of my American dollars.  Be careful of the sharks out there.  Do you think Jeffery would still be interested in me if he saw this photo of me catfishing or more correctly rescuing catfish? Yes, I am thigh deep in a murky lake with water moccasins and alligators.

PS.  I was going through a mental health crisis which explains the bald head.  Read the original blog here – Kerry and the Catfish.

Painted Churches, St John the Baptist

This is one of the many beautiful painted churches in central Texas. The early settlers from Czechoslovakia and Germany hand-painted their new places of worship in the style of the places that they came from. The churches are off the beaten track, in rural areas, and a joy to behold. I like to call this one the ‘peach church’ but it is really St. John the Baptist, a Czech Catholic Church, in the hamlet of Ammannsville (closer to San Antonio than Austin but in the central area otherwise known as the hill country).

Not only did the beautiful stained glass windows have Czech names on them but the stages of the cross were also annotated in Czech. It struck me that the original settlers probably only spoke Czech for at least one generation, if not longer. Each community is separate, if only by a few miles. Perhaps they learned German before English to communicate with fellow settlers? It’s remarkable and heart warming that they are so well maintained. The original building dates from 1890, it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1909 and this current building is from 1917.

It was another cloudy but warm day in May. The dark clouds give the church an ominous look as did the thousands of tussock moth caterpillars that covered the church and surrounding area. You couldn’t help standing on them or them dropping on your head – eek! My dopey husband wanted to touch their furry bodies but I stopped him in time. Their cute little fur spikes are poisonous, causing a nasty rash, and no doubt he would have ended up in ER (he is highly allergic to bug bites).

Holy Caterpillars! Zoom in, if you dare….

Dolphins are jerks…

Before you report me to the CIA (Cetaceous Investigative Agency) for slandering precious dolphins, read my rational explanation. This is the best shot I got on a dolphin watching cruise in Galveston and it is typical of every other photo I have taken looking for the crafty cetaceans – at least you can’t miss a whale. Galveston Bay is teeming with more dolphins than usual because the water is soooo hot. The Captain told us that there are many sharks eating the dolphins too – didn’t see any of them either. They are bottle-nosed dolphins and curiously the most northerly group of bottle-noses lived on the coast close to where we lived in the Moray Firth in Scotland. That’s when they started to annoy me…

For years, I worked as Teddy’s unpaid assistant while he did his Masters by research on a piece of craggy coastline overlooking the Moray Firth. On rare occasions it was lovely and warm but mostly it was just ‘Baltic’ weather. My hands were frozen holding tape measures and other geological stuff. I gazed off into the Firth always looking for a dolphin but never saw one – in almost 20 years. This Scottish group of dolphins had followed the warm gulf stream from the Caribbean to the far north of Scotland. These Cetaceous skinheads also beat up porpoises. Not so cute, now, eh??

When I was scanning the water in Galveston Harbor, I wondered if the Scottish squad had come on a wee holiday to the Gulf of Mexico and they were laughing at me, nearly falling over the railing in my attempt to catch a shot. You know this is a tongue in cheek post – I love all critters even the skinheads! They really did beat up porpoises in the Moray Firth but it was probably overfishing by humans that caused the aggression.

We went for a two day trip to Galveston just to get a sea breeze. The temperature was about 10 degrees cooler than at home (101 F) but it was still overwhelmingly hot. The breeze felt more like a hairdryer. Our boat was filled with two very large extended families. One speaking Spanish and the other were from a south east state. It could have been English but so hard to tell; bless their hearts! The tiny kids could barely see the dolphins but the Captain let them all ‘drive’ the boat and finally see them. There were some reports of a badly behaved dolphin in the of the southern coast of Texas but it had just become too used to humans and lost it’s fear much like bears that have to be removed from the suburbs.

Of course, Teddy got a much better shot with his fancy camera but even he struggled. Do you notice the strange color of the water? Tourists are often disappointed that the water at Galveston is a muddy color but it is glorious in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico (turquoise in the Yucatan). Houston sits at the base of a delta system of rivers that cause the churning of sediment and Galveston is our barrier island. It’s full of really great tasting fish, though.

Dolphin bubbles…

Best Birthday Gift Ever!!!

My birthday and our 40th wedding anniversary are this week – I have Covid-19.  About three weeks ago, I started coughing and took a negative test. “It’s the excessive heat or allergies,” I thought.  A week later I was watering the garden when I became really breathless so I made a Saturday morning appointment at the doctors.  He asked if I was anxious but said it in a kind way.  All my medical information tells doctors that my primary illness is anxiety so it is reasonable to ask.  In my mind my files are stamped with ‘DON’T BELIEVE ANYTHING SHE SAYS!!!!’  ‘CRAZY OLDER LADY WITH WEIRD ACCENT’ ‘SHE’S AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES’ ‘DANGER, DANGER!!!’.  He was very thorough given my ‘cyst in the lungs’ history, gave me another negative test for Covid and chest X-rays.  I haven’t seen a pulmonologist since my last one died of Covid during the worst of the Pandemic but the GP urged me to find a new one.

I left thinking it was all in my head – ‘bloody anxiety is the bane of my life’.  Teddy and I went off to Galveston for a couple of days and I felt good.  The sight and smell of the sea was heaven.  When we came back, I decided to book a little trip to one of the Great Lakes (cooler, more water, less tourists) for the anniversary/birthday combo.  The bag was packed instantly and for once I was excited.  Then I got anxious…we are having a drought and every day is over 100 F.  My sprinkler system has not worked for 2 years because I had nothing else to do but hose the garden.  What will happen to my little critters who rely on the various water bowls?  For some reason the birds prefer the blue bowl on the ground and the squirrels love the bird bath to drink out of.  A friend kindly offered to water the garden/critters but using my very sweet voice, I asked the sprinkler guy if he could fit me in – he could!  All problems solved…

We always book at the last minute because of my rapidly changing moods.  The flights could be cancelled but I hovered over paying $70 more for the hotel for last minute cancellation.  Teddy said, “Why would we cancel at this stage?” so I booked the non-refundable option…  This will now become part of the saga of our marriage and brought up every time I am annoyed on vacation.  Then the diarrhea started which was exacerbated by the hacking cough with almost disastrous results.  My nose was running into my coffee, my mask and the food I was preparing.  Then there was a message from the Saturday doctor – there was evidence of emphysema on my chest X-ray.  Really??  Time to take another stupid Covid test which was finally positive.

The hotel allowed us to book another date and the flights were cancelled.  God laughs at our plan, eh? On our 30th anniversary we had to cancel a trip to Panama because Teddy’s Dad had the temerity to die so inconveniently. I got sicker with Covid but the worst symptoms are abating.  I was fully vaccinated with 2 boosters but worked at the airport.  At least I don’t have Monkeypox.  Now Teddy is getting ill.  Nurse Ratched has appeared and he may as well be Patient Zero or Typhoid Teddy.  Is grumpiness part of Covid?  He has just sloped off to bed because he feels weak.  My response was ‘Good’ doublespeak for ‘Get out of my sight’.  Then we got an alert because we used 500 gallons more water than usual when the sprinklers started so I am back to hosing and misting.

Last night I cooked chicken marinated in white wine, lemon and oregano along with spiced couscous with sour cherries.  It just tasted like small white food with bigger white food.  My hair is standing on end with all the sweating and sleeping so I took a shower last night.  As I was drying off, I spotted a small cockroach fall out of my towel and skitter under my bed.  My OCD brain struggled to compete with Covid brain.  Previously a KLAXON warning would have gone off; I would have bathed in a light solution of bleach (joking DO NOT DO THIS), sprayed insecticide under the bed, washed the carpets, changed the sheets and had a small breakdown.  Covid brain won.  I just washed the towels and went to my unwashed bed with my new pet slumbering beneath me.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US!

Country Matters

This is the last post from the involuntary vacation series. Our final coffee stop was at a pretty little hill country town named La Grange, settled by Czech immigrants in 1850. We were so enamored with its charming town square that we made a second trip two months later. One this first visit, I nosed around the town square looking at the historical markers and town public notices. This notice, below, about intended treatment of Boll weevil insect in the cotton fields fascinated me. By chance, I had been reading about the recent Texas wines in the Panhandle region.  One of the wine growers’ major problems is that chemicals used to treat the cotton can drift and kill the vines.

I recently read this review, in red, by the Chalk Report of a winery in Loop, a remote area in north west Texas.  ‘Texas Wine wins Double Gold at San Francisco International Wine Competition’ Climate change is affecting wine growing here, as it is in the rest of the world.  There are some wineries just north of us but now the Panhandle area is producing some of the best medal winners.  Cool nights, hot days and low humidity create a good environment for growth.  Tempranillo and Bordeaux seem to suit this climate region. On a nostalgic segue, in Scotland we eagerly awaited the new Beaujolais Bordeaux every year – a bright, vibrant new pressing.  Bordeaux is called Claret.  I know you think that Scots just drink whisky and eat haggis but our wine drinking is an elegant legacy of the “Auld Alliance” between Scotland and France. 

Courtesy of Zeesstof on Flickr

My husband took this fabulous photo of a Red Brangus bull with egret friend in Port Aransas.  If you read the lost cattle notice beneath it, you can see someone has lost a Red Brangus bull.  How??  It’s not like losing your tabby cat.  They weigh up to 3000 lbs. and are worth between $7000 and $16,000.  When we lived on a farm in Scotland, the drunk neighbor did not adequately fence in his bullocks.  They all ran straight down our drive and galloped through the open door into the glass sunporch – talk about bulls in a China shop!  I know it’s not PC but I had to smack their bottoms with a broom to get them out of the house – I swear they laughed at me.  Then I chased them back home and woke up the sozzled farmer (perhaps he had found some Beaujolais Bordeaux?).  I had a few choice words for him…

Ah, I miss some aspects of living a truly rural life.

Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga

This is the third location of what was also called the Aranama Mission or Mission La Bahia, established in 1722 in Goliad, Texas.  Previous missions were at Matagorda and Lavaca Bay then named La Bahía del Espíritu Santo (The Bay of the Holy Spirit), on the south west coast of Texas on the Gulf.  On our involuntary vacation trip, we visited the town of Goliad first and then went to see the Mission itself, a short distance away on the banks of the San Antonio River.

The intention of the third location was to settle in a place that the native people, the Aranama, would be willing to stay and work, as well as establish territory to defeat the French, in particular. At its peak there were 40,000 head of cattle at the Mission making it the largest ranch in the area and run by the Franciscan order. I often wonder what the indigenous people thought – did Missions make their lives easier or was it just stolen land? They would have offered protection against some of the more warlike Tribes and a regular supply of food albeit with forced conversion to Catholicism.

One of my Irish cousins is a Missionary nun. For many years she worked in Africa. When she was older they moved her to a poverty stricken housing estate in Glasgow, Scotland. I was curious as to how she adapted but she loved it! Most people who meet me make assumptions based on my Scottish accent and seem to think I lived a fabulous life (in a castle?). Many people my age immigrated from Scotland to other countries to achieve a better life.

The building itself fell into disrepair over the years and was reconstructed as part of the New Deal in the 1930’s.  From visiting other Missions in Mexico and California, it seems authentic to me.  I was enchanted by the simplicity of the church and the pastoral lands surrounding it.

Mission Nuestra Senora del Espiritu Santo de Zuniga is a bit of a mouthful, as was my Spanish given name – Katherine Louise Dellinger de Ortega.  My ancestors settled in Spanish Missions from central Mexico up to San Francisco.  When I was in McAllen, the Mexican American receptionist commented on my Scottish accent and I said, “You won’t believe what my maiden name was!”  After the reveal she said, “Well, that is a brown name!”  I was so happy that she recognized my Mestizo heritage despite my Caucasian appearance – few people do.

Three Act Play

Life has been unintentionally hilarious in our house and I thought I would share our silliness.

ACT ONE

Scene – Teddy had to have yet another cardiac test and he confided in his ever-loving wife that he was ‘a bit fed up with his health issues’  Instantaneously his wife transmogrified into Nurse Ratched.

NURSE RATCHED (screeching) –

“How many times over the years (40 to be exact) have I suggested that you moderate your bad habits?  I hope you enjoyed every bloody cigarette, bottle of Pinot Noir and all those business lunches!  Every time I said something to you, you responded that life was too short and it is all about quality of life not quantity.”

(Nurse Ratched pauses for breath)

“You had your quality of life and I hope you REALLY ENJOYED IT!!  How dare you complain about your self-inflicted health problems!  If you hadn’t been married to me you would be DEAD by now…like our friends X,Y and Z.”

(Nurse Ratched is incredibly relieved to shed her Joan of Arc armor and reveal her truth.  Teddy looks stricken…)

Before anyone panics, we laughed about this afterwards and it is even funnier when I reenact Act One.  I have returned to the Fantastic Frau who manages Teddy’s future life with German efficiency.  Even better, Teddy has had the all clear from the cardiologist and doesn’t see him again until 2023.  Woo hoo!  He still has to stick to his Leibchen’s regimen (no salt/no alcohol/no caffeine) but the anomalies noted on the tests were just age-related cardiac problems.  He is actually fitter than most 64-year-old ‘first world’ men.

ACT TWO

Scene – Teddy and Kerry were watching the News and much of it was depressing.  We are so angry at our Governor in Texas who would like to turn our state into a Taliban province.  Women’s rights are going down the toilet and I don’t even have to mention gun sales. The conversation started cycling downwards into a “should we have moved here – what is wrong with American society – pretty soon it will feel like living in a central American war zone”

Kerry – “Well, aren’t we prophets of doom?”  she said laughingly

Teddy – “Maybe we should get DC-13 tattoos?”

Kerry falls sideways in hysterical laughter…

(DC-13 is a reference to MS-13, a notorious gang of immigrants from El Salvador, who settled in Los Angeles. Sometimes they emblazon MS -13 on their foreheads.  They also tattoo teardrops under their eyes to show how many kills they have made.  Most streets in our ‘hood’ are what an English friend referred to Dingley Dell names.  Bluebonnet Bayou, Live Oak Lane, Primrose Pond.  Our cul-de-sac has the worst name.  It starts with a D and ends in Court.  No one, not even the locals, can pronounce it as it is French – WHY?  Every call to a utility company is a nightmare with Alpha, Bravo, Delta spellings.  Puffy the Pine Cone is our cute township mascot.)

Kerry – “What do we do about the tear drops?

Teddy – “How about little pine cones to represent the poor little critters that have passed away?”

Kerry (Giggling) – “We could wear tasteful taupe bandanas with little pine trees on them.  I could have a titmouse tattoo on my breast!”

(That made Teddy collapse in laughter as Kerry had previously given him a visual image aid so that he could remember the name of the little grey bird with a crest.  Now I just need to touch my breast and Titmouse comes to his mind.)

ACT THREE

Scene – Kerry regularly emails with her friend who lives right across the road.  The last two emails from the friend have ended up in Kerry’s spam box.  She retrieved them and they discussed why this happened.  The friend thought that perhaps it was mention of colonoscopy in the thread?  The title of her next email made Kerry laugh out loud.

Email 1 – your auto warranty /cheap Viagra pills/ lose weight fast/fix your credit rating

(This slipped right past the spam filter – why???  Much hilarious laughter from Kerry who responded)

Email 2 – Filthy sex video…

Email 3 – Horny Housewives have huge hairdos

Email 4 – Walk in Tubs/ Secret Medicare Benefits/Discreet Incontinence Pads

Email 5 – Humongously hung hunks hoovering houses

Email 6 – Real Romance with Racy Ravishing Russians /Relaxing Rubdown for Rubels

Not one was caught by our spam filters!  You can see that our excellent further education was not wasted.  The alliteration, imagination and vulgarity!

Sometimes you just need to see the ridiculous side of life.  Hope I made you titter… 😊

Postscript

It’s probably not necessary to explain the title photo but it was Halloween and we were in ‘quality not quantity of life’ stage as you can tell by the beer/pinot noir belly and my double chins…