Thursday, September 16, 2021

Forever is not Forever

Forever 21 was on the verge of bankruptcy when it was purchased by some company called Forever 91.  No one knew what to expect.  

Grand opening showed a line that stretched from Cheesecake Factory to Red Robin, with a mixture of girls and old ladies.  The girls clustered and giggled as they watched the old ladies laugh at the girls. Apparently they had worn that stuff in 1969, and they looked better in them, way hot. I know I did: hot!

The doors opened and the females moved in quickly and then they screeched to a stop.

Where had the store gone?  Where were the skater shorts? Crystal Doll? City Studio? Swimsuits that exist in the strands of fabric only? Jewelry was obscene and expensive.

Forever 91?  The open door provided shopping carts and scooters ready for use, to be used by the 91 group.  Old ladies races to the carts, shrieking and laughing. The lady walkers were the best, quicker. 

WELL, the carnage did not go well.  Old lady clothes someway appealed to the skinny giggles 16 year old girls. Why, it is not known. 

So there you have it. The Old may be old, but oh my, do not get in their way. The youngsters lost interest, decided to go to local arcades. 

I told my gr-daughter (8 yr. old) about turning store to a Forever 91 really upset her. We went to Starbucks, all was well with the world.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Wisdom of the Cowboy

                                                                       common sense

"Heroes have always been cowboys." What about you? Here is my own cowboy.

My brother Bill and his quarter horse Sonny
He moved to Texas, lived there the rest of his adult life.
He was my favorite cowboy.

Bill Peck: 1955-1999
6'4", tall and lanky

Friday, September 10, 2021



Even though this is a digital world, our brains will grab our memories and hang on  to them.  Our great-greats will be able to see our own world, our goofy clothes, and places we have been. As the generations pass, we will appear on slides and our own "Super 8".

Remembering  and being able to remember is the challenge. Wanting to remember may be good or bad. Or it would be memories that are hard copy, paper to be held in our own hands.

These videos are lengthy, 5-8 minutes. Watch whatever, listen to the words spoken, and think about that attack and the men who fought to save those in the embassy. 

What difference does it make?

No Clinton bashing here. Just information that is being released now always is a great read.  What will happen next?


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

On the Clotheslines


Wet clothing pinned and clipped on lines

Towels and pants on one high end,
Sheets and shirts other end of twines,
Hanging down low as centers bend.

But, in the middle, too shy to publicly fly,

Hangs the underwear, bleached and white.
Playing hide and seek from those near-by,
Wanting oh-so-badly to take flight.

Oh, for a strong wind to play,

Coming across and sweeping away
The blues, the whites, and the gray,
Onto tractor windows, passing this day.

Bras, panties with hearts, boxers brave

Landing square on a farmer's face,
No dignity there is left to save,
Underwear at last has found a place.

I have had much experience with laundry on the line, years and years of it.  

I wrote this poem with a head full of memories and my mother's commands to hang the underwear in the middle of the second line, out of sight.  "We don't want neighbors to see what we wear." 

 Neighbors?  The nearest lived a half  a mile away.  The lines were behind the house.  But I was obedient. 

If anyone wants to sing the praises of laundry drying on clothesline, go ahead. I will not be agreeing with you. Too many images carrying laundry basket after each other has left me with a desire to never hang clothes out blowing in the wind. Sorry.

This is a repost from 2015 in A-Z Blogfest, U is for Underwear. Dang it, it was entertaining to my brain to toss around.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

100% beef on a sesame bun


McDonalds burger and fries
I'm lovin' it!

So here we were: sitting in a line of 20 cars at McDonald's, because the debit machine was broken.  Grumbling is at a mild roar.

Since my gr-daughters have helped me become more tech aware, I used my android to visit Google: What is in McDonald burgers? It tells me 100% beef, and shows a site where more info can be found.

Going to a non-McDonald site, we learned much in our ten minutes.

What is actually in their hamburgers?

  After you watch the first minute or so, skip to 6:37 where you will see more.

Beef by-products are meat and fat scraps, connective tissue, and bone bits.  These are the ingredients of the absolute cheapest dog food.  BUT, add some ammonia and voile’! There you have 100% beef.  And, by all definitions, it IS 100% beef with a secret pink sauce added. 

British chef Jamie Oliver shocked American audiences by showing them the raw 'pink slime' produced in the ammonium hydroxide process

The bun consists of 28 ingredients. First three are flour, water, and barley flour. The rest are unpronounceable words, all science stuff. 

I then looked at Chicken McNuggets. This info is guaranteed to be nauseating.

Our turn came up and we drove off with diet Dr. Pepper.  Yes, it is chock full of chemicals.

Coffee and soda are our usual purchases.  Now I know why.

Vintage 1970s commercial

P.S. Nearly every web site visited, I encountered all sorts of blockades, and videos simply disappeared.  Some sites I had just visited had been removed or an error message appeared.

This is a repost back from 2012, after sitting in a line and reading the above. Diet coke, decaf coffee, ice cream cone, and that's it: I order these items and maybe a pie. 

Since this reveal was opened up a decade ago, the McD industry has done a lot of backpedaling. I am sure the factories no long have ammonia in the pantry.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

CostCo or Sam's Club


CostCo (and Sam's) is a horror to experience on any week, any day, or any hour.  So much fortitude is required to gird up any given body part when entering its gates of hell.  Once a membership is flashed to an employee, air is sucked straight out of one's lungs and a spectre of doom hovers around anyone with money in pockets or purse.  

Common sense flees, prices seem reasonable, and the hunt begins.

We had a list given to us by his sister:  a specific list for specific number of guests.   Twenty hamburgers,  twenty hot dogs, and six chicken breasts to be halved seemed very reasonable. 

When reaching the meat section, my high I.Q. husband starts figuring and asking, "Does one hamburger really mean these? Where each is larger than my hand? Six pounds--is that enough?  Chicken? Nine pounds?  Can one chicken breast really be halved and be substantial? And, hot dogs?  Surely not the cheap ones, skinny and pathetic.  Let's buy these."

$25 + $25 + $40 + .... It was $175 totaled up for twenty people to eat just grilled meat.  What are our relatives?  Ravenous cannibals, piling plates with nine dollars worth of meat? 

Then John reasoned buns and condiments were necessary.  Throw in a jar of jam, a new purse for Mother's Day, a three-pack Redi-Whip, and some vitamins, our wallets opened as spectres vacuum green bills, and a nice cashier smiled, "Have a good one."

God help us.  We are too old to take this pressure.  When CostCo was Price Club 30 years ago, we called it the One-Hundred Dollar store, enjoyed strolling the aisles.  Now, it is closer to Two-Hundred-Fifty Dollars, and our legs hurt.

We still go to Sam's Club, it is closer and more user friendly.  CostCo or Sam's club...It is an addiction, either one.

Just a note: our BBQs usually end up with some charred meat.
It is always good.

Temperatures here have been 100 deg F. Hot so hot, and people head to cooler places.  Sam's Club is our favorite, and Lowe's is next. Lowe's is actually more interesting.

Walk through the Fire


Disasters storm through our state in greater numbers.  

Here in S. California, wildfires are vacillating from 20-??% containment so far, in our Riverside County.

Chaparral Fire, Murrieta, CA
About 40 miles away
We can see the smoke, 
10% contained.

These photos were taken from our yard. These were about 
20 miles away, 2008

This is always another cycle, annually expected and dreaded. Equally disastrous is the current Hurricane Ida, and eventually other hurricanes. The earthquakes in Haiti have shown the power of a restless earth. God bless and keep those people in the pathway of that horror. 



Saturday, August 28, 2021

Trees have deep roots

The cellar, Jackson sighed as he descended moldy steps.  Having worked from attic to cellar, Jackson had just eaten a copious number of brownies Grammy forced on him.  Oh, Jackie!  What an industrial (industrious) little boy you are!  Have another brownie…

After a pot of black coffee and a belly full of brownies, Jackson was galvanized to tackle the dank cellar. The first few boxes were with junk.  Then the third box yielded treasure.

An old camera from long ago era1870s maybe Civil War? Riveted by the tin-type photos carefully labeled with names, Jackson could pick out physical resemblances in his own generation.

Jackson froze when one branch of the family turned and headed to hidden family names, absent from family conversations.  One of the great-great-grandfathers was Amos Lee, a black soldier and his black wife, Martha Lee held a child on her lap…Jackson Lee. 

It was a page turner.  Tin and glass plates led to Seneca tribes in New York and then onto Oneida tribes, some twigs went to the Lakota tribes in the West. 

Well, that’s a hell of a thing…Jackson smiled.   Trees have to have deep roots.

This is a Wed. Words challenge for all bloggers. These were started by Delores who created this as a genre for all to grab.

This one is from 2011? I think. Have you ever been in a root cellar?  We had one, 100 years old.  It wasn't all that secure.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Squeaky's big send off


Squeaky died sometime in the night.  Scotty said that he noticed when the hamster wheel suddenly went silent.  Oh, well.  It was his time.

Scotty was always pragmatic about things in his life.  Lose a favorite car?  Oh, well. It'll turn up somewhere.  Dropping a slice of pizza?  Oh, well.  Things happen.  

So when Squeaky's little ancient heart stopped beating, we both thought about how to give him a send off.

Scotty had been into Vikings after watching "How to train your Dragon" for the twentieth time.  "Let's throw a Viking funeral!"

He retrieved a canoe/barge made of popsicle sticks at church camp last summer.  We put Squeaky on a pile of twigs layered in the water craft.  After pushing the funeral barge out in the swimming pool, Scotty used the "Hunger Games" bow with a burning marshmallow at the point of the arrow aimed at the barge.  

Again and again.  

When the canoe finally caught fire, it initially went up in flames and the thing burned before hisssssing out and sinking, leaving a singed Squeaky floating on the top of the water.

Oh, well.  

I managed to scoop Squeaky from the failed Viking send-off with the pool  skimmer.  What now?

Scotty had watched some warrior movie where the slaughtered hero was placed on a funeral pyre.  "Let's do that, Dad!"  So we did.

We lay out some sticks criss-crossed and carefully placed Squeaky on it. Scotty again used the Kingsford wand lighter to get a good burn going on the bottom layer.  But, with us being novices at funeral pyres, the whole pyre thing collapsed, leaving Squeaky lying on the concrete surrounded by embers.

Oh, well.  

I didn't know how we were going to give Squeaky a big send off.  But, Scotty, being the boy scout he is, had an idea which made me wince and cringe.  It made sense, but man....really?

I pulled out the old rusty Coleman barbecue and built a pyramid of Kingsford guaranteed-to-light charcoal briquettes.  Scotty placed Squeaky in the center above the coals, using my brand new set of BBQ tool set.  Then he used the Kingsford lighter and got the coals going.

At first, it seemed that Squeaky was finally heading to his fiery hamster Valhalla. I could already see him rolling up the Rainbow Bridge.  But Noooo.

Squeaky had some sparks here and there, but clearly the charcoal was not enough.  It developed a nice white ash like briquettes do.  But that was it. Instead, the odor of grilled Squeaky told us the truth.

Oh, well.  

By this time, Scotty had had enough.  "Let's just bury it."  He retrieved a shovel from the garden and quickly dispatched the hamster with minimum effort.


Oh now, what will he ask?  What do I say?

"Dad?  Can we go to Wild Wings tonight?  Mom has a coupon for free appetizers."  He wiped a charcoal streaked hand across his nose.  "I'm kinda in the the mood for ribs, aren't you?"

Well, then.

Saturday, ‎22 ‎March, ‎2014 first posting
Sorry about the lengthy story; just got going on it, I guess.

My daughter's hamster Max died on the first day of middle school.  My son, in an unusual act of kindness, placed it in a shoe box and buried it.  Nothing elaborate, mind you.  She has never recovered from the loss, she says (at age 32).

Friday, August 20, 2021

True or False


School textbooks have all but disappeared in the average classroom. They are still there, yes. But the words and ideas printed in them are ones that would never have even appeared "back in the day". 

"Back in the day" was in the 1980s when my own children were in school. The book below was one that was in Dad's day in high school.

What is being passed is progressive education is darn scary.  What can or should be done?  Be a voice, go to a school board meeting, connect with organizations that fight the current words that our children hear.

The under current of what-is-right-what-is-wrong is up for grabs. But of all these lies, the future of our children is at terrible risk. You can change it, be a strong voice to those in charge.

Read this or things like this:  

Be bold, speak out. This is not a red state/blue state, conservative/progressive, riots/BLM....This is a case of saving our kids from the influences that will drastically divide the country.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Diving for Books


Books!  Oh, books!!

Stacks and stacks of books!

Treat them with respect, or else. They will find retribution.

How could the importance books be known?  Who knew that books would change how you view life?

P.S. When I taught, there were always boxes of books in my classrooms.  One time I went to a book warehouse, where boxes and bins of books were stacked for people to sort through. I found myself in huge boxes, where I nearly disappeared. Bought many many books for my students and the school. 

Oh, what bliss.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Life in the Fast Line


Talking to my grandsons on the far side of the world is so precious. Suddenly the preschool boys are missing teeth, standing taller, and having stories to tell me. But with FaceTime or Skype, I can watch them grow up some.

My daughter is such a sweet mom. I was never that patient or inventive as she is.  Today we talked and the boys were doing their nighttime routine, which meant to brush teeth, bathe, go to the toilet, and talk to me from the bathroom.

So, talking to anyone who is sitting on the toilet is a bit awkward while Mommy holds the iPhone so they can see me, and I see them.  I love them so much that my heart swells.

After one particularly rowdy routine, I gazed at my sweet girl, and started singing Life in the Fast Lane, blew a kiss at the group, and hung up.

Oh, so nice to be sitting on my side of the screen.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Changes in the Wind


Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Copyright Rochell Wisoff-Fields

Edith had stared
Out her window
For nearly 50 years.

Edith had watched
Weather changes,
Children playing,
Family picnics.

Today, fields
Were silent.
Her house was silent.
Edith herself was silent.

Last mourners had closed the door.

The parlor was overpowered with
The scent of roses and carnations.

The table held remnants of
Sandwiches and pie.

Edith did what she always did:
She cleaned up.

Now she stood at the kitchen window.
What to do? What to do, now?

Edith carried her suitcases
To the car,
Locked the house.
And left.

To where?
She did not know.

Everyone, at one time or another, looks at the empty house and winding road. Sometimes they close the door and start the car.  Sometimes the doors and cars remain silent, and sometimes the suitcase goes back in. Have you ever been there? I have.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Rolling down the River


Flooding in Indiana

The meandering Mississippi River worried Jeff, just as it always does. Would it rain too much and river will flood? Would the fields dry when there was no rain? Too much, too little. One way or another, Jeff would worry.  

This winter gave Minnesota enough snow to cover the entire Midwest. The snow melt sent Mississippi rolling and charging down past town after town, filling their fields with muddy water, tearing houses from their foundations.

No longer a gently flowing river as Tom Sawyer saw from Hannibal, Mississippi now rampaged and threatened his field. His neighbors and farmers in his township watched the line of water edge up their fields.

It was hard enough to make a living in the Missouri bottom land.  Flooding water spreading across his cornfields made him think more and more about leaving.   

"Mountains. That’s where I need to go. Take a train ride to the mountains…” Jeff muttered as he continued to fill sandbags and pile them on the levee.

Floods in the Midwest are legendary. The Mississippi River meets up with Illinois River every year.  Towns, crops, fields, schools---The Rivers take care of them all.

This is a repost from 2014. The Rivers flood along rivers and corn fields every spring through the fall..  One spring flooded into our church. Men rowed up the middle aisle to see if the piano was safe. Cinder blocks were placed to raise the piano.

Bold and italicized titles were given in the Wednesday Words by Delores some years ago. She is missed.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Ant Colony 308D

Ant Colony Story, first published in January, now re-posted since I am off seeing my two-year old grandson. Haven't seen him for a year and a half.

Recent floods, smoke and fire and the installation of artificial turf had forced Ant Colony 307B to relocate at a far corner of an artichoke field. The ant army acted as a unit to move every member from the arterial twists and turns of the now drenched network of their former home.

Moving the queen ant with her arsenal of ant larvae and drones had proved to be most interesting. Trudging through soggy tunnels had revealed an unknown treasure of collected artwork. Minute paint chips, grains of paprika, and tiny shreds of colored paper lined walls of the queen’s chamber.

The real treasure remained were left behind as the tunnels collapsed. Just how extensive is an ant colony/hill? And, where did the Queen make it out safely?

My son is an entomologist and confirmed that
red ants are vicious.
 Watch this video. This is a repost from 2014. Red ants have started to emerge, with high temperatures and dry air. Source:All the ants will die in this video. Good thing, too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Color makes magic.


It is impossible to describe or apply the unbelievable talent that God has granted these artists.  

Use of the colors, perspectives, details---It is all amazing.  Thank you, God!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

CCR....John Fogerty

 There are only a few groups that make me stop and listen, and CCR (Credence Clearwater Revival) with John Fogerty is one of those.  Hard to explain, but he is unique, with talent that grabs me.

Looking out my back door

John Fogerty is an awesome musician whose songs have been ringing in my house for decades.  His voice has a ragged baritone, passionate about his music.

Went to a performance in Laughlin, CA, about 2 years go.  Still remember it. He closed with my favorite "Bad Moon Rising", still gives me goosebumps. 

How about you? Have you ever had a performer who grabs you and doesn't let go?

Bad Moon Risin',
Take the bathroom on the right.



My camp for the night was a small creek at the base of the mountain range at the very end of this straight section of road

Books will all surround us.  Books from boxes topple from bookcases.  Boxes? In the garage?This all seems unending, moving and unpacking.  Then, how about finding space in which to place our treasures? This is all unending, a chore that we did not see at the beginning of escrow.

This brings up the subject of “unending”.  Thinking over the years, ghosts of “unending” appear to nag and torment. In the theme of “unending” lies a list, an “unending” list about those ghosts:

Replacing an engine, discovering missing parts and tools, with more auto parts littering the floor.  Oh, sure, friendly veteran sang a story about an old war injury prevented him from using manual shift, so that's why there are only 75,000 miles on the speedometer.  You drive classic car home, finding smoke and clanks following you. Not such a good deal, and when online sites send replacement parts, there is always a screw short.

Being in labor for hour after hour definitely makes the list. (45 hours? Followed by C-Section.) After ten hours, just when you beg for an epidural, an army nurse briskly tells you that it is too late to give one.  

Flights to the other side of the world.  Australia?  South Africa? Switzerland?  You find yourself in cheap seats, middle seat packed in, next to someone who hasn't taken a bath in the last year.

Playground dutyYou are the only teacher with 300 children racing around an one acre playground.  You clutch a clipboard under one arm and grip the teacher whistle in  a tightly clenched fist.  

Waiting for SantaYou are 6 years old and this night is one wished for all year. Tick, Tick, Tick...eyes want to shut but you won't let them...tick, tick, tick...

Picking strawberries day after day after day. No joy after the fifth day. Mid-May arrives with garden full of red berries peeking from green leaves.  First day is like discovering rubies, sweet rubies. Leads onto the second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day....Enough already.  This won't ever end.

Waiting in an emergency room, filled with sneezing and coughing. You have a brain-splitting migraine and your blood pressure is 177/85.  With your head dropping to your knees and a throw-up bowl beneath, you watch as a child with sinusitis(#45) is called in.  You are #62.  You won't live to see the end of this day. 

Driving through Death Valley in summer. (Been there, done that) Long straight road over flat desolate land, you see in distance, heat waves fooling you to think it is water.  It is 121 degrees and you watch your car's gas light like a hawk.

Standing in the line at DMV, until legs are shaking, growing light-headed. Husband is home, too sick to go into the line from hell to transfer registration.  You are three months pregnant, and hours pass.  At the third hour, you tell the kind lady behind you that you are pregnant and wonder if...then you open your eyes as you lie on the floor.  Registration was expedited. 

Shopping on the day after Christmas and you find there are no bargains worth this amount of physical abuse.

YouTube has numerous of Curling videos

Being forced to watch “curling” during the Winter Olympics. Your family is Nordic, and cheer for some team.  Crushed between Olaf and Sven, you decide to develop a tummy-bug, staying in the bathroom.

Re-modeling a bathroom and/or kitchen the week before company arrives--this is your spouse's idea.  Tearing out the sink and cabinet reveal rot and mold.  Company will be staying in the hotel with you, as your entire house is being examined and treated.

Sitting in rush hour traffic on the Friday of a four-day weekend. A black juiced up muscle car is shaking with the bass turned up high.  You have windows rolled up, and yet you are vibrating as well.

Most or all of this involve unending waiting…and more waiting…including walls of boxes lined up like heavy soldiers.

 What about you?  Can you add to this list your own unending events?

This is a repost from April 2014.