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DEMENTED OLD LADIES

OMG. Do not go to the grocery store on July 3rd. What a zoo. I finally got up to the cashier. The little old lady ahead of me got all befuddled by the debit/credit card machine. I’m thinking, “God save us from demented old ladies.” She finally got it figured out with the help of the cashier guy. I bagged my own groceries…feeling smug. Reached for my wallet. No debit card.

“OMG,” cried I, “I must have left my card at the pharmacy.” Cashier guy took off. Two seconds later I reached in my pocket. Debit card. The guy behind me had one thing in his hands. He was in his early twenties…or twelve. He was looking everywhere except at me. No doubt thinking, “God save us from demented old ladies.”

I said to the young guy, “Run over there and tell him I found it.” Still not looking me in the eye, he whirled around to take off. About then, cashier guy came running back and three people yelled at him, “SHE FOUND IT!”

I slunk out of the grocery store, hiked to my car, piled it full of stuff, and headed home. Half way home I wondered, “Gee. I wonder if the cashier guy ran my 75 cent coupon?” I turned around.

I’M KIDDING! I went home. Good Lord. Do you think I’m demented?

FIVE STARS/READER’S FAVORITE FOR PICKETT HOUSE

Pickett House printReviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite
Laura Dole’s life and that of her two children, Cassie and Steph, were thrown for a loop with the untimely death of her husband, Steve, in an auto accident. Realising her inability to make ends meet and seemingly unable to gain employment in their city, Laura makes the decision to travel to the small, rural town of Bigby, Tennessee. Pickett House by Linda S. Browning tells us the story of an old family mansion in Bigby that was left to the town by its owner, Elizabeth Pickett, to be turned into a B&B for the benefit of the town and to increase tourism. Laura, through her sister, Stacey, is offered the opportunity to manage the B&B, but can she and her city kids adapt to life in the Tennessee countryside? What is special about Pickett House and especially the late Elizabeth Pickett? Is the house haunted?

Pickett House was a very gentle, sweet, and cozy story of a family’s return from loss and grief. The mysteries of the old house were slowly and carefully unraveled by Linda S. Browning, and I found myself easily and simply drawn into this sweet tale. It is so refreshing these days to read a lovely story, wonderfully written, that still espouses the true country values that seem to have been lost in the big cities. There’s no murder, mayhem, sex or violence in Pickett House, but rather a story of a woman and her children’s search for a new life, a new beginning, and a new purpose. The beautiful old house is the centerpiece of this tale, and the happenings within tie the whole story together wonderfully. I loved this book. Kudos to Browning for this work.

PICKETT HOUSE: Tennessee…Haunting…Fiction

Pickett House printPickett House is about loss, starting over, growing up, and falling in love. Elizabeth Pickett died peacefully at the age of ninety six in the family mansion known as Pickett House. However, a ninety six-year-old woman was not always a ninety six-year-old woman. She was once a little girl…a teenager…and a grown woman.

You can order a copy of my latest book in kindle or paperback. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CPWE8IK

It’s getting great reviews on amazon.com.

OMG I’m turning sixty five

I am not upset about turning sixty five. I am upset about all of the nonsense I am going through in order to sign up for Social Security and Medicare.

  • I do not have hoarding tendencies. I am, however, currently fighting my way through all of the PART B, PART D, PART Q (or whatever) mail I am receiving. PICK ME…NO, PICK ME…NO, PICK ME. For some reason I am also receiving endless notices from that outfit that grants fantastic loans to military veterans. The only uniform I have worn in my entire life was when I was in the Brownies.
  • A lady from Social Security has been hounding me. Emails, text messages, phone calls. OMG. When I finally called her, she was more confused than I was. Something about . . . because I was born on February 1st, Medicare will start on January 1st. I said, “Okay.” I don’t understand this logic. However, okay. Then she started blathering about my State of Michigan retirement and how she has nothing to do with my State of Michigan retirement so she cannot advise me on what to do with my State of Michigan retirement. I asked, “If you cannot advise me on my State of Michigan retirement, how is that you EVEN KNOW ABOUT MY STATE OF MICHIGAN RETIREMENT? Something about how the State of Michigan may pay for my part B Medicare; however, because she doesn’t know about my State of Michigan retirement, she can’t tell me whether they will pay for my part B…or not. Sheesh.
  • She then started giving me a bunch of options that made absolutely no sense. My birthday is February 1st, so Medicare starts in January (okay…I already told her this made no sense to me but I had already said okay). Well, then she starts harping about how I won’t get February Social Security benefits until March. WHAT DOES MARCH HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?

Evidently because it was inconsiderate of me to have been born on the first of the month, benefits go all wacky one month before and/or after. I told her that none of this was my fault. When I was born, I was young and inexperienced. It is hardly fair to hold me responsible for her confusion.

I’ve decided it may just be easier to die at sixty four. It is a federal conspiracy to cheat me out of my benefits.DSC00681.

WINDEX GENERATION

I bought a Jitterbug phone. I tried with the Smartphone. Honestly. I did try. It was simply too painful.

I bought the flip-phone Jitterbug. It’s red. It fits in my hand with just enough heft to feel like a phone. I don’t feel as though I am talking into a graham cracker. With the Smartphone, the earpiece part of the phone never seemed to be anywhere near my actual ear. Drove me nuts.

I realize now I was never going to be comfortable with a Smartphone. I am from the generation of Windex. There is something about smearing fingerprints across a window that is simply not done. I couldn’t even answer the danged thing half the time.

I like my flip-phone. It rings. I flip it open and say hello. When the call is over, I say goodbye, and flip it closed. No finger smearing required.

HOBO FOR HALLOWEEN

I’m probably the only kid in America who dreaded the coming of Halloween. Who didn’t like Halloween? Trick-or-treating for candy—getting to dress up as though you were somebody—or something else. What kid wouldn’t love that? Me.

I knew what the coming of Halloween meant for little Linda. I had to be a hobo. I lived on a working class street with about a million kids and attended an elementary school full of working class kids. Almost everybody was a hobo for Halloween. It was an easy, cheap costume. Mom would smear dark stuff all over my face, dress me in my older sister’s most ratty-looking clothes, and make me wear her shoes. Her shoes were too big. When I would complain, mom explained that hobos had to wear whatever shoes they could find. I recall asking, “Can’t we pretend the hobo found shoes in my size?” Nope. So, at school I had to clomp around in Barb’s clown shoes. I never won the best costume contest either. I was never the shabbiest of hobos. At least Mom let me wear my own shoes during the actual trick-or-treating; wouldn’t want little Linda to trip over her own feet—in her sister’s clown shoes.

Even with the lure of candy I thought trick or treating was stupid. The street looked like a hobo invasion. I was always worn out after about five houses. I recall dragging the paper trick-or-treating sack along the sidewalk. By the time I finally got home there was a hole in the bottom of the sack from dragging it along the sidewalk. I didn’t even care that I had lost a significant portion of the night’s haul. I just wanted to go home and shed the Halloween hobo identity.

Nowadays kids can’t be hobos for Halloween. The costume is considered to be offensive and politically incorrect. I wonder whether anyone asked the hobo population. I’ll be they wouldn’t mind at all. They likely have more important things to get upset about.

 

MAKE IT STOP

We’ve all got one. I’m convinced. One song. That one song that comes on the radio without warning and the next thing you know your whimpering as you bang against the on/off knob to make it go away. MAKE IT STOP. What’s even worse is when the song comes on when you’re someplace where you have no control to MAKE IT STOP; such as, the dentist’s office. The poor dental hygienist just thought I had a gag reflex. I did.

The one that does it for me is by Phil Collins. One More Night. The music score simply enhances the awfulness of the lyrics. I’m convinced that Phil ripped off the music score from a funeral procession of druid monks. It goes on for…forever. That song must be fifteen minutes long. Here is a sample of the lyrics: one more night…one more night…one more night…one more night…one more night… one more night…one more night…one more night…one more night…one more night…one more night…one more night…one more night—ARGHH! ENOUGH! ALREADY!

Seriously, there are other words to the lyrics. There must be. I just can’t hear them. The song puts me into a hypnotic voodoo trance. If I’m driving, and allow the song to continue, I start to hear: one more night…one more night…one more night…drive through tree…drive through tree…make it stop…make it stop…make it stop…make it stop…drive through tree…make it STOP!

If you don’t believe me, the following are the actual lyrics at the ending of the song:

“Give me just one more night, give me just one more night Oh one more night, ’cause I can’t wait forever Give me just one more night, give me just one more night Oh one more night, ’cause I can’t wait forever

Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh”

I read on Wikipedia that Collins was playing around with his drum machine when he started saying the chorus of the song. He later recalled that “The rest of the song was written very quickly.”

(no kidding…probably took him all night)

RIFF-RAFF

Excerpt from Rambler, book three in the Leslie & Belinda Mystery series, releasing in July 2016 from Buddhapuss Ink LLC. Copyright © 2016 Linda S. Browning. All rights reserved.

Rambler Cover

Leslie is describing Riff-Raff.

“My dog, Riff-Raff, is an eight pound Maltese/something-else dog of the female gender. When she hit the ten pound mark, Riff went on a diet. I usually take her everywhere, but the Turkey Creek Mall people are a bunch of snobs, so I had left her with Mrs. Towers. Mrs. Towers is an eighty- five-year-old widow friend of ours who resides in Unit 19 of our complex. She is going on her third year of being eighty-five. She gets around pretty well with a walker for eighty-five-plus. She has one of those help-I’ve-fallen gizmos but it never seems to be anywhere nearby when she falls. Fortunately she has wall-to-wall carpeting, as I do. I do not understand why older people elect to reside in single-level homes to avoid stairs and then put in hardwood flooring. Carpeting cushions a fall whereas hardwood is a blunt instrument to the back of the head. Quality carpeting is also kinder on the arthritic knees of an older person. I float to the floor with the grace of a balletic fairy. I rise with grunts. When I find myself nowhere near anything substantial enough upon which to lever, I am reduced to log-rolling across the carpeting until I encounter something. Riff likes it when I log-roll. She thinks it’s a grand game.”

RAMBLER

Rambler CoverExcerpt from Rambler, book three in the Leslie & Belinda Mystery series, releasing in July 2016 from Buddhapuss Ink LLC. Copyright © 2016 Linda S. Browning. All rights reserved.

This is Leslie reflecting on turning age 69.
“When I was a teenager, the number sixty-nine was infamous. The alphabetic spelling of the number had no significance other than representing the number following sixty-eight. The numerical version became a secret code for an agile sexual maneuver. At the time, a lot of us didn’t appreciate what was so scandalously naughty about 69. That didn’t stop us from scrawling it all over our lockers and decorating sidewalks with chalked 69’s while giggling like fools. I was probably seventeen when I learned that 69 had something to do with sex of an orally reciprocal nature. I grew up when girls were not as knowledgeable about sex as they are nowadays. Even when I finally grasped the meaning behind the whole 69 phenomena, the whole thing impressed me as a rather dyslexic gymnastic maneuver.”

https://www.amazon.com/B01GU69ZNU

Preorder now. Release date on July 31, 2016

WHY I SELF-PUBLISHED

I self-published my book, In-Between Reflections, during a period when I was scared and felt helpless. My husband had just had surgery, ended up dehydrated, and I was told that he was in kidney failure territory. I went home and started fooling around with the self-publishing site on Amazon. The next thing I knew, I had an eBook for sale. Wow.

Of course, the book wasn’t anywhere close to being ready for publishing. It needed serious rewriting, editing, and everything else known to the world of publishing. I suppose this little adventure of mine served51LhGjavIZL__SX312_BO1,204,203,200_ its purpose. I was distracted from my personal fears for a little while.

By the way, my husband is recovering well. And, I have gotten input from author friends on In-Between Reflections. It’s a great story. The telling of it needs a lot of work. I’m fine with that. I’ve pulled the book from Amazon.com. I’m going to take a nap.

p.s. I wish to thank my daughter for buying the book.