November 08, 2002 - Msg 10296: Oh, and Mavis, have a good and safe flight!!
-Sterling Holobyte

November 08, 2002 - Msg 10297: Whoa, that's weird. That's the first time the porch has been swept while I was on here!
-Sterling Holobyte

November 08, 2002 - Msg 10298: Hello friends. I have a special prayer request today, please. I have a friend who is 35 and has just been diagnosed with cancer. They suspect it might be in his lungs and liver. He is afraid, of course. He is a Christian. Would you please pray with me because it breaks my heart to think of what he is going through. Thank you


ps-his name is James

November 08, 2002 - Msg 10299: Prayers for James. I hate to hear stuff like that at that young age especially.


November 08, 2002 - Msg 10300: Here I is, Charlotte. Been as busy as a bee, doin what I don't rightly know but it seems I haven't had nary a moment's rest! I guess it cause I finally caught up on my laundry and paperwork. I'm mighty proud of myself, too! Had that feeling you know with my head way above my feet.... you know why I was feeling like that doncha? I was POOPED! Hey, thanks for asking for me.... nice to know I can't just slip away into cyberspace never to be thought of again! And just to show my appreciation of your true friendship, here is a jar of my prize winning pickles... I think they'll go along just fine with all the chili!
Hey, Ro, I know about that chocolate and peanut butter in mole... mmm mmm! My kids' grandmother made it from an old family recipe. I've made it a couple times too. Yeah, everyone, it does sound weird, but you have to taste it to believe how good it is with some boiled pintos and tortillas. You can't get it in most Mexican restaurants for some reason unless it's a family run type. Here in California we have plenty of access to real homestyle Mexican food, too. Maybe when you're up to it again Ro, you, Boo, and I can cook up a Mexican feast for our Porchsters. We can get one of those little colorful velvet sombreros for Sugarplum and she can do the serving!
Boo, prayers for your dear friend, James. And prayers for anyone who needs it.
Since I haven't been here awhile, I'll say "Hey" to the rest of the Porch: Possum, Boo, Mrs. Wiley, Mavis, Happy, Helen, Mary, Frankie, Briscoe, Ellen, Homemaker, Hazel, Sterling, Asa, Salty Dog, Fun Girl, NN, Des, MPO, Floyd, Jelsik, Jennie, and anyone I've missed. God's blessings on you all, ~Clara~

November 08, 2002 - Msg 10301: Clara, I forget. Where abouts in California do you live? Seems like you said Central maybe?


November 08, 2002 - Msg 10302: Sorry about your friend, Boo. Hopefully they diagnosed it in time. It will be a long road to recovery, but more and more people make it everyday.
-Sterling Holobyte

November 08, 2002 - Msg 10303: My day went pretty well this after I got through this morning. Jesus does take care of us if we only let him. Well my youngest is on his way to Florida with the grandparents - be in prayer for a safe journey there and a good time for him. He got his stitches out of his finger tonite - it looks a whole lot better than last week. The orthopedic doctor warned me that this won't be the last visit for the dare devil. He said he knows he'll see me in the future for this wild child!
thanks for the good friends here on the porch - (even Asa) Amen


November 08, 2002 - Msg 10304: Yup, Asa, the Central Valley which is the largest valley in the country and I believe the largest agricultural area also. I live about eastern mid-valley which means that on the west there are farms and orchards and directly on the east is cattle country... miles and miles of rangeland, mostly in what are the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I think it's pretty country with huge oaks everwhere but, my hubby who is from back East, thinks it looks barren and dry (til Winter when we get our rains). If you've ever watched "Little House on the Prarie", our foothill area looks just like that. The orchards are beautiful too with Spring blossoms everywhere, followed by every kind of fruit and nut, then in the Autumn gold leaves on the ground everywhere. I guess you can tell I love it here and that was all probably more than you ever wanted to know! Well, you know how we rural folks are.... always have at least five minutes to pass the time of day with a friend! Where abouts are you? ~Clara~

November 08, 2002 - Msg 10305: My prayer for your son's safe trip, homemaker. ~Clara~

November 08, 2002 - Msg 10306: Hey Clara, I am just east of you in Utah. I live about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City. If you caught any of the winter olympics last year, you were in my back yard. We have the wasatch mountains in our midst here, just wonderful to gaze at. They peak at about 10,000 ft. The valley we live in here is at about 5,000 ft. We have a lot of family in Southern Cal. and also in central Cal. An uncle in Hanford Cal. Is that anywhere close to you? Another uncle in Ventura, right on the Ocean. Funny how we visit him a lot. LOL
Glad your day calmed down homemaker. Hope you have a calm weekend. Prayers for your son's safe journey.


November 08, 2002 - Msg 10307: Hey to the porch! Just wanted to write a few lines before I go off to bed. Been powerful busy for the last couple of days, my dogs sure are tired. Speaking of Chili--tomorrow night we are having a chili cookoff at our church. I have made a special recipe that I am sure will knock the judges socks off. Wanta know what the secret ingredient is?? Half a cup of honey. Don't ask me why it makes a difference, but it does. But I guess if you can put peanut butter in chili, then anything goes. this is a church function and I wouldn't want to set the congregation tipsy with mulberry squeezin's in the chili.

Have a good 'un.
fun girl

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10308: Grrrrrrrrr, I'm jealous, Clara. I know it ain't Christian, but I've been living in the armpit of Texas for so long I have a real temptation to be unthankful.

Thank you all for your prayers for my friend and thank you Sterling for what you said. It was just what i wanted to hear. Sometimes when we first receive news like that we tend to think the worst. I needed to be reminded that it's not over until God says it's over.

By the way, I'm sorry I asked if you were a girl. Take it as a compliment. It's a good thing! Girls are the greatest.

goodnight friends!


November 09, 2002 - Msg 10309: Happy Saturday porch!
I know,Boo, my wife tells me that all the time. Although she's more specific, she says that SHE'S the greatest.
I'm hoping it will be warmer here again today. I'm thinking that this is the indian summer I've been waiting for so I'm trying to take full advantage of it and go biking whenever I can. I dropped the little one over at Grandma's yesterday and took a trip out in the country. Usually I'll take her along(my daughter, not Grandma!) but I knew I would be taking an extra longggg trip, trying to hold on to summer as long as it lasts. It still felt like fall though. And it wasn't the bare trees that made it feel like that either, and there was still green grass on the ground. It just didn't smell like summer in the air. I noticed that yesterday that the seasons seem to have different smells and it's just the air that smells that way. Does that make any sense? I'm not talking about the usual smells of summer; tanning lotion, fresh cut grass, etc. Because where I usually go riding all summer the trees don't tan very much and farmers usually aren't mowing their crops that often, it was just the air.
Yep, I think summer has got to be my favorite season. What are some of yours? Actually I think summer and winter are my favorites because I love snow too! Fall I don't care that much for, except for Halloween, and spring I absolutely hate! I know a lot of people like spring but around here alls it means to me is gloomy rain and the wet slushy snow it makes. I should probably be more optimistic about it. Oh well, how does the saying go? If life gives you slush, make slush puppies?!!
Wow, sorry for rambling on for so long. For my next novel...
-Sterling Holobyte

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10310: I have to go along with Boo about girls being great. I like em!
I love Spring, Summer and Fall. I use to love winter when I was a kid, but anymore I just don't care for it to much. Although we do like to go snowmobiling. That makes winter more tolerable. And the scenerey after a snow fall is fantastic.
Actually the snow don't bother me that much. The behind numbing cold that comes with it is what bothers me. When them temps get in the single digit mode, or worse yet drop into the minus 0 mode, I get cranky. And we get a lot of that around here. Maybe I should move next to Clara also.
Hope y'all have a great day. Wish old Salty and N.N would holler at us.


November 09, 2002 - Msg 10311: I agree with Asa. I love fall, summer and spring. I don't much care to drive on slick roads, and I get too cold if I try any winter sports, like skiing or snowmobiling. Sigh. I do love the holidays though. I love to play corny Christmas music. Over and over, until it annoys my family. It's nice to see you posting more, Sterling Holobyte. I've seen you over at Ms. Crumps too. Well, gotta go. Today I need to do a bunch of houseplant work. Transplanting and stuff like that. I love plants! Have a good day.
- Hazel

Can't I see something else grow before my very eyes?

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10312: Sterling, do you ever do any writing? i think you should write a book. Have you ever read any of Robert Fulghum's (I think that's his name) books. The way you write reminds me of his writing. Very clever and fun to read. He wrote, "Everything I Needed To Know In Life I Learned In Kindergarten". Ring a bell?

No doubt about it, I would love winter best if we had one in south Texas! Summer is the absolute pits here. 90+% humidity and 90-100 every stinkin' day for 5 months out of the year. Fall is usually warm, too, but it drops into the 80's with occasional cool days. Sometimes by December it might occasionally get into the 40's during the day but it only lasts a day or two, then back up to the 70's or 80's. By March, no more cold weather at all. We do usually have pretty nice spring weather up until May.

I'm like you Hazel, I play the heck out of that corny Christmas music but my family likes it, too. We do all kinds of things to try and get a little Christmas spirit since we don't have the cold temperatures and snow. BUT....Colorado, here I come. Just three more weeks!!!I can't wait to fall face first into some snow.

It is in the 80's today with a south wind so it feels like late summer but I am going to do some Christmas shopping for the kids today, anyway. I have so much to do before my trip!

Later, friends!

"Merry Christmas Barney, Parney, Poo"

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10313: Hey, Boo! I'm assuming that's you in #10312. I know what you mean about the seasons in Texas. I'm in the Dallas area, have been for 28 years, but I lived over half my life in San Antonio. Not much happening there, season-wise. Here in Dallas it's a little better, though not much. Summers are blistering hot and long, but winters are short and fairly mild. Snow is a rarity, and if we get two inches, the schools close. Fall is rather pretty, more leaf-color-changing than in South Texas. Spring is nice. Fairly cool and pleasant, lots of rain interspersed with sunny days, grass turning green before your eyes, petunias celebrating spring with a riot of color, pansies putting up a spectacular display, like their last hurrah before summer's heat mows them down. I think if I had to choose a favorite season, it just might be Spring. I like them all, though. Each has its appeal.
Sterling Holobyte, I agree with Boo. You write well, and I enjoy your posts. I know what you mean about each season having its own smell. It's hard to describe, and one component is the temperature of the air, but there definitely is a signature fragrance for each season. I've always been sensitive to smells, and used to drive my poor husband crazy by predicting the weather, based on what I could smell. Here in Texas we get the occasional dust storm, and I could tell two days in advance that one was coming. Same with a big rainstorm. Not a cloud in the sky, haven't heard any forecasts, but I can smell the rain that's coming. Not infallible, but usually pretty accurate.
I like the Christmas music, too. I have a 12-CD changer in my car, and I love to load it with Christmas music. In fact, it's just about time to do that, I think. I don't have a problem with overlapping Christmas and Thanksgiving. After all, both are related to the same One.
Well, back to my bed for an hour or so. This is just pure delight, I can take a nap anytime I want to, and no guilt. In fact, I can feel a bit righteous, because I know it's what my surgeon would want me to do. Hmmmmm. That does seem to sort of take the fun out of it, though. Oh, well, who cares? I'll just take the nap anyway. Have a great weekend, friends, and Sugarplum says hey! --Romeena

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10314: Good afternoon everyone!
Been a pretty good day - did a little Christmas shopping, actually the ingrediants to do Christmas gifts. And I am painting up some ornaments to sell at school. A little extra spending money. And my oldest son is getting into the crafting spirit and he wants to make some Christmas yard signs - so I figured "Casey's Creations" has just been born. He is extremely creative so why not keep the spirit going!

Romeena - your spirits sound bright and chipper - glad you have permission to nap and to chat!

Take care - good luck at the chili cook off fun girl. No squeezin's - remember it is a church function! HA


November 09, 2002 - Msg 10315: Yes, Romeena, post#10312 was mine. Don't know why I didn't put my name on it. I could sure use a nap now and then but I don't want to have surgery! You know how it is when your kids are little. Not much time to rest. My littlest is napping right now and my son is playing with friends so this is my quiet time of the day. I got myself a cup of coffee (cream, no sugar) and sat down to enjoy spending some time on the porch. I have been to Dallas several times, Ro, and it has almost always been hot when I was there. Not the humid hot we have here, but a deep, very still hot that makes you feel like you are being baked alive. You know, the typical Texas summer. How did you end up in Dallas for 28 years? I was actually born here and planned to leave but ended up marrying a local and staying. Now I'm stuck because my husband loves his job and all our relatives are here. I have elderly parents who need our help so there is no way I'm leaving now.
The air only smells two ways here, either fresh (from the North in winter) or like fish (from the south the rest of the time). Disgusting.
Have ya'll ever heard of a little town near the border of Texas and New Mexico called, Dalhart? It is one of the coldest places I have ever been and it's in Texas. There is a saying that there is nothing between Dalhart and The North Pole and I believe it! It is out in the middle of nothing but flatness and the wind hits it full force. Did I already tell ya'll this? I'm starting to get forgetful now that I'm 40.

Sure seems like we don't hear from alot of people we heard from in the summer. I guess everyone is busier now.

Better go do my chores!


November 09, 2002 - Msg 10316: Afternoon Y'all.Here's my two cent's worth: I love Autumn! Just don't get much of it here in South Carolina.Our weather is similiar to what Boo said about South Texas-hot for about half the year! Summer= the 3 H's: Hot,Humid,and Hundred degrees! We usually get a dusting of snow during the Winter-once it even snowed (several inches) on Christmas! Yep,a White Christmas in the South Carolina Lowcountry!
Clara,I lived for almost a year in Southern Ca.-never made it up to your neck of the woods though.It sounds absolutely beautiful.Asa,I went through the Salt Lake area on a Greyhound many years ago.Even though it was at night,I could sense the beauty of it and have always hoped to return for a visit.Very pretty mountain range you mentioned.I have a thing for mountains-guess you could call it "rock envy"! Ha Ha
I worked in my yard for a few hours this morning and now the old bones are aching! But,I still plan on attending the Chili Fest tonight! I'll bring a jug of sweet tea!
Oh,didn't want to forget this: Prayers for your friend,Boo. Keep the faith-miracles DO happen.
possum under a rock

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10317: Just wanted to clarify something,before Asa takes it and runs with it(him being the jokester that he is): No,Asa,I DID NOT ride through Salt Lake on the back of a Greyhound dog! It was a BUS,I'm telling ya! Ha Ha

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10318: Is the chili fest at Hazel's? i hope so cause that's where i'm going. I have the ritz crackers and the hot Texas chili. I also have my guitar and a song or two. "Look down, look down that lonesome road....". Cough! I need to practice. Meeetheeeeeymeeeeetheeeeeymeeeeetheeeeey. It's all in the diaphram. You gotta breathe from the diaphram!

I won't forget the Gas X!


ps- thanks for the encouragement, Possum. After I read your post I prayed and I feel alot better now. I have more peace about it. I know God will take care of him.

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10319: Yeah, the chili fest is at my place. Do you all know how to get here? You go out Route 22 past Wainsboro, Medville, Thorndike, Hobson... through Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio... back through West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, into Mayberry on Route 10... to Elm Street... Four-One-One Elm Street.
- Hazel

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10320: Hmmm, let's see..... favorite seasons, smells of the weather,.... Well, first to answer your question Asa: Hanford is about 100 miles south of here, been through there many a time. Boo, don't get too jealous; the weather can get hot here too but, not for as long (mid July til mid September with an Indian summer) and not at all humid. It has reached 115 once that I can remember... thought we like to die! (Of course I think that was the same year it hit 120+ in Texas!) Dry as a bone too so that comment about being in an oven fits our heat spells. But, mostly, the heat doesn't often get over 95 and stays dry so it's quite bearable. In the evenings, we get the evening Delta breezes which come in from the San Francisco Bay. I sleep with my windows open and it feels like air conditioning! That's why so many 100 year old homes like mine have "sleeping porches"... those folks were pretty ingenious. Okay, I'm sorry if I've made you sad again, but you can come live here... the "Left Coast" needs more people like you anyway!
I really like all our seasons here although summers are a trifle too hot for me but makes for the best Summer evenings and mornings in the world. Autumn would be my favorite if it weren't for Spring... well, I guess it's a tie. We have the longest Spring I know of. Starts almost the end of January (first blooms have started) and goes til somewhere in July. Sometimes, we still have to wear our jackets and bring blankets to watch the fireworks on Independence Day! And of course, everything is blooming everywhere the whole time. The downside is if you have hayfever, you'd be miserable here in the Spring. Winters are generally rainy or foggy but only lasts from about mid-December through January. About every seven years, the fog gets literally as thick as pea soup and can last days. But, since it is the holiday season, I like it cause it makes a warm house with a fire going and hot cocoa or apple cider seem so homey! (and that Christmas music in the background, Romeena... gotta have that!) I like to see the Christmas lights twinkling through the misty fog... it looks so magical.
BTW, Romeena, I know what you mean about the "smells". I think when you live somewhere long enough, you just know it. Does anyone else have the same experience with 'sound'? When I wake up, I can tell by the sounds of things... yes, even barking....ugh!... which is usually what wakes me up! Specifically, I can tell what the temperature will be that day. Just call me Count von Teleky (or whatever his name was).
Okay Hazel, then we're meeting at Barney's? I know the way... Though I think it will take awhile! Tell him to post a lookout for Mrs. Mendlebright... she can smell chili cookin a mile away!

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10321: Hello Folks~ So glad to read all the postings. Finally , our little Opie is over his Chicken pox. Boy, that was a long 2 weeks! What a beautiful day in our neighborhood. Warm enough to set on the porch for a spell. AAAHHH just what the Dr. ordered for a weary soul. It is so good to read all the posts, and "connect" with family. Drop by for a chat if'n your in the neighborhood...~New Neighbor

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10322: Hi, New Neighbor. Thought I'd set here a spell myself, before going to the chili fest. You know, I never did get a response from anyone about giving me and the Plum a ride to the doin's. Hope somebody is planning to come by. If not, then you and I can just eat this big ol' bowl of guacamole I've got made. I even have some carrots to dip for the Plum. She likes my guacamole, but prefers it on a carrot. Actually, I could make the drive myself, but promised my surgeon I wouldn't drive for two weeks, so guess I'd better cooperate. I'm glad your young'un is over his chicken pox. I remember when my two oldest kids had them at ages 3 and 5 - they hardly had a dozen pox between them. But my teenage brother caught them from the kids, and he was one pathetic, miserable critter. He had pox in places he didn't know were places, even inside his mouth. When those blisters all over his body broke and scabbed over, he looked like a monster from a movie.
Boo, please keep us posted on the progress of your young friend. That's so sad, a diagnosis like that in one so young. It's true, though, prayer changes things. When I had cancer at age 40, I was given a 40% chance of living 5 years, and no one would even talk about anything beyond that. That was 23 years ago, and here I am, by the grace of God and many, many prayers. It does happen.
Well, guess I'll set here a spell longer and see if anyone comes by to pick us up. Guess I could call a cab, but kinda hate to go that far. Sugarplum says hey! --Romeena

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10323: Evenin' everybody __ ___ __ ___ ____ ___. I'm now at Hazel's for the chili fest and those were my amenities (or however you spell that). I didn't bring the crackers since Boo said she'd bring Ritz, but I did remember the cheese ball. It's velveeta and cream cheese mixed together with some garlic salt and parsley and rolled in English walnuts. Where's Mrs. Wiley and Ernest T. (Mr. Gossett)? I always think of them when there's a party. Interesting conversations. I like summer best, then fall, spring, and winter last! I need sun or I get depressed. I love water too so summer's my favorite so we can swim. Prayers for James, Boo's friend. Hey to ya'll! Let's break out that chili!
Charlotte Tucker

November 09, 2002 - Msg 10324: I'll pick you up, Romeena! Sidecar express!
- Hazel

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10325: Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement concerning James. I have not heard anything further except that they won't decide on a course of treatment until all the results are in. I will let you know when I hear something. Praise the Lord, Romeena, what a testimony you have. You have been through so much in your life and I'll bet you have the sweetest heart.

Charlotte, that cheese ball sounds great. It'll go good with the ritz crackers (which we all know were endorsed by Andy, himself. Remember the commercial,"good cracker, good cracker!").

Clara, I want to live with you. Do you have room in that wonderful 100 year old house? Maybe I could just stay on the sleeping porch. I don't eat much and I'm handy around the house.
Tell us more about your house. What is it's history and did you restore it yourself? I'm just very curious about old houses.

I'm going to bed. My hubbie took me out tonight and we ate at this place that makes gourmet hamburgers. Wow, I had this burger with grilled onion and cheese on this great hoemade (whoops, I mean Homemade) bun. So good. It was hard to go to the chili fest and eat chili after that, but I did. Had a wonderful time. Hazel is quite the hostess. I played the guitar and Hazel blew the jug. It was right purty.

I'm off to bed. Goodnight, ya'll!


November 10, 2002 - Msg 10326: Well porch friends, I just wanted to let you know that I took first prize in the mild chili contest at the church chili cookoff. I think it was the cup of honey that won it for me. I also added 2 t minced garlic as well as the usual ingredients. My sister won the first prize for the hot section.
We sure got some good cooks in our family. Then we played games and whooped and hollered until it was time to go home, and it must be said that a good time was had by all.

Time to stretch out on the old ironing board!

fun girl

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10327: Let me be the first to offer my congratulations, fun girl!! And that's my kind of chili ...mild.
Oops, baby girl just woke up. She's giving me her slurping noise she makes when she wants something to drink. So cute!!
I'll talk at you later, porch.
-Sterling Holobyte

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10328: Mornin' Y'all. Well,that was quite a chili dinner! So many different kinds and all of them as flavorsome as can be! Thanks for hostessing Hazel-you're the cats!
Just turned on tv and heard about tornados last night around Nashville.God Bless those folks as they face the aftermath this morning.Never been in a tornado,never wish to be in a tornado,but I know what it's like to be involved in a natural disaster-Hugo,namely. Don't wish stuff like that on anyone.
Hope y'all have a blessed day!
possum under a rock

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10329: Good morning ya'll. . .well - it is almost baby goat time again. We should be having babies in the next couple of weeks.
Had a good time at Sunday school this morning. We are getting ready to make a couple of shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse - a charity ran by Franklin Graham (Billy's son). It is a great project for kids to help other kids. You basically take a shoebox and fill it with toiletries and non breakable items and it is sent to a child somewhere in the world for Christmas. For more information - I know you all are the generous sort and children mean the world to you. This will be the first year my boys will do this but it will not be the last. I consider the Billy Graham Association to be reputable so I have no fear that the shoebox will get to a child.
Well - the chili was good last nite but did you see ASA and Sterling - next time boys - bring BIBS!!!

Take care -

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10330: Good morning porch, Ipray you all have a Blessed and Sonshine filled day. Soon be leaving for church,I've got lunch started, we're have meatloaf, mashed potaoes ,pea salad, corn and dessert, all welcome. (((((((((to all))))))))))
Miss Ellen Brown :)

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10331: OK

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10332: Ok, I'm back.
I'd like to thank you for the compliments, Romeena and Boo. To answer your question, Poo, er, I mean, Boo(I thought maybe you had changed your name back there, but I like Boo better), I have written some short stories but have not been published yet. A lot of them I have to rewrite. It's not real light-hearted stuff. The only way to describe it is psychological science fiction, more Twilight Zonie type of stories.
I have thought about writing more satirical stuff, the trouble is that in order to write I have to get into my own little "zone" and Boo, as you and others know, when you have children(or in my case, a child and a wife) they don't leave you a lot of time to get into your own zone, which is why I haven't written anything in many years. But you know, sometimes it just takes someone complimenting you as Boo and Ro have done, to make you want to get moving with it again. Thank you again.
I'm going to check out that book you mentioned, Boo. I've never heard of him but that's because I don't really read much. I've heard that most writers are voracious readers but I'd rather just wait until the movie comes out. Especially since all my stories are first played out as movies in my head. If only my thoughts could be sent direct to video. Sigh!
It's that in-between stuff that makes me lose focus in what I am trying to convey. You know, all that punctuation, structure, and what-do-you-call-it, ...writing!
But I am going to check out that book. Maybe I can get some pointers on how to structure a humorous book. Thanks for the idea and info!
Have a happy Sunday!
-Sterling Holobyte

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10333: Oh, you didn't see me, homemaker? I was sitting there in the corner with Otis. You should have seen what he was adding to HIS chili. I can tell you after he was done eating I was sorry to be sitting next to him! Phheww!!
-Sterling Holobyte

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10334: Thank you, Hazel, for giving me and the Plum a ride to the chili supper last night. Didn't we have fun? Thanks, too, for helping me convince the Plum that she didn't need a second helping of that hot chili. She loves it, but since I knew she would be sleeping on my pillow later on..... well, you get the idea. She sure made a piglet of herself with the guacamole and carrots, though. She's kinda droopy this morning. Can you get a carrot hangover??
Sure was some good chili there last night. I had a little bit of each kind, and am glad I don't have to declare a favorite. It was all good!
Sterling Holobyte, I know what you mean about the tedium involved in "correct" writing. I like to just sit at the keyboard and let the words flow. Like you, I've never published anything beyond a couple of things in the church paper and some letters to the newspaper editor, but I have a few things stored in this computer that I think have a little merit. I guess I'm just too scared to submit them, because if someone rejected them it would break my heart. Once I enrolled in one of those "How to Write" correspondence courses, and promptly dropped out. I submitted my first lesson and the instructor who critiqued and returned it was just wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong!! See what you all think: My little-old-lady character was standing before her closet, trying to decide what to wear for a clandestine activity she had planned for the next day. She thought to herself, "Better decide now, there'll be no time to stand shilly-shallying tomorrow." The instructor red-lined it, and suggested "dilly-dallying" instead. Now, everyone knows that "dilly-dallying" implies that one is just dawdling around, wasting time, without purpose. "Shilly-shallying", on the other hand, implies indecision, which is precisely what I meant. Well, I was so insulted and disillusioned, that I just dropped out. If the instructor was no more perceptive than that, then I didn't feel I was going to learn much. I still enjoy writing for fun, though, and maybe some day I'll do something with it.
Have a lovely Sabbath, friends. Sugarplum says hey! --Romeena

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10335: Hello Friends,
I sure had a lot of posts to catch up on! Sorry I missed the chili supper. (I don't think one could ever call it a chili DINNER! It has to be a chili SUPPER!)

Real interesting reading about where everyone lives, favorite seasons, old homes, writing stories and all that. Romeena, I am just as sure as shootin' that the old lady in your story was shilly-shallying! That instructor should have been asking you for learnin'!

Asa, I too, drove through the country in your neck of the woods a few years back. I was on my way back home from California. I was really wishing I had planned more time for my trip cause it sure was beautiful. My husband and I were in Wyoming 2 years ago and I would love to move there someday.

I mentioned once before that my husband is an artist and I have a link you can go to if you want to see two of his paintings. It is He is going to be a guest artist at a local church here in December so they have an advertisement on their web page. Some day we hope to have a web page of our own but we only went into business this past summer. Humble beginnings you know!

For you writer's like Sterling and Romeena, don't let any one discourage you from pursuing your dreams. You only have one life to live so why not go for it?! There will ALWAYS be nay sayers, my husband has had a few and I think he is extraordinarily talented! And Sterling, my husband does his painting while holding a "regular" full-time job, learning to play the violin, and raising 3 kids. You will NEVER have time to chase your dream, there will always be something that comes up. YOU have to make it your priority, and you CAN! Like Nike says, "Just do it!"

I am quite the cheerleader today aren't I! Go Sterling go, Go Romeena go, You can do it, yes you can! If you can't do it no one can!

Homemaker, good luck with the baby goat season! If you get any good pictures send them our way, we'd love to see the little cuties!

Hey to Possum,
We are going to be in South Carolina in February for an art show. Any advice on the weather at that time of year? Around here it is still boots, coats, hat, gloves, and anything else you can rustle up to keep you warm.

Well, I hope you all have a great Mayberry Day
Mary Wiggins

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10336: I don't know, Romeena, the way you described "dilly-dallying" and "shilly-shallying", they sound like the same thing to me. Now please don't be mad at me! It's just that I personally have never heard of "shilly-shallying", but that could just be not a word they use where I live and people may use it alot where you live.
You said the instructor "suggested" dilly-dallying. Was there something more to it? Did he(she,it) make fun of you about it or say it mean? I guess I don't understand why you would be so insulted by a suggestion. That's his(hers,it's) job. I mean, if it's an integral part of the story, and will change the tone of the story for you if you change it, then don't change it. But if it's just a word, I'd be more open to suggestions. You see, I can say that because it was not my work they were critiquing(where's the spell-checker on this thing anyway!). I know that writing is a very personal thing, and to have someone(anyone) suggest you change something, is ego-busting and sometimes hard to take, Believe me. You should have seen some of the rejection letters I've received. Some have suggestions to change things, and one was just down-right mean! I appreciated the ones with suggestions because I figured I could use all the help I could get. But if it's something I felt strongly enough about, I wouldn't change it, and neither should you.
But Romeena, listen to me, you should never let the fear of rejection or anyone's criticisms stop you from sending your stories out. Stephen King was rejected thousands of times before he ever got his first book published. You may have heard things like this before, but it's true!!
Everyone has different writing styles and there's going to be someone, somewhere who like's your particular style.
Don't give up!
-Sterling Holobyte

I hope you won't think I'm unperceptive for what I said up there.

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10337: Thanks for the pep-talk, Mary Wiggins!! Rah, Rah!
Now if you could just send me some Pep-to, for that chili I ate with Otis last night.
-Sterling Holobyte

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10338: I remember Floyd always wanted to write a book. His opening sentence was "The sun is dropping lazily down behind the purple hills in the western sky". But that was as far as he got. About the chili fest last night. I smell gas, do you smell gas? hehe
- Hazel

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10339: Romeena, I hate to say this, but I, Sterling Holobyte, was wrong. I just looked up "shilly-shally" and "dilly-dally" in the dictionary, and you're right on. It's just that I honestly had never heard that word before.
I wouldn't fault the instructor too much though. I think you could use either one for that sentence and get the same basic point across. Maybe the instructor was just trying to suggest using a word that would be more common for the readers.
Am I forgived? I take back that part of my post, but not the rest. Don't give up!!
-Sterling Holobyte

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10340: I smell gas!

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10341: Sterling Holobyte, you're a good friend. Only a friend will tell you what they think, and in such a gentle way. I can see that I didn't provide enough information to support my response to the instructor's criticism, and perhaps "insulted" wasn't the right word. She simply crossed out "shilly-shally" in red and wrote "dilly-dally" in above it, as though correcting a third-grader's spelling. She didn't take the time to research the words, or give any consideration to the idea that I could have truly meant what I said. Granted, "shilly-shally" is not a widely-used term, but it is a valid one, as you have noted, and I didn't appreciate having it crossed out so abruptly. The next issue I had was the lack of guidance, commentary or other suggestions. The crossed-out term was the only correction made. So, did that mean that the rest was barely acceptable, great, superb, not worthy of comment, or just that she was too lazy to really read and apply her supposed superior knowledge and experience to helping me along the writer's way?
You're right, either term could have been used in that sentence, taken by itself, and been acceptable. However, in the context of the rest of the story, only the term I used would have worked. The lady was working on a carefully planned scheme, and on the next day, timing would be crucial. Decisions needed to be made in advance, as there would be no time to stand and try to decide on the big day. Besides, for me, there's a big difference in the terms. "Dilly-dallying" would describe the behavior of Prissy in Gone With the Wind", as she dawdled along the sidewalk on her way back to the house where Melanie was in labor. She played with a stick, dragging it along fence slats, and when Scarlett saw her, she was furious. That's dilly-dallying, it implies a disregard for the pressures of time. It's what your kids do on a Sunday morning when you send them to their rooms to get dressed for church. Shilly-shallying is what your wife may do on a Sunday morning as well, though she's very conscious of the time pressure. Should I wear the blue dress with the white collar, or the green one with the little blue dots? She knows the clock is ticking, cares about it, but just can't make up her mind. Does any of this make sense?
Now that I've totally bored everyone with this little dissertation on semantics, I'll relinquish the floor to someone, anyone, else! Sugarplum says hey! --Romeena

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10342: Hi Porch, happy Sabbath. Romeena, glad your surgery went well - 'been praying for you. Shilly-shally? That sounds like what I have every morning, but I call it a fashion crisis. Yes, it's a time-sensitive occurrance.

~ Mrs. Wiley
"hidin' out down at the trailer park".

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10343: Gosh Romeena, you really should have been a teacher! That was excellent, and I understood every word of it! I just knew she was shilly-shallying.
Mary Wiggins

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10344: Yes, Romeena, it makes alot of sense now. You explained yourself and the scene very well!
I think you SHOULD send some stories in!
-Sterling Holobyte

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10345: Hi there, writers! Well, you just knew I'd have to get involved in this discussion, didn't you? I have been an editor for 20 years and I still am. I've told you all before that I need materials for my magazine for seniors so if you would like a sample copy, you can find me on the Cutlass and email me and I'll send you one. Romeena, dear, I love you, and I believe your character was shilly-shallying but I also believe that you are a woman with something to say so you shouldn't have given up so easily. You should have sent that manu-script back and explained to that editor why you chose those words. I've red-marked things before when I read through them quickly and I was wrong! I say, Try again.
Charlotte Tucker

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10346: I am posting this separately because it caused me concern and I thought of you people and that I should share it with you all. We had a prayer service today for the Persecuted Church. Here are some facts we were given: 200 million Christians around the world are facing persecution. More people were tortured for their faith in the 20th century than in all the previous nineteen centuries. More people died in circumstances related to their faith in the past century than in all the wars of the twentieth century combined. These are startling facts. And the way our nation is headed, our children could face persecution in the near future that they do not currently face. Please pray for persecuted Christians everywhere and visit

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10347: Afternoon Y'all! All this talk of writers and story tellers makes me want to share something with y'all- I,possum,am a poet. Yep,it's true- I have actually had one published.Been a long time since I've written-I find that they just pop up in my head at any given time. The one poem I have a copywrite on I wrote while traveling through Alabama.I was inspired by something,the poem "popped" into my head,and I grabbed scrap paper out of my purse and jotted it down! No,I wasn't driving the vehicle at the time! Ha Ha Anyway,most of my stuff is very personal and I don't think I would want to see it published,but to all of you aspire to have your work published ,I say "Go For It!" Follow your heart(s) and your dreams.
Mary Wiggins,I hate to try to forecast the weather in SC-it's so unpredictable! If we get snow,it's usually the first part of February. Only a dusting & only a day or two. Could be rainy and cool. I have the feeling we're gonna have a rainy Winter. Look at me,predicting the weather like I'm a groundhog instead of a possum! I'll have to monitor things and try to give you a more accurate forecast as February approaches. I still remember when some friends from New Jersey came down to Myrtle Beach one March.I'd told them the weather would be nice & mild and what happened? A big ice storm hit and they were stuck in the hotel for the duration of their stay!
Well,I've rambled enough for one afternoon,so I'll bid everyone goodnight. Take care all!
possum under a rock

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10348: " To all of you who aspire to..."
I left my "who" out in the above message!

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10349: Wow! Our own Possum is a poet. Now, that's inspiring. Possum dear, you should publish a book of your poems. You could entitle it, "A Possum's Perspective". Now that's an attention grabber, don't you think? I'd love to read some of your work, but do understand about the personal nature of it. I have a couple of things I'd prefer not to share, also, but most of my scribblings are "an open book", if you'll pardon a bad pun. And now, if I may be permitted an even worse pun, here's a bit of "doggerel" I wrote shortly after Sugarplum came into our lives:


Catcher of crickets, runner of races.
Beggar of tidbits, kisser of faces.

Lover of fun, chaser of toys,
Playmate and buddy to three little boys.

Ecstatic to see me when I've been away,
Content just to cuddle, but ready to play.

She gives so much joy, yet doesn't ask much.
With tail-wags and wiggles, she repays each kind touch.

I suppose she's a dog, she has four legs and fur.
But I see something else when I look at her.

Small friend and companion, devoted and cute.
Is she really a cherub in a puppy-dog suit?

She's something quite special, a really rare find.
She's my little Sugarplum, and they're the best kind!

Not sure how this is going to print out, but here goes... --Romeena

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10350: I used to be some what of a writer myself. But that was all very dramatic stuff written in the midst of teenage angst. You know what I mean. Did anyone ever see the show that was on a couple years ago called, MY SO CALLED LIFE. Well it reminded me alot of the stuff I had written when I was in my teens. Now great despair and depression are great motivating factors for me to sit down and write. And as you can guess, what you get is not something that you could submit for your average sit-com. BUT I do make a MEAN pot of chili. My stomach is not feeling any to good today. I think that I will go and take a couple of Rolaids and some Alka Seltzer and a snooze.
fun girl

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10351: We posted at the same time Ro, but I just wanted to say that I thought that was a purty cute poem bout the Plumster. You are quite a talented lady.

fun girl

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10352: I love your poem, Romeena. You must really love your little Sugarplum!

I will pray for the persecuted church today and for the unpersecuted, apathetic one, too (which includes me).


November 10, 2002 - Msg 10353: So shilly-shally is like trying to decide whether to wear earrings to church? (Me and Opie ain't wearing any) Why don't you play it safe and just wear one?

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10354: Charlotte Tucker, you are so right. There is an enemy among us, and we all know who he is. He showed us his face on Sept. 11. We had better act now, while we still can. Boo is right. We need to pray for our own apathetic selves, that we will awaken to what is going on and take action, before a much ruder awakening is brought home to us.
I believe in the doctrine of "turning the other cheek", but that must be taken in context, that of personal affront. This is far beyond personal, and involves protection of others, especially those unable to defend themselves, such as the suffering Christians in Indonesia and other parts of the world. I do recall that, in the last moments, Jesus instructed Peter to go and buy a sword. (Luke 22:36-38) I don't think he intended for him just to rattle it. There are difficult points of doctrine here, but I think we can safely say that God does not expect us to roll over and play dead while Islam plunders the world.
Mercy! I didn't mean to get so "het up" but I do feel strongly about all this. Think I'll go cuddle the Plum a while and settle down. --Romeena

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10355: Boo, you can come stay anytime you like! We have a separate room out in the back that my daughter lives in, but when she finally moves out, it's yours! My house was built around 1910 and the first family to occupy it was an Italian family (very fitting I always say since my hubby is Italian) which had a very large home some miles away on their orchard farm. It is a Craftsman style or sometimes called an Arts and Crafts. The Taylors' house and I believe Thelma Lou's house is in this same style. This style is one of the Bungalow styles that was very popular from 1900 to 1930. It is stucco and lots and lots of white wood beams and trim. It has a very large wrap-around front porch on which we can even place a table and chairs. We actually barbeque in the side yard (which is quite large) and eat on the porch. There is the 4 ft wide front door with beveled glass on the frontyard side with a window on each side just like the Taylors' entry. It has French doors on the sideyard side of the porch and also a door to the den (which I am in right now). The house has many, many multi-paned windows all framed with lots of douglas fir. The living room literally has windows on the two porch sides from corner to corner. The floors in the frontrooms of the house are oak. On one side of the livingroom is an 8 ft archway that leads to the diningroom. The living and diningroom have walnut stained beams on the ceilings which are all 9 ft high. The kitchen has the 1940s style two-tone black trim with cream yellow tiles. There is a nook on one end that has floor to ceiling multipaned windows looking out onto my organic herb and veggie garden. We could not afford a kitchen remodel so we took off the cabinet doors, painted the outside an arts and crafts green with a little darker green inside and added glass knobs on the drawers. I bought glass jars of all sizes and placed my staples in them and other things like boxes in big baskets. That and a new gas stove was my "remodel". The bathroom floors have the white octagonal hand laid tile and pedestal sinks. All rooms have the beautiful old glass ceiling light fixtures that have fruit, flower, or bead designs. The upstairs is the only area that we have really remodeled. We enlarged the bathroom so two people can actually stand in there at the same time! And we expanded the two closets to make them walk-ins. One closet is a walk through to both rooms as is the bathroom (a 'jack and jill'). There is a sunroom directly off my room on one end and off the top of the stairs on the other. The other bedroom is my hubby's.... no, we are not 'estranged'.... it's just that he snores like a buzzsaw! We finally gave up losing sleep and since the upstairs is ours alone and our rooms are connected (you can go around in a circle as well as through the closets to get from room to room), we feel like we have a bedroom suite. We love it. Over the years we have furnished our house with 'used' furniture which would probably be called antiques now though I am sure they are not worth all that much. But, I love them. Well, that's our house. I hope you enjoyed the tour. ~Clara~

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10356: Great poem, Romeena. Keep writing, all you talented people out there..... "Your education was worth every penny!" Make Mayberry's porch proud!
Prayers for all. ~Clara~

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10357: Clara, I enjoyed the tour very much. Sounds like a perfectly lovely home. I'm especially intrigued by the wrap-around porch. I just love big porches like that. They're so pretty, and so useful. Some day when the Plum and I are out traveling, we'll drop by and sit on your porch for a while, okay? --Romeena

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10358: How kind you are, Clara! Actually, my little "ode to a Sugarplum" was just something I dashed off one afternoon after watching her playing with my grandsons. At one point, she was wearing a doll's bonnet, and riding in a little plastic shopping cart, with the boys pushing her all over the house. She could have gotten down anytime she wished, but she chose to stay and play with them. Anyway, the interaction between the little furkid and the grandsons was fun to watch, and out popped that little poem. --Romeena

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10359: I AM LOST WHAT OUT ARE FRIEND TOM.

November 10, 2002 - Msg 10360: Clara, thank you for describing your home. It sounds wonderful! Wish I could see it with my eyes instead of my mind. Wouldn't it be good if we could use our digital cameras (if we have them) to post pictures on here, too? I would love to see pictures of some of our hometowns and houses, etc.

Romeena, thanks for your input on Iraq. I have been very concerned about it lately, as has everyone, and I have been praying that the Lord would show me what is right. All day I have just been thinking about the sacrifices that sometimes need to be made to protect our children and future generations. God's will be done and may we each be a part of the solution and not the problem.


November 11, 2002 - Msg 10361: Hello porch friends.. Sorry I haven't been here in a while. Went to TN for a long weekend. Got to see all the Christmas lights and even started my Shopping. I hope everyone is doing ok here. Ro, glad to see you are hanging in there and even writing poems about the Plum, she is a lucky little dog. Sounds like Asa is still cutting up like normal, dont know why he called me 'old' Salty though. I missed you guys. Prayers for all the ones who need them. Well guys I am pooped, I'm off to find my ironing board Night porch--OLD Salty Dog

November 11, 2002 - Msg 10362: I've ...been workin' on the 'puter ...all the live long day (I'm singing). Can't you see the keyboard smoking? Charlotte's blowin' her horn! Charlotte won't ya blow? Charlotte won't ya blow? Charlotte...won't ya...Charlotte's losin' it! Charlotte's goin' to bed. Good night porch! Good to see ya, Salty. Nice tour, Clara. Great poem, Romeena. Would you publish it?
Charlotte Tucker

November 11, 2002 - Msg 10363: Hey, Charlotte Tucker. Publish that little ol' piece of sentimentality? Why, no publisher would look twice at that bit of fluff.
TOM! It's so good to see you. Where have you been? I saw you out there in the bushes a couple of times, but you never came up on the porch. I'm glad you're back - next time, don't stay away so long, okay?
Salty, it's good to see you, too. However, I do not want to hear about you having started your Christmas shopping. Makes me green-eyed with jealousy. I've been trying to figure out how I can start mine, but I'd run into someone from work for sure, and since I'm on short-term disability, well.....
Have a great week, friends. Sugarplum, the sleepy-head, says hey! --Romeena

November 11, 2002 - Msg 10364: Did they ever mention on AGS.or RFD about bad weather
hitting Mayberry? I recall 1 time where I think a
flood was mentioned but beyond that I'm not sure!
Anyone know the answer to this?I'll check back later
to see if anyone has posted an answer!

November 11, 2002 - Msg 10365:
1. When the gold truck came through Mayberry it was raining. (A decoy! Shazaam!)
2. When Barney took all those dogs out in the country to let them loose, it was storming. (Boy giraffes are selfish)
3. The night Andy delivered Sam Becker's baby it was raining. (Andy!Andy! It's time! It's time!)

November 11, 2002 - Msg 10366: Rain, some lightning and thunder, don't recall any serious floods or blizzards or tornadoes or such though.

November 11, 2002 - Msg 10367: Morning Porch. Good to see you ol... I mean young Salty Dog. You best not run off like that again or else!
Boy, we have writers and poets and singers (Charlotte) here on the porch. Gourmet chili cooks too. I'm feeling kinda lacking here amongst y'all. I ain't got no talents to bring to the table. I know the good book says we all got talents, but I musta been absent the day they handed em out cause there ain't much I can do good. But y'all sound like ya got plenty to go around, so can I just hang on to your coat tails? Thanky.
Hey Brian, on the episode where Goober runs the contest at the filling station and Floyd gets the 200 dollar envelope by mistake, Andy says he will be about like that tornado that went through here about 12 years ago when he found out he didn't win no money. I think I got that right.
Hope everyone has a great and safe Monday. So good to see you again Mrs. Wiley. Hope all is well for you.


November 11, 2002 - Msg 10368: Asa you're goooood. you're GOOOOOD. Let's all remember to honor our veterans today. Where would we be without them? (Burt, Al, the Milo boys)

November 11, 2002 - Msg 10369: Romeena, I'd publish that poem, especially with a cute little picture of Sugarplum with it. It'd be neat to have it in the Nov/Dec. issue with a pic of Sugarplum in a Santa suit or somehow dressed up for Christmas. Would Sugarplum do that? (I figure if you can dye her feet, you can dress her up.) Just a thought. You can email me if you're interested. Who posted 10365? You're good. You are good! I didn't even get a chance. I'd thought of the giraffe one. Asa, I don't recall that ep you're talkin' about. Is it a color one? And Asa, don't you ever say you ain't got no talents! Why, you're one of the most caring folks on this porch and vital to our very existence! Have a great day!
Charlotte Tucker

November 11, 2002 - Msg 10370: Oops! Didn't see ya there 10368. (3!) Yes, good point. Remember our veterans. Don't forget the ol' Taylor relative that weren't as great as they thought he was (can't remember his nameŚwasn't he in some war or something?) and Lucius Pyle! (can't spell today either. Is that how you spell Lucius--don't look right.)