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Saturday, May 13, 2017

DEAD MOMMIES IN HELL


Way back in the 1990's I wrote a punk rock song. -- Taylor Swift (whoever she is) isn't the only one who creates songs inspired from life. Recently, I said I'd post this for Mother's Day unless someone bribed me not to. Well none of you cheapskates coughed up any dough so here goes! But first, I need to give you some background info.

In my mind, this is being vocalized by the imaginary punk duo of Puke Puss & Piss Plenty as a chorus of background singer-dancers twirl flaming skull batons. 

I don't read or write music, but I came up with an original tune. You are just going to have to use your imagination while reading the lyrics.

On this note, I want to say that I once purchased a book of obscure English folk songs and as I read, tunes popped into my head. Later, when I heard them played, I was stunned! They were the exact melodies I'd heard in my head! And these were all unknown songs to me! So this is not as impossible as it sounds. So give it a shot!

  

 

                                DEAD MOMMIES IN HELL

  

Yeooow! My mom tried to shove me out a window!

But I stepped aside and tripped her.  Oh no!

Eeeewww, she's a splattered flyer!

Eeeewww, she's a splattered flyer!

Dead Mommy's in Hell!

Dead Mommy's in Hell!

Woe! She's skinny dipping in those notorious lakes of fire!

Woe! She's skinny dipping in those notorious lakes of fire!

Dead Mommy's in Hell!

My dad wed his girlfriend another floozy

The tramp tried to waste me with her Uzi!

The SWAT team sent her cursing up the river.

The attempted escape makes me quiver!

Ooooh she was a boogying on electric barbed wire!

Ooooh she was a boogying on electric barbed wire!

Dead Mommy's in Hell!

Dead Mommy's in Hell!

Woe! She's skinny dipping in those notorious lakes of fire!

Woe! She's skinny dipping in those notorious lakes of fire!

Dead Mommies in Hell!!!!

 

Not long ago, I sang this over the phone to my 77 year old brother in the nursing home. He was impressed and thought I should have it recorded by someone who can actually carry a tune. He also thinks my dark jokes are funny. (Not everyone does!) But then we share a similar history. His spirit animal is Big Foot and mine is the chupacabra.

Monday, May 1, 2017

HOME $WEET DOMICILE


Sure, I’d save a lot of money if I expatriated to South America, but I have doubts about my quality of life there after visiting. I don’t want to stand in long lines every month to pay my bills, nor do I want to wait weeks on end for a non-English speaking repairman to come and fix my refrigerator or cable.

I’ve been told by Expats that you just have to roll with those things, except that I’m NOT a roll-with-it type personality. And speaking of rolls, in many developing countries you are not allowed to flush toilet paper. There’s a closed garbage bin next to the commode. – This is what grossed me out the most about Ecuador! I was calling it ICK!-uador!

However, if my health should take a serious downturn (I had a recent scare) expatriation could become a necessity! I don't qualify for Obamacare and I doubt I'd ever be able to afford Trumpcare. I remember when insurance was unnecessary for a doctor visit or even a hospital stay. This is what our government should be working toward, but that will never happen. There's too many greedy people in power (now even more) to prevent it.

The big appeal of living in the Third World was the affordable health care!

Stay or sell, my house still needs plenty of repairs. Now that my exploratory trips are over, I've been cutting back on everything else to afford it!

A few years ago, the $10,000 neighbors moved in next door. I call them this because that was my cost to keep the peace between us, along with my privacy. Had the previous person not sold, it would have been unnecessary! Life is full of big, unexpected expenses, but I don't need to tell you that!

Now, I'm tackling all those major projects I've put off! Among other things, my badly cracked driveway has finally been replaced along with the walkway.

I asked the man in charge to install the new 10 year batteries I'd purchased for my garage remotes. These old, obsolete models required a special screwdriver to do it. Well, he really messed them up! Afterward, rubber bands were required to keep them closed, plus one door would open only from the inside, and the other would fly up and down like a nervous elevator.

The remotes had to be replaced and I was assured the cost would be a minimal. They were, however the old motor-boards refused to work with the updated models! And this was crazy expensive!

Next, my house needed pressure cleaning, before rotting wood could be replaced and everything repainted.

The latter two, had to wait until the gigantic beehive was removed from under the peak of my 2-story roof. I wanted the hive relocated, rather than destroyed. But the beekeeper said that was impossible and the hive was coming to the end of its cycle anyway. This cost me $350 with my senior discount!

When I told the pressure cleaner this, he shook his head and said if he had known, he would have just given it a good shot with the hose and ran! -- He was the one who first spotted the hive! Why the heck didn't he just do it then?

The pressure cleaner became my house painter. He complained that my 2-story home was actually a 3-story because of my attic. I made certain he had insurance and safety equipment before I hired him.

Also he wanted to change the color of my front door to make it pop. The door & trim are white and I think that pops nicely on my brown wood frame home. A friend suggested a yellow door. I told her that I didn't want a pee-yellow door on my poopy-brown house! So the white stays!

During the work, my smoke detector started beeping. Unable to locate where to remove the battery, even with my strongest pair of Dollar Store glasses, I asked the painter for help. Well, he couldn't figure it out either! So I asked him to get me another at Home Depot since he was going anyway. Also I'd pay him to install it.

The man informed me he did NOT know how to install one. -- I guess he doesn't have a smoke detector in his home! AND he brought back the old beeping one that was driving me nuts!!! (Geez, why didn't he throw it in the store dumpster!) I smashed it repeatedly against the concrete until I could get at the battery to remove it.

Next, I discover a big gob of paint on my bedroom window and screen. The painter removed my screen and took it home to clean it. When he brought it back it was all bent to hell with wide openings on each side as well as beneath where chameleons, bugs, snakes, and lord knows what else could get thru. Plus my window was now difficult to open.

The painter told me not to worry because it looked fine from the outside. "But that's not the issue!" I replied.

I've noticed that if you speak to a worker beyond 10 minutes they tune you out, or outright dismiss you. This irks the heck out of me, it's disrespectful! Of course during the estimate most (but not all) are friendly, polite, even a bit obsequious. However, I did have one carpenter tell me in a condescending tone that he wasn't sure he wanted the job. My jaw dropped. I was thinking, "I'm the decider here, not you, buster!"

Anyway, my painter arrived early one morning to announce that his father had died and he planned to finish up that day. He needed to leave the state and wanted his check, now. Feeling badly for him, I wrote it. He said he'd phone me after he returned. I had hired this person before and was pleased with his work, so I was inclined to trust him.

He worked an hour outside and just left! I thought for sure he would alert me first! Plenty of little touch-up jobs were left undone such as dripped paint on many of my windows, plus a giant paint puddle under my front door, not to mention my bent screen! Later, I discovered places where rotting wood had been painted over rather than removed.

Perhaps I'm getting cynical in my old age, but I'm wondering if his father actually died or was this the adult equivalent of, "I didn't do my homework cause my grandmother died!"  -- I once made up a dark joke based on this concept.  See bottom of page for this joke.

A month passed and he didn't return my call! My financial advisor, Bob phoned and tricked him. The man claimed he had lost my number! -- It's listed in the phone book, or he could have gotten it from the operator, also it's available online.

The work is now completed, but the repairs look patchy to me. However, I'm just glad he came back and finished!

Friends and others are constantly telling me that this big house is just too much for me and I should sell and scale down. But I love this space and the fact it's all mine! Plus I can't abide the thought of strangers parading thru here and touching my stuff! This is where I prefer to spend my last days on earth.

My previous home had a steep hill in the back and it featured a Florida room with sliding glass doors on 3 sides overlooking the St. Lucie River. The river was a mile wide behind the house and one could see for endless miles to the right and left. Visitors used to oooh and ahhh at the sight of it. But I was never happy there!

In this house; I have a 30 ft cathedral ceiling, a big stone fireplace and a loft, all of these evoke the same reaction from guests. And this place still takes my breath away when I walk thru the door even after all these years. Unlike the previous one, this house is 100% mine. Despite hurricanes and difficult people my life here has been one of tremendous happiness.

  

MY JOKE:  
 
A teacher stands sternly before her classroom. "During the 3 days of testing," she says, "no student is allowed absent except for an emergency, such as an illness or death in the family."

In the back of the room, a little boy wildly waves his arm.

"Yes Billy, what is it?" the teacher asks.

"Miss Sourglass, I must be absent, my grandmother is liable to die!"

"Oh poor Billy, you mean your grandmother is ill?"

"No! I mean unless you let me stay out, I'm going to kill her!"

Saturday, April 22, 2017

LUSCIOUS LEMON-FLAVORED MEMORIES


According to the Calypso song: "Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."  -- Wait a minute! Lemons are NOT impossible to eat! In fact lemon on seafood, chicken, & potatoes tastes like a little bit of Heaven! And lemon meringue pie, mousse & lemon butter on sweet crepes tastes as though I am already there! On a salad, lemon juice tastes better than any dressing out there, plus it makes soggy lettuce crisp!

Sure lemons are sour, but just add sweetening and it becomes extraordinary! I used to make the best lemon bars around. I'd put a layer of shredded coconut between the crust and the lemon mixture, also I was generous with the powdered sugar!

Lemonade was the most refreshing beverage on the planet when I was a child, and if it was pink that made it taste even better.

Anything referred to as "being a lemon" denotes a negative. I've never understood this! That term has always made me salivate. Lemon is a favorite flavor of mine.

To my taste buds, calamondins are sourer. But I used to love snacking on those when we had a calamondin tree at the previous house. Plus our neighbors had a tree that grew lemons the size of grapefruit. We were welcome to help ourselves!  I'm a citrus loving woman! One of the perks of being a Florida girl was having lots of free citrus around.

Lemons are luscious to me, plus they are healthy! Lemon water aids in high blood pressure, respiratory problems, diphtheria, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, dandruff, throat infections, and they are even said to prevent kidney stones. Also I've read they purge the blood of toxins, fight aging, and depression.

Plus lemons are miraculous when it comes to knocking out migraines! As a former sufferer who spent 3 days of dire pain in bed and could not even keep water on her stomach without throwing up, I found that at the first sign of pain to drink strong black tea with industrial strength lemon. That always reduced the migraine to a temporary mild headache.

Lemons can also be used to soothe poison ivy rash, plus disinfect minor cuts and stop the bleeding.

Not to mention, the numerous practical uses such as bleaching delicate fabrics and polishing tarnished brass and chrome. And I've read that lemons prevent moths and ants. -- However the latter failed to work for me.

During my teens, I'd squeeze lemon juice into my hair trying to make it blonder in the summer sun. Of course this caused more freckles! So after washing I'd apply lemon juice to my skin attempting to fade them. Later, I discovered that Miss Clairol and avoiding the sun worked better in both cases.

I still love lemons in my old age. Unfortunately, they've turned hostile toward me! Thanks to my love of lemons, my acid reflux has returned with a vengeance! Citrus has become a major trigger. (I've also been forced to give up orange juice which I love and calamondins are now a distant memory.)  Any health benefits I might derive from lemons are nixed if my esophagus is destroyed. It's comparable to those who claim alcoholic beverages are healthy despite the damage to your liver and skin, not to mention that it makes you fat and impairs judgment. There's other far better ways to attain good health.

Oh well, I can still use lemons as a cleanser and polish. (Sigh!)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

THE GIRLS HAD THE RIGHT ANSWER


When I told a neighbor that I'd been hired to write a novel based on a half-completed outline, her eyebrow went up. "Exactly how are you going to finish another's story?" she inquired with skepticism.

"Easy!" I replied. Obviously this woman had never taken a creative writing class! This task was also one I had faced in High School English. OK, so it's not easy, writing involves work, but its work that I feel confident in doing.

"How do you come up with ideas?" is a question I frequently hear. The answer is obvious! Ideas come from EVERYWHERE! Look to your own life, your history, and everything that's going around you.

In both my Creative Writing course and High School English, we were shown a drawing and our assignment was to write a story based upon our interpretation.

In 11th Grade English Class, the drawing depicted a crowd attired in old timey clothes gathered around a building. My initial thought was the building was a jail and the crowd was there to watch a lynching. Any moment a nefarious bad ass criminal was going to be led out and escorted to the gallows just out of view.

Here is how I came up with that idea, I remembered my father telling me that in days gone by, a lynching was public entertainment. Entire families would show up with picnic baskets to watch the person jig at the end of a rope.

In my story, the rope breaks and the prisoner is released and pardoned in the belief that God wants him spared. The man goes on to create bloody havoc with impunity. The town's people come to decide this was a miracle of the devil and the man should face a firing squad. They murder him in a hail of bullets as he is leaving a local bordello.

In my Creative Writing course, the drawing was of two children, a boy & a girl racing excitedly towards a barn. Here, my first thought was their prize heifer had just given birth to a two-headed calf. The children were already planning on charging to view it as they sold fruit by the roadside to the tourists heading south and back.

I recalled that during my early childhood, a family down the highway owned a fruit stand. Also for a fee, you could view skeletons of animal freaks which they created by combining bones of different species. -- I swear this is TRUE!!!

Anyway, in my story, the calf becomes a beloved pet. The children become insulted and angered at some of the comments towards it by their customers. In town, they overhear ridicule directed toward their cousin Rufus who has misshapen feet, they rush to defend him. Suddenly they feel ashamed of their own behavior. The two cease displaying the cow despite the fact it was a money-maker.

Both of the above concepts could be taken in many directions. Everyone has different experiences and writes thru their own lens and filter.

Now let's discuss The LADY OR THE TIGER by Frank R. Stockton. If you are a High School graduate you must be familiar with this story!

For those of you who are drop-outs, or were home-schooled by fanatical parents, here is a brief summary: Many centuries ago in a semi-barbaric kingdom, a handsome commoner and a princess become lovers to the extreme displeasure of the king. The lad is sentenced to Trial by Ordeal in the public arena. He is forced to choose between one of two doors. Behind one, is a beautiful lady followed by musicians. This lady will be is bride. Behind the other door, a starving tiger waits to pounce! The princess learns that the lady is a rival for her lover's affections and someone she hates. As the lad stands between the two doors, he gazes up at her. With a discreet movement of her hand the princess motions to the door on his right. He opens it, end of story.

Back in 7th Grade, the teacher read this to the class and then polled us students. All the boys were sure it was the lady waiting behind the door. All the girls were certain it was the tiger. The teacher warned the boys that we girls were not to be trusted.

Later, in 9th Grade English Class, we were assigned to read this story and write an ending. The results were similar to that 7th Grade poll at a different school.

This entitled (is there any other kind) princess is described as semi-barbaric. Plus the waiting lady is a hated rival. Back then, (particularly among royalty) people were considered possessions, and possessions were expendable. I picture ancient Rome and the arena where blood sports were frequent and popular.

Even today, when a cherished man disappears from a woman's life, I've them say they'd rather he be found dead and bloody, than in the arms of another woman. -- Just imagine the mind of a semi-barbaric princess!

Then, there's her daddy, the king! He is furious that his princess has been defiled by this by this commoner! Unbeknownst to his daughter, a tiger might have been placed behind BOTH doors at the last moment to ensure the lad's death.

The only way I see this lad having a chance is if Huns are storming the gates of the city; burning, looting, and murdering everything in sight forcing the spectators to flee for their lives!

Barring that, the lad is screwed and not in a good way. Even if he is wise enough not to trust the princess and makes a beeline to the other door. You can be certain the princess is going to be plenty pissed that he didn't go along with her plan. The lad and his bride would likely be murdered in the night by soldiers. Either way, the guy will be tiger chow or maggot meat.

I saw a post on Facebook that read: My mother raised me to be a warrior not a princess! -- Newsflash: A warrior exists to serve the princess and do her bidding, not the other way around.

Friday, March 10, 2017

PROTESTING OUR SO-CALLED PRESIDENT


Donald Trump should never have been allowed to run for the office in the first place! Those cowards in the Republican Party should have stepped up and thrown this orange blob of slime out long ago! And thanks to a gutless pile of electors who failed to do their duty; we now have a man who isn't fit to run Mosquito Control as our President. And yes, Mosquito Control is an elected position!

Exactly one week ago, I participated in my first protest demonstration against Trump at the Vero Beach Courthouse. Counter demonstrators were there too, but we outnumbered them. A number of police stood between us especially as our numbers swelled.

Not long ago, I got into a heated argument with a neighbor. She insisted that anti-Trump protesters were paid. I told her that if there ever was a protest here, I would join and it would be one hundred per cent on me! Now I can back that up! The vast majority of the other protesters were from the Unitarian Church.

About 12 to 15 years ago, not long after my father's death, and when my friend Margaret still walked the earth, she pointed to it on our drive into town.

"You should consider joining," she said. "The Unitarian is the only church where I can picture you fitting in."

But I didn't like the idea of belonging to ANY church!

Shortly after, there was a luncheon event at the Unitarian place open to the public for a fee. I decided to go and check them out. And my experience was a negative one! I didn't find them a particularly friendly or welcoming group. I felt alienated and had no desire to return.

Anyway at the protest, they were friendly and welcoming. Perhaps this was a completely different group from the one I had encountered previously, or maybe it was only because we have a common enemy. But I still have NO plans to become a church-goer.   

The day of the protest was overcast and chilly. I wore a colorful wool shawl I'd purchased in the market at Chichicastinango several decades ago. A fellow protester complemented me on it. I told her I bought in Guatemala back in 1975.

"Where you in the Peace Corps.?" she asked.

"No, vacation," I replied.

In January of 2016 when I visited Thailand, I mentioned to an American lady living in Chiang Mai that I had a sick feeling Donald Trump was going to win the election.

"Oh don't worry," she said. "He has too many embarrassing and questionable things in his past to prevent him from winning."

Sadly, there are too many people who simply don't care that Trump is a scumbag!

On a remote mountain road in the jungles of Mae Hong Son, I saw an American tourist sporting a Trump T-shirt. I told the driver to run him down! Unfortunately the driver didn't understand English. Also I gave that man the finger! However his back was toward me.

After looking closely at the Third World, I've decided not to expatriate. I love the United States as imperfect as it is. Also I realize that governments can change quickly. A dictator can get in and create havoc. Hitler didn't seize power, he was voted in! 

But I consider myself a citizen of the earth first and an American second. The planet must be protected! And under Trump and his regime it's in more grievous danger than ever before.

Unless Trump is impeached, as a protester I may be eventually jailed or even hanged along with many others for sedition. This is a fascist regime that cannot tolerate criticism in any form, and they keep proving it. I've read that some states are already trying to make political protests illegal. I hope this is not true, but I wouldn't put it past these Republicans in power.

Trump, a so-called Christian has famously stated that he does not believe in turning the other cheek. Well neither do I! Plus I have no desire or plan to live under a dictatorship here or anyplace else!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

I AM A GHOST


Ooooooo!  Booooo! -- Well, not THAT kind of ghost!

I was recently hired as a ghost writer. But I can work in a sheet, my nightgown, or nothing at all. And I can wail or laugh manically as I type, too! This is why I love to write!

I was hired by a friend. Several years ago, she wrote half of an untitled outline with several chapters. It was lost and has now reappeared, but my friend has moved on to other projects. She is paying me to complete the outline, punch-up the chapters, & write her novel.  I can even put my name next to hers on the cover.

As I first started to read the outline, I thought this is going to be a challenge, but I was up for it. The story was set in the business world and lord knows I have no head for business or figures! And second, I didn't like these characters! They needed alcohol to be happy, relax, or just breathe! As a non-drinker, they were exactly the kind of crowd I would avoid in real life. And third, because this was not my concept, I felt an element of passion would be missing.

However, as I went further into the outline it began to read like a Lifetime movie. I love those! And they are popular for a reason!

Lifetime has been called the Man Hater channel, even the Rape Channel. Actually it began as the Womjep (Woman in Jeopardy) channel, where as CBS was the Sitcom (Situation Comedy) channel. Personally, I call Lifetime the WCCC (Woman Causing Chaos & Catastrophe) channel.

The outline ended in the middle at the most suspenseful part. I asked my friend where she intended to go from here. I was informed that was MY job. Hot dog! I knew exactly where to go! But I didn't have an ending.

The first thing I did was to rewrite the outline chapter-by-chapter. I added an extra character in the early chapters to move this story further into where I wanted to go. Suddenly, I felt passion welling up inside me. I was getting excited as I typed. Soon I could visualize and ending.

My friend/client loved the title I came up with, and no I'm not telling! You will have to wait until this book is in print!

I must write at a faster pace than what I am accustomed. The bulk of my time now is going to be devoted to working on this novel. So until this book is completed, I'm going to be cutting back on my blog postings to once a month.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

ENDING OR MENDING FRIENDSHIPS


Around the age of 11, I recall my mother complaining to a neighbor, "I don't know what's wrong with Dianne! She has no interest in having friends. She doesn't want me to invite other kids over. And when I do, she hides her toys!"

"Give her to me for a week," the neighbor replied, "I'll snap her out of it!"

I wasn't doing anything wrong. Nor was I harming anyone, not even myself. I just preferred my own company. Plus other kids were careless with my possessions!

My father was more sympathetic. "Dianne sees other children all day in school," he told them, "If she doesn't want to socialize afterward, don't force her."

Later, most of my High School friendships fell apart in High School. The ones that didn't quickly dissolved in Junior College. Then I made friends with co-workers. But those friendships always ended when the jobs did, usually not of my choosing.

Nowadays I have friends who can't handle things I've said about Donald Trump. And I can't handle things that came out of Trump's mouth!!!  If he was anything resembling a descent person he wouldn't be this divisive!

A lesson I learned the hard way is that friendships like marriages are not always meant to last. Many just run their course and die naturally, while others end badly and extremely so!

The worst enemy I ever experienced, I met at age 40. This woman came on as if she was going to be my best friend in the world! She was encouraging and supportive to my face while I was knifed in the back and undermined at every opportunity by her. Never, was this person actually my friend, only someone pretending to be. Foolishly I made the mistake of trusting her and suffered serious consequences.

As for friends during my childhood, what I remember most about these early friendships is how draining they were. In elementary, it seems I was often friends with some tiny, female Donald Trump. These pint-sized Trumpettes would say really horrid below-the- belt things. I'd turn around and gave it back to them, then it was "BWAAAAH you hurt my feelings!!!  And "I" was a mean and terrible person.

Also there were the little Prima Donnas who for reasons known only to them, suddenly and mysteriously became mad at me. When I inquired as to the problem, I was hit with the ever popular, "If you don't know I'm not going to tell you!" Well I'm not a mind reader! And usually, it was nothing I did, only something they imagined I did.

Example:  I knew a pair of fraternal twins "Sarah & Sadie", equally different in personality as well as appearance, yet they were extremely close. Sarah was more my friend, she had a jolly disposition. Sadie was chronically sullen and so touchy you could offend her without even knowing it, which I did.

Sadie began scowling at me, refusing to speak as we passed in the school halls. This went on for a couple weeks. Then she recruited her sister. Now, I had both of them giving me dirty looks!

Finally, Sarah came to me and said, "I miss you and I don't want us being enemies anymore."

"Why were we enemies in the first place?" I demanded to know. "Because I don't have a clue!"

"Oh, Sadie said that you snubbed her in the hall 3 weeks ago by not saying "Hi" back to her.

Oh good grief! I honestly didn't remember any such incident. And if it bothered her to that extent, she should have confronted me. We could have ironed it out there and then! I explained that my mind was probably elsewhere and I didn't see her. Geez!!!

The following year, I became best friends with a new girl named "Carla". She happened to be involved in a bitter feud with another girl who lived 2 houses over from her. And worse, this girl was in our class that semester. Instantly, I was pulled into this mess and forced to deal with lots of ugly drama! Half-way thru the school year, the 2 of them made-up and became best buddies. I was left out in the cold, so much for my loyalty!

In High School, the word "frenemy" comes to mind. There was a plethora of these! Even those who didn't fall into that category quickly abandoned our friendship just as soon as they acquired a boyfriend. And when they were dumped, of course they wanted my shoulder to cry on! But when the next guy appeared, I was tossed aside and forgotten, again.

Just a few years ago, a close friend's ship to happily-ever-after came along and I was left discarded at the dock. Having this done to me at age 16 was one thing, but I never thought it would happen to me again, especially at age 60!

But I moved on. The majority of my current friends I met after the age of 60.

My 2 longest (lasting until death) friendships for 30 plus years were to Pat & Margaret. They were truly my stormy weather friends. Both ladies were my mother's age, but as completely unlike her as any 2 women can get. Perhaps that's what attracted me to them.

When a friendship starts to wane there are signs. Little cracks emerge. Sometimes they can be patched. But too often those become gullies, which morph into a chasm too wide to cross; still you're connected by a thread. Often, letting go feels good.

However when a friendship ends thru death it's more difficult to move on because no hard feelings are involved, I still think of and miss Margaret & Pat to this day.