DANDYLION

The other day a friend posted how her husband hadn’t wanted the puppy they got, but is now in love with it. It reminded me of the first cat my kids had.

DANDYLION

Since I was five years old, I’ve had a pet in the house. Cats, dogs, hamsters, a wild rabbit, bird. You name it, we had it. Of course the most common were the cats and dogs.

When I got married, one of the first ‘rules’ my husband made was, “There will be no cats in this house.”

That lasted until our oldest daughter was about two (and her big brother was almost seven). Her daddy was standing at the bathroom sink shaving when she came walking into the mobile home with her little hands cupped in front of her. (I’m not sure who helped her up the steps and into the house – not me.) She looked up at her daddy, “I want kitty, Daddy. Can I?” There in her hands was a tiny ball of beige fur that didn’t even have its eyes open yet.

Now we all know how daddies are about their baby girls. About eight weeks later, Dandylion came to live with us.

The first night, I’m not sure whether the cat wore the kids out or the kids wore the cat out, but after the kids went to bed, I missed the cat. My husband was sitting on the couch reading the newspaper, and I asked, “Did the kids take that cat to bed with them?” “No.” I went over to the couch and there nestled in the crook of the elbow of Mr. “There will be no cats in this house,” was that little ball of beige fur sound asleep.

Dandy grew up to be one of the most beautiful cats I’ve ever seen. He was the tawny gold of a cougar with eyes the same color as his fur.

Unlike a lot of cats, Dandy loved to ride in the car. Open the car door and Dandy was in the back window.

We had him for about six years until he got into some poison some way. He was the first of four cats my kids had while their father and I were married.

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Rant

“If I could give this book negative stars, I would. I’ve never read such a misogynist m/m romance in my life. The characters call women who go to drag queen shows “skanks” repeatedly and tell them they’re not welcome there repeatedly. I was willing to carry on even though I was pissed, but a couple chapters on and the characters were still bringing up “the skanks” who dared to go to a drag queen show.

I’m pretty sure the people who are putting on drag shows want as many people as possible to attend. Drag shows aren’t just for gay dudes.

The woman who wrote this book (a self-professed “Christian” great grandmother according to her description on Goodreads) clearly hates women. Hard pass for me. She’s on my blacklist. I don’t support misogynists. Good luck finding your very slim target audience of people who love m/m and hate women.”

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I’ve been thinking about this review ever since I read it.

Obviously the reviewer cannot separate the author from the character. It was the characters who called the bachlorettes  who have their parties at gay bars (not just any women who attend drag shows) ‘skanks’. The gay men I know complain often about the behavior of women at these parties. The men go to a gay ‘bar’ (not a drag show) to be with other gay men. These women invade their territory and act like they belong there. They seem to think the gay men present are there for their pleasure.

As to the term ‘skanks’, that’s one of the milder names I’ve heard my friends call them.

BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND FREEBIE

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Tom is 23 and has been disowned by his father. Ken is 48, and after losing his partner of twenty-five years two years ago, is starting to think about finding someone to spend the rest of his life with. When they meet, each worries about the age difference. They first become friends, and over time, they find their common interests overshadow the age problem. Tom moves in with Ken and over Christmas learns what a loving family means.

_________________________________________

Two weeks later, Ken pulled into Tom’s parking lot after the game and killed the engine. “Did you have a good time tonight?” “I did. Thanks for introducing me to a great bunch of guys.” Ken tilted his head to one side and frowned. “What’s that look for?” Tom asked. “Got something on your mind?” Ken took a deep breath. “I was just wondering what you’d do if I kissed you good night.” His heart beat a little faster in anticipation of Tom’s answer. “Uh….” Tom ducked his head and knitted his brows together. “I guess there’s only one way to find out.” He raised his head and looked at Ken.

River City Chronicles – Review

“Everyone in the River City has a secret, and sooner or later secrets always come out.
A group of strangers meets at Ragazzi, an Italian restaurant, for a cooking lesson that will change them all. They quickly become intertwined in each other’s lives, and a bit of magic touches each of them.
Meet Dave, the consultant who lost his partner; Matteo and Diego, the couple who run the restaurant; recently-widowed Carmelina; Marcos, a web designer getting too old for hook-ups; Ben, a trans author writing the Great American Novel; teenager Marissa, kicked out for being bi; and Sam and Brad, a May-September couple who would never have gotten together without a little magic of their own.”

  • * * *

I started reading River City when the author was serializing it on his blog, but decided to wait until the book was complete. I’m glad I did.

I was worried that it would be difficult to follow so many main characters and plots without getting confused. I’m happy to say it was easy to follow. The way the lives of the characters and the various plots are woven together is the way life is. Admittedly, some of the plot twists were predictable, but not to the point of causing me to lose interest.

One thing I liked was the ‘cast of characters’ in the beginning. That used to be common practice, but is rare today. When I read the names, the fact that some were listed as ‘deceased’ made me wonder, but it became clear as I read the book.

One of the best scenes, in my opinion, was Carmelina’s disastrous dinner party. It was a ROFL moment.

This book is heartwarming, sad, funny, and happy. An author’s job is to hold the attention of the reader and make them feel. Mr. Coatsworth has done a good job.

 

“Silver is seventeen and lives with two younger runaways in a house in Key Largo. He has a gift that makes it possible for the three of them to stay afloat in an America where being openly LGBT means death. Evan White, a consultant for the Miami Police Department, also has a special talent, one that threatens Silver’s safety.

An act of bravado and desperation by Silver brings him to Evan’s attention, forcing them both on a path that will send them hurtling across several state lines and ultimately offer them the chance to alter the course of history. Their lives are on the line, but the possibility to at last be who they really are, without fear, is tantalizingly close. Will Silver and Evan have the courage to do what’s necessary? ”

First off, let me say I adore this author. His books are always well-written and hold the reader in thrall from beginning to end. And Queer Justice is no exception. I stayed up way past my normal bedtime to finish it.

The time is in the not so distant future and many of the things being feared today have come to pass. LGBT laws have been overturned, and being LGBT is punishable by death with no trial. Except for the ‘special’ talents of the characters, I can see this becoming reality.

Do I condone the ending? I’m not sure. I can understand it. And, yes, it can be argued it was the only way.

 

The Splinter and the Tilt O Whirl

Now I know you’re going to ask what a splinter has to do with a Tilt O Whirl. As I near the three-quarter of a century mark, things from my younger days often pop into my head from something that happens or something someone says. The pain from the shot I got last week made me think of an incident from the summer I was either twelve or thirteen.

It was either the first or second year I was in the saddle club, and a group rented a school bus and went up to Sidney, Iowa to the annual rodeo. There was a carnival on the rodeo grounds also. Now my favorite carnival rides have always been the Tilt O Whirl and the Scrambler, and I wanted to ride the Tilt O Whirl. My mother wouldn’t let me ride alone, and no one would ride with me. Like a typical twelve or thirteen-year-old, I was pouting.

A group of us went over to the corral where they kept the bucking horses. I immediately climbed on the wood fence and ran a HUGE splinter under the fingernail of my left index finger. By huge, that thing was almost 1/4” long and close to 1/8” wide. AND IT HURT!

Of course, no one had a needle to try to get it out. So Dave Hull – who was in his mid-twenties and on whom I had a gigantic crush – pulled out his pocket knife, ran the blade through the fire of his cigarette lighter and prepared to remove the splinter.

His fiancé, Jean Ann, handed me a coin purse and told me to bite down on it. It was one of those plastic coin purses that was clear on one side and black on the other. I bit.

Dave cautioned me to hold my hand still. I mean, his pocket knife wasn’t sharp enough to cut my finger off, but it could have caused some damage if it slipped.

When the splinter was finally gone, I took the coin purse out of my mouth. I had bitten down on it all right – I hadn’t quite bitten a piece off, but there were holes through both layers of plastic.

But, I DIDN’T CRY!

When it was all over, Dave took me for a ride on the Tilt O Whirl since I had been so brave and not cried.

  • * * *

I only remember one other thing about that trip. Johnny Treadway was sitting in the middle of the back seat of the bus and had those long legs of his stretched up the isle of the bus.

Memories

 Image may contain: snow and outdoor

I know the picture isn’t from 1961 – but we didn’t have cameras like we do now.

CHRISTMAS 1961

Sometimes something someone says will trigger an ancient memory. That is what happened last week and I decided to write it down. Someday my kids may enjoy some of these memories.

  • * * *

I was eighteen and newly married. Got married in June and my parents divorced in early December.

My mother had moved to Kansas City and my husband and I lived in a mobile home court halfway between Riverside and Parkville – just north of Kansas City.

Now my home town was Trenton, Missouri which is approximately on hundred miles northeast of Kansas City, and my husband’s parents lived in Macon, Missouri which is about one hundred, fifty miles northeast of Kansas City, but more east than north. The first leg to get to either one is north on I-35 to Cameron. Then a little farther north to Trenton, but turn east to Macon at Cameron.

Christmas that year was on Monday, and my husband and I were going to Macon to spend it with his parents.

My mother was going to Trenton to be with my grandmother.

Friday morning, they forecast snow, but not much.

When Mother left Kansas City about 2 o’clock Friday afternoon it was snowing lightly.

Saturday morning, my husband and I headed for Macon. We got about twenty-five miles on I-35 to where 69 Highway goes to Excelsior Springs and were met by the Highway Patrol who told us we couldn’t go any farther on I-35 because there were about two hundred cars and trucks (including semis) in drifts between there and Cameron.

I never gave a thought to my mother. After all, she left early Friday afternoon.

We took another route to Macon and spent Saturday night, Sunday, and Christmas morning not even thinking about the snow storm.

Now this was before everyone had a cell phone and could call whenever and wherever they were. You also had to pay to call long distance.

In the middle of the afternoon Monday, I got a call from a strange man. He told me he was an OTR truck driver and my mother knew he was coming through Macon and wanted him to call and tell me she was okay. They had just spent three days with about sixty other people in a small tavern just outside of Cameron.

  • * * *

Mother’s story

Like I said, mother left Kansas City about two o’clock Friday in a light snow. She was driving a 1960 Ford Galaxy. Nice heavy car. She stopped at Liberty for gas and there was a car full of teenaged boys. One was an old boyfriend of mine who told his companions, “I’m going to ride with Mrs. Crawford so she won’t be by herself in the snow.”

They got just past the Excelsior Springs junction, and were stopped. I’m not sure if they got stuck in a drift, or if the car stalled. A couple stopped and picked them up and they continued toward Cameron.

About three miles before Cameron, their car also got stalled. They made it to this little tavern. (I was never sure exactly where the tavern was, but I think there was a junction or intersection or something.)

The tavern owner had gone into Cameron for supplies leaving his pregnant wife and nine-month-old baby when all of these people sought shelter.

The only food in the place was the shrimp the tavern served every Friday night. Of course, they had plenty of alcohol.

One of the semis was carrying oranges from Florida, and the driver broke the seal on the trailer and they had oranges.

In addition to the tavern owners’ baby, there were two more babies in diapers. Twins who were traveling with their father to meet up with their mother for Christmas. Of course, this was before disposable diapers. Mother said they had diapers draped all over the place drying.

  • * * *

The thing that made me most upset:

My mother and I wore the same size clothes. She had borrowed a dress from me. It was a turquoise wool and was one of my favorites. Needless to say, it was completely ruined.

http://www.newspressnow.com/news/reverse-snow-day-students-were-stuck-in-blizzard/article_b7e6e8d7-ee90-597b-b2c9-34fae21ca0b0.html