The first story I sent him to read got the following response:

YOU WIN!!!!!

My story (stories) aren't nearly as interesting as that one.  It seems physical descriptions don't mean much online. I was on the computer working one night and got an IM. Well, being the nice person I think I am, I responded.  She told me she read my ad and saw me on line and wanted to talk. My thought was "how did she know I was online?" We chatted for a couple of hours. Needless to say I didn't finish what I was doing, but we seem to hit it off real well.

She even sent me a picture. Well, it wasn't a real clear picture and she was in a chair.  I could see a pretty smile and she looked nice. For weeks we chatted online. She even found my phone number and called (several times). After about 2 months of chatting I mentioned I was going to be at FloraBama for the Mullet toss. I told her I was there with one of my buddies from Montgomery and where we were staying. I didn't think anything about it. 

Well, my buddy and I had been at FloraBama most of the day. Needless to say we were pretty tore up. We went back to the room about midnight. At about 1 a.m. the phone rang. My buddy answered it and it was the front desk telling him someone was there to see me and wanted to talk to me. I had no clue who it was, but had no desire to talk to anyone, so I told him to find out who it was. It was her and her friend. I told my buddy to tell them I was drunk and passed out. They wanted to go out. No way I was going, so Jim said he would. He's a real trooper. 

They came up to the room to get him. It was dark and I was pretending to be asleep. My God, when she walked in she could have blocked the sun. I'm a kinda big guy, 6'3" 220#'s and I think she weighted more than me. I still pretended to be asleep and they left to go out. About 5 a.m. they stumbled back in the room. I still acted like I was passed out (wish I was). Well she proceeds to take her clothes off and climb in to bed. I didn't move. I'm not sure I even breathed. I didn't want a muscle to move. All I could feel was this big body next to me in bed.

Usually I am very friendly and a real morning person. I got up at 6:00 and couldn't think of enough excuses to get out of there. My buddy was thinking this was the funniest thing he had ever seen. He knows what type women I like and she wasn't one of them. But he kept dragging and it took forever to leave. I apologized for being "hungover" and left at about 7:30 cussing my friend as he laughed his head off. 

Well, she continued to call and email me wanting to see me again. I finally learned how to screen people. She would go to AOL profiles and see I was on line and IM me. It was like being stalked online. It has been several weeks since I last chatted with her, but she still IM's me and I ignore it. I hate doing that, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I assure you, I had NO broken heart. I was just glad I didn't get any broken bones.


Back when online dating first became the newest craze for gluttons for punishment and eternal optimists, about every 6 months or so I'd put an ad on one of the many dating sites that promised to help a person meet their soul mate.  I used to call it "trolling" because I felt like I was dragging my line slowly through the water waiting to see what bites. Over a period of time I tried all the better known, reputable dating sites, if there really are any and probably a few of the sleazy sites as well. Each time I posted an ad what ensued was like repeatedly banging my head against a brick wall and you know what they say the definition of insanity is...doing the same thing over and over again and each time expecting a different result. Each time I posted an ad I always promised myself I'd never do it again. Ha! Isn't that what a drunk says after tying on a good one and having the hangover from Hell? Okay, so I'm insane, a psycho, a lunatic and mix that with having a very hard head what you get is an expansive list of online dating experiences.   In the process of my online search for Mr. Right many times I felt it was the technological equivalent of Looking For Mr. Goodbar. 

The next five blog posts are stories shared between a man and I as we lamented over how our respective searches never came close to getting a decent hit and if we got on base, it was only as a result of being thrown some horrible pitches or some cosmic fluke.  We chatted with each other laughing out loud on many occasions and we formed a strange bond through the stories we exchanged via email.  We never met each other...I think we wanted to keep each in a perpetual state of perfection by never meeting.  The 1st story I shared with my mystery man wasn't about someone who had responded to one of my ads, but was a man I had contacted as a result of his online ad. 
Internet Story #1

Actually, I responded to this gentlemen’s ad online. The words he had written tugged at my heart and I felt almost duty bound to respond. After e-mailing and talking on the phone for several weeks, one Saturday evening about 6:30 p.m. he called me and asked me out to dinner. I explained I had been cleaning house all day, hadn’t even had a shower yet and was worn out. He said it didn’t matter and to just throw a pair of jeans on and we’d have casual dinner. Although it was on the spur of the moment, I love spontaneity, so I accepted with the stipulation he had to give me at least an hour to get ready. His drive to pick me up would be at least that long, so he said that wouldn’t be a problem.

As he drove, he called me on his cell phone a few times with the last time being about 10 minutes from my house. We talked until he arrived at my place. During this last conversation he told me he was allergic to strawberries and had inadvertently consumed some in a drink the day before and had broken out in a rash. This was not a problem and I asked him out of concern about the allergy and how he treated the rash. He also, at this point mentioned that his office staff referred to him as looking like a retired football player. That certainly wasn’t a problem. That just meant he was a rugged man. Well, let me tell you that when he got out of his car I almost fell over. If it had been daylight, he would have blocked out the sun!

When Jimmy Johnson was the coach for the Dallas Cowboys, he had a thing for BIG men on his offensive line.....somewhere in the neighborhood of 350lbs each. This guy made them look tiny!!!!! Okay, I’m not into looks and knew I could handle sitting through dinner with this man so his size was unimportant, but when we went inside the restaurant and I saw his allergic reaction, I lost my appetite. I’m no doctor, but whatever was all over his skin was more than one day old. It was scaly patches covering all visible skin with some of the patches having scabs. Not to sound gross, but some patches had scabs that were open and looked like they were oozing. Now, being the type of person I am I could have handled his skin problem and the fact that anything I had done, he had done better, but as he sat through dinner telling me what I should and shouldn’t do with my poor dismal life, he suddenly transformed from a very sweet, compassionate person I had gotten to know on the phone to an overbearing, egotistical asshole.

I quickly got to the point where I just wanted to get through dinner and go home, but he had other ideas. He prolonged the agony by insisting on dessert which included showing me a portfolio of pictures of his ex-wife he still had in his wallet. He took extreme pride in pointing out how good she looked in a bikini. I sat in amazement wondering how much more I could tolerate when he started telling me he couldn’t stay out late because he had to fly out to DC early that next morning to testify before the Congress or Senate on some subject. At that point I was so tone deaf, I really couldn’t do anything more than try to imagine this HUGE OOZING male sitting in front of nation's leaders speaking about anything. I smiled and told him I'd make sure I turned my TV to CSPAN in the morning so I could watch him testify. Needless to say, he never appeared on TV and I never got asked out for a second date. As broken hearted as I was, I managed to pull myself together and struggle onward to be captivated by the next perfect man.

I waited in breathless anticipation to read his first story secretly hoping that his story would be so horrific that it'd make me forget all about my own escapades as a freak magnet.


This week's Words For Wednesday are: boreal, rocky, tempest, lake, rising, breathe or  the phrase, "the summer rain washed her face with bitter tears".

A crisp, tempest wind rustles through the color splattered trees
And on each lake a lonesome loon awaits a warmer summer breeze
The salty, boreal air tiptoes across the once warm, sunlit rocky shores
While the equinox signals summer’s end and opens autumn’s doors. 

Reds and yellows replace the once lush foliage greens
And once again we start our plans for a season that redeems
With each rising sun cooler days have silently begun to emerge
Now the summer’s passing and a frigid transformation will converge.

The seasons come and they will go, each has beauty of its own
The artist who creates it all is more than just well known.
But autumn captures nature’s best with painted landscape hues
Like growing trees that bend and breathe we, too pay our seasonal dues.

Painted by yours truly!


How can I  ever leave the house without feeling guilty when I have these 3 beautiful faces giving me their best "Momma, please don't leave me" look?

B.A., Libby and Fenway


This week's Words For Wednesday beckoned me to write a story about a place where the line is a very fine one between what's real and what lags into the realm of mental illness. It's a shame in this day and age that mental illness still carries with it such a social stigma and that so many people feel the need to hide being "different" from everyone especially those closest to them for fear of being chemically restrained. 

This week's prompts are: fragmented, gravel, blistering, mundane, clairvoyant, grasshopper or the phrase, "incidentally yours". From those prompts I wrote the beginning of a fantasy filled story: Each night I awoke at precisely the same time. It had been happening for months and tonight was no exception. As I quickly opened my eyes wanting to catch what seemed just out of reach, I looked at the ornately carved antique clock on my nightstand. It told me what I already knew. Like each night before, it was precisely 3:15am. 3:15? Did that mean something? Could it mean 3/15, the Ides of March? Could it be that simple? Would something happen on March 15th?

My attention drifted from the clock back to the fragmented dream from which I awoke each night. Once again I saw a small girl digging in the gravel that had been used as a pathway throughout a beautifully landscaped English flower garden. Above her the birds were happily chattering away in the giant oak trees that outlined the space used for the garden. The girl kept busily digging and sifting through the gravel as if she was looking for one special stone. She stopped digging when a colorful dragonfly landed on the wicker basket she was filling with carefully selected pebbles.

She curiously gazed at the motionless dragonfly and reached out to touch it to see if it was real. When it spoke, it startled her and she dropped her hand tool. It told her to listen to the grasshopper because he was the wisest of all the garden creatures. She smiled and thanked the dragonfly as he flew away. What she had to do finally became crystal clear.

What her grandmother told her was true. She was different! She not only heard voices, but she saw things as well. Her grandmother had called her a clairvoyant and although she didn’t know what that word meant, she knew it distinguished her from everyone else. Her grandmother was certain she was marked for greatness and would help many people throughout her life. Her grandmother claimed the gift the little girl possessed would lift her above the mundane and the ordinary. It would allow her to not only hear the grasshopper, but to understand his message as well.

Before she could hunt for the elusive grasshopper, her mother came rushing out into the garden hollering at her for not wearing her hat. It was hot and she always removed her hat because she like how the sun felt on her face. But her mother was sure the sun would have a blistering effect on her fair skin without it. She scooped her up and scolded her all the way back into the house. The girl had reached out for her basket, but her mother kicked it aside scattering all the carefully selected pebbles back to where they had originally laid. Her important project would have to wait until tomorrow and hopefully the grasshopper would come find her to give her the message she was supposed to hear.

As they quickly walked past the large mirror in the front hallway on the way to get cleaned up from playing outside, the little girl was startled by what she saw. The reflection in the mirror was of a face she knew very well. It was that refection that had jarred me awake at precisely 3:15 each night. The face of the little girl was my face. I was the clairvoyant and yes, I was awaiting a message from the grasshopper. His was a voice I needed to hear even though my mother didn’t believe in such malarkey and poppycock. She said hearing voices was a sign of mental illness and had threatened to have the family doctor put me on some medication that would make the voices stop.


Daniel, the older of my two sons loved his little red wagon and found so many creative uses for it. One of its riskier uses was discovered by my friend Carol when she came to visit me one day. She had gone out into the backyard to see the boys while my daughter Christina was at school, but only found Matthew quietly playing with his trucks on the ground. Daniel's empty red wagon was next to the back fence under some trees. As she walked out into the back yard to look for Daniel, she heard him yelling, "Sky high!" What she discovered took her breath away. Daniel had positioned his red wagon under the lowest tree limb in the back yard and used that limb to hoist himself up into the tree where he had climbed to the very top. Carol wasn't really worried about him actually jumping out of the tree like he kept threatening to do. What worried her more than his threats was that he might lose his footing and fall out of the tree accidentally. After trying to coax him down from the tree and realizing she was getting nowhere, she came inside to get me so I could handle it. 

After getting him safely down and scolding him for climbing the tree, I got the saw from the shed and sawed off the limb flush with the trunk of the tree. I knew how little boys are and how they rarely followed directions the first time, so instead of having a repeat performance I decided it would save me some of my sanity by just cutting the limb from the tree. I know my boys always hated having a mother who could out think them and stay a few steps ahead of the game. Maybe being the youngest and only girl growing up gave me the head's up on what little boys were all about.

Not long after the SKY HIGH! incident, we moved into a larger house. One day while all the kids were outside playing in the backyard I was sitting inside enjoying a few minutes of solitude. All of a sudden I heard "thump, thump, thump" across the roof. It sounded like a giant squirrel had just run across the roof chasing a buffalo. As I looked up trying to figure out what the noise was, it happened again...thump, thump, thump. That time I got up and went outside to see where the noise was coming from and what was causing it. What I discovered on the roof wasn't a giant squirrel after all. It was a four year old who was in BIG trouble! Daniel had used the tree growing next to the house as a ladder to get up on the roof. In no uncertain terms, I told him to come down NOW! He knew he was in trouble and gave me his best "Oh Mom, I'm sorry" look. That look may have saved him from getting a spanking, but he did get punished and sent to his room so he could think about it. Over the next few weeks he pulled that same stunt a few more times which ended each time by getting a stern lecture about the dangers of falling and hurting himself.

The fourth time I caught him doing it, I was pissed! I snapped off a switch from the bush next to the back door as I steamed outside to get him down from that damn tree. When he saw me he knew he had pushed me too far that time and that his "Oh Mom, I'm sorry" look wasn't going to work. With a couple well placed whacks with the switch, I'm proud to say Daniel finally learned his lesson and never climbed that tree or any tree again. The only problem was that his replacement for tree climbing was even worse. For some reason, he decided to take up chasing snakes! I give up! Raising 2 boys is like raising 50 children! And now I have a legitimate reason for being crazy! Did I say I stayed a few steps ahead of them? Well, folks I lied!


When my children were in elementary school they attended school in Port St. Joe, a small village along the Redneck Riviera.  I have mixed feelings about my years there largely due to the way in which a single mother was too often viewed and treated.  If I hadn't been a strong woman I believe on many occasions I would have either been destroyed or defined by a particular event, yet I somehow always let those times strengthen me and broaden my horizons.  My children seemed to follow suit and learned at a young age how to use their heads.  I have to admit they always seemed to amaze me every step of the way and never disappointed me in how they always managed to shine even when shining wasn't what they should have done.

My youngest child, Matthew was a quite precocious.  He was always up for a good challenge so when he announced to me one day that he wanted to be in a PTA sponsored talent contest, it didn't surprise me.  My only question was what he was going to do for talent.  You see, although I have always thought my children were the brightest amongst all the stars, the Jackson 5 they were not.  Matthew simply told me he was going to be a comedian and that was the last I heard about it for several weeks.

Then one day Christina, his only sister and the oldest of my three children came rushing into the house as soon as she got off the school bus.  There in the doorway she stopped with her hands firmly planted on her hips.  She looked at me and said, "You aren't going to believe what your son did today!"  Uh oh!  There wasn't any "my brother" or "Matthew" about that moment he was my son and only my son so I knew he had done something pretty outstanding and probably something memorable.  She started telling me about the semi-finals for the talent contest that had been held earlier that afternoon in the school auditorium.  A panel of four teachers were appointed to select the best of the best who would compete in front of the families later that night.  All the fifth graders thought it was great because they were excused from class so they could watch the selection process.

When it came Matthew's turn, he sheepishly meandered up on stage.  Christina's friends all pointed out, "Hey, there's your little brother!"  Matthew took center stage and began his stand up comedy routine with the following joke:  What has a hundred teeth and guards the incredible hulk?  His punch line was "my zipper".  Immediately, the auditorium filled with laughter!  Now, it wasn't that he had told an inappropriate joke that embarrassed his sister.  It was the fact that all four of the teachers laughed at his joke.  With her hands still firmly planted on her hips she said with utter disgust, "And they laughed!"  Needless to say Matthew was not selected to perform in front of the families although I have to admit the night would have been more memorable if he had performed.

About that time Matthew came in the house.  Please tell me how does a mother explain to a 5 year old white version of Eddie Murphy what's appropriate and what's inappropriate?  How does one rip away the joy he must have felt from accomplishing what all comedians live to do?  After all he had accomplished his goal.  He got the audience to laugh!  All I asked him as he came in the house was if he had anything he wanted to tell me.  He stopped momentarily and thought for a second before getting a quizzical look on his face and simply told me,"No."  I left it at that and figured I'd address his choice and source of jokes another time. 


First, before everyone gets all excited, I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, but you never know which day will be your last and because of that I figured there's no time like the present to express my last wishes to my friends and family so everyone will be crystal clear on how I want my send off to be conducted.  

As in life, Mildred has to have her hand in everything so planning her own send off won't come as any surprise to anyone who knows her.  Great parties definitely have to be carefully organized and done to certain specifications.  But most importantly, Mildred wants to take any burden there might be from planning this little soiree from those who are grieving for her.  This way no one will have to try to figure out what to do, what not to do, what she likes and what she doesn't like.  They can just follow her directions and then enjoy being with the people she loves most in the world.  That way Mildred can take the love of her peeps with her as she embarks on her final adventure.

I want to be cremated and my daughter, Princess Mini-me or 'dearie darling' as I've always called her will keep my ashes until she takes me to Maine to scatter me over the designated spot in my old neighborhood.  The following is the strict code of conduct for my send off:

  1. There will absolutely be no formal funeral when I'm gone!  It's just not my style, so don't you dare make people dress up and feel more uncomfortable than they already are.  And if you have to pray for me, please do it on your time and not on mine.  Also, if you haven't sent me flowers while I was alive and could appreciate and enjoy them, don't waste your money on them now.  Take whatever money you were going to spend on flowers and donate it to a worthy charity of your choice.  If you need a suggestion, ask my family.
  2. No boring, sorrow-filled eulogies are allowed, but laughing and funny stories about me are a must.  I'm sure each of you can come up with a funny "Karen" story to share with each other.  If you can't think of any then get a few from my blog.  My life has been well documented by Mildred Ratched.  Thanks Mildred!
  3. Absolutely no crying is allowed!  No exceptions!
  4. No bitching about the music I selected is allowed!  No exceptions!
  5. If anyone bitches or cries they have to drink a Beam Me Up, Scotty or a shooter of their choice each time they bitch or cry.  No exceptions!
  6. Since my daughter isn't going to follow the no crying rule that means she's going to get extremely drunk and will need a wheel barrow to cart her around for the duration of this party (yes, I said party and it damn well better resemble an all out gala event and not a cry in your beer pity party.)
  7. Please do not let anyone put any *Devil Dust in my ashes or any other foreign substances.  I'm spicy enough without them!
  8. If Wacky Tobacky is legal at the time of my passing then by all means fire up a joint or two.
  9. If Wacky Tobacky is still illegal, I say to hell with it...Fire up a joint or two anyway!
  10. In the coming days after I'm gone, please don't act like so many families do and argue and push each other away.  You all need each other, so do the right thing and be the people I raised you to be.  Please remember me with as much love as I have for each one of you.  In death like it has been in life, it's that love I'm taking with me wherever I go.  I love you all more than mere words can ever express and I will be with you always.  Now, party on and give me a proper send off. 
    *Devil Dust is a nearly lethal combination of finely ground peppers including Ghost peppers, chile peppers and habanero peppers that I helped create for fools and gluttons for punishment.

List of music: (To be revised as the spirit moves me)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Eva Cassidy
Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin
Thank You by Led Zeppelin
As Long As I Can See The Light by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd
On The Turning Away by Pink Floyd
Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd
Moonlight Mile by The Rolling Stones
Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones
Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones
O-Bla-Di, O-Bla-Da by The Beatles
In My Life by The Beatles

With A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles
Yesterday by The Beatles
Imagine By John Lennon
With or Without You by U2
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
Dream On by Aerosmith
Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
Turn The Page by Metallica
Knockin' On Heaven's Door by Guns n Roses
Welcome To The Jungle by Guns n Roses
Candle In The Wind by Elton John
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me by Elton John
Sounds Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
Can't Find My Way Home by Blind Faith
All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix
Dust In The Wind by Kansas
And When I Die by Blood, Sweat & Tears

Into The Mystic by Van Morrison
Truckin' by The Grateful Dead
Amazing Graze (Bagpipe music)

Beam Me Up Scotty recipe (After a few of these you'll truly be ready for the transporter room)

3/4 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur
3/4 oz banana liqueur
3/4 oz Bailey's® Irish cream
      151 Bacardi Rum floated on top

In a shot glass (preferably a clean one) carefully add ALL the ingredients, in the order listed;
Layer each ingredient on top of the previous ingredient
then slam it down quickly all at once and SMILE...

In keeping with my Irish heritage, 3 days of merriment should be enough togetherness for everyone or until the last man/woman is standing whichever comes first (If Martha is amongst the ones waiting in line at the transporter room, no doubt she'll still be walking and talking and acting lewd and crude.  Nothing pleases me more than having friends I can rely upon!).  The location doesn't matter to me.  I'll let my kids haggle over that.  The food selection for my send off should be a pot luck affair where everyone brings something to share with everyone else.  I like parties like that because it makes it easier on everyone especially those people trying to plan for something like this and you get a wide variety of foods so even the pickiest eaters will be able to find something they like to eat.  I do have a special request...honey mustard chicken wings.  I know my son, Daniel will eat a ton in my honor.   Matthew, maybe you can drink a smoothie in my honor or sing me a song.  I know Kris would be up for some karaoke and would probably help you out by doing a duet with you. 

I hope this goes without saying, but if you have too much to drink, DO NOT DRIVE. Either stay where you are, call a taxi, have someone else drive you home or borrow my daughter's wheelbarrow.  I think I've covered just about everything and if I think of anything else I'll be coming back to edit this blog post often until I get it exactly to my liking....that may take awhile! 

If I should die before the rest of you,
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell.
But life goes on,
So…….. sing as well.

~Joyce Grenfell~