This is my latest Kindle Ebook published. I am offering it for free for two days, October 17-19.  I would be thrilled if you would grab, read and review for me.

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

I am so excited these days to finally be motivated to publish all my writing.  Just posted another book, my fifth, on Amazon this morning.  This one is full of short writings, some humorous , some more opinionated than just opinion pieces.  However, it’s my book and it’s what I think and feel.  Two more books almost ready to publish–another book of short stories and a book of acrostic poems.  Still working on formatting them, but enjoying that process, also.  Hope you’ll read and review some of them.  They are all light reading and easy to pick up and put down in a hurry.

Reviews on Amazon are always appreciated.


The Bum


Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

Okay, okay. I hear ya. The bum IS a body part. Also named butt, rear end, fanny, fat a**, etc. Oh, right. Fat is not part of the name, even though that’s the way mine is described much too frequently.

First of all, thank you, Lord, for placing mine on the back of my body so I don’t have to suffer with looking at it every time I’m in front of a mirror. It’s bad enough to have the belly blob front and center.

Why do we have this cushion built into the rear and tail (another intended pun) end of our skeleton? Oh, come on, you sports fans. Can you imagine sitting on those hard bleachers and plopping down on them after standing to cheer without a derrierre? Oh, yes, that’s the fancy- schmancy word for our backside. Sporting events tickets would go unsold and teams would fold. If you’ve wondered why more big butt people are the fans, that’s why. They’re built for the bleachers. The athletes are trim and have almost zero bums, so they have to play the sports. They could never survive a couple hours sitting on the hard bleachers. These same broad sports butts delight in being Harley riders. They can easily withstand the hard pounding from the pavement. Low–riding jeans provide a constant showing of this body part on the bikes. So much for soothing eye therapy for drivers following these dudes and dudettes.

A physiological puzzlement on the bum is why is the skin temp there so much colder than elsewhere on your body? Couldn’t find one article on that on the internet. Can you believe it? My educated (stop laughing) guess is that there is just too much skin and blubber there to provide enough 98.6 degree warmed blood to the surface.

Why do little one’s butts get smacked when they are naughty or about to run in the street or touch something hot? Who was the first one to choose that spot? And yet, that very same spot gets a small pinch to show affection or sexual harassment? What gives here, anyway?

This very same area contains the exhaust pipe for the solid waste and odorous emissions coming from the gas-producing factory located within the body.

Another question for the students. Why is there such a long crack on these bottoms? Why is that necessary? What good is it? Is it broken? Is it a new way for those droopy-drawers fellas to salute, say hi, or insult you? Or just a way to check if they’re wearing underwear? Or if it’s clean underwear?

Probably just so we can identify a plumber when we need one. What do you think?

Weight is Weight

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

Weight is weight, folks, regardless of where it’s loaded or seated.

A recent flight had me scratching my head in wonderment. To check my bag, they charged me an extra twenty-five dollars($25).  The weight of my bag exceeded fifty (50) pounds, so I would be charged an extra twenty-five dollars ($25) for each leg of the trip.  I was offered the opportunity to remove the extra ten (10) pounds of weight from my bag and store it in my carry-on bag or purse.

Isn’t that extra weight still on this plane?

To avoid this extra charge of checking a bag, more people opt to use only a carry-on bag, a very large personal bag and large purse. All are acceptable and without extra fees. However, all must be stowed in the overhead compartments or under the seat in front of you.

Herein lies the new problem.

When the overhead compartments are crammed full and closed, extra carry-on pieces must be taken to the front of the plane to be tagged and stored below.  No extra charge for these “no-more-room” pieces of luggage.  Isn’t this weight still onboard?  How fair is it to the people who checked in their standard size bags and paid the twenty-five dollar fee?

There’s always a way to beat the system for awhile.  I feel certain the airlines will realize this soon and fix the problem by charging a fee for all carry-on luggage, also.

The way to avoid that problem is to wear all the clothes you planned to pack inside your luggage.  No bags to store onboard or be charged fees.  Voila!

Now for the seat inequities.

Each passenger pays for a seat on the plane.  Many receive only a partial seat to sit in and that’s not even comfortable.  If you’ve been unlucky enough to sit next to an overweight person on a flight, you’ll realize quickly that they enjoy a large portion of the seat you purchased.  If we both paid for one seat, why are they allowed half of mine?  Without a doubt, most of the multi-seat users will hurry to lift the seat arm dividing the spaces so they can literally settle and spread out over the larger area they need.

On a recent flight, I was occupying an aisle seat.  The gentleman in the center seat next to me was much too large to sit comfortably in the small space allotted.  He was so large that his arms stayed out from his sides at a thirty degree angle from his body.  This position kept his left arm and elbow firming planted between my cleavage the entire flight, effectively trapping me in the seat more efficiently than the seatbelt crossing my lap. Did I mention that part of his body sat on my hip and thigh the entire trip, also?

Do you see a problem here?

Why must I pay twenty-five dollars ($25) for the less than fifty (50) pound bag that I checked and these larger-than-life passengers pay the same rate for their seat as I do? And then they use part of my seat, too.  They’re getting all that extra weight loaded on board for free and I’m being punished. The airlines must run their organizations like our justice system, but that’s a different story for another time.

How about setting a maximum weight for each passenger? Everyone weighs in with their luggage and all carry-on bags and purses. The skinny people can haul along most of their closet’s contents and the chunks are pretty much stuck with a change of underwear and a toothbrush.

For the airlines to receive the same money they obviously want for the number of seats, I have a solution.  In a three-seat-across configuration on a plane, have only two wider seats.  Make the fatties sit there and pay for one and a half seat fares.  Those two seats would garner the same monies as three of the smaller, regular-size seats.

How should the airlines determine who has to purchase these extra-wide seats?  Place full partitions, instead of arms between the seats.  When the big boys and big girls can’t fit all their cheeks between the partitions and no seat belt extensions available, they’ll come looking for relief.  It’s time they were made to sacrifice a little.

I’m really very tired of arriving at my destination with a bruised, painful and numb hip and thigh that had a great deal of someone’s heavy fat resting on it for hours.

I won’t even go into the unpleasantness of their derrieres brushing against my face when they get up to go to the bathroom.

Maybe they should be required to fly on Jumbo Jets.

A Day’s Walk In My Size Eight’s

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

I just challenged my writing partner to write about a day in our lives.  Below is a typical day in mine.

Some days I smell the coffee brewing. Some days it’s the weak bladder screaming, “get up or you’ll be layin’ in a puddle, lady.” Whatever signal wakes me and forces me to stagger out of bed, you can be sure it’s still dark out, my arthritis forces me to walk like a 100 year old woman, and I’ll be groggy as a drunk on a two day binge for another hour or two.

After the relief in the bathroom, my teeth get freshly scrubbed so the coffee won’t taste like the bottom of a dirty garbage can. Now, the first chore is ready to be tackled. Step on the scale and, more often than not, utter the first few curse words of the day. Whoever invented the scale hated his wife, hoarded evil in his soul, and surely had a death wish. If I ever meet up with him, I might just oblige.

Now I’m off to my hubby’s office on the far side of the house. This is always the start of the best parts of my day. As I enter through the doorway, he hears me and literally hops out of his computer chair to hug me close and tell me he loves me for the first of many times each day. He feels so warm and snuggly. If I couldn’t smell the coffee brewing that he got up early to have ready for me, I might stay here for another hour or two. However, that first ‘cuppa’ must have some voodoo in it cause I need it like a druggie needs that fix after a long, dry spell. Off I hustle to my cozy little office.

Plopped down on my loveseat recliner with feet up, laptop on my lap warming up both its internet and my lap, I await the rescue. Aha. Here comes the cavalry. My hubby arrives with my coffee laced with Italian Sweet Cream. Life just got a whole lot better. Between the coffee and another kiss, this queen is one happy and contented old fogie.

Checking into all my regular writing sites, email, and family Facebook pages is the norm for this mandatory morning routine. My knight rides in on his white horse once more to refill my coffee mug. Every queen’s subjects should be this attentive.

“Hey, honey, you ready to get in the hot tub?”

Is Santa Claus fat and wear a red suit? When wouldn’t I be ready? That warm water soaking and bubbling gets my bones and joints pretending to be younger than they are. Walking and moving become less torturous after thirty minutes or so.

“Be right there.”

“Where should we go today, sweetheart?”

This is the standard question from my hubby after hot tub duty and breakfast. I think I’ve neglected to mention I’m married to a go-go boy. A stay-at-home day to him is like a prison sentence. I’ve learned to sneak in laundry, cleaning, meal prep, etc., in between car trips. One of my wifely duties is to maintain a list of different and unusual places to go or do to entertain him. We know every city, county, state park intimately, as our cameras have recorded them on a regular basis. Now we are revisiting during different seasons. This is not an easy thing to do here in Florida when most everything appears the same year round.

Since I’ve located and provided the morning’s entertainment, I am treated to lunch out. Sounds quite fair to me. No cooking and no clean up.

The garage door closes and into the house we go. We both head for our individual office spaces and preview the photos obtained on the morning ‘shoot.’ Later, we watch each other’s contributions and continue to marvel at the fact that we take pictures of the same things but always come up with different shots. Don’t we see the same things? Obviously, not.

What’s next, you say? Of course, put the coffee on, right?

Coffee on our lanai in front of the fire pit. We’re in the middle of a cold spell right now, in the sixties. Sorry, northerners, I couldn’t resist that.

Wandering around our porch admiring our newly assembled cactus garden provides much pleasure.

Nap time arrives for the oldsters and then back to the porch for margarita time and happy hour.

Homemade soups or a fruit plate are almost always on the dinner menu as we try to eat light in the evening.

We enjoy watching a couple episodes of old TV series on Netflix accompanied with a snack of ice cream. Then we’re off to read in our bedroom recliners. My sweetie always gives up the ghost first and starts to nod off. Even if I’m still not sleepy, I join him. Those bed-time hugs are just too precious to miss.

Goodnight and thanks for tagging along with me today.

Yesterday’s Trash

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

Why are grandparents tossed aside like yesterday’s trash and treated like items of no worth by their grown grandchildren? Are our stories and life histories so uninteresting and without value as to make us invisible to the following generations?

Talking with many elderly on this subject finds common themes.

Most grandchildren rarely say thank you for anything. Any kindness or gift seems to be expected, accepted, and never enough.

Emails are not answered, text messages only occasionally answered with one short sentence or phrase.

When a rare thank-you is offered, it is an impersonal message posted to a Facebook page or tweeted on Twitter.

A contact rarely generates a return message so you eventually give up. You make it easier on them to ignore you. Sadly, they don’t even notice.

There seems to be no interest or concern if you are well, happy, busy, or even alive. At least, the wealthy people still hear from their grandchildren from time to time on the off chance they might be in the will. That should be a joke, but it’s not funny if you’re a grandparent.

No time spent with the old people seems to be their common theme song.

These same grandchildren travel locally, they travel out of town, they vacation. Even though, in the past, the grandparents have traveled frequently and often to visit them and participate in some of their activities, the grown grandchildren never plan a visit to an aging grandparent.

Why would I want to see my grandparents? How much fun could that be? How long do I have to stay?

The underlying theme here is what? It’s all about THEM. There is not a thought about how happy it would make a grandparent to be noticed. Not cherished, but just noticed.

It seems the road to a relationship is a one-way highway.

Many of we oldsters have lived different work lives, traveled to unusual places, manage several different hobbies and learned many a lesson the hard way. We may forget and repeat some of those stories occasionally, but we still have much to offer the younger generations in wisdom, support, and unconditional affection. We would love to be their cheerleaders when life is treating them well and the soft shoulders and ears to listen when they need comforting or advice.

But they’ve decided we’re unimportant and expendable. We won’t even be missed when we’re gone.

Literary Terrorists

I recently read an essay penned by a friend, who was irritated with other readers aka writers urging her to admit the amount of her fiction that is biographical. In the next breath, it would be a criticism to NOT write stories of self. According to their convoluted thinking, this would then be considered a journal and not fine literature. These ‘pushers’ are continuously pushing to force you to do what they want, think what they think, write what they write or write what they think you should write. These ‘literary terrorists’ are like paparazzi in that they want to know EVERYTHING about you and then add some ‘made up’ stuff to that. They are the same people that have to know exactly what you paid for every thing you buy and what color underwear you’re wearing. When they push for the private information, it would be wise to ask them, “who hired you to write my biography?”

Fiction is fiction, folks. Of course, all writing has some triggers from a writers past. But it might be no more than a story heard in passing or a TV show. It doesn’t mean that Sugar the scribe was raped in the back of the cab just because her fiction mystery contains that scene. Neither did she kill the neighbor’s dog, Skippy, just because the dog was poisoned in her last novel.

Get real, writer reviewers, and while you are at it, get some manners. No author owes you the story of her life, not even snippets, unless that is what she chooses.

Back to the self-stories being considered a journal and not fine literature. Now that rankles. I had a similar barb stuck under my bra strap by one of those critics recently, too. Who makes the rules as to what is fine literature? Obviously, to those who feel they have reached that pinnacle with their offerings, fine literature is what they write and journals or hen scratching is what the others write.

Last I heard, writing is writing. It can be a poem, short story, book, script, love letter, or a grocery list. How fine it is will be determined by the reader. Readers have a wide variety of likes and dislikes. What some will choose to read on a daily basis becomes for other readers the back-up plan for the bathroom toilet paper supply. Others choose to read what would obviously be a Rip Van Winkle-type-life-long-nap to an insomniac over what another might read over and over because they just enjoyed the hell out of it.

Like it or leave it. Leave the author alone. She’s not digging in your pockets. Stay out of hers.

Grow Your Own Food or Not

A recent posting of a friend and fellow writer asked what you would do if you were Empress of the World. She laid out a plan with five initial suggestions that over time would create world harmony. One of the suggestions was for all peoples to be involved in food production as world peace would be easier to achieve if there were no empty bellies. I’ll go with that. When I’m hungry and have to start thinking about what to cook for dinner, I can be bitchy.

Now, if I’ll need to start foraging for and/or start producing my own food supply, I have several questions for the masses. I’ll search the internet later today for some tips to get started.

1. How do you grow ‘potato chips’ and ‘cheezits’? How often do they need watering?
2. Where do you go to buy some ‘brownie seeds’?
3. How long does it take to grow an ‘apple’ tree? Will I have apples by springtime?
4. Do I need special fertilizer for ‘rib eye’ steaks or will just regular fertilizer do for both ‘rib eye’ steaks and ‘ground beef’?
5. Is there a special tracking system I can hang around the squirrels’ necks to be able to locate the nuts they’ve ‘squirreled away’ for the winter. (Yes, that was an intentional pun.) If I locate and confiscate their nuts, am I obligated by law or common courtesy to share my other food with them?
6. What is the “command” I need to know to order my chicken to lay an egg? Is there a different command for male chickens?
7. If my kids don’t want to eat any green vegetables, what do I add to the soil to make them a different color?
8. How long do I have to position my cow in front of the open freezer door for the milk to get cold?
9. Will I only be able to grow ice cream if I live in Alaska?

This all sounds like a lot to learn and entirely too much work. You might not realize it, but I’m a city girl and these things just don’t come naturally to me.

Think I’ll just order from Amazon prime. Dinner will be here in two days.