HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Buddhism quote: Everyone you ever met was your mother in a past life, or will become your mother in a future life.
Where Have I Been?
Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been around much these last few weeks. There's a reason for it and especially for this last week.
I have a what?
For three weeks, I've been plagued with what I thought was a cold or spring allergies. I seemed to be getting worse. What was my surprise that I was diagnosed with a sinus infection. Why was I surprised? Because I get so many, I know right away, but not this time. So by the time I started on anti-biotics, I was spending a great deal of time in bed again.
I'm finally getting better, but of course my mail and blogs to read are going to take quite a while. So if I haven't commented on yours, don't worry. I'm getting there.
This Last Week
I decided that I wasn't paying enough attention to my writing, so I tried something new and I liked it. From now on, one week out of the month, I will be ignoring most of everything else and concentrating on my writing and poetry. That's what I was doing this week.
Slow down muses
Once I got that idea, my muses took over and I was off and running. I wrote one new poem and part of another. I wrote great chunks in three of the many books I am working on. I spent a great deal of time with 'Always.' And thanks to Roger, I am now fiddling more with the cover.
A couple months ago, I discovered Squidoo - another writing source. It's been rather frustrating figuring out their how-to's and rules, but I've finally got it. Thus, I published two articles there - a longer article on Dodger, my puppy mill dog and a weekend challenge on grilling. My article, 'Becoming One with the Grill' "Achieving a state of Zen through outdoor cooking' came in the top 25 picks. Woo-hoo. You can see my articles on the right hand side here. Just click on them and they should take you there if you want to read them. I'm working on the next article now, a subject close to my heart.
I also got to guest post over at my friend Sallie Lundy-Frommer's blog, Yesterdays Daughter, where I wrote about Creativity and Versatility. Thank you so much, Sallie, for this opportunity.
I was inspired to write another Geraldina short story, and you will find that at the end of this post. I hope you like it. If you've never read one of my Gerry and her obnoxiously fat cat stories, well, let's just say she's the neighbor you hope you never have.
One good thing about being down in bed is I get uninterrupted reading. I have finally finished Book 2 by Mike Saxton, '7 Scorpions: Revolution' and I will be reviewing it next week.
I made this gi-normous list of things I wanted to accomplish, which of course, I was only able to do part of the list, thanks to my ill health. However, I was able to work on some more necklaces. I will be displaying my necklaces in a future blog.
(From How to Use a Tatting Shuttle, Wiki-how)
I got the bright idea to make a crocheted heart with tatted strands. The heart worked up in no time. The tatting? Well, it's been years since I've tatted. Good thing I was down in bed a lot. I got a lot of practice and I'm finally making the rings. For days all I produced were knots.
What about this coming week?
I'll be back on my normal schedule, so hopefully all of you will see more of me and my comments.
And now, for Geraldina:
The Rutabaga Pie Heist
The police car pulled up in front of 210 Sycamore Avenue Officer Clark turned off the sirens and opened the door about to exit when he realized the driver, his partner, Officer Jim was staring at the house, horror stricken and unable to move.
Clark had been with Jim for four years now, and never saw Jim look that way. They’d been in some tough situations and Jim was hero material straight from the definition of the word.
“Hey, Jim, buddy, what’s up? You’re scaring me. Do we need to call in more back up? What is this place? A hide-out for thieves? Drug-dealers? Gang members? You think it has something to do with the stolen rutabaga pies that Buddy called in?”
Jim, who didn’t dare take his eyes off the house, said in a shaky voice, “Oh,yes. I think this will solve the mystery of the missing pies. This, Clark, will be the most difficult day of your career, no matter what the future holds. Show no fear. Best get it over with.” Jim steeled himself to open the door, got out and walked with his head held high towards the house. Clark joined him, his hand on his holster, unsure what to expect.
Terrifying screams and gut-wrenching cries emitted from inside. Officer Clark gulped. ‘Who is being tortured so cruelly and why?’ he wondered.
Officer Jim walked staunchly to the door with a look of determination in his eyes, removed his cap, and rang the doorbell. Officer Clark moved off to the right with his Glock aimed at the door, ready to save the life of his partner and the poor unfortunate victim within.
The wailing continued, and Officer Clark could hear it getting louder as someone approached the door.
Once the door opened, Officer Jim softened his look, and said, “Mrs. Pottwatts, we had several reports of trouble at your home. Are you alright?” Officer Jim gulped and forced a smile on his face.
“Well, my Lard, if it isn’t little Jimmy boy. And my, haven’t you grown?” The woman’s voice took on a nasty tone when she saw Officer Clark. “What’s the matter with you, boy? Forgot all your manners, have you? You be polite and take that hat off when talkin’ to a proper lady.” Throwing her hands into the air, she yelled, “Lard help us with these disrespectful young uns.” Turning back to Officer Clark she said, “You point that thing elsewhere or your mamma will be getting’ a call right prompt.”
Immediately, Officer Clark holstered his weapon and removed his hat. “I apologize, Ma’am.”
“Much better. Lucky I didn’t smack you one for your disrespect.”
Officer Jim unconsciously ran a hand across his left cheek, as if remembering a past experience.
“Well, are ya goin’ ta help me or not? Don’t be dawdling. Come on, get in here.”
Officer Jim turned to his partner and motioned quickly to follow him inside. They walked behind Geraldina, who continued to sniff loudly, as she entered her kitchen.
Officer Clark set his hat down on her table and took out a pad of paper and pen. “Can you explain what happened?”
“You be getting’ that sweaty hat off my eatin’ table this instant, ya big galoot,” yelled Gerri. Turning to Jim, she asked, “Where’d ya find the nitwit?”
“Uh, Mrs. Pottwatts, he’s my partner and a good man too.”
“Whatever,” she answered, sniffing into a wad of Kleenex she had in her hand.
“I apologize, ma’am. Now, if you could just tell us what happened here?” Officer Clark looked questioningly around the room. So far, nothing seemed out of order in this pristine museum-like home.
“Young un, you blind or what? They kidnapped my baby!” Geraldina cried loudly.
“Do you have any pictures of the missing child? Do you think it’s related to the stolen rutabaga pies from down the street?” asked Officer Clark.
“You are a slow one, aren’t ya?” said Gerry. Throwing her hands into the air, she yelled, “Why, Lard, why? In my most needed time of help, why would you send me Little Jimmy and someone with not a brain in that oversized head of his?” Glaring at Officer Clark, she said, “Look at all these pictures. I don’t see how you can’t see them. As for those pies, no doubt a good neighbor destroyed them before Shirley could enter them in another bake-off. She only wins, you know, because the pastor takes pity on her terrible baking. Everyone knows I should win every year with my creamed prune pies.”
“Please calm down, ma’am,” said Officer Clark. “Just show us a picture so we can get on with our work.”
Meanwhile, Officer Jim was staring at a photo of Gerry and Snookums Doodles. The cat hadn’t changed over the years, except to get fatter.
“Oh, you are a dumb one, for sure. Just look around, Sonny.” Gerry grabbed another handful of Kleenexes and sniffled into them.
As Officer Clark looked around the room, he noticed the walls were covered with pictures of a large squishy stuffed animal.
“Do you have one that shows the baby alone? I can’t see past that huge stuffed cat,” said Officer Clark.
Gerri looked as if she were going to attack the officer and started to walk towards him.
Officer Jim cleared his throat, held out his hand to stop Gerri, and in a whisper out the side of his mouth, he said, “That is her baby. It’s a cat.”
“What?” yelled Officer Clark. He walked closer to one picture and noticed the greatly overweight cat with a grumpy face staring at him. Officer Clark shivered.
In a professional voice, Officer Jim said, “I’ll take it from here, Officer Clark. Mrs. Pottwatts, please try your best to give us the details. Can you think of anyone who would want to take your cat?”
Gerry’s tears ran down her face. “Two mornings ago, I realized Snookums Doodles was not in his bed. I looked everywhere for my sweetums, but he was gone. I waited and worried all day, got no sleep at night frettin’ what had happened to him. I called all the neighbors. Nobody’s seen him. Only explanation has to be someone done stole him. No doubt because he’s such a gorgeous animal. He’s been losing weight, you see. The vet said Snookums has gotten too big and it wasn’t healthy, so I put him on a diet. Oh, he didn’t like it much, but he was losing. He was already a magnificent animal, but with a couple of pounds off, why who wouldn’t want a cat that gorgeous and smart too.” Gerry’s wails were loud. Throwing her hands up to the sky, she begged, “Lard, Snookums Doodles is a God-fearing cat, attending church every Sunday with me. Help these half-wits to find my widdle precious.” Gerry wept.
“Now, ma’am, those insults – oof!” Officer Clark stopped speaking when his partner elbowed him.
“Ok,” said Officer Jim. “We have enough to go on. If you don’t mind, we’ll do a quick search through your house, looking for any clues. I’m sure he did a good job defending himself.” Officer Jim unconsciously rubbed scars along his right hand.
Officer Clark watched, surprised. Officer Jim had never said where the scars came from. Officer Clark assumed it was from some criminal, he never imagined a cat to do that.
Gerry gulped for air. “Alright. Have a look around, but I warn you, I know how you young horny men are, so you just stay out of my intimates. You won’t find any clues in there. I don’t wear sexy things anyway.” Throwing her arms up again, she yelled, “Thank ya, Lard, for making me a good, bible reading woman and not a tramp. Hallelujah.”
Officer Clark puckered his face at the thought, but Officer Jim just nodded and said, “Of course, not, Mrs. Pottwatts. We wouldn’t think of doing such a thing.” Giving his partner a slight shove, they headed out of the kitchen.
They started in the bedroom searching his bed, made up of huge throw pillows. Pieces of mice bones were scattered across them. They searched the catnip toys(heavily chewed) strewn all over the floor. No clues were to be found. They carefully walked through the house, looking for something that would lead them to solve this crime. A hall closet was filled from top to bottom with cat treats of every kind, mainly stocked with Snookums’ favorite cat cookies. Deep cat scratches covered the outside of the door. Officer Jim ran a shaky hand over the scratches.
Officer Clark stopped in the hall at a portrait of the cat. Snookums Doodles was wearing a mask and cape. Officer Clark was pointing, snickering, close to the cat’s smushed face, ears pulled back. Immediately, Officer Jim grabbed his partner’s hand and pulled it away.
“Touch nothing,” he whispered, “she’ll know.” He backed away at the sight of Snookums Doodles. With his voice low, he spoke “It’s some kind of mixed Persian breed. See the overly pointed ears and the gigantic size? I’ve always suspected it’s part lynx. And don’t think because he’s fat, he’s slow.” Turning to his partner, Officer Jim continued, “He isn’t dumb either. He’s the smartest animal I ever met.” He rubbed the scars on his hands again. “He’s the town’s biggest bully. That’s him in his favorite Halloween costume. There isn’t a kid around that hasn’t been chased by him on Halloween night. He’s after one thing – your candy – and if you’re smart, you’ll throw it quickly. If not, well, it’s too painful to talk about. Just hope we don’t find him. If we do…” Officer Jim’s voice trailed off and he shuddered again.
“What’s up with you, Jim? It’s an overweight cat and some crazy woman.”
Jim looked at his partner. “You’d think, wouldn’t you? Let’s get on with the search.”
They looked everywhere, Jim being careful to look like he was studying every nook and cranny, window, and hiding place. Snookums’ large stroller was parked near the front door. Jim looked through it slowly.
Officer Clark snorted. “What the hell. She has a stroller for a fat cat? Ouch!”
Gerry had hit the back of his head with a frying pan.
“Now, look here, lady. Hitting a cop is against the law. I’m going to have to arrest you.”
Officer Jim stood in front of his friend. “Easy, Mrs. Pottwatts. He wasn’t laughing, like making fun. He, um, he was just shocked at the amount of love you pour into that sweet cat of yours."
“I shoulda known. I’m just so worried about my widdle fella.” Gerry sobbed loudly.
Everyone froze in place as they heard noises coming from the basement.
“Ahhh!” screamed Gerry. “They’ve come back for me now. I get it. My poor widdle Snookums Doodles died, saving me.”
Jim’s police instincts took over. He moved Gerry behind him. “Stay out of our way, Mrs. Pottwatts. This is our job, and keeping you safe is part of it.”
They all walked quietly through the kitchen and stopped at the basement door.
“Stand back now and stay here,” ordered Officer Jim.
Both men drew their weapons and walked steadily and quietly down the basement stairs where they could hear meows and pounding.
Gerry held her breath and waited. She kept whispering over and over, ‘Please, Lard, save my sweet Snookums.’
From down in the basement came bangs and clangs, cat hisses, and loud noises filled with “oof” and “ow” and “get it off me!”
Through the basement door, Snookums, with rutabaga pie all over his face and paws and blood on his claws, raced up the stairs and jumped into Gerri’s arms, almost knocking her to the floor, licking her face over and over.
“Snookums, you got away. I knew you would. And they were forcing you to eat Shirley’s cooking? Oh, my poor, poor baby.” She hugged him tightly while handing him a cat treat, which he swiped immediately and gobbled up.
As the officers emerged from the basement, their shirts had rips on them, their faces and hands bled from scratches. Even their hair was tousled as if the cat had been clawing at their heads. Officer Clark looked the worst.
“Look, young’uns, my widdle precious is safe.”
“We know,” spoke Officer Clark through gritted teeth. “We pulled him out of the window he was stuck in.”
“Oh, Snookums, you tried to come in and got stuck in that tiny window. You brave, brave cat. Now you two get out there and find who did this to him. Look at him. He’s covered in Shirley’s pies. What a mean, horrible thing to do to him, and him on a diet and all. I’m pressing charges against those awful people too.”
As politely as he could, Officer Jim spoke, “Mrs. Pottwatts, there are no perpetrators. It looks like your cat just didn’t like the diet you put him on. There’s mouse bones in his bed, his toys have been gnawed and pieces missing, your closet door has cat scratches as if he was trying to get in. I think he’s been going in and out of that basement window to find food. He stole the pies and ate them. I don’t think the diet worked. He seems fatter than ever, and trying to get back in, he got stuck.
“That window. It never could shut. My poor, poor widdle one.” Gerri hugged her cat and placed a kiss on his head. She sat him on the table and poured a heap of his favorite snack in front of him. Snookums settled himself comfortably on the table, purring loudly, and began gobbling up his treats.
Officer Clark started to speak, “Ok, ma’am, compensation should be made for the stolen pi…”
“Officers, I should press charges against Shirley for almost killing my cat with those terrible pies of hers, but I won’t, so just let it go. God knows, she’s lacking in smarts.” Throwing her hands to the sky, Gerri yelled up, “Thank ya, Lard, for guiding my poor Snookums to food. Too bad the only vittles around were Shirley’s. Forgive me my wrongs to my precious, and I swear I will never put him on a diet again.”
Looking at the officers with no notice of their scratches, hair tufts, and ripped clothes, she said, “What are you two waiting for? You can leave now. Looks like you need to clean yourselves up a bit. You’re gonna have ta learn how to work without being so messy. And whilst you two were traipsing around down there, my sweetie found his way home by his self. You can go.”
“But…” started Officer Clark, who was just writing a ticket.
Officer Jim had grabbed him by the arm and was pulling him away. “Of course, Mrs. Pottwatts. Let’s go, Officer Clark. We did our best.”
“Just a minute there, you two. Even though you failed in your job is no reason I shouldn’t reward you.” Going to her refrigerator, she pulled out two baggies of purplish mush. “Just took ‘em out of my freezer earlier, so they’re a tad mushy, but they’re good for you.” She gave each officer one. “Now you two can go.”
Officer Clark held his bag out delicately in front of him as if it were a bag of baby rattlesnakes. Officer Jim grabbed his shirt sleeve and tugged him to the door.
At the squad car, Officer Jim leaned his head against the roof and breathed deeply.
“What the hell just happened in there? We’re the ones who rescued that, that – creature out of that window. And what’s this stuff in this bag?” asked Officer Clark with a confused look on his face.
Jim stood up and opened his car door. “What you’re holding there is Mrs. Pottwatts’ favorite gift to give anyone but that psycho cat of hers – prunes.” Officer Jim threw his bag in the back seat.
“Clark, you’ve now been to hell and back. I used to live next door. Every day was like a nightmare with those two. Between that cat terrorizing me and my friends, and her trying to fill me full of God and prunes, well, now you can understand why nothing else scares me.”
Clark looked back at the house and climbed in the car, throwing his bag of prunes in the back too. “Jim, I had no idea of your hideous childhood. I hope I never have to deal with those two again. Let’s get out of here.”
“Right. We’re heading to the clinic to be treated for all our wounds. They’ll probably give us some anti-biotic ointment just in case we come down with Cat Scratch Fever. I’ve gotten it more than once from that monster. Then we’ll go to the office and fill out the paperwork. Both cases are closed.”
With a firm nod, Officer Jim drove off.
LHR (Love, Honor, and Respect) my dear friends and remember to PAWS for Success