Date Night


Hmmmm, fold laundry or blog? Funny thing is if I start my house work before I blog, I’ll never get to my blog. Housework is always there. The muse to write is not, so take her when she beckons is my motto.

I’ve probably mentioned before that Joe and I don’t eat out, don’t go to the movies, don’t hit the bars, don’t get all doll’ed up and go out dancing. So we call our weekly or bi-weekly trips to Wal-Mart “Date Night”. We’re kind of funny that way. Funny ha-ha, not funny queer. It just so happens that yesterday was “Date Night” but it was during the day not at night. Not that we think Wal-Mart is the best place to do groceries, but it is convenient being able to get everything in one place. Also the price is relatively fair, cheap, and if it’s not the best price the Savings Catcher App will send back the difference.

The illogical reasons for shopping here are kind of selfish. The entertainment we find typically can’t be found anywhere else. I find a lot of my book characters when we go shopping. If you enjoy people-watching Wally World is the place to go. The Mexicans are delivered in bus loads to make their weekly purchases. Forget about buying Roma tomatoes or Chile peppers, the bins are emptied. The Mexican men intrigue me the way they wear their Sunday best with their cockroach boots and enough aftershave to cover up the smell of a whole cow pasture. Joe says they’re there to score a white chick! I think it’s funny but they never find me interesting, however they do like Joe’s pretty blue eyes.

There’s big ole’ corn dog lady who’s ass is so fat that she needs to ride one of the electric chairs around to do her grocery shopping. While shopping she’s stuffing a mustard slathered corndog into her face. Someone might want to tell her maybe a carrot stick would be the better choice. Who am I to judge? I just watch.

The store was packed like any other Saturday afternoon. We tried to find an empty register, but every one of the five that were opened had a line of at least four people, with overflowing carts of goods. Even the self-service check out registers had long lines, but we decided to go there anyways. As I was waiting our turn, I didn’t realize Joe dropped behind because he stopped to find one of the coupon’s that blew off list. I was oblivious.

“Hey, how are you doing today?”

I looked up to see the tall manager of the store speaking to me. “I’m fine and how are you?” I responded assuming he was just being friendly.

“Great.” He says and holds out two bottles of Dr. Pepper. “I’m just getting ready to go to lunch.” The man is huge. Joe and I nicknamed after the lyrics from Tunnel of Love by The Boss. ‘Fat man sitting on a little stool’. The man is huge. Huge as in tall. Taller than Joe and Joe’s tall!

“Ah, liquid lunch.” I’m trying to be friendly, but I’m feeling awkward.

“So what are you up to today?” He asks and standing just behind me to my side.

I feel his eyes peering down into my cleavage. I’m feeling a little strange about that. I’m wondering if the manager is really doing what I think he’s doing. Yes, he is. He is looking down my shirt into my boob cleavage because he stands at least three feet taller than me.

Now I’m really uncomfortable. Where the hell is Joe? I need his comfort. I turn and there’s the grocery cart with Joe in tow. Thank God!

“Well,” I say, putting my hand on the cart. “We’re here just doing our groceries!”

He looks at the cart and his eyes find Joe’s eyes. The surprise on fat man’s face was priceless. He was not expecting to see Tall Cool ☺ne. He tried hard to make small talk with Joe, but we all knew about the white elephant in the room.  He sauntered away, tail between his legs and head held low.

When we got out to the truck Joe was still laughing because the manager of Wally world was trying to take me out to lunch! We don’t think he had lunch in mind.

Just another adventure in the crazy world of Joe and Ella.

Until next time,


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The Itch


It used to be the fig tree that tore my skin up. I learned after about three times of picking them without gloves not to do it anymore. It’s quite a sight mind you, me in 95º temperature out there decked out in a snow suit (okay so not really a snow suit, but it feels like one) hat, gloves, and boots just to pick figs to preserve. I can’t wait to enjoy that task again this year when the fig tree is ready.

We have been in our new house five months. Out of those five, I’ve somehow gotten myself into the poison vine three times. Honestly I don’t know what kind of vine it is because I’ve research so I know what to look for so I don’t go near what it is. But once I get into it, it lasts for about four weeks. Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac. I wonder, is wisteria poison? It seems to be that vine that tears my skin up. Maybe I’m just allergic to it. Then there are the vines with prickly thorns attached to them, I swear those are from the pit of hell itself. It just goes to prove that everything pretty on the outside is not pretty on the inside.


I’ll be itching my way through the next four weeks or so, and maybe I’ll learn to wear long sleeves, long pants and gloves while doing yard work. Some lessons for me are hard. Joe gets the sneezing, watery eyes and congestion, I get the itch. We make a great couple!

Until next time,


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Prayers up, Blessings Down


You’ve probably heard that saying, “when it rains, it pours.”  Yesterday was one of those days. We’ve been struggling along trying to keep the bills at bay and not get too far in debt with the credit cards. My paycheck barely covers the monthly utility bills, and that is when I get a full forty hours. It doesn’t cover groceries, gas, propane, or anything else. And hours have been cut back these past few months, so we’ve been living off the credit cards which means a lot of interest and finance charges coming up, ick!

Yesterday Joe came home from his part-time position all smiles and chipper. I was working but I did take a moment to ask what he was so happy about. It seems as though all of the positions he applied for came through, and he could have had his choice of which one he wanted to take yesterday. What a blessing. Needless to say, he will start a full-time position next week with the place we were really hoping for him to get into.  Longevity, benefits, retirement, all that stuff you have to worry about when you are getting up there in years. We are so blessed. God is great.

Now the real work will begin. With a constant paycheck coming in, as soon as we get caught back up, we can  start some of the projects we’ve been looking forward to doing in this OTR (on the range) Journey. Painting all of the rooms in the house, building a deck, doing some more landscaping projects.  Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, I am so excited! Can you tell?  I’m even happy to be writing something short again! I’ll be sure to share before and after pictures too, ‘Berta’. You know, Tall Cool ☺ne is very talented. I’m so lucky to have him.

Until next time,


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Couldn’t sleep last night and should have just got up and wrote instead of lying there thinking about it. Don’t you hate it when that happens? I know I do.

Today Joe goes back to work after being unemployed since January 15th. This whole adventure we started about a year ago has really taught us a lot. It was a year ago when Joe started truck driving school for his CDL license. He has always has heard that if you’re a man and you want to change your career it is best to do it before the age of 50. He has experienced first-hand how hard it is to find a job. Not just a job like flipping burgers or offering paper or plastic but something sustainable where he can earn an honest day’s pay. Today Joe gets back in the truck. We are grateful for the opportunity that he has even though it’s only part-time.

I thought this blog OTR was going to be an Over the Road Journey, turns out it’s an On the Ranch Journey. Funny thing is, it smells just like a ranch. So funny, we were out in the yard working and one of the baby cows that lives in the pasture had poop on his head. Joe says, “We’ll call him ‘Shithead’! We love our adventure of being home owners. We just never know what is in-store for us. Remember last year we thought were going to live in a truck and see the states…that was exciting and we really thought that was what we wanted. Truth of the matter is, we don’t know much. Only God know what is best for us and what we need.

This OTR journey is teaching us a lot of patience and to have faith. We believe He will lead us where we need to go. Right now our adventure is taking care of a new home. We’ve done more yard work in the past four months than probably was done in four years. We’ve planted trees and bulbs and had more bouts with poison ivy/oak/sumac than is right.

My goal is to write more. I’m trying to get back to blogging the journey. I know it’s been awhile and I promise to do better.

Until next time,


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Setting Goals

Here’s the mail

It never fails

Makes me want to wag my tail

When it comes I want to wail



If you have kids who grew up in the 90’s you’ll recognize the wail from Blue’s Clues.  I love mail time. Today I received a letter from an old friend. I shouldn’t call her old, because she is not old.  We are old friends from a different time in our lives.  Although we live only 30 miles apart, we’ve not seen each other in more than five years.  We keep in touch via the good old fashion USPS.


In today’s letter my sweet sister in Christ made me think about a lot of different things. She reminded me of some of the fun times we shared with the other girls from that era of time. That was one of the most monumental times in my life because it was when I learned who Jesus really was and what He did for me. That might sound silly to some of you, but if you know Him and you remember when you first learned what He did, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It is a time you will never forget. It is monumental.

She asked me if I was still writing. I hesitated before I answered this question to myself. When I answer that I am, I don’t think it’s in the sense that she meant or that other people would mean.  I am writing but only in my journal every morning. That makes me sad to realize that is all I’m writing.


I could blame it on the fact that I have a job and work takes up too much of my time.  I could use the excuse that we bought a house and there are so many things to do.  If you really think about it, you can think up an excuse for anything. But the truth of the matter is, I haven’t “taken” the time to blog or work on “The Salt-Water Killings” that is only a chapter away from being complete. I have another friend who is supposed to be proof reading for me, but I think she needs a boot in the ass. (I say that because I need a boot in the ass to finish the book.)


I’ve said this before: we all have the same amount of hours in a day. We choose to use those hours for whatever purpose there is. Priorities are what we set for ourselves, not anyone else.  Work, housework, crawling Facebook, games, binge Netflix watching… whatever your poison is. Last week I was couch bound for two days because I pinched my sciatic nerve and couldn’t move. It hurt to answer the phone and I couldn’t type, could barely click the remote. I am so bumming because I wasted two full days where so much could have been completed!


This week work is slow so we have been offered a lot of VTO (voluntary time off — unpaid mind you), which I’ve been taking way too much advantage of.  Do you think I’ve used that VTO time to write? Hell no! I’ve been cleaning and organizing and playing house.  I love our new house.  I told Tall Cool ☺ne I was going to keep it clean.  (I gave up cleaning at that other place we rented when we found out we were going over the road). It was something of a pigsty when we left.  Not like hoarders pigsty but dusty and well you know. Then, well, we didn’t go over the road and that’s history. New door opens, and new journey begins.


So this is my journey attempt at getting back into the swing of writing on a normal basis again. Blogging A-Z is coming up in April and I plan to participate like I did last year.  This year I have something different planned. If you want to know you’ll just have to wait and see.  Secrets revealed when they tell us we can reveal.


I know this short little write is pretty meaningless to a lot of you, but it is all part of the journey.  You choose to follow or not follow.  By the way, Joe is journeying back from Jacksonville today… one of the longest runs he does. It’s raining and crappy out so prayers for safety are appreciated.


Until Next Time


Categories: journal, writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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