Saturday, June 29, 2013


County fair time was the highlight of summer for me. It was the BIG EVENT for the entire community. I was active in 4-H and would compete against my friends to win Grand Champion or at least a blue ribbon in each category that I entered. People would compete in open class ranging from food, arts-n-crafts, crops, and animals. There was a large carnival with rides, beer tent, free entertainment, food, and vendors selling their wares. It was exciting and exhausting.

I ventured to the Hennepin County Fair last weekend (June 16th). My last visit was eight years ago. Housing developments have swallowed up the farms as the city encroaches on the fairgrounds. The fair occurs at Lion’s Park in Corcoran. Due to the rainy weather, the parking lot was a mud pit and the park had woodchips scattered about to disguise puddles.

The fair consists of a small carnival area, a large tent for open class competition, a couple tents filled with vendors, food booths, entertainment tent, beer tent, and 4-H tent. There was a petting zoo, lumberjack show, and track used for a tracker pull and demolition derby. Considering that Hennepin County has one of the largest populations of Minnesota, the fair is tiny. I suppose it is due to the dizzying array of entertainment in the Twin Cities area. The Ramsey County Fair is rather small, too.

The main irritant was lack of real toilets and running water. All the housing development means that sewer lines must be nearby. The park needs that upgrade very badly as well as gravel in the parking lot. It would be amenable to locate a unique form of entertainment to make the fair special. Hennepin County charges an entry fee whereas Ramsey County does not. The Dakota County and Washington Fairs charge a small entry free. They offer an outstanding experience, probably because they still have more rural residents. I do love the fair but feel sad for the urban kids who will never experience the thrill of the big event in town.

Fair needs flair.
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The torrential wind whipped the water so intensely that you could not see across the street. Trees toppled and streets flooded. Then, all went dark. The rainsquall had somehow knocked off the electricity. I was sitting on the front porch to watch the tempest. The boulevard tree began to sway so I pushed the cats inside and moved away from the front of the house. Thankfully, it did not crash to the ground.

The storm continued to blow for another half an hour and hard rain continued before it was finally safe to venture outside. The beautiful 200-year-old (estimated) oak tree in the backyard stood strong despite losing a few small branches. My neighbors on the next street were not so fortunate. A tree fell and damaged a car. In fact, several trees blew over and there were a multitude of branches lying about the area on Friday, June 21st, 2013.

I checked on the neighbors and they were okay. My basement began to leak but all that I could do was mop since my fans and dehumidifier could not function. I located a flashlight and grabbed a book. I sat on the porch with the cats as darkness fell. Total darkness is a rarity in the urban setting. The only lights were candles and flashlights and occasional cars driving. A lot of sirens wailed probably due to injuries or fires caused by the storm.

Lack of electricity doesn’t bother me. I’ve spent time in the woods and rustic cabins. It is how our ancestors lived. Heck, my parents didn’t get electricity on the farm until they were five years old. I was only concerned about the food in the refrigerator. I had already made my monthly visit to the food-shelf and can’t afford to shop at the grocery store.

The lack of AC/DC created a shadowy quiet city. Occasionally, I would hear someone laugh, yell, or the drunken ramblings of neighbors having a party. I suppose that a lot of babies will be born in March 2014. I went to bed with the windows wide open to the breeze. I did not sleep well since I my CPAP machine requires current. Once in a while I would get up and look outside. The moon is nearly full but the lighting was murky due to the cloud cover. It would have been nice to gaze at the stars.

In the morning I called a friend and she offered to baby-sit my frozen food. I gathered up the most valuable provisions and drove to her home a couple miles away. She had only suffered a leaky window due to the storm. I went to the grocery store and purchased a large bag of ice. Drove home and unloaded the most valuable perishables from the fridge into the coolers. I literally had just closed the lid when the power resumed after an absence of almost fourteen hours. Blast it all! I was thrilled to have electricity coursing through the house, but irritated by the waste of time, gas, and money.

Watts of fun.
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


London Falling by Paul Cornell Three and a Half Worms
Beginning chapters confusing with cover, real, and nicknames used by the same character. Story wanders rather incongruously for several chapters until melding with the supernatural. The story finally builds into an out of the ordinary sci-fi plot.

The Old Turk’s Load by Gregory Gibson Three Worms
Late 1960’s tale of sex, drugs, but few references to music. Story rocks and rolls with stolen goods and people seeking to take advantage of each other. Some sections are a bit murky but it is an entertaining yarn.

Under Tower Peak by Bart Paul Three Worms
Minimalist modern-day cowboy and bad people story. Interesting twist on an old theme. Predictable and brief. Good for a summer holiday novel.

There was an Old Woman by Hallie Ephron Two and a Half Worms
Treachery and familial treason wrapped around elderly women. Narrative flip-flops between stories, which barely blend together. The villains could have been more hideous.

Pacific by Tom Drury One Worm
Character sketches are promising but not fully developed. Intertwining stories do not connect enough. The book seems unfinished.

Read to a kid everyday.
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved

Friday, June 21, 2013


Celebrate the twelfth Cash Mob St Paul MN (CMSPM)! Help support a local business by spending at least $20 cash at this event (okay to spend less). Join:!/pages/Cash-Mob-St-Paul-MN/297499490345966 and click on our events.

CMSPM Event #12
Please join us!
Date: Saturday, June 29th, 2013
Time: 11am (okay to arrive late or visit shop on a different day)
Location: Lila and Claudine’s Yarn and Gifts shop
86 Mahtomedi Avenue (aka Stillwater Road)
Mahtomedi, MN 55115
They will have an open knitting room available. It will be darn fun!

The cash mob rules are simple:
1. Spend $20 cash (more or less but cash does speed up the check out process),
2. Chat with three people that you don’t know but please bring along a friend or two, and
3. Enjoy yourself! We want this to be a fun experience for everyone.

On the CMSPM Facebook (FB) page:
* Please RSVP with “Join” if you can make it; invite your FB Friends; and SHARE THIS INVITATION WITH OTHERS via FB by posting on your personal page. Help spread the word to non-FB folks (see next paragraph for details).
* If you can’t attend, you can temporarily indicate a “Maybe” to invite your FB friends and then decline at a later date.
* Please decline before the event if you have to cancel. It’s rude to be a no-show.
* “Like” our FB community page at “Cash Mob St Paul MN” to receive notification of future events and invite your FB Friends to join us, too!!/pages/Cash-Mob-St-Paul-MN/297499490345966

We welcome other methods of advertising our efforts, if you would like to co-host or publicize this event in another way, such as MeetUp or another Facebook group. Please send a message via our FB page and keep us informed as to the numbers of people attending. The more the merrier!

We permit business owners to nominate their own shop. If we banned proprietors, they would just ask someone else to recommend their store. If the weather is terrible, kindly visit the store on another date. We will not reschedule.

Optional: Wear something green to the occasion to indicate that you are a member of the Cash Mob…just an idea, not a requirement.

Thank you ever so much!

PS If you can’t join us for this happening, please patronize the business another time and let them know that you heard about their entrepreneurial efforts from Cash Mob St Paul MN.

© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


My job search can be humorous at times. This is a real job description. I’ve changed a few items so that the name of the store is not apparent. It made me laugh.

THE MISSION OF A GURU (the function):
Gurus at our business do just that! They inform! Their main role is to effectively educate our in-store students about our product, our culture and communities. By educating guests we empower them to make decisions for themselves based on the facts that we offer them. By doing this, the guesswork is taken out of shopping for customers, and a ‘Cool, for me!’ guest experience is created, leaving customers with the knowledge to educate others on behalf of our business. Authentic conversations are key to delivering the ultimate guest experience by relaying your experiences with our products to the guest. Involvement in teamwork is highly emphasized and the focus is placed on turning a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ whenever possible.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A GURU (the responsibilities):
Education and Guest Experience:
• Provides guests with world-class ‘education’ and guest experience in the areas of product, culture, and community by speaking authentically about product use through their own experiences
• Product Education: communicates special features, benefits, fabric properties, usage, and best care instructions
• Culture Education: ‘demonstrates’, the culture held within the company, including: attitude of fun, respect, support, empowerment, encouragement, passion, interaction with other staff, and in-store discussion of lifestyle (i.e. fitness)
• Community Education: ensures guest is aware of in-store community bulletin board – for information and resources regarding health, fitness and related community information

Floor Duties:
• Creates excitement and FUN for our guests on the retail floor
• Receives/processes stock received from warehouse, involving: unpacking, counting, tagging as required, folding, sizing and placing on the floor, with overflow stock in back room and stored areas
• Assists in preparing the store for the day including: replenishing garment styles and other merchandise by color, size, and quantity requirements; folding, sizing, and merchandising as required
• Answers phone inquiries as required
• Ensures stock replenishment in work areas
• Ensures items from change rooms are returned to appropriate area - sized and tagged
• Prepares clothing for alterations; and educating guests regarding timelines for completion
• Arranges for mail and/or delivery, as required, to other locations and/or warehouse
• Completes assigned clean up evening duty
• Utilizes the Point of Sale cash system, processes payments, refunds and exchanges and issues gift cards
• Prepares alterations for pick up the next day
• Unpacks boxes for inventory as required. Boxes can weigh 10 - 30 lbs
• Under the direction of the Store/Assistant Manager performs/completes other additional project, duties, and assignments as required and/or by request

GURU MUST HAVE’S (the Knowledge, Skills and Qualifications):
• Passion, knowledge and involvement in physical exercise activities required. We expect that you will be enrolled in participating in weekly fitness activities in and out of the store with the store team
• Strong personal sense of style and athletically minded
• Upbeat, optimistic, passionate, friendly and authentic
• Excellent team player and ability to work independently
• Responsible and dependable
• Proactive and solution-oriented
• Excellent communication skills – verbal and written
• Extraordinary guest interaction, organizational and time management skills
• Ability and willingness to accept and provide feedback
• Completion of grade 12 education – preferred
• Strong problem solving and decision-making skills.
• General computer knowledge.

We expect all full-time employees to be available to open and close, at a minimum, twice per week. We expect all part-time employees to be available to open and close a minimum of once per week. Everyone must work one weekend day. Part-time is up to 23 hours per week; full time is 24-40 hours per week. Time is spent educating on the retail floor.

Proactively acquires knowledge/education regarding company general information, news bulletins, store policy, processes, quality control, new garments/styles, customer feedback/experiences, and staff information/communiqué.

It’s a bleeding sales associate job, wrapped in a pretty package. Don’t apply if you aren’t fit and attractive. People with disabilities and over the age of twenty-five will be ignored.

Put a bow on it.
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Chaperoning the dance raised myriad memories. I wasn’t permitted to attend junior high school soirees. My frosh year in high school I nearly missed the first dance, Homecoming, because of an injury. A few days before the football game I was walking home and a gust of wind blew a dandelion pom into my eye. The pom still had its seed attached, which scraped my retina. It didn’t hurt a lot so my dad would not authorize a visit to the doctor. Overnight, my eye swelled up and became infected. Thankfully, the doctor was able to pry it open and prescribe an antibiotic topical treatment and it healed. I was lucky not to have permanent damage but I missed two days of school.

The other kids thought that I was silly since I wore sunglasses to the Homecoming game because the lights were too bright. One of my friends was convinced that my fashion inspired Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night” song since he was visiting the area at that time. If so, he owes me some residuals! The dance was not impressive. The music was loud and I am not a fan of rock-n-roll. I was too shy to talk to the older kids. My friends and I huddled in a little clump and gossiped.

I attended other high school dances but never with a date. I wasn’t interested in most boys from my school. I had crushes on the ones who would never ask me out. One boy ardently perused me but I knew that he had hit his previous girlfriend and I told him no repeatedly. My brother-in-law finally stepped in and scared the boy off. I don’t know what he said but it was enough to keep the creep away. During dances I hung out with my friends and we were content. 4-H Junior Leader dances were much more enjoyable. We would hire a polka band and I would quickstep with kids from around the county. The teens from my school that would attend were already my friends so I felt comfortable to have fun.

During my Junior year, my classmates were in charge of decorations for the Prom. The theme was about time. I was in charge of painting a large clock. I was almost done when I had to depart to distribute the latest edition of the school newspaper. When I returned I was aghast to find that another student had painted monstrous lips and tongue on the clock to mimic a Rolling Stone’s album cover. It was impossible to fix and I didn’t have time to render a new clock. I became enraged. I tore it to shreds and yelled at the teacher who let the other student paint on my clock. I refused to attend prom with my friends because I was afraid that I’d punch out the asshole that had destroyed my hours of labor. I did take photos of the event for the yearbook but didn’t waste film on the idiot or his friends.

I attended my Senior Prom with a friend from another city. Scott and I had known each other during grade school, he moved, and we reconnected via 4-H. No chemistry so we were purely platonic. I had to reassure his girlfriend that there would never be any hanky-panky. It was a nice evening and I wore an old bridesmaid gown of my sister’s. I returned the following year to go with Tony. He and I were only friends and it was amusing to be viewed as “old.” A few years later he told me that he was gay, which really wasn’t a shock.

Dancing is pleasurable. During college I went out at least twice per week but rarely on the weekends. I became a regular at First Avenue and accustomed to have Prince stare down from the VIP section. I didn’t like the smoke and seldom drank alcohol. It’s hard to move when you are inebriated. I’m much more comfie with free form movement. I’m not good at anything that involves memorization and I despise being “led” around the floor. During the launch of “When Doves Cry” Prince came to the floor and actually said hello to me. I was shocked; he never came to the dance arena. He was going to say something else but the crowd recognized him and his huge bodyguards led him away. I will always wonder what he was going to utter.

It has been a long while since I danced the night away. I have to conserve energy to make it through the workweek and am usually exhausted on Fridays. I’m content to have dinner with friends and chat. At least the bars don’t permit smoking anymore. The loud music does tend to jar my body so I have earplugs with me. Sadly, I have turned into a fuddy-duddy after all.

Dance All Night
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Summary of the crème du la crème from Ima’s Bookworm Review Volumes I – III. Pick up these books for the summer. Be aware that I am not drawn to books of blithe spirit but novels of substance. Alphabetized by author.

Must Read:
* Anshu by Juliet S. Kono
Dark, sorrowful and poetic. One of the best books that I have ever read!

Excellent Novels:
* Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
* Plainsong by Kent Haruf
* Spiral by Paul McEuen
* Under Fishbone Clouds by Sam Meekings

Strongly Recommended:
* The Water Children by Anne Berry
* Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig
* Half Life by Roopa Farooki
* Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
* Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston
* The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
* Oyster: History on the Half Shell by Mark Kurlansky (non-fiction)
* Life of Pi by Yann Martel
* More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
* The Cold Cold Ground by Adrain McKinty
* Black Mamba Boy by Natifa Mohamed
* Moon Maze Game by David Niven and Steven Barnes
* Driftless by David Rhodes
* Pirate Queen by Barbara Sjoholm
* A Cavalcade of Lesser Horrors by Peter Smith
* Objects of My Affection by Jill Somolinski
* Strindberg’s Star by Jan Walletin
* Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Fall into a story.
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Endless surfaces, no hue, only undulating sinuous ribbons of smooth, bubbly, or whirling texture. All water looks black at night. The river knows no time as it seeks the lowest level. The sunrise cruise departed at 4am to venture along the waterway. I’d traveled this route many times before but was struck by the quiet. The only noise was the loud hum and whirr of the engine as it churned the propellers.

Northern Spark 2013 festival focused on the downtown St. Paul area on Saturday – Sunday, June 8th-9th. The reveries began at sunset on Saturday but I was home sleeping. I had exhausted myself puttering in the garden and cleaning so I needed a snooze. The alarm clock rousted me at 2am and I drove down to the event. I managed to locate parking and walked over to Union Depot. There was a large presence of police officers so I felt safe being alone. Unfortunately, a lot of the activities had just finished but there were still some performances in the Depot itself. The Depot was hot in contract to the drizzly chill outside.

I sauntered to the lower train level of the depot to watch and listen to some performances. Long ago I ceased trying to intellectually examine art, especially during the wee hours of the morning. Art is about feeling. It is about emotional expression. Storytelling may or may not be involved. Logic may or may not be present. Its best to just feel the experience and not attempt to analyze what cannot be explained. It was difficult locating Lamperts Landing but I found it before the boat departed.

The Jonathan Paddleford was filled with mostly people in their 20s and 30s. A large number were drunk or high, and as a result several vomited overboard – gross. The first floor was a heated compartment with chairs and tables. The concession stand could not serve alcohol at that hour and quickly ran out of hot chocolate. The second level was unheated with a small dance floor and few chairs. I ended up sitting on the floor watching the water through the railing until we were underway. Works Progress Studio prepared a nice history booklet. Perhaps next time they will invite Native American and other storytellers to talk about the river on the second deck.

It was interesting to watch the currents and debris flow in the swift current. The river level is slightly above average due to the constant rain. My favorite section of the venture was after we went under the High Bridge and were near Lilydale Park. It was dark and silent, void of humans except for a couple groups who had bonfires near the river. I didn’t notice any animals and at least no stupid humans were attempting to navigate a small vessel at night. The lights of Minneapolis shone to the west as St. Paul glowed in the east but it was very still. The loudest noise were the repetitive metallic clank of the pistons and motor.

I really enjoyed standing up near the Pilot House. Passengers are rarely allowed up on this deck but it offered the best view of the river. The deck became less crowded as the drizzle transformed into a light rain. I forgot an umbrella but wore a heavy spring/fall jacket with a hood, and brought along earmuff, gloves, and a scarf. I knew that the river is always about ten degrees colder than the land due to evaporation. I gradually became wet enough that I had to seek the first deck but only after we had turned around to return to the dock.

About half the passengers were asleep or passed out on the first deck. After a trip to the bathroom I went to the bow of the boat to watch our approach to St. Paul. This is always my favorite location on a ship. The sky was beginning to lighten and some of the birds were singing their territorial song. More cars were moving about and a few yacht club residents were walking their dogs. We returned to the Landing at about 5:26am. I was cold, wet, and windswept but exhilarated by the ride. It would have been nice to be met by performers as we departed but the festival had come to an end. The Farmer’s Market wasn’t open so I went home and made breakfast. I quickly fell asleep on the couch with the cats. reserve June 14th, 2014 on your calendar for the next festival.

Riverboat Dreams
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Screeching non-rhythmic mayhem best describes some types of currently popular music. The more things change the more they remain the same since I suppose adults have been saying that for years. I recently chaperoned a youth dance. It was an open event for junior and senior high students as well as home-schoolers. Fifty to one hundred youth were expected in view of the fact that only seventy-five participated last year but nearly two hundred passed through the event.

The clothing ranged from fancy to ridiculous. Kids wore formal gowns, suit-n-ties, costumes, and pajamas. Females seemed to either be wearing six-inch heels that made them stand on their toes or run around barefooted. The only rule was no nudity, which thankfully was not violated. Goth is rather overwrought but was trendy with part of the crowd. I presume that few schools would permit Goths to express their inner darkness. Steampunk is much more elegant. The oddest were Furries, the innocent kind, where kids wore their favorite animal costume. Note: adult Furries have secret hatches built into their costumes for anonymous groping. Eww.

The music was loud and the dancing odd. Kids enjoyed “storytelling” or fashionable performance art. The audience formed a circle around the performers who danced a spontaneous story while the other kids cheered. Practically every kid joined in a line dance, which was an updated version of a popular one that I attempted during high school. Oldie but goodie… egads, how did I become middle aged? I wish that I had their physical energy.

No drugs, alcohol or chemical substances were permitted. However, one group of older teens arrived drunk or high and were escorted out. Another pair of older teens brought along a flask, which was emptied and they were expelled for alcohol consumption. No fights marred the event. Some drama occurred but that is the emotional roller coaster of youth. The vast majority of young ones had fun, which was the goal of the evening.

The organizers of the event didn’t prepare very well. I wasn’t informed that chaperones needed a background check until the afternoon of the affair. I managed to get approved but it was rather jarring to learn of at the last moment. The committee needed to assign one or two people to take the lead in coordinating the decorations, food, and chaperones. Registration was organized and worked well but the rest of the night was rather chaotic. I was happy to arrive to my quiet home.

Boogie Woogie
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Friday, June 7, 2013


The tomes are ranked by my preference and alphabetized by creator. Don’t bother reading anything at 2.5 or below, though I admire the author’s ambition to be published. If you’d like to review the novel’s extended comments, though brief and to the point, please search back for earlier entries of Volume III. Feel free to peruse the preceding Volumes I & II, too. Watch for a summer reading list. I’m already working on Volume IV entries.

FIVE WORMS = Perfection
Sadly, no books meet this criterion in Volume III. Authors and publishers are cordially invited to mail me books to review.

FOUR WORMS = Very Good
Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig
The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
The Cold Cold Ground by Adrain McKinty
Objects of My Affection by Jill Somolinski

Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey
XO by Jeffery Deaver
The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde
Mercury Falls by Robert Krose
Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis
The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson
The City of Devi by Manil Suri
Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

THREE WORMS = Fair, but readable
An Autumn War, and The Price of Spring by Daniel Abraham (two separate books)
Chinese Whiskers by Pallavi Aiyar
Nine Lives by Dan Baum
Music of Ghosts by Sallie Bissell
As Sweet As Honey by Indira Ganesan
Cats Behaving Badly by Celia Haddon (non-fiction)
The Bones of the Old Ones by Howard Andrew Jones
Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely
The Death Relic by Chris Kuzneski
Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Margaret from Maine by Joseph Monninger
Twin Cities Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garett Merk, and Dain Charbonneau
Popular Music from Vittala by Mikel Niemi
The Shape of Desire by Sharon Shinn
Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith
Data, A Love Story by Amy Webb (non-fiction)
The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose by Susan Wittig Albert
Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

The Turtle-Girl from East PukaPuka by Cole Alpaugh
The People of Tomorrow are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr
The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph
The Wanting by Michael Lavigne
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Death on a Pale Horse by Donald Thomas

Enchanting Lily by Anjali Banerjee
The Bad Miss Bennet by Jean Burnett
The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll
My Last Empress by Da Chen
The Wurst is Yet to Come by Mary Daheim
The Wrong Man by David Ellis
Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa
Twilight, and New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (two separate books)
Nick & Jake by Jonathan and Tad Richards

ONE/ZERO WORM = No-No or Avoid
The Rise of Ransom City by Felix Gilman
Lenin’s Kises by Yan Lianke
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Silent House by Orhan Pamluk
The Forgetting Tree by Tatjana Soli

Read Every Day!
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


“It is so cool and clean and takes all the grossness away,” a friend of mine slobbered as he leaned over the toilet seat to vomit. He had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol at a party. I was mollified by the sound and smell since it made me gag. His body wanted to expel as much as it could before he poisoned himself from the liquor. Ah, the stupid things we humans do to ourselves.

My parents strictly forbad alcohol. It was the devil’s tool. The only exception was a flask of blackberry brandy kept on the highest shelf of the cabinet. Its only purpose was when a person was very ill and needed to sleep. No one paid heed that it dehydrated the sick person, too. I didn’t like the smell or the taste of it and Nyquil made me choke. My mother is severely allergic to alcohol. The fumes of rubbing alcohol make her swoon and she gets drunk just sitting in a bar inhaling the vapors. I’m not allergic but I may have a slight reaction to the substance.

During high school I would venture to parties and the cheapest beer would be available. Legal age was 19 and our alcohol-provider would purchase something hideous brewed in New Ulm, MN. I’d grab a can and take a swig. It took a lot of acting not to make a face at the awful flavor. I’d then discreetly excuse myself to the bathroom to dump out the horrible brew and fill the can with water. I quickly gained the reputation for being able to drink a lot. Ha-ha-ha I was stone cold sober at every soiree. I watched the antics of the drunken participants, which were rather embarrassing. .

Many inebriated teens would confess their secrets to me. At one party, a big wrestler threw his arm around me and whispered in my ear that he always stole 20 dollars from his sister’s paycheck. She never knew but he figured that I was drunk and could ease his soul in my ear. I watched people do stupid stuff, fall down, and get sick. Gross, crude, and disgusting. If the driver of my entourage became buzzed or drunk, I’d drive everyone home, drop off the car at the driver’s house, and either walk home or get a ride from their parents. If the idiots who confessed their sordid affairs to me bothered me at school I would discreetly mention their secret and they would back off. I never used their mutterings as blackmail but Dave never figured out how I knew that he padded his pockets. I did tell his sister about direct deposit at the bank, though.

It wasn’t until college that I learned that alcohol didn’t have to taste awful. The legal age was raised to 21. I was introduced to a cheap sweet wine and it made me feel fine. I would have one or two glasses and it was enough for a good buzz. When I moved up to the Cities someone made me a Fuzzy Naval. The vodka and orange juice combination became my favorite. Unfortunately, one chilly night I consumed enough to start seeing double. I ran to the bathroom and vomited orange slime. Yuck. I drank water and sought sleep in the coatroom. An hour later my friends freaked out because they assumed that I had wandered out into the cold. As they collected their coats they found me sleeping underneath.

I’ve only been dim-witted enough to drink myself into oblivion a few times. The first two times I really didn’t understand the sensation but the third time was enough, I made a total fool of myself. No more thank you very much. I get myself to a buzz and switch to water. It isn’t safe to drive after two drinks so my friends and I take turns being the sober driver. Most bars will provide free pop or juice to the driver, if you inform the waitron or manager. Its much better than a DWI, causing an accident which harms others, or death. No buzz is worth that much pain. When I was 16, a drunken motorist killed my friend’s brother. The family of my friend never recovered from his completely preventable death.

Sober drivers rule!
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Monday, June 3, 2013


Vivid verdant green makes the grass glow as is rises upward after a springtime thunderstorm with lightening. Mmm, the smell of damp ionized air. The odd orange tinge to the sunshine makes the green even more intense. After an extra long winter, spring is extra sweet.

It can be a bit tricky to start seedlings inside but I have learned to be fairly successful. Sometimes I still lose some to either over or under-watering but the vast majority survive. It is a lot cheaper to raise plants from seed rather than purchase them at a store. Another method to save funds is to reuse potting soil, however, it must be baked to destroy the nasty microbes, which may kill the fragile seedlings. I baked several pans of soil and had to throw open the doors because the oven now spews evil carbon monoxide.

During February I started peppers and tomatoes. During March I propagated broccoli and eggplants. During April herbs were sprouted. Last year the entire vegetable garden was planted before the first of May. This year, we had snow and frost well into May. I began prepping the bed but delayed planting until I knew the precious plants would not perish in the chill.

Many of the tomatoes became rather “leggy” which means long stems with few leaves because I couldn’t plant them until Memorial Day weekend. The soil still felt cool so I doubt if the plants will grow very much when their “feet” are chilly. We have had a lot of rainy or cloudy days so that is also delaying the growth.

The vegetable garden will feed me later this summer. I don’t have money to buy items at the grocery store. The food shelf offers some fruits and veggies but most of them are damaged in some way or starting to rot. If I grow extra produce, I drop it off at the food shelf. Puttering in the garden is relaxing. I like to watch plants grow, though I could do without the weeds. I even enjoy listening to the oscillating hum of lawn mowers as they prune grass. It is tedious to cut my own lawn, which is why ¾ of the land is either perennials or veggies. Too bad we can’t have grazing animals in town to trim the grass…

Dig In!
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