Haunted Groceries

I like ghosts just as much as they like themselves. Occasionally they put on a show, either for our entertainment and theirs (they’re bored perhaps, watching us dull humans), or they want to make a statement. I believe it’s more of the latter.

For instance–two of the houses I’ve lived in have had ghosts. One house had  the spirit of a small child who padded around in the middle of the night, ringing bells that hung on the inside of the doors, playing with my sons’ toys (he or she loved trains), or opening kitchen cabinets, playing with the mixing bowls, then walking away. The house I live in now has a spirit who likes to play with some sort of tiny ghostly metal ball in the attic, rolling it across the boards while we (try) to sleep. Or once when I was angry, she shoved my shoulder so hard I lost my balance. (And yes, a ghostly hand feels very real.) I told her to knock it off and she floated away.

Today I shopped at my favorite supermarket, the kind where the employees know my name, my sons’ names, and my husband’s job. It’s like meeting up with old friends every Tuesday (discount day). I stood chatting with two employees at the head of Aisle Nine when a package of candies flew off a hook nearby, as if thrown by an unseen hand. Laughingly, I said, “So you have ghosts here now.” One of the employees nodded her head and the other said, “We’ve always had them here.” Mind you, this is a store that is only twenty-eight years old, built on a horse farm. What spirits would wander a 24-hour, brightly lit, supermarket, where horses used to roam?

I must have looked bewildered because they began to regale me with stories of framed pictures of their coworkers being flung from the wall, or, like in the tossed bag of candy I witnessed, throwing a pizza or two at a passer-by.

So now when I push my shopping cart up and down the aisles, I’ll be watching the shelves and my head. I really do hope, though, that the people I meet there are all on this side of the grave.

AN ODE TO COFFEE

Listening to the music

from the radio next door,

my head is pounding;

can’t take it no more.

 

It ain’t so much grammar

the singers do lack,

but the incessant thumping

like a hard head-whack.

 

This poem don’t rhyme good,

nor does it seem sane,

’cause I need my infusion

of strong coffee today.

 

 

 

 

Creepy Dolls R Us

Doll

 

I love old dolls. I really do. As long as they don’t smell like throw-up and have a long crack running from their glassy eye down to their toothy grin.

One day as I was sorting through an old box in the attic, I found a dollhouse family  that I had played with many years ago. Time hadn’t been gentle, and now the long-ago cherished dolls sported slightly tattered clothes and resembled tiny zombies.

And thus a story was born….

TINY DOLLS

My Main Character Cooks !

Stormy Deane, from my latest book, Looney Dunes,  doesn’t like getting herself dirty, either with dirt or food. In fact, she’s always on the lookout for the perfect apron that would cover her from neck to toes. She also loves meals that contain no preservatives and are made from scratch. It has to be easy, too, since she’s dealing with a house full of boarders, ranging from the quirky Whatts sisters to the cute guy, Carl, who just might capture her heart. This tomato sauce fits the bill.

Go here for the easiest, most delicious tomato sauce ever!

NOT Made in the USA

For several years, I have purchased sandals and moccasins whose brand name is a city in America that is Native American in origin. They are comfortable and unique, many sporting a Thunderbird design and/or colorful beading. Every time I wore the sandals, someone would tell me how pretty they were. And I proudly told them the brand name, feeling like I was also promoting goods that were made in the United States.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. One day I happened to look closely at the tiny wording that is inside the moccasins. It read, “Made in the Dominican Republic.” In amazement, I dropped the shoe. I peered closely at the hard-to-read stamp inside the sandals. This one read, “Made in China.” I emailed the company. This is the answer I received:

“All of our in-stock styles are manufactured in our factory in the Dominican Republic and have been for over 40 years. We do special make ups for some of our larger chain stores that are made in China. All of our sandals are made in China.

Thank you for your inquiry.”

In all fairness, whenever you see their product online, they never say “Made in America.” Instead they side-step it by talking about the quality of their materials or the craftsmanship.

I have bought (and still buy) products that are made outside the United States. But for a company whose brand name and styles reflect an American city and a Native American culture, this is sad. And it is the last time I will be purchasing their product, until they are truly “Made in the USA.”

*I’m a freelance writer with many short stories, essays, and poems, published in magazines and anthologies. My latest book, Looney Dunes, is published through a company in the United States.

Fun At The Supermarket

Image

CDO–that’s an acronym for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder for those of us who
need complete order in our lives. For instance, take food shopping. Something I
do every Tuesday morning at nine sharp. The first thing I do–the very first
thing before touching a shopping cart–is pull out the hand sanitizer from my
pocket. I scrub the entire cart with it, leaving the wheels alone. The people
lining up behind me sigh in relief as I maneuver through the sliding doors.

And then the real fun starts!

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