Petticoat Shorts Volume One (Petticoat Katie & Sledgehammer Girl Short Story Collection Book 1)

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This was something important. No one called him by his full name. Not even his mother. Today is your lucky dayFranklin. I plan on giving you ten thousand dollars. Frank continued his silence, more out of shock than contemplation. Delamotte, I ask a favor from you. Again Frank kept his mouth shut. He missed that the voice had switched into professional diction by using his surname. Now Franklinyou will receive your money when you have succeeded in this favor.

You will go to the city of Cheyenne, Wyoming. There will be a group of people in the diner. Specifically a man and a woman sitting together. The man may have a ring. You will go on March 15 th There will be a gun strapped behind the broken neon sign. Shoot the man who may or may not have the ring. Then shoot the prostitute. Once this is done, drop the gun and walk out of the diner. Easy money and your back rent. Now you have entered into a binding agreement, you cannot back out.

Ten thousand dollars plus a pass out of debt. Now before I end this conversation I need to hear some confidence. If you must have verification please drive to breakneck bend onMustang Avenue. We will give you half the money now and we are sure that the money will make all doubt will vanish.

He looked about his apartment. The carpet was buried underneath the aggregate filth of years and what he could see was bug infested. Mustang Avenue was a dark mysterious expanse of road, which had one particular dreary and dangerous sharp curve shrouded in shade from the overhanging maples. There was a wall on the edge of the three foot shoulder, but no reflectors adorn this dark wooden railing. Head lights are the law in this dark stretch of road, but few ever adhere. Frank saw the curve up ahead and frowned trying to mask his fear. Seeing nothing he flicked on his headlights, not out of duty to the law, but out of a sick curiosity for what he might find out there in the darkness.

A few hundred feet from the curve he saw a man walking a dog. The man was dressed in black and the dog was as well. This must be it. He thought and parked his car off the shoulder just before the curve. The man paid no attention to him until Frank was near enough to touch him. Then the man spoke. He is the one you are to shoot in the diner. The prostitute will be obvious. The man never turned to look at him, just kept his attention on the English Bulldog while it did its business.

You need the money. You have nothing to lose. You are the perfect choice. Now do you understand the instructions I have given you? You better get moving. Frank took a step back in horror as the man quickly hid the gun and walked straight into the forest. He looked down and saw that his pants were covered in the blood of the dog and he frantically wiped, trying to disavow the knowledge of what just happened.

It looked like the dog was just lying down on the ground sleeping. Could it be that they had trained the dog to play dead at the sound of the gun? Frank wondered how they got the blood to splatter on his pants. There was no blood he could see on the dog. Frank boldly walked over to the creature, angry that these people might think him stupid enough that he might fall for a cheap parlor trick, but when he got within reach he recoiled and retched on the side of the road.

Desperately Frank grasped at its hind legs, trying to stay clean, but then looking back at his car. He cursed himself for parking so far away and then began to drag the dog back to his car. He nearly got there too. He was passing the rear drivers side door when he saw the headlights of another car moving around the curve. The person driving is going to see me dragging a dog with half a head! He did the first thing that came to him. He dropped the dog and quickly started walking towards the headlights.

He took a few steps forward praying for the best, but when the car got near it began to slow. Keep going, keep going. But the car continued to slow until it seemed to be just crawling towards him. Fucking Good Samaritan. But then he remembered something the informant said. The man he was supposed to shoot was going to be in a car that will drive by. He squinted and covered his eyes with a hand, cursing the man for not leaving the gun he shot the dog with. This could be all over now.

Ten Thousand Dollars! He stood tall and tried as best he could to hide the dog behind him as the car slowly rolled up to him. Having some car trouble? Frank could tell the man was white, but the car was veiled in shadows. He knew he should say something to the man, to make him feel more at ease, hell, maybe he could kill him here and now and everything would be resolved without any shooting later in the diner. The only thing that held him back was something the southern man on the phone told him. The car neared enough for Frank to get a decent glimpse of the man before, presumably, the man saw the dog lying behind him and possibly the blood spatter on his trousers.

Frank took a step towards him arms outstretched, still with no exact expression on his face and still without saying anything. Frank chuckled as the exhaust swirled around him. There was a stack of papers in the passenger seat. On top of the stack of papers was what looked like a title page. It was like the dog. Blood covered her mixed with the surprisingly white bone fragments from his skull. She tried to fix the wound, pushing the bone back against his head, until she realized how futile the effort was. He took care of Chopper single-handedly. How could this happen? She combed his hair back from his face and kissed his forehead while periodically shaking his head.

Charles sat silent by the table. All he could think about was the note. Someone here knew they killed the girl; however none of them looked like the man in white suit. Was the robber just happenstance? Would there be someone else coming in through the door to deal with him? Or was it the slob? Daniel forgot all about the slob bawling on the ground and turned his attention to Charles.

The boy was looking down at Daniel and his eyes were full of fear. Something more was going on here than meets the eye. The kid holding the gun came here with the kid the shooter is talking to. Frank now a crying mess of the ground. Abe was astonished. He still held the gun to Daniel; however Daniel was acting as if nothing were wrong. Then Abe remembered what Charles told him. About the man with the letter and he thought about what they did and why they were here. This was a man who had no qualms killing.

He had this way of looking at you, as if he were looking through you. Abe shivered and shook his head. He wanted to say something, but was worried how it was going to come out. Daniel thanked God that Tanya stopped screaming, he might have a chance to think. He tried to piece together the puzzle forming in his head. He insinuates that a college kid puts him up to it, paying him an, as of yet, undisclosed sum of money and for some reason that same person wants to shoot Mary. The accent? Charles stares at Abe. Her vision turns red and black spots invade her peripheral vision. She quietly stands and grabs a steak knife from the table while the men are arguing.

She takes a look over at Mary who is crouched in a booth hiding her face and feels the anger renew, white flashes spotting her already diminished vision. He should have shot you first bitch. There is a loud resounding bang as Daniel pulls the trigger and Abe falls back to the ground, lifeless. Then Daniel turns his gun to Charles. Frank is confused and terrified. She was holding the blade overhand above her head. Cursing himself for forgetting the grieving woman, but thankful for her making the shot easy.

He knows he would have to kill her anyway. He begins to turn back to Charles when he hears Mary cry out. Mary looks Daniel in the eye and he can see the little girl in her. Daniel ignores Frank and looks at Charles. Inwardly he curses himself again. He should not have walked into this environment. Simply too many variables. Now he has to protect Mary and get her out of here and make sure no one else does. Some things were of a higher priority.

Death can do that. Now just tell me. What is this slob talking about? Why is he apologizing to you? He has to move fast and he has to be accurate. One shot to the head hiding behind his beloved daughter. You just let me go ya hear? The police are probably almost here and he needs to move fast if he wants to get away.

When Charles turns Daniel takes his shot, quickly raising the gun and taking short aim. Charles falls limply away from Mary and Daniel lithely moves forward cradling Mary in his arms. Daniel turns to see who is speaking, but before he can he feels electricity enter his body and the ledge of reality he has been struggling to hold onto crumbles slowly away…and everything is dark.

Daniel ached all over, but when he tried to move he found his arms and legs bound. He slowly opened his eyes and little by little the darkness receded. He was in the kitchen of the diner, or at least he assumed it was the diner. Mary was being held over the stove by a tall, burley man, her face was a collage of burned skin and each tear drop sizzled on the burner as if wiping away her right to feel. He had a devilish, angular smile. He let go of Mary and she fell to the ground whimpering. Then a voice spoke from behind him. Then he giggled, it was high pitched and sounded like a weasel.

He tried to take a deep breath, but felt something constricting his chest. You have sinned. We were gonna kill all those people out there. Then Stephanie here came up with the plan. We lured you all in and you did the work for us. It was brilliant. Now with the infector over there gone and her benefactor, meaning you Daniel, out of the way. We bikers take a breath of fresh air. How many of us did you kill? Daniel tried to answer but he was too short of breath. He looked down and saw a rope tied around his chest.

As he watched it he saw it visibly tighten. We will now live in peace. The rope tightened again and the light slowly drained from his vision. January 13, Categories: Short Stories Tags: biker , brutal , diner , murder , mystery , raven's , Sean McBride , strangers , wyoming Leave a comment. I had hoped to finish out the book by having each section be a different genre, you have a horror story, a love story, a suspense story and a gothic moral tale a la Donna Tartt.

The diner lay in a desolate wilderness ten miles from the town ofCheyenne,Wyoming. It was a way station for weary travelers as they made their way through the depressing flats of theGreat Plains. The story goes that the funeral for his family was delayed because a raven landed on the casket of his son. He spent hours staring at the raven, screaming at anyone who tried to move the bird.

He raved that it was the spirit of his dead son. Later that night after the bird flew away and the woman and the boy were buried. The raven returned to Jacques. It sat on his window sill, and if you believe some that tell the tale, spoke to Jacques. It gave him instructions. The next day the wooden carved sign, which travelers strained to find, came down.

The day after the newly instituted diner opened, ownership of the bar went to Jorge Calaveras; a man who frequented the diner. Some said the place was cursed. Some said it was haunted. Some said it had the best corn beef hash in theGreat Plains.

The Searchers

No matter which story you believe, it was in this place where seven people met and spent the night in a diner which had a view of the edge of the world. Robert drank his coffee in abstinent silence; fingering the ring he brought to the tryst. There were slight crows-feet at the corners of her eyes which used to catch excess makeup and make caked lines; spindles out away from the corner of her eyes. Makeup she used to hide the bruises her dead boyfriend gave her. Robert had saved her from all that. That night was their anniversary.

It was a year free from makeup and abuse. He wanted her to stand in the diner she used to frequent with her abusive boyfriend and face her fears. Once she did he was going to have the waitress serve her favorite dish, then present the giant diamond which weighed down his pocket. She amazed him with her vitality and stubbornness.

He wondered sometimes why she stayed with a man who abused her for so long. Robert intimated that if he were to raise a hand to her she would tear his head off, but then again, he thought, maybe being beaten for a solid year is what it took for some people to finally stand up for themselves. The protagonist had sex with prostitutes, did drugs in Portland flophouses, tipped cows while tripping on acid in the Wyoming plains, had a drinking contest with a senator from Texas and eventually died of a gunshot wound in a cemetery in El Paso.

Six months later he would tell Tanya that their meeting had been serendipitous. If his writing were any better, they never would have met. Her make-up application was thicker that day than it normally was. He would usually focus his efforts on her stomach because it brought fewer questions from people; not that he really worried about such things, he just found it easier to avoid questions altogether.

Robert had looked at her, took note of the obvious swamp colored distortion of her skin tone and sighed in absent empathy. She saw him looking and gave him a slight and self-conscious smile, then raised one of her hands and covered as much of her face as she could. She was a villain because of it. So when he saw her eating dinner with the large man in the leather vest; when he saw her look at him and smile at him, he smiled back then focused on his meatloaf.

Best Story Collection For Kids - Moral Story (Lessons) Compilation By Kids Hut - T Series Kids Hut

Throughout his meal he noticed her stealing glimpses at him. Every so often he would look at her directly and she would smile and very coyly look to the ground. Every story he wrote had characters in extra-ordinary circumstances. The list went on. So she locked eyes on him and tried to convey her situation, covering her bruises only that once and giving him a view of what she represented through her body language. Robert, whose longest relationship was only a year, was ignorant of her efficacious flirtations.

He felt mildly uncomfortable, as if he were starring in a third rate Dukes of Hazzard knock-off, and the large biker would turn around and beat him for staring at his girl. Her gazes were just so resolute. When he finished his meatloaf he got up and gave her a shy grin as he made his way to the bathroom. She had been desperately trying to gain his attentions because her perception was that all writers had money and she thought the best way to escape the choking grasp of Chopper was to run away with a man who could solve problems through money.

Money could fix anything. Slow but steady. Then, on his way to the bathroom, he smiled at her and she saw her shot. Robert peed languorously, searching his mind for ways to avoid contact with her. Robert was a pacifist at heart and the thought of confrontation scared him. His big plan was to exit the bathroom, throw money down on his table and nod his head at her, so when she met him at the entrance to the bathroom door he let out a little squeak under his breath.

She stood before him with her arm on the door jam, her legs spread, her lips full and her eyes held a worldly and knowing gaze. She handed him a piece of paper, then leaned forward and grabbed the back of his neck and pulled his lips to hers. Her lips were glossy and she tasted of coffee. The kiss lasted only for a moment and when it was over. She slid her hand from the back of his head to his cheek. She looked, not away, but down as she did this. She wanted to show him she understood what she was doing was wrong.

She wanted to show him she felt shame for her actions, but the hand on his cheek was meant to display that no matter how wrong it was she wanted it. It ended there, she walking back and sitting next to Chopper and him fulfilling his earlier plan. He walked over to his table, threw down money then walked out of the diner.

The one change in his plan came at the door next to the neon sign when he turned back to catch one last glimpse of her. She was looking back at him, her make-up caked face wrinkling with expectancy. When Robert got back to the hotel he opened the note. There were four words and ten numbers. Tanya Pearson Initially Tanya used him. Their first meeting she found out he had no money, but that he seemed to be willing to do anything for her.

He was like an angel sent from heaven. He was everything she wanted in a man. They met secretly for months, always talking briefly about their separate lives and then spiritedly copulating when the conversation ran down. Robert was in love from the first moment. He loved her small town mentality and her ineffable compulsion to be needed. Chopper only seemed to need her as a focus for his outpouring of lust and aggression. Robert though, accepted her and empathized with her.

He hated Chopper and often talked about giving him a piece of his mind Of course this was always taken lightly by Tanya because Robert was so soft spoken and Chopper was three times his size , but when the evenings devolved into intercourse he quickly forgot his anger. Three months after their first meeting Tanya came to a realization. She was pregnant. She decided to wait to tell both Chopper and Robert until she knew when conception was. A few months later she began to show and immediately Chopper was proud. When he found out he grabbed Tanya in a headlock and gave her noogies laughing and whooping.

He said it was a miracle; the doctors told him that after a fight he got into when he was twenty and got kicked in the testicles…repeatedly he would probably never be able to conceive a baby, his testicles were just too damaged. Robert was elated when she told him he was going to be a father.

He held her tight and kissed her deeply, then that night after they made love she left him to return to Chopper and he began to formulate a plan to get his new love away from her tyrannical husband. When Tanya got home she was dismayed to find Chopper even more tossed than usual. Chopper tried to fuck Tanya that night, but because of the alcohol, was unable to attain an erection. She tried to buffer his ego by sucking him, but he remained skin taffy. Chopper, who had never dealt with embarrassment well, beat Tanya unconscious.

When Tanya woke she was lying in a pool of blood and immediately knew what happened. She called Robert and told him about the beating, weeping and sobbing into the receiver. They agreed about a meeting spot to discuss what they would do. She was not living a real life, but some kind of bizarre, warped Wonderland. She came to the realization that she was the only one who could change her circumstances.

She was the one who would have to act. Tanya thought she saw his nostrils flare. They came up with the plan together. They would call a rival gang, the Sons of Chaos, and tell them Chopper was selling on their property out in the forest byLakeMeneloua. It was the perfect plan and it worked just how they thought it would. Tanya stayed home so she would have plausible deniability and Robert went out to meet Chopper.

Robert got to the meeting spot out in the woods next to an old run down boathouse early and was surprised when Chopper got there ten minutes before the scheduled time. They exchanged money for goods and Chopper took a few steps backward, wearily eyeing Robert. Chopper made it a hundred feet when he stopped in his tracks. The kill shot came quick. He took two. As Robert walked past, giving the body a wide berth, he raised a hand to the man holding the gun.

The man nodded back. She and Robert had been living out of hotels and hostels ever since. She never dreamed her life would be lived in hotels, but she relished every minute of it. The freedom and liberation which came from the road was like nothing she had ever experienced. She felt like she had been released from prison.

Robert pulled the ring from his pocket and brought it to his lap. Abraham Gelding Winslock watched in horror as the short ugly fat man barged in the front door and pulled the trigger. Abe turned to the window with his hand daintily covering his mouth, holding in the high pitched screech he felt building within him. Abe was descendant from old money. His father was a banker who graduated from Harvard in the top of his class. His father before him did the same. That money had been invested and saved and it slowly grew to immense proportions. He spent his time building soup kitchens and hostels for the unfortunate.

His plan was for Abe to follow suit, after he finished Harvard of course and continue the prestige of the Winslock name. For the entirety of his life Abe believed in these goals and strove for them. He was the top of his class in his Academy and had near perfect test scores. He was accepted into Harvard and the first two years he excelled. Abe was a quiet boy; unassuming and polite.

He seemed to live to please people and to serve. His desire to please began at a very early age when he realized he was gay. His father took him to a brothel a high end, very expensive bordello known only to rich men and ignored by their wives and let him pick out anyone he chose. When the prostitute took him to her room she instantly recognized the problem. Abe saw his sexual preference as a problem, an issue he was unable to resolve, so he decided to ignore it and as a result he grew up shy and anti-social, but extremely intelligent.

The quality time he would have spent with friends he languished in the comforting embraces of Proust, Dickinson, Dickens and the Bronte sisters. He met another boy who seemed interested in him, the way that Abe deemed only appropriate between man and woman. Charles Van Pugh was a beautiful boy. Six foot tall and the perfect Aryan. His hair was delicately cropped and framed his deep blue eyes and creamy skin. Charles was the captain of the basketball team and loved by everyone at school. The women coveted him and the men envied him. He spent his nights doing anything he wanted and his days sleeping.

His father was a man of fairly new money. When Vincent Van Pugh was ten his father started his own insurance company and grew his moderate salary to unforeseen levels. Vincent took over the family business when he turned thirty and his plans for Charles were the same. Charles, knowing his fate, accepted that he had a direct path and decided very young that he would need to live his life as fully as possible, because once he turned that fateful age, his life as he knew it would be over.

So Vincent took care of everything for him. He spent his time at the office and had his lawyers take care of every issue his firebrand of a son had and decided that Charles was just too much of a handful. Charles in his all knowing twenty-year old wisdom, decided that sex was the gateway to everything he wanted and since he was lucky enough to be princely bred, things generally worked out for him. He fucked girls for rides.

He fucked guys for favors. He fucked his teachers for grades and the school administrators to erase his records. It was during this promiscuous streak that Charles met Abe. To Charles it was just a fuck for homework, but to Abe it was the first real person who seemed to take notice of him. Abe felt he loved Charles and forgave everything he did. He knew Charles slept with everyone he could, but Abe just liked being in his company so he put up with it all. Abe was just waiting for the chance that Charles would see how much he loved him and possibly return the emotion. One month before Robert was killed in the diner, Abe met Charles at a party.

Charles told Abe the only way he would continue to fuck him was if he was high so Abe met him there with a baggie of weed and a six pack of beer. Abe spent the better part of the day trying to score an eighth and when he did he grossly overpaid. It was just something he had never done before and the dealer, recognizing his innocence raped his wallet. Charles smoked most of the bag during the night, sharing with other people and intermittently drinking his beers until he decided there was nothing else of interest in actuality the girl he was after had left with another guy so he wanted to go home.

Abe barely had time to get in before the car zipped away. Once he realized he snapped them on then looked over at Abe and smiled. Abe was terrified and Charles relished in it. The more time, though, that he spent blowing Charles the more flaccid his penis seemed to become. You suck that cock! Abe vomited when he dared a look through the windshield. There was red goo all over the windshield, almost like pumpkin innards died red with little bits of gray sludge and white fragments intermittently dispersed throughout.

She just popped! Charles only waited until the windshield was clear, then he took the car out of park and began to drive away. Abe never said anything. He was terrified and his stomach was threatening to continue its regurgitation so he kept his face between his legs.

Charles took him to his dormitory and dropped him at the entrance. He waited for the police to come to his door and arrest him. He stayed in his dorm room for a week, waiting. He felt dirty inside his mind. He felt constantly sick and restless, exhausted and sleepless, bored and terrified.

Then after a week he ventured out to take a shower late at night. He crept down the hallway, making sure to be quiet and jumped under the warm water. He felt relief wash over him. After all he never even saw the girl. It could have been a deer. Charles was so trashed that night it could have been anything. He gave himself countless excuses for what it was and took all responsibility off his shoulders. When he got back to his dorm room he fell fast asleep. But then one night the fog started to roll in over Havard yard.

He could see the fog moving in closer, thickening and congealing the air. He peered out into the morass and saw a lone figure standing next to a tree, leaning on the tree to hold its weight. The fog and his tortured mind blurred the reality of the situation and when the figure began to walk through the milky cloud Abe thought for sure it was the girl.

He imagined her half shattered body shuffling toward him, scraping a useless leg behind as she slowly made her way to his window. Abe shut his eyes and sank down underneath the window. He could almost feel the fog beating against the dorm. He was about to stand again to take another peek, when he heard harsh breathing coming from the other side of the window. He flatted himself against the ground and looked vertically up to the window.

He could see hands cupped over eyes…blue eyes. Abe lept up and threw open the window startling Charles. Abe reached out through the window and slapped Charles, then brought his face close and gave him a soft kiss on the lips. The story came out in a slow metered cadence. Charles was at basketball practice when a man in a suit showed up and gave a letter to his coach.

After practice the coach handed the note to Charles and gave him a sympathetic pat on the back. Charles ignored it and went to the locker room. Once there, amidst his fellow teammates he opened the envelope which had a Polaroid in it. It was a very clear picture, taken at night with the flash to maximize the carnage.

It was the girl, her head half gone the chest caved in and one leg a twisted branch with bone gleaming in the flash from. On the back of the picture a sentence was written out. The thick fog rolling in from the darkness. They had taken a step out of reality, a ride given by the fog. Now they were stuck in the diner with a man who already killed some one else…and they were told to come here. Someone knew what they did and set them up. She saw that much right away. The two, slightly homoerotic college studs never even gave her a second glance. The smaller effeminate one Mary thought of him as the receiver jumped up in his seat and screamed like an arachnophobia prone prepubescent girl while the larger muscular one this one was the giver just sneered in disgust.

The business man was the first to react. He leapt from his seat and tackled the tubby gunman, spilling them both onto the floor. She could see them both struggling for the gun, but the businessman seemed much better in such physical disputes. That bitch had to calm down. Mary slid back to back of the seat in her corner of the diner and thought back on her night. She had to get out of this diner before someone else died and more importantly before the police got here. A crime scene was no place for a twice convicted prostitute.

She looked out into the dark black night and noticed the deep green sign for interstate 82 down at the end of the driveway to the diner. She looked longingly at the road and thanked God that she had been as lucky in her life as she had been; all she needed now was an extension of that luck and she could get out of here tonight.

She grew up without a father and her mother always told her he had died when she was very young. He had been a firefighter and had died in a burning blaze when Mary was still in her womb. He was a policeman who saved a group of nuns from a bank robbery while Mary was being born. He was a priest who died while exercising a demon from a young girl. The story changed weekly.

She often told Mary she was named after the mother of God, because she was meant for great things. She was meant for much better things than living at the trailer park with her mother. It was something she very bad at. Mary was shown early that physical and verbal abuse was something that just happened in relationships. To her it was a normal course of life. Then one day he hit Petunia too hard and she fell, cutting her face on a plate she was drying. Mary also learned, very young, that a woman has her place and she learned it over again in a new brand new way when she turned eleven. Mary had just gotten into third grade and her mother was taking less and less interest in her, being too overwhelmed by the pressure of life and having a child, so she began to drink.

Told her what men look for in a woman…and he never had trouble maintaining an erection with her. Things continued on like this for years until the slob left them. While doing this, she sent Mary out to the street to get money. Petunia knew what Mary did with the slob and thought of Mary as a real woman now.

She had a brief thought that maybe she named her daughter after that other biblical Mary and then started to drink and forgot the whole thing. That was how Mary spent her early life, going from one John to another. Making pittances and spending them on pleather outfits. Petunia died when Mary was seventeen. She literally drank herself to death. The night she ended up at the diner started off the same as any of her other nights.

She was at home getting dressed when she got a call from a new Johnny. She often kept her regulars on speed dial just in case she needed some extra money; also it better prepared her for their special requests. The call she got was cryptic and intriguing. It asked her to meet at an address and if the John was pleased, payment would be copious. She arrived at a nice looking townhouse and honked twice in quick succession as instructed. Two minutes later a man in a pressed double pleated suit exited the house and made great care to lock all three deadbolts on the door, then secured the standard knob lock.

Mary took no notice, because she was busy practicing her pouting look in the rear view mirror. Mary looked over at him and smiled at his innocence. Do not speed. She had been doing this for years now and she never had an issue with anyone. She never had a pimp, but then again she never really needed one. No one ever gave her any trouble and when they did they never came back to her again. I want you to rip it off. She felt her luck drain. She leaned back against the window and let her satin blouse fall back into place.

She reached behind her and tried for the handle of the door. For the first time in her life she realized that the abuse she had previously thought normal in a relationship was far darker and more menacing. She wondered if her mother feared, as she did now, that the man abusing might be trying to kill her. Her heart sang for her poor dead mother as she slipped from consciousness. When Mary came to she was lying on the side of the road.

She had her purse with her and her attire seemed in order, nothing ripped or cut. She looked about trying to get her bearings and noticed she was no longer atLakeMeneloua, she was sitting on the side of interstate Groggily, she stood and started to walk down the highway unaware in the darkness of where exactly she was along the interstate.

She walked for nearly two miles before a car passed and she was grateful when it did. While traveling she had a distinct feeling of being watched and at one point, she thought she could hear a crack of a twig from out in the woods, but she ignored it and walked all the faster. The old Ford Taurus stopped just a few yards ahead of her and she ran to the car, not in elation for getting a ride, but in fear of the man who had hurt her, who was probably following her in the woods.

She whipped open the door and plopped into the passenger side and shut the door. What happened? She looked quickly into the rear view mirror and was not surprised when she saw her face was covered in bruises, but what disturbed her even more was the bandage on her forehead. She reached up and lightly touched it, wincing at the lacing pain. They were there for a short time, not quite long enough to get food, when the businessman walked in.

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In fact, Mary found him very attractive and when she looked at him, he stared straight back into her eyes and smiled slightly. She felt her heart flutter and a strange need to have the businessman hold her. Are you setting me up? All men were the same. Even if they did something nice for you they wanted something out of it. Maybe he thought he could get it for free if he took her out to dinner. She hoped the people on the other side of the restaurant count hear him.

She felt strangely ashamed that the businessman could. The businessman never took his eyes off her. He ignored Tommy completely. Something about him seemed familiar. It could have been one of the cops who arrested her when she was seventeen, high as a kite selling herself at a biker bar. She had nearly placed where she knew him from when the fat slovenly man burst into the bar with the gun and shot the poor bastard at the other side of the diner. The first five or so pages are actually true though pieced together through multiple different experiences.

He would always get me with that punch. Cocking that right arm back while jabbing with his insanely long left. I remember one time we boxed and he hit me so hard I just sat on the ground, dazed. And yes he did, in fact, box prison guards. A couple of friends and I went to check it out one day, but there were crazy markings on the walls looked like blood and a strange string on the ground.

We took a step in, heard a rustling noise which in retrospect was probably just a rat , turned tail and ran. The first version of this story was much longer and much more supernatural. I still think it does, but the new title gives the reader a warning for what is to come. This also has one of the themes of all my earlier writing. The four boys sat on the side of the river quickly downing their Jack Daniels and Coke. He was often taking orders and requests from the other three, trying to stay in their good graces. Both Colin and Tom were typical jocks.

They spent their time talking about pussy, how to get it and where and Pete always sat by intently listening. Matt was the only one of them that had carnally knew a woman, but Pete was the only one that admitted to never losing his virginity and he loved to hear Colin and Tom talk about it, rampant adulation in his eyes.

Pete slowly made his way to Colin, trying to hold his balance, but not succeeding very well. He saw the rock sticking out of the ground, but it failed to register in his alcohol-ridden brain. Pete took a staggering step into the rock and all his weight shifted forward over his wavering legs making him fall forward towards Colin.

None of them saw Matt reach out and grab him. They rarely saw Matt under the bridge. He always seemed too contemplative to approach. He rarely said anything, mostly sticking to his drink, downing one after another, and looking off into the distance. He almost always drank more than the others and never seemed to show any effects of the alcohol. This night was no exception; he quickly sat up and reached out snagging Pete from mid-air. As soon as Pete tore his gaze away from Matt, Matt grabbed the Jack Daniels bottle from his hands, quickly spun the cap off and took a deep swig from the bottle, wiping his mouth with his sleeve afterward.

There was still a quarter bottle left! Matt loved to box. After school he would get any match he could. There was a rumor going around school that he fought a prison guard…and won. Behind his back the others called him psycho. Tom was the only one that would ever fight Matt. Colin fought Matt once and after some big talk was knocked flat on the first punch.

Pete tried to fight Matt once, but Matt punched him in the stomach and Pete ran away screaming. That was where Colin got the nickname from; he said Pete looked like a tick running away from a flame. That and that he was small and annoying. Hey Pete, you wanna get the gloves? The rest of them called him Tick. Pete came running back with the boxing gloves in his hands, trying to keep his balance but failing and crashed down to the ground once again. That to long for you? Run off to be consoled by Palmela Handerson?

The fight was short. Matt kept his right arm back, slowly cocking it as he jabbed Tom with his left. Tom kept his arms up, determined to win the fight and only jabbed when he got the chance. Then Matt made his move. When Matt finally pulled Tom out of the river, Colin was still laughing and Pete was still gaping in awe.

They pulled up to the building at about a quarter after two in the morning. It was an old mission hospital, previously used as a mental ward for the State. The building was now condemned and awaiting demolition crews to arrive. Tom drove up in his truck and parked three blocks away. Pete cocked his head so he could see around the seats and above the dashboard. He slowly nodded his head. Hey listen; maybe this is a bad idea. Matt and Colin answered by walking toward the building; Pete was still trying to climb out of the back.

Matt put Pete down and watched him run to the other two, shaking his head he sauntered after them. Matt knew the truth…it was a terrifying edifice. A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, for such a society is a house built upon sand. Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him — or so they used to say.

It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them. My theme for is eclecticism — picking and choosing what to read from a wide variety of genres, styles, centuries. I always try to do this, but last year ended up being mostly American writers and mostly mysteries. Books read 1. The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Whose Body by Dorothy L. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. The A. Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. January 1. Louise - Betrayed by Lisa Scottaline 2. Louise - Accused by Lisa Scottaline 4.

Dams by Jeanne M. Dams 5. Louise - Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult 7. Louise - Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult Frowine Milne Seuss Ruck FoL Sale - Latin Reader. First Part. Amazon - Blacklands by Belinda Bauer Karen - Are You Somebody? Burchfield Dziemianowicz Vance Massie Ross Yeatman Trump by accident Sharp Smith April. Books culled goal: More than the 84 from last year.

The Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo: 1. The Bat - hardcover 2. Cockroaches - paperback 3. Cockroaches - audiobook 4. Nemesis - hardcover 5. The Devil's Star - paperback 6. Redeemer - paperback 7. The Snowman - hardcover 8. The Leopard - paperback 9. Phantom - hardcover Police - paperback The Redbreast - paperback White Noise by Don DeLillo - started it, didn't like it Dams A Man without Breath by Philip Kerr Anvil of Stars by Greg Bear Betty-Anne's Helpful Household Hints by Billy Budd by Coxe and Chapman Death of a Greedy Woman by M.

Beaton Death of a Bore by M. Death of a Charming Man by M. Death of a Dentist by M. Death of a Dreamer by M. Death of a Dustman by M. Death of a Gentle Lady by M. Death of a Hussy by M. Death of a Perfect Wife by M. Death of a Prankster by M. Death of a Scriptwriter by M. Death of a Snob by M. Death of an Outsider by M. Four in Hand by Stephanie Laurens Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen Hard Courts by John Feinstein In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon Summerland by Michael Chabon Summerland -audiobook by Michael Chabon Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon The Appeal by John Grisham The Final Solution by Michael Chabon The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld The New Yorker Album by The No.

Fiddlers by Ed McBain Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes With the Old Breed by E. Sledge The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini Bliss, Remembered by Frank DeFord Grafton Square by Alfred J. Batty The Twelve by Justin Cronin The List of Seven by Mark Frost Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke Death of an Old Goat by Robert Barnard The Skeleton in the Grass by Robert Branard A City of Strangers by Robert Bernard Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle Troubling a Star by Madeleine L'Engle Coffeemakers by Ambrogio Fumagalli In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo - re-culling.

Happy new thread, Karren! Oh, that photo brings back memories, for me too! Happy New Thread, Karen. I saw a red fox earlier, but very little bird activity. Hey Horrible. It's getting close to sweet pea time. Have a better day than that damned coldishness would allow on its own. Those are lovely flowers, thank you RD. Happy New Thread, Karen!

I hope you feel better soon. So, what are cornbags? Corn bags? Is this a new tradition? I agree about retirement! I did say it's the cat's pajamas. Lots of other things, too - bonaroo! So corn bags are cloth bags about a foot square that you fill with deer corn, sew completely shut after filling. You can then microwave them and they provide heat for a very long time.

Mind you, I am no seamstress. My sister sent me 6 of them at Christmas, empty of corn. I bought a lb bag of deer corn no smaller size available, alas. I've given one to a friend and made a second one today simply because I need to get them all filled, sealed, and microwaved the first time. The next one I'll fill with more corn. I use one when sitting in the living room for cold feet or hands, hug it to warm my core, put it in the bed for warm feet way past when I fall asleep. Four unfilled on the left, some polished cotton, some flannel, a flannel one on the right, filled.

Happy New Thread! I think the bags I know best are filled with bran, but I bet corn can be acquired for less and would offer somewhat better nutrition in the direst emergency extreme.

Happy new thread, Karen. I love the photo in your topper. My mom just brought some old pictures, and they are a lot of fun. You can also fill them with rice - I have a long skinny rice bag inherited when my MiL passed. It's good, too. And of course rice and corn CAN be eaten in a pinch, even if already nuked hundreds of times, I suppose. I love seeing my sibs and myself when we were young and happy together. Old pics are tons of fun. I already know which pic I want for next thread, if I can find it, that is. Thank you.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen. I think it's called a Magic Bag. It's long and I heat it and wrap it over the back of my neck when it's sore at work. Hi Chelle! It sounds wonderful. I love heat. All the times I've been told to use ice instead of heat I've ignored it except for tooth problems. I hate using ice. Thank you! I learn something new on LibraryThing every day. The teenager claims she was raped in her own bed one night while her mother was downstairs.

Nobody will believe you. When Becky is found hanging from a beam in her bedroom, Frieda returns home, seeking out her old high school friends to ask what they remember about the night that prompted Frieda to leave town for good. But confronting the ghosts of the past turns out to be more dangerous than she ever expected. Why I wanted to read it: Fourth in the Frieda Klein series.

We meet a much more human Frieda in this book, opening her flat up to Claire and boyfriend, friend Sasha and baby Ethan, dinner invasions by Reuben and Josef. We also see the ruthless side of Frieda in her dealings with boyfriend Sandy and her mother. There are painful scenes with Sandy. The elephant in the room is that Dean, her nemesis from Blue Monday , the twin supposed to be dead, is protecting her in a bizarre way so that he can eventually punish her himself.

Dean, however, has no such compunction, and tortures and kills Ewan. This clears the decks so that only one psychopath is stalking her — Dean himself. Frieda is alive because of Dean, fearful of Dean, stalked by Dean, protected by Dean, revenged by Dean. Frieda is a fascinating character, as prickly as they come, as unyielding as a Mack truck.

I picked a good time to follow up with your thread as I was on my way to the library and you reminded me of the Nicci French books. Thank you, Meg! Yes, good timing. Good for you. I've started Friday on My Mind. Happy new thread, Karen! My mom made some of our clothes as well but I think what really annoyed my older sister was how we received similar outfits, with me looking like my sister's "mini me". Apparently, I was rather annoying when I was young, as my sister continues to remind me to this day. Great topper! I think you had quite a respectable hairdo. I shudder to think of mine in the 7th grade.

What happened to Friday???? Did I miss your review? Oh wait. I see that you've started it now. I'm curious as to why you've read them out of order. Love the sound of those corn bags. Read the purged list with some regret. You really wanted to get rid of Barbara Pym? I should try to make your library sale to pick up the Harry Hole ones that I don't have, but I haven't read the ones I own yet, so never mind. My mum made a lot of my clothes as well, and regularly made matching outfits for me and her; me and my cousins, me and my brother or me and my best friend.

Luckily for me, she's a really good seamstress so everything looked good. I even requested a school-leaving outfit from her when I was 13 the worst age and she made my prom dress. She's also made plenty of her own clothes throughout the decades, and while she rarely makes anything from scratch nowadays I often joke that the only clothes she owns that she hasn't put a needle and thread into is her socks and underwear. Always "adjusting" things. Usually I'm a person who reads books of a series not in the correct order. Happy Friday, Karen. It's raining here and windy but not cold.

My grandmother used to use feed sacks to make clothes for my Mom and Aunt. They were sacks of grain printed with decorative patterns, some were really pretty and a lot were too cute for words think cartoon puppies and Dutch children circa Anyway, I've got a box of the damn things that have followed me through the past three moves. They're about to get Marie Kondoed. Morning, Karen.

Happy Friday. It will inch up to 36 today. I am enjoying Black Leopard in the early going. My sister was the annoying younger sister — she was always more slender than I was, cuter than I was. What I do now is tell her that I love her more than she loves me, which she disputes. I debated putting it in at all, but it is something that I wanted to say. Stay strong. I never did go crazy with my hair but did rat it as I got older. Then Sat which I have already acquired on my Kindle , Sun and last one on my shelves.

Sorry about the Harry Hole books — if I can reacquire them I will. Looks like you have Nemesis and need the others. The sale is March I can see why you wonder about the Pym since you have 14 of them on your shelves! I admire people who can sew. We were supposed to make a dress. I never finished it and was willing to take the grade hit, but seem to recall that I got a B in Home Ec.

Our weather is similar — rainy, a bit breezy. When flour manufacturers saw women turning their flour sacks into clothing, diapers, dish cloths, and more, they started packing their flour in pretty patterns. It may not be worth the effort, but you might consider taking them to a consignment shop. And why the hell was Marie Kondo at the Oscars, eh? Yay for above freezing. My first mug of coffee is almost gone. I'll also be setting up a group read thread for David Copperfield and will post the link when it's all ready to go.

Your home ec. Our home ec. We had 90 minutes a week for one term a year - the other term it was wood and metal crafts. Every year from 3rd to 8th grade. In 9th we got to choose which one we wanted to do I picked textile for the whole year. Fantastic - weavers and lace makers. My grandmother made all my mother and aunt's clothes plus she sewed tap and ballet costumes for them. I've seen pictures and they were stunning. My paternal grandmother crocheted and tatted. I know how to knit and perl but it's not something I enjoy doing. I'd rather be reading. Your Home Ec sounds wonderful.

You can tell that I have unhappy memories of Home Ec since I am still dedicating brain cells to them since I'd have preferred to take that for sure! We weren't given an option - neither were the boys. Here's the link. David Copperfield Group Read. I can knit socks really well, but rarely do much else. I'm sure I could do jumpers and cardigans and things like that if I wanted to, but I'm too lazy to do that big a project. I think the switch over from "girls do sweing and boys to wood working" at school was in the 70's here, so after my parents had finished school but before I was even born.

I like the system we had - I think it's really good that you get to try both things. Your mother and aunt's dance cosutmes sound darling! The bags were made of linen, which was the nicest fabric they could get their hands on. She also hand washed the feathers and down from all the various birds my grandfather shot when he hunted and made pillows out of them. Crafty woman. Good morning Karen! A David Copperfield group read.

I would join, but I've already read it and am trying to focus for now on reading unread books in my library. Hope you enjoy it. It's snowing out, so the balance is tipping towards evil. I never liked anything I sewed in Home Ec either but did go on to sew a lot of stuff later. I made my friend's wedding dress when I was 18 it was a simple full length A-line and also my own when the time came much later. Strange because my mom didn't sew but did have a sewing machine, one of those old Singers with the treadle. Passing through and waving hello!

My mother quilts, While she didn't have much time to sew once she started having kids, she did sew her own clothes before that, including her wedding dress. She also made my wedding dress. I did not have the option of Home Ec in school, and came to sewing rather late. I have sewn quite a few things for my kids - t-shirts and skirts, shorts, etc. I've also made a couple nice long sleeve shirts for my husband. It's a useful skill. I was horrible at sewing but just fine with cooking in home ec. We only got 2 or 3 six week periods a couple days a week at most of it in middle school.

Aprons were our 6th grade project. I remember doing a purse in 7th grade. In 8th grade, I think we had the option of doing something else, and I chose the latch hook rug. I remember making slippers. Mom made me a beautiful yellow cardigan and a beautiful blue mohair sweater when I was young.

I remember loving them, though. I would have loved to have tried shop. Who knows? I might have had an aptitude for it. Those tiny sugar-bag suits sound lovely. Homemade pillows, too. I have several goose-feather basters my great-grandmother made. They lived on a farm in Iowa and used everything. Thanks, I completely understand about wanting to read unread books.

Coffee, books, blankies, inside. Two wedding dresses. All on his own, sometime in his early 20s, my husband latch hooked a rug. It's a shame your mother didn't keep the cardigans, they sound lovely and it's really nice to be able to keep things like that. At least you have the memories. My grandma was very good at donating clothes to those who were in need, so not a lot remains from mum's childhood. Therefore, mum has been really careful to keep a fair amount of mine and my brother's clothes.

I'm really grateful for that, because there are some real gems there. I love learning about people who really use all the materials that are at their disposal instead of just picking a few things out and and throwing away the rest. Obviously, back in the day this was a necessity because they couldn't afford to do otherwise, but it's inspiring to see people do that today when we're where we're at in terms of climate and overusing resources. Happy Saturday. Finally wrapping up my long work week. I loved David Copperfield and also read it in a Group Read, a few years ago. He also carved fishing bobbers.

I have several of them. I'm glad that your mum saved your brother's and your clothes. Things like that are important. My daughter is sentimental about clothing and we have quite a few things from her childhood and teenage years. I have a few things from my 20s - special outfits and an old purse or two. Also some business things I was wearing in the s - those I really need to donate.

I was busy on the threads today but didn't check my own! Glad your work week is over. Since you've read David Copperfield recently, perhaps you'll be up for a group read of A Tale of Two Cities in the fall. He is an able and interesting speaker and provided us with some fascinating information from his book. I'll be reading the book one of these days. Our library has one copy. I could have checked it out yesterday, but I'm participating in three group reads right now AND am totally immersed in the Frieda Klein series by Nicci French.

I figure it will be there next month when I'll have some literary breathing room. Today is our annual Home Owners Association meeting at 2 p. Then tonight is book club to discuss The Essex Serpent. Bill and I have been watching Marcella and it's a constant punch in the gut. It's very well done and we're hooked. Second season's almost done, though it appears that there's a season three coming.

I got a DRC from Oxford. Not cheery, the state of my folk's right to exist in this vile, violent world. The book'll be there when you're ready. Happy Sunday. We have a kid's party to go to this afternoon, but I plan on spending a block of time with the books. I have read A Tale of Two Cities , but it has been about 10 years or so. Maybe, if I find it on audio. I am long overdue for a Dickens. Happy new thread! I must be a few years younger than you as I was part of the Title IX revolution in middle school. Girls took shop. Boys took home ec. And in mixed gender classes! The shop teacher was at something of a loss as to what to do with girls but I remember making a wooden bracelet that we cut, sanded and shaped and then stained.

My maternal grandmother was the crafty one in the family. She taught me to crochet. Recently, I found a box of the clothes she made for my Barbie and Ken: hand knitted sweaters and hand sewn dresses. I still crochet but am not much good at the sewing machine.

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My memory being what it is Have fun at the kid's party but I hope you can make serious headway with your books! You're lucky you got to take shop. This is Public Law No. It was co-authored and introduced by Senator Birch Bayh in the U. I graduated high school in How exciting that you have a box of homemade Barbie and Ken clothes! I have one beautiful black skirt my paternal grandmother made for my Barbie. I got in trouble for having Barbie be pregnant while wearing it - she and Ken weren't married, you see, and my grandmother, born in , Did Not Like That At All.


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I was probably 9 at the time, certainly no older than 10 since that's when my grandmother passed away in spring of My dad could do or make anything and my mom was a wonderful cook. My superpower is ordering food online. I contacted a place that sells things on eBay for you but haven't heard back from them.

I'd really like to shift these boxes of feed sacks. I've already gotten rid of a ton of stuff lately. Ps- I've got two of the five remaining bookcases filled! Since they've always been double-stacked there are a ton of books I'd forgotten I had. Belated happy new thread, Karen! I love the picture at the top, the hair is just a sign of the time ;- You are really into Frida Klein I see.

I am not sure yet if I dare to try, as they sound a bit on the scary side. Thanks for the comments on the Frida Klein mysteries. I haven't come across them yet, but I'll be on the lookout. I was four years ahead of you in public school, graduating in Girls were still required to wear skirts, and still assumed to be heading toward home-making in the traditional sense.

Home-ec was a complete waste of my time, since I already knew how to sew and the only dish we made was tuna fish salad. I would have LOVED to take shop classes, but was too stuck in the old stereotypes to raise the issue. My sister was in your cohort, and could by then wear jeans to school. Alas, she wasn't interested in shop classes. I was just discussing with someone else from my years that we were sort of caught mid-stream in the women's movement, and we can now see it created a lot of hesitancy for us even though our parents supported any choices we wanted to make.

It's interesting to me how the handcrafts movement is on the rise when so much is available cheaply. My sister knits, spins and weaves, loves to make her own socks. I'm knitting again a little bit lost my favorite knit hat! Sewing anything from scratch involves more fit problems than I'm willing to take on at the moment. But the idea of things like corn-sacks intrigues me - anything as long as I don't have to fit the curves! The first girl ever. All the "but your might be cut off", exclamations. No fingers were lost, by me or anyone else. I was not particularly talented at making mirror image wings for my model plane.

I wish I could have made a case for my dolls, but then I was judged too old for dolls I have s of dolls. Well, I graduated High School in I recall having to wear dresses until grade 3 or 4. Initally girls could only wear " pant suits" - that is to say, pants and vest or some such thing that matched. I can't remember when we could finally wear jeans like the guys - perhaps grade 7 or grade 8? I believe that the principal of the school being able to spank a child ended than too.

Corporal punishment in public schools was banned. I'm not sure what prompted the change, but I was very pleased to be able to wear jeans. Home Ec was still forced on girls in grade 8 , and as far as I know, we could not take shop. That changed a year or so later, but I was not interested in shop or Home Ec or sewing. Not at all! My own mom could not sew, and thankfully I had a good friend who sewed rather well and she helped me limp through the sewing aspect of Grade 8 home Ec. But I now see! Your review was for Thursday but somehow the cover for Saturday is posted.

I didn't read carefully enough or remember exactly what happens in which book. I graduated in , from Oak Park IL. Hemingway's birthplace. Bitter cold again. Only 13F. At least I am off tomorrow. A good day to thaw out. I am seriously sick of it. Better by the weekend. So the apple fell far from the tree? Congrats on filling more bookcases. Mostly Bill, but I did some damage to the Samoas. They are very good indeed. We still had to wear skirts or dresses when I graduated high school in There were two Pants Days per year when we could wear pants but not shorts or jeans.

Ditto on parents supporting me, although they had to borrow money for me to go to college. By the time I got to high school I was on a college track — in 4 years the only non-academic courses I took were PE which was required, and shorthand and typing which were not. The shorthand was great in college — I took notes in it and transcribed them, reinforcing the knowledge I had heard.

I still use it, but only to make snarky comments to myself about the dumb things people say in meetings. And dolls. Would you describe your collection?

Of special interest...

Those dates seem consistent with what was going on here dress-wise. Ah, that explains your comments. My fault, and I have fixed the image. Sorry you have to be out in it today. Hi Karen, Such nostalgia Gray skirts, white blouses and disgustingly ugly school sweater green and red sleeve stripes. We won, and after that, I don't think I ever wore a skirt again to school. Good for you, Shelley! A sit-in that worked. Remember 'granny' dresses? I had two and wore them my first and second year of college.

After that, hip-hugger bell bottom jeans and 'cool' shirts, but not usually t-shirts. As to sewing, I've always considered it one of the Black Arts that gets women burned at the stake.

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Taking some skinny string and a mile of floppy stuff printed with soppy li'l pinkypoo fleurs and turning it into a dress?! In league with de debbil, all y'all. Happy Monday, Karen! Interesting conversation about home-ec and shop. When I was in school we took both, alternating half the class in each and then switch. I did love the vibrancy of the shirts young men wore in the 70s and 80s, if not the fabric.

I don't expect to live to see men strutting about in finery to compare with the 15thth centuries, but it would be grand. A small part of why I hate small towns. With his height and figure he should totally have gone with a shift cut on the bias. No to the bias cut gown, but I too think he could have made a more flattering choice if that was his aim. He wanted to take up the space, big time, and twirl the skirt. Haven't you ever wondered what it would be like to twirl the skirt? No trousers! When we started in age 11, girls did needlework and cookery and boys did metalwork and woodwork, but by the time we left it was getting more flexible.

I needed something light after Frieda Klein and These Truths. Thanks, visitors! I had a combination busy and lazy day yesterday. It is hard for me to imagine having both shop and home ec offered to both boys and girls - did the boys take home ec too? News after the Oscars. It would have made quite a few parents happy barring the expense but my daughter was livid about the idea.

I would have insisted that she be allowed to wear shorts or pants, though. I'd be up to a reread of Tale of Two Cities in the fall. Last I read it was in high school, so I would certainly have a different opinion of it this time around. Hi Rachel! I've added you to my list of people to remind once I set the thread up. It's my book club's December 1 discussion book, so I'll set the thread up October 1, I think.

Good morning, Karen! Just passing through, trying to get caught up Hi Katie! Good morning to you, too. I am gathering my strength to visit your unread-message thread I am enjoying my A. I have not cracked a book but getting a few things done. I do have a couple of quick errands but most of the afternoon will be reserved for the books. I need to get out and freshen up my feeders.

They have been busy, of late. Mostly, goldfinch, juncos and housefinch. Hi Mark! I hope you have a wonderful day off after the continuing weather nastiness in Chicagoland. I'm filling my 5. I filled everything else except it and the suet feeder yesterday. Right now I've got a very angry sounding Blue Jay on the Crepe Myrtle and a dozen or more Cardinals sharing the feeders with some sparrows.

Or Got a ton of sleep last night. Even with Parker jumping on my head at I was rested. What a difference a day makes! Hi Larry! I'm glad you slept well, even with Da Floof providing early alarm-clock services. I'm reading part 3 of These Truths. It is absolutely fascinating and filled with the history I was never taught in school. I had to wear uniforms all through my schooldays. Tunics with white blouses and navy blue or white socks in elementary school, a white blouse, navy blazer and grey skirt in high school. They were pretty disgusting towards the end of the year where it warmed up no aircon and no pants with short skirts was not the most practicle in the winter in Montreal.

I read all your stories about school uniforms and I'm so grateful that I grew up in a contry that not only has never had school uniforms, but where it's actually forbidden by law to require school uniforms. We were always allowed to wear whatever we wanted, which is why my class photo from prep year pre-1st grade features me in matching sweatpants and sweatshirt. And I've never worked anywhere that has requires any sort of dress code bar the plain black t-shirt that was the "uniform" when I work retail - always been allowed to wear whatever. I can't think of any workplace over here that requires dress codes other than maybe law firms, banks and obviously the ones where it's a hygiene or safety issue, etc.

Happy Wednesday. I am nearly finished with The Fall of Wisconsin. It has been an excellent book, impeccably researched but also dark and disturbing. That evil GOP. I am then thinking, of taking a left turn, and listening to The Dry. I have been curious about this series of crime books for awhile and I am intrigued by the setting. Have you read it? I ordered a new bird feed hopper, like the one I all ready have.

It is squirrel proof. The old one, is beginning to rust in spots and showing other signs of wear. Since it wasn't an option, I guess it was just a problem from a weather-related point of view. And although there is a dress code for lawyers, larger businesses, and of course weird retail outfits, everything else is much more casual here than it ever was. Bill wears jeans and nice LLBean shirts to work and most days he's overdressed! They'd cut a tie off if he wore one My dress code here at the house is strict - jammies for a couple of hours after I get up then usually stretchies and either a long-sleeved shirt or t-shirt depending on the season.

LLBean mocs or wool sox in either case - my feet are usually cold. Happy Wednesday to you, too. I read Force of Nature last year, not realizing it was the second in a series. It's totally excellent, by the way. I've got The Dry on my Kindle just waiting for the right time. I also bought her new, standalone book The Lost Man , also just waiting for the right time. It's a brand new day, the Weather Goddess left the freezer open again, and I'm sipping coffee in a cardigan under a blanket. Not too bad. Good morning, RD!

It's a nice bright 25F outside, a chilly I'm sipping coffee, too. Well, taking it in intravenously because I woke up out of some serious, detailed, weird dreams and am a tad foggy.