In this blog: Jokes and Pokes at Table 12
Remember this: Maggie Shoots the Headstone
Hadley’s Cozy Chili Casserole
Notes from Joy
The BOOB Girl Books
“You know what the dumbest thing I did at the end of last year?” Alphonso Greatwood asked. He had pulled his scooter, The Green Machine, up close to Marge Aaron as she sat near table 12 in the dining room of Meadow Lakes Retirement Community. Five faces besides Marge’s looked at him.
“With you, buddy,” Wiley Vondra said, “the options for dumbest thing are endless.”
“The dumbest thing I did at the end of 2019 was buy a 2020 Day Planner.” Alphonso looked around at his friends. He laughed.
Mary Rose McGill looked at Wiley Vondra and raised her eyebrows. Wiley shook his head.
Robinson Leary looked at Raven, the Apache sitting next to her and raised her eyebrows.
Raven just looked. Hadley Joy Morris Whitfield looked at Alphonso and groaned.
“There’s been nothing to write in it,” Alphonso said, as if to explain the joke.
“It’s been boring sometimes, that’s for sure,” Hadley said. Then she looked up and smiled. “One night I was so bored I called Jake at State Farm. He asked what I was wearing.”
This time Robbie groaned. “The world is upside down,” she added, putting her hand on Raven’s knee. “Now old people here are sneaking out and their kids are yelling for them to stay home!” Raven patted her hand.
Wiley Vondra leaned back in his chair. “This virus has done what no woman could do,” he said, glancing at his bride beside him. “It’s cancelled sports, shut down bars and kept men at home.”
Mary Rose jumped up and down in her chair a couple pf times, just like an excited kid. “I have a good one! I have a good one!” she smiled. “Yesterday I went into the bank wearing a mask and went up to the teller and asked for money.”
Everyone smiled. Raven was the one to shake his head.
“You all need polar bear wisdom of the Apache,” he told them.
“Apaches don’t hang out with polar bears,” Robbie told him.
“Some Apaches do,” Raven grinned. “The real cool ones.”
There were more groans.
Raven straightened up in his chair, reached over to the table and grabbed one of the beers that Alphonso had set in the center. The girls held glasses of red wine in their hands. “Polar bears live large,” Raven said, looking around. “They have a thick skin, they sniff out all opportunities, they learn some good ice breakers, they are fearless, strong and they keep their cool.”
He looked around at them. They looked back. Robbie patted his knee.
“And they know when to hibernate,” Marge added, grinning at Alphonso. He raised his eyebrows up and down like Groucho Marx.
Snow had begun to fall in fat, thick flakes outside the floor-to-ceiling windows of the big dining room.
“It’s a good night for chili,” Hadley said. “Everyone come to my apartment around 5;30. I’ll make a cozy chili casserole.
“I’ll eat tonight,” Robbie said, “but tomorrow I have to start social distancing from my refrigerator. All I do is nibble.” She shook her head. “I feel like I’m made up of high cholesterol, fat, salt and toxins.”
Raven leaned forward and looked at her. “You’re turning into a potato chip!” He gave her a wicked grin.
She slapped his arm.
“The things you need to do to feel better,” Raven said to the group, “is don’t watch the news and stay off the bathroom scale!”
“But tonight,” Hadley said, leaning toward Robbie, “is to pig down on some really good cozy, cheesy chili and watch the snowfall.”
Remember this? Maggie Shoots the Tombstone (Book I)
Maggie Patten drove her old jeep onto a cemetery road in Omaha, Nebraska. She stopped, opened the door and got out. Maggie Patten was short, skinny, a little bow-legged with minimum-maintenance hair. She was dressed in tight jeans, dirty sneakers and a flannel shirt worn on the outside. It was worn on the outside because it was hiding Maggie’s old colt 45 and its holster. Both had belonged to her father.
Maggie walked a few yards up a little hill to a grave. She took the stance her daddy taught her all those years ago on their ranch in the Sandhills, aimed the gun and shot five shots into the newly set Rock of Ages headstone of her mean-talking, mean-spirited, just plain mean husband.
Granite flew everywhere.
Maggie holstered the old gun and surveyed the damage.
“Never was anything but trouble, you son of a bitch,” she said, and she turned and walked back to her jeep.
Maggie Patten was till grinning when she tossed the gun into the back seat, started the old vehicle, turned it around and headed toward her new home at Meadow Lakes Retirement Community,
Hadley’s Cheesy Chili Hash Brown Casserole
Only has 5 ingredients. Bake in a 13 X 9 inch pan or 8 individual baking bowls
1 ½ pound ground beef
1 can original Sloppy Joe sauce
1 15 oz can chili with beans
½ of a 30 oz package frozen country style shredded hash browns (about 4 cups)
2 cups (8oz) shredded Cheddar cheese)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in Sloppy Joe sauce and chili. Spoon chili mixture into 8 lightly greased 10-oz. ramekins or 9 by 13 in casserole dish. Top with frozen hash browns. Bake, covered, at 425° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until browned and crisp. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. (From Southern Living Vintage Casseroles)
A Note From Joy
I wish you a gentle good 2021. It has been a rich, loving year for Ted and me and our families. We have come to know how precious everyone we love has become, because starting last January, we began experiencing the deaths of people for whom we care and we experienced them every month until at the end of this year, 15 friends and family have died. Death touches each one of us. Having worked in death, dying and grief for 40 years, I know that we do not escape it; for others and for ourselves So in the coming year, each night as I go to sleep, I will list in my head, at least 10 things for which I am grateful; And I won’t say, family, health, a warm home – no- that is the umbrella of gratefulness that covers me each night. I will find the simple things of the day: the hot shower, the black bean soup for lunch, meeting Pam in the hall and going for coffee in the Gamers Room here at Arboretum Village, Ted fixing the heart that came off from the necklace he gave me five years ago. I, like Ebenezer Scrooge, will keep Christmas in my heart all year long.
We can be better. December 29th is the anniversary of one of the very worst moments in American history. On this clear, cold morning in 1890, American soldiers massacred 250 Lakota Indian men, women, and children at Wounded Knee. The women were gunned down while trying to run up a hillside. Soldiers were waiting at the top. The women had been hitching up horses to make the trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation where Chief Red Cloud was waiting for the soldiers to deliver them safely. Children, who were wrapped only in blankets, which did not keep out the bitter South Dakota cold, were used as target practice.
The Indians were unarmed.
It is time now for us to watch the news. Write letters when our First Nation is cheated or attacked or, as my daughter used to say, “unfaired against.” My great-grandmother was a full-blood Fox Indian. She had been raised to be ashamed of that. So in a tribute to a big, homey Indian woman, I will remember Wounded Knee in honor of her – Amanda Bear.
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