Updated: Apr 27, 2021
In this blog: The Haunted B&B
The BOOB Girls Book VI: From the Eye of the Moose
Remember this: Rats!
Eleanor’s Pork Chop Rhubarb Casserole for Spring
Notes from Joy
The BOOB Girl Books
The Haunted B&B
“Remember this?” Mary Rose pulled out a sheet of paper from her pocket as she sat down at Table 12 in the spacious dining room of Meadow Lakes Retirement Community. Robinson Leary, Marge Aaron and Hadley Joy Morris Whitfield were already seated with full cups of coffee in front of them. Mary Rose began to read.
Just a simple little house
With cobwebs all around
Settled in a lonely field
In a nice, deserted town.
Just a simple little house
With gargoyles, gables too
And here a ghost and there a ghost
Heh, heh, heh and BOO!
Just a simple little house
A moose head on the wall
Nothing here to fear my dear,
No nothing, not at all
Just a simple little house
A Goth to keep it safe
Crows who light upon the wall
A lonely, troubled wraith
Oh yes, just a simple little house
With secrets everywhere
If you want to visit
Just go ahead. Go there.
IF YOU DARE!
Robbie looked at Mary Rose and grinned. “I wrote that six years ago when we went to Salem’s Crossing to claim a haunted Victorian Painted Lady Bed and Breakfast.”
“It belonged to…” Hadley said, trying to remember.
“Turnbirdie Trumble,” Robbie grinned even wider. “My old professor who was nutty as a fruitcake.”
“You got a letter from three attorneys in Salem’s Crossing, Nebraska, saying you had inherited it.” Hadley was obviously trying to remember their names.
“Butts, McCracken and Rears,” Robbie said.
“I remember how it was like being in an Abbott and Costello scary movie,” Marge added. “There would be a raging storm peppering the windows, shaking the whole house but if you opened the front door, the sun was shining.”
“I found this poem going through one of my drawers,” Mary Rose said. “Made me think of that sweet little lady with dementia…”
“Penstemon Primrose,” they said together.
“We went to the chief of police when we couldn’t track her after she started coming into the house while we were cleaning, going into a bedroom and taking a nap,” Marge nodded her head, remembering.
“The chief of police was Matilda Minor Mildew,” Mary Rose put in. “An amazon!”
“A BLACK amazon,” Robbie finished.
“She took us to Shut Up and Drink,” Marge said, “the local tavern, and the chief asked the Puritan bartender…”
“Humiliation Strikes,” Robbie said.
“Yes,” Marge went on, “she asked him to tell us about Penstemon.”
“And he said,” Hadley leaned toward them, coffee cup in hand, “Penstemon Primrose! We call her ‘Stems’ because she still has the best legs in Salem’s Crossing. She comes here every day at four and has a drink with one of her three boyfriends.”
“I remember how we all said, THREE BOYFRIENDS!!! together.” Mary Rose laughed.
“Three boyfriends,” Hadley said. “Jim Beam.”
“Jack Danials,” Robbie added.
“Johnny Walker,” Marge finished.
They were quiet for a minute, sipping their coffee.
“The whole village took care of her,” Mary Rose said in a dreamy voice.
“And Humiliation served an extra fine Chardonnay,” Robbie finished.
“May we all take care of each other as well as Salem’s Crossing cared for Penstemon Primrose,” Hadley said. And she stood up to get a fresh pot of coffee.
Eleanor’s Spring Pork Chop Rhubarb Casserole
Eleanor says this is a lively taste of sweet and sour.
4 boneless pork loin chops (3/4 inches thick and 4 ounces each)
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups soft breadcrumbs
3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb (1-inch pieces)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove and keep warm. Add butter to the drippings to melt; mix with bread crumbs. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, sugar, flour and cinnamon; spoon into a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. Sprinkle crumbs over top.
Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil. Arrange pork chops on top. Bake, uncovered, until heated through, 10-15 minutes.
Send me your favorite Spring and Summer recipes. Joy.firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll cook together.
Remember this from The BOOB Girls VI: From the Eye of the Moose?
The girls are ramsacking the Victorian Painted Lady, searching for hidden treasures and secret rooms. During their search of the grounds, they discover a root cellar.
“This is what Dorothy’s family dived into when the tornado hit in Wizard of Oz,” Robbie noticed. There were two huge round and rusted handles on the cellar doors and Robbie pulled on one. It would not budge. Marge grabbed ahold of the other one and pulled even harder. It gave a little bit. Hadley moved over and grabbed ahold with Marge. Together they slowly lifted the big door. Dust and leaves fell off of it onto the ground. Mary Rose and Robbie both grabbed the other handle and pulled as hard as they could. With an ugly groan, the big door rose up suddenly, throwing them backward. They staggered and just barely kept their balance.
“Whew,” Mary Rose said, batting her hands together to get the dirt off. They walked to the front of the cellar and looked down. Narrow, dangerous looking steps led into a damp, dark underground interior that was covered with cobwebs. They were quiet, then they heard a soft scurrying in the darkness below.
“Rats!” Marge said.
“Oh, it’s not that bad, Marge,” Mary Rose said. “We can take brooms and clean those cobwebs away before we go down.”
“No,” Marge said. “I didn’t mean ‘rats’ as in ‘oh shucks or dang. I meant RATS – as in things so big they could eat Geoffrey.”
At that they heard the front door bang and Geoffrey came loping around the corner.
“Escaped,” Hadley said.
Geoffrey looked down the hole to the cellar, turned, looked at the girls and disappeared down the stairs, tail wagging, feet slipping on the damp stones. They looked at each other.
“Geoffrey?” Mary Rose said. “Come here, boy.”
Geoffrey barked, then barked again. It was a playful, I’m Having Fun kind of bark. We can’t let him catch a rat!” Robbie said. “Who knows what disease they could be carrying>”
“Geoffrey!” They all yelled together.
“Oh Crap!” Marge said. And holding onto the rough walls, she headed down the steps as fast as she could go, which was not fast at all. Just when she got to the bottom and looked around, Geoffrey bounded by her, nearly pushing her over. He was covered with cobwebs and dirt and had a supremely proud look on his face. In his mouth he carried an old rag that was ready to fall apart from age and wetness. Even from the top of the stairs the girls could smell the damp and mold and rodent excrement that rose up toward them.
“Somebody bring me a flashlight,” Marge said, not moving any farther into the blackness. Hadley turned and walked briskly to the Hummer parked in the circle drive in front of the house. She dug into the console and found a large flashlight, then she hurried to the rear of the big vehicle, opened the back where a large, neat plastic bin sat. She opened it and brought out a big, battery-driven torch. With one in each hand, she headed back to the girls and the cellar.
They were all gathered at the bottom of the slick stairs. Geoffrey was lying next to the open door quietly killing the rag and growling a fierce growl as he shook his victim back and forth. Hadley descended the stairs with more caution than needed and handed the torch to Marge, keeping the flashlight for herself. They turned on the beams together. As soon as the lights shown, lighting the entire cellar with and eerie glow, two over-sized bull snakes raised their heads and slithered into a hole at the base of the back wall.
“EEEEEEK!” said Hadley
"EEEEEEEEK!” said Mary Rose
“EEEEEElk!” said Robbie
“Shit!” said Marge.
A Note From Joy
Plots are hard! I envy James Patterson who, with a group of writers, can put out a book a month. So what was fun for me was doing “take-offs.” Modeling a plot after good old stories I loved growing up. The BOOB Girls VI: From the Eye of the Moose, is a take off on the old Abbott and Costello horror comedies. The girls find themselves in a haunted mansion, where a storm rages against the windows until the door is opened and a sunny day is revealed. There are shadows and cobwebs, a revolving fireplace that circles into another room, a mummy, and a moose’s head on the wall opposite the fireplace where a human head can fit inside and view the massive dining room “from the eye of the moose.”
Do you remember? Abbott and Costello in Hold That Ghost. Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. They also Meet the Killer (Boris Karloff) and Meet the Invisible Man and you’ve got to love, The 30-foot Bride of Candy Rock. The boys were kind enough to include in their meetings – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Mummy.
So all of us, sitting with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello have nothing but fun. And remember, as you re-read BOOB Girls VI – Moosie loves you.
Be careful. Be safe. Stay upright.
Now that we are opening up some, I will be available for speaking. The BOOB Girls Talk will be shorter, 30-40 minutes, and will be available only within 150 miles of Omaha.
For information, email email@example.com or call at 403-639-2030,
This is a laugh out loud talk that includes how older women are beautiful and BOOB Girl Books will be waiting for you.
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