In this blog:
The Body on the Dining Room Floor From
The BOOB Girls Book IV: Murder at Meadow Lakes
Remember this: How Book IV came to be
Mary Rose’s Sausage Cheese Casserole, with Eggs!
Notes from Joy
The BOOB Girl Books
The Body on the Dining Room Floor
The big sign over the dining room door at Meadow Lakes read,
WE SHOOT OLD PEOPLE HERE
All of Meadow Lakes Retirement Community was lined up to get their second Covid-19 vaccination. There was a buzz of laughter, some high fives, and a whole lot of smiles. The relief in the room was so thick you could slice it.
Everyone had let down some. Beulah Buttsrocks had lovingly removed the silver tinsel from her walker, put away her Hall Monitor badge and was actually in a small group of women, talking and laughing.
It was a new day, indeed.
After they had been shot, the four girls, Wiley, Alphonso and Raven went to Hadley’s apartment and Alphonso produced a fine bottle of Brut. Hadley produced a fine bottle of pineapple juice and Raven mixed bottomless mimosas.
“That dining room was really different today than the first time you saw it, Marge,” Robbie said with a grin.
Marge remembered. “That was the same year you came here, Alphonso,” Marge reminded the owner of Meadow Lakes as she patted his knee. She took a healthy sip from her mimosa. Alphonso followed suit.
“Let me tell it! Let me tell it!” Mary Rose McGill-Vondra said, bouncing so much in her chair that a drop of her mimosa splashed onto the floor.
“Here’s the story,” and she began:
Percolator Rasmussen, a mean, unpleasant old dude, lay face-down on the dining room floor of Meadow Lakes Retirement Community. The back of his head was smashed in, his throat was cut, there was a robe around his neck, a knife in his back and a bullet hole in his jacket.
“Are we sure he’s dead?” Mary Rose McGill asked.
“If he isn’t,” Wiley Vondra said, “he’d better have damned good insurance!”
“And that’s where I came in,” Marge said, her hand still on Alphonso’s knee. They all looked at her a grinned.
Marge Aaron, retired homicide detective, had been drawn out of retirement by the Omaha police department to investigate the grisly murder at Meadow Lakes.
“You knew immediately it was not a suicide,” Raven grinned back.
“Right!” Marge said. “Or else it was a very thorough one. And that led to my taking an apartment here, solving the murder and staying on forever. I became part of table 12 and these three fine ladies were my mini-detective assistants.”
“So, who killed him?” Raven asked. He was the only one not present at the time.
“I remember,” Alphonso said, “those three witches.”
Raven pointed a finger at Mary Rose, Hadley, and Robbie.
“Not those three!” Alphonso said with a chuckle. “I can’t remember their names, but they lived in a shack just outside this property.”
“Mabel, Myrtle, Mildred and Fred,” Robbie added. She shook her head. “That’s when we started being cursed with people who had funny names.”
“Fred?” Raven asked, raising his eyebrows.
“It was Milifred,” Marge said. “But she didn’t like it, so she became Fred.”
“And they disappeared as if they had brooms to fly away on,” Hadley said.
“But we,” Robbie said, “we fell in love, remember?”
“With Gary the Vampire,” Hadley added. She looked at Mary Rose. “He came to the wedding.”
“With all our funny names, Robbie said, “how did we get a vampire name ‘Gary’?”
“I loved his Vampire Song,” Hadley said. “I remember, ‘I am a scary vampire, my teeth get sharpened every day. If you don’t want me to bite you, you’d better run away!”
Robbie knew the last verse, “I am a fashionable vampire. With a coffin tre’ stylish and more. I sleep well every day here. Martha Stewart did all the décor.”
“And he lived at Billow D’Ground Funeral Home, Crematorium and Monument Sales.” Hadley added.
“Oh Yeah,” Alphonso said. “The best part of that year was when you and I,” he looked at Wiley, “tried to rob Mousey Liam at Viva La Crypt?”
Mousey was really Modesty Liam, but Mosey Liam made her sound like Mausoleum, the perfect bartender for a tavern called, Viva La Crypt and owned by the local funeral directors, Morgan de’Graves.
Raven listened as their story unfolded. “Wiley was depressed.”
“You wouldn’t believe it!” Wiley nodded.
“I wanted to cheer him up, so we planned a little action by robbing Mousey.”
“So, we went to the bar, with Alphonso’s gun, masks over our faces,” Wiley said.
“Then,” Alphonso wanted to finish the story, “we went up to Mousey, Wiley pointed the gun and said…yes he really said, ‘OK mothersticker, this is a fu**kup.”
“Did she give you the money in the cash register?” Raven asked.
“No,” Wiley said. “She recognized us and gave us each a beer.”
“Hard not to recognize a guy in a scooter and another dude in a Stetson,” Raven observed.
“Those were the days,” Alphonso said. “nine short years ago.”
He raised his mimosa, and they toasted their colorful past, which included a vampire named Gary.
How Book IV: Murder at Meadow Lakes came to be?
I had written three books. I had only planned to write one, and I was so pleased they were doing well. A couple of people said, “You should get an agent so they could go public and spread wider.”
Publishers will not accept manuscripts without an agent – I found that out. So, I researched agents.
At the same time, I was trying to find book four. It wasn’t in my head. I was okay with that – I had three books and that’s more than most people ever have, and they were making seasoned ladies laugh. I was happy, but I still was searching around for that illusive plot that always seemed to be just out of reach.
Then I came onto an agent’s website who said, loudly, in her first paragraph:
I absolutely refuse to read any manuscript that has a dead body on the first page.
Bless her heart! All at once, Percolator Rasmussen was spread-eagled on the dining room floor of Meadow Lakes, there was a vampire in a coffin, a bar that could be robbed and two characters who would stay with the series to the end. Marge Aaron, retired homicide detective and Alphonso Greatwood, NFL all pro MVP and wearer of a super bowl ring landed square in my heart and were together forever.
Viva Book IV!
I had what is technically called, “A Screw Up” and many of you caught it.
I left out the eggs!
Here is the recipe again, complete with eggs.
Go for it!
Mary Rose’s Sausage Cheese Squares
1 package refrigerated Crescent rolls
1 package fully cooked frozen sausage links, thawed and cut into ½ inch pieces.
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
¾ Cup Milk
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
Salt and pepper
Unroll dough; place in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Press onto bottom and 1/2 in. up sides to form a crust. Top with sausage and cheese. Beat eggs in a bowl; add remaining ingredients. Carefully pour over cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into 12 pieces.
A Note From Joy
Your joke of the month:
Three nuns were in a car wreck and all three were killed. They went to Heaven and there, sure enough, was St Peter (who strangely enough had a bit of an Irish accent – maybe due to St Patrick’s Day?)
“Ah sisters,” St Peter said, “welcome to Heaven. I’m afraid before I let ye in I must ask each of ye a question. They aren’t difficult, so don’t worry now.”
He looked at the first nun. “Sister, who was the first woman?’
The nun jumped up and down with excitement. “Eve!” she said.
“Ah, sister,” St Peter said, “go right in!”
He looked at the second nun. “Sister, where did Eve live?”
The nun broke into a huge, confident smile, “The Garden of Eden!” she said loudly.
“Aye, sister,” St Peter smiled. “Go right in.”
He looked at the third nun. “Ah, Mother Superior. Because of your high station, your question will, of course, be a bit more difficult.”
There was a pause.
“Mother Superior, what did Eve say when she first saw Adam?”
Mother Superior thought for a minute, then looked troubled.
“Oh, that’s a hard one,” she said.
“Go right on in, Mother Superior.” St Peter said.
Ah, there’s nothin’ like a good Irish joke for St Paddie’s day. All of ye be wearin’ some green now. Ted and I, we’re headin’ for Kearny, Nebraska, to see more than half a million sand hill cranes, and whoopers and geese lift off into the sun as they migrate north in the second largest migration in the world. Oh, and likely ta be a few hundred little duckies in there, too, b’gorra.
Be careful. Be safe. Stay upright.
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