In this blog: Hall Monitor at Meadow Lakes
Remember this: Are My Testicles Black?
Alphonso’s Cozy Winter Casserole
Notes from Joy
The BOOB Girl Books
Hall Monitor at Meadow Lakes
The rules were many and every resident at Meadow Lakes Retirement Community knew
they were important during this horrendous and tragic pandemic. The upside: everyone
was as safe as possible. The downside: it gave some people a chance to wield undeserved
and extremely annoying power.
Such was the case of Beulah Buttsrock: Hall Monitor.
Beulah was short, plump, had white hair and glasses. This describes 68% of the female
residents at any retirement community. Beulah went into another percentage block when
we count in her state-of-the- art walker, complete with comfortable leather seat she could
use as a chair by simply turning the thing around.
Beulah, stanchly poised behind her walker, was a roamer. She walked the halls of Meadow
Lakes incessantly. She could be seen on the second floor by the mailboxes, carefully
keeping a six-foot distance from everyone and glaring if anyone came an inch closer. If
she went to the front desk, she stood back and glared some more. On the third floor she
had actually been seen slipping around corners to see if she could spot someone taking off
their mask before entering their apartment. It was paradise for Beulah.
“She caught me singing as I came down the hall,” Robbie complained. “She said,
‘Robinson, you can’t sing”
“Well,” Hadley smiled, “gotta admit that’s true.”
Raven reached over and gave Robbie’s knee a teasing pat.
They were gathered, coffee cups in hand, in Alphonso Greatwood’s massive office at
Meadow Lakes. Alphonso could have an office as massive as he liked. He owned the
“Yeah, right,” Robbie said. “And I said, ‘I know, that’s what everybody tells me.’ Then
Beulah said, ‘You can’t sing in the halls, even with your mask on! It spreads the virus.’”
Robbie looked around.
“There was no one there!” she said. “I was alone in the hall! She tried to take away my
They could tell she was pissed.
“She told Wiley and me we had to stay six feet apart, even though we’re married!” Mary
“Not gonna happen, sweetheart,” Wiley said, grinning at Mary Rose.
“She told me if I went to visit my granddaughter, the nurse, I had to quarantine for two
weeks, even if there were just the two of us.”
“Does Jessi live out of town?” Robbie asked. She knew the answer.
Hadley shrugged. She knew the answer, too. “Of course not! And you only have to
quarantine if you go out of state for Pete’s sake.”
“I’ve got to admit,” Marge said. “She’s never bothered me.”
"I don’t bother you either!” Alphonso said.
They laughed and nodded. No one bothered Marge Aaron, retired homicide detective.
“Or me” Raven said. “But I try to make most people afraid of Apaches.”
“So, we got even,” Robbie said with a wicked smile. “We decorated her walker.”
“I supplied the stuff,” Mary Rose said proudly and moving to the end of her seat.
“Here’s what we did,” Hadley said, taking over. “You know, Beulah always parks her
walker just outside her door. So last night, after she went to bed…”
“Always at 8:30,” Robbie interrupted.
“Right,” Hadley continued, “after she went to bed we slipped up to her apartment, put the
world’s ugliest white tinsel rope around the handles and every rod going to the four wheels
of the walker, hung big plastic snowflakes all over the handles, put a horrible fluffy cover
on the seat with ‘Bitch Seat’ on it…”
“I made the cover!” Mary Rose bragged, bouncing just a little. “And that tinsel sheds!” she
Alphonso, Wiley, and Raven looked on in amazement. The girls were crazy with
Marge couldn’t resist. “I helped. I went to the dollar store and got a big badge that said,
‘Hall Monitor’. “
“We hung that on the front of the walker,” Mary Rose added.
We glued awful white flowers onto the wheels” Mary Rose said with a smile.
They looked at each other with proud grins. Since they were all sitting six feet apart, they
did an air-high five, grinning even more.
Just as they were leaning back in their chairs with smug, smart-ass smiles on their faces,
Alphonso’s office door opened with a loud bang.
Beulah Buttsrock stood in the doorway, hands on her tinseled rocker handles and a glare in
her beady little eyes.
“Look at this, Alphonso Greatwood!” she said loudly. “I want to thank you! Finally, you
recognized the full value of good disciple and leadership.”
She looked at the girls.
The girls were looking at the walker. The tinsel had begun to sag and droop from the
handlebars. A four-inch length of the rope already hung from one handle and two ugly
white flowers had been mashed into the wheels. The Bitch Seat was still in good shape,
“And ladies, I know you did this and I’m grateful to you, too. I now have a colorful and
noticeable identity as the official hall monitor!”
She took out the Hall Monitor badge Marge had provided and pinned it onto her dress top.
“You know I’m not into receiving awards in public and this was the best surprise since
I’ve been a resident here.”
She nodded at Alphonso, turned, and went out the door.
“She meant it,” Robbie finally said.
“And she thinks I did it all.” Alphonso added. He looked at the girls. “You have created a
monster and I get the credit for it.”
Only Marge and Raven had the nerve to grin.
Remember this? Are My Testicles Black? (Book I)
They had just met, four widows in the dining room of their retirement community,
having dinner together for the first time. They didn’t know they would become the
symbol of women’s friendships in years to come.
Maggie Patten, a tough Sandhills rancher, Hadley Joy Morris Whitfield, a socialite,
Dr. Robinson Leary, black professor from Creighton University and Mary Rose
McGill, a sweet Catholic girl had clicked. They already loved each other.
They had talked on long after dinner when Maggie leaned over to Robinson Leary
and asked with a grin, “Tell me. Do black men have black balls?”
They all looked at her, then Robbie Leary smiled.
“I heard about this old black man who was in the hospital in an oxygen mask and a
nurse walked in. He said, “Nurse, nurse, check and see if my testicles are black.”
She said, “Oh, sir, I’m not qualified to do that.”
He looked desperate. “Please,” he said. “Just take a minute and check and see if my
testicles are black.”
The nurse said, “But sir, I’m only a student nurse here to give you a sponge bath.”
The old man almost yelled at her. “Then go get somebody to check and see if my
testicles are black. I’m really anxious about this and I’ve asked and asked!”
The nurse saw his blood pressure was going up and his heartbeat increasing, so she
said, “All right sir.”
She carefully lifted his bed sheet and looked.
“No sir,” she said. “they look perfectly normal to me.”
The old man sat up, took off the oxygen mask and smiled. Then he said, “Thank you.
Now listen carefully. Are my TEST RESULTS back?”
Alphonso’s Cozy Winter Casserole
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Bake
It’s a favorite anytime – grilled cheese and tomato soup. Alphonso’s favorite winter
casserole combines them for a cozy dinner. Add a bottle of good chardonnay.
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil, divided
12 slices Italian, sourdough or rye bread (1/2 inch thick)
6 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-3/4 cups 2% milk
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend or part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 1 teaspoon basil until blended;
spread onto 6 bread slices. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining bread.
Spread outsides of sandwiches with butter. Arrange in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
In a small saucepan, combine tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper and remaining basil; cook and stir over medium heat 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl; gradually whisk in a third of the milk mixture. Stir in remaining milk mixture; pour over sandwiches. Sprinkle with Italian cheese blend.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Test Kitchen Tip
When this casserole comes out of the oven it is best to let it sit for the full 10 minutes if not a little longer. You will end up with a rich, creamy texture very similar to a breakfast strata or a savory bread pudding.
A Note From Joy
Even in the midst of a horrifying week, I found humor.
1. It’s sometimes funny, living in a retirement community, to stand six feet from people
and talk to them when at least half of us here have a hearing problem. We end up yelling
and saying that four-letter word, What?? I’m one of those deaf old people and sometimes
it gets laughable.
2. I walked into the room while Ted was watching the news on TV. The announcer said
that President Trump accused officials in Pennsylvania of stealing votes. But I heard:
President Trump has accused officials in Pennsylvania of stealing goats.
“Oh my God!” I said, “Now they’re bringing the goats into it!”
Somewhere in Pennsylvania is a hidden ranch with 50,000 goats on it!
We can be better. One of the sad things about our political time, is the loss of friendship.
I am in a group where people share how they have been rejected, scolded, shamed and
even thrown out of their families because they think differently than family and friends.
I have three friends and one family member who think radically differently than I. I can
say what I want, as long as I say it kindly, to my family member. I can contradict and joke
with one friend. The other two are ones with whom I refuse to talk politics. I am also
claiming my right to be treated politely. When one of the friends posted a racist
comparison chart I said, “C---, when you post things like this, please remember I’m
married to a black man, and those posts hurt.” He apologized told me once again he was
not a racist. He is, he just won’t admit it or even recognize it in himself.
If you have friends/family whose love or friendship you have lost, let me know what you
have done to make it better. firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put together some
suggestions. The BOOB Girls nooks are really stories of friendship and in our later years,
let’s do all we can to keep those friends.
Click here to order The Last Boob Girl Book!
And I want you to: Keep in touch! What did you do this Thanksgiving that was enriching and positive? Who did you think about that brought smiles and tears? What is your most precious memory for this time of the year?
SHARE THIS WITH SOMEONE WHO NEEDS A SMILE. FORWARD IT TO FRIENDS. Order by check, for credit cards call 402-639-2939 Or on the website! To pay by check, send $16.00 to Joy Johnson Brown 8141 Farnam Dr #322 Omaha, NE 68114 ON SALE!! Audio Book Available for The Boob Girls! Read by Sue Mouttet. CLICK HERE!!