Who Does She Think She Is?

Posts tagged ‘memories’

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Leighton Hamilton Playing the Blues

Posted by Joni in About Him, Music, Video

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An old beau of mine has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe because this is the fifth anniversary of his death at the young age of 56. Or maybe as I myself grow older, nostalgia kicks in. Anyway, he spent his last years back in his hometown of Dalton, Georgia, and Tuesday nights were spent in front of the mike at The Blues Train Cafe. Here are some photos from that period.

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The Nose Knows…

Posted by Joni in About Him, About Me


and so does he. After reading a post about nice smells, Rob decided to turn the tables and post his list of the smelliest things on earth. Did he get his inspiration from that old cult classic, Pink Flamingos, featuring Divine and the Marbles vying for the title of The Filthiest People Alive? The list would make Divine herself swoon with horror.

But he forgot a few items. You haven’t LIVED until you’ve smelled rotten potatoes. We left a bag on a bottom shelf of a rolling cart that we kept in the laundry room right next to the kitchen. I kept thinking there was a dead mouse somewhere, but I searched high and low and never found it. I finally moved the cart and noticed what was on the very bottom bin. Liquefied taters. I mean to tell you it was horrid.

Another smell that I’ll never forget is the smell of rotting salmon. I had purchased some salmon steaks and one package of them (I’d bought several) somehow slipped back between the back of the trunk and the back of the back seat (in my Mazda 626 sedan, you could literally crawl into the trunk from the back seat by just lifting a flap and flipping the seat forward). I didn’t think anything of the smell at first, since Robert had taken the car to Rockport for a fishing trip the previous weekend. I just figured the lingering fishy smell would fade away. But it kept getting worse and worse and finally, after a week of it, I started ripping up carpeting. I finally yanked the back seat out and out flipped this little package the size of a paper back book. One of nature’s putrid little time bombs. I picked it up gingerly between my fingertips and hurled it into the dumpster. Then I doused the car with Lysol Spray and Febreeze. The smell was completely gone within a few days.

Those two smells, along with the cloyingly sweet smell of honeysuckle, which I simply cannot tolerate, are right up there in my personal book of bad smells. (I read somewhere that decaying human flesh smells like honeysuckle, but I don’t know this firsthand.)

On the other hand, good smells are usually food smells for me, such as fresh baked bread, fresh brewed coffee, and that wonderful smell when you first open that new can of coffee. Pure heaven! I also love to smell bacon frying (signifying that breakfast is on the way). I’m getting hungry just typing this post!

Other nice smells are smells I remember from childhood: fresh mown grass, my mother’s perfume (L’Air du Temps), her face powder, and crayolas. Loved that waxy smell.

I have a habit of smelling inanimate things for some odd reason, like leather. I like smelling my leather purses. I also love the way my cat smells. His fur smells sweet, like fresh towels. And while on the topic of that, freshly laundered clothes, smelling of liberal doses of Downy fabric softener, is a comforting smell to me. The way Robert smells when he’s just gotten out of the shower, and his aftershave (Grey Flannel).

Clouds heavy with rainwater, the way the air smells right before a gullywasher, and right after. The odd smell that emanates from a cedar light pole on a hot day. I don’t know what it is, but it’s oddly nice.

Blog Post

To Herbert on Father’s Day

Posted by Joni in About Him


I was adopted at birth and never had a father. At least not a birth father that I knew. But I did have a father figure. A friend of my mother, Thelma. His name was Herbert Grannis. He was around as long as I can remember. He read the Sunday comics to me until I was able to read them for myself. He did so many other things for me that I never got to thank him for. So I’ll do that now.

Thank you, Uncle Herb …

For having the patience to indulge a four-year old by reading the Sunday comics to her every Sunday morning when I am sure you’d rather have dived into the sports section to check baseball scores.

For sitting patiently as you held me in your lap while I plucked hairs off your arm. It was this weird “thing” I did and I have no idea why.

For putting together my Barbie Dream House (it would be worth a small fortune today) and all the cardboard Danish Modern furniture that came with it so my dolls would have a place to park their plastic asses.

For attempting (that’s the operative word here) to teach me algebra and how to use a slide rule at the ripe old age of eight.

For not being afraid to let anyone see you cry inconsolably when our Pekingese died.

For driving across town to help me pick out a new kitten and cringing inside when I announced I would name the little black kitten Satan. (My mother vetoed the idea immediately so, fresh out of clever ideas, he became Toby.)

For telling me I was beautiful.

For telling me I was smart.

For being just as disappointed in me as Thelma was when I misbehaved.

You left too soon; you were 62 to my 16.

But you played a part in how I would grow up and choose my own mate.

And P.S., I think you would have LOVED Roberto!

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It Happened So Fast…

Posted by Joni in About Him

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I am spending the last day of my week-long vacation cleaning out my email inbox and came across something I wrote to a close friend the evening that Robo died. I thought I’d share it with you.

It happened so fast this afternoon; EMTs, cops, medical examiner … I guess with his constellation of health issues, they wanted a definitive cause of death. The house is finally quiet tonight after hours of chaos. And I have lost my best friend of 30 years.

And I didn’t tell him how much I love him today of all days. Go do that right now!

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Is Santa Supposed to Say “Dammit”?

Posted by Joni in About Me, Holiday

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My fondest childhood memories of Christmas morning involved “coffee milk,” presents and swearing. It’s usually what got me out of bed on Christmas morning. I wasn’t like a normal kid who got up at 3 in the morning to stake out the tree waiting for Santa to arrive, hoping to catch him in the act (or my parents in a huge coverup). Nope, I stayed in bed until I heard the cussing and smelled the coffee.

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Posted by Joni in General

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A question posed on Formspring prompted this memory of a long ago adventure Robo and I had when we were living in San Antonio. The question?

What was your worst
travel experience?

That’s easy. It was when Robert and I went to Laredo and its across-the-border sister, Nuevo Laredo, way back in the late 1980s. Because I’d planned the trip, we ended up in a nice hotel (La Posada) with reservations. One of the reasons for the trip was that Robert wanted to go to the dog races across the border. But we missed the hotel shuttle bus that would have taken us across the border to the Hippodrome for the dog races. So Robert and I set out on foot (me in HEELS no less) across the border, on a stinking city bus filled with sweaty riders and goats (I am not making this up!). We exited on the Reforma Highway across the street from a huge sign that said “Hippodrome” with a big arrow pointing down a long road. Yep, the damn racetrack was two miles down the road. On foot. In heels. We thumbed a ride to the venue and Robert assured me we could just catch the shuttle bus on the way back, so on that promise, I was able to relax and enjoy the evening.

Mexican Peso
They'd rather have American dollars in Nuevo Laredo.

But when we got to the shuttle bus, we were informed only round trip ticket holders could board. Oy. We had to rely on the kindness of strangers and Robert’s $20 bill to get is back across the border to the hotel. Living with that man has never been dull, I can tell you that.