A Hoosier Redneck’s Review of the Royal Wedding

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:49 AM Comments comments (802)
A Hoosier Redneck’s Review of the Royal Wedding
            I bet you are wondering how we managed to be invited to the wedding of this century, well as the American trailer park style reporter I attended as a special envoy.  I of course took Leslie as my escort in ascot.  The crowds up the street are amazing.  Leslie said it reminded him of the Snake Pit years ago at the 500. Here we sit in the big church.  Am I ever glad that I brought bigger cushions for us to sit .  These chairs are a bit skimpy and I knew I would be relegated to the rubber ring after sitting for hours in pretty chairs.  We are decked out in our finest Goodwill finds.  I won the fight when Leslie was insistent on wearing his Butler T-shirt.  As a concession I agreed to not wear the fish net hose so I guess we are rather on the conservative dress scale for this event.  I am wearing a fashionable chapeau complete with feathers.  Leslie says it is like sitting next to Big Bird.
            I begin to scan the room for familiar faces.  I make eye contact with Maggie Thatcher.  She quickly looks away.  Yeah right!  She feels guilty. I loaned her my Pink Floyd CD and she never returned it.  I think she was going to make a pirate copy.  This was right after she left her government job and she was on a fixed income.  Oh there is Sharon and Ozzie Osborn.  Old Oz must have been throwing ‘em back with Bonnie Prince Charlie last night because they both look a little hung over.  Leslie leans over and whispers that he wished he had done something with his ingrown toenail because “these fancy shoes are killing me.”  A man knows nothing of suffering for style.
            I see my friend Joyce Dwulet making a head turning entrance.  My, that red sequin gown is hard to miss.  That side slit up the dress is high enough that we could see if she had any dollar bills tucked.  How clever to place a temporary tattoo of the Union Jack right above her clevage.   She looks fabo as arm dressing for Mr. Craig Ferguson.  Tongues are wagging.  I see someone coming here, I think it is Boy George….no…Oh yes it is Tony Blair wearing a disguise.  You see Tony didn’t get an invitation.  He was really freaked about it but I snagged one off of a scalper outside our room at the Comfort Inn and sent it to him.  He was thrilled but said he would have to attend incognito. That spring frock he is wearing is a nice choice.  The patent leather belt shows off his trim waist and tiny hips.
            Oh there is Joe Cocker, he smiles at me and coyly raises a sign that says “You can leave your hat on”…..Joe you devil!  Leslie should be jealous but he reminds me that those dry biscuits he had for breakfast are long gone and he is getting hungry.  I tell him those were not biscuits but scones.  As I am digging around in my bag of snacks he says that he felt sure that they would be selling fish and chips somewhere in the building.  Whew, success as I pull out the bag of pork rinds.  He will be happy until he needs something to drink.  I came prepared with juice boxes so surely we should be able to make it through until the final buzzer goes off.  There were so many things to think of in getting ready to attend this big affair.  I made sure that the courier delivered our wedding gift yesterday.  I know you are wondering what Leslie and I got the newlyweds.  Well we of course wanted to send them something truly fine in keeping with our American heritage but tasteful and practical.  Well we found the perfect gift.  A set of six Elvis tumblers from Graceland stenciled with “Hunk of Burnin’ Love” on them.  I bet she will have trouble keeping the Queen away from them.
            Leslie taps his watch with his finger.   I tell him I know it is getting late.  He is worried that I did not put enough money in the parking meter.  I am terrible about pounds/dollars conversion so I am not really sure how much time we have on the meter.  I told him we may get a ticket but I don’t think they will bother to tow the car.  He leans over and asks when they are going to play the Star Spangled Banner.  I see that I have been remiss in coaching him on the upcoming events of the day!  This is not the opening ceremonies of the Daytona 500.  I remind him that they will play something British like…”Mad Dogs and Englishmen” or something of that nature. 
            I now feel that it is time for things to start.  Everyone is glancing at the back of the church.  They must be coming…no it is not the wedding party but Keith Richards.  No one quite walks up an aisle like dear old Keith.  All eyes are fixed on him as he looks towards the Queen.   There has always been talk that HRH and the rocker well….to say it tastefully, spent an evening together.  Keith turns toward her majesty and winks and we see the corners of her mouth curl in a girlish smile.  Prince Philip is to busy shining the buttons on uniform to notice.  Oh the pageantry! 
            I point out to Leslie in the program that the opening musical selection was chosen specifically because it is one of the Queen’s favorites.  No sooner than I say this,  the organ begins to play the first chords and the angelic voices of the choir boys sing “You can’t always get what you want….”

                                                    Part 2

              This is your roving Indiana Trailer Park Style reporter giving you the insiders scoop on the Royal wedding festivities.  My first report included all the pre-wedding activity.  The ceremony itself was pretty much your standard prayer, music, preacher asking the bride if she will pick up the old man’s dirty underwear.  She says yes-cause she’s in love.  Groom says yes-cause he believes he no longer has to take her out to eat to get a little fun so essentially they both are CLUELESS!  Fun time is over!

              After the preacher pronounces them man and wife-they don’t get to kiss.  They must have some kind of ordinance in England of kissing in church.  That is where the term “stiff upper lip” came from I think.  As the couple leaves I think I hear Ozzie Osborn say “uh…well…let’s paw-tee”.   And away we go to the reception.  Leslie doesn’t want to go through the receiving line but I told him it will probably be the only chance I get to speak to the Queen today.  She had asked me for my buttermilk pie recipe so I was going to slip her the recipe card.  I also had some half-runner bean seed that Prince Charles asked me to save for his garden.  I had a bit of explaining taking them through customs but after I explained that Camilla is planning on canning a bunch of beans this summer and these go along great with fried chicken (Charles favorite) they let me take them through.

              I’m not sure if this is really Prince Philip or his wax figure from Madam Tussaud’s.  Maybe it is about time for his nap.   The wedding couple was so gracious and ladies I am here to tell you…Prince William wears Old Spice cologne just like his father.  You see, these are the little tidbits of information that only me, your reporter on the scene can provide you with.  I told the new Princess Catherine how lovely she looked.  I also remarked to her that she either was wearing a really good foundation garment or she still had that perkiness of youth.

              I asked Leslie to go ahead and go through the buffet line.  I had a responsibility to my readers to keep an observant eye on everything going on.  He could bring me back some of those little pig in the blankets though.  I have a revelation of gossip for you.  I had always suspected but now I know for sure.  I watched as she went down the buffet line and when she reached the chip dip I saw it with my own eyes….Camilla is a double dipper!  No surprise to most in attendance I think.   Prince Harry was over at the keg and getting pretty tossed.  His cheeks get really rosy when he gets a few Guinness under his belt.  I watched ever so closely as the Queen walked by my table and glanced on her plate.  The old girl must really like potato salad.  My biggest interest was in the BBQ chicken wings she so properly stacked next to her corn on the cob.   Would she….the whole world wants to know……would she….take off her white gloves and grab those wings with her fingers?    Yes!   Yes!  She yanked them babies off and threw them over her shoulder and grabbed those wings like any good tavern regular.  I think I felt closer to her at that moment more than ever before.

    Well a DJ with a bad comb over (at first I thought it was The Donald) came out to “get the party started”.  They had the first dance stuff they always do. This was pretty much your standard pablum stuff.  Then the disco ball drops down over the dance floor and things begin to get jumping.  The DJ plays “Shake Your Booty” and Princess Ann can’t sit still.  I see the Queen say something to Prince Phillip and he shakes his head “No”.  So she then jumps up and grabs Elton John and they start tearing it loose doing the Hustle.  I look away for just an instant and during that time Prince Charles and Amy Winehouse are executing probably the worst Samba you would ever want to see on Dancing with Stars.  I could just hear Bruno holding up his score paddle with a big fat “1”  saying “what were you thinking?”.   I can see Leslie has had just about all of this action he can stand.  He (like Prince Philip) needs his nap.  I tell him I would like to stay a bit longer but about that time they begin to play “YMCA”.  Things begin to get really ugly about this time.  The conga line begins to form with Mick Jagger as engineer with Tony Blair in chiffon right behind him.  Keith Richards is up against the wall rolling something to smoke while at the end of the train we find Ozzy being drug behind while hanging onto Bono’s belt.   As we begin to get up to leave we see Prince Charles go to the microphone and we decide to wait and see what he has to say.  It is apparent that he has made one too many trips to the champagne fountain.  He nods to the DJ and the music starts.  What a fine and fitting finale to a truly festive event.   As Charles sings the last refrains of  “My Way” I think I hear the sounds of a tear or two being shed and feel a bit dampness upon my own cheek.  I venture a gaze over to Camilla to see that she too is overcome with emotion as she covers her eyes and then is so emotional she puts her head down on the table.   Thank you England for showing this colonist what royalty really means!                        
     (c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt       

Life's A Sitcom

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:46 AM Comments comments (6)

     If you ever wondered where a show like Seinfeld gathered
ideas for their situations....wonder no more.  Everyday
life.  Allow me to share what I just encountered.  I
received a card in my mailbox at home that I had something
to pick up at the post office.  O.K. I go uptown on my lunch
hour to the post office.  I drive around for a while to find
a parking space.  I go in and stand in line for about 10
minutes or so while the fellow ahead of me completes a
complicated transaction.  I give the card to the nice postal
lady.  She comes back with a letter size yellow envelope
that looked just like one I had sent just the other day. 
The envelope contained 50 single page flyers about our china
show that were requested by a museum in

      I had used the address provided by the museum and took it to the
post office and they placed the $2.96 postage on it for me. 
Now I am not that far from
mind you.  Anyway
the nice postal lady says that the envelope has $2.96
postage due.  I point out the obvious that there is a $2.96
meter label on the envelope.  She goes back and checks and
returns to tell me the envelope could not be delivered.  She
said she did not know why but they could not deliver it.  I
then said O.K. and reached for
the envelope.....No chance!  She grabs it back and tells me
I have to pay $2.96 to get it back because it had been sent
parcel post and
that does not provide return postage.  So just to make sure
I understand it right I repeat to her that I must pay an
additional $2.96 to get the envelope back.  Then pay another
$2.96 to send it out again but we still do not know why they
could not deliver it so it may come back to me again for
another $2.96 in return postage. Can you begin to see the train wreck coming.... Now I may just be a hilljack from
but $11.84 to mail $1.00 worth of paper 30 miles
seemed a little bit like intentionally hittin' your thumb
with a hammer.  I then look at the postal lady and say "you
can just......throw it away".  (You thought I was going to
tell her something more expletive didn't you).  She sort of
stuttered and I thought  she was going to tell me I still
owed $2.96 so I quickly turned around to see this fellow
standing behind me, ashen faced holding this big box.  I look at him and tell him "You're next!".  He swallows hard
and says in a trembling voice..."Oh my I'm sending this box
overseas..."  As I head for the door I holler back at
him "You still have time to change your mind."  Ain't free
enterprise wonderful?  And real life is funnier than any
fiction and don't ever wonder why it costs 37 cents to mail
a letter.  You are paying for efficiency.
From down on the farm with rural "free" delivery (RFD) in

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt

A Self Proclaimed Title

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM Comments comments (5)

      As with so many day to day things that many people accept and never question I sometimes wonder why things are the way they are.  It sounds like a mantra from the sixties but I was just a wee babe when the age of self-examination was in full bloom.  No, I am referring to how people classify themselves.   If you were given a list of occupations and asked to choose the title that would best explain your chosen task in life what would that be.   If you would say “mother” no one would question this if they knew that you had raised children.  If you were to choose mechanic they could tell by the grease under your fingernails that you were not just blowing smoke.  To call yourself a doctor you had better have the sheepskin displayed for all to see or face charges from the state medical board.  But of all the professions and titles we classify people under there is one that defies verification.

     Now, to my knowledge there is no higher power to screen one’s credentials and sign your card “Artist”.  Granted there are those that do have some fashion of an art degree, be it in art history, fine art, art appreciation, art restoration etc.   For these we do not question their right to title.  They studied and earned their degree so thus all that goes with it.  But in the art world as we will call it, the vast majority of the “artists” have no degree or official certification saying that they are an artist.  I think it is great!  What other title can you arbitrarily bestow upon yourself.  “Today is my first day of being called an artist”.   You can have ten thousand business cards printed up with your name and under it “Artist” and no printer is going to ask for validation of your claim.  I myself am an artist.  I am a porcelain artist to be exact.  Or at least that is my medium of choice.   I struggled a long time before feeling comfortable in allowing myself to use that title.  I think the final realization hit me when after entering several local art shows and fairs that I became know in my area as an “Artist”.  This right of passage gave me a new confidence to actually use the title “porcelain artist” on my business cards.  What a scary feeling the first one I gave out to someone.  I expected them to hand it back to me and ask if I had any proof of what I was claiming to be.  Of this I was prepared to say that the printer did not have room to insert the words “would be” before porcelain artist.

     This title is very prolific anymore.  If you are a student of art history you can really only name a small number of “Artists” in the past few centuries.  Granted there are those of lesser notoriety that can still use the claim of artist in their epitaph but the numbers that we see today are just astounding.  One nice thing about calling yourself an artist is that you do not have to prove that your livelihood is made from the sale of your artwork.  Vincent Van Gogh set the benchmark on that since he sold little of his art while he was alive.  The starving artist portrayal makes it all too apparent that your art is simply not appreciated in this millennium.  Practically every town of any size has an art gallery.  Now these galleries can contain anywhere from very good artists just waiting for their time to the paintings of barns and landscapes with “v” seagulls.  An “Artist” has done every one of the paintings in these galleries.  Just ask them. They’ll tell you they are artists.

     Other criteria used in other professions not necessarily applicable here, that being how prolific an artist is.  The body of work as it is called.  For full effect you want to move your arms in a sweeping motion when you say that.  Any one knows that the more you practice your craft; be it painting a portrait to removing an appendix, repetition usually promotes proficiency.   Some old masters are all the more valuable because of the few number of paintings in existence.  Once again the “Artist” mode is in contradiction.

        We have all seen them.  You know what I am talking about, those “works”.  These are pieces, paintings, sculpture or any media that render you speechless.  Speechless as in “I can’t find words to describe it”.  Yes that collage of toilet paper and the bleached scull of a groundhog that just isn’t speaking to you as the creator had intended.  And the $2,000.00 price tag causes you to regain your composure just long enough to utter a word that you would punish your 16 year old for saying.  Yes, this was the vision of an “Artist”.

    You ask if this artist’s vision is natural or induced by organic or chemical agents.  You begin to remember the scene from “The Exorcist” and Linda Blair spewing forth what might have been a good companion piece for this  $2,000.00 exercise in vanity.

        The thing I like the most about calling myself an artist is that I can act weird.  Yes, you know as well as I that erratic behavior is acceptable in “artistic types”.  We can dress wild with hair in disarray, personal hygiene in need of attention bolstered by total lack of concern about everyday necessities like food, lodging and transportation.   Oh yes, and game-full employment.  Now perhaps I am not a true artist.  I have one foot in reality to the extent that I have a full time job and only get the luxury of painting after the day- to -day chores of life are taken care of.  I suppose if my inner soul were really artistic I would throw all these trappings of conventional existence aside and do art for art’s sake.  Well I like to eat on a regular basis.  I like to sleep in a warm clean bed.  I like to look like I have a permanent address.   So I guess I am torn between what I view society wants me to be and then what my true talent dictates.  Doesn’t that sound like something you could spout off to Dr. Phil?

          That brings us to “talking the talk”. You know what I mean.  Artist talk.  The B.S. that separates the starving artist from the one having caviar at their openings.  You know the talk that no one really understands.  The talk that no one has the gonads to say “What the hell are you talking about!”  “Movement, rhythm, flow of the line, transition of color and value, and the fact that I am asking $2,000.00 for this piece of crap.”  Here again body language and theatrics is very important.  You must use exaggerated hand movements as you explain the “ musicality of the piece and the subtle textural overtones and would you like to buy a Kirby sweeper.”  See you didn’t hear a word of it and you are thinking where could I hang this in my house.  He’s got you to thinking it is worthy of hanging…. You are hooked.  You believe he is an artist.  You may even end up being his benefactor before the evenings over.   Part actor, part snake oil salesman, and part house painter.  The major components are sized up.

     The other thing that is nice about being an artist is that you can have a fan club.  Just like the rock stars.  They are the ones that validate your claim of artistic title.  Shoot they may have even bought some of your work or even done the one thing that can chisel your title of artist in stone for eternity.  Commissioned a piece.  You were paid to paint a particular work just for them, just on their specifications, just for their home.  You have arrived! Forget the fact that the work was a portrait of his first car a 1970 Chevy Nova with rally stripes.  You can even be so conceited as to list on your brochure that you do only commissioned work.   Looks so high- brow.

       Internet and cyberspace opens a whole new avenue of self -exploitation for the “Artist”.  The web page opens up a world of possibilities.  You can now “talk the talk” in writing about your inner muses and how they spring forth in your finished work much like channeling through a medium.  You can have one of those glamorous photos of yourself, beret optional but always holding some tool of your trade…whether it be a paintbrush, stone chisel, or chainsaw.  Then you have a great opportunity for merchandising.  You may have prints, note cards, T-shirts and variety of sellable merchandise just short of selling your actual artwork.  That would be too cheesy to sell that via the internet.  Oh yes we must not forget the biography for the website.  Now since there are no official qualifications for the title of artist you can even relate your experiences at summer camp as a driving force in your revelation of your true talent.  Who’s to question.  That craft project with the pinecones and the cardinal feathers was the stepping- stone to a grander purpose.  You said so right in your bio so it must be true.

      I think we are lacking in society by not giving our youth a better outlet with which to make a proclamation of title.  We don’t give them enough information in pointing out to them that if you can’t cut it in college, you don’t really want to work for a living, and you want to live a truly Bohemian lifestyle you can always decide to become an artist.  As a footnote I must add I have known some male artists and everyone of the female partners of their relationships (not married I might add) had to work full time to support these male “Artist” counterparts.  Hello!  Wake up call.  I can see a pattern here.  Can you say non-committal; irresponsible, self-indulgent…that is when I decided that I would declare myself as an artist!   

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt            

Yard Art=Self Expression

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM Comments comments (215)

It is human nature to want to exercise the right of self-expression.  After all that is what sets us apart from the other living species.  It is the ability to re-invent ourselves that make us the superior beings.  When I was in high school in the 70's we had dress codes.  The administration never missed the opportunity to remind us that "you are judged by what you wear".  Now today that materialistic way of thinking would be frowned upon but hey we were wearing polyester and paisley for heaven's sake!    In keeping with that let us examine a rudimentary but none the less visible form of self-expression....Yard Art.  You know "yard stuff" as in the inanimate objects that you display in your front yard.  This includes figures, structures, signs as well as antiques and sculpture.  Now here in farm country old farm implements are fodder for creative landscaping. 

    Let's just talk about curb appeal for a moment a.k.a.  the impression from the street of your humble abode.  For instance if you paint your house white with black shutters it is pretty much for the most part non-threatening, but paint it pink with purple shutters and you will in the words of Emeril.."kick it up another notch!"  You will be the talk of the neighborhood coffee club.  They will refer to you as the people living in THAT pink house.  This comment is immediately followed with questions from various sippers asking..."have you seen them....what do they dress you think they are from Europe?"  See you already have made a statement.  Only you know what that is but you have definitely opened the doors of communication.

    Yard art does the same thing. I remember all too well my grandma's pink flamingo venture.  Yes she had 2 of the tropical fowl with wire legs displayed under the mimosa tree that she had ordered from a nursery catalog.  When we were kids and mowed her yard we had to be sure and place these birds right back in the proper place under the graceful fronds of this Floridian canopy.  I wonder if grandma was dreaming of warmer climes by staging this non-native display.  I'm not sure because grandma never traveled out of Indiana in all of her 92 years so maybe she was dreaming.  Being a gardener I believe I have an acute sensitivity to landscaping and the way people present their front yards.  I was certainly surprised to have noticed something along my daily route to work the other day that I had apparently "overlooked" previously.

    Yes there she was in all her splendor standing in the bed of petunias....the Virgin Mary.  A very nice rendition I must say.  It was not the icon that I found  unsettling but her choice of bed fellows for companionship shall we say.  There stood the fantasy of every 3 year old male for generations....that's right Snow White!  Now we know this soprano pariah never goes anywhere without her band of roadies.  They were all there...all seven of them.  Whistling and working in reckless abandon.  Not a one of them having the good sense to know they would never grow up to be over 18 inches tall. What do you expect from a group of guys all named after their individual character flaws. While this scene played out the Madonna is standing in a reverend prayerful stance.  Is she praying that the hollow tree up the road will become vacant so this band of simple minded midgets will move or is she giving thanks for the fact that Mickey and Goofy didn't tag along as well?  If this wasn't bad enough standing to right hand of Mary was such a spectacle of inapproriate behavior like I have never seen.  The notorious Dutch boy and girl were kissing right in front of the Holy Mother.  Acting just like a couple in the back row of the balcony at the Bijou.  Most disturbing.
     I then tried to understand perhaps what the home owners were trying to say with this unlikely menagerie.  Perhaps they were stating that regardless of physical limitations or weakness in morality we all have a place in the kingdom of heaven.  All of these figures were painted brightly so maybe the message is we are all different colors and we all have an equal role in the spectrum of life.  Then again maybe the Virgin Mary was a gift from the mother-in-law.  She thought it was only fitting as that is what she said when her son brought home his new bride ..."Holy mother of Jesus".  The valley girl with her entourage belonged to the lady of the house as they were part of the divorce settlement from her first husband.  And the pride of the Netherlands arrived as a house warming gift from the guys down at the plant.  The choice of the lip-lockers was made by the secretary as the lads wanted to give one of those little boys hosing down the yard...if you know what I mean.

    These thoughts were fresh on my mind as I turned into my own driveway.  As I approached the house I looked down at the rabbit figure with doe eyes standing up on his back legs.  I reached above his head to yank the painted yard sign reading "Eat More Possum" out of ground.  I slowly turned and made a bee line down the drive to deposit my statement of self expression and dump it in the trash.

Reflective moments from down on the farm.

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt

The Dating Game

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:37 AM Comments comments (15)

     In watching TV there has been a tidal wave of ads for an internet "matching" service.  This service via the internet will ask you questions and create a "profile" and then match you with prospective people that are compatible to you.  When these ads appear I say a silent prayer that goes like this..."I thank you Lord for the fact that I am not having to date anymore!"  To me that is the biggest positive point in staying married.  Not having to date.  The other one is not having to worry about your figure.  Well now I know that should still be a concern even when one is married but hey...I threw caution and my thongs to the wind along with that bridal bouquet to those single gals.  There was a time though before I was married that I too was one of the lonely...just like in a Roy Orbison song. After a break up of a year and a half relationship I was mid thirties and pretty disgusted with the whole dating process.  I was not into the "meat market"..a.k.a. bar baiting.  For one thing mid thirties was scary but I was really looking forward to seeing mid seventies so trolling for Mr. Goodbar was not an option.  On a suggestion from a friend and also from my counselor...oh yeah...did I mention that.

    Yes...therapy needed after the last break up. Diagnosis.... severe self-esteem problem.  I was striving to be perfect...felt someone would love me that way.  Whoa did I ever get cured....perfection is flying way out the window now!  Back to the counselor.  He suggested a dating service.  I went to the service that everyone recognized in that day.  They even had International in their name...that had to be good.   You enrolled for different plans. had the Volkswagen plan...a few referrals but you probably would really only get in the groove of things when your options run out.  You had the Olds sedan plan.  More referrals than the "down and dirty basic plan" but I was assured that someone of my vivacious personality would think this plan a mere appetizer.  O.K. they set the hook and were reelin' me in without a fight.  The Cadillac school bus plan for me!  Twenty-five referrals that I could use for the rest of my life or if I got married I could pass them on to a friend.  What a deal.  For a sum that would nearly buy a Cadillac I could be one of the happy enjoying dating the way it was really intended. Now this service did not make a video, they did not show a picture even to prospective dates.  You filled out a profile questionnaire (pretty extensive) and they would provide this profile to your mystery date.  The date would then get your phone number only and they could call you and you took it from there.  Now I was not fashion model material but I would say I wasn't bad.  Anyway I was really for the dating service a good bone to throw out to new clients.  I was in my kids...never been baggage.

      My first referral had been in the system for a while...nice enough fellow but looking back on it now after watching all the decorating shows on TV, I think he was really probably gay and trying to come to terms with his sexuality.  The next fellow was told to me (by the agency) to favor Tom Selleck.  Well let me tell you the old fantasy mode kicked in before our meeting.  There wasn't a lust novel on the shelf to compare with the scenario I had played out in my mind.  I would resist his advances...until we got in the car...then he would be ravaged like a Porterhouse by a pit bull.  Well the term "favored Tom Selleck" must  have meant that he had hair on his legs.  Not even.  HIn addition he really had some issues shall we say with the ex-wife...Next..... The next fellow was an insurance broker.  When he called me the first words out of his mouth were "what is your dress size?"  I should have asked him "before or after Mammy laces up my corset honey chile."  Anyway I met him for lunch.  Just as exciting as reading a policy endorsement for flood insurance...Next.

      Now, the faint of heart might begin to I really getting my money's worth here...but  I answer... life's an adventure and I was out there to give it the gusto!  All this time I am going to my china painting classes on Monday nights.  I am the only single gal there.  These married girls can't wait to hear the latest installment in my dating chronicle and then what my counselor had to say about the last looser.  I mentioned previously that this particular service had "International" in their name.  Well now my next referral was very interesting for a country girl.  He was an Egyptian microbiologist.  When the service called and asked if they could give him my number I said "sure" why not.  I wanted to be free thinking and expand my horizons a little.  This is the part of the movie when the anxious music starts.  You then tell the heroine...No don't do it!  I meet this fellow for coffee during the daytime.  When he arrives his son leaves with the car because he had to attend a wedding.  I have never really been exposed to other cultures so it was somewhat interesting at first to talk with him.   His first marriage was arranged by his family.  This did not work out after he brought her to the states while he did his graduate work.  He was a champion cyclist in Egypt and still rode  competitively here.  He had taught previously at the university in town but had since gone to work for the government at the naval installment in the next county.  All he could say was that he was studying components and how they affected the human body.

     Can you hear that is the alarm going off in my head. Cyclist...he should recognize back pedaling when he sees it. I now know that this is not for me.  We were two completely different people.  Shortly after this personal revelation he starts telling me that I can go with him back to Egypt in June to meet his family.  I have only shared a coffee stir stick with him for God's sake! I won't have to worry about going through customs etc. because his brother-in-law is a general in the Egyptian army and he will just come aboard the plane and take us off.  At this point my mind flashes to the movie starring Sally Field and her daughter is taken back to an Arab country and she has to try and get her back.  I also by now have strangled on my latte and I am afraid that he will feel the need to employ some life saving maneuvers.  I say it is getting late and really must go.  He asks if I would be so kind as to drop him off at his house since his son has taken the car.  O.K.  I say.  He lives in a nice neighborhood in a new house.  His younger son is there when I drop him off.  He wants to show me his new house.  I try to be polite and decline but he and his son insist so I say that it must be brief because I really must go.  The house is tastefully decorated.  Except for the painting that hung in his bedroom with the nude woman with a snake draped over her shoulders!  At this moment I am flying out of the counselor said "apparently he has some issues with the role of women....totally subservient I would say!"  And I am paying this guy for his professional opinion? To shorten this portion of the story known to my painting friends in china class as my "camel days" this fellow was almost a stalker.  He kept calling me on and on until I finally had to report him to the dating service.  They then told me they had not sent him a referral for 2 years....I asked them why...and they said because he was Muslim and women always declined.  My counselor urged me to give it another try.  So I accepted another "client".  This fellow had a degree in criminology and worked for the probation office in the next county.  He seemed sound enough over the phone so I agreed to meet him for dinner.  That evening when I get home from work as I prepare for my date there is a terrible thunderstorm and the power goes off.  Well out in the country the power goes off if someone in Washington D.C. turns on their heating pad so I was use to that...but you don't have any water out in the boon docks when that a shower was chance of perking up the hair with a curling I'm like...O.K. buddy you are getting the real me! The restaurant where I was meeting him was a very popular place.  Finding a parking space was a premium.  It is raining and as I drive around the parking lot I see this fellow on the porch of the restaurant in a  button down cardigan sweater carrying a yellow umbrella.  First thing you should never do.  Don't tell them what kind of car you drive.  That way you can always leave after you case things out.  Stupid me.. I  had told him! Yellow umbrella bobbing aross the porch. What kind of guy buys a yellow umbrella?  I am getting sick to my stomach.  He was running around the porch as I drive to and fro trying to find a parking space.  I'm the type of person that I don't pray for frivolous things but I was praying big time...."Lord you have time to change this.....please do not let this be him...I will make another pass around the parking lot for you to do your glorious work and change these events."  I find a parking space and as I approach the restaurant I sort of look past this guy still hoping that fate will be kind.  When has fate ever been kind!  It was him.  Better looking than Mr. Rogers but his outfit Bingo right down to the stiff crease in his trousers.  I apologize and explain about my misfortune with the rural electric co-operative and we actually have a rather nice dinner.  I did feel a bit like I was being interogated though. When I would go out on these "excursions via the dating service" I would always offer to pay for my meal or refreshment.  I felt this gave me a little autonomy.  All of the other gents even the camel sadist said "oh no!"  Well this fellow said "O.K. you can pay for yours".  That really wasn't what bothered me.  I gave him cash for my meal as well as a tip.  He pockets my cash then puts the bill and tip on his credit card and says..."I can write this off".  He works for the probation dept. for God's sake.  What does this fall under....take a sexual predator to dinner deduction?  On the way home I make a vow to more dating service....I will not shoot my counselor as much as I would like to..and I will try to share this experience with any one of my single friends that don't believe my experiences by giving them remainder of my referrals.

       It was a dark day in china painting class when I made the announcement that I was no longer accepting prospective opportunities from my dating service.  Now that I am a married woman of nearly eight years I often wonder about my dating partners and where they are now.  The "maybe gay" guy is he working the perfume counter or is he a hair styling salon mogul.  The Tom Selleck almost...he is probably sitting in a "wife beater" tee shirt and shorts watching Nascar drinking whatever beer was on sale.  The camel cyclist...I am afraid to even think about him.  I may seem him on a episode of "Crocodile Hunter" since he has such an affinity for snakes.   Then finally there is Mr. Rogers with the tax deduction.  He is probably assaulting convicted felons with his yellow umbrella instead of a rubber hose.  And  I....I took the road less traveled by..and that has made all the difference!

Estrogen Rules...

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt

Ballad of the Hot Flash

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM Comments comments (29)
      I have often wondered where some of the great songwriters get their inspiration.  I know there are more songs written about love, young love,  lost love, unrequited love, unfaithful love, and eternal love just to name a few than any other topic.   There are songs about trucks, cars, rodeos,  wars, even a favorite food like Jimmy Buffet's "Cheeseburger in Paradise" for example.  I think a song should be about something that most of the population can identify with.  I have a suggestion.  How about a song that 50% of the world already know about or will experience sometime during their life.  That's right.... "The Ballad of the Hot Flash"!  I envision this song to be reminiscent of Marty Robbin's "El Paso".  Numerous verses detailing one day in the life a menopausal heroine.  Lord knows we could even have a shooting just like in the desert town.  We all know the effects that a hormone rush has on one's sanity.

       The song could have a subtle intro maybe with guitar only (maybe a little Spanish in theme) and our heroine is described vividly as a raven haired beauty that makes everyone around her take notice.  The verse proceeds to explain her preoccupation with youth fullness and the way she has cheated father time to look many years younger than her actual age.  Then the music begins to build and a crescendo booms forth and we hear that she is beginning to look flushed, her fine silk blouse is showing signs of dampness, her upper lip has beads of sweat the size of jelly beans.  Boom!  We hear mature female voices in the chorus chanting "I told you so!".  That's right.  No female is exempt from the penance set upon them for yielding to temptation in the garden of Eden....The Hot Flash!  Any woman experiencing one of the these surges would relish the thought of being stripped down to nothing but a few fig leaves I'll can assure you.  The next verse can deal with the embarrassment she feels when making an important business presentation and she begins to feel the rise in temperature...she tries to will away the impending heat wave only to find it swelling way beyond control.  She is now fanning herself with her presentation copy and seriously thinking about ripping the buttons off of her blazer as she tries to shed it gracefully.  I see the mood of this ballad much like a Johnny Cash song...learn from my experiences...don't make the same mistakes.  The only problem is you can't avoid the inevitable.  That will be the closing "hook" to the song.   No matter how rich, smart, beautiful and well woman is immune from the wrath of the Hot Flash!

      The rock and roll song "Last Kiss" tells of a tragic accident involving two lovers and the young girl dies in the arms of her young love.  She asks for a last kiss on her dying breath.  I really think this ballad should have that ending of sorrowfulness.  The heroine could be sitting listening to some other women explain that it took years to complete the right of passage through menopause....and then the music fades.  I am getting choked up just thinking about it.  We could find a really prominent artist to record it.  It would be better served to find an older diva but just think of the video....I would LOVE to see Faith Hill having a raging fire storm and sweating her lovely outfits through and screaming at Tim McGraw  "Don't touch me!".  Big time money maker I say.  We could give one of those battery operated hand fans with every CD. Can you imagine when they call my name at the Grammy's as songwriter for "Best Song About a Bodily Function".  I would thank all those strong women that have gone before me.  The women at the turn of the century wearing those long skirts with bustles and high collars.  The true heroines of our gender.  I would be gracious to my inspirational role models and  just as I begin to thank the academy a warm rush begins to climb up my body. As my ears begin to flame and my face becomes as red as the stoplight on main street I realize the rented dress I am wearing will definitely have to go to the cleaners before I return it.   And so I leave the podium...not a person in the audience even questioning whether I have lived through what I had written about.

Sweating the details down on the farm in Indiana   

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt

Everyone is Equal in a Tiara

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:31 AM Comments comments (128)

     My, my how things have changed since I was little.  In reflecting on the fact that I am due to have another birthday this week and thus push myself ever closer to the dark abyss of 50 I am pondering how things have been changing at an ever faster progression.  Let's take something that you probably haven't even considered.  The beauty pageant.   That's right.  The claim to fame that every former "queen" always considers to be part of her resume or even heaven forbid her obituary.  A right of passage for some young ladies and bragging rights for many well into the plus sizes of middle age.  When I was appointed to our county fair board several years ago and one of the first assignments (as one of the token females) was to serve on the fair queen pageant committee.  I felt like a 6 foot tall spouse at a dwarfs convention.  I was definitely out of place here.  The gal who was pageant director was a beautiful and very efficient lady.  She really had brought the pageant from an event in the sawdust of the show arena to a production with stage lighting and music in a theater type auditorium.  Well I served my internship on this committee and then after a couple of years the torch was passed to me to serve as pageant director.

    This has been my duty for several years now.  I have met some very lovely young ladies and I hope have given them positive experiences for the future.

     Just like any railroad running smoothly there lurks the ever present element that can quickly assure the train wreck.  That's right.  Government intervention.  I know, I know....I was a straight A civics and government student so I am all too aware of the necessity in a civilized society to have rules, regulations and checks and balances to insure fair treatment for all.  This being said I share with you the latest in the future course of things to come.  Title IX!  If they have given it a title you know they intend to make a big deal out of it...right?  I haven't read all the blah, blah but in essence it deals with fairness to all with no stipulations as to gender, age, marital status or sexual promiscuity.  Our county fair queen contest uses rules that will enable our winner to qualify and compete at the Indiana State Fair.  Well this Title IX stuff says if a program gets any kind of federal funding they must comply with this federal edict.  They consider affiliation with 4H as a program receiving federal funds.  Now our county fair has yet to receive that first check that says "just a little somethin' from your friend the fed'ral gov'ment" but there is talk that these "everybody's equal" statues might be imposed upon us.  Our  pageant criterion is that the "young lady" be between the ages of 16 and 21, never to have been married, not be pregnant or have had a child.  After all you kind of think of a "queen" as being a little bit virginal...right?  Even queen Elizabeth.  Woops sorry about that one Prince Phillip.   But in essence this new progressive thinking of the all knowing federal government says...maybe some of you manly men out there would like to be queen.  Or perhaps you single moms or married gals over 40 with a whole passel of youngins'.  We do not have a swimsuit competition so the attire is strictly a business suit and evening gown.  O.K.  If I have to let a 35 year old male with a full beard compete how do I advise my judges.  "Now judges please do not count off for facial hair or 5 o'clock shadow."  Do I suggest that shaving their legs is to  be optional?  What about foundation garments?  Does that include athletic supporters?   One of the most important aspects in the judging is stage presence, walking and carriage.  O.K.  We have Miss Candy Do Them All here who is single but "very pregnant with twins" now should she be expected to walk with a fluid graceful motion or should she be cut some slack because she is doing good to put one foot in front of the other at 7 months.

     We always advise the young ladies about being tasteful when selecting their evening gown and remember that it is better to be conservative when addressing the "cleavage issue".  O.K. under title IX what do I do?  Chest hair or wax those pecs.  And not to mention when they turn around to show the judges and the audience the "back features" to their gown.....the announcer reads...."And here we have Bubba in a lovely clinging silk slip gown with low cut back, take special notice of the lack hair on his back and the striking tattoo from his stint in the Marine Corp!"  Yikes! I currently have enough worries about tattoos on young girls and body piercings as it is.   I think we  have stampeding buffalo running for the cliff in this new progressive regulation.  What will the schools do about the proms?  You can have your can run for queen or king.  Ain't life full of  endless possibilities?

      I guess I should get prepared for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Goes to the County Fair" and get in stride with the new millennium.  Shoot I can even rethink things.  I might consider running for queen myself.  A fat, married over 40 woman with the start of a menopausal mustache.  Forget those high heels I will just wear nice flat Mason shoes with support hose.  The judges can't count it against me for my varicose veins or puffy ankles or even hammer toes.  With the right concealer even those liver and age spots can be camouflaged.  I will have to make a special effort and pick the correct foundation garments though.  Something with lots of know that lifts and separates like an overhead crane because if the slit up the leg of my gown is too high I am liable to show some cleavage and that would never do!  Everyone should have their own tiara.

From down on the farm in Indiana

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt   

Just Another Day Down on the Farm

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM Comments comments (32)
     I have some who have asked why I haven't written more about farm life.  Well it is pretty much like everyone else's  life I guess and I don't really think that there is a lot that might be interesting, but then maybe I am wrong.  Take for instance the mental picture of farm life.  Life on the farm is probably romanticized about as much as any other way of life.  We don't tend to think of the life as a slum landlord in New York City as romantic, but the rural country life evokes pictures of rolling pastures and content cows with flowers and butterflies.  Well one look at the grain markets on the Chicago Board of Trade and the romance of making a living off of the land is shot in the head with 9 mm.   Willie Nelson still has Farm Aid every year doesn't he.  You think the high price of gas hurts when you transport little Percy to soccer practice?  Just think about the fuel needed to plant, maintain, harvest and dry a grain crop.  Not to mention the sprays and chemicals which are all petroleum based and used to insure a crop.  Now we have the Meth lab concerns and the problems with ammonia tanks that we use in fertilizing corn.  The real life of the urban world has invaded rural America.  There are the lighter moments to rural life though!  Case in point, the motion light you have in the driveway is not so much to fend off would be thieves and vandals as it would be in an urban setting  but to enable you to walk to the shop in your underwear late at night when you remember that you left the air compressor on and you don't want to step on one of the numerous barn cats.    You are glad to have matter who they are.  Census taker, Kirby salesman even the Jehovah Witnesses are considered a friendly face to talk to.  We live on a state highway.  Now that sounds very cosmopolitan but allow me to point out that this is probably the shortest state highway in the state of Indiana.  Indiana 142 runs for about seven miles between Indiana 39 and Indiana 42.  It is so much a rural highway that we pretty much know most of the people that travel it from point A to point B.  As a matter of fact I feel confident enough to work out in the front yard in my flower beds in shorts and a tank top.  Now this over the edge physique of mine is outlawed in most providenses. As I proceed to pull weeds I hear someone honk as they go by.  I raise my hand in acknowledgment not even looking to see if they know me or think I am one of our brood cows getting ready to pounce onto the roadway. Raising cattle has been portrayed  romantically quite extensively by the movie industry.    We raise beef cattle.  We have all "colors" of cows.  My husband started his herd with Herefords and to me that will always be the most romantic breed cattle know to man.  I picture the stalwart Hereford  bull "Vindicator" so prominently described in James Mitchner's book "Centennial".   He was the bull to civilize the West.    As an artist they are the most "paintable".  Their young calves are just the reason one should never eat veal.  Our neighbor down the road raises Herefords and Longhorns.  That's right Longhorn cattle right here in the Indiana.  My brother-in law who farms with my husband is a superb cattleman but he is much younger and has fallen to the black cattle brainwashing that has been so been so well executed by the Angus breeders.  It is a matter of fact that cattle sent to market will bring more money if they are black....regardless if they have had any Angus heritage or not.  Sort of like being a blond babe on the beach.  Only your hairdresser knows you were born a brunette.   Now we don't move our cattle by horseback like in the movies.  We move them via 4 wheeler or pickup truck with the help of cattle dogs.  Now our Shelty  doesn't move cattle...she just sets in the truck and barks at the other 2 cattle dogs for fun.  Livestock is a constant commitment.  We have friends that farm but do not have livestock only grain farming.  They go to the lake, take off on vacations and  they don't have to cut and bale hay in the summer.  The livestock farmer has to love what he is doing to be tied down as he is.   Anyway, when you have livestock and you live along roadways you need to check these cows at least twice a day to make sure none have not gotten out of the fence.  You can have a fence like the one in Jurassic Park and some ole' Rip of a cow will find a way to wiggle herself out of it if she wants that little patch of grass "over there".   The insurance liability of having livestock is a nightmare.  No matter how careful you are there are times that unfortunately an accident happens.  This happened a couple of years ago to us and thank God no one was injured but this gives you an idea.   One evening after dark my brother-in law called and said he was down the road with the sheriff because someone had hit one of our cows on the highway.  I jumped in the car and drove just a ways down the road to see vehicles off the road and flashing lights.  I park the car and my husband Leslie walks up to meet me as I proceed down to the accident vehicle and the sheriff car.  Leslie says to me in a low voice.."Now there is no sign of a cow anywhere...and this lady says she thinks she hit a cow, but we can't find one so we are not admitting that she hit a cow...O.K.?  She could have hit a deer or something....O.K?"  I make a quick survey of the accident scene.... a dent in the front of this lady's pickup truck and a great deal of "cow incriminating evidence".  I look at Leslie and say "Well you can say she didn't hit a cow till you are blue in the face but all this cow  #$*! manure all over the road I think is a dead give away if I were an investigator."  As the story goes we never did find a cow with an injury so I have come to refer to this incident as the  "Night of the Indiana Big Foot Sighting". The mental picture of the cattleman checking his herd on horseback has been portrayed to every kid watching B westerns on T.V.  Well as I said we have advanced from the lowly beginnings of herdsmanship to use more sophisticated means.  A car.  That's right a four door Olds sedan fondly  as referred  by me as the "farm car".  A hand me down from Leslie's late father.  This 4 cylinder marvel of off -the -road  maneuverability has yet to be matched by any Hummer.  Allow me to enlighten you as to it's multi-terrain characteristics.  Every good wife is a "Shrew".  You know you have certain issues that you rag on until you realize that you are sounding just like your Mom.  Well one of my pet peeves with Leslie is the fact that he doesn't want to put a vehicle in "Park".   Not even an automatic.  Whenever he is driving my car he will turn off the ignition and then place it in park.  Well this leaves the accessories on in my car so he is constantly running down my battery.  I was forever telling him to place it in park.  He would proceed to tell me that all the tractors etc. he was use to driving he would turn off the ignition and then  place it in neutral.  I finally reached the point where I bought a new battery and just gave up "bitchin".  But fate always affords an opportunity.... I was out of town attending the Indiana Porcelain Art School for a week.  I was about an hour away from home and would try to call home every evening to check and see how things were going.  This one evening I called Leslie and I asked how things were going and he tells me he had a little bit of trouble with the "farm car".  Well naturally I asked what the problem was thinking an old car is constantly in need of the "part of the week".  He proceeds to tell me that he got some moisture under the hood. and wouldn't start.  The real jist of the story  is that he took the car up in the pasture to check the cows (now why he didn't take the pickup truck is still one of the great mysteries much like the search for the holy grail).  He was specifically checking on this one cow who had a sickly calf.   He spies Mama and calf at the top of the hill in the pasture.  He  decides he wants to catch the calf and take a closer look.

    Now I am sure you all have watched calf roping in the rodeos and  have noticed that most calves are not too receptive to being "hugged"  so the element of surprise and swiftness is of the essence for success.  Leslie throws open the door, shuts off the motor and jumps out of the car to catch the calf.....Did we miss something in this chain of events.  Yes,  you are observant aren't you.  We did not place the herding vehicle in park so since it is setting on the crest of a hill Newton proved that gravity is as dependable as the IRS.  Said vehicle begins to roll down the hill.  Now on the farm the most advantageous place to locate a pond in at the bottom of the hill so you may take advantage of all that water run off.  That's right....just as Leslie reaches the calf the all terrain Olds begins to run down the hill toward the pond.  He now tries to catch the car and get in and stop it (as I might interject here the drivers door is open).  Thank heavens he didn't stumble and fall because this hilarious incident could have turned tragic.

   Leslie is certainly not as svelte or fast as he once was so  there really was little chance of catching this suicide sedan.   Physical science prevails and General Motors tested it's first experimental beach craft of the modern era.  Well since the drivers door was open he told me over the phone "she took on a little water".  Oh yes and he would probably call the Great Chicago Fire a wiener roast!   Those words of "shrewdom" hung in my throat like a wet sock.  But "I Told you so"  were never uttered by my lips.  I have learned the smart woman knows when to keep her mouth shut!  I remember the words "I guess I should have put 'er in park"...YES!  YES!  Good things come to those who wait.  My relentless badgering did little but in the end revenge was so sweet.  A couple of years later ....I have had to put another battery in my car because he continues to shut off the key before he puts it in park.  The Olds....she is still chuggin' away.   She had to have some new parts as the water tended to cause some discord.   She is sort of a celebrity.  When the great "Normandy Landing" occured I returned from my trip to go right to our county fair.  I was working at the grandstand and just happened to make some inference to Leslie's all-terrain vehicle and the announcer just happened to announce this over the public address system.

   The great calf/Olds/cattleman steeplechase has forever been recorded in local folklore for future generations.   Up until now via oral history but now I have gone  and written  it down.  Well this keeps the facts accurate and I know Leslie would want role as the athletic cattle/car wrangler to not be embellished.  So hey...that is sort of what one day on the farm can be like.    So if you think that rodeo is only for those guys in Oklahoma....think again.

Olympics from Down on the Farm 

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt          

March Down on the Farm

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:18 AM Comments comments (149)
     People unfamiliar with farm life here in Indiana often ask me about what it's like at various times of the year.  It is definitely a seasonal and calendar driven life.  I believe that most people have a nostalgic impression of farm life and given its realities and the speculative financial nature it is best to let them think of Lassie and Timmy.  But none the less allow me to tell you about this season and what you could expect if you came here on the farm for a visit.

     As the days begin to lengthen and the thermometer begins to slowly climb the pace on the Indiana farm begins to quicken.  It quickens in preparation for the season ahead and the excitement if not the unpredictability it brings.  I as a farm wife do my share of the preparations for the changes that will dictate our waking hours the next few weeks.  I shop at the grocery store and lay in the appropriate provisions....quick energy food, sandwich items, anything that can be eaten with the left hand while the right hand is doing the major business.  All sorts of beverages are purchased that will quench the strongest of thirsts.  My husband Leslie does his part in making sure that all the equipment is in working order.  When I say working order I don't just mean it runs when you turn it on...I mean maintenance to make sure that it can run for hours without stopping because an equipment failure can be devastating in the overall outcome.  He also devours all the latest publication information so that he is up to date on the latest trends and statistics...because lack of information can also be the mine that blows everything skyward.  He consults with all his farming buddies and they exchange opinions and predictions.  And let's not forget the experts on T.V. and the print media because they are never at a loss to express their choices for the coming season.  With the preparations, fortifications and the badge of experience from previous years we enter the season.......the season.....of.....

      That's right folks!  Here in Indiana the cradle of civilization for basketball there is nothing as important as filling in your brackets and following your favorite teams.   Not only is college basketball important but as the movie "Hoosiers" so accurately depicted, high school hoops are the next best thing to marrying off your daughter to the farm implement dealer!  Here is Indiana traveling to a tournament basketball game is akin to a pilgrimage to temple.  Instead of a mark of ash on your forehead you get a thumbprint of nacho cheese or ketchup.  I was raised with Bobby Knight just down the road.  I saw him more than once show up in a local restaurant for "all you could eat fried chicken" night.  I graduated from the high school of John Wooden and I can almost see his birth place in Hall from my front door.  I played basketball myself in high school in the pioneer days of girl’s basketball in this state.  I was going to take my Indiana High School referee test but the preparation for my upcoming wedding took more energy and brain cells than I could spare so alas I never wore the black and white.  I have given you MY background credentials but the March madness maniac at our household is not me...but my husband Leslie.

       He loves he would watch more pro ball later in the season but by that time he has to go to the field.  He and his friend Bob, comrade in basketball passion, use to pick a high school team to follow for the season.  Now this team did not always fall geographically close to home so they were known to travel everywhere following their "Cinderella team".  I have sat in gyms pretty much all over the state.  I could write a blog on the pros and cons of gymnasium design from the prospective of a woman with ample cushion.  But where the real magic happens in our house is the NCAA tournament.  They named it the "Big Dance" appropriately because Leslie prepares for it just like he was going to the prom.  I have to tell you that "I am the man" because I bought him a new wide flat screen T.V. for Christmas, we have satellite as well so he watching in the highest tech I can afford. 
 He has the recorder all ready along to tape games so he can go back and watch a play.  He has extra batteries because heaven forbid the remote control would go down for the count in the middle of a commercial.  Oh, commercial you say....that is when you jump to ESPN and watch the women's college tournament, the NIT or the Indiana High School tournament.  It's enough to cause a person to have gender affinity problems.  I needed to do some sewing this weekend so I sat up a table in the living room while he watched the games.  I would sew a little and watch the men’s college teams, I would then look up and remark that "those guys don't look old enough to be in college" only to find out that there was a time out and he had switched to the high school game.  When I really began to doubt myself is when I looked up the next time and all the players had breasts!  You got it; he jumped to the women's games during the Lite Beer commercial. 
The living room is almost like Houston control and it would be if I let him have a couple more T.V.'s in the room.  Last year he tried to watch the women's college tournament and the men's at the same time make a mental picture of this...standing in the middle of the living room so he could see the T.V. there and turning the T.V. in the bedroom so he could also see it from his vantage point.  Both games were near the end and close in score, I thought I was going to have to get a crash cart and resuscitate him.  He has all his print outs, remotes, pens and newspaper commentaries.   He works on his "bracketology" like I wish he would work on the porch light I need installed.   He gets up to get nourishment and take care of necessities.  I personally think someone has missed the boat in not marketing the "Final Four Do It Yourself Catheter, designed so you won't miss a single moment of the action".   I can tell you the Monday aftermath around command central looks much like the Snake Pit use to at the Indy 500 after race day. 

     I have to say that I am thankful that he chooses to indulge his passion at home and not go to some bar and watch the games surrounded by bar he would even notice a babe when a well executed hook shot has just sent the game into overtime.  I will continue to cheer on my team of choice and try and stay focused as the channel changer jumps from game to game.  I will not be seeing much of him as the planting time starts so I will treasure these intimate moments...when a player suffers an injury and they break away to an update...that we share this wonderful time of year.   Go Team!

All decked out in team colors down on the farm.

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt

Indiana Winter Tourism

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 10:16 AM Comments comments (2)

      Greetings from the Indiana Dept. of Tourism.  We would like to invite all our friends from Southern climes to come and visit us during this most enjoyable time of the year.  Why slather on suntan lotion hoping to add some color to that jail pallor. 
When you are here in Indiana just leave some skin unexposed to the elements and in no time you will have a rosy glow like you did when grandma scrubbed you with lye soap.
And what about all the lovely ice sculptures.  The trees are just breathtaking with sparkle and so visible from your vantage point at the side of the road awaiting the tow truck.  Our capital city would like to welcome you with a blizzard warning.  There's no better way to meet new people than sleeping on a cot in a storm shelter.  Or better yet enjoy one of our farm bed and breakfasts when you get stranded out in the country far from the interstate.  You may even have the option to help with farm chores to offset your lodging fee.

      For a taste of history simply venture out into the rural areas where you take a step back in time.  Heat and meals are prepared on a wood fire and the stories and games played by oil lamp light because of power failures.  And don't forget those nice therapeutic baths from cold water drawn earlier in the day because the well pumps and water heaters are electrically dependent.
And romance...make your Valentines Day trip to the Hoosier state and have an evening you will always remember.  Start off with a delectable meal of cold pork and beans and progress to a night cap of Old Grandad to ward off the cold before you put on 3 layers of clothes before climbing into bed.  What adventure for amore` with those Carhart coveralls ,Granny Flannels and battery operated hunting socks.

Make scenic wintertime Indiana your next tour destination.  No need to let us know you are coming...we can guarantee all the wintertime enjoyments we mentioned.  Just fill up the car with gas, batteries, first aid kit, blankets, clothes, food, water and lots of cash to pay for the wrecker service.  We are easy to find.  Just head North until you start to see cars and trucks slid off the road and you will be here.  We look forward to your visit.

Your Tour Guide,

(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt