Stuck in the '70s

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Final post on old blog


This is the final entry on this blogspot, hosted by Blogger. I now have a blog on my very own Web hoster. I'm leaving this blog up so that everyone can read all of the juicy entries I've written over the past (nearly) two years. My how things have changed -- yet stayed the same! Go to my new blog at


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is coming up in a few days. Sometimes I forget I’m a mom. I wouldn’t expect my two teen-age sons to remember Mother’s Day without a little nudging. I wrote “Mother’s Day” on our dry-erase calendar last week, but mostly for my fiancé’s benefit. I’ve not met his mother yet, and I’d like to do that this year.

I’ve had a few special Mother’s Days since I’ve been a mom over the past 17 years. I remember one in particular when the boys were small and decided to make me the proverbial “breakfast in bed.” That was a nightmare. I spent most of my Mother’s Day cleaning up the kitchen. But, it’s the thought that counts, right? I can say that now.

I don’t really even remember anything special my brothers and I did for our mom on that special day. All I can recall is making some stupid coupons, stapling them into book form and giving Mom to cash in on “hugs” and crap like that. I also remember making a waste basket in kindergarten out of an empty Baskin Robbins’ ice cream container. I painted it blue, glued some construction paper flowers around the top rim and wrote “Mom” sloppily in crayon on one side. Dad still has it in use under his bathroom sink.

My mom was what we now call a “stay-at-home” mom, although she did everything but stay at home. Oh, she was always there at the house when I was – that is, unless of course, we were out shopping together. She was always there when we came home from school or on the weekends when we came in from long hikes up the creek or playing “kick the can” on a summer night.

But, by day, Mom was out and about. She would be out yard-saling with my grandma or my aunt; or she’d be helping in one of our classrooms as a “room mother.” Sometimes, she’d be gone on a club bus trip she’d arranged to Chicago or St. Louis or some other exotic destination that just happened to have a huge shopping mall. Other times, she’d be preparing for a Cub Scout meeting or teaching 4-H kids how to draw. Lots of times, she’d be out puttering in the yard, adding the touches that made it pretty, or inside, keeping the house clean and tidy, or getting the next meal ready.

Mom made camping trips seem not so far from home by bringing most of it with us. She did all the packing, and she never forgot anything.

My mom was pretty popular with the neighborhood kids, mainly because she made a sweet ice tea you could stick your sock to if you spilled some on the kitchen floor – and we always did. She’d encourage our Kool-Aid stands and usually buy half of it herself when business was slow.

If you’ve got a mom handy, just spend some time with her this Sunday. Or, if she prefers, get the heck out of her sight. It’s not the flowers you give her or the meals you try to prepare her in her domain that you and she will remember. Just spend your day treasuring her and being grateful for all she’s done for you and all she will do.

I miss ya, Ma.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Web site down temporarily

Hopefully, some of you have found your way to my blog even though Stuck in the '70s is down for the moment. I'm trying to get this worked out with Yahoo, my Web server. They take $12 a month from one of my credit card accounts, and it wasn't there to take this past month, although it is now; and I've been unable to get Yahoo to update my credit card information online. So, today at lunch, I'll be calling Yahoo to get that fixed, and the site should be back up as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience. Times are tough, and money's been a bit tight.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Welcome to T&C Shopper's First Issue

(Blogger's Note: Below is my first column for the Towne & Country Shopper, published 5/4/06. Future columns will appear on my "Reminiscin'" Link.)

Welcome to Towne & Country Shopper.

You hold in your hands our first-ever issue. Hang onto it -- you may be able to sell it on Ebay for 5 times what you paid for it several years from now.

We’re glad to be able to present this new paper to north central Arkansas, and have lots of plans for serving you in the future. Ten thousand copies of Towne & Country Shopper will be distributed in the area, including Independence, Jackson, White, Stone, Sharp, Lawrence, Cleburne and Izard counties. In addition to ads from area businesses, we’ll offer space for your display and classified ads at great prices, along with some community news and information about upcoming events in the area.

The Shopper is the brainchild of our general manager, Ted Stepanek. Ted’s got umpteen years of experience in print media sales and was behind the startup of a similar paper in Indiana. About a year ago, while Ted and I were working together at another local shopper paper, we would dream about taking our show on the road. Why, with my newspaper and graphic experience and his ability to drive sales, Ted said we could have our own paper and make it exactly what we wanted and what we saw the readers desired. We had the skills, but not the technology. Now, a year later, we’ve got all the modern equipment, to go along with our abilities, to bring you the nicest tab possible.

Of course, keep in mind, this is our first issue. So, we’re a little thin on the classifieds. That’s where you can help out. Our classified advertising rates are $2.50 per week for 30 words. Not too shabby. You’ll find a form in this paper to fill out and get us your ads.

We also welcome news of your group, church or organization’s events. You can mail them to us at 848 Harrison St., Batesville, or e-mail me at We’ll get them in here as space permits.

I’m excited to have my hands on the computer to create a weekly shopper paper and the outlet for said creativity. See, I’ve been in the media business in Batesville for 24 years now. I’ve thought several times, after having worked for every media outlet in the area, about leaving and going to another newspaper out of town or out of state. In fact, last month I went to Florida for a job interview at a newspaper there and received a pretty decent offer. However, life is complicated when you’ve got a couple of teen-agers and roots so deep in the Ozarks it’d be near impossible, if not at least painful, to tug them out. So, I’m staying here in this beautiful part of the country with its friendly people. The Shopper provides me the opportunity to get out of selling appliances at the local home improvement warehouse (where I was obviously out of my element for about 10 months) and back into my field.

Some of you may know I’ve written a column for a couple of different publications, and I’ll be doing the same here. Mainly, I enjoy writing about growing up in the 1960s and ’70s in American suburbia. But, I’ll also write about stuff that affects us in the 21st century. You won’t find any political jargon in this column, or usually anything that’s gonna rub anyone the wrong way. Hopefully, it’ll just be good fun and reflection. And, hopefully, our Towne & Country Shopper will be something you grab up each week with your iced tea, sit out on the porch and look for some good bargains or find something you’d like to do over the weekend here in our neck of the woods.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

ARRRRRGG! The swelling!

Well, shoot. I've had this stupid cast on my leg for a week and a day now, and it's driving me crazy!!! The worst part, I thought, was having to use the dad gum crutches. Now, as of yesterday, however, I've found the worst part is the current swelling!

Yesterday, at the end of the work day, my leg began throbbing, and the cast felt like a pumped-up blood pressure cuff on my calf and foot. The sweet baboo, having been a big city firefighter and rescue unit guy for 20 years, told me to sit down and put my foot up higher than my heart last night. That wasn't very lady like, me sitting on the couch with my foot propped up on the back of the it. It helped temporarily. But, again today, the bloating is back. I'm about to borrow the baboo's jigsaw to cut this damn thing off. May 15 is a long ways off.

After much pondering, I finally shut the door on the Florida job yesterday (they made me an offer last week). That's kind of a bummer. The thought of moving far away to a different land is intriguing. And, the possibility of furthering the career is nice too. However, the whole thing is not very practical.

What is more practical at the time being is the Towne & Country Shopper. Our deadline to get the first paper out (for May 4) is a week from today. It's falling together, and it looks like I'm going to be able to write a column for it as space permits! That will be cool. I'll be writing the first one about midlife crisis; and I'll be sure to post every column on my Web site on the "Reminiscin'" link.

Ran into a former co-worker yesterday while going to lunch with another former co-worker/friend. It was kind of ironic how the three of us now work for three different shopper-type papers in the same town, holding the same position at our respective papers; and the geographic locations of said three shoppers form a triangle on the same street and block in town -- and here we ran into each other at the same fast food restaurant on the same day. The former co-worker who I had not arranged to eat lunch with asked me what I was up to and how things were going at the home improvement warehouse. I told her about my new job; and then she asked apprehensively about my current squeeze.

It's to be expected that my girlfriends would ask with caution about the man. I'm sure they're figuring I'm going to say, "Aw ... he was a loser and I got rid of him a long time ago." But, it's very refreshing that is NOT the case, and I am indeed able to say that I can't find a dang thing about him I don't like. Oh, of course there's the usual man-type things, like grunting or nodding answers to questions, or not noticing or acknowledging when I'm upset or in a foul mood. That, however, doesn't compare to verbal and emotional abuse. He's truly a great friend and the best supporter I've ever had (other than my parents, of course). So, all is well -- and, gosh, it's lasted over 5 months now! I'm going for a new record.

The boys will be finishing up the school year in another month. I have mixed feelings about those guys, even though I love them more than life itself as any mother oughtta. For the most part, they give me no grief. The oldest one just completed a run as the lead in his high school drama department's production of "Beauty & the Beast." Ironically, he played the beast, a TV character for whom his father and I named him. He's going to his first prom in a few days, and the tuxedo is rented. The youngest one just got another Saturday school detention yesterday -- this one for throwing crumpled up wads of notebook paper at "a jerk" in class. He's constantly talking back to me, lying to me and manipulating me. He wears me out with his constant arguments and "why can't I this" or whatever. Although I do miss them during the summer while they're at their dad's, a part of me is looking forward to that peace and quiet this year.

My brother, Mike, and I went flea marketing last weekend. I was mainly in search of stuff for my new retro kitchen -- in particular Merry Mushroom stuff. I have plenty of canisters, salt shakers and such. I'm looking for curtains, switch plates/outlet covers, spoon rest, etc. I shouldn't have done all that walking around without the crutches, though, because I'm feeling the effects of it now.

Well, boys and girls, I'll sign off here. I'll be keeping you updated more often, hopefully. I've got lots of new info to post on the Web site this weekend (I hope), including the fact that the elusive Buster Bradley of 1978 diary fame is missing again. He was apparently "let go" from his last job at a Fort Wayne, Ind., radio station last June, and I have lost track of him. If any of you know his whereabouts now, please drop me a line at (No, I'm not stalking ... just like to keep up on the career.)


Monday, April 17, 2006

Remodeling goes on, foot in cast, new job

Well, I'll just give you a quick report tonight on recent developments.

I spent last Monday through Tuesday in Florida at my friend Sarah's in Spring Hill. Interviewed Tuesday at the Citrus County Chronicle for a copy editor's job. Haven't heard from them. Started a new job here in town Thursday at the Towne & Country $hopper, a paper my friend Ted & I are starting with backing from an area couple. I'll be graphic design, editor, etc., and Ted is sales guy. I'm already enjoying it, especially the hours.

My brother, Mike, Nick and I went to Silver Dollar City on our season passes last Saturday. It was crowded, but we had a lot of fun as usual. The sweet baboo stayed home & worked for the painting company as well as did more work on the kitchen. At left are some recent pix. All of the appliances are in the house now, but not hooked up. You can see the orange countertops. The wall color will match the countertops, and the cabinets will be glazed an olive green. Diablo, my kitty, is checking out his reflection in the new gas range.

I went back to see the orthopaedic guy today and now have a cast on my left foot. I told him how that big ol' shot did nothing, as did the pain pills, so he's put it in a cast & I got crutches. Not supposed to put any weight on it for four weeks. Somehow, immobilizing it is supposed to make it better. Make the spur go away? I doubt it.

Well, I'll sign off here. I'm getting tired. More later...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sneak Preview

Thank you for your comments! Things are plodding away here at the '70s house. I'm not going to write tonight because I need to hit the hay, but more stuff is developing, and I'll fill you in over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the countertops have arrived and are now in the house. Don's bringing the base cabinets back in and will refinish them in my chosen "moss" color where they stand. The color you see on the wall is just the orange primer, and the final color will be the same as the countertops. It's awesome! He's working that second job, so time is a precious commodity, but he's hard worker, so it's getting done, and it's getting done right. I'll post more soon!