The Unnamed Adventure Weekend

I'm off for a great comedy weekend with the Unnamed Ones in Chapel Hill. We're seeing Lewis Black and learning more about comedy writing. In the meantime, please go look at my website- www.nancybartholomew.com and click on the "journal" page. I'd like to know what you think. When I get back I plan to move this blog over there.


Happy Valentine's Day!


  These guys got their Valentine's wish when the psycho kitty decided to scale the fence that separates her domicile from Dog Territory. 

I think this is a sign that the elderly cat has dementia as she has never once ventured onto Dog Turf from her "suite" of rooms in the back of the house, but what do I know? It could be a carefully crafted kitty cabal.

Perhaps it's just as well that the dogs have yet to realize their longed for nose-to-nose encounter with Spitty is within reach.  They have been too busy begging for a bite of The Humans' Valentine's Day Fondue dinner.

I believe , even at this early stage in our domestic drama, several life lessons are to be learned from this impending Valentine's Day Massacre...

1. Keep Your Eye on the Prize.  Don't let the little temptations in life distract you from your goal.

2. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the baby gate.

3.  Be careful what you wish for!  (This could apply to either side in the Dog-Cat Face-Off.)

The cat is currently under my bed doing God knows what, probably loading semi-automatic weapons and pulling the pins on grenades...While two doors down the hall,  the poor, stupid dogs are sleeping at my feet, blissfully unaware. 

The Other Unnamed Ones are all in a dither, so I'm not too worried about actual blood being shed.

Stay tuned....


A Long Holler Weekend...

The Doodle-bug and I got a jump start on the weekend and arrived at the cabin just after noon. We immediately began the ritual "Inspection of the Kingdom" and set off down to look at the back creek bed. I've been waiting all summer and fall to see water there and today- There it was!

A few limbs are down from the ice storm, but other than that, nothing much has changed.

The Doodle got re-acquainted with Joe's dog, Shannon, while I snapped a few pictures of the sunset.

All in all, not a bad day!

It's good to be "home."


It's Monday...

I have a cold.  I don't know what Maggie's problem is.

feb408 004

We're just puny.


All's Well That Ends Well...

There is an old cabin on our property.  Long ago, boxwoods grew around the front yard in a neat hedge, but no longer.  They swamp the building, threatening to choke out the sunlight and swallow the little cottage whole.

jan2708 044

A rose bloomed by the front door.  But now its thick branches have pried the door off its hinges and the tendrils have ripped away at the screen.

jan2708 016

I can't help myself.  I'm a mystery writer.  And terminally nosy.  My imagination runs away with me and I begin to form a picture of the little home's former occupants.

For one thing, they were short. 

The doors are not 6' high and I duck as I enter the house to avoid cobwebs and vines.  Old mattresses thick with rotting straw are piled in a corner of the upstairs room, along with a couple of cases of quart-sized Ball jars.


And Maggie's hats.


I think Maggie was depressed.  She collected self-help books and Reader's Digest articles about finding happiness and overcoming chronic illness.  It was tough living where she was.  The cabin is roughly wired.  There is no plumbing.  No fireplace.  And only a rusting wood stove for heat. 

If I hadn't been able to discern the shape of a planned and maintained front yard in the boxwoods, if the old rose wasn't growing beside the front door, if I hadn't found her hats, I would say no one had ever lived there.  It doesn't seem possible. 

But I know they did.  I've been to the courthouse, traced the deed back to the late 1700s and read the scrawled signatures beneath the titles and wills.  I know at one time there were three little cabins, all built by Maggie's father-in-law. 

But it's Maggie's pervasive sadness that clings to me when I visit the cabin.

Outside there's a mirror and a shelf where I imagine Maggie's husband shaving and Maggie checking her hat before she leaves to ride into town.

jan2708 011

Okay, now I'm depressing even myself...

The beauty of being a writer is- you can recreate reality any way you want.  Remember...Maggie was married to a man who wired an iron into a tree.  And those are jars up in the bedroom are probably full of moonshine. 

The third cabin burned down and the original home place now lies in ruins.  So suppose this was how Maggie handled her unhappiness...

One day as Maggie jammed her best bonnet on her head, she looked up at the Jesus calendar and the big bass her husband, Posey, had pasted onto the wall with dawning realization...Somebody'd gotten their priorities all screwed up.

jan2708 017

Since when had fishin' become larger than Jesus?

With a fresh-willed determination, Maggie slung her purse over her forearm and marched out into the yard.  She carried a box full of of moonshine bottles along with her...

jan2708 034

"Posey!" she cried.  "I've had it with your no-account ways!  We are gittin' right with the Lord or I am gittin' gone!"

But Posey was off fishing again.  So she set fire to his other cabin, took off in his old '41 Ford sedan and drove straight to the funeral parlor in Rocky Mount. 

Maggie didn't even take the time or trouble to pull straight into one of the neatly painted white parking spaces.  She slammed the car into park right there in front of the Drive-Thru viewing window.  Then she threw open the door and marched inside, leaving the old Ford where it was, its motor still running.

Verdery Davis, the youngest son of the parlor's owner, met her at the door, his eyes wide. 

"What're you doin' here?" he whispered.  "Posey'll have your hide if he finds out..."

"Hush," Maggie said.  "I don't care about him no more.  I got only one life and it's time I lived it.  I'm headin' to Florida to start an all-Jesus theme park.  Now are you comin' or not?"

Verdery Davis was no dummy. 

He knew a sure thing when he saw it and Maggie's sturdy frame bespoke determination and carnal knowledge...both elements lacking in young Verdery's life.

One year later, just east of Panama City Beach, Florida, Verdery was charming alligators for Jesus while a crowd of thrilled tourists looked on in awe.

Maggie, sated and satisfied, sat in the ticket booth, smoking a Virginia Slim cigarette and smirking.

"I shoulda done this a long time ago," she murmured.